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Wings Have We

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Giratina!, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. Giratina!

    Giratina! Backstreet's back

    [sets up brick wall and begins talking]

    Hi. I'm Giratina. Some of you may have seen me around the Author's Café recently, and wondered why I'm posting there if I don't have any stories up on the main board. Truth be told, I've been writing since around last September, but the first few chapters of the only fruits of my labor are... not very good. So while we wait for me to find an incentive to rewrite my first (serious) story, I shall put up my second offering to the Internet; it is called Delta Species.

    Psst! WHW has apparently won some awards on Serebii. Yes, really.

    Best Trainer Fic (2009)
    Best Non-human Main Character (2009, Giratina)

    This is rated PG, as some Pokémon battles will probably involve swearing by certain characters.

    The PM List is...


    If you want to be on it, just tell me any way you like - VM, PM, through a comment on this thread.


    wings have we

    {1} fate knows where you live

    A young boy sat slumped in his seat, watching the rain continue its attempt to be as loud as it could while crashing against the window. Granted, it was making quite a lot of noise, and by most standards he should at least look like he was paying attention to what was going on in the school bus around him. Most of the time he did - keeping watch for flying pillows and day-old milk bottles was a constant job - but his thoughts were upon clearly more important things.

    Like Pokéballs, for instance.

    ‘Come on, Casey,’ the boy silently scolded himself, ‘quit thinking about that! It’s over! It’s going to get found and I never even touched that thing and nobody can possibly link its appearance to me!’

    Casey, you see, was a kid with a dilemma. That morning, while waiting for this very bus to arrive to drive him to school, he had found an extremely disturbing object sitting underneath some nearby shrubbery. It was an object about the size of a softball, colored red and white with a black stripe running around the center. Commonly known as a ‘Pokéball’ or ‘Poké Ball’, it was a manmade object designed for the capture and control of animals known as Pokémon.

    Both Pokémon and the objects that tame them were illegal in the fine land of Calda.

    Quite a while ago (before he was born, in fact) the local regional government had decided it was better for the region and its human inhabitants if super-powered monsters weren’t running around the cities and nearby land. Pokémon and the spherical things that share almost the same name were no longer allowed, and hunts immediately ensued to catch and destroy all remaining wild Pokémon (which, seeing as Calda is an island, is slightly easier than it sounds).

    As a matter of fact, the only reason anyone even knew about the Pokémon anymore is because children were having a message constantly drilled into their heads that Pokémon are very dangerous – which usually leads into brief explanations on how dangerous they are. For many people, excluding those who have lived in a different and more Pokémon-friendly region for some part of their lives, this was all they knew. Many also shared the mindset that Pokémon were far too dangerous to be interacted with.

    Casey was among them, being a victim of the common juvenile method of determining an opinion: their beliefs were a direct offset of their parents’.

    This Pokéball that seemed to have spawned from a bush should have left his memory by now – but despite his brain’s pleads to wipe it away, the small object kept nagging at the fringes of his conscious mind.

    Thankfully, the bus came to a final, screeching stop just as he concluded this.

    Following the stomping masses of kids trailing into the massive building known as a ‘school’ and being surrounded by the familiar buzz of people talking (and subsequently being late for class) helped to clear his mind of all illegal phenomena. After retrieving all necessary textbooks for the morning, Casey did his best to mask a loud yawn (it didn’t work very well) and set off for the ever-important class known as Social Studies.

    Slipping in a seat just as the final bell tolled the fanfare of glory for some students and the screech of death for others, a middle-aged man with slick black hair stood up from his previous sitting position. He was wearing a rather formal white shirt and black pants, as well as thick glasses that caught the radiance of the fluorescent strips of lights that shone above him.

    “You have five minutes to review your notes,” droned The Teacher, otherwise known as Mr. Thomas. He taught in almost every subject in the school for a year or two, and those unfortunate enough to be landed with him for more than one year quickly dubbed him The Teacher according to that criteria. “The tests will be handed out when that time is up.”

    The usual shuffling of papers ensued as almost everyone whipped out one notebook or another to review one of the briefest chapters in the course: Pokémon Studies. Casey’s eyes glazed over the small amount of notes he had been provided with – the reasoning behind this strange topic was something along the lines of ‘if you’re ever presented with a situation in which Pokémon interaction is required, you must know at least something about them’.

    “Time is up. The tests are being passed out now. Please put away any notes, textbooks, and cell phones you may have on your person.” His eyes fixed on one girl in the back of the class, who looked up with makeup-caked eyes from her previous position of hunched over a small machine. She gave a petite frown and shoved the object in her purse.

    The papers were slowly passed around the room, and once everyone had a test The Teacher said blankly, “Begin.”

    The first question was, ‘Name all types of Pokémon.’

    Casey heard a resounding moan echo from some other people. How were they supposed to remember that?

    Sighing, Casey tapped the eraser end of his pencil against the desk. 'It's probably a question meant to catch us off-guard,' he thought. 'We barely even skimmed the types...' Finally, he bit his lip and decided that if he was going to screw up the question, he would at least screw it up with an attempt at an answer. The boy began to write.

    ‘Normal, Fire, Water, Grass, Flying, Steel, Dark, Dragon, Ice, Rock, Ground, Psychic, Bug, Fighting, Poison’. He was fairly sure that was correct.

    Satisfied with his handiwork, Casey moved to the next question.


    “I don’t believe it. I just don’t believe it.”

    Somewhere in a vast stretch of white, there stood a large and imposing-looking wooden desk sitting on what seemed to be air, but was in fact a floor the same color as the surrounding area. Upon this imposing wooden desk was a computer (quite blatantly labeled ‘Dea Procol Machina’ in black marker ink) with an oversized keyboard and a giant monitor, with smaller monitors springing off at various points to create the sort of thing you would expect a French boy genius to have in his dorm room while he converses with his friends who are all running around in cyberspace, slaying monsters.

    Of course, there was no French boy genius sitting at the computer. For one thing, there is no France. Ha ha, what could have ever put such an absurd thought in your mind? No, there was something much more impressive than a boy genius from a surely made-up land called ‘France’.

    There was the highly brilliant, attractive, intimidating, and very fearsome Giratina the most wonderful and incredibly skilled ringleader of the best Alternate Universe ever crea-

    Oh, forget it.

    Sitting at the Dea Procol Machina in a large swivel chair was I, Giratina The Celestial Librarian Of Arceus’ Archives and The High Goddess of Never-Turn-Back The Interdimensional Bus Terminal (or Giratina for short).

    If you have ever seen me before in my two more often-used forms, which you probably haven’t, I look like some sort of cross between those two. My body is long and gray, with the only thing breaking the serene gray-ness being a black-and-red stripe that goes down the lower part of the body, Gyarados-style. Upon my head is a strangely shaped golden head ornament that looks almost exactly like the one in my Earth Fo- oh, wait, you silly mortals have never seen it before. Well, it’s very hard to describe, but on the forehead of my black, muzzled face lies a golden sideways-crescent dealie, and to the side of that two large gold horns that twist oh so slightly, and to the side of THAT, sticking straight out, is two thicker golden horns that don’t twist at all and make my head look like a, how you say, ‘football’. Oh yes, and I have no arms. Instead, I have black wings that have transformed themselves into three-clawed hands.

    What? You’re wondering why you’ve never heard of this awe-inspiring third form in your feeble studies of Legendaries?

    Well, because only four human beings have ever seen it. One of them isn’t allowed to leave this place and is no longer human at all, one of them probably forgot about me entirely, one of them is smart enough to know bringing me – and therefore this form – up in conversation would be a VERY bad idea, and one would probably rather not think about me ever again as long as he lives.

    So that’s why you puny mortals have never seen it.

    In any case, I was monumentally peeved.

    “What’s wrong with you?” asked a slightly high-pitched voice from behind me. From somewhere else in the vast whiteness of Never-Turn-Back appeared the first person I spoke of – the one who is no longer mortal, and therefore no longer human. By now, he’s more of a… biologically advanced Aipom… assuming humans evolved from Pokémon in a different way than normal… thing.

    Well, in any case, he looked human and his name was Zero. Dressed up in a baggy yellow suit with matching boots and gloves, one half of his white hair fell over yellow eyes that were now staring at me, intent to know what irritated me and possibly send the person responsible some flowers in gratitude.

    This was my used-to-be-human assistant, Zero, rescued from a glacier after he tried to kill me and was subsequently ‘forcibly nominated’ to assist me in all of my Legendary duties as Head Librarian and Goddess.

    My eyes quickly glanced over to him, but they soon shut in irritation. “I go through all the trouble to put that Pokéball exactly where he was supposed to see it… and worse, convinced Palkia to make him see it…he was supposed to… oh, when I get my claws on that pink fate-weaver I’m going to…” I gritted my teeth, as the fate that I intended to lay upon Palkia should probably not be revealed lest he suddenly disappear from his post one day.

    “What’s gone wrong this time?” Zero asked again, this time slightly irritated (presumably from my lack of response).

    “Well…” I said, wishing Zero could keep his mouth shut so I didn’t need to repeat the tragedy, “…I went to the trouble of doing something extremely difficult and doing something else hugely, incredibly, mountainously difficult. And then someone goes it and WRECKS IT ALL! PALKIA, I AM GOING TO—“

    At that point a deafeningly loud moaning drowned out exactly what I was going to do to Palkia, courtesy of some Pokémon racing in levitating buses over our heads. I felt tempted to tell them off for misuse of equipment, but couldn’t be bothered. Instead, I banged my wing-fist on the computer monitor, and quickly made it levitate into the air once the giant machine threatened to fall over.

    “So ‘Palkia’ did something bad, then,” said Zero dryly.

    “Oh yes,” I said. “You’ve never met my relatives, have you, Zero?”

    “I didn’t know you had relatives, Gi- um, Goddess.”

    “Oh, just stop trying to call me ‘Goddess’, you’re going to look stupid when you mess up.”


    “And yes, I have relatives. I have a lot of relatives. They’re… strange, and I don’t think you’ll be able to swallow all of their personalities and even existences at once.”

    “So will you introduce them one at a time or something?”

    “I’m hoping you never have to see them…” I said distantly, and then let my mind fly off in various directions. “There must be some way to get the Mewforsaken Pokéball to him!” I slumped my head in my claw-hands, making sure not to skewer something with the multitude of pointy things sticking off of it. “Think, Giratina, think…”

    “Why don’t you just go down there and give it to him?”

    “I can’t do that! I’d be noticed immediately!”

    “What if you went at night?”

    “Can’t do that either! There’s still too big a risk of someone seeing me!”

    “There is not. Just cloak yourself in shadow or something.”

    “Cloak- I can’t do that!”

    “You could a few years ago in Sinnoh…”

    “Th- that never happened! You have no proof I ever did that! I erased it from the Archives and from the memories of the mortal masses! And I don’t trust your judgment, because I’m the only other person here! Though… it’s not a bad idea…”

    “See? I was right. There IS a way to do it.”

    “Be quiet, you. I need to think. Go frolic in the Reverse World or something.”


    That night, Casey was having sleeping difficulties.

    It wasn’t like him, really; usually he was lying awake for a few minutes before conking out and awakening the next morning. Tonight was something different. The shadows squirmed and moved ever so slightly, an action that Casey was accustomed to by now. And yet… it still wasn’t helping the boy’s cause.

    And then there was a ‘thunk’ at his window.

    Now, thunks at his window were not unheard of; there was occasionally some nut or branch or something that had decided to deviate from the tree in favor of toppling to the ground, occasionally making contact with his glass in the meantime. For this reason, Casey ignored it and turned around in his bed.

    And then there was another thunk. And another.

    The boy frowned, but didn’t move.

    And another thunk. And another one. They simply did not stop.

    Deciding that he could never fall asleep with this constant bombardment of his only source of moonlight, Casey grudgingly got up and opened the window. Sticking his head out irritably, the eleven-year-old looked around the yard below searching for the origin of the thunking. There were dents on the glass, and that much told him that it was somehow forceful enough to toss hard objects at such a height. This meant it was probably another person.

    Though, the only thing that showed from the semi-darkness below (the moon wasn't particularly large tonight) was a black blob shaped like a sort of six-legged dinosaur, with two arms it was using to presumably toss rocks with. The creature apparently didn’t notice he had opened the window save for a slight movement of the head. This didn't stop it from slinging its arm backwards as if it were going to...

    Without any time to do anything but blink, Casey could only watch as another object went soaring…

    …and came in direct contact with his forehead before landing on the carpeted floor with a light ‘thump’.

    When he ran back to the window to check for the dinosaur-shadow, still clutching his head from the throbbing pain, it had disappeared. Of course, it was entirely possible that he was merely too distracted by the pain in his forehead to notice, but after some close scrutiny of the varying shapes of black outside the form still hadn't reappeared.

    Casey was sufficiently creeped out by now. What was this dinosaur doing outside his house, of all places? It couldn’t have been a trick of his mind, because that thing definitely looked like it was throwing rocks… and one of those rocks was now lying on the ground under his feet. He reached down to retrieve the rock, and found to his surprise that it did not feel at all what a rock was supposed to feel like. Suddenly suspicious and a little bit scared, Casey held the object up to the light.

    And promptly dropped it again.

    “I… I don’t…” he spluttered under his breath. After a few minutes of eyes clamped shut as if that would at all help the problem, he attempted to compose himself. Failing that, Casey braced his mind for looking at the Pokéball one more time.

    The boy gulped. Reaching out one shaky hand for the object, he took it as if it were an explosive device. Slowly walking back to his bed with the red-and-white ball in hand, Casey turned the object slightly. “This is bad…” he breathed. “Really bad… but what can I…” Casey didn’t know what that dinosaur had against him to want to get him arrested; as a matter of fact, he knew only one thing.

    He wanted nothing to do with this Pokéball.

    Gulping again and trying not to think about the consequences of what he was about to do, Casey unceremoniously dropped the Pokéball behind his bed and fell asleep.

    He was, of course, entirely ignorant of the red glow that was slightly illuminating the wall behind him.


    [hides behind brick wall and waits]
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2010
  2. ShiniyKecleon

    ShiniyKecleon I am the Walrein.

    Most of these comments are slight nitpicks, but they are nontheless important...

    First off, I sort of like the voice you've given the narrator, not just an onmipresence that spurts off a tale from multiple viewpoints. It works a lot of times, but occasionally gets a bit too informal for my tastes ("Without getting into the specifics" in particular) purely opinional, though, I'm quite the cynical guy.

    "Both Pokémon and the objects that tame them were fully and entirely illegal in the fine land of Calda."

    Full and entirely mean essentially the same thing in that sentence, so just drop fully so it doesn't sound redundant. You also repeated it later on in the whole "white" rant section.

    "(which, seeing as Calda is an island surrounded entirely by water, is slightly easier than it sounds)."

    What? Since when are islands NOT surrounded by water? I don't know what kind of landmass you're living on, Giratina, but if it's water all around, there's no need to state both facts; it's redundant.

    "Many also shared the mindset that Pokémon were far too dangerous to be interacted with."

    Plain ol' "interact with" works in that context.

    "Following the stomping masses of kids trailing into the massive building they called a ‘school’..."

    The way you say that makes it sound as if Casey doesn't REALLY know what building he's in, it's just that everyone *calls* it a school. If he's gone to that building for a few years, I'm pretty sure he knows what it is.

    Of course, at the same time, if you mean it to be some sort of jab at school and how Casey dislikes it... meeeeh, I might take it out anyhoo. Too vague and misleading.

    Now, in the second section, I'm starting to see a weird first-person narrative going on here.

    First off, why is Giratina the "Librarian" of Arceus? It's a somewhat strange way to refer to the ruler of the anti-dimension. I understand that you're entirely free to do as you wish with Pokemon and what they do, but... er, just didn't flow with me.

    The narrator describing himself at any time is always awkward, and the paragraph you've dedicated to Giratina explaing himself and calling the readers "silly mortals" is no exception. In fact, this whole section in the way that you've written is a bit strange. It's not specifically wrong, it just doesn't seem right... if that makes sense. Looking it over, I see either a lot of description or a lot of dialogue, but neither really meshes well togethers- it's like oil in water, to use a simple metaphor.

    The third section somewhat improves things, but you're description isn't quite consistent, explaining things in detail when smaller, more relevant statements will do ("he was lying awake for a few minutes before conking out and awakening the next morning, refreshed and ready to take the world head-on..." for example- all words beyond refreshed aren't really needed and don't add to the context of the story).

    "…and came in direct contact with his forehead before landing on the carpeted floor with a light ‘thump’.

    When he ran back to the window to check for the dinosaur-shadow, it had disappeared."

    It seems as though your character didn't suffer at all from this stone or acorn getting a perfect headshot on his cranium. A little description between paragraphs would be nice so there's not a weird time gap between them. Though, I like the humor in this excerpt.

    "Though, the only thing that showed from the darkness below was a black blob shaped like a sort of six-footed dinosaur, with two arms it was using to presumably toss rocks with."

    This sentence doesn't really flow with me for a number of reasons. First off, in the Pokemon world, "dinosaurs" wouldn't *technically* exist (more like ancient Pokemon), and using words that describe animals in context with Pokemon is always iffy with me. Also, I wasn't a good judge of a large creature's length when I was eleven, so there's no reason this kid should be so positive as to how long this dinomon is.

    Finally, I'm not too keen on how a black blob sticks out in the darkness, especially since Giratina cloaks himself specifically to avoid people spotting him.

    In the next paragraph, as well, I must mention that suddenly calling a dinosaur a snake doesn't really work.

    Anyway, the cliffhanger you left us on is quite intruiging, to say the least. I'm certainly curious as to what Pokemon Casey's gonna have to deal with when he wakes up.

    I'll leave on the note that I'm certainly interested in the writing style you have, but there's a bit of liberal use of your PoV evident in some sections, particularly the second, so, you know... er, keep writing and stuff. Get better, keep posting.
  3. Giratina!

    Giratina! Backstreet's back

    Biiiig post 8D

    ...Um, anyway. [coughs]

    Points taken and fixed (hopefully).

    Well, she's referred to as a 'librarian' of Arceus and his Archives because she is, technically speaking, a librarian. As I apparently failed to add in the chapter (oops), Giratina's job over in Never-Turn-Back has two basic components: one, take care of Arceus' Archives (a very, very big room that is sitting somewhere in Never-Turn-Back), and two, stock them.

    The Archives, you see, is basically an entire library dedicated to all of the things that Arceus deems important enough to remember but simply cannot, what with his vast knowledge of 42 the answer to life, the universe, and everything, and so on and so forth also competing for the guy's brain capacity. And so all important events, and any subsequent stories resulting from those events that are interesting enough to tell, are placed in Giratina's hands in order to write down in their entirety. Once finished, the 'stories' are placed somewhere in the Archives where they will be residing for all eternity should a Legendary (and yes, even Arceus) need to reference them/find a cure for boredom. She's also responsible for the care and keeping of aforementioned Archives, and (usually) what to do with the stories inside - and so, under Arceus' permission, she has taken some of her favorites and put them on the internet.

    Which is theoretically what you were reading just now.

    As for the general strangeness of the first-person narratives, I admit that the description (and, to a lesser extent, everything else) was... very strange. I had tried multiple times to fix the description, obviously to no avail. I also couldn't find any way to put the narration into third person until after Giratina stopped raving endlessly about herself without going too far and sort of missing the point. I also do have a problem with too much description, that's correct too. It is being worked on.

    'Six-footed' was referencing the fact that Giratina appeared to have six feet in her Another Form, which she does.

    Since the only way I could think of (other than using the base of a Shieldon or Bastiodon and editing it to ridiculous extremes) to describe her without using 'dinosaur' pretty much meant the scientific form of 'dinosaur', there wasn't much I could do there.

    Yeeeees, about that. I had originally intended Giratina to be in the form she commonly assumes in Never-Turn-Back (a sort of cross between her two other ones) where her body was in the form of a snake, until I remembered that there was no possible way she could be utilizing that function on Earth. The description was changed, and I must have skipped those when changing 'snake' to 'dinosaur'.
  4. Giratina!

    Giratina! Backstreet's back

    If I happen to be overwhelming you with chapters (what is this woman thinking, putting up a new one the day after her previous?), I am sorry. But the story has progressed a ways before I started posting it on Serebii, and I'm just trying to catch you guys up so I can update everywhere at the same time. Forgive me. ^^

    {2} welcome to earth

    Casey was woken at about one in the morning by a noise.

    Unable to register in his half-awake stupor that there was some sort of mysterious noise-maker in his bedroom (and thinking the noise was his alarm clock), Casey merely performed the standard morning ritual: moan, grumble, flail his arm around near where the bedside table was, search by touch for the black box, and hope his poked the part that made it shut up.

