GSTA: Hoenn

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  1. #1
    Registered User Noteleks's Avatar
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    Default GSTA: Hoenn

    The sequel to Gotta Steal 'Em All?

    Summary: A year of forced vacation later, Sam is back in action as Hoenn's wiliest thief and richest treasure hunter... As well as being on hell of a smart ass. Back in his home region, things have changed, but most of his old friends are still around. Things are looking nice and lazy until Team Aqua and Magma show up on the scene. Harmless enough at first glance, but Sam quickly notices a predator lurking in the shadows that is not only pitting the two teams against each other, but also dragging the whole region itself in on war of land versus sea.

    Genres: Humor, Action, Adventure, Suspense, Mystery

    Posting schedule: Every Friday. :) You guys have caught up to me so that's how this is going to be.

    Rated T for: the usual sexual themes, language, and the evil that is the Madame.

    Table of Contents: (when I remember, lol)

    Chapter 1: Just below.

  2. #2
    Registered User Noteleks's Avatar
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    Default Re: GSTA: Hoenn

    No copyright infringement intended.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ ____
    A soft ocean breeze was blowing through the beach city of Slateport, carrying the salty warm air of the ocean and the tropical scents of various flowers and fruits. The wind reached everywhere, including the secluded, and very much a secret, villa and its sprawling garden just northwest of the port city. This garden featured a veritable orchard of every kind of berry tree and plants of all sorts spreading from the top of a small cliff and following the natural stream over the edge into the valley below. All types of Pokémon native to the region gathered here mostly at the base of the cliff. They ate the berries, swam in the stream, played with each other harmoniously, and cuddled happily with their master. He could usually be found in his villa, which was easily accessible to th Pokémon due to open doors and multitude of open windows. The stream that ran down the cliff in a gentle waterfall wove right through the center of the house, but it seemed like that was how it always was. The whole home just seemed natural- blending with its surroundings like it had been there from the beginning of time.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ __
    Steven walked the old cobble stone path that was slightly overgrown with plants and vegetation. Professor Birch was beside him, chatting insistently about something related to Pokémon. Steven could tell the man was nervous and excited and those feelings were inspiring the chatter, but he couldn't help but be annoyed by it. The great villa came into sight. The professor stiffened and gaped in wonder and awe. Steven smiled at the sight of it.

    "Just who lives here again?" Birch breathed.

    "Trust me, this guy has just what you need," Steven reassured him with a dry chuckle. It looks expensive, but it hardly cost Sam a penny. He cleared the land for himself, then called in several favors… And decorated it with stolen goods. Too bad he had to leave before it was completed, though... At least he's been able to enjoy it now.

    "So… I heard some… Interesting things about him from Norman."

    Steven laughed. "They have a history together… I wouldn't worry too much. Just… watch where you step."

    "I see..." Birch responded quietly.

    Steven continued walking at the wide entrance to the house, he gestured Birch to just stay put as he went inside. On the west side of the room, huge wide-open windows looked out over the garden and the sea off in the distance. Sam was sleeping on the couch quietly. Cat was curled up on his chest and Ditto (who'd been renamed Michael after much debate) was on the other side of him- both sleeping peacefully. Steven nudged Sam, careful not to disturb Michael, who didn't appreciate being woken up. Sam opened one eye lazily to look at him.

    "What do you want? …" he murmured sleepily.

    "I've got a little job for you."

    Sam closed his eyes. "I'm off duty till midnight tonight, remember? I'm supposed to stay here and do nothing."

    Steven sighed. "Yes yes… I know. That's why I talked to Riley. Here-" Steven dropped the papers on Sam's face unceremoniously. "You've been re-instated. Now get up. I need a favor first."

    Sam sighed and took the papers off his face. "I'm busy doing nothing, no matter what you say."

    "You'll get up or I'll talk Riley into taking another month of your time," Steven stated.

    Sam opened his eyes all the way and glared at him. "Fine. Fine." As he got up, Michael growled softly. Steven cringed at the sound. How on earth a Pokémon so sweet and cute-looking can growl like such a freaking beast is beyond me… Sam was used to this kind of behavior from the Pokémon. He gently placed Cat on the couch in his place, but Michael was awake now and giving Steven an evil glare. Sam got up from the couch with a heavy sigh. "There, I'm up. Happy?"

    "Happy enough. Now come on." Steven gestured. He knew that Sam had hated every second of the year that had past, but it had done him a whole world of good. The hand surgeries had been successful in the sense that they had restored significant use to Sam's left hand- essentially saving his career. But they'd also taken longer that suspected. Sam hadn't spent time in Hoenn for a long time and his battered immune system struggled fighting off some of the region's most common and harmless diseases. They had to delay on any ideas of saving his hand until one particularly bad fever was beaten off and then the restoration surgeries had proven immensely painful. None of that made easier when they found that Sam had an allergic reaction to painkillers. Throughout it all, Sam never complained… Aloud. It had all been sucked down and masked with a deadly poker face. After that nightmare was finally over and he'd simply been left to heal. That's when everything stabilized and the world seemed to right itself.

    Steven hadn't realized at the time, way back in Johto, how gaunt his cheeks were, the shadows under his eyes, paler complexion, and how thin he was. It was obvious now that he'd filled in and taken on the more vibrant, healthy aura. He's gotten even taller… Damn him. He must have a good inch on me now. Steven walked outside with Sam walking behind him with Michael undoubtedly perched on his shoulder.

    Professor Birch was completely startled by the handsome young man who shadowed Steven. Steven introduced them. "Professor Birch, this is Sam. Sam, this is Professor Birch."

    The professor extended a warm hand. Sam stared at the odd, short, and chubby man with barely contained contempt. He did reach out and shake the professor's hand. His bigger, tan one engulfing and the other man's hand and squeezing it in a vice-like grip. Sam smiled politely. "Good afternoon, Professor."

    "A good afternoon for scorching humans who wake up people from well deserved rest," Michael commented to Sam as he snarled at the professor. The professor jumped back quickly, unnerved by the intense glare in the baby-blue eyes of the adorable Pokémon.

    Steven sent Sam a warning glare. Sam, like usual, ignored him. "Well, Sam... The region of Hoenn is looking at some promising young trainers… Many professors offer a choice of rare Pokémon of the fire, water, and grass type and the kind professor would like to follow that tradition. But, unfortunately, he lacks the means to do so. Norman contacted me with the request, so here's the deal- we need three rare Pokémon to start off a new trainer's journey."

    Sam smiled innocently at them. "Gosh, Steven, sounds like you've got your hands full looking for such Pokémon… Good luck with that."

    "Oh, you're so funny. I need a Torchic, Treecko, and Mudkip. I know you have several. You will go get one for us. Now."

    Sam seemed unimpressed as he played with his necklace nonchalantly. "Ooh, scary Steven."

    "That threat from earlier still stands," Steven stated in his stern, fatherly tone.

    Sam grimaced. "Cheater... Fine, whatever. I'll go and get you the Pokémon." He turned and walked away.

    Professor Birch released his breath as he relaxed. "I don't think he likes me much."

    Steven glanced at him. "He doesn't really like anyone who wakes him up. Trust me, it's nothing personal."

    "Uh… Okay." The Professor was forced to wait in awkward silence beside Steven, who was grateful for the escape from small talk. Birch felt out of place even in his ratty khaki shorts, stained blue shirt, and white lab coat beside Steven, who dressed formally despite the warm climate. Add to the mix the handsome, rich, young man in the black shirt and gray cargo pants decorated with straps and buckles and Birch felt like a little fish in a pond of big sharks.

    Sam returned with the three Pokémon trailing behind him. They were all very young, but that was good for a young trainer.

    "Ah, thank you very much! I will return the unwanted one back to you!" Birch told him excitedly.

    "Just give it to Norman. We'll get it from there," Steven assured him.

    "Oh… Well okay! I'll… Uh, I'm just going to go."

    "That's probably a good plan," Sam replied with a happy grin. Michael was staring at the professor with its wide blue eyes. The professor shifted on his feet uncomfortably as he captured the young Pokémon in Poké Balls and then proceeded to all but run from them.

    "Thank Arceus, he's gone. Now, as for your mission, Sam-… Sam?" Steven turned around to see where he'd disappeared to. He caught sight of him walking back to the balcony type-area overlooking the cliff. Steven followed him.

    Sam leaned against the railing. "Yes, yes, what is this mission? You know how excited I am."

    "A few days ago, we received word that a treasure map was found in a cave not far off the coast of Petalburg… We looked into the matter and it appears that someone beat us to it."

    "So you want me to find the guy and take the map from him?" Sam inferred with a bored tone.

    "No, we know who took it." Steven said dryly.

    "Then… I'm just supposed to steal it back? C'mon, Steven. You know I can do a whole lot better than that. Give me something that's actually challenging."

    "Hear me out. We already sent thieves to steal it from him and they're in the hospital right now with some broken bones. We need you because it was Mr. Briney who got the map."

    Sam stared at him. Then he smiled and eventually laughed. "Yeah… That's Mr. Briney for you. I admit, that is a challenging mission... What do I do with the map?"

    "Feel free to follow it where ever it leads. If you want, you can take Brawly with you and split the profits. I don't care. Just get the map and get the treasure."

    "Cool. I'll have it by tonight," Sam stated with a devious grin.

    "Don't be so cocky." Steven frowned at him.

    "Cocky? Steven, no no no… I'm being honest."

    "Whatever. Just do it. I'll see you tomorrow," Steven said as he left with a wave.

    "Who is Mr. Briney?" Michael asked. Unlike Cat, Michael preferred the more natural means of communication via growling, but he would ask questions and voice his thoughts sometimes.

    "He's… Well, he's a crazy old man who lives in a shack with a Wingull that I gave him named Peeko. He's the man who… Took care of me when I was younger. I wouldn't call him my father though…" Michael snuggled into his face. Sam smiled at the gesture and scratched the mew behind ears. "I'm fine… And this should be fun."
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ __
    Sam decided to visit Littleroot Town first- just to make sure his Pokémon would indeed be in good hands. He saw the professor with his satchel. As he sat and watched, Pokémon gathered around him. Michael watched with his interest as Sam's eyes lit up with a devious glint. Cat had decided that she'd much rather sleep, so she had curled up in Sam's lap happily, unaware of the scheme. Sam summoned a Poochyena to him. He pet the Pokémon gently. "My little friend, would you be willing to do something for me?" The dog Pokémon wagged its tail furiously and nodded. Sam pointed at Professor Birch. "Go get him." The Poochyena looked at him wide, excited eyes. "Go, go!"

    The Poochyena shot off, growling and snarling excitedly at the professor who shrieked and dropped his satchel on the ground as he proceeded to run in a pointless circle. The Poochyena chased him happily. Sam and Michael watched and laughed from the trees. Cat was jostled awake, but didn't mind as much when she saw the scene below her.

    Sadly, a girl came running at the sound of the professor's high-pitched squeals, ruining all the fun. Sam watched with interest as she ran to the satchel and pulled out a Pokémon quickly. She doesn't hesitate at all… She's confident and brave… Interesting. The girl unleashed the Pokémon, it was the peppy but determined Torchic. Sam watched the battle intently. She's good… She's really good. Torchic is listening to her commands perfectly. She's calm and completely in control. I'm impressed… She'll be stirring up trouble for us soon enough.

    The battle was over quickly. The girl called the Pokémon back and started to put the Poké Ball back into the satchel when the Professor interrupted her. "No, no. That's all right, May. You keep that Pokémon. You battled so well with it!"

    May's face brightened with a happy smile. "I can! Oh, thank you Daddy!" May hugged her father warmly.

    "You're welcome, May. Now, c'mon. Follow me back to the lab." The professor picked up the satchel and continued to Littleroot Town. Sam followed from the cover of the woods. A boy met him just outside the big building that was obviously the lab.

    "Professor! Do you have the Pokémon?"

    "Yes, yes, Brendan. Here, pick one."

    Brendan peered into the satchel and looked up unhappily. "There's only two?"

    "May already got her's… She picked a Torchic!" the professor answered. May smirked at him.

    Brendan scowled and looked at the Poké Balls again. He finally reached in and took out a Poké ball. He released the Mudkip inside. "Awesome!"

    "Oh, Brendan! Can you take this other Pokémon to your father?" The professor handed him the last Poké ball with Treecko.

    "Sure! Thanks professor! I'll be on out on route 103!" With a smile at May, the kid ran off.

    May was seething as she sent an accusing glare at her dad. He shrugged. "He can pick any Pokémon he wants… I don't have any control over that." Sam was no longer interested in what they were doing. Brendan, however, needed to show his skills as a trainer first. Sam got ahead of him and waited in Oldale Town. There was a man staring adoringly at a Pikachu key-chain. A sure-fire sign of a Poke-maniac.. Sam saw a boot print in the soft earth not too far away. Cat was watching the joke play out this time. She and Michael (disguised as an Eevee) shared a curious look. Sam knelt by the print and, after making sure the Pokémon maniac wasn't watching, contorted the boot print.

    He then stood up and stared at it as if seeing it for the first time. "I've never seen a print like that…" he commented loudly. It had the desired effect.

    The Pokémon maniac ran to him like an over-excited puppy. "Where!" Sam pointed down at the print. "OOOH!" the man squealed. "It must be a very rare Pokémon! I must sketch them! Shoo, shoo! Don't interfere with my work." He shoved Sam away and started sketching the print excitedly. His glasses slipping down his nose as he shook with barely contained energy.

    Sam walked away silently. He ventured down Route 103. Sure enough, Brendan was there. He had let his Mudkip out and was talking to the creature. They'd probably just battled, but Brendan was prepared with a potion and healed the Pokémon. Sam decided that Mudkip would be fine in Brendan's hands. The boy seemed capable enough. Sam went back to Oldale Town, slipping past a still-heated May, and tried to pass the maniac sketching the fake footprint.

    "Wait! I have to finish sketching first!" the man cried.

    Sam sighed. "Dude, that's your boot print," he stated in a bored tone.

    "… … … So it is." The maniac stopped sketching.

    "Now move." Sam waited for him to get out of the way none too patiently before he continued on his way with Cat and Michael following along happily at his heels. There were several youngsters in the area, but none of them were foolish enough to challenge him to a battle. It wasn't long before he was staring at Mr. Briney's shack on the coast. He stared at the old front of the shack and sighed. "This should be fun, right!" Cat gave him a sympathetic pat on the foot. He smiled. "I'm sure you're quite used to crazy old people… Considering Madame Widow and all… Okay. Here we go."

    He walked through the door. Mr. Briney was chasing the Wingull in a continuous race around his table as he called for the Wingull to come to him. "Peeko. Peeko. Peeko. Peeko. Peeko. Peeko. Peeko."

    "Mr. Briney?"

    "Peeko. Peeko. Peeko. Peeko. Peeko. Peeko. Peeko."

    "Mr. Briney," Sam tried again a little louder.

    "Peeko. Peeko. Peeko. Peeko. Peeko. Peeko. Peeko."

    "Mr. Briney!"

    "Peeko. Peeko. Peeko. Peeko. Peeko. Peeko. Peeko. Peeko."

    "MR. BRINEY!" Sam tried to shout above the ceaseless chant. The old man still didn't hear him- or simply wasn't listening. Sam sighed. As the Wingull flew by, he caught her. Mr. Briney followed Peeko as she was taken off the beaten path and held up in the air by Sam in a game of keep-away.

    "Peeko. Peeko. Peeko. Peeko. Peeko. Peeko."

    "Mr. Briney!" Sam called out loudly, again.

    Finally, the man finally looked at him. "Sam? Sam, Sammy, Sam! Me boy, what brings ye here! Come in, come in!"

    Sam stared at him. "Mr. Briney, I am… Nevermind." Sam stepped in further, maintaining the bird above his head where Mr. Briney couldn't reach her. "Mr. Briney… You found a map a few days ago, right? Can I see it?"

