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    Default Melanie: The Kalos Chronicles (X/Y Spoilers)

    Presenting the sequel to the Jim trilogy, taking place within Generation 6, some years after the trilogy. Hope you enjoy!

    *Note: the similarity in name to LightningTopaz's The Kalos Connection is pure coincidence. ^^; *

    Melanie
    The Kalos Chronicles



    Chapter 1

    Welcome to Kalos



    Now arriving in Lumiose City. Please watch your step as you exit the train. Thank you, and have a nice day.


    The sleek, bullet-shaped train pulled to a smooth stop at the station platform. The doors slid open, and a mass of people stepped out, flooding the platform. One girl in particular stood for a moment in front of the doors, as they slid behind her, and gazed about at the massive, ornate interior of the train station. She took in a deep breath and sighed.


    “Kalos at last.”


    The girl was, based on her appearance, around 14 or 15 years of age. She had a lightly-tanned complexion, not darker tan like a sun bather, yet not pale like a shut-in. Her brown hair was long and bushy, not very neat, but that only added to the charm of her cute, rosy-cheeked face. Her eyes were an equal shade of brown, protected by a pair of light-tinted glasses. Her vibrant green T-shirt did little to hide the form of her belly beneath it: not large, but noticeably round and plump. She also wore a pair of jeans rolled into cuffs just above her ankles and orange sneakers.


    This girl’s name was Melanie.


    As could be inferred from her arrival, she was not a native of the Kalos region. However, she had grown up hearing tales of its rich beauty, wealthy economy, and compelling history. Lumiose City, moreover, was its crown jewel, a city where the richest and most elite members of society dwelled or did business. It was the home of illustrious clothing boutiques, jewelry and Evolution Stone shops, haircutters, Pokemon groomers, and more. Its main attraction was the Prism Tower, an enormous marble-white structure towering over the rest of the city, illuminated beautifully in the evening. The city also happened to be the home of Kalos’ leading scientific mind, Professor Augustine Sycamore.


    Melanie had been drawn to Kalos not just by its historical and recreational allure, but also by the prospect of seeing brand-new Pokemon. She had heard stories of Pokemon the likes of which no one beyond Kalos had ever seen before, and some which held a far greater secret. She felt it was her right as a Trainer to explore these mysteries and see for herself what the region had to offer to her.


    And, at any rate, it got her away from her parents.


    Now, it was not to be thought that Melanie disliked her parents. On the contrary, she loved them dearly. They raised her with all the care and attention a loving pair of parents should devote to their child. Truth be told, it did end up making her a little spoiled, hankering for the finest in life whenever she wanted it, but she was, to all intents and purposes, a sweet, clever girl, compassionate and wise beyond her years. However, suffice to say, recent events had caused a strain in their relationship, culminating in a...discrete departure on her part. Even before that day she had had her mind set on getting to the ‘Star of the World’: Kalos.


    She was jerked out of her reverie in seeing a very prim woman walk past, walking a dog-like Pokemon beside her. It looked like a poodle, with a black muzzle and paws and very shaggy white fur. It looked proud and noble. Melanie wished she had a Pokedex; she could get started learning about the new Pokemon of Kalos.


    And that was when it hit her.


    Professor Sycamore!


    If she asked him nicely, he might grace her with a Pokedex.


    It was worth a shot, anyway.


    With this resolve in mind, she started off toward the station entrance. A man in a station uniform bowed as she approached and said, in a crisp, French accent,


    Bonjour, madame. Bienvenue à Lumiose City, et profiter de votre temps.”


    Melanie, not the least bit abashed, smiled and said,


    Merci. Certainement. Au revoir.”


    As was previously stated, Melanie was a clever girl. She had been told that the dominant language in Kalos, beyond English, was French, and she had taken to learning it as a hobby. She knew it would serve her well, should she ever come to the region.


    She stepped out of the station and looked down either side of the street. Each side was devoted to neat, straight rows of shops, office buildings, and skyscrapers. Straight on from where she stood, she could see the pinnacle of the Prism Tower. It was only mid-afternoon, and the sidewalks were packed with people milling about, going about their business. Lumiose was an epicenter of commercial business, after all, much like Celadon City in Kanto, or Goldenrod City in Johto, or even Castelia City in Unova.


