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Written Story Spin-off Teen Mon Sunlight and Shadow: A Colosseum Nuzlocke

Thread Description
Back with Chapter 8! (Feb 18)

cyndakip

there goes my luck
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
23
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
720
Location
Sunken Halifax
Nature
Hardy
Pronouns
they/them
Pokémon Type
  1. Fire
  2. Water
Pokédex Entry
Part Cyndaquil, part Mudkip, apparently also part squid now. Still entirely tired.
Hello and welcome/welcome back to my Colosseum run! After months of stressing about it, wondering if I should reboot it completely, trying to pretend it didn't exist, and wanting to work on it but not having the energy, I am finally pleased to announce that I will be reposting the pre-existing chapters of SaS and then moving on to new ones! Because as it turns out, I like this story more than I thought I did, and I don't think there’s enough I’d change if I rewrote it. also I really don't have the energy for that and I just want to get through this so I can move on to other things

So, what is SaS, anyway? Well, Sunlight and Shadow is a Colosseum storylocke that I spontaneously started because Colosseum was the most convenient game for me to play at the time, and as such it was a very different experience from writing my first run, and I found it rather overwhelming, so I kind of... stopped working on it. But the new forums offer a new opportunity to start posting it again, so that's what I'm doing! SaS is set in the same universe as my other storylockes, but it's an independent story at least for now, so no previous knowledge of those is required.

Now that I've reposted the old chapters, updates will be sporadic, but I promise I'm not abandoning SaS this time, no matter what!

You can also read this story on AO3!

...Anyway, I've put this off long enough, here we go!

Colosseum’s a pretty different sort of game, so it requires some slight bending of the traditional rules…

- Because Pokemon encounters are fixed and there are so few options, I'm allowed to try and catch all that are available.

- Nickname all Pokemon as soon as possible

- Pokemon that faint must be permanently boxed. However, I will make exceptions for Pokemon that faint while grinding in colosseums and at Mount Battle, because your team is automatically healed after each match.

- If a Shadow Pokemon faints before it can be purified, it does not get a second chance and must still be boxed.

- Shadow Pokemon can only be purified through battling. Time flutes/colognes/etc are not allowed.

- Umbreon and Espeon must both remain in the party at all times.

- I am not allowed to catch legendaries. (This is less because they would make things too easy and more because I don't want to get slaughtered in the process)

Smoke billowed from the ruined building, rising above the canyon like a beacon. Rocks clattered down the walls of the gorge, some hitting the roof below with an unforgiving clang. Veils of sand drifted through the air and made the scene appear fuzzy, almost dreamlike. Even so, there was no mistaking it: Team Snagem’s hideout, once carefully hidden, had now been revealed to the world. The explosion still rang in Wes' ears, a painful reminder of what he had done.

The picture changed abruptly, switching to a woman holding a microphone. Wes jumped back in his seat just a little, then quickly took another sip of coffee, trying to remain inconspicuous. He needn't have worried; everyone in the diner had their eyes glued to the TV screen.

“The recent explosion in Eclo Canyon has revealed a previously unknown building. Upon investigation, it has quickly become clear that it was Team Snagem’s hideout.” The reporter’s voice sounded tinny over the speakers, and Wes strained to hear it. Beside him, Haru and Vari pricked up their ears. “No Snagem members have been found, nor any snag machines, but the search is still ongoing.”

For once, the familiar presence of the snag machine felt like it was weighing down Wes' arm. He ran his fingers along the cold metal. If all had gone according to plan, this was one of the last snag machines in Orre.

At least for now. They could always make more, but he’d find a way to take those out too.

Wes drained the last of his coffee and set the mug back on the counter, producing a much louder clattering noise than he intended. This time, it was his Pokemon who jumped. “Relax,” he whispered to them. They had been more on edge than him this whole time. Haru’s bifurcated tail was still twitching from side to side, and Vari’s eyes hadn't stopped flickering around the room.

It was time to move on, anyway. There would be no escape for Wes, no hiding with his two distinctive Pokemon and the metal twined around his arm. He was going to have to fight his way out of this.

He just didn’t want to do it here, not in some old rusty train that had been converted to a crowded diner. The Outskirt Stand was nothing but a stopping place, and he'd rather go establish himself in a bigger city. Somewhere that he could put this machine to use. Build up a proper team and go down fighting. Even his two trusted companions wouldn't be enough to save him from all of Team Snagem.

They both leapt from their seats at the same time as Wes, always in perfect sync, and followed him towards the exit. His hand was halfway to the door when he heard “Oi, you!”

Wes spun around, accompanied by growls from both Haru and Vari. It can't be, I didn't notice anyone from Snagem here... But it was just a regular trainer. Bright-eyed and pink-haired, two Pokeballs at his waist.

“I'm Willie,” the trainer said, not that Wes had asked. “I took one look at you and your Pokemon and could just tell you're good. Battle me?”

The Eeveelutions stopped snarling, relieved in more ways than one. Things never went smoothly when trainers noticed Haru’s silence and Vari’s missing leg and wrote them off as useless.

“Yeah, all right,” Wes agreed, trying to maintain an air of nonchalance. Maybe a battle would help calm them all down.

Not that it ended up being much of a battle. Willie’s team consisted of nothing but two Zigzagoon, eager and energetic but not very well disciplined. Vari and Haru didn't even break a sweat as they knocked them down.

“You're real tough, all right,” Willie declared as he recalled his Pokemon. “But I just need more practice, too.” Wes wasn't going to argue with either of those statements. “You should head to Phenac City,” Willie continued. “A lot of trainers there would be closer to your level.”

Wes just shrugged, watching the other trainer creak his way back up the rusty train steps. Phenac was an option he had already been seriously considering. He was much more familiar with Pyrite Town, which was exactly where Team Snagem would expect him to go, so he would absolutely not be going there in the near future.

“What do you guys think?” he asked, addressing the two Pokemon. Haru considered it for a moment, then gave a slight nod. Vari just shrugged noncommittally.

“Phenac it is, then,” Wes decided. He headed over to the hovercycle, blue coat flapping in the wind and Eeveelutions following loyally behind him. The two wasted no time in hopping into the sidecar and snuggling up together. They deserved to rest after a stressful day of helping him carry out the plan.

They deserve better than anything I'll ever be able to give them here in this wasteland, Wes thought ruefully as he pulled the goggles down over his eyes to block out the desert sand. He revved the engine, and then the three of them were gone.


***​


Phenac was unmistakable. A bright jewel shining through the grit of the desert, it promised safety and prosperity to the weary traveler. Glistening fountains bubbled with sparkling blue water, and palm trees spread their comforting leaves over the streets. It was a perfect oasis.

Too perfect.

Wes had always avoided the place. It was fake, full of endlessly circling fountain water that you couldn't drink and trees confined on all sides by cobblestones. Everyone here was always smiling and safe, never venturing out into the real world. It was far from what he was used to, and that's exactly why he was here. It wasn't Team Snagem territory.

As Wes pulled his bike into the parking lot, his eyes were drawn to a rusty old hovertruck. Two men were unloading a large package that seemed to be wriggling, which was surprisingly suspicious activity for Phenac. Haru and Vari, growling, clearly agreed.

“Can’t you hold on any tighter?” the first man grumbled. “Seems I'm doing all the work here.”

“It's not easy with all this squirming!” his partner complained.

Wes slid off the bike. Pokemon thieves, all the way out here? With no snag machine, they weren't going to get very far.

A sudden spitting noise from the bag, and then a third voice rang out. “Help! Kidnappers! Let me out!” The men started frantically arguing again.

“You didn't tie the gag properly!”

“Well, you told me to hurry up!”

“I'm not letting you blame me for this one if things go wrong!”

Wes strode over, accompanied by two furious Eeveelutions. “Sounds to me like you're both at fault here.”

The two men spun around. They weren't very inconspicuous for kidnappers. One of them had hair dyed neon yellow with orange tips, making it seem like his head was on fire. The other was wearing a bright safety vest and a strange-looking blue hat.

“What? Whatever you thought you heard, you're wrong!”

“We’re not kidnappers! We're just thieves!”

The voice from the bag chimed in. “Nope, they're definitely kidnappers.”

Flame-hair glared at Wes. “Whatever! You're not making it out of here to tell anyone about this, anyway.” He reached for a Pokeball, but Haru glowed white, and the man's hand froze in midair. “Hey, that's not fair!”

“Neither is kidnapping,” Wes said matter-of-factly. “Now, I suggest you get out of here if you don't want a demonstration of just how unfair my Espeon can be. And my Umbreon hasn't even gotten started yet.”

The two men looked at Haru’s flashing eyes, then over at Vari, who was snarling and glowing with dark energy. “This isn't over!” yelled Blue Hat as he and Flame-hair wisely fled. “We’ll find you, and we’ll make you pay!”

Vari’s teeth had already sliced through the rope at the top of the bag by the time Wes got closer. Haru effortlessly grabbed the entire bag with his telekinesis and flung it away, revealing a girl lying on the cobblestones with her hands tied together.

