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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Lucario and the 10 Ordeals

    Prologue


    On a day in mid-April, Zeke was returning home from a visit to his friend's house. He felt quite pleased with himself after entertaining his friend's family with experiences from his past. They were particularly interested at the big physical change that Zeke experienced when he was only three. Some say he was a victim, others say that the change was a blessing, and there are comments that lie in between.

    Zeke was living with his family in a small town. Life was good as far as Zeke was concerned, and he thought it would be a good idea to venture into the surrounding forest. So when his parents were asleep, Zeke crept past them, and made his way downstairs. He opened the back door to avoid ringing the bell that was attached to the front door. He closed the door carefully, and took a few steps into the wilderness. He was fascinated by the landscape and so decided to go further.

    Based on conversation among the people of the town, including his parents, and a few glimpses of pokemon, he thought it would be interesting to meet a few of these pokemon. So he traveled through the forest, and caught sight of a pink shape. Zeke was interested by this shape, and approached it, completely unaware of what was coming.

    The pink shape, or creature more like, seemed to be unaware of Zeke's presence, and when it turned around, Zeke was close to it. The pink creature flinched and launched a stream of energy at Zeke. The multi-colored energy wave hit him, and while he did not feel any pain, Zeke began to lose consciousness. After several hours, he regained consciousness and picked himself up. To his surprise, he did not feel like himself. Then the truth came after he looked down.

    He was covered with blue fur, had black, oddly-shaped legs, and had two white areas on the backs of his paws. Zeke put his paws on his head and discovered that his ears were now near the top of his head, rather than at the sides, and that he had two black flaps on the sides instead. He also found that he had a blue tail. Zeke was amazed at his new self, so much so that he began to smile.

    As Zeke made his way back to town, his parents spotted him, and seemed ready to call for help. Others saw him as well, and began to approach Zeke with a curious look on their faces. One was armed with a pokeball, and was about to launch it when Zeke saw this attempt and shouted,

    “Stop!”

    The people were shocked, especially Zeke's parents, as they already noticed that their child had disappeared during the night. The person who had the pokeball dropped it from his hand.

    “Zeke...is that you?” asked Zeke's mother.

    “Yes” he replied.

    Half of the people in the crowd began to gossip and look at each other, wondering what had happened. Things that were said included,

    “How did he get turned into a Riolu?”

    “I've never known a case like this before”

    “I wonder what his parents are thinking”

    “Do you think that a Ditto was behind this?”

    The last statement caught everyone's attention. Zeke's father asked,

    “Zeke, did you see a pink shape in the forest?”

    “Yes” he answered. “It shot pretty colors at me, then I fell asleep”

    The people began to gossip again.

    “How do you feel?” a teenager asked.

    “Great” said Zeke.

    Eventually, the people went back to what they were doing, but Zeke's parents decided to move out the next day into a larger town. For a while, Zeke's parents were confused and were not sure on how to raise their child. But eventually, that feeling faded, and Zeke's parents thought it was interesting to have a pokemon as a child. However, life was not that easy as the years went by.

    There was a lot of confusion about whether to send Zeke to school or not. Since he was once a human, they thought he had to go to school. But since he is now a pokemon, the situation became confusing. Zeke's parents thought he would have to be schooled at home, for the school might have feared an unstable environment and thought it would be best if the teachers came to him and taught him at home. They did not want any harm, physical, emotional, or otherwise to come to Zeke. But apparently, at school, the children there were amazed at Zeke. Most of them even wanted Zeke to come to school with them. Zeke's parents were reluctant to send Zeke to school with the other children, but the teachers as well as the students said they would protect him from any harm, and that bullies will be dealt with.

    Zeke's first day at school was very pleasant, although confusing at first. He was very popular, and quickly learned the academics. Lunchtime was a bit of a problem though, due to Zeke's lack of dexterity with his paws. After that day, it seemed like nothing would go wrong. That was when the problems were about to reveal themselves.

    Zeke had always been considered cute in kindergarten, and 1st grade because of his social blunders, but the socializing became difficult for Zeke as he progressed in 2nd grade. He could not interpret body language, and so the teachers had to make room for a social skills class. There he began to learn different forms of body language, but not quite enough of them to be as skilled at socializing as some of the others.

    By the end of second grade, more problems became apparent. Zeke was showing peculiar interests in pictures that had no relevance to what was being taught in class. He developed a habit of kicking his legs while in a chair, and spinning while in a computer chair. After school had ended, he burned himself on a lit candle, and screamed so loudly, that the whole town could hear it. After that event, he was extremely scared of fire. Sometimes he would pace around the room, staring at things. The habit that convinced Zeke's parents to see a doctor, was his attachment to a folder with printed pictures inside it. He would carry the folder with him everywhere in home and at school. His social skills teacher calls it “his security folder”

    This habit with a folder prompted Zeke's parents to see a doctor, who referred them to a psychiatrist. The fact that Zeke's parents had to explain to the various staff members of the medical buildings what happened to him as an infant became a burden. Then they met the psychiatrist, and answered some questions, carried out different tests, and eventually, it was discovered that Zeke had Asperger's Syndrome. The news was shocking to Zeke's parents, and felt that they had a great task ahead of them.

    They were then referred to see someone who conducted an IQ test. The result was that Zeke's IQ was in the genius range, which is above 140. The doctor told Zeke's parents that he could do anything he set his mind to, but will he?

    Zeke's parents were lost on what to do at first, but then they began to learn about Zeke's disorder by reading books, going online, and talking to other people who have Asperger's themselves. They began to feel less stressed out, and they were helped by the fact that their son had a very high IQ. They resumed their lives by the time 3rd grade had started.

    Zeke was well-liked by his classmates, and they began to ask questions about his disorder. They were surprised by his answers, his vocabulary was amazing. He was using words from 9th grade English. People were having a hard time understanding what he was saying. He couldn't write because of the shape of his paws, but the school had made accommodations for Zeke to use a large keyboard with a screen for text.

    As the years went by, Zeke realized that his words were confusing people, after a lesson in social skills, and so decided to talk in terms that children of his age would understand. He failed to pickup the way of speaking that the middle school children knew well. He was popular in middle school as well. Any person who tried to bully him in any way was greeted with either a witty response from Zeke, or a team effort from his friends. One bully tried to assault him, but Zeke had an unusual skill at counter-attacking. He used lots of what he called 'false moves', which are fake attacks used as a distraction before a real attack. Zeke was never in trouble for fighting with the bully because everyone knew that Zeke was only defending himself. After he struck the bully, he would run away, and while the bully chased him, Zeke had set traps for him, whether it was a jar of marbles, or a roll of duct tape as Zeke opened before the bully could stop. Then Zeke would inform a teacher, the principal, or whatever figure of authority he could come across in the hallways. The bully was dealt with, and the repercussions from the bully losing to Zeke every time, the punishments from the school, and the teasing from Zeke's friends, were enough to make him stop completely after a while.

    High school became a problem though, not socially, but some of the subjects he had to learn were difficult at times. English was a problem because of the literature. Zeke said that he had a hard time seeing what the character's emotions, intentions, and thoughts were. On the contrary, his writing skills were brilliant. By 10th grade, he had “evolved” into a Lucario, and many thought he was beautiful. He had gained enormous popularity throughout his previous school years.

    He is now in 11th grade, and has accomplished a lot since his first day at school. He was the first pokemon to attend school, which to some people might sound odd. Now, life was great, and his parents were proud of him. Nothing could stop him from accomplishing great things...until one night. When he ventured into another forest.
    Last edited by Autistic Lucario; 8th June 2011 at 06:58 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Chapter 1

    Part 1: The Test of Courage


    Chapter 1: The Portal and Behind It


    Zeke was returning home from his friend's house after spending the night there. He was quite pleased with himself after entertaining his friend's family with his childhood experiences. After he reached home, he saw the clock and it read 7:15 PM. He decided to have a wander around the forest that was nearby, so he asked his mother if it was all right, she said yes, so long as he was back by 9:00 PM. Zeke agreed.

    He walked out of the house, made his way out of town, and into the surrounding forest. Zeke had a fascination for forests, and any similar type of landscape. The incident regarding Zeke when he was three years of age, did not stop him from enjoying walks through the forest now and then. However, he does not fully understand the meaning behind danger. He knows it is real, but he did not seem to feel afraid of it most of the time. In fact, he often interprets it in a different way. He sees danger as a challenge, a game of sorts, even if his life was at risk. While this gave him the confidence and the nerve to try stunts that no one would dare to do, once again, he would often be unaware of the fact that his life could be in danger.

    As a Lucario, Zeke noticed that he did not scare the pokemon in the forest nearly as much as humans did, but they were surprised at his capability of oral speech. They also noticed that Zeke did not seem to know how to use aura. That is because he was never taught. Eventually, he met another Lucario, but he felt something was not quite right. He remembered catching a glimpse of a pokedex that a trainer had, and it said that most Lucarios were usually around four feet tall. During his last visit to a special kind of doctor, his last reading was five-foot-six-inches.

    The other Lucario stared at Zeke, surprised at the body language he was expressing. Zeke was in a thinking position and then shrugged. Then he mumbled,

    “Why am I five-foot-six, when the normal height for someone like me is three-foot-eleven?”

    The other Lucario leaned forward in interest.

    “Are you looking for something?” asked Zeke. The other Lucario looked to the corner of its eyes, half-fascinated, half-worried. Zeke then said,

    “I'll bet you're wondering how I became a Lucario”

    The other Lucario stared at Zeke in amazement.

    Zeke told his story, which spanned a good thirty minutes, but by then, the other Lucario had left while in the middle of it. Zeke wondered where he went, and shrugged again. Then he continued on his way through the forest. Something eventually caught his eye. It seemed to be glowing. Zeke walked over to the glowing object, and discovered that it was much larger than he thought. It seemed to be at least three times taller than Zeke was. It seemed to be a portal of some kind, but where it led, he had no clue. But he could not resist the urge to see where it would lead, so he stepped inside, and the portal closed behind him.

    The portal opened and deposited Zeke near the base of a mountain with an entrance to what looked like a mine, with cart tracks leading out of it. It was still as dark here are it was before Zeke entered that portal, only that the sky was a slightly different color. Plus, the moon was full, whereas a minute ago, only half of it was visible. Zeke could hear a faint crackling sound coming from the inside of the mine.

