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Lost Loot

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Brutaka, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. Brutaka

    Brutaka Ignition

    This one-shot was written for the Serebii Yuletide of 2014 as a gift to FieryLucario. He asked for a fic about a PMD-verse outlaw team and their adventures. So here it is!

    Warnings: Strong language, some violence.
    ---------

    Lost Loot

    The earthy, musty smell of dense forest clung to the air. It was dark under the canopy of trees and the dreary overcast sky. There, in the darkness, two small Pokemon squinted through the vegetation. The sky blue skin of the large one shone dimly through the shadows, while the dark violet one sitting on its back was nearly invisible.

    "See anything yet, Mira?" the blue one asked. The Amaura craned her neck towards the inky black but found it hard to make anything out. A small object glinted on a bag slung around her neck. It looked like a crystalline ball with ceramic wings sprouting from behind it. It was the tell-tale sign of an Explorer.

    "Patience, Aria. We'll find it sooner or later." The Purrloin patted her friend on the side of her long neck reassuringly. Her eyes had no trouble seeing in the dark, so she lead the way forward. Another Explorer badge hung like a pendant on her furred chest. "Hm. We should go that way. We haven't been over there yet."

    Aria glanced at the direction her friend's paw pointed in and nodded. They proceeded into the dense bushes before them with a slow but determined pace.

    Several feet behind them, out of view, shone two glowing eyes. The bushes rustled slightly as the creature followed them. Mira's ears twitched, and she turned her head to look behind her. She saw nothing, frowned, and turned her attention forward again.

    Aria then reached a clearing, and Mira dismounted to get a better look. "Gosh, where's the thinga-ma-whozit anyway?"

    "I dunno. I guess we'll have to keep searching."

    Mira's ears twitched again. She peeked over her shoulder and saw the bush behind her shudder slightly. She squinted at the leaves as she went to investigate it. Her claws slid out, ready to defend her. She pushed a large, drooping leaf aside, but she saw nothing. She frowned, her brow furrowed. She shrugged, and turned around.

    Suddenly, claws reached out and clamped down on her mouth. She tried to scream but she couldn't loosen her assailant's grip enough to do so. Then, without a word, she was pulled backward and everything went black.

    Aria turned around after hearing the bushes rustle loudly. "M-Mira? Is that you? I can't see anything." The forest was even darker in such a dense part of it, save for the clearing, and the wilderness had grown strangely quiet. There was no response from her feline friend. "...Mira?"

    The Amaura gasped when the faintly visible outline of a Purrloin emerged from the bushes. "Oh! Mira! I thought something happened to you!"

    "No, I'm fine. I just tripped. We should get moving." Mira ran over to the small dinosaur's side and jumped on her back.

    "Oh, okay. We'll, you're the one with the working eyes here. Just don't let me run into a tree!"

    "I wouldn't never do that, Aria..." Mira said distantly. Her eyes focused on the strap of the bag in front of her. She slowly slid one of her claws out, without a word. She gripped the leather lightly.

    "Mira, what's wrong? Why aren't you saying anything?"

    A claw rested above the leather strap. "Nothing to say..." Slowly, she pulled her sharp claws across it, and the leather parted cleanly. She gripped the strands tightly. "Except goodbye!" She pulled the bag free of the Amaura's neck and dashed into the bushes, loot in tow.

    "Wha...?" Aria looked on in shock as her friend quickly disappeared from view. "Mira? Cut it out!" There was no response.

    Her eyes began to water. "Mira!!" she yelled. Her chest felt heavy. It didn't make any sense. "Why...?"

    The little dinosaur looked around into the darkness, lost, sad, and confused.

    ----

    The small cat ran through the thicket as fast as her legs could carry her while also holding the heavy, leather bag. She reached a hill devoid of trees towards the center of the forest. Two Pokemon sat there conversing as she approached. The tall, blue, humanoid wolf was the first to notice her.

    The Lucario sniffed the air and smiled. "Ah, Nora, you're back. And you look adorable, might I say."

    "Cut the crap, Jeff. Nora, whatcha got?" The yellow, bristly dog looked on intently.

    "Always concerned with the prizes, aren't you? We should just call you 'Levi the Loot Whore'. How does that sound?" The cat grinned mischievously at the agitated Jolteon.

    "Couldn't care less. Now hurry up!" Levi bounced on his paws, excited. Jeff stood back and chuckled.

    "Fine, fine." Nora upturned the open bag, and its contents spilled across the grass floor. There were seeds and rocks of various shapes and sizes. Most of it was typical Explorer gear, and that was to be expected.

    Levi stared in awe, however, at one section of the pile. He pulled it out and gasped. It was a bundle of seeds tied together with a string and a neat bow. "These... these are Reviver Seeds! I know Explorers carry a lot, but this is nuts!"

