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Written Story Johto Teen Mon The Phoenix: A Crystal Nuzlocke

Thread Description
I'm gonna change you like a remix! [Updates most Wednesdays! Chapter 40 posted May 27]

QuietGuardian

Conqueror of the Goldenrod Gym
🌱Featurer
Screenshotter
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
33
Caught
Jun 10, 2019
Messages
245
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
Dark, Ground
Shoot, I've fallen behind again. I'm still very much enjoying this, though! The time with Mew and Tessa's previous team was sweet and fun, even if it was a little out of nowhere—but, to be honest, Mew just spontaneously showing up with the old crew was part of the fun.

I continue to love Inferno, from his adoration of Ash to his soaking up the attention to his successful performance against Jasmine.

Boy, that Team Rocket encounter was something else, too. I got kinda freaked out that some sort of disaster had happened in-game during the trip to Cianwood, and then having Lugia just come out and go "shut the f*ck up I'm trying to sleep" was…well, it was satisfying to see the Rockets get what was coming to them, but it felt a little anticlimactic. Archer's been a prominent menacing figure ever since the previous run, and it feels a little off to have him quickly killed off by a pissed-off god with not much buildup. Just my thoughts on it.

Also oh crap the Q&A closes in two days…uhhh, I'll try to think of some questions before then and probably DM you on Discord.
 

cyndakip

there goes my luck
🌱Featurer
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
23
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
282
Location
Lilycove City
Nature
Hardy
Pronouns
they/she
Pokémon Type
Fire, Water
Pokédex Entry
Part Cyndaquil, part Mudkip, entirely tired.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #82
@Bowser's Family Vacation I am continuously impressed with your seemingly endless supply of relevant and amusing gifs.

Well, there’s a difference between “tired” and “barely able to move due to terrible lungs”. At least I’m better off! I don’t think I could beat a magneton in single combat though

I’d say that was half fake out, half “oh god I can’t move, let’s hope I can still hit it with fire from here and also convince my trainer I’m not gonna die”, haha. But yeah, he’s learning how to play.

Yup! Gotta be prepared when you’re a gym leader.

That’s just the eternal Tessa mood. and the eternal mood for me, and most people, probably And meanwhile, Ferno’s frolicking in the flames.


@JavierE64 I was a bit worried too, but it all worked out in the end! And yes, the gym leaders are specially trained to be careful with their attacks, because the league certainly doesn’t want a whole bunch of Pokemon deaths on their hands.


@MouseWithADinosaurTail Thank you! That’s definitely one of my favourite gym battles I’ve written, so I’m glad you enjoyed it.


@QuietGuardian No worries, I know life gets busy! Glad to have you back, though. “Out of nowhere” is the way Mew always does things, haha. I couldn’t resist more opportunities to bring back the old team!

Seems you’re far from the only one who loves Inferno, if the ganza is any indication! It really means a lot to know that other people care about this little Quilava too.

Yeah, that’s a fair point. That part suffers from being one of the first nuzlocke scenes I ever thought up (why? I don’t even know anymore) and becoming so ingrained in the story that I didn’t know what else to do. So I wrote it even though I wasn’t entirely happy with it. Overall plotting is something I need to work on, for sure... In some ways I’d rather have done something else, but I still don’t know what that something else would have been. I do like some aspects of it, though; there’s definitely some important stuff in there, and I have my reasons... although I can’t elaborate yet. Was it necessary, though? No. I could have cut it out. So I’m still pretty conflicted about it! While it might have been nice to do more with Archer, sometimes there are worse things out there than your worst nightmares…

Now that the voting thread is out, I want to thank everyone again, because this run made it into three catgories (Best Pokemon, Best Protagonist, and Most Improved)! I'm still pretty astonished that this happened, and I'm extremely grateful for all your support.

Also, make sure you get out there and vote for your faves! Have a good look through the thread, too; there's a lot of great runs and you're bound to find something new to read!

I'm going to tentatively keep the Q&A open for another two weeks, and hopefully by then I'll have enough questions and enough energy to answer them!

Also, I found a new way to fix the formatting, so here's a normally spaced chapter!

Three cracked ribs.

It could be worse, I know. It could be far worse, although it shouldn't, not in a gym battle. It's not something league trainers should have to worry about, and he's fine, so I'm not going to worry about it.

I may be fighting a losing battle with worrying, but Finn doesn't seem to worry at all. Sure, he's in some pain, but that doesn't diminish his happiness at beating a Steelix. I'm ordered to let him rest for a week before he starts training again. It seems like not nearly enough time to me, but I know that different species have different healing factors, and a few cracked ribs are nothing compared to shattered wings.

We've had plenty of video conversations with Isra, of course, but soon we'll get to see her in person again. There's really no possible way to get all the badges in Johto without some amount of backtracking, and I'll have to pass through Ecruteak again on my way to Mahogany Town. I'd be more annoyed about this, but I knew I'd have to backtrack at some point, and there are certainly worse places to revisit. And at least I can go right from Mahogany to Blackthorn, although traversing the Ice Path isn't going to be particularly pleasant.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. For now, I've got to walk back to Ecruteak, all the while trying to give Finn the proper care. He won't heal while he's in his Pokeball, but I can't leave him out for too long or he'll get dehydrated, and he can't go very far when he is out in this condition anyway, so it's a bit of a conundrum. I compromise by only letting him out when I stop for rest or training sessions (that he very much does not participate in). It's a slow uphill journey, and it means several nights spent in a cold tent, but he's already noticeably improved when I finally step into Ecruteak again.

Nothing can compare to when I saw the city for the first time, but my heart somehow still feels lighter when those trees come into view. There are more leaves on the ground than on the branches now, and it does nothing to stop the fiery glow.

I've lived in big cities and I've lived in small towns by the sea, and somehow it's this ancient bright place that calls to me the most. Two of my Pokemon almost died here, and that should make me run from it, and yet it doesn't.

Even so, I don't go near the Burned Tower on my way to the Pokemon Center.

Isra is waiting for us, still small and fragile and unable to fly with her wings wrapped in plaster. She chirps a cheerful hello from the bed as we walk in. Inferno's quick to run over and greet her.

She's not the only one waiting for us. Morty looks up from where he's sitting in one of those uncomfortable plastic chairs, smiling a small unsurprised smile as if he knew we'd walk in at this exact moment. And he probably did, thanks to whatever mysterious otherworldly powers he's got going on.

“Thanks for taking care of her while I was gone,” I say sincerely.

“You'll be gone again,” he points out. “And she takes care of herself pretty well. Her casts will be off soon, although she's still some time away from flying.”

I look over at Isra to see how she reacts to that statement, but she's deep in conversation with Inferno. From the way he's jumping around, he seems to be telling her all about the gym battle complete with a reenactment, as if she hasn't heard it from him already.

Before I get too far into a cryptic conversation with Morty, I let the rest of my team out. Hazel's face lights up when she sees Isra, and she carefully climbs up and curls around her protectively, as if to shield her from Inferno's antics. Isra ends up distracted by Finn instead, who she's never met in person. I leave them comparing injuries and turn back to Ecruteak’s gym leader.

“Have you heard anything from Silver?”

Morty raises an eyebrow. “Do you think they have any interest in talking to me if I can't tell them where the beasts are?”

I can't help asking. “Do you know where the beasts are?”

“If I had that power, my husband would have seen Suicune long before Silver called them to the tower.” Fair point. “And if I had that power, I would not reveal anything to Silver. The beasts are not for them to command.”

“The beasts aren't for anyone to command.” You don't order gods around, at least not when you know they're gods.

“Aren't they?” Morty looks at me. “What about the lord of the sun; the one who gave them life?”

I feel a chill run through my spine. “Are you saying this is all Ho-Oh’s doing? That they've taken an interest in Silver for some reason we can't understand? Or an interest in me? I thought they'd be like Lugia, just wanting to be left alone.”

“Ho-Oh tends to make their presence felt,” Morty says simply.

Can't argue with that. “So what do we do?”

“Whatever you want.”

“Well, thanks for the advice.” I don’t mean to sound so sarcastic, but I was hoping for something a little more profound from a gym leader like him.

“You want advice?” Morty says, looking me right in the eyes. “Don't worry about the gods. I know you have a tendency to get tangled up in their problems, but I don't believe the beasts want you to do anything. Go out, enjoy your challenge, be careful. I'll take care of Silver and the gods.”

I can’t help but notice his emphasis on the beasts. What does Ho-Oh want? I push it aside for now, because there’s no way he would tell me even if he knows. “You can't be responsible for everything.”

Morty's gaze burns into me. “Have you ever told yourself that?”

His words hit like a Steelix’s Iron Tail, knocking me back. I try, sometimes, but I never believe it. I can't just let other people fix my mistakes, and I can't just ignore this kid who stole from me if I can help them. Even when I try to avoid it, I get dragged right back into being involved with everything. My eyes flick towards my team, laughing together on the other side of the room. At the very least, I have to be responsible for them.

I don't say any of these things, but Morty nods and looks away. “I understand how it feels, but never forget to look after yourself, Tessa. Team Rocket's still out there, so travel carefully.”

When have I ever not been careful? Okay, sometimes I willingly jump in to fighting Team Rocket, because... well, yes, I feel like I have a responsibility to help stop them. But they always find me regardless, and I end up fighting them no matter how much I want to get away.

Is this what Ho-Oh wants from me? To be the one who defeats Team Rocket once and for all? I don’t think I can. I know I don’t want to be. But I also know that if I run away from this, the Rockets will come find me sooner or later, regardless of whether I have some kind of destiny foisted upon me by any amount of gods, and they’ll leave a trail of destruction on their way. We’ve hurt each other too much for this conflict to just fizzle out into nothing. I’ll never be ready to handle it, but...

“I'll be careful,” I promise Morty, because I am careful. It's why we're all still alive, and why we're all going to stay that way.

“I know you will,” he says, staring at the wall. There's something unspoken, something like but it won't be enough, and it makes me shiver.

Eusine chooses the perfect moment to come bursting through the door, all smiles and enthusiasm. “Tessa! You’re back!”

“So I am,” I say, and I let myself smile, too.

***​

We stay several days in Ecruteak, long enough for Finn to start floating around without wincing, and for everyone to hang out with Isra, and for me to contemplate things.

I can't let these small incidents keep bothering me. My team’s always having these health scares, but that's the way it is, being a trainer. It's been scientifically proven that trained Pokemon have a much longer average life span than wild Pokemon. I shouldn't feel bad when minor injuries happen in battles that Pokemon fight for fun.

It's just that they feel preventable, in a way that living with an incurable lung condition or having a tower collapse on you doesn't.

We're alone outside under a dwindling canopy of golden leaves when I ask him, not trusting anyone else to give me an honest answer.

...And because there isn’t anyone else who can directly talk back to me.

“Do you think I'm a bad trainer, Ravi?”

The Espeon blinks at me. {Bad? Of course not. You already have a league championship, and you’ve won all of your gym battles here so far. And you're kind to us. I grew up knowing that I might get a trainer who wouldn't even let me choose my evolution. You're nothing like that.}

I might have been, once. My hand traces a shaky path through his soft lavender fur, runs along this form that still amazes me. He is what he is because of pure love and trust. Not just for me, for the whole team, but it’s still hard to believe that I had a part in making Ravi-the-Espeon happen.

“But you don't feel safe, do you? You're scared of what might happen, so you don't fight. You know that battles can go wrong. I just... I feel like I'm not doing enough.”

{We don't feel that way.} Ravi’s ears droop. {I'm the one who's not doing enough. It's not your fault that I'm scared of my own powers. That they won't be enough, or that they'll be too much...}

“I'm not talking about you, though. This is about me. About the whole team. It's not your responsibility to keep them safe.”

He looks at me. {Isn't it?}

I think of Gabriel, always using his powers to shield the team, right until the very end, and I look away. “Yes, it's true that you can do things no one else on the team can. But they have to fight their own battles in the gyms, and that's where they're my responsibility.”

{But it's also up to them to keep themselves safe,} Ravi argues. {And it's up to your opponent, and their Pokemon. Not just you. You didn't break Finn’s ribs.}

“You want me to be mad at Jasmine and her Steelix instead?”

{No! It was an accident. And that's usually the kind of accidents that happen in gyms. Minor ones, not deadly ones, because the gym leaders know what they're doing. It’s like your human sports, right? Sometimes the athletes hurt themselves, and sometimes they hurt each other, no matter how good they are, because that's just how accidents are. They don't die.}

Sometimes they do, I want to say, but don't. What happened all those years ago wasn't an accident, it was murder, and that doesn't happen in gyms unless Team Rocket's involved.

