The Flamestar Chronicles (Original Trainer)

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    Default The Flamestar Chronicles (Original Trainer)

    Latest Update: 7/28/06- At long last chapter 15 is finished...

    The Flamestar Chronicles

    Well, what can I say? This is an Original Trainer fic made by me and has turned out to be my first successful (meaning I posted it online and people really like it) fic ever. I originally posted this on SPPf, but thought that I ought to spread it out some more around the fandom.

    As I said, this is an Original Trainer, although I’m hesitant to call it a journey fic. Content ratings are given on a chapter by chapter basis (listed next to their links below) with most chapters being around PG (a.k.a., some language, a little violence, on rare occasions sexual innuendo). I’m also hesitant to lock onto any specific rating...

    If you like what you read here or have any advice you’d like to make, don’t be afraid to post something, or really anything. Go ahead and review even; please? If I didn’t want people reading this I would never have posted it online, so don’t be shy!

    Long Synopsis
    In all my dreams I never thought my life would turn out like this. I’ve always wanted to be a Pokémon trainer, to get a Pokémon of my own and travel the world, taking part in Pokémon battles, obtaining badges; it was the life I yearned for. Attending The Pokémon Academy, an optional school meant to better prepare upcoming trainers, only reinforced my desire to journey and tirelessly I was forced to wait out my years.

    And then they came; Zelos and Ramirez. They threatened the life of one of the school’s Pokémon, and in doing so unleashed my anger. I saved the Pokémon, but developed a forbidden bond that sent me on a premature journey of my own and set me upon a path of trials whose end or purpose I could not see.

    These are my stories; the chronicles of my life as a trainer. My name is Shrike Flamestar, and these are The Flamestar Chronicles.

    Short Synopsis
    A young boy’s Pokémon journey, kick started by an unforeseen series of events...
    A corrupt organization of scientists with an unseen goal...
    A fanatical cult striving for a new world...
    An ancient secret and power at the center of everything...

    Chapter Links and Ratings
    Part 1: Turning Point
    Chapter 1, scroll down a bit (Somewhere between PG and PG-13, for violence, blood, and cruelty towards Pokémon)
    Chapter 2 (PG for blood and mild swearing)
    Chapter 3 (PG for non-descript nudity and mild swearing)

    Part 2: Evil's CORE
    Chapter 4 (PG for violence, mostly just blood)
    Chapter 5 (PG for mild swearing and homosexual innuendo)
    Chapter 6 (PG for mild swearing)
    Chapter 7 (Pretty much G. Just a very tiny bit of homosexual innuendo)
    Chapter 8 (Erm, PG-12? Some violence and a medium amount of swearing, however nothing extremely bad)
    Chapter 9 (PG-13 for violence, gore, and swearing)
    Chapter 10 (PG for violence and mild gore)
    Chapter 11 (G, completely clean except for one very minor word which I don’t even consider a swear)

    Part 3: Crimson Light
    Chapter 12 (G+. Yes, I’m making up a rating. Minor violence, otherwise clean)
    Chapter 13 (PG-13 for violence, gore, and minor swearing)
    Chapter 14 (PG, because I don’t like G ratings and there’s a little bit of blood at the beginning...)
    Chapter 15 (PG, because of swearing and implied violence)

    Alternate Mirrors (in order of update priority):
    The Flamestar Chronicles’ Official Website Forums

    PM Update List
    Everyone listed here will receive updates via PMs whenever I add a new chapter. If you would like to be added to this list, either PM me or leave a post (preferably a review as well :D) saying so.

    -Pikki Zuka

    Official Soundtrack
    Because I like music, and frequently find stuff that I think would work well as music in TFC, I have decided to put together this list of songs that I think suit and would work well for various parts of this fic. In addition, I have included links to small, low quality previews of some of the songs (more will be added as I encode them) If a mod sees this and doesn’t think I should post these previews, PM me and I’ll remove them.

    This list is now completely spoiler free, and only lists tracks for what has already occurred in the story.

    These tracks are given in the following format:
    What it’s used for: Original track name | Artist for lyrical songs (Original source)

    Part 1 Opening Theme: 99% | BOWL (Yu-Gi-Oh GX)
    Part 1 Ending Theme: Ding! Dong! Dang! | TUBE (Naruto)

    Part 2 Opening Theme: Reckless Fire | Yasuaki Ide (S-Cry-Ed)
    Shrike’s Battle Theme: Cutting Edge of Notion (Star Ocean 3)
    Aira’s Battle Theme: The Valedictory Elegy (Baten Kaitos 2)
    Zack’s Battle Theme: Iconoclasm (Baten Kaitos 2)
    Part 2 Ending Theme: The Real Folk Blues | Mai Yamane w/ Seatbelts (Cowboy Bebop)

    Part 3 Opening Theme: Rewrite | Asian Kung-Fu Generation (Fullmetal Alchemist)
    The Manectric Family Massacre: Rin'ne (Elfen Lied)
    The High Chancellor’s Theme: Rakuen ~Fantatic~ | Kusao Takeshi (D.N.Angel)
    Part 3 Ending Theme: Tamashii no Rufuran | Yoko Takahashi (Neon Genesis Evangelion)


    Part 1: Turning Point

    Chapter 1

    What do you see when you open your eyes? Do you see a world of peace and joy? A world of hate and anger? Selfishness? Selflessness? Do you see a world filled with naught but waste, or do you see a world populated by great opportunities? Or, do you see nothing. A world filled with nothing at all.

    That is what I see when I open my eyes; I see nothing. But it is not that I do not watch the pictures that play out before me, it is that I do not see anything in those pictures. I open my eyes and watch the world around me, yet I take in nothing; I
    see nothing. I observe yet I do not know. My brain fails to make those connections between what I am watching, and its meaning. While the world is bright and vivid to me, it is utterly pointless and useless as I see no reason to it all.

    “No, no. That is way too melodramatic. Perhaps fate would be a better way to open...”

    This path... This ever-ongoing path called life. It calls out to me, reaching for me. I try to


    pull away, to run in any other direction then the one the voices come from, yet I can’t. It’s got me in its grasp, and I can not help but go along. To where I can not know as I am unable to see anything. I try to see the truth, yet how can something non-existent be seen?


    This path I am forced to follow, it is like a toy train. It is only able to follow its set path, looping in circles forever. Yet, even on that toy train the path is obvious, it is seen. Yet on my path, there is nothing to even so much as indicate

    “Shrike Flamestar!”

    that I am on a path at all. Yet how am I not if I am unable to do what I want? It is as if that toy train has had its tracks buried under sand



    “Are you with us now, Shrike Flamestar?”

    “Huh?” Dimly I blinked a couple times, lifting my head off of the table upon which it had been smacked down onto. Adjusting my glasses I looked up to find myself staring at an animal that lay on the table in front of me. It looked somewhat like an anteater or echidna; however it was fairly small, no more then a foot and a half from the tip of its long nose to its rear, and its body was covered in two different colors of fur. While the fur on its back was a dark blue its underside was a yellowish-cream color, and while not natural for this species, its underbelly fur also had a reddish sheen to it. Our professor had told us they referred to this uncommon and special coloring as being ‘semi-shiny’ as a true ‘shiny’ of this species would have a red sheen to all of its fur, which made them incredibly rare and highly prized. It lay curled up now in a ball, its stomach rising and falling softly as it slept peacefully; the red spots on its back that were able to produce fire giving off a dim glow. Shaking my head I sat up straight and turned around to face the source of my disturbance. “Oh, Professor Jura. Is something the matter?”

    The elderly man stood over me, frowning down at the small tablet PC that sat in my lap. I glanced at it and quickly tapped the save icon, I didn’t want to lose what I had been writing; while not suitable for anything I was doing right now it might be useful for another story in the future. “You have five minutes until the end of class. I suggest you finish up your work for the day and return that Cyndaquil to its cage. You know my policy about stragglers after the bell, I’m sure you don’t want to lose your points for the day’s work.” Professor Jura said, staring down at me. He always put on this act that he viewed us as unworthy or something, however in his eyes there existed an odd shimmer that almost seemed like a repressed kindness, however it was hard to believe that he was possible of anything nice.

    I grimaced and glanced at my watch as Professor Jura walked away, I had gotten too caught up in my writing that I had let time slip right by me. Sighing I closed the document I had been writing in and pulled up a spreadsheet that had been minimized. It was labeled, Observations on the Behavioral Habits of a Cyndaquil and contained various charts filled with data on things such as sleeping, eating, and so on. I looked over the chart and relaxed as I realized that I had already collected all the data I needed. This was the last day for data collection on our project and if I hadn’t finished my grade would be in serious trouble. I stood up from the chair I had been sitting in and snapped the cover of the tablet PC closed like it was a book, sliding the stylus I had been writing with into a slot in the cover before I slid the whole thing into a pocket in my jeans.

    Glancing around I noticed that almost everyone else had finished and was now standing around talking to each other as they awaited the bell. Hurriedly I shoved all the rest of my stuff into my backpack, in to much of a rush to make sure that everything was organized properly into the right pockets. Slinging the backpack onto my shoulder I reached into the enclosure that had been set up on top of the table and carefully picked the sleeping Cyndaquil up. Cradling it in my arms carefully so as not to wake him I made my way over to the rows of cages that stood against one entire wall of the spacious classroom and looked along them. Most of them were filled with various species of Pokémon, all the ones the other groups and individuals had been assigned for this project. Since this was our last day using them, no doubt that by tomorrow they would be moved to the Pokémon habitats built behind the school. Glancing down at the sleeping Cyndaquil I held in my arms I smiled fondly; I would miss him. Perhaps I would be able to visit him sometimes, but the staff had never liked students to grow to close to the school’s Pokémon.

    Sighing I walked alongside the cages until I found the right one. Adjusting the Cyndaquil I managed to free one arm and pulled the cage door open. Gently I laid the Cyndaquil on the blanket that covered the floor of the cage and glanced down at my watch to find I only had about five seconds left before the bell. Slamming the cage door shut behind me I turned and ran to the door, making it just in time as the bell rang and the crowd of students tried their best to all squeeze past each other and through the door at the same time.


    Emerging from the classroom I blinked as my eyes adjusted to the bright midday light. The classroom door exited onto a third-story balcony that ringed the parameter of Pokémon Academy’s semi-circular main building, all along which more doors were opening and before long the balcony was packed with people hurrying about to get to their next class. I wasn’t in much of a hurry though as I didn’t have a next class, after General Pokémon Studies I had a break period in which I could do whatever I wanted.

    Casually I walked over to the steel railing that ran along the edge of the balcony, overlooking the courtyard below that sat in another semi-circle cut out of the flat edge of the main building. Looking down I tried to see if any Pokémon battles were taking place below, however the courtyard was mostly empty today. Shrugging I turned around and looked down the balcony in both directions, trying to decide rather I should check out the Battle Center or return to my dorm so as to upload all I had written in class today to my main computer.

    “Hey, Shrike. Get over here.”

    I looked around for the source of the voice before settling my eyes on a girl that stood a few yards away down the balcony to the left of me. “Oh, Rayne. Why didn’t you come to class today? I almost got in trouble with Jura because you weren’t there to take care of the Cyndaquil while I zoned out.”

    Rayne shrugged; her short black camisole pulling up slightly so as to expose a bellybutton pierced with a ruby studded ring. Shaking her long black hair out she tied it back into a pony tail, watching me as I walked over to her. Rayne Jarxis was known around the Academy to be somewhat, different; she rarely talked to anyone and had a habit of missing classes. I couldn’t even tell rather she cared for Pokémon at all; however the fact that she was here in a Pokémon trainer’s school as prestigious as the Academy ought to have meant something. With her, however, it was hard to know anything for certain. Wondering why she had called me, of all people, I leaned over the railing near her and stared at nothing in particular. The only relations we had were that she and I had been paired together to record data on the Cyndaquil we had been assigned, not that that meant much with how often she was gone, and when she was in class we had never gotten along all that well. With my short, brown hair being ruffled by the wind I took the initiative to speak to her with my back turned. “So, why’d you want me?”

    “Because you’re the only person I know who will listen to me.”

    “I thought you didn’t like me? Or anyone at all, in fact. You sure act like it.”

    “You don’t have to like someone to talk to them.”

    “Well, then, please do go on.” I rolled my eyes. Although I had my back turned to her I could hear Rayne walk closer to me and stand behind me to my right.

    “See, it’s that kind of attitude that gets on my nerves. If you’d just drop the sarcasm...”

    “You’re not perfect either. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you what the entire school thinks of you.”

    “That I’m different, so what? Just because I rarely talk to other people and prefer to do what I myself want doesn’t make me any less human then anyone else.”

    “Same with my sarcasm. Can we move on now?”

    Rayne was silent for a moment, then spoke up again. “I saw that you write stories the other day, during class. What about?”

    I tensed, not having expected that question. “Nothing. Just whatever comes to mind. Mostly fantasy and sci-fi, really; I’ll also write about Pokémon trainers sometimes.”

    “I like writing too. It’s like an escape for me, allowing me to get away from my normal life.”



    “Nothing. It’s just that I feel the same way sometimes.”

    Pushing myself away from the railing I turned around to face Rayne; as I looked at her she diverted her eyes. I realized then that she was younger then I had thought previously. Before she had looked almost around sixteen, like a senior, however now I realized she wasn’t much older then me at all, merely around fourteen. She gave off an air about her of maturity, however, like she had been through more then anyone knew. And now, as she talked to me, that air was dissipating. “Where are you from?” I asked suddenly.

    Rayne shook her head. “Don’t know, I’ve been an orphan all my known life. What does the past matter anyways; it’s already been done and is set in stone.”

    I was about to respond, however before I could something attracted my attention out of the corner of my right eye. All this time I had been talking to Rayne the balcony had slowly been emptying and there were few people standing about now besides Rayne and I, so the cause of my notice was easy to make out.

    Walking out of a door came two young men. One had long, flowing red hair and was wearing a black cloak over a black shirt and walked slightly ahead of the other who was dressed in what could most be likened to loose old rags and was hunched over as if his back was broken. Both looked to be around eighteen, which meant they either had to be seniors who were being held back, or that they didn’t belong here at all. They weren’t what had attracted my attention, however; it was what the one wearing the rag-like clothes was carrying. Held in one hand by the scruff of its neck was a Cyndaquil, whining and thrashing about as it cried out, “Quil!” Flames sputtered around its back; however the man seemed to ignore the fire as if he couldn’t feel it.

    “Hey, who are you? Why are you holding that Cyndaquil like that?” I asked as I turned from Rayne and walked over to the two men. The one with red hair looked down at me, for he was taller then me, and I shrunk back at the hard look in his eyes. He watched me coolly, and I could see in his eyes he was adding me up like a math equation.

    “And may I inquire who you are?” The red haired man finally asked.

    Hesitantly I decided there was no harm in him knowing my name and nodded. “Shrike Flamestar; I’m a sophomore here. Who are you; you look to old to be attending school; and I don’t think that Cyndaquil much enjoys being held like that...”

    Again the red haired man measured me while I glanced at his companion who was holding the Cyndaquil. Stifling a gasp I took a step back. The man’s eyes weren’t normal, instead the white of his eyes were a dark, golden-yellow and his pupils were thin vertical slits, like a snake’s eyes. He grinned and hissed at me, chuckling as I nervously took a farther step backwards.

    “Ramirez! This boy, Shrike, had done nothing to us. Do not bother him.” The red haired man barked at the one dressed in rags, Ramirez apparently. He turned back to me and nodded apologetically. “Excuse my companion. He has suffered some most unfortunate birth defects along with some brain damage. My name is Zelos, and we were visiting this school to watch the Pokémon battles. We are leaving now, however.”

    Zelos and Ramirez briskly turned to walk down the balcony; however as they did so two realizations hit me. The first was that the room I was standing outside of right now was Professor Jura’s. The second was that the Cyndaquil Ramirez was carrying had a red sheen to its chest fur.

    “Hey, that Cyndaquil belongs to the school! You can’t just take it with you!” I yelled angrily. Zelos and Ramirez stopped in their tracks, turning back around to face me.

    “Ah, but we are. You recognized it, and I can see your anger quite clearly. You care for it, no?” Zelos said, his tone of voice icy cold and his eyes burning as with fire. He gave a small nod and Ramirez pulled a switchblade out from a pocket in his torn jeans, opening it in a flash before pressing the sharp edge of the blade up against the Cyndaquil’s throat.

    “Cynda!” The Cyndaquil yelped in fear as he stopped moving, realizing what was going on. I yelped myself and stumbled backwards, at a loss for what to do; one twitch and Ramirez could severely injure the Cyndaquil, perhaps even...

    “You see, we’re about to do a little, experiment, you could say, and we need a test subject. For, you see, this isn’t just any experiment; I am studying Pokémon anatomy and need a healthy young fire type to farther my research. Passing this door I noticed the door to this Cyndaquil’s cage wide open and took it as an invitation.” Zelos said, no hint of compassion in his voice at all. “While I would prefer to wait until I returned to my lab, I think I could start the dissection process right here and now if you insist on stopping us, starting with an in-depth look at the inside of its trachea.”

    The Cyndaquil whimpered as the knife was pressed against its throat, a thin red line appearing. I gaped, frozen in fear. One small twitch and the Cyndaquil would die, and it would be all my fault for not making sure the door to his cage had locked. For a moment longer the three of us stood there facing each other, the knife being pressed closer and closer to the Cyndaquil’s throat all the time, the cut widening and deepening until blood began to drip down from it in thick rivulets.

    “Oh, come on. Don’t you know how to fight at least?”

    From behind me a blur leaped on top of Ramirez, knocking him to the ground and slapping the switchblade out of his hand, sending it flying in an arc through the air only to clatter on the stone floor of the balcony away from us.

    “Rayne...” I said breathlessly as I began to come to my senses again.

    “The Cyndaquil!” She yelled as she struggled to keep Ramirez down, him hissing at her as he swung his fists wildly.

    Frantically I looked around for the Cyndaquil, but by the time I saw where Ramirez had dropped him, it was too late. Zelos bent down and picked him up by his scruff again, pulling out a knife of his own and pressing the sharp edge of it up against the cut Ramirez has started. By now it looked as though the Cyndaquil was unconscious, his head hanging limply down and forcing Zelos to hold it up with the back of his hand holding the knife. Blood ran down the Cyndaquil’s chest freely now as Zelos pushed his knife against the Cyndaquil’s neck even harder, the length of the blade almost buried in the Cyndaquil’s throat. Meanwhile Zelos smirked at me, “So are you just going to stand there dumbfounded and let this pitiful Cyndaquil die at my hands? My, I had thought better of you Shrike, but you are disappointing me.”

    I watched as Zelos jerked the knife deeper into Cyndaquil’s throat, the blade disappearing lengthwise into the wound, no longer visible from the outside. With a yelp the Cyndaquil woke up again, screaming in pain and fair as it gasped for breath, its voice raspy, “Qui... Qui... Cyn...” My eyes widened, and I knew right then what I had to do. For a fleeting second I had a glimpse of my future, and I knew.

    “LET HIM GO!” I roared, throwing myself at Zelos. He had the size advantage over me, but I had taken him by surprise. With newfound strength I grabbed the wrist of the arm that he held his knife in and began to wrench it away from and out of the Cyndaquil’s throat. Zelos was clearly shocked by this; however there was nothing he could do. I was tightly gripping the hand that held his knife and he couldn’t get it free. His other hand held the Cyndaquil and if he let go of him he’d be giving in to me, a sign of weakness which I knew was beyond him. His legs had buckled back by my surprise charge so if he tried to kick me he’d lose balance and fall over. I, however, wasn’t finished yet.

