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The Quest for the Legends, now with its ILCOETH revision!

Sike Saner

Peace to the Mountain
Oh man, the Rick scene. That creeped me out, and you know what did it? Well, when he actually started in on those threats, that was quite the moment, but what really got me was the moments right before that, when he at first couldn't speak and was just staring at the camera, and then when he could, he started out speaking all quietly... that was what really struck me as creepy. I thought that made for a great build-up to the moment when he actually snapped.

I thought Alan's reaction to finding out what Tyranitar did was handled well, too. And if Mark's thoughts there at the end of the chapter are right on the money, I reckon it'll be interesting to see what might come about as a result of that.

Other highlights:

Mutark had spent the whole speech flicking her tail around or pouncing on flowers save for taking an abrupt interest when he got to trying to get words around the murder itself

...XD Wow. There's nothing quite like the lovely combination of kitteny behavior and apparent interest in murder. I think that bit's given me yet another reason to like Mutark.

“Because, Molzapart,” Chaletwo replied irritably, “you still have powers that could be of some real value if you conserve them in a Pokéball, whereas I’m currently at my most useful blabbering instructions in some kid’s head.

Welcome to the Hall of Great Chaletwo Quotes, above quote. :D


Just me
Chapter 55. Sorry about the ages this has taken. It's ten pages long. Hope you enjoy.

Razor Shiftry: Hehe, thanks for the review, and I'm glad a lot of stuff (awkwardness, etc.) was coming across well.

<.< ... >.> ... O.O So why can't wild pokemon be prosecuted again?
Because they're not members of the society that created these laws. Some of them don't even know about human laws.

On a plus note, here's to hoping for more Gyarados and Ninetails show time now the league is over?
Yeah, they'll be getting more screentime now. Gyarados has some in this chapter.

Sike Saner: Whoo, glad those bits of the chapter worked well for you, especially the Rick part. Yet again, thanks for reviewing so consistently. :)

Chapter 55: Unprepared

The journey north along Route 308 was awkward but uneventful. They barely exchanged words with one another on the way, only speaking when they encountered a wild Pokémon and decided who should battle it. The evening stretched on as the sun sank below the horizon, and when Alan finally suggested they set up camp, Mark was relieved. Somehow, today with all its dull waiting and routine and silence had been even worse than the day before.

“So,” he said by the campfire when they were halfway through their silent dinner of canned beans, “it’s the Eastern Cliffs tomorrow.”

May and Alan nodded unspiritedly.

“You think the Color Dragons’ll be there?”

“No,” said May. Alan just shrugged.

“But just in case they are, how are we going to do this?”

There was silence.

“I don’t think we’ll get there until tomorrow evening,” Alan said after a moment. “We’ll have to either sleep there or try to find them in the night.”

“If they’re there,” Chaletwo said, “looking for them in the night would be good. During the day there’ll be people around.”

Mark paused to think. “Okay,” he said, “so we’ll be, what, flying by the cliffs, entering the caves...?”

“Sounds like that would be best,” Chaletwo said. “The Charizard can both fly and illuminate. Then, if you find them, aggravate them and try to lure them out and onto open ground. The fliers can try to keep them from just retreating a safe distance out towards the sea while the others try to overwhelm them as quickly as possible.”

“How many of them would be there?” May asked, looking at Mark.

“I think that magazine talked about two,” he replied. “That could be a bit harder than what we’ve been doing, if we have to take them both on at the same time.” He looked unsurely at May and Alan.

“Well, your Pokémon have gotten stronger, haven’t they? Entei was a fluke, powered up by moves before we got there, but I’m sure you could take on two unprepared legendaries by now, especially all three of you together. After all, they’ve been getting weaker too.”

“Just our luck, huh?” May said. “When our task is supposed to be getting easier, they gang up.”

“Better than if you’d faced them before the League, when they’d have slaughtered you.”

They finished their dinner and then cleaned up without talking. As they were laying out their sleeping bags, Alan suddenly broke the silence.

“Why would Tyranitar want to kill Taylor, anyway?”

Oh, no, not more, Mark thought and held his breath, deciding quickly to pretend not to have heard him to avoid getting involved. At first it seemed May had decided the same; there was a heavy silence for several seconds.

“It was my fault,” she said quietly all of a sudden. “He was just a... a kid, and he thought I meant some things I said. He thought he was doing it for me.”

A moment passed. “God,” Alan then said, his voice uncharacteristically harsh. “You ruined him. All that battling and training and no chance to develop a sense of right and wrong beyond what you like and what you don’t – I can’t believe I didn’t see it.”

May didn’t say anything.

“I mean, I knew it wasn’t healthy for them,” Alan went on grimly, “but I stupidly thought nothing terrible would come of it as long as they knew they had a choice. Guess I was wrong.”

“I know it was my fault, okay?” May said, her voice trembling a little. “Cut it out. You’re not fixing anything.”

Alan sighed and crawled into his sleeping bag, facing away from them. He didn’t respond, and after a moment May silently entered her bag as well. All Mark could do was follow suit and discard all hope that tomorrow would be less awkward than today.


As it turned out, it was even worse. Alan wouldn’t even look at May, and she hardly said a word all day, even just shaking her head when Mark tried to get her to battle the wild Pokémon they came across.

They reached their destination around seven in the evening. Even in his current dreary mood, Mark had to admit the place was pretty spectacular; the humongous cliffs were dotted with holes and caverns of every shape and size and stretched seemingly endlessly along the eastern edge of the island that was mainland Ouen, while curious pillar-like rock formations stuck out of the sea nearby, scattered randomly in the shallow ocean below. In the far west, the sun was setting, casting the cliffside in shadow that promised only to deepen as the night went on.

There was still a smattering of tourists around, so they ate dinner and then hung around waiting after letting the Pokémon out. Mark brought out his sketchpad and then sat in the grass drawing Charizard as the Pokémon slept. He felt nervous but not excited; the low odds of anything being there combined with the uncomfortable atmosphere made it hard to anticipate it positively, and he found himself wishing half-heartedly that their search would turn up nothing.

“I know it feels like that, but we need to find them,” Chaletwo’s voice said in his head. “If they aren’t here, we’re out of our only clue about where to go next.”

“I know,” Mark muttered. He adjusted the pencil in his hand and made curved, sweeping strokes for the shape of the tail flame.

“That’s, uh, a nice drawing,” Chaletwo said after a moment.

Mark looked up. “What?”

“It’s good. Looks like him.”

“Are you trying to make me feel better?”

“Well, it is a good drawing, isn’t it?” Chaletwo replied defensively.

Mark doubted Chaletwo would really know anything about drawing, but stupid as it seemed, it actually made him smile. “Thanks,” he said and started to shade the dragon’s body.

He managed to forget about the time while finishing the picture, and he was in the middle of going over the outlines again when Alan said, “I think everybody’s gone.”

Mark looked up and realized he’d been squinting at the paper to see for a while; Charizard’s tail flame helped, but the sun had sunk below the western horizon and the actual cliffs were shrouded in deep shadow. “I guess we should get searching, then.”

He stood up and shook Charizard’s shoulder gently to wake him while looking around for the others. Jolteon and Letaligon were having a practice battle a short distance away; Sandslash and Dragonite were talking elsewhere. Scyther sat near the cliffside, staring out at the dark sea. He wished he could have let Gyarados out, but Chaletwo had been too worried he would do something drastic to destroy the soul gems if he was left unattended.

“Everyone,” he called, taking out the Water Pokémon’s ball, “get ready.”