“Thank you,” the girl said, sounding immensely relieved as Vari went to work on the rope around her wrists. Wes noticed that the girl looked, well, girly. She was wearing a skirt, pink boots, and a pink-trimmed denim jacket. Her fiery red hair was tied back in two Ponyta-tails that were starting to come undone. But most importantly, she didn't appear visibly hurt, just shaken.

“Thank you all,” the girl clarified as the rope fell away from her hands. She reached out to pet a startled Vari on the head. For once, the Umbreon didn't flinch away from a stranger's touch, and leaned in to comfort her. Her face lit up as Haru walked over to her other side, and she reached out to him as well.

“It was nothing,” Wes said absentmindedly, looking at his Pokemon. They weren't entirely comfortable with the situation, but they clearly wanted to help in any way they could. “You know, these two usually won't go near strangers.” he added.

“They just figure that kidnapping victims are inherently trustworthy,” the girl suggested. “Or they're great judges of character. Probably both.”

“Are you all right?” Wes asked as the girl slowly got to her feet. To his surprise, she was a little taller than him.

“Yeah. As all right as I can be, under the circumstances. They only tied me up. They didn't hit me or... or anything.” she trailed off, voice wavering. “Anyway, I'm Rui. I must say, it's really nice to meet you.” She laughed nervously.

“Wes. The Umbreon is Vari, the Espeon is Haru.” The two Pokemon nodded their heads politely.

“This might be a weird question,” Rui began. “But did you see any unusual Pokemon with them?”

Wes shook his head. “Didn't see any Pokemon at all.”

Rui nodded, as if she wasn't expecting him to say yes in the first place. “I'm not sure why I bother asking. I can't imagine anyone else can see it…”

“See what?” Wes asked. This whole situation was starting to seem strange.

“It's a long story.” Rui looked down, kicking at a crack between cobblestones with a boot. “Basically, I saw something I shouldn't have, and that's why they kidnapped me.” She looked up, saw that Wes wasn't satisfied with that explanation, and continued. “I don't want to explain everything twice, but you can hear all about it if you come with me to talk to the mayor.”

“The mayor?” Wes echoed.

“Well, I need to tell somebody important, and he seems to be a good choice.”

Wes raised an eyebrow. “Are you calling me unimportant?” He was making an effort to lighten the situation, but belatedly realized that Rui might get the wrong idea and think he was angry.

She just smiled, though. “Actually, you're very important, but in a different way,” Rui took a step closer to him. “I'm out here on my own now, and I have no Pokemon to protect me. Will you come with me, even just for a little while?”

No. Because it's not safe with me. I'm being hunted by much more than just two useless kidnappers.

“Yes,” he said instead. Right now, Rui’s lack of Pokemon made her the one in more immediate danger. Maybe he could catch a few later on and leave them with her, but she would probably object to his methods.

“Oh, thank you,” Rui said, clearly relieved. “Let's go to the mayor, then!” She looked at him expectantly.

“What? I'm not from around here, you expect me to know where he is?”


***​


Rui wasted no time in asking the nearest stranger for directions, and was immediately pointed towards a modest-looking building just down the street. It looked like every other house in Phenac, and nothing like the opulent mansion Wes had been expecting. Rui also wasted no time in heading over there, her strides firm and confident despite the situation. Wes struggled to keep up with her.

He didn't think the mayor would even be home, let alone bother to answer the door. But just a moment after Rui knocked loudly, the door swung open and Wes found himself face to face with the mayor of Phenac City.

Mayor Es Cade was short and fat, with two tufts of gray hair on either side of an otherwise bald head. He greeted Wes, Rui and even the two Pokemon with a warm smile. “Well, hello! What brings you to my home?” He motioned them inside before even giving them a chance to answer. “Come in, come in!”

“Well, sir,” Rui said as soon as the mayor was seated behind his desk. “I saw an unusual Pokemon. It was...troubling.”

Es Cade raised his eyebrows. “Unusual? We get all sorts of Pokemon here in Orre. It was probably just one of those fancy Alola formed thingies, or whatever they're called. Something you've never seen before.”

Rui shook her head. “No, not like that. It was a Makuhita, and I've seen those before. The problem was…” she hesitated. “Its aura. It was glowing in furious and angry ways that I didn't even know were possible, and it tried to attack a human.”

The mayor’s eyebrows somehow managed to climb even higher. “A Pokemon that was ‘glowing in furious and angry ways’? Sounds pretty noticeable. Why hasn't anyone reported this yet?”

“Well, the thing is,” Rui continued hesitantly. “I don't think anyone else can see that. It's an aura thing. I've always been able to see colourful auras around people that change with their mood. Not the same thing as psychic auras, which everyone can see.”

Haru’s own blank white psychic aura flickered to life in surprise, and he exchanged a look with Vari. Wes frowned. He didn't like the idea of someone reading his mind, even if it was something as simple as just emotions.

The mayor's eyebrows seemed to be trying to re-establish a colony of hair on top of his head. “Auras, you say? Auras that nobody else can see? I'm sorry, but that sounds hard to believe, little girl.”

Rui stamped her foot, and Wes didn't need any fancy mood-sensing powers to tell that she was angry. “Little? I am twenty-one years old and I intend to be taken seriously! I was kidnapped and tied up all because I saw this Pokemon! Two men clearly thought it was important enough that I not tell anyone about it! Isn't it your job to fix the problems like this that are going on in your city?”

Wes was taken aback not by her anger, but by her age. She's a year older than me? I wouldn't have guessed. I suppose it's the hairstyle that make her look younger.

Es Cade cowered a little, but quickly reclaimed his professional look. “Well, I wasn't aware that the situation was so serious. I'll certainly order an investigation.”

Rui breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank you, Mr. Mayor. I appreciate it.” And with that, she turned around and marched out the door, leaving Wes and his Pokemon to follow.
Fun fact: It's been exactly one year and one month since I first posted this chapter! I didn't plan that, but once I realized it I figured it was a sign that I should just repost this already rather than keep staring at it and wondering why I feel like things need fixing but I don't know what, exactly. So yeah, nothing's been changed here. Anyway, here's the old author's note:

And so we start things off with a bang, much like the game does! I'll be honest with you: I'm not going to be deviating too much from the game’s story, although I’ll be adding and removing things here and there. My main focus is on the characters because that's what I'm better at because Colosseum already has a fairly solid world and plot, and I want to see how that's going to go with my own interpretations of the characters.

As for our lovely pair of starters, I wanted to give them symbolic names! Haru is a Japanese name with several meanings, including “sun”, and Vari is Estonian for “shadow”. You wouldn't believe how much trouble I had finding a male name that I liked meaning moon/night/dark/shadow, and I finally settled for Vari. I then realized that Colosseum might not be the best game for naming a Pokemon “shadow”, but it's fitting for an Umbreon, so I don't care.
1536259070.4649-smiley.gif
one of these days I'm going to save myself a lot of trouble by giving all my Pokemon completely irrelevant regular names

This is the first nuzlocke I've done where natures are a thing, and the natures in this run have certainly been... interesting. Haru is Naughty and Vari is Calm, neither of which fits their personalities, haha. While I'm not an expert on natures, I figure things could have been worse. Calm is actually pretty good for Vari in this generation, as he won't be using physical attacks at all. And their stat changes are the opposite of each other, which I think is pretty neat.
 
Last edited:

Tsugumi Hazawa

Ordinary but Hardworking
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
218
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
138
Location
Haneoka High School (IRL: Makassar, Indonesia)
Nature
Modest
Pronouns
Character: She/Her, IRL: He/Him
Pokémon Type
  1. Normal
Nice, we don't often see Colosseum or XD Nuzlockes! I heard they were amongst the hardest official Pokemon games though, so please be careful.

The story seems almost similar to the original Pokemon Colosseum, but who knows if it might get a twist?

I'm counting on you @cyndakip !
 

Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
1,018
Location
Zion National Park
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
  1. Bug
  2. Clever
Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works, this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
Nice to see this again! This is off to a great start. I love Rui's characterization in this story--she's very clever and forthright, and the humor slides on through pretty easily! Wes and the Eeveelutions are great additions as well, though re-reading the opening, I was laughing at how obviously shifty they were being in the opening. He sure should be glad that no one was paying attention!

Eagerly awaiting more 👀
 

cyndakip

there goes my luck
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
23
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
720
Location
Sunken Halifax
Nature
Hardy
Pronouns
they/them
Pokémon Type
  1. Fire
  2. Water
Pokédex Entry
Part Cyndaquil, part Mudkip, apparently also part squid now. Still entirely tired.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
@Tsugumi Hazawa Thanks! I've actually finished the gameplay already. It wasn't quite as hard as I expected it to be, but it's definitely a difficult game!


