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The Corei Quest...rewritten!

Which Corei Starter would you choose?

  • Mongle

    Votes: 10 33.3%
  • Fryger

    Votes: 10 33.3%
  • Aquari

    Votes: 10 33.3%

  • Total voters
    30
  • Poll closed .

shac

Well-Known Member
So nice to see you back in business..........hope you won't fall in the vortex again. Good chapter. Loved the battle scenarios. Interesting turn with Orion and Sapph being a suspect. Like asperger said, I've a suspicion that this Orion guy belongs to one of the terrorist groups........and I also think someone's gonna catch that Flygon!! :p
 

Air Dragon

Ha, ha... not.
Who? Wha? It's the 2nd? OH, SNAP!

Let's start this appreciation post with a big

HAPPY NEW YEAR, ALL SEREBII FORUMS MEMBERS!

AND AN EXTRA HURRAH TO YEAR FOUR OF THE COREI QUEST!

Now to give some appreciation...

@Kindrindra:

*Sets out to kill AGENT members*
Oh... Nevermind me! I'm just... Gardening! Ya, just killing some weeds...
Anyway, that was a uberz chapterz! And it once again proved Anuvi's poeticness...
Tony quakes in fear of your shears... XD

Yay, poeticness!

Great, now I'm going to be on the edge of my seat waiting for the next one... XD
You know i like to serve... and swerve. XD

Quote:
A loud, high-pitched keen shot through the corridor, causing Sapph, Anuvi and Nicola to swivel around at Zen, whose palm was raised at a neat, circular hole in the door. Sapph peered through and saw the guard rendered completely insensible by the Aura Sphere that had thrown him into the opposite wall, where his head had undoubtedly hit stone.

<Unlocked,> Zen said in a satisfied voice, lowering his palm slowly and reaching through the hole to open it with a low clunk.
Zen reminds me somewhat of myself there... 0_o
Without the Aura Sphere powers, I'm sure... ;^_^

@asperger1981:

It is me, or you just put Saph's luck a little lower for a while. Barely stopping an attack to the dragons cave and then being a suspect to the authorities (and probably Haley)?

Major downer material, man.

On a similar topic, I have a few ideas in my head that I'd like to mention right after this:

1- I kinda suspect that Orion might be related to one of the previously shown antagonist
(team light, team shadow; Nora's relatives, Rubin, etc)

2- Type disbalance or not, Haley is having a serious case of idiot ball.

3- Saph needs a new travel mate, and some good luck.

Seriously.
Yeah, well. I love to screw around with my cast's fates. You should know that by now. :)

1- Nora's relatives are not terrorists. Kinda... sort of... maybe just a bit...
Neither is Rubin.

2- True. Very True. That last part was to the little voice in everyone who has a thing for self-doubt and questioning's head... split personality's a b****...

3- Who knows? Maybe Sapph will tire of her. Maybe Haley will tire of him. Maybe they fall in wuv and behave like a good little couple should.

I would and do know, but i'm not telling. Yet... :D

@shac:

So nice to see you back in business..........hope you won't fall in the vortex again. Good chapter. Loved the battle scenarios. Interesting turn with Orion and Sapph being a suspect. Like asperger said, I've a suspicion that this Orion guy belongs to one of the terrorist groups........and I also think someone's gonna catch that Flygon!! :p
Good to be back. I certainly don't want to go back to the dark closet again... and as for the Flygon... if you think it's gonna be easy for the hero to bag the dusty powerhouse, the next chapter will reveal some hot competition for Sapph... :p

You know i won't say more until then, so stop whimpering... ;)

Now for a few updates:

1- The New Year's Special will be delayed a few days. It should be out before the 8th, though. So no worries.

2- Speaking of the 8th, I'll be away from my keyboard for the weekend in question (8th -10th) laughing at my friends' attempts to get me inebriated, finding new inspiration for fic material and basically having a good time. So there's the heads up.

3- I know a lot more people have read this than reviewed. I see you, so you better come out NOW! XP

L@er!
 

Paddypower

Well-Known Member
Oh christ, I have to stop reviewing when someone's waaaaaaay into a story. So errmmm... Yeah. I'm a new reader, who's read the whole thing. Yeah. And umm... Yeah, it's a good story. Good, or borderline AMAZING.

Yeah, I love the Corei quest, and Ace is amazingly awesome, along with Silver (Sorry, Mighty). So, Tony's an AGENT, and the AGENTs are turning everyone against Sapph?! That would make Tony eeeeeeeeviiiiiiiiil! No! Tony was awesome, he gave Sapph an Eevee! Unless... Oh my god, Lavender isn't working for the AGENTS is she?! She's so awesome and blind! I bet Rubin is an AGENT too, the Wurmple-eating, Haley-stealing, smart-talking, contest-loving, Sapph's self esteem-lowering, brother-hating, enemy-collaborating son of a %@#&£!!! Yeah. I'm not the biggest Rubin fan. I am however a huge Mogshex fan. She's so cute and awesome! I bet one of those bullies Emma is encountering will get Mogshex's fur all dirty, and... Yeah.

Anywho, I must be off now, I'll leave you with my random rating generator (i.e. my brain).

9.5/10 - 'Cause it's a good fanfic and stuff. And... It has a Flygon in it. And ermm... I like it? OH! And it has Mighty in it. What colour are shiny Magnemites anyway...?
 

Evil_Lord

Active Member
Well I haven't been here in almost a year, and I'm dorry to see there has only been one more chapter. But, this chapter brings a lot of questions up, which will hopefully be answered in up coming chapters(which i hope come soon).

Tony the agent, and what else is Sapph hiding?
 

Divinity_123

shove 'er in! ;O
“Get out, you clueless perv!” Nicola said testily. “Did you really think a beautiful lady such as myself would disrobe in the presence of a man? Not likely!”

Sapph, who’d finally understood what she was getting at, turned incandescent red with shocked embarrassment and rage as he said, “Fine! Geez, I’ll go stand guard outside. Just don’t spend all year in here looking for your size. This is not a department store.”

As he left he added in an undertone, “Like anyone would want to peep at you...”

Nicola heard. As she spun around to yell, “What was that, you...” the door clanged shut in reply, cutting her off.

Boys, she thought darkly, walking down the shelves, taking note of the sizes available.

“Women,” Sapph muttered annoyedly, standing before the door and peering into the gloom that swallowed up the corridor on either side. He really didn’t get them at all. On one hand, you had girls like Nora and Joy, who seemed so nice and sincere. They brought out the best in a guy and required nothing in exchange but for them to be true to themselves.

On another you had girls like Sky, who was wild and unrestrained, but was the kind of person who made a lifelong friend. Girls like her were at complete odds with girls like Zeta, who seemed guarded despite her free-spirited outlook on life and spontaneous attitude (he lost track of his thought temporarily as his mind wandered back to his first kiss.)

The thought of Haley, Carla and Nicola brought himself back to reality faster than a falling Snorlax. Those kind of girls were just too bipolar for anyone to get a fix on them, let alone a totally clueless twelve year old. Sapph supposed they were likeable enough (he had certainly gotten on well enough with Carla, despite how he felt about Kamren – Sapph spared a moment to wonder where he was and gave the exercise up like a bad job) and Nicola and Haley weren’t so bad, once they weren’t trying to be all in-your-face about everything. Did being right all the time really matter to all girls or just the ones like them?
Best moment in the chapter! Sapph's finally coming around to that age where he has to learn about the birds and the bees :p


Anyways, I liked how this chapter started. I wonder what Team Shadow wants with that particular Flygon... Soooo, Haley gains yet another rival (well not really a rival, but she locks horns with another random person lmao) and obtains a Lapras.

Orion... :/ This guy's totally playing Haley, how can she believe the crap coming out of his mouth!? Is Haley losing brain cells or what? Off with Orion's head, I say!

Also, I see that Anuvi is becoming more badass with his new techniques and his refined attitude (kinda reminds me of Zen), but I supposed his sister's death can explain Fearless Leader's new persona (love that name btw).

Keep up the great work, and update faster!


Divinity_123
 

Air Dragon

Ha, ha... not.
So, where were we?