    The old man craned his head towards him. "A what? What? I can't hear you boy!"

    "YOU FOUND A MAP!" Sam yelled at him. Michael and Cat were huddled together, not sure why their master was yelling and completely confused by the old man's odd behavior.

    "Oh! Right righty ho! Peeko! We're setting sail, my darling!"

    "No, no setting sail! I NEED TO SEE THE MAP!"

    Mr. Briney stared at him long and hard. "You're here to see me teddy bear, aren't you… Well, you can't have it!" Mr. Briney leapt on to the table.



    "Arceus, Briney. I just want the damn map!"

    Mr. Briney looked down at him with his wide eyes and a suspicious expression. "Map?"

    "Yes, the map that you found a few days ago."

    "Why, didn't ye say so, boy. I'll get it for ye." As Briney rummaged through one of the brass pots in the corner, Sam walked over to the cabinet. Sure enough, the pills the old man hadn't taken and the sweater he was supposed to be wearing were both collecting dust with disuse. Sam picked up the items along with a bottle of water.

    Briney set the map on the table excitedly. "Lookit, lookit! Der she be… SHE BE IN THE WATER! HOIST THE SAILS! PULL ANCHOR! I-"

    Sam dropped the pills in the old man's mouth and handed him the opened water bottle. "Swallow, Mr. Briney or I will make you." The old man swallowed the pills with a swig of water. Once he was done, Sam took the water bottle back from him and set it on the table as he grabbed the sweatshirt and pulled it over Mr. Briney's balding head. "Do not wander around without your sweatshirt. You'll catch a cold." Sam turned and pocketed the map. "Thank you for your… cooperation, Mr. Briney."

    Sam motioned for his Pokémon to follow him as he let go of Peeko. The Wingull immediately flew outside. Mr. Briney saw the bird leave and started chasing it automatically, brushing past Sam on the way out. "Peeko. Peeko. Peeko. Peeko. Peeko. Peeko. Peeko."

    Sam followed him outside. Do I continue chasing him…? The old man continued pursuing the bird all over, right into the woods. …Nah. He'll come to his senses eventually, provided that medicine works like it should.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ ____
    AN: Chapter 1 of Hoenn! XD Mr. Briney kills me... He's so funny. I hope to post the second chapter tonight... Perhaps 9-ish. Or 8 Central Time.

    I would like to thank my beta- DarkAngelTorchic for being awesome. :) And also Soulmaster. :)
    Last edited by Noteleks; 28th March 2012 at 09:55 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: GSTA: Hoenn

    *sigh* Those crazy old people, what can we do with them... Again another good chapter. Nice to see Sam back home in a way.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: GSTA: Hoenn

    Quote Originally Posted by Soulmaster View Post
    *sigh* Those crazy old people, what can we do with them... Again another good chapter. Nice to see Sam back home in a way.

    Ha ha... Well at least no caps this time. Gotta love it when you backspace and accidentally miss getting the whole thing you meant to delete.

  5. #5
    Registered User Noteleks's Avatar
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    Default Re: GSTA: Hoenn

    No copyright infringement intended.

    Key terms:

    Ciara: Surfer lingo for 'very pretty girl'

    Sheila: Surfer lingo for 'rad girl'
    Norman stood in the private room of his gym. He looked out the windows at the sleepy 'city' below, though it was more like a town. He had lived here for a long time, having left for the place more than a decade prior to moving his family here with him from Goldenrod. He had wanted to move up in the world of thieves and he trained hard to get it… Even with that damn youngster, Sam, popping up randomly and beating him in fights. Norman had been the strongest thief in the Petalburg Gym and he was expected to stop challengers in their tracks so Captain Larson wouldn't have to fight. But that youngster was something else. At first glance, he was just a cute kid with an innocent face… That would instantly become a kid who could expertly command his insanely powerful Aggron. No one could beat that pair. If someone managed to get past the Aggron, he would be facing a Hariyama, Sceptile, Blaziken, or Swampert. In the end, it didn't matter. The Pokémon were fantastically trained under this kid who whole-heartedly admitted having too much time on his hands. Worst yet, the kid would take the badges he'd won and sell them to trainers who wanted to cheat their way into the Elite Four.

    Unfortunately, Sam had taken a great deal of joy targeting Norman with various different traps: Buckets of water tied to doors, an impossible maze of primary colored bricks right outside the doors of the gym, water balloons hurled or dropped from who knew where, a prairie of note-mats that attracted angry Pokémon like candy, jump mats that flung him over short cliffs on more than one occasion, spin mats that were perfectly laid to keep him spinning till he threw up, and the old fashioned noose that nabbed his foot. Never got even with that little shit. Norman looked at the Poké Ball in his hand. I know this belongs to you. Try and avoid MY traps… It's your turn now. Norman had set up his whole room with various different traps. He knew that Sam would have to show up at some point.

    "Norman… My good friend, how've you been?"

    Norman whirled around in shock. "When did you get there?"

    Sam grinned at him from the doorway. "Just now. You have my Pokémon? I'd like it back."

    Norman nodded and returned a friendly smile. "Yeah, I have your Pokémon… But, come in… Come in. It's been a long time." Norman watched intently, waiting for Sam to just step on the trap in front of the door. Of course, Sam would never allow him that satisfaction. He picked up Cat so she wouldn't be a victim and Michael sat on his shoulder as Sam stepped over the trip wire. After effortlessly avoiding the hidden spin traps, he stopped walking just before the blockade line of various traps Norman and his crew of underlings had set up. Sam flashed a happy grin. "Nice traps. You have learned well, old grasshopper. Now give me my Pokémon so I can go and you can go about taking all this down before you get caught in it yourself."

    Norman gaped at him. On Sam's signal, Michael transformed into his natural form and shut Norman's jaw for him. The pink Pokémon flew back to Sam. Norman finally found something to say. "How?"

    Sam laughed, genuinely amused by the question. "Where do you think I learned how to set traps? Or to take so much pleasure in seeing someone fall for my traps? I learned from the best, what can I say."

    "Somebody got you?" Norman repeated suspiciously.

    "Somebody used to. I learned. I can see you have as well." Sam commented with a gesture at the row of traps in front of him. "Revenge is an excellent teacher, right behind necessity. Now, my Pokémon, Norman." Sam held out his hand. Norman tossed the ball to him. "Thank you. I'm leaving now… Er, watch out for Mr. Briney. He's out chasing his Peeko somewhere. I gave him his medicine, but there's no telling what he'll do before it kicks in. And hey, if you could manage it, it might be a good idea to make sure he takes his medicine every morning."


    Sam grinned and walked away, avoiding all the traps neatly. He barely set foot outside the door of the gym when he was accosted by Brendan. The kid was staring at Sam with big eyes filled with awe. "You're… Sam!"

    Sam flinched. "And you're… Brendan… Hi…"

    The kid's eyes widened even more. "You know my name? Oh my gosh… Sam! Sam knows my name!"

    Seeing that the boy was clearly having a nerd out, Sam decided to wait patiently. Cat was watching the boy curiously. "Wot's ee doin'? Iz ee sik?" Michael growled in response, he wanted to know too. Sam shook his head.

    Finally, Brendan snapped out of his geeky moment and started up at Sam with unshakable awe. "You're Sam! You are the most famous thief in the Hoenn Guild if not the whole Guild! You took down Team Rocket twice! You killed them all and the whole time who were dealing with a terrible curse that almost killed you!" Sam watched quietly as the boy recounted the tale, acting it out dramatically as he went. Brendan stopped and adjusted his funny looking hat that had slipped during the re-enactment. Sam just stared. Brendan bit his lower lip and trembled with excitement and energy. "You're my hero!" he almost squealed. After that admission, he let out a deep breath to calm himself.

    Sam flashed a winning smile. "That's great kid. It's nice to have fans and all, but I gotta go, see you later, all that- have great life, kid." Sam made to brush past him but Brendan grabbed his arm.

    "Wait, wait! I want to be just like you! Teach me, teach me! Be my mentor!"

    "No. Absolutely not, kid. I don't do that mushy teacher bull, alright? Find someone else. Or better yet- learn on your own. It's great that you admire me as long as you do it from afar. Far, far away where you don't get in my way. Now, shoo… Go away now."


    "Goodbye, Brendan. Go train or do… something else. I'm busy."

    Brendan's eyes widened again. "Oh! You have an important mission! Of course! Hey, we can talk later." The boy scampered away to the Petalburg Woods.

    "You know, I don't think that kid heard a single word I said…" Michael growled in agreement. Sam wandered down to the shore and found quiet spot to sit in the sun-warmed sand. He pulled open the map he'd gotten from Mr. Briney and looked at it. The treasure was marked clearly enough on an island around past Rustboro City. He glanced over the whole map. His gaze lingered on one particular island. Dewford… Ol' Brawly… I wonder if he still lives there… If he'd recognize me anymore…Or if I'd even recognize him. Sam put the map away in his pocket and leaned against the short cliff behind him. No one came to visit me while I was out besides Steven and Riley, but of course they wouldn't. No one knows really knows where I live. I don't like visitors that much. Sam heard someone walking through the sand towards him. He put his thoughts aside momentarily as he glanced over to see who the person was. A man about his age with blue eyes, sky blue hair, and wearing surfer's gear was standing almost beside him now.


    "Sam! I heard you might be around here! I swear, bro… You're like that great wave- never know when it's going to show up and you'll miss it." Brawly extended his hand and Sam took it, allowing Brawly to fully pull him off the ground and to his feet.

    "Ha! So I'm a great wave, eh? I like that." Sam grinned at his old childhood friend.

    "Ha ha! I thought you might. Anyway… You've been gone a long time… A really long time."

    "And the years have not been kind to me. But hey, I won't complain."

    "I haven't heard much, but waves that hit such far away shores don't reach here very often." Brawly started to walk away. Sam followed him, knowing that Brawly didn't like standing still for so long.

    "No… I suppose not. But, I've been in the dark. What's been going on around here?" Sam asked.

    "Well, a lot of the Captains we knew are retired and gone now. Captain Larson of Petalsburg retired and Norman took his place… I guess to make this process shorter, everyone retired or died but Wattson and Wallace. Juan's also vying for a position, but he won't get it unless Wallace is promoted."

    "Wow… So who's here now?"

    "Uh, actually… me! I got my own gym now." Brawly said proudly.

    Sam glanced at him, impressed. "So I'm talking to Captain Brawly, huh? Swamp me, I've been away too long."

    Brawly laughed at Sam's sea reference. "That's right! I'm Captain… And you're still just a thief!"

    "I am… But I'm also free. Free to do whatever I want when I want without worrying about some stupid gym."

    "You got me underwater there… Anyway. Besides me, there's also Winona in Fortree City, Flannery in Lavaridge Town, Roxanne… and somebody finally took the gym that coulda been yours a while back, but I don't know who."

    "Aww… Flannery was a good thief… Oh well. The old family blood practically requires her to take over."

    "Yeah… Do you remember Winona?"

    "Ah… Maybe." Sam closed his eyes as he thought about it. "Oh! A scrawny little girl with glasses and lavender colored hair and eyes."

    "Yes and no. You remember Winona when she was like, twelve. The girl is eighteen now and she doesn't wear glasses anymore. I would say now- a ciara with the purple eyes and long hair."

    "Hmm… I may have to re-acquaint myself with her… And Flannery. Roxanne… I honestly have no idea who you're talking about."

    "She's a ciara too… Took over as a substitute for Captain Argon in Rustboro when he got way sick. Juan wasn't pleased, but you know how it is. They needed a rock trainer and she was ready and willing. Then, that illness, whatever it was, washed Ol' Argon away. So they just left her in charge. No one's beaten her yet."

    "Damn… Well, hey. I've got time to spare. Let's go meet her!"

    Brawly laughed. "I would bet just about anything that she would not like you."

    "Why?" Sam put a hand over his heart like he'd been wounded. "I'm a nice guy… People love me."

    "Yeah… You also have knack for pissing people off."

    Sam grinned. "All part of my charm, I assure you."

    "Uh-huh. By the way, bro, how did Kanto and Johto treat you? Leave any sheilas behind?"

    Sam laughed. "Brawly! I wish I could say that I'm surprised you asked."

    "Well? C'mon man. Don't hold out on a brother. I heard rumors about some very special sheila."

    Sam's face dropped the smile and became very guarded. "Exactly what did you hear?"

    "What I just told you. You had some girl that people were thinking you were in love with."

    Sam waved it off dismissively. "That's none of your business and it's not true." Michael growled at him, knowing that Sam was lying. Both knew full well the conversation was about Daisy. Sam ignored the growl. "Anyway, I will treat you to this- I met Ryan in Goldenrod."

    That got Brawly's attention. "Ryan! No way! What's that fiery red-head doing these days?"

    Sam debated several different answers. "Well… Let's just say that she's very attractive now, can be very… persuasive, and uses these talents to her lustful benefits."

    Brawly repeated the words softly to himself as he decrypted their meaning. "Lustful… Oh… Oh! So she's- Nevermind. I got it. "

    Sam nodded. "Yup… Other than that, girls tended to fawn over me a bit. Ryan attributed it to the fact that I'm from such a 'romantic and exotic' region such as our fine home of Hoenn." Sam said as he put a friendly arm around his friend's shoulders. "I have a few questions for you now… So what about the Colonels? Who's here now?"

    Brawly had to think about it for a brief moment. "Sydney, Glacia, and Drake are still here. Nora made a bad enemy and they took her out."

    Sam flinched. "Not Nora… Damn. How'd they get past her grass pokémon?"

    "She didn't have them on hand. It was a physical fight, she didn't stand a chance." Both men walked in silence for a while. Nora… Damn… She was nice, but growly old woman. She certainly didn't deserve that. "So… Who took her place?"

    "I dunno, some chick washed up. Name's Phoebe or something like that."

    "Huh… Clearly I just need to make the rounds with everyone… Do Shadow, Whisper, and Jero still hang out at the Casino and play cards?"

    "From what I know, yeah. Those old bats are still around."

    Sam nodded. "How about Leslie and Antonio?"

    "Yep… Ferdinand is still breathing too. He's out in Lilycove… Eva still likes to hide in the Jagged Pass if you can find her."

    "Thanks Brawly. I appreciate the assistance. You can go back to your gym now or you can come with me to talk to this Roxanne girl."

    "I'll just go back to my gym, but hey- don't be a stranger. You can splash up anytime," Brawly said with a boyish smile. Sam watched as he walked away.

    "Brawly hardly changes… Unlike his precious waves." Michael stared at him with curiosity radiating from his blue eyes. "But… I know I've changed."

    "Maester iz tahler," Cat stated as she nodded sagely, thinking that was what he meant.

    Sam laughed. "Yes, Cat. I have."

    Michael stared down at her. "You're still short."

    Cat bristled. She tugged on his pant leg. "Maester! I iz tahler too! Yes?"

    "I don't know… You might be. But lets not fight each other," Sam mediated between the two. He knew the pokémon did like each other and got along, but they also had a healthy and predicable sibling rivalry going. It was kinda cute and incredibly annoying at the same time.
    Roxanne sat primly in her study underneath her pristine gym reading a copy of the latest Pokémon research. The small book had been published by Captain Blue of Kanto to share some rather interesting findings from his research… Normally, Roxanne preferred finding out about pokémon through battling them, but hey, he was cute and a girl could crush. He'd even been a valuable asset in taking out Team Rocket. She was almost finished reading it for the third time when one of her underlings, a youngster named Tommy, came rushing down after tripping on the stone stairs.

    "Uh! Captain Roxanne, ma'am! There's someone here to challenge you! He looks tough."

    Roxanne put down her book with a puzzled glance at the boy. "Did you battle him?"

    "I tried! His abra totally smoked me! He's amazing!"