    And then he heard giggling.

    “Whoz’sere?” he grumbled, seemingly unable to speak clearly.

    “Me, silly,” replied a high, childish voice.

    Now, Casey didn’t expect a reply; when he got one, it took him by surprise and successfully woke the kid up. He straightened in his bed, and kept his eyes firmly clamped shut. “And who is ‘me’?”

    “You’re you…” said the voice. “And I’m me!”

    “Who’s speaking?” he asked, becoming annoyed with the carefree way this person was taking the (very serious) conversation about waking him up.

    “You were, but now I am…”

    Casey sighed irritably and opened his eyes, mentally bracing himself for whatever horrors surely laid in the room beyond. All seemed normal except for a strange red glow coming from somewhere above him.

    When Casey lay on his back, a large orange-and-blue mass that was giving off a bright red glow was beaming back at him.

    The orange things were what looked to be half-circles, with two smaller ones cut into the front. Both of the half-spheres were identical, but one was turned upside down and attached so that they looked like eyes. Visible from inside the sphere was a blue orb of energy. It seemed to be what was keeping the two orange parts together, and looked a lot like irises in the ‘eyes’. All together, it looked like the face of a Duskull, except it was a sphere of its own accord and glowed red. The Duskull-thing also had a mouth; it was opened ever so slightly, and from that point – almost as if it were coming out of its mouth – came a glowing red stream of jagged energy, which then widened out and turned into a very canine-looking head.

    The orange thing was staring at Casey blankly, mouth open, but the dog head had its mouth open and was lolling around a red plasma-tongue. It seemed to be the one speaking.

    The Caldan boy was about an inch away from screaming very, very loudly. He nearly did that before trying to halt the impulse with a shut mouth (the result was a strange guttural noise that sort of hurt his throat). When Casey had compiled himself enough to speak properly – and had pushed the creature a few feet backwards in the process – he spat out a few words.

    “Who… what… are you?”

    “I’m Rotom!” chirped the dog head. Casey took it to mean both the glowing appendage and the orange-and-blue ball, since the latter seemed to be preoccupied with keeping the former visible.

    “Rotom…” Casey breathed. It sounded familiar somehow, but he couldn’t quite place a finger on it…

    Once he had, however, it was very hard to keep himself from screaming again. Who cares if it woke people up – this was a Pokémon talking to him! But Pokémon weren’t supposed to talk, were they? And they weren’t supposed to appear out of thin air either.


    The force of the matter hit Casey like a freight train. ‘No way! How did it not occur to me that the Pokéball might not be empty? What do I do with it? Do I get the Pokéball and try to make it go back in? That’s what happens, right?’

    Casey peered down the dark, small crack formed between the bed and the wall. He couldn’t make out much in the lack of sufficient lighting, and a graze of the perimeter with his fingers resulted only in a small cut on his finger. But that wasn’t the most important matter at hand – there was a bigger problem going on.

    Like where the way he was supposed to hide that thing went.

    “But… that thing you were in… Pokéball, that’s it… where did it go?”

    “It’s right in front of you!” sang Rotom.

    Casey looked down at himself and all around the immediate vicinity, but there was no sight of the red and white sphere.

    “No, really!” it laughed. “The Pokéball is right in front of you!” The dog head then commenced to curl in close to the ‘body’ before springing back out, saying, “Grr, I am a big ferocious Mightyena! I have come out of my Pokéball to tear you to shreds! Grr!”

    It took a few seconds for Casey to understand this (mostly because he had no idea what a Mightyena was), but once he assumed that a Mightyena was some sort of Pokémon the rest soon followed. “So…” he said, face paling considerably. “So you just…”

    “One of the things that make Rotoms a cut above other Ghost Pokémon!” said Rotom proudly. “We’re able to possess some other electronic equipment and turn into a new form! This one spawned the second head, and guess what I took over! Guess!”

    “You…” Casey spluttered, not wanting to say exactly what had happened. “…can you get out of it?”

    Rotom faltered. “Well…” it hesitated. “…um… that’s the thing. I tried and… no.”


    “No. I really can’t come out. I tried before, because it’s really weird having my energy in a form that looks like a Mightyena and I didn’t like it, but I think maybe the Pokéball thinks I’m in it and out of it at the same time.”

    “In and out of it at… so you can’t come out because it won’t let you de-possess it. Have you tried entering the Pokéball entirely? They… Pokéballs can do that, right? They’re for storing Pokémon?”

    “I tried that too. But there’s no way I can, because a Pokéball has to touch a Pokémon to catch or return it.”

    “Oh…” Casey had not known this. The ‘Rotom’ was becoming something of a problem, and he could think of only one way to rid himself of it.

    “I have an idea,” he said tentatively.

    “What? What?” asked Rotom, voice getting higher in pitch from his excitement.

    “You have to… well…” Casey hesitated for a second, and pointed at the window.

    Rotom was devastated. “Why? Why can’t I stay with you?” asked the little Pokémon in a sad voice, the blue energy core in the center of his body getting wider from fright.

    Casey gulped. It wasn’t going to be easy to explain to this Rotom – who seemed to have the mental capabilities of a six-year-old – that he was an illegal specimen that needed to be disposed of at all costs.

    “Umm… the short of it is, you’re sort of illegal here.”

    Rotom gave out a little gasp, but didn’t respond for a while.

    “But… but you’re going to help me, right?” it said after a few minutes, staring at Casey with an enormous glowing core that somehow managed to make it look cute. “You’re going to… change it, right? Aren’t you?”

    Under different circumstances (such as not being stuck with three other people currently sleeping, unknowing about the fugitive he was hiding in his room, and too angry to listen to complaints that ‘I didn’t bring it in’), Casey would have laughed out loud at this thing’s stupidity. But alas, he couldn’t, so the boy merely settled for staring at him.

    “Change them?” he asked. “Change them? I can’t do that. Either you get out of here and never come back or we find some way to hide you.”






    Casey had been aware since square one that Rotom was a bad idea, and he had originally tried to hide it somewhere in his room until he could decide how to dump the small electric Pokémon without being tracked down again (and there was still the matter of that dragon).

    However, it was evident after roughly an hour that stashing a hyperactive Pokémon in one’s drawers and expecting it to lie still was not going to settle well. And once Casey had simply returned to bed, promising Rotom that it could sleep with him (providing it stayed under the covers at all times and didn’t move), he had figured that he had the rest of the weekend to mull over it – at least he had until his mother woke him the next morning, demanding for the boy to go pick some things up for her.

    It was Saturday morning, about eleven AM. Casey was now running as quickly as he possibly could in an attempt to get as far away from the group of cops trailing behind him as he could.

    All could be blamed upon Rotom.

    Because that thing felt the need to possess its own Pokéball, and is apparently incapable of getting itself back out, Casey had to hide him somewhere at all times. And because Rotom doesn’t quite understand how vital it is that he keep still, by the end of the day his hiding place is either physically or metaphorically up in smoke.

    Among the ‘physical’ category was Casey’s backpack.

    So when a nearby policeman happened to notice that his book bag was on fire, he ran over to Casey and demanded to know what was inside. When the boy refused to show him, the cop simply pulled it off his body and practically ripped it open… to come face to face with Beast, Rotom’s talking dog head’s new name.

    Well, Beast gave the policeman a toothy grin as the latter dropped the backpack in surprise. Rotom wormed out of it before the bag hit the ground, however, and much to Casey’s dismay he began hovering around the boy’s head, giggling madly. Not having enough time to even moan loudly before the policeman began calling up all of his blue-suited pals to catch the ‘troublemaker’, he grabbed Rotom’s solid form and ran.

    And here we find our little protagonist, running and cursing all of the nameless creatures that wander on and above the Earth (particularly that dragon) for bestowing him with such a hyperactive, childish, and defiant little Rotom that he couldn’t get rid of. Meanwhile, Beast dangled from Rotom’s body like a pendulum, his exact position equivalent to the position of Rotom’s mouth at the time.

    Within minutes, one man had multiplied to two, then four. Casey’s eyes flickered backwards to get a decent idea of how far away he was, but he quickly returned his focus to the road – just in time to hop over a trash can that had fallen down at some point in time prior to the chase.

    He was dragged to the side with great force before his feet even touched the ground. Rotom squirmed his way out of Casey’s lightened grip before the latter fell to the ground, unconscious.


    “Shut up,” said a low bust distinctly female voice. “He’s moving.”

    “Well of course he’s moving,” said another voice, this one more masculine and high-pitched. “It he had died here, I would have had it in my records, now wouldn’t I?”

    “Hey! Don’t talk about those! What if he heard you?”

    “Well then he’d-“

    The voices faded. I descended into sleep again.


    Once Casey was quite sure he was going to remain conscious, he opened his eyes. However, the boy quickly shut them again. The dragon-thing was returning (though she had a different body shape, the spiky head-dress was the same), and she had brought along a buddy just as scary and imposing as she was.

    I recoiled with a rather feminine squeak, surprised at him actually waking up again.

    (Remember me? ‘I’ happen to be Giratina the Celestial Librarian of Arceus’ Archives, High Goddess/Conductor Lady of Never-Turn-Back the Interdimensional Bus Terminal (or just Giratina for short). If that wasn’t a clear enough description, I’m the person (Pokémon?) who chronicles everything everyone does and writes it down on a Word document, which is then processed into book form and added to the Archives. I put the best ones here – with Arceus’ permission, of course.)

    Standing a bit farther away was my ‘accomplice’, a pink and-white dragon thing that stood on two legs, had wings that looked like they were ripped off a Skarmory and painted white before being stuck on his back. There were also pearls embedded in his shoulders, and what looked like a silver Mohawk running down his spine.

    “Howdy,” said I. “My name is Giratina. This guy over here is Palkia, Rotom’s just fine, and I’m really hoping you’re not unconscious because… well…” I trailed off. “Well? Are you conscious?”

    “Yes,” said Casey, sounding quite scared.

    “Hey, now,” I tried to reassure him. “We’re not going to kill you or anything like that.”

    “So… why are you here, then? And how do you talk? Do all Pokémon all of a sudden talk now…?”

    I blinked for a second, thoroughly confused by his barrage of questions. Finally, I sorted the answers into some sort of order and responded. “No, not all Pokémon talk. Palkia and I are speaking in the Unown Dialect, which is very similar to your own language. As for why we’re here, well… there’s some stuff we need to explain.”

    “Well, yeah, there’s some stuff you need to explain! Like...”

    “Um, guys, we should really get this over with soon, we’re not all supposed to be here.” A small, almost whiny voice chimed from in the dark. Out floated Celebi, the small Forest Spirit who was apprentice to Dialga the Time God. She also had a head shaped like an onion with antennae.

    “I have permission,” I said to Celebi, “and if it helps with the prophecy then Arceus should have no problem with it and will be very happy that we’re all here to smooth it out! And yeah, we sort of are all supposed to be here, because we’re needed for different things.”

    Celebi pouted and sat down on a trash can.

    “Now then...” said I. “I believe Palkia has something to say to you?”

    Eager as Casey was to learn what Palkia wanted to tell him, the natural instinct to get the heck out of that place took over. He tried to scoot backwards towards the exit, but I noticed and blocked the escape with my wings.

    “Fate Knows Where You Live,” I said sagely. “You, of all people, should know that.”

    “Yeah, well Fate isn’t exactly here right now, is it?” Casey snorted.

    Palkia cleared his throat loudly.


    “Now, I know you must be scared out of your wits, and it probably won’t help telling you that the police probably have you on file by now,” said I. “Hey, they’re just trying to keep Pokémon away from defenseless pedestrians. Can’t blame ‘em. Anyway, you happen to have a very lovely little Path. And the first thing to realize to follow this path is…” I paused, presumably for dramatic effect. “You don’t need this place anymore.”

    “My… path?”

    “Another word for ‘fate’, or ‘life’s direction’ or whatever you call it these days,” said Palkia from the corner.


    “Right,” I said, trying to get this back on track. “You would be better off out of this region… and out of that skin.” There was a beat of silence as the ‘captive’ tried to process what I had said.

    “Out of my SKIN?” Casey practically screamed.

    “Shh, shh!” I said, waving one arm to silence him. “How are you supposed to move on in life if you’re stuck in the appearance of a law-breaking kid? You’d never be able to get off this island region, and especially not with Rotom along!” I gestured to Rotom, who was on the floor and sleeping soundly with Beast curled protectively around him. It might have been kind of cute in a different circumstance.

    “What makes you think I’d go off this pla—”

    “Would you rather be on the run for the rest of your life? Stuck like that?” I asked. “Or would you rather start fresh under an entirely new persona, in an entirely different region, with nothing anyone can possibly hold against you?”

    “Second option,” Casey mumbled. “But…”

    “See my point?” I smirked. “So we’ve got to change almost everything about you. The only thing you can keep is your first name… and your gender. Don’t worry about that, we’re not cruel enough to turn you into a girl.”

    “Why?” he asked. “Why do you want me at all? Why do you have to change me? Why am I even here? And don’t give me any of your ‘fate’ garbage, eith—”

    “If you don’t help us,” said Celebi weakly, “then a horrible fate will befall all Pokémon…”

    “I don’t care about your horrible fate!”

    “Nor do you care about all of the Pokémon, the creatures that make up the vast majority of this world’s population…” I sighed. “What a terrible mindset for a young human to have…”

    “With all the Pokémon gone, this place would be a lot better off, now wouldn’t it?” Casey snapped. He was being forcefully ejected from his comfort zone, and the boy planned on flailing to the end…

    “Oh, so now he thinks everything in the world will just proceed as normal if I was dead, too,” said Palkia sarcastically. “And he thinks that time would still flow correctly, and that the waters of the Earth would remain clean enough to live off of, and that the very fibers that make the Universe itself would all surely stay in their rightful positions and even remain intact… Yes, you can go ahead and leave now. Celebi, Giratina, let’s go start designing our graves or something.”

    …until that happened.

    Palkia began to flap his wings, as if he were going to fly away right then and there. He actually got a few feet off the ground before our little savior interjected.

    “Wait!” Casey yelled. “Fine! I’ll do it!”

    “Good!” I chirped. “It’s not like you had any choice anyway, so accepting the inevitable makes everything run so much smoother! Now, we’re going to have to knock you out again…”


    “I was just getting to that.”

    “Oh,” said Palkia flatly, “do you want to be awake to experience the thrilling sensation of your body going through complete, speeded-up metamorphosis and changes that shouldn’t ever be experienced by a human being? Trust me, I’ve had to change shape before, and it isn’t pretty.”

    Casey sighed, defeated, as I slowly progressed towards him with my wing-hands spread wide.

    DS+ (Rotom)
  5. ShiniyKecleon

    ShiniyKecleon I am the Walrein.

    I'd like to do a quick overview of some of your comments regarding my previous edit, and maybe a quick review of your latest chapter (or I'll just add that in later...)

    -I'm perfectly fine with you using Giratina in the way that you did, so no problems there. Of course, since your name is Giratina (username, anyway), and you are also female, keep in mind that self-insertion can lead to unrealistic characters, etc. Be wary.

    -I'm completely glad that you realize the strangeness of the description, I had trouble altering my words to not come off as a complete jerk >.< Unfortunately, I cannot be of any real assistance, because you as the author are responsible for making final desicions, and, quite frankly, I'm as stumped as you are.

    -Though Giratina IS six feet in the Another Forme, would this kid know that? Even in third-person narrative, it's important to know that you are still speaking from the character's perspective in a sense, and in the particular instance you mention that calculation, it was Casey's observation of his surroundings; so it's illogical (in my mind, at least) that a kid knew exactly how long Giratina was.

    -If you can avoid using words that have no meaning in the Pokemon world, I'd advise doing so, especially since "form" or "creature" would probably suffice. I can even provide an example.

    "...black blob shaped like a sort of six-footed creature, with two arms it was using to presumably toss rocks with."

    Since it's entirely black, there's not much to describe, so I think just saying it's a living creature will do the job well.

    -And again I must mention that, even if Giratina WAS a snake in this scene, would Casey recognize it as a snake? Do regular ol' snakes even exist in this world? That kind of thing.

    Anyway, I'll add on a review of chapter two later... yay.
  6. Giratina!

    Giratina! Backstreet's back

    And now, I shall respond in a similar way that you did to mine.

    - Yes, Giratina was designed to be a blatant self-insert. I didn't expect her to be used past maybe as a one-shot character in the first story I ever actually finished (like I said in the first post, not posted here because the concept was good but the writing was bad), so I figured that there could be a little bit of goofiness in there. But then she snowballed into a recurring character, and in wandered Zero and... yeah.

    - I don't know how to do it either. [sighs]

    - You misunderstand what I am trying to say. Casey never judged Giratina's length - since he was far away from her it would be very hard. What Casey was doing was stating that Giratina had six legs, or six feet. If I was trying to have him judge her height/length, it would have been worded like so:

    Instead, I used 'six-footed', which was intended to mean that Giratina had six legs. The only way I could think of that being possibly misinterpreted was if it was translated directly from, say, Spanish, where people say the equivalent of 'I have twenty years' when asked their age or something. (Of course, I don't pay very much attention in Spanish class nor do I know any other languages, so I may be wrong.)

    - Mmm, animal forms (and, indeed, names) are used to describe Pokédex Pokémon up to and including the fourth generation (like Bidoof, the Plump Mouse Pokémon, or Prinplup - the Penguin Pokémon) so it seemed logical that the identifiers of Pokémon species for the 'Dex knew what real-world animals were generally shaped like.

    - I've already answered the 'do snakes exist' question in the previous point, so in response to if Casey would recognize her as a snake... well, her body was a long, thin extension of the spine with no arms or legs (but wings-which-serve-as-arms) and he's expected to know what a snake is - they don't, after all, breathe fire or cause tsunamis or anything to that effect and is therefore okay to be taught about. So yes, I think he would have generally understood that forwardform!Giratina was a snake.
  7. ShiniyKecleon

    ShiniyKecleon I am the Walrein.


    Quite foolish of me- yes, it was a simple misunderstanding. You've got one over me, then.

    Of course, I might change the term to "six-legged" since people like me tend to get confused from that =L

    However, it does beg the question of how Casey was able to be see Giratina at all given that it's cloaked in shadow. Apparently, she needs to spend a bit of funding on a more high-tech shadow cloaker if her best one still allows an 11 year old to see her >.>

    -While I can't disagree with the game Pokedex itself, I would still refrain from using it unless you've gone through a bit of questioning about the main character.

    For one, even if "real world" animals do exist in your world, would Casey know about them? Keep in mind that the school system may not teach about regular animals. If Casey has indeed learned about and can generally identify animals, then I guess it's ok to use that kind of connotation to describe Giratina...
  8. Giratina!

    Giratina! Backstreet's back

    [GIRATINA] Hey, when I'm not sticking halfway out of a portal to Never-Turn-Back, the stuff wears off. And plus the moon was up too.

    ...What are you doing here? Get out. Anyway, yes. The school system over in Calda has allowed regular animals to be learned about (but not seen because they're rather rare). Thank you for the feedback anyway - and I shall change that part! =D
  9. Giratina!

    Giratina! Backstreet's back

    {3} it's enough you're growing up in such a hurry

    “Oh, you’re up,” said Celebi. “I must say, you look much more interesting now.”

    It hadn’t taken long for the plan to be executed, and we finally got to sit back and admire the fruit of our many labors. ‘The fruit of our many labors’ was referencing, in this case, a person who looked nothing like he did yesterday. Naturally, the first thing Casey did when he woke up was look downward – but my wings were in the way to block his view.

    “Palkia wants to unveil it for you,” I explained before he had time to complain (as he was probably going to do).

    “I do,” said Palkia, “and I must say it looks better than I thought it would.” He turned back to his work, which was currently in the process of making obnoxiously loud whooshing sounds. Shards of light flew in every direction, illuminating the silhouette of Palkia (for he was blocking the view between us and the work) quite well.

    “Watch in awe,” I instructed Casey. “You probably won’t see this again.”

    He didn’t need to be told.

    “Done!” sang Palkia happily a few seconds later. “Are you ready?”

    “Go ahead,” I said to Palkia. He moved out of the way, and I whipped my arms away from Casey – and wisely relocated them to his mouth. The muffled scream still rang loud and clear in my ears, but at least it was soft enough to keep all of the nearby residents of Calda City (these humans can be SO original…) asleep and ignorant of approximately a million illegal things happening in their beloved safe-haven.

    In Casey’s defense, though, it was a pretty drastic change.