@Paddypower: Yay, randomness! Oh, and welcome to Corei! I can sympathise with your hatred of Rubin, but you'll learn later on that the world is not split into heroes and villains alone, just as the world isn't black and white. There are shades of gray that we all fall into. The whole AGENT schtick just took a turn for the WTFish, but it'll all be cleared up soon.

@Evil_Lord: I'm so dorry (lol) to have not put out more chapters in a year, so hopefully 2010's gonna bring some new resolve to my fingers.

@Divinity_123: as all young men must, Div. As all men must... XD

Glad you enjoy Anuvi's development... trust me, folks, you ain't seen nothing yet. :) Hopefully, Haley will develop some strong point too. I know it's weird talking like i haven't got a clue as to what's gonna happen, but that's how i avoid spoiling. :p

OK, status update...

I just got home from the land of... well, rice (China) yesterday and after attempting to resync myself with my time zone, am ready to it back into gear with a new laptop prepped and ready to burn some keys.

Finally, The 2009 Award Nominations are open and will close soon, so if anybody else wants to nominate me, now's the time! Now I've gotta get some nominations done myself and chapters typed out too... so, hi ho, hi ho, it's off to bed i go... XP

L@er!
 

Shadow Lucario

Lone Vanguard
Air Dragon! For so long you have reviewed my fan fiction and now I am returning the favor. This has to be my second favorite Journey fic. (Sorry, but first belongs to Eon MasterOne's Pokemon Revolution series ^^;) I love the Fakemon starters. You should get a job at Gamefreak. The starters have started (heh) getting progressively worse with each new region. I mean Piplup -_- Come on! Anyway, Sapph is a relateable (is that how you spell it?) character. I love how you gave him a Ledyba early on seeing as I've never seen a main character use a Ledyba before. I would correct some things, but I fear that I am too late for that. So put me on that PM list and expect me to be reviewing from here on out!
 

Air Dragon

Ha, ha... not.
Hi, it's been a while!

@Shadow Lucario: Thanks, and you are forgiven. EM's works are really in a class of their own. Consider yourself added to the list and Welcome to Corei!

Usually, on the first of this month, I announce TCQ Month and my ridiculous ambition to post one full chapter every week for the month of March. This year, I'm breaking from 'tradition' to say I'm not dead, and neither is this fic.

And what better way to do so than a New Year's special!

Special Three: Take Five, Guys (Holy Crap! It’s The Corei Quest New Year…​

Burner: Hold it!

AD: Now what?

Burner: ‘New Year’s Special’? In March?! Kinda late to the party, wouldn’t you say?

AD: Uhm…

Burner: Am I even in this ‘New Year’s Special’?

AD: Uhm…

Burner: Oh, Arceus… I’m NOT?! Listen, bub. Need I remind you that this year’s the ‘Year of the Tiger’?

AD: Well…

Burner: And that you were born in the Year of the Tiger?

AD: Now that you mention it…

Burner: And that I’m… a… TIGER?!!

Tora: I’m one, too!

AD: Oh, yeah. You are tigers, aren’t you?

*Tora sweat dropped*

Burner (Towering over AD anime-style): OK, do we need to make a violent deal of this?

AD (sweating madly): …I… suppose I should… you know, change the story line… just this once… I’m sure I had a backup story here somewhere…

Burner: Good man.

Tora: Yay! ^_^

AD: I can’t work like this. Oh, my vacation… T_T

Special Three: Flashback! Burner’s Big Battle! (Holy crap! It’s the Corei Quest CHINESE New Year’s Special!)​


Location: Entover City Gym
Time: Roughly three months prior to current story timeline…


The dim lighting of the Entover City Gym cast eerie shadows all around the dusty pit from which stout wooden pillars rose like stakes from the ground connecting it to the webbed ceiling above. Reddish flames flickered in the pit, lighting it slightly but not enough to let the spectators know what time of day it was.

“Heracross, use Night Slash!” a seemingly disembodied voice called out through the gloom as a small red tiger decorated with black stripes and some raw looking cuts and scratches leapt backwards into view, firing feeble embers at something in the darkness.

A second later a claw enveloped in energy darker than night came out of nowhere and nothing and caught the young female Fryger clean in the chin, creating another gash.

“Tora!” A young girl with long blonde hair screamed as she watched her only Pokémon soar limply through the air and hit a large pillar with a sickening crunch.

Tora gasped for breath as her assailant stomped slowly into the light, the sunlight glinting off its large blue frame and long, singular horn.

“Oh, man! Tora’s getting whipped out there!” A young boy who could easily pass for the challenger’s little brother pointed out loudly.

“Fight, Tora! Fight!” A larger and older boy who sat beside the first cheered loudly.

The third spectator at the match, a calm-eyed teen who looked the intermediate in years but not in smarts watched the match closely, his Fryger Burner doing the same, although a lot more listlessly.

<C’mon, Tora,> the male Fryger coaxed his younger friend softly yet urgently as the large beetle stomped forwards on short feet ending in a single alabaster claw each. <Get up!>

<N-not yet,> Tora gasped as she rose shakily to her feet, her legs Jello beneath her. <This fight… isn’t… over…>

And with a loud cough and a choking noise, Tora collapsed once more.

“TORA!” The challenger screamed again in worry, as her Pokémon struggled to find the strength to stand once more, her breathing more labored than ever.

“Down! One… Two…” The referee began to count noticing that the battle could at last be over.

“You fought well, Carla Witkins,” the Gym leader said, stepping into the light as her Pokémon adopted a superior look in its yellow and black eyes. “But with desperation.”

“Tora, get up! Please!” Carla pleaded as the referee said, “Three!”

“You’d do well in Contests, Carla Witkins,” the Leader went on smugly as the referee intoned ‘Four!’. “Your Pokémon’s moves were elegant, surely. But in such a heated battle, wasteful. Attempting to win in such a manner was hopelessness in the extreme.”

Burner ground his teeth in anger as he saw the Heracross glowing with pride despite the numerous burn marks that marred its glossy exoskeleton. If he were in that ring…

“FIVE! Fryger has lost the will to battle!” The referee announced. “The Entover City Gym Leader Cassandra has won the match by a count-out!”

“You’re not cut out for the League, Carla Witkins,” Cassandra said emotionlessly as she returned her large beetle to its pokéball in a flash of red light and Carla leapt into the ring to scoop up her shivering and bleeding Pokémon. “Best pack it in.”

“Carla!” Her brother yelled as he leapt into the pit and dashed towards his sister.

“Is Tora OK?” The larger boy called out, right behind the littlest one.

Kamren’s eyes narrowed slightly as he eyes locked on the tall gym leader. He had to think his strategy over before their battle in the early afternoon. All three matches he’d seen thus far were victories for the somewhat young Bug Pokémon training expert. And though he was by no means afraid, he knew he had to tread carefully, when his turn finally came.

“Better get Tora to the Pokémon Center,” Kamren said calmly, walking towards the small group with his hands in his pockets as Cassandra turned to leave. “Some of those cuts look nasty.”

<This afternoon,> Burner thought with a dark determination, his resolve totally spiked by the defeat of his protégée he’d witnessed. <It’ll be your turn to taste ‘hopelessness’. You can bet on it.>

***​

“The official gym match between Kamren Kent of Olville Town, Corei and the Entover City Gym Leader Cassandra will now begin!” A male referee holding two flags stopped on the lip of what seemed to be a large square basin of earth dug out from the gym floor. Raising both flags, he continued to announce the rules of the match.

“Both trainers may use up to three Pokémon apiece,” he proclaimed. “And only the challenger is allowed substitutions. The match ends when all three Pokémon on each side are unable to battle. Are both sides prepared?”

“I’m ready,” a tall woman with dark hair said laconically, flicking her fringe out of her dark, oddly glittering eyes.

Her blond opponent merely nodded, a calm yet determined look arresting his facial features.

On the sidelines, a different story could be read off the faces of the three youthful spectators.

“Oh, no,” the only girl said, her green eyes full of worry as she watched Cassandra and Kamren pull a pokéball each off from around their waistlines and cocked back, ready to let them fly.

“Kamren has only two Pokémon, right?” Dex, a large and simple-looking boy asked in a dull voice. “Right?”

