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

JavierE64

Masks are so 2016!!! But don´t forget to wear one
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
310
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
945
Location
Perú
Nature
Modest
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
  1. Grass
  2. Water
Pokédex Entry
The Master of both Light and Darkness; who loves the Violent and Dramatic, and the Fun and Adorable.
That note was clearly not written by Norman. I'm pretty sure he asked someone to write it for him, because he can't even bother to speak with his family in any shape or form.
 

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
Oh, that's such a sweet way to meet Wally 😭 After Himiko's immediate reaction to an apparently sweet letter from her father was nothing but suspicion, and meeting Raven went so badly, I'm glad to see her finally have a positive, straightforward chat with somebody, you know? Himiko unhesitatingly deciding to offer this complete stranger a shoulder to cry on because she knows he'll need it is extra sweet ❤️

Wanted it or not, she was a gym leader’s daughter,

The phrase you want here is "Whether she wanted it or not"; it feels unfinished and a bit weird just saying "wanted it or not".

but was still a great device for what it mattered

The "it" isn't really needed here, you can just say "for what mattered", but I'm guessing this one is just a typo :P

Unless her memories were completely distorted from what she remembers about her father

Bit of a tense mixup here; use "remembered", stay consistent!

Considering two of the kids were sleeping already, the girl figured out it wouldn’t take too long for that class to end.

This isn't really "figured out" in the sense that there's a puzzle or mystery that needed solved; just "the girl figured it wouldn't take too long..." is what you want for a straightforward guess like this.

At that point, she realized it wasn’t quite the voice that came out as intimidating. Not as much as her appearance, at least.

This paragraph around Raven's introduction was a bit rough to read. It's always a problem when you've got two characters with the same pronouns, but you do have to keep using names or epithets of some sort to make it clear which "she/her" you're talking about. As a rule of thumb, each pronoun (he/she/it/they/etc) belongs to whatever proper noun came beforehand. So when I read this, I read both sentences as being about Himiko, before my brain stutters and I have to reread. An easy fix might be "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." Adding that extra bit makes it clearer that the second sentence is about Raven.

I’m an only child and my niece is twelve years older

Wait, he's an only child but has a niece? Or do you mean his cousin? (Side question of my own, I'm always super curious about family terminology in other languages--like, I've had a couple students whose native language just has one word for cousins, nieces and nephews, and other students whose native language specifies whether your aunt or uncle is on your mother or father's side, or by marriage. Have you noticed any interesting differences between family differences in English and your language? This is just me being curious about languages, you don't have to answer XD)

Apologies if any of these are too nitpicky, but you've got crit level 5 up top so I thought I'd point out some things I notice. I hope my comments are helpful and make sense 👍
 

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
I really like the way Himiko processes this letter here and explores what it could mean and if it was actually her father who wrote it. It makes me eager for when they do get to finally meet and battle. Also very cool addition of some visual medium! Great job!
 
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
@Vivace : The more I look at my Wally, the more I get pure Wally vibes from him, so you're indeed right.

@JavierE64 : It's probably the other way around: he wrote it, but someone else was telling him what he should write. Why else would he message his family?

@SayleeK : Believe it or not, Himiko does have a lovable side. She does want to make a difference to the world, and helping someone she knows from experience who needs it, you won't get a better chance for her to be the difference.
Also, thank you very much for the helpful writing advice. Especially the last one, which I often get wrong even in Portuguese as well. Family is often more complicated than it should

@Spectacles : You bet I'm waiting for that part as much as everyone else considering how much stuff is going on between them. I jus wish I was better at art so I could do it more often

A big shoutout to @theCape for beta-reading this chapter. Hopefully this one won't have any weird mistakes like the previous...

It was one of those moments when something deep into her mind was whispering how she shouldn’t be doing this. Himiko wasn’t sure if she was scared of things going wrong, or just considering how it could bring the boy problems later on.

Both her and Wally were just outside the town, waiting for something to break the monotony of that moment. It wasn’t usual for pokémon to go out of their way to attack two or more people going together, but it didn’t mean they could let their guards down. There was a reason for people to stay out of tall grass, no matter the size of the party.

“Keep watching for anything. Pokémon are really unpredictable.” Himiko whispered, trying to give him a sense of security, as if she knew exactly what she was doing. Wally didn’t need to know she was almost as scared as him.

“I’m in your hands.”

Why am I doing this, again? Oh, right. It’s what I wished someone would do for me…

A few moments of silence went by, until some shy rustling broke it. Himiko took her distance, holding Fuu’s ball close as a backup plan. A battle wasn’t out of her plans, but not something she wanted to do. It was Wally who needed to act towards catching whichever pokémon they would find, and having someone else helping on that matter was a sure-fire way to start that human-pokémon relationship on the wrong terms.

As the boy raised his empty pokéball, however, she had to step in and give some help before any mistakes were made.

“Not yet,” she whispered again. “You have to gain its trust first.”

Luck was on their side, however. More even than Himiko could imagine, considering how they expected it to be a creature on the wild side.

Instead, a Ralts popped out of the bushes, although its appearance did surprise the girl a bit. Unlike Fuu, that one had a pure white skin and a rounded horn on his head. It was also two inches taller and a lot more energetic compared to what she would expect from the species.

“Beware, they can be… oh, nevermind.”

Wally knew what to do. He kneeled down to the creature’s level, and it quickly went towards him. It was definitely not the textbook way of approaching a wild pokémon but, in that context, the one he needed to do to befriend the creature.

“Hey, buddy. Wanna come with me?”

The wild Ralts nodded. He probably knew what was going on before getting close. Destiny, perhaps?

“I feel we’re going to be good friends.” Wally showed his pokéball, at which the psychic pokémon voluntarily touched, being turned into energy and drawn into the sphere, caught instantly.

“You did it!” Himiko encouraged him. “Now you have someone to care for!”

The boy didn’t reply, not with words at least. He jumped into a hug, surprising the trainer and almost getting her to fall. And, without saying anything, kissed her on the cheek, a bit too close to her lips for the girl not to be uncomfortable.

While she did jump back in uneasiness, Himiko didn’t say anything. He’s just a kid in his heart, I’ll not ruin the moment.

“Thanks… for helping me.” He finally said, numbed by happiness. “Really.”

“Just promise me… just be strong, okay? You need to fight your best now, it’s not only for you now, but for the Ralts.”

“I will.” Wally looked up, his dreamy eyes lost in the horizon.




They couldn’t even reach the Pokémon Center as their original plan called for when walking back to Petalburg after the successful catch.

