Dawn of Darkness: Chapter Twenty Four
Hello everyone! It has been a while since I have started a new story, so I thought I would finally getting around to doing this prequel series. It is still a GalacticVerse story, so expect a lot of crossing over, but you will have to wait and see exactly who our central character really is. Enjoy!
June 21st 1985
Daylight was still an hour away. The girl stared out at the horizon to the east, and was pleased to see only a thin golden line hovering above the edge of the water, a smear at the bottom of the sky. The light would soon spread across the ocean as the sun rose higher, but for now it was still and silent, an unmoving black field.
The girl turned back to the city that waited before her. Sunyshore was smaller than the last city she had passed through, and for the time being it was as quiet and dark as the ocean that enclosed it. This city was built amongst rocks as well, making Sunyshore a strange mix of the natural and unnatural, the old and new, a big stew of clashing structures that had been forced together. The girl had imagined what true cities looked like her entire life, and after passing through Veilstone, the term 'city' had clearly been given too generously to Sunyshore.
It was a small place, so close to the ocean that it seemed to be slipping into the water, yet for the most past it seemed mountainous. Great rock formations eroded away by time and the sea made the foundation for the city, with houses and buildings hidden away above, below and in the middle of these strange structures. All the towering pillars of stone were connected by dozens and hundreds of walkways and staircases, turning the entire city into a spiralling maze that was bound to make you lose any holiday weight in a flash. There was only one road that went from the boundaries through the middle of the city, towards the giant city square that took up the majority of the cities lower parts
And that was her destination.
The girl wasted not another second. She skidded down the smooth surface of the boulder she had perched on, and within a second she had landed on a small section of grass covered with sand. Checking her map quickly before stuffing it away in her bag, the girl raced towards the road, moving swiftly but as silently as possible. She had let her blonde hair down to help hide her face, and was dressed in her darkest clothing, consisting of navy jeans and a tight fitting leather jacket she had stolen from her sister.
Just something to remember me by had been all she had left on a note attached to a coat hanger, the only obvious sign that she had left, and the girl laughed to herself as loose gravel and tarmac crunched beneath her black trainers. The road was exposed for a long stretch, with only a few houses and businesses on either side, but soon the rocks began to settle in, small at first, but quickly getting bigger. Smaller paths she presumed were for bicycles began to move towards houses tucked away from the main road, and the first of many staircases appeared to her left as boulders and strange stone shapes appeared all around her.
And then, almost as if a light had been switched off, she was plunged into darkness.
The rocks had crept out of nowhere, and the girl was startled to find herself surrounded, the formations towering above her, Sunyshore's own stone versions of skyscrapers. The shadows seemed to block out the moon and the stars, leaving only tiny pinpricks of amber streetlights to guide her way. The girl was taken aback at the darkness she was being consumed in, and for a moment she wanted to turn back and find an alternative route, one that was not so… claustrophobic
No, you have come too far and been through worse than this, a stubborn voice in the back of her head hissed. It won't be for long! Come on, move!
"Alright," the girl muttered to herself, and she took off again. Her footsteps echoed up the sides of the rocks that imposed in on her, a rhythmic ringing that kept her moving. Nothing else stirred around her, though the girl had a nasty feeling that a truck was about to come racing up behind her, not noticing the little blonde girl before it. The lack of people was unnerving, and the girl looked up, unable to see any houses perched on the rocks above her. The rocks never seemed to break and were stretching on forever, and the girl could only keep running, wondering when she would be back in light.
Than, as suddenly as the rocks had appeared, they parted again. There was little lighting in the area, and the city square emerged so suddenly that the girl kept moving, not realising what she had stumbled across. But she noticed the sudden emergence of space around her, and the girl came to a halt, her heart beating from her run.
It was more beautiful than she imagined. Buildings that looked older than her great-grandmother were spread out around the square, which was wide enough to fit about three football fields, with more paths and streets shooting off. The buildings were stunning, with gothic architecture, statues perching over doors, stained glass windows, pointed rooftops. It was too dark to fully appreciate their beauty, but the girl's heart began to beat faster. She had travelled this far simply to come to this square, to appreciate the buildings, to experience the life, the culture, to enjoy freedom, to find herself…
… and find the books.
The girl paused, and her eyes flickered towards a building she had walked past. It was three storeys high, hidden away by the shadows of the rocks, two sole gas lamps resting above the red oaken doors to show its existence. The cracked concrete stairs were flanked with twin statues of Luxray lying down on their plinths. A window of swirling colours covered the top two floors, though it was too dark to see what was being shown. It was clear that the building was a thing of ancient beauty, and the girl looked towards a sign resting besides the statues: SUNYSHORE CITY LIBRARY
The girl smiled to herself as her eyes took in every inch of the library that she could see. She had come to Sunyshore to escape her life, but the library was the main draw for come all the way to the bottom of Sinnoh, to a place that was more rock than city. The book she was looking for was hidden within this library, the book that would change everything, and she was not leaving until it was in her hands.
My name is Cynthia Carter, the girl thought to herself as she slipped a PokeBall from her jeans, and nothing will stop me until I find those books and find the truth.
"Are you certain you have the right child?"
"You know me, I am always certain." The man smirked at this despite himself, though he made sure his companion did not notice. She would not take kindly to being laughed at, especially not coming from him.
"Very well then," he replied, keeping the humour out of his voice, though a sudden chill filled the air that implied she had knew anyway. "If you believe you have found the right boy, than deal with him. But I am warning you now Charlotte, I do not want his blood on either of our hands. Your orders are to stop him before he destroys himself, but you absolutely must not harm him in any way." It was her turn to laugh now, and she made no attempts to hide it, making his spine shudder
"Oh please Arnold, you can't get blood on your hands if you don't have any," she purred back, and her laugh lingered in the air as she disappeared into nothingness. Arnold Adiem turned to check she was gone, his lips pursed. He knew Charlotte was not the best person to get involved in this, but there was no other option that would not threaten everything. He just wished she hadn't laughed as she left. His nerves about this operation were already high, and her relaxed attitude did nothing to reassure him.
"This should all be done within a day," Arnold said to himself, saying the words out loud to try and calm himself. "As soon as the boy is dealt with, everything will be able to move on smoothly." He looked down at the leather chest that sat on the floor before him, and he could feel the power emitting from it, even though there was six inches of wood and metal inside to contain the orbs. Arnold had wanted them moved for years, but he would only have to wait a week more at the most before they were finally out of his life.
Yet only once this boy has been stopped. Arnold pursed his lips again before sighing, turning away from the orbs and towards the windows. The sun was starting to rise, and white light flashed against his windows. The view was beautiful and bright, but Arnold felt dark inside. There was no way any of this could happen until Charlotte had stopped the boy, but it still sickened him.
He is meant to grow into a monster that will destroy the world… Arnold reminded himself. He is not that monster yet, another voice replied, and he sighed once more and rubbed his head as it gave another painful throb.
It was going to be a long week.
Re: Dawn of Darkness: Prologue and Chapter One
It was a good start to a story, but overall, there isn't any character I particularly love, and no cliffhanger for me to get excited about the next chapter. There were a few grammar mistakes scattered around, but they're nothing a quick proof reading won't fix.
And that's it, really. There isn't much that I can say and note, but knowing you, the story will definitely get more intense as it progresses.
Re: Dawn of Darkness: Prologue and Chapter One
@Kyuuketsuki: Thank you for the feedback. I think you will that this is how most of my stories start, so I hope you will be able to find a few cliffhangers later in the story.
Chapter Two: The Square
Five minutes after Viktor had stalked away, Minerva heard the sound of a door crashing open, and she leaned around the side of her own house. She rarely spoke to Volkner or Flint, despite being in the same class as them all of last year, and did not feel compelled to talk to either of them at the moment. Flint was a bully, who regularly teased all the girls and the boys that he didn't like, and Volkner was always oddly quiet, simply swaying in the background as his friend abused everyone. Minerva especially did not like the fact her Eevee was related to the ones those two had, and she moved the Evolution Pokemon away from their view.
"I don't want them to know I am here," Minerva explained in a whisper, and Eevee nodded, understanding the secrecy required. The sun was moving to the west, so the back of her house was cool shadows, and Minerva sunk down onto a tattered pink blanket and stroked Eevee, listening to what the boys had to say.
"Where is he?" Volkner yelled, his angry voice sounding above the sea breeze that rippled across the block. "He should have come back inside by now!"
"Who cares where he is," Flint scoffed, and Minerva rolled her eyes at the ignorant tone in his voice. "Maybe he went to the city square to try and buy some more nuts and bolts to make a random new –"
"Oh shut up Flint!" Volkner yelled, and Flint fell silent, stunned by his friend's reaction. Volkner never yelled at Flint, but today he could not control himself. He always stood in the background and let his best friend torment his cousin, and today it had gotten out of control. Volkner could only imagine what their grandparents would say when they saw the burnt curtains and heard Viktor had run away. Flint would be banned from coming over again, and Viktor would not be able to control his emotions…
"Maybe Minerva saw him leave?" Flint said in a voice barely above a whisper, looking down at the ground with childish guilt. He always got this way when he knew he was going to get in trouble, and it always annoyed Volkner: why would you cause trouble if you were afraid of the consequences? There had been too many times to count during the school year where Flint had nearly ended up suspended due to his behaviour, and if he kept up these actions in public, the consequences would be far worse.
"You're probably right," Volkner said, and he moved towards his neighbour's house, trying to keep his cool at Flint. Getting angry at him would only strain their friendship, and while Volkner was angry with Flint, there was no one else he was this close with. "Minerva, are you around? Did you see Viktor come past?"
Damnit, Minerva cursed, and she scooped up Eevee and her blanket. She did not want to get caught in the middle of their fight, and she wanted to protect Viktor from his cousin and Flint, but she wasn't sure if she would be able to hold her tongue. Minerva tried to move silently, but the ground was coated in loose stones, and several rattled under her feet as she tried to run.
"Is that you Minerva?" Volkner cried out, and he and Flint appeared behind her before Minerva could get to the back door. She realised now that her attempts to run away would come across as suspicious, and she turned back to face the duo, turning to keep her face blank to prevent any further questioning.
"What's wrong?" She asked sweetly, feigning innocence.
"Viktor ran off, did you see him come past?" Flint asked quickly, a feeble attempt at rebuilding his bridges with his friend. Minerva looked curiously down at Eevee and shrugged her shoulders, the Normal type copying the movement.
"I really have no idea," she said, trying to look confused. "I heard shouting before, but I was with Eevee so I did not pay any attention to it. Maybe he ran down to the city square? Or he could have jumped over the side for all we know." Volkner shot her an angry look that was more intense than Minerva would have expected, and she moved closer to Eevee, waiting for an outburst.
"That is NOT funny!" Volkner growled, and he turned away, stomping back towards his house. Flint gave Minerva a look to show his own disgust, but she simply raised and eyebrow, laughed and turned away, opening her back door and stepping inside. A stink of mouldy wood greeted her nose as the floorboards creaked beneath her feet, and the sea breeze sent the curtains and an old decorative tapestry flapping. Minerva waited for Eevee to come inside before turning to shut the door. Flint was moving after his friend, ginger curls bouncing as he ran to catch up, and Minerva tutted.
Dick, she thought to herself, and then disappeared inside her bedroom to the right of the door. Her father had painted the room bright pink a few years earlier, and covered the old floors with purple rugs he had gotten from the docks, giving the room girlish qualities but failed to completely cover the ancient feel of the room.
Minerva collapsed onto her single bed, the springs jarring into her back through the fuchsia linings. She listened to the wind rattling through the roof above and sighed. All she had ever wanted was to get away from this towering rock, away from the house that was crumbling around her and the constant mixture of heat and cold. It was too high up for her friends to bother visiting, and her parents never let her head into the heart of the city on her own, so Minerva rarely got to see anyone. Minerva had her sister Diana, but they argued and squabbled more than they hung out. Her only true companion was Eevee, and the blonde scooped the Pokemon off her floor.
"One day," she told Eevee as she hugged her, "we are going to leave Sunyshore behind. There is a whole world waiting for us out there, and you and I will conquer it together!"
"Vee!" Eevee squeaked at this, and Minerva laughed and held her Pokemon closer to her chest. One day they would leave to battle the league, and Minerva would return, better than she had ever been. She lay back on her bed and imagined herself coming back to this house, older, prettier, with a small army of Pokemon surrounding her, and everyone would come and see their new Champion. In these fantasies, Minerva always imagined Viktor returning with her, and together they would be champions, and Volkner and Flint would bow down before them.
For Minerva, these were always happy thoughts.
In the middle of the day, the sun was always directly above the Sunyshore City Square. There were no looming shadows cast by the rock towers that surrounded it, and everything was lit up with a dazzling white glow, some glass windows nearly blinding you as the sun bounced off. People would gather here to have lunch in the beautiful sunshine, and the Square became crowded as the masses moved through on their way to somewhere else, travelling at midday to soak in the rays.
Viktor wished he had chosen a better time to come here. Every street leading into the Square was crowded, a mixture of families travelling on foot, pairs of women heading to lunch, and cyclists trying to travel around faster. The sun was burning his skin, and Viktor was finding it a struggle to even breathe as he moved through the side streets, caught in amongst a hundred other people. He thought keeping close to the sides would protect him, but as he moved down the last street that led to the Square, something heavy smashed into his back. Viktor yelled as he went flying, putting his hands out in time to save himself, but they became grazed and bloodied instead.
"Hey!" He had cried out angrily to his assailants, but fell silent again when he saw it was two older teenage boys, sneering down at him from a great height, dressed only in tight fitting Speedo's. Viktor guessed they were nearing adulthood, with broad shoulders, sculpted faces covered with blonde stubble, and one had hair creeping up his muscular chest.
"Learn to get out of the way next time, you pasty little freak!" The hairless one sneered in a deep, booming voice, and the two laughed and left Viktor on the ground. The twelve year old struggled to get back to his feet, having to put pressure on his scarred hands, and glared at everyone that passed him and refused to help.