“Sssh!” the third spectator, a mousy nine year old with large spectacles hissed. “Yes, Kamren only has two Pokémon! You should know that by now!”

“Oh,” Dex muttered, apparently still puzzled about something. “Why’s Kamren so calm then?”

“Now he mentions it,” Carla said, more to herself than to the boys. “Dex has a point. Kamren looks totally psyched… almost too calm…”

“Is he done?” Kamren said rudely. “Finally. I was almost asleep out here.”

A tic went off near the referee’s temple as he raised his flags and shouted, “Begin!”

“I choose Limoth!” Cassandra called, throwing her pokéball forwards.

“No, really? I thought I chose Limoth,” Kamren said snarkily. Throwing his red and white orb forwards he called, “Ciela! Take point!”

Two Pokémon materialized from the white light that spilled from the airborne pokéballs, which flew back towards the trainers as the light died down.

A small bird of sorts flapped her gold and vermillion feathered wings as it struggled to maintain a steady height as it locked eyes with an even weirder creature.

One would say it was a hovering light bulb until they saw the grey, round head instead of a filament and a thorax that looked like it was made of polished brass. Two small round antennae that rose from its head through the glass began to sparkle and crackle with electricity.

As a loud, high pitched whirring issued from the Limoth Cassandra called out, “With a Pokémon like that, you’ll have a tough time against Arlene!”

So, this Arlene uses Electric types, hunh? Kamren thought to himself as he pondered his options. Good to know…

<Ha, HAAAH!> The small Electric Moth Pokémon laughed insanely, his antenna ends crackling madly. <Ready to go down, little birdy?>

<Big talk,> Ciela muttered loftily, <from a mere insect.>

Coming to a decision, Kamren raised Ciela’s pokéball once more and said, “Ciela, return!”

Seven jaws nearly scraped the floor as Kamren recalled his first Pokémon to her pokéball in a flash of red light.

<Say WHAAAAAT?> Limoth screeched in indignation.

Totally unconcerned by the shock the others exhibited at his choice, he switched the red and white pokéball with a purely white ball with a black and red stripe tracing its equator.

“Burner, take point!” Kamren said loudly, releasing a second Pokémon into the pit.

“I see,” Calvin said knowledgeably as he saw the boy’s small red and black tiger Pokémon stretch it limber legs and flex its hooked claws. “Kamren’s decided to end this quickly.”

“Why’d you switch so early?” The tall gym leader spluttered. “No rookie’s ever started a gym battle here that way before!”

“Well, then,” Kamren said calmly. “You should realize that I’m no rookie then. Burner, get it with Ember!”

<Gotcha!> Burner said, a sick sort of pleasure reverberating in his voice. Before Cassandra and Limoth could gather their wits, Burner sprayed the hovering bug with a rapid strafe of fireballs the size of large hail stones, each one scoring a clean hit and measurable damage.

“Augh! Limoth, no!” Cassandra shrieked as the Limoth hit the floor at her feet, spirals in its red eyes.

The referee peered at the fallen Electric/Bug type Pokémon and announced, “Limoth is unable to battle! Fryger wins!”

“Let’s get one thing straight here,” Kamren told his opponent coldly. “I need not explain why I do what I do during this battle. Least of all to you. So quit asking and start battling.”

<Yeah, what he said,> Burner said cockily as Limoth was sucked back into its capture sphere and switched for a larger Pokémon. Kamren’s eyes contracted slightly as they met its beady black and lilac eyes. It clicked its ivory white pincers rapidly as it inched forwards on long gold and violet legs.

Oh my, an Ariados! Kamren’s Pokédex spoke up as Kamren scanned the low-slung Pokémon. It’s known as the Long Legs Pokémon. People seem to have some difficulty telling its head apart from its hindquarters. Silly willy-nillies… it concluded in its upper class voice.

OK, Cassandra, Kamren thought as he placed the pokédex back in his pocket. Let’s see what that thing’s got…

“Ready?” the referee asked both parties nodded and their Pokémon went on guard again. “Begin!”

“Ariados, go! Poison Sting attack!” Cassandra yelled quickly.

Ariados wordlessly clicked its large white mandibles rapidly as it scuttled in an erratic manner towards the young Fire type to avoid the same fate as its fallen team mate.

“It’s coming,” Kamren said tersely as he watched the Long Legs Pokémon fire off a small salvo of glowing white needles straight at Burner as it weaved speedily in between the posts.

<No worries,> Burner said as he dug his four paws deeper into the soft earth and braced himself.

Burner leapt to his right as the first needle whistled by striking one of the moss-covered posts that dotted the arena. The manouevre left Burner’s left flank open as the second one came up fast.

“Burner, on your left!” Kamren directed calmly.

<Just watch this,> the cocky Fire type announced as he summoned strength to his powerful hind leg muscles and sprang into an elegant back flip which landed him vertically on the rafter two feet behind him…

…and right into the trajectory of the third needle.

Kamren’s silver eyes and Burner’s golden ones narrowed as the attack looked impossible to avoid from the position Burner had placed himself in dodging the first two attacks.

“Burner, watch out!” Carla screamed from the sidelines.

Burner’s lips curled upwards into a smirk and without a command sprang off the pole straight up into the air, leaving the needle to miss his tail by a hair’s breadth.

<Wow!> Tora said excitedly from Carla’s ankles. <That was awesome! Not to mention familiar,> she added in a mutter as she recalled how she’d demonstrated the manouevre in her battle two hours earlier.

<You ain’t seen nothing yet!> Burner said confidently as he landed on all fours in the centre of the pit where there was a distinct lack of beams connecting the gym ceiling and floor.

“Neither have you,” Cassandra said with a smirk. “Ariados, use Poison Sting again!”

Damn it, we lost track of Ariados! Kamren thought angrily as he scanned the field fruitlessly for the spiderlike Pokémon. “Burner, get going! Don’t give ‘em a clean shot!” He yelled to his Pokémon as calmly as possible.

<Get going where?> Burner asked impatiently as he also searched for the elusive Ariados. <I don’t even know where the stupid bug went!>

Dex looked up and, nudging Calvin urgently in the ribs, pointed to the ceiling. Seeing what had struck the usually quiet Dex speechless in horror, Calvin bellowed, “Burner, Kamren! Heads up!”

Burner looked up to see a descending rain of needles fill the air between himself and the web-spun rafters.

“Oh no!” Carla gasped. “Burner can’t escape!”

“Don’t need to,” Kamren said coolly. “Burner, fight fire with fire! Charged Ember attack!”

Burner nodded and threw his head back, the flames in his mouth growing larger as he held them within, waiting… waiting…

“Burner!” Calvin yelled in a panic as the gap seemed to narrow in slow motion.

<What are you waiting for?!> Tora screamed hysterically mere seconds away from impact.

<This,> Burner thought as the flames in his maw reached his carrying capacity and he launched a fireball the size of a large beach ball straight up towards the rafters. The referee’s eyes widened as the powerful Ember attack reduced the needles directly above to cinders, creating a clear pathway for Burner to escape. With a nimble spring, Kamren’s starter Pokémon boldly leapt up through the dangerous attack without a scratch, leaving the remaining Poison Sting needles to sink ominously into the ground.

“Clever escape plan,” Cassandra mused. “But it still won’t help you hit back. An Ariados is invincible in her spider web!”

“If we can’t hit our opponent, we’ll hit everything else,” Kamren said placidly as the network of String Shot that laced the rafters caught fire from Burner’s last attack and lit up the gloom Ariados had used for cover.

“Are you insane?!” Cassandra gasped as she watched her Pokémon look around frantically as the walls of fire surrounding her quickly closed in. “You’ll burn down the gym!”

“Not really. The wood’s fire-resistant,” Kamren said dismissively. “Shouldn’t you know that already? Or were you bluffing?”

Cassandra merely scowled.

“Guess you were, then,” Kamren said with a smirk. “Burner, Ember attack!”

<Welcome to my parlour,> Burner joshed as he released yet another salvo of smaller fireballs with increased accuracy due to the fire apparently immobilizing his panicked opponent.

“Calm down, Ariados! Use String Shot!” Cassandra ordered.

Upon hearing the command, Ariados spat a fine line of strong webbing towards a wooden pillar and scuttled along it leaving the embers to miss narrowly.