There was another detail about Wally that Himiko failed to grasp; rather, one she never considered for a start: the fact he had run away from home to talk with Raven that early that morning.

As she would get to know, his father was just going out of the building, looking for the missing son.

“What have I told you about leaving like this, Wallace?” The man jumped straight to the point, without even introducing himself to the girl. “What if something happened to you while you were out?”

“I’m fine, dad! It’s been weeks since I last…”

“Doesn’t matter. I’m sure you know by this point these things don’t have time or place. And you!” He suddenly turned to Himiko. “What were you both doing?”

“She saved me!” Wally intervened. “I had left the town, and she found me and brought me back safely…”

Even he knew that lie wouldn’t hold for long. But, somehow, it didn’t lead to further questions. That guy knew Wally for long enough to figure out what he was actually trying to do.

"Thank you for bringing him back safely," the man said, stiffly. A quick glance over the man told Himiko that he didn't think she was a secret girlfriend of any sort, even though he probably wanted that last bit to be true. “Wally is under special care, he shouldn’t be leaving home like he just did.”

“He told me about that, actually.”

“Now, we’re moving out from Petalburg by tomorrow, so don’t go looking for him, okay?”

“I just hope he gets well soon,” she turned to the little boy again. “You heard that? Be positive, and I’m sure you’ll recover in no time.”

“We have to get going now. Thanks for helping him, again.”

Himiko smiled, and a sad Wally left under the wings of his father. Even though he had a pokemon with him now, it wasn’t enough for him to be happy about it. She wasn’t sure where to draw the line between overprotection and subjugation, but that instant with his father was enough for her to know the man usually stepped beyond it.

Something to get her thinking about if Wally would end following her footsteps in the future.





As she left the Pokémon Center an hour later, after signing for her sick Sentret to be sent to professor Birch, it was impossible not to give another glance at the now empty city gym. Raven’s words started echoing through her head, making the girl consider giving Rustboro a visit. Norman had mentioned the city in his letter, and it could have been a subtle hint of something waiting for her there.

At the same time, however, it was a big distraction for her main objective set when she decided about going on a journey. To be fair, she would need to enter the Circuit sooner or later, and at least she had a good excuse to do so with that hint Raven had given her. As ingenious as it looked, having the badges as keys for that door made her curious enough about what she could find there. It wasn’t unheard of for leaders to live in their gyms; she knew for sure about one case with that old man Pryce doing so.

Lost in her thoughts, she didn’t notice she was already into the wild west bay until tripping over something, almost losing her balance.

The thing part of it could be more dangerous than she was giving credit for, however.

She had just realized it when the thing chirped.

It didn’t take long for Himiko to understand what she dragged herself into. It should be some kind of bird, now hidden by the taller grass she had just entered, and she definitely didn’t want to be in the attacking end of it. There were two options, and the most logical one involved calling one of her pokémon for protection, as she waited for the opponent to make a move and, with some luck, win that battle.

But the same logic told her it might not be the smartest idea, at least not if the bird could call for reinforcements. She wasn’t scared of a single bird, but definitely would be of a flock, and she heard enough stories about it to feel uneasy.

Luckily, her new tool would come just handy, just as its name suggested. Turning its species scanner on, she could easily locate her target under the bushes before it could react. Specifically, an undersized male Taillow.

She followed that with a pokéball, hoping to hit the pokémon before he could call for help. A plan that, surprisingly, worked like a charm, serving her as a reminder that she couldn’t let her guard down while walking through the routes like that.

Or worse: trying to traverse the deep forest that opened up between her and Rustboro.

Even some trainers usually avoided that area, filled to the brim with bug pokémon. Her other option was taking a ferry that would get her to Rustboro’s docks for a small fee she didn’t want to pay for.

A decision she shouldn’t regret, since the promised dangers of that forest had yet to show; she didn’t get to find any creature at all after walking those forty minutes through the dense treetops that filtered even the sun, darkening her path around.

And the first one she could find would probably be no danger for her at all, except for the fact no one could convince Himiko that a footlong nymph could be considered safe.

At that moment of hesitation, however, a scare came through a pokéball flying less than an inch from her head, making a perfect curve to the wild pokémon.

“You almost hit me!” Himiko voiced out, a bit louder than usual, as she turned back to see who the offender was.

“You’re too loud!” She couldn’t even discern the boy’s voice, only understanding him through lip reading as he slowly approached.

“Don’t scare me like that! You wouldn’t want me to scream in shock.”

“I trust my aim well enough, thank you.” His right eye twitched. “And you’re still too loud.”

That kid was the polar opposite of Wally, starting from the fact he was an inch taller than Himiko — and probably no more than thirteen years old.

“If you’re going to school me, you should at least tell me your name!”

“Call me James. Rather, don’t.”

“For someone that cocky you look quite scared…”

He didn’t answer. Instead, the kid pointed up, making Himiko stare for a moment until she realized how big the stakes were — and how everything could go wrong so easily.

It was quite the number of cocoons hanging on the closest tree to them, something between twenty to thirty of those. Not to mention a few fully-evolved bugs under torpor beside them.

“You won’t want to wake up the Dustox. Or the Venomoth.”

“Shouldn’t we, like, get out of here?” Himiko didn’t want to show how scared she was, but she couldn’t properly hide it. “Fast.”

He just nodded and turned away, to which Himiko followed him through the dense woods for a few minutes. Unlike him, she wasn’t used to walking quietly under those conditions and, despite trying her best, wasn’t able to go as fast and silently as the boy — which brought in another complaint from him.

“Too much noise. How do you plan on defending yourself when these bugs decide to attack?”

“Could you please stop mocking me? I don’t live here in the woods like you.”

“I don’t either, I’m from Rustboro.” His voice came in too much on the roaring side for someone complaining about the girl being loud. “And if you can’t take advice like this you shouldn’t have gone the forest path.”

“And you shouldn’t be so rude to me, that’s all I ask from you.”

“I’m just trying to save your life, okay?”

“You wouldn’t need…”

“Move away! Slowly! Don’t look!”

That discussion would need to be finished later, because Himiko made the mistake of lightly bumping into one of the trunks, and that light contact was enough to get a cocoon to descend in her direction, stopping only a foot away from her head.

And, of course, she didn’t follow the last bit of advice, looking up at the worst possible time as she noticed the shadow coming close to her head.

Everything beyond this point happened almost at the same time, but three different things occurred in those few seconds, not necessarily in that order: Himiko fell to the floor, the cocoon had a pokéball thrown at it, and a small swarm of bugs started crawling around her body.

“Stop. Don’t move.”

“What’s…”

“I said don’t move!”

