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Thread Description
Many voices. One legend. Updates sporadically.

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,333
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.

(Banner by RodentLibrary, resized by Glinda. Much thanks to you both!)

Well.

This is a thing I've been working on for the past year and a half, and have been planning for longer even than that. I won't say it's my magnum opus because it certainly has its issues (pacing included), but it's a story I've wanted to tell for a long time, and in April 2018, I finally started telling it. Welcome to Trollkitten's wild ride. Seatbelts are optional.

So since there are 79 chapters so far on this thing (which irks my OCD tendencies to no end), I'm going to be reposting these at a rate of 2 chapters a day until September 6, which is when normal updates will resume at one chapter every Friday. My original commentary will be included, as well as new commentary as I view my fanworks from older and hopefully wiser eyes.

In the words of Thousand Foot Krutch, "Hop on board or get out of the way."

One day, every single Xatu on the planet simultaneously froze in terror at exactly the same time.

For the few humans and Pokemon that were riding on a Xatu's back at the time, this was quite disastrous.

It was, in fact, those very disasters that woke the humans up to just what was happening. As the Xatu trainers recovered in the hospital, the people of Pokearth turned to psychics and empaths and Pokemon whisperers to find out just what it was that had caused the Xatu so much terror.

The answer, regardless of where it came from, was always grim: the Xatu had all seen the future. A future of darkness, of terrible destruction, that no one on Pokearth was capable of preventing.

The children of the Xatu, the Natu, had also seen this terrible vision. As one, the Natu of Johto all flocked to the Ruins of Alph, seeking within the ancient temple the strange and mysterious creatures called Unown, those that could warp reality itself to their wills.

The Natu asked the Unown,

Can this future be prevented?

The Unown answered,

Not by us. Not by anyone living in this world.

And then the Natu asked,

Well then, what about somebody else?

And the Unown said,

We'll look into it...


Chapter One: To Know The Unown

Benga's POV

My name is Benga, and I am the best cat ever. I know this because my human, Terra, tells me every day. I'm an orange tabby with bright green eyes, a rough pink tongue, and a purr that you can hear three houses down. Or so I'm told; I can't see orange or pink, and I'm fairly sure the purr statement was hyperbole. But it's what Terra says about me.

I also know that Terra is the best human ever. Okay, so I don't have much of a sampling (I'm not allowed out of the house because I pick fights with other cats), but who else would be? She feeds me, brushes me, strokes me, plays with me, and cleans my litter box. She has beautiful brown skin and dark, luxurious fur on her head (only she calls it hair). Of course she's the best human ever.

She does, however, have some funny moments.

There is something in her life that I do not quite understand, and it's called Pokemon. Pokemon video games, Pokemon television, Pokemon manga, Pokemon card games, Pokemon figures. She even wears a hat that looks like a knitted Poke Ball. If I didn't know any better (which I do), I'd think she liked Pokemon almost as much as she likes me.

But that's just crazy talk.

She even plays Pokemon with me, if you can believe that. Mainly she puts catnip on cheap bootleg Pikachu plushies and ties them to a string. She calls it "Exp. Grinding," whatever that is. Usually the plushies turn out ripped to pieces, but it's loads of fun. She says things like "Benga, use Scratch!" and "Use Lick!", but I don't really pay much attention.

I love my human, so very much.

---

One day Terra went away for a while, at something she called a convention. She packed up lots of bags, and put on a special outfit that she called cosplay. She packed a lot of things, but she forgot to pack the most important thing -- me! Even when I climbed on top of her bags and looked imploringly at her.

She was gone for three days. I sat by the window and meowed ceaselessly for her, but she didn't come back. I even made a mess outside the litter box so she'd have to come back and clean it up, but her parents just cleaned it up for her.

Finally, she came back.

If I'd thought she'd brought plenty of bags leaving, she brought even more coming back. It was all Pokemon stuff -- more DVDs and manga and trading cards and figures and stuff like that. She even got me a great squeaky Pikachu toy, which was my best friend for four hours until it escaped under the refrigerator (somehow they never last as long as I'd like them to).

But the most interesting thing she got was the tiles.

The tiles.

She said she won it in a contest at the conference, a contest to test her Pokemon knowledge. I find it amazing that humans can retain so much knowledge about some field of study or another that is entirely fictional, while cats for the most part focus on the practical aspects of life, such as food, naps, self-defense, and convincing the humans to pay attention to you. Sure we like to chase a ping-pong ball or two across the kitchen floor, but this is mainly to exercise our hunting instincts, which are quite necessary if your human doesn't want mice in the house (which most humans don't, for some odd reason. Food and fun all in one.)

Terra went up to her room to open the box, and I followed. Sitting down at her table, she set out a long flat thing she called the game board, and then picked out a series of tiles and set them down on the board in a sort of bent shape. She said that the tiles said "Terra" and "Benga" in Unown script. Well, I didn't hear them say anything, and I've been told cats can hear better than humans. But Terra doesn't tell lies.

Maybe it's a figure of speech.

Each tile had a funny shape on it, a squiggly black shape with a circle and a dot in the middle. Terra called these shapes Unown symbols. "It's just like the tile set in the third Pokemon movie," she explained, although I didn't really know what she meant by that.

"Meow?" I asked. I'm not terribly fluent in English, due to my vocal chords, so I go for broke on voice inflection. Terra usually understands about half of what I tell her.

"Silly Benga..." she said, scratching me behind my ears. "You know, Spell of the Unown. The one with Entei. In the movie, Molly Hale uses Unown tiles to summon the Unown, although she doesn't mean to, by putting them together to spell Mama and Papa."

She paused. "Wouldn't it be nice if we could summon the Unown with this tile set, just like that?"

I vaguely remembered the Entei movie, and I didn't really think that would be nice at all. That's the movie where the Unown get all out of control and keep warping reality until Entei finally stops them. And since we don't have an Entei (although the Unown might give us one), I didn't think it was a good idea to try to invite the Unown into our house. Terra's mother would probably flip.

Unfortunately, I lacked the vocal chords to tell Terra this. I settled for the kind of stink-eye stare that a cat gives a human when the human is being entirely out of line.

"Okay, maybe not THAT nice," Terra admitted. "You have a valid point."

Pleased with myself, I turned towards the tiles and batted one or two of them off the table. This is called Cat Hockey, and it's a fun game to play with humans because they have opposable thumbs and will try to set the tiles back to where they were, so you can knock them off the table again.

Terra groaned and reached down to pick up the tiles. "Honestly, Benga..." I don't think she likes Cat Hockey as much as I do, but if she didn't, then why did she set up the tiles to begin with?

When she picked up the tiles, she almost dropped them again, then regarded them curiously. "Hmm. Is it my imagination, or are these... vibrating?"

I looked at the tiles in her hand and watched her set them down. Come to think of it, I could hear a slight humming sound coming from the box of tiles.

Maybe there was a bug in there? I crept carefully towards the box, sticking low to the table. Along the way, I accidentally stepped on one of the loose tiles still on the board.

It stung me.

Let me repeat that.

IT STUNG ME.

"MEOW!" I said loudly, indignant. The sting didn't hurt all that much, but it was the principle of the thing. "You stupid tile!" (Obviously, that was a translation.)

By this point the humming had grown loud enough that Terra could hear it, and she dropped the tile she was holding in shock. "Benga!" she yelled. "Get off the table! Don't touch any of the tiles!"

I tried to take a step backward, and I touched another tile. A surge of energy passed through me, and I leapt back, fur all poofy, stumbling over the edge of the table.

But I didn't fall.

Falling I could have handled. I'm a cat. I land on my feet at least most of the time. But I wasn't falling. It felt like some energy in the air around me was holding me up. And the hum of the tiles grew louder, and it wasn't just a hum now but a series of chattering noises, coming from the tiles and around the tiles and above me and below me and behind me and from frickin' EVERYWHERE.

I pulled my ears back in alarm (this is something cats do in stressful situations to keep their ears from sticking out and getting injured). It was exactly the same noise as the Unown in the Entei movie. I looked around quickly, terrified. Were the Unown coming?

They were. From the tiles.

The Unown rose up like a swarm of flies, chirping and buzzing and chattering like all sorts of creatures that normally would be on the opposite end of the food chain from me. Terra froze in shock as if hypnotized, watching the Unown rising.

"Meow!" I yelled, trying to snap her out of it. "MEOW!!!"

But the Unown kept coming, kept buzzing, kept swirling around like dancing embers in a fire...

So, y'all may have noticed that this chapter has "Benga's POV" listed under the title. And that's because this story will be told through a plethora of different viewpoints. Human viewpoints, Pokemon viewpoints, kitty viewpoints. And each chapter will have an indicator of whose viewpoint it's told by.

My own cat climbs on my suitcase whenever I'm about to go out on a trip. I don't know why exactly that is, but I like to imagine she wants me to take her with her, because she loves me. She has a special spot on my bed that she likes to sleep on, and our relationship is what sparked the idea of Benga's and Terra's relationship.

It's my theory that the reason cats pull their ears back when they feel threatened is to make it harder for an enemy to hook a claw into them. Makes sense to me, makes sense to Benga.

Be careful what you wish for, Terra... you just might get it.
My time with Twitch Plays Pokemon has given me a new appreciation for Unown and how they can totally mess with reality -- and with other beings. (For those not in the know, the 'Voices' of TPP -- aka the persons inputting all the commands -- are represented as Unown in the lore.)

Sometimes I wonder what my own cat thinks of me always being on the computer. Cats do not really understand fandoms all that well.

Honestly, I wrote this story from a number of different POVs just because I wanted to start the story out from the perspective of the cat. I knew I couldn't tell the entire story from the perspective of Benga, so I had the story change perspectives, like Bruce Coville did in his excellent "I Was A Sixth-Grade Alien" science fiction series. Writing from a cat's perspective is an interesting study in point of view, because there are many things that humans take for granted that cats don't have, like reading and seeing in full color. (Which actually led to a plot hole in the second chapter, which I'll address later on.) But they do have their own quirks, such as Cat Hockey.
Benga's POV

I wasn't sure when I realized the Unown were speaking to me. In words. Not with a voice, but still with words. I heard them in my head, but not with my ears, if that makes sense? They were outside my head, but speaking inside it, somehow.

It's something like having ear mites, but without the pain and the scratching. Although the fear surging through my brain was almost worse.

What do you wish?

I turned and looked at Terra. She was terrified, frozen to her chair, only able to look on at the growing scene of chaos from the rising Unown. Whatever she had been expecting from her Unown tile set, it certainly wasn't this.

"I want to protect Terra!" I meowed.

If that is what you wish.

I felt a tingling feeling in my fur, and past it. I felt warmer -- no, hotter -- as my fur began to blacken and grow greasy. My whiskers grew thick and red, and my tabby stripes turned a bright red as well, forming bands around my legs. Strangest of all was the heat -- I felt as if set alight by a living flame, and yet it felt pleasant. Strong. Like this was what I was always meant to become.

What do YOU wish, Terra?

I turned to Terra, and realized something strange. She wasn't afraid anymore. She was smiling. Grinning, even. As if she'd been waiting to hear these words all her life.

"Take us with you," she said.

If that is what you wish.

---

I could probably make something up about the journey, say that it felt as if the world around us twisted and bent to bring us where we went, or that it felt like we were being sucked up by an enormous vacuum monster (which thankfully didn't happen, especially given that what was about to happen could have gone even worse).

In truth, the journey was barely perceptible. One moment we were in our house on Earth, the next minute we were elsewhere. If I'd blinked, I would have missed it.

Okay, maybe I did blink a little. There was something in my eyes.

At first it was hard to tell that we were Somewhere Else. The place looked a lot like home; specifically, the bedroom we had just been in. But the colors were different, sort of muted and muddy -- even to my eyes, and I'm told that humans can see more colors than cats can. Not sure why this is, but it just is. It smelled different, too, which is how I knew that we were Elsewhere and not back home.

This was the Interdream Zone, although I didn't know it at the time.

And then there was the fluff.

Fluff everywhere. Floating around, up and down, sometimes glowing slightly or changing color. It was something like clouds, if clouds were floating two feet away from you and were (according to Terra after the fact) some color that humans like to call 'pink.'

FLUFF!

Have I mentioned that I love fluff? Fluff is loads of fun! You can pounce on the fluff and rip up the fluff and play with the fluff and bat around the fluff and sometimes EAT THE FLUFF, and the more you play with it the more fluff there is because you can just rip apart the fluff and make MORE fluff. Fluff is fantastic!

So, okay, I'll admit that I wasn't fully listening when Terra shouted, "BENGA! Don't pounce on that cloud!"

Just as I pounced on that cloud.

I ripped into it, tore it up, and watched as brightly colored orbs scattered. Balls! I love balls! Forgetting the fluff for the moment, I chased after the balls, batting them around the room.

The Unown chittered around me, amused. Terra not so much. "Benga!" she yelled. "Stop that at once!"

I paused and turned towards her, realizing how pale she looked. (Relatively speaking. Some humans are always pale, but Terra's one of the darker-skinned ones.) I could smell the fear on her -- she was clearly harboring second thoughts on coming with the Unown.

"Don't attack the clouds!" she said sternly. "Wild Pokemon could be hiding in them!"

I gave her a look as if I understood, then charged headlong into the nearest cloud, claws out. No one tells me what to do.

I wasn't expecting anything alive to jump out of it.

---

"Hey! Leave Hoopa alone!"

I'm still not sure how a creature that size was hiding in a cloud that size, but it flung a shiny hula hoop over me, and somehow I was right next to it one moment and then halfway across the room the other.

The thing-that-had-flung-me looked very annoyed. "Why did you attack Hoopa?" it asked.

It was a small, strange creature, maybe as big as I was, with a large head with long curved horns, big green and yellow eyes, and a small ponytail. Its body was smaller than the head, with no arms or legs, just a ring around the waist (or what probably would have been the waist if it was a human) and a short tail. Oddly enough, a pair of things like stubby snakes floated at its sides, probably small pets compensating for the creature's lack of limbs. These 'snakes' had heads resembling mittened hands, and they worked like hands as well, handling a pair of rings that normally hung from the main creature's horns.

It took me a moment to recognize the name it had used for itself. Hoopa. Like the one in the movie. Believe it or not, it wasn't quite as easy to recognize in real life compared to the cartoon. Although part of it could have been that the colors in this place were somewhat off.

I meowed at Hoopa. It was about the best I could do.

Surprisingly, it understood. "Of course you didn't see Hoopa! Hoopa is hiding!" The thing turned to Terra and quickly lowered its voice. "You better hide, too! The Legendary Stupid Brothers are coming!"

"Legendary Stupid Brothers?" Terra asked, raising an eyebrow. (This is not an easy thing for humans to do at first, and it takes a lot of practice. I've watched Terra practice at home, and she's pretty good at it.)

Before Hoopa could answer, we heard a roar. A dark shape flew up to the window, and Hoopa darted back inside another cloud.

Terra quickly pressed herself against the wall, trying not to breathe too loudly. I hid under the bed, which was in the same place as Terra's bed. The Unown darted under with me, clearly intelligent enough to know that when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

The creature peered through the window. It had a green head with yellow eyes, but aside from that seemed almost human; it had thick white hair and a bushy mustache of the same color. Oddly enough, it also had horns, two thin ones. I wondered if everything in this strange, strange place had some sort of horns.

I could hear wingbeats outside, and the creature's head rose and fell with the wingbeats. What was this monster? A harpy? Terra told me a legend about harpies once. They were the personification of storm winds, half human, half bird, and the worst half of both. They were filthy, highly disagreeable creatures, but hadn't always been. They came from ancient Greek legends and clearly weren't supposed to actually exist.

Apparently nobody bothered to tell it that.

The creature growled a bit, sniffing at the window. I could hear Hoopa's heart beating from there, a mile a minute.

Then the creature flew back from the window.

Terra let out a breath she'd been holding in. "Well, that was terrifying," she whispered --

-- and then the thing charged straight through the wall.

---

It was HUGE. Four feet tall -- no, more like four and a half. Which doesn't sound THAT big to a human, except that this was very clearly a bird, and a bird with more murder on its mind than a flock of crows. Its wings were enormous, one terrible claw on each end, and on top of that, it was...

...how do I put this as... politely as possible?

The color of its chest feathers made it look like it was wearing a brassiere. (Which is something I'm familiar with because Terra changes her clothes in the same room I sleep in. Although that's not saying much. I sleep in every room. When you're a cat, everywhere is bed.)

This was funny for about half a second, and then we were terrified for our lives.

"Tornadus!" Terra yelled. (Another Pokemon I hadn't recognized, due to the anime not really fully communicating that this was a giant freaking death bird.) "Help me! Somebody help me!"

The Unown flew out from under the bed like a storm. Rock Electric Ice Rock Electric Ice, they hummed, sending out bursts of energy from their bodies to strike at the killer vulture.

Hoopa popped out from its cloud and quickly flew to the bedroom door, struggling with the doorknob. Terra quickly shook herself out of her panic and got the door for it. (It? I think it smelled like a she. Though I'm not that sure.)

I followed Terra like a streak of lightning, because it was either that or stay in the bedroom that was rapidly being destroyed by the giant green chicken. The three of us ran out the door, down the hall, down the stairs, and right into the living room, where --

-- holy crap. There was Something Else waiting for us!

I spied something blue. Blue, sharp-clawed, ten feet long, one wickedly sharp horn, an impossibly long tail of bowling balls, and the same happy smile as the killer turkey. It even had the same bras, if you can believe that. And it didn't look like it wanted a squeaky toy.

"Thundurus!" Terra yelled. Not really the best idea, because it drew the thing's attention to us.

A swarm of Unown flew past us, charging back at Thundurus. Rock Ice Rock Ice Rock Ice, they chirruped, pelting the Thundurus with energy. The monster roared, swinging its tail at the relentless horde of Unown, but they kept coming at it.

"They're coming for Hoopa!" Hoopa yelled, ducking behind Terra's back. (Which wasn't really all that nice for Terra.)

"Where do we go?" Terra yelled. "Tornadus upstairs, and Thundurus downstairs! We need to get out of here!"

I agreed, and so did the Unown. A whole group of them flew up around us, activating their mysterious power...

And at that very moment, Thundurus shot out a killer wave of electricity that pulsed through the entire living room.

Everybody screamed.

And the Unown made a serious mistake.

The Interdream Zone is an ugly place, as anyone who's played Pokemon Dream Radar can attest to. Ugly and weird. Since the Unown can travel between dimensions, I figured that the Interdream Zone would make a good halfway point between the Pokemon world and our world -- between dreams and reality, as it were.

From Benga's perspective, Hoopa's disembodied arms are kind of like snakes, right? Snakes with mittens.

Points to whoever recognizes the Legendary Stupid Brothers reference, and knows why it's applicable to Tornadus and Thundurus.

In closing: Fluff!
Another thing cats get that humans don't tend to get are ear mites. Perspective!

See, here is where the first plot hole of the series rears its ugly head. Benga describes his fur as changing color to red. Which he wouldn't know, because it's already established that as a cat, he's colorblind. I would fix this error, but I'm not really sure how to while still making the scene work.

Since it's been a year now, I feel comfortable revealing the Legendary Stupid Brothers reference. They're two characters from Naruto, named after the Japanese Kami that Tornadus and Thundurus are based off of. They are extremely strong and extremely dumb, which is why they are called the Legendary Stupid Brothers. I've never like the Kami trio, but this does seem like a goodname for Tornadus and Thundurus, which are always causing trouble.

And are quite frankly terrifying if you see them in person, I imagine. Maybe they take their Incarnate Formes because they want to look less like monsters and more like gods? Although honestly, they're still ugly either way.

I do have theories and backstory for the Kami trio, including Landorus, but I'm not sure when or if I'm going to be able to reveal them in-story. The story is long and convoluted enough already.
 
Last edited:

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,333
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #2
POV: The Unown

Okay, so that was not our finest moment.

We were under attack. Thundurus was trying to kill us all, and honestly, he might have succeeded with some of us (we never did find Gamma or Zeta after that one). The human girl was yelling at us to get her and her friends out of there.

Well, if that was what she wished...

We pulled the same teleportation spell we'd used to get her and the cat out of her bedroom. Unfortunately, this happened the same time that Thundurus aimed the Discharge attack at us. The shock paralyzed a few of us, we weren't all able to connect, and the teleportation went awry.

As in, several hundred feet up in the air awry.

Naturally, the girl panicked. Could we blame her? We'd successfully gotten her out of the Interdream Zone, but we'd brought her and the cat and the Hoopa into a whole new set of problems.

Gravity, for one.

Gravity has never been a problem for us Unown. It didn't seem so hard on Hoopa either, at least judging from what we've seen of its movements; it's always floating anyway. Humans, however, are pretty limited by it. So clearly we had to do something about it.

We quickly took stock of who among us was not paralyzed and could still create. Among that group, we created a Guardian. Guardians are Unown-created Pokemon that mainly serve as, well, guardians to those that they are created for. In one case, we created an Entei. In this case, we formed a Dragonite, one large enough to comfortably house both the girl and her pet cat creature, the one we'd transformed into a Litten.

The girl had the wind knocked out of her when she landed on Dragonite, and she nearly slipped off. It took a little bit of psychic guardrails to keep her on the Guardian. The cat, not so much; he had claws, and he knew how to use them. We winced a little at the scratches in our newborn Guardian's hide, but Dragonite can tank much worse damage than that. They can dive into lava, for crying aloud.

"Wh-where am I?" the girl asked.

Some among our number were asking this ourselves. As Unown, we don't tend to get out and about outside our own dimension, preferring to stay inside. Direct sunlight is harsh on the eye, you know, and we're mainly eye.

We are outside was honestly the best answer we could come up with. Where exactly, we do not know. The fight with Thundurus disrupted our teleportation.

But as it was, the girl answered for us, looking down. "This... this is Kanto!" she exclaimed. "There's the Seafoam Islands, and Cinnabar, and Mt. Silver way over there, and right down there there's Pallet Town! I'm in the Pokemon world! It's all real!"

The Litten meowed something to the effect that they were very, very high up and he would like for us to remedy that before they fell very, very far down.

If that is what you wish, we answered.

Then things went terribly wrong.

---

We didn't have the only Dragonite in the sky. In fact, we'd modeled it after another we'd telepathically encountered not far off, flying from the northwest.

It also had a rider. A human male somewhere in his mid-thirties, with a crisp navy-blue uniform, light skin, and bright red hair like a Druddigon's scales. He noticed us, urging his Dragonite forward.

We tried to gauge his intentions, but found we could not. He bore a shield of aura, too strong even for us to read his thoughts directly. But the shield itself was born from dark thoughts with great power behind them, power shared with his Dragonite steed.

One of us, by name of Kappa, was the first to realize what was wrong. So good are we at reading emotion from aura, we tend to miss more subtle details such as the expression on another lifeform's face, especially in bright light. Kappa, on the other hand, picked up the older human's scowl from several feet away.

Hey, guys, Kappa said nervously. I think that dude's gonna--

And then the red-haired man shot a blast of aura straight at our Guardian Dragonite.

We fought desperately to control it, pouring all of our Hidden Power into counteracting the aura burst. On some occasions our Guardians grow too powerful for us to control, but this only happens rarely. This time, however, it took all of our telepathic power to even begin to fight off the sheer wave of anger and loathing our Guardian was struck with.

Guardians are meant to accept orders from those whom they are created to serve. This means, in the wrong hands, that any sufficiently strong psychic intrusion that strikes them where they are most mentally vulnerable can entirely drive them off the rails.

The red-haired man's orders were simple: DROP THE GIRL.

We should have realized sooner that the Guardian had done it.

---

Terra's POV

Oh my gosh.

Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh.

I'M GONNA DIE!

I'm falling, falling, falling -- the wind through my hair, raging around my entire body, growing sharper and sharper the faster I fall. I'm gonna go splat!

I hear Benga's terrified caterwauling, and realize with horror that he's going to die with me. With how high up we are, even he can't land on his feet. I hear Hoopa yelling something, but in this wind, I can't really make it out.

Is that a building? It seems kind of round for a --

CRASH!

---

...Ow.

Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow.

How am I still alive?

If this is really the Pokemon world, it's gotta be the anime, because I call Tauros crap on the physics. But, then, I'm still alive, so that helps.

Whatever I've landed in tastes as bad as it smells. I have broken glass all over me, sticking into me, and I'm hearing Benga complain loudly, so he must have landed right with me.

Someone pulls me out by the hair. "Human-kun!" it says. "You're not dead!"

It's Hoopa.

"What. The. HECK," I ask, pulling myself up in what I now see is a bunch of organic rubbish sitting in a huge bin in the middle of a plant-filled greenhouse. Which I just fell through the roof of. "Normally when I have dreams of falling, I wake up before I hit the ground!"

Hoopa pauses. "Maybe Human-kun isn't dreaming?"

I have no words for this, so Hoopa blathers on. "If Human-kun is dreaming, Hoopa is dreaming too. What's that, Litten-kun?" it asks Benga. "Oh -- Benga-kun! So Benga-kun is dreaming too?"

I spit out something disgusting. "Okay, what the heck?" I ask, reminding myself not to say the word I'm really thinking. "He's meowing! How can he give you his name when he's meowing?"

Hoopa pauses. "Hoopa... doesn't know," it admits sheepishly. "But Benga-kun just did!"

I turn and look at Benga. He's black all over, with red stripes and whiskers. His eyes are still green, but the whites of them are now yellows. His fur is slick and textured, something like a cat might look who shampoo'd with crude oil.

So it wasn't a dream. Holy crap, this is no dream.

It's a nightmare.

"Mrowr?" Benga asks me. I sigh in somewhat premature relief. If he'd said "Lit litten!" then I would have probably completely lost my mind.

"Ouch," I say instead. "I have broken glass and cuts all over me, and this compost bin is highly unhygenic." Although it could be worse, I realize, seeing that the bin right next to me is clearly labeled MANURE.

Hoopa floats up to me and inspects me. "Oh. Human-kun is hurt. Hoopa is sorry." (Benga meows something at Hoopa.) "Oh, Terra-kun? It's a lovely name!"

I remember vaguely that the -kun suffix is mainly used for younger males, but is not strictly gender-specific. I also remember that Terrakion is a thing, and probably a real thing, because we just got attacked by Tornadus and Thundurus in what HAD to be the Interdream Zone because it looked just like the real world but uglier, which is pretty much what the Interdream Zone looks like. I felt some slight satisfaction in now knowing that it wasn't strictly an error of the 3DS's AR limitations that left the colors all wonky.

"Terra. Just Terra," I answer. "Terra Allen, if you want to get specific. Ow. Any clue how I'm getting out of here?"

Hoopa considers, looking down at the ground. The compost bin comes up to about the same size as a regular dumpster on Earth would. "Hoopa guesses Terra-kun isn't jumping."

Great. I'm stuck up here in a compost bin with my housecat and Djinn Elmo.

Then I hear a noise. A door opening, and the sound of footsteps. "Hey!" a voice calls out. "Anyone in here?"

I recognize the voice. It takes me a moment to fully register, but I recognize the voice. "Gary Oak?"

"Hey, your reputation precedes you," jokes another voice. This one I don't recognize -- it sounds a bit like Ash Ketchum, but not entirely; if anything, it happens to sound even younger and less mature than Ash did in the original anime.

The voice belongs to a kid, about eight years old, with a wild shock of dark green hair that his backwards baseball cap can't keep down. He's got a Pikachu beside him as well; I'd read in a manga that Pikachu are common in Pallet Town, which I guess they must be, although I'd never been able to catch one there in the games. It's a female Pikachu, with a black heart shape on her tail, but no costume. And her trainer wears some sort of disc jockey headset over his left ear for whatever reason.

Next to him is Gary Oak, who's looking pretty grumpy right now. "What are you doing in that compost bin?" he asks.

"Thanking God I'm not in the manure bin," I shoot back. "Yes, I just fell from the sky along with these two Pokemon, one of whom is a mythical and the other which comes from Alola. You wanna make something about it, Gary Oak?"

Gary gives me a look. "You're bleeding pretty badly," he says matter-of-factly. "You'd better get out of there."

"Thank you, Captain Obvious," I say. "If it was that easy, I'd have done it by now!"

Hoopa taps me on the shoulder. "Terra-kun wants down?" it asks. "Terra-kun should have said so!"

Hoopa removes a ring from around one of its horns, and the ring grows to about my height. Another ring appears next to Gary and Green Hair, and when I stick my hand in the ring close to me, it comes out of the ring next to Gary. After forcing my unwilling and still-in-pain body to brute force through the hoop, I find myself more or less on the ground.

Green Hair rushes up to me. "You're hurt!" he says, as if I didn't know that.

I know I shouldn't snap at him, but I've had a really bad day. "You think?" I shoot back. "Is there a hospital or a Pokemon Center nearby? I'm not sure I'll be able to WALK after what I've been through!"

Green Hair turns to Gary, who shakes his head. "Pallet Town isn't big enough to warrant a Pokemon Center. There should be some healing herbs in this nursery, though -- a Revival Herb should perk you right up."

I pick bits of broken glass out of my front side, then make a valiant attempt to stand up. Hoopa seems sympathetic, letting me lean on it; or is it her? Somehow I keep thinking of them as female; maybe the hot pink ponytail and hoop earrings have something to do with it. All the same, it's hard to lean on someone that's smaller than I am, and we both pretty quickly realize that's not gonna fly.

Green Hair watches us, then brightens up. "Oh! I know how to move you!" he says brightly.

His Pikachu makes squeaking noises in a tone of voice that suggests she doesn't trust Green Hair's plans, but Green Hair rushes off anyway. He's gone for a few moments, then comes back in wheeling a large dolly with a few potted plants on it. "Here! This should make the trip easier."

I thank him and step onto it. The plants, oddly enough, aren't any kind of plants I've seen in my world. The leaves are odd shades of blue, and the fruit they bear is unusual. It takes me a moment to realize -- of course, they're the same berries I've harvested in-game, although they're much larger in person and look more like fruits than berries.

I pick what looks like a Sitrus Berry and taste it. The flavor is kind of odd -- a little sweet, a little sour, a bit bitter, and a touch of what I presume is what the Pokemon games call "dry." But it makes me feel better, so I finish it.

Green Hair has a bit of trouble pushing the dolly with me on it. Hoopa's help doesn't make it much better. Gary spends a few moments laughing at how weak they are until Green Hair points out that he could help, after which Gary tries to weasel his way out of it and then finds out that it is kind of heavy. He asks me what I've been eating, which isn't really fair; no matter what I've been eating, I still probably weigh less than the dolly itself.

Eventually one of them has the bright idea to bring the Revival Herb to me rather than bringing me to the Revival Herb. And whee-oo, the games aren't joking about it being bitter. I feel like my tongue is trying to eat me alive. But in terms of a pick-me up, it works, on levels that I can only describe as "is this plant legal?"

Not that I don't still have problems. My clothes are ripped and torn, thanks to the broken glass. And I smell. Terribly. I smell like something died, which I'm still surprised I haven't. But, hey, anime physics, I guess.

"You need a bath," Green Hair says, holding his nose.

"Oh, she needs a hose-down before she's even stepping foot in MY house," Gary says. "This greenhouse has a hose, right?"

"Hoopa will handle it!" Hoopa says cheerily, pulling out one of her rings, and for one brief flash of a moment, I remember a certain scene from the Hoopa movie.

Oh no.

I get drenched. Benga gets drenched. Green Hair and Gary also get drenched from being in the splash zone. The plants get drenched.

Hoopa is laughing her rings off. "Were you surprised?" she asks. I give her a glare that tells her exactly how surprised she's going to be if she ever pulls something like that again.

"Well," Green Hair says optimistically, "we won't have to worry about watering this wing of the nursery."

Gary glares daggers at Green Hair.

Who is this mysterious red-haired man? And, for that matter, who is this mysterious green-haired boy?

The nursery is Xanadu Nursery, from one episode of the anime. Gary seems pretty chill about this strange girl who fell from the sky knowing his name. And Green Hair isan official character from one of the spin-off series; points if you know who he is.
If you've read this story before, you may have noticed that I changed the redhead's age from 'mid-twenties' to 'mid-thirties,' because he has a daughter in this universe and I didn't want it to be creepy.

The term 'Guardian' was taken from Pokemon Rebirth's Cockaigne, which was based off the Unown movie. In the original fic, 'Guardian' wasn't capitalized, and was simply a descriptor of Entei's role. But I found it an apt descriptor, and made it an official term for Unown-created Pokemon illusions in the Burst universe.

I named the main character Terra Allen because Terra is 1. sort of a color, similar to heroes like Red and Gold, and 2. means 'earth,' which is where she comes from. So Terra Allen roughly means 'Earth alien,' which is what she is in the Pokemon world. An alien from Earth.

Berry flavor combinations are pretty weird when you think about them. Also of note, berries are called 'fruits' in the original Japanese, which is why they're the size they are in the anime. Although the berries in Let's Go are depicted as, well, berry-sized in relation to your starter.
Terra's POV

I am taking a shower in Gary Oak's bathroom.

I am taking a shower in Gary Oak's bathroom.

I AM TAKING A SHOWER IN GARY "MOFO" OAK'S FRIGGIN BATHROOM!

Excuse me for my language, but I can barely believe this. The water feels the same. The bathroom seems ordinary. Even the clothes that Gary set out for me aren't much different than regular clothes at home.

But I AM TAKING A SHOWER IN GARY OAK'S BATHROOM.

And I know that nothing will ever be the same again.

I turn off the water and step out of the tub, drying myself off. The towels are light and fluffy, like cotton, and just so happen to be the exact same color of Whimsicott. I wonder if they're Unovan.

I step into Daisy's clothes. A fine green dress and a matching hairband. The dress feels soft, and I wonder if it was made from Pokemon hair. I hope Gary's washing my clothes. I miss my Poke Ball hat.

I can't believe any of this is happening.

This has got to be a dream.

But it isn't.

I head downstairs, and I see what I expect to see and what I never dreamed I'd see. Hoopa. Benga. Gary. Green Hair. And of course Green Hair's Pikachu. All sitting around a table, even Benga and Pikachu, who have their own seats. Hoopa has no seat; she's floating.

They're eating donuts. Most of them, anyway. Benga is just licking off the frosting. Hoopa's face is covered in crumbs. She seems to be eating the donuts that Benga licks the frosting off.

"Hey, you're back!" Green Hair says. "And you don't stink!"

Green Hair's Pikachu gives him a look that pretty clearly says, That was rude; do you mind?

"Thanks," I say, figuring it's a complement. "I don't think I ever got your name."

"Shu. Shu Ketchum," Green Hair says, handing me a mug of hot cocoa. "And you're Terra, right? Terra Allen? Hoopa and Benga told us all about you."

"That's nice." I take a sip.

And spit it out. "Benga WHAT?"

"Oh, right! I didn't tell you." Shu points to the headset he's wearing over his left ear. "This doohickey is called the N-Comm -- the Natural Communicator. It's a device my dad invented that translates Pokemon language. And let me tell you, your Litten has some interesting stories to tell us."

"I'm not sure I believe them myself," Gary adds. "A big green bird Pokemon, a scary blue serpent-thing with arms... you called it Thundurus?"

I nod, surprised that Benga remembers what I called it. "And the green bird was Tornadus. You heard of them?"

"No, not really. It does explain why you fell from the sky, though." Gary reaches for another donut. "The Unown brought you here? Gramps has been talking to Spencer Hale about his Unown research, so I guess it's true that they live in another world. But from what Shu says, I'm guessing they aren't native to your world either?"

I nod again. I'm talking to Gary Oak. Gary. Oak. The grandson of the leading authority on Pokemon, which incidentally are really, totally, one hundred percent real.

Does my hair look all right, I wonder?

Shu's voice snaps me out of my thoughts. "From what Benga told us, apparently the tiles you used either summoned the Unown or were the Unown, and now you and Benga are in another world. But what I don't understand is what Benga said about the Unown transforming him. Aren't Litten the unevolved first stage of the Incineroar family?"

I find my voice. "Yeah," I say, "but he wasn't always... I mean, he used to be a housecat. No fire typing, no special powers, unless you count landing on your feet and purring as special powers."

"Howzkatt?" Shu asks. "Never heard of that Pokemon."

"It's not a Pokemon at all. It's an animal," I say, "and it doesn't have any elemental types. The creatures in my homeworld aren't as sturdy as Pokemon, and they don't recover from injury quite as quickly. I'm still not sure how Benga transformed into a Litten like that, even with the Unown's help."

"Well, Benga says he wished to protect you," Shu says, "and the Unown set him on fire inside. Speaking of which, you'd better teach him how to control his internal fire, or he might set the entire house ablaze."

I turn towards Benga, who looks down at the floor like a guilty dog. I notice that there are some scorch marks in various places in the room.

"At any rate, you chose a pretty lousy time to drop in on us," Gary says. "The entire town's been kidnapped."

And just when I didn't expect the other shoe to drop, it does.

"Waitaminute," I say suspiciously. "The entire town... kidnapped?"

"I teleported in with my Abra when I got a distress call from my sister," Gary says darkly. "These goons in black outfits were all over the place. I tried to fight them, but they had crazy-strong Pokemon I'd never seen before. I can't even remember what they were like; my memory blanked out when they threw me in the ocean."

"They threw you in the ocean?" I ask.

"Yeah. Stole my Pokemon and threw me in to drown. If Shu hadn't fished me out from pure dumb luck, I'd be Magikarp chow."

"What was Shu doing there?"

Shu shoots Gary a look. "I was headed to Pallet Town on one of my dad's Pokemon friends," Shu said, "to visit my aunt and cousin. We had to hide in the nearby forest to avoid those Team Rocket goons that were all over the place."

"Team Rocket?" I ask. "How does Team Rocket kidnap an entire town?"

"Like I said -- crazy strong Pokemon." Gary looks down at the floor. "Shu managed to scare them off, but they teleported away with everyone before we could save anybody. And now we have no idea where they went off to."

"Wait," I say. "How does a kid like Shu scare off an entire criminal organization?"

Gary and Shu look at each other.

I sigh. Clearly there's something else going on that I don't know about, and that they aren't going to tell a complete stranger that just dropped in from another dimension. "What are you two hiding?"

"How do we know we can trust you?" Gary blurts out. "You just dropped in from another world. I'm not saying you're a bad guy because I knowwhat bad guys look like, and your Pokemon seem to trust you. But we have no idea who you are or if you can keep a secret. And from the time we've spent with it, your Hoopa especially sounds like the kind to blab its entire life story to anyone who will listen."

I turn to Hoopa, who has been suspiciously silent the entire time. This is because she has been busy demolishing a box of donuts. She looks up at me guiltily and swallows.

"Hi! Hoopa is done," she says, and pushes the empty box across the table.

"Okay," I say carefully. From what I know of Gary, he's a jerk, but he's not a bad-guy level jerk. I don't recognize Shu, but he seems innocent enough. "So you two have... secrets. I can live with that."

"Great." Gary looks inside the donut box and starts scraping out the crumbs. "We're leaving town in an hour. Get ready, get packed, take only what you need, there's a bunch of healing items and useful plants in Xanadu Nursery where we found you. You'll want to check the labels on all the plants -- don't pick Stun Stem without gloves or safety goggles."

"Wait, leaving town?"

"You wanna stay here and get picked off by Team Rocket?"

"No..."

Gary throws me an empty bag. "Then get ready. Like I said: an hour."

"Why pack?" Hoopa asks. "Hoopa can take whatever Hoopa wants and give it to you!"

Gary looks at Hoopa suspiciously. Hoopa grins, pulling out one of her rings, reaching inside, and plucking an Oran Berry from a tree on the other side. "See? Ally-Hooparing! Were you surprised?"

I can tell Shu is impressed. Gary doesn't show it much. "Yeah, that's neat and all, but we'll still want to carry bags in case the Rockets head back to Pallet Town. If they catch wind of that trick, who knows how they'll react? They'll probably want to kidnap you. Or maybe they'll send a Pokemon through the ring to beat you up; you ever think of that?"

Hoopa droops. "Hoopa hasn't thought of that..."

"You'll also want to train your Howzkatt to fight on command," Gary goes on. "You'll need one of these to tell you what its moves are." He tosses me a Pokedex. "Same goes with Hoopa. You'll need a couple Poke Balls for them to rest in between battles if you want to keep them fighting fit." He tosses me those as well.

I don't know why he's being uncharacteristically helpful, but never look a gift horse in the mouth. "Thanks!" I say, staring with awe at the Pokedex.

A Pokedex. A real, working Pokedex. And two actual Poke Balls.

Gary huffs. "Hey, you gonna pack those or worship them? We've got a schedule to keep up. Can't stick around too long or Team Rocket will--"

There's a loud crash from the front door. Which has just been blasted clean off its hinges.

"--find us," Gary finishes, his voice weak.

Oh dear.

Somehow this is not how I expected the day after the Pokemon convention to play out.

And so we introduce the first obscure Pokemon character in this fanfic, Shu Ketchum. Who wasn't originally related to Ash Ketchum, I just figured making them cousins would be interesting and give Shu a reason to be in Pallet Town.

Originally Shu's device was called the Income. I romanized it to N-Comm as a callout to N Harmonia, another green-haired guy who speaks to Pokemon.
Whimsicott towels. Because this story started a year too early to have Wooloo towels.

Hoopa has three running gags. Donuts, soaking people, and referring to herself in the third person. She's a very childlike personality, which works well when she's a tiny ghost djinn but will probably get troublesome when and if she gets her mitts on her Prison Bottle. Which I can neither confirm or deny will happen at some point in this story, because quite frankly, I don't even know yet.

And between the Entei Guardian in the previous chapter and Gary confirming that his gramps has spoken to Spencer Hale, it's greatly implied that at least parts of the Unown movie are canon in the Burst universe. Although Ash never got to be involved because reasons. (While Shu is here to visit Ash and Delia, Ash himself has yet to appear in Blue Moon, although I do have plans for the character... spoilers.)

Since Gary's Abra hasn't yet evolved, we can presume he made it as far as about Cerulean City before he got the call from Daisy. Why? Because that's the rival fight where he has an Abra. Once you fight him on the S.S. Anne, it's already evolved into Kadabra.

Stun Stem comes from the same anime episode as Xanadu Nursery. Pokearth has quite a few unusual plants, such as Salveyo Weed (yes, that's a thing) and all the odd berries with weird flavor combinations.

Hey, Terra got a Pokedex! Which she hardly ever uses from this point on because I completely forgot it existed. Bad kitten. Bad.
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,333
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
Benga's POV

"Run for your lives!"

I hear Shu yell this, and I scamper. Hoopa floats after me, and Terra grabs me just before I'm about to go under the couch. I try to shake myself free, but she holds on tight to me, fleeing for the back door.

What the fuzz is going on here?

My questions are answered when Gary throws open the back door and we see a LARGE SCALY MASS wrapped around the outside. A large green scaly mass, with black markings.

My eyes seem to lie, but the nose knows. I rear back and puff my fur up, hissing. SNAKE! Big green scaly scary SNAKE!

Hoopa pulls back, and her own floating snakes each grab a ring from around her horns. "Ally-Hooparing!" she yells as the snakes throw the rings, which grow larger and show the outside through them, like frames around paintings.

Only with these frames, the outside is real. The smells are real, and the breeze is real. And it takes Terra a moment or so to comprehend it, but she and the male humans escape through the rings quickly. Pikachu quickly follows.

We are outside. I squirm in Terra's arms; I'm not usually allowed out here without the assault on feline dignity that humans call a leash. But then I see what the humans see.

The Big Green Snake has wrapped around the entire house. A few feet away from it, a pair of humans in white outfits are standing. One of them has ridiculous headfur. It looks like a plane contrail.

"We know you're in there!" Big Hair says. Her voice is clearly female. "Now come on out, or you'll face severe consequences!"

"Um, Jessie?" the other human says. His headfur is much less prominent, reaching only to his chin. "How can they get out if Rayquaza is blocking the doors?"

"We just did, doofus!"

That was Gary, charging straight at the two humans, grabbing the male in a flying tackle and pummeling him with his fists. "You're gonna pay for stealing my Pokemon!"

The male human screams, and Jessie quickly yanks Gary off him. "Get away from James, twerp!" she yells, throwing him to the ground.

Shu yells an order to Pikachu, who charges forward to zap Jessie with a Thunderbolt. Only it doesn't zap her. Jessie's wearing a bracelet with an odd gemstone on it, a gem that redirects and absorbs the electric attack, throwing it right back to Pikachu.

Pikachu doesn't look hurt, though. If anything, she's even more raring to fight. And Shu sees this. "Kachu, SWIFT!"

Star-shaped rays fly out from Kachu's tail, striking Jessie and James. James cries like a baby. Jessie not so much. "Okay, then, let's see how you like THIS!" she shouts. "Rayquaza! Knock this twerp sideways!"

I feel Terra shake in terror. "They have Rayquaza," she gasps. "They're not supposed to have Rayquaza! Benga, what have we gotten ourselves into?"

The big green snake rears up its head, and I notice for the first time that it has horns. And arms. Thin useless arms, in proportion to its body at least, but given how unnaturally large it is, even its arms are huge. The snake charges forward, straight towards Shu.

And then a ring appears in front of it. An enormous golden ring, larger than any I've ever seen before.

"Alley-Hooparing!"

Rayquaza flies straight through the ring, and its head sticks out through another ring maybe seven feet away. Not realizing where it is, it chomps down on its own coils. It screams in pain. I will remember that scream for the rest of my nine lives.

Terra starts running. Fleeing. Away from the snake, away from our new friends, away from all of this. But there's nowhere to run to, and I know it.

I try to squirm out of her arms. My wish was to protect her, and somehow, some new instinct inside me says that I can't do this while she's holding on to me. I burn inside. My very essence is fire. Fire to protect.

But she can't understand me, not like Shu does. She doesn't hear my meows, or else she doesn't care. Does she think she's just doing what's best for me? I don't understand.

So I bite her. I'm not proud of it. But I do.

She yelps, and her arms loosen. I squirm from her grip, take off running towards Rayquaza and Jessie and James and whatever else is happening. She shouts my name, but doesn't follow immediately.

