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Foul Play

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Bay, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. Bay

    Bay YEAHHHHHHH

    Chapter Thirteen
    Payback


    The next day, Grimsley used his Page Rider to have a Pokémon be dropped for him. He rode on a Flygon, who took him from Malie City to Route 16. As they soared through the skies, he gazed down to see them passing through the grasses and palm trees of Route 11, the rocky and desert terrains of Routes 12 and 13, the ruins of Tapu Village and Route 14’s abandoned supermarket, and the waters of Route 15. Grimsley’s hair whipped through the rushing air, and the beat of Flygon's wings vibrated against his ears.

    He gazed down to see some land, a Pokémon Center, and another building with the Aether Foundation’s star symbol. There were some people and children outside. He let Flygon know this was his stop, and she swooped down.

    When they finally reached Route 16, she landed close to Ula’ula Meadows and he jumped off from her back. He thanked her for dropping him here, then Grimsley watched her take off for a moment before he set foot inside Ula’ula Meadows.

    Wild red flowers bloomed throughout the meadow. Grimsley's shoes creaked against the wooden bridge as he inhaled the sweet nectar that hung in the air. Red birds reminiscent of tango dancers popped out and flew frantically, which Grimsley assumed to be the Oricorio Iokua had warned him about. They looked similar to Ricky's Oricorio that Queen had battled against some days ago. He continued to move further until he saw a sign that indicated Po Town was to the left, Lake of the Moone to the right.

    While pondering where he should go first, Grimsley stroked his chin. After a moment, he pulled his coin out and gazed at it on his palm.

    "Heads, Po Town. Tails, Lake of the Moone."

    Grimsley tossed the coin up in the air, and then caught it with one hand. He opened his palm to see it landed on tails. He grunted and headed towards Lake of the Moone.

    The bell-like curved trail towards there was several minutes long. He stopped when he reached a massive shrine that looked to be generations old. It was surrounded by a lake that sparkled like the moon. In front of the bridge to the shrine was a decorative tower with compass roses in the middle. There seemed to be another tower that had fallen and broken in half. Grimsley crossed the bridge and stepped inside.

    Grimsley's footsteps echoed through the ruins' empty and hollow chamber. There were cracks on the walls and floor, and some rubble was left behind. The temperature inside was colder than the Ruins of Abundance. His nose wrinkled at the dust and spiderwebs that had formed. He wondered if this was a temple or sanctuary where people would worship Lunala.

    He took the steps down, continuing forward. It was a long hall with many wooden doors. Grimsley tried to open a few of them, but they were either jammed or blocked by more rubble. Water leaked through the walls like a small cut on the skin. Grimsley could make out light from a short distance, and so he followed that path.

    When Grimsley made it outside, he thought he was in a garden. There were several tall trees and bushes with white flowers. A dirt path was formed that then branched into three paths. The left path was blocked by a small cliff while the right was blocked by large boulders. Grimsley took the straight path that led him to a stone wall and some stairs. In front were two compass rose towers, like the ones just outside the ruins. Grimsley touched one of the towers, cold and rough against his palm.

    Grimsley took the stairway up, but then stopped where two pedestals with the moon symbol stood. It was exactly like the flute drawing from Alola's Light. He shifted his gaze, and his eyes grew wide when a flash of white light appeared up ahead.

    Right now, Colress, Dawson his Beheeyem, and the Ultra Recon Squad stood on top of the platform.

    Grimsley's throat was tied in a knot. He hid behind the pedestal and eavesdropped on their conversation.

    "This is where we'll meet with one of your other members?" Colress asked.

    "I'm positive," Dulse said. "I already send Soliera the coordinates. She should be here any moment."

    "Oh, I wonder if she's gonna ride Lunala or Solgaleo here!" Zossie said, her feet bouncing.

    Grimsley quirked a curious brow. Did she mean Lunala and Solgaleo from the Alolan folklore? Dulse cleared his throat and faced Colress.

    "Upon our research, Lake of the Moone brushes up against another world like Alola. A parallel universe, if you will."

    Colress grinned. "I've read about those from various scientific journals. Both here and the Altar of the Sunne are fascinating places."

    Grimsley pressed his lips, his forehead knitting a furrowed brow. He still wasn't sure what to feel about alternate dimensions days after he had talked to Burnet about those.

    "She's coming, she's coming!" Zossie jumped up and down, pointing to the sky.

    A thunder-like clap exploded in the air. Gazing up, Grimsley spotted a small wormhole opening up. A majestic bat-like creature that resembled Lunala popped out, letting out a shrill cry. Their wings sparkled like stars with each loud beat. A woman that wore the same spacesuit as Dulse and Zossie rode on their back. They eventually landed on the platform, and the woman hopped off.

    "Soliera!" Zossie rushed and hugged her on the waist.

    “It's great to see you too, dear," Soliera said with a warm smile, returning the embrace. After they let go, she approached Colress. "I'm Soliera, another member of the Ultra Recon Squad."

    "Colress, at your service." He and Soliera shook hands.

    "Dulse and Zossie told me that you'll be helping us restraining Necrozma."

    "Indeed, I am. I'm almost done with the machine. I just need as much information on Necrozma as possible to fill in some data!"

    "I have it all right here." Soliera pulled out what looked to be a flashdrive and handed it to Colress. He nodded.

    "Thank you. This should be very useful!"

    Soliera frowned and faced Dulse. She folded her arms against her chest.

    "Captain Phyco wasn't happy when you made that request. Necrozma is getting more unstable by the minute. He’s also weary that the International Police are watching over us."

    “The International Police are indeed keeping tabs on you,” Colress said. “As long as you help with my and Aether’s research, there’s nothing to worry about.”

    "Colress has proven to be experienced with the ways of Pokémon," Dulse said. “This shouldn't be a problem."

    "Yeah, Mr. Scientist Man here is really smart!" Zossie said, grinning. Dawson approached her, the gems on his fingers flashing. She giggled and patted him. "His Pokémon are also very friendly!"

    Soliera seemed to regard them for a moment. "All right, I trust you two's judgment."

    Lunala cried and flapped their wings. Their body lit up in white light, brighter than the sun. Dawson squeaked and hid behind his trainer. Looking up at the legendary Pokémon, Colress grinned.

    "I must say, your Lunala radiates so much light. It's astounding!"

    Grimsley couldn't tear his gaze off of Lunala. He was reminded of the Alolan folklore when Lunala and Solgaleo would give their light to reawaken the Blinding One from their long sleep. Another few seconds passed until Lunala's light faded.

    "Lunala had passed down some of its light to Necrozma, but it wasn't enough," Dulse said. "We were afraid it would get too greedy, so we kept Lunala far away from Necrozma as much as possible."

    "Necrozma sounded so sad," Zossie said, sounding more upset than her usual joyful self. She hung her head down. "That's why Dulse and I volunteered to go to Alola and find a way to help it."

    "Once I have the machine ready, Necrozma won't have to suffer anymore," Colress said.

    Grimsley shifted his gaze away from the group and grimaced. An uneasy feeling settled in the pit of his stomach. He could tell the moment Colress had laid his eyes on Lunala that he wanted to use them for his own means. The same could be applied to Necrozma. The Ultra Recon Squad were foolish to have him help them.

    "I should head back to Ultra Megalopolis," Soliera said. "Captain Phyco won't be able to handle things alone."

    "Aw, you can't stay here longer?" Zossie pouted. "I think you'll love Alola!"

    "I'm sure Alola is lovely, but I'm needed back there." Soliera dropped to one knee and touched her shoulder. "If there's anything else you three need, let me know."

    "We will!" Zossie said, her face lit up. She and Soliera embraced.

