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Thread Description
Chapter 17: Thunder Wave (Aug 12th) - Updates every other Friday, hopefully

Leon Yorunaki

I'll Spirit Shackle you!
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
453
Caught
Jul 9, 2019
Messages
820
Nature
Rash
Pokémon Type
  1. Grass
  2. Ghost
lostmonthbanner.png

Hello there, and welcome aboard.
For those who doesn't know me (most of you, I assume), I'm Leon Yorunaki, previously known as Chester, and an old-time lurker. Granted, I was much more active a decade ago, and I decided to go back into roots and start posting my run back in the forums.

Cue back to October 1st 2010. The day, after being linked three different comic runs in a shady website we don't talk about (those runs were the original nuzlocke season 2, Hale's Emerald and Neopolis' Emerald Hard Mode), I decided to join the forums and find new runs and/or get updates faster for those three. Sense of community hit hard and, in the same day, I started posting a hideous run made in mspaint which didn't last longer than a month. Let's forget it happened, it was my first nuzlocke and I played it badly.
Later that year, in December, user Baron of Fate convinced me to try again, despite my broken English at that time. At that moment, Machine of Doom was born, which attempted to be a serious run (unlike the mspaint disaster) and, while I went a bit far with it (I posted 35 chapters in the course of two years), looking back I see it as something not better than the previous one. It was canned, and for good reason.
But even a can of worms needs to be opened and, around early 2015, my SO convinced me to give it another try since those ghosts were haunting me. But, instead of broken English, I went with my native language (Brazilian Portuguese). Took me about five years, but I managed to turn it into a full run. I'm definitely proud of it despite a few shortcomings, but while it was good, it didn't fulfill my desire to finish what I had started.
That little bug bit me around two months ago. I need to finish what I've started. And, for once, I'm confident I can do this.
As of why I decided to post it today? Because Machine of Doom had its first post in December 14th, 2010 (and I don't care it's still the 13th for me as I make this post). I also met my SO in a Dec 14th, so I guess it's destiny.



Now, about the run itself:
  • Most of the run goes with an angst tone. Nothing out of ordinary, but worth saying.
  • Swearing when applicable.
  • It also threads into unhealthy relationships because it's impossible to have a canon Hoenn run without going into this.
  • Death and Violence are also part of this (well, this is a nuzlocke after all), but it goes slightly further than just "Major Character Death").
  • A few specific chapters (three, unless I change some stuff) will have specific TW's, these will be mentioned before each chapter to avoid early spoilers.
  1. Only one catch per route is allowed, and it must be the first wild pokémon found in said route.
    • Starting Help: For the sake of this run, starter is treated as a Littleroot catch instead of Route 101.
    • Lifelink: Starter must be in team at all times.
    • Variety Aid: Duplicates must be skipped as long a member of that evolutionary line is alive (either teamed or boxed). I may only mulligan twice; if the second and third pokémon I find are also duplicates, I may (at will) catch the last one or forfeit the route as a valid catch.
    • Lucky Grace: I'm allowed one illegal catch for the sake of trade fodder (Bellsprout -> Vulpix) to get the Lucky Egg earlier, because grinding is a chore. The illegally obtained Vulpix must be released ASAP.
    • Act of giving: Gifts are treated as catches (only the first in a route/city, and you forfeit a catch in the same route if you take the gift).
    • Skepticism: No legendaries allowed. Ignore them as you will.
  2. If a pokémon faints in-battle, it's dead. Bury it in a box and pay your respects.
    • No Mercy: No exceptions, no "bullshit clause", no matter what.
    • Press F: Any pokémon who dies must appear in the run at least once.
  3. Shiny Pokémon can't be used in this run.
    • Save Them All: All shiny pokémon found must be caught regardless of being illegal.
    • Invalid: If a shiny happens to be the first wild in a route, you may still try to catch something else in that route.
  4. Make it fun, but not broken.
    • Living Creatures: All pokémon have nicknames, even if some doesn't come into play for the start of this run.
    • Eyes of a God: I may metagame the run by checking on opponent's movesets, altered stats and even hidden power type/base damage.
    • Limited Adapting: Only one team member can be changed at a time unless replacing a dead pokémon. Changes may happen once for each badge, at any time between them.
    • Forewarn: Shift Mode is allowed.
    • World's End: Run ends in a victory if I win against all trainers in Ever Grande's league building, or in a defeat if I have a team wipe at any point (I can only rebuild if at least one pokémon survives)
 
Last edited:
OP
Leon Yorunaki

Leon Yorunaki

I'll Spirit Shackle you!
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
453
Caught
Jul 9, 2019
Messages
820
Nature
Rash
Pokémon Type
  1. Grass
  2. Ghost
Three weeks already... I still can’t believe it…

Not the most surprising feat for many, but Himiko Senri had reasons to be proud of herself. Her first job, at that shop just outside Mahogany Town, was somewhat peaceful and easy to learn, or maybe she wasn’t expected to do much. Regardless, it was a nice change of pace for her life now that she could depend on herself and not on Natsumi.

Her mother was a specialist in herbal medicine, and could earn just enough to take care of the two of them, but as the girl was about to hit her seventeen years old, the last thing she wanted was asking mom for pocket savings. Freedom was top priority now.

That new job, however, could bring her much more than an income; Himiko knew something was running just under her nose, and if she was smart enough, there could be a chance to hit big, fixing her earlier mistakes...

A bell chime brought the girl back to reality as someone entered the small shop. She didn’t look at it at first, knowing it would be one of the same daily visitors. It was always like that, with no one looking for the lakeside souvenirs she was supposed to sell. One blink and the red-haired boy was already behind some shelves, as the phone started to ring like clockwork. A second one and he would be gone as the girl would be answering the dead call…

Not on my watch.

She wouldn’t answer it quickly this time, moving away from the balcony to see how that boy would disappear. Just as expected, she caught a glimpse of a trapdoor closing, completely unnoticeable unless she knew it was there.

Only then was the call answered, mute as always. With no one else at the shop and no more visitors expected until the end of her shift in about an hour, she went back to the shelf where the trapdoor was hidden just behind. Her dubious feelings crossed her mind: the reasonable side knew it was a bad idea to peek around, and she could lose her hard-earned job in a snap for doing so.

Impulsiveness won, however, and within seconds, Himiko was already going down through the hidden staircase. She was well aware that nothing good could come from that; still, she didn’t know what to expect from that dark corridor, running past the store’s limits...

Lost in her thoughts, she only noticed a second too late that there was someone else downstairs waiting for her to climb down. Grabbed by her forearm, Himiko had no choice but to try and shake herself out of that ambush, hitting a wall with her elbow.

The pain was just enough to wake her up, late in the morning, hundreds of miles away from Mahogany and betrayed by her own failure from a week before.

Rubbing her right elbow and realizing the impact didn’t cause any damage beyond the pain, she looked around, still unused to that new room. It would take some time, though, because it was much smaller than her previous one, and the tropical climate from Littleroot was uncomfortable in comparison to the chill she was used to in Johto.

There was nothing she could do about it, however. Moving away from Mahogany wasn’t exactly in the best interests of Himiko, but at least it would keep her safe from the Rockets as they tried to reclaim what they lost years before. Natsumi wasn’t aware of how close the ties between the store and the criminals were, but her timing for their escape was nothing less than perfect. Himiko didn’t feel the same, though.

She promised herself not to think about that. Her failures had been stacking for the past four years and, knowing brooding would achieve nothing useful, she decided to take a bath and start a new, boring day in that empty village. As it had been the past one.

Waking up late in the morning had its price, though, and the toll had yet to be paid. That was the reason for her prolonged shower, delaying any argument she would have until lunchtime.

She didn’t think it would be even more expensive then.

“When I was your age, the house didn’t clean itself.”

“Yea, mom, I get it.”

“Guess what, it still doesn’t! Would it kill you to help me a few?”

Himiko made sure to put some food in her mouth to avoid having to answer. Nothing good would come out of it, especially since she knew she was wrong; no sense arguing against it.

Natsumi didn’t feel quite the same and kept lecturing the girl while they ate. But it was when Himiko was dealing with the dishes that they started to tackle the bigger stuff.

“You're already seventeen years old; it's about time you decided what you really want out of life.”

“Whatever.”

“Don’t you effing ‘ whatever’ me again, Himiko Meanders Senri! I’m talking about your future!”

The girl felt like throwing her lunch up for an instant. First, because all children learn to fear when their parents call your full name, and second, because she utterly hates her middle name.