It happens out of gyms, too, and that's why I need to be even more careful.

“You're right.” Easy to say, harder to believe. “I know Finn wasn't in any serious danger. It just... well, it scares me, you know?”

He doesn't say anything, because he knows, and he knows I know he knows.

“Whenever you're ready,” I add.

{And what if I'm never ready?}

“Then you're still my Espeon, and you still belong on this team.”

He snuggles closer. {I'm sorry. I'm trying, really. I want to fight for everyone someday.}

“I know.” I pause. “I'm trying, too. It's just hard to balance wanting to battle and wanting to keep everyone safe.”

{I know.} Ravi smiles at me. {But you're doing a good job of it.}

I hope I am, for everyone’s sake.

***​

As much as I'd love to stay here where it's calm and beautiful, the rest of the league is waiting for me. Inferno's waiting too, much more impatiently. Even hanging out with an old friend in Ho-Oh’s sacred city isn't enough to keep him entertained forever. Besides, it really is best that we get through Mahogany and Blackthorn before winter, and the weather’s only getting colder every day.

It's a frosty morning when we say goodbye to Isra and Morty and Eusine. The leaves underfoot are extra crunchy and stiff with cold as I head east. I'm somewhat warmer than the foliage, thanks to Inferno nestled into my arms, but that doesn't mean I'm enjoying the weather.

Even less enjoyable is the route to Mahogany. Several small, easily surfable lakes are in the way, but I refuse to ride Finn before I determine him to be fully healed, despite his protests. It takes a couple days to skirt around them instead, forcing my way through thick forests and over rocky cliffs, but I'd rather sleep in a somewhat chilly tent than get soaked in multiple freezing lakes anyway.

It's a late evening when I climb the final cliff and the town appears in sight, a small glowing cluster of lights nestled among the mountains. My own glowing light leaps out of my arms and carefully leads me down the trail as the night grows darker.

Mahogany Town is the smallest community with a gym in Johto, small enough to have just a small crappy souvenir shop instead of a proper PokeMart. Even the Pokemon Center is small, and looks like it's in serious need of renovations. This town has all the old-fashionedness of Ecruteak and Violet, but none of the charm. My room in the Pokecenter is tiny, without even a TV, and barely enough room for my whole team to sleep out of their Pokeballs.

But we all sleep anyway, close together and cozy, and we wake up to a sunny day.

“Training at the Lake of Rage?” I suggest, and then we’re off.

The winding uphill road is barricaded, a gatehouse standing in the way.

“That'll be one thousand Pokedollars!” the man inside says with an I-love-taking-your-money sort of smile.

“Just to go up to the lake?” I grumble. “What a ripoff.”

He smirks. “Or you can trudge through the forest that's full of wild Pokemon and probably some trainers. Your call.”

“Hmm, let me think.” I tap my fingers on the counter as if I actually need to think about it. “Pay to go the easy way, or get some good training for free? Yeah, I'll take the forest.”

I head out the door, Inferno at my heels, the man sitting there in shock. I must have broken his streak of unfairly taking money from innocent passersby.

I hear a second voice from inside right before the door slams behind me. “You idiot, don't you know who that--”

Maybe I could have gotten a celebrity discount, if such a thing exists. Regardless, I push on towards the trees. We're here for training, after all.

The forest proves to be fairly quiet, much to Inferno's disappointment. There's not a single trainer to be seen, and only the occasional flutter of wings overhead or rustle of a bush nearby hints at the existence of wild Pokemon.

As we step through the last cluster of trees, however, that disappointment is quickly replaced by amazement.

The lake is a brilliant sapphire blue, lit up by the glow of the sun. A soft breeze whispers through the trees behind me, running ahead to send small waves dancing across the surface of the water. An occasional Magikarp leaps up into the air, sunlight glinting off its scales for a brief moment before it splashes back down out of sight. There's only one thing out of place-- a familiar silhouette at the shoreline, cape rippling in the wind.

If Lance is here, that can't mean anything good.

Inferno, of course, doesn't have that realization. He darts ahead happily, giving the Regional Champion an affectionate nudge in greeting.

I skid to a stop beside them. “Sorry! He's... excitable.”

But Lance has already bent down to pet Inferno, smiling slightly. “No need to apologize. He's a welcome distraction.” Inferno beams, liking that idea.

“Distraction from what, exactly?”

Lance's expression grows somber. “I suspect that Team Rocket’s targeting this area.”

I close my eyes. Of course. Of course they are. And if I leave, they’ll be targeting wherever I go next, even if it’s home.

And could I leave, knowing I abandoned this town when I could have helped?

My eyes open to find him holding up a small device. “This hasn't detected any major signals yet, but there are occasional brief broadcasts that I haven't been able to track, as if they're just testing things so far.”

A Magikarp jumps right in front of us, flicking its tail dramatically and then disappearing with barely a ripple.

“What kind of signals? What do they want?”

Lance sighs. “I wish I knew.”

We're quiet for a moment. The lake decides to make up for this by immediately erupting into chaos.

A strange shrieking noise fills the air. At first I think it's the signal, but then I realize it's the sound of countless Magikarp crying out at once-- and it's because of the signal, most likely. The shrieks turn into roars as Lance and I stand on the shore, frozen with astonishment.

No more Magikarp leap out of the water. They all rise above us, up and up and up. Gyarados, every single one of them, snarling and roaring and thrashing around. And in the center of the tidal wave of blue serpents, an anomaly. Its scales flash a brilliant red, glowing like the sun rising over the water. Under normal circumstances, I'd be delighted to find a shiny Pokemon, but I'm too busy being terrified.

“Forced evolution!” Lance shouts, barely audible over the cacophony. “That's what their plan is!”

“Plan to do what?” I yell back. ”Die? Do they really think they can control all these angry Gyarados?”

“They don't have to! They just want to prove it works! And cause chaos!”

Well, Team Rocket certainly does seem to specialize in causing chaos.

Lance tosses the device at me. “Find the signal! I'll make sure they don't hurt anyone!”

“You can't control all these angry Gyarados either!”

“I'm the Regional Champion and a dragon master! I have to try!” He's already tossed all his Pokeballs and started shouting orders before I can argue.

I look down at the device in my hand as it blinks frantically. Following this is going to lead me right to Team Rocket, which is the last thing I want. But if no one else can do it, how can I run away?

Inferno lets out a little whimper, and I turn just in time to see his everstone necklace explode into a million fragments, leaving him helpless against the evolutionary light that overtakes his body.
Radio signals that force evolution, and Quilavas that shouldn't evolve... a bad combination.

Not much else to say about this one! It's on the long side, and a lot's happening here, but I think it's pretty good. We're starting to get to the exciting bits, so stay tuned! besides, I left you with a cliffhanger, you can't just leave now
 

MouseWithADinosaurTail

A Comedian At Heart
Artist
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
47
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
1,444
Location
Snubbville
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Flying
Pokédex Entry
She's like a sea urchin. Tough and prickly on the outside, but delicate and easily wounded if hit the wrong way. Please handle gently.

Bowser's Family Vacation

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
301
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
984
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
Dragon, Cool
Pokédex Entry
"Am I Mario's babysitter? Are you going to call me every time that guy blows his nose, or what?"
Tessa: "Why should I worry?"
Also Tessa:


Oh, Ho-Oh is involved in human affairs? *laughs in Emissary of the Rainbow Pokemon* :)

Oh, hello, Team Rocket money-laundering scheme! In storylockes, the "toll" can be made into a real decision, but in-game, Route 43 isn't even that big of a route, and, if I recall, most of the trainers are pretty easy to avoid, not that you'd want to, considering that Johto's leveling curve makes grinding against wild Pokemon take forever.

My eyes open to find him holding up a small device. “This hasn't detected any major signals yet, but there are occasional brief broadcasts that I haven't been able to track, as if they're just testing things so far.”

A Magikarp jumps right in front of us, flicking its tail dramatically and then disappearing with barely a ripple.


...Ah. You know, I hadn't considered the implications of Team Rocket's Lake of Rage plan in the context of this story.... 😟
 

cyndakip

there goes my luck
🌱Featurer
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
23
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
282
Location
Lilycove City
Nature
Hardy
Pronouns
they/she
Pokémon Type
Fire, Water
Pokédex Entry
Part Cyndaquil, part Mudkip, entirely tired.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #85
@MouseWithADinosaurTail Welp indeed.


@Bowser's Family Vacation I don’t like grinding, so I never avoid trainers unless I think they’re a huge danger to my team. And Johto’s level curve is absurd. I hate it.

Yeah, it’s rather unfortunate for Inferno...
Inferno is a mess of screaming and gasping and flickering light, unable to keep himself as a Quilava with the evolution signal raging through the air.

“Fight it, Ferno!” I beg him. “You have to fight it!”

But he can't, and we both know it, and if I stand here doing nothing for any longer the signal’s going to kill him. I know the Pokeball will probably just aggravate his condition, and I don't know if it's even possible to recall someone mid-evolution, but the doctors made it very clear that evolving will be almost certain death, so I stab the button on his Pokeball and watch him disappear to relative safety.

I don't look back to see how Lance is doing. Instead, I grip Inferno's Pokeball tightly in one hand, stare down at the beeping device in the other, and run.

It beeps louder as I make my frantic descent down the hill, which hopefully indicates that I'm going in the right direction. I run right for the gatehouse, because there's no time to weave around the trees. I’ll throw as much money at them as they want.

I run through the rest of my team in my head over and over, letting the comforting sound echo. Furret-Nidoqueen-Espeon-Sudowoodo-Lanturn. All fully evolved Pokemon that shouldn't be affected by a purely evolutionary signal. I just hope there are no side effects.

There aren't a couple of toll-takers waiting for me when I crash through the doors. Instead, the whole room is filled with Rockets, laughing in triumph. They all fall silent for a second when they see me. Why didn't I recognize how suspicious this place was the first time I came through?

I don't have time for this. The Rockets reach for their Pokemon, but I'm one step ahead of them. Shoving Inferno's Pokeball onto my belt, I grab Sequoia’s instead and throw it behind me as I keep running, yelling “Take them all out!”

I'm out the door as the ground starts to shake behind me, but I can still hear the screams as the building collapses.

My first thought is a somewhat regretful guess I'm going to owe the town a new gatehouse , and that makes my secondary thought of oh, maybe we killed them all the more shameful.

The worst part is that right now, I don't care . This is an organization that has killed my Pokemon, tried to kill me, and may have actually killed Inferno. A bunch of them already got crushed to death by Lugia, so what's a few more? Isn't the world better off without them?

Am I as bad as them, if I kill them?

Okay, I can have my moral crisis later. Keep moving, keep running, don't stop until I find that signal. Don't think, just go .

Sequoia catches up to me in just a minute, matching my stride. Gods, I love this weird speedy rock-tree.

“Did you -- are they?” is all I manage.

She just shrugs, a worried expression on her face.

I recall her so she can save her energy for whatever's up ahead and continue alone -- alone , without Inferno at my side, but I'm not thinking about him, I'm thinking about my feet hitting the streets of Mahogany, following the beeping as far as it'll take me.

It takes me to, of all places, the small crappy souvenir shop. I almost find it hard to believe that Team Rocket could have been hiding in plain sight in such a popular place in such a small town, but there's a big antenna on the roof, and the device in my hand is acting like it might explode, and they were certainly under everyone's noses back in Celadon’s game corner...

How do I approach this? Sneak in? Act like a regular tourist, as if everyone in Team Rocket doesn't know my face? Get Regina to kick the door open and threaten whoever's in there? Destroy the antenna first?

I don't get to decide. Almost out of nowhere, I hear the roaring again, and a tidal wave of Gyarados descends upon the shop. Right at the front is the sparkling red one, snarling, and -- is that Lance riding on its back?

Within seconds, the building is reduced to matchsticks, the antenna crushed and trampled. The Gyarados suddenly stop, bewildered. Lance slides off the red one with practiced ease, taps it with a Pokeball, and slips it onto his belt.

“You can go home now,” he reassures all the rest. “We'll take care of things here.” They start to slither off back in the direction of the lake, more confused than angry.

“Guess you didn't need me after all,” I remark, staring at the destruction.

“Hey, you took out the Rockets at the gatehouse. Made things a lot easier.”

“Did you -- are they?”