    "I guess they need them all. The wimps probably get knocked out so easy... Hm. How'd these kids even afford this anyway?" Nora wondered absentmindedly. She was excited about the find of course, but at the end of the day, it was just another addition to the pile.

    "Alright, gather it back up. We did good today," Jeff complimented.

    "'We'? I did all the work!" Nora sneered playfully at her boss.

    "Yeah, but I supervised really hard. Who knows what could have happened?"

    "Oh, shut up!" the cat, still smiling, exclaimed with a roll of her eyes.

    They all laughed as they picked up their mess and walked into the forest. Minutes later, they came across a tree that reached taller than all the other trees around it. They looked to make sure no one was watching, and then they walked right into the base of the tree. The tree was just an illusion, something to hide their base so no one could find it. On the inside was a hole that led to a large basement divided into many rooms. Jewelry and paintings haphazardly hung on the walls. There were bins and chests around every corner filled to the brim with seeds, rocks, sticks, and all sorts of other strange artifacts.

    For a band of thieves, this was paradise.

    Levi took the bag into another room while Jeff and Nora continued into a large room with an elaborate, circular rug thrown over the dirt floor in the middle. The tiny cat collapsed onto the carpet with a sigh. "Ugh, my legs hurt..."

    Jeff joined her on the floor. "Oh, come on, don't act all mopey around me when you look like a tiny kitty! You're gonna break my heart. 'Least what's left of it anyway."

    Nora smiled up at the Lucario. "Fine." With a flash, the cat was gone. In its place was a large, black fox monstrosity with a head of bushy crimson hair tied off with a teal ring. "Is this better?"

    "Yeah, you're much less adorable this way."

    "Oh, shut the fuck up."

    "You know I'm only teasing. Hey! Wanna take a trip into town? We need to book our next 'mission'."

    The Zoroark shrugged. "Sure, why not?"

    ---

    A Breloom in a blue scarf and a Fraxure holding a black, leather pouch looked with interest at several dozen scraps of paper littered across a bulletin board. The dragon glanced over to a series of mugshots under a sign that read 'Wanted'." She raised an eyebrow at the face of a Lucario plastered there. She nudged her friend and drew his attention to it.

    "Why, hello, when did they get this?" Jeff chuckled. He pulled the paper from the board.

    "I dunno, but you better be careful. If we get caught, we're done for," Nora warned. She shuddered, just imagining what would happen to the city's most wanted outlaws if they ever got caught.

    "Yeah, yeah, don't nag me, woman. I'll make sure this mission gets completed, don't you worry." He folded the page tucked it inside of Nora's bag.

    The Fraxure leered at the missions on the board. "These are all pathetic. You'd think someone would have something more interesting by now... hold on, what do we have here?" She reached up and pulled a messy note from the cork board.

    "Help! My friend is gone, and I don't know where she went!
    -Night Woods
    -B Rank

    My name is Aria! I'm lost in this forest! My friend was able to see in the dark, so we came, but... then she left and took all of my stuff! I don't know what's happening, but I need to get out of here soon! Also, my badge quit working! I can't escape!

    -Rescue Amaura"


    "Heh, poor girl. I almost feel bad," Nora admitted with a chuckle.

    "Almost."

    "Yeah. Oh well, she'll have to figure it out sooner or later. I wonder why her badge broke though. That had nothing to do with me." She shrugged.

    "Bad luck, I guess."

    Nora nodded. "Really bad luck."

    Jeff suddenly look down the road with a squint. "Do you hear that?"

    "Hear wha... wait, yeah! Sounds like someone's coming this way."

    "Is our illusion still good?"

    "Well, duh, what do you take me for?" she scoffed.

    Luke didn't respond. Panting and scraping sounded through the plaza as a small, purple cat ran across the stone tiles towards the bulletin board. "Excuse me!" she yelled as she got near. Jeff and Nora stepped to the side, not wanting to cause a scene. Mira pulled a page from the board and her eyes poured over it.

    Jeff look up at Nora and mouthed, Is this the cat? Nora nodded.

    "Oh no... Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no..." Mira moaned as she raced back down the road again.

    "Well, that was strange," Jeff said once the cat had left earshot.

    "Hm. I guess the cat's badge must have worked when I knocked her out, but the Amaura's must not have gone with it. Weird. Oh well, none of my concern."

    She glanced over at Jeff who was reading one of the notes. "Oh, hey, this must be the mission they're trying to do," he muttered.

    Nora squinted at it. "'Find the Lost Loot'? ...What's a Lost Loot?"

    The Breloom shrugged. "Supposed to be some rare thing or whatever. We'd make some pretty good coin off of it though."