Not without reason. Norman Meanders was far from being a worthy parental reference, and that was before he moved out to Hoenn, around four years earlier. Natsumi would agree if she weren't so stubborn; Himiko was certain that the small scar under her right brow wasn't caused by a Roseli Berry thorn, as she claims.

“You keep saying I should work, but as I finally get a job, we move out of Johto. I’m not talking about this. Not right now.

“Don’t act like I wanted to be here either!”

Like I’ll ever believe you. Norman had moved out, back then, after getting a better job as a gym leader in Hoenn. Or so he claimed. And there were the two of them, mother and daughter, in a village only a few hours on foot far from said gym. Of course she couldn’t hide it for much.

“Whatever.”

Of course, Himiko knew it would only piss her off more. She couldn’t just care enough, because there was one important thing about Natsumi Senri that Himiko would use to her favor.

She was a completely different person when in public.

And, before Natsumi could burst into anger after being mocked by her own daughter, Himiko was already outside, tasting the sweet aroma of manure that only Littleroot could provide.

Oh, the irony. This is even deeper in the middle of nowhere than Mahogany…

Calling Littleroot Village a suburb was paradoxically an understatement and slightly untrue. Houses were few and far between, most of the areas around them filled by crops and the occasional tree. But, as the closest of them could show her, not devoid of civilization.

And, just as she was about to greet her new neighbors through their always open door, something big hit her from the inside, and she realized that the grass and ground had already welcomed her with a soft thud.

Rather than something , someone .

“I’m sorry… you okay?”

Himiko looked up, finding the owner of that melodic voice. The boy, probably not older than her by more than a few months, looked at her from above, stretching his tanned arm towards the girl, helping her to get up on her feet again.

“I’m the one to be sorry here…” Himiko blushed. I shouldn’t be peeking around like this…

“You’re a new face around here…”

“Yeah, I’m Himiko. Just moved next door.”

“Nice to meet you, I’m Brendan. Let me guess, you’re Norman’s kid, right?”

His words were enough to make Himiko’s face turn green faster than a traffic light.

“I am. Why do you ask?”

“Oh, nothing. I’ve heard a bit about you moving up here. But somehow I thought his kid would be a boy…”

If that was his attempt to mend the situation, it couldn’t have gone any worse.

“Unfortunately for you, I’m a girl. Any problem with that?”

“No, nothing. I… I think I didn’t express myself properly…”

“Forget it. It doesn’t matter. You were in a rush, I won’t waste more of your time.”

“Of course. We can chat later if you want. See you!”

What a jerk. She looked at him as he was getting away, heading south. For that reason, Himiko went straight north, looking for a tree to sit under, maybe finding some berries to sweeten her bitter moments. Looking at the peaceful Pidgeys flocking around should be more interesting than going back home.

A short, deep scream in the distance brought the girl back into her senses before she could even zone out.

It turns out, those Pidgey weren’t as peaceful as she thought beforehand. Their target was some older guy, probably in his late forties, running around from six of these birds, a small hole on his coat denouncing one of the hits he had already taken.

Himiko could be defenseless, but not dumb. She knew enough not to disturb the birds, as she would be the next target. Not that it was her first option, due to a large fallen tree between them. Her best chance would be to use a pokémon of her own. If she had any.

Maybe this guy could have one , she thought, locating a bag hanging from one of the trees close to her. And, as much as she disliked the idea of messing with someone else’s belongings, with some luck she could find a…

Pokéball. A lone sphere found inside one of the deeper pockets, protected by some kind of metallic fiber. That ought to work.

She grabbed the ball, shivering down to her spine as she threw it, releasing the creature on top of the log between her and the guy.

At that point, however, Himiko realized her mistakes.

First and foremost, it was a completely unknown creature to her. Someone colorblind could probably mistake it for a young kid with stubby legs, except for the fact that he was no more than a foot tall. His skin was so pale and devoid of life that it had a rotten gray color, and from the green hair — or whatever she could call the thin fur growing out of his head — a red, pointy horn was sticking out.

Second, her years studying the basics of those creatures were more than enough for Himiko to realize it was a baby, freshly-hatched pokémon with no combat experience.

And third, she noticed a bit too late that the creature was successful in diverting the Pidgeys' attention from the guy. To himself.

All Himiko could do was scream in despair.

And somehow, it worked.

As she did that, the pokémon copied her action, emitting a loud, high-pitched sound, and it was enough to distract the birds as they moved away from the source of that sound.


fuu.png

There was no time to feel safe, as they regrouped for another buzzing attack. And Himiko had no idea what to do.

Please do something. They’re going to hit you.

Another cry was heard, deeper than the first one but still high-pitched. The Pidgeys were prepared for this, they wouldn’t be caught off-guard again by the same technique…

Yet they did, as the first one seemingly crashed in the air, as if it had hit a wall; quickly followed by the second one. The other four, however, had enough time to dodge, u-turning out of danger and escaping, quickly followed by the damaged couple.

“You alright?” Himiko asked, jumping through the log to find the man lying on the ground, still groaning in pain. There was no blood, but the bruises on his back weren’t nice to look at.

“It could’ve been worse. I’ll be fine.”

“How did that happen?”

“I was taking some notes here, forgot to bring my pokémon… I didn’t think I’d be attacked like this.”

“Hang on me, let’s go to the village!”

“Don’t worry. I can still walk.”

“I’ll help you. What’s your name?”

“I’m Marlon Birch. Most people just go by Birch, in fact.”

It took a few silent minutes for them to reach the village. The two of them went ahead, Birch leaning on the girl’s shoulder while the small pokémon followed them until they found one of the bigger buildings, being received by a worried worker.

“For Arceus’s sake, Birch, what happened to you?”

“Just a few angry Pidgeys, Marcel. I can take care of this.”

“Of course not! Let me help you!”

It didn’t take long for them to see the full outcome of that battle. Those Pidgey had pecked him three times on his back, but they had done no serious damage. Nothing a few plasters and a day of rest couldn’t handle. But, as the last one was being applied, a panting noise could be heard from outside.

“Has dad arri…” Brendan appeared, losing his words after seeing Birch in that state, despite his smile signaling he shouldn’t worry about it. “How did you end up like this?”

“Just some angry Pidgey… Luckily, this girl was there to help me before they could leave a dent.”

It was only then that he looked around, realizing Himiko was standing there, blushing at his sight. However, things went south quickly as he noticed the little weird Ralts hanging around her right leg.

“Don’t tell me this is…”

“Yeah, Bren, it’s that one. Be glad of that, It's because of him that I’m safe now.”

“But… the research…”

“We’ll find a way out, no worries.”

Himiko started blushing at Birch’s words, now sure she shouldn’t be messing around with his belongings. But it would get worse.

“Besides, I think this cutie here will be much better on her hands than on ours.”

The three of them, including Marcel, were staring at Himiko. She couldn’t hide her embarrassment.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t take him. I’m not a trainer; no license or anything, you know?”

“How could you!” Brendan started moving towards the girl in anger, but he was stopped by his father.

“Cut it out, Brendan.”

“Not cutting it! It wasn’t you on those sleepless nights waiting for a natural interspecies egg!

“No, stop it!” Birch imposed himself. “No use crying over spilled Moomoo Milk. We can find another test egg… and after what I saw in the woods, not giving this girl a license would be a waste!”

Himiko felt stunned by those words, not knowing exactly what to think, so deep inside her constraint she didn’t realize what he meant. The Pokémon was now hugging her leg, shaking as much as the girl.

“So… Himiko, right? Show me what dad means. Battle me, now!”

“Professor's son or not, I'm not going to let it happen.” Marcel interrupted him. “Last time you let Samuel out, he destroyed my research. You’ll need to find somewhere else.”

“Fine, fine. Meet me at Oldale's outskirts then. I’ll wait.” He then slammed the previously open door to that lab.

“Sorry about that.” Birch turned back to Himiko. “I hope it didn’t give you a bad first impression, but my kid is usually nicer than what you’ve seen.”

“No worries.” She held herself back from finishing the sentence. I’ve seen worse from him already.

“It may be a weird thing to ask, but if I were you, I’d go after him. I bet it would be good both for you and our little friend here.”

“Uh… I guess?”







Still hesitating, Himiko left the lab a few minutes after that, but not without some general advice. Oldale was a bigger village, northwest of Littleroot, and could be reached in about twenty minutes of walking along a path in the woods. It shouldn’t pose any danger to the girl.

At least not more danger than she would have to face still in Littleroot.

“Why am I not surprised at all?”