    The first, and most noticeable, difference was that he was quite a lot taller. This was thanks to Celebi, who used her time-travel-tweaking abilities to simply age Casey while she traveled forward into the future and retain that age when they made the return trip. This provided the effect – well, not the effect, because it actually happened – of kicking his age up from eleven to fourteen.

    “What in the…” Casey spluttered after I had cautiously removed my wing from his mouth. He didn’t say anything more, and seemed to reflect upon the fact that his voice was deeper than he was used to. “This is going to take getting used to…” He shook his head slowly, and noticed as he did so the flops of hair that dangled in front of his face. They were crimson in color, and his entire hairstyle looked rather like mine. It was a multi-spiked masterpiece that I had convinced the Unown (otherwise known as the Gravity Gods and watchers of the Ancientpowers, the things which gave Legendaries their otherworldly skills) to lift – no pun intended – it from their standard rules of gravitational logic. Two of the spikes were limp and dangled on either side of his face, while the ones behind it weren’t so much ‘spikes’ as ‘thick cone-shaped wads of hair’. Two more stuck out at an upwards angle, and finally one spike poked out the back.

    It was strange, I tell you. Palkia was entirely to blame, not me, so you can go and complain to the shrines of him if you want to.

    In any case, his hair was really odd. The eyes had changed color too – what was once a rather dreary blue color had turned stormy gray. His face had grown narrower (probably an after-effect of Celebi’s ‘artificial’ aging process), which made the funky hair all the more noticeable. His outfit was a purple one-piece rubbersuit similar to the one that hyperactive Kanto Champion… ah… Lance. Yes. His rubbersuit was similar to that of Lance, down even to the boots (which pushed up the legs of the suit, and were black with red stripes and soles). The only exception was that Casey’s was roughly the shade of a Sableye. He was also wearing blue gloves, which basically limited the amount of exposed skin to his face and part of his neck.

    Casey was evidently too shocked to speak. He slowly slid his eyes downward to stare into his palms, while Palkia and I (after sharing a glance) took the moment into our own hands.

    “Do you like it?” we chorused.

    Silence. Then…

    “N… NO!”

    I dove for his mouth a third time, but it was too late.

    “Okay, nice job breaking the secrecy, hero. We’ve gotta speed this up,” I sighed in Casey’s direction before turning to Palkia. “The object, Palkia, if you will.”

    “Certainly.” Palkia held out his arms once again, and in another small flash of light there laid a small square of red-and-gray striped fabric in his hands. I prodded the cloth tentatively, to make sure it wasn’t still hot or prone to falling apart due to the fact it was composed almost entirely of converted air molecules, and after it proved safe I picked it up and presented it to Casey.

    “Tie it around your neck, making sure the rock tied in there is near your mouth.”


    “Because that particular rock is not just any old rock. It happens to be a chip off of the Rock Megaphone, my personal instrument of choice…”

    “A megaphone isn’t an instrument!”

    “Um, yeah, it is. It makes noises. Heck, we’re playing instruments right now, just by talking. Anyway, by being tied into that particular bandanna it makes said bandanna indestructible. When you need to talk to me, duck your head down and hold Rotom in your lap or something. Speak into the Megaphone and, if you’re quiet enough, it’ll look like you’re speaking to Rotom.”

    “Ah, I see…” he said absentmindedly, fumbling with the bandanna.

    Celebi perked up at that point, scared. “Um, guys,” she said meekly, “there are people coming.”

    “Noroi!” I hissed. Palkia and Celebi looked at me, startled. “Gah, stop looking at me like that and go back to Oort! They’re coming, you know!” Celebi nodded and disappeared in another flash of dim light, but Palkia hung around.

    I turned back to Casey, who had gotten to his feet by now. “You need to get off of this island,” I said.

    “To where?”

    “Go head to the nearest airport, and find a young man with funny white hair waiting around in front of the entrance. Talk to him, and he should give you the ticket and directions on where to go. Now hide Rotom and scoot!” I pointed to the edge of the alleyway (not that anyone could see in the dim moonlight) and the voices became more obvious.

    “But…” he began.

    “If you have questions, just speak into the Megaphone Rock,” I said, as the light began to envelop me as well. “See ya.”

    And I disappeared.

    “Wonderful,” he mumbled as I left.

    Palkia spread his wings to leave too, but before he did turned his head to face Casey with quite a serious expression on his face. “Fate knows where you live, kid,” he said. “Try to evade it, and sooner or later it’s going to come chasing after you and hint you down. And it’s now always going to be as forgiving as Giratina trying to get you to face the facts.” The light soon enveloped him too.

    “Trust me on this one.”


    I reappeared in Never-Turn-Back quite weary.

    Not feeling like wandering around to find the Dea Procol Machina today, I simply teleported there. You see, those – and only those – who have been touched by the Ancientpower-G (brought to you by the Unown G, of course) may warp almost anything in Never-Turn-Back to their will. Basically, two creatures out of the entirety of them could do almost anything in here.

    The other creature who could do almost anything in here was Zero, but since he’s rather new to the concept his abilities are more limited than mine…

    …Oh, look. Here he comes now.

    “‘Funny white hair’?” was the first thing he said. I knew that was going to come back and bite me.

    “Well, there’s really no other way to describe it…” I started, shifting my red-eyed gaze of doom in Zero’s direction. He got my hint and dropped the subject.

    “Right. Well, I suppose I’m supposed to go give that kid the ticket?”

    “Well, I’m not, and the bus drivers are…” I paused to wave at a nearby Primape, who was eating Chestnuts on the job— “pretty much illegal, so you’re the only one left. Go give it to him. Here.” I conjured some ‘dollars’ (the currency used in Calda), which then fell into his hands.

    “But the time limit…”

    “…doesn’t apply when I give you a mission. You’ve still got your hour of roaming.”

    Grumbling about something involving laziness and glaciers, Zero disappeared.

    He appeared in front of me a few hours later.

    “I delivered them,” Zero said flatly. “Happy now?”

    “Quite. Thank you, Zero.”

    “Hmm.” He turned on his heel and stalked away, probably itching to get to the Reverse World or something. I watched him for a few seconds, afraid he was going to trip or something skulking like that.

    …And if he tripped, he would, um, be on my case about how dangerous Never-Turn-Back was. Yes. That was it. No end to the complaining on that one.

    I'm surprised nobody noticed that the only types Casey forgot way back in chapter one were Electric and Ghost...

    DS+ (for ease of imagination)

    Last edited: Oct 16, 2009
  10. Giratina!

    Giratina! Backstreet's back

    {4} the way the universes go

    Dawn was breaking.

    Somewhere farther along the horizon than Casey cared to look at the moment, the sun was just barely scraping the visible sky. This painted a rather nice-looking blast of colors upon Calda City, as the rays of overly-described radiance slowly squirmed out from the other side of the world.

    Of course, it was still just as frigid as the interior of a frozen Metagross.

    It was then Casey found himself very fortunate to be in an airplane, where there were some body-heat generators at the least. One of these body-heat generators (otherwise known as human beings) was sitting next to him, staring vacantly out the window. Fortunately, Giratina hadn’t made his hair look too stupid to be sticking straight up, though the part that was out behind him was sort of irritating when he happened to be in a seat with a back taller than his own. The odd glances did not stop, but they were something to be expected; after all, he wasn’t out of Calda yet.

    Once he touched ground at… wherever he was landing at, Solun or something, then he should be in the clear. After some further interrogation of Giratina, she had said that the island region was used for scientific research in the distant past but had made a return as one of the Regional Leagues entered under the giant listing of them kept somewhere in the Orange Islands (this, at least, he knew of). This meant a lot of Trainers running around – and, by extension, a lot of people in stupid clothes.

    According to Giratina and his own immensely limited experiences, anyway.

    Of course, someone was bound to mis-label Casey as a skilled Trainer based entirely on the stupidity of his outfit, but the woman sitting next to him made him feel slightly better. Her skin was somewhere between light and dark, about the shade of chocolate milk. Her trench-coat, which seemed to reach down to her knees, was roughly the shade of a paper bag. Wearing a gray shirt and some khaki pants, she had her legs crossed to show off the rather unimpressive black-and-green sneakers on her feet.

    Like most people Casey had met since this whole thing started, the most fascinating thing about the woman was her head. Her eyes happened to be an emerald green, and though her face was positioned away from Casey and towards the window, he noted in the reflection her eyes flicking around nervously every once in a while. Her hair was yellow-blonde and tied into a ponytail, with the tips of her bangs and ponytail dyed a mint green slightly lighter in shade than her eyes.

    Overall someone who, going on appearances alone, would look more like a teenager than a woman in her early twenties. But, alas, a twenty-something was what she was. She had one hand constantly in her pocket. Casey noticed her arm moving ever so slightly, and his brain set to work wondering what she had stored in her longcoat that was so immensely important that she couldn’t let anyone else see.

    He noted the look of relief showing on her features as the plane landed, and she shuffled down the line with not much more than an “excuse me”.

    ‘Interesting,’ he thought. ‘I wonder what other abnormalities I’m going to see on this trip?’

    As he found out upon exiting the plane, terminal, and finally airport, quite a lot.

    The entire city he was in seemed to all twirl around a central point – a giant tower poking above the skyline in the distance, with three shorter ones at strategically-placed points to form a sort of triangle. It looked rather imposing against the blue sky, but was either one of two things: one, it didn’t have a purpose (but it looked far to complex and un-stylized for that) or two, it did have a purpose and wasn’t being used right now.

    That, or it was doing something invisible. Casey preferred option number one.

    After some impressed wandering around the metal-coated city (the place looked so stylized and hi-tech that it was easy to jump to conclusions), he finally came across some sort of open park in what appeared to be one of the city’s many cobblestone squares. Checking out a map, he found (much to his dismay) that a certain arrangement of city, country, and remarkably straight waterways basically made the entire place look like an enormous Pokéball. He also found something more comforting: the people who named this city had no sense of originality. It shared a name with the region it was in.

    The region it was in was called ‘Holon’.

    “Holon?” Casey wondered aloud. “Why would someone name a region Holon?”

    “Because,” said a voice from behind him, “whoever was stupid enough to name the region and city the same thing also noted that ‘holon’ means – in some form or another, I don’t remember which – something that’s a part or a whole at the same time.”

    Casey turned around, only to look into the smiling face of a fifteen-year-old boy – presumably the owner of the voice.

    “Do I understand how that’s possible?” he continued rhetorically, snorting and seemingly unaware he was talking to a complete stranger. “Nope.”

    “Um… hello,” said Casey awkwardly, not sure what this kid was up to. Was it some sort of Holon custom to walk up to people and ramble about the meanings of stuff?

    He was relatively tall for his age, though his exact frame was hidden by the baggy clothes he was wearing. (‘At least,’ thought Casey, ‘there were no spikes or bandannas.’) He was wearing an orange hoodie and a red shirt – either the hoodie was too short or the shirt was too long, because the bottom of the shirt went below the hoodie’s hem as well as behind its deep V-neck. The hoodie was splattered with yellow periodically – on both elbows there was a round dot, and a half-oval coming up from the bottom hem. There were also two black triangles on either side below the armpits, dipping downwards rather steeply.

    The hair was the same color as his eyes – chestnut brown. It was evidently remarkably spiky; some stuck a little into the air, and some fell into his eyes as bangs. Compared to the rest of his get-up, the bottom half was decidedly less impressive; somewhat worn blue jeans and brown leather boots were nowhere near as exotic as everything else, but Casey – growing up in the closest region to ‘normal’ that most people knew of - had never seen someone dress like that before.

    As he fished around in the pockets of his pants for something, the boy turned his head and Casey got both a profile view and a shock – instead of more spikes on the back of his head, he had it tied back in a rather short ponytail. Finally, the boy found what he was looking for, and passed Casey a small mechanical object. On the screen was what looked like some sort of license.

    It was difficult for Casey to stop himself from wearing an expression of utter confusion. ‘Who in their right mind would name a child ‘Caro’?’ he wondered.

    “My name is pronounced Cay-roe, not Car-oh. It’s a common mistake, really, but accents are just such a pain to type into a computer that most people ignore it on registration sheets.” He snickered. “So, who are you?”

    “Ah,” Casey replied, “my name is Casey.”

    “Hey, cool, we’ve both got the first two letters in common. It’s pretty clear you aren’t exactly native… so what’re you doing in Holon this fine day?”

    Casey bit his lip. Had Giratina told him what he was supposed to do?

    Just as he was pondering this, a whisper was emitted from the rock settled in his neckerchief. “You need to sign up to be a Trainer,” Giratina’s voice mumbled.

    His eyes shot upwards ever so slightly at finding out that the rock actually did what it promised to, but Caro seemed too preoccupied to notice his reaction. “Did you hear something?” the boy mused.

    “What? No,” said Casey quickly, hoping to cover up the blunder. “Um, anyway, I’m here to sign up as a Trainer.”

    “Oh, signing up to be a Trainer! Cool. Well, I know where you’ll need to go to get that done, then.”

    “Really?” asked Casey. “Where?”

    “I’ll tell you…” Caro started. “…but there’s a condition.”

    Casey bit his lip, but didn’t respond. There was always a condition.

    “Assuming that you are actually accepted into and listed in the Holon Trainer Database, I want permission to come along with you on whatever journey you choose to tread.”

    “Um… what?”

    An exasperated sigh echoed from the rock. “You’re going on the Holon League Challenge, Casey,” said Giratina’s voice. “Tell him that; he’s not deep enough to ask more.”

    ‘How does she know what Caro is like?’ Casey wondered, but relayed what she said anyway. “I’m taking the Holon Challenge, actually. Sorry, blacked out there for a bit…” But Caro didn’t seem to be listening. His features had taken on the same confused expression, and he was looking off into the distance at an angle.

    “Wow, that is really weird. There must be something wrong with my ears…” He snapped out of the trance suddenly, and turned back to Casey. “Oh, so you’re following the Challenge. You know, a lot of people say it’s easier here than in other regions. You know, because of there being six Gyms and whatnot.”

    Casey nodded, not knowing any of this but pretending he did.

    “Most of the gyms – and their Leaders – are harder, creepier, stranger, or just more off-beat than what they’re used to, and it’s not a really big region in the first place.”

    “Really?” Casey replied. “I wasn’t aware of that.”

    “There are,” said Caro as he began walking. “Come on, you’ve got to follow me or we won’t get to the Lab.” After Casey fell into step beside him (Rotom having realized that Planet Casey had merged with Planet Caro to become the Groupies Galaxy, and hovered around both of them), the new acquaintance continued with his speech. “Yeah, sure. There sure aren’t any other Gyms or Leaders like ‘em, I’ll give you that. Say, Casey. Have you entered any regional tournaments before this one?”

    “Um, no.”

    “Oh, I see. Don’t be surprised when you move up to Kanto or Sinnoh or something and find some pretty mediocre opponents compared to these guys…”

    “Are they really that weird?”

    “So I’ve heard.”

    “Mhm.” Casey dragged out the first syllable slightly.

    “Right! So we should be getting to the Lab now. Let’s go.” Caro pivoted on his heel and started strolling in the opposite direction. Now, normally this is a (mostly) normal thing for a person to do, but Casey couldn’t help notice that he actually turned on one heel and didn’t seem to lose his balance in the least.

    Casey was, by this point, slightly confused. Hadn’t Caro pointed him in this direction a few minutes ago? Feeling incredibly foolish, Casey tailed after his tour guide.

    Eventually, they came to the city’s limits. Caro stopped and stared at a building in front of him, smiling proudly with his arms crossed. Casey (who had fallen behind as Caro continually picked up the pace until he was practically running) caught up to him, panting, and looked up at the building as well.

    It was a two-story building, wider than it was tall, with a forest green paint job. There were multiple windows, but only one door – it was on the right side, and painted a lighter green than the rest of the place. Caro explained that this was Professor Driftwood’s (not Dawn’s, as he was quick to point out, but her elder sister Delilah’s) laboratory, and was one of the certified locations in Holon where one could sign up as a Trainer and receive a starter.

    “But you need to receive a starter, even if you have a Pokémon on hand already,” explained Caro in reference to Rotom, who was still floating around inside the Groupie Galaxy. “It’s so that while most people are starting out with Bidoofs and whatnot, nobody can walk in with their Gible and be all, ‘I’m here to sign up with this immensely powerful Pokémon!’ Of course, they could just keep the other Pokémon and trash their starter, but a freebie is a freebie.”

    Casey’s head was whirling at all the indecipherable words, and so he merely changed the subject in the smoothest way he knew how. “At least this building isn’t covered with metal like everything else back there.” He glanced backwards at the more urban part of the city where skyscrapers did exactly what their name implied, with a pointy iron edge to boot.

    “Yeah, I know what you mean,” said Caro with a hint of sadness in his voice. “You know, that beg metropolis used to be some small scientists’ village when work was still centered on the Magnet Tower.”

    “’Magnet Tower’? Was that the big metal structure in the center of the city?”

    “The very same. A while back the people started messing around with electromagnetic… um… things, generated by something very hush-hush – people assume it’s a magnet of some sort, since the place is called ‘Magnet Tower’ and it has something to do with electroMAGNETism.” Caro put emphasis on the ‘magnet’ part. “But we know it was at the top of that Tower. Of course, after the scientists got pestered one too many times by Pokémon rights activists who were complaining that the electro-things were having a negative effect on the Pokémon in the area, the project was dropped. And then Holon – the city, of course – became used more for other things, and so the world continued to turn and eventually nobody was allowed in the Magnet Tower again.”

    “Fascinating,” said Casey flatly, having not picked up much of it at all.

    Rotom seemed interested, though, and halted his orbit to perch near Caro’s head about half way through his explanation. It was the first time (to Casey’s knowledge) anything had kept him occupied for more than five seconds.

    Caro coughed loudly to signify the end of his rambling, and Rotom returned to orbit. “Well, um, we should, you know, get in there, then.”
  11. Giratina!

    Giratina! Backstreet's back

    I come with chapterzorz. :D

    {5} hyakugojuuichi


    Casey was unable to say anything other than that. Upon entering the large building that was supposed to be a Pokémon laboratory, he hadn’t expected much – some bookshelves, a desk with a computer, maybe one or two Pokémon in cages, with the rest of the room being vacant space. Of course, he had clearly never met Professor Delilah Driftwood.

    “Can I help you two?” asked a voice from somewhere in the darkness. Speak of Darkrai, here was the Professor herself.

    She was a woman with black hair (which almost looked navy blue in the light), whose only apparent uniform consisted of a hanging white lab coat that was buttoned in the bottom half, but loose on the top. It was a strange look, and combined with the woman’s apparent fondness for deep V-neck shirts, it wasn’t surprising that some males felt uncomfortable (or quite the opposite) around her. However, Delilah makes up for this strange appearance with her straightforward attitude.

    “You seem surprised,” she said in a rather flat tone of voice. “Is there something about my laboratory that surprises you?”

    “U-um… no, not really,” stuttered Casey, who was currently recovering from having a woman in a lab coat hop out from the inky shadows. Most of the laboratory was either covered by complicated machines, books, or assistants. For, indeed, some people (also clad in lab coats, albeit ones that were buttoned normally) were squirming around inside the maze-like, dark mess of a lab.

    “Good. So I repeat my previous question – what are you here for?”

    Casey didn’t seem inclined to speak for the first second after Professor Driftwood had finished her own sentence, and this was enough for Caro to take the non-existent hint. “My friend here,” he said (seeming remarkably calm in the face of the Professor’s apparently stoic demeanor), “is here to receive a starter Pokémon and a Trainer’s License. He already has befriended a Rotom, as you can see, but the thing is not really a fan of battles. It likes hovering around things more.”

    Driftwood did not look impressed. “So you were simply carrying around a Pokémon without proper authorization?”

    Casey felt his stomach lurch, and figured that he might as well get it over with. After swallowing once, he replied. “Well… yes.”

    The woman looked him over for a few minutes under severe hazel-colored laser beams, and then nodded. “Fine. Come with me, mister…”


    She merely nodded again in reply (though Casey realized a second too late that she wanted a last name), and set off. Swerving calmly through the stacks of mazelike clutter, she gave off the impression that she knew this labyrinthine place like the back of her hand. The duo, of course, didn’t know very much about it at all; they kept their heads down to make sure they didn’t accidentally walk into some of the woman’s research.

    “For a lady so uptight you wouldn’t think she has this much stuff lying around,” whispered Caro, sidestepping a scale model of a Luxray.

    “It is sort of weird,” replied Casey in equally hushed tones, “but you can’t blame someone for acting differently than you thought they would.”

    Caro looked at him, slightly puzzled. “How old are you again?”

    “I never told you. I’m…” Casey hesitated. How much had Celebi aged him? Until he was fourteen years old, right?