“Stay on it, Burner! Keep that Ember running!” Kamren countered aggressively.

Burner turned his head with small fireballs still streaking from his maw after the Ariados, one shot igniting the larger Pokémon’s ‘lifeline’.

“Ariados, jump off and use String Shot to swing to safety!” Cassandra bellowed.

“Don’t let up, Burner! Use Metal Claw!”

Ariados leapt off the tight rope and switched to a trapeze act as it let loose a second String Shot that hit a lower rafter and swung down and around the pole towards the ground.

Burner stopped spewing red hot embers as his claws grew a couple of inches longer and began to shine with a silvery white light. Crouching low, the Fryger sprang into a full-out, zigzagging sprint, weaving in and out of the support beams.

The fool, Cassandra thought with a little smirk. There’s no way Metal Claw will reach Ariados at her present height!

Wait for the right moment, Burner, Kamren thought to himself, his teeth clenching a little. Just a little more…

Ariados swung around a pole as Burner’s steel claws pierced an adjacent pillar in a quick manner, pulling him four feet up off the ground, where he braced himself against the wooden support and pushed off, ripping claws raked forwards.

As Cassandra’s Ariados reached the nadir of her swing, Kamren yelled out, “Now! Grab it and use Ember!”

“Impossible! Your Fryger will never catch Ariados in the air- what the?!” Cassandra gasped as Ariados swung into view and right into Burner’s Metal Claw.

The two Pokémon collided in midair and Cassandra screamed in shock as the Fire Tiger Pokémon sank his claws into the Bug/Poison type’s thorax, flames filling its mouth. Carla, Dex and Calvin were also speechless as, true to his trainer’s command, Burner released a point-blank Ember attack straight to the Ariados’ head as he pile-drivered his opponent into the dirt, kicking up a small dust cloud from which Burner emerged for the most part unscathed and Ariados utterly spent.

“Two-zip, Cassandra,” Kamren taunted as the tall Gym Leader returned her fallen Pokémon and the referee declared Burner’s second victory. “If you intend to get serious, I’d recommend you do so now and make this worth our while.”

“Time to end your arrogant streak right there!” Cassandra said eerily. “I choose Pinsir!”

Yawning ostentatiously, Kamren sneered, “Yeah, I can see that… well, well,” he said, his interest piqued by the large Pokémon Cassandra had summoned. “Looks like this just might get interesting.”

Burner crouched slightly and snarled a little as the customary white light finally died down in its entirety and revealed Cassandra’s third Pokémon, a near-five foot tall stag beetle with a shiny, mud-brown exoskeleton covering nearly all of its ovoid body.

<He's no Heracross,> Burner muttered softly. <But he'll do.>

The larger Pokémon stomped forward on stout, rounded legs and flexed its long and disproportionately spindly forearms clicking its large curved claws which sprouted from its head like horns.

“Oh, my,” Calvin said faintly, his eyes locked on said claws. “Those don’t look healthy.”

“Mm-mm,” Dex agreed, also staring bug-eyed (pun intended) at the monstrosities that would have anyone spellbound.

Inch-long spiked studded the terrifying claws which rose a foot above Pinsir’s head and looked like a lot of trouble for anything their owner caught there.

Ah, a Pinsir! Nasty tempered brutes, they are, Kamren’s Pokédex Dexworth blurted out, once more without invitation. Those horrific aberrations could snap a tree trunk clean in two with those ugly claws! Better not get this Bug type mad at you! You’ll wish you never had! It’s called the Stag Beetle Pokémon, by the way…

“Great, way to piss it off, you stupid pocket calculator,” Kamren swore under his breath as the Pinsir began to stomp around in a rage.

<Why are you so angry anyways?> Burner said with a devil-may-care tone. <I’d say ‘ugly’ is kind of a compliment!>

The Pinsir let out an enraged bellow at Burner’s slight and began to barrel towards the small tiger, the ground shuddering with its every step.

“Burner, use Ember!” Kamren commanded coolly.

Burner reared back and fired off a barrage of fireballs like a machine gun. Each ‘round’ found its mark and with a mini-explosion and within seconds creating a smoke-cloud surrounding it.

<That did it!> Burner said coolly.

“You took the words out of my mouth,” Cassandra said with a little smirk. “Pinsir, Rage!”

As the smoke cleared, Kamren and Burner stared at the Pinsir, whose eyes seemed to light on fire as it gave another bellow and rushed in with a clawed fist raised high.

“Burner, fall back!” Kamren said, a bite of worry to his voice now, as he saw the Pinsir leap into the air a foot away from his target, fist still raised.

Burner managed to compose himself in time to jump away leaving the Pinsir’s fist to hit the ground where Burner’s head had been a split second earlier.

<Phew, close one!> Burner said coolly as he managed to get his golden eyes back into their sockets.

“Now that’s one brutal bug,” Carla said in a constricted voice.

“Pinsir, Frustration!” Cassandra called.

“Burner, evasive manouevre!” Kamren commanded.

“Naïve!” Cassandra laughed.

Burner began to leap to the larger Bug type’s right as the Pinsir came charging in, glowing red and veins standing out all over its egg-shaped body. At Kamren’s command, flames began to fill the Fire type’s mouth once more as he prepared to fire a second salvo of Ember attacks.

<As if!> The Pinsir roared, swinging his head around in a sharp and unprecedented manner, catching Kamren and Burner off guard and the latter square in the jaw.

<BURNER!> Tora screamed as she watched her mentor get slammed into the base of a nearby pole and slump groggily, yet still able to fight.

“Get up!” Kamren commanded roughly, his tone masking any sign of worry or fear just about perfectly.

“Vicegrip!”

Burner rose to his paws and had barely registered what had happened when the Pinsir’s claws found Burner’s throat and lifted him bodily into the pole which he had hit moments before.

“BURNER, NO!” Carla and Calvin shrieked as the watched the Fryger’s hind legs work pointlessly a foot off the air.

“Fight back!” Dex called out.

“That’s impossible,” Cassandra said with a smirk. “Game’s ours, boy. Better call your bird back out.”

Kamren closed his goose grey eyes for a moment as Burner used his fore legs to keep his head from being popped off his shoulders. Exhaling slightly, he opened them and looking into Burner’s he said lazily, “Guess it’s time.”

<If I have to,> Burner said with one eye clenched shut to keep the trickle of blood from his temple out, a slight smile playing at his mouth.

“Let’s finish this!” Cassandra bellowed. “Shut that Fryger down!”

<Say goodbye, Little ‘Mon,> the Pinsir laughed as it increased the pressure on his foe’s neck.

<Goodbye, Little ‘Mon,> Burner echoed as he began to glow and grow.

Already? Calvin gasped mentally as he watched his friend’s starter Pokémon grow larger as the white light engulfed it entirely. We barely left Olville a week ago!

“What’s this?” Cassandra blanched as the light began to die down and Burner’s hind legs found the ground under him.

“A little something called ‘evolution’,” Kamren said coolly. “No doubt you’re familiar with it.”

<Im-impossible,> Pinsir gasped as it felt his fearsome claws being pushed and forced open. <You shouldn’t even have that much experience!>

<’Impossible’ is a word used by the weak to explain their inadequacy,> Burner snarled, his large ham-like forearms pushed the Pinsir’s main claws wider apart as he also pushed the still-larger Pokémon back. <At least, that’s what Kamren says.>

Well, well. A Therline! Those Fire Tiger Pokémon are something fierce and all pride, Dexworth began to say before Kamren switched it off abruptly.

Stick to the facts, you hunk of junk! The boy thought savagely.

<For the record, your horns hurt like hell,> Burner said with a slight grunt with the effort he exerted. <So get ready for a world of payback!>

“Damn straight, Burner. Metal Claw!” Kamren called out, a glimmer of pride shining briefly through his poker face.

Shifting his forepaws so that he held the Stag Beetle Pokémon’s head claws with his left alone, Burner reared his right claw back and extended his claws which began to glow.

“Don’t let that runt push you back!” Cassandra coaxed angrily. “Hyper Beam!”

“Yeah, right,” Kamren scoffed as Pinsir began gathering energy into his mouth, quickly forming a Watmel berry sized sphere of light.