    To Melanie’s excitement, she could see even more Pokemon. There were little gray cats waddling about on their hind paws, their eyes round, purple, and unsettlingly unblinking. Also gamboling about were lion cubs, black and brown with red cowlicks of fur on their heads. Overhead, red and gray robin-like Pokemon flew past, twittering merrily. Little brown and white goats with very shaggy fur covering their bodies, resembling grass or moss, slept in the shade of buildings or capered about with boys and girls riding their backs, while larger, grander-looking goat Pokemon, like a grown-up version of them, walked briskly past, people riding atop their backs and gripping their horns like handlebars. She had to find Professor Sycamore now, but where was his lab?


    A man in a violently red-orange suit, his hair the same color, and his eyes obscured by a large pair of sunglasses, was walking briskly toward Melanie from the right. She figured she might as well ask him for directions.


    “Excuse me, sir,” she began, but the man simply walked past her without a word, as if he hadn’t even noticed her. “Well, there was no need to be rude about it,” she muttered.


    “Excuse me, dear. Are you lost?”


    Melanie jumped and turned around. A woman had come up to her when her back was turned. She had a kind face, neat brown hair with a single curl extending over her brow, and a bulky camera bag belted behind her hips.


    “Er, sort of,” said Melanie. “I just arrived in Lumiose City, you see, and I wanted to pay a visit to Professor Sycamore. The thing is, I don’t know where he lives.”


    “Professor Sycamore’s Lab? That’s easy! Follow me, and I’ll show you the way.”


    “Oh, thanks! That’s very kind of you.”


    “It’s the least I can do for someone new to the city.”


    The woman led Melanie down the sidewalk, shifting through the sea of ongoers as they did so. The man in the flashy suit was now in an alleyway, sitting at a table outside what looked like a cafe. It was colored a flaming red.


    “Do you know who that man is, ma’am?” asked Melanie, pointing him out.


    “Hmm?” asked the woman. “Oh, not a clue. He’s not the only one like that. I’ve seen men and women dressed exactly like that from time to time, skulking around alleys or that cafe. I’m not sure what their deal is, but I don’t like the look of them.”


    “Not very open to conversation, I’ll say that much,” said Melanie.


    She didn’t want to think about it, but she had the unsettling feeling that the stranger was following her movements. That, however, could probably have just been the effect of his sunglasses, since she couldn’t see his eyes.


    ***



    About 10 minutes later, the woman came to a stop outside a very ornate building, more like a mansion than a laboratory. It was made of cream-colored brick, with many latticed windows, and a set of stairs leading up to its front door, flagged by a pair of pillars bearing Poke Balls.


    “This is it!” said the woman. “Sycamore Labs! Pretty nice, isn’t it?”


    “It’s incredible!” said Melanie, feeling her jaw fall open.


    “And the man himself is no less incredible,” said the woman.


    Melanie turned to her and shook her hand.


    “Thanks very much for directing me here. I’d probably never have found it on my own.”


    “Anytime, honey. If you’re ever in need of a guide, just head to Lumiose Press and ask for Alexa. That’s me. Good luck!”


    With a merry wave, Alexa continued off down the sidewalk. Melanie, for her part, stood staring at the immense, grand building that the great professor of Kalos called his home. If he lived in such an austere abode, what would that say about his personality? Would he be too stuck-up to want to help her? Or would he simply be too busy? She couldn’t know unless she tried.


    So, swallowing hard, she walked up the steps and knocked on the door.


    After a moment or two, the door opened, revealing two people standing behind it. They appeared to be of Melanie’s age, yet more mature in their expressions and demeanors. One was a boy with sleek blond hair, dressed in a white jacket and pants, and the other was a girl with bushy purple hair, dressed in a similar jacket, but with a short skirt instead. On the breasts of their jackets were gleaming nametags. The boy’s read ‘Dexio’, while the girl’s read ‘Sina’.