    Growling in rage I curled my free hand into a fist and punched Zelos in the gut as hard as I could, knocking all the air out of him. Zelos staggered back, almost pulling me down with him as he fell, and dropped both the Cyndaquil and his knife, grabbing his gut with his now free hand as he collapsed. I grimaced as the knife fell down and opened a cut on my bare arm; however I ignored it and let go of Zelos’ wrist, quickly grabbing the Cyndaquil before he hit the ground, cradling his limp body in my arms. Backing away from Zelos I noticed that Ramirez had thrown Rayne off him and was now brandishing another knife at her as she held up the switchblade that he had dropped earlier. It looked almost like they were going to duel with four inch long swords.

    “Shrike, get out of here! That Cyndaquil needs more help faster then the infirmary can give, bring it to the Pokémon Center down the road!” Rayne yelled as she jumped out of the way as Ramirez tried to lunge at her with his knife, her taking the opportunity to slice at his arm.

    Wordless I turned around and ran down the balcony. I would be taking the long way out of the building by going this way; however I couldn’t get tangled up in the fight any farther. Worried I looked down at the Cyndaquil in my arms and realized just how bad the cut on its throat was. The bleeding didn’t seem to be stopping and poured out everywhere from his throat, his breathing was shallow and hard, and his eyes were clenched closed tightly as he swung blindly at the air with his paws, thinking I his enemy. Looking around I tucked into a small alcove in the wall of the building and sat down, laying the Cyndaquil in my lap and pulling my backpack and shoes off. Quickly I pulled off both my socks as well, laying one aside as I wrapped the other around the Cyndaquil’s neck as a makeshift bandage. I tied it as tight as I could risk, not wanting to choke him but hoping it would help to staunch the flow of blood, however almost immediately it was soaked clear through. I looked at the cut on my own arm, but compared to the Cyndaquil’s it was a paper cut. Taking my other sock I tied it around my arm before sliding my shoes back on, reaching into my backpack for something.

    “Hope you like Coke.” I whispered to the Cyndaquil as I pulled out a half full plastic bottle of Coca-Cola, unscrewing the cap and tipping some of the liquid into the Cyndaquil’s mouth. Fortunately he swallowed it and I gave him some more, until most of the bottle was gone. Taking a final drink myself I tossed the empty bottle into my backpack and began to stand up, the Cyndaquil calmer now as he looked weakly up at me, seeing now that I was saving him. I smiled back at him with glistening eyes, gently stroking his head as I tried my best to soothe him.

    “I’s found’s you’ss!”

    Yelling in surprise I fell back down and looked up to find Ramirez standing at the entrance to the alcove. He cackled and hissed at me as he pulled out two switchblades, one in each hand and different still then the others; I couldn’t help but wonder how many he carried around with him. Helpless I pressed myself back against the wall, pressing Cyndaquil against my chest to try and protect him as Ramirez approached. This was the end; there was no way I could fight back now...

    “Ramirez! Let him be. The Cyndaquil is not worth it and we have already attracted too much attention here.”

    With a reluctant hiss Ramirez closed the knives, sliding them back into his pockets. Angrily he scuttled away from me, hunched over as always. Zelos walked up the alcove and glowered down at me with hatred; I noticed with satisfaction that he was still clutching his stomach where I had punched him.

    “Shrike. I am sparing you for now. However, if you ever get in the way of my plans again, I will kill you. Our plans go far beyond your simple minded understanding, and I can not afford to have a little kid such as yourself continually messing it up.” And with that Zelos turned and began to run down the balcony, Ramirez following behind him like a dog as the few bystanders who had remained standing around after the fight stared after him in puzzlement.

    “Come on Shrike, this is no time to be worrying about them.” Rayne said, appearing at the entrance to the alcove and holding her hand out to me. Nodding I held the Cyndaquil with one arm as she helped me to my feet. “I’ll stay behind and explain what happened when some of the staff gets here, as I know they will; it’s inevitable that someone’s told them that something’s happening by now. You get the Cyndaquil to the Pokémon Center.” Rayne said sternly.

    “Right.” I nodded, knowing I was extremely short on time now. Not wasting anymore I ran off down the balcony to the stairs, praying all the while with tears in my eyes that the Cyndaquil who now lay sleeping in restless, fitful sleep in my arms would hold out just a little longer.

    Last edited by Shrike Flamestar; 28th July 2006 at 02:19 PM.
    A young boy’s Pokémon journey, kick started by an unforeseen series of events...
    A corrupt organization of scientists with an unseen goal...
    A fanatical cult striving for a new world...
    An ancient power at the center of it all...

    Banner made by Tezza

  2. #2
    Registered User Astinus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Connecticut, USA


    I feel so bad for that poor little Cyndaquil. I like it, though, that you made him be shiny, but not completely shiny.

    Shrike's written opening seems to be almost symbolic. It is fate deciding everything for him, and now that the Cyndaquil is depending on him for it's life, Shrike can't turn back.

    I can't wait to see how this turns out. Could you PM me once you post the next chapter?

  3. #3
    Deus Ex Addict Shrike Flamestar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Illinois, USA


    Even better; it's been a decent enough time by now so I'll just post it right away. I’ll still PM you anyways though Expect Chapter 3 tomorrow then...


    Chapter 2

    “Help! I need a doctor now! I don’t know how much longer he can hold out...”

    I burst through the doors of the Pokémon Center, not even waiting for them to open fully but squeezing between them as they slid apart instead. The circular, immaculately clean foyer of the Pokémon Center was mostly empty, but a few people sat around talking and turned to look at me as I ran in screaming. In particular a pink haired and slender nurse dressed in a white nursing gown stood up from where she had been sitting behind a reception desk, looking at me inquisitively. “Can I help you sir? Who are you talking about?”

    “This Cyndaquil, it was...” I hesitated, not wanting to think of what Zelos and Ramirez had so ruthlessly done, “Injured. Badly injured. A knife cut deep into its throat.”

    I walked over to the reception desk and showed the nurse the form I cradled in my arms like a baby. The Cyndaquil had steadily been getting worse; the sock I had tied around his throat to help stop the bleeding looked as if it had been dropped into a pool of blood and even more ran out around it, tangling his chest fur into a sticky crimson mess. His breathing was slow and came in short wheezes, his fur was ghastly pale, and his entire body felt as if a fire was raging inside of him even more so then usual. As the nurse saw him she gasped and typed a flurry of words into the computer on the desk. “Chansey! There’s a Cyndaquil here who needs treatment in the ER immediately!”

    A pair of swinging doors burst open and out of it a pink, egg shaped Pokémon about as high as my waist waddled out, pushing a small stretcher ahead of it. “Chansey!” It said, looking at me and pointing at the stretcher with one of its stubby arms. Realizing what it wanted I reluctantly lay the Cyndaquil on the stretcher, being careful so as not to move him more then I had to. Out of my arms and lying helplessly on the stretcher he looked even worse then before, and as the Chansey began to pull the stretcher back through the doors I had to restrain myself from chasing after, feeling as if I would never see Cyndaquil again if I let him out of my sight. I knew I couldn’t follow, however, and bit my lower lip as the doors flapped close behind the Chansey and the Cyndaquil bearing stretcher.

    “What is your name and trainer ID, sir? Is that Cyndaquil yours? I’ll need a full account on what happened.” The nurse recited after the Chansey and Cyndaquil had left. Turning to her I slumped against the counter, folding my arms and hanging my head; only then realizing that the front of my shirt and my lower arms, bare as I was wearing a t-shirt, were covered in blood. I looked up at the nurse and tried to act stronger then I felt at the moment.

    “My name is Shrike Flamestar and I don’t have a trainer ID; I’m a student at The Pokémon Academy, the Rustboro campus, of course. No, the Cyndaquil is not mine, it belongs to the school. I really would rather not talk about what happened.”

    “I’m sorry, but we need to know what happened for our records, and we also need some form of identification, such as a school ID card. You said something about a knife cutting its throat? How did that occur?”

    Sighing reluctantly I gave in and told her what had happened, meanwhile trying to convince myself that it had all been a dream. When I finally finished I was worn out from being forced to retell the tale and I slumped down farther as I dug my school ID out of my pocket and laid it on the counter. Picking it up the nurse finished typing whatever she had been working on and gave a small nod as she glanced at me and handed my ID back.

    “You can go and sit down now; the washrooms are over there if you want to wash off. As soon as we have the Cyndaquil in a stable condition we’ll let you in to see it.”

    I staggered over to a chair that gave a good view of the glass wall that made up half of the circular room’s parameter and dropped down into it, setting my backpack onto the floor, not caring for the blood on me. My right arm throbbed from where Zelos’ knife had fallen and cut me, the sock I had tied around it showing hints of blood starting to soak through, however I ignored it and stared blankly out the glass wall. A few minutes later I sighed and snapped out of the trance I had been in as I reached into one of my jeans pockets, pulling out a rectangular metal device about the size and shape of a book. Sliding a stylus pen out of it I flipped open the tablet PC’s cover and tapped at the screen, pulling up a story about a Pokémon trainer that I was working on. I tried to continue writing in it, yet found that I just wasn’t in the mood right now to write anything and instead checked to see if I could get a wireless internet connection in the Pokémon Center, only to be prompted with a screen saying,

    Wireless internet service in this Pokémon Center is restricted to licensed Pokémon Trainers and personnel only. Please login with your full name and Trainer ID.

    Defeated, I closed my tablet PC and returned the stylus to its slot before replacing the PC back into my pocket. For about five more minutes I sat there blankly, trying not to think about anything at all, as if that would make things normal again, until I was snapped aware by a familiar cell phone ring. I grabbed my cell phone off of its clip on my belt and looked at the small external display on which the number calling me was shown. I didn’t recognize the number but nevertheless I flipped it open to answer the call. “Hello?”

    “Hey, Shrike. How’s the Cyndaquil doing?” Rayne’s voice responded. I suddenly remembered that we had swapped phone numbers when we were first grouped together, but I hadn’t bothered to memorize hers and instead just saved it to my phone’s address book.

    “Don’t know. He was in really bad shape when I got here, but I haven’t heard anything farther yet. I’ll call you back as soon as I know anything.”

    “Okay... Wait, hold on, Mr. Neil wants to talk to you.”

    “Huh? You mean Neil, the assistant principal? What’s he want?”

    “Ask him yourself, here...” And then in a different voice that I didn’t recognize all that well, “Hello? Shrike Flamestar, is it? I trust that this isn’t some kind of prank?”

    “Yes, I am Shrike, sir. And no, this isn’t a prank; why would anyone joke about this?”

    “Well, we have plenty of eyewitnesses so there’s not much doubt to that matter, instead I wanted to talk with you in regards to the Cyndaquil that is currently being treated by the Pokémon Center between our campus and Rustboro City proper, that’s the one, right?”

    “Um, I suppose so. All I know is that this is the Pokémon Center that is right next to the school and which we were told is where we should go if a Pokémon in our possession is injured severely and beyond the care of the school’s infirmary. Since the cut Cyndaquil received was so deep and directly on his throat, as I’m sure Rayne has already told you, I thought it best to bring him here.”

    “Good thing you did, from the sounds of it this matter is far out of the hands of our doctors. The real problem we have on our hands right now, however, is that of your current possession of the Cyndaquil itself. See, by law a Pokémon Center can only return a Pokémon to the person who brought it in in the first place, hence why they take your name and trainer ID if you have one. You do not have to stay at the Center for the entire time, of course, although I have seen fit to arrange to have you excused from classes for the rest of the day, as per Professor Jura’s request; however some of the board members are concerned that this period of time may leave an imprint of sorts on you.”

    “An imprint, sir?” I was puzzled, both over what Mr. Neil meant and why Professor Jura requested that I be excused from classes for the day; I had never heard of him being considerate to anyone besides himself before.

    “A psychological one, yes. Quite frankly some people are worried that you will grow attached to the Cyndaquil and believe that it is your own Pokémon even though that is most certainly not the case, especially with such a specimen as this one; I am under the impression that it is of an abnormal coloring.”

    “Somewhat, his chest fur has some extra chemicals in them that give his chest a sort of red shine; the shine is only on his chest, however. If it was over his full body he’d be outright rare, but being half-and-half like this is merely uncommon nowadays.”

    “Professor Jura taught you this?”

    “Yes, sir.”

    For a moment there was only the sound of papers being shuffled through, followed by silence. Shortly Mr. Neil spoke up again, “That’s it for now. As I have already said, you have been excused from classes for the day, but I fully expect you to be back tomorrow with this incident out of your mind.”

    “I understand, sir.”

    With a click the phone call ended and I closed my cell phone, clutching it tightly in my hand as I thought on what Mr. Neil had said. It was clear they wanted to press in the point that Cyndaquil belonged to them and not me, yet my mind kept on slipping around the thought, not bearing to think about it. I didn’t want to admit it but the mindset the school feared I would slip into I already had. Anxious for something else to take my mind away from those thoughts I stood up and reattached my cell phone to its clip as I walked over to the reception desk. “How’s Cyndaquil doing? Can I see him yet?”

    “We’re sorry, sir. He is still in the emergency room, but should be ready to be moved to intensive care any minute now. As soon as his condition is stable we’ll be sure to notify you. If you want to leave the building you can give me your phone number and we will call you if necessary.” The nurse said, not looking away from her work.

    “No, that’s not needed. Not now, anyways. I can wait here.”

    The next few hours passed uneventfully, most of the time being spent working on some homework I had built up. Eventually I changed my shirt with a spare one from my backpack and washed off the blood caked on my arms, replacing the sock wrapped around my cut with a cloth bandage a nurse gave me; I could tell that everyone else in the Pokémon Center was glad I had done so since I looked like I had killed someone before. Boringness finally got the better of me and I asked the nurse why I had to have a trainer’s license to access the internet, only to find out that I could also use my school ID to get on and that they hadn’t found the time to change the notice yet. Aggravated that they had been so lazy as to not change one little sentence around I finally made my way online and logged into a chat room that me and some of my online friends hung out on.

    *** Fire_Bird has joined the chat
    >Fire_Bird: Hey guys, sorry I couldn’t get on last night.
    >LordDark: Hey, FB! So why weren’t you on last night? Why are you on now?
    >Fire_Bird: It was my turn to look after the Cyndaquil for my school project.
    >LordDark: Ah, I see. Still, shouldn’t you be in class now?
    >Fire_Bird: I got excused...
    >chaos: ooh... faking being sick again?
    >Fire_Bird: No, I got in a fight.
    >chaos: aha! i knew you had it in you! tell us all about it!
    >LordDark: Chaos, I have a feeling FB doesn’t want to talk about it -_-
    >Fire_Bird: No, that’s all right, it’s probably better if you knew, anyway.
    >Fire_Bird: Or at least it may help me feel better.
    >chaos: w00t!
    >Fire_Bird: It happened after GPS class.
    >Fire_Bird: I was talking to Rayne when I saw two people come out of the classroom.
    >chaos: hmm, rayne, never heard of her before. is she your gf? have any pictures? is she hot?
    >Fire_Bird: NO! NO! And, erm...
    >chaos: so I struck a nerve :D
    >LordDark: Can you just let FB finish before you ask questions?
    >Fire_Bird: Anyways, One of the men was holding a Cyndaquil.
    >Fire_Bird: I recognized it as being the same one Rayne and I were studying in GPS.
    >* chaos restrains himself from making a snide remark about fb x rayne
    >Fire_Bird: When they realized I knew they had stolen it they threatened to decapitate it right then and there.
    >chaos: ... now that’s fucked up.
    >LordDark: Why would they do that?
    >Fire_Bird: They claimed they needed a test subject for an experiment involving Pokémon anatomy.
    >Fire_Bird: If I wanted to stop them they said they would begin right there, so they did.
    >LordDark: Have you reported them to the police? That’s just wrong!
    >Fire_Bird: I think Rayne might have, if not the school probably has.
    >chaos: so you fought them off in a valiant effort to get the cyndaquil back?
    >Fire_Bird: Kind of, except I was frozen in shock for a while as they slowly cut into Cyndaquil’s neck.
    >* chaos feels sick.
    >* LordDark does to.
    >Fire_Bird: Then Rayne knocked out the person who was holding him.
    >Fire_Bird: But the other guy got to him before I could and began to cut into his throat faster.
    >Fire_Bird: I finally came to my senses and wrenched the knife away from Cyndaquil’s neck,
    >Fire_Bird: Before punching the guy in the gut causing him to drop Cyndaquil, who I got to first this time.
    >chaos: and the day is saved!
    >Fire_Bird: He also dropped his knife, which cut into MY arm.
    >chaos: LOL
    >LordDark: How is it funny when FB gets hurt, but sick when a Cyndaquil does?
    >Fire_Bird: They then ran away or something.
    >Fire_Bird: So I was left with the Cyndaquil whose neck they had just cut into about an inch or so deep.
    >Fire_Bird: I brought him to the Pokémon Center right outside the school,
    >Fire_Bird: And have been here for a couple hours now.
    >Fire_Bird: Fortunately I brought my PC and my trusted backpack o’ supplies.
    >chaos: so, about rayne...
    >* LordDark smacks Chaos
    >LordDark: Wow, are you okay? How’s the Cyndaquil? Who the hell would do such a thing O_O
    >Fire_Bird: Yes, I’m okay now. Don’t know as they aren’t telling me. Their names are Zelos and Ramirez.
    >Fire_Bird: You haven’t happened to hear about them before, have you?
    >LordDark: Hmm, nope, don’t ring a bell.
    >chaos: how old is rayne?
    >* LordDark summons Ho-Oh to attack Chaos with Sacred Fire, turning him completely to ashes.
    >chaos: i feel unwanted here :(

    “Excuse me? You are Shrike Flamestar, correct?”

    Blinking I looked up from my conversation, finding that a new nurse, this one with black hair tied back in a bun yet otherwise looking similar to the receptionist, was standing over me. “Yes. Is this about Cyndaquil? How is he?”

    “He is fine; he will have to remain in intensive care for a while longer, we’re guessing a couple days at least, but his condition has stabilized enough to allow you to see him.”

    Quickly I stood up, hastily typing the letters “BRB” on the onscreen keyboard of my PC before sliding it into my pocket, following the nurse through the same doors Cyndaquil had left through and down a white walled hallway, past several doors branching off the main path and carts piled high with medical equipment. We passed a couple more nurses and doctors as well as a Chansey or two before finally turning through a door labeled “Intensive Care. Authorized personnel and escorted visitors ONLY!”

    “He is in here, please try to be quiet.” The nurse said, inserting a keycard into a slot besides a door with a plaque that read “FT-S1.” The door slid aside smoothly and I nervously stepped into the pitch black room. I couldn’t make out a thing and fumbled around for a light switch before suddenly a single, small lamp next to a bed turned on as the nurse pressed a button on the panel outside the room. The lamp didn’t reveal much about the room other then the small bed with a bundle of blankets on top a couple of yards from the door, the rest of the room being hid in darkness. I nearly cried out in joy as I ran over to stand next to the bed, stifling the urge to reach out and take the sleeping form of Cyndaquil away with me now.

    He looked haggard and worn, however he had been thoroughly washed and not a drop of blood could be seen anymore throughout his fur. The cut on his neck which had been bleeding so profusely before had been stitched close; his head and neck held tightly in a metal clamp attached to the bed so that the stitch wouldn’t tear open in case he moved in his sleep. A couple of IVs ran from his side and there were flattened places in his fur where various sensors had been before but were now removed.

