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Written Story Unova Mixed Media Mature Mon SOMEWHERE IN UNOVA || A Black 2 Madness Combat Castlocke

Extravanganza Accordian Demo
Thread Description
No regret. No remorse. Only Madness.

aegagrusScholarship

Problems and Issues Haver
Artist
Writer
Godfather
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
4946
Caught
Sep 9, 2021
Messages
485
Location
In the wrong fandom.
Nature
Hasty
Pronouns
all of them
Pokémon Type
  1. Bug
  2. Dark
Pokédex Entry
This Pokémon craves attention and recognition, but becomes an absolute mess if given either. Often seen starting multiple projects and finishing none.
Untitled1536_20211030210916.png


Somewhere in Unova, the region of truth and ideals:

Three dissenters camp out on unfamiliar ground, making sense of a nonsensical situation.

A young man sets out with his pig brother on a single-minded journey.

An organization of fanatics, once weak, once a joke, rises to unprecedented heights of power.

There are no noble, overarching goals. There is no for the greater good. There are only choices, and time will tell if these choices lead to the ideal outcome- or if the truth of the matter is simply the region's descent into madness.


Or, in much less serious terms: In which I go 'haha funny crossover go BRRRRRR', toss a bunch of murderous grey jellybeans into Unova (because, hey, Unova's based off the States! Nevada's in the States, after all), and watch the resulting fireworks.

EXTRAVAGANZA AWARDS​
🥉 BEST NEW WRITTEN STORY, 2021
🥇 BEST TEAMMATE IN A WRITTEN RUN (Doc), 2021
celebration post!

CONTENT WARNINGS (Updated as they come)
Violence on par with Madness Combat directed towards both pokemon and humans.
Cartoon blood and gore in illustrations.
Substance abuse because Deimos smokes a lot.
Swearing, both in-story and in author's notes.

RULESTHE CASTLOCKE
You can also find the rules on this thread. That’ll probably be kept more up-to-date than the rules in this post as I play through my file and tweak issues I come across.
[IMMUTABLE]
>You may only catch the first encounter in any route.
>>Shiny Clause applies.
>>Dupes Clause applies: If a Pokémon is registered in the Pokédex, it does not count as an encounter.
>>Pinwheel Clause applies.
>>Gift Pokémon do not count as encounters for an area.

>If a Pokémon faints, it is dead and may not be used again.
>An event will be rolled after every Gym. If an event specifies a character must be on the team, said character is not on the team, and the event is rolled anyway, treat it as if no event occurred.

[VARIABLE]
>Level cap on par with the next Gym Leader's ace. Hank is exempt from this rule.
>May only use one healing item in any given Trainer battle unless Sanford is present.
>Must play on Set unless Deimos is present.
>You may not enter Pokémon Centres, and thus, are barred from their services and any NPCs inside. You may only purchase basic Poké Balls from marts. In games where these are the same building, you may not interact with anything or any NPCS inside the building except for the clerk. These services and NPCs are unlocked if Doc is on the team. Note that non-Pokémart vendors are still fair game even if Doc isn’t in the team.
EXCEPTION: You are allowed to enter the Pokémon Centre once after every gym to change characters’ forms, even if Doc is unable to join the team/not in the team. You may not use their services if Doc is unavailable, however.
>No held items unless Jeb is present.
[Hank J. Wimbleton]
NATURES: Lonely, Adamant, Hardy, Modest
TRAITS:
>Do What Comes Natural: Hank is focused on one goal, and that goal is carnage (…and, of course, completing whatever mission he might’ve been hired to do. Still, the fighting is a very very good bonus). Hank may not switch out of battle once he enters.
>No Regret, No Remorse, Only Madness: Hank is damn hard to kill, an extremely competent fighter, and an invaluable asset in any fight— so long as he’s on your side, of course. Hank can ignore the level cap.

[Sanford]
NATURES: Bold, Jolly, Relaxed, Brave
TRAITS:
>Extraction Team Duo: Sanford and Deimos fight in tandem and trust each other with their lives. If Deimos is in the team, he and Sanford are wedlocked.
>Bandages Fix Everything, Right: On one hand, the extent of Sanford's field medical knowledge is slapping bandages on it. Still, that's not useless knowledge, especially in Nevada, where bandages really do seem to fix everything. You may use as many healing items in battle as needed when Sanford is on the team.

[Deimos]
NATURES: Impish, Rash, Lax, Naughty
TRAITS:
>Extraction Team Duo: Sanford and Deimos fight best when together, covering each others’ backs and weaknesses. If Sanford is in the team, he and Deimos are wedlocked.
>HACKERMAN: Deimos is more support-oriented than either Hank or Sanford is, but he's still a frontline fighter. You may enable the Switch battle style when Deimos is on the team.

[Doc “2BDamned”]
NATURES: Sassy, Careful, Quiet, Mild
TRAITS:
>Not Even A Real Doctor: Medical degree or lack thereof notwithstanding, Doc is still the obvious mission control of the group. After all, fighting is only one aspect of surviving in the Nevada wasteland, and the rest is probably Doc’s job here. You may only enter Pokémon Centres and purchase items that are not basic Poké Balls from Pokémarts if Doc is on the team.

[Jebediah “Jebus” Christoff]
NATURES: Serious, Hasty, Calm, Gentle
TRAITS:
>The Saviour: Jeb is quick and direct in the salvation he brings. May only use damaging moves and must overwrite status moves as soon as he is able.
>Keystone Fragment: Jeb’s held on to the halo and the Binary Sword for a while, after all. Held items are only allowed when Jeb is on the team.

[Tricky]
NATURES: Quirky, Naïve, Bashful, Timid
TRAITS:
>The Clown: Tricky is a wild card, to say the least. May only join the team once all five other characters are present. If he is caught before the other characters, he must be boxed immediately until all other characters are obtained.
>I DO WHAT I WANT: Tricky’s here to fight, and he definitely won’t listen to anyone if he doesn’t want to. Hear that, Auditor? You can’t stop him! Ignores all switch-in restrictions. If he switches with Hank, however, he will become uncontrollable and use random moves for the remainder of the battle.
>YOU DON’T KILL CLOWN: INVALID
CORRECTION
CLOWN DOES NOT DIE
(May be revived at any time if killed as long as he has spare forms. However, switching forms without dying is subject to the same restrictions as everyone else.)
>CLOWN KILLS YOU: Reboot.useSeed(sRAND);
(If Tricky is revived as a result of YOU DON’T KILL CLOWN, he becomes unstable and will use random moves in battle until the next Gym is defeated.)

EXTRA NATURE: Docile
>Assign to a character via a random generator or by player choice. You may not change the assigned character once set.
>Improbability: The Improbability Drive is active, causing random and often highly detrimental events and roadblocks. You are no longer allowed to backtrack or run from wild battles until the next Gym is defeated.

>HANK! HAAAAAAAAAANK!! : Tricky wants to fight and he won’t take no for an answer. This event differs depending on which characters are on the team:
Tricky and Hank are both present: Both of them fight each other. One of them will die at random until the next Gym is beaten. Tricky may not revive using YOU DON’T KILL CLOWN if he is the one to die.
Hank is present: Tricky kills Hank, but he will join the team. Hank dies until the next Gym is beaten. Tricky may be added to the immediately.
Neither is present: Tricky fights the rest of the team, but he’s not really interested, you know? There is a 20% chance that one character, picked at random, will die.

>CMD>INFECT ../JESUS/*.*-S: Jeb must be in the party. Jeb is infected with a computer virus that drains his abilities and stamina. Jeb may not be healed in battle until the next Gym is beaten.

>Enmeshment:Doc must be in the party. Doc is now busy working on a project of his, but that just means he'll be closer at hand to all the stuff he needs if someone happens to die. Doc may not be in battle for more than eight turns total until a character dies or the next Gym is beaten. However, the next character that dies may be revived immediately if they have spare forms. If the next character to die is Tricky, CLOWN KILLS YOU will not activate instead.

>Cliffhanger:Sanford must be in the party. Sanford is grievously injured. He may not stay in battle for more than three turns in a row before having to switch out for at least three turns.

>Dedmos Adventure:Deimos must be in the party. Deimos is dead. He may not be used until the next Gym is beaten. Sanford will have to learn how to fight without his partner until Deimos is brought back— and when Deimos returns, he’s stronger, better… and a rock. Kidding, kidding, he’s only half rock now. Sanford and Deimos are no longer wedlocked. Deimos must know a Rock- or Ground-type move if possible.

>Somewhere in Nevada…: No event. Lucky you.
The Castlocke is a Nuzlocke variant by Spectacles!

(Paraphrased from the Castlocke thread.)

Take a fandom you like and grab the main characters. Got them? Good.

Once you have your cast, divide the 25 Pokémon natures between them. The method I used here, since I had 6 characters, is to assign 4 natures to each character and make the remaining one assignable to anyone at all. Check the Castlocke thread for more ideas.

Characters are assigned traits (extra rules, basically) that fit their roles or personality.

The first Pokémon you catch that matches a character's assigned natures becomes that character. Only one Pokemon can represent a character at a time, so any additional Pokemon with that character's natures must be put in the PC.

If a Pokémon faints, it is dead and cannot be used anymore. Its associated character is also considered dead. However, characters may be revived (as different Pokémon, of course) after every Gym battle. Characters who survive may also change into different Pokémon after each Gym battle.

After the 8th gym, the team may change forms at will. If they die, they may be revived once the League is reached.

There are also a set of random events. You must roll for a random event after each Gym if no deaths occured (I roll for an event regardless of deaths in this run, however).


The story so far.
Chronological order is there for clarity, but I recommend reading by order posted.

Extra artwork, banners, and maybe more. Spoilers for later chapters ahead.
All the banners I've made, localized entirely within this spoiler box.
Hilariously, Deimos isn't my favourite character (he's close tho), he's just the one most recognizable as his actual Pokemon species.

Original banner design (ft. Deimos + unused Doc one):
image0.png

Untitled1528_20211031024318.png


Project Nexus (classic) parody banner:
image0.png


Some Youtube ones, both light and dark mode:
Untitled1576_20211031042248.png

Untitled1576_20211031040523.png

Character stuff. Warning for indirect death/catch spoilers.
also oh god the refsheets are terribly outdated and the portraits are a bit off as well aaagjknfsg
CHARACTER RESOURCES
Deimos
(Snivy) (Servine)
image0.png
image1.png


Sanford
(Purrloin)

image1.png


Doc
(Mareep)
(Flaaffy)

image0.png
image0.png


Christoff
(Patrat)

image0.png
IMG_7409.png



Bonus...?

Gijinkas
Height chart (as of Episode 5)
Simula
(Tepig/Pignite)

Millie
(Herdier)

Stormwing
(Pidove/Tranquill)

ARTWORK
actual art, for a given value of art

MERR CRIMMUS
LOVE WINS (Blood warning. No one's hurt here but there's sure a lot of blood.)
fucked up jaws ft. doc and hank
jebus actual christ.
chapter 6 shenanigans (yes, we need a section for these)

ad - chapter 6 team in a nutshell - Christoff. That's a stick.
ft. other runs!! check 'em out, guys!

smoke break, I guess (ft. Orion, Ashes of Glory @ pikafan96)
ALL FEAR THE MOTHS. (ft. The Moth from LÄÄÄÃÄÄÆÁÄĀÄÄMP @ Erberor + Flutter from Pain. @ Kit_The_Feef)
the great bipedal purrloin fight debate (ft. Nilus from Don't Evolve @ Faleep)​

YEAAAAAAAAAAA
IMG_8039.png
this is 100% correct and accurate and contains zero inaccuracies to plot events /j
3Ijmo1z.jpg
poison mushroom cookie and hank j wimbleton commit war crimes!
Untitled332_20220514112503.png
 
Last edited:

Anya Homura

Kanto League Champion
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
391
Caught
Jul 5, 2019
Messages
154
Location
Phasing in and out of reality everywhere
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
she/he/they
Pokémon Type
  1. Normal
  2. Clever
yoooooooooooooooooooooooooo

as someone fresh off their own madcom hyperfixation (and now a month or two into a pokemon friendlocke one, of all things), this is a very fun and welcome surprise!

i like your general writing style, especially the prologue! it just vibes with me! and the action scenes i was able to picture in my head as if they were animated and happening like a video very smoothly, too, so that's a plus!

also. just a hunch. but the whole. universe fusion thing. and the fact that plasma's become suspiciously more competent (as much as they can be whenever a madcom protagonist isn't on-screen)... hm. something tells me ghetsis isn't the guy in charge here right now.
 
OP
aegagrusScholarship

aegagrusScholarship

Problems and Issues Haver
Artist
Writer
Godfather
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
4946
Caught
Sep 9, 2021
Messages
485
Location
In the wrong fandom.
Nature
Hasty
Pronouns
all of them
Pokémon Type
  1. Bug
  2. Dark
Pokédex Entry
This Pokémon craves attention and recognition, but becomes an absolute mess if given either. Often seen starting multiple projects and finishing none.
Note that Chapter 1 was located in the thread starter when this post was first made, so this reply was originally posted after Chapter 1. The original post has also been preserved below.

whoops added a part to the first chapter because i am indecisive, but i figure it'll work better. i swear this isn't gonna be a trend
also, this run now has a spiffy new banner! not sure if i'll make other versions featuring other characters later. and yes, i blatantly based this off the DISSENTER and An Experiment ending credits, why do you ask?

image0.png
yoooooooooooooooooooooooooo

as someone fresh off their own madcom hyperfixation (and now a month or two into a pokemon friendlocke one, of all things), this is a very fun and welcome surprise!

i like your general writing style, especially the prologue! it just vibes with me! and the action scenes i was able to picture in my head as if they were animated and happening like a video very smoothly, too, so that's a plus!

also. just a hunch. but the whole. universe fusion thing. and the fact that plasma's become suspiciously more competent (as much as they can be whenever a madcom protagonist isn't on-screen)... hm. something tells me ghetsis isn't the guy in charge here right now.
oh man. i am glad the action scene worked well, because i was worried that it was too slow-paced. had that problem in my writing a while before.
also i'm so sorry but 'as much as they can be whenever a madcom protagonist isn't on-screen' is so funny to me
they are trying their best but deimos and sanford are just stealing all the competency for themselves


It is a day in Nevada. It could be said that it is a normal day in Nevada, but there is no real definition of 'normal' in Nevada.

So, it is a day in Nevada.

It is three o' clock in the afternoon. The sky is shining red, as it always does- at least, ever since the sun died. So, really, no one can tell if it's really three o' clock or not, but according to a vast majority of the clocks currently ticking away in Nevada, it is three o' clock.

At three o' clock, during a day in Nevada, something shifts.

It doesn't shift reality in the same way that the Improbability Drive shifts reality. Not at all. The Improbability Drive and the highly improbable and highly random effects it causes all across the desert wasteland have become a normal part of Nevadean life. This is a different shift. This is not a normal shift.

Reality shifts, and contorts, and moves, much how you would expect a buggy Bethesda game to move: inexplicably, unnaturally, and glitchily. But no one notices it is moving in that way, and everyone goes about their day.

Continuing that metaphor, Nevada metaphorically T-poses, slides across realities, and stops.

Right on top of Unova- metaphorically, that is.

There is a brief metaphorical hitbox collision as reality attempts to sort itself out. Then, less metaphorically, reality is spliced together.


Reality stops shifting.












It is a day in Unova.

Untitled1524_20211108215958.png
Picture, if you may, the suburban cityscape of Aspertia City. A flock of Pidove flaps by, high in the cloudless sky. The sunlight is bright, but tinted slightly red, illuminating the trees with their leaves that are more grey than green. The city is bustling, but the wear and tear of ages past is clearly evident in the cracked asphalt and crumbling concrete of the streets and buildings.

On the west side of town where the Trainers' School once stood, there is a sleek black box of a building, contrasting greatly with the rustic architecture of the rest of the town. Its walls have clearly been graffitied on before, and the graffiti hastily covered up with paint that is just barely not the right shade. There is a logo printed on the shiny new sliding doors: a shield, half black and half white, divided in two by a lightning blue P.

On the steps leading up to this building stand two Pokemon. One is a Snivy wearing a visor and carrying a fairly large backpack, from which a radio antenna is sticking out. He cranes his neck to read the tattered, hastily-taped-on notice posted on the sliding glass doors: "CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE", it says. Beside him is a Purrloin wearing teashades, whose ears barely fit under the bandanna he wears. He carries a meathook affixed to a string on his back.

"Well damn, it's closed," the Snivy says, shrugging in an exaggerated fashion. "Guess we just gotta head back then."

"Heh, as if that's ever stopped us," the Purrloin says.

To the side of the front entrance is a window. The Purrloin plants himself in front of the window, takes his meathook- which is, frankly, a bit large compared to himself (but never mind that, he seems perfectly fine wielding it)- whirls it around like a lasso, and aims it right at the windowsill. It flies through the air and catches onto the ridged steel. The Purrloin tugs at the line to check that it holds, then hoists himself up. Balancing on the edge of the sill, he shoves a paw under the window and yanks it open.

The Snivy follows, taking a little bit more effort to climb up to the windowsill. He makes it with no issues, though, and leaps down into the building. The Purrloin retrieves his meathook and follows his Snivy partner.



Let's set the scene.

The room is large and rectangular. There are no windows. Two walls are lined with server racks and servers, their lights blinking on and off in asynchronous patterns. The third wall has a desk pushed up against it, upon which there is a monitor connected to a veritable Rattata's-nest of cables and wires and a small, phone-sized device: a Pokédex. The Pokédex is black, and instead of a pink or blue Poké Ball decal on its lower half, on its back is the logo of a shield- the same logo on the doors of the facility, half white and half black separated by a blue letter P.

There is a single person in this room. Her hair is orange and she wears a slightly stained lab coat, and she does not notice when the Purrloin and Snivy quietly push open the door and peek in. She notices, however, when they enter, alerted to the sound of the Snivy's claws clicking on the tile floor.

"Whuh-" the scientist yelps the moment she sees them, flinging a red-and-white ball at them in panic. "Who- how are you in here!? We're closed! Get out, we've got important shit in here!"

Both of them dodge, easily. The Poké Ball isn't meant to hit them, though- it bounces off the floor and releases a Tepig, who paws at the ground and snorts steam from its nose. The Purrloin notices the device on the table and glances at the Snivy, who immediately drops into a fighting stance.

"Flare- Flare, stop them," the scientist yells at the Tepig, who charges for the Snivy. She fumbles around for a second before pulling out a walkie-talkie, slamming her thumb into the call button. "Lab 3, uh, two Pokémon- agh! Lab 3 breached, two Pokémon, trainer not- not present. Backup, please, I've- I've only got an unevolved, um. Over."

The Purrloin leaps onto the desk where the Pokédex is kept and grabs it, yanking out any wires plugged in to it. The scientist lunges for him, but he dodges her panicked grab with no trouble at all and stabs his meathook through her hand for her trouble. She screams.

The Snivy throws himself diagonally back and to the side as the Tepig charges at him again, and slams himself into its side as it skids to a halt, overbalancing it.

The door is kicked open, and three black-clothed grunts barge in. All three release their Pokémon- an Unfezant, Audino, and Swadloon. The Snivy and the Purrloin glance at each other. They're outmatched.

The Purrloin rips his hook out from the scientist's hand, drawing another agonized scream, and throws himself to the floor. He barely rolls out of the way of an Air Cutter from the Unfezant, scrambles between the legs of one of the grunts, and finds his path to the door blocked by the Audino.

Meanwhile, the Snivy dashes away from the still-recovering Tepig.

"Yo, over here!" he shouts at the Audino, but it doesn't pay him any heed and the Swadloon instead summons a set of needle-sharp fangs in the air which snap at him. He ducks under it, by which time his Purrloin partner has managed to force himself around the Audino, scoring a bloody line across its side with his hook. He runs out the door right before the Swadloon can intercept him.

A Herdier is waiting outside for them- or, rather, dancing around a Liepard's scratches with sharp, jerky movements. She rams into the cat the moment it pauses, then whips her head around to stare at the other two.

"We're good. Let's go," the Purrloin says. He gestures for the other two to follow him as he makes a beeline for the window they used as an entry point.