"Meowth! Dat ain't roight!"

Something charges at me, a cat the color of cream with a bright shiny thing on its head. Its claws swipe at me, and I dodge, spitting a fireball. It's an instinctual move, an instinct I'd never had before the Unown changed me.

The flames engulf my attacker, who jumps back in pain. "Oi! Ya gonna pay fo' dat!"

It takes a moment for me to realize it's speaking English. Cats can speak English? I've tried to speak English, but never quite mastered it. What an interesting accent it has. But it's trying to kill me, so I can't complement it just yet.

It shakes off the flames and charges again. I dodge, but not perfectly. Its claws strike against my face, and I yowl in pain.

Then Terra is there, tackling my attacker directly. The cream cat yowls, flailing its clawed limbs rapidly. Terra yells at it to get away, get away from her cat... I don't think I belong to anybody, but I understand the sentiment at least.

I leap at the cream-colored cat and bite down hard on its tail. It yowls, but I don't let go. I tug hard, trying my darnedest to pull it away from my human. Nobody scratches up Terra!

Terra yelps and lets Cream Cat go, and he drops on top of me, flailing wildly. I lunge onto his back and get my claws into him. It's a flailing furry frenzy, and everything around me seems like a black haze.

Because it is a black haze. The smell of smoke is everywhere, and by the time I realize it and sneeze, Cream Cat has me flat on the ground.

"An' don't EVAH try dat again!" he yowls at me. Still in English.

Then he thumps me on the head, and I black out.

---

I wake up to feel something wet sprayed on me. Unlike water, it actually feels good, and it brings back energy to my muscles. I sneeze, then yawn, then stretch my legs out a bit. I feel so much better now!

"What the heck just happened?" Terra asks.

"Your little Alley-Hooparing just tied Team Rocket's Rayquaza in knots, is what happened," Gary says. "I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. Those two Rocket goons lay down a smokescreen with Koffing and flew off on rocket packs powered by that weird crystal they had that absorbs energy. They brought their other Pokemon with them."

"Weird crystal?" Terra asks.

"You saw it, didn't you?" Shu asks. "It absorbed Kachu's Thunderbolt attack and shot it back out at her. If she didn't have Lightning Rod as an ability, they could have done some serious damage to us with it."

"But why would they bring a Rayquaza to Pallet Town?" Terra asks. "Especially after everyone had already been kidnapped!"

There's an awkward silence.

"Weeeeeell..." Gary says slowly, purposefully dragging the word out. "You might want to ask Shu about his 'Pokemon friend' that was SUPPOSED to show up again. The one that chased Team Rocket off the first time."

"Of course she didn't arrive yet!" Shu snaps. "She's still looking for where Team Rocket kidnapped the citizens off to!"

"Whoa, whoa, slow down here," Terra says. "She? Who are we talking about here?"

There's another awkward silence.

"My dad," Shu says slowly, "miiiiight be friends with Giratina."

Notes:

* The crystals Jessie and James use to redirect electrical attacks are the Miracle Crystals from The Legend Of Thunder. Why Team Rocket didn't just give the trio these crystals is beyond me; it would have certainly helped.
* Rayquaza was shown to have been captured by Attila and Hun at the beginning of the Pokemon Ranger movie.
* Yep, Benga still can't recognize Hoopa's floating arms as part of her body.
And here we have our first encounter with my favorite anime characters.

As you might have noticed from the heart-shaped black mark on her tail, Kachu is a Cosplay Pikachu. Which means that she has Lightning Rod. Redirecting her own attacks to her only makes her stronger.

Why the heck does Rayquaza have such thin little arms? It flies through the ozone layer and eats Minior. You don't really need thin little arms to do either.

I was looking forward to Meowth and Benga having a rivalry throughout the series. Unfortunately, that did not exactly happen, for reasons which are partly poor pacing and partly spoilers.

And yeah, Giratina... there's a reason for that, but not one I feel comfortable sharing at this point in time. Partially because it's canon wielding, and partially because I don't even yet know if that particular plot point is going to be relevant to the story in any way at all. It's awkward re-reading my own works and realizing I just dropped a plot hook that might well never see the light of day again, similarly to the GS Ball. Sigh.

Well, in the words of Superchicken, I knew the job was dangerous when I took it.
Terra's POV

I freeze. Just when I thought we couldn't possibly get any deeper down this rabbit hole, Shu has to go and say the one thing I'm terrified the most of.

"Giratina?" I ask breathlessly. "GIRATINA?"

Okay, so I should probably give some clarification here. I played Pokemon Platinum as a kid, got all the way up to Spear Pillar where Cyrus is trying to use Dialga and Palkia to remake the world. And I stopped playing right there, because Giratina gave me the CREEPS. It came out as a black shadow with piercing eyes and two rows of red spikes, and I just started shaking so badly that I dropped the DS. I shut the game down and never booted it back up again.

And Shu says his father is FRIENDS with it?

"She's not a bad Pokemon!" Shu says quickly. "Sure, she looks scary and is pretty much misunderstood, but she stays in the Distortion World to help people! She helps balance out the two dimensions and remove pollution from our world!"

"Giratina got banished to the Distortion World for being violent!" I shriek. "And you're telling me it was HERE? Here in Pallet Town?"

"She scared away Team Rocket!"

"And I don't blame them!"

"Terra!" Shu says quickly. "Breathe in!"

I breathe in.

"Breathe out!"

I breathe out.

"Are you feeling better?"

"No!"

"Then do it again!"

"Doing it again won't change the fact that it's a big creepy ghost dragon!" I scream.

Shu looks at Gary. Gary looks at Shu. They both look at me. "Are you quite finished with your tantrum?" Gary asks.

"Excuse me for living! I was dragged out of my homeworld, I've been in danger ever since, I've met THREE legendary Pokemon, all of whom wanted to hurt me --"

"Hey!" Hoopa shouts.

"You're a Mythical! You don't count!" I take a breath. "And now I hear that you two are BUDDIES with the most terrifying Pokemon known to man? No thank you! I want to go home, I want to go home, I WANT TO GO HOME!"

"And I want my family back!" Gary snaps. "Just wishing for something isn't going to bring it back! We're all in danger from Team Rocket, and your throwing a hissy fit isn't going to make anything better!"

This is true. It doesn't make me feel better, but it's true.

I take a deep breath. Several, in fact. "So now what do we do? Call the police?"

Shu looks uncomfortable. "Well, we did send Giratina to search for our missing families through the Distortion World, which is the mirror side to our world. Once she comes back and we know where Team Rocket is holding them, then we can call the police."

I shudder. "Giratina's coming back here?"

"You don't have to talk to her if you don't want to. Gary, can you take Terra here into the woods for a while? She'll probably be calmer if she's away from you-know-who."

Gary shakes his head. "No dice, Shu. Team Rocket stole my Pokemon, and even I'm not awesome enough to fight the wild Weedle and Rattata without a Pokemon partner."

"Well then," Shu says, "I could lend you one of mine."

He reaches into his bag and somehow pulls out a box that's wider than the bag itself. Pokemon physics, I wonder? A regular Bag of Holding. Shu opens the box to reveal three Poke Balls, only the bottom half is light blue and the top half is white with a light blue squiggly pattern.

"These are three Pokemon that I was going to lend to your gramps for studying," Shu explains. "They came from the Distortion World. They're like the starter Pokemon that your gramps gives out, but they're different types than are usually found in the wild. Since they come from the 'mirror' world, we call them Mirror Pokemon."

He pushes the buttons on each Poke Ball in turn, and the Pokemon come out. "This one is Mirror Bulbasaur," he says, pointing to a grey toadish reptile Pokemon with an egg on its back. "It's a Sound-type, and in the hollow where regular Bulbasaur have their plant, it carries an egg. Mirror Charmander," he points to a sandy-colored lizardlike Pokemon with spikes all over its head and back, "is a Light-type that emits light through the spikes on its back. It also has a light-emitting organ on its tail. Mirror Squirtle," he points to a very turtle-like Pokemon with a large, pink gem as its shell, "is a Crystal-type with rock-solid defenses."

"Cool," Gary says. "So, do they form a type triangle too?"

"Of course. Sound shatters crystal, crystal bends light, and light breaks the sound barrier."

"Then I'll choose this one," Gary says, reaching down for Mirror Charmander. "He's going to be a big ol' spiky death dragon when he evolves! That's gonna be awesome!"

Shu turns to me. "Maybe you'd like one, too?"

"Um..." I say, kind of put on the spot. Pokemon from the Distortion World? From where Giratina lives? The thought seems kind of creepy...

Mirror Bulbasaur and Mirror Squirtle stare up at me with great big eyes.

They're adorable. Both of them are, in their own strange way, regardless of their origins. I actually think I'm in love. But I can only pick one of them. And truth be told, I don't even know how to be a real Pokemon trainer. I don't want them to get hurt from any mistake I make. I don't even know how to feed them!

Which one do I choose?

I think about it a little. Mirror Bulbasaur has an egg on its back. That could prove to be problematic in battles, as the shell might break. I think I read somewhere that Pokemon eggs don't break until they're ready to hatch, but I don't really remember where that was.

Mirror Squirtle... well, let's face it, having a gorgeous gem on its back makes it the preferred option. Not to mention it has a type advantage over Gary's Pokemon. But then, Gary only has one Pokemon, while Shu is gonna have at least two -- the other one and Kachu. But, then, I'll technically have three Pokemon... although I don't really know how to train any of them. And one of them is my cat, who doesn't take orders from anyone.

I look back at Mirror Bulbasaur. Truth be told, it's pretty dumpy-looking. Doesn't look like the kind of Pokemon that anybody would want to choose as their first partner. And from the sad look in its eyes, it probably knows it.

Okay, I've made my decision.

"Bulbasaur! I'll choose you!"

Gary snorts. Guffaws. Then does a double take when he realizes I'm serious. "Wait, that thing? With eggshell defenses? When you could have had a big shiny gem turtle?"

"Who are you to judge? You could have had a big shiny gem turtle, but instead you chose the Charmander that you won't be able to BRUSH without poking yourself." Good gosh, I just one-upped Gary 'Mofo' Oak. What a day this has been! "I think I'll name her Poppy."

"Her?" Gary asks. "You're sure it's a her?"

"Well, she has an egg on her back and everything. Two for the price of one."

"Better check your Pokedex," Shu says. "It's a male."

I checked. "Oh," I said. "Well, then... Yoshi? That sounds like a good name for an eggy dino boy."

Yoshi squeals with pleasure. I blush slightly. He likes me!

Gary doesn't seem all that impressed. "Congratulations. You just chose literally the worst starter you could have chosen. You'll be walking on eggshells from here to the Pokemon League."

Yoshi growls at Gary. I glare at him. "Yoshi is fine!" I snap. "I chose him for a reason, all right?"

"Yeah, because he was so pathetic no one else would!"

I can feel my temper rising again. "You know," I snap, "normally we'd settle this in a Pokemon battle, wouldn't we? It's time to PROVE how great my starter is."

"So it's a battle you want?" Gary grins. "You're on!"

This is definitely not how I'd expected the day after the convention to go.

---

We move to the forest to battle. No point in waiting around in Pallet Town for Team Rocket to show up again, probably with another bullshit legendary pulled out of nowhere. Pardon my language.

We stand several feet apart, in a grassy clearing. And incidentally, when the Pokemon world shows tall grass, they mean TALL grass, as in up to your hips in grass. Thankfully this field just has short grass, no taller than your neighbor's lawn, assuming they own a lawn mower.

"Lady and gentleman!" Shu says, playing the umpire. "Let the battle between Terra's Bulbasaur and Gary's Charmander begin!"

Benga and Hoopa watch from the sidelines. "Go, Terra-Kun!" Hoopa cheers. Benga meows, but I know he's cheering for me, too.

"Charmander!" Gary shouts. "Use Glimmer!"

Charmander bends down, and the horns on its head glow brightly -- too brightly to look at. A beam of light flashes in Yoshi's face, and he shrieks.

I look down at my Pokedex, listing Yoshi's moves. "Yoshi!" I say. "Use Astonish!"

Yoshi charges forward at Charmander, slamming his forelegs down on the ground and shouting "Bul-BAAAA!" at full blast.

Charmander jumps back a bit, shakes its head, and then sticks its tongue out at Yoshi. I blink. "That barely did anything...?"

"Course not!" Gary taunts. "It's a Sound move, isn't it? Clapping and yelling? All right, Charmander, use Glimmer again!"

I quickly look back at my Pokedex for the list of moves Yoshi knows. Tackle, Growl, and... "Barrage! Yoshi, use Barrage!"

Much to the surprise (and borderline disgust) of everyone present, Yoshi's egg starts to glow, and he opens his mouth and spits out a rapid-fire assault of small globes that, based on how they explode into goo on hitting Charmander, are some sort of eggs. Thankfully not rotten eggs, but still messy.

Charmander screams, shakes itself, and then goes for another Glimmer. However, with raw egg covering most of its head and spikes, the attack isn't quite so effective.

"Yoshi!" I shout. "Close your eyes and go for a Tackle!"

The Bulbasaur does so, charging forward. At Gary's command, Charmander jumps to the side to avoid the attack, but slips on the raw egg and comes crashing down to the ground. Before I can crow in victory, though, Yoshi slips as well and slides right into Charmander's spiky backside.

"Oops!" both me and Gary shout at the same time.

There's a pause.

"Get up, Charmander!" Gary yells. "Don't let that doofy-looking dino-frog thing beat you out!"

"Come on, Yoshi!" I shout. "You can do it! Get back up!"

Both Pokemon struggle to get back to their feet. But while Charmander manages to stand up rather shakily, Yoshi can't seem to get it together. He gets a few inches off the floor, then slips back down again.

"Bulbasaur is unable to battle!" Shu announces. "The winner is Charmander!"

"Yes!" Gary cheers. "I knew it!" He pulls out the Poke Ball that Shu gave him. "Charmander, return!"

I run up to Yoshi, quickly checking him for wounds. He doesn't appear seriously injured, just dirty and bruised. "Sauuuuur," he groans as he looks up at me.

"Don't worry, Yoshi," I say, petting him on his head. "We'll get you healed and cleaned up." I do have a good deal of Reviver Herbs packed in my bag, after all.

"Maaaan, are you messy!" Gary says to Charmander inside its ball. "Good thing you're not the kind with a tail-fire to look after, because you're gonna need a bath!"

Shu grins. "Yeah, Gary, it's gonna need a bath. Have fun washing between the spikes!"

"Between the..." Gary's face falls. "Oh, crap, you're not serious!"

Shu nods. "I think I saw a river further into the forest. You should probably check it out."

The look of horror on Gary's face is almost worth this entire disaster.

What can I say? Giratina is pretty darn scary, and some things just don't get better when you breathe in and out.

The Sound/Light/Crystal type triangle is something I came up with myself. Sound shatters crystal, crystal bends light, and light breaks the sound barrier (look it up, it totally does).

Each starter is based on a real-world animal as well, Mirror Bulbasaur is based on the Surinam Toad, which carries its offspring in pockets on its back until they emerge as tiny toadlets. (Look it up on YouTube if you're not too squeamish.) Mirror Charmander is obviously a horned lizard, and Mirror Squirtle is based on a literal interpretation of the diamondback terrapin.

Sometime I ought to color in the drawing I did for this chapter and post it along with the movesets I've written up for these three.

Also of note: the Poke Balls that the Mirror Starters are kept in are Delta Balls from Pokemon Insurgence. Just a neat little callout.
Well, I never did color in the drawing I did for this chapter, although I did publish a bunch of sprites for all three starter lines. The sprites are divergent from the drawings, as you might have noticed, but I'll just chalk that up to bloodline diversity and not shinies, because it would be kind of weird to have two shiny starters being given out and the other one not be. For the record, I prefer the dark blue and red color scheme on the Mirror Squirtle line to the pink crystals found in the story.

I'll be honest: I'd be freaked out too if I was dragged into another world with fearsome legendary death dragons and had no way of getting back. I think most of us would be.

Would Weedle really be all that difficult for a human to fight? So long as you avoid the poisonous pointy bits.

I intentionally chose Mirror Bulbasaur as Terra's partner because it was the least 'awesome' of the starters. I wanted to see if I could make it likeable regardless. Unfortunately, that was before Blue Moon devolved into a glut of many different characters and I found it nigh impossible to give attention to everybody. It's one thing to create an entire world; it's another thing to try to show too much of the world. As a picture book from my childhood was titled, simple pictures are best.

Glimmer is a low-level Light-type move from the still-heavily-in-progress Pokemon Burst homebrew RPG (which I can only describe as "hopefully coming eventually" for reasons). Astonish, in this universe, is a Sound-type move, because it's literally jumping forward and clapping your hands.
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,333
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
Sorry for the delay! Let's get right back to this.

Benga's POV

I'm not sure how to feel about the fight I've just witnessed. On the one hand, I've been in cat spats before, usually after I push the panes out of the window and sneak out of the house. On the other hand, this felt sort of... both more, and less, than my catfights. More, because the Pokemon attacked with sound and eggs and bursts of light. Less, because it was quite clear they weren't fighting for the right to mate or eat.

In fact, if I didn't know any better, I'd say they were having... fun.

I don't quite understand this concept. Fighting isn't something you want; it's something you do to get what you want, which is food or sex or getting that big ol' mangy tomcat with impure intentions to get away from your kittens. And you certainly don't throw food in a fight, unless you're babysitting a human-kitten that has a tendency to hurl things. And even then, it's not something you encourage.

Terra and the other humans went out to the river to wash off Yoshi and the Charmander. Terra had an easier time of it than Gary -- not only is Charmander spiky, but like me, it has no intention whatsoever of having a bath. And it thrashes pretty hard when Gary tries to get it inside. Gary yelps in pain and says a cuss word, at least Terra thinks it's a cuss word.

Hoopa pulls out some healing medicine and gives it to Gary, who rubs it on his hands. I guess in a world where healing is so easy, some folks just like to fight for fun. But I remember my fight against Cream Cat, and that was definitely not a fight for fun.

Shu's also at the river, looking inside. He's holding some sort of shiny crystal in one hand, and a form of human confectionery in the other.

"Lady Griseous," he says in a tone of voice that's a bit more serious than I expected of him, "I summon thee!"

There is a solemn pause, in which nothing happens whatsoever.

"Lady Griseous, Empress of the Shadowlands," Shu continues, in a slightly louder tone of voice, "I summon thee!"

Nothing happens.

"Hey, maybe you shouldn't hold that shard like it's some sort of knife," Gary offers. "And what's with the Poke Puff? I didn't know you needed a pink-frosted cupcake to summon the Lady of the Shadowlands."

"She likes Poke Puffs, okay?" Shu defends. "Anyway, she ought to come. This Griseous Shard is supposed to act as a summons..."

"Maybe Team Rocket got her. Like it got Rayquaza. You didn't happen to hear anything Rayquaza said when it scared the crap out of us, did you?"

Shu shakes his head no. "Rayquaza wasn't using words -- at least, not in the Pokemon language. Its cries were... screams. Primal calls. Like all it wanted was to destroy."

I notice that Terra backs off at the mention of Giratina. Actually, she's headed deeper into the woods.

"Don't go that way," Gary warns her.

"Why not?" she retorts. "It's better than waiting along for Giraterror to drop by."

"Because that's the road to Mew's shrine," Gary says, "and you don't want to anger Mew by showing up without an offering."

Terra sticks her tongue out at him. "Oh, please. What's Mew going to do to me? Prank me?"

"Yes," Gary says, "and when you're pranked by a Mew, you can expect it when you're least expecting it. I tried to catch it once, and it put a dead Oddish in my sock drawer. All my socks smelled like Oddish stink."

"A dead Oddish?" Shu asks. "That's gotta smell terrible."

"Poor Oddish..." Hoopa says.

And then we hear the screams.

I hear them first -- cat ears are better than human ears, probably because we can swivel them. Then Hoopa hears them, then Gary, Shu, and Terra. Loud screams, coming from the direction of Mew's shrine.

And footsteps.

A group of five bedraggled humans in torn black clothes come tearing past. They have the same odd symbol on their shirts as Jessie and James, and most of them are screaming for their mommies. "Don't go in there!" one of them yells at us. "There's a psycho werewolf in there!"

Just when I thought things couldn't get any stranger.

I thought Terra told me that werewolves weren't real. Of course, she also told me Pokemon weren't real either, and we all know how that turned out. Shu and Gary look at each other, and something passes unspoken through their eyes.

"We've gotta find out what's happening at the shrine," Shu says. "If it's really some sort of werewolf, Mew will not be happy."

"Gives me a chance to make up with it," Gary says, although I suspect this is more for the sake of not having any more dead Oddish (whatever those are) in his sock drawer. Although I think he might have misinterpreted the gift. I leave dead things by Terra's socks all the time as gifts, yet somehow she never seems to appreciate it.

Humans are funny that way.

Gary retracts Charmander into its Poke Ball, and Shu and Gary take off towards the shrine. Terra pauses, then retracts Yoshi into his Poke Ball and runs after Shu and Gary. I dash off after her. I can't be protecting her if she's out of my sight for a moment. Hoopa floats after us: "Hey! Wait for Hoopa!"

We all dash into a clearing, and see about the strangest sight we've seen all day, besides of course the giant green dragon. And the fluffy land of orb clouds. And, come to think of it, EVERYTHING we've seen all day was the strangest sight we've seen all day...

You know what? Just forget it. I'm a cat. I'm not used to exposition, but someone's got to say it, and all the humans and Hoopa are too busy freaking out to pay attention like I am.

There's a guy. And when I say 'a guy,' I mean that in the loosest possible term. His clothes are torn, he has rocks in his hair (which he had a lot of), and he smells like dog. And by 'smells like dog,' I don't mean smells like a human who'd been petting a dog, or licked by a dog or jumped on by a dog (I still don't know what your species sees in those creatures) -- he literally smells LIKE HE IS A DOG.

And he has fangs.

And claws.

And a tail.

And is busy clawing up the two other humans that are trying to wrestle him down to the ground.

Okay, one human is wrestling him. That human is dressed mainly in blue, wearing goggles, and yelling at the other human to lend him a hand. That other human is dressed in white and brown, has medium-toned skin, is wearing a somewhat puffy hat, and is clearly trying to keep a handle on a situation that had spiraled completely out of control.

"Smeargle!" this human orders. "Use Spore on Gladion!"

There's another dog in the clearing, one I'd barely noticed because the dog-man was thrashing so hard. He's a small dog, up on his hind legs like some dogs do when they're shamelessly mooching food off humans (not that that's a bad thing). He also looks like he's wearing a hat, and he has the longest tail I've ever seen on a dog. He's holding the tail in one of his front paws, and shooting out... something... green... and smelly...

WA-CHOO!

I... think I need to lie down...

---

Zzz.

Zzz.

SPLASH!

I'M UP!

"Hssss! Was that NECESSARY, Hoopa?" I hiss. Guess who just tried the ring-full-of-water trick for what's gonna be the last time?

Hoopa. The little sneak. Ally-Hooparing, indeed!

"Were you surprised?" she chuckles.

Terra bends down towards me and picks me up. "Oh, you poor dear," she says, trying to dry me off with the hem of her dress. "Did you inhale some of that sleeping spore?"

I meow as pitifully as possible, then turn and stab Hoopa with a dirty look. "That wasn't nice at all!"

Hoopa backs behind a tree, grinning nervously. The thing has bigger teeth than I would have thought for a creature her size, but they're all flat teeth, so I guess she's an herbivore. Everything I've seen her eat so far smells like it's made of plant.

Terra clearly understands my inflection. "Hoopa," Terra says coldly. "That was entirely out of line!" She lets me out of her lap and starts striding purposefully towards Hoopa, Poke Ball at the ready. "Return!"

And good riddance.

I have other things to attend to anyway. A few yards away, my superior cat ears can hear the human that gave Smeargle orders shouting, "Gladion, what were you THINKING?"

I turn to look, and notice Smeargle Guy giving a very dirty look to a human wearing the dog-man's clothes. Smeargle Guy isn't happy. "You tried the Lycanroc Burst in front of a group of Rocket grunts, at Mew's shrine, knowing full well that if you try it for too long, it affects your mind?"

"It scared them away!" Gladion yells back defensively. "Wasn't that the point? Keep Team Rocket from CAPTURING MEW?"

"The point was to keep them away from the forest," Smeargle Guy goes on. "Now that they know there's a trainer that can use Burst here, they'll have twice the reason to return to this forest. To steal your Burst Heart!"

"Well, you're welcome, Captain Ilima," Gladion sulks. "I was just trying to help!"

"You were -- until you went crazy, ripped the shrine apart, bit Wes twice and tore his clothes, and attracted undue attention to us!"

"Look," Gary cuts in, "I'm sure this is all scintillating conversation here, but you three happen to see Team Rocket carrying any prisoners?"

Gladion and Smeargle Guy -- I mean, Captain Ilima -- turn towards Gary. "Through here?" Ilima asks. "Through a forest so thick and wild it's not registered on any maps as a valid route? I don't believe so."

"They weren't planning on taking prisoners, that's for sure," Gladion says. "We were outmatched and outnumbered. We didn't have a chance, and we didn't have a choice. I HAD to use Burst." He turns towards Ilima. "I didn't see you offering any better solutions, big brain!"

"What the heck is Burst?" Shu asks.

I notice that the third new human, the one in the blue clothes, is quietly sneaking away. Should I follow him? Or should I listen to what Captain Ilima's saying?

"Burst is... well, first off, do you know what Synergy Stones are?"

Terra speaks up. "I think so. Pokemon use them in battles in Ferrum, to achieve... Synergy Burst?"

Ilima nods. "But there's another type of Burst that Synergy Stones can give off. You see, when a Pokemon uses the same Synergy Stone for a long while, the stone absorbs stray aura from the Pokemon, and the heart of the stone starts to take on the properties of the Pokemon that uses it. If a human is strong enough, they can access the aura of a Synergy Stone and take the form of the Pokemon that used the stone in the past."

"And that's what we just saw?" Terra asks.

"Why, yes. Synergy Stones used in this way are called Burst Hearts. My friend Gladion has been trying," Ilima emphasized, "to master a Midnight Lycanroc Burst. But every time he tries it, he goes out of his mind, on a wild rampage."

"I said I was sorry!" Gladion snaps.

"No, you didn't," Ilima says. "Did any of you hear him say he was sorry?"

Terra shakes her head no. So does Shu. Gary just scoffs.

"C'mon, Wes," Gladion says. "back me up. I said I was sorry, ri..."

His voice trails off, as he realizes 'Wes' is no longer present.

Neither is Gladion's Burst Heart.

"I'm going to strangle that little sneak!" Gladion gasps.

And so the 'Burst' part of Pokemon Burst is revealed.

The explanation as to how Burst Hearts work is entirely made up by me. In the original ReBurst comic, the Burst Hearts literally contained Pokemon in a similar manner to how Poke Balls contained Pokemon.

I'm honestly not thrilled with how the picture turned out, but I'd already redrawn it twice and didn't want to spend the rest of my life tweaking it.
This chapter provided a LOT of potential signature quotes.

The Griseous Shard is an item from the unofficial online game PokeHeroes, which I used to be on for a long time until I realized it was just another time-wasting illusion of accomplishment and left forever.

Apparently this particular Mew has no respect for the dead. (Or for Gary, for that matter.) No, Benga, I don't think the Oddish was intended as a gift. Mew are typically more understanding of humans' tendencies to not really appreciate having dead things dragged into the house.

So why does Ilima have a hat? Well, at one point Blue Moon was going to be a comic, and I was having problems drawing Ilima in such a way that he still looked like himself, but he didn't look like a girl. (And looking like a girl is basically the normal state of Ilima.) So I decided to give him a hat. Canonically, the hat was a gift from Gladion, who didn't want to have to keep explaining that Ilima was not his girlfriend, and after that explaining that Ilima was not his boyfriend either. Because people and their presuppositions, amirite?

Benga would be surprised to see that Hoopa's unbound forme has tusks and fangs. Which leads to the question, what does Hoopa usually eat? We know from its movie that it moved into a city and started eating all its grain, but repaid the town with lots of gold. The question is, where did it get the gold to begin with? Curiouser and curiouser.

Oh, and Ilima isn't a trial captain in this story, for reasons. Gladion calls him 'Captain' for entirely different reasons. Those two have a history together that comes up in later chapters.

Gosh, Wes is a stinker, isn't he?
Wes's POV

Okay, okay, so I should have asked before 'borrowing' the Burst Heart. Especially when the person who owns it has a tendency to morph into a giant, hairy, excessively violent beastman with it.

But can you blame me?

Gladion scares me. As in, really scares me. He's not a bad guy himself -- the dude saved my life, after all -- but he takes everything so damn seriously. I think he cut his teeth on edgy. His motto is "Don't get mad. Get out." And if I don't get out, he lets loose with that scathing temper of his and challenges me to a battle I just might lose.

Not to mention, he just bit me. Twice. In Lycanroc form. And I'm his ally. If he can't control his own Burst, he deserves to lose it before he takes off somebody's limb.

I wasn't planning on holding onto it for long. After all, a Burst Heart goes for quite a pretty penny on the black market. I just hope it's not defective, or else the guy I sell it to might go feral on me. Maybe I should make plans to run away quickly in the other direction immediately after selling it.

I just hope Pinky doesn't decide to go after me. Despite their constant bickering (Glad has that effect on people), he and Glad are pretty close (not 'boyfriend close' I should point out, because Glad will have my head if I imply that), and while 'Lima doesn't like the whole psychotic-wolf shenanigans, he also won't like it if I cross his buddy, even if it's all for the best in the end. I get money, Glad doesn't go crazy, and 'Lima doesn't have to keep yelling at Glad for misusing his power.

I just need to convince 'Lima of that.

Man, this forest just goes on forever. Hey, look, is that blur a building? Civilization? A crowd to hide myself in?

Naw, it's just an old ruin. A ruin in the woods. I'll bet no one's been here for a thousand years. Likely because the forest is sacred to Mew and all.

A hiding spot. Perfect! Probably has some sweet loot, too. I am so totally there!

And hopefully Glad and 'Lima won't be.

---

Whoever created this bag I stole from that convenience store in Phenac City really knows their stuff. Pack as much as you like into it, and it never gets any heavier. It's like a Poke Ball. What witchcraft is this thing, anyway?

Whatever it is, it certainly comes in handy while looting a temple.

Some of these relics look pretty weird. There's this odd-shaped thing that looks like a double-headed pointing arrow, and this spoon made out of the same material, and this odd black thing made out of spheres, something like a barbell.

Maybe 'Lima knows a thing or two about what these things are. Well, here they go into the sack.

There's some interesting carvings on these walls, too. Wish I had a camera for them. There's some six-armed horned demon thing, what I assume is a Dratini going through some sort of ring, and...

Okay, hold on.

That cannot be natural.

There's a series of carvings here, with the Dratini locked in a cage with bars, surrounded by humans. There's a smaller human, a kid, bending down and opening the cage. There's scenes of the kid and the Dratini together.

And there's an alarm clock.

I'm serious. In this ancient carving, there's a scene of the boy and Dratini getting out of bed -- a normal, modern-day bed -- and there's an alarm clock on the dresser.

An alarm clock. And a dresser. In ancient history.

There's another scene, at a kitchen table. A table. With plates. A glass. A fork. I mean, obviously these people were sophisticated enough to have spoons, but seriously? There's another scene at school, with desks and chairs. There's even a scene in a bathtub. A modern-day bathtub.

Am I dreaming this?

The story goes on. The boy and the Dratini are planting seeds. The pots look just like normal, modern-day clay pots. Curiouser and curiouser.

Then the story escalates.

There's a Dragonite in the carving. A big one. And the humans, hoo boy, they don't like it. They're aiming guns at it, trying to shoot it down.

Guns. Machine guns.

In a thousand-year-old carving.

I feel like this place is closing in around me. Something is wrong here. Something is very, very wrong. Maybe I'm in an illusion created by a ghost Pokemon. Maybe I'm hallucinating. Or dreaming. This place can't possibly be real.

Then my bag starts to glow.

And all hell breaks loose.

---

Terra's POV

After a quick conference, Ilima splits us into groups to look for Wes. Me and Ilima. Shu and Hoopa. And Gary and Gladion.

I of course voice the opinion that this last choice is very, very poorly thought out.

Gary doesn't like the idea of going looking for Wes at all. "Not my contest, not my Mankey," he argues. "I've got a heck of a lot more to look for than just some scummy little jewel thief."

"You want our help, right?" Gladion shoots back. "Then you help us in return. Fair's fair."

Gary and Gladion are still arguing as Ilima and I go deeper into the forest. I won't miss them.

"So," I say nervously. I tend to get nervous around strangers, especially when they're cute boys. "What are you three doing in Kanto?" If I point out that two of them are from Alola and one is from Orre, there's going to be too many questions, so I keep that quiet.

Ilima laughs. "Just saving the world. I'll explain later."

"Explain later?" Saving the world does not sound like an 'explain later' topic. "What do you mean, explain later?"

"I mean that we should focus our energy on locating Wes before he puts himself or others into danger." Ilima sighs. "And that includes before he gets the crazy idea to use that Burst Heart."

We walk a few more paces. My heartbeat is rapid-fire and clearly on Cute Boy Alert. Actually I don't know for sure if he's gay or something, but I just met him and it's pretty rude to ask someone's sexual orientation that quickly.

"Nice hat," I say nervously.

"Thank you," he says. "Gladion bought it for me. He said it matched my Smeargle."

I do a double take. "Gladion bought you a hat? Why?"

Ilima laughs. "It was to give me something to cover my hair so people wouldn't look at us together and assume I was his girlfriend."

"But isn't that a girl's hat?"

"Not anymore."

He doesn't sound offended, but I still have the feeling I've stepped on something. "Um, yeah. Let's go look for this Wes guy."

We walk a few more paces. It's late, and the sky's starting to get darker.

"So..." I ask, searching for a polite way to ask something that's none of my business. "Is your hair natural?"

"Naturally pink, yes. There's an interesting reason for--"

Then the ground starts to shake.

I look up and scream. Of all the things to have gone wrong today, why this on top of everything else? Just what the hell is up with Kanto today, anyway?

It's an enormous Gengar. I mean, as tall as a building. With tribal paint markings somehow existing on a body made of condensed gases that's clearly only as corporeal as it wants to be.

And it's stomping straight in our direction.

Ilima grabs me, yanking me behind a tree. "Shall we dance?" he jokes, but I can tell he's just trying to calm me. Well, it's not working. I am anything but calm. I'm too terrified to speak.

I nod. Then realize I'd just agreed to dance while a giant primal Gengar tears up the forest. Probably a bad idea.

"That was just banter," Ilima admits. "Stay quiet! And hope it's not hungry."

I peek out from behind the tree. Gengar doesn't look interested in us; it's just stomping around, not bothering to become corporeal enough to shift the trees. I can hear the terrified cries of the local Pokemon fleeing in fear from the enormous intruder.

I try to remember what Gengar eat. Dreams? Fear? Souls? Whatever else has been said about Gengar, it's certainly true that they drain the heat from an area. A chill wind surrounds it as it stalks by. I shudder.

"We should find the others," Ilima says quietly. "Make sure they're safe, and that they know what to do in this situation."

"What DO we do in this situation?" I ask.

"Run," says Ilima. "Definitely run."

There wasn't actually any commentary for this chapter originally, so I think I'll fix that now.

Like I said, Wes is a stinker. But somehow, I can't help but love him.

The temple and its relics comes from the anime episode The Ancient Puzzle of Pokemopolis. The carvings on the walls, however, are based off of the first chapter of a manga titled How I Became A Pokemon Card, and that first chapter is going to be important. Like, really important. (It's also one of the more brain-bending conceits of Blue Moon, because the manga chapter was set in modern-ish Japan, and these carvings are thousands of years old... so some form of timespace shenanigans on the quantum level are almost certainly going on.)

And Terra, I know Ilima looks like a girl, but I'm pretty sure it's inappropriate to try to guess someone's sexual orientation based on their looks.

How does a Gengar put on tribal makeup, anyway?
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,333
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
Gladion's POV

It's a long enough trek through the darkening woods without this annoying dead weight trailing me around. I can tell just by looking at him that this Gary fellow isn't going to be much use of anything, but I'm stuck with him anyway. Yay me.

"So," he asks, "what's the deal with this Wes guy, anyway? Why'd he want a stone that turns folks into crazy werewolves?"

"Who knows? To sell it, probably. Burst Hearts go for a good deal of money on the black market. Wouldn't be the first time he's taken a five-fingered discount."

"And why do you keep him around again?"

I groan. "Because no one else will take him and I'm not just letting him run off without supervision. You know where we found him? In his own den of thieves, tied to a chair with his legs broken, because he got ticked off at the way things were being run and tried to blow up the place to kingdom come."

Gary winces. "How long ago was this?"

"About a month. Don't ask how we managed to fix his legs. Trade secret."

Gary clearly doesn't believe me. Well, I don't give a damn if he does. Makes my job easier.

"So, uh..." he asks, trying to process this. "What do you know about Team Rocket?"

"They're wicked. They steal Pokemon, exploit Pokemon, experiment on Pokemon, and are trying to take over the world. From what you've said, they've gone into kidnapping as well. Ilima and I are out to stop them before they do something really serious."

"Well, you're too late there," Gary growls. "They kidnapped everyone in Pallet Town. I couldn't save any of them."

That sounds like Team Rocket. "That's not good. If they want an entire town's worth of prisoners, they've got to be planning something nasty. Human experimentation? Psychic brainwashing? Feeding an enormous legendary?"

"You know what?" Gary snaps. "That's my sister and gramps in that group, so why don't you shut the hell up?"

His sister. I have a sister. I'd be devastated if any of that happened to her... "I'm sorry. I wasn't thinking. You're right, we need to stop Team Rocket before they do anything to your family."

I wonder why he doesn't mention his father or mother. Probably won't get anywhere asking him, though.

Then there's a crash.

Gary looks up and yells. The ground starts rumbling. I follow Gary's line of vision and suddenly find myself looking up at what's easily the biggest Gengar I've ever seen.

Almost on top of us.

Oh shit.

"Run!" I scream at Gary. "Run for your life!"

He does so. I follow.

---

Shu's POV

We've seen the Gengar as well. There's a rocky hollow here with a natural cave, and I think we'll be safe here for now. The ghost doesn't seem to have noticed us, anyway.

A number of wild Pokemon have already gathered in this cave. Some Ledyba, Spinarak, Hoothoot, a stray Pineco, and a few members of the Nido family. None of them want to battle; they're huddling in terror. Well, most of them. No one wants to huddle next to a Nidoran.

"Okay," I tell Hoopa about as calmly as I can muster. "We need a plan to get everybody back together. If you go through the woods and find the others, can you take them here through your rings?"

Hoopa nods. "H-Hoopa can't go through Hoopa's rings, but others can," she says. "H-Hoopa will help. But..."

"...but?" I ask.

"H-H-Hoopa is s-scared of Gengar," Hoopa admits. "H-Hoopa doesn't take g-ghosts well."

Understandable. It's a Warp/Ghost type after all, and Ghost is one of the few types super-effective on Warp types. So Hoopa has a double weakness to other ghosts. "Just stay in the shadows of the trees. Try to keep your rings from glinting in the light. Don't draw attention to yourself until you see our friends. Okay?"

"What if H-Hoopa sees Wes?"

"Bring him in here too. We've got to keep everyone safe and together so we can figure out just what the heck to do here."

Hoopa nods and floats off. I turn to the crowd of assembled Pokemon. "Ladies and gentle-mon! I want you all to be especially welcoming of our soon-to-arrive human guests while I distract the giant creepy Gengar away. You all okay with that?"

The N-Comm allows me to understand Pokemon. But I can tell from the looks on their faces that they don't quite understand my plan.

"Seriously?" Kachu asks. "YOU'RE going after the giant Gengar?"

"Yep!" I say.

"Won't it attack you?" Kachu says.

"Yeah, maybe, but I'll be in disguise." I pull out a mass of purple cloth from my bag. "Presenting the Inflatable Doppel-Gengar Blimp! Once inflated, this costume allows me to perfectly imitate a Gengar, right down to the creepy floating!"

"Don't Gengar float anymore?" a Pineco asks. "I thought their bodies were cursed or something."

Kachu just shakes her head. "This is a bad idea... a really bad idea..."

I set out the Inflatable Doppel-Gengar Blimp, pull out a helium pump, and then search a bit in my bag until I find a good black felt-tipped marker. "Observe!" I say proudly. "Before inflating, I shall scribble tribal lines all over the Inflatable Doppel-Gengar Blimp so as to properly emulate the giant Gengar's odd markings! Pretty neat, right?"

Kachu and Pineco look at each other. They roll their eyes. "Shu, listen to me," Kachu says. "Have I ever steered you wrong?"

I consider this. "Maybe? I guess that's open for debate."

"Okay," she says, "let's get specific. Have I ever steered you wrong when I told you that something was a very, very, VERY bad idea?"

"With three verys?" I ask. "I, uh, don't remember how many times you've used three verys."

"The Tangrowth Incident?"

"Oh, yes," I say, deflating a bit. "The first rule of the Tangrowth Incident is, we don't talk about the Tangrowth Incident."

"Which is why I cannot possibly overstress the fact that floating up to that giant Gengar in a helium-inflated giant Gengar suit is quite possibly a worse idea than the idea that led to the Tangrowth Incident."

"Kachu, listen. This won't be like the Tangrowth Incident. It'll be fine!"

"That's what you said before the Tangrowth Incident."

I groan. "Well, does anyone else have any better ideas?"

Nobody does. But that clearly doesn't make Kachu feel any better.

---

Terra's POV

"I have an idea," I whisper to Ilima. "Do you know which way the Gengar was coming from?"

Ilima points to a trail deeper into the forest. "That way, I believe..."

"Then we go that way."

"What? Why?"

"For starters, if Gengar just came from that way, it's unlikely to return anytime soon. Second, call me crazy, but I think I just might know how to stop this thing."

Ilima gives me a strange look, and I feel like I can hear gears turning in his head. After a short moment, he nods. "Lead the way, then."

We set off through the forest as fast as we dare; too much noise might attract Tall, Dark, and Fearsome. It keeps getting darker, so I let Benga out to try to light us a torch. His fire sneezes are actually pretty cute, if you're not directly in the path of them. Ouch. Eventually Ilima gives up and pulls a flashlight out of his pocket, which he really ought to have done to begin with.

Strangely enough, the fire doesn't really damage my hands much besides some first-degree burns and a coating of soot. Pokemon physics, I guess, or maybe it's just that it's only an Ember attack.

I recall Benga to his Poke Ball. I don't want him running into any wild Pokemon and possibly getting hurt.

Eventually the forest clears off a bit and we find ourselves in an ancient ruin. An ancient, ruined ruin. The front half of the temple is completely collapsed. The lack of patina on the broken surface reveals that this happened quite recently, and giant Gengar footprints still lie fresh in the dust. But any hope of finding the bell in those ruins is completely gone.

"Oh no. Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no..." I stammer. "The bell! Where's the giant bell?"

"Giant bell?" Ilima asks, confused.

"The bell that holds the giant Jigglypuff!" I blurt out, realizing the moment I say it just how ridiculous it sounds.

Ilima stares at me, and I realize that I sound like I'm completely out of my mind. How on Earth could I ever explain to him that I saw the solution to all our problems in an anime episode?

Looking into his eyes, I sense the gears turning in his head again. Surprisingly, he nods. "All right then. We'll look for this giant bell."

I sniffle. "Really? Just like that?"

Ilima nods and points to a rock enclave a good distance from the temple. He smiles. "Does it look anything like that bell over there?"

Oh. D'oh. Been so long since I saw that episode, I kind of thought the bell was in the temple... "Yes! This should be it!"

I rush over to the bell, then pause. "I... I think someone's supposed to sing to the bell to get Jigglypuff out of it. Another Jigglypuff, perhaps?"

Ilima checks his pockets. "Do you have any Pokemon that can learn Sing?"

"Well, I do have a Sound-type, but..."

"Bring him out, then. Let's see how he goes."

I bring out Yoshi, quickly explaining what I want him to do. "You see, Yoshi, I need you to Sing to this bell. It's very, very important, so don't worry about doing a good job; just focus on the singing."

Yoshi considers this, puts his front paws against the rock, and starts to bellow.

Horribly.

Ilima covers his ears in pain. "That sounds like Disarming Voice, not Sing. We shouldn't be using a Sound-type attack around rock; that could cause it to crack and damage the bell. Sound is super-effective on Rock, you know, at least when the noise is loud enough to qualify as an attack."

I sigh, recalling Yoshi to his ball. "Well, any better ideas, Ilima?"

Ilima pauses, then reaches into his pockets and pulls out a flute. A small flute, made of pink crystal. "Well... let's see how well I can play this..."

NOTE: This chapter was written while the type chart for Pokemon Burst was still in development. The way types work in this chapter and its notes does not accurately reflect the current type chart; for instance, I chose not to have Sound be SE on Rock because Rock already had enough weaknesses. The current type chart for Pokemon Burst is here.

Gladion is a "jerk with a heart of gold." Gary is... a jerk. So it's fun putting those two together to have them bounce off each other. You can expect more Gary-Gladion interactions in future chapters.

Yes, in this canon, Wes failed his stealth check at the beginning of Pokemon Colosseum. Can't imagine that was healthy for him. (Yes, there's a reason why his legs aren't currently broken, but ssh, spoilers.)

"Warp" is another of the introduced types which feature in Pokemon Burst. It's basically a reality-bending type, tied to such things as Unown's ability to change reality and Stantler's ability to warp reality with its horns. Similar to Dragon type with the starter types, Warp-type resists Light, Sound, and Crystal types. It's weak to itself, Psychic, Ghost, and Fairy, but is also SE on Ghost. It isn't very effective on Psychic or Fairy, though.

Shu is a blast to write for.
The Tangrowth Incident is not actually based on anything from any official canon. It will forever remain a Noodle Incident, which incidentally is how it got its name. Because Tangrowth is made of noodles. Don't question it, it just is.
Terra's POV

"Will the bell accept a human's song?" I ask Ilima. "The ancient prophesy said that no human knows the answer to send this beast back to where it came from."