“I saw a lot of them limping away.” Lance strides forward, starting to sift through the rubble. “I wouldn't worry about them.”

I wasn't worrying about them , exactly, but his words are still reassuring.

“Not sure that the people of Mahogany are going to be thrilled about us destroying so many buildings.”

Lance unearths a large metal box, slightly dented but still covered in flashing lights. “A small price to pay for the safety of the region.”

I pick my way through the debris so I can inspect it with him. “What are we going to do with that? It looks too heavy to move.”

“That's good. No one will come and steal it while I investigate their hideout.”

“H-hideout?” My voice wavers as soon as I think of that basement in Celadon and what it was hiding.

“Hideout,” Lance says calmly as he turns to brush the dust off what is clearly a trapdoor.

“No!” We both jump at the sudden shout from a pile of rubble on the other side of the ex-building. A man emerges, coughing, covered in dust. “You show up, destroy my business, and then have the audacity to try and sneak down into my storeroom? I'm going to report you to the authorities--” he freezes as he wipes the dust out of his eyes and realizes who he's dealing with.

“I am the authorities,” Lance says, his voice deadly calm, his hand on a Pokeball. “So I suggest you cooperate and tell me exactly what I can expect to find down there, because I don't like surprises.”

The man attempts to spit on the ground, but his throat is so clogged with building dust that it just turns into an awkward coughing fit. “I'm not telling you anything!” he finally wheezes.

Lance tosses the Pokeball without hesitation. “Perhaps you'd rather tell Toothless, then? He can be very persuasive.” The Dragonite appears with a roar, making the man scramble backwards in terror, but he remains silent.

“Hyper bea--”

“Okay I'll tell you everything I'm sorry just please don't hurt me!”

I can tell that Lance's smile is much more of relief than satisfaction. Our Regional Champion isn't the kind of person who’d straight up murder someone, and once the shopkeeper realized that, he wouldn't have been nearly so cooperative.

“I didn't want to do it, I swear!” the man blabbers. “But they threatened me, those Rockets, and they forced me to let them use my store as their base!” A likely story, considering how initially disrespectful he was of Lance. “They have a whole big hideout down there, and the statues are booby-trapped with alarms. That's all I know, honest!”

The man is temporarily spared from having to reveal more information as a familiar figure comes running over. My heart sinks.

“Silver, what are you doing here?”

They scowl at me, just like I knew they would. “Same as you. I'm here to destroy Team Rocket.”

I refrain from pointing out that I very much did not come to Mahogany with the intent of destroying Team Rocket. “That's Lance’s job, not yours.”

“He can try to stop me.”

“I can and will stop you,” Lance says firmly. “I'd be a pretty terrible Regional Champion if I let kids do my job for me.”

Silver stomps their foot. “I'm not a kid! I'm fourteen !” Lance and I try very hard not to laugh, but apparently not hard enough, because that scowl just deepens. “You let her help fight them when she was a year older than me!”

“As I recall, she went after them on her own in Celadon, and at Silph, we needed all the help we could get.” Lance sighs. “Believe me, I don't want to put anyone in danger. It's best that you stay back.”

“You need me!” Silver insists. For a moment, their expression looks almost vulnerable. “I… I know this place. I can help you disable the traps.”

The souvenir shop owner glares. “You traitor! How could you betray your own--”

“SHUT UP!” Silver whirls around and screams at him. “Don't mess with me! I can command the legendary beasts, and I'll kill you!”

“You're not killing anyone,” Lance says, looking as shocked as I probably do.

Before we have time to process all this, I hear yet another set of footsteps approaching, accompanied by an additional thumping noise.

I turn around to find an old man standing in what used to be the doorway, leaning on a cane.

“What the hell is going on here?” Mahogany's gym leader demands.

“Hello, Pryce,” Lance says rather awkwardly. “It seems we've discovered Team Rocket's hideout.”

Pryce hobbles over, squinting at the trapdoor and the angry shopkeeper. “So you have. I always knew this place was no good.”

Does he mean the souvenir shop, or the entire town?

“Why don't you stay here and make sure that man doesn't escape?” Lance suggests, taking a few hopeful steps towards the hideout entrance.

“You want to get rid of the old man, huh?” Pryce thumps his cane on the floor, making us all jump. “You think I'm fragile and breakable and just going to slow you down, so you leave me with the easy job? You wouldn't stand a chance against me in a battle, whippersnapper.” He pokes Lance in the chest with his cane, sending the Regional Champion staggering backwards.

“Not at all!” Lance insists, trying to regain his composure. “I need someone I can trust to stand guard here.”

Pryce eyes me and Silver critically. “You don't trust these kids? They do look pretty suspicious.”

“Silver’s going to help me navigate the hideout, and Tessa can do what she wants.”

Pryce looks unconvinced.

“And call for backup, while you're here,” Lance orders, remembering that he is, in fact, in charge.

Silver doesn't hesitate -- they pull open the door and start climbing down the ladder. Lance is quick to follow, apparently preferring fighting an unknown amount of Rockets to trying to convince Pryce of anything.

“Kids used to have respect for their elders,” Pryce mutters, stomping over to stand next to the prisoner, who's decided to stay out of the conversation.

This is the part where I should convince myself to walk away, to heed Morty's warning and be careful of Team Rocket. But I remember what happened to Silver last time I was there to protect them, and I don't want that to happen again. My team is strong this time.

Except for Inferno.

My hand drifts to his Pokeball, not empty for once. It feels warm to the touch, and I'm terrified to ever open it again. As long as he's in there, he's alive.

I'm afraid for him, yes. But in this moment, am I afraid to jump into a hideout full of Rockets?

No. I should be, but all I feel is anger , a blinding rage for what they've done. Stealing Pokemon and mistreating them is nothing new, but forcing evolution? It's unnatural, and clearly painful even for the Gyarados.

They hurt Inferno, and they're going to pay for it. They can try to kill me, and they can try to kill my Pokemon, but I won't let them. This ends now .

Pryce’s voice breaks through the red haze of my anger. “What are you waiting around for, girl? I don't need your help to guard one pathetic excuse for a criminal. Either jump through that trapdoor or get out of my way.”

I jump through that trapdoor.

It's a lot nicer than jumping down into a dark muddy well. This is a proper hallway, and it feels like I could be inside any regular office building if it weren't for the ladder stretching back up to the surface behind me and the dust from the ruined shop still drifting down.

Lance and Silver are waiting for me. “Figured you couldn't stay away from this,” Lance says, his cape swishing as he starts down the hall.

What's wrong with me, that I can't stay away from situations like this?

Silver just grumbles “Don't slow us down.” I think their heart's not in it, though.

They're quick to take the lead, and Lance lets them, not wanting to trigger any alarms. It's surprisingly quiet down here for a place that's been broadcasting signals, but I guess that's why it's quiet. A lot of the low-ranking Rockets don't have fully evolved Pokemon, so it would be pretty stupid for them to stick around.

And that means it's the high-ranking Rockets who are going to be here.

Archer won't be one of them . No matter how many times I say it, it's still hard to believe that he isn't lurking around one of these corridors, and I instinctively flinch at every sudden noise and movement. Even if he's dead, and Giovanni’s still in jail, there's Proton...

No. Don't be scared. Be angry. They're not taking anything else from you ever again, and don't think for a moment that they will.

My eyes flicker towards Silver, scowling as they stare around the corridor. Okay, don't be that angry, Tessa. Be sensible. Don't threaten to kill people with your god friends.

In the end, the Rockets sneak up behind us. A whole group charges around the corner we just came from, flinging a flurry of pokeballs. Lance and I reach for ours, but Silver steps forward.

“I order you to stop!” they yell, eyes flashing.

Some of the Rockets hesitate at this, but most of them just laugh.

“You think you got any authority here, kid?” one of them sneers. “Don't you know we have orders to capture you?”

“Don't you know I can call the beasts to strike you down?”

More laughter. “Do it, then.”

Silver clenches their fists, frustrated, then grabs a couple Pokeballs and throws them instead. “Chomp! Shredder! Take them out!”

I'm not surprised to see that Chomp is a Feraligatr now, roaring loudly as he charges at the Rockets’ Pokemon, and I can't help but feel a flicker of pride. Next to him is a Sneasel, small but fierce, claws flashing like knives.

Lance can't send out all his dragons here in this small crowded corridor, so there's just one toss of a Pokeball. Abraxos the Aerodactyl appears with a shriek that sends most of the enemy Pokemon cowering, and quickly follows it up with a Hyper Beam.

I reach for my two most reliable fighters, not wanting everyone else to get caught up in the melee. Regina and Sequoia don't need orders -- they spring into action immediately. Sequoia is just a blur of dodging and striking, bringing down anyone who gets in her way. And Regina--

Did she just Thunderpunch that Noctowl?

I don't know how she learned that, but I'm certainly not complaining.

It's over as soon as it began. The Rockets’ Pokemon lie in a defeated heap, then disappear into their Pokeballs. Abraxos hovers overhead, threatening to blast anyone who looks like they might feel like trying to run.

“Where are we going, Silver?” Lance whispers.

“The generator room.” I see a faint smile flicker across Silver’s face. “If we can take it out, we bring down the whole place with it.”

Lance turns to the Rockets. “Is anyone else in here? I recommend answering truthfully, if you want everyone to live.”

They all look at each other, one of them deciding to speak up. “No. Just her .” I don't know who her is, but Silver certainly does, based on the way they flinch at the word.

“Good,” Lance says as he tosses another Pokeball. The Dragonite reappears. “Toothless, you and Abraxos take these goons back up to Pryce and make sure they don't escape.”

They don't look inclined to escape, not when faced with two dragons. As they slink off down the hallway, Lance and I both turn to look at Silver.

“What exactly is your connection to Team Rocket?” I can't help asking.

Silver turns away. “I don't have to tell you anything!”

“No, you don't,” Lance agrees. “But it seems like we’re going to find out anyway.”

“You're not coming with me! I can do this myself!”

Lance shakes his head. “I'm already putting you in danger by letting you be here in the first place. There's absolutely no way I'm letting you blow up a generator by yourself.”

Silver glares, but ultimately decides it’s best not to threaten the Regional Champion with godly wrath. “Fine. Follow me.” They recall their Pokemon, and I do the same, figuring it's best to have stealth.

The hum of the generator is obvious before we even reach the room, a steady thrumming noise that's almost calming. What we find when we open the door, though, is much less pleasant.

This isn't a regular generator. Several Electrode are hooked up to it, grimacing in pain as it drains their electricity. I can't help but think of those experiments in the Game Corner basement, slowly dying from Rocket cruelty.

But the woman standing in front of the generator commands all attention. She's a stylish figure in a white dress, high heels, and dangling golden earrings. Bright red hair frames her face, much like... Silver’s.

Her smile is sickly sweet. “Darling! I knew you'd come back to me.”

“Mother.” Silver spits the word out as if it’s poison. “I've come to take you down.”
actual footage of Silver in this chapter

...I don’t really have a whole lot to say about this one! It was fun to write, and I think it turned out pretty good.

and sorry for leaving you on a cliffhanger again
 

MouseWithADinosaurTail

A Comedian At Heart
Artist
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
47
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
1,444
Location
Snubbville
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Flying
Pokédex Entry
She's like a sea urchin. Tough and prickly on the outside, but delicate and easily wounded if hit the wrong way. Please handle gently.
Silver: I'm not telling you guys what my connection to Team Rocket is!

Silver, two seconds later: Hi Mom.
 

Bowser's Family Vacation

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
301
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
984
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
Dragon, Cool
Pokédex Entry
"Am I Mario's babysitter? Are you going to call me every time that guy blows his nose, or what?"
My first thought is a somewhat regretful guess I'm going to owe the town a new gatehouse , and that makes my secondary thought of oh, maybe we killed them all the more shameful.
Team Rocket's evolution signal puts Ferno's life in danger, though. D:< And we all know that cute animal (Pokemon) lives are more important than human lives!


The people of Mahogany Town, looking at the property damage:


I like that your Lance threatens to Hyper Beam the front dude but doesn't actually do it. The Hyper Beam scene can be good to show a villainous (or even neutral-aligned) Lance, but leaving it unedited is terribly awkward if you're showing a good guy Lance.

Lance is quick to follow, apparently preferring fighting an unknown amount of Rockets to trying to convince Pryce of anything.
Valid, though. Pryce can be... cold.