    "Sounds good to me. Oh, does this mean we wont have to fight anyone for stuff?"

    "Yeah, clean mission this go around. Wow, haven't done that in a while." Jeff pull the page from the board and put into Nora's bag with the other posting. "Well, let's go find us some loot."

    ----

    The Zoroark peeked her head around a tree trunk. The forest was dense, as always. A bit of fog had set in, so things had grown even darker. She could still see just fine, though, as could Jeff, so they proceeded forward.

    They had been searching for almost an hour. That loot was nowhere to be seen. "Come on, can't you just sniff it out, Jeff?"

    He glared at the back of Nora's head. "No. Everything just smells like dead leaves and dirt."

    Nora sighed and kept walking. "This is our second mission today, you know. I'm tired."

    "I know, but come on, this thing is worth a fortune! You know, probably. There's no way that mission would still be live tomorrow. Besides, Levi is gonna give you hell if you don't come back with anything to show for it."

    "Yeah, I know, I just..." Nora trailed off as the sound of four-legged running broke the silence around them. "Hold on, that sounds familiar. You don't think...?"

    "You know what, I think it is..." Jeff grinned mischievously. "Let's follow her."

    Nora nodded, and they pursued the noise. They kept their distance, and eventually, in a clearing, they saw Mira run across a patch of grass and back into the thicket. Something glinted in her mouth as she ran.

    "It is her.... Notice something?" Jeff asked, bemused.

    "What, that thing in her mouth?"

    "Yeah. It's the Lost Loot. It has to be. She must have stumbled across it on her way to save her friend. I'm surprised they haven't found each other yet."

    "I swear, these forests all change every time you go in them. Who knows where anything really is anyway?" Nora looked at the canopy above her, unable to see the clouds above through the dense vegetation.

    "We're gonna have to go get the relic, you know that right?"

    "Yes, yes, I know. Well, let's go then."

    They tore at the ground as they burst forward, their agile forms running even faster than the speedy young cat. Mira had a decent lead on them though, so it took some time for Nora and Jeff to catch up. Suddenly, the Purrloin darted into a clearing, stopped, and turned around. She stood up on her back legs, pulled the gold relic from her mouth, and surveyed the greenery. "Who's out there? Is someone following me? I can hear you!"

    The rustling stopped abruptly. Then, a light blue dinosaur with a bag slung around her neck slowly peeked out of it.

    "Aria!? Aria! I've been looking everywhere for you! What happened!?" Mira ran up to the Amaura and gave her a warm hug.

    "I don't know. My badge just quit working for some reason. I looked all over for you, but I couldn't see very well." Aria hung her head in shame.

    "Yeah, I dunno what happened either. I was grabbed from behind, and then I woke up back home. I panicked when you didn't come with me. Then I saw your bulletin board posting and came running. I'm just glad you're okay." Mira rubbed Aria's neck sympathetically.

    "Yup, everything worked out fine. Oh, hey, is that the thing we were looking for?"

    The cat looked down at the gold object that resembled a piled of fused coins in her paws. "Yeah! I found it on my way over here! Lucky, huh?" Mira tucked the Lost Loot into Aria’s brown bag.

    Aria looked down at the bag and smiled. "Okay. Well, I guess we can head off then, right?"

    Mira nodded enthusiastically. "Yeah! Let's go!" She climbed onto Aria's back. They were about to leave for home when a rustling in the bushes to their left caught their attention. Before they had a chance to say anything, the visitor stuck her head out from the shrubbery.

    It was Aria.

    "Wha..." Mira whispered in shock. "Aria? But... this is Aria!"

    The Pokemon in the bushes frantically shook her head. "No! Get away from her! She's a fake!"

    "What!?" The cat exclaimed, jumping off of the blue dinosaur.

    "Don't listen to her!" Aria pleaded as the cat distanced herself from her friend.

    The one in the bushes came into the clearing. Her eyes were bloodshot, like she had been crying, and she didn't have a bag around her neck. "Please, listen to me. I'm me! Ugh! How do I prove it?"

    The Aria with the bag looked down at the ground before staring at Mira directly in the eyes. "It won’t be an issue," she said coldly. There was a flash, and in her place stood the tall, black and red, fox-like form of a Zoroark. Nora rubbed the Lost Loot in her paws endearingly and chuckled. "See you two later!"

    Without another word, she disappeared like a blur into the bushes. Aria and Mira looked at each other, still processing the situation.

    ---

    Nora strolled into the living room of her team's base with a grin.

    Jeff looked up at her from the rug he sat on and returned the smile. "So, how'd it go? Success, I assume?"

