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Thread: Galactic: Reflections by the Lakefront

  1. #46
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    Default Re: Galactic: Dusk (Part One) Prt 3

    Only one thought crossed Sahara’s mind: she could barely breathe.

    It had taken a while for her to wake: Sahara’s vision was blurry and the dark chamber wasn’t helping with her trying to distinguish between which figure was which. Her hearing was a bit off as well: it sounded like the voices were coming from a faulty megaphone, being heavily distorted and twisted as they reached her ears.

    Than, as Sahara came round, she began to feel the pain: her back felt scratched and bruised whilst her head was throbbing madly, feeling like a party was going on inside. Sahara tried to stand, but it didn’t take long for her to realise something was around her body. Looking down, her vision coming clearer like fog leaving a certain area, Sahara realised something thick, black and made of leather was tying her arms and legs tightly around her body. Her elbows were being jabbed into her own ribs, and Sahara found herself already struggling to breathe properly.

    “Well, well, well, look who decided to wake up!” A drawling voice sneered from nearby. Sahara looked around, but the simple action caused more throbbing in her head and her yes to blur. There was malicious laughter that rang in her ears, and Sahara wished she could just lie down and go back to sleep. But suddenly a face appeared right in front of hers: Draco was smiling at her, his lips twisted in a wicked smile t rival that of a Gengar’s.

    “What d-do you w-want?” Sahara slurred sleepily. Draco’s grin just got bigger and he raised his arm, showing the machine he had on his wrist.

    “Keep your mouth shut, unless you want to find some more energy fired your way!” He hissed, keeping his malicious smile. Sahara nodded weakly, and Draco nodded back in happiness. Suddenly, there was a high pitched squeal that came from behind him, and there was no denying Sahara who it was coming from.

    “Nutty… where is she!” Sahara snapped, and the same laugh sounded again: Draco grabbed her head and stepped aside, turning her head as he moved. Mars was standing a few feet away, clutching Nutty tightly in her arms with rubber gloves. The Pachirisu was squealing and trying to escape, but Mars had her clutched by the neck like some diseased rodent. Behind her, there came a low roar from what Sahara had first thought was rocks. On second look, she realised it was Smash, being pinned down to the floor by Mars’ Tentacruel, his numerous tentacles torturing the poor rock snake.

    “Let my Pokemon go, they’ve done nothing wrong!” Sahara protested, but all she got was a hard slap from Draco, who then pointed his device into her face once again.

    “What did I just say!” He bellowed, spraying her reddening face with spit. “They may have not done anything wrong, but they are guilty by association to you! For weeks I’ve been tempted to go into our Pokemon Cages and decapitate your precious Electivire, but as he is the only thing Ursilla managed to steal from you scum, I figured I would keep it in her honour. But that won’t prevent us from killing the other vermin you have!” Sahara begin to whimper as Draco finished his rant: she was in pain all over her body, she was being forced to watch her Pokemon getting tortured, and Draco had now opened up her old wounds over Virus. Mars gave another one of her wicked laughs and clutched Nutty harder.

    “Look at the poor little baby, she’s going to cry!” She sneered, and gave a high pitched cackle.

    “Pachirisu Pachi Pach!” Nutty wailed, trying to free herself for Mars grip. The admin continued to laugh shrilly as she pulled what something silver out of her pocket: Sahara gasped as Mars held the knife up to Nutty’s face.

    “Calm down little critter, you wouldn’t want to hurt yourself, now would you?” Mars whispered softly into Nutty’s ear, the Pachirisu coming to an uneasy halt as she looked at the blade in front of her neck. Mars laughed loudly again, and Sahara couldn’t hold back anymore: tears began to stream down her face, the image of her precious Pokemon being tortured this way absolutely terrifying. She was so close to them, so near her friends, but there was nothing she could do about it. Sahara felt absolutely awful she had let this happen: she shouldn’t have wound them up, she should have just dealt with them when she had the chance. Deep, wicked laughter echoed inside the chamber: Sahara looked angrily upwards, the tears now falling off her chin, as Draco’s foul laugh rang in her ears.

    “Now you know how I felt when I lost my mentor, my oldest friend, my closest accomplice!” Draco said viciously, a proud smirk on her face. “Imagine how proud she would have been of me if she knew I was the one to kill one of the Dex Holders!” Draco pressed a button on his wrist contraption, causing a metal panel to slide open slightly. Sahara could only describe the following sound as sounding like “shink”, and she watched as what looked almost exactly like Vanessa’s sword rose out from the device. The only major difference, asides from not being attached to an umbrella, was that the sword was glowing red: it look evil and demonic, like a fiery dagger that was about to be thrust into her heart.

    “You killed Ursilla, so it is only fitting I kill you!” Draco snarled. Nutty froze completely, staring towards Sahara with her own teary eyes. Smash stopped trying to fight Tentacruel, and simply watched Sahara with a look that Sahara was sure was mimicking her own: regret, worry, sadness at not being able to do anything. Mars’ eyes were wide and beady, staring at the eventual murder with twisted glee.

    “Fine…” Sahara mumbled, her tears streaming faster than ever. “Just do it, get it over with!” Draco nodded, his face now emotionless, his mind blank as he raised his wrist, the glowing sword now like the flaming sun above them, casting red light onto Sahara’s tear-covered face. She was finally going to die: after weeks… months… years of hardship and managing to survive her personalities, she was finally going to die….

    Yet, as Draco began to swing his arm, and Nutty and Smash shouted out in horror, Sahara seized up: her back felt like it was burning… pain she had never felt before…. it felt almost like a supercharged electric shock…

    “Balls.” Sahara hissed before her vision turned pink and she slipped back into unconsciousness.

    Matthew shielded his eyes as yet another explosion lit up their chamber once again.

    For the past several minutes, Matthew and his Pokemon had been duelling furiously with Saturn and Jupiter, trying hard to defeat Toxicroak and Skuntank. The battle was the only thing stopping the two Team Galactic admins from getting to Matthew, who was standing nervously close to the water’s edge. Saturn and Jupiter planned to move once Matthew’s defence was down, but the coordinator and his Pokemon were not budging: Piplup led Beautifly and Misdreavus in a barrage of powerful attacks, unleashing numerous BubbleBeam, Hidden Power and Psywave attacks. Matthew was making a grand effort, managing to hold the two Pokemon and their trainers at bay. The latest explosion came from Water Pulse and Misdreavus’ Shock Wave colliding with Toxicroak’s Gunk Shot: a bright purple-yellow light lit up the entire area, and a force of energy nearly blasted them backwards.

    “Come on, avoid their attacks and actually try and hit them!” Saturn shouted angrily. Toxicroak had been pushed to the ground by the explosion, and Misdreavus had gone spiralling away into the sky. Beautifly was battling with Skuntank nearby, her String Shot managing to keep the Dark-Poison Pokemon at bay. Matthew blinked several times following the bright light, trying to see properly again, and was surprised to see Piplup by his side, panting a bit and looking very tired.

    “Piplup, are you alright?” Matthew asked. Despite looking tired, Piplup stood up straight and nodded proudly, looking ready to go charging in with another attack. However, Matthew knew that his Pokemon weren’t coping very well: it was taking all their willpower to take on these more experienced, tougher opponents, and he was proud enough of them at the moment.

    “Ready to give up yet?” Jupiter snarled, reading the worried emotion forming on Matthew’s face. The coordinator looked up and shook his head, refusing to back down.

    “I’ve come this far, and you two on nearly on your knees anyway!” He shouted back. The two admins exchanged smirks as Toxicroak dodged a Psywave and Skuntank’s Sludge Bomb nearly knocked Beautifly into the water.

    “You are weak, inexperienced and pathetic!” Saturn snarled viciously. “What does some measly newbie coordinator have against us?” Matthew was trying hard not to look enraged, but his face suddenly lit up as Saturn’s insult washed over him. The Hearthome Contest was in a few days and it was a double battle. He hadn’t had time lately to perfect his methods and combinations lately: was now a good time to give things a go?

    “We’ll just see about that!” Matthew boomed back to Saturn, and Piplup smiled broadly up at him, knowing he know had a plan. “Beautifly, soar into the sky and ready an Aerial Ace!”

    “Beautifly Beaut!” Beautifly called, and her large wings glowed white and grew bigger as she soared up into the sky, avoiding another Sludge Bomb Skuntank had tried to aim at her. Toxicroak was looking a bit nervous now, and Saturn and Jupiter were wondering what was going to happen.

    “Now Misdreavus and Piplup: use Psywave on Beautifly’s wings and BubbleBeam to surround her!” Matthew commanded next. Piplup nodded broadly and opened her mouth wide, powerful bubbles shooting out.

    “Mis Mis!” Misdreavus said in her devious voice, and rainbow-coloured spotlights shot out of her eyes, hitting Beautifly as she soared overhead. Her bug typing allowed Beautifly to resist the attack, and her wings suddenly grew even bigger, now the colour of the rainbow. Piplup’s BubbleBeam rose up and surrounded Beautifly like little blue moons around the planets. Saturn and Jupiter were definitely concerned now: what was he playing at?

    “Dive down towards Toxicroak, NOW!” Matthew shouted dramatically. Toxicroak barely had time to react as Beautifly dived down like a rainbow-shaped plane, moving at fantastic speeds. Saturn pulled out a PokeBall, ready to return his Pokemon, but he was too late: Matthew watched in glee whilst the admins looked shocked as Beautifly smashed into Toxicroak’s stomach, the psychic energy on her wings enough to blast him backwards.

    “Tooooox….” Toxicroak groaned as he whacked into the wall behind them, falling into a miserable, unconscious heap on the floor. Matthew and his Pokemon erupted into cheers as Beautifly fluttered back down, looking exceedingly pleased for herself.

    “I think we’ve upgraded from newbie to SUPREME POR COORDINATOR!” Matthew shouted, and his Pokemon chuckled in agreement. Jupiter looked gobsmacked as Saturn angrily brought Toxicroak back.

    “He managed to defeat one of our Pokemon…” Jupiter whispered. “The little punk managed to defeat one of our Pokemon!” She looked at Saturn, hoping for a reaction, but saw her fellow admin looking emotionless as he clutched Toxicroak’s ball in his hands. “Saturn, are you alright?” The admin slowly nodded, still looking blank faced, and Jupiter was unsure how to respond.

    “YOU DEFEATED ME POKEMON!” Saturn suddenly bellowed, stilling holding the PokeBall. Matthew and his Pokemon’s celebration ended as Saturn let out an angry roar and wheeled around to face Jupiter. She squealed as Saturn grabbed her axe, which she attached to her belt, and tore it from its hold. He then ran forwards, holding the axe high above his head and ready to swipe down.

    “AAAAAAHHHH!” Matthew screamed, and he clutched his three Pokemon tightly and crouched down, shutting his eyes as Saturn ran madly towards them.


    A gunshot echoed throughout the chamber, and Saturn cried out as blood spurted from his right arm. The axe clattered to the ground, followed closely by Saturn as he clutched his gushing arm in pain, blood gushing out. Whilst Jupiter screamed and she and Skuntank gathered around him, Matthew looked left, searching for the mysterious shooter. The blue light from the lake was enough to light up most of the chamber, but a powerful electric light was glowing the rest of the area. Several figures were being highlighted, and Matthew knew everyone of them.

    “Looker!” He gasped, and the spy came him a brisk wave as he ran backwards, his Jolteon dancing in front of him, firing numerous Electric attacks. In front of him was a Leafeon, who had a ball of light poised between her head leaves, and behind her was Minerva, the Team Galactic receptionist who had attacked them the other day.

    “Doing fine Matthew? I thought you died.” Looker asked as he rushed backwards, watching seriously as Jolteon fired a powerful Thunderbolt: Leafeon cried out in pain, but managed to survive long enough to throw the ball of light upwards. Everyone was nearly blinded as the Sunny Day sent orange light everywhere, allowing them all to finally see each other clearly.

    “Lots of people seem to be thinking that…” Matthew mumbled as he covered his eyes, the Sunny Day extremely blinding. “Why are you two fighting?”

    “Can’t answer that now sorry, I’ve got to win this one!” Looker shouted as he rushed towards the other end of the chamber. His Jolteon was cackling with energy, ready to fire more attacks. Minerva and her Leafeon rushed forwards, giving brief glances at the bleeding Saturn, before reaching a clearer area to the side of them.

    “I’m sorry Minerva, but I don’t think you are going to defeat me. Why not just give up now and head home to Cyrus?” Looker taunted from across the chamber, giving Minerva an all-knowing look. But the receptionist just stood her ground and glared seriously back at him.

    “I think I can handle myself for a few more turns, thank you very much.” She retorted, and than looked down at Leafeon. Her key Pokemon nodded, and Minerva smiled broadly. “SOLARBEAM!” She shouted, and Leafeon instantly absorbed in sunlight, forming a growing ball of green energy in her mouth. Looker and Jolteon looked shocked and had to instantly respond if they wanted to win.

    “THUNDER, NOOOOW!” Looker screamed. Matthew’s eyes bulged as the two powerful attacks were fired: a beam of fiery yet grass energy, heading straight towards a huge bolt of electricity. He was so captivated by the glowing attacks that he didn’t think straight, failing to notice the two were very close to colliding.

    “PIPLUUUUP!” Piplup wailed suddenly, and she pushed Matthew, who was still holding Misdreavus and Beautifly, backwards, just as the two attacks colliding. There was an explosion of bright light and a powerful wave of energy that swept across the cave. Skuntank and Jupiter were tossed backwards by the sheer force of it, and the rocky cliffs and stalagmites were shattered by the energy released from the Solarbeam. Matthew held his Pokemon tightly and shut his eyes, but the light was still burning through his eyelids. The lake next to them began splashing and crashing up against the rocks, disturbed by the energy striking it.

    After a few moments, Matthew released he could only see black now: both the energy and the Sunny Day had disappeared. He cautiously opened his eyes, and sure indeed that only the shaky blue light was glowing the chamber now. Matthew slowly sat up, still holding his Pokemon, and realised instantly that Looker and Minerva had left: only a jagged crater remained from where the two attacks had collided. Saturn lay groaning besides them, his left hand covered in a red glove of blood as he clutched his bullet wound.

    “Are you guys alright?” Matthew whispered to his Pokemon as he stood up. They all nodded their heads, and Matthew smiled lightly as he began to move past Saturn, who muttered nonsense curses at him, and rushed towards the staircase. Matthew didn’t care what happened here, he just wanted to get out of this mountain.

    You have disrupted my sleep…

    Matthew came to a sudden stop. A deep, booming voice had just sounded, but he had no idea where it had come from. Piplup, Beautifly and Misdreavus looked very nervous as well, and Jupiter and Skuntank were beginning to stir as the voice sounded.

    You must pay the price...

    Matthew turned around, trying to be as silent as possible as he searched for a source of the voice. The water in the lake was continuing the splash, but instead of dying down it appeared to be splashing more furiously. The mist hanging above the other end was beginning to glow an eerie pink, the mystery of it sending a shiver down Matthew’s spine.

    “This can’t be good…” He whispered to his Pokemon nervously. His voice echoed around the cave, and an angry roar rose up from the mist. Jupiter clung to Skuntank and fright, and all three people and their Pokemon stared towards the mist, wondering what was happening.

    Suddenly, there was a flash of pink light that nearly blinded them all. The mist was blasted away and the large wave of water washed up onto the ground, pushing Saturn backwards. The lake was now glowing pink, the water Pokemon lying beneath the surface rushing to the sides for protection. Wind seemed to be coming from where the mist had been, and Matthew, Saturn and Jupiter were all dumbfounded as a figure rose up into the sky.

    The creature was clearly a Pokemon: it was too large and too oddly shaped to be another humanoid. However, it did have similar aspects to humans: it seemed to be standing upright on its legs, with two larges arms, an extremely long neck and a rounded head on top. The Pokemon had a long tail, sharp claws, circular shoulders and his veins appeared to be sticking out of his body. Matthew was scared beyond belief, asides from the fact the Pokemon was scary looking.

    Palkia, the Master of Space, was floating in front of them.

    Saturn and Jupiter appeared to be in awe: Saturn even forgot about his wound as he stared, bright faced, up at Palkia, as if expecting some grand miracle to happen. But Palkia didn’t look very pleased as he glared viciously at them, flexing his muscles angrily.

    You disturbed me as I slept... He growled around them. You attacked me with a Grass and Electric attack… I don’t appreciate being attacked when I’m not able to fight back. Matthew was beginning to shake, and his Pokemon weren’t very happy either: Palkia didn’t look happy, and he seemed ready for revenge.

    It seems I’ll have to find a new place to sleep… Palkia said and he waved his right arm. The wall next to him appeared to turn into pink jelly, wobbling about as if it was natural. However, don’t think your getting off that easily… Matthew’s jaw dropped as Palkia put his hands together, causing a pink ball to form. Palkia let out an ear shattering screech that shook the either mountain, and than he clapped his hands together. A wave of blinding pink energy fanned out, moving at a shocking pace. Matthew and his Pokemon didn’t even have time to scream before the wave suddenly hit them. The last thing Matthew saw or heard was the energy blinding him as it blasted him backwards, and Palkia’s triumphant roar as he got his revenge…

    Draco couldn’t do it.

    The young adult had done many things before in his life, including killing and brutally harming people that had wronged him. He had killed people his age, along with people older and younger. People feared him, including the grunts that Draco had free rein to torture and break down. Draco got a malicious pleasure out of killing and torturing, and he usually would use any opportunity to do so.

    However, there was something different about this situation.

    As Draco raised his arm, ready to swipe down and strike Sahara, he found himself freezing up. He had been waiting to do this for several weeks: he had to get revenge for Ursilla, he had to kill the person that had killed his mentor! But something was holding him back, something that was preventing him from striking down. Was it the fact that his vengeful quest was already over, or was it the fact that Sahara provided him a connection, an attachment towards Ursilla’s memory.

    You have to do this… Ursilla would have wanted you to do it… Draco thought. He owed it to Ursilla, the one that had saved him, to commit this act of murder. He stared down at the weeping Sahara, imagining she was begging him to stop, and began to swing his arm down.

    “Balls…” Sahara suddenly snapped, and she collapsed sideways onto the ground. Draco froze, his arm hovering a few feet above her neck. Sahara was shaking rather violently, unable to control her body movements. Draco felt another internal struggle forming as he watched her twitching, struggling to control herself.

    “What are you waiting for!” Mars screamed from nearby. “She’s weak and vulnerable, just kill her!” Draco’s arm began to shake: memories were moving through his mind, the image of Sahara shaking causing his body to shut down, his emotions to rise up. How could he do this to her, how could he kill her now…

    Suddenly, before Draco could comprehend what he was feeling, Sahara’s skin began to glow pink. Draco and Mars both looked shocked as the whip untangled itself and was sent flying towards the chamber entrance, and a wave of energy knocked them all over. Nutty fell out of Mars hand, the knife clattering away near Smash, and Tentacruel toppled over his many tentacles, laying in a jumbled up mess on the floor.

    “What’s going on, what is she doing?” Mars screamed, the bright pink light extremely strong. There was cold, malicious laughter from behind the light, causing everyone to seize up in fright. The strange light disappeared as suddenly it had arrived, revealing Sahara standing in front of them all.

    But she didn’t look like Sahara.

    The usual white and blue jacket had disappeared, being replaced by a long flowing dress. It was the same colour as the light, but the dress was see through, revealing Sahara’s bare midriff and very revealing pink underwear. Sahara was now covered in make up, making her look like a very slutty clown. But the strangest thing was the eyes: there were no pupils, and the white had turned into a jelly-looking pink, swirling around inside the eyes. Sahara laughed as Mars and Draco looked horrified, staring into those creepy eyes.

    “Sahara….?” Draco asked cautiously, and the girl just laughed.

    “Of course not silly, do you seriously think she could pull this outfit off?” She cackled. “It’s Crystal, of course, and I think that you two have been very naughty.”

  2. #47
    Moderator AceTrainer14's Avatar Forum Head
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    Default Re: Galactic: Dusk (Part One) Prt 4

    Crystal let out another malicious laugh, tipping her head backwards and laughing loudly to the roof. Mars scrambled forwards towards her knife, which was only a metre away. However, before she could even touch it, Crystal twisted her own left hand: Mars screamed as her left wrist snapped loudly, echoing inside the chamber.

    “I wouldn’t try and attack me if you want to live.” Crystal hissed, keeping her wide smile on her face. She clicked her fingers and Mars and Draco gasped as they began to float up, coming to a stop several feet above the ground. It appeared they were lying on invisible beds, but neither of them could move, forced still by Crystal’s strong powers.

    “Now, while I may not like Sahara very much, the conservative little tart that she is,” Crystal said, walking around her two captives. “I don’t appreciate it when people try and kill her. If she dies, I obviously die with her, I don’t want that to happen.” She paused as she walked past Draco, raising her hands to make his metallic wristband rise up as well. Draco looked petrified as Crystal clutched his arm, her glowing eyes staring at the machine.

    “Interesting little gadget, but very deadly in the wrong hands, wouldn’t you agree?” Crystal teased in a patronising voice. She laughed and clicked her fingers: Draco winced as the wristband was blasted apart, scraps of metal flying all over the chamber. A cut appeared on his wrist, but the blood became a pool in mid air as the telekinetic energy kept it afloat.

    “So, are you going to kill us, or will you torture us first?” Mars hissed, and Crystal looked down at her and winked.

    “Well, I just go with the flow, ya know.” She explained with a devious smile, and she waved her hands over their bodies. Pink energy suddenly engulfed the two, pressing down on their bodies. Mars and Draco gasped for breathe as Crystal clenched her fists, squeezing the two powerfully with her mind. Nutty and Smash watched in horror as Mars and Draco struggled to breathe, their bodies struggling as they were unable to fight back against the mental power. Tentacruel was covering in the corner, not wanting to strike back at the moment. Crystal laughed loudly and waved her hands again, causing the two to fall onto the ground. Mars and Draco breathed deeply, their bodies remaining stiff in fear as Crystal towered over them, cackling.

    “I feel violated… and not in the way I like…” Mars panted. Draco didn’t say a word, his mind and face blank, the image of Sahara twitching still stuck in his head. Crystal cackled loudly before she shut her eyes, giving a sigh of laughter. Pink light began to emit from the rocky corridor outside, causing Nutty and Smash to exchange nervous looks.

    “Alright, I know where to go.” Crystal boomed dramatically, and she rose her hands high into the sky. Her palms burst into blue light, and Mars and Draco both shut their eyes, waiting for the next attack to strike them. But they weren’t expecting what came next...: Water! Two columns of colourless water came out of her palms, covering the two Team Galactic members and wrapping them up like they were inside a very wet present.

    “Surely you worked out by now that Palkia’s presence activates my full potential,” Crystal explained. “and the mighty Space Master is part water.” She finished her story there as Mars and Draco were now firmly inside their very wet holds, squirming in discomfort, barely able to breath. Crystal waved her hands again, and the two water cocoons rose up in front of her.

    “Alright then, it’s time we go meet the rest of the team!” She called and clicked her fingers: Nutty and Tentacruel were suddenly lifted into the air, fighting against the strong mental hold, before being deposited onto Smash. The Onix let out a roar as he was heaved into the air, twisted up like a true snake. Sahara’s bag, the whip and the knife Mars had dropped began to float as well, nestled alongside as a guardian weapon. With one final evil smirk, the pink eyed Crystal headed out into the rest of Mt Coronet, her captives struggling behind her as they headed back towards the Route 207 entrance.

    Vanessa was losing all hope.

    It hadn’t taken long for Monferno and Luxio to be defeated. Honchkrow and Weavile flew and skidded past them, barely doing a thing as Monferno and Luxio struggled to survive. Whenever Monferno tried for an attack, he would glow yellow and seize, the paralysis taken its strong effect, while half of Luxio’s actions resulted into him running head first into a rock repeatedly. His continuous burn wasn’t helping, and Luxio only managed a Swift and a Thunder Fang on Honchkrow before the strong burn consumed his health, leaving Vanessa down with only three Pokemon.

    In order to counter, Vanessa swiftly sent out Staraptor, and a powerful Close Combat was enough to blast Weavile into the ground so hard she caused a crater. An angry Cyrus, who only had Honchkrow left, responded by having the Dark Flying type using Fly to defeat an immobile Monferno.

    “So Mr Bossman, it appears we are both down to our final Pokemon.” Vanessa said emotionlessly as her unconscious returned to his PokeBall. Cyrus simply nodded as Honchkrow hovered above his head, glaring viciously at a stern faced Staraptor. Charon was the only person still near them, tapping away at his machine. He looked fairly concerned, the readings appearing to not be what he expected.

    “Cyrus, you may want to look at these.” The scientist said, beginning to look a bit nervous.

    “I’m busy Charon, get a grunt to look at it!” Cyrus snapped, not taking his eyes off Vanessa for a second. Vanessa simply smirked as she replaced Monferno’s PokeBall for Murkrow’s Dusk Ball: Cyrus was now so focused on beating her, proving himself to be better than her, that he had forgotten about his own mission. Vanessa took a brief glance around the cave: the grunts were spread out, doing their usual job of trying to catch Pokemon to help the army grow.

    “Will you just let yourself be caught!” Addison snapped irritably at a Meditite. The Psychic-Fighting Pokemon was sitting very calmly on a rock at the bottom of the stairs, clearly meditating and not wishing to be disturbed. Vanessa chuckled as Addison’s Ledian failed to distract the Pokemon, and the two growled and huffed away.

    “Are you sending your next Pokemon out or not?” Cyrus snapped furiously, and Honchkrow let out a squawk to match her bosses rage. Vanessa just exchanged winks with Staraptor: the more irritated Cyrus was, the easier he’d be to defeat.

    “So sorry, I was just examining the train wreck of an organization your running.” Vanessa explained in a patronising tone. “Now, let’s see how the two head honcho’s can handle a crime lord in the making: Go Murkrow!” Purple-black energy erupted from the airborne Dusk Ball, swirling towards to form the equally dark feathered Murkrow.

    “Murkrow Murk Murk!” Murkrow called, flying above them all. Staraptor joined Cyrus in glaring as Murkrow fluttered noisily and irritatingly above them all. Vanessa hoped her gamble worked: Murkrow wasn’t well trained, but having a Pokemon so similar to Honchkrow may throw Cyrus off. He did pondered for several moments, wondering what exactly to do.

    “Night Slash on Staraptor.” He said at least, though the irritated sigh showed it wasn’t his first option.

    “Haze and Twister, go.” Vanessa said simply, leaving her cocky self aside for a moment as she got back into the battling zone. As Honchkrow dived forwards, Staraptor twirled and Murkrow flew around with her mouth wide open, Charon shook his head irritably and turned back towards his machine. The readings he was getting weren’t very good: a powerful force was in the area, and he didn’t like to think what could be causing it.

    Suddenly, soft voices sounded in the distance, accompanied by laughter and footsteps. Charon turned towards Cyrus, hoping for a response, but the white Haze was obscuring his boss from view, and Staraptor’s Twister casting dust into the air wasn’t exactly helping. The people were getting closer and closer, and Charon knew that he would have to act.

    Moving swiftly, Charon abandoned his machine, leaving it to collect data on its own, and pulled an Ultra Ball out of his coat pocket. Dim lights were coming from what seemed to be a small crowd, and a low growling was accompanying it. Charon came to a stop and gulped: he had an idea of who it might be, and couldn’t take a chance.

    “Bronzong use Psychic!” The aging scientist bellowed, throwing the Ultra Ball onto the dark ground. The yellow light illuminated the scene briefly: Bronzong rose up, looking extremely serious with its eyes glowing pink, and stared towards the dim outlines of human figures that Charon only saw briefly.

    “YOU FOOL!” A familiar angry voice snapped, and Charon froze once move: he definitely knew who it was now.

    “Sto-” He began to cry, but it was too late: Bronzong’s powerful Psychic was released, blasting multiple figures into the light coming from the entrance to Route 208. Jupiter, Roshonda, a heavily bleeding Saturn, Skuntank and Sharpedo smashed into the foot of raised section’s stairs, whilst Xavier, Carolina, Palmer, an unconscious Matthew and Charles and their Pokemon hit the others. Dragonite, Gyarados and Tauros let out roars as they became entangled in rocks, whilst Piplup, Elle, Gligar, Beautifly, Heracross, Drifloon and Misdreavus squirmed as Grotle and Lapras landed on top of them all.

    Oh calm down! Lapras growled as she slid off them, staring around as the other people in the area scrambled to their feet.

    “My apologises, I thought simply thought you were the Master of Space, please forgive me!” Charon said with a forced smile as Bronzong hovered to his side. Palmer and Carolina collectively glared at him, while Matthew and Charles slowly stirred from besides Xavier.

    “The Master of Space?” Jupiter hissed, her eyes wide with excitement and gleam. Roshonda had pulled a first aid kit out and began tending to Saturn’s wound, though she kept an ear out as Charon rushed towards Jupiter.

    “Yes my dear, my readings tell me that it has been here!” Charon said excitedly. “Its presence disturbed the Adamant Orb as it scanned for our glorious destination.”

    “We saw Palkia, we saw him with our own eyes!” Jupiter cried ecstatically, and Charon’s jaw nearly fell of his head. “We were battling Matthew when Looker and Minerva appeared, resulting in Saturn getting shot, but their attacks hit the lake and disrupted Palkia as he slept. He released a powerful blast of energy that hit Matthew the most as he had been standing, while me and Saturn were sitting. There was blinding light for a few moments, but when it was gone Palkia had left as well, we believe through a Space Portal he created.” Charon looked like Christmas had just come early, and he flung himself onto Jupiter, hugging her in delight. Cyrus’ head had turned when he heard Palkia’s name mentioned, his attention to the battle temporarily fading and allowing Staraptor to score a straight hit with Fly.

    “The Master of Space was here?” Cyrus boomed, his hard face breaking as his mouth twisted in a smile. He stared down at Charon and Jupiter, who were still hugging enthusiastically in delight, before glancing back at the battle. Cyrus couldn’t deny it anymore: he was going to lose. He had suffered enough humiliation when Charles had managed to defeat him, so how would the grunts respect him if he lost to someone outside of Team Galactic? His only way out was to find some other way of forfeit, and it seemed that opportunity had come.

    “Honchkrow, use Fly, I’m just going to see what’s going on!” Cyrus shouted, using the thin mist remaining from the Haze to cover his exit. Vanessa heard the order and a feeling of rage built up quickly: Cyrus was trying to get out of the battle, and she couldn’t allow that!

    “You two keep it up as well!” The redhead ordered and rushed over the edge, giving Charon’s machine a good kick as she pulled her umbrella out. Cyrus had already rushed down the stairs by the time she arrived, standing alongside Charon and Jupiter with a broad grin on his face. Roshonda had taken Saturn aside and was bandaging his arm up, whilst Xavier, Palmer and Carolina got to their feet, Ninetales alongside and growling at Skuntank.

    “Now, what exactly is going on here?” Vanessa hissed, her sword quickly activating. All eyes looked towards her, including Dragonite, Tauros and Gyarados as they blasted their rocks cleared. “If there was going to be a war, why wasn’t I invited?” Jupiter looked appalled as she stared at her cousin, and Cyrus froze as he realised Xavier and Matthew were there as well. Carolina and Palmer quickly moved in front of them, pulling out more PokeBalls and looking ready to protect them.

    “You all survived the explosion!” Jupiter hissed, unhitching her axe and cradling it, ready to attack her cousin.

    “What about Sahara, did she survive as well?” Cyrus asked softly, trying not to let the rage that was clear in his eyes take over. Charon gave an indignant cough and glared at his boss.

    “That’s what I was trying to say! The Adamant Orb is producing many odd readings that can’t possibly be related to Palkia: someone else must be manipulating space!” Charon explained. As he spoke, a soft giggle sounded, echoing around the chamber and sounding more malicious as it rang in their ears.

    “I know that laughter…” Xavier said, and everyone turned around, looking for the source of the noise, Matthew and Charles stirring behind them. Suddenly, the chamber began to glow pink as if a brilliant violet spotlight had been turned on. Every boulder, rock, Zubat, Geodude, discarded piece of rubbish was illuminated in pink light, brightest near the rocky entrance to the rest of the mountain. Staraptor, Murkrow and Honchkrow froze in their mid air battle, confused by the light surrounding them. Addison ran up alongside Vanessa, a panic stricken look on her face.

    “Charon, your machine is shaking out of control!” The grunt announced, taking a cautious sidestep to avoid Vanessa and her umbrella. Cyrus and Charon exchanged bulging eyed, dumbstruck, worried looks.

    “It must be…” Cyrus said, but trailed off as more laughter surrounded them. There was a splashing sound, and suddenly Mars and Draco were being blasted out of the entrance, glowing pink water propelling them forwards. The two landed, soaking wet and gasping for breath, at Cyrus’ feet, and the cold laughter came again, this time louder and deeper. Everyone turned as a figure appeared: Crystal was walking floating forwards, her strange pink eyes making several people gasp, and Smash hovering behind with all the supplies resting on him.

    “GOOD EVENING TO YOU ALL!” Crystal boomed dramatically, waving her hands and causing many rocks to rise into the air. Vanessa looked like she’d just been punched, Cyrus, Charon and Jupiter appeared to be wetting themselves, while Carolina clutched onto Xavier and Palmer in fright. “I’M SO HAPPY TO SEE SOME OF YOU HERE! TONIGHT, YOU’LL ALL PLAY APART OF HISTORY AS I DESTROYED THE ONES THAT HAVE CONSTANTLY TRIED TO KILL ME!” She continued in a rather peppy tone, and she swished her hands carelessly: the floating rocks were sent flying, hitting Dragonite, Tauros and Gyarados, managing to free them, and causing the trainers, admins and Pokemon to duck for cover.

    “We can’t let her stay in this form!” Charon shouted to his team. “We must stop her straight away before she gets out of control and does kill us all!” The other grunts were appearing as well, looking rather concerned as Crystal began to laugh manically, forcing Smash to glide along the rocks, letting out a low roar.

    “Don’t worry, I know exactly what to do!” Cyrus growled, pulling a gun out of his pocket along with a PokeBall. “Aim for her back first and than knock her out, we can’t kill her yet.” Jupiter nodded and leapt up wordlessly, getting her mind into battle mode.

    “Skuuuun!” Skuntank hissed, looking away from Ninetales and glaring towards Crystal, who was slowly marching forwards with a wide gleam.

    “GALACTIC, CHAAAAARGE!” Cyrus roared, and he charged forwards as he threw the PokeBall. The grunts all charged forwards as well, and Crystal came to a startled halt as all the people ran towards her. Skuntank was joined by Jupiter’s Cacturne and Haunter, and Mars got up as well, looking a terrible, soggy mess as she stared angrily towards Crystal. Roshonda abandoned Saturn, who was struggling to get up anyway, and joined Addison as she jumped down the bottom of the stairs. As Charon’s Bronzong, Roshonda’s Sharpedo and Addison’s Ledian passed by, the Diamonds and their Pokemon watched in shock at the speed of the army.

    “They are going to attack Sahara.” Xavier announced. “We can’t let them kill her. Razor Leaf, Blizzard, Ominous Wind and Vacuum Wave now!” Addison and Roshonda froze in shock as Xavier’s Pokemon nodded and acted quickly: Grotle’s Razor Leaf and Heracross blasted Sharpedo aside, Lapras’ Blizzard sent Ledian spiralling away and Bronzong found itself forced to the ground, trapped in the Ominous Wind from Drifloon.

    “How dare you attack us!” Roshonda shrieked angrily, rushing to check on Sharpedo.

    “You can’t attack Sahara, she cannot be blamed for Crystal’s actions,” Xavier replied, pushing through his parents and glancing over at the scene: Crystal was moving her hands widely, blasting rocks at the approaching grunts and their Pokemon.

    “We’re just following orders, you attacked us randomly!” Addison hissed back, picking Ledian up and cradling the ailing Pokemon. Palmer and Carolina were a bit unsure what to say, having had little dealings with Team Galactic and not possessing the same feelings.
    What are we doing about the others? Lapras asked, and she gestured with her flippers to her left: Charon was simply standing there, looking a bit puzzled, whilst Saturn rushed past, clutching his pained arm. Elle, Gligar, Tauros and Gyarados were surrounding Charles, who was beginning to twitch now and flutter his eyebrows.

    “Why aren’t you going after Crystal?” Roshonda hissed, glaring angrily at the scientist. Charon had been staring at the scene, his mind racing. He blinked and glanced over at Roshonda as she snapped at him, and than gulped and nodded.

    “Oh Roshonda, you spoiled what I was planning!” Charon chuckled nervously, and he threw an Ultra Ball into the sky. With a showering of stars around the energy, his shiny Magnezone appeared, the mountains magnetic fields causing it to rise up into the sky. “Magnet Bomb, now!”

    “Magne.” Magnezone said in his electronic voice, and a ball of metallic energy formed between his magnets, created by electrical currents. Carolina screamed and dived down as the Magnet Bomb was tossed, exploding between the Diamonds. As the energy washed over them, Charon rushed forwards. He quickly pulled something out from his coat pockets: a long, clear syringe. The scientist moved to the right, heading straight towards Matthew as he began to stir.

    “Pipluuup!” Piplup shouted, leaping forwards with a Brick Break at the ready. Charon simply sidestepped her and then jabbed down: the syringe went into a vein in Matthew’s wrist. Beautifly swooped down as Charon pressed down, releasing the contents into Matthew’s blood stream, but Magnezone’s Thunder Wave froze the bug type in her tracks. Xavier wheeled around as the Magnet Bomb explosion cleared, just in time for Charon to smile and wave at him before running off.

    “What did you do?” Xavier asked, staring down at Matthew. Vanessa, having returned her Pokemon, rushed down the staircase and pushed past Addison and Roshonda, who were tending to their own Pokemon.

    “What’s happened?” Vanessa asked, taking a brief glance towards Crystal’s mayhem. She and Xavier stared down at Matthew, who suddenly gave a twitch. He gave another violent twitch, and suddenly Matthew’s limbs were twitching madly. A small trickle of blood came out of his nose, and Piplup, Beautifly and Misdreavus watched on in shock as Matthew seemed to have a seizure.

    “Charon injected him with something, I don’t know what though.” Xavier replied, watching Matthew with a quizzical look. Vanessa stared at Matthew in horror, and then looked up, spotting Charon jogging in an unfit manner just passed Palmer.

    “What did you do?” Vanessa shouted at him, and she ran past the twitching Matthew was her umbrella held high. Charon gasped and tried running faster, not wanting to end up on the end of the point. But even in high heels Vanessa could move quickly, and soon she was close enough to jump: the redhead leapt into the air, her umbrella raised and ready to slash. However, something grabbed her ankle after two seconds: Vanessa cried out as she crashed painfully to the floor, her umbrella only just slitting across Charon’s leg. As the scientist moaned and collapsed onto a rock, Vanessa looked down her body to see who had grabbed her.

    “Hello Vanessa.” Draco growled, his long wet hair covering almost half his face. “It’s a good thing I have two Ghosts to phase me out of rocks, otherwise I might not have been able to get my revenge.”

    “Oh, I’d like to see you try!” Vanessa hissed, and she kicked out with her other foot. Her heel smashed Draco in the face, making him let go, and the two leapt up, ready for a hand on hand combat. Ignoring a grunt with Mars’ knife between his eyes soaring past them, the two began punching and kicking each other, the umbrella being left by Vanessa’s fallen bag.

    “Such violence!” Carolina gasped, watching in horror as Crystal angrily fought Team Galactic away from her back, dodging Pokemon attacks and flying bullets. But Xavier and Palmer were more focused on Matthew: he had stopped twitching, his limbs managing to have hit Charles, but blood was still coming from his nose. Xavier was looking rather pained: he had no idea how to react to this situation. His Pokemon were comforting Matthew’s Pokemon, who were all looking rather shocked.

    “There is a healer at the bottom of Route 208, very close to Hearthome City.” Palmer said, giving his son a sympathetic hug. “Take Matthew there, we can hold Team Galactic off.”

    “Yes Xavier, take him quickly!” Carolina agreed, looking gravely down at her best friends child. Xavier nodded wordlessly, and he picked Matthew’s unconscious body up and placed him onto Lapras.

    Alrighty then I guess… The water type sighed, and Xavier and the Pokemon all climbed onto her back as well, making sure Matthew was in a safe position and wouldn’t injure himself if he had another seizure.

    “Good luck.” Xavier said to his parents, and Carolina gave him a quick hug in farewell. Lapras used her flippers to move forwards, making Charles’ Pokemon part and whacking the grunt at the same time, before passing Vanessa and Draco and heading outside of the cave.

    “Alrighty then, let’s fufill that promise by eliminating these two first!” Palmer called with a wide beam. Addison and Roshonda looked up, shocked, having been too focused on their Pokemon to notice or care.

    “I’m with you on that!” Carolina said with a smile, and she clutched her husband’s hand. Dragonite and Ninetales moved forwards, ready for a long battle, and wordlessly initated Brick Break and Flamethrower towards the Pokemon. As the attacks hit, a soft moan temporarily distracted the husband and wife, but heavily excited Elle and Gligar.

    “Owwww…. My head….” Charles moaned, finally getting up after lying on the floor for nearly five minutes. He got up too quickly, causing a sharp pain in his head, but Charles had to find out what was going on: all he could remember was Roshonda wanting to kill the Diamonds.

    “Eva Eve Eevee!” Elle shrieked, running around and gesturing down the cave. Gligar, Tauros and Gyarados were all pointing there as well, and Charles was already confused before he had even stood up.

    “What are you lot on about?” Charles grumbled, but than froze as he stared at the scene before him: Palmer and Carolina barking orders as Ninetales and Dragonite destroyed Ledian and Sharpedo, Draco and Vanessa brutally punching each other as Charon bled besides them. And than there was Crystal: Charles nearly skipped a beat as he stared towards the scene. He didn’t care that Cyrus was commanding about two dozen Pokemon to attack her, he didn’t register as Mars aimed a kick at Nutty in order to grab her whip, nor did he give a damn that a grunt had their head enclosed inside a ball of water. All Charles cared about right now was that Sahara was alive: she may be possessed by Crystal right not, but Sahara was alive…

    “Come on, we have to get down there!” Charles bellowed, forgetting about his headache and the fact he had just been unconscious. He began running, Elle and Tauros thundering alongside and Gligar and Gyarados soaring overhead. They raced past Roshonda and Addison, ignoring their shouts, dodged Draco and Vanessa as they exchanged insults and fists, and rushed towards the scene of the battle. Cyrus, the other admins and around twenty remaining grunts were battling, with over one hundred Pokemon joining in as well. Crystal was struggling as bullets, axes, body parts and various Pokemon attacks came towards her, somehow shooting jets of water and creating telekinetic barriers to save herself.

    “We need to knock her out, not kill her, so let’s try and be gentle!” Charles shouted so Gyarados and Gligar could hear over the noise. Cyrus turned his head and nodded at Charles, but Crystal noticed Cyrus turned and followed his eyesight.

    “YOU!” Crystal suddenly boomed, the sound cutting through them like a knife. Charles looked shocked and stared at Crystal, trying not to cringe at her awful eyes. “YOU!” She shouted again, pointing a finger at him that managed to part the crowd. Water from the small pools around the chamber began to shake wildly as if caught in a storm, and many small objects began to rise slowly into the sky.

    “What’s going on…” Charles mumbled, taking a cautious step backwards. Crystal was breathing furiously and deeply, her skin glowing as pink as the light surrounding them all.

    “YOU… YOU… YOU…” Crystal repeatedly angrily as her skin began to glow. Charles turned to run, not sure what was going on, and wasn’t surprised that Cyrus was gesturing for them all to move back. However, it was too little too late: Crystal let out a cry like a banshee as her body was consumed by light, and there was a sound similar to a bomb going off. A powerful telekinetic wave was released from her body, blasting several grunts to pieces and sending everyone else flying. Charles tried to run, desperate to get out of the wave, but he knew it was pointless. He turned around as the wave sent Smash spiralling through the air and destroyed several rocks, and than the clear pink light came right up to his face before he could even register it.

    And than all he could see was black.

    I hope you all enjoyed Dusk Part One! Look out for Dawn Part Two during March, and feel free to leave comments

  3. #48
    ◓Gypsy Vanner Horse Kyuuketsuki's Avatar
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    Default Re: Galactic: Dusk (Part One) Prt 5

    This review is for Ilex Forest all the way to The Gateway to the League.

    First of all, wow! I'm not going to lie and say I didn't underestimate this story. It had a slow start, but really picked up! The shift in character groups and interactions with the different personalities are amazing!

    Charles is by far my favourite. I don't know why, but he seems to be the most interesting of the main five. I do find it quite odd how he blends into every situation and goes with the flow, but I guess it just adds to his character.

    Matthew seems to be the normal neutral character, and I don't find him that interesting to begin with, but Xavier is a different matter. His character, to me, is very annoying. And I don't mean the style of writing, I mean the character. So far I dislike him the most.

    Vanessa is just an amazing character, although she does take the generic route sometimes. But overall, her moments are great, and her exposure in the story is balanced enough so that the reader knows her and still have room to guess about her character and who she really is.

    Sahara had a complete plot twist in the last chapter, and that made me glad that I waited until after The Gateway to the League to review. I thought the pills were for some sort of energy-draining disease, but that was very unexpected! Her only negative part is how she deals with her mother; their interactions seem forced and weird at some points.

    The other original character are great as well, and the canon ones are very interesting in the light of this story, especially Cyrus.

    And the mixture of trying to collect Badges and dealing with Team Galactic is just very dynamic and entertaining. And the way they are being portrayed as a real criminal organisation is great as well, but it seems a little weird at points.

    I'll just have to read more to see how it pans out...

  4. #49
    Moderator AceTrainer14's Avatar Forum Head
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    Default Re: Galactic: Dusk (Part One) Prt 5

    Thanks for the feedback Kyuu! I was meaning to reply to this ages ago, but it seems I just forgot :P

    Interesting to see Charles is your favourite. I have nothing against Charles, but he does annoy me a little bit at times :P And yes, he is a very adaptable person, but he is adapting for a reason.

    Matthew is meant to be the more sane of them all, having the biggest conscience and being more nervous about all that they do.

    Xavier.... I think I've written his no emotions in a bad way. I think these chapters weren't the best for Xavier, but I do prefer his development in the later chapters when we see his loyalty to his Pokemon growing.

    Vanessa is my favourite character I've ever written about, so I'm glad she is liked. She has the biggest secrets, and we'll see more of them later ;)

    Sahara and Deidre have a difficult relationship, yes. It's very love-hate, but that gets explained later. And yes, that plot twist is just the beginning in a long line of storylines for our Sahara ;)

    And thanks for the other feedback! Which parts of Team Galactic is weird? And the series is more about Galactic than it is about the badges: that is just the mild incentive at the beginning, but the quest to defeat Galactic becomes their main priority in the end.

  5. #50
    Moderator AceTrainer14's Avatar Forum Head
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    Default Re: Galactic: Dusk (Part One) Prt 5

    Hey all :) The Dusk to Dawn Two Part story is now going to be concluded, with Part One of Dawn, Part Two :) I hope you all enjoy!

    Dawn, Part Two

    Charles awoke suddenly.

    It took a few moments for him to gather himself. He had no idea why he was lying on the floor, but Charles knew that he was in a cave, judging by the hard floor, the dust and dirt around him and the very dim light. Shouts, cries and roars echoed endlessly around him, mixed up with the occasional sound of gunfire, exploding or rumbling of the walls around them. Charles tried to think back to why he was lying on the floor, feeling severe pain in his back and chest.

    You… you… you… you…

    The same word was swimming around in his mind, and Charles gasped as he recognised it. Suddenly, it all came flooding back to him: arriving at Mt Coronet, battling the Diamond family, seeing Sahara, and than bright pink light…

    “Sahara!” Charles whispered, and he suddenly felt a rush of energy: he had to get back to Sahara and stop her. She was back into one of her other forms… Crystal, was it? It didn’t matter now. Charles just needed to find a way to stop this. He managed to push his arms against the ground, allowing him to slowly and painfully get himself up off the ground, allowing him to review the shocking scene before him.

    The telekinetic shock wave had definitely caused some damage. The ground was severely cracked, stopping only ten metres in front of Charles. Many stalagmites and stalactites had been destroyed, and boulders had been blasted into tiny pieces. Galactic grunts were scattered around the chamber like the toys of a messy toddler, many unconscious, many injured, and many dead.

    Charles tried to look for some familiar faces, and saw that they were all spread out around as well. Roshonda and Addison were lying on the badly cracked stone staircase leading to a raised section, Sharpedo and Ledian lying alongside. Opposite was Palmer and Lady Carolina, stirring as his Dragonite pulled some rocks off of her Ninetales. More familiar grunts were lying under rocks or each other, the majority of them still alive, having not been close enough to Crystal to get struck. Saturn was groaning near the cave entrance, clutching a bleeding arm, while Mars helped Jupiter to her feet a little way away.

    “Christ…” Charles mumbled as he stared at the damage. There was no sign of Crystal anywhere, but the minimal moonlight coming in from the outside world wasn’t enough to lit the other end of the cave. Crystal was most likely hidden away in the shadows, recharging after what would have been a huge power drain. Charles stood where he was, staring towards the eerie black darkness that loomed in front of him. He wanted to know Sahara was safe, speak to her after nearly losing her again….

    “Eeee…. Veeee….” A soft voice croaked behind Charles, and he leapt around at the sound: Elle was lying a few metres away, some sharp rocks lying painfully on top of her.

    “Elle!” Charles cried, and all thoughts of Sahara left his mind. He rushed forwards and quickly pushed the rocks off, looking around for his other Pokemon. Gyarados was nearby, coiled up and glaring around at the surroundings with a more grouchy expression than normal, while Tauros lay slumped against a half-shattered boulder, clearly sleeping or unconscious. Gligar was draped with his eyes open on top of a pile of sharp rocks, looking fairly tired.

    “Don’t worry, we’ll be alright!” Charles said reassuringly and scooped Elle into his arms. Her brown and white fur was dirty and had flecks of blood on it, but Elle merely grizzled like an angry baby and looked up at Charles with sad, fearful eyes.