    "You and Lunala have a safe trip back home," Dulse said.

    Soliera nodded and did the Ultra Recon Squad's version of the Alola rainbow sign. When she approached Lunala, they lowered themselves so that she could hop on their back.

    "Lunala, to Ultra Megalopolis!"

    Lunala bellowed with enthusiasm and the wormhole popped up. They and Soliera took off, going through that wormhole before it closed up and disappeared.

    "Now that I have what I needed, shall we head back to Aether Paradise?"

    "Yes, that is fine," Dulse said.

    "Wonderful!" Colress said, looking at his Pokémon. Dawson nodded and his eyes glowed green. White light surrounded everyone, and they vanished.

    Grimsley stared at the empty platform in stunned silence. He put his back on the pedestal, and released a deep breath. He and Colress definitely needed that talk.

    xxx

    After Grimsley had left Lake of the Moone, he was still digesting everything he had seen there. He reminded himself that he was initially here to talk with Nanu, so he brushed off his thoughts on Colress and the Ultra Recon Squad for now.

    The red Oricorio were still dancing wildly and the nectar’s scent grew stronger. He moved further until he saw Nanu in the middle of a field of those red flowers. Smirking, Grimsley jumped off the bridge.

    “I didn’t think you would be the type to admire this kind of beauty,” he said while approaching Nanu, who glared at him.

    “You already want a battle against me? The answer’s no if you’re wondering.”

    Grimsley frowned. “While I still wish for that to happen, that’s not why I’m here. I talked to Iokua recently about a certain past of yours.”

    “You mean during my time as an Interpol officer?” Nanu asked, and Grimsley nodded. He sighed. “What did he tell you?”

    “That you were pretty down after that incident. Also, that your mission might’ve been involved with a certain type of powerful Pokémon.”

    That last statement made Nanu freeze, and his face tensed. Their eyes locked, and Nanu gave him a hard stare. Red petals floated in the air, swirling around them.

    “Let’s go to the police station.” He dusted off some of the petals that landed on his hair and clothes and started walking. Grimsley followed behind.

    As they exited Ula’ula Meadows and slipped into Route 17, Grimsley glimpsed around the several grass fields and rolling hills. Gray skies hung over them and a cold breeze caressed his skin. He lifted his gaze at the large wall that stood as tall as towers; Grimsley assumed that must be Po Town.

    It wasn’t long until they made it to the police station and stepped inside. Grimsley cringed upon seeing the many clothes and piles of papers left alone, and he was astonished over the several dark-furred Meowth that took over inside. Grimsley sat on a couch while Nanu sat next to his desk.

    “Oh my, you have a horde of Meowth here.”

    “Meowth are all right. They don’t care about you or anything.” Nanu leaned against his chair, stretching his arms behind his head. “You were talking about the Ultra Beasts, huh?”

    “Yes,” Grimsley said after he swallowed. “Iokua and I talked for a bit, and he thinks you know something about them.”

    Nanu nodded. “When the Ultra Recon Squad had shown us Adhesive a while back, I got upset. Aether’s president then announced another one of those things appeared in her little Pokémon utopia. From experience, I know the Ultra Beasts aren’t beings to be taken lightly.”

    As Grimsley listened to Nanu’s explanation, a Meowth rubbed against his leg. His gaze fell on the little feline, and when he scratched his chin the Meowth purred in delight.

    “I recall you scoffing at Becky’s suggestion in letting the Aether Foundation help you with Team Skull. Is that why you’re wary of them?”

    “Sorta.” Another Meowth curled around Nanu’s desk and he scratched behind her ear. “We’ve been getting word Aether have been doing their own research on the Ultra Wormholes, but there’s no proof that the foundation was responsible for those. At least, not yet.”

    “How about the Aether Foundation working with the Ultra Recon Squad? You think their collaboration is genuine?”

    “To be honest, I don’t know. Based on our interactions with the Ultra Recon Squad, they seemed serious about that.”

    “Yes, that looks to be the case.” Grimsley recalled that night when Nanu had told him about the woman in the picture. He asked, “That late colleague of yours. Can you tell me a bit about her?”

    Nanu stopped petting the Meowth, who growled sadly at him. He sat straight back up, furrowing his brow at him. After a moment, he dragged out a deep sigh.

    “Her name was Sana. As I said before, we didn’t get along but still worked well together. She didn’t remember much of her past, except that she was from Unova and a scientist. A much more competent battler than our other member, Agent Looker.”

    “She sounds interesting. How come you two didn’t get along but still worked well together?”

    “We knew one another’s strengths and weaknesses, and kept each other in line. She was one of the better agents I’ve worked with.” Nanu stared at the ceiling, rubbing his forehead. “Now it’s your turn.”

    “Huh?” Grimsley asked, genuinely confused. “My turn for what?”

    “I’ve told you a little bit of my past, so it’s only fair you do the same. Like, I know you’re from Unova and of the Elite Four, but nothing else beyond that.”

    “Oh.” Grimsley tapped on his chin while he pondered over what he was willing to reveal to Nanu. “Well, I did mention to Iokua how I came from a wealthy family. Several villas across the globe, servants, fancy parties, the works.”

    “So you were a spoiled rich brat, huh?” Nanu snorted. “I can imagine that.”

    “I would be lying if I didn’t say that all of that felt good.” Grimsley glanced down to see the Meowth now lying on the floor and he scratched his neck. “My mother used to be a professional gambler, but then stopped shortly after I was born. My father had owned a hotel chain and a few sports teams. One of those hotels had a casino, and that was how my parents had met.”

    Nanu grunted, a crooked smile on his lips. “Somehow that fits you and your parents.”

    “As you said, I was a spoiled brat. That ended though when my father had passed away and left me as the head of the house. There were heated discussions over my father’s inheritance and his side of the family wouldn’t help us.”

    “How come?”

    “They never approved of my father’s marriage to my mother. Thus, we were on our own. Luckily she had taught me her trade at a young age, so I was able to support us while I traveled through Unova.”

    Nanu regarded him a moment, as if sinking all of Grimsley’s story in. “Huh, no wonder you're into talking about chances and carrying that coin of yours all the time. What got you into Pokémon training, then?”

    Grimsley stopped playing with the Meowth and lifted his gaze at Nanu. He smirked at him.

    “I learned that gambling and Pokémon battles aren’t so different. Both require some thought on what moves you want to make, and both have a winner and a loser. In the end, there’s always a risk and a reward.”

    An amused grunt escaped from Nanu. “I must admit that is some comparison you have there, vampire boy.”

    Being called that again led Grimsley to furrow his brow, but then his face relaxed and he chuckled. When he finished petting Meowth, the feline bounced off and went to play with one of the other Meowth.

    “Mr. Dark and Gritty already has a nickname for me, hm?”

    Already Nanu tossed him a stern look.

    “Don’t push it. And never call me that again.” He cleared his throat. “Anything else you want to talk about?”

    Grimsley pondered over that for a moment. His mind flashed back to Colress and the Ultra Recon Squad in Lake of the Moone. He didn’t want to think about that again, but what had happened there was important for Nanu to know.

    “Do you know anything about the Lake of the Moone?”

    “It used to be a sanctuary where people would worship Lunala. Why you ask?”

    “I was visiting there earlier today. Colress was with the Ultra Recon Squad, and another member of theirs had Lunala with them.”

    “What? Seriously? The more I hear about those guys, the weirder they get.”

    “Well they’re apparently from another planet, but yes that’s what I saw. One of the members delivered something for Colress’s machine.”

    “If what you said is true, then I can let my former colleagues in Interpol know about that.”

    Grimsley grunted and offered Nanu a solemn nod. He hoped that would lead Interpol into investigating Colress and the Ultra Recon Squad more.