    Roxanne sighed. It's not like it takes much to defeat a youngster. Thank goodness for that hiker, Marc. He's been a great help with his experience. She set her book down on the small desk beside her and pulled out a bandaid. She handed it to Tommy as she passed him. "Thank you very much, Tommy. Now, please, try to be careful when you come down these stairs."

    "Oh! Yes, ma'am!" He put the bandaid on his scraped knee quickly as she headed up the steps. An Abra? That's interesting… Some schoolboys get Ralts, but an Abra? Those can only learn teleport until they evolve… How on earth did this guy manage to beat my men with only an Abra at his disposal? Roxanne stepped over the bricks piled around the walls. Her gym was finally being remodeled, something she greatly appreciated. Right across from her was the guy with the Abra. The little Pokémon hugging his leg like a small child would with a parent. A little brown fox Pokémon was perched on his shoulder as he looked around the gym. He seemed far more interested in the new brass crest she'd fashioned for the gym than anything else.

    "Um… Hello? I am Roxanne, the Rustboro City-"

    "Captain? Yes, I know," he cut in, still turning over the crest in his hands.

    "I'm sorry, what?"

    The stranger set the crest down and turned to face her with a charming smile. "Oh, don't worry about it, I'm a friend." He flashed his thief card quickly and then put it away. Roxanne stared at him, too surprised to find a sensible response. His smile didn't waver. "I'm sorry, we haven't met. My name's Sam, I'm a thief from Slateport."

    Roxanne shook the hand that he extended in greetings. "Hello… Forgive my surprise… One of my trainers told me you were here to challenge me."

    "Oh no… No. He got a little excited and wanted a fight. I didn't have any plans on taking him up on the offer, but my little Cat thought otherwise. I didn't take his money or anything," he responded with an affectionate pat on Cat's head. He looked back at Roxanne. Brawly had said she was 'pretty', but that hardly did the girl justice. She had a very elegant but sweet face and striking eyes the color of garnets. Despite the cute outfit and appearance, she was clearly very intelligent, formal, and brooked no disobedience or jokes. She's a lot like Erika… Only less stuck-up.

    "I am sorry for any inconvenience he may have caused you," she apologized formally.

    "No, no. It's fine. It should probably be me apologizing."

    "Well, can I help you with anything?" Roxanne asked him, her hand playing with her necktie.

    "Not really, I guess. It's been a long time since I've been back here in Hoenn. A lot's changed. Last time I was here, it was Captain Argon… Nice old man. I see you're redecorating the gym- I looked at the blue prints and I like what you have planned so far. "

    "Captain Argon was a good man… I found the gym in its old form to be too easy. I wanted to make things just a little harder for challengers to navigate, but I don't have much to work with," Roxanne sighed.

    Sam nodded and smiled. "No… Argon was very straightforward man, and that showed in his gym's design. He didn't want to make things difficult, he just wanted to battle."

    Roxanne giggled. She'd known Argon quite well, that old man hadn't made it easy to win, but she'd managed to come out on top with the help of a happy Lotad. And after she got her badge, he'd let her know exactly what he thought of her and the match… It was not a positive experience. "He certainly had a way with words."

    "Yeah… Or something like that," Sam commented dryly. Cat tugged on his pant leg impatiently. "Ah, well, it seems it's time for me to go. I'll see you around." The young captain waved a polite goodbye and he took his leave. Outside the gym, he looked around the town again. The gym was changing and the captain was definitely different, but the town hadn't changed at all. The same limestone tiles still made up the majority of the town, the same street lamps lined the sidewalks (though now that Hoenn actually had nighttime, they actually served a purpose), all the same buildings dotted the town, the same black iron gate framed the small but beautiful city, and the same great and architectural jewel that was the Devon Corporation still stood proudly over the town like a majestic king protecting his kingdom.

    "Amazing how much of a difference seven years can make… And much will still stay the same," Sam commented softly with a fond smile. Michael yawned in response with a mischievous glint in its eyes. "Ha ha. Yes, I know you don't care." Michael mewed happily with amusement.

    Cat looked up at them. "We iz gona looht treshah noaw, rite?"

    Sam grinned at the little pokémon as he pulled out the treasure map and winked at her as he tapped her on the head with it. "Oh, you can be sure of that, dear Cat."
    AN: Oh... Surfer lingo... I actually had to google it and there's actually a whole website dedicated to it . I went through the whole thing. I wanted Brawley to act and talk like the surfer he is- so that's why I threw those fancy surfer words in there. ^^


    My awesome beta DarkAngelTorchic! And Soulmaster! Who has more to do now that I've lost my typo-catching mojo!
    Last edited by Noteleks; 30th March 2012 at 06:03 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: GSTA: Hoenn

    I do not understand why this site feels the need to post everything twice after I edit it. T_T

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    Default Re: GSTA: Hoenn

    Nice seeing a backstory type of thing for Hoenn. All the reactions to Sam were just great. From Brendan to Brawly. ugh so much fun. And yes you do have a fair number of mistakes...

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: GSTA: Hoenn

    No copyright infringement intended.
    Steven made the easy trek up to Sam's villa lazily. Sam had called in and informed him that he had been successful in finding the treasure… He'd also made it clear that he was going to keep all of it. Not that his behavior surprised anyone. Riley was slightly irked that the action had not been cleared by him, but everyone knew that treasure was probably safer with Sam than anywhere else. Nobody knew where his treasure was kept but him. No one even knew how much gold he had. It was, however, a widely accepted fact that Sam was rich enough to buy all of Hoenn if he wanted to. Steven continued meandering and enjoying the plants and well-tended nature around him when he heard high-pitched screeching. Startled by the noise, Steven ran the rest of the way and burst in Sam's home. He was confronted by an odd scene that stopped him in his tracks; in the far corner, a woman dressed in all black was locked inside a cage hanging from the ceiling and Sam was sitting with his back to her, absolutely nonchalant as he played cards with Cat who was wearing a card dealer hat.

    "What the hell is going on here?" Steven asked, his voice rising in pitch.

    Sam looked at him and smiled. "Steven! Good morning, you're just in time to help me teach Cat how to play poker!"

    Steven stared at him in utter disbelief. "Play… Poker? Why on earth are you teaching her something like that?"

    Sam shrugged carelessly. "For kicks, I guess. Not everything has to be so serious, you know. And besides, I was worried I'd be a bit rusty, so I'm trying to beat her. I've been successful for the most part- but now she's frustrated because she's on a losing streak so she's cheating by reading my thoughts." Cat huffed with indignation. Sam made a face back at her.

    The fierce, unintelligible shrieking of the angry woman in the cage interrupted their ongoing banter. Steven pointed to her. "Who is she and why on earth is she in a cage?"

    Sam turned around to look at her. "Her? I have no idea who she is." He got up and walked over the cage. "Well, she either came to try to steal from me or she came to kill me. Hard to say- but she got stuck in that cage when she tripped the hidden lever. She's been in there for a while. I don't think she likes it in there." Sam smiled at her happily. Her shrieking became wilder and she tried to reach through the cage to grab him.

    Steven approached her nervously. "Is she… Intelligent?"

    "You mean, 'does she know how to speak?' I don't know, I'll ask. Are you really so barbaric, little bird?" Sam smiled at the furious woman.

    She almost exploded. "You BASTARD!"

    "Hmmm… Yep, I'd say she's pretty intelligent," Sam smiled at her.

    Steven cringed. "Sam, let the poor woman go."

    "Aww… But she's makes for such good company! Can't I just keep her?"

    Steven sighed. "No you cannot. Let her go. Now."

    "Hmph… Fine. I suppose you're right. All right, my little song bird, fly away," He unlocked the door of the cage, which was the entire bottom, so the woman fell to the ground. Sam stared at her with sympathy. "You're not very good at flying, are you little bird?" She gave him a furious glare before she got up and stormed away.

    Steven stepped out of her way as she passed. Once she was gone, he looked back at Sam. "Now, more importantly- how much treasure did you find and did you have any issues with it?"

    "A lot to the first question of course not to the second. It was really something though. The map showed the location of some way ancient ruins. There were traps everywhere… I mean, we're talking spiked pits, trip wires, nooses, sludge bombs… The whole package… And a damn lot of stairs."

    "Stairs? That must have sucked, I'm sure, since you've been doing next to nothing for the past year. Out of shape, are we?" Steven teased.

    Sam sent him an odd look. "Out of shape? Me? Not a chance. You really think I spent that whole year doing nothing? …Maybe you aren't as smart as you like to believe." He returned to playing Poker with Cat. In a fit of frustration, she slammed her cards down on the table. "Do you fold?" Cat nodded unhappily. Sam put his cards down face up. "Well, I have a straight flush… And you have a royal flush… Cat, you could have won." The little pokémon scowled.

    Michael came racing in then, almost knocking over Steven. He cuddled up to Sam as he related some kind of story mentally. Steven watched silently. Sam seemed incredibly interested and highly amused by what Michael had to say.

    "Do you feel better now? You beat big bad Gabriel… Boost your self-confidence?" Michael growled at his teasing. Sam chuckled and pet Michael's head roughly. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry." Cat was clearly giggling. Michael snuggled closer to Sam with a glare at Cat.

    Steven coughed to politely regain Sam's attention. "Excuse me, but I didn't come here on a social visit… Or at least not entirely. We have another problem- Mr. Briney is on a rampage because some misguided fiend took Peeko. For the love of Arceus, please come with me and help calm the old man."

    Sam flinched. "Seriously?"


    Sam sighed. "All right, all right. I'm coming…"
    Roxanne held her knees to her small chest as she sat in her home underneath her gym. She was somewhat upset by the crime against Mr. Briney happening under her watch. Not only that, but she'd almost lost a battle to some girl from Littleroot Town. Her name was May and it was obvious that she would be back for the badge. Roxanne hugged her legs tighter to herself. What will happen if I lose? Will I be demoted? … Is it okay to lose once in awhile? Footsteps down the stairs announced someone's coming. She uncurled herself and straightened her dress and hair in order to meet the guests as the proper Captain of Rustboro. She almost fainted with surprise and horror as General Steven stepped down from the last step. Then the man from yesterday, Sam, appeared beside him with a charming smile and happy wave.

    "Good morning, Roxanne. I understand that Mr. Briney is giving you trouble… Mind telling us what happened and where he is?" Steven asked.

    "I… Uh… Oh!" Roxanne stuttered and then felt the warmth on her cheeks as she blushed. Feeling her control of the situation slip away at the kind and charming behavior of the General, she let out a calming breath to regain her composure. "I'm sorry, I was just surprised… Ahem… Mr. Briney's Wingull was taken from him while he was wondering around the Petalburg woods. He burst through the doors of my gym and demanded to see Captain Argon… We tried to calm him down but he seemed delirious. After awhile, he fought us tooth and nail till he was free and then stormed away ranting about someone named Peeko." As she related the incident, her emotions got the better of her and her voice carried the frustration, indignation, and utter confusion.

    Sam was chuckling as she told her tale and by the time she was done, he had actually turned around and was shaking with barely contained laughter. Steven was also trying to hold back a smile. "… Well, I am very sorry about that… We'll go collect him as soon as possible. Do you have any idea where he went?"

    "I do not. I can only tell you that he did not go back into the woods," Roxanne responded curtly, slightly offended by the amusement they found in the predicament.

    Sam turned around and cleared his throat and tried to assume a serious face. "Thank you, ma'am. We will go out of our way to look for him… Have a good day." Steven almost broke and started laughing right there, and immediately fled the scene. Sam bowed and then turned sharply on his heel to follow Steven.

    As soon as they were outside the gym, Sam started laughing again. Steven allowed himself a chuckle, but tried to be the adult. "That… Is so like that crazy old coot."

    "Isn't it just? You know, people really should make an effort to ensure that he takes his meds every morning," Sam replied, wiping tears of merriment from his eyes.

    "Oh, but that would take away all these fun moments… You're probably right though, we probably shouldn't let him rampage like this," Steven commented with a dry chuckle.

    "Probably not? I think it 's more of a definitely not. But oh well, we'll worry about that after we find him." Sam stretched and bounced on his toes. "Well, should we check the beach? His crazed mind might have led him there… Or we can try to find the guy who took Peeko."

    "Ah… Let's check the beach first and then ask around for a crazy old man… Lead the way."

    As they strolled through town to the beach on the north side of town, Sam looked up at the Devon Corporation building. "Hey, how's your old man doing?" he asked teasingly.

    Steven pursed his lips as he considered the question. With a short dry chuckle and a sad smile at Sam, he responded, "Well, since my mother died, he's apparently been really lonely and has been constantly trying to 'reconnect' with me, though honestly we never had much of a relationship."

    Sam gave him a sympathetic pat on the back. "You know, you could have just said, 'he can still go die in a hole' and then I wouldn't feel like such ass right now."

    Steven laughed and pushed him away. "You are an ass, so get used to the feeling."

    Sam said put his hands over his heart and staggered back dramatically. "Me? Steven, you wound me with your cruel, cruel words!"

    "I'm about to for real." Steven raised his eyebrows at the humorous display, but managed to keep a straight face. "Now stop being ridiculous and help me do your mission for you. At this rate, this old man is going to beat you to the beach."

    Sam's reply to that was not voiced, but the message was clear. He back-flipped past him then went into summersault, stopping at a sitting position in the grass with a childish grin.

    "Show off," Steven accused, mildly irritated.

    Sam's grin broadened. "You're just jealous." He reached for his toes to stretch and actually reached past his foot easily.

    "Couldn't do that even when I was young…" Steven mumbled to himself.

    Of course, Sam heard him. "That's because you trainer-types rely on your Pokémon to do all the fighting for you. I you would have taken better care of yourself, you wouldn't be so out of shape."

    Steven slapped him on the back of the head. "Who asked you? Now, you've got better eyes than me… And sharper ears… Do you see or hear Mr. Briney?"

    Sam rubbed the back of his head ruefully as he looked around behind him. "… I'm going to say… no… Ooh..."

    Steven scowled as he realized that Sam started to trail off as he spoke, obviously distracted by something else. I swear, if it's a woman he's distracted by… Steven turned on his heel and they both watched as a businessman chased after some other dude in stripes holding a package and a Wingull tied to his hand with a thin rope.

    The pair looked to each other and shrugged. Whatever was going on, they had found Peeko. Sam got up quickly and started to venture after the man when Steven grabbed his arm and pulled him back. May followed behind the businessman, curiosity radiating on her features. The man in the suit grabbed her, desperation on his face and practically shrieked at her. She nodded nervously and ran after the guy who took Peeko. Sam gave Steven a questioning look. "Did you hear all that?"

    Steven stared back at him blankly. "Hear what?"

    "What's this about a Team Aqua and Magma?" Steven stared at him, his expression still blank as he started to stammer something. Sam gave him a warning glare. "Let me make something clear- I am not playing the Team game. Team Rocket was more than enough for me, do you hear?"

    "I've never heard about a Team Aqua or Magma. I don't know anything more than you do," Steven replied. They both stared at each other a moment longer before Sam backed down.

    "Alright- well, we still have to find Mr. Briney-"


    "Scratch that." Sam watched as Mr. Briney all but flew past them. They both continued to stand and simply stare after where the old man had disappeared.

    "Well, I suppose that takes care of that… … … We should probably go get him and that stupid bird before he hurts someone," Steven commented.

    "Yeah… … …" Sam nodded. Neither moved anyway. Finally Sam spoke again. "What say you that we just leave the girl to do it for us?"

    "Works for me," Steven quickly agreed. Sam nodded with a grin and they both walked away.

    "Well, I'm sure Cat and Michael are anxious for me to come home…"

    "I think I might just tag along," Steven stated, inviting himself rather than asking for approval.