    Caro wasn’t amused. “You alright?”

    “Yes, I’m okay. I just sort of blanked for a minute. I’m fourteen years old.”

    “Fourteen? Really?”


    Caro blinked and stepped carefully over an overturned stack of heavy books. “It doesn’t seem like it from the way you talk, I guess. Most people your age… I think they would act differently.”

    “You ‘think’?”

    “Yeah. More like…” Caro had unintentionally raised his voice at this time, and looked upward to see the glowering face of Delilah Driftwood.

    “Is there a problem?” she asked without any concern for whatever their problem may be.

    “No, ma’am,” the other two chorused.

    The Professor didn’t respond except for a raised eyebrow. Instead, she stopped walking at the back of the enormous laboratory in front of a desk. After shuffling and reordering the papers on the table, she finally seemed to find what she needed and turned back around to Casey and Caro. Trying to put on a warm smile that only served to make it more obvious that she really ought to stick to blank expressions, the woman in the lab coat began to speak.

    “Refresh my memory,” she said. “Who here has come to be a Trainer?”

    Caro stepped back at once, leaving Casey a step closer to Professor Driftwood. The youngest of the pair considered saying that he was the one to get a Trainer’s license, but figured it would probably look redundant after Caro had gone to all the trouble of isolating him. So instead he merely nodded.

    Professor Driftwood returned the gesture and turned around briefly to snatch some things from the desk. After this was done she swiveled back to face Casey, a clipboard (with appropriate forms) and pencil in hand.

    “You need to fill this out,” said the Professor in practiced cheeriness. “It’s not too long. Sit anywhere you like, or stand; just try not to knock too many things over. Arceus only knows what would happen if something else crashes into this mess.” She giggled, and Casey smiled meekly, but it was clear to everyone present that she didn’t find it funny at all.

    Taking the objects he was being handed slowly, Casey scanned the first line. The shadow of a grimace appeared on his face.

    “What’s wrong?” asked Caro and Professor Driftwood at the same time.

    “Oh? Uh, nothing.” Casey, startled by the synonymous question, looked up from where he was standing. Walking over to a chair that (miraculously) wasn’t covered with vitally important clutter, he crossed his legs and began writing.

    ‘Even at the first question it’s difficult for me,’ he thought. ‘What am I supposed to say to ‘List your full name, first and last’? Hadn’t Giratina said to make one up?’

    Casey chewed the inside of his cheek; any lip-biting would signify that he was either thinking hard or panicking, and the act of writing down one’s name shouldn’t fall under either of those criteria. Finally, he cleared his head and wrote down the first surname he could think of.

    The date of birth was next – changing the year a few notches fixed any of those problems easily. Home region was a little harder, but he decided to give the actual answer (albeit twisted slightly). ‘Region of Calda – moved to Hoenn at a young age.’ Casey was fairly sure he had spelled ‘Hoenn’ correctly – it was, after all, the only Pokémon-populated region other than Holon that he knew of that didn’t end in a long O.

    Then the questions got a little nosier. They began to feature such wonders as “WHAT POKÉMON DO YOU HAVE AT THIS TIME? LIST ALL OF THEM AS WELL AS ANY NOTES OF INTEREST.”

    ‘Oh, lovely,’ Casey thought. Quickly, he scribbled down, “Rotom. Accidentally took control of his own Pokéball and is unable to get out. Obtained before entering Holon.’ No way was he going to admit he got a Pokémon in Calda, after all.


    Finally Casey looked upwards.

    Caro didn’t notice the movement at first, and was in deep conversation with and what seemed to be his Raichu. Figuring the Pokémon was just playing with his Trainer and the two different species didn’t know what each other were saying, Casey diverted his attention toward the Pokémon professor. She had grown bored of waiting for him to finish up, and had sat down in a computer chair. In her hands was a thick, well-worn volume entitled in gold lettering ‘The Care and Keeping of Dragon-Types’.

    “Are you finished?” she asked, apparently forgetting to put on the ‘kind female Professor’ mindset. Caro and Raichu looked up from their thrilling discussion. Casey nodded and handed the Professor’s things back to her, which she took (tossing Care and Keeping back on the pile of books in the process) and began to read.

    And read.

    And read.

    Finally, the woman looked up from the desk and looked at Rotom curiously, who was now sitting on top of her computer and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself. Beast looked back at her and smiled toothily.

    “Yes, he really did that,” said Casey before the Professor had time to open her mouth.

    She cleared her throat and regained any lost composure she had shown in the act of gawking at Rotom. “Yes. Well. I believe this application is acceptable. Hold on a few minutes longer, please…” She pulled a clean sheet of paper out from under the mess upon her desk, picked up the pencil that Casey had used to fill out the application, and wrote some things down.

    Silently, she handed the note to Casey and in the same motion made a waving motion with her hand.

    Casey got the memo and Caro understood a second after; they both turned and walked out of the lab, saying about as much as the Professor did.

    “Were you a little scared by her, too?” asked Casey the moment the duo got out, Rotom having returned to his normal orbit.

    “No,” said Caro nonchalantly. “Not really. I must be used to creepy people by now or something… I’ve met far more than I should have.”

    “Really?” It was at this point Casey realized that he didn’t know much about Caro at all. Steeling himself for the probable answer, he continued before Caro could give another reply. “You know, you never really told me about your history, did you? Since it looks like you’re not intending on leaving any time soon, you might as well tell me.”

    “My… my history?” Caro seemed caught off-guard by this, as he stopped walking and blinked at Casey (the guy almost looked a little scared).

    Casey nodded. “Mhm. I’ll need to know this stuff sooner or later, won’t I?”

    The older boy gulped. “Um, yeah, I guess you would…” He didn’t go on any further. It was clear to Casey that he had just poked a rather unpleasant nerve, so he dropped the subject.

    Caro rescued it from the ground and dusted it off. “Well, truth is, you’ll never have heard of where I came from,” he explained, losing the grim undertone and returning to his normal optimism level.

    “Would I now?” Casey challenged light-heartedly.

    Caro nodded, smiling. “I’m sure of it. It’s a place called Treasure Town, and… it’s not around here, that’s for sure.”

    Casey raised an eyebrow. “Oh, please. Just ‘not around here’? I thought you knew better than that when trying to stump someone!” It was clear that they were both having a good time on this subject, despite Caro’s constant fumbling in the beginning.

    “That place… it’s practically in a different universe.” Caro snickered. “‘Not around here’ is an understatement, that’s true.”

    “Different universe? I wouldn’t go that far, Caro.”

    Caro shook his head. “Another way you and I are different, then. Though it really is something like that!”

    “Right…” said Casey. He meant to ask Caro more about the Holon League… whatever he was supposed to be doing, but then remembered that all of his information had been obtained by Giratina. She hadn’t bothered to tell him what the League challenge actually was.

    “Right now, we need to get to a Pokémon Center,” said Caro out of the blue as they returned to the city square. “You do know why, don’t you?”

    “I’m guessing it has something to do with this paper,” replied Casey uncertainly, holding up the paper in question.

    Caro nodded. “See? You’re getting it already. What you need to do is turn in that note from the Professor for a JAWS.”

    “A what?”

    “Journey-Aiding Worldwide System, commonly shortened to JAWS. It’s sort of like the Pokémon Digital Assistant thing they carry around in Orre, except this one has a map, Pokémon identifier, e-mail system, Trainer ID, and it plays music when you shake it very, very hard.”

    “Music? What’s the point of that?”

    “Well, see, it’s a certain song, and the JAWS are manufactured by a company whose logo is a Sharpedo…”

    Oh, the JAWS. Man, I got a kick out of that when I made it up a couple years ago... still do, actually. And now for the DS+ that's a chapter late!

    ds+ (character profile #1 - caro)
  12. Giratina!

    Giratina! Backstreet's back

    {6} we're gonna head down to the forest

    “Krooow! Mur-mur-KROW!”

    Casey grimaced. Who knew that merely walking through a forest path could irritate Pokémon to such an extent? He certainly didn’t. It hadn’t happened when he was walking through some of the other foliage-lined paths to and from Holon. However, as soon as he and Caro had stepped onto the path (Casey fiddling with a machine in his hands) a couple of black Pokémon felt the need to greet them in a rather loud and unpleasant manner.

    Instead of turning tail and fleeing like any sensible person, Caro had perked up at the sight of these black crows.

    “Casey!” he said excitedly. After he got no response, the boy turned around to see Casey backing away slowly, not wanting to startle the creatures into getting any closer.

    Caro would have spoken, but apparently the look he shot in Casey’s direction summarized any expression of confusion and irritation Caro wanted to convey. He sighed and returned to Caro’s side, still looking at the Murkrows as if they were going to explode at any moment.

    “So we’re not supposed to be escaping?” he asked.

    “Nope,” said Caro. “We’ve gotta fight them. And now would also be a good time to deliver some good old-fashioned tutorial wisdom, wouldn’t it?”

    “What are you going to tutor me on?” asked Casey. “Don’t we just tell our Pokémon to kill the other Pokémon or something?”

    Caro stared at him as if the boy had suggested they run up to the Murkrows and tear them limb-from-limb. “Um, hey, let’s not get into the whole ‘killing’ business until you know how to go about knocking them out.”

    Casey realized a little too late that killing the Murkrows was not standard procedure. Instead of dwelling on it, however, Caro took out a Pokéball from his left pocket. It was a teal blue one, with a black grid pattern on the top surface where the red was supposed to be. The bottom half was still white. He tossed it in the air and turned away from the Murkrows, now jeering immaturely (but not before pulling a disgusted expression at them).

    “Net Ball,” Caro explained to Casey, who was staring at it. “A variation of the modern Pokéball that’s more useful for catching Water-types. Such as…”

    “Azumarill! Azu-azu!”

    Rotom noticed that there were a couple of Pokémon invaders of the Groupie Galaxy and immediately set to work trying to make them leave in true Pokémon World fashion – with a seemingly turn-based brawl to the knockout. Azumarill squeaked in Rotom’s direction, and he soon understood that it was not a three-on-one battle and floated into position. The Murkrow jeered loudly and…

    …didn’t do anything else.

    Everything was at a complete standstill.

    “Um, Caro?”


    “Aren’t the Pokémon supposed to be… you know… fighting?”

    “Well, yes they are, but we need to give them commands first.”

    “Commands? Why don’t they just start duking it out themselves?” The Murkrow were beginning to get restless, and it appeared that this was precisely what they wanted to do.

    “The Pokéballs, Casey. Hey, the Murkrow are getting ticked off, they’re saying they’re gonna get out of here soon if we don’t make it worth their while. So… Azumarill! Water Gun on either Murkrow!”

    Casey barely had time to object as he watched the rabbit-eared Pokémon open its mouth and simply fire a jet of water at the Murkrow on the left side, in front of Rotom. It cawed and gurgled angrily, but didn’t fall to the attack.

    Rotom turned around. “Why aren’t you telling me stuff?” it asked, confused.

    “I, um, don’t know what your… er… attacks are.”

    “Oh! Oh! Right, right, there’s Thundershock, and Uproar, and Shock Wave, and Ominous Wind…”

    “Um, okay, hold on… use Shock Wave, then.”

    “I can’t do that!” Rotom laughed as if messing with Casey’s head was the most amusing thing in the world. The rather bewildered Trainer noticed the Murkrow sharing glances out of the corner of his eye, and it was obvious that they were amused by this incident.

    “Well… what can you use, then?”

    “Thundershock an—”

    “Thundershock! On the wet one!” Casey-logic prevailed once more in its owner’s head.

    Rotom snapped to attention and immediately began charging a Thundershock attack. The red plasma around it grew fuzzy, and even Beast seemed to buzz with the static being generated in Rotom’s blue-glowing core. Finally the ball of electric energy was released by way of simply discharging it all at once and using Beast to aim.

    The Murkrow did not fall quietly. It howled and cawed until it couldn’t remain airborne any longer, and it fell through the ground.

    Yes, through the ground.

    “What?” Casey-logic had failed the boy again (though he really should have learned by now that his logic is simply not all fit for a world inhabited by Pokémon), and he was completely amazed by this recent development. “It just went right through the ground! What on Earth happened there?”

    “Oh, right,” said Caro nonchalantly. “They don’t do that in other Regions. You must not know they do that. I don’t know how it happens either, ask any Trainer and they’ll probably say the same thing, but a lot of ‘officials’ on the subject say they’re all safe and are being transported for healing or something. Trainers' Pokémon don't do it, though, only wild ones do.”

    “Focus on the fighting, please!” wailed Rotom. “I wanna get this scary Murkrow away from me!”

    The Murkrow seemed to take offense to that comment and decided to aim its first attack of the session in Rotom’s direction. The crow Pokémon beat its wings a couple of times before cawing loudly, flying a little higher into the air, and swooped back down, subjecting Rotom to the full extent of Peck’s wrath.

    Rotom wailed as the sharp beak came in contact with his orange shell. Beast, being after all a shaped glob of energy, failed to protect its origin from such a quick, pointy strike, and merely passed through the Murkrow as it sailed on the desired downward path.

    Needless to say, the shock made Rotom crash to the dirty ground.

    Part of Casey wanted to rush in to the fight, snatch Rotom, and run the other way very fast. But after catching a glance from Caro (which somehow managed to convey the messages ‘Don’t you dare go in there, you’ll get yourself really hurt’ and ‘Don’t wimp out now’ at the same time) he kept his feet firmly where they stood and watched with relief Rotom springing up again.

    The thing that scared him about that scene was that he was watching Rotom with relief.

    ‘Relief?’ thought Casey. ‘Am I really relieved to see that Rotom is still alive?’ The thought, no matter how he looked at it, seemed to scare him. Was Rotom – a Pokémon, of all things – really so important that he felt relief when the thing survived an attack by a kamikaze bird?

    Noticing Casey’s scared expression, Caro (who had now mentally fit himself in as Casey’s mentor) decided to help him out again.

    “Catch it!” he yelled, pointing at the Murkrow. “Catch it!”

    Obviously, the good intentions of the statement were all but lost. “Um… what?”

    “You do know how to catch a Pokémon, don’t you?” Caro asked dubiously, before registering the severity of the glare Casey was sending back in his direction. Shaking his head sadly, Caro slowly walked over to his friend and self-proclaimed apprentice (keeping an eye on the Murkrow just in case), and handed him a small red-and-white object not too different from what Rotom was contained in.

    “A Pokéball,” he said matter-of-factly. “P-O-K-accent-E-Ball. You should know what it is by now. Throw it at the Murkrow!”

    Shrugging and figuring that it was going in the opposite direction than he was (and therefore posed no immediate threat to his forehead as Rotom's had done a few days ago), Casey chucked the ball in the black bird’s direction. It turned around just in time to see the Pokéball clock it clean on the base of its three-pointed crest. The Murkrow was slurped up in a flash of red light, and what was left to fall to the ground was a Pokéball, shaking like no tomorrow (and it hopped once or twice). Finally, it stopped quaking and stood still as a rock on the grassy ground.

    And then opened again, leaving the Murkrow to be sent out again in a red glow and the cracked shell of a Pokéball to be lying on the floor.

    “It… it broke!” Casey said in great alarm.

    “Yeah,” said Caro. “Dangit. Well, throw another one, then.”

    “I… uh… don’t think I have another one.”

    Caro sighed. “I’m going to lose my entire stock on you, aren’t I? Well, let’s hope that some overkill gets the job done. Remind me to force you into the Pokémart when we get to the next city and buy some stuff.” He fished around in his pockets for a few seconds and surfaced with yet another type of Poké Ball, this one a bright blue with red streaks down the sides. “It’s a Great Ball; more likely to catch a Pokémon than regular old Pokéballs do. Chuck it!”

    Casey flung the sphere in Murkrow’s general direction just as he had done before. And the scene began the same way too; Pokémon goes into Pokéball kicking and screaming, Pokéball shakes maniacally… and it stays intact.

    The duo basked in their brief moment of glory, until…

    “So is it going to not come out or what?” asked Casey.

    Caro smiled. “It comes out only if you want it to. That Murkrow that was bombarding us a couple of minutes ago? You can use it in Pokémon battles just like Rotom now, because guess what? As immoral as it sounds, that Murkrow is yours! Just try not to listen to it too much, though, because that thing has something of a foul mou—” He paused mid-statement. “Um, I mean, it looked like it would have one. If I understood it, of course, which I most definitely don’t.”

    Casey heard snickering flowing out of the Megaphone Rock.

    Gulping, he looked at Caro with a dubious expression. “So how do you know that, then?”

    Averting his gaze from the young ‘escort’, Caro looked upwards. “Hey…” he said distantly. “I think that we should be nearing the next… aha!”

    He pointed. Casey followed his gaze, thinking that it was some sort of distraction to get off the subject of Caro’s supposed inter-species communication. He was quite wrong. What they were staring at was a large slab of land, flanked on all sides by a deep moat of water except for a small path. Upon the peninsula was a large group of what were undoubtedly buildings.

    “Casey,” said Caro proudly, “Rhoter City is upon us!”

    There's not going to be much in the Delta Species Plus department for a while; my scanner has been deemed off-limits because some Australian cousin of a friend of my parents is now occupying the room it's in, and will continue to be there for a few weeks and thus severely restricting the use of the scanner for DS+ and related artistic activities. Yay?
  13. Giratina!

    Giratina! Backstreet's back

    {7} pokémon hunter s

    Rhoter City was, indeed, upon them.

    It was a peninsula, connected only to the mainland by a remarkably fragile thread of land that was partially dipped in water. Fortunately, the city council had taken mercy on foot travelers and built a large elevated bridge that the pedestrians could opt to walk across instead, to save their feet from being the temperature of a frozen Metagross for the rest of the day. However, there was actually another perfectly legitimate reason for building such a bridge.

    The view from it (as Casey and Caro soon realized) was also very pretty.

    Caro actually stopped about halfway across, walked to the railing-lined edge, put his hands in his pockets, and whistled in appreciation. “It’s nearing sundown, you know,” he told Casey. “Good thing we got here when we did.”

    “Yeah,” replied the younger boy, stepping alongside him and leaning on the railing. His red hair lost its gravitational properties for a few seconds and drooped over the edge. “Running around a route at night doesn’t sound very inviting.”

    “No, no, I don’t mean that! I mean if we were still walking along on that route right now, we would never see the sun setting over the water like this. Not that trekking at night sounds particularly inviting – I’d had more than enough of that a couple of years ago – but still…”

    “Wait… what?” Casey had, in actuality, been thinking the same thing. But after briefly considering if Caro would care about a sunset, Casey had said the more practical thing that came to his mind. His tutor in the art of Pokémon travel didn’t seem like the type to linger on things that involve beauty or other simple pleasures.

    Caro didn’t do much but smile. “You do think it looks good, don’t you?”

    “Oh, sure I do.”

    They stood there for a few minutes longer, and soon the wind began pushing their hair lightly in various directions. They remained standing there, letting the breeze whip their faces as non-threateningly as it could. Before long the sun plunged below the horizon, and Casey began to stir.

    “It’s over,” he remarked softly to Caro, elbowing him.

    “Huh?” The boy seemed to be lost in thought. “Oh. Right. I see. Alright, then, we should get going soon.” He backed away from the edge and began walking towards Rhoter, Casey following suit while trying to hold down a yawn.

    They continued in a similar formation until they stepped off the bridge, at which point Casey slowed down somewhat. When Caro turned around to inquire what on earth he was thinking trying to delay his mentor’s rest, he found the younger one simply standing in the middle of the street, looking around at the scenery.

    “We’ll have time for that tomorrow!” Caro called from a few yards away. “Come on, I’m tired!”

    Casey looked back at him – startled for a second, but then understanding – and walked back over to Caro. His eyes were still on a point on the horizon. “Hey, Caro, what’s the deal with that building over there?”

    “I don’t know. There are loads of buildings.”

    “No, I mean the huge one on the edge of town. Is it another professor’s lab?”

    “Um, not that I know of…” Caro followed Casey’s gaze and soon found what had captivated the red-haired kid’s attention. It was a building taller than most of the ones closer to him, which made it stick up from the rest. Atop it was a single antenna – it was a thick one, not bending to the forces of nature like some other building-toppers Caro could see. “Oh, that. I don’t know what that is, actually. We’ll go check it out tomorrow.”

    Casey’s personality switched abruptly. “Wha… check it out? What does ‘checking it out’ entail?”

    “Oh, you know. Going around the perimeter, sneaking in if it looks cool, that sort of thing.” Caro shrugged as if it was the most natural thing in the world to be sneaking into a mysterious building with no permission or supervision by someone with a maturity level similar to their age.