Useless idiots! He thought bitterly as he finally got back up. Castform hovered above his head, looking concerned, but was unable to help. Viktor shot the Weather Pokemon a glare and marched further down the street, no longer caring if he got in anyone's way, and purposely bumped into a middle aged woman carrying overflowing shopping bags, sending her crashing into her friends.
Viktor was not usually violent like this, and felt a pang of guilt as he left the squawking women behind. However, he could not easily forget what Flint and Volkner had just done to his room, or the cruel words the red head had thrown his way. Viktor wanted to go back and confront him, but first he would have to train his Pokemon up and be ready to defeat Flint once and for all. Once he had a strong team, nothing would stop Viktor from getting his revenge.
"Come on Castform, look out for trainers," Viktor snapped, his tone brisker than normal, but Castform nodded all the same. The City Square loomed in the distance, and Viktor quickened his pace, eager to start battling and forcing Castform to bob after him. Viktor could remember coming along this same path when he was five, a happier, brighter child, his parents walking on either side of him. Their faces had faded from his memory over time, but Viktor liked to imagine them with the same style of hair as him, along with the rich tans he could only dream of.
"One day son, you will become a great Pokemon trainer, and everyone will come to the Square to watch your exhibition battles! Everyone in the world will know the name Viktor Fischer, and we will be able to proudly tell everyone what a brilliant son we have!
Imagine if he could see me now, Viktor thought, and the happiness and excitement that had filled him a few moments ago instantly faded away. He had not thought of his parents in this much detail in months, and for a moment he wondered what his life would be like if they were still here. Viktor may not have missed out on socializing with people his own age, and could have dozens of friends that would be walking to the Square with him. His father could have taught him to battle properly, and Castform would be able to create thunderstorms that would swallow the entire city. Viktor would not be alone, he would not be a science geek, and he would not spend his nights fretting over what insults Flint had used that day…
"I have to do them proud," Viktor muttered under his breathe as he started moving again. "I will win this tournament and change everything, and that will make them happy."
"Castform Cast?" Castform said, floating in front of Viktor looking curious, but Viktor kept walking, not feeling in the mood to talk. He heard a female voice shouting after him, and broke into a brief run for the last few metres of the street to avoid punishment, his legs aching after the long walk and droplets of blood creeping down his fingers, but finally he reached the City Square.
The beauty of the Square was very familiar to Viktor, having lived in Sunyshore for his whole life. It was not as breathtaking as it was to the countless tourists that trotted through each year, but the young boy still appreciated what the Square had to offer. His grandparents regularly rattled off the names of the various buildings and spouted off various facts, and these came back to Viktor as he moved over the cracked, sand strewn concrete. An ancient block of restaurants and cafes known collectively as Carmella's loomed next to him, while an old bookshop called The Printed Word looked empty despite the crowded square outside. A surf shop had filled a space once occupied by a beauty salon that had been ravaged by fire, and Grandma Fischer's favourite plant store, The Roserade's, shared a small courtyard with Café Green. These businesses all seemed to be thriving under the summer rush, but Viktor doubted he would find many trainers inside plant and books stores, nor would he be able to battle inside.
"Come on Castform, look for anyone with a Pokemon," he instructed his first Pokemon, and peered around. It was difficult though, being twelve, short and skinny: Viktor could not see over the shoulders of the hundreds of adults and older teenagers that marched past him, and many of them pushed him aside as they went, several nearly knocking him to the ground again with briefcases or shopping bags, not giving him a second thought. Viktor tried jumping up to look over people, but that nearly ended in a collision with a mother and her troupe of toddlers, the middle aged woman scowling at Viktor as if he had purposefully tried to harm her offspring.
"You can float Castform, get above their heads!" Viktor said huffily, stamping on the ground childishly. Castform nodded, worried for his trainer and eager to please, and quickly rose up above the masses. A few eyes flickered towards him, but no one cried out asking to battle, so the Weather Pokemon stared off into the distance, taking in the entire square. A few Wingull and Mantyke flew over head, but those were to be expected, and Castform was not sure if Viktor wanted wild Pokemon. It seemed for a moment that there was no one else around, but Castform heard a shout from the centre of the square, and watched as a Bibarel was flung up into the sky, squealing and shaking. The crowd was turning towards the noise, and Castform saw people parting, clearing room for a battle.
"Cast Cast Cast!" He cried, diving back down excitedly and than moving towards the scene. Viktor heard the squealing and put two and two together, and he excitedly moved after Castform, the crowd willing to let them part as many stopped to see what the commotion was. They all watched as the Bibarel fell back to the ground, causing the Square to shake, and cruel laughter erupted in the sudden silence. Viktor thought he recognized it, and slowed down to a stroll as they neared the edge of the battle, pushing through one last person to reach the front.
A boy that looked slightly older than Viktor, with greasy black hair that shone in the sun and a face covered in acne, whimpered as he withdrew his Bibarel from the field. Viktor only caught a brief glance of the Pokemon, but enough to see it had been knocked unconscious. A Machoke loomed over the boy, flexing powerful muscles encased in blue, veined skin, punching jabs at the crowd. Laughter continued behind the Machoke, and Viktor knew for certain it belonged to the Speedo-wearing teenagers that had shoved him aside earlier.
"That's what you get for using such a crap Pokemon!" The one with the hairy chest sneered, his voice just as deep and cruel as his companions. The boy was close to tears, but no one stepped forwards to offer him support. Sunyshore residents always complained about impromptu battles taking over the Square in the middle of the day, and the tourists only wanted a show, not caring about the boy's feelings. Now that it was over, everyone moved off again, and Viktor saw the Square was even starting to empty now that lunch was over, people either entering stores or heading back to their jobs.
"Oh look, the poor little baby is going to cry!" The other teenager said, and they began to laugh again. Viktor felt compelled to help the boy, wondering if he went to his school or lived nearby, but the boy ran away before he could do anything, throwing a few coins onto the ground and sprinting as fast as he could towards the Pokemon Center, which resided on one of the larger side streets.
"Let's go find someone else," Viktor muttered to Castform, and turned as silently but quickly as possible away. He did not want to get involved with these burly teenagers again, and knew that Castform would not stand a chance against a Machoke
"Hey Jack, look! It's that little blonde brat!" One of them cried, and Viktor instantly went into a sprint, but a second later hands three times the size of his were grabbing his shoulders, fingernails jabbing through his thin cotton shirt. He was pulled backwards with an involuntary grunt, and found himself dragged around to face the pair. Viktor instantly felt intimidated and uncomfortable: both of the teenagers were right up against him, so close that Viktor could count the bristles of hair that covered their faces, their large pectorals and tight abdominals making him feel scrawny as they closed around him.
"Look-ey here Tom, the kid followed us!" The hairier one laughed, shaking Viktor with arms that same width as Viktor's stomach. "Do you want another beating kid? The concrete here looks a lot harder, doesn't it?"
"Look Jack, he's got a Pokemon!" Tom said, and pointed towards Castform. Viktor looked fearfully towards his Pokemon, wishing he could get a hand on his PokeBall and bring him back before anything bad happened. Castform looked scared, but refused to move away from Viktor, knowing he had to protect his trainer.
"What a nice sunny Pokemon," Jack laughed, pushing Viktor to the ground, causing his brown shorts to tear as he landed on his backside. "Machoke, why don't you see if we can get a bit of this sunshine?" The two teenagers stepped asides, laughing, and Viktor gulped as Machoke moved forwards. The Fighting type was a Pokemon version of his trainer, even wearing similar underwear, and advanced forwards with an identical mocking grin across his face. Viktor scuttled across the ground on his injured hands, desperate to escape before being subjected to any further hurt or embarrassment, and looked up at Castform, wondering what his Pokemon would do if they were drawn into a battle.
"Hey big boys, why don't you try fighting a Pokemon his own size?" They all froze as this new voice filled the air, and all turned to see who it was. Standing a few metres away was a girl, around Viktor's height and age, with long blonde hair that went past her shoulders. For a second, Viktor thought it was Minerva, but than realised Minerva owned nothing black, and this girl was dressed entirely in darkness that would be stifling in the summer heat. Viktor also knew Minerva did not have a Gabite: the rare Dragon type stood alongside the girl, their heights similar, the Cave Pokemon snarling across at the two teenagers and their Machoke.
"Piss off and go play with your dollies," Jack snarled, turning back to Viktor. "We don't have time to fight little girls!" The girl continued to smile and stepped forwards, and Viktor wondered what she was playing at.
"Really, no time for me?" She said in mock shock. "You seem to enjoy praying on the weak, so why can't you have a go at me and my Gabite? Or do you lovebirds and your Speedos have some gay pride march to get to?" Viktor stifled a laugh as the two teenagers eyes bulged, and they angrily wheeled around to face the girl, fists bunched up.
"What are you implying, you little bitch?" Tom snarled, raising his fist in the air, but the girl continued to smirk.
"Tell me, where exactly do you store your PokeBalls with an outfit like that?" She asked, staring at their crotches with mock curiosity. "Those look pretty snug, even if they are quite small."
"Machoke, Brick Break!" Jack roared, his large chest heaving in his rage. "Give this brat the fight she wants!" Machoke nodded and ran forwards, powerful legs slamming into the ground, and the girl leapt out of the way, letting her Gabite move forwards.
"GAAAAA!" The Gabite cried, and hot, golden-purple flames shot out of his mouth. Machoke yelled as the flames engulfed him, and within seconds he collapsed to the ground, the flames parting to reveal him close to fainting after only one attack. Viktor was stunned, not sure if it was the Gabite's power or the Machoke's weakness, but saw that the two teenagers seemed just as stunned as he did.
"I thought so," the girl said with a knowing smirk. "Brick Break, finish this." Gabite nodded and jumped up, soaring so high that it hurt Viktor's neck to follow him, and watched as the Dragon came soaring down, the fins on his arms glowing red.
"BITE!" Gabite yelled, and slammed a fin into Machoke's chest. The air was knocked out of him, and Machoke's eyes nearly bulged out of his skull as he gagged for breathe, before his lids came over them and his body went weak. Gabite nodded at the unconscious Fighting type and moved away, glowering at the two teenagers as they stood in silent shock. The girl giggled as she moved towards them, scooping up the money from their previous defeat that had been left on the ground.
"Thanks boys, that was a nice little warm up exercise," she said, her smile wide and condescending as she brushed hair out of her face. "I would ask for the payment I rightfully deserve, but I wouldn't want to take whatever is left in your trust fund, I am sure you need it to buy proper clothing." Viktor was unable to control himself and began to laugh, staying on the ground as he was left unable to breathe. The two teenagers turned angrily towards him, but before either of them could do anything, the girl lashed out, and Tom collapsed to the ground with a groan as her foot collided with his genitals.
"Ever call me a bitch again and I'll hang them on my wall," she hissed and gestured to Gabite. "Before I go, take my advice: put some pants on next time, no wants to see your Weedles." She smiled over at Viktor and signalled for him to follow her. Castform floated down and had to drag Viktor back up, his laughter leaving him unable to do anything, but once his feet were on the ground the pre-teen set off, racing after the girl and her Gabite as they moved across the great, wide Square.
"That was hilarious!" Viktor said breathlessly once they had caught up. "I am pretty sure I broke a rib!"
"Well, I'd rather you break one rib from laughing than get beaten up by those imbeciles," the girl said, smiling softly as she glanced back at her victims. "I would suggest we find somewhere to hide though, just in case they have more friends in the Big Blonde Idiots Club that come to their aide."
"Let's go to the library, they won't check there," Viktor said, beginning to laugh again. "Oh, and I'm Viktor, by the way, Viktor Fischer."
"Cynthia Carter," the girl replied, her smile suddenly widening and a glint appearing in her eyes. Viktor beamed back, and as the two rushed across the City Square, he began to wonder if why he had not seen this girl before, but had a feeling that he may have finally found someone he could call friend.
Re: Dawn of Darkness: Prologue and Chapter One
Alright, the second chapter. I much prefer the first chapter, and only because this one further reinstated my opinion on Viktor. He is typical for his age, in thinking that his problems are the biggest ones in the world, and it makes him come across as petty. The last moment of this chapter between him and Cynthia made me realise just how dependent he is, and I won't be surprised if, like Minerca, he ran away from her due to a word from her that he wouldn't like. Aside from him, I found this to be quite a disappointing line:
The wording of it makes it sounds as if Viktor's parents, or at least, his father, will not be proud of him unless he becomes the strongest Trainer. If this was intentional, then it might explain why Viktor is such a petty character, but if it isn't, then I'll just blame it on him being a bit of a stereotype.
Originally Posted by AceTrainer14
Re: Dawn of Darkness: Chapter Two
Thank you again for your views. The line was not meant to come across in that way, but when I was writing it, I did realise it would seem a bit like that, but I found no other way to write it. I cannot say that your opinions will be changed within the next chapter, but I believe that they will be before the story is over.
Re: Dawn of Darkness: Chapter Two
Yeah, that's what I suspected.
Originally Posted by AceTrainer14
I hope so. But until then, I'll be depending on the other characters of the story to carry it along.
Originally Posted by AceTrainer14
Re: Dawn of Darkness: Chapter Two
I never write stories with only one main character anyway. Each character has a role to play, and I generally prefer writing my supporting characters as they can have a lot more influence on the central character. This is not a prequel focussed around Viktor: this is a prequel for four other characters that will appear throughout my series, so it would be best not to focus solely on Viktor.
Re: Dawn of Darkness: Chapter Two
Developing splendidly, with good character development in that each one seems to have a distinct and individual personality without being unrealistic. I like how you’ve expressed Viktor’s frustrated feelings and general situation and I’m intrigued about the book that Cynthia was seeking.
Some minor grammar mistakes here and there but not too much to worry about. The plot looks like it has a lot of potential and different ways that it can expand and I’m looking forward to the next instalment!