    Sam shrugged in response when Brendan came flying out pretty much nowhere. "Sam! There you are! Did you finish your important mission? I bet you did and it was easy… You can steal anything… Oh! Mr. Champion General, sir! I, uh-"

    Steven waved him off. "No need for formalities, Brendan. How's your father doing?"

    "He's fine, sir."

    "I see… " Steven gave Sam a curious look. Sam returned a look of annoyance. "So, what do you want from Sam?"

    Brendan brightened up. "I want to be thief… Just like him! There are so many stories about him… He's my hero."

    "I've heard stories about him as well… Most of them are true, the trick is figuring out which ones," Steven replied dryly.

    "Is the story about how he robbed the Guild when he was young true?" Brendan asked.

    Sam grinned at the memory of that heist. Steven nodded wearily. "That on is very much true."

    Brendan stared at the Sam adoringly. "Aww… That's cute," Steven commented with a sly look at Sam.

    "Oh, yes… Adorable. But I am not taking on rookies. I have better things to do," Sam said with direct look at Steven.

    "Oh, come on. You are constantly taking kids under your wing. Red, Blue… Lyra. Come on, why not Brendan?"

    "The last thing I need is some kid to babysit. I'm sorry, but no."

    Brendan's face fell a bit. "Really? I promise I won't get in your way! I just want to learn from the best!"

    Sam shook his head. "Look, kid. You've got a captain's blood running through your veins not a thief's. I can tutor you till the end of time but if you don't have the natural skill for it- then that's just it."

    "Oh, come on, Sam. Don't you think that's a little harsh?" Steven commented.

    "Well, teach me!" Brendan interjected.

    "No. It doesn't work that way. At this point, I couldn't teach you even if I wanted to," Sam said firmly.

    Brendan tried to give him puppy-dog eyes. "But, why?"

    Sam wasn't fazed by his efforts. "Surely you know the Code of Honor? In our world, you make your own way- not matter what. There aren't any short cuts here. That's why when a thief dies, whether he's a captain, a simple thief, or general, all of his gold, money, and most of what he's stolen goes back to the Guild. The Thief Lord, in turn, distributes all of the fallen thief's stolen riches to poor men and women on the streets. The Guild helps maintain the balance between rich and poor so the gap doesn't become too great and the economy keeps running. We steal from those who can afford it and give to those who need it. None of it can be given to another thief. When your father dies, his money and gold will not be left to you. If you want to be rich like he is or I am, you have to get there on your own."

    Steven nodded, seeing where Sam was going with the lesson. "Similar rules apply to potential recruits in the general thief area. You have to come to the table with your own talent. No one can teach your prior skills to you. If you don't know how to at least pick locks and have a decent track record of successful thefts, then you won't be accepted. Once you're in the Guild, then, yes, someone can be assigned to aid you in refining your skills. But- I'm afraid he's right- until you've got something to show, he can't teach you anything."

    Brendan frowned, then brightened up. "So… I guess I'll have to teach myself first."

    "Exactly. Now that we've reached an understanding, I have other things to do," Sam said, eager to be rid of the kid. Brendan saluted his elders and betters and ran off, excited to steal something.

    "He's a good kid," Steven commented.

    Sam shrugged. "Eh, I've met better."

    Steven frowned at him. "Do you have something against the kid?"

    "No… … Okay, maybe."

    "Care to explain?"

    "No body taught me a damn thing… I had nothing. I stole because I wanted to just survive most of the time. Then this little rich boy son-of-a-captain wants to learn from me just so he can be rich too? He doesn't know what it means to be a thief… He's been conned by heroic stories."

    Steven remained silent. Most people who lived in Hoenn knew that Sam had grown up in the care of Mr. Briney. Whoever his parents were, they'd been left Sam on the old man's doorstep. Everyone thought it would be okay and there was never any evidence to the contrary. Steven, however, had not been fooled by Sam's happy child act. Sam hadn't been quite so guarded when he was younger and Steven had seen the emotional scars that had been left. He was much like a dog that had been abandoned, starved, and possibly beaten… Sam had never said a word about it, but Steven recognized a kindred spirit, as his own childhood hadn't been the greatest either. "We can't all be twisted and warped… But let's just drop that subject."
    Sam and Steven walked into Sam's villa to find Cat and Michael arguing with each other and the fight was on the verge of becoming physical. Their arms were flailing as they went back and forth in some psychic argument. Gabriel was standing there and was trying to hold the two Pokémon apart.

    "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa… What are you two doing?" Sam scolded from the door. Steven hovered over his shoulder.

    Cat ran to Sam and hugged his leg. "Maester! Mikal callah me l'il agin."

    "Michael, why are you picking fights with Cat?" Steven moved out of the way of the feud to watch quietly from the shadows.

    Michael, not about to be outdone by Cat's show of affection, flew up and snuggled into his face. "She started it."

    "Really? Really… You two are ridiculous. Both of you stand by the doorpost." The two Pokémon obeyed sullenly. Sam opened the drawer of a very a nearby end table and pulled out a pencil. "Alright you two, I will settle this once and for all… Cat, you first." He knelt down beside them and pressed Cat up against the doorpost so she was standing straight up. He marked her height on the doorpost with the pencil. "Michael, come here."

    Michael took Cat's place against the doorpost. The sympathetic pat on his head told Michael that he was not measuring up. He turned around and looked at the doorpost; Cat was easily twice his height. Michael growled and stood up on the tip of his toes.

    Sam held back a smile and marked the new height. "Sorry, she's still got you." Michael growled again and levitated so he was above Cat's marker. "Okay, now you're just cheating," Sam commented. He put the pencil behind his ear as he stood up. Michael growled unhappily. Cat was laughing. Michael gave Sam a pitiful look. "Okay, okay. Cat, that is enough out of you. You two need to be nice to each other… Let's not forget how you two were separated until just last year."

    Cat stopped laughing and scuffed her feet awkwardly. After a moment, she tottered over to Michael and gave him a hug. Michael put his ears back but let her. An apology was exchanged between them. Satisfied that the crisis was past, for the moment, Sam sighed.

    "I'm sure glad my Pokémon aren't like that," Steven commented.
    AN: Ha ha... Oh, Steven. :P Well, a little more Guild groundwork for you all. :)

    Thank you to my favorite beta... Only beta... DarkAngelTorchic! And Soulmaster! :P

  9. #9
    I'm back! Finally Soulmaster's Avatar
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    Default Re: GSTA: Hoenn

    *sigh* Brandan what can we do with him???

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  10. #10
    Registered User Noteleks's Avatar
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    Feb 2012

    Default Re: GSTA: Hoenn

    No copyright infringement intended.
    "Mauville City… Pride and joy of gamblers everywhere… It's hardly changed," Sam commented to Cat beside him. She was wearing her card dealer hat. Michael, still upset by being shorter than Cat, had elected to stay home and spend time with Gabriel, who didn't judge. Cat had been dead set on coming and Sam wouldn't deny her the chance to beat some local gamblers at their own game.

    The Mauville Game Corner (the sugar-coated name for casino) hadn't changed much. The building had been dolled up a little, but not enough to deface it. Sam strolled inside. The main floor was for tourists or rookies, but there was an attic to the casino and that's where the true gamblers played with old-fashioned chips as opposed to coins. Sam walked up to the counter, slipped past it, and opened the door labeled "Employees Only."

    A short flight of stairs later, he was standing in the familiar room. Some things just don't change. He smiled. The lights were dim because they were cheap, the walls were painted deep, rich, dark red and the floor was made of rosewood with green carpet around the various tables. On this floor, it was a lot like western bars- everyone checked you out and formed their opinions. If they decided they didn't like you or were threatened by your presence, you were likely to get the shit beat out of you before literally being thrown out. Sam knew how to handle himself though. He met eyes of anyone who offered a challenging gaze and showed everyone that he was not afraid. Slowly, the people turned back to their games. Sam scanned the room and found the men he was looking for.

    The three men sat at their customary table in the far northeast corner of the room. They were champion gamblers at poker: Shadow, a very pale man of sixty with raven black hair and eyes; Whisper, a man somewhere in his forties who was strangled in his youth by his father, permanently damaging his throat to the point that he could not talk at a volume above a whisper (hence the name); and Jero, a man in his mid-fifties with long, platinum blonde hair pulled into a low ponytail and silver eyes. Their table was set up everyday for them with their drinks and food and one extra chair for anyone who wanted to challenge them. They played each other for hours at a time, like clockwork starting at dawn. Sam took the empty chair wordlessly. Cat crawled into his lap and then perched on the table in between him and Jero. There was a large stack of chips for them.

    Jero dealt him two facedown cards and, after a moment of hesitation, dealt Cat two cards as well as he scrutinized Sam's face silently. "It's been awhile… You seem well enough… Samuel."

    "Not looking too bad yourself, Jero," Sam responded politely, his face betraying nothing. He looked as his two cards quickly. "What's the big blind?"
    Whisper answered him, "500." Cat put the small blind forward. "Smart Abra you got there."

    "She plays well." Sam slid his blind forward. Cat nodded to him happily, signaling that she was confident with her cards.

    "Call," Shadow stated calmly. "You have to be the only man who would teach a Pokémon to play poker."

    "I have a lot of free time," Sam stated coolly.

    "Call." Whisper eyed Sam evenly then shifted his gaze back to his cards. "Heard you've picked up the death trade."

    Sam shrugged, his face void of any emotion. "For a short time… And my skills served the Guild well."

    Jero watched Sam's face carefully. "So we have heard… I also heard that you were consorting with a woman not of the Guild… You should know better… Call."

    Sam met his gaze coolly. "You're the second person to ask about her and I'll tell you the same thing I told the first person; that it is none of your business… Call."

    Jero shrugged as he laid three cards face up in the middle of the table as the Flop. "Let me impart this wisdom to you- don't give yourself the chance to fall for a woman outside the Guild."

    "A thief with as many enemies as you have would spell her death," Shadow added.

    "She and other innocents would die for their connection to you," Whisper intoned quietly.

    Cat gave Sam a confused look. She didn't understand what they meant but she didn't like it. Sam shrugged. "I appreciate your concern, but I can handle my personal relationships without the advice of three grumpy old men."

    Cat looked at the cards in the middle, she didn't seem overly pleased but Sam knew that could mean a variety of different things. She nodded her consent to 'check'.

    "Check… You should have more respect for your elders. We've been around longer than you have… I've played the innocent game-it's not something you want to lose," Shadow stated calmly.

    "To have walls is to be safe, not foolish… Check," Whisper mumbled.

    "Let no one close and no one can hurt you. you know this to be the truth," Jero commented coldly. "Check."

    "Check… Because clearly I want to end up like you three with nothing but a good game of poker to keep me company," Sam returned dryly. "Even if I was 'consorting' with some woman while I was gone, she stayed there. We were never together and we never will be. So drop the subject. I didn't come here to discuss that."

    "Of course. You want to know the word on the streets?" Jero asked as he dealt one more card face up on the table.

    "Who are the new Captains and what happened to the old ones?" Sam replied. He eyed the community cards on the table and the two cards in his hand. On the outside, his expression was indifferent. Inwardly, he resisted a smug smile.

    Shadow looked as his cards and debated as he spoke. "Argon of Rustboro died of illness and was replaced by a young girl named Roxanne. Sophia of Dewford retired and then was murdered- she was replaced by your old friend Brawly. Wattson has stayed. Hugo, Flannery's grandfather, finally retired and Flannery took his place… Fold." He set his cards down.

    Whisper picked up where he left off. "Madeline of Fortree disappeared off the face of the earth, she was replaced by a young girl- Winona. Luthor of Mossdeep was murdered and his gym handed over to twins, Liza and Tate… Check."

    "Check… And Nora was murdered in her own bed and replaced by a young woman named Phoebe."

    "Now that is interesting… Check. What do you know of Team Aqua and Magma?"

    Jero dealt out the fifth and final card to the pile for the last round of betting, known as the River. Whisper watched Cat warily as she huffed and showed a great deal of frustration as she put 200 more in the pot. "Does your Abra know that she can fold?"

    "Yes… What will you do? Check, raise, or fold?" Sam asked nonchalantly.

    Whisper eyed him suspiciously. "Fold. Team Aqua and Magma are two groups of environmentalists who are advocating changing the geographical map. Aqua wants more water and Magma wants more land. Thus far, they haven't done anything significant. They are really rather harmless."

    Jero nodded. "300 in." He put in his bet. "They aren't really into stealing Pokémon and to be honest, they are little more than an eyesore."

    "That's nice to know… 300 in." Sam put in his bet. Sam met Jero's eyes evenly. The five community cards were: two of hearts, nine of diamonds, jack of diamonds, three of hearts, and four of hearts.

    Jero nodded slowly. Sam matching his bet was a bold move. He looked at his cards. "You are welcome… And one more thing- there was someone asking around for you in the Slateport market."

    Sam allowed a smile at that. "A man with blonde hair wearing a green shirt? Or Blue… Or Red."

    "No… This person was a woman," Whisper stated.

    Sam stared at them blankly. Shadow described her. "Aye… Older woman. She was wearing sunglasses, all black, and wore a veil. She was dressed as if she was going to a funeral."

    "She had a very young boy at her side… He was barely a year old. She didn't give her name and she didn't know yours… She was asking for a man of your history and wanted a description of you… My men at the Market declined to tell her anything, but that doesn't mean she didn't find out anyway." Jero finally laid his cards down. "Two pair." His two of clubs matched the two of hearts and his nine of spades matching the nine of diamonds.

    Cat smirked and tugged on her snout joyfully, a gesture that Sam recognized as politely contained, smug laughter. She laid her cards down proudly: A five of diamonds and a six of spades. Shadow chuckled in amusement. "She has a straight, my friend. It seems we have lost."
    Jero chuckled and shook Cat's hand politely. "You are a great poker opponent, little one."

    Cat grabbed her foot in her paws and bit her toe as she sent Sam a devious and challenging look. Sam laid down his cards. "Sorry, Cat. Ace of hearts and five of hearts for a Straight Flush, I win. Gentlemen of the house, thank you for your time and for the help. You can keep my winnings and buy yourself a round of drinks and pretend I'm here to toast to the hope that your enemies never catch up to you."

    Whisper lifted a pretend wine glass at him. "Same for you. You're too young to die yet." The other two elder men waved a goodbye as Sam left the casino.
    The port city of Slateport was particularly busy on the pleasant Hoenn afternoon. A cruise ship was docked in the harbor and the rich passengers were swarming on the beach and in the market city. Sam observed the passengers from the somewhat safe area beside the lighthouse. The lighthouse was originally for decoration alone, but now the lighthouse would actually be needed. The Guild would get to rebuilding it sooner or later, making it real and full-sized, but it was hard to say when that would be.

    Sam listened to all the people's accents- he caught the unmistakable Johto/Kanto accent and another one he didn't recognize. None of them were from Hoenn, though. Hoenn's rich folk had their own yachts and hardly had use for luxury liners. He'd sent Cat home and left Michael to his nap. Instead, his hardy Machamp was with him. The powerful and silent Pokémon was a nice change from the usual fussing, complaining, and fighting of Michael and Cat. Machamp simply wanted to 'be' and protect his master. He was a lot like Scyther- he was a master of his area of expertise in fighting and would die to protect his master. On the other hand, he was like Bulbasaur in the sense that the machamp did not particularly enjoy fighting others and only resorted to violence when necessary. Usually, Sam didn't spend a great deal of time with the Pokémon beyond sparring to learn the art of fist fighting.

    Sam was pulled from his spacing out when a white hat with a light blue, silk ribbon landed beside his boot. He bent down to pick it up before the breeze carried it off again. As he stood back up, he heard the high heels clacking against the cobblestone sidewalk. A young girl in knee-length, electric blue dress walked as fast she could without running. Her orange hair was styled in ringlets and she looked strikingly like a doll.
    "Oh, that's my hat! It's mine! I am so sorry!" she girl squeaked in sweet voice, with a Kanto accent.