    “Eevee Vee Eva,” She whimpered, and Charles stroked her softly. He desperately wanted to retrieve his Pokemon right now and leave, but there was no chance that he would leave without knowing Sahara’s fate. Once again Charles stared into the darkness, hoping she would rise out of it, back to normal, and be able to escape without harm. Several figures stirred nearby, causing Charles to jump slightly, but on closer inspection he could see who they were: Cyrus and Draco, talking in low voices as they got to their feet. Seeing them caused the thought of Sahara escaping to quickly be deflated from Charles’ mind: there was no way she would escape safely with all these people ready and willing to murder her.

    “Gligar Gar Gar,” Gligar leapt up suddenly, eyes wide with shock and annoying Gyarados, causing the moody Pokemon to grunt in annoyance. Gligar suddenly began darting around, knocking rocks away and frantically swiping at the ground.

    “Gligar, calm down!” Charles hissed. “You’ll disturb everyone!” But Gligar ignored him, and continued to sweep around the floor, sending rocks flying all over the place.

    “Charles, is that you?” Cyrus’ voice, sounding much softer and calmer than normal, cut through the silence Gligar had begun disturbing, and Charles quickly whipped around, still holding Elle in his hands. He was surprised to hear Cyrus talking so kindly, but he figured the head admin was just worried about the situation in general.

    “Yes sir,” he replied quickly, and moved forwards, making sure to bring Tauros back inside his Safari Ball for the time being. Cyrus and Draco were both standing in the light of the cave mouth, and neither had escaped from Crystal’s shockwave unscathed: both of their clothes had been lightly torn, whilst Cyrus had a cut above his right eye and Draco looked like he had been in a fight.

    “I can’t believe that fucking bitch did this to me!” The grunt trainer snapped, and Charles followed his angry scowl down to the ground: Vanessa was lying slumped against a rock, blood seeping down from her forehead. Charles was surprised to see her like this. Vanessa had always come across as very powerful and dominant, and it wasn’t good news for the others for her to be in this state.

    “I don’t give a crap about that little tart right now!” Cyrus hissed at Draco. “Charon’s machine is destroyed and we need to contact our back up crew on the ship. Draco, you head back there and send them over here, along with any weapons you think would work. Take Charon with you: he needs to recover and work on getting things fixed,” and Charles once again looked at the ground and saw the Galactic scientist sprawled across the floor, mumbling in his unconscious state. Again, Charles was surprised to see the powerful figure in Team Galactic lying here like a big toddler, gurgling sounds mixing in with the mumbling.

    “Alright, but can I take her back as well?” Draco asked excitedly, taking an unsubtle step towards Vanessa. Cyrus looked down at the red headed girl and nodded wearily, even kicking her umbrella towards him. Draco beamed in a malicious manner and quickly grabbed the umbrella, which was still in perfect condition unlike the contraption on Draco’s arm (the casing was badly smashed and seemed to be fizzing), and than bent down and scooped Vanessa up. Charles watched as Draco kicked a clearly bleeding grunt and gestured at Charon, before marching up the broken staircase with Vanessa drooped pathetically over his shoulders. It was still a shock to see her defeated, and Charles couldn’t help but wonder what would happen to her back on the airship…

    “Charles, focus!” Cyrus was back to his normal self as he snapped at Charles, and he managed to turn away from Vanessa and back at Cyrus. Mars was walking slowly over, a bruise and a few small cuts on her face, whilst Jupiter helped the bleeding Saturn up.

    “Alright, we need to work quickly in order to sort this mission out and evacuate properly!” Cyrus said quickly but in hushed tones, causing Mars to rush over in order to hear. “Xavier and Matthew had disappeared, Vanessa is in our captivity, so our only remaining issues are Crystal and the Diamond couple over there,” and Charles and Mars looked over at Palmer and Carolina, who had awoken and were checking the other was alright. “Roshonda and Addison can deal with them, and if they get defeated I’ll tend to them personally. But right now the rest of us need to focus all our attention back on Crystal!”

    “Do we have too?” Mars moaned, and Cyrus glared angrily at her. “I’m angry that little bitch tortured me and poor Draco, but I don’t want to have to keep battling her: she’s just a psycho little Carrie junior and I don’t want to get killed!”

    “I don’t care what you want,” Cyrus hissed, and Mars flinched as his words got louder. “You can leave now if you want, but don’t expect to still be an Admin if you do! Sahara is vitally important to our future operations, so we need her subdued and either captured or find a way to nullify her abilities until we need her. If we let her rampage now, she could very easily destroy herself and we can’t have that!” And Cyrus finished yelling, his eyes bulging and his cheeks red with rage. Charles was intrigued by the fact Sahara was going to be important, and decided to store that information away for now. But his thoughts were interrupted as Saturn and Jupiter came towards, Saturn draped over Jupiter for support.

    “Do either of you wish to leave now?” Cyrus snarled, completely ignoring Saturn’s heavily bleeding arm.

    “Of course not!” Jupiter replied quickly and rather nervously, earning her a nasty glare from Mars. Saturn just shrugged weakly, which seemed enough to satisfy Cyrus. He glanced backwards at Roshonda and Addison, who were beginning to stir and check on their Pokemon, and than over at Gligar, who was tugging at something underneath some rocks.

    “We don’t have the best team left, but I think we’ll be fine once Draco sends the weapons over,” Cyrus explained, a dark and serious look across his face. “I want all your Pokemon to be ready as soon as Crystal stirs! We need to strike and get her under our control before she unleashes anymore energy. Aim for the back and than quickly aim back for the head: it’s the only way to stop it!” Charles raised an eyebrow at these words, exchanging looks with Elle, who had also noticed the strangeness of those comments: how did Cyrus know so much about Sahara and how to stop her personalities? But the three admins all nodded, even an increasingly pale Saturn, and they called for their Pokemon. Toxicroak, Purugly and Skuntank each led their other two battling partners into rising up, forming a row of nine Pokemon all staring towards the darkness.

    “I’ll go and get the other grunts sorted,” Jupiter said, and she helped Saturn slink down onto the rock Vanessa had been sprawled against and rushed to wake the unconscious grunts lying everywhere. Cyrus shot Mars a look, and she grudgingly headed off to help.

    “What do you want me to do?” Charles asked, hoping not to get a particularly hard task. “I only have three of my Pokemon with me at the moment,” he added, thinking that would help his case. Cyrus whipped around at this and stared down at Elle, who got what Charles wanted and put on a particularly ill face. There was a rumbling noise, and Charles nearly jumped as Gyarados’ face appeared next to him, looking moodily at Cyrus.

    “I don’t want you to deal with Crystal,” Cyrus said quickly, trying to avoid the looks of either Pokemon. “I know you have had dealings with Sahara in the past, so it’s best that you don’t let your emotions get in the way when she begins to battle.” Charles paused for a second as he took this in: had Cyrus been reading his mind, or did he just know Charles better than he thought? Charles himself didn’t know what he thought about Sahara, so it was interesting to see Cyrus’ interpretation.

    “Wait…” Charles said, and he suddenly remembered how ‘You’ had been repeated before he had been hit. “You think Crystal would just try to attack me, don’t you?” Cyrus pulled an awkward face, and Charles knew he’d hit the spot. Once again he wondered what his boss was keeping from him, but a shuffling sound behind them allowed Cyrus to bypass answering: Palmer and Carolina had just gotten to their feet, only slightly bruised and with determined expressions on their faces. Dragonite and Ninetales were ready to go as well, and Gyarados growled angrily at them.

    “Alright Galactic, what are you up too?” Carolina snapped, a serious look on her face, but her voice was slightly pitched and croaky, failing to hide her desperation. Suddenly the rock Saturn was sitting on flashed pink: the admin yelped as he leapt up as if shocked, but the rock turned back to its boring brown colour a second later. Cyrus looked furious, his eyes wide with shock and anger as he turned back to the Diamonds.

    “You don’t need to know that and I don’t have time to deal with you anyway!” He snapped.

    “We’ll see about that,” Palmer boomed dramatically. “Dragonite, use Dragon Claw now!”

    “Roshonda, Addison, fight them!” Cyrus roared, and several rocks flashed pink again. However, whilst Sharpedo and Ledian jumped to attention, Roshonda and Addison were staring up at the raised section: a Meditite was sitting upon a rock, in a meditating position, faced towards this all. This was fairly strange, as Charles had not seen a single wild Pokemon in this mountain for a while, so seeing one sitting there looking rather relaxed was surprising. But Palmer and Carolina were more of a big deal at the moment.

    “Gligar, Stone Edge!” Charles shouted. He turned and saw Gligar was grinning in a triumphant way, but still heard the order and obeyed: his purple tail smashed into the ground, sending broken up boulder smashing straight into Dragonite, who let out a cry of ‘DRAAAG!’ The shout seemed to finally rouse Roshonda and Addison, who turned around in shock.

    “Sorry, I had tried to catch that Meditite before, and….” Addison began explaining, but Cyrus’ glare silenced her. “Double Edge on Dragonite…”

    “AncientPower…” Roshonda said timidly as well, and their Pokemon leapt into action. Palmer and Carolina exchanged moody looks, and decided it was best to deal with the girls now.


    “Brick Break!”

    As they began to battle, Gligar soared back towards Charles, beaming broadly. He came to a stop in mid air and opened his right claw: the fang he had taken from Carolina back on the boat was back there, looking rather dusty but still fine.

    “Ah, that’s what you were looking for!” Charles said with a smile, though shot another nasty look at Cyrus.

    “Gligar Gli Gli!” Gligar replied with a beam, and showed the fang to Gyarados, who merely nodded his head slightly. Charles looked back towards Cyrus, who was helping Saturn move towards the others. The rocks around them were flashing pink more and more frequently, spooking several grunts as they retrieved their weapons, and Charles noticed that the flash made the rocks look slightly like pink jelly, almost as if they were no longer hard during that brief flash.

    “Charles, guard the entranceway for now!” Cyrus called back, and began to address the grunts, leaving Charles standing on his lonesome, thoroughly annoyed. He sat down on the ground as Addison’s Ledian soared above his head, engulfed with fire. So many questions had formed inside his head of the past few minutes, but he knew none of them would be answered know. Charles wished he could speak to Looker, the mysterious man who had begun to give him information a few days ago. He needed these answers, and he needed to know what was going on.

    “Come guys,” Charles sighed, feeling heavily dejected as the rest of Galactic prepared to fight. “Let’s guard the entrance!” And he slid against Gyarados as the shiny Pokemon moved to block the entrance, cutting the outside world off from what was happening inside Mt Coronet.

    Route 208

    It was a cool yet breezeless night, only a few feet away from the battle that was about to happy. Clouds were moving down from Snowpoint City, but the crescent moon was currently out and glowing, casting its dazzling natural light across the region. The many waterfalls that came out of Mt Coronet’s natural rivers splashed thunderously into the maze of rivers down below, but the sound was more relaxing and pleasant than disturbing. The occasional Hoothoot and Noctowl soared through the few trees that were around, otherwise the tall towers of rock jutting out from the water and grass below were completely relaxing and peaceful.

    Xavier Diamond was sitting only a few feet away from the waterfall, upon a large flat rock jutting out o the ground. The water splashing on him was cool and refreshing, but his attention was focused entirely on the dirty ground in front of him: Matthew Pearl was lying there, having just been taken out of the battle zone that was Mt Coronet a few minutes ago. He had convulsed violently following his injection by Charon, but know he seemed to be asleep, though his eyes half open and badly bloodshot. Matthew’s skin also looked fairly green and clammy, and Xavier was reminded of the colour of the lawn back at the Diamond Estate.

    For one of the few times in his life, Xavier found himself without a definite course of action to take. Though he could easily withdraw his four Pokemon (Grotle and Heracross sat besides him on the rock, whilst Lapras had her head underneath the waterfall, Drifloon floating above them), Xavier couldn’t withdraw Piplup, Beautifly or Misdreavus, who were sitting and floating right next to their trainer, exchanging worried looks and sobs. Professor Oak had invented a new mechanism for PokeBalls several years ago, preventing anyone but the trainer from returning their Pokemon to their balls in order to prevent certain types of thievery. Factoring this in, Xavier would have to try and get Matthew and the three Pokemon to a medical facility very quickly, which could be troublesome.

    And Xavier didn’t even know where to go to. He had just folded his map back up after checking it, but he already known that there weren’t any hospitals or medical centres in the area. The nearest one was on the furtherest side of Hearthome City, and Xavier was unsure about how long a trip like that could take.

    He stared down at Matthew and could feel a strange feeling rising inside of him as he looked at his sickly friend. Xavier had never been very good with emotive feelings, though he never minded about it, but he was curious as to what this sensation was. Could it be desperation in trying to find a solution, shock at what was happening around them at this very moment… or could it be sadness… sadness at the fact that his friend was like this, sadness that he may not get cured…

    I don’t enjoy reading your mind: it’s far too complicated compared to your friends. Xavier blinked and turned around, the feelings seeming to disappear as he stared at Lapras. She had her head out of the waterfall and was moving towards them, using her flippers to guide.

    “Whatever do you mean?” Xavier asked. Lapras paused and smiled warmly at him, and Xavier remembered how she had done this back when he had been a small child.

    Well, while everyone else’s mind is usually filled with many thoughts, I can easily pick up on their central thought at the time and how they are feeling, Lapras explained. But… every time I try to read your mind, I need to use twice as much energy. It’s like your lack of emotion has caused your brain to become impenetrable. You have too many thoughts, but you don’t have any emotion to tie them together. Xavier was interested by what Lapras had to say, but he couldn’t worry about this now: the health of Matthew was more important than his psychological issues.

    “Thank you for the insight Lapras,” Xavier said, and than looked down at Matthew, “however, we need to take Matthew to get cured. I don’t know what Charon injected him with, but it has clearly made him very ill. I remember he had a bad case of the flu when we were eight and I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere near him, but he looks worse now.”

    “Piplup Pip Pip!” Piplup called out. She sounded much croakier and more high pitched than usual, and Xavier could see tears were streaming down her face. He felt the same feeling of sadness and decided to ignore it for now, needing to focus on a solution.

    “We should split up and try and find a place to rest for the evening,” Xavier said. “Vanessa and Sahara should join us shortly, so we will be ready to give them instructions upon their arrival.”

    Alright then, Lapras said as she slid back towards the waterfall. I can easily head down and have a look around the rivers.

    “Grotle Grot!”

    “Hera Heracross Racross Hear!”

    “Floon Drif Floon Floooooon!” Xavier looked around as his four Pokemon all rose up, their faces fill with strong looks of determination and adventure. Each of them were clearly ready to go and look for help, and Xavier couldn’t deny the seriousness of their faces.

    “Lup Piplup Lup!” Piplup cried, smiling up at them all through her tears. Xavier felt another feeling rising up inside his stomach: a curious sensation that made him feel warm as he looked around at the determined and happy Pokemon. He could feel Lapras’ eyes on him, and didn’t want to draw any attention away from curing his friend.

    “Very well then, if you are all ready to go, we shall search all the paths for any trainers or houses,” Xavier explained quickly, allowing his mind to clear of emotion based thoughts and form a plan. “Lapras will search along the riverbanks, Heracross will scale the walls to any outcrops or cliff-based camps, and Grotle shall –” Xavier paused, looking down on the rock at Grotle. “Grotle, what are you looking at?” He followed his starter’s line of sight, which was directed towards a bush behind the rock. It was shaking violently and glowing, most likely meaning a Pokemon was hiding within the leaves.

    “Till Grot Grotle Till!” Grotle shouted, and the bushes on his back suddenly glowed green, a Razor Leaf getting ready to be fired. But before Grotle could attack, a glowing Pokemon suddenly erupted out of the bushes, shooting off into the air. Xavier instantly recognized the Pokemon, and knew why Grotle was annoyed: the mischievous smile covering the tiny orange body, permanently enclosed in gleaming blue electricity that lit up the area as if a light had just turned on, belong to none other than the ghostly electric type Rotom.

    Xavier was highly intrigued by Rotom’s sudden appearance. Rotom had last appeared back on the Cycling Road, giving Vanessa’s motorbike a power up just before they had been blown to pieces by Team Galactic’s fiery plan. Xavier’s view had changed at that point: after all, Rotom’s destructive treatment of them in the Old Chateau hadn’t done well for his image. But Xavier had wondered if Rotom had followed them after Jaki had destroyed his old home, and was once again here at a pivotal moment.

    “Don’t attack Grotle,” Xavier said, taking a step forwards. Grotle was glared at Xavier, but reluctantly cancelled out the attack’s preparation. Rotom had stopped buzzing around and was now floating above them all, even managing to distract Beautifly and Misdreavus from their constant watching of Matthew. Rotom glanced down at Matthew but continued his usual cheeky smile, and looked around at them all. Grotle was continuing to glare up at Rotom, and Lapras and Drifloon looked rather annoyed as well.

    “Rotom must be here for a reason,” Xavier said, thinking hard. Rotom suddenly nodded frantically at this, unable to say anything asides from eerie sparking sounds. He pointed at Matthew with one of the electrical bolts, and than floated higher into the sky pointed into the distance. Xavier looked around, but he couldn’t see where Rotom was pointing towards.

    “Drifloon Floon!” Drifloon floated down towards Xavier, and her legs suddenly wrapped around his right arm. Her berries clattered to the ground, and Drifloon cried out as she expelled a strong gust of wind. She and Xavier rose up into the sky, Xavier dangling only a few metres above the others. Rotom smiled as the two rose up, Drifloon managing to control her ascension to Xavier’s weight. Drifloon smiled back, but Xavier didn’t notice: his mind was cleared and all his attention was focused at the point Rotom was pointing towards.

    They were staring across to the other end of the route, with the bright, bold lights of Hearthome glittering in the far distance. They looked over the thundering but peaceful waterfalls and rivers that flowed beneath them, over the towers of hard rock and the maze of wooden paths and bridges connecting them together, and towards the large field at the very end. It was quite a dramatic change: the mountain range suddenly ended, being replaced by a large and practically bare field. The grass was as long as anywhere else in Sinnoh, but only a light breeze was shaking it now, the Pokemon all well asleep for the night. However, right in the corner of the field, a solitary house stood. Xavier couldn’t make out any clear details from here, but he could see it was only one storey, and was right up against the tall trees and a narrow stream coming out of Mt Coronet.

    “There is a single house over there,” Xavier called out, and Rotom nodded excitedly. Xavier knew this house must be important: not many houses were right in a route, many being built behind the trees and away from passing trainers. “I know it isn’t on the map, but it stands out in a way.”

    A house… is it next to a stream… Lapras’ voice murmured inside Xavier’s head as Drifloon began to descend.

    “Yes it is, why?”

    I know that house! Lapras said excitedly. I went there with your mother when I was very ill. A berry master lives there, and he can make magical cures. He was getting a bit on the years when we were there, but there is a chance he could still be alive.

    “Are you suggesting I take Matthew down to an aging man with an unofficial form of medication practice and hope some berries that cure Pokemon can cure his unknown ailment?” Xavier asked as he landed back on the rock.

    Well, yes…

    “It’s the only plan we have: let’s do it,” Xavier decided. “If we move swiftly we could get him there before Vanessa and Sahara are finished.” Xavier looked down at Matthew as he spoke these words. He was unsure about this plan, as he didn’t have another facts or details to help make a proper decision, but Xavier knew that Matthew would need some sort of medical care very soon. He was beginning to mumble as he lay on the ground, his body still tinged with green.

    “Piplup, do you agree with my plan?” Xavier asked. The little water type stared up at Matthew with her wide, sad eyes. Xavier felt the same depressing emotion and had to quickly resist it.

    “Piplup Lup Pip Pip Lup Pip!” Piplup responded emotionally, and she slowly got to her feet, shaking slightly as she did so. She had managed to stop crying, but her focus still remained entirely on Matthew. Beautifly and Misdreavus rose further into the air, silently smiling slightly at Xavier’s Pokemon. Xavier stared down at Matthew with Piplup, thoughts beginning to appear in his head…

    We should head off now, shouldn’t we? Lapras’ voice interjected before Xavier could grab hold of any of the thoughts. He quickly stood up properly and nodded towards her.

    “Lapras, you go along this river as a guide,” Xavier said, pointing along the road of water between the two levels of waterfalls. “Piplup shall get on Grotle and help hold Matthew’s head up, and Heracross and I shall carry his legs.”

    “Cross Heracross Hera!” Heracross called out in agreement, and he ran forwards to help Xavier up. Piplup jumped onto Grotle’s bushes, which had stopped glowing, and determinedly grabbed onto Matthew’s head as Xavier picked him up.

    “Drifloon, Beautifly and Misdreavus, you just follow along,” Xavier said, and the three Pokemon nodded. “And Rotom, you can –” but Xavier froze in mid sentence. He was going to ask Rotom to come along with them if he wanted to, but the electric ghost was nowhere to be seen.

    “Interesting….” Xavier mumbled, but quickly pushed the thought away. He grabbed onto Matthew’s right leg, Heracross holding his left leg, and gave a nod towards Grotle: their voyage to the Berry Master’s house had just begun.

    As Vanessa opened her eyes, she had no clue where she was.

    It didn’t take long for her to take in the obvious facts. Firstly, she was no longer inside Mt Coronet, judging by the fact a light was glaring into her eyes above her. Second, she appeared to be lying on a table. And finally, she seemed to be tied to the table.

    Interesting… Vanessa thought, as she decided to give the restraints holding her arms outstretched and her legs in a bind a tug.

    Unfortunately they didn’t budge, but Vanessa was fine with that for the time being. It was quite clear what had happened as the last few seconds before she fell unconscious came back to her: Sahara/Crystal had emerged whilst Vanessa began fighting Draco, and soon unleashed a powerful wave of telekinetic energy. Vanessa figured that she must have been knocked unconscious and been taken back somewhere, either to their airship or back to the Galactic Headquarters, depending on the time that passed.

    Their base could be mildly problematic, Vanessa pondered. I must find out where that place is… Anyway… the airship would be easier to escape from. I just need my Poke – shit, that’s right, their all unconscious. Balls. I’ll need to get to my umbrella then. But where is it, I wonder…

    Vanessa turned her head and began to examine the room she was in. However, there wasn’t much to examine. It was a bare, narrow white room, with a bench to her left and a doorway opposite the table she was on. The table was rather hard and slightly above the bench, possibly at an interrogation length.

    Well, they obviously aren’t spending their money on décor, Vanessa thought as she looked at the unappealing and very bland walls. She let out a sigh and slipped back into her position on the table. Her back and arms were beginning to hurt from being tied and pulled across the table, and Vanessa was just pondering when someone was going to come and make a jibe at her when the door suddenly opened.

    “Well well well, what do we have here?” A snarl voice called mockingly, and Vanessa rolled her eyes as Draco appeared in her eyesight. “The great Vanessa lying sprawled on a table! Where are your fancy gadgets and Pokemon now, eh?” Vanessa just looked up into his pale, greasy face and smiled.

    “What happened to your eye?” She asked in mock surprise. “It looks as if some big, strong, burly man has punched you!” Draco’s eyes narrowed, only making his purple and black right eye look even worse. He quickly and suddenly slapped Vanessa across the face. Vanessa had to stifle a shocked gasp: she hadn’t expected the pain to be so severe. Her head was shaking and it felt like her cheek had been burnt. Draco smiled sadistically above her and bent down low, so there was only a centimetre between their faces. Vanessa could feel his breath on her face.

    “You may not have noticed in your unconscious state,” Draco explained savagely, “but we slipped you a pill as we brought you onboard. You may feel pain a bit more than normal, but I’m sure a tough little girl like you can survive.” Draco let out a sadistic laugh and Vanessa on her exposed arm. Vanessa had to shut her watering eyes as pain shoot through her body at the pinched nerve, and she had to bite back a cry of pain. Vanessa couldn’t handle staying in her focused and superior form: they had stripped her of her power and put her at their mercy, and she had no option but to fight back.

    “Why have you drugged me?” Vanessa snarled, and began thrashing against the straps holding her to the table. “Why did you capture me in the first place? Where are the others?” Draco simply smirked and pinched Vanessa’s arm again. The pain that rushed through her body caused her to gasp, and she collapsed back onto the surface, unable to fight back anymore. Her entire body hurt as if she had just been running up a mountain, and she had only been fighting her restraints for a few seconds.

    “Charon has been working on… medicines, you could say, for a while now,” Draco explained, stroking Vanessa’s arm. Even her arm shuddering in disgust caused Vanessa pained, and she tried to hold down her emotions. “Charon has been looking to test them for quite a while, I believe. I know he drugged Matthew only a short time ago, and he slipped your special pain medication,” Draco stressed these last two words and paused to laugh at his own wit, “- yes, he slipped them to you whilst you slept. I’m sure he’ll be coming to test how strong the drug is, and I’d be delighted to watch it!” Draco laughed and walked towards the bench, as Vanessa shuddered in disgust. She didn’t want to think about what Charon was going to do to her, or what Draco was doing over by the bench.

    “You people are despicable,” Vanessa hissed furiously. “You can’t even battle me properly: you have to wait for me to be knocked out, drug me and tie me up before you want to do anything, as well as removing my Pokemon and weaponry from my grasps. Why don’t you grow a pair and fight me like a man!” Draco suddenly appeared back in her eyesight, no longer smiling, wearing an angry scowl across his pale, pimply face.

    “You are a fool Vanessa,” he snapped back. “You have chosen the wrong side in this battle, and you will have to pay for it eventually. I’d glad make you suffer greatly if I could, but your friend Sahara doesn’t permit this: Crystal has decided to cause us a bit of bother, and I need to send more grunts over. But don’t worry darling Vanessa, when Charon begins his testing, I’ll be sitting in the front row and eagerly awaiting the show,” and than he raised his hands up: Vanessa expected him to hit her, but saw something was in his hands. A tiny white pill was in one, and a bottle of water that must have been out of Vanessa’s sight when she looked before, and Vanessa knew this combination wouldn’t be good.

    “What is thi –” Vanessa begun, but Draco moved swiftly and grabbed her jaw. Vanessa couldn’t control the anguished gasp that came from her as Draco twisted his hand. It felt like her head had just been split in two, and Vanessa wanted to scream out as she felt something slide down her tongue.

    “The pill is just a sleeping pill, though it should work much quicker,” Draco explained in sadistic but savage tone, and he poured the water into her mouth. It tasted nasty and metallic, but Vanessa didn’t bother with taste as it felt like she was going to choke. She wanted to spit it up, feeling her throat fill and clench up, but froze as the feeling suddenly passed. Now she was feeling sleepy, the muscle pains throughout her body beginning to disappear. Draco flashed another yellow toothed smile at Vanessa and stroked her hair. Vanessa wanted to cry out, but she couldn’t seem to be able to move her jaw, which felt like it had been broken… Draco was walking away… her eyes were beginning to shut… Vanessa need to get out of here, it wasn’t safe… but she felt so tired… the table felt so comfortable… she could just shut her eyes for a moment… recharge… replenish… she could easily kill them all later anyway…

  6. #51
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    Default Re: Galactic: Dawn (Part Two) Prt 1

    It was hard enough trying to get around Mt Coronet in the first place, but after running for nearly half an hour, Minerva found it didn’t get any easier.

    Minerva was not the fittest person around. She had been working under Cyrus for the past few years now, even before Team Galactic properly begun, and had to put her career as a trainer on hold, which hadn’t done wonders for her health. Her job consisted of sitting at a desk, working on the computer as she researched and wrote things up for Cyrus, or otherwise would file the immense amount of documents Cyrus had collected into their respective places. Neither of these tasks allowed Minerva to be in the peak of fitness, and her slender weight, muscle build up and healthy eating habits she had built up while travelling quickly disappeared. Minerva had recently tried to lose weight and get back to getting healthy, but she wasn’t prepared enough to tackle Mt Coronet.

    The mountain caves were awful to get around. The floor was rocky and uneven, with bits of rock scattered across the ground and making it risky to even walk across. And they had been going steadily uphill since leaving Matthew, Saturn and Jupiter behind, and the incline was too much for Minerva. Her feet ached, her legs felt like blocks, and her throat burnt as she gasped for air. She knew going after Looker wasn’t wise: he was fitter, faster, and his Jolteon was much stronger than Leafeon. But Minerva thought she could do it, and was still trying her best.

    I can’t take this any longer… She puffed inside her head, watching as Looker’s brown coat swished in the darkness, occasionally lit up by the sparking Jolteon. But he’s so close… I’ve come too far… I can’t give up now…

    “Fe Leafy Eon Leaf!” Leafeon was running alongside Minerva, beginning to show tiredness and wear herself. Minerva smiled down at her, glad to see her old friend was still going strong as well. They’d been running for a while now, and though Leafeon had gotten a few hits on Jolteon, they were getting further and further behind: a mix of tiredness and the confusing tunnels had caused them to slow down. Minerva just wanted to come to a stop, and let out a sigh as Looker ran down another path. She reluctantly followed them down the narrow corridor of rock, but than came to a stop: Jolteon’s yellow flashing had just lit up the cave roof, and caused an idea to light up in her head.

    “Stalactites!” Minerva puffed excitedly, getting her beathe back as she stood still. She looked down at the weary Leafeon and beamed. “Magical Leaf, now!” Leafeon was surprised and looked up, instantly understanding what was being planned.

    “LEEEEAAAAFY!” She wailed, and the leaves on her body glowed a green that lit up the entire corridor. Leafeon spun around, and a small bundle of rainbow coloured leaves shot towards the roof. Minerva saw a glowing Looker turn and looked up in shock as the leaves smashed into the cave roof. With an earthly crunching sound and an expelling of dust, several of the rocky spikes began to fall. Minerva ran excitedly forwards as Looker and Jolteon leapt backwards, the stalactites crashing onto the ground. More dust was released, but Minerva didn’t care as she ran forwards with her face covered: finally, Looker was trapped!

    “Very clear Minerva, I am impressed,” Looker’s voice said suavely through the dust. “I see that Cyrus has done well you, impressive indeed. However, I can’t help but see a few flaws with this plan…” Minerva froze as Looker chuckled quietly.

    “What flaws?” She whispered frightfully. Her triumph disappeared as quickly as it had arrived, and she began to look around wildly for Looker, wondering what went wrong.

    “Ah, not so wise after all,” Looker said, chuckling again. “You should have known that the dust and dirt would have been released when the stalactites fell, and that would have given the enemy an excellent cover, right?” There was a clicking sound right next to Minerva’s ear, and she glanced anxiously to the right. The dust had begun to settle, and she was able to dimly see Looker through the darkness, smirking triumphantly as he held a gun to her face. Minerva sighed, and felt like hitting herself: she’d come this far, put her body on the line, and had come so close to succeeding, but had, once again, failed miserably.

    “Go on, pull the trigger!” She snarled. “I’m going to get punished enough by Cyrus when I get back!” And Minerva tensed up, waiting for the bullet to be fired. But it didn’t come, and she slowly opened her eyes, staring towards the right again: Looker had lowered the gun, a frown spread across his face.

    “LEAF!” The silence was shattered as Leafeon suddenly leapt forwards, using Looker’s reluctance as a chance to attack him. She soared through the air, leaves glowing green, and had nearly gotten towards him when a yellow blur sped between them, flying towards Leafeon at an alarming rate.

    “JOLT!” Looker’s Jolteon shouted, smashing into Leafeon with such force that both of them rolled backwards down the rocky corridor, smashing into rocks as they did so. Leafeon angrily released the Magical Leaf onto Jolteon, who counted with a Thunderbolt that made the corridor glow yellow.

    “Those two always fight,” Minerva whispered with a smirk, and Looker could only nod. The two turned towards each other, and Minerva saw that Looker was still frowning down at her, the gun hanging loosely by his side.

    “Why are you still working for them Minerva?” The spy said with an agitated sigh. “Last time we met you were so close to leaving this all behind: why have you stayed?” Minerva growled and turned away, feeling tears building up in her eyes.

    “I knew you’d do this!” She huffed. “I have my reasons for staying! Trust me: I know I’m turning back into a bad person, and I don’t like it. The night we blew up the Cycling Road, after I battled with the Dex Holders, I felt terrible about it. What if I had killed them? Cyrus may want them dead, but I don’t see any reason in killing them!” And before Minerva knew it, the tears were beginning to stream. She hadn’t intended to say any of that, but it had just come pouring out. This always happened every time she encountered Looker: her emotions would just come streaming out, making her question practically everything in her life.

    “You should have left Cyrus behind years ago!” Looker said, sounding slightly agitated. “He’s kept you trapped with him for too long, and you can’t leave now! You don’t still care for him, do you?” Minerva shook her head furiously, sending tears flying.

    “I don’t like! I’ll always have feelings for him, but I don’t like him as a person,” She replied through her tears, which she wiped on her sleeve. The flashes and sounds from the battling seemed to have ceased, but neither Minerva or Looker noticed. The spy was staring curiously at her, thinking, when a thought suddenly hit him.

    “Your not staying for Cyrus, your staying for… him… aren’t you?” He whispered anxiously. Minerva stopped crying, but her body began to shake slightly. She gave a slow, jittery nod, and Looker let out a sigh. “Oh Minerva, I knew this would happen eventually!” He moved to give her a reassuring pat, but Minerva moved out of the way, shaking her head.

    “I’m fine Looker!” She said, a bit louder than she intended, as she wiped what remained of her tears out of her eyes. “I don’t need your sympathy, ok? I followed you because it’s still part of my job, not because I needed your pity!” Looker was shocked for a second, but than his face twisted into anger, and he held his gun more tightly.

    “Well sorry than Minerva!” He snapped. “Your making a big mistake with your life and I’m just trying to help, but it’s good to see I don’t need to bother anymore!”

    “I can handle things on my own!” Minerva shouted, causing dust to trickle down from the stalactites above. “I know what I’m doing, and I need to keep doing it to make it all worthwhile! So just let me be to finish doing this!” Minerva fell silent, red in the face and breathing deeply. Looker glared down at her, many insults and words of advice swirling inside his head, but knowing he couldn’t use any of them. The two stood there staring at each other for a minute, an awkward silence between them. They didn’t even notice Leafeon and Jolteon walking slowly back towards them, or the fact Leafeon was carrying something, until they were only a foot away.

    “What the – ” Minerva said, looking down at her Pokemon: an cream and brown egg was curled between her leafy tail, emitting a soft glow that lit up the surrounding area. Minerva felt a sensation go through her body, and she couldn’t help but let out a half laugh, half sigh. “Oh you two!” She chuckled, and reached down and patted Leafeon, who just smiled and glanced over at Jolteon. Minerva looked back up at Looker, but was surprised to see he wasn’t smiling or laughing.

    “I think it’s your turn to deal with it,” he said coldly, and Minerva felt as if she had just been slapped. She stared at Looker with a dropped jaw as the spy pulled a PokeBall out of his bag and dropped it on the ground. The flash lit the corridor up for a moment, but than it was replaced by a Ralts, standing simply on the ground. “This will take you back to the front cave. Good luck with getting rid of the egg.”

    “Looker, wait!” Minerva began, but the Ralts was already walking towards them. Looker stared away before she could speak, and Minerva reached out, trying to grab hold of him. But suddenly all she could see was white, as she was teleported unwillingly back towards the Galactic, leaving an once strong friendship possibly in ruins.

    “I’m bored.”

    Charles had nearly fallen asleep when Mars suddenly spoke next to him. The grunt sat up quickly, rubbing his eyes and hoping no one had noticed he had dozed off. But as he looked around to face Mars, he saw practically everyone else was asleep as well: Saturn and Jupiter were slumped against each other, their eyes half shut, whilst several grunts on the surrounding rocks had either fallen asleep or were lying on a patch of dusty ground, doing their best to pass the time. Mars had settled on a rock right next to Gyarados’ head, whose body Charles had nearly fallen asleep on. Elle and Gligar were batting rocks next to his body, equally as bored as the rest of them.

    Crystal had not moved since Cyrus had formulated their plan. Charles had been expecting her to suddenly leap up and begin firing something at them, but she was still hidden in the darkness, the only sign of life coming from the occasional pink flashes of the rocks. Charles would like to have asked Cyrus what they were going to do, but Cyrus was not focusing on anyone: he was constantly pacing around, occasionally glancing towards where Crystal should be or accidentally mumbling a thought allowed. Charles let out an agitated groan and lay back onto Gyarados, watching Elle and Gligar whilst his mind drifted off.

    Without really wanting to, Charles kept thinking about Sahara. Why was Crystal so powerful at the moment? What had caused this sudden power surge? A single and simple thought kept coming back to him: me. If Charles shut his eyes, he could know remember the way Crystal had looked at him, absolutely furious and deranged, a look of pure loathing and fury on her face. For some reason Crystal had targeted him, but the force of the wave seemed to have drained all her energy… or was she just tricking them, waiting for the right moment and than going to slaughter him? And Charles also couldn’t help think about the way Cyrus had looked so awkward when he questioned not allowing him to go against Crystal: was the Galactic boss afraid of what Crystal might do to Charles, or was he simply not wanting her to get worked up and release another powerful telekinetic wave? There were so many questions beginning to flood his brain that Charles didn’t know which one to think about first, and he was starting to get annoyed when a sudden burst of fire soared above his head, making him yelp and causing Mars to jump as well.

    Nearby, the battle between Palmer and Carolina against Roshonda and Addison was still going on. It wasn’t surprising that the Tower Tycoon’s powerful Dragonite, with aid from Ninetales fire-type attacks, had managed to make quick work of Ledian and Sharpedo. The two female grunts hastened to try and get the upper hand, sending Cradily and Persian to fight back. Dragonite was able to continue holding the advantage, moving swiftly to avoid attacks and using Brick Break and Thunder Wave to fight back against them. Unfortunately for Carolina, Ninetales wasn’t doing as well: Cradily’s Stockpile and Spit Up combination and Persian’s Giga Impact were causing major damage towards the fire type, and causing her to be repeatedly smashed into the raised section behind them (the Meditite continuing to ignore them as if they weren’t even there). It was quite clear that a few more hits and Ninetales would be history.

    “I can’t keep this up!” Carolina whispered tearfully to Palmer. Cradily was continuing to Stockpile whilst Persian was recharging following her latest Giga Impact, leaving Ninetales breathing deeply, her legs wobbling, in front of them.

    “DRAGONITE, USE BRICK BREAK ON PERSIAN ONCE MORE!” Palmer roared dramatically, and his Dragon nodded obediently, speeding forwards. “I know dear, you really should switch her out and heal her!” Palmer looked at his wife with a confident smile on his face, but was surprised to see Carolina looked even more crestfallen, her beautiful face wrinkling up. “You did bring more Pokemon, right?”

    “Well… no…” Carolina mumbled. “I never really need to use any other Pokemon, so I usually just take Ninetales and leave the others at home. I didn’t expect this battle to happen, so don’t give me that look!” She snapped, as Palmer had just rolled his eyes at her. Carolina glared up at her sighing husband, both not noticing as Persian was sent crashing into some rocks by Dragonite, making Roshonda and Addison leap out of the way.

    “Well, you aren’t going to be very useful if Ninetales faints, will you?” Palmer said, and he reached into his coat pocket, pulling out an Ultra Ball. Carolina’s finally plucked eyebrows shot up her forehead, and her hands twitched as she had to stop herself from slapping him.

    “So is that that then?” Carolina shrieked, causing many heads of Team Galactic to turn towards her. “Am I dismissed now?” Her voice echoed, and the rocks around them suddenly flashed pink. But neither of the Diamonds noticed, husband and wife glaring into each other’s eyes.

    “I’m not dismissing you, I’m just saying you can’t contribute to the battle anymore!” Palmer replied. “Now back off and let me keep this battle going!” Carolina looked like she had just been slapped, and for a second her eyes seemed to twinkle like she was about to cry. But the elegant woman just blinked furiously and reached into her pocket and pulled out a pink PokeNav, imported directly in from Hoenn.

    “I’m calling the helicopter from the mountain lodge and getting picked up!” Carolina fumed, glaring angrily at her husband. “I’ll see you back at the house! Come on Ninetales!” Ninetales nodded weakly, and Carolina shot one last glare at Palmer before marching furiously towards the cave exit.

    “FINE, BE THIS WAY!” Palmer shouted after her. “SO MUCH FOR A RECONCILATION HOLIDAY!”

    “OH BITE ME PALMER!” Carolina shouted back, and she stormed towards the exit. Palmer went to say something else, but instead let out an angry grunt and threw his second Ultra Ball to the ground. It burst open, and his second Pokemon was released: the Pokemon looked like a large, misshapen brown rock with orange pads across its body, with two horns on it’s head and a long hard tail, topped off with a large rock on the end.

    “RHYPERIOR!” The creature roared, thumping his large fists against his chest.

    “Oh damn…” Addison squeaked, staring at the new opponent with wide, horrified eyes, and glancing towards Persian, who was twitching on the rocks she lay on. Roshonda also glanced at Rhyperior with a terrified expression, causing Palmer to chuckle as he patted the Rock-Ground type on the back. But Roshonda’s eyes wandered towards the left, and she gasped as she saw Carolina approaching the cave exit. Charles had drifted off back asleep, Saturn and Jupiter were facing the other way, and Mars was kicking a few rocks around absently.

    “Carolina’s escaping, STOP HER!” Roshonda screamed. Charles suddenly woke up, and turned to see Carolina and Ninetales climbing over Gyarados, who had also fallen asleep. Cyrus stopped pacing and stared at her with rage, whilst the other three admins suddenly leapt up. Carolina and Ninetales exchanged looks, and the fiery fox simply smiled.

    “Nine Nine,” She whispered, and a powerful jet of flames shot out of her mouth. Charles cried out and leapt on top of Elle and Gligar and rolled, the flames avoiding them but hitting Mars, who yelled as her dress burst into flames. The rocks around them were glowing pink once again, but now they weren’t disappearing, instead beginning to lit up the cave with the strange, flower like glow. No one noticed that the darkness was beginning to disappear, and an even brighter glow was beginning to emerge behind them all.

    “Sorry for this folks, but I’ve been on my feet for a few hours now, so I could really do a foot massage,” Carolina explained with a smiled, and she leapt off of Gyarados and onto Route 8.

    “Purugly use Slash!” Mars shouted as she fell to the ground, smothering her flaming dress in the dust. Purugly nodded and leapt forwards from the row of the Admins nine Pokemon, her claws growing as she leapt off Gyarados. However, the weak Ninetales suddenly turned into energy and disappeared into the darkness outside of the mountain.

    “PUUUR!” Purugly shrieked as she landed on Gyarados, and bent her knees in order to leap forwards. Everyone was watching now, even Roshonda and Addison, not noticing as Dragonite and Rhyperior attacked their Pokemon: the rocky wall making the entrance was suddenly drooping, looking like pink paint was dripping in large quantities.

    “The entrance… it’s closing!” Saturn gasped, and they all watched in shock as what had been solid rock a few moments ago suddenly closed together. Purugly had already jumped, and let out a howl as she crashed head first into glowing pink wall, bouncing backwards. Charles, still holding Elle and Gligar, scrambled backwards as Gyarados reared his head, looking thoroughly disgruntled about being stood on several times. But Charles was more afraid of the rocks: they seemed to be making crackling sounds now as they glowed an even brighter shade of pink, and began to resemble giant lumps of jelly as they became less and less solid.

    “It must be…” Charles mumbled, and quickly turned around. Cyrus looked around as well, his eyes nearly falling out of his head in his shock. The area of the cave was no longer dark, but instead was glowing the brightest pink of all. Charles could now see the top of the cave roof where the stalactites began, all which seemed to be drooping now as well. He looked to the side and saw two figures were beginning to rise into the air now: the tiny body of Nutty and the long and hard figure that was Smash.

    And than there was Crystal.

    She looked purely demonic as she stood there, her hair and clothes being blown around despite no wind around them. The silk, flowing gowns now looked frayed and much darker, and Crystal’s eyes had turned into a furious shade of hot pink. Her veins had turned pink as well and were glowing, and Charles couldn’t help but take a few cautious steps backwards towards Gyarados, not wanting to be in sight when this clearly psychotic Crystal attacked.

    “Why didn’t you fools fight me when you had the chance?” Crystal shrieked at them, and let out a high pitched laugh that echoed inside the cave, causing dust to trickle down onto their heads. The three admins moved forwards, their Pokemon taking a few steps in front to make a barrier. However, this action just made Crystal laugh even harder. “You think you can try and stop me now? Too late suckers!” And she waved her hands. Suddenly all nine Pokemon were sent flying, causing several grunts to leap out of the way as they crashed into the rocks they’d just been sitting on.

    “Well that went well…” Mars mumbled, watching as her Tentacruel became wrapped around Saturn’s Toxicroak.

    “I’ve absorbed in all the energy I could from inside this mountain,” Crystal explained in her hysterical voice. “So whatever plan you may have won’t be working now!” Cyrus stared at Crystal, temporarily dumb struck at how easily she had cast the Pokemon aside. Charles was worried about this: what if Cyrus’ plan failed and Crystal slaughtered them all? But the Galactic shook his head, possibly clearing his thoughts, and took a step forwards.

    “I am not afraid of you Crystal!” Cyrus boomed, managing to cancel out the noise of the battle happening behind them with his thunderous tones. “We have methods of defeating you: it is all just a matter of keeping you busy until we can get the right things in!” Crystal stopped laughing and stared at Cyrus with a look of puzzlement and surprise. However, this quickly turned to a furious look in her eyes and a wicked smile on her face.

    “Very well than Cyrus: I shall play your games,” She said with her devilish grin, “but don’t expect me to go easy on any of your pathetic little grunts!” And with that, two balls of water suddenly materialized in her hands, tinged with pink due to the strange glowing happening around them. Cyrus half smiled and nodded.

    “I wouldn’t have it any other way!” He called. “Now everyone, GO!” There was a sudden commotion around Crystal, who turned around as yells erupted on either side: several grunts were leaping out from behind stalagmites, firing bullets towards her and pulling their PokeBalls out. For a brief second it looked like Galactic had the advantage of surprise and numbers, but Crystal let out a furious, ear-splitting cry that made them all cover their ears. As the bullets smashed into the ground around her, Crystal fired the two balls of water: both hit a grunt flying towards her on either side, their heads becoming trapped inside the liquid and they crashed to the ground, flailing as they struggled for breath. These didn’t stop any of the other grunts, who began to race forwards as fast as possible upon landing, their guns raised and pointed directly towards her head.

    “It’ll take more than the threat of a gun to stop me!” Crystal roared, and she waved her hands over the glowing ground. With a great rumbling roar, the earth around her split open. The grunts came to a stop, each of them looking shocked and worried as the cracks appeared in the ground. Crystal let out a booming laugh and shook her hands again: pillars of ground and rock suddenly burst through the cracks. Mars and Jupiter shrieked as the pillars smashed into the grunts, who had been too slow to escape. Charles watched horrified as one grunt became impaled in the lower jaw, whilst the others were simply carried screaming towards the stalactites. Crystal laughed and waved her hands again: the pillars turned to dust, and the several grunts came falling back to the ground screaming, landing in a painful heap on the ground. An awkward silence fell in the areas, the only noise coming from Palmer’s Rhyperior roaring as he sprayed Cradily with a Flamethrower. Cyrus stared at the bleeding grunt who had been impaled, looking like it had been him that had been struck. Crystal was standing there smiling broadly, looking around at them all with her wicked pink eyes.

    “So… what are you going to do next?” She asked with a hint of sarcasm. Saturn and Jupiter turned towards Cyrus, both of them looking worried and confused. Charles wanted to do nothing more than race out there himself and begin battling Crystal, desperate to do something. But suddenly and surprisingly, Mars stepped forwards, glaring towards Crystal with her whip in her hands.

    “No one interrupts my sexy time and gets away with it!” Mars hissed. Crystal just laughed as Purugly, Tentacruel and Drapion stepped forwards as well, ready to defend their trainer.

    “Do your worst!” Crystal chuckled, more balls of water forming in her hands. Mars smiled slyly and pressed a button on the handle of her whip: the long leather cord suddenly glowed and began crackling with electricity. Mars yelled out and swung the whip through the air. Crystal put her hands up in defence, but the electrically charged whip smashed through the water.

    “GAH!” Crystal cried as she was blasted backwards, going right through one of the no longer solid rocks she’d made. Saturn and Jupiter both looked shocked, but quickly hastened to grab their own weapons which lay nearby.

    “Hypnosis, Dark Pulse and Sludge Bomb!” Mars bellowed to her three Pokemon, and than flung her whip again. This time Crystal deflected it with a casual flick of her hand, but failed to notice Jupiter’s axe that had been flung through the air, stopping it only a centimetre from her hand.

    “Flamethrower, Focus Blast and Shadow Ball!” Jupiter yelled to Skuntank, Cacturne and Haunter as she pressed a button on her watch, allowing her axe to come flying handle first towards her.

    “Gunk Shot, Razor Wind and Stone Edge!” Saturn shouted to Toxicroak, Scyther and Rhydon, and he quickly fired a bolt of energy from his metal rod. Crystal was already trying to deflect Mars’ Pokemon’s attacks with a large wall of water she conjured from her hands, but the bolt smashed into the wall and destroyed it, sending waves crashing through the rocks.

    “Well played Galactic scum, but you still won’t be able to defeat me!” Crystal hissed, breathing deeply. She shut her eyes as Jupiter and Saturn’s Pokemon got ready to attack, and Charles had to stifle a gasp as Crystal’s eyes continued to shine through her lids, looking like some weird, feminine alien. There was a squelching sound above them, and all heads, even those of Palmer, Roshonda and Addison, looked up towards the cave roof. The stalactites, which had been held in place firmly a moment ago, were now falling down towards them.

    “MOVE!” Saturn shouted, and he pushed Jupiter out of the way before firing another bolt of energy, blasting one of the rocky spikes into dust. But the others smashed into the ground, still attached to the roof by single parts of stalactites being stretched out. One grunt became impaled in the leg, beginning to scream her head off as the sharp point drove painfully through.

    “Eevee Eva Eve!” Elle called to Charles, and she began squirming out of his arms, desperate to get towards the scene to help out. But Charles held onto her tighter and moved lower to the ground next to Gyarados.

    “No Elle, I won’t let Crystal hurt you!” Charles said softly but seriously. “Besides, Cyrus won’t let me go out there anyway!” There was a sudden roar nearby, and Charles looked up as Smash suddenly flew directly overhead, crashing straight into Saturn’s Scyther. As more stalactites crashed into the ground, a blinding yellow flash lit up the cave even brighter than the pink glow, and Mars’ Tentacruel was blasted backwards by Nutty’s powerful Charge Beam. Crystal’s demonic cackle echoed as she sent balls of water flying towards the admins and the grunts, who fired bullets and energy towards her as they dodged the stalagmites joining their roof counterparts in trying to stab them.