    “Sneaking in if it looks cool?” hissed Casey as he followed Caro’s eccentric path cutting through the city and into the Pokémart. “Are you insane? Who knows what could be in that place?”

    “That’s the point, duh,” snorted Caro as he walked up to the counter. “I need to restock some things; go find a backpack and we’ll check out, alright?”

    “Oh, okay. You’re paying, right?”

    “Naturally. You’re flat broke.”

    Reminded of this unfortunate circumstance and feeling considerably worse than he did coming into the city, Casey turned away and began to dive into the jungle that was the Rhoter City Pokémart. After grabbing one at random (they really all looked the same once you got past the colors and tags) he returned to Caro, who was loitering around near the counter, talking with the person manning it. Casey coughed loudly, and watched in amusement as Caro jumped in surprise before turning around and acting as if nothing had happened.

    “Oh, hi. You ready to buy stuff?”

    Casey nodded and handed over the backpack.


    “Hey, give her Rotom and Murkrow.”

    Rotom, upon hearing his name called, chirped happily. “Yaaa-” Casey’s warning glare cut off the exclamation of happiness. Rotom looked away, and Beast began to flicker before their eyes. Naturally, some wandering eyes in the Pokémon Center looked their way, but after realizing that there was nothing immediately entertaining they turned back to what they happened to be doing: eating, relaxing, or spending some quality time with their (‘Ugh,’ thought Casey) Pokémon.

    The Joy, however, simply smiled at them as if it were an entirely normal occurrence to watch a talking Rotom argue with its Trainer. “Please give me all of your Pokéballs so I may heal them and your JAWS as well so that I may verify that they belong to you.”

    Casey coughed. “Um, Rotom actually possessed his Pokéball… can he still be healed?”

    “Of course.” The Joy smiled (it made Casey feel slightly uncomfortable).

    After fishing around in his backpack to find the JAWS he had shoved in there at random a few minutes earlier, he removed Murkrow’s Pokéball from a handy strip of leather sewn onto the wall of the backpack that held up to six of the red-and-white spheres. Handing both of the objects to the Joy with Rotom following along with them, he caught sight of the other objects on the table.

    Another JAWS, a Great Ball, Azumarill’s Net Ball, two yellow-and-black Pokéballs, and one that seemed a lot more intricate than the others. It was purple with two pink blotches on both sides and a white M in the middle.

    Caro followed Casey’s gaze and jumped again. “Oh, hey! That doesn’t have a Pokémon in it. Oops.” He took the purple Pokéball and returned it to his pocket before putting another yellow-and-black one in its place. He shot an apologetic smile at the Joy, who simply retained her wide grin.

    Casey, however, bit his lip. “What was that purple one, Caro? You seemed quick to put it away.”

    Caro shifted his weight uncomfortably. “Oh, um, you know, it’s pretty rare. There’s only two people who make them. One of the guys gives ‘em to the lottery to make ultimate prizes, which are really hard to get, and the other guy… he’s…” Caro’s voice faded into nothing. “Well, I try not to strut that I have one too much, okay?”

    “Sure.” Casey wasn’t particularly convinced.

    “Your Pokémon have been taken to the healing rooms,” said the Joy, cutting into their conversation. “Please return in two hours to claim them.”


    “Well, we have two hours to kill and we can’t leave the city…” noted Caro. “Wanna get some dinner? It’s, like, six PM now.”

    Casey nodded slowly. “I think there’s not much else to do that won’t occupy our time for another- Oof!”

    The boy had seemed to be lost in thought while walking. While lost in his miniature dreamland, Casey had failed to realize that he was on a collision course with another person in the busy town square until he was shown the hard way. Naturally, ‘the hard way’ was the two crashing into each other with great force.

    “Oh, I’m sorry!” laughed the woman he had rammed into after she recovered from the blow. “I wasn’t looking where I was… Hey, don’t I know you?”

    Casey got his senses under enough control to send a message of what the woman looked like and what she said. After a few seconds, exactly who this woman was registered itself in his mind. “Oh! Yes, I saw you on the plane.”

    “Right.” The woman smiled. “I think I was sitting next to you.”

    Caro raised an eyebrow. “So you know this chick, then? Not bad, I say.”

    Both of them turned on him, glaring.

    “Anyway,” sighed the woman in a firm voice, “my name is Sheridan o’Reilly. I’m a traveling Trainer and rare Pokémon hunter. Who might you be?”

    “My name is Casey. I’m a traveling Trainer and… well, just a traveling Trainer, I suppose.” Casey shrugged apologetically, as if he was ashamed to not be counted with a shiny title like Sheridan was.

    “You’re also taking the Holon Gym challenge,” noted Caro. Casey inclined his head in the boy’s direction as if to say, ‘That too.’

    Sheridan’s face lit up at once. “Oh, the Gym challenges! Hey, I did that when I was younger. There’s only six Gyms here, you should know that, but each and every one of them has an eccentric little twist to it that makes the entire experience vastly different than any other’s…” Sheridan laughed. “Some say that Holon is best for beginning Trainers trying to get up to the big Leagues. They’re out of their minds.”

    Casey laughed weakly. “Um… yeah. Well, this is actually my first Region, but only because it was the most convenient.”

    “Oh yeah? Are you from Holon?”

    “No… um, I was born in Calda then moved.”

    Sheridan nodded understandingly. “I see. Well, I was born and raised in Hoenn, and eventually got lovingly booted out into the world to do something. Rare Pokémon hunting was my profession of choice.”

    “So, if you’re a rare Pokémon hunter, why were you in Holon?”

    She laughed. “I can’t be plagued by the constant phobia of missing a Shiny all the time, you know!” Caro snorted in amusement too, as if he actually knew what a Shiny was, but Casey was (as always) left in the dark.

    The woman sighed. “No use beating around the bush. Would you mind if I joined you in your growing posse? Not that I’m in it just for the nostalgia, I’d like to see some more of this place too, and maybe catch up on what I had missed back in the days when a Sandshrew was all the rage for me. So what do you think? May I join in?”

    Casey flicked his gaze to Caro, who nodded eagerly. ‘Somehow I doubt that had much to do with whether she would be a good addition or not,’ he mentally grumbled, and then tackled the brain job on his own. Looking her up and down, Casey took a few steps back before remembering something very important to this woman’s story. “So, if you’re a rare Pokémon hunter, where’s your rare Pokémon?”

    “I thought you’d never ask,” said Sheridan proudly. “Here.” She fished a Great Ball out of her pocket and released it. After the red light faded, there stood a round, purple creature. The top half was a light lilac purple, the bottom a bit deeper and closer to violet. On its head were two ears, twitching constantly, small and beady eyes, and a short but wide trunk. This was all well and good, but the thing that really took the cake was the brief flash of white sparks that came out as the Pokémon did.

    “See, this is Kaeo,” explained Sheridan. “He’s a Shiny Drowzee.”

    “Now, what most people don’t know about Shiny Pokémon is that the alternate coloration is truly a malfunction in their DNA, like albinos are to humans. It’s also considered a disease, though, because the skin, fur, or feathers of the creature is discolored and as such tend to shed off a fine, flaky, but very glittery powder.” She rubbed a finger along what appeared to be Kaeo’s arm and displayed one glitter-covered finger out to the impressed teenagers. “What goes on when a Pokémon with such coloration when it’s released from a Pokéball is unknown, but it has a mysterious tendency to send out a shower of this shining stuff in an enormous burst. Usually, the shine-powder isn’t noticeable.” She took a deep breath. “These Pokémon are called ‘Shiny’ because of this powder, and are regarded as a sort of collector’s item among trainers. Regular ones don’t really care about them because they don’t have any statistical advantages over regular ones, but some – like me – are different.”

    The only word that Casey and Caro could say was, “Whoa.”

    Sheridan and Kaeo basked in their awestruck stares for a few moments before snapping back to reality. “So that’s my story. Mind if I come with you?”

    “Uh… sure. Go ahead, I guess.” Suddenly, looking at Kaeo sparked a thought in Casey’s mind. “Hey, do you know what time it is?”

    “About…” Sheridan checked a watch on her right wrist. “Seven-thirty. Why?”

    “We need to be back at the Pokémon Center at eight to pick up our Pokémon – they got in a pretty bad fight with some foul-mouthed Murkrows and…” Caro stopped short, eyes wide and scared. “Uh, I mean, yeah. They got in a fight with some Murkrows and got pretty hurt.” He nodded. “So we sent them to the Pokémon Center and intended to get some food.”

    “Hey, I know a place!” Sheridan’s eyes brightened as she returned Kaeo. “Hey, Rhoter isn’t a big city, and it’s my hometown to boot. Do you want the grand tour?”

    “’Kay,” they said in perfect unison.

    ...Okay, so I lied about the 'actually going to finish NaNoWriMo this year' thing. And also, now you know what my sig's all about! Isn't that AWESOME??? =D
  14. Giratina!

    Giratina! Backstreet's back

    {8} we're not nosy, we're just concerned

    The advent of Sheridan and her arrival did not help Casey’s attempts to convince Caro that sneaking into a mysterious building with no authorization was a really, really stupid idea.

    Hence why the ‘leader’ of the trio – and also the youngest compared to Caro and Sheridan (twenty-five years of age) – had found himself being dragged along in the wake of Caro and Sheridan after a good night’s sleep at the Pokémon Center. They were currently leaning against the west wall of the building in a frail attempt to look as inconspicuous as possible, formulating a plan to get in.

    How such a preposterous thing stemmed from a totally innocent, ordinary, legal tour of the city Casey didn’t actually know.

    “I still don’t see why we have to go in at all,” said Casey. “I mean, really, it’s just a building. Surely you’ve seen that before?”

    “Yeah, but there’s something about that building that I don’t like,” said Caro. “It seems… suspicious, somehow.”

    Sheridan frowned. “Hey, have either of you two kids ever heard of Team BDV?”

    Both eyes turned to her. “No,” they said in unison.

    “Is that sort of like those… um… not-really-teams in other regions, like Galactic and Magma and those guys?” added Caro.

    Sheridan seemed to wince at something he said, but nodded nonetheless. “Yes, like those guys. Well, uh, Team BDV runs along the same lines. They seemed to like thinking that nobody knew they were much more than an innocent company of unknown production earlier on, but eventually things about them leaked and they haven’t tried so hard to cover up their tracks. You still don’t see their underlings around here very often, though – from what I’ve heard, their ranks are small.”

    “Small?” asked Caro. “Does that mean none of them, uh, Grunts populate the place?”

    Sheridan shrugged. “They still have Grunts, just in smaller numbers. I’m surprised you’ve never heard of them before… you seem to be something of an expert on evil teams?”

    This apparently struck a nerve. “They aren’t ‘evil’,” defended Caro, crossing his arms. “Just… you know… unconventional in nasty ways.”

    “…Which basically means ‘evil’,” noted Casey.

    Caro harrumphed and turned the other way.

    “Anyway, if we’re going to go in, we’d better,” noted Sheridan. “Well, Caro? Since you seem to be the most knowledgeable here, what’s your say in the matter?”

    “Let’s go in,” he said in reply.

    “Don’t I get a choice in the matter?” asked Casey.

    “No,” the other two replied in chorus.

    “We’re going to get in so much trouble for this,” he reminded them. He was returned with a couple of confused stares.

    “Stop thinking like an eleven-year-old,” said Sheridan (who, naturally, didn’t quite understand yet that Casey still had the mental disposition of a boy exactly that age).

    Casey grimaced, but didn’t respond as the trio slunk around the back of the building. Caro very nearly stepped on a particularly large piece of dry wood, but Sheridan held him back by the hood (they were in single-file order; there wasn’t much else she could do). He shrugged in her direction and hopped over the branch a little more dramatically than was absolutely necessary.

    After making quite sure that there was no convenient back door that could possibly make entrance easier, they walked away from the building and held a kneeling conversation on what to do next in the nearby foliage.

    “I still think this is a bad idea,” noted Casey helpfully. He was ignored.

    “The only way in is through the front entrance,” noted Caro. “There was one really suspicious-looking door in the lobby – I saw it through the window, stop looking at me like that – and since there was really no other door that I saw in there and there must be some purpose for the rest of the building…” All of their eyes flew up towards the top of the building.

    “There must be a key,” mumbled Sheridan more to the air than to anyone else.

    “Yeah,” said Caro.

    “I certainly hope not,” sighed Casey. “I’m the one on the journey, don’t forget that…”

    “Yeah, but we’re the ones who are helping you. So we need the ability to make some decisions on what to do.” Sheridan crossed her arms as she switched from kneeling to sitting Indian-style. “You’d be lost without us, don’t forget that…”

    “Well, there’s a way in there, and I intend to find it!” cheered Caro complete with fist pumped in the air, a little louder than was absolutely necessary. As the other two leaned in closer to shush him for being so loud in such close proximity to clearly evil people, a distinctly human-shaped shadow fell over all three of them. Its body language didn’t look happy.

    “Hey!” boomed a voice from the general direction of the shadow. “Don’t you people know this place is off limits? Scram!”

    Sheridan was the first to look up from Caro’s shocked expression, whether at the intruder or his friends it wasn’t clear.

    “Grunt,” she whispered to Casey and Caro.

    Oh, yes, it was definitely a Grunt.

    Now, Team BDV grunts dress oddly, but any evil-team Grunt worth his salt does, anyway. This guy was covered primarily in a sleeved cloak with no middle hem, but seemed to convey the message of ‘dress’ more than anything else for a few seconds. The hood was up and over the BDV Grunt’s head, plunging the top half of his face into shadow, save for the eyes. A diamond-shaped pattern of insignia with a few lines and three dots inside it was embedded onto the front hood of the robe-thing. Overall, it was a pretty normal BDV Grunt except for two things: one, BDV grunts don’t often wear gray gloves.

    Nor do they typically carry around blunt weapons.

    The blunt weapon in question was a thick metal pipe, which was currently slung over his left shoulder like a baseball bat. The man’s other hand was on his hip, and he was frowning at them. Nobody moved.

    The grunt turned his head to look both ways before acting, and then he kneeled down, holding the metal pipe like a staff. “No, seriously, you need to go,” he whispered. “This is still considered BDV turf, and I’m not kidding when I say nobody else would care about what you were doing here.”

    “We’d better,” muttered Casey. “Thanks. Come on, guys, let’s go.” The group nodded in agreement and got to their feet. They all took a brief pause to dust themselves off calmly before running away very, very fast, with the BDV Grunt feigning some yelling act to attempt to chase them off.


    “And finally,” said Sheridan after they had gone through a tour of the rest of the city, “this is the Rhoter Gym. The Leader here trains Water-types. I think there used to be a Rock-type Gym Leader, but he passed on before I took on the challenge. The second in the line of Water Leaders runs it now.” Rotom took the opportunity to flick from the Casey Orbit to the newly-established Sheridan Orbit, which snatched him with one hand and proceeded to observe for a second before returning the struggling Ghost to its natural motions.

    “So do we go in?” asked Casey.

    Sheridan nodded, waving off the last of the ectoplasm Rotom had spilled onto her from his blue-glowing core. “We do.”

    As they pushed their way through the revolving door, they were immediately greeted with a waterfall.

    Oh, it was a nice waterfall. Yes, a very nice waterfall. But it was also a big waterfall, and practically the only thing in the room as far as they could see. Oh yes, the rest of the room had a very nice shade of blue on the walls, but the calming effect was sort of diminished by the big waterfall roaring like an angry Ursaring that cut the room in half. The trio weren’t amused by the sight.

    “Do we have to walk through it?” asked Caro.

    “I hope not,” added Casey.

    “I think so,” said Sheridan, walking up to the waterfall with one hand over her eyes to block the spray of water now emitting from it. “And there’s got to be some sort of trapdoor on the other side. There’s not any other way around it. Do you see one? I mean, it’s an empty room with a waterfall crashing through i-”

    And then the waterfall stopped.

    Yes, it just suddenly stopped flowing. The last bits of water crashed to the grate as gravity called to them, and now that the room beyond the waterfall was revealed it was made quite obvious how they were going to progress.

    Well, they were going to walk right over the grate.

    Shrugging and smiling, the group stepped over the grate; Sheridan, being the closest, walked past the grate and no-longer-roaring waterfall. She turned around on the other side and beckoned with her hand for the two boys to follow. Caro, wise in the ways of Gym Leaders and their Gym traps, scrambled across quickly. Casey, on the other hand, hesitated a few seconds before walking back across.

    As a result, the back-facing tips of his hair got dripping wet as the waterfall resumed its course.

    Badly startled, Casey gave a little squeak and had to be pulled out of the way by Sheridan while he was willing his heart to return to a normal beat. After that had been accomplished, they turned around and faced… two more waterfalls, these separated with a wall in between them.

    A few seconds passed, as the trio (and Rotom too, admittedly) waited for the water on one side to stop. Because clearly the one that stopped first was the right answer to go down (well, okay, it wasn’t and they knew it, but what choice did they have?). However, a few seconds of surprise were scavenged up when both waterfalls stopped at the same time and they each had to pick a waterfall to look down. As soon as they had committed the scene to memory and looked over to the other side, the waterfalls started crashing again.

    “Okay,” said Casey. “So the one on the left led to a path that looked like it wound to the right.”

    “And the one on the right,” added Sheridan slowly, “went to the left.”

    “So does that mean they both connect with each other?” wondered Caro. “It must, since they both bend the same way, right?”

    “Sure it does!” chirped Rotom, who surprised everyone with his presence.

    “Not necessarily,” said Casey. “For all we know, one of them could be a trap!”

    “A trap?” asked Caro in disbelief.

    “Well… they do put traps in these places, don’t they?”

    “Yeah, yeah,” said Caro, “but what I was wondering about was how do you know that?” He crossed his arms and stared down upon Casey, using his half a foot of height advantage to its fullest. Casey looked up at him for a second and then diverted his attention towards the waterfall.

    “Well, if they’ve got kamikaze waterfalls, then there must be traps too, right?”

    “…He has a point,” admitted Sheridan after looking at the waterfall as well for a few seconds. Caro shrugged and returned to his normal posture.

    “Well, okay then. We split up. Sheridan and you go this way, I’ll go the other. And if one of them leads to something bad, we wait for the waterfalls to stop and walk back out and go in the other way.” Caro accentuated his directions with a pointing of the finger in the given direction. “Are we all in agreement then?”

    “Okay,” shrugged Sheridan, picking Rotom off of his orbit and observing him again like a Sableye would a particularly delectable piece of diamond.

    “Um…” mumbled Casey, thinking it over and trying to repair the various parts of his Casey-Logic which had been shattered in the last five days (was it five? Casey was beginning to find it hard to keep track) he had been pulled into this journey. “What if we can’t get out of it? What then?”

    Caro waved Casey’s worry away with a few flicks of the hand. “No Gym Leader would do something that evil.”

    Casey gave an unconvinced grunt as the group split up. ‘Would they really not?’ he wondered, trying to take his mind off of the fact that he was worrying far more than was absolutely necessary. Though this was a boy wandering around in a mysterious Gym with none of the guiding light that Sheridan and Caro had projected onto him, and he was at least expected to be slightly unnerved…

    …Well, that’s just the way Casey was, and that was also why he jumped roughly a foot in the air when a face – and, a few seconds later, a whole entire body – materialized in front of him.

    “Watch it,” grumbled the boy as he slipped past Casey, practically at a sprint and carrying an orange monkey-ish Pokémon in his arms. “Oh,” he backtracked and noted as Casey swiveled around to investigate, “watch your feet. There’s something down that path there and you won’t be getting out easily.” And then he was running off in the direction of the waterfall that Casey had just passed, seemingly swerving back and forth as if he was fighting off some sort of blackout.

    Gulping and quite unnerved by this spontaneous event, Casey shuddered and got back on his scheduled path. However, he very soon felt quite alone, and so vouched for the companionship of his increasingly-silent partner. “So, Rotom,” asked Casey to the air, “what do you think is past here?”

    No reply. ‘Oh, well, that’s nice,’ thought Casey grimly. ‘Not even a hyperactive little Pokémon wants to talk to me right now…’ And he turned his head upward, intending to grab Rotom out of the air and maybe hold a forced conversation (but hey, if he wasn’t holding one with himself, then it was an improvement, right?).

    And he found oxygen. Plenty of oxygen. But he could have all the oxygen in the world concentrated in that one building and he wouldn’t give a Ratatta’s tail about it because Rotom was not with him.

    However, a young woman in a bikini and a sea blue flower-patterned (was that a flower?) towel wrapped around her waist was.

    And she was wielding a Pokéball like it was a weapon. And a girl in a bikini, even one holding a Pokéball, was more than enough to push Casey’s sanity ever closer to the hypothetical edge.