It was a scary sight for Himiko, one she wasn’t used to seeing outside their front door. The angry version of Natsumi.

“You never learn… Bet you just pestered that guy for a pokémon!”

“Of course not!”

“Guess it worked this time.” Natsumi glanced over the pokéball, sticking out of her right pocket. “What’s next, going out for a kid’s journey?”

Himiko shoved her mother aside, going through the front door and straight into her room.

“I’ve told you at least a hundred times, but you never listened to me!”

“Again with that little story, Himi? I’d expect you’d have gone over that by now!”

“Whatever.” Himiko caught her tote bag tossed around somewhere in her room, and started filling it with the first pieces of clothing she could find. “Whatever. If you’re a coward that doesn’t care enough about your daughter, I don’t need to ask your opinion anymore.”

“I dare you!”

“No turning back now, mom. If you weren’t blinded by that scoundrel, it wouldn’t end like this!”

“Stop it, Himiko! We need to talk!”

She grabbed Himiko’s arm as the girl tried to pass through the door, but took an elbow hit and was forced to let her go.

“Whatever, whatever, whatever. You never had the guts to go after the truth! Guess what? I do!”

But Himiko wasn’t prepared to face the truth.
Special thanks to @littlebattler for having another set of eyes on this chapter.

Yeah, as one would have guessed, this is not your default Emerald run, despite looking as one.
It was run in a rom hack Emerald Omega Strike, by yours truly. It's definitely a product of its time, and even back then it was far from perfect. I wouldn't suggest anyone to play it, because it tried to be a hard mode without any balance (and my rule about Lucky Egg abuse is proof)
This also means means I'm the only one to blame when bad things happen - you'll see in due time.

ralts.png

Ralts - Lv.5 - Bold nature

Edited in 2022-07-29 03:21 UTC. Reason: Grammar and Spellcheck
 
Last edited:

aegagrusScholarship

Problems and Issues Haver
Artist
Writer
Godfather
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
4946
Caught
Sep 9, 2021
Messages
485
Location
In the wrong fandom.
Nature
Hasty
Pronouns
all of them
Pokémon Type
  1. Bug
  2. Dark
Pokédex Entry
This Pokémon craves attention and recognition, but becomes an absolute mess if given either. Often seen starting multiple projects and finishing none.
YOOOO IT'S FINALLY HAPPENING i can't wait to see the rest of this run!!!! been curious about it since you were working on it so much in nuzwriters'
super interesting, as expected, already!!
also OH it's a hack!! that's interesting
i'd say good luck with the hack, but since this is finished, i'll just say. RIP to whoever died, hopefully it wasn't too ridiculously unfair.
 

crashcrashcrash

More like trashtrashtrash, amiright
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
3723
Caught
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
172
Location
Nimbasa City
Nature
Brave
Pokémon Type
  1. Fighting
  2. Flying
Oh noooo what do we have here? I sense family drama and a LOT of it

Should have known this was a hack when Birch was attacked by SIX Pidgey instead of one Pooch. Still took me until Brendan said it in the lab to figure out what the starter was XD My logic went from newborn Torchic > maybe Machop > wait definitely not Meditite > are we sure it's not a newborn Torchic

THE BOLD RALTS THOUGH

Still, super intriguing to see a written run based on a hack made by the writer... Whatever you have goin on here is going to be painful and I'm ready for it. (Sidenote, I'm a big sucker for chapter names based on moves/abilities, so points for that!)
 

Kit_The_Feef

Someone who draws too much ¯\_(ಠωಠ)_/¯
Artist
Screenshotter
Godfather
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
4612
Caught
Jun 16, 2021
Messages
1,208
Location
Australia
Nature
Impish
Pronouns
He/him
Pokémon Type
  1. Bug
  2. Fairy
  3. Steel
Pokédex Entry
Comic artist. Idiot. Has far too many active projects for his own sanity. Unreliable when it comes to updates on his non-comic endeavours.
Well, this is interesting... I wonder what you did to the hack? I kinda wanna play it, even if it is just for me to get a little feel for the game. (If you don't want to share it that's fine too.)I also like the usage of the protagonist canonically being from Johto as part of Himoko's backstory. I wonder what Brendan has if Himiko has Ralts? Guess I'll find out later, won't I?
 

Vivace

Designated Meganium Defender
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
204
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,251
Location
Fochun
Nature
Brave
Pronouns
He/Him / They/Them
Pokémon Type
  1. Dragon
  2. Fighting
Pokédex Entry
The Lad Pokemon, Vivace's main powers are photoshop and chatting shit. Manages the unofficial nuzlocke football team.
Glad I got on the train before it left the station! :D
Himiko is interesting so far, and I'm sure we'll learn more about the truth mentioned at the end of the chapter... but so far she's shown herself capable in tough situations and it's only the first chapter! Given the hack you're playing, there'll be much more where that came from.
 

SayleeK

Johto League Champion
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
260
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
2,046
Location
Scrivener
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Fire
  2. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
Between long periods of dormant slumber, this writer rises again for periods of activity that leave piles of dead fictional Pokemon in their wake
Ralts starter! Ooooh, nice! Himiko's relationship with her mother is pretty interesting for how fraught it is, as is her accidental past run-in with Rocket...
 
OP
Leon Yorunaki

Leon Yorunaki

I'll Spirit Shackle you!
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
453
Caught
Jul 9, 2019
Messages
820
Nature
Rash
Pokémon Type
  1. Grass
  2. Ghost
This is only the second chapter, yet it's the second time I end up updating a day earlier than I expected. In my defense, tomorrow being the 24th means I shouldn't be online for much.

But first...
@aegagrusScholarship Good to see I'm on your high expectations list <3.
hopefully it wasn't too ridiculously unfair.
spoiler: it was at times. Fret you not, because knowing was half the battle

@crashcrashcrash This is definitely family drama driven, haha. Technically since it's Emerald it should be a Zigzagoon instead of Poochyena (it was, in-game), which is too ridiculous to make sense implying Pidgey are supposed to be that aggressive. And your call made me remember I had made a drawing for the starter and forgotten to add to the post, which I fixed a day later... Bold is best nature for it, except for it synchronizing all physical attackers early-game RIP. And yes, all chapters are going to be moves brace yourself for the Z-move at the end

@Kit_The_Feef Well, it is a 386-hack of sorts and, while I don't want spoilering to everyone here (unless you also want to play), you probably saw for yourself the general changes and should expect a few odd turns this story is going to take. And let's ignore they're canonically from Olivine and not Mahogany, right? 🙄

@Vivace There definitely is much more to come about that truth. While Himiko is surely capable, she lacks some crucial pieces to be a good trainer and you probably caught a glimpse of it already

@SayleeK Ralts is surely lovely despite its frailty. And about the rockets, not everything was accidental...

And, without further ado...
That jerk won’t know what hit him!

Himiko was already trembling from that short walk. Anger wasn’t her best buddy, but at that moment it was the one she was sharing that journey with. That being said, she didn’t find any wild pokémon during those twenty minutes, luckily for both the girl and any creature that could have crossed her path, because it wouldn’t be her Ralts going into battle.

As soon as she reached the Oldale village, however, her nerves were back to their usual self. It was still far from being a proper town, however, much more condensed compared to Littleroot. Instead of the large farms, she found a somewhat suburban setting with people mostly just minding their own business; not far from what Mahogany was.

Being used to a bucolic place like that, she settled down at the pokémon center, resting for a while before going to the outskirts, a wide area north of the small village. She was quite used to the centers, despite the differences compared to their Johtonian counterparts. One thing she needed at that point was to learn about what kind of creature she had on her hands, and there was no better place than a Center for that.

The place was relatively crowded for a place far from the bigger cities. Four trainers were gathering themselves into a queue to have their pokémon seen, and Himiko didn’t want to partake in that, finding on one of the benches a place to rest herself while holding her new pokémon.

Her break didn’t even last a minute, as she heard that mild whisper.

“You don’t seem well.”

She looked around suddenly, trying to find where the voice came from, to no avail.

“Be calm, Himiko!”

That second whisper had the opposite effect, making the girl jump off of that bench. One of the trainers in the line glanced at her as she got up, making Himiko even more uneasy. It can’t be her, it was a male v…

“It’s me, the Ralts.”

Himiko pretty much fell back onto the bench, perplexed; her first reflex was to run away, heartbeats faster than ever, but her legs just failed to comply.

“Did you just… speak?”

“Kind of. Only you can hear me.”