    “I don’t care about bloody Vanessa!” Cyrus was running past them, grabbing his PokeBalls whilst bellowing into a walkie-talkie. “Get the weapons over here now, Crystal is losing it!” And he threw a PokeBall across the ground, before leaping out of the way as a stalactite nearly stabbed him. Charles watched with dismay at the destruction, as Saturn attempted to fire energy towards Crystal, and Jupiter and Mars uselessly tried to use their weapons to stop the rocks attacking them. If only he could help, distract Crystal for a few moments, than they might be able to knock her out whilst she focused on him… could Charles face Crystal and survive? She was furious at him, and was channelling a lot of anger through her abilities. Was this a fight Charles really wanted to take?

    “Gar Gli Gar!” Gligar was covering his head with his claws, and Charles felt tiny bits of rock pelting them. He looked around and saw Saturn had turned his attention towards the stalactites, blasting energy left right and centre as he tried to destroy them. Cyrus’ Houndoom and Weavile had joined the fray, firing multiple beams and jets of ice and fire either at the rock formations or towards Crystal in order to stop her. Crystal was laughing loudly and viciously as she continued to control where all the rocks soared around, sometimes making a wall or bubble of water to attack them all with.

    “Don’t worry guys, we’ll be alright…” Charles told Elle and Gligar as he slid down Gyarados’ scaly body. But he wasn’t quite sure of his words as Rhydon smashed into the wall in front of them, making Elle yelp. Charles wasn’t sure if Crystal could get any stronger, or what these weapon of Cyrus’ was going to do.

    Whatever was going to happen, it wasn’t going to be good.

    Route 8

    Despite it being a while since they had set off, Xavier and the Pokemon had not made much coverage in carrying Matthew’s body.
    When they had set off, Xavier had assumed that the path ahead would be well organised: from afar, the ground look smooth and even, the bridges well built and neatly arranged, and that it would have been a fairly easy journey towards the Berry Master’s house.

    However, Xavier’s assumption proved wrong. The ground was rather broken and uneven, causing a lot of stumbling between him and Heracross as they walked backwards trying to hold Matthew’s legs up. Grotle, with four legs, was able to make a much easy job of climbing over it, but if the grass type upset his balance for a moment, than Piplup risked falling off and dropping Matthew’s head, which she had done several times. And the first bridge they crossed which the grand architectural design Xavier had expected: several planks were either missing or broken, and it creaked ominously as they stood on it. He, Heracross and Grotle had to move very slowly as they began to cross it, not wanting to fall into the raging waterfall right below them.

    “This isn’t going how I planned,” Xavier said as they finally left the bridge, continuing towards the next one cautiously as Piplup regained control of clasping Matthew’s ears. He looked around to see that Lapras, Drifloon, Beautifly and Misdreavus had made great progress, and were waiting for them by the second waterfall. Xavier looked at the path ahead and saw there were even more rocks covering the ground, more cracks making their way ahead uneasy.

    “I think calling Lapras over and getting her to head down the Waterfall might be a better option,” Xavier pondered aloud.

    “Grotle Grot Grot!” Grotle grumbled in agreement, and he went to bend his legs, obviously wanting to sit down. But Piplup let out a sudden squawk that caused several Hoothoot flying above them to hoot in despair.

    “Piplup Pip Pip Lup Piplup Lup Lup PIP PIP LUP!” The little water type suddenly wailed, and Xavier stared down at her curiously: Piplup appeared to have tears forming in her eyes again, and was shaking as she stared down at Matthew’s head. His pale green skin was becoming tinged with a sickly looking purple around his veins, and Xavier knew that they needed to get Matthew down as quickly as possible. But Piplup seemed distressed at what would be a much quicker option, and Xavier couldn’t work out why.

    She wants to stick with him, stay by him Lapras’ voice whispered inside Xavier’s head, and he inclined his head slightly to see Lapras had come over, leading the ghosts and Beautifly with her. Piplup doesn’t want to leave his side in case something happens to him. I think it’s sweet, though I’m not surprised you can’t see this.

    The connection between the two must be very strong. Xavier thought.
    Of course it’s strong: their trainer and starter Pokemon, that bond is always strong! Lapras said indignantly. You may not realise it, but I know Grotle would do the same thing for you. Xavier was rather taken aback by this, and the strange sensation in his stomach rose up again. He glanced down at Grotle, who was whispering softly to Piplup, and felt his heart swell up slightly. He hadn’t thought of his and Grotle’s connection being that strong before, and it made him feel… happy to know this. Xavier looked down at his sickly, possibly dying friend and felt the strange sensation of sadness rising up in him. Matthew needed to be healed quickly, and getting to the Berry Master was their only hope. But Piplup couldn’t leave him either… it was beginning to confuse Xavier, and he dropped Matthew’s leg and clutched his head, the thoughts rushing through it like cars on a busy highway.

    “Cross Hera Heracross?” Heracross asked nervously. Xavier shook his head violently, trying to get rid of all the thoughts. He needed to focus and do the sensible thing, and that was to get Matthew his care.

    “Alright! We’ll keep going along this path,” Xavier said to the Pokemon, and Piplup’s face lit up. “Lapras and Drifloon, use Psychic and Ominous Wind to clear the path of anything up ahead. Beautifly and Misdreavus, you two help us carry Matthew so we can get him down the mountain faster!” Xavier looked over at Lapras, who simply nodded and gave him a slight wink before her eyes turned pink, causing several rocks to be lifted and tossed out of the way. Xavier nodded back at her, picked up Matthew’s leg, and continued to walk backwards.

    They began to go faster now that the path was cleared. Beautifly flew underneath and put her weight into holding Matthew’s middle up, allowing them to put more energy into moving backwards. Misdreavus couldn’t do much, being a ghost, but flew around their feet, looking for any cracks or bumps to warn them about.

    Xavier was pleased with this progress. The sound of the first waterfall was quickly fading out of earshot, and the soft roar of the second one was getting closer and closer. The wind had picked up, and it was becoming chillier than it had been when they started, with the clouds overhead beginning to cover the moon. It looked like it was soon going to rain or snow, and Xavier wanted to get off the rocky area before this happened. It could become too slippery for them to continue, and despite what Piplup wanted, not getting killed was the most logical thing to do.

    “Mis Mis!” Xavier looked around and saw Misdreavus was floating behind his legs: they had nearly walked off the cliff, with the bridge a few feet in the other direction.

    “That was a close call,” Xavier said, and gave his weird, almost strangled laugh. Ignoring the eye rolling and awkward glances of the Pokemon, Xavier took the opportunity to look over the edge towards the bottom of the waterfall. Even in the darkness he could make out a series of jagged rocks in the water and on both banks, providing very sharp, natural points that would instantly kill him and harm the Pokemon if they fell off. The rush of the waterfall was much louder now, though it still sounded very peaceful and relaxing in the middle of this twilight mountain setting. Xavier looked away from the natural beauty and towards the large green field that was no much closer: the Berry Master’s house was much more visible now, and it should take them less than half an hour, if they were lucky, to get there.

    “The house is only a short way away, so we need to keep moving,” Xavier said, meaning to simply state the fact, but Piplup, Beautifly and Misdreavus cheered with happiness. Ignoring this, Xavier and Heracross directed Matthew’s body back towards the bridge.

    The bridge, like the previous one, was fairly old and rather damaged: several of the planks were broken and a quarter were missing, giving a below-foot view to the raging water beneath them. However, there was one bit of damage Xavier couldn’t see. The supports holding the bridge up weren’t any older than the planks, but they got hit by more water and were now rotting away. From a far it looked fine, with no visible damage, but an up close view would make any wonder wheter crossing it with a heavy load would be safe.

    But Xavier had no other option, and couldn’t see the hidden dangers that were endangering the short trip across the bridge. He began leading them all across the bridge, his mind clear and focused on the task at hand. All thoughts of emotion left Xavier as his brain turned into a series of systematic thoughts based solely around walking backwards, trying to carry Matthew’s limp body and focus on where to put his feet taking over his thoughts.

    “Lapras, wait until we get to the other side, than go down the waterfall,” Xavier called out as he put a steady foot onto the bridge. Lapras merely nodded as she floated next to the rocky ground, fairly bored with the proceedings. Xavier didn’t notice this as he and Heracross continued to move onto the bridge: it was slightly slippery, but the two managed to stay on.

    “Remember Heracross, one foot at a time, go slowly,” Xavier told the Single Horn Pokemon, who nodded and copied Xavier’s motion of putting one feet behind the other a few seconds apart. As they moved a few planks into the bridge, it let out a rather ominous creak, that was unfortunately masked by the raging waterfall. Xavier and Heracross continued, Grotle getting to stepping on, when there was a whoosh behind them.

    “Driflooooon!” Drifloon cried out, and Xavier stopped, his foot a centimetre away from going through a non-existent plank.

    “Thank you Drifloon,” Xavier said gratefully, and her and Heracross stepped over the gap. They paused, as Matthew was now being stretched, allowing Grotle and Piplup to move forwards. Xavier stared through the crack at the water raging below. It would have been much more dangerous to go that way, he thought, and was glad to be going this way. As Grotle put a thick leg onto the bridge, Xavier was reasonably satisfied that everything was going well.

    That all changed with a creak.

    Everyone suddenly froze, Grotle in mid step, Drifloon and Misdreavus being pushed by the wind: they all stared down towards the bridge as it let out a third creak that was much louder than the previous two. Grotle took a nervous step backwards, startled by the sudden shaking of the bridge, when the plank beneath his front feet suddenly snapped.


    “PIP!” The two starters wailed as Grotle sunk through the gap. Piplup wobbled for a few seconds, and than fell face forwards, causing Matthew to fall. Beautifly quickly flew out looking startled as her trainer hit the bridge with a thud, causing it to creak again.

    “This bridge isn’t safe!” Xavier said in louder tones, placing Matthew’s leg down. The wind was beginning to pick up and the bridge was creaking more. Heracross went to help get Grotle out, but another plank snapped beneath his feet as he passed.

    Xavier, get off the bridge! Lapras mentally shouted, beginning to move closer towards them. Xavier nodded, but he was at a loss at what to do. It seemed too late to change their plans now, as there wasn’t a way for them to be carried down by air due to the wind, and the water was raging beneath them. Matthew let out a sudden groan, and Xavier stared down at his friend as his mind began to race painfully again, watching as his head rolled and his limbs began to twitch, as if he was going to have another seizure: Xavier couldn’t do anything drastic now, as it could seriously endanger Matthew’s health…

    XAVIER, NOW! Lapras wailed.

    If he didn’t help Matthew, they’d all die…

    The bridge let out another creak, making Piplup wail slightly in worry…

    XAVIER! Lapras screamed.

    “But Matthew will get hurt…” Xavier mumbled, a million thoughts going through his head…

    The bridge snapped.

    Without realising it, Xavier began to fall: he didn’t notice the fact the bridge had split cleanly in two, and was now crashing against the sides of the waterfall beneath them. Grotle, Heracross and Piplup screamed as they began to fall, and Lapras shouted something in the back of his head, but Xavier couldn’t focus. He was staring at Matthew, who was spinning around in midair, still thinking… he hadn’t been able to come to a decision… he had made the wrong choice about what to do… water was splashing against him, the roar of the waterfall deafening as it mixed with the howling wind whipping his jacket and bag around… his decision could very easily lead to their deaths as the rocks below them got closer, which seemed to be zooming up to meet them, eager for their new victims…

    For once, Xavier had let his emotions overpower him, and his logic had failed.

    Now he would die.

  7. #52
    Moderator AceTrainer14's Avatar Forum Head
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    Apr 2010
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    Default Re: Galactic: Dawn (Part Two) Prt 2

    This contains foul language that may upset some people and should be read at their own caution. Also, BMG was being slow so I couldnt italicize some stuff sorry

    As Vanessa awoke for the second time in the past few hours, she instantly felt the restraints were loose.

    Though her vision was blurry, causing the light above to appear as large streaky lines, and her head began throbbing as soon as she awoke, Vanessa could feel the restraints holding her arms and legs in place were much looser, as her arms were sagging slightly.

    Interesting, Vanessa pondered groggily as she blinked, trying to restore her vision. She gave a little bit of a tug on her leg restraints: the muscles in her legs throbbed as she moved them, and Vanessa figured they still hurt from the injection, but was surprised to see her right leg restraint suddenly came loose. Vanessa froze for a moment, her eyesight back to normal, and managed to lean up and stare at her now bare leg.

    Her mind and body kicked into action.

    Ignoring the multiple pains throughout her entire body, Vanessa began to pull against the restraints. It felt like they were cutting into her wrists and could very well draw blood, but this sensation only lasted for a few seconds before both arm restraints snapped, causing Vanessa to fly forwards due to the pressure she had been forcing against them. Not celebrating this success or worrying about the pain running through her back and ribs now, Vanessa pulled on the restraint on her left leg and it instantly came apart.

    “Well, that was easy,” Vanessa said happily, “a little too easy perhaps…” Vanessa paused again, wondering why her restraints had been loose, but merely shrugged it off: if something was waiting for her, than the more fun and rewarding this night would be. Vanessa swayed slightly as she stood up, her mild headache and sore legs not making for a good combination, but she quickly gathered herself back together and looked around. She nearly froze as she looked at the bench and saw her bag and umbrella sitting there neatly, as if Vanessa herself had put them there.

    Interesting… very interesting… Vanessa thought, rather taken aback to see these things here. Cautiously, she opened her bag up and peered inside, wondering if it was a trap: her clothes and shoes for the next few days were folded tidily underneath her five PokeBalls, and checking the pockets revealed all her other gadgets, including her acidic pen, were still there as well. Nothing seemed to be missing, and her umbrella was in the same condition it had been in however long again Vanessa had been knocked out. Vanessa couldn’t help but wonder what was going on as she slipped out of her rock dress: someone had come in and let her straps free and left her bag and umbrella here, but who would do that for her? Draco had mentioned something about taking the grunts and some weapon to deal with Crystal, and she knew Charon must be around if eh was going to do tests on her, so who had managed to get in and save her? The only name she could come up with was Looker, who Vanessa remembered had been at Mt Coronet and could’ve come to her rescue.

    “Oh well,” She sighed as she zipped her new dress up (a sparkly brown fringed one with matching high heels designed to resemble rock formations). “I’ll deal with that one later,” Vanessa told herself, and pushed thoughts of her mysterious helper out of her head: she needed to find her out of what she presumed was the airship, based on Draco’s previous comments, and try and find the others. Vanessa reached into her bag, kicking her old dress away, and pressed the button on Monferno’s PokeBall. A burst of light shone out and the red energy quickly formed into Monferno, who smiled warmly at Vanessa before gazing around at where he was. Vanessa was pleased to her helper had healed her team, and proceeded to send the other four Pokemon out.

    “Alright then,” She called a few moments later, looking around at her team. All five were perfectly happy and healthy, and were either sitting on or below the table or hovering above it. “We need to get out of here as quickly as possible and see what is happening at Mt Coronet. I don’t know what might be out there, but we need to move swiftly and find a safe way out.” The five Pokemon all nodded, and Vanessa was pleased they hadn’t been dampened down by the battle against Cyrus. “Brilliant to see your all onboard, so let’s move out and kick some Galactic ass!”

    They began to move slowly and cautiously down the corridor, but Vanessa was surprised to see they were completely empty, breaking into a steady run after several minutes of encountering nothing. Many hallways shot off the main curving corridor, designed similarly to Vanessa’s room, with even more identical rooms coming off. Checking a few for any signs of life revealed empty sleeping quarters, an eerily quiet medical wing, a half empty utility room, several storage cupboards and a small kitchen.

    After nearly ten minutes of running endlessly, Vanessa and her team came to the end of another hallway, ending with a curved wall with a door in it. However, Vanessa first checked the room to the left: it was identical to the rest of them, except it had stationary and a large amount of paper in it. Vanessa growled and slammed the door shut, nearly clipping Luxio’s tail as he left after peering inside.

    “There was no door leading out of that one either!” Vanessa shrieked, and she angrily kicked the wall, her heel leaving a large dent in the wall. None of the rooms had led to anything more exciting than a toilet, and none of them had windows so Vanessa could at least find out where she was. There was little hope of her finding a way out, and Vanessa didn’t want to keep running around the curving hallways.

    “We might as well blow our way out!” She told her team with a snarl, and her umbrella instinctively turned into its energy blaster form.

    “Mon Mon!” Monferno said, his tail flame lighting up as he swung his fists around excitedly. There was a sighing noise next to Vanessa, and she looked around to face Staraptor, who was rolling her eyes.

    “Starpator Star Star Raptor,” The Starling Pokemon said warily, and swung her left wing out into the door: it was knocked backwards off it hinges and landed on a metal floor with a clunk. Peering in, Vanessa could see that it was clearly stairs they’d found, as well as a possible exit. However, Vanessa sighed as she pressed a button on her umbrella.

    “I was looking forward to destroying this thing,” She explained, and Staraptor rolled her eyes again before walking quickly onto the landing, with Vanessa and the other Pokemon following suit. The stairwell was very wide, about three metres in diameter, but the steps themselves were particularly narrow, so that Vanessa, Luxio and Monferno could barely fit all together. The steps were made out of metal, and Vanessa knew that if someone was still around, they would have heard the door landing due to the loud, metallic echo it had created. Vanessa quickly took several things into account once she got past what it looked like: the staircase was going both up and down, with bright light glittering barely a metre above their heads, whilst the staircase descended several metres into darkness. Vanessa knew that if they went down, finding an exit would be much easier. However, she was intrigued by the light above her head, and could even hear soft beeping and tinkling sounds: who would be the lone person working in this reasonably large structure?

    “Star Staraptor!” Staraptor hissed quietly at Vanessa, obviously knowing what she was about to do. But Vanessa didn’t care: she wanted to know who had helped her out, where she was, and, hopefully, find out what Galactic was up to. And getting into a fight wouldn’t be that bad.

    “Murkrow, Dustox and I will go ahead, Staraptor, you bring up the back,” Vanessa explained in a whisper, and than quietly but quickly began walking up the staircase. Her heels only made a tiny echo, allowing Vanessa to focus upon the sounds above her as she slowly put one foot in front of the other: the noises sounded very robotic and electronic, so they were possibly approaching a control room. Footsteps and the occasional rattle of wheeled chair came down as well, mixed in with the mumblings of whoever was making the noises. The staircase quickly began to curve, casting Vanessa in bright light that made her dress sparkle: a few steps away, the staircase opened up into a new area. A shadow was cast across the floor, and Vanessa turned and smiled at the others.

    “Extra quiet now!” She warned, grabbing her umbrella and she began the last few steps towards the opening. More lights seemed to be flashing now, and Vanessa was feeling a warm sense of happiness rush through her as she nodded at Dustox and Murkrow: they were about to encounter the only person here, and hopefully find their answers. The shadow began to merge into an actual human being, standing several metres away by a large glass window. The person’s face was right in front of the glass so Vanessa couldn’t see their reflection, but there was something about the white lab coat and grey hair that seemed familiar…

    “It can’t be…” Vanessa gasped, her left high heel touching down a polished white tile. There was a soft laugh from the figure, and Vanessa felt her stomach drop as they turned around, staring at her with a wide, smug smile.

    “Miss Backlot,” Charon said, shaking his head whilst smirking, “if you your going to go to all that trouble of trying to be quiet, you really shouldn’t have made such a racket down below.” He clicked his fingers, and Vanessa felt something move behind her. However, she felted rooted to the spot: he knew her last name… no one knew her last name…. how did he know her last name…

    “Mur-KROW!” Vanessa was suddenly sent flying to the ground as a burst of electricity lit up the room, but it didn’t feel like she’d been electrocuted. Rolling onto her back revealed two things to Vanessa: firstly, Murkrow was flying a few centimetres above her, though looked like she’d been shocked, and secondly, Charon’s Magnezone was floating above both of them, its magnets glowing threateningly.

    “FERNOOOO!” Monferno shot suddenly out of the stairwell, his glowing Mach Punch smashing into Magnezone and sending it crashing into a light. As sparks and glass rained down, Vanessa leapt up, grasping her umbrella in one hand and Murkrow in another to avoid getting him, and turned around to face Charon.

    “How do you know my last name?” Vanessa hissed, holding her sword towards his throat. Her heart was racing quickly, her mind racing: how could her last name, the only connection to her past, the thing she’d kept hidden for all these tears… how did Charon know? As cries from the battling Pokemon sounded behind them, Vanessa simply stared at Charon, shaking slightly from her rage and shock. However, the scientist simply smirked back, and Vanessa’s blood boiled. “ANSWER ME!” She roared.

    “I’d control that temper if I was you,” Charon said simply with a smirk. Vanessa screamed in fury, making Murkrow squawk, and slashed her umbrella. Charon quickly dodged and the silver blade smashed into a glass touch screen behind him. Vanessa paused as the screen shattered, breathing deeply to control herself. She glanced around at what she had struck: a sleek, silver bench with the touch screen in the center, but a variety of buttons, levers and even a steering wheel were also there on either side. Glancing around, Vanessa saw more benches were spaced around the wall, exactly identical to first one minus the wheel, though Luxio did destroy an entire one as Magnezone blasted him across the room.

    “This is the first time we’ve brought this airship out,” Charon explained, “and I’m pleased with how-”

    “SHUT UP!” Vanessa roared suddenly, and pulled her sword back towards him. Charon smirked again and stood slightly to the side as Dustox flew across the room and smacked into the window, followed by a growling Magnezone with Monferno clinging on top. Vanessa had zoned out of the battle: she was desperate for answers, and needed to sort this out first. Her attempts tot keep her past a secret had failed, and Vanessa needed to know how.

    “I’m not telling you how I know, Miss Backlot,” Charon said, still grinning like a smug schoolboy. “I will tell you this though: whatever you think you can hide from us, we will find out, and we will use it against you. For example, I don’t think you’d want the authorities to know about your last name, would you?” Vanessa was breathing slowly and deeply with rage, and wanted nothing more but to thrust her sword straight into Charon, just to do something to relieve herself. But as the thought crushed her mind, a sudden beeping penetrated her thoughts: Vanessa turned around towards one of the other benches, where all of the lights were now glowing and flashing repeatedly. Charon’s face suddenly turned grave, and he rushed towards the bench, dodging Staraptor as she zoomed towards Magnezone.

    “It appears your friend is causing a bit of bother in Mt Coronet,” the scientist said quietly as he pushed all the buttons. All thoughts about her last name suddenly vanished from Vanessa’s mind as he spoke, and she turned and looked through the windows for the first time: she was indeed on Route 207, the entrance to Mt Coronet only a few metres away.

    “Sahara… is she in trouble?” Vanessa asked quietly, her umbrella arm beginning to descend. Charon turned around and nodded, glancing cautiously at her umbrella.

    “I suggest you leave me be for now and go deal with her: I don’t know what Cyrus is planning on doing, but he has brought a new weapon out to use on her,” The scientist explained. Vanessa remembered Draco saying something like that earlier, and didn’t particularly trust him very much either. She had to rescue Sahara… it was more important…

    “Don’t expect me to just let this go,” Vanessa said boldly. “I still want the answers, and I plan on getting them,” and she than clicked her fingers. Charon was surprised by this odd movement, but was just as taken aback when a sudden gust of wind sent him flying: Staraptor had gone into Twister, the blue-purple tornado stretching across the room and smashing into the opposite windows.

    “See you around!” Vanessa called cheekily, and she than leapt backwards out of the shattered window. She let go of Murkrow, and for a moment watched as Monferno, Luxio and Dustox followed after, before Vanessa began to roll quickly and uncontrollably down the side of the airship. Her dress permanently sprinkled in the moonlight seeping through the clouds, and her hair flew wildly. Vanessa couldn’t help but laugh, memories of doing this down hillsides as a child coming back to her. But the ride ended as abruptly as it had began, and Vanessa began to fall through midair, the ground rising up rapidly to meet her.

    “Staraptor Star!” Vanessa was winded as she landed instead onto Staraptor’s back, who swooped down to save her from a painful fate.

    “Cheers Staraptor,” Vanessa said, clutching her side which began to scream at her, the drugs she got earlier still in effect. Monferno and Luxio landed smoothly on the ground, and Murkrow and Dustox hovered above them, waiting for instructions. Vanessa looked towards the entrance only a few feet away: pink light was coming out of it, and she knew it was coming from Crystal. Vanessa couldn’t let anything happen to her, and she jumped and landed as elegantly as she could in high heels on the ground.

    “Come on, we need to rescue Sahara quickly,” Vanessa said. With a final glance towards the airship, thoughts of her last name, her past and what else Charon knew rushing through her head, Vanessa walked quickly towards the cave, putting all of those troubles behind and focusing entirely on saving her friend.

    All Xavier could see was blue… a beautiful, sapphire like blue, surrounding him on all sides… it was a truly majestic feeling … soft, distorted sounds were coming down towards him, but Xavier didn’t care… he felt weightless… he felt free… darkness seemed to be filling up the blue now, but at least he was alone…

    But than a figure appeared… Xavier was instantly excited… the creature was oddly shaped, but it was glowing like a spectacular rainbow… it was floating through the water as well, but it was going in the opposite direction… Don’t go Xavier tried to call, and he stretched out… the creature turned, looking frightened… Xavier wouldn’t hurt it though… he just wanted to give touch it…

    A blinding white flash filled his vision… Xavier couldn’t see… he couldn’t hear… his body felt strange… Xavier wanted to cry… but he couldn’t… he just couldn’t….


    Xavier’s eyes burst open.

    He was breathing deeply and quickly, but the blinding white light had disappeared. Xavier was looking up into the worried faces of Grotle, Lapras, Drifloon and Heracross, all looking concerned as they looked down at him in a square-like formation.

    “What happened?” Xavier asked. He felt his clothes and realised they weren’t wet, but despite zoning out when they began to fall, Xavier knew what had happened before he blacked out.

    I used Psychic to stop you all from forming, and than I used Dive to carry us all down the river. Lapras explained, still looking worried. I managed to get us through the rocks and into the stream, so we are only a few metres away from the house. Xavier looked up quickly, and saw that the Berry Master’s house was very close by. The one storey wooden structure was surrounded by several fruit trees and a vegetable patch, and the soft tinkling stream was barely centimetres away from the back door, currently reflecting the dull clouds forming above. A dark figure was moving by the light being cast out of the building, but Xavier saw someone else lying nearby: Matthew.

    Forcing himself to stand, Xavier quickly moved towards his friend. Matthew now resembled a grape display: his skin was clammy and tinged with green and purple, his mouth hanging open as sickly groans echoed out into the night. Piplup, Beautifly and Misdreavus were back around him, looking increasingly worried as Matthew simply lay there, seeming close to death. Xavier felt his body tense up again, the still strange sensation of despair creeping through his body again. He knew that freezing up on the bridge nearly cost them all their lives, and Xavier felt sick with himself. He had allowed a tiny bit of emotion to cloud his logic, prevent him from doing the right thing. They had nearly died thanks to him, but at least Lapras had managed to save them. And they were now at the house now: it seemed everything had worked out for the best. Yet Xavier could still feel despair inside of him… they were all safe now, so why was he still feeling this way?

    “Hello… Hello!... Oh my gosh! GRANDAD! SOMEONE’S DYING OUT HERE!” A female voice burst through the night silence, and Xavier looked away from Matthew, trying to suppress the sadness, and saw a teenage girl running across the grass, followed closely by what looked like an Exeggutor.

    “Oh my gosh, what happened to your friend?” The girl, who had long brunette hair and was wearing a flowing orange dress, gasped.

    “My friend has been given an unknown poison,” Xavier explained. “I believe it was around sixty to ninety minutes ago, I’m not sure, but his condition has deteriorated and he needs medical assistance.”

    “Don’t worry, my grandfather will hopefully be able to fix him up,” the girl said, putting an encouraging smile on, though Xavier didn’t know why she was given it to him. “Exeggutor, use Psychic!”

    “Egg Eggutor Exeggutor!” Exeggutor’s many heads chanted, and Matthew suddenly rose into the air. The girl led the way back towards the house, Matthew floating between her and Exeggutor. Piplup, Beautifly and Misdreavus quickly followed after, and Xavier and his Pokemon began moving forwards as well.

    That feeling… that feeling of despair… it’s perfectly normal in these sorts of situations. Lapras explained as she slid along the slightly dewy grass. Xavier merely nodded, but he didn’t wish to discuss the matter any further as they began to go past large patches of berries. Lapras simply made a huffing sound, but than looked towards Xavier, her expression slightly sombre. I saw the dream you had. I remember that day very well… I didn’t think you’d be able to…

    “That is enough Lapras!” Xavier said, his voice suddenly sharp. “We need to heal Matthew now and not worry about anything else!” And he began to walk a few steps ahead. Lapras simply nodded and sighed: she may not have been too happy about being with Xavier at first, but he had grown on her, and she was very concerned about his mental state tonight. But they were now near the house, and Lapras knew that Xavier was right and that Matthew came first.

    “Come inside dear, take him to the couch!” An elderly lady with snowy white hair, thick brown glasses and an oversized purple dressing gown was standing at the open front door, directing her granddaughter inside. Xavier simply nodded at her as he passed, and ran inside after Matthew’s Pokemon. The room was half kitchen and half living room, with mostly old fashioned appliances and furniture placed around the large wooden space. A balding man was standing in the kitchen, putting a large pot of water onto the stove.

    “You’ve come to the right place,” he called to Xavier as Exeggutor lowered Matthew onto a couch that may have been fashionable in the eighties. “I’ll fix your friend up in no time,” and he grabbed a large knife and began cutting up a variety of berries. Xavier simply nodded, not sure of what else to say. The events of the night had been very strange and confusing to him: he hadn’t thought about Team Galactic since leaving the mountain, but as this came back to him, Xavier found himself wondering about what happened to Vanessa, Sahara, his parents, what Galactic was planning…

    Just let the emotions come in

    “Quiet Lapras!” Xavier snapped suddenly as the voice echoed in his head, and he sighed and collapsed into a chair, the girl and her grandparents staring oddly at him. He very really snapped, and felt slightly guilty about it… but he never felt guilty either… Allowing a growl-like sound to escape, Xavier quickly whipped the different PokeBalls out and brought back Lapras, Drifloon and Heracross without any word of warning. He didn’t want Lapras to keep giving him advice, and the others were taking up precious space in this tiny room.

    “Alright then, let’s see how this one works,” The old man said, and he walked forwards with a large bowl of steaming berry soup, which looked like someone had mixed several different colours of paint together. Beautifly gently pulled Piplup backwards, allowing the Berry Master to stand over Matthew and pour a large spoon of the concoction into his mouth. A few seconds past by, with Piplup, Beautifly and Misdreavus exchanging worried looks, whilst Grotle stared up at the confused Xavier, not sure what to make of his trainer’s behaviour. Than there was a loud coughing sound, and the Berry Master stood up satisfied as Matthew began to hack violently.

    “Is this a good sign?” Xavier asked, whose knowledge of this things made him doubt wheter Matthew coughing like this was a positive. The Berry Master simply laughed, and his wife and granddaughter chuckled as well.

    “Everyone always asks that,” he said with a chortle. “Yes, your friend should be fine. I’ll give him another spoonful in a few minutes, and than we’ll evaluate from then on.” A chorus of “Pip Pip!”, “Beautifly-fly!” and “Mis Mis Mis!” echoed from besides Matthew, and Piplup leapt up onto the couch, dancing below Beautifly and Misdreavus. Xavier watched them for a moment, and than glanced down at Matthew. His friend was going to be fine… a surge of happiness rose up in Xavier, like a balloon was rising up from his stomach. All that trouble had been worth it.

    “Grot Grotle!” Grotle had clearly noticed Xavier’s change in mood, and
    nuzzled Xavier’s leg appreciatively. Xavier looked down at Grotle and felt his lips curling up, his facial muscles tingeing slightly with pain as he forced a smile. But than, Xavier felt an urge to turn around, staring towards the giant peak of Mt Coronet behind them, and it felt like the balloon had popped.

    Whatever was happening back in that cave, Xavier just hoped someone else he knew didn’t come close to death.

    Things were going from bad to worse inside of Mt Coronet.

    Charles had had a feeling from the start that Cyrus’ plan wouldn’t work, and it was indeed collapsing before his eyes. Despite being surprised by the amount of power used at first, Crystal had quickly gained the advantage using a simple method of using her water manipulation to release giant waves, easily sweeping the grunts and their Pokemon backwards. Rock formations continued to stab down at them all, though Saturn had successfully managed to destroy most of the sharp, natural knives, leaving Jupiter and Mars to use their weapons to attempt and strike Crystal. However, repeatedly they’d go forwards to attack, usually accompanied by some sort of Pokemon attack to help, and repeatedly Crystal would easily deflect it. Charles wanted to rush in and help out, but he knew it would be too risky for him and his Pokemon: Crystal’s eyes were still darting around the cave, seemingly trying to find him and attack, though Gyarados’ large body still protected them from her gaze, leaving them all safe for now.

    But Charles noticed one thing Gyarados wouldn’t be able to protect them from. As the battle continued to get more and more intense, the entire mountain seemed to be melting around them. What had been solid but glowing rocks and earth only a short time ago now resembling liquefying jelly. The surfaces all seemed to be blending into each so much so Charles couldn’t tell the point where the earthy floor stopped and the rocky walls began. Looking up, it seemed that the ceiling was sinking towards them, as a large pink bulge seemed to be forming in the middle of the cave. If this continued, they could all be crushed within minutes.

    Charles was extremely worried. He, Elle, Gligar and Gyarados were lying here on the floor, some form of death seeming closer and closer. He dared a brief glance around and saw Purugly, Toxicroak and Skuntank flying through the air, making Cyrus leap frantically out of the way and nearly being hit by Jupiter’s axe as Crystal mentally threw it through the air. None of them seemed to have noticed that the world around them was blending into a large, pink mass, and as Charles looked around, it seemed he was the only one. Roshonda and Addison were still battling Palmer furiously, though Cradily had to be switched out for Nidoqueen and Persian was on her last legs. Dragonite was beginning to get tired after battling for so long, but Rhyperior was still thrashing away, locked in a deep fight with Nidoqueen. As a collision of attacks shook the roof, Charles looked towards the raised section: Meditite was still sitting peacefully atop, remaining in its meditated state, acting is if it was in the middle of beach instead of a war stricken, melting cave.

    “Am I the only one noticing this?” Charles hissed, staring at the flowing pink beneath the battlers feet. Elle and Gligar nodded and shrugged, and then quickly looked back towards the battle: it seemed they were captivated by the exciting happening before them. Charles couldn’t bare to watch it anymore and turned away. He wanted to be out there fighting, but knew that exposing himself to Crystal could have serious consequences. But someone had to stop her….

    “Gyara,” A soft grunt sounded a few feet away, and Charles turned toward’s Gyarados’ head. The Atrocious Pokemon was looking towards Charles intensely, gesturing for him to look further down the cave. Charles nodded, and Elle and Gligar turned and looked in the same direction: a bright green glow, slightly overshadowed by the pink one, was coming from the passage Charles had walked through what felt like ages ago. It looked familiar, and Charles was suddenly excited: could it be…

    “Try and try again,” Crystal cackled, sending Mar’s whip flying into Saturn’s Scyther with a flick of her hand, “but whatever you throw at me, I’ll send it right back! You can’t win Cyrus, you just can’t-”

    “NOW!” Crystal froze mid sentence as the voice echoed around them. A sudden burst of brilliant great energy shot out of the passage, racing towards the battle. Everyone had stopped moving, watching with a mixture of delight, shock and excitement as the Solarbeam ctut hrough the cave. Crystal turned, her angry face making her look even more deranged, and raised her hands as if to stop it. But the Solarbeam was too powerful, and it struck Crystal squarely in the chest. Cyrus moved out of the way, watching Crystal in awe as she was blasted by him, spinning through the air like a top. All eyes followed, even those from the other battle, watching as Crystal smashed into the raised section with an explosion of the Solarbeam and the rocks she struck.

    Instantly the pink light faded away, though the roof was left sagging and damaged. Silence had fallen across the cave, the only noise coming from unwilling groans from the grunts and the soft falling of rocks. Everyone was astounded by what had happened by what they had witnessed. Cyrus looked around at them all, looking like he’d been hit.

    “That was bloody lucky!” Mars said in an exasperated voice, and collapsed onto her Drapion’s tail, all eyes turning towards her as the stunned silence shattered. “Whoever did that is a fucking lifesaver!” Jupiter and Saturn nodded in agreement, and they all looked towards the passage: a half smiling, half nervous looking Minerva walked cautiously out of the passage, her Leafeon walking alongside with a more confident swagger.

    “So… did it work…?” Minerva whispered anxiously. Once again there was silence, and for a moment Minerva stood there horrified, looking around frantically as if something had gone wrong. But than a single sound began to echo around them: Cyrus was walking forwards and clapping, the loud, slow, rhythmic seeming to seep through them all. By the time he walked up to his assistant, beaming widely, Saturn, Mars, Jupiter and the grunts had joined in, so it soon sounded very musical and joyful and Minerva began blushing. Roshonda and Addison joined in as well, not noticing as Dragonite knocked Persian out with a final Brick Break>

    “That was brilliant Minerva, absolutely brilliant!” Cyrus cried, giving her a tight hug and smiling exceptionally wide. “How did you think of it? And where is Looker?” Cyrus added, his smiling fading slightly as he saw the egg Leafeon had curled in her tail.

    “I chased after Looker and had an altercation with him, but he Teleported me back here,” Minerva explained, and Charles noticed she wasn’t looking at Cyrus nor the egg. “I saw what Crystal was doing, so I had Leafeon charge up and hold it in until it was strong enough to strike with. And… I guess it worked!” Cyrus didn’t seem to have heard the final few words, and Charles noticed he was staring angrily at the egg, almost as if it was disgusting. But than he realised Minerva had finished talking and quickly let out a forced, booming laugh that the other admins joined in on, though they exchanged shifty looks.

    “Wonderful story!” Cyrus said. “And at least Crystal has been stopped, for now. We need to get the weap – ah!” Cyrus paused as the walkie talkie attached to his belt crackled. “This should be Draco now – Draco, is that you?”

    “Yes sir,” Draco’s voice came through the walkie talkie, though Charles could hear it echoing slightly in the distance. “We have brought the weapon down: do you wish us to proceed with setting it up?”

    “Yes, set it up, though we may not need it,” Cyrus replied. “Crystal may be unconscious, we aren’t sure.” He looked towards the raised section where the dust still remained, still covering Crystal up. Charles was rather surprised by this: shouldn’t the it have settled by now?” But Cyrus seemed to have not noticed, and neither had anyone else, their attention back to Minerva. Roshonda and Addison were only half interested in their battle, though Palmer was fighting at full force towards Nidoqueen, ignoring the change in mood.

    “We should sort Crystal out and get back to headquarters,” Cyrus boomed. “We need to celebrate Minerva’s success!” More applause greeted this, and Minerva began to blush even harder. Charles felt like getting up and applauding her as well, and made to move upwards for the first time since Crystal appeared when he noticed something: Minerva’s feet were no longer touching the ground. Shocked, Charles looked up and saw Minerva had also noticed: she was looking around frantically, her blush turning to horror as she felt around her neck, gagging noises coming out. No one else seemed to have noticed, simply applauding as Minerva was being strangled, carried further into the sky.

    “You bitch!” The dust suddenly burst away, making Roshonda and Addison scream as Crystal appeared, standing in the crater she had landed in and looking particularly furious and demented. Everyone had noticed Minerva now, and Cyrus and Saturn made to grab her.

    “Flamethrower!” Cyrus commanded his Houndoom as Leafeon leapt up as well, trying to grab her trainer’s shoe. But Crystal simply laughed again as Houndoom stepped forwards, and she clicked her fingers, causing Cyrus, Saturn and Leafeon to land.

    “Please Cyrus, nothing can stop me now!” She called, twisting her hands to make Minerva move further up. “If I thought you’d actually manage one of your sneak attacks, I would have tried to actually kill you all properly earlier! But it looks like having my fun was foolish,” Crystal said with a fake sigh. “I’ll just have to fix that mistake now, won’t I?” Charles watched, terrified, as Minerva rose further towards the sagging roof, where the broken end of stalactite was pointing like a rocky dagger towards Minerva. She was still gasping for breath, but tears were now streaming down her face as Minerva moved further and further towards a possible death. Charles couldn’t sit by any longer: Minerva was the nicest person at Galactic, and was the only person to actually take Crystal down a peg. She didn’t deserve to die, and Charles could no longer stay hidden, no longer wait for anyone else to do the right thing. No matter what Crystal did to him, Charles wouldn’t let Minerva die.

    “Eva Eve!” Elle squealed as Charles leapt up, but he ignored her and pulled out a Safari Ball. Minerva was closer to the jagged rock now: it was time to act!

    “TAUROS, HYPER BEAM!” He roared and threw the Safari Ball. Everyone turned, but Crystal was so absorbed as she gleefully lifted Minerva up that she didn’t notice as the giant Tauros formed, making the others move. But as Tauros began to absorb in energy, Crystal noticed the disturbance and glanced down. Her smile faded and her eyes widened in shock, and Minerva screamed as she was let go of. Cyrus rushed and grabbed her, but moved her out of the way as the multicoloured ball of energy formed in Tauros’ mouth.

    “TAAAAAUUUUROOOOO!” He boomed, and Charles smiled as the powerful burst of energy was released. Crystal quickly moved her hands around and they glowed pink: the entire cave began to glow like melting jelly as the Hyper Beam struck her hands, sending bursts of energy crashing around the cave. Charles was nervous now: if the Hyper Beam didn’t work, he didn’t know what would.

    Near the Route 207 entrance of the cave, one of the offshoots smashed into some of the stalactites Crystal hadn’t gotten to. Below, Draco and five spare grunts had been setting up the machine that was bound to stop Crystal: it resembled an old fashioned black cannon, but it had been modified in several ways. A control panel had been put in where the cannonball would usually be lit, and it was now resting upon a metal stand with handles to aim where it was fired.

    “MOVE IT!” Draco cried, and he leapt out of the way to avoid the fallen rock. The other grunts nervously squealed and moved the cannon, and Draco threw his PokeBalls onto the ground. Glalie, Froslass and Dusknoir quickly formed, and instinctively moved, freezing the rocks to the roof or completely destroying them, turning them into small specks of rocks.

    “Great job!” Draco boomed proudly. He had trained his Pokemon to be fast and move without direction by instead assessing the problem and using the right moves. It was what had made him a brilliant grunt trainer, and he knew it would allow him to keep battling perfectly for many years to come.

    “Glalie Gla!” Draco quickly snapped out of dreaming off and turned to face his first and key Pokemon. All three of them were staring behind Draco, looking rather shocked and appalled.

    “What is it?” Draco asked curiously, and quickly turned around, freezing in shock instantly: several of the grunts were lying on the ground, large, deep cuts across their chests and arms, all of them groaning as their life seeped out of their bodies. Draco was stunned, taking step backwards, but there was no denying who it was, and he raised his arm up as a figure moved alongside, anger and fear mixing with this shock.

    “Hey, we can’t have this, can we?” Vanessa smirked, and quickly thrust her blood stained sword through Draco’s wrist machine before he could stop her. It fizzled and sparked, and Draco felt like he’d been punched as his original invention died. Stifling his pain, he saw Vanessa’s five Pokemon moving out from behind her, glaring between Draco and his team.

    “Wondering how I got out, aren’t you?” Vanessa chuckled, pulling her sword out and staring towards the cannon, giving it a little flick. “So Draco, what does this genius creation do?” She asked casually, shooting him a grin from across her shoulder. Draco’s anger was building up very rapidly, his fists clenching up. He needed this plan to work: he needed to get the respect and trust from Cyrus he so rightfully deserved, and if Vanessa ruined another project, he’d never receive it. “Now Draco, I asked you a question! It’s rude not to answer,” Vanessa said with a fake pout, flicking the cannon again. Draco couldn’t contain himself any longer, his anger and shock at Vanessa’s appearance reaching boiling point.

    “NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, WHORE!” He bellowed. “NOW!” Glalie, Froslass and Dusknoir moved behind him, but Vanessa’s Pokemon had expected this move. In a flash, Monferno Mach Punched Glalie and sent him bouncing into Froslass, whilst Luxio sunk a Bite into Dusknoir’s tail as Murkrow fired a Pursuit to his face. Draco normally would have been shocked at this, but he didn’t care about them at the moment: he lunged towards Vanessa, desperate to do nothing more but tear her throat out. But Vanessa easily sidestepped him and punched him on the nose.

    “Fast, but not fast enough!” She hissed as she grabbed a retaliation punch, and for the second time that night, the two began a brutal exchange of fists, desperate to defeat the other>

    The sounds of the fight echoed towards the other side, but no one was focused on it: nervous silence had followed the Hyper Beam, leaving all of Team Galactic staring nervously between the dust that was once again around Crystal, wondering what would happen next, and Charles, who had led his Pokemon forwards and were now gathered around Tauros, was staring determinedly towards Crystal, fists clenched and eyes narrowed. No one had noticed that Palmer was lying sprawled on a rock, one of the Hyper Beam offshoots having knocked him out. He lay there forgotten as Team Galactic waited with bated breathe for Crystal to return. Charles was particularly interested to see how she would react, and what it would mean for him.

    “So…” Crystal hissed suddenly, the dust fading away. Her hair now resembled a many legged spider as it was lifted further above and apart, and her silk garments barely covered any of her skin. Roshonda and Addison stood with the other grunts looking petrified and shocked, but Charles merely took a deep breath and glared back at her.

    “I’m not afraid of you Crystal!” He shouted up to her. “You may have your fancy tricks, but you won’t stop me from defeating you and bringing Sahara back!” Crystal continued to look angry for a moment, but than her scowl turned into a smile, and she laughed loudly, the sound twisted and demonic as it rang in their ears.

    “And what makes you think Sahara would want to see you?” She sneered back. “What makes you think she wants to see you ever again?” Charles was taken aback by this, and exchanged a surprised look with Elle. Crystal laughed again, glad to have gained the upper hand, and Cyrus and Minerva glanced nervously at Charles.

    “What do you mean?” Charles asked nervously. “Does Sahara not like me?” These words caused Crystal to cackle even louder, and Addison let out a whimper.

    “Do you seriously expect Sahara to like you after how you’ve treated her?” She sneered. “You’ve left her to suffer, die, allowed Galactic to try and blow her up! You even pushed her towards a turbine, just to try and stop us ‘monsters’. I share her mind, I share her thoughts, I know what you’ve done. Sahara has been left heartbroken by you continuing to hurt her and her friends: she had feelings for you and you destroyed them. Sahara is too weak to deal with things herself, choosing to brood instead, but I am much stronger than her!” And Crystal suddenly began to rise into the air, her eyes shining pink to match the now neon-like walls. “I am Crystal, Master of Space, Conqueror of Water, Imprint of Palkia, and I represent the love and lust that Sahara has yet to unlock!” Jupiter jumped as Nutty and Smash suddenly rose dramatically out from underneath rubble, making Charles’ Pokemon step forwards, ready to defend. “I must destroy you Charles Golden. I must punish you for Sahara’s hurt, it is my duty!” Charles was gobsmacked: how could he have done all of this to Sahara and not noticed properly? Had he really caused this much harm to her? Had he destroyed their chances of reconciliation?

    “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it!” Charles cried as the ground beneath his feet wobbled like jelly.

    “You’re too late!” Crystal screamed, shaking her head. “You must pay the price! ATTACK!” And suddenly Nutty and Smash lunged towards him, moving through the air like they were moving through water. Charles was still reeling from Sahara’s pain, his mind racing, but he had been anticipating this attack and was ready.

    “HYDRO PUMP AND STONE EDGE!” He screamed. Elle ran under Tauros in shelter as Gligar and Gyarados moved: a powerful jet of water was blasted out of Gyarados’ mouth with a roar, whilst Gligar smashed his tail into the ground, causing jagged rocks to shoot into the air. Nutty and Smash were already badly damaged from duelling against the other Pokemon, and it was no surprise how easily these attacks defeated them: they soundlessly soared backwards, crashing against the raised section beneath Crystal’s hovering feet.

    “You may have your powers, but I’ve battled bigger things than you and won with my Pokemon!” Charles called out, grinning with delight at the appalled look on Crystal’s face, whilst Saturn and Mars applauded him. Gyarados’ usually ugly face twisted into a rather happy smile, whilst Gligar face lit up and he twirled around happily.

    “Gligar Gli!” He exclaimed, and Charles smiled back at him, and was about to say something when he froze: Gligar’s right claw suddenly lit up. Charles was rather taken aback by this, and let out a gasp as Gligar’s whole body began to shine.

    Crystal’s words had reached the other side, but the battle raging here was enough to block them out. Glalie had fallen easily at the hands of Monferno, who was helping Dustox and Staraptor with a Fiery Twister to try and stop Froslass. This left Luxio and Murkrow’s Dark type moves to prevent Dusknoir from dealing damage, and he was close to fainting.
    But their battle barely compared to that of Draco and Vanessa’s. The two were in their own world: fists were swinging rapidly through the air, colliding violently with the other’s faces. Both had blood gushing from their noses, whilst Vanessa had sustained cuts and bruise from Draco’s mechanism, and had retaliated by crushing his feet with her high heels. They didn’t notice as they stomped through the blood of the fallen grunts, none of whom had stirred for minutes. The fury between the two was undeniable, and it was hard to tell who was madder.

    “You nasty little skanky bitch!” Draco hissed, and tried to get his hands around her neck, wanting to do nothing more but kill this threat to his organisation.

    “Sticks and stones may break your bones,” Vanessa growled, grabbing his hands and twisting them backwards, “but words will never hurt me!” Draco moaned as his right wrist cracked and quickly pulled his left hand free. Angry, he jabbed his hand into her stomach and grabbed a handful of the fringed part of her dress. Draco pulled, and there was a satisfying tearing sound as the fabric split, revealing part of her stomach. Vanessa let out a gasp and kicked Draco backwards.