Silver:
 

QuietGuardian

Conqueror of the Goldenrod Gym
🌱Featurer
Screenshotter
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
33
Caught
Jun 10, 2019
Messages
245
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
Dark, Ground
While it might have been nice to do more with Archer, sometimes there are worse things out there than your worst nightmares…
Dammit, cyndakip, why do you have to scare me like this? Also, for Mew's sake, GIVE YOUR PROTAGONIST SOME CONFIDENCE! She needs it!

Oh, damn. I hadn't even thought about Team Rocket's forced evolution signal and how it would affect Inferno. I hope he's okay and that Tessa doesn't agonize too much over him. Who am I kidding of course she will

Honestly, I'm with Tessa on the well-being of Team Rocket members: I'm all tapped out of sympathy for them by now. "By now," I say, like that didn't happen back in The Scientist

Pfft, Silver's such a dork.
 

cyndakip

there goes my luck
🌱Featurer
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
23
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
282
Location
Lilycove City
Nature
Hardy
Pronouns
they/she
Pokémon Type
Fire, Water
Pokédex Entry
Part Cyndaquil, part Mudkip, entirely tired.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #89
@MouseWithADinosaurTail Well, they weren’t expecting the others to still be around at that point... but yeah, haha.


@Bowser's Family Vacation These aren’t even regular humans! They’re bad humans! Of course cute animals are more important, especially when those cute animals are Inferno!

I feel like I should be concerned about how often that image is relevant.

Yeah, that scene can definitely be really interesting with less nice Lances, but there’s no way mine would actually do that.

That’s an ice pun! Cool.


@QuietGuardian Because I’m a terrible person who likes to mess with the emotions of my readers! And my characters. So no confidence for Tessa! Not yet, anyway. (Now that I actually stop think about it, though, "sometimes there are worse things out there than your worst nightmares" is a rather inherently terrifying sentence. Sorry about that.)

I’m kind of surprised at how many people didn’t see that coming, but on the other hand, we did get to Mahogany and jump right into SIGNAL TIME very suddenly, so I doubt anyone really had the opportunity to think about it. Yay for unintentional extra shock value?

Of course, but there’s a difference between not having sympathy for them and being directly responsible for their deaths…

Silver is a dork indeed!

Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me in the Extravaganza! Second place for both Best Pokemon and Most Improved is a pretty big deal, and I’m very grateful for all your support. I hope you’ll feel that this story continues to improve! I’m excited to show off some upcoming things, for sure. And Inferno may be number one in my heart, but being second in the heart of the forum is certainly nothing to complain about! Thanks for appreciating my smol son too. I’m still blown away by all the love you’ve shown this run. ❤

Also, I forgot to remind everyone about the Q&A last week, so I’ll make the FINAL DEADLINE next week on March 4 instead. If I don’t have more questions by then, I’ll probably either cancel/postpone it or just do a small one with what I have, depending on how I feel at the time. I don’t want to keep pestering you all about it forever! And no worries if you can’t think of any questions, it’s no big deal.

Anyway, chapter time!

Silver’s words echo through the room, and for a moment, all is quiet. I knew Silver had some connection to Team Rocket, but...

The silence is broken by laughter and a patronizing smile. “You always were a rebellious boy. Stop this foolishness before someone gets hurt.”

I'm not a boy, ” Silver growls. “And if anyone's going to get hurt, it's you.”

“Silver,” Lance says in warning, reaching out an arm to hold them back. They slap it away.

“Silver? Is that what you're calling yourself now?” The woman laughs again. “How cute.”

Lance steps forward. “And what are you calling yourself now? Are you still Ariana, Giovanni's lover who got left behind, desperately trying to revive a failed organization?”

She seems unfazed by this. “I am Ariana, leader of this glorious new Team Rocket! I don't need Giovanni to help me run this organization, but once we break him out of jail, you'll be extra sorry.”

It's Silver’s turn to laugh. “Sure, you don't need him to help, you just need an evil sadist and a revenge-obsessed delusional guy who got crushed to death by rocks. How's that going for you?”

Ariana tosses her hair contemptuously. “Archer was a fool, yes. But Proton is very good at what he does, as you well know.”

Silver’s furious expression slips a little, and I remember the yell of You think you're the only one who's lost a Pokemon to Team Rocket? , remember Thorn’s body lying in that cave afterwards.

Ariana continues. “Don't fight me. Come back and join us again, and we can all be together, you and I and your father.”

Silver snorts. “Yeah, together in jail. No thanks. Say hi to Dad for me when you get there.”

“You're coming with me. It's not up for debate.” Ariana reaches for them, other hand on a Pokeball, but Lance gets in her way.

“You might get a lighter sentence if you don't touch them,” he snarls, angrier than I've ever seen him before. “And I'll give you a choice. You can be in custody when I blow up your hideout, or you can stay right here and experience it firsthand.”

Ariana just laughs again. “Do you honestly think I care what you do to this place? Our test signal was successful. We don't need this hideout anymore, not when we have bigger and better things to accomplish.” Before Lance can move, she presses the button on her Pokeball. The Alakazam is barely visible before it teleports her away in a flash of purple.

I guess she didn't care if Silver came with her or not.

Lance curses and eyes the nearest wall as if he's about to punch it, all his usual composure gone.

“You'll get her next time,” I say quickly in the hopes that it'll prevent any damage to his hand.

He turns away, hands shaking. “I'm sorry, Silver. You shouldn't have had to go through that.”

“Whatever,” Silver mumbles, staring at the generator. “Let's just blow this place up.”

“Isn't that what the Rockets want?” I point out. “They'd rather all their work get destroyed than us get our hands on it.”

“I'm sure they took all their important stuff with them. They knew they wouldn't be here much longer,” Silver says. “Besides, those Electrodes can't be moved without exploding. They just leave them there until they die, and then replace them.”

I look at the trembling Pokemon hooked up to that generator, and then I can't look at them any longer. “So you're saying they have to die.” All those faces staring at me, begging for death...

“They're going to die anyway. They’d want to die taking this place out with them.”

So would I, but that doesn't make this any easier to do.

Lance had sent out Saphira while Silver and I were talking, and now he turns back to us. “You two climb on, get out, make sure no one's in the immediate area, and then send her back to me. We'll take care of it.”

“I want to do it!” Silver demands.

“Absolutely not,” Lance says firmly. “I've already put you in far too much danger today.” He turns to his Dragonite, pointing at the ceiling. “Hyper Beam.”

A quick blast of energy, and the blue sky is now staring down at us.

“Come on, Silver,” I say gently. “Let's leave this behind. It'll still be equally destroyed if someone else does it.”

They want to protest, but soon enough, all the fight goes out of them. Wordlessly, they climb onto Saphira, and I see them crack a small smile. It's hard to be mad when you get to ride a Dragonite.

As soon as I'm seated behind Silver, Saphira spreads her wings wide and soars up, away from this place. A quick glance at the ruined shop reveals no Rockets, no Pryce, and no large blinking metal box, so I think it's safe to assume that they're down at the police station. At least there's not much worry of the police collaborating with the Rockets, not while Lance is in charge.

Saphira drops us off at the Pokemon Center, then flies back to meet her trainer. Silver looks like they want to run off, but I give them my sternest look. “You're not going anywhere unless it's in this building. That's more than enough Team Rocket fighting for one day.”

“Maybe Lance can tell me what to do, but you can't.”

“Listen to me, Silver. Your mother--”

“Ariana!” they correct me, scowling.

Ariana could be anywhere, and all the other Rockets from that hideout aren’t going anywhere but jail. You'd benefit much more from some food and a good night's sleep than you would from running around looking for fugitives.”

“I'll get the beasts to help me!”

I sigh. “Silver, I don't know why the beasts appeared to you, but they're not going to beat up all your enemies for you. That's not what gods do.”

“You don't know that!” they argue, but they're starting to slump a little.

“Yes, I do. And I know that we've accomplished a lot today, and we need to take a break.”

“Maybe you do.”

I do. I need to go cry and scream and sleep for a million years and never touch Inferno's Pokeball again so he won't be dead, but I can't do all of those things.

“Please, Silver. I need-- I need to make sure Inferno’s okay. I can't go anywhere until I do that, and it would mean a lot if you stayed around so I know that you're okay, too.”

Silver’s curiosity wins out. “What's wrong with him?”

“The-- the signal, it broke his Everstone, and he almost evolved, and I don't know if he can survive the shock--” A sob rises in my throat. I don't know if I can survive the shock.

They almost look sad. “Oh. Well, I think it would...I think it would kind of suck if he died. He's pretty cool, always fighting like a badass even though he's so... delicate.” Their eyes flicker to his pokeball, then to me. “Can you tell him I didn't really mean it when I called him weak?”

I reach for the doors of the Pokemon Center. “You're going to tell him yourself.”

He’s survived so much. He can't die now. He can't .

Right as I step through the door, I finally feel the ground rumbling in the distance as the hideout collapses behind us.
This one’s definitely on the short side, but we’ve got some particularly long chapters coming up soon enough to make up for it. Any information on what happened in-game in Mahogany will have to wait until next time, though ;) (But then we're done with cliffhangers for a while, I promise!)
 

violentlydefending

a complete fool
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
1056
Caught
Nov 20, 2019
Messages
227
Pronouns
he/she/they
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Ice
"I think it would kind of suck if he died" thank you for your emotional contribution
also aaaaAAAAAAAA 🥺😭
(and congrats on the ganza!! :D)
 

Bowser's Family Vacation

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
301
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
984
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
Dragon, Cool
Pokédex Entry
"Am I Mario's babysitter? Are you going to call me every time that guy blows his nose, or what?"
Ariana: "lets be evil together uwu"
Silver:


Those darn teleporting Pokemon, though. >_> Good guys should pack more dark types to counter psychic shenanigans. So... Dark type Champion when, GameFreak?

Also Silver:

Inferno would have liked that explosion, I think. :(
 

cyndakip

there goes my luck
🌱Featurer
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
23
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
282
Location
Lilycove City
Nature
Hardy
Pronouns
they/she
Pokémon Type
Fire, Water
Pokédex Entry
Part Cyndaquil, part Mudkip, entirely tired.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #92
@violentlydefending That's probably the nicest thing Silver’s said yet, haha. And thank you!


@Bowser's Family Vacation That's a good idea! I hadn't thought about how dark-types could be useful there…

Well, let's hope he gets the chance to see some in the future! ...Or not, because that's dangerous :P

Well, now that I have enough questions for a decent-sized Q&A, I can stop bothering you all about it I’d better get working on it! Not the best timing on my part, since I already have a new project I’m working on that I’m going to start posting in two days… Well, I’ll try and have the Q&A out in a week or two, once I figure out how I want to handle having all these Pokemon who’ve never talked answer questions! why do I do this to myself

(also, up until I actually post it, I’m probably willing to accept more questions if anyone happens to think of something and wants to send it in)

I did do some last-minute editing of this chapter (which is why I’m posting it later than usual) and I’m still not 100% happy with all of it, but, well, I think it turned out okay.

“I can't believe you got to see Lance tame an entire group of rampaging Gyarados, threaten to Hyper Beam a guy out of existence, beat up a bunch of Rockets, and blow up their entire hideout. Why do I always miss all the fun stuff?”

I snort. “You know, Gary, some people actually have better things to do than stare at Lance all the time.”

There’s only so much laughter to be had about this situation, though, and he soon falls back into seriousness. “I really do wish I had been there, you know? It's not fair that you have to keep dealing with the Rockets yourself.”

“And it wouldn't be fair if you had to, either,” I say firmly. “It was fine this time. We weren't in any danger. I went into it willingly.”

“And you shouldn't have! I know you did it for Inferno, but you shouldn't--”

“I’d do it for you, too, and you’d do it for me. We both know this. So how is it any different if I do it for Inferno, or Silver, or everyone in Mahogany?”

Gary has nothing to say to this, so I know I'm right.

“The important thing is, we stopped them. We won't let them hurt any more Pokemon like that.” I tilt my phone a little so he can get a better view of Inferno, curled up next to me and sleeping through the conversation out of pure exhaustion.

It was terrifying, letting him out again. But the doctors were gathered in a circle of everstones and oxygen masks and elaborate machines, and they stopped the evolution process before it got too far. He’s still here, my Inferno. Team Rocket can't take him from me.

“He's something else, isn't he?” Gary says with admiration. “No wonder you never wanted to give him away.”

“He's the toughest Pokemon I know,” I agree, gently running a hand through his fur. He makes a small sleepy noise, then goes right back to snoring. “And the cutest, and the most annoying. It all balances out.”