It was the shock of hearing James shouting that order out, more than those small jolts causing the itches in her uncovered arms, which made Himiko freeze to the spot. He pulled a pokéball, releasing the nymph he had just caught, in hopes it would be able to help in whatever situation she was in.

And, as she was wondering if those yellow things walking around were venomous or not, Himiko fainted before figuring out what just hit her.


Why are Joltik roaming in Petalburg Woods? Rather, why wouldn't they?
In all seriousness, I love that creative liberty, even though there aren't later gen pokémon in this hack for you to catch, because it makes the world feel a bit more organic. And it makes the woods a bit more dangerous, let's be fair.
For those wondering why are there so many different human characters appearing, and why pokémon names are still spoilered... well, it's all on Himiko to blame. If only she stopped to talk with her team like a proper trainer, we wouldn't have to resort to that strategy... all of those guys will appear later, except wally's dad

Current Members:

ralts.png

Fuu (Ralts) - Lv. 12 - Bold | Synchronize
poochyena.png

Basker (Poochyena) - Lv. 10 - Bold | Run Away
bellsprout.png

Monk (Bellsprout) - Lv. 13 - Bold | Chlorophyll
taillow.png

Nuri (Taillow) - Lv. 7 - Mild | Guts
silcoon.png

Bully (Silcoon) - Lv. 7 - Serious | Shed Skin

Deceased
KtJKyI431rAUAdRbbpmwFNx5Mz3oANN7Q7ZYhgf8F9Vu0j62yVAAAAAASUVORK5CYII.png

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

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.
shipping
I totally agree about non-Hoenn mons! And a swarm of Joltik would be quite threatening, especially if there's a Galvantula around...
 

JavierE64

Masks are so 2016!!! But don´t forget to wear one
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
310
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
945
Location
Perú
Nature
Modest
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
  1. Grass
  2. Water
Pokédex Entry
The Master of both Light and Darkness; who loves the Violent and Dramatic, and the Fun and Adorable.
I love this take on wild Pokémon, we sometimes take for granted that Pokémon can harm humans if they're not careful. Good chapter as always.
 

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
Oh my goodness, Wally is so cute. It’s also an interesting take with him and Himiko in that they both have Ralts as their starters. It’ll be very interesting to see their subsequent encounters/battles with each other in the future. I am also very intrigued by this James and his sass.
 

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
Oh noooo, that ain't good! Joltik? I didn't realize that's what it was until the author's notes, but that's REALLY not good! Though at least it hopefully means that Himiko's been tazed, not poisoned...

Her interactions with Wally are still so sweet 😭 ❤️

“Thank you for bringing him safely,” a quick glance of that man, and Himiko knew he didn’t think she was a secret girlfriend of any sort

This bit read a bit confusingly, because the dialogue is from Wally's dad, but you've connected it to what Himiko's doing and thinking. I'd recommend something like
"Thank you for bringing him back safely," the man said stiffly. A quick glance over the man told Himiko that he didn't think she was...
 
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
@Vivace: They're cute, right? No, not the bugs even though Joltik in fact are, but they're more dangerous than else.
@JavierE64: We often forget how dangerous can nature be; Pokémon world wouldn't be different. Thanks for reading!
@Spectacles: Cuteness train ahoy! Their 'kids' sure grow differently and it'll be a fun interaction when they meet again. James, however, is not only sass (and it'll show in a future chapter)
@SayleeK: You're right about the Joltik stunning and not poisoning the girl. However, they did a bit more damage than one may give credit for, as it'll be shown below

Also, a big shoutout and thanks to @SayleeK for making this chapter better. Your opinions are golden and made me much happier with the outcome.

Orange skies prequeling a beautiful sunset were welcoming Himiko into the plains close to Rustboro City. But she wasn’t there.

Rather, her body was, but not her mind. Something that could explain why she was so settled in taking that moment to train the pokémon she had caught so far.

She didn’t want those last moments to come back. Like, ever.

To be fair, there were details she couldn’t remember even if she wanted to. For example, how she managed to get out of that forest, waking up in some kind of greenhouse — unscathed, despite the itchy sensation she still had on most of her body — not to mention the aftermath pain from those cramps. Being attacked by those wild…

I’m not thinking about it.

Himiko threw her five pokéballs, releasing each of the pokémon she had caught so far. Shouldn't it be four?

Fuu went out first, followed by the rest of her team. Bellsprout. Poochyena. Taillow. Silcoon.

When did I catch that last one? Why can’t I remember it?

It didn’t matter. Shouldn’t matter, at least.

“Alright, guys, for those who haven't gotten to know me yet, my name is Himiko, and I hope I can be a good trainer for you.”

The five of them just stared at the girl, not quite understanding what she meant by that.

“We need to practice our moves together. What do you say?”

It was an awkward silence. Like the one from not long ago, when she left the greenhouse being watched by the young lady running the attached flower shop, worried about her state. She didn’t need to know Himiko to figure out she wasn’t well. The flower shop lady insisted a few times for Himiko to stay the night there so she could fully recover. Aloof to her worry, the trainer dismissed any help.

Because, deep down in her thoughts, she was sure she never needed help. Always trying to assist others, solving their problems. Looking at herself as the dependable one she meant to be, after all. Being strong wasn’t just an option, but a necessity.

Yet, she wasn’t strong enough for her own sake. Fainting in the forest, what kind of trainer am I?

I’m
not thinking about it.

“I think we need some target practice. Look, there’s something up there!”

Himiko pulled her trusty pokédex, not getting overwhelmed by its info anymore. The chosen target was a Slakoth, a pokémon known to be slow and passive in the wild.

“I want to see what you guys can do against him. Surprise me!”

It wasn’t the right approach to that situation, especially because passive doesn’t mean the same as defenseless. The wild Slakoth had ways to protect itself from predators and trainers, with quick and effective sleep-inducing mechanisms. Himiko’s team would never know that, since the trainer was, again, too lost in her thoughts to focus on such important information she could easily get from her device.

I could have done something about it. Yet I didn’t.

It wasn’t just about earlier in the forest. She had promised herself to get stronger. To go out and fix her mistakes. Reaching after what she had lost years ago.

Instead, she failed again. Trying to act strong for Wally was something, sure, but not enough. Would giving him a bit of hope be sufficient? Or would he succumb to his fears instead?

Whichever answer the future would give her, it wasn’t enough. She got a bit too cocky and went to test herself at the forest, a place she wasn’t ready to be yet. It was by sheer luck that James was there to help. She couldn’t notice the dangers hidden deep inside the woods. She wasn’t able to move silently through the trees. If it wasn’t for his help, she wouldn’t be alive to consider all of this.