    “You fucking dick!” Vanessa screeched, and she grabbed his throat and slammed him against the cannon, quickly lunging for her umbrella that she placed safely in the stomach of a grunt.

    “You can break my bones and leave your bruises, but no one ruins my dresses and gets away with it!” And she twisted the handle, causing the familiar silver blade to shoot out, stopping at his throat. Draco looked down at it for a moment, but than his bleeding face twisted into a smile.

    “Why are you laughing?” Vanessa hissed, sidestepping a loose Ember from Monferno.

    “You can kill me now if you want, it doesn’t matter!” Draco laughed through the flow of blood. “I turned the cannon on when grabbed your umbrella!” Vanessa froze and looked towards the cannon’s control panel: it was indeed blinking and glowing, and blue and orange light was coming from the barrel. “The power of the Adamant Orb combined with the pure energy of Ursilla’s old gun will either stop your friend’s rampage or kill her… I’m hoping for the latter, but I don’t really care anymore. I’ve completed my task: my memory shall live on!” Vanessa was beginning to breathe deeply, watching in shock as the cannon continued to glow brighter and brighter, and glanced towards where Crystal was, the horror of what could happen to Sahara sinking in…

    The blinding light quickly faded, and Charles’ haw dropped as he stared at the Pokemon now in front of him: the pink skin had turned into purple, with huge black wings now sprouting out of his back. Gligar had evolved into Gliscor, with bigger and longer arms, claws and a tail, and a mischievous yellow smile upon his face.

    “Gliscor Gli!” He cried and flew into the air, beaming and twirling around happily. Charles was stunned at the sudden evolution, but was still overjoyed.

    “You must have had a Razor Fang!” Charles laughed, and sure enough no fang was inside Gliscor’s claws anymore, and Gliscor simply beamed and spun around even more. “Congratulations!” Charles added, and opened his arms for a hug. But as Gliscor moved forwards, a sudden ringing clapping filled the air. In a snap, the attention was gone from Gliscor and went back to Crystal, who was clapping slowly but loudly as she continued to float above them all.

    “Yes, congratulations, I truly mean it!” She sneered, glaring down at Charles. “You may have defeated Sahara’s Pokemon, but it’ll take more than an oversized bat to defeat me!” Charles glared back at her, his anger rising to extreme levels. He was sick of the site of Crystal, and wanted nothing more than to see her fall… and bring Sahara back to him.

    “Just try me!” He yelled, and his Pokemon gathered around, ready to fight back. “Swift, Dragon Pulse, Hyper Beam and Stone Edge!” The four Pokemon moved quickly: Elle fired her shining stars, Gyarados released the purple coloured energy to match Tauros’ powerful Hyper Beam, whilst Gliscor used his new strength to send larger rocks hurtling towards her. Crystal smiled, and two balls of water appeared in her hands, which she rose up in a defensive position, ready to take on the attacks speeding towards her.

    Than the cannon fired.

    With a loud electronic bang, the cannon, which had been glowing and whirring steadily over the past few moments, suddenly released it’s deadly weapon. Vanessa and Draco could only watch as a large ball of orange energy, identical to that that came from Ursilla’s gun and now Vanessa’s umbrella, but infused with glowing blue electricity wrapped around like a wire. It shone brightly as it shot through the cave, sending several Geodude racing away for cover again. Team Galactic’s heads all turned towards the energized cannon ball, Cyrus’ face lighting up with delight, whilst Charles’ jaw dropped again, shocked as it raced towards Crystal and Meditite, who still remained sitting peacefully behind her, ignoring the battle before him. Crystal hadn’t noticed anything, though her eyes turned around just as the cannonball reached the raised section, just as the attacks hit her.

    For a moment, Crystal was still visible, her eyes wide with shock now, her mouth open in order to let out a shriek of rage. But than the four attacks struck her, mixing to form a blinding light, that the cannonball than merged in with it.

    There was a blinding flash of orange and blue, and everyone in the cave shielded their eyes as a wave of energy nearly threw them off their feet. Than the most outrageous scream they’d ever heard sounded, splitting their ears and causing them to go from protecting their sight and hearing with their hands. Charles clenched up his face as he tried to ignoring it, but than he realised something else: the ground beneath his feet was sinking. Daring to look down, Charles saw that the earth was no longer solid, and his thoughts of it looking jelly like were now true.

    “EVA EEVEE EVE!” Elle screamed, and Charles bent down and picked her up, but was nearly whacked in the face by Gliscor, whose new wings were causing him to be blown backwards by the continuing energy being released. Charles’ eyes opened upon impact, and as he struggled to hold Elle and push Gliscor backwards, he stared around the scene before him.

    It appeared the cannonball hadn’t knocked Crystal out at all: instead, it had sent her powers completely out of control. Jets of water were shooting out of her hands where the two balls had been just before, and Crystal was floating all around the raised section, her eyes bulging out of her skull and her mouth wide open in a permanent scream. Her veins now had a distinctive pinkish quality to them, matching the colour of Mt Coronet, which was just as out of control as she was. To Charles it looked like every single wall, rock, section of roof had a mind of it’s own: every part was being shaken and contorted as if a big hand was stretching and squishing the cave. The Team Galactic admins were being thrown around as the ground shook wildly and uncontrollably, and the entrance to Route 208 looked like a weird mouth as it closed and opened repeatedly.

    “It’s space...” Charles said. “Her powers are out of control, and she’s now destroying space!” Tauros and Gyarados were both roaring in displeasure, clearly unhappy as the roof and ground came close to touching with them in-between. Quickly Charles brought them back, and saw that mostly only humans remained now, the exception being Elle, Gliscor and Palmer’s Dragonite and Rhyperior, who were clutching Palmer as they looked around with fright.

    “Gliiiii!” Gliscor whimpered, his wings flapping uncontrollably. Charles was trying hard to think of what to do next, and a sudden idea came to him as he tried to position himself to not fall over: it looked as if neither Sahara or Crystal was present at the moment, and a strange, uncontrollable, in-between persona was there now. Charles needed to bring Sahara back out, and hopefully this madness would end.

    “Gliscor, I want you to move your tail forwards and than drag me and Elle with you,” Charles explained, hoping his plan would work. Elle and Gliscor both looked rather shocked, but neither of them had any idea what was happening, so Gliscor quickly shot his tail out, hooking it into a shaking section up ahead. Than, with much effort against the telekinetic energy, Gliscor forced himself forwards, Charles clinging around his middle. Gliscor reached out and grabbed onto a rock, and than quickly swung his tail around to hook onto another one two metres away. Elle squirmed uncomfortably in Charles’ arms, but he held on tight as Gliscor struggled to reach across to the another rock, allowing them to get up the raised platform, and closer to fixing the issue.

    “I did it…” Draco whispered as he leant against the cannon, beaming widely despite the ground quivering beneath him. “I did it…” Vanessa glared down at him, her sword still pointed towards him.

    “You just made everything worse, you stupid little boy!” She hissed. She glanced behind and saw that Froslass was lying on Glalie, all five Pokemon now focused solely on trying to defeat Dusknoir. “Your Dusknoir is putting up a strong fight. Quite impressive for such a weak trainer like yourself,” Vanessa added with a smirk. There was a movement to the side, and she quickly turned and thrust Draco back against the cannon, spinning him around onto his front and slashing her sword across his right butt cheek, causing Draco to yell in pain.

    “Hoe!” He hissed, as blood began to gush out of his pants.

    “You’ve made everything worse, you pathetic little morsel!” Vanessa hissed in his ear, jabbing her sword towards his armpit. “I’d gladly kill you now, but I have bigger issues to deal with, so I’ll have to save you for later,” and with a swift click, the sword descended into the umbrella and was replaced with the energy gun. With the pull of a trigger Draco and the cannon were sent crashing, the machine smashing to pieces as it crumpled under his weight.

    “NOOOOIR!” Vanessa leapt aside as Dusknoir suddenly shot past her, bouncing off Draco and landing in a heap nearby. Vanessa’s Pokemon quickly moved forwards, all of them smiling widely at the defeat of Draco and his team.

    “Great job!” Vanessa said with a smile, but the ground gave a sudden shake as she spoke, and she turned back towards Crystal, who seemed to be encircling Meditite now. Vanessa’s heart and kind were racing, but she knew what needed to be done to fix things, and looked back at her team, who were staring at her curiously. “It’s time we sort out a plan!”

    The closer Charles, Elle and Gliscor got to Crystal, the harder it became: there was less things for Gliscor to grab or hook his tail on, and the telekinetic energy here was strongest. Charles was struggling to hold onto Gliscor and Elle, and they had nearly fallen backwards when Gliscor misjudged a movement. But Charles was determined for them to get here: he felt like it was his responsibility to make things right. He had, after all, caused Sahara all this pain and hurt in the first place. If he could just stop this rampage, Charles would feel less guilty, and was sure Sahara would be closer to forgiving him.

    “Gli Gli Gli Gli!” Gliscor groaned, stretching his claws out as far as possible to grasp onto the next rock. Charles leaned over to congratulate him, but once again froze up: Gliscor had grabbed onto a section of an unconscious Smash, who was lying in the same crater Crystal had created earlier. Nutty was lying on top, both of them unconscious, and Charles was surprised to see Sahara’s bad was wrapped around Smash’s tail, looking very tiny in comparision to Rock Snake.

    “Just climb up him Gliscor!” Charles shouted: Smash was unconscious, and they needed to get to Crystal quickly, as the roof was nearly hitting their heads. Elle let out a groan as Gliscor began to scale Smash’s body, moving fairly quickly due to the easy holds. Charles tensed himself for what was about to come, knowing that this would be there only chance to do anything. Gliscor put his claws onto the top rock of Smash’s body, and than swung his tai; onto the raised section.

    “Let’s do this,” Charles whispered, and Gliscor quickly flung himself forwards, landing beneath Crystal’s feet. Strangely, Charles found that there weren’t instantly blown backwards: the telekinetic energy being released was coming from Crystal, but wasn’t affecting the area beneath her.

    That’ll make this easier… Charles thought, and he quickly leapt to his feet. He needed to end this now: it had been going on too long, and Mt Coronet was collapsing behind them. Charles looked up towards Crystal, who was continuing to fly in circles around Meditite, screaming and shooting water. She looked purely deranged, and Charles felt a tinge of sympathy.

    “Sahara, you have to stop this!” Charles shouted, barely able to hear himself over the screaming. “You need to come out and stop Crystal! She is causing too much destruction, and I know you wouldn’t want it!” But Crystal continuing to spin around screaming, and more yells came from behind Charles, though he didn’t dare look back around to see what horrors were unfolding. His head was beginning to hurt. What was he meant to say… could he bring himself to say the right words?

    “Eva Eevee Eevee,” the soft voice of Elle said, and Charles looked down towards her, tears beginning to form in his eyes. Elle was smiling warmly up at him, and gave him a friendly, encouraging smile, telling him he could do it. Charles nodded back, his heart began to race.

    “Sahara, I’m sorry for what I did to you!” He shouted, the tears beginning to stream. “I didn’t mean to hurt you! I’ve been manipulated and was told what to do. I wanted us to stay friends, but I don’t think it can work while we’re on opposite sides! Just please accept my apology, and I understand I never meant any of it!” The tears were falling faster now, and Charles felt slightly embarrassed as he wiped them away. He looked through his blurry eyes and saw that Crystal was beginning to slow down, spinning slower and slower, but the screaming still happened, the water was still being shot out. Charles felt like jumping off the raised section and dying: his plan hadn’t worked! The only big change was that the Meditite was now standing. Charles wondered how he had managed to ignore the battle for so long, yet was now watching Crystal moving around him, his eyes following her and his left hand glowing red…

    “What is he doing?” Charles asked croakily through his tears. Meditite had now raised his left hand, with Crystal about to float back around. “He’s going to hit her!” Meditite heard and looked at Charles, and simply smiled and nodded. “Wait, no, STOP!” Charles shouted, but Crystal came round past Meditite, who moved so swiftly his hand was a blur, smashing straight into Crystal’s lower back as Charles moved forwards.

    There was a sudden eerie silence, and for a moment Crystal was suspended in mid air, mouth and eyes still open and bulging. Charles came to a halt, staring back curiously at Elle and Gliscor. Suddenly Crystal began to glow the brightest of pinks, and a wave of invisible energy smashed into Charles, sending him toppling backwards. Gliscor grabbed onto him and Elle, and the three were caught in the energy wave as Crystal simply stayed there, glowing violently. The ground and roof began to glow brightly as well, and Charles felt like he was literally trapped inside jelly. What had Meditite down to Crystal?

    There was a sudden whistling noise, and Charles, Elle and Gliscor all screamed as they suddenly began to spin around violently. Charles could only see purple now, and his brain spun around as he did, causing his head to hurt. He heard screaming, both human and Pokemon, felt his legs getting hit repeatedly with something hard, and thought he saw a flash of orange as he was spun. Just as suddenly as it had started, Charles found it had stopped as he crashed into the ground with a thud. His eyes and brain were still spinning, but the smell of fresh air filled his nose, whilst the soothing sound of a waterfall inhabited his sound. It was so peaceful… so relaxing…

    “Get up, scum!”

    Charles opened his eyes, and found a silver blade pointed a centimetre above his nose. He wasn’t surprised to see Vanessa was on the other end of it, glaring threateningly down at him. Charles quickly scooted backwards onto a rock, moving up so that he was leaning against it and giving him a better view of the surroundings: Elle and Gliscor were a few feet away, looking between Charles and a Staraptor flying overhead, also glaring down at Charles. Smash was piled up just near them, the end of his tail falling over the edge of a cliff, though a stirring Nutty had Sahara’s bag wrapped around her. And then the girl herself was nearby: Sahara was back in her normal clothes, with normal coloured skin and normal hair, though her jacket seemed a bit torn up and her eyes were shut firmly. But she was at least alright, Charles thought with a sigh, watching as the Meditite stared over her.

    “What the hell did you do to her?” Vanessa snapped, and Charles looked back towards the sword that was pointed so dangerously at him. His relief quickly faded away, and he glared back up at the red headed trainer.

    “I didn’t do anything to her, it was that weird cannon that made her act worse!” Charles snapped back, but Vanessa simply growled in response. “I don’t know what makes you think you have the right to snap at me, but I didn’t do anything to Sahara! I was the only person who tried to stop Crystal!”

    “Oh really?” Vanessa hissed. “Than who fired that Hyper Beam at her? Who was the one she was berating and threatening to murder, eh?” Charles felt his heart sink, and glanced back towards the stirring Sahara, feeling immensely guilty.

    “I didn’t know I had hurt her so much,” He whispered back, the tears coming back. “I apologised to her, but I don’t think she heard. But I swear I will apologise as soon as she wakes up.”

    “No you won’t, because your not going to see her ever again,” Vanessa snapped, “unless you want to find this sword wedged between your balls!”

    “Excuse me?!” Charles roared, moving to the side to avoid the sword and leaping up. “What gives you the right to give me orders, you stupid cow!” There was a squawk above, and Charles watched as the Staraptor suddenly shot towards him, looking furious. However, there was a sudden flash of silver, and Gliscor replaced her, a second Metal Claw raised as Staraptor landed on Smash.

    “I’m more of a friend to Sahara than you’ll ever be!” Vanessa shouted, aiming the sword for his stomach this time. “I know how much you’ve hurt her, how terrible you’ve made her feel. If you think an apology will make everything better, your wrong! It’s best for all of us if you just stay away!”

    “I don’t need to take orders from you!” Charles shouted back as Gliscor and Staraptor began to fight in mid air. “I want to make things right, and you can’t stop me! I’ve been battling with my feelings and thoughts about Sahara for ages, and I felt terrible both times I thought she’d died! I’m not sure if I love her, but –”

    “Well I do!” Vanessa screamed, and than quickly froze up. Charles did a double take, rather stunned by this. Vanessa’s determined and proud face was suddenly filled with fear and shock, and she suddenly dived for her bag and pulled some sort of device out.

    “Well… I don’t care if you…” Charles mumbled nervously. “Whatever you feel for her, it doesn’t give you the right to sort her issues out for her!”
    “I have the right as friend!” Vanessa hissed, her voice breaking slightly. A white glow suddenly formed in next to Charles, and Elle gave a squawk of surprise. “Repeat this conversation to anyone and I’ll kill. Try and see Sahara again and I’ll again. And if you hurt her anymore than you already have, I’ll cut you up one bit at a time!” Vanessa hissed, and she shoved Charles towards the light, just as Staraptor used Close Combat to send Gliscor crashing into Elle and than into the light.

    Charles watched Vanessa fade away as his vision turned white. He just wanted to be able to see Sahara again, see her so he could apologise and try to make things right. But as his body felt twisted and in pain, Charles knew that more internal questions had been formed today then answered, and he had a lot of things to think about…

  8. #53
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    Default Re: Galactic: Dawn (Part Two) Prt 3

    With another sudden thud, Charles felt the wind knocked out of him as he landed on the ground yet again, though this time Elle and Gliscor landed painfully on his back. There was a lot of thrashing and squirming by the two, and Charles wondered where he had landed. There was a lot of talking and noise around them, but Charles couldn’t get up to see.

    “Ah, so that’s where you got too,” A voice said from above, and Charles was able to push Gliscor’s tail out of his face and look up towards Cyrus. The head of Team Galactic was staring down towards him, half scowling, a cut along his cheek.

    “Sorry, it was Vanessa, she-” Charles began, giving Gliscor a large shove and managing to stand up, and was going to continue speaking but stopped under the scowl Cyrus was wearing. The Galactic admin had more cuts along his clothes, with a large tear tinged with blood along his pants, but he didn’t seem to care about these injuries, and turned away from Charles now that he was standing and clicked his fingers: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Charon and Minerva all appeared before him. All five of them seemed to have injuries from the night’s adventures, with plasters, creams or bandages on various injuries, and all of them but Charon looked rather sad and worried. Glancing behind them, Charles saw that there were only a handful of grunts there. Several of them were carrying the wreckage of the cannon up the stairs to the airship, whilst Roshonda and Addison carried a box containing the Adamant Orb behind them. The rest were carrying what suspiciously looked like body bags and were shoving them into the garbage chute, and Charles felt like throwing up in disgust.

    “I want a status report, now!” Cyrus growled to them all. A vein was throbbing on his forehead and his fists were clenched, as if he would punch them if they gave bad news.

    “We lost about fifteen grunts over the course of the night,” Mars said quickly, the bored attitude she had earlier all but forgotten.

    “Surveillance equipment shows that Vanessa and Sahara have teleported off of the mountain, but we don’t know where to,” Jupiter reported quickly.

    “The Adamant Orb was undamaged, though both machines used tonight need repair,” Saturn said next. Cyrus nodded angrily, the vein throbbing more and more with each bit of bad news that was given to him, and he turned towards Charon, as if hoping to finally get some relief. Charon wasn’t sweating or looking nervous like the others, and spoke very matter-of-factly and sounded quite bored.

    “Only twenty percent of Mt Coronet was scanned,” he said bluntly, barely looking into his bosses eyes, and Cyrus let out an angry roar that made all of them jump.

    “This is terrible!” He shouted. “Tonight has been a complete failure! We failed to locate the Spear Pillar, let all four Dex Holders and Looker escape us and Crystal has killed our grunts and caused tremendous damage to us all!” Cyrus looked like he was about to punch something, so Charles quickly brought Elle and Gliscor back, not wanting them to feel his wrath. The admins all looked rather nervous, and Minerva seemed on the verge of tears. Charles noticed there was no word of thanks to him or Minerva, who had both done a great job in stopping Crystal, but Charles didn’t want to test Cyrus further.

    “It hasn’t been a complete failure sir!” Said a voice, and Draco began to walk up to them, half dragging the unconscious figure that was Palmer. Draco was beaming broadly as if he had just found treasure, and seemed to be ignoring the bandages wrapped around his hips. Cyrus’ look of fury suddenly vanished, and he rushed forwards and grabbed Palmer by the hair.

    “Yes… we have a famous trainer in our midst’s!” Cyrus hissed with pleasure, his eyes glinting deviously. “This could do wonders for us! Blackmail, extortion, manipulation!”

    “He is a famous trainer, as you just said,” Charon cut in. “If we kidnapped him, people would surely find out it was us.” The admins, who had all looked so excited a moment ago, suddenly looked crestfallen. Palmer just continued to grunt, and Cyrus glare down at him, obviously angry he couldn’t get what he wanted. But than, after only a few moments of seething anger, Cyrus’ face lit up once more.

    “Well, if we can’t get the main prize, we’ll have to settle for second best, won’t we?” He said deviously. The admins all looked confused, but Charles had a sneaking suspicion he knew what Cyrus was talking about. “We need to head back to the ship now. Saturn, I have an assignment for you, so I want you to get ready for it now.” Saturn nodded, and he quickly rushed back towards the airship, looking confused.

    “What about Palmer?” Draco asked, looking rather like a child who had missed out on a special prize.

    “Just leave him here, we have no need for him,” Cyrus said, and began to walk back towards the airship with Jupiter and Mars. Charles watched as Draco let out a growl and dropped Palmer on the ground, and than marched moodily off towards the ship. With a sigh, Charles began to follow after them. He was desperate to lie down after all the night’s drama, and felt like he could sleep for years.

    “Charles!” Again Charles sighed as he came to stop, though he cheered up when he saw it was Minerva rushing towards him, holding the striped egg Leafeon had been holding a short time ago. “Charles, glad to catch you before we got onboard. I was wondering if you’d like to help me with a special assignment?”

    “What sort of assignment?” Charles asked cautiously: whenever he did a special assignment, it never seemed to end well for him. He just have pulled a face because Minerva laughed and patted him softly on the shoulder.

    “It’s nothing major. I just have to drop this egg off at Hearthome City and pick up a book that Cyrus wants as well,” Minerva explained. “I’m going to ask Addison to come as well. I just would like some extra back up when I do these deals. It’d give me more peace of mind, you know?” Charles simply nodded. He could see that Minerva was genuine and that she would like him to be there, so he stifled down a third sigh and gave a nod of agreement.

    “How long will we be there?” Charles asked over Minerva’s squeal of delight.

    “A few days at the most,” Minerva explained, still beaming with delight. “Thanks a lot Charles, I really appreciate you helping me!” Charles just smiled again, and watched as the secretary ran off. He was feeling rather confused about the night’s events, and had wanted to spend a lot of time sleeping and mulling things over. Hopefully this job at Hearthome City wouldn’t be too strenuous, and would give him some time to think about Sahara, her personalities, his feelings, Vanessa, and all the new information he had learnt that night.

    There was only one thing Charles could conclude as he walked back to the airship: Team Galactic was proving to be a much more complicated, dangerous thing to be involved with than he had first thought, and he wondered just how worse it could get before Cyrus got what he wanted.

    As Matthew opened his eyes, he wondered what the hell was going on.
    The trainer knew he was on something soft and squishy, and he tried to squirm to get a better feel, but his whole body seemed to ache as if he’d just been involved in a fight. Several voices were speaking nearby, mixed in with the cries and mumbles of different Pokemon. A light was glaring down at Matthew, and glancing around showed him he was inside a wood panelled house of sorts. Worried about what was going on, Matthew tried to remember what had happened to him last: images of pink flashes, lots of yelling, familiar faces of Xavier and his parents, and Charon looming over him. As the image of the scientist formed, sending shivers down Matthew’s spine, and a sudden face appeared in his eyesight, and he let out a scream of shock.

    “Looks like Sleeping Beauty’s finally woken,” a female voice sneered, and Matthew gulped as several faces suddenly appeared above him: Xavier and Vanessa standing side by side, the latter smirking down at him, along with an elderly couple and a young brunette girl, looking rather concerned, and finally three excited faces sent the first face flying.

    “PIPLUUUUUP!” Piplup shouted, as she, Beautifly and Misdreavus landed painfully on his chest. Matthew felt winded, but happily wrapped his arms around them, more confused than ever.

    “What happened to me?” He asked before coughing violently, causing the elderly lady to rush forwards with a large bowl of purple soup.

    “We’ve had a bit of fun with Team Galactic tonight,” Vanessa said gravely, and as the elderly lady poured the soothing liquid down his throat, Matthew to listened to the events of the night. With each second that passed, he became more and more shocked about what he was listening to, his arms beginning to droop off of his Pokemon as he listened. As Vanessa spoke, with help from Xavier, Matthew noticed someone behind them all: Sahara was lying on a mattress, gazing wearily up towards the ceiling with a rather dead, depressed look in her eye. She was half heartily stroking Nutty’s head, who was in turn staring at her trainer with a very sad, worried expression. A Meditite, the Pokemon that had spooked Matthew, was walking silently towards Sahara and sat down next to her, who Sahara merely nodded at.

    “… then I told Abra to teleport us to where you and Xavier were, and we came here. Sahara got treated, so woke up and decided to catch Hammer there, and than you woke up,” Vanessa finished, and sat down next to Hammer the Meditite and took a deep breath, recovering from the long discussion. Xavier sat down on the edge of the couch, and Matthew moved to a sitting position, his legs nearly whacking Grotle on the head. He noticed Staraptor was standing in the doorway, possibly on guard duty.

    “Wow…” Matthew said, completely at loss for words. He had no idea how to sum up what was going through his mind: an even crazier and deranged Crystal, melting mountains, getting kidnapped, collapsing bridges and dramatic explosions were a lot to take in after getting poisoned. “I can’t believe all of this happened to you guys! Do we know why any of this happened?”

    “That’s what we were discussing before you woke up,” Vanessa replied. “I believe they were scanning for something with Charon’s machine that got destroyed, and the other admins were searching for something, possibly the same thing, when you three found them.”

    “Do you know if they found what they were looking for?” Matthew asked, hugging his Pokemon a bit tighter than necessary in his worry.

    “I doubt it. As Crys-” Vanessa paused, glancing over at Sahara, who was staring blankly at the two of them as they spoke. “As they got interrupted, I doubt there were able to find anything,” Vanessa continued, hoping it was the right thought to go down. Matthew simply nodded, dwelling things over. All four of them were in silence, ignoring the Berry Master and his family as they fussed around in the kitchen.

    “Do you think it has anything to do with Palkia?” Matthew whispered as images of the giant Space Master appeared before him. There were several sudden noises: the Berry Master dropped a plate in the kitchen, making them all jump, but Sahara suddenly let out an anguished cry and rolled over, squirming all over. Everyone leapt up, though Matthew swayed slightly, but Sahara stopped moving and lay there, breathing deeply.

    “I’m fine… it’s over…” She whispered, remaining lying down. Vanessa and Nutty looked extremely relieved, sinking back into their seats. The Berry Master suddenly rushed over, a large brown leather clad book in his arms. His wife and granddaughter followed behind, passing out bowls of berry soup while Exeggutor used Psychic to pass bowls of berries around for the Pokemon.

    “Why do you ask of Palkia?” The Berry Master said to Matthew, ignoring as Sahara squirmed slightly.

    “I-I-I-I saw him… it… Palkia… back at Mt Coronet… in a chamber…” Matthew explained. The Berry Master’s face fell, and he opened the large book up. Ignoring their soup, all four Dex Holders moved forwards to stare at the page he had opened it on: it was a large, colourless picture, clearly ancient, showing Palkia rising above the ocean, seemingly roaring at the sky.

    “Palkia is the Master of Space,” The Berry Master explained. “It only appears when disturbed, and is very violent when awoken. From the sounds of things, it must have been disturbed and caused all of this trouble tonight.”

    “It wasn’t Palkia,” Sahara said solemnly, and all eyes turned to her. “Well… not directly. When I was dealing with Mars and Draco, that was when I turned into Crystal. I felt something come over me, like a wave… but it was psychic, telekinetic… Palkia’s appearance made Crystal become super powered, and she caused all that trouble.”

    “Galactic wanted to catch Crystal. Draco and Charon made it sound like they wanted to do experiments,” Vanessa said. “That cannonball was made of up of the energy from Ursilla’s guns and power from the Adamant Orb.” The Berry Master gasped, and quickly flicked through the book again.

    “The Adamant Orb: a mysterious object connected to Dialga, that is said to be able to summon him to this world, though no one is sure,” he said, and held another picture up: the strangely shaped Adamant Orb was under one label, whilst a much smoother orb was positioned next to it. “The other one is the Lustrous Orb: it is said to do the exact same things, but for Palkia.” The four Dex Holders exchanged looks at this point, and Sahara and Nutty had their own significant glance towards her back.

    “I think that is enough for now!” The master’s wife said sternly. “Your soup will go cold!” The Berry Master slammed his book shut, though still stared rather seriously at all four of them. They tucked into their soup in order to please their female host, but new things were running through their mind. Why did Team Galactic want Crystal? Why had Palkia caused Crystal to become overpowered? Why had Team Galactic stolen the Adamant Orb, were they after the Lustrous Orb, and why had the Adamant Orb caused such serious effects to Sahara?

    “Oh Xavier, what happened to your parents?” Matthew asked, trying to soften the awkward tension that had arisen. Xavier didn’t look up from his soup, but his hand did freeze in mid-air. Xavier had been very quiet after he had filled in what he and Matthew had done on the trip, and Matthew noticed his friend had a strange, vacant look that Sahara had had in his eyes.

    “I’m not sure,” He replied after a few moments, and Grotle looked up at his trainer, looking just as worried as Nutty had been. Matthew wasn’t sure what was wrong with him, but Xavier’s face looked a lot more serious than he had seen for a long time. Vanessa and Sahara continued with their soup, and Matthew decided to return to his. But he hoped his old neighbours were alright: after the rough night they’d all had, he didn’t want anything worse to come out of it. Falling back into silence, Matthew slurped away at his soup, his three Pokemon eating their food, and wondering what Team Galactic would do to them next…

    Diamond Estate

    “… Yes, I swear I’m fine, stop worrying! … I promise, don’t worry about me! I’ll give you a proper call tomorrow night, I just need to sleep this one off. Alright, thanks Argenta, chat tomorrow… bye!”

    With a sigh, Carolina hang up her phone and placed it down on the table in front of her. A glass of red wine and its bottle sat next to it, and Carolina had already downed half the bottle. She was wearing her fluffiest purple dressing gown, and had only just arrived back from Mt Coronet half an hour ago. Carolina had tried to wash her problems away with quick dip in the spa, but memories of Palmer came back and she couldn’t bare it any longer, and had resorted to coming downstairs, hoping it would be better. But Carolina had forgot about all the memories that were placed in the cabinet running along the wall, which had been fixed since Roserade had attacked it: trophies from small to unnecessarily large, pictures of the two or just Palmer meeting famous people from around the Pokemon world, including a rather sour one between Palmer and Cynthia, and a vast amount of pictures based around the Battle Frontier. Carolina took another sip of red wine, still staring at the photos, and suddenly burst into tears.

    What did Carolina have to show for her life? She had the famous husband that had been the Tower Tycoon for nearly twenty years, the even more famous sister that had overshadowed her in battling as a child and had conquered the Sinnoh League for nearly the same length as Palmer had run his frontier, and she even had a famous researcher for a grandmother in Celestic Town! And what was Carolina: the sister, the wife, the granddaughter, always there, always mentioned in the articles and photos, but never with anything to show for herself.

    Carolina collapsed sideways on the couch, allowing the glass to fall from her hands and onto the floor. For all this time, Carolina had been the trophy wife, but she had never been as sought after as the golden ones sitting behind her. She and Palmer had been deeply in love once, but the Battle Frontier had torn them apart. Xavier had held them together for a while, but his incident in Lake Verity and loss of emotion had taken a serious toll on their marriage. Palmer never approved of how Carolina tailored all of Xavier’s moves, but Carolina knew that it was right: she was his mother, after all, and he was the only good thing she had put on this earth. Carolina had tried charities, she had tried television, but everything had failed for her. She remained the bored, lonely, depressed housewife, only producing two good Pokemon, an attractive house and garden and a son that had never appreciated her efforts.

    “YAAAAAAH!” Carolina screamed suddenly, and threw the wine bottle across the room. It shattered against a family picture of Carolina, Palmer and Xavier, the now purple-soaked image crashing to the floor. Carolina watched it fall through tear struck eyes before collapsing back onto the sofa. What did all of this mean anymore! She had no son left to enjoy the lavish household she had helped create, and her husband resented her battle weakness and lived far away. Carolina was the shell of the woman she had been when she first started her journey: a poor but excited orphan, ready to make her mark on the wide world that awaited. And now she was this: a weeping, pathetic wreck, the only mark on the world being the wine seeping through her carpet.

    “Dear me, isn’t this a pitiful sight?”

    Carolina screamed and leapt to her feet, nearly tripping on the glass table before her: a man had suddenly appeared at the doorway, his teeth flashing in the dim dawn sun shining through the silk curtains.
    “Who are you?” Carolina hissed, and she reached into her pocket for Ninetales PokeBall, but quickly remembered she’d allowed the Fox Pokemon to sleep upstairs and recuperate.

    “My name is Saturn,” the man said, steeping forwards so Carolina could see his white and black uniform and blue hair better. A large Toxicroak, his poison sac bulging rather threateningly, moved behind him, along with two Galactic Grunts.

    “Y-y-y-you work f-for Team Ga-galactic, don’t you?” Carolina stuttered, moving fearfully back towards the cabinets. She needed a weapon… she couldn’t die this way. Saturn simply nodded, sidestepping the shattered photo and moving towards the glass doors.

    “I’ll make this simple, Mrs Diamond,” he said in a rather drawling voice. “I have been tasked to collect you: not kill you, just collect you. Being the wife of a prestigious member of the Sinnoh world and the mother of a young man we rather dislike, my boss believes you’ll be very useful to our organization.”

    “Go fuck yourself!” Carolina hissed, pushing the cabinet door open slowly, and Saturn simply laughed at her. Toxicroak raised his fists, and the grunts took a step forwards.

    “This doesn’t have to be very difficult, Mrs Diamond,” Saturn continued, moving around the second couch towards her. “We just have a few things we want to know, and if we appreciate your answers, we’ll let you go. That is, as long as you cooperate with us, you, and your son, won’t get hurt for the time being.” Carolina’s heart was racing faster than it ever had in her life. She glanced sideways towards another photo: one of Xavier, taken on New Year’s Eve only a few months ago. This people were after him and his friends, and Carolina couldn’t let them go. If she went with them, they’d get enough information out of him as possible before killing her and than killing Xavier. Carolina couldn’t let them hurt him… not her precious boy.

    “Alright…” She said with a sigh, and Saturn’s teeth flashed. “I’ll go with you.”

    “Smart woman,” Saturn said, and he wrapped his hand around her left arm, preparing to lead her away. But there was a sudden movement: Carolina had grabbed the nearest trophy and had swung it. Saturn cried out as golden PokeBall smashed into his head, sending him tumbling to the floor. Carolina flung the trophy across the room towards the grunts, and than ran as Toxicroak shot a Shadow Ball across the room. It smashed into several photos and sent glass flying, but Carolina launched herself over Saturn to the next door: she flung it open and grabbed the biggest trophy she could find (one Palmer had received for defeating Brandon from the Hoenn Frontier) and threw it with all her might. One of the grunts was smashed in the head and tumbled backwards, tripping over his colleague as they both made to lunge. Saturn let out a groan, and Carolina fumbled inside the cabinet, trying to grab one of her other PokeBalls she kept in here.

    “TOOOOX!” Toxicroak ran forwards and jumped over both couches. Carolina screamed and reached in, her fingers nearly around something… Toxicroak was getting closer… tears were falling again… she’d never see Xavier again….

    Carolina let out a noise: it wasn’t a gasp, but it wasn’t a gulp, but something in between. Her throat felt… strange… Carolina’s eyes glanced down, and she saw crimson blood was pouring from her throat. Toxicroak’s wrist spike was imbedded inside her flesh, his eyes wide with shock at the miscalculation he had made. Carolina began to shiver, and she used all her willpower to stare at what she was holding: it was a photo of her at the age of ten, ready to leave on her adventure, still with natural brunette hair and a look of hope and optimism on her face.

    Sorry Caro, Carolina thought, her mind beginning to mist over, her life fading away. I should have done you proud… I should have tried more… I’m sorry… Her fingers became loose, and the photo fell onto it’s side. With a single movement, Toxicroak flung Carolina’s body onto the sofa, where she fell with such force her eyes fell shut. It looked as if she was sleeping, but the blood still pouring out of her throat ruined the happier, more peaceful image. Carolina Diamond was dead, murdered in the home and house she had tried so hard to build and maintain, her life now a forgotten, tarnished memory.

    Slowly Saturn got to his feet, his mouth open with shock, staring down towards the limp body draped on the couch. He looked at Toxicroak, saw the blood dripping from his spike. With an angry growl Saturn grabbed a trophy from the cabinet and threw it at the table, shattering the glass surface and making the grunts cover their eyes.

    “Do you know how angry Cyrus is going to be?” Saturn growled, whacking Toxicroak on the shoulder. “He is going to have my blood for this one!” The admin stared at the dead body, thinking quickly. “We need to dispose of the evidence. I believe Charon gave us a bomb in the backpack: get it out and set it up, and than we need to move!” Saturn shot Toxicroak another angry look as the grunts quickly pulled a large metal box out of the bag they’d brought with them, and quickly set it up for a five minute countdown.

    “Right, now let’s get out of here!” Saturn hissed. The two grunts nodded, and they all made to move towards the exit but froze: a figure had just appeared, moving around the doorway. Ninetales yawned as she walked in, and quickly froze as she saw the unfamiliar people in her house.

    “Nine…” She whispered, glancing between them curiously. Her eyes darted around the room, from the shattered table, the strewn trophies and the fallen portrait, but finally fell next to Saturn and saw her: Carolina’s lifeless body, the blood dripping off her onto the carpet. “NINE!” She shrieked, and her tails suddenly rose into the air, a strange whistling sound filling the room.

    “STOP HER!” Saturn shouted, but it was too late: with a single but powerful burst of flame, the two grunts were sent flying backwards, smashing through the glass doors outside. Saturn gasped, but Toxicroak was quick to react: he leapt forwards, ready to unleash a Poison Jab, but Ninetales turned to him and her eyes flashed, and Toxicroak was sent crashing into the roof, landing on the floor with a thump.

    “Stop this!” Saturn cried, and he lunged for Ninetales, but the fire type easily dodged and ran towards Toxicroak. She let out another Flamethrower, a continuous jet of flames that began to quickly engulf Toxicroak, lighting up the room with a harsh orange glow and making him yell in pain. “I said stop!” Saturn shouted, his temper rising: it was meant to be a simple mission, but now he was going to have to do a major clean up operation and be sorely punished. He lunged towards Ninetales, but only was able to grab onto her tails. Toxicroak cried out in pain and Saturn desperately pulled on one of her tails, only plucking a single hair out.

    The atmosphere suddenly changed. Ninetales stopped with her Flamethrower and turned towards Saturn, a wicked smile upon her face. Saturn was stunned, and suddenly noticed it was getting a lot darker. The single hair he had pulled out was glowing golden and was becoming hot, but Saturn couldn’t let it go. Ninetales walked closer to him, putting a paw on his stomach and forcing him back to the ground.

    “Wh-wh-what’s going on?” Saturn stuttered, everything now dark except for him and Ninetales. A whispering was filling the air around him, and the single hair was beginning to wrap around Saturn’s arm, burning white hot.

    You have claimed have a life, you have committed a crime

    You have caused me pain, and now it is your time

    To feel my power, to feel my wrath

    By killing my master, you’ve chosen this path

    I will hunt you down, I will find where you are

    Wherever you stay, I won’t be far

    In the end, you will die a fiery death

    And I’ll be the cause of your final breath

    You nasty man, you vicious killer,

    Now I’ll turn your life into a psychotic thriller

    I will cause you eternal strife

    Until you pay the price, I take your life

    So that is why I sing this verse,

    To unleash the power of a Ninetales curse

    In a single flash, the hair burst into flame and Saturn screamed in pain, multiple lines of the curse echoing inside his head at once. He screamed in anguish and blinked: Ninetales was no longer on him, and light was seeping back into the room. Breathing deeply, Saturn looked up and saw Ninetales and Toxicroak firing attacks at each other, their roars filling his ears.

    Had that been real? Saturn looked down at his right wrist and saw a curving burnt mark spiralling down towards his elbow. Had Ninetales really cursed him, or was it all just an illusion? Saturn looked down, and all thoughts of curses left him: there was only one minute until the bomb detonated!

    “RUN!” He shouted, and sprinted out the door. He heard a Gunk Shot being fired, and a moment later Toxicroak was following after him. Saturn didn’t care about anything else as he sprinted through Carolina’s garden, trampling flowers as he hurried to get out of the area. Swerving to avoid running into the swimming pool, Saturn ran across the pale yellow bricks, noticing a Roserade stirring from between the roses. He grabbed a thin metal bar from his pocket and pressed a button, and in a flash it had turned into his trident-like machine… Saturn had to get out of here… he had to.

    Than the house exploded.

    In the peaceful, early morning garden, the sound shook everything to its core. Saturn, Toxicroak and Roserade were sent flying by a fiery shockwave, casting them metres down the garden as flaming wreckage pelted them. The first two storeys were completed obliterated, with pale blue bricks flying across the estate. The hedge separating the two houses was blown over, sending Matthew’s Chimecho spiralling away with it. All windows on the house smashed simultaneously, and flaming wreckage of the patio furniture crashed into an old tree house used by Matthew.

    Leah opened her eyes as soon as the explosion happened, and than shielded them as the fiery ball nearly blinded her. Glass and wood from their deck doors scattered across the bed, and Adrian let out a yell as a shard cut his cheek.

    “OH MY GOD!” Leah screamed, instantly leaping out of bed and trodding across the glass, staring towards the flaming wreckage. “ADRIAN!” Leah screamed again, fear beginning to fill her: she had heard Carolina’s helicopter drop her off… what if she had been in the house… was he friend safe?

    “Lucario Luca!” Leah’s Lucario, who slept in a corner of the room, ran forwards and sprinted out of the house, landing on the opposite side of the burning leaves. Leah was immobilized by fear and horror… why was this happening… who had caused this….

    “Leah, go do something!” Her husband’s voice brought her back down, and Leah turned to see Adrian on the phone as he flung his four PokeBalls onto the floor. Blaziken, Zangoose, Espeon and Umbren all formed, and Adrian pointed them towards the burning house. Leah knew she had to respond, and grabbed her Raichu’s PokeBall and sprinted out of the room with the four Pokemon.

    “Mummy, what’s going on?” Peter asked as Leah ran down the stairs, his Mime Jr, watching them all pass with worry. But Leah didn’t respond, simply pushing a button labelled AQUARIUM at the bottom of the stairs, and than sprinted through the living room and out through the shattered doors, with Adrian’s Pokemon and Raichu racing out before her. Flaming wood and foliage was littering their lawn, and Chimecho was flying around frantically, clearly terrified. Leah felt her heart drop as she stared at the destruction: if Carolina was in there, there was no way she’d have survived… but she couldn’t be dead… she just couldn’t be…

    “The fire brigade is on it’s way!” Adrian said, running past her quickly. “SURF!” He shouted out, and Leah watched as her Mantine and Matthew’s Milotic rose out of their special underground aquarium, two larges waves beneath them. “Come on Leah!” Adrian said, and grabbed his wife’s arm and pulled her forwards. Leah moved forwards reluctantly, trampling over more shattered glass, wondering what horrors would await her on the other side.

    “Oh god…” Saturn groaned. He was winded, lying face down in the grass about five metres from where he had been only thirty seconds ago. It felt like his back was on fire, and when Saturn looked around, he saw that indeed the explosion had burnt a large whole in the back of his vest. “Fuck!” He hissed, and forced himself to his feet, and nearly fell over as his knees gave way. Thankfully, he was able to position himself on his trident, allowing him to fully see the damage caused.

    The majority of the first and second floors have been completely destroyed. It was a miracle the house was even standing, with the supports now on fire as well and beginning to crack. The entire garden was now a charred and flaming mess, with large craters were the bricks had been sent flying. Bits of house and furniture lay in the pool, with the water splashed out reaching to where the hedge had been , but now stood a burning wall of leaves and twigs. A huge cloud of smoke was rising into the sky, and Saturn was completely awestruck at the damage he had caused. But the sounds of sirens were sounding in the distance: he needed to Teleport out of here as quickly as possible to avoid detection.

    “TOXICROAK!” Saturn roared as he charged up the trident. Toxicroak leapt to his feet, slightly ash covered but otherwise alright, and made to run forwards. But he was only a few feet away when suddenly Toxicroak glowed pink and went flying backwards. “What the-” Saturn said, and turned around: Leah and Adrian were piling into the garden, surrounded by Lucario, Chimecho, Raichu, Blaziken, Zangoose, Espeon and Umbreon. A pile of burning wood was blasted away nerarby, and a rather charred looking Roserade stood up and joined him.

    “Your from Team Galactic, aren’t you?” Adrian cried out. Saturn scowled and paused the teleportation charge up.

    “The people in this area are so wise, aren’t they?” He hissed back at them. Two different banging sounds were now sounding around the garden, and Saturn wanted to wrap this up before whoever was making the sounds appeared. “Now, if you excuse me, I think I’ll be off now.”

    “I don’t think so!” Adrian yelled, ignoring as two Surf’s went simultaneously past him. “Everyone attack, don’t let him leave!” Saturn cried out different typed attacks came flying towards him. He jumped to avoid a Thunderbolt, Aura Sphere and Flamethrower that exploded on the ground next to him. The Surfs crashed through the lower two storeys of the house as he landed back on the ground, the sound of the crashing waves not enough to mask the sirens whining louder and louder towards the house. Suddenly, the two constant banging sounds were replaced with even louder explosions: Saturn looked around as the large shape of a Snorlax rose out from a shed at the opposite end, and than turned as a Ponyta burst out of the stables, cantering quickly towards him, fire in her eyes.

    “Screw this,” Saturn hissed, and un-paused the teleportation charge up. He didn’t need to bother with a battle: it would only end badly for him, and he didn’t need anymore trouble to deal with. Moving swiftly, Saturn brought the now unconscious Toxicroak back, and pressed another button on his trident. The two outer points on the trident shot rapidly into the air, quickly joining together. Saturn cheekily gave a wave towards the Pearls, another onslaught of attacks coming towards him, and wondered if they would find the possibly burnt and dead remains on the grunts when they did cleanup. Than the two points fired a harsh blue beam, and within seconds Saturn was gone, leaving the attacks to collide in mid air.

    “Damnit!” Adrian hissed, and turned to face his wife. But Leah was no longer there: she was walking towards the house, not paying attention as she walked over burning rubble and shattered glass. Her attention was focused fully on getting to the house… she needed to find Carolina… her friend had to be safe, she just had to be. Some firs were still burning, and Mantine and Milotic were trying to find them. Ninetales was stood there, glowing a distinctive fiery colour to show her Flash Fire had activated. Leah’s heart sank as she saw her: Carolina never went anywhere with Ninetales, they were the closest of companions…

    “Luca!” Lucario rushed in front of Leah as she walked onto the destroyed garden path. Leah tried to push him out of the way, trying to get closer to the house… a burnt figure was lying on the ground up ahead, sticking out from under a couch… “LUCA!” Lucario shouted, and his eyes glowed blue and he used aura against his trainer.

    “CAROLINA!” Leah screamed, as Adrian rushed forwards and tried dragging her backwards as well. “CAROLINA!” Tears began to fall thickly, and Leah collapsed to the ground, sobbing into her nightshirt. Adrian and Lucario wrapped their arms around her, holding her tightly. Ninetales looked towards them, seeing the hurt and suffering, and her tails suddenly glowed golden. Milotic and Mantine watched as the tails turned slightly and pointed to the right, as if pointing Ninetales easterly. The Fox Pokemon merely nodded, and without another sound, she turned and ran out of the house, leaving her home, the destruction, her dead trainer behind. She didn’t look back as the fire engines and police cars pulled up, she didn’t look back as the supports gave way and the third storey collapsed. As the dawn sun rose through the cloud of smoke, Ninetales had only one thing on her mind.


    No one noticed at first as a harsh light began to full Xavier’s bag: they were all too busy setting up an extra two mattresses for himself and Vanessa to sleep on. The Berry Master was kindly letting them stay whilst they recovered from the tough night, though the group planned to move forwards soon: Matthew had a contest at Hearthome City in a few days, and the third Sinnoh gym was waiting to be battled. Everyone was chatting and laughing, even Sahara and Xavier, who laughed as Grotle tripped over Piplup and knocked the dining table over.

    However, the harsh light soon became too bright, and as the four Dex Holders got under their blankets, their host family already heading off to bed, their eyes all turned towards his bag: it burst open with a popping sound, and red energy poured out of it. It wasn’t the normal way of Pokemon energy being released, looking more solid like it was being forced out of a bottle. The disgruntled figure of Lapras landed on the floor, looking around at them all.

    Yes? She said huffily, still annoyed at being snapped at before.

    “I didn’t order you out,” Xavier said, grabbing his bag from near the dining table. The other three all exchanged odd looks: Pokemon didn’t just randomly come out of their PokeBalls for no reason. Xavier pulled out Grotle’s PokeBall, and the Great Balls belonging to Drifloon and Heracross, all of which were fine. But than he pulled out Lapras’: it was in four even pieces, half white, half red, with the black bit resting in between them.

    “That… that isn’t normal,” Sahara said, grabbing the PokeBall out of Xavier’s hands. “If something had shattered it, than it wouldn’t be in even pieces.”

    “When my grandmother died, her PokeBalls shattered like that,” Matthew said hoarsely, staring at the PokeBall in shock. Vanessa simply raised an eyebrow and scoffed.

    “I don’t think Xavier is dead, Matthew, so we can probably-”

    “It wasn’t my PokeBall,” Xavier whispered, wide eyes also focused on the PokeBall. “I picked it up at my house, thinking it was mine, but it turned out to be my mother’s. I never sent Lapras back over to my own PokeBall.” A shocked silence followed this statement, broken only by a moan of despair from Lapras, whose head fell onto the table, her eyes shut as she continued to moan. Vanessa, Sahara and Matthew all exchanged looks, the latter covering his mouth with his hands, before they all stared back towards Xavier. How would he, the one who showed no emotion, who they didn’t even know if he liked his parents, react to this news.