Before long, the non-fliers had gathered above the cliff, and Skarmory, Scyther, Dragonite, Flygon, Vicky and Butterfree hovered a short distance out over the ocean. Gyarados waited grimly in the sea below; Mark could feel a hint of Chaletwo’s stress whenever he took his eyes off him, but the sea monster remained obediently still and made no attack on the gems.

“Okay,” Mark said nervously, “I guess me and Alan should fly down there checking out the caves, and May is ready up here to command the other Pokémon, and then, uh, hopefully we find them and get them to come out.”

May nodded distractedly, looking over the group of Pokémon. Alan just silently climbed onto Charlie’s back, and Mark followed suit, sighing; he hoped this wasn’t what the rest of their quest would be like. They really didn’t need being at odds with one another on top of everything else.

Charizard took off the ground once Mark was ready, and they flew down in front of the great wall of rock. The dragon’s tail flame illuminated the rough surface, and Mark could make out a fairly large cavern a bit below. He looked towards Alan, who was hovering on Charlie a short distance away.

“I’m going to check out this one,” he called. “Maybe I go in this direction and you go in the other, so we won’t be searching the same cave twice.”

Alan nodded shortly, and Charizard carefully landed in the opening of the cave, narrowly fitting his wings inside. He swung his tail around to illuminate the cavern properly; it was only a small, empty space.

Mark sighed. “Oh, well. Let’s try the next one.”

They entered one cave after another, finding some of them were small and shallow, some were longer tunnels, but all were empty or housed only irritable Wingull and Pelipper. Charizard got sprayed with a few Water Guns, and that combined with all the taking off and landing was quickly taking a visible toll on his endurance: soon he was panting heavily, and when he made a clumsy landing in yet another empty cave that got his wing badly scratched on the surrounding rocks, Mark was getting really worried.

“Are you all right? We can go back up and I can get you an Ether or something, if...”

Charizard took a few exhausted breaths. “This would be easier if you weren’t on my back,” he said finally without looking at him.

“Oh!” Mark quickly dismounted the Pokémon. “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize...”

“It’s not just that,” Charizard muttered. “With the sea just below and all these cramped rock caves and...” He shuddered. “I’m not exactly in my element here.”

“You could have told us,” Mark said sheepishly, feeling like a jerk. “If you’d said you didn’t want to...”

Charizard shook his head. “No, I didn’t think it would be that bad. It’s not your fault.”

“Well, let’s just get back up to the others, then. It’s not like there’s anything here.” He sighed. “You okay for one final flight?”

The dragon nodded, and Mark climbed onto his back again, as carefully as he could manage. With a grunt of effort, Charizard took flight and they ascended up to the cliff, where he half-crashed on the ground.

“You too, huh?” Alan said; Charlie was lying on his back beside him, catching his breath. Mark nodded and winced, hurrying to his backpack to get an Ether. The spray slowed down Charizard’s rapid breathing, but he still followed Charlie’s example and rolled over onto his back to rest.

“Okay, that’s a problem,” Chaletwo said. “Without the light, it’ll be hard to explore the caves, so it’s harder to use the other fliers. Can’t you just go down without your trainers and make rest stops every now and then?”

Alan shook his head decisively. “We’re not torturing them any further with this. We can do it early tomorrow morning, when the sun’s up and actually lighting up the cliffs.”

Most of the Pokémon murmured in agreement; it was getting really dark by now and only Vicky and Mutark (for a split second, Mark actually wondered why Tyranitar wasn’t there, and it made him a little sick to realize it) were well-suited to battling in the dark.

Chaletwo sighed. “Fine. But it has to be early, before any humans come along.”

The Pokémon by and large chose to stay outside of their balls for the night, and the kids were about to light a campfire and go to sleep when Chaletwo suddenly said, “Where’s Gyarados?”

Mark jumped and hurried over to the cliffside, but the sea monster was waiting still in the ocean below, barely visible in the shadows.

“Gyarados,” Mark called, “we’re going to wait until tomorrow. It’s no good like this.”

“What? We’re giving up?” Gyarados growled. Since their encounter with Entei, he had completely stopped using his gift for speaking human, preferring instead the menacing roars and snarls natural to his species, which made him even more intimidating to talk to than he’d been before.

“Yeah, for now,” Mark answered, trying to sound more disappointed than he was. “It’s too dark and the Charizard are having a hard time flying between the caves like that, so...”

“I’ll stand guard tonight,” Gyarados said immediately. “I’m not tired.”

“You can’t just leave him out,” Chaletwo said to Mark. “He’s just looking for an opportunity to break the gems.”

He’s had the opportunity for a while now, Mark thought.

“Well, if he tried anything, he’d draw attention to himself,” Chaletwo argued. “Unless, of course, everybody’s asleep.”

Mark hesitated. Part of him agreed with Chaletwo. But somehow, a larger part really wanted to finally extend a white flag to Gyarados.

“Promise me,” he called, “that you won’t try to destroy the soul gems.”

Gyarados looked at him and nodded. “I won’t destroy them.”

Mark looked at him for a moment. “All right,” he said and prepared to turn around. “Wake us if you spot any dragons.”

“Have you lost your mind?” Chaletwo hissed. “You can’t trust him. He already tried to kill Suicune once, for crying out loud!”

What if he does destroy the gems? Mark thought resentfully. Is it that bad? Suicune was using him.

“Of course it’s bad! Death is bad! You can’t just say somebody’s a ******* and deserves to die and therefore it’s okay!”

That’s not what you said when Taylor died, Mark thought.

Chaletwo didn’t answer for a moment. “Well, mortals die anyway. Sooner or later, it doesn’t make that much of a difference. It’s different when you wouldn’t die in the first place.”

Of course it makes a difference, Mark replied angrily. When you only live less than a hundred years, the time you have means something. Taylor could have grown up and done something with his life. Is Suicune going to do anything meaningful with the rest of his life that he hasn’t already done in the past thousand years?

“Obviously we can’t exactly understand one another’s point of view here,” Chaletwo said after a moment, “but surely you get what I’m saying about Suicune. We can’t just leave Gyarados to destroy the soul gems.”

Mark paused. I don’t think he’s going to destroy the soul gems.

“Are you kidding? Of course he’s going to. He hates Suicune. Why wouldn’t he?”

He said he wouldn’t, Mark replied. Gyarados does his own thing, but he’s never been outright disloyal. I don’t think he would go against his word, once he’s given it.

“You’re mad. How can you trust him now?”

Feel free to get out of your Pokéball and watch over him yourself.

Chaletwo gave a telepathic sigh. “Well, I guess you’ll hear it if he starts anything and then I can just attach the soul to something else. Don’t sleep too far away.”

Mark rolled his eyes and went back to the campfire. This time they got through the whole process of laying out the sleeping bags without anybody saying a word, and he was fast asleep less than half an hour later.


All of a sudden, there was a hellish roar. Mark bolted awake in a momentary claustrophobic panic before realizing that he was in his sleeping bag, the sun was coming up, and the roars were Gyarados calling frantically for them to get up.

May and Alan had started awake too, and without words the three of them started upright and sprinted towards the rising sun. The Pokémon, who had been sleeping scattered around the area, were already running and flying towards the cliff, and as they approached, a gigantic shape rose into their field of vision. Metallic green scales glinted in the morning sun; leathery wings flapped up and down; a long, lizardine tail swished behind the slender body.

“It’s Dragoreen!” said Chaletwo. “Everybody into position, now!”

“Vicky, Mean Look!” Alan called, and the Misdreavus, tired-looking and squinting against the sunlight, fixed her gaze on the giant dragon. Dragoreen whirled around and flapped her wings powerfully to fly up, but seemed to bump against an invisible wall there and faced back towards the Pokémon with a high-pitched screech.