“How?” Himiko had already heard about a few powerful species that could use telepathy to speak with humans, but even then, such power required a lot of training. Clearly not the case of a freshly hatched Ralts like that one.

“I don’t know. I felt something when you touched me for the first time. Can’t really explain.”

“Just… don’t scare me like this again!”

“I didn’t mean to startle you. I’m sorry.”

Himiko took a deep breath, implying her answer. It was fine. It should be fine.

“You still don't seem well.”

“No, I’m OK, really.”

Himiko didn’t know exactly why she hadn’t told the truth to the Ralts. She was still trying to calm herself down after the shock, but even considering that, she was far from fine after having that argument with her mother and about to have a pokémon battle against that Brendan guy, something she had never done before.

“Let me help you.”

“I just messed everything up again… What can you do to help me?”

“Just calm down, okay? You’re hurting me.”

Himiko looked at her pokémon again, realizing his skin had acquired a purplish tone, not to mention getting colder to the touch.

“I can feel your pain. Literally.”

She took another deep breath. Stay calm. Don’t let things get worse.

“What should I do?”

“Just relax. Breathe slowly. It should be enough to make me feel better.”

“I’m not sure…” Himiko wondered as the Ralts was recovering his usual grayish tone. “I mean, I’m still at a loss…”

“Don’t worry. The boy doesn’t mean harm.”

“What do you mean?”

“The one angry at you earlier. I know he won't hurt you.”

“Oh, you’re talking about Brendan…” Himiko reminded herself of the moment they first met. Despite that atrocious conversation, she couldn’t forget his dreamy eyes. I guess… it could be right…

“He just wants a friendly battle. He may not look it, but he is a nice guy.”

“Even then, I… I’ve never done this before.”

“Doesn’t seem so. You helped me well in the woods.”

“How so?”

“Your shout guided me.”

It can’t be that easy… I still don’t…

“You just need to practice. You’re a natural; it won’t take long…”

“If you can talk to me like this… can you see what I’m thinking?”

“Hard not to. You’re kind of screaming your thoughts at me…”

This is messed up on so many levels I don’t…

“Let’s start again. My name is Futakosei. Fuu, to make it short. Hope you can trust me as much as I do.”

“That’s a bit sudden, I guess. But let me try. I’m Himiko, and… I hope we can do well together.”

“That’s the spirit. Now, let’s get moving, you have a battle to fight!”

“What, no! I’m not ready yet!”

“You never will unless you try, come on! Better to do this sooner rather than later!”



曖​



The green plains north of Oldale were small enough for Himiko to find Brendan in a matter of minutes. Granted, it ended suddenly in an uphill, dense forest heading further north, an unexplored path for good reason, but aside from the few trees and a small river running southwest, there was no place to hide.

Not that the boy wanted to, with his notebook open and hands busy with his old-fashioned notes. Who else doesn’t use a tablet for these anymore?

“Thought you wouldn’t come.” Brendan smiled, too cheerful for someone who stormed out of the lab less than an hour before. “Hope you didn’t have trouble on your way here.”

“I guess not.” Himiko was still nervous, unsure of what to say.

“I Hope you’re ready for a friendly. I want to see if you’re as good as Dad says.”

“Well, it can’t be that bad. Fuu, are you ready?”

The Ralts jumped from her arms, punching the air as if fighting an imaginary opponent.

“This one has quite the joy, huh… Let’s see how it goes. Samuel, time to stop slacking!”

Brendan came with a worthy opponent: a round, brown and stubby pokémon, also unknown to Himiko. Its black eyes with yellow pupils gave it an eerie feel, not to mention that corny hat. That pokémon just sat down, however, ignoring his opponent.

“Come on, Sam, it’s battle time! Nevermind. Ladies first, if you please.”

“Okay… Fuu, go there and give this guy some slaps!”

“Be careful, Sam!”

Himiko tried to remember the few battles she had watched, but even then she knew it wouldn’t help her much. Most seasoned battlers didn’t announce their commands properly, using some gestures or keywords as cues. Even if it wasn't for that, she had no idea what each Pokémon on the field could do.

And the first surprise came when Fuu managed to hit his first blow on the opponent with a Pound move. Or so she thought, since the round pokémon didn’t seem to be damaged at all. Himiko could catch a glimpse of brightness coming from the pokémon as he was about to get hit.

“That won’t work. Seedot’s husk is quite durable.”

So that’s his name… I need to learn a thing or two about it…

“Your turn, Sam. Time to hit it back!”

“Repel him like you did with the Pidgeys!”

As the Seedot rushed forward, Fuu let out the same deep high-pitched scream from earlier. Unlike the birds, however, he managed to get through the barrier and jumped against the Ralts in a solid albeit weakened hit.

“Clever use of a Growl , but less useful in the ground.” Brendan said, as both pokémon were getting up after the attack.

“You alright, Fuu?” She asked, as her pokémon signaled back. “Great, use that closer range to strike back!”

“Stay alert, Sam!”

As the Ralts tried to hit another Pound attack, Himiko finally understood what was happening. When the Seedot was standing still, his husk emitted a shimmering gleam, negating any damage from the blow. She couldn’t figure out what kind of move it was, probably a Harden or a Protect, but, either way, she’d need to craft a different plan.

“Sam, it’s your turn now!”

“Wait for him, then step aside!”

“As expected. Twist!”

Brendan’s plan would probably work against most opponents, but as the Seedot started to spin in place, trying to hit a close target, Fuu wasn’t near enough anymore, moving so fast Himiko could swear he had teleported away.

It was only then that she remembered an important detail she had figured out about her Ralts just earlier.

She didn’t need to give orders out loud.

Stay back. I have a plan.


It was no more than a way to check if it would work. But, as she mentalized the order, Fuu was already standing within some distance of his opponent.

“Now we’re getting serious. Try a Headbutt attack!”

“You know what to do, Sam!”

Instead, jump over him and hit him from behind!

Fuu nodded as he was closing the distance from the Seedot, but Himiko wasn’t looking at him. Instead, she was paying close attention to Brendan, who had a thin smile on his face, clearly showing his competitive side.

That, and she wasn’t prepared to see the outcome if her plan failed.

But she wouldn’t need to; Brendan’s confidence turned into shock as the Ralts leaped over his target when the same defensive glint showed its vulnerability: the move effect didn’t last for long, and the pokémon was defenseless for a short while after executing it.

Samuel had no time to react as Fuu delivered a head-on blow that sent the Seedot rolling three feet away.

“Nice one, Fuu!”

“Come back, Sam! I’ve seen enough.”

“What?” Himiko didn’t expect Brendan to call out his pokémon that early.

“It was a great battle. Guess I know what dad meant when he praised you like that.” Brendan held his hand as he walked close to Himiko. “The least I can do now is apologize.”

“You don’t need to.”

“I insist. I wasn’t thinking well, I was rude… That was not my usual self.”

“You still don’t need to, but I’ll take it.”

“I can’t believe you’re not a seasoned trainer. Those were some clever stra…”

A mild buzzing stopped his praise, though.

“Mind if I pick this call up?”

Brendan didn’t even wait for her answer, moving away so as not to be overheard.

“Hi Dad, is something wrong?”

Himiko didn’t even mind, already lost in thoughts as she kept living the past minutes. Despite her inexperience, it felt so good to be in a battle, as if she’d done it her whole life. Maybe, someday, she could become as good as…

No. You just don’t compare yourself with him.

“Hello… Earth to Himiko, you there?”

“Sorry, Brendan. What’s the matter?”

“We should head back home. Dad wants to give you some extra advice.”

“Ah, okay, sure.”

Himiko decided to play the good listener role. Not that she wasn’t interested in Brendan’s in-depth description of his life as a lab assistant for his father, or the different things he learned from the two years he had been working there. She’d probably learn a lot about Hoenn’s wildlife if she did, a bit of knowledge that would be a pain later not to have.

Her mind, however, was still stuck in the past. Not the battle anymore, but the four years that came before. Failure after failure, yet she was never this close to going out on a journey. Of course, this was just an excuse for her real plans, which would probably be much easier to put into practice now that she was in Hoenn, the first step in the right direction already taken.

She was really close to it, like never before. Blessed by a pokémon professor; about to get a trainer's license, unlike that time she was denied that chance in Johto.

That’s why Himiko was about to join the Rockets just before moving away. She’d take literally any chance to get a pokémon. To get her freedom, and find what she had lost in the past.

Could it be? The one time in my life things go right for a change?

Her optimism came a moment too early, and she found it out the worst way possible when entering the pokémon lab as requested half an hour earlier.