    Just then, a stone shattered the window and hit the wall, several pieces of glass lying on the floor. The Meowth on Nanu’s desk screeched and jumped off due to that noise. Both Grimsley and Nanu stood up and exchanged baffled looks. Someone’s cackle could be heard from outside.

    “Yo, police officer! Your old pals Dennis and Felicia here want to have a little chat with you,” a male’s voice yelled out. Nanu groaned, which made Grimsley look at him over his shoulder.

    “You know those two?” he asked, arching an eyebrow.

    “They’re Team Skull grunts residing in Po Town. I kicked their butts some weeks ago. You wait here.”

    Nanu flicked his wrist, and then he stepped outside. Curious about them, Grimsley did the same.

    When Grimsley stepped out of the police station, he was greeted by two people in dark baggy clothing and doing their unusual poses. He recognized their wardrobe to be of Team Skull based on his last encounter with them. Nanu narrowed his eyes at the grunts.

    “You guys should've stayed put in Po Town,” he said in a gruff voice.

    “After the way you wrecked us bad last time, we want a rematch,” the female grunt, that Grimsley assumed would be Felicia, said.

    “Yeah!” the male grunt, Dennis, said and pumped his fist. “Like our big bro, Guzma, you can’t take us down that easily!”

    As Grimsley glanced over his shoulder, he caught Nanu fixing his stare at the grunts. He faced back at Dennis and Felicia, making a few steps forward.

    “Man oh man, what is going on today? Two Team Skull grunts harassing a police officer, it seems?”

    “Who the hell are you?” Dennis asked with wide eyes, tilting his head.

    “Oh, me?” Acting surprised, Grimsley gasped and pointed a finger at himself. “Just a trainer passing through this little region.”

    An unimpressed look stretched across Felicia’s face. She had her hand on her hip.

    “Hold up, D. I think this is the kimono guy that crushed Jo-Jo and Mikey back in Melemele Island.”

    “For real?” Dennis stared at Grimsley and grunted. “Sounds like you ain’t around here.”

    “Either way, our cop friend there got himself a new buddy to make this even.”

    Glaring at him, Nanu said through gritted teeth, “I thought I told you to stay inside.”

    “It wouldn’t be wise of me to leave you alone with those two in case something happens,” Grimsley said, his voice dropping slightly. An idea came to him, and he looked back at the grunts. “You two want a rematch against Nanu, correct?”

    “Of course,” Dennis said with a raised brow. “So what’s it to you?”

    “A Pokémon battle always has a winner and a loser. It’s pathetic to make a big deal out of losing if you aren’t prepared.” Grimsley craned his neck back, flashing his teeth. “So tell me, do you have the right cards to win this next battle?” he asked, and Dennis and Felicia shot him perplexed looks. Grimsley glanced at Nanu, his glare still locked at him.

    “What are you blabbering on about?” Dennis asked with his shoulders hunched. “You tryin’ to mess with our heads, man?”

    Grimsley shrugged. “I was just asking if you two are prepared. But how about we wager for real?” He pulled out the coin from his kimono, his fingers rubbing at its edge. “Heads or tails. One result will be you guys leaving Officer Nanu alone. The other result will be a Pokémon battle against us.”

    Once more, the two grunts exchanged baffled expressions. When they faced back at him, Felicia said, “Fine. Heads.”

    “Are you sure this is a good idea?” Nanu asked, raising a suspicious brow.

    In response, Grimsley gave an amused grunt. He tossed the coin in the air, waiting a few seconds until catching it. When he opened his palm, the coin landed on heads. Nanu slapped his forehead and groaned.

    “Nice going there, genius,” he said, but Grimsley ignored the sarcasm there. Both Felicia and Dennis chuckled and grinned.

    "Looks like we'll have our payback after all," Felicia said, and she turned to Dennis. "You take that cop while I handle the other dude."

    "You go it!" Dennis said, and he and Felicia threw their pokéballs up in the air. Two Pokémon were released, one Grimsley recognized as Haunter and the other a Raticate, but with darker fur and much bigger cheeks. Haunter screeched while Raticate opened his mouth wide to show off his fangs.

    Nanu and Grimsley also released their own Pokémon onto the battlefield. Grimsley had sent out Queen, who dropped on one knee like a sworn knight. He jerked his head to see Nanu's Persian screech and preparing a battle stance.

    "I focus on my guy, and you do the same," Nanu said.

    "Of course." As Grimsley faced back at his opponent, he smirked. "I've seen my fair share of Raticate in Unova, but nothing like yours."

    "Raticate and I are pretty tight, so you better watch out," Felicia said with a glare and thrust her arm forward. "Let's wreck that dude's Pokémon with Hyper Fang!"

    "Counter with X-Scissor!"

    Felicia's Raticate opened his jaws, showing off his sharp teeth, and launched at Queen. Queen's arms flashed green and she blocked Raticate's assault when they collided. Raticate sunk his teeth onto Queen's right arm, which caused her to unfurl her arms and slash him. Raticate screamed. A minor gash had been left on his face. Felicia furrowed her brow and her lips twitched.

    “Go ahead and slow that Raticate down with Thunder Wave!”

    “Avoid it and get back with Ice Beam!”

    A charge of electricity formed around Queen's raised arms. She launched her Thunder Wave at Raticate, but he jumped at a nearby tree and used his tail to hook himself on the branch, avoiding being paralyzed altogether. While upside down, he inhaled and fired sparks of ice cold energy right at Queen’s chest. Queen grunted and stumbled a little, but she shook it off.

    A smug grin pulled on the corner of Felicia's lips. "Now go for Flame Charge and kick its ass!"

    "Thunder Wave one more time," Grimsley commanded, his voice calm.

    Raticate jumped out from the tree, cloaking himself in flames while in the air, then he landed on the ground and rushed at Queen. Queen's arm crackled in electrical flashes once more. Before Raticate rammed into her, she punched him in the face and that caused him to bounce off and back away. Queen dusted off some flames on her arm and hands, but there were still some scorch marks there.

    The flames around Raticate's body vanished. He glared at Queen, flashing his fangs at her, but then he screeched and his body grew stiff. Felicia stared with wide eyes when that happened.

    Grimsley grinned as this was exactly what he wanted. He glanced over his shoulder to see Nanu's Persian still in good shape while Haunter looked tired and had bruises all over his body. Haunter let out large amounts of electricity at Persian, but the feline dodged in time and shot glimmering crystals straight at her opponent. Believing the man was perfectly fine there, Grimsley turned his attention back to Felicia.

    "Take this chance to strike hard, Queen!"

    "Pull yourself together, bud!" Felicia said with a clenched fist. "Try to shake that paralysis off with Hyper Fang!"

    Still struggling to move, Raticate's body twitched and he hissed in frustration. That gave the perfect opportunity for Queen to slam into Raticate with her forehead and push him against a nearby tree. Raticate crashed onto the trunk, branches and leaves shaking. Raticate collapsed on the ground, and then seconds later got up and spat dirt off from his mouth. Two large bruises bloomed on Raticate's forehead and cheeks.

    Felicia glared at Grimsley and her hand jerked. “Oh, why I outta… Raticate, get wild with Wild Charge!”

    “Stop their assault with Sucker Punch!”

    Able to shake off the paralysis, jolts of electricity shrouded all over Raticate’s body. As Raticate rushed at her, Queen’s arm was veiled in dark energy, and she punched his stomach when he got close to her. Raticate skidded backward with grass and dirt flying everywhere, but he managed to stop himself by digging his feet and tail on the ground. Having the air knocked out of him, he wheezed and his cheeks puffed out. A confident smile tugged onto Grimsley’s lips.