    “May we help you?” asked Dexio.


    “I’d like to speak with Professor Sycamore,” said Melanie. “Is he in?”


    “He is,” said Sina. “Please follow us.”


    They stepped aside so Melanie could step in. The inside was just as pleasing to the eye as the outside. She had walked into a blue-walled lobby, complete with a receptionist’s desk in the corner. Potted plants and white sofas decorated the room, while several framed portraits lined the walls. An elevator stood at the back.


    “Just take the elevator to the third floor,” said Sina. “It’ll take you straight to his office.”


    “Thank you,” said Melanie, smiling gratefully.


    “Of course,” said Dexio, and he and Sina smiled in return.


    Melanie stepped into the elevator, a rather narrow model more resembling a phone booth on a wire, since it had no outer shaft to contain it. She pressed the button for the third floor, the doors slid shut, and she felt herself rise upwards. Her heart was beating quickly in her chest at what she was approaching. She was about to meet face-to-face with the great Professor Sycamore…


    With a ding, the elevator pulled to a stop, and the doors opened. Melanie stepped out into another blue chamber, lined with more portraits and photos. This time, however, there were also bookshelves and a pair of work desks with computers atop them. A woman in a lab coat was standing by the books, and she looked up as Melanie stepped forward.


    “May I help you?” she asked.


    “I’m here to speak to Professor Sycamore,” said Melanie.


    “Was that the elevator, Carol?” came a man’s voice from the opposite side of the wall to Melanie’s right. It sounded light and carefree.


    “Yes, Professor,” said Carol. “Someone is here to see you.”


    “Send them in, then. I’ve got time to spare.”


    “Just through that door,” said Carol, pointing to a gap in the walls.


    “Thanks,” said Melanie, and she stepped through the indicated door.


    There, she found a phonograph, more photographs and portraits, and an ornate mahogany desk. And there, behind the desk, was a man who could be none other than Professor Sycamore himself.


    He was, based on his appearance, somewhere in his 30s. He had a mild, pleasant, handsome face, with wavy black hair, a purple jacket, and black pants beneath his lab coat. He had the look of a schoolteacher that no one could help but like: amiable and intelligent at the same time.


    He stood up as Melanie entered, striding over and extending his hand to shake hers.


    “Welcome!” he said. “You wished to have a chat with me?”


    “Yes, sir,” said Melanie, shaking his hand. “I have much that I want to ask and discuss with you.”


    “Well, that’s simply magnifique, my dear,” he said. “Professor Augustine Sycamore at your service. And who may you be?”


    “My name is Melanie. Melanie Stevens.”

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    Default Re: Melanie: The Kalos Chronicles (X/Y Spoilers)

    I'm honored you'd be inspired by "The Kalos Connection", and am intrigued to see where this goes
    My URPG stats: Maya's status

    SuBuWriMo status: 28,103 words in all!

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    Default Re: Melanie: The Kalos Chronicles (X/Y Spoilers)

    Quote Originally Posted by LightningTopaz View Post
    I'm honored you'd be inspired by "The Kalos Connection", and am intrigued to see where this goes
    What I meant was, when I made the title, I saw the title of yours and felt I ought to say that I didn't title mine to copy off of yours intentionally. I couldn't think of much else to call it, and just 'Melanie' doesn't really have a lot of punch. XD

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    Default Re: Melanie: The Kalos Chronicles (X/Y Spoilers)

    I see--it still works, though--good luck writing!
    My URPG stats: Maya's status

    SuBuWriMo status: 28,103 words in all!

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    Default Re: Melanie: The Kalos Chronicles (X/Y Spoilers)

    Chapter 2
    Set for Adventure


    “Stevens?” asked Sycamore, stroking his chin. “There’s something I recognize about that name. Now, what was it?...”

    He pondered for a moment or two, then shrugged and said,

    “Alas, the recollection escapes me.”

    “It’s all right, sir,” said Melanie, reddening slightly. “I’m from Unova, after all.”