    As he approached the mine, a small boulder rolled down the mountain, landing only a few feet away from him. Zeke then tightened his lips, raised the top of his eyes, and looked in another direction. His curiosity seemed impossible to resist, so he ventured into the mine. Then, Zeke heard a faint rumble, then thumping sounds, and before Zeke had a chance to escape, huge boulders piled up at the entrance. He was trapped inside.

    It took a while for Zeke to stop staring at the now blocked entrance to the mines. After he was done, he noticed that the inside of the mine was lit by some kind of flickering light. It seemed to be a fire. He took a few steps deeper into the mine and discovered that there was a campfire in the center of the room. Only there was a shocking characteristic about the room that Zeke was in. There were several patches of pitch-black darkness on the walls, on the ceiling, and on the floor, even one next to the campfire.

    This instantly grabbed Zeke's attention, and he raised the top of his eyes. He looked around the room nervously for a moment, and then approached the campfire. He sat down on one of the small green carpets that surrounded the fire. Then he began to stare at the closest dark spot next to him, taking note of the fact that the light from the fire should be revealing what was in that dark spot, but for some reason it was not. Zeke slowly turned his head away from it, but still uneasy.

    Then he heard a sound from the dark spot. Zeke quickly turned his head toward the sound. He began to feel afraid and his heart was starting to beat faster. He was trying to figure out where exactly the sound came from, when he saw something move. Zeke gasped silently. What looked to be a piece of black clothing was moving slightly, and Zeke felt his heart begin to pound.

    He was caught between two decisions, ask for identity, or walk away. His mind leaned towards running away rather than walking. He slowly rose to his feet, and looked around for an exit. The gate at the end of the room was no use, since the figure was in front of it. To Zeke's relief, he found an alternate path, so he decided to take that route. What he was not aware of was that something had already been here.

    As Zeke entered the passage and took a few steps, he noticed two gray points jutting out of the walls. Zeke began to feel terrified.

    “Someone doesn't want me here” he murmured to himself. He then remembered a theory that he began to think about when he was still a Riolu. He edged closer to one of the menacing objects in the walls, put his paw underneath it, and a spear zoomed past him. His theory seemed to be true. All physical traps have some type of mechanism. He placed his paw underneath the second pointy object and another spear shot out of the wall. Zeke was relieved to find that these traps were navigable. These ones anyway.

    Zeke saw a rather primitive-looking door at the end of the passage. He began to calm down, and feel better. He began to walk toward the door and had almost reached it, when three spears shot out of the ground, nearly catching Zeke in the chest, and then receded. The shock and the lack of warning about the traps caused Zeke to stumble and fall on his back.

    Zeke began to feel terrified again. He realized that he would not be likely to survive in a place like this without knowing where the traps are. He decided to take one of the spears that was on the ground from the previous trap and use it as a trigger for the traps. Obviously, these traps detected motion, but Zeke wondered how they could sense nearby objects. Then he dismissed the thought, and grabbed a spear. It felt awkward trying to hold it, due to the shape of his paws.

    He managed to make the spear stable by holding one area between his paws and holding it that way. He slowly made his way toward the door, waving the spear about. When he made it to the door, he waved the spear again, activating two separate spear traps. Seizing the opportunity, Zeke opened the door and rushed through, dropping the spear as he went inside.

    He found himself inside what looked to be a small storage area. Crates were stacked up to heights nearing the ceiling. But the thing that caught his eye was a rather powerful, although confined glow. Then he realized that the entire room, the trapped hallway, even the outside of the mine was not shrouded by darkness, even though there was no apparent light other than that room. He wondered if he could see in the dark, then decided to see whatever was glowing. He found a little, highly-decorated bottle. It was full of liquid that seemed to have all of the characteristics of water, but Zeke sensed that it was different. He decided to take the bottle with him, thinking that he might need it later.

    As he brushed aside a few cobwebs, he saw the entrance to another room. When he reached the end, he did not like what he saw, more dark spots. But then he saw a gate, with a door in the center, very similar to the one Zeke had opened recently. He hugged the right wall, trying to avoid slipping and falling into the largest dark spot in the center of the room, his heart beating rapidly. He reached for the door, but upon trying to open it, realized that it was locked.

    Normally, Zeke would not be aware of the possible danger that he faced, but due to recent circumstances, the traps, the dark spots, and the figure, he felt ready to faint. He saw a key that seemed to match the keyhole in the door behind him, but it was on the border between light and the dark spot in the middle. Zeke broke into a cold sweat. Then he saw the same piece of clothing in the dark spot as the one that belonged to the figure that Zeke had feared so much.

    As he reached for the key, he could feel his consciousness dwindling, his vision started to become blurry, he began to pant a little, and when he finally touched the key, a hand grabbed his arm. Zeke lost all strength, moaned faintly, and collapsed dropping the bottle he was holding.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Lucario and the 10 Ordeals

    Chapter 2: The Truth


    After Zeke had collapsed, whatever was in the dark spot dragged him to the corner of the room. Zeke was either asleep or unconscious, but he could not tell the difference. He began to dream about a waterfall with a lot of vegetation around it. The sky was overcast, but did not look as if it was going to rain. He could hear music playing in his head, both soothing and somewhat refreshing, which he felt he needed after the incident in the mines. The dream continued for another ten or fifteen minutes, and then began to disappear.

    As he woke up, he felt something, stroking his chest. He saw a hand, a rather small one, of a teenage girl. He began to see that the black clothing which frightened him the most was part of a black robe, with blue stripes around the edges of a sleeve. Zeke did not move, fearing an unpleasant response. After a few minutes he said,

    “Who do I know with a black and blue robe?”

    “I don't know, I've never seen an animal like you before” The voice sounded quite gentle, which contradicts what Zeke was originally thinking the voice would sound like. Zeke turned his head and discovered that it was no monster, but a teenage girl. She looked peculiar in the robe because of her hair color. She had long blonde hair, brown eyes, and she looked to be fourteen or fifteen years of age.

    “Please do not scare me like that again” said Zeke. “I thought you were a heartless murderer for a while”

    “You scared me as well, a lot in fact” said the girl. “I only hid in the shadows to protect myself. Sorry about that, I should have asked”

    “You realize that those traps back there nearly got me, right?” asked Zeke. The girl closed her eyes and shook her head.

    “Those were there to keep intruders away. I was hoping that the steel points would be enough to scare them away, rather than actually fire. The last ones though were intended to ward them off, should it ever come to that. But now that the entrance has caved in, it looks like we will have to take the back way out...if I can remember where it is”

    “There's a way out?”

    “Yes...in fact there's two, but I can't remember where either of them are...what a shame”

    “How old are you?”

    “I'm sixteen...why?”

    “Just curious...I'm sixteen as well” said Zeke. The girl gave Zeke the key that he was trying to reach before he collapsed.

    “Did you want this?” asked the girl. Zeke began to smile a little.

    “As long as it's for that door” he said, trying to hold the key properly, but failing. The girl nodded slowly.

    “Looks like I might have to use it” she said. They walked over to the door at the end of the room. The girl inserted the key, turned it, and opened the door. Then Zeke realized something he felt was important.

    “Hey” he said. “What happened to that blue bottle I had?”

    “I have it” said the girl. “You dropped it when you fainted, fortunately no damage”

    “What's inside it?” asked Zeke.

    “Basically, it heals any injuries you have. Apparently even cures diseases. Pretty hard to come by, so only use it if you're in a lot of pain or at death's door”

    “Where does he live?”asked Zeke. The girl started to giggle.

    “Have you ever heard of a figure of speech?” she asked.

    “Yes...can't say I remember what it meant though” answered Zeke. The girl sighed.

    They began to explore the mine, using common sense not to separate. They passed some of the time exploring, the other portion was spent on introducing each other. The girl's name was Alice. Zeke told her his life story and she was fascinated. Alice told Zeke that he no doubt looked better as a Lucario, as she liked animals, especially furry ones.

    Something glittering in the wall caught Zeke's attention.

    “What's that thing in the wall?” he asked.

    “I think that's gold...it IS...amazing” said Alice.

    “Can't imagine why this mine would be abandoned” said Zeke, holding a gold nugget. Alice thought about this statement for a moment, then began to look horrified.

    “Uh, Zeke?” said Alice nervously.

    “Yes?”

    “You remember those dark spots near the cave entrance?”

    “Yes”

    “I didn't make those”

    Zeke tilted his head and raised the top of one of his eyes, not quite understanding the message she was trying to give.

    “Really? You did hide in them after all” said Zeke, slightly confused.

    “Yes, but that was before I realized...”

    “Realized what?”

    “Notice that the place is abandoned” said Alice, looking around the room that they were in.

    “Did something happen?” asked Zeke, still confused.

    “Could have, and I have reason to believe...that this place might be haunted”

    “You're kidding, right?” asked Zeke.

    “No” said Alice, with a worried look on her face. “and if that's the case, what you've seen before is nothing compared to what could happen if we're not careful”

    “What can we do to survive?”

    “Simple, don't get caught. Also, listen for noises...some of them might signal danger to us, others may be of no use”

    Sure enough, Zeke and Alice began to hear noises. One of them was constant, but seemed to fit in with the environment. It sounded like wind, only it was the type one would normally find in a cavern. The other was similar, only it was lower in pitch. Zeke found it soothing and wanted to listen to it. Alice had to talk him out of it.

    Zeke, still holding the gold nugget that he found, wondered if this mine scenario could turn into a treasure hunt. He tapped Alice's shoulder.

    “Alice...hold on to this. There might be more”

    Alice placed the nugget into one of her pockets.

    “Are you thinking what I'm thinking?” asked Alice.

    “I can't read minds” said Zeke. “I tried last week and it didn't work” Alice started to giggle.

    “I mean that the mine probably isn't as bad as we thought. Why don't we take our time?”

    “Sure” said Zeke.

    And so they began the search for two things: an exit and treasure along the way.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Lucario and the 10 Ordeals

    Chapter 3: The Grim Reality


    Zeke and Alice were having quite a fun time looking for valuables. Already they found a number of nuggets, some of them gold, some of them silver, and even a few precious gems. So far, they had left the room with the dark spots and entered a series of tunnels, interconnected by mine cart tracks. The gold and silver nuggets were not the only things that Zeke and Alice found, however. They also found evidence of battles; weapons lying around on the ground, some of them broken in two. Several support beams were on the ground, scattered throughout the mine tunnels, but surprisingly, the mine did not even shake.