"Well," Ilima says, "you seem to be doing well for a human. I might as well do my part."

"You play the flute?"

"Flutes have cultural significance where I come from."

That makes sense. The Sun Flute and Moon Flute are very important to Alolan culture. "What will you play?"

"Just a little song I picked up in Shamouti."

"Shamouti Island? You've been there?"

"I've been all over the world. Now, please be quiet. I'm concentrating."

Ilima takes a deep breath, places the flute to his lips, and begins to play...

---

Gladion's POV

I don't know what Wes did to anger a giant Totem Gengar that wants to kill everybody, but I'm sure it was him. He has that effect on people. The stories I could tell you.

Now Gary and I are tearing through the woods, trying to outrun an assailant that's not even fully corporeal, and sooner or later we'll run out of woods and find ourselves out in the open where that damned thing can pick us off one by one.

Why me?

"Hey, Gladdy?" Gary asks as we run. "Maybe we don't have to both outrun this monster."

"Great theory," I snap. "Any ideas how?"

He grins. "Oh, I just have to outrun you."

That's when I turn and realize there's a branch in my face. I try to slide to a stop, too late. The branch hits me in the face, I stumble downwards, and Gary runs off without so much as breaking his stride. The douchebag's laughing, too.

Oh shit.

I pick myself up, and the Gengar towers over me. I realize it wasn't even really running after me; just lumbering at its own leisure. Its teeth are enormous, and I have the bad feeling that I'm about to become intimately acquainted with them in my final moments of life.

"Hey, Mister Gengar!" a voice says from behind me.

It's not Gary.

I turn, look, and do a double take. For crying out loud... it's that green-haired kid. At least, it used to be that green-haired kid. Now he's wearing this inflatable Gengar costume with scribbles all over it, hovering two feet up in the air, with rocks tied to ropes wrapped around his arms to ground him. His voice is clearly squeaky from the helium.

"Who says we gotta kill this guy?" the kid asks. "Can't we do something a bit more fun, like a hockey game?"

The giant Gengar peers down at the ersatz Gengar in front of him. It growls something under its breath, then picks up a stick and pokes the costume.

The costume pops, sending helium and costume parts everywhere.

I think I've inhaled some of the helium, because my voice sounds funny. "What. The. HELL?" I ask the kid. "A hockey game? REALLY?"

The Gengar roars behind us. Slightly more high-pitched now, not that it matters in the end.

We're doomed.

---

Terra's POV

Ilima plays the first few notes of Lugia's Song, and the song takes me back to ages ago when I first watched the second movie. The battle of the legendary birds, the journey of the Chosen One, the orbs, the collector, Team Rocket's sacrifice...

To be honest, I'd always felt disappointed that Jessie and James' change of heart never lasted. They would have made better heroes than villains. Although part of that was because Ash had plot armor, but you take what you can get.

Ilima's pretty good at this. I have to remember that it's not polite to stare, even if it's at a cute boy. But I keep glancing towards Jigglypuff's bell, hoping against hope that the song works and that the Guardian of Pokemopolis will emerge.

The song ends. The giant Jigglypuff does not appear.

But something else does.

---

Gladion's POV

I instinctively try to shield the green-haired kid with my body. Maybe I'll buy him some time to escape. Maybe.

"Run, kid!" I whisper as the giant Gengar reaches down to us. "Get out!"

I can feel the chill in the air around Gengar. I'm done for, that much is certain. But just as the beast is about to grab me, I see a huge flash of bright light, right behind it.

"Hey, hound dog!" a familiar voice yaps. "Arooo!"

I look up, blinking. "What the frek...?"

It's Wes.

Behind the Gengar.

On the shoulders.

Of a giant freaking Alakazam.

Gengar turns towards the sound of the voice. My self-preservation instincts kick into overdrive, and I scamper away into the woods. The kid follows me, probably just as freaked out as I am now.

Wes has a giant Alakazam? Where did Wes get a giant Alakazam? Just what the heck is going on here?

If we survive this, I had better get some answers.

---

Terra's POV

What's in front of me is not a Jigglypuff. It's pink, fuzzy, adorable, and has big blue eyes. But by no stretch of the imagination could it be called a Jigglypuff.

It's a Mew.

And it's glaring at us, as if to say, "Okay, you've summoned me now. This had better be good."

I supposed I should have expected this at some point. The forest is supposed to be sacred to Mew, after all. I hope Mew doesn't blame us for destroying its shrine, or letting the giant Gengar loose, or whatever else happens to be going on in this forest.

But it doesn't look happy. Actually, it looks like it's about to cut a bitch.

"Greetings!" Ilima says. "Captain Ilima here. If you don't mind--"

Then Mew slaps him. Right in the face, with its tail. "Mew!" it squeaks, with as much indignancy as one could imagine a Mew having.

"Y-Yes, I know I don't look like I used to, but I assure you--"

"Mew!" Another slap. "Mew mew mew!"

I have the feeling there's a story behind this, but now is not the time. "Can we save this for later?" I ask anxiously. "Right now, there's a giant Gengar tearing up the forest, and we need to awaken the giant Jigglypuff that will sing a song and make it fall asleep so it returns to the Shadow World or wherever it normally lives in."

Mew gives me a startled look, like it has no idea how I know all of this. It gives one last glare at Ilima, then floats up to the bell and starts to sing.

A Mew's singing is adorable. Better than the caterwauling I hear outside my door at night whenever I forget to let Benga into my room before closing the door. This Mew has perfect pitch, and I secretly wonder how much it practices. A Mew that can sing? Phenomenal.

As the Mew sings, the bell begins to glow...

---

Gladion's POV

The giant Alakazam raises its spoons, shooting a Psybeam of phenomenal energy at the ginormous Gengar. It explodes in a vibrant burst of rainbow colors, lighting up the night.

I start running. Wes is clearly buying time, and in typically reckless Wes fashion, he's likely to make the situation worse. Well, I'm not sticking around to get stepped on by a kaiju. And neither is the kid.

We duck behind a cluster of trees, and the kid turns to me. "What do you think's going on?"

"I think we should ask Wes that once this is over," I say, "assuming we all make it out in one piece." My hand starts to twitch, and I grip my wrist to try to keep it under control. "I've never seen Totem Pokemon grow to that size; they must have eaten a good deal of Ultra Energy to get that tremendous."

"Ultra Energy?" the kid asks, confused.

"Energy from an Ultra Wormhole. Basically the same type of energy that allows for travel between worlds can be absorbed by Pokemon to make them bigger and stronger." I glance from behind the tree and see Gengar aim a Shadow Punch at Alakazam, who dodges with a Teleport. "Normally they don't get THIS huge, however..."

"So how do we stop them?"

"Kid, if I knew that, I wouldn't be hiding behind this tree!" I shake my head. "Wes is typically suicidal enough to think you can solve most problems with huge explosions. One of these days he's going to wake up dead because of it."

The kid winces, and I wonder if perhaps I was just a little bit too honest. "I'm sure we'll be fine," I lie. "Those things had to come from somewhere, so maybe when they're done they'll just leave." The question is whether wherever they came from has anything even worse on the other side, and if the 'anything worse' is going to come over here and get hungry.

"I spent four hours making that Gengar costume," the kid says sadly.

I gape at him. "This entire forest is in jeopardy, and you're concerned over your stupid costume?"

"Hey, it took forever to get it airtight!" the kid shoots back.

---

Terra's POV

As the bell starts to glow, Mew turns and teleports the three of us back a safe distance. For good reason. This giant Jigglypuff is the size of a hot-air balloon, covered in tribal markings, with an Omega symbol painted across its chest. If there was a Primal Reversion for Jigglypuff, this would be it.

It blinks, taking in its surroundings. "PUFF?"

As if to answer it, a bright burst of rainbow colors comes from the forest. I turn to look, and realize that there are now two enormous figures in the forest, the Gengar and what I'm guessing is the Alakazam.

I'm breathless. Ilima is not. "Over there!" Ilima says, pointing to the feuding figures. "Keep them at bay! Use your Sing attack!"

"PUFF!" the Jigglypuff announces, and starts to bound towards the other two oversized Pokemon.

The ground shakes with its every leap, much to Mew's displeasure. "Mew!" it squeaks indignantly, then simply teleports the Jigglypuff directly to the figures themselves, leaving Ilima and I standing alone in the ruins with bemused expressions on our faces.

"Why did that Mew slap you?" I finally ask.

Ilima looks embarrassed. "Long story. I'd rather not go into it."

"What did you look like before, anyway?"

"Smaller. Cuter. Less gangly. Shouldn't we go check up on our friends?"

---

By the time we arrive, the battle's over. Gengar and Alakazam are fast asleep, and Jigglypuff is drawing on their faces. It still surprises me that paint sticks to a Gengar's semi-gaseous body. Surprises, and somewhat disgusts me.

We find Wes curled up asleep as well, close enough to the Alakazam to have a giant paint splatter on his arm and shoulder. "Wuh-whazzat?" he asks when Ilima shakes him. "Whaz goin' on?"

"Captain Ilima here," Ilima says, "and we should really get going before Jigglypuff sends these two back to the 'Shadow World' or wherever they've been staying."

"Kazam ain't a bad sort," Wes slurs tiredly. "He saved me."

"I assure you, we can discuss this in more detail once we've found our companions," Ilima says curtly. "Now get. UP."

Wes stumbles to his feet, looking pretty drowsy. I guess that Jigglypuff's song must have really done a number on him. He leans against Ilima, and some of the wet paint comes off on Ilima's shirt. "Where we goin'?"

"Away from here," Ilima says, in the tone of voice that says the discussion is over. "We've wrecked Mew's forest quite enough for one night, thank you very much. And I think we all need some sleep."

I glance quickly around the forest, looking for Mew. Not a sign of it. Maybe it floated off to take care of its shrine or something.

I do hope we don't all wind up pranked mercilessly for all this.

So, for those of you not in the know, the flute Ilima has is the Quartz Flute from the fangame Pokemon Insurgence, which summons Mew. It's not the first Insurgence reference in Pokemon Burst, as the Poke Balls that the Mirror starters came out of were Delta Balls. (The Mirror starters however are not called 'Delta' Pokemon, as Insurgence has its own set of 'Delta' starters.)

Heh, Shu, you really should have listen to Kachu on this one.
"Flutes have cultural significance where I come from." If you've already read the further chapters, you'll know that Ilima isn't talking about Alola.

As a friend of mine pointed out, Shadow Punch is supposed to be unavoidable. Heh. I guess I'll just pretend that was my little joke and not actually a complete oversight on my part.
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,333
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
Wes's POV

We found Glad and Shu hiding behind some shrubbery, and Gary had met up with Hoopa and been taken back to hide with the Pokemon in that rocky hollow. Once Hoopa met up with us and learned that the problem was handled, it led us back to the rocky place and told all the Pokemon that things were all peaceful-like now and there was nothing left to worry about.

By that time, everyone was plum tuckered out, so we decided to make camp for the night. There was some slight kerfuffle over where Terra was gonna sleep, being the only girl in camp. Glad and 'Lima insisted that she sleep as far away from me as possible, and sorta set themselves up as her 'guards.'

Okay, I see how it is. A guy gets raised by thieves, and suddenly nobody trusts him anymore, is that it? Really?

Talk about profiling!

Gladdy wanted his gem back, of course. I told him the gem liked me better. Glad thought that was ridiculous, that a gem couldn't have feelings. I said that just shows how much he knows, and it's no wonder the gem likes me better.

Which is when Terra and Ilima wanted to know just what the heck I meant, so I got to explain exactly what's up with that.

---

I'd been staring at the weird sorta-prophetic carvings inside the ancient ruin when something started to shake inside my bag. (Terra later told me that this was probably the Dark Device or Unearthly Urn that contained the giant Gengar, although she wasn't sure which one was which.)

The Dark Device (or Unearthly Urn, but I'm going with Dark Device here) popped out of my bag, and this whopping huge Gengar came out of it, bringing down the ceiling. I wound up trapped under some rubble -- not seriously hurt, but pretty pissed.

Then I got sucked right into the Dark Device. Bag and all.

It was dark. Really, really dark. Even my night-vision goggles couldn't really penetrate the darkness. There was me, and there was my bag, and there was this... mass... all around me, mass I couldn't penetrate. It didn't seem hard or soft, smooth or fuzzy; it was just THERE, all around me, caging me in, and it was royally freaking me out.

Have I mentioned I don't like being confined? Never have. Free spirit, I am. Probably why any four walls that have ever tried to hold me, inevitably, don't. But this wasn't a set of four walls. This was a roundish... void. Which is even worse, because explosives only work on things that exist, and I wasn't even sure if what was preventing my movement truly existed, or if my inability to move past it meant that I was dead somewhere.

And if I tried to blow it up, I'd be even deader.

My hand brushed against my bag, which told me I was alive. You can't take it with you, after all.

There was a glint. A glow. From inside the bag.

Gladion's Burst Heart.

Now, I'm just gonna admit straight out: what I did next was so mind-numbingly stupid that I prolly don't deserve to be alive tellin' you about this. I mean, I knew what that stone did to Gladdy. I knew, from personal experience, that it turned him into a mindless raging monster. Heck, he bit me twice in that form just hours before.

But I figured, hey, we have this impenetrable surface that might not even be a surface, and we have this magic aura gem that grants superhuman power to its wielder... hey, maybe I could claw my way out of this prison with it.

So I reached into the bag, pulled out the gem, but then I sort of saw out of the corner of my eye that the double-headed arrow and spoon were glowing too. So I slipped the gem into my glove for safekeeping and picked up the Unearthly Urn (or maybe it was the Dark Device, but I don't really care) and the spoon that went with it.

"Hmm," I said. "Wonder if these two are s'posed t' fit t'gether?"

There was a slot in the middle of the Urn, just sized enough to stick a spoon in. And, well, the spoon and the Urn were made of the same weird orange marbled material. And I was trapped in here anyway, so if perchance the thing exploded when I stuck the spoon in it, one way or another I'd be out of this place.

Possibly in pieces. But, as I said, what I did next was stupid.

I stuck the spoon in.

In fairness, how was I supposed to know that a giant Alakazam would appear in a spot where there simply was not adequate room for a giant Alakazam to share with me?

---

I still don't know if Alakazam teleported us both out, or if the Dark Device just straight-up exploded. All I knew was that suddenly I was outside, taking big greedy gulps of cool, clean air, and gasping for breath.

Folks, let me tell you: the Dark Device stinks. It smells of rotten Gengar. And rotten Gengar smells like industrial smog and old socks. I'm surprised I didn't throw up inside that stinkin' place.

After a few gasps for breath, I looked up and saw, of course, a giant freaky striped Alakazam looming over me. And when something 'looms' over you, you don't generally assume it's friendly.

I slowwwwwwly reached for the Burst Heart in my glove.

I wouldn't touch that if I were you.

I blinked. That voice. Speaking inside my head... I gaped up at Alakazam. Was that him?

Yes. Don't worry, I'm not going to eat you.

I blinked. "Glad that's settled, then." I still didn't feel entirely comfortable around something that's clearly bigger, smarter, and more personally adapted to butt-kicking than I am (and that's sayin' something). "Yer takin' this well."

I was imprisoned for quite a long time. Alakazam stretched its notably large limbs. I had almost forgotten what stars looked like.

"Yeah, well, you an' th' outside gotta lot t' catch up on." I picked myself up and started to walk away.

And promptly hit an invisible wall.

That stone is not yours.

I blinked, tried to back off from the invisible wall, but found that I couldn't do that either. Blasted telekinesis! "Yeah, well, I can't well give it back if I'm stuck here!"

I am not sure whether the stone would be safer with you or not. Or, namely, if the rest of the world would be safer from the stone.

"Tell me 'bout it," I said. "Guy who owns this stone goes plumb loco when he uses it. Practically bays at th' moon. Ya know he bit me twice?"

Yes. I read your memories.

I had the feeling this was a pretty rude thing to do, but not like I'm in a position to judge. And no point saying it when Alakazam likely already knew. "Ya think he got a faulty Burst Heart?"

Well, judging from the aura readings, the aura impression of a Lycanroc that the stone holds is incredibly angry. It appears that the previous owner of the stone was a trainer who abused his Lycanroc to get it to grow stronger.

"So, when Gladdy absorbs the stone's aura, he absorbs its anger?"

Yes. Anger, hatred, and a desire for revenge on the world. The latter which usually manifests in biting everything it sees.

"Yeesh." I stared at the stone as if it's an Arbok ready to bite me. "An' I thought he was edgy enough."

It is probably a very good idea not to let anyone use that stone until we can somehow get it proper counseling.

"Wait, counseling for a rock?"

You'd be surprised what's possible.

I'm not sure how long this conversation would have gone on for, but Alakazam's head jerked up suddenly (I felt the wind from when it did so). Oh dear. That Gengar again. I'm afraid I'm going to have to go blast some sense into him before he breaks anything really important.

"Great," I said, slipping the stone back into my glove. "Come back when you're done, alright? We gotta talk about this rock."

I suddenly felt a distinct lack of ground, as Alakazam telekinetically picked me up and set me on his shoulder. Better idea, he said to me. Why don't you come along and watch?

---

"So, I was basically clingin' to its shoulder like my life depended on it," I said, "which it pretty much did. Then Round, Pink, and Jiggly dropped by, sung us all to sleep, and when I woke up, you guys were there. End of story."

'Lima nodded his head. "So the Lycanroc that the Burst Heart impressed on was abused. That's why it freaks out whenever Gladion activates it for battle."

"Still doesn't justify Wes running off with it," Glad snapped.

"I don't blame Wes for running off with it," Gary shot back. "I saw what you did to him back there; that thing is a land mine waiting to go off. I wouldn't blame him if he threw it in the ocean and never looked back."

"I wonder if I could talk to it..." Shu thought out loud.

I tossed the stone to the kid. "Be my guest. Jus' don't rub it th' wrong way. I prefer keepin' most of my skin on."

I gotta admit, I hadn't thought much of Shu's ability to talk to Pokemon. If all it took to translate Pokemon cries was some dumb machine, then why ain't it on the market? But the way Shu looked at that rock in his hand, somehow it didn't seem all that odd to believe that the two of them could have a decent conversation.

"Uh-huh... yeah... I see," Shu muttered to the Burst Heart. "Gosh, that sounds terrible. No wonder you're so upset." A pause. "Really? Oh, that's just sick. Poor you!"

After some more of this conversation, Shu looked up. "I think... I think we need to show this stone that humans aren't all bad. Which means we have to activate the Burst Heart in situations where it's not going to be battling. The heart keeps taking over Gladion the way it does because it associates battles with fights to the death, or something close to it anyways."

Gladdy just about choked. "Seriously? You want us to have FUN? With that thing that takes over my mind?"

"Why, yes," Shu said matter-of-factly. "Otherwise it's just going to keep taking over your mind."

Gary spoke up. "You ever thought maybe the best course of action is, well, not using it?"

Glad whirled around, fists clenched. "You LEFT ME TO DIE!" he hissed. "You don't get to tell me how to live my life!"

This was probably the tenth time Gladion had snapped at Gary for this by now, and we were all already sick of it. "Chill out, Edgy McEdgerson," I said. "We know the guy's a douche. And one's bad enough."

"Look," Gary said, "I think anything said while one is under the extreme duress of being chased by a giant Gengar can be legally qualified under an insanity plea. Certainly no sane person would be running from a giant Gengar."

"You mean," 'Lima said carefully, "no one would stay sane?"

"Exactly."

"I vote we go to bed," 'Lima said matter-of-factly. "Gary, you get first watch. And second. And third, if you argue with me over it."

"WHAT?"

"Consider this a lesson in how to look out for people. Namely, don't treat them like they're expendable."

Gary gaped, making a face like a Loudred. "That... that... that's not fair! I need to sleep, too!"

"Maybe if Team Rocket stops by again," Glad snarked, "you can interrogate them on your missing family. Assuming your family wants you back."

This last part left Gary looking like he was gonna cut a bitch. "Why, you little--!"

They likely would have come to blows if 'Lima hadn't intervened. "Gladion, go to bed. Gary, get over out by those rocks and start your watch. We don't have time for an argument."

The two of them pretty much complied. No one much argues with 'Lima. And there's a reason for it. Reasons I won't go into, but there are reasons.

Hoopa pulled out some sleeping bags from who knows where for the newcomers, and we settled into our tents for the night.

Still, I couldn't help but wonder.

Who the frek carves an alarm clock on an ancient stone wall hundreds of years ago?

One of the first Pokemon episodes I ever watched was the Pokemopolis episode, so of course I was going to put some of that in Pokemon Burst. It also fits the whole "Totem Pokemon" vibe that the recent games have had.

Wes is fun to write for. I wouldn't want him in my house, but he's fun to write for.
Wes is not known for doing things the safe and logical way. And hey, that ancient Alakazam speaks English for some odd reason. Best not to question it.
Terra's POV

I went to sleep with Benga curled up on top of my sleeping bag. Ilima and Gladion slept on either side of me, in case Wes got any ideas. I'm not quite sure what sort of ideas Wes would get, but Gladion certainly has thoughts on them.

"I can't believe I'm in a sleepover with five guys," I muttered under my breath.

And Gladion heard me. "Don't worry about us," he said. "Cap and I are both asexual. He's born that way, I find it preferable to the alternatives."

"Oh." Somehow in Gladion's case I wasn't surprised. "What do you mean, born that wa--"

"Lights out," Ilima announced abruptly, flicking off the lantern. "Everyone go to bed."

A pause.

"He's sensitive about it," Gladion whispered to me under his breath.

"You think?" I whispered back.

I heard a sound that might have been Ilima putting his pillow over his ears.

---

Terra! Terra Allen!

I was pretty sure I was asleep, which is weird because usually when I have dreams, I don't know that I'm dreaming. But the voices persisted.

Terra! Can you hear us? It's us, the Unown!

"Wuh... what?"

We got separated when the dragon man used aura to control our Dragonite. There was a huge battle, and by the time we barely managed to claim our Dragonite back, we'd flown too far away from where we'd lost you. We've been looking for you all this time.

"You mean, even while the giant Gengar and Alakazam were fighting?"

...yes. They sounded apologetic. We weren't able to get that close because Ghost-types are super-effective on Psychic and Warp types.

"Wait, Warp types? What's a Warp type?"

A Pokemon type with powers to bend reality. Your Hoopa is a Warp/Ghost type. Alakazam is a Psychic/Warp type, since it Teleports from a young age. Pokemon like Stantler and Xatu are also of the Warp type. A more accurate term might be Tesseract type, but that was too long to really be useful. We didn't name it, anyway.

"Never heard of that one before," I admitted.

At any rate, during our search we learned a few things that your group needs to know. Oh, we sort of read all your dreams while we dropped by, so that's how we know you need to know them. You don't mind, right?

"Wait, all our dreams?"

Pretty much. First of, Gary will want to know that the people of Pallet Town have been taken to Saffron City for psychic indoctrination and lab experiments. If he freaks out, do NOT let him run off alone to deal with them. Team Rocket has clearly superior firepower and mutant Pokemon on their side, and without his usual team, he'll never stand a chance against them.

I gulped. This didn't sound good at all. "What else?"

The stone that Team Rocket used in your encounter with them is a Miracle Crystal. These crystals are mined from Chargestone Cave and other places, and are used to absorb and redirect electricity. In the right hands, they can be used to heal and recharge Electric-type Pokemon. In the wrong hands, they can be a dangerous weapon.

"I see." Pause. "Any relation to Synergy Stones?"

Possibly. Their molecular structure is similar.

"What about Rayquaza?"

Rayquaza isn't the only legendary Pokemon that Team Rocket has in their clutches. They've been working on a major cloning project with a new, genetically engineered species called Mewtwo. They've been using multiple Mewtwo to track down, capture, and clone other legendaries. They can't produce legendary Pokemon en masse, but even a few super-powered Pokemon can accomplish terrible things in Team Rocket's hands.

I shuddered. "Please tell me they don't have Giratina... please please please..."

They do not. However, the truth just might be worse.

"What?!"

That man you saw, with the red hair. We are unable to gather much information on him -- his aura is shielded from us. But he possesses the power to control even legendary dragon Pokemon, and has tracked down and dominated Giratina with his abilities.

Gulp. "That can't be good, can it?"

Probably not, no. He is no friend of Team Rocket, we know that much. But he is no friend to us either. A few of us are following him in secret, to try to gauge his intentions. But we can't imagine he plans anything good with Giratina.

"Great. Fantastic." I didn't even try to hide my sarcasm. "So there's a psycho with mind-control powers running around as well as Team Rocket. And meanwhile, we're just a bunch of kids up against the world."

I wouldn't write off your new allies just yet, the Unown answered. They just might surprise you.

"Yeah, well, honestly I'm surprised they even know each other, let alone that they showed up in Kanto." I paused. "How did two guys from Alola and a guy from Orre get to Kanto, anyway?"

That, we do not know. You might want to ask them.

"I did. Ilima said why they're here -- to save the world or something -- but didn't tell me how." I paused. "Maybe I should have asked him before we went to bed?"

Well, you were all in a mood after the whole thing with the giant Gengar. But don't worry. All will be revealed in time.

"Why did you send me here, anyway?" I asked. "I mean, I know I asked you to take me with you, but I... I didn't really think it through, all right? It wasn't all that hot an idea, all things considered."

We were looking for a hero. Someone that could stand against the growing darkness and save our world from utter annihilation.

I paused.

Then yelled so hard, I woke up Gladion, Ilima, and myself.

"I'm TWELVE!"

---

"What the hell?" Gladion asks. "What are you talking about?"

"It's just a nightmare," Ilima insists. "Just calm down--"

"No!" I yell. "The Unown think I'm going to save the world from annihilation, and I don't even know what that means!"

My yelling attracts attention from disgruntled ex-sleepers. "Hey, keep it down in there, will ya?" Wes asks. "Yeesh, and ya thought I'd be th' problem?"

"Just calm down," Ilima says evenly. "Calm. Down."

Strangely enough, I do feel calmer. There's something in his voice that says it's okay, it's all going to be okay, I don't need to freak out. And, oddly enough, my mind believes it. My temper slows down, and I take a few deep breaths.

"Okay... hokay," I say, getting a grip on myself. "I had a nightmare, but I don't think it was just a nightmare. Could have been the Unown trying to speak to me, or it could've just been my imagination. We'll talk about it tomorrow."

Wes wrinkles his brow. "Unown?"

"Long story. Tell you in the morning." I shake my head and burrow back into my sleeping bag. "Right now, we need to sleep."

Gary mutters something about how he's already missed too much sleep on night watch and this isn't making this any better, but I ignore him. We'll settle all this tomorrow, I guess.

If I can get any sleep NOW.

---

I stay up for several minutes, or maybe more. Time sort of drags on when you're in the middle of a forest full of Pokemon and trying to get to sleep while the fate of the world seems to rest on your shoulders.

Then I hear the singing.

It seems close, yet far off, and it takes me a moment or two to realize how similar it is to Mew's singing at Jigglypuff's bell. I peer out of my sleeping bag, trying to place where the song is coming from, but something about the song itself makes it difficult to place. It's like the song has a life of its own and is weaving from place to place, without a care in the world.

My eyelids feel heavy. It's hard to stay awake.

Until next time...

...

...

...

...Wait.

How did Ilima know I was having a nightmare?

In which shit gets real.

(Yeah, some of these chapters I didn't have much in the way of commentary on.)
So I got a bit of flak in a certain other topic on this forum when I discussed how Gladion's and Ilima's asexuality works.

First of all, I am by no means implying that their asexuality is representative of all asexuals. I can't speak for all asexuals, although I do have a couple of asexual friends. I can only speak for me and my characters. And characters are typically meant to be individuals, not blanket cases. This isn't that kind of story.

Anyway, the concern that a certain other person had about my depiction of asexuals (I'm not sure if she read the story or just my brief description of the depiction) was that I was implying that asexuality is born of trauma. Well, it's certainly not always, and Ilima's is purely biological (the specifics of his condition come in later chapters -- don't worry, it's described in a prudent and non-graphic manner). But in my case? It kind of is. I can only describe my 'asexual awakening' as the end result of a few years of watching Twitch chat make every dirty joke in the book and thinking 'If this is what sex means, I want no part in it whatsoever.'

Not that it's my only reason for staying chaste. Other reasons are that I have horrible genes and have no intention of passing them off to any innocent offspring. Also, I am by no means responsible enough to be a mother, and don't even think I currently have the emotional maturity to be a wife. (I am getting better in the emotional maturity department, but I still have a long ways to go.)

Anyway. Nobody likes to be lectured at, so I think I'll break off that topic here for now.

I regret my failure to properly address Terra's fear of Giratina in the second half of Arc 2, particularly during the Raid on Pokemon Tower segment. It was a plot point that I had completely forgotten by that time. I may go back and add something to the chapters in question to revisit that thread... although by the time I reach that point, I'll have probably forgotten it again. And today is not a good time because it's thundering outside, and I don't have a surge protector. Which I really need to buy sometime.
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,333
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
Terra's POV

The next morning the whole story comes out. Earth, the Unown, the red-haired man, Saffron City, everything. I even tell them the thing about Pokemon being a video game franchise in my world, and I don't care how crazy it sounds. I just have to tell someone about it.

But when I'm halfway through the part about the Unown telling me I have to save the world, Wes starts laughing out loud.

"Excuse me?" I scold. "I'm serious here!"

Wes nods and grins. "Sure, I believe ya. Jus' ask 'Lima and Glad what they know 'bout folks comin' from other worlds."

Gladion makes a face at Wes. Ilima looks quietly amused. "It's true," the latter says. "You're not the only one to come here from another world."

I blink in amazement. "Wait, what?"

"What the Unown said about saving the world is true. If Team Rocket is allowed to go on as they are, they will trigger a chain reaction that destroys this planet's ecosystem and leaves Pokearth completely uninhabitable." (Notably, Ilima pronounced it po-kay-arth, not po-kay-erth as I would have assumed.) "The surviving humans and Pokemon will use the Ultra Wormholes to flee to another dimension, Ultra Space, and take up residence there."

"The Pokemon that came to Ultra Space will adapt to their environment," Gladion goes on, "and become Ultra Pokemon." He reaches into his pockets and pulls out two Poke Balls, releasing their contents. "These are Sasha, my Ultra Sneasel, and Twan, my Ultra Riolu."

The two Pokemon materialize, and I immediately notice they're not the Sneasel and Riolu I know. Ultra Sneasel is golden brown, with gleaming metal scythes for claws and a skirt-like covering over her hips, not unlike Weaville's. Ultra Riolu has scruffy, light tan fur, and looks something between a cocker spaniel and a coyote pup. I have to resist the urge to hug it.

"So, wait," I say, confused. "If this is going to happen, then how come you already...?"

"We're not just from Ultra Space," Gladion explains. "We're from the future. A future where this planet and everything on it are destroyed completely. We're trying not to let that happen this time."

"But we don't yet know completely how to stop it," Ilima admits. "Stopping Team Rocket has been our first priority, but even then, the chain reaction might still occur. And we don't have all that much time to work with."

Gary snorts. "You're time travelers, right? Then you oughta have plenty of time! Just go back if you mess up and try it again!"

"It's not that easy," Ilima explains. "Every time we go back or forward in time, it affects the fabric of spacetime. Too much manipulation of spacetime can cause a hole in the fabric of reality, something that an Ultra Beast or something even worse might come out of. And given the sheer scope of the time paradox we're about to create by saving the world, we can't risk overdoing things before we even get the chance to do so."

"And what does this have to do with saving my family?" Gary asks.

"I should think that would be obvious," Gladion says bluntly. "Saving the world means saving the part of it your sister and grandfather are standing on."

"We need to stop Team Rocket," Ilima says. "If we want to rescue your family, we're going to have to figure out where in Saffron City they're being kept, and how to break in, break out, and get everybody out of there."

Gary starts to pace. "Team Rocket agents showed up yesterday right outside my house. Not outside the lab, or Xanadu Nursery, or Pallet House restaurant -- outside my house. There's got to be something inside my house that they want."

"Or something they couldn't find anywhere else in Pallet Town," Shu offers.

"We need to double back to Pallet Town," Gary says. "Whatever this thing is, it's got to be important if they brought along a Rayquaza looking for it. If we encounter any Team Rocket grunts, we'll just have to beat the truth out of them."

"Are you suicidal?" I ask. "If Team Rocket's there, we won't stand a chance!"

"Oh really?" Gary asks. "Your Hoopa seemed confident enough to tie that Rayquaza into knots."

"Which is why we CAN'T go back against them this time," I explain. "Team Rocket knows that one Rayquaza wasn't enough to stop us. So if they head back to Pallet Town, they won't just bring one Rayquaza. They'll bring more. More firepower, more agents, and more legendary Pokemon. They'll wipe us off the map!"

Gary takes this all in. Not happily. But he takes it in. "That... is a fair point. We need to catch them somewhere where they won't be expecting us."

"Not this forest, certainly," Ilima says. "We've already worn out our welcome, and I don't think Mew is happy with us busting up the shrine, wrecking the ruins, and letting giant Totem Pokemon loose to rain down havoc."

Gladion gives Ilima the "No shit, Sherlock" look.

"Time travel!" Wes announces suddenly.

"Wait, what?" say... pretty much all of us.

"That explains th' strange carvin's in th' ruins," Wes goes on. "The clock an' th' bathtub an' th' schooldesk an' all... Whoever built them ruins must've had time travel!"

"Excuse me?" Gary asks. "Is this supposed to make sense?"

Wes takes a deep breath, then explains to all of us what he found in the ruins of Pokemopolis. The Dratini, the horned creature with rings, the carvings of modern life that were hundreds, possibly thousands, of years old. "An' guns, too," Wes points out. "Didn't see much o' how it ended, 'cause that Gengar interrupted me..."

"If the people of Pokemopolis knew about time travel," Ilima said, "they might well have known how to stabilize a paradox. We could use that knowledge."

"But not if gaining it causes a paradox itself!" Gladion puts in. "We know the temple gets its front kicked in by Gengar. We can't risk causing a dimensional anomaly at the ruins just to save our own skins!"

"Save your skins?" I ask, confused. "What do you mean, save your skins?"

Ilima sighs, and can't seem to look Gladion in the eye. "Have you heard of the grandfather paradox?"

"Yeah..." I say nervously. "If you go back in time and kill your grandfather, you erase yourself from existence, but if you never existed, you can't kill your grandfather... that's the paradox, right?"

Ilima nods. "Now, imagine if you came from a human civilization in Ultra Space, which never would have existed if the human civilization on Pokearth hadn't come to an end. And you're trying to keep that human civilization on Pokearth from coming to an end. It's pretty much the same principle when you think of it."

"Oh?" I think about this a moment... "Ohhhhhhhh. Explorers of Sky paradox... I'm so sorry."

"I don't know what that means," Gladion says, "but I think it's pretty clear that whoever lived up in those ruins way back when had experience with Ultra Wormholes. Not one, not two, but three totem-sized Pokemon... and at sizes far beyond those previously found in the Alola region."

"Currently found," Ilima corrects him. "Present tense."

"Oh, believe me, this present is tense." There's no humor in Gladion's voice at all. "Even if we somehow find the solution to saving our collective butts there, we could wind up opening a door to Ultra Space that even multiple Mew can't close. And we've already caused the Mew living here more than enough trouble."

"Yeah," Gary said, "I'd say we gotta leave this forest before Mew puts a dead Gloom in my underwear drawer. Boy, do those things stink!"

"What?" Gladion snaps.

So Gary tells the story of the dead Oddish in his sock drawer, and Ilima looks like he's going to be sick, and Wes makes a comment on what to do with a dead Oddish, which involves smoke inhalation. Which Gary isn't thrilled with at all, and things escalate from there.

"You know," Ilima says after the dust settles and Gary and Wes stop throwing verbal barbs at each other, "maybe time travel is the solution to all our current problems."

"What," Gary asks, "you mean throw Street Rat and Edgelord here back to the Rampardos Age?"

"Okay, not all of our problems." Ilima has the patience of a saint, and it's quite clear he needs it. "We need to find a way to get information on where in Saffron City the people of Pallet Town have been taken. We know a group of Rocket grunts were in these woods yesterday. If we travel back through time, we can intercept one of them as they're fleeing and interrogate them."

"Or we could, y'know," Gary says, "go back to where the whole damn thing started and keep it from happening?"

"First off, that would cause a grandfather paradox. If Team Rocket had never kidnapped your family, you likely wouldn't have been in the woods when you were, and we would have never met. Second, the six of us can't possibly stop enough Rockets to kidnap an entire town. Third, the Rocket grunts that stole your family were able to Teleport. The ones that hassled me, Wes, and Gladion couldn't. If they could, they would have done so instead of merely running off."

"Great." Gary clearly knows he's had his argument handed to him, and he doesn't like it. "So, who all remembers what time it was when Gladdy here was an edgy edgewolf?"

"My NAME is GLADIO--"

"He knows that," Ilima says quickly. "Don't let him get a rise out of you; that's just what he wants."

Gary smirks at Gladion, who makes a rude gesture.

"So," Ilima says, "if we want to explore the ruins, we should probably go back at least a week. When we're done, we can go forward to the spot of time when Gladion scared all those Rockets off. But it's generally best not to make a series of short time hops backward, to avoid the risk of a multi-layered paradox."

"What's a multi-layered paradox?" I ask.

"It's when a series of small time paradoxes layer in on each other, causing a serious snarl in the fabric of reality. Thankfully it's only theoretical at this point, but we don't want to be the ones to prove the theory, do we?"

"I should say not," I answer. "You sound familiar with all this."

Ilima rolls up his sleeve, revealing a bracelet resembling a Poke Ball watch face, with one half golden and the other half silver. "I helped my friend Clemont with ironing out these chronometers -- they're what lets us travel through time. Before we could use them, he insisted we study the theory."

"Clemont, huh? I've heard of him." I grin. "Let me guess... 'the future is now...'"

"'...thanks to science,'" Ilima finishes just as I do.

Gladion looks at me curiously. "You seem to know a lot about our world from what you've experienced in ours. Did you know anything about me?"

"We-e-e-e-ell," I say, "nothing I've heard about you said you lived in Ultra Space, or showed anything about Ultra Pokemon. So I can't say anything for sure on you. You still have a sister, right?"

"Lillie? Yes. She's been on one of the Seafoam Islands with Clemont and the others for a while. We came here to see Mew, but we left the, shall we say, less combat-oriented members behind. In case of Team Rocket."

"Or worse," Ilima adds.

"Yeah -- or worse."

"What's worse than Team Rocket?" I ask.

"Time snarls, Ultra Beasts, enraged Totems, reality breaking around us," Gladion answers. "That's what's worse."

---

After some consultation between the group, Ilima decided that we would travel back to one week before the kidnapping of Pallet Town. While Ilima strongly cautioned against attempting to prevent what had already happened, Gary was adamant that we do something to stop it, so in the end Gladion decided to stay back in the present with him.

Gary did not like this idea one bit, and neither did he like Gladion relinquishing his chronometer to Ilima so Gary couldn't try to fight him for it. Gladion did agree that if there was anything Team Rocket wanted inside Gary's house, someone should head back there and look for it, so I guess that's what those two are doing.

Shu decided, to no one's surprise, to go with us and have timey-wimey adventures rather than to stick around and have to deal with Gary and Gladion's grumbling.

We had to walk all the way back to the ruins to activate the chronometer. The least amount of time we spent in the past, Ilima said, the better. Less chance of us starting a crippling paradox through a butterfly effect. Ilima explains to us -- Wes, Shu, and myself -- that the chronometer works on whatever the user has direct contact with at the time of its activation. Which meant that the four of us have to hold onto each other while Ilima operates the chronometer.

I'm holding hands with Ilima, I think to myself gleefully. Well, he's asexual, but he's still cute.

So now the journey begins.

---

Light. Green-blue light, all around us. Like a scene from the Celebi movies, the four of us were engulfed by the time ripple, sending us back through time in an instant.

It felt weird, like my foot falling asleep, only over my entire body. I never really thought about it, but where is my body in that instant when I cross over from one time to another? Is it in the past, or in the present? How does it cross? What takes up the space in between?

Then we make our landing in the past, and I realize that my questions aren't just metaphysical anymore.

Because we aren't the only ones in the ruins.

So, in the official games, Gary/Blue is in his early thirties when Gladion and Ilima are teenagers. I haven't forgotten that detail!

Friendly reminder that despite Terra's confusion, asexual does not equal aromantic. This is a point that will become important several chapters on. Not yet, though.
Before there were Ultra Wormholes in Pokemon canon, there was Twitch Plays Pokemon, and there were glitches in the games we played. Popular TPP lore (pioneered by ZetsuTheFirst and the excellent and mature-rated webcomic Bill-Sanctioned Shenanigans) had these glitches come from rips and tears in the dimensional barrier that happened when reality was strained by powerful forces -- like feuding gods, for instance. One year later, the movie Hoopa and the Clash of Ages would confirm that, yes indeed, too many powerful Pokemon together could break the fabric of reality. (Although this predated the Ultra Beasts, and the only creature that emerged from the maelstorm was Arceus.)

So yeah. This was my basis for the 'don't overuse the time travel or things get borked' rule that Ilima has. It's necessary because as I learned from the first couple of campaigns my roleplay group did together, it's never a good idea to assume time travel will solve all your problems.

The GS Chronometers were based off of the Pokemon GO Plus perephrial, with the colors of the GS Ball. Don't ask me what the GS stands for. I don't think I ever actually decided what the GS stood for.
Terra's POV

There are a pair of boys in red robes and pointed hats, looking for all the world like a pair of Red Mage cosplayers. There's a star shape drawn on the dirt with five points, inside a circle, and in the center is an empty Squirtle shell and a tightly bound Doduo, struggling to get free.

Did we just walk in on an evil cult?

"Greetings! Captain Ilima here," Ilima says, stepping forward. "And what exactly is going on here?"

Shu makes hand motions for Ilima to get back. Wes sort of leans back a bit with an expression on his face that says "time to watch the show."

I can't move. I don't know how to move. I just can't.

The taller boy looks up at us. He's got bleached white hair and a look that could stop a train. "What are you doing here?" he snaps, in the tone of voice that carries the corollary you're not supposed to be here.

"I just asked the same of you," Ilima says. "It's rude to answer a question with a question."

"Are you sorcerers, too?" the shorter boy asks. He's got red hair and is holding a staff that's taller than he is. "You just appeared like, whoosh!Where did you come from?"

"What are you doing to that Doduo?" Ilima asks.

White Hair narrows his eyes. "Oh, so now you're answering a question with a question."

"To answer your question, we came to these ruins to examine the carvings inside," Ilima says flatly. "And I could be wrong, but I have the sneaking suspicion you're going to sacrifice that Doduo for what I can only assume are selfish, sinister purposes."

"It's none of your business." White Hair snaps his fingers, and a staff even bigger than Red Hair's appears in his arms. It's carved from red wood, and has carvings of a Charizard's head and wings at its top. "Now move along. Nothing to see here."

"Says you and what army?" Ilima answers. "In case you haven't noticed, you're outnumbered two to one. We're making it our business."

Shu and Wes pull back simultaneously, Wes's expression clearly saying Why are you bringing ME into this? Shu seems more inclined to battle, though, and motions to Kachu to get ready for a rumble.

White Hair gives Ilima his sharpest glare. "This isn't over, Pinky. You can't hang around here forever, and if you ever show your pretty-boy face around here again, I'll ensure you're never mistaken for human again."

Ilima blinks. Twitches. Whatever White Hair just said to him, it clearly cuts pretty deep. "Smeargle! Mean Look!" he yells, throwing a Poke Ball.

But it's too late. White Hair and Red Hair have teleported out, somehow, leaving the Doduo behind.

Ilima starts to say something that I'm pretty sure was going to be a bad word, but it sort of gets smushed by his own hesitation and comes out as "floozie." Shu quickly runs to untie Doduo. Wes is... well, Wes has backed away towards the woods, and he sort of stands there without any idea whether it's safe to rejoin the group again or not.

"What the hell just happened?" Wes asks.

"Some sort of cult, I'm guessing," Ilima answers. "I don't know why Mew didn't show up to do something about this sort of thing. It's troubling..."

"Maybe those two scare even Mew," Wes offers.

Ilima shudders. "Well, they aren't going to scare me," he answers emphatically.

"Hey!" Shu suddenly exclaims. "Look at this Doduo!"

I look down and do a double take. Its feathers are yellow, its legs and beak lime green. One head, the head on its left side, is a normal Doduo head. The head on its right, however, has big wide eyes and, instead of a beak, thick lips like a Weepinbell's. Upon closer examination, the chimera's yellow feathers have the texture of dandelion fluff, and its legs and beak shine with the waxiness of vines.

"Clarence," I whisper, not daring to believe my own eyes. "This is... Clarence?"

"You know this Doduo?" Shu asks.

"I've heard of it... or him..." I admit. "But I never thought that he was real... I mean, really in this world..."

Clarence gives a grateful squawk and rushes out of the pentagram circle, cawing its appreciation for Shu. Kachu looks a little jealous that this Doduo-Weepinbell-thing is getting more attention than she is. Shu just laughs and ruffles Clarence's head feathers, on the head that actually does have feathers at least.

Wes bends down to look at the Squirtle shell. "Hey, this thing's got scratch marks and blood stains inside it," he says. "And it's fresh, too. This didn't just happen -- somebody killed some Squirtle for this shell!"

Ilima flinches. "For what purpose, I wonder...?"

"There's an odd symbol carved inta it, too," Wes says, turning it around to look at the bottom. "Some sorta bird shape?"

"DON'T TOUCH THAT!" Ilima suddenly yells, and Wes drops the shell immediately. It lands on one of the painted lines of the star shape, and sparks start to fly from where it's struck the ground.

Wes jumps back, and discovers one small problem with jumping back: he can't. There's a force field keeping him firmly in the middle of the pentagram, and he can't get away.