Like she should have helped when she had the chance back then…

I’m definitely not thinking about it.

She opened her eyes, only to see everyone else with theirs closed — and the Slakoth was gone. Of course, attacking the wild pokémon randomly wouldn’t work. They didn’t have a plan. They didn’t have a trainer.

But Himiko couldn’t see that, blinded by her looping failures.

“Wake up, guys!” She started shaking her pokémon awake, one by one, starting with the Ralts. “What went wrong?”

“Everything.” Fuu’s answer, through its telepathy, would be rude no matter how hard he tried; still, he was doing his best not to, even considering how blunt she was acting. “We were waiting for specific orders and got lost without them.”

“You shouldn’t. I think we were trying to become a team.”

“Teams should have a leader, not a boss.” Fuu turned to the rest of the team as the girl was shaking her Poochyena awake, and went to use his powers to carefully wake the others up before Himiko could reach them in her rough ways.

“What?”

“Just calm down, okay?" Fuu insisted. "I know you’re not well. Take a rest.”

“Not the time to rest.” Himiko pretended not to hear the disapproval buzz from the Silcoon in the background. “Let’s try it again, I’ll find an easier target for you and…”

“Stop, Himiko! You don’t need to prove anything to anyone.”

Things were already going downhill ever since she woke up, but it was at that point it spiraled downwards.

“You know nothing about me, Fuu! And I guess you know nothing about being strong!”

“You don’t either. We’ll have time for that later.”

“What do you mean I don’t?”

At that point, it was the five of them against the girl. Not that she would listen to the others, unable to do it properly even with the one who could use words to communicate with her. The Bellsprout wanted to outright attack his trainer, slap her some senses into her head with his vines; Fuu stopped him, however.

“I’m sorry, Himiko. It’s going to hurt a bit.”

It was painful to him already, the bright purple tone of his skin as a clear indicator of that.

But he meant it for the girl, as a purple aura surrounded the pokémon. And it was the last thing she could see before being blinded by pain. An unforgiving throbbing inside her head, as if it would burst open at any moment.

It was so intense and nauseating that, when it abruptly stopped with a choking sensation, Himiko almost threw up.

Luckily she didn’t, because it would make a mess of those white sheets on top of her restrained body.

Her gagging sound attracted the attention of a nurse nearby, who rushed to see the girl.

“Can you hear me?”

As disturbed as she was, Himiko slowly moved her head towards the guy. He smiled, and she smiled back.

“Do you feel any pain?”

She tried to reply, but no voice came out.

“Don’t force it. You’re still recovering.”

“Where am I?” She tried again, and it finally came out despite the hoarseness.

“Rustboro Medical Center. We’ll answer your questions later, but for now, we’ll have to do some tests.”

They won’t answer anything, she thought. Most of her questions weren’t related to being in a hospital bed, to be fair.

Was that thing real, or just a nightmare?

The last thing she could remember in detail was that meeting with James in the forest. About how he almost hit her with a pokéball, then they started arguing while trying to find a way out of that place…

And then a blank. Nothing.

A doctor soon joined them. She asked a few questions, released the girl from her restraint, told her to try moving; everything was going smoothly, to the surprise of the medical team.

“How did I end up here?” Himiko tried, hoping for an answer this time.

“You were brought here unconscious, three days ago…”

Three days?

“We still need to perform a tomography to check for further damage, but it seems to have subsided. Do you think you can walk?”

Despite her slow responses, everything looked normal so far. No hints of damage, as Himiko could ever wonder what the doctor was talking about.

Turns out, she meant brain damage.

“Nothing out of usual,” she said after analyzing the results half an hour later, speaking to herself more than with the girl. “A few reminiscent ripples from the trauma, but these should be fully recovered in a day or two…”

“Which kind of trauma?” Himiko asked.

“Can’t say for sure. Seems to be from an electrical source, but I can be wrong…”

Memories were coming back, slowly. Being scared by the sudden appearance of a cocoon in front of her, making the girl trip. Those tiny yellow bugs crawling over her. Fear stamped in James’s face.

The girl started shivering.

“I feel you’re ready to be discharged already. I was told your father is waiting for you outside.”

Now she had good reason to be shivering. Of all people around, Norman was the one she expected the least. If she was out of business for three days straight, however, his presence at the hospital shouldn’t be completely unexpected.

Besides, someone would have to pay for her medical expenses. Unlike pokémon care, she wouldn’t expect it to be free, especially in a top-notch place like that hospital seemed to be. Another thing she would spend hours thinking about, if not for most of her answers dropping heavily on top of her head.

Being somewhat early in the morning, probably no more than 9 am, the reception counter was rather empty, which added to her worries about it being a private hospital.

Turns out, however, the doctor had some slightly wrong info; it was her godfather who had paid for it all.

Himiko didn’t remember having one, because she didn’t. Yet, there was only one person waving at her in the lobby — and definitely not Norman; the guy, waiting for her from a small distance, placed himself close enough to be seen as she got her belongings back. Travel clothes, backpack, pokéballs…

Most of them, in fact.

As that short old man approached with open arms, expecting a warm hug, Himiko had to make a choice; playing along would probably be ideal, at least inside the building. More things for me to worry about.

“We need to talk. In private. Would you go with me?”

That guy’s whisper could mean nothing good at all. Especially because she had noticed one of her pokéballs, the only missing thing from her belongings, in possession of that creepy guy.

Specifically, Fuu’s ball.



Grinding may be boring in-game, but definitely not here. And this is only the first leg. The team will have a bigger spike once we reach the northern routes...
I take a guess you were curious about how would she interact with her team, and I hope you won't be disappointed. Or maybe you are, because, err... you've seen what happened.
I'm not sure if I should leave you hanging on the cliff so often but I can't help it, sorry

Current Members:

ralts.png

Fuu (Ralts) - Lv. 13 - Bold | Synchronize
poochyena.png

Basker (Poochyena) - Lv. 11 - Bold | Run Away
bellsprout.png

Monk (Bellsprout) - Lv. 13 - Bold | Chlorophyll
taillow.png

Nuri (Taillow) - Lv. 13 - Mild | Guts
silcoon.png

Bully (Silcoon) - Lv. 9 - Serious | Shed Skin

Deceased
KtJKyI431rAUAdRbbpmwFNx5Mz3oANN7Q7ZYhgf8F9Vu0j62yVAAAAAASUVORK5CYII.png

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

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
Glad to help! I like the extra details you added in--Himiko's team sure doesn't have much reason to have faith in their new trainer, huh? ^_^;;
 

JavierE64

Masks are so 2016!!! But don´t forget to wear one
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
310
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
945
Location
Perú
Nature
Modest
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
  1. Grass
  2. Water
Pokédex Entry
The Master of both Light and Darkness; who loves the Violent and Dramatic, and the Fun and Adorable.
Norman, I have a terrible feeling about this,
 

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.
That was quite a ride. Trauma! Uncooperative teammates! Himiko getting attacked by her own Ralts! Norman! I can't wait to find out what it all means 👀
 

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
Oh man what a mysterious chapter! I hope himiko is going to recover from whatever she has going on with her head... And who is this godfather person? And where is Fuu's ball?! Hnng lots of stress and anticipation!!
 