There's a shout in the distance, over the phone, and Gary makes a face. “Speaking of annoying, they're insisting I go fight a challenger. We'll have to talk later.”

“Oh no, how terrible! You have to go do your dream job!”

“Hey, it's just not as fun beating trainers who aren’t you.”

“Remind me which of us won the championship battle?”

“Sure, you won that one, but I win more often, and that’s what really matters.”

“Well, I--” I'm interrupted as a Charizard swoops onto the screen and starts nudging Gary out of view.

“Okay, Ash, I'm coming! Geez! Bye, Tessa!” The screen goes dark.

I put my phone away with a faint smile. Thank goodness for Gary. It's not until I finally look up that I notice the figure standing in the doorway.

“How’s Inferno doing?” Silver asks, sounding uncharacteristically quiet.

I motion them over, and they approach on careful footsteps. “Better than can be expected, honestly. He's mostly just tired, and they think he might be ready for a proper battle within a week.” After all, while it was strenuous for him, he didn't evolve. This isn't on the same level as his struggle with adjusting to life as a Quilava.

“You have to stay here for a week?

“At least, yeah,” I say, unbothered by the fact. With Team Rocket recently removed from the area, Mahogany actually seems like a pretty great place to be at the moment. “I'll be able to train the rest of my team, and he'll be able to train a bit too after a few days. Besides, Pryce has closed down his gym for a little while so he can help with the local Team Rocket investigation. Saves Lance a lot of trouble.” Although I'm sure Pryce’s view on the matter is that he's more suited for the job than Lance is.

Silver scowls. “I know. Means I have to wait around if I want to fight him. And they all keep trying to ask me questions about Team Rocket.”

I feel a pang of sympathy. “I'm sure you don't want to talk about it, but the more information you share, the easier it'll be to take them down.”

They scuff a foot along the floor. “Maybe. But it's not like I know what their plans are.”

“Every little bit helps.”

“I know!

I back off. “Okay.”

For a moment, the room is silent except for a softly snoring Quilava.

“If we're both staying here for a while, why don't we train together?” I suggest.

They glare at me. “I don't need your help with training ! What do you think you are, my babysitter?”

“Your friend.”

That genuinely stuns them. They open their mouth, close it again, look away, and finally say “Why would you want to be friends with me?

“This might be hard to believe, but I don't have a lot of friends either, you know.” I smile at them. “We keep running into each other, so we might as well do it as friends. And that's what friends do! They fight together , help each other out, and we're already doing that.”

Silver looks like they can't decide whether to hug me or punch me. “Maybe. But don't think I'll ever go easy on you in a battle just because you decide we're friends .”

“I would neither expect nor want you to.”

Good. ” They grumble and turn away, heading for the door.

“Bye!” I call out cheerfully.

Silver hesitates, one hand on the door frame. “...bye.”

I consider the conversation a success.




***​




This probably goes without saying, but the Ice Path is cold.

I wish I had a proper winter jacket, but there's nowhere for me to buy one in Mahogany. Their only real store was the souvenir shop, which was less “store” and more “Team Rocket hideout”, and now it's nothing at all. I guess I'll have to backtrack to Ecruteak yet again or order one online, because traveling to Blackthorn in even colder weather just might kill me.

Someone who doesn't mind the cold, of course, is Inferno. After being forced to deal with a few boring days of rest, he's quite eager to slide all over the cave.

All. Over. It.

Sure, it's less stressful than walking , at least for him. But my stress levels are quite high every time he goes careening out of sight, grinning wildly as the smooth surface carries him away.

I'm already stressed enough just trying to stay upright. I don't exactly have any experience with skating, since Pallet and New Bark are both on the ocean, and the ocean doesn't freeze . Would this be any easier if I had skates instead of sneakers? Probably not.

...Boots, though. Boots would be nice, assuming my frozen feet last long enough in this cave for me to still need them when I get out.

The next time Inferno disappears from view, I hear a happy squeak. Shuffling, wobbling, flailing, I round the corner to see him and Silver standing in a large open area of the cave. Silver’s reached down to pet him, smiling faintly, but they immediately straighten up and scowl a little when I get there, not wanting to be seen breaking character.

“You're following me,” they say in an accusatory tone.

“This is the best place to train. Besides, don't you want to fight me?”

I'm treated with a rare genuine Silver Smile. “...Yeah. I'm going to kick your ass.”

“We'll see about that!” I try to sound as confident as possible, and might have succeeded if I didn't stumble and nearly faceplant on the ice partway through the sentence.

In the end, it's basically a draw. Regina makes quick work of their Haunter due to her own mastery of Shadow Ball, but Sequoia falls to a well-placed Thunderbolt from the Magneton. Finn takes out Chomp with a Thunderbolt of his own, but then Inferno loses to, of all Pokemon, Shredder the Sneasel.

“You shouldn't have tired yourself out with all that sliding!” I scold him. He merely gives me a but it's so fun grin in between wheezes, not even caring that he lost.

After that, we train on the wild Pokemon, wanting to practice fighting as many ice types as we can. I hope to only use Inferno for the gym, but because he’s Inferno, I need to make sure he has backup. Since he's already tired himself out, I let him rest on the sidelines with me so he can observe how Swinub and Delibird and Dewgong fight.

The problem is, no one's better suited to fighting them in this temperature than Inferno himself. Finn seems okay, but Regina and Sequoia are clearly pretty cold. Hazel and Ravi decide they'd rather curl up with me and Inferno, which I decide not to complain about.

One thing this temperature could be good for, though... “Hey, Regina!” I yell. “See if you can learn Ice Punch!” The Nidoqueen’s face lights up, and she starts concentrating hard on her punches. If Finn could teach her how to use electricity without me even knowing, it shouldn't be hard for her to learn how to use ice as well.

At least, I hope it won't be, because it's an invaluable move against Clair.

My attention is divided between my team and Silver's, as the other trainer fights at the opposite end of the cavern. They don't seem to be working their Pokemon too hard or using excessive force, so I decide not to worry about them too much.

And then my attention shifts entirely as my phone rings.

I'm too busy being surprised that I actually get reception in this cave to be annoyed that it's my mom calling me.

“Tessa! How's the training going?”

“Uh, great?”

“That's perfect to hear! So you should be able to take a break and come see me for Solstice, right?”

Is the Winter Solstice really so soon? I haven't been keeping track of the days, what with how chaotic life has been. I do some quick math in my head. “Well, first of all, my gym battle is scheduled for Solstice Eve. And second, how am I going to get all the way to Celadon, even if I wanted to?”

“Pryce schedules matches for Solstice Eve?” my mother tuts in disapproval. “What a Grinch. Even I always take a few days off from the lab, as you know.”

I do know. It used to be fun, back when I was a little kid who still got excited about things like decorating the house and baking cookies.

Did Silver ever get to do those things?

The training seems to have stopped on the other side of the cavern, and Silver is trying very hard to pretend that they're not listening to this conversation. I suddenly feel like kind of a jerk. Sure, I don't always get along with my mother, but at least my parents aren't in charge of Team Rocket.

But our parents have something in common, don't they? They both worked on cloning a god and had it go horribly wrong.

“Are you still there?” she asks.

“What? Yes!” I say, trying to remember what we were talking about. “I mean, I think a gym badge is a pretty great Solstice present, especially if it's an ice type gym.”

“Excellent. I won't have to get you anything.”

I roll my eyes. “Hilarious.”

“But seriously, I didn't say anything about Celadon, did I? I'm talking about Pallet. Didn't Gary tell you that they're having a party? He’s inviting all the gym leaders, and Samuel’s inviting all of Kanto and Johto’s best scientists. And our cousins are coming over from Sinnoh to visit!”

“Our cousins?

“Don't you remember my cousin Tom? His son is about your age, isn't he?”

“I'm pretty sure Lucas is at least a couple years younger than me? My only vague memory of him is a toddler who drooled all over my favourite stuffed Eevee. It was never the same again.”

My mom laughs. “Well, your next meeting can only go better, I’m sure.”

“Even Pallet is pretty far from Mahogany. I don't know how you think I'm going to be meeting him at all.” I feel a familiar twinge of sadness for the Pokemon who could have taken me there, were they still around.

She sighs. “Just think about it, okay, Tessa?”

Fine. “I'll see how it goes.”

“Great!”

“Bye.”

“... Goodbye.”

I hang up the phone and look over to Silver, who's trying very hard to look in the opposite direction. “Sorry. Ready for more training?”

An unmistakable sniffle. “Whatever.”

“Are you--”

“It's COLD!

“Yes, it is,” I agree, and sniffle a little in solidarity.

If I do go to that party, I'm taking Silver with me.
...What, you think I’d slowly drag out Inferno's death over several chapters? Nah, he's fine. Nothing scary even happened to him in-game here, I just figured him reacting to the evolution signal was kind of inevitable. I wasn’t expecting you all to panic about it! I probably should have, though, so sorry about that. I hope you didn’t find this too anticlimactic, since I wasn’t really trying to make it a big deal. And sorry if it seems like there's been too much focus on him almost dying lately... let's hope we're through with that! (By which I mean let's hope nothing else happens to him, not let’s remove the “almost”, haha.)

The only memorable thing in the Rocket hideout was Hazel tanking a selfdestruct from less than full health. (Gosh, I love this Furret.) Unfortunately, I couldn't really find a spot to put that in the story. And since Hazel's definitely not best suited for that sort of thing, I threw Sequoia at all the Electrodes and she came out of it just fine. (Gosh, I love this weird tree-rock.)

The red Gyarados actually proved to be more of a challenge! Turns out I had no Ultra Balls, so I was worried I might have to kill it before it killed me, but we pulled through and caught it. Figured Lance could have it in the story, especially since I didn't put it on my team. As much as I love water-types, I did already have one and I was happy with my team.

(I'm already making up for all the recent short author's notes here and I still have plenty of things to say…)

So, the Winter Solstice! I figured that's what they'd celebrate because the real-life religions don't exist in this universe. You might remember that the reason I wanted to do a holiday-themed update was because Christmas was on a Wednesday, but realized I couldn't have it then while still putting it where I wanted in the story because there was a whole lot of content that needed to happen first... so we're having it in March instead! It's become too integral to the story to not do it, for various reasons.

One of those reasons is Lucas! Yes, that's the same Lucas who's the protag of DPP, and he's going to be one of the main characters in my Platinum storylocke. I actually didn't set out to have him be related to Tessa, it just kind of... happened. Since his dad works for Professor Rowan and so does he (eventually), I figured I should give them a tree last name like proper Pokemon scientists. So when I was like “hmm, what would be a good last name for them?” my brain defaulted to Linden, and I was like “haha, silly brain, that's Tessa's last name, we can't do that... but wait, Lucas Linden sounds pretty cool... and what if they were related??? I could introduce him in this story and I'd also have a good excuse for Tessa to make an appearance in my Platinum run!”

...So, yeah. Now they’re second cousins, and I'm quite happy with the impact it's had on both stories. All because my brain couldn't be bothered to immediately come up with a different tree when I asked it! I hope you all like Lucas too, because I really enjoy writing him. We’ll see him soon enough!
 

Bowser's Family Vacation

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
301
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
984
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
Dragon, Cool
Pokédex Entry
"Am I Mario's babysitter? Are you going to call me every time that guy blows his nose, or what?"
Poor Gary, missing out on the mortal danger I mean fun.

Aw, Silver cares.

Aw, Silver wants friendship!

As for Tessa's family... Cousins from Sinnoh... 👀 Sinnoh confirmed?
 

cyndakip

there goes my luck
🌱Featurer
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
23
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
282
Location
Lilycove City
Nature
Hardy
Pronouns
they/she
Pokémon Type
Fire, Water
Pokédex Entry
Part Cyndaquil, part Mudkip, entirely tired.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #94
@Bowser's Family Vacation Don't worry, I'm sure there'll be plenty more chances for mortal danger! ...Actually, that might be a thing to worry about.

Sinnoh confirmed as my next storylocke, at least! give us Sinnoh remakes gamefreak
The eve of the Winter Solstice dawns frosty and frigid. Not remotely surprising, but still disappointing. Pryce’s gym is no shelter from the cold, since he's got to keep the temperature low if he wants his fancy ice rink to stay icy.

The fancy ice rink is a welcoming sight, though. After days of practicing on the Ice Path, Inferno should feel right at home. It's certainly better than Lorelei's frigid pool studded with icebergs, which would be decidedly bad for a delicate Quilava.