@Dee Nice to see you here again, and thanks! I wanted Rui to be a lot more than just a sidekick, and I really enjoy writing her. And yes, they're not very good at being inconspicuous, are they? Good thing Orre’s full of suspicious people, so they probably didn’t even stand out, haha.

Sorry, meant to repost this yesterday and totally forgot! Although in my defense it's only been a few days since I got my wisdom teeth out so I've been constantly tired and it just didn't cross my mind. Anyway, time for The Exposition Chapter, aka my least favourite one -- but the next few are better, I promise. Not that this one's bad or anything, but, y'know, I've improved a lot since I wrote this, so bear that in mind. sorry to be negative I just really can't wait until we get to the new chapters aaahhhhh

Rui only made it a few steps down the street before she started giggling nervously. Had she really just yelled at the mayor? For someone who knew a lot about emotions, she had never been the best at controlling her own.

To be fair, the mayor had been condescending, and she had also just escaped from kidnappers. Rui figured she was entitled to at least a little yelling.

Wes and his Pokemon quickly caught up to her, surprise showing both in their auras and on their faces.

“So… auras, huh?” Wes asked, breaking the awkward silence.

“I know it sounds crazy, but it's true.”

Wes shrugged. “I've heard crazier. So... when you're angry, you literally see red?”

Rui laughed. “Not quite. I can't actually see my own aura, only other people's. And the colors don't line up with the stereotypes. For me, red is sad, blue is happy, yellow is angry, and so on. That's just the way my brain has worked for as long as I can remember.”

“And the Pokemon you saw?”

“Like I told the mayor, it was an aura I had never seen before.” Rui said, shuddering at the memory. “Just a dark, swirling vortex of anger and misery. The Pokemon was violent, and it enjoyed being violent. It even went after trainers.”

“You want to help it, don't you.” Wes said this as if it was a fact, not a question.

“I don't know how I can help, but I want to try,” Rui admitted. “I'm probably the only person around who can see this. Maybe there are more Pokemon out there being inexplicably violent, and no one really understands why. I just don't know how we can even safely find any, let alone get them away from their trainers and do something to help.”

Wes’ aura flickered with something like guilt, as if he had an idea that he didn't want to voice. Rui was about to call him out for it, but had to suddenly swerve to avoid falling into a fountain. She'd been so focused on the situation that she hadn't even been watching where she was going.

“Looks like we're right outside the Colosseum,” Wes remarked, blatantly changing the subject while Rui paused to get her balance back.

“So?”

So, that's exactly where the trainers hang out. Might find some answers there.”

“Oh, right,” Rui said, cursing herself for sounding like an idiot.

They had only made it up a few steps when the shout echoed across the plaza. “YOU!” Rui saw three auras flare in panic before they all whirled around to face a haze of angry yellow. One of the men stepped forward, eyes blazing. “You filthy double-crossing traitor,” he spat at Wes. “Destroying the hideout and taking a snag machine? You'll pay for this.”

Rui couldn't stop the gasp that escaped her. A snag machine? She'd heard the horror stories about devices that could sever the connection of a Pokeball and steal a Pokemon away from its rightful trainer, but she had never come face-to-face with one. Wes didn't strike her as someone who would go around snagging Pokemon, but there was that cruel-looking metal device twined around his arm…

Wes laughed. “Traitor? As if I was ever really one of you. Destroying the place is one of the only good things I've ever done, other than snagging these two.” He looked down at Haru and Vari, who flanked him protectively.

“We always thought you were crazy for keeping those rejects. Even Cipher didn't want them!” The man shook his head. “And they won't save you now.” Quick as a flash, he pulled out two Pokeballs and threw them. Rui instinctively scrambled backwards, praying that no hateful auras would appear.

The two Pokemon appeared normal enough: a Corphish and a Koffing, glowing with typical anger rather than anything uncontrollable. Rui sighed in relief, even as the Umbreon and Espeon launched themselves at their attackers.

The so-called rejects were unstoppable. One powerful blast of psychic energy left the Koffing motionless on the ground, and the Corphish’s claws closed on only air as a sharp set of teeth sunk in over and over.

Wes smiled, but there was no warmth in it. “Haven't you learned not to underestimate them, Wakin? You’ll only get them angry that way. People like you are the reason why I had to do it.”

“This isn't over!” a furious Wakin yelled, frantically recalling his Pokemon and motioning the other goons to follow him. “We’ll get you back for this!”

“Not likely. Get out of our sight.”

And so they did.

Rui turned to Wes, full of questions, but he was already checking on his Pokemon. They didn’t seem to have suffered a single scratch, but he still fussed over them, praising them for a job well done.

It was hard for her to think of this affectionate, caring man as the same cold-eyed person who had just confronted Wakin. The same person who had apparently once belonged to Team Snagem. But his aura indicated that he wasn't a bad person, and auras were never wrong.

Once Haru and Vari had settled down and gone to sit on the edge of the fountain together, Rui dragged Wes into the shaded area beside the stairs for some privacy. “So, you saved me from my kidnappers, and you saved me from these guys, but you still have a lot of explaining to do. You’d better have an excellent reason for traveling around with one of those horrible snag machines! I won't let you use it.”

“I took it so no one else could use it,” Wes said simply.

Rui sighed. “You're a man of few words, aren't you, Wes?”

He just shrugged in response, making her laugh despite the situation.

Think, Rui. What would get him talking? What does he care about more than anything?

“You and your Pokemon seem quite close,” she said casually. “Did you really snag them?”

Wes’ aura swirled into a complicated set of colors as he looked at the pair on the edge of the fountain. “Snagging was my job,” he finally told her. “I was good at it, but I hated it. Always tried to pick Pokemon from trainers who didn't treat them the best.”

“And what happens to the Pokemon you snag?” Rui prompted, although she was afraid to know the answer.

Another shrug. “Get sent to Cipher, mostly. They study them or something. We get to keep a few temporarily for our work, but we can only permanently keep the ones that no one else wants.”

“Those two are a force to be reckoned with. It's hard to believe that they could ever be unwanted,” Rui whispered. She knew that most of Orre was a harsh place where only the strong survived, but Wes’ Pokemon were perfectly strong regardless of any disabilities.

“Tell that to their original trainers,” Wes muttered bitterly. Rui waited for him to continue, and he did. “Vari was still an Eevee when I met him.” He said this with a sort of wonder, as if he was still in disbelief that anyone could evolve out of love for him. “I was a rookie snagger back then, out on a mission with one of my superiors. He was all excited at the opportunity to snag an Eevee…”

“So excited that he was careless,” Rui supplied for him.

Wes nodded. “The leg wound was bad. So bad that I could see the trainer’s expression change from “please don't snag my Eevee” to “you’ve ruined my Eevee”. The other snagger, disgusted with himself, didn't even bother finishing the job. He told me to leave, but I couldn't. I snagged Vari, brought him to the Pokemon Center, stayed around while he was recovering from having the leg amputated. His trainer never showed up to get him.”

Rui was shaking a little. All her life, she'd been safely hidden away from the horrors of this part of the region, and now she was being confronted with so many in one day. “No wonder you left,” she managed to say.

“It was hard to leave,” Wes admitted. “I was one of the few who tried to do some good with my snagging whenever I could. And I had to wait until I could do as much damage to the organization as possible.”

“What about Haru?” Rui asked. She wasn't sure that she wanted to hear the answer.

“I was scouting out potential snags at the Pyrite Colosseum. Right towards the end of the tournament, there was a dramatic moment -- an Eevee evolving into Espeon for the sake of his trainer, refusing to give up the fight. The trainer was delighted, up until he found that Haru only had telekinesis.”

“He had no use for a psychic without telepathy or empathy?” Rui demanded, disgusted. “I know that's really rare in true psychic types, but doesn't it at least make their telekinesis stronger?”

“Oh, he didn't care. He cursed the breeder for cheating him out of a “proper’ Eevee. I saw him in the lobby, thinking he could kick some telepathy into Haru. That was one snag I never felt bad about making.”

Rui looked over at the beautiful Espeon, horrified that anyone could do such a thing to him.

“It doesn't change the fact that I've made some bad decisions, Rui,” Wes said, growing more somber. “I understand if you don't want me around. On top of that, a lot of people want me dead. You should go far away from here.”

“No!” she blurted immediately, surprising even herself. “I want to help that Pokemon I saw. I want to help you. Your aura tells me you're not a bad person.” She gave him a playful nudge. “Besides, you're my gallant prince who rescued me! I can't begin to tell you how grateful I am.”

Wes looked surprised, but smiled slightly. “Well, you're hardly a typical damsel in distress.”

Rui’s head snapped up. “What do you mean?” she demanded, trying not to sound too panicked.

“Nothing? Only that you’re brave and tough and don't just sit around waiting to be rescued. The way you went after the mayor was impressive.” His aura showed genuine confusion at her outburst, and she relaxed a little.