Clarence whimpers and huddles closer to Shu. Kachu growls, sparks flying from her cheeks. Benga poofs up like a Halloween cat.

I'm frozen. Is this happening? This doesn't happen in Pokemon. This is Pokemon, not Full Metal Alchemist or whatever other show I'm not supposed to watch.

But it's happening.

More sparks burst out from the Squirtle shell, which starts to rise. Wes is frantic, flailing his arms against the invisible barrier, screaming "Get me outta here! GET ME OUTTA HERE!"

If he survives this, Shu is never gonna let him live it down. But that's a pretty big if.

Reality starts to waver within the center of the pentagram, and Wes breaks down screaming, his efforts for naught...

"Wes-Kun! ALLEY-HOOPARING!"

Hoopa to the rescue! A ring appears within the pentagram's center, and Wes freezes a moment in shock before Ilima and I grab him by the arms and haul him out. (I swear I just saw octarine out of that hole.) It tingles to touch Wes, but we pull him out, Hoopa closes the ring, and we all survive.

Wes staggers a few steps forward, then throws up all over Ilima. Ilima pulls back, disgusted, but then looks up and realizes that he has more on his plate than a messy shirt.

Because the shell inside the pentagram is no longer empty.

Yes, I just incorporated Clarence the Weepinduo into my fan fiction. Unironically.
You know fanservice, right? Including Clarence was, for me, the opposite of fanservice. It was authorservice, because I just wanted to include Clarence in something. Yes, I love you, brother. Be strong for Mother.

One of the things I like about Ilima is how he handles hostile situations. Granted, in later chapters he finds himself thrown into situations that he can't handle quite as calmly for reasons. There's a name for a character that never struggles, and that name is Mary Sue. (Granted, I do think the 'Mary Sue' title has been thrown around much too easily by fandoms over the years, but that's another story and I don't feel like telling it.)

And hey, White Hair clearly knows how to get at Ilima. He's cracked the guy's facade. Which isn't easy for mere mortals, let me tell you.

It was fun thinking about how a Weepinbell/Doduo fusion might work. Dandelion feathers, vine-y legs... don't ask me how his insides work, because one, I haven't thought that far, and two, eww.

The dead Squirtle shell is based off Torto, Twitch Plays Pokemon's unfortunate starter in our Bootleg Green sidegame run. It was sacrificed to Glitch Hell so we could warp to the Hall of Fame early. True story.
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,333
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
Terra's POV

"Everyone, get inside the ruin!" Ilima yells. "Right now!"

We make a mad scramble into the ruins of Pokemopolis. Wes bangs into Clarence, Shu nearly trips over Benga, and Hoopa somehow winds up wearing Ilima's hat. But we all make it inside.

"Everyone all right?" Ilima asks, quickly switching on a flashlight.

Wes is breathing hard, staring at his right hand as if in pain. He quickly yanks off his glove, then shrieks. "My hand... look at my hand!"

There's a symbol on his open palm, glowing with unearthly light. It's some sort of bird, with a long beak and huge, gangly wings. And the symbol seems to be moving.

"Is that the symbol from the Squirtle shell?" Shu asks.

Wes nods.

"Does that mean you're cursed?"

Wes seems a bit too out of it to answer.

Shu looks down at Kachu. "Someone'd better check things out outside to see if that thing is causing trouble."

"Chu!" the Pikachu says defiantly, turning away.

"Someone who's smaller than the rest of us," Shu continues.

"Chu!"

"Someone that won't be seen," Shu insists.

"CHU!"

"Not much point," Ilima says after a quick peek outside. "The fire's out. The shell's no longer possessed. All clear."

The image burned into Wes's palm has faded, at least in light. It still looks like the shape of the bird is permanently scarred onto his hand, but Wes can open and close his palm without wincing, so at least it's not as bad.

"Hoopa thinks interrupting the sacrifice stopped the bad fire thing," Hoopa says nervously. "But what was the bad fire thing?"

Wes coughs a bit, thankfully not having anything else to throw up on Ilima with. "Thing had two heads, huge wings, was made o' fire, an' it was gonna have me fer breakfast. What was that?"

"Nothing of this world," Ilima says with eerie calmness. "Perhaps not a thing from any world at all. It's certainly no Ultra Beast I've ever seen before."

"Then what WAS it?"

"Offhand," Ilima said, "I'd guess it was formed from a simple energy transference. The sorcerers' spell likely intended to use the Doduo as the sacrifice to create that... thing... but instead you blundered in and started the ritual yourself."

"An' th' Mew that lives in this bloody forest did NOTHING?" Wes asks.

Ilima looks really uncomfortable. "I... well, it's said that Mew rarely appear towards humans, and the one I met a week from now certainly wasn't happy to see me. Perhaps it's too nervous around humans to want to interfere."

"Likely 'cause th' humans here are critter-killin' cultists," Wes says.

"Do you think they're Pallet Town natives?" I ask. "Or did they just come here because it's an ancient ruin and, I don't know, has ley lines or aura or something?"

"I don't think they came here for the ancient Totem Pokemon," Ilima says, "or else the artifacts they were inside wouldn't have been around for Wes to steal." He turns to Wes. "Speaking of which: Don't. Touch. Anything."

Wes stares down at his right hand and nods. "Don't gotta tell me twice."

---

Without any further interruptions, Wes leads us to where he saw the odd carvings. It's a mural, leading all the way down a hallway to probably some chamber or another.

Ilima's attention is immediately piqued. "Exquisite! This language dates all the way back to the earliest known human history in our world. How have these carvings stayed up for so long?"

Wes turns beet red, realizing that his actions a week from now are going to leave them not staying up for very much longer.

Ilima quickly composes himself and stops fanboying. "So. My skills in this language are a little rusty, but the text seems to describe events that happened in the past, not in their future. They describe a common myth regarding the creation of our world."

"What kind of myth?" I ask.

"Well, it says that once upon a time, the human and Pokemon worlds were separate. Only one Pokemon, the Archdjinn of Rings, could make gateways between the dimensions."

I turn to Hoopa in surprise. "Archdjinn of Rings... that's you!"

Hoopa looks surprised, then turns towards the carving of Hoopa-Unbound opening a portal in front of a Dratini. "Hoopa... doesn't look like that..."

"Not right now, no. But there's a Prison Bottle somewhere that should have you looking like that again in a flash..." I pause. "Assuming whatever's inside it hasn't turned evil."

Ilima gives us a look, then goes on. "The Archdjinn of Rings granted Dratini's wish to take it to another world, but in this world, the humans feared Dratini and locked it away in a cage. Only one human, a young boy, dared to befriend the creature."

"Okay, hold on," I say. "This all happened in the distant past, but there's an alarm clock? School desks? A modern bathtub? In an ancient myth?"

Wes and Shu look expectantly at Ilima. Ilima blinks. "I... I'm not sure how this is possible. But these carvings are clearly hundreds, probably thousands of years old. Perhaps time passes differently between worlds?"

Wes raises an eyebrow. "Yer talkin' like this myth jus' might be true."

"How else are we going to explain it? How else would these people even know what the modern world looks like?"

Hoopa stares at the carvings, clearly trying to remember... something. Something that would make this entire bizarre legend somehow make sense, perhaps.

Ilima keeps walking down the corridor, translating as he goes. "So, the boy and Dratini went everywhere together. They became the best of friends... but Dratini's father, Dragonite, worried for his son, and made the Archdjinn of Rings take him to the human world to rescue Dratini."

"And clearly the humans didn't like it," Shu says, pointing to the carving of humans shooting at Dragonite with guns. "But what happens next?"

What, indeed? The next few panels had collapsed, or else been actively destroyed. There's nothing left to show us what immediately happened after Dragonite was attacked. And the rubble from the destroyed murals blocks our path, so there's no way to cross over and see what was carved into the other side.

Ilima sighs audibly. "Well, so much for that. And here I'd hoped for something to help solve the grandfather paradox..."

Wes rubs his burnt hand. "Yeah... ain't worth th' trip if ya ask me. An' th' trouble, too..."

"Oh, I'd say it's perfectly worth the trip," a new voice pops up. "I certainly learned something."

It's a guy. With chin-length, lavender hair.

The legend that the group is reading was actually adapted from the How I Became A Pokemon Card manga. Although obviously Hoopa wasn't involved in the original story, because Hoopa hadn't been created yet.
There's a reason behind the glitchbird mark, but that's spoilery. For now, consider it a reference to the glitch 'Bird' type from Gen 1.

As for what the glitch entity was, there was a point in Twitch Plays Pokemon's Bootleg Green run where we turned a Cucko (Doduo) into a Charizard 'M. So that was the two-headed fire abomination that our heroes saw.

Wes not touching anything? Wes not trying to steal anything that's not nailed down? That's a new one.

I wonder if we'll ever get to a point in the story where Hoopa finds her Prison Bottle. Given the large amount of subplot juggling I've been doing with this story, I honestly don't know. But it'd be nice.
Terra's POV

"YOU!" Shu yells, charging at the newcomer wish fists clenched.

The stranger neatly sidesteps the attack, sending Shu plowing straight into the wall. "Relax! I'm one of the good guys," the stranger says.

Shu stumbles back, picking himself up. "Well, you look an awful lot like the guy from Team Rocket that sicced a Rayquaza on Gary's house!" he snaps.

"Look," the stranger says, "maybe you've hit your head a little too hard, but there's more than one guy out there with lavender hair." He turns and looks at Ilima. "Although a male human with pink hair, now that's pretty rare."

The newcomer looks a little younger than James, and is dressed in a fancy red coat and a black eye mask. Notably, his left eye is covered with some sort of crystal that glows slightly. A visual aid, like a monocle? Not likely, as the facets of the crystal would make seeing through a stone like that pretty trippy.

"Name's Will," the guy says. "Will O' DeWisp. I take it you're the time travelers?"

"What makes ya say that?" Wes asks, skeptical.

"Well, there's the time ripple you left right outside, for one thing. Oh yeah, I saw that from inside the ruins. You know, the glitchmancers out there don't go into these ruins because it's taboo? Kept me off their hit list for a while now."

"Who th' hell are ya?" Wes asks.

"I told you -- Will O' DeWisp. But if you mean, what the hell am I doing here, well, I've been spying on those glitchmancers for a while now. I find them curious."

"Curious?" Wes gapes. "CURIOUS? They just frekkin' cursed me!" He holds out his hand as proof.

Will examines the scar. "Hmm... the Mark of Phancero. Yeah, that's not good. From what I saw, you wound up bound to the Squirtle shell in a Life Transference spell."

"Life Trans-whatsit?" Wes asks.

"Life Transference. The Squirtle shell was intended to bind the creature the glitchmancers sought to create to a physical form. If all had gone as planned, the sacrifice's life energy would be transferred into the shell in the shape of an elemental life golem."

Wes shudders. "An' I'd be dead?"

"Possibly. I'm still not sure what the final results would be because they've never been able to complete a spell like that. Usually, Mew tries to drop a tree on them or something like that whenever they show up." Will taps his foot thoughtfully. "Unless... the glitchmancers did something to Mew to keep it from interfering."

"I'd suspected that might be the case," Ilima says. "When I met Mew a week from now, it seemed pretty unhappy to be summoned. What do you think the glitchmancers could have done? Cast a spell, perhaps?"

"Not likely," Will says. "Mew could have countered glitchcraft. I'm thinking the likeliest story is that the glitchmancers poisoned or drugged an offering to Mew, to keep it unable to interfere with their doings."

Ilima shudders. "Why would they go so far as to create an abomination like this in a forest sacred to Mew?"

Will considers this a moment. "They likely thought that a forest housing the creator of Pokemon would have the best ambient aura field for creating new life. Don't ask me why they did so right outside a ruin they were forbidden to enter, but I'm guessing they prolly figured it had good magical vibes or whatever."

"But why create such a thing at all?" Ilima asks. "What purpose would a being of pure elemental fire have?"

Will considers this a moment. "Because they can? That's usually the answer with glitchmancers."

"Look," Wes says, "I'm more concerned that they know how to suck th' life outta people than what they intend t' do with it. Am I gonna wake up dead sometime? Or worse, made into one o' those... THINGS?"

Will walks up to Wes and examines his hand. "Hmm... I'd say that so long as both you and that shell avoid stepping inside any enchanted pentagrams, you ought to be fine. And before you start, no, I don't think it would be in your best interests to destroy the shell entirely. As long as you have that mark on your hand, your life force might still be bound to the shell in some way."

"How'd you know all this?" Shu asks.

"I make it my business to know." He fiddles with his mask a little. "I'm an empath. I sense aura waves created by emotions. But I don't just sense emotions; I can sense aura from even inanimate objects. And right now, Mr. Goggles here has his aura straight-up out of whack from that curse thing."

Wes shudders.

"Oh, where are our manners?" Ilima asks. "I'm Captain Ilima, and these are Wes, Shu, and Terra."

"And Hoopa!" Hoopa cuts in. She'd been so uncharacteristically quiet, I'd forgotten she was even there.

"And Hoopa." Ilima nods at her.

"This is my partner Kachu," Shu says, pointing at Pikachu. "And that Litten over there is Benga." Benga meows politely, then goes back to licking himself vigorously.

"Pleasure to make your acquaintance," Will says, bowing with added flourish. "Hoopa, eh? I'll remember that. Normally this would be the point where I'd challenge you all to a battle, but... hey, you'd lose. Not much point in it, then."

"Excuse me?" Ilima asks. He seems almost offended.

"Well, I was something of a child prodigy. I won fights against grown-ups, for crying aloud. Small fry like you aren't worth my trouble."

"Is that so?" Ilima asks, a gleam in his eye. "Those are big words, but can you back them up?"

I can see them both reaching for their Poke Balls, so I interject. "Um, Ilima? Don't we need to be somewhere... you know, a week from now?"

They both freeze, and the aura of impending battle flickers. "You don't want to lose up against Team Rocket because you spent your team against this guy," I add.

Ilima takes a deep breath. "You're right, Terra." He takes a step backward. "Next time, Willow. Count on it."

"Will. Just Will." He grins. "So, any secrets from the future?"

"Jus' one," Wes says before Ilima can stop him. "Yer gonna wanna spend th' next week gettin' as far from Pallet Town as possible. Trust me on this one."

"And away from these ruins," Ilima adds.

"Got it. Thanks, guys," Will says, saluting. "And next time? You're not even gonna know what hit you, Lilyma."

"Ilima." He pauses. "And that's Captain Ilima to you."

"The captain of what?" Will asks.

Ilima pauses. "I'm not quite sure yet," he says. "But it's going to be fantastic."

Will caught my eye in HeartGold for his unique wardrobe and his odd similarity to James. So of course I had to use him in something. Will he appear again? Only time will tell.
Will doesn't really become an important part of the story until Arc Two, but I always knew I was going to use him. His empathy powers come from one of his Stadium 2 quotes, where he describes 'feeling' one of the player's attacks connecting to a weak spot. Which isn't exactly the same as empathy powers, but was close enough.

Remember, everything in Blue Moon has a reason to be in there. Unfortunately I don't always remember that it is in there, so sometimes I completely forget a plotline and don't address it until scores of chapters afterward -- or at all. This story is very much a work in progress for me as a writer, and has been quite a learning experience that I wouldn't trade for anything on the face of this earth.
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,333
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
Gladion's POV

"Okay, Gary, let's get this one thing straight," I say. "I don't like you, and you don't like me. But we don't just don't like Team Rocket; we hate them. So you and I are going to work together, get whatever they're looking for in your house, and make sure they never so much as set eyes on it. Is that clear?"

The asshole smirks at me. "Tell me, Gladdy. Would you have acted any different than I did if our positions were reversed?"

"Despite my mother's best efforts, I grew up under the assumption that life is valuable and that friends don't leave friends to be eaten by monsters. So, no, no I wouldn't. But if you ever try anything like that on me again, or on any of my friends, I might just forget to care whether you live or die."

He doesn't bat an eye. "You have friends?"

"I..." I pause. "Okay, I have ONE friend. Who, incidentally, is going to have his Smeargle turn you inside out and upside down if anything happens to me on this mission. Capise?

"And who'd that be?" Gary asks, smirking. "Pinkie Pie?"

"His name is Ilima, and speaking of pink things, he has a flute that summons Mew and if you leave me behind to get roughed up, you're going to get much worse than an Oddish in your sock drawer. Much, much worse."

"Ilima's a dude? When did that happen? I thought he was your girlfriend!"

Now, that's just getting personal. "Don't even START about that! He's not my girlfriend, and he's not my boyfriend either!"

We glare at each other for a few seconds. I know Gary's just trying to get under my skin. I also know it's working. My hand starts to twitch, the kind of twitch that usually happens before that hand plows into someone else's face.

I have the feeling Gary can infer this.

"All right, all right," Gary says finally. "I'm sorry already. I already said I was sorry, like, a million times! What's gonna make you trust me?"

"Actions," I say flatly. "Actions speak louder than words, although your words are loud enough. Do you ever stop talking?"

We glare at each other a few seconds more.

"Just hurry up," Gary says, pointing between the trees of Sida Forest. "We're almost to Pallet Town. Better hope Team Rocket didn't beat us there."

He leads, I follow. He's lived his whole life in Pallet, and if there's any danger up ahead, he'll know where to go for safety. And more importantly, if there's any danger up ahead, he won't be able to shove me into it.

We exit the woods.

...

...

...

Nothing happens.

"Well, that was anticlimatic," Gary says. "The place still looks deserted. I'd expect someone called the police by now."

"And you didn't?" Gladion asks.

"They dropped me in the drink, doofus. My cell phone's been shorted out ever since. I tried to recharge it, but it made funny noises and started smoking when I plugged it in."

"Then use the phone at your house. Call the police. Call someone that gives a shit."

"Good idea. Glad I thought of it."

"Are you actively trying to piss me off?"

"Don't need to try," Gary laughs. "No matter what I say, you get pissed off. You've got skin thinner than a Butterfree's wings."

"At least I know how to pretend to be civil. Which house is yours?"

Gary points to a two-story house close by to what I presume is Professor Oak's lab. "Over there. Wipe your feet before you come in. Gramps is kind of particular."

I wipe my feet. "Will he be particular about the way the door's been blasted off its hinges?"

He shrugs. "It was blasted off by Rayquaza. He'll be glad it didn't blast away the whole damn house."

"Rayquaza, eh?" I consider this. "Ilima told me that Rayquaza lives in the ozone layer and rarely comes down to Pokearth. What was it doing blasting your door off?"

"It was under Team Rocket's control. I'm not sure how they got their hands on it, but they did. Terra said that Team Rocket's using an army of something called Mewtwo to round up a bunch of legendaries."

"Mewtwo... Mew Two," I say, stepping into Gary's house. "A clone army, modified from one of the rarest Pokemon in the world. So why didn't Team Rocket show up with a Mewtwo as well?"

Gary shrugs. "Beats me. Glad they didn't. So, if they're looking for something that's specifically inside this house, I'm guessing it's..."

He opens a doorway in the living room and points down a staircase. "In there. Watch your step and don't mind the smell."

I'm happy to let him lead because it means he's where I can see him. The concrete steps lead down to a hidden garage, full of tools and machine parts and grease spots all over the floor. A few metal lockers, a workbench with a ton of mechanical odds and ends set on it, and a big sheet in the corner that clearly used to be white, spread out on top of something large and round.

Gary grins. "It's still here! They didn't find it after all."

"What's still here?" I ask.

With a flourish, Gary pulls away the dirty cloth and reveals a three-wheeled contraption. "Only the coolest vehicle ever known to man, the Zero-One! It needs no steering because it automatically adjusts its trajectory to conform to the user's chosen travel path. Its chassis adapts to all terrain to travel across land, sea, and sky. It's sheer brilliance!"

I blink. "It looks like the Eggmobile."

"So what if it does? The important thing is, we have it, and Team Rocket doesn't. And I want to keep it that way."

"And how the hell are you gonna drive it out of this place?" I ask. "I'm not seeing any doors to this garage."

Gary points to a large, square panel on the floor, made from plastic so shiny I can see my face in it. "See that? When activated, it'll become a warp panel that warps us outside. Gramps doesn't keep it on all the time because it's murder on our power bill. Just give me some time to charge it up, and we'll be right in business."

"What charges it?"

"Oh, a little burst of energy from our... Electabuzz..." Gary's voice trails off, audibly deflated.

There's a pause.

"Let me guess," I say as evenly as possible. "That Electabuzz isn't available at this time because Team Rocket stole it, didn't they?"

Gary nods sheepishly.

I facepalm. "Fan-freaking-tastic. So we can't get this thing out of this room, because the only one of us with an Electric-type Pokemon is currently a week in the past. What do we do now?"

Gary considers this. "Well, we can't let Team Rocket get their hands on it, whatever they want with it. And it's the only thing of value I can think of that's at my house and not in Oak's lab. So we've got to make sure Team Rocket doesn't get it."

"Seriously?" I ask. "What's so important about this thing, anyway? It's a go-kart! If what you've said is true, it's a technologically impressive go-kart, but it's still just a go-kart! Why care if Team Rocket gets a hold on it?"

"Because they've taken enough from me already!" Gary bursts out, close to tears.

Silence.

"Look," Gary says straight out. "I know you don't like me, and I admit I've been a jerk to you. But my family means more to me than you could possibly imagine. Pallet Town might be a small town, but it's my home, and watching Team Rocket take everything away from me while I'm helpless to stop it, that cuts me to the bone. And I will not let Team Rocket take this away from me as well. You understand, Gladdy?"

I pause. My name is Gladion dies on my lips.

"Yeah," I say slowly. "I understand. More than you know."

Gary takes a deep breath. "Whoosh. Didn't expect that to come out all angsty. Anyways, that's why I've gotta survive. To kick Team Rocket's butt."

"A marvelous end goal," a voice says behind us, with slow, sarcastic applause. "A pity you won't live to see it happen."

We whirl around and see, rising from the reflective sheen of the still-dormant warp panel:

Giratina.

GIRATINA?

And someone on its back. A man dressed in navy blue, with a bright crimson shock of hair.

There wasn't actually any original commentary for this one, aside from a note on this being the first chapter not to have an image on DeviantART associated with it. (The pen-and-ink drawings I did for the earlier chapters were pretty terrible, and the only one I linked to here was of the Mirror Starters, which are a good example of why I don't like drawing the Kanto starters in general.)

This is not the first time Gladion has had to explain that Ilima is not his significant other of either gender. Needless to say, explaining this is a particularly sore spot for Gladion. And of course I couldn't write Gladion without his hands twitching, because that's just what Gladion's hands do.

Sida Forest was named after the sida fallax flower. If you know which Pokemon character is named after that flower in certain languages, you might be able to figure out an upcoming plot twist. Assuming you didn't already read the later chapters and already know the secret.

Back when Pokemon Burst was planned to be a fangame rather than a story (which got canned because 1. it takes more work and a deeper learning curve to make a fangame than a story and 2. Nintendo doesn't DMCA stories), I'd considered having the Zero-One play a role in the game by functioning as a method of travel. This would have been made largely redundant by Hoopa's role in the game/story as a wormhole generator, but damn it would have been cool to ride around Kanto in it.
Gary's POV

Okay, so I knew from what Shu told me that Giratina could emerge from any suitably large reflective surface. And I knew from what Terra told me that this red-haired bad guy had dominated Giratina and was using her for nothing good.

But I did NOT expect Red Hair and Giratina to show up in my gramps' underground garage, for one extremely good reason: I had no reason to believe they even knew we had a garage.

"What the hell are you doing here?" I ask.

Red Hair grins. "We're taking back what doesn't belong to you. Something no human should have ever created."

I glance at the Zero-One. "Seriously? A go-kart?"

Red Hair shakes his head. "We're not interested in the kart. We're interested in what's inside it."

Before I can yell a warning, Giratina turns and fires a blast of energy at the Zero-One. To my horror, the machine is engulfed in flames, spewing horrible black smoke into the garage. Coughing, Gladion and I pull our shirts up over our noses to breathe without pain.

Undaunted, Giratina stomps over to the burning wreckage of the Zero-One, nosing around in the chassis. With a mighty stomp, she tears the front of the Zero-One in two, revealing a strange round object set within its engine.

"The Jade Orb," Red Hair says breathlessly, ignoring the noxious smoke. "Created from meteorites to control Rayquaza. Well, we don't need the likes of a 'Pokemon professor' to use such a thing, do we now?"

Giratina roars, and I can tell from the sound of it that this isn't the Giratina that saved me from drowning. I mean, it is, or at least it used to be. But not anymore.

Now, it's a menace.

"What the hell do you want with that?" Gladion asks, bristling. "Isn't controlling one legendary dragon enough?"

Red Hair laughs. "Just one dragon, enough? Against the tide of humanity? No, my plan requires the full army of the Scales of Balance." He turns, staring us down. "And no witnesses."

Holy crap. Red Hair has Giratina. All I have is a Mirror Charmander. Even with Light's strength against Ghost types, and Gladion's Ultra Pokemon, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to beat this thing back.

"Gary?" Gladion asks, bracing himself into a battle stance. "Run. This is my battle."

I blink. Did he just say... "Run?"

"Go!" Gladion yells, hurling a Poke Ball. From it, a strange new kind of Pokemon emerges, one I've never seen before. A fine crest of glowing feathers rises from its beaked head, and clawed green insectoid forelegs paw and stamp at the ground. Its hind legs are mammalian, and its tail curves with the fin of a ocean-dweller.

I run.

I don't really think I have much of a choice.

---

Gladion's POV

The monster in front of me has a body of polished platinum scales bound with golden coils, the armor of a being with wings of pure gaseous shadow, tipped with crimson claws. Its six massive legs hold up a form that ends in a pointed golden beak, two blood-red eyes, and a golden crown of menace.

"I've seen tougher," I say, and yell out my first order. "Silvally! Ice Fang!"

Silvally lunges, sinking its teeth into the beast's wing. Red Hair hangs on tight to the dragon's back as it flinches, crying out in pain. "Giratina!" he yells defiantly. "Aura Sphere!"

The Aura Sphere hits, knocking Silvally sideways. But we're not finished. "Silvally, use Crunch! Bring the pain!"

Silvally crunches down hard on Giratina's wing, digging in its fangs. Giratina roars again and tries to shake it off, but my Silvally is made of sterner stuff than that. Red Hair not so much; he's clinging to Giratina's back and looks as if he might get shaken off.

But he's not finished yet. "Giratina! Aura Sphere... on the boy!"

Oh snap.

Giratina pulls back its head, a shining sphere appearing in its maw. I remember from the back of my mind that Aura Sphere is impossible to dodge. And no matter what Silvally does, I'm about to eat one.

I reach for my Burst Heart, then realize it's useless. Even if I managed to gain Burst power in time, it'd be super effective on Lycanroc, and I'd lose control of my sanity. Lycanroc can't possibly beat Giratina, even with Crunch.

The Aura Sphere hits, sending me flying straight into a locker door. Pain!

I bounce off the steel and crumble to the ground, clutching my injured chest. I'm pretty sure that broke a few ribs, but I can't stop fighting. I can rest when I'm dead. Which is looking uncomfortably close right now.

"Crunch... again!" I gasp. "Silvally, I know you can do it!"

Silvally bites down hard, this time on one of Giratina's front legs. Giratina roars in pain, and I can see its platinum scales are fractured from the blunt of the blow. A critical hit? Its defenses seem to have dropped, but it's still got plenty of fight in it.

"Giratina, Dragon Tail!" Red Hair orders.

The beast swings its mighty tail, sending Silvally flying across the room. I see the fear in its eyes -- I don't want it injured in a collision, so I quickly retract it into its Poke Ball.

I take stock of my options. Sasha and Twan aren't anywhere near leveled enough to take on a legendary Pokemon, and Sasha's Psychic/Steel typing would be weak against Ghost attacks. There's no way I'm sending out my Pokemon to get killed by something like this, but if I don't defend myself, who knows what will happen to them once this guy gets me out of the way.

Could I live with myself if I send any of my Pokemon to their deaths? I certainly can't live with myself if I don't survive this, that much is certain. But the thought of sending one of my weaker Pokemon against something this strong terrifies me.

If only Ilima were here! He'd know what to do...

"Hey, fangface!" a voice yells from the doorway. "Where's the fire?"

I turn towards the sound, and gasp. Of all the things I'd expected to see just before I died, this wasn't anywhere near making the list.

It's Gary. Holding a fire extinguisher.

Red Hair freezes, not quite sure what to make of this. Gary says something extremely rude about Red Hair's mother and throws the fire extinguisher straight at Giratina's head.

I had no idea he could throw something that heavy so far up.

Giratina, of course, catches the extinguisher in its mouth, crushing it in its golden beak. Which it shouldn't have done, given that a fire extinguisher is pressurized. There's a loud BANG, and foam flies everywhere around the ghost-dragon's mouth, giving it the appearance of rabies. And, I'd like to think, a pretty bad taste in its mouth.

Giratina flails wildly, spitting out foam and gagging at the taste. Red Hair is infuriated. And having a considerably hard time clinging to his pet monster's back.

Before I know it, Gary runs to my side and pulls me up to a standing position. "Run!" he whispers loudly. "Run run run!"

I don't have time to question why the resident jerk is being so altruistic. I just have to run. It hurts to run, but it's gonna hurt a lot worse if I don't. So I run.

And I don't dare look back.

---

Once we get outside, we make a break for the woods. We don't stop running until we can no longer see Pallet Town behind us, and we're sufficiently far away from any large bodies of water that Giratina won't be likely to pop out at us.

"You came back for me," I gasp. "Why?"

Gary shakes his head. "What can I say? I'm sick of losing people."

I can accept that. "You think Team Rocket was after that Jade Orb?"

"As likely as not. Even Gramps isn't quite sure how well the Jade Orb works at controlling Rayquaza, but it certainly attracts the thing. We're probably lucky Rayquaza only destroyed the door."

"Great. Lovely. So now our problems are limited to the psycho with the Giratina who now has the Jade Orb. You think he'll try to use it to steal Rayquaza to his side?"

"Likely as not." Gary wipes the sweat off his face. "But you know what? At least that's not our problem anymore. If Team Rocket and that psycho want to fall out against each other, then darn it, they can do that. Them beating each other up makes our job easier."

"Do you even understand what our job actually is?"

Gary pauses. "Right now: survive. Later: make sure everyone else in this town survives as well."

"You're learning. Now let's get back to the woods and see what Ilima and the others have discovered."

So, this one needs a little bit of explanation.

In the Pokemon Adventures manga, the Green Orb is created by the Pokemon Association to try to contol Rayquaza (spoiler: it doesn't work). In HeartGold and SoulSilver, Professor Oak possesses the Jade Orb, which is used as a summons item for Rayquaza. My headcanon is that the Jade Orb is an 'improved' variation of the Green Orb, i.e. one that actually summons the thing, if not outright controls it.

And what does Oak do with it? He uses it to power a go-kart. Mainly because I really wanted to use the Zero-One somewhere in this story, even if it did get mashed up by Giratina.

Also Gladion, what are you doing... you could have used an Electric Memory on Silvally to power up the teleportation pad. Which wouldn't have done you much good once Giratina rose up out of it, but still, you could have done it.
And there's the Jade Orb! A MacGuffin that shows up early on in the story and then never gets mentioned again! I am so good at foreshadowing!

...well, technically I am good at foreshadowing. I'm just not good at remembering the foreshadowing and preparing the follow-up. Anyway, by the end of Arc Two, Rayquaza is presumably trapped in the distant past with Sabrina and whatshisname, so it's not like Lance has that much opportunity to use it now.

Describing Silvally in detail is glorious. The Type: Null line might not be the most powerful or impressive of legendary Pokemon, but it caught my eye for a number of reasons. Type: Null's helmet makes it resemble the Axehandle Hound, which is one of my favorite obscure mythical creatures (look it up, it's amusing). And Silvally resembles a wingless gryphon. It's also glorious to describe Giratina in high definition, and I imagine that if the makers of Detective Pikachu ever make a movie about Sinnoh, Giratina will look absolutely breathtaking... at least, breathtakingly terrifying. (Just look at what they did with Ditto.)

And hey, Gary can be heroic when properly motivated. It's more a matter of pride than anything else, but he really, really, REALLY hates losing people. Although that didn't exactly come to mind when he and Gladion were running from the giant Gengar...
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,333
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
Terra's POV

Once we make it back to yesterday, the plan goes off without a hitch. We wait in the bushes as the Team Rocket grunts run by, far enough from where our group from the past is waiting so as not to cause a paradox. One expertly timed Spore from Ilima's Smeargle successfully sends a Rocket grunt into dreamland, and the other grunts are running so fast that they don't even notice he's gone.

We then hop back to the present day, because there's no point loitering in the past when we all know there's gonna be a giant Gengar and Alakazam having a battle royale in the woods while we're trying to interrogate this guy.

We decide to hold the interrogation at the rocky cave we've sort of adopted as our current home base. Wes insists we tie the guy up. Hoopa alley-hooparings up some rope from who knows where, and Wes takes a pair of handcuffs out of his pocket. (I'm not sure I want to know where he got them.)

But I don't see the point in it. The guy we wound up with is just a kid, no older than Shu himself. He's not that scary, really.

Ilima doesn't agree. "Pokemon are the ultimate equalizer," he says. "It doesn't matter much if you're a kid or an adult when you have Pokemon. Granted, the longer you've been with your Pokemon, the stronger you are, but this kid could still surprise us."

I nod, but I still feel kind of like a bully.

Ilima's Smeargle uses Wake-Up Slap to wake the guy up. The kid looks pretty shaken when he sees himself surrounded by big kids like us and their Pokemon. His first instinct is to try to grab his Poke Ball, which he can't really do with his hands bound and cuffed.

"What's the big idea?" he yowls. "You goons think you can mess with the great Hitoshi?"

"Hitoshi, huh?" Wes asks, acting all tough. "Give us any more lip, and we'll hit your toshi all right. What do you know about what happened in Pallet Town?"

The grunt grins. "Miss your family, huh? You don't have a chance of saving them. The whole of Saffron City is under an impenetrable dome, and only members of Team Rocket can go in and out. Nothing personal, it's just business."

"Where in Saffron are they being held?" Shu asks.

"Darned if I know. Prolly at Sabrina's psychic school; everyone with powers is focused on using them to control the people of Pallet Town with their oh-so-special connection to Pokemon. Boss thinks they'll be perfect test subjects for Project Burst."

"Excuse me," Ilima asks, motioning for the others to be quiet. "What's Project Burst?"

Hitoshi grins. "That's for me to know and for you to... not know. But it's big. Bigger than you can possibly imagine."

"Tell us," Ilima says evenly.

"I told you once, I'll only tell you one more time: my lips are sealed."

"Tell us!" Ilima hisses, staring straight into Hitoshi's eyes.

Hitoshi's eyes grow wide, and his voice sort of goes blank. "I... don't know what Project Burst is. It's something important, a vast scientific undertaking involving both humans and Pokemon. That's all I know."

Ilima nods, then turns away from Hitoshi. Whatever the heck was going on, Hitoshi snaps out of it, and he starts to sweat. "How... what the heck did you just do?"

"That's for me to know," Ilima says, "and for you to spend the rest of your waking moments trying to figure out. Can you get us into Saffron City?"

"Why the heck would I want to do that?" Hitoshi asks. "You practically smell like good guys. You may have a creepy stare, but I'm sure not going to be the guy who betrayed his entire organization to the Scooby Doom gang."

"Hoopa can get you all past the dome," Hoopa points out. "Easy peasy Sitrus-queezy!"

Ilima shrugs. "Fair enough. But you realize, we can't just let this guy go and tell his superiors that there's a group of kids heading for them. So what are we going to do with him?"

"I vote we leave him tied up in the woods," Wes offers. "Let th' local Pokemon decide what to do with him."

Hitoshi turns pale. "You can't just leave me here!" he says. "I'll be eaten alive!"

"Or pranked by Mew," Shu offers.

"Well, we also can't have you blabbing to your superiors about a group of kids entering Saffron," Ilima says evenly. "So what are we going to do to you?"

An idea pops into my mind. An excellent idea. "Send him to the future."

"What?"

"If we take him a week into the future, then we'll have a week's head start and he won't be able to rat us out. He doesn't have to get hurt, we don't have to worry about him, it's a win-win."

Ilima looks unconvinced. "Wouldn't it be easier to hand him over to the police?"

"And get detained for questioning about what we got against 'im?" Wes shrugs. "We've got a whole town to save. Ain't no time for th' police."

Ilima doesn't look convinced.

Fortunately, now is when Gary and Gladion return. "You started the party without us?" Gary asks.

Ilima notices Gladion is limping a bit and clutching his chest. "You're hurt!" he says, rushing to his friend's side. "What happened?"

Gladion winces. "Giratina happened. Terra's right; it's under some red-haired asshole's control. I would've been dragon chow if Gary hadn't come through at the last minute."

"Yeah, I know, I'm awesome," Gary says. "Who's the kid?"

Hitoshi looks up at Gary defiantly. "You're with these goons? Tell them it's impossible. They'll never defeat Team Rocket!"

"Sorry I asked," Gary says. "Look, kid, we don't have time for the small fry. We've got a city to save. What's the closest route to Saffron City you know of?"

Hitoshi pauses. "I'd say through Holiwood City, up through Mintale Town, then due east to Celadon and Saffron after that. But you'll never make it. Team Rocket will catch up with you, make no mistake of that."

"Sweet," Wes says. "So, can I kick 'im into th' middle of next week now?"

"I'll handle this," Ilima says, activating his Chronometer. "You've got the keys to the handcuffs, right?"

"Keys?" Wes asks innocently "What keys?"

It takes three whole minutes before Ilima realizes Wes isn't joking.

---

After Silvally bites through Hitoshi's handcuffs, we decide to leave him tied up at the edge of the forest and call the police with an anonymous tip. Then skedaddle.

"Shouldn't we help the police handle this case?" I ask Gary. "Surely they'd be more effective at rescuing prisoners than a bunch of kids."

Gary scoffs. "The police are a joke. Team Rocket's been running around doing wicked things for years now, and the police haven't done anything about it back when it was petty crimes and Pokemon theft. It's because of them that Team Rocket's been able to get as big as it is. Why should they get competent now, when Team Rocket gets serious?"

I think back to the kind of problems in my world with crime and with the police. It's not a pleasant thought.

"So that's just it?" I ask. "Six kids and a Hoopa, up against Team Rocket? How on earth -- I mean, how on Pokearth are we going to rescue an entire town?"

"We have Hoopa, right?" Gary asks. "We can go anywhere with Hoopa. Once we get past the shield, we'll find the prisoners, use Hoopa's rings to get them out, and then go kick Team Rocket's teeth in. Easy as pie."

"One tiny problem," Hoopa says nervously. "Hoopa can't go through Hoopa's rings. Hoopa can't go with you into Saffron City."

Gary blinks. "Seriously? Seriously?"

Hoopa nods, embarrassed.

"Great. You could've told us that before we left the Rocket kid behind." Gary paces in agitation. "Now what are we gonna do?"

"We press forward," Ilima says, "and we'll figure out the rest along the way. It's a good distance to Saffron City -- I'm sure we'll think of something."

He doesn't mention Project Burst to Gary. Perhaps it's better he doesn't know just yet.

Hitoshi is a character from the "How I Became A Pokemon Card" manga's second chapter. In it, he tries to be evil enough to join Team Rocket but continually only winds up being helpful to others.
If you tie a guy up with Escape Ropes, will he be able to break free?

Wes's accent tends to fluctuate as the story goes on. Hopefully I can keep it more consistent, recognizable, and still readable in Arc 3, where I have... certain plans for the character. (I can neither confirm nor deny that he survives them. Especially after THAT plot twist at Lavender Tower during Arc 2.)

Ilima has presence. And also psychic powers, but spoilers.

I imagine Scooby Doom to be quite similar to the Scooby Doo franchise in our world, except with a Houndoom as the titular character. They investigate hauntings and attacks by Psychic and Ghost type Pokemon, usually revealing the culprit to be an evil trainer in a monster suit. And they would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those meddling kids and their dog.

You just know that the group will regret not listening to Terra. Because that's literally what happens several chapters later.

Holiwood City is based on Hollywood from the anime. Mintale Town comes from Pokemon Channel. And Hoopa's inability to go through her own rings comes from the Hoopa movie, although in this case it's for a different reason than it was in the movie.
Benga's POV

"Hi-ho, Clarence! And away!"

I purr softly to myself as I watch Shu straddle the Clarence creature with a vine as makeshift reins. Clarence, of course, has no idea why this small human is climbing on its back, and attempts to bolt, bucking the poor kid off its back and into a conveniently located bush. Not that something made of scratchy sticks makes a particularly soft landing, but at least it's not rocky ground.

"You should really wear a helmet if you're going riding," Ilima offers. "Especially on an untested steed."

"I can do it!" Shu insists, picking himself back up with Ilima's help. "I just gotta explain things to Clarence, and then he'll help me!"

Clarence's two heads observe Shu with interest. "Who's the kid?" the beaked head asks.

Lucky Shu can understand Pokemon with his weird N-Comm thing. "My name's Shu. Shu Ketchum," he says. "And I'm going to Saffron City to save Pallet Town!"

Ilima laughs softly. "Well, you can make it to Saffron City faster if you don't injure yourself on that Doduo. Ride Pokemon training often takes years. I doubt you'll master it in a few minutes."

"And we're not that far from Holiwood City," Gary points out. "It's just up ahead, past those trees."

We've been walking all day long through Sida Forest. Well, walking and training -- training meaning facing down random forest creatures in combat in a technique that Terra calls "grinding" and I call "pain." There's always Sitrus Berries and Revival Herbs after the battles, so the pain never lasts, but I wonder just what it is about these "Pokemon" that Terra likes so much.

They seem kind of... violent. For the sake of it. Whenever I ask one what they're fighting for, I get similar answers: to get strong. To protect their family and friends. To impress their family and friends. One of the local birds just wanted me to get off his lawn. But somehow, no matter how eloquently I argued, none of them considered backing off and letting us pass to be a feasible options.

Conclusion: they're all nuts, and I need to keep Terra away from them as much as possible. Even Yoshi is a total sycophant in terms of constant fighting, which disturbs me greatly. All those cries are a real pain on my superior feline ears.

I'm not that bad at this battling thing, all things considered. Scratching and Licking are natural hobbies of mine, and the fire inside me makes for excellent fireballs. I just wish Terra and I lived in a world where this sort of thing... wasn't so alarmingly frequent.

And I never even got to eat anything I knocked out. I tried to eat this weird spiky bug thing, but Terra whipped it out of my mouth and told me that Weedle are poisonous and I need to stay away from them. Yeesh. She didn't ask me to stay away from it when I roasted it with a fireball; what's the point of cooking something you're not allowed to eat? (Also, I'm not even quite sure if it was dead or alive, as it was still twitching a bit after I knocked it out.)

I guess the berries aren't so bad, although the herbs are pretty bitter. But I want something... fresh. Something that crawls in the grass. Something that's REAL food, and not just what food eats.

Maybe we'll find some of that at Holiwood City, wherever that is.

---

The place seems pretty run-down. There's plenty of buildings, but most of them are boarded up or just plain run down. If this is the big city, I'd hate to see what the small one looks like.

"Woosh! My feet are killing me," Gary complains. "Can't we check into a hotel?"

"I vote restaurant first," Shu says. "I'm starved!"

"You think we can afford restaurant fare?" Ilima asks, concerned.

Wes scoffs. "Lookit this place. Everythin's so run-down I'd be damned if th' restaurants can afford us."

This is an accurate statement. Most of the places that sell food have closed for the night, so it's a struggle to find a place that will serve us. Which is a real shame, because I've never eaten in a restaurant before. I wonder if there's any restaurant that serves live lizards. I could really go for something fresh.

"Hey!" a voice calls out through the night. "Geddoutta my shop!"

We round the corner, and suddenly there's a whole clowder of those cat-things with shiny round things on their heads, like the one that beat me up at Pallet Town. Each one has a piece of food in their mouth, like a fish or a frankfurter or a chicken leg. In the lead is a big big cat-thing with a gem on its forehead that's somehow carrying an entire pizza, box and all. And at the end of the line is an extremely ticked-off human wielding a rolling pin and shouting expletives.

"And if you come back here again," he shouts, "I'll run you though the Visa machine!"

The clowder scatters, leaving me, Terra, all our friends, and the other human, all just standing there and wondering if we really just saw what we just saw.

The stranger sighs. "Well, so much for that. The least those rascals could have done was leave a Pay Day... but it's no use now."

He looks up at us. "Oh, hello there. You six wouldn't be interested in something to eat, would you?"

The humans all start talking at once, in various degrees of yes. But this is pretty awkward, so most of them stop and let Ilima do the talking, probably because he's so good at it, because he never stops.

"As a matter of fact," Ilima says, "yes we are."

"You've got the funds to pay your own way, right?"

Ilima reaches into his satchel and pulls out a nice fat wallet. "Of course. We wouldn't want to impose on your generosity."

"Generosity my fanny -- it's hard enough for Pizza Burger to keep in business in today's economy without a bunch of furry pests reaching for a four-pawed discount." He gives me a glare. "And keep that creature in its Poke Ball or on a leash. This is not a cat-friendly restaurant."

Terra sighs, and is about to retract me into her ball when Shu coughs, passing her the vine he was using when 'riding' Clarence. "Here. You just tie it around Benga's collar, and you're good to go."

She does, and we are.

---

HOLY SMOKED SALMON.

This place is HUGE! It's like a temple to food. There's signs on the walls depicting newspaper articles about food, there's whole rooms full of tables on which to eat food, there's a place in the back where I'm not allowed to go that's basically a giant kitchen...

This is clearly a temple, a temple of food. And all I can say is, praise cod.

No, seriously, the fish is delicious. Hickory smoked. I'm surprised the humans don't really go for it, but they prefer the titular pizza burger. It's... how do I explain it? It's pizza, and it's a burger, and it's huge. Huge enough for six people, seven if you count Hoopa, and everyone counts Hoopa (especially Hoopa).