    “Ah, Unova!” said Sycamore, his interest renewed. “The land of the twin dragons, and home to my dear colleague, Aurea Juniper! It’s been an age since I last spoke to her. Ah, but listen to me, prattling on about times past. What is it I can do for you, my dear?”

    “I know I’m a little older than the usual age for Pokemon training,” said Melanie, “and that I’m not from Kalos, but my parents spoke very highly about the region when they talked about their travels. They were everywhere when they were younger. It made me want to go out and explore new regions myself.”

    “But what has held you back?” asked Sycamore, curiously. “Surely your parents would not have barred your progress to following their footsteps. Pokemon training is accessible as early as the age of 10”

    Melanie looked down at her feet, biting her lip slightly. She seemed uncomfortable with this question, and didn’t look ready to say anything about it.

    “If you don’t wish to speak about it,” said the professor, “I understand.”

    “Thank you,” said Melanie. “It...just wasn’t in our plans at the time, but I decided now was the time, so here I am. I decided to come to you first because I don’t have a Pokedex of my own. This may sound silly, but I never thought to receive one from Professor Juniper, especially since my dad already has one.”

    “Do you have your own Pokemon, at least?”

    “Yes, sir. She was a gift from my parents. Would you like to see?”

    “Certainly!”

    Melanie dug in the pocket of her jeans until she produced an inactive Poke Ball, balancing it in her palm. With a click on the button, it sprang to full size, and she tossed it up. The ball burst open, unleashing a blaze of light that shot down to the ground, which vanished a few seconds later to unveil her Pokemon. It was a small Pokemon, about 2 feet tall, and slender in build. With its small arms and little legs, it resembled a lizard, but there was also something decidedly snake-like in its pointed face, especially with its eyes, red with slit pupils, but quite charming and keen. Its head and back were covered in green scales, while its underbelly was a pale cream. A yellow curl, like a horn, topped its head, while a V-shaped yellow collar adorned its chest. A three-pronged leaf tipped its tail, similar to the pair of leaves running down it.

    “Ah!” exclaimed Professor Sycamore. “A Servine! Fantastique! From dear Aurea, I do not doubt?”

    He bent down and stroked the Servine’s smooth head, an action she seemed to enjoy.

    “Yes and no,” said Melanie, with a smile. “This is Sprig. Her mother was one of Professor Juniper’s, who became my father’s partner.”

    “Of course, I should have guessed,” said Sycamore. “Passing down from parent to child. You are a lucky lady, Miss Stevens. Well, as a Pokemon professor, it is my duty to ensure that all new Trainers have what they need to start. I can supply you with a Pokedex and some Poke Balls, seeing as you already have a Pokemon.”

    Melanie’s eyes lit up with excitement.

    “Oh, thank you, Professor! That would be wonderful!”

    Professor Sycamore smiled.

    “Think nothing of it, cheri. I’m not usually one to choose favorites, but there is something about you that I like. You’ve got a certain…” He paused, trying to find the right word. “je ne sais quoi to you, the face of someone I can trust.”

    Melanie smiled shyly. Professor Sycamore clapped his hands together.

    “But come! We are wasting time! The more we stand here, gabbing the day away, the more time I take away from the start of your journey! Come with me.”

    He led Melanie and Sprig back over to the elevator, the young girl’s heart beating with wild anticipation. She had done it! She had gotten in the professor’s good graces! She was one step closer to her own journey!

    The elevator brought them down to the second floor of the building. This floor seemed to be where Professor Sycamore conducted all of his research, as it was dedicated to file cabinets and large electronics, including a massive computer taking up one side of the room. More scientists in lab coats were observing the equipment, jotting down notes on clipboards. Professor Sycamore took Melanie to a console sitting by the big computer and punched in a few keys on it. With a click and hiss, something thin and sleek, like a red MP3 player, extended out like a prize ticket. The professor took it and handed it to Melanie.

    “Here you are, my dear,” he said. “Now, the thing to remember about Kalos and its Pokemon is that its divided into three sections: Central, Coastal, and Mountain. The Pokemon you encounter will vary depending on where you are.”

    “I’ll be sure to keep that in mind, sir,” said Melanie.