    At the moment, Zeke and Alice were in a room that was nearly square in shape, connected with tunnels in different directions. They noticed an elevator in the center of the room. The problem was that while the elevator was still in working condition, two of the buttons were missing. Zeke was having a hard time deciding which route to take.

    “I can't decide,” said Zeke. “Any one of them could lead to more treasure, or more...evidence”

    “My uncle works in this mine,” Alice responded. “He told me once that miners usually set up their living areas near the top of the mine. They work down in the lower areas in the daytime, and return to the top to do the other things”

    “Then why is absolutely no one down here?” asked Zeke. “The way I see it, there's at least a few people working at night. Some of the workers might want to work overtime, or maybe there's an inventory person counting the items? What I'm really concerned about is the weapons. Why are they scattered all over the place...and why are some of them broken?”

    “The miners could have done three things: retreat back to the top, escape out the building, or die trying. Obviously, there was some sort of attack,” said Alice.

    “In that case, why don't you grab a weapon, just in case?” asked Zeke.

    Alice hanged her head, feeling silly that she did not take a weapon before.

    “You want to go back and get one?” asked Zeke. “I know I can't”

    “Why not?” asked Alice. Zeke showed her his paws, and Alice realized that it would be extremely difficult for him to use a weapon, due to the shape of his paws.

    “Oh...hey what's that over there?” said Alice, catching sight of a long shiny object and a bag.

    “Looks like a staff of some kind” Zeke answered. He and Alice walked over to the peculiar-looking collection of items. They discovered a decorated silver staff, and a bag full of scrolls. Zeke tried to pick up the staff, and for some reason, it stuck to his paws. Zeke liked this fact, and soon discovered that he could swing it in any direction. There was also a three-foot wand inside the bag. It was a beautiful item. The wood was painted black and there was a shiny blue orb at the end.

    Zeke began to search through the various colored scrolls that were also in the bag. The colors were vibrant and had labels written on the outside. Some of them were particularly interesting. Things like “Hypervelocity Bolt”, “Levitate”, “Contorted Blast”, “Prismatic Laser”, “Ethereal Fire”, and “Oral Energy Ball”. He also noticed numbers beside the labels. Alice saw these numbers and was eager to find out what they meant.

    Zeke reached the bottom of the bag, pulled out a note, and saw that it was a list of instructions having to do with activating the scrolls. Zeke nodded slowly and smiled. The instructions themselves were interesting, but what really caught Zeke's attention was the fact that with practice, he could learn how to use the spells in the scrolls without using the scrolls themselves. Basically, he could shoot magic from his paws, just like that.

    He gave Alice the wand and a few of the scrolls, put the bag over one side of his neck, and realized that he could make the staff stick to his back, freeing his paws to do other things. The bag was easy to carry and the staff did not bother Zeke when he moved about.

    “Right,” said Zeke. “Now that we have the weapons…what do we do now?”

    “I know,” responded Alice. “Why don’t we go see if my uncle’s all right?”

    “Will we run into anything dangerous?” asked Zeke.

    “Not if we’re careful,” said Alice. “Although, we’d be better off together…especially in a place like this”

    Zeke remembered Alice’s statement about the miners and decided to take the elevator to the top level. He did so, with Alice next to him. When they reached the top, they discovered more battle evidence: ruined furniture, broken weapons, and a peculiar ambience noise. There was definitely something grim about this place.

    The ambient noise added to the unpleasantness because, while it soothed Zeke, it worried Alice. The noise was something very much like wind, only it was muffled, and the pitch seemed to fluctuate slightly. It gave the impression that something happened here and it turned a once busy mine, into a bleak, gloomy, and possibly dangerous place.

    Alice took all of the environmental information and began to see the misery that this place had gone through. Zeke, on the other hand, was oblivious to all this and was only concerned that something might be hiding in a corner, waiting for a false move. Nevertheless, they were both nervous.

    Zeke suddenly remembered one of his social skills classes in school and decided to put it to use. He remembered a lesson about gestures, and although his paws would not allow him to use some, he knew that he could try this one.

    “Alice,” said Zeke. “You know what this gesture means?” He put his paw to his mouth and moved it quickly from right to left, implying a request for silence.

    “No, sorry,” said Alice.

    “It means be quiet” said Zeke. “If what I’m thinking is true, then it will come in handy later”.

    They left the elevator and walked down the path in the middle, but they soon came to a fork. Neither of the options looked safe. The one on the left started to make noises, creepy ones. The one on the right was just as bad with its unnerving scenery. The lights were flickering, furniture was crushed, and of course the weapons on the ground. All of these factors created an atmosphere that suggested something greater than a simple battle.

    “Why this way?” said Zeke, taking note of the number of choices back near the elevator.

    “This is the way to where the miners should be,” said Alice. “The only way”

    “I choose…right” said Zeke. “At least we won’t have to deal with the noises and the things that are making them”

    “Who’s to say we won’t?” asked Alice.

    “It’s worth a try”

    They slowly crept through the path on the right, unaware of the surprise that was waiting for them near the pile of crates at the end of the central passage.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Lucario and the 10 Ordeals

    Chapter 4: Shelter


    Zeke and Alice had chosen the path on the right, because they thought that they would be more likely to encounter something unpleasant on the left. But the path on the right was not much better. They slowly crept through the ruined passage, trying to stay out of the light to avoid being spotted. Zeke had his paws behind his back as he walked through. This was a habit that he had when he walked through an unknown place.

    Eventually, Zeke and Alice came to another fork, this time splitting in three directions. They had no clue where the one on the left led to, but the path in the center had a sign that read “Barracks”. Alice already knew why there was a barracks in the mine. She peeked around the corner on the right path, and discovered that it was a dead end.

    Zeke began to think about something. He noticed the barracks sign and the direction the arrow on it was pointing. Then he began to feel somewhat uncomfortable. He felt that something might be around the corner because he thought that the sign, while it seemed legitimate, kept a dark secret anyway. Alice noticed the expression on his face.

    “Zeke?” said Alice. “What's wrong?”

    Zeke put his paw on his mouth and quickly moved it across, implying silence. Alice nodded and remained quiet. Zeke crept up near the corner on the center path, then used another gesture to tell Alice to stay still. He looked around the corner and flinched. To his horror, he discovered something very unpleasant. An insidious body was on the ground, lying motionless. Zeke could not tell whether it was alive or not, due to the fact that there was no sign of injury or decay.

    Zeke pulled a scroll out of his bag that read “Telepathy.” He read the instructions, used the scroll, and then said to Alice,

    “Alice, talk to me through your mind. There's something ugly around the corner. Follow me and whatever you do, NO sudden movements or sounds. This thing might be alive.”

    Alice crept around the corner and her heart started to beat faster. She saw the body and followed Zeke around the body. They were both relieved. Alice said through her mind,

    “Right. Now for the barracks.”

    They were about to walk away when the body started to make noises. Zeke and Alice froze in position. The noises were quiet at first, but then they grew louder and became more like the noises that a deranged person would make. Also, the noises did not sound entirely human.

    Suddenly, the body rose with more crazed noises. Zeke flinched and Alice started to run. Zeke followed as the creature chased the two, still making wild noises. Zeke and Alice saw a metal reinforced gate with a slit in the center. Alice shouted,

    “Hey! Open the gate, there's a deranged man after us!”

    The gate slowly opened, showing how secure it was, yet also how desperate the situation became. The deranged man was only around fifteen feet away from Zeke. Zeke decided to buy more time and stopped. He knocked the man back with a kick, and ran inside the gate, which shut soon after.

    Zeke and Alice saw that there were a few men by the gate, one with a hammer in his hands, another who looked to be more of a welder. Alice was suddenly happy.

    “Hey, Alan” she said, when she saw the man behind the welding mask.

    “Alice!” said the man, giving Alice a hug.

    “You know this person?” asked Zeke.

    “He's my uncle, the one I told you about” said Alice. “Alan, this is Zeke”

    “Hi, Zeke” said Alan. “How'd you two end up in here?”

    “I was coming here to visit you, but I didn't expect anything like this,” Alice explained. “What happened?”

    “This whole place's gone mad” said Alan. “Don't know quite what happened, but all this happened in a day or two.” The other man with the hammer explained,

    “This has happened before, but back then, we didn't expect anything like this, so there were casualties. This time, we've been very lucky, as we haven't had a single death, especially since we put in that gate. We've had to train everyone here to use weapons because of something like this. By the way Alice, how did your friend get here?”

    “I only met him in the mine,” said Alice. Then Zeke said,

    “Looks like I've ended up in a different world.”

    “I'm not surprised,” said Alan.

    “So what do we do now?” asked Alice.

    “Looks like we'll have to hold off until we come up with a plan,” said Alan.

    “What's that down there?” asked Zeke, looking at a small blue bottle on the ground.

    “That's holy water” said the man with the hammer. “We keep some handy in case of situations like these. No matter what we throw at these monsters, they just keep coming back”

    “Wait...I might have an idea” said Zeke, suddenly. “I have a scroll here that says 'Extinguish'. If we poured some of that holy water on the scroll, maybe it will turn this scroll into a weapon against the undead, I think that's your problem.”

    “Uh-huh” said Alan in agreement.

    “Then we can launch the holy water at the undead and watch them fizzle up” said Alice. “We'll need a bodyguard though, in case something happens”

    “Ok, you've got me” said the man with the hammer.

    “But first, let's go in and have dinner, I'm sure you two are hungry” said Alan.

    “All right” said Alice.

    They went inside and Alan began to show them around the place.

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    Default Re: Lucario and the 10 Ordeals

    Interesting....pretty good! Wait, doesn't Zeke have auric abilities because he is a lucario?

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    Registered User Autistic Lucario's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lucario and the 10 Ordeals

    Quote Originally Posted by TeamGalacticMercury View Post
    Interesting....pretty good! Wait, doesn't Zeke have auric abilities because he is a lucario?
    Yes, but remember, he was once a human. Anything can happen when someone get's transformed into a pokemon. Further evidence in this spoiler, involving Ash.