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
First of all, sorry for the stealth edit in last chapter. It was only reading your comments I realized there was a confusing part and it was getting the wrong message across...

@SayleeK : Glad to have you helping ^,^ you're right; that lack of faith is a one-way ticket to disaster; let's hope she can solve that one.

@JavierE64 : sorry about misleading you into Norman. Your terrible feeling is right, though, she's in for a bad time.

@Vivace : Definitely a bumpy ride, lots of stuff around and some in this chapter!

@Spectacles : All I can say is there was no lasting damage, so all is going to be well. Kinda...

Watching that unusual duo walking through Rustboro’s streets would give no hint about the odd circumstances between them. There were so many peculiar things around, and Himiko couldn’t even decide which one she would start worrying about first.

The sight of Fuu’s pokéball in that man’s belt settled it, though. That fact in itself brought many questions up, all starting with how or why. Those were enough inquiries to kill her from curiosity, even though she wasn’t sure she wanted those answers.

And the silence coming from that guy only added to her disturbance, because those weird memories didn’t vanish from her mind. Those images of her Ralts attacking the girl ought to be some weird dream, unrealistic despite feeling so real. That was not her usual self; she wouldn’t blame Fuu for attacking her if she went so rudely towards him. Still, it felt so real it was hard to imagine it could have been just a nightmare.

Those thoughts would have to wait, however, since they were approaching one of the bigger and most iconic buildings in Rustboro, known by the twin pokeballs logo at its entrance: Devon Corporations.

dc.png


Even Himiko had heard about them, and not without reason. Devon was a world-class company that developed the first model of manufactured pokéballs, in contrast to handmade production that existed before. Silph would later improve on that project, starting a technological war that made them two of the most profitable companies in the world.

She never expected to walk into the central office for such an important place. Much less being taken to a private room, as she figured out after going inside the elevator. Because, instead of pressing one of the many buttons for one of the upper floors, that guy held his thumb against the stylized C in the company logo above those. Probably a fingerprint scanner, since the cabin started moving downwards as soon as he took his hand back.

As the doors opened into a bright corridor, they followed into one of the few doors at the right, where an eye scanner confirmed the guy was supposed to enter that room.

All of those security measures were just for a cozy office room.

A place that made it hard to remember they were underground; the walls were covered with wooden boards and, together with the soft lighting and a screen placed in the back wall imitating a window, it was easy to think they were far from a big city like Rustboro, instead chilling at the mountainside.

Definitely not what they were there for, despite the breakfast served for two at the table.

“You must be hungry, so I got something for you while we chat. Mind a seat?”

Do I have a choice?

Himiko couldn’t help but notice the small details in that room; from the artificial fireplace at the side, or the head displayed in a frame as a hunting trophy. But nothing caught her attention like the metallic nameplate at the desk — or what it actually meant.

Rochard Stone
CSO - Devon Corp.


“What do you want from me?”

“Calm down… this is no business meeting, no need to rush these things…”

The more Himiko heard how he talked, the less she could believe he was one of the chief officers for Devon. And of all the reasons the girl imagined he could have for bringing her to his office, none made any sense.

“Tell me… how much do you remember?”

“What do you mean?”

“Before passing out. Your pokemon were calling for help.”

“My memory is a bit fuzzy… the last thing I remember, I was in that forest north of Petalburg…”

“This is strange… I found you around Rust Lake, just south of Rustboro. Seems that you were attacked by a pokémon there…”

A shiver went through the girl after those words. Does that mean the nightmare…

“…and I feel you just remembered something. Do you want to share it, Himiko?”

Hearing her name coming out of his mouth dismantled the girl.

“I had some weird dream before waking up at the hospital… where one of my pokémon attacked me.”

“I guess that it wasn’t just a dream.” Rochard picked up a pokéball from his belt. “This poor Ralts was reacting badly when I arrived. High levels of cyanosis and hyperventilating. I have limited knowledge on psychic types but I’ll take it as guilt for attacking you… in your dream, as you say?”

Himiko nodded, feeling the words would fail to get out if she tried.

“According to your trainer card, he’s your starter pokemon, right?”

“He is. But I can’t grasp why he would attack me.”

“Let’s make sure if he’s the culprit, first. That is your tomography, right?”

She gave him the envelope she was given when leaving the hospital. Not a thing she would have cared for, which means the guy had probably asked for her exams before she was dismissed.

“As I had guessed… a pattern.” He was speaking to himself as he analyzed the images.” “Now, do you see those oddities here?”

“I don’t know exactly what you mean, but the doctor said there were some… ripples, I think. From an electrical source.”

“Doctors aren’t paid well enough to care about this. These kinds of waves are typical of psychic moves, like fingerprints. And if we compare to the patterns I took from your Ralts while you were hospitalized…”

She couldn’t pay full attention to it. She didn’t want to, because she knew what the results would be.

If that part did happen… then before…

Himiko couldn’t hide her shame when he confirmed the facts in her dream. Still, he didn’t seem to be judging the girl, merely slipping everything in one of his drawers.

“I feel…” He spoke again, softly. “There was some good reason for that.”

“I have a few theories…”

“And I don’t want to hear them yet. Look, this is something you need to figure out, it would be rude of me to chime in.”

Himiko felt those last words didn’t match Rochard’s expression. He couldn’t help but wonder, despite trying to hide it.

“We have lots of things to talk about, but I feel you’re not in your best to chat. What would you say if we meet again at 5 pm?”

“Sure, but… what do you expect me to do?”

“Settle it out with him, of course.” He handed the pokéball out. “I trust you on making good decisions for once.”

“I don’t know how to thank you, Mr. Stone.”

“Just call me Rochard.” He then pressed up a button on the side of his rotary phone above the desk, one of the many things Himiko had failed to notice before. “One of my employees will guide you outside, and then I’ll wait for you in the cafe just in front of Devon at 5.”

She had no option but to agree, taken by the curiosity on how he could wreck her life if she decided not to go.