    “Oops, did you take a wrong turn?” snickered the bikini-clad lass. “And get your hair wet too? Aww! Ah, well, guess what? Our eyes met, didn’t they?”

    “Uh… no…”

    “They are right now! And that means you’ve got to battle me.”

    Casey silently cursed his manners for dropping him into that trap. “Fine, but can we make it a one on one match?” He thought of adding ‘please’, but manners didn’t get him very far a few seconds ago.

    “Ooo, one on one match! I like a guy who knows what he’s doing! But… I have two Pokémon… and I want them all to be seen by everyone! So we’ll make it a two on two!” The girl snickered at Casey’s face (which had swiftly turned to a shade of pink) and tossed the Pokéball into the air. It whisked back to her hand cleanly, and what came out was a slightly disturbing but remarkably cute sight in and of itself.

    It was almost entirely rounded, except for a few protrusions for flippers, feet, and ears. The top half (which tilted backwards along the creature at about a 180-degree angle) was a sky blue, while the lower half was beige. It had a huge, grinning mouth, and a pair of disproportionately small, beady eyes to boot.

    The JAWS gave its name after some fumbling, shaking, and dunduhdunduhdunduhdunduh-ing, and at that point Casey was quite convinced that the Spheal was going to haunt his nightmares for however long they cared to last.

    Gritting his teeth at the unfortunate double-whammy of staring at that thing and the thing he was about to send out, Casey practically flailed Murkrow’s Pokéball out of his hand. Naturally, this led to the black bird being sent out (quite literally) on a crash course to the ground, which in turn triggered a bout of very angry squawking.

    Casey wasn’t quite sure what it was saying, but the nightmare-Spheal was losing its scarily idiotic expression for some legitimate (and intelligent) fear.

    ‘Yes,’ thought Casey. ‘Please keep on doing that.’ The nightmare-Spheal wasn’t quite as horrifying when it was horrified. The girl simply snickered.

    “Oh, by the way!” she called. “My name is Marianne!”

    “N… nice to know.” Casey blinked as the fog in his brain cleared. “Alright, then, let’s start the battle.” Did he know why this random girl, Marianne, had challenged him to a fight? Nope. But he knew that this was probably another one of the Gym Leader’s tricks, a powerful Trainer sent to a corner of the waterfall-maze to knock out Trainers who might actually get to them.

    Murkrow’s irritated squawking (and the downright hilarious expression of horror on nightare-Spheal’s face) brought him back to the present day. After briefly scanning Murkrow’s moves on the JAWS, Casey returned the small Sharpedo-stamped object to his backpack and stared down the Spheal. (It was too busy cowering in fear to notice.)

    “Alright, then,” he said with a sudden courage that he wasn’t quite sure he had a couple of minutes ago, “let’s do this! Murkrow, use Haze!”

    Murkrow gave a loud, booming caw. As the crow Pokémon gulped in air afterward, though, out of his mouth spewed a large amount of black smoke which them proceeded to settle comfortably over the battlefield. Giving another hooting screech, Murkrow plopped to the ground and struck a pose that will be familiar to anyone with a younger sibling: he held his feathers over his head and stuck his tongue out from an open beak.

    Spheal whined loudly.

    “Powder Snow!” called Marianne’s attack from the dark.

    After a brief caterwauling fit, a few specks of snow began to fly through the dark barrier that the Haze created. They simply drifted lazily for a moment before seeming to realize that they were actually there for a purpose, and that they needed to fulfill it. The entire group of snowflakes then proceeded to slam themselves into Murkrow as one snowy entity. As Murkrow screeched loudly and flapped his wings, even more flying snow particles simply washed the Mist away with the wind they were carried on.

    The haze swept away into nothingness, as Murkrow tried to shake off the clingiest cold goop that had stuck to him.

    “Fine,” said Casey, “so that didn’t work. Well then, Murkrow, use Pursuit!” Did he know what it did? Nope. But it was a damaging attack – that much he knew – and Murkrow could use it. So he watched with arms crossed as Murkrow spewed another screech (the Spheal cringed) and dove towards the big, round target.

    The big, round target rolled out of the way without its Trainer telling it to and fired an Ice Ball in Murkrow’s direction. Having already set a course for the Spheal, Murkrow had no time to swerve out of the way before the frozen wad of ice clocked it in the face. Spitting what Casey could only assume to be some unpleasant words in Pokémian, Murkrow shook its head to dislodge the remaining shards of ice from its crest and stood back up, poised to continue the fight.

    “And again!” cheered Casey, pointing at Spheal in true anime fashon.

    Murkrow cawed his approval and took to the air again, this time making quite sure to hone in on Spheal before attacking. He made a nosedive for the little creature, and though the Ice-type squealed and scrambled it simply couldn’t evade Murkrow’s attack.

    Diving lower to Spheal, bringing himself parallel to the ground, Murkrow screeched again and practically speared Spheal with his beak. The bird turned his head to the side and clamped down on Spheal’s ear with his beak before clutching the tail with his talons, henceforth leaving the Spheal to ride around in the dirt while Murkrow performed a victory lap that he assumed would be truthful.

    “Murkrow! Put him down!” snapped Casey. Murkrow obliged to his Trainer’s wishes, albeit grudgingly.

    Grumbling angrily, the Murkrow soared back to its usual position in front of Casey and resumed much the same pose it took at the beginning of the match: glowering at Spheal with all of the wickedness it could muster. Murkrow grumbled something at Spheal before following Casey’s next order.

    “Peck it.” Casey didn’t quite recall whether this was on the Pokédex listing either, but Murkrow was in possession of a beak and should therefore be able to hit something with it. Fortunately, the Pokémon seemed to respond to his call, and Murkrow took to the skies once again. This time, though, he didn’t bother with any fancy flying; instead, the crow Pokémon simply dropped on its feet in front of Spheal and pecked it hard in the nose before pushing off into the open air once more.

    Spheal whined and fired another Ice Ball.

    “What? You didn’t tell it to do that!” objected Casey.

    “Oooh, someone didn’t read up on their move descriptions,” cooed Marianne in that sickeningly high-pitched voice of hers. “When it makes contact, Ice Ball will keep on hitting the target for five turns until it’s at its biggest and strongest, and then…”

    She was cut off as the Ice Ball soared into the ceiling of the Gym and shattered into many pieces, which rained down on the entrance of the waterfall maze. Screams were heard as other people trekking through the maze watched a clump of frozen water fly over their heads.

    “Mmm,” said Casey, turning around with one gloved hand on his hip to look at the damage that Spheal’s Ice Ball caused. “Doesn’t look like that quite made contact.”

    Marianne simply huffed angrily as she turned to her Spheal. “Okay! Teach that mean Murkrow a lesson! Fire a Water Gun!”

    Spheal screeched in reply and opened its mouth wide. This ended up taking up about half of the front part of his body. Casey was a little creeped out by the huge grin, but Murkrow didn’t seem to be dazed by it and simply waited for the attack to come.

    “Astonish!” called Casey. Upon looking at Murkrow again, Casey could have sworn he saw an energy in the Pokémon’s eyes that he definitely didn’t have before. The Murkrow bobbed his head slowly up and down as he flew towards Spheal in an eccentric fashion, bobbing and weaving from one side to the next. Casey had no clue what was going on, but Murkrow seemed to be convincing Spheal that something was very wrong, and that was nice. He skirted away from the Water Gun with ease, and finally drifted towards Spheal, mumbling and humming things under his bre-


    …Okay, so Casey didn’t know that was going to happen. He, along with everyone else in the area, jumped at least three inches in the air at Murkrow’s sudden outburst of raw sound. Murkrow had dropped from the air and landed onto Spheal at the exact same moment. And this time he didn’t even have to drag the Pokémon around the ring; it was quite obvious that Spheal was knocked out.

    Murkrow counted the seconds on his feathers, holding up one clump after the next to form five finger-like appendages. One… two… three… four… five.

    “Aw, boo, you won! Fine! Hmph!” Marianne tossed a few things in a random direction, recalled Spheal, and stormed away. Casey caught the objects and peered down at them curiously for a second before realizing just what they were.

    Murkrow gave a cry of triumph.

    Consider it repayment for the horrendously short chapters I've been spewing out lately.

    ds+ (character profile #2 - marianne)
  15. Giratina!

    Giratina! Backstreet's back

    {9}the meanness of resistance

    “She’s still in Holon. I sense it.”

    On the top floor of the Rhoter BDV Building, making up the entirety of one of the walls, was a glass panel. It was extremely strong and reinforced glass, not likely to shatter without a long fight, and yet was also perfectly transparent. The only frequent occupant of the top floor found this glass panel very pleasant to look out of when he was feeling particularly… devious, which wasn’t really quite often considering his position. But that brief little feeling did flicker to life in his mind, and so he decided to ride the cliché wave to its fullest. Crossing one leg over the other, the man in the chair leaned his head on one arm, slouching in the armrest-endowed swivel chair.

    “Oooh? Really? Think so? Mrrrhrrrrhrrrr. I don’t think She can leave, can she? Mrrr?”

    His chair, which was facing opposite the desk in front of his and the rest of the room, suddenly took weight from the back.

    The occupant of the chair turned his head to look over at his new acquaintance. He didn’t need to look at him to know who had invaded on his space; there was nobody else he knew who spoke in a pitch like that – and nobody else period who said ‘Mrrr’ on such a frequent basis.

    “She must be able to, Juan, or else I think we would have found Her by now.”

    The man got up from his chair, leaving Juan – who was still leaning on the back of the chair – to correct the balance of his companion’s perch (and himself) before both tumbled into a mess on the floor.

    “Oh, but Hikaru, mrrrrhrrrr, you know how She hates people.” Juan picked himself up easily – ‘Honestly,’ thought Hikaru, ‘that man’s a real acrobat even if he does walk like a Spinda’ – and wandered to his side once again. “Mrrrr… we learned that from the other guys, right?”

    Hikaru shook his head, letting the blue-and-red bangs that framed each side of his face like a Cloyster shell wave how they would. He ran his spindly fingers over slicked-back blond hair so silvery it was practically white, sighing daintily as he did so. “The trouble with Her,” said the man, crossing his arms under the white poncho (with triangular red and blue patterns on it), “is just what you said. She hates people; apparently she learned from the last group’s efforts to locate Her. This makes our job harder, and that spire back in the capitol isn’t making matters any easier what with the… things it makes.”

    “Ooooh, mrrrr, like us?”

    “No, not like us. It stopped making things like us a while ago, didn’t it?” A moment after he asked this question, Hikaru realized that Juan probably didn’t know the answer. Not mentioning it, the man listened to Juan’s ‘Mrrr-rrr’ (he intoned it like anyone else would say when they’re shrugging). He turned to the window and placed a hand on it, letting the twinkling lights of Rhoter illuminate tiny fragments of the inky sky. “I can’t help but feel bad for the Pokémon… not just Her, but all the others being affected by that thing…”

    “I guess you should,” said Juan. “It’s not hard to see why, I think. Some sort of… mrrrrr…” He thought for a second, trying to think of the right word. “Oh! Some sort of retained fragment… piece… thing. Of back then. Mrrrr. But don’t let the Boss hear you talkin’ like that, mrr?”

    “So, you don’t?”

    “Me? Mrrrr. No, not much.”

    Hikaru shook his head again. “Juan, you can be so strange sometimes.”

    “And you’ve just figured that out, mrrrr?” Juan laughed loudly, catching Hikaru by surprise and making his jump, startled.

    Hikaru – who, it should be noted, seemed to have the patience of a martyr, if not a saint – simply continued to look out the window, and spoke more to the window than to his companion. He talked softly, as if mourning a deceased loved one. Even though Juan’s eyes weren’t visible, Hikaru could tell he was blinking in surprise. “I’m sorry for them. Only five will be commonly seen, and She may be in danger too, but there are more. And I feel for them.”

    And then the door slammed open.


    “Didn’t I tell you guys to keep out?”

    ‘Well,’ thought Casey, ‘that was unexpected…’

    Indeed, after claiming the Tide Badge from Marianne (who was, as it appeared, the Rhoter Gym Leader), the trio had returned to the Pokémon Center. Trekking through the Gym had apparently taken up the entire day, and you couldn’t do much in a small town like Rhoter at six at night. That night, Caro had come up with an idea with a competence level to rival the average invention of Dr. Kaminko (or, in other words, absolutely moronic) – why don’t they all go back to the evil Team’s base which that had been forcefully ejected from just a few days ago to see what was going on in there?

    Why, it was perfect. Clearly, nothing could go wrong.

    Except, of course, being caught again by the same person they had seen last time they attempted to break and enter the Rhoter BDV building. But they had gotten inside the ‘employees only’ part of the building this time, so that was an improvement, right? Perhaps.

    But Palkia just wasn’t on their side today.

    “Umm…” said Caro, averting his eyes from the man who had found them twice now. The Grunt was still holding that metal pipe, and he looked about ready to make use of it, too. “Yes, about that.”

    The Grunt sighed, clearly exasperated. “Listen, twe- eh, pests, you seriously need to get outta here! If you don’t…”

    Casey crossed his arms and scrutinized the Grunt. “Help us get to the bottom of this.”

    “…wait, what?” The Grunt had apparently gone on a brief rambling spree on what, exactly, would be done to them if they didn’t comply to his demands. He apparently didn’t expect to be interrupted – especially from the guy who, he had realized last time, was a total wimp.

    “You know, the bottom of it,” he continued. “What’s going on in here. Come on. Please?”

    The Grunt snorted, clearly not impressed. The kid had started off strong (and had even gotten him worried for a moment there) but then was blown back into territory usually only reserved for ten-year-olds. “Okay, I don’t know who you’re trying to fool with that ‘please’ act, but it certainly isn’t me. So unless you’ve got some sort of crouching-moron-hidden-persuasive-genius thing going on I suggest you—”

    It was at that point that Caro interrupted with an irritable sigh. “Do you want us to get your sorry tail out of here or don’t you?”

    This froze everyone in their tracks.

    “No,” said the Grunt with a tone about as firm as a wall made of Jell-O.

    “If you did, you would have called… whoever you call on us by now, right?” continued Caro with a slight smirk. It seemed (to him, at least) that he had won the fight.

    “You know what? That’s a wonderful idea. I think I’ll do that right now.”

    Apparently not.

    The Grunt reached slowly for his pocket, as if daring Caro to snap out suddenly and wrestle his arm from its proper position. But no, Caro did not dive for him, and the Grunt actually pulled out the small machine and held it to his mouth, one finger hovering about half an inch away from a button that very clearly implied ‘On’. Everyone – including the Grunt – held their breath for what was clearly about to happen.

    They knew he was going to press it. He knew they knew he was going to press it. And he didn’t.

    “You know what? Again?” he said. “You’re right. I don’t want to press it. You three did a better job of sneaking in here than I did; you escaped once. Leave it at that, won’t you?”

    “No way,” said Caro and Casey in unison.

    He sighed. “Oh, come on, really, I’m not kidding. Just go, okay?”

    Sheridan crossed her arms and delivered the first of many Death Glares to one of the rest of the unsuspecting inhabitants of the world. Death Glares, as the rest of the world would soon learn, were clearly not to be trifled with.

    “And we’re not kidding either,” said Sheridan with an iciness in her voice that none of the others had heard before. “We’re here to get to the bottom of this, and we also intend to do it. So help us up to the top of this Mewforsaken building and get your tail outta here or be stuck doing… this for however it takes for another chance like this one to kick you in the gut.” She crossed her arms. Overall, even though the Grunt was taller than her by at least three inches, she came off as remarkably scary. “It’s all your choice, of course.”

    Casey was relatively sure that Sheridan was just as surprised by this outburst as everyone else.

    “Um. Well.” All scary or otherwise imposing presence the Grunt had generated for himself dissolved in a matter of seconds. And he didn’t say a lot for the next few minutes – neither did anyone else, for that matter. They mostly just stood around and looked at one another, not really knowing what to do. Sheridan was firm in her assumption that the Grunt had finally cracked, and was right now waiting for him to sigh dejectedly and think of a way to get them up to the top of the building without a particularly large punishment.

    And that’s exactly what he did… well, the first part, anyway.

    For, at that time, a staticky noise came from somewhere in their general area. “Hey? Hey! RT-102, what’s the holdup? You’re supposed to be at the Sixty-Sixth Junction by now! …Mrrr!”

    The Grunt, instead of sighing again as he was expected to, brightened considerably and put one gloved finger to his lips. He then leaned casually on the metal pipe he seemed to carry around and whipped out a walkie-talkie with his other hand. “Ah, yes, sorry about that. Well, there was a problem, but it’s all resolved now. On my way.” He shoved the walkie-talkie back in his pocket and turned back to the group.

    “Okay. So. Right now, the guards will probably be staying in their assigned positions because my monitoring spree was interrupted by your dropping in. So you’re going to follow me and hide somewhere – like a side closet or something – and let me go on my way. The shifts change every five minutes, so it will take about half an hour for me to return to your place again, but when I do I’ll knock on something and point you in the direction of the next floor.”

    He didn’t wait for a response, but rather started walking.

    After a brief silent consultation with each other, the trio shrugged in unison and followed him down the hallway.


    A knock.

    The three had found themselves stuffed inside a relatively cramped little room, with Casey and Caro pressing themselves against the wall and Sheridan attempting to do just that with a big broom in her way. They were all getting rather bored (as a matter of fact, Caro had begun to fall asleep), but finally the sacred noise rang out to them. Everyone looked up happily, but the door opened for them.

    “Across the hall. Quickly!”

    The three slipped past the Grunt with relative ease (it was soon decided that Sheridan would go first) and they made a beeline for the staircase at the other side of the long room. It had a lock on it, but that had been disarmed and now dangled uselessly from the hole in the door handles.

    Sheridan glided up the stairs like a ghost, Caro acted like he was wearing lead boots (which earned him an irritated ‘Shhh!’ from the others), and Casey found himself somewhere in between.

    They emerged on a small landing shaft. Walking over it and through a door to the room beyond, they found themselves in the middle of a long hallway; it formed a T, where they just came from being the vertical line and the rest of the floor spreading out on each side.

    “Do you remember the place being rounded like this from outside?” asked Caro to nobody in particular, walking a few paces to the left and peering down the appropriate hallway. Everyone else answered with a shake of their heads. Making a ponderous ‘hmm’ sound, Caro walked further down the hallway while the other two hadn’t even made a move. Casey soon noticed that the boy had darted off, and scrambled after him.

    Finally, after a (very) brief chase, Casey caught the older boy by the back of his hood. “Whaddya think you’re doing?” he hissed. “We’re not supposed to be here! Don’t just run off!”

    Caro reached behind his back and moved Casey’s hand away from him, frowning as he did so. “Jeez… you’re starting to sound like Kris in here…”

    “Eh?” asked Sheridan, walking up behind him. “Chris? Who’s he?”

    “Not Chris with a CH, but Kris with a K.” Caro turned around. “When I went around Sinnoh, I traveled with her for a lot of the time. Dunno where she ran off to now, though.”

    The red-haired boy smiled and seemed on the verge of laughter. “Oh. I thought that you meant ‘Chris’ and that he was like… a not-blood-related sort of older brother or something.”

    Caro shook his head. “Nope. My not-related-sort-of-mentorly-detachedish-older-brother was named something else. Anyway, let’s move.”

    The other two followed him, trying to collect and register what the word ‘not-related-sort-of-mentorly-detached-older brother’ meant. They proceeded relatively unscathed down the hallway – the guards were lesser in number and considerably more drowsy up here, since the honchos probably didn’t expect as many infiltrators really getting to the second floor.

    Finally, after slipping into and out of a couple of doors to evade the shifty and quite guardly eyes of the BDV Grunt who happened to be running their sector of the rotation at the time, the small band of ‘explorers’ slipped into the stairwell across the hall and stormed up the first staircase, past a landing with a door, up another flight, and onto the next floor of the building. They didn’t notice the window sticking out from the door, nor its incredible usefulness as a stakeout spot.

    And that was where they picked up their first three stalkers.

    Last edited: Dec 19, 2009
  16. Giratina!

    Giratina! Backstreet's back

    {10} no boundaries

    Hiding, for a lot of creatures of Earth, was a rather difficult task. There was all that business of squeezing in tight spaces, or climbing to high vantage points to peer down on below (and maybe get in some target practice), and the terrible bother of actually keeping yourself there. Of course, some of the residents could bypass this issue; some had camouflage, or others were just too fast to be caught. And some had both, such as the little ball of fuzz now flicking between the trees, looking around constantly…

    …she wasn’t labeled as the Mirage Pokémon for nothing.