Deimos is not used to being a weird snake-lizard thing with a leaf on his tail. Deimos is, however, used to fighting through hordes of enemies who are out for his blood.

So, really, it cancels out.

Someone with orange hair and dressed in all black makes a clumsy grab for him, but he is too fast for them and their hands close on empty air. In front, Sanford- his first ally and longtime partner- drives his meathook through the throat of a bucktoothed chipmunk, using its body to block a wild charge from a brown-furred dog.

They were here to retrieve something Doc called a Pokédex. They found the device, all right, but not before finding a shaggy dog with a blue back. She had called out to them from a side room, begging them to let her out of her cage. Luckily, it wasn't locked with a key, only a latch, so that had been no problem. Before they let her out, Sanford had threatened to stab her in the face if she tried to backstab them, and she had nearly fallen over herself with promises not to do so.

The device is currently shoved in Deimos's backpack, next to his radio. The dog, whose name they didn't catch yet, conjures up a set of shadowy fangs in front of herself which crunch through a grey dove that is diving for her.

Now, they just have to get out.

Sanford makes it back to their point of entry first. He leaps up onto the windowsill, then down and out. Deimos makes sure the dog has leapt through the window in a single bound before following her. It takes him a little bit more effort to climb up to the sill, and he has to yank his tail away from the snapping jaws of another buck-toothed chipmunk, but he makes it with no problem and leaps right out.

[Deimos]
Snivy lv. 5 ♂
Overgrow: Powers up Grass-type moves in a pinch.
Naughty nature.
Capable of taking hits.
[Sanford]
Purrloin lv. 4 ♂
Unburden: Raises Speed if a held item is used.
Brave nature.
Somewhat stubborn.



The hill above Aspertia looks out on the picturesque scenery of Route 19, even if that scenery is a bit too desaturated and currently being lit by red-tinted sunlight.

Atop the lookout built on the hill, there is a young man with Quilfish hair thanking a peppy blonde woman.

"No problem," the woman says, for the third time over. "Just… be careful on your journey, alright?"

"I'm always careful!" the young man protests.

"I know, but- hey, don't tell anyone we told you this, alright? Team Plasma is really making a comeback-"

"I know that!"

"Everyone knows that, Hugh," the young woman says, a little less cheerily. "I'm saying that the League doesn't have the situation under control as much as they said they do. Plasma's suddenly got a lot more competent all of a sudden, so you really need to be careful since you're starting your journey right now, okay?"

"Of course I will! I won't let myself forget what they did to my sister. If I run into them, I'll help out and send them packing. Alright, cool. Thanks again!" Hugh says, waving as he charges down the stairs, three at a time.

"Hey," the Tepig waiting beside the woman yelps, scrambling after Hugh. The two of them race each other down the stairs. Between his head start and his longer legs, Hugh wins by a mile.



Hugh sits in the gate to Route 19 and holds his Tepig's Poké Ball in his hand.

Hugh has three things he still needs to do before he can really start his journey.

He needs to give Alder's two students that lesson on how to circumvent type disadvantages that he's promised them a while ago. He needs to say goodbye to his sister, and the owners of Floccesy Ranch (his parents? Yeah, his parents. It still feels weird to say), who have taken care of them for so long.

And, before all that, he has to find Millie, his… family's Herdier, who went missing two days ago. He won't be able to bear if something happened to her. His family had been searching for her, as well, but he had to yell at them about what happened a few years ago before they would start! She could be lost forever, again, and he can't let that happen. Never again.

The Herdier in question has just burst into the gate alongside a Snivy and a Purrloin. The Purrloin has sunglasses. Why does the Purrloin have sunglasses?

It takes Hugh a second to process this. It also takes Millie a second to process this, clearly, because she only skids to a stop a second later.

"What are you doing?" the Snivy yells at Millie, stopping to stare at her. The Purrloin turns around, grabs the Snivy's arm, and yanks it towards the gate's exit.

"Wait, wait, don't go! This is Hugh! He's my friend!" Millie yells to the other two. The Purrloin and the Snivy pause.

"Then tell ya friend to get moving," the Purrloin says, breaking back into a sprint. Hugh and Millie stare, then run off after the other two.

Well, Hugh now has two things he has to do before he can really start his journey.



Floccesy Town. The ages-old clock tower looms high above the rest of the old, rustic houses and the cobblestone roads, worn smooth by centuries of pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

Hugh, Millie, Sanford, and Deimos make it to the base of the clock tower at a dead sprint before they stop. Rather, Sanford and Deimos are sprinting, Millie is running quite quickly, and Hugh is keeping up at a fast jog.

"You think this is far enough?" Deimos asks, and Sanford shakes his head. "Damn, I miss getting away in a car. They usually give up when that happens."

"Yeah, 'cause it's way easier to track down someone on foot than in a vehicle," Sanford says. "Way easier to put out a general search if he's in a vehicle. On foot? Just move fast enough and catch ‘em."

"Hah, yeah, 'he can't have gotten far' and all that," Deimos says.

"Okay! Okay, wait," Hugh says, squatting down to the Pokémon's level. "What's going on here!? Getaways? Millie, you! Are you okay? Were you taken? Are you hurt?"

"I'm- I'm alright! I'm fine! Don't worry," Millie says, squirming away from Hugh, who sheepishly backs away from where he was scrutinizing her. "I got- I got cornered by, by Team Plasma, sorry! I-"

"Team Plasma!?" Hugh nearly shouts.

"Shut up!" Deimos hisses. "Stop yelling before everyone hears us! This ain't a stealth mission, but we don't need the attention!"

"Sorry, sorry," Millie says, her tail drooping. "Please- please calm down, I'm fine, okay? Let's go home. Let's go home first."

"Okay, fine," Hugh says. He starts saying something, then stops himself. Instead, he asks- "Who are you, then? Why were you running? Did you find Millie?"

"Uh, Millie's the-" Sanford gestures to the Herdier- "right?"

"Yeah- yeah," Millie says, nodding.

"Great. We're hightailing it before Plasma catches us. Found her in their base," Sanford says, not introducing himself. Hugh glances at Millie; she nods in confirmation. "Anyway, let's keep moving."

And with that, Sanford walks off, Deimos following him without missing a beat. Hugh and Millie look at each other, then follow.



Whatshisname- Hugh? Hugh says his house is just up ahead, and he and Millie soon take a fork in the road and leave.

"They live so close by? No wonder she got caught," Deimos says, jogging along beside his partner.

"Well, let's hope we don't have to get back in to rescue her again," Sanford jokes, skirting along the edge of a patch of incredibly long grass. "Just kidding, it's not our problem anymore. C'mon, let's get back."

"In before Doc chews us out for ‘alerting everyone to our presence’ again," Deimos says, rolling his eyes.

"I mean, when don't we alert the entire base?" Sanford asks, grinning.

"Oh, I got your answer right here! How many times have we gotten off without Doc lecturing us?" Deimos questions him back. The two of them dissolve into laughter as they continue, back towards their base in Virbank.

image0.png
image0.png

[HANK]
N/A​
image0.png

[DEIMOS]
Snivy​
image1.png

[SANFORD]
Purrloin​
image0.png

[2BDAMNED]
N/A​
image0.png

[CHRISTOFF]
N/A​
image0.png

[TRICKY]
N/A​

i laughed for five minutes straight when i realized my first two catches were deimos and sanford tbh
(then i suffered a lot due to their wedlocke rule when i got the next character and was training them)

anyways. never written hugh before. i think he’ll be fun.
his tepig’s name is simula even though it doesn’t appear for most of this chapter. it’s named after my starter in shield
this chapter doesn’t follow the game’s story at all, but don’t expect future chapters to be this far outta left field
because i’ll probably end up following the general story progression in the writing when i hit the midgame

also there is a profound lack of wacky zany antics in this chapter. it’ll get more ridiculous as it goes on, i’m sure, because madcom is like that tbh

i made that ‘somewhere in unova’ pic myself, by the way. it took a frankly embarassing amount of time
also final pic isn’t in my usual art style so expect inconsistencies there as well. might not do drawings for all the chapters tbh. i’ll see! again, my goal is to finish this run not keep it consistent
 
Last edited:

Anya Homura

Kanto League Champion
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
391
Caught
Jul 5, 2019
Messages
154
Location
Phasing in and out of reality everywhere
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
she/he/they
Pokémon Type
  1. Normal
  2. Clever
listen, i don’t think it’s either of our faults that they just have Main Character Privilege and all competency and badassery in the vicinity flocks to them, regardless of who originally had it! it just happens!

catching up on the new scene, and it‘s a real good way to bridge the gap between the two scenes around it. rip to those plasma people and pokemon, never even had a chance.
 

redninjapuffle

Probably playing DragonBall FighterZ
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
841
Caught
Sep 24, 2019
Messages
933
Location
Peaceful Plains
Nature
Calm
Pronouns
He
Pokémon Type
  1. Electric
  2. Dark
Pokédex Entry
Redninjapuffles are known to want to create their own nuzlocke stories or comics, however, many have yet to start one.
I see madness combat, I click
I see nuzlocke, I also click
I double click when I see both
 

Spectacles

Rule Maker
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
139
Caught
Jun 24, 2019
Messages
929
Location
Pennsylvania
Nature
Jolly
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
It hides deep inside caves where no light ever reaches it and remains virtually motionless there. ~Pokemon Crystal, entry #52
Ahh very cool!! I'm unfortunately not familiar with the source material, but it's always fun to see another Castlocke on the forums! You really got creative with the rules, and you have a really cool writing style! Between that and the cool headings and that art at the end?! This is a really cool thing you have going on!
 
OP
aegagrusScholarship

aegagrusScholarship

Problems and Issues Haver
Artist
Writer
Godfather
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
4946
Caught
Sep 9, 2021
Messages
485
Location
In the wrong fandom.
Nature
Hasty
Pronouns
all of them
Pokémon Type
  1. Bug
  2. Dark
Pokédex Entry
This Pokémon craves attention and recognition, but becomes an absolute mess if given either. Often seen starting multiple projects and finishing none.
listen, i don’t think it’s either of our faults that they just have Main Character Privilege and all competency and badassery in the vicinity flocks to them, regardless of who originally had it! it just happens!

catching up on the new scene, and it‘s a real good way to bridge the gap between the two scenes around it. rip to those plasma people and pokemon, never even had a chance.
yeah. definitely not my fault they're just that good. they are Just That Good
glad you like the new scene. or, uh, old scene. whatever, newly added scene. wanted to actually add some more action instead of going 'hmm yes timeskip time'

I see madness combat, I click
I see nuzlocke, I also click
I double click when I see both
glad you appreciate my very dumb self-indulgence here, hope ya enjoy the ride

Ahh very cool!! I'm unfortunately not familiar with the source material, but it's always fun to see another Castlocke on the forums! You really got creative with the rules, and you have a really cool writing style! Between that and the cool headings and that art at the end?! This is a really cool thing you have going on!
WAH thanks, i was agonizing for weeks on end trying to make the rules tbh
it's okay if you don't know madcom! i'm trying to write it so that it's not too confusing even if you don't know it incredibly well. hopefully it'll work

man, the thesaurus is seeing a lot of use for these chapter titles eh

Hugh's return home had been chaotic, to say the least. His little sister was running up to the gate as soon as she spotted him and leapt into his arms, squealing congratulations and demanding that he make it to Drayden. And then she had noticed Millie, and she had screamed, jumping down from his arms to hug the Herdier.

The owners of the ranch- no, his parents- had then come running up as well, offering congratulations and expressing concern over Millie. Simula, Hugh's Tepig, sent himself out (as he tended to do) and only escalated the chaos.

Still, it was a good sort of chaos.

Hugh lies awake in bed, now, excitement keeping him awake no matter how much he tosses and turns. Millie is sleeping at his feet and Simula's Poké Ball lies next to him. Simula insists on being in his Poké Ball almost constantly, saying he needs to stay rested so he's at his best in battle. Hugh thinks he's just too lazy to walk.

Of course he's going to make it to Drayden. He's going to beat the League. He has to be strong enough to beat the league, in fact, because that means he'll be strong enough to beat Team Plasma down.

That means he'll be strong enough to make them pay.

It is nighttime in Virbank City.

Doc hears Deimos and Sanford long before he actually sees them.

At this point, he’s not even sure why he even wastes the energy on being annoyed. Taking his mask and goggles off for a second to rub his bleary eyes, he slams his laptop shut and takes a deep breath, then swings his puffy little sheep body off the milk crate he’s using as a makeshift chair. He needs to take a moment to get his balance straightened out. To be honest, he’s fairly certain whatever yellow sheep thing he is (research tells him he is a Mareep) isn't built to stand on its hind legs. But Doc isn't just a grumpy old bastard, he’s a stubborn old bastard as well, so he resolutely continues standing on two legs.

image1.png


"Get inside, would you?" Doc yells, because he doesn’t need those two goofing off outside and drawing attention to their makeshift base.

The base in question is just an abandoned garage. They'd propped up the metal door with an empty barrel they'd found sitting next to it. There had been some splintered plywood and a metal shelf inside- the wood had been repurposed into something that could be called a desk, and they'd decided they were all small enough to sleep on the shelf. Still, it's not the worst conditions they've ever endured.

There is the sound of shuffling, then a whispered exchange, and then Sanford ducks into the garage. Sanford is actually short enough that he doesn't need to duck into the garage, but he does so anyway. And then the tip of his tail hits the bottom of the garage door, knocking off a small spray of dust.

"How did it go?" Doc asks, noting Sanford's minor injuries and the blood dried on his hook. "Don't tell me, someone spotted you and you had to fight your way out. As usual."

Outside, Deimos snorts. Doc doesn't dignify that with a response.

"Yeah, yeah, we didn't go unseen. It's fine, Dei's got the Pokédex right now," Sanford says, and Deimos enters the garage as if on cue. He does not duck under the door, but he probably should have, because the antenna sticking out of his backpack catches on the bottom for a second.

"Interesting," a… Patrat (brown fur, buck teeth, long tail? Doc's pretty sure he remembered right) says, ducking into the garage behind the other two. He's short enough that he wouldn't need to duck if it weren't for the halo floating over his head. His eyes are hidden behind a pair of thick-rimmed sunglasses and the white robe he wears slightly drags on the floor. "I see you've already gotten settled in, here."

"Oh yeah, we ran into him on the way back," Deimos says, gesturing to the Patrat. Doc narrows his eyes at the rodent, somewhat sure he recognizes him from somewhere. "Says his name's Jebediah Christoff, and he wants to team up with us."

[Jebediah Christoff]
Patrat lv. 3 ♂
Keen Eye: Prevents other Pokemon from lowering accuracy.
Serious nature.
Loves to eat.

Ah, right, Christoff. Doc hasn't actually seen the man in a long while, not since the both of them broke off from Nexus. The last he heard of Christoff was in Hank's multiple explanations of how they'd gotten themself killed yet again. Still, at least he knows Christoff. Kind of.

"And you’re another ally of Wimbleton’s? I assume you were also unceremoniously dumped into this world, correct?" Christoff asks.

"I wouldn't say 'dumped', I'd say 'suddenly and violently realized that nothing was familiar'. Also, 'dumped' is the wrong word, because it's more like something merged Nevada with this world, and we happened to get caught up in it," Doc says. "But yes. And I assume you'll tell me you're searching for a way to reverse it, right?"

"I'm not interested in arguing about the semantics, but you are correct," Christoff says, nodding. "We share the same goals here. So, we may as well work together."

"Good enough," Doc says. He'll deal with however Hank might react to Christoff later. When he actually manages to track them down. "Call me 2BDamned, or 2B, or whatever the hell else sounds similar enough. Don't stab us in the back."

"You have my word," Christoff says. They don't exchange any more formalities; none of them see the need. Christoff is their ally, now, at least until they figure out a way to fix this situation.

"Great. Anyways, the Pokédex," Doc says, gesturing. Deimos swings his backpack off, plops it on the floor, and digs the device out. He hefts it with both hands and tosses it to Doc, who catches it with one.

"So why did we need to steal that thing, anyways? Couldn't we just have blown it up and been done with it?" Sanford asks, pointing. Doc balances the Pokédex on one arm, hits buttons until he finds the power, and watches as it starts booting up.

"Yeah. They basically said it's another Improbability Drive, right? Uh, kinda. Because it sounded like they were confused on what it actually was, but whatever," Deimos says.

"Rather, it sounded like only a select few individuals knew what it actually is, and the others were kept under the assumption it was just a Pokédex. I went and found out what an actual Pokédex is. Those are just fancy encyclopedias," Doc tells him. "This one is built with the functionality of an Improbability Drive."

The Pokédex finishes starting up and displays a screen that, to any observer from beyond the fourth wall, would look suspiciously identical to the in-game menu for Pokémon Black and White 2. Doc is not an observer from beyond the fourth wall, though, so he does not notice this connection, because it's not a connection that can even be made from inside the universe.

"Still, why didn't we just destroy it?" Sanford asks, again.

"Do you want me to be able to drag you back to life if you happen to die?" Doc asks. "The way I was doing it before doesn't work anymore. This reality cannot be hacked, not without external help. Do you see where I'm going with this?"

"Uh," Deimos says. Doc is exasperated, but not surprised.

"That's the external help you're talking about." It's Sanford who answers, instead, visibly connecting the dots in his mind as he does.

"Exactly. Actually, I misspoke. It's more like I need to hack reality in an entirely different way than before. It's not completely foreign, though, since Nevada has merged with this world, so the framework I've been using before is still relevant," Doc says, to blank stares from Deimos and Sanford. Christoff is the only one who still looks interested. "Damnit, never mind all that. Instead of blundering around until I find a method that works again, I'd rather use something that's already designed to screw with reality."

"Wait. By that logic, Improbability Drives shouldn't be able to function in this world, either," Christoff says, raising one bushy rodent eyebrow. He holds up his hand to stop Doc before he can say anything. "No, there's something more… This one was built in this world, so it should be tuned to function here. Is that it?”

"Impressive," Doc says.

"So I’m correct. And how, again, did you find out about this?" Christoff asks, walking over to Doc's side.

"Internet," Doc deadpans, jabbing his thumb in the direction of his laptop. Christoff looks vaguely put off, and Doc grins, although no one else can see it under his mask. "Oh come on, I'm kidding."

"Nah, we were monitoring Plasma's communications. They're using the same encryption I'm used to, so it wasn't a problem," Deimos says, digging a pack of cigarettes out of his backpack. He takes one in his teeth and lights it with a small flame conjured from his thumb. "Kinda surprised it was that easy, but hey, I'm not complaining."

"How many times have I told you to go smoke outside?" Doc snaps, making Deimos jump. "Don't stink up our damn building."

"Oh, someone's in trouble," Sanford chuckles, and gets slapped by Deimos's tail for his trouble. His chuckles dissolve into full-blown laughter. Deimos playfully flips him off and ducks out of the garage, not catching his radio antenna on the door this time.

"And don't get yourself killed out there!" Doc calls after him, mostly out of habit. Deimos responds with a 'yeah'.

"Cool," Sanford says, "I'm going out as well."

"Don't you die either," Doc tells him, and Sanford mock-salutes before ducking out after his partner. Fully aware he's speaking only for Christoff's benefit at this point, Doc continues. "Anyways, back to the original question. Other than dragging their sorry asses back out of Purgatory, I should now be able to find out what's going on with this world. With any luck, I'll figure out what merged the two worlds, and with more luck, I'll be able to reverse it then."

"And even if you cannot, you'll still be able to figure out our next plan of action," Christoff says, finishing the train of thought.

Doc grins. He thinks that they'll get along just fine.

[Doc/2BDamned]
Mareep lv. 5 ♂
Static: Contact with the Pokemon may cause paralysis.
Careful nature.
Somewhat of a clown.



"Hey. Wake up, it's your turn."

The sound of Sanford's voice wakes Jebediah Christoff from the shelf where he is sleeping. He rolls to his feet, retrieving his sunglasses but not putting them on. The night is dark enough as it is, after all.

Sanford yawns when he sees that Jeb has gotten up, then leaps up to the shelf where Deimos is sleeping and curls up around his partner. As he heads out, Jeb notes that 2BDamned has fallen asleep at his laptop, its screen currently displaying a screensaver of a red-and-white ball bouncing around.