    She pointed her new Pokedex at Sprig. With a click, it opened up smoothly, the screen lighting up and showing an image of the Servine. A computerized voice said,

    “Servine, the Grass Snake Pokemon, and the evolved form of Snivy. Servine hides from its opponents in thick foliage, then strikes them with its vines. It keeps the leaves on its tail clean so that they can photosynthesize and rejuvenate its energy.”

    “Pretty slick!” she said.

    “Ah, I quite agree,” said Sycamore. “It’s, if you’ll pardon my French, vraiment magnifique. But that is not all I have to give to you.”

    He went to a file cabinet, opened the bottom drawer, and drew from it six inactive Poke Balls, piled in his palm. He handed them to Melanie, who gratefully accepted them and put them in her bag.

    “May these serve you well,” he said. “I daresay you shan’t be disappointed by the Pokemon you encounter here in Kalos. You may even see some, how do I put this...familiar faces.”

    “Hmm?” Melanie asked.

    “Never mind,” said Sycamore. “I would not spoil the surprise for you. Is that not part of the adventure?”

    “True,” Melanie said, giggling.

    “Ah!” said Sycamore, snapping his fingers. “Before I forget, there is one more thing to give you.”

    “Is today Christmas or something?” Melanie whispered to Sprig, who giggled.

    Professor Sycamore went to a desk nearby and pulled something from one of its drawers. It looked slightly like a Pokedex, but had a green border, as well as a lanyard at one end.

    “This is a Holo Caster,” he said, handing it to her. “It’s the latest innovation of long-distance communication, allowing you to speak via holographic projection. Use it well.”

    Melanie felt her jaw drop as she looked at the device.

    “Can I really accept this, Professor?” she asked. “This is almost too good to be true.”

    “Take it, my dear,” said Sycamore. “It’ll come in handy, you’ll see.”

    Numbly, Melanie put the lanyard over her neck, the Holo Caster resting against her stomach.

    “Thank you very much, Professor,” she breathed. “This is more than I could have asked for.”

    “It’s my pleasure, Miss Stevens.” said Sycamore, grandly. “Now, you may not have been aware, but you might be able to start into your League travels right here in Lumiose City.”

    “Really?” Melanie asked, intrigued. “Are you saying there’s a Gym here?”

    “I am,” said Sycamore. “Right inside the Prism Tower itself.”

    “What?!” Melanie blurted, astonished. “The tower’s a Pokemon Gym?! I never even imagined…!”

    “It’s information usually cognizant to only the citizens, but I see no reason to deny you that information. The leader and his preference, however, I shall not disclose. I leave it to you to see for yourself.”

    “That’s fine with me,” said Melanie. “I can’t wait!”

    Professor Sycamore smiled.

    “That’s the spirit,” he said.

    At that moment, there came a buzz from a small intercom sitting on a desk nearby. Professor Sycamore went over to it and pressed its button, saying,

    “Yes?”

    “Professor, Mr. Lysandre is here to speak with you,” came the voice of Sina, the girl Melanie met at the door.

    “Good!” said the professor. “I was hoping for a word with him. I’ll be right down, Sina.” Turning back to Melanie, he said, “I hope you understand, Miss Stevens. Lysandre is a long-time colleague of mine, and it’s been a while since he’s stopped by.”

    “Of course, sir,” said Melanie. “Come on, Sprig.”

    The Servine followed the two humans into the elevator, which brought them smoothly down to the lobby. Standing by the reception desk were Dexio, Sina, and a man that Melanie found...rather intimidating. He was a tall, lean man with a mane of fiery orange hair, a beard of the same color, and rather heavy brows. He was dressed in a black suit with red accents and a furry collar. He looked like an aged lion: stern, yet wise.

    “Lysandre, my friend,” said Sycamore, approaching him and shaking his hand. “It’s been an age since you’ve graced my lab.”

    “I’ve been away, Augustine,” said Lysandre, in a deep, sonorous voice. “You know I have never been one to remain still for very long.”

    “True, true,” said Sycamore. “I was just preparing Miss Melanie Stevens here for her journey. She comes from Unova, you see.”