It was Rui’s turn to blatantly change the subject. “Anyway, I was thinking…” Before she could even finish her sentence, a shriek cut through the air. She looked up just in time to see a blast of energy knock Haru right into the fountain. Vari jumped down, snarling and ready to meet the attackers. He was immediately surrounded by four Pokemon: Duskull, Spinarak, Whismur, Lotad. Rui’s head spun as she tried to make sense of the blur of Pokemon and auras.

Haru leapt out of the fountain, looking thankfully unharmed and wasting no time in joining the fight. Rui finally caught sight of the Pokemon’s trainers, and instinctively took a step back.

“You're not getting away this time!” the man with the blue hat sneered.

“Miror B wasn't happy that we let you go,” his companion with the flame-like hair added. “So this time, we came prepared.”

“Folly, you idiot! Don't be telling them who sent us!”

“Shut up, Trudly! It's not going to matter once they’re his prisoners!”

Rui couldn't believe she had managed to be kidnapped by two people this stupid. While they were arguing, Haru and Vari had made quick work of their Pokemon despite being outnumbered. Wes hadn't even needed to give any orders.

“You think you're so cool, with your fancy Eeveelutions and your stupid coat!” Folly yelled at Wes. “Well, we're going to kidnap you too!”

“And your spiky hair, and your goggles, and that shiny metal decoration on your arm!” Trudly added, further derailing the conversation. “Well, let's see how you deal with this!” He threw another Pokeball.

Rui flinched back from the creature that appeared. The overwhelming aura was all she could see at first, a raging storm of fury that filled her field of vision. It took a moment before she was able to look past it at the Pokemon underneath, a Makuhita glowing with anger.

“Wes!” she called out, finally finding her voice. “That's it! That's the Pokemon I saw before!”

He nodded grimly. There was no need for him to order Vari and Haru to be careful, as they were already eyeing the Makuhita with caution. Haru blasted it with a super-effective psychic attack, but the Makuhita shrugged it off with terrifying ease and swung at a surprised Vari, who barely dodged in time.

“Stop it, Makuhita!” Rui begged. “I don't know what they did to you, but you can fight it! Don't listen to them!”

The Makuhita paused, as if it wanted to obey her.

Then it roared and charged right at her, nothing but rage in its eyes. Only a desperate blast of energy from Haru sent it careening off course at the last second.

Rui clenched her fists. This might be a terrible idea, it might not work, but she couldn't see any other way out. “Use the snag machine!” she cried.

Wes paused, staring at her in surprise.

“You do have Pokeballs, right?”

“Just a few…well, I guess it's worth a try.” He frantically dug around in his coat pockets, finally producing a red-and-white sphere.

“What are you doing?” Trudly demanded as the machine on Wes’ arm began to glow.

The Makuhita, taken by surprise, was hit right in the head with the Pokeball and disappeared. “Hey, that's not fair!” Folly yelped.

Wes scooped up the Pokeball. “I thought we already had a talk about fairness. Miror B might be angry with you, but I can guarantee that I'm even angrier. You’d better run now if you know what's good for you.”

The two kidnappers looked at each other, at Wes’ cold expression, at the two snarling Eeveelutions.

And then they turned and ran for the second time that day.

“We did it! I can't believe we actually did it!” Rui sat down on the steps, overwhelmed.

“But what do we do with this guy?” Wes stared at the Pokeball in his hand.

Rui shook her head. “I don't know. But at least we got him away from them.” She pushed herself back to her feet, although her legs were shaking. “I can see the horrifying truth of his aura. Whatever they did, it can be undone. There has to be a way for us to help!”

She looked at Wes, saw the dark flickers of doubt around him.

Despite her determined words, she knew those same flickers would appear in her own aura if she could see it.
I hope you like POV switching, because there's going to be a lot of that! I feel that this chapter might be a little underwhelming and too heavy on exposition, but I also wanted to get that backstory information out of the way so we can get on with things. Not to mention that some of it is pretty important to know before the next chapter.

I apologize in advance for the long note (and promise that this won’t be a regular occurrence), but I've got quite a few thoughts on both psychics and Eeveelutions... [note from the future: I forgot I wrote this whole thing, wow]

Anyone who's read The Scientist has probably picked up on the fact that I'm a huge fan of psychics. I've been having a lot of fun writing them, and I'm excited to show something a little different here. The thing about psychics is that they're convenient. They can do a whole ton of helpful things, most notably serving as interpreters between humans and Pokemon. They're pretty much expected to use their abilities to contribute to society, so what happens when they can't?

The Scientist
indicates that non-true psychics such as Butterfree don't always have perfect telepathy, and sometimes don't have it at all. That's to be expected. But actual psychic types? They're supposed to be good at everything. A true psychic without telepathy is considered “Incomplete”, and often looked down on.

If that wasn't bad enough for Haru, he also has to deal with the pressure of being an Eeveelution. Eevee are rare, highly sought-after, and expensive Pokemon to obtain. The breeders raise them to be perfect, so turning out to be an imperfect psychic was a pretty big shock.

What with Eeveelutions being so highly regarded, I figured I needed a reason for someone like Wes to end up with two of them in a region like Orre. Most trainers might not have thought Haru and Vari were good enough, but most trainers are stupid!
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
2,196
Location
Gatto Region
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She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
  1. Fairy
  2. Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual lorewriter and worldbuilder. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
I love this second chapter. Wes's characterization and the tales of how he got his Pokemon really made me feel. Imagine evolving out of love for your trainer and then being punished for not being 'good enough'... that had to hurt.

And Rui can tell Wes isn't a bad person because of his aura... now I'm wondering how and why Wes wound up in Team Snagem to begin with. Probably a sad story behind that, too...
 

JavierE64

Masks are so 2016!!! But don´t forget to wear one
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
310
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
776
Location
Perú
Nature
Modest
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
  1. Grass
  2. Water
Pokédex Entry
The Master of both Light and Darkness; who loves the Violent and Dramatic, and the Fun and Adorable.
Your interpretation of Colosseum´s Story is pretty spot on; and with the small but interesting spins on the backstories and motivations, this will definitely be a fun time reading. I really love the interactions between Wes and Rui, specially anything related to Auras.
 

Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
1,018
Location
Zion National Park
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
  1. Bug
  2. Clever
Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works, this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
I quite enjoy Rui as a character! She's very spunky and forthright. I also really like Haru and Vari's backstories, and I especially felt bad for poor Haru--evolving thanks to happiness, only to have that turned around once he was found to be "imperfect". I think I said this last time, but given that the run is literally named after them, there's a lot to look forward to with the two of them!
 

Spectacles

Rule Maker
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
139
Caught
Jun 24, 2019
Messages
740
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 am really enjoying this so far! I quite like the plot of Colosseum for the most part, so seeing it told more in depth and in nuzlocke format will be a lot of fun! Also, I am already shipping Wes and Rui and their cute banter. Probably too early to start shipping, but even if nothing does come of it I like their interactions together as travelling companions! :) I also love the idea of the Eeveelutions being Cipher 'rejects'. They're such Good Boys and I want to keep them.
 

cyndakip

there goes my luck
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
23
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
720
Location
Sunken Halifax
Nature
Hardy
Pronouns
they/them
Pokémon Type
  1. Fire
  2. Water
Pokédex Entry
Part Cyndaquil, part Mudkip, apparently also part squid now. Still entirely tired.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
Oh heck I was not expecting this run to get this much attention, especially with it being a repost! Thanks for reading, everyone. ❤
@Trollkitten Thank you! Eeveelution feels are my specialty.

Yeah, it’s not that he wants to steal Pokemon, but you do what you can to survive in Orre…


@JavierE64 Thank you! Glad you’re enjoying it so far. Wes and Rui’s interactions are certainly fun to write!


@Dee Yup, those two are the real stars here ;) I look forward to writing more of them!


@Spectacles Thank you! Some things will be more in-depth, but some things might get a bit skimmed over… we’ll see how it goes.

It’s never too early for shipping! And normally I’d be vague about where things might be going, but I’ve already tagged it as Wes/Rui on AO3, so…

Glad you like the boys already! They are indeed Good.
Aura.

Haru stared down at the familiar blank white glow around his paws, imagining it blue, gold, purple. Anything but empty. He wanted so badly to ask Rui what color his aura was right now, even though he knew it wasn’t the same thing, knew it would come across as silly and desperate.

And of course, that was the whole problem. He couldn't ask her. Not being able to properly speak with humans had meant nothing when he was an Eevee, but psychic-types were supposed to be the bridge between humans and Pokemon. What good was he if he couldn't do that one simple thing?

Haru shook his head. It was a waste of time, getting caught up in those thoughts again. There were more pressing things to worry about.

Then again, it was probably the more pressing things that were adding to his stress, causing those old anxieties to reform. He hadn't been himself all day. The explosion had put him on edge, making him jump at the tiniest noise and snarl at any slightly suspicious person. Vari seemed to be in the same situation, although it wasn't unusual for him to get snarly. In fact, the Umbreon was now demonstrating this to their new teammate.

