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Thread Description
"I don't need a Pokemon. I am a Pokemon." - Parts 5.1 + 5.2, 05/11/2020

Kirilish

Nuzlocke Heaven, VO Hell
Artist
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
1830
Caught
Apr 12, 2020
Messages
20
Nature
Timid
Pronouns
they/them
Pokémon Type
Dark, Fairy
Pokédex Entry
This Pokemon is known for its soft, captivating voice; however, those who look upon its punk-like exterior are never allowed to hear it ever again.
FORGOTTEN UMBRAGE
(CLOUDED KARMA)
A POKEMON HEART GOLD
RANDOMIZED GIJINKA NUZLOCKE

The year is...god knows what year it is. Johto is fucked, the world’s gone to shit, and Umber feels like the only non-human still trying to survive. No, that’s not right. They’re the only one still surviving. After Arceus abandoned the world in search of better creations, Pokemon have turned from allies to tools, and humans have time and again asserted themselves as the dominant species in a world full of supernatural powers.The only beings treated worse than Pokemon, though, are the Pokemeras, the ones “chosen” by Arceus to uphold the balance between Pokemon and humankind. Given great power and expected to be honored instead of treated like garbage because they're just glorified mutants? Great fucking job they’re doing right now. However, Umber plans on changing all that- and the only way to beat them? Join them.

Haha, yeah right.
- - - - - - - - - -​

Also labelled lovingly in my Google Drive as FUCK, welcome to Forgotten Umbrage, Clouded Karma. This is a bit....ambitious for me, especially as somebody who doesn't draw often, but I figured I wanted to try something like this. If you've read Orenronen's Danganronpa Let's Play or are familiar with visual novels in general, then "talksprite" style might be familiar to you, but basically this is going to be a really experimental thing on my end, a fusion of completely written with some drawn elements (sort of like RP icons!). I guess the easiest way to explain that would be for y'all to see it, so let's just get with the rules and start the show!

  • BIG THREE
    • You can only catch the first Pokemon on each route! If you lose that encounter either by fainting or running, then you're SOL!
    • If a Pokemon faints, they're considered dead and must be released or boxed for the rest of the game. If you lose your entire team, the game is over!
    • Each Pokemon must be nicknamed!
  • RANDOMIZED ASPECTS.
    • Pokemon (encountered on route and on NPC teams) have all been randomized; evolutions have not.
    • Abilities and movesets have been randomized.
    • TMs have been randomized; HMs have not. Pokemon's ability to learn TMs and HMs have been randomized.
    • Items on the ground have been randomized; items given by NPCs have not.
  • DUPES CLAUSE.
    • If an encounter is the same species or in the same line as a Pokemon I already have, I'm given the chance to re-encounter on that area up to three times.
  • NOTEPAD CLAUSE.
    • I can only have a total of six Pokemon at any given time- this means I can't have any backups in the PC! The egg that Professor Elm gives me does count as a team member, which means until it hatches, I'll be at a five-party maximum. As long as I pass through a route (or city) with a full team, that route's encounter is considered forfeit- even if I don't encounter any wild Pokemon in the area, I cannot go back to it later for an encounter, and that includes gift Pokemon as well. If a Pokemon faints while I am on that route and I haven't encountered any wild Pokemon in that area yet, I'm allowed to use that route for an encounter.
  • SHINY CLAUSE.
    • Shiny encounters can be caught regardless of if they're the first encounter on the route or not. They can also be boxed and used later; this is the only exception to the Notepad Clause that I'll accept.
  • 1V1 CLAUSE.
    • During each major battle (any battle against a gym leader, rival or Team Rocket admin), each Pokemon on my party can be used against one of the opposing party's Pokemon, unless they have more Pokemon than me. I.E. if I use my Wurmple against the rival's Caterpie, I have to switch Wurmple out and it cannot be used again in that battle unless every other Pokemon has fought.
  • STARTER CLAUSES.
    • If my starter (AKA the main character Umber) dies, the game is immediately over.
    • My starter can only be in a major battle if and only if another member of the party has died in that battle or there aren't enough other members to otherwise fulfill the 1v1 Clause (i.e. if a gym leader has four Pokemon but I have four on my team including my starter).
  • BULLSHIT CLAUSE.
    • I'll only invoke this if, through some sheer stupidity, this randomizer gives somebody a No Guard OHKO user. Other than that, anything's fair game, even Wonder Guards.

SETTING: NEW BARK TOWN.

On the far edge of town, closest to the water, a teenager lives alone. Their parents are long gone, having been caught by poachers years ago- but the townspeople don't know that. As far as they're aware, the owners of that house live in Kanto, and they've sent their trouble-making kid out to the boonies to teach them a lesson. In what? They don't know that, either; it's not like New Bark isn't just like any other city in Johto at the moment. Still, Umber lives in that house and minds their own business, so there's nothing they really care to do to stop them.

At least, that's the case most days. Today, however, is different as an intruder steps into their house quietly. Professor Elm doesn't consider himself spy-material, but he'd rather just leave a note on Umber's desk than call their PokeGear- or worse, talk to them in person.

Unfortunately, life doesn't seem to want to work with him, and he yelps as he trips on a rug, catching himself on the living room table but making quite a racket as he does so. Suddenly, there's a thumping noise from upstairs, and a shadow appears over him, cast by somebody jumping over the banister to stage their dramatic entrance and land in front of the professor. Now in front of him is the homeowner, Umber themself, who appears none too pleased that their midday seclusion has been interrupted by somebody who is the exact opposite of sneaky.


"Get out of my fucking house, Professor."

"Ah- my apologies," Professor Elm stammers, looking behind him to where the front door's wide open, "the door was unlocked, so I assumed- well, the rest of the town has an open door policy-"

That causes Umber to snort, their arms crossing over their chest. "I ain't like the rest of the town, Doc. You should know this by now."

"I know," he rubs the back of his neck, leaning on the table as he looks at them. "But I need you to hear me out, okay?" There's desperation in there somewhere, but he doesn't let it leak into his voice; if Umber were to figure out how much he actually has riding on them, they'd never let him hear the end of it. "I really need you to do me a favor."


They sneer at him, amused at some joke he didn't tell. "Haaaah? You think I'm gonna give a shit about anything you can say, Mr. 'Are You A Boy Or A Girl'?"

"Yes, yes, I apologize, I know our first meeting was rough, but you do give a...one," Professor Elm speaks quickly, "because I know you're a Pokemera."

The silence that envelops them is suffocating. That's a word that's rarely spoken in this area, mostly because Pokemera are rare in this area. They're coveted more than Pokemon and treated even worse, so they only tend to pop up in urban areas where they can be auctioned off in the black market. There's a couple avenues that Umber can take too, concerning his accusation; they can admit it and listen to what he has to say; they can laugh it off and ruin his career on accusations of being senile; they can kill him right where he stands. Suddenly, that last option seems a little too real.

The question they follow up with, however, isn't one that he expects. "D'you know what species?" Elm doesn't respond for a moment, so they repeat their question. Forcefully, this time. "Doc. Do you. Know what. Species I am."

Umber steps forward and Elm steps back, a little hesitant. He's never dealt with a Pokemera before - hell, he hadn't even known Umber was a Pokemera until the month before, when he accidentally caught them practicing what looked like Leech Life further in the forest - and so he's suddenly starting to realize the danger he's put himself in. He doesn't have any Pokemon of his own on him, and no Shadow Tags or Spell Tags like the ones they use to detain Pokemera; as far as Umber is concerned, he's completely powerless. "No," he admits finally, looking away and hoping that Umber has enough of a conscience to not kill him on the spot. "I know I really don't have basis for it, but there's a reason I haven't turned you in yet." He looks back up at them, hoping they see the sincerity in his eyes. "I really do want to treat you like anyone else, Umber." Aside from using their existence as leverage, of course.

There's another long moment of silence, and Elm grows even more tense by the minute, until finally...


"...what do you want." Their voice is soft, but not submissive. They would never be caught conceding to somebody like him, and they both know it, but they can't call his bluff, so they err on the side of caution. "I won't become your goddamn labrat, even if you do think I'm a Pokemera."

It's too early to breathe a sigh of relief, but he does anyways. "I just want you to pick something up for me from Mr. Pokemon. That's it, I promise. After that...I'll leave you alone."


"Fine," they finally say, "but after this, you owe me one. Nah, you owe me a million." They know full well that they're in danger just by the professor knowing about their condition, but...well, just looking at him, it doesn't seem like he can do much against them, physically at least. "Tell the Pokeman that he's got a visitor comin', and they're not planning on sticking around for too long."

"Wait," he calls out to them, holding out a hand as they stride right past him and towards the still-open door. "What about a Pokemon? You can't travel without-"

"Doc, are ya stupid or did you already forget?" They grin, looking at him from over their shoulder, and the aura they produce makes him wonder what, exactly, they had meant before. "I don't need a Pokemon."


"I am a Pokemon."

UMBER
?????
AGENDER
NATURE: RASH
ABILITY: ?????
LEECH LIFE
?????
?????
?????