Re: Dawn of Darkness: Chapter Two
Thanks for the feedback 99unownoak! I try to deal with those grammatical problems, but some slip past me even when I proofread. Sorry for the long delay between chapters, I know that can be annoying, especially when it comes to new stories. I hope to keep new chapters coming more regularly and get this story off to a running start :)
Chapter Three: Circle of Injustice
The Sunyshore City Library was known internationally as one of the most beautiful libraries and literary buildings that currently existed. It had been standing for many decades now, but due to key supporters and donations of those that loved it, the library was able to remain in top condition.
The three storey building was old fashioned but cosy. The lower floor consisted of the central service desks and the brand new computer and technology centre that was frequently visited by dozens of people in the town, the line for the new photocopier stretching around the entire floor as everyone wanted to have a turn with it. A large collection of resource books and videos to rent, a small lounge area and the popular children's activities section dominated the rest of the floor.
The upper two levels were designed to overlook the bottom floor and accompany the beautiful stained glass window of dancing Water Pokemon that lit up the entire library in a rainbow of colours, leaving only three walls to put the bookcases. Fiction was on the first floor and Non-Fiction the top, and the bookcases towered above any normally sized person, each shelf overflowing with content, the highest ones having to be accessed by sliding ladders. It was quieter on these floors, with several small reading areas and alcoves scattered across, the only noises being the soft, rhythmic breathing of the engrossed readers, the nearly noiseless turning of a page and the delicate typing of keys by the library workers, doing their best not to disturb the readers around them.
On this sunny summer afternoon, where most people would rather be at the beach or relaxing in the warmth of the sun above, the library was nearly empty. Only employees and a few elderly inhabited the lower floors. On the top floor, hidden away in the corners, two blonde haired children sat huddled over a table crowded with aged magazines, their voices barely above a whisper, concealed by the brilliant shine of the stained window.
"We must keep our voices down, we don't want those boys to find us," Cynthia had said when they entered, before leading Viktor up to the top floor and seating him at the first empty table he could find. She had then gone and quickly collected a series of books and dropped them to the floor, where they remained untouched for the time being. The two were alone, Pokemon being banned from entering the library without special reasons, and the only other person on the floor being a worker on the opposite side.
"We have to make it look like we want to get books out, otherwise they will shoo us away," Cynthia explained. The tone she spoke with had such knowledge and authority to it that Viktor believed her, though he had never once been kicked out of the library. But he was too caught up in youthful glee to think straight, giddy at having a pretty girl sitting across from him, one that seemed nice and friendly and not out to shame him in any way. Light shone from the window directly next to them, and Cynthia was cast within a blue glow. It made her dark clothes look brighter and her haired shone beautifully, and Viktor could feel his heart fluttering against his chest. It had only been a few minutes since she had saved them from the teenagers and they had fled to the library, but Viktor had a feeling there was already a connection brewing.
"So, what's your story, Mr Fisher," Cynthia asked as she moved the magazines onto the table behind them. "Do you live in this city, or are you like me and one of those million tourists that seem to be tramping through this city?" Viktor went to speak, but was not sure exactly what to say. He and Cynthia may have only just met, but Viktor could feel an attraction that was leaving him slightly breathless. Could he really just blurt out his pathetic life to her?
"I am a local," Viktor said, treading slowly through his life. "I live on the top of a rock pillar in the middle of the city. We don't really have roads or names here as most people know where to go, but some people call our block The Fisherman's Square, as fisherman built the houses and use to live there."
"I gathered that much," Cynthia replied with a laugh. Viktor froze up for a moment, thinking she was mocking him, her laugh stirring up memories of school. But he quickly saw that she was smiling in a kinder way, and her eyes did not have the same malice the people at his school had. "So, what exactly is fun here? And who do you live with? Mum and dad? Got any siblings?" Viktor had just begun to laugh with Cynthia, but her question silenced him once more. He dug his fingers into the arms of the leather chair with such force that it would tear if he moved, and Viktor stared intently at the table, trying to avoid Cynthia's face as his eyes danced with tears.
"Who do I live with…?" Viktor said quietly, repeating the question more for himself than for her. He fell silent, a million thoughts rushing through his head. Cynthia had no idea what had upset him, but sat there in silence, thinking through what she had said while waiting for him to come up with a response.
"My parents are dead," Viktor said at last, his voice hoarse and barely above a whisper. "They were killed in a railway accident in Johto. A holiday with my mother's sister and her husband. There was a rockslide directly onto the tracks a few minutes before the train got there… not enough time to warn them. The train was destroyed and all fifteen coaches derailed. Over one hundred and fifty people died, and my parents and my aunt and uncle were amongst them. I was seven at the time, my cousin Volkner was about five…" Viktor drifted off at this point, and Cynthia fell silent, stunned and shaken by this. It was not the answer she had been expecting, and she was not sure how she should react. Alarm bells began ringing in her head at this connection she had not expected, but Cynthia could not mention that, not even to him. Slowly, she reached out and grabbed onto Viktor's hand, giving it a soft squeeze. Viktor was taken aback by the contact, lost in memories of his parents and their accident, but he held onto Cynthia's and gave it a soft squeeze, beginning to calm down.
"Volkner and I live with our grandparents now," Viktor continued, managing to look up into Cynthia's eyes now and see the concern and kindness within them, gaining confidence to carry on. "They were more than happy to take us in as they had lost two daughters in the crash and did not want to lose the rest of their family. I was pleased at the time to find solace with them, but they insisted on taking me out of school for a few months to 'grieve and recover', as they put it. I had a few friends before the crash, but after leaving school for nearly a year, I struggled to keep them. Volkner had his best friend, Flint, to stick with and was able to make new friends really easily, but I had difficulty with it. I wish my grandparents had not insisted on taking me out… I know it was for the best, but it just means that I grew up lonely. I am not sure if you would know the feeling –"
"Trust me, I do," Cynthia said sympathetically, her smile lingering for a moment before she realised what she had said. She quickly retracted her hand and backed up in her seat. Viktor fell silent, wondering if he had done something to upset her, and instantly felt nervous and awkward, having thought him and Cynthia were making progress. The discomfort came across his face, and Cynthia felt guilty, knowing it was a difficult and personal story, but she was too busy with her own thoughts.
I could tell, pay back his truth with my own, Cynthia thought to herself, but knew in a second there was no way she could do that. No… I can't… I only need for the moment
"Sorry, my hand just felt a bit funny," Cynthia said, putting on a nervous smile that she hoped Viktor would look past. "But yeah, I was lonely sometimes at school as well, so I know exactly what it must have been like." Viktor smiled and nodded, glad that they were able to keep talking. He was not sure what it was about Cynthia, but he had the feeling that they were quickly becoming friends.
"So, do you have any friends now?" Cynthia asked, trying to carry on. "What about that kid that was getting targeted by those dickheads before?"
"That was just some random, I don't know who he is," Viktor replied. "Castform and I thought that those guys needed to be taught a lesson though, so we went in and decided to try and give them what they deserved!" He deepened his voice slightly to try and make himself sound tough, though a voice in the back of his head pointed out Cynthia probably would have seen everything anyway and didn't need to be lied to. But she made no word of protest and simply nodded with his story, and Viktor could feel the confidence pumping throughout his body. "I am sorry to say that Castform is not the greatest battler in the world. I have three Pokemon, and he is my best one, but we still get defeated pretty easily. Volkner and Flint have decent Pokemon, I must admit, and Flint never lets me forget it."
"Oh please, his Pokemon are probably crap! You just need to get them trained properly," Cynthia said with a smile. "I have had Gabite for years, ever since he was a Gible, and I have spent hundreds of hours working with him to get him to a top standard. I can help you train Castform and your other Pokemon if you like."
"Seriously?" Viktor said, his face lighting up, though Cynthia realised she shouldn't have made that offer. "That would be amazing, thanks so much! The only problem is that… well… my other two Pokemon are a Magikarp and a Feebas… they don't exactly have a wide move pool yet." Viktor flushed as he spoke, but Cynthia continued to smile kindly, even though on the inside she felt as though she was taking on a bigger challenge than she wanted
"That is not a big deal, you shouldn't let that stop you from training them," Cynthia said. "If you don't train them at all, how would you expect them to become Gyarados or Milotic?" Viktor had thought of this himself before, but now that Cynthia was saying it, it suddenly seemed to make a lot more sense. He was continuing to be amazed by how nice Cynthia was, tearing down barriers he had had up for years. Viktor had never talked with anyone outside of his family about losing his parents, but felt confident telling Cynthia all of this. For a moment, Viktor wondered if Cynthia was too good to be true, it suddenly dawning on him that she could have some ulterior motive for talking to him… why would anyone want to talk to him anyway. Viktor looked at her judgingly, wondering what her secret was…
"Are you alright? You look a bit… funny," Cynthia said, turning her head slightly in her curiosity.
"Sorry… I am just a bit unsure how to act around you," Viktor said, shaking his head to clear the darkening thoughts from his mind. "As I said, I have been lonely for most of my life, and I have spent the past few years being mocked by my cousin's best friend because I enjoy science rather than setting fire to everyone's houses. I find it difficult to trust people, you know?"
"Of course," Cynthia said with a simple smile, alarm bells ringing in her head. Perfect, this was exactly what I needed. "There is so much injustice in the world, you know? You seem like a pretty nice guy, even though we've only known each other for, what, half an hour? I don't see any reason to hate you, but from what you've told me, you've been pretty unfairly treated." Viktor nodded, and Cynthia smiled sympathetically. "I have had the same treatment. I am here with my parents and my sister, and they don't even care that I am not spending time with them. They just look down on me and think of me as their random other child because I battle with 'unattractive' Pokemon and don't play dress ups and dolls with my sister. And then there is the train crash your parents went through. Someone should have been there to warn them, the tracks should have been safer, the engine should have been able to stop in time!" Viktor had never considered this, but now that the thought was pushed into his mind, anger boiled up inside of him.
"Your right, there is too much of this… injustice in the world today!" He said, banging his fist on the table. "Just look at that boy today and those bullies! There should be something we can do about it, something we can do to stop all of this from happening!"
"There is something," Cynthia said, her heart pounding against her chest, the moment she had been waiting for for months finally arriving. She reached down and grabbed the pile of books from the floor, the pile she had spent the last few days collecting and gathering together. She dropped the pile onto the table, threatening to snap the thin wood in half. Viktor's jaw dropped when he saw the books; giant, thousand paged encyclopaedias that looked as though they would break his arms if he picked them up.
"I need these books for a plan I have been brewing for a while now," Cynthia explained, "but I can't exactly steal these books… my parents would dob me in the second they found out it was me, and the circle of injustice would keep on going. Do you have a library card or something that we could use so we can take these books out?" If Viktor had kept a consistent train of thought and not let himself be won over by Cynthia's words, than the fears he had had a moment earlier would have been proven correct right now. But for the time being, all Viktor could think about was his parents deaths and how it had changed his life, wondering how different his life would have been if they had lived, if there hadn't been this injustice.
"Of course, I'd be glad to help!" Viktor said with a wide, eager grin, and felt throughout his pockets, knowing he had stored the card in his shorts a few days ago. A voice at the back of his head questioned what this plan was supposed to be, but Viktor was too excited to care. As he picked up the pile of books, the title of the first one stating A Study of Time and Space, Viktor was simply happy that he had found a confidant and a trainer, someone he could trust and someone that seemed genuinely interested in him.
For the first time since his parent's death, Viktor believed he had found a friend.
Re: Dawn of Darkness: Chapter Three
Chapter Four: The Loose Definition of Friendship
Dusk and night came too quickly to Sunyshore. Though sun would bathe the city in glorious light during the day, once it began to move away and set, shadows would rapidly take over. The giant rock formations that dominated the landscape would become as dark as coal, and the only sunny places would be atop the stone pillars, many hotels were now being built higher up to capitalize on the sunniest locations.
The pathways between and connecting these rock formations would quickly become crowded in the late afternoon, as employees finished their work for the day and tourists began to retire from a day of shopping and exploring. They surged out from the City Square and swamped every walkway and footbridge possibly, with only the central road that cut through the heart of the city staying free. The darkness made people nervous, fearful of injury or robbery, so everyone pushed and shoved and rushed on their way home, turning the footpaths into dangerous hazards.
They were not the place to be when you're looking for someone.
"Can we go home?" Flint whined, though when Volkner turned to look for him, his friend was nowhere to be seen, a thick hoard of people separating the two. "It is getting late. Viktor has probably already gone home, I don't think he'd want to be alone when it gets dark."
"He surprisingly doesn't have much fear of the dark," Volkner replied bitterly, squeezing between an elderly couple that grunted at his presence. "Feel free to go home Flint, but I am not going until I get to the Square and see for myself if he is around!" It would be easy to search the Square at this time of day, as it seemed to be rapidly emptying based on the hundreds of people walking the opposite direction them. Volkner had been hit by countless shopping bags, hand bags and sports bags from the various people moving out, and struggled to get through all the people that were much older and taller than he was. Flint was simply a flaming ball that Volkner could spot every so often, the two unable to stay together with everyone walking against them, and Volkner was glad for some space. He wouldn't be walking through the city at dusk if Flint hadn't upset Viktor. Volkner and Flint had been friends for years, and when his parents had died, it had been a friendship Volkner had truly appreciated. But lately it was becoming difficult: Flint mocked Viktor, and Viktor hated Flint. It was difficult to choose between a best friend and a cousin you have known your whole life, and Volkner constantly tried to put off the decision that the two seemed to be forcing him to make, instead working on getting the two to be nice to each other. Whenever he thought he was making progress, Flint would go and do something like he had done today, and Viktor would get upset, and Volkner would spend weeks mending the cracks again.