I love this place. I love it, I love it, I love it! I want to live here. Me and Terra can just live here and eat only the best food, for the rest of our natural lives.

Except... then I guess we wouldn't be helping Gary and Shu get their relatives back, and we'd also probably tick off the waiter, who has made it increasingly clear that he is not a cat person.

Decisions, decisions.

"So what brings you to Holiwood City?" our waiter asks. He's the same guy who invited us in, a mid-thirties human with darkish skin, black headfur that goes down to his chin, and beads in some of his headfur. If he ever got close enough to me for me to bat at those beads, I would. But of course he doesn't.

"We're headed for--" Shu starts, but Gladion makes a noise like he's about to hack a hairball and raises his hand.

"We have business on the other side of Kanto," Gladion says firmly, in the tone of voice that says and that's all you need to know about it. "Have you heard about what happened in Pallet Town?"

"Can't say that I have," the waiter answers. "I've been working all day -- well, almost all day. Without paying customers I don't actually have all that much to do. Most of our workers have been laid off, so I'm pulling triple duty as waiter and chef and janitor, and I still don't have all that much to do. Holiwood City is a ghost town now, and nobody stops buy for a bite to eat anymore." He gives me a glare. "Except, of course, the alley Meowth."

"Why not close up shop, then?" Shu asks. "Get another job?"

"Because it's not that simple. I've been looking for other employment, but there just aren't very many jobs available in Holiwood City for someone like me. Besides, my mom lives here, and she's getting along in years and I'm trying to look after her."

There's an awkward silence, the kind of silence that happens when no one has anything else they'd like to say and no one has any ideas as to how to change the subject.

Gladion speaks up first. "You know any good spots to train?"

"Not off the top of my head, no. But if it's battles you want," the waiter says, "then maybe you six can handle that Meowth problem I have. The pests live in an alley three blocks north, and they won't stop breaking in to steal my food. See if you can knock some sense into them."

"Sounds like a plan," Gary says. "Who knows? Maybe we'll catch one of them for our own."

"Well, I certainly hope you won't be bringing it here," the waiter says. "Those nasty, uncouth things are by no means welcome in my restaurant!"

His eye falls on me, and I stare at him for no good reason. This tends to unnerve some humans, and it works on him. He blinks first.

I then go back to demolishing my dinner.

"You know of any good places to stay for the night?" Gladion asks. Ah, asking the real questions here. Personally give me a pillow and a sunbeam and I can sleep anywhere, but humans tend to be notoriously picky (and diurnal as well).

The waiter thinks a moment. "I know of places to spend the night, but good places? Hardly. The hotels have fallen on hard times as well, and the city is thick with thieves that pick the locks and steal whatever they can find. You don't want to check into any of the hotels in this city. Cockroaches are some of the better things you'll find in there."

"Well, we certainly can't spend the night on the street," Gladion says. "Don't you know any place that can house the six of us for the night?"

"We have money," Ilima offers. "We can pay our own way."

The look on the waiter's face says that he knows where this is going, would rather it not go there, but the money is calling him.

"I don't have room in my house for six people," he finally says. "If you want to sleep in the restaurant, though, be my guest. But it's not an inn, I'm not going to stay here to serve you once it's closed, and if I get any indication that you're robbing my shop for midnight snacks, out you go first thing tomorrow morning."

"We can pay you back for anything we eat," Ilima says, giving a sharp glare to Hoopa, who started giggling when the waiter brought up midnight snacks.

"Thank you, and I'll hold you to that. And don't let that fuzzy pest scratch up the vinyl. Or leave oil marks anywhere." He gives me another look. "Generally, I'd prefer you keep it in its Poke Ball at night. But I'll be leaving a couple of my nocturnal Pokemon to keep an eye on your group."

"What kind of Pokemon?" Terra asks.

The waiter reaches for his Poke Balls, bringing forth a large, four-winged bat and a...

Oh my word...

She's a graceful-looking cream-colored vision of feline beauty. Her fur grows darker on her ears, feet, and tail, and she wears such beautiful ribbons that shiver and twirl as if they have life of their own. And such eyes... such beautiful blue eyes...

And this guy acts like he doesn't like cats?

The beautiful one looks down at me and humphs. "Good day, peasants. I am Burger Kween, and I'm the one who really runs this restaurant. If you give PK or Paul any trouble, then I'm going to knock you senseless into the middle of next week. Is that a deal?"

"Who's PK?" I ask.

"That would be me," says the bat thing, grinning. "Don't let Burger Kween fool you. She isn't always such a splendid ray of sunshine." He gives her a sideways glance and a grin. "She's just been extra miffed ever since that Meowth posse showed up and kept targeting our restaurant."

"Hmmph!" Burger Kween says, turning up her nose.

"And Paul's the human," PK goes on. "He's not a bad guy, considering his upbringing. Life's been hard to him for a while, and he tries not to let it show. He's got a good heart underneath it all, it's just kind of hard to find it."

"I see," I say to PK. "So... this Meowth posse doesn't happen to stop by in the middle of the night, does it?"

"Nope. That's because I'm there to stop them." PK looks proud and flexes. "I am the night incarnate. Nothing gets past my sonar. If anyone tries to put a paw out of place, I hear them." He twitches his ear. "And I drop down on them like death from above. No one's ever tried to rob this restaurant twice."

"No one human, anyway," Burger Kween says. "The Meowth are far more persistent."

"Trust me -- this is the safest place to sleep in the entire city." PK flies down to a chair and perches there. "You've got me, and you've got Burger Kween. PK and BK. Not much gets past us."

I hear Terra laugh above us. "Seems like the Pokemon are getting chatty."

"They sure are," Shu says. "Kachu, why don't you hop down and join them?"

Kachu happens to have several ketchup packets in her mouth at once, so what she says next is a bit muddled. But it sounds something like, "Not right now! I'm eating!"

We all have a good laugh over that, except for Gladion, who never laughs. At all.

"One question 'fore you leave," Wes says. He pulls the glove off his right hand, the one with the weird sigil burned into it. "Ever seen this before?"

Paul examines the sigil. "Not personally, but I've read about it. How did you even get that?"

"Funny story. 'Parently it bound my life force to a Squirtle shell," Wes says darkly. "Know how t' get rid of it?"

"Unfortunately, no. That's the Mark of Phancero, and it's a sigil used by glitch cultists to attempt many different types of spells, including transmutation, glitch summoning, and... blood sacrifices." Paul looks nervously around the room. "Thankfully I've never had to deal with glitchcraft here in Holiwood, but if you don't get that fixed up soon, you could be in real trouble."

"So how do I fix it?" Wes asks.

"Well, the only way I know of is to revert your body back to the state it was in before the curse. Time travel, as it were. But obviously that's a bit above and beyond most folks' capabilities."

"Heyyyy..." Wes turns to Ilima and Gladion. "You guys got those chronometers. Maybe you could help me?"

Ilima shakes his head. "I don't think they work that way. They trasport a body back and forth through time, but they don't affect a body's personal timeline. I could talk to Clemont about trying to design one, but his machines tend to blow up a lot during the testing phase, so you might not want to rely overly on Clemontic gear."

Wes groans, slouching down in his chair. "Lovely. So I'm cursed, is that it?"

"There are Pokemon capable of lifting that kind of curse," Paul goes on. "Dialga and Celebi are two Warp-types that specialize in controlling time. Perhaps a trip to Johto is in order. Dialga is said to reside in the Sinjoh Ruins, and Celebi lives in Ilex Forest. Bring a sufficient offering, and one of them might just help you."

"Great," Wes says, facepalming. "Exactly th' opposite direction from where we're goin'."

"I assure you, Wes, we aren't going to just leave you cursed," Ilima says. "But for now, we need to prioritize our rescue mission, or at least get in contact with someone who can help us."

"Rescue mission?" Paul asks.

"Long story. Everyone in Pallet Town was kidnapped by Team Rocket, and we have reason to believe they're being held in Saffron City." Ilima pauses. "Not that it's any of your business. I can see you have your own problems to deal with."

Paul sighs. "Everyone's got problems. It's how we deal with them that determines who we are. So, what would you like for dessert?"

---

One dessert later, Hoopa rings up our sleeping bags and whatnot, and we prepare to bed down for the night.

"Y'know, Mew has th' genetics of all Pokemon in it," Wes says, giving Ilima a meaningful look. "Mebbe we should try that out for curin' my curse?"

Ilima looks uncomfortable. "Just because Mew is capable of something doesn't mean it knows how. And I'm not using the Quartz Flute in an urban area. You know Mew don't like to appear to humans unless there's a very good reason."

"I'm frekkin' cursed! Ain't that a very good reason?"

Ilima sighs. "Believe me, if I thought that Mew could help you, I'd seek its help in a heartbeat. But it's not that simple. Sure, a Mew can become anything, but that doesn't mean it knows how to use its powers. And given that the last time we encountered Mew, it had to help fix the damage you caused with that Gengar, I don't think it's going to be all that keen on helping you."

"I didn't mean that Mew," Wes says. "Ya know what I mean, right?"

There's a pregnant pause.

"It's not going to happen," Ilima says firmly. "I can't risk trying something that could end in the curse manifesting by accident -- or worse, spreading to others. At the very least, we need to know more about this curse before we can break it."

"Great. Lovely," Wes grumbles. "So I'm stuck like this. Splendid."

"We're not going to leave you cursed forever, Wes," Ilima reassures him. "We just need more information. We know it's a dangerous curse, and we want to be careful with breaking it."

"Yeah, for all the good that does me right now."

Wes sleeps on the opposite end of the restaurant from everyone else. Probably to sulk. As for me, I curl up next to Terra and get my purr-motor running, as per usual. I don't think she could possibly sleep without me.

I guess tomorrow is another day. More cats, more fighting. Yay. Not-yay.

Why can't we all just get along?

Paul Brown, Burger Kween, and PK Trollbat are all characters from when Twitch Plays Pokemon played Pokemon Brown. As that was one of my favorite runs to write for, of course they got an appearance in Burst.

If anyone's interested in reading what I've written for Pokemon Brown, the compilation (for both Brown and the other works for TPP Season Three runs I've done) is here.
One regret I have in Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriting is that I never did complete my Pokemon Brown series "Better Call Paul." It's been so long since I posted a new chapter in it that I don't feel like I could really pick it back up at this point, so I probably won't... but there's always the chance that maybe someday I will. Once I've wrapped up a few other projects, including this one.

Which is probably going to take a few years, because hoo boy, do I have storylines in progress.

I regret not really doing all that much with Clarence after adding him to the plot. I feel like a lot of Arc 1 was focused more on the human characters and less on the actual Pokemon. There weren't really much of any battles, which in retrospect was a failing on my part. Even with a title like 'Pokemon Burst,' there wasn't even much Burst-ing going on in the storyline during Arc 1. It picked up slightly near the end of Arc 2, but still... this story has had horrible pacing. Hopefully I can amend that in Arc 3.

Yes, there are still Ride Pokemon in Ultra Space. And yes, Ilima still helped develop the Ride Pager in the dark timeline. I always found that bit of plot interesting -- Ilima has some level of technical engineering ability. Given that he has several computers in his room in SM if I remember right, he's probably the most non-socially-awkward geek in existence. (Although announcing yourself every time you walk into a room is sort of awkward? "Greetings! Captain Ilima here.")

This was another chapter from Benga's point of view, which is always fun. I regret not doing as much with Benga and Terra as I'd originally intended, and in retrospect, I probably shouldn't have introduced quite so many characters into the plot. Yet another thing to work on during Arc 3 (although hopefully not by inducing a bloodbath to kill off half the cast... seriously. Nobody wants that, right?)

The 'Visa machine' line actually comes from the movie Stuart Little 2. Although it was originally delivered with subtitles.

The irony is that a year or so after I wrote this chapter, TPP played Pokemon Sweet, in which the player character was decided to be Paul's child... and trained a Cupcat, the Sweet Land counterpart to Persian. We named it Gateau, because 1. the game was a Pokemon Battle Revolution sidegame and thus played entirely in Democracy inputs between matches and 2. PUNS. It got greatly overleveled due to dealing guaranteed neutral damage from its Vanilla typing, and swept the final gym using nothing but Bite. I love that Cupcat.

Pizza burgers are apparently actually a thing. Look them up.

So yeah... as in the anime, Holiwood City has fallen under bad times. And is still overrun with alley Meowth. And apparently cockroaches exist here? Pikachu and ketchup is still a better love story than Twilight.

Paul seems to take the casual mention of his guests being time travellers in stride. In this business, you see a lot of strange things, especially on this planet.
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,333
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11
Ilima's POV

I've slept in a number of strange places in my time, a few of them stranger than even a fast-food restaurant. That being said, sleeping on a vinyl couch up next to a table with ketchup stains on the underside was actually more restful than you'd think it would be.

Until.

I woke up suddenly and found myself grabbed by Slender Man.

Okay, so it's probably not actually Slender Man. But when something grabs you from behind with long tentacles and binds your arms, legs, and mouth with them, the first thing you think of is Slender Man, at least if you're me.

Maybe I need to stop reading creepypastas just before bed.

There's a woman as well, pale-skinned and in a snappy red suit that complements her dark green hair rather well. She has a stare that could cut through ice. Well, well, well, she thinks at me. She doesn't speak, she just thinks. Whatever have we here?

Get out of here,
I think firmly. Clearly this woman is a telepath. We're closed.

Ha, ha, ha. Funny, aren't we?
she thinks back snidely. This is no laughing matter. We've been looking for you a long time, little pink one.

I glance desperately around the room. Paul's Crobat and Sylveon are both sound asleep. So are all my friends. A Hypno stands by the telepath's side, probably the reason they're all asleep.

Well, you've found me, I think back at her. Now what?

Now you have a choice. Are you going to come quietly and spare your friends the trouble of fighting me, or are you going to cause a ruckus where someone could get hurt?


Hypno isn't the only psychic type in the room, I realize. There's a crowd. Kadabra, Mr. Mime, Alakazam. All gathered silently around my friends.

Can I have what's behind door number three? I ask.

---

Wes's POV

Of all the times to wake up in the middle of the night and need to take a piss, it had to happen just when some crazy broad teleports in and tries to kidnap Pinky.

I mean, I was in the bathroom when it got started. I was just washing up when 'Lima got tied up by that weird orange and green thing. And when I stepped out of the bathroom, I saw a bunch of psychic types gathered around my friends and some woman threatening 'Lima with Mr. Noodle Guy.

"Hey!" I yell at the woman. "Wha's goin' on?"

She turns and looks at me, and I realize I haven't put my gloves back on after washing up. And that damn curse mark on my right hand is glowing something awful.

Which gives me an idea.

I raise my right hand and make my voice as deep and scary as possible. "Halt! Stop right there!" I bellow. "The Mark of Phancero compels you!"

The broad stares at me, then starts laughing. "Oh, you silly... you don't even know what that does, do you?"

"Sure I do, bitch. It distracts you."

And that's when Paul's Crobat drops down right on top of her head, screeching loudly.

The woman staggers back, glaring daggers at me. "So that's it? You think a little Uproar will break my spell?" Crackling green energy forms between her hands. "You're going to die, you little sneak!"

"I'll take a rain check on that," I say, ducking quickly under a table and knocking it over to use as a shield. "Says you and what army?"

Her Kadabra teleports up to me and grabs me from behind in a psychic headlock. The woman laughs. "Psychic-type Pokemon are the only army I need!"

I spot Paul's Crobat being hurled across the room. Fortunately the noise level means that the rest of our party starts to wake up. Shu orders Kachu to zap the woman with Thunderbolt, Gary has his weird Charmander thing use Flash to light up the battlefield, and Glad sends out his Sneasel to slash up whatever that thing is holding 'Lima down.

I struggle to break free from Kadabra's psychic prison. If I can just reach into my pockets and pull out Umbreon...

---

Benga's POV

Burger Kween wraps her ribbons around the strange woman's legs, but instead of tripping, the woman levitates into the air. Yoshi is constantly roaring to keep anyone from falling asleep, leaving the invader Pokemon with no recourse but to blast at us repeatedly. PK keeps dive-bombing the invaders while dodging Kachu's thunderbolts at the psychic army. Hoopa keeps diverting psychic attacks with her rings.

And Terra is completely freaking out.

Gladion's Ultra Sneasel, Sasha, continues to claw with her razor-sharp scythes at the monster holding Ilima. The beast flinches, and Gladion takes the opportunity to kick it in a rather painful spot and pull Ilima free from it.

We hear sirens from outside. Apparently you can't have an all-out brawl in a restaurant in the middle of the night without someone complaining about it. How rude.

When the woman hears the sirens, she turns to her pet tentacle man thing. "Deoxys! Grab the target and Teleport us out of here!"

Deoxys, if that is what she calls it, lunges for Ilima. But Gladion's quicker. Before anyone can say a prayer, Gladion shoves Ilima out of Deoxys's path, just in time to get himself grabbed by Deoxys's tentacles.

There's a flash of light. Ilima screams. Gladion gives a yell, and suddenly, our foes are gone.

And so is Gladion.

Ilima sort of crumples on the ground, gasping for breath. "No... Gladion, no!"

"You guys okay?" Wes asks, picking himself gingerly up from behind an overturned table.

"Gladion!" Ilima shouts. "They took Gladion!"

Gary's expression is hard to read. "They... wuh... shit... look on the bright side, once they find out what he's really like, they won't hold on to him for long, will they?"

"Gary, this is serious!" Ilima snaps. "This is Team Rocket we're talking about! They do experiments on humans!"

"That was Team Rocket?" Gary asks. "She wasn't even wearing an uniform! How did you know she was part of Team Rocket?"

"That was Sabrina," Ilima says breathlessly. "Gym Leader of Saffron City. Team Rocket's taken over Saffron City. Judging from her behavior, and the fact that Team Rocket hasn't locked her up or gotten rid of her, I'd say it's a safe bet she's working for them."

"Or at least working for herself." Gary makes a face. "And that's the second time this week that someone's been ninja'd away from me. We can't just leave Gladion to whatever Team Rocket wants with him, we just can't!"

Terra has spent this entire time hyperventilating. I trot up to her and rub against her a couple of time for reassurement. Cats are useful that way, especially when we purr.

"Gladion," she gasps, trying to put a brave face on things. "What... how are we supposed to fight Team Rocket when they can just Teleport away with us?"

"We'll think of something," Shu says hopefully. "We're not giving up!"

The sirens grow louder, and somebody knocks on the door. "Hello? Open up! This is Officer Jenny!"

The humans look at each other, then Gary goes to open the doors. Wes sort of moseys on back to the back of the restaurant in hopes of not being noticed. I can smell the nervous on him. Somehow I don't think he's the type to enjoy hanging out with the police.

Hoo boy.

So Gladion's gone now. Where, I'm not sure, but it can't possibly be good. He's gone because he tried to save Ilima, who now looks like someone ran over his best friend.

What are we going to do now?

Hey, our first gym leader! Aaaaand she's trying to kill us. Yay?

Originally I planned to have Sabrina in Holiwood City as an actress (but still in the employ of Team Rocket). There was an entire plot in which the characters would enter a movie studio and then find themselves facing psychic illusions, but that was scrapped because we were spending too much time in the early chapters and not moving the plot along.

Deoxys's divination abilities come from the FireRed/LeafGreen chapter of the Pokemon Adventures manga. Which makes Team Rocket that much scarier -- you can't run from them, and you can't hide from them. So what is our group going to do?
So this is the first instance of me scrapping an originally planned sequence to move the story along faster. Why haven't I taken that lesson to heart more often in Arc 2? The world may never know.

Apparently Ilima enjoys creepypastas. Who knew?
Terra's POV

"Why didn't you help us?" I ask.

The single Unown in front of me twitches. The rest of the group are still talking to the police, explaining exactly what happened -- even Wes, who as it turns out couldn't avoid them. But given that he's Orrean and this is Kanto, maybe the cops here don't have any warrant out for him and he'll manage to escape.

I hadn't expected an Unown to show up tonight. Emphasis on the singular. I'd been hoping for the whole pack to descend, save Ilima, save Gladion, save all of us. But all I have is a letter K. A letter K and a missing friend.

We are not omniscient, the Unown says. And we were distracted by a greater danger to your world.

"What kind of danger?"

The Legendary Stupid Brothers.

It takes me a moment to understand this. "Tornadus and Thundurus?"

The very same. They've broken out of the Interdream Zone, and are trying to hunt down your friend Hoopa. They believe that Hoopa is a criminal that must be imprisoned in the Interdream Zone to prevent her from causing more chaos.

"A criminal?"

We aren't sure on the particulars. But Tornadus and Thundurus are causing storms all over the Kanto region. Most of us Unown are busy trying to restrain the duo's powers and prevent disaster.

"It just keeps getting worse and worse," I mutter. "So what are you doing here?"

If you are to fulfill your destiny, you will need a connection to the Unown hivemind. I can provide you with that connection.

"Connection?" I shudder. "As in, you guys buzzing in my head all the time?"

Not constantly. Only when you need it. Subjecting a human to constant Unown chatter would be maddening.

"Well, I'm glad we agree on this."

Benga looks up at me and the Unown and meows. I reach down distractedly and scritch him behind the ears.

To answer Benga's question: my name is Kappa. And I will be happy to assist you in any way I can.

---

The police get finished questioning us all, and by that time it's early morning. Paul arrives just as the police are about to go, and hoo boy, he's not at all happy about the way things are going. He tells us all to get the hell out of his restaurant (in those words exactly) without even offering us breakfast.

His demeanor changes when he finds out what really happened, that Gladion was kidnapped. He mutters something about needing new security, how this has never happened before, how there ain't no justice in this world if people can just teleport into other people's businesses and kidnap people.

"Why was she after you, anyway?" he asks Ilima.

Ilima looks nervous. "That... I can't answer," he says, which is probably as honest as he can get without actually answering.

"You mean, you don't know, or you just don't want to tell me?"

"I mean it's none of your business," Ilima says stiffly, "and your repeated asking won't make it your business. Good day." It was the kind of 'good day' that tells the other person that the conversation is over and that is non-negotiable.

The police took us down to the local station and offered us their protection, but Wes got pretty antsy over the idea of the cops following us around. Shu questioned this, stating that given all the crap we'd been through we could use a police following, but Ilima, Gary, and Wes have him outvoted. Gary doesn't trust the police with how lax they've been against Team Rocket, Ilima seems pretty jumpy around them, and Wes just plain doesn't like cops.

We rest up in Holiwood's Pokemon Center, all worried sick for Gladion. While the Pokemon Center is well-kept and still active, even it has a run-down look like everything else in this town. What makes it even more depressing is that Gladion isn't with us.

Then Ilima calls us all together -- me, Hoopa, Gary, Wes, and Shu. Even Kappa tags along. Ilima says it's important. That there's something he needs to tell us that he should have told us before.

We can't hold the conversation in the Pokemon Center because it's got video surveillance. So we meet behind an abandoned Shop 'N Squirtle store. Wes makes a joke about selling Oddish leaves that we all could have done without, and Gary asks him what exactly his problem is, and Wes candidly says that he's not the one who kept a dead Oddish in his sock drawer, and they nearly come to blows before Ilima intervenes and tells them that Now Is Not The Time.

I guess we're all pretty stressed out after the losses we've had.

Ilima finally speaks up. "Ahem. So, you've probably wondered why Sabrina attempted to kidnap me. Me specifically. And no one else."

"She has a crush on you?" Gary jokes.

Ilima gives him a look. "No. It's a little more complicated than that."

"You have a crush on her?"

Ilima twitches. "This is no time for jokes, Gary."

He glances nervously around to see if there's any strangers close by. "Now, what I'm about to tell you is under the strictest confidence. None of you are to breathe a word of this to anyone. Is that clear?"

Shu and I nod. Gary pauses, then shrugs. "Is this even more secret than the whole agent-from-the-future thing? Gosh, you're just full of surprises."

"Trust me, this is. So are you in?"

Gary nods noncommittally.

Ilima decides he's going to accept that. "So, before we begin, has anyone heard the old Sinnohan folk tale about the Pokemon that sheds its skin to walk as a human?"

Gary scoffs. "That old fairy tale? It's ridiculous. Maybe a Ditto or Zoroark could do that, but you don't see Pokemon running around looking like humans. They can't even speak English."

"Can't they?" Ilima asks, looking specifically at Hoopa.

Hoopa snickers. "Hoopa is special," she says proudly. "Hoopa is smart!"

"There's a lot more to this world than even humans understand," Ilima says. "Just because you've never seen a Pokemon turn into a human doesn't mean you've never seen a human that was secretly a Pokemon. I mean, look at me. Do you judge me by what you see?"

"Well," Gary says, "I did think you were a chick the first time I saw you, so there's that. Still, critters are either humans or Pokemon. Not really much room for middle ground."

"Is there?" Ilima asks, laughing softly.

"I mean, come on!" Gary laughs. "Next thing you know you'll be trying to tell me you know one of... them..."

His voice trails off. For good reason.

Ilima is glowing.

ILIMA IS GLOWING.

It all happens so fast. His arms shrink into his sleeves, his legs shrink out from his pants, and his head gets small enough that the hat he's wearing sort of plops down on him. For half a moment, my brain thinks he's melting.

Then the clothes fall in a heap on the floor and the hat comes off and I realize that this is not, in fact, a creepypasta. It's just... something else.

Something smaller, cuter, and less gangly.

Something pink. Very, very pink.

With Ilima's gray eyes.

Gary just about chokes on his own spit. "You... wuh... guh... what?"

It's a Mew.

Ilima is a Mew.

Wes, of course, nearly wets himself laughing. "Oh, yer faces! What, y'never see a pink person before?" Obviously he knew the secret beforehand and is enjoying this way too much.

Gary is completely speechless. Shu is awed. Hoopa's giggling so hard, the rings on her horns are clanging against her arms.

And me?

I had a crush on a Mew.

"...and how long did you intend to keep us in the dark on this?" I finally manage to choke out.

"I needed to know I could trust you. Usually the first instinct a trainer has on seeing a rare Pokemon is to catch it." Mewlima looks uncomfortable. "That's why I have to wear the human skin if I want to be accepted as a trainer."

"Whoa, whoa, whoa," Gary says suddenly. "A Pokemon that's a Pokemon Trainer? Can you do that?"

"I thought I could -- before I learned Sabrina has ways of tracking me even when I'm disguised," Ilima says moodily. "It's that Deoxys of hers. Apparently it can tell where I am no matter what I look like at the time."

"Deoxys?" Gary asks. "You mean that orange noodle thing that grabbed Gladion?"

"The very same. It doesn't look or sound like any Pokemon of this earth -- it could be some form of Ultra Beast, but not one I've ever seen before." Ilima looks uncomfortable. "Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get back into my pants before someone sees us. I'd prefer you all avert your eyes."

We avert our eyes. (Wes chuckles a bit.)

"So... now what?" Wes asks, once Ilima is decent again. "We know what Team Rocket wants, an' we've gotta keep them from takin' ya. But if they can tell where ya are wi' a word, then how th' hell are we s'posed t' sneak into their base?"

Ilima considers this. "They have Gladion captured. Sabrina clearly knows I'm a Mew. If they're smart, they'll figure out that we'll come for him. Which means all signs point to them coming to us to offer a trade, which they may or may not go back on just to mess with us."

"Can't imagine 'em wantin' t' hold onto Gladdy for long," Wes says. Nobody argues with him.

"But we can't just let them take you!" Shu says. "They can't possibly want you for good reasons!"

My kind can help.

We turned and stared at Kappa. Honestly, I'd kind of forgotten the little Unown was there. It gave what could have probably passed for a shrug. My people are Warp-types, able to bend and rustle the fabric of reality. If your foes are able to sense your aura, we can disguise it. But it will come at a cost.

"A cost?" Ilima asks.

We can bend reality to make you fully human. But for as long as the spell remains, you will be unable to access the powers of your Pokemon form.

"Hey, Mister Letter Dude," Wes asks. "Ya got magic, right? Ya know somethin' 'bout breakin' curses?"

Kappa inspects Wes's burned hand. I myself do not. It is possible that others in the hivemind might know more. But I find it doubtful. Unown power and glitch power work on quite different levels. The nature of the glitch power could well divert our magic in unexpected and dangerous ways.

"Great. Fantastic," Wes mutters. "Once again, lil' Wesley gets left out in th' cold."

"How fast can your people get here?" Ilima asks.

We are not fleet of foot, as we have none. We can travel across dimensions, but moving across physical space is not easy for us. I arrived here by hitchhiking on a passing Pidgeotto, but an entire swarm will take longer to travel. Kappa pauses. Unless they create a Guardian for faster travel. But the red-haired man has made that dangerous with his ability to seize the minds of Pokemon, even guardian Pokemon.

"Understandable," Ilima says. "Perhaps we could go to them?"

That is a possibility. My kin have gathered three blocks north of the Pizza Burger restaurant, in an abandoned building.

"Three blocks north of Pizza Burger?" Shu asks. "Isn't that where all the feral Meowth hang out?"

There is a pause.

We should probably hurry.

"Kappa" is both a Greek letter and a constantly used emote on Twitch Plays Pokemon, which is a main inspiration for any Unown headcanons featured in this story.

Ilima... I've been building up to this for a while. I spent a lot of time in Pokemon Moon enthralled with Ilima's character, who's calm and polite and still doesn't take crap from anybody (especially not Pokemon thieves) and probably visits Smogon from time to time. (I also have a room full of books like he does.) One day I was looking at his picture and I realized he looked like a humanized Mew, and the headcanon took off from there.

He makes a cute Mew, too. No pun intended.
It just occurred to me that placing the phrase "The rest of the group" directly after describing a single Unown may have unintentionally implied that the Unown were talking to the police. Which would have been quite amusing, but unfortunately that was not the case.

And yep, if Twitch Plays Pokemon has taught us anything at all, it's that thousands of voices in your head at once are enough to drive anyone mad. Good thing Terra doesn't have to deal with that on top of everything else. The Voices usually accomplish the greater goals, but can leave a trail of chaos in their wake. And this particular Pokearth is messed up enough.

Shop 'N Squirtle, like Mintale Town, comes from Pokemon Channel.

I didn't really pursue the plot thread of 'Terra has a crush on Ilima' after this revelation because, well, it kind of carries weird implications at this point. Except Ilima's asexual. Which ideally should serve to alleviate the squicky aspects of the whole thing, but at the time I was writing this part I wasn't really sure how to handle it. So I just dropped the plotline entirely. Will I ever pick it back up? Maybe. I'm honestly not sure at this point.

I do wonder how that Pidgeotto felt about that weird little letter guy hitchhiking on its leg.
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,333
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12
Well, I'm not yet half finished playing my Let's Go Eevee nuzlocke, and yet today I started gathering potential music for the next nuzlocke I have planned after that one. I don't know whether I have a problem or am just planning ahead. Hopefully the latter.

Gladion's POV

I wake up feeling like a truck ran over me. My arms and legs are shackled to a chair, and I've got a headache worse than the time I drank that sour Shuckle juice without checking the expiration date.

It takes a moment for me to get my bearings. Oh, right, I jumped in front of a tentacle monster to save my friend. And then I tried to fight it, and it dropped me, and I think I must have hit my head in the fall, because that's all I can remember. I've got a lump the size of a Spearow egg on my noggin, and it hurts.

The green-haired woman is standing in front of me, holding a whip. Somehow I don't think she's about to LARP a scene from Fifty Shades of Gray. At least, I sure hope not. This will be painful enough as it is.

"Comfortable?" she asks sarcastically.

I glare at her. "Do I need to answer that question?"

"Not really. I'm a psychic. I know exactly what you're thinking."

Lovely. "Well, that saves me the trouble of giving you the finger."

"Considering your hands are bound behind you, that's a small mercy."

Cold silence.

"So," Sabrina says, "let's commence with the pleasantries. You're going to tell me just why that Mew friend of yours is walking around in human form. Oh, don't bother putting it into words; I know what you're thinking, after all."

Well, I'm not shy about saying it anyway. "Because humans are douchebags that would try to catch him if he showed his face as a Mew. That's not exactly classified information."

"Indeed." Sabrina examines her fingernails. "But that's not all, is it? No, judging from your memories, I'm guessing your little friend isn't much of a Mew at all."

I bristle. "He has Klinefelter Syndrome. His weak bones and muscles affect his battling, and he isn't able to reproduce. That doesn't make him any less of a person! And if you DARE try to hurt him, I'll--!"

My voice breaks off, as I realize I'm not exactly in any position to make threats.

Sabrina is unimpressed. "Lucky for him, then. Team Rocket has no interest in pursuing a genetically inferior Mew. But if he, or any others of your little club, dares set one foot or paw in Saffron City, you understand we'll have no choice but to destroy them."

"Funny you should mention destruction," I mutter, "given that this entire planet is in jeopardy."

"Oh?" Sabrina raises an eyebrow. "Ah, yes, that little situation. I'm not blind, you know. I saw the same prophecy that all the Xatu reacted to. If this planet continues on its current course, natural disasters will increase and the planet will be pulled out of its orbit and into the sun, leaving life impossible. It's already started, you know."

So she does know! "Do you know what causes it?"

"I'm not at liberty to discuss such things in the middle of an interrogation," she says, " even if I knew. But I can tell you who can stop it."

A flash of light swirls around me, and suddenly I see her. Terra. The girl that came from another world. It takes me a few moments to realize it's not actually Terra, but an illusion of her, pulled straight from my memories.

"You've already met, I see," Sabrina says. "The girl from another world, the only one who can save us. My psychic power is not perfect; no psychic power is. The brain is, after all, just another organ. So I cannot tell if this girl will succeed or not." She leans in closer. "Surely your continued existence is proof that she could fail."

I flinch. "So, what's it to you? Don't you want to see the world saved as much as any of us do?"

"I do indeed. Which is what puts me at an impasse. I am full aware that you and your friends intend to storm Saffron City and 'liberate' the test subjects we need for Project Burst. That, as an administrator of Team Rocket, I cannot allow. But I also cannot condone putting the would-be savior of our world at risk of her life. Do you understand?"

I consider this. "Yeah, well, we wouldn't be trying to free the prisoners if you hadn't been taking prisoners in the first place. I know Ilima, and I know Gary, and they aren't going to just stand by while you experiment on an entire town."

"Then go to them. Stop them. At least convince Terra not to go with you. Which shouldn't be that difficult; she's only a novice trainer, so she really shouldn't be getting involved anyway. You'll be doing her a favor."

"And what's in it for me?"

"I should think that would be obvious. You get to go free. Otherwise, well, Project Burst could always use more test subjects."

"What the hell is this Project Burst, anyway?"

"That's none of your concern." Sabrina snaps her fingers. "I'm aware that due to your condition as a time traveler, threatening you with death would be meaningless. But this much is certain: your pathetic attempts to 'liberate' the people of Pallet Town by interrupting the experiment would, at this time, only end in their deaths."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"It means that if you have any care at all for the people of Pallet Town, you won't be rushing into things far too advanced for you to understand."

"Like genetic experimentation?" I snort. "My best Pokemon is a genetic experiment. Don't try to tell me what I don't understand."

"Indeed." Sabrina pauses. "Under normal circumstances, said Pokemon -- which are quite intriguing, I must add -- would be confiscated and sent to the labs for study. But it appears to me that leaving them with you could help us both."

"Say what now?"

"The red-haired man you encountered in Pallet Town. The one who dominated Giratina. His name is Lance Blackthorn, and he's a member of the Elite Four, the strongest trainers in the region and the enforcers of order in the region." Sabrina leans in closer. "And if my precognitions are correct, he and the rest of the Elite Four will play a part in our planet's destruction."

I consider this. Briefly. But I do consider it. "How do I know you're not trying to set us up against your enemies?"

"A tempting arrangement, but you've seen what Lance is capable of. Controlling one of the legendary Dimensional Dragons, one of the very Scales of Balance that protects this world..."

One phrase strikes at my memory. "The Scales of Balance... Lance mentioned that. If that actually was Lance. What are the Scales of Balance?"

"Legendary Dragon-type Pokemon that keep the world in balance. Rayquaza. Giratina. Kyurem was one once, but became three. And Zygarde, the hivemind. Each one rules over a critical aspect of our world. Rayquaza rules the skies, Zygarde rules the ground, Giratina watches over dimensions, and Kyurem, in its Complete form, once watched over spirit. But ever since Kyurem's split over twenty-five hundred years ago, the Scales of Balance have been off-kilter. And their protection has waned."

"Protection?" I ask. "What was Kyurem protecting?"

"Like I said -- spirit. Morality. Ethics. When Kyurem split into three, it became a vast white Pokemon of truth, a deep black Pokemon of ideals, and an empty shell of neither. Without the original Kyurem's wisdom to guide them, the two factions of Unova tore their land apart."

"Nice to hear you rattle on about 'ethics' when you've got me bound to a chair," I say sarcastically.

"I didn't join Team Rocket because I enjoyed it," she answers. "I never liked battling. But the Elite Four's plans have put the entire planet in jeopardy. I joined Team Rocket to protect the world from the devastation in my visions. Our organization possesses power to at least hold back the Elite Four for a time, to grant our world's savior the time to grow in power and defeat the Elite Four once and for all."

"And you step all over everyone weaker than you in the process. How altruistic."

"If Lance has the Jade Orb, odds are good he'll be after Team Rocket to 'liberate' Rayquaza into his own brand of tyranny." Sabrina starts to pace in thought. "Which means you should leave now, before he realizes you're here. Bound like this, you'd make a tempting target."

"How did you even get Rayquaza, anyway?"

"Classified information. Let's just say Attila is a real hun. But you should get going." She snaps her fingers. "Kadabra? Teleport him somewhere off the outskirts of Holiwood City. He can walk the rest of the way."

"Now, hold on here!" I say. "What about--?"

My words are fruitless. Before I know what's happening, I'm no longer there. I'm on the outskirts of Holiwood, free as a bird, and my Pokemon are with me. Confused as frek. Twan whimpers and sticks close to Silvally, while Sasha looks around curiously at our changed surroundings. Bartok, the Zubat, flaps close to my head.

I sigh. Maybe someday before my death, I will find a part of the universe where everything makes sense. "Let's get going, then," I say, stepping forward. "The world won't save itself."

Klinefelter Syndrome is a rare genetic disorder in which males have an extra X chromosome. The side effects vary from person to person, but include infertility and a decreased sex drive, thus likely contributing to Ilima's asexuality.

I had to think about how someone like Sabrina, who dislikes battling, wound up joining forces with Team Rocket. In the end, the simplest explanation was that she was trying to prevent something even worse from taking control and destroying the planet. Sabrina doesn't like Giovanni's goals, she doesn't like Giovanni's actions, and she probably just plain doesn't like Giovanni, but she sees him as the lesser of two evils. At least he's not omnicidal.

For a brief moment I considered adding Necrozma to the Scales of Balance, but since it lives in an alternate dimension to Pokearth, it probably wouldn't be as well known as the other legendary dragons. And I like the idea of different 'tiers' to legendary Pokemon, and different associations between various legendaries. (For instance, my headcanon is that Ho-Oh, Lugia, and Yveltal form a second legendary bird trio, and that Xerneas just so happens to be in the same area as Yveltal and is only seen as Yveltal's counterpart because they have similar life cycles and opposing domains.)

And yes, Attila and Hun are the Rockets that captured Rayquaza, as was shown in the opening to the movie Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea.
I guess they still have Spearow and their eggs in the bad future's Ultra Space, since Gladion can make the comparison. (On that note, I'm just now wondering if different Pokemon eggs are really different sizes or not. You'd think an Onix egg would be a heck of a lot bigger than a Joltik egg, but they both take up the same amount of space in your party. Huh.)

And yes, Fifty Shades of Gray exists in the bad future. Because it's the bad future. The good future doesn't even have Twilight.

When you're a Mew, the species that's legendary for creating almost all the other species, being infertile tends to make you a pariah. This will be further explored in Arc 3, barring some extreme plot derailment (which is entirely possible).

As both the games and the manga can attest, Sabrina is not an infallible source of information. My in-universe explanation for this is that having psychic powers does not make you omniscient. Just like you can mishear things or overlook something, you can miss picking up on something with your psychic power. And of course there are ways to conceal oneself from prying eyes, as is explored in later chapters.

Ilima has mentioned in the past that Team Rocket's conquest is contributing to Dark Matter's spread. In retrospect, I really should have had Gladion point that out in this chapter.
Benga's POV

Whatever I was expecting when I turned into that alleyway, it certainly wasn't this.

Coins. Coins everywhere. Countless round, flat disks of shiny. And piled on top of these coins, silver platters of every type of fish available. Baked fish, fried fish, grilled fish, and sushi. Also pizza, burgers, pizza burgers, and multiple strings of frankfurters.

It's a gold mine, not just of gold but of food. And the place is crawling with those very same Meowth-cats that robbed Paul's store. Not just them either -- the place is teeming with Unown as well.

There's chains of beads, stacks of shiny CDs, and a spinning disco ball. And right smack up in the middle of it all, like a king on his throne, sits the big big cat, the one with a jewel set in his forehead, looking smug as a bug in a rug. He lounges on a pillow on top of a stack of pizza boxes, his neck bedecked with glittery necklaces, with a big ol' crown on his head, like he's the king of the world.

Ilima tenses, and I can smell his nervous. "So this is what the Unown have been doing?"

We try to make our hosts feel comfortable, Kappa says telepathically. It appears that my kinfolk encountered these Meowth and decided to entertain them for a while.

"With this? Countless riches and a gravy train? I mean, the food is just common decency, but this much money lying around in a part of town like this is just going to attract trouble!"

The bigger cat looks up and gives Ilima a stare. "Well, well, well. What have we here?"

"Can Persian tell you're a Mew?" Shu whispers to Ilima.

Ilima speaks slowly, with strained patience. "He can now that you've told him. He has very good hearing."

"Look," Terra says, "we just need these Unown to weave their spell over Ilima to keep him safe. Then... I guess they can go back to making kitty treats?"

Kappa shakes its... eye... in what I presume is a 'no' gesture. This cannot end well. Not in a place like this.

The big cat -- Persian, Shu called him -- gives a short laugh. "Ah yes, Tiny. That was your name, wasn't it? The Mew obsessed with being on the other end of Pokemon battles?"

Ilima blushes in embarrassment. "You, ah, still remember that, Pywicket?"

The Persian nods. "You want the power of the Circled Ones to make you look like a human? You'll never be human, no matter what you look like. Might as well give up and enjoy being a Pokemon."

"I can't enjoy anything if I'm captured by Team Rocket," Ilima says, but I can hear the uncertainty in his voice. "Or by any other trainer. I need this."

"You need a nice warm trout, is what you need." Pywicket waves a paw, and a Meowth tosses Ilima a fish that he barely catches. "Maybe after you've got some food in your fuzzy belly you'll be more reasonable."

"I am being reasonable!" Ilima says, a little too loudly. "My best friend got kidnapped protecting me from Team Rocket! I can't put my friends in danger!"

The Unown around us start to slow down. Even the Meowth halt their feeding frenzy to investigate.

"Oh? Your friend?" Pywicket looks interested. "And, pray tell, how do you intend to help him as a human? Because there's a reason humans are always after Mew. It's because they want the power that you seem to have cast aside for foolish reasons."

Ilima looks about to steam. "Foolish? Because I want to protect my friends?"

"Fat lot of good you'll do protecting him as a skinny little human with no powers to speak of. Tell me, would rescuing your friend be easier as a Mew or as a human?"

"It's not what you think!" Ilima sets the trout down on a pile of silver platters. "Sabrina can sense me as a Mew. She could be planning to grab me even now!"

"And how well can you fight back against her if you've lost the very thing that makes you special?"

Gary blinks. "Um... hey, Pinky? Half of us can't speak Cat, remember? What's going on?"

"Hold on a moment," Shu says, fiddling with his N-Comm. "If I can adjust the volume level of the translation..."

That will not be necessary, the Unown say. If you seek a translation, we can provide that.

The Persian grins. "Translation? Don't see what the point is, me talking to a bunch of humans. But if it helps me get the point across to this misguided kitten, sure enough. I'm all for it."

The cat leans in closer to Ilima, looking as if he's about to fall off his pillow. "You think you can convince these Unown to neuter your powers? You'll have to fight me first. And I won't yield easily."

Ilima's eyes gleam. "A battle? I'm always up for proving my worth."

"Just get rid of those silly dishrags you're wearing and face me like a real cat," Pywicket says. "Stark naked."

Ilima winces a little at this last part, but reluctantly nods his head. "All right, then." He starts to glow and shrink again, into his smaller Mew form. His clothes drop to the floor in a bundle, and he psychically pushes them off into a corner.

Pywicket grins, then leaps down from his pillow, shedding the necklaces and crown. "All right, battle's on. Play the music."

"Music?" Ilima asks, just as a Meowth plops a CD into a boombox that seems to have a Rotom inside it. With the press of a button, the music begins to play...

"Well, ol' Ilima hasn't always been this man," Pywicket sings,

"You were a fab little cat once,

"Do you think you can be happy as a clam

"As just a pretty boy, baby

"Did your mother say to listen to your heart

"Be who you are on the inside?

"I need to warn you, and you ought to take to heart

"YOU'RE GONNA DIE!"


Pywicket leaps at Ilima, aiming a Knock Off attack clear at his face. Ilima teleports away, but the momentum from dodging the attack knocks him off balance, straight into a pile of coins that cascade all around him in what looks to be a painful mess indeed.

"You ought to stay tiny!

"You're the cutest little creature that I've met.

"What a pet!"


Ilima grows something and dashes after Pywicket with his claws. The Persian dodges with a swift step the right.

"What makes you so whiny?

"You afraid to take the plunge and risk your neck?

"What the heck?"


Pywicket rams his head into Ilima, sending him flying into a open pizza box, which closes upon impact.

"Don't you know

"You're being dumb, dumb, dumb!

"If you want to call it quitters, like beginners"


Ilima pops out of the box with pizza sauce and pepperoni on his face. He doesn't look happy.

"Well, here I come, come, come

"What's the matter, you got jitters?

"With fighting critters?"


Pywicket leaps into the air, and Ilima quickly teleports a safe distance away as Pywicket collides with the pizza. He doesn't look happy.