Jeb takes the side door to the garage. The front door has been closed, the barrel propping it up having been dragged inside. He has to jump to reach the side door's handle, but once he's outside, there is enough light that he can see… perfectly clearly.

Right. He's a Patrat (at least, that was what 2BDamned told him it was called) now, so his eyes are now adapted for the dark. It'll make the night watch easier.

The door swings shut on its own, leaving Jeb to stand guard over his new allies.

It's interesting how much they trust each other. Sanford and Deimos are the most obvious, but even the fact that 2BDamned is asleep at his laptop instead of somewhere where he can wake up at a moment's notice and not have to prepare himself is a testament to that trust.

Jebediah is curious if that trust extends to one Hank J. Wimbleton.

He knows those four are allies, but Hank is volatile at best, focused on violence, and abrasive to everyone they meet. So, he wonders if the other three would be as comfortable around Hank as they are right now.

Speaking of Hank, Jeb wonders where they are. In fact, what happened to the other citizens of Nevada?

From what they'd discussed before going to sleep, this world and Nevada had not merged in the way that one usually assumes, when talking about merging worlds. It was not equal parts of both. Rather, as 2BDamned had described it, something had taken Nevada and filled the cracks of this world with it, ending up with what was essentially this world governed by the same laws of reality that applied to Nevada.

Their presence in this world, right now, could just be up to luck. It's entirely possible that the other Nevadans are stuck in limbo for as long as the two worlds stay merged. Still, they are searching for a way to reverse it, so where the rest of the Nevadan citizens are doesn't matter in the long run.

No one in Nevada is truly free of sin. Still, Jeb is concerned for their safety.

image0.png



Sanford wakes up with a bang.

Rather, he wakes up to a bang.

Damn, he was hoping he'd get some more sleep.

"Hey, you big hunkachunk," Deimos says, having woken up as well. "Get your tail off my face."

Sanford would tease him about it if it were any other situation, but right now, he grabs his teashades and bandanna, hands Deimos's visor over to him, and hops off the shelf right after his partner. Doc kicks away the milk crate he'd fallen asleep on with a scrape of plastic against concrete, Deimos wastes no time in slinging his backpack on, and Sanford hurriedly affixes the string tied to his meathook onto his tail.

Doc gets the door, because he's the tallest one by far (when standing upright, that is; when he stands on all fours, he barely clears Deimos's height), and he's also the closest to said door anyway.

Outside, Christoff is fighting a pack of snarling brown dogs. The binary sword he usually wields is far too large for Christoff to hold- hell, it's too big even for Doc right now- but he doesn't need to hold it. He points his finger and the sword levitates up into the air, then impales one of the dogs in the blink of an eye, the point of the sword lodging into the asphalt with another loud noise.

Actually, fighting is the wrong word.

Christoff is utterly decimating the pack of dogs.

Still, the other three join in on the carnage. It'll be faster, with the four of them, so there'll be a tiny bit less risk of someone noticing the fight.

Doc immediately fires a bolt of lightning at what seems to be the leader of the pack. To its credit, it doesn't immediately drop dead. He blocks its next lunge with his arm, hissing when its fangs draw blood, then channels electricity through himself and fries the dog before it's able to disengage.

The rest of the fight is over in a flash. Some of the other dogs start running, and the ones who stay pose no threat.

Battle style is set to Switch. Held items are allowed. Unlimited healing items are allowed.

VS CHEREN
Jeb v. Patrat
>Jeb uses Bite. Patrat flinches.
>Jeb uses Tackle, bringing the Patrat to red HP.
>Cheren uses his Potion.
>Jeb uses Tackle twice in a row to bring the Patrat down.

Doc v. Lillipup
>Lillipup uses Tackle. Static activates, paralyzing it.
>Doc uses Thundershock twice (due to the paralysis speed drop).
>Lillipup is paralyzed and cannot move.
>Doc finishes it with another Thundershock.

"Hell. I had it under control," Christoff says, annoyed, when the last dog lies dead in the alley. "I didn't mean to wake you all."

"Better safe than sorry," Doc says, stray bolts of electricity still sparking over his wool. "...Damn it. We'll need to clean this up. People care a lot more about dead bodies in the middle of the street here."

"Understood," Christoff says, levitating two of the corpses with a raise of his hand. Deimos and Sanford glance at each other, then shrug and each pick up a dead dog as well.

They dump the bodies in the water. They have no better way to dispose of them. They don't want to be spotted carrying the corpses, so they go to the bridge nearest to their garage and toss the dogs over the edge.

When they are done, the first rays of light are peeking over the horizon- actually peeking over the horizon, here, not simply the sky intensifying in brightness. The sun should not be as red as it is, right now, nor the ocean so desaturated, but none of them know that. The four of them pause at the edge of the bridge, watching the sun creep up into the sky.

It is a sight that none of them have ever seen before.

Okay, actually, I forgot to roll for an event here. I'm so sorry.
So, I'm going to treat it like I just got no event.
image0.png

[HANK]
N/A​
image0.png

[DEIMOS]
Snivy​
image1.png

[SANFORD]
Purrloin​
image0.png

[2BDAMNED]
Mareep​
image0.png

[CHRISTOFF]
Patrat​
image0.png

[TRICKY]
N/A​

jeb and doc are in annoyingly similar poses for their respective art pieces. still, i am trying to finish this story, not nitpick my own quality.

uh actual question tho:
do y'all want the in-game gym battle notes for future gyms or not? kinda figured i'd put them there so you can compare the battles in-story and in-game, since i like doing that for other runs. so figured someone might enjoy it.

and yeah. i forgot to do the event. i am a dingus
i only realized i forgot to do the event when i beat roxie and was like 'ah, i need to do an event. ah CRAP i forgot to do the LAST event.'
 
Last edited:

Anya Homura

Kanto League Champion
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
391
Caught
Jul 5, 2019
Messages
154
Location
Phasing in and out of reality everywhere
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
she/he/they
Pokémon Type
  1. Normal
  2. Clever
oh shit we got some fucking boring old people in the house, fun time's over /j

but legit tho, the Dynamics that are being set up got me going like 👀 , and from a gameplay pov you kinda lucked out with getting some of the most solid and arguably necessary roles on the team so early! (because like. you kinda need to go to a pokemon center unless you're doing some batshit no-healing run, and switch mode & held items are no small deal for challenge runs!)

speaking of gamed play, please keep sharing the battle notes for gym battles & the like. i like them!
 
OP
aegagrusScholarship

aegagrusScholarship

Problems and Issues Haver
Artist
Writer
Godfather
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
4946
Caught
Sep 9, 2021
Messages
485
Location
In the wrong fandom.
Nature
Hasty
Pronouns
all of them
Pokémon Type
  1. Bug
  2. Dark
Pokédex Entry
This Pokémon craves attention and recognition, but becomes an absolute mess if given either. Often seen starting multiple projects and finishing none.
oh shit we got some fucking boring old people in the house, fun time's over /j

but legit tho, the Dynamics that are being set up got me going like 👀 , and from a gameplay pov you kinda lucked out with getting some of the most solid and arguably necessary roles on the team so early! (because like. you kinda need to go to a pokemon center unless you're doing some batshit no-healing run, and switch mode & held items are no small deal for challenge runs!)

speaking of gamed play, please keep sharing the battle notes for gym battles & the like. i like them!
lmaooooo i dunno about christoff but doc ain't that boring! i mean did you see the level of snark he usually has

yeah the gameplay is, uh, yeah. i probably want to rework doc's rule just a bit, honestly. i'm not certain how early you can access vending machines in earlier games nor how many free heals there are early on, which was the original intention of that rule yknow? like, while i know alola has a ton of free heals, i am not sure how many free heal places there are in other games.
the rule is nice to work around when there is an available free heal or vending machine that's a bit less convenient than a pokecentre or pokemart, but it just gets to- well, as you said, 'some batshit no-healing run' when there isn't.

and!! shall do! ah hell my earlier gameplay notes are a bit of a mess, oops this was a mistake /j

goddamnit i wanted to get this out for madness day

"Alright! Simula! You know what we planned!" Hugh yells, just a tad too loudly. Millie flattens her ears at the noise.

Simula inhales, then breathes a great big gout of fire over the entire battlefield. Controlling his fire like that isn't his main strength, but it's not the point here. While the field is still covered in flickering flames, Simula charges forward, his opponent's panicked squeals alerting him to where it is.

There is the sound of a collision.

A Patrat is thrown into the air, smoke rising from its fur. Simula skids to a stop, sending dirt and grass flying after it. The flames covering the ground begin to die down.

The Floccesy Town Gym's signups are located within the actual building, but the battles take place outside. Front field for preliminary battles, and the grove out back for battles against the Gym Leader.

They are in the grove right now. It's a fairly large clearing overlooked by a massive chunk of granite. There are ragged lines cut into the stone, and Millie thinks she definitely doesn't want to meet whatever managed to make those marks. The ground is supposed to be grassy, but a year of Gym battles have made the grass patchy at best.

Their current battle isn't helping, either.

Cheren recalls his Patrat. His Lillipup darts out from between his legs, raring to go.

Simula grins, cloaking himself in fire, and barrels forward as the Lillipup howls a war cry.

The Lillipup leaps clear over Simula just a moment before he crashes into it, his momentum nearly bringing him into the trunk of an evergreen tree.

"Ember! Behind you! Hurry!" Hugh yells, and Simula whirls around and breathes a spurt of flame just as the Lillipup careens into him.

"Take Down," Cheren tells his Lillipup, and it rears back for another hit.

"Millie," Hugh says, and she snaps to attention. Simula imperceptibly perks up and rushes off the battlefield just as Millie leaps forwards.

The Lillipup's back is to her. This was part of the plan- good positioning is just as important a strategy as actual fighting. Cheren almost looks impressed. The Lillipup takes a moment to turn around, and by then, Millie has darted forward, summoning shadowy fangs on both sides of it.

"Forfeit," Cheren says, raising a hand. Millie stops, and his Lillipup stands down as well. All of them know Millie could have killed his Lillipup if she wanted to. All of them want to avoid casualties, though. "Nice strategy. You've improved a lot since we first met."

"All right! I told you I'd kick your ass one day! Hope you didn't forget I said that," Hugh cheers, grinning from ear to ear. Simula waddles up and returns to his Poké Ball on his own.

"You definitely made good on that promise," Cheren says, pulling out a badge from his pocket. "Here you go- catch. You three deserve it."

Hugh fumbles the badge, but Millie jumps up and snaps it out of the air, handing it over to him. He wipes it on his jacket, pulls out his Badge Case with one hand, and carefully pins it inside.

"Good luck on your journey. I assume Bianca gave you all the necessary warnings, right?" Cheren says, recalling his Lillipup as he speaks. "Alder, too. I know you two know each other. Make sure you follow their advice."

"Yeah, yeah, I know! I'm making sure I'm strong enough. Don't worry! I know I can count on my team," Hugh says. Simula disappears back into his own Poké Ball. "C'mon, Millie! If we hurry, we can make it to Virbank before the night."

"No," Cheren snaps, causing Hugh to stop in his tracks. "I mean it, Hugh. Whatever you're thinking, don't. Bianca told you about the Team Plasma situation. I know she did. If we- the official Unova Pokémon League- are having this much trouble with them, do you really think you can come swooping in to save us?"

"That's not what I'm going to do! But I've gotta make sure that I can fight them when I need to," Hugh protests. "I'm not just going to stand by while they steal Pokémon and let them get away with it!"

Cheren pinches the bridge of his nose. "I'm not saying that you should. Can you listen? I don't want you to seek them out. I know you're going to seek them out, Hugh."

"Obviously-" Hugh starts.

"This is why Bianca told you about the actual danger! So you'll be careful on your journey! Not for you to get it in your head that you have to be a hero," Cheren says. "I want you to help, Hugh. I know you want to help as well. I know there's no way the League can clean this up on our own at this point, because Plasma's… I don't even know how they did it, but they suddenly went from ineffectual to this level of power almost overnight. So, we'll need the help of any trainers who are willing. But it needs to be a concentrated effort. Not you charging in and thinking you can be a one-man army."

Hugh crosses his arms. "Fine. I'm going to Virbank now. C'mon, Millie."

“Good luck,” Cheren says, but Hugh is already stalking off the field.

Sanford wakes up at a decent hour this time.

He knows it's a decent hour, because sunlight is streaming into the garage from under the main door. Looks like Christoff had opened it sometime after the others had gone back to sleep. Sanford's impressed that Christoff managed to open it without any help for a moment, because the three of them had needed Doc to hold the door up while one of the other two pushed the barrel under- and then he remembers that Christoff can levitate objects, and suddenly it's a lot less impressive.

Still, the levitation itself is impressive. Even if it’s from his freaky magic halo (okay, it isn't exactly magic, but it's close enough. Sanford’s not the tech guy, after all). So that's a point in Christoff's favour.

Sanford shuffles himself into a sitting position. Deimos cracks one eye open, rolls over, and latches onto him.

"Y'kno, you're way warmer with fur," Deimos mumbles, shoving his snout into Sanford's belly. Sanford chuckles, then attempts to disentangle himself from his partner. Deimos only latches on harder.

"Rise and shine, dumbass, we're not gettin' paid to sleep through the day," Sanford says, but Deimos does not move.

"'M mean, we ain't getting paid at all a'ymore," Deimos says, scooting the rest of his body up and into Sanford's lap. "'Less you count the, uh, money from fightin'- whatzit- trainers. Heh, we're paid for fights now."

"All the more reason to get the hell up," Sanford says, pushing Deimos away with both front paws. "Also, isn't that basically the same as what we were doing before?"

"Nah, it's completely different," Deimos says, begrudgingly sitting himself up. "Those were- we're paid to do shit that happens to involve fightin' a bunch of guys, y'know? This is, we're paid for the actual fight. If we win. When we win. It's the entertainment for 'em! Y'know, like that, that one show- Slaughter Time! That one."

"Yeah, okay, I get your point," Sanford says, scooting backwards until he's leaned up against the side of the shelf. He remembers the times Deimos had roped him into watching Slaughter Time together. It was the foremost game show in Nevada- well, it was a 'game show' by Nevadan standards, but it was essentially a televised gladiatorial arena. It was fun, but Sanford prefers getting out there and actually fighting instead of just watching someone else do it, you know? "I still think it's basically the same. It involves us fighting some guys, then getting paid. Anyways. You wanna go out and do exactly that?"

"Hell yeah," Deimos says, grinning. "Let's get food first, though."

Sanford nods in response, and the two of them get ready and hop off the shelf, noting that Doc is still asleep. At least he's sleeping properly, this time, even if he is sleeping on the floor next to his makeshift desk and not on the shelf with the rest of them.

Sanford ducks when he exits the garage. Deimos does not, but at least he doesn’t snag his radio antenna on the bottom of the door this time.

Christoff is perched on the barrel outside. He nods to Sanford and Deimos as they exit the building, and Sanford nods back.

"Hey, whaddya want for breakfast?" Deimos asks instead. Christoff's ears raise almost imperceptibly. "Doc's sleeping, so he'll just have to deal with whatever we bring back."

Sanford really doesn't know how his partner can be this comfortable around Christoff already. Of course, it's not that he doesn't trust the man himself, because he knows he needs to trust him if they are to work together. Still, he knows it'll take himself a bit of time before he considers Christoff as anything more than strictly an ally.

"Whatever you can find is fine," Christoff says.

"Nah, we ain't talkin' about scrounging for food or anything like that. We're in a city, y'know! And we got an easy way to make money." Deimos makes a gesture of dismissal. That's clearly not Christoff's concern, though.

"I'm aware we are in a city, but are you certain the shops will serve, er-" Christoff gestures vaguely- "Pokémon?"

"Uh, yeah, why wouldn't they? I mean, we can pay and all that, right?" Deimos asks, then adds- "Or we can trade some stuff if we don't have actual money. Remember that one bird we saw?"

"Never mind. I assumed Pokémon were the equivalent of animals in this world. I should have guessed that wasn't the case, though," Christoff says.

Sanford is surprised Christoff remembers a time when there were animals in Nevada, and more surprised that he apparently remembers what it was like with them around. To be fair, Sanford is fairly sure he, himself, was alive when there were still animals in Nevada, but he doesn't actually remember anything from that time. It doesn't matter, though. There are no more animals in Nevada, and he isn’t even in Nevada anymore.

"Yeah, you lost me when y’mentioned actual animals.” Deimos definitely wasn’t around when there were still animals in Nevada. “Dunno how that means we can't get service, but sure. By the way, I vote that burger place.”

Sanford rolls his eyes, but neither of the other two can see it behind his shades. "You always vote for the burger place."

"What can I say? I'm a simple guy. Y'can't ever go wrong with burgers." Deimos shrugs. "Not to mention, it's cheap as hell."

"If you recommend it, then I'll trust your judgement," Christoff says, much to Deimos's glee. "...Hold the lettuce, please."

"Right, we're on it," Sanford says, jokingly saluting him.



"Alright, right, Violet, use Headbutt!"

The crowd of local teenagers and Pokémon cheer as Deimos faces Violet— a Dunsparce— down. They are gathered in the south of Virbank, next to the docks and just outside the entrance to the industrial complex.

Deimos and Sanford had been heading to the restaurants, as planned, when the group of teens had flagged them down. At first, they'd declined the offer for a fight- honestly, they were still getting used to the idea that they could just say they didn't want to battle- but then someone had asked them if they were going to the restaurants, too, and "Hey, how about this? Loser pays for food. Deal?"

It was a deal.

Deimos jerks to the side as Violet surges forward, causing her to crash into the dirt where he stood just a second ago.

"Don't get killed, Dei!" Sanford yells, imitating the way the teenager on the other end of the battlefield commands Violet.

"Oh yeah, real helpful advice there," Deimos snarks back, drawing a few laughs from the gathered crowd. He dodges a tail swipe from the Dunsparce, then swings around to slam his heavy backpack into her side, winding her. Without missing a beat, he summons a thin vine from the ground, which twists itself around her tail and swings her into the dirt.

He'd figured out he could do that a day or two ago. With the help of Doc (and by that, he means that Doc had searched it up on the internet), he'd figured out it was just something all Pokémon of his species could do. Well, it was fun as hell to do.

"Alright, alright, you got us," the teenager says, holding up their hands in surrender. Violet groans from the spot where she is laying, and one of the Pidove who is watching flutters down to help her back up. "Uh, so, where are you going? I gotta, uh, hold up our deal."

"We're gettin' takeout from the burger place," Deimos says, jabbing his thumb in the direction of the McDucklett's down the street.

"Again," Sanford says.

"Oh, okay," the teenager says, taking out their wallet. "By the way, you guys were real strong there. Dunno if it's th' right time to bring it up, but, d'ya wanna, uh, join our team? We're gonna go an' take on Roxie real soon."

"I'm going to be battling her ace!" the Pidove who'd helped Violet earlier crows.

"I told you not to let it get to your head," Violet says, fixing the Pidove with an unamused stare.

"Lemme have this, lemme have this," the Pidove says.

"Sorry, we're already hired," Sanford says. The teenager looks a bit disappointed, and the Pidove does too, but Violet just gives them a sympathetic look.

"Didn't you just say we weren't getting paid anymore?" Deimos asks.

"Shaddap."



When Doc wakes up, Christoff is sitting on his milk crate and eating a burger.

"Good morning, 2B," Christoff says.

"Get your own chair," Doc says, dragging himself upright and taking a moment to find his balance, as usual. To Christoff's credit, he doesn't look the slightest bit put off.

"Oh hey, look who's awake!"

"Mornin', Doc."

And there's the other two. Deimos is perched on top of their metal shelf and Sanford stands near the door, staring outside with his arms crossed.

"We got food," Deimos says, jabbing his thumb in the direction of the makeshift plywood desk. Sure enough, there's a burger wrapped in cheery yellow paper sitting next to the laptop.

"Let me guess. You picked the place again?" Doc grabs the burger and sits on the floor next to his desk, because Christoff has stolen his chair. Of course Deimos picked the place; he's the one who keeps insisting they get fast food whenever it's an option, after all.