    Sam smiled at her disarmingly. "Nothing to apologize for." He handed her the hat, which she promptly put back on her head. "Did you come here on the ship?"

    "Oh yes! I'm Chloe… Nice to meet you!" She offered a dainty, gloved hand.

    "Chloe… You must be from Kanto?" he asked scanning the crowds of people for someone to claim the girl.

    She seemed stunned. "How'd you know that? Are you a mind reader?"

    "Ha ha... No. Just an educated guess… Did you come with your parents?"

    Chloe looked around worriedly. "Um… No. My parents sent me here to spend the summer with my auntie Rose and cousin Anette… They were supposed to meet me here..."

    Sam looked around for anyone who seemed to be searching for someone else. "Did they say where exactly?"

    "Mmm… They said the market. But I went to the mart and they weren't there!"

    Sam chuckled. "You went to the wrong mart. Come with me, I will take you to the real Slateport Market." He offered her his arm and she took it, almost clinging to him. He strolled easily through the crowd to the Market and planted himself in front of the first booth. It wasn't long before two women approached them with relief on their faces. The oldest of the girls had chestnut hair and slightly sun-kissed skin. She brought with her the heavy but pleasant scent of various flowers. The girl with her was a somewhat chubby blonde wearing a green, lacey dress.

    "Chloe! Thank goodness! Your mother would have been furious if something had happened to you." The woman Sam deduced to be Rose hugged Chloe tightly and kissed her forehead.

    "I'm sorry of worrying you, auntie." Chloe hugged her Aunt Rose before moving on to talk to her cousin.

    "Thank you so much for helping her," Rose said gratefully.

    "Oh no, it's not a problem," Sam chuckled. "I don't mind- she wasn't a bother at all."

    "Well… Thank you again, her safety means a lot to me and her parents."

    "I don't need a reward if that's what you're implying," Sam said with a careless shrug and charming smile.

    Rose smiled and brushed her hair behind her ear. "Have a nice day… Come on, Chloe, Anette. Let's go."

    Sam watched them go. Once they were out of sight, he pulled out the bracelet of pearls he'd taken off the little girl's wrist. "Real pearls… Huh. That's rich people for you." Machamp stared at him blankly. Sam returned the stare. "What?" Machamp shrugged expressively. "I wasn't talking to you," Sam clarified, indignantly. A grunt was all he got as response. With one final inspection of his prize, Sam put the string of pearls in the chest pocket of his vest. With a quick look around to make sure that the women had not come back to look for the bracelet, he walked down to the beach to inspect the cruise liner.

    He'd learned a fair amount about ships between growing up with Mr. Briney and from joining in on several of Drake's pirating raids. Drake's skill as a sailor and, more importantly, pirate served the Guild very well. Everything Hoenn sold was black market merchandise since Drake's pillaging brought in most of it. By standing along side Drake in several of these adventures, he caught on that committing such a bold crime and getting away with it was truly an art form.

    Compared to Drake's ship, the cruise liner was a sluggish wailord. It was big and bulky… Which also made it a perfect target for a pirate. Wait… I wonder…Sam walked to the larboard side of the ship to get a look at the aft of the ship. Though he did have sharp eyes, the sun was hitting the ship just right and there was an intense glare so he waded into the water to maneuver out the sun's rays. Machamp followed him to the water's edge but refused to actually step in the water as he watched it with distrust. Sam made a minor mental note of Machamp's dislike for water as he thought aloud. "Ha! Go figure Drake got to them first… That old sea dog never did pass up on treasure freights like this thing. Pity though- that means there's not much point in me going aboard since he's already claimed the choice cuts… Huh. Bummer."

    He turned back and waded back to the shore. The water was pretty shallow near the shore, so his pants were only soaked up to his knees. "Now would be good time for Michael to be around. Why can't you transform into something useful?" Sam accused Machamp jokingly. The Pokémon scowled at him and huffed indignantly. "I'm kidding! Geez, you're so touchy."

    "Who are you talking to?" Sam looked up from attempting to wring out the bottoms of this cargo pants. A short woman with a perfect hourglass figure and long blonde hair that reached her waist was staring at him with curious look.

    Sam pretended to be slightly embarrassed. "You heard that?"

    "Part of it… We're you talking to your Pokémon?" She asked. Her hazel eyes sparkled with interest.

    "Yes… I was. He actually understands what I'm saying, for the most part. So I'm actually not as crazy as you might be led to believe," Sam explained.

    "Oh, no. I didn't think you were crazy… I've always admired trainers who could communicate with their Pokémon like that. My name's Nicola."

    Sam shook her hand warmly and flashed a charming smile. "Nicola… Pretty name. Now, I don't recognize your accent… Are you from Sinnoh?"

    Nicola laughed. "Oh, you are smooth… But, I won't answer that question until you tell me your name."

    "Ooh… Feisty," Sam commented with a slight smirk. Then he just shrugged carelessly. "My name's Sam, but you can call me whatever."

    "You have any other nicknames?" Nicola asked, amused.

    Sam sighed. "Bastard, asshole… A little shit... The list goes on. Anyway, what brought you out to the wonderful region of Hoenn?"

    "Well, crime is getting a little out of hand back home… So I came to get away for a while with my friend, Jenna… Speaking of which- I need to find Jenna and a room and unpack our suitcases!"

    "You're leaving? I'm so sad…" Sam gave her a mock pitiful look, but retained a slight smirk.

    "I am…" She bit her lower lip and looked up at him from under her long eyelashes flirtatiously. "Maybe I'll see you around?"

    "It's possible." Nicola smiled at him and then walked away. Sam watched her leave, fingering the pearl bracelet he'd stolen from Chloe earlier in his pocket. Machamp waited beside him patiently for any type of instruction. "Well, I have caused enough problems." With an eye out for anything expensive on the milling tourists (and picking up what he saw) he ghosted back to his villa.
    Even in the gloom, the piles upon piles of gold, silver, and jewels glittered. Sam stood among the treasure. He turned the pearl bracelet over in his hand. The farthest wall was the only area that was lit and completely covered with maps. One large map of the entire region was the center point surrounded by almost a hundred other maps. Some were marked off- maps that had already been exploited. He focused on each map in turn as he considered where he'd make his next move.

    The map that Mr. Briney had given him had led to a cave only accessible by diving deep into the sea. The cave itself was incredible: lined almost completely with gold to worship something an ancient people called 'golems'. Three golems… All sealed away "for the protection of the leviathan, Regigigas, and for the protection of us all- both now and those that come after." But what on earth is a 'golem' and what is a 'leviathan'? An old bloodline of great rulers? Or a kingdom that no longer exists? And protect us from what? What are these things capable of… Considering the fifteen mil plus I gained just from that room, they must be pretty damn important.

    Sam fingered the old wood of the chest he'd found a second map in. For the safety of the old parchment, he'd left it in its protective coffin. Finally, he decisively opened the chest and took the map out as carefully as he could. It was easily a thousand years old, but it had stayed in impressive condition. Compared to the map on the wall before him- the map in his hands showed far more land to Hoenn. It must have sank into the seas when Kyogre and Groudon fought… He compared the maps carefully and pinpointed the correct location on the map.

    The desert… Interesting.
    AN: Because I know that you guys are so excited about my author's note. Lol. Cat played a game of poker... SO funny. I honestly could not resist. And next up- a good ol' temple raid... Like you've never seen before.

    Ugh... Also spent the whole last week working on creating a website... A zombie apocalypse RP site. :) I am doing A TON of the graphic art work and whatnot. It's crazy, but it'll be pretty awesome when it's finished. I'll probably be putting the link up here when it's finished (which will hopefully be next week.)

    But, anyhoo- Big shout out to my awesome beta: DarkAngelTorchic! And Soulmaster!

    *sorry this is late... Allergies and staring at a computer screen for long hours don't go together. :\ Pollen should be eradicated with extreme prejudice and a a lot of fire. I. Hate. Spring.

  11. #11
    I'm back! Finally Soulmaster's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    Default Re: GSTA: Hoenn

    Well I'm getting later on checking them :P

    Very nice but a couple of your Poker terms were off if I remember correctly. But overall a good chapter.

    I found a couple of capitalization mistakes but when I went back over the chapter I couldn't find them :P

    Credit for the Banner goes to Pyradox. Link to URPG stats
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  12. #12
    Registered User Noteleks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Re: GSTA: Hoenn

    No copyright infringement intended.
    The hot Hoenn sun beat down on the already parched earth. The sand whipped around mercilessly on the wind, forcing average travelers away. Those that chose to brave these terrible weather conditions were armored with special gear: special goggles being one item of importance and light-colored clothing being a significant other. A few campers braved the desert and there was one lone maniac looking for fossils. Most of them noticed the stranger in their midst- he was wearing cargo pants, a white windbreaker jacket with a black stripe running up the side, and as opposed to the geeky goggles, he wore a pair of sunglasses.

    Sam paid no attention to them. He looked at the map in his hand and looked up at the odd rock formation in front of him. How many times did I just walk past this thing? Seeing no reason to hesitate, he approached the huge rock in the center. It was obvious that there was a door to the inside, but it was sealed tightly. Forced entry won't do me any good… There must be a way to open it. He looked around at the other rocks surrounding the center one. Six… They must be significant somehow. Sam approached the nearest of the rocks and inspected it. It's definitely old… And, judging by the color variation, possibly of a different material than the other rocks here. He looked at the cliff nearby. They aren't the same… So how did this even get her? It's the same material as the center rock too.

    Curious, he inspected the rock carefully from all sides, but found nothing. The rock was completely solid- no indentations, switches, or inscriptions. There had to something here at one point… It must have eroded away over the centuries. Sam stared at the rock with a small measure of defeat.

    Then a Swablu flew over and landed on top of the rock. The small bird looked down at him, and after preening its golden feathers, cocked its head to one side and chirped a short song happily.

    "Of course! Thank you, my small friend." He held out his hand with a Pokémon treat in it. The Swablu swooped down and took it out of his hand joyfully. The golden bird perched back on the rock, hoping that it could win another treat if it was helpful.

    The rock wasn't entirely smooth, but there weren't quite enough indentations to make the climb easy. Sam had brought Michael, Cat, Machamp, Skipper, his Swampert, and Tyson, his Blaziken, with him, but he knew already that Skipper and Tyson didn't like the desert and Machamp was also likely to have a hard time. Michael and Cat had been given the option of walking beside him, but Michael made it very clear that he was having no part of the desert and put himself in his Poké Ball. Cat scowled and tried to not show any outward signs of misery, but Sam put her away too. It wasn't likely that they were going to be overly helpful now.

    It's a good fifteen feet high… That first good hand hold is pretty much the top… I can probably reach that. Sam backed away from it and then ran towards it. Due to the incline of the rock's surface, he was able to run five steps up the side of it, which brought him up just far enough to be able to grab the ledge of the rock. The golden Swablu sang happily, seeming impressed by his athletic feat. He pulled himself on top of the rock and sat on it. He immediately noticed the telltale sign he was looking for. There was a round indentation in the rock surrounding a large button made of the same stone with an arrow on it.

    "Bingo." Sam looked around at all the other stones. The sand made it hard to see, but there appeared to be identical indentations on all the stones as well as something else on the top of the center rock temple. Can I climb that? … No. It's too tall- I'd have to deface the rock for that and that's usually a bad idea. And more than likely, it won't work without messing with these first. He looked down at the button. Cautiously, he tried to press it down, but it didn't do anything. He fingered the edges of and felt the grooves in the sides.

    It turns… But which way?

    He looked around at the other stones, debating. Old tribes typically had a great deal of respect for the sun… So maybe East… He looked at the arrow again, it was pointing southeast. The opposite direction from the temple… After a quick debate, he pressed the button down and turned it till the arrow was pointing directly at the temple. At first nothing happened. Sam stared at the button in confusion. Then the whole rock underneath him shook and the top of the rock appeared to start to break a little bit. That's when Sam realized that he was perched directly on top of a circular pattern that was starting to shift.

    He didn't have a chance to move before it erupted with insanely bright light that reminded him of the tiles at the Pokémon Tower. As the light died down he realized that one of the other rocks started to glow for a split second before going out. My next destination…? His apparently new companion, the Swablu, flew over the rock and perched on top of it in case he forgot. Sam didn't really need the assistance, but the Swablu was insistent on helping him out.

    Once he finally got to the last one, the one furthest east, Sam hesitated for a moment before turning the button. I wonder what it'll do this time… The light is great- but it doesn't help me any since it's daylight out here. Swablu chirped at him impatiently. Sam promptly turned the button. The light erupted from the stone like normal. Then the rock started to shake and the air seemed to vibrate. The light intensified. Sam considered moving but decided against it in case he would have to climb back up. Then the light started branching out. Sam moved out of its way quickly. Rays of light connected with each other to form two triangles. One triangle formed from the far east rock, the southwest rock, and the northwest rock while the other connected the remaining three to form a six-pointed star.

    Sam could only stare at the other significant thing that had happened: small dots of light were glowing in an 'H' pattern on all sides of the temple. The lights were situated on small, jutting pieces of rock- a path up to the top of the temple. Swablu swooped around in the air joyfully. Sam climbed down from the rock and approached the temple. "Incredible… " This is ancient technology that's as advanced if not more than present day… How the hell did they manage to do this?

    Swablu, in its infinite impatience, sat on his head and squawked at him. Without a second thought, Sam scaled the stone temple and reached the top where there was another round button. It has the same star pattern… But it isn't lined up right. Sam pressed the button in and turned it so the pattern on the surface of the button matched the pattern of light in the air. As soon as it matched the button shot upwards. Sam pulled back from it quickly to avoid being hit in the face. A short pillar rose up, covered in rows of moving dots similar to those on the sides of the temple.

    He was unable to anything more than stare as the rays of light started to redirect at the column. As all the beams locked on it, the temple started to vibrate. Sam heard the grating of old gears and the creaking of something opening underneath him. The door…? Once the creaking and grating noises stopped, the lights disappeared. He heard the click of the buttons on the surrounding stones go back to their old positions and the column started to sink back in with ticking sound. Realizing that he only had so much time to get through the door before it closed, Sam scrambled off the side of the temple and had to dive to get in the doors before they closed. Swablu managed to get in with him with a panicked squawk.

    Sam brushed himself off to indulge his need to regain his lost dignity, not that any one had seen him. He took stock of his surroundings. This is one hell of a cave… It was a big room and the temple itself was two stories high. The first floor was made of grayer stone than the second story, which was more orange and the both had pronounced ridges where small steams of water ran down like a continuous fountain. On the first floor, the vegetation was limited, but on the second floor, flowered vines draped the walls like giant curtains around four giant, arched openings. The entire ceiling was covered in ancient pictures of several giant beings. Sam had to squint and focus his gaze sharply on the figures and he still couldn't quite distinguish them.

    I'll just have to go up to the second floor to get a better look. With that revelation noted, Sam focused more on the task at hand- how to get into the tomb. Damn… there are traps everywhere. He could see the signs of various different traps: discoloration where there were spiked pitfalls or nooses, slots in the wall where, no doubt, poisonous darts would come flying out of, and, of course, the grates in the floor that released poisonous gas if triggered.

    Sam turned to the Swablu with him. "Well, looks like we've got our work cut out for us, huh?" The golden bird sang happily in response. Sam was highly entertained by the little bird's happy-go-lucky attitude. He handed over a treat to reward the Pokémon for its help thus far, which the Swablu ate with relish. Sam set about clearing the main floor. Instead of just dodging the traps, he simply dismantled them so he wouldn't have to avoid them twice. Of course that ended up being tedious work. In the past, he'd sometimes have Tyson burn the traps so there was nothing left. In this instance, letting him out would risk triggering a trap.