    “X-X-Xavier…” Sahara whispered, putting the PokeBall pieces down as if contaminated, “Xavier… wouldn’t your mother be…. Dead…” Xavier looked up at her, his eyes still wide, his face going rather paler than normal. A million thoughts were racing through his head, his heart was speeding, he felt like he would be sick… his mother was dead….

    “It’s a pity, isn’t it?” He whispered at last, and without another word, Xavier turned over and fell soundly asleep.

    Hope you enjoyed this part! look out for the next story hopefully a lot sooner

  9. #54
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    Default Re: Galactic: Dawn (Part Two) Prt 4

    Home is Where the Heart is

    Good morning. It is eight’ o’clock. I am Clarisse Miller, and this is Sinnoh Morning News.

    Our top story this morning continues into the mysterious explosion at the Diamond Estate near Twinleaf Town three days ago, and the death of owner, Carolina Diamond. Mrs Diamond, mother of one, wife of Battle Frontier Tower Tycoon Palmer Diamond and sister of Sinnoh League Champion Cynthia Carter, was found dead by fire fighters when they arrived shortly after the lower two floors of her house were destroyed by some sort of explosion, which was later confirmed to be a bomb.
    Police instantly presumed Carolina had been killed by the explosion, but an autopsy done yesterday afternoon revealed that Carolina had been killed by a stab to the throat instead. Investigators were even more shocked when it was revealed that the toxin Poison-type Pokemon produce was found around the wound.

    This confusion has all been settled this morning, as terrorist organization Team Galactic has claimed responsibility for her murder and the explosion. Team Galactic is believed to have formed several years ago, but has only become well known recently. Already this year they have claimed responsibility for incidents such as the Oreburgh Mine Disaster, the destruction of the Valley Windworks, and demolition of the Cycling Road Bridge between Eterna City and Route 207.

    Team Galactic did not specify why they went after Carolina Diamond, but police believe it is due to her connections amongst the Sinnoh Pokemon World. Both Palmer Diamond and Cynthia Carter have postponed any battles for the time being, though Sinnoh League officials say that Miss Carter will take part in the annual Sinnoh League Championships around August.

    Team Galactic also claimed responsibility in the same announcement for damages down at the lowest cave entrance to Mt Coronet, which occurred on the same night.

    In other news…

    February 2nd, 2010

    “It’s such a shame, isn’t it?”

    It was an early but busy morning at the Hearthome City Pokemon Center. The cultural capital of the Sinnoh region always attracted a large amount of visitors to its city, and today was even busier than normal. Two important events were happening today: the Hearthome City Double Battle Contest would be occurring at the Hearthome Contest Hall, the largest and central headquarters of contests in Sinnoh, causing many coordinators from across the region to come and try their luck at winning another ribbon, whilst a special event was being held at the luscious Hearthome Conference Hall a few doors down.

    Matthew Pearl was here for the former reason. He hadn’t won any ribbons at the two contests he had competed in previously, and was excited to be involved in this one. He had spent the past few days training his Pokemon furiously to perfect his performance combination move, as well as practicing multiple moves for use in the contest, and was certain he stood a chance at winning.

    Unfortunately, Matthew hadn’t had much help from his friends with training, but could easily understand why. Xavier had been very quiet since news of his mother’s death, and had been very quiet and distant from the rest of them, spending all his time training his Pokemon for his match against the Hearthome gym leader, a ghost type trainer named Fantina. And Sahara was still recovering slowly from the terrible ordeal she’d suffered at Mt Coronet, still slightly in agony from the pain Crystal had put her through. And Vanessa had told Matthew rather simply “if the other two aren’t helping you, I’m sure as hell not going to.”

    However, Vanessa and Sahara were sitting in the Pokemon Center atrium with him, their eyes focused upon the news screen as well. Vanessa had been wearing black clothes out of respect, and today was wearing a long flowing black dress with eight stars made out of diamonds scattered around it, and a black rose was clipped in her hair. Sahara was trying hard not to tear up as her new Meditite Hammer sat peacefully on her lap, meditating. Sahara had tried to train with Meditite, but he had been rather reluctant, choosing to meditate most of the day instead. Xavier had disappeared before breakfast that morning, but they were too busy to wonder where he had gotten to.

    Three other people were in the atrium with them as well: Matthew’s parents and his brother Peter had come out for the contest. Adrian Pearl, being head of the Sinnoh Pokemon Contest Board, usually came out for the big double battle contest, and had brought Leah along with him. She had been heartbroken by her best friend’s death, and had spent most of the past few days crying in her room with the curtains closed. But now that Adrian had convinced her to take a break from it all, Leah was fussing over Matthew insanely, making sure his moves were perfect and that everyone else was happy and calm. They never discussed the death around her, in case it caused her to finally snap and break down.

    “I wish you kept better care of this jacket,” Leah said quietly, not focusing on the news or what Matthew said at all as she rolled a lint brush vigorously. Adrian, Peter and Piplup watched as Matthew buttoned up his contest jacket and examined himself in the reflective floor, a nervous look on his face.

    “Are you two going to come watch my contest?” Matthew asked Vanessa and Sahara. The two turned away from the television, staring at his fancy contest outfit.

    “Sorry Matthew, but I really need to get Hammer’s training underway,” Sahara said apologetically, and the Meditite opened an eye at being mentioned. “I’m thinking of taking him to Amity Square, see if we can bond a bit.” Vanessa’s face suddenly twitched, but only Matthew noticed. He went to say something, but she quickly recovered and put on a smile.

    “How sweet,” Vanessa said sarcastically, and grabbed a newspaper off the table. “I won’t be going either. I read about this conference being held today yesterday,” and she held up a full page ad from the middle of the paper. It was red with large white letters saying ARCETHIAN ACADEMY ANNUAL ALUMNI ASSEMBALAGE, with more details listed in smaller writing underneath.

    “That’s a lot of A’s,” Peter said, and Adrian chuckled and ruffled his son’s hair.

    “And your going to it?” Matthew said, surprised. “You went to Arcethian Academy?” There was an Arcethian Academy located in all of the major regions, and was a prestigious private boarding school that many people went to when they were young, and would still go to if they didn’t go on a Pokemon journey. There were other schools around, but it was the best one if you wanted to go into a non-Pokemon related job.

    “You don’t think I could’ve gone there?” Vanessa snapped, her eyebrows raised and the newspaper clenched viciously in her hand. Sahara simply scoffed and rolled her eyes, and everyone looked at her, even Leah, frozen with the lint brush in her hand.

    “I wouldn’t have wanted to go there!” Sahara said, still scoffing. “A bunch of snotty rich kids learning a bunch of crap they’ll never use again?” And she let out a little laugh.

    “I went there,” Adrian said with a slight scowl.

    “Xavier and I were there until the end of the last school year,” Matthew said, sounding rather offended. Sahara blushed and mumbled an apology, and looked back towards the television.

    “I did go there for several years, actually,” Vanessa hissed to Matthew, who couldn’t help but looked surprised. “But I’m not going there for the reunion side of things. Mr Adiem is one of the key speakers, and I have a few questions for him.” On the day of Carolina’s demise, the Berry Master the Dex Holders had stayed with gave the four some interesting information about Dialga and Palkia, the legendary Pokemon said to control time and space. Vanessa had been researching vigorously at a local library, but hadn’t found more than fables and myths, nothing that would help her find out why Team Galactic was interested in them.

    “Didn’t you try talking to Adiem before?” Sahara asked.

    “Yes, and he may have blasted me out of his office, but he can’t attack me in the middle of a prestigious conference, can he?” Vanessa said, smirking triumphantly as she got to her feet, grabbing her pink bag from off the floor. “It’s starting soon: I don’t want to make a grand entrance now, do I?” And with a little smirk, she brushed past Matthew and headed for the door. “Good luck with the contest!” And she quickly headed out through the glass doors, past several young female coordinators wearing matching pink dresses. Adrian looked at his watch and gasped.

    “I have to be at the contest hall now, damnit!” He cried, and leapt to his feet. Leah let out a gasp and grabbed a leather handbag from the table.

    “That means we’d better go as well!” She wailed, and grabbed Peter’s hand.

    “Piplup Pip!” Piplup cried, and leapt onto Matthew’s shoulder, her trainer now frantically grabbing his bag and a few ball seals he’d been trying out.

    “See you later Sahara!” Matthew cried as he was pulled out the sliding doors by his father.

    “Good luck!” Sahara shouted out, but the doors had already shut. She let out a sigh, and grabbed her own bag from off the ground. Meditite opened his eyes and stood up, leaping onto the polished floor.

    “Smart one you are,” Sahara smirked. “We’d better head off ourselves: no point sitting around like a bunch of losers!” Meditite simply nodded, and began walking out the front door. Sahara quickly followed after, and within seconds she too was gone.

    Charles Golden watched them all leave.

    He had been in Hearthome for the same amount of time as them. Minerva and Addison were sitting opposite him across a table, all of them in comfortable blue and red chairs. Minerva and Addison were focusing on the news, leaving Charles unnoticed as he stared longingly after Sahara. He wanted nothing more but to go after her, declare his feelings and see if she still felt the same way for him. But Vanessa’s warning had been very clear, and despite what Charles wanted, he knew that there was no way he and Sahara could be together due to his work for Team Galactic. Feeling very sad inside, Charles looked back towards the others and saw Addison was glaring at him.

    “What were you looking at?” She asked excitedly. Despite the rebellious red streaks in her hair, Addison was a typical gossipy girl and had been asking Charles a mound of personal questions over their past few days in the Pokemon Center. Charles thought Addison was very attractive, but like her enough to reveal anything.

    “I’m allowed to stare around a room, aren’t I?” He snapped back, and Addison leant back in her chair, a smirk on her face. She was wearing a tight fitting black coat that went below her very short black skirt. As they were undercover, they had been forced to dress into appropriate clothing. Charles didn’t own many normal clothes and was stuck in the blue running clothes he’d landed in Sinnoh in. Minerva was wearing a pleasant white dress that had a green floral pattern that matched her blonde hair nicely. The two looked very good, and Charles felt self conscious about his scruffy running gear and messy blue-brown hair.

    “We probably should head off now that those Dex Holders have left,” Minerva said, turning away from the television. “Nothing on the news about us and the Galactic item was over pretty quickly, but that’s not to say nothing else will come up later.” She seemed to have taken being in charge of her own little mission to heart, and pulled two photographs out from a green handbag that matched her dress. One of the photos was of a thick black leather book, the cover so badly damaged that it looked about a hundred years old. The second picture was slightly grainy, taken of an elderly man. He had a large amount of grey facial hair that obscured most of his features, with a green hat on top of his head with matching suspenders over a brown shirt. Charles gasped as he recognised the face, and then stared back towards the ancient book.

    “That’s Mr Goods, isn’t it?” He cried.

    “Whose Mr Goods?” Addison asked in shock. Minerva’s lips formed a scowl as several heads turned at their exclamations.

    “Mr Goods,” she replied quietly, “is a well known criminal. He is able to get you anything from toothpaste to dynamite, but most people contact him because of the book. It is a very ancient spellbook that he stole from a cave a few decades ago. Since then, everyone that needs to perform some spot of magic simply contacts him and rents the book.”

    “Team Rocket rented that book back in Johto,” Charles said viciously, glaring down at the face and bad memories rushing back to him. Minerva tapped his hands in a sympathetic way, and Charles smiled back at her concerned face.

    “Team Rocket were the last people to use the book,” Minerva explained, “though they weren’t as nice to Mr Goods as other organizations were. He has suffered amnesia from a nasty blow to the head and ended up here, working at Amity Park. Though he doesn’t remember his past deeds, Mr Goods still has the book with him. Cyrus wants the book, which is the only reason why he let me come here and drop that egg off, so we have to make sure we get it.”

    “By force!” Addison cheered, but Minerva whacked her across the head, looking furious.

    “If we get it by force we attract the attention of police!” She hissed. “I have contacted Mr Goods and offered to buy the book off of him, so it will permanently be ours, alright?” Addison nodded, rubbing her head with a pout on her face. “Glad you get the message. We better go so we make sure no one interrupts or follows us, alright? We’ll wander around, pretend we’re a small family sightseeing, than we slip into the park.” Minerva stood up clutching her handbag, and Addison hoisted a tatty black bag that completed her moody teenager look. Charles simply had a sports bag that matched his gear, though something much heavier than clothes was weighing it down. Checking he still had his PokeBalls, he followed Minerva and Addison out of the Pokemon Center, remembering that Sahara had walked through these doors only moments before and failed to suppress a sad sigh.

    As Charles entered, a young woman slipped in past him. She was very pretty, with bright blonde hair held back in a ponytail, a tight orange singlet and denim short shorts. A pile of papers were in her hands, with a laptop balanced precariously on top. The woman attracted the attention of several male coordinators, but she ignored them, glancing around the Pokemon Center frantically. When it seemed her search had failed, the woman cursed and quickly left the building.

    If she didn’t find who was looking for soon, the end of the world would be her fault.

    Hearthome City is regularly voted the most beautiful city in all of Sinnoh. It is a splendid mix of modern contemporary art, ancient buildings, vintage designs and a rainbow of nature. The streets and roads are all made of cobbled stones or red and black bricks, though cars never cross these surfaces. All cars simply drove past the city, with spaces for parking if need be. The sidewalk simply blended with the streets, making the city a more relaxing and safe place to be in.

    There were no skyscrapers in the city, and there were very little offices. Most of the buildings were residential apartments and cottages placed right in the middle of the city, painted varying shades of brown with a variety of reds and greens to give them an old fashioned appearance. The only major buildings were the Hearthome Contest Hall, the Conference Center, a large grey church perched into the corner of the city, and finally the gym.

    If you saw the Hearthome City Gym, you wouldn’t be alone in mistaking it for something else. The gym was a magnificent wide structure, painted a jet black mixed with a midnight purple that allowed it to stand out for miles away. Statues of Gengar and Mismagius, Banette and Dusknoir, every ghost type imaginable rested inside stone niches, whilst a giant Drifblim, its purple paint nearly fully faded, hovered in what have been an eerie manner if it hadn’t been for the four metal cables keeping the Pokemon-shaped balloon in place. More images of ghosts appeared in the stained glass windows, though some scenes showed a bit of the cities history and memorable contests.

    Inside it was nearly pitch black. Ghostly faces of Gastly, Drifloon and Duskull had blue flames burning inside of them, providing enough light for trainers to cross the cold stone floor, though not enough to reveal the trainers lurking behind these lamps. Gym challengers had to fight their way through nearly a dozen gym employees, defeating their ghost types and trying to find their way through the maze of lamps. Once they got to the end though, the trainers leaving them in peace, a set of wooden doors about four metres high would creak slowly open, revealing the battle field.

    That was where Xavier Diamond was now.

    He had battled through the trainers soundlessly, only opening his mouth to utter commands. His Pokemon tore through the trainers Pokemon with ease, though Xavier was able to find the quickest route, meaning he only took part in three battles. He healed his Pokemon as he walked through the doors, entering a battle field unlike any other. The stone statues that were on the outside had counterparts on the inside, glaring down at him from all sides. In between them were brackets of blue and purple flame, providing haunting light for the upcoming battle. The field itself was plain, though fog seemed to be circling alongside. As the doors creaked shut behind him, Xavier barely flinched and walked up to his spot. There were little thoughts inside his head at the moment: no battle plans, no anticipation or worry, no happiness about making it this way. It was as if something he dimmed his brain down, so he focused only on the important things, and nothing else….

    “Bonjour Mr Xavier Diamond,” a feminine voice boomed from the shadows, ringing with an accent Xavier couldn’t recognise. He was unfazed as there was a poof of purple smoke, and suddenly a woman was standing there. Her dress was long, wide and purple, an immense work of fabric from her breast downwards. Her arms were enclosed by long, elegant white gloves, whilst her purple hair was styled into four bands, with only two strands of hair falling against her aged but beautiful face. “Je M’appelle Fantina, and I am the gym leader for Hearthome City!” She flashed a wide, white smile towards him, but Xavier simply nodded.

    “Fantina will be using three Pokemon, but the challenger may use however many Pokemon necessary,” a disembodied voice echoed around them. “Fantina sends first – BEGIN!”

    “Dusknoir, battle for me first!” Fantina called and threw a Dusk Ball into the sky. It burst open, haunting music echoing out as a black, cloth like Pokemon with yellow zigzags floated down, its hands moving unattached to its body.

    “Grotle. Use Bite,” Xavier said, less emotion in his voice than normal. His starter burst from his PokeBall, and Grotle instantly leapt forwards, clamping down hard on Dusknoir’s middle. Fantina was horrified, and quickly commanded a furious Fire Punch. Grotle continued to use Bite, twice causing Dusknoir to flinch and stop his moves right in their track. Yet Xavier showed no emotion: nothing in his eyes, from his mouth, nothing. When Dusknoir fell after only five turns, leaving Grotle nearing low health but still with plenty of steam, Fantina was astounded, and sent her next Pokemon out.

    Gengar was able to move much faster than Dusknoir, initiating an earlier Toxic and moving down with a barrage of Ice Punches and Shadow Balls, blasting Grotle across the room. Xavier simply returned him without turning around, sending out his Lapras in an Ultra Ball that was completely his. Lapras’ eyes flashed a single flash of pink, and Gengar fell flat to the ground, his half-Poison typing making him vulnerable towards Psychic.

    Fantina was taken aback at how cold Xavier was acting, and couldn’t remember anyone showing as little emotion in all of her previous gym battles. But she hoped her secret weapon would work out, and threw a final Dusk Ball that erupted in a chorus of ribbon and confetti. The hot air balloon shaped Pokemon Drifblim formed amongst the black smoke, staring simply down at Lapras. Xavier commanded an Ice Beam, than another, than another, but Drifblim simply twirled around, Stockpiling by absorbing in energy from the air and expanding to great width. A single burst of white energy was released, and Lapras fell to the Spit Up.

    It was easy for Drifblim to eliminate Heracross next. He managed to get in two Night Slashes, but a double weakness to her Air Cutter had Heracross down before he could make a third attack. Xavier still showed no emotion, simply nodding as he brought Heracross back. Fantina didn’t know what to make of him, and waited in anticipation for his next Pokemon.

    “Drifloon. Icy Wind,” Xavier commanded. Fantina’s face lit up with excitement as the pre-evolution of Drifblim floated up into the sky with it’s evolved form.

    “Ah, trés fantastique!” She exclaimed excitedly. “A battle between two ghost types of the same family! This will most definitely be a fantastic battle!”

    “It’ll be very short,” Xavier said, and Fantina froze, looking shocked, as Drifloon let loose a burst of icy wind that blasted Drifblim backwards. “Stockpile and Spit Up will have no effect on Drifloon as she is a ghost type and they are normal type moves,” Xavier explained, his voice a dull, monotonous droll. “I have several moves effective against you, whilst you have one last move that I can presume is ghost type, meaning you will have a slight chance of defeating my Drifloon.” Fantina was rather taken aback, but she quickly realised that he was right: Drifblim had only one move that would do significant damage to Drifloon.

    “Shadow Ball, quickly!” She called, trying to stay the assertive gym leader.

    “BLIM!” Drifblim cried, and a ball of purple-black energy shot out of her. Drifloon was hit and she cried out, but Xavier had a glint in his eye, as if he knew what to do.

    “Will-o-Wisp,” he called out. Drifloon inhaled, and than balls of blue flame shot out. They exploded against Drifblim and she became alight in the ghostly blue flames. Fantina squealed, especially as her second Shadow Ball missed by several metres. “Ominous Wind, now!” Xavier said, his voice changing in tones for the first time.

    “FLOOOOOON!” Drifloon cried, and Fantina gasped as Drifblim spiralled around as the purple wind hit her, crashing landing by her feet with her eyes shut.

    “Fantina’s Drifblim has fainted – the winner is the challenger, Xavier,” the disembodied voice boomed. Drifloon’s face lit up with delight, and she floated happily down towards Xavier. He looked up at her and simply nodded.

    “Thank you,” he said, and walked forwards towards Fantina. She had given her unconscious Drifblim a hug before bringing her back. She than stood up and smiled down at Xavier, who hadn’t realised how tall she was.

    “You fought a brilliant battle, Xavier Diamond,” Fantina explained, pulling a purple metal case out of her dress. She opened it to reveal a badge, shaped with three purple rings around joined together by silver, with a spot of black in the middle. “You have greatly earned this Relic Badge, congratulations!”

    “Thank you,” Xavier said, and he pocketed the badge. Fantina smiled at Drifloon and patted the white fluff on her head.

    “Your Drifloon is very good, I believe she may be close to evolution,” the gym leader explained. She noticed the berries clutched and made a gasping sound. “Ah, but of course! Her ability must be Unburden, meaning she will move faster when losing a held item!”

    “Interesting, I will look into it,” Xavier replied. “Thank you for the battle,” he added, before turning to walk away, Drifloon beginning to float after him. Fantina watched as he moved, and suddenly a thought occurred to her.

    “Of course, of course!” She exclaimed, and ran after him, the sound of high heels cluttering against the floor. “Carolina Diamond’s son, of course!” Xavier came to a sudden halt, his eyes shut, the first expression she had seen on his face appearing: a look of grumpiness and confusion was there, his face very tensed up. “I was so sorry to hear about what happened to your mother. I battled alongside and against her many times before, did you know?”

    “No, I did not,” Xavier replied with the air he was concentrating very hard. Fantina gave him a soothing pat, and look of sympathy and concern across her pale, make-upped face.

    “Come with me, Xavier Diamond,” she said, wrapping a gloved hand around his. “I will tell you about your mother, and, if we get time, we can maybe train this Drifloon of yours.” Drifloon simply smiled as Xavier allowed himself to be led out of the room, his face still tensed up, trying not to think about anything.

    The Hearthome Contest Hall was one of the most expensive buildings in the entire Sinnoh region. Costing well over four million dollars to construct, the building was equivalent in height to four storey building, yet there weren’t really any floors. It was painted shades of pink and red along the walls, whilst the gigantic curving dome was made of purple glass with a clear, retractable spot in the middle for certain appeals. Beautiful gardens and multiple elegant courtyards were situated around it, with a giant sign over two sets of sliding glass doors read “HEARTHOME CONTEST HALL – THE HOME OF SINNOH CONTETS!”

    Inside was just as beautiful. The carpet was a beautiful midnight blue, whilst the walls were a creamy brown that made it looked very elegant. Portraits of past winners hung around the walls, whilst the ceiling showed a Lopunny, Milotic, Wigglytuff and Espeon doing a series of a tricks. Rare types of flowers and pot plants situated in the many corners and niches of the room, making it seem very fancy. There were two long desks, each with four attendants behind the polished oak, that checked in every coordinator before directing them towards a door leading to the changing rooms and practice areas. Spectators climbed one of two elegant staircases on either side of a widescreen television in order to enter the central stadium area, which was the biggest in the Pokemon world. The place just emitted beauty, elegance and power, and was the perfect place for any contest to take place.

    Matthew was taken aback at how grand the building was, adding to his anticipation for the upcoming event. He stood in the middle of the crowded hall, watching as many people gathered around. There were quite a lot of spectators heading up the stairs, jabbering and chattering amongst themselves, leaving around fifty trainers left. They would be cut down to sixteen, then eight, then four, and finally two, who would battle it out for the ribbon and a special prize. Matthew hadn’t won a ribbon yet, and was eagerly awaiting his chance to prove himself.

    “Piplup Pip Pip!” Piplup said excitedly, resting in his arms.

    “Are you ready to battle?” Matthew asked, and Piplup nodded, shaking with excitement. Matthew laughed as he checked for the umpteenth time if he had all four PokeBalls in his pockets. He would be used Misdreavus and Milotic for the appeals, and then send Beautifly out alongside Piplup for the battles.

    “Well well well, look who it is,” a voice giggled behind him, and Matthew felt his excited anticipation shatter.

    “Hello Mira,” he growled, turning around to face the ten year old. Mira was today wearing a white dress that appeared very girlish, with matching ribbons tying her hair back. Matthew hadn’t seen her since they had fled the scene of the Cycling Road explosion, and there were a few tiny scars on Mira’s arms that showed she hadn’t come away unscathed.

    “Ready to lose again?” She giggled, bouncing four PokeBalls in her hands. Matthew knew Kadabra and Sandshrew were enclosed inside them, and was ready to take them on if the two faced off in battle again.

    “I should be asking you that!” Matthew huffed back, and Mira simply laughed.

    “I highly doubt it, especially if it’s the same standard of those practice sessions,” she snorted. Matthew decided to just ignore her, though he noticed Piplup stick his tongue out at her. “Just because your dad’s here and he’s the boss doesn’t mean your going to win!” Mira sneered, and Matthew turned around, unable to ignore this jibe.

    “Of course I won’t win due to my father, I’ll win on pure talent!” Matthew huffed, though his mind drifted back towards his first contest in Floaroma Town: he may not win due to his father, but what if Adrian stopped him from winning to keep his image in tact? Mira retorted to Matthew’s remark, but he was thinking about that contest, and wondered if he would be able to win this one, and what his father might say. As the Floaroma memories came back, the glass doors slid open and familiar faces from that day appeared: Harrison, wearing a pink and purple striped suit, with his arm wrapped around one of Lucinda’s, who was wearing a purple dress suit that matched his stylishly.

    “Matthew, hello?” Mira called, stomping angrily on his feet. “I can’t insult you if you ignore me! What are you looking at anyway?” And she looked towards Harrison and Lucinda as well, who were now talking animatedly and moving towards one of the desks opposite. “Are those friends of yours? Their wearing matching outfits, I wonder if they’re dating. They probably just slept together!” Matthew had been absorbed in shock at seeing one of his other past challenger’s here that he didn’t hear anything except for her last comment.

    “Eww, that’s revolting!” He said with a face to match his disgust. “Harrison is gay anyway.”

    “What’s revolting, exactly?” Mira asked cheekily. “The idea of people sleeping together? I’m ten and I’m completely comfortable with it, why aren’t you? It’s how you were born, unless your one of those weird test tube babies,” she continued, Matthew’s eyebrows continuously raising in surprise.

    “You’re ten, why do you know about sex!” He said, and Mira simply laughed.

    “You’re acting as if I’m saying some tabooed thing!” She cackled. “Sex! SEX! Sex sex sex sex sex sex sex and more SEEEEEEX!” She called, giggling ferociously,. Matthew turned away in disgust, trying to block her words out, and was surprised to see his family rushing towards him. Adrian looked rather tense, and shot Mira a curious glare, causing her to cease laughing immediately.

    “I checked you in whilst I was sorting some information out, your appeal is 22nd,” Adrian explained. Mira gasped dramatically, and with a final glance at Matthew she raced towards a free attendant, clearly having not signed in. “Who was that, she looked familiar?”

    “Mira, the girl who beat me last time,” Matthew replied with a smirk, glad to see she was being held up. It was at that point that he noticed something: Leah was staring off into space, completely oblivious to the things around her. She had done this several times whilst being here, and Matthew knew it was connected to the death of her best friend. But Adrian seemed to be ignoring her, not bothering to snap her out of it.

    “Can we go sit down?” Peter whinged, pulling Matthew out of his thought.

    “Yes, we’d better, Felicity is starting things soon!” Andrew gasped, clutching both Leah and Peter’s arms and dragging them. “Good luck!” He called back almost as an afterthought. Leah blinked and suddenly realised she was being pulled.

    “Yes, good luck dear!” She called, pulling her arm free and giving him a quick hug and peck on the cheek.

    “Don’t lose!” Peter called uselessly, and Matthew simply waved at them. He watched curiously as his parents mumbled angrily to each other as they ascended the stairs, and remained there as the other trainer progress towards the corridors. He was too nervous to move, knowing how important this contest was, and didn’t want to mess it up, especially with two people who had defeated him before in the area.

    “Lup Piplup Pip!” Piplup cried, pointing behind Matthew towards the glass doors. Matthew turned around and gasped: Cheryl was walking in, dressed up and ready to coordinate. She was wearing a green dress a few shades lighter than her dark hair, with a long, elegant trail that her Chansey was holding up. A white belt was around her wait to help keep the mass of fabric together, and a series of matching ribbons were around her plaited hair, making it even longer than normal. Matthew went to call out, but Cheryl turned around, her face turning to a scowl, and Matthew realised she must still be angry at him for not telling her he was a coordinator.

    “Well, this is just… great…” Matthew mumbled, and Piplup could only nod. Cheryl flashed an early-registration card to one of the attendants, and with a final look at Matthew, she disappeared into the corridors. Harrison and Lucinda saw her stare at him and waved over at him before disappearing behind her. Matthew felt gutted to see all these competitors back, and stood there thinking, not noticing as sparks appeared on the television screen, flashing and fading to reveal a spotlight.

    A Corsola was sitting there in the middle, its skin light blue and white instead of pink. It didn’t seem to be doing much, its eyes shut, clearly thinking. Matthew’s attention was caught though as its skin began to shimmer and shine a reflective pink as if it had just be wrapped in colourful foil. As this continued, three blue rings rose out from its body, beginning to circle it and reflect the Mirror Coat.

    Yellow light appeared around the spotlight, and the camera zoomed out to reveal a Manectric, running around the edges of the field glowing yellow. Corsola was beginning to rise up, the Aqua Ring get wider and larger, reflecting the Mirror Coat and the Mirror Coat reflecting it. Manectric suddenly ran forwards, now glowing as bright as the sun, and stood perfectly underneath Corsola.

    “MAAAAN!” He cried, and a wonderous Discharge lit up the arena. It shot upwards, hitting the Aqua Ring, but the Mirror Coat held it in place, electricity now sizzling between Corsola and the rings. She smiled and blinked, and the crowd gasped as the attacks colliding, a wave of green being released that blinded everyone. The crowd roared, and Corsola fell into the hands of the announcer Felicity, who was wearing a purple dress today.

    “Welcome everyone to the Hearthome Double Battle Contest!” She cried, her Corsola and Manectric smiling at the audience. “I hope you are all ready to see some beautiful appeals and fantastic battles, after which we’ll see who wins both the ribbon and the mystery prize!” The crowd cheered at this, and Matthew felt his stress lessen, desperate to know what this prize was and how he could get it.

    “Let me introduce to you our judges today!” Felicity called. “Firstly, we have Mrs Richards, celebrated author and biographer of coordinators!” A stout, elderly woman in a too-tight white dress stood up, her grey hair pulled back in a tight ponytail, slightly waving as she seemed to scowl at them all. “Secondly we have Tiffany Jones, host of various productions and events for the Sinnoh Broadcasting Company and two time Grand Festival Champion for Hoenn!” A twenty-something woman stood up, her hair glowing like sunshine with a smile to match. Her dress was a flaming orange that hurt Matthew’s eyes almost. “And finally, we have Johnny, award winning Pokemon Stylist and Breeder!” A camp man leapt up, a fluorescent pink shirt showing off his muscular body, a broad grin on his face and his jet black hair sleeked up.

    “A round of applause for our judges!” Felicity cried, and everyone clapped. “Now, it’s time we begin the appeals! Will you please welcome out –” but Matthew missed the name as he quickly realised he should be prepping and rushed off. Piplup was clapping in his arms, and Matthew beamed down at her: he was ready to take the contest on now, and he was ready to win his first ribbon.

  10. #55
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    Default Re: Galactic: Home is Where the Heart is Pt 1

    The Arcethian Assemblage was being held in the Conference Hall connected to the Hearthome Grand Hotel. The Grand Ballroom and Main Hall had both been booked out, along with nearly every room in the hotel, so the staff had pulled out all the stops. The around 400 people attending had two buffet tables the length of the walls on either side, filled with so much food there was no way they’d be able to try everything. The seas were comfortable but formal and sensible, the hotel dishing out a lot of money in order to pay for them. The curtains had been washed and the blue carpet cleaned to near perfection, pot plants covering the more stubborn stains. The lights shone brilliantly and the windows were sparkling under layers of polish, reflecting towards the three chandeliers hanging in a row above the guests.

    And the attendees fitted the scene well. The men all arrived in designer suits that cost more than most people’s wages for a month. Beautiful women in varying sizes and colours of dresses, with beautiful and hair and beautiful make up, looked stunning simply be standing still. They were all chattering with wide false smiles, clutching wine and champagne as they feigned interest in seeing old classmates and hearing their stories. The entire event was filled with fake people having a fake good time, only there because they had both the money to pay for it and wanted people to know it.

    Vanessa was the only one there with proper reasons.

    She stood out like a Wailord amongst Magikarp with her fiery hair, diamond covered dress and tatty yellow bag that had been through mild examination by the guards. They had been unwilling to let her in at all, but she had both the money and was on the records, the rules swayed their decisions. They had done their X-ray tests, but Vanessa had known the special fabric would disguise the mostly illegal objects hidden in the pockets, and entered the grand hall smirking happily to herself.

    Ignoring the looks she was already receiving, Vanessa grabbed a glass of champagne and began walking around the hall, her eyes peering around every corner. The polished cane and sleek black hair of Mr Adiem would hopefully stick out, but the parade of suited men was preventing her from finding the media mogul. The long brunette hair, slim figure and trademark red glasses of Vivian Masters, the famous therapist and talk show host that was the other key speaker, stood out from a mile away. Vanessa didn’t want to bother with her and simply continued to walk and find, listening to conversations as she passed. The brief snapshots into the alumni’s lives all blurred into one after awhile: jobs, holidays, children, Pokemon, purchases. Vanessa felt pity for the people, their lives lacking in both originality and enjoyed beyond the confines of monetary value.

    “Good thing I escaped this,” Vanessa mumbled to herself, drowning her glass in one gulp.

    “Well well, look what were have here!” A voice gasped besides her, ringing with pure glory, causing Vanessa to freeze as she reached for a second glass. The voice was all too familiar, and bad memories filled her mind as Vanessa turned, her hand reaching towards her umbrella. Clarisse Miller stood there, smiling in the triumphant manner of a beast whose prey had walked into its cave. She was wearing a long blue dress that swept to the floor, and was now ignoring the man in the black suit she had just been talking to.

    “What are you doing here?” Clarisse asked, reaching for a blue clutch that matched her dress. “You aren’t telling me you’re an ex-Arcethian? How wonderful! I was wondering when I could see you, I never found out how my report went down.”

    “I’ll tell you how it went down!” Vanessa hissed back viciously. “That report made us Dex Holders out to be bringers of doom, but we’ve saved your plastic ass more times than you’ve reported the honest truth! Why don’t you quote this: Bite me you glorified slapper!” Clarisse looked shocked for a moment, but than she began to smirk, exchanging smiles with the man behind her. Vanessa wanted to slice her hands off so she could never report another word again, but as she unseathed her umbrella, her associate walked forwards.

    “You are a feisty one!” He sneered, revealing his stained yellow teeth as his mouth stretched into a smile. “Vanessa, I believe? Clarisse has told me all about you! Ritchie Jones, columnist for the Sinnoh Star Times. I’d also love to get a scoop from you about your travels. How have the battles with Team Galactic been? Do you feel like your causing some of this drama? I met your friend Xavier, how is he coping with his mother’s death?”

    “You disgusting little asshole!” Vanessa roared, raising her umbrella up and pointing it at Clarisse’s throat. She screamed as Vanessa’s fingers readied to turn it, not caring she was in a public place, rage flowing through her like a rapid river and desperate to punish those both of the journalists. But seconds before she turned, the Grand Ballroom doors creaked open. There was a rush of cold air that chilled through
    Vanessa’s spine, and on instinct she turned.

    Standing alone in the doorway, moody and leathery as always, was Emerson.

    In a second Vanessa had turned, the sword shooting out of the umbrella to make Clarisse scream. Vanessa ignored her and rushed forwards, her mind set determinedly towards Emerson, who didn’t seem to notice she was there. Four years of torture, anger, abuse and depression flowed through Vanessa as she ran, memories of The Slayers filling her mind. The incident at the Cycling Road had been an awful blow to the system, but killing The General had been some relief. But Vanessa wanted to eliminate all of them, and was ready to kill Emerson right here. The sword was raised, Emerson seemed to notice something, other people were screaming, and Vanessa could smell

    A hand grabbed hold of her, and Vanessa lashed out as she was dragged away by guards. Emerson turned and missed her, her face covered by thick gloved hands, and Vanessa tried to throw her umbrella towards him. But she was suddenly pulled through a set of doors, giving her one last look at the chandeliers before being thrown into a chair.

    “Miss B, how lovely it is to see you again,” a voice said from the shadows, and Vanessa swivelled angrily around in her chair. Mr Adiem was behind a desk smiling warmly at her, wearing an outfit quite similar to what he had worn back in Jubilife. “I’m sure you’d quite like to kill Miss Miller and that strange looking boy, but I believe there are a few things we need to discuss first.”

    The first twenty appeals had been spectacular to watch, and Matthew was left awestruck as he sat in his seat, blown away by the level of performance. Clefable and Wigglytuff, Meganium and Bellossom, Weavile and Cloyster, Plusle and Minun, and many more perfect combinations created dazzling water displays, electrical fireworks, tons of spinning flowers, and grand explosions of light and sparks. It was nearly Matthew’s turn to perform, and his stomach was tying itself in knots: his appeal was good, but would it be enough to go up against these brilliant displays?

    “Piplup Pip!” Piplup said soothingly as she patted Matthew’s leg, his hands fumbling as he tried to fit some seals onto Milotic and Misdreavus’ balls.

    “Thanks Piplup, I appreciate your support,” he said with a weak smile. He looked up at the screen in the corner of the dressing room and saw his name scrolling across the bottom as the twenty-first appeal went underway, a Plant and Trash Cloaked Wormadam using Hidden Power effectively. “Piplup, you stay here and mind my bag! If someone tries to tamper with you, give them hell for me, alright?”

    “Pip Pip Pip!” Piplup chorused, and Matthew smiled as he quickly raced outside. Another screen revealed the Wormadam were bouncing colourful balls to one another, and Matthew worried that he should have brought props. But he didn’t notice a figure moving near by…

    “Feeling nervous!” Mira shouted, making Matthew jump and collide into the wall. She burst out laughing and Matthew rolled his eyes, continuing on his way.

    “I don’t have time for you right now, my turn is nearly up,” he growled, and tried to shake her loose, but Mira simply followed after giggling hystericall to herself.

    “Pity, I was just curious about what you knew about sex,” she asked in a failing straight face. Matthew rolled his eyes and walked faster, not wanting to have to deal with her. But Mira simply skipped ahead, a devious grin upon her face. “Why run away from it, it’s going to get to you eventually! Why don’t we sit down and have a chat?”

    “Go away Mira!” Matthew snapped, reaching for his Poke and Dusk Balls, the entrance to the arena getting closer. Lucinda and Harrison had emerged from another dressing room, talking animatedly and not noticing them.

    “Come on Matthew!” Mira whinged. “I just want to see what you know! Just tell me the ins and outs of sex!” Lucinda and Harrison froze as Matthew couldn’t help but smirk. Mira froze, wondering why the three of them were beginning to laugh, and Matthew managed to slip away towards the entrance. He heard Lucinda say “Honey, you’ve already got
    the basics” and began to roar with laughter, stumbling out for his

    He was taken aback by the number of people sitting around him. Through the blinding spotlights Matthew could see about twenty rows circling around under the domed ceiling, with at least three hundred people there to watch him. It was a much bigger number than at the Floaroma and Eterna Contests, and Matthew was slightly intimidated as the twentieth participant walked off to loud applause.

    I can do this! He told himself, smiling at the female coordinator as she left, I can’t let these people put me off! Not them, not my father, not Mira: I can and will win this! Forcing a smile on, Matthew walked forwards to applause as Felicity called his name out.

    “This is Matthew’s third contest, and I’m sure he is ready to put this experience to good use!” She announced to crowd, and everyone applauding politely as Matthew stood in his place, reciting the moves
    around in his head as his heart thumped quickly.

    “Milotic, Misdreavus, show your stuff!” Matthew shouted, wondering if
    this pairing would work. The two balls burst open, a shower of bubbles rising out. They swirled around rapidly and crashed into the ground, popping to reveal the beautiful water type and devious ghost.

    “Milotic, spin and use Surf!” Matthew shouted, backing away nervously. Milotic curled around and her eyes flashed, spinning around and sending waves of water shooting out. They rose up like fountains, and Milotic’s spinning kept them in control, stopping them from going out into all the corridors.

    “Now Misdreavus, use Psybeam on the water!” Matthew ordered, getting more confident.

    “Mis Mis!” Misdreavus chimed, and rainbow rings shot out of her eyes. The water at the edges began to fold and rise up, forming specific folds and bands. Misdreavus dived down, and a large tower of water rose up in the middle, and Milotic swam out , skimming beautifully through the water, her skin reflecting as she used Mirror Coat for bonus points.

    “Jump Milotic and use Ice Beam!” Matthew called, beginning to beam now.

    “Milooooo!” Milotic called, smiling as she shot upwards. Ice blue energy struck the water as Misdreavus’ rainbow Psybeam reflecting under the surface. The different sections began to freeze, turning for rippling water into glimmering ice petals. The audience all gasped as Milotic slid across the already frozen bits, freezing the other half of the flower and then turning the stem into a block of ice.

    “Rise up now Misdreavus while using Shock Wave!” Matthew shouted,
    and the audience gasped again as the frozen flower lit up like a magical light, the ice turning a beautiful yellow. Milotic smiled as her Mirror Coat reflected it, and she leapt up and twirled around, sliding up the petal. Misdreavus faded quickly through the top, Milotic rising up and touching the tip of her, Psybeam allowing her to twirl and coil as the flower glowed underneath. Matthew bowed, and the audience leapt up and cheered in excitement. Misdreavus and Milotic descended as a team of stage hands rushed out, several Magmortar and Rapidash quickly melting the flower into a drain that appeared in the wall, sucking the appeal away.

    “Matthew, that was a truly amazing appeal!” Felicity said as she rushed forwards, her voice magnified around the hall. “I loved your use of Mirror Coat to give that sparkling performance that extra shine!” She said, smiling widely at him. “But I wouldn’t expect anything less from the son of the head of our board!” Matthew smiled as Misdreavus and Milotic exchanged smiles. “Now, I’ve received word our twenty third performer will be a bit detailed due to their Venusaur rampaging back stage, so another round of applause for Matthew as we sort this out!” Matthew shook her head as the crowd applauded, and he waved as he
    headed off stage.

    “You two were amazing!” He told Misdreavus and Milotic, and gave them a quick hug as he headed into the corridor. “You pulled all the moves off perfectly!”

    “Misdreavus Dreav!”

    “Lo Milo Tic Tic!”

    “You two are awesome!” Matthew chuckled, and gave them another hug. But he didn’t notice someone was there and bumped into them. “Oh sorry, didn’t see you –”

    “Hello Matthew.” Matthew froze as he looked upwards. Cheryl’s voice was cold and grumpy, but that couldn’t compare to the narrow browed glare she was giving him. Her Chansey was no longer besides her, leaving her train resting on the floor.

    “Oh, hello Cheryl…” Matthew said, not sure what to say, though he noticed Misdreavus and Milotic exchange awkward looks. Cheryl looked like she was about to say something snappy, and Matthew tensed up for the blow, but their tension was shattered as a figure suddenly brushed past them. The four turned around as Adrian Pearl rushed up towards Felicity. She looked just as grumpy as him, and the two had a short but heated exchange of words that was barely audible over the sound of the crowd. Matthew did hear his father say ‘reputation’ and ‘influence’, whilst Felicity replied with ‘egg’ and ‘secrets’.

    “Just keep your mouth shut and think before you speak!” Adrian growled after a minute of debate, and he turned away, leaving Felicity scowling but also nearly in tears.

    “Dad, what was that about?” Matthew asked, and his father looked up in surprise as he walked past, mumbling away under his breath.

    “I didn’t notice you there!” He gasped. “Great performance, absolutely spectacular, I –”

    “Dad, why were you shouting at Felicity?” Matthew asked, his voice slightly scared. Adrian blinked a few moment,s then he let out a hearty laugh and ruffled his son’s hair as if he was a five year old asking a silly question.

    “It doesn’t matter son, just a little disagreement,” he replied, chuckling and ignoring Cheryl completely. Matthew went to open his mouth, not satisfied with this response, but Adrian was already beginning to walk off. “Hope you move into the next round!” And with a final false laugh with a shifty look in his eyes, Adrian disappeared back down the corridor. Matthew was left gobsmacked and confused, at a loss about what had just happened. He looked at Misdreavus and Milotic, who looked both as confused as him.

    “Ummm…” Cheryl said awkwardly, “good performance,” and she headed back down the corridor as Felicity announced Number 23 was ready to perform. Matthew simply stood there, unable to move, not able to think about anything other than what had just happened. His happiness at his appeal diminished as he struggled to work out why his father had reacted like that, and for the next three appeals he remained there, failing to find an answer.

    Amity Park was usually a bustling place, mainly due to how attractive and gorgeous the landscape was. The grass was a green as it could be and stretched on for acres around fields of flowers of every colour. A trickling stream ran between two bits of land, with elegant bridges connecting the land together. Relics and remnants of past towns lay on the small hills around the area, giving extra landscape and areas for trainers to investigate. But today, the usual crowd were all attending the big spectacle that was the Hearthome Contest, leaving Sahara nearly alone in the middle of the wide fields.

    “Hammer, will you pleaseeeee so something!” She whined. It had been over an hour since she’d left the Pokemon Center, but her new Meditite hadn’t used a single move since leaving. Sahara had tried walking him, tried showing him the flowers and water, tried taking him up to the ruins, but Hammer sat in the grass, legs crossed, eyes shut, meditating humbly. Sahara had resorted to sending Nutty out, hoping to coax Hammer into a battle, but he continued to meditate, not even opening his eyes.

    “Come on!” Sahara groaned, feeling like a stroppy child as she flapped her arms desperately. “I need to see your strengths, what you can do with your moves! How else are you going to battle?” But Hammer didn’t budge at all, and Sahara collapsed into the grass groaning. Hammer must have been powerful to force Crystal out, and Sahara wanted to know how strong he truly was, but it seemed he didn’t want to play along.

    “Pachirisu Pach Pachi Pach Risu Ri Ri?” Nutty suggested as she gave Sahara a reassuring pat on the shoulder.

    “You want to just attack him?” Sahara asked, and Nutty nodded. “He’s unprepared, but…” and she sighed, feeling like a horrible trainer as she said “if he won’t listen to me, it seems we’ll have to try this! Go forwards and use Bite!”

    “Chiriiiii!” Nutty cried, and quickly scampered forwards towards her teammate, mouth opened wide. For a moment, Sahara thought Nutty would be given a clear shot and would clamp down onto Hammer. But she blinked and gasped: the Meditite had leapt onto his feet and shoved a hand out. The Force Palm smashed into Nutty’s head with enough force to send her spiralling backwards as a white blur.

    “Tite!” Hammer cried, leaping forwards before Nutty had stopped rolling. Sahara gasped as black ovals formed around him, and then turned to his hand. The Dark-type Hidden Power looked dangerous, and Nutty gasped as Hammer came closer.

    “PAAAACH!” She shouted, electrical dots forming a beam that shot out of her mouth. Hammer moved the Hidden Power down, deflecting the attack but destroying his own in the process. But he raised his other hand and brought a second Force Palm down, Nutty giving a surprised gasp as she smashed into the ground, instantly unconscious. Sahara simply gasped, awestruck by what had happened, and stared down at Hammer.

    “Medi Meditite?” He asked with a smirk, and Sahara couldn’t help but smile as she brought Nutty back and swapped her for another PokeBall.

    “You’ve got the skills definitely. Let’s just see how you do up against Smash!” Meditite shrugged and nodded, and Sahara smiled happily as she sent the Rock Snake out.

    On the other side of the park, coming in from the other entrance, walked Xavier and Fantina. Drifloon was floating happily above their heads, basking in the lovely sun that shone down upon them.

    “Drifloon are so beautiful, aren’t they?” Fantina said, smiling as she stared up at the Balloon Pokemon. Xavier ignored Fantina’s remark, walking slowly alongside her, starting blankly ahead. Fantina let out a sigh and tried to think of another approach to him: she wanted to see if he was alright, in return for her bond with her old friend.

    “I am sure the death of your mother has been traumatizing and upsetting, Xavier Diamond,” she said sympathetically. “I lost my parents at a young age as well. At their cemetery, a lone Drifloon found me by their graves, and we began to bond, and I found the burden of their death fade. Your Pokemon will be a great help in these tough times, you should spend time with them.” She picked a Sitrus Berry off from the ground and held it up.

    “Floooooon!” Drifloon cried happily, stopping her mid air dancing and soared down to swallow the delicious fruit whole, a wide smile on her face.

    “Your Drifloon will be magnifique if her skills are used well,” Fantina explained. “Broader moves and utilising Unburden and her berry habit will be beneficial to her development.” Xavier looked up, and Fantina was surprised to see he was scowling.

    “I am fine, thank you. I do not care that my mother has died,” Xavier said, a tone of anger in his voice. “I will train Drifloon when I want to train Drifloon. I don’t need an overdressed gym leader that I rather easily defeated to tell me what to do.” Fantina was shocked by this sudden outburst, but she simply nodded.

    “You are angry, even if you don’t know it –”

    “I do not get angry,” Xavier replied, “I do not possess emotions, I lost them as a child. But my mother was a smothering women, trying to control me, fix me, make me normal. I grew to accept myself, but she struggled with it and I do not think I can forgive that.. Her death has only made me realise I did not like her, and she never liked the real me, and that is difficult to comprehend,” he finished, breathing deeply, and leaving Fantina gobsmacked.

    “I knew your mother, she wouldn’t have disliked you!” She cried, her accent clear and shrill as she herself struggled to understand what he meant.

    “I thought I knew her as well. Maybe you need to re-evaluate your relationship yourself,” Xavier snapped back tonelessly, and stood there for a moment, thinking about what he said. “Come on Drifloon, let’s train. I believe I can see Sahara in the distance,” and he began to move off, pausing after a few feet. “You may watch,” he told Fantina and continued walking.

    “Drifloon Floon,” Drifloon said, giving Fantina a sad look before floating after Xavier. Fantina simply stood there in shock, wondering if what he said was true. She didn’t want to think it was, but followed after Xavier, wondering if she could get some sense into him, and see if there were any feelings below his hard surface.

    High above them, a more pressing issue was unfolding.