I'm actually curious if you guys can figure out what Pokemon Umber is. It feels too obvious to me, but I'm the one drawing them, so I already know already LOL.
 

Kirilish

Nuzlocke Heaven, VO Hell
Artist
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
1830
Caught
Apr 12, 2020
Messages
20
Nature
Timid
Pronouns
they/them
Pokémon Type
Dark, Fairy
Pokédex Entry
This Pokemon is known for its soft, captivating voice; however, those who look upon its punk-like exterior are never allowed to hear it ever again.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #2
Huzzah! Day 2, update 2! These things are short, so I might be able to do them quickly- no promises though, since I'm also still working on Her Story, and I also have to do these icons whenever a new character shows up.

SETTING: ROUTE 30.

There were no wild Pokemon on the way to Cherrygrove, and the same goes for Route 30. It's no surprise; after all, Pokemon know better than to trust humans, and to them, Pokemera are just humans with special powers. Vile. Untrustable. Abusive.

It fucking sucks, but at the very least they're not fighting off hordes of Pidgey and Sentret. Without any delays, the trip to Mr. Pokemon's house isn't particularly long, and they make it to the building before they expect- which seems to be a good thing, as the person, or people, inside seem to be deeply engrossed in their conversation, Umber hesitates before leaning against the wall next to an open window, eavesdropping before they make their entrance.

"Red's the only person strong enough to overturn things as they are," a voice that Umber doesn't recognize is saying. "But we can't even get to him right now."

Mr. Pokemon's the next one to speak, a sigh in his voice. "He's still on Mt. Silver, isn't he? Professor, why don't we just send somebody up to talk to him?"

The Professor audibly frowns. "The problem is that the prerequisite to even climb Mt. Silver is to own all sixteen badges. It's a vicious cycle that feeds into itself, you see- even if somebody were able to reach Red, after all that battling.....it would be ingrained in their mind that their Pokemon are fighting for them, so they shouldn't want to change the system."

"Those sympathetic to Pokemon don't want to use them to gain power," Mr. Pokemon summarizes, "and those with power aren't sympathetic."

"And the ones between Pokemon and people..." The professor grimaces. "The ones stuck in that in-between have it even worse. I agree with Professor Elm- we need to find somebody who can help everybody."


"......yeah right." Umber wants to believe that the two knew that they were coming. They want to believe that this is all staged; after all, humans don't care about Pokemon. They never have. But maybe it's not...maybe it's real, and these are their true feelings on the matters at hand.

No. It doesn't matter anyways. Sixteen badges to save the world......it's stupid to even dream about.

Umber breathes in, hides their feelings, and enters the house.

-------​

Fortunately, everything else seems to go according to plan; Mr. Pokemon doesn't know Umber's situation, the professor - Oak, he introduces himself as - prattles on about his research for a hot second, and Umber grabs the delivery - a Pokemon egg?! - before hightailing it out of there. Bing, bang, boom. Done. Easy peasy.

They're is right outside Cherrygrove when the roadblock shows up. He's just some kid, but there's something off about him, and Umber's curiosity is piqued just enough for them to move closer. In the process, the egg in their arms jostles ever so slightly, and Umber holds a hand over it to keep it steady. As they're preoccupied with the egg, however, the kid comes a bit too close, knocking into Umber and nearly causing them to drop the egg. While Umber's plight goes absolutely unnoticed by him, the same can't be said for them, and they turn around to confront him about it.


"Hey, kid. You gonna apologize or what? Some of us have....." They trail off when their sixth sense kicks in, and they - for lack of a better word - smell the marker on the stranger. Pokemera. "Hey, you're one of-"


"You think I'm gonna listen to some idiot like you?" The boy turns to Umber, scowling. It seems as though he's finally started to pay attention to the conversation; whether it's because he also sensed them or because they almost ratted him out, both are equally likely. "You don't have any Pokemon, do you? You can't even protect yourself."


Ha! Like he's one to talk. That's fine, though; Umber hasn't been in a proper battle for years, so his taunts do nothing but excite them. "You wanna fuckin' go, brat? I can smell your chemtrails from a mile away. You've got nothin' on me."


"..." He flinches but says nothing in return, instead clipping a Pokeball from his waist. Umber is surprised for a moment; they had thought those were decorative, meant to reassure anybody who thinks they're human traveling out in the wilderness. Instead, however, he calls out a Pokemon- one with the same scent as the Pokemera. It's a Pichu, which means that the Pokemera must also be....but why would he enslave one of his own kind? Why would he enslave anything, when he knows how Pokemera themselves are treated?


Umber doesn't react well to the development. "Hey, what the fuck, kid? You hidin' behind some baby Pokemon? Cut the shit and grow up."


"Shut up! Just because you don't use Pokemon doesn't mean that I can't! Pichu, set up against this fucking loser!"

On command, the Pichu uses Bulk Up, and Umber's scowl grows- only Pokemeras can learn moves outside of their Pokemon's moveset, which meant that he was using a genetically altered Pokemon. They knew that humans were shit, but a fellow Pokemera actively deciding to send a laboratory experiment into battle? The thought disgusts them.


"Sorry? Yeah, I'll be sorry, all right.....for your Pokemon, 'cause you have no sense of fuckin' morality."

The slam their foot on the ground once, and their leg bursts into flames; despite that, their clothes don't seem to catch fire; rather, the Blaze Kick surrounds and protects their outerwear. Pichu is still bulking up, and a silent apology passes through Umber's mind before they leap forward and deal one decisive blow to the poor Pokemon. In a single hit, the unnamed Pokemera finds himself without backup, and a handful of long silver needles - senbon - manifests in Umber's hand next. "Now it's your turn, you coward."


"Shit." He flinches, almost dropping his Pokeball as Umber releases their Leech Life. One of the senbon strikes his hand, and he steps away, back towards Cherrygrove. "You get to live for now," he mutters, and Umber scoffs as he recalls his Pichu and turns tail; what a cocky brat, spouting off like he's being so benevolent when he's the one who just had his ass kicked.

Light glints off of something laying in the grass where he once was, and Umber turns their attention away from him for a moment to investigate. It's a trainer card with the kid's face on it, and what Umber assumes is his name.

N-A-I-S-E.


"How the fuck d'you even pronounce.....tch. Whatever." They pocket the trainer card; not like he's going to need it. Why he uses Pokemon when he's got powers of his own is beyond them, and frankly, they don't expect to see him ever again...at least, they hope not. If they do, they get a feeling that his actions are going to lead to one of them ending up dead. However, they're completely unperturbed otherwise by the whirlwind of events surrounding them, and so Umber proceeds to New Bark Town.

TEAM

UMBER
?????
AGENDER
NATURE: RASH
ABILITY: ?????
LEECH LIFE
BLAZE KICK
?????
?????

OTHER

NAISE
PICHU
MALE
RIVAL/ENEMY
"FUCKIN' SPECIES TRAITOR. TCH."
 

Leafia_Barrett

Survivor of the Nuzlockolypse
Pokédex No.
114
Caught
Jun 19, 2019
Messages
8
Nature
Timid
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
Grass, Fairy
Only at Ch1 currently, but since you asked... "he accidentally caught them practicing what looked like Leech Life further in the forest..." Uhhh... ...Ariados?
EDIT: OH. I didn't realize how hard you hit the randomize button. In that case, falling back on my initial instinct of Torchic line.
 

Kirilish

Nuzlocke Heaven, VO Hell
Artist
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
1830
Caught
Apr 12, 2020
Messages
20
Nature
Timid
Pronouns
they/them
Pokémon Type
Dark, Fairy
Pokédex Entry
This Pokemon is known for its soft, captivating voice; however, those who look upon its punk-like exterior are never allowed to hear it ever again.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
I got really excited to post this part because I love the catch for this route.....give it up for Part 3!

Only at Ch1 currently, but since you asked... "he accidentally caught them practicing what looked like Leech Life further in the forest..." Uhhh... ...Ariados?
EDIT: OH. I didn't realize how hard you hit the randomize button. In that case, falling back on my initial instinct of Torchic line.
LOL Yeah honestly, sometimes I forget that I randomized way more than I'm used to. As far as Umber is concerned, I immediately thought something was weird when I realized that their Pokemon doesn't learn Leech Life.....then realized that I consciously made that decision LOL. It's bitten me in the butt a few times in the run, to be sure.

SETTING: NEW BARK TOWN

The police get involved, and Umber suddenly wants to burn the city down. "Umber, please relax," says the only person who seems to be more on edge than them; it was Professor Elm's Pokemon that had been stolen, after all, so Umber supposes they can let it slide just this once. It helps that Elm then mutters under his breath so that only Umber can hear, "I promise that I haven't said anything about you or your situation."


"...fine. I saw him on the way back here," they finally concede to the police questioning; the faster they get this over with, the faster Umber can finally go back to their seclusion. "He..." They finger the trainer ID in their pocket, but decide against giving it to the cop. If anything, they'd like to return it to him personally....with a Blaze Kick to the face, to boot. "I got a look at his trainer card. His name is....Nice?" The cop gives them a skeptical look, but they scowl in return. "I'm serious, that's his name. N-A-I-S-E. Nice."