Because Natsumi was there talking with Birch..



I know it should be Telepathy to make sense but some sacrifices have to be made to stick with a theme
Now, the in-game battle was pretty straightforward: Growl once, then spam Pound until it falls. Easier said than done, since Seedot's second move was Harden. Oh, and did I tell it's mono-dark in this hack so I couldn't use my STAB special move? The only good part of it is opponent didn't have his STAB ready despite Lv. 6, or it would be close to unwinnable...
ralts.png

Fuu (Ralts) - Lv.8 - Bold nature

Edited in 2022-07-29 03:54 UTC. Reason: Grammar and Spellcheck
 
Last edited:

SayleeK

Johto League Champion
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
260
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  2. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
Between long periods of dormant slumber, this writer rises again for periods of activity that leave piles of dead fictional Pokemon in their wake
Oh, phew, it was Harden! I thought it was using Bide and got scared for Fuu DX Getting in on some misdirection strats already, I see!
 

Vivace

Designated Meganium Defender
Writer
Team Delta
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Pokédex Entry
The Lad Pokemon, Vivace's main powers are photoshop and chatting shit. Manages the unofficial nuzlocke football team.
Loved the battle! That was very clever.
I don't know if I could journey with someone who can read my thoughts. My anxiety would just go through the roof whenever they're around, I reckon!
 

Spectacles

Rule Maker
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
139
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Jun 24, 2019
Messages
929
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Pennsylvania
Nature
Jolly
Pronouns
she/her
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  1. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
It hides deep inside caves where no light ever reaches it and remains virtually motionless there. ~Pokemon Crystal, entry #52
This is a really interesting run! I didn't realize you made this hack yourself- that's super cool. Having a Ralts as a starter, and one with such a unique relationship with his trainer, is something I am really looking forward to learning more about as I follow this run! I'm also interested to see how Himiko's relationship with her parents plays out. Definitely a lot of issues to work through there. I'm glad I caught this run in its beginning stages; I'm looking forward to following!
 
OP
Leon Yorunaki

Leon Yorunaki

I'll Spirit Shackle you!
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
453
Caught
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Messages
820
Nature
Rash
Pokémon Type
  1. Grass
  2. Ghost
I'll start by thanking you for giving me promos for this year's Extravaganza. Seriously, I didn't expect it this early in the run.
(For those who don't know about it, or aren't aware, go check it. Really.)

@SayleeK : It wasn't meant to be a misdirection strat, lol it's a bit too early for those shenanigans. Bide does scare me, though; I've lost my fair share of mons to that move...

@Vivace : I'm just scared I've set the bar too high with this battle. I personally agree with you with the anxiety part; and even Himiko would (if she had that choice, though), she'll have to learn how to cope with it.

@Spectacles : You can bet Himiko/Fuu relationship is going to be a full course on its own. I'm also glad to have you here early on, hope you like it as it goes on


It can’t be right.

But, no matter how crazy it looked to Himiko, there were the two of them, sitting in front of each other. The girl could sense how thick the air felt as Natsumi glanced at her.

“Perfect timing, Himiko.” Birch asserted. “We were just talking about you.”

Great. Just how bad can things be at this point?

For once, the girl could be worrying a bit too much about it. The professor didn’t fit the reserved type and, while the girl couldn’t have known that just yet, reading his smile should be enough to tell her she was probably overreacting.

“Take a seat, you both.” He pointed to the foldable chairs lying down the wall and, despite all of her pores exhaling fear, Himiko managed to put a neutral face on and placed herself close to the professor, and the farthest from her mother.

“So, like I was saying, I don’t think it’s a good idea to let her out on a journey like this.”

“Now, Mrs. Senri, I’ve met my fair share of overprotective parents in the past years to take it for granted. If you really believe I shouldn’t give this girl a license, you’ll need to elaborate on that.”

“Sure thing. As you just told me, you’ve seen how she’s so impulsive… not to mention some anger issues… sorry, Himiko, but I can’t hide it from him.”

“I don’t really want to be the judge of this, but let me ask you a thing or two before we settle on…” Birch didn’t flinch at all, being probably used to situations like this. “Why do you think journeys exist?”

“Because the league makes a lot of money from it.”

“Well… technically you’re not wrong, but let me rephrase it. Why do you think it’s a tradition to send teenagers out in the wild for a few months, even without the military endorsement from decades past?”

“It helps keep the wild population under control. And teaches them a thing or two about the importance of nature preservation.”

“You seem to know your stuff, but I'd say it’s not only that. It also teaches them how to survive on their own. I think it’s not much different in Johto, did you go on a journey when you were younger?”

“I’ve had to work with my parents since I was twelve, they would never allow it.”

“Just what I thought. You told me she has just finished school, yet hasn’t taken a path with her life. She still has so much to learn from an experience like this, and I bet it will make Norman proud, too.”

Himiko was caught red-faced after that comment, but not for the reasons Birch or his son would expect. Despite him being one of the best trainers in all of Hoenn, Norman Meanders was still her father. Rather, he wasn’t. And that’s where all that anger came from.

“It just doesn’t feel right, you know?”

“I know you still have your reserves, but let me get one thing clear. The journey thing was my idea, not hers. You shouldn’t be jumping into conclusions, because I didn’t even ask her if she’s up to that.”

“You don’t need to, of course she’s taking it. It’s Himiko you’re talking about…”

“Let the girl speak, please?”

She couldn’t react properly as all eyes were now stuck at her, waiting for those decisive words. Which refused to leave her mouth at the crucial moment.

“Let… me think about it.”

Take a breath… There won’t be another chance, act naturally…

Himiko couldn’t give her mother the chance of being right. Their relationship was convoluted enough to raise some unwanted questions if she went eagerly for that opportunity of starting a journey. Especially because traveling around for “the circuit”, as it was informally called, wasn’t exactly on her plans. One gym would be just enough.

“Well, it can be a bit dangerous… The idea scares me a bit, not gonna lie. But, like you said, it’s time for me to learn a few things… and I always wanted to be a little more independent, you know?”

There. Perfect.

“See, Mrs. Senri? You shouldn’t be worrying that much.”

“But…”

Himiko knew she wouldn’t dare finish that sentence. Doing so would have the same effect as disturbing a Beedrill’s nest. She didn’t talk about Norman in public, especially about how he behaved before moving out as a gym leader; not only it would sound bitter, but some things were much better left untold.

“Fine, you won. Guess it can’t be helped.”

“Great. Now, let’s move into the boring stuff. I’ll need your ID and some other info to fill your license in.”

“Sure, but may I ask you something?” Himiko chimed back in, losing her fight against impulsiveness. “Is it possible to print it with only my first and last name?”

Another stare came in, from every direction.

I fucked it up, didn’t I?

“Oh, I see where you come from. Quite the weight to carry on, I suppose, but having his name on the card would surely be helpful…” Himiko raised an eyebrow as Birch talked. “Well, I guess I can make an exception for you.”

“Thanks.” That was close.

And, outside of that, the rest of their meeting was rather uneventful. Filling and submitting an online form, printing the card, getting her some empty pokéballs (“These ones are on me”, Brendan said, giving her a bag with two dozen of them). Things she wouldn’t care to remember about later.

Rather, she was certain she wouldn’t miss Littleroot as a whole.


曖​


It wasn’t long until Himiko was back on the road, trying to reach Petalburg before sunset while carrying a gentle smile on her face. The main reason for that was in the four filled pokéballs she had with her, holding a small sample of the local wildlife.

Fuu, being in one of them, was partially responsible for that; in an otherwise uneventful path, these creatures didn’t present any danger for the trainer. It was also how they strengthened their bond, with the Ralts getting used to his trainer’s commands, to which none of the opponents gave her trouble. At a closer look, one could think the wilds didn’t even mean harm to her, kind of wanting to be caught.

Still, she was now facing a consequence of her actions. Outside of a Bellsprout, a creature she had known for ages and somewhat easy to find in Johto, Himiko had no clue about what the other two catches were. Something she tried to fix with a quick stop in Oldale’s pokémon center; although she got to know these were called Poochyena and a Zigzagoon, being two of the most common critters around, her info was only superficial.

Consequences of being a stranger to Hoenn, she thought. And also not having one of those tech gadgets like a pokédex; it wasn’t like she could afford a luxury like that on her own, and certainly her mother wouldn’t if she asked for one. That means Himiko would have to rely on the limited but still useful wiki pages she could access from a pokémon center, on which she took a quick glance before going towards Petalburg.