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    Default Re: Lucario and the 10 Ordeals

    Chapter 5: Preparations


    Alan began his tour around the living complex with the main entrance. The hallway was laid with blocks of oddly-colored stone. The stone had a slightly purple hue to it. Maybe that was why Zeke was more interested in the tour than Alice was. Alan stopped and thought for a moment.

    “Alice, Zeke,” said Alan. “I just remembered that the mine is really complex. We've got so many passageways and rooms that it's hard to draw a map of the place. We've got a few magicians here that created something to counter the problem”

    “And that is?” asked Alice.

    “Navigation Rings,” said Alan.

    “Never heard of that before,” said Zeke.

    “They work like this,” explained Alan. “You press the fake gem on one of them and it shows a map in the air. Shows you where you are, what direction you're facing, and any living thing in the area. It helped save lives when we were attacked the first time, although it didn't detect the undead”

    Everyone followed Alan to what looked like a dining room. It was quite elegant with cutlery made from precious metals, mainly silver. The plates were decorated with interesting patterns. This was obviously a perquisite for working in a mine of precious gems and metals.

    “Interesting things you've got here,” said Zeke, impressed by the quality of the silverware.

    “That's one benefit from working in a mine like this,” said Alan. “We have our own smelters and molds for things, so we can make whatever we want, even this weapon”

    He pulled a curved sword from a weapon rack near a wall. It was a beautiful weapon; it was colored purple and had a serrated edge.

    “Made this one last week,” said Alan.

    “That's an interesting sword,” said Zeke, wishing he could wield it.

    “This mountain's got more metals and gems than anyone can imagine. It used to be very busy, but the undead drove our competition away. While that's good for our income, the undead still pose a threat to us. In fact, I think we're the only group of miners who still work this mountain”

    “So if we get rid of the undead, the competition will come back?” asked Alice.

    “I'm afraid so,” said Alan.

    “Unless you keep it a secret,” said Zeke.

    “That's not as easy as you think,” said Alan.

    As Zeke and the others were having a conversation about the mines and undead, two people came in, holding trays of food.

    “Looks like we're having soup tonight,” said Alan. “The cooks here make really good soup”

    The soup was made with vegetables, and some herbs. Zeke could not tell what herbs were used. There was also bread to go along with it.

    Zeke began to feel awkward. He could not hold the spoon because of his paws, so he found another way to eat the soup, by holding the bowl. He liked it, though.

    “Do you always have problems at dinnertime?” said Alice to Zeke.

    “Sometimes,” said Zeke when he finished a mouthful. “Usually when it involves cutlery”

    They enjoyed themselves thoroughly. After they were finished, they left the dining room and continued upstairs. They entered a large hallway, decorated with tapestries and a blue carpet in the middle of the floor. There were also electric lights in the hallway.

    “These are the bedrooms,” said Alan. “Some of the miners are sleeping, so we shouldn't disturb them”
    Are you two tired?”

    “No, not really,” said Zeke.

    “Neither am I,” said Alice.

    “In that case, tell us when you're ready to start the mission, and we'll get started,” said Alan.

    “Is there anything we should watch for besides the undead?” asked Zeke.

    “I don't know,” replied Alan. “I haven't been down there in a while. Maybe you should talk with our Spy. He knows this place inside and out, down to the location of each of the undead and other things. Maybe the magicians can help too”

    “Do you have any sort of communication devices?” asked Zeke.

    “As in?” asked Alan.

    “Something that two people use to talk to each other from long distances,” Zeke explained.

    “Oh...we have something like that,” said Alan.

    “Maybe the Spy can give us directions to places we need to go, or where the undead are,” said Zeke.

    Suddenly, Zeke began to think that the mission was more complicated than it seemed.

    “How many mines are there in the mountain?” asked Zeke.

    “Five, last time I counted,” answered Alan.

    “There has to be an easier way to get rid of the undead,” said Zeke, shocked at this fact.

    “There might be, but from what I've heard, you'll have go somewhere quite far away from here,” said Alan, remembering something.

    “Better than searching for every single super-zombie in the mines,” said Zeke, eager to find out what the other option was.

    “All right, suit yourself,” said Alan. “Go speak with our Spy; he should be with the magicians. Want me to show you to them?”

    “Sure,” said Zeke.

    “Okay, follow me,” said Alan.

    Everyone turned back the way they came until they found the dining room again. Alan went up the staircase that was on the left as soon as they came into the dining room. Everyone followed him until they came to three large hallways, each having a lot of doors inside. The halls were filled with odd noises, with most of them sounding like magic. There was also a strange ambient noise that seemed to echo in everyone's ears. The noise sounded like a contorted church bell. The sound also seemed to come from inside their heads, rather than from a distinct location.

    “What's that noise?” asked Alice.

    “Sounds like the magicians are working on something,” said the man with the hammer.

    Zeke saw someone leave one of the rooms in the left hallway. The person in the hallway froze in position when she saw Zeke.

    “It's all right Lauren, he's friendly,” shouted Alan.

    More doors began to open upon hearing Alan's statement. Everyone was amazed at what they saw in the moonlight from a window. Zeke began to realize that the people in this world had never even seen a Pokemon before. He decided to dispel any suspicious thoughts by saying,

    “We'd like to learn more about this mine, so that we can take care of the undead. Alan told us that there's another way to destroy them other than targeting them individually. He also told us that you might be able to help as well”

    “I don't know who or what you are,” said one of the magicians, “but since you seem like you want to help, I'll see if the Spy is around”

    The magician looked around for a second.

    “Quince!” he shouted. “Quince, are you here?”

    Someone appeared at the stairs that Zeke and the others walked up.

    “Someone called?” asked a man in a black cloak.

    “We have some visitors that would like to see you. It's about the undead,” the magician explained.

    “Ah, yes...I believe your canine friend is leading the effort if I'm not mistaken. Zeke, I think his name is,” said Quince.

    “I needn't ask how you know my name,” said Zeke. “Anyway, it's true, we plan to destroy the undead, but the problem is that according to Alan, there are five mines, a lot of undead, and what I have in this bag is all I have, weapon-wise. So we came to you guys for help. The way I see it, you've got the tools, and we've got the guts to do the job”

    “All right,” said Quince. “What do you need as of right now?”

    “A radio or a walkie-talkie,” said Zeke.

    “A what?” asked Quince.

    “Oops,” said Zeke, realizing that he was in the wrong time period to discuss radios. “What I meant to say was some sort of long-range communication devices. Small objects that two or more people carry so that they can talk to each other over long distances. That would be perfect, since this mine is big, and you know this place better than anyone else, am I right?”

    “We have something like that,” said Quince. “And yes, your theory is a good one”

    “Maybe you could give us advice, as well as instructions on where we need to go,” said Zeke.

    “We also have some other things that might be of use to you,” said Quince. Zeke began to smile.

    “Like what?” asked Zeke.

    “A Threat Detector,” said Quince.

    “How does it detect threats?” asked Zeke.

    “It combines several factors to generate telepathic sounds to let you know what sort of environment and degree of danger you're in,” Quince explained.

    And the conversation went on for another five minutes before Zeke and his friends were taken to various places to receive the items.

    Zeke and his friends received the Threat Detector, which was a necklace with an emerald in the center. Zeke decided to wear it. Next was the Navigation Ring, which had a gold-silver alloy with a sapphire in the center. Alice was going to wear this. Also they were given a two-day supply of holy water to take care of any undead that caught sight of Zeke and his friends.

    During the last five minutes of conversation between Zeke and Quince, they discovered their goal. Instead of fighting all the undead, they could find a specific book that was lost in the mines some time ago, during the first attack. It was in another mine, however, and getting there would not be easy.

    After Zeke and his friends had reached the gate and opened it, Zeke said quietly,

    “It's time to begin”
    Last edited by Autistic Lucario; 4th April 2010 at 06:26 PM. Reason: Spacing glitch on drugs

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    Default Re: Lucario and the 10 Ordeals

    He turned into pikachu???!!! Oh, nice chap!

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    Default Re: Lucario and the 10 Ordeals

    Chapter 6: The Mission


    Zeke and his friends had left the safety of the rooms behind the metal gate, because their goal was to look for a specific book, which had been lost since the first attack of the undead. It seemed now that Zeke, Alice, and the man with the hammer, now depended on each other for survival in this mine. Now, the real Test of Courage was about to begin.

    Zeke and Alice, while they were with Quince, were handed not just the Threat Detector and Navigation Ring, but were given other objects as well. Some of them were gadgets, some of them were spells that Zeke and Alice were taught, and others were compartments to Alice's wand and Zeke's staff.

    At first, Zeke was a little uneasy at the spell-teaching part because he thought that he would have to say phrases to activate the spell, and he hated that. But fortunately, the spells that they were taught did not involve words, but instead, actions, mainly gestures and movements. Zeke and Alice also learned that in order to activate the spells as a beginner, they would need something that could channel magic. The staff and the wand were both very good with this. But to do it without a staff would require practice and skill.

    Alice was given a bag of her own to carry her items in. She placed several scrolls inside, along with her gadgets. She also had a second wand which was to be used to help aim better with lightning spells and spells that travel in waves or novas. It was called, the Precision Wand. Her original wand now had a ring near the top, just below the orb. It was used to dispel enchantments. She also wore the Navigation Ring on her finger, while Zeke wore the Threat Detector around his neck. It was small enough that it did not touch his chest spike. The instant he put it on, everyone began to hear a strange humming noise. It was not the vocal humming noise; this sounded different.

    Although Zeke could not interpret literature, he had a knack for interpreting sound. The noises that he heard suggested no imminent danger, but that there might be something in the distance to watch out for.

    The other devices included Noisemakers, Light Bombs, Holy Water, a Quasi-Phone, and a Grapple Box. The Quasi-Phone was the communication device that Zeke named after its similarity to a phone in purpose. Of course, Zeke had to explain what a phone was before he could use the term.

    With more equipment than they could have dreamed of, Zeke and his friends felt ready to take on the mission, and unknowingly, the Test of Courage. Zeke pulled the Quasi-Phone out of his bag spoke into it.

    "Hey Quince," he said. "Which way is out? I heard there was more than one, but the only one I know has collapsed"

    "Has it?" asked Quince with his voice coming out very clearly. "No worries, I know another way out. You know where the elevator is?"

    "Yes, but two of the buttons are missing," answered Zeke.

    "Does that include the top button?" asked Quince.