    Dismantling ancient traps was usually as simple as unhooking various lines from each other. The grates could easily be removed with a simple screwdriver and the poisonous powder removed from its cradle. Anyone could disable the slots in the wall by plugging the cracks with either clay (preferably) or tar. Sam was readily equipped with plenty of both. Special tools often weren't required. Sam finished with the last of the traps and his attention was directed to the odd inscription on the far north wall. Despite the fact that he could often figure out ancient languages, the short line of random dots had Sam stumped. Maybe the second floor with have some sort of book so I have more to go off of… Though getting up there won't be easy. Swablu hovered around him anxiously.

    "What? You haven't earned yourself another treat just yet." Sam told it with an amused smile. The little golden bird chattered with impatience. Sam gazed up at the second floor. Now that I've disabled the traps on the main floor, it should be okay to release Michael.

    The Pokémon materialized from the ball at Sam's call. Michael looked around with curiosity.

    "We're in some ancient ruins," Sam said in response to Michael's unspoken question. The pink Pokémon looked around with his ears back and growled uncomfortably. "What's the matter?" Sam asked, not sure he liked that Michael was upset by something.

    "There's something powerful here…" Michael growled at the unknown monster lying somewhere in the depths of the cave.

    Sam considered the consequences of continuing, but decided that if anything were to happen, he was well protected between his six Pokémon. "We'll be careful. For now, I need a lift to the second floor." Michael put his ears back and growled his disapproval, but complied by transforming into Articuno. With an ungainly, hop-skip run, he took to the air and then swooped down to pick up Sam. Swablu was shooting around excitedly in the air around them. Michael hovered near the arched opening so Sam could get off and he could transform into something smaller to fit through the doorway.

    Sam and Michael stood side-by-side, both gaping at the sheer natural beauty of the scene around them. The walls were the natural stone of the temple and draped with plants from the once tended garden. Now that no one was here to keep it contained, the vines and plants had spread rampant. There was a giant lake of clean, glittering, blue water below. Extremely intricate architectural designs and motifs decorated all of the archways and columns that held up the domed ceiling. Swablu danced around in the air and sang with its apparently unending joy. Finally, Sam noticed the whirling sound coming from both sides. He looked to his right first to see an arched hallway that lead to other rooms of the temple… The hallway was also swarming with giant logs covered in spikes that whirled around in their set tracks.

    Sam flinched at the thought of being hit by one of those. He'd undoubtedly be torn apart in seconds. On the left giant axes swung back and forth. There must be a power source. If I can find that and shut it off… Sam looked around for anything that could offer energy. He saw nothing useful. Oh, don't tell me… Sam turned around and looked back at the lake and sure enough, he could see a waterfall that was falling right onto a giant wheel, turning it and all the gears that led off it to power the traps."Damn it all. They would know how to harness water's natural power…" Michael stared at Sam with concern. Sam sighed. "Looks like you'll have to go back in your Poké Ball."

    Michael growled unhappily. "If there's really something here… I won't leave you unprotected."

    "Oh come on, Michael. I'm not unprotected… I have this Swablu here to protect me." Michael growled at him, unamused. Sam sighed. "Fine… Fine. But you'd better not get hurt." Michael nodded. Sam stared at the waterfall. I wonder if we can block the water… "Michael, can you… pull the rock of the cliff out to block the water?" Michael shook his head. Swablu chattered at Sam excitedly. Sam looked to Michael for translation.

    "She says that we can stop the wheel if we locked it. There is a lever in the gatehouse down there…" Michael looked back at the golden Swablu. She continued on chattering. "And she says that the lever is old, but it should lock the wheel long enough to get through the hallway."

    Sam stared at the Swablu questioningly."Well, I don't know how she could possibly know that, but okay… I guess." Maybe she was exploring while I was spacing out or not paying attention? The golden bird winged away, down to the watermill. Sam and Michael stared at each other. Can a two-pound bird pull a lever down to lock a huge wheel turned by the force of a fast-running waterfall? Apparently yes. They were both startled when the traps actually started slowing to a stop.

    The golden Swablu returned to them and stared at Sam expectantly. Sam pulled out a treat mechanically while wondering how the hell a little bird Pokémon had managed to perform such a feat all by herself.

    Without further delay, Sam traveled through the hallways looking for anything with more of the writing on it. He found several precious artifacts, but nothing with any clues portraying how to open the door to where all the treasure was. Somewhat frustrated by the lack of helpful evidence, Sam started pacing around a balcony overlooking the main floor below. Suddenly, he remembered the mural above. He looked up at it. There were ten bigger figures total. Nine of them were colossal looking beasts and one was a very small thing. Sam focused his gaze on it, making out the details. The cat-like body, big feet, long tail… Is that a Mew? Sam looked at the others carefully in turn. Two of them seemed very familiar to him. One looked like it could be Rayquaza and another like Arceus. They must all be powerful legendary Pokémon… Sam stared at the mural again. One in particular was given special detail- a giant humanoid being surrounded by three smaller humanoid beings. The books where I found the map spoke of one great leviathan, Regigigas, and three golems… So they are Pokémon? That still doesn't explain what a leviathan is other than implying that it's an extremely powerful legendary Pokémon.

    Michael, after reading his thoughts, mewed at him. Sam snapped out of his thoughts and looked at Michael with confusion. Michael stared back at him with equal lack of understanding. Looking at Michael, the realization suddenly hit that if Regigigas was a 'leviathan' then so was a Mew and all the other great Pokémon on the ceiling. Michael tilted his head at him with absolutely no comprehension of Sam's thoughts. Unsure what to do, Michael floated up and wrapped around his shoulder and snuggled into his face. Sam smiled at the show of affection and scratched Michael underneath the chin- his favorite spot. Michael craned his chin out and growled with happiness since purring was highly beneath the proud Pokémon.

    Sam sighed. "Well, we found something at least. I guess we'll just have to call it quits and find a way out. I don't know how to open that door." Michael growled appreciatively, he didn't want to stay anyway. The golden Swablu, however, had different emotions about it. It swooped round Sam's head frantically as it rambled off a big message in chirps.

    Michael translated. "She says that she knows how to open the door…."

    "How?" Sam asked, his curiosity aroused. This would be the second time the little bird knew something she, in all logic, shouldn't. The bird shot off another stream of clipped chirps.

    "She says that she'll show us." Both Pokémon and thief had to react quickly as the energetic Swablu flew off towards the main floor. Michael and Sam followed quickly. The Swablu stopped short of the floor and started beating its wings, stirring up an extremely powerful gust that cleared all of the excess dust away, revealing a small circular indentation in the floor about two and three steps west and south of the center of the weird writing. The Swablu perched on the stone and pecked it quickly, looking at Sam for understanding.

    Sam looked at Michael for clarification. "She wants you push the stone in."

    "And turn it? Or just… "

    "Just push it in," Michael responded. Sam approached the circular tile and gave the Swablu another treat for her help. He tried to push it in cautiously, but the tile wouldn't budge. He tried harder but the tile seemed set in stone. I'll need strength for this… Sam pulled out a Poké Ball and released his Hariyama. The Pokémon bowed to him respectfully, the Pokémon had always been very respectful, polite, and formal. "Hariyama, can you push that tile in for me?"

    Hariyama bowed again and took a stance above the tile. He took in deep breath, filling his huge chest with air before slamming a fist onto the button, pushing it in. As soon as his fist was off the tile, it popped back up. But more importantly the door to the treasure was now open. Sam left Hariyama out now that the hairs down Michael's back were standing on end and his ears were back warily. Sam approached the open door cautiously. Swablu flew right in excitedly. Once inside the room, Sam was instantly confronted by the sight of a solid rock humanoid Pokémon. Michael growled at it hostilely.

    Sam decided to simply move slowly and quietly around the obviously strong Pokémon. He pulled a 'Poké Ball' from his pocket, only this Poké Ball wasn't for catching Pokémon. Its use was far more practical.

    When a treasure was too great too carry, many thieves would simply take what they could carry in one go and leave the rest for someone else to find. Sam had never been fond of letting so much as one tiny, damaged pearl slip from his grasp. So, he came up with the idea of programming a Poké Ball to 'capture' gold, silver, and other precious materials. He drew up the plans using his creativity and had Mr. Briney build it for him. The man was definitely crazy, but he was a genius at engineering such things. It had turned out to be a profitable relationship between the two.

    Sam aimed the Poké Ball at the heaps of gold and jewels around him. He would worry about what all he'd found later. Each 'Gold Ball', as he and Mr. Briney called them, held about a hundred pounds of material. He only needed one Gold Ball for this, but the ball was maxed out on what it could hold. Sam turned to see the golden Swablu hovering around the rock Pokémon anxiously. Sam watched warily, not sure what it was up to, but more concerned with the chest in the far corner of the room. He pulled out his lock picking tools and unlocked the three massive locks holding it together. Old locks were incredibly easy since they didn't have all the extra cylinders, trick gates that made you start all over if you tripped one, or fake bolts. The chest was open quickly and Sam picked up the new map from the interior of the chest. He pulled out his other map and compared them.

    If this one shows the desert, than this one is on route 105 north of Dewford… Have I seen a formation like this there before? Sam struggled to remember such an odd landmass but ultimately figured he'd find it later anyway. He put both maps inside the small, velvet-lined chest and picked it up carefully. He crept past the legendary rock Pokémon carefully and once everyone, including the golden Swablu, was outside the room, he shut the door.

    Now… How do we get out of here? The door they'd came through as shut and sealed tightly now. Sam looked around for way out, then decisively turned to Swablu. "Do you know how to get back out?"

    Swablu sang a yes and winged up to the ceiling. Sam recalled Hariyama back to his Poké Ball, but left Michael out. Both moved towards the front door and tried to watch the little bird to see what she was doing. All they saw was the column start to lift up- letting some light into the cave as well as open the door. From what Sam could tell, Swablu was simply pushing it up. Seeing no reason to hesitate, as soon as the door was open wide enough, he slipped through with Michael.

    The door slammed shut almost instantly behind them. Sam and Michael shared a glance. What about Swablu? Sam considered reopening the door so the little bird could come out. They would design the temple so that self-sacrifice is the only way out, he thought grimly. Suddenly, the air in front of them shimmered and started to turn blue as a portal appeared. Swablu flew out of this portal like it was her own, but a Swablu couldn't learn teleport… Can they? The happy bird dug into the pocket where he kept the treats. As she ate the treat, she transformed right in front of him back to her natural form: a Mew. A solid blue Mew. Sam and Michael stared at her with surprise and without comprehension. The Mew smiled at them pleasantly before doing a back-flip in the air and disappearing in another portal.

    Sam and Michael stared at each other. "Remind me to never trust a weird Swablu ever again," Sam finally said, only half joking.

    The fist of the temples... And the coolest, in my opinion. Gotta love temples and traps... And most of all- treasure. :)

    Shout out to my beta, DarkAngelTorchic! ^^ And Soulmaster!

    *website not finished yet... ... We had to push the launch date back. Too much art and coding and stuff. @_@ It was ridiculous.*

  13. #13
    I'm back! Finally Soulmaster's Avatar
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    Default Re: GSTA: Hoenn

    That last line there is one of the best so far. It was well written and flowed nicely.

    I saw no mistakes in the main part but in the AN you spelled "first" as "fist"

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  14. #14
    Registered User Noteleks's Avatar
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    Feb 2012

    Default Re: GSTA: Hoenn

    No copyright infringement intended.
    Upon returning home with his treasure, Sam had put it away and promptly looked through his library of books for anything pertaining to three 'golems' or Regigigas. His search that day had been futile and he'd eventually abandoned his task when Steven had shown up regarding Mr. Briney. The old man was now sailing around at the bidding of some trainer named May. Upon recognizing the name, Sam had waved it off with a 'he's actually sane when he's sailing.' Steven had been doubtful and had started arguing over it. In the end, they'd called it a 'truce'. Steven had stayed for a while after that since he was curious as to how Cat had managed to beat Shadow, Whisper, and Jero in a poker game. Michael and Sam watched and laughed as Cat beat Steven 10-2. All in all, that day had ended on a rather pleasant note.

    The next morning saw Sam back in the library looking for a book that might contain something, or really anything to do with the golems. He'd been up for almost an hour now. Cat, in her infinite energy, had woken him up at dawn by jumping on his chest to tell him that she thought she'd grown even taller… Though Sam, to humor her, checked against the doorpost and she hadn't. He didn't tell her that because he didn't want to burst her bubble. Michael, on the other hand, wasn't worried about crushing her hopes and had spent the whole morning arguing with her about it.

    They were now sitting on the over-stuffed armchair in the library, still arguing. Why do I feel like a high school principal? Sam stared at the books miserably. Finally, an old tomb he'd found in the Ruins of Alph years ago caught his eye. That book has a lot of ancient stories in it… Surely it would have some mention of at least Regigigas in it… Right? He pulled it off the shelf carefully and walked over to the large, mahogany desk in the middle of the library. He flipped through the pages carefully as he quickly scanned for a 'regi' anything. Eventually, he found it.

    He read that page and the three pages following it all concerning legendary Pokémon known as Regirock, Regice, Registeel, and Regigigas. So… I saw Regirock… And next is the ice golem- Regice? That is… Interesting… Apparently they regard Regigigas as the golem 'king.' When the golems went to 'sleep' they all put in gold and precious resources there to please them… Which means there's surely a huge amount of tribute in Regigigas' tomb! Sam smirked to himself at the thought of stealing such a huge amount of gold. The sound of Michael and Cat fighting each other in the physical sense broke his thoughts of hidden treasure. Michael was snarling at her and she had her fists clenched, ready to punch him.

    "Hey! If you two want to fight, take it outside! Go." The two Pokémon stared at him sheepishly. Michael put his ears back and gave Sam a pleading look. "No. Outside. Now." The two Pokémon glared at each other and sulkily crept outside.

    Sam ran his hand through his messy hair with a sigh. Those two have been at each other's throats every other minute for the most pointless things… They used to get along so well. This stupid sibling rivalry is going a bit too far. Sam sighed again. This height thing is going to stop… Or maybe that's the problem… I guess back in Kanto, Michael was stronger than Cat and she looked up to him. She thinks of him as her equal and it annoys him. Would he really have resentment over the fact that she's got the edge on him for being taller? Way back when, she tailed him around, needed him when she went outside, regardless of anything I said, and counted on him to help her out, but now she doesn't need him … But, really, Michael is be way stronger than Cat now because he's got the strength of a legendary Pokémon, for Arceus' sake! He's got a huge lead on her! They aren't equals at all… Or is it something I did… Am I showing favoritism?

    "Ah, why does this have to be so damn complicated! … … Maybe… He just doesn't know how to properly use his new powers… Arceus knows I haven't been training him at all… Maybe… Maybe I just need to do that." Sam sighed. Battling really wasn't his thing anymore. In truth, he really hadn't even raised Gabriel. That Pokémon was ridiculously intelligent and hardly needed a trainer to tell him what to do… For the most part, he'd just humored Sam. They're both more than capable of taking on almost any opponent. I could probably challenge the Elite Four. I never did challenge them… Or I could just fight Steven. He would do it and I'll lose and no one would be surprised… I could call…. Ah, he'll be back sooner or later.

    With another heavy sigh he left the library and was met by Gabriel. "What's up, old boy?" The massive steel Pokémon grumbled and tossed his horned head grumpily. Sam got the message. "Cat and Michael woke you up?"

    Gabriel snorted unhappily. Sam flipped on the TV to see if Team Aqua or Magma had done something significant over the past 24 hours. The news showed a brief story about how Team Aqua had surrounded the Oceanic Museum in Slateport. They were apparently after some goods from Devon but a young trainer, May, had thwarted them. They were able to air pieces of the battle between two grunts and the lone trainer. But she'd done the world's youth proud by beating them to the ground with nothing more than her combusken. Sam watched, impressed by her talent for battling.