    “I must admit, this was one of the worst cases I’ve ever seen. Injuries of this magnitude are more common in the center of the city, not its outskirts. Still, the doctors believe he should be almost back to normal within a month; however he can leave here before then as long as whoever cares for him makes sure he gets plenty of rest.” The nurse said, walking over to me as I dropped to my knees next to the bed.

    “‘Almost’. What does that mean?” I asked as I watched Cyndaquil’s stomach rise and fall. Just as it had when I put him in his cage, before Zelos and Ramirez kidnapped him and started this whole mess.

    “Well, while his trachea and carotid arteries were fortunately uninjured, the sacs of methane gas that Cyndaquils and their evolutions use to produce fire out of their mouths were badly damaged. It is not known rather they will heal on their own, although it is suspected unlikely. While the methane gas sacs are damaged like this he will not be able to produce any fire out of his mouth, although he will still be able to on his back since those use a different ignition method.” The nurse said. I looked grimly at the stitch on Cyndaquil’s neck and sighed.

    “So, in other words, he won’t be able to use attacks such as Ember, Flamethrower, and the like.” Cautiously I reached out and smoothed a patch of Cyndaquil’s fur that was sticking straight up. “Don’t know why I care, though. It’s not like he’s mine, and it’s not as if the school will just hand him over to me like they would a textbook.”

    “Yet you look as though you care for him a great deal.”

    “I do. Before this happened I was assigned to keep watch and record data on him for a school project. During that time I grew to like him, and was disappointed that it was unlikely I’d ever be able to see him again after we finished due to the school’s policy against letting students visit the school’s Pokémon. Despite my disappointment I was still able to cope with losing him to the school at that point, however. But then, when Zelos and Ramirez came and were about to kill him, I snapped; I suddenly realized that he is the Pokémon I want to partner with, to journey out into the world side by side with. Except, I’m only a sophomore, I still have two more years until I’m released from school. I could always drop out, seeing as there’s no law forbidding dropouts from getting their training licenses, yet even then there’s still the matter that he’s the school’s property and if I were to take him I’d be no better then Zelos and Ramirez. Without the killing, of course. I doubt my dad would be very happy if I dropped out either, he’s the one who sent me to this school to begin with, after all.”

    “Perhaps you should try talking to the school board.” A harsh voice said from the doorway.

    Startled I swung around to face the intruder and stifled a gasp of surprise as I found myself looking at a familiar, tall and elderly man; his head topped with wiry gray hair and his hands clasped behind his back as he stared at me sternly. “Professor Jura?! What are you doing here; I thought you had a class now?”

    “I do. I figured the students in that class are so lackluster when it comes to Pokémon, however, that my presence there wouldn’t make any difference whatsoever. So I left them to themselves; locking all the doors and windows, of course.” Professor Jura said as he walked over to where the nurse and I were huddled around Cyndaquil’s bed. “Move out of the way. I want to see the Cyndaquil. It is my Pokémon, of course.”

    “Sir, you can’t be back here, this is a restricted area. Only staff and visitors under escort are allowed in here.” The nurse stammered, surprised by the abruptness of Professor Jura.

    “Ah, Shrike’s my escort. Besides, just try and stop me.” Professor Jura growled as he pushed his way past the nurse and next to where I stood, towering over my kneeling form as he stared down at me. “What are you doing on the ground, boy? Praying?”

    Wondering what was the best way to escape from Professor Jura’s gaze yet still remain with the Cyndaquil I quickly stood up. “Watching him sleep. You can’t see his neck when you kneel, so he looks almost the same as before it all; as I wish it could be. I know he’s not my Pokémon, yet I’ve found that I care for him all the same now.”

    For what had to be the first time these past two years I’ve had with him, Professor Jura actually briefly smiled and nodded at me. “Good. You care for something other then yourself, a trait I’ve found rare among my students these days. Yet, you need to come to terms with what is and not your vision of a perfect reality, so I forbid you from kneeling for now.”

    “Yes, sir.” I nodded submissively, looking down at the stitched cut which I had indirectly caused out of my negligence.

    “Excuse me, sir, but you really need to—” The nurse began, but Professor Jura cut her off.

    “I’ll leave when I’m good and ready, and I most certainly am not now. Do I look like I am disturbing anything; I am but an old man after all. And will you all please stop calling me ‘sir,’ it’s starting to get on my nerves.”

    “Professor Jura? Pardon my asking, but what are you doing here? I doubt you left your class just so you could checkup on Cyndaquil, something which you could have easily called and done.” Remembering something else he had said I quickly added, “Also, you mentioned something about him being yours? Are you referring to how he’s used in your class?”

    “You make a good point on my being here, and indeed I am not here merely to check up on the Cyndaquil. I am here to check up on you. The school board is going all willy-nilly over the Cyndaquil’s condition, yet everyone seems to be forgetting the human factor involved.”

    “But, you could have called me just the same.”

    “Some things you need to do in person, and my task here today is one of them.”

    Utterly confused now I tried changing the subject again, “About you calling Cyndaquil yours, even though he’s the school’s...”

    “Tell me, Shrike. What do you plan to do now?” Professor Jura asked, once again ignoring the new subject I proposed.

    “What do I plan to do now? I don’t know, I suppose I can try and arrange with the school board to be allowed to see him every once in a while, as you suggested.”

    “I suggested nothing of the sort. I said you should try speaking with the school board and that was all, I never said about what.”

    “Then, what do you suggest I do?”

    “You must decide that for yourself. I am your General Pokémon Studies teacher, not your guidance counselor after all.”

    By now I was starting to get frustrated and didn’t know what to say, so remained silent instead. Trying to stay calm I gently petted Cyndaquil, being sure to keep my fingers away from the stitch on his neck and the IVs that emerged out of his side.

    “More caring. Compassion and tenderness too. You remind me of, well, that is not important right now. I believe I have seen what I need to and thus I will be making my leave now; hopefully those scamps haven’t torn apart the classroom in my absence.” Professor Jura said, turning around and pushing his way past the nurse who had been standing by the door silently after it became apparent that Jura wasn’t listening to her. Stopping in the doorway he turned back around to me, giving me another of his stern stares. “Tomorrow after class, which you will attend, no excuses, I wish to talk with you farther. Until then, think about what you want to do, what you need to do, and what you will do.” With that Professor Jura was gone, quickly shuffling off down the hallway. I stared at the empty door a moment longer before turning back to Cyndaquil. What am I going to do? I thought to myself.

    “Pardon me, sir, but you must leave now. The doctors want to checkup on the Cyndaquil’s progress.” The nurse said to me as another person in a white lab coat who must have come into the room while I hadn’t been paying attention walked back out the door and away.

    Nodding I stroked Cyndaquil’s chest one last time and turned away from him, walking briskly down the hall as I remembered from when the nurse had led me to Cyndaquil’s room. Coming back out into the reception area I looked out the glass wall at the clear evening sky. It was nearly nine now, yet it seemed like mere minutes ago that it had all started. My exhaustion hitting me like a hammer I quickly scribbled my cell phone number on a piece of paper and gave it to the pink haired nurse at the reception desk, reminding her of my name and telling her that I wanted to be called if absolutely anything of importance happened to Cyndaquil.

    Gathering up my stuff from where I had left it by my chair I walked out through the Pokémon Center’s door, my mind filled with troubled thoughts yet not wanting anything more then to know that everything would turn out all right in regards to Cyndaquil and my newfound bond with him.

    Last edited by Shrike Flamestar; 16th May 2006 at 09:37 PM.
    A young boy’s Pokémon journey, kick started by an unforeseen series of events...
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  4. #4
    Registered User Astinus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Connecticut, USA


    Wow. This just keeps getting better and better. I feel bad for the poor Cyndaquil, who can't use Fire attacks anymore. Is that what's going to happen to it, because it's sacs are damaged? Poor thing. It'll be interesting to see where you go with that.

    I loved the chat-room part. Very realistic. I laughed at poor chaos... Typical male responses, at least from the males that I know. XD

    And now to patiently wait and see what Shrike's decision will be. *sits*

  5. #5
    Deus Ex Addict Shrike Flamestar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Illinois, USA


    At least you don’t have to sit for more than a month as people had to over on SPPf between when I posted Chapters 2 and 3...

    Well, here’s the conclusion to Part 1:


    Chapter 3

    Fire. It was everywhere; burning like the very bowels of Hell itself. In my panic I looked all around me, yet saw nothing but the infernal rage of fire.

    “The Cruel Flame; he has appeared once again.”

    The voice rang from everywhere around me, yet at the same time from within me. It echoed around me and through me to no end. I looked around for the source, yet still saw nothing but the blaze of fire.

    “The Fierce Flame; he will rise once again.”

    Again I saw nothing, but the words themselves were so real and thick that beyond the shimmering of the heat which I could not feel I could see the very air vibrate from the words’ presence.

    “The Path of Light; the time has come once again.”

    And then, out of the fire, a blurred shape burst. It rose into the air with unfathomable speed, wings unfolding from around its body and showering me in a rain of embers. I could not make out any details about it except the pair of flaming red, yet gentle and all-knowing eyes that stared down at me and pierced through my soul like a spear.

    “Upon wings of fire The Fierce Flame flies,
    Towards destiny, where The Cruel Flame lies.”


    I couldn’t get any sleep at all that night, despite how tired I was. No matter how much I tried I kept on having this weird dream over and over again, each time waking up exactly fifteen minutes after I last fell asleep. The strangest part was that I knew every time I slept the dream was the same, yet I was never able to remember it afterwards. Finally giving up I stumbled out of bed and into the small kitchen area I had set up in the corner of my dorm’s main room, the “kitchen” basically being comprised of a small refrigerator, small microwave, and a small toaster oven all stacked on top of each other with a small coffee maker set on top like the star of a Christmas tree. Fumbling I poured some water into the coffee maker from a bottle set next to it and scooped some beans from a plastic bag into a chute on the coffee maker’s side before pressing a final button on the front of it, the harsh sound of it grinding the beans up greatly irritating me and effectively waking me up a good deal before the water had even boiled yet.

    Letting the coffee maker to its own devices I moved over to the computer desk sitting a few feet away from my kitchen area and pulled the chair out from in front of it, dropping into it like I was dead, which I didn’t feel all that different from at the moment. Moaning to myself I turned on my computer monitor and winced at the sharp glare of the screen; squinting my eyes so as to let them adjust to the light I looked at the computer’s clock. “2:54” it read, and just the sight of that time knocked me out again.

    Waking up exactly fifteen minutes later from exactly the same unknowable dream I nearly screamed as I opened my eyes up to the blinding glare of my computer monitor, mentally reminding myself to set a dark screensaver instead of none at all whenever I had the time. Knowing that sleep was a lost cause that night I pushed my chair over to my kitchen and blindly grabbed the coffee pot from the top of the stack of appliances, succeeding in only spilling a couple large drops and managing to hold on as the scalding hot liquid burned my arm. I filled a styrofoam cup three-quarters full with the coffee and slowly sipped it, trying unsuccessfully to wake me up. Grumbling about why I even bothered to drink coffee when the noise of it being ground woke me up more then the actual liquid itself I scooted over to my desk and growled as I brought up the Internet with a shaky hand, wondering what I was doing.

    For some unfathomable reason I had set my homepage to the school’s personal news website. Usually the most exciting thing on it were results of school sanctioned Pokémon battles, however as it opened up this time I nearly dropped my coffee in surprise. As what I was seeing reached my brain, I did drop my coffee in surprise.

    “AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! SHIT!” I screamed, jumping out of my chair and running around my room as I flailed my arms and yelled every swear word I knew as loud as I could before managing to direct myself towards the bathroom and falling face first into the bathtub, not even bothering to take my clothes off as I turned the water onto its coldest setting. Only once I had the water running and the water spout directed at my groin did I strip my clothes off, boiling coffee dripping from them and onto the rest of my legs. Finally I got all my clothes off and lay in the bathtub naked with my coffee soaked clothes lying in a puddle next to the bathtub at only around 3:12 in the morning.

    “Dude, you really need to learn how to wank off properly.”

    Startled by the voice I hastily tried to cover myself up as I turned to see who it was. Standing in the other door leading into the bathroom stood a tall boy not much older then myself; Mark, the guy who lived in the dorm next to mine and who I was forced to share a bathroom with. His black hair hung over his eyes like curtains as he stood there in nothing except a pair of gray boxers, his chest and limbs thick with muscles; a stark contrast to the flab which covered me. Not that I was exactly fat, yet I couldn’t say I was perfect either.

    “Speak for yourself; I’ve heard some pretty disturbing things coming from your room sometimes. Besides, I dropped a whole cup of coffee on my crotch, what do you expect me to do?” I said as I turned off the water and stood up, quickly grabbing a towel off the towel rack and wrapping it around myself. I wasn’t embarrassed about being seen naked, however didn’t want it to last any longer then it had to.

    “Ah, you would understand those noises and why they are in fact good if you were ever to get a social life and a girlfriend. Hmm, how about that goth chick, what’s her name... Rayne! Yeah, stressful experiences like what happened with that you and her and that Cynda... Cynda... What’s it called? Ah, doesn’t matter. But as I was saying, you could use what happened to—” Mark began as he leaned against the wall, nodding at me and looking my nearly naked body over, a hint of disapproval in his eyes.

    “Don’t even go there.” I growled, cutting him off. “Besides, Rayne isn’t goth, nor do I want to know her anymore then I do now.”

    “But she wears black all the time, her hair is black, she’s completely secretive, and is always by herself; maybe she’s not quite goth but she’s awfully close. And I know you’ve been talking to her, and she you, and you have to take what you can. Especially you.”

    “Oh, get a life.” I stormed, jumping out of the bathtub and pushing Mark back through his door, across from the one I had entered by, and shutting it after him.

    “Get a girlfriend!” Mark yelled back at me through the door.

    Sufficiently awake and agitated now I wringed out my coffee soaked clothes and tossed them over a drying bar before exiting back into my room. I walked over to my clothes dresser and pulled out a random pair of blue jeans and a red t-shirt, pulling them on as I walked back to my computer. “Damn it, why did they have to go and pull a story on this...” I mumbled to myself as I took a closer look at the headline on the school’s news site, “Chaos mounts as school Pokémon is kidnapped and nearly killed. Saved by two students.

    Giving in to the fact that now everyone at the school would know what had happened I dropped back down into my bed to try and process for myself what had truly happened. I ran the scene of the previous day’s events over and over in my head, witnessing once again that horrific struggle between me, Rayne, Zelos, and Ramirez; all over a sole Cyndaquil. Why had I cared so much? Yes, I’ve always cared about Pokémon, but to put my own life in danger to save one that didn’t even belong to me? And why had Zelos been so interested in him? He said he needed him to “further his research,” but research of what? And then there was Ramirez who seemed to be completely uncaring towards anything other then Zelos and torturing Cyndaquil, not to mention his strange eyes, hissing, and slur. How did it all fit together?

    Then, Professor Jura; he had convinced Mr. Neil to excuse me from classes the previous day, then came to visit not Cyndaquil but me at the Pokémon Center. To make it more confusing, he had acted completely different then normal during that visit, as if he had finally found something he had been searching for all these years he’s taught at the school. Then there was the evident slipup he had made by referring to Cyndaquil as his Pokémon, despite us having been told that all the Pokémon at the school except for those earned by the seniors who had already obtained their trainer licenses were school property and owned collectively by the staff, not any one teacher.

    Thoughts of Professor Jura led to the memory of his parting words to me, “Tomorrow after class, which you will attend, no excuses, I wish to talk with you farther. Until then, think about what you want to do, what you need to do, and what you will do.” What did he want with me? Why was it so important that I think about what I want, need, and will do? Did I even have any clue towards those?

    Yes, I do have a clue. I want Cyndaquil to be fine, and then to be allowed to keep him. I need to convince the school board that I should be allowed to keep Cyndaquil. As for what I will do, I need to find out how I can do that. I need to find precedent for this. My mind resolved, I jumped out of my bed and hurried over to my computer, logging into the school’s online library and entering a chat session with the on duty librarian; even though it was very early in the morning someone was always on duty.

    ***Shrike_Flamestar has joined the chat
    >Librarian08: Hello, how can I help you?
    >Shrike_Flamestar: Where can I find records of major school board decisions, such as releasing a school Pokémon?


    I didn’t get any sleep that night, but by the time the sun began to rise I found that I felt as if I had taken the longest sleep ever. I had spent the whole night looking around the school’s library, extracting shards of information from as many sources as I could find and compiling them all into a text document. Finally I had all I hoped that I needed and printed it all out; flipping through the pages to make sure everything was there. It wasn’t that much, but if I played it right before the school board I just might stand a chance. Tucking the papers into my backpack I couldn’t help but think about how much I was acting like a lawyer right now and laughed at the thought.

    Finally first bell rang, alerting everyone to the fact that there was only one hour left before classes began. Normally I would have stayed in my dorm for as long as possible, but having been stuck in there researching all night I wanted to talk a walk now. I gathered up my backpack and flung it over my shoulders, removing my tablet PC from its docking stand next to my computer and sliding it into an inside pocket of my black jacket, outlined with red lines, that I had pulled on over my dark red shirt. My cell phone was then also removed from its docking stand and attached to its belt clip on my black belt. Finally I slid my watch on and decided I was ready. Pushing my glasses back up my noise I opened my dorm’s door and stepped out into walkway that ran around the dorm building just like on the main building. My head down in thought I set off along the walkway, no real destination in mind; I was just winging it as I went.


    Throughout the day I was constantly worrying that someone would come up to me and try to get me to talk about what had happened. I was surprised that no one did, however, and guessed that most people in this school didn’t actually check the online news anyway and it would take a while for word to spread by mouth. I did notice a couple of people glancing at me as I passed, but got in the habit of ignoring them.

    My morning classes passed uneventfully, just more of the mind numbing dullness that is normal for classes that try to teach you things you already know; such as mathematics, computers, and, the worst of all, English. I never have understood why you have to take a class about your own language when you are obviously fluent in it since people can understand what you say.

    Finally noon rolled around and I picked up some food at the cafeteria, taking it down to the park in the courtyard at the center of the main building to eat. I found a tree with some nice shade underneath it and sat down, slowly eating. I was about hallway done when I noticed a flash of black through the trees and squinted, trying to make it out. The sun was in my eyes but if I squinted just right I could barely make out a familiar figure behind a stand of trees, farther obscured by some tall bushes in the way. Rayne... Is this where she’s always going? I thought as I watched her. She seemed to be bending over something, her mouth moving as she quietly whispered something which I couldn’t here. She dropped down below the bushes for a moment, before standing back up straight and looking around. I wasn’t hidden like she was, so she easily saw where I was sitting. Our eyes met for a moment as I stood up. “Rayne? What are you doing?”

    Surprised that I had seen her she yelped and put a hand to her waist which was hidden by the bushes. “Shrike! Er, uh, what are you doing here? How are... How are you doing today?”

    “I was eating, and I’m fine. In fact I think I have it all planned out now; what I’m going to say to the school board when I get a meeting with them. Is there someone with you?” I asked as I began to walk towards where Rayne was, noticing a rustling among the bushes.

    “Er, no, of course not. I, I have to go now.” Rayne stammered, a dim flash of red light coming from behind the bushes as she turned around and ran away from me. Confused I walked over to where she had been and looked at the ground. Leaves obscured most of it, however among them there were definitely two sets of footprints, one shoe shaped and the other more triangular with three smaller triangles at the wider end. They were definitely Pokémon tracks, but I couldn’t be sure they were from just then. Pokémon wondered through the park all the time, maybe it had just been a wild one that came previously.