    "I don't think so," replied Zeke. "I think the first and third of the buttons were missing."

    "Go to the elevator and press the top button," said Quince. "It doesn't matter what floor you're on"

    "Alice," said Zeke. "Wait...never mind"

    "What?" asked Alice.

    "I was going to ask you to show the map, but I realized that Quince can't see it," Zeke explained.

    "Beware of the surroundings," said Quince. "The zombies aren't the only things to watch out for"

    "Oh boy," said Zeke. "And those other things are?"

    "My routine sneaking and snooping around has revealed that the mine you have to go to for the book...is unstable," Quince explained.

    "You mean there's earthquakes?" asked Zeke.

    "Correct," said Quince. "Enough to make you fall over. My suggestion is that when a quake starts, don't look for cover. Stay still so that you're less likely to fall over, or lie down if you can. The good thing about it is that the quakes are minor, and should not cause the mine to collapse. But the bad thing is that this will agitate the undead"

    "Thanks for the tip," said Zeke. "We're going to move now...ready, you two?"

    Alice and the hammer man both nodded.

    "Right, before we move, I want to know your name, so that we can remember," said Zeke.

    "Cedric," said the hammer man.

    "Okay...here we go," said Zeke.

    And with that statement, Zeke and the others walked slowly through the passageway that they used when the wild zombie was chasing Zeke and Alice. They backtracked to the elevator, and that was where they began to hear the Threat Detector making creepy noises. Something was nearby, and Zeke and Alice already had an idea as to what it was.

    The all-too-familiar crazed noises started again.

    "It's the grandpa zombie," said Zeke, taking the zombie's aged appearance into account. Zeke took out a scroll that was named 'Extinguish', and a bottle of holy water. He unscrewed the lid, poured a small amount on the scroll, and watched the scroll glow, showing that it was ready to be used. The zombie heard the noises that the holy water made, and attempted an assault on Zeke. It was not even close when Zeke launched the first holy water bolt at the zombie. The zombie made noises as the holy water hit him. A cloud of steam rose from the zombie, but it looked to be that one bolt was not enough to destroy the zombie. Zeke launched another bolt; this time making the zombie fall to the ground.

    "Everyone on the elevator, now," said Zeke, rather quietly.

    Everyone ran to the elevator, with Cedric pressing the top button. The elevator noisily worked its way up to the top level, scaring everyone a bit. When they reached the top, they were faced with three directions. The center path had a faint light coming through it, which lifted everyone's spirits.

    "This way," said Zeke.

    "Fresh air would be good," added Alice, as they walked outside.

    Fortunately, there was no horrific, dizzying, vertigo scene to make everyone nervous. Instead, there was a winding path that lead all the way to the base of the mountain. When Zeke compared the height of the mountain to the mine, he was glad he chose the option he had now, which was to find the book.

    The sky was beautiful, with a full moon to the left, and a massive chunk of mountainous terrain to the right. Zeke decided to ask for directions from Quince. He pulled out the Quasi-Phone,

    "All right Quince, we're outside," he said. "We just left the elevator and took care of the grandpa zombie that attacked us. No one was hurt. So, where do we go now?"

    "There should be three paths that converge into one single path. Do you see them?"

    "Yes," Zeke responded.

    "All right," said Quince. "You have to go into the place where the three paths lead. The mine we're looking for is on the left, once you go inside."

    "Got it," said Zeke. "Anything particularly dangerous?"

    "Yes," said Quince. "The zombies, I think you can take care of. But there is another problem. The book is guarded by different types of undead."

    "What kinds of undead?" asked Zeke.

    "Zombies, skeletons, liches, and ghosts," replied Quince.

    Alice began to nervously tap her fingers together.

    "We already know what the zombies can do," said Zeke. "But tell us about the other kinds of undead"

    "All right," said Quince. "The skeletons are basically guards. They carry weapons like swords, bows, and things like that. They are smart, follow their own patrol routes, and can summon their friends. Yes, the undead are friends with each other. The ghosts can't walk through walls, but they can float. Some are harmless, while others are hostile. The liches, oh you'll love these, can cast spells just as you can. They have experience, so caution is advised when you see them. It would be best not to fight one because of their capabilities"

    "Thanks for the info," said Zeke.

    "Once you're in the mine with the book, you're on you're own. I couldn't get very close to the book because of the undead," said Quince.

    "Okay," said Zeke. "We'll see if we can cope on our own. Thank you and we hope to see you in an hour or two"

    "No problem," said Quince. "But remember, fighting the undead should be a last resort. Use stealth if you can"

    Zeke put the Quasi-Phone back in his bag, and together, they walked down the mountain trail and eventually stopped at the mine entrance. Zeke breathed in deeply before going inside. Zeke, Alice, and Cedric will have to rely on each other to survive in this mine. Who knows what might be inside other than the undead mentioned? All that was about to reveal itself, as Zeke and the others entered the mine.
    Last edited by Autistic Lucario; 9th April 2010 at 04:08 PM. Reason: Spacing fail

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    Default Re: Lucario and the 10 Ordeals

    Chapter 7: What Lurks Within



    Zeke and his friends were about to enter the mine through the entrance that converged three paths, that ran to separate mines. Their goal was the book, but they knew by now, it would not be easy to retrieve. After the warnings about the undead in the mine, the time had come to see if Zeke and his friends can survive what lurks within.

    Meanwhile, Zeke was having trouble solving an inconsistency. It involved the elevator.

    "Cedric?" asked Zeke. "Did we use a second elevator when we went to the top floor? I could have sworn that we pressed the exact same button if we didn't"

    "Yes, we did," replied Cedric. "We used the emergency one, as from what I've heard, the other one's damaged"

    "Oh...okay," said Zeke.

    And with that problem solved, Zeke and his friends entered the mine, and the minute they did, they began to hear noises. Noises that only the Threat Detector would make. It sounded like rumbling intermingled with rattling chains. It gave the message that there were dangerous enemies in the mine, and a good number of them as well.

    As Zeke and his friends reached the end of the entrance, something quite frightening happened. The gate at the entrance began to close. Zeke was not concerned though.

    "Don't worry...for every gate, there's a lever that opens it somewhere," he said. Then he realized that he was talking out loud and pulled out the Telepathy scroll. He opened it, followed the instructions, and talked to the others, using telepathy.

    "Let's try to talk to each other through our minds. We don't want to attract attention, especially in a place like this," he said.

    He noticed that the number on the Telepathy scroll when he first found it was twenty-five. Now it was twenty-three. He began to understand how the numbers on each scroll work. The numbers indicated how many times the scroll could be activated, before it became useless.

    Somehow, Zeke was beginning to feel good about the situation that he and the others was in. Although he knew that the mine was dangerous, he did not see the real meaning behind the danger. Alice and Cedric did not catch on to this fact, until Zeke said,

    "This is kind of exciting, don't you think?"

    "Exciting?" asked Alice, surprised by Zeke's question. "You worry me sometimes, Zeke."

    Zeke and his friends came to a halt as they were faced with two different paths. One that wandered off to the left, and another to the right. Zeke chose the one on the right. He did not know why.

    "Since this mine has been used before, and since the book is in this mine," said Zeke. "Why don't we look...ah, hey!"

    He broke out of telepathy as the floor seemed to neatly collapse around him. Zeke fell through a trap door.

    "Zeke!" shouted Alice.

    "That's not fair!" shouted Zeke as a last comment before fading in the distance. The surprising thing was that it did not seem like an instant end for Zeke by plummeting to the ground, but instead he seemed to be sliding diagonally downwards. Still, the sudden separation of Zeke from the others was shocking, especially to Alice.

    "We've got to find Zeke, wherever he's landed!" shouted Alice. "We've got plenty of equipment, so let's not waste time!"

    "Where do we go now?" asked Cedric.

    "Over the trap door," responded Alice. "That's the direction Zeke is heading"

    "All right, let's go!" said Cedric.

    And they ran down the hallway, looking for Zeke's landing place.

    Meanwhile, Zeke had no idea where he had landed, but he felt dizzy after falling through the trap door. He could see nothing but the ending point of the trap door, iron bars, and the fact that he was suspended in the air. He was in a cage, and was just about to try and climb back up the slide in the trap door, when the cage began to lower itself. Suddenly, everything began to light up. What Zeke saw next, surprised him.

    Zeke saw a large room, lit up with electric lights. It was densely populated with undead, who were talking and socializing with each other. All faces turned to Zeke. One of the skeletons in the room spoke to Zeke,

    "Look what we've got here," he said. "Lower the cage!"

    Once the cage was lowered to the ground, everyone came closer to Zeke, with the skeleton who spoke to him making his way through the crowd. He was wearing a suit of chainmail with a breastplate. The chain was worn much like a robe. The skeleton was also carrying a staff with a red orb at the end.

    "My, my...I don't think anyone in the world has seen an animal like this before," said the skeleton.

    "Actually there are a few that have," said Zeke, suddenly thinking of an idea. The idea involved talking to the undead to see if they can make some sort of deal to let Zeke go free. Zeke always knew he would never do something bad on purpose, so he brainstormed for ideas.

    "It can talk too," said the skeleton. "Who are you...what are you...how did you get here?"

    "To make a long story short, my name is Zeke, I'm a Lucario, and I got here by falling through a trap door. Why did you block up the right entrance hallway with a trap door? Don't you use it anymore?"

    "We never used it," replied the skeleton. "We wanted to catch intruders like you before they do something dreadful"

    Zeke began to feel awkward. He was faced with a difficult decision. Tell the truth and possibly cost him his life? Or lie and save himself from death, but tarnish his honesty. Zeke weighed the two choices, and seeing as the undead can talk and do not seem like the traditional, aggressive, mindless beings that other people learn from books, he came to a decision. He was going to tell the truth, but seeing the delicate situation he was in, he knew it was not going to be easy.

    "Okay, I'm going to be honest," said Zeke. "I'm looking for a book that was lost in here when you guys supposedly attacked the miners"

    "All right, I'm going to be honest too," said the skeleton. "We destroyed it, and also, we didn't attack the miners. It was the exact opposite."

    "I'm not going to ask why you destroyed the book," said Zeke. "But there's one thing that puzzles me. I think that all this fighting could have been prevented if all of you spoke when you met the miners first saw you. I think they were only trying to protect themselves, but from what I can tell now, it spiraled out of control"

    "Only, we didn't attack them first," said the skeleton. The undead in the other mine must have done that"

    "So there are two groups of undead in the mountain...one that is savage, and the other, I can actually have a conversation with?"