    “That does it, bounce back and give Flame Charge another try!” Felicia lashed out. Her Raticate bared his teeth and his fur burst in flames once more.

    “Let’s end this with one last Iron He—”

    Before Grimsley could finish his command, someone interrupted by yelling out, “Power Gem!” and Nanu's Persian immediately stood in front of Queen. The gem on the feline’s forehead glowed and a bright beam shot at Raticate’s chest. Raticate shrieked and got launched into the air, and he dropped on the ground with a loud thump. With another shaky breath, the rat Pokémon slowly stood back up, but not for long as he collapsed back down and fainted.

    Queen grunted and glared at Persian when she held her head up high, as if proud of herself. Grimsley looked on with his gaping mouth for a moment, and he jerked his head to see Nanu next to him.

    "I thought we weren't supposed to interfere with one another."

    “You were taking too long to finish,” Nanu said in a flat tone. He returned his Pokémon and had his hands in his pockets.

    Grimsley raised a brow at him, and he turned back to see Felicia glaring at them after she had returned her Raticate. Dennis joined her and wore a similar expression.

    “You just got served yourself?” Felicia asked.

    “Yeah. That police officer’s Persian messed Haunter up good again,” Dennis said, his frown deepening. A ringtone, which sounded like rap music, was then heard and he pulled out a phone from his pants’ pocket to answer it. “Yo, what’s up? You guys just got out of the Aether House? Sweet. And how’s our big sis Plumeria? Nice. Yeah, Felicia and I went to battle the dude and he brought a friend with him. Okay, cool, we’ll meet you up at Po Town, then.” Dennis put the phone back in his pocket and told Felicia, “That’s Tommy. He and Mika finished what they were doing.”

    Grimsley’s eyes widened and his stomach jumped when he heard Dennis said “Aether House.” He glimpsed over his shoulder to see Nanu just as stunned as he was.

    “Aether House?” Nanu said with a furrowed brow. “What are you guys doing there?”

    “None of your business, just something our boss wanted us to do. Let’s go and scram outta here, Felicia.”

    “I’m with you on that.” Felicia nodded in agreement, and then she faced and pointed at Grimsley and Nanu. “We’ll be coming back for you two again.” She and Dennis made a run for it.

    “Great, just freaking great,” Nanu grumbled as he ran his fingers through his hair. “Come on, let’s check back with Becky and the kids. Acerola is probably there, too,” he said, and then Grimsley and Queen followed him to the police station.

    As soon as everyone stepped inside, Nanu went to his desk and pushed the numbers on the computer’s touchscreen while Grimsley and his Pokémon watched. It was a few moments until Becky showed up on the screen, a worried expression on her face.

    “Kahuna Nanu, Mr. Grimsley, thank goodness!” Becky said. “Something terrible just happened. Team Skull went and stole one of the kids’ Pokémon.”

    “They did what?” Grimsley said in shock.

    “Did you try to stop them?” Nanu asked, his eyes narrowed.

    “I did with Headmaster, but one of their leaders Plumeria was too tough for us. She mentions how she has a bone to pick with Selene.”

    Grimsley swallowed upon hearing Selene’s name. He had been hearing that name several times now since he came to this region.

    “Is Acerola here with you now?” Nanu asked, and Becky shook her head.

    “She’s away with Hau and Selene for their trials at that abandoned store. I think they should be back soon.”

    Grimsley crossed his arms and bit his lips as he pondered over the situation. During the lingering silence, he glanced to see Nanu lean back in his chair and rub his forehead. An idea then hit him.

    “I’ll be coming over there very shortly. I want to meet with Acerola and the others. Perhaps we can come up with a plan to get the Pokémon back. ” He glanced at Nanu, who shot him a long stare.

    “I think that would be appreciated,” Becky said with a smile. “Thanks so much you guys for checking up with us! Please stay safe.”

    “You do the same,” Grimsley said, and the screen on Acerola and Becky’s side blacked out. Nanu closed the program from the computer and grunted.

    “Whatever Team Skull’s up to, I don’t have a good feeling about it. Here, catch.”

    Nanu threw him a yellow and red spray bottle and Grimsley caught it. A burn heal potion.

    “Thanks.” Grimsley looked at his Bisharp, her face tired and arm covered in burnt marks, and frowned. He used the burn heal, spraying several sips on her. “Neither do I. That’s why I want to see if I can help in any way.”

    While giving him an indifferent stare, Nanu grunted. He then said, “I’ll be outside patrolling Po Town and making sure Team Skull doesn’t cause more of a ruckus. And oh, I took some sneak peeks at your battle against one of the grunts. You weren’t bluffing when you said you’re from the Elite Four.”

    Grimsley stared at Nanu as he stepped outside of the police station. It sounded like he had just complimented him, which caught him off guard. He gazed back at Queen, who responded with a shrug. The majority of the burns on her arm had faded, and she looked a little more upbeat now. Grimsley patted her shoulder and sighed, exhausted from all that happened today and afraid what he would find upon his return to the Aether House.

    Author's Note: And the Dark Uncle Squad is back! Expect more of that in future chapters.

    As I mentioned before, August 8 is Foul Play's 2nd anniversary. I'm going to try my best to have Chapter 14 be posted on that day. If not, then a few days after at least. Thanks bobandbill for the beta as always! See you all in August!
     
  2. Bay

    Bay YEAHHHHHHH

    Chapter Fourteen
    Crunch


    After returning Queen and leaving the police station, Grimsley checked his Ride Pager to see that all of the Pokémon were unavailable at the moment. He instead went to Route 16's shores and took off with Blackjack to Aether House. As he rode on his Pokémon, his mind kept racing over what had occurred there. Team Skull stealing one of the Pokémon reminded him how Team Plasma had done that on several occasions—the thought of that made him bite his lips.

    A dash from the police station to the beach was an hour or so. Blackjack was faster than a jet ski, so it took less time for them to reach Route 15 and land on the shore. He hopped off from his ride, and then he stroked Blackjack's chin.

    “You wait here for a little while, all right?” Grimsley said, and Blackjack responded with a growl. He moved several steps, and then stopped when he heard more noises from him. He walked back to him with a raised eyebrow. “Is there something that you want?”

    Blackjack growled and opened his jaws, causing Grimsley to back away a few steps. After pondering for a moment, Grimsley smiled a little. He pulled a Pokepuff bag out from the bag he was carrying, and immediately Blackjack grabbed the food from his palm.

    “Hmph, thought so. That should entertain you while I’m away,” he said before heading to Aether House.

    By the time Grimsley stepped in, Becky and the kids gathered around. She and another person he didn’t recognize, a blonde girl in a white dress and carrying a large bag, were trying to comfort Hunter and Gracie. Around them, a few of the tables and chairs had been overturned and damaged and papers scattered everywhere that indicated a confrontation had taken place.

    “Why did they have to take Yungoos?” Gracie said through her sobs.

    “Team Skull just do as they please,” Becky said as she wiped the tears on Gracie’s cheeks. She dragged in a deep sigh and her shoulders slumped. “I’m sorry I wasn’t able to save him.”

    “You did all you could,” the other girl said, giving Becky a reassuring smile. “I would’ve helped, but didn’t want Plumeria to see me.”

    “I agree, you at least tried to stop them,” Grimsley said as he approached closer. Everyone turned to look at him.

    “Grimsley, you made it!” Becky said, as if relieved he was here.

    “I did say I would come to check what’s going on.” He turned his attention to the girl with the large bag. “And I don’t think we’ve met before.”

    That led the girl to flinch and gasp, but then she regained her composure.