"Do we have to look around there long?" Flint moaned again, his high voice managing to get above the mumbled chatter of the people surrounding them. "He would have just been in the library or that science store, and both of them close pretty early. I seriously think he will be on his way –"
"Flint, if you want to go home, than go home!" Volkner growled. "But I am staying until I am sure Viktor is not around!" And he stormed forwards, nearly tripping people over as he tried to put some distance between himself and his friend. The heat of the day hung in the air, and Volkner felt hot and tired as he began to run, a stitch creeping up his right side after spending hours walking, searching for his cousin. A voice in the back of his head told him that Flint was right; Viktor was probably home already complaining to their grandparents, trying to get Flint barred from the house, but Volkner had to check anyway, another voice from years ago coming back to him.
We know Viktor is older than you, but he is struggling with all of this. Losing his parents, moving houses, losing friends… can you watch out for him for us please Volkner? You two are close, we know you'll be able to protect him and help him.
How on earth did they expect me to do that? Volkner thought resentfully as the crowd started to thin, the wide City Square appearing before him. He is older than me and a completely different person. We may be close, but that doesn't seem to apply to situations like this…
The last bits of sunshine lingered in the Square, casting half of the area in a dazzling orange glow that made all the windows shine in a religious way. There were about a dozen people Volkner could clearer see spread out around the empty Square, and none of them resembled Viktor in the slightest. He quickly glanced around the businesses and saw Flint's prediction had been right: all of the stores were starting to close, with only the bars and restaurants staying open. Could he be hiding inside on of them? Volkner asked himself, but shot his own thoughts down. There was always a threat of robbery during the summer with the influx of people, and shop keepers were always smart enough to check everything properly before shutting down for the night. Volkner groaned, and he realised that it had all been pointless: the city may not be big, but there were plenty of places to hide, and it had been unlikely from the start that he would have found Viktor.
"Could he be at the beach?" Flint asked from behind, sounding guilty and apologetic, though Volkner was not swayed that easily.
"He is not a fan of the beach. Something about sand and heat," he replied, turning to face his friend. Volkner knew that Flint was right about this being a pointless endeavour, but he was not likely to admit that when he was the one that had caused it. He simply stood in silence and stared across at his friend, feeling the last of the day's heat burning on his neck but refusing to move. After a minute of silence, Flint sighed and stared down at the ground, shuffling his feet irritably as he seemingly admittedly defeated.
"I am sorry I annoyed Viktor, I probably should have known better," he replied grudgingly. "I may not have set the curtains on fire, but I guess mocking him was a bit mean… alright, it was very mean, but I can't help it Volkner, and it's not as if he doesn't just let it pass by!" Flint whined, and Volkner sighed. "I mock everyone and they just laugh with everyone else and move on. Viktor's the only one that throws a tantrum and acts as though I killed his… oh… sorry, I didn't mean to say that!" Flint stuttered, his face falling quickly, and he stepped away nervously from his friend. Volkner knew what he had been about to say, and he could not deny that it stirred several emotions up inside of him, from anger to sadness, but now was not the time to get upset.
"Look, I am willing to forgive you for upsetting Viktor today… and for what you just said," Volkner said, shaking his head and struggling not to hit his friend, "but you have to promise not to do anything else to upset Viktor for the rest of the holidays. We are all going to be trapped under the same house in the same cramped city for the coming weeks, so try and be a little bit nice to him, for me?"
"And if I don't?" Flint asked, a cocky smile on his face he thought was funny, but only made Volkner question their friendship.
"I will leave you alone in the Tag Battle Tournament at the very last minute," he replied icily, and Flint froze up: winning this competition had quickly become his dream for the holidays, and not even being able to enter would be sure to crush him.
"Alright, fine! For you, I will be nice to your nerdy little cousin!" The red head growled, crossing his arms and acting as though he had just had his toys taken off him. "My god, if we weren't friends Volkner, I'd probably hate you!"
"Same here," Volkner replied, suddenly struggling to keep a straight face, and within moments the two were snorting and giggling like the young, age old friends that they were. The Square was quickly going dark, and Volkner knew it was time to go. He and Flint walked back the way they had come, the streets quickly darkening though were much less crowded.
You better be home Viktor, Volkner thought to himself, an unnatural chill passing through his body. I am straining my friendship for you and wasting away my holidays searching the city for you… you better be home…
In the fading sunlight, the sea looked as though it was on fire. The amber light reflected off the surface and combined with the peach-orange sky to give the wide expanse of blue a flaming look. The beaches in the north of the city were just as beautiful, resembling a field of gold slipping into this flaming ocean, and the evening was the perfect time to enjoy the magnificence. At dusk, few people remained on the beach, leaving it quiet except for the cry of Wingull and Pelipper and the crashing of the waves against rocks, and turning it into the perfect place to unwind and relax.
"The beaches here truly are beautiful," Cynthia said, for the first time that day seeming her age as she stared out as the slowly shaking ocean with wild, beautiful wonderment in her eyes. Viktor had seen the same view hundreds of time before with his grandparents, but seeing it with someone experiencing it for the first time made it seem even more beautiful: the glowing silhouettes of Water Pokemon dancing across the surface, the sunlight shining like a beacon in the distance, the peace, the serene that left him and Cynthia alone with their thoughts. It was a truly beautiful sight, and it made Viktor savour the fact he lived in Sunyshore for the first time in weeks, made him enjoy the beach that he usually found so unappealing… but not with Cynthia.
He knew he should have been home by now, and his grandparents were likely to be worrying, but Viktor wanted to enjoy this day for a little while longer. He and Cynthia had lingered in the library for several hours after he checked the books out for her, and though Viktor decided to get a few novels out to please a suspicious, sour faced woman manning the desk, Cynthia only left the building with the heavy non-fiction books. Viktor helped her carry them, noticing more titles including Early Recordings of Dialga and Palkia and A Collection of Essays on the Time-Space Continuum. They all seemed quite wordy, and Viktor was curious as to why Cynthia wanted him them. If she was here on a holiday, it was hardly going to be fun reading these when there was so much else for her to do, including helping him train, and once again Viktor pondered if there was some extra motive he hadn't realised yet.
However, Viktor did not want to spoil this friendship before it had even begun. He liked Cynthia; she was pretty, funny and interested in what he had to say and was more intelligent than most of his class put together. Probing her directly for answers would surely ruin things, and Viktor knew he had to go slowly, both with his curiosity and with this friendship.
"You know, the stained window at the library is meant to be an ocean at sunset," Viktor said after several minutes of silent joy. Cynthia turned away from the sea, nodding and smiling, and Viktor noted how her hair looked almost as golden as the beach in the sunlight. He looked down at the books that sat between them on the bench, giving them a nervous tap. "If you want to get any more, we can always go back tomorrow. You haven't even seen the photocopier yet!" Cynthia laughed, and Viktor smirked as well, though he was not sure what was funny. "Though, I guess you'll be busy with reading all of these you won't need anything else!"
I do though, Cynthia thought, keeping her smile on but feeling bitter inside. These will only back up my theories and my grandmother's, but I need that encyclopaedia if I have any hope of proving everything. Than I can find this Adiem person and find out exactly what I need to do.
"Oh, I am sure there are some other books I could gather," Cynthia said with a casual shrug. She glanced down at her watch and saw it was coming close to six. The perfect spot she had found to sleep was likely to get poached by some other lone person if she didn't go back and claim it, though Cynthia knew she could not just abandon Viktor without looking suspicious. "Wow, it's getting late! Must be dinner time at your place."
"Is it?" Viktor asked, though an overly loud grumble in his stomach answered for him. He managed to laugh off the embarrassment, but realised he was starting to feel famished, haven't not eaten for a few hours, and the long walk back would only make things worse. "I probably should get going then. My grandma will worry if I am gone too long."
"Same with my parents," Cynthia lied, glad that she had found an appropriate way to leave. She passed him his novels and heaved up her own books, her arms instantly straining, and she instantly dreaded the long walk to come.
"Do you want some help with those?" Viktor asked, realising he sounded too eager. "I know a lot of the hotels are far away, so –,"
"Oh no, mine's pretty close, just a dingy little place," Cynthia interrupted, thinking quickly and hoping she would remember that fact. "I swear I will be fine Viktor, you just go home and enjoy whatever meal your grandmother makes for you!" She smiled and turned, hoping to hurry this along, both to be done with these books and end her lies for the day. Viktor watched her turn, her hair swishing around like gold dust caught in the wind, and his heart skipped a beat for a second, euphoria spreading throughout his body.
"Are you going to be free tomorrow then?" He asked, the words forming before he could think about them, but he realised that he was glad to have asked them: Viktor wanted to spend as much time with her as possible before her holiday and his summer ended, and nervousness would not get him far.
"Tomorrow?" Cynthia asked, turning back around. It took her a moment to remember her promise of helping to train his Pokemon, which had been an off the cuff remark to please the goofy lad, and discussions of going to the library again. Can't you open your eyes and realise I am using you? Cynthia thought, sickening herself, but it would be too painful to keep stringing Viktor along. I only needed your library card! If I hadn't been able to save you and make you owe me one, I would have gotten some other useless sap to do it for me… Cynthia smiled awkwardly back at Viktor, his own smile wide and unflinching, his eyes fill with hope and happiness as he awaited her answer. I did make him a promise… and I do still need that book, Cynthia thought, tasting bile in the back of her throat, and for the first time she wished she had come up with a different plan, one that didn't involve dealing with anyone else and their emotions.
"Sure, why not," Cynthia said, having to force herself to smile. Viktor's face lit up, his dark thoughts instantly squashed. "I guess I will be free about… lunch time?"
"Awesome! We can grab some chips in the Square and start some training!" Viktor said excitedly, and Cynthia nodded, hoping it would be fun, and making a note to work going to the library into their day. "I better go now, but I will see you tomorrow outside the library! Make sure your Pokemon are all healthy!"
"Oh, I will, don't worry!" Cynthia replied. "Bye!"
With that, the two parted ways for the night. Viktor walked home with a skip in his step, so happy that he let Castform out again, the Forecast Pokemon instantly turning into Sunny Forme in the last of the golden sunlight, and he held his Pokemon close and danced with him up stone stairs and across aging bridges, thinking of his new friend and what the next days would bring them. Cynthia, on the other hand, wobbled painfully home with her pile of books killing her shoulders; eventually reaching a wooden playground located on a side street off the Square, the pink playhouse in the corner her new home. She made a makeshift bed using her bag as a pillow and a stolen blanket to keep cool, and ate a dinner of fruit picked from trees on her journey across Sinnoh, all the while thinking of how she deserved to live like this if the only person that her treated her kindly throughout this whole journey was only a pawn in a game much, much bigger than either of them. Cynthia open the first book on the pile and decided to read, letting her plots and thoughts block out the darkness, and slowly she emerged herself into stories of the Time-Space Continuum, Dialga and Palkia, and the two orbs that were said to hold all the power…
Re: Dawn of Darkness: Chapter Four
Sorry for the delay with this chapter! The storyline is starting to move along, things will pick up over the next few chapters as we move into a few new subplots.
Chapter Five: Sunny Side Up
June 28th 1985
When daylight shone through Viktor's uncovered window shortly after dawn, the twelve year old awoke for the first time in a long while knowing that he was going to have a great day.
For once in his life, Viktor was feeling truly positive. He lay in bed for a long time mulling over the excitement of the past few days. He and Cynthia had spent every day together, travelling around the city, finding quiet places amongst the strange mix of old and new to battle. Cynthia was a brilliant battler, and Viktor watched his Pokemon get knocked down one by one, but he did not feel angry or sad or disappointed as he did whenever Volkner or Flint battled him. Viktor learnt from each battle, and trained his Pokemon whenever he got home so they would be ready for the next time they faced Cynthia. It filled him with adrenaline and joy to see his Pokemon finally start to improve, and having Cynthia by his side only made the experience better.
Whenever they weren't training, Viktor would show Cynthia some different areas of Sunyshore that no tourist would usually see, and took her to all the different cafes and shops within the City Square. Cynthia always wanted to go to the library, where she would search for more books. Viktor was not sure exactly what she wanted, as Cynthia always went into her own little world in the hours they spent there, and he learnt to simply sit by and read his own books, watching Cynthia work.
I have a friend… I have never had a friend to spend the summer holidays with before! Viktor thought to himself as the sun shone against his face, lighting up his usually grim room. For once, I am actually having fun with my holiday. I have not felt this way for years, if I have even ever felt this way before! I actually cannot wait to start my day!
Viktor excitedly leapt out of bed and rushed out of his room, putting a thin blue dressing gown on as he left. The floor creaked with every step he took, but for once Viktor did not long to be back in his old house, too filled with happiness to care, but old memories crept into his mind as they usually did. His old home was located on the other side of the city, nestled away against a rock face and between boulders that protected it from the wind. It had been a modern brick house, built as part of some sort of incentive to attract more people to live in Sunyshore. Viktor could remember the bright red bricks and clay coloured tiles, with the blue and white paint scheme that went all throughout the house, rather than the plain lemon walls of his grandparents house that was covered with decades of dirt and grime. The quality of this age old house was one reason why Viktor longed to have his parents back, and sometimes he dreamed of being back in the little brick house and out this creaky wooden box, but whenever he was in a good mood, those thoughts occurred less and less.
Both of his grandparents were already in the kitchen when Viktor walked in, entering the front of the house that was really one giant room. His grandfather Peter was sitting at the dinner table, a giant slab of wood that could sit around thirty but rarely had more than five people. Viktor smiled at him before collecting a plate of fried eggs from the counter right before his grandmother Joan scooped more out of the pan. The kitchen had some of the newest appliances, from a flash white fridge to a proper oven with stove top cookers, and Viktor was secretly pleased that his food was not cooked or stored in something as old and dirty as the rest of the house was.
"How are you doing boy?" Peter said over his newspaper. He was a retired fisherman that now did managerial work for the same company, but had kept the burly frame and brown, leathery skin he had gotten from being out on the seas all day. Viktor never had much to discuss with him as he was more into books and science than wondering what it had been like to catch hundreds of Remoraid and Magikarp every day, but he and Peter managed to get along like an old fashioned grandparent and a new age grandchild did.