<And yes, it’ll hurt like hell,> Burner echoed with a laugh as he slammed his foot-long claws clean into the Pinsir’s head around its vertical mouth sending the Pinsir staggering backwards, disoriented by the rising uppercut.

Pinsir became even more enraged from the turn of events the battle had just taken. The insectoid Pokémon found it maddening beyond reason that a Pokémon half his weight and almost two feet shorter was pushing him around. Glaring hatred into the Therline’s unfazed ones, it began charging another Hyper Beam attack without Cassandra’s order.

<As if,> Tora chuckled as at Kamren’s command, Burner fired off around a dozen fireballs each the size of a pokéball, which blew the Pinsir back into a pillar which it slammed into back first into and slumped in an exhausted heap.

“Pinsir! Get up and use Rage at full power!” Cassandra ordered.

Pinsir rose to his stumpy legs and with a roar, began to rush the smaller Pokémon although with somewhat labored steps.

“Hanh? Pinsir’s slowed down!” Dex noted aloud.

“Obviously, Burner’s attacks had done significant damage,” Calvin said in a superior tone.

Burner stole a half glance at Kamren who smirked and held a thumb up. Turning it into a thumbs down, Burner got the message and began sprinting slowly towards the Stag Beetle Pokémon, his claws alight with power.

“A stand off!” Carla said breathlessly as she watched the two Pokémon race in as fast as they could.

<I’m only watching, and I’m totally out of breath!> Tora added, a trickle of sweat hidden by her blood red fur.

<THIS IS MY RING!> Pinsir bellowed as its Rage attack, fuelled by the damage it’d taken earlier, was boosted to the max as it narrowed the gap in Close Combat fashion.

On the other side of the ring, Burner seemed in no particular hurry to reach the point of collision either as he slowed his pace to match his opponent’s. An observation that raised some concerns on the spectators’ and opposing minds.

“Does he intend to match Pinsir toe to toe on power?” Cassandra wondered aloud as she watched the Therline slow down. “Or did that Therline take more damage than he’d let on?”

“It’d make more sense for Kamren to use Burner’s greater speed to overwhelm Pinsir, especially when it’s this injured,” Calvin mused worriedly. “Trying to match Pinsir’s strength will only injure Burner more!”

So what is he up to? Dex thought confusedly.

They found out why as the two Pokémon became mere feet apart, Pinsir began to lower his head and his horns began to click and flash through the air. Raising his voice, Kamren ordered, “Now, Burner! While they can’t escape, use Charged Ember attack!”

“It’s too late for that now, boy!” Cassandra yelled. “I know you need a few seconds to ready that attack! You lose!”

“That’d be true…” Kamren began as Burner lowered his head and raised it sharply, something looking like a miniature sun ablaze in between his teeth. With precise timing, Burner released the attack so that it struck the Pinsir clean in the ‘midriff’, blowing both Pokémon apart to varying degrees due the their proximity to the collision.

Pinsir definitely received the brunt of the attack and went flailing backwards, his back making contact this time with the lip of the ring on Cassandra’s side heavily. Slowly and almost comically, the Stag Beetle Pokémon fell forwards onto his belly and lay quiescent within small puffs of dirt that arose as the Pinsir and the arena floor made contact. The sounds of impact echoed through the arena.

Burner landed on his feet and one hand and skidded back a couple of feet away. Three short runs in the dirt showed how far he’d traversed as he looked up at the still Pokémon lying at its mistress’s feet on the other side of the ring, panting slightly.

<...if I were a Fryger,> Burner concluded cockily.

The referee rushed to Pinsir’s side and began the five-count.

<Whose ring is it now, chump?> Burner panted arrogantly as the ref began to chant, “One… Two…”

“Stay alert, Burner,” Kamren said pensively and the referee intoned, “Three… Four…”

Yet Kamren needn’t have worried for a second later, the referee said, “…FIVE! Pinsir is no longer capable of battle! The winner is the challenger from Olville Town!”

“Yes!” Dex cheered.

“They did it!” Calvin stammered in shocked awe. “They took down a Gym Leader’s Pokémon without a single substitution!”

Carla squealed in sheer and giddy ‘Oh-my-gawd’-ness, “He won! They won! Kamren won! Burner won! They won!”

That was for you, Carla, Kamren thought grimly as he returned Burner and walked forward to receive his spoils of victory.

-End Flashback-

That day brought some change to us, Kamren thought as the sound of dripping water filled the air. Opening his eyes to the dank and dreary cavern surroundings of the Dragon Cove, he returned Ciela’s pokéball to his belt and picking up his latest team mate’s, turned towards the cave opening that lead to the exit where Carla was waiting for him.

***​

This flashback brings us back to the present where Sapph, Nicola and now Kamren battle on in the Dragon Cove, unknowing to their friends on the outside's fates. What will happen? I know, and you'll all find out soon enough.

Oh, and one last announcement... this fic is hereby on temporary hiatus to attend to other Corei related matters. There will be chapters coming, but I'd feel terrible to make you expect something that might take another six months in coming (God forbid.)

I shall reveal more when the time is right, but for now...

;243;;059; HAPPY YEAR OF THE TIGER, EVERYBODY! ;059;;243;​

L@er!
 
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Shadow Lucario

Lone Vanguard
Yay! An update! Let's get this thing on the road!

“FIVE! Fryger has lost the will to battle!”
Me thinks it was Tora that was in the battle.

A male referee holding two flags stop on the lip of what seemed to be a large square basin of earth dug out from the gym floor.
Stopped maybe? The next two things are just nitpicking, but I just have to include it :p

The PInsir let out an enraged bellow at Burner’s slight
The 'I' shouldn't be capitialized :p

<I’m only watching, and I’m totally out of breath!
Wrong ending mark :p

I liked the little flashback. It was a nice break from the usual scheme of things. Kamren winning when he only had two Pokemon and only using one is epic win. Beside the little nitpicks above I didn't see any mistakes. Keep up the good job.
 

Kindrindra

大事なのは自分らしいくある事
...
I go to my PMs, expecting that my reffing evaluation had finally come.
I scroll down.
I see 'Air Dragon'
I explode with happiness.

Absolutely amazing. For a while, I simply stared at the screen, like, "who's Cassandra?". Then I remembered. "Oh, that creepy lady!". The one that made a Shuckle into a brutal killing machine WITHOUT Power Trick. That was impressive. As was Burner's epic movez. Especially faking her out so she expected that he would have to charge for a full-power ember, but, since he was evolved, he didn't, catching her completely off guard.

Oh, that's right, I was going to ask you something. Mind if I use Sapph's Ledian's Elemental Comet Punches as my Ledian's signature move in the ASBL? Pweety pweeze?
 

tonato

New Member
j

i've been closet reading this for a while and since i caught up, i might as well review. THIS STORY ROX!!! its so new and different from other half@ stories with made up regions. i think the corei region is better than sinnoh. (why hasn't gamefreak thought up fryger and mongle?) long story short great job. keep up the good work! ^^
 

tonato

New Member
j

i've been closet reading this for a while and since i caught up, i might as well review. THIS STORY ROX!!! its so new and different from other half@ stories with made up regions. i think the corei region is better than sinnoh. (why hasn't gamefreak thought up fryger and mongle?) long story short great job. keep up the good work! ^^ btw are u going 2 go through with making games 4 corei?
 

james2791

Dragon Sneeze
Yep AD - you've got a new reader here, well... not really :D Been reading this since early 08 and I really do believe this fic is inspirational to say the least... Agreeing with ^tonato^ above, Corei is one great region - especially for a made up region!
On topic, I love the whole concept/characters/'mon of this fic in general. The plot is different to most journey fics ive read here but very, very origina. I guess it is different because this is set in Corei, right?
If its not too late to join the PM list, can I ask to be on please?
 

Air Dragon

Ha, ha... not.
No chapter?! What cruel trick is this!?

@Shadow Lucario: Thanks for the grammar check. Glad to see such a prompt response. I'll look into correcting them later.

@ Kindrindra: Glad you were happy to see this!

Oh, that's right, I was going to ask you something. Mind if I use Sapph's Ledian's Elemental Comet Punches as my Ledian's signature move in the ASBL? Pweety pweeze?
As long as you credit me when you do, no problem...