As Himiko approached the eastern exit for Rustboro City, nervousness hit like a truck. She knew things had gone wrong at some point, but not the extent of the damage she had caused. There was no reason she could ever imagine Fuu attacking her like he supposedly did. Even with enough proof, she still couldn’t believe it.

Sooner or later she’d have to confront herself, though. And considering that meeting with that guy just earlier, he was expecting the girl to settle it for good that day.

As she freed her pokémon, one by one, Himiko kept thinking about how bad it could be.

Ralts. Bellsprout. Taillow. Beautifly.

Only four? Weren’t I supposed to have five?

It took a moment for her to realize her Poochyena wasn’t there, and another one to figure out why. And the first thing that hit her wasn’t the realization she had been responsible for that death.

Because a vine slapped her first, as the Bellsprout had just attacked the girl.

“I’ll handle him.” Fuu’s voice was the only thing she heard before all of her pokémon started fighting each other. Not literally, but into a heated argument.

Rather, it was the three of them against the Ralts. He seemed to be the only one trying to make a point in favor of their trainer. Considering the things she supposedly did, she should be happy it wasn’t all four of them against the girl.

Looking at each of their angry faces brought Himiko some years into the past. Specifically after a trip to New Bark Town, where she was supposed to get her first pokémon, to which she was denied.

“You had one of the best test results in years.” Professor Elm’s words kept echoing in her head. “But you have the wrong motivations. I can’t give you a pokémon if you’re going to feed him with those bad feelings. Revenge and spite are a source of strength, but not one you should rely on. You’ll never get a pokémon to trust you like that.”

Fuu seemed to trust her. Placing himself between the trainer and the other mons, he was maybe the only one of them willing to stay with her. From the others, the best she could get was some indifference from the Taillow.

Elm was right, I’m not supposed to be a trainer. Even though it’s not revenge. I never cared enough about him.

Himiko also had her personal battles to fight. Having her team arguing against each other was pointless, at least until she could compose herself.

I’m not risking my life in vain. There’s still something to hope for, and that’s why I went through all of this. And I’m going forward, even if I need to go alone. Because of her.

Easier said than done, obviously.

“Please, stop. I want you to hear me.”

It shouldn’t be a job for the Ralts. It was something she had to do on her own.

“My memory is still a bit fuzzy from what just happened, but first of all, I’m sorry. I think only Fuu here knows me enough to tell I was not my usual self, and the least I can do for all of you is to try and redeem myself.”

A moment of silence, then some buzzing noise as the pokémon started communicating with themselves.

“They’re not buying it. Bully is calling you a monster.” Fuu helped with translating, and Himiko was sure he was talking about the Beautifly, visibly the angriest of them.

“I’m not begging you to believe me. If you really don’t want me as a trainer, I can walk back and release…”

Himiko’s words were cut by a wild pokémon joining the group. Rather, calling him wild would be kind of an exaggeration, considering it was a pink, fluffy, crying baby.

“Can we help you?” Himiko asked, ignoring the discussion going on just a second before.

“Whismur.” Fuu’s answer was cryptic to the girl. “Don’t think you can hear them, but he does. Bully should be hearing it too.”

She looked at the Beautifly, then at the Ralts, and finally to the Igglybuff that had just joined them. It was hard to believe there was an attack going on, but it did — and Himiko was quick enough to realize she could fight back.

A quick search in the pokédex, and all the info she needed was there. High-pitched noises. Territorial creatures. Attacks lasting up to 20 minutes.

“How many of these can you hear?” She asked, hoping the Beautifly would understand the question and her Ralts able to translate it for her.

“A few.”

Fighting is not an option then…

“Forgive me for that. It’s my only chance to save you.”

Himiko threw a pokéball at the baby pokémon, hoping the sphere could be good enough protection for the noises. A successful catch she didn’t quite want to make, however.

“Is everyone okay? Should we go back or something?”

They looked at each other, her pokemon still not believing in what she had just done. For someone who was just doubting herself as a trainer not long before, it wasn’t a wise decision.

Especially because the noise would stop before Himiko would start moving out of there.

And that one creature strong enough to stop a small horde of Whismur would, for good reason, charge into the girl and her team before she could slip away with the baby.


9k.png

Silly girl, you never learn... Well, at least it makes her team full for once, right?
Right?
...
Did I tell you already how much I hate Whismur? Now you know why.
That one death happened in Route 116, during my first visit. Wild Whismur appears (not my first encounter) and Basker in front. I have a 5 level advantage and at full health, so I consider myself safe. I outspeed, and it deals around half hp. Whismur uses Uproar (which is buffed to gen 5+ standards for a STAB 90 base power) and it's a clean OHKO back.
Needless to say, totally my fault for underestimating my own move. I knew it had Uproar, and I knew it was buffed, so I only have myself to blame...
I swear this is the last death against wild pokémon and I have learned my stuff. Which doesn't mean much.
Current Members:

ralts.png

Fuu (Ralts ♂) - Lv. 16 - Bold | Synchronize
bellsprout.png

Monk (Bellsprout ♂) - Lv. 16 - Bold | Chlorophyll
taillow.png

Nuri (Taillow ♂) - Lv. 17 - Mild | Guts
beautifly.png

Bully (Beautifly ♂) - Lv. 14 - Serious | Swarm
igglybuff.png

Helio (Igglybuff ♂) - Lv. 8 - Bashful | Cute Charm

Deceased
KtJKyI431rAUAdRbbpmwFNx5Mz3oANN7Q7ZYhgf8F9Vu0j62yVAAAAAASUVORK5CYII.png

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

Basker (Poochyena ♀) - Lv. 4-12 - Bold | Run Away
 
Last edited:

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.
BASKER NO

Well, now we have a source of stress for Himiko's team that isn't Himiko!

Take good care of the baby! The Igglybuff line is pretty fun.
 

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
Okay Mr Stone is somehow being super friendly in a way that is still shady as fuck. It doesn't help that my brain read this
or the head displayed in a frame as a hunting trophy.
as, for lack of any other indication, a human head. Not that I think a Pokemon head would be much better, all things considered...

A baby! Please don't get the baby killed, Himiko 😭
 

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
Oof! That kind of death sucks. Buffed Uproar is not a threat that's easy to deal with this early in the game. I also really like how Fuu helps Himiko to communicate with the other mons.
 