A bright red beam hit her from the back, knocking her forward, and she turned again, firing a bolt of lightning towards what had to be Gyarados. Mark hurried towards the cliff edge; the sea monster was collapsing in the water with a final roar of pain. He recalled him quickly and sent out Sandslash instead.

Dragonite was already flaring with blue flames and dived into the legendary, knocking her down. Meanwhile, Floatzel raised a column of water and smacked into her belly. Jolteon and Raichu sent a Thunder Wave once the other two were a safe distance away, and Dragoreen’s wingflaps became rickety and irregular just as Flygon and the two Charizard all came at her with flaming claws to slice into her side.

The legendary Pokémon screeched again and flared into blue flames of her own. She shook off Charizard, Charlie and Flygon harshly and then rushed into Floatzel, Dragonite and the two Electric Pokémon, sending them all flying. Even as she did, however, Mist the Vaporeon blasted her with an Ice Beam and Racko flicked an orb of Grass energy towards her.

“Charizard, Scyther, Letaligon, be ready with physical attacks when the Outrage is over!” Mark shouted, and the Pokémon nodded in affirmation. Butterfree, Spirit and Vicky collaboratively fired a huge Shadow Ball as the fire disappeared from Dragoreen’s body and she landed on the ground with her powerful hind legs, looking disoriented. Charizard and Scyther dived straight at her to attack, and Charlie and Skarmory followed suit. Letaligon raced towards her with her blade glowing. Floatzel gripped her Nevermeltice in her paws and shot at the dragon with an Ice Punch. Dragonite dived at her again in a blast of dragon flames. Mark watched as Dragoreen howled in pain, and he felt a twinge of guilt: they were already overwhelming her completely with sheer numbers. It was almost too easy.

Dragoreen managed to flare up in another Outrage and knocked into Dragonite, sending him flying; he landed harshly on the ground, fainted. As Mark recalled him, the legendary did the same to Flygon and Floatzel, and the former was knocked unceremoniously into the grass to be recalled by his trainer. Jolteon and Raichu fired a collective Thunderbolt, and Dragoreen crashed into the ground with a moan of pain.

“We’re doing it!” Mark called to nobody in particular as Diamond the Rapidash, body blazing, smashed into the fallen dragon. “We’re winning!”

Letaligon charged towards Dragoreen, but all of a sudden the legendary opened her mouth and breathed out a cone of fire that engulfed her assailant. Letaligon screamed in pain but continued anyway, smashing her white-hot body into the dragon’s. Dragoreen roared and sent a Thunderbolt at Floatzel, who finally succumbed to unconsciousness. But at the same time, Charizard and Charlie were diving at her with flaring Dragon Claws, Skarmory was spinning in a Drill Peck, Sandslash had at some point gotten onto her back and was slashing at her metallic green scales with all his might. And Dragoreen was trying her best just to stand up. They really were about to take her down.

She let out one last high-pitched screech, and suddenly there were two more shadows rising up from the cliffs.

The great red-and-gold shape on the left sent a stream of fire down towards the ground, engulfing Dragoreen and all of the Pokémon around her. And following it came a bitter, icy cold wind with a flurry of snow, along with a cry of challenge from the glacial white dragon on the right.

“Damn it!” Chaletwo hissed. “Raudra and Puragon too? Where did they come from?”

Mark’s eyes widened. “Charizard, Jolteon, Letaligon! Take the white one! Sandslash, Scyther, the red one!”

But they didn’t get up; only Charizard flew weakly towards Puragon. The others lay charred and frost-coated where they were, unsconscious.

He recalled them in horror, looking wildly around; Butterfree, Raichu, Racko and Vicky were being called into their Pokéballs as well.

“Mutark, go!” May called once she’d done a quick switch on her Pokédex. “Power up and attack the Fire-type! Skarmory, Spirit, attack the Ice-type!”

“Charlie, Diamond, the one on the right! Mist, Pamela, left!”

The Fire-types and Skarmory gathered around Puragon. Three Flamethrowers from the Charizard and Spirit blasted her at once, immediately followed by a blazing tackle from Diamond. Skarmory struck her with glowing wings; she retaliated with a swing of her tail but then blasted a beam of ice at Mutark, who was still in her second-smallest form, licking her wounds on the ground. The cat Pokémon mrowled in pain, still too weak to withstand such a powerful attack; she collapsed, and May recalled her.

A well-aimed Flamethrower from Raudra hit Skarmory, sending him crashing to the ground, half-melting. As the Fire Pokémon all struck Puragon again, the ice dragon blazed into blue dragon fire and started to madly attack them, and one by one they were thrown aside, unconscious. As Mark recalled Charizard, he looked quickly over at the Raudra; another Flamethrower had struck down Pamela, and now only Mist was left, firing a desperate Hydro Pump to fend the dragon off. The attack, despite being Water-type, barely seemed to hurt Raudra.

There was a vengeful cry, and Mark looked quickly over to see that the injured Dragoreen had crawled to her feet. A bolt of lightning shot from her mouth towards the Vaporeon, and Mist collapsed with a pained whimper.

“No!” Chaletwo blurted out. “They’re getting away!”

Raudra and Puragon had already swooped back down over the cliff, presumably to return to whichever holes they had been lurking in. Dragoreen shook herself and spread her wings, and...

...and Mark just couldn’t let it all be for nothing.

He dug quickly into his pocket, feeling blindly for the embossed markings on his Pokéballs, and then threw his Master Ball at Dragoreen just as she was taking off.

It bounced off her long tail and opened in mid-air; the dragon looked over her shoulder in panic as she realized what was happening, and then she turned into a red blob and was absorbed into the ball. It wobbled pathetically on the ground and then came to a standstill.

“Shouldn’t you have saved that Master Ball?” May said doubtfully as Mark walked over to pick it up, feeling strangely guilty.

“Too late to think about that now,” Chaletwo said. “Now hurry away from here, before her sisters realize she didn’t follow them and come back.”

Mark started running before he’d properly taken in the object he was holding. When he remembered it again, it was gone, disappeared to the PC storage system to lock Dragoreen away.


After a hurried escape to somewhere acceptably far from the cliffs without apparent pursuit, Chaletwo suggested they might as well sit down and rest for a moment, and the kids gratefully collapsed in the grass.

“So,” Mark mumbled after a lengthy while, “what now?”

May and Alan looked at him; neither answered.

“Well, obviously,” Chaletwo said after a moment of hesitation, “you’re not quite cut out for taking on multiple legendaries at once yet.”

“Are you kidding?” Alan said. “They slaughtered us. As soon as Raudra and Puragon came and started pulling together for area attacks, we didn’t stand a chance.”

Mark nodded dully.

“We should’ve known,” May said quietly, shaking her head. “Two dragons are more than twice as powerful as one. It’s the Waterberg principle.”

Mark looked blankly at her. “The what?”

He was mildly surprised when she didn’t make a quip about how he should have paid more attention in school. “Waterberg principle. It’s the reason we carry six Pokémon and not seven or eight.”

Mark blinked.

“Bascially, the advantage of variety makes smaller teams more powerful compared to the number of Pokémon than larger teams. Too many, and they’re redundant or get in each other’s way. We have eighteen Pokémon out at a time, but they’re not fully three times more powerful than if we just had six. And our Pokémon may be twice as powerful as they were before the League, but two legendaries together are three or four times more powerful than one.”

There was a short silence while this sank in. “So basically, we’re screwed,” Mark said. “Just to beat two dragons together, our Pokémon need to be twice as powerful as they already are. And then, if we ever do beat them, there are eight unicorns waiting for us.”

“At the very least we need to train much more,” May said. “And we need better strategies for taking on multiple legendaries. Right now... we just can’t do it.”