"Take a wild guess," Sanford says. Doc rolls his eyes.

"Anyways. I’ll be busy with the Pokédex today. And tracking Hank down,” Doc says. “You two, do whatever you want today. Don’t get killed. Now shoo.”

"I assume you'll want my help, though?" Christoff asks as Deimos and Sanford clear out of the garage.

"Why do you think I only told those two to go?"

"Fair enough."



Doc ends up clicking through each menu on the Pokédex to see what they do. Christoff is using the laptop to comb through the program they've been using to track Hank down.

Honestly, calling it a Pokédex isn't exactly accurate when he knows what it actually is. Maybe he should call it the Improbability Dex instead? Yeah, that sounds about right.

Goddamn overcomplicated Improbability Drives.

Either ways. Doc checks each menu. The Save menu leads to an actual video game-esque save menu which he does not want to screw around with, given the reality-altering nature of Improbability Drives. Options seems to change the visual theme of the Improbability Dex- it's already set to dark mode, which is good. Light mode is a travesty that should never have happened in the first place. Pokédex is, as expected, what a normal Pokédex menu would be. All the Pokémon entries are greyed out, though. Probably not registered yet.

The Pokémon menu, on the other hand, leads to the normal Improbability Drive interface. Well, no. The interface of a normal Improbability Drive was all in ASCII; the Improbability Dex's interface has fancy programmed buttons and neat little textboxes. He, Christoff, Deimos, and Sanford are all apparently registered to the database already, because their respective information is being shown on the System Monitor that currently takes up the screen.

To any observer from beyond the fourth wall, said UI would look suspiciously like the Pokémon summary screens from Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, although the information displayed is a bit different (no, really, what does INTEGRITY really mean? And STATUS: OBSERVING DRIVE is a bit on the nose, but… yeah, good enough. Not to mention, Pokémon have six stats, not three, and none of those six stats are STR, AGL, or INT).

However, Doc isn't an observer from beyond the fourth wall. Doc does not notice this connection, because it is not a connection that can be drawn from his position.

Instead, Doc thinks that the fancy UI is a lot more annoying to read than the ASCII terminals a normal Improbability Drive would have. It’s a problem, because, again, Improbability Drives could alter reality itself. He doesn’t want to wrangle the UI while figuring out the full scope of this thing’s functionality, because there’s a good chance he’ll screw things up far worse than he might otherwise.

He wonders if he can plug the Dex into his laptop and take it from there, instead of trying to navigate these menus that are clearly designed for aesthetics rather than functionality.

Doc ends up sorting through the tangle of wires he keeps behind the plywood desk and comparing each plug to the ports on the Improbability Dex. Christoff continues working, paying no heed to his growing frustration.

"I don't have the right wire," Doc grumbles.

"Where, then, can we find more wires?" Christoff asks, finally looking up. "Ah- I think I've found a solution to your troubles with tracking Wimbleton down. You said you could only cover the area of this city with the laptop's built-in wireless, right? It won't be as efficient, but we should be able to cover a much larger radius if we hook the radio up. I've made the necessary alterations to the program already."

"Figures that that’d be the case. We've been too busy using the radio to listen in on Plasma's communications for me to try that out. Whatever, at least it's fixed now," Doc grumbles. "Go ask Deimos for the radio when he gets back. As for wires, there's an industrial complex to the south. It's not like they care what happens to their trash. With luck, I'll find something I can use to plug this thing in to my laptop."

"Using discarded wires may be hazardous," Christoff says, taken aback.

Doc snorts.

"I dissented a long time ago, and I've been hiding ever since. If I expect everything to be new and shiny before I even think of using it, I'd be long dead by now. You learn to take what you can get. If the wire is broken or exposed or anything like that, I can just fix it."

Christoff fixes him with a stare. "I also know how to fix wires, but we're currently living in a city. You have a source of income- the other two told me as much- so we shouldn't need to run the risk of faulty insulation.”

"Those shops are damn expensive here," Doc says. "So no, I'm going dumpster diving anyway."

"Fine," Christoff says. "Should I accompany you?"

"Go ahead. I'm not stopping you."

“You are a difficult man to talk to, 2B.”

“And so I’ve heard.”



The Virbank Complex's garbage dump is right by the sea.

So, instead of dealing with the smell of industrial waste alone, they have to deal with the smell of industrial waste and the salty tang of the seaside. Turns out the sea has a scent. Who would've thought? Doc definitely didn't, because Nevada had no seas. Nor did it have oceans. It was a damn desert wasteland, and the only sort of beach anyone would ever see was on those shitty gift shop postcards.

(Where did they even get the photos for those postcards, anyway?)

With that all in mind, Doc is very glad he has his mask.

He slides himself down from the rim of the dumpster he is digging through, a tangle of wires in hand. Beside him, Christoff is standing guard over the laptop, the radio, and the Improbability Dex.

A little grey dove Pokémon comes flying down to perch on the lid of a nearby dumpster, tilting its head at them in curiosity. Doc grabs the Improbability Dex and starts trying different wires, untangling them as he goes.

The bird flutters off the dumpster and onto a stack of boxes, leaning over to get a closer look at what Doc is doing. Nosy bastard.

The Improbability Dex beeps, drawing Christoff's attention and causing the bird to hop into the air in surprise. What did it do this time? Doc checks the screen, on which a little wireframe model of the bird is slowly being filled in.

Pidove, the fancy little text boxes read, the Tiny Pigeon Pokémon. And then, across the bottom of the screen, under what is apparently a little description of the species, Registered to user: 2BDamned.

"The hell does that mean?" Doc asks, but the damn device does not respond.

"What happened?" Christoff asks, walking over to peek at the device as well.

The bird flutters off from its perch, its curiosity apparently satisfied. Good; Doc didn't want it to come any closer and possibly ask questions.

"If I knew, would I be asking?" Doc grumbles, hitting the return key on the Dex's little keypad. That takes him back to the main menu, and he immediately enters the Improbability Drive menu and finds his own information box. It displays the same overly-intrusive information as usual. Nothing new, though.

The Pokédex menu does not reveal any other information, either, other than showing that the Pidove entry is now filled in with the same 'registered to user' message as before. "Damnit. I'll figure out what happened when I can hook this thing up to the laptop, then."

"Makes sense. Trial and error is not an approach I would recommend in this situation," Christoff says.

"As if we haven't been opening all the menus to find out what they do."

"For clarification, you have been opening all the menus to find out what they do. I have not."

"Didn't you say you didn't want to argue about semantics?"

“Well, yes, but that was about a different situation than this.”

Doc confirms the rest of the cables do not fit the Improbability Dex's ports, puts the device down, and sighs before he hoists himself back up to continue digging through the dumpster.

Goddamn Improbability Drives.

[Doc]
Pidove lv. 10 ♀
Big Pecks: Protects the Pokémon from Defense-lowering attacks.



There is a commotion on the streets.

Naturally, Sanford and Deimos have to check it out.

"Uh," Deimos says, attempting to peer around the crowd gathered at the city's north gate. Sanford tries as well, decides it's no use, and starts weaving his way around people's legs.

Okay, he's starting to get why Deimos was so annoyed that he was the shortest of them all (back in Nevada, that is).

They make it to the front of the crowd. The commotion is apparently about… a movie?

"Huh," Sanford says, staring at the massive banner that is hung on the city gate. It looks like a cheesy superhero flick. Something about a Riolu-man (and his partner, who is, in fact, a Riolu). "Premiering… today?"

"Oh yeah, this city's got the movie studio! Guess it was shot right here, huh," Deimos says, coming up to stand beside Sanford. "According to what I can hear, some local bigshot's starring in it. Pro'lly why there's, uh, so many people here."

"Should we check it out?" Sanford asks.

"Hell yeah. We better get popcorn while we're at it." Typical Deimos, always concerned about food.

"Even if we don't end up watching the thing?"

"Hey, it's popcorn! Movie or not, I'm not passing up snacks!"



They end up watching the movie.

It was exactly as terrible as Sanford expected. It was a fun sort of terrible, though, the sort of terrible that made you want to watch it again just to laugh at the trainwreck it was. They'd found out that the lead actor was the local Gym Leader's (man, that's such a stupid-sounding title) father and a respected captain, which explained the general excitement at the gates earlier. Too bad he was a terrible actor.

Also, Deimos ate most of the popcorn.

The sun is still high in the sky when they emerge from the theatre building and into the bustling main square of the movie studio. There is a cheering crowd gathered around one of the other buildings, and loud, amped music blasts through the air.

Deimos squints at the sudden light and noise. "Well, that was absolute shit."

"C'mon, don't think I didn't see you laughing for half of it," Sanford says, elbowing his partner with a grin.

"Oh yeah? Who nearly choked on his popcorn when that guy fell flat on his face?"

"Yeah, and you took that chance to eat the rest of it. Still can't believe they kept that in the final thing, though."

"Well, I mean, that was some of the least unrealistic shit in the entire movie, at least. Seriously, who pauses in the middle of a fight to yell about their plan? And half of those scenes- you can tell they're aiming way off in the wrong direction. It ain't just shitty aim, they're aiming in the wrong direction entirely."

Deimos continues to rant about the inaccuracies of the movie. Deimos likes to rant about a lot of things, actually, and Sanford thinks it’s great. He’s certainly learned quite a bit about the technological side of their job from Deimos’s rants alone. Even though this particular rant is about fighting, a subject they’re both well versed in, Sanford doesn’t mind at all.

They jerk to the side to avoid colliding with a pedestrian. Wait, no- Sanford stares at their retreating back, noting the orange hair and full black uniform. Are they from Plasma? He and Deimos share a glance, an unspoken agreement to put their guards back up.

Still, it doesn't mean they can't continue to enjoy the day. After all, they'd once taken a detour in the middle of a mission to go shopping. Sanford still has absolutely no regrets about that particular decision.

So, he points to the gathered crowd. "Hey, you want to check out what's going on over there?"

"Hey, might as well."

They check it out.

It's a… concert, apparently, and the source of the loud music blaring through the street. Sanford pushes to the front of the crowd, nearly getting his tail stepped on more than once. There is a portable stage set up, on which a three-man band is jamming out. There is a bald man in a leather jacket on drums, a tall woman strumming a guitar, and a white-haired punk girl screeching out vocals, her bass guitar slung on her back.

image0.png


"Oh hey, isn't that the-" Sanford has to suppress a snicker at the ridiculous title- "Gym Leader?"

"What?" Deimos tilts his head, gesturing that he can't hear. Sanford pulls his headphones down for him, drawing a 'hey' and a playful punch to the shoulder.

"Are you seriously going to wear those in the middle of a concert?" Sanford asks with a grin. "But yeah, that's the Gym Leader. Recognize her from the lecture Doc gave us on this town. The authorities 'round here sure are a lot more fun than Nexus or the A.A.H.W., huh?"

"Pretty sure any authorities are better than them," Deimos snarks. "Hey, the music's pretty good."

"Better than at Club M?"

"Nah, can't beat, uh, whatshisname- Cheshyre. Still great, though!"

Despite the general excitement, there is an air of tension at the concert. Not among the crowd, of course, who just look like they are having the time of their lives. The three performers, though, are a little sloppy in their music, as if they are distracted by something.

Sanford is pretty sure he recognizes why, given the probably-a-Plasma-grunt that they passed just minutes earlier. Now that he's paying attention, too, there are some Pokemon- interspersed with the crowd, or standing (and in the one Crobat's case, flying) nearby the stage on high alert.

The authorities around here actually give a shit, huh?

Yeah, definitely better than Nexus or the Agency ever were.

Some time passes. Sanford and Deimos dance together and cheer along with the rest of the crowd, even when they notice the few possible Plasma members who walk past. They'll tell Doc about it when they return.

"Hey, y'think this counts as a date yet?" Deimos suddenly asks.

"Well- now that you mention it, hell yeah," Sanford replies. "It's a date if we both agree on it!"

"When'd I ever say I agreed on it?" Deimos jokes, the little shit.

Sanford smacks him with his tail. "You're the one who asked! Hey, it's way better than most of our previous dates, at least."

"Yeah, can't believe we ain't in the middle of a warzone, huh?" Deimos grins. "Actually goin' to the movies and a concert, who would've ever thought? Actually doin' cliche shit for once. Y'know, I still think saving each other's asses in a fight is way more romantic."

"You're right on that, but we could've gone to the movies already a while ago. But, hey, it's not my fault we didn't check the theatre when we were still in Nevada Central," Sanford says. Now it's Deimos's turn to smack him.

"They were only showin' Happiness Apotheosis over there-"

"And you didn't want me to see you cry, is that it?"

"Oh, you little-" Still, even though he says that, Deimos is the first to burst out laughing. Sanford soon joins him; they move away from the crowd, just a bit, to avoid getting stepped on.

"Aw man," Sanford says, when he catches his breath again.

"Man," Deimos agrees. "Whaddya wanna do now? Uh, we headin' back for the rest of the concert, or you think we should be gettin' food now?"

"Well, since we're doing every cliche thing today, we've got to go out for a romantic dinner now, don't we?" Sanford asks.

"Dunno if that'll work. I mean, how romantic does takeout sound, anyway?"

"And who keeps asking for takeout again?"

"Hey!"
image0.png

[HANK]
N/A​
image0.png

[DEIMOS]
Snivy​
image1.png

[SANFORD]
Purrloin​
image0.png

[2BDAMNED]
Mareep​
image0.png

[CHRISTOFF]
Patrat​
image0.png

[TRICKY]
N/A​
[BOXED]
N/A​
[BOXED]
N/A​
[BOXED]
N/A​
[BOXED]
Pidove​
[BOXED]
N/A​
[BOXED]
N/A​

local aroace fails horribly at writing romance, more at 10
look those two deserve to go on a date and i figured, hey, why not use that as an excuse to slap in the pokestar studio detour? look guys i swear i'm following the plot of the game!!!! /j
god on a serious note tho, i really hope that worked. i don't know how to write ships in general
like this is genuinely my first time writing anything about a ship at all.

btw millie wasn't meant to be a recurring character i kinda originally used her as an excuse to make reference to the floccesy plotline and also, like, give hugh an excuse to run into everyone. but oh well it makes sense
also explained how hugh was able to beat cheren so fast, he got an evolved 'mon already, yknow?

also i agree with doc. goddamn overcomplicated improbability drives.
er, speaking of goddamn overcomplicated improbability drives- i hope that part was not too confusing? i was trying to write it so that you don't need any prior madcom knowledge to get a general grasp of wtf is going on with the improbability dex. please tell me what you think, it would be really helpful!
 
Last edited:

Anya Homura

Kanto League Champion
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
391
Caught
Jul 5, 2019
Messages
154
Location
Phasing in and out of reality everywhere
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
she/he/they
Pokémon Type
  1. Normal
  2. Clever
happy belated madness day!

lmaooooo i dunno about christoff but doc ain't that boring! i mean did you see the level of snark he usually has
point made, and then proven by the focus segments during this chapter!

it's fun to see hugh, millie, and simula have their adventure in (slightly behind) parallel to the madcom characters. they have more knowledge about the world they live in, but also rather different challenges than our main folks (such as. hugh being a fucking moron of a teenager. plz kiddo i know you've got Issues and Rage but you are also like. 15)

as a fellow aroace, i think the date scenes were fun! granted, i am also aroace so my judgment may be off /lh seriously tho, this was good for your first real time writing a romantic ship doing romantic ship things!

personally, i'm trying to figure out where in madcom canon the STR, AGL, and INT stats come from. I feel like they may have been seen during that snippet in 6.5 where the auditor fucks with hank's 'stats', but they're just as likely to come from either of the project nexus games, as it were. one of life's great mysteries, i guess.
 

Spectacles

Rule Maker
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
139
Caught
Jun 24, 2019
Messages
929
Location
Pennsylvania
Nature
Jolly
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
It hides deep inside caves where no light ever reaches it and remains virtually motionless there. ~Pokemon Crystal, entry #52
I thought the date was well done! :) There are definitely challenges of writing characters of different gender identities/sexual orientations than one's own, but exploring it can only make you better as a writer! This coming from a plain vanilla cishet who is trying to be actively consious of diversity in my writing :)
 

Alan900900900

Lurker extraordinaire
Globetrotter
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
183
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
379
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
  1. Dark
  2. Ice
Pokédex Entry
This Pokemon is a master of having too many projects at the same time. Also, Pikablu.
Yo??? As a long time Madness Combat fan, this is honestly such a goddamn cool run?????

I love how you give everyone custom portraits and art, meld the lore of both MC and Pokemon together nicely, and even justify the castlocke rules in-universe from the look of things. It's just. Wow.

I already love the dynamics between the characters, especially the stuff you're putting in for the ones that haven't really ever interacted in canon? What I'm saying is, I'm living for Jeb and 2BD's dynamic already. Can't wait until the party's all filled up!

ALSO, I'm loving the nods to stuff from the community / more obscure details, like Happiness Combat and Club M! Really shows that you know your stuff ;)
personally, i'm trying to figure out where in madcom canon the STR, AGL, and INT stats come from.
Also re: this, I think those are the stats from the magnification chamber in MC9?
 
OP
aegagrusScholarship

aegagrusScholarship

Problems and Issues Haver
Artist
Writer
Godfather
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
4946
Caught
Sep 9, 2021
Messages
485
Location
In the wrong fandom.
Nature
Hasty
Pronouns
all of them
Pokémon Type
  1. Bug
  2. Dark
Pokédex Entry
This Pokémon craves attention and recognition, but becomes an absolute mess if given either. Often seen starting multiple projects and finishing none.
happy belated madness day!


point made, and then proven by the focus segments during this chapter!

it's fun to see hugh, millie, and simula have their adventure in (slightly behind) parallel to the madcom characters. they have more knowledge about the world they live in, but also rather different challenges than our main folks (such as. hugh being a fucking moron of a teenager. plz kiddo i know you've got Issues and Rage but you are also like. 15)

as a fellow aroace, i think the date scenes were fun! granted, i am also aroace so my judgment may be off /lh seriously tho, this was good for your first real time writing a romantic ship doing romantic ship things!

personally, i'm trying to figure out where in madcom canon the STR, AGL, and INT stats come from. I feel like they may have been seen during that snippet in 6.5 where the auditor fucks with hank's 'stats', but they're just as likely to come from either of the project nexus games, as it were. one of life's great mysteries, i guess.
hugh is so fun to write. he's trying so hard but he's just a dingus (affectionate)
thanks though! glad the date worked. also ayyyy aroace squad

I thought the date was well done! :) There are definitely challenges of writing characters of different gender identities/sexual orientations than one's own, but exploring it can only make you better as a writer! This coming from a plain vanilla cishet who is trying to be actively consious of diversity in my writing :)
oh thank fuck it worked and thank you for the encouragement! and, yeah, it's definitely a challenge but eh, first time wasn't too bad

Yo??? As a long time Madness Combat fan, this is honestly such a goddamn cool run?????

I love how you give everyone custom portraits and art, meld the lore of both MC and Pokemon together nicely, and even justify the castlocke rules in-universe from the look of things. It's just. Wow.

I already love the dynamics between the characters, especially the stuff you're putting in for the ones that haven't really ever interacted in canon? What I'm saying is, I'm living for Jeb and 2BD's dynamic already. Can't wait until the party's all filled up!

ALSO, I'm loving the nods to stuff from the community / more obscure details, like Happiness Combat and Club M! Really shows that you know your stuff ;)
personally, i'm trying to figure out where in madcom canon the STR, AGL, and INT stats come from. I feel like they may have been seen during that snippet in 6.5 where the auditor fucks with hank's 'stats', but they're just as likely to come from either of the project nexus games, as it were. one of life's great mysteries, i guess.
Also re: this, I think those are the stats from the magnification chamber in MC9?
WAH thank you!!! i actually added the portraits later on lmao
god i have so many plans for the lore. i have All The Plans.
and yeah, i had a surprising amount of fun writing jeb and doc. thought it'd be a bit difficult but nah, it turned out great
glad someone caught the community stuff!! i honestly should've mentioned locknar as well but. alas

Also re: this, I think those are the stats from the magnification chamber in MC9?
oh shit! you're right, now that you bring it up! thanks for pointing that out, i never would've remembered on my own.
re: stats
both of you are right, actually
was using the part in 6.5 when audi fucked with the agents' stats as a direct reference, but i also remembered that the magnification chamber had them as well

HI GUYS i'm not dead, i swear, i've just been addicted to project nexus!!! goddamn it's so fun. even if i suck at it and everyone dies a lot, but that's a-ok
also, nexus aside, this particular chapter is just stupidly long tbh

special thanks to the beta readers btw
@Vivace for the first scene
@Flop disc for the doc POV segment

"So, what was that about saving each others' asses being more romantic?"