    I looked at my watch and found I only had five minutes left in lunch before my next class, General Pokémon Studies, began. Quickly I finished my food and began the short trek back to the stairs and up the third floor, where Professor Jura’s room was. As I emerged onto the third floor flight of the stairs I suddenly realized something, no doubt blood would have been tracked all over the balcony outside Professor Jura’s room yesterday. Thus far I had managed to avoid thinking about the danger Cyndaquil had been in with my thoughts of convincing the school board to let me keep him; but if I saw all that blood again, would I be able to go on? Knowing I had no choice I turned out onto the balcony and looked towards Professor Jura’s room, prepared for the worst. There was nothing there however, only a couple students hanging around. The air smelled faintly of disinfectant, but other then that there was no sign of yesterday’s struggle.

    “So, Shrike, I see you managed to make it today; I hear that you skipped all your classes after this one yesterday. Let us just hope that you can pay attention and aren’t as careless today as you were yesterday.” Professor Jura said snidely as I walked into the classroom. I grimaced and sighed, he was back to normal now. Whatever that meant. Silently I took my seat, noticing that Rayne was missing, once again. Some of the other people in the classroom looked at me, a mix of pity and ridicule among their collective eyes.

    The class continued that way; Professor Jura taking potshots at me whenever he could, the other students silently dividing the classroom between the Professor Jura supporters and my supporters, and all the while me sitting there silently, unfazed, not bothering with writing anything in my stories today. I just wanted class to be over so I could find out why Professor Jura was acting like this, and, more importantly, what he wanted to talk with me for.


    I blinked and looked up; everyone was leaving the room. I had still managed to zone out despite not writing, and sighing I got up, waiting until everyone but me and Professor Jura had left the room; him sitting behind his desk with his arms making a triangle with the desk, his interlocked fingers the peek upon which his head rested; and me standing a distance off, wary as if this was some sort of trap. “So, what do you want with me? And what was with that little act of yours?”

    “If I were to act kindly towards you, don’t you think everyone would get suspicious? They expect me to be harsh, and so I am. That is not important right now, though, what is is the future. I asked you to think about what you want, need, and will do last night, so now I ask you this; what did you do?” Professor Jura asked, motionless behind his desk as he peered at me over his glasses, his eyes softer then they had been during class yet still deadly serious.

    “I researched the school’s history and put together some information. I couldn’t find any case exactly the same as mine, but I found some things that will hopefully hold as precedent.” I took the papers out of my backpack and handed them to Professor Jura. He looked over them for a moment and nodded.

    “Yes, I thought as much.” Professor Jura frowned as he looked at the papers again. “Well than, you’ll be needing these.” Professor Jura reached into a drawer in his desk and shuffled around, as if he was looking for something. Meanwhile I stood, clueless, wondering just what I’d be needing what for. Before I could ask, however, Professor Jura pulled out what he had been searching for and set them on his desk. “The school board doesn’t seem fit to supply you with the standard trainer gear, expecting you to pay for it yourself seeing as how this is such an unusual circumstance; your moderately rich family lineage didn’t help either. I have no use for these anymore, so I suppose you may take them.”

    In shocked confusion I looked down at the glossy red Pokédex and shiny, red and white Pokéballs that Professor Jura had laid out on his desk. In an awkward, dream like trance I walked closer and picked up the Pokédex, looking it over carefully. It was a fairly new model, only a few years old, but it looked as if it was brand new and had never been used before. I ran my finger over the touch sensitive button power button on its side and it sprang open like a cell phone after an additional panel that had held the two halves together like a clamp flipped open to the right side.

    “No trainer data found. Please insert Trainer ID to continue.” The Pokédex’s electronic voice said as words that read out to be the same appeared on the screen set into the top half of the Pokédex while a 3D Pokéball render spun around on the touch sensitive bottom screen. The small screen on the third, flip-out panel remained black. I ran my finger over the power button again and the Pokédex’s screens all turned off as it folded back into a palm sized rectangle. I glanced at the Pokéballs but they were all standard fare; six small, half red, half white spheres with a black band around their middle at the center of which sat a white button.

    “Wait, these are all mine? But I’m still a student; I don’t need these; I haven’t said anything to the school board yet and there’s no guarantee they’ll say yes! Hell, I’m not even going to ask them to be a trainer! I just want to keep Cyndaquil in my dorm room!”

    Professor Jura locked his fingers together again and rested his chin on them, nodding. “There was never any need for you to speak with the school board, nor for you to find all this.” Jura gestured to the papers I had printed up as he said it. “You see, I have already taken care of everything. I wasn’t sure you possessed the will and determination required for the path ahead of you, however, so I needed to test you to make sure. I have already held meetings with both the school board and your father and together we have reached a settlement in regards to your possession of Cyndaquil and your farther education. The school board does not want you to have a Pokémon within school boundaries. Your father wants you to stay in school. An interesting predicament.”

    “My father? You’ve been talking to him? Why can’t I have a Pokémon here on campus?! Why have I not been a part of this?! Does it not concern my future, after all?!” I yelled angrily. Father! They should have let me talk to him! Of course, I highly doubt any good would have come of that... But still! I thought to myself.

    Professor Jura ignored my outburst and continued from where he had left off. “The only choice is to have you leave the school, yet still continue your studies remotely. You living with your father is out of the question, of course. I can see that you and your father have a rocky relationship, as he absolutely refuses to let you live with him no matter the circumstances.”

    I gave a huff of breath and turned my head away. “The whole reason he wants me in school is to keep me away from him. I can’t say I disagree.”

    “I see; I won’t pry any deeper, however. Now, that leaves us with two choices; either you can move into an apartment of your own, or you can become a Pokémon Trainer. I can easily say that the choice is quite obvious, rather you see it in yourself or not.”

    I lowered my eyes and looked at my feet, thinking for a moment. “If you had spoken to me just yesterday, I may have said I didn’t see it. However, I think I am beginning to.” I looked up at Professor Jura, determination flaring in my eyes. “No. I am seeing it. While this may not be quite how I was picturing it happening, and it is two years sooner then I had expected, becoming a Pokémon Trainer is still my dream, and I will grasp it despite the circumstances. There is nothing left for me here, anyways. When I saved Cyndaquil from Zelos and Ramirez I had a fleeting glimpse of what I can only assume is my future, or at least a version of it, and nothing here has seemed the same since. This school is no longer my place, and I can see that now.” I picked the Pokédex up again and looked it over. “Only two questions; why have you been doing this for me, and where did you get this stuff?”

    Professor Jura reclined back in his chair and closed his eyes. “Both can be answered at the same time. Look those papers of yours over again and you will find your answers.”

    Setting the Pokédex back down again, this time closer to me, I picked the papers I had printed out back up. Rifling through them I looked for any indication of what Professor Jura was talking about, but found nothing. “What am I supposed to be looking for?”

    “You’ll know it when you see it. It’s only mentioned once.”

    I looked back through the papers again when I suddenly found what I was looking for in an old newspaper article I had thrown in from the newspaper archives.

    At our request the teenager openly revealed more about the incident leading up to his leaving of the newly founded Pokémon Academy.

    “There’s really not much to talk about. I was walking along in the park within the school’s courtyard one day and found an injured Growlithe. I couldn’t just leave him lying there, so I brought him to my room to help nurse him back to health. I tried to keep it a secret, but the school board found out anyways. I was given two choices, to abandon the Growlithe to a Pokémon shelter, or to leave the school. Obviously I chose the second. I dropped out of school, got licensed as a Pokémon Trainer, and here I am now.” Martin Jura Springler freely told us.

    The Pokémon Academy school board, upon questioning, denies the event ever took place.

    Surprised I looked up at Professor Jura. “’Martin Jura Springler,’ is that you?”

    Professor Jura nodded and looked out the open door forlornly. “Most of the school board has changed since I went to school here, and even those people who were around during my time have no memory of those events. The fact that it never went on record means that literally no one but me, and now you, here knows about my history here.”

    I looked back at the Pokédex and frowned. “But there’s still something missing. This Pokédex is only a couple years old, that news article has to be at least forty years old. And if you were a Pokémon Trainer, where are all your Pokémon now?”

    Professor Jura continued to look forlornly out the door, as if hoping to see something that he hadn’t seen in many years. “I can’t deny that I long for the past. Despite it’s uselessness to me in my current condition, I have a habit of upgrading to newer technology when it is available. I suppose you could call me somewhat of a geek, not so much unlike yourself. I am afraid, however, that no amount of hopeful thinking on my part will be able to bring my younger days back. No, I am far too old; old enough that I have outlived many of my former allies. Your new Cyndaquil is the baby of a Typhlosion I used to have. He was born two months ago, and she passed away at the same time, giving birth to him.”

    My eyes widened as it all came together. “So, that is why you were gone for a few days around two months ago, we all thought it odd since you never seem to miss a day. Also, now that I think of it, Cyndaquil appeared in class the day you came back as well.”

    Professor Jura nodded. “Previously I had been keeping Typhlosion in my home as she was very old and it was my duty to care for her; while I can’t recall her exact age it’s been at least fifteen years since I quit being a trainer. When she died and gave birth to Cyndaquil, however, I knew I couldn’t keep a baby such as him at home all alone during the day, nor did I want to abandon him to a random shelter. I managed to set up some special arrangements with the school board so that I could take care of him here during the day as well, but unfortunately it has become apparent to me that I am too old to be caring for Pokémon like this any longer. Now that fate has seen fit to intertwine the two of you, I see now that it is time for us to part ways. I can not speak for how he will take to it, however I know that you will do your best.”

    The influx of new information I had learned in the past couple of minutes was nearly too much for me. I felt like I was going to explode from trying to piece it all together. Professor Jura could tell and chuckled. “Let me remind you that your Cyndaquil still needs to rest at the Pokémon Center for a couple more days, at least for the rest of the week. During these next few days you will still have to attend school here like normal, even if your days left here are limited. On the upside this will give you time to prepare, however it may not be wise to reveal why you are leaving to your peers. As the school board does not know about this meeting I am sure they will contact you sometime between now and Friday, but try to act like this is something new; I don’t want to potentially get in trouble for this. I shouldn’t, however you can never be sure with school politics.”

    I nodded and stood up, taking the Pokéballs and Pokédex and putting them in my backpack. “I really don’t know what to say; it’s just too much. I thank you for all you have done for me, really, I do. I’ll take care of Cyndaquil no matter what happens, and perhaps one day I’ll be able to find a way to pay you back for all of this.”

    Professor Jura smiled as I turned towards the door. “Just don’t forget that you still are in school, and you still will be. I made a mistake in dropping out, but you will be continuing all your courses online, as I am sure the school board will drill into your head.” I nodded and walked through the door, pausing as Jura yelled after me again. “Oh, by the way, the Cyndaquil’s name is Zethro. The name has importance to me, so I would prefer if you would continue calling him that.”

    “Zethro...” I mumbled. That’s a strange name... “Don’t worry; Zethro he is and Zethro he shall remain. I won’t intrude on your privacy by asking where it came from, just as you are leaving my relationship with father alone.”

    As I walked down the hall I heard the sound of Professor Jura’s voice quietly from the room behind me. What it was he was saying, however, I couldn’t make out.


    The remaining days of school in that week went by surprisingly fast. The fact that nothing really spectacular happened didn’t hurt. I was expecting to have to somehow explain to my teachers the situation, however they all acknowledged me in a way that told me that they knew I would be leaving come Friday. When Mr. Neil came to see me in the middle of lunch on Wednesday, the day after my chat with Professor Jura, he told me pretty much the same stuff that I had already been told, with slightly more emphasis on my continuing education and his displeasure of having to sort this all out. I blankly responded with “Yeah” when it was needed, “Perhaps” when it seemed appropriate, “Sounds great.” when it indeed did, and finally “I’ll do my best” when Neil finished and left me, him none the wiser of my previous knowledge regarding the matter.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t see Rayne any more at all that week so as to talk with her more about what had happened Tuesday during lunch. True, she was frequently missing, but this period of her absence was abnormally long and I wondered what could be going on with her. I contemplated informing one of the staff or teachers, however in the end decided it wasn’t worthwhile and continued my preparations to leave. I had a lot of junk in my dorm that needed to be cleaned up, along with my personal stuff such as my computer which I needed to send to my Dad’s house to keep there while I was away. To be safe I removed my computer’s hard drive and put it in my backpack within an anti-static bag before I boxed the computer all up and sent it out in a shipping truck; I sure as hell didn’t want my father to be snooping around my Computer.

    Every day I went down to the Pokémon Center to check in on Zethro. He was quickly getting better and for that I was relieved, I didn’t want to miss my chance to leave on Friday, the earliest date possible. On Wednesday he woke up, though, allowing me to talk with him some. Kneeling besides his bed I quietly whispered to him of how we were leaving on Friday, to go and journey the world. At first he seemed to be somewhat frightened of the idea, however quickly he began to take to it, and by the next night was eager to leave.

    Finally Friday came and I trudged through the day, saying my goodbyes to all my classmates who hadn’t even had so much as a clue that I was leaving up until the end of each of my classes, General Pokémon Studies included, at which time I proudly declared “Hey, anybody who knows and cares about me! I’m leaving this place tonight, so if you have any last concerns you would like to ask me, well, you may as well just forget about it as I’m to busy lost in thought right now. See ya, I’ll be sure to tell all my Pokémon about how boring school was compared to the life I will be living!” I think Professor Jura had a glint of amusement in his eyes at that, actually.

    Finally the final bell rang and I ran out of my last class triumphantly, jumping around and speeding off down the balcony like a Snorlax who had just spotted an all you can eat buffet after being starved for a whole week. I spun around the corner and down the stairs, making myself dizzy as I ran down their twisting shape until I reached ground level, whereupon I was off running again, this time on a direct route to the entrance to the dormitory walkway, and then a sharp ninety degree angle and my room was in sight. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until about .5 seconds before impact did I realize I had locked my door that morning.

    “Oomph!” I cried as I ran into my door with a loud smack. Stunned I pulled my school ID out of my pocket and managed to swipe it across the door’s ID Scanner. Moaning I literally fell through the door as it slid open, eliciting a growl from the rug that someone must have laid inside the room, directly in front of the door while I had been gone. Who would give me a rug at a time like this, though? I thought as my face lay buried in the soft white fur of the rug. Huh? Fur?

    “I don’t think she quite likes that. She’s not been known to attack for no reason before, however if you annoy her by keeping your face buried in her side like that, she might just find a reason.”

    “She?” I said, my voice muffled by the fur. Slowly I crawled to my feet, spitting out some of the fur that had got in my mouth. Blinking to refocus my eyes I looked down at what I had fallen on. “An Absol?” I murmured as the white furred Pokémon looked up at me. She looked sort of like a domestic house dog, however her claws were a good deal larger than a normal dog’s claws with an additional claw erupting out of the back of each of her ankles; in addition, a curved, scythe like blade also protruded out of the right side of her head. As I watched she got to her feet, showing that she wasn’t as large as a normal Absol, only a little over two and a half feet tall. Quietly she walked over to the second occupant of the room, whom I identified as I looked up from the Absol. “Ra, Rayne? How did you get in here? Is this your Absol?” I asked, now remembering the shape of the paw prints I has seen before.

    “Hey, you’re the one who’s always going on about how you don’t secure your computer, or shall I say, computers, because there is no such thing as security in this day and age where everything is controlled electronically.” Rayne said as she sat on my bed, one leg crossed over the other. “In other words, I’ve long since figured out how to get these door locks open. Oh, and yes, she is mine. I’ve cared for her ever since she was an infant, about three years ago. She’s actually still a child, hence why she’s so small in comparison with other Absols, but you wouldn’t be able to tell if you ever got in a fight with her.”

    “Wait, but how have you been able to bring a Pokémon into school without anyone noticing?” I asked as I stared at the Absol, she staring back at me.

    “You’re the technical geek, is it that hard to figure out?” Rayne said as she took a small object out of her pocket and tossed it to me. Fumbling I caught it, coming to realize that it was a Pokéball in its contracted form.

    “So I wasn’t seeing things the other day in the park... You had her with you then, didn’t you?” I asked as I tossed the Pokéball back to Rayne.

    “My, how perceptive of you. I was sloppy that day, but it doesn’t really matter now. Not that it ever really has, the school board and I have made arrangements, and I’ve really only been hiding her from other students. Wouldn’t want them to get too curious as to my true reason being here, now.”

    It was obvious that Rayne was enjoying confusing me, bit I remained calm. “Oh, just spill it all. Are you not really a student here or something?”

    “Not anymore. The only reason I’ve been here these past two years have been to make up classes; I’m technically a senior. I’ve been ready to leave now for about a month but have been waiting for some incentive to. Now that you are leaving, I have some. In fact, I will be leaving with you.” Rayne said as she stood up and walked over to me, shoving a finger in my chest.

    “Wait, wha, what?! Why with me?!” I grimaced, taking a step back.

    “It’s quite simple. You don’t want to travel alone do you?” Rayne smirked.

    “Well, yes. No! I mean, well, uh...” I stammered, trying to back away from Rayne, but just finding myself backed into a wall.

    “See, you can’t even think for yourself; let alone get your way! You need me!” Rayne laughed as she backed down, returning to where her Absol lay.

    “It’s kind of hard to think when you’re being confronted by a girl for no apparent reason!”

    Rayne was about to speak again when her Absol growled. Rayne glanced at her and sighed, nodding. “Yes, I suppose you’re right.” She whispered to her Absol, before turning back to face me as she pointed her thumb at Absol. “It appears that the voice of reason here, Matariel, seems to think we should stop acting like this and get going already. I presume you were coming back here to pick up your stuff before leaving for the Pokémon Center, then you’ll be out of here?”

    “I suppose so.” I shrugged as I composed myself and picked up what few things of mine were left in the room. Did she just understand what her Absol said? But how... I thought, but decided to refrain from asking now to avoid a potential confrontation. “’Matariel’ is that your Absol’s name?”

    “Yep,” Rayne nodded, “It’s the name of the Angel of Rain and means ‘Premonition of God.’ I thought it rather suitable. Say, what are you going to call Cyndaquil? You can’t go on calling him ‘Cyndaquil’ forever.”

    “Zethro. Professor Jura told me that’s what he named it, so it’s only polite to leave it that way.”

    “Zethro, that’s an odd name...” Rayne said, tapping her chin thoughtfully. “I can’t immediately think of any language it might be from.”

    “Maybe it’s meaningless, although Professor Jura did say it has some significance to him. Besides, it’s not like ‘Materiel’ is any more normal.” I said as I picked up the final piece of trash from the floor of my room. “There, the room seems to be clean now. Just one final thing, and I’ll be done.”

    “You’ve got me there, I suppose. But at least ‘Matariel’ has a meaning. Unless ‘Zethro’ is from some ancient, long forgotten Angelic language I don’t have any idea where it’s from.” Rayne said as I pulled a black belt from my backpack. Carefully I pried my cell phone and its holder off the belt I currently wore and unbuckled it, pulling it out of the loops in my blue jeans. I threaded the new belt through those same loop holes in its place and buckled it closed. Both belts looked exactly the same, however this new belt had small yet very powerful magnets inside it at equal distances behind small depressions on the outside surface, meant to hold a metallic Pokéball securely without the need for a clumsy clip. I clipped my cell phone back onto my new belt towards the back of my right side and pulled another plastic clip out of my backpack, this one bigger then the one my cell phone used. I clipped this one more to the front of my right side before taking the Pokédex Professor Jura had given me and sliding it into the clip. Fortunately, despite it being a couple years old, it still fit securely in the clip which had been designed mostly for newer models.