There was a short silence. “Well, isn’t that just great,” Alan said suddenly, standing up. “Forget it. You can go to the safari and catch more Pokémon to raise into murderous manchildren. I’m going home.”

He grabbed a Pokéball from his belt, sent out the unconscious Diamond and started to rummage through his bag.

“Alan, you can’t...” Chaletwo began.

“I damn well can,” he said, jerking his head towards Mark. “It’s going to be months before you have any use for me. When you’re actually going to battle some legendaries, you know where I live. Until then, goodbye.”

Mark stared at him for a moment, then looked to May expecting some form of protest. She was looking silently away, however, her fists clenched around the grass beside her. He tried to tell himself he ought to be convincing Alan to stay, but though he felt bad for it, the thought of being alone with May again was kind of relieving after all the pent-up tension of the past two days.

“...I guess you’re right,” Chaletwo said reluctantly. “There’s been nothing in the way of team spirit the past couple of days, anyway. But you have to train, and you have to be there when we need you, all right?”

Alan nodded stiffly. He’d found a Revive and touched the Rapidash’s body with it, then followed it with a Hyper Potion and an Elixir. “We’re going home to Green Town,” he said as he helped Diamond to her feet. “They’re not coming.”

The Pokémon looked at Mark and May in puzzlement, but didn’t protest as he climbed onto her back. “Let’s go,” he said, looking determinedly straight ahead.

“Goodbye,” Mark said doubtfully. “See you around, I guess?”

Diamond neighed a confused goodbye in reply before turning forward and speeding into the distance with her trainer.

Sike Saner

Peace to the Mountain
Heh, I liked the bit with Chaletwo complimenting Mark on his drawing, first of all. X3 I found it funny.

Also liked the turn of events in the legendary encounter, the way that they fared relatively well against Dragoreen when it was just her alone but then along came Raudra and Puragon, and then things just started taking a nosedive for the non-legendary parties involved. Made sense, after all; I mean, this is multiple freaking legendaries we're talking about here. X3

And I thought that the fact that the master ball wound up being used on Dragoreen lended this nice air of unease to the one aspect of the encounter's outcome that was otherwise favorable--I wonder if the fact that the master ball was used now rather than later will come back to bite Mark and company in the butt at some point in the future.

Oh, and one more thing:

And then, if we ever do beat them, there are eight unicorns waiting for us.

This is one of those cases where I just love that the story in question provides a perfectly legitimate reason for such a line to be said. X3


Faithful Crusader
Hmm, its been quite some time since I started reading this story, and for the first time, I've actually managed to make it all the way to the most recent chapter. So, in light of this event, I think a review is in order.

First off, just as a general comment, I have to say that I love the originality in the story and the characters, and I really enjoy seeing the pokemon develop just as much (if not more so in some cases) than the human characters. Often times, people can forget that the pokemon are just as much characters in their own right, so its good to see them getting a good deal of attention.

And now, to chapter 55:

“I know it feels like that, but we need to find them,” Chaletwo’s voice said in his head. “If they aren’t here, we’re out of our only clue about where to go next.”

“I know,” Mark muttered. He adjusted the pencil in his hand and made curved, sweeping strokes for the shape of the tail flame.

“That’s, uh, a nice drawing,” Chaletwo said after a moment.

Mark looked up. “What?”

“It’s good. Looks like him.”

“Are you trying to make me feel better?”

“Well, it is a good drawing, isn’t it?” Chaletwo replied defensively.

^ I have to admit, that whole exchange had me laughing. Chaletwo makes me laugh a lot actually. He just seems so serious all the time that his little quotes like that really stand out.

And I always enjoy the battle scenes, especially the attack descriptions and the creative strategies, although I'm not sure any level of tatics could have turned that battle around. I mean, it was three legendary dragons.

“No!” Chaletwo blurted out. “They’re getting away!”

Raudra and Puragon had already swooped back down over the cliff, presumably to return to whichever holes they had been lurking in. Dragoreen shook herself and spread her wings, and...

...and Mark just couldn’t let it all be for nothing.

He dug quickly into his pocket, feeling blindly for the embossed markings on his Pokéballs, and then threw his Master Ball at Dragoreen just as she was taking off.

This scene really stands out to me. Not sure why, but it seems to flow really well. Perhaps its Mark's desperation or just the timing, but either way I thought it was well handled. And I too am starting to wonder if the master ball was the best choice, but then again what other choice did he have really...

There was a short silence. “Well, isn’t that just great,” Alan said suddenly, standing up. “Forget it. You can go to the safari and catch more Pokémon to raise into murderous manchildren. I’m going home.”

Ouch. Really, I don't know if theres any hope for Alan and May, or even Alan and Mark, to repair their friendship at this point. Its just like you can fell the disdain in his voice as you read that line.

Well, thats all I've got for now. It may not be too detailed, but its my first review so...

Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to share this story, I can say that I've really enjoyed reading it, and I look forward to the next chapter. Maybe now that I've finally caught up, I'll be able to stop by to review again after the next chapter.

And I'd like to be added to the PM list if you don't mind.


Hi! I am a new reader and I must say your fic is awesome! The battles are described very well and the plot is impeccable! Dragonfree, may I use the idea of humans learning pokemon speech in school and "ask the characters" in my fanfiction? I promise to give credit to you
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Ghost Type Trainer
I was initially intimidated a little by the prospect of reading 76 extremely long pages, but after 848 bumped it up, I just couldn't resist the temptation...I love reading...

And it was awesome.

The only thing that bothered me was your spelling of "skeptical." see here:

Chapter 34 said:
Mark was a little sceptical, but did not reply.
And here:
The Electrike looked sceptically between its dead mother and Alan and then growled.

Mark is just the best. Waaay too awkward in general, but he tries so hard and really seems to care about his Pokémon, even some don't care about him all that much (*coughLetaligoncough*). I DO NOT want him to quit battling! Nooooo!

May annoys me. Seriously. I...can't really say that I like her that much at all. Poor Lapras, Quilava, and Tyranitar! (*hugs*) Too bad for Taylor. He was just an annoying innocent little kid. And if it weren't for him, Mark wouldn't have even met Charmander in the first place!

Scyther is just awesome. His story is so sad... Suffice it to say Scyther is one of my favorite Pokémon now, although I'm usually not a huge fan of Bug types!

And yaay for Dragonite! (*hugs as well*) He is soo cute! ^_^

Chaletwo is my favorite legendary. I'm fact, I like your fakemon in general. I...need...an...adorable...Mutark!

I have to say though...I think you should have Mark chat more with his Pokemon outside of battle. Sure, he does some of the time, but they don't seem to be particularly close together. I mean, Charizard was his first, and they don't even talk all that often...although I did like this:
“I’m not sure I’m such a good trainer,” Mark said quietly.

“You are,” said Sandslash softly. “I am very grateful for you.”

“Why?” Mark asked. “I’m lousy. Take May…”

“You are a much better trainer than her,” Sandslash said immediately.

“But how?” Mark asked miserably. “Are you really being honest?”