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
April Fools!
(seriously, AFD is not my cup of soda because I don't drink soda, so have a normal update instead)

@Vivace : What hurts me the most is that Poochyena/Mightyena were buffed by a fair margin in this game 45/65/45/65/40/45 and 80/100/80/90/70/80 H/A/B/C/D/S format, to make for a lack of P/S split and I wanted her to shine so much. I just wonder how much stress we're talking about, because Himiko isn't prepared to take care of a baby and we know that...

@SayleeK : Oops, I totally meant a pokémon head there (specifically a Pyroar, which Himiko has no clue about). Your vibes about Mr. Stone are spot-on, though. About the baby, knowing Himiko, she can do worse than getting him killed, which isn't a promising thing either...

@Spectacles : Terrible, I know, learned my lesson there; should've used that Run Away ability for what it's worth. Now, if only Himiko could have used Fuu's help earlier...

Delivering now the great stunt... joke's on me though, since I didn't beta.
Himiko and her four catches were staring at the wild pokemon that just crashed on her. It wasn’t meant to do any damage, and even the green creature knew that. She didn’t want to hurt the trainer unless it was needed to get her message across.

And the girl’s first guess would be the correct one, as Fuu was about to pass the words on:

“She wants the baby back.”

Himiko wasn’t worried about it. No reason to be, as she never meant to add the Igglybuff to her team; it was only a way to protect the little creature from the wild Whismur that were about to start an Uproar attack. And pokéballs are supposed to have a release mechanism for those moments.

But, judging from how that Skiploom was frowning, it wouldn’t be that easy.

“Look, I don’t want to take it from you.” Himiko talked slowly, making sure to get her message out as clean as possible. “It was just to protect him from the Whismur. I can release him if you want.”

The first step to releasing a pokémon, for obvious reasons, was to let it out of the pokéball.

She didn’t get a chance to perform the second step, however, as the Igglybuff took an unexpected behavior and, instead of going after the Skiploom, he grabbed Himiko’s leg, not letting go.

“This is… not how I thought…”

There were many things about pokéballs that she didn’t know about, some of them by ignorance; things Rochard would be able to tell her if she asked about. One of those was a special coding added to the sphere’s programming that allowed for easier taming of feral creatures. At first, that kind of technology was added only to the higher quality variants, named the Ultra series. Neither Silph nor Devon mentioned, however, that older variations of this coding were being added to the default models as well, as a way to mask the inferior quality of the materials used without hurting its capability of catching wild pokémon. And, considering it didn’t have a lasting influence due to natural bonding taking effect, all but a few purist breeders couldn’t notice the consequences, or just didn’t care about it.

But, as one would expect, all pokémon knew about that thing.

“It seems he doesn’t want to go,” Himiko added. “Do you still want me to release him?”

Not good.

Himiko didn’t need help to understand how the Skiploom had not liked it. It was only hard to grasp why she didn’t like the idea.

“Want me to help?” Fuu chimed in and, without waiting for an answer, started talking with the grass pokémon.

I’ve made a mistake, right? Another one…

She looked at each pokémon around, waiting for them to scold her for those poor actions. They didn’t, despite the stares.

And then it clicked.

I can’t just cry over my mistakes… I need to do something to fix them…

“I think the least I can do now is to take care of the little one. This is what being a trainer is about, right?”

The silence coming after those words weighed a ton.

“What do you say about it, team? Is it fine for you too, Skiploom?”

It was hard to measure their opinions as a whole. The Ralts seemed to like the idea, and the Beautifly definitely didn’t. But the others weren’t clear enough with their emotions for Himiko to figure out.

And it would be Skiploom the one to settle it.

“She’s not trusting you,” Fuu said, “but she’s willing to give you a chance. And…”

“And what?”

“She wants to be part of the team as well. To keep an eye on you.”

“It’s fair… I guess. Are you sure about it?”

The pokémon nodded, and Himiko flung an empty pokéball at her.

But, while it solved her immediate problems, including with her team, she couldn’t help but feel weird about it. Because, despite their meeting being over after that intromission, it was far from settled.

It was almost like that Poochyena’s dead body would resurface anytime soon.



It could have been such an uneventful afternoon, if not for Himiko’s trainer license card gone missing.

Despite the obvious implications of that, it wasn’t a big deal, for a few reasons. First, medical care would still be given if needed be, since her pokéballs had been previously registered under her name. Second, she could ask for a duplicate from Birch, and it wouldn’t take more than a few hours and a small fee to get it.

And third, she had a good idea of where to find the missing card. Rather, who had it.

Still, not having the license with her was somewhat of a nuisance since, for example, she couldn’t apply for free lunch at the pokemon center as she did in Petalburg. Instead, the girl was wandering around the city looking for a decent place to eat. Which, between fast-food chains and expensive restaurants, was proving to be a hard task.

At least until she bumped into a familiar face. Not literally, for a positive change; it would have been embarrassing, to say the least.

“James? Is that you?”

“Hey, Himiko! Glad to see you’re safe!”

It would take some time for her to get used to his new appearance. Compared to his sloppy look back at the forest, it was hard to imagine that kid under a perfectly aligned school uniform like the one he was using; his white shirt and brown pants so clean it made the girl feel she had just left a trash can. If not for the Rustboro Trainer School emblem on his shirt, she’d have guessed he was going to attend a marriage.

“I wasn’t sure you’d recognize me like this…”

“Your hair kinda gave it away…”

They both laughed, knowing his messy cut couldn’t be tamed. A weak and fake laugh, since none of them were in a decent mood for that.

“It’s a relief to see you like this. For a moment I thought you’d be gone for good.”

“What exactly happened there? I can’t remember anything about it…”

“Joltik.” He made a pause, expecting the girl to know about that species. She didn’t. “An inoffensive creature on its own, but they can give you quite the jolt when in a crowd… Not to mention their fluids can mess with your brain…”

“Now that you talk about it, I remember those small things crawling over me… How did I survive that?”

“Getting rid of those bugs wasn’t hard, but taking you out of there was another story… you were lucky there were other people around to help me carry you out.”

Himiko stared at the boy, being sure she was missing something. Or, maybe, he wasn’t telling her everything. Or, maybe, there was something else going on…

“Thank you for helping me.” She smiled. “Really.”

“It was nothing. I like being able to help.”

If his red face wasn’t enough, those last words were an obvious hint about how James was all but well. About how he was trying so hard to act nice, but completely broken inside. She knew, because more often than not she was just like that.

The hard part would be getting him to open it up. Or so she thought.

“I still have some stuff to do, so…” He went on, without any sign of a smile on his face. “If you don’t mind…”

“No worries.” Himiko got the hint. “I can go with you.”

“Thank you. I really don’t want to do this alone.”

“Look, I’m here.” She placed her arm around his shoulders. “I can help you.”