    It hadn’t been difficult for Charles, Minerva and Addison to sneak into
    the empty park. As Sahara tried to get Hammer to attack, the three rushed past through the trees, going undiscovered as they headed up the dusty hills, heading for a specific one. Charles and Addison didn’t particularly enjoy clambering over rocks, through collapsing huts and up steep hills, but Minerva happily led the way, a smile on her face as she kept checking a black device she was clutching in her hands. Eventually, after a nearly twenty minute climb, they had arrived inside the utmost ruin in Amity Park: a half collapsed house with a mixture of shadows and sunlight mingling inside as they walked in.

    Mr Goods was exactly how Charles remembered him from Johto: grey hair, green hat, suspenders, brown shirt. His face was a lot more lined and scarred now though, and his hair had been cut shorter, but Charles was tempted to send Gyarados out and attack him right there and then. But as they entered, he almost jumped as he turned around.

    “You must be Minnie, yes?” Mr Goods asked. He sounded rather nervous and flustered, a twitchy look about him. Charles looked towards the big black book that was on a mound of rocks in the corner, remembering the damage it had caused last time he saw it.

    “Yes, Minnie’s the name, pleasure to meet you,” Minerva said with a smile, shaking Mr Goods outstretched hand. She had told them they would be out of there as soon as possible, and ignored Mr Goods as he gestured towards some rocks set up like a chair. “I have the money with me. I was hoping this could be a very quick trade, my children and I have somewhere to be.”

    “Oh, of course, of course,” Mr Goods said, nodding in a bothered manner, and quickly grabbed the book from behind him. A worried expression fell upon his face, and for a few seconds he stood there in silence, staring at the cover nervously. Charles and Addison exchanged looks, wondering why he had stopped.

    “This book isn’t a good book…” he mumbled. “I don’t know why I have it or even where I came from, but this book seems to bring bad luck. It seems to be very dark, and sometimes I swear it is making noises…” Charles was surprised by this appearance, remembering how he had been upbeat and much more malicious last time they had met. The amnesia must have changed his thoughts, or he simply realised what a dark and foul object the magical book was. Minerva looked sympathetic as she walked forwards, giving him a friendly, reassuring pat with a warm smile on her face.

    “Don’t worry, we’ll take it off your hands, and you’ll never have to see it again,” Minerva said soothingly, and Mr Goods nodded. He passed the book over, which Addison came and grabbed, passing a bag of money over as well.

    “Thank you. You can’t believe how relieved I am to get rid of this!” Mr Goods said with a nervous smile as his face relaxed, and Minerva nodded understandingly. Then, in a single swift movement, a syringe was jabbed into the side of his neck. Charles gasped as Mr Goods collapsed to the ground, clearly unconscious, and Minerva simply smiled and pulled the needle out, looking down at her handiwork.

    “I thought you said no violence?” Charles asked.

    “How was that violent?” Minerva replied. “I knew he was a bit off in the head since his dealing with Petrol or whatever that guys name is, so I thought some much needed rest will do him some good. It’s best if he forgets about us completely in case he sees our faces in the news at some point and freaks out.”

    “Smart woman,” Addison said, and Minerva curtseyed. Charles still thought it was a bit unnecessary and decided to turn around so he wasn’t tempted to voice his feelings. From this high vantage point he could see all across Hearthome: the tall magnificent buildings, the grand Contest Hall and Gym, the wonderfully ancient architecture. It was a breathtaking site, and Charles looked down to examine the park.
    However, instead of looking at the wide ocean of grass, his attention went towards a large figure whose roar reached them up here: an Onix, leaping through the air towards another Pokemon. Charles thought this was pretty odd, but then he saw a white figure standing nearby, her features indistinguishable from up high, but Charles knew instantly who it was.

    “Sahara…” He whispered and glanced back towards the other two. Minerva was heading for the door, clutching the book firmly in her hands, smiling up at Charles as she passed by. “That is book does bring trouble, you know.”

    “I’m well aware of it, and so is Cyrus, but I don’t think that let us stop his plans,” Minerva replied with a grim nod. She was looking down at the book with the same look Mr Goods had worn, and simply sighed as she clutched it under her arm. “Let’s just get back to Hearthome unnoticed, get back to base and we may never have to see this book again.”

    “If only we were that lucky,” Addison said with a smirk, and the two females began to walk back down the hills, talking animatedly to each other. Charles glanced towards the figure of Smash the Onix, the only thing he could truly see clearly. He wanted to go and see Sahara, but despite the evils the book possessed, he knew it would be nothing compared to Vanessa’s rage if he broke his promise. With a sad sigh, Charles wandered off after them, Sahara replacing the fearful thoughts about why Cyrus wanted the book in his head.

  11. #56
    Moderator AceTrainer14's Avatar Forum Head
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    Default Re: Galactic: Home is Where the Heart is Pt 2

    Vanessa glared across at Mr Adiem as he simply smiled warmly, leaning back in his luxurious chair. Vanessa glanced around at the room they were in: it was a small office, with no windows, the light coming from two dusty light fittings above her head, and no personal touches. The polished desk and two chairs were the only objects in the room asides from several boxes in the corner, making it seem more like a cupboard than an actual office.

    “It is lacking a bit in personal touches, but no one really occupies this space much,” Mr Adiem explained as he followed her eyes. “I have brought some of my own possessions along though,” he said with a wink, and pulled a large glass bottle with brown liquid inside along with two glasses. “Brandy?” He asked, but Vanessa didn’t reply. She vividly remembered their last encounter, and wasn’t ready to ignore being blasted out of building and manhandle after coming so close to killing him.

    “Now Vanessa, do you really think killing that boy in the middle of a crowded hall would do you any good?” Mr Adiem sighed, pouring the brown liquid into both glasses.

    “I really don’t care, I just want to see him suffer,” Vanessa replied bluntly, and Mr Adiem sighed and nodded.

    “Well, at least don’t stain the carpets, it costs too much to clean them,” he explained, leaning back in his chair with his drink. “Now, I have reason to believe you are investigating into the Adamant and Lustrous Orbs, and the reasons behind Team Galactic’s interest in them, yes?”

    “How the hell do you know that?” Vanessa gasped, taken aback by how knowledgeable the man was. Mr Adiem simply laughed and sipped at his drink.

    “Nothing gets past me Vanessa, especially not in Sinnoh.”

    “Really? Then how did Clarisse Slapper get that report about the Dex Holders to air?” Vanessa hissed back, and Mr Adiem’s confident smile wavered. He put his glass down and stared seriously back at Vanessa, who was glad she’d pressed the right button.

    “Clarisse knew that Lucinda failed to get the story with footage of you and your friends to air, so she simply went behind my back and didn’t get the story approved. I was very annoyed when it went to air, but I am unable to fire Clarisse due to her contract. For the time being she is going unpunished, but that doesn’t mean I’m any happier about the report going to air,” Mr Adiem explained, and leant closer to Vanessa. “You must realise that Dex Holders have a bad reputation for bringing trouble and getting involved. I was hoping that this year would be different, but Team Galactic has ruined that plan. I received numerous letters and emails from people expressing their fear about Dex Holders being around again, and asking what trouble they will bring, what destruction we’ll be faced with.”

    “We don’t bring trouble upon ourselves. It’s usually there waiting for us,” Vanessa replied, and Mr Adiem allowed a smirk to cross his face.

    “That is all very well, but if people find out you are Dex Holders, you may find yourselves being tracked, abused or maybe even arrested,” the aging man explained. “The only way to prove that Dex Holders are for the good is to stop Team Galactic in their paths.”

    “Good, so your going to tell me what their up to?” Vanessa asked happily. “They have the Adamant Orb, they were scanning Mt Coronet the other night, they’ve been trying to steal all resources available to the country. And then there is Sahara, but she’s whole other can of crazy,” Vanessa laughed, taking a drink from the glass in front of her and shivering in excitement as the liquid went down her throat. “So, where is the Lustrous Orb, and how can I get it before they do?” Mr Adiem paused for a moment, his eyes turning, an expression as if he was tasting wine and trying to find the right words to describe it.

    “The Lustrous Orb has been hidden safely away after the incident in Eterna City,” he said after nearly a minute. “It is unlikely that Team Galactic will be able to get to it without being stopped quickly. There is nothing for you to worry about. As for the time being, I believe looking into what Team Galactic is planning won’t be beneficial for your safety or mental health. There is a time where you will be told, but now isn’t that time,” and with that, Mr Adiem leant back in his chair, finishing off his drink and pouring another. Vanessa breathed in and out deeply as she mulled his words over, choosing the proper way to respond, thinking of what to say. Than, she grabbed her glass and threw it at his head.

    “You dick!” She shouted, leaping up as the glass shattered against the back wall. “Why the fuck won’t you tell me anything? I have fought these people more times than I can bloody remember, yet you won’t tell me what Cyrus is up to so we can actually stop him?”

    “You don’t need to know!” Mr Adiem shouted back, wiping drops of brandy off his face. “If he knew that you knew his plans, you’d be dead faster than you can say Ditto! What Cyrus is up to is demonic and twisted, and he knows very well that you and your friends are the only people that can stop –” but it was at these words that Mr Adiem froze, and Vanessa paused as she took in what he said and the ‘I shouldn’t have said that’ expression on his face.

    “What do you mean we’re the only ones that can stop him?” Vanessa whispered back.

    “Ignore those words Vanessa if you know what’s good for you!” Mr Adiem said in warning tones, but Vanessa backed away, the words reeling through her head, thoughts and pieces clicking together: that was why Cyrus hated them and was trying to kill them. Somehow, they were the people that could stop what he was planning.

    “You won’t tell me why because if we know what he’s planning, Cyrus will have to stop us from unlocking his secrets,” Vanessa said, explaining things more to herself than Mr Adiem. “Who made this prophecy, where can I find them?” Mr Adiem was looking furious, his empty glass of brandy clutched in his hands like a weapon.

    “I told you to drop it!” He hissed, his calm demeanour disappearing. “I have invested too much money into keeping you safe, and I won’t have some fiery little madam go and ruin those plans being stick her nose where it doesn’t belong!” Vanessa stared back at him, feeling her own rage boiling up. Were they being watched or followed by some of his men, making sure they were being safe? If they were, why hadn’t they been saved or helped in the past? Unable to stop herself, Vanessa slammed a fist into his nose, the anger leaving her slightly as Mr Adiem fell backwards in his chair.

    “I’ve been taking care of myself for the past four years, I don’t need anyone’s help now!” She hissed, and clutched her umbrella tightly, the sword still sticking out. Before Mr Adiem could stop her, the blood pouring from his left nostril, Vanessa pulled her five PokeBalls out and kicked the door.

    If she wanted her answers, she was going to prove that she could do things her way.

    After over an hour of appeals, the judges were given few minutes to decide upon who would move on to the battle round. Only 16 people were able to be slotted in, and Matthew sat in worry with Milotic and Misdreavus, hoping his name would be called out. He forgot all about his father as he reflected on some of the appeals, wondering if his could compare.

    Harrison’s performance was number 31, and his Skiploom and Pidgeot to produce a blazing sunlight that set FeatherDance on fire, creating a fiery tornado when combined with Pidgeot’s Tailwind that caused multiple Energy Ball to explode. Cheryl was number 38, her Mothim and Shellos creating spinning stars out of Psybeam, Mud Bomb, Hidden Power and Water Pulse that turned into spinning rainbows around them. Mira was one of the last at number 46, and Matthew was interested as he recognised the same combination between Kadabra and Sandshrew he’d seen back in Eterna.

    Matthew had a feeling he would make it through, but just wasn’t sure if it would be good enough. He had a rulebook open, checking through some facts and getting ideas for combination moves. Some of the appeals had been rubbish, others spectacular, but he gathered around with several other coordinators to watch from one of the televisions as Felicity reappeared, looking much happier than she had when arguing with Adrian.

    “I am pleased to say that we have our sixteen coordinators who will move onto the next round!” She announced, and the audience clapped along with the coordinators grouped backstage. Felicity’s image was replaced with sixteen animated cards, which would flip as the name’s were read out.

    “The coordinator’s moving on are: Jenna Smith, Kuno Yutikoro, Harrison Maude, Jordan White, Cheryl Sapling, Matthew Pearl, Adrianna Jones, Mira Hawes….” Matthew ignored the rest of the coordinators, excitement flowing through him as the coordinators began to disperse, their names clearly not being called.

    “We did it, we made it in!” Matthew cried, and Misdreavus and Milotic smiled widely as he gave them both a hug. “Thanks a lot you two, you did a grand job!”

    “Congratulations on making it through,” a voice said from behind, and Matthew turned to see Harrison and Lucinda walking in. Both were smiling widely as they entered, and Matthew beamed back, shaking both of their hands. “I saw your appeal, it was amazing!” Harrison continued, flashing his white teeth.

    “Thank you! Congrats to you as well, your appeal was just grand as well!” Matthew replied, and Harrison nodded in agreement.

    “I know how handy it is to have a father in my corner with some actual power,” Lucinda stage whispered, and she burst into a fit of giggles as Matthew felt his happiness fade. Thoughts about his father came back to him now, and he tried to push them back out of his mind and focus back on the upcoming battle.

    “Glad to see you stayed with this after your loss, a lot of trainers just give up when they lose,” Harrison explained, bringing Matthew back in.

    “Oh yeah, I was never going to give up, been my dream for a –”
    Matthew paused mid sentence, looking behind the two media workers as Cheryl walked in, semi ignoring him and staring up at the television instead.

    “Nice to find a quiet room. Jenna Smith and her friends are all screaming in the one next door,” Cheryl laughed before diving into an introduction with Lucinda. Matthew wanted to edge forwards and talk to the older girl, hoping to explain about his lies before, but with the coordinators all read out Felicity was back again.

    “Congratulations to these sixteen, and better luck next time to those who have sadly been eliminated,” she said sincerely. “But the show must go on, especially with our fabulous mystery prize up for grabs! Our Random Battle Generator is matching our coordinators up, and I believe it has chosen the match ups! They will be shown from left to right in order of battle,” Felicity explained, and the sixteen faces reappeared. Matthew gasped as he saw his face was first, and than his jaw dropped as the arrow pointed down to the youngest face on the table: Mira.

    “Damnit,” Matthew sighed, causing the other three to glance at him. “Thanks you two for all your help,” he told his Pokemon, and Misdreavus and Milotic nodded as they were brought back inside their PokeBalls. He shoved them in his bag, putting the rulebook back as well, and quickly wheeled around. “Good luck for your battles,” Matthew told Cheryl and Harrison, and rushed quickly down the corridor, pulling Piplup and Beautifly’s Poke and Net Ball out as he went. He wanted more time to prepare for the battle, and his thoughts about strategy and ways to utilize their respective moves played out above thoughts of his father, Cheryl, and the fact he was going to have to battle –

    “Hey opponent!” Mira chimed, appearing alongside as Matthew rushed towards the end of the corridor. “Been having some seeeeeeeexy thoughts backstage? It would really help relieve your stress before this very important match, wouldn’t it?”

    “Oh bite me,” Matthew hissed back, and the two walked into the arena to a chorus of applause and cheers from the crowd. Mira simply giggled and waved at Matthew before skipping off towards the opposite end, leaving Matthew seething and ready to wipe the floor with her Pokemon.

    “Our first battle of the first battle round is ready to begin!” Felicity called out. “We have Matthew Pearl with Piplup and Beautifly, and we have Mira Hawes with Togetic and Porygon! Both of this trainers have not won any ribbons in their careers, but have battling experience and are amazing coordinators, so I’m sure we’re in for a grand battle!” Felicity finished, and Matthew threw the two balls in his hand into the air almost before she stopped speaking.

    “Piplup, Beautifly, let’s do this!” He shouted. The balls burst open, sending two giant hearts spiralling downwards, smaller hearts streaming off them. The hearts flashed pink as they neared the ground, and Piplup landed perfectly on the arena floor, Beautifly flying above.

    “Togetic, Porygon, show Matthew what a fun time we can have!” Mira giggled, and released her two PokeBalls. A shower of confetti, red and blue, showered out of the two PokeBalls, floating towards the ground and beginning to form together. In seconds a confetti Togetic and Porygon stood there, before they shook and revealed their true forms. Matthew simply nodded as he looked at the two new arrivals, and was interested to be up against such strong opponents, especially from Mira. Porygon was an exceptionally rare Pokemon, and Togetic had special abilities and attacks that made them worthy opponents.

    “I was hoping for a challenge,” Matthew muttered, and smiled at his Pokemon. “Beautifly start off with String Shot on Togetic, and Piplup use Brick Break on Porygon!”

    “Magical Leaf on Piplup Togetic, and Porygon, use Psybeam on that String Shot,” Mira chimed out. Beautifly quickly released the sticky white string, flying across the arena so it wouldn’t have to reach out as much. Piplup rushed forwards, one of her tiny arms raised and ready to hit.

    “Tic Tic!” Togetic called out sweetly, and flapped her glowing green wings. Glowing leaves shot out, heading straight towards Piplup before she’d even gotten to the halfway point. Matthew knew that it would hit anyway, but he had a sneaky plan.

    “Keep running Piplup, get towards Porygon before it hits!” He shouted. Piplup nodded and began running desperately, managing to side step the leaves and sprinted towards Porygon. The Virtual Pokemon’s eyes were glowing, and rainbow rings shot out towards the String Shot. The Psybeam disintegrated the speed decreasing string, leaving Beautifly flying in mid air a few metres away from Togetic.

    “PIP!” Piplup cried as the Magical Leaf struck, sending her spiralling and crashing into the ground besides Porygon. Mira was smiling widely from across the arena, and Matthew scowled as he thought about his next move.

    “Do the same again!” He shouted, and was glad that Piplup had managed to get close enough to Porygon to execute her move this time. Mira simply smiled though, and Matthew wondered what she had planned.

    “Togetic use Flamethrower, aim it towards Beautifly! Porygon, use Conversion!” She called, and Matthew cursed at this: Flamethrower would damage Beautifly and Conversion would make Porygon immune to Brick Break by changing his type. He watched tensely as Beautifly managed to wrap Togetic up in the String Shot, and then as Piplup scored a powerful Brick Break that knocked Porygon backwards. But than its eyes flashed pink, a wave of pink following across his body. Togetic then opened her mouth, firing the Flamethrower forwards. Matthew knew Beautifly was going to be done for if the move hit, but a realisation came to him that could save him.

    The Sinnoh Contest Rulebook he had been reading a few minutes ago had added a controversial new rule late last year that had previously been implemented in Hoenn. Pokemon were now no longer required to ‘wait their turn’ as they had to in normal battles. Instead, Pokemon could use multiple moves if they were setting up a combination or were working in teams. Most people ignored the rule, but Matthew knew it was one way that he could win the match.

    “Now Piplup, spin and use Water Pulse, and Beautifly use Absorb!” Matthew shouted, and saw Mira’s jaw drop.

    “LUUUP!” Piplup cried quickly, a ball of water in her mouth. Togetic was being slowed by the String Shot, and didn’t realise as pulses of water shot into the air. They struck the Flamethrower, casting a wall of smoke and steam across the arena, and leaving Beautifly protected and unharmed for now.

    “Matthew Pearl has just implemented use of the 2009 No Wait Rule to great effect to save his Beautifly!” Felicity told the audience, her voice shocked as well. “I can’t wait to see where the battle goes from next!” Matthew felt a bit dirty by using the rule, but he knew that if he hadn’t, Beautifly would have easily fainted under the pressure. Now he just had to redeem himself and pull off some combinations to defeat the two. Porygon didn’t seem like much of a threat at a moment, but Togetic was proving to be a difficult one.

    “Beautifly, use Hidden Power and then disperse it with String Shot!” Matthew shouted, hoping his risky plan would work. “Piplup, BubbleBeam and Water Pulse combined!” Mira was looking angry now, her smirk disappearing off her face.

    “Two can play this game, Pearl!” She shrieked. “Togetic, use Flamethrower and than Extrasensory on it! Porygon, you use Recover!” It was going to turn into a battle of the combinations, but Matthew was ready for it. He watched as Piplup opened her mouth, firing a torrent of closely knit bubbles, as Beautifly formed the multiple green ovals and fired them, adding a String Shot that stretched out as the Hidden Power spread.

    “Fly Fly!” She called, and Mira gasped as Togetic became entangled in the String Shot, the Hidden Power crashing down onto Porygon. The Bubbles exploded against Togetic, releasing jets of water as she remained trapped under String Shot. Togetic squirmed in discomfort, but she was hanging in there, and looked angry as she opened her mouth wide to release a second Flamethrower. But as the jet soared upwards, her eyes flashed a dangerous pink, and Matthew gasped as the fire suddenly began to twist and turn, taking shape and growing into a much more deadly creature.

    “I can’t believe this!” Felicity gasped. “The Flamethrower is turning into a giant Togekiss!” Matthew squinted, and his mind clicked as he recognised Togetic’s evolved form, portrayed as the elegant but deadly fire being. Beautifly had nearly stopped flapping her wings in fear, and even Piplup was taking a step backwards. If Matthew didn’t act soon, the ferocious beast might consume his team.

    “Beautifly, use String Shot to throw Piplup towards the fire!” He shouted, thinking quickly. “Piplup, fire Water Pulse as you approach as you spin and use Aerial Ace, which you shall aim for Togetic!” His Pokemon were ready to fight for him, and Matthew smiled as Beautifly fired the string at Piplup, Togetic struggling to control the growing mass of flames.

    “LUUUUP!” Piplup shouted as she was sent spinning. She became a blue blur, but a torrent of water suddenly appeared out of her beak magnificently, striking the Flamethrower Togekiss as she began to fade through, turning the orange and red to a single mass of grey steam, leaving Piplup disguised.

    “Magical Leaf as Piplup comes down!” Mira bellowed desperately. “Porygon, use Aerial Ace on Beautifly!”

    “Counter with your Aerial Ace!” Matthew shouted. The air was suddenly full with the three Aerial Aces: Beautifly flew forwards with glowing wings as Porygon rose into the sky, its body shifting to create two large glowing, block-like wings. Piplup burst out of the steam, still spinning rapidly and glowing brilliantly as her arms glow and became sharper. Togetic swished her wings weakly, suddenly the glowing Magical Leaf forwards. Piplup practically ignored the attack as it struck, and Mira gasped as the Penguin Pokemon smashed into the Happiness Pokemon. A small cloud rose up, leaving Beautifly and Porygon center of attention as they headed for each other.

    “Beauti!” Beautifly cried as her right wing collided with Porygon’s right imitation one. There was a flash, and both of them flipped around. Porygon crash landed a few feet in front of Mira, just as Piplup bounced backwards. Togetic was tangled up in the String Shot, eyes shut and body limp.

    “Togetic is unconscious!” Felicity announced. “This brings Mira down to just Porygon, with Matthew with the advantage! Will he be able to pull this off?”

    I hope so… Matthew thought, and readied his latest combination, not stopping to celebrate the win. “Beautifly Absorb and Piplup Water Pulse!” He called out, and waited to see what Mira would order. But Mira wasn’t even staring at Porygon, her face looking down at the ground. Porygon glanced around, its face blank but Matthew knew it was waiting for an order. He could only watch as a green ball touched its head, energy being drained towards Beautifly, and than see him fly as the Water Pulse struck with amazing force. The audience fell silent as Porygon hit the ground, and Felicity rushed forwards, staring excitedly down at its face.

    “And Porygon has fainted!” She boomed, and the two giant television screens that were place between the crowds lit up, Matthew noticing them for the first time. His face was dominating the screens alongside pictures of Beautifly and Piplup: he had down it, he had won his first match of the day!

    “That was amazing!” He cried to Piplup and Beautifly moments later as they rushed back towards him.


    “Fly!” They chorused, and he tightly embraced them. Felicity spoke about highlights from the battle, but Matthew barely listened, instead watching as Mira brought Togetic and Porygon back. Her face was full of sadness, and she gave him a sombre nod as she turned as walked out through the corridor opposite. Matthew was glad to have won, but he didn’t know why she was so sad, and despite this victory, a nagging voice in the back of his mind seemed to be holding him back: would the rest of the battles be this easy to win?

    “Hidden Power!”

    “Ominous Wind.”

    Sahara had quickly realised Smash wouldn’t be able to withstand the powerful Force Palm, and quickly pulled him aside, saving him from complete destruction. She thought that Hammer wouldn’t have anyone to go up against, but than Xavier had appeared, very tensed up and with Fantina in tow. He didn’t even introduce Sahara and Fantina, simply telling her that Drifloon would battle. It was a perfect way to test Hammer’s power: a Pokemon with immunity to Bide and Force Palm, and with moves able to counter him.

    However, Hammer was putting up a good fight. He dodged several Will-o-Wisp’s and Ominous Winds, getting hit twice by Astonish but withstanding his own and getting a few Hidden Powers in. Sahara was excited to be battling with him, leaving Fantina to watch as she sat next to Nutty on Smash’s long body. Xavier was showing no emotion, and Sahara didn’t want to push him too much in case she set him off, his tension hinting towards some serious emotional issues ready to explode.

    “FLOOOON!” Drifloon shouted, excited for the battle. The powerful burst of ghostly wind struck Hammer before he could move, and he struggled to hold his balance against the strong attack, but clearly getting to the peak of his power.

    “Meditite Med!” He cried, the black ovals still managing to form.

    “Come on Hammer, you can do this!” Sahara shouted. Hammer glanced around at her, and she gasped as he nodded at her. He then thrust the Hidden Power forwards, and Drifloon cried out as she was sent spiralling backwards. Her berries fell from her, but Xavier quickly caught them and then her.

    “I think Drifloon has done enough training,” Xavier said as he passed the berries back. “I think she could use with a rest, don’t you?”
    “Sounds fair enough,” Sahara said with a nod, and glanced down at Hammer with a beam on her face. “Yeah, I can’t believe you battled, and so well too! Good job!” Hammer simply nodded, and then crossed his legs and sat down, clearly needing to meditate again after the exhausting battle.

    “Balèze!” Fantina cried, leaping to her feet and applauding softly. “That was exciting to watch! Sahara, I think your Meditite would benefit from learning a move to counter Flying types, and possibly replace Bide with a Psychic move – Psychic itself, perhaps? And Xavier,” but Fantina paused, not sure wheter to continue. But Xavier nodded as he gave Drifloon a delicate stroke. “Xavier Diamond, I believe your Drifloon should learn Natural Gift and Shadow Ball to provide stronger moves and the chance at more variety.” Xavier nodded and continued to stroke Drifloon, appearing to be deep in thought as Drifloon nibbled on her berries. Sahara and Nutty exchanged looks, but Sahara didn’t want to upset Xavier. She had her own personal connections to situations like his, and decided to push the thoughts away and walked towards Fantina, a question brewing in her head about Hammer. But as Fantina rose, smiling warmly at her, Smash’s long neck suddenly rose up alongside.

    “What is it?” Sahara asked, surprised to see him staring away.

    “OOOOONNN!” Smash roared, and Sahara, Xavier and Fantina all turned in shock to where the Rock Snake was staring, Hammer even opening his eyes. Three figures were sprinting across the fields, heading towards the little bridge that Xavier and Fantina had crossed. Their faces were unrecognisable from afar, but Sahara instantly recognised the outfit the boy at the front was wearing, and felt a pang in her chest as she seized up, remembering the last time someone had worn it.

    “OOOONNN!” Smash roared, and he smashed his tail into the ground. Jagged rocks shot out of the ground, flying towards the tiny bridge. Fantina squealed as the Stone Edge obliterated the elegant structure, but the noise snapped Sahara out of her emotional freeze.

    “Its Team Galactic!” She quickly said to Xavier, who simply nodded.

    “Icy Wind!” He ordered, and Drifloon nodded, swallowing the last of her berries before rising up and spinning around, the frozen wind shooting out towards the opposite side of the field. Addison screamed as she tried to run forwards but slipped over on the freezing grass, but Minerva and Charles stood there with their faces shielded, the strong burst enough to stop them in their tracks.

    “Bugger, I knew they would recognise us,” Minerva cursed, and Charles simply nodded, though he wasn’t as angry. He wanted to be able to be near Sahara without breaking Vanessa’s threat, just to try and sort out the strange feelings that had been troubling him for weeks. But now that he thought about it, Charles realised that he was going to have to battle her, and that would hardly do wonders to sort things out.

    “I’m not letting them stop us: we need to get to our teleportation pad and get this book back!” Minerva growled, pulling one of her PokeBalls out. “We defeat or kidnap them, otherwise just try and cross the next bloody bridge!”

    “Got you boss,” Addison growled, brushing the ice off her jacket and pulled a Heal Ball out. Charles pulled two of his out, ready to fight but ready to protect Sahara if necessary.

    “What is going on?” Fantina asked frantically, watching as the three people advanced and Xavier and Sahara gathered together.

    “These are members of Team Galactic, and we are willing to defeat and capture them,” Xavier explained, his voice filled with a sense of anger Sahara hadn’t heard before. But she was furious as well, and they both had good reasons: Carolina’s death and Crystal’s transformation had huge effect on both of them. Sahara wasn’t letting it show, but her body still ached horribly and for no reason. She was trying to train Hammer to find his true power so she would always have him around in case something else horrible happened to her, leaving the fate of those around her in jeopardy.

    “Team Galactic!” Fantina gasped, and Sahara nodded grimly. The gym leader looked shocked, but she thrust her chest out and walked forwards, putting a calm and sensible face on. “Than I will most certainly fight alongside both of you!” And with that she sent her Drifblim out, the large ghost type floating up into the air besides Drifloon. The two smiled at each other, and then the group stood tall and firm as Team Galactic approached.

    “LUDICOLO!” Minerva shouted. “Block me,” she added in whisper, and took a step backwards. A large, tree-looking Pokemon formed in her place, its smile almost as wide as the plant-like hat it was wearing.

    “Victreebel!” Addison shouted.

    “Elle, Ampharos, out you come!” Charles cried. Elle and Ampharos formed besides him, whilst another plant-like Pokemon with a large leaf over its yellow body. For a second, there was a pause, the people and Pokemon all staring at each other. Sahara and Charles’ eyes met, and she felt a pulling sensation in her back, but quickly ignored it and stifled a sob.

    “Force Palm Eevee, Slam Ampharos and Spark Ludicolo!” Sahara shrieked.

    “Icy Wind on Victreebel!”

    “Shadow Ball on Ludicolo!”

    “Surf them Ludicolo!”

    “Focus Blast Onix and Shadow Ball Drifblim!”

    “Leaf Storm Onix!”

    The attacks were quickly fired, and the trainers stepped backwards. Smash dived forwards, crashing into Ampharos and sending his tail spinning, knocking Victreebel flying. Drifloon fired the Icy Wind from afar as Drifblim released the purple, ghostly ball to knock into Ludicolo. He barely recovered before Nutty fired the Spark, sending him toppling backwards.

    “Eva Eve!” Elle cried, leaping towards Hammer and shaking her tail. But as she opened her mouth, Hammer simply smirked and moved his hand. Charles gasped as Elle was sent flying, crashing into him and sending him flying.

    “Great job Hammer!” Sahara called happily. She looked around the battles, seeing Nutty’s Sparks light things up and Drifloon and Drifblim dodging the Leaf Storm. As Smash’s tail moved, still battling against Ampharos, Sahara saw Minerva standing back from the rest of them. A large black book was open, and she was skirting through the pages rapidly.

    “What is she doing?” Sahara shouted, and Xavier and Fantina turned to stare. Minerva looked up at them and smiled, flicking through several more pages. “Nutty, use Charge Beam on that book, now!” Sahara ordered, but Minerva simply smiled, staring viciously down at the group. All attention turned to her, the Pokemon stopping in their battles as they focused on the book with their trainers.

    “Attack me if you want, but I have the spell book to stop you!” Minerva sneered, and triumphantly she raised the book up. Fantina seized up, eyes wide with fear, and Charles stood up clutching Elle, wondering if Minerva knew what she was doing. Her eyes looked nervous as she selected a spell, beginning to read it nervously.

    “I summon darkness… I summon power… From the shadows … From the dead… She will rise up for your final hour…”

    As the final word was read, Sahara suddenly screamed. All eyes turned in shock and interest, the scene frozen except for Sahara as she collapsed to the ground, her whole body twitching violently. She looked up, her eyes turning a vivid black that made Addison gasp.

    “Sahara!” Charles cried as Nutty and Smash moved forwards, but at that moment a wave of energy suddenly knocked them all over. A rushing of wind came over them, and ghostly echoes sounded as they all remained pinned to the ground. Sahara lay there, breathing deeply and squirming, making Xavier the first to rise up. He showed no worry or signs of discomfort, simply walking towards Sahara.

    “Sahara, are you fine?” He asked. Sahara stopped moving at his words, almost frozen. “Sahara, what has happened?” Xavier stopped a few feet away, staring down at her, the others all watching in fear. Suddenly, Sahara leapt upwards in a spring like movement, her hands clasping his neck and Minerva, Addison and Fantina screaming. He hair was darker, her eyes pitch black, and a shiver went through the spines of the silent watches, fear flowing through Charles’ body.

    “Sahara isn’t here right now,” the body that looked like Sahara cackled, “but don’t worry Xavy, Jaki’s here to make things better!” Minerva dropped the book as she gasped, and everyone simply watched in horror as Jaki began to laugh, the grass around her feet beginning to turn to black.

  12. #57
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    Apr 2010
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    Default Re: Galactic: Home is Where the Heart is Pt 3

    The Grand Hall was still crowded, more people gathering as the talks and debates drew closer. More beauty, more dresses, Vanessa’s outburst forgotten over the glasses of champagne and talks between old school friends. Social groups from years before began to reform, pointing out the failures in their old school mates and talking as if they were still in the school yard. Hardly anyone noticed the guards that were beginning to patrol around, under strict instructions to catch Vanessa if she emerged from the office. She was the prime threat to the day’s events, and wanted her to be escorted out away from eyes, making sure she did nothing to spoil the day.

    Unfortunately, the guard’s simply thought she was an average fourteen year old girl, and weren’t paying much attention to the door. They didn’t notice as it was kicked open, and hardly noticed the orange and black blur as Vanessa shot out, sword and PokeBalls out and prowling for her victim. It was easy to escape into the crowd, and the guards were stunned to see that Vanessa had escaped them.

    Vanessa didn’t care about guards, and shoved her way through the crowd of beautiful, rich and influential people, looking for Emerson’s distinctive leather jacket. People gasped and shrieked, their eyes following her as she ran, but Vanessa didn’t care, her blood boiling in her rage with Mr Adiem. She was going to kill Emerson wheter people were there or not, her only hope being that it was speedy and she could get away.

    “OI, GINGE!” The gruff voice of a guard boomed from the crowd, and Vanessa turned to see several fit men running towards her. Quickly she raised her sword in a defensive move, but two more guards were rushing in on the other side. Vanessa cursed and looked around, trying to find a way to escape before she was properly screwed. That was when she saw the face she was looking for: Emerson’s moody, pasty face, his eyes wide in horror at the sight of his enemy so near by and so readily armed.

    “Perfect,” Vanessa purred, and dropped her five PokeBalls. The guards came to a halt as Monferno, Staraptor, Luxio, Dustox and Murkrow formed around her, forming a guard of honour. But as they formed Emerson turned and sprinted, and Vanessa had no choice but to chase after him.

    “Use whatever you want to!” She told her Pokemon, and knocked Vivian Winters over as she side stepped a guard and tore after Emerson. He was racing towards one of the buffet tables, glancing nervously back at Vanessa as he ran. She was focused entirely on him, blocking out the sounds of explosions and screams from her Pokemon battling behind. Emerson was trapped, and Vanessa could feel the victory, the joy, the celebration rising up in her, and raised her sword up as Emerson stopped at the table, ready to slit his throat….

    “Hello Vanessa,” Emerson sneered, and he wheeled around, holding a carving fork that the sword clattered into. “Now, why on earth are you being so violent? What have I done to you to deserve this?”

    “Oh shut your face!” Vanessa snapped, and began trying to push the fork away. Emerson simply smiled, holding his own and stopping her from pushing back.

    “I was surprised to see your still alive, but knowing you, you probably teleported away with Abra, didn’t you?” He hissed.

    “That would’ve been the sane way, yes,” Vanessa replied, “but I don’t do sane, do I now?” And she quickly lashed out, kneeing him in the stomach. Emerson doubled over and she rammed her palm into his head, thrusting him backwards onto the table. She raised the sword up as the fork cluttered to the ground, but Emerson kicked out himself, sending the umbrella flying backwards. Vanessa turned furiously to see it landing a few metres away into the hands of a guard.

    “I got it!” He boomed to his colleagues, waving the sword around. A second later a black blur smashed into him, the cry ‘STAAAAAR’ sending the room into a frenzy. People were beginning to run away, screaming as Monferno and Luxio took two guards down simultaneously.

    “It looks like your Pokemon need a bit of control,” Emerson sneered, and Vanessa looked back around as he threw his six Dusk Balls to the side. More people screamed as Magmortar formed first, grinning deviously, followed by Pupitar, Machoke, Donphan, Graveler and Probopass. The Ground, Fighting and Rock types joined in at grinning stupidly, and Magmortar pointed towards Vanessa’s Pokemon. Monferno saw them and let out a roar, speeding forwards and hitting Graveler with a Mach Punch. Staraptor dived down with an Aerial Ace, knocking Machoke down, and the fighting instantly began.

    “You better not hurt my Pokemon,” Vanessa snapped at him and quickly swung a punch. She was annoyed about not having her umbrella, and would have to make do until she could retrieve it. As Emerson clutched his jaw, Vanessa pushed him backwards onto the table. The carving fork was the only sharp object near, but Emerson had kicked that away. With little else to do, Vanessa smashed his face against one of the long white plates containing small pastries that burst open on contact.

    “Why are you working with the Slayers?” Vanessa asked, beating him against the hot food. “Were they working with Team Galactic? It seemed convenient that they decided to blow up the bridge on the day you were there,” and she pushed Emerson along towards a jug, tipping freezing water over his face.

    “I didn’t know those people were there!” Emerson growled, wiping his face clear with his free arm. “I was being paid to bring you to the bridge so I could battle you, unarm you and leave you for the Slayers to kill you, I had no fucking idea about Galactic! I don’t even work with the Slayers anymore! Now let me go you psychotic bitch!” He yelled, and tried squirming to break free. Vanessa put a finger to her lips, humming and pretending to think. Than she grabbed a fold of the nearby curtain and pulled it over as she pushed Emerson towards a punch bowl. He screamed as she wrapped the fabric around his head, and he tried to squirm, but Vanessa simply shoved his head deep into the ruby red liquid. She held it there for about five seconds before pulling his head out, feeling rather happy at this sadistic attack

    “Do you think it makes me any happier?” Vanessa hissed to him through the curtain. “You were going to sell my life, am I supposed to just let you walk away?” And she pushed his head back into the bowl, taking the time to check out the fighting. Murkrow was taking on Machoke now with a few furious Pecks, Staraptor now trying to take on both Probopass and Pupitar with multiple Close Combat. Monferno was dancing around Graveler, swinging Mach Punch after Mach Punch and trying to avoid his attacks. Dustox used Confusion to send Donphan stampeding through the crowds, while Luxio struggled to blast his electricity against Magmortar, holding him back from getting towards Staraptor. Vanessa wondered if Emerson had planned for her to be there, as Magmortar seemed rather determined to get to Staraptor, the gleam in his eyes obvious from afar. But as Vanessa thought this, she didn’t realise Emerson’s flailing arms clasping on a nearby knife.
    He slashed out with it, and Vanessa gasped as the blade tore through her dress. Her hands loosened, and Emerson quickly shoved her backwards. Stumbling on the plates beneath her, Vanessa toppled backwards out a three tiered white cake behind her. It failed to hold up her weight, and she sunk like a stone through the desert. Emerson struggled to pull the sodden curtain off, but he managed to free his head and gasped for breath, looking over at Vanessa with hatred burning in his eyes.

    “You’re a psychotic bitch, you realise?” He growled, and reached for the knife. Vanessa had simply been laying in the cake, her dress turned to white, but she looked up at his voice and reacted, pulling her acidic green pen out of her pocket and spraying it. Emerson gasped as the knife melted away, but when he looked up Vanessa was over him, holding a large amount of meat wrapped around a bone.

    “You cut my dress,” she hissed, her voice at its angriest. “This was in honour of a friend’s parents death. I don’t know if you know what that feels like, but I do!” Vanessa growled and swung, whacking Emerson backwards. He tried to kick her backwards, but his foot collided with the plate that simply sent the pen spiralling away to the middle of the table.

    “I know what it is like, you self centred bitch!” Emerson shouted back at her. “Get off your high Rapidash and learn to associate properly with people, tart!” Vanessa simply stared down at him, examining his words. She didn’t want to bother with him anymore, and wanted to hurry up and prove herself and get revenge. Without much thought, Vanessa raised the meat up, ready to drop…

    There was a sudden creak, and Vanessa froze. She jumped quickly off the table as it suddenly folded in, Emerson screaming as he slid down into a hole along with the food. Vanessa landed and rolled across the ground, coming to a halt and watching as the table fell, Emerson squirming and screaming as he was crushed by the wood. The acidic pen lay below where the hole had been, but melting the table had been its final act, a large plate stacked fill of vegetables crushing it in half.

    “Never liked healthy food,” Vanessa smirked. There was a shout that arose suddenly nearby, and Vanessa stepped out of the way as Graveler shot past, smashing into the wall behind her. She had forgotten about the battle in her confrontation, and looked around the room. The guests were all gathered at one side of the room, watching in both fear and amazement at the scene unfolding in front of them. Emerson’s Pokemon were putting up a good fight against Vanessa’s Pokemon, but they still had an advantage. Machoke was taking down as Murkrow used Peck between his legs, leaving him severely injured and unable to battle. Murkrow was now helping Monferno and Luxio against Magmortar, the fiery Pokemon still trying to blast its way forwards. Staraptor sent Probopass flying across the room with a powerful Close Combat, where it smashed through the wall and joined Graveler. Dustox fired more Confusions at Donphan, causing it to roll after a helpless Pupitar.

    “Staraptor, I need my sword!” Vanessa shouted. The Starling Pokemon nodded, looking a bit tired but still ready to work. She dived down towards the umbrella, which lay untouched at the back of the hall, and quickly scooped it up in her talons. As Staraptor shot forwards, Vanessa noticed Magmortar’s eyes waver from his battle, watching her with a strange sense of pleasure.

    “MORTAR MOOOR!” He roared, and he suddenly glowed yellow. Staraptor kept flying, leaving Vanessa to watch in shock as Magmortar directed one of his arms up, a large bolt of electricity shooting out.

    “Dust Dust!” Dustox quickly flew forwards, his eyes glowing pink. Staraptor flew past as the Thunderbolt was redirected, hitting the chandeliers that had remained undamaged so far. They shattered in an explosion of glass and electricity, sending the guests flying to the floor in a series of screams. Staraptor swooped down and covered Vanessa’s face, the glass pattering off her wing.

    “Thanks,” Vanessa said with a smile, and Staraptor nodded as her trainer took the umbrella.

    “MOOOON!” Staraptor stepped aside, and Vanessa watched in amazement as Monferno smashed his fists, which glowed brown, into the ground. A reverse Rock Slide occurred, with the stones shooting out through the carpet and blasting Magmortar, Pupitar and Donphan backwards and sending the guests screaming and running for the doors. Vanessa simply smirked and turned back towards the table, ready to finish things before the place became destroyed. Emerson was emerging from the closed table, looking furious and completely covered in food. Vanessa flashed a smile, glad to see that he was unarmed, not focusing on the rocks rumbling past or noticing that Vanessa was behind him. It cold blooded, cowardly to kill him this way, but Vanessa knew he deserved it. If he had it his way, that was exactly how she would have died.

    “See you in hell, mother fucker,” she hissed, and raised the sword up. But as she moved to slash it down, Vanessa found it torn from her hand. She looked up to see the distinctive pink blur of a Psychic attack over it, and quickly turned around for the answer. It wasn’t hard to find the culprit: Vivian Winters stood a few metres between Vanessa, her Pokemon and the surrounding guests, some of whom were recording the incident on phones. Her Togekiss, the angelic, mostly white, flying evolved form of Togetic, was staring at the umbrella, her eyes pink with Psychic.

    “Please, stop this violence!” Vivian said. “You two have already caused so much damage, ruined such a lovely event. Is there really a need to cause anyone any more harm? Do you really need to kill him, or even hurt him?” Vanessa stared back at the influential therapist, anger rising up as she tried to grab the umbrella. She didn’t care what she had to say, and frankly wanted to throw the umbrella at her head. There was a clapping behind her, and Vanessa turned to see Emerson nodding in a very serene manner.

    “Well put, Miss Winters,” he said, reaching for his Dusk Balls, “there isn’t any need for Vanessa or I to fight anymore. I think its time we went on our way,” and he brought the unconscious bodies of Graveler, Donphan, Pupitar and Probopass back. Vivian Winters nodded, and several people began to applaud, mostly in relief, but Vanessa noticed Emerson wink over at Magmortar, and then smile at her.

    “Get down!” She screamed, and pulled Staraptor down, reaching for her own PokeBalls. Magmortar raised his arms up, two jets of flame shooting out towards the crowd. As everyone leapt to the floor screaming, Vanessa’s umbrella fell down, landing a few feet away. Luxio, Murkrow and Dustox were brought back, but Monferno tried to get towards Magmortar, screaming and ready to fight.

    “Mortar Mag!” Magmortar growled, and swung his right arm in a Brick
    Break. Vanessa watched as Monferno soared and she rushed over, quickly catching him and falling to the ground. She looked up as Magmortar blasted a hole in the windows, running over to join Emerson. He stood on one of the tables, looking around and giving her a wave.

    “See you around!” He shouted, and laughed as he leapt through the shattered glass with his Pokemon. Smoke detectors were ringing, sprinklers being activated, more people screaming and crying. Staraptor rushed forwards with the umbrella and her bag, and Vanessa sighed as she reached into a pocket and felt for her touch device, pressing several buttons by memory.

    “Nice work,” she told Monferno, who nodded weakly before turning to energy. Vanessa put the PokeBalls back, grabbed the umbrella and bag and grabbed one of Staraptor’s wings. She glanced around, watching as a bleeding Mr Adiem emerged from his office, seeing Vivian Winters helping back up guards usher people through the doors. The event was ruined and so was the hall, but Vanessa didn’t care. She hated wealth and the people more, and wished she had time to deal with them more. But a white light appeared before her, attracting Mr Adiem’s attention, but Abra was already pulling Vanessa and Staraptor away, Vanessa ready to go and find Emerson and finish the job.

    It had been an intense series of battles, but Matthew was now in the finals.

    He was gobsmacked as he stood in the same doorway he had entered four times that day. After defeating Mira, Matthew was pleased to find his next battles weren’t particularly difficult. His second opponent, a novice trainer who had entered with a muscular-based appeal rather than attractive, had a Geodude and Machop that he hoped to win with. It took less than a minute for a series of Grass and Water combinations to Geodude down, than an onslaught of Aerial Aces sealed the deal. The Wormadam trainer was up next, using a Mothim and a Sandy Cloaked Wormadam, and proved a tougher adversary. Beautifly and Mothim fought it out brutally, whilst Piplup took care of Wormadam with a series of Water Pulse and BubbleBeam. Through another double up of Aerial Aces, Mothim fell, and Matthew was now into the finals.

    He was shaking with nervousness, watching the blinding lights, waiting for his cue to be called. Matthew didn’t know what to think about all this, and his body could barely take it. He had little doubt this morning that he would win, but here he was, only a few minutes away from either winning or losing.

    Matthew wanted to think he could win, but he hadn’t counted on a certain opponent: Cheryl. The green haired coordinator had fought with a mixture of power and grace, her Makuhita performing a powerful series of attacks against her opponents, whilst her Chansey filled in the beauty and combination role, making the attacks sparkle. She had gone up against Harrison in the semi finals, and had ended with his confused Vaporeon knocking out his Masquerain before Makuhita delivered a final, well timed Vital Throw for the win.

    I can do this, I can win this! Matthew told himself. His mind was focused entirely on winning, hoping with crossed fingers that Piplup and Beautifly weren’t too tired after all their battles. This would be one of the most important battles he’d ever done, and Matthew knew that Cheryl would be tough, especially as she was still angry with him. But he would fight and perform his best, and he would win.

    “Matthew!” It was barely a minute left until he would have to battle, but Matthew turned around to find his father rushing towards him. Adrian Pearl looked more flustered than he had earlier, and was clutching his Silph Company Mobile in his hands.

    “What do you want?” Matthew asked, sounding ruder than he intended. But he was annoyed about what happened before, and remembered the last time his father had confronted him.

    “There’s been some bad news, I’m sorry,” Adrian said, breathing deeply. “Felicity’s little slip about you being a Dex Holder caused a bit of a stir, and that began to snowball after you used the No Wait Rule. Now your in the finals, and I can’t ignore the cries anymore,” Adrian said sombrely, and Matthew felt his body tense up, not wanting to listen to this, needing to focus. “People think that I’ve rigged things in your favour. I’m sorry son, but I need you to –”

    “No!” Matthew shouted. He couldn’t hold his anger back any longer, and stared determinedly up into his father’s shocked eyes. “I don’t care what some random people I don’t care about think! This is the furtherest I’ve gone, and I’m going out there and I’m going to battle my hardest! I’m sorry if you don’t like this, but that’s final!” Adrian was taken aback, it being the first time Matthew had ever shouted at him, but he quickly recovered and looked stern.

    “Son, it isn’t that simple. Your Vanessa friend has caused a stir at the Arcethian Assemblage: no one wants a Dex Holder to win this!” Adrian explained. Matthew was curious about Vanessa, but had to focus on the matter at hand.

    “I don’t care, she can deal with those things herself, they won’t affect me!” He retorted, just as he heard Felicity introduce him and Cheryl.

    “Think about how it would look!” Adrian protested. “I have never won this contest myself, it would look suspicious!” Finally, things clicked for Matthew, and he felt his anger boil over. His father didn’t want him to win because it would look badly on him: his losses, being accused of cheating. He didn’t care for Matthew at all, only his own appearances. Without another word, Matthew turned and walked out into the arena. Adrian called out to him, but the roar of the crowd was beginning to drown it out, and Matthew tried to calm himself down, shelf his anger away and focus.