“Well,” the Pokémon began slowly, choosing his words carefully, “when you first caught me, I thought you weren’t a very good trainer at all. I always lost and stuff…”

He trailed off, but then continued: “But then I slowly started realizing that… well, when you’re a young Pokémon you think of a trainer as a method of getting strong and nothing more than that, which was why I wasn’t happy to find that you didn’t appear to have much more skill than I did by myself… but then I just started to realize that you cared and really hated not being better, because you felt like you were being a lousy trainer for us. And that… touched me. The reason Pokémon tolerate the limits set by being possessed by a trainer, and thus the reason Pokémon training can work in the first place, is that it usually gives Pokémon an opportunity to be stronger, but in the long run, Pokémon don’t live for that. The reason Pokémon stay true to their trainers after the trainers retire and the Pokémon have reached the physical limits of their strength is that through a trainer’s journey around the world, strong bonds are formed between trainer and Pokémon. This is what keeps Pokémon training alive and what makes it so magical – and this is why you are a better trainer than for example May, who is an extraordinarily good battler, but will never feel like anything more to her Pokémon than a temporary training stage in their lives. It is sad that so many Pokémon stay with a trainer for years, never realizing how much more there is to life with a trainer than battling…”

“I… wow,” Mark just said.

“Take now for example,” Sandslash said. “When you’re a young, wild Pokémon, you don’t expect your trainer to send you out just to talk to you. It’s just not in your image of what you believe the purpose of a trainer is. When that happens, though, you realize that this is one of those moments that make you really appreciate your trainer, more than winning some battle will ever do. You’re a great trainer, Mark. May is everything a Pokémon looks for in a trainer – you are much more.”

Mark felt strangely warm. “Wow… thanks…”

“But as I said,” Sandslash continued, “we’d really love some more outside time. You should try that sometime soon.”
I like how Mark is realy trying to be good friends with his Pokemon here. :)

Oh! And as for my favorite part of the story...hehe...:
Dragonfree said:
The female raised her neck out of the lava, suspiciously slowly. Charizard seemed too surprised to realize he could take advantage of this until she had already reached up to his neck and… licked it?

Mark stared. Yes, she was actually licking him… and curling her tail all-too-lovingly around his… and running her claws lightly around his shoulders…
Dragonfree said:
Mark muttered something in agreement and sent Charizard, Dragonair and Scyther out again while Alan brought him a few potion bottles. Charizard looked with embarrassment at Carl’s female, who winked with a teasing grin before turning around to let Carl spray some Potion on the cut on her belly.

“Well, that battle was… interesting.” Mark coughed, not sure how to finish the thought.

“Awkward,” Charizard agreed, and Mark could have sworn he saw the dragon’s face slightly reddening.


“Although at the same time, it was… kind of nice.”

Mark couldn’t help snickering. “Charizard in love.”

“I hate you sometimes,” the Pokémon muttered.
Best. Scene. EVER!!!
Cute. Hehe...of course he liked it. (*evil grin*) And that last line was priceless. \o/
Now I really hope those two meet again...oh yes!! 8D

Also, may I be added to the PM list, please? ^ ^

Well, I've ranted on and cluttered up the thread long enough. However, expect me to comment on this regularly in the future. :D


Just me
Hm, might as well respond to reviews now, I suppose. Merry Christmas or whatever you celebrate, everyone.

Sike Saner: Haha, glad you liked Chaletwo commenting on the drawing. And yes, that Master Ball is sure to be sorely missed at some point in the future. :p Thanks for reviewing

TheSequelReturns: Thanks for reading! You have no idea how much I love that you like Chaletwo; he is one of my absolute favorite characters in this fic to write and most people don't really care about him nearly as much as I do. x3 And your review was quite detailed as far as I'm concerned, so don't worry about that.

848: Sure; it's not as if I'm the only person who's ever done either of those things (I got the idea of Ask the Characters from an author whose work I read waaaay back, and though I don't remember reading anything in particular with Pokémon speech taught in school I'm pretty sure I've heard of it being in other fics too). Thanks for reading, though you might want to write more in-depth reviews in the future; that was a little spammy.

GastlyMan: I admire your ability to read this monster in the space of less than a week. o_O Thanks for doing so, in any case, and for bothering to review. :3 'Sceptical' is actually the correct British spelling; in fact, I usually type 'skeptical' but my Word autocorrects it because it's set to UK English. In general I write some ******* hybrid of every English dialect I've ever read anything in, so I don't blame you if it threw you off, but yeah, it's not an error. Thanks for your comments; I will keep them in mind.

Anyway, I'm afraid chapter 56 isn't very far along, because I've been focusing on finishing Morphic (and rewriting the spin-off Scyther's Story). I'm hoping to finish it sometime in January-February, though; I'd rather not break my longest-wait-between-chapters record.


Just me
Thanks for reading and reviewing. :D

It would have made sense (although being highly unethical) if Mark could have mugged some trainers at the Pokemon Festival for their Master Balls. However, being dead makes that kinda hard.
That and Master Balls are registered to exactly one trainer from the moment you get them - stealing somebody else's Master Ball and catching a legendary with it would just lead to puzzlement when the mugged trainer suddenly discovers they've got a legendary Pokémon in their PC box.

Man did May train her Torchic fast!!! (Either that or please explain???)
They spent something like a month and a half at the League just training; most of that time was skipped over between chapters 46 and 47. That's when she trained her Torchic.

A quick note, from the beginning of this fic, there seemed to be lots more readers and reviewers than there is now. I was just wondering, is that because fan fiction is less popular now (I'd be sad if I missed the biggest surge of it), or because guests can't post anymore?
The reason people earlier in the thread are showing up as guests is that their accounts no longer exist; guests have never been able to post. I don't think it's fanfiction as a whole becoming less popular, though, so much as just this fic. :p It's taken so long (note this thread was started in 2004) that pretty much all of the people who were reading it at the beginning have long ago lost interest in fanfiction, left the forums or just fallen behind and never bothered to catch up, and meanwhile as the chapter list grew it became harder and harder for new readers to get into it.

So thanks again. Hope you continue to enjoy it.


Just me
Uh, sure, but if you're just going to ask a simple question like this, you might as well do it by PM instead of cluttering up the thread.


Nerd and Proud of it
Finally finished reading all of that. IT- WAS - EPIC. sorry about the bad first impression on morphic. The charicters, the storyline, everything was epic. drunk scyther, charizard love, dragon beam gyarados, everyone. You kind of ruined tyranitar for me though. he changed from the strong, silent type to strong but stupid and killing taylor... he didn't deserve it. a punch to the face or a kick to the balls would have been good though (gmoyes used mega kick. it's a critical hit lol) no one has asked the charicters in a while so i have some.
Chaletwo: have you "killed" Rick like you did Mark or is it just that most evilest human in the story is accidentally doing the right thing?
Pokemon league people: Why the hel did you let taylor have mewtwo squared but not let mark and may have gyarados and spirit? Were you hynotied? either way... (preparing to use mega kick)
And add me to your pm list.


Just me
Hi again, and thanks for reading.

Tyranitar didn't change; he was always an overgrown child thinking of May as his mother, but you misinterpreted him exactly the way the characters did. :p Which was the intended effect and all, so there's no shame in that, but I've been writing him as childish and blindly devoted from the beginning, and there is a difference between being the strong, silent type and never speaking at all ever. The hints are there if you know where to look.

There's no real need to ask the characters that, since you're just asking for factual information about what happened off-screen. No, Rick is not part of Molzapart and Chaletwo's initiative against the War (in chapter 25, Chaletwo referred to the fact Rick happened to go out catching legendaries as "unexpected help"), and yes, the Pokémon League people were hypnotized to let Taylor compete (as theorized and discussed pretty thoroughly by Mark and May in chapter 46).


this is on here?????????

add me to the pm list plz.........

I can't really review, as i've been readig it on your site & i don't know if its mostly the copy&paste of the other or what....................


Just me
Chimpchar, it's nice that you're here and all, but if you're not going to make a proper review, just PM the author (and yes, this is the same as the version on the site). Also, your signature is way, way too big.

So I did break that longest-wait-for-a-chapter-ever record. Ouch.