    "Seems so," said the skeleton. "Listen...will you do us all a favor?"

    "That depends...will it involve attacking the miners?" asked Zeke, seeking a simple answer.

    "No...in fact we need help from the miners to pull this one off, but I fear that they will attack us because we're undead ourselves," replied the skeleton.

    "I can fix that problem...but how can we tell you guys apart from the savage undead?" asked Zeke.

    "We have glowing eyes," responded the skeleton. "The others don't. Please be sure to tell the miners that"

    "Don't worry, I will," said Zeke.

    "Why don't we see the miners and introduce ourselves?" asked the skeleton. "Maybe then we can discuss the first phase of our plan, once the miners get to know us"

    "But first, we have to find my friends. One of them is a teenage girl, and another is a miner. You'll have to tell them that you and your people are not savages. Be careful though, they're heavily armed and alert. Stick with me because once they see me with you, they will think twice before attacking"

    "All right," said the skeleton. "That sounds like a good idea"

    He then turned to the crowd.

    "Everyone, listen! We are going to attempt an offensive on the enemy undead, but we'll need the miners' help with this one. Treat them as you wish to be treated. Do not attack them, or do anything that will cause tensions between us and them. I will be back in a while. And another thing...there are two others in this mine, one of them a teenage girl, and another is a miner. Tell the guards to watch for them, and if they see you or you see them, tell them that Zeke has spoken with us and that we wish to help the miners. I really think we have a chance this time, now that Zeke is with us"

    Everyone in the room then started to move about, searching the hallways for guards to inform.

    "Right," said Zeke. "I can still talk to the miners from here...with this thing"

    Zeke pulled the Quasi-Phone out of his bag and spoke into it,

    "Quince, you there?" he asked.

    "I'm still here," Quince responded. "And I heard the whole conversation between you and your new friend. I'll be sure to tell everyone the good news."

    "Great," said Zeke. "Let's go"

    As Zeke and the skeleton left the room, both of them had something else to say. Zeke began first,

    "What's your name?" he asked.

    "Devlin," said the skeleton.

    At the moment, Zeke and Devlin were at the entrance of a long hallway. Then they heard distant voices that seemed to be coming closer. Zeke recognized them immediately.

    "That's Alice and Cedric," he said. "This is it, Devlin. Stay with me in case they haven't heard from you yet"

    "Is that you, Zeke?" asked Alice.

    "Yes it is, and I've got someone with me," replied Zeke, trying to be tactful.

    "Is it Devlin?" asked Alice.

    Zeke was relieved that they knew about Devlin.

    "Yes it is," said Devlin. "Now that we've found you two, we can head to the miners' camp and remove all doubts about us"

    "Great," said Alice. "Let's get moving"

    Before they were about to leave, a skeleton with a suit of armor came into view. He caught sight of Alice and Cedric and disappeared, telling others that Zeke and Devlin had found Alice and Cedric.

    Zeke and the others walked out of the mountain and into the path that now split into three directions. They followed the one on the left, admiring the scenery and the mysterious music that the Threat Detector was playing. It did not sound threatening or ominous in any way. Then, they entered the passage leading to the elevator, took the elevator down to the floor at the start of the mission. It did not take long for them to find their way back to the living complex. There were several miners there waiting for them. Among them was Quince.

    "Greetings, Devlin," said Quince. "We've been expecting you"

    "I should think so. Now, where can you take me so that I can formally introduce ourselves to you?"

    "In the dining room, I think," said one of the miners. "Follow me"

    Everyone followed the miner to the dining room, where Cedric and Quince introduced themselves, and after a while, discussed their plans for the offensive against the savage undead. Meanwhile, Zeke and Alice were having a conversation of their own. Alice already knew Zeke's backstory, so she explained her's.

    Alice came from a town that was close to the mine. Her house was old, but well-maintained. Her father was the owner of an inn that was quite popular. Her mother had equal responsibilities with the inn as well. Alice always appreciated nature and she liked animals, and even ventured into the forest quite a few times. For some reason, whenever she saw a wild animal in the forest, like a wolf, the wolf would not attack her. She had something about her that convinced the animals in the forest that she was not a threat to their safety, so they just continued on, sometimes approached her, and sometimes even befriended her.

    When Alice told her parents that she had a "special relationship" with the animals in the forest, her parents cautioned her about the dangers of the forest. But one night, Alice's parents hid behind a bush and watched to see what would happen to Alice when an animal approached her. And as expected, the bear that she saw that night acted friendly, with no hostile feelings at all. Her parents were amazed at this, but still decided to remain silent and hidden, just in case.

    Zeke was fascinated by this story, and by the time Alice had finished, Cedric tried to recieve their attention.

    "Zeke, Alice...listen. Thanks for your help. We now have the forces to drive the savages out of the mine and the mountain. We couldn't have done it without someone like you. Someone who has the guts to pull something like this. As a reward, you two can keep the equipment I gave you"

    Quince gave Alice the other part to the Quasi-Phone.

    "We'll put it to good use, don't you worry," said Alice. She then realized that her mother had wanted her to return home by midnight. "But now, I have to go home. I hope the offensive goes well. Thanks for the gadgets and spells. Zeke, are you coming with me?"

    Zeke saw no reason to refuse.

    "Okay, I'll come," he said.

    Zeke and Alice made their way out of the living complex, into the mines, all the way to the elevator, up to the exit that they both used when they were looking for the book, and out. Once again, they saw beautiful scenery, but this time, the moon had changed position in the sky. It was getting very late.

    They slowly made their way down the mountain, enjoying the cool air that was present. By the time the reached the bottom and a short distance away from the mountain, a blue oval of energy opened up. Alice was shocked.

    "What's that thing?" she asked.

    "That must be the same portal I entered when I first came to the mountain," said Zeke. "This may be my only chance to get to my home, but I don't want to leave you, you've been a good friend"

    "I wonder if this is a two-way portal," said Alice. "If so, then I can come with you. Even if it's one-way, another will open up eventually if another one has already appeared. I don't want to leave you either. In fact, I'm coming with you"

    "All right, prepare yourself," said Zeke. "On the other end lies the world of Pokemon"

    They walked into the portal, closing it behind them. They had made it through the Test of Courage. But instead of going to the world of Pokemon, the portal took them somewhere else. Someplace where it would take more than courage to escape. Now, the Test of Resourcefulness was about to begin.

  12. #12
    Registered User Autistic Lucario's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lucario and the 10 Ordeals

    Part 2: The Test of Resourcefulness

    Chapter 8: Unfamiliar Territory


    The portal that was supposed to take Zeke and Alice to the world of Pokemon, deposited them inside a massive, dimly-lit room that was made entirely of stone. Zeke was shocked at the result.

    "This isn't the world of Pokemon," he said.

    Alice began to show a nervous look on her face.

    "Zeke...I know this place," she said. "I've heard rumors and read books about this building"

    "And?" asked Zeke.

    "This place was abandoned for some reason," responded Alice. "Something to do with a nasty discovery"

    The room that they were in had only one stained-glass window with moonlight shining through it. There was an eerie silence that intimidated Alice. Then, Zeke and Alice heard pattering noises. They seemed to be coming from the far right corner of the room, hidden by the darkness.

    Zeke put his paw on his mouth and quickly moved it across, implying silence. Zeke and Alice gradually approached the location of the noise until they heard breathing noises. Whatever was making those noises had to be small. Alice's heart began to pound. Zeke's eyes were fixed on the dark corner. Then he took another small step forward. Something darted across the room.

    Zeke had just enough time to take a glance at the figure. It was quite small, and had a familiar color and tail shape.

    "Was that a Pikachu?" Zeke spoke, quietly.

    "A what?" asked Alice.

    "That's a Pokemon, like me," said Zeke. "The Threat Detector isn't making any noises, so we can only assume, it's not a threat. Just don't do anything to make it attack"

    "Well, since you're a Pokemon, and you can talk, why not try speaking with it? Let it know that we don't mean any harm," asked Alice.

    "I'll try," said Zeke. "Hey, you over there! You can come out now. We're not going to hurt you"

    "You're not?" asked the figure.

    "Course not," said Zeke, relieved that the figure can talk. "Why would we?"

    "I don't know," said the figure. "I can't trust anything in this place"

    The figure stepped forward, and was indeed, as Zeke suggested, a Pikachu.

    "So glad that we're not the only ones in here," said Alice.

    "I couldn't agree more," said Pikachu. "How did you two get here in an instant?"

    "By chance," said Zeke. "We entered a portal, hoping to go home, and suddenly, we're now trapped in this miserable place. By the way, what's your name?"

    "Samuel," said Pikachu. "I was trying to open that gate when you two came in. I can't open it. But I did find something"

    "What did you find?" asked Alice.

    "A lever, next to the gate," said Samuel. "But I can't pull it...I'm too small"

    "In that case, I'll open it," said Zeke. "Shouldn't be too hard to pull"

    "Wrong," said Samuel. "It's rusty, and from what I can tell, it's stuck"

    Zeke thought for a moment. He figured that he could use his staff to force the lever down, but he feared that the staff would bend or even snap. So he decided to use the force from a projectile instead.

    "I have an idea...Alice, I'll need to climb on your shoulders," he said.

    "You're not going to try the window are you?" asked Alice.

    "No," replied Zeke. "We're going to force the gate open...with this"

    He pulled out a scroll, held it under the light of the window, which made the words "Hypervelocity Bolt" visible.

    Alice nodded. She turned her back towards Zeke and crouched. Zeke climbed on her back and onto her shoulders. Zeke was not too heavy, and she could move around quite easily. Then Zeke realized that it would be difficult to hit the lever in the dark.

    "Alice, can you make your wand glow?" he asked.

    "Yes," said Alice, remembering a wizard's trick from the magicians back in the mine. She put her hand on the orb of her wand, and it began to glow a bluish color. The lever was clearly visible. Alice walked over to the lever, with Zeke on her shoulders. Zeke unrolled the scroll, touched the writing, made the required movements, and shot a fast-moving projectile at the lever. It was colored blue with a purple trail, and made a strange noise when it was fired. The magical bolt hit the lever with a small explosion, forcing it downwards. The gate then began to move upwards.