"I am actually very well," Viktor said with a smile, inhaling his eggs so he could get ready to see Cynthia sooner. "I am hoping to teach Castform a few new moves in training today!" Peter nodded, approving of this use of his time.
"You must invite this Cynthia girl over to dinner one night," his grandmother called out from the pan. Joan used to be a teacher but now looked after the house full time, occasionally taking part in volunteer work or helping Peter when it came to using computers at work. She was slimmer than her husband but unfortunately was losing her hair as well, with only wispy strands left that showed her pale scalp underneath. Viktor and his grandmother had a stronger relationship as Joan was far more sympathetic to the near teenager, though at times it bordered on being condescending and over protecting.
"I am not sure, Cynthia always talks about having to be back at her hotel before it gets too dark," Viktor said between mouthfuls. "And her hotel is really far from here. It would takes ages for her to get here and then make their way back in the dark."
"Oh of course, fair enough!" Joan said in her eternal optimism. "Still suggest it to her though, you never know, she may say yes!"
"Invite her whole family!" Peter grunted. "Put this bloody giant table to good use! We can lend them torches or something…" Viktor nodded along with his grandparent's, trying to look disinterested but secretly relishing in the idea the more he thought about it. Seeing Cynthia at night and meeting her family was sure to cement their friendship. It was what Flint and Volkner did, as well as Minerva next door, who was always having friends over that Viktor could see coming by their house. He knew that Cynthia would reject the idea initially, which was why he had shot the idea down, but Viktor would suggest it to her whenever it seemed right.
A rapping, triple knock sounded at the front door, echoing through the giant living space for all to hear, and Viktor had a feeling who it may be. Joan quickly bustled forwards before either Viktor or Peter could get up, moving between sagged couches and armchairs and overcrowded tables, and sure enough, once the thick oaken door had swung open, Viktor could see a circle of flaming hair waiting in the entrance.
"Hello Mrs Fischer," Flint said as he stepped in, smiling widely. Joan instantly began to fuss over him like he was one of her sons, and Viktor stared angrily at his eggs, struggling to contain himself. He had hoped that the boy would be banned from their house after what happened to the curtains, but neither of his grandparents blamed Flint, saying it had simply been an accident and that they could easily get new curtains cheaply at the markets. Viktor had been furious, but realised afterwards that they cared about Flint as if he too was their grandson, which was understandable considering how much time he spent at their house, and they were unlikely to send away Volkner's only good friend, even if it meant upsetting their other true grandson.
Volkner was not yet awake, so Joan invited Flint to sit down at the table and even offered him some eggs. Viktor grabbed a spare section of the newspaper his grandfather had put aside and pretended to be absorbed in an article about an upcoming surfing competition, not wanting engage with the enemy this early in the day. Flint was always careful to never upset Viktor whenever the grandparents were around, all three of the young boys knowing it would prove Viktor's complaints and give the grandparents no choice but to punish him, so the red headed boy only smirked at Viktor before enjoying his second breakfast.
"So Flint, are you and Volkner getting ready for this tag battle tournament?" Peter asked over his newspaper.
"Oh yeah, we are getting ready!" Flint said excitedly. "We've been training since the holidays began, but now that entries are open, we're really stepped things up. I think we may even be able to evolve some of our Pokemon before the competition begins!"
"That sounds wonderful!" Joan exclaimed. "You must tell us when your first battle is on so we can come and watch! Oh, that reminds me! Viktor, how is your entry for the science competition coming along? Have you found any time to work on it when you haven't been seeing Cynthia?"
Damnit, Viktor thought, freezing up as her words washed over him. His spoon hung limply in his hand, egg dripping off onto the plate, and Viktor could feel all the eyes in the room staring directly at him. It suddenly dawned on him that he had ignored his science project over the last few days, too distracted to give it any thought. There was so much he had to do in order for it to be ready in time for the competition, but all Viktor had thought about since he had met Cynthia was training his Pokemon and getting to know his new friend better.
"Viktor, what's wrong?" Joan asked, suddenly sounding nervous. "Has something happened to your project?" Viktor looked up to see everyone staring at him, and he could hear the creak of floorboards, Volkner waking up to come and join in the judging.
"I've forgotten about it," Viktor admitted, unable to think of any convincing lie that would not lead to more awkward questions. "Cynthia and I have been spending so much time training that I completely forgot to work on it! I'll try and get some more done today, hopefully." Joan looked a bit surprised but smiled and nodded anyway, but Peter grunted from across the table.
"Hopefully? I expect you to try harder than that, especially after all that money you blew through on it!" He put his paper down and turned towards Flint, whose eyes were already shining with malicious delight, and Viktor angrily clutched his spoon like a weapon. "Flint, did you know Viktor here spent all of his saved up pocket money in a few hours getting bits and pieces to make his little toy? He then had to beg for more money because he had only brought half of what he needed! HALF!" Flint roared with laughter, tipping back in his chair, unable to stop himself. Viktor's fury quickly doubled as Peter chuckled deeply to himself, and Flint went red in the face, looking as though he was struggling to breathe, his mocking eyes focussed on Viktor.
"OH SHUT UP!" Viktor roared, and he scooped some of his eggs up and flung them at Flint without a second thought. The younger boy was so taken aback when it struck him between the eyes that he lost his balance and his chair tipped over backwards. Joan cried out as Flint's head thunked against the floor, and there was a cracking sound as the back of the chair snapped.
"Idiot!" Peter growled as his wife ran over, Flint groaning on the floor. "What did you do that for?"
"He always mocks me, but you two never believe me when I tell you!" Viktor shouted, leaping to his feet. He felt guilty for breaking the chair and was worried that he may have injured Flint, knowing how well that would go down, but secretly, he felt pleased to have finally caused him some sort of pain. After everything he had ever done to Viktor, a bit of revenge seemed fair. "And now I see why, considering you mock me as well!"
"Oh Viktor, get a hold of yourself, he was just teasing!" Joan cried as she helped Flint get back to his feet. "There was no need to go and cause all of this trouble and damage! It was just a little joke!"
"What's going on here?" Everyone turned to see Volkner had appeared in the doorway, rubbing the sleep from his eyes and looking very confused.
"Your retarded cousin attacked me!" Flint wailed, his eyes watery as he glared at Viktor.
"I AM NOT RETARDED!" Viktor screamed. "SEE? He just insulted me again!"
"YOU JUST ATTACKED HIM!" Peter yelled. "Be glad that I don't hit you boys like my father did to me, otherwise you'd be the one that'll need tending too!" Viktor gasped, taken aback by his grandfather's harshness. He looked around and saw everyone was angry with him, with Volkner rushing in to help his friend, looking at his cousin with complete disgust.
How are they all acting like this? Viktor thought, looking around at the people that were supposed to be his family. They weren't angry at me when they thought I had gone missing the other day. Real family would have told me off for running off like that, they didn't even care… none of them care for me! They probably want Flint to be their grandson! Well they can have him…
Five minutes later, Viktor stormed from the house, fully dressed and with a backpack slung over his shoulder. Peter roared at him as he left, while Joan sat crying in a chair, Viktor unsure why but felt guilty all the same. Nonetheless, he did not look back, and simply kept on walking. He was not going to linger in a house where he was not wanted, and had already decided what he was going to do next.
The City Square had gotten busier over the past few days, as the number of tourists pouring in for the various competitions and for their holidays began to overrun the city. Cynthia sat awkwardly at a table outside Café Chimchar at the Carmella's complex, hundreds of people walking past her every minute. Many of them paused and examined the café, trying to find a seat, and would then glare angrily at her for hogging her spot.
I don't want to be here, you can gladly take it, Cynthia kept thinking whenever someone shot her a look, and several times she had considered leaving the four seated table behind and blending in with the crowd, disappearing as easily as it would be to teleport away with an Abra. Cynthia had kept up this charade with Viktor long enough, and it was time she either tell him the truth and see if he could help her, or cut him loose and continue this quest on her own.
He seems so nice, it would destroy him if I did this, Cynthia thought as she played with the salt and pepper shakers, tipping them onto the table and drawing two circles out of the different grains. But I can't keep spending my days training him and his Pokemon. I left Celestic Town for a reason, and that wasn't working with Magikarp and Feebas. I need to find this book, I need to prove my theory, and then I need to get working on finding these bloody orbs. Cynthia stared down at the circles she had drawn, wishing it was that easy to get the orbs. She sighed and brushed them all onto the pavement, earning her a glare from a passing waitress, but Cynthia was too caught up in her thoughts to really notice. He could have his uses outside of his library card, but does he seems too soft, would he be able to handle what I have planned?
"Oh my god, I can't believe how big the crowd is today!" A voice said from above her, and Cynthia looked up as Viktor sat down in the seat opposite her, red in the face but wearing a smile that did not match the look in his eyes. Cynthia had no idea how long she had been here, having lost track in her thoughts, but presumed that Viktor must now be on time for their meeting. He usually arrived exactly to the minute of whenever they had arranged to meet up, something that Cynthia found both cute and irritating.
"I know, it seems to get bigger every second," Cynthia replied with a forced smile, struggling to make a decision on what to do but knowing that she really had to make one before the end of this meal, at the same time confused but his odd expression.
"You should be here around mid July, the entire city is basically overflowing," Viktor explained. "All the hotels and beach houses are full; there isn't a spare room to be had. Some people rent their homes out and go away to Snowpoint or Hearthome just to get away from it all. Last year, I even think some of the shops ended up running out of stock… I know one café had to close for a few days, but I can't remember which one…"
"Well, I am not sure if I will still be here by then," Cynthia said, trying to hurry things along but not noticing the bluntness of her tone. Viktor paused in his ramblings, looking as though he had been punched in the stomach, and the happy mask he had put on quickly faded away. He merely mouthed 'oh' and fell silent. Guilt rose up in Cynthia, but she had no idea what was going through Viktor's mind.
All the way here, the twelve year old had decided that he was going to try and stay with Cynthia and her family for a few days. Despite what Peter had said, Viktor still had some money stored away, pocket money he had put aside and had been saving up for when he got older or for something special. Viktor had brought the money with him, hoping he could give it to Cynthia's parents and stay with them until the end of the summer. Viktor did not want to stay in his house any more, not while Flint was able to mock, insult and degrade him like that and his grandparents batted their eyelids and ignored all of their grandson's complaints. They had to see that Viktor was serious about being insulted and hurt like that, and at the moment, running away seemed like the only option.
The only problem was that Viktor had nowhere to stay. He had no friends that lived in Sunyshore, with Cynthia being the only person he had connected with for many years. Viktor had hoped that he could have stayed with her family, using his saved money to pay for an extra bed or something like that. Hotels were always cheaper at the end of August when the holiday rush faded, and Viktor knew of several cheap places he may be able to afford by the time they left, but he could not survive a month homeless until then.
"Are you alright?" Cynthia asked. "You've gone quite quiet." Viktor looked up, blinking back worrisome tears and forced another smile upon his face.
"Everything's fine," he said, but his voice was high and squeaky, and simply confirmed to Cynthia that something was wrong. She groaned mentally, knowing she could not possibly ditch him now that he was upset. An awkward silence came across the two, seeming out of place in the middle of a crowded café next to a busy street. Viktor ordered them both chocolate milkshakes when a waitress came around, but they decided to keep moving rather than linger. As soon as they had paid and stood up, several different groups rushed for their seats, and the two teenagers disappeared into the crowd.
Silently, they marched alongside each other, still silent, being crushed by the hundreds of people filling the Square. Viktor kept replaying what had happened at his house, and wondered if Flint had been seriously injured, if his grandfather was still shouting, if he would ever be allowed back now that his plan had failed. Cynthia wanted to say something, but she still had no idea what. Random words buzzed around in her brain, many different thoughts clashing with one another, trying to decide what was more important: being kind to Viktor or moving on with her real journey.
"Are you going to tell me what's wrong, or are we just going to keep awkwardly walking around being crushed by these sweaty rich people?" Cynthia snapped finally, the words coming out before she had thought them over properly. People around them turned in shock and disgust, and Viktor froze, his milkshake a few centimetres away from his lips, looking at Cynthia in surprise. A burly father standing a few feet away looked like he was going to snap at them, so Viktor quickly grabbed Cynthia by the arm and pulled out of the crowd.
"Are you mad?" He hissed as they power walked down a quiet side street that only led to residential houses, quickly leaving the crowds behind. "If you get a crowd that size riled up, they are bound to fight back!"
"I don't care about those idiots!" Cynthia snapped back. "I just want to know why you arrived today with a fake smile and nearly burst into tears before! Something's wrong and your not telling me what it is, and I don't want to be dragged around by someone that is lying to me!"
"Oh yeah? Well… what about you and the library!" Viktor retorted, wheeling around to face her. "Why do we keep going there and spending hours while you look for books but never get any more out?" Cynthia cursed in her head, not realising that Viktor had actually come to suspect the long hours they spent there after training. Viktor, on the other hand, had simply pulled that out of thin air, but the shocked look on Cynthia's face was enough to confirm that something was up, and his insecurities began to creep in. "There is some other reason! Your looking for something, aren't you? Is that why you are friends with me, you need my library card or something like that?"
"What? No, that's stupid!" Cynthia cried, and she tried to pull free of his grasp, but Viktor grabbed tighter, his curiosity taking control. "Let go of me!"
"Not until you tell me what's going on!"
"I will if you do, just let me go!" Cynthia shouted, starting to get worried. "I said LET ME GO!" And she lashed out with her free hand, smacking him in the face with her milkshake and wrenched free of his grasp. Unfortunately, her strength pulled Viktor forwards, and he lost his balance, not realising until he was flying forwards directly towards Cynthia's chest. Both of them cried out, and suddenly they were both sprawled across the concrete. Their milkshakes exploded on the pavement, Viktor's bag fell open, the rattling of coins signalling his money had fallen out, there were several clicks and the bursting sound of PokeBalls opening, and something began to slap against the concrete, making a sickening wet sound.