...just kidding. Go right ahead. ;)

@tonato: G'day, mate! Welcome to Corei!

i think the corei region is better than sinnoh.
Well, not that it's the only reason, but with 175 brand new, truly original Pokemon, 22 of them being Fire types (not counting legends or starters), can you blame Corei for pwning Sinnoh? :p

(why hasn't gamefreak thought up fryger and mongle?)
Because Game Freak are full of Uber Lamers who lack originality so badly that around 30 out of a hundred and seven new pokemon are lame (Pre-)evos of older pokemon? Or that they spent seven years thinking up a skunk Pokemon, something i did the same year Ruby and Sapphire were announced.

btw are u going 2 go through with making games 4 corei?
If and when I master programming and game design, then yes. :)

@james2791: Welcome to Corei, man! Enjoy your stay!

Yep AD - you've got a new reader here, well... not really Been reading this since early 08 and I really do believe this fic is inspirational to say the least... Agreeing with ^tonato^ above, Corei is one great region - especially for a made up region!
Thanks for the praise! A little extravagant, but thanks! :)

On topic, I love the whole concept/characters/'mon of this fic in general. The plot is different to most journey fics ive read here but very, very origina. I guess it is different because this is set in Corei, right?
Yeah, I'd say that sounds about right... ;P

If its not too late to join the PM list, can I ask to be on please?
Wish ranted. I mean, granted :D

Now to the meat.

Firstly, in the wake of the recently announced 2009 Fic Awards results, I'd like to thank all those who voted for The Corei Quest! We scored 2nd place in all three categories the fic was nominated for! (Funniest Scene, Best Setting and Best Trainer Fic) OK, TCQ tied for 4th place in the third one, but as the first place was a three way split, i can still say that, right? Hope I'll have Your support for year four of the Corei Quest!

And sadly, the next chapter is still not ready. The Project C-Squared is my main focus now, and a new chapter, though still in the works, it ust take place to this great undertaking. All will be revealed in time, but for now, bear with me. Keep watching my sig for status updates...

I hope you all enjoyed TCQ month, and the release of HeartGold and Soul Silver! Now I'm gonna go sulk in the corner because i haven't gotten one nor will i get one until i get near Europe of the Americas...

There will be another unrlated One-shot coming soon to the public eye to celebrate a dream come true for many Pokemon fans the world over. It may be late, but hopefully, you'll enjoy it immensely after all the reworking i had to do on it... ^_^

So... L@er!

P.S.: To those who celebrate it... HAPPY EASTER!
 
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Air Dragon

Ha, ha... not.
@DarkSpace2010: uhm... I appreciate and laud your zeal, but there is an "Edit" button around somewhere... eheh... :p

Hi guys. As you've guessed, this is yet another "Nope, not dead yet. Just dead tired" post. Working on a few minor projects, but they're not getting in the way of this bad boy. Not if I have anything to say about it!

The next chapter's deadline will be kept to myself, 'cuz as you've all noticed, I kinda suck at keeping them.

Rest assured though, I'm working my hardest to keep it fresh.

Hope to bring you more REAL soon! Promise!

L@er!
 

Air Dragon

Ha, ha... not.
Could it be?!

You bet your sweet butt it is... :)

Not as soon as we'd all hoped, but hopefully it'll be worth the wait.

It's been a LONG four months, and I know you've wanted this as much as i have. This is by no means a sign that happier days are here again, far from it. This is a sign that I'm fed up making you wait and I'm really sorry for putting you through it all. So here it is (finally!)... Chapter #39 and the Season Two finale of The Corei Quest!

Chapter Thirty Nine: Corei United

A muffled thud could be heard through the semi-darkness of the stone corridor with an accompanying sigh of pain as a small blue lizard laid into a man clad in black causing the latter to slump over in pain, completely insensible.

“Nice work, Dracye,” a soft young voice muttered from somewhere within the gloomy parts of the tunnel, his grey eyes glinting like tiny moons through the gloom. He stepped forwards into the light of a flickering fluorescent tube and looked down upon his victim with dislike.

“So this is the strength of a Team Shadow operative,” Kamren Kent said with overt distate. “Talk about pathetic.”

Seizing the man’s ankles in between his armpits, the young Coreian dragged the unconscious sentry to a nearby room and, after ensuring it was empty, dumped the man’s body within as unceremoniously as possible.

<I didn’t hit him too hard, did I, Master?> the young dragon spoke up at this point as she stumped forward on two wide feet, her overlarge arms swinging back and forth in a floppy manner.

“No,” Kamren said closing the door on his victim behind him and turning to walk down the corridor beside his newest Pokémon. “I don’t think you hit him hard enough.”

The Rapteau giggled and turned her horned head upwards towards her master with fondness reflected in her green eyes.

<You can be so mean sometimes, Master,> she laughed as they walked side by side, her large tail swinging lazily as she walked.

Kamren abandoned his search for a particular room and stole a half glance at the Sea Dragon Pokémon walking alongside him. He had no qualms about his latest capture; she was after all, strong enough to take on Ciela, his Zwi-tail, and come out on top, although narrowly. Her apparent delight at his vicious battle style didn’t faze him either, for it would be easier for the Rapteau to adjust to his team this way. No, it was the young reptile’s almost docile surrender when he’d used his pokéball on it at the end of their fight that struck him as odd. It was almost as if she was on the lookout for a trainer like him to accompany even though her species by nature kept to themselves.

A puzzled look stole over her face as she noticed Kamren’s gaze and muttered shyly, <Is there something wrong, Master?>

“Nothing to worry about,” Kamren said shiftily, slightly disconcerted by her (dare he say it?) innocent outlook on life around her. Her gentle and soft-spoken manner was at complete odds with her rough-and-tumble fighting style and he found it something slightly overwhelming to get around.

Looking up, he saw a large double door with the word ‘LAB’ etched into a door plate set at eye level. Bringing his footsteps to a halt, he turned to the door and said, “OK, Drayce. Do your thing.”

On the other side of the door, several long, white benches spanned over half the width of the room and were interspersed with stark rock floor and several wooden lab stools. Several large tubes stood on their ends against the left wall and several laptops on a separate desk in the corner between the wall in question and the door, where a grim looking sentry stood, watching the small flock of white-frocked laboratory technicians as they worked, some at the lab benches, others studied the contents of the large tubes and a couple more took notes from the charts and figures that flashed on the laptop screens.

Suddenly, and out of nowhere, a voluminous BOOM resonated through the air as the iron door was blown off its hinges and into the lone sentry like a giant domino who turned around at the loud sound. The Shadow grunt’s eyes widened to the size of pokéballs as the door’s shadow consumed him. A second later he went down like a ton of bricks when the solid steel collided with his head and pinned him to the floor near the opposite wall.

A single female assistant screamed as most of the rest spun around in an attempt to locate the source of the disturbance, while another reached inside his lab coat for an item that never made it out, thanks to a high pressure jet of water that shot through the dust filled doorway and struck him hard in the chest, throwing him for a loop.

“Nobody move,” a young yet cold voice said as a flash of white light erupted from the cloud and materialised into a bulky orange Pokémon with catlike ears and an orange and black striped pelt, who straightened up to its full six foot four inch height and snarled in an intimidating fashion. “Unless you want to be barbecued, that is.”

“Who are you?” One scientist asked shakily as he and his comrades backed up against the wall away from Burner.

“I’m asking the questions here,” Kamren said, his silver grey eyes glinting from behind his reddish blond fringe. Looking around at the large tubes and studying their contents briefly, he added, “Looks like I have quite a few to ask, too.”

“You a Junior Ranger?” The researcher insisted obstinately. “You can’t be a member of The Light, or you’d...”

<Persistent little bugger, aren’t you?> Burner said snippily, clouting the lab worker lightly over the head. ‘Lightly’, being the operative word. The man fell like a ton of Snorlax instantly.

<Aah, you hit him too hard, didn’t you, Tigey Wigey?> Dracya said happily.

<You don’t seem bothered about that,> Burner said, slightly thrown off by his comrade’s cheerful nature at such displays of violence. <Besides, you’d know if I hit anything ‘too hard’...>

“That’s enough, Drayce, Burner. We’re on business here,” Kamren said shortly, his eyes briefly narrowing on seeing a Kingdra suspended in the greenish fluid that filled the tubes, its eyes shut in what could be nothing but than intense pain. Turning away from the sight, he addressed the scientists once again.