"Yeah, yeah, I still stand by my point!"

"Then prove it, chucklehead!"

"I'm gettin' to it!"

A Poké Ball flies for Sanford, and he bats it aside with his hook. According to what Doc said, Pokémon are supposed to be able to break out easily if they don't want to be captured, but Sanford really doesn't feel like testing that right now. Not to mention, the time it'll take for him to break out is time that can be better spent fighting.

Plasma were smart this time. Sanford honestly doesn't like it when his enemies are being smart. It makes his job all that much harder.

They're cornered in one of the stairwells off the side of the myriad Virbank bridges that lead down to sea level. It's close enough to the movie studio's gate that two Plasma grunts and three Herdier- are those the dogs from last night!?- can force them into position, far enough from the gate that no one will notice the initial struggle nor the ongoing fight, and just the right terrain for the steps to trip them up and force them to fight a literal uphill battle.

A Herdier snarls defiance and launches into a lunge so powerful a shockwave forms around it. Sanford barely manages to duck in time; wind from the dog's momentum whips across his fur. He whirls around and whips his hook at it, embedding the point in the dog's lower back- and then he pulls.

The hook rips out, taking a chunk of the dog's back with it. The dog falls backwards, howling so loudly Sanford's ears ring, and he helps it on its way down with a shove.

As for Deimos- he's not exactly getting to it, but Sanford can't fault him for that. He's busy dealing with the other two dogs and other grunt, who falls as a vine yanks their leg out from under them.

Sanford jerks out of the way of another Poké Ball, leaping at the grunt who threw it and latching on to their chest with his claws. He twists to the side as they bring both hands to grab him, stabbing his hook into their shoulder- they got his tail- he rips out the hook, now slick with blood, and they clutch their shoulder and drop him, and he barely sticks his landing-

One of the Herdier has Deimos's backpack in its jaws; it's clear it was trying to bite him, but the backpack was in the way. Deimos attempts to flip it over his head but it is too heavy for him, and the other dog's charge is only barely interrupted by a vine that bursts from the ground and snares its back leg.

Sanford ducks under a kick from the grunt he is fighting. They swear, citing something about them needing more Pokémon, that they aren't supposed to be a frontline combatant, and then they swear again when Sanford drives his hook into their foot.

Deimos hisses, scratching at the Herdier that refuses to let him go. Sanford overbalances the grunt he is fighting (there is a crack when they hit the ground) and rushes to support his partner; he'll retrieve his hook in a second.

The other Herdier tugs hard enough to break the vine snaring its foot, but Sanford intercepts it, wincing when its teeth sink into his arm- the second grunt tosses a Poké Ball- there is a muffled yelp, more of surprise than anything, but at least that means the Poké Ball didn't hit Deimos-

There is a burst of light from behind Sanford. He does not turn to look, instead driving his claws into the face of the dog he is fighting. It lets go of him, and he takes the opportunity to claw out its eye. Blood splashes onto his teashades.

The light intensifies further, and further- then— like a switch was flipped— it stops.

The other Herdier goes flying, a scrap of fabric clutched in its jaws. The Plasma grunt's jaw drops.

Deimos cackles.
image0.png

Something shifts, and then there is a storm of glowing green leaves that swirl through the air and launch themselves at the two dogs and the grunt, drawing sprays of blood wherever they hit. Sanford hits the floor as a vine bursts from the ground, loops around the Herdier he was fighting, and throws it into the stairway railing.

Sanford finally looks back, and Deimos has changed. He's taller, for one, and longer, too, with jagged ivy-like leaves running down his back. There is a trickle of blood from over his shoulder, probably from the Herdier's fangs, but he doesn't seem to notice.

Sanford never thought he'd see the day when Deimos was taller than him. Unfortunately, it's still not by a lot, but at least it's noticeable.

"Told you I was gettin' to it," Deimos says smugly.

Sanford rolls his eyes even though he knows his partner can't see it, getting back to his feet and dusting himself off. "Did you need to show off so much, though?"

"Y'know you love it," Deimos laughs, but sobers up quick. "Hell. Plasma caught us."

"It must've been the dogs. We let some of them get away last night, remember?" Sanford says, glancing at the three dead Herdier. "We need to tell Doc. And Christoff."

"Yeah," Deimos says.



When Sanford and Deimos finally return, Doc greets them with all his usual enthusiasm.

Which is, to say, absolutely none at all.

"Took you long enough," he says, not looking up from his laptop. The Improbability Dex is currently plugged in- he'd finally found a wire that worked.

That's as far as he got, though, because the Improbability Dex still stubbornly displays its fancy, obtuse UI, even when he's connected it to his laptop and used the laptop screen as the display instead. He's not surprised. Improbability Drives are notoriously annoying to work with.

"Aw, not even a welcome back?" Sanford asks, his voice more strained than usual.

"Grumpy as ever. Uh, look, I think we got bad news," Deimos says with an urgency that Doc doesn't expect.

Doc finally turns around in his seat.

Deimos is different. He's evolved into a- Servine, the internet says (hey, Doc has his laptop, and it's not like opening an internet browser is going to make the Improbability Dex any more difficult to handle. Or maybe it will, because it's an Improbability Drive). He's even taller than Sanford, now, even if it is only by a little bit.

Other than that, they look... well, to put it bluntly, they look like shit. The two of them are covered in minor wounds, and there is blood dried in Sanford's fur, although Doc can't tell if it's his or not. They didn't even remember to get dinner, which is actually concerning, given that Deimos normally would never forget food-related matters.

Doc still can't resist snarking. "Surprising. You, concerned about bad news?"

"Hey, what's that supposed to mean?" Deimos complains.

"Well, I'd be surprised, too, if I wasn't there," Sanford says.

"Oh, now you're on my ass as well? I see how it is. And I thought we really had something special, huh," Deimos says. Sanford stifles a chuckle.

Christoff looks ready to interject, but Doc beats him to it. "Are you going to tell us the damn news, or are you just going to be dumbasses?"

"Sorry," Sanford says.

"Whatever. Let me guess, someone tried to kill you," Doc says.

"Yeah, how'd you tell?" Deimos snorts. "Yeah, we got jumped outside the, uh, movie studio. Plasma. Definitely after our asses for the shit we pulled in Aspertia."

"Remember the dogs we fought last night? It turns out they were a patrol," Sanford says. "I bet the ones we fought were the same ones who ran off last night."

"Oh yeah, and we saw Plasma around the studio when we were there. Before we left and got jumped, I mean," Deimos says. Doc sits up a little straighter; Deimos quickly forges on before he can say anything- "Don't yell at us for not comin' back, by the way! We didn't know it was urgent."

"We figured we'd pay attention to what they were doing instead of panicking and running back," Sanford clarifies.

"And, y'know, have some fun while we're at it," Deimos says.

"That's… a fair assessment, given what you described," Christoff says.

"Yeah. Then we got jumped," Deimos says.

"Damnit," Doc grumbles. "Deimos. Has Plasma changed their encryption codes yet? If not, we better figure out what the hell they're planning right now."

"Uh, I dunno yet," Deimos says. He plops his backpack on the floor in front of himself, digs out his radio, then hurriedly tunes the radio to the correct frequency. There is only static and the garbled noise of an encrypted transmission.

“Hell,” Doc groans.

“Guess they did,” Deimos says. He says it nonchalantly, but his eyes are wide and he grips the radio with enough force for his claws to score shallow lines in the plastic case.

“I suppose it was inevitable,” Christoff says, his tail lashing in agitation.

“They probably changed all their encryption codes by now, then,” Doc agrees. “That will be a problem. Whatever. I guess we need to run.”

“Already?” Christoff asks.

“We have no idea what Plasma’s planning, other than the fact they’re in the damn city. So, yes. I don’t know about you, but I’m not sticking around to find out what the hell they’re doing,” Doc says.

"Yeah, figures," Sanford says, shrugging.

Christoff nods. "Ah, better safe than sorry. I agree, then."

"Man, sucks we don't have a car this time," Deimos says.

"At least we don't have as much stuff this time, so we don't need a car to move it," Sanford shrugs. "Yeah, still sucks though."

"We're leaving as soon as possible," Doc says, slamming the laptop shut and unplugging the Improbability Dex. "Let's go."



"Hey, did we get everything we need?"

Jebediah Christoff realizes that he is not used to moving. Not like this, anyway.

There has never been a time where he had to worry about packing up and leaving at the drop of a hat.

He'd lived in Nexus City when he still worked for Nexus, and though his apartment had not been the pinnacle of luxury, the safety of its location had never been a concern. Even when he'd fled the city, it had been planned for months beforehand; he'd packed everything up, discarded what he didn't need, and had everything ready to move long before he'd stormed the Science Tower.

His time in the Agency Against Hank Wimbleton had been the same. Lodgings were not exactly great, but they had been good enough, and not once did he ever worry that he would have to leave on a whim. Not once had he worried that he would have nowhere to return to, or that he would return and find out that he had to run with no time to prepare.

Well, there is a first time for everything.

Jeb looks around at the garage that will no longer be home base. The makeshift plywood desk has been disassembled, and the individual planks lie strewn around the floor. 2BDamned's milk crate chair has been shoved into a corner.

Deimos is carrying all their electronics in his backpack, and to his credit, he doesn't seem the least bit bothered by the weight. 2BDamned has a coil of wires slung over himself like a sash- it's not all the wires they have, but he is carrying all of the important ones. The other wires have been left under the milk crate.

"There's nothing else to bring," 2BDamned says. "Let's go."

They step out of their former base and into the deep red sunset. Jeb closes the corrugated metal door for the final time.

They flee.


The night begins with the sound of shattering glass.

No, that's not right.

The night begins with the sound of shattering ice.

There is a pained cry, the sound of barking, a series of shouted orders, and, of all things, the strum of a guitar.

Black-clothed Plasma grunts dash through the streets of Virbank or stand in position alongside their Pokémon partners.

A bald man- the drummer of Roxie's band and one of the Virbank Gym's official trainers- comes roaring up the streets on his motorcycle, his Weezing floating at top speed behind him. Just behind them is a Stoutland carrying two people, both dressed in the Virbank Complex uniform. A handful of the Pokémon living in the Virbank Complex bring up the rear.

"When'd they recruit so many people?" the Weezing gripes as it is set upon by a nearby Herdier and Unfezant. The biker sends out a Muk, who joins the Weezing in fighting Plasma off.

"Don't know, don't care," the biker says, tossing a X Defend to the Weezing, whose secondary head catches it. "Hey! You guys! Roxie's got her hands full retakin' the docks and Jo's out at Pokéstar, so it's our job to make sure no more Plasma can get into this town over here! You two, break through their lines an' hit 'em at their source. The rest of you 'mon, keep Plasma busy with us!"

"Got it," one of the Virbank Complex workers says, and the Stoutland takes off again.

"Right!" a Growlithe barks, then cloaks herself in flame and launches into the battle.



Doc is used to being in control.

It's part of his job description, after all. Mission control. He has to keep the rest of his team alive, and to do so, he needs knowledge. Knowledge of their enemies, knowledge of their own capabilities, of battlefields and supplies and how to stay alive, how to patch them up when they don't stay alive...

With that kind of knowledge, it's hard for him not to be in control of any given situation.

Right now, Doc is absolutely not in control.

None of them are in control, but at least Doc knows that Deimos and Sanford are used to working off unforeseen situations in the field (even if they usually had a good idea of what they were going up against, courtesy of who else but him). He is also certain that Christoff is used to it too- he wouldn't be alive otherwise, not as the freelance fighter that he is.

Doc is not Sanford, or Deimos, or Christoff. Doc is not a one-man army (or a two-man army, as it were). Doc has built his entire life off knowing more than his enemies, because his entire life was spent in Nevada, and you really could never have too many advantages in Nevada.

Blood shines on the asphalt under dim yellow streetlights. The smell of rust is muffled through Doc's mask, but it is strong enough to still be noticeable.

They're fighting in pretty tight conditions. The street is fairly narrow, leaving little room to manoeuvre. Their opponents crowd around them, and the bodies of fallen opponents contribute to the lack of space as well.

One of the two Plasma grunts they are currently fighting whips a Poké Ball in Sanford's direction; Doc channels electricity from wherever it is that a puffy little electric sheep channels electricity and blasts it out of the air. Then he turns his lightning on the grunt.

They'd left too late. They'd planned to head north, cut through the movie studio, and go on from there, but Plasma's big plan was apparently an attack on the city, and Doc and his allies had barely made it two blocks east and one block north from their base before Plasma started streaming in.

Four enemies left. Christoff stabs a Purrloin, then flings it over his shoulder. Three.

The initial wave of Plasma was really just a big ball of grunts and Pokémon- probably intended to establish a foothold in the city before any defenders could get organized and fight back. After that, there was- and still is- a steady trickle of about four Pokémon and a grunt every dozen seconds or so. It's these reinforcements that Doc and his allies are trying to fight past, since they all had enough sense (yes, even Deimos did) not to engage the frankly massive first wave-

Doc yanks himself out of the way of an oncoming Patrat. The edge of his hoof catches on the uneven surface of the asphalt, overbalancing his already precarious balance. The rodent's jaws close on empty air. Doc hits the ground, his wool thankfully absorbing most of the impact, and scrambles back upright as Deimos finishes the Patrat off. Two left.

Plasma's forces consist mostly of Lillipup, Patrat, and Purrloin, a ridiculous number of Pidove as aerial forces, as well as uncannily-identical orange-haired grunts. Most of the Pokémon are unevolved. Still, there are just enough evolved Pokémon to put Doc on edge; he's not sure how much of a fight they might be able to put up, especially given the fact that out of his three allies, only Deimos has reached his second stage. Doc knows that Sanford and Christoff are skilled enough to make up for it, but there is a point where sheer overwhelming power becomes a factor in the outcome of a fight, after all.

Christoff beheads an unfortunate Lillipup with a single swipe of the binary sword, and blood splashes through the air. Doc wipes it off his goggles as Christoff sends the sword flying into the shoulder of the other Plasma grunt, who is readying an- X Attack, if Doc isn't mistaken, but they have no more Pokémon to use it on. The momentum knocks them backwards. They shriek. Two down.

They need to get moving now, but to where? Doc scans his surroundings, trying to discern some plan that Plasma is following, some way for him to regain an informational advantage, but all there is is chaos.

No, no. There's always something.

There's a pattern to Plasma's movements, even if the grunts and Pokémon in their immediate vicinity are engaged in an all-out battle right now. There has to be, but he just can't figure it out yet. Raiders back in Nevada might engage in random fighting, but an organization such as Plasma has to have some goal, especially for a concentrated assault such as this.

Sanford leaps for the remaining Tranquill diving for him, meeting it halfway, driving his hook through its wing, and- the two of them hit the ground sideways. Something snaps when they do.

Doc starts from the beginning. They, themselves, are in the north and getting intercepted by Plasma. That makes sense; Sanford and Deimos had been at the movie studio when they'd seen (seen is an understatement, but Doc is going to take a page out of Christoff's book and not argue semantics this time) Plasma being unusually aggressive, and the movie studio is in the north, after all.

Here comes another squad of Plasma- one grunt and their six Pokémon, all members of the Purrloin line.

Deimos steps in with an audible snarl to cover for his partner, who rips his hook out of the Tranquill's wing (and the Tranquill's wing off with it) and throws the rest of the bird at an advancing Liepard. There is blood dripping down Sanford's side. Doc isn't sure how much of that is the bird's.

So, that means their original plan of going north isn't likely to work, not when they are this late to flee. Plasma most definitely has steady reinforcements coming from that direction, and the attack in the movie studio showed that they were searching for Deimos and Sanford, at the very least.

The other Liepard, Purrloin, and their commanding grunt attempt to flank the group, but the next cat does not even have the chance to unsheathe its claws before it is bisected by Christoff.

Of course, Doc is used to being hunted. The Agency Against Hank Wimbleton wasn't called that for no reason, after all, and as allies of Hank's, of course the Agency would have been searching for them as well. So, Plasma searching for them isn't exactly new.

Doc dodges the grunt's clumsy grab for his tail, whips around, grabs the grunt's arm before they are able to recover, and channels lightning through himself. The stench of burning flesh seeps through his mask.

There are two entrances to the city. If Plasma were searching for them, there should be a force of grunts and Pokemon coming from behind, once they'd been spotted and engaged in this battle.

Christoff gestures, and the binary sword flies through the air, impaling another Liepard and slashing the head clean off the third; as for himself, he yanks himself out of the way of the Purrloin's slash, grabbing its arm and flipping it over his head and into the ground.

There is no pincer attack, though. That tells Doc two things, one much more likely than the other: either Plasma has no reinforcements from the west (unlikely, as they have a major presence in Aspertia, and it'd be strange for them not to attack from that direction as a result), or Plasma's goal is not only tracking him and his allies down, but something else as well, and it's to this second goal that their west gate reinforcements are headed.

A Pidove flying overhead is pulled out of the sky by a whiplike vine, and Deimos follows it up by crushing the bird's head with his heavy backpack. Unusually, Sanford is already flagging, moving a little slower than he usually does as he grabs the final Purrloin by its tail, swinging it straight into his hook.

It's incredibly unlikely that Plasma is not attacking the city through the west entrance, so Doc has to assume that they have a second goal.

"Head southeast," Doc says, when no other Plasma forces appear. The other three take a moment to breathe, as well, before setting off across the street.

They make it to the intersection before a Watchog intercepts them. It jerks to the side to dodge a swipe of Christoff's binary sword; he hops backwards to dodge its own headbutt, then swings the sword again, carving a chunk out of its side. It hangs on just long enough for its eyes and stripes to flash bright white, blinding everyone for a moment.

Shit. So. Escape plans.

Sanford is tackled straight to the ground by a Lillipup. Squinting through the spots that dance across his vision, Doc launches a bolt of lightning that blasts the dog backwards and into a wall, smoke rising from its fur.

They are not leaving through the north exit anymore, that is for sure. Knowing that Plasma is definitely attacking from the north means that, if they were to take that exit, Doc and his allies don't know how long they will have to run until they are out of immediate danger. It's worse in their current situation, given their lack of a car and thus their lack of speed- as well as lacking the option of ditching the car and continuing on foot.

Deimos shakes the effects of the Watchog's flash off, barely dodging a divebombing Pidove despite his disorientation. A Plasma grunt recalls the Pidove moments before it crashes into the ground; Deimos flips them off and summons a tangle of vines which whip their legs out from under them.

They likely won't have any luck attempting to get to the west exit, nor do they want to, since only Aspertia is that way. They're fleeing, after all, not launching an assault straight into enemy territory.

Doc takes the lead, for once, as they come up upon the main street, which is choked with Plasma grunts and Virbank defenders. The other three fall into formation behind him- well, not exactly a formation, but they stick closer than before, at least. Christoff brings up the rear, slicing through any unfortunate Lillipup or Watchog that lunge at the group.

The east and the south of Virbank are bordered by water. The east is the harbour, and Doc is certain they can steal a small boat with no issue, especially in the chaos of the Plasma assault. However, they'd have to gamble that someone can drive the damn thing in the first place- which wasn't too tall an order, because vehicles were very often much less complex in practice than they seemed at first glance, and Doc knows that most of the smaller motorboats have a similar driver's seat to any given car.

They push forward through the street, taking advantage of the already-ongoing fights to skirt around Plasma forces they would have to engage otherwise. There is a group of Virbank Pokémon fending off a Plasma grunt and her four Pokémon, though they are fighting a war of attrition due to the grunt's nonstop usage of the Potions she is carrying.