    Lysandre’s blue eyes fell on Melanie, who couldn’t suppress a shudder. His gaze was so sharp, so piercing, that she felt like she was being X-rayed. Sprig, meanwhile, was looking at Lysandre with apprehensive suspicion.

    “Stevens, is it?” he asked. “The name rings a certain bell, but the recollection does not come to me. You’re from Unova, my dear?”

    “Yes, sir,” said Melanie, humbly.

    “It is a beautiful country, Unova,” he said. “I have seen it in my travels. It’s my dream, you see, to create a world of perfection and beauty, and though there is much to admire in our world today, there is still much wrong...So wrong…”

    He paused, not really looking at her as he said these things. However, he came to himself once again and added,

    “Ah, but I see you’re also wearing a Holo Caster.”

    “Yes, sir. Professor Sycamore gave it to me.”

    “He always was a generous man, Augustine,” said Lysandre, casting a sly, sidelong glance at Sycamore, who bowed graciously. “That device is actually my own creation, from Lysandre Labs.”

    “R-Really??” asked Melanie, surprised.

    “Indeed, but I cannot take all the credit. I would not be half the man I was today without the teachings of Augustine.”

    “Come, Lysandre,” said Sycamore, “enough with the buttering up, old friend. You had something you wanted to talk about?”

    “Yes, certainly. I bid you adieu, Miss Stevens.”

    “Good luck, Melanie,” said Sycamore. “I know you’ll do splendidly.”

    “Thank you again, Professor,” said Melanie, “and goodbye, Mr. Lysandre.”

    Dexio and Sina led Melanie and Sprig to the door and showed them out, closing the door behind them. Melanie let out a loud sigh.

    “We made it, Sprig!” she said, excitedly. “Our next stop is the Prism Tower, or should I say, the Lumiose Gym! Are you ready?”

    Sprig’s pointed face split into a wide smile.

    “Always,” she said.

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    Default Re: Melanie: The Kalos Chronicles (X/Y Spoilers)

    Chapter 3
    An Electrifying Duel


    The Prism Tower was difficult to miss: it stood out over every rooftop in Lumiose City. The fact that it housed a Gym, though, was something Melanie had never even considered. Back in Unova, a good number, if not all, of the Gyms were disguised as some other kind of business, like a five-star restaurant, a museum, or even an art studio, just to name a few. None of those, however, were a national landmark like the Prism Tower. It was practically the symbol of the entire Kalos region, represented on its flag as the white tower arch between fields of red and blue. Melanie was so anxious to get an early start on her adventure that she and Sprig set out for the tower right away.

    She had just started down the road, when all of a sudden, a voice behind her said,

    “Excuse me.”

    Melanie stopped and turned around. A boy about her own age was standing by the gate posts in front of the steps leading to the lab entrance. He was a pale, meek-looking young man, with short, chocolate-brown hair, eyes the same color, and a rather awkward look about him. He was wearing a blue T-shirt a size too large for him, so that it hung loosely past his waist, and baggy jeans.

    Sitting on his shoulder was a Pokemon resembling a blue frog, with large yellow eyes, white forepaws, and what looked like a cloud of bubbles draped cape-like across its back. A pair of similar bubbles on its nose gave it a distinguished appearance, like a gentleman wearing pince-nez.

    “Yes?” Melanie asked.

    “Um…” mumbled the boy. “Hi. You’re...new in town, aren’t you?”

    “Uh-huh. I’m Melanie, and this is Sprig, my Servine.”

    “M-My name’s Ted,” said the boy, “and this is Winston, my Froakie.”

    Winston gave a gracious bow from his place on Ted’s shoulder.

    “Ooh, a new Pokemon right off the bat,” said Melanie, eagerly.

    She took out her Pokedex and flicked it open. Ted gave a start at the sight of it.

    “Froakie, the Bubble Frog Pokemon,” said the Pokedex. “Froakie secretes flexible bubbles from its chest and back, reducing damage it would otherwise take when attacked. It is normally happy-go-lucky, but still keeps a watchful eye on its surroundings.”