“You’re going to tell me everything there is to know about Damien Kent. And you’re going to tell me now.”

“Wh- who’s asking?” Another researcher said querulously, clearly afraid of being assaulted by the boy’s Fire Tiger Pokémon.

“Didn’t I say I’m the one asking the questions here?” Kamren said shortly. “All you have to do is answer them like a good little... what the?”

A distraction in the form of a large and somewhat graceful dragon came bursting through the doorway and unable to stop, bowled right into the boy. The two went tumbling over one another in a comical loop as Burner and Dracya watched with large sweat drops hanging off their temples.

A loud commotion brought the two Pokémon’s attention back to the doorway where at least a dozen grunts had assembled and the group of scientists took to their heels in fright, dragging the inert researcher along behind them.

Ah, nuts, Kamren cursed mentally as the dozen grunts’ eyes widened at the sight of the intruder. It seemed that no matter how many more of them there was than there were on his side, his sudden appearance had thrown them temporarily off guard.

Trying not to think how close he’d come to having his questions answered, Kamren raised his voice quickly and yelled, “Burner, use Flamethrower! Dracya, Ice Beam attack!”

Wordlessly, Kamren’s Pokémon sprang into action before the small army of Pokémon terrorists could do more than reach for a pokéball. A thin yet powerful beam of icy blue subzero energy streaked from a ball of white held between the Rapteau’s claws as a torrent of fiery crimson and gold erupted from the larger Pokémon’s mouth.

The grunts’ eyes widened in horror as they saw the powerful combination race towards them and dove for cover as they collided, creating a powerful mist that filled the corridor with a thick fog that snaked down the corridor in both directions.

“Damn it!” Kamren swore as he made a break for it, Burner and Dracya obediently (albeit slightly confused) falling into step behind their trainer. “Where the hell did that damned Flygon come from? We were this close!”

<Speaking of that ‘damned Flygon’...> Dracya began uncertainly.

“I’d rather not,” Kamren said huffily.

<... it’s right behind us,> Burner finished grimly with a half-glance and a nod behind him.

“WHAT?” Kamren yelled, chancing a glance behind him to see the Mystic Pokémon close behind them, clearing mimicking their attempt to put some distance between themselves and the grunts they’d left behind.

“YOU AGAIN?! Go away, already! Beat it! Get lost!” Kamren yelled angrily at the Flygon who let out a frightened squeak and flinched as Kamren yelled.

Looking ahead, Burner said, <We got company, Kamren!>

Joining Burner in looking ahead, Kamren saw no less than fifteen grunts bar their way forwards, each one having a Gible or Bagon with them.

“Ah... NUTS!” Kamren swore aloud, skidding to a stop as he saw all the Pokémon before him conjure balls of energy crackling all over with orange electricity. “This is all your fault!” He snapped back at the Flygon a second before noticing that the desert Pokémon had gotten ahead of him as he and his Pokémon stopped and pulling back a bit, an apologetic look in its shielded eyes.

What happened next even blew Kamren away, though thankfully not literally. The Flygon flapped its wings so quickly the air around them distorted wildly. Copious amounts of hot sand swept up the corridor and hit the barricade ahead like a Rhydon going all out. Not even the Gible, who as a rule were immune to Sandstorm, could stand up to the sheer force of the attack and went sprawling along with the Bagon and their trainers.

As the desert ‘typhoon’ died down, Kamren opened his eyes cautiously and saw each and every Shadow operative and Pokémon completely insensible.

Before his sense could overpower his shock, the Ground/Dragon type took off again, leaving a stunned silence in its wake.

<Holy... > Burner said weakly.

<Latios, imagine if we had him on the team,> Dracya said wondrously. <Hey, Kamren, why didn’t we catch him too?>

Kamren could only stare.

***​

In the backroom of the Spicy Torchic, Haley sat stock still after her furious battle with her inner self and the startling revelation the self-proclaimed AGENT before her had shared with her.

“So... let me get this straight,” Haley said in a hollow voice. “You suspect Sapph? Of being a Team Shadow operative?”

Orion leaned forward and placed a pale hand on Haley’s muttering, “I know it’s hard to believe, but...”

“’Hard to believe’? Try impossible,” Haley said with a dry chuckle. “There’s no way in hell that’s true.”

“The evidence is all there,” Orion said stoically.

“The evidence is Tauros crap,” Haley spat back. “Purely circumstantial and speculative.”

“Let me ask you one thing then,” Orion said, a ghost of a smile on his face. “Can you provide evidence to the contrary?”

Haley opened her mouth as she’d done a few minutes before, but her frail counterargument died in her throat, lost without substance.

Taking a large gulp of air, Haley bowed her head and said, “Can you answer me one thing?”

“Sure,” Orion said, a half-smile traced along his lips.

“Why have you told me this?” Haley asked. “If the AGENTs operate in utter secrecy, what could they hope to gain from confiding in an eleven-year old researcher?”

Orion shifted in his seat as he seemed to search for the right words to say. “Well,” he said finally, “as the information pertains to your family, we felt that firstly you had a right to know. Secondly, you have spent the good part of three months in the company of one of our main suspects. We merely want to put you on your guard.”

Haley’s searching grey eyes probed Orion’s dark ones which still held a faint twinkle of cheer despite the news he’d just divulged.

With a sigh, she slumped and said, “There’s something else, isn’t there?”

Orion regarded his new companion shrewdly before smiling and said, “You’re as sharp as our scouts say. Yes, there is something else, but it will be tricky, not to mention dangerous.”

Haley raised an eyebrow but gave no further sign of interest.

Orion’s smile widened as he obliged Haley’s silent request. “And finally, we’d like to enlist your help as an honorary AGENT in investigating Mr. Manson further.”

“What? Why me?” Haley said, somewhat taken aback at this turn of events.

“Well, for starters, you’ve experienced some exposure to him and are in the best position to investigate him without arousing suspicion. Your battling prowess is also something to be commended. We – that is my superiors and myself – are of common assent that you are certainly the best woman for the job. Your strong sense of justice and unparalleled zeal also help your commendation greatly.”

Orion’s smile widened as he saw Haley crack a small grin herself.

“Hmm... well, OK,” Haley said confidently. “I’m in. So what’s the plan?”

“Nothing at all onerous,” Orion smiled, reaching into his jacket as he rose to go. “You’ll find all you need under your seat. Good luck, Seraph.”

With a last smile, Orion nodded to the barkeep, who nodded back and left the restaurant.

Seraph? Haley pondered as she felt under her chair and discovered a soft parcel underneath the seat wrapped in what seemed to be rough brown paper as she held it in her hands. Unwrapping it, she saw a fresh change of clothes: a red tank top and yellow and black biker shorts. A short white jacket with full sleeves completed the outfit. A brand new Pokétch also included. A plain white calling card lay just under the front cover of the Pokétch’s box as she opened it. She stared at the small black lettering on the card, which bore the words ‘WHITE SERAPH’ and turned it over to read a short message scrawled in black pen:

White Seraph,

This Pokétch doubles as a communicator. To send a message, simply press and hold the App Selection button to transmit messages. A hidden keypad enables short text message communication. Keep us posted on any development. If you must communicate in Mr. Manson’s presence, call me Black Cherub, or B.C.

Stay safe.

O.


White Seraph, hunh?
Haley thought with a smile as she proceeded to the washroom to change. I like it... I like that a lot.

***​

“Aargh!” Sapph screamed as he flew back into the wall, clutching his left shoulder as blood seeped down his arm.

<Sapph!> Anuvi cried out, using a neat backflip to avoid his opponent, a large and ferocious spiny golem with broad ears and violently purple body plating, and dropping to one knee in near exhaustion.

The Nidoking let out another roar and began to rush the Squirrage when a light blue aura surrounded his head for a second and vanished. With it went the Poison Pin Pokémon’s consciousness as its evil eyes blanked out and it skidded to a halt.

<Didn’t need that, Zen,> Anuvi called to another Pokémon a few feet away who was fighting three at once.