    Just as Sam was about to turn it off, he heard the newswoman say something about an explosion and an orphanage. He looked up instantly and turned the TV up.

    "That's right, Ana, this is the eighth time in the last year. The Hopewell Orphanage was situated in an old and unsafe building that blew up from a gas leak. Let's check it out."

    They cut to footage of the brick building exploding and firefighters with their blastoise trying to put out the flames. Sam watched, completely engrossed. This is the eighth time something like this has happened? … From a gas leak? That can't possibly be a coincidence. Is there… A serial bomber out there?

    "That's just horrible. The police have been looking for days, but they can't find a trace of the fifteen children that were living there." Sam flinched at the lack of genuine caring in her voice. It is terrible… It's not just a story. If you can call staying at an orphanage 'living' Sam thought dryly.

    "But, the Hopewell orphanage isn't the first building to explode from a gas leak. There have been firehouses, police stations, offices, and two other orphanages that have been destroyed by gas leaks. The police officers and firefighters highly recommend that anyone with an old home or owns and old building to get it checked out so something like this-" they aired the tape of the orphanage exploding again, "won't happen to you."

    Sam turned the TV off. The attitude of news reporters absolutely drove him crazy and it was why he didn't watch the news or TV in general ever. The reporter's obsession with nothing more than a juicy story made him absolutely sick. "People like them shouldn't be considered human beings," Sam growled. Gabriel snorted and shook his head. He couldn't understand why his master would bother with the odd box of flashing lights. As far as he was concerned, the box was evil and needed to be destroyed.

    "I see that your feelings towards reporters is the same as ever."

    Sam jumped at the sound of the deep voice behind him. He turned to face the man who'd walked in. "Drake?" The old man standing behind couldn't possibly be anyone else. The hat, gaunt face, frayed, silk, long coat, large, solid gold buckle on his thick belt, the lack of shirt covering his tanned skin, and, perhaps his most distinguishing feature, the mustache.

    Drake managed a small smile on his normally stern and almost evil face. "I heard you'd been stirring up trouble again."

    "I noticed you've been attacking cruise liners lately. I was so disappointed to find that my prize had already been looted," Sam returned with a hurt expression.

    "Ha! Like you need the money," Drake laughed. His booming voice echoed in the walls.

    Sam shrugged. "I still accept donations, if you're interested."

    Drake shook his head in disbelief. "I wouldn't donate a piece of garbage to you!"

    Sam chuckled. "It's a good thing I don't want garbage then, or I'd be sorely disappointed… Now, what brings you to me?"

    "Just a friendly visit… I see you were actually watching the news for once. What brought that on?"

    "Just keeping tabs on Team Magma and Aqua."

    Drake smirked. "Now that sounds more like you… It was a great day for press-haters everywhere when they tried to interview you," he chuckled.

    "Oh… Yeah. That was awesome…" Sam smiled at the memory.

    "You were what, eight? You had an attitude though… And they wanted to know who you were, where you came from, and who your parents were."

    "And how I'd managed to beat Norman and how I felt about it," Sam continued.

    Drake laughed. "Oh, yes! That too!" Drake kept chuckling as he told the rest of the story. "And you just stared at them like they were garbage and then asked them-"

    "Why do you care?" Sam finished for him. "Oh, you should have seen the looks on their faces when I brushed them off and then had Gabriel knock them out of the way… I'm surprised you remembered all that," Sam commented.

    "How could I forget? I almost died choking on my breakfast when I started laughing!"

    "Ha! Oh… Good times," Sam chuckled. "Oh, by the way, what have heard about the 'gas-leak plague'?"

    "The what?" Drake stared at him blankly.

    Sam elaborated. "Oh you know, makes old buildings explode with one hell of a boom and a big mushroom cloud."

    "Oh… You mean all those buildings that have been blowing up because of old gas-heater systems… Arceus, Sam. Why didn't you just say so?"

    "What? And risk ruining all the fun?"

    Drake rolled his eyes. "Oh right… Fun. Of course. Anyway, I didn't even bother looking this morning. Why do you want to know?

    "Another orphanage exploded… It was 'terrible' according to the reporters," Sam said dryly.

    Drake shook his head sadly. "Eighth building so far. Third orphanage."

    "That's what I heard. How long has this been going on?" Sam inquired.

    "The first building, an orphanage in Kanto, blew up… about a year ago. They've been going up in flames like fireworks ever since. It really is like an epidemic."

    "It's a little to coincidental for my tastes…" Sam commented. He watched Drake's face as to see if he picked up the hint.

    Drake waved it off. "Oh come on, Sam. Paranoia is good thing for a thief like you who has a damn lot of enemies. But thinking like that is going a little too far."

    Sam was about to reply when he heard the unmistakable sound of a knife flying through the air. He ducked quickly and it flew harmlessly past him. He looked back to the doorway where the woman who'd gotten caught in his cage-trap was standing and preparing to throw another knife. Drake jumped back and was ready to release one of his dragons. Sam, however, didn't need the help. He rushed her, catching her totally off-guard. He grabbed the dagger in her hand, twisted her right arm behind her back, and disarmed her of all her weapons easily.

    "Little Bird, kindly knock before entering someone's home. It's simple manners, really."

    Drake gave him a weird look and looked at the seething assassin warily. "Uh… Sam? Maybe you shouldn't be goading her like that."

    Sam ignored him. Little Bird directed a whole stream of curses and insults at him. Sam tapped a finger on the edge of her nose and scolded her. "Tsk tsk, Little Bird, such language! Calm yourself now and be civil. If it's a fight you want, kindly wait until I'm finished talking to my dear old friend. Thank you." She gaped at him in utter shock. He released her and calmly walked back over to Drake.

    Drake shook his head wearily as he chuckled. "You are… Totally insane, aren't you?"

    "Oh, undoubtedly," Sam replied happily.

    Drake straightened his jacket. "I'll leave you to your... company, boy. But don't get yourself killed playing games with this assassin."

    "I wouldn't worry about that. It'll be fine," Sam said dismissively. Still shaking his head, Drake walked outside and then flew off on the back of his flygon. Now it was just Sam and Little Bird. She glared at him and watched warily as he walked to a chair and sat down calmly.

    "Well, it seems you were trying to kill me last time… That's interesting. I don't remember doing anything to you."

    Little Bird ground her teeth together her glare became even more vicious.

    Sam sighed and answered his own question. "You must be an assassin then… Hired to kill for someone else. Know how I know that? Because if you were here because of personal reasons, you would have been very pissed off by the fact that I don't remember you."

    "You know nothing!" she snarled at him.

    Sam flashed a charming smile at her. "Oh, but I do. Let me guess… Judging by your very young face and height, you're about eighteen. You're on the scrawny side, so you probably don't have much money or you aren't given much to eat. You've had a very rough childhood and you were forced to grow up faster than most kids. Because of that you're bitter, resentful of anyone whose life is better than yours, and tend to judge people on how much money they have because people do that to you. Your lack of real skill with a blade makes it clear that you haven't been working with daggers for very long… Which means you were recruited by one of my enemies in order to kill me… It also means that you're either an orphan or your parents sold you into slavery... Am I right, Little Bird?"

    The girl gaped at him, absolutely shocked. Her face then changed to being cold and distrustful. "How do you know that?"

    "Weren't you listening? I logically inferred it based off of clues."

    "Whatever," she growled, unsettled. "Why don't you just kill me? I've tried to kill you twice now and you just let me go."

    Sam shrugged. "Why would I kill you? You're an assassin. A hired killer. You aren't my enemy and I know that it's nothing personal. You want your money and I want to live. Plus, you can't talk to me if you're dead. I'm very interested in the person who hired you- that being said, I don't suppose you'd be kind enough to just tell me who that is?"

    "I won't tell you anything," Little Bird snarled at him contemptuously.

    Sam sighed. "No, I suppose not. What if I offered you a very handsome price for the information?"

    She answered him without hesitation. "The answer is still no."

    He shrugged and stood up. "Loyalty is a noble thing… I can't say I blame you. I wouldn't say anything in your position either." She stiffened slightly, wondering if he'd kill her now that she'd refused to answer his question. Instead, he tossed her daggers back to her. She stared at him blankly. He waved her off. "Go on. Shoo. Fly away, even… if you can… Though, as much as I'd like to see that, I rather doubt it."


    "If you aren't going to be useful then just go. You should know where the front door is- you've broken in twice. Oh, and practice with your daggers a little more… Thwarting your attempts to kill me isn't as fun when you aren't nearly as good as I am."

    She picked up her weapons, and after one final stare at him said, "You are a very strange man." She left after that. Leaving Sam to his own devices-whatever that so happened to be.

    Michael, who'd been watching the whole time to ensure Sam's safety, growled, "Oh she has no idea."

    Sam shot the Michael a sharp look. "Who asked you? And besides, you're supposed to be working out your little quarrel with Cat."

    Michael wrinkled his nose and growled. "I have no fight with her."

    "No? So you two just like to pick fights with each other?"

    Michael put his ears back and slunk over to him on all fours with his tail dragging. After a pitiful look at Sam, he flew up and wrapped around his shoulders. Michael remained quite for a few moments before snuggling into Sam's face with a soft 'mew'.

    Sam laughed and gave Michael a rough rub on his little pink head. "Aren't you the little charmer? I suppose you did learn from the best… Apology accepted, but I don't want anymore fighting between the two of you. What would you do if you seriously hurt her?"

    Michael growled uncomfortably. Cat appeared on the scene as well. She stood awkwardly in the doorway, scuffing her feet in the dirt. Sam held out a hand to her and she quickly ran over to him.

    "Izso vehry sawrie, Maester!" Cat told him piteously as she hugged his leg.

    "Yes yes, Cat. I know. But no more… And I especially don't want to hear about this whole 'height' thing anymore. Me and Gabriel tower over both of you, so you two can just stop it."

    Gabriel roared in agreement from outside, startling all three. Once he'd regained his composure, Sam continued speaking. "Gabriel's loud and very sudden roar reminds me- Cat, if you make fun of Michael for being shorter than you, I've have him hit you on the head and forever stunt your growth and you'll never get any taller."

    Cat stared at him in shock and seemed more than terrified by the threat. She nodded in complete obedience. Sam resisted the urge to laugh. For one, such a thing was impossible. Two- Like he'd ever let anything hurt her again.

    "Well, what do you two say to a battle with Steven?"

    Michael's eyes shone with a look that said 'really?' Cat looked up at him with a similar expression. Sam laughed. "Yes, really. You two, probably Gabriel and anyone else you two will accept."

    Cat and Michael shared an excited look. Cat nodded her head furiously. Michael growled happily. "I take that as 'yes'. Next time he shows up, I'll ask him… Or we can go find him at the Pokemon League the next time he decides to actually do his job."

    I am SO sorry!! May started with all those tests and semester garbage and I dropped a whole bunch of sites. T_T" Including this one... If it makes you guys feel any better, I felt pretty guilty about it. Anyhoo, I'll try to get you guys caught up to FanFiction... I'm up to chapter 10 there. And I will... Try to post 11 early as makeup. If not 11 then 12 for sure.

    AN: Coming soon to a story near you- a battle with Steven. It'll be pretty funny.

    Big shout out to my beta- DarkAngelTorchic. :) And Soulmaster, who I think will come back.

  15. #15
    Registered User Noteleks's Avatar
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    Feb 2012

    Default Re: GSTA: Hoenn

    No copyright infringement intended.
    Evening covered Hoenn with its cool darkness. Lavaridge basked in the heat the neighboring volcano brought and the steam from the hot springs hung above the ground. Seeing as to the inhabitants were now eating supper and preparing for bed, the small town was almost empty and entirely at peace.

    Winona wrapped her arms around her scrawny body. She wasn't cold since it was rather warm right beside the hot spring. More than anything, she was uncomfortable. Her close friend, Flannery was relaxing in the hot spring after a hard day's battling to maintain her position as a captain. Winona kept considering joining her, but the springs were too hot for her. Flannery, however, was always complaining that it wasn't hot enough. I would rather be dancing in the skies… Winona stared sadly at the water pretending that she was soaring on wings of her own.

    "And then Grandpa was absolutely pissed… I mean, I tried. I really did. But no! No! That just isn't good enough for him. 'You have to be strong,' 'you have to scare them', 'show them this. Show them that… Be intimidating'. Intimidating? The nerve of that old man… I won anyway and sent that hiker on his way, even with a disadvantage and that old coot nagging at me the whole time!" Flannery ranted. With one last irritated sigh, she slipped into the water a little bit more. She eyed her companion suspiciously. "Winona…? Were you even listening to me?"

    Winona snapped out of her daydreaming. "Wha? I mean, yes yes… I am sorry."

    "Hmph… Try not to be such a space cadet, geez."

    Winona scowled. "Forgive me for being bored while you waste my time doing what you want to do." A small flare of anger flashed, but she was being sarcastic for the most part.

    "Ugh… Winona, I'm sorry. Look, you and I both know the only thing you want to do is fly… I don't like flying. It makes me feel sick."

    "I know…" It was Winona's turn to sigh. She lay down on the deck so she could see the sky. "More than anything, I just wish something interesting would happen… Hoenn has been a little stale lately."

    "Mmhmm… Me too." The two girls fell into silence with their own thoughts. Flannery interrupted it when she saw Brawly walking into town. "Hey hey! It's Brawly! And… Friend?" Winona turned to see the two men walking beside each other. Brawly and the other man were laughing with each other, clearly entertained by some, no doubt, boyish in-joke. Flannery got out of the water wearing nothing more than her bathing suit. Winona handed her the towel. Flannery dried herself off quickly and only bothered to put her jeans back on.

    Winona sighed heavily. There is a difference between being confident in your own body and walking up to a complete stranger with nothing covering your chest but your bikini top… Ugh.

    Flannery grabbed Winona's arm and dragged her out to meet Brawly and the new guy. "I wonder who he is! And if he's single," Flannery commented loudly as they walked through the Pokemon Center lobby. As soon as they were outside, she raised her hand in greeting. The one she didn't recognize saw her first and elbowed Brawly to get his attention.

    Flannery yelled at Brawly. "Hey! Come on, Surf-head! Pay attention, will ya?" She ran over to them and hugged Brawly. The stranger was chuckling at the name she'd called Brawly.

    "Flannery! You always have to make a splash, don't you," Brawly said as he laughed.

    Flannery stepped back and eyed the other guy. He seemed rather amused. "Who's your friend?"

    He extended a hand in greetings. "What's the matter? You really don't recognize me?" Flannery stared at him. He actually does look vaguely familiar… Really familiar… Arceus, where have seen him before? Suddenly, he flashed a highly amused smile at her and winked at her with a devious twinkle in his eyes.

    Flannery recognized him instantly. "Sam? Sam! What the hell?"

    Sam's smiled widened. "Now is that anyway to greet an old friend?"

    Flannery gaped at him. Holy shit! It totally is him! Flannery finally managed a response. "I thought you were out in the Kanto area!"

    Sam waved her off dismissively. "No, no, no… I came back about a year ago. But that's work and work is boring. On a different note, that can't possibly be Winona hiding behind you, can it?"

    Winona, upon being called out, took a defensive stance in front of him. "I was not hiding behind her!" she declared haughtily.

    Sam gave her a look of mock pity. "It's okay if you're shy… But there's no need to hide."

    Winona stamped her booted foot down. Oh, she remembered him… How could she forget? He used to steal her glasses and tease her (jokingly, but none the less.) "Shy? I am not shy, I simply have no desire to talk to you."

    "That's working well for you, isn't it," Sam commented sarcastically. Winona almost turned red with rage. Sam grinned at her. Flannery stepped closer to Brawly to get out of the way and both chuckled quietly at the scene.

    "You are such a child! You never change," Winona seethed.