Said Quilava is currently doing his best to keep me from freezing as I sit on the sidelines, waiting for Silver's match to start. The match itself shouldn't take long, since Pryce tends to favor one-Pokemon-only battles. Probably because he's a tired old man who wants to get through all his challengers quickly, although I'm sure he'd insist that he just likes the high stakes.

Silver seems less confident than they did during that very first gym battle. I'm not sure if it's because of the Rocket situation, or the beasts refusing to do things for them, or just because they've lost some of that arrogance. Probably all of the above.

But when the battle starts, they're all business. Pryce sends out his Dewgong, and Silver responds with their Magneton (who I've learned is named Zap, according to the Uncreative Yet Mildly Intimidating Silver Naming Technique).

Inferno squirms with excitement as the two Pokemon trade Ice Beams and Thunderbolts, and I try hard to hold him still, not wanting to lose my personal heater. In fairness, it is an exciting match, especially for one tense moment when Zap gets frozen solid and clatters to the ground. The Dewgong slides over to deliver the finishing blow, but Zap uses electricity to break through the ice at the last moment, taking out their opponent in the process.

I don't have time to congratulate Silver on their win, since my own match is immediately afterward. Inferno and I soon find ourselves in the same spot they had just occupied, and all too soon, I have to let go of my Quilava and send him out onto the battlefield.

“Don't think I'm the sort of weak gym leader who hands out badges to people who help them,” Pryce grumbles. “You fought a few Team Rocket members in my town? Good for you. Now earn your badge.”

I don't respond to this. Quite honestly, I'm a little offended that he thinks I wouldn't want to earn my badges fair and square. I'm here , aren't I?

But then I think of Bugsy and Jasmine. I didn't ask them to give me badges I didn't deserve, but I didn't exactly turn them down, either.

It doesn't matter. We earned every single one of those gym badges one way or another, Inferno and I and this team.

This one won't be any harder.

Despite that thought, my heart rate jumps a little when Pryce sends out a Piloswine. It's part ground, and it has sharp tusks...

But it's slow, and Inferno's fast. And he has fire .

It's slow, yes. But everyone's faster on ice, and this thing is no exception. It slides pointy end first towards Inferno on Pryce’s command, leaving us with not a lot of time to react.

“Ember, then get out of there!” I yell. We're probably only getting one Flame Wheel, and I don't want to use it up by having him run face-first into those tusks.

The Piloswine may be at home on the ice to the point where it can slide side to side to avoid the Embers, but it can't avoid all of them. The ones that do hit make it squeal and slow down, leaving Inferno with the perfect opportunity to slam into it.

The tusks slam into him first.

Inferno goes flying across the ice, sliding out of control until he comes to a gradual stop. But he's up on his feet after just a moment, still breathing.

Pryce smirks. “Earthquake.”

We’ve got to end this now, right now . It's a desperate gamble, but the alternative is leaving him on the ice to get completely obliterated.

Jump up and use Flame Wheel!

There's an agonizing moment when he's still on the ice, and the Piloswine is just about to start shaking it -- but he takes a few confident strides, pushes off, and lets the momentum carry him up into the air as he comes alight.

Inferno hits the Piloswine like a comet, a blazing streak of fire that sends it sliding all the way into the wall.

Pryce frowns as he recalls it. I think it's time for him to retire.




***​




The large metal snowflake in my hand is colder than the small watery ones drifting down from the clouds, but I still hold on to it for a little while until I decide it's not worth the frostbite and slip it into my badge case where it belongs. Silver and I are trudging through the snow that's already starting to pile up, on our way to the Pokemon Center.

My second-favorite spiky-haired trainer is waiting there for us. Unlike his dragons, Lance never seems to be bothered by cold weather. Gary would say that it's because Lance is just that cool, but it's obviously because he grew up on a damn mountain.

“Finished the investigation?” I ask.

He sighs. “More or less. The rest can wait for a day or two.”

“You've got plans for Solstice, then?” He's not actually going to the Oaks’ party, is he?

“Same plans as you.” Lance smiles. “Come on, I've got dragons. Did you really think I wouldn't offer you a ride?”

“You don't have to--”

“I'm going to Pallet anyway. It's no trouble.”

Silver’s been trying to sneak away, but I grab them by the coat sleeve. “You're not going anywhere, except to Pallet with us.”

They yank free of my grip. “I don't want your charity!”

“It's a party, Silver. It's for friends. It's not charity if the free food is for all your friends.”

They consider this, and decide not to argue.

Lance nods. “Good choice. We'd better get oh you've got to be kidding me .” This last part is directed at a sudden flash of familiar mint-green as an Alakazam and his trainer materialize next to us.

“Sorry I'm late!” Gary declares, recalling Simon. “Got held up at the gym. Guess I missed your battles, although you probably wouldn't have wanted me to--”

“Gary.” I cut him off. “ Why are you here?

“I come all the way over here as a surprise so I can take you back to Pallet, and this is the thanks I get?”

I wince. “Sorry, I didn’t mean it like that. I appreciate it, but it wasn’t necessary. You could have saved yourself the trouble.”

“It didn't occur to you that I was already here, and that I could take her?” Lance looks exasperated.

“You never said if you were coming or not!” Gary says defensively.

Lance deflates a bit. “Well, I guess I didn't. I wasn't sure if I was going to have the time. I'm sorry.” His expression quickly turns stern. “But did you really think you'd be able to get back anytime soon? Simon won't have the energy for a return trip, especially not with two people.”

“You have a point there,” Gary admits. “But I have a dragon too! Tessa can take Ash, since she knows him well. Guess I'll have to ride with you.” He blinks at Lance innocently.

“Don't push your luck,” the Regional Champion says. “Take Ash yourself. Tessa has experience with Dragonite, so she can ride Saphira. Silver will come with me on Toothless since they've never ridden a dragon for more than a few minutes.”

Silver’s clearly offended, not wanting to seem like an uncool person who's never ridden a dragon for more than a few minutes. But since they want to become a cool person who's ridden a dragon for more than a few minutes, they keep their mouth shut.

“I guess so,” Gary mumbles, not wanting to become a person who doesn't have Lance show up at his party at all.

And so three dragons appear, and after much convincing, Inferno disappears. He gave in once I told him that it's not safe for him up there and being in a Pokeball is a lot more comfortable than hitting the ground from an extreme height.

Climbing onto Saphira is a strange feeling of familiar-and-yet-not. She's smaller than Isabel, younger, more energetic... but she's still a Dragonite. And yes, I rode her away from the Whirl Islands, but I wasn't exactly taking the time to think about what that felt like.

It feels freeing . I've never managed to hold on to a flying type of my own long enough for them to be able to carry me places, and that hurts, but at least there are always Dragonite.

Silver awkwardly scrambles up behind Lance, and Gary sits impatiently on his Charizard, eager to get going.

Together, we ascend into the sky.




***​




We don't talk on the ride over. It's too hard to yell over the wind and the snow and the trying not to freeze , and it's better that way, because we get to enjoy the scenery without distractions.

Everything below us is white , a sparkling, glittering coat of winter. The only break from it is when we sail over the ocean, and even that is gray enough to be almost white. It's a strange monochrome world, and by the time we finally land shivering in Pallet, it's a huge relief to see soft candles glowing in the windows.

We all slide off the dragons, stomping around in the snow to try and shake some feeling back into our limbs. Silver has a that-was-so-cool face on, but decides that it would be uncool to say anything.

“Welcome home!” Gary says with a wide grin, dramatically gesturing to his house.

My eyes shift over to next door, to a house I haven't lived in for ten years. The current residents have candles, too, illuminating people passing by the windows inside, windows that I used to look out of. It's been a long time since I knew for sure where home was.

But Gary came all the way out to get me, and Inferno is prancing around with excitement, and my mom steps outside with a tentative smile.

Home is right here, for now.
Can you believe that's seven out of eight gyms already? The Pryce battle was pretty uneventful in-game. Inferno really did fight the Piloswine, and I had Finn deal with the other two. I couldn't mention this until now, but I actually went out of order and fought Pryce before Jasmine, because her ace is 4 levels higher. Johto's level curve is great. I love it so much. screams internally

I'm hoping to get the Q&A out this weekend, but it might end up being next week. Maybe even next week in place of an update, not because I think it's worth replacing a chapter for, but because the next chapter is long and still needs some work, so it might not be ready. (This is admittedly somewhat due to me shifting my priority to my PMD story which you should totally check out if you haven't already). I might be skipping weeks here and there for a little while because the next few chapters all need more work than most (one of them is basically half-written at best). But I'll do my best to get things out on time!
 

Bowser's Family Vacation

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
301
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
984
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
Dragon, Cool
Pokédex Entry
"Am I Mario's babysitter? Are you going to call me every time that guy blows his nose, or what?"
Welcome to the Sinnoh club, then! Sinnoh is fun! Hard but fun. Well, except for the HM-heavy parts. thats why we need a remake gamefreak

Uncreative Yet Mildly Intimidating Silver Naming Technique
We stan simple, to-the-point names!

As for the gym battle(s), what else is there to say other than...


Guess I'll have to ride with you.” He blinks at Lance innocently.
...I ship it.
 

cyndakip

there goes my luck
🌱Featurer
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
23
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
282
Location
Lilycove City
Nature
Hardy
Pronouns
they/she
Pokémon Type
Fire, Water
Pokédex Entry
Part Cyndaquil, part Mudkip, entirely tired.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #96
@Bowser's Family Vacation I’m 5 badges into Platinum and having a whole lot of fun! I'm surprised that it hasn't been as hard as I was expecting so far; most of the deaths have been caused by my own stupidity rather than the game itself being difficult. Not that I'd ever get complacent, though, because I know there are still plenty of challenges ahead... I admit I never actually beat the league even in a regular playthrough so I am Scared

Me too! But I haven't decided yet if it's ever actually going to happen. 🤔

Well, this was supposed to be the Q&A, but it's not! I've been having a lot of trouble writing it, and having trouble finding the motivation to do anything at all these last few days. Things have been... not great, honestly, I've got a lot of problems that this whole coronavirus situation is certainly not helping, and as much as I have the time to write, my brain just doesn't want to do it right now. But I didn't come here to drown you all in negativity! I'm going to do my best to get back to working on things and have a positive attitude. And in the meantime, I do have a chapter for you! I completely misremembered this as being a long one, and it's actually not. Sorry for the false advertising there, haha.

I'm hoping to get the Q&A out next week at the absolute latest, because I don't think it's very likely that I'll have the next chapter prepared. That one really is long, and still needs a lot of work, and I just don't see myself having it ready by then. So hopefully I can post the Q&A to make up for it! I'm just... not happy with how the Q&A’s been turning out, so I'm a bit worried about that, but I don't want to give up on it, because that wouldn’t be fair to the people who sent in questions. We’ll see how it goes.

I hadn't seen my mother in a while even before I went running off all over Johto. Maybe it's that, and maybe it's because it's a holiday, and maybe it's because of everything that's been happening lately -- whatever the reason is, I practically throw myself into her arms.

“Happy Solstice, Mom.”

“Happy Solstice, Tessa.”

She lets me go and looks me over carefully. “Are you taking good care of yourself?”

I roll my eyes. "Yes, Mom! And I've got Inferno to help me.” He walks over to greet her eagerly, since they've never met outside of video chat.

“And there he is!” She bends down to stroke his ears, as everyone seems to do when they meet him. “He's even smaller in person. Are you sure you're taking good care of him? Pokemon with conditions like that need special--”

"Yes, Mom,” I cut her off, gritting my teeth. This is why I don't spend time with her. Well, that and all the complicated cloning stuff. “Doesn't he look happy and healthy to you?”

Inferno gives her his most angelic smile, and runs in a circle to back it up.

“Hmm,” she says noncommittally. “Well, he is cute, and his lungs seem to be functioning adequately at the moment. If you want, I could run some tests--”

“He doesn't need tests, Mom. You're not a doctor. You can't help him more than everyone at the Pokemon Center can. And he's not an experiment, he's my starter.”

My mom no doubt has more to say on the subject, but she's distracted when she notices Silver, who’s been slowly edging away from us. “Who's this?”

“My friend, Silver. I invited them.”

Silver looks like they'd rather dive headfirst into the nearest snowbank than have a conversation, but they manage a mumbled “Hey.”