"Listen to me, dude

"Unless you want to be food..."


Ilima growls and charges at Pywicket, his body crackling with electricity. This strike hits, shooting sparks all over the alley, singeing the masses of coins piled and stacked in every corner.

Pywicket barely seems affected. In fact, he laughs at it.

"Well, well, well

"Little Mewy's having trouble with his sthick

"You little semi-demi-mini-god,

"What a terrible performance, that's just sick!

"You don't swing it like you used to, Mew!


Ilima shakes his head, but Persian isn't finished.

"Still, I have to give you credit since you're smart

"Though you're not strong on the outside,

"That psychic brain of your is such a work of art

"Why should you hide?"


Ilima shakes his head no. "It's not that simp--"

Then Pywicket leaps right on top of him.

"Can't you stay tiny?

"Keep your dazzle when the battle gets too rough

"Show your stuff!"


Ilima teleports away, looking winded. "But I--"

"You're tough, you'll be fine-y!

"Staying humanoid will never be enough

"Love the fluff, Mewy boy!"


"If you'll just list--"

"You could try, try, try

"But you can't expect a human bod

"To match a demigod"


"Why are you even sing--"

"You would die, die, die

"And Team Rocket would just rip apart

"Your beating heart"


Pywicket starts to stalk Ilima, and the crowd goes quiet. Quieter than usual, at least.

"Don't let the 'Mons that kept taunting you force you

"To try to be human so someone will want you

"You try to be tough, but you never think you're up to snuff"


Ilima doesn't even have anything to say to this. This time, he doesn't try to dodge.

"Tiny!

"I'm gonna kick your heine!

"Never heard a 'Mon so whiny!"


Pywicket pounces, but this time Ilima counter-attacks with his own pointy bits. The two cats roll on the concrete floor littered with coins and various fast food debris.

"Suck it up and be the cat you're meant to be

"Trust in me, mon amie, you're tiny!

"Now I'll beat you, so prepare your final plea

"Just for me!

"You carry that look so finely

"Why wish you weren't soft and tiny?"


There's a flash of light, and Persian is thrown across the alleyway, knocking against the disco ball in the process. A monstrous... thing... with the head of a white bird and a dark, four-legged body rears up its feathered head and crows triumphantly.

Behind that thing is Gladion, stepping into the alley like he owns the place. "Holy crap," he says, staring at Ilima, at the Unown, at all the shiny coins and abundance of food. "What'd I miss?"

Gary turns to Ilima and smirks. "Told'ja they'd let him go."

In which Captain Ilima has to face his inner demons, as narrated by a great big Persian that wants to beat him up.

This one was fun to write.
For those unaware, the song Pywacket sings is a parody of 'Shiny' from Moana. Had I turned Blue Moon into a fangame instead of a story, Pywicket would be a totem-style battle and the instrumentals of that song would be playing while the player was fighting him.

I'm not entirely convinced I managed to spell Pywicket's name consistently across the span of this story. This is a repost, not a rewrite, so I probably won't be taking the time to correct myself. I did fix a couple of formatting errors I'd missed earlier on, though.

I always imagine this scene as an animated music video. That would be fun to see. Unfortunately, it's never going to happen, because that would require me to get a lot of ducks in a row that I don't have. I don't have ducks, and they are not in a row. I have squirrels, and they're drunk.

And now we see what unsettles Ilima: having to fight on his own, without his Smeargle to help him. He's a good trainer, and can come up with some pretty good strategies in battle. But make him the combatant in an unfamiliar arena with his opponent taunting him, and suddenly he's not so tough.
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,333
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13
Friendly reminder that Twitch Plays Pokemon is starting a nuzlocke-ish run called TriHard Emerald tomorrow. If you want to see us try and almost certainly fail to keep a team alive, you should check it out.

Terra's POV

"You know," Pywicket says over fish dinner with the group. "I was hoping Tiny here would pull an eleventh-hour epiphany out of his arse and actually beat me, not get some mismatched mutt out of left field to break up the fight."

Gladion seems to have accepted the Unown's translation spell as not worth oohing and ahhing over. "And I was hoping Ilima could go one day without me and Silvally having to save his butt. Guess we were both disappointed."

"How'd you two even meet?" I ask.

"I was kept back a grade in class, so my mother hired him as my tutor. It was awkward at first, because being seen in public with a guy with pink hair leads itself to certain... assumptions." Gladion examines the fish that the Unown served him. "Hey, is this fish going to vanish once I leave you guys, or will it stay where it is?"

We believe the fish will be permanent.

"When did you find out he was a Mew?" I ask.

"Sometime after Guzma punched him in the gut for taking videos of him doing things he shouldn't have been doing and Ilima shouldn't have been recording."

"Wait, what?" I ask.

Ilima tries to hide his face. Gladion keeps going. "You know what you did, 'Lima. But there's no reason to talk about it. The point is, Guzma was going to murder him, when 'Lima's voice went all funny and he politely told Guzma to eff off, and Guzma actually did so. That was our first clue 'Lima had psychic powers."

I turn to Ilima, who's gone back to being human again and is fully clothed. "Why didn't you just use them on that Persian?"

Ilima shrugged. "I don't like taking control of someone else's mind like that. I only use them when absolutely necessary -- like when a great big Machoke of a man tries to strangle me and I need to convince him not to do that."

"Or to get information out of that Rocket guy." I pause. "Is that why you didn't use Psychic attacks on -- Piewick, was it?"

"Pywacket. And yes. It's quite rude to infringe on someone else's mind, isn't it?"

I nod. "I take it you've met Pywacket before?"

"It was a while back. I wasn't doing a phenomenal job as a Mew, so I decided to try being a Meowth for a while." Ilima frowns. "I didn't approve of the whole stealing thing, so I broke off from that."

Pywacket snorts. "Well, the world isn't gonna give you what you want on a silver platter. You gotta take what you can!"

The Unown buzz in disapproval. And I expect we did nothing?

There's an awkward silence.

"Speaking of stealing," Gladion says, "I've got good news and I've got bad news."

"What news?" Gary asks between bites of fish.

"The good news is, Team Rocket no longer has interests in kidnapping you," he says to Ilima.

Ilima stiffens. "Is the bad news that they think I'm a freak?"

"No, the bad news is that apparently, rescuing the people of Pallet Town at this point would destroy them. Sabrina didn't give me any details, so I don't know if she's honest or not. But if what she did say is accurate, they're undergoing some sort of massive experiment."

"Project Burst..." Ilima thinks out loud. "Right, you never heard about that. We're not sure what it is, only that it's some great experiment involving humans and Pokemon, and the people of Pallet Town are a part of it."

"And also, yes, they do think you're a freak."

Ilima shoots Gladion the look that cats will give you when you are clearly being an idiot. Even when he's human, this look carries the same connotations.

"...sorry," Gladion says, staring down at his plate. "I didn't mean it to come out like that."

"Project Burst..." I say, trying to remember why this name seems so important. "Humans and Pokemon... could it be named for the Burst Hearts, like the one Gladion has?"

"Could be," Ilima says.

"But what does it mean?" I ask. "Are they trying to replicate the effects of Burst Hearts? Why not just use Burst Hearts themselves?"

"This may come as a shock to you," Gladion says, "but Burst Hearts aren't nearly as common as you'd think."

"It takes time for a Synergy Stone to absorb enough aura to function as a Burst Heart," Ilima says. "And while alchemists in ancient Unova once knew how to create artificial Burst Hearts that functioned similarly to Poke Balls, containing an actual Pokemon, the how and why has been lost to science."

"Which could be exactly what Team Rocket is trying to do," Gladion says. "But not just anyone can use a Burst Heart. It takes special training and peak physical performance. If they're using random villagers to test Burst Hearts, it could end pretty badly."

"Not just random villagers," Gary says. "They're from Pallet Town. People from Pallet Town have a natural connection to Pokemon. All of the past twenty Champions of the Kanto/Johto region have been from Pallet Town."

"You think that's why they chose Pallet Town to kidnap?" Gladion asks. "If Project Burst involves, you know..."

"...actual Burst Hearts?" Ilima says. "Could be. But maybe since it's such a quiet and isolated town, they figured they could get away with it easier."

"The question is, why aren't more people talking about this?" Gary asks. "My gramps is the most famous professor in the world. He runs a daily radio show. You'd think more people would care that he suddenly disappeared along with his entire hometown."

"Something is definitely not right here," Ilima agrees. "And if they're working with Sabrina, they could well be brainwashing the entire region, maybe even the police, to not take notice."

Gladion flinches. "Speaking of brainwashing... I know who that red-haired guy is who tried to kill us with Giratina."

"Who?" several of us ask at once.

"Lance Blackthorn. Of the Elite Four."

I spit out my fish, which quickly gets snapped up by Benga. "Lance... Elite Four Lance? Since when can he control dimensional dragons? Since when is he evil?"

"Since now, apparently -- if Sabrina's word can even be trusted. I think she let me go because I was Lance's enemy, and apparently he's a much bigger threat than we are to her."

"Yeah, the strongest member of the Elite Four is more dangerous than a bunch of kids," Gary says sarcastically. "Who knew?"

I consider this. "Then... Lance was the one who got me thrown from that Dragonite." I should have known -- I'd read the manga. This world seems to be some amalgamation of different Pokemon canons, and somehow always in the most sucky way imaginable. "But how did I even survive that?"

You DID have our protection over you at the time, the Unown say. Even if it was strained by your falling through a plate glass greenhouse and into a compost bin.

"You, haha, saw that?"

We read your memories.

Great, I think. As stupid as I think it was for Ilima not to have used any actual psychic moves against Pywacket, I'm beginning to see why he dislikes them. "No wonder Ilima only uses psychic moves as a last resort."

"Yeah," Gladion says, "usually he's too nice. Doesn't show his claws much. He's practically neutered."

"Hey!" Ilima shouts.

"Okay, poor choice of words. I mean, you have all these neato psychic powers, but you rarely use them. I mean, did you even try to use Psychic against that Persian?"

Ilima stares down at the floor. "Not really..."

"Well, no wonder you got beaten down. Your foes aren't gonna hold back, and neither can you. Especially since we need to face Team Rocket and Lance both."

"I'm sorry! It's just that in the middle of the battle, I just feel so much going on around me when I try to use my powers, and I just freeze up and I can barely do anything!"

"Then dial back your powers," Gladion says. "If that's what you have to do to keep your focus, do it! Not everything needs examining with a fine-toothed comb, especially in the heat of battle. Keep your eye on your opponent, sure, but don't freeze yourself up over it."

Something's bothering me, something that's been bothering me for a while. "Guys, I... I don't think I'm going to be able to help you against Team Rocket."

Silence.

When no one else speaks up, I continue. "I've only been a trainer for a couple of days. I don't know if I can handle a real battle, one where there's more to lose than pocket change. I... I just don't want to get Benga and Yoshi really hurt, maybe captured or worse. You all seem like experienced trainers, but I'm... not."

Gladion has a look on his face that I can't really make out. Same with Gary and the others. But Gladion's is different, as if he's not sure whether this is a good thing or not.

Benga looks up at me. "But you're the best human ever! Surely you can handle whatever happens, right? You've always pulled through before!"

I still feel kind of weird that I can understand him. I hope this Unown translation aura lasts a while. "That's because before, the worst I ever had to deal with was school bullies and racists. Now I have to deal with psychics, dragonborn, and glitch cultists!"

"Speaking of which," Wes says, pulling the glove off his right hand, "Anyone know how t' fix this?"

Kappa and the other Unown float up to the burning scar. We cannot remove this hex, they say, but we can weaken it. Your connection to the Squirtle shell will remain, but it will not drain your energy quite as quickly. It should leave you with enough time to get to Johto and find someone with time magic to reverse your curse.

Wes turns to me. "See? Yer not th' only one that's got elsewhere to be. Maybe we can set off together..."

"NO," Gladion says firmly. "I know how you are around ladies. We're not going through that again."

I glance at Ilima. "Um, isn't Ilima a Mew? Can't he, well, transform into a Celebi and lift the curse?"

Ilima sighs. "We've been over this before, Terra. Just because I can doesn't mean I know how to. If I tried to do it and it failed, I could just spread the curse even farther and make things worse for all of us."

"Well, we're closer to Saffron now than to Johto," Gary says. "And I'm certainly not giving up on saving my family. If it was your folks, you wouldn't just leave them to be experimented on, would you?"

Gary's eyes fall on each of us -- Shu, Wes, Ilima, Gladion, and me. "Family means no one gets left behind. We have our way in -- we all saw catboy teleport in that battle. I for one am not leaving my family captured by scientific psychopaths. We've got to do something, before it really is too late."

"But what CAN we do?" Shu asks.

Gary turns around and faces the Unown. "You letter guys said you were able to disguise Ilima as a real human, with a human aura. Can you transform us all into Rocket grunts? You know, make us feel like Rocket grunts to fool even Sabrina?"

That we can do, the Unown say hesitantly, but you will need some of our number to accompany you to keep the illusion running. Separation from the Unown horde will weaken the disguise just enough so that a skilled psychic can see through it.

"Does Unown magic still work when you're in Poke Balls?" Gladion asks.

It does. However, we perceive that you trainers have a limited number of Poke Balls you may carry, so we suggest another method of linking us to you.

A trio of Unown float up to Ilima. Before he can speak, the three Unown arrange themselves on the argyle pattern on his shirt, forming the word BOY in Unown.

Wes laughs a little. "Well, that oughta clear up any confusion."

I gasp in amazement. The Unown are no longer recognizable as Unown. They've passed from the third dimension, merging completely with the fabric.

Benga blinks. "So THAT'S how they made it onto the tiles you brought back from the conference!"

Indeed. A group of smaller Unown hover around Benga, attaching to his collar. We needed to find a hero from outside Pokearth to prevent the planet's destruction. We apologize if this was inconvenient for you, but we do believe you can do it.

"Which of us? Me, or Benga?"

You are the one who asked us to take us with you. You have been dreaming of this journey all your life. We presumed you would be ready for it.

"I don't know..." I tap my foot anxiously. "I mean, look at the rest of these guys! They've lived their whole lives with Pokemon! What is it that I have that they don't?"

You are from another world, the Unown say simply. Only one who is from another world can save our world.

"What the heck is that supposed to mean? I told you, I'm TWELVE! Why not find one of those older Pokemon fans that grew up on the series?"

We set up the challenge to receive our relic not to the person who battled the best, but the person who knew our world the most. Knowledge is power, Terra. In the right hands, it can be a deadly weapon.

"I don't want to be a deadly weapon! I want to go home!"

And that was when the giant mecha stomped into the alley.

There's a bit more to the Guzma story than Gladion is telling, but that won't be revealed until later. Much, much later.

Ilima is sensitive to the 'neutered' comment because his Klinefelter Syndrome means a lack of fertility. Even for an asexual who doesn't intend to reproduce anyway, there's a stigma among Mew towards a Mew who can't reproduce, given that Mew's place in the Pokemon world is to create new forms of life.
Apparently Ilima has a track record of Gladion having to get him out of trouble. Those cray-zee Mew.

The fish aren't Pokemon, by the way. The anime showed non-Pokemon fish in an aquarium at the Cerulean City gym, so we know they exist. Where they get fished up from, I'm not sure -- probably some sort of fishery that employs Pokemon workers as well as humans, because that's par for the course in this world.

Artifical Burst Hearts existed in the Pokemon ReBurst manga, which in Blue Moon canon took place in the historical past. Not quite sure how many years ago it was, but it was certainly after the war where the Swords of Justice rescued all those Pokemon from a forest fire caused by warring humans. Not that that particular fact is relevant to the story thus far.

And this is yet another example of a plan by the characters that never actually happened. Which is probably poor writing on my part, but I wouldn't know because nobody's told me otherwise.
Terra's POV

There is a robot built to look like a giant Meowth, and it's towering over us all. Intermittently, crystals are embedded in its chassis, glowing crystals that seem alive with crackling energy. Maybe they're batteries? Something like what Team Rocket used against us in Pallet Town?

There's a pair of Mewtwo hovering by the mecha's sides, armed with giant silver spoons. Something tells me they're not here for the world's largest ice cream sundae.

"Prepare for trouble!" a voice booms out from inside the mech.

"And make it doub--"

"We don't have time for this!" Shu yells. "Just tell us why you're here so we can decide whether to kick your butts or not!"

"My, aren't you a rude little boy," Jessie says snidely from inside the mech. "We're just here to collect the unclaimed gold mine that an informant informed us was just lying in the alleyway for anyone to pick up and use!"

"And surprise surprise, it comes with a free load of rare Pokemon!" James adds, also inside the mech.

The Unown buzz in dismay. This treasure belongs to the Meowth. They wished for it, after all.

"Well, we wish for it more!" Jessie announces. "Mewtwo-X, attack!"

The Mewtwo to the left charges forward, psychic energies swirling around its spoon. It lets loose on a stack of treasure, scattering coins everywhere and sending the Meowth and Unown fleeing from the assault.

Pywacket growls. "You humans... you always ruin everything!"

Before anyone can warn him away, Pywacket charges at Mewtwo-X and bites down hard on its wrist. Dropping its spoon in shock, Mewtwo-X fires a brutal psychic attack straight at Pywacket, sending him flying into the remaining coin piles.

"Hey, that's not nice!" Shu yells. "Kachu, use Iron Tail!"

The Pikachu charges forward, her heart-tipped tail gleaming like polished silver. She charges at Mewtwo-X, bringing her tail down hard against its chest. Mewtwo-X is prepared, though, and shields itself with a Protect. Kachu bounces off the greenish energy shield, quickly catching her balance, but slides off an unstable pile of coins.

Jessie and James laugh, and their Meowth mecha's paws open to reveal huge serrated scoops like you'd see on construction equipment. "We'll be taking that trove of treasure off your hands!"

"Not likely!" Gladion yells. "Silvally, use Multi-Attack on those claws!"

"Mewtwo-Y!" James yells. "Deflect that attack!"

Mewtwo-Y spins its spoon wildly, absorbing Silvally's charge and sending it flying backwards. It smacks into a crowd of terrified Meowth, earning yowls and scratches for its effort.

"Alright, babies, playtime's over!" Wes shouts. "If it's a double battle ya want, it's a double battle ya get! Taco! Nacho!"

The Meowth look up in expectation, but instead of Mexican food, Wes sends out a bandaged and battle-scarred Umbreon and Espeon pair. Both growl upon entry, looking meaner than a den of snakes. The Umbreon in particular looks like he tangled with a Hydreigon and won. His fur is scruffy, his rings glow red, and filthy bandages are wrapped around his limbs. He looks like he might well be a shadow Pokemon himself.

"So these are the guys we're gonna beat down?" the Umbreon says. "I've had tougher cats for breakfast."

"Bring it on!" the Espeon says.

"Taco! Use Snarl!" Wes shouts. "Nacho, Dazzling Gleam!"

Both comply instantly. Taco's sound attack gives me the shivers -- especially translated, which pretty much boils down to gravely insulting the targets' mothers. (Do Mewtwo have mothers?) Nacho, meanwhile, fires off a spectacular light attack, which gleams off the metal of the Meowth mecha and off the coins and platters scattered around the alleyway, blinding just about everyone.

"My eyes!"

"I can't see!"

"Whose bright idea was this?"

"Look, the Mewtwo aren't even affected! They used Protect!"

I manage to see Gladion stepping forward, and I could almost swear I see him smirk. "Sasha, come out!" he shouts, casting his Poke Ball forward. "Teeter Dance!"

Of course. The only ones who haven't been struck blind were the ones that protected against the attack, which meant that they were wide open for Ultra Sneasel's Teeter Dance trick. I'm reminded of a nature video I once watched where a stoat makes a fool out of itself leaping and twirling closer and closer to a stupefied rabbit who doesn't realize it's about to be dinner.

I blink. It's not easy to make out what's going on, but the Mewtwo seem to be firing psychic attacks at random, trying to make sense of their surroundings. Gladion sends out a Zubat that chomps into one of the Mewtwo's arms, while Sasha strikes quickly with her razor-sharp talons on the other Mewtwo. Taco and Nacho are doing their bit as well, jumping and charging at the pair of Mewtwo to try to trip them up. Kachu and Silvally are attacking the mecha. And meanwhile, all around us, the Unown fly around and pulsate, screeching in utter confusion.

And then I realize, it's not just that I can't see properly. It's reality itself that's malfunctioning.

The coins and foodstuffs the Unown have created are acting oddly. The gold is melting, the food is flying. Even Ilima's T-shirt is starting to twitch and stretch, and Ilima himself seems frozen in terror. Crystal structures grow out of nowhere and shatter, melt, or vanish into mist just as quickly. From the Unown's confusion, reality itself is starting to come unwired.

"The Teeter Dance!" Gary yells. "It's affecting the Unown!"

"We've gotta get out of here!" Shu yells.

Even Team Rocket can tell this is bad news. Unfortunately, no one told this to the mech, which begins to sink into the ground, its chassis melting and sticking together. The crystals set into it start flashing oddly, scorching the metal around them.

They're doomed, I think. And they're blocking the only way out.

"ALLEY-HOOPARING!"

No. Not the only way out.

We have a Hoopa.

She whirls her rings together, creating three quick portals out of the Unown's nightmare. "Hurry up! Hurry for Hoopa!" she yells as teammates and alley Meowth alike escape through the portals of salvation.

But I remember. Oh, no. Hoopa can't escape through Hoopa's own rings.

I freeze in horror. Should I step through? Could I bring myself to leave Hoopa to her fate? She was my first friend in this world... how could I even...?

But there's no time for memories. The world around us is breaking down, and there's nothing I can do to stop it.

Benga bites me a little. "We've gotta get going, Terra!" he yowls, his translated cries sounding more catlike. "Hurry! Before it all breaks down."

I turn towards Ilima, who's still frozen in fear. There's no time to think about it; I grab his arm and yank him along as I rush through the ring.

We both collapse together at Paul's Pizza Burger restaurant. So do the others. Moments later, the ring closes.

And I break down sobbing.

Oddly enough, there was no original commentary on this chapter.

For those of you who haven't read the Pokemon Adventures manga... yes, in the manga Mewtwo uses a giant spoon in battle. It's surprisingly effective. The mecha is likely based off of some Team Rocket mecha from the anime, although there've been so many that I probably couldn't find it again even if I was looking for it.

Taco and Nacho are the nicknames Twitch Plays Pokemon gave the starters in our Colosseum run, and yes, Taco the Umbreon was depicted with bandages and red rings (the red rings being a brief emulation error). Our actual player character for that run was named A7, although popular lore gave him the given name Ceth. I went with Wes for this story because it was the most recognizable.

Stoat dancing was the original inspiration for Sneasel's Ultra form. (Riolu's Ultra form was based on a coyote.)

A friend of mine commented that Ilima could have stayed behind to teleport Hoopa out of there. Which is my bad, but my explanation was that Sasha's Teeter Dance had confused him too much for that to occur to him. (Ilima probably kicked himself over it later.) Also, Terra kind of grabbed him in his moment of indecision and forcibly dragged him out of there.
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,333
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14
Hoopa's POV

Chaos, swirling, storming, all around, everywhere. Unown crying, screaming, lost in the hurricane.

Hoopa is lost. Hoopa is alone. And Hoopa is scared.

Space and time, time and space, whirling, swirling, melting. Trapped! Hoopa is trapped!

Then, suddenly, silence.

...

Is Hoopa dead?

No; Hoopa is floating. Everything's still. The Unown are still. The mech is still. The Mewtwo are still.

"Hey, who turned off the everything?" Jessie asks, still inside her mech.

"I just want to get out of here before they turn it back on!" James says, afraid.

Hoopa hears a voice.

"Damn kids... criminy. I turn my back for a few millenia and they think they can tear the place up. What gives?"

A BIG BIG HEAD appears from a hole in the air. A white, draconic head with tusks and a sharp nose.

"Oh," it says, looking at me. "So THAT'S where you went off to, you little scamp. Why am I not surprised to see you're mixed up in this?"

"Hoopa didn't do this!" Hoopa explains. "Unown did this! Hoopa was helping Hoopa's friends to escape!"

The big big head gives me a look. "Indeed." It turns to Jessie and James. "And what do you two know about this?"

"We're not the ones who used Teeter Dance on a swarm of Unown!" Jessie snaps.

"And we just want to get out of here before the Unown wake back up!" James adds.

"Indeed," says the big big head.

The portal stretches, and the whole huge creature comes out. Its neck is long, its shoulders immense, with huge pearls and sharp scaly wings. It stands on two legs with huge claws. Behind it is a long, thick tail.

"I am Palkia," its voice booms, "the Guardian of Space. I was called here because the fabric of space was twisted to breaking. Now, what am I supposed to do with you?"

Jessie looks around at the two Mewtwo, the many Unown, and me. "Just... ha ha ha, why not just drop us off at Saffron City and be done with that?"

"That, I can do," Palkia says. "But the Unown caused this. They must be... otherwise detained, to prevent this situation from simply unfolding again."

Palkia waves his hand, and the frozen Unown begin to shift, forming flat shapes on square tiles. Palkia waves again, and the Unown tiles fly to him, shrinking in size and vanishing into a rift.

Hoopa sees devious grins on Jessie and James. Hoopa bristles. "Jessie and James are bad humans! Don't trust Jessie and James!"

Palkia looks at me. "It must be in a god's nature to forgive. If wrath flew down at the slightest infraction, no flesh would be spared. Who knows; there may be good left in these sinners after all. It is not the time and place to judge them, not yet. Be patient."

Hoopa shakes her head. "Then send them elsewhere! Not to Saffron! Evil things happen at Saffron!"

"So I have heard." Palkia strokes his chin. "But better to take them to where they wish to go than to have them journey there and harm others on the way."

Now Hoopa remembers! "Hoopa's friends must go to Saffron! Gary-Kun's family is in Saffron!"

"Of that, I am aware. The citizens of Pallet Town have been subjected to unethical experiments. Their physical state is unstable. If I were to free them now, then what has been done to them could be their undoing."

"Huh? What does Palkia mean?"

"Project Burst seeks to merge the DNA of humans and Pokemon. The people of Pallet Town are currently in psychic-imposed hibernation, awaiting the full awakening of the Berserk Genes placed inside of them. This transformation is as much mental as physical, and the psychics of Saffron City have been working to help the victims' brains adjust to their new power."

"Hey!" Jessie yells. "They didn't even tell us that! How do you know?"

"Because I am Palkia, the Guardian of Space," says Palkia, "and I make it my business to know."

Palkia snaps his fingers, and Jessie, James, and the two confused Mewtwo vanish into a spacial rift. Hoopa presumes that this is a rift to Saffron.

Palkia turns back to me. "What has been done to the people of Pallet Town is unthinkable. But hope still lives. The hybrids can still be saved from their fate. Team Rocket may transform the body, but they cannot fully destroy the spirit. Deep inside, there will always remain a human heart. And it is that which your friends must protect."

Palkia snaps his fingers again, and a smaller rift opens, a Hoopa-sized rift. "Wait!" Hoopa says. "How can Hoopa save the people of Pallet Town?"

"By reminding them who they are," Palkia says. "And reminding them what they must fight for."

"Then how can Hoopa save the world?"

"You and your friends must face the darkness that consumes this world," Palkia says, "and return it to the light."

Before Hoopa can say more, Hoopa's rift opens wider, and Palkia disappears...

Hoopa remembers one more question Hoopa forgot to ask.

Where does Hoopa come from...?

Hoopa is fun to write for because she has an unique, childlike speech pattern that I get to work with.

And yeah, Palkia comes across as being rougher on the Unown than on the Rockets. But in fairness, the Rockets aren't the ones that nearly destroyed a section of reality, which is kind of a really big thing. Palkia may be seen as lax in just letting Jessie and James go back to Saffron, but his responsibility is in maintaining the fabric of space, which is a more complicated thing than you might think because space is MASSIVE.

...honestly, I'm not sure how one water dragon manages to attend to the WHOLE of reality, so he's probably stretched pretty thin. I wonder if Palkia has any domain in Ultra Space.
Today's the first day of a new Twitch Plays Pokemon run, so forgive me if I'm a little distracted right now.

Palkia does come across as a bit of a jerk here, but he does have his reasons for doing what he does. Not that he's ready to share all of them with Hoopa. Who apparently he's been aware of for quite some time.
Terra's POV

"Why the hell are all these Meowth in my restaurant?"

I gulp. Paul looks pretty angry. "Well... reality was collapsing all around us and this is where Hoopa transported us to...?"

"Oh, it's Hoopa's fault, huh? I'm going to have words with that little imp." Paul looks around the room. "Where is it, anyway?"

Nobody knows what to say to that. How could we? Gladion especially. I can tell from the look on his face that he blames himself for the disaster.

I take a deep breath. "We... we lost Hoopa in the reality quake," I confess. "She couldn't go through her own rings."

"Oh," Paul says, looking awkward. "I... I'm so sorry."

There's a silence, a silence that sees Gladion hanging his head and everyone else trying not to look at him. Trying not to blame him. Even Gary, for crying aloud.

And then someone starts banging on the door. "Open up! Open for Hoopa!"

Half the group falls all over each other trying to get to the door. In the end Paul gets it because he's the closest to it.

Hoopa floats in looking miffed. "Hoopa has had a horrible day today! Does anyone have any donuts?"

---

Eventually we manage to get the Meowth all out of the restaurant, and also get the whole story out of Hoopa. It isn't easy with her limited vocabulary, but we manage. And it only takes her two and a half boxes of donuts.

And this of course only makes Gary madder. "They're using my sister and gramps for experiments?!" He pounds his fist on the table. "I say we storm Saffron City and rescue them right now!"

Hoopa shakes her head slowly. "Palkia-kun said that would not be safe for them. Not in their condition."

"Well, we can't just do nothing! What the hell are we supposed to do, anyway?"

Gladion shoots him a look. "There's this wonderful thing now called being patient. Ever heard of it?"

"Palkia-Kun said that Gary-Kun's family will still be Gary-Kun's family," Hoopa says. "We just have to remind them of that."

Gary punches one of the support beams of the restaurant. "Damn it! Why does everything have to happen to me? At least tell me I can get my stolen Pokemon back!"

Hoopa sighs. "Hoopa didn't ask about stolen Pokemon."

"So what are we supposed to do now?" I ask. "If we can't rescue the people of Pallet Town, then why are we here? What is it that we can do?"

"Well," Wes says, "We can start by figuring out how to un-curse me..."

Paul considers a bit. "The fastest way to Johto is via the Magnet Train, but that's in Saffron, and if Team Rocket has taken over it, that's no longer an option. There's a library in nearby Mintale Town, though, and it might have some information on how to cure a Mark of Phancero. If that fails, your best bet would be to swing over to Lavender Town. Folks there are used to dealing with ghosts and such, so if it's arcane knowledge you're after, someone there might just be able to help you."

"Great," Gary says. "You guys have fun with that. I'm going to go save my family."

Simultaneous "WHAT?"

"I'm not giving up on them." Gary taps his foot anxiously. "We know Lance is going after Rayquaza next. While he's clashing with Team Rocket, we'll be able to break in and at least see what's going on with them. If there's one chance in a thousand of saving my family, I'm going to take it."

"Excuse me?" Gladion asks. "We have a literal god saying that trying to snap the prisoners out of whatever Team Rocket's done to them is a Bad Idea, in capital letters. And you still want to try?"

Gary stares him down. "Yes. Yes, I do. I lost my parents in a car crash when I was too young to even know what that meant. I can not, and will not, lose anyone else. How hard is that to understand?"

"How hard is it to understand that by this point, you'll just be making it worse?"

"I have to KNOW!" Gary yells, startling everyone around him. "I have to at least know they're still alive!"

Silence.

"Fine then," Gladion says. "But I'm coming with you."

Gary does a double take. "What? But you just said--"

"I know what I said, and I know this whole quest of your is suicidal. That's why I'm going along. I'm on borrowed time as it is, and I'm not going to just stand by and watch you kill yourself trying to take on the entirety of Team Rocket with a single Charmander." Gladion turns and looks at the group. "Anyone else?"

More silence.

Shu considers this. "Well, I think that if Palkia itself says that something is a bad idea, I should really stay out of it. Not much point talking to Pokemon if you never listen to them."

"I'll be staying with Wes," Ilima says, "trying to figure out how to un-curse him. And we still have to find the source of the natural disasters that are due to plague this planet. Gladion, are you quite sure this is how you want to spend your time here?"

"I know what it's like to lose someone, and how it feels to worry." Gladion is adamant. "I'm not just walking away."

For one brief moment, Ilima looks almost about to use his powers to try to change Gladion's mind. But he doesn't. "Then I can't keep you from your choice. But be careful. Be safe."

"Hoopa will help you!" Hoopa says suddenly. "Even if Hoopa can't go through Hoopa's rings, Glad-Kun and Gary-Kun can! Hoopa can help!"

"All right, then." Gladion turns to me. "But you should stay with Ilima and the others, Terra. Don't worry. Ilima will keep you safe."

"Hey," Gary says, "I don't recall you getting permission to speak for her."

"No, he's right," I say, blushing. "You all know I'm new to this battling thing -- new to REALLY battling. In my world, I only played battle simulations. I shouldn't get involved in something this dangerous."

"Neither should Gary and Gladion, if you ask me." Ilima looks uncomfortable. "But we're not stopping them."

"You could!" I look at Ilima. "I know you could!"

Ilima shakes his head no. "It's not my place. And Gladion will be careful. He's survived so much already."

I give him a look. I'm still not sure about all this, but his mind is pretty clearly made up.

And then there's a knock on the door. Several knocks, actually. The door is getting a real beating.

Paul opens the door, then almost closes it again. Before he can, a furry paw blocks the door.

"All roight, twoips!" a voice screeches. "Where's Jess an' Jimmy?"

It's Meowth. THE Meowth. Team Rocket's Meowth.

Where the heck had he been all this time?

There was no original commentary worth posting for this one.

I think the fate of Gary's parents was revealed in some obscure manga or another; however, there are so many obscure manga for Gen 1, I have no idea which one it would be. And this is yet another example of the characters making plans that never actually come to fruition, because that's just how Blue Moon works, apparently.

Gosh, trusting Team Rocket's Meowth can't possibly backfire in any way ever at all, can it? [/SARCASM]
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,333
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15
Benga's POV

"You're not welcome in here," Paul says firmly. "Unless you're a paying customer, which I'm fairly sure you aren't."

I glare at Meowth and arch my back, hissing. "What the food human said. And if you stay in here, I'm gonna burn you a new one."

Meowth's fur gets bristly. "Oi ain't here fo' da food! Oi'm here for da twoips dat took Jess an' Jim from me!"

"What do you mean?" Terra asks. "Oh, no..."

I guess she remembered what happened in the alleyway. Everyone looks uncomfortable.

Except for Hoopa. "Jess-Kun and Jim-Kun are fine!" she reassures Meowth. "Palkia-Kun brought them to Saffron. Glad-Kun and Gary-Kun are going to Saffron with Hoopa! Want to come along?"

The look, smell, and body language coming from Gladion says quite clearly that he does NOT want Meowth to come along, that it is in fact the exact opposite of what he wants, and he thinks Hoopa is an imbecile for even suggesting it.

Meowth doesn't seem too keen on this either. "Oi know DAT twoip," he says, pointing at Gary. "Tried t' beat up Jimmy. An' who's da blonde twoip wi' da ripped cloithes?"

Gladion stares down at his torn-up hoodie and pants. If he has anything to say, he doesn't say it.

Gary considers this. "Yeah," Gary says, "we've tried to kick each others' teeth in before. But one stray Meowth heading for a town three cities away is asking to be caught by a trainer. You come with us to Saffron, get us in safely, and hopefully you'll never have to see us again."

Gladion gives Gary a look that clearly says You are out of your freaking mind. Although not quite in those words exactly.

Meowth likewise looks skeptical. "Ya t'ink I'm gonna trust ya? Bettah me on my own that ya twoips gettin' da jump on me, double-teamed!"

"We need someone to get us into Saffron City," Gary says. "You need an escort there. And you're right that we outnumber and overpower you, so I don't think you really have a choice."

Meowth looks and smells overwhelmed. "Uh..."

Ilima motions to Gladion, and they talk quietly. My superior feline ears can hear most of it -- mainly Gladion's concern that Meowth could lead them into a trap and Ilima's certainty that his Chronometer can get them out of any trouble they get into.

Finally they separate. "For the record," Gladion says to Gary, "this plan of yours is really, really dumb. But if it's the only plan you have, I might as well make sure you don't make a total mess of things."

"Great!" Gary says. "So, should we head out now?"

"Our paths won't diverge until Celadon City at most, and Mintale Town at fewest," Ilima says. "We should all stick together until that point. There's safety in numbers."

"I don't care where you go," Paul says, "just get that damn cat out of my restaurant. It's shedding, and some of my customers are allergic to petty larceny."

Meowth makes a rude noise at Paul. I hiss at Meowth.

Ilima sighs. "We really should be going by this point. We've clearly overstayed our welcome."

"Thanks for the yummy food!" Shu says to Paul.

Paul just sighs. "It's what pays the bills..." he mutters, and he smells upset. Clearly having to deal with a kidnapping in his restaurant and then a clowder of cats has strained his patience. "Just do me a favor and survive. I could use some repeat customers."

Ilima bows politely. "We'll do our best. Good luck with the restaurant."

I wonder what color Paul's face would turn if he learned that Ilima was a cat as well.

---

The road to Mintale Town is the same shabby quality of the rest of Holiwood City, at least at first. There's potholes. No sign of cars coming or going, either, which is a good thing. Cars spook me. You get into one, and the next thing you know, you're at the vet. You get under one, and you're also off to the vet -- or worse, you stay by the side of the road forever until the birds eat you.

Meowth is not taking this well at all. One moment he's complaining that his paws hurt, the next he's bristling at Gary for trying to catch him in a Poke Ball. Yeesh, make up your mind, Meowth. No one's going to carry you if you keep mouthing off at them.

Eventually Gladion sends out Silvally and tells Meowth that if he doesn't want to walk he can ride Silvally. But he has to be civil about it, and he can't go kicking or clawing Silvally to make it go faster.

Meowth is pretty impressed at Silvally. I think it takes everyone's breath away when you first see it. It's got a beak and claws and a fish tail and weird glowwy head feathers that change color when Gladion slides little discs into its head. Pretty impressive.

While there are wild Pokemon hanging around the tall grass, few of them give us any trouble. These ones seem more friendly and less aggressive than the ones in Sida Forest. But they still want to battle, which we don't really have time for.

Most of us, anyway. Gary always wants to battle, and that slows us down, especially since all Gary has right now is his Mirror Charmander, which doesn't even have a name. And its Light type is weak to the wild Bug and Grass Pokemon we meet along the road, so he goes through an awful lot of bitter-tasting Revival Herbs along the way.

Eventually Gladion takes pity. "Would you like to train one of my Pokemon for a while?" he asks. "I have four, and you only have one."

Gary looks up. "You mean like your weird Sneasel or Riolu? I'm having a hard enough time training this one without another weird dimensional anomaly added to the mix."

Charmander snorts at this. "Well, this isn't exactly a picnic for me, either!" it complains, although of course Gary doesn't understand it.

"I have a Zubat," Gladion says. "Just an ordinary Zubat. It's strong against Bug and Grass types. It should come in handy."

"Great, thanks," Gary says, reaching out to take the Poke Ball.

But Gladion pulls it away. "Not yet. You have to earn it. I need to see that you treat your Pokemon like friends and equals. Only then am I going to lend you one of my trusted partners."

Gary huffs. "So that's it, then? You think I'm going to save my family with 'love' and 'friendship'? I'm only going to save them by kicking Rocket butt."

"Your Pokemon will respond to you better if they're your friends," Ilima says. "So far all you've done for your Charmander is send it out to fight and give it bitter medicine. Why not just play with it for a while?"

"Play with it?" Gary scoffs. "Sir Spiky here? How on Pokearth am I supposed to 'play' with a spiky death dragon?"

Terra speaks up. "When I play with Benga, he likes to chase a string or a laser pointer."

"Silvally likes to play tug-of-war with me with a stick," Gladion says. "It usually wins. And eats the stick."

"Me and Kachu love to play dress-up!" Shu says.

Kachu shoots him a look. "You play dress-up. I have an outfit for every occasion. I do not simply 'play' dress-up."

Gary mulls over the options. "Not sure about tug-of-war with something that small, and I'm certainly not going to play 'dress-up' with a spiny attack lizard. A laser pointer sounds neat, though. Anyone have one?"

Ilima pulls a small, compact black thing out of his pocket. "Here. You can borrow mine, but don't lose it."

Gary takes it, turns it on, and suddenly -- DOT. There is a dot, and I must chase it. Unfortunately, Charmander wants to chase it to, and I collide with a sharp spiky head and yelp, tumbling backwards.

Gary laughs a little, the stinker. "Hey, this IS fun!"

Gladion just shakes his head. "You're hopeless."

And that's the last we'll see of Holiwood City, at least for a while. My original draft featured the group encountering Meowzie and getting trapped in a movie shooting taken over by Sabrina's psychic powers, but that didn't pan out because I'd already spent a long time in Holiwood and needed to move the plot along.
So even in this continuity, Gladion wears torn clothes. Not because of Null/Silvally, but because Ultra Space is a dangerous place and Gladion doesn't see the point in buying new clothes when the torn ones give him street cred.

I recently saw a picture of Gladion and Hau at the beach, and Gladion was in swimming trunks, and you could see the scars all over Gladion's body in the places where his clothes were ripped. That really made me think of how dedicated Gladion was to training Null. He really is like his mother -- they're both dedicated to whatever goal they have in mind to the point of Tauros-headed stubbornness.

Also... DOT.
Terra's POV

I retract Benga into his Poke Ball for safety. It still feels weird keeping my pet cat inside a sphere that breaks the laws of physics, but then, everything feels weird here.

I want to go home. But that's not going to happen anytime soon.

The road has gotten greener, and better paved. There are a few wild Pokemon, the occasional Rattata or Sentret, but they don't seem hostile, or even to care that we're walking by. A few take passing interest in Gary's laser pointer, but when Gary's Charmander tries to battle them, they run off.

I turn towards Ilima, who's looking pretty uncomfortable about wearing three Unown. I guess I'd be uncomfortable too if my gender was written on my shirt. Or if I needed that for people to know what I was. I mean, not to mention the writing is alive.

And he notices me looking at him. "Are you all right?" he asks.

"Can't you answer that yourself?" I reply. "Or would you rather not?"

Ilima freezes a moment, then glances over at Meowth, who's riding on Silvally's back. When he answers, it's telepathically. We don't want to let that guy on as to what I really am.

I blink. Huh? Telepathy? Why haven't you tried that before?

I haven't needed it before,
Ilima answers. Just because I can do something doesn't mean I should do it.

I think Pywacket sang something about your reluctance,
I think warily. You don't seem very confident in your powers.

I'm confident I have them. Doesn't mean I'm confident in using them. I don't really want to HURT anyone.


I consider this a moment. You think you're... too powerful?

I'm a Mew. One of the rarest and most secretive Pokemon species around. Anything I do will reflect on the species as a whole.
He lowers his head. We don't interact with humans much out of fear. Not just fear of what humans could do to us, but fear of what we could do to humans. I don't want to look like a monster.

Oh.
I pause. Is that why you didn't attack Team Rocket in that alleyway?

Those two Mewtwo things were watching me. I got a look inside their minds, and all they thought about was how to defeat us. No empathy, no moral reasoning, nothing. It's like they only exist to destroy.
He shudders. It terrified me. One of them I might have been able to fight off with Smeargle's Spore, but two? And a giant mecha as well?

I consider this a few moments. I expect psychic power is a gift and a curse. You learn things you'd rather not know.

Exactly. I knew I should have done something, but I couldn't convince myself to do it. And then the Teeter Dance happened, and I couldn't have found my own tail after that. If you hadn't grabbed me, I'd have probably been lost.

I dunno,
I think. Hoopa turned out okay.

That is curious, what she said Palkia told her. That we had to face the darkness and turn it to light.

Speaking of turning things into other things, what happened to the three Unown on your shirt?


Ilima looks down at the black pattern reading BOY. They seem to have gone dormant since the Teeter Dance accident. Maybe in Mintale Town we can find someone or some book that will help us figure out how to fix them. I've already tried a Revival Herb, but none of them have responded to it.

You don't think they're dead, do you?

They're not. I can sense their minds sleeping. But it's not going to be easy to wake them up, even with Smeargle's Wake-Up Slap. They're not functioning as Pokemon -- they seem to have reverted to actual letters, and their consciousness is hazy. They aren't even able to translate Pokemon speech.

Not that that's a problem for someone like you,
I think snarkily.

No, not for me. Maybe Kappa knows what's wrong with them?

I reach down in my pockets and pull out Kappa's Poke Ball. Kappa. Can you sense what's going on with the Unown on Ilima's shirt?

Kappa emerges from the ball, somewhat dazed. I... oh, it's nothing serious. They're just hibernating. They should wake up in a few millenia.

A few MILLENIA?
Ilima telepathizes. That's my shirt we're talking about! I need to run it through the wash!

I wouldn't do that if I were you,
Kappa warns. The Unown could drown.

They're two-dimensional! How can they drown if they can't BREATHE?

Point taken,
Kappa says. I guess I assumed that. We don't really have water in our home dimension.

If you don't have water, what do you drink?

We don't really 'drink'. Unown feed off of aura waves, which our home dimension has plenty of. There's not as many here in Pokearth, or as tasty, but there's enough to keep us alive.


"Well, we're here," Shu suddenly announces. "Say hello to Mintale Town!"

We crest the hill, and indeed, Mintale Town stands before us. Rows of red-roofed houses, cool green grass, an old stone windmill. All around us, humans and Pokemon mill around on their daily business.

It's a beautiful place. Something about it reminds me of my hometown, way back on planet Earth. If I ever have any chance of seeing it again.

We'll find a way to get you home once all this is over, Ilima promises. It's the least we can do.

Hey, careful there!
I think. I didn't mean to broadcast that to you.