“I guess so…”

Despite acting this strong, he is just a kid, after all…

“Tell me… what happened?”

“You remember that Nincada in the forest, right?”

Flashbacks of a pokéball flying an inch from her head came through. She quickly dismissed it, not wanting to distract him.

“I was supposed to bring it to my classes as homework. Miss Roxanne was teaching us how to bond with new pokémon, and I couldn’t help but try to impress her.”

“And such you went out of your way to catch that Nincada?”

“I thought having a rock or a ground type would give me an advantage of sorts since she’s into archeology and such… but then, bugs are my favorite type, it can’t be helped…”

“I see. Did it work out?”

“It probably would if we didn’t have a substitute teacher for today’s class.” James stuttered a bit. “And that’s why we’re here.”

James then pointed to what seemed to be the oldest building still erect in Rustboro; a limestone triangular structure headed by a bell tower, surrounded by a well-cared garden.

Himiko shivered as she realized what she was getting into. The Rustboro Church of Arceus.

“I take you’re not a religious girl,” he said.

“There’s a time for everything, I guess. What happened in the class?”

“Thought you’d figure it out by now, as the trainer you are. You can’t bond with pokémon without battles, and instead of pairing us with each other, the new teacher decided he wanted to test against each one himself.”

“Can’t see the problem yet. I mean, no teacher would go full force against kids like you…”

“Miss Roxanne wouldn’t, but that guy was so strong I feel even she would have trouble with him fighting like that.”

“How did someone allow such a jerk to be a teacher?”

“The worst part of it is I should have expected to be like that. Most of the class before that was him ranting about how Roxanne was too soft against us, how kids should have some sense of reality before jumping into the real world… Well, here's the result.”

He then took out a darkened pokéball from his pocket, containing what she knew would be a dead pokémon. It was a visual indicator she had the unfortunate opportunity to check — more than once.

“I could have avoided that, I guess. If I had just called him back before his Aerial Ace, then…”

“It’s not your fault, okay?” Himiko grabbed her Poochyena’s pokéball, in the same state as the one James was holding. “We all make mistakes and learn from them… but your teacher had no reason to kill your pokémon.”

“You’re not wrong, but… never mind. Better pay our respects out.”

Both of them went silent as they placed their spheres on a small altar next to a stained glass window. James then kneeled into some prayer, but Himiko didn’t feel like doing the same. Instead, she decided to focus on the window, looking at the colored pixies depicted before shifting her attention to the words engraved in the stone just below it.

um-mes-de-desespero-21486930-160120211302.png

As azure sword assembleth the clouds,
so shall gem of rose cast off death's murky shrouds.
Let gleaming gold mirror illuminate ye that die,
and Thine mercy thus guide our souls to the sky.


Unable to get a feel for that, she just stood nearby letting the silence do its work and, hopefully, healing her mind from the mistakes she just did.

All it managed to do was to fill her mind with loose sentences.

“Revenge and spite… you’ll never get a pokémon to trust you like that.”

“Teams should have a leader, not a boss.”

“What’s next, going out for a kid’s journey?”


It hurt. Despite her beliefs, her objectives, it seemed no one could trust her enough. As if no one would believe she could do it.

I believe in myself. Isn’t it enough?

It took her four years. How many things may have changed since then? How could she know if her efforts would suffice?

“After what I saw in the woods, not giving this girl a license would be a waste!”

She quickly realized how wrong she was. Professor Birch believed in her potential, at least after she helped him. And he was loud and clear about that, reasoning about it against Natsumi. Himiko deemed it impossible to win an argument against her mother, but somehow he managed it.

How silly of my part. There is someone else who believes in me.

And she has no one else to believe in.


Opening her eyes again, she glanced at James, still kneeling. Filled with willpower, she felt the urge to do something. Not just as retribution for his help.

Because, in her heart, it was the right thing to do.

“Excuse me,” she touched his shoulder, after which he looked at her immediately. “That substitute… Do you think he’s still there?”

“I guess. Why do…”

“Is it far from here?”

“Just where we met… wait, you’re not thinking about…”

Those last words faded to death as Himiko rushed outside, leaving a worried James in the church.

First of all, I can't thank @Clockenstein enough for the help given with this chapter. The stone inscription was totally his rework since I can't get even a grasp of old english and that piece would be terrible instead of great.
Second... well... I had to tweak things here and there in terms of gameplay. As you may have guessed, that Skiploom isn't yet a Skiploom in-game, but a Hoppip. It saves me the hassle of dealing with an early and unreasonable evolution (as for the character setup, at least) and it also fits better her personality for taking care of that little baby. Oh, and the Whismur attack is both a nod to Basker's death and the fact the Igglybuff was caught in Rusturf Tunnel. Not a thing I'm overly happy with, because there was a wild assortment of babies spawning there, and having a Magby or Elekid or Tyrogue would help me much more in the upcoming gym...
Current Members:

ralts.png

Fuu (Ralts ♂) - Lv. 17 - Bold | Synchronize
bellsprout.png

Monk (Bellsprout ♂) - Lv. 18 - Bold | Chlorophyll
taillow.png

Nuri (Taillow ♂) - Lv. 20 - Mild | Guts
beautifly.png

Bully (Beautifly ♂) - Lv. 18 - Serious | Swarm
igglybuff.png

Helio (Igglybuff ♂) - Lv. 15 - Bashful | Cute Charm
skiploom.png

Wendy (Skiploom ♀) - Lv. 15 - Lax | Chlorophyll

Deceased
KtJKyI431rAUAdRbbpmwFNx5Mz3oANN7Q7ZYhgf8F9Vu0j62yVAAAAAASUVORK5CYII.png

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

Basker (Poochyena ♀) - Lv. 4-12 - Bold | Run Away

Also, a special announcement: I'll likely be unable to update the run in the 15th as initially planned, for holiday reasons (if I end up out of town, that is). As such, if it doesn't drop on time, you should expect it on the 22th instead.
 
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theCape

Johto League Champion
Godfather
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
4995
Caught
Oct 6, 2021
Messages
613
Nature
Gentle
Pokémon Type
  1. Grass
  2. Normal
Pokédex Entry
Seems to always be starting a new campaign/project despite not having enough time.
It's really cool to see stuff from different regions in one setting, between the Sinnoh legendaries and mons from other regions mentioned. Glad that Himiko is going to deal with that teacher, that should be a satisfying fight.
 

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.
Gasp!! That mosaic is beautiful! Did you make that?

Yeah, go Himiko! You've got me pumped to see what she'll do with that substitute teacher. I'm guessing that's going to be a Gym battle?
 

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