    "That's not exactly polite… I hardly know you and you're already accusing me of things I didn't do… Just like old times I suppose."

    "I know that you were the one who took my glasses and hid them in the Jagged Pass!"

    Sam put his hands up in surrender. "Hey now- I allegedly hid your glasses in a forest… And I still hold to the fact that someone else did that."

    "Who else would?" Winona asked him with an incredulous look.

    Sam shrugged. "Wouldn't know… But if I did, I also still stand by the fact that you look better without glasses." Sam smiled at her innocently. "And I was obviously right."

    Winona blushed. Flannery took the lull in their argument to start a different topic of conversation. "So what have you two been up to?"

    Sam and Brawly exchanged knowing smiles. "Oh, you know… The usual," Sam answered with a wink.

    Flannery glared at them both, though a smile was still on her face. "Uh-huh… Out with it, Brawly."

    Brawly smiled at the recent memory. "Well, I challenged Sam to a poker game around 3 so we met up at the Casino… He swamped me, of course. Everything was all cherry until some rich kook challenged Sam to game… With a stacked deck."

    Sam sighed. "I tried to win, but I was heavily out-matched in his game. I had to fold."

    Brawly continued. "I was steamed… But my brosiah," he slapped Sam on the shoulder so hard he stumbled forward, "suggested that we go and teach him a lesson in manners. Turns out that that kook is a rich thief. Sam and I followed him home and Sam broke in and stole a brutal amount of gold from the kook. It was dunzo!"

    Winona stared at the men in shock as they high-fived each other again. "You stole from another thief? Isn't that-"

    "Is it what? Illegal? Please, Winona. Nothing is illegal in our world. If he doesn't want his gold stolen, he should lock it up tighter."

    Flannery was laughing at him. Tears of merriment rolled down her eyes as she barely managed to say, "You would! You… Only you would do something like that!"

    "Yep… I'm special," he replied with a happy grin. Winona looked like she was about to slap him. She was raised to be very proper and respectful and Sam had a habit of going out of his way to mess with her.

    "Oh! Sam, there's something I want to ask you!" Flannery exclaimed as she remembered another dilemma she had.


    "So, I'm planning on getting a tattoo, but I really want someone to come and get one with me! Winona doesn't want to get a tattoo and Brawly said he wasn't interested. Would you go with me?"

    Sam gave Brawly a shocked stare. "You don't want a tattoo?"

    Brawly motioned for him to step away from the girls. Sam stooped a bit and Brawly answered softly. "Okay, look- I just don't want to look like a wimp in front of her… That would be bad for my rep, you know? I heard it hurts like a beast if you don't have enough muscle…"

    Sam nodded in understanding. "Of course. That's cool." With that, they turned back and rejoined the girls. Sam smiled at Flannery charmingly. "I'll go with you."


    "Really, really."

    "YES! Oh, I am so stoked!"

    Sam listened as she talked about the tattoo she was getting, when, why, ect. Eventually, a weird smell started to infect the air. Sam ignored it at first, but it not only persisted, but got stronger. "Do you smell that?" Everyone stopped as they too noticed the smell. "I hope that isn't me… Or any of you for that matter," Sam commented jokingly.

    Flannery didn't find it funny. "Is it... Mt. Chimney?" Sam looked to where the volcano was. In the dark it was hard to see anything, but a small tendril of smoke appeared to wafting off the volcano. No one wasted any time. They ran into the Jagged Pass and climbed to the top. Sam had to stop often and help out his friends, who were not quite so athletic. As they navigated the path through the rocky passage through the forested volcano side, the ground underneath them started to rumble. They picked up the pace. Once they were out of the pass, they were confronted by the growling, yelping, and general chaos of dozens of fights taking place.

    "What the hell….?" Sam recognized the uniforms of Team Magma grunts and Team Aqua grunts. The two teams had apparently clashed.

    Brawly was completely confused. "What are they doing? And who are they?"

    "Team Magma and Aqua… They're activist groups. I don't know what the hell they think they're doing, but it stops now." Sam pulled out Michael's Poké Ball. He'd put the Pokémon away when Michael had expressed the want to sleep instead of watch some odd game between his master and the other human. Released from his Poké Ball, Michael yawned and looked to Sam for orders.

    "Knock out all of the Pokémon here," Sam commanded coldly. Michael nodded and transformed into a Salamence and aimed powerful bursts of flames at the unsuspecting Pokémon.

    Winona grabbed his arm. "What are you doing?"

    Sam brushed her off. "I don't play games with people like this." He walked away from her. Whatever it is they want here, they'll be answering to me for it. Flannery and Brawly simply followed him. Up the flights of stairs carved into the mountain itself, Sam saw the leader of Team Aqua himself battling Magma grunts… It ended quickly when Michael let loose a torrent of flames on them. The Team Leader backed up and was quickly grabbed by the collar by Sam.

    "Who are you and what are you doing here?" Sam asked him, though there was no question that the man would answer.

    "I- I'm Archie, the Leader of Team Aqua!" Archie answered him boldly. "I'm here on my quest to expand the seas and provide a better environment for the water Pokémon!"

    Sam gave him a baleful glare. "Right, because the land VS sea ratio is totally in favor of land..." Archie stared at him without comprehension. Sam sighed with irritation. "Never mind, don't strain that pathetic brain of yours… What does Team Aqua want with the volcano?"

    "To stop Team Magma!" Archie declared.

    "I mean, besides that!" Sam growled at him.

    Archie quickly explained to the angry stranger with the dark eyes. "Team Magma wants to use a meteorite to cause the volcano to explode! I cannot let that happen! I won't let him spread land mass!"

    Sam threw him to the ground harshly with contempt. "Whatever. Just get out of here. I don't want to see you again." Archie scrambled to his feet and left quickly.

    Brawly followed closely. "We better hurry… I wouldn't want lose any of the sea to these Magma freaks."

    Flannery snorted. "Magma freaks? Those Aqua freaks are the real psychos here."

    Winona scowled. "These Magma people are definitely crazy… But either way, we shouldn't let them do this."

    Sam resisted the urge to deck all three of them square in the face for even considering the stance of the two Teams. Both of them are crazy as all hell and if they don't drop this ridiculous campaign, I'm going to throw this Magma leader in the volcano and drown the other one. The thought of killing them in that way improved his mood ever so slightly. Sam walked around the edge of the pit of magma. He found May fighting the Team Magma leader.

    As they walked past, the leader called out to Flannery. "Hey! You're a fire trainer, right! Our goal is to spread the land for all pokémon and mankind! You must stand with me! Turn on that machine!"

    Flannery shook her head. "Okay look, I'm all for more land- but this is totally insane. You can't just blow up a volcano!"

    Maxie forgot the battle before him for a moment as he argued with her. "It's for the good of the world! All will benefit!"

    "Do you have any idea how many people would die if you did something like this? Hundreds! Not to mention Pokémon living nearby and Pokémon in the sea! Toxic gases from volcanoes are very harmful for water Pokémon!" Brawly argued hotly.

    Winona teared up a bit. "The sky would be so polluted… Who would want to do such a thing?"

    "You're just all just children! You would never understand our goals!" a Team Magma admin shouted at them furiously in place of their leader, who had his hands full with the battle with May.

    Sam watched carefully, analyzing everyone present. Maxie and his brainwashed lackeys are a hopeless case. They're activists- logic won't get through to them no matter what. May isn't giving Magma a quarter… She's so focused on the battle that I don't think she even realizes that we're here. It's safe to say that she's neutral… Winona is simply upset by the disastrous effects of causing Mt. Chimney to explode. Flannery seems to be on the fence- not sure what side to take… Not realizing that it's always possible to be neutral. But Brawly, he's entirely fueled by the dream of having more water. He's not siding with them outright, not yet. But he can probably be swayed by logic…

    "Of course I don't understand! I don't understand because you're totally loco!" Brawly yelled back.

    Their argument was broken when they turned Sam for his opinion. He wasn't beside them anymore. He looked at the tall machine before him with open disgust. Michael hovered beside him, growling at the machine darkly.

    "Smash it." They watched open-mouthed as the Pokémon transformed into an over-sized Graveler and smashed the machine down with one giant fist. Dust, electricity, and shrapnel flew through the air in a cloud around the machine. Sam didn't even flinch. His expression was unreadable as he stared at the pathetic little box of what was left of the machine. Michael transformed into a Mightyena and howled its victory over the inanimate object to the sky.

    Sam turned away from the carnage with a highly pleased Michael trailing at his heels. "What have you done…?" one of the Magma Admins stammered. Maxie was so shocked that the battle was sliding intensely in May's favor- not that she needed the help. Sam passed them and, after a moment's hesitation, Brawley, Flannery, and Winona followed. Once they were away from Maxie's earshot, Sam stopped and turned around.

    His expression was unreadable- for a moment. Then his eyes darkened with anger. "Let me establish something right here, right now. I will NOT take sides and neither will you. This is absolutely ridiculous and having Gym Leaders at their disposal will only encourage more of this destructive stupidity. You are Captains of The Guild and as such, it is your duty to uphold the beliefs of the Guild, and the Guild is neutral. Don't make me do your job for you." Flannery and Brawly stared at him with wide eyes. They nodded numbly, shocked by how his far more serious side had come out. He turned away from them sharply and walked away.

    There's no way… No way in hell I'm going to let Hoenn fall to these 'innocent activists'. There's something going on here… They're being pushed by someone.
    Steven came to visit Sam after hearing about what happened at Mt. Chimney. He found him sitting outside flipping a rather large dagger around in his hand. He did not seem to be very happy.

    "I take it you already know about Mt. Chimney," Steven commented with a pointed stare at the dagger.

    Sam laughed dryly. "Hard not to, since I was there."

    Steven sighed. "Of course you were. You always manage to be at the center of all trouble, somehow."

    Sam smiled a little at that comment. He stopped flipping the blade. "What brings you way out here?"

    "I was worried about you… You really don't like these Team Aqua/Magma types, do you."

    "And you do?" Sam asked.

    "I don't like them either… Expanding the sea is the worst idea ever, we're an island region for Arceus' sake! If anything, expanding the region isn't the worst idea, but it's still stupid and comes with it's own set of environmental consequences."

    "Exactly! Now why can't anyone else see that?" Sam exclaimed, exasperated. It was nice to talk to someone who understood his stance.

    Steven considered it. "Because… They aren't like Team Rocket in the sense that they kidnap and torture pokémon… They aren't really bad people- just frenzied geographical advocators. Their goals are noble- stupid, but noble, their cause is semi-justified by something other than money, and they haven't done anything to hurt someone else… People who like the sea with side with Aqua just like people who like land will side with Magma…"

    "In other words, they're good people trying to do the wrong thing for the right reasons?" Sam simplified with a sigh.

    "Yeah, pretty much," Steven answered. He looked Sam, who was staring off into the valley below as if searching for an answer. "Something about them still bothers you though."


    "Well, let's hear it. Why?"

    Sam organized his thoughts and started speaking slowly as he figured out how to convey his suspicions. "It's just… Why are we just hearing about them now? They must have been around for awhile because the leaders already know each other and each other's motives. So why surface so violently now?"

    Steven deeply considered where Sam was heading. "You think someone pushed them into this…"

    "Yeah… I just can't figure out why… Why push two groups like this? Why make them fight each other openly? What is the point of that? What can be gained... Of course, Drake might be right and I'm just overly paranoid." Chaos… Anarchy? Could it really be that simple? Or maybe it's more than that… Maybe they want the destruction of Hoenn…? Hoenn is the thief capitol of the four regions… Is it possible that this person knows about the Guild and is trying to destroy it? Is there another mole? Sam sighed again and rubbed at his eyes with his hands. Cat, who'd been sitting nearby because she was afraid of the dark and needed to be by her 'maester' when the sun set, ran up to him and hugged his leg.

    "No… You might actually have something here… And if you're right, we could have something sinister going on in our own backyard. Tell me what happened at Mt. Chimney," Steven asked in a business-like tone.

    Sam propped his elbow on the railing of the balcony over the valley and rested his chin on his hand. "They started to drive us apart… I went up there with Brawly, Winona, and Flannery… They started arguing with the Team Magma leaders there, but they were also indirectly arguing with each other… Flannery seemed to like Team Magma's side and Brawly was all for Team Aqua. Winona seemed unsure, but she took Team Aqua's stance this time."

    Steven whistled. "That's not good… If this comes to a head…"

    "The Captains will probably be divided-"

    "And Hoenn and the Guild will be weak and susceptible to attack… "

    "And pitted against an enemy without a face… Yeah- I kinda hope I'm just paranoid." Sam sighed again. "Well, now that I've almost depressed myself with my own prophecy of doom, I don't suppose you have something bright and optimistic to say?"

    Steven thought about it before flashing a grin at Sam. "Oh! Our little friend, Brendan, has learned to pick simple locks and thinks he's a real hot-shot now… He's made some money so far and it won't be long before we'll have to find him a mentor."

    "It won't be me," Sam announced with a careless shrug.

    "Probably not, but it will be someone in the area… Hoenn is a good place for youngsters to learn the trade. They won't actually go to a real jail here," Steven laughed.

    Sam smiled. "That's because this whole region was founded for thieves by thieves… And the police officers are all thieves pretending to be upholding the law. This is truly the only place in the world that a police officer will cheer you on if they see you trying to steal something."

    "Best region ever. Why we have the most fun and the most tourists."

    "And the most bastard children," Sam added with a dry chuckle.

    Steven laughed. "Oh yes, that too. Actually, speaking of stealing- You stole from one of our own…"

    "That old fop in Mauville? Eh, it was nothing. I didn't even take as much as I could, and I split the profits," Sam waved him off carelessly.

    Steven sighed. "Oh, yes. I suppose you should be rewarded for being so stingy… I may regret asking this- but why did you do it?"

    "He challenged me to game of poker with a stacked deck," Sam stated expressively with a whining tone and putting a hand over his heart.

    "Oh… I'll be sure to tell Riley that," Steven answered.

    "You should tell him just like I did… That'd be hilarious," Sam commented with a wide grin.

    "Right… Well, hey. You haven't met the kiddos who took over your would-have-been gym… Why don't you meet me in-"


    "Well, I was going to say Mossdeep, but yeah- that works too."

    "Oh, well Mossdeep works for me. I just thought I'd go see ol' Ferdinand while I was around."

    "Oh… Wait, why?" Steven asked confused. Ferdinand is a tailor…

    Sam flashed a wide grin at him. "I may have stolen a very nice hat today… But, hypothetically, the ribbon is red and I prefer purple."

    Steven shook his head. "Of course… Why didn't I think of that?"

    "Must not be clever enough," Sam told him with a happy smirk.

    "Maybe I'm just getting old… I think my hair is turning white now," Steven replied with a dramatically heavy sigh.

    Sam chuckled. "Poor Steven."

    "'Poor Steven' indeed. Every day I spend with you ages me about a month," he accused sourly. Sam just smiled big in response. Steven sighed. "I should have listened more to my mother. 'Don't join the Guild, you'll just get yourself killed- settle down, live peacefully, be a teacher.' She was right."

    "Really? You'd rather be a teacher?" Sam asked, actually unsure if Steven was joking or not.

    Steven stared at him blankly and then laughed. "Pfft! Are you kidding me? How boring would that be?" Sam laughed with him at the thought of him teaching a class at the Trainer's School. Steven yawned. "Ugh… Past my bedtime… Alright- good night. Don't get killed… And I'll see you tomorrow."

    "Good night…" Steven left. Sam continued his sentence to no one in particular. "Even though it's only 7 o'clock."
    AN: Chappie 7. :) You must be so happy! And I'll get another one up in the afternoon! Well, that's the plan anyway. Oh, goodness me... Who could *possibly* be behind this madness? You'll find out... Eventually.

    As always, big thank you to my beta- DarkAngelTorchic. And Soulmaster.

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