It shouldn’t be a problem, however. All she had to do was to follow the straight, wide path carved along the trees, no need to go deep into the woods. Just a nice, happy and silent stroll with everyone outside their pokéballs.

That is, until it started raining and she would have to call everyone back.

It wasn’t just rain, but a downpour, strong enough to make some old folks look around to see if Kyogre was close. And to make Himiko rush inside the forest, trying to find a place to hide from the heavy rainfall.

A task made harder by a known obstacle to her, although one she didn’t expect to find so far from her homeland: a Sentret.

There were a few reasons for that, starting from Hoenn’s subtropical climate being somewhat unkind to the species compared to Johto. It was probably the main reason for the specimen she found to have a shorter fur in lighter shades of brown than she was used to seeing. Or maybe due to that one Sentret in particular being visibly sick, with its unstable breathing, unable to protect itself from the storm. Himiko’s first instinct was to catch the poor thing; if anything, it needed treatment, and no better place than a pokémon center to do so.

It would prove to be a bad idea, because of a detail she should have known about Sentrets but promptly ignored at that moment. These are territorial and overprotective little critters, attacking anyone who dares disturb their place.

She should have expected that one sick creature would not be alone, as its partner Tackled her away right after she threw a pokéball.

Luckily for her, she still had her Zigzagoon outside the pokéball as it refused to be called back, and it came to a blessing as the attacking Sentret was driven away from Himiko, both creatures chasing each other in a clearing nearby.

And, as the girl had just grabbed the thrown pokéball, with the sick Sentret safely caught, that blessing became a curse as lightning struck to end that battle.

The flashing red light coming from the Zigzagoon’s ball as the girl called it back brought her back to reality; soaking, shivering and scared. There was no reason to hide from the rain anymore. Instead, she started running back to the main path, towards Petalburg. For twenty long and distressing minutes.

Minutes full of despair and regret, on which she would reconsider all of her life choices, weighing the risks she took when going into a journey. The responsibility for the lives of each creature she was holding inside those pokéballs. The pain for the one who didn’t survive.

A burden she wasn’t ready to carry.



I'm not terribly happy about how this chapter turned out, but this should be good enough.
Also, I didn't expect so many things to go on that early in the run. First shiny and first death were about 3 battles apart. Both happened while grinding the team to reasonable levels in Route 102, and that was the reasoning for me to try and document this run.
My interpretation for the shiny clause came exactly from this death; for me, it felt like cheating to replace the route's catch (this very Zigzagoon) for the shiny Sentret. The "sickness" is a setup for a plot point, however, which you could have a hint about if I didn't scrap the out-of-tone prologue. Oops.
Also, you see how I said first shiny? He wasn't the only one in the run. At 1/8192 rate. I blame Emerald's broken RNG on that.
Current Members
ralts.png

Fuu (Ralts) - Lv. 9 - Bold | Synchronize
poochyena.png

Basker (Poochyena) - Lv. 6 - Bold | Run Away
bellsprout.png

Monk (Bellsprout) - Lv. 5 - Bold | Chlorophyll

Deceased
KtJKyI431rAUAdRbbpmwFNx5Mz3oANN7Q7ZYhgf8F9Vu0j62yVAAAAAASUVORK5CYII.png

Stardust (Zigzagoon) - Lv. 4~6 - Bold | Pickup

Illegal Catches (won't be shown later)
sentret.png

Scout (Sentret) - Lv.2 - Bold | Run Away
 

SayleeK

Johto League Champion
Writer
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Team Delta
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260
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  2. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
Between long periods of dormant slumber, this writer rises again for periods of activity that leave piles of dead fictional Pokemon in their wake
Talk about your highs and lows of a journey, oooooft! Probably still worth being away from her mother, though ^_^;;

If I can make a recommendation, I think you need to include more descriptions and actions in amongst your dialogue, to prevent it reading too much like a script (I'm sometimes guilty of the same thing, because my formal training is in scriptwriting XD). The dialogue is good, but when there's only dialogue, I lost track a couple of times who was in the conversation and who was speaking. It doesn't have to be lots of dialogue tags, just stuff like:

"Well... technically you're not wrong..." Birch looked thoughtfully from Himiko to her mother. "Let me rephrase it. Why do you think..."
Just pop in, like, what expressions people are making,w hat they're doing aside from just sitting in chairs and talking at each other. I get the feeling that Himiko and her mother, in particular, have a LOT going on under the surface--let us have some glimpses of it! They're super interesting characters and I think we'd all like to see more of their personalities!
 

Vivace

Designated Meganium Defender
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
204
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,251
Location
Fochun
Nature
Brave
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  1. Dragon
  2. Fighting
Pokédex Entry
The Lad Pokemon, Vivace's main powers are photoshop and chatting shit. Manages the unofficial nuzlocke football team.
Damn, that's a terrible shame! I like the Sentret line and would've have loved to see a shiny one in a run!
 

Spectacles

Rule Maker
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
139
Caught
Jun 24, 2019
Messages
929
Location
Pennsylvania
Nature
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she/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
It hides deep inside caves where no light ever reaches it and remains virtually motionless there. ~Pokemon Crystal, entry #52
Oh man. Nothing like a nice death right out of the gate to make a protagonist question everything. And a shiny, wow!! Eager to see what other shiny (or shinies?) show up in the game. I was curious about the rarity rare you put the shinies but that's cool that you kept it at the regular odds!
 
OP
Leon Yorunaki

Leon Yorunaki

I'll Spirit Shackle you!
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
453
Caught
Jul 9, 2019
Messages
820
Nature
Rash
Pokémon Type
  1. Grass
  2. Ghost
The joys of having a buffer is that not even sickness can stop me from posting.

@SayleeK : you're absolutely right for the highs and lows and, while Himiko does need that time away from her mother, I can't be sure this is better in a sense...
Also, thanks a million for the hint, it's something I'll look for from now on. You see, I wasn't really happy with how the last chapter went, and that was definitely one of the reasons if not the main one. There is a lot going on between Himiko/Natsumi, true, and seeing most of it will need to be implied since the girl left and they will hardly interact, this was a missed opportunity on its own.

@Vivace : Make it two then. It did feel cheating to me, because the death happened minutes earlier than the shiny (it was the second or third encounter after I boxed Stardust iirc). I still have the save file at some place, just never bothered transferring that shiny further. Not sure if Home would accept it either way.

@Spectacles : I had to be really careful here not to break my protag so early on, because there are more things going on other than just a random death. As for the shiny question, won't tell who or where, but the other shiny happened in a point where I'd questioned my rule choice, but plot made me settle on this because it fit really well for what's worth.


It could have been not longer than an hour, but it felt like years had passed. At least to Himiko, carrying the weight of a death into her shoulders.

Memories were still fuzzy; smiles and his sweet face mixed up with the flashing lights, either the bright color of that lightning bolt or the red laser blinking from both pokéballs…

And to think she could have avoided that by not sidetracking. If only she didn't try hiding from the rain inside the forest, none of this would have happened...

I killed him.

The girl didn’t, and, deep down in her heart, she knew that. A perception buried under a massive load of grieving, completely out of reach. It wasn’t a thing she would realize. It wasn’t a thing she wanted to realize.

But mourning the death of her freshly caught Zigzagoon wasn’t the main reason she was still at the reception of Petalburg’s Pokemon Center, still wet from the heavy rain she went under. Rather, she wanted news about the one who didn’t die a minute after getting hit by that bolt.

These could arguably be worse than a death.

“You should get some rest, too.” A nurse came by, approaching from a safe distance.

“How is he?”

“The same as when you brought him. We couldn’t figure out anything yet.”

It was about the Sentret, of course, but could have been said about the Zigzagoon as well. It's not like he had taken a direct hit from that bolt, he wasn't supposed to die just yet. Not that easily.

“On the bright side, he’s stable.” The nurse was smiling, but Himiko could see it wasn't exactly sincere. “Breathing is still heavy, but there’s no sign of danger. He’ll be under observation tonight and, if anything happens, we’ll be sure to let you know."

I know you won’t, but not worth arguing.

Rather, she wasn’t in the mood for anything, even taking a bath or putting on some clean clothes or going to sleep. But Himiko ended up doing all of these regardless.

曖​


Moonlight was glinting through the open window, and she was staring outside, eyes lost at some point as deep as the temperate forest ahead.

Himiko had no reason to be awake that late into the night, however. Something had taken the girl out of the usual slumber, as she got off her bed kicking a Jigglypuff plush nearby, unable to go back to sleep.