    “Well, aren’t you looking geeky now; needing to show off to the world.” Rayne said as she pulled Matariel’s Pokéball from her pocket again. “I suppose we should be going then. Matariel, I’m afraid I still can’t let you be seen around here.” She said as she applied pressure to the exterior surface of the Pokéball, the entire ball expanding as she relaxed her grip. “Return.” A beam of red light shot out from the tip of the Pokéball as she pressed the button on it, turning Matariel into the same red light as the beam touched her. The light disappeared back into the Pokéball, and Materiel was gone with it. “Well, what are you waiting for?” Rayne asked as she again gently squeezed the surface of the Pokéball, causing it to shrink as she deposited it into her pocket again in one smooth action.

    “Er, yeah; I’m ready, so let’s go.” I gulped; shouldering my backpack and giving my old room one final look over before following Rayne out the door and across the green that lead to the school’s gates.

    At the gates I paused, thinking how it was unlikely I would ever return here again. I knew that if I was to be successful at Pokémon training at all, I couldn’t have my previous life weighing on me all the time. So, with my new life and destination focused squarely in my mind I stepped through the gate and set off down the side walk, never looking back. This was a turning point in my life; the end of one saga and the birth of a new one. I didn’t know what I would face ahead; rather it be bad or good, painful or soothing, hard or easy; but I did know that my life would never be the same again.

    End of Part 1, Turning Point
    To Be Continued in Part 2, Evil’s CORE

    A young boy’s Pokémon journey, kick started by an unforeseen series of events...
    A corrupt organization of scientists with an unseen goal...
    A fanatical cult striving for a new world...
    An ancient power at the center of it all...

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  6. #6
    Registered User Astinus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Connecticut, USA


    This just keeps getting better, Shrike!

    Hot coffee in the groin! XD I laughed at that. It's always funny to me.

    I never did understand why we had English class. I should just be glad that now, in college, "Literature" counts as English!

    So, Rayne has an Absol! I should have figured that from your banner. I was trying to figure it out from the footprint description... xP

    I like the names for the Pokémon. You made up the language, right? Tell me if I'm wrong.

    I can't wait to see more of Zethro. Stories about Cyndaquil always interest me.

  7. #7
    Deus Ex Addict Shrike Flamestar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Illinois, USA


    Well, I made up the three word language that Zethro is from (it has a meaning that’s important to the story, but would spoil it if I told you :P) but Matariel and other names similar to it are real angel names (most of which I found out here)

    Expect Chapter 4 later today, then; after I get back from school...
    A young boy’s Pokémon journey, kick started by an unforeseen series of events...
    A corrupt organization of scientists with an unseen goal...
    A fanatical cult striving for a new world...
    An ancient power at the center of it all...

    Banner made by Tezza

  8. #8
    Deus Ex Addict Shrike Flamestar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Illinois, USA


    Well, as I said, here is Chapter 4, marking the start of Part 2. Hmm, I wonder if I can get everything up to date here before I finish Chapter 11 (which, is actually the finale of Part 2)...


    Part 2: Evil’s CORE

    Chapter 4

    “Hey! Get back here!”


    “Not again...”

    “I’m your trainer and I order you to get out of there right now!”


    It had been but two days since Rayne and I, along with our Pokémon, had left The Pokémon Academy to lead our new lives as Pokémon Trainers. However, I sure didn’t feel like a Pokémon Trainer as I lay in the dirt, hand stuck into a hollowed out tree log, feeling around for Zethro, the Cyndaquil I had received from Professor Jura as my starter. Rayne sat a distance away on a tree stump, eating a sandwich and shaking her head as her Absol, Matariel, lay quietly on the ground besides her. We had decided to travel to Petalburg City after leaving Rustboro, and were currently taking a short training break within the Petalburg Woods alongside a small stream that twisted its way through the forest. The day was late and the sun beginning to set, the sound of birds and insects filling the air alongside the babbling of the stream, but all that I ignored as I struggled and felt blindly for Zethro who had decided to run off on me.

    “Aha! Gotcha!” I shouted triumphantly as my hand came to rest on a patch of fur which I recognized to be Zethro’s.


    “Ow! Hot hot hot hot hot hot hot!” I screamed as fire erupted around my hand, smoke streaming out of the log as I pulled my burnt hand out, waving it around in the air before running over to the nearby stream and plunging it into the water.

    “For a Pokémon Trainer, you don’t seem to have very much control over your Pokémon.” Rayne said to me as she stood up from her stump. She walked over to the log and bent down to the entrance, putting her ear to it. “He’s tired and wants to sleep; maybe you should take a break from practicing for a while. If you want to continue moving towards Petalburg City you’ll have to put him back in his Pokéball, otherwise we can set up camp here for the night.”

    “It is getting dark.” I said, looking up at the sky and the setting sun as I shook water off my hand. “I say we camp out here for the night, we should reach Petalburg City tomorrow regardless, rather we camp here or walk for an hour or two more.” I walked up to the hollow log and stuck my head to the opening, peering into the darkness inside. “Hey, next time you want to rest, let me know, okay?”

    “Cynda...” Zethro whined.

    “Er, good point. How do trainers get around this Pokémon language barrier, anyway? How am I supposed to know what a Pokémon wants if I can’t understand what they’re saying...” I sighed as I walked over to my backpack which I had randomly dropped on the ground before this whole incident had happened.

    “There are different ways. You can always pay attention to their actions, of course. If Zethro yawns, crawls into a dark, cool spot, and gets annoyed when you try to get him out, he is probably worn out. If he is picking up fallen berries and trying to eat them while his stomach is making strange sounds, he’s hungry.” Rayne said as she handed me a plastic wrapped sandwich and opened up a can of meat for Matariel.

    “Hey, I thought he was just curious about those berries and I didn’t want him to get hurt.” I shrugged and took a bite out of my sandwich, frowning as Rayne shot me a “How can berries hurt you... Idiot.” look. That wasn’t what I was thinking about right now, though. Over the past two days there had been several instances in which it seemed like Rayne had actually understood what Matariel was saying, such as back in my dorm room when she claimed Matariel thought that we shouldn’t argue; now she seemed to have understood Zethro as well. “What about really understanding what they’re saying. Is that even possible?”

    “Some claim it is.” Rayne whispered. I don’t think she had meant for me to hear it, but I did and sharply glanced over at her.

    “Such as yourself?”

    Rayne sighed, looking up at the night and the emerging stars. “I suppose there’s no use trying to keep it a secret, nor is it probably wise to do so. In a sense, yes, I can understand what Pokémon say. Or at least the meaning behind their speech.”

    “But how? You can’t just go and take ‘Pokémon Speech 101.’” I frowned.

    “I don’t know how either. I’ve been like this as far back as I can remember. Now, it’s not that I can actually understand the words they speak; I am somehow able to ‘feel’ what they mean by their words. Some people may say it’s kind of like telepathy, however it only works one way and I can only understand the thoughts behind a Pokémon’s normal speech; I can’t just peer into a Pokémon’s mind and read their inner thoughts.” Rayne said, the sandwich she had laid in her lap forgotten.

    “Is it possible to somehow teach me to do it?” I asked, realizing how little about Rayne I truly knew. She never even said anything about her earlier years at The Pokémon Academy before I was enrolled, much less anything from her childhood.

    “No. It’s not something I do voluntarily or that I learned; it just happens and it’s always been that way. We should probably get a fire started.” Rayne said, throwing me off as she abruptly changed the subject. I knew she didn’t want to talk about her unique ability, though, so I let her go.

    “Yeah, I suppose so. This would be so much easier if Zethro could help with it, but with his injury...” I fumbled about in my backpack, feeling around for my flint and pocket knife. As the nurse at the Pokémon Center had said after Zethro received his injury, it appeared that he wasn’t able to perform even a simple Ember attack at all. I had been trying to get him to do one, but every time he tried to do so all he managed was to cough up some black smoke. Fortunately, I had found that he wasn’t completely stunted; he was still able to flare up his back with fire, so at least he could do a Flame Wheel attack. During our training sessions the past few days I had been heavily focusing on his Flame Wheel and felt that by now the two of use at least stood a chance in a Pokémon Battle. Because of our lack of experience I hadn’t bothered with challenging Roxanne, the local Gym Leader back in Rustboro city, but now I felt ready to take on someone else, whenever we met anyone. The last time we had seen a person other then each other was back on the outskirts of Rustboro City, and those were the slums no less.

    I set about gathering up sticks and arranging them in a circle of rocks as Rayne laid out here sleeping bag. Striking the piece of flint with the blade of my pocket knife I managed to set the sticks on fire, blowing on them gently to make the flame bigger. With the fire burning I turned my attention to preparing my own sleeping bag, watching out of the corner of my eye as Rayne lay down, her arms folded underneath her head.

    “Hey, where’s Matariel?” I asked, noticing that she had gone missing.

    “Probably off hunting. She’s been starting to do that lately, and it’s a good a thing as it will help save us money. I don’t think she likes the taste of canned meat.” Rayne said quietly.

    I nodded and lay down on my sleeping bag, on the other side of the fire from Rayne’s, as I pulled my Pokédex out of its clip on my belt. I slid my finger over the panel on its side that served as a power switch and the Pokédex flipped open in three parts, one first folding away to the right side and then the top flipping open. When I had first received the Pokédex from Professor Jura it wouldn’t let me do anything with it, however after receiving my Trainer ID card from the Pokémon Center and sliding it into a slot on the bottom of the device I was able to access all of its functions. I pressed the map symbol on the bottom screen and the top flashed, changing to a topographical map of the surrounding area. Using a zoom slider that had appeared on the bottom screen I zoomed out some, so that Petalburg City came into view on the map; five hours walking and it looked like we would make it. The Pokédex suddenly gave a beep and a light on its side lit up as the third screen on the flip out section flashed to display a letter shaped symbol with a “1” next to it. Bored, I pressed the message icon on the bottom screen to access the Pokédex’s built in messaging system. The subject line of the new message read “Come visit Petalburg City! Our local Gym Leader, Norman, is always ready for challenges from both old trainers and new!” I didn’t bother to read the whole message and deleted it. Stupid automatic messaging systems, sending out spam ads to all Pokédexes in the area... I thought.

    Closing the Pokédex and letting it fall out of my fingers to the ground I tried to fall asleep but found I couldn’t. I stared up at the stars for a couple minutes, then glanced across the fire to where Rayne lay, finding that she had propped herself up on her backpack with one arm holding an open sketchbook against her chest while she drew in it with her other. She seemed to be ignoring me, as she had these past few days.

    “What’s the real reason you’re coming with me? I don’t think you could care less rather I’m alone or not.” I asked.

    Rayne stopped drawing. “I don’t want to be alone.” She whispered.

    I watched her for a while longer as she resumed drawing. “You really need to get better at whispering.” I said, lying back down.

    Just as I was drifting off to sleep Matariel returned. I glanced at her, noticing the redness around her jaws. Apparently her hunt had been successful.


    “Tail! Tail! Taillow!”

    I woke up to the annoying sound of Taillows cawing to each other the next morning. Yawning I pushed up into a sitting position and wiped my eyes clear, trying to force myself to see properly. As I moved my legs I kicked something, and looking down found that it was Zethro lying alongside my sleeping bag; he must have moved out of his log sometime during the night. My kick managed to wake hip up and he looked up at me.

    “Sorry, didn’t know you were there.” I grumbled, noticing my Pokédex on the ground where I had dropped it the previous night. The light on its side was blinking again.

    I picked my Pokédex up and opened it, accessing my messages to find I had one more new one. This one’s subject was “I see you are new at this...” This time I was curious about it and opened the full message, reading through its contents.

    >To: PD18-380-023-489
    >From: PD20-190-378-012
    >Dear Trainer, with the Cyndaquil:
    >So, you have just started out on your journey, have you? Your Cyndaquil seems to be coming along well,
    >and the girl’s Absol was surprisingly vicious during its hunt. I have just started out as well and have been
    >looking for a battle when I noticed you passing through the area. If you want to, come to the GPS coordinates
    >included and feel free to challenge me to a battle, or maybe even a double battle; you and the girl against two
    >of my Pokémon. No need to respond, I’ll be waiting if you want to take up my offer.
    >P.S. Feel free to bet on the match, if you would like.
    >Sincerely, The Ever Watchful Shadow, Zachary J. Reilyn

    Nervously I glanced around, wondering if this Zachary guy was watching us right now. I hadn’t known that we were being watched last night, but that could have just been because of my tiredness. Rather he was watching us now or not I was unable to determine, so I shrugged the thought off, deciding that if we were being watched it wouldn’t hurt if I didn’t know so. The promise of my first trainer battle was enticing, however, and the coordinates displayed on the Pokédex’s map weren’t that far away.

    “Well, we may just have our first trainer battle on our hands here; wonder if Rayne will want to fight with us. Regardless, we better get some extra practice in beforehand.” I smiled, looking down at Zethro. My smile abruptly turned to a frown as both mine and Zethro’s stomach growled in unison. “But first we should eat something...” I sighed, pulling a small apple out of my backpack and handing it to Zethro before opening a bag of trail mix for myself.

    Thoughtfully chewing on the nuts and granola I ran through my head different battling strategies, trying to remember what I had learned at school. Studying battling and actually preparing for one were completely different, however, and actually having one was another thing all its own. I shook my head; I would just have to make it all up as I went along, it’s not as if I could plan it all in advance anyways. After eating I stood up and scooped Zethro up in my arms, being careful not to wake Rayne as I walked a good distance off into the trees. Finding a decent sized clearing I nodded and set Zethro down. He looked up at me expectantly; ready to get on with our practice session.

    “Okay, first let’s do a little warm up. Try to hit this target with a Tackle.” I said, carving a medium sized X a few fight off the ground in the bark of a tree with my pocket knife. Stepping back I watched as Zethro crouched, his rear end raised up in the air for a moment before suddenly darting forward, running over the leaf covered ground towards the tree. A few feet away from the tree he leaped into the air, colliding with the tree squarely on the X mark. Zethro rebounded off the tree and landed on all fours, giving a squeak of success.

    “Good, your accuracy is getting better. Try hitting the same target with a Flame Wheel this time.” I said, a small sense of pride welling up in me as I watched Zethro carry out my orders with glee. He returned back to where he had started the Tackle from before, turning around to face the same tree again before beginning a sprint towards it. As he ran fire flared up on his back, whipping around in the wind created from his running. A little farther back then he had with the Tackle Zethro jumped, this time giving himself a forward spin that sent him spiraling through the air at the tree, the fire making him look like a circle of fire with a blur of blue and red tinted, cream colored fur in the middle of it all. In that condition Zethro collided with the tree, flames sputtering for a second as he jumped away, landing on the ground again where the fire was abruptly extinguished. Zethro was panting slightly and I frowned slightly.

    “Hmm, you still need to work on better controlling your fire; you’re using too much energy with it currently. Let’s try some less intensive things for a while more.” I said, tapping my chin.

    Zethro and I continued training that way for the rest of the early morning. By the time I decided to call it quits not a single tree in the clearing was left unscathed, most with just a shallow X mark in their bark at varying heights, but some had also been burned from when I had tried out Zethro’s Flame Wheel again. I picked Zethro up in my arms, holding him to my chest as he panted, worn out from all the training. “Maybe I forced you a little too hard. Was that to much for you? If so just nod your head and I won’t push you that hard again.” I said to Zethro, but he surprised me by shaking his head instead. “Well, that’s the spirit! You can never practice something to much, plus physical activity is good for you! Not that that means I like it...” I added under my breath as I wheeled around and began to walk back towards the stream bank where our camp was set up. It was nearing ten now and I still had to tell Rayne about the battle challenge from that Zachary guy.

    We hadn’t walked more then a few yards away from our training clearing when I was stopped in my path by a sound coming from a nearby bush. At first it sounded like a low rumble, but as it got closer it changed into a growl. Taking a step backwards I braced myself, whispering to Zethro, “How are you holding up?” Zethro nodded silently and I took it to mean he was ready. Suddenly a Pokémon leapt out of the bushes and I took a double take at it, before laughing.

    “Zig! Zig! Zigzagoon!” The raccoon like Zigzagoon growled at me as he stood in my way on the path. His spiky, brown and tan fur was bristled up, making him appear larger then he really was, and hiss body was quivering as he growled at me, his fangs bared.

    “Darn, I was expecting something exciting. Still, if you can actually knock it out before it runs off this time we might have a chance of capturing it!” I said excitedly, remembering the few Pokémon battles Zethro and I had had over the previous two days. Most of them had involved Zethro and I chasing after the Pokémon as it ran away from us, but now it seemed something was finally willing to fight! Alright! Let’s do this! I smirked, thinking to myself. “Zethro! Go at it!” I yelled, loosening my grip on him as he leapt out of my arms, his tiredness forgotten. He and the wild, unusually angry Zigzagoon faced each other down and I could tell that Zethro was thinking just as I was at that moment. The Zigzagoon suddenly began running towards Zethro, and the battle had begun.


    “Quick! Zethro, dodge its attacks!” I ordered off the bat.

    “Quil!” Zethro acknowledged me, jumping out of the way of the charging Zigzagoon and onto a nearby rock. The Zigzagoon halted its charge as Zethro moved out of his way, turning around to face Zethro. Growling he leapt up towards Zethro who managed to avoid the attack again.

    “Keep on dodging like that. Use your speed and agility to back it up against something.” I said, running through my heads methods of which to go at this and trying to sort it all out. Zethro squeaked back at me again and continued dodging the Zigzagoon’s repeated assaults, jumping backwards and to the side as the Zigzagoon made quick darting movements forward at him. I noticed that Zethro seemed to be leading him towards a large rock and nodded. “Yes, that’ll work! Just avoid being hit!”

    Before long Zethro was crouching in front of the boulder, facing the Zigzagoon who was wiping the ground with his forepaws, almost like a Tauros about to trample its opponents. “When he charges at you leap over him, and turn to face him again.” I commanded.

    I had just finished giving Zethro the command when the Zigzagoon began to run towards Zethro, faster then he had been before. “Now!” I signaled, and Zethro leaped over the Zigzagoon as planned, spinning around as it landed and kicking up a wave of dirt as it turned to face the Zigzagoon.

    However, the Zigzagoon didn’t crash into the rock as planned. “Zig!” It screamed, shifting itself and using the rock to spring backwards and flip through the air, aiming to come straight down on Zethro with his right forepaw extended, the claws on the end of it glinting in the sunlight. It was all to fast for me or Zethro to do anything, and before I could utter a single word the Zigzagoon crashed down on Zethro as he cried out in pain.

    “Cynda!” Zethro cried, falling to the ground as the Zigzagoon stood over it. The claws had raked across his side, three gashes oozing red blood visible. Zethro moaned and shook as he writhed on the ground, as I stood in shocked silence. The Zigzagoon smirked and growled, looking first at the injured Cyndaquil and then at me, triumph shining in his eyes.

    “Ze... Zethro! Get up!” I yelled franticly. What the hell is up with this Zigzagoon! He can’t be hunting, could he? I thought Zigzagoons ate berries!

    The Zigzagoon backed away from Zethro a step, his muzzle curling into a snarl as he raised his claws over Zethro’s exposed throat, the scar from before plainly visible on it. “No!” I yelled, abandoning all thoughts of the battle and beginning to run over to where Zethro lay and the Zigzagoon stood, Zethro’s life about to be extinguished as soon as he brought his paw down. Again! I did it again! Why is this happening to me! Why can’t I do anything without endangering Zethro’s life!