"Uh....huh." Despite his doubt, the officer writes down Umber's testament before leaving , and Umber's free to finish the errand that they had been assigned to. But speaking of which...


"An egg? Really, Doc? God knows there are a million babies out there already hatched and waiting for someone like you to use them."


Elm sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose. "It's not like that, Umber." He hesitates before continuing. "The entire world isn't like Johto. Not everybody wants Pokemon to be treated like weapons."


"Oh, izzat so? So you're saying that this whole fuckin' region- no, two whole fuckin' regions, controlled by the five strongest abusers, are just going on complacently with whatever the people in charge are saying? That nobody actually wants to hurt Pokemon, it's just that way 'cause it's easier?"

"What do you expect us to do?" Elm's voice is more distressed by the minute. "Poachers are protected by the law, and there's nobody in the top ranks who hasn't abused their Pokemon at some point it's a-"


"Vicious cycle. I know." A look of genuine pain crosses over their face, but it's hidden just as quickly with a shadowed scowl. "You sayin' nobody's strong enough to stand up to the system?"

"It's always been that......way?" Elm's voice trails off as Umber shoves the egg into his hands and spins around. Arceus, they're stupid. Arceus, they're stupid. Arceus, they're tired. "Umber, where are you-"


"I'm gonna prove you wrong, Doc." Realization hits him, and his mouth opens ever so slightly in surprise. "Doc Oak talks too loud- sixteen badges, that's all I need, right?"

"You don't even have a...."

Umber is already out the door before he can finish his objection, but it had already been futile, on both of their parts; Umber, despite every attempt to hide it from the people of New Bark Town, is a Pokemera through and through, and no proud Pokemera would ever use another Pokemon's power when they have their own.

And as for Professor Elm.....he swallows thickly, presses a hand against his forehead, and starts to draft a letter to Professor Oak. Maybe someday, if Umber comes out of this alive, they'll forgive him for the things he's already done to set them on this path. "Arceus, Umber, I'm so sorry......."

- - - - - - - - - -​

Umber stops by their home before leaving- they latch a belt of empty Pokeballs around their waist, just in case. They're not too keen on being stopped for running around in tall grass without Pokemon to protect them, and at least having Pokeballs on their person at all can ward away the stupid cops. The smart ones...well, they're not above violence. Their first stop is Violet City, the closest town with a gym in it, but their first incident occurs right outside Cherrygrove, on Route 29. The lack of Pokemon is normal, but this time it's not accompanied by a lack of noise; rather, there's something trying to get Umber's attention. A Pokemera judging by their scent, and a stupid one at that if they're being so loud and making fake bird calls without care of anybody else who may be in the vicinity.

"Cacaw!" Whoever just made that stupid sound goes unacknowledged by Umber, but the owner of the voice seems to have other plans as another call rings out. "I said, cacaw!"


"Would you please shut the fuck up? I heard you the first time!"

They scowl up into the trees where the voice had come from, and a head pops out of the foliage- upside down, as a guy much taller but not much older than them hangs upside down from a tree branch. He straightens both long-booted legs out and begins to fall with nothing to support him, but twirls in midair and lands on both feet with his hands out on either side of him and a small 'hup!' coming out in the form of an exhale.

Unfortunately, he's also facing away from Umber, and so he turns around, destroying the image of a guy who knew what he was doing. As soon as he spots Umber, he shoots them a wink and a pair of finger-pistols aimed right at them.


"Hey there, li'l lady. Name's Frosty Freeze, 'cause I'm cooler than cool- you can just call me Frost, though. Staraptor, born and bred- mmm bread, man, I'm hungry. What about you? Can't say I've ever seen a 'mera like you around these parts."


Umber scoffs at him, flames lighting up around their leg in warning. Arceus, this guy is a damn airhead if they'd ever met one; it's only been a few minutes, and he's irritated them enough to get a Blaze Kick as a warning. "First off, I'm not a lady, so watch your mouth. Second, I'm not gonna bother giving you my name. Third - and most importantly, mind you - I've been here ages longer than you and I've never seen a 'mera around here, much less a birdbrain like you. You're the one intruding on my turf, so explain yourself before I find out if Staraptors are weak to fire."


Frost laughs good-naturedly. "Sorry, sorry! Guess I couldn't fool a local, huh? Truth is...


"...I was separated from my caravan on the way out from Sinnoh, so I've been hopping out here for a few days now hoping they'd just leave me behind."


A caravan? Most Pokemera don't travel in packs - it's rare enough to find one fellow Pokemera in the wild, much less somebody of the same species - which means he probably came from a slave caravan. That begs the question, though- is he an escapee or a poacher himself? Umber's about to ask, but both of their attentions are drawn by the hum of energy in the air. Umber doesn't know what it is exactly, but it's not unfamiliar...sort of like- they catch on and immediately snarl.


"Get down!"

In one swift motion, Umber pushes Frost to the ground, pressing a boot against his chest to hold him in place, and raises a hand up. The metal shackle around their wrist immediately crackles with energy as a bolt of lightning strikes it, and Umber recoils, their body taking the shock that had been aimed at Frost. The crackling in their chest leaves them stunned, and for once Umber's glad they're not alone. From his spot on the ground, Frost throws his hand out towards the source of the lightning bolt, the ground quaking and energy spiraling around as he releases several moves into the forestry. Spike Cannon, Earth Power- whatever hits the attacker, it does a damn good job, and there's a yelp before the forest falls silent. No paws or hooves retreating into the distance, no flap of retreating wings...Umber has to admit, Frost hits hard.


"Hey, hey! Treat a guy to dinner before you do something like this!" Despite his words, though, Frost is obviously rattled. Umber doesn't blame them; he might be offensively strong but he still looks squishy, and any decent electric attack could fry a guy like him.


Still, they can't help but growl at him for being so nonchalant about the whole thing and step back up towards him, their boot grinding painfully against his chest. "Stop playing whatever damn game is going on in your 8-bit brain and tell me what you know about your caravan. You just put me in danger too, if you didn't fuckin' notice."


He sobers up surprising quickly...or not surprising, considering he's been reminded once again that his - and someone else's - life is at stake. "Sorry, yeah. They use altered Houndooms- Odor Sleuths to track and T-Bolts and Fire Blasts to take down. As long as we get out of range, they won't follow us; they've got too much cargo to focus on just one of me."


"That makes this easy for me, then." They help Frost up before unclipping a Pokeball from their belt and holding it out. "Just hitch a ride, a'ight? I was heading out from New Bark anyways, the further I get the better. I can drop you off somewhere near Ecruteak when we get over that way."


Despite the danger of the situation, Frost's denial is immediate. "Nuh-uh, no way broski. I've been in one of those things before and I had kinks in places I didn't even know I had- and not the fun kinds, either. Not to mention the moving! It's like whoever invented those hellballs had no concept of vehicle safety!"


They scowl, tossing the Pokeball at him and crossing their arms over their chest. "Listen Frosty Freeze, you wanna live a hero or die a virgin? Grow a pair and get in."


He stares at Umber for another good minute before sighing and accepting his fate. "God, I fucking hate these things. Do not toss me, okay?" Without another word, he slams the Pokeball into his his open palm, popping the button and getting sucked into it in a beam of red light. The ball doesn't shake at all as Frost accepts his fate. "As soon as we get to Ecruteak, I'm hopping off this bus."


"Rightyo, birdbrain." They pick the Pokeball up and toss it once for good measure to spite Frost, earning nauseous groans from the Pokemera inside. "Since you're now officially my Pokemera, figure you deserve this much- the name's Umber, but you can call me Boss like everyone else. Species is fuck you." They look out into the forest, past Cherrygrove and towards their first stop...out of sixteen. Really, they must be crazy, but at least they're crazy with a plan. "Next stop, Violet City. You might just like it there."

TEAM

UMBER
?????
AGENDER
NATURE: RASH
ABILITY: LIGHTNINGROD

"HEHE, WE MAKE A GOOD TEAM!" -F.
LEECH LIFE
BLAZE KICK
-----
-----
FROST
STARAPTOR
MALE
NATURE: RELAXED
ABILITY: ????

"ARCEUS, YOU TALK TOO MUCH." -U.
SPIKE CANNON
EARTH POWER
VICEGRIP
BITE

OTHER

NAISE
PICHU
MALE
RIVAL/ENEMY
"FUCKIN' SPECIES TRAITOR. TCH." -U.

Here's a group shot of Umber, Frost and Naise, heights to scale (approximately)! As we can all see, I'm deathly allergic to properly drawing hands.
 

Kirilish

Nuzlocke Heaven, VO Hell
Artist
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
1830
Caught
Apr 12, 2020
Messages
20
Nature
Timid
Pronouns
they/them
Pokémon Type
Dark, Fairy
Pokédex Entry
This Pokemon is known for its soft, captivating voice; however, those who look upon its punk-like exterior are never allowed to hear it ever again.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
Part four is (sort of) a long one....I'll have a bit at the bottom to explain any differences between the story and the actual nuzlocke!