A Pidove notices Christoff and whips up a gust of air; he dodges, but the Gust hits one of the Pokémon in the group- a Magby, who whirls around and blasts fire at Doc and his allies on reflex, instead. Doc hits the ground. Christoff leaps one way, Sanford the other, but Deimos is a moment too slow and the fire hits him right before he drops to the ground as well.

"S-sorry!" the Magby yells, but it has no time to offer any more apologies, as it turns around and launches another fireball at the Plasma grunt before it is pounced on by the grunt's Lillipup.

The Pokédex beeps, much to everyone's chagrin. Sanford finds the time to flip it off. Doc manages not to groan.

[Deimos]
Magby lv. 12 ♂
Flame Body: Contact with the Pokémon may burn the attacker.
Impish nature.
A little quick tempered.

"Are you kidding me!?" Deimos gripes as Sanford helps him to his feet. Doc lets loose a wave of electricity, stunning the Plasma goons for a second and allowing them to push forward before their opponents recover. Another Virbank Pokémon, a Growlithe, takes advantage of this and cloaks itself in flame, barrelling through the grunt's remaining team and setting them alight.

"Just focus on the damn fight," Doc says, both for his own benefit as well as his allies'. He ignores the scent of burning fur as he moves to Sanford's side, letting Deimos lean against him for support instead so Sanford is able to fight.

Right. Not getting distracted. Back to escape plans. The south is the Virbank Complex. It's possible that they have a construction helicopter, which Doc knows Deimos can pilot with no issue. He has definitely heard the sound of a helicopter flying over the city before, but he can't be sure it's the Virbank Complex's and not a different group's instead. So, they'd have to gamble on the helicopter being there in the first place.

Sanford hooks a Pidove as it prepares to fire off a blade of wind, dragging it down and swinging it around like a flail, clearing their immediate vicinity of enemy Pokémon (and one allied Audino, by accident, though she seems none the worse for wear once she gets back to her feet) and sending one unlucky grunt crashing to the ground, their legs knocked out from under them.

The possibility of sinking the boat is a lot higher than of them crashing a helicopter, of course. But Doc does not want to gamble on there being a Virbank Complex construction helicopter in the first place.

"We better know how to drive a boat," Doc says, dropping to all fours to dodge a Purrloin's pounce and frying the cat with a burst of electricity. "Head to the docks."

Christoff finds the time to give him a 'don't screw this up' stare. Doc pointedly ignores him.

It's not the best escape plan. It's still the best plan they have.

Doc does not like not being in control.



It is nighttime over Virbank, a time usually marked by the sounds of the waves, the flickering yellow of streetlights illuminating an empty street, and the low beat of a midnight concert, deep down underground in the basement of a warehouse.

It is nighttime over Virbank. The streets are filled with Team Plasma. The city is a battlefield.

Hugh arrives from the west, already sprinting at full speed.

"Didn't- didn't Cheren warn- Cheren warned us to be careful!" And there's Millie, galloping alongside him.

Hugh does not listen.

Simula sends himself out and clings on to Hugh's shoulder, Millie runs alongside, and their new Pidove teammate- her name is most definitely not Stormwing, but that is the name she insists she be called- flies after them, wings beating furiously.

There are… too many Pokémon. Well, Hugh thinks there's too many Pokémon, because it's Team Plasma, and they really shouldn't have any Pokémon at all, if you ask him. There are also too many human grunts, but it is Team Plasma, and Hugh expects Team Plasma to have an unfair advantage and an unfair number of people. Because they're like that, aren't they?

It doesn't matter, anyway, because he'll just crush every one of them, after all.

But the Pokémon…

Hugh doesn't understand how those Pokémon could possibly want to work for Team Plasma. He can't understand. Team Plasma is utterly despicable towards Pokémon, so why would they ever want to work for them!? He guesses some of them might've been kidnapped and forced to serve, but there's no way that Team Plasma could possibly have so many Pokémon among their ranks.

In fact, where did they get so many human members, anyway? Even the old Team Plasma didn't have nearly as many members, and this current Team Plasma was the remnants that stuck together despite their old king's defeat. If anything, they should be even more understaffed than they originally were.

It just doesn't make sense.

"Hugh! Where are we going!? We aren't supposed to be fighting them by ourselves!" Millie's shout snaps him out of his thoughts.

"Yeah, yeah, I know! We're finding the Gym Leader! Why else are we running!?" Hugh says, never mind that he had actually planned to jump into the fray and only just decided to find the Gym Leader once Millie reminded him.

"Hey- hey! What are you doing!?" one of the Plasma grunts shouts, making a grab for Hugh's arm. "Stop where you are!"

"Simula!" Hugh yells, and the Tepig spits fire at the grunt, who falters just long enough for Hugh to get away. The commotion attracts more grunts and Pokémon, though, who turn away from wherever they were originally headed to intercept him.

"We have to get away," Millie says, quite forcefully for her standard. "We can't- we can't do this alone. Please."

"She's right," Simula says, for once.

"Fine, but we gotta get out of this first!" Hugh does not show his frustration. He does not. He does not ball his fists in anger and he does not grit his teeth until his jaw hurts. Not at all.

"I- I was saying that," Millie says, and then she snaps at a Lillipup who is coming at them a bit too quickly, Simula breathes a stream of flames that Stormwing fans into an entire blanket of fire- not enough to do real damage, but enough so that Team Plasma cannot catch them- and Hugh starts running again.



The docks are just as bad as the city is.

Actually, the docks are probably worse.

There is blood on the street and poison in the air and a veritable wall of bass-boosted white noise, so loud and forceful that Deimos is sure he's going to fall over from it alone. Just standing near it is aggravating his burns.

Plasma's heaviest hitters are clearly all concentrated at the docks. Or, rather, they are concentrated on getting to the docks. There are a handful of defenders, of course, though they are less on the defensive and more desperately trying to gain control of the situation and attempting to form a defensive line.

Two Scolipede exchange blows, poison glowing bright on their horns. A Drapion locks claws with a Bisharp, neither willing to back down, and a Weezing vents poisonous smog as a Mandibuzz attempts to clear it out. Plasma is backed up by what reinforcements make it past the fighting in the city streets; a Garbodor engages them, swamping the streets with a wave of sludge.

A Plasma grunt attempts to duck around the fighting and make his way to the docks, but a Crobat swoops down and topples him over before he can. He tosses his Poké Balls as he is knocked to the floor; a Stoutland and a Magnezone materialize and engage the Crobat, who attempts to herd them away from the entrance to the docks.

Alongside her Pokemon is- the Virbank Gym Leader, actually. She has her bass and an amp set up and she is the one causing most of the noise, ensuring that Plasma is unable to fully organize since they can't hear each other.

That's actually the only reason the docks haven't fallen yet. Plasma has the numbers advantage, and the Virbank defenders are still trying to entrench their position at the moment.

Yeah, turns out that listening to Doc and avoiding the first wave of invaders was a good idea, because Deimos does not think they look fun to fight at all. Especially not in his current condition. He's pretty sure the adrenaline is the only reason he's able to function at all right now.

Shit. He's supposed to be stronger now, what with the whole evolution into a, uh- Servine (yeah, that's what it's called). Well, to be fair, strength doesn't mean jack shit when you don't have the skill to back it up.

Or, you know, when you don't duck out of the way of a goddamn flamethrower.

"So what are we lookin' for here?" he asks, as they avoid the main battle, taking advantage of the Crobat's distraction, and slip through the bars of the railing at the edge of the sidewalk. His backpack catches between the bars, the sudden force sending a new wave of pain through him. "Shit!"

"A boat," Sanford says, unhelpfully. He helps Deimos through the bars, still supporting him with one arm over his shoulders, and they both hop down onto the wooden planks of the docks together.

The docks are- dark, and quiet, and a stark contrast to the loud, chaotic battle happening in the streets above. They are not out of danger by any means, but it's a reprieve-

And then an icy-blue beam zaps through the air, sweeping across the sky and sending a flock of Pidove crashing to the ground with the sound of shattering ice. It shatters the momentary lull the docks had offered before, too. Deimos instinctively tenses up, scanning the dark water for any sign of what launched the beam.

"Right, but what exactly are we lookin' for? There's tons of boats," Deimos says, focusing back on the matter at hand. He hops over a gap in the wooden boards of the dock; the impact of his landing sends a spike of pain through his leg. Shit, not doing that again.

"Same as a getaway car," Doc says. "There should be some idiot who left their keys."

"Wait, who's going to drive?" Sanford asks, slinging his arm over Deimos's shoulders to support him as they hop down as well.

"...Me," Doc says, glancing at Deimos for a second. Aw. He does care. Even if only because Deimos knows he, himself, would end up crashing the boat once the adrenaline wears off.

(Well, no. He's been with the group long enough to know that Doc really does care, even if he's the worst at showing anything other than snark and vitriol.)



"Roxie!" Hugh shouts over the din of the bass and the sound of fighting. Blood drips down his arm from a lucky hit that one of Team Plasma's Purrloin scored before Simula breathed a fireball in its face. He can barely hear his own voice. "Roxie!!"

The Gym Leader does not notice.

"Roxie!" Hugh shouts, again, then covers his mouth as the stench of blood and poison becomes a bit too much to bear. "Guys, we gotta get to Roxie."

Simula, on his shoulder, flicks an ear. Millie clearly does not hear, and Stormwing is safe inside her Poké Ball- Hugh doesn't want to risk more friendly fire, since she's hard to distinguish from any other Pidove that Team Plasma has, after all.

Hugh taps Millie with a foot; she jumps, but looks back at him, and he points her in the direction of the Gym Leader before taking off.

An Ice Beam hits a Tranquill, which drops out of the sky.

"Roxie! We're here to help!" Hugh shouts, again, when they are much closer to her this time. She still does not hear. One of Team Plasma's Lillipup leaps at her, and she kicks it away without missing a beat. Her Crobat swoops in, wings glowing lime green, and slams into the dog while it is still flying through the air. Hugh winces.

"Lemme," Simula yells, and even though he is shouting right next to Hugh's ear, he can barely be heard. He climbs onto Hugh's head and blasts fire into the air. Roxie finally turns to look, and Hugh starts waving frantically.

Roxie squints at him, then gestures for him to come closer. Behind her, her Drapion throws Team Plasma's Bisharp into a wall.

"We're here to help!" Hugh shouts, yet again, as he makes his way towards the Gym Leader. The noise is much worse next to the loudspeakers, and the force of the vibration threatens to overbalance him. Millie flattens her ears to her head.

"You a trainer!? Just showed up- oh, right, you on your journey!? Yo, Tepig there, how good's yer fire!?" Roxie yells. "Block the way to the docks! Pretty sure some buggers got down there already, and we don't wanna let anyone else through! Y'hear!? You can't let Plasma down there, otherwise they'll fortify the place an' close the docks!"



It's… way too dark to be spotting keys left in the ignition, honestly.

Wait, no, Deimos is a dumbass. Sanford and Christoff can see just fine in the dark, if the internet can be trusted about Purrloin and Patrat night vision, and Christoff's halo casts just enough of a glow that they are not stumbling around in darkness. Right.

Well, it's too dark for him to be spotting keys left in the ignition, and the adrenaline is starting to wear off. Deimos just hopes they can get a boat before he becomes a liability.

They continue on.



Simula curls into a ball, cloaking himself in flames, and barrels forwards into the Team Plasma grunt and her Purrloin.

"Wait, wait, actually, I got an idea," Roxie shouts, stopping her onslaught of noise for a second. The relative silence is deafening. "Yo! Trainer! You're on your journey, right, and you're headin' to Castelia next, aren't you?"

"What?" Hugh yells back.

"Oi, Smokebreath-" the Weezing turns to look at Roxie- "All of y'all, down the docks! Get my dad! Get to Castelia! Tell Burgh!"

An Ice Beam, launched from the harbour, sweeps through the air and sends a flock of Pidove crashing to the ground.

"Wh- no, I can help defend the-"

"I don't care, this ain't if you can or can't! You're on your journey, so you're heading to Castelia anyway, so do something and tell the rest of the League! I want all my bases covered in case this place fuckin' falls!"

Roxie's Scolipede overpowers her opponent, flinging it to the side- and over the guardrail. It splashes into the water below.

Hugh- does not growl. There's no way they'll let Team Plasma win, right? They shouldn't need to cover all their bases when they'll just win!

"You coming?" Smokebreath asks, not waiting for Hugh's answer. It's not like he can, anyway, not over the resurgent din of Roxie's bass.



You know, Doc has never actually faced a MAG Agent before.

Not that he hasn't seen them or anything. He's most definitely seen quite a few of the hulking brutes.

But he hasn't faced one in battle before.

If he had, though, he imagines it would be much like facing down the pissed-off, sopping wet Scolipede that had just dragged itself out of the dark water. Blood drips from the fresh wound across half its face and down its neck, mixing with the seawater that runs off its carapace and wetting the wooden boards of the docks. Its remaining eye gleams in what little light there is.

Sanford is backing off, bringing Deimos with him. Good. Doc doesn't have to tell those two not to get themselves killed.

The Scolipede paws at the ground.

Christoff does not wait for it to charge, launching himself at the overgrown centipede and driving his binary sword deep into its existing wound. It screeches, bucking wildly, but he hangs on for a second longer before letting go of his weapon and leaping off.

The Scolipede brings its head down in a vicious downswing, poison glowing on its horns, and Christoff is forced to hop back again. Doc aims for a split second, then channels electricity, hitting the side of the Scolipede's neck. It flinches, sparks darting along its carapace for a moment.

Christoff takes the opportunity to leap back up, grabbing the hilt of his weapon- and the Scolipede throws itself into the ground in a bid to crush him beneath its weight. Christoff goes flying.

The Scolipede's fall has driven the binary sword further in, enough that the tip protrudes out the other side of its neck. Clearly hasn't hit any vitals, then, if the thing is still standing. It launches a stream of venom at Doc as it scrambles to its feet.

Doc throws himself to the side, but he trips (damnit, he really isn't built to stand on two legs) and hurriedly turns his momentum into a roll that doesn't bring him far enough in time. Venom splashes on his arm, burning into his nerves.

There is an indistinct flurry of movement as Doc recovers- Christoff rushes back in, the Scolipede howls, there is a spray of blood- Christoff skids across the floor next to Doc, a gash in his chest glowing purple with the Scolipede's poison-

Doc drags himself back upright. The Scolipede is stumbling, blood pouring out the back of its neck. The binary sword lies to the side, its blade coated in red. Doc can smell rust in the air, even through his mask.

Still, the Scolipede does not fall. It rears up and launches another stream of poison, both at Doc and at Christoff, who has gotten to his knees.

Yeah. Doc is almost certain that fighting a MAG Agent would be the same.

Ducking under the poison and wincing when a few drops land on him anyway, Doc fires off another bolt of lightning which strikes the Scolipede right between the eyes, but it still stays standing. Damnit, he needs to finish this quick. They still need to get a boat and get off, after all.

Honestly? Doc prefers to stay at range, but- he breaks into a sprint, closing the distance. The Scolipede whips in a circle, trying to strike him with its purple-glowing tail. It's sluggish, though, and he avoids the swing, vaults onto its back, and-

image0.png

A flash of lightning and the light of an evolution illuminates the harbour for a second.

Battle style is set to Switch. Held items are allowed. Unlimited healing items are allowed.

VS ROXIE
Koffing vs. Doc.
>doc sets up charge and takes an assurance
>uses thundershock, takes it to half health.
>takes another assurance.
>kills koffing with another two thundershocks

Whirlipede vs. Jeb
>jeb gets outspeeded and eats a pursuit, then hits back with return
>gets reduced to red with venoshock
>kos on the next hit

Hugh stops in his tracks to stare. So does Millie, and Roxie's father as well. Smokebreath isn't there; he returned to Roxie once he explained to the captain what to do.

"Guys, we need to go," the captain's Lumineon (and the source of all the Ice Beams from earlier, it turns out) says, flashing her stripes a few times.

"Ah, right, right," the captain says. "Alright, here she is. Roxie says we're going to Castelia City, right?"

"Yeah," Hugh grumbles, trying and failing to keep his frustration out of his voice. He doesn't want to be running away like this. He wants to help drive Team Plasma out.

The captain opens the gate on the ramp leading up to his ship and gestures for Hugh and his team to board. "All aboard, then. Lights should be right next to the cabin door, and if it's not there, remind me to get the mechanic, heh."

Hugh doesn't need to remind him to get the mechanic, because he finds the light switch exactly where the captain said it would be. It only illuminates the interior of the cabin, though, but that's good enough. Millie immediately bounds in, leaps up onto one of the seats, and curls into a ball. Stormwing finally sends herself back out, looking slightly upset that she missed much of the fight.

Hugh feels the same as the little Pidove, honestly. Well, he didn't miss most of the fight so far, but he's running away and missing the rest instead of helping crush Team Plasma before they can take over Virbank City. So it's very much the same, if you ask him.



A ship is leaving the harbour at that second.

Doc- now a slightly taller electric sheep with wool covering only half his body- sprints across the boardwalk with much better balance than he had before. Christoff is close behind, the wound across his chest apparently not slowing him at all. Sanford and Deimos scramble to keep up.

Rather, Deimos is scrambling to keep up, and Sanford is only being held back by supporting him with one arm.

"Right on time, huh?" Deimos says, wincing as he ignores the ache of his burns settling in.

"It's a lucky coincidence," Christoff agrees. "Well, it's not entirely luck, in this case. They are likely sending for reinforcements, or are sending a message of warning."

"Well, whatever they're sending it for, it's our ticket outta here," Sanford says.

"If we get there in time," Doc says. "So hurry up."



They make it to the ship in time.

Just barely.

But they make it in time.

Doc shoos Deimos and Sanford up the quickly-retracting ramp. Christoff has to levitate himself onboard. Well, more like throw himself through the air, but he makes it on as the ship is pulling out of the harbour.

They're not out of danger yet, though, since they are very much stowaways. None of them have any idea what a typical ship's layout is, either, so there is no hiding place they can make a beeline for. They'll just have to find somewhere, or, if it's the only option, they'll hijack the boat.

They don't get to do either of those. They don't need to do either of those, because when they round the corner, they come face-to-face with a certain Qwilfish-haired young man and his Herdier.
image0.png

[HANK]
N/A​
image1.png

[DEIMOS]
Servine​
image1.png

[SANFORD]
Purrloin​
image0.png

[2BDAMNED]
Flaaffy​
image0.png

[CHRISTOFF]
Patrat​
image0.png

[TRICKY]
N/A​
[BOXED]
N/A​
[BOXED]
Magby​
[BOXED]
N/A​
[BOXED]
Pidove​
[BOXED]
N/A​
[BOXED]
N/A​

this thing is, no joke, 20 pages long

anyways. can you tell doc is my favourite character yet? yes? please send help i have problem and issues
fun fact: this chapter was originally supposed to be part of the last chapter. and then it started getting stupidly long, so i decided to split it up.

also, i'm working on a title page! it's. er. taking a while.
as in 'over 24 hours spent working on it and counting' a while. here, have a preview
image0.png
 
Last edited:

Anya Homura

Kanto League Champion
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
391
Caught
Jul 5, 2019
Messages
154
Location
Phasing in and out of reality everywhere
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
she/he/they
Pokémon Type
  1. Normal
  2. Clever
HI GUYS i'm not dead, i swear, i've just been addicted to project nexus!!!
completely understandable, it is project nexus. if i was good with games i'd be the same way as you right now.

anyways, the story itself: HOT FUCKING DAMN. TWO EVOS IN ONE NIGHT! EVERYTHING GOING TO GODDAMN SHIT!! THE A-PLOT AND B-PLOT MEETING BACK UP!!!

hugh & millie, immediately after the chapter ends: what the fuck happened to you guys

both the evolution fight scenes in particular were just. so cool, too. gotdam

also. finally: OH MY GOD THE FUCKING. THE HEADSHOTS!!!!!!!!! THE FIRST BIT OF THE TITLE PAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MATE, YOUR ART FUCKING GOOD.
 