The Makuhita stood sullenly off to the side while Wes and Rui tried to figure out what to do next. Haru didn't need fancy aura powers or even regular psychic perception to sense that something was horribly off about him. Vari hadn't taken his threatening gaze off the newcomer for even a second. The Makuhita didn't seem remotely intimidated by this, much to the Umbreon’s dismay.

“I don't think we should be so hostile,” Haru whispered, resting his tail gently on Vari’s good side. “If we’re welcoming towards him, maybe he won't be so suspicious.”

“I'm not letting my guard down. If he makes one move towards you, he's done for,” Vari grumbled back.

“While it's sweet that you want to protect me, you seem to have forgotten the basic facts of type advantages.”

“I can still rip his throat out, disadvantage or no.” Vari growled.

Haru shuddered. “Let's hope it doesn't come to that, okay? I'm going to go talk to him. After all, he hasn't tried to attack us since he got snagged.” Head held high, the Espeon strode over, Vari following reluctantly behind.

“Hello, and welcome to the team!” Haru said, trying to sound as cheerful as possible. “I’m Haru, and this is Vari. What's your name?”

The Makuhita blinked slowly. “Does it matter?”

Haru’s smile faltered a little. “Well, it matters if you don't want us to just call you “Makuhita” all the time.”

“They said I had no name anymore. Who I used to be is gone. I'm a Shadow Pokemon now.” His tone was flat.

Shadow Pokemon. Is that what he is? How many more like him are there?

“Well, whoever “they” are, they're not here to order you around,” Haru said firmly. “You have a new trainer now, and you can be whoever you want.”

The Makuhita’s expression shifted into something almost vulnerable. “I want... I want to be anything but this.”

Vari’s anger seemed to have faded. “So do it. Prove to us that you're your own person.”

“I’m… My name is Ty.” There was a faint spark of something in his eyes.

Haru smiled again. “Welcome to the team, Ty.”


***​


They would still be heading to Pyrite, of course. Despite finding Ty here in Phenac, the city seemed pretty peaceful. If more of these Shadow Pokemon were around, they'd likely be in the region’s seediest area. After all, the kidnappers had mentioned Miror B, who was notorious in Pyrite.

Haru noticed Rui worrying about it, though. If there were other Pokemon around who needed help, she didn't want to just leave them. They had all tried to press Ty for some information, but he would only say that there were a lot of others like him, and he didn't know where they were. According to Rui, that made the Makuhita’s aura flare up more, and he did seem pretty distressed about it, so he was returned to his Pokeball. Rui didn't say anything, but Haru could tell that she was wondering what could possibly be done to heal a Pokemon in that condition.

He wanted to reassure her that anyone can change. He knew it firsthand, after all, except that his former trainer had hardly made a positive change.

But if you can change for the worse, you can change for the better, too.

Rui was certainly interesting. She was the one who could read everyone's emotions, and yet her own emotions were quite noticeable. It made her seem... well, not trustworthy, exactly, but genuine. Trust was a rare thing in Haru’s world, reserved only for Vari and Wes. Trust had to be earned every day, because sometimes, you stopped being worthy of it. That was not a mistake he would ever make again.

And yet, there was something about this girl that made him want to trust her. Right from the start, she had looked at them with respect, not pity. She was no stranger to being different, either. So Haru let her stroke his ears, offering what comfort he could. But he wouldn't let her into his heart, not quite.

He knew it would make Wes happy if he did, though. His trainer smiled slightly at the sight.

Vari watched and predictably grumbled something about not letting your guard down. But Rui reached out a hand to him too, and he didn't flinch away from her touch.

“Pyrite won't be so bad, not if I've got you two to protect me!” Rui remarked, putting on a brave face once they set off.

“And what about me?” Wes asked, feigning hurt.

She smiled genuinely this time. “Don't worry, I know they'll protect you, too!”

And that's how they arrived back on the outskirts of Phenac, laughing and smiling in the face of danger.

Danger stared back, undaunted.

There was a man blocking the road, a living stop sign in his neon red uniform. His face was hidden behind a matching helmet that glinted dazzlingly bright in the sun. Haru tensed instinctively, and felt Vari do the same next to him.

“Going somewhere?” the man asked casually, one hand on a Pokeball.

“Yes,” Wes replied calmly. “And it's none of your business.”

The man threw his Pokeballs in response. Haru assessed the situation quickly -- a Grimer, a Spoink -- and aimed his attack, knowing that Vari was doing the same. Both their opponents collapsed in unison.

The man didn't seem too upset about this. “You're not going to defeat this one so easily,” he promised, throwing just one more ball. Even though there was strength in numbers, Haru still felt a prickle of unease when the solitary Pokemon appeared, and Rui’s startled cry confirmed it.

A Shadow Quilava. Young, angry, and not wasting any time in launching fireballs at them.

Haru got his shield up in time, absorbing the fire harmlessly. But the Quilava kept charging forward, forcing him to jump back, to launch a blast of psychic energy that thankfully hit right on target.

It only slowed the Quilava down for a second.

Vari took advantage of this pause to jump right at the Quilava, who immediately lashed out, quick as a flash. The Umbreon ended up flat on the ground, unable to get his balance back in time.

Listen,” Haru said desperately, dodging another barrage of flames. “We can help you! You don't have to fight like this. Come with us and we'll figure out how to undo what's making you this way.”

The Quilava stared back incredulously. “I'm supposed to be this way. They created me so I could fight like this. I don't need help.” More fireballs.

Created? Haru paused, unsettled. “What's your name?”

“You mean my identification number?” The Quilava’s eyes narrowed. “That's none of your business.”

There was something different about this one, as if he'd never even had a life before becoming a Shadow Pokemon.

Vari was back on his feet, snarling. “Look, kid, we can do this the easy way or the hard way. Regardless, we're taking you away from this jerk who thinks he's your trainer.”

“It's okay,” Haru added from behind the safety of his shield. “I know you think your trainer knows best, but you can always leave. You deserve a better life.”

“There's nothing wrong with me!” The Quilava wreathed himself in flames. “You're just jealous because you weren't good enough for the program! And no one's going to stand in my way, especially not an inc-”

Wes’ Pokeball hit the Quilava squarely on the head, and he disappeared mid-sentence.

Haru flinched at even the beginning of the word. Incomplete. A psychic missing one of the key aspects of being psychic.

Wes and Rui were oblivious to the details of this exchange, of course. They were talking, but for once, Haru didn't pay much attention to the conversation. Vari was staring at the newly occupied Pokeball as if he could melt it with a sufficiently red-hot angry gaze.

“Leave it,” Haru murmured. “It's not his fault. Whatever they did to him, it's made him so full of darkness and hatred…”

“Full of darkness and hatred? Sounds more like you're describing me,” the Umbreon replied with the hint of a smirk, calming down a little.

Haru smiled slightly at the joke, but they both knew it wasn't the same thing. Something horrible was being done to these Pokemon, and they just might be powerless to stop it.

Haru didn't know what awaited them in Pyrite, but he was certain it was nothing good.
Game details on potential teammates will have to wait, because once we get to Pyrite there's more than enough Pokemon to build a good team! Shadow Pokemon's natures don't get revealed until their heart gauges are significantly lowered, so I'm not going to spoil anything until we know for sure who I've picked for my team.
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
2,196
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
  1. Fairy
  2. Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual lorewriter and worldbuilder. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
This was a good chapter. I like seeing things from Haru's perspective, especially how Haru views Rui. You did a good job on making the characters, characters.
 

Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
1,018
Location
Zion National Park
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
  1. Bug
  2. Clever
Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works, this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
The rotating POV is a very fun narrative voice! I like how Haru is reserved from his past, but still cautiously optimistic, in the end. I think I mentioned this before, but the Quilava is very intriguing. A shadow pokemon who wants to be shadow? Now that's quite something!
 

cyndakip

there goes my luck
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
23
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
720
Location
Sunken Halifax
Nature
Hardy
Pronouns
they/them
Pokémon Type
  1. Fire
  2. Water
Pokédex Entry
Part Cyndaquil, part Mudkip, apparently also part squid now. Still entirely tired.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12
@Trollkitten Thank you! The characters are definitely my favourite thing about writing this. The game doesn't give me too much to work with, so it's been fun to try and flesh them out more!


@Dee Thank you! I really enjoy getting to write from all the different perspectives. And yeah, Aidan is definitely an interesting case...

Has it really been two weeks already? Seems like we're getting through this really fast. Only two more old chapters after this, and then it's on to the new ones!

This was not how he had been expecting his day to go.

It had been a simple mission. Stop the boy with the Eeveelutions and the perceptive girl. Theoretically, too easy, even for his first time outside of the laboratory.

So why had it gone so wrong?

He had done everything Rosso had asked. Rosso wasn't his trainer, not really, just one of the many trainers who used the Shadow Pokemon. The kind of person who was so eager that he picked a code name and an outfit to match the Pokemon’s type. It was stupid, but the Quilava didn't really care who was giving the orders, not as long as he could have a good fight. He didn’t always bother listening to the orders, anyway.