SETTING: ROUTE 30

"Eeeeeh, I change my mind! I want out!" They're barely halfway down Route 30 when Frost starts complaining again, making gagging sounds from inside his Pokeball. "Hey, hey, Umber, you don't want to put up with me, right? You can just let me go now!"


"We agreed on Ecruteak," they say simply; as much as they do want to release the noisy bird, it's better to be caught and claim to be a trainer with a captured Pokemera than to own no Pokémon and be traveling with a free-roaming 'mera. "We'll take breaks along the way, so calm your tail feathers, a'ight?" They're not a complete monster.

At the very least, Frost is quiet for a bit longer- that is, until they stumble across a wounded person. Umber can sense them right away, but the fact that they're a Pokemera doesn't necessarily reassure them; there's a slave caravan in these parts, and who knows what dirty tricks they would use to get their goods back.

Unfortunately, if it is bait, Frost falls for it immediately, seeing the woman from inside his Pokeball. Green hair, dark gold eyes- the ball lights up red as Frost tries to shake himself free from the contraption to run towards her. "I know that 'mera! She was in my caravan!"


Umber feels the Pokeball shake and scowls, even as they're unable to actually do anything against him but issue a warning, in case it could be a trap. "Frost, stop-!"


Frost is out of his ball before Umber can stop them, running towards the wounded Pokemera. "Dahlia....? What happened to you?"



The Pokemera has the guts to laugh when she sees Frost despite her condition, wincing soon after at the pain that shoots up her stomach. "Hello, Sir Freeze. Sorry you had to see me in this state, I...got hit by a Fire Blast. Knocked the stupid mutt all the way to the Distortion World, but I'm not doing so hot myself."

-----


She coughs again, her health deteriorating even as she just sits there and talks. "I got out with Flora. A native...a 'mera took her to Dark Cave, but there were too many, I had to get rid of them." And she did, judging by the lack of enemies in the area. "I just need you to go get her and keep her safe from now on. It's pretty obvious I can't do it anymore."


Of course he objects. "If Flora's with another 'mera, I can come back for her when it's safe, we need to get you to a-"


"Frost. You listen to me well, okay? You're going to find Flora, and you're going to take her far away from here. Don't worry about me. I'll be fine."

That's a lie, but if Pokemera are good at one thing, it's lying to each other. Umber can't help but watch as a range of emotions crosses Frost's face; anger, fear, denial, acceptance...nothing settles on his expression, just a shadow to hide whatever he may be thinking.


"You got it, boss."


".....thank you." She doesn't say anything more...Frost doesn't check her pulse, because he already knows why. He steps away from her, hiding his face from Umber for what feels like a very long minute before turning to her as if nothing had happened. If Pokemera are good at one thing...


"Do you mind if we take a stop at Dark Cave real quick?"

Umber doesn't know what they feel - pity? jealousy? irritation? - but whatever it is, they push it down in favor of nodding. Even if they don't know how to be properly social, they can at least do this much for the man who had just lost a friend.


"Right. Dark Cave it is."

- - - - - - - - - -​

Despite not knowing nearly as much about Umber, Frost explains his own situation in full as he stays - dutifully this time - inside the Pokeball; he had been left untethered for a bit too long at the caravan campsite, and he took it as his chance to get away. "Dahlia and Flora must've snuck out after they started looking for me," he hazards a guess. "Dahl was the oldest by a couple years. Flora's the only teen; everyone else was either around my age, or infants." He doesn't want to think about how they had to leave the babies behind; survival isn't always the most noble option.

Dark Cave isn't too far off from where they are, so it takes a relatively short time to reach it; traversing it, however, is another thing completely. Neither of them can see in the dark, and neither of them have flash, which means they end up stumbling around the first floor for a good bit before giving up and staying in place.

"Arceus, she should never be trusted to just go off with people," Frost laments, kicking at the ground irritatedly. "She's always so gung-ho about everything and runs around doing stuff she's not supposed to. Who knows if she's even still in here?"

"I am!"

A voice echoes in the darkness, and Frost yelps, his surprise sending him off-kilter and towards the ground. He hits it with a thud, but before he has any time to recover, the light of a flashlight is approaching in the distance and rapidly getting closer to his already maladjusted eyeballs.


"Frost! You made it! Lookie! Mister Mera said he didn't need this, so he gave me it so now we can see!" The light shines directly in his face, and he holds a hand up to shield his eyes, squinting at the girl addressing him.


"Flora, thank god you're here...Dahl-" He cuts himself off before standing up, dusting himself off, and clearing his throat. He can talk about that...later. "I heard you were with another 'mera, though. Where are they?"


"Right here!" As if on cue, a particularly...normal-looking Pokemera appears behind Flora, causing Frost to jump slightly and Umber to jump a bit more than him. "Allo, my dear friends," the stranger says, giving them a deep bow. Even though he has no noticeable accent, some of his words seem to slip into something else entirely. "I'm Guillame, the Great Conqueror of these Dark Caves and sole emperor of the Johtoan Underground." He laughs before coming back up. "You, however, can call me Will. I'm a Dunsparce, but please don't call me that."


"Right...Will." Umber eyes him suspiciously as he putters around the group, not once looking at them, but Frost is the one who speaks. "I'm Frost, Staraptor, and this is Umber." They shoot him a glare when he introduces them without their permission, but says nothing against it. "Now if you- uh, would you- er, possibly if you could-" Will keeps moving around, looking their way occasionally but never maintaining eye contact. "Excuse me!" He freezes at Frost's sudden outburst, and even Frost is a little taken aback at how irritated he is. Then again, considering everything that's been going on... "Sorry," he says quickly, "it's just...do you mind looking at me when I'm trying to talk to you?"


Frost doesn't expect denial from Will, nor the guilt when the Pokemera explains himself. "Sorry, I don't do that! I'm blind as a Zubat. Don't need to look at people when you can hear them just fine!" There's a long moment of silence as he steps gracefully around where Flora's starting to stack a small rock pile, before Will freezes in his tracks. His eyes widen comically, only made more amusing by the fact that he supposedly has no actual reason to use them. "Wait, you said Umber? You're Boss's kid, aren't you?"

Umber seems shocked for a moment before they realize they're being asked a question and shrug. Frost shouldn't be surprised that there's some form of connection there, since they're both natives to the area, but Umber's reaction raises suspicion. "I dunno who your boss is, but probably, yeah. You're not from around here, are you?"


"Ma mere was from Kalos, but I grew up in Kanto. We came here when I wasn't too old, right after the invasion on Six Island."


"Right, that was when..."

They both fall silent, and Frost narrows his eyes at them; they obviously have some kind of history, and he has the curiosity of a cat Pokémon, but Umber has already threatened him within an inch of his life on several occasions, and so he's hesitant to barge in on something he's obviously not privy to. Silence once more falls on the group, save for the noises of Flora shuffling rocks on the ground.


Will stares blankly into the distance before speaking again, this time abnormally loud; Frost has the sneaking suspicion he's trying to include him and Flora in the next topic, so he shows his attention this time. "Why are you out here? Not the cave, I mean out here near Violet in general. I thought you didn't want to be around humans."


Umber stops, before clearing their throat. It's not a particularly remarkable action, but they seem embarrassed all of a sudden, and it piques his interest. "I'm...er, I'm challenging the gym leaders."


"Excuse me, you're what?!" Any other thoughts that Frost may have had come screeching to a halt. "If you haven't noticed, you're a Pokemera, Umber! Gym leaders are you number one enemy! And even if you do somehow get eight badges, what they hell are you going to do with them?"


"I'm gonna get eight more! And then I'm gonna get Red to come down from his fuckin' mountain and fix this piece of shit region!" That's enough for Frost to recoil in shock, and Umber looks at him specifically as they continue.


"Yeah, I know it's a goddamn longshot, but it's better than laying low in the boonies and praying for something to happen. I need sixteen badges to access Mount Silver, so I just have to get those and then...Red'll...have to listen to me. He'll fix...us." They sound more unsure of themself as they talk, but they still refuse to back down.


There's a long moment of silence as they stare at him, and he finds it nigh impossible to break eye contact- Will helps though, as his voice causes both his and Umber's attention to turn to him. "I've got nowhere else to go," he says, and there's still that underlying understanding between him and Umber that irritates him, "so I'll help." He pauses, grinning. "That is, if you'll have me."


"Yeah! Me too!" Flora brings her hands up in a good luck fist-pumping action as she joins a conversation she had no interest in just a moment ago. "You're our boss now, Boss! If helping you will stop the injustice in the world, then we'll follow you to the ends of the earth!"


"Speak for yourself," Frost says, a bit irritated that he's just now learning about his savior's grand ambitions. Hell, Flora can't even speak for herself since he's planning on dragging her away from this mess the first chance he gets. He hesitates. "But it's fine for now." He looks down the road, at the next city- and first gym. "Falkner's the weakest of the leaders, right? We're as strong as any Pokémon he could have, and there's four of us,so…"


Will glances at Umber; they say nothing, so he takes it upon himself to nod and smile amicably at the two being tossed around on this journey of a lifetime. "That settles it, then! First Violet City, then the entire Tohjo continent!"