    "Great," said Samuel. "Now how do we find a way out of this place?"

    Alice pressed the button on the Navigation Ring. A map appeared, showing where everyone was as little green blips. But then they saw something quite disturbing. There was a red blip at the very top of the map area. Something was nearby. Then everyone began to hear ominous music, coming from the Threat Detector. A lone guitar-like instrument gave the impression that something bad was about to happen.

    "I hope you're ready for a possible encounter, Samuel," said Zeke.

    "Why?" asked Samuel.

    "See this?" asked Zeke, pointing to the red blip. "What does that mean?"

    "Something bad," replied Samuel.

    "Let's see if we can avoid this thing. If not, then we'll have to face it," said Zeke.

    Alice pressed the Navigation Ring again, and the map disappeared.

    Everyone crept out of the room with the gate, and into a long, wide hallway with stairs blocking the view. This made everyone especially nervous because the red blip was directly in front of the direction they were facing. Eventually, everyone saw a suit of armor, holding a poleaxe. It did not look tarnished at all, which made everyone aware that the suit of armor could be the red blip.

    "It can't be that thing, can it?" asked Alice, pointing to the suit of armor.

    Suddenly, the Threat Detector made everyone afraid by stopping the music that was playing, and playing a stringed instument that grew louder until a skidding noise stopped it. After a moment, the suit of armor began to move. Everyone began to step back, with Zeke and Alice readying their weapons and scrolls. Then they followed the instuctions on the scrolls, and readied themselves for combat.

    The suit of armor caught sight of Zeke and the others and began to run towards them with alarming speed. Zeke launched a Hypervelocity Bolt from his paw, denting the armor and knocking the enemy backwards, while Alice began shooting blue energy from her wand, with Samuel dealing the final blow with an electric attack. The suit of armor collapsed and crumbled to dust.

    "Okay," said Zeke. "The place is haunted as well"

    "There's another thing I found out about this place," said Samuel. "This castle might be sentient"

    "How do you know that?" asked Zeke.

    "Strange noises, locked doors, that suit of armor that we just defeated. Those should give you all the proof you need"

    "I don't think we can take on every single thing in the castle, considering we know nothing of what's in it," said Alice. "Let's try to find hiding places instead, because you never know, we might be surrounded or outnumbered if we try an assault"

    "Okay, we'll try that," said Zeke. "Alice, try to refrain from using that ring of yours. We don't want creeps and ghosts knowing where we are"

    "So how will we get around?" asked Alice.

    "We'll just have to find a regular map," responded Zeke. "If the maps here are old and crumbling at the edges, then we'll consider using yours"

    "If we're going to play hide-and-seek with these guys, we'll need a room with lots of good hiding places," said Samuel.

    "I read that just about every castle has a library, a storeroom, a wine cellar, and maybe some sort of attic,"

    "I hope there's more than just that if we get caught," said Zeke.

    "You want to know two other things about this place?" asked Alice.

    "Go on," answered Zeke.

    "One, the undead can't hear telepathy unless they know it too," explained Alice. "And two, in the case of haunted places, I read that if something is controlling an entire building, it can't directly influence the building's structure that much. It can lock doors, like Samuel said, and it can hurl small objects, maybe even animate things like suits of armor, but it can't hurl furniture, change the room's shape, or anything like that,"

    "Good to know," said Zeke. "Now let's get moving before this place directly influences something near us"

    But now, there was a fork in the hallway. Zeke and the others had to choose a path. But due to the recent armored suit problem, finding a way out of this gloomy castle could prove to be quite complicated. The only map they had of it could put them in jeopardy if used. But what was just around the corner of their choice, could give escape a real chance.

  13. #13
    Registered User Autistic Lucario's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lucario and the 10 Ordeals

    Chapter 9: A Turn for the Better


    Zeke and the others now had a choice to make. Both of the paths in the hallway seemed equally unpleasant. However, Zeke and the others had no real reason to think about choosing a certain path, because they had no knowledge of what lied in either. So they settled for eeny-meeny-miney-mo. They chose the path on the right.

    Zeke and the others crept around the corner and came to an unusual door. It had a keyhole, but there was a button next to the door, instead of a handle. Zeke pressed the button, and the door slid inside a slot in the wall.

    "Interesting..." said Zeke.

    They crept down a staircase and into a large room with a smaller room in the middle. Books were found everywhere.

    "This looks like a library," said Alice, quietly. "Some of them have secret rooms to hide things that certain people shouldn't lay their hands on"

    "In that case, why don't we see if there's a secret?" asked Samuel.

    "We'll do that," answered Alice. "Look for a crack in the wall. Not a real crack, just a line in the wall"

    Everyone searched the room until Samuel found some oddly-proportioned bricks in the wall.

    "I found something," he said.

    "Good," said Alice. "Now since most secret walls are activated by some sort of mechanism, look for a book that's on the closest bookcase. It should be out of childrens' reach...aha"

    She found a book with pages that did not seem to be made of paper or parchment. She pulled the book, and indeed, the wall opened. There were two mechanisms on both sides of the false book. Inside was so dark that even Zeke had a hard time seeing what was in it. Alice put her hand on the orb of her wand and made it glow.

    Inside was a table, with an inkwell, a note, and a wastebasket on the floor. A miniature lever was located on the wall, next to the entrance. A beautifully crafted chest was in a corner, with a suspiciously placed stone face above it. It's mouth was hollow and open.

    "Wait," said Zeke. "It's probably a trap"

    He pointed his staff at the chest and waved it about. A small, magical bolt shot out of the mouth of the stone face and hit the floor. Fortunately, it did not make a lot of noise. Alice grabbed the chest and placed it out of harm's way. Inside, she found a few scrolls, with one of them reading "Unlock", and another reading "Purify". She opened the Purify scroll, curious to see what it was for.

    The scroll was made to purify the air, removing things like miasma and other dangerous atmospheric things. Alice wondered if this could be the reason why the castle was abandoned. A very nasty smell, or perhaps something worse. She rolled the scroll back up and placed it in her bag, along with the others. Then she turned her head towards the note on the desk. The note read:

    "If you discover this note, read carefully. You are in a very delicate situation right now. You can't use the front gate or the back door to escape. Both of them have been sealed to contain the evil within. Something, a mysterious force, has taken control of the castle itself. Beware, the building is sentient, meaning it has a mind of its own. The walls really have eyes. Even now the castle knows you are inside it. Take the scrolls that are inside the chest, but be careful about the stone face, it's trapped. Open it from the side, instead. Once you have the scrolls, make your way to the storage room at the top of the castle. I've hidden the next letter there to prevent the undead from seeing it. It's underneath one of the beds. The building can't read, so you don't have to worry about it knowing what you're up to. Beware the undead that roam around the castle. Use stealth, rather than combat. It's much safer that way.

    Good luck with your escape, if you so choose.

    Sincerely,
    A survivor"

    The minute that everyone finished reading the note, they heard breathing noises. Creepy, ghostly breathing noises, coming from the Threat Detector. Everyone turned around, and to their horror, they saw a hooded, black, shadowy figure hovering towards the room that they were in. Everyone rushed out, but it seemed that the figure would strike with magic before Zeke and Alice had time to prepare for combat.

    But Samuel attacked the figure first, with electricity, stunning it and giving Zeke enough time to launch a green energy pulse from the tip of his emerald staff. The figure tried to dodge Zeke's attack, but the green energy moved too quickly, and knocked it to the floor. Alice launched a red, laser-like beam at the figure, making it collapse and crumble to dust, like the suit of armor did.

    "This place gives me the creeps," Samuel remarked.

    "At least we know where we have to go," said Zeke.

    They made their way up the staircase and into the hallway. Then they proceeded to the right and entered a room that was square in shape with a staircase leading up. Then, they traveled upwards into what looked like a storage room. There was yet another staircase leading upwards, but first, they decided to search the room they were in for more items that they could use.

    They began by searching the pile of crates that was in a corner. They found nothing useful, mainly furniture, until they came to a small crate at the end. It had a label that read "Speed Potion". Inside was a highly-decorated green bottle. Zeke stared at it in fascination until Alice put it inside her bag.

    Samuel did not like the silence of the room they were in, so he decided to start a conversation to calm his nerves.

    "You're pretty tall for a Lucario," he said rather quietly. "What happened?"

    "Must have been that Ditto I saw years ago," answered Zeke. "I was once a human"

    "In that case, you're not the only one who's been turned into a Pokemon," said Samuel. "I saw someone last week who was wandering into a forest one night. He was hit by some kind of energy wave and fell asleep. When he woke up, he was a Ninetales"

    There was a brief pause, then Zeke looked puzzled.

    "Hang on, this doesn't make any sense," he said. "I'm guessing that you've been a Pokemon all your life, but you can talk. You know any other Pokemon who learned to speak English?"

    "It's amazing what one trainer and one Pokemon can do," explained Samuel. "Ever since one trainer taught his Charmander how to speak English, the word got out, Charmander started teaching other Pokemon English, and eventually, the language was passed on to wild Pokemon. Now you can hear talking in the forest, which is kind of neat. As for me, I picked up English from my parents."

    Meanwhile, Alice was staring in disbelief. She could not believe what she was hearing. She wanted to go to the world of Pokemon, but first, she would have to convince her parents that she should go, if she ever had the chance. But still, she decided to keep quiet to avoid bringing up a subject that would likely last a very long time, long enough for anything to happen in the castle. But now she was caught between two choices, let them talk more about the mysterious world of Pokemon, or alert them to the seriousness of their situation.

    "That explains a lot, but I need to know something else," said Zeke. "Where did the energy wave come from, and was it multi-colored?"

    "I think it was a Ditto," said Samuel.

    "That might have been the same Ditto that turned me into a Lucario," said Zeke.

    "Is it?" asked Samuel.

    "Could be," responded Zeke.

    "Must have some kind of weird power or something," said Samuel.

    "I guess so," said Zeke as he turned his head towards the staircase. "Now for the storeroom"

    They traveled up the staircase, leading to the storeroom, and went inside. Just as the note mentioned, there were beds in it.

    "Okay," said Samuel. "Now which bed is the note under?"

    "There's only one way to find out," said Alice. "Hey, Samuel, you're smaller than us, can you crawl under there?"