It all happened pretty quickly, but they had both hit their heads and felt dazed. Viktor looked up at Cynthia, who was rubbing her head, stars flying before her eyes, and he looked around, unable to stop himself from smiling. Cynthia glared at him, and Viktor descended into laughter. He looked around and saw his Magikarp was flopping against the pavement, gasping for breath as always, his red scales shining brightly in the sun. Viktor realised that he and Cynthia had been covered by the milkshake, the chocolate, chunky liquid coating them like an extra layer. He had no idea why he was laughing so hard, but his sides were starting to hurt, and he began to roll around on the ground.
"Is something wrong?" Cynthia asked, continuing to rub her head as she sat up. She looked down at her clothes and saw how filthy they were, and felt pitiful for the Magikarp that she had constantly defeated over the past few days flailing before her. "Did you hit your head on the concrete or something?"
"Did you have an accident?" Viktor asked, and when Cynthia looked confused, he pointed at the back of her cloak. She turned and saw she was sitting directly in the milkshake, staining her entire backside in a rather unappealing manner.
"Oh real mature," Cynthia sighed as she tried to wipe the milkshake away so it did not look quite as revolting, but Viktor laughed harder, unable to control himself, and a smile began to creep onto Cynthia's face. By the time Magikarp had tired himself and simply fell flat on the concrete, both Viktor and Cynthia were roaring with laughter, rolling through the milkshake mess and Viktor's money, letting their childish immaturity take over as they laughed at the situation they had found themselves in, not just this accident but their lives in general. It quickly dawned on Viktor that he had started the day with such positivity and with high hopes, but was now rolling on the concrete covered in chocolate milkshake, having just argued with his only human friend in the world, and Cynthia could not control herself as she remembered the purpose of her journey, never factoring this sort of situation into it when she had made her big plan.
It took a few minutes, but Viktor and Cynthia began to calm down. The two ended up lying next to each other, red in the face and breathless, the milkshake turning into sticky stains. The two turned to look at each other, ignoring a family walking past looking dreadfully confused at them, too absorbed in the questions that were returning now that the laughter had died. They smiled awkwardly at each other, remembering the scuffle that had led to this, and knew it was time to tell the truth.
"I'm looking for a book that is going to prove something," Cynthia explained. "It will take too long to explain, but it has to do with Dialga and Palkia and the Time-Space Legend, and I need this book in order to track down a man called Mr Adiem. It is important that I find it, and to be honest, it is the only reason why I came – I mean, why I suggested my family come here."
"I was hoping to come and stay with your family for a few weeks," Viktor admitted. "I brought all my savings with me to help cover your hotel costs or something like that, because I am pretty sure my grandparents like my cousin's friend more than they like me, and I don't want to be around them anymore." Silence remained after he finished speaking, and the two remained locked in their gaze. Cynthia was taken aback, but tried not to let it show unless Viktor thought she was thinking of him differently. She had always seen him as lonely, desperate for a friend, and this simply confirmed everything, but after a few moments, Cynthia realised she had the answer she needed.
"Don't we have some training to do?" Cynthia said, pushing herself up and slowly getting to her feet. Viktor smiled with relief, fearful that she was going to think him strange, and stood up himself, not before picking up his money and scooping Magikarp into his arms.
"I can help you find that book, if you need me to," he said, turning to face his friend, smiling nervously. "We have only looked on the top floor, but I think there could be some stuff in the encyclopaedia section, and I know which librarians would be able to point us in the right direction."
"Thanks, I appreciate the offer," Cynthia said with a smile. We are not so different, you and I, she thought as they turned and carried on down the road, heading for an old section of sand they used to train in. I was lonely as well back in Celestic Town, and I had to cross half of Sinnoh in order to find a friend. I know once I have the book I am going to leave, but the only question now is whether you come with me or not. Cynthia had never considered it before, but she had seen the sadness in Viktor's eyes and knew she had felt the same way before. If he was that desperate to leave his family behind, the same way she had abandoned her sister and grandmother, then maybe Viktor would be willing to forget about Sunyshore and come on the road with her. When it comes to battling on the road, three extra Pokemon may just come in handy… and a friend may be even better.
Re: Dawn of Darkness: Chapter Five
Chapter Six: Dinner Meetings
July 1st 1985
"Magikarp, begin with Tackle on Horsea, and Feebas, you use Ice Beam on Swablu!"
"Horsea Smokescreen, Swablu Fury Attack on Feebas!"
It was only five 'o'clock in the afternoon, yet most of Sunyshore was already cloaked in darkness: the sun was setting to the east, leaving the streets and paths made up between the eroded rock formations as dark as midnight, with light only lingering within the City Square, along the outskirts and at the very top of the city.
And it was there that Viktor and Cynthia fought.
In the middle of the wide, barren lane surrounding by houses that made up the Fishermen's Square, Viktor and Cynthia faced off, two of their Pokemon lined up before them. Cynthia had decided to stop using Gabite in battles, as the Dragon type was just too strong for Viktor's team, so she was using her other Pokemon of Horsea and Swablu to face Magikarp and Feebas. A few days earlier, it would have been a breeze even for them, but Cynthia had worked hard on improving Viktor's team. Since the idea of them fleeing this city together had come into her head, Cynthia had recommitted herself to training, managing to teach Feebas some new moves through rigorous work and level Viktor's trio up a lot in only a short amount of time, and now they were putting their new skills to the test.
"Karp Karp, Magi Karp Karp, Magi," Magikarp said, flopping uselessly against the stones, amber sunshine making his scales glow, but unless he was planning on blinding Cynthia's team, it was just a nuisance. Viktor watched tensely, wanting to give the Fish Pokemon a push to see if he would move, knowing Flint could be watching from the house, mocking him. They had worked so hard, put so many hours in, and Viktor wanted this battle to go well: if they lost with a few moves under their belt, than it would all be worth it.
"Feeeeee!" Feebas said, flailing just as badly, but a small, ice blue ball formed in his constantly ajar mouth, and suddenly a brilliant beam was fired. It was thinner than it should have been, and a stronger Pokemon could have knocked Swablu out with it easily: instead, the Cotton Bird Pokemon was pushed backwards with a pained expression, but it was more than Feebas had ever been able to do before.
"Excellent Feebas, excellent!" Viktor yelled, resisting the urge to jump for joy. He was not sure what had spurred Cynthia on to helping him develop his team so much, but they had both seen massive improvements, and Viktor was grateful for it. Cynthia was in a much brighter mood than she had been, and his Pokemon were showing the effects.
"Horsea Horsea!" Her Horsea cried, and she sprayed toxic black smoke out through her long mouth. It began to shroud her and Swablu, not enough that they were completely invisible yet, but it gave them an advantage.
"KARP!" Magikarp cried, and he suddenly fired himself forwards, whacking the ground with his tail and spinning through the air. Viktor and Cynthia both whooped in delight, even though Magikarp landed right next to Horsea rather than hitting her, remembering a moment the other day when Magikarp had gone backwards rather than forwards.
"Wabluuuu!" Swablu cried, and she flew forwards. Her wings, which were as white and fluffy as clouds, glowed a faint red, and the Cotton Bird Pokemon whacked Feebas repeatedly with them when she neared. Feebas let out an internal groan, and Viktor feared he would faint already, but when Swablu rose back into the air, the Water type was still conscious, albeit severely weakened.
"You guys are doing great!" Viktor cried, giddy with glee. "Magikarp, you use Flail on Horsea, and Feebas use another Ice Beam on Swablu!"
"Horsea BubbleBeam Magikarp, and Swablu Aerial Ace Feebas!" Cynthia cried. She wanted to go softer on the two Pokemon, knowing that there was a very high chance that these attacks would end the battle, but holding her Pokemon back would not do Viktor any good, and she simply hoped that they had been trained enough to survive more than few attacks.
Feebas fired another Ice Beam before Swablu could even move, and she dropped a metre, nearly hitting the rocky ground below as the attack enveloped her. Viktor was pleased and turned towards Magikarp, wondering if the Fish Pokemon would have more success. Magikarp was still bouncing around beneath the smoke, sounding as though he was dying and desperate for water, but suddenly was able to bound forwards, his entire body shaking as he went for Horsea. The move came close to hitting, but Horsea moved out of the way at the last second under her hazy cover, and fired a series of bubbles directly into her opponent as he sailed past. The results became lost in the SmokeScreen, and Viktor's attention was drawn away by Swablu shooting forwards, wings glowing lilac as she went for Feebas.
"Swaaab!" She cried, and soared above Feebas, her left wing cutting directly across his side.
"Bas," Feebas said weakly as if the cry had been forced out of him, and he rolled for a short distance due to a carry-on effect from the attack before landing before Viktor: the eye facing upwards was shut, and Feebas had stopped flopping about, making it quite clear what had happened.
"Sorry!" Cynthia said with a gasp, rushing through the SmokeScreen to join Viktor. "I thought it would not have been too strong! Damnit, I was really hoping Feebas could have won that, he has worked so –"
"It is fine Cynthia, you don't need to apologize," Viktor said, pulling a PokeBall out and withdrawing his unconscious Pokemon. "You fought well, as you should have. I don't want your Pokemon to hinder themselves on account of me and my team." He smiled warmly at her, feeling joyous that Feebas had managed two successful attacks, which was a vast improvement over a few days ago. Cynthia smiled back, feeling more reassured. There was clear progress going on with Viktor's team, and a small setback like this was nothing compared to what they had done so far.
"Shall we end things here while Magikarp is a bit ahead?" Viktor suggested, staring over at the last of the sunshine peeking over the top of the enclosing mountains in the distance. "It is going to be dark soon anyway." Cynthia looked around, having completely forgotten the time, standing at what felt like the top of the world, illuminated by the remaining sun. She realised it would already be dark below, making her long journey back to her playground house dangerous.
"Your right, I probably should be going home," Cynthia said, letting her nerves creep in. She quickly returned Horsea and Swablu, forgetting to thank them properly for helping with the training. The SmokeScreen faded, revealing Magikarp flopping feebly on the stones, and Viktor withdrew him, his joy slipping away as he saw Cynthia's attention on him and the battle disappear.
"Are you sure you have to leave now?" He asked, trying to keep the hurt out of his voice. "You were considering staying for dinner, remember?" Cynthia had forgotten, becoming too worried about the books she had crossed half a region to find that were shabbily hidden in a hole in a tree. She liked being able to keep an eye of them, which was why she slept with them at night, making sure nothing happened to them. Cynthia preferred staying in the city so she could get back to them easily, and had only come here as they had found nowhere else to train in the tourist infested city. She wanted to get back to them, however, it had been a while since she had experienced the wonder of a home cooked meal. Cynthia shut her eyes for a moment, briefly imagining her grandmother's famous triple chocolate cake laid out before her, alongside her mother's Sunday roast that she had not tasted for years, food that had a special quality to it that mass produced café food could not compare to. She nearly shed a tear, wishing she could be home, but quickly snapped out of it and turned to face Viktor, forcing a smile that puzzled the boy.
"Sorry, I completely forgot about that!" She said, beaming. "I would love to stay, but I am just not sure if I would be able to make it home in time, and my parents wouldn't be able to find me. If it isn't too much trouble, do you have a spare –"
"Bed? Of course!" Viktor said, lighting up once more, and Cynthia lightly laughed, already imagining sleeping in a proper bed for the first time in weeks, the wonders of living indoors. The two friends walked towards the Fischer household, feeling happier and more relaxed than either had felt for weeks, the success within the training, their quests and their blossoming friendship enough to dampen out the rest of the troubles and worries that they lived with.
From her living room window, Minerva watched the two walk by with immense jealousy.
Her holidays had been dull so far, with many of her friends leaving for family vacations elsewhere within the Sinnoh region. Minerva was lonely atop this rock, with only Eevee for company that she wanted, and her sister Diana constantly harassing her to play with her. With no other friends left in Sunyshore, Minerva had hoped she and Viktor would come closer, two lost souls with nothing to do, even if all they did was battle or work on his science projects.
But than Cynthia had come and interrupted everything. Minerva had no idea who this pretty blonde girl was, but she was not a fan, despite never having spoken to her. She had seen her and Viktor battling in the city, with her powerful Gabite that could easily defeat any Pokemon. Minerva knew that if Viktor battled with her, Eevee would be more to the same level as Castform, Magikarp and Feebas, that they would both improve at the same pace and eventually be great together, Gyarados and Milotic joining whatever she chose Eevee to evolve into in paving the way for the two to become Champions.
I am not letting this… outsider come and ruin everything! Minerva thought, stroking Eevee a bit more aggressively than she should have, earning her a whack on the face with her fluffy tail. I know just how to make Viktor my friend once again, and then he can forget about this random blonde and go down a path that will actually benefit him.
"Dinner Minerva," her father called, and Minerva quickly leapt up and walked towards the open dining room, smiling to herself as she eyed the poster for the Tag Battle Competition that she had picked up from the City Square the other day, sitting on the coffee table as if it knew Minerva was thinking of it.
Dinner at the Fischer table was tense. Joan and Peter tried to cover it up with questions, smiles and constantly dishing out food, but despite their attempts, it was obvious to Cynthia that as soon as she had entered the charming, old fashioned home, she had walked in on some barely covered up issues.
When Viktor had returned home the other day, he had been greeted by his grandparents, Volkner, Flint and, most shocking of all, Flint's parents, a couple in their early thirties, their hair still such a shocking shade of orange that Viktor had instantly noticed them as he opened the door. His grandparents quickly made him apologize for his actions, followed by a less humble but equally forced response from Flint at the insistence of his parents, who seemed less oblivious to their son's actions than Joan and Peter were. Viktor had struggled not to smirk triumphantly at this, knowing if he did that it would ruin everything, and thankfully, things were left at that. Volkner did not say a word, but Viktor could tell he was still furious with him. Joan and Peter were wearing masks to hide their own disappointment and rage respectfully, but knew better than to push the matter any further. Peter merely grunted out a 'Don't ever think of doing that again boy," and the issue was swept under the rug and not brought up again, everyone deciding it was best for all to move on and not let a small squabble ruin everyone's time.