    “Y-You got a Pokedex from Professor Sycamore?” Ted asked, amazed.

    “Yep,” said Melanie. “I’m going to take part in the Kalos League, so I thought I’d see the professor to get started. Sprig and I are going to show them how we do it back home in Unova!”

    Both Trainer and Pokemon proudly put their hands on their hips, an act that brought a slight smile to Ted’s face. Winston nudged his shoulder, and, after clearing his throat, he said,

    “See, the thing is...I was wondering…”

    “Yes?” asked Melanie.

    “I...Would you…”

    “Yes?”

    ‘Er...y-you know what, never mind. J-just forget it.”

    “Huh?” Melanie asked, puzzled.

    “S-sorry to bother you. I’ll let you get back to whatever you were doing…”

    Winston, however, didn’t seem to like this. He placed his fingers on his temples, right between his eyes, as if he were suffering a headache.

    “Honestly, Master Ted,” he said, in a wearied tone, speaking with a crisp, refined voice, like that of an English gentleman, “must we go through this again? Every other day, you tell yourself ‘Today, I’m going to do it. I’m going to see Kalos for myself’, but you change your mind at the drop of a hat! What am I to do with you?”

    “You want to see Kalos too?” Melanie asked Ted.

    Ted’s face went even paler than before, his meek demeanor vanishing in an instant. He had the look of one whose deepest, darkest secret had just been spoken aloud in the open. Even Winston looked astounded.

    “How did you know about that?” Ted asked, looking at Melanie as if she were a ghost.

    “Your Froakie just said it,” said Melanie. “Didn’t you hear him?”

    “Did I...what?” Ted asked, perplexed. “You can understand him?!”

    “Sure,” said Melanie, casually. “Sprig and I talk all the time. Don’t you and Winston?”

    “W-Well, sure, I talk to Winston,” said Ted. “He’s really the only one I can talk to. But all he can say is his name.”

    Melanie looked very puzzled at this.

    “His own name?” she asked. “But I just heard him speaking perfect English. He said you want to see the rest of Kalos, but he wishes you weren’t so indecisive.”

    Winston blanched.

    “He...he said that?” Ted asked, looking at the Froakie in astonishment.

    Winston tugged at the collar of his cape in discomfort. It seemed he hadn’t wanted that opinion to have been brought out into the open. He shot Melanie a look of unmistakable dislike, one that made a shudder go down her spine. It was the look of one who had just picked out a mortal enemy.

    “You really think I’m being indecisive, Winston?” Ted asked, in a tone more of curiosity than hurt.

    Winston, however, wanted no more of this. Cupping his paws together, he formed a solid ball of swirling water from seemingly nowhere. This projectile in hand, he shot it at Melanie, who had to jump back as it struck right at her feet.

    “Winston!” Ted shouted, aghast. “Why did you do that?!”

    “Impertinent, tactless eavesdropper!” Winston snapped at Melanie. “What put it into your head to just blurt out such a personal statement?!”

    Melanie felt completely flabbergasted, not just because she was getting a verbal lashing by a bubble-wearing frog, but also that she couldn’t understand this entire ‘only says his name’ thing.. Sprig, meanwhile, had stepped in front of her, glaring daggers at Winston.

    “Shoot at her again and I’ll make you eat your own bubbles,” she said, icily.

    “I don’t have to take lip from her co-conspirator!” Winston snapped. “En garde with you, you serpentine hussy!”

    Sprig hissed angrily, a pair of vines raising themselves from where her lapels met her neck. It looked like they were about to enter full-on battle mode, but Melanie had her own ideas. Glaring angrily at Ted, she snapped,

    “I don’t know what you’re trying to pull, but I’m not going to stand here and let some frog throw water at me and call my friend a hussy!”

    “W-What? He said that?” asked Ted, confused.

    “Oh, don’t you play dumb with me!” shouted Melanie. “He said it plain as day! I heard him, and so should you!”

    “B-But I-”

    “Forget it! Whatever you wanted to ask me, it’s not worth it if I’m going to be insulted like this! Come on, Sprig, we have to get to the Gym.”