    "You'd be assuming correctly! Check it!" Nora tossed the gold piece at her boss, who caught it skillfully.

    "And here it is. Oh wow, we're rich! This is amazing!"

    A crash rang out from the next room over. "Did someone say 'rich'!?" Levi's muffled voice yelled. He ran into living room, knocking Nora over in the process.

    "Hey! Watch it! Or else you'll get shit, got it?" Nora wiped the dirt of her fur, grumbling all the while.

    "Sorry, I just heard money and got excited is all. Whatcha get that’s so good?"

    Jeff showed the Jolteon the Lost Loot. "This would be it. People pay top dollar for stuff like this. Dunno why. All I know is that this little thing is worth a-"

    A loud thud suddenly burst through the hallway, as if someone had run right into a wall. The thieves grew worried. There shouldn't be anyone in their base besides them. No one could possibly know of this place.

    Jeff put a paw to his mouth, gesturing for the others to stay quiet. Like the thief he was, he made his way silently over to the door into the hall. He peaked out and was struck by surprise. There, at the end of the hall, was a groaning Mira rubbing her head in pain.

    "What are you doing in here? How'd you even get in here? More importantly, don't you know it's rude to go charging into peoples' houses?" Jeff chastised the poor cat.

    "Oh, knock it off. We know you're hiding the Zoroark in here!" she accused as she glared the tall wolf down.

    Nora strutted into hallway with a scoff. "Who said anything about hiding?"

    Aria stuck her head into the doorway. "I knew it! Give us our stuff back!"

    "Pfft! Your stuff? This is our stuff now!" Levi yelled from the living room.

    "Look, kids, just leave and we won’t beat the living shit out of you, m’kay?" Nora teased with a glimmer in her glowing eyes.

    Mira spread her legs in a fighting stance. "No! We're not afraid of you!"

    Aria growled. "Yeah! We wont lose to robbers like you! 'Cuz we're Explorers! And we can do anything, so long as we believe hard enough!"

    Nora and Jeff looked at each other. After a moment of silence, they broke out with laughter. Jeff wiped a tear from his eye. "Look, kid, I'm sorry that I have to do this to you, but you're gonna have to figure this out sooner or later. Really, I'm doing you a favor."

    He held his paw out in front of him, and in his grasp formed a long, blue, bone-shaped baton made of pure energy. It pulsed with life, but felt solid in Jeff's grip. Then, with a burst of godly speed, he rushed at Mira. With one clean swipe, he slashed at her chest and threw her into the far wall. Mira screamed in pain and fell to the ground unconscious.

    Aria gasped, wide-eyed at his partner's injury. Seconds later, Jeff thrust the end of his baton into the top the ice dinosaur's head. Her eyes rolled, and she fell to the ground.

    A beam of light erupted from Mira's badge, and the cat vanished. The dinosaur remained on the ground, out cold.

    "I bet her badge is still broken," Nora muttered. She grabbed her own badge and directed it at the unwanted guest. With another flash, Aria was gone.

    Jeff stared with a smug grin at where the children had been moments ago. "Shoulda believed harder, I guess," he said with a dark chuckle.

    -----------

    Author's Note:
    It's not my greatest work, but in my defense, I came up with the plot and wrote this entire story in the span of two days! Talk about crunch time! But I figured I'd post it for posterity.

    Anyway, I had been exploring the possibility of a fic involving the breakage of the 'good guys always win' trope. Because come on, how on earth do you really expect two children to beat up masterfully trained opponents? Or legendary pokemon for that matter? I'm sorry, PMD, but for your many boons, you don't always make the greatest of sense.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015
  2. PhalanxSigil

    PhalanxSigil BONK!

    Not your best work? Are you kidding me?! This is freaking fantastic!

    When I started reading this, I hadn't read your prompt, so the bait-and-switch involving the explorer team being robbed was really cool. Then, when you began to focus on the outlaw team, the dialog between the members, especially Jeff and Nora, raised the fic to a new level. Not only was it fun to read, but it was smart and really established their characters. Honestly, though, Nora was the star of this show, and you left me wanting more of her. My only real complaint was that Levi didn't get enough screen time, but in the time he was there, he was very funny.

    Overall, I'd say that OMFG I LOVED THIS FIC SO MUCH I WANT MORE!!!!

    (I'm being totally serious.)
     
  3. Brutaka

    Brutaka Ignition

    Glad you like it.

    Of course, and my intent was to make Nora the main one here. Jeff is the leader, technically, but Nora's really the one that runs the show.
    Well, and he's sorta the cliche funny side character anyway, but yeah.

    Unfortunately, this is gonna stay a one-shot :/ I have 2 chaptered fics already, as well as two chaptered fics in the line-up for release after those...
     

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