    “Shrike, stand back! Matariel, Razor Wind!”


    A crescent shaped burst of wind came flying out of the trees, heading straight towards the Zigzagoon.

    “Zigzagoon!” He screeched, jumping out of the way of the wind crescent just in time. Doing so meant that he abandoned Zethro, however, and to my astonishment Zethro was back on his paws, shaking angrily and growling at the Zigzagoon. Blood still oozed out of the cuts on his side, matting his fur and dripping to the ground, but Zethro acted as if none of that had happened at all and I could tell he was ready to get his payback.

    “Matariel, Slash!” Rayne ordered, running out of the trees alongside her Absol, Matariel. Matariel nodded and ran ahead of her, straight towards the Zigzagoon. Matariel’s speed was amazing, she covered the distance between Rayne and the Zigzagoon in no time at all, and before I could even begin to think of ordering Zethro an attack she took a powerful swipe at the Zigzagoon, raking her claws through his side as he had done to Zethro. Yelping hr collapsed to the ground, three cuts similar to the ones on Zethro opened on his side.

    “Now, Zethro! Let’s end this with Flame Wheel!” I ordered with a sweep of my hand in front of me.

    “Cyndaquil!” Zethro screamed as he barreled towards the Zigzagoon as fast as he could, flames flaring up on his back stronger then they ever had been before during training. Taking a running leap Zethro flew into a spiral of flame, spinning through the air before impacting with the wild Zigzagoon.

    “Zigzagoon!” He screamed as the impact sent him flying and he slammed into a tree, falling limply to the ground. Zethro came to a stop, facing the Zigzagoon and panting hard. Sweat streaked his fur, and for a couple seconds I was too distracted by Zethro to notice the Zigzagoon.

    “Shrike, now’s your chance; you might want to hurry before it runs away.” Rayne said, reclining against a tree, an eye on the limp and heavily breathing Zigzagoon.

    “Oh, yeah.” I said, pulling an empty Pokéball out of one of one of my jean pockets, holding it between my index and middle fingers. Squeezing it to expand it to its full size I grabbed it with my whole hand, pulling my arm back and throwing the ball at the Zigzagoon. The Pokéball hit the Zigzagoon and opened up, turning the beaten Zigzagoon into red light and drawing it inside, before closing and dropping to the ground. The ball shook a couple times before falling still, and just like that I had caught my first Pokémon.

    Letting out a breath which I had been holding in since the battle started I walked over to where Zethro lay, gently and silently picking him up. On closer inspection his injuries weren’t that bad, paper cuts next to what Zelos had done to him, and already the blood flow had slowed down to a trickle. What worried me was how exhausted he was; he was panting fast and sweat soaked his entire body. “I’m sorry...” I whispered to him. “I shouldn’t have pushed you so hard earlier, nor should I have been caught off guard during that battle.”

    “Cynda...” Zethro sighed, nudging me with his snout.

    “So long for that battle with Zachary, I can’t force you to fight anymore today...” I muttered as I carried Zethro over to where Zigzagoon’s Pokéball lay in the leaves. Kneeling, I set Zethro down in the leaves and picked up the Pokéball, nervous as to what to expect from Zigzagoon. Gulping I pressed the button on the Pokéball, the ball springing open and Zigzagoon materializing in front of me.

    “Goon...” He said quietly as he looked up at me and tried to stand up, but failed and collapsed to the ground. Relieved, I noticed that there wasn’t any sign of anger or madness in his eyes anymore. His body still showed all the signs of the battle, including the gashes Matariel had given him, but he seemed to have calmed down. I had also been worried that he might have broken a few bones from being thrown so hard against the tree, but he only appeared to be weak from all the damage he had taken.

    “Jehiel.” I said. “Jehiel will be your name from now on; The Angel of Wild Beasts. Know that since I’m your master now I will do my best to take care of you, despite what you tried to do to Zethro just now; I can’t fault you for your natural tendencies.” Stroking Jehiel’s fur around where he had been injured I shook my head. “Is it always this way? What they show on TV is nothing like this.”

    “It depends. Some Pokémon will go crazy on you like that, others will be more calm and perhaps even noble in their battles. You were unlucky to have gotten into your first serious battle with a crazed opponent thirsty for blood. Not all Pokémon are like Jehiel, keep in mind that every single Pokémon has their own, different, personality.” Rayne said as she tossed me two small squirt bottles labeled “Pokémon Healing Potion. Usage-1.”

    “Thanks.” I said, catching the Potions. I was hesitant in using them as we hadn’t been able to afford many, my father was being quite stingy in sending money to my bank account lately, but knew that this was just the situation they were intended to be used for and that it was no use to even have bought them if I was always going to save them for the future. Gently I first sprayed the contents of one of the bottles over Jehiel, focusing mostly on his cuts, before treating Zethro with the other. Both of my Pokémon’s injuries immediately stopped bleeding once I sprayed the Potions on them, the chemicals accelerating the clotting of their blood and soothing their nerves. The Potions also lowered the adrenaline flow throughout their bodies, and the two of them quickly drifted off to sleep.

    Normally I would leave them out of their Pokéballs to rest so that I could watch over them; or at least I would with Zethro, I couldn’t be sure I trusted Jehiel yet; however I knew they would probably sleep better if they were undisturbed. Picking up Jehiel’s Pokéball in my right hand and pulling Zethro’s off the left side of my belt with my other hand I held them both out, first expanding Zethro’s before thumbing the button on each of them, drawing the two sleeping Pokémon inside. Standing up I placed both Pokéballs on the left side of my belt, the magnets inside the leather holding them firmly. Swaying I stood up, supporting myself against a tree with my left arm. I had hardly done anything and I was feeling exhausted as well.

    “We can stay here one more night. There’s no use in moving out if more then half of our team needs to recover.” Rayne said, turning away from the battle site and walking back towards camp, Matariel following. Panting I silently followed her, brushing my fingers over the two Pokéballs hanging from my hip.


    Back at our campsite I collapsed onto my sleeping bag. It wasn’t even midday yet and already I felt like I could go back to sleep. Who knew that catching a single Zigzagoon could be so much of a challenge...

    “Why did you go out like that and put Zethro through what you did? You know very well that he is still recovering from the attack by Zelos, yet you recklessly go out training, then get in an actual battle where you were easily overpowered. You should have returned Zethro to his Pokéball when the Zigzagoon appeared; most likely it wouldn’t have bothered attacking a target so much bigger then itself.” Rayne scolded me as she looked over the camp site, as if inspecting it for something.

    “Because I hate giving up and didn’t realize just how strong and fierce Jehiel is at first. Then when I did, it was too late to do anything about it.” I shrugged. “Besides, Zethro said he could fight and I was taking his word. He was doing fine anyways until Jehiel took us by surprise.” I shrugged, disturbed by the whole thing though trying not to show it.

    “You need to be prepared for turnabouts such as that, though. You can never expect for a battle to go your way for the whole time; you must be prepared for the enemy to pull a fast one on you at all times. If the fight hadn’t woken me up...” Rayne shook her head and sighed, pacing.

    For a few more minutes the camp site was silent except for the occasional chirp of a Taillow or a rustle in the bushes. I closed my eyes, just wanting to sleep for the rest of the day.

    “So, it appears you will not be able to take up my offer after all?”

    Quickly I darted up, spinning around to face the voice. Sitting on a branch of one of the tree bordering the stream bank a boy sat. He appeared older then me, I would say around sixteen, and had long, straight blond hair which hung around his shoulders. He looked straight at me with blue eyes and a friendly, non threatening smile. He swung his legs back and forth as he sat, before suddenly grabbing the branch with his arms and pushing himself off, dropping to the ground.

    “Who are you? Why have you been watching us?” Rayne asked. I already knew, but remained silent.

    The boy smiled, yet had a somewhat eerie quality about him. “I’m just a new Pokémon Trainer, that is all. As for my name, it is Zachary J. Reilyn.”

    A young boy’s Pokémon journey, kick started by an unforeseen series of events...
    A corrupt organization of scientists with an unseen goal...
    A fanatical cult striving for a new world...
    An ancient power at the center of it all...

    Banner made by Tezza

  9. #9
    Registered User Astinus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Connecticut, USA


    I loved your description of the battle. The blood drawn from the attacks, and poor Zetho sweating and tired! I could picture everything. Now I know why this fic is rated so highly on SPPf! Great job!

    Thanks for answering my question about the languages. For my own fic, I use Gaelic, the native language of Ireland.

  10. #10
    Deus Ex Addict Shrike Flamestar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Illinois, USA


    Hah, just compare that battle scene to this, the earliest battle scene I wrote that I can find:

    Quote Originally Posted by Shrike Flamestar’s writing, circa 2004
    “Finally, a chance to get another Pokemon!” I said turning around to find the Sentret standing on its tail on the path behind me at the entrance to the city. “Ready Blaze, go!” I shouted.
    “Cynda!” Blaze said leaping forward in a fighting stance.
    “Blaze! Tackle!” I yelled.
    “Cynda!” Blaze shouted as he leaped toward the Sentret hitting it squarely in the chest.
    “Sentret!” The Sentret said leaping forward and spinning around hitting Blaze with its tail.
    “Come on Blaze, use leer!” I said excitedly.
    “Cynnndaaa!” Blaze suddenly leapt right in front of the Sentret and stared right at it.
    “Sen, tret.” It said grimacing and stepping back.
    “We’ve got it Blaze! Use tackle again!” I said grabbing an empty Pokeball from my bag.
    “Cyndaa!” Blaze said diving again at the Sentret.
    “Senntrett....” It said falling over.
    “That’s it! Pokeball, Go! I said tossing the ball at the Sentret.
    “Trett!” It screamed as it disappeared into the ball. I held my breath as the ball shook on the ground. Suddenly the ball stopped shaking.
    “Yes!” I shouted picking up the ball. “I’ve caught a Sentret!”
    And, yes, that is completely unedited; note the lack of detail, overabundance of “said,” complete lack of any struggle, grammatical errors, and of course the unaccented “é” in “Pokémon” and “Pokéball” (a pet peeve of mine. I actually type all of my posts out in Word so the autocorrect will fix those for me as I set it up that way). Oh, also the sheer unoriginality of my Cyndaquil’s name back then. As you can see, I have come a long way since 2004... The only saving grace of those old fanfics is the plot wasn’t quite the standard journey fic clichés, but was riddled with them regardless... If you want to subject yourself to more torture than I’ve already forced upon you, maybe I can post a few more excerpts from my dark ages so you can farther appreciate what I’m doing now

    Heheheh, I hope you enjoy blood... If not, you might want to prepare your nerves for Chapter 9 (which, at this rate of one chapter per day, should be out on Tuesday)... Let’s just say that it got a PG-13 rating for “violence, gore, and swearing”...

    EDIT: Dang, this page is long... This is what happens when you have less people posting so all your chapters are crammed on one page, I suppose...
    Last edited by Shrike Flamestar; 18th May 2006 at 10:32 PM.
    A young boy’s Pokémon journey, kick started by an unforeseen series of events...
    A corrupt organization of scientists with an unseen goal...
    A fanatical cult striving for a new world...
    An ancient power at the center of it all...

    Banner made by Tezza

  11. #11
    Registered User Astinus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Connecticut, USA


    Please, keep posting your unedited early parts. I laughed, because it only goes to prove that you do indeed get better with time.

    Blood? Me scared of it? I think not! Don't worry about me being squemish. I did read the famed "Agony In Pink" without flinching.

    Yeah... This page is rather long. But, this board doesn't have as many people on it like SPPf.

  12. #12
    Deus Ex Addict Shrike Flamestar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Illinois, USA


    Well, here’s one that’s not quite so funny, but is from the very last fic I tried before starting my “golden age” of writing (which actually involves two more unfinished stories; IMPULSE and Walking in the Shadows of Gods. IMPULSE was more of an experiment in writing sci-fi than anything and I wrote it at the same time I wrote chapter 1 of TFC. WitSoG was going to be the very first Myst/Pokémon crossover ever, but it too fell to TFC. Both have some excellent writing and far better titles, though...).

    This is a battle scene that, while being much better than the other one, still lacks details and any actual “impact” upon the Pokémon being attacked (needs more blood! Me like blood! Me crave blood and gore! Mwahahah!):
    Quote Originally Posted by ”Pokémon Zero,” circa November 2005
    “The battle will begin in three, two, one, fight!” The referee yelled.

    “Blaze! Let’s kick this off with agility! Close the gap between you and Spark!” I yelled.

    “Quil!” Blaze yelled as he began running towards Spark in a seemingly random path.

    “Spark, don’t let him get near you, use thunderbolt!” Zack yelled.

    “Electrike!” Spark howled as he leapt back, an arch of electricity erupting from his fur, racing towards the ceiling where it bent back down, dropping down to where Blaze was running.

    “Blaze, don’t let that electricity hit you, just do as we practiced!” I yelled.

    “Quil!” Blaze yelled as speeded up even farther, jumping out of the path of the electricity just in time.

    “Now, Blaze, flamethrower!”

    “Cyndaquillll!” Blaze yelled as he stopped running and fired a stream of fire from his mouth at Spark.

    “Spark! Jump over the fire and hit Blaze with, well, spark!” Zack yelled.

    “Trike!” Spark howled as he jumped into the air as the stream of fire hit where he had just been standing. “Electriiike!” Spark howled as electricity flared up around his fur as he began to drop down on Blaze below him.

    “We’ve got him right where we want! Dig below the ground, Blaze!” I yelled.

    “Quil!” Blaze said as he leapt back and fired an extremely hot blast of fire at the ground, so hot that it melted the ground, forming a hole Blaze dropped into.

    “So, scared, is that it?” Zack taunted as Spark dropped to the ground and looked around.

    “No, just thinking about what I’m going to do when I win.” I smirked.

    “Quil!” Out of the ground behind Spark Blaze shot into the air, fire surrounding his entire body.

    “Blaze, let’s finish this off now! Fire wheel!” I yelled triumphantly.

    “Trike!” Spark yelled as he began to turn around, but it was too late.

    “Cyndaquil!” Blaze screamed as he crashed down onto Spark, fire still circling around him. Spark whined and dropped to the ground as Blaze back flipped off him and landed in front of me, the fire circling him subsiding.

    “What! Spark, are you alright!?” Zack yelled as Spark lay twitching in the middle of the battle field.

    “Shrike Flamestar and his Cyndaquil, Blaze, win the battle!” the referee announced as the few people watching us clapped.
    Yes, less grammar mistakes but they’re still there. No accent... Generic names... At least I figured out a way for Cyndaquil to use Dig, something which has always puzzled me seeing as it doesn’t really have any claws to speak of...

    Okay, now this one is amusing though. Take a look at the entire Chapter 1 of the earliest fanfic I have...
    Quote Originally Posted by Shrike Flamestar’s Writing, circa 2004
    My name is Mike. That’s all I can tell you. If I told you my last name, it’d be over. If I told you my address, it’d be over. If I told you almost anything about me, it’d be over. I may have already said too much. You may be wondering what I’m talking about but, well, I can’t really explain it briefly so I’ll have to tell you the whole story.

    It all began one day in June. It wasn’t one ordinary day though, it was my birthday. I had eagerly been awaiting this birthday because, just like the day, this birthday was special. See, the government had made a new law saying that a kid was able to get a Pokemon at 10 years of age but that he or she wasn’t allowed to leave their hometown on a journey till the age of 13. Because of that I had decided I would just wait until I was 13 to become a trainer and waited eagerly for the day. Finally, that day came.

    “Hey big bro, wake up!” Someone shouted in my ear.
    “Uh, I’m up already, stop shouting.” I looked up to see who had woken me from my dream. “Ah!” I screamed as a big hairy cat face stared back at me and I fell off my bed. Once I had regained my breath I looked up again and saw that it was really just my little sister Ashley holding our cat, Whiskers, over the bed where I had been. “I thought I told you before, don’t do that to me!”
    “Well mom told me to get you up and this is the only way I could think of, do you know that you sleep like a Snorlax?” Ashley said smirking and stroking Whiskers.
    “I never knew,” I responded as I crawled off the floor, “Now, if you’ll calmly leave so I can get dressed.” I said as I pulled my clothes out of my dresser.
    “Okay, okay. Just come down stairs when you’re done, mom’s got a surprise.” She said running off, nearly falling down the stairs. Quickly I put on my clothes and brushed my teeth and then hurried down stairs.
    That’s it. That’s the entire Chapter 1. Not only is it diminutive in size to TFC Chapter 3 (the longest chapter I’ve ever written, even out of the remaining six chapters of TFC I haven’t posted here yet), it also has to start out with one of the biggest clichés in the book. And yes, I still believe to this day that there are real animals in the Pokémon world, hence the comparisons used to describe Zethro and Matariel.

    If you can figure out where I was heading with that first fic from that intro in Chapter 1, you deserve a cookie *checks stash* which are fortunately still there

    EDIT: Hmm, I meant to include this but forgot. This is actually the opposite of everything else, and with a little touching up could be TFC caliber. How I managed this just a few months after that first horrendous battle scene, I have no idea. Regardless, my quality dropped down again after this...

    There’s a little bit of violence in here, violence which you think would cause a lot of descriptive gore but for some reason I seemed to forget to include... This was supposed to be the history of my original Zelos who was single-handedly responsible for reducing the Mew population of the world down to mere handfuls in a past life (I also believe there are multiple Mews in the Pokémon world), and this is when he first gets started with the massacre...
    Quote Originally Posted by ”The Zelos Chronicles,” circa late 2004
    It was small, only about a foot and a half tall, and seemed nearly harmless. It’s short stubby arms seemed as if they were not designed to hold things and its oversized feet made it seem like a good swimmer. It’s head looked too big for its body with a large bulge for a nose and two almond shaped eyes. What drew all of our eyes however was its long curving tail, it was at least twice as long as its body was and curved around like a snake. It seemed as if it was ready to strike and I would almost have been afraid of it if it hadn’t been for its color, pink. I almost laughed when I realized it, I had been scared of something, pink! The adults barely seemed to be keeping their laughter in too. Only the elder did not seem to be laughing, he was staring at it thoughtfully. The man told us it was called a Mew and was one of the most common Pokemon yet also the most powerful. Suddenly without warning the elders eyes suddenly snapped open wide. “It is it!” he said and took a great swing at the creature with his cane. The Mew which had previously been sitting on the ground with its tail curled around it apparently sleeping sprang up. The man just smiled as the cane rushed at his Mew as if he didn’t care. When the cane was about two feet from the Mew its eyes stared glowing bright pink. Suddenly around it appeared some sort of pink bubble. The cane just bounced right off it snapping in half. “It is it I tell you! That thing is what will eventually cause Zelos to go mad!” the Elder shouted. The bubble around the Mew disappeared yet its eyes remained glowing; it held out its hands and suddenly a sphere of bright pink energy was in the hands. It hurled the sphere at the elder who was lying on the ground without the support of his cane and as the sphere approached him he whispered one thing, “Kill it you fools!” Just as suddenly as the sphere had formed it hit the elder sending energy flying throughout his body. When the smoke cleared away he lied on the ground, limp and dead.