Flora cheers, Umber maintains their thousand yard stare, and in the midst of it all, Frost wonders exactly why he has a bad feeling about all of this.

TEAM

UMBER
?????
AGENDER
NATURE: RASH
ABILITY: LIGHTNINGROD
"UWAH, YOU'RE REALLY-!" -W.

"BOSS IS BOSS! FIGHT THE SYSTEM!" -FL.
LEECH LIFE
BLAZE KICK
-----
-----

FROST
STARAPTOR
MALE
NATURE: RELAXED
ABILITY: TANGLED FEET
"D'YOU THINK YOU'LL EVER LEARN SHEER COLD?" -W.
DRAGONBREATH
EARTH POWER
VICEGRIP
BITE
FLORA
MAKUHITA
FEMALE
NATURE: RASH
ABILITY: LIGHTNINGROD
"STICK CLOSE, OKAY? NO MORE RUNNING OFF." -F.
"I'M NEVER GONNA SAY THIS AGAIN, BUT LISTEN TO THE BIRD." -U.
RAGE
POISON TAIL
WING ATTACK
KNOCK OFF
WILL
DUNSPARCE
MALE
NATURE: DOCILE
ABILITY: HEATPROOF
"...IT'S, UH, GOOD TO HAVE YOU AROUND, WILL." -U.
"HOW DO YOU KNOW EACH OTHER?" -F.
SPARK
-----
-----
-----

OTHER

NAISE
PICHU
MALE
RIVAL/ENEMY
"FUCKIN' SPECIES TRAITOR. TCH." -U.

No fullbody for Dahlia because she died in the same part she was introduced in :(

In this part, Will and Flora are both met in Dark Cave- in actuality, Will was caught in Dark Cave, while Flora wasn't met until later at Sprout Tower. This changes, like.....nothing about how the game itself goes, it's just easier for me to get more characters into one part this way then having the team go back and forth between areas, so next chapter gets to be the first gym battle!

As for Dahlia- my first death was completely stupid; I forgot to heal Grotle up before switch training and......yeah, randomizers really like giving Pokémon pursuit at just the wrong times. It was a Metang.

Also fun to note that although in the story, the Grotle is named Dahlia, in my game she's actually a male Grotle named Maes. Straight up, when he died I had war flashbacks to Fullmetal Alchemist and I couldn't do it. I couldn't, fam. For the sake of my own sanity, I changed Grotle to a female in the story and changed their name. I mean, they're dead anyways so it doesn't matter, right? God, that hurt though.



(Levels blocked out for spoiler reasons, AKA I'm screencapping right now while I'm further into the run so levels might spoil if/when anybody dies.)
 

Tsugumi Hazawa

Ordinary but Hardworking
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
218
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
105
Location
Haneoka High School (IRL: Makassar, Indonesia)
Nature
Modest
Pronouns
Character: She/Her, IRL: He/Him
Pokémon Type
Normal
Oh, it's a new one, I think I should commend this too. But honestly, Umber's design was very suspicious, as if the "agender" marking for gender wasn't that obvious enough. I feel like... Yeah, yeah. I know.

This is what happens when you mess up enough with the randomizer.
One of the best clues i can give about is that is definitely a legendary because, most legendaries are genderless (and if it's not, usually they are always of one specific gender only.)
 

Xita

Moo
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
186
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
93
Location
Germany
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Water, Dark
Cute art! Umber is certainly... a character, and I like Frost. “Pokemera” sounds less like Arceus’s gift to mankind and Pokemon and more like a lab experiment so I guess I’m not all that surprised at how the world turned out. I gotta say, it seems pretty convenient that Umber stumbles upon three new team members immediately when the story says in the first chapter that Pokemera are rare but I’ll let it go for Nuzlocke rules.

Also this ruleset looks like a nightmare to me, so good luck!
 

AstroDeath

Conqueror of the Celadon Gym
Pokédex No.
44
Caught
Jun 12, 2019
Messages
32
A run down for each part so far! I'm digging the experiment in storytelling you got going on, with the character portraits alongside the narrative/dialogue. Keep at it, it's super enjoyable!

Oooh! I haven't read much stuff that mixes things up like you're doing, with the character portrait for when they speak! Right off the bat it seems like Umber ain't the one take nobody's shit, and from the quick context this early, as a pokemera your choices are either a.) you don't, or b.) you do and you're in deep shit. Kinda puts Umber in a spot where they gotta utilize the fight or flight response real quick. Elm's sitting pretty lucky he didn't overplay his hand.

Ah. The ol' Barry threat. Get 'em where it hurts: the wallet haha. Except Umber seems the kinda person that can actually make do on a threat so... Professor probably should pay up real soon.

This is fun! The portrait before speaking gives off a kinda like, an old school rpg ala Final Fantasy vibe; doubly so that you're changing Umber's expressions based on the emotions written. I think it's a fun different way of telling a story, compared to settling on either something that's purely written or a comic. And of course Umber seems pretty damn sure of themself thus far, and uppity main characters are always fun to follow.

Pidgeys and sentrets try their best, man. Pokemera really sound like they're caught in a spot. Ain't nobody out there trusting them, whether pokemon or human. Then of course the conversation Umber listens in on kinda smashes that nail into the coffin, of how the 'politics' between the different kinda pokemon/people works. Seems like nobody gets to really win.

Ohhh, fighting words. And someone else similar to Umber. Square up, bro. Huh, the thought of having pokeballs on yourself as just a fake out is interesting. Didn't really think of that, with blending into society to make sure nobody bothers you. Umber baiting them into getting pissy got a good laugh out of me (I'm also biased because... I've been in spots where a pichu and a pikachu in randomizers actually ruined me... but that's neither here nor there.)

It sucks to know everything is so systematically ingrained, with how people treat their pokemon, and then of course how pokemera are in a gray zone. Umber seems pretty damn keen on upending the system though, and I can totally get behind a revolution. Elm's a genuine dude too, I gather, though it sounds like he's not in any position to really change anything on his own--or well, I maybe thought he was but maybe I made too much a snap judgement lol.

The finger guns should'a been a quick foreshadow I'd catch on, but man. Didn't realize this new dude would be such an immediate goof lol. An immediate personality, that's for sure. Already clashing with Umber, judging by their annoyance, so I'm here for that dynamic. Well. That's one way to nab a catch. Considering the alternative though, of being run down by houndooms, it's the easier way out.

'Species is Fuck You,' haha. I was half-expecting Umber's species to be changed from ????? to that in the Roster spoiler.

Man. If a trainer had to deal with their pokemon constantly moaning and groaning about being stuck in a pokeball the entire way, I imagine pokeballs wouldn't be quite so prevalent lol. Frost quit out on his acceptance of the ball waaay quicker than I thought he would. Interesting to see that at any point it seems pokemon/mera can fight to break out when they want, instead of being entirely stuck against their will.

Ah. Man. Poor Dahlia the newcomer, and Frost for having to see a friend of his pass. At least they found the other two relatively easy and safely. Things were already pretty crappy pokemera, but with how it seems slavery is a potential prevalent fate for them it makes it worse. Right from the get go, Flora is a barrel of fun (at least judging from her immediate smiling portrait) and Will's got swagger.

It's getting more fun now that there's a true 'party' forming up. Nature of what you're experimenting with, that things would shine a bit more with more characters, so now that there's more people to talk the portraits can really bounce off one another with changing facial features/emotions. Flora's a gem already and Will being frank about his blindness is neat.
 

Kirilish

Nuzlocke Heaven, VO Hell
Artist
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
1830
Caught
Apr 12, 2020
Messages
20
Nature
Timid
Pronouns
they/them
Pokémon Type
Dark, Fairy
Pokédex Entry
This Pokemon is known for its soft, captivating voice; however, those who look upon its punk-like exterior are never allowed to hear it ever again.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
Thank you all so much for the feedback! This part is somewhat overdue, but hopefully a "two-parter" makes it worth it.

(Also, I'm going to prematurely apologize for people who like the gym leaders in canon, because in here, everybody's an asshole.)

Oh, of course! Why didn't I see it sooner?
Everyone is allergic to drawing hands. Feet too.
askfhdjka I totally missed this on my last post- that's so true and honestly it hurts. S'why I do a predominantly chibi style, so I can just make everything semi-coherent blocks instead of fingers and feet (and then I decided to not for this one....orz).

Oh, it's a new one, I think I should commend this too. But honestly, Umber's design was very suspicious, as if the "agender" marking for gender wasn't that obvious enough. I feel like... Yeah, yeah. I know.

This is what happens when you mess up enough with the randomizer.
One of the best clues i can give about is that is definitely a legendary because, most legendaries are genderless (and if it's not, usually they are always of one specific gender only.)
[laughs] You're spot on there. To be fair, I do have a few non-binary characters that aren't solely genderless Pokemon (some of whom may or may not show up in this run), but Umber's case was very specific.