    “Here are our contestants, Matthew Pearl and Cheryl Sapling!” Felicity boomed into the microphone, and Matthew looked up as he reached his position to see Cheryl standing opposite him. She looked calm and relaxed, and gave Matthew a nod as she reached for a Heal and Dusk Ball. Matthew wanted to be calmer, but his rage at his father was building up rather than decreasing.

    “They have five minutes to see who shall win the mystery prize as well as the much sought after Hearthome Ribbon!” Felicity exclaimed to more cheers. “Now, let the match begin!”

    “Chansey, Makuhita, one last battle for victory!” Cheryl chimed, and she threw the balls into the sky. Ribbons and streamers burst forth, wrapping around and around as they descend towards the arena floor. As the streamers danced almost merrily, flames suddenly erupted around them, but it was beautiful than frightening. The streamers faded, and Chansey was revealed smiling to the audience, whilst the small yellow, gloved Makuhita simply scowled over at Matthew.

    “Piplup, Beautifly, let’s end this!” Matthew shouted, his voice angrier than he wanted. Piplup and Beautifly formed from their giant hearts, fully healed and ready for the final battle.

    “Let’s make this one a show!” Felicity called. “GO!”

    “Egg Bomb Beautifly Chansey, and Makuhita use Fake Out on Piplup followed by Vital Throw!” Cheryl called out dramatically. Chansey had not used Egg Bomb yet in the battles, and Matthew was taken back by this command: clearly Cheryl wanted to end the battle quickly and intensely.

    “Piplup, ready a Water Pulse for next time, and Beautifly use Hidden Power on the Egg Bomb before Aerial Ace on Makuhita!” Matthew ordered. There was a sudden blur on the field, and before Piplup could even open her mouth Makuhita appeared, smashing his fists across her face. Matthew gasped as Piplup spun around confused, stunned at the speed and the power produced.

    “Chansey Chance!” Chansey chorused happily, then pulled the egg out of her pouch and threw it across the field into the sky. It hurtled at an alarming speed, but Beautifly reacted quicker than she was used to, releasing the green Hidden Power that wrapped around the Egg Bomb. It exploded prematurely, sending a beautiful shower of green that gave Matthew boosted points. He smiled to himself as Beautifly’s wings glowed white, and she swooped down and slit them across Makuhita. His face made an ‘ooooh’ expression as he collapsed to the ground, but Makuhita quickly recovered, grasping onto Piplup’s right wing and throwing.

    “PIIIIP!” Piplup screamed, and Matthew gasped as she whacked into Chansey, bouncing off and rolling a few feet away. Cheryl’s Pokemon had amazing power, and it was going to be difficult for him to let it out.

    “Oh dear, things aren’t looking good for Matthew!” Felicity gasped into the microphone. “Hopefully he’ll have some skills from his father to pull him through the next attacks!” Matthew had almost forgotten about his dad, but now the angry thoughts came back to him, clouding his judgement.

    “DoubleSlap Piplup, then use a close range Egg Bomb!” Cheryl commanded. “Makuhita, use DynamicPunch and Vital Throw on Beautifly!” Matthew was trying to think of a way around this, but his anger at Adrian was rising Up. Beautifly looked around at him, waiting for orders that probably wouldn’t come.

    “Lup Lup Lup!” Piplup cried, as Chansey rushed forwards and raised her hands. Suddenly, Piplup was being slapped repeatedly, Chansey still wearing a smile on her face as she did so. Makuhita was advancing towards Beautifly, getting ready to leap up. Matthew was feeling angry… he wanted to vent his feelings, but he mostly wanted to win, and show his father up.

    “Brick Break Chansey in the pouch! Beautifly, use String Shot on Makuhita than on Piplup to pull her away!” Matthew roared. Beautifly quickly fired the String Shot, and Makuhita was tied up, unable to jump up. Piplup rammed his fist into Chansey’s pouch, where the egg had reformed. Chansey gasped as she was pushed backwards, suddenly disappearing inside a large explosion erupting from inside. Piplup avoided it though, Beautifly quickly pulling her in on a String Shot.

    “Aerial Ace Makuhita and String Shot Chansey!” Matthew commanded quickly, watching with a strange feeling of savagery. He looked up to see Cheryl looking rather stunned about the last bout of moves, and
    was clearly thrown off by it.

    “Okay…,” she said nervously, “Chansey use Softboiled and then try for a Pound on Piplup, and Makuhita use Vital Throw on Piplup!” Piplup was still soaring by the pull of Beautifly’s String Shot, and her arms quickly glowed and mimicked wings, allowing her to slash across Makuhita’s body as she dived down.

    “HITAAA!” Makuhita cried, bouncing backwards and crashing near Matthew’s legs. He ignored him though, watching as Beautifly fired the String Shot, wrapping Chansey’s arms and egg to her body, leaving her out of action and Cheryl’s faces dropped.

    “Matthew has made good use of String Shot and Aerial Ace,” Felicity informed the audience, “but neither trainer has made use of combinations! If someone doesn’t faint, it’ll be hard for the judges to decide on the winner! This is a contest, remember!” Matthew, who had been delighted about leaving Cheryl’s Pokemon weak, felt his face droop as Felicity announced this. He could see Cheryl pondering, obviously planning some sort of combination that would blow him away.

    I have to win this, I have to prove my father wrong! Matthew thought, and quickly examined the surroundings. Piplup and Beautifly were both staring between him and the bound up Pokemon, waiting for their orders. Piplup still had String Shot tied around her waist, and Matthew suddenly had an idea.

    “Alright! Beautifly, use String Shot and bring Makuhita and Chansey together! Than, tie yourself to Piplup and get over the lights overhead,” Matthew said, pointing to the spotlights above them. Beautifly and Piplup exchanged looks, but Matthew knew it was worth a shot.

    “Fly Fly Beaut Fly!” Beautifly chorused and she quickly shot out a String Shot. It hit Makuhita, and she pulled him and spun him towards Chansey, firing another one as she twirled. There was applause for this move from the crowd, the two Pokemon now trapped together in the center of the arena.

    “Piplup Pip Pip!” Piplup chimed as Beautifly lifted her up, flying up and over the lights so the two were even, and Matthew punched the air in delight that this part of his plan had pulled off.

    “Now I need you two to spin around, Piplup you fire a Water Pulse down to mask yourself but spin into that as well…” Matthew drifted off, wondering if the second part would make sense. Piplup and Beautifly nodded, looking a bit uncertain, but the Butterfly Pokemon began to fly, causing Piplup to spin around as well.

    “LUUUUP!” She called as she span, the rings of water beginning to be released. They become caught up in the spinning, and a wall of water formed as Piplup and Beautifly gathered speed. Matthew saw Cheryl and Felicity’s jaws drop in surprise, and knew he was nearing a win: Chansey and Makuhita would be weakened by the water around them, and Piplup and Beautifly were gaining a lot of momentum.

    “Now, finish this up with an Aerial Ace and Brick Break!” Matthew boomed dramatically. Piplup and Beautifly burst through the wall of water, fists and wings glowing, gaining an extra boost before diving through the crashing waves. They became engulfed in the extra protection as they dived down towards Cheryl’s Pokemon. There was an explosion of water and cries from the Pokemon, but Piplup and Beautifly swung up looking happy. Cheryl clasped her hands to her mouth as the water began to disperse, revealing Chansey and Makuhita laying there helplessly, unconscious, the battle lost. “We have a winner!” Felicity announced to the audience, and the crowd roared in approval. Matthew froze up in shock, his mind blank, completely in shock. The shouts and applause around him were toned out as a single thought crossed his mind: I’ve won….

    “I won…,” Matthew whispered, his face beginning to light up, “I WON!” He shouted, and ran onto the field. Piplup and Beautifly cut themselves free, and he caught them as they fell.

    “WE WON, WE DID IT, WE WON!” He threw his other PokeBalls into the sky, and Misdreavus and Milotic formed, stunned for a moment, but quickly put the pieces together: Matthew, Piplup and Beautifly cheering, their faces on the television screens, the crowd
    roaring and clapping.

    “We did it guys, we did it!” Matthew cheered in delight, and his Pokemon cheered with him, all as happy as he was for the win they’d trained so hard for. At the opposite end of the arena, Matthew saw Cheryl bringing her Pokemon back. She looked sad, but she glanced up and gave Matthew a warm smile, before turning and walking gracefully away. Matthew hoped to catch up with her later, but now Piplup was pointing excitedly to one side, and he turned around, still giddy about the win.

    Felicity was walking up a podium that was sliding out of the wall. The three judges were descending the staircase, something large and covered being held by Tiffany and Johnny. Smiles and cheers surrounded Matthew as he headed for the podium, still overwhelmed by the win, still quivering in excitement.

    “You were all amazing, I can’t thank you enough,” he whispered to his team, and they simply smiled and nuzzled him. Matthew began to climb the staircase, breathing deeply, ready to accept his ribbon. But as he reached the top, Matthew found Felicity was no longer smiling, a finger on her ear and a scowl on her face. She sighed, looked up at Matthew and mouthed I’m sorry, causing him to freeze.

    “Attention,” she boomed into the microphone, “there has been a change of plans! Adrian Pearl, Head of the Sinnoh Pokemon Contest Board, has challenged his son for the contest title!” Silence came to the stadium as if it had been turned off. Matthew felt as if his entire body was suddenly being crushed, and he looked at first at his appalled Pokemon, than stared around in shock. His father was descending the stairs opposite, a grim smile on his face. Matthew’s happiness faded as quickly as it had arrived, leaving him feeling defeated, betrayed and furious. He wanted to know why his father was doing this to him, taking this victory away, but first he knew what he would do: Matthew would battle his father, and he would win once more. He walked back down the steps, his Pokemon following him, ready for what would be his toughest fight yet.

    Fear rippled through Amity Park, all eyes still focused on Jaki. She was smiling at the scared and shocked faces, her hands still moving around Xavier’s neck. Addison and Fantina were both shaking, while Charles clutched Elle tightly, moving slowly towards Ampharos, not wanting them to get hurt.

    “It feels good to breathe again,” Jaki purred to them all, and melodramatically inhaled and exhaled. “I wasn’t expecting to be out so soon. I can feel Sahara’s rage, and her heart and mind were both swelling with emotion,” Jaki said, shooting Charles a curious flance at this, “but the thing that pulled me out… that was true power! It was strong, ancient, glorious!” Jaki explained, flashing a creepy smile. The Pokemon were moving towards their trainers, as scared as they were about the sudden transformation. Charles watched fearfully as Jaki looked around, her eyes lighting up as they came across the book clasped in the silent and shocked Minerva’s hands.

    “Ah, The Spells of a Ghost, how I’ve missed you!” Jaki hissed deviously, and quickly waved her hands. A strange wind suddenly picked up, and their eyes all watched as the book was blasted out of Minerva’s hands. Xavier was shoved asides towards a scared Drifloon as Jaki grabbed the book, a smile creeping across her face.

    “Oh… the power…,” Jaki whispered, her eyes alive with malice, “it’s almost orgasmic. This is the most amazing object I have encountered in my entire life… what is it doing back to me, why has my creator returned to me?” Charles was shocked by these last few words, before he got time to think them over, Minerva took a dramatic step forward,s looking furious.

    “It is mine, I have brought it, that is why it is here!” Minerva shouted in a shaky voice. “I want it back, you cannot have it!” Jaki simply raised an eyebrow, a smirk creeping back onto her face as she began to laugh.

    “That’s sweet, but the book is mine now,” she replied. “I would give it to you, but you seem quite unstable… aren’t you?” Minerva looked shocked and Jaki tipped her head back in a laugh. “Didn’t you hear me before: I can read people’s emotions, their innermost thoughts, a gift my master had given me. You, Miss Minerva Eleusis, are seriously troubled. You are finding yourself falling down the same old path, but you aren’t sure wheter to keep walking down this road or take a different path, am I right?” Minerva tried to retort, but she simply stuttered, and Jaki flashed a smile. She nodded and turned towards Addison, who was clutching Victreebel fearfully.

    “Addison Moore… hmmm… emotional unstable as well, but you are definitely regretting your past choices, aren’t you?” Jaki sneered. “Foolish girl, you should have known better,” she added viciously, and Addison began to sob, her Victreebel raising her leaf in defence, and Jaki simply smile as she turned towards Fantina. The gym leader looked proud in her facial movements, but her eyes were as fearful as the others. “Your… guilty, about something, though I can’t quite tell what it is. But it’s eating away at you like a parasite, isn’t it… what a shame,” Jaki said with a false pout, and Fantina simply gasped, clasping her hands to her face. Jaki giggled and looked over towards Charles, malice in her face. Charles didn’t want her to read his mind, and clutched Elle fearfully, ready for the insult.

    “We don’t want you here,” Xavier said, and Jaki turned reluctantly away from Charles, looking down at the Dex Holder below her. Xavier was getting to his feet, his face looking rather pained as he rose up to face Jaki. “I want you to go, I would rather talk to Sahara than you. We can win through battling, you can only win by standing afar and speaking,” he said, and Jaki looked rather shocked. Anger flashed across her eyes, but a smile formed across her face. She tossed the book back to Minerva, sending her flying to the ground as she caught it.

    “You don’t want to talk to Sahara,” Jaki hissed, sliding a finger down his face, “you want to talk to your mother. You feel conflicted, don’t you? You hate her for how she treated you, but you know that it’s wrong, and you want to talk to her, sort things out, don’t you?” Xavier tried to take a step backwards, but Jaki used her right hand to grasp his collar, making Drifloon gasp. “Don’t run away from it Xavy, I can make everything better. You can have that last little chat if you want, it is very very easy,” Jaki finished, and her eyes twinkled wickedly. Still clutching Xavier’s collar, Jaki extended her free left hand out over a patch of grass, concentrating very hard.

    Suddenly, the ground began to move. It was as if an earthquake had started, and Addison screamed as she was bowled over. Nutty clutched onto Smash, cowering in fear as Jaki moved her hand over the shaking earth. Charles and Xavier both watched intensely as the ground split under Jaki’s hand, black light shining through. Ghostly wind rushed through the park, screams echoed out from the trees, and the grass began to shrivel up and die beneath their feet, the evil being unleashed.
    There was a sudden scream that forced them all to clutch their ears, and the ground under Jaki disappeared. What replaced it was mind blowing: an expanse of blackness, swirling madly beneath their feet. It was as if she was staring on bubbling pot of tar, but they all knew what Jaki had down. She had made a portal, a portal to another world, possibly another dimension. It was trying to suck them all in, and Jaki stepped backwards, looking satisfied.

    “Thanks for giving me that power boost by summoning me,” she told Minerva, who was staring at the book in horror. “Next them, make sure you know the proper spell: its he, not she,” Jaki said with a wink, and began to laugh as she turned towards Xavier. He was staring at the slowly expanding hole with a blank expression, making Jaki smile viciously. “This is the Distortion World, Xavy. Your mother is waiting there for you. Your mother wants to talk to you. Why don’t you go and speak to her?”

    “Drifloon Floon Floon!” Drifloon cried, rising into the sky and looking straight down at Jaki. But Xavier ignored her, and Fantina gasped as he began to step forwards, walking towards the black hole.

    “Xavier Diamond, don’t do it!” Fantina shouted tearfully. “It is a trap, you will be killed!”

    “Shut up you old tart!” Jaki roared and clapped her hands together. Fantina suddenly soared backwards, crashing into Smash’s tail as he reached out to catch her.

    “Blim Blim!” Drifblim gasped, and she made to move forwards, swelling with rage. But Drifloon quickly soared in front, putting one of her string-like arms out and shaking her head. Drifblim looked down at Xavier, then back at Drifloon and nodded. Jaki watched the exchange and burst out laughing, clapping her hands together happily.

    “Oh goody, the haunted balloon is going to try and stop me! I love it when stupid Pokemon think they can stop me,” Jaki said and danced happily on the spot, turning away from Xavier as he walked slowly towards the hole. Charles could see Drifloon’s face, swelling with anger, eyes full of determination, a look he had seen on Elle’s face when she blasted Mars through the wall: Drifloon was ready to defend, no matter what.

    “FLOOOOOOON!” She cried, spinning around and firing out an Ominous Wind. Jaki was still dancing and was taken off guard, being pushed away and sliding across the ground. She growled and raised her hands, ready to fight, but Drifloon had already thrown a Will-o-Wisp towards her. Sahara’s white jacket burst into flames, and Jaki quickly brushed them off, scooping them up into her hands.

    “TAKE THIS!” She shouted, and released the flames upwards. A ghostly blue Gengar formed, smiling teeth of flame, and dived towards Drifloon. She looked scared for a moment, but she shut her eyes and went spiralling through it. The flames simply diminished and Drifloon kept going, stopping a few feet away from Jaki.

    “DRIIIIIIIIIIF!” She screamed ghostly, her face swelling as she used Astonish. Jaki simply raised an eyebrow, clearly not impressed, but Drifloon just smiled and turned around. She had a single berry left, and quickly smacked her two heart-shaped hands together. Jaki screamed as the Cheri Berry juice got into her eyes, blinding her.

    “Unconventional attacks, I like it!” Fantina said approvingly, and Drifblim and Smash nodded in agreement. Nutty looked frightened, whilst Hammer watched with one eye opened, interested by what might happen. Minerva, Addison and their grass types were moving behind Smash for safe keeping, but Charles, Elle and Ampharos remained in the open, watching.

    “Pharos Ampha Ros?” Ampharos said, and Charles shook his head.

    “This is Drifloon’s fight, not ours,” he replied, though he was concerned about Xavier. He was getting closer to the edge of the hole, staring at it blankly, at a loss to the rest of the world around him. It seemed as if he was no longer with the world, just staring deeply in thought into the giant hole.

    “BITCH!” Jaki screamed, and now everyone was truly scared: her face was twisted and seemed to be glowing in a demonic manner, and her hands were now dancing with black fires she had conjured from nowhere. Completely ignoring Xavier, Jaki began to throw balls of black flame into the sky, her aim thrown off by the juice that still burnt her eyes. But Drifloon, now without a berry to hold her down, was moving at expert speeds. She dodged all the flames with elegant twirls, all as she began to dimly glow white, seemingly beginning to swell and grow at the seams.

    “Stockpile,” Charles and Fantina said together, Drifblim looking excited as its pre-evolved form began to absorb in energy.

    “YOU CANNOT ESCAPE ME!” Jaki screamed, and readied her next attack. She couldn’t see that Drifloon was Stockpiling, or that the Balloon Pokemon was twirling down behind her back. Glowing a nearly blinding white and swelling to near bursting, Drifloon wrapped her arms around Jaki’s waist, positioning herself unknowingly against the tattoo that was burning beneath the layers of clothes.

    “FLOOOOOOOOOOON!” Drifloon screamed, and she released all the energy she could.

    “AAAARRRRGGHHH!” Jaki screeched, the sound a horrible cry. The Spit Up energy blasted through Sahara’s body, white energy bursting through her mouth and shining through her eyes. Her body spasmed and the scream burned into the ears of the surrounding trainers. Drifloon, a pained look on her face, released her arms and Sahara was tossed aside, blasted into the ground and stopped a few feet from Smash. The Spit Up faded away, and Drifloon floated into the air, breathing deeply but smiling. Silence fell in the park, horrified eyes staring at Sahara, Nutty rushing down towards her. Charles wanted to go and help her, and made to move, but Ampharos grasped hold of his shoulder, and another hand touched his right. He looked around to see Minerva staring blankly forwards, but she titled her head ever so slightly to both sides.

    “Tres Fantastique!” Fantina exclaimed, leaping to her feet and applauding. “You have defeated the evil! I have heard of the spellbook in my days as a ghost trainer, but I have never heard of it being overpowered!” Drifloon simply smiled, flying down to Xavier’s discarded bag and grabbed some berries, glancing back towards her trainer.
    The hole was still there, but now the process was being reversed. Xavier was still staring into the strange pit, his eyes wide and blank, lost in deep thought. He hadn’t noticed any of the battle that had raged behind him, his attention fully focused on the darkness beneath the split earth. Xavier didn’t know what to do, different words from Jaki and Fantina pounding into his beating mind, images of his mother swirling into his face. He had to know why… he just had to know why…

    “Mother,” Xavier whispered, and stepped forwards.

    “DRIF!” Drifloon shouted, but she was too late: Xavier fell into the darkness, eyes shut, the shadows swirling up to greet him. Fantina screamed, Charles’ jaw dropped, and even Addison looked horrified as he fell away. Drifloon was going to be too late to catch him, but she suddenly began to glow white. Everyone gasped as she began to grow and extend, her arms shortening as the rest of her expanded. Drifloon, turning to Drifblim, grabbed Xavier’s bag and raced away before she could finish evolving. Xavier was disappearing, the ground was healing, but the Blimp Pokemon dived in after him. There was a final ghostly wail, a crackle of black, and the ground was back. Xavier was gone, Drifblim was gone, Jaki was gone, and the darkness with them. Silence fell once more, Fantina and her Drifblim staring at the hole in shock, while Sahara’s Pokemon gathered around her.

    “What do we do now?” Addison asked, wiping tears away from her eyes. Minerva let go of Charles’ hand, who was now too shocked to
    move. She clasped back onto the book, staring over at Ludicolo.

    “Looks like we’ve got a few gifts to make things up to Cyrus, don’t we?” The receptionist said. Ludicolo nodded and moved forwards, followed by Victreebel. Charles simply shut his eyes as the battle began again, clutching Elle and pulling Ampharos into a hug. He was too shocked by what had happened to say or do anything, and simply wanted to head into the city, find a bed and lie down, desperate to escape the evilness and get back to a normal life.

    He just hoped that Sahara, healthy and clear minded, would be there to help him.

  13. #58
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    Default Re: Galactic: Home is Where the Heart is Pt 4

    “Frankly Matthew, your father’s a douchebag.”

    Matthew simply nodded, not paying much attention to what Lucinda was saying. She and Harrison stood one either side of him, both as angry as the rest of the crowd was. The arena was as loud as it had been before, but the buzz of noise was angry, furious, the whispers full of gossip, questioning and rage. Adrian Pearl stood defiantly at the opposite end, ignoring both the crowd and the desperate cries of Leah as she stood besides him, whispering through furious tears into his ear. The three judges stood on the podium with the prizes, just as confused about this as the others were: Adrian had never challenged anyone to a battle since become Head, so why now?

    “Make sure you slaughter him!” Harrison cried. “If you beat the person who beat me, I’d rather see you win then some old guy with a stick up his ass!”

    “Not like your going to opposed to that,” Lucinda said with a smirk.

    “Oh shut up, hag!” Harrison snapped, but Lucinda simply giggled again.

    “Will you two be quiet, please?” Matthew said irritably. He was still confused about why his father was doing this to him, but his anger was making easily annoyed. Lucinda and Harrison took a step backwards, and Matthew felt a bit guilty, as they were just trying to be nice after all. Felicity took a step forwards, a scowl still on her face, and she reluctantly raised the microphone back up to her lips.

    “This rare, unusual, frankly unnecessary,” Felicity began, mumbling under her breath, “decider match is going to begin! Good luck to Matthew Pearl, and Adrian Pearl…” Felicity paused in fake thought, making the crowd laugh and Matthew smile. Adrian stepped angrily forwards, mouthing at Leah to back off, and pulled his PokeBalls out. Matthew stepped forwards as well, pulling his two PokeBalls out, hoping he had made the right decision. Lucinda and Harrison gave him excited thumbs up, and Matthew took a deep breath, clearing his mind and getting into battle mode.

    “Alright, go!” Felicity called.

    “Blaziken, Zangoose, now!” Adrian roared, and threw the balls to the ground at his feet. Not bothering with seals, the Fire-Fighting Hoenn starter and Cat Ferret Pokemon formed in front of their trainer, looking both proud and vicious. Matthew smiled to himself, raising his Poke and Dusk Balls up, a step closer to winning.

    “Piplup, Misdreavus, let’s do this!” He called, and the balls burst open. They were seal-less as well, causing the two to form simply on the arena, doing their best to try and look tough against their dominating opponents. Matthew hoped Adrian would look scared, but his father simply smiled widely.

    “Blaze Kick Misdreavus, Giga Drain Piplup,” Adrian commanded.

    “Piplup, spread your BubbleBeam out, and Misdreavus use Shock Wave on the bubbles!” Matthew called out, hoping things would work. Unfortunately, they didn’t: Piplup had barely opened her mouth, a single bubble rising up, when Zangoose ran forwards, a large green ball in his claws. He threw it forwards, the ball the size of Piplup’s head.

    “LUP!” She shrieked, collapsing to her knees as large amounts of her energy were drained away. Matthew’s jaw dropped, and Misdreavus went forwards to help out, unaware that Blaziken was running forwards and leaping into the sky, his left leg erupting into flame.

    “PHASE!” Matthew screamed. Misdreavus looked up just in time to see the burning foot, and she her eyes, concentrating tightly. The Blaze Kick phased through Misdreavus’ body, and Blaziken crashed into the arena floor.

    “MIS MIS!” Misdreavus screamed, and a ball of electricity formed in her necklace. A Shock Wave was released, blasting Blaziken and causing him to spasm. Zangoose waved his hands, stopping the Giga Drain, leaving Piplup lying on the ground looking severely pained and exhausted. Matthew knew his father would be tricky, but hadn’t anticipated he would be this brutal. He had half a mind to pull out now, but Matthew wasn’t willing to throw away the battle, and his rightful win, after one turn. Piplup was getting to her feet, as was Blaziken, and it seemed the next moves were ready to be ordered.

    “Try that combination again, quicker this time!” Matthew cried.

    “Flamethrower and Shadow Claw Misdreavus!” Adrian shouted, but Piplup and Misdreavus had already begun to move. Bubbles shot out and began to bounce around the field as Blaziken readied his attack, and Misdreavus’ necklace quickly glowed again. Piplup covered her head as the Shock Wave created a web between the bubbles, trapping Blaziken and Zangoose in, zapping their energy away.

    “BLAAAAZ!” Blaziken shouted, and he fired a jet of fire towards Misdreavus. There was no way she could avoid, simply shutting her eyes and withstanding the pain as it forced her backwards. The Shock Wave ended, the bubbles bursting and sending sparks everywhere, forcing Piplup to cover her tiny body.

    “GOOOOSE!” Zangoose cried, and leapt towards Misdreavus, right claw glowing a mixture of black and purple Matthew knew was a Ghost move, and knew it wouldn’t be very good for Misdreavus.

    “Piplup, spin and sue Water Pulse on Zangoose!” He shouted. Piplup nodded and leapt upwards, going into an instant twirl. Her mouth opened wide, a ball of water formed, and she let out a loud but beautiful scream. Rings of water were unleashed, spinning into a glorious tornado that sent Zangoose flying upon contact, leaving the tired Misdreavus alive for now. The Normal type landed a few feet away from Adrian, who glanced towards his son looking furious. Matthew had been happy about Piplup’s move, but was now left concerned due to the scowl coming his way. His father was a sore loser, and always had a hissy fit or cheated when they had family game night and things didn’t go his way. An angry glint formed in Adrian’s eyes, contrasting with a smile widening across his face, and Matthew knew that he was about to deal the finishing blow.

    “Zangoose use Detect, and Blaziken put all you energy into a Blast Burn!” Adrian boomed, and the audience gasped in unison. Matthew nearly stumbled backwards in shock, his mind and body freezing in horror as Blaziken began to glow a deadly mixture of red and orange. He saw Piplup and Misdreavus seize up in horror, watched as Leah rushed towards Adrian, trying to talk him out of it, saw Felicity as she dropped the microphone to the ground. Matthew couldn’t believe his father was doing this, and couldn’t believe that he was about to lose, just when he’d been so close.

    “BLAAAAAAAA!” Blaziken shouted in an ear piercing scream, his body erupting into flames that swirled around his body. Zangoose smiled as he glowed white, and Piplup and Misdreavus clumped together, bracing for impact.

    In a single second, the arena exploded.

    One second Blaziken was simply a flaming figure, the next flames were
    pouring out of him in an explosive shock wave. Blast Burn was one of the most powerful moves a Pokemon could learn, and despite shielding his face, Matthew still felt the searing burn and saw the light through his lids. Lucinda and Harrison screamed behind them, and Matthew turned to see them, but the force was enough to knock him to the ground. Light fittings exploded, the audience was crying out, and Matthew knew that Piplup and Misdreavus would be done for, along with his winning dreams.

    “NO, STOP THIS!” A single voice sounded, and Matthew forced his eyes to open. A continuous torrent of red and orange was rising above the field, the energy emitting from it causing the crowd to rush backwards, though Matthew could barely see it. He was looking around for the voice, his eyes shut under the light from the Blast Burn.

    Suddenly, the inferno began to glow pink. The heat disappeared and the fire quickly began to diminish. Matthew froze and stared, transfixed, as the fire began to spiral and turn, morphing as Togetic’s has only a short time ago. The flames turned into a magnificent ribbon, about three metres high and twinkling like a Christmas light. It remained for a moment, a beautiful symbol that every eye left turned towards, before it fizzled out and died. The arena was left dark and hideous, the walls covered with ash and most of the lights dead. Matthew was confused about what had happened, and turned towards the field.

    Piplup and Misdreavus stood in the middle, looking the same as they had before the Blast Burn. Misdreavus opened an eye at Matthew and winked, and Matthew was stunned to see that she had phased without being commanded. Blaziken lay on the floor panting, recharging from the exhausting attack. Adrian, Leah and Zangoose all looked stunned, and now their eyes were turning towards the podium, a direction that Matthew copied. Felicity was standing there, a Gardevoir floating by her side, the initiator of the Psychic. She looked furious, and was staring defiantly at Adrian, who looked gobsmacked.

    “YOU BITCH!” He roared suddenly, taking several steps forwards. “You can’t do this to a battle, especially such an important battle! Your fired!” He shouted, and Lucinda gasped behind Matthew. Felicity stared down at him for a moment, still looking mad, but than she smiled, giving him the purely demonic but sweet look many girls could pull off.

    “Fine, fire me then! I was just trying to stop you from torturing those poor Pokemon and your son, he doesn’t deserve this!” Felicity snapped. “Your arrogant and a coward, and I hate that in people!” The announcer turned towards Matthew, still happy but was burning with an undeniably rage that made him step backwards. “Your father didn’t want you to win because… because he’s had an affair with the woman who gifted the mystery gift!” Felicity announced, her voice carrying in the silent stadium. Adrian’s face turned red, and Leah made a shocked gasp that sent a chill down Matthew’s spine. “Some woman dropped an egg off, and I overheard her saying that Adrian owed her for keeping their affair under wraps for so long! He didn’t want you to win because he doesn’t want you to trace the Pokemon that’ll hatch back to the original owner!”

    “HOW COULD YOU!” Adrian screamed, but his eyes were fill with more worry than anger, and he turned backwards towards Leah. Tears were streaming silently down her face, hands clasped to her mouth, and Matthew wanted to rush forwards and care for her. He didn’t care about his father, the figure standing in the arena nearly dead to him. But when Matthew tried to walk forwards his legs suddenly buckled, and Lucinda and Harrison caught him. Anger that he hadn’t felt at all today rushed through his blood, but confusion more irritating than anything else he’d experienced caused him to clutch his head.

    “I… I…. I…” Adrian tried to say something, addressing the audience that had fell silent except for the few gossiping whispers carrying through the seats, but for once in his life words failed him. He pulled his PokeBalls out and brought his two Pokemon back, leaving Piplup and Misdreavus alone and confused in the middle of the arena. Adrian turned towards Leah, but she shook her head, the tears falling faster now. With a backwards glance at Felicity and the shocked judges, and a look towards Matthew that he couldn’t quite determine what emotion to use, Adrian quickly headed for the doors, moving as fast as possible.

    The crowds began to leave, the talk getting louder and louder as they departed. No one seemed to care about the prize giving now, having received enough to talk about for months now. Felicity walked towards Matthew and give him a hug as he sat down, whispering ‘I’m sorry’ into his ear, before getting up and walking away from Gardevoir. Matthew barely noticed, his focus upon his weeping mother, who was now being joined by a shocked and crying Peter. Piplup and Misdreavus made their way nervously forwards, and Matthew pulled them into a hug. He simply sat there, dwelling things over, wondering why his father had cheated and when. Mrs Richards, the day’s head judge, walked over and placed a gold trimmed purple rosette besides him, and Johnny put the covered prize that was now known to be an egg. Matthew didn’t want the prizes anymore, and as the first tears began to stream, he wished that he’d never made it to the finals, the consequences too severe, and simply hugged his Pokemon and hoped the pain would go away.

    Hearthome City managed to look even more beautiful as the sun began to set. The beautiful mixture of oranges and pinks in the sky looking almost painting like, and magnificent shadows were cast upon the noiseless streets. The street lamps began to flicker into light, providing a dim yet pleasant amber glow that lit up the path in perfect little circles. The alleyways between the grand buildings were as clean and quiet as the rest of the city, though were much darker and gave a very dark and gothic feel to passer bys.

    It was the perfect place to sneak through though.

    Addison had gone on ahead and found the mini teleportation device that Minerva had hidden in an alleyway on the other side of the city. It was practically a miniature version of the one used in Eterna City, and was easy for the grunt to bring to the first alleyway by Amity Park. Than, she had to help Charles, Minerva and their Pokemon carry their hostages.

    The battle had been short but violent, though the element of surprise had worked well in Team Galactic’s favour. Ampharos, Ludicolo and a helping hand from Addison’s Hitmonlee got Smash out, with Sahara, Fantina, Nutty, Drifblim and a tied up Hammer (he’d been particularly difficult) on top. The streets were empty, but the group still moved quickly, not wanting to be seen with their special group. They thought there was a figure around the Contest Hall, but didn’t stop to bother about it.

    “Come on, move faster!” Minerva snapped, passing Smash’s tail over to Addison and getting a proper grip on the spellbook. Charles was up the front, helping hold the rough and large head up with Ampharos. Elle walked alongside, giving Charles an odd look every so often.

    “I can’t go against them!” He hissed down to her as they neared their alleyway, right opposite the Contest Hall. “I feel just as bad about this as you do!” Charles looked up towards Sahara’s limp arm, sadness filling his body. He knew that Jaki would have revealed all if Xavier hadn’t interrupted, and he was scared to think about what would have been revealed. But Charles was even more frightened about what Cyrus would do to Sahara when they arrived back at the headquarters.
    Suddenly, a soft tinkling noise sounded in the silence. Charles stared down as a pebble rolled towards him, and he looked up to see several diamonds sparkling in the dim light, the orange glow of ginger hair in front of him, matched by the orange glow forming from a weapon…

    “DUCK!” He shouted, and leapt asides as Vanessa fired the energy gun. Ampharos stood forwards, raising a fist and energy gathering. The beam hit the Focus Blast, releasing a shockwave and enough power to blast Ampharos backwards. Smash fell to the ground, those on top of him falling off as well.

    “Get to the pad, now!” Minerva shouted, and she and Addison sprinted forwards, Ludicolo and Hitmonlee alongside. Charles turned around to face Sahara: she lay still, a slight bruise forming on her head, but otherwise alright. Fantina and Nutty were stirring, and Charles smiled to himself as he got up, glad that she was alright.

    “What did I warn you about?” Vanessa’s voice hissed in the semi-darkness, and Charles turned to see her walking forwards, energy gun replaced with her trademark sword. Unbeknownst to the Galactic Grunt, Vanessa was extremely pissed off. After the incident at the Conference Hall, Vanessa had searched every inch of the city to find her leather-clad rival, but Emerson was nowhere to be seen. Her frustration had built up, trails of damaged buildings left behind her, and Vanessa was ready to kill someone as brutally as possible. She was just glad she’d come across Charles, and raised her sword.

    “Hello Vanessa, lovely to see you,” Charles said with a smile, picking Elle up. Vanessa simply glared back at him, the sword glinting in the lamp light. “I’d love to stay and chat, but I really need to get going.”

    “You broke my rule, I’m not letting you leave!” Vanessa hissed, getting ready to jab. Elle let out a whimper, but Charles knew how to stop her.

    “Sahara turned into Jaki and sent Xavier to some weird hell-like place,
    just so you know,” he explained, and Vanessa froze, looking shocked and confused. Chares looked down at Elle and gave her a tiny nod, and she winked up at him.

    “EVA EVE!” She cried, a white ball forming that began to bubble brown. Elle fired it before Vanessa could react, the Secret Power knocking the umbrella into the alleyway. Charles sprinted forwards, Ampharos leading the way towards the teleportation pad. It glowed brightly as Hitmonlee was sent back to base, and Ampharos quickly leapt in, the machine automatically taking her away. Charles remembered a warning about cross-cell mutation from Charon and threw Elle in first, who squealed in displeasure, and turned around as Vanessa ran forwards, looking like a beast ready to kill.

    “Thanks for saving her,” he called out, and stepped backwards onto the pad. Though his body compressed and his mind turned to jelly, Charles shut his eyes to the pink light and hoped that Sahara would be alright, and that the next time they met was under better circumstances.
    Vanessa watched as Charles turned into light and disappeared. She had half a mind to rush in after him, her angry boiling over and clouding her better judgement. But there was a sudden sparking noise, and Vanessa grabbed her umbrella and stepped backwards as the pad exploded, the corresponding bit attached to a building falling off as well. Vanessa froze for a second, staring down at the shattered pad, and then swore as loudly as she could.

    “FUCKING BASTARD!” She screamed, and stormed back towards Sahara. Vanessa made a mental note to kill Charles the next time they met, and forced herself to repress her anger for now: Sahara was beginning to stir, while Fantina and the Pokemon were already awake.

    “Oh my goodness, you won’t believe what happened!” Fantina cried to Vanessa, both of them moving towards Sahara. “We were horribly attacked by Team Galactic, and then poor Sahara got possessed, and Xavier… Xavier Diamond…,” Fantina began to cry, and Vanessa gave her a reassuring one armed hug.

    “I understand, I’ve dealt with Team Galactic often enough,” she explained. “I’m good friends with Sahara and Xavier. I’ll make sure Sahara’s awake, then I’ll go and try and find Xavier.”

    “I don’t know if you’ll be able too!” Fantina sobbed, hugging Drifblim, “It
    was dark magic that pulled Xavier away! The blonde woman who led them had a spellbook, a very rare, powerful and dark book that even us Ghost trainers fear! That was what brought, um, Jacquie, out, that is what gave her her power! She sent Xavier Diamond to see his mother, and he and his Drifblim disappeared into the darkness!”

    “It’s Jaki with a K, she ain’t that classy,” Vanessa said, noting Fantina’s interesting accent and way of pronouncing the name, but there were bigger issues to deal with. As Vanessa stroked Sahara’s hair, she wondered if the magical spellbook was something Mr Adiem knew about, and pondered what the repercussions would be now that Team Galactic had it.

    The Hearthome Contest Hall doors slid open for the final time, and Matthew walked slowly out of the hall. Leah had her arms wrapped around him, tears still streaming from her bloodshot eyes, but her sobbing had been silenced. Peter walked behind them, too in shock to say anything, but had brought his Mime Jr. out to play with. He now sat on his shoulders with a saddened Piplup, holding Matthew’s egg in his hands. It was brown and cream striped, and Peter wanted to talk about it. But the Pearl’s walked out in silence, too shocked by what had happened to say anything.

    “Matthew, aren’t those your friends?” Leah whispered hoarsely, and Matthew looked up, surprised to see Vanessa lying besides the stirring Smash, a purple hair woman alongside. Another third female moved into the light, and Matthew’s face lit up a bit to see Cheryl had been waiting for him, sitting at a bench in the hall’s garden. “You go talk to them,” Leah said, pulling herself away from her son.

    “Oh, no Mum, no!” Matthew said, turning back towards her. “You can’t be alone tonight!”

    “I’ll be fine darling, I have Peter and my Pokemon,” Leah said quietly, ruffling Peter’s hair in a way that made him smile. She gave Matthew a kiss on the check and a quick hug that ended up lasting several moments. Matthew wanted to stay with her and comfort her, but he had a stronger desire to see his friends and find out what had happened, and an even stronger desire to find his father. He didn’t care if he wouldn’t see him until the Sinnoh Grand Festival: Matthew would just win his contests and get enough ribbons to make sure he was there.

    “See you later Feraligatr,” Matthew said to Peter, giving him a quick hug and picked up Piplup and the egg that had caused all this drama.

    “Tell what it hatches into!” Peter said excitedly, before clasping his mother’s hand and walking off. Leah gave Matthew a quick, sad wave, and Matthew and Piplup returned it.

    “Piplup Pip Pip?” Piplup asked, and Matthew looked at the egg.

    “I’m not sure, but I’m going to find out,” he replied. “It caused all this trouble, I should at least see what it holds,” and Piplup nodded in agreement. Vanessa looked up as Matthew walked forwards, giving him a slight nod before returning to examining Sahara’s body with Nutty and Hammer. Cheryl rose up from her seat and walked through the garden, a wide smile on her face, and Matthew turned to face her, pleased to see she was smiling.

    “MATTHEW!” An unfamiliar voice shattered the silence around them, just as Matthew had been about to say something. He turned around to find a blonde haired girl running towards him, red in the face and short in the clothing. “Thank… god… I… caught… you…,” the girl wheezed, coming to a stop. “Very important… need you too… need you…”

    “Excuse me, but who are you?” Matthew asked, exchanging glances with a confused Cheryl.

    “Oh, my name is Bebe!” The girl said, extending a hand for Matthew to shake, which he did so reluctantly. “I manage the Pokemon Storage System, and that’s kind of why I’m here. I was doing a routine check up when I noticed something odd was happening, over near Solaceon Town. I contacted my superior, Bill in Kanto, and he told me I had to find a Dex Holder straight away.”

    “What do you need me for?” Matthew asked, staring over at Vanessa. She shook her head as she moved backwards, Hammer managing to pick Smash up and use it to hide them as they slid away into the darkness.

    “It is very important, but I can’t tell you here,” Bebe said, managing to catch her breath back. “Will you come with me, please? I swear it is important!” Matthew was a bit uncertain, as he had been looking forward to relaxing after the day’s events. Than again, it was nice to be the one called upon to deal with these sort of issues. He looked over at Cheryl for some advice, and was surprised to see she was taking a step forwards.

    “Of course he’ll help, we both will!” She said, shaking Bebe’s hand. The technician beamed happily and did a little a dance.

    “Incident? Is there something I may help with?” Matthew turned as the purple haired woman walked forwards, and gasped as he recognised her as Fantina, the famous ex-coordinator turned Ghost gym leader.

    “Oh Fantina, your help would be really appreciated!” Bebe said, looking more excited by the minute. “Come on everyone, I’ll take you to my car!” Fantina nodded, she and Drifblim walking alongside. Cheryl gave Matthew a smile and headed off, and the coordinator followed after. He gave Piplup a warm smile, confused about both his father and what new mission he was about to go on, but excited about new adventures, what the egg would hatch into, and getting to know Fantina and Cheryl more. Piplup smiled back, and Matthew held onto her as they strutted through the darkening streets.

    “Thank god, I don’t think I could have dealt with that woman for too long!” Vanessa said with a smile, her head poking out of the alleyway. Smash had Nutty and Hammer on his back, with Sahara in between them still out to the world. Vanessa sighed as she flopped down on the Rock Snake, very tired and sore after her fight with Emerson. She was ready to fall asleep and turn her brain off, simply let the problems slide past her. But Sahara was still unconscious, Emerson was on the loose, Galactic had a fancy book and Xavier was stuck in darkness: with Matthew buggering off, Vanessa was stuck with all these things to deal with.

    “I better get cracking…” the red headed girl sighed, and the meditating Meditite alongside her nodded in agreement. Vanessa smiled down at him and gave him a soft pat as she got off of Smash. “Oh Giant Rock One, will you lead me back to where Xavier disappeared?” She called up, but was annoyed to see Smash wasn’t listening, his attention focusing on the ground instead. “What is it now?” Vanessa sighed, and walked up to where Smash was staring at. A purple box had suddenly appeared on the ground, a rainbow mixture of colour glowing in the very center.

    “On!” Smash growled, his face getting closer towards the light. Vanessa was puzzled by how it had gotten there that she didn’t remember something Xavier had told her, something involving the Underground back at Eterna City…

    “Smash, wait!” Vanessa cried, grabbing the jagged bit on his head to pull him back.

    But it was too late.

    Vanessa cried out as she fell through the darkness, feeling her umbrella against her leg and Smash around her body but seeing nothing. She wondered if Sahara, Nutty and Hammer had remained on, her stomach churning as she turned upside down, light rising up to greet her…

    With a painful thud, Vanessa landed, a cloud of dust filling her eyes and nose. Laughter and cheering erupted around her as the ground shook violently, Smash letting out a furious roar. Vanessa could barely see, but she could make figures out in the darkness: burly men around purring machines, shouting things such as ‘we’ve got her’ and ‘REVENGE!’ The pieces quickly came together in Vanessa’s fast moving brain, and dread replaced the anger inside of her head.

    “Oh fuck,” she growled, and turned around to see who she’d been expecting: Emerson, leaning over her, his face hideous as always but now spotted with several bruises and cuts. He was smiling a vicious, nasty smile though, and had a rock clutched in his right hand.

    “I lied. Oops!” He said, and laughed as he thrust the rock forwards. Vanessa was too sore and too tired to react, and allowed the rock to smash into her temple, leaving an unconscious Sahara undefended, both of them at the mercy of The Slayers.

    At least she was resting.

    Darkness had fully settled at Team Galactic’s headquarters. The main building had most of its lights off, saving the unregistered power they had for their experiments in the morning. Only one room was well lit, and had every reason to be. Cyrus’ office was plainly decorated to the average eye: a simple oak desk in front of windows overlooking a large, sprawling city, maps of the different regions, photographs of snowy mountains and ancient towns, a tall bookcase packed to bursting, and several pot plants to give it an good office feel.

    Charles had not stepped outside of the training facility before, and was left in awe as he and Addison stood at the back of Cyrus’ office, impressed at how grand and well decorated it was. However, he felt as if there was more to the room, something Cyrus was hiding behind the green and brown walls. Minerva stood a few feet in front of them, stiffly posed and worry in her eyes, glancing towards the man whose home they were in.

    Cyrus had been flicking through the spellbook for some time, his back turned against them, his emotions and reactions unknown. They could only presume he was happy with them, as he wanted banished or harmed them yet, instead snatching the book from Minerva’s hand and began prowling through the pages. Charles wondered how much power the book contained, though based on how it brought Jaki out, he was slightly concerned about what Cyrus planned on doing.

    “Excellent!” Cyrus boomed after fifteen minutes, turning around against the light coming from a lamp on his desk. His face looked demonic in the shadows cast against his features, and Addison let a yelp escape that summed up Charles’ thoughts. “You have done brilliantly, and you will all be rewarded in due course! I would give you your praise now, but there is an urgent matter to deal with,” he explained, clutching the book against his chest like a soft toy.

    “What is it now?” Addison asked, a slight whinge coming into her voice. Cyrus stepped forwards, smiling a smile of both happiness, insanity and rage all at once, and Charles knew that their next goal wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. Cyrus stopped next to Minerva, extending the book out towards Charles, a mad glint in his eyes.

    “Are you ready two ready to raise the dead?”

    If anyone wants to be alerted of when the next part begins, just let me know! :D

  14. #59
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    Default Re: Galactic: Home is Where the Heart is Pt 5

    There may be some spacing errors due to the copying and pasting process, but I am not sure what caused them. Sorry for this issue


    Sahara awoke with a start.

    She had no idea where she was. She had no idea who she was with. The last thing she could remember had been battling against Xavier inAmityPark, but she was certain something had happened since then.Saharahad no idea where she was in darkness, or why she could hear laughter echoing all around her. She wanted to find out, to see what had gone wrong, where she was, and who had possibly captured her. But a feeling rose up in her throat, andSaharacouldn’t stop herself as she threw up, not sure if the hard, cold spot was on was clear.

    “Fuck me…,” she groaned, retching once more, the feeling in her mouth disgusting. Saharawiped her mouth on her sleeve. She was still trapped in darkness, but now there was small shufflings of noise from the side, and Sahara turned around frightfully, wondering if someone had captured her and put her in a pit with a group of vicious Pokemon.
    “Pachirisu Pach Pachi!” Nutty suddenly appeared before her, her white fur glowing yellow with electricity. Sahara was delighted to see her, but the light was blinding in the darkness and she had to squint as she adjusted.
    “Hey there! What’s going on, where are we?” She called with a smile, staring curiously around the room. The large outline of an Onix and small shadows created by a meditating Meditite told Sahara that more of her Pokemon were out, but someone lying unconscious nearby attracted the real attention. “Who is it?”Sahara asked in shock, scrambling across the ground, rocks stabbing into her hands and knees. Nutty ran alongside, and the yellow glow revealed a head of flaming orange hair and a variety of sparkling diamonds. “Vanessa! Is she alright? What is going on, why are we down here?”Sahara asked quickly. She shut her eyes and tried to remember seeing Vanessa, but all she could remember was seeing Xavier and possibly the gym leader Fantina, and than a cold, horrible feeling seeping through her…

    “Pachi Pach Risu Pachi!” Nutty squealed and ran forwards, taking the light with her. Sahara felt around Vanessa’s neck for a pulse, all while watching where Nutty had run to: the sparking light revealed a large wall of misshapen rocks piled tightly together, not fitting in with the smooth wall of rock on either side.

    “Let me guess: someone has kidnapped us and trapped us in here?”Saharaasked in an almost bored tone, and Smash grunted in acknowledgement, causingSaharato sigh. “I should’ve known… is there a bomb or some sort of booby trap here as well?” Smash growled again, and Nutty fired a weak Spark upwards. It exploded, temporarily illuminating a large steel box that was placed high above them. “Oh, of course! What fun,”Saharagroaned. She was getting pretty sick of people trying to kill her that it was beginning to get boring. No one else seemed to be around, but the laughter on the other side told her someone was waiting for them to die, and had clearly thought that Sahara, Vanessa and their Pokemon would be completely incapable of managing to escape in some degree. ButSaharaquickly realised that if it was easy to escape from, than Smash or Hammer could have used a move to free themselves.

    “This may be a bit harder than I’m thinking, won’t it?”Saharasighed, and Nutty and Smash nodded again, and they slumped down on the ground.Saharastared around the strange cave they seemed to be trapped in, wondering how long it will be until the bomb went off, and thinking of a way to escape. They would need a powerful force to break through the rocks, something stronger than Smash, Hammer and Nutty combined.Saharawas tempted to send Aqua out and see if that did anything, but she highly doubted it would help. But the idea of water suddenly put an idea in her head… it would be risky, very risky, but it might just be the only chance they had to finish this quickly….