He had been perfect, fighting two on one but still managing to get the upper hand. And then they had cheated, snatching him away from Rosso, away from everything he had ever known. Not that he particularly cared about Rosso, but how was he supposed to be a perfect fighter when his new trainer wanted to “cure” him?

He had sat and glowered at them all as they introduced themselves. Wes. Rui. Haru. Vari. He couldn't care less.

They had tried to give him a name too. He had never had one before, and he certainly had no need of one now. You didn't need a name to be one of the most powerful fighters in the region.

“Aidan”, they called him. As if they could make him into someone he wasn't. He wasn't their friend, wasn't a pampered pet to be fussed over like those pathetic Eeveelutions. He was a fighter, a warrior, a perfect specimen.

He was death incarnate.

“I think it's a good name for you!” the girl said, smiling. “It means fiery!” He snarled at her, flared his flames to show just how fiery he was, but she just kept smiling and said “Yes, exactly!” as if she was indulging a stupid child.

But there were worse things to be named, he had to admit.


***​


The humans stood off to the side, watching the four Pokemon cautiously. At least they had some common sense. Being cautious of him was a good idea.

He supposed they were his trainers now, though. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if they just let him fight and gave up on this “cure” nonsense. It's not as if he had any attachment to the previous trainers, anyway.

It was learning to work with these Pokemon that would be the difficult part.

The Makuhita was a Shadow like him, but that was where the similarities ended. This guy was one of the many who had been turned into a Shadow later on in life. Not hatched and raised as a Shadow, which had made the Quilava superior, had given him finely honed fighting skills and no pre-existing sentimentality to get in the way. He could already see pathetic traces of resistance in the Makuhita, on some level struggling against what they had done to him.

Why would you ever want to struggle against being a perfect fighting machine?

The other two were normal, at least in the non-Shadow sense. The kind of Pokemon who would be brought into the lab as target practice, because they weren't fit to be Shadows. The incomplete Espeon and the three-legged Umbreon. What a pair.

And yet, there was... something about them. The way they looked at him as if he was a threat, but they still wanted to help him. Not that he needed to be helped, and of course he could destroy them in a second if he wanted to, but he wouldn't. They were on his side now, even tentatively, and he had to respect that.

And there was something else... something he couldn't quite understand. The way they looked at each other as if nothing in the world was more important. As if they’d die to save each other in a heartbeat. It went against everything he had ever been taught -- you keep yourself alive, you don't waste your time on other Pokemon -- and it made him feel a twinge of something unfamiliar.

He hated the feeling, and decided to express this by silently glaring at them.


***​


The humans decided that the team bonding could wait (As far as he was concerned, it would have to wait a very long time. Probably forever), and that heading off to Pyrite had to take priority. He was more than happy about this. A town where people battled on the streets sounded like a much better place than this horrible water-filled hellhole.

It wasn't that Phenac’s fountains made him nervous, it was just a tactical disadvantage for him as a fire-type.

The Quilava reflected that the day could have gone worse. Sure, he had been captured by the enemy, but they weren't the enemy anymore. The enemy was whoever he was told to fight. As long as he got to keep battling, he didn't much care. And at least they were leaving Phenac.

As he disappeared into an unfamiliar Pokeball for the second time that day, the last thing he heard was “See you soon, Aidan!”

That's not me, he thought. But then the sleeplike state was overtaking him, and he was no longer sure of who he was at all.
A short chapter, but one that I had a lot of fun writing! Next time, we’ll actually make it to Pyrite, I promise.
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
2,196
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
  1. Fairy
  2. Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual lorewriter and worldbuilder. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
I like looking at things from Aidan's perspective. He's very much a Shadow Pokemon that enjoys being a Shadow Pokemon, so it's not a familiar perspective to think about, which is what makes it so intriguing.
 

Spectacles

Rule Maker
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
139
Caught
Jun 24, 2019
Messages
740
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
Oooh I didn’t realize we would be getting chapters from the Pokémon’s perspective too! I love Haru and Vari and the new teammates so far! I’m interested to see more of Ty and Aidan and how their different Shadow experiences are.
 

Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
1,018
Location
Zion National Park
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
  1. Bug
  2. Clever
Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works, this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
Uh-oh, his first mission and he already messed it up? Even if you go back, the Cipher's not gonna be happy with you, Aidan...

I like how already cracks are starting to form, with that last line especially. You can start to sense the development coming...
 

cyndakip

there goes my luck
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
23
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
720
Location
Sunken Halifax
Nature
Hardy
Pronouns
they/them
Pokémon Type
  1. Fire
  2. Water
Pokédex Entry
Part Cyndaquil, part Mudkip, apparently also part squid now. Still entirely tired.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16
@Trollkitten Aidan's definitely one of my favourite characters to write! It's fun to get such a different perspective on things.


@Spectacles Yup! We’ll be seeing things from plenty of different viewpoints. Glad you're enjoying it so far!


@Dee Well, at least it wasn't his fault he got snagged! They probably wouldn't be so unforgiving, not when they want strong Pokemon. But of course, we don't want him to go back...

Oh heck I almost forgot I was supposed to update today

The trip to Pyrite wasn’t a particularly pleasant one. Wes and Rui were both caught up in their own thoughts, and they couldn’t really have talked over the roar of the hovercycle’s engine anyway. Rui had her hands over her ears most of the time, making Wes wish that he still had a pair of earmuffs to give her. But he had gotten used to the noise long ago, and the only passengers he ever had were his Pokemon, so he had seen no point in hanging on to them.

It was also strange to have her there instead of Haru and Vari. There wasn't room enough for all of them, and of course Rui couldn't be shoved in a Pokeball, so the sidecar was now reserved for her. Even though her expression suggested that she'd rather walk, endless expanse of desert be damned.

Darkness had fallen on Orre long before the hazy lights of Pyrite even came into view, but Wes managed to steer them safely to the town anyway. It seemed that no matter where he went, he'd never escape the place.

He did his best to stash the bike behind a sand dune, knowing that the distinctive design would give away his presence in a heartbeat.

“I never thought I'd be looking forward this much to seeing a Pokemon Center,” Rui muttered.

Did she know anything about this region? “Well, you'll have to keep looking forward to it, because Pyrite doesn't have one.”

“Are you saying we have to sleep on the streets?” She looked horrified.

“Ever heard of hotels?”

Rui brightened “Oh, that's even better!”

“Yeah, not this one.”

She hesitated when he started crossing the dunes towards Pyrite, but eventually did follow him, probably because it was better than the alternative of dying of thirst in the desert.

But only slightly. Wes could speak from experience.

It had been a long day, and it took the last of his strength to finally stumble into the hotel. Rui dragged herself through the door a moment later, and leaned on the front desk for support. Even run-down old hotels like this one cost plenty of money, and were a luxury Wes had rarely been able to afford.

So it was a good thing he had stolen as much cash as he could carry from the hideout before he blew it up.

The guy behind the front desk looked at them. “One room?”

“Two!” Rui said quickly, before Wes could say yes -- not that he would have, of course. Although it would save money.

The guy shrugged and handed them two keys. “Whatever.”

Their rooms were right next to each other. Rui hesitated in front of hers, one hand on the doorknob, which looked like it might fall off at any moment.

“It's safe,” Wes reassured her. “No one knows we're here.” Not yet, anyway. “Knock on the wall if anything does happen, though.”

“Oh, that's reassuring.”

There weren't many genuinely reassuring things to say about Pyrite, unfortunately. “I could leave Haru or Vari with you?” he offered.

Rui shook her head, putting on a brave face. “It's fine. I'll be fine. They wouldn't want to be separated, anyway.”

Well, the last part was certainly true.

“Good night, then,” he said, opening his door.

“Good night,” she echoed softly. “And... thank you.”

Wes nodded, closed the door, collapsed onto the bed, and fell asleep instantly.


***​

Wes awoke to a pounding at the door. He was out of bed and halfway to throwing Pokeballs in the direction of the noise before he registered where he was.

It was probably Rui. But he still didn't relax until he looked through the peephole to confirm it. She was standing outside his door, looking over her shoulder nervously as if someone might jump out and attack her at any minute. It was a sensible assumption, considering their current situation.

He creaked the door open, finally realizing that he was still tired. “What time is it?”

“Um, seven in the morning? I think? Sorry, but I couldn't sleep, and I thought maybe we should get out and look for more of those Pokemon...” she trailed off, staring down at the floor.

Wes sighed. “It's okay. Probably best for us to keep moving anyway.”

Astonishingly, there was a breakfast buffet set up in the dining room already. No one else was around, and of course the food wouldn't be good, but hey, it was food. There was even Pokemon food available, so Wes sent out Haru and Vari, who wasted no time in heading right for it. His hand hovered over the other two Pokeballs, but he figured it was best to leave the unpredictable newcomers alone for now. At least they wouldn't need food as long as they stayed in there. He didn't want to be responsible for the destruction of a hotel dining room, even if it looked in desperate need of renovations anyway.