    The strange man only smiled as the Mews eyes stopped glowing and it sank back down to the ground. “Mew...” It whimpered. I was surprised when I heard it, the man had never said it could talk; in a way it seemed kind of, sad. “You see,” the man said, “The Mews powers are far greater than anything this world has ever seen yet. Only I have yet to realize this, everyone else is too blind to see this simple truth. I came here to ask your allegiance with me, join me and we shall seize the world and claim vast treasures. Ignore my offer and I’m sure you’ll regret it.” The villagers seemed taken aback by this and didn’t seem to remember the Elders last words. Reaching to my neck I unbuttoned my cloak letting it fall down to the ground around my feet revealing my sword hanging at my side.

    “No!” I shouted, “We will never join you! You have slain our elder mercilessly and I cannot let you by with that! I cannot ignore his last words! I vow that I will kill every last one of these Mews and anyone who uses them to their bidding! I swear this on the grave of our dead elder and on the meaning of my name! Prepare yourself! For the wrath of the western sun!” Without warning I drew my sword as fast as lightning and rushed at the Mew. Of course it saw me and put up the bubble. That would not stop me though. As hard as I could I swung the blade downwards onto the Mew. The bubble shielded the Mew however my anger would not stop at that. I pressed as hard as I could pressing and squeezing the bubble downwards. Finally the bubble gave way under my blade and popped sending the sword falling straight towards the unprotected Mew. For a moment, just as my sword approached it, I thought I saw something in its eyes; fear, or maybe regret. It was too late though as the blade sliced downwards through it cleaving it cleanly in half. I stood up pulling my blade out of the dead body as the two halves fell to either side of my blade. The man staggered backwards, not believing what he saw. “Now,” I said giving the blade a shake making the blood and gore from the Mew fall off it, “It is time,” I held the sword out in front of me, horizontally with the sharp edge facing the man, “For you to meet your fate.” Out of the trees however burst a great bird, at least four times the size of the Mew.

    “We’ll have to talk again later.” the man said as he leaped onto the birds back, it had to be a Pokemon too. The bird soared away far out of sight. I sheathed my sword and turned to face the Mew. It lay on the ground, cut neatly in two vertically. Its eyes stared eternally upwards with a gaze of fear, a gaze meant for me.
    Last edited by Shrike Flamestar; 19th May 2006 at 12:26 AM.
    A young boy’s Pokémon journey, kick started by an unforeseen series of events...
    A corrupt organization of scientists with an unseen goal...
    A fanatical cult striving for a new world...
    An ancient power at the center of it all...

    Banner made by Tezza

  13. #13
    DGE is offline
    not for miners DGE's Avatar
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    Apr 2003


    Yay, I'm all caught up. Hopefully this review will suffice for four chapters. I'm a little rusty at the fanfic game.

    Here's what I like:

    - A pokemon story about a guy who likes to write pokemon stories. Nice twist.
    - I like the concept of "semi-shiny." That really is a rarity.
    - I keep wanting to say "Zelos, don't go down that path! Someday you'll have a girlfriend or three!" But then I remember that this isn't ToS.
    - HAHAHA Mark's intro scene. I giggled a lot in the computer lab yesterday. X)
    - Professor Jura is badass.
    - Nice names. I love angel lore, and I've visited Sarah's Archangels site many a time to pick up some names in the past.
    - I like battle challenges via email. It seems like something that should occur more in the pokemon world, rather than the all-the-time bump-in. "Hey you, let's battle!" "Dude, I'm on my way to the store, I don't want to battle you."
    - So far we've got a techie guy, a not-goth girl, Professor Gendo Ikari (hee), and a blond stalker ninja. Interesting mix, and not the usual journeyfic fare. I'm eager to see more, and to find out what will happen with Zelos and Ramirez.
    - Zigzagoon is a really common, unoriginal pokemon for a trainer's first capture. However, since Jehiel has an atypical zigzagoon personality, and a good name to go with it, it doesn't seem so bad.
    - There's so much attention to detail, and that rules. Like the description of Academy classes, the wireless internet login information, the research Shrike has to do on past school board hearings, and the pokeballs on his belt. Magnets in the leather? That's a unique take -- I always pictured clips... somehow. XD

    And here's some constructive criticism:

    - Wow, everyone talks a lot. Shrike seems to like to give his life story to anyone he meets. Calm down, kid, there will be time for that later.
    - Not until I started writing poke-speech did I realize how awkward it is. A little "quil" here and there is okay, though, but if there will be whole sentences of such will be really weird. That's just me, though. Feel free to ignore me. ^^
    - I like Rayne so far, and I'm an absol fan, but a mysterious girl with a rare and dangerous pokemon under her control seems a little cliche. However, I'm the last person who should talk about cliches. But I hope there are some surprises with her, because otherwise it feels like I know all about her.

    Okay, that's all for the actual story. ^^

    And yes, I still believe to this day that there are real animals in the Pokémon world, hence the comparisons used to describe Zethro and Matariel.
    So do I. :D

    From that chapter 1 intro, I bet that mother will give Mike a pokedex, he'll be late to receive his first pokemon, thus leaving him with the professor's ultra-rare purple jirachi, and he'll be some kind of chosen one who will save the day. Yes.

    It's fun to look at old stories. I've got a warehouse full of them, and it's like, "kyaaa why did I post this?"

    Holy crap, Zelos vs. Mew? Is that some insight to his character, maybe?

    I can't wait for chapter 5! I hope I get a chance to read it this weekend. ^^

  14. #14
    Deus Ex Addict Shrike Flamestar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Illinois, USA


    I'm eager to see more, and to find out what will happen with Zelos and Ramirez.
    Don’t expect to find out much soon. I don’t think there’s going to be any major revelations about them until Part 4 or 5, and I’m only finishing up 2 now.

    - Zigzagoon is a really common, unoriginal pokemon for a trainer's first capture. However, since Jehiel has an atypical zigzagoon personality, and a good name to go with it, it doesn't seem so bad.
    That was my entire point; I needed something that Shrike would go “OMG! It’s weak! We win no contest!” over, only to have it turn completely around. I love small twists like that Plus, trust me, you’ll love him after Chapter 5...

    Magnets in the leather? That's a unique take -- I always pictured clips... somehow. XD
    Actually, if I remember correctly, the manga does use clips. I much rather prefer the sleek and clean clip-less look of the Anime, though. Ignore that I use clips to attach Shrike’s cell phone and Pokédex to his belt <_<

    - Not until I started writing poke-speech did I realize how awkward it is. A little "quil" here and there is okay, though, but if there will be whole sentences of such will be really weird. That's just me, though. Feel free to ignore me. ^^
    That is why in this very next chapter I introduce a plot device that will allow Shrike to understand Pokémon just like Rayne can

    - I like Rayne so far, and I'm an absol fan, but a mysterious girl with a rare and dangerous pokemon under her control seems a little cliche. However, I'm the last person who should talk about cliches. But I hope there are some surprises with her, because otherwise it feels like I know all about her.
    Chapter 9 and 10. ‘Nuff said. You’ll have to wait and find out Let’s just say you know nothing about her true self. Not a thing.

    Holy crap, Zelos vs. Mew? Is that some insight to his character, maybe?
    Not really; that was a completely different Zelos with the only real similarities being hair and eye color (Zelos has always had red hair and eyes. I seemed to forget to have mentioned his eyes in Chapter 1, though...). I still hold by my belief that Mews are not one of a kind, though. Well, actually, I believe there is one “God” Mew from which all life originated, while there are several other mortal Mews living in seclusion on Earth. The God Mew doesn’t have a true form, but prefers to take the form of a Mew as they were the first beings it created. More on my God system in the Pokémon world will be revealed eventually, as it’s a fairly important part of the overall plot.

    Now, onto Chapter 5! But in a separate post as this reply was to long...

    EDIT: Oh, yeah, you're guess isn't quite what I'm looking for No cookies for you! *Eats them all myself*
    Last edited by Shrike Flamestar; 19th May 2006 at 05:33 PM.
    A young boy’s Pokémon journey, kick started by an unforeseen series of events...
    A corrupt organization of scientists with an unseen goal...
    A fanatical cult striving for a new world...
    An ancient power at the center of it all...

    Banner made by Tezza

  15. #15
    Deus Ex Addict Shrike Flamestar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Illinois, USA


    Okay, here it is... I replied to your review in the previous post, in case you missed it, Pikki Zuka


    Chapter 5

    “...As for my name, it is Zachary J. Reilyn.” The boy grinned at me and I stepped back nervously. Was it possible to be a little to friendly?

    “Er, Shrike Flamestar. Yeah, sorry about the battle thing, but both Zethro and Jehiel need their rest.” I gulped, trying to avert Zachary’s attention from me, however no matter where I moved to he kept his eyes locked firmly on me like a hawk.

    Zachary slowly nodded. “Why, of course; you can’t force them to battle any more when they are worn out. That would just be inhumane, after all. Now, what would your name be?” Zachary said, turning his attention off me and to Rayne, at last. However I couldn’t help but have the feeling that I was still being watched out of the corner of his eyes.

    “Rayne Jarxis.” Rayne said, her hands on her hips and her eyes narrowed. “Now that names have been passed around, will you mind telling us who you really are? You’re as much of a new trainer as I am a Pok&#233;mon.”

    Zachary laughed at that, tossing his head back as he brushed his long blond hair out of his eyes. When he finally stopped he looked back down at us, still smiling in his eerily friendly manner. “There is no hiding it from you, I see. Technically, I am indeed not a new trainer, and haven’t been one for several years. However only this previous week have I actually begun to take my title seriously and actually try out battling. Thus, in that sense, I am still inexperienced and new, despite my procrastination.”

    I still don’t think Rayne was satisfied, but she remained quiet all the same. This suited Zachary as well and he turned to face me, taking a lunging grab at my wrist. “Come, Shrike! Let us go talk together for a brief moment.” He said, gently pulling me towards the trees by my wrist.

    “Uh, Zachary—” I began, but he cut me off first.

    “Please, just call me Zack. We’re friends after all, right?” He smiled at me, yet tugged at my wrist harder as I was falling behind.

    “But we only just met...”

    “Then let’s learn more of each other. Not far now.”

    I gave in and followed Zack through the trees to an outcrop of rock with a small cave set into it. Inside the cave two camping chairs sat alongside a sleeping bag and a bulging backpack. In the very back of the cave a tarp covered a small pile that I couldn’t identify next to a small camping stove. With my free hand I pulled my Pok&#233;dex from my belt and activated it, checking the coordinates of my present location on the small auxiliary screen. Sure enough, they matched those Zack had sent me in his message.

    “Well, this is pretty much my home for now. It’s not much, but please, sit down.” Zack said, letting go of my wrist and sweeping his arms in front of him to encompass the cave.

    “You live in a cave?” I asked as I put my Pok&#233;dex back in its clip and sat down on one of the camping chairs, facing out of the cave. Zack took the other chair and moved it next to mine, angled so that he could see both me and the cave’s entrance easily. He reclined in it and folded his arms behind his head, moving his hair out of the way.

    “Yeah, it’s actually pretty nice. I’m going to have to move out soon if I intend to find more trainers to fight though as not many pass through this way these days. You two are the first people to pass by in over a week.” Zack idly said, his eyes closed and his ever present smile plastered on his face. “Of course, considering the rumors about Petalburg, that’s hardly surprising.”

    “Rumors? What kind? Is it anything we should be concerned about?”

    “Nothing has happened yet, however the presence of CORE personnel has been increasing in the area around Petalburg. With the other rumor regarding CORE that is spreading around, people think that something big may go down in Petalburg soon.”

    “CORE... Collective for Organic Research and Engineering... They’re just a biomedical research firm though, aren’t they? Why would anybody be worried about them?”

    “Recently, there have been multiple cases throughout the entire Hoenn continent that imply that CORE may be using less then ethical methods to obtain test subjects and actually perform testing. All over Hoenn the accounts of stolen Pok&#233;mon have taken a sharp increase, and several witnesses claim that the perpetrators match the descriptions of known CORE personnel. With increased CORE concentration in the Petalburg area, rumors are spreading that CORE may be planning their first large scale, public operation.” Zack opened his eyes and looked over at me. “But enough about rumors, we hardly know anything about each other. How long have you been a trainer? Where do you come from? Are Zethro and Jehiel your only Pok&#233;mon? How are your battle records?”

    I didn’t see any point in hiding the truth from Zack, and so went ahead and told him that I had only been a trainer for a couple of days, retelling the tale of me protecting Zethro and leaving the Pok&#233;mon Academy in Rustboro City. By the time I had finished midday had passed, but I went on to tell that Zethro and Jehiel were indeed my only Pok&#233;mon and that my record was currently blank.

    “Well, that only means you’ve got a one-hundred percent success rate!” Zack exclaimed as I told him of my failure to find any other trainers to battle, blushing in my embarrassment.

    “It also means I have a one-hundred percent failure rate...” I sighed.

    “Oh, don’t think of it that way! I’ve only had a handful of battles myself and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve had my own fair share of losses. Losing a battle isn’t bad, if anything it will only push you to improve. If you must think so negatively, use the thought of a one-hundred percent failure rate to improve your training.”

    I remained silent so Zack decided to change the subject off of me, “Well, it’s no fair if you tell me about yourself but you know nothing of me, now is it? I was born in Littleroot town, and became a trainer fairly uneventfully at the age of eleven with a Treecko as my starter. I began my travels excited at my future and had a good start as I caught several other Pok&#233;mon, however I never was comfortable with battling. I decided that I might as well not do something I disliked and chose to live with the Pok&#233;mon I already had in leisure, moving around between locations such as this one all over Hoenn. As of late my interest in battling has risen, so I am trying my hand at it again.”

    Nodding I accepted the story; nothing seemed off about it. However I couldn’t shake the feeling of eeriness that I got from Zack, as if something about him wasn’t right and didn’t add up. Nevertheless, it was pointless to accuse without evidence and so I remained silent on my concerns.

    “Well, our histories are now known to each other! Wonderful! I don’t presume you have had lunch yet, have you?” Zack clapped his hands together, shaking me from my thoughts.

    “No, not yet.” I answered, a rumble from my stomach chiming in as if to confirm this.

    “Well, of course you haven’t, I don’t know why I bothered to ask. You had just got back from training and your capture of Jehiel when we met. Come; let me prepare some food for us. Rayne will not be worried if you are missing longer then expected, will she?”

    “I doubt so, she probably expects it anyways.” I shook my head.

    “Wonderful! This will only be a moment.” Zack said, getting out of his chair and pulling some packages out of his backpack. “You don’t mind instant ramen, do you? I find that instant is nowhere near as good as the real stuff is. Hmm, plus I’m afraid the only flavor I have is beef. I will need to head into the city soon to resupply...”

    “That’s fine, after store bought sandwiches and trail mix for the past two days, ramen will actually be refreshing.”

    I glanced behind me and watched as Zack poured some water from a jug into two metal cups, placing them on the camping stove and opening up a gas valve on a tank next to it. We sat in silence for a few minutes as the water boiled, before Zack poured the ramen into the cups.

    “What about Zethro and Jehiel, surely they will be hungry as well?” Zack asked as he watched over the ramen, stirring the noodles occasionally.

    “Well, they might still be sleeping now; I think I should leave them alone for a little while longer; I can feed them back at our camp. What about your Pok&#233;mon?”

    “You make a good point.” Zack said, smiling harder and nodding. “They need to eat as well, of course.” Zack pulled three Pok&#233;balls from his backpack and tossed them out the entrance to the cave. His three Pok&#233;mon appeared out of them as the Pok&#233;balls flew back to Zack, him deftly catching them and placing them next to his backpack. Impressed I looked over his three Pok&#233;mon; a Grovyle, Swellow and Mightyena. The green, prehistoric looking lizard with a red chest looked around acutely, examining me intensively. Next to it the large bird, its feathers mostly blue with some red and white, took flight and flew up to and perched on a short rod of wood that stuck out of a hole in the rock over the cave opening. Lastly, the large shaggy black and gray dog walked up to me, growling as if to challenge me for being there. Nervously my hands went to the Pok&#233;balls on my belt, as I dared a glance behind me at Zack. He gave a small nod to the Mightyena which seemed to satisfy it, it backing away from me and dropping to the ground, its legs sprawled out.

    “Don’t worry about him; he was just worried that you might be here to bring harm to me. Of course, friends would never do that to each other.” Zack said, stirring some seasoning into the ramen before pouring it into two styrofoam cups. He walked over to me and handed me one of the ramen filled cups along with a metal fork before setting his cup and fork next to his chair. Thanking Zack I began to thoughtfully eat my ramen as I watched him place dishes of food on the ground for his Pok&#233;mon before sitting down himself and eating. We ate in silence, looking out the cave at the forest. I couldn’t help shake the feeling that all of Zack’s Pok&#233;mon were watching me, though.

    “Well, I suppose I should be going now.” I said, having finished eating my ramen and drinking the remaining broth out of the cup.

    “You sure you don’t want to stay a little while longer?” Zack asked, suddenly stopping his eating of his ramen.

    “I’m sure, I don’t Rayne to think you kidnapped me or anything.” I answered, forcing a small laugh.

    “Oh! But I was hoping that you could stay here for the remainder of the day! There is so much that could be talked about, and maybe your Pok&#233;mon will be ready for a battle later! In fact, I was thinking of inviting you to spend the night here with me; imagine, we could camp out together and share scary stories next to a fire! Wouldn’t that be fun?” Zack exclaimed as I stood up, he dropping his ramen in haste as he scrambled to his feet as well, his smile beginning to falter for the first time that I had seen.

    “Er, well, uh... Sure, yeah, it would be; I’m afraid I just can’t stay though. I, um, have homework to do! Yeah, I still haven’t finished all the work that I have to send back to school by, um, tomorrow! So, you see, I have to go back and work on it; don’t want me to fail now.” I stammered, walking backwards only to run into the cave wall as Zack advanced on me, a full blown frown on his face now.

    “Is that so? You have homework you must do?” Zack said, slamming his hands onto the wall on either side of me, trapping me. Looking out of the corner of my eye I noticed that his Pok&#233;mon had stopped eating and had their full attention on me, and that the Mightyena was even growling, its fangs bared. I actually thought for a moment that the Pok&#233;mon would attack me, but before they could Zack smiled again and stood back. “Very well. I suppose it would not be proper to force you to stay against your will. I am confident that we will meet again one day anyways, of that I am sure.”

    “You weren’t, actually planning on...” I trailed off dazed by Zack’s sudden change. In an instant he had gone from kind and boyish to outright angry, an emotion I hadn’t thought possible in him previously.

    “Oh, of course not; friends would never do that to each other.” Zack smiled, but it seemed strained now and his eerie aura was stronger then ever. His Mightyena still hadn’t calmed down and continued to look at me as if I was pure evil incarnate, making me more then a little nervous and causing my left hand to stray to Zethro’s and Jehiel’s Pok&#233;balls. “And, as a friend, I can not let you go without a parting gift.” Zack continued, reaching under the tarp covered pile without uncovering it, so that I still couldn’t see what it was. When he pulled his hand back out from underneath the tarp his fist was tightly closed around something.

    “I heard you questioning Rayne about how to understand Pok&#233;mon speech the previous night. I think this might interest you...” Zack took my right hand and opened it, placing his closed hand in mine and letting whatever he was holding fall into my hand. When he pulled his hand away I stared at the object I now held.

    “What is it?” I asked; the device was extremely odd, nothing like anything I had ever seen before. It’s shape was all twisted as if it had been molded from a piece of clay a child had been playing with, and when I gave it a slight squeeze I noticed that it seemed to be somewhat malleable. Additionally, at two different spots on it, small holes perforated the flesh colored exterior of the mysterious device.