However, Flint had been planning Tag Battle strategies with Volkner and practising in the backyard, while Viktor and Cynthia had taken the front, and Joan had insisted he stay as well and that the two have a sleep over as Viktor was having a friend over too. Viktor wanted to point out that he and Cynthia were hardly having a sleep over, with Cynthia staying in the barely used guest room (a bed in a slightly big wardrobe, basically), but let it slide, knowing that keeping the argument under wraps relied on him to stay silent as well. He was annoyed though about Flint's presence, and Flint was annoyed about Viktor being there, but had not wanted to turn down the offer at such a fragile time. Now that they were all together again, all of the Fischer's were thinking of the breakfast incident, and none of them were able to escape the awkwardness.
A true family dinner, just how I remember them, Cynthia thought bitterly, staring around the table covered with plates of vegetables, bread and butter, and the main course of fried Remoraid, noticing the barely concealed glares that those seated were trying not to exchange, reminding her exactly of how her family dinners had been.
"So dear, is your family here for any of the competitions Sunyshore is hosting?" Joan asked from her husband's right on the other side of the table.
"Oh no, no competitions for us," Cynthia replied with a smile. "Sunyshore is just the place to go during summer, and my parents wanted to have a little break from it all and experience the sunshine and beaches."
"Where do you normally live?" Peter asked through a mouthful of potatoes.
"Celestic Town," Cynthia answered, not bothering to lie about that as it was unlikely Viktor or any of them would ever make it there. "It is quite high up, built basically on the side of Mount Coronet. It is very rocky there and a lot of mists creep in, so it is nice to escape to somewhere a bit sunnier." Joan and Peter both smiled at this, and it was clear on their faces that they were trying to think of a way to further the conversation. Viktor wanted to talk about their training, but he did not want Flint to interject and try and make things about him. He instinctively glared at the red head who sat opposite him, and Flint glared back when he caught the look.
"So Cynthia, how exactly did you come by your Pokemon?" Volkner asked. He sat between Joan and Flint and directly opposite Viktor, so he had caught the glaring and was trying to avoid an argument erupting across the table. Cynthia paused for a moment, pretending to focus on scooping up some peas up. She was not sure how much information she should give, not knowing if they somehow knew her grandmother or if they would create some sort of puzzle out of everything she gave them. After a moment though, Cynthia knew there was little harm in sharing some facts, and knew that the longer she stayed silent, the more suspicious she seemed.
"Gabite was my first, though he was a Gible when I got him," Cynthia explained. "I think it was for Christmas, from my parents, one of the last presents they gave me. I caught Horsea and Swablu only about a year ago, and that was thanks to training I did with this women, Wilma, who lives near Celestic. She used to live in Blackthorn City and worked with the Dragon Elders at Blackthorn Gym, but they had a falling out and she moved to Sinnoh. My grandmother is friends with her, so she sent me to her to work on training Gible, and Wilma aided me in boosting up my team. Where did you get yours from?"
"I got Pikachu as a gift, same as Viktor's Castform," Volkner explained, placing his three PokeBalls on the table. "I caught a Shinx that was roaming around the park a few months ago, somehow having escaped from the local forest. And recently, a local Pokemon Professor who is well known for his Water Pokemon research ended up with a lot of Eevee eggs from his Vaporeon, so he gave them away to kids at our school."
"We've already decided that I am going to evolve mine into a Flareon and Volkner is going to get Jolteon," Flint explained, and Cynthia nodded, impressed at their range of Pokemon. If only Viktor had such a variety, she thought, glancing over at her friend and managing a smile as she took a bite of Remoraid. Staring at Viktor, Cynthia could see a resemblance between him and Volkner, with similar hair, faces and builds, though she noted that Volkner seemed more comfortable with himself than Viktor ever had.
"I would love to see how well my Pokemon would go against yours, if that's alright," Volkner said, his voice filled with the sort of youthful nervousness that came with asking someone for a favour. But despite his nerves, Volkner knew that Cynthia would be a much more challenging opponent than Flint and he had to ask. His friend had skills, but mostly tried to show off during battle, making mistakes that allowed Volkner to easily outwit and defeat him. He had seen Cynthia battling Viktor before, and had seen her use of strategy with SmokeScreen, a move Volkner doubted Flint had even heard of, and had been looking for a challenge to gear himself up for the Tag Battle Competition.
"That sounds like a lovely idea!" Joan cried. "The rest of us can have ice cream and watch while you battle!"
"Oh oh oh, can I fight the winner?" Flint said excitedly, bouncing up in his chair, and everyone laughed, everyone except Viktor, who quickly went back into his reclusion. He stared at Cynthia, hoping she would reject the idea, or that she would insist upon battling Viktor instead. However, she smiled across at Volkner, and Viktor's heart sank as he knew what she was about to say.
"I would be very happy to wipe the floor with your team," she said, and everyone laughed again. Cynthia glanced sideways at Viktor, knowing he would be annoyed, but for the time being, she wasn't fussed. It would be good for Gabite to get some more training in, and Horsea and Swablu would get a chance to face some proper opponents. She looked around the table and saw how everyone seemed more relaxed, and was glad that she agreed to battle. She was glad she was taking a break from her research: tonight, she could experience normality once more.
Half an hour later, once everyone had finished off the Remoraid and relaxed for a few minutes, the group moved outside. Some of their neighbours were already outside enjoying the fresh, cool air, and Joan invited them over for ice cream and to watch the battle. Cynthia and Volkner stood several metres apart, quickly sending out Gabite and Pikachu respectively. Viktor watched sullenly from the back door as Flint eagerly cheered Volkner on, who commanded Pikachu to use Slam.
"Too easy! DragonBreath!" Cynthia commanded, and Peter let out a cheer as Gabite breathed golden and purple flames onto Pikachu, looking like a glorious shining firework at this time of night. Viktor knew it would be easy to include himself in the fun, to put his jealousy aside for once and enjoy himself, possibly doing what Flint had asked and fight one of the others once this battle was over. But Viktor watched as Pikachu emerged from the attack and lunged at Gabite with enough power to send him stumbling backwards, and knew that he was no match for any of them. Any battle he took part in would end quickly and leave Viktor even more humiliated.
It is better for Cynthia if she fights a real opponent, Viktor thought. That way, if she improves, she can help me improve. This made him feel a bit better, but a jealous monster continued to fight away inside of him, watching how effortlessly Cynthia had involved herself with people he had known for years yet barely knew, how she so quickly agreed to battle Volkner even though it had taken her days to agree to battle him.
There are only two people that ever truly knew me, Viktor thought, and he turned away from the battle, moving quickly but quietly into his room. He did not turn the light on, not wishing to attract attention, and fumbled about for a coat and a torch. Then, moving silently through the house, Viktor slipped away into the night, heading for the once place where he could find true solitude and leaving everyone else to enjoy their fun.
Re: Dawn of Darkness: Chapter Six
Alrighty, here's my review of your prologue, as per your request in the Review Game. :)
I thought this was VERY well written! I saw almost no typos/errors (there was one instance where you left out a period), and the wording and imagery you used was ace. I have nothing really to critique on this aspect of the piece. As for what's going on, the way it started out was brilliant, but it felt a little underwhelming when you revealed that Cynthia was simply going to the town library. I was expecting something a little more drastic to happen, the way you wrote her trip out. But that might just be me, I'm no expert at interpreting fiction (that's an understatement, actually). xP
ANYWAY, I liked it more at the second part of the prologue, where there's talk about stopping a boy. I'm all for suspense, and it keeps me wondering what happens next and wanting to read more, so yeah.
I can't really say anything about the characters or plot since this is only the prologue, and it's too early to make comments on them. But they sound promising so far. :)
And...that's really all I can think of. Yeah, I'm probably not much of a reviewer. >_<
Re: Dawn of Darkness: Chapter Six
@Kelleo: Thanks for the feedback, I am glad you enjoyed the prologue :) It can be a bit underwhelming Cynthia's revelation, but hopefully you will enjoy what it builds up towards if you carry on reading :)
Sorry for the long wait between chapters, but hopefully this one will make up for it! It ties back to the prologue and will hint more at the wider mystery of the story, so enjoy! Caution for brief strong language
Chapter Seven: A Ghost in the Graveyard
There is nowhere lonelier than a silent graveyard in the dead of night.
The Sunyshore Graveyard was barely within the city limits, situated right on the border that connected to Route 222. The wide field was enclosed on three sides by a forest made of never ending rows of trees that stood tall and proud during the day, but at night housed only darkness between their roots and branches, the shadows making their tops resemble fangs creeping across the graveyard. Old fashioned gas lamps stood at the entrance and in all four corners, but they provided barely enough light to see by, simply the crumbling headstones into nightmarish creatures across the grass.
Viktor preferred coming here during the dark though. When the sun was shining overhead, it only highlighted what a dilapidated and depressing place this was. Any headstone more than a few years old was generally cracked and falling apart, while some of the oldest ones to the southern end where the graveyard had first begun were simply piles of rubble or rotten wooden sticks tilting out of the ground. The lawn had dried up during the scorching summer, and the grass crunched beneath Viktor's feet as he stepped inside, a grim feeling creeping throughout his body.
This is supposed to be a happy place, that's what grandma always said, he thought. She always said that this was a beautiful spot and everyone loved being buried here as they could be surrounded by trees but still get a sea breeze… but why does it only look beautiful when it is cast in shadow? Viktor felt grim as he left the rusted fence and entrance sign behind, disappearing into the neatly ordered rows of death. A Noctowl hooted in the trees, startling Viktor, but he quickly regained himself and tried to stay calm, but he was weary and his mind couldn't focus on being brave. It took a while to get to the graveyard by foot, and Viktor had spent most of the day training with Cynthia, so as the clock ticked closer to his usual bed time the young boy found himself being overcome with tiredness. Getting home would be a struggle, and Viktor glanced behind at the road leading here, wondering if his grandparents were looking for him. Surely they would have noticed his disappearance and they'd be searching the entire city… right?
They will see I'm gone, of course they will! Viktor told himself. I am being ridiculous, they are my grandparents, they will realise that I am not in the house! They still love me, despite all that has happened… don't they? Viktor felt something on his face and quickly touched his cheek, afraid as to what it could be, but quickly realised it was simply a tear creeping down to his neck.
Without paying attention to the ground for open graves or rubbish covering the grass, Viktor sprinted forwards, the tears beginning to stream down. His vision blurred, but it was so dark that it barely mattered, and he knew exactly where to go from memory: past the marble grey headstone, one of the few in the row that was still solid, past the grave of Mr Johnson that Mrs Johnson always puts flowers on, right next to the stone less grave…
James and Maria Fischer were buried in the same grave, the sole benefit that had come from them dying at the same time. Viktor stared down at the familiar patch of grass, the only thing marking it out as grave being the simple stone headstone that had since been badly weathered. He could remember when he had first come here all those years ago, and Viktor had stared down into the rectangle of darkness that had been open before him. It was only then that he had cried, as the six year old Viktor only realised that once they went down, they would never come back up again…
"Mum… Dad…," Viktor whispered, and he fell onto his knees. He pressed his a hand against the grass, wondering if his mother would reach out and grasp onto it, but there would only be bones and dust left inside the coffin now. Viktor cried harder for a moment, but he wiped away the tears and stared firmly downwards, imaging a whole, healthy face with warm blue eyes and long blonde hair like his was staring back. "I am sorry I have not visited… I have been so busy lately. I… I made a friend! Her name is Cynthia; her family is on holiday, right here in the city. She saved me from some bullies, and now we are helping each other out. Cynthia has a lot of strong Pokemon, you see, so she is training mine up. Feebas nearly defeated her Swablu today, you should have seen it! But I am not being selfish or anything. I am helping her get books out from the library as she does not have a card or anything in return. Cynthia is really amazing: she is funny, is great with Pokemon, always wears cool clothes, and… well… she is really pretty as well, just like you mum!"
Viktor paused, taking a deep gulp as he thought about what he would say next. "There have been some issues at home lately. Flint, Volkner's friend… we have not been getting along very well. He caused my curtains to catch on fire, but Grandma and Granddad let him come back! I got angry with him over breakfast and accidentally hurt him, and now I think everyone is angry with me. It's not fair though! Flint is always mean to me and he gets away with it, but I do one bad thing and I get in trouble!" Viktor broke down, rolling onto his side and stroking the grass, tears streaming down his face. "I wish you two were here! I know that if my parents were still alive, Flint would never get away with doing stuff like this! I miss you all so much and I…," but Viktor's voice began to break under, and he fell silent and simply lay on the grass and wept. He shut his eyes and imagined his life back in his old house, when his parents were still beside him to guide him through everything, and nothing ever seemed to get him down. If only they were still alive now, than Viktor would never have to deal with Flint, he could make his science projects with his parent's help, his father could train his Pokemon instead… it would be a simple life, and that was all Viktor really wanted…
"The first signs of madness, talking to dead people that aren't even there," a feminine voice said with a giggle from behind, and Viktor jumped to his feet, startled. "Of course, talking to dead people that are floating in front of you is probably a greater sign of madness, wouldn't you agree?" The voice laughed again, and Viktor screamed as a girl emerged out of the shadows, appearing directly in his face.
"Keep it down boy, your loud enough to wake the dead!" The girl guffawed and she moved backwards, letting Viktor get a better look at her. She appeared to be around his age, possibly a few years older. She was wearing a dress was blowing in a wind that wasn't even there, and it seemed frayed and old fashioned as if she had worn it for a long time. But Viktor was more captivated by the fact the girl was transparent: her skin, her clothes, her body, it was all like a foggy window, see through but with some sort of whiteness that did not make her completely clear. Viktor looked down and saw the girl's feet were floating above the ground as well as showing the next few gravestones, and it dawned on him who this person was.