Sorry! Mew aren't exactly known for their etiquette. I had to pick up human sensibilities on my own. And there's such few psychic humans, they don't really have much to teach in the mental etiquette department.

Oh,
I think, feeling sheepish. Right. Sorry.

"Come on out, everybody!" I say, releasing Benga and Yoshi from their balls. "This is Mintale Town! I hear there's a library nearby with lots of books, so we should try to find it!"

"Shouldn't we try to find the Pokemon Center first?" Gary asks. His Charmander trots behind him, looking somewhat tired.

"Oh, right!" I blush.

---

"Come back here, you little scamp! And stop throwing fireballs!"

I may have forgotten one critical fact about Benga: he hates the vet.

With a passion.

It takes three Nurse Joys and a Chansey to corner the hissing, spitting little fireball. It's a miracle only a few things got set on fire, and another miracle that nothing actually burned down. Turns out most Pokemon Centers have a pretty good fire extinguishing system.

Finally Benga gets caught and corralled with minimal injuries. The nurses insist that it's no problem, that they're always prepared for the occasional Pokemon that refuses treatment. There's a funny story about a feral Charizard up in the Celadon Pokemon Center that I only half listen to because I'm so focused on telling Benga that this is not the way you behave in a Pokemon Center.

Contrary to my expectations, the nurses don't tell me to keep Benga inside his Poke Ball. Instead, they tell me that Benga needs to be able to have some space to explore the Pokemon Center, to learn that it's not as bad as he thinks it is. They also suggest I send out my other Pokemon to accompany him, so he'll feel more comfortable. This means Yoshi and Kappa get to explore the waiting room as well.

It's a nice place. Comfortable chairs, magazines, a few potted plants, and windows that show the beauty of the great outdoors. But while it's nice for a human, I'm not quite sure it's all that much for a Pokemon. Benga tries to eat one of the plants, which we quickly learn is artificial. Not that that stops Benga.

This time the nurses suggest we keep Benga inside a Poke Ball.

Yoshi is much more well-behaved. He noses around the fake plants, then makes a valiant effort to jump up on one of the chairs next to me. It's not easy with that huge egg set in his back, but eventually Hoopa notices and has mercy on him. With the help of Hoopa's ring, Yoshi climbs his way up and curls up next to me.

His skin is soft and leathery, a plain gray offset by the green of his eyes and the matching spots on the egg on his back. He makes a rough croaking sound reminiscent of purring, and I grin. "At least you're on your best behavior."

"Saur!"

I laugh and scratch him behind the ears. Hoopa laughs as well, floating down to relax on the couch next to me. I imagine we'd make a great picture together.

"You know, Hoopa," I say. "I never did give you a nickname. No reason to just keep calling you Hoopa all the time."

Hoopa considers this. "A nickname for Hoopa?"

"Sure! Something I can call you, as a friend." I pause. "Like... Ali! Ali Hooparing!"

Yoshi snorts in amusement. "Saur! Bulb-bulba saur!"

Hoopa laughs. "Yoshi-Kun likes it, too!" She whirls around. "Ali Hooparing! Hoopa has a name!"

"It's gonna take a little getting used to, but it works," I say. "You sure seem to like it."

"Ali has a name!" she sings. "Ali has a name!"

Interestingly enough, the Pokemon Adventures FireRed and LeafGreen chapter showed a group of Unown clinging to an underwater boat motor, so apparently Unown can survive underwater. Either that or they're just really good at holding their breath.

We have a cat that likes to eat our Christmas tree. Our tree is artificial. Doesn't stop her.
One of my goals in writing this story was to show how all the different characters perceive the world differently. Terra sees things differently than Benga because Benga's a cat and Terra's a human. Gladion and Ilima see things differently from Gary and Shu because they come from different worlds and different eras, and thus different backgrounds. And Ilima sees things a lot more differently because he's a Mew. He's got different biology, different culture, and extrasensory perception. And while he puts a lot of effort into fitting into most human cultural norms, he's still essentially an alien in disguise.

And, hey, apparently Ilima can still telepathise with a girl with no aura. This is probably because he's a Mew. A human character with empathy powers that appears in Act 2 finds himself unable to read Terra's emotions because of her lack of aura, but hey, he's not a legendary Pokemon -- just blessed by one.

I never really thought of which city specifically Terra and Benga come from, but it's somewhere in the southern US.

Benga is a perfect example of why God didn't give us Pokemon. I once had a cat who was a terror at the vet's office. She had multiple warnings on her files that she WOULD put up a fight. Thankfully my current cat behaves herself a whole lot better, although she certainly doesn't enjoy her visits.

This story was written before Detective Pikachu confirmed that Bulbasaur were slimy amphibians. My explanation for the disrepancy? This is Mirror Bulbasaur. Naturally it's going to be different.

If I had gone with my original plan and made Blue Moon into a fangame, this would have been the point where the player would battle and catch Hoopa. And her battle music would be an instrumental version of "(You Ain't Never Had A) Friend Like Me."

And gossssssh I almost forgot to make this repost at all because I was watching The Princess And The Frog on Netflix tonight. Thank God for reminding me that I have responsiblities.
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,333
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16
Terra's POV

The rest of the group are scattered across the Pokemon Center. Gladion seems to be standing in the middle of the waiting room making edgy poses for no reason. Ilima is at the Pokemon Center cafe, ordering drinks for everybody while keeping an eye on Meowth. Shu is reading a comic book that I'm not sure if it's one of the waiting room magazines or if he brought it himself. Gary is asking around if anyone has any information on what's going on in Saffron City.

And Wes is sort of standing around staring at everything.

"I know this place," he says quietly. "I've been here b'fore. I just can't place th' when."

One of the nurses overhears him. "Was it before or after the Chengdu war?" she asks.

Wes shakes his head. "How should I know? I barely 'member this place as it is... what happened in th' war?"

"Well, famously ten years ago, the Chengu Air Force dropped a series of bombs over Kanto. Mintale Town would have been decimated if the mythical Pokemon Celebi hadn't stepped in. But instead of sending the bombs backward through time, it sent the entire city forward five years later, after the end of the war."

Wes brightens up. "Celebi? Celebi was here?"

"It was. But no human in Mintale Town has seen it ever since that day. It's become something of a legend."

"Well, I got business wi' Celebi." Wes takes off his glove and shows the lady his scar. "Word on th' street has it that Celebi can cure this curse o' mine. If that's any possibility at all, I gotta know where Celebi's gonna be."

The nurse looks uncomfortable. "Well... some say it dwells inside the old windmill out in Springleaf Field, which was built many years ago in its honor. But no one knows for sure. It doesn't seem to want human company."

"Well, I want its company enough for both of us. How do we make it happy?"

"Well, it's said that Celebi enjoys red berries..."

---

Gary looks confused. "We're going to pick berries?"

"No," Wes says, "we're gonna buy berries. The biggest, reddest, juiciest berries we can find. And we're gonna take 'em to th' windmill, offer 'em t' Celebi, an' get me uncursed, y'hear?"

Shu shakes his head. "If it was really that easy, wouldn't someone else have done it by now?"

"Celebi's a Grass-type," Ilima points out. "It can probably produce as many berries as it wants. If we want to bring it a food offering, it needs to be something human-made."

"Like an ice-cream sundae?" Shu asks.

"Probably something cooked specifically for Pokemon," Ilima clarifies. "Like Pokeblocks, or Poke Puffs. So who here knows how to cook?"

I raise my hand, looking around. Surprisingly, Meowth is silent. There's only one other in our group that has his hand raised.

Gladion.

"Wait what?" I ask. "Mr. Edgelord? You can cook?"

"I was raised by an overexpectant perfectionist, okay?" Gladion looks uncomfortable at the attention. "Ilima's class wasn't the only tutoring I ever had. What I'm more surprised is that Ilima can't cook. Trust me, the guy could burn water. And probably has."

Ilima blushes. "That statement might have some partial basis in truth."

"I'm serious. You tried to microwave a burrito in our house and it caught on fire. Mother was furious."

"That was different! I didn't know that under the paper there was a layer of aluminum foil!"

Gary snickers at this. "Yep. Classic psychic at work here."

Ilima gives him the Cat Dirty Look. Gary is unaffected.

"So, anyway," Gladion goes on, "we need something that a Celebi would like. No ice cream; Grass-types are weak to cold. Poke Puffs would be a good start, but we want to make it something really special as an offering."

"How about a trifle?" Ilima asks. "Layer berries, cream, and squares of cake in a bowl. Celebi's a psychic-type, so it should know something about using a spoon."

"I like where dis is going," Meowth says. "Do we get some, too?"

"Well, this is all going to cost money," Ilima points out, "and we still don't know if Celebi will accept the offering. And there are six of us."

"Seven!" Ali says.

"Eight!" Meowth says.

"I vote we get enough for at least twelve," I say. "We've got five growing boys here, not to mention the Pokemon. We'll be lucky to have any left over for Celebi if everyone gets their fingers in the pie."

Ilima sighs. "As I've said, money is a problem. We'll make enough for Celebi, but we can't go eating the offering ourselves. We need to buy ourselves some healthy food to keep us going."

Meowth groans. "C'mon? Pleeeeeease?"

"This isn't going to be easy for any of us. But un-cursing Wes is the important thing." Ilima claps his hands. "So, shall we begin?"

---

The first step is buying ingredients. Since we don't have an oven we can use, we buy a white cake to use for the cake filling, which Meowth slices expertly with his claws. After some debate as to the berries used, we select Razz Berries and Leppa Berries to mix into the trifle, and Meowth slices them into chunks as well. One can of spray whipped cream later, and we have all the ingredients. Although Ilima has to keep Meowth away from spraying whipped cream into his own mouth.

We also buy a clear plastic bowl, which we carefully layer the ingredients into. More than once Gladion has to slap someone who's trying to sneak a piece of cake or one of the berries out of the bowl. While we do have some leftovers, which we share equally, it doesn't really amount to much per person.

Then begins the trek to the windmill. Gladion carries the trifle, because not even Meowth is going to steal trifle from a guy whose glare alone can make you severely rethink your life choices. While we attract a few hungry Beedrill, between Benga, Kachu, and Ali, they aren't that much of a problem.

Then we reach the windmill, and we realize we have something of a problem here.

The door is locked.

Wes thinks he can unlock it. "Never met a lock I couldn't pick," he brags. But several minutes of work makes him realize that it's not just a conventional lock he has to deal with.

It's rust. Lots and lots of rust.

Meowth makes an offer to try using his claws to pick the rock. Wes is all for this, but before too long Meowth gives up too, and his claws aren't in such good shape afterward either.

"We could always break down the door," Gary suggests.

Ilima shoots him a look. "Breaking down the door to a mythical Pokemon's home is like dressing like a Zangoose at a Seviper convention."

"Meaning?"

"It's suicide."

"Ali could get you in," Ali suggests. "If Ilima-Kun doesn't think that would be dressing the Zangoose."

Ilima looks bemused. "Well... I expect Celebi keeps the door closed like that for a reason..."

Shu taps his foot impatiently. "Has anyone else considered just knocking?"

Silence.

Shu sighs. "Of course not." He walks over and knocks on the door. "Hey, Celebi! We came to visit you, and we brought you a trifle! It's layers of cream, cake, and Razz Berries! Would you like to have some?"

There is a pause.

Then an energy begins to ripple. Time energy. Bluish-green. And a song, a beautiful song, one not sung by human lips.

The Celebi appears.

Its body is fibrous, its hair whipped back like a bud of garlic. Its lower half is clothed in bright green leaves, giving it the appearance of a pixie of sorts. Its wings are clear and translucent, like insect wings, but have a glossy surface like a pair of waxy leaves. Its eyes are ringed with a deep black, like mascara, and the blue pupils regard us all with curiousity.

Young Wesley, it says, focusing on Wes. You have returned. At last, you have returned.

So, the Chengdu War is a reference to the unknown war that happened prior to RGBY, and also a reference to a Twitch Plays Pokemon theory that Baba (our Vietnamese Crystal host) became the 'hateful president' of Chengdu (the Viet Crystal region) and bombed Orre with her Lugia (which had a move called H-Bomb). In the theory, Orre used to be the Pokemon Channel region

Now, this is the typical type of entertaining lunacy you'd get from Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriters (myself included), but in truth, the Pokemon Channel region is pretty clearly Kanto, as seen by the appearance of Viridian Forest in the game. So I kept the bombing of Mintale in the Burst storyline, but with a bit of a twist. Celebi can be seen outside in Mintale Town under certain conditions in the game, after all.

The line to Ilima being able to burn water was a reference to something I once saw in the Nuzlocke writer's discord, where a member observed that Ilima is good at using a fire extinguisher, which he learned immediately after learning he can't cook worth beans. Unfortunately I can't remember who said it, but it stuck in my mind.
Gladion's edgy poses are sort of a physical tic/coping mechanism. Later on in the story we learn that Gladion is autistic, so that affects his behavior. (I know I've caught myself making a very Gladion-esque hand movement when I've been stressed out.)

Obviously Celebi loving red berries comes from Pokemon 4Ever, the first Pokemon movie I ever watched. It wasn't a particularly good movie, but I didn't have particularly good standards at the time, so I enjoyed it anyway.

Lusamine probably made Gladion learn a bunch of things he had absolutely no interest in. Although in the main series canon, Gladion knowing how to cook would have helped him during the two years he spent alone in a hotel room with Type: Null and some random Zubat.

In case you haven't noticed, I loooooove describing Pokemon in HD.
Wes's POV

I stare at the Celebi, not quite understanding. "I... I've returned? Where've I been?"

Celebi giggles. Off at Orre, of course. You knew your father was sent to Orre during the Chengdu Wars, so you slipped off to Colbalt Coast, stowed away on a ship to Gateon Port, and made your way in the world. She wrinkles what must be her nose. And you haven't showered since, have you?

I blink. Shake my head. Try to make sense of all this. "I, uh... I sorta remember bein' here, but why'd I leave? This place is perfect!"

You left after the bombs dropped, Celebi says with utmost seriousness. You were elsewhere at the time of the bombing. You did not understand why Mintale was no longer where it had been. With nowhere else to go, you went to Orre. It hangs its head. I did not realize where you were at the time of the bombing. I am so sorry.

"Uh... 'scool, I guess." How the hell am I supposed to react to a mythical Pokemon apologizing to me? "Um... if you'd like t' make things better wi' me, I do have this problem o' mine..."

I take off my right glove, revealing the burned shape of a bird on my hand. "This is th' Mark of Phancero, I think. Word has it ya know how t' fix this kinda thing..."

I can, Celebi says. But it will take a price. To remove the magic, I must remove all memories of the magic from your body. You will not recognize this symbol if you see it again, and neither will you recognize those who placed it on you. Are you willing to accept this price?

"If it means not bein' cursed t' a shell abomination? Gladly!"

Celebi nods, then flies up to me, touching the mark. Then in the name of the Original One, be cleansed.

I feel the magic ripple through my body. I see the mark burn brightly on my hand, then -- nothing. My hand is normal; what else could it be? When was it ever not?

Why do I feel healed, when nothing was wrong?

Celebi flies back, a pert look on its face. So? How are you feeling? it giggles.

"Great, as usual. But what was that all about? I didn't need healin'."

Celebi laughs, a fair tinkling sound. Excellent! So it worked. You have no memory of being cursed, for ever since this point it is as if has no longer happened.

It turns to my group of partners around me. But you others remember, it says, and it is up to you to keep him safe from this moment forward. I sense great recklessness in this one, which could well lead to his end. The cultists that cursed him will return, and they will not show mercy.

"Cultists?" I ask confused. "What cultists? Wha's goin' on?"

The two glitch cultists you do not remember, Celebi says. The white-haired one is Sho; the redhead, Larry. They serve the cause of Phancero Idola, the great Bird That Must Not Be. They seek to learn the secrets of transmutation, in order to battle this planet's greatest threat: Dark Matter.

Gary shakes his head. "Um, Dark Matter? Isn't that the stuff the universe is made out of?"

Not this Dark Matter. Are you familiar with Aura Theory?

"I know it's what powers Burst Hearts like Gladion's, and that Unown and Lucario can use it, but..." Gary shakes his head no. "I'm clueless."

Gladion laughs gruffly. "The great and powerful Gary is clueless; call the record books."

Aura is the energy that permeates all things, living or otherwise. And like all energies, it can neither be created or destroyed. It simply changes its form. All emotions, pleasant or negative, take form as aura. And once the emotion changes, the aura lives on.

Celebi's voice grows darker. It is the aura from dark emotions, such as anger, sadness, and fear, that floods together to form Dark Matter. Normally, Ghost-type Pokemon feed on these emotions, keeping the rise of Dark Matter in check. However, as more and more humans and Pokemon shy away from these Ghost-types, the power of Dark Matter grows stronger, and threatens to destroy everything we hold dear.

"Destroy everything?" Shu asks. "But how?"

Dark Matter draws power from distant stars, intending to increase gravity and pull this entire planet into the sun, to return the world to a void and lifeless state. You must understand, much of Dark Matter is born from hatred of what horrible things have happened in the world, and some even from suicidal thoughts. Dark Matter does not understand concepts of good or evil; it only knows suffering and pain. And it is determined to end all suffering and pain, by returning the world to the void.

Ali shudders. "Ali's friends must face the darkness that consumes this world..." she says nervously. "Palkia-Kun said that... but how?"

If I knew, I would tell you, Celebi says ominously. But the problem of Dark Matter grows even stronger with evildoers like glitch cultists around. The cultists seek to harness the power of transmutation from a misguided belief that they can drain Dark Matter of power and create a new creature with it. But in doing so, they will wreak more pain and suffering on this world, and increase the growth of Dark Matter.

"So... what can we do?" I ask.

You have among you a girl who comes from a world without aura, who may yet be immune to Dark Matter's machinations. She is the key to saving our world.

Terra speaks up. "Yeah, I keep hearing that, but what can I really do? Everyone else here is more experienced than I am -- even Shu! How am I supposed to do something that no one else on this planet is capable of?"

You will have help. You will have your allies. Celebi pauses, focusing especially on Ilima. And you will have Mew.

Meowth's been quiet all this time. It just takes everything in, looking pretty concerned. I keep an eye on it -- the thing's clearly not on our side, and my bet's that it's just waiting for a good spot to double-cross us. But it looks pretty concerned about the whole saving-the-world thing, and I don't think that's put on. Saving the world usually means also saving the part of it you happen to be standing on.

Meowth. Celebi turns towards the little cat-thing. We Celebi can sense the possible futures of all beings, through the Time Ripple, and yours is an enigma. Your loyalties will be tested. Your friends will be endangered. And your fate will intersect with that of many others. But what happens to you from this point onwards depends largely on what you choose. Choose wisely.

Meowth blinks. "Uh... what now?"

You will understand when it happens. Celebi turns to Gary and Gladion. I can sense that Palkia warned against your quest in Saffron City. But Palkia sees only what is. I, Celebi, see what can be. And for the sake of what could yet come to pass, I approve of your search for the people of Pallet Town. Just be aware that the fruit of your quest might not be what you expected.

"Yeah," Gladion says, "speaking of fruit, are you going to eat the trifle? My arms are getting tired."

Oh! Right! The offering. It looks delicious!

Gladion sets the bowl down on a rock, and Celebi telekinetically lifts a glob of cake, fruit, and whipped cream up to its mouth. Taking a taste, it hums appreciatively. This is good... is this a recipe humans enjoy? The combination of flavors and textures... truly, you are such a creative species!

"Heh. Thanks," Gladion says. "It was Ilima's idea."

Celebi blinks, staring up at Ilima. Oh. I stand corrected.

"It's my idea, but not my recipe," Ilima says quickly. "We all sort of put the ingredients together on the fly."

Well, it's certainly delicious, Celebi says. I wish I could go into town as a human like you do. Alas, some things simply are not meant to be.

Ilima coughs slightly, and I catch him glancing at Meowth. I can see his point; Meowth might not have gotten the memo on Team Rocket's lack of interest in a 'genetically inferior' Mew. Letting Meowth know what Ilima is would be tempting fate.

Oh, Celebi says, and quickly changes the subject. To continue on your journey, go east through Colbalt Coast and through Terra Caverns to Route 16. When you reach Terra Caverns, you must find a girl named Cyan who will help you through the caves. She will aid you on your quest.

"Jus' what kinda quest is this?" Meowth asks. "How're dey gonna fight Dark Mattah if it's all some sort o' aura mumbo-jumbo?"

Nothing is evil in its beginning, Celebi says. The darkness may yet be redeemed. But even if it is not, it falls to the one born without aura to defeat Dark Matter. It turns to Ilima. And you, Captain Ilima, will help her.

"Wha's he Cap'n of, anyway?" Meowth asks.

"It's just something Gladion calls me," Ilima confesses. "It started as a joke on a field trip, since I was leading the way... it sort of stuck."

"Captain suits him," Gladion says. "He usually knows what he's doing."

Not when he fought that Persian, I think, but I'm not going to say that out loud in front of Meowth. I wonder if Ilima has always had problems fighting on his own.

By this point, it's obvious that Celebi isn't going to be finishing the trifle in one go. The bowl is bigger than it is, for crying aloud; it could take a bath in that thing. I shall take this inside to savor at my leisure, Celebi says, telekinetically taking the bowl from Gladion. Thank you. I have rarely tasted anything this divine.

"Told'ja to spend the extra money on the good cake," Gladion tells me.

I stick my tongue out at him. So he's right once. No need for him to rub it in.

I wish you good tidings and the favor of fate, Celebi says. But before I go, there is something that I wish to tell your Captain.

It floats up to Ilima and whispers something in his ear. Ilima brightens. "Oh? That's how you stabilize a time paradox? It's that easy?"

I would not call it easy, Celebi says, but it is indeed possible. But do not speak it aloud around the Meowth. I am yet unsure if he can be trusted.

Ilima nods, bowing respectfully. "Then thank you, Lady of Time. Will we ever see you again?"

That is possible... in time.

The blue-green energy returns, and both Celebi and the trifle start to disappear. Before long, it's just us staring at the empty space where Celebi once floated.

"Darn it!" Meowth sputters. "I wanted some o' dat trifle!"

So in last chapter's notes I told you about the TPP theory of Channel-to-Orre, but I didn't tell the whole story. The second half of the story involves the player character of Channel and Colosseum, which in TPP theory is the same person. Channel Wes of course was younger than Colosseum Wes, but both had a TV habit (Twitch Plays Pokemon watches the news a LOT).

Actually 'Wes' in TPP was referred to as Ceth, codenamed A7 or 'the Black Pawn'. For the sake of continuity I've kept his name as Wes in this story, but his Umbreon and Espeon have TPP's fan-given names, Taco and Nacho. (Or, to be more specific, Taco Scumbreon and Nacho Ally, but I mainly refer to them as Taco and Nacho for short.)

The cultists likewise have appeared in Twitch Plays Pokemon. Sorceror Sho can be recognized by anyone who's played to the end of Vietnamese Crystal, while Larry was the 'host' (player character) of TPP's Bootleg Green side run. Larry was known for abusing glitches by (for instance) sacrificing his starter (a Squirtle, or 'TORTO') to trigger the Dokokashira Door Glitch to warp to the Champion's room and enter the Hall of Fame with no Pokemon or badges whatsoever.

Larry is not a nice person. Avoid Larry. Seriously, stay away from him.

If you've played Pokemon Prism, you may have already encountered Phancero, the Missingno-like glitch bird that appeared at the end of TPP's Anniversary Crystal romhack (and was later made available via a special code for the game). The second part of its name, Idola, was a name considered for it during Anniversary Crystal development.

Dark Matter, of course, isn't from TPP at all; it's the villain and final boss of Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon, and it's not something you want to meet in a dark allyway.

Terra Caverns is the one thing in this chapter that I made up completely. Kanto already had Viridian Forest and (thanks to sidegames) Cobalt Coast, so I figured it would have something named after Terrakion as well. Terra Caverns is contained inside the mountanous area to the northwest of Route 16. I placed Colbalt Coast in the space between Viridian City and Route 16, where there's an inlet.
Some time after I posted the original commentary, Larry went on to go down in TPP history as the instigator of the Crystal Randofusion run, where he not only turned all the Pokemon in Kanto and Johto into fusions, but he also caused a continent-wide winter storm and turned even the Gym Leaders into fusions. He was eventually stopped by a boy named Wyatt, our player character in that game, who defeated Larry not just once, but twice. (Larry replaced Red on Mt. Silver because he was the previous Host with experience fusing Pokemon via glitches.) According to the lore, Wyatt then dragged Larry back to his home in New Bark Town and adopted him as his roommate (seriously). So Larry can be considered to be under house arrest.

Wes's father is going to be important eventually. I'm not sure how long it'll take before I get to that particular plot point, but let's just say you've heard of him before.

I enjoy creating complex metaphysics systems for franchises. Eventually I plan on putting that talent to use in my own original projects. However, for the time being, I hone my craft with fanfiction.

"Nothing is evil in its beginning," of course, comes from The Lord of the Rings.
 
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Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,333
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17
Ilima's POV

"All right, team," I say. "Now that we know what we're looking for, let's head to the Mintale Library and see what it has on Dark Matter before we leave."

Gary groans. "A library? Seriously? Do I look like a professor?"

"There's no point saving your family if the whole word burns," Gladion shoots back. "Get your priorities in order. Stopping Dark Matter is priority one."

"Well, Celebi doesn't seem to think so," Gary snaps. "She at least approved of rescuing my family! You can read through those dusty old books until the Miltank come home for all I care, but not me. I'm headed for Saffron."

"Yeah, good luck with that," Gladion says. "Do you even know how you're going to cross the Terra Caverns? Celebi said we'd need some girl's help to cross them, so we're going all together. End of story."

"What?" Gary looks trapped.

I sigh. This won't be easy. "Gary... I know you're upset. And you have every right to be. But what Gladion says is true. We won't be able to cross Terra Caverns without Cyan's help, and right now, we need to focus on learning what we can about Dark Matter. We have no idea if we'll ever get the chance to look through this library again."

Gary clenches his fists. "Hmmph. Don't have much of a choice then, do I?"

Terra turns to Wes. "Speaking of family. If you came from Mintale Town before, shouldn't you have family here?"

Wes looks uncomfortable. "Uh, well, see here... I don' remember my folks. An' I ain't gonna show up on their doorstep jus' t' walk away again an' maybe never return. An' I don' think they'd lemme leave that easily once I came back. Y'know?" He shrugs. "I just wanna do this first."

I hide a smile. Gladion might have doubts about Wes's character, but he's got a heart of gold under that dubious coat of criminality. He just has a funny way of showing it.

---

The library is a big place for a small town. Walls and walls of books everywhere, and a few computers open for use for those who have a library card. Which of course I don't, and Gary doesn't, and the rest of the group isn't even from Kanto, so of course they don't have library cards.

Doesn't mean we can't read the books.

I quickly organize my friends into a research team. Wes and Terra handle mythology and religion, Gary and Shu look up paranormal reports, and Gladion and I check aura science. Ali offers to help, but after nearly burying me and Gladion in a stack of entirely unrelated volumes, it comes out that she can't read English. So that doesn't work.

We don't really dig up much. Most of what me and Gladion find describes bad vibes as hanging around a person and affecting how others perceive them, sort of like how you try to avoid someone who's in a bad mood. They also describe how Ghost-type Pokemon are attracted to people harboring unpleasant emotions, because they feed off the aura waves produced by them. But they don't say much on "dark matter" in the sense Celebi spoke of it, as a separate, sentient entity with a will and purpose of its own.

Paranormal reports aren't that much better either. There's tales of Ghost-type Pokemon that feed on fear or envy, of course, but there's no report of the fear or envy actually fighting back.

It's the mythology reports that have the truly interesting results.

Terra manages to find a tale of a maiden who turned to stone out of grief while waiting for her loved one to return from a war. Wes locates a version of the Fall of Giratina in which Giratina is possessed by Dark Matter from its jealousy of Arceus, attempts to turn Arceus and the other dragons to stone, and is banished by the Original One into a parallel dimension for its pride. What's interesting about the second story is that it isn't even clear from the text whether Arceus and the Original One are the same being, as it's implied that Arceus was still stone when the Original One banished Giratina.

"It's myth," Gladion says dismissively when I broach the subject. "It's all mixed up from word of mouth and no one really knows what happened anyway. It's certainly no skin off my nose what the Original One is supposed to be."

"The Giratina I know certainly isn't anything like the one in the myth," Shu says.

"You know," I say, "some people think Mew are a myth as well."

Gladion rolls his eyes. "Makes things easier for us then."

"I think what we've gotta look at is the turnin' t' stone part," Wes says. "If this Dark Mattah's born from dark emotions, an' it can turn folks t' stone, then shouldn't we be concerned 'bout our own feelin's?"

"He's got a point," Terra says, motioning to part of Wes's book. "It says here that Giratina was deceived and possessed by its own dark emotions made animate, and embracing this Dark Matter gave it the power to petrify the other gods. If we have to actually fight Dark Matter, we need a protection against petrification."

"Assuming the whole story's not bunk to begin with," Gladion says.

"Speakin' o' weird tales, there's somethin' else I'd like ya to see." Wes flips a few pages back in the mythology book. "It's th' story from th' ruins, 'bout th' boy and the Dratini."

I take the book from Wes and start reading aloud.

---

"There was a time when humans and Pokemon lived in separate worlds. Humans did not know of Pokemon, and Pokemon did not know of humans.

"Except for one Pokemon, the Archdjinn of Rings. She could travel from the world of Pokemon to the world of humans. She brought tales of humans to Pokemon, and tales of Pokemon to humans.

"One day in the world of Pokemon, a Dratini approached the Archdjinn of Rings, asking her to take him to the world of humans. Thought the Archdjinn of Rings warned him that the world of humans was dangerous, the Dratini persisted, and the Archdjinn of Rings brought him to the world of humans.

"The humans had never seen a Dratini before. Full of fear, they locked it away in a cage and worried over what to do with it.

"Except for one human -- a human boy who took pity on the terrified Dratini. He freed Dratini and took care of it. They went to bed together, went to school together, even bathed together. In time, they became the best of friends."


"Who bathes with a Dratini, that's what I'd like to know," Gary says. "That sounds like asking for trouble."

"Shh!" Wes whispers. "Keep listen'."

"In time, Dratini's father, Dragonite, grew worried for his missing son. He went to the Archdjinn of Rings and demanded she bring him to where his son was. The Archdjinn complied, but the humans of the human world were terrified of Dragonite. They tried to destroy it with magic rods that shot steel and fire."

I take a deep breath. This next part isn't going to be nice. "Desperate to stop the fighting, the boy who was Dratini's friend rushed forward to plead with the humans for peace. But in the confusion, the boy himself was gravely injured. Terrified that the boy might die, Dragonite and Dratini took him with them through the Archdjinn's ring, escaping the human world once and for all."

I pause and take a breath. "Is that all?" Gary asks, in the tone of voice that says he's not really interested in hearing more.

"Dragonite took the human child to a special lake in the Pokemon world that healed the boy's injuries. However, Dragonite knew that the world of Pokemon was no place for a human boy. But neither did he wish to risk injury to either of them by returning to the world of humans.

"The Dragonite consulted the Voice of the Forest for help. The Voice of the Forest said that Dragonite should go to the Wishmaker to solve the problem of the human child. And so that is what Dragonite did.

"Dragonite, Dratini, and the human boy traveled far and wide to reach the Wishmaker. When the Wishmaker awoke, it asked them what wish it should grant them. The human boy, before anyone could stop him, wished for a world where he and Dratini could stay together forever.

"The Wishmaker granted that wish, creating a new world of humans and Pokemon for the boy and Dratini. But the energy expended by the size of the wish weakened the Wishmaker, sending him into an endless sleep, only to be awakened one week in every thousand years."


Terra looks over my shoulder at the pictures. "So the Voice of the Forest is Celebi, and the Wishmaker is Jirachi. But how could Jirachi create an entire world?"

"I always thought that Arceus was the one that made everything," Shu says. "Doesn't the myth say that the Original One created the world?"

"The myth says that Arceus shaped the world," I answer. "Arceus is said to have been born in a place where nothing existed, then formed the universe. But if this legend is true, then this Jirachi predates the Arceus of our world."

"That's a pretty big if if you ask me," Gary says. "I mean, doesn't it sound a bit absurd to you?"

"Only if ya haven't seen ancient carvin's o' desks an' alarm clocks wi' that myth," Wes cuts in. "Seems real enough t' me."

"But for that to be true," Terra says, "the entirety of Pokearth's history happened in a pretty short time in my universe. Unless there's another Earth-like universe where time moved differently?"

"It's certainly possible that time moves differently in different dimensions," I answer. "Dimensional science was still in its infancy even back in our world, in our timeline. If a few beings can travel back in time twenty years, what's to stop an entire universe from jumping back in time for long ages if infused with enough power?"

"Maybe Dialga got drunk," Gary says flippantly. "What's that got to do with saving the world?"

"Right now, nothing," I admit. "But it's possible that understanding more of how our universe came to be can help us figure out how to save it."

Through all this, Ali has been quiet. "Archdjinn of Rings..." she says quietly, mulling over what she's just learned. "The Archdjinn of Rings..."

"Ey!" a familiar feline voice yowls from the other end of the library. "Dat's moy tail, twoip! Lemme go!"

Meowth!

We rush to the sound of the noise, then slide to a stop.

Oh snap.

It's Hitoshi.

So the first part of the tale told in the legend is actually based on the first chapter of the "How I Became A Pokemon Card" manga. Although a number of creative liberties have been taken -- Hoopa didn't exist in the story, and the story ended without the boy getting shot.

This story is going to become important later on. Much later on. Count on it.
I feel sorry for Wes, having so little memory of his life before Team Snagem.

I would absolutely adore exploring an IRL Pokearthian library. There's just so much to learn about the world, its creatures, and its legends. Some PokeTubers make a living off of exploring the intricasies of Pokemon lore -- my personal favorites are Lockstin & Gnoggin and The Ruin Maniac Files, both of which you should check out if you haven't done so already. (The Ruin Maniac Files in particular was a great source of inspiration for this story's view on Light Matter.)

I guess being imprisoned in the Interdream Zone for as long as recorded time doesn't really give you much time for reading lessons. Ali could probably read Unown script, though, if she took the time to learn it. Which, given how long she was in there for, she... miiiiiiiight have given it a try? I honestly don't know if she's the kind of Pokemon that would have bothered, though.

One of the interesting things I like to think about in regards to Pokemon is how they fit into the greater ecosystem. For instance, ghost-types feeding on fear and envy keeps the Dark Matter population in check, which is likely why the legendary Pokemon put up with their shenanigans.

The stone madien, of course, is the madien from Maiden's Peak. Heck, when Mewtwo turned Ash to stone in the first anime movie, he was likely using Dark Matter to do so -- he had no shortage of dark emotions after how Giovanni treated him. (And if you go with the theory that Giovanni is Ash's father, that adds an extra layer to Mewtwo's interactions with Ash -- would Mewtwo recognize the family connection?)

Giratina turning other legendaries to stone, however, is entirely my invention. Popular headcanon claims that the 'violence' that Giratina was banished for was a Satan-esque attempt to overthrow Arceus. While there's no evidence of this in official canon, the theory has been used in various fan works, most notably in Pokemon Insurgence, which (spoiler alert) turned the entire theory on its head by having Arceus be the one that tried and succeeded to overthrow Giratina.

And yes, I'm doing something with the suggestion that Arceus is not, in fact, the true Original One. That's actually going to be a plot point in my upcoming nuzlocke series, Secrets of Aetherai. While Aetherai is an entirely different universe to Blue Moon's Pokearth, the Original Ones depicted in both universes are one and the same. That's all I can reveal for now, though -- don't want to give the game away.

I figured from the way Gladion spoke of the Sun/Moon Flute in the Alola games that he's an agnostic so far as most Pokearthian legends go. Of course, in this universe he's best friends with a Mew, so that affects his knowledge of legendary Pokemon comings and goings -- but Ilima is certainly no god, and Gladion probably doubts that any other legendary Pokemon is a god either.
Terra's POV

Hitoshi has a Charmeleon out, and it's gripping Meowth by the throat with one claw. The other has grabbed Meowth's arm in a death grip.

"Oi'm on yoir side, twoip!" Meowth complains. "Lemme go!"

Hitoshi looks up triumphantly at Ilima. "Go on, psychonaut. Make me let him go. I dare you. Just try it!"

"If you're goading me on to do it, I'm guessing you have a safeguard against it," Ilima says, shaking his head. "But what are you thinking, bringing a Fire-type with an open flame into a library? Do you want to set this whole place on fire around us?"

"What, a bunch of boring old books?" Hitoshi snaps. "Ask me if I care. You lot humiliated me back in Sida Forest, and I'm not about to let that go easily!"

Shu looks at Gary. Gladion looks at Ilima. Clearly this kid is unstable, and he's playing with fire. But nobody seems all that keen on battling a fire hazard in a room full of paper.

"What do you want, kid?" Ilima asks.

"Hand over your Pokemon. All of them. And if you don't, I'll set this library on fire."

"You'll be putting yourself in danger just as much as everyone else inside," Ilima warns.

"Then you'd better hand over your Pokemon quickly, before I do something drastic."

Ilima's voice takes on the dangerous, one-step-away-from-hypnosis tone. "You are going to let Meowth go and leave this library in peace."

Hitoshi scoffs. "No, I won't."

"You are going to let Meowth go and leave this library in peace."

"No, I won't! You think I didn't come prepared for your psychic mumbo-jumbo?" Hitoshi grins. "Now hand over your Pokemon, or else watch this whole place go up in smoke."

I freeze. "You can't... you can't possibly be that stupid!"

"Try me," Hitoshi snarls. "I'll make you eat those words!"

I smell smoke rising from Charmeleon's tail. I see complete determination in Hitoshi's eyes, and I realize that he really is that stupid. Some kids just want to see the world burn.

Terra, Ilima's voice says in my head. I have a plan. For now, go with what the kid wants.

Hand over my Pokemon?
I think, scared. But why?

Ali.


Of course. I could almost slap myself. Ali's rings! Our Pokemon can escape through them. Once Hitoshi is far away from the library, Ali can send our Pokemon back to us and everything will be all hunky-dory again. That... that's brilliant, I think back.

There is one problem. Ali can't go through her own rings. But she's resourceful. She'll find a way back to us.

I suppose Ilima told the others his plan as well, because they reluctantly hand over their Poke Balls. Gary's pretty angry about it, and he tells Hitoshi where he can go. Gladion says he hopes Silvally bites Hitoshi's head off. Kachu gives Hitoshi the finger, which I didn't even know was possible for a Pikachu.

But we all hand over our Pokemon. Temporarily. But we do it. Even Ali goes into her Poke Ball, with a wink that says that she heard from Ilima as well.

Hitoshi sneers at us and grins. "Typical weaklings. Smell you later. Charmeleon?"

Charmeleon releases Meowth from its grip. Meowth tumbles to the floor, not quite landing on his own feet. "Meowth! Dat ain't roight!" he complains. "We're supposed ta be on da same side!"

Hitoshi laughs mercilessly. "Then follow me and leave these losers to burn. Charmeleon, use Flamethrower on that bookcase."

Before anyone can stop it, Charmeleon engulfs a case full of novels in a burning blaze.

---

"Fire!"

"Evacuate the library!"

"Just run! Don't look back!"

I don't have time to recognize or care who the speakers are. I just have to run for my life.

Somewhere in the back of my mind there's a little voice saying, "See! I told you living in the Pokemon world was a bad idea!"

A firefighting group of Water-type Pokemon arrives just as we stumble out. Gladion gives a quick headcount. "One, two, three, four... where's Ilima?"

"Don't know," Gary coughs, "but I coulda sworn I saw some big rock turtle Pokemon in there wearing his shirt."

"What?!" Gladion snaps, followed by something that bears no repeating. Then: "That IDIOT!"

He's about to rush in there to help his friend, but an emergency worker grabs him first. "You can't go in there!" she says. "It's too dangerous!"

"My best friend's in there!" Gladion snaps, slapping her away. "I can't leave him to burn!"

"There are firefighters dressed in full protective gear and a number of Water-type Pokemon in the building. Just stay back and rely on us."

Gladion tries to argue, but how can he? He has no Pokemon. He's barely dressed for normal weather as it is, given his pants and hoodie are all torn up. Aside from reckless self-endangerment, there's not really anything he can do.

He sort of collapses on the ground, trying not to cry and failing. "Ilima... you idiot..."

---

Ilima's POV

Protip: never try to transform into a Carracosta while wearing human pants.

The shirt is bad enough -- too tight in the back and too loose in the front, but at least the sleeves are short. The hat is obnoxiously large on a Carracosta's head, and I have to hold onto it with my beak because Gladion will kill me if I lose it and there's only so much you can hold with a flipper.

But pants...

I don't know if you've noticed, but Carracosta have really short legs. And humans have really long ones. And Aqua Tail is kind of hard to pull off well when you're trying to disentangle yourself from a pair of slacks, even if you're not trying to put out a blazing fire with it.

I hope nobody saw me transform. That would be awkward to explain.

I finally decide to forgo the Aqua Tail and fire a Hydro Pump at the blaze. I drop my hat first, catching it about as well as I can with my flipper and lodging it somewhere inside my shell. It's not pleasant, but it will have to do.

Transformations can be pretty hit-and-miss. Do you know why a Ditto doesn't have the stamina to use a move more than five times? It's because it's unfamiliar with its own form, and can only attempt so many moves. And right now, it doesn't look like the fire is running out of energy the way I am.

Or out of oxygen.

Hey moron, a part of my brain that sounds suspiciously like Gary Oak nags. If you don't come out of here, Gladion's going to rush in to save you, and you'll both die. You don't want that on your head, do you?

I don't, so I cave. Unfortunately, it's not easy exiting a burning building with my pants on the ground. I manage to make it to Mew form and turn invisible as I teleport out, holding on to the somewhat torn front of my shirt with the three Unown on it in my forepaws and clutching my hat with my tail.

Gladion had better not be using his Burst Heart to run into the fire for me. The last thing we need is an out-of-control werewolf that's also on fire.

I make it out safely, but have encountered a problem. My fur, my invisible fur, is covered in very visible ash. I look like some sort of flying Sneasel. But right now, nobody much cares to look.

Gladion, much to my relief, has not charged inside the burning building. He's more collapsed in a sobbing, quivering heap of post-traumatic stress disorder.

I float down to him and wave. "Greetings! Captain Ilima here."

He looks up, blinks, and clearly doesn't know whether to rejoice or slap me. "Where... are your pants?" he asks, as if this is a normal thing to ask when your best friend floats up to you covered in ash and fur and nothing else.

I blink. "My pants...?"

Gary saunters up and chuckles. "Let me guess, your pants are on fire."

Clothes: the ancient enemy of the shapeshifter.
I think a lot of us have that one voice inside our head that snarks off at us whenever we do something stupid. I named mine Bryss. After reading Master Bryss's 'Mirror World' series, of course, in which a character named S. Syrb has Bryss's rather snarky voice in his head, because reasons.

Is that weird of me? I think it's weird. And I'm kind of embarassed to admit it. But if I didn't, I wouldn't have any new commentary for this chapter, so oh well.
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,333
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #18
Gladion's POV

Of course the police show up, take us to the 'safety' of their police station, and ask us questions. Ilima spends most of this time impersonating a Skitty, due to his lack of pants, so he's not the subject of the questions.

We tell them everything. Almost. Of course we don't tell them that Ilima is a Mew or that Celebi encouraged us to storm Team Rocket's proverbial castle, let alone about the time travel or the glitch cultists or the Burst Heart or any of the really weird shit. But we tell them what we know about Hitoshi. Stupid kid, trains a Charmeleon, wants to be the best of the worst or whatever he calls Team Rocket. It's idiocy, really.

They tell us the same thing the police in Holiwood told us: don't get involved. Stay safe. Keep our heads down. Leave saving the world to the professionals.

And I have two words for them:

"Frek off."

The pair of cops stare at me as if I'm some rude little boy who doesn't respect his elders, but I go on. "Pallet Town's deserted -- all its citizens have been kidnapped. Saffron City is under an impenetrable dome to keep Team Rocket in and the police out. What the hell are you police doing about that?"

I start pacing in anger, my hand shaking with every step. "We put in a call a couple of days ago for the local police to pick up a Rocket we found in Sida Forest. Now that same Rocket has set a library on fire and stolen all our Pokemon, and frek if I know how he escaped, or if he was ever picked up to begin with. Likely he rattled off some sob story to you guys and you thought, hey, he's just a kid, what can he do?"

I pause for emphasis.

"He can burn down a frekkin' library, that's what he can do!"

My foot taps on the linoleum. "I don't know who the hell trains you or what you've signed up for. I could care less where you come from, what oaths you've taken, and just what it is you're fighting for. But the Rockets are destroying entire towns, probably kidnapped a bunch of your buddies in Saffron and Pallet. Are you that incompetent, or do you just not care?"

The police look at me, and suddenly I realize I've seen them before. I'm not sure where, but I've definitely seen...

The doors slam shut.

And I remember.

It's those two Rockets. The ones that piloted the mecha that tried to rob the Meowth. They're the cops.

They're the police.

The woman grins. "Now, normally we'd say our motto here..."

"...but you outnumber us five to two," the man says, "so let's just cut to the chase. Lights out!"

And everything goes black.

---

At first, it's so dark that I wonder if I'm literally unconscious. But then I hear a scream and a thud, and pretty quickly realize both of them belong to Gary, who just tried to get the jump on the Rockets that kidnapped his family. I don't blame him.

"Who turned off the lights?" Shu asks.

Then the lights turn back on, and instead of a pair of Rockets dressed as cops, we see a pair of Mewtwo wielding giant spoons.

What the frek?!

It's the ones from the mecha in the alleyway, too. They move in on us, making a sound somewhat reminiscent of psychic purring. "You are all humans, most of you," one of them says telepathically. "Humans without Pokemon. How pathetic. Are you really worth our trouble?"