    “Oh, I’m Lillie. Becky and Acerola let me stay here while I travel through this island.” Lille took a closer look at Grimsley, and her eyes grew wide. “Wait, aren’t you Grimsley from the Unova Elite Four? I’ve researched a little on different Pokémon Leagues, including the one from your region.”

    With a satisfied smile, Grimsley had both hands on his hips and said, “Finally, someone recognizes me immediately!”

    At that moment, the front door slid open and Grimsley jerked his head to see Acerola and two other people, a boy and a girl he didn’t recognize, stepping inside. Both of them had dark skin and were a few years younger than Acerola, not in their teen years just yet.

    “Grimsley, what are you doing here?” Acerola asked, shooting him a stunned expression.

    “I heard about Team Skull stealing a Pokémon over at the Aether House,” Grimsley said. “Nanu and I got in contact with Becky to make sure everyone’s all right.”

    “Are any of you hurt?” the boy asked, sounding worried.

    “Headmaster took quite a beating and needed some rest, but otherwise we’re all fine.”

    “Well, that’s no good,” Acerola said in dissatisfaction, frowning. She looked at Grimsley. “I’m glad that you’re here because we do have a big problem in our hands.”

    “Acerola, you know this guy?” the girl asked.

    With a big smile, Acerola said, “Yes, I do.” As she continued to speak, she pointed at the two kids. “Grimsley, this is Hau and Selene. They recently finished one of my trials. Oh, have you been introduced to Lillie yet?”

    “Mr. Grimsley and I have been already acquainted,” Lillie said with a small nod.

    Upon hearing Hau and Selene’s names, Grimsley’s brow furrowed. “Wait, you two are Hau and Selene? I’ve heard you guys had crossed paths with Team Skull several times before.”

    Selene flashed him a proud grin. “That’s us! Hau and I kept running into them as we were doing the island challenge, but we end up kicking their butts each time.” Beside her, Hau had his head over his arms and laughed.

    “They’re more of a distraction than anything.” The smile on Hau’s face slipped away. “But like Acerola said, we’re in big trouble.”

    “How so?” Grimsley raised an eyebrow. Selene let out a deep sigh and pinched the bridge of her nose.

    “After I finished Acerola’s trial, Team Skull came after us again,” she said. “Their ‘sister’, Plumeria, told us that if we want to get that Pokémon back, their leader wants me to come to Po Town alone.”

    “And with no backup! Outrageous, right?” Hau raised his arms up high, and then he hung his head down and his shoulders slumped. “Because I couldn’t stop them, Selene is in this mess.”

    “Hey don’t be hard on yourself,” Becky said as she approached Hau, squeezed his shoulder, and gave him a sad smile. “I wasn’t able to stop them myself. They were lucky that Plumeria came with them.”

    “Becky’s right, it’s no one’s fault here,” Lillie said. Her gaze shifted away from the group for a second. “It’s awful how Team Skull would do such a thing.”

    There was a short moment of silence before a determined look crossed Selene’s face. “A town of grunts doesn’t scare me. I took down Guzma once with no sweat; I can take him down again.”

    As Grimsley surveyed the room, everyone seemed to be taken aback by Selene’s response. Amused more than anything, he chuckled.

    “Getting very confident, are we?” he said. “Just because you defeated a few grunts on occasion, you think you can take on the world.”

    Selene glared at him. “Guzma seems to see me as a threat if he doesn’t want me to come with backup.”

    “Maybe so, but have you considered as to why they wanted you alone? This might be a distraction to keep you away for a while.”

    “So you’re saying this is a trap,” Selene said in a low voice.

    “We can’t let Team Skull get away with kidnapping Yungoos, though,” Becky said. “The Aether Foundation’s goal is to protect Pokémon from harm. I would get in serious trouble if the higher-ups find out about this.”

    “Grimsley, you’re an Elite Four trainer, right?” Lillie said as she gazed up at him. “Perhaps you can go with Selene to Po Town.”

    While he pondered over Lillie’s suggestion, Grimsley started scratching his chin. “I actually visited near Po Town recently and had to face a couple of those grunts that wanted payback at Nanu. He wasn’t happy when I got myself involved, so I don’t want to get on his bad side again.”

    “Hold up, this guy here is one of those strong trainers from another region?” Hau said in a stunned voice, pointing at Grimsley. Both Acerola and Lillie nodded.

    “Ah-huh!” Acerola said, smiling. “Grimsley is from the Unova region, and one of the best trainers there.”

    “Oh wow! Not long ago I told Selene who would be stronger, our kahunas or the Elite Four.” Hau chuckled and grinned at him. “To think, one of you guys is here right now!”

    The corner of Grimsley’s mouth twitched. He had asked Nanu to consider battling with him before he departs Alola, but it looked like the kahuna wouldn’t accept his challenge anytime soon.

    “Didn’t you promise you would save Yungoos if he ever gets in danger?” Gracie asked, pulling Grimsley’s scarf.

    Grimsley’s heart sank and he frowned. He did promise her that during his video phone conversation with Becky a while back. If this was in any other circumstances he would do it in a heartbeat.

    “If possible, yes. However, this is likely a trap. I don’t have a good feeling about this.”

    “Oh,” Gracie said in disappointment. She let go of Grimsley’s scarf and lowered her head.

    "Wait, so you're an Elite Four member and you're backing down?” Selene took a step forward and clenched her fist. “You don't care that Team Skull had stolen a Pokémon?"

    With a stern face, Grimsley said, “I may like a good game of cards now and then, but even I know when to back down.”

    Selene fixed her stare at him, as if disregarding his warning. After a moment, she grunted and crossed her arms.

    “You know what, it’s all right. I don’t need your help, anyway. Even if this is some kind of distraction, it just doesn’t feel right neglecting that Pokémon.”

    “You’ll need a ride Pokémon if you want to cross Route 15’s waters and get to Po Town,” Becky said. “I can call one for you.”

    “That would be great,” Selene said with an appreciative smile. Becky gave her a single nod and went to the reception desk to do that call. Gracie reached Selene and pulled her shirt.

    “Will you be able to save Yungoos?” the little girl asked and sniffled. Her eyes were red and puffy.

    “I should be once Becky gets me a ride Pokémon,” Selene said with a reassuring smile. She squeezed Gracie’s shoulder. “We’ll get him back, don’t you worry.”

    Gracie wiped a tear on her cheek and gave her a weak smile. “Okay.”

    “While she does that, we should start cleaning up this mess,” Acerola said, and everyone agreed. Selene, Hau, and Acerola started putting the furniture back together while Grimsley, Lillie, and the kids picked up the papers and anything else on the floor.

    “So Lillie, you’re participating in the island challenge also?” Grimsley asked after he picked up a pile of papers and set them aside on a coffee table.

    Lillie stopped to face Grimsley, shaking her head. “I’m Professor Kukui’s assistant, but I decided to travel around to study the tapus’ ruins here.” A small smile formed on her lips. “A nice trainer named Hapu took me to the Ruins of Abundance a few days ago. Without her, I wouldn’t be able to get through the desert alone.”

    “I visited that place not long ago myself. I agree with the desert being treacherous, but the ruins itself has its charm.” Grimsley found himself thinking about Nanu again. He had looked almost peaceful, relaxed as he prayed to Tapu Bulu. He wouldn’t mind seeing more of that side of him.

    When Selene was helping Hau overturning one of the pieces of furniture, she asked Lillie, “Did you and Nebby find what you wanted?”

    “Not really,” Lillie said in a disappointed tone. “Nebby seems to sense Tapu Bulu’s presence, but it didn’t appear before us.”

    “Nebby? A Pokémon of yours?” Grimsley asked with a raised brow. Lillie flinched, a hesitant look on her face, and then she gazed down on the floor.