    “It doesn’t have a finalized name yet, though some have seen fit to call it a Pok&#233;com after its primary purpose; to ease communication between humans and Pok&#233;mon. It is, in fact, a pre-final release version of a universal Pok&#233;mon speech translator that an as if yet unspecified company has been developing. I managed to get my hands on a few and think that it would be rather suitable for yourself, such the good friend of mine that you are, to have one. Here, you just push this end into your ear, and it’ll conform to the shape of your ear canal after awhile. Don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt and you’ll get used to the feeling of it being in there.” Zack said, taking the Pok&#233;com and pushing one of the ends into my left ear. I was embarrassed, but knew that Zack surely knew how to fit it in my ear better then I so let him continue.

    “There. Now, Mightyena, please apologize to Shrike for your acting so rudely earlier.” Zack said, giving the Pok&#233;com one final push. It felt like someone had stuck a piece of putty into my ear, and I wasn’t so sure that wasn’t what had just happened, yet I was still able to hear just as well as before.

    “Humph, if I must. The human my master calls ‘Shrike,’ I ‘apologize’ for my acting ‘rudely’ to you earlier.”

    My eyes widened as I stared at the Mightyena, my hand to my left ear. “Did, that Mightyena, just talk to me?” I asked incredulously.

    “I have been talking to you this whole time. I’ve been saying ‘Get away from my master, you filthy, mangy human.’” The Mightyena growled again, me again understanding it.

    “Please, Mightyena, can you at least try to act a little nicer to our guests, especially such a good friend as Shrike?” Zack sighed. “I personally apologize on behalf of Mightyena for his manners. He has not yet been, taught, proper etiquette; he is my newest acquisition.”

    “This isn’t a trick? How can I be sure this isn’t just playing back prerecorded messages?” I asked carefully, hoping that my doubts were false.

    “If you listen to a Pok&#233;mon I couldn’t have expected you to have, that would prove it.” Zack shrugged, nodding to the second Pok&#233;ball on my belt.

    “Jehiel... I only caught him this morning right before we met, so you wouldn’t have had time to prepare a recording...” I quietly said as I removed Jehiel’s Pok&#233;ball from my belt.

    “Exactly. Why don’t you talk to him right now and realize that your doubts are wrongly placed.”

    “He was less tired then Zethro, so he should be awake by now...” I said, expanding Jehiel’s Pok&#233;ball and pressing the activator button. The ball sprung open and a burst of red light came out of it, materializing into the form of a Zigzagoon, Jehiel, before me. He was sleeping at first but immediately he opened his eyes and looked around him, hopping to his feet quickly and taking us all in.

    “Who are you?! Don’t you dare come near my master or I will tear your throat out!” Jehiel suddenly burst out, facing Zack, his fur bristling just as it had when we met. At the same time I happily noticed that his wounds were all but gone. “And who are you looking at, you mangy mutt! And that green, thing, behind you! Oh, and that fat chicken! I’ll take you all on if you so much as take one step closer to master!”

    “Well. That was certainly unexpected from a Zigzagoon.” Zack said, every bit as surprised as I was.

    “Er, Jehiel. This human is Zack, he’s our friend, not an enemy. That Mightyena, Grovyle, and Swellow,” I pointed out each person and Pok&#233;mon in turn, “are Zack’s Pok&#233;mon, and as such also not enemies. Oh, and please don’t call me ‘master,’ my name is Shrike.”

    Jehiel turned to look at me. “Very well, master Shrike. If you do not want these questionable enemies mangled, torn, and horrible beaten to death I will leave them be. But if I see so much as one claw, talon, or whatever weapons you humans use to fight laid on you I will protect you with my life.” Jehiel said, giving a slight nod at me.

    “Well, you trust me that the Pok&#233;com is in fact a working translator now?” Zack asked, patting my shoulder with his right hand.

    “AN ATTACK!”

    Jehiel suddenly jumped off the ground at Zack, tiny fangs bared. Before Zack could defend against him Jehiel was on him, biting his leg and swiping at it with his claws.

    “The master is being attacked by that fur ball, who had the nerve to call me a ‘mangy mutt’!” Mightyena suddenly growled, barreling forward at not Jehiel, but me. “If we take out its master it will lose the will to fight!”

    “Jehiel! That was not an attack! Get off of him!” I suddenly yelled, grabbing Zethro’s Pok&#233;ball and preparing to release him despite his condition. Sorry Zethro, but there’s no way I can take on a Mightyena by myself...

    “Mightyena! Desist NOW or I will FORCE the procedure on you against your will!” Zack angrily shouted, kicking the leg Jehiel had clamped himself to and sending the securely anchored Zigzagoon flying around through the air but failing in shaking him off.

    At the same time both Jehiel and Mightyena halted their attacks; Jehiel letting go of Zack’s leg and running over to between mine and Mightyena stopping its charge, although it now looked at me with even more disgust then before.

    “Are you alright?” I worriedly asked Zack, thankfully placing Zethro’s Pok&#233;ball back on my belt and bending down to look at Zack’s leg, blood trickling down it in rivulets from the wound Jehiel had caused. Fortunately Jehiel’s bite wasn’t very strong and the wound looked as if it would heal on its own.

    “Oh, I am fine. A little bleeding won’t kill a man.” Zack said, frowning at Jehiel. “That Zigzagoon is quite the oddball.”

    “I live only to serve my master, currently Shrike. Shrike, I ask that you please inform me; if that was not was not a human attack, what is?” Jehiel asked, calm again.

    “Well, er, humans don’t commonly fight each other, and when we do it is uncommon that we would fight unarmed. Humans generally need a gun or sharp edged blade of some kind to fight. I don’t think you’ll have to worry about protecting me from those, though.” I shook my head.

    “’Gun’? ‘Sharp edged blade of some kind’? What are those? I need to know what I must watch out for!”

    “I can’t show you.” I sighed. “If I need you to protect me, I will tell you. Otherwise just treat everyone as you would me.”

    “But I can’t; I serve the master and the master only.”

    “Then just don’t try to kill everyone unless I tell you to... No, wait; don’t ever try to kill anyone. If I need protection, just try to knock them out; that will be enough.” I sighed even harder.

    “If that is what you wish, however I must question your decision to forbid me from killing; it is the most efficient method to take a target out, is it not?”

    “This will take a long time to explain...” I moaned. “I’ll explain later. For now, you’ve caused enough trouble, go ahead and rest again.” I said, my head lowered with my chin touching my chest as I held out Jehiel’s Pok&#233;ball and recalled him back into it.

    “But mast—” Jehiel was cut off before he could finish talking and disappeared back into his Pok&#233;ball, which I replaced on my belt.

    “I hope not all of my Pok&#233;mon are going to be like that...” I sighed.

    “It is unlikely, but loyalty isn’t a bad thing at all. You will just have to teach Jehiel what he can and can not do.” Zack nodded, as if he didn’t notice that his leg was still bleeding.

    “Do you need something to put on that? I can bring back something from our camp if you need it.” I asked, concerned.

    “No, no. You need to be leaving now, right? Your homework and all.” Zack said, clearly disturbed about something. Noticing that I noticed his disturbance he quickly snapped out of it and grinned at me as he had when we first met. “I surely do not want to be the cause of your failure at school, after all.”

    “I suppose. Thank you for the Pok&#233;com, it will surely make training easier if I can actually understand what my Pok&#233;mon are trying to say to me.” I held out my hand to shake hands with Zack but instead he spread his arms wide and took me into his embrace. Blushing I struggled, trying to push my way out of Zack’s embrace. Finally I managed to get his arms off me and stood back, breathing hard. If Jehiel was out, that surely would have counted as an attack...

    “Oh, don’t act embarrassed, we are great friends, after all. No, don’t think of it that way!” Zack exclaimed as he saw the look of disgust on my face.

    “It’s kind of hard to think any other...”

    “Oh, if I did something you do not like, I apologize, but I do not see how showing care for a friend is wrong.”

    “You must have grown up without any girls around, didn’t you? Regardless, I really have to be leaving now.”

    “See you later then, we will meet again!” Zack yelled after me as I stiffly walked out of the cave, past the malicious Mightyena and into the forest, setting out along the path I remembered walking to the cave by.


    “I don’t trust him. There’s something about him that’s just plain off.” Rayne said as I told her what had happened at Zack’s cave. I had made it back to our camp fine and the first thing Rayne did when I came walking out of the trees was drag me over to the fire pit and ask me why I had been gone so long.

    “Still, he was nice. He even gave me this translator.” I said as I fingered my ear. I was already starting to get used to the feel of the Pok&#233;com stuck in my ear, but the thought wasn’t any less awkward.

    “It was probably to make up with you for when he got angry about you wanting to leave. Are you sure it works properly and isn’t some kind of trick? I’ve heard rumors that some companies were wanting to make something like it, but I had no idea someone already had.”

    “It was all to perfect. There was no way Zack could have predicted the whole incident with Jehiel. I don’t think we have to worry about the Pok&#233;com as long as it continues working properly.”

    “Shrike is right. There is no reason to get worked up over such a petty matter. I trust that you can understand me?”

    I turned around and saw Matariel walking towards us, who I knew to be the source of the previous voice. “Yeah, I suppose I can. For now let’s just set the Pok&#233;com matter aside. I do in fact have homework that I need to work on, although it isn’t due until this Friday.”

    “Your human matters are of no concern to me, do as you wish. Rayne, I am going off to find food for myself.” Matariel said, her voice surprisingly calm and soothing for a dark type Pok&#233;mon. Rayne nodded her approval and Matariel ran off into the trees. Free from the constraints of anyone at last I wandered over to my sleeping bag and sat down on it, pulling my tablet PC out of my backpack. Flipping open the book-like cover the computer automatically turned itself on. After the operating system had loaded up I taped on the screen to open up the file of schoolwork I had downloaded off a file server the school had set up to use as a means of me receiving and sending in assignments. Imagine, just a decade or two ago and this kind of long distance internet connection wouldn’t have been possible...

    I got to work on my schoolwork and continued working on it for two more hours. By the time I had got so bored of it all that I was no longer able to continue I had managed to get through the Math, Science, and English sections. Figuring that I’d finish the rest later I saved what I had done and closed the file, mindlessly tapping a blank area of the screen for a few minutes. By sheer accident my stylus accidentally hit the icon for my internet chat client, loading the program and automatically signing me onto the room me and my friends hung out on.

    ***Fire_Bird has joined the chat
    >chaos: wow, look whos showed his face again...
    >LordDark: Welcome back, FB :)
    >LordDark: Where’ve you been?
    >Fire_Bird: Somewhere in the middle of Petalburg Woods for the past couple of days :)
    >Fire_Bird: Before that I was just to busy preparing.
    >chaos: hey, so your a trainer now huh?
    >Fire_Bird: Yeah, I suppose you can call me that.
    >*Fire_Bird plucks a blade of grass from the ground and cleans his fingers nonchalantly.
    >LordDark: Congratulations, it’s odd to think that one of us is already a trainer.
    >chaos: i wanted to be the first :(
    >chaos: if we ever meet, remind me to kick your ass for beating me
    >Fire_Bird: Just before Zethro and Jehiel slaughter whatever wimps you’ll be training, sure.
    >LordDark: Your Pok&#233;mon?
    >chaos: let me guess, a magikarp and feebas?
    >Fire_Bird: Cyndaquil and Zigzagoon. Try to guess where the Cyndaquil is from...
    >LordDark: So you got to keep it after all?
    >chaos: i thought it died...
    >*LordDark kicks chaos in the nuts.
    >LordDark: Well, what about Rayne? You glad she’s gone?
    >Fire_Bird: Actually, I wouldn’t say that...
    >chaos: O_O
    >LordDark: Oh God...
    >chaos: YOU GOT LAID!!!!
    >*Fire_Bird falls down and twitches.
    >Fire_Bird: Where did that come from... She’s just following me, that’s all.
    >chaos: but you don’t know what happens while you sleep...
    >chaos: maybe she gets a little action in while your not quite aware...
    >LordDark: Sometimes I worry about you, chaos -_-
    >Fire_Bird: Moving off that subject... How long until each of you gets your license?
    >LordDark: A couple months, we’ll have to meet up and chat sometime IRL.
    >chaos: year or two
    >chaos: those bastard teachers keep on holding me back :(
    >Fire_Bird: Ah, but you’re still in elementary school.
    >Fire_Bird: If you really want to be a successful trainer like me and LD will be,
    >Fire_Bird: you still have Pok&#233;mon school to go through.
    >chaos: screw that, i dont need to be taught how to battle
    >chaos: its easy, just send out a pokemon and order it around like a slave.
    >LordDark: I weep for the even younger generation.
    >chaos: its not like pokemon have feelings, you cant even understand them
    >Fire_Bird: Whoever said you can’t?
    >LordDark: FB, that’s kind of obvious that you can’t understand a Pok&#233;mon’s speech -_-
    >Fire_Bird: But I swear that earlier Rayne’s Absol asked me if I could understand her...
    >Fire_Bird: And I said yes.
    >chaos: now whos the crazy one?
    >LordDark: Stop pulling our legs; it’s obvious you’re lying.
    >Fire_Bird: What if I said that a new friend of mine gave me a Pok&#233;mon translator?
    >Fire_Bird: Would you believe me then?
    >LordDark: No such thing exists -_-
    >Fire_Bird: If that’s what you want to believe...
    >chaos: what would it translate anyways? its not like pokemon actually talk...
    >chaos: theyre animals, they have no soul
    >LordDark: Even without this imaginary translator, I have to disagree with that.
    >TO LordDark FROM Fire_Bird: Remind me, how did we meet this guy?
    >FROM LordDark TO Fire_Bird: It’s been to long, I forget.
    >chaos: hello? whered you all go?
    >TO LordDark FROM Fire_Bird: Sometimes I wonder if he’s worth keeping around...
    >chaos: guys?
    >FROM LordDark TO Fire_Bird: What are we supposed to do? Ban him because he’s rude?
    >chaos: :(
    >TO LordDark FROM Fire_Bird: Yeah.
    >chaos: w/e, im out of here...
    ***chaos has left the chat
    >FROM LordDark TO Fire_Bird: Heh, you’re not perfect yourself.
    >TO LordDark FROM Fire_Bird: Never said I was :)
    >TO LordDark FROM Fire_Bird: Hey, I’ve got to be going now.
    >TO LordDark FROM Fire_Bird: I need to check to see how Zethro’s doing.
    >FROM LordDark TO Fire_Bird: Well, see ya later then.
    ***Fire_Bird has left the chat

    Pondering on the situation with chaos, I snapped the tablet PC shut with a snap and dropped it into my backpack. It was nearing evening by now, so Zethro should have had enough time to recover and I figured that they both him and Jehiel were probably hungry, plus it would be nice to talk with Zethro. Heh, talking to Pok&#233;mon, maybe chaos was right for once... Maybe I am going crazy...

    Before I could open the two Pok&#233;balls I noticed that Rayne was drawing again, something which she seemed to do a lot when we weren’t actually doing anything else. Shrugging I pushed the buttons on the Pok&#233;balls and they popped open, releasing Zethro and Jehiel on the grass in front of me.

    “Master! I am at your beck and call! I see there are two more enemies around; shall I eliminate them for you?” Jehiel excitedly asked as he looked around and noticed Zethro right next to us and Rayne across the fire. “Wait, these enemies are... This is the one you used to defeat me in battle and thus earn my trust of you, and that is the human who assisted you when I was on the verge of victory...”

    “I’m hungry... What’s this thing next to me babbling on about... Where’s my food... Why do I bother trying to talk to Shrike when he never responds...” Zethro mumbled, stumbling about like one tends to just after they’ve woken up. I noticed that the claw marks on his side were almost completely gone; just three faint scars that should be gone soon, unlike the one on his neck, were all that showed he had been injured on his side.

    “Jehiel; Zethro here, a Cyndaquil, is your partner so you better get along together; Rayne over there is my friend and also a partner of ours.” I explained to the confused Zigzagoon.

    “Ignore that last part about me being Shrike’s partner. We’re just traveling companions and nothing more.” Rayne interjected, never taking her eyes off her sketchbook.

    “Regardless, I only listen to my master’s orders. If he says you and this Zethro are a partner, I will do my best to serve you both, although I take orders only from the master, Shrike.” Jehiel firmly said, walking closer to me and laying down by my side, resting his head on his forepaws, his eyes alert.

    “Rayne, you’re listening to me, right? Will you tell Shrike I’m hungry...” Zethro moaned, collapsing to the ground as his stomach growled.

    “No need for that anymore, I can understand you know.” I smiled. His ears perking up Zethro looked at me and jumped to his feet, running over to me and leaping into my lap.

    “You can? So you couldn’t even understand me before? Well, that explains why you’ve never directly answered me...” Zethro squeaked happily, rubbing against my chest.

    “Yeah, don’t worry, I won’t ignore you ever again. Here, let me get you and Jehiel; he’s that Zigzagoon we battled against, in case you don’t remember; something to eat.” I said, rummaging through my backpack until my hand closed on two not-quite circular objects; two of my dwindling supply of apples I had picked up for Zethro since he seemed to like them so much. I gave one of them to Zethro who set about happily eating it, and placed the other in front of Jehiel for him to eat.

    “What is this? Is this a fruit? I absolutely abhor fruit.” Jehiel snorted as he swatted the apple away with a paw.

    “I thought Zigzagoon’s only ate fruit, though?” I frowned as I picked the apple back up, not wanting it to go to waste.

    “’Zigzagoon.’ What is that? If it is a second name for me then you are poorly misinformed; I will only eat meat. Preferably raw and fresh.” Jehiel said, grimacing as his stomach growled. “I request permission to go and find food before I starve.”

    “’Zigzagoon’ is the name of your species; ‘Jehiel’ is your own individual name while anything that looks like you is called a Zigzagoon.” I explained to Jehiel. “I don’t know why you don’t like fruit and instead eat meat, as that is very unusual for Zigzagoons, but I can’t let you go out and hunt on your own. Despite what you may think there’s no way you can take on anything that is much bigger then you so there is no way I’d let you go into to much danger; you’ll just have to get used to the taste of fruit.”

    “Here, catch.” Rayne said, suddenly throwing one of those cans of meat she fed Matariel at me. Fumbling I caught it and shrugged.

    “Or we can feed you Matariel’s food since she doesn’t eat it anyways, I suppose.” I grabbed the tab on top of the can and pulled it back, placing the opened can of Tauros meat on the ground in front of Jehiel. He hesitantly sniffed it and took a small bite.

    “It’s better then fruit. Although I question your decision to forbid me from hunting, just as I do your ban on killing, yet I can not go against the master’s orders.” Jehiel said before going back to eating.

    Relieved that I had sorted that out I looked down at my two Pok&#233;mon who were ravenously eating their food. Now that I could understand what they were saying I felt a farther fondness for them then I had before. Before I had got the Pok&#233;com, what chaos had said could have been true; for all I knew Rayne might have been making her special ability up and the Pok&#233;mon really did have no souls or emotions. But now that I could actually converse with them, they seemed much more individual, much more real. I smiled and looked up at the sky, thanking Zack in my head for the Pok&#233;com and the friendship, if an awkward one at that, I had developed with him.

    “You guys better be ready. We’re leaving for Petalburg tomorrow morning and we should reach the city in just a few hours after that. I am sure there will be other trainers there we can find to battle.” I told Zethro and Jehiel who both grunted in acknowledgement as they ate.

    A young boy’s Pokémon journey, kick started by an unforeseen series of events...
    A corrupt organization of scientists with an unseen goal...
    A fanatical cult striving for a new world...
    An ancient power at the center of it all...

    Banner made by Tezza

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