Something was going on. Again.

A scary idea, made real by the faint sound of shattered glass somewhere inside. They were at it.

But what could she do? It was either ignoring the following groans or joining the fight. Yet she wanted neither. The first option was the only one possible, in fact, due to the locked door she had just checked for. He didn’t want a repeat from last time.

She glanced again at the window, contemplating the woods outside. It would be so much easier if she could just leave. Out on the wild, away from those fights, from those scary nights…

No. She couldn’t do it, and wasn’t only because of the room being on the upper floor, a fall she wouldn’t be able to make without getting hurt.

She couldn’t leave her alone like that. Not in a time like this.

A click could be heard outside. The door had just been unlocked, and it wasn’t a good sign. She was the next target.

But there was still a way to escape. The window.

Without a doubt, she jumped, already prepared for the impact… despite being pushed upwards, the opposite direction she expected to go…

Himiko was flying, a buzzing noise numbing her senses, a noise she could feel despite not hearing it.

She wasn’t human anymore. Couldn’t remember ever being one. Didn’t need to.

Diving into the dense treetops, she knew what to do. Exactly as she was ordered.

Someone was running away. A threat she needed to neutralize, before she could do any harm. Should take no more than a fine dust of her Sleep Powder until her trainer could catch the foe.

“Good job, Danai. I’ll take it from there.”

The sleeping foe should be no harm anymore, dropping down near one of the bigger stems, a pokéball rolling out of her hand.

And, as the red light engulfed Himiko back into the void, the last thing she could see was a metallic shine coming from the hand of her trainer.

曖​


Despite having a night's worth of sleep, Himiko couldn’t rest that night, being awake as the sun had barely appeared in the sky.

Even without those nightmares, it would be a daunting task already, between those tough choices she made and the eternal questioning if they were the right ones.

Memories sunk into her past, back when living in Mahogany; memories she wanted to forget about. Norman, Natsumi, and the heated arguments they had with each other. Things that Himiko painfully found about them, hoping no one else would. But they were making that task harder in those days…

But the line between the painful memories and whatever she could call that weird dream was hard to figure out; it was almost impossible to point where reality ended. Was it when he entered her room? Maybe at the locked door? Couldn’t say for sure, except it was before jumping through the window.

Because she couldn’t magically turn herself into a Butterfree. And, starting from there, nothing else made any sense. Why did she have a trainer? Why were they giving chase to that girl? Who was the target?

And why did her trainer have a knife in his hand?

These were lots of questions, and she wasn't sure she wanted to know the answers. Or if there would be any. Nothing but a weird dream she would eventually forget about, as she went back to the main area of the Pokemon Center, back from the dorms.

Because the issues she had the night before were far from solved.

“He’s no better than yesterday,” the nurse said, tired after her night shift. “Your Sentret is under no immediate danger, yet he’s completely unable to move.”

“I see… Is there anything I can do about it?”

“Well, since professor Birch got your license, I suggest you ask him for advice.”

While it wasn’t on her initial plans for that morning, it could come helpful. About time to give some news and not sound like a rebel running away from home. Kind of what she was doing, to be honest, but it didn't need to appear that obvious so early on.

Besides, the nurse was probably right; if they at the center couldn’t help much with that wild, maybe he could.

“Good morning, Birch speaking…” his voice came nice and strong, signaling he had already started his working day. “Oh, it’s you, Himiko. I guess you have reached Petalburg already. Did everything go well?”

“It was a bit troublesome… do you have a minute? Or maybe half an hour?”

“You scare me by talking like this. What happened?”

She then proceeded to talk about her last leg of the journey under the rain, the lightning incident and how she didn’t make it to the Center in time to save her pokémon.

“Your Zigzagoon should have survived, they’re quite on the durable side… but if it makes you feel better, you weren’t the only one with a story like this.” Birch’s voice faltered a bit. “I don’t know if last night’s storm was so powerful or if there’s something else around, but there were quite a few pokemon deaths reported nearby last evening…”

“It just doesn't feel right, you know?” Himiko pondered. “I could have protected it, maybe if I didn’t go into the woods he could…”

“Look, you’re right to feel bad about it, but don’t overdo it. It wasn’t your fault, and I’m taking your own words for that.”

“Thanks... I guess…”

Both of them went silent for a moment, letting it sink for a while before going into other subjects.

“Now, that other pokemon you mentioned…” While she couldn’t see his face, Himiko could swear Birch was staring at a distance, looking for the right words. “A Sentret, right? What did you say about it, again?”

“The nurses here say he’s safe, but he can’t move at all and they can't figure out why.”

“This alone doesn’t tell me much…” His voice seemed a bit weakened. “Could you ask them to send him over to me? This is not my area of expertise, but I guess I can take a closer look at it.”

“Sure thing. Should be able to do that once we…”

“Excuse me.” A third voice joined the conversation, from the girl’s side. Actually, the same nurse who gave her that info minutes earlier. “Himiko M. Senri, it must be you, right? There’s a guy waiting for you at the front door.”

“Perfect timing,” Birch exclaimed, having heard it through the phone. “Could you ask Mrs. Denver there to pick up this call while you go? She can probably give me the info I need to understand what’s wrong.”

“No problem, we can talk later if you need.”

As Himiko left the call and the nurse took it up from there, she couldn’t help but wonder how or why there would be someone looking for her, knowing she’d be in the Pokémon Center. The only option she could consider wasn’t one who would go after her, and definitely not like this.

It turned out to be just a delivery man, however. Someone to bring a package out with her name on top of it. A surprising feat on its own, and it wasn't until she was done signing the receipt that the weirdest part of it would be apparent to the girl, the moment she found the sender's name in the small box.

Norman Meanders.


A grand total of zero things happened gameplay-wise. Eh, who cares when we can plant plot bombs instead?
I felt tempted to call this chapter Future Sight but decided against it because it gives a completely different implication to that scene which isn't exactly true
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Spectacles

Rule Maker
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
139
Caught
Jun 24, 2019
Messages
929
Location
Pennsylvania
Nature
Jolly
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
It hides deep inside caves where no light ever reaches it and remains virtually motionless there. ~Pokemon Crystal, entry #52
Hey even though no major plot things happened it was interesting to see Himiko processing her first death and talking things out with Birch. And oh man, a package from father dearest! I am very interested to see what that could be and how Himiko will react to whatever it is!
 

SayleeK

Johto League Champion
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
260
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
2,046
Location
Scrivener
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Fire
  2. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
Between long periods of dormant slumber, this writer rises again for periods of activity that leave piles of dead fictional Pokemon in their wake
Dreaming of being a Butterfree, hmm? 👀 I'll be interested to see if that happens again, and if it'll be the same Butterfree or something else...
 
OP
Leon Yorunaki

Leon Yorunaki

I'll Spirit Shackle you!
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
453
Caught
Jul 9, 2019
Messages
820
Nature
Rash
Pokémon Type
  1. Grass
  2. Ghost
@Spectacles : Yeah, i'm like "who needs gameplay when we can have character development"? Good to see you liked it.

@SayleeK : I think the real question about Butterfree shouldn't be if... maybe when or how.

After spending the last fifteen minutes holding the small box, Himiko had yet to find enough guts to actually open that package. It didn’t matter much what she could find inside, because the most important information she could have was already in the sender tag.

How could he know I’m here?

Considering what she knew about him and his need to gather information about anything, it shouldn’t come as a big surprise for her. There were two people that could have told him about how she was starting her journey — or rather, pretending to do so. While she doubted the word came from Natsumi’s mouth, the same couldn’t be said about Marlon Birch.

And, calling names that sounded similar to the professor’s surname, the girl figured out quickly enough he had some reason for gossiping about. Whether she wanted it or not, she was a gym leader’s daughter, and considering how turbulent that chat inside the lab went the day before, that alone would be important enough to let the man know.

Mentally forgiving the professor for spilling the beans, Himiko ended up letting her own curiosity overrule any hard feelings; it only took a moment for her to tear apart the package, revealing a bubble-wrapped piece of tech she would never expect coming from someone like Norman.

Specifically, a Handy 912 series device, also known as the 6th generation Pokedex according to the user manual attached. It could be a bit behind those newer pokemon-powered gadgets she had seen ads about, but was still a great device for what mattered, and arguably one of the best for seasoned trainers. Not that she was one of those, but it would be incredibly useful for her regardless, especially because its integrated camera was able to recognize most species in a matter of seconds.