    "I think so," replied Samuel. He went under one bed and found nothing. He looked under another and found a note. He held it in his mouth and crawled out from under the bed. Zeke then took the note. It read:

    "If you haven't seen the note down in the secret room in the library, you should go there and read it before you read this one. If you have, then read carefully. Over on the other side of the castle, there is another note, but don't go yet. The only way to get there is through a room full of traps. The only alternate way to get there was through a passageway, protected by a gate, but that has been sealed. Once you get to the trapped hallway, I've left the answer to a dangerous puzzle in a jar. Study it before you go any further; it could save your life. There should be a map and compass around the storeroom somewhere that shows the location. The place you have to go should read 'Hall of Traps'. As I mentioned before, there is another note at the other side of the castle, in the cellar. Look in one of the empty barrels.

    Good luck with your escape, if you so choose.

    Sincerely,
    A survivor"

    Alice put the note back under the bed and turned to Zeke.

    "The note said that there's a map somewhere in this room," she said.

    "I think I see it," said Zeke. "Over there"

    He pointed to the rectangular object at the back of the room, that was hanging from the wall. Zeke took a closer look, and what he saw was indeed, a map. He took it off the wall and held it under the moonlight from the window. The map was old, but still usable. He saw the room where everyone needed to go.

    Samuel found an old compass on the floor, next to a crate. Surprisingly, it was still in good condition.

    "You'll probably need this too," he said.

    "Okay," began Zeke. "We have to go back the way we came, into the hallway and make a left. Then we have to go through a few rooms and hallways until we come to a gate. Then we'll know if we made it to the 'Hall of Traps'"

    Zeke and his friends exited the storeroom, walked past the library, and entered the hallway where they saw the suit of armor. The next note lied beyond the hallway to the left. Could this be the way out of the castle?

    Everything seemed to be going very well, until the Threat Detector made an eerie noise that lowered in pitch.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Lucario and the 10 Ordeals

    Ouch. I read this whole thing, and I have a headache. If I was a mod, I would permaban you for this.... this.... abomination you dare call a fanfic!
    Even smut oneshots are better!

  15. #15
    Registered User Autistic Lucario's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lucario and the 10 Ordeals

    Chapter 10: Survival of the Smartest


    Zeke and his friends left the storeroom that had the second note. It seemed that their lives now depend on the notes that are scattered around the castle. Although they had somewhere to go, they had not thought of a plan yet. Now, they were in the hallway where they saw the suit of armor.

    The Threat Detector made a noise that suggested something was wrong. It was a strange, indescribable noise that descended in pitch. Something was nearby.

    “Quick everyone, hide behind those crates,” whispered Zeke.

    He was referring to the pile of crates in the room below the first storeroom. They ran to the crates, with Alice trying to make her footsteps as quiet as possible. Everyone peeked from behind the crates, and eventually saw an armored figure, standing in the middle of the hallway. It was too far away for anyone to take a guess on what it was. But then the figure began to move directly in the direction Zeke and the others were. Everyone ducked back into the crates and watched from an opening between two large crates. Then they heard footsteps, and the rattling noises that come from chain mail. Samuel watched in fear as the figure came closer. Zeke pulled the Contorted Blast scroll out of his bag, just in case. All eyes were focused on the figure. The shocking truth was that the figure was a skeleton in a suit of armor, holding a sword. It looked to be something like a castle guard in uniform.

    All was quiet, and nobody dared to move. They knew that even the slightest movement or sound can cause the skeleton to investigate. Even the fact that Samuel was about to sneeze. The dust that was accumulating in the air, was beginning to irritate his nose. Zeke was worried about this, so he shook his head at Samuel, hoping that he would try to control it, just until the skeleton walked away. But it was too late. Samuel felt a tickling sensation in his nose, and after a moment, it happened.

    Samuel sneezed, and not only that, he alerted the skeleton to everyone's presence. The skeleton turned its head to the pile of crates that Zeke and the others were hiding in. It then began to walk slowly towards them, keeping its sword ready. Zeke was beginning to sweat, given how close and unpredictable the skeleton was.

    Suddenly, the skeleton saw where everyone was hiding, raised its sword, and tried to hit Alice. Fortunately, it missed, but not by much. Everyone picked themselves up and darted for the hallway. Zeke put his paw on the scroll he pulled out a short while ago, made the required movements, and launched a violet, swirling, cone-shaped projectile at the skeleton. It was a direct hit that knocked the skeleton on its back. Samuel attacked it with electricity, but seeing as skeletons are nothing but bones, it did not affect it at all. The skeleton got back up on its feet and tried to stab Zeke with its sword. But Zeke made a clever maneuver. As soon as the skeleton came close, Zeke deflected the sword with his staff, and kicked the skeleton with enough force that it fell on its back. Alice seized the sword the skeleton was holding, and threw it out of reach. Zeke put his foot on the skeleton, pinning it to the floor. Alice pulled a scroll out of her bag, made the required movements, and shot a beam of energy that delivered the final blow. But this time, the skeleton did not crumble to dust. It just lied there, motionless.

    Alice realized something about the undead, faced so far in this castle. Not one of them made any noises at all. They were all silent, even as they were defeated. Suddenly, the skeleton vanished from view. Everyone was surprised at this.

    “I guess this castle really is sentient,” said Alice.

    “Must be,” replied Zeke. “How else can the undead just vanish from view like that?”

    “I don't know,” said Alice. “But let's get going before more of them come this way,”

    “Hopefully it won't be as dusty there as it was here,” said Samuel.

    They walked through the left passage in the hallway, where the suit of armor was. As they made their way through the hallway, the Threat Detector began to play music. It had a rather melancholy mood to it. The music also began to make the castle appear even gloomier than it was before. Cobwebs were found in numerous places. Dust had collected in areas like bookcases, shelves, and several other pieces of furniture. The castle had very little light, but everyone could see quite clearly for some reason. Surprisingly, the castle seemed to be in good condition. It was structurally sound, which meant that it did not seem like it was going to collapse anytime soon. Zeke was enjoying the music that was playing. This was evident by the faint smile on his face.

    They walked past the Study, into another hallway, up a staircase, and turned right. Then they came to another hallway, turned left in the middle of it, and beyond that hallway was a door. But the door was locked, and they had no key. But Alice had a trick up her sleeve. She remembered the Unlock scroll she found earlier, pulled it out of her bag, made the required movements, and put her hand on the door handle. It began to glow a yellowish color. Then everyone heard a click, which meant the door had been unlocked.

    Alice opened the door, and the first thing everyone came across, was a 3-way intersection. On the left was the gate, mentioned in the second note, and on the right was a passage. Everyone walked through the passage until they could not see where they were going. Alice then put her hand on the orb of her wand, and made it glow. Everyone could see a large room, with something frightening hanging from the ceiling, with the Threat Detector making noises again.

    The things that were hanging from the ceiling were enormous, spiked metal balls that looked as if the chains supporting them, could snap at any minute. They came in various sizes, but they all looked fatal. Then Zeke looked down and noticed a peculiar floor. Every inch of floor looked like pressure plates.

    “This must be the Hall of Traps,” said Zeke. “Don't move a muscle”

    He began searching the area around him for the solution to this obstacle. He found a jar next to one of the support beams. It contained a note, so Zeke opened the jar, pulled the note out, and studied it. It was a puzzle. It showed two different types of symbols. The symbols that Zeke was interested in, were all connected in the form of a snake-like pattern. He decided to give the mysterious note to Alice. Zeke already knew his answer to the puzzle; the Levitation scroll he was carrying. He could not hold Alice while he was floating; the added weight might cause Zeke to land somewhere unpleasant, and cause a horrible accident. He pulled it out of his bag, put his paw on the center, slowly raised his arms, and began to float in the air.

    Zeke floated over to the other side of the room, to safety. Alice was next, but she had an idea. She could use the Grapple Box to launch a small but extremely durable hook, and make it to the other side, but then she realized that all that was in this room was stone and metal. So she studied the scroll for a moment and decided, that she was going to attempt the puzzle.

    “Samuel...,” said Alice.

    “Yes?” responded Samuel.

    “I don't know what will happen if we both walk on different tiles,” said Alice. “You'll have to get on my shoulder.”

    “Okay,” said Samuel.

    Alice bent down on her knees, and Samuel jumped on her back and climbed on her shoulder. Alice took a deep breath, and stepped on the first tile. It was pressed downwards, and back up again as Alice stepped on another tile. Nothing happened so far. Alice slowly followed the note, counting her steps in her head. She gained confidence as she solved the puzzle, but not allowing her triumph to make her lose count.

    She had made it to the other side of the room, with Samuel on her shoulder. They had not been crushed flat by the huge spiked balls. However, the traps were not fully navigated. There were still more to worry about. Zeke noticed this by the mysterious placement of a tiled floor. Having just been through pressure plates and obstacles on the ceiling, he began to suspect that there were more traps. But what kind of traps were present, remained a mystery. Samuel was the first one to see where the traps came from.

    “Zeke...you might want to look up,” said Samuel, nervous about what he saw up on the ceiling. Zeke looked up, and saw multiple rows of square-shaped holes in the ceiling. He wanted to know what would shoot from there, so he poked a tile with the bottom of his staff. A narrow-pointed arrow zoomed to the floor.

    “Nasty,” said Alice. “But if I had a bow, I could use these.”

    A good thing about the tiled floor was that there were two different colors: black and white. Zeke noticed that the holes in the ceiling matched the placement of the black tiles.

    “Okay, everyone,” he said. “Follow me, but stay on the white tiles, so you don't end up in a horrible state.”

    Zeke walked on the white tiles, nearly tripping at one point, much to everyone's horror. Samuel was still on Alice's shoulder while they made it through the arrow traps. When everyone was across the hall of traps, they came to another door. This one was unlocked, but guarded by a trap. As soon as Zeke opened the door, a steel serrated disk whizzed through the air, forcing everyone to duck.

    “Serrated discs?” said Samuel, frightened. “This could get ugly.”

    Everyone continued to duck to avoid a gruesome fate, and crawled across the hallway, until they made it past the rectangular hole in the wall, where the serrated disk came from. They saw the end of the gate, near the end of the hallway. They had made it through the Hall of Traps alive. But now it was back to the task at hand; finding the next note. They had come this far. Could they succeed at escaping the castle and live to tell the tale?

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