Cute art! Umber is certainly... a character, and I like Frost. “Pokemera” sounds less like Arceus’s gift to mankind and Pokemon and more like a lab experiment so I guess I’m not all that surprised at how the world turned out. I gotta say, it seems pretty convenient that Umber stumbles upon three new team members immediately when the story says in the first chapter that Pokemera are rare but I’ll let it go for Nuzlocke rules.

Also this ruleset looks like a nightmare to me, so good luck!
Thank you! Yeah, there's definitely some cognitive dissonance between Arceus going "let's make these hybrids as the bridge between human and Pokemon" and "let's name these guys after literal science experiments". As far as the Pokemera are rare bit goes, I try to justify it in the sense that three of them (Frost, Flora and Dahlia) are from a slave caravan, so they were definitely traveling together, while Umber straight-up didn't know there was a Pokemera (Will) in Dark Cave. Pokemera are rare within the New Bark/Cherrygrove area, but they get more common as you get closer to larger cities like Goldenrod, just because there's a larger population of people in general and also slavery is a thing. It gets a lot easier to hand-wave a lot of this because of the Notepad Clause later on, but yeah I do have to really work around it.

And thank you for the luck, the ruleset is.....not my brightest move, but I had to do it For The Story TM.

A run down for each part so far! I'm digging the experiment in storytelling you got going on, with the character portraits alongside the narrative/dialogue. Keep at it, it's super enjoyable!

Oooh! I haven't read much stuff that mixes things up like you're doing, with the character portrait for when they speak! Right off the bat it seems like Umber ain't the one take nobody's shit, and from the quick context this early, as a pokemera your choices are either a.) you don't, or b.) you do and you're in deep shit. Kinda puts Umber in a spot where they gotta utilize the fight or flight response real quick. Elm's sitting pretty lucky he didn't overplay his hand.

Ah. The ol' Barry threat. Get 'em where it hurts: the wallet haha. Except Umber seems the kinda person that can actually make do on a threat so... Professor probably should pay up real soon.

This is fun! The portrait before speaking gives off a kinda like, an old school rpg ala Final Fantasy vibe; doubly so that you're changing Umber's expressions based on the emotions written. I think it's a fun different way of telling a story, compared to settling on either something that's purely written or a comic. And of course Umber seems pretty damn sure of themself thus far, and uppity main characters are always fun to follow.

Pidgeys and sentrets try their best, man. Pokemera really sound like they're caught in a spot. Ain't nobody out there trusting them, whether pokemon or human. Then of course the conversation Umber listens in on kinda smashes that nail into the coffin, of how the 'politics' between the different kinda pokemon/people works. Seems like nobody gets to really win.

Ohhh, fighting words. And someone else similar to Umber. Square up, bro. Huh, the thought of having pokeballs on yourself as just a fake out is interesting. Didn't really think of that, with blending into society to make sure nobody bothers you. Umber baiting them into getting pissy got a good laugh out of me (I'm also biased because... I've been in spots where a pichu and a pikachu in randomizers actually ruined me... but that's neither here nor there.)

It sucks to know everything is so systematically ingrained, with how people treat their pokemon, and then of course how pokemera are in a gray zone. Umber seems pretty damn keen on upending the system though, and I can totally get behind a revolution. Elm's a genuine dude too, I gather, though it sounds like he's not in any position to really change anything on his own--or well, I maybe thought he was but maybe I made too much a snap judgement lol.

The finger guns should'a been a quick foreshadow I'd catch on, but man. Didn't realize this new dude would be such an immediate goof lol. An immediate personality, that's for sure. Already clashing with Umber, judging by their annoyance, so I'm here for that dynamic. Well. That's one way to nab a catch. Considering the alternative though, of being run down by houndooms, it's the easier way out.

'Species is Fuck You,' haha. I was half-expecting Umber's species to be changed from ????? to that in the Roster spoiler.

Man. If a trainer had to deal with their pokemon constantly moaning and groaning about being stuck in a pokeball the entire way, I imagine pokeballs wouldn't be quite so prevalent lol. Frost quit out on his acceptance of the ball waaay quicker than I thought he would. Interesting to see that at any point it seems pokemon/mera can fight to break out when they want, instead of being entirely stuck against their will.

Ah. Man. Poor Dahlia the newcomer, and Frost for having to see a friend of his pass. At least they found the other two relatively easy and safely. Things were already pretty crappy pokemera, but with how it seems slavery is a potential prevalent fate for them it makes it worse. Right from the get go, Flora is a barrel of fun (at least judging from her immediate smiling portrait) and Will's got swagger.

It's getting more fun now that there's a true 'party' forming up. Nature of what you're experimenting with, that things would shine a bit more with more characters, so now that there's more people to talk the portraits can really bounce off one another with changing facial features/emotions. Flora's a gem already and Will being frank about his blindness is neat.
AAAAAHHHHH I can't describe how much I appreciate you taking time to go over each part! I'm so glad the icon/portrait style is working- the first chapter was so awkward because I had no icons for Elm and wasn't too keen on making any for him, but yeah, the more characters there are, the better it seems to run.

Elm's in this super precarious position, mostly because his job is directly tied to the Pokemon League and they're, well.....Like That. The closest to power that could break through it is a strong enough Pokemera, since they're the lowest on the social rung so an upheaval by them would be the most impactful, and that's where Umber comes in.

Aw man, I should have changed Umber's species to Fuck You in the roster, why didn't I think of that?

Haha, I really like playing with the limits of a Pokeball; like how we see wild Pokemon break out of balls before capture, I like to think they're not as infallible after a capture like the game makes them seem. Sure they can be recaptured, and it takes energy to break out in the first place, but it's still possible.

SETTING: VIOLET CITY

Four Pokemera stand outside of Bellsprout Tower. Nobody in Violet City has given them a second glance, giving them free roam of the city for the time being, but a strong scent alerts Umber to somebody else's presence in the city. The scent, which has led them to the tower, is familiar but not inviting; in fact, Umber would rather not have anything to do with the Pokemera inside, but his trainer card is still in their satchel, so they have no choice but to confront him and give it back.


"This place reeks of 'mera, there's really another one in here?"


"Yes. And unfortunately, I already know who it is." Umber is plenty unamused, and would frankly rather avoid any more run-ins with the species traitor of the century, but they'd rather give the card back to Naise and be done with it instead of reminding themself that he exists every day. "The gym's gonna have to wait, I need to make a stop first."


"Are you sure we're even allowed in there? There are a whole bunch of trainers in there."


"Nah. He probably took 'em all out."


Yet another thing that Frost doesn't seem to know- fortunately, at the very least Will seems to be just as confused as he is. "Who's this he guy, Boss?"


"Don't worry. You'll find out soon enough."

Fortunately, Umber is right; none of the trainers bother them on their way up. Unfortunately, things grow tense as they climb the tower. It might be because of Flora's incessant chatter, or the way Frost trails behind them and stares daggers at Will and Umber, or even the fact that this is the last stop before hitting up the local gym. Regardless of what it is, though, the atmosphere pops on the top floor, as Umber's irritation at Flora reaches a breaking point.


"Boss, look! There are a whole buncha trainers under us! Isn't that cool?"


"Stop calling me boss," Umber snaps at Flora, drawing back when she recoils slightly. "That goes for both of you," they add as they glance up at Will. He laughs sheepishly, rubbing the back of his neck in response. "I'm nobody's boss. I don't want responsibility for you guys; as far as I'm concerned, you're just hitchhikers until we get to wherever you're getting off."


"Damn straight," Frost mutters under his breath, but his words go unnoticed and unanswered.


"Well, if I can't call you boss, then should I call you Mr. Umber?"


"I'm not a mister," Umber says, sighing in exasperation but not explaining any further.


Unfortunately, Frost just has to chip in himself. "Not a miss, either," he says before Flora can ask, then proceeds to mock Umber. "I already asked. Species is fuck you- I'm guessing gender is fuck you, too?"


"Frost." It's not Umber who speaks up, but Will, that damn smile still plastered on his face. "Please stop talking." He breaks his own habitually aimlessly wandering gaze and looks right at Frost- as disconcerting as it is to begin with, it's only exacerbated by the milky pale of his irises. "Is Mx. Umber okay? I don't know if I can just call you by name, all things considered."


Umber contemplates it for a moment before giving in. "Yeah, Mx. should be fine. Just don't go overusing it now." At the very least, they feel more like a teacher lugging around a group of students on a field trip than a gangster leading a bunch of cronies into battle.


Much to their relief - or their ire - Flora catches on quickly. "Mx. Umber it is, then! Hehe, that's fun to say. Mx...mix, mix, mix!"


"Yeah, you're all getting the fuck along." Their bickering is interrupted by a voice, familiar to one but not the rest. "Hey, trash face. So weak you had to go find a few babies to cover your ass for ya?"


"Shut the fuck up before I end you, Nice. Need I remind you I almost did it once already?"


He ignores their taunt - it seems as though he's learned his lesson from last time - but their other comment doesn't go unaddressed. "What did you just call me?"


Umber sneers at him. "Nice. That's your name right? Your parents musta been awful at names, 'cause you're not nice at all."