Rui frowned as he piled his plate with bacon and sausages. “How can you eat that stuff? Don't you know it used to be living, breathing Pokemon?”

Wes felt a pang of envy for this girl, someone who had clearly never gone hungry in her life. “You take what you can get, around here,” he said simply.

She stopped complaining, but only grabbed a couple of muffins and an apple for herself. They sat down across from each other at one of the many unoccupied tables, lapsing into another awkward silence as they both shoveled in the food.

A thought came into Wes’ mind, something he hadn't considered amidst all the chaos of yesterday. “Don't you have somewhere to be? People who are worrying about you?”

Rui stared at an empty muffin wrapper, folding it as small as she could. “Yes. Those jerks stole my phone, but I was able to call from the front desk and let my grandparents know I'm safe.”

Wes frowned. Phoning from anywhere was not a great idea -- calls could be traced, of course. He had deliberately left his own phone behind at the hideout, and didn't consider it much of a loss. Who would he have called, anyway? But he couldn't argue that it was important for Rui to let her family know she was safe.

“Grandparents, huh? Are they in Agate?” Agate Village was well-known for essentially being a retirement community. It was also one of the only nice places to live in all of Orre, and Wes had always figured he'd never live long enough to make it there.

“Yes.” Rui’s talkativeness seemed to have vanished.

“And what about you?”

“I live there, too.” She didn't take her eyes off the muffin wrapper.

Well, that explained her sheltered life. “You're allowed to live there? I thought it was for old people.”

“It's not like there’s a rule against young people living there!” She sounded exasperated. “Why shouldn't I live there if I want to? It's apparently the only safe place in this entire Mew-forsaken region!”

“I’m not saying you shouldn’t live there, I’m just surprised that you do. How--”

Rui glared at him. “What is this, an interrogation?” She shoved her chair back and stomped out of the room. Wes looked over at the Eeveelutions in surprise. Haru blinked at him disapprovingly, and Vari’s expression said what did you do, you idiot? Okay, maybe he had overdone it with the questioning, but he needed to know details if they were going to be on the run together. And it's not as if he could have known she’d react that way.

She was out in the lobby, pacing around while the same guy at the front desk stared at her curiously. “I'm sorry!” she said as soon as Wes appeared. “I didn't mean to yell like that, it's just that I'm tired, and being kidnapped was stressful, and --”

He cut her off. “No, it's okay. I'm the one who should be sorry. Didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable. We shouldn't start the day off with arguing, especially not when we've got important stuff to do.”

Rui looked unsettled at the reminder of the danger they'd be getting into, but she nodded resolutely. “Right. Let's go.”

“You two staying another night?” the guy at the desk demanded, no doubt hoping to witness more of this drama. Wes didn't want to stay in one spot too long, but there weren't many other places to sleep off of the streets around here. Unless you wanted to get yourself arrested and spend the night in a nice safe jail cell, of course.

“Maybe,” he said, and walked out the door, Rui and Eeveelutions following.


***​

Rui’s confidence seemed to disappear as they walked into the heart of Pyrite. She stuck close to Wes, flinching at every person who passed by. It probably didn't help her mood that he had recalled Vari and Haru, but walking around displaying your Pokemon in Pyrite was just asking for trouble.

“It's not that bad,” he promised. “I know a lot of these people. They won't bother you if you're with me.”

“If they're not bad people, then why are we looking for those Pokemon here?

Wes had been wondering that himself. He had some friends here, friends who he had always tried to protect from Snagem, and he didn’t think they were the sort of people who would jump at the chance to use exceptionally violent Pokemon.

Friendship only went so far in Pyrite, though.

“I'm sure Duel Square will have some answers,” was all he said as they approached it.

Rui eyed the place critically. “Square? Looks more like a circle to me.”

“‘Square’ does sound cooler, though. Don’t think anyone cares if it’s accurate.”

They both grew quiet as they entered the circular Square. Many of the usual people were hanging around, but the tone was subdued, and not one battle was going on.

Wes headed over to the first familiar face he could find. “What's going on here, Nover?”

The other man looked surprised to see him. “You're alive? Thought you were a goner after you went and put such a big target on your back. But you're still here, and you’ve even found yourself a girlfriend?”

“Can't I walk around with a guy without everyone thinking I'm his girlfriend?” Rui muttered.

Wes sighed. “Everyone knows about the hideout, huh?”

“Snagem’s made it quite clear that they're after you.” Nover looked at him intensely. “But you were never here. Not according to me, at least.”

“Thanks,” was all he could think to say. Snagem must be out there offering a good reward to anyone with information on him, and he was surprised that even Nover wouldn't want to sell him out.

“Don't misunderstand, Wes. I'm not putting myself in danger for you. But I'm also no fan of Snagem, and I don't want their money. If I can help finish what you started, I will.” Nover scrutinized the snag machine, frowning. “But not if you think it's okay to keep snagging without being ordered to do it.”

“We're not stealing!” Rui butted in quickly. “We're just rescuing the... the violent Pokemon, and trying to save them!”

“You know about them too?” Nover frowned. “This is more serious than I thought. They've been giving them out as Colosseum prizes, but I didn't think it was a wider issue.” His hand absentmindedly drifted down to rest on a Pokeball at his waist, one that Wes knew hadn't been there last time they battled.

“At the Colosseum? What the hell is Duking thinking?”

“You've missed a lot, Wes. Duking’s not really running the Colosseum anymore, not since Miror B started holding his Pokemon hostage.” Nover shook his head. “And these new Pokemon... they were advertised as being powerful. They weren't kidding about that, but it's impossible to control them. Mine nearly shredded Leba’s entire team. You better have a damn good plan if you want to save these things.”

Say what you will about Duel Square, but at least killing was generally frowned upon.

“We do have a plan!” Rui declared, casually elbowing Wes in the ribs before he could say we do? “It'll work, I know it.”

Nover didn't look entirely convinced, but he nodded. “Well, a questionable plan is a lot more than what I have.” He held out the Pokeball. “Take it. See what you can do to help.”

Wes instinctively grabbed it with the snag machine arm. The ball glowed, then clicked. Whatever was inside had been registered to his team.

“Well, that was easier than I thought!” Rui remarked.

“Talk to the others,” Nover suggested. “They might not all be so willing to give up their new Pokemon, but it's worth a try.”

And try they did. Diogo was Wes’ next target -- the street performer was moping in a corner, far from her usual lively self. Her hands fluttered frantically in a pale imitation of her dance as she explained the situation.

“They gave me this cute Flaaffy, and I thought she would be a perfect addition to my routine, but she's so angry, and keeps attacking my poor Shroomish…” she sniffled. And just like that, Wes found himself with a complete row of Pokeballs.

“You'll have to hang on to anything we get after this, at least until I can track down a PC,” Wes told a startled Rui. “We're not gonna get anywhere if I get arrested for carrying too many Pokemon.”

“But I'm not a trainer --”

“If you want to help them, don't complain. Hopefully you won't have to use any of them yet.” He didn't dare ask her about the plan, not now. Secrets traveled quickly in Pyrite Town.

Rui did find herself burdened with Pokeballs, as a surprising amount of trainers were willing to give them up. It was relatively smooth sailing, up until they ran into Vant. He’d never been the easiest guy to get along with, so Wes wasn’t surprised to meet some resistance from him.

“You're not taking mine so easily!” Vant sneered. “Do you know what this is? It's a Misdreavus. Ever seen a ghost before, Wes? I don't think you could steal it from me if you tried.” He threw the Pokeball, and it appeared. Forget mysterious angry auras, this thing already had its own creepy veil of darkness around it. It leered at him, and Wes took an instinctive step back.

Rui, astonishingly, didn't even seem fazed. “You're not afraid of ghosts, are you, Wes?” She sounded disappointed, as if he wasn’t supposed to run from things that refused to stay dead.

“I'm not afraid! It's just that I'm not used to them! Ghost types aren't common in Orre!” He gave her what he hoped was a reassuring, unterrified smile.

“They're not common in Kanto, either, but that doesn't mean they're scary!” She stepped towards the ghost, arms outstretched. “I know you're angry!” she called out, addressing the Pokemon. “But don't take it out on us! We're not the ones who did that to you. We're trying to stop the ones who did that to you! Come join us, and you can get revenge on them.”

Wes and Vant both blinked at her incredulously.

The ghost turned towards Rui, a swirling vortex of dark energy. Wes couldn't even imagine how it must look with the aura added to that, but Rui stood her ground. “Do the thing!” she hissed impatiently.

The ghost remained unmoving as Wes finally came to his senses and threw a snag ball. He took another step back as it disappeared, not wanting to face its wrath if it broke out.

But the ball clicked, and Rui scooped it up. Vant scowled. “Whatever! That thing's more trouble than it's worth, anyway. I hope it eats both your souls!”