    “You can say that…” In that instant, Lillie’s bag moved and she gasped. She held her bag tighter as whatever it was inside got more aggressive, and Lillie was unsuccessful when it got free and squealed in delight.

    A small creature that resembled a nebula floated around the room. Everyone— except for Becky who was still talking on the phone—stopped what they were doing to look at it. Acerola and the kids gazed at it in awe while Hau, Selene, and Lillie were more stunned that it had gotten out. Grimsley couldn’t take his eyes off from it, having never seen it before and immersed by its appearance.

    “Aw, I think Nebby here wants to play,” Acerola said and giggled.

    “You guys have seen it before?” Grimsley asked everyone.

    “Ah huh,” Hunter said, a huge grin on his friend. “Gracie and I were following it around, but then Lillie told us to stop.”

    “Nebby, you can’t be out here after what happened yesterday!” Lillie held her bag up high and said, “Back in the bag you go now.”

    The Pokémon, Nebby, frowned and let out a sad “pew.” It then reluctantly returned back inside and Lillie zipped the bag up. She sighed heavily and faced Grimsley.

    “I’m sorry you have to see that. Nebby isn’t supposed to be seen like that.”

    “It’s all right, it’s no trouble at all,” Grimsley said. “Though I must ask, why is that Pokémon isn’t allowed out?”

    “There are some people that want it, so Lillie tries to keep it hidden,” Selene said. She chuckled. “However, Lillie needs to be better at keeping an eye on it.”

    Lillie pouted with her hands on her hips. “I’ve been keeping an eye on it! Nebby just gets out too quickly sometimes.” She turned back towards Grimsley. “Please don’t tell anyone else about Nebby.”

    “Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me,” Grimsley said. He thought about asking Lillie why some people wanted Nebby so much but held himself from doing that. Just then Becky approached everyone, looking dissatisfied.

    “Bad news. I called a couple of different ride Pokémon services, and all the Sharpedo and flying Pokémon have been taken right now. Yvonne at least told me she would call me back when she has something available.”

    “Really?” Selene said and groaned. “So there’s a chance this might take a while?”

    Acerola gave Selene a sad smile. “I understand you want to do this now, but it looks like there’s nothing you can do but wait.”

    “Did I hear you mention Sharpedo?” Grimsley asked. The mention of that Pokémon piqued his interest.

    “Yeah I did,” Becky said. “There are some boulders off the coast and a Sharpedo is able to break through them.”

    When swimming over Route 15 with Blackjack, Grimsley did notice the boulders that looked to be hard to pass through and the rough waves. With the Pokémon that were able to get through that route unavailable at the moment, there was an alternative solution. He looked at Selene, grinning as if he had won the biggest jackpot in a casino.

    “Maybe you need my help, after all,” he said, and that made her give him a confused stare. Everyone else had the same reaction. “I do happen to have a Sharpedo with me.”

    “Hold up. So you’re willing to lend your Sharpedo to me, even though we just met?” Selene asked.

    Grimsley’s grin grew wider. “I didn’t say I would give it to you for free. If you’re as good as you say, then battle me to earn it.”

    Everyone turned their attention at Selene. Her lips slightly parted and her head tilted to the side. She looked to be taking his offer seriously. After a moment, she said, “All right, I’ll accept.”

    “Are you sure you’re ready for that?” Lillie asked, her eyes wide. Next to her, Hau too looked just as surprised.

    “After Professor Kukui told me about building a Pokémon League, I’m curious what it’s like to go against an Elite Four.” Selene flashed everyone a fearless grin. “I’m not going to pass that opportunity up!”

    “Oh, a battle!” Hunter said, his feet bouncing. “I wanna see, I wanna see!”

    “So do I!” Gracie said enthusiastically. She seemed to feel a little better than a few moments ago.

    “Selene against an Elite Four,” Hau said. Beaming, he flung his arms over his head. “I’m excited to see this, too!”

    “I guess I don’t mind seeing it myself.” Lillie wasn’t as optimistic as the others, but she still smiled.

    “Looks like your guys’ battle will have an audience,” Acerola said in a chipper voice.

    Grimsley responded with a pleased hum on his lips. “Good. We can have our match at the beach down the slope.”

    “You guys go ahead,” Becky said. “I’ll stay here in case Team Skull comes again.”

    “Aw, it sucks that you’ll miss it.” A slight frown reached Acerola’s lips, and then she smiled once more. “But yeah, probably a good idea if one of us watch over.”

    “Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s hit the beach now!” Without waiting, Selene rushed out of the building, much to everyone’s bafflement. Acerola and Hau laughed.

    “You have to love her spirit,” Hau said, grinning. “We should head out before she waits too long for us.”

    Everyone but Becky exited out of the Aether House. The beach was just down the slope, so it didn’t take them that long to catch up to Selene. A large wave crashed onto the shore, almost reaching up to Grimsley’s shoes. He glimpsed around to see a few other people around, some fishing while others were picking up the seashells that just washed up. Acerola, Hau, Lillie, and the kids gathered around Selene and Grimsley.

    “Man oh man, what is going on today?” Grimsley said with an unimpressed frown. “Somebody bothered to come to this sad place.”

    “Hey, you’re the one that suggested we battle here,” Selene said in a smug voice. She held her chin up, her hands on her sides. “So, how do you want to do this battle?”

    “Let’s make this a single battle with us using two Pokémon each. Sounds good?”

    Selene nodded. “I’m cool with that.” She grabbed a pokéball from her bag, and said, “All right, Meli, let’s do this!”

    The ball got tossed up in the air and cracked open. Bright light poured out from the capsule and a few seconds passed before a wolf-like Pokémon with orange fur appeared. She shook off her large mane, sharp rocks sticking out from there, and howled. This was another Pokémon that Grimsley hadn’t seen before.

    “Oh, is that a Lycanroc?” Hunter asked. His face lit up in excitement. “Kinda looks like its Midday Form, but its fur is darker and fluffier.”

    “She is, but this is her Dusk Form,” Selene said with a proud smile. She approached Meli and rubbed her fur affectionately. “Meli’s a sweet girl, but she also has a fighting spirit of her Midnight Form counterpart."

    “I think Professor Kukui said how Lycanroc of that form are very rare, right Lillie?” Hau asked Lillie, and she nodded.

    “There have been only a few written records of Lycanroc’s dusk form if I recall,” Lillie said. “But yes, Lycanroc’s Dusk Form aren’t seen all that often.”

    Grimsley continued to stare at the Lycanroc with great interest. Midday, Midnight, Dusk. So this Pokémon had at least three forms, possibly more. And he was still getting used to the Alolan form Pokémon.

    “I know which Pokémon I’ll choose already.” Grimsley looked to see a fin moving around, and whistled. Blackjack popped up from the waters and grunted.

    “Woah, so that’s your Sharpedo,” Hau said, taken aback by his presence.

    “Oh, looks very strong!” Acerola said, grinning.

    Both Gracie and Hunter gasped in amazement while Lillie gripped her bag tighter but held her gaze at the shark Pokémon. Selene’s Lycanroc snarled, as if threatened.

    Grimsley tightened his lips in a hard frown. At that moment loud squawks were heard, and he gazed up to see two wild Skarmory flying above. He thought back to the Skarmory that wanted his coin, and an idea came to him. He turned to Selene and her Pokémon.

    “Your Lycanroc looks like a fine Pokémon there and I’m eager to see how she fares in combat. Before we do that, though…” He pulled his coin out and tossed it a few times. “Uncle Grimsley is going to flip a coin to determine who goes first. Will it be heads or tails?”