"There's one among them that isn't,"
the second Mewtwo purrs. "And it isn't a Skitty, either, is it?"

"The thing you humans call a Mew..."
The first Mewtwo licks its lips. "A truly powerful foe. But not as powerful as us. Go on, try to stop us, I dare you."

Ilima-Skitty looks up at the towering genetic behemoth that just challenged him. "Why should I?"

The first Mewtwo growls. "We have been given orders to defeat you. If you pose no resistance, then there's not much point to us being here, is there?"

"I can see why the humans didn't want you destroyed completely,"
the second one purrs. "There's really not much there to destroy."

My hand starts shaking with rage, and I grab my wrist to try to stop it. "So you really think we're not worth your trouble? If we had our Pokemon with us, we'd destroy you! You know we were winning in the fight before!"

"Um, Glad?" Wes whispers. "Not th' time..."

The first Mewtwo narrows its eyes. "That is true. Blast it all, what victory is there in rounding up a weakened foe? You're making us look like poseurs."

Great. Fantastic. These aren't just sadists, they're sadists with a sense of pride in their sadism. Maybe we can use this against them. "Yeah, well, if you gave us back our Pokemon, then maybe we could fight you guys somewhere officially, and everyone can see how tough you are."

The first Mewtwo is about to speak, when the second Mewtwo interjects. "There are five humans and a Mew. Our orders are to take them to the labs, not battle them! Our superiors will not approve!"

"Well, if they don't approve, they can always complain,"
the first Mewtwo says gleefully. "I'd like to see them stop me."

"If by 'stop you' you mean put a tranq bullet in your arrogant head, then I'd rather they didn't. Do you want to wind up back in reprogramming?"


The first Mewtwo whirls around. "I am NOT going back in reprogramming!" it snaps. "I'm going to--"

I doubt I'll ever know what that Mewtwo was going to do, because it's at this point that Ilima gets his crap together and teleports us all out.

---

We land somewhere a good bit from the outskirts of Mintale Town, somewhere sandy and rocky, but with a distinct lack of Mewtwo. Somewhere around the edge where Colbalt Coast and Terra Caverns meet, most likely. There's a solid wall of mountain blocking our progress in one direction, an entire ocean blocking another, and the paths that are left look rather uninteresting and are mostly covered in the kind of tall grass that the local wildlife jumps out and bites you over.

"Welp... that happened," Wes says, examining his goggles. "What we gonna do now?"

"We've got to save our Pokemon!" Terra shouts. "I'm not losing my best friend to whatever their evil experiments are!"

"I second that!" Shu exclaims.

"But how?" Gary asks. "We have one Pokemon for five humans, and it's not even a very good Pokemon. Not for battling, anyway," he says, noting Ilima's glare. "If we get a horde of Bug-types thrown at us, we're toast."

This is true. Ilima doesn't want to admit it. None of us want to. But it's true. So we all just sort of stand there, and I wonder if there's anything I can say to Ilima to comfort him that won't make me look gay, because I mean, come on, he's a cat and I'm human. That's not really an option here. But when you're a guy and your best friend is a guy with pink hair, people are gonna assume things about you. It's a fact of life, and it's why I bought him that damn hat that he's clutching.

"We don't have just one Pokemon," I finally say, holding out my hand.

Everyone looks at me. With vary degrees of trepidation.

"I still have my Burst Heart," I say. "I can still transform if I need to. Bug-types can't do jack against a Rock-type. We've survived everything else. We're going to survive this. Somehow."

I don't know what I expect to get from that. Certainly not cheers. Everyone looks at me as if I'm an idiot.

"Hoopa hasn't come back, dumbbell," Gary says. "It hasn't brought our stolen Pokemon back. Who wants to bet that those lavender-furred spoon-wielders come back for us before Hoopa does? Or that Hoopa just Alley-Hooparings our Pokemon back to a charred ruin?"

"Her name is Ali," Terra says. "And she's going to be fine! She has to be!"

"And what if she isn't?" Gary shoots back. "What if we never see our Pokemon again? I'm sick and tired of losing! We can't just keep letting life kick us in the crotch like this all the time!"

He paces angrily across the sand. "Team Rocket's taken over the friggin' police! There's no one, literally no one that can help us! And what sort of help will you be, Gaydion?" he snaps. "You and your dumb rock that makes you even dumber AND MORE DANGEROUS!"

Now, I'm not gay and I will never be gay and even if I was gay I don't see what point Gary hopes to make by claiming so, but just as I'm about to give him an earful for it, the stone wall behind him shatters outward in an explosion of sharp stones and dust.

In which the situation escalates.
I imagine that Team Rocket uses a lot of tranq bullets and reprogramming in keeping their Mewtwo armies in check.

No matter what your views on homosexuality, I think we can all agree that it's completely inappropriate to use it as an insult. Gary, however, is not exactly a role model of proper behavior.
Gladion's POV

Gary would probably be picking sharp bits of flint out of his innards if Ilima, in Mew form, hadn't rushed forward at the last second, pushing them both out of the way with a swift charge. They land on the beach, on soaking wet sand, which is nonetheless more pleasant than being impaled.

There is now an enormous hole in the mountain that was previously blocking our path. And standing in that hole in an enormous Tyranitar.

A Tyranitar in goggles.

As we all stand there dumbly wondering what the frek a Tyranitar is doing in goggles, we hear a voice. A young female voice. "Oh, I'm sorry! Excuse us!"

At first part of me thinks the Tyranitar was talking. (In fairness, encountering the Meowth threw me off a bit.) But then the Tyranitar turns, and I see that there's a young person of about fourteen clinging to the spikes, wearing a miner's helmet and gear.

It's a girl. A girl in mining gear. Riding a Tyranitar.

Holy Mew.

She takes off her helmet and goggles. She's got pale skin, short dark hair with a cyan streak around the bangs, and cute blue eyes.

I blink. Did I just think of her as... cute?

She climbs off her Tyranitar's back, and I notice her arms for the first time. She looks... buff. Toned. Not grotesquely so, but well-balanced, like a battle girl. Which I guess makes sense for someone who climbs around in caves on the back of a Tyranitar.

She's incredible.

I think I'm in love.

She turns towards Gary and Ilima, still flat on the sand. "Oh, my goodness! Are you okay?"

Gary picks himself up and brushes wet sand off his clothes. "Yeah, we're fine, no thanks to your pet Pokemon over there." He gives the Tyranitar a glare, which seems to cow it, strangely enough. "You should give a little warning before breaking down a mountain!"

"I'm sorry!" she says. "Miller was supposed to warn me if there was anything on the other side of the rock."

"Miller?"

The girl turns back toward the hole in the mountain, and a rather depressed-looking Gardevoir comes out. "Voir," it says blandly, and then walks up to the new girl, hanging its head in shame. There's a Dawn Stone hanging on a pendant around his neck, and there's likely an odd story behind that. Might explain why the Gardevoir looks so depressed.

"It's all right, Miller," the girl says. "No harm done. Just be more careful next time."

"Ya named yer Gardevoir after a beer?" Wes asks, dumbfounded.

"Hey," Terra shoots back, "you named your Pokemon after Mexican foods, you're not one to talk."

"Mexican?" Wes asks, confused. "Wha's Mexican?"

"Well, in my world they're Mexican." She turns to the new girl. "So who are you?"

"My name's Cyan. Cyan Blackthorn," the girl says. "Me and my Pokemon are mining for rare ores in Terra Caverns. My pickaxes kept breaking, so I decided to just use Eyes to break the rocks." She points to her Tyranitar.

"Ya named yer Gardevoir Miller an' yer Tyranitar 'Eyes'?" Wes asks. "What, didja jus' pick random words outta a hat?"

"Leave her alone!" I snap, a little too loudly.

There's a moment of silence as everyone realizes what that just sounded like.

Gary pulls himself up off the ground. "Doth my eyes deceive me?" he asks tauntingly. "Gladion's got a cruuuuush!"

Oh shit, he can see it? Is it written on my face? "I do not!" I snap back.

"Suuuuure you don--" is as far as Gary gets before Ilima whacks him with his tail.

Wes gives me a glare. "'Asexual,' my ass."

"Asexual doesn't mean aromantic," I growl through gritted teeth. "And shut up."

Terra just shakes her head. "Can we lower the testosterone levels here and tell Cyan what we need her for?"

Cyan blinks. "What?"

So Terra and Shu (who was nice enough to be quiet while every other guy in the party was trying to humiliate me, but not nice enough to stick up for me) explain that Celebi said we'd need her help to get through Terra Caverns.

"First we've gotta rescue our folks and our Pokemon from Team Rocket," Shu says. "Then we've gotta save the world from Dark Matter."

"And between the two, we need to stabilize a time paradox to keep some of us from vanishing into thin air," I add.

Cyan seems to take this all in stride. "Well, Celebi chose the right trainer for the job," she says. "I know these caverns like the back of my hand. If anyone can lead you out to Celadon City, it's me!"

She blinks. "Wait... what kind of Pokemon is that, anyway?"

Ilima's stayed quiet the entire time, putting up a pretty good facade of 'dumb beast'. He pokes his head up and looks at Cyan, sniffing her.

"He's a Ditto," I say. "His name's... Cap."

"I thought Ditto were agender," Cyan says, regarding Ilima curiously.

"Don't tell him that."

Ilima gives me the Cat Dirty Look. If he weren't so blasted polite he'd probably blow a raspberry at me. I can tell.

"Anyway, I was headed to Celadon myself, to sell the ores I've collected to the department store," Cyan says. "If you want to tag along, that's fine! Just try to stand back when I'm smashing rocks. The chips fall where they may, you know. You want some Safety Goggles?"

She reaches into her bag and pulls out a handful of goggles. "These should help protect your eyes. Sorry I don't have helmets for you too, those take up more bag space."

"Whoa, whoa, whoa," Wes says suspiciously. "Yer jus' helipn' us, jus' like that? What's th' catch?"

"Well, if you weren't nice people, Miller would certainly know. And having a larger group means it's less likely that cave Pokemon will jump out at us. Not that it's usually a problem, us being so tough, but I've had to cut a few mining expeditions short because the local wildlife took issue with the mining business."

"Well," Shu says, "look at it from their perspective. If some Pokemon wandered into your house and started tearing down the walls looking for gems, you'd be miffed too, wouldn't you?"

Cyan nods. "We try to mine responsibly. That's another thing Miller's for -- detecting local Pokemon so we don't disturb them. But the Pokemon are used to some degree of upset. Wild Onix and Diglett do a lot of digging as well."

"Yeah, nature has a tendency to throw the rug out from under you," I say. "Now, are we going or not?"


Terra's POV

These caves are gorgeous.

It seems like all sorts of crystals can be found here. Some of them are glowing. There's some weird bioluminescent plants and moss here as well, and the overall ambiance is magical.

I love this place. The Pokemon world is fantastic, when it's not trying to eat you alive.

We pass a few wild Pokemon along the way. Some Onix, a few Diglett, the obligatory Zubat swarm. None of them seem interested in attacking us, except the Zubat, because they're Zubat and apparently that really is just what they do. At any rate, Cyan's Tyranitar can handle Zubat easily, so it's not that much of a problem.

Ilima, still in Mew form, is the only Pokemon we have other than Cyan's crew. Currently she's got an Ampharos out providing light, which she calls Pharos. I'm kind of intrigued on what her naming process is for her Pokemon, but between the five of us asking her questions, I don't want to bother her too much.

"The Terra Caverns are typically closed to the public due to being an important mining strain for evolution stones and Z-crystals," Cyan says, "but recently there's been a push against the mining by the Elite Four, who wish to protect the native Pokemon population from risk of harm."

"Yeah, well, one of the Elite Four tried to murder me and Gary here with a mind-controlled Giratina," Gladion says. "They may care about Pokemon coming to harm, but they certainly aren't our allies."

Cyan turns a little red and averts her eyes. "I'm afraid that with groups like Team Rocket on the rise, the Elite Four are growing paranoid as to the continued coexistence of humans and Pokemon. They've been abusing their power to shut down human development in many different areas of Kanto, which has harmed the Kantoan economy. Up until a few weeks ago, Silph Co. was worried about being forced out of business due to ever-stricter regulations on what it wasn't allowed to do."

"Which now it isn't, because it's trapped underneath a giant dome Team Rocket put up and is effectively prevented from doing anything at all," Gary says darkly. "Bad guys don't care about regulations. They just want what's best for them and no one else."

"I know the Elite Four better than you realize," Cyan says. "They've seen too many Pokemon thrown under the bus for the wants of humanity. I can't say they're good, but they're at least well-intentioned."

"Yeah, well, Lance busted up my gramps' custom-built dune buggy to steal a magical orb that he plans to use to claim Rayquaza from Team Rocket," Gary says. "Which sounds good in theory, except Lance is also controlling Giratina, who used to be friendly before Lance moved in and dominated its mind. I can't even imagine what Lance is going to be like with multiple legendary dragons."

Cyan sighs. "I know. The Elite Four is determined to end the suffering of Pokemon by any means necessary. They don't seem to care what happens to humans in the meantime."

"Lance will likely use Giratina's Shadow Force to get past the dome over Saffron City," Shu says. "Do you think he'll be able to claim Rayquaza?"

"He's got an army of Dragon-types on his side," Cyan says. "He thinks he can do anything with them."

"But Team Rocket's created their own super-powerful Pokemon," Gladion says. "Something like Mew, only larger and more vicious. And then there's whatever they're doing with the people of Pallet Town and Project Burst."

Cyan nods. "And you're quite sure you want to head into Saffron?"

"Celebi suggested it, although she did warn us we might not find what we expect to find," Gladion says. "But Gary's family is there, and he's buttheaded enough to think he can make a difference. Sometimes that's all the reason one needs."

"Well, then," Cyan says, "we should go on to Celadon and meet with Erika. If anyone knows how to handle Team Rocket, it's the gym leader. Follow my league, and watch your step. Zubat will poop on anything."

Cyan was another Twitch Plays Pokemon character, our protagonist on our Pokemon Prism run. Yes, she really did have a male Gardevoir that held a Dawn Stone. (It's a long story.) Miller and Eyes are the names chat gave our Pokemon, construed from the random gibberish that TPP tends to name our monsters (remember Jay Leno?). Pharos... never actually got an in-game nickname, so one user called him Pharos, as in "I am Pharos."

Public service announcement: asexual does not equal aromantic. Not that I'd be offended if you got it confused; I've gotten it confused in the past as well.
Cyan's pickaxes breaking is a reference to how in Pokemon Prism, you can only use a pickaxe once before it breaks on you. Such shoddy construction. Either that, or those are some really solid rocks.

And for reference, during Cyan's run in Twitch Plays Pokemon Prism, she took an impromptu ride down a mine shaft in a mine cart, entered the Dream World, got arrested and thrown in prison, and watched her Buneary cut its own head off (it got better). She's seen some shit, so shit doesn't really bother her all that much.

I feel like I may have already used the raspberry line earlier on in this story. But quite honestly, that's not something I feel the inclination to go back and check.

Why does Cyan keep so many safety goggles in her bag? Probably in case the ones she and her Pokemon have on get too dirty to wipe off. Visibility is important when you're futzing around in a dark mine.

Swarming Zubat are the worst, amirite? Especially when they need to relieve themselves.
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,333
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19
Meowth's POV

I can't stop thinkin' of what that Celebi said to me. "Your loyalties will be tested. Your friends will be endangered. And your fate will intersect with that of many others. But what happens from this point onwards depends largely on what you choose."

She told me to choose wisely. But is that for my sake, or others?

Well, I know what this cat wants to do. All these twerp Pokemon are goin' straight to the boss, courtesy of Hitoshi and I.

We enter the police station an' head to one o' the back rooms. Jess and Jim are there, talkin' to the Boss over a video intercom. He sounds pretty upset.

"How do five children and a Skitty," the Boss says, "escape a pair of Mewtwo in a locked room?"

"Because it wasn't a Skitty at all!" Jessie exclaims. "It was a Mew in disguise, and it managed to teleport them out while one of the humans distracted the Mewtwo and caused them to quarrel. You gave us faulty Mewtwo!"

"If there is anything wrong with the pair of Mewtwo I gave you, you can always send them back for reprogramming," the Boss says. "But those children know too much. Hunt them down, and turn them in to Sabrina at Saffron City as soon as possible. Is that clear?"

"Yes boss!" Jessie and James say. In stereo.

"Um," James says a moment afterwards. "How can we catch them if they can teleport away?"

"Figure it out," Giovanni says. "That Mew is a wild card that we can't afford to let slip away. Find it, catch it, and keep it from teleporting. And for Arceus's sake, don't lose any more mechs when you do it."

James gulps, and I can smell his nervousness. "R-Right! Right, Jess?"

"Oh, don't you worry, we'll think of something," Jessie says, givin' James a look that says he will think of something, if he knows what's good for him. "You can count on us!"

"Excellent. Now, if you'll excuse us, Jessie, I'd like to have a word with James in private."

Jessie flinches. "What? What makes him so special? Anything you say to him, you can say to me!"

"I could, yes. I simply don't want to. Who's the boss around here, Jessie?"

Jessie sighs. "You are, Giovanni."

"Exactly. And right now, the boss wants to speak to James in private."

I gulp. Hitoshi and I have been sort of hanging out outside the room waiting for our turn, but now it looks like we'll be waitin' even longer.

Jessie storms out, so ticked off that she doesn't even notice us. Well, that's rude.

Hitoshi looks at me as if to ask what we're gonna do now. I put a claw to my mouth and motion for silence. "Ssh! Dis could be impoitant for Jimmy. I wanna see what da Boss says."

James stands in the room alone. "So... what's the occasion?"

"Funny you should put it that way." The boss looks through the papers on his desk and pulls out a photograph. "Are you familiar with a woman named Jessiebelle?"

James ain't facin' my way, but I can smell his fear. "What?! Who told you about her?"

"Come now, James. You know you weren't going to keep your family connections a secret forever. Marrying into her family would mean all the wealth you'd ever want, and a place of power in the Kanto region. Why wouldn't Team Rocket take interest in your affairs?"

"You're not serious," James says weakly. "You don't know her the way I do. That woman is a menace! She's colder than a winter Froslass! All she wants from me is my family fortune and someone to order around!"

"That may well be. Regardless, she has offered a princely sum of money to our organization in exchange for our help in securing her marriage to you, plus her assistance in the conquest of the Kanto region." He pauses. "Of course, if you don't wish to live under holy matrimony, we could always arrange for a convenient 'accident' to happen..."

I can hear Jimmy's stomach turn from all the way out here in the hall. "Just stop already! I ran away from wealth and fortune to escape that woman, and I'm not marrying her no matter how much money you offer me! Not even for a moment!"

"Come now, James. We're talking billions of dollars here. Enough money for us to do anything with. And it's not like you'd be forced to live with her. As I've said, we have ways around that."

Not if I know Jimmy, we don't. Of course he's not gonna say it to the Boss's face. But Jim ain't one for murder, even for someone as nasty as his ex-fiancee. I can see his twitch. It ain't gonna happen.

Hitoshi scoffs, stepping through the open doorway. "I say, marry the witch and take the money. She's not gonna need it where she's going. Now will ya move outta the way? I've got some Pokemon to wire over."

James gives Hitoshi a betrayed look, like he can't believe some dumb twerp kid just walked in on his crisis. But he backs away from the device an' lets Hitoshi speak.

"I've obtained a number of rare and valuable Pokemon for you, Boss," Hitoshi says proudly. "Be careful with them -- one of them is a Mythical with the power to create portals to anywhere. It could easily cause a mass escape."

"Dishonor on you!" a voice says from inside one of the Poke Balls. "Dishonor on your Tauros!"

"Excellent," Giovanni says. "Deposit them into the transfer machine and wire them to Saffron City. We have a... situation there that requires every Pokemon we can get."

"Situation?" James asks, curious.

"Remember that Rayquaza Attila and Hun captured? The one I let you borrow to search out the Jade Orb?"

James nods.

"Sabrina's received intelligence indicating that Lance Blackthorn of the Elite Four is going after it. That he has the Jade Orb, and he has a method of breaching our Light Screen shield."

"Well, that's not good," James says.

"Damn straight it's not. We need every agent available to protect Rayquaza's holding cell. Not you, James; we need you and Jessie to hold down the fort in Mintale. Hitoshi, I'll expect you and that Meowth to show up pronto in Saffron. Is that clear?"

"M-me?" Hitoshi asks, shocked. "I'm just a kid!"

"You weren't too kid to burn down that library and steal all those Pokemon," the Boss says. "This has the potential to be a Code Red emergency if the Elite Four show up. We don't have a choice here."

Hitoshi's clearly way over his head here. He doesn't want to show it, though. "R-right!" he says. "You're the boss, Boss!"

"Excellent. You and that cat head over to the teleportation pad in the next room and set it to Saffron's gym. We need you over there faster than two shakes of a Mincinno's tail."

"Why me-owth?" I ask. "Why can't I stick wi' Jimmy?"

"We need your help with a... special project of mine," the Boss says carefully. "Something classified."

Well, when he puts it that way... "Got it, Boss!"

Hitoshi looks down at me and scoffs. "Never seen a Pokemon excited to be part of Team Rocket's little 'special projects.' You're sure you know what you're getting into?"

"Can't be worse than what Jimbo gets," I mutter under my breath, glancing towards Jimmy. He looks pretty torn up inside.

"You're just going to leave me, Meowth?" James asks, eyes welling up with tears. The guy's so melodramatic, but this time, I ain't sure if he's jokin' or not. Not after what I've seen.

"Chillax, Jim," I say. "I'll be back before ya can say 'Meowth! Dat's roight!' Dis's gonna be easy!"

"'Easy' as a wild Rayquaza massacre," Hitoshi mutters. "We're going to be eaten alive."

Meowth, that's probably right.

So one of the main inspirations of Pokemon Burst is, "What if the villains won?" And Jessiebelle is James' villain, so of course she gets an appearance.
A note on the "What if the villains won?" schtick -- Jessiebelle is going to reappear in later chapters, and things are going to get DARK. Not explicit, because I don't want explicit, but let's just say that if this series ever changes from Teen to Mature, it's probably gonna be because of Jessiebelle.

The phrase 'colder than a winter Froslass' comes from the Unova games. There's a singer that waits by the Ferris Wheel if you're playing as the girl and, after a battle, sings you a sad song that ends with "You're colder than a winter Froslass!"

And yeah. Even James doesn't want to murder Jessiebelle. Although given what's going to happen in future chapters, Jessie at least will want to...

Hitoshi has no chill. Neither does Ali, come to think of it. If you haven't watched Mulan or seen the meme (I've only done the second), "Dishonor on your cow" is apparently something Mushu says at some point in the movie.
Terra's POV

Our journey through the Terra Caverns goes quite smoothly, all things considered. Cyan of course is interested in a bit of mining along the way, especially when Miller detects a vein of rare ore.

Cyan holds up a bar of dynamite. "How many of you know how to use explosives?"

Wes's hand shoots up.

Gladion scoffs. "I think she means to say, how many people can use explosives responsibly?"

"I'm plenny responsible!" Wes shoots back.

"Responsible for arson, maybe. Remind me how we met again?"

Ilima, still in Mew form, starts chuckling under his breath.

"How did you meet?" Cyan asks.

"Funny story there," Gladion says. "Funny as in weird, and we nearly all got killed. What do you remember of it, Wes?"

"Weeeeeell," Wes says, "it all happened when my ol' gang Snagem got in cahoots wi' a group o' nasties called Cipher. Cipher's plan was, we'd nab Pokemon for them, and they'd turn 'em into Shadow Pokemon. That didn't sit right wi' me, so my plan was t' run off wi' th' prototype Snag Machine an' blow th' base to kingdom come."

"Which didn't happen," Gladion says, "because SOMEONE put the wrong number into the time bomb and nearly blew himself up."

"When I woke up, my boss Gonzap had me chained t' a chair an' was gonna make an example outta me," Wes goes on. "When straight outta th' blue, Gladdy an' Pinky teleport straight inta th' hideout like a couple ol' badasses. Remember whatcha said, Glad? Tell 'em what ya said!"

Gladion sighs. "Do we have to?"

"If ya don't, I'll say it."

Gladion shakes his head. "Fine. I said, and I quote, 'My name is Gladion Paver, and I'm here to save the... holy crap, who are you people?"

"For context? Huge group o' crooks, mostly bald, none of 'em nice guys. All of 'em armed." Wes grins, pointing at Mew Ilima. "If it weren't for Pinky here, we'd both be dead."

"Dazzling Gleam is quite useful when surrounded by their type," Gladion says, motioning to Ilima. "Comes as a surprise when it's done by someone that looks human. He used Heal Pulse to fix Wes's broken legs, too."

"An' we rode my motorbike outta there like Zubats outta Hell, an' th' next day rumor had it that Team Snagem been raided by a Fairy Tale Gal an' a Hex Maniac." Wes grins at Gladion and Ilima.

Gladion facepalms. "Do I look like a Hex Maniac to you?"

"Dark clothes? Check. Weird hair? Check. Suspicious attitude? Double check."

"So what were you there to save?" Cyan asks. "Were you looking for Wes?"

"Not really," Gladion says. "We were just aiming in the general direction, not really looking too closely at where we were teleporting to." (I suspect this might be because they were hopping across dimensions, but Gladion doesn't mention this.) "Saving Wes was a fluke. A very lucky fluke, but a fluke nonetheless." He shoots Wes a look. "If you can call anything containing Wes 'lucky.'"

"I don't believe in flukes," Cyan says. "You two meeting was destiny. You were meant to save his life."

I'm not sure how Gladion feels about destiny, given that he's a time traveler from a future where everything dies. "If everything has a destiny," he asks, "then why does time travel exist?"

Cyan shrugs. "Maybe it's destined to."

"Look, I find it hard to believe that my Pokemon were destined to be stolen, that all the evil things that have happened in this world are destiny,that there's some sort of grand, overarching plan to this mess of a reality. Where are you getting this destiny from?"

Wes elbows him. "Hey. Never argue with a chick holdin' a stick o' dynamite."

And as I'm listening to this conversation and NOT looking where I'm going, suddenly the ground gives way out from under me.

---

I land pretty hard on the largest bunch of glowing mushrooms I've ever seen. Yech. I never liked mushrooms, but they probably saved my life, even if having to scramble up from a pile of squashed mushrooms is disgusting. Especially when mushroom dust sticks to me, and it glows.

"TERRA!" Gladion yells from above. "Are you all right?"

"I'm fine!" I shout back. Gosh that's high up. I must have fallen like ten feet. "Not sure how I'm getting out, though..."

"Why are you glowing?"

"Bioluminescence, I think. These mushrooms are weird." I pause. "I hope I didn't ingest any of them."

"See anything interesting down there?" Cyan asks. "Any glowing ores or whatnot?"

I look around. "Plenty of strange crystals, though I don't know what kind they are. There seems to be an underground spring here, and the water appears to be glowing. Is that normal?"

"Oh, my." Cyan pokes her head down through the hole. "Strange crystals? Maybe we should check that out."

"Through a sheer drop onto glowing mushrooms?" Gladion scoffs. "We've got people and Pokemon to rescue. We can head back later."

But Cyan throws down an Escape Rope, ties her end to a pickaxe and sticks it into the ground, and shimmies down. "If it's a new ore vein, I've got to find out what's in it. Tally-ho!"

I move out of the way as the other girl comes to a stop. She winks at me. "Good thing these mushrooms were here, isn't it? Almost like... destiny."

I shake my head. The Pokemon world is a strange place.

"If you're going down, I'm coming down too!" Shu says, leaping onto the rope. He takes a tumble, though, landing on his back in the center of a rather large mushroom, splitting it down the middle. "Ow!"

Miller teleports down, sighing as he telekinetically sets Shu the right way up. "Voir," he says tiredly.

Then Wes jumps down right next to him, making Miller jump in shock. "Wealth! Riches!" he exclaims. "I'm there!"

Gladion scoffs. "We've got places to be, people! Folks to save!"

"Oh, get that stick outta yer butt an' come have some fun with us!" Wes says. "We're goin' where no man's gone before!"

"Your Pokemon were stolen, too!" Gladion yells back.

"Taco an' Nacho? I ain't worried. They're tough as nails made o' Gyarados fangs!" Wes looks up. "So, how 'bout it? You an' Gary comin' with?"

Gary isn't having any of it. "If your group wants to waste time, go ahead and waste it. Gladdy and I are heading out to save our friends. Money won't buy my family back."

"Psst, like you've never tried bribin' a guard. Money'll buy anythin' if ya got enough o' it."

"First," Gladion says, "no way am I funding Team Rocket's evil deeds. Second, my name is Gladion, Gary! You know that ticks me off!"

"I'm surprised you're not going with Cy-annnn," Gary teases. "Don't you liiiiiike her?"

Moments later, Gary comes tumbling over the edge and faceplants straight into a mushroom.

"Whoa, dude!" Gladion yells, climbing down the rope as fast as he can. "Are you okay? I didn't mean to knock you over the edge!"

"Like hell you didn't!"

Gary pulls himself out from the mushroom, and the entire group erupts with giggles. He's got glowing mushroom dust all over himself. He looks like Doctor Manhattan or whoever that guy is from Watchmen.

"What are you -- oh." Gary looks down at himself. "I don't look THAT funny... do I?"

---

Cyan promises us we'll make it back up to the upper cavern after we've scouted out the ores. Gary points out that the river has to lead somewhere and we might want to follow it, in hopes that there's an opening to the outside from one of its ends. Gladion shoots him down by pointing out that if there was any spot in Kanto where the water glows green, somebody would have heard something about it.

So we press on. Gary isn't happy about it, and Gladion as usual is being surly. But we press on.

There don't seem to be any wild Pokemon down here. There's a lot of glowing rocks, which Cyan somehow knows all the names of -- Fire Stones and Normal Gems and Nuggets and stuff like that. Cyan's not interested in digging them up just yet. She's more interested in staking claim to this area so she can return and mine later.

As we travel farther into the cavern, we notice a strange glow, stronger than the others, coming from one particular cavern. A show of hands determines that this is where most of our group wants to go, in hopes of a way out (or, in Cyan's case, some really rare ore).

We step into the cavern.

The cavern is round, surrounded by a circle of pillars formed by stalactites. The green glowing water forms a pool in the center of the cavern, with a small island in the middle. On this island is a stalagmite with its pointed top cut off. On top of this stalagmite is a large, many-faceted black rock, like obsidian.

Gary points to the rock. "Something tells me that ain't no ordinary rock."

"This place looks like some sort of shrine," Cyan observes. "This didn't just happen. Somebody set it up like this."

"Then somebody had a way to get in," Gladion says. "If they had a way to get in, they had a way to get out."

Ilima floats up to the rock, examining it. "Mew?" he says, touching it.

A ripple of green energy pulses through the rock, disturbing the water around it. Inside the ripple is a voice, a pleasant telepathic chime.

Who wakes me? it asks.

Gladion's surname "Paver" comes from Mohn's Italian name, which is derived from the word papavero, meaning 'poppy.'
This chapter's title is actually the name given to the baby in the movie "Storks." If you want to know what I thought of the movie, my brother summed it up in one sentence: "That was worth watching once." (The wolves were the highlight by far and definitely deserve their own movie.)

Fun fact: Gladion spent like fifteen minutes before the transfer to Pokearth just practicing his dramatic entrance. (Ilima allowed him to speak first because, as Gladion pointed out, Ilima has already used up his 'dramatic entrance points' every time he so much as walks into a room.) Ilima thought that they should have some smoke bombs set up so they could dramatically appear in a puff of smoke, but Gladion pointed out that they were using one of Clemont's inventions, so the smoke would create itself. (Clemont was not thrilled to hear that assessment.)

And yes, I am aware that technically the plural of Zubat is still Zubat. Wes, however, is not exactly well-versed in the Nidoqueen's English.

As a Christian, I do believe that God is ultimately in control of the universe and that nothing can happen without His permission. I also believe that human beings have some degree of free will and that their decisions do play into what ultimately does happen in this world. However, fully discussing that issue is a bit beyond the scope of this chapter, and there's only so far you can wax philosophical before it breaks the reader's immersion into the story because they feel like they're being preached at.

There is probably some place in Orre that DOES sell nails made of Gyarados fangs, though I imagine they're 1. pretty expensive, 2. considered unethical by certain Pokemon conservation leagues, and 3. extremely dangerous to harvest because come on. It's Gyarados. It's really a good thing that the Magikarp line is so pathetic, because if all of them evolved into Gyarados, everyone would need to pack Electric-types to prevent the water dragon apocalypse.

Note: Terra has not actually read Watchmen (her parents won't let her). She's heard of it, though.

If Blue Moon had been a fangame, there would have been wild encounters in this area, and they would probably have been different than the usual encounters in Terra Caverns. Maybe a few alternate forms... more Crystal-types, perhaps?
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,333
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #20
Terra's POV

There's a moment of awkwardness as Ilima clearly tries to decide whether putting off the dumb act in front of Cyan is a good thing or not.

"Mew," he finally says to the rock.

The rock rises from its perch, floating a few inches off the stalagmite stump. I am Jirachi, it says. It is nice to meet you, although I fear I cannot speak much now. It is not yet my time to wake.

"Jirachi, eh?" Gary asks. "Need any wishes to grant?"

It is not my time, Jirachi repeats. I do not yet have the energy to wake. I can only speak to you through Sleep Talk. I am not sure how much longer I can continue.

Shu speaks up. "How long have you been here?"

That, I do not know. I have slept here since the beginning of this universe, waking only for one week out of every millennium. It sighs. Always sleepy. Always weak. But perhaps I can help you.

"The beginning of the universe..." I say. "So is it true? That you created this universe for people and Pokemon?"

That it is, Jirachi says. I built the dimension, and called forth Arceus to shape reality. It is this world's Arceus that hatched from my egg. But the sheer force of creating an universe weakened me, and now I am cursed to sleep for aeons.

"Is that why you and Arceus share a similar color scheme?" I ask. (It's the kind of question I've always had, to be honest.)

Indeed, it is.

"Yeah, I'm sure we could spend hours unraveling the mysteries of the universe here," Gary says. "But we don't have hours. Where's the door?"

Follow the river upstream, and you will find its source. The algae living underground is what gives it its color. Don't drink it -- it tastes very bitter and will make your tongue glow. The stream will be fresh once you make it outside.

"That's nice," Cyan says, "but where outside does the stream lead? We're headed for Celadon, and Saffron past that. Will the stream take us there?"

Celadon? Saffron? Jirachi asks. I don't know those places.

We all look at each other. "Hey," Shu says, "if I'd been sleeping for a thousand years, I probably wouldn't know the names of all the settlements either."

"Looks like we oughta go Cyan's way, then," Wes says. "We'd better hurry, 'cuz someone's gotta save the folks of Pallet Town."

Why? Jirachi asks. What happened to Pallet Town?

So we tell Jirachi our story, of what we hope to accomplish. Jirachi takes this in silently, with what I can only assume is rapt attention from inside its rock. Then it speaks.

Oh, my... I suppose I can give you one wish, then.

A humming sound fills the air, and a glowing stone appears in front of me. A deep black gem, with blood red streaks running through it, like tiger stripes.

This is a Synergy Stone, Jirachi says, infused with incredible power. Hold it close to you, and it will let you use Burst when you need it. But be careful! Don't lose yourself to the Burst, or you may never come back.

"Lose yourself to the Burst..." I say aloud. "Is that what Gladion has to deal with? Losing himself when he uses his Burst Heart?"

I sense that the heart of the Lycanroc stone is scared and alone, Jirachi says. It lashes out because it believes it must. It is up to you, Gladion, to soothe its anger.

"I've heard that before," Gladion says. "But how do I do that? Every time I try to summon it, it consumes my mind. How do I calm it?"

North of Mt. Moon, there grows a towering organism of living crystal, the Tree of Beginning. This tree possesses the power to soothe the darkness of anger and wrath, awakening kindness and understanding. If you take your Burst Heart to the Tree of Beginning, you can calm the darkness inside it.

"Great. I'll add that to the list of things we'll do once we're done saving everyone's butts." Gladion's hand starts to twitch. "Can we go now?"

Jirachi sighs. You may leave. But you must hurry. Team Rocket is looking for you. They will not stop until they find you.

"Do they have any idea how to navigate the caves?" Cyan asks.

They have not yet reached the caves. If you hurry, you may escape before they do.

"Sounds good enough for me," Gladion says. "Let's get out of here before they show up to blow us a new one."

Good luck, my friends.

It's not every day you meet a creature that created an entire dimension.
As we all know, Sleep Talk has limited PP. Which, for a creature that sleeps for a thousand years, is pretty rough.

If you've read ahead, you know that stone's gonna be pretty important in later chapters. But due to terrible pacing decisions on my part, you're gonna have to wait a while to get to the part where it is important. But with two chapters posted per day, it shouldn't be too long... right?
Meowth's POV

I can't stop thinkin' 'bout what the Boss said to Jimmy. I know Jessiebelle, and Jim ain't gonna last if he's trapped with her for the rest of his life.

We teleport to Saffron's gym. There's a trainer waiting for us, with long amber hair and a custom purple uniform with a big red 'R' printed on the top. I remember that the purple uniforms are for psychic cadets under Sabrina's training.

"About time we got some backup," the chick says, "although you're hardly the muscle we need. You're the ones that wired in the Hoopa and all those weird ones, right?"

Hitoshi nods. "I'm not sure where such rare Pokemon came from. They seem to be like nothing yet recorded in this world. I'd say I'm due for a promotion for stealing such rarities."

The lady tosses him a bag of Poke Balls. "You'll get your promotion if you survive this," she says grimly. "Lance and his army of dragons have moved in on Silph Co. There's bound to be some major positions opening in this organization in a few minutes."

Gee, that was dark. "What we gonna do t' survoive?"

"The Pokemon you brought in are in this bag," the lady says. "Try not to get them killed. We're up to our necks in Dragonair and there WILL be casualties. This isn't the Fighting Dojo resistance we're battling this time, or the Copycat for that matter. You'd better have something that beats down dragons."

Hitoshi looks into the bag, pullin' out a Poke Ball at random. "I-I-I I understand, Miss...?"

"Amber. Don't forget it. Now get out there and try not to die." She strides through the doorway as if there weren't fiery death on the other end. Which there likely is.

Hitoshi stares at the Poke Ball, and then at me. "So... well, then. Good luck with that 'special project' the Boss wanted you for, because at the rate things are going you'll be donating your corpse."

Pleasant conversation. "What're does Pokemon ya got?"

The Poke Ball opens, and a very ticked-lookin' Hoopa comes outta it. "Ali is NOT HAPPY," she says. "Ali will not help you unless you help Ali and Ali's friends!"

"Look, maybe you've forgotten this," Hitoshi snaps, "but Pokemon exist to help their trainers. And right now, I'm your trainer. So you'd better listen to me!"

Hoopa has none of it. She whacks Hitoshi upside th' head wi' her ring. "You don't have enough badges to train Ali!" she yells, slippin' her ring over Hitoshi's head and tightenin' it around his arms.

Th' poor kid struggles to get free. "Hey! Bad Hoopa! Bad Hoopa!" he yells. "I'm your trainer! You have to listen to me!"

"If Ali helps Hitoshi, Hitoshi helps Ali!" she yells. "That's the deal!"

Of course only one's gonna lose at this, and it's Hitoshi. "All right! ALL RIGHT!" he yells. "I'll help you! Now how do we get out of this alive?"

Hoopa grins. "Just leave it to Ali..."

---

We step outside, and whaddya know, the place really is a war zone. Dragonair, Dragonair everywhere, chargin' at Rockets, breathin' fire at Rockets, generatin' a major storm over us Rockets. It ain't a good sign when half the Rockets thrown at them are conked out or worse. There's plenty of Mewtwo, of course, but even they seem pretty worn out from the sheer number of dragons. There's like three Dragonair for every Mewtwo. Not good odds.

Up above the Silph Co. tower, there's a guy I guess is Lance, ridin' a spooky grey-and-black dragon that looks real death-metal. Don't wanna hafta cross HIM.

Hoopa grins as a horde of five Dragonair approach. "Ali's got this."

The first Dragonair charges in a Dragon Rush, and Hoopa whips out a ring. The Dragonair goes straight through, re-appearin' to slam into two of its mates. They screech in pain, and the fourth turns to charge at the first before it can harm any more of them.

The fifth Dragonair screeches, then lunges for Hoopa. Hoopa pulls out another ring, and suddenly the Dragonair looks pretty loopy. It crashes into the ground, hurtin' itself in its confusion.

"What's on the other side of that ring?" Hitoshi asks as we quickly run a few feet to the cover of a nearby buildin'.

"Sasha!" Hoopa says happily. I haven't a clue what that means, but if it gets us outta this alive, I'm all for it.

A number of other Dragonair lunge at us, and Hoopa expertly keeps them away with her rings. They knock into each other, into walls, or get mysteriously confused. Eventually they either learn to give us a wide berth, or just give up on us. But Lance must've figured out somethin' was wrong, 'cause before we can enter Silph Co., his scary death dragon jumps right in front of us.

"Well, well, well," Lance says mockingly. "Finally, a worthy opponent! Aren't you a little short for a survivor?"

"I'll show you how short I am once I stuff your smug face down your pants!" Hitoshi yells. "One wrong move and I'll--!"

"Griseous, use Hyper Beam," Lance says flatly.

The move hits fast -- too fast for Hoopa to block, I'm guessin'. Hitoshi gets knocked back so hard his ancestors feel it. He skids across the battlefield, colliding wi' a trash bin an' crumblin' to a stop. He even drops Hoopa's Poke Ball, which rolls a foot or so away.

Lance laughs malevolently, then turns to me and Hoopa. "So, are you two going to stop me now? You should be grateful I liberated you from that miserable trainer."

"He ain't my trainer!" I snap. "An' yer a joik w' his head up his ass who tinks he can rule da woirld!"

"And just how is that different from the leader of Team Rocket?" Lance asks. "The difference is I fight for your kind, the true heirs of this world, while your precious 'boss' thinks only of himself and his own species. So whose side will you be on?"

I glance back at Hitoshi -- picking himself up painfully, only to be grabbed and wrapped by a Dragonair before Hoopa can react. "Meowth!" I shout. "What yoir doin' ain't roight!"

Lance laughs. "Don't tell me you care for another abusive trainer who steals Pokemon away from their homes and forces them to fight for his own selfish reasons! The world is better off without--"

Then Hoopa opens a ring right in fron' of his eyes, just so she can slap him in th' face.

"Red Hair doesn't get to talk!" she snaps. "Red Hair hurt Terra-Kun and Benga-Kun! Red Hair is going down!"

Lance pulls back as if she burned him. "Why, you ungrateful... Griseous! Knock this little rebel out before she hurts someone!"

Griseous -- the dragon -- pulls back to fire off another Hyper Beam, but Hoopa redirects it to hit smack into Lance's back, knocking him off the dragon and flat onto the pavement.

Ouch. That's gonna leave a mark.

Griseous blinks, the murder in its eyes fadin'. It looks left, right, and finally down at Lance, questioningly. Growling under its breath, it raises one tremendous clawed foot to bring down on th' man.

"What? No!" I yelp, scrambling to my feet. "We gotta lock dis man up, but no killin'! He's from da Elite Four! He's gonna be our hostage!"

Griseous growls at me. "The man had me under his control. Once he wakes up, his control will resume. Would you have me, the Lady of the Shadowlands, enthralled to a genocidal human?"

I pause, not quite sure what to answer.

Then Lance starts to wake up.

Griseous pulls back, screaming in anguish as Lance's dominance asserts itself. I turn to Hoopa and yell, "We've gotta get outta here! Roight now!"

Hoopa looks back toward Hitoshi. "But... Hito-Kun? He'll be killed!"

"Betta him dan us!" I yell. "Gotta get inside an' protect whatevah Redhead came here t' nab!"

Hoopa looks conflicted, but nods. "All right... Ali thinks..."

She follows me into the Silph Co. building. Though I can't help hopin' that Hitoshi twerp gets rescued.

---

Hitoshi's POV

I'm going to die. This stupid blue snake is going to strangle me, and I'm gonna be toast. I can't breathe, I can't move my arms, I can't do anything.

I'm going to die, and either I'm hallucinating, or I can already see my halo.

Wait.

That's not a halo.

It's a ring, one of Hoopa's rings, and before I can consciously come to terms with it, a sudden deluge of seawater blasts down on me and Dragonair, stunning us both.

I feel Dragonair's coils loosen around me. I can't pull out my Charmeleon because it will die in this flood. But I pull away, gasping and sputtering for breath as the water's flow sends me downtown.

Seawater. From a hole in the air. Into a city that's covered by a giant dome.

This can't end well at all.

Amber is another TPP reference, the Host of our Touhoumon run. (Yes, we played Touhoumon at one point. It wasn't the most popular run, but it had one really cool part where trolls tried to release a Boneka in Democracy and the Boneka just crawled right back out of the PC and back to us.)

Team Rocket is hardcore. And so is the Elite Four. Poor Hitoshi is in way over his head.

Ali is awesome.
I forgot to mention this in the original commentary, but when Twitch Plays Pokemon did Touhoumon, we also did Moemon right alongside it at the same time. This was a highly controversial decision because of the whole 'needs more little girls' thing, and there was quite a lot of disagreement on the games' lore that I won't go into here, although it should be noted that the Moemon player character, Athena, does appear in Blue Moon as a Rattata morph.

It should be noted that Amber being a Team Rocket commander was an idea taken from ZetsuTheFirst's screencap comic series "After They Left" ('they' referring to the Voices). I wasn't a fan of that particular series, but Amber being in Team Rocket and Athena wearing a respirator both originated from it.

On a lighter note, Ali is fun to write for. There's no end of creative uses for her Ali-Hooparings, and Terra could probably just solo this entire series with Ali and her rings if she put her mind to it. And if Ali could go through her own rings. But Ali beating everybody that easily would be kind of cheap and predictable, wouldn't it?

Hyper Beam wouldn't have hit Hoopa-Confined anyway, but of course Lance didn't know that. And is anyone keeping track of how many times Ali drops water on people?
 

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