OP
aegagrusScholarship

aegagrusScholarship

Problems and Issues Haver
Artist
Writer
Godfather
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
4946
Caught
Sep 9, 2021
Messages
485
Location
In the wrong fandom.
Nature
Hasty
Pronouns
all of them
Pokémon Type
  1. Bug
  2. Dark
Pokédex Entry
This Pokémon craves attention and recognition, but becomes an absolute mess if given either. Often seen starting multiple projects and finishing none.
Thought I was dead? Think again, chuckleheads.

(EDIT: this section has been un-spoilerbox’d because I realized it looked like it’s off-topic irl stuff explaining my delay rather than actual pertinent info about the thread. sorry about that!)
I've been working on this big-ass update that I'll be posting over a series of days! Can't promise one per day, but it'll be a pretty quick schedule for sure.
You may also have noticed I took the CLOWN chapter down. I'll repost it later. The order of chapters works better if I post it later.

I've got a big-ass thread update as well. So here's the changelog:
>Title banner is now up.
>I got off my ass and actually paraphrased the Castlocke rules.
>First post has been reorganized in general. Table of contents and bonus art have been added.
>First chapters have been moved to the banner announcement post. Said post has been edited to make this clear.
>Some chapter titles have been changed because I want to parody Madness Combat even more than I already am.

I also have changed one rule: The level cap is now in effect no matter what, but Hank can ignore it instead.

Anyways, here's the first part of this update. A bit different than usual, but don't worry, we'll get right back to Madness soon enough!

(EDIT 2; I'm so sorry I forgot in my rush to update the thread:) special thanks to @Aviana for beta reading these!

TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

Hello all,

Please pardon my lack of professionalism in this message, but what the hell just happened?

I was under the impression that the Trainers' School in Aspertia City would be converted into a Gym building. Can someone please explain to me why Team Plasma was allowed to acquire the land and construct their base there? Also, can someone please explain why there is a veritable army of Team Plasma milling about in the city?

It would be greatly appreciated.

--
Cheren
Unovan League Gym Leader
[email protected]
www.pkmnleague.gov/Unova/Leader_Profiles/page-5




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

LMAO 'lack of professionalism' my ass

Anyway re: wtf happened, League got overturned by a legal team that TOTALLY wasn't Team Plasma. Then got threatened by a bunch of guys who were absolutely Team Plasma. Moved in and started construction before we could do anything. Still trying to figure out how it happened.

Oh BY THE WAY think you'd like to know they tried to contact some Virbank contractors for the construction. Didn't let them, but still a thing they tried.

Oh yeah and they're screwing around in my city too. Thought I chased them out already. Obviously not.

-Roxie




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

Yes, I'm aware about all that. I thought that Team Plasma was almost wiped out?

--
Cheren
Unovan League Gym Leader
[email protected]
www.pkmnleague.gov/Unova/Leader_Profiles/page-5




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

Well, I can tell you they hired an independent Driftveil company for the construction.

We're looking into that company right now. I'll keep you updated when we find something.

Clay Turner, Driftveil Gym Leader
(201)430-9480
010 Lighthouse Rd., Driftveil City, DV 34340




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: RE: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

@ Cheren

Yep
Nearly stamped them out, then POOF
They're back again
Way more aggressive than before, too
Obviously

Iris




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

Here's the promised update: the company popped up overnight. Pretty sure it's a Plasma front, which begs the question of how they did it.

Clay Turner, Driftveil Gym Leader
(201)430-9480
010 Lighthouse Rd., Driftveil City, DV 34340




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

Terrible news, everyone, legal company was also a Team Plasma front.

Who's surprised? Not me.

-Elesa




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

Yeah I want to know how they did it too
Where are they getting the manpower for this b/c last I checked they were literally gone

Iris




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

There is a good chance we let them slip through the cracks. That would certainly explain this resurgence. I believe we should check the measures we've taken again and identify where we may have slipped up.

--
Drayden Lirio Aristide
Opelucid Gym Leader
Unova League
690-333-1909
[email protected]
Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

Great idea, dad
You know
If we didn't know that they literally popped outta nowhere
No seriously there's not enough people on the census to be part of Team Plasma
Alder just checked

Iris




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

Right. Speaking of Alder, where is he? Would've thought he'd come and say this himself.

-Elesa




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

Checking the rest of the records duh
He's on the phonr with Hilda
And I'm writing for them

Iris




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

Please don't tell me I fought Team Plasma in the sewers for nothing. The sewers. Of the biggest city in this region.

Burgh




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

LMAO sucks to be you! But yeah I'll be pissed if I spent a day chasing them for nothing. Route 20 has way too many stairs.

-Roxie




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

We only just managed to flush them out of our mines for good, too, so I agree with that right there.

Clay Turner, Driftveil Gym Leader
(201)430-9480
010 Lighthouse Rd., Driftveil City, DV 34340




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

Should we get back on topic? This is an official channel, after all.

I agree with Iris that something is up. All signs point to us having eradicated the majority of them. I don't doubt there are still Plasma sympathizers, I don't see how they can be this prolific or organized. Need I remind you all of the last few times we engaged Team Plasma? They were absolutely moronic and disconnected from each other, a far cry from the Team Plasma we are suddenly facing.

--
Cheren
Unovan League Gym Leader
[email protected]
www.pkmnleague.gov/Unova/Leader_Profiles/page-5




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

Have to agree with Cheren there. This isn't like two years ago where we ignored the warning signs. There were no warning signs at all.

And, as Iris mentioned, it (quite literally) doesn't add up.

-Elesa




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

Confirmed! We're still playing whackamole with Team Plasma in Castelia. But it's disconnected whackamole. There's no way they aren't taking over a whole building again, if they could. Remember two years ago? They had a whole base across from the Gym just to rub my nose in it, guys.

Burgh




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

Greetings to all.

Team Plasma's ideals cannot truly be forgotten by our region. There shall always be those who hold on to their message, some to a more unreasonable extent than others.

However, in my observations since, those who still hold Team Plasma's ideals in such a way are few and far between. Certainly not enough for such a resurgence. The Team Plasma we have been eliminating are only the remnants of their original organization.

Some of the Seven Sages have also repented. Their information may not be infallible, but they know Team Plasma more than anyone else. I do not doubt that they would have notified us had Team Plasma been on the cusp of reemergence.

--
Reshiram, Dragon of Truth
Chief Justice of the Unova League




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

Hi Reshiram!!!!!!!

Iris




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

Hello to you as well, Iris.

--
Reshiram, Dragon of Truth
Chief Justice of the Unova League




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

Not to pull a Cheren here, but you think we should get back on topic?

Look, let's say Plasma's still holed up deep in our mines. If they are, they're real good at hiding. You know what's not good at hiding like that? A group as big as they got now. I don't care how you cut it, when they're this big, there's no way for them to fit in all the nooks and crannies we're not looking over.

Clay Turner, Driftveil Gym Leader
(201)430-9480
010 Lighthouse Rd., Driftveil City, DV 34340




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

Yes, let's get back on topic.

I apologize. I worded my original statement incorrectly, and I agree that this situation is very strange. However, Team Plasma slipped beneath our notice two years ago, and it is possible that they did so again. We may simply be watching for the wrong warning signs and assuming that all is well. Therefore, I still believe we should check the measures we've taken again.

--
Drayden Lirio Aristide
Opelucid Gym Leader
Unova League
690-333-1909
[email protected]
Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

Iris: You missed a few RE: over there.

Drayden: You're right. Getting on that now. I'll send a document detailing our interactions with Team Plasma over the past two years and highlight any situation where we didn't take all the precautions we could.

However, we are working with the former Seven Sages, as Reshiram mentioned. Not saying they're infallible, but they used to be part of Team Plasma. They should notice something even if we don't. But they got zip. Zilch. Nada.

-Elesa




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

Totally possible they just lied to us you know. Unlikely, since Anthea and Concordia are working with us too. But totally possible.

-Roxie




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

No. They have not lied, otherwise I would have known. The Seven Sages are aware of this too, and I have not detected a hint of untruthfulness from them thus far. Therefore, we must conclude that there is something foul at play here.

--
Reshiram, Dragon of Truth
Chief Justice of the Unova League




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

Hello all, Alder here. Remember the weirdness about the census and the number of human members of Team Plasma? Same thing's up with their Pokémon members. Simply put, the wild population of those Pokémon has not decreased at all and the amount of kidnappings that have been reported isn't even close to how many there are in their ranks.

Alder




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: RE: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

The sudden appearance of a large number of humans and Pokémon… You realize that Team Plasma has pulled this sort of stunt with their castle before. It's also possible that they were running a breeding program, even with all the laws in place. The approximate ages of their Pokémon members line up. It is Team Plasma, after all.

--
Drayden Lirio Aristide
Opelucid Gym Leader
Unova League
690-333-1909
[email protected]
Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

Well, yes, but that's a castle. Their actual headcount stayed the same. Good point about the possibility of breeding Pokémon, though. I'll see if we can find evidence of that.

Alder




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

@ Elesa

>:(

Iris




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

lmao

-Roxie




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

Please get back on topic. I don't mean to overstep my bounds, but these antics should be taken elsewhere as not to clutter the transcripts.

Right. Actually, I'll investigate the Aspertia-Floccesy area as well, since we're quite rural. If they're running such an operation, they might've picked somewhere like this.

--
Cheren
Unovan League Gym Leader
[email protected]
www.pkmnleague.gov/Unova/Leader_Profiles/page-5




TO: [Unovan League mailing list]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: Acquisition of the Trainers' School

Don't worry too much about the transcripts, Cheren. The citizens are well aware that the League is not nearly as formal as it was a few decades ago.

--
Drayden Lirio Aristide
Opelucid Gym Leader
Unova League
690-333-1909
[email protected]
Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.
TO: [email protected]
SUBJECT: Backup location for Gym

Greetings, Cheren!

So, I talked to Hilda and Iris- how'd you feel about having the Gym located in Floccesy Town? You've got leadership over the Aspertia-Floccesy area, after all.

Not that we're stopping the investigation into Team Plasma, mind you, but if you want an actual Gym, one of the League Champion vacation homes is in Floccesy Town. I'm not Champ anymore, Hilda doesn't care, and Iris really doesn't care about keeping it. If you want, you can have it instead.

Oh, and Hilda says she's sorry for asking me to email you instead of doing it herself, but she just doesn't have the time.

Alder




TO: [email protected]
SUBJECT: RE: Backup location for Gym

Hello Alder,

I would appreciate that very much. The exact location of the Gym isn't my concern. I'm grateful you offered. I'll head to Floccesy Town ASAP.

Also, Iris has legal rights over the property? I thought she's only the Champion by battle right now.

Tell Hilda that I completely understand. It's already enough of a mess for me, and I'm only a Gym Leader, after all. I can barely imagine what it's like for her.

--
Cheren
Unovan League Gym Leader
[email protected]
www.pkmnleague.gov/Unova/Leader_Profiles/page-5




TO: [email protected]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: Backup location for Gym

Yep, you're right about Iris. The vacation homes are open to anyone holding the title of Champion. They don't have to get elected afterwards. I mean, most Champs go and run for government anyway, so I get why you didn't know.

Alder




TO: [email protected]
SUBJECT: RE: RE: RE: Backup location for Gym

Ah. That makes sense. Thank you for explaining. Anyway, I'll contact you again when I'm at Floccesy.

--
Cheren
Unovan League Gym Leader
[email protected]
www.pkmnleague.gov/Unova/Leader_Profiles/page-5
 
Last edited:

Kit_The_Feef

Someone who draws too much ¯\_(ಠωಠ)_/¯
Artist
Screenshotter
Godfather
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
4612
Caught
Jun 16, 2021
Messages
1,207
Location
Australia
Nature
Impish
Pronouns
He/him
Pokémon Type
  1. Bug
  2. Fairy
  3. Steel
Pokédex Entry
Comic artist. Idiot. Has far too many active projects for his own sanity. Unreliable when it comes to updates on his non-comic endeavours.
I had to laugh at "Turns out the legal company was also a Plasma front."
 

Anya Homura

Kanto League Champion
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
391
Caught
Jul 5, 2019
Messages
154
Location
Phasing in and out of reality everywhere
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
she/he/they
Pokémon Type
  1. Normal
  2. Clever
god, i love the way the gym leader email discussion starts with cheren attempting to be business-like, and then that immediately gets thrown out the window in favor of yelling about team plasma by literally everyone who comes in who isn't Drayden or Reshiram. professionally, in some cases, but it is still basically just "goddammit it's these guys again. what the fuck, i thought we were almost done."

on another note: damn. clown down. f.

eh, he'll be back soon enough, and i'm curious to see the order of events surrounding the snippet that makes it have a better, clearer context!
 
OP
aegagrusScholarship

aegagrusScholarship

Problems and Issues Haver
Artist
Writer
Godfather
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
4946
Caught
Sep 9, 2021
Messages
485
Location
In the wrong fandom.
Nature
Hasty
Pronouns
all of them
Pokémon Type
  1. Bug
  2. Dark
Pokédex Entry
This Pokémon craves attention and recognition, but becomes an absolute mess if given either. Often seen starting multiple projects and finishing none.
oh my god i forgot to write replies last time
completely understandable, it is project nexus. if i was good with games i'd be the same way as you right now.

anyways, the story itself: HOT FUCKING DAMN. TWO EVOS IN ONE NIGHT! EVERYTHING GOING TO GODDAMN SHIT!! THE A-PLOT AND B-PLOT MEETING BACK UP!!!

hugh & millie, immediately after the chapter ends: what the fuck happened to you guys

both the evolution fight scenes in particular were just. so cool, too. gotdam

also. finally: OH MY GOD THE FUCKING. THE HEADSHOTS!!!!!!!!! THE FIRST BIT OF THE TITLE PAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MATE, YOUR ART FUCKING GOOD.
if you see me FORGETTING TO REPLY no you didn't /j
anyways !!! yeah, that chapter was definitely something i've been wanting to write for a while. i got the idea of having to escape from virbank way earlier on, because i needed an excuse to force the gang to head to castelia and it just. popped into my head

I had to laugh at "Turns out the legal company was also a Plasma front."
elesa was so fun to write in that exchange tbh
professional enough that she tries to do important things at least, but, also, you can pry the snark out of my cold dead hands

god, i love the way the gym leader email discussion starts with cheren attempting to be business-like, and then that immediately gets thrown out the window in favor of yelling about team plasma by literally everyone who comes in who isn't Drayden or Reshiram. professionally, in some cases, but it is still basically just "goddammit it's these guys again. what the fuck, i thought we were almost done."

on another note: damn. clown down. f.

eh, he'll be back soon enough, and i'm curious to see the order of events surrounding the snippet that makes it have a better, clearer context!
cheren tries his best, he really does
but i mean. who wouldn't yell about team plasma? it's annoying when two years of hard work seems to completely disappear after all

don't worry
clown does not die
(but yeah, i posted it far too early for it to have the right kind of impact. ah, the dangers of writing/posting by the seat of my pants)

alright, here's the promised madness
...kind of

also, thanks to everyone in nuzwriters' discord (special mention to SayleeK, Spectacles, Erberor, and Uberle) for helping me with the medical shenanigans. i really appreciate it!

It turns out that riding on a ship is quite different from a car or a truck. Rather than sudden bumps in the road, there is the rhythmic swaying of the water beneath.

Also, ships apparently have names, which is something that Doc can't say about most cars or trucks. Or maybe it is just this ship, which makes a bit more sense, because some people did name their vehicles, after all. Either way, this ship is named the M. F. Ideation.

The interior of the Ideation itself is quite large, and- no, hold that thought.

First off, passenger airplanes were few and far between in Nevada, and Doc most certainly hasn't ever been on one. Judging from schematics and other informative documents, though, Doc is fairly sure the cabin of the ship is much the same as the cabin of a passenger plane.

(He would be correct, although the ship is much wider and much more spacious than a passenger plane, of course.)

The ship had an emergency medical kit stashed away near one of the cabin's side entrances. Doc had immediately grabbed it, and Hugh had given them his own supplies the moment he'd seen the condition they were in. So, though he is still working without the collection of medical supplies and equipment he'd amassed back in Nevada, at least he has access to the bare necessities.

Oh. Right. Hugh. Turns out he'd met Sanford and Deimos on their mission to retrieve the Improbability Dex, and that somehow meant that he was willing to fully trust them the moment he recognized them.

Doc wants to say that it's just an act, but Hugh is so earnest that he cannot tell if it really is. If it's just an act, Hugh is a damn good actor.

Anyway, Doc and his allies are in the second row of seats. Sanford is already fast asleep, though Christoff is not, and is instead sitting next to the window, staring out at the distant lights of the Virbank harbour.

Hugh is snoring. He's sprawled out across the front row of seats, Stormwing perched on his chest and Millie curled up on the seat beside him. Simula is in his Poké Ball.

Doc is used to the sound of snoring. Hank was way worse when they snored, between their fucked-up body in general and the fact that they were just a dick. Really. They could be perfectly quiet if the situation called for it; Doc has experienced this first-hand, when the group was on the run, they had to sleep out in the open, and Hank was miraculously silent.

It was like they had been making up for it by being as obnoxious as possible in every other situation. Knowing Hank, that was probably the case.

Being used to it doesn't mean Doc has to like it. He shouldn't have insisted that Hugh go to sleep, but the alternative was Hugh constantly fretting over the condition that the Pokémon of the group are in and distracting Doc with his theatrics.

Hugh's allies are… okay. Simula has clearly overexerted himself, but is otherwise fine. Millie has minor injuries, but Hugh has already cleaned them for her, so the most Doc can do is throw a roll of bandages at her.

Stormwing is more of an issue. She said she had been attacked quite a few times, which isn't surprising, given that she would've been difficult to tell apart from Plasma's flocks of Pidove in the dark of the night. Still, there are no external signs of damage, and Doc simply does not have the tools to deal with internal injuries at the moment.

Doc's arm aches from where the Scolipede's venom had hit him earlier. He's already applied the antidote (is it universal? It seems so, which is… either very impressive, or very ineffective) he found in Hugh's pack and bandaged it, though, so he can't do much else.

Doc is currently treating Deimos's burns. He'll get to Christoff and whatever the hell that Scolipede did to him as soon as he's done. Then he'll deal with Millie.

Doc sighs.

He is exhausted, he's making do with what little supplies he has, Deimos is still squirming around, and Hugh's snoring is the metaphorical cherry on top of the shit cake that is grinding away at his last nerve.

"Sit still," Doc hisses, when Deimos flinches away again from the Super Potion (the name is hilariously pretentious and childish at the same time, but Doc doesn't have the energy to bother complaining) Doc is spraying on him.

It smells faintly antiseptic and is cool to the touch. Or maybe it just smells antiseptic and Doc's mask is muffling the smell again, but he's too tired to care.

Anyways, the important part is that it's antiseptic, since Deimos had been running through the Virbank battlefield for quite a while after he'd gotten burned. The question wasn't if blood and grime had gotten into his wounds, it was how much blood and grime had gotten into his wounds, and Doc already knows that the answer is 'way too goddamn much'.

Deimos jerks away again. Doc resists the urge to grab him by the arm and hold him there by force, though he would've done so in any other situation that isn't a nasty infection waiting to happen.

"Go ahead," Doc snarls, "run away from me. Let's see how far you get until you die."

Deimos whines, but lets Doc finish patching him up. To his credit, he only complains twice more.

"Great. Don't hurt yourself more than you already are," Doc grumbles when he is done. "And don't smoke. I tell you this every single damn time, but you better listen to me this time. I'm not dealing with it if you get an infection from the smoke."

"Fine," Deimos says, yawning. Well, he starts to yawn, then stops abruptly, wincing. Instead, he hops down from the bench (and winces again), heads to where Sanford is sleeping, and curls up against him.

"Don't sleep like that," Doc says, exasperated. "It won't heal right. Pay attention to your own health for once, would you?"

"Sleep like what?" Deimos asks, halfway between annoyed and pained. Next to him, Sanford shifts in his sleep.

"Look, I don't usually care what you do, but you can't sleep curled up like that. You'll end up getting a goddamn contraction. Find another seat-" Doc barely manages to keep himself from snarking 'if you can'- "and sleep properly for once."

Deimos doesn't respond, but he rolls off the bench (and instantly regrets it when he hits the floor a little too hard), walks around to the other side, where Sanford is not, and hops back up, flopping down on his back.

Good enough.