    Grimsley and everyone else waited for Selene’s reply. Her eyes squinted at the coin on Grimsley’s palm and her forehead puckered. She gave a sideways glance at both Skarmory, and her lips curled into a smug smile.

    “Neither. I know you’re about to have one of the Skarmory take that coin from you,” she said, pointing to the sky.

    Grimsley’s mouth grew slack. He peered over his shoulder to see everyone else just taken aback as he was. When Grimsley faced back at Selene, he smirked at her.

    “Astonishing. I had indeed been planning to have either of them snatch it out of the air as it spins in the sky. Since you figured out my scheme, you make the first move.”



    With a large grin, Selene raised her chin. “If you insist! All right girl, let’s start out with Rock Throw!”

    Meli howled and jumped up high. Several rocks swirled around her, and when she moved her tail the rocks were thrown straight at Blackjack.

    “Crunch them!” Grimsley said. Blackjack opened his jaws and crunched them like hard candy, turning the rocks into dust. “Good! Now strike hard with Aqua Jet!”

    “Not so fast!” Selene made a sweeping gesture with her arm. “Meli, Accelrock!”

    A veil of water covered Blackjack and he took off like a jet ski. Meli also rushed in, becoming nothing but a blur. An explosion occurred when they collided, and both Pokémon were pushed back. There were some scrapes on Blackjack while Melie was soaked and had deep cuts on her fur. Realizing Meli’s cuts were from Blackjack’s Rough Skin ability, Grimsley hummed in satisfaction.

    “Accelerock again!”

    “Take the hit, and then jab her!”

    Once more, Meli went full speed at Blackjack and launched onto him. She landed on a nearby boulder, only to wobble and winced thanks to Blackjack’s Rough Skin again. Blackjack cried at being hit, and then he shook it off. His fin glowed purple and he rushed at Meli, stabbing her on the side. Meli roared in pain and crashed onto the sand. The wolf Pokémon picked herself up, sweating and her face a slight shade of violet.

    “Oh no, looks like Meli is badly poisoned!” Hau said worryingly, and Selene’s eyes flew wide.

    “Are you okay, girl?” she asked. Meli turned to her and grimaced, but let out a determined bark.

    Grimsley grunted and folded his arms against his chest. “Your Lycanroc being poisoned and hurt by my Blackjack’s Rough Skin will drain her soon.”

    Selene gasped, one hand near her face. She narrowed her eyes and slightly pursed her lips.

    “We’re gonna avoid physical contact for now! Stone Edge, go!”

    Meli howled and slammed her paws on the ground. Several boulder pillars popped up, even underneath the sea. Blackjack screamed when one of those boulders stabbed underneath his stomach, leaving a small wound there.

    “Crunch her leg!” Grimsley ordered.

    Blackjack swam towards Meli and crunched her leg. The Lycanroc gave a series of painful barks and struggled to remove her opponent’s jaws off from her.

    “Shake it off and Rock Throw!”

    After a few more attempts, Meli broke free from Blackjack’s grip and leaped up. Several small boulders swirled around her, and she threw them at Blackjack’s face. Meli landed on the ground and panted hard, her legs shaking. The violet shade on her face grew darker.

    “Selene’s doggie looks very tired now!” Hunter said with a worried face. Selene glanced over her shoulder at the group and bit her lip.

    “Meli, we need to end this now. Time to unleash our Z-Move!” Selene raised her arm up, showing off her Z-Ring. Meli looked over her shoulder and barked in approval.

    “Z-Move?” Grimsley muttered to himself, arching a brow.

    “What Z-Move will Selene use?” Lillie asked, and Hau beamed at her.

    “I think I know which one! You’ll love it!”

    Selene pulled out a small tan-colored stone and slipped it into her Z-Ring’s slot. Once her Z-Ringlit up, she began her pose which had her flexing her muscles and stretching her right leg forward. A golden aura also surrounded Meli.

    “Our hearts harder than stone, Splintered Stormshards!”

    Meli lifted her head and released her strongest roar yet. After she slammed on the ground, several large shards of rocks flew in the air. When the shards stopped and pointed at Blackjack, she jumped on them.

    After she finished her Z-Pose, Selene heaved deep breaths and her arms shook.

    “Protect!” Grimsley ordered urgently, and a green forcefield surrounded Blackjack. Both Meli and the shards shot straight towards him, Blackjack enduring the impact.

    Another explosion occurred, this time causing a big splash of water to burst out. Meli and Blackjack glared at each other, both breathing hard and barely able to keep their eyes open. Eventually, Meli collapsed onto the ground, and Selene rushed at her side. Everyone at the sidelines gasped.

    “Meli, are you all right?” Selene asked as she pulled her Pokémon against her chest. A few seconds passed until Meli whined and licked her face, which made Selene giggle. “Thank goodness!”

    “Selene, here’s a pecha berry Meli can eat,” Lillie said as she approached Selene. She handed her a peach-colored berry, and Selene nodded at her.

    “Here girl, take this.” Selene held the berry in front of Meli’s face. She gave it a few sniffs before chewing on it slowly.

    Grimsley swallowed hard, his face tensed. Usually when he had that kind of advantage that pleased him, but this time he felt remorse causing Meli that much pain.

    “If you want, you can always forfeit. There’s no shame in that.”

    Selene gasped and gazed up at him, as if considering his suggestion. She gave Grimsley a hard stare.

    “No, I’m sticking through this until the end.” She turned to Lillie. “Can you watch over Meli for me?”

    “Of course,” Lillie said with a single nod. She gently pulled Meli on her lap and stroked her cheeks. Meli rubbed against her palm.

    “Wow, my grandpa is right! The Elite Four are super strong!” Hau said in an awed voice.

    Acerola beamed. “Yep! No wonder Mimikins is very fond of Grimsley!”

    Grimsley furrowed his brow and looked over his shoulder at Blackjack. “You’re still hanging in there?” he asked, and Blackjack nodded. He faced back at Selene and shrugged. “If you insist.”

    “Your Sharpedo is very strong but looks very exhausted now. Franziska, it’s your turn!”

    Selene pulled out another pokéball and released a pink bug-like Pokémon that resembled a praying mantis. Her upper body gave an appearance of them wearing a dress while her legs looked like striped pants. The wing-like appendages on her back flared up, and she crossed her arms similar to Queen with her blades.

    “Oh wow, a Lurnatis!” Gracie said in excitement, pointing at her. “She’s very pretty!”

    “I agree, she looks marvelous. However…” Grimsley snapped his fingers. “Blackjack, Ice Fang!”

    Blackjack jumped out of the water and opened his jaws wide, his teeth glowing blue and cold mist coming out from his mouth. Selene commanded Franziska to counter with Leaf Blade, which she did by having her right arm glowed dark green and blocking Blackjack’s assault. When Blackjack sunk his teeth deep into Franziska’s arm like raw meat, she pushed him away and caused him to drop back into the sea. Small shards of ice were left on her arm, but she shook those off.

    “That’s all right! Now Franz, Sunny Day and start charging!”

    Franziska gave a quick nod and raised her arms high. A white beam appeared between her hands, which shot up towards the sky and caused the sun to shine brighter. Sweat dripped on Grimsley’s forehead and he loosened the scarf around his neck, the air around him warmer and humid. He assumed Selene was having her Pokémon use Solar Beam so she could charge up the move faster.

    “Hurry and use Poison Jab!”

    Blackjack’s fin glowed purple, and he rushed towards Franziska while she began charging her supposed Solar Beam. A large yellow ball formed above her, absorbing the harsh sunlight into herself. What Selene said next caught Grimsley off guard.

    “Solar Blade, now!”

    Franziska raised her arm, and the yellow ball turned into a giant bright blade. Before Blackjack could reach her, she slammed the blade down onto him and another big splash of water exploded. Blackjack floated and collapsed in the waters, several burnt marks all over him.