The implications of receiving such a gift dismantled her original plan of giving Norman a surprise visit at his gym. Now that he knew she spent the night at the Pokémon Center — and only then she considered the hypothesis he could have someone there telling him about the girl being there, — it would be the easiest thing for him to avoid her by getting out of town.

And, lost in her thoughts while holding the gray, unboxed device she had just unwrapped, it took quite some time for her to notice the handwritten paper amassed with the slightly crumpled user manual.

unknown.png


That scoundrel… He didn’t even mention…

It was a somewhat surprising letter for Himiko. Despite recognizing his calligraphy, it didn’t sound like Norman. Unless her memories were completely distorted from what she remembered about her father, he was always in a hurry, without thinking much about how his words came out. But, instead of a rushed and straight message about his absence, Himiko found that one letter, planned by the word.

Is he scared about being misunderstood? After all this time?

It didn’t make much sense, arguably any. He was surely hiding something in those words. More than those things he didn’t talk about.

Himiko didn’t wait for confirmation if the Sentret she caught the day before would be sent to the professor or not, leaving straight to the city’s gym. Either it would be empty, giving her an opportunity to sneak into, or it wouldn’t, on which she could find someone to talk a bit about him.

It ended up being the latter, considering the small crowd of elementary kids gathering on the floor, most of them paying full attention to that odd-looking teacher.

“Unlike Caterpie, Wurmple are dangerous. You should not get close to one if you don’t want to be poisoned!”

The teacher gave a quick hand signal, telling Himiko to wait for a while. Considering two of the kids were sleeping already, the girl figured it wouldn’t take too long for that class to end. In fact, the drowsy voice of that woman was rather distracting, to the point the girl was nearly dozing when it finally ended.

“Looking for something?”

It was the same dreamy pitch from earlier, but Himiko felt a different energy when the teacher came closer, right after ditching her students.

“Someone, in fact. Is Norman here?”

“Forget it. He’s gone to Ever Grande, should be back in a week or so. Leader’s business.”

At that point, she realized it wasn’t quite the teacher's voice that came out as intimidating. Not as much as her appearance, at least. She was almost a foot taller than the girl when accounting for the heels, and together with her broad shoulders, Himiko felt dwarfed in comparison. It was her flashy outfit, however, what built uneasiness into that moment; her black and red leotard with pink leggings were an attempt to look a decade younger, but weren’t doing her any favors in that regard — not to mention that hideous bow in her back.

“But even if he was here, I doubt he’d even talk to you.”

“What do you mean?” Himiko stared at the teacher, trying to find a hint of sarcasm in her face under those heavy layers of makeup. She couldn’t.

“It’s always the same thing every season, newcomers straight from the lab trying to fight for a badge. Norman is not a guy who pulls his punches, you’d have no chance.”

“Uh… what’s your name?”

“Call me Raven.”

“Well, Raven, not that it matters to you,” she lifted her finger, pointing straight to her face. “But what I need him for is not related to his role as gym leader.”

unknown.png


“No need to be feisty! Didn’t your parents teach you good manners?” Her voice sounded so vexing, it made Himiko loathe the woman. “I mean, you are a starting trainer… mind some advice?”

Raven pointed to a door located in the opposite wall, with a big cross-shaped handle.

“He usually locks himself up there to train.” She started walking towards the hatch, expecting Himiko to follow. “There are two ways to open this door, one of which being his personal key. For the other, would you look at the edges of this handle?”

“These are some weird gaps out there.”

“What do you think these can be filled with? Take a closer look before you answer…”

Himiko considered the possibilities for a few seconds until it hit her.

“Oh, I get it. Clever way to use the badges.”

“Be sure he loves using that trick to avoid people like you whenever he can. If you're dead serious on talking with him, you better go for these four badges.”

“Guess it can't be helped then…” she sighed.

“May I assist you with something else?”

Now Himiko could see the sarcasm in her face; she wasn't even trying to hide it.

“Nah, it's fine. Thanks for your time.” Jerk.

With those words, she turned back, literally bumping into a youngster around, one that didn’t seem to be attending the former class.

“I’m sorry, are you ok?” Must be my karma, Himiko thought, after both of them hit the floor. Exactly as the day before.

“Watch your step, girl!” Raven exclaimed. “Don’t even think about hurting one of my kids!”

The boy, however, was quicker than Himiko in getting up from the unexpected contact.

“Miss Raven, good to find you still there. I wanted to thank you for all you’ve done.”

“Oh, Wally, you didn’t need to.” Raven’s voice was back to the cuter tone Himiko had listened to during the class. “Thought you would be packing your things by now.”

“Well, I should… but it wouldn’t feel right after all you’ve done for me…”

The girl took her time, trying to get back up as slowly as possible. Looking at the kid gave Himiko flashbacks of her early years, as she tried to convince Pryce to help her catch what would be her first pokémon. By the looks of him, he would be no older than eleven, just a bit too young for starting a journey.

But, somehow, Himiko knew he’d ask for a pokémon before leaving. One of those indescribable things you just feel by looking at it and never question why.

“Don’t be like that, I’m sure you’ll make new friends in Verdanturf.”

“I don’t want to be lonely like I was, not again… I couldn’t do it without you…”

Himiko didn’t bother listening to the full thing. Judging by his words and how Raven reacted to those, the outcome was obvious enough to her.

It was all a matter of staying outside the building. Sooner or later he would leave the gym, trying to hide his tears after being denied his first pokémon. It was so easy to read it wasn’t even funny. And she would wait for the boy and give him some comfort, knowing he would need it.

But she misread one thing about Wally.

He was crying loud and sound when he left, almost pushing the girl aside in a hurry, probably trying to hide himself from the rest of the world.

“Hey!” She grasped his shoulder before he could go far. “We don’t know each other yet, but if you want a shoulder to cry on…”




Before any of them noticed, two hours had passed. It didn’t take long for Himiko to wipe his tears. It did have the side effect of getting him to talk about himself, which was a good thing since she wasn’t really fond of doing the same.

“It’s ever been like that, even at home. I’m an only child and my cousin is twelve years older, not to mention she lives in Verdanturf as well…”

“That must have been harsh.”

“Still better than school, though. I was always ‘that kid’, the rejected, the one no one wants to talk to. You know kids don’t have filters, most of them were scared of me.”

“How old are you?”

“I’ll be fifteen in a month,” he grinned. “Yeah, I know you thought I’d be younger.”

“You’re really short for your age,” Himiko tried to hide her surprise. “But the way you talk kind of gives it away.”

“Blame it on my cardiac arrhythmia. Been there since I was a toddler, and they never figured out how to fix that. Always under observation, sometimes being a test subject for a promising treatment…” He sighed, running his hand through the hair, not quite trying to make it less messy than it was. “I’m one of a kind, they say, but I wish I wasn’t.”

“Weren’t your teachers aware of that?”

“I was never the most constant student, usually under some crisis or trying a new treatment… it’s not like they had reason to care about me. And when I find one who actually does something to help me, I’m forced to move away for another experiment.”

“They must be trying their best.”

“You grow tired of it after a while.” Wally looked down, avoiding her eyes. “It’s going to be my fourth surgery in two years, why should I believe this one will actually work?”

“If you don’t, who will?”

“Nice try, Himiko. I’ve already forgotten how to be optimistic.”

“Look at me.” She pleaded, touching his shoulder. “Is there someone you truly care about? Rather than having people care about you?”

For the first time, she managed to get Wally quiet, which, considering how much he talked about himself, was quite the feat.

“We have to fix that.” She added, getting up from the bench they were at. “Come with me, I’ll help you to catch your own pokémon!”

Oh yeah, new characters. And a drawing I'm not quite happy about but eh, Raven looks a bit too young here for my liking.
Wally is that one character I wasn't even sure if I wanted to add as he is or as an OC. But since he plays the same role here I just went "why not?" and here he is.
Also Raven to fill the tutorial part in because it would make no sense otherwise.

I'll add a question here: What do you feel about my update schedule? Is Friday a good day for the updates, or you feel it would work better if I change it to another day?

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Vivace

Designated Meganium Defender
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
204
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,251
Location
Fochun
Nature
Brave
Pronouns
He/Him / They/Them
Pokémon Type
  1. Dragon
  2. Fighting
Pokédex Entry
The Lad Pokemon, Vivace's main powers are photoshop and chatting shit. Manages the unofficial nuzlocke football team.
OMG there’s art too! And a deadbeat Norman! I really need to know what happens from here! 👀
I think it’s a good call to include Wally as Wally. I get the proper Wally vibes from him despite the differences.
 

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