We’re all saved from more awkwardness by two familiar figures charging over from the direction of the lab. Cora gets here first, not slowed down by the snowdrifts, and slams right into me in a happy blur of red, her favorite method of greeting people. <Tessa!!!>

“Hey, Coco,” I grin, catching her contagious happiness.

She flutters away from me. <Inferno!!!> At least she has the sense not to slam into him.

Laurel’s caught up by then, and I'm soon pulled into the familiar embrace of her vines. It's all either of us need to say.

“Where’s Maren?” I ask once we finally pull away.

She points down to the water. I'm not surprised that Maren would want to stay away from the crowds.

“Well, I'll be sure to go see her before I go. And Arthur?”

A shrug. Figures.

“Suppose I should let everyone else out, shouldn't I?” I reach for my Pokeballs, and soon there's a whole reunion going on. Several of Gary’s Pokemon gather around as well, and even Kid appears, much to Inferno’s delight.

The small-flying-type-shaped hole in my heart twinges, but I know Isra can’t be here. A crowded party is no place for a small bat whose wings are still healing, so we’ll make sure to visit on the way to Blackthorn in an attempt to make up for it.

My mom’s looking a little impatient. “You should come meet your cousins, Tessa.” I realize that Gary, Lance, and Silver have already disappeared, and my team is starting to scatter.

“Fine.” I follow her into the house, and Inferno follows me .

The sudden burst of warmth and chattering voices crashes into me as soon as I walk through the door. It's a little overwhelming, but I was getting so cold that at this point I'm relieved just to be in a building at all, regardless of how many people are in it. We skirt around tables full of food, weave between gym leaders and scientists and Pokemon until we find a vaguely familiar man and a teenager who looks a lot like him.

“Nice to see you again, Tessa!” my cousin Tom says. “And you remember Lucas, of course.”

I remember a toddler drooling on my favorite stuffed Pokemon. He probably doesn't remember me at all.

“Hi,” I say awkwardly.

“Hi,” Lucas echoes even more awkwardly, which I didn't think was possible.

“Oh, is that Professor Maple?” my mother exclaims, looking at someone on the other side of the room. “You've just got to hear about her research. Come with me!” She starts dragging Tom away (rather unnecessarily, as he seems eager to hear about it). “You two get reacquainted with each other!” she calls over her shoulder.

“Never stopped to think about whether we wanted to hear about Professor Maple’s research, did she?” I mutter.

Lucas looks surprised, then laughs.

“Oh well,” I continue when he doesn't seem inclined to say anything. “We can talk to her later, and there are plenty of other scientists around.”

“Yeah…” he agrees. “It's just kind of intimidating, you know?”

I don't know, really, since most of these people have been working with my mother for as long as I can remember. But I'm sure it would be intimidating to a shy kid from Sinnoh who’s completely out of his comfort zone, so I nod in agreement anyway.

We fall back into awkward silence. “So, do you... like science?” I venture.

His face lights up, and it's as if I've flipped a switch. “Of course! I've always wanted to be a Pokemon biologist with a specialization in genetics like your mom, or maybe evolution, or ecology. I haven't really decided yet! But Dad says that in a year or two, I can start working for Professor Rowan like he does! So I might have to train some starters, and I'm not sure if that's the kind of thing I would really be good at. But you're good at that, right? Maybe you could give me some tips?”

I manage to latch onto training starters and good at that and tips somewhere in the deluge of words, and I don't know who told him those things, but... I look down at Inferno. I still haven't figured out if he's my biggest success or biggest failure. The first rule of raising starters is that you're not supposed to keep the starters.

“I can try?” Great, way to sound confident. I clear my throat. “I mean, yes, if you end up working with starters, contact me and I'll answer any questions you might have.”

“I have a question now.” He's shifting from one foot to the other nervously.

“...What is it?”

“Can I pet Inferno?”

Inferno answers the question himself by jumping into Lucas's arms, and my cousin's face somehow manages to light up even more. “Oh my gosh, he's so cute! And not as small as he looks on TV!“ Inferno, approving of both of those statements, rumbles happily and nuzzles Lucas’ face with his head.

I smile, too, since this is pretty darn adorable.

“Um…” Lucas cranes his neck so he can see me through his armful of Quilava. “Is it okay if I meet your Eeveelutions, too? Eevee is my favorite Pokemon, and I really want to study its evolution patterns someday, but I never really get to see any, and you have two…”

I guess he hasn't changed much.

“Not sure how easy it'll be to find both of them, but…” I reach out with my mind. Ravi?

Momentarily, the Espeon comes into view, Cora fluttering over his head. {What?} He looks a bit on edge, as if having so many minds around him is overwhelming.

“This is my cousin, Lucas.” I take Inferno from his arms so he can greet the Espeon. Which he does, talking a mile a minute. Cora flits off to find someone who'd rather talk to her .

That's when I notice the annoyed yellow face peeking around the corner. “Well, what do you know? Arthur is around.” Lucas' head snaps up in excitement.

Arthur doesn't particularly want to be around, but a suspiciously festive Delibird-shaped Pokemon shoves him forward into the room, winks, then disappears.

I leave my cousin in Eeveelution heaven and sneak away to find someone else to talk to.

That someone turns out to be Blaine, who's right in the center of this scientist-gym leader Venn diagram of a party. Not that he's the center of attention , though. Most of the scientists aren't too keen on him after his experiment destroyed an entire island, and most of the gym leaders are young and more interested in things like making out with each other under the mistletoe. Or just standing under it hopefully, like Gary.

But I have no interest in mistletoe, and I'm surprisingly forgiving about the Mewtwo incident considering how much I got mixed up with it, and I've always admired Blaine, so I'm glad to see him.

He's glad to see me, too, and he seems even gladder to see Inferno, which is a trend I can understand. And of course, he is a fire-type specialist. For the second time in five minutes, Inferno jumps into someone else's arms.

“So this is the Wonder Quilava,” Blaine smiles, scratching Inferno under the chin. “You've clearly been taking good care of him.”

At least someone can see that.

“He takes good care of me, too.” Scares me half to death most of the time, but it's worth it.

“Glad to hear it.”

“How‘s Mewtwo?”

“Good. Probably hiding in a cave somewhere. Socializing isn't exactly their thing.”

“I can relate.”

Blaine laughs. “Well, I think Inferno can do enough socializing for the both of you.”

He's right, of course. As the night drags on, Inferno drags me over to talk to just about everyone, until I let him go off by himself so I can find a quiet spot to relax for a bit.

Turns out the quietest spot I can think of is already taken.

Silver is scrunched into a corner of an empty room, scowling as I approach. “Get your own spot.”

“Are you having fun?”

“I liked the food.”

“Well, that’s a start.”

Taken by surprise, we both jump when the door creaks behind us.

Lucas' face peeks in.

“This spot is taken,” Silver grumbles.

“No, it's not!” I say quickly. “Come meet my friend Silver. Silver, this is my cousin Lucas.”

Lucas shuffles forward cautiously. “...Hi?”

“Whatever.”

Oh, boy. “Just talk to each other, okay? That's why we're all here.”

“I came for the food.”

“Well, that too.”

“I've seen you on TV!” Lucas says, eyes wide. “You have an interesting battling style.”

Silver’s curiosity gets the better of them. “Are you a trainer?”

“Well, no,” Lucas admits.

“If you're not going to battle me, then don't waste my time.”

“You could show me your Pokemon! You've got a Magneton and a Sneasel, right? Did you know that although they’re both native to this island, their evolved forms were first discovered in Sinnoh? Because I noticed you haven't evolved them yet, and…”

I slip away, smiling. They've got plenty to talk about.

But the party is still loud and crowded, so I slip further away, out into the yard. Professor Oak is already there, supervising the building of the bonfire. It's the biggest Solstice tradition -- something bright and warm and full of life, to chase away the cold of the winter days to come. Laurel’s there, too, using her vines to fling sticks onto the pile, although I know she won't be that close to it once we actually set it on fire. She grins at me, and I join in to help.

Before I know it, everyone starts filing out of the house to join us under the stars, countless footsteps crunching through the snow. We form the circle first, a big one, and yet Gary still manages to work his way over next to Lance, grinning at me triumphantly as they clasp hands. He reaches out his other hand to me, and I take it.

Silver’s practically dragged out of the house by Lucas, wanting to be very far away from hand-holding, but I smile and hold mine out anyway. They ultimately decide that it's better than standing outside the circle like a total loser, and take it gingerly, as if it's a bomb.

We're all here -- my friends, my family, most of the gym leaders, and a bunch of scientists. And our Pokemon, standing in their own circle behind us. A strange combination, and yet it doesn't feel strange to be gathered around with all of them. This is exactly what the Winter Solstice is about -- joining together and standing strong in the face of the coming winter. Not that winter is a huge threat in our modern world, but it's a nice thought regardless.

“Do the honors, Inferno,” Gary says.

One small Ember, and then the bonfire is ablaze, a bright beacon of fiery comfort against the cold night sky.
This was a fun chapter to write! I'm excited to finally introduce Lucas, and I hope you like him too especially because he's a co-protagonist of my platinum storylocke so you're stuck with him regardless

Just because it's almost spring doesn't mean we can't have some heartwarming winter holiday content! I think even this brief moment of positivity is the kind of thing we need right now, anyway. I hope you all stay safe and healthy and don't go to any large parties like this one, but make sure you still talk to the people you care about. I know times are pretty tough right now, but stay strong. We'll get through it. ❤
 

Bowser's Family Vacation

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
301
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
984
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
Dragon, Cool
Pokédex Entry
"Am I Mario's babysitter? Are you going to call me every time that guy blows his nose, or what?"
Don't worry about not writing the Q&A! This is a rough time for everyone. To be honest, I'm considering delaying/cancelling Ashes To Ashes' final Q&A. I'll still answer the questions, but I'm not sure if I have the energy to do any of the fancy stuff. We'll see, though.

Yay for familial reconciliation!

“And there he is!” She bends down to stroke his ears, as everyone seems to do when they meet him. “He's even smaller in person. Are you sure you're taking good care of him? Pokemon with conditions like that need special--”

"Yes, Mom,” I cut her off, gritting my teeth. This is why I don't spend time with her. Well, that and all the complicated cloning stuff. “Doesn't he look happy and healthy to you?”
And yay for blowing it, Mom. >_>

I'm studying Lucas, considering your future plans, and knowing that Platinum has a gift Eevee, I'm praying for it to stay safe!

most of the gym leaders are young and more interested in things like making out with each other under the mistletoe. Or just standing under it hopefully, like Gary.
But I haven't decided yet if it's ever actually going to happen.
He's waiting so nicely, though. :c In all seriousness, I love seeing Gary be all awkward. He may be a hotshot now, but, deep down (or not so deep down), he's still the same dork. :)

I love seeing each of the guests' reactions to Inferno, on a scale of hovering pity to pride. As a disabled person, sometimes disability can be a good first method to suss out the bad eggs. :P

Tessa and Silver being introverts together:


Lucas, barging into the quiet corner to ask about science:


The ending:

Except they're around a bonfire. >_>
 

QuietGuardian

Conqueror of the Goldenrod Gym
🌱Featurer
Screenshotter
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
33
Caught
Jun 10, 2019
Messages
245
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
Dark, Ground
Aw, what a nice heartwarming celebration. (Got a few chuckles out of me, too.) Thank you for doing your part to inject positivity into the world in these trying times!
 

cyndakip

there goes my luck
🌱Featurer
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
23
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
282
Location
Lilycove City
Nature
Hardy
Pronouns
they/she
Pokémon Type
Fire, Water
Pokédex Entry
Part Cyndaquil, part Mudkip, entirely tired.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #99
@Bowser's Family Vacation Thanks! Totally understandable about your Q&A as well; do whatever you feel is best for you.

I'm praying too! Platinum is scary, but I love my team to bits and I'm doing my best to make sure they all stay safe.

Gary is a huge dork wrapped in a very thin layer of coolness :P


@QuietGuardian Thanks, I'm glad you liked it! I'd love to post nothing but happy positive chapters from now on, but I think we all know that it can't stay this way forever, as much as we want it to...

And here it finally is, the Q&A! Sorry it took so long. I struggled with answering some of the questions, as well as worrying about writing the new team talking, but ultimately I think it's turned out pretty good. Huge thanks to everyone who sent in questions!

No fancy setup this time, we're just going to get right into it.

Tessa, who is the mom of each of your teams?

She looks offended. “Me, obviously.”