    “Selene took down one of his Pokémon, yeah!” Hau said with his fist up in the air. Besides him, Gracie and Hunter cheered also.

    Grimsley winced at that sight. He grunted and returned Blackjack inside his pokéball.

    “You did well my friend, time for some rest,” he said in a low voice to the pokéball.

    Selene grinned at him. “Solar Blade is Franz’s signature move. Impressed?”

    Grimsley was reminded the same thing happened when he battled against Kahili’s Toucannon. He frowned.

    “Not the first time this has happened. Still, we’re not done yet.”

    He pulled out another pokéball and released Roulette. She crouched on all fours and growled, as if trying to intimidate Franziska. She was refreshed and ready to go after that battle with Ryuki’s Pokémon. Franziska flinched for a moment, and then she regained her composure.

    “Go and grab Franziska by the arm!” Grimsley ordered.

    Roulette jolted right at the Lurnatis. She jumped and sank her teeth onto Franziska’s arm, similar to how Blackjack did earlier. Franziska screamed in pain and eventually shook her off; there were large bite marks on her arm.

    “Now time for Night Slash!”

    “X-Scissor!”

    Roulette howled and the horn on her forehead glowed purple. Meanwhile, Franziska’s arms glowed light green and she crossed them against her chest. Roulette’s horn clashed against Franziska’s arm, and they kept pushing at each other. Eventually, Roulette had the upper hand as she whipped her head and slashed Franziska’s chest, which caused her to back away. Franziska glared at her, touching where Roulette had left that deep cut on her.

    Selene narrowed her eyes. “The sun’s still up, Franz! Go for Solar Blade this time!”

    Grimsley’s eyes grew wide, already aware of his opponent’s plan. “Block it with Shadow Claw!”

    Roulette gave Grimsley an agreed bark and a dark aura covered her paw that then turned into a large claw. At the same time, Franziska absorbed the sunlight and the large blade appeared once more. Both of their attacks collided like swords, sparks flying between them, and once more they pushed at each other. This time Franziska’s Solar Blade won over, and she swiped Roulette like a baseball bat. Roulette flew up in the air for a few seconds before dropping down.

    A cloud of dust popped up, obscuring Grimsley’s vision for a moment. As soon as that faded out, Roulette picked herself up and shook the sand off her fur. She glared at Franziska, her breathing growing louder. A confident grin pulled on Selene’s lips.

    “Solar Blade again!”

    As Franziska started charging up once more, Grimsley’s brow furrowed. He needed to have Roulette strike first before she took even more damage. An idea came to him, and he smirked.

    “Push her down with Aerial Ace!”

    Roulette howled and rushed at the Lurnatis with a high burst of speed, becoming a blur. Franziska just finished charging up her Solar Blade, but before she could strike Roulette rammed into her like a freight truck. That caused Franziska to fall backward and drop her blade, which slammed into the sand and left scorch marks around it.

    “That’s so cool!” Hau said with both fists clenched. “I wasn’t able to avoid Franz’s Solar Blade like that!”

    “I agree!” Acerola said, beaming. She gazed up and gasped. “Oh, looks like the effects of Sunny Day’s almost gone!”

    Grimsley blinked and he looked up at the sky. Indeed the sunlight became less harsh, and the air wasn’t horribly humid anymore.

    Selene’s eyes grew wide, and then she glared. “We’re not done yet! Leaf Blade!”

    “Night Slash!”

    Roulette’s glowing horn clashed against Franziska’s green arm, and they attacked one another like fencers. To Grimsley, their movements were similar to how Roulette and Ryuki’s Garchomp had fought. After several more attempts, Roulette’s horn swiped at Franziska’s arm and made her scream. Franziska backed away and she winced, her chest heaving rapidly. Roulette also panted hard and barely kept one eye open, but looked to be in much better shape.

    Everyone in the sidelines looked on with anticipation.

    “Now, end this with Aerial Ace!” Grimsley ordered, stretching his arm out in a dramatic gesture.

    With the last ounce of her strength, Roulette bolted at Franziska with lightning speed and launched into her. Franziska screeched and fell backwards, crashing onto the sand. After the cloud of dust faded, Franziska collapsed and didn’t get up.

    "The winner of this match goes to Grimsley!" Acerola announced, raising her arm up.

    “Franz!” Selene rushed at her Pokémon’s side and helped pick her up. Franziska struggled to stand up straight, but she gave her a weak smile. Selene giggled and they embraced. “You did great out there!”

    Grimsley couldn’t help but smile at that. Roulette approached him, nudging at his hip. He looked down and scratched her cheek.

    “Excellent work there,” he said in a soft voice. Roulette barked and licked his cheek.

    “You guys are awesome!” Hau said, grinning. “Even though Selene lost, that was still fun to watch!”

    “Couldn’t agree with you more!” Acerola said in her usual cheerful voice.

    “Aw, wish the battle was longer!” Hunter said. Both Acerola and Lillie chuckled.

    “If it was, we probably would be here all day!” Lillie said. Next to her, Malie barked in agreement.

    “What about Yungoos?” Gracie said, her voice cracking. She walked up to Selene, and they held hands. “Does this mean Selene can’t save him now?”

    Everyone’s face fell, including Grimsley’s. He stared up at the sky, a knot forming inside his throat. He had won this match, but it wasn’t satisfying. A deep sigh escaped from him.

    “If somebody wins, then the person who fought against them will lose,” he said as he walked up to Selene and Gracie, both staring at him. “However, there are good ways to lose and bad ways to win.”

    “Huh? What are you saying?” Selene arched a confused brow at him.

    “The results of that battle weren’t what I wanted. Because of that, I’m breaking our agreement.”

    A surprised look crossed Selene’s face, and she squeezed Gracie’s hand harder. “Wait, does that mean...?”

    Before Grimsley responded, he gazed down at Roulette and she gave him a single nod. He looked back at the girls, smiling.

    “That I’ll help you get that Yungoos after all? Then yes.”

    Gracie and Hunter reacted favorably at that announcement. They cheered and hugged around Grimsley’s waist, which took him aback. Acerola giggled, her palm close to her mouth.

    “Looks like the children are very happy!”

    “Ah-huh! Also now Selene doesn’t have to do this alone!” Hau flashed Grimsley a large grin. Next to him, Lillie smiled and nodded in agreement.

    Grimsley glanced at Roulette, Meli, and Franziska. Everyone looked tired and had minor injuries all over. Not only that, Roulette and Meli’s fur were dirty. Blackjack also needed some medical attention.

    “Our Pokémon need some rest first,” he said to Selene. “We can leave tomorrow morning.”

    “That’s fine by me!” Selene said, closing her eyes and grinning.

    Grimsley gave Selene a small smile. When he stared at the ocean and what awaited beyond there, his smile faded. He had faced Team Skull a few times before, but he had a feeling this upcoming encounter wouldn’t be as easy.

    Author's Notes:
    Happy 2 years, Foul Play! 14 chapters and over 80K isn't a lot, but this is my second longest work yet and there are several moments I'm proud of. I haven't seen anyone else write a Nanu and Grimsley fic so it's up to me to make that content.

    So I decided to go with Selene instead of Moon from now on. If I were to describe her, she's like the female version of DPPt rival Barry. She's going places.

    Last thing! If you guys have been enjoying this story and know anyone else that are interested in Nanu, Grimsley, sorta rewrite of SM/USUM, or all above, spread the word! Now is a great time to do so.

    Thanks to bobandbill for the great betaing! Next chapter is the start of the Po Town mini arc. I got some cool ideas for that and hope you guys look forward to it.
     

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