    Yes. Amarachi was still hanging around this place, even though she was well aware that people were looking for her and that it was dangerous to stay here. Even though she was being constantly harped by the other Mewkizuu she knew so well. Even though making a concrete home for herself somewhere was just asking for trouble of the most uncomfortable kind. But Holon was her home, and no… person was going to take that from her with their cold and merciless grip.

    They had already taken enough without.

    The small pink creature slipped up a tree, looking around for any potential danger which might have arisen. Eventually, her ears picked up a faint buzzing noise, coming from the human settlement – ‘City’, was it called? – near her hiding spot. It was most definitely an irritating buzzing noise, it was coming from the city – specifically at the oversized tower where Those People tended to hang around, and it would… not… stop.

    Amarachi was a member of the Mewkizuu, a fancy word for the multiple Earth-dwelling ‘Mews’ spawned from a rather uncomfortable incident involving the only original Mew (fondly referred to by the Mewkizuu as ‘Mother’ or respectfully as ‘Origin of Species’ or just ‘Mew’) and some electromagnetic torment on the part of humanity. Mew had accepted the almost-clones as another species in her great line of descendants, and proclaimed them the ‘Mewkizuu’ from an old Pokémian word of the Mew Dialect which meant ‘in spirit’.

    And, truth be told, Amarachi couldn’t help but think that maybe there was something distinctly unpleasant about that tower over there.


    “There they go,” mumbled one voice.

    “Moving a little fast, are we?” noted another.

    The third just giggled.

    The closet which Casey, Sheridan, and Caro had just passed was not empty as they had assumed (and was, indeed, actually there) in the rush of quietly scrambling across the floor as fast as possible. Of course, it was pitch-dark in there, so the ignorance was somewhat justified.

    Despite the fact that three distinct voices could be heard, only two of them were human.

    Kidd Summers readjusted herself uncomfortably; she was in a rather strange-looking position (considering her partners Billy and Aerith – yes, really, Aerith – had occupied most of the floor space in the already-cramped room) of a sort of suspended pirouette with one foot against the back wall and both hands trying to balance herself. This left nothing free to move from her face the strands of brown hair that had evidently come loose from her far-too-perilous haircut. Trying to remove the strand by blowing on it, Kidd’s attempt failed and the innocent lock of brown hair fell in front of her face again.

    Kidd glared daggers and laser beams at it.

    “Yeah, I see you,” mumbled the woman under her breath. “Off of my face, please? It’s important.” She tried to push the hair away by waving her head, but all that did was make the two other oversized buns on both sides of her head wave uselessly.

    Pouting, Kidd turned back to Aerith as she spoke.

    “Would you stop fidgeting? We need to get them! Find your costumes!”

    Everyone straightened up immediately, and Kidd began shuffling around in the junk for the ‘costume’ that was required sporting for the big guys higher up in the Team. It was as if this strange Chinese shirt-thing and black leotard wasn’t enough to satisfy their strange outfit fetish! But, then again, Kidd did wear a pretty funky outfit on recon missions, so not all the blame went to them. Fastening the midnight-blue cape around her shoulders with a brooch shaped like a round blue gem, Kidd waited in the semi-corner for Billy to compose himself.

    Well, of course, he was already wearing his outfit.

    Fitted over the man’s bulky frame was one of the Grunts’ robes, except his was unbuttoned and looked more like a longcoat than anything else. The hood wasn’t up either (Arceus forbid anything restrict the enormous mess of green palm-tree tangles that was his hair). Under the blue ‘coat’ was a white shirt and dark pants. He was wearing old, beaten-down sneakers.

    And Aerith was a Delcatty, so she never really needed to worry about that sort of thing. Because, you see, Pokémon aren’t really required to wear outfits because they really don’t look as good in them as people d—

    Oh, yes, about the whole talking Delcatty thing.

    Well, Aerith was rather unique as far as Delcatties went. After some… er… ‘experimentation’ with magnetic energy, it left the Pokémon (then a Skitty) to speak English… but not Pokémian. Any attempts at speaking her native tongue would inevitably fail. It wasn’t pleasant and at all useful to lose one language and gain another, but it was an English-speaking Pokémon the scientists had on their hands… so why not fork it up to one of their best agents? Why, yes, that was a wonderful idea. And besides, Kidd was saddled with Billy already, so it couldn’t get much worse.

    Well, Kidd was hardly ecstatic to learn that she had gotten yet another tagalong dumped on her, but regardless of this feelings of kinship grew among the three and upon evolution the Skitty earned a name.

    And so was born the trio of Billy, Kidd, and Aerith, super-stealthy-slippery-seekers and current ninja guards. They watched on (mostly) silently as the trio of intruders waltzed by completely unaware of their presence. After sharing a few glances and mumbled words, the BDV operatives opened the door while praying it wouldn’t squeak, and slipped out after them before skipping back into another door. This remarkable stealthiness only worked for about a minute before they decided it was too dangerous and should take it the Old-Fashioned Way, but it was relatively nice while it lasted.

    One of the intruders (the one with the red hair) wandered over to the side for a few seconds, examined the blue wall in front of him curiously, and then called the other two over. They came, curious as to what he was harping about, and the redhead reached into a rather dark hole that protruded from the wall. He groped around for a few seconds in the hole, and finally pulled out a small dark stone, ovular and about the size of a peppermint candy.

    The Raichu-hoodie intruder whistled, impressed at his find.

    The blondie intruder gave a little gasp and practically pranced over to him, examining the object with great delight and proclaiming that Casey now had in his possession a Dusk Stone. Which he could use to…

    “Oh dear,” said Kidd.

    Redhead had a Murkrow, apparently, and Dusk Stones were a wonderful way to evolve one’s Murkrow. He asked something about how evolution works (‘What is this kid,’ thought Aerith, ‘Caldan?’), looking at the stone in Blondie’s hands. She and Raichu Boy begin to explain just what it is, and after a few notes that there was a possibility the Pokémon’s personality could change (Redhead looked pleased with this) he whipped out a Pokéball.

    Within a few seconds a Murkrow was on the floor, taking a karate stance.

    Redhead sighed exasperatedly and told him that he was going to evolve soon if he wanted to. The boy put emphasis on the ‘if he wanted to’ part (‘Yes,’ thought Aerith, ‘either Caldan or just a rookie. No experienced Trainer would ASK their Pokémon to evolve, for Deoxys’ sake!’), and after the Murkrow nodded its head and pumped a few wings in the air, Redhead took the stone and…

    …didn’t do anything.

    He was just looking at the stone and the Murkrow, wondering what to do with it. After touching the small, dark thing to various places on the Murkrow’s body (crest, chest, tail, beak, etc.) the Dark-type seemed to grow tired of its Trainer’s stupidity and displayed how to properly use an Evolution Stone.

    He popped it in his mouth and ate it.

    Redhead’s jaw fell open as the Murkrow let it sit in his mouth for a moment before swallowing. A few seconds passed, a swirl of light filled the room, and where the foot-tall Murkrow had been sitting was perched such a threatening and sleazy bird that it looked like the appropriate housepet of a Mafia boss.

    Its chest seemed to puff out naturally, and the bulky appearance was only made more obvious by the obnoxiously large tuft of white feathers that set out against the red and midnight-blue draping the rest of its body. Small, beady eyes peered out from a crest which was now more of a fedora than a mutated witch hat, and its wings had blood-red feathers on the inside. The tail had morphed to the same color.

    The Honchkrow gave a grating caw. Blondie and Raichu Boy admired it for a few seconds – Redhead didn’t look so pleased at his Pokémon’s new look. The newly-evolved Honchkrow flew around the room once, cawing like a maniac.

    Aerith got the distinct impression it was some sort of demented victory lap.

    The three BDV ops shared a worried look – more evolved Pokémon meant more powerful Pokémon, and more powerful Pokémon meant harder-to-dispel Trainers – but then all decided at the same time that it wasn’t really too much of a problem. After all, their Heads – the two BDV Admins who lurked in this building – would wipe them out easily. (Or at least Mr. Hikaru would.)

    And then, out of a side door, slipped Grunt CD0000. He looked surprised at the Honchkrow.

    Billy, from his much more comfortable position in the new closet, elbowed Kidd softly. She put a finger to her mouth in response and kept looking on. CD0000 moved closer to the intruders, and Aerith smiled a little; maybe he was going to turn them in, or even better: whack them around the head a few times with that wad of metal he carried around like a child’s blanket before turning them in! The Delcatty gave a toothy grin at the thought, but she was soon set straight.

    No, he wasn’t turning them in, or whacking them around the head. No. He was… talking to them. Politely. In sane conversation.

    Aerith’s eyes slid over to meet Kidd’s (which looked worried) and Billy’s (which were unreadably goofy as always). “This means trouble,” mumbled the Normal-type to her ‘coworkers’. She sounded excited.

    “Follow ‘em,” said Billy. He was a man of few words, but a few of these words held infinite knowledge disguised in slang terms. This phrase was not one of them. However, it was decent advice and (as Kidd could tell Aerith was going to point out) just barging out and yelling at him was really no fun and they would all be caught in due time anyway (the trespassers for trespassing and the turnrobe for double-crossing) and so the three decided to watch and follow. They nearly missed CD0000 walking away again.

    They followed him leaving through the same door he had came with a renewed eagerness to catch someone in the act. And when they looked back at the three trespassers they were gone.


    Indeed, the trio had left Billy, Kidd, and Aerith’s field of vision. Instead they were walking up a spiral staircase which wound around another one, and directly into a lot of trouble. For at that moment, a man was walking up the other staircase, seeing as Hikaru had gone to all the trouble to call him up. And since Hikaru had done that, well, Hikaru was sort of the superior officer between the two Admins, and Juan didn’t enjoy disobeying superior officers.

    They tended to get mad when you did that. And even though Hikaru is very difficult to irritate, when you do it’s… not pretty.

    Juan wasn’t turning his head to the three, and considering his eyes were veiled by a very strange deep hoodie with goggle lenses cut into it where his eyes were, it wasn’t hard to understand why. He wasn’t looking at them (even though the man often came across as scatterbrained, her certainly wasn’t stupid), since looking at them would mean that they might have a subconscious urge to look at him, which would certainly not turn out well.

    And so it came as no surprise to him when he slipped off into a side passage that wasn’t there and they didn’t notice.

    Well, alright, it was there. But it was hidden so well behind one of the multiple dangling strips of colorful cloth that hung two apiece on one of the ridiculous amount of landings and a few on the walls. And so Juan slipped behind a blue-and-orange cloth and nobody noticed the man in the Swampert suit.

    ‘Yes,’ thought the man as he found himself in pitch darkness and began navigating the room as if it were in broad daylight, ‘I think that Hikaru won’t be happy about this.’

    “But should I tell him?” wondered the man out loud. “I don’t think so. I can always deny I knew anything.


    He scampered up another abandoned elevator shaft (it had taken a lot of insisting to the Boss that he would feel a lot better climbing up and down himself, and Juan liked to respect the rare scrap of kindness given by the Boss) which wound up and around the walls of the building. Indeed, this place was a lot stranger and larger on the inside than on the out, but that’s what happens when two of the owners know nothing about architecture and the third was insane.

    Juan gave off a little mrrring sound as he climbed, dangling from metal frame to metal frame, never really losing his balance despite the strange and very dangly outfit he was wearing.

    It looked for all the world like an inappropriately-sized hoodie, with the drawn-up hood dangling well over the eyes (that’s where the goggle lenses came in) and two blue fin-like structures spurting up from them and around the back of the hood. Two spiky strands of orange hair hung down from under the hood, framing his face which was now twisted into a wicked, deranged smile. The opening in his hood hung on him as well, giving a view of the black shirt underneath down to around the top of the chest. Down the middle of the aqua-blue hoodie was a wide, light-blue strip, and on the outside of either arm orange spots. They appeared again on the knees of his navy-blue pants.

    Overall, a very dangly, strange-looking outfit for someone in such a lofty position to wield. But Juan liked it that way, and he wasn’t about to change this either.

    …It reminded him of things long-gone, after all.

    He continued to scamper up the pseudo-ladder as Caro, Casey, and Sheridan continued to stomp up the staircase. (Billy, Aerith, and Kidd had given up on ever finding them and keeping their heads totally intact after the twin staircases were brought into the equation.)

    Juan climbed up and into a short tunnel which eventually led to Hikaru’s office with a soft ‘mrr’. A few seconds after he slipped in, the trio of intruders reached the top landing. Before Casey could do anything, Sheridan wormed to the front of the procession and walked up to the door. She took hold of the handle and signaled for the boys to keep quiet.

    And then she turned.

    And the door slammed open. She stepped into the room, sending death glares in many different directions. “So what are you suckers doing?” she asked in a very different and more intimidating voice than the two other travelers were accustomed to.

    But – just in this one instance – it actually sounded an awful lot better than her normal one.

    “Juan,” responded Hikaru, nodding to the man in question as he did so.

    “Hi-ka-ruuuuuuuuuu,” taunted Juan, elbowing him slightly. “Come on, just this once, mrrr. I haven’t seen you battle in awhile. Wouldn’t want you to get rusty, now would we, eh?”

    Hikaru pouted and turned to the three intruders. “Well. Fine.” He took a few steps closer and tried to contort his feminine face into something relatively scary. Whipping a Luxury Ball out of his pocket, the BDV Admin took a few breaths and tossed out his Pokémon. The Togekiss flapped his wings happily, and gave a singsong chime as a few feathers dropped to the ground. Everyone except for Hikaru (including Juan) looked on in disbelief for a few seconds, until Sheridan took a step back.

    And then another.

    And then another. And then she retreated into the doorway and pushed Casey and Rotom in as she did so.


    “Go on,” the twenty-something assured her. “Just use Rotom. It’ll be a breeze, and I don’t think you’ve even used him that much yet.”

    Sighing in defeat at the hands of Sheridan (and with Caro not looking like he was going to object) Casey walked forward and, with a wave of his hand, sent Rotom out onto the battlefield. “Okay, use—”

    “Ah-ah!” called Hikaru, shaking his head. “I’m not going to let a battle take place in here, foolish boy. Far too many delicate and personal objects, you’ll understand, yes? I assure you, there is a perfectly good formal battlefield we can use instead. Come along.” Hikaru walked right past Rotom, Casey, Sheridan, and Caro, Togekiss and Juan following right behind. The latter looked quite unimpressed with his superior’s decision to prolong a decent fight even longer, but Togekiss was just as beaming and radiant as when he had just come out.

    “Might as well,” observed Casey.

    Caro shook his head and mumbled something about ‘this is not how raids are supposed to go’, but followed anyway.

    “It shall be a three-on-three battle,” said Hikaru with an inappropriate amount of pleasure in his voice. “I’m afraid there’s a pressing matter I need to attend to and don’t have time for much more. Is that alright with you?” He didn’t seem to notice the slightly-confused expression currently ‘gracing’ Casey’s features and the bemused glares of the young Trainer’s comrades (and Juan).

    Casey blinked. “Er, I’ve only got two Pokémon.”

    “Three-on-two, then!” Hikaru smiled as if this were the most normal thing in the world.

    “Is that even fair?” asked Casey in disbelief as he walked onto a bright red, railing-rimmed platform that looked like it should probably be where he stood (considering Hikaru had a blue one on his side of the field). “Oh, yes. Since you only have two Pokémon, I’m sure they both must be trained up to wondrous levels, yes?”

    “Um.” Casey shifted his weight uneasily. ‘How am I supposed to survive THIS?’ he thought while batting down the increasingly powerful wave of panic that threatened to eat him up entirely.

    Much to his surprise, aforementioned platform began to rise into the air, slowly at first. Casey realized with a jolt just what the railings were for as he clung onto them in surprise (after jumping about three inches off the ground).

    Hikaru did the same thing, without all of the startled reactions, and waved his hand to signal that Togekiss go onto the battlefield. The white feathered Pokémon did so happily. Rotom, sensing Casey’s gaze on him, had Beast nod vigorously and zipped down to the appropriate position. He chirped happily, eager to do something cool, and practically bounced around on the small area where he was to wait.

    “Not one for taking things by the book?” asked Caro to no one in particular, sliding into one of the five spectators’ seats that mysteriously found their way into Hikaru’s stadium. “Of battles with evil teams, I mean?”

    “Not ‘evil’!” corrected Juan and Sheridan at the same time, Sheridan mockingly and Juan insulted somewhere behind the stupid outfit. “…Just unorthodox in a potentially nasty way,” added Sheridan with a grin. Juan nodded with a soft ‘mrrr’ and slid into the seat on the end of the row of stadium seats, while Sheridan took the one in the middle.

    “No, I mean…” Caro drifted off for a few seconds, trying to gather his thoughts. “It’s just not what you’d expect a battle with a guy like… um…”

    “Hikaru-mrrr,” added Juan.

    “Yes, thank you, Hikaru. It’s not what you’d expect someone like Hikaru, who’s in Team BDV – er, well, duh. But. People in Teams like this aren’t often big fans of interrupting important fights to find a proper place to stage them. I mean, a lot of them happen in random caves, for crying out loud! You know what I mean?”

    Sheridan said, “No.” Juan didn’t respond, but simply crossed his legs and looked intently at the battlefield.

    Everyone previously mentioned had thought that, except for the others that they could see, they were alone in the room. Of course, they were wrong; what sort of stalkers (and one concerned not-stalker) would allow their targets to get away so easily? Not Casey, Sheridan, and Caro’s stalkers, that’s for sure.

    In the cockpit a little under the left side of the battlefield, two people and a Delcatty stood watching intently. Both humans wore a cape – the Delcatty wore an expression that reflected quite clearly that it seeked to watch some Pokémon get their tails handed to them.

    On the right side’s cockpit there was a man wielding a rather intimidating metal pipe. He didn’t look happy.

  17. Giratina!

    Giratina! Backstreet's back

    Merry Christmas, everyone who celebrates it. And to those who don't, Merry Superholiday. (And you better be thankful for this - I wrote the whole thing in less than twenty-four hours!)

    {11} i'll come flying like a spark


    Rotom looked pumped up to battle, while Togekiss just looked pleased with the whole entire wonderful world.

    “Caaaaa~seeeeeey~” cooed a voice from somewhere around the boy in question’s head. He looked around confusedly before recognizing the voice and looking downward into the Megaphone Rock. “So how are you getting on?” I asked in the most pleasant voice possible. “Oh, no, don’t tell me. I see you’re having a fight with Togekiss… Boy. Yes. Togekiss Boy. He certainly is a stickler for rules, eh?” I chuckled. “Well, I said that I wouldn’t help you any more, but Rotom’s got a critical advantage over Hikaru’s flock. It’s up to you to find out what it is. Have fun, now!” And the words fizzled out.

    ‘Well,’ thought Casey, ‘at least there’s some hope of survival in this.’

    It was faint, granted. It was faint and flickering and extremely jumpy and probably prone to scare itself into futility at any minute, but that was enough for our dear friend Mr. Blair. And so he frowned slightly and thought about the situation. There was something Rotom had over the enemy…


    There was something that Casey remembered… from school… sort of… it involved Electric-type Pokémon (Casey knew Rotom was one of these) and one other type…

    …so what was it?

    Yet again, Casey cursed the Casey-logic that led him to ignore all Pokémon Studies classes because he highly doubted he would be needing them. Casey-logic did seem to be acting up these days. As Casey racked his brain for that one piece of information, he tried watching Togekiss.

    Togekiss beat its wings happily and gave a (very cute) little chirping noise as it waited for Rotom to move (Casey suspected that it was on his owner’s orders that he hesitated and allowed the opponent to move). As a matter of fact, the thing was… flying. Like, beating wings and remaining up in the air. It seemed tall, almost. Tall like… a lightning rod. And what did lightning rods do? Well, they caught electricity for one thing, of course, like trees and other high pla—

    “Oh,” said Casey. “Oh.

    Rotom had Beast turn around and beam at him. Much to both of their surprise, Casey smiled back. “Use Thundershock, Rotom,” he said with a rarely-present firmness in his voice. Rotom, sensing this, turned back around with a chirp and promptly released a sparkling, cracking wad of electric energy directly at Togekiss. The Pokémon set up a Protect on his master’s orders (“Protect yourself, please.”) and watched in admiration as the electric ball made mini-fireworks on the energy barrier.

    Casey ground his foot into the floor a few times and remarked, “And again!”

    Rotom obeyed obediently and released another Thundershock at the now-sputtering Protect. It gave a little moan and fizzled out literally a second before the Thundershock made contact with Togekiss – the thing didn’t even have time to change his expression to something appropriately scared.

    Togekiss flew back from the blast and crashed into the wall, and gave a distinctly un-fabulous croaking noise. It then flew back onto the battlefield, ruffled considerably but still able to hold its ground.