Naise's confusion morphs into realization, then a full on anger as Umber's words register. "My name is Naise, you uncultured dipshit! NA-EEH-SAY! Not fuckin' Nice! Pichu-" He moves to unclip his Pokeball, but stops as Will steps up in front of Umber, his whole body crackling with electricity. Behind him, Umber readies themself for combat as well- Frost doesn't seem too keen on joining in, but he does keep a close eye on Naise. Eventually, the Pichu Pokemera relents, sneering at them and grabbing something from the satchel at his side. "Tch, whatever. I better not fucking see you around anymore. I won't let you go so easy next time." The Escape Rope in his hands begins to glow, and Umber reaches a hand out past Will, trying to stop Naise before he can vanish.


"Holy shit, wait a sec I need to-" Before Umber can finish, Naise is already gone, and Umber cusses under their breath. "Goddamnit, I'll just shred the fucking thing, I don't give a shit." Instead of going through with their word, however, they just angrily kick at the ground and turn around- just to notice that one of their party members is missing. "Flora? Where'd you go?"


Fortunately, Flora's voice doesn't echo from too far away, and she appears shortly after, her arms full of...stuff. "Over here!! I found some cool stuff while you were facing off with that yellowy kid!" She dumps a pile of junk in front of her, and Umber begins to sort through them. Toxic Orbs cause poison, so that will definitely hurt them in the long run; Old Ambers are rare fossils, but they're practically worthless; a TM catches their eye, but scowls when they realize it's for a status move that won't ever come in handy. Fuck Trick Room. "Oh, this one's my favorite," she says, pointing to a Pokeball with a cute pink heart on it. "I want this to be mine, okey-doke?"


"Right...don't know if any of this'll be useful, so let's just-"


"Keep it all!" Will interrupts her upon seeing Flora's dejected face, grinning as she brightens up again. He glances at Umber meaningfully, but says nothing to them. "We never know when something will be useful, right?"


"Right! I'll find more stuff then, too!" Flora cheers and leads the charge back down the tower, followed shortly by the cheerful Will as other not-as-enthusiastic teammates watch with their own respective emotions: Frost with amusement, and Umber with irritation.


"I thought I was the boss," Umber mutters under their breath, nothing short of salty, and Frost just snorts in reply. As upset as he still is about them hiding their true motives, and now their relationship with that Naise kid, he can't help but pick up a bit more of his cheerful spark from before; even Umber isn't nearly as tense as before. Something about Flora just has that effect on people.


"Only 'til we're gone, Um," he reassures the, and the two glance at each other before following the two who have already disappeared from their view. "Only 'til we're gone."

SETTING: VIOLET CITY


"Finally! Gym time!" As always, Flora is the most excitable of the group as they hover outside of the Violet City gym nervously. As the three adults of the group - if they can even be considered that - discuss their plan, Flora begins racing around the gym, disappearing behind it only to come out the other side. "Oh, there are some flowers behind here, Mx. Umber! Maybe they'll grow some berries we can use!"


Umber looks as though they're about to say something harsh, but then they look at the other two and sigh before softening their tone. "Right...but berries won't grow before we go into the gym, so..."


Flora's eyes light up in realization. "You're right! You're so smart, Mx. Umber! I'll go look for other stuff, instead!" She goes dashing off once more, and Frost makes sure she's still within sight before sighing and crossing his arms over his chest.


"All right, so Falkner usually uses, what, two 'mon? There should be at least two of us fighting, plus another as backup. Then somebody can watch the front." He counts the party members on his fingers to make sure his math is right before nodding. "Right. So frontline would be Umber, and...?"


"Mx. Umber isn't fighting," Will says casually, and both Umber and Frost turn to him, the former with anger and the latter with shock.


"The fuck d'you mean I'm not fighting? This is my job, I gotta do it!"


"They're right, you know. You can't just expect all of us to do one 'mera's dirty work!"


Will shakes his head, his smile dropping for the splittest of seconds before returning as if it had never disappeared. "We can't afford them to fight now. They're too valuable."


"The fuck is wrong with you two?" Despite Umber's protests, Frost can't help but lump them in with Will, and raises his voice, before lowering it back into an angry whisper. "Too valuable, my ass! You want to go on some suicide mission to save all the Pokemera but you don't want to get your hands dirty? We have a word for people like you, and it's sociopathic megalomaniac!"


"This isn't my fucking idea, you damn bird! I want to go out there and punch him in the face more than any of-"


"Mx. Umber, please relax." Surprisingly enough, they both fall silent, and Will laughs at the obedience. "Thank you. What I'm trying to say is that Umber needs to be our trainer, so they don't just arrest us on the spot." There are a few murmurs of hesitant agreement between them, but Umber still has to get the final say in the matter.


"I'm still going to jump in if things go wrong, though."


"I wouldn't have it any other way." Will raises his hand in surrender. "Then our front lines will be-"


"Well I'm definitely fighting!" Flora makes boxing motions as she speaks, bouncing on the balls of her feet and punching the air. Frost and Umber jump in shock, surprised at her sudden reappearance, but Will doesn't even flinch. "Pow-pow! I wanna win a gym badge!"


"You're not going in without me," Frost adds immediately, and Flora pouts, but says nothing against it.


Will takes a moment before nodding. "All right, then. I'll keep lookout. 'S probably better that way, since I only know one move."

With the plan settled, Will leans against the statue outside the gym, eyes closed contently as Umber pulls Frost and Flora into Pokeballs, the former into a regular Pokeball and Flora into her newfound Love Ball. This time, Frost has no complaints, and whether it's because Flora is with him or because of the battle they're about to face, Umber is thankful either way.

When they get to the top, Falkner is already there, lounging against the wall and munching on an apple. The arena is dotted with holes; none are too big, but the most noticeable are the gaps against the walls; Frost makes note of them, worrying slightly that a fall from one of them could spell trouble for either of them since neither he nor Flora can fly. "Oh, a challenger?" Falkner stands up, stretching as he unclips a Pokeball from his belt. Despite the posture he maintains and the calm, confident smile on his face, there's a sneer in his eyes that Umber catches all too easily. "I'm babysitting another person's team right now, but if you don't mind, I'll still give you a badge if you win."

"Ha, babysitting. Very funny," Frost says sarcastically from inside his Pokeball, and it shouldn't be loud enough for Falkner to hear, but he catches it regardless, eyeing the ball that his voice had come from with disdain.

"I'm guessing you don't have a talking Pokemon." He tosses his own Pokeball up and down a couple times; Umber wonders if the 'mon inside is very appreciative of it, but frankly, Falkner probably doesn't care either way. Gym leader types tend not to. "Are you really going to use a Pokemera here?"


"What," Umber sneers. "Is it illegal to challenge gyms with 'mera?"

Falkner hesitates at the way his attitude is met head-on. "It's not that..."

Almost immediately after he speaks, a red light bursts from Falkner's Pokeball, and a Staryu flings itself at Umber from across the battlefield; Frost responds in kind by releasing himself, and the two clash in the middle, an Ice Beam aimed for Umber going careening into the ceiling as Frost knocks the Pokemon off-center. Unfortunately, the action doesn't go unnoticed by Falkner, and he points at Umber accusingly, scowling. "Wait! You're one of them too, aren't you? That's against the rules!"


"And so is using Pokemon outside of your wheelhouse, asshole!" They release Flora just as Falkner releases a Medicham, and the two dart around the room, much more mobile than Frost and Staryu's grappling battle. The Staryu fires off Ice Beam after Ice Beam at Frost, but he glows with a red energy that releases itself as geysers of flame between the two; it seems as though he's learned a much-needed new skill just in time for battle. "Frost, you hanging in there?"


He grimaces against the force of the Staryu, but nods regardless. "Don't worry about me, just focus on-"

As if on cue, a flash of blue slashes across Umber's line of sight, and they turn to see where Medicham and Flora are facing off. It seems as though the two have reached a standstill; the Medicham has a blue aqueous blade in front of it, and Flora's arm is tinted a deep purple of her modified Poison Tail; right before she talks, however, the purple light fades away, and she takes a shaky step backwards.

"Mx. Umber?" Flora's voice is hesitant, and Umber can't tell why. Her back is turned to them, but as she turns around, Umber's heart stops; there's red where this shouldn't be, red where there shouldn't be, red where-

[large image link]


"I think...something's..."


"FLORA-!"

She collapses to the ground, and Frost immediately turns from where he's fighting the Staryu, flinging the offending Pokemon away from him as adrenaline pushes him through. Hearing her voice, seeing her crumple in slow motion and the Medicham stand across from her without an ounce of regret- he doesn't even notice the Staryu slam against the wall before falling three floors down to the ground level. Instead, his sole focus is on Flora, the red of her blood standing out harshly against the mahogany of her skin. He races over to her, his hands moving to wrap around her wound; nothing stops the blood from pouring out of her neck, but all he can do is smile and try, try to fulfill the promise he had made to the other Pokemera he couldn't save.


"Flora, stay with me...come on, you'll be okay, just hold in there, girl..."