When he calls for Christoff, Doc doesn't expect him to be unreasonable. From what he remembers of their mutual employment at Nexus, and the day they'd spent in Virbank, Doc assumes that Christoff is smart enough not to complain.

Christoff promptly proves him wrong.

"I'll be alright, 2B," Christoff says, not getting up from his seat.

"No you won't," Doc says. Deimos snorts, the little shit.

"Just hand me a roll of bandages. I've been through worse," Christoff says.

Doc manages not to roll his eyes.

"It's my damn job to keep my allies alive, and unfortunately for you, you're one of them. I don't care if the stupid Nexus halo can heal it off or not, because I'm not dealing with any complications that arise because you won't sit still and let me deal with it," he grumbles.

"I assure you I'll be fine," Christoff says.

"I assure you-" Doc says, mocking him- "that I don't care. You'll be a liability until you're fine again, and that's a migraine I don't want. Come over here."

Christoff finally relents. When he walks over, his movements are a bit stiff and clearly pained. Goddamn liar. Doc can't do much about it with what he has right now other than apply another of the antidotes and Super Potions in Hugh's pack and bandage the actual wound.

Millie is, miraculously, not a goddamn headache. She doesn't even complain, not even when he wakes her up. All her wounds are superficial at worst, so the only thing Doc has to do is apply bandages.

She even has the courtesy to thank him before she goes back to sleep.

If only Doc's own group had the damn manners.

As for Stormwing, she'll just have to wait until they get to shore. Doc isn't particularly happy about that, not because he actually cares about her, but he's not sure how Hugh, Simula, and Millie would react if she ended up dying.

The three of them might be overly trusting right now, but allies can turn on each other in the blink of an eye, after all. Doc would rather avoid that situation if he can.

Well, in this case, it's more that he hopes they're lucky enough to avoid that situation, because he really can't do anything about Stormwing.

Doc rubs at his eyes- or, rather, he tries to, and hits the lenses of his goggles.

He tries again, taking off his mask first. There.

Christoff looks faintly amused.

The next order of business is- oh, who is he kidding.

Doc is one blink away from passing out where he stands. The exhaustion of the escape from Virbank City and patching up his allies is setting in with all the subtlety of a brake-less truck careening across the desert.

"Christoff," Doc says, as he tosses everything back into the ship's medical kit. "You're staying up?"

"For now, yes," Christoff says. "Why do you ask?"

Doc nods at Hugh and his team. "Keep watch. Get Sanford to take the second shift and tell him to wake me for the morning shift. Oh, and make sure Deimos isn't dead."

"Alright," Christoff says. "Good night, 2B."

Doc doesn't bother to answer. He climbs up onto one of the ship's benches, curls up, and drops into oblivion before he even realizes it.



Morning dawns over Castelia City, capital city of Unova.

The sun is rising, its red-tinted rays reflecting off the glass of the city and the water of the harbour.

Castelia is by far the largest city in Unova. Anyone who has seen it can agree that it certainly looks the part: Castelia is a sprawling seaside megapolis of metal and glass. The skyscrapers are hundreds of stories tall, and in their shadows stand smaller and squatter brick buildings like saplings under the forest of high-rises. There is a neon billboard affixed to the side of what seems to be every other building, advertising services and products of all kinds for human and Pokémon alike. Throngs of pedestrians crowd the sidewalks and cars zip by beside them. In the heart of the city is Castelia Gardens, a park built around a single massive tree that is said to be as old as the city itself. The tree itself is surrounded by a circular stone fountain, and the park is surrounded by cafés and gift shops hoping to take advantage of the obvious tourist trap that it is.

Castelia is also the centre of Unova, and not just in a metaphorical way. Due to its location at the tip of the central Unovan peninsula, Castelia is geographically the centre of the region. It also boasts the largest port of the region and thus is the main hub for foreign trade. Driftveil's passenger ships and Mistralton's airport may be the gateways to Unova for tourists and immigrants, but Castelia is Unova's gateway to international affairs.

It is at this port that the M. F. Ideation docks.

Hugh rushes down the ship's ramp with a very dismayed-looking Deimos in his arms and a very annoyed Stormwing in her Poké Ball. He's stopped by one of the dock workers- a Raticate- though.

Everyone else aboard the ship comes trailing behind him. Doc has the bundle of wires he's carried since Virbank slung over his shoulder, as usual. Sanford is carrying Deimos's backpack. The captain waves to the dock worker, carefully making his way to the front of the group and explaining the situation.

The moment they are let through, Hugh bolts towards the city. Doc sprints after him, grumbling as he goes. Jeb and Sanford keep up as best as they can despite their height disadvantages. Sanford soon resorts to sprinting on all fours, and Jeb outright gives up halfway through and begins levitating at high speed.

The captain and the Raticate, meanwhile, head towards the Castelia port's vessel traffic service building.



The Pokémon Centre is just across the street from the docks.

Well, one of the two Pokémon Centres in Castelia City is across from the docks, anyway. This one is clearly meant for people who have just arrived by sea. It's right next to the crosswalk and built into the bottom floor of one of the skyscrapers.

The lobby of the Centre itself is a large, two-storey room. Immediately to the right of the entrance is a Poké Mart, and to the left is a chain café, complete with sitting area. The stairs leading to the second floor (which is more a balcony along the sides of the room, or a loft) are located against the walls right behind the café and Mart. The reception desk, a circular island in the middle of the lobby, is straight ahead. Beyond the desk is the waiting room for the Pokémon Centre's hospital.

Hugh, Sanford, Doc, and Millie stand in line at the café in various states of worry, apprehension, and- in Doc's case- annoyance.

It's not annoyance at the line, as far as Sanford can tell. It's annoyance at being forced to wait outside while Deimos and Christoff are being treated by the hospital staff.

Honestly, Sanford understands that. That's his partner in there, damnit.

He also understands that Doc is the most paranoid of them all. Between him handling the planning, finding shelter, and all those administrative duties, his dissent from Nexus- not just the A.A.H.W., but actual Nexus- and the sheer fact he's the least capable fighter in the group, Doc is a paranoid bastard.

Which makes sense, because he really does have to be.

So having to sit back and trust in the hospital staff… it must be agony for him.

Sanford honestly would bet that Doc's going over all the ways this could go wrong, it could turn out to be a trap, and every way that they could possibly get out of these hypothetical scenarios. But, well, Sanford doesn't have a betting partner right now.

(Also, the last bet he made was a bust. He really thought that the Agency would be smart enough not to fire at a cardboard cutout, okay?)

Hell. Even Sanford doesn't want to sit back and just trust.

Well, he's done it before. With Doc. But that's different, because he knows Doc, and he knows he can trust him. Sanford doesn't know this hospital, nor its staff, and he's developed a healthy distrust of authority after the A.A.H.W. and Nexus anyway.

But trusting this hospital is the only option they have.

“Hey, what do you guys want?” Hugh asks, and shit, they’ve made it to the front of the line.

“Um,” Millie immediately says, mostly as a verbal placeholder, because she’s clearly trying to read over the menu right that second.

“Coffee,” Doc says in the same instant. “With as much goddamn cream and sugar as they'll let me put in it.”

"I'll have coffee too. Don't put anything in it," Sanford says. "Hey, do they have hot dogs? Nope. Get me a grilled cheese, then."

Simula sends himself out, materializing on Hugh's shoulder and leaning over to read the cafe menu. "Oh, they have those breakfast wraps," he says, looking up at Hugh pleadingly.

"I'll just… order my own," Millie says, quietly. "Sorry. And, um… we need to get something for everyone else too, right? When they get back."

"Yeah, I'll do that," Hugh says. "Don't worry."

"So, you going to get food, or are you just going to live off coffee?" Sanford asks Doc, who rolls his eyes.

"Just get me whatever. It won't be the worst I've ever eaten," Doc says. Hugh looks incredibly concerned. "Or don't. It doesn't matter."

"C'mon, we're here already. You don't know when's the next time you get to pick what you want. Just save it for later if you're not hungry or something," Sanford says.

"Fine," Doc says, thankfully seeming to get the point. "I'll go order for myself as well."

...Close enough.



“Should’ve gotten a table first, huh?” Sanford says as they wait at the pickup counter, looking over at the jam-packed dining area. Right, it's the breakfast rush. Well, he assumes it's the breakfast rush, because it's been quite a while since he's been to a restaurant that isn't long abandoned.

Millie's ears droop comically low. "Yeah… I don't- I don't think we can find a place to sit now."

"It doesn't matter. We can just stand," Doc says.

"It's fine. I'm leaving after this," Hugh says.

"Wait- wait, what?" Millie asks. "We just got here…"

"I gotta tell Burgh about last night! Roxie told us to tell him, remember? If I wait too long, it might be too late," Hugh says.

"Too late for what, exactly?" Doc asks. "If the city falls, it falls. Five minutes doesn't make a damn difference. Not in this sort of case, anyway."

"But what if it does?" Hugh asks stubbornly.

"What- what about Stormwing, too?" Millie asks. "And, um, Deimos and- Jebediah. The nurses might let them back out while you're gone."

"We just drove through the rest of the damn night," Doc says at the same time. "Either the city's fallen by now, or it hasn't. Reinforcements take a while to organize. You getting there five minutes earlier doesn't change that."

"It's fine! I'll be back soon, and you guys can stay behind to wait," Hugh insists, bouncing on the balls of his feet.

One of the cafe workers calls out their order, and Millie and Sanford both scramble to the counter at the same time. When they get there, Millie gestures for Sanford to go on ahead, so he does, hopping onto the ledge under the counter and grabbing the takeout bag the worker hands to him.

"Whatever. Why do I care? Go already," Doc grumbles.

"Order's up," Sanford says, holding up the bag as he returns. Hugh immediately grabs it, digging through for the muffin he ordered.

"Thanks," Hugh mumbles, already stepping towards the door. "So is anyone coming with me?"

"I am," Simula says from his perch on Hugh's shoulder.

"Great. Let's go!" Hugh grabs the Tepig's breakfast wrap as well before shoving the bag into Doc's arms and rushing out of the building.

Millie starts forwards, then seems to reconsider. "I- guess I'm staying. Um… should we move out of the way?"

"Yeah, probably," Sanford says, moving away from the pickup counter. He finds a spot to stand under one of the Centre's windows, then digs through the bag of takeout for his food. Millie grabs her own breakfast as well. Doc doesn't.



The breakfast rush comes and goes. They manage to snag a table near a wall, though there are only two seats. Doc takes his laptop, the Improbability Dex, and a wire, and elects to sit on the floor with his back against the wall and his tail awkwardly curled around himself. He still hasn't eaten.

A little while later, Christoff and Stormwing are discharged from the hospital with strict orders not to overexert themselves. One of Stormwing's wings is in a cast, and Christoff's chest is wrapped in a new layer of bandages.

CMD>INFECT ./JESUS/*.*-S: Jeb must be in the party. Jeb is infected with a computer virus that drains his abilities and stamina. Jeb may not be healed in battle until the next Gym is beaten.

Neither of them look the least bit pleased about it.

"I would have been fine," Christoff insists, again.

Doc looks like he is about to strangle the man (or, technically, rodent). "That's wonderful. Are you only here to complain about receiving medical attention?"

Deimos is still in the hospital, though. When Sanford walks over to the waiting room and asks the nurse about him, she apologizes, saying that it would be a few days before he recovers enough.

Sanford and Doc are not the least bit pleased about this, either.

Doc becomes even less so when he requests to be let in, citing his medical knowledge, but the nurse declines him, citing protocol right back at him.

As for Hugh, he still hasn't returned. Millie looks quite discomfited when Stormwing asks her where he went.

So it's back to waiting.

Or, rather- "We need to find somewhere to stay," Doc says, once everyone is settled again. "I would've liked to keep moving, just in case, but that’s clearly not an option."

"At least it shouldn't be too difficult to find a hiding spot in a city like this," Christoff says, nodding.

"Why don't'cha just stay here in the Centre? It's free!" Stormwing says.

"Um," Millie says. "It's only- only for League challengers. Wait, you guys are challenging the League, right?"

"The what," Sanford says. "Yeah, we're not."

"O-oh," Millie says.

"I mean, their Servine's in the hospital right now, right? Yeah, they'll let you stay 'till he's fine," Stormwing says. When Millie stares at her, she fluffs up her feathers defensively. "What? I've been waiting for forever to join a League team! You seriously think I didn't study up on everything?"

"No! I didn'- I didn't. I didn't know it myself," Millie says.

"...Tempting. We'll think about it," Doc says, glancing up from his laptop for a moment. Millie nods, and they sink back into a somewhat comfortable silence.

Well, as comfortable as they can get.

"Ok, where the shit is Hugh?" Stormwing suddenly asks. "How long does it take!?"

As if on cue- exactly on cue, in fact, Simula bursts into the Centre. It would be comedic in any other case, but the Tepig's panicked movements and almost-terrified expression prove otherwise.

"I screwed up," Simula immediately says, further driving any possibility of comedy straight into the ground. "Gotta get Hugh. Relic Passage."

"Isn't it closed? Some cave-in," Stormwing says immediately. "What? One of the nurses was gossiping 'bout it!"

"Yeah! That's the problem! Hugh's there!" Simula says, staring pleadingly at the group. "Come on!"

With that, he rushes back out of the Centre, leaving Millie and Stormwing to scramble after him. Stormwing looks back at Sanford, Doc, and Christoff with a strange expression on her face that is somewhere between begging and fierce.

The three of them do not follow.

"No one ever gives a shit about their own health, do they?" Doc groans, instead. "Whatever. That bird's not my responsibility anymore."



They end up staying in the Pokémon Centre after all.

There had been a short debate about the safety of the location. Christoff had pointed out that the Centre was the most obvious place for Plasma to search, if they were looking for them. When Plasma looked for them, actually, because the group had stolen the Improbability Dex, after all. Doc had agreed, but had pointed out that hiding elsewhere in the city would only delay the inevitable when Plasma looked for them, since they couldn't just leave without Deimos.

"Guys, that's the point. We're not leaving without Deimos. Might as well take the easier option, right?" Sanford had said, and that was that.

The room they are given has two beds, a small closet, a bathroom, and a desk complete with swivel chair and telephone. There is a small kitchen in one corner.

The room is… impossibly clean. There is no stink of mold or rot from beneath the floorboards, the windows are clear of grime and decades of caked-on dust, the lights do not flicker a single time, and there are- five, six, seven- seven entire electrical sockets available for use.

Doc tosses his laptop onto one of the beds before throwing himself next to it. Christoff raises an eyebrow, but doesn't comment.

"Alright, you guys want your food cold or not?" Sanford asks, slinging Deimos's backpack off and tossing it onto the other bed before leaping onto the kitchen counter. "We've got a microwave. And it works."

"Please do." Doc says, sinking further into the bed.

"Wait. You bought food for me as well?" Christoff asks.

"Yeah. What, you think we're just letting you starve?" Sanford asks, taking Doc's coffee out of the bag before dumping the rest of its contents on a plate and shoving it in the microwave. "We're not that dumb."

"Hm," Christoff says, walking over and hopping into the swivel chair.

Doc has buried himself under a mound of pillows and blankets by now, completely abandoning any pretense of dignity at this point. Sanford can't really blame him.

The microwave beeps. Sanford yanks the door open, retrieves the plate, and replaces it with Doc's cold coffee before hopping down from the counter. Christoff walks over to him, but Doc does not.

"The egg sandwich is mine," Doc says, snagging his laptop by the very edge and dragging it into his nest of blankets. Sanford hands the plate over to Christoff, grabs said egg sandwich, and delivers it to Doc.

"Alright, what do we do now?" Christoff asks once everyone has settled down. He's back in the swivel chair. Doc is still under the mound of blankets, though a bit of light shines through from the laptop screen. Sanford sits on the other bed with a blanket around his shoulders as well.

"Getting through Plasma's encryption, then tracking Wimbleton. I've finally gotten the damn Improbability Dex to play nice, though I'm still figuring out what it does. Other than the normal shit that Improbability Drives do," Doc says, his voice muffled.

"Right. If it's possible, we should acquire another laptop or radio. We're at too much of a disadvantage right now, since we're only able to do one thing at a time," Christoff says.

"Don't remind me," Doc sighs. "We should do that tomorrow, then. All of us are too tired right now. If we have to steal anything, there's a good chance we'll just get caught, and I doubt we can just fall back on violence in this world. Well, we can. But not without getting ourselves into even more of a goddamn mess."

"Yeah, there's no way," Sanford agrees. "So, anything else we can do today?"

"Not much," Doc says. "Damnit. Does anyone else know how to deal with the radio? Deimos isn't here. I'll continue working on the Improbability Dex."

"I've got a better idea," Sanford says. "You need to take a nap. I'll go deal with Plasma's encryption and Christoff can do… whatever the hell he's good at."

"I appreciate your faith in my abilities," Christoff says, carefully neutral.

Okay, so maybe Sanford won't exactly deal with Plasma's encryption. Still, he knows enough about using the radio thanks to Deimos's constant rambling, so he should be able to make some headway, at least.

Doc is still under his pile of blankets, but Sanford can feel his glare nonetheless. "Hilarious. Do you have any damn ideas that aren't jokes?"

"I'm not kidding, Doc," Sanford says. "Look, how much sleep did you get last night? You keep complaining that everyone else doesn't take care of themselves and then you do the same."

"Speak for yourself," Doc grumbles.

"Hey, I actually do," Sanford says.

"Oh, really? In what world is hastily bandaging yourself, injecting yourself with whatever the hell you find in random cabinets, then continuing to fight the correct way to take care of a damn bullet wound?"

"You're still going on about that? C'mon, it was one time! What else was I supposed to do?"

Doc makes a noncommittal noise.

"That aside... he is correct. You didn't get much sleep, if at all. Since we are staying here for the rest of the day, you should take the chance to rest," Christoff says.

"You got as much sleep as me," Doc says. "Or less."

"Look, the point is, you gotta sleep. If you keep going like this, you're going to crash and burn, and none of us want that," Sanford says. Doc slams his laptop shut so hard that it is audible through the layers of blankets.

"Oh, fine. If it'll keep you from yapping my goddamn ears off," Doc says, and shoves his laptop out from under the pile of blankets.

"...You should probably sleep too," Sanford tells Christoff, though he isn't prepared to insist. He still doesn't really care enough. They're allies, though, so he'll at least extend the courtesy.

"Mm," Christoff says, retrieving the laptop. "I'll see."

"Sure," Sanford says, grabbing Deimos's backpack and taking the radio as well.
image0.png

[HANK]
N/A​
image1.png

[DEIMOS]
Servine​
image1.png

[SANFORD]
Purrloin​
image0.png

[2BDAMNED]
Flaaffy​
image0.png

[CHRISTOFF]
Patrat​
image0.png

[TRICKY]
N/A​
[BOXED]
N/A​
[BOXED]
Magby​
[BOXED]
N/A​
[BOXED]
Pidove​
[BOXED]
N/A​
[BOXED]
N/A​

oof sorry for the lack of art this chapter around. didn't really have a good scene to draw.
anyways, bit of downtime here, but we get to see some actual interactions this time around!
...and whatever that hugh is doing. i'm sure he'll be fine.
god i want to write so many more sanford and doc interactions. i think their dynamic is fun.
 
Last edited:

Anya Homura

Kanto League Champion
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
391
Caught
Jul 5, 2019
Messages
154
Location
Phasing in and out of reality everywhere
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
she/he/they
Pokémon Type
  1. Normal
  2. Clever
(the name is hilariously pretentious and childish at the same time, but Doc doesn't have the energy to bother complaining)
man, just wait until he finds out about PokeBall name schemes

this was a very good breather chapter after the Rush of the last one; it was nice to see everyone interact and have a little while to recover and cool down.

except when hugh decided to rush into danger because Hugh Gotta Hugh, but that really isn't anyone's problem but his (and the poor Pokemon who are tagging along with him, god help them). i do like how you actively kept the MC gang from that conflict, too, because A, you really don't need to involve them in Everything, and B, trouble will find them eventually, it's better to take the chances you get to have a break.

and hey, don't worry about the art! it's nice, but not necessary, and it doesn't make any chapter lesser for not having it.
 

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