“Ghosts don't actually do that!” Rui called as Vant stomped away. He flipped her off.

Wes turned to her. “So... Kanto, huh?”

Rui sighed in defeat. “Yes. I lived there until I was ten. Lavender Town, specifically. I’m from a long line of Channelers. I ain’t afraid of no ghosts.” She smiled weakly.

“So, why did you end up in Orre, of all places?”

She turned away. “It’s a long story, and we have more important things to worry about now. Let's check out all our new teammates, okay?”

“We'll have to go somewhere isolated,” Wes pointed out. “Can't have a bunch of them rampaging all over town.”

“Back to the desert, then,” Rui said resignedly.

They turned back the way they came, weighed down by their thoughts and a whole lot of Pokeballs.
I've never been entirely happy with this chapter, but I think it turned out okay.

Only one more update before the new chapters!
 

Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
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1,018
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Pokémon Type
  1. Bug
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Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works, this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
Wes: pyrite doesnt have a pokemon center

Rui: 😨

Wes: but it does have a hotel

Rui: 🥳

Wes: the hotel is dingy and upcharges you, though

Rui: 😑

Anyway, I really enjoyed this chapter! Wes's interactions with the people of Duel Square really help the world feel lived-in, and it makes sense he'd have such connections. Rui's hesitance to take his pokemon is also a nice touch, and her Channeler backstory is fascinating and makes sense given her origin. I wonder which shadows will have a permanent spot on your team?
 

Spectacles

Rule Maker
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It hides deep inside caves where no light ever reaches it and remains virtually motionless there. ~Pokemon Crystal, entry #52
I'm feeling big anime vibes in this chapter and it's great. I love how big tough Wes is afraid of ghosts. I can't wait to meet the new teammates and find out who makes the team!
 

cyndakip

there goes my luck
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Part Cyndaquil, part Mudkip, apparently also part squid now. Still entirely tired.
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@Dee That's a pretty perfect summary of it, haha!

Oh, we've barely scratched the surface of Rui’s backstory, and I'm very excited to show more of it!

the real question is, will any of them have a permanent spot? this game is hard!


@Spectacles I'm not sure exactly what about the chapter makes you say that, but I'll take the compliment nonetheless!

Hey, everyone's afraid of something! Since Misdreavus is the only ghost-type you can catch in this game, and you don't fight very many, either, I figure most people in Orre are pretty creeped out by ghosts because they're just not used to them.

Well, wait no longer, because that's what we're starting to do in this chapter!

The last repost chapter! Next time, we're on to the new stuff!

Nikki stared at the five other Pokemon, and they stared back at her. She was surprised at the lack of hostility -- hostility was something she had come to expect from her fellow Shadows, and she had certainly provided her fair share of it in the past.

It was a rather questionable choice for a team. Two pathetic non-Shadows, who were trying to pretend that they weren't intimidated by everyone else. A whiny little Quagsire, who wasn't cut out to be a Shadow in the first place. The Quilava, one of those born-Shadows who believed he was a lot cooler then he really was. And that ghost, thinking he was so intimidating just because he was already dead. Nikki would gladly kick his ectoplasmic ass right back to the afterlife in a heartbeat.

The two humans and the Eeveelutions had talked to her alone, first. Said they were assessing everyone, trying to determine who was the best fit for the team. She wasn't sure what they wanted her to do. Show off how powerful her electricity could be? Or prove to them that she wasn't dangerous, that she could still act like a normal Pokemon?

One of those things was a lot easier than the other. Nikki had stopped being a normal Pokemon long ago. There was no normal anymore, not since those horrible people had shaved off her beautiful Mareep wool in a Flaaffy pattern, trying to force evolution on her.

And it had worked, somehow. There was no going back from that, no recovering from losing what had once been her greatest pride. It felt like they had shaved her right down to her soul, stripping it naked for all to see and scarring it forever. She had given up after that, let them do whatever they wanted, let them make her into this.

There was no going forward, either. No matter what they had thrown at her, no matter how strong she got, she was stuck as a Flaaffy. Nikki felt the itch of evolution prickling under her skin, and she couldn’t make it go away. She had heard the scientists complaining about it, grumbling that they hadn't found a way to make Pokemon evolve once they’d been properly made into Shadows.

It was some small comfort, knowing that they couldn’t take the rest of her wool away.

She didn't tell any of this to the group, of course. She sat and watched silently as the Espeon encouraged them all to talk about themselves, watched silently as the Quagsire burst into tears and wailed that she wanted to go home.

It was good for Nikki that the ground-type was nothing but a weak crybaby.

“We’ll get you home, sweetheart,” the Espeon promised. Nikki knew they were empty words. There was no going home, not anymore.

“No, you won't!” the Quagsire shrieked, suddenly enraged. “You can't! I can't go back! What did they do to me?” She stomped her foot, and the ground rumbled.

Nikki cursed herself for ever thinking of a fellow Shadow as weak. She should know better by now, know that the darkness can always take over, bringing unstoppable power with it.

The Quilava snorted. “What did they do to you? They made you strong. They made you unstoppable. You should be grateful.”

“But... but I…” the Quagsire sniffed, her anger falling away as quickly as it had risen.

“You always have a choice,” the Umbreon said, dark eyes flashing. “They don't get to decide who you are. You can fight it.”

No, you couldn't. Fighting it only brought you false hope. Just when you thought you were free, the darkness always swallowed you up again.

Despite that, Nikki still knew who she was. They could take her fleece, take her freedom and her happiness and her control, but she would still be Nikki.

Even if Nikki was nothing but a fighting machine, nothing but a shadow, she would not let them break her completely. They would never see her sobbing like that pathetic baby of a Quagsire.

“You don't fight it,” a wispy voice spoke up. The ghost was watching them all with an amused expression. “You embrace it. Control the darkness. Don't let it control you.” He smirked. A little too menacingly, in Nikki's opinion.

“There's no controlling it.” Five heads swivelled in her direction, and she blinked. Had she said that out loud? “It's a part of you, and you have to learn how to live with it. Give in when you need it to protect you. But you can't control it, and you know that as well as I do.”

The ghost smirked. “Maybe you can't.”

Nikki snarled and leapt towards him, feeling the darkness wrap around her. “You think I'm weak? I'll show you--”

She was cut off mid-sentence as she slammed into what had been thin air just a second ago.

“That's enough,” the Espeon said sternly, letting the barrier vanish. “You're part of the team now, and we all have to get along. Save your energy for the tournament.”

Nikki's rage evaporated like water in the desert heat. “Tournament?”

“Tournament?” the Quilava echoed, eyes gleaming.

“They’ll tell you all about it,” the Espeon said with a flick of his tail. Both of the humans, taking notice of the gesture, came over to join the circle of Pokemon.

“We need strong Pokemon for this,” the boy said bluntly. “We've chosen you four, and we expect you to behave as well as battle. That means no fighting to the death, not in the tournament and definitely not among yourselves.”

The girl smiled at all of them. “You don't have to prove that you're strong. We know that already! Show us that we can trust you and rely on you.”

Nikki almost laughed. Trust? She didn't even trust herself, much less anyone here. She could tell from the others’ expressions that they felt the same way.

But it was a tournament. A chance to fight for fun, a space where you didn't have to be assessed over and over until you could barely stand, opponents lying bleeding on the ground around you as the darkness begged for more.

Nikki might not care about this team, but she wanted this chance. The lab was behind her now, and it was time to show what she could do.

She was ready.
We have our full team now! Seems that not all the names have been revealed, though, so you'll have to wait until next time for the in-game info…

And next time, it’ll be a brand-new update that none of you have seen before! So, what's our status? Well, we're not quite where I wanted to be, due to a whole variety of reasons, but here's where it stands right now:

Chapter 7 - Done! Expect to see it in two weeks.

Chapter 8 - Technically done, in the sense that it's a complete chapter and I think it turned out pretty well. But, I'm not sure if it does enough justice to what I want it to show, so I'm considering rewriting part of it. I'll let you know where things stand with that when I post Chapter 7.

Chapter 9 - This one's a draft that still missing the last couple scenes, and I think some of what I do have needs a lot of work. It went in a lot of directions that I wasn't quite expecting! It's entirely possible that this one won’t be ready on schedule, but that's a problem for the future!

Chapter 10 - This does not exist yet! But I'm sure it'll be great when it does :P

...So, yeah, that's not really where I wanted to be at this point, but it's better than nothing! I think pretty soon we won't be on a schedule anymore, but even if it takes a while to get chapters out, they will still be coming! I'm not abandoning this run, I promise.
 
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Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
1,018
Location
Zion National Park
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
  1. Bug
  2. Clever
Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works, this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
Great chapter! I really like the varying personalities of all the shadows so far. Nikki herself is really intriguing to me, she seems to be the most... down-to-earth? Grounded? Of the various shadows. I get the sense I'll like her a lot. The Quagsire broke my poor heart, too; I wonder what her deal is, and if she'll be okay?

Looking forward to more!
 

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