Despite their harsh words and tendency to resort to violence, Umber has never seen death. No, that's a goddamn lie. They had never seen death like this. Carnage is vaguely familiar to them, rain and storms and lives crumbling to dust by the hundreds, but for just one person to have such a large impact, for time to stop for a single Pokemera...first Dahlia, and now Flora.


Umber wishes they could understand that pain.

A wave of heat rolls through the gym as Frost cradles Flora's body; the Medicham says nothing, and even takes a step back despite Falkner's shouts at it to finish the job. It seems as though some Pokemon have more honor than their masters. It's eyes aren't trained on the boy and girl, however, but on the silent 'trainer' across the field, the one finally stepping onto it when they should have been the first one on it.

"You stupid Pokemon," Falkner yells, ignoring what he assumes to be a human getting in the way of a battle between 'mera and 'mon. "Just finish them! You can't even do that?!"


"Falkner."

Suddenly, flames roar around Umber, hotter and fiercer than anything their Blaze Kick could ever conjure up, and pieces fall into place. Although he's not native to Johto, Frost has heard the legends, and the skyscraper of a gym they're currently situated in suddenly feels very much like a tower about to be burned to the ground. An aura surrounds their entire presence, and the markings on their face shift until they're completely symmetrical, the light from their eyes only helping further the monstrous identity that Umber has just taken on. Will had known. Will had known, and now Frost does too, but between the body in his arms and the Legendary Pokemera in front of him, he doesn't know how things have escalated so far, so quickly. The only thing he can do is stare.


"En-..." He's about to call out to Umber, but stops himself; he's still holding Flora, and there would be no point if he were to draw Umber's ire towards them. Instead, he watches as the Pokemera walks straight past them and towards the gym leader.

Umber spares a glance at the Medicham, and despite the obvious shake in its legs, it races towards them, arm outstretched to deliver a decisive blow. Medicham's hand connects with Umber's chest, and decisive it is. The attack does nothing, but seals Medicham's fate as Umber grabs its arm to hold it in place before delivering a Blaze Kick that sends the Pokemon sprawling onto the ground right in front of Falkner.

Falkner doesn't seem to notice the near-dead Pokemon in front of him- or if he does, he says nothing of it as his worries remain on his own safety and Umber continues their advance. He steps back on his platform, raising an arm up as if it would do anything to fend off a Legendary in full control of their power. Fortunately, however, Umber doesn't seem too keen on killing him, and instead comes to a stop right in front of him before they hold out their hand expectantly. The power ebbs and flows, but eventually fades away from them before they speak, ash settling around them despite having consumed nothing but oxygen.


"Game set match. Badge. Now."

He stares at them for a few moments before his face distorts into a disgusted expression and he fishes into his pocket for the Zephyr Badge. "Take it, you sick freak," he sneers, throwing it in their face before backing away further. How the tune changes, Umber almost has to be amazed, when a bloody victory turns to a disparaging loss. "And get out of my damn gym!"


Umber has a million words for Falkner - how they're not the sick one, how they're not the one who had killed an innocent person just to prove a point - but the words die on their lips. Maybe he's right. Instead, they spit at his feet and scowl. "If you tell anybody what happened here today, I'll burn this whole city down with you in it."

He has no reply as Umber turns to leave. Frost has already risen to his feet, carrying Flora's limp body in his arms, and Umber looks at them both, their eyes first scanning over the girl who has undoubtedly breathed her last.


"Flora." Umber's voice is uncharacteristically soft, but only in volume. Their gaze turns to Frost as though they already know the answer to the question they're about to ask. "Is she...?"


He shakes his head. "She's...gone." It's a hard pill to swallow, but after Dahlia...it's weird. All the fighting they did to survive, the days they had spent with that slave caravan, death here just seems too easy. No. He shakes his head again. He'll have time to think about it later, once they're out of Violet City and safe within the wilderness of the next route. "We have to get going. Will is waiting for us."

Umber doesn't say anything, simply nodding in return, and they begin to make their way back to the floating panel that takes them to the ground floor. As it floats back down, a streak of red catches Frost's eyes, and he follows it downward to see where the Staryu now lays, unmoving. It feels as though that had never happened, but the proof is right in front of him. That whole battle, not just Flora's fight but his own...he moves to block the Staryu from Umber's view, and then speaks.


"You were supposed to step in," he says softly, setting Flora on the ground once they're finally on the ground floor. "Before things got bad."


"I know." Umber's words are short as they search for something in their satchel. "I'm sorry."


"You killed her," he continues, but there's no blame in his voice.


"I know."

Umber can't say they deserve being absolved of that guilt. They press the Love Ball to Flora's forehead, watching her disappear into red light for the second and last time. Outside, behind the gym, that small patch of flowers. Surely she'd like to rest there. Surely she'd like...

Oh. That's what this feels like.


"I'm sorry."

TEAM
UMBER
ENTEI
AGENDER
NATURE: RASH
ABILITY: LIGHTNINGROD
"DON'T APOLOGIZE. PLEASE." -F.
LEECH LIFE
BLAZE KICK
-----
-----
FROST
STARAPTOR
MALE
NATURE: RELAXED
ABILITY: TANGLED FEET
"I'M SORRY." -U.

"I THINK WE SHOULD TALK." -W.
DRAGONBREATH
EARTH POWER
VICEGRIP
!! LAVA PLUME !!
WILL
DUNSPARCE
MALE
NATURE: DOCILE
ABILITY: HEATPROOF

"...LET'S GO, WILL." -U.
SPARK
-----
-----
-----

OTHER
NAISE
PICHU
MALE
RIVAL/ENEMY
"I THINK HIS FAULT LIES MORE WITH YOU THAN ANYTHING." -F.

I really, really loved Flora. I got stupid attached to her before I lost her so quickly, and so, to honor her, I present....Florayama. The Hariyama that I was so excited to play with...but who never got the time. She was going to be my itty bitty hitty committee, but maybe in another life. </3

"Hey look, Mx. Umber! I evolved! Isn't that cool? I'm suuuuuper strong now, so I can fight better, just like you!"
 

Xita

Moo
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
186
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
93
Location
Germany
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Water, Dark
Well that escalated quickly. I was saying the same thing Frost said at the end of the chapter during the whole thing lol.

Sucks to die but it especially must suck to bite it right after escaping from a slave caravan :/
 

AstroDeath

Conqueror of the Celadon Gym
Pokédex No.
44
Caught
Jun 12, 2019
Messages
32
Alright. Dude's an asshole but... popping out and just going, 'Hey, trash face!' is a great insult haha. You'd think the bravado would be a bit subdued after the dude got his ass kicked once already. Then again, he said his piece then nope'd right the hell out so. Maybe he does know better.

Also I can't help but feel this with the jokes about his name.

Flora's still a little ball of cute, and if I didn't know any better she was actually a zigzagoon with that Pick Up habit. Feeling like she's the team defuser, with her happy-go-lucky attitude, compared to Umber's seriousness. Will and Frost are both also pretty chill (when Frost isn't trolling lol), but Flora just genuinely lets her exuberance shine. Can't go being mad at them when you specifically asked not to be called the Boss lol.

Yeah. I'm not convinced Flora is just a zigzagoon in a makuhita's body. She's just all over the place! I got the feeling Will was like this, but I think he shines here the most so far, in how he handles both Umber and Frost's outbursts. He's got that quiet confidence and isn't afraid to speak up for himself; even then though, he shows enough restraint and respect to let others have the chance to say their piece too. Feel like he's going to continue to build up into the 'Peacekeeper' of the group.

Ah. First gym leader and they're already an asshole. Welp, already want him to get completely destroyed, so here's to hoping. That said, when he has someone pushing back like Umber, love to see his hesitation haha.

Wait, aw no...that's just devious including the picture too. Ugh. Poor thing. The biggest of RIPs. I'm going to imagine her and Dahlia watching over Frost from here on out.

The medicham backing off was an interesting touch. Sure, it'cs likely used to these kinda things based on how fighting goes, but it's not heartless; even with Falkner barking orders in the background it's not a monster. I get the feeling this might crop up more in the journey, between trainers/gym leaders and their pokemon showing different views on how to handle battling.

Oh. Oh man. The 'You killed her,' bit hits pretty hard. Man, this sucks for them all. It doesn't relieve the pain, but it seems more statement of fact than accusatory, so I hope with that being the case it's recognized it wasn't malicious. If not, I can see it turning into a giant wedge to drive Frost and Umber apart in the party.

I had a feeling Umber was either Entei or Ho oh, based on their color scheme (slightly on it being a Heart Gold run too because I absolutely love Ho oh, but I didn't want to stick too hard to that guess with it being a randomized run.) Entei's obviously important, judging by Frost's reaction, so it should be interesting the reveal will be handled by him and the others.

The quotes in the roster, based on the chapter events, are really fun. I can't think of any other stories that have used such a way to build up character interaction. I really like it. Feel like it digs into that sort of 'video game' vibe even more, especially since I've always been a giant RPG junkie.

Flora may have bit the dust but it's sweet to include the bonus for her. For as long as I've followed nuzlockes and played them, I really should know better than to pick favs quickly into runs... and yet here we are lol. Itty bitty hitty committee, I love it!
 

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