Zen the Jutunkik took one step backwards and sprang off from his toes into an overhead spinning kick, clocking his ninth Bagon of the day clean on the head and out of commission. Without missing a beat, he then slammed a large fist on the ground and several small boulders rose out of the tunnel floor.

With a thrusting out of both arms, the Combatant Pokémon sent the boulders streaking towards the ankles of the two Gabite on either side of him and felled them like bowling pins where they stayed.

Wheezing slightly, Zen turned to his teammate and said, <You’re welcome. You doin’ alright, Kid?> he directed to Sapph, who had somehow managed to rise shakily to his feet.

“Yeah,” Sapph said wearily as Nicola and her Cacturne finished off the last of the latest opposition with an impressive Needle Arm attack.

“We gotta get back-“ One grunt yelled to the others before the bright blue aura that had taken out his Nidoking flashed around the heads of every grunt in the corridor, causing them to black out simultaneously.

<Yeah... no, you won’t,> Zen said tiredly as he ambled towards Anuvi and Sapph, the latter administering first aid after their latest run-in with Team shadow while infiltrating their Dragon Cove hideout.

“Is it just me, or is your big idea for going incognito beginning to wear some very large holes?” Nicola said grimly as she returned her Cacturne with a word of praise.

“Maybe,” Sapph said laboriously as he applied one last sprits of antidote to Anuvi’s wounds and chucked Zen a small heart-shaped fruit.

<Thanks, Kid,> Zen said gratefully, catching the Pecha berry and taking a bite out of it. As his breathing eased up slightly, he asked, <What about you?>

Sapph sat back down heavily and said, “That was my last one. We’re gonna have to... go easy for a while now.”

Zen gazed at his trainer as Anuvi started to say, <Now’s not the tme for this, Sapph! You should look out for yourself first...!>

“Relax, Anuvi,” Sapph said calmly. “I’m a long ways from done in. You’re the ones doing the battling, not me.”

<Still...> Anuvi said stubbornly.

“Just trust me on this...” Sapph started to argue before a soft squelching noise got everybody’s attention and turned to face the direction it had come from.

Zen held out a part of the Pecha Berry Sapph had given him and that he hadn’t bitten into and said, <Here. Halfsies.>

Anuvi’s jaw went slack. Sapph bowed his head and sighed half in exasperation, half in amusement.

“You insist, don’t you?” he asked the Combatant Pokémon.

<Yeah.>

“And knowing you, you’d probably stuff it down my throat if I protested,” Sapph smiled wearily.

<Maybe... > Zen said in a tone of mock thoughtfulness. <Oh, who are we kiddin’? Yeah.>

“Well, since you asked nicely then,” Sapph grinned as he took the soft fruit from Zen and toasted his colleagues slightly. “Bottom’s up.”

“So what’s our plan now, Sapph?” Nicola said once Sapph had gotten back to his feet a little less shakily and begun walking down yet another flight of stairs.

Sapph looked towards Zen and Anuvi and asked, “Any ideas, guys?”

Anuvi, however, answered the question, <Nope. I can’t really sense that much aura down here.>

<Well, judging by the increased amount of steel in the walls down here, it’s not that surprising,> Zen said in a flippant yet semi-consoling voice. <Processed metal’s a pain to sense through.>

“Everyone does seem to be heading to the upper levels in an awful hurry,” Nicola said thoughtfully. “Might that be an indication of something big happening there?”

“Maybe,” Sapph said cuttingly, his eyes focused on the stairs before him, putting all his efforts not to trip and fall. Stopping about halfway down, he leaned against the stone side of the corridor and muttered, “Hey, is it just me, or does it sounds like there’s a lot of water just ahead?”

“Water?” Nicola echoed uncertainly.

<You’re right,> Zen said as he stopped beside his trainer who was summoning the strength to stand upright.

<It smells salty too,> Anuvi said ponderously. <You think it’s a way out?>

“’Way out’? Listen, we’re supposed to be here to stop Team Shadow, remember?” Nicola interjected.

“Of course I do,” Sapph said evenly as he recalled Anuvi and Zen back into their pokéballs. “I’ve fought Team Shadow a number of times before you know. So far the worst we’ve met are the upper grunts we battled at the beginning. And they’re only upper grunts. When there are this many grunts around, there’s usually a captain or two in the vicinity. And believe me,” Sapph’s eyes looked dangerous as they beheld a shocked Nicola, “you do not want to run into a captain. They’re mean to the core and pretty powerful to boot.”

Nicola could only stare as Sapph finally righted himself and panted.

“Come on,” Sapph said, walking down the stairs once more. “We’ve done what we can. We best get out before we run into another platoon of grunts... or worse.”

The bottom of the stairs led to a large cavernous dock complete with steel shipping containers, smaller repair boats and an enormous trawler moored in the natural harbours hew out by the tides of centuries past.

“Whoa... would you check this out...” Sapph marveled as he looked towards the moored trawler. “This thing’s massive!”

“It’s nothing out of the ordinary, Sapph,” Nicola said dismissively. “You see these kind of vessels quite often in harbour cities like Nightspark and Utopia Island. My interest,” she went on as she inspected the large steel crates that lined the docks, “lies in these containers. I wonder what could be inside them?”

“Dunno for sure,” Sapph said as he joined her in examining the crates. “Could be a number of things...”

“Such as?” Nicola asked impatiently.

“Stolen or abducted Pokémon,” Sapph reeled off, reflecting on how he met Ace for the first time, “machinery parts... Team Shadow’s plans seem to involve a need for a lot of energy,” he mused, his mind going back to their foiled heist of a generator part he was conveying on the Entover-Nightspark ferry. “Though what for, I really can’t say...”

<Siphoning life energy from their Pokémon victims,> Zen said telepathically. <Remember the Javelin? That’s what they abducted the Pidgey Postal Pokémon for...>

Not to mention Atlas’s attempt to capture Grandpa in the Rocky Pass... and Dopeak City when Zula attacked Anuvi for his Essence! Sapph completed.

“Of course!” Sapph said loudly, struck with the epiphany.

“Of course what?” Nicola said in bemused tones. “Bah, doesn’t matter either way. If we destroy everything in this harbour, then our coming here would have some merit!”

“You can’t just destroy them!” Sapph said shocked out of his reverie. “What if you hurt the Pokémon inside?”

“What? You reckon they’d still be alive in there?” Nicola said edgily.

“Pretty sure,” Sapph said quickly. “I’d reckon breaking them open first is our best bet.”

“Alright, then,” Nicola said slightly miffed. “Come on out...”

Before she could throw her pokéball forward, something long, scaly and violet whipped out of nowhere and caught her clean in the temple, flinging her across the moor like a rag doll. Her head hit a container with a sickening CLANG and she slumped, insensible to the floor.

“Nicola!” Sapph yelled in a panic.

<KID! WATCH YOURSELF!> Zen’s voice blared in Sapph’s mind as the long assailant made a second swift round towards the Johton trainer, this time glowing a bright, platinum white colour.

Sapph raised his arm in a last ditch attempt to literally save his neck and out of nowhere a light tan aura surrounded it just before what seemed to be a hard tail made impact. And though Sapph was thrown for a loop, he miraculously managed to keep on his feet even as he flew back and fell into a short roll.

Ouch! Was that an Iron Tail? Sapph thought numbly, his arm riddled in pain. If so, why doesn’t my arm seem to be broken?

“What was that light just now?” A cold voice spoke up from the shadow of the trawler as what looked like a large purple cobra slithered across Sapph’s field of vision to the source of the voice.

Gritting his teeth to avoid screaming with the pain, he grasped Nicola’s shoulder and shook it frantically, but to no avail.

“It was ugly,” the voice said again as its owner stepped in front of him and the large snake wound itself lightly around her body. Sapph’s blue eyes widened in horror as he came face to face with a woman who, despite radiating pure hatred and fury, couldn’t look anything less than a heavenly apparition with pale, shining skin and lilac eyes and hair that shone softly.

“And if there is one thing I despise,” she went on, stroking the Arbok under its cowled head as it hissed almost seductively in her ear, “it’s ugly things.”

Aw, man... Sapph said grimly. Why is this suddenly not my day?

*continued next post*
 
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