    “See?” asked Hikaru. “If we had done this in my office… well, our office…” He shot a glance at Juan, who seemed to be looking at him expectantly under the goggle lenses, “then bang! There would go the wall cabinet containing all sorts of important files. Now do you see the importance of—EXTREMESPEED!”

    Everyone jumped as Hikaru barked an order in the middle of his small speech, and jumped again as a second later Rotom was sent flying into the opposite wall. Togekiss had zoomed right in front of the surprised Pokémon, and left the tiny creature (unable to contend with the wind) spiraling out of control. Incapable of controlling its body, Rotom twisted around and fell to the floor.

    Rotom screeched, slowly staggering out of its position in the dirt and wobbling around in the air. His shell was cracked and core flickering, but nonetheless the small Pokémon remained floating. Floating, however, does not equal floating well – our tiny friend was still shaking all over and staggering around in the air, as if it were dizzy.

    “Oh,” said Sheridan. “Oh Mew. Casey doesn’t know about status conditions, does he?”

    “I don’t think so,” replied Caro, looking worried.

    Juan overheard this and laughed. Down in one of the pits below the battlefield, the Groupie Galaxy’s stalkers were snickering too, if only because Rotom looked so stupid whirling around like that. CD0000 fought to contain a loud groan.

    “Eh? But Rotom is a ghost… doesn’t Normal-type just…”

    “Oh, the attack wouldn’t have hit him,” said Hikaru nonchalantly. “But if you had been watching, you would have seen that the turbulence caused by my dear Togekiss flying around was powerful enough to send our little friend spinning.” He waved an arm in the direction of the Rotom-shaped dent in the wall. “Logic never fails, boy…”

    Casey frowned.

    “Oh! That reminds me, boy. What’s your name?”

    “Casey,” he replied through gritted teeth.

    Hikaru didn’t respond, but merely grinned and nodded as he waved his hand from Togekiss to somewhere else on the battlefield. The Jubilee Pokémon flew back to his side of the battlefield, shook the fog out of his head, and gave another cute little grin. (Casey resisted the urge to stick out his tongue in disgust.) Rotom was still whirling around, moaning. Both sides knew who the likely victor was right now, and Team Casey wasn’t too happy about the chances.

    “Lovely!” Hikaru beamed. “Now, please use Sky Attack.”

    “Thundershock,” said Casey flatly. Rotom didn’t respond.

    Togekiss was waggling one wing frantically.

    “Thundershock,” Casey said again. Still no response.

    Togekiss was beginning to gather whirling, angry air about its wing.

    “Thundershock!” The volume rose higher. Zilch from Rotom.

    The air had formed into a long, pointy-looking, and probably very painful rod.

    Thundershock!” Casey boomed, having finally lost his temper. All odds were against him. This Hikaru person probably had extremely powerful Pokémon, more so than his. He also had one more Pokémon than Casey did. He knew how to communicate well to his Pokémon, which Casey didn’t. And not to mention Togekiss wasn’t staggering around like it had too much to drink. And Togekiss was releasing the rod of air, it was flying towards Rotom and whirling angrily it was—

    Well, actually, it fell apart about halfway to Rotom.

    Apparently, Casey’s yowling had caused Rotom to clear his head, and in that time he had generated a Thundershock. It flew directly through the Air Slash, severing it in multiple places, and was now on a crash course for Togekiss. The Pokémon, yet again, had no time to dodge the Electric attack before it hit him. The Jubilee Pokémon looked everything but jubilant as it yowled in a way that miraculously still managed to sound like church bells, and watched horrified as small electric sparks flickered across the feathery surface of its skin.

    “Air Slash, again,” said Hikaru.

    Togekiss tried to move but apparently cramped up. His wings stopped beating and the Pokémon fell to the ground, writhing but otherwise quite immobile.

    “Whuh-oh,” giggled Juan. “Togekiss is pa~ra~lyyyyyzed!” He sang this as if he were quite enjoying Hikaru’s Pokémon being subject to this torment. Sheridan tried to inch her chair away from his as quietly as possible.

    “And again,” said Casey, grinning and with hands on his hips. Rotom happily obliged. Togekiss received an extremely accurate Thundershock, gave another moan, and promptly fainted. Hikaru didn’t look too pleased with this outcome, but Casey was strangely relieved that the man wasn’t giving his usual calm happiness in the face of a fallen Pokémon.

    “That was good, dear Togekiss,” said Hikaru. He recalled his Pokémon, nodded to the Pokéball he contained it in, reduced it, and placed the object in his pocket. In the same stroke he whipped out another Pokéball, this one a Great Ball, and tossed it into the ring.

    “Have you ever seen one of these before? Many Trainers I’ve talked to expressed disdain when I mentioned these… Golbat, come here, please.”

    Aforementioned Golbat was a blue creature, with ears twitching constantly and mouth gaping open. Blue wings with purple skin stretched between the spindly fingers batted at the air, and its legs looked very underdeveloped. Casey waited until after the Pokémon screeched a response for it to close its mouth – because really, Casey couldn’t imagine how the Pokémon would look when it did. By the looks of things, its wings were attached to its jaw!

    The Pokémon’s mouth never closed.

    Casey, who was a bit more accustomed to the stranger sides of Pokémon design, didn’t fall back on his Casey-logic this time but merely nodded to accept the mysterious anatomical outcast. However, what he did think about was the fact that Golbat had wings… this would mean he was a Flying-type too, right? So Rotom should be effective against him as well.

    Satisfied with his New-Casey-logic, Casey took a glance over at his friends.

    Caro was frantically pointing to an object in his hand. It was what looked like a plastic spray-bottle, with a purple base and white nozzle. He remembered that a sales associate back at the Rhoter Pokémart had noted he really ought to get some of them, and had actually handed one to Casey before scampering off to assist someone else in purchasing the right kind of tent for traveling the old-fashioned way. Casey had pretty much forgotten about the object… until now.

    Fishing the object out of his backpack, Casey observed it more closely. The front of the bottle said “POTION”, and that was about it. Flipping the object over to the back, he quickly scanned the contents. As usual, half the things seemed to be ripped directly from an Ancient Rotan Dictionary, and since Casey was not fluent in most dead languages he looked to the other side. It proclaimed, in slightly smaller lettering, ‘For use on wounded Pokémon. Do not bring into contact with humans.’ Casey looked at the rather beaten-up Rotom, then at Caro, who was nodding enthusiastically.

    “Well,” said Casey, “I’d like to use a healing item on Rotom…”

    “Oh, that’s no problem,” said Hikaru cheerfully. “Here. GQ1995, please heal this Rotom with the Potion that Mr. Casey will provide you with.”

    Out onto the battlefield strutted a young woman in some rather crazy clothing. It was a deep purple dress (marked with the BDV team logo on the chest, naturally) that went halfway down her thigh, made of very thick, warm fabric. It had very wide sleeves, and the girl was wearing black-and-blue striped leggings under it down to some gold-buckled, black leather boots. On her head was a helmet with a narrow spike down the middle and two more on either side, with the tree connected by an arching black visor. She looked remarkably like a witch.

    The female BDV Grunt calmly waved for Casey to toss the Potion down to her. After he carefully dropped it and the Grunt caught it perfectly, she walked over to Rotom and sprayed it on him. Within a few minutes the bruises and scratches seemed to melt away, and the little Pokémon looked like he had just come out of a Pokémon Center.

    “We may continue now, I presume?” asked Hikaru.

    “Uh,” said Casey after the Grunt had left the arena, “I guess so.”

    “Good,” said Hikaru with a grin. “In that case, Golbat, please use Toxic.”

    Caro groaned loudly and lolled his head over the back of his chair. Sheridan frowned, whether from the move or Caro acting like a child it was uncertain. Golbat made a few spluttering noises, until a violent purple liquid started to pour from its gaping mouth. Casey felt his stomach turn in disgust. More gurgling, a bit of shaky flying, and Golbat sent a whole raincloud full of the stuff upon Rotom.

    Rotom’s Trainer threw up a little in his mouth.

    “Toxic,” explained Hikaru. “Its use is far rarer than typical Poison’s, so allow me to describe it for you.” He smiled warmly. “It’s different from Poison in that Toxic’s condition worsens as time goes on, as opposed to Poison which will leech a certain amount of damage each turn. It’s truly horrible.”

    While before Casey had found Hikaru’s politeness pleasant, it disturbed him somewhat now.

    Beast grimaced as Rotom didn’t want to move his mouth any wider than it had to be. And besides – the small Pokémon was already trying to prevent the Toxic sludge from pouring into his core.

    “Rotom, Thundershock!”

    As the rain of goop finally stopped, Rotom looked up into Golbat’s eyes. The Mewforsaken Bat Pokémon* flew back to its proper position and awaited the move tauntingly, and when Rotom sent the attack flying Golbat simply flew higher and dodged it. The Thundershock-blob flew harmlessly into a wall.

    Golbat stuck out its tongue tauntingly and, in accordance with its Trainer (“Golbat, if you could use Air Cutter on Rotom, that would be nice”), beat its wings so hard that slices of air started flying towards Rotom. The small orange Pokémon took them, shrinking its energy core as it did so, but finally endured the attack. It was then that the poison began to burn.

    Rotom staggered as if he had just taken another hit.

    Casey ground his teeth. Golbat looked rather beaten-up; if Rotom could deliver another Thundershock and wipe it out, then Casey would return his own Pokémon on the turn after that. Besides, the small Electric-Ghost didn’t look like it was going to fall just yet.

    “And again, you know what to do! Don’t worry about it, this will be over soon…” He noticed the worried look on Beast’s face and responded accordingly.

    Rotom obediently sent another wad of electricity towards Golbat, who was now in the clearly strenuous process of bobbing up and down frantically.

    “Why, Golbat, you read my mind!” said Hikaru, apparently delighted. “You knew I wanted you to use Rain Dance!” He put his hands on his hips and looked on in no less than sheer amazement as stormclouds began to swirl around the roof of the stadium. “See, Casey? This is why I like stadiums. Just imagine the damage that my office would cause.”

    “What?” breathed Sheridan, leaning forward in her chair. “He’s using Rain Dance, increasing Rotom’s power? What’s that man up to?” Caro nodded in agreement, a few fingers on his chin as the boy wondered just what Hikaru was up to. A few seconds passed before her expectant eyes turned to Juan.

    He merely snickered and gave off a few ‘mrrhrrhrr’s.

    “Th-Thundershock,” said Casey, with less force than he had in earlier repetitions of the word. “And – just for the record – I never asked about your office.”

    Rotom gathered its energy into one large, pulsating blob, and flung it towards Golbat with an unforeseen amount of force. (As a matter of fact, Casey could have sworn he heard Rotom groan with the effort.) It flew towards Golbat faster than the clunky Pokémon could retaliate, and sent the Mewforsaken Bat Pokémon* hurtling towards its Trainer. Hikaru, recognizing Golbat was down for the count, returned it before over 120 pounds of Pokémon meat was flung onto him.

    As Hikaru returned his second Pokéball and Casey allowed himself a smug grin, Rotom gave a last little moan and tumbled to the ground. Needless to say, the smile was soon wiped off Casey’s face.

    Sheridan bit her lip.

    “Well,” said Caro, trying to find some sort of upside to the situation, “at least Honchkrow and Spectri-hair’s last will be on equal ground. I bet it would have wiped out Rotom in a single turn anyway…”



    Both Trainers realized what the others had said almost immediately. Casey looked surprised and sort of afraid as usual, and Hikaru looked rather triumphant. And the rain poured down on a black bird and a brown bird, both staring at each other like they’d just been ripped out of a Hoennian desert flick. Fearow was a towering brown Pokémon with tan-colored wingtips and a red crest that reminded Casey of a Mohawk. Its feathers were jagged and stuck out at odd angles, and there was generally just an air of alien-ness about it that no member of the Groupie Galaxy could recognize.

    Juan leaned back in his chair, wormed his arms behind his head and used them as a pillow, crossed his legs, and laughed out loud.

    The Fearow gave a grating caw. Honchkrow cawed in return. They were both trying to impress and scare the other. Hikaru looked at Casey’s Pokémon with a sort of appreciation in his eyes for a second, before returning to Earth and continuing the battle. “My boy,” noted the poncho-clad man chipperly, “you’re dead meat.” And he smiled. And he watched Fearow glow, watched the feathers around it quiver and wave like it was in the middle of a rainstorm (which it was). And he allowed the Pokémon to beat its wings and fly up in the air, past Honchkrow, past Casey and Hikaru, and up into the raincloud itself. And he watched the cloud react to Fearow’s arrival. And he said:


    He also watched the wicked thunderbolt descend from the sky. He watched the surprise in Honchkrow’s eyes turn to fear. He then watched them close. He watched the charred, singed bird fall to the floor. He watched his opponent recall the bird shakily, try to find a handrail to hold on to on the raised platform. He watched Casey fail in that attempt.

    And he watched the boy crumple to the floor and black out.

    Hikaru looked up to the raincloud. And he saw the most wonderful symbol in the world appear in the swirling clouds. He knew that the boy was seeing the same image burned into his closed eyelids. That’s what they always saw. At the very same moment he heard the synonymous voices of CD0000, William, Kidd, and Aerith saying two words that rang loud and clear in his ears.

    “Holy crap.”

    * ‘Mewforsaken Bat Pokémon’ is not Golbat’s species name, but it really ought to be.

  18. Akiyama

    Akiyama Awake me if Ash wins


    Read up Chapter 8, and I will say that you wrote it pretty much right, no big grammar errors and just mis-typings here and there.

    But oddly enough after the opening of this story, things got boring after that transformation. It just seemed that there were less conflicts and more blocks of text between small conflicts. Dialouge came out to be longer than needed or just shouldn't have been there in teh first place. Because dialouge is for a sharper focus that points to characterization, setting, or conflict; tension will always be within dialouge, otherwise it won't be cared for by the reader.

    Did you use the setting to your advantage? You have a new region called Holon here, the details you focus on will give this story a better mood that you want the reader to feel and see and sense. But there are gaps in the descrption too, forests and roads and cities, perhaps would you go into more depth of all of it? I want the colors, the shapes of buildings, the plants, the materials, the shadows (for dark effects), the motions of people/pokemon, the actions around, and it is useful.

    Now the pokemon hunter, odd way to show her, just bump into her in the city. I mean, she's a hunter after all, won't she be somewhere out in the forest to maybe interrupt a battle Casey and Caro are doing against a wild pokemon? Even capture a sudden shiny--while also dissapointing Caro? Basically it seemed too easy going to just bump into her in the city, not much action there.

    And everywhere else, how much do you need to get something across to the readers? Or do you even need to get it across? Like how you described pokemon's appearances: Of course a celebi has an onion head and it's green, it's like the symbol of this site . . . the pokemon names themselves will take care of outside looks. But in actions, of course you're going to show how a pokemon punched another pokemon or whatever.

    Really what I think Casey should have gone through is more hell, like from that Driftwood lady or the setting around him. Because, it's more interesting when something bad happens to the character, and at the same time we pity or feel for him/her.

    The story is boring is some ways, like how I have trouble figuring out the conflict here. I mean, that's a lot of chapters without much relating to what Palkia said early on--maybe it's too long of an exposition and thus has drowned out interest. Do you know how the characters are going to be different from each other and help/conflict with each-other? And un-needed scenes should not be there, should the one with the master ball have been there? Well, maybe it could be shorter like if he saw it in Caro's pocket, but the pokecenter? You have to question every scene for that, I mean, it could help keep readers interested.

    Oh, and I hope you had a merry Christmas.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2009
  19. Giratina!

    Giratina! Backstreet's back

    I did not make up Holon. It is canonical. Just wanted to point that out before we began. c:

    You've hit the nail on the head for me; I am really just terrible with descriptions, and reat assured, I am trying to improve at them. Hopefully the chapters later than 8 fix this. |D

    Well, considering she lives in Rhoter and doesn't catch Pokémon for pay, I see no logical reason why she wouldn't be taking a leisurely stroll around town. It's not a matter of 'too easy' for me - besides, Casey already knew her from the whole plane thing, but didn't know he knew her. I couldn't have her appear in the middle of a battle and have Casey go, "Oh, I think I recognize you. Heya, how's it goin'?" while watching whatever wild Pokémon there is beat the tar out of Rotom. And no, there isn't much action there, but think back to the last time you went through a city in Pokémon (now counting Pyrite). Did people just prance up to you and demand to have a battle, or pester you to show them their Pokémon, or anything? Didn't happen to me.

    ...Also, catching a Shiny when she already had one and it was her introductory chapter? No thank you, if she gets her paws on another Shiny Pokémon it'll be later on in the story.

    It isn't the mascot of PokéCommunity, or PE2K, or my friend's forum The BBS. I didn't write this story just for Serebii, so I have to describe Celebi anyway.
    Yes, but it's also important not to launch off into a paragraph-long tangent about how the muscles in a Machoke's arm rippled as it knocked the lights out of some dude's Larvitar. It doesn't need description that Christopher Paolini would be proud of, as long as you can visualize a blue, muscled arm in motion.

    Rest assured, a couple Gyms down you will get plenty of that. But speaking for right now, why on Earth would you torment your main character for the sake of tormenting the main character? I'm not trying to turn Casey into some sort of Super-Woobie. There will be plenty of unpleasant arguments in the future (Professor Driftwood will return quite soon, as a matter of fact) but devoting a scene to poking fun at the main character's inability to handle hellish situations? Thank you, but I'd rather not.

    Are you talking about the whole universe exploding thing? If you are, then I would think what you're hoping for me to do is to say 'Okay, you need to get this quest done in one week or else the world blows up'. As far as I estimated, you just can't do a Pokémon journey in one week, even one through a small region like Holon. I have not forgotten what he said, and it will be used.
    Yes. Not all of the travelong party has assembled yet.
    Yes, it was important. For one thing, Master Balls do not balance on the edges of pockets. And inside a pocket, they make bulges indistinguishable from any other Pokéball. We did need to know it was there and that Caro owned it, and we did need Casey and Caro to get into a discussion on it. Not to mention Caro and Casey just got through a fight with some rambunctious Murkrows and needed to crash for the night...

    You too. Thanks for reviewing! :3
  20. Akiyama

    Akiyama Awake me if Ash wins

    Eh, okay you go ahead and move on with that then. What I was getting at was for you to question your story. What is needed? What does it do to the plot? Is that plot acted out great enough, if not, why? What scene(s) have paused the action? What words have not raised the action? Is it related to the theme? Is the setting becoming what is needed? Is there enough action? Do these characters work for this story? Why? Should you have used another character for a viewpoint character? Why?

    These questions don't need to be answered to anyone, except yourself. I ask these questions because something isn't working and I'm bored from it, maybe it's just me. Sure, this could "insult" you by asking questions about your work like that; but if you think about it, there may have been a way to make your story twice as good if not more.

    Ha ha, no. I don't mean kill, I mean raise the stakes/risk. Otherwise why would someone be reading it if it stays the same old thing. This is more difficult to come up with a challenge that advances the plot, character devpolment, and makes us think "oh that sucks, how's s/he going to fix that issue?" I'll give an example of what I mean: A lawyer is trying to save his father from dying on death row and instead getting him to life in prison; however, his boss warns him that he might be fired from the lawfirm as of tomorrow--and the lawyer's actions haven't made him popular with everyone else.

    An event that changes the course in a story will grab readers' attentions and then you can interest them more. Maybe I didn't explain it good enough the first time, but novels surely do need these kinds of shockers to keep readers in the pages all the way. Because, it shouldn't be easy for the characters to do their goals, something out of their control might affect them, something they messed with backfires on them, and anything that grabs attention will help. Don't be too kind with your characters either, otherwise it could end up with nothing much happening or too much good stuff that gets boring--I mean sure some good stuff does prove interesting, but it has to make sense.

    Besides, what is a gym going to do? Sure, a battle with action, but what if it had something that not only advances the plot but also shows a character twist we didn't expect . . . yeah, maybe that's it. Maybe, I'm expecting it too much, and when it comes true (too true), I get bored, then when I feel let down, I'm bored more so.

    Next off is your sig "A Pokémon affected by the electromagnetic waves given off by a tower in the center of Holon. The Delta Pokémon in the past had only received changes in power; recent years have found the Delta Species mysteriously gaining some more easily visible mutations." Now think about it, is your story relating enough to this to be what we generally expect? Think, you might just come up with a shorter and better way to tell the story.

    You see, I'm just thinking of how I can advise you on your story, there are many things debateable in the story, but it's up to you if you want to change anything. Moreover, it's kind of my job as a reviewer to question things in a story, it happens.

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