"Checking me out, are you?" the ghost asked with a cackle. Viktor was too shocked to say anything and tried moving away, yet unable to look away. "My god, why does everyone always act like this! You would think you had never seen a ghost before!" She tutted, and reached out as if too grab him. Viktor began shaking uncontrollably, but his voice managed to creep back to him
"B-b-but I have n-never seen a gh-ghost before!" He stuttered out, and the ghost glared at him, annoyed at having this thrown her way.
"They did tell me you were a smart little boy," she said with a slight purr, moving closer, but Viktor stumbled backwards towards Mr Johnson's grave, stomping on his latest batch of flowers. "I am not a fan of smart little boys though, I prefer my men strong and stupid, it makes them so much easier to control." The ghost laughed at this, flicking her hair back and letting her cackle echo across the silent graveyard. Viktor glanced around and saw that the lights at the corners had begun to die down, and the shadows spread across the dying grass seemed to be dancing around, shimmering and moving, creeping closer and closer towards them.
"Who are you – wait, what are you?" Viktor asked, trying desperately to control his nerves. "Why are you here?" The ghost stopped laughing but the smile remained on her face, and she floated back towards his parent's grave and fell to the ground, her ghostly shade lingering on the surface of the earth.
"My name is Charlotte. I am a two thousand year old ghost that was destroyed and turned into an eternal slave. I am both magic and psychic, which means I can kill you with a click of my fingers right here, right now, yet I already have a vague idea of when and how you will die. And, to answer your last question, I am here for yooooouuu," she finished with an extended cry, and she flashed Viktor a broad grin. "Is that enough information?" Viktor was stunned silent once more, all of this information rushing through his mind, but the only thought he could grasp onto was that he should not have been so petty, he should not have gotten jealous and run away; maybe then he would not be in this situation.
"Is this all real, or am I… hallucinating or something?" He asked, and Charlotte laughed again. It seemed to be all she ever did really, and Viktor glanced back at the fence, wondering if he could keep this ghost laughing long enough for him to slip away. But when he looked back, Charlotte was right next to him once again, silent but with a wicked glint in her eyes.
"Oh, trust me dear, this is very real!" She hissed, and a sudden gust rose out of nowhere. Viktor cried out as the wind slammed into him like a giant fist, and he was sent sliding backwards. He slammed into a marble gravestone, making his back and shoulders crack, and Viktor moaned as Charlotte rose back into the air, the sudden wind making her entire body shimmer.
"Poor Viktor Fischer… the boy with no friends, ignored by his family, oblivious to love and longing, unaware of his capabilities. You have spent far too long wishing you can live in the past, be back with parents that have long since died, and due to that you have never moved on. You may look older now, but at heart, you are still six year old Vikky Fischer."
"Shut up, you don't know what you're talking about!" Viktor snapped. "I have friends, I have Cynthia!"
"Ah yes, Cynthia!" Charlotte said, smirking. "I see great things for her in the future, though I don't quite see the two of you sticking together… even though you think you love her, don't you?" Viktor fell silent as this, and Charlotte flashed a smile.
"I don't… she doesn't… we are just friends!" Viktor protested, but he said it in a sheepish voice and refused to look at Charlotte, not wanting to let her stare into his eyes and search for the truth. Yet the ghost seemed to already know the answer, and her sly smile remained.
"Of course, you are far too young to truly understand love, and I doubt you ever will," Charlotte continued, floating around Viktor and the gravestone with an air of superiority. "You are a much damaged little boy, and I cannot see you ever getting past that. Women… Pokemon… men… you will never understand what love means with any of them, poor child. What a tragic life you're destined for!"
"Shut up!" Viktor screamed, and he tried to get up but Charlotte waved a hand and forced him back down the gravestone. "You are just some stupid ghost, you don't know me!"
"Ah, but I do!" Charlotte said with an air of mystery, waving her hands about. "I know all about you, Viktor Fischer, from the past you live in to the future you are trying to avoid. You wanted to know why I am here? I am here to help you, Viktor Fischer, I am here to warn you."
"About her," Charlotte purred, and Viktor knew exactly who she meant, but had no idea why. "Cynthia Carter is lying to you, and she will keep on lying to you as long as it pleases her. Quite the manipulative little madam and she has you wrapped right around her pinkie."
"Am I?" Charlotte paused and leaned in close, a chill creeping through Viktor's body as the ghost got right into his face. "You have been wondering the same thing though, I can tell, the thoughts still linger in the back of your mind. You ask yourself why she would want to be anywhere near you, why she chooses to hang out with you. You wonder if you are simply a library card to her, and I can tell you Viktor, you are. When you first met her and you went into the library, she insisted on whispering, didn't she?"
"Yes, but that was so we wouldn't get kicked out!"
"Was it really Viktor?" Charlotte asked, pursing her long dead lips. "Maybe she was afraid that people might hear what she was talking about. But why hide in the library anyway? There are so many places to hide in this city, why there?" Viktor opened his mouth to protest, but his words caught in his throat as he realised that Charlotte had a point. The ghost brushed his chest with her hand, making his heart freeze, and she leaned right up next to his air, her long dead hair being blown across Viktor's face.
"And finally Vikky, tell me this: what is the name of the hotel she's staying in?" Charlotte asked, and it had the effect of a bomb being dropped. Viktor found himself gasping for breath as the shock washed over him, and the cold feeling lingered in his body even as Charlotte floated backwards, smirking triumphantly. It was true, he did not know where she was staying, nor had he ever met any of her family or heard her speak of them in great detail. Was Cynthia really lying to Viktor, really using him for the library? It seemed unreal… his first real friend…
"She will string you along until she finds the book she is looking for," Charlotte continued, "and once Cynthia Carter gets her greedy little paws on it, you will be nothing many than some summer memory!"
"LIAR!" Viktor shouted, and he jumped to his feet. Anger flashed across Charlotte's face but Viktor didn't care. "Cynthia is my friend, you cannot go and say things like that! I don't care who you think you are, but just go away you… you… you stupid bitch!" Viktor had never called anyone a bitch before, but he had heard his grandfather angrily called women it before. Viktor was not sure what it meant asides from it being an insult, but he felt glad to see Charlotte looked stunned and he felt that he had put her in her place.
"Now, if you don't mind, I am going to go home before my family gets worried!" He said, and turned to leave, trying to push the dark thoughts of Cynthia out of his head but confident that his nightmare was over.
"How dare you," a deep, angry voice hissed, and Viktor paused, another chill going down his spine. He went to turn around, but something grabbed his leg and Viktor screamed: he looked down to see a dead, pale-blue hand missing two fingers was clawing at his leg, attached to an equally dead arm that had burst through the ground. Viktor continued to scream and tried to break free, but the hand pulled tightly and he fell, slamming into the ground and getting a jolt through his body.
"YOU IDIOT!" Charlotte screamed, her voice losing its airy quality. "I came here to save you, to stop you from throwing your life away, and this is what I get in return!" Viktor was afraid to look at her as she was starting to sound demonic, and he did not want the ghost to see the tears coming down his face. The wind was much stronger now, roaring through the graveyard and making the trees creak and groan. Viktor saw more limbs bursting through the graves, hands clawing their way out of the earth, dirt and wood being tossed everywhere, and he felt like he would be sick.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" Viktor screamed as he tried kicking the hand away that was digging into his leg, but it wouldn't budge, only gripping tighter and pulling him towards the grave.
"PUNISHING YOU!" Charlotte roared back, and she appeared before him: her mouth was open in a constant scream, her hair was flying all over the place, and Viktor had never seen anger like the look coming out of those dead, seemingly transparent eyes.
"I'm sorry, please let me go!" He cried, the tears beginning to blur his vision. "I didn't mean it! Please don't kill me!"
"Remember what I told you, Viktor Fischer, because I never lie!" Charlotte's voice hissed inside his head. "I simply never tell the whole truth, it's more fun that way. Cynthia will hurt you, and you will know only pain for the rest of your life! I will spare you tonight, but soon, you will wish my creatures had killed you here rather than what is waiting for you!"
"PLEASE JUST MAKE IT STOP!" Viktor screamed, and he dug his hands into the ground, trying to pull himself free, but he found himself slipping away. Charlotte laughed as Viktor was dragged across the ground, and the thirteen year old screamed into the night…
A cry echoed through the night, and it was like a spell had shattered: Viktor opened his eyes and found the graveyard was empty. No Charlotte, no reanimated corpses, simply himself lying on the ground, breathing intensely with his face streaked with tears. He turned, waiting to find a hand grasping for his ankle, but there was nothing there, not even a hole in the ground…
"VIKTOR!" The voice cried again, and Viktor turned to see his grandfather, Volkner and Cynthia all rushing across the graveyard, with Swablu flying overhead and Volkner's Shinx leading the way forwards. His grandfather was out front with a lamp, still calling out for his grandson.
"Oh Viktor, what are you doing out here at this time of night?" He cried. "We were getting so worried! Your grandmother and Flint have gone all the way to the Square to look for you!" Viktor did not offer an explanation, instead jumping to his feet and running forwards. His grandfather passed his lamp to Volkner and pulled his grandson into a hug. Viktor sobbed quietly into his shoulder, his leg still feeling as though there was the cold, dead hand digging into it.
"What's wrong Viktor?" Cynthia asked, coming over and touching his shoulder. Viktor glanced at her but did not say anything, silently reading her expression: Cynthia looked worried, but was this genuine sympathy for his wellbeing or concern over the future of her plan?
She has you wrapped around her pinkie… what a tragic life you are destined for… nothing more than a summer memory… Viktor was not sure if Charlotte had been real, as her and her illusion had faded away very quickly, but then again they had started just as fast. But regardless, her words lingered, and Viktor was not sure what to think. It seemed impossible that Cynthia could just be using him, yet he could not deny the thoughts had been there…
"Come on, let's get you home and warm you up, then we might get a few words out of ya!" Peter said, and he turned his hug into a one shoulder grip and began to manoeuvre Viktor away from the graves. Viktor noticed Cynthia and Volkner exchanging a look, but he was too worn out and shaken from his experience to say anything about it. He glanced back at the grave he had come all this way to see, wondering what his parents would say if they were here… and if they would tell him to stop living in the past as well…
It was a long, dark night in Jubilife City.
Mr Arnold Adiem stood at the floor to ceiling windows that made up the southern wall of his office in the Sinnoh Broadcasting Company Building, staring out at the city around him that he had lived in his whole life and was quickly becoming the center of the Sinnoh Region. All the lights made the city shine gold, and the streets were bustling with nightlife. At least a dozen building projects were going on across Jubilife, while nearly as many new buildings had opened in the last month. The SBC Building would quickly be dwarfed by many of the ones in the pipeline, but Mr Adiem only cared about being at the front and center of the media world, with his growing empire of newspapers around the world and the Sinnoh Now Network and SBC television channels. The competition did not worry him as long as he stuck to his core aim, his core goals….
Arnold sighed and turned away. He could not focus, not with that thing still in the room. He constantly felt tense, nervous, his eyes always flickering towards the thick wooden box that sat on his desk. It should have been gone by now, Charlotte was only meant to take a few days to eliminate the problem, yet the two orbs lingered, and the feeling they left with Mr Adiem was getting worse and worse.
It has been a long time since I was trusted with these, Arnold thought as he stared at the box he had once longed to possess. Too long in fact… I should have gotten rid of them when Charlotte first appeared, but I was a fool… a selfish, foolish young man…now look where we are…
"DICKHEAD!" A voice suddenly screamed, and Mr Adiem dropped his glass and turned as Charlotte appeared out of nowhere in the middle of his expansive office, and the look on her face made it clear she was not in a good mood.
"He dare call me a bitch, he dare even after I just tried to save his life!" She bellowed, and angrily waved her hands around. The windows cracked as if a rock had been thrown at them, papers scattered in a mini tornado and priceless artwork fell from the walls, clattering onto tables and desks. Mr Adiem was taken aback, but quickly recovered as Charlotte's anger made a set of drawers burst open.
"Stop this at once!" He roared. "If something has upset you, kindly explain it rather than destroy all of my things!" Charlotte reared furiously at him, but Arnold kept a stern face and the ghost relented, letting the papers fall back into neat piles and the pictures re-hang themselves automatically.
"It is that boy!" The ghost hissed, and Mr Adiem took a guess at who she meant. "I went to warn him and to stop him from becoming what I saw, but the little shit threw my help right back into my face!" Arnold frowned at this, and he glanced down at the chest before him: he had been waiting for Charlotte to return to him, but the media magnate had been expecting better news.
"Was your warning sufficient enough to prevent what you foresaw?" He asked. "Will we be able to safely move the orbs now?" Charlotte looked at him and Mr Adiem regretted his words, seeing the fury burning across her face.
"I don't care about that!" She snapped. "He insulted me, that is all I can think about right now! I tried to say him from a life of misery, despair and death, and he completely ignored me! If you want my advice, this is the best opportunity you are going to get to move them because I am not going back to deal with that kid unless I absolutely have to, or I notice him walking down a dark alleyway at night, then he may just find a little surprise when he turns the –"
"Yes yes, thank you!" Mr Adiem said irritably, and Charlotte looked pouty, but the media mogul ignored her and went to examine the box. He rubbed his hands across the top, feeling the power emitting from inside, imagining everything that the two orbs meant, everything that could be achieved by simply touching them… Arnold was tempted to open the box and look at them once more time, but pulled his hand away and snapped out of it, knowing what a bad idea that was.
"It is time," he said, and turned back to Charlotte. "You have tried to warn this Viktor Fischer, there is nothing more we can do without murdering the child. Whether your prophecy comes true or not, it is time for us to move the orbs and find them a new location. We have been putting this off for too long! It is time that I consulted with the Elite Four before we waste another decade fretting about!"
"And what if Viktor manages to get to them, what then?" Charlotte asked. Mr Adiem sighed as he stared down at the box, remembering what Charlotte had warned him about all those years ago… death, destruction, the end of the world…
"Then we must live with the consequences of our actions and hope that we can find a way to stop him."
Look out for these two to recur as the story carries on and gains momentum. Any theories on what is occurring and what Charlotte has predicted?