Even worse, unlike the other two longest waits (chapters 34 and 37), this chapter is neither long (seven pages and a bit) nor especially remarkable, so I can't really say it's especially worth the wait. Sorry. I'll... attempt to write the next chapter faster, and chapter 58 at least should hopefully be pretty quick.

Chapter 56: The Ouen Safari

Mark and May arrived at the gates of the Ouen Safari the next morning after a silent but relievingly tension-free journey. Regardless, May was obviously quiet and distracted and Mark couldn’t help finding it a little worrying that she hadn’t yet shown any signs of getting over Taylor’s death.

“Maybe, uh, you should try to catch something,” he suggested carefully as they entered the gatehouse. “To replace...”

May didn’t answer at first. “You have fewer Pokémon than I do,” she said after a few seconds. “And with Letaligon leaving and all...”

Mark considered it. “That’s true,” he admitted. “Let’s go get some Safari Balls, then.”

At the counter sat a woman with long, blonde hair tied back in a ponytail, leaning casually back in her chair and looking at a computer monitor. As they approached, she stood up, adjusting her camouflage hat. “Hey,” she said, smiling. “I’m the overseer of the Safari. You registering?”

They nodded, and she entered some information into the computer. “Been here before?”

They shook their heads.

“All right,” she said. “That’ll be five hundred apiece. Pokédexes, please.” She had to enter more information after receiving the devices, then handed them back, reached behind the counter and took out two small leather sacks.

“These are your Safari Balls. The Safari employs Pokéball-suppressors that disable any other balls, so don’t even try to lob anything else at the Pokémon in there. The Safari Balls are registered to the Safari, so if you catch anything it’s sent to our PC system; you have to talk to me when you leave to get them transferred to you.” She passed the sacks to them as she went on.

“Now, the way things work here at the Ouen Safari is that we think the Pokémon should get to battle you fair and square just like everywhere else, so you can bring your Pokémon with you. What you can’t do is knock out any Pokémon you’re not going to catch. They’re here because they don’t want to get knocked around by trainers who won’t catch them all day, all right? Only battle Pokémon you’re interested in that challenge you or respond willingly to your challenge. If you break the rules, I’ll know by the time you come back here for your catches, and don’t think I’m going to hand them over to you if you haven’t been on your best behaviour. I have my contacts.” She gave them a mysterious, slightly smug grin.

“But if there are Pokéball-suppressors...” Mark began, confused.

“I’m getting to that,” the woman said, waving a hand at him. “Because of the Pokéball-suppressors, of course, you won’t be able to send your own Pokémon out and in either, so they’ll have to walk by your side. Though it’s not a requirement, I recommend only having one out per trainer at a time – if you want to switch, there are isolated, clearly marked no-suppression areas within the Safari where you can do so. The Pokémon tend to get a little antsy if they see a champion team of six lumbering around.”

They nodded. Mark looked into the sack he’d received; it was filled with something like twenty or thirty minimized balls.

“Speaking of champion teams,” the woman said as they were turning towards the exit, “aren’t you May Victoria Wallace?”

May froze, and the warden apparently took that as a yes. “Good job at the League. I hoped to see my daughter win, of course, but I’m glad the one who beat her had two X chromosomes and no superclones, at least.”

For a second May looked at her in confusion, “Robin Riverstone’s your...?” she then began hesitantly, and suddenly Mark could see the resemblance: same thick blonde hair, same focused green eyes, same confident smile.

The overseer beamed. “She’s great, isn’t she? Don’t get me wrong, it was a well-deserved victory, but you have to admit her Charizard kicked your Tyranitar’s ***.”

Mark could see the edge of May’s mouth twitch a little at the mention of Tyranitar, but she kept it remarkably well together; he didn’t think he would have detected anything strange if he weren’t looking for it. “Yeah, she was really good,” she said, nodding; she even managed a bit of a smile.

“As for what came after, I don’t make a habit of speaking ill of the dead, so let’s leave it at that,” the woman said grimly before straightening herself and looking between the two of them. “Well. I think I’ve babbled on long enough. Any questions, or are you ready to go?”


Only minutes later, they were walking around the vast grassy expanse that was the first zone of the Safari, Spirit trotting behind May while Letaligon walked by Mark’s side, looking around. He’d picked her after some thought, realizing he should probably try to spend as much time with her as he could before her release, and she seemed to be enjoying herself even if she wasn’t talking much. Though she hadn’t said it directly, Mark suspected the reason for her bright mood, one way or another, was excitement about leaving; some part of him felt a little miffed that she was so enthusiastic about getting away from him, but he tried his best to ignore that part and be happy for her anyway.

“Anything in particular you want to go for?” he asked May after a while. They’d seen some wild Pokémon flitting around, but she had barely reacted to their presence.

“What?” She looked up as if snapped out of a trance. “I don’t know.”

He nodded. He felt the same way, really. If he was going to capture a new Pokémon, it should probably be one with some significant advantage against at least one of the remaining legendaries; that was all he was still training for, after all. Beyond that, he didn’t really have any ideas.

“You should catch something strong,” Letaligon said; Mark looked up, but she was looking at May, not him. “You need a powerful Pokémon to come in Tyranitar’s place. Maybe another Rock-type.”

May didn’t answer. Spirit gave Letaligon a glance that she ignored.

“I don’t know what kinds of Pokémon are in here,” Letaligon went on. “Maybe there aren’t any Rock-types. Perhaps a Grass-type? Water-types are too common for only Raichu to handle. Or a Psychic-type.”

Letaligon looked expectantly at May, but she was still silent and didn’t even look at her. After a moment Letaligon turned back to Mark, looking a little indignant. “Your team is way too weak to Rock,” she said irritably. “When I’m gone, that’s four out of six weak, two doubly. That’s ridiculous. And Ice, too – three weak, one doubly, and only one counter. You should get another Steel-type.”

Mark shrugged. “Maybe.” Steel-types, of course, were resistant to most of the elemental types of the Color Dragons and Waraider herd, as well as to the dragons’ Dragon attacks – she might have a point there. Were there any Steel-types here? He automatically looked around; there was a Furret scuttling curiously through the grass nearby, but at the moment he didn’t see any other Pokémon looking like they might be up for a challenge.

“Maybe there are more Pokémon in the forest zone,” he suggested, pointing towards the woods off to the west. “Should we check it out?”

May gave a barely-visible nod, and they headed westwards. He guessed the forest zone was an offshoot of Ruxido, one way or another; the distribution of tree species looked distinctly familiar, and Letaligon even commented that it felt like home. A couple of Mankey watched them for a moment from a safe distance before disappearing into the canopy; otherwise, the Pokémon again appeared to be staying out of their way. It was a little while before Mark realized why.

“Oh,” he said, “most trainers come here pretty early on their journeys. A lot of the Pokémon must be intimidated when suddenly two trainers stop by after the League with powerful, evolved Pokémon.”

“That doesn’t make sense,” said Letaligon. “Ambitious Pokémon should want to get caught by champion trainers.”

She’d barely said the last word when suddenly a tree rustled and a dark shape landed on the ground in front of them, wasting no time before darting at Letaligon.

She swung her head, but the Pokémon nimbly scuttled out of the way, and she cried out as two sharp claws raked across her vulnerable underbelly, drawing blood. Letaligon whirled around just as the shape stopped a short distance away, revealing itself to be a Sneasel.

“Iron Head!” Mark ordered without thinking, and Letaligon charged at the Sneasel to headbutt it, her body turning wholly metallic. It dodged again, delivering a slash to her leg now.

“Uh, Metal Burst!” he called, some part of his brain unconsciously in League-mode, and in an instant, Letaligon became a metallic reflection of the Sneasel’s attack. The catlike creature was thrown aside, hissing defensively as blood spurted from slashes on its belly; Letaligon used the opportunity while it was distracted by the pain to slash at it with the blade on her head, tossing it into a nearby tree trunk.