Laurel snorts, and Tessa amends her answer. “Okay, yes, sorry, you’re my co-mom. I’m… not sure if anyone on the new team is particularly mom-ish? That's probably why it’s been more trouble to take care of them all.”


Does the team have any favorite foods?

“Since we travel a lot, the options tend to be limited to generic Pokemon food and whatever berries we can find. Luckily, most of them aren't very picky -- it's kind of a necessity when you grow up in the wild.” Tessa frowns, shaking her head. “Regina especially will eat anything, even things that weren't intended to be eaten. I've got to keep an eye on her. Sequoia’s the easiest; as a rock-type, she just needs to absorb natural minerals. Inferno loves Cheri berries, which is great because they’re common and actually help his breathing a bit.”


Tessa's old team, which member of Tessa's new team do you see yourself in the most?

“It would be obvious of me to say Inferno, wouldn't it?” Laurel eyes the younger starter with fondness. “We did have very similar upbringings. He understands what it's like to grow up in a lab and have the responsibility of being the one the rest of the team is supposed to look up to. I'd like to think I had more sense than him when I was that age, but…” She grins. “Well, none of you knew me then, but I admit I had more of a reckless side too, always eager to show off what I could do. I just had the advantage of starting my journey when I was older than he is now.” Her smile droops a bit. “I had an easier time of it, of course, but that makes it all the more impressive that he can do what he does.”

“I don't know her as well as I would like, but I definitely see some of myself in Hazel,” Maren says softly. “We're both quiet, and I had similar struggles with anxiety about battling and learning to have confidence in myself.”

<Ravi…> Cora says, her expression uncharacteristically serious. “I guess he’s not too much like me, but he does know what it's like to have to get used to being a psychic. It's reminded me of…” she trails off, lost in memories. “...Well, I hope I've done okay at passing on what I've learned. I'm proud of him.” Her mouth quirks up in a small smile. “I know someday he’ll be proud of himself, too!”

“I have to say Ravi, too.” Arthur nods, but he's not smiling. “He's the only one who understands what it's like to be raised by a breeder like Bill. Sounds like he had it easier, but... it's been good to talk about it. Good to know that things are getting better there.” He shakes his head as if he’s trying to clear away the memories. “And he's a good kid. Needs some confidence, but he’s a lot more likeable than I was at that age. So it's more that I can relate to his situation than anything, I guess.”

You've always been likeable, Mew purrs, materializing next to the Jolteon, who flicks his ears in embarrassment but is unable to hide a small smile.

“Going to answer the question?”

Who, me? I'm a god. Don't think I have much in common with any of them. Instead of sounding arrogant, the remark is tinged with a bit of sadness. Someone else can answer. ...Marco! Don't forget about Marco!

The Geodude grins. “I pride myself on being steady and reliable, and so does Sequoia. We get along well.”


Tessa's new team, which member of Tessa's old team do you see yourself in the most?

Inferno puffs out his chest. “Laurel, of course! We're both starters and team leaders.”

“Ha! Laurel wishes she was as kickass as me,” Regina grins, earning a glare from Inferno. “But she’s pretty cool, so her, I guess.”

“Um…” Hazel's eyes flicker around nervously. “I-I don't know. I haven't talked to them much.”

{Well…} Ravi hesitates. {I wish I could say that I'm like Cora, because we both developed psychic powers when we evolved and had to adjust to using them. But she… she's more like everything I wish I could be. I'm not fun and outgoing and brave.} His ears droop, but he keeps going. {I can relate to Arthur. He understands what it's like to be an Eevee, even though... he had it worse than me. We've talked about it a few times, and I feel like we really understand each other.}

“Can I say Mew? Because I feel like I approach godly levels of awesomeness.” Finn grins.

Mew gives him a smile that seems amused, patronizing, and terrifying all at once. Their eyes glow with an otherworldly power. I could kill you with just a blink, mortal.

The Lanturn laughs nervously and sinks deeper into the water. “I-I was kidding! For an honest answer, though, I'd pick Cora. We both know how to have fun!”

Sequoia continues to stand silent and unmoving for a moment before finally speaking. “I appreciate Maren -- she's quiet and sensible, unlike many of the others.” The Sudowoodo glances disapprovingly at certain teammates.

Tessa frowns. “I have no idea what anyone but Ravi said, but I feel like most of you didn't think very hard about this question.”

Give them a break, Mew says gently. They’re young. Self-reflection comes with experience.

“Huh, sometimes you do say wise things. I'd almost forgotten.”


Ravi: What’s the best thing about obtaining psychic powers?

{The... the best thing?} He laughs nervously. {It hasn't been easy. I guess what I appreciate most is the ability to communicate with my trainer. The telepathy comes more naturally to me than my other powers, and I feel more comfortable using it.}


Isra, after your injury, do you feel a kinship with Inferno?

The Zubat looks like she would shrug if her wings weren't wrapped in plaster. “It's hard not to feel more connected to someone when you almost die for them. I wish I could see him more often, but I know I need to stay here and heal. Our situations are pretty different... I'm going to get better someday!” Her cheerfulness seems a bit forced. “But... I can sympathize more, now. I get what he's going through.”


Inferno, after Isra's injury, do you feel a kinship with her?

Inferno’s ears droop “She almost died for me because I couldn't save myself. And now she can't protect herself, either.” After a moment, he looks up. “But she's going to get better, and I'm not. She won't be like this forever, and that's good.” His voice wavers. “She thought my life was worth saving, even at that cost. I can never forget that.” He smiles. “So I'll do my best to live for her, and win the championship for her, and someday, she’ll fly for me!”


Mew: How were you able to hear Tessa’s thoughts in Cianwood, right before you brought over her old team for a visit? Do you follow her around, or do you have some sort of long-distance connection with her?

You do know I'm a god, right? You think you can understand all my secrets? They roll their eyes. But no, I don't follow her around all the time. That would be creepy.

“Creepier than reading my mind all the time?”

Stay out of my question, Tessa. Besides, you know I don't read your mind all the time. I'd get bored. Mew flicks their tail, grinning. We do have a connection, but the further apart we are, the more of an effort I need to make to maintain it. Good thing I can go anywhere anytime I want! I like to check up on her sometimes. I'd hate to miss an opportunity for a good team reunion.


Mew: How’s everything going with Mewtwo?

Mewtwo’s doing fine! They still hide in a cave half the time, but they've done a lot to rebuild the Cinnabar community, and a lot of people have warmed up to them. They help Blaine with a lot of research, too. Mew grins. I visit them maybe a bit more often than they would like.


Arthur, you've had some time to recover from the shock. What are your feelings about Mew now?

Arthur frowns. “I don't see how that's any of your business.” He eyes the pink god doing loops in the air nearby. “Well they're still here, aren't they? If I was still upset about what happened, we wouldn't be answering these questions together.”

Wow. That's possibly the worst way of saying you love me yet.

“I can't just say that in front of everyone!”

Mew flies over and nuzzles him. Sure you can! It's easy. I love you!

Arthur mumbles something that sounds a bit like “I love you too”, while blushing enough to make him look somewhat like a Flareon.

Anyway, if we can be serious for a moment, Mew says, turning to stare straight ahead. It hasn't been easy. I'm a god, he's a mortal. I lied to him about who I was, disappeared for a while, all that stuff. Things are complicated. But we're working through it.

“Wasn’t this my question?”

You weren't comfortable answering it. I was helping.

“...Well. Thanks. Um.” He clears his throat. “To answer the question, I don't want to talk about my feelings. But I forgive them for what they did. I understand why they did it. And... it's nice to be with them.” He glares. “Are you done prying into my personal life now?”


Gabriel, what are your feelings about Tessa's willingness to sacrifice herself in the Whirl Islands?

The Kadabra sighs. [It is difficult for me, as I must watch helplessly from the afterlife. I wish only for her and her team to be safe. I never want to see them in such dangerous situations, and as much as I miss her, I do not want to meet her here for many years.] His sad expression twists into a slight smile of pride. [But she has come a long way. I am proud to see her care so much for her team, although I hope a sacrifice will never again be necessary.]


Chomp, what was your relationship with Inferno like at the lab? How has it changed as you have gone on your separate ways?

The Feraligatr shrugs. “We grew up and trained together. Wouldn't think of him as a brother or a friend or anything, but we got along well enough when I wasn't kicking his ass.”

There's a distant shout of protest.

“Okay, so you almost beat me a few times. That doesn't really change my answer.” He pauses. “Since then? I haven't seen him much, other than the recent bit of training we did. I guess... if I had known about his condition, I wouldn't have been so hard on him. We get along better now.”


Morty: In your honest opinion, do you think Tessa will be able to free herself from her self-imposed responsibilities someday?

“It’s certainly possible.” He stares off into the distance unsettlingly. “But she has a lot to work through. I fear the road ahead will not be easy for her.”


Morty & Eusine: How did your relationship begin and develop?

“I came to Ecruteak for information on Suicune, and ended up falling in love instead!” Eusine declares dramatically.

“Well, putting it that way implies that I didn’t tell you everything I know about Suicune, and I certainly did. Many times.” Despite those words, Morty’s smile is fond. “But yes, we share a common interest in the legends of Ecruteak. He came here seeking information, and as the city’s lead historian, I was happy to oblige. We hit it off from there.”


Tessa’s team: What has been your favorite moment of this adventure?

Hazel hesitates. “It… it was actually the earlier days. When Inferno was helping me learn how to fight, and Isra was around to cheer me on. N-not that I don't enjoy what we're doing now! But... things were simpler back then.” She stares into space for a moment. “W-would it be weird if I said Slowpoke Well? Because that was awful, and terrifying, but that's where I learned to stop being afraid as much. I learned that I can fight, and protect the ones I care about. It was... the most important moment for me, I guess.”

“Either my battle with Chuck, or getting to kick the Rockets out of Mahogany!” Regina grins, flexing her arms.

{Not so much a moment,} Ravi says thoughtfully. {But I really appreciate how patient everyone has been with me. How they don't expect me to fight before I'm ready. It's a small thing to be thankful for, I know, but I grew up being prepared for the possibility that my trainer might not be so understanding.} He smiles faintly. {I appreciate everything Tessa’s done for me. And Cora, too. Maybe I'm not very good at being a psychic yet, but I've had a great opportunity to learn.}

“I appreciate the quiet moments,” Sequoia says, standing perfectly still. “But I find I also appreciate the moments when the team is training together. It's been good to hone my skills and learn new techniques from others. They can even be good company, when they’re not being too rambunctious.” A slight smile appears on her face.

“Well, I think the Jasmine battle was awesome!” Finn grins. “Sure, my ribs got a bit smashed, but I beat a Steelix! How many Pokemon can say that?”

“The Jasmine battle was my favourite, too!” Inferno says, glowing with pride. “I proved that I can still do this.” He bounces up and down for a moment before pausing. “But... I also loved getting to take care of Kid before he hatched. And meeting Laurel and the rest of the old team. And hanging out with my friends. And… and everyone being so understanding about my situation. So I guess... everything!” He hesitates, his smile slipping away. “Except almost dying a bunch of times. And… and Isra almost dying for me. So it hasn't been easy, but that makes the good moments all the more worth it.”
I almost could have called this a Mew&A, what with how much Mew kept taking over other people's questions, haha. I just have too much fun writing them! And speaking of psychic cat gods that I love writing, I do wish we could see more of Mewtwo, but there hasn't really been an opportunity for that yet... rest assured that I do still have some plans for them in the future, though. just not necessarily the near future

With this out of the way, I now have more time to edit the next chapter! I can't promise it'll be ready by Wednesday, but I'll try to get it out as soon as I can.
 

MouseWithADinosaurTail

A Comedian At Heart
Artist
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
47
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
1,444
Location
Snubbville
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Flying
Pokédex Entry
She's like a sea urchin. Tough and prickly on the outside, but delicate and easily wounded if hit the wrong way. Please handle gently.
Hey hey yoooo! Finally got a chance to catch up on this run, and it was lovely as always! Silver and Tessa are friends now, yeeeeeee! OwO I love this angwy little dweeb tagging along with Tessa now. And the holiday party was really fun! It was nice to just take a break, relax for a chapter, and spend time with friends and family! After all the craziness going on, I think the characters all could really use a rest. ^w^

Sorry for dropping off! I def still love this run, and I'm very happy to be caught up again. Hopefully I can stay caught up now, haha! Also you may have some fanart coming? 👀 Whooo knoooooooows~

See you next time! Thanks for the good reads as always. Your writing is a treasure. <3
 

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