    “Nutty, I need you to shock me,”Saharasaid, boldly getting to her feet and staring towards the rocks, hoping this plan would work.

    Outside, the Slayers were roaring with laughter and becoming a bit giddy with glee. After the

    death of The General, they had laid low for a few days, trying to work out a revenge strategy.

    They heard the news of the Mt Coronet incident and realised that the Dex Holders, namely Vanessa, must have been involved. They headed towardsHearthomeCity, where they encountered Emerson once again. He helped them set up a plan, the teenage boy just as willing to kill Vanessa off as they were. Vanessa had quite easily fallen into it, and quite soon she would be blown to smithereens.

    “I cannot wait until we hear the boom,” Armstrong, current ring leader until an official vote was taken in a few days time, said maliciously as he stared towards the rocks. Emerson simply nodded, too focused on the eventual outcome to bother speaking. Motorbike headlights were filling the dimly lit tunnel, providing a perfect spotlight for them when the rocks would finally came crashing down in front of them. But as they stood there, several dozen of them, all laughing and jeering, they watched the rocks vibrate suddenly, enough force to jut a few smaller rocks out and cause dust to trickle down.

    “What is that?” Emerson said anxiously.

    “It is probably just that Onix trying to knock the wall down,” Armstrong replied, showing little care at the possible flaw in their plans. “The wall will hold up until the bomb explodes, don’t worry about it!”

    “I am worrying,” Emerson snapped, turning towards the older man. “I thought we’d be torturing them or something, not locking that bitch up and blowing her to pieces! I agreed to help to get a show and get some proper revenge, not cowardly hide behind some rocks and let a little box do all the work!” Armstrong turned to Emerson and pulled a long knife out of his pocket that managed to shine in the tunnel’s dimness. He held it threateningly up to Emerson’s face, and opened his mouth to say something, when there was a sudden explosion. The cave wall they had created was blown to pieces, an orange cloud blasting through the rock and sending the closest motorbikes, and their riders, spinning back into the darkness of the cave. Emerson and Armstrong smashed against the opposite wall, the knife cutting across thebridgeofEmerson’s nose. They had barely slumped to the floor unconscious, their last thoughts wondering why the bomb had exploded so close to the entrance, when figures stirred in the dust rising up from the entrance.

    “Such silly little boys,” Crystal laughed as she walked over the limp body of one of the gang members. “Such attractive boys, yes, but still very silly to be so close to an exploding bomb.” Nutty and Smash simply growled as the Onix moved out of the cave, Hammer placing the still unconscious Vanessa on his back. Crystal stared around at the destruction she had caused by redirecting the bomb’s shockwave directly to the blocked off entrance: many of the bikes lights had been smashed out, and most of the bikers lay slumped over rock or machine, the ones still conscious trying fearfully to move away.

    “I would like to exercise the body a bit more,”Crystalsaid in a high pitched laugh that caused Nutty to roll her eyes, “but asSaharadid let me come out, I think I won’t push my luck for now and do my job then, shall I?” Nutty and Smash nodded, andCrystalsmiled as he hands turned a shining pink. “Hang onto your ginger tarts,” she said, laughing once more, and smashed her palms into the ground. The entire ground turned a glowing pink and seemed to jitter slightly, similar to how Mt Coronet had practically turned to jelly several days ago.Crystalsmiled warmly and smashed her hands once again: the ground shook violently, moving in a way not normally possible. The entireSlayers gang was sent flying aside, and Smash began to glide across the rippling surface as well. Nutty leapt onto his tail, and his tail wrapped around Crystal who was laughing with glee at what she had just done. The force was enough to cause her eyes to turn pink, the telekinetic being pulled away for the time being.

    OnceSahara’s eyes returned to normal, she collapsed sideways on Smash, and the ground came to a steady stop. Smash jolted forwards, causing everyone onboard him to fall and pile onto the ground. Nutty let out a groan while Hammer simply put himself into a more comfortable position, continuing to meditate.Saharaand Vanessa groaned and began to stir, rubbing their heads and other body parts as they began to get up.

    “Where are we, what happened?” Vanessa moaned, and than looked down. “Damnit, I’m still wearing this. If its aftermidnight, someone’s going to have hell to pay!” She said threateningly, andSaharaforced a smile as she leant up against Smash.

    “You’ve got a few minutes, don’t worry,” she said, checking her Poketch, and Vanessa sighed with relief. “And in answer to your prior questions, I believe some people kidnapped us and locked us in a cave and were going to blow us up.”

    “I remember now – it was those fucking Slayers and Emerson!” Vanessa hissed as she unzipped her dress and discarded it in the tunnel. “Did they get blown up in the explosion?”

    “No idea,Crystalwas out, and –,”Saharabegan, but Vanessa made an ‘ah’ sound and nodded.

    “That was convenient, good timing on her part, for once,” she chuckled, pulling a plain white blanket out and wrapping it around herself. “So she got rid of them for us? How nice of her! I would love to stay and chat and tell you about what you got up to today, because that sounds very interesting, but I have a splitting headache and feel like having an early night so we can find a way out in the morning.”

    “Sounds like a plan,”Saharasaid with a smile, and slipped her clothes off out under her coat and pulled her sleeping bag and pillow out. Vanessa nodded and nestled up next to Smash, and seemed to fall asleep almost instantly, a skill she was quite capable of.Saharapulled Nutty in close, and Smash wrapped her up closer to him and Hammer, who seemed to ignore them.Saharabegan to fall back to sleep herself, but couldn’t help but wonder why Vanessa had been so quick to presumeCrystalhad come out, and why Sahara had been so quick to play along…

    February 3rd 2010

    Dawn was fast approaching the Sinnoh Region. The moon was creeping back to the horizon, drawing out the inky navy colour from the sky. Shining oranges, yellows and ambers glowing from the east as the sun began the process of rising into the sky, dim light being brought with the beautiful arrangement of colours. Nocturnal Pokemon were returning to their homes, whilst other Pokemon were beginning to rise, ready for a fresh day where many of them wondered if they would be captured.

    On the hills aboveSolaceonTown, a place that barely awoke until aroundmidday, a teenage girl sat staring at the sunrise, resting upon a smooth rock. There was a glazed look in her grey eyes, only a hint of yellow left in them. Her once bronze skin was now a strange shade of grey that made her seem much older than fourteen, and her long brown dress had since faded to a similar colour, much of the fabric badly damaged and almost transparent.

    Teenage was the operative word to describe this girl’s age: technically, she was over 2000 years old. And dead.

    Charlotte Vile sighed as she watched the sky lighten up above her, a flower floating in front of her, the petals slowly being picked away by invisible fingers. She had been resting when the voice of the being that killed her whispered around her, summoning her to the usual spot.Charlottehad enjoyed a peaceful period since the last ordeal she’d gone through, and hoped that this order wouldn’t be the start of anything too time consuming.

    The top of the sun suddenly peaked over the hilly mountains behind, sending golden light shining through. The light fell uponCharlotte, and she shut her eyes, bracing as there was a dazzling flash and a soft thud behind her. This was invisible to the naked eye,Charlottethe only thing, living or dead, that could see this.

    “You know, some people just use this thing called a telephone now days,”Charlottegrumbled as the flower burst into the flame, a soft wind scattering the burning petals into the sky. She turned around the rock to face her master, but found that, as usual, he was hidden away in the shadows of the trees. “What do you want this time?”

    “I have another job for you,” a voice said: it was very masculine, but sounded more powerful and intimidating than a normal male voice, yet retaining a hint of grace and kindness.

    “Oh surprise surprise!”Charlottegroaned. “When was the last time you called me up just so we could go dancing? What happened to you man, you use to be cool!”

    “I don’t have time for your silly jokes,” the voice boomed.

    “I don’t have time to be running around being your little bitch!”Charlotte snapped back.

    “Your dead.”

    “That’s doesn’t mean I don’t do anything! If I don’t scare all those mournful little humans, who will?”Charlotteretorted, smiling widely. The thing the voice belonged to sighed, sending a cold rush throughout the area.

    “The team that has been causing trouble in Sinnoh, you know of them?” He asked, ignoringCharlotte’s humour, and the ghost nodded back. “They are currently trying to attract all the Dark and Ghost Pokemon towards theLostTower, hoping to bring Spiritomb out, and are also trying to raise the dead Pokemon. Some people are going to try and stop them, but I want you to be on hand to help out if necessary. And, while your there, would you mind trying to make it easier for a Dex Holder to escape from the Distortion World?”

    “Do I really have any choice?”Charlottesighed, turning and staring towards the tallest building in the area. “It does seem like a lot of hard work, really… what exactly is in this for me?” She asked, floating along the grass, wondering about the voice’s plans.

    “Charles will be there.” In a flashCharlotte’s mood changed: her pale lips turned from a slight scowl to a wide beam, and her dead eyes nearly glinted in happiness as she came to a halt in floating.

    “Charles.. the hot one, from Johto?” She said happily, twirling her hair around. “I would’ve liked it if he’d accepted that Declan boy’s advances… such a handsome pair they would’ve made… wait, that little Lyla whore isn’t going to be there?”Charlotteasked, suddenly turning vicious. The voice simply said ‘No’ andCharlottelit up again. “I think I’ll be able to spare some time in my busy schedule… I haven’t had any decent eye candy for a while. Just don’t bother me for a few weeks after this though, alright?”

    “Agreed,” the voice said, andCharlottesmiled warmly, floating back towards the edge of the hill, only a few metres away from her rock.

    “I shall do my best to honour you, oh Great Voice of the Trees!” She said, giving the voice a one fingered salute that made it scowl. She turned around laughing, and poised to jump over the edge. “Fuck ya later,” Charlotte called, and fell down the hillside, exploding into a shower of dust a few metres down. The voice waited for her to go, and sighed as his body began to glow a dazzling gold, illuminating a giant horse shaped silhouette across the slowly lightening hillside.

    “I really need to stop trusting her,” the creator of the universe growled as he disappeared into the sunlight. As the golden ball of fire in the sky moved higher into the sky, casting more light and changing the inky sky to a magnificent blue, all traces of the conversation had disappeared. No one would have thought that the one being that existed on this planet that could truly help save it had just been there, along with the god that had killed her so many centuries before.

    Xavier had no idea where he was.

    As his eyes began to open, all he could feel was coldness, a chilling feeling that seemed to coat his entire skin and move with his blood as it flowed through his body. Xavier tried to listen to many noises that sounded around him: it mostly sounded like a lot of wind was coming past, but he couldn’t feel anything pressing against his skin, and knew that whatever was causing this coldness, it wasn’t going to be win.

    From the last thing Xavier could remember, he had fallen into a dark hole, into a realm of darkness that Jaki had opened up, and he had so easily being manipulated into entering. Xavier didn’t know if there was a name or location for this place, but he knew it had something to do with his mother… had he possibly entered the Underworld from the stories he had read as a child? Was this some demonic dimension where the dead went, and now Xavier was a part of this world?

    “Drifblim Blim!” Xavier turned around at this new voice, though he still lay on the ground, and saw a Pokemon floating next to him: a large purple Drifblim, smiling warmly down at him as his bag rested in the curved bits that served as arms.

    “Drifloon, you evolved, congratulations,” Xavier said giving her a pat on the side, and Drifblim smiled warmly back at him. She lowered down and scooped Xavier off the ground, lifting him steadily onto his feet. Xavier nodded respectfully at her, but was unable to look away at the sight that behold him as he looked around.

    It literally seemed like a demonic dimension: darkness and blackness swirled around Xavier, as if the sky and wind had just been dyed a horrific colour. There didn’t seem to be any sun or moon, yet it was glowing as brightly as the middle of summers day. But was what was strangest was the ground Xavier was standing on: it was hard brown rock, yet it was only about the width of an average footpath, and than there was nothingness on either side. Xavier walked to the edge and stared down, not knowing if this world he had entered even had a bottom or if he would simply fall for all eternity. He did notice there were more sections of rocky land of varying sizes down below, along with some sections of rippling water and whole forests of trees, all in ground that seemed unconnected and floating in the mid air.

    “Drifblim, do you have any idea what this place is?” Xavier asked curiously, almost as if he was asking what the definition of a word was. Drifblim shook her entire body in response and Xavier nodded, pulling his bag up onto his back. “I would like to wander around and try to find a way out, but I am not sure if that would be possible,” Xavier explained, and Drifblim nodded in agreement, twirling around, trying to see any possible exits herself. Xavier walked further forwards, moving towards the edge of the ground he was on. It simply came to a sudden stop, a large gap of nothing between this land and the one on the other side, which had several trees swaying slightly.

    “There must be a way of getting around this place,” Xavier grumbled. He was more annoyed about the perplexing set up of this world than he was about being in it: the fact there was no clear path or way of occupying it logically was confusing and frustrating him, and Xavier began to forget all about his mother and Jaki as he kicked dirt from the ground, hoping for some sort of sign.

    There was a sudden rumble, and Xavier and Drifblim looked up: a section of land was moving across from the other section. It was about the size of a floor tile and Xavier wondered how it would possibly be able to hold him up, or how it was possibly moving forwards. But as the moving ground tile came to a shuddering stop in front of him, Xavier was able to realise something: if he remained on this floating lump of earth, there was no way he would be able to find his way out of this realm.

    “Come on then Drifblim: onwards seems to be the only way,” Xavier said, and he stepped forwards onto the tile. It shuddered and began to move forwards, and Drifblim hovered alongside Xavier as he stared around at the various lumps of earth scattered around the atmosphere, wondering where he was and if an exit was even possible.

    At first glance of the Lost Tower, Matthew decided he didn’t really want to be heading inside.

    The tower was bland and grey, and could easily pass off an average five storey office building that just happened to be located in the middle of a roughly dug pit. The only striking features the tower possessed are its intricately designed pointed roof with that found a giant carved PokeBall and its columned doorway heading into the Pokemon graveyard. There were no windows but gaps to breathe, and it gave off the illusion of getting narrower as it got towards the top, but was otherwise perfectly normal.

    It wasn’t the boringness of the tower that put Matthew off. It was the sense of coldness and dread he felt as he, Cheryl, Fantina and Bebe walked towards the natural staircase that led down towards the entrance. Matthew could feel his entire body shivering slightly, and was convinced that his heart was beginning to slow in its beats. He had been to graveyards before, but there was something evil about this place, and after fleeing from exploding bridges and burning forests, Matthew had been hoping to go to a less dark and depressing place.

    “Are you sure this is the place?” Cheryl asked nervously, and Matthew was glad that someone else was as nervous as he was.

    “According to my calculations, this is the place,” Bebe replied, and her eyes looked rather wide with worry as well. The previous night, Bebe had explained to them as she drove them out of Hearthome that some sort of signal was influencing the Ghost and Dark types in the Solaceon Town area. It was influencing the local Pokemon Center as well, causing Pokemon to be dragged from the PC System and move without control of their bodies towards a location. Bebe did some complicated technical work, and worked out that the signal was coming from the very top of the Lost Tower, around the triangular roof, and they indeed saw Pokemon moving towards it.

    “There is no need to be worried!” Fantina boomed dramatically, her loud voice cutting through the scared silence Matthew, Cheryl and Bebe had created. “I come here all the time to do training with my Pokemon! Lots of people don’t like it because they think that ghosts are going to come and gobble them up or something silly like that, but nothing like that has ever happened to me! Besides, the wild Pokemon that roam here respect me, so you shall be fine if you stick with me!”

    “We’ll be fine until whoever’s causing this signal decides to attack us,” Cheryl grumbled. “This has Team Galactic written all over it… doesn’t it?” She said, turning awkwardly round to Matthew.

    “It seems like something they would do. They are always catching Pokemon whenever we are up against them, so I can see them doing something like this to get a few Dark types in their midst,” Matthew replied, still staring up at the tower and wondering about the feeling that crawled through his body, leaving him feeling like an emotionless shell. This must be how Xavier feels Matthew thought, and a smirk crossed his face at his little joke.

    “CHERUUUUUB!” A noise erupted from the many bushes that were located nearby, and all of their heads turned around towards the source: a huge Mightyena suddenly bounced from the bushes, eyes glinting madly and mouth open wide to reveal sharp, shiny teeth. Cheryl and Bebe screamed as the Dark type bounded forwards, leaping down the stairs and towards the entrance.

    “Bloody hell!” Cheryl gasped, clutching her chest and breathing deeply.

    “That Mightyena couldn’t have made that noise,” Matthew said seriously, staring back towards the bushes. There was a slight rustling of leaves, and the other three looked around a tiny Pokemon came scuttling out: it looked like a large pink berry had sprouted legs and was trying to run from something, though the leaf on its head looked rather limp.

    “Poor thing!” Matthew cried and rushed towards it, pulling his PokeDex out as he ran. The Pokemon stopped scuttling as he approached, looking up at him with big tear filled eyes. “It’s a Cherubi. It must have been trampled by that Mightyena,” Matthew explained in a sad voice, scooping the crying Cherubi up into his arms. It looked at him with its huge eyes that were swimming with tears, and he felt even more sadness rise up in him. “Are you alright?”

    “Rubi Cheru,” the Cherubi replied, looking even sadder as Cheryl came rushing forwards with a Super Potion, beginning to carefully spray it onto the bent leaves.

    “You’ll be fine, Cheryl won’t hurt you,” Matthew told the Cherubi softly, and it nodded, still looking very sad and trembling slightly, looking up at the two faces high above. Matthew smiled warmly at her and rubbed its soft pink skin gently, and the Cherubi began to relax slightly. Cheryl gave Matthew a pat on the shoulder and smiled at him, and the teenage boy smiled back, feeling slightly warmer at her kindness.

    “We do need to get going!” Fantina called out. “We can stop more innocent Pokemon being hurt if we get inside and put a stop to this!”

    “Right, of course!” Matthew said. “We can’t leave this little sweetie though… do you want to come with us for the time being, and than we can cure you once we’ve done this little task?” The Cherubi seemed to think for a moment and then nodded, still looking a bit shaky and sad but managing to relax now.

    “We can take turns holding her,” Cheryl said, and Matthew nodded as they walked back towards the stairs, Fantina and Bebe waiting at the bottom. Bebe’s machine was bleeping, and a 3D analysis on it showed a signal to be coming from the very top of the tower.

    “We’re going to have to climb, just so you know,” the technician told them nervously. “Make sure we stick together, have our PokeBalls ready and try not to disturb anything!”

    “The ghosts will lead us towards them and provide us with protection,” Fantina said, and she took the first step forwards towards the entrance. Coldness was seeping back through Matthew, but he had promised Bebe that he would help her, and he wanted to prove himself in front of Fantina, a great coordinating legend, and to get close to Cheryl, who he wanted to clear the air officially with.

    “Let’s get this over with,” he said, and followed after, a shuddering Bebe and deeply breathing Cheryl on either side. The Cherubi buried its head into Matthew’s chest and quivered, and Matthew couldn’t help but feel like turning around and hiding himself, not knowing what horrors this Pokemon graveyard might hold for them.

  15. #60
    Moderator AceTrainer14's Avatar Forum Head
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    Default Re: Galactic: Boo Part 1

    Charles didn’t think he had seen so many Pokemon crammed into one room in his entire life. And after this experience, he didn’t want to suffer through it again.

    Arriving in the early hours of the morning alongside Roshonda and Addison, Charles found himself entering what appeared to be Draco’s own private Dark and Ghost type zoo. A large metallic black antennae sat upon what appeared to be a computer hard drive, and Draco had been transmitting the signal for over twenty four hours in order to tap into the minds of these two types of Pokemon, drawing them towards the tower and towards large cages that were waiting for them.

    It was quite pitiful watching furious Mightyena, howling Gastly and Haunter, glaring Misdreavus and Mismagius, squawking Murkrow and Honchkrow, Crawdaunt, Cacturne, Umbreon, Shuppet, Dusknoir, around thirty different species of Pokemon fighting against the specially designed cells that prevented them from biting or phasing their way out. The cages took up most of the space on the top floor, the rest being taken up by some of the more extravagant Pokemon graves Charles had ever seen, including what looked like a mausoleum made of marble with a single Goldeen buried inside.

    “Some of this stuff is really…,” Charles had begun saying when they walked in.

    “Over the top, snobby rich people bullshit?” Roshonda had finished for him, and Charles and Addison sniggered as they gathered near Draco. The Pokemon Poacher and Grunt Trainer had been busy adjusting all of the cages to get them in the right position. He seemed a bit more on edge than normal, and looked startled to see the three grunts had been teleported to him already.

    “Do you have the book?” Draco asked quickly, rushing forwards and beginning to pat the grunts repeatedly, as if the spell book would suddenly leap from their clothes. Charles reluctantly pulled the thick, dark spell book out of a bag that Charon had given him, staring down at the purely evil object in his hands as he passed it over. He knew the power that the book held within its pages, and knew that in the wrong hands, it could go down very badly. And as Draco snatched it away like a toddler grabbing candy, Charles knew that its current owners weren’t best suited to the job.

    “Excellent!” Draco hissed, cradling the book like a newborn baby for a few moments before softly placing it next to the transmitter. “We will only need it at the end of this little mission. We stay here until a certain Pokemon arrives that Cyrus thinks would be very handy when on our side. For the time being, just guard the cages and the hostages I snatched up upon my arrival, and when a Pokemon arrives put it in a cage, alright?” The three grunts nodded, and Draco sent them off to work.

    It had been several hours since then, though Charles had lost count in the severe boredom he was suffering under this job. Elle was out to keep him company as they sat down on a gold plated gravestone for someone’s Machop that had died decades ago. Charles was hoping for something exciting to happen soon, but whenever a Pokemon arrived, the latest being a Mightyena, Roshonda would leap forwards and put them into a cage with help from her Nidoqueen.

    “Eva Eevee Eve,” Elle sighed, yawning and stretching out on the dirty floor and giving Charles a moody look.

    “Hey, I’m bored as well!” Charles said, giving her a wide eyed glare. “Let’s just wait it out and see what happens when this other Pokemon arrives, alright?” Elle simply grumbled and curled up into a ball, her tail beating the ground furiously.

    “If your bored, how do you think we feel!” An angry voice boomed from the corner of the room, and Charles and Elle glanced towards the three hostages that Draco had captured as they mourned the loss of a loved Pokemon. Charles only knew that the parents were called Jim and Carol and their teenaged son was Brody, but hadn’t bothered to try and make conversation with them. They screamed of being rich though, with Carol wearing an elegant green dress and Jim in a flash three piece suit that seemed rather unnecessary to mourn a dead Pokemon. Carol had been whimpering for most of the time Charles had been there, and Jim was constantly shouting angrily at the grunts, but Brody simply sat there looking moody and reluctant, glancing constantly towards Addison and her pulled up Galactic skirt that Charles was sure to be on the boy’s mind.

    “You people are disgusting!” Jim yelled furiously, fighting against the chains that tied him and his family to a gravestone. “When I get out of here, I am calling the police and going to report every last one of you! You will be hunted down and thrown in jail for the rest of your lives, you miserable little punks!”

    “SHUT UP!” Addison roared, and she grabbed one of the machine guns that Draco had in his supplies. Jim stopped talking as the weapon was pointed directly in his face, and Carol burst into more tears at the sight of it. “Keep your voice down or I will give your wife some lovely crimson make up, got it?” Jim nodded, shaking slightly as he stared down at the deadly device, and Addison smiled and curtseyed down at them. She strolled off with a scowl on her face, and Charles definitely caught Brody’s eyes following after her.

    “I think you may have an admirer,” Charles said as Addison came by, and she flipped her long hair around as she turned, catching Brody as he turned awkwardly away. Addison shrugged and sat down next to Charles, Roshonda walking over to join them.

    “He can stare as much as he wants, I am not a fan of rich little boys who have probably taken a lot of money from their parents,” she said, tossing her machine gun asides as Persian leapt over another gravestone to join them. Elle saw the sharp clawed beast and quickly hurried away next to Charles.

    “What do you have against rich people?” Roshonda asked, and Addison simply shook her head, her long beautiful hair shaking with it.

    “Oh, it is a long story, one that I would gladly tell,” she said, glancing towards Charles, “if only someone else wished to divulge a few of their own stories.” Charles sighed and rolled his eyes.

    “I’ve told you before, I’m not going to talk about my life in Johto!” He growled, glancing away to avoid the glare of the two women. “It would be too long of a story anyway, and I don’t really want to talk about…,” but Charles suddenly stopped mid sentence, staring in shock towards another mausoleum only a few feet away, and seeing the two familiar faces that were smiling back at him.

    One was an elderly man, sitting cross legged with a warm smile on his face. Charles had not figured out where he recognised him from yet, but knew it was the same man who had spoken to him twice at the Sandgem Pokemon Center. There was no Pokemon by his side this time, but only something that was a lot more terrifying: a smiling teenage girl, waving her right hand slowly and giving Charles a seductive look, her legs apart and her left hand running slowly up her side. Charles shivered in repulsion and felt Elle move around his legs, but by the time she had gotten up to examine things, Charlotte was silently laughing and dragging the old man backwards into the mausoleum.

    “What is up with you?” Roshonda asked, walking into Charles’ line of vision and staring towards the spot. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost or something!” Charles simply nodded, too in shock by what he had just seen to make any noise. Though Roshonda and Addison kept asking questions, he tuned them out and stared down at Elle, who knew what he would have seen, and was just as horrified as he was.

    It wasn’t just a ghost he had seen… it was the creature of Charles’ nightmares, and he knew Charlotte wasn’t here to make things easy.

    The Underground was always a relatively quiet place, yet it still felt very eerie walking through the dirty passages in silence. Sahara, Vanessa, Nutty and Monferno walked together in a row, Nutty and Monferno providing extra light for their trainers through the occasional spark and Monferno’s constant tail flame. Strange shadows were cast against the roughly dug walls, and Sahara kept thinking they were Pokemon lurking in the shadows, waiting for them to pass by. Noises sound off in distant tunnels, passages and caves, and Sahara tried her best to keep to a brisk pace.

    They had been walking for over an hour, trying to find someway of exiting or someone to help them out, but the tunnels were deserted and there were no handy green EXIT signs glowing down in the darkness. They both knew it would be hard work, Vanessa due to some pass travels here and Sahara due to her family’s history in this place, and were not looking forward to the walk. The only things they could see clearly were jewels and objects glinting away in the walls, and Vanessa, dressed today in an all black ensemble of leather jacket, denim mini skirt, high heels and gloves, kept pausing to grab a few of the looser objects from the dirt, but didn’t have the appropriate tools and was afraid of attacking the walls with her weapons in case a cave in was caused.

    The two walked in silence, Vanessa wanting to focus on any sounds that occurred around them, which Sahara was willing to agree to. They seemed to have decided to leave their kidnapping by the Slayers behind them, presuming they had been killed by the explosion, sent away by Crystal or simply fled. Sahara still hadn’t mentioned how she had allowed Crystal to come out, and decided that it was best to let Vanessa think what she thought and not risk receiving any lectures or judgement for not controlling the personalities. Vanessa had mentioned about Jaki and Xavier, and Sahara struggled to think about where Jaki had sent her friend, if he survived and what else Jaki might have done during her brief outburst.

    “Stop,” Vanessa suddenly said, and Sahara came to a quick halt, the sudden stop sending all thoughts of her personalities out of her head. “Can you hear that?” Vanessa whispered as she reached for her umbrella.

    “I can’t hear any – wait,” Sahara said, and she focused upon a sound coming from the nearest tunnel: it was loud and noisy, and sounding as though a lot of people were talking.

    “Think its more Slayers?” Vanessa hissed, grabbing her umbrella firmly as Monferno raised his fists.

    “No, I don’t think so,” Sahara said, taking a step forwards. “It sounds similar to a market I use to go to when I was younger. Maybe there is some sort of under ground black market going on down here?”

    “Interesting,” Vanessa said, letting her umbrella fall to her side and the two girls stepped forwards and glanced around. A lot of light was shining from halfway down the tunnel, and a lot of people seemed to be moving around what looked like tables and displays: something was definitely going on. “Looks market like to me. Want to check it out? We can probably find a way out.”

    “Hopefully,” Sahara said, picking Nutty up and leading the way down. Vanessa and Monferno followed a few steps behind, and the two ventured down towards the crowd and noise. The closer the got, the louder and brighter things became, and Sahara turned back and beamed at Vanessa as she clasped her hand, who clasped Monferno’s hand in return, and they dived excitedly into the mass of people.

    The stalls and people were all very different as they squeezed between people and glanced over heads and between bodies. Most of the stalls seemed to be selling rare objects found in the underground to a variety of people: people covered in dirt and wearing tatty clothes, wide eyed collectors reaching out to try and grab the jewels, bushy beard mountain men with big stomachs and even bigger packs, and a few normal looking people just interested in grabbing the objects.

    More stalls began to venture off fossils and multi coloured shards and towards slightly more normal things: gigantic books that looked more like leather bound bricks, bags of special “Underground Manure” with a picture of a smiling Sandshrew next to a pile of dirt, a strange array of necklaces and bracelets that were attracting people with long hair, long robes and a smell that Vanessa told Sahara to not question if she knew what was good for her.

    “This place is really quite amazing!” Sahara called out over the noise from the around two hundred people crammed into this one tunnel, and Vanessa nodded, not bothering to shout back a response over the noise. Beautiful and repulsive smells mixed together in the air, and Sahara was constantly turning around, staring from a rack of clothes to a table laid out with second hand junk, wondering where to stop and start shopping.

    “Pachi Pach Ri Ri!” Nutty suddenly called out, and Sahara spun around as she felt her Pachirisu leap away, not quite sure where she had gone too. There was a white blur over the head of a tall woman with pink hair, and Sahara quickly squeezed through.

    “Why did she come here?” Vanessa asked, thumping up against Sahara as they pushed between people. There were shouts as Monferno angrily pushed his way through, shaking his fist grumpily at the people standing packed together, and Vanessa patted him on the head. Sahara, however, was focused at the table Nutty had landed on and the variety of objects on display: from jewels to bone, indistinguishable knick knacks to tightly wrapped parcels, there was a lot of things here, but Nutty seemed to be focused on something else entirely. It was an egg, pink with white stripes, the bright colours being the thing to attract Nutty over.

    “Pokemon Egg?” Vanessa asked, and the hiker who manned the stall nodded.

    “I got it from a nurse, said it had been left behind by a Chansey that moved to another center,” the dirt covered man explained. “She traded it for some rare Hoenn medicine, but none of the lot down here are interested in Pokemon – your Monferno and Pachirisu are probably the closest they’ve seen to one in months!” The hiker laughed, and passed several cookies that looked like they should be orange but had been burnt to Nutty and Monferno. Nutty nibbled on hers but shivered and spat it out.

    “Nutty!” Sahara gasped, and Vanessa laughed. Monferno sniffed his curiously, eyeing at Nutty, but shoved the entire thing in and swallowed it, his face lighting up.

    “Mon Mon Fer Fer Mon!” Monferno said excitedly and grabbed more of the cookies, making the hiker laugh but caused Vanessa to groan and she reached into her pocket for some money.

    “Oh, it’s fine honey!” The hiker said, shaking his hands. “It’s only a cookie, I can always make more! I usually offer those to some of the folks around here, but that is probably why no one comes round anymore – they all had the same reaction as this Pachirisu!” Sahara and Vanessa laughed as Monferno grabbed some more and Nutty pressed her ear against the egg, clearly wondering if anything was inside.

    “It looks like Nutty really wants the egg,” Sahara said with a slight smirk, and examined the card placed next to it. “Ten thousand dollars! There is no way I can afford to buy this… sorry Nutty, maybe we can find something else for you to play with that isn’t so pricey,” Sahara said apologetically. Nutty moved away from the egg looking sadly at it, and Sahara felt a pang in her heart at the expression on her face. “Don’t worry, there must be something here I can afford!”

    “I highly doubt it!” Vanessa scoffed, causing the hiker to scowl slightly. “All these things are priced well in the ten thousands! That’s probably what’s driving customers away when they can get a lot of this stuff for half the price.”

    “BAH!” The hiker growled, taking the plate of cookies away from Monferno, who growled slightly. “Their stuff is all fake! I have dug and searched for all my things and traded to get these rare items! A Happiny or Chansey egg is usually priced double what I am offering it for, you should be grateful!”

    “How is this rare and valuable?” Vanessa asked indignantly, grabbing a large rock off the table. It was looked heavy and very old, with a large dark crack down the middle with several different shaped holes alongside it. The hiker made an ‘aah’ sound and snatched the rock away from Vanessa, holding it up to view properly.

    “Now this… this actually has a story to it! I found it in the deepest, darkest parts of these tunnels, using only a torch to see and my last, nearly broken pick axe,” the hiker explained. “It was locked away inside a chest, and I knew from the ornate gold that is was something valuable! I had to use dynamite to blow it apart, and was a bit disappointed to find this rock. However, an archaeologist and scientist, Hansom someone, said it was a very rare object that he was looking for and demanded it. Of course, I won’t just hand something ‘very rare’ over! I demanded a price which he refused, and still refuses to this day whenever we encounter each through these many tunnels!”

    “This thing, rare? … Seriously?” Vanessa scoffed, putting the rock back down onto the table. “It was probably just some random religious object from centuries ago that some mindless moron accidentally buried. Who on earth is going to pay for that?”

    “Oh, I think I’ll be able to spare some change for it,” a cold, almost metallic voice whispered behind. Sahara and Vanessa slowly turned around to face who was talking, and Sahara quickly seized up as Vanessa took a step backwards in shock. The silk suited man talking to them laughed at their reaction, but his face didn’t show it: his smile was permanently fixed on his pale face, as were his squinting eyes, though nothing was behind his eyelids or within his mouth. Nutty took a leap backwards away from the masked man, and Monferno raised his fists, ready to fight if need be.

    “Who are you exactly?” Sahara asked timidly, watching as Vanessa’s hand crept towards her umbrella in her bag. The masked man looked down at Sahara, still smiling and squinting, and began to answer in his chilling voice.

    “My name is Masquerade, and I would prefer it if you didn’t attack me Vanessa, I would like to get the Odd Keystone and go.”

    “What do you think is the strangest part of this world?”

    “Drif… Blim Drif Drif Blim.”

    “Really? Interesting… I think that the fact that this place seems so lonely is stranger than the colour of the sky and the set up of the sky.”

    “Blim Blim?”

    “Well Drifblim, what is the point of this place? There has to be a reason why it has been created, but no one seems to live here. No houses, no roads, no signs or any order or structure. Something must be behind its creation, but why?”

    Xavier’s Poketch wasn’t working, so he had no exact idea of the length of their travel. He had a feeling time was different here, along with everything else, and he could have walked for five minutes or five hours, no sun or moon to help map their path. Xavier based their process on distance instrad: they had walked past several forests, a number of varying sized ponds and a river of almost ghostly water that flowed from nowhere to nothing. Xavier had on walked on a dozen more moving bits of land, travelling up, down and 360 degrees sideways. Drifblim remained by him, the only companion in the lonely world, trying to help find an exit. But without any maps or signs, Xavier felt hopelessly lost and more confused than he had been in a while.

    “It is a mystery Drifblim,” Xavier continued. “Jaki must know what is here, otherwise she wouldn’t have sent me here. And my mother… what does she have to do with this?” Drifblim simply nodded, not sure what else to say or do. Xavier continued walking in silence, thinking, another tree rising up alongside, another lonely thing in this world.

    “Blim!” Drifblim suddenly hissed. Xavier came to a halt, wondering why she had stopped, and then heard it: a rustling, coming from within the branches of the trees. It was an unnatural movement, causing several leaves to fall to the ground, dying as they did so.

    “Something is there,” Xavier said, and Drifblim nodded, floating a few feet forwards as Xavier took several steps, the rustling of the tree getting more frequent and more erratic. Xavier should have been afraid, but he wanted to see what managed to exist and survive in this strange world, and if they could give a way out.

    “YAAAAH!” A cry erupted from the tree that made Drifblim squeal, and Xavier watched as figures leapt forwards and landed in front of them. For a moment, Xavier thought they were human, but he quickly noticed the fact they were transparent, flickering from normally coloured to pearly white and grey. There were three figures in total, their dead faces angry and scowling, clear wounds across their body.

    “They are wearing the same clothes and wigs,” Xavier said as what he presumed to be ghosts advanced forwards. “They are the same clothes as the Galactic Grunts.”

    “Exactly android!” The lead one hissed, their voice high pitched and echoing before it left their mouth, making it hard to tell if this was a male or female. “You can’t really call these clothes though, just the things we were murdered in that we are stuck wearing, thanks to that bitch ginger friend of yours!” The other two figures let out growls that sounded purely demonic, and Drifblim moved closer to Xavier, who was keeping calm.

    “What exactly do you want from us?”

    “Revenge!” The lead one roared, and the others cheered viciously. “In the name of Cyrus and the Galactic mission, it is time for you to die!” And with another roar, the three figures began to move forwards, their feet not touching the ground.

    “Ominous Wind,” Xavier quickly ordered, moving backwards, and the grunts stopped in their paths, their scowls turning to smirks as they looked at each other.

    “Didn’t you hear us – we’re going to kill you! This isn’t some silly Pokemon battle, you stupid little freak!” One of the other grunts snarled to the other’s amusement.

    “Your attempts to offend me won’t work,” Xavier retorted, “and neither will trying to kill me. You are disembodied spirits, after all.” The grunts let out animalistic snarls and charged forwards once more, looking angrier than before.

    “Blim Blim!” Drifblim squealed nervously, but managed to fire the dark wind. The three ghosts were blasted backwards, their spiritual bodies morphing together, unable to stop themselves from spiralling away from the landmass.

    “Good job, I remembered Ghost is effective against itself,” Xavier said, and Drifblim managed a smile. “We should move before they return. Interesting to see this world’s role though, but I imagine there are even more spirits waiting for us.” He began to move, wishing to get away from this mass before the ghosts returned. But Xavier had barely stepped forwards when swirling noises sounded on all sides, and Drifblim came in close as more figures materialized around them, walking forwards out of nothing. The similarities in outfits and fatal, cut upon wounds made it obvious more grunts had appeared, and none of them looked particularly happy.

    “I really must talk to Vanessa about her murderous tendencies,” Xavier sighed, watching as five more ghosts appeared. “I wonder if this is meant to be Hell… navigation is certainly a pain…”

    “We must kill you now,” one of the grunts screeched. “In the name of Cyrus and the Galactic mission, you die today!” Xavier nodded, looking towards Drifblim as he edged towards her. Drifblim nodded back slightly as Xavier grasped onto her, just as the grunts moved forwards in a blur of shouts and flailing bodies.

    “NOW!” Xavier exclaimed, and Drifblim lifted upwards. The ghosts smashed into each other and exploded into particles, but the last few recovered in time to see Xavier being carried off above them. They launched themselves upwards, ready to give chase.

    “Come on Drifblim, we can dodge them,” Xavier commanded, holding on tight as Drifblim squealed in responded and curved down, avoiding the grunts and swerving around a waterfall that was possibly just a gravity defying river. Xavier could see the ghosts chasing after in the air, and held on as Drifblim plummeted quickly through the darkness to avoid them. They rocketed past more mounds of earth, flew past more moving sections and alongside rivers and waterfalls, and narrowly missed a tree. With her fast movements and quick dodging built up from battles, the grunts were soon left in Drifblim’s dust, but Xavier could see the mass of translucent grey was getting bigger, more deceased grunts joining the chase.

    “We need to find a place to hide,” Xavier shouted as he turned back around, but was taken aback to see the largest mound of earth, about the size of a sports field, had appeared in front of them. Drifblim was trying to swerve out of the way, but was going to fast and was spinning out of control. Xavier clung tightly on as Drifblim sunk like a stone, unable to pull away from the ground that was flying upwards, everything around turned to dark, swirling blurs. Drifblim tried to lessen their speed, but with Xavier weighing her down and the speed they were hurtling at, it was practically impossible.

    The ground rose up, and the force was enough to tear trainer and Pokemon apart. Drifblim, being circular, rolled further away, bouncing a bit as she did so. Xavier rolled several feet, his clothes being torn and his bag whacking against his back, but managed to come to a halt before he rolled over the edge. The eternal darkness that carried on for possibly forever lay in front, and Xavier pushed himself away, not wishing to stare down at how close he had come to being lost in this world forevefr.

    “Are you fine Drifblim?” Xavier called out as he stood up, correcting his clothing and bag and turning towards the Balloon Pokemon. Drifblim lay on the ground several metres away, and stirred slightly as Xavier rushed towards her. She didn’t seemed to be severely injured, only a bit dirty and sore from the impact, but Xavier didn’t want to strain her. “I’m not sure if any of the other Pokemon will be able to survive in this world, so we’ll need to find someone to hide.” But as Xavier spoke, he glanced around and realised they were sitting ducks: this giant land mass had no trees, water or boulders on it, only him and Drifblim in the middle of nowhere. Drifblim floated up slightly, but she was in no fit state to battle: they were trapped.

    “AAARRRGGGHHH!” The ghosts screamed high above, and Xavier could only stare up helplessly as the Galactic grunts got ever closer, moving like a large, vicious, transparent mass of ghostly evil. Drifblim whimpered and nudged up alongside Xavier, and he patted her softly, waiting to see what the ghosts would do to them.

    “Back, get back, disgusting vermin!” The voice was high pitched and echoed like all the others, but Xavier seized up as he recognised the tones deep at the back of his mind. A brighter ghost stepped forwards out of nothing and floated between him and the ghosts, long hair and flowing dressing gown sparkling brightly in the dark world. The ghosts suddenly stopped charging, almost merging together as they came to their sudden halt. They looked angrier than they had before, but did not try to advance past this figure.

    “This is not over, android!” The head grunt from earlier hissed. “We will get you again, when you don’t have mummy for protection!” And in those final words, the ghosts all faded away into nothing. Xavier stood still, staring at their ghostly saviour, unable to believe what was happening but knew it was true.

    “Mother?” Xavier asked. Drifblim gasped, but the figure made no sound, instead falling deadly silent. Slowly, she turned around, and Xavier clung onto Drifblim for support as his mind began to spin around. Aside from a large wound in her neck and her floating, transparent body, Carolina Diamond looked the same as always, and even gave Xavier her usual smile as she stepped forwards.

    “Hello honey. I think we need to have a little chat. Shall we walk?” Xavier simply nodded and walked after his mother, towing Drifblim at his side, ready to get answers to the issues that had been fogging his mind since her death, and hoping they would be what he wanted to hear.

    “Alright… this should be the second floor, so we only have to climb another… two staircases… joy…”

    Matthew and Bebe stepped onto the second floor of the Lost Tower simultaneously. It didn’t take Matthew more than a second to see it was the same as the floor below: hundreds and hundreds of boxes containing the ashes of dead Pokemon, stored across the dusty, dirty floor for all eternity, unless their trainer or a relative came to retrieve their PokeBall – sized coffin. Cold, eerie mist hung all around, and stubby candles flickered only slightly in large metal brackets on all sides. There were many windows on either side, but the mist seemed to block all natural light from entering, and the group was relying on their other senses to avoid trampling on or tripping over the many coffins surrounding them.

    “Can’t we just cause a disturbance and bring Galactic down here?” Matthew groaned as he clutched Cherubi to his chest. The little pink Grass type had stopped getting upset, and was simply watching the proceedings from the comfort of Matthew’s arms, occasionally laughing when Matthew or Cheryl pulled a funny face.

    “That would be extremely risky,” Fantina scolded as she appeared behind, helping to guide Cheryl out of the colder, darker and very poorly maintained staircase. “This building is unstable enough already, and bringing them down here for a confrontation could endanger the safety of this prestigious, iconic structure!”

    “Fair enough,” Matthew mumbled, but secretly wondered what the point was of protecting such an aged, creepy building in the first place. As Fantina and Cheryl caught up, Bebe pulled out a touch electronic device and tapped away at several buttons, her expression getting grimmer with each touch.

    “According to this email the Sinnoh PC Storage System Central Hard drive, the entire system is beginning to glitch. It was just the Dark and Ghost types being drawn out at first, but that breach of defences in spreading. Whatever Galactic has done is close to overriding the entire system and all Pokemon trainers have caught will be released out of their electronic storage,” Bebe explained, looking extremely nervous as she put the device away. Matthew, Cheryl and Fantina exchanged shocked looks, and the group briefly stood in silence, dwelling of the importance of their task.

    “We need to keep moving then and dismantle their signal!” Cheryl said encouragingly. “If we can destroy it in time, than the damages to the system could be averted in time… right?” Bebe pondered this for a second and then nodded, looking slightly happier.

    “The sooner we stop them, the sooner I can get back to the central hard drive and fix things,” she said brightly. “All we have to do is get through this floor, than the third and fourth floors and we’ll find them on the fifth!”

    “As long as the ghosts don’t get us on the way,” Matthew grumbled as they set off again, him clearly the grumpiest of the group. He was sick of the cold, depressing feeling seeping through his body, and wanted to get out into sunshine and away from Galactic.

    “I don’t know if the Ghosts are even here at the moment,” Fantina said in a concerned voice, spinning around in curiosity but managing to look elegant as she did so. “Maybe they have been scared away, or even worse captured!” The gym leader gasped and took several steps forwards. Bebe called out to her and chased after, not wanting to get lost from the expert on this building. Matthew smiled slightly, but he turned to his left and saw Cheryl standing next to him, smiling rather awkwardly, and he felt his lips curl up as well. They hadn’t been alone since the contest, and Matthew remembered how they had nearly had a discussion after he exited the hall. The two had been ready to talk to each other then, but now, in this cold and ghastly environment, things just seemed awkward.

    “Um…. how is that egg of yours?” Cheryl asked, breaking the tension.

    “The egg! It’s fine, very fine, tucked away in my bag nice and safely!” Matthew said brightly, glad to have something to discuss. “You were a brilliant competitor back there, I was honoured to go against you!”

    “Thanks,” Cheryl said, blushing slightly, “but you were excellent as well! You should have gotten the prize straight away, I don’t know what your father – oh…,” Cheryl paused, and began to blush in embarrassment. Matthew felt the tension build back up as he stared sadly down at a curious Cherubi: in all the drama, he had nearly forgotten about the shock revelation about his father shortly after he tried to take Matthew’s winning title from him. It had been one of the most painful experiences of Matthew’s life, and he felt as if he had lost more than he had gained.

    “I’m sorry, I didn’t think!” Cheryl said. Matthew tried to say it was fine, but Cheryl had already moved forwards and wrapped her arms around his shoulders, giving him a tight but reassuring hug. Matthew felt his heart skip a few beats, and was tempted to hug her back. He did find Cheryl attractive, even if she was a few years older, and had worried for some time if he had screwed their possible friendship up by not telling the whole truth.

    “Cheruuuuu!” A voice squealed, and Matthew felt saddened as Cheryl let go, but realised Cherubi must have been getting crushed between the two.

    “Sorry there!” Cheryl laughed, and Cherubi simply pulled a pouting face before smiling widely and giggling. Matthew was still taken aback by the hug, and wanted to say something about it when he heard a noise behind him. It sounded like the wind, but Matthew hadn’t felt anything other than the mist and quickly turned around.

    “Hey there, mind if I get in on that hugging action?” The girl standing behind Matthew said, causing the teenage to cry out and leap backwards. The girl giggled loudly as she stepped forwards, but Matthew and Cheryl collectively took a step backwards. “What’s wrong, don’t I get some loving either?”

    “We don’t know who you are!” Cheryl retorted.

    “What is wrong with your skin?” Matthew retorted a little less nicely, but the girl’s skin did appear to be… transparent. However, the girl simply laughed loudly and moved closer, causing Matthew and Cheryl to move even further backwards and Cherubi buried herself into Matthew’s arms.

    “Nothing is wrong with my skin, as technically I don’t have any,” the girl said, and she shoved her hand straight through her chest. She turned onto her side and Cheryl screamed as her right hand waved at them from out of her back, and the girl laughed shrilly. “Oh god I love scaring you lot, and I would gladly keep it up, but I believe we had work to do!”

    “Get away from us!” Matthew shouted, half trying to be brave and half in fright, and grabbed Cheryl’s hand and tried to flee. But they had barely turned around when the thing they could now see was a ghost dived through their arms, sending a freezing chill that made both Matthew and Cheryl scream and let go of each other.

    “I am not going anywhere,” the ghost girl growled as she stood in front of them. “I have been sent here to help rescue one of your friends and defeat those Team Galactic people, so you’d better learn some respect Matthew Pearl and Cheryl Sapling if you want to live!” Bebe and Fantina’s voices sounded in the distance, calling out to the two, but Matthew and Cheryl simply stood there shaking in fright, not sure what to make out of this ghost girl that knew their names and was half snarling, half smirking at them.

    “Why should we trust you?” Matthew asked, looking around for a place to run. The girl smiled and raised her hands high into the air before clapping them together. Cheryl and Cherubi both screamed as a rainbow of flames shot out of each Pokemon grave on the floor, creating bright yet frightening light that rose metres into the air. Matthew ducked to avoid violet and green flames the ghost sent above them and clutched tightly to Cherubi and Cheryl, waiting for this to be over. There was a strange click, and the light disappeared as quickly as it came. Matthew look up slightly, wondering if things were safe, and found the girl right up in his face, the mist visible through her smiling face, and he shivered and she began to hiss into his ear.

    “You should trust me because I am a very valuable asset. You should trust me because I have been around a lot longer than anyone else you have ever known or will ever meet. You should trust me because I can do things that your carefully nurtured, politically correct and parentally controlled mind would never be able to think of or program if you saw it. You should trust me, Matthew Pearl, because I know your past and I know your future, and wheter I am use to you today or not, I can assure you I will be useful to you in the future, so it’s best if you get on my good side now.” The girl laughed as she pulled away and floated upwards, and Matthew and Cheryl continued to shiver as they rose up, unable to process this thing that had just appeared. “By the way, my name is Charlotte, and we’d better be getting a move on if you want to live.” Matthew and Cheryl simply exchanged looks of wide eyed terror, but they found their legs moving forwards, and wheter it was their bodies reacting without their minds or Charlotte’s magic, they had no choice but to follow the ghost and see where this purely demonic little girl would lead them.

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