Mark quickly grabbed a Safari Ball from the sack the warden had given him and threw it at the Sneasel’s prone form. It dissolved into a blob of red and was absorbed into the ball; he watched it intently as it wobbled on the ground, and finally the ball stilled, the glow fading from the button.

“Another one that’s weak to Rock,” Letaligon grumbled as he picked up the ball, only to have it vanish from his hand, presumably disappearing to the Safari’s PC system.

“That’s true,” Mark said reluctantly, “but none of the remaining legendaries are Rock-types anyway. I think a Sneasel will be fine. We have five dragons to fight too, and...” He thought of Raudra and Puragon. “...well, some of them are weak to Ice.”

He automatically looked at May for confirmation that this wasn’t a terrible idea; she shrugged.

“You should catch another one,” Letaligon said stubbornly.

“Maybe if we find a Steel-type or something.”

“I’m not sure catching many additional Pokémon at once would be such a good idea,” Chaletwo put in. “The Pokémon here are relatively low-leveled; just getting one each up to par could take a while. It’s also probably harder for them to learn to work together when many new team members are being inducted at the same time. And if the, uh, Goldberg principle is right, or whatever it was that May was talking about, larger team sizes don’t help that much anyway.”

Everyone looked questioningly at May. “Then perhaps you don’t need to catch another Pokémon,” Spirit said after a moment, addressing her trainer. “Even now, you have a team of eight.”

May shook her head slowly. “No, I should catch something,” she said, looking distractedly around, and then suddenly she said, “Spirit, attack that Stantler!”

Mark turned where she was looking in surprise; there was indeed a Stantler there, watching them warily from between the trees. Spirit fired a bright cone of flames towards it, and the startled deer Pokémon leapt to the side, but then approached Spirit, horns glowing: it had accepted the challenge.

“Another Flamethrower!” May ordered, but Spirit hesitated, likely distracted by the hypnotic influence of the Stantler’s antlers. It used the opportunity to charge at her, knocking her over with a powerful tackle. Spirit was tossed into the dirt but rose quickly, shook herself and countered with a jet of flame which this time struck true. The Stantler grunted and formed a ghostly light between its antlers, which spun distracting circles around the Ninetales as she growled.

“Spirit, focus!” May called. “Counter with your own Confuse Ray!”

The Stantler was already taking advantage of Spirit’s disorientation by striking her with another Take Down attack, but the shock of the impact seemed to clear Spirit’s mind somewhat, and as she rose to her feet, she formed a ghost light of her own. It danced enticingly around the Stantler, tempting it to look away, and Spirit needed no order before she fired a third Flamethrower. The deer Pokémon staggered back, wobbling a little on its feet, and then a Safari Ball bounced off its back, popped open and sucked it inside.

The ball shook three times and went still.

May didn’t bother to pick it up; she just looked at it, fists clenched, until it vanished.

“Why would you catch a Stantler?” said Letaligon with annoyance, breaking the silence. “You have no use for a Stantler.”

Spirit looked up at May with a bemused expression, and Mark couldn’t help being puzzled as well; of all Pokémon, Stantler was one of the least Maylike he could imagine.

“It’s not about that,” May said, but she didn’t clarify what she meant at all; instead she headed off in the direction they’d been walking in. After a second Letaligon trotted after her, and Spirit and Mark had no choice but to follow.


They exited the Safari a bit later that afternoon without capturing any other Pokémon. Letaligon had mostly given up complaining and was back in her bright mood from before, and May, if still quiet, didn’t seem quite as distracted as she had that morning. The warden handed them their new Pokéballs with a smile, and once they were out and had found a convenient hill to get behind to give them privacy from the road, they sent out Stantler and Sneasel to join Spirit and Letaligon.

“Hi,” said Mark when the Pokéball light had materialized into the small weasel Pokémon. A quick Pokédex scan had earlier told them both of their new team members were female, and he supposed he recognized now that her featherlike left ear was a little smaller than on some other Sneasel he’d seen. The two newcomers exchanged vague nods and greetings with them.

“So you’re a champion?” Sneasel said after a second, looking at Mark.

After a brief moment of puzzlement, he remembered Letaligon’s words immediately preceding Sneasel’s appearance. “Oh, no,” he said quickly, pointing at May, “that’s actually her.” At Sneasel’s slightly dismayed expression, he added awkwardly, “Technically we can trade if you’d prefer?”

“No,” May said immediately, her voice firm. When everyone looked at her curiously, she said, “We’re going to be travelling and training together and getting into all the same battles anyway. It won’t matter.”

Sneasel looked at her for a doubtful moment but then shrugged. “Makes no difference to me, I suppose.”

“Unless...” May started again, abruptly, “unless Stantler would rather be with Mark?” She looked unsurely at him, then at Stantler. The deer Pokémon shook her head slowly, looking confused.

“All right.” May nodded distractedly before looking at Stantler again. “So if... if something is bothering you, or you’re unhappy with anything, just talk to me, okay? You – you can talk, right?”

Stantler cocked her head. “Yes, I can talk,” she said, sounding bemused. “Are you all right?”

“Yeah, I’m fine.” May sighed, rubbing her forehead. “Mark, should we tell them about Chaletwo now, before we send the others out?”

“Right.” Mark took a deep breath and started to recount everything about the War of the Legends, both what the two legendaries had told him when he was dead and what they’d speculated and discovered since then. After some initial incredulity and Chaletwo agreeing to come out of his Pokéball for a few seconds to confirm the story, Sneasel continued to ask a lot of questions; Stantler was mostly silent, but listened intently and made occasional observations.

“So what we’re going to do now,” he said after explaining their failure to capture Raudra and Puragon, “is just to spend a while training and strategizing – or, well, first we’re going to Ruxido to release Letaligon.” He gestured towards her; she’d gotten bored, lain down and closed her eyes somewhere in the middle of Mark’s explanation of the War. “But then it’s just trying to improve our chances against those two. Then when we think we’re ready, hopefully they’ll still be there, and...” He shrugged. “We’ll try our luck.”

Sneasel nodded. “That sounds good.”

“What about the others?” Stantler asked. “Do you have a plan to find them?”

“Not really,” Mark admitted with a sigh. “We’re trying to just do this one step at a time.”

“Well, we had better get on it, then,” said Sneasel, standing up. “There’s no time to waste.”

“Huh?” Mark stared at his new Pokémon, dumbfounded, and she looked back at him as if expecting him to follow. “Wait, don’t you want to meet the rest of our Pokémon?”

“Not particularly,” Sneasel responded, in a tone that made it sound like the idea was puzzling to her.

“Well, I’d love to,” said Stantler, giving the weasel Pokémon a pointed look.

“It is important to get to know each other,” Spirit said. “It makes it easier to battle together.”

“It’s not that important,” said Letaligon, without bothering to look up when she spoke.

Sneasel turned towards her for a moment. “What’re you getting released for, anyway?” she then asked. “You’re strong.”

“I went with him to evolve and get powerful,” Letaligon answered. “Now I’m going back.”

Sneasel gave her an incredulous stare. “Instead of battling legendary Pokémon?”

This time Letaligon did look up. “What of it?” she asked defensively. “I’m strong enough.”

“You’re never strong enough,” Sneasel replied bluntly.

“Hell with strength,” Chaletwo said abruptly, irritated. “Isn’t either of you concerned about stopping the end of the world?”

Sneasel looked at Mark for a second. “Don’t kid yourself,” she said. “If the world didn’t end a thousand years ago, there’s no reason it should now. What do I care if the legendaries get replaced? All I have to do to be safe from the War is not get in your way when you rampage.”

“But the legendaries today are more powerful –”

“And that makes them accidentally blow up the planet when they just want to kill each other? I don’t buy it, pers –”

A Flamethrower suddenly enveloped Sneasel; she screeched in pain as Spirit jumped on her and pinned her down with her paw. “You insolent pest,” the Ninetales snarled, more flames licking the sides of her mouth. “Those legendary Pokémon have voluntarily watched over you and your ancestors for hundreds of generations, and you insult them? Thousands of innocent Pokémon would die in the struggle, and all you care about is saving yourself?”

“Can everybody please just calm down?” Mark said exasperatedly as Sneasel began to hiss some pointed reply; everyone looked at him. “Look, if you’re going to help us, I don’t really care about your reasons. Just... we just had a falling-out with somebody else. Can’t you be at least vaguely friendly? Please?”

Spirit released Sneasel with visible reluctance. The weasel stood up, still watching her warily out of the corner of her eye. “I don’t have a choice if I want to battle the legendaries with you, do I?”

“No,” Mark said firmly. “You can leave if you want, but if you’re going to come with us, be civil.” The Ninetales hmphed. “And you too, Spirit. You can’t just attack my Pokémon willy-nilly if they say something you don’t like.”

Mark took a breath, turning towards Letaligon. “And of course you’re strong enough,” he went on. “You wanted to get strong to defeat your father, right? That means strong enough to do that is strong enough, period. If Sneasel wants to be training and getting stronger for the rest of her life, good for her, but that doesn’t mean you have to think the same. And if you don’t care about stopping the War, for any reason, that’s fine and that’s why we’re going to take you to Ruxido so you can go and do what you want with your life. This doesn’t need to be complicated.”

He took a deep breath after the rant and felt a little sheepish as everyone stared at him, until Stantler broke the silence. “Well put,” she said. “None of us ought to be condemning one another.” There was a pause. “I’d like to meet the rest of your Pokémon,” she then continued, “but I suppose if Sneasel doesn’t, you can recall her first.”

May, who had been silent most of the conversation, suddenly spoke. “Sneasel,” she said quietly, “I think you should meet the others.”

The weasel looked unsurely at her for a moment but then apparently decided to take her word for it. “Fine,” she said and sat down in the grass with a sigh.

As Mark reached for his other Pokéballs, he couldn’t help noticing Letaligon was shifting uneasily, glancing at Sneasel but not saying a word.

Razor Shiftry

Cynthia = Porn Star
Whey! After the long wait, another chapter! =] And there was me worrying away...

But anyways, as you said, this is a relatively short chapter, and unremarkable, at least plot ways. I think the key themes here is Character development.

Let me get something out of the way though: MAY CAUGHT A STANTLER?!? *o_O*

Anyhoo. Besides that bamboozle of a capture, what struck me the most is how cold Letaligon was throughout this, being more and more, well, May like, analytical and blunt. I mean, I know she's excited to get away and challenge her father but it just seems...frankly, quite scary to me. But sneasel's words seemingly seem to have hit her somewhere and I think the effects will become apparent after she battles her father. I mean, what has she got to live for after she's accomplished that? "You're never strong enough". perhaps she'll lose against her father? perhaps she'll realise that even though she can defeat her father, bigger challenges more important require her. Watch this space eh?

May, as previously mentioned, is also having quite the turnaround. She's become timid and introverted which is an interesting step forward in her character. It seems that her usual ways are starting to get to her and I suspect capturing Stantler, a seemingly gentle and level heading character he's trying to make amends and not make the same mistakes she made before. This, I feel, will be the start of getting herself back together so that she can be strong AND compassionate and make her "whole" per se. And anyone who battles with Stantler competitively knows that while it ain't the strongest pokemon in the world, it can be a bloody good annoyer! I can definitely see that Deer stomping on some paralysed and confused dragon into submission...

And the last point I'd like to make, Mark's rant:
Mark took a breath, turning towards Letaligon. “And of course you’re strong enough,” he went on. “You wanted to get strong to defeat your father, right? That means strong enough to do that is strong enough, period. If Sneasel wants to be training and getting stronger for the rest of her life, good for her, but that doesn’t mean you have to think the same. And if you don’t care about stopping the War, for any reason, that’s fine and that’s why we’re going to take you to Ruxido so you can go and do what you want with your life. This doesn’t need to be complicated.”

As Stantler said, well put. He's really getting very calm, cool, level headed and logical isn't he? I love his pacifist nature and I really think its heart warming.

Anyways, thanks for the chapter update :) Till next time. I can't wait to see the other pokemon's reaction to the new additions to the team!


Nerd and Proud of it
Sorry for the lame review last time. I'm new at this and i'm just here to enjoy the stories. Anyway, long wait but it was worth it. It's neat that Mark and May caught a pokemon that is more suited to each other, Stantler quiet and Sneasle the battler. This should be interesting. BTW, I remember that when Mark got Mew from Rick, he transfered Mew from the clone ball to a regular pokeball. Couldn't they do the same with the pokemon caught by the master balls? You're probably going to say, it's in the programing that it won't work but just letting you know. Keep up the great work and I can't wait for the next chapter.


Just me
Thanks for reviewing, both of you.

Razor Shiftry: Letaligon's been quite Maylike and analytical for a while now - see the League chapters.

Meanwhile, May isn't very Maylike at all these days, so in a way Letaligon has taken over the role. I think she just needs a bit of time to reorient herself; she's still in something of a shock.

gmoyes: When Pokémon are transferred from one Pokéball to another, the old Pokéball remains unusable unless it is taken to be recharged for almost the same fee as buying a new ball altogether, making it impractical unless what you want to accomplish is just for the Pokémon to be contained in a different ball, as was the case with Mew and the Clone Ball. Master Balls can't be recharged at all, being special and intended as a one-per-trainer thing.


Forever a pirate
Yes! Letaligon is my favorite character, so I'm super excited to see where this character development is going! I mean, the obvious choice is to kill her father but then catch up to Mark later, but you may surprise me yet!

And as for Stantler - I used one on my main Silver version team a while back. Don't doubt the deer, guys! Although it wasn't good for much more than Hypnosis + Nightmare, but still it's cool!


Ghost Type Trainer
GastlyMan: I admire your ability to read this monster in the space of less than a week. o_O Thanks for doing so, in any case, and for bothering to review. :3 'Sceptical' is actually the correct British spelling; in fact, I usually type 'skeptical' but my Word autocorrects it because it's set to UK English. In general I write some ******* hybrid of every English dialect I've ever read anything in, so I don't blame you if it threw you off, but yeah, it's not an error. Thanks for your comments; I will keep them in mind.
Thanks for the clarification! That makes sense. I don't know much about British spellings besides "color/colour," so that's good to know! (Should've looked that up before posting!)

Nice to have a slower-paced chapter, and to see Mark and May's team acquisitions (not to mention May's interesting personality changes...). And what the Sneasel said to Letaligon was interesting. Sneasel should be an interesting character to watch.

Furthermore, I also liked the Stantler! Definitely not a Pokemon typical of May's personality, but then again, her personality is changing. Stantler should be a good team member.

All in all, an enjoyable read. Keep up the great writing! :D


I was there.
Read the series until here. This fic has a lot of depth and plot twists. Keeps us guessing what happen next. I seriously can't wait for the next chapter. And I liked how their team gets toned down after a league. But shouldn't May catch something powerful again? I mean, sure, Mark has a Dragonite and a Gyarados. May has a uh... never mind. Salamence? Metagross? Garchomp? Or what about the Unova pokemon?