    Sprig cast Winston one last contemptuous look, an expression the Froakie mirrored, then turned and followed Melanie down the street. Ted took a step forward, hand raised, looking as if he wanted to call after her. However, he gave up and just stood there, hanging his head, while Winston, having composed himself, put a consoling paw on his shoulder.

    ***


    Melanie’s hot and bothered attitude subsided in time as she approached the monumental Prism Tower, but she was still feeling sore about what just went down. How was she supposed to know that boy couldn’t hear what his Pokemon was saying? She could hear him plain as day, so how could he not have? And at any rate, while it may have been rude of her to say something personal like that, she didn’t think she deserved to have been attacked for it. The sooner she cleared all possible distance with that boy and his temperamental Froakie, the better.

    They stopped just outside the doorway. A stylized symbol, vaguely resembling a Poke Ball, hung over the entrance, as a marker to indicate that it was a Gym.

    “Are you all right now, Melanie?” Sprig asked.

    Melanie let out a sigh.

    “Yeah. Don’t worry about me, Sprig. I still can’t believe that boy, though: letting his Froakie attack me.”

    “I still wish you’d have let me at least Vine Whip him,” said Sprig, resentfully. “He deserved it.”

    “It wouldn’t have been fair,” said Melanie. “He looked like an unevolved Pokemon, and you are evolved. It’d make you look like a bigger bully.”

    Sprig stared up at her for a moment, then smiled and nuzzled against her pudgy side.

    “You always did have a wise head on your shoulders,” she said.

    Melanie smiled down at her Servine and stroked her smooth head.

    “All right, partner, are you ready?”

    “Ready!”

    With that, the two stepped into the gaping doorway leading inside the tower.

    The interior was not what Melanie was expecting at all. It was like the inside of a scientist’s laboratory, similar to the room Professor Sycamore kept his Pokedexes and Poke Balls in, but much more advanced. A large cylinder extended from the floor to the ceiling, a door in the middle of it indicating that it was a hi-tech elevator. Large television screens were posted on all the walls, broadcasting news channels and quiz questions. A crowd of people were gathered in front of the quiz screen, where a little girl was standing on a podium in front of them. She was a cute-faced girl with blond hair, dressed in a brown shirt, a fluffy white skirt, and black shorts beneath it.

    “Ok, everyone, here comes the next question!” she chirped.

    She gestured to the screen, and a black silhouette appeared, the shape vaguely resembling a butterfly.

    “Which Pokemon is this?” asked the girl.

    The people began talking at once, shouting their answers.

    “Butterfree!”

    “Beautifly! It’s Beautifly!”

    “Venomoth!”

    “Dustox, I know it’s Dustox!”

    “Mothim!”

    “Vivillon!”

    “And the answer is…” said the girl, pausing for dramatic effect.

    The silhouette filled itself in, showing a black and white butterfly Pokemon with very vivid, prismatic wings.

    “Vivillon!”

    “Ha! I knew it!”

    “Aw, nuts…”

    “That’s all for today! Come back next time for Lumiose Quiz Hour!”

    The crowd dispersed, and Melanie stepped forward to the little girl.

    “Hi!” said the kid. “Sorry, but we just finished Quiz Hour for today.”

    “That’s all right,” said Melanie. “I’m actually here to-”

    But before she could finish, the girl suddenly gasped and ran to Sprig, clasping her little paws.

    “Oh my gosh!” she said. “You have a Servine?”

    “Er, yeah,” said Melanie, caught off guard by the girl’s behavior. “That’s Sprig.”

    “She’s so adorable!” gushed the little kid, rubbing Sprig’s cheeks between both hands, though the Servine was sharing her Trainer’s uncomfortable expression. “I’m not old enough to be a Trainer yet, but my big brother lets me take care of his Pokemon sometimes.”

    “Aww, that’s sweet of him,” said Melanie.

    “Yeah. It’s usually when he’s busy, since he’s a Gym Leader.”

    Melanie gave a start.

    “Your brother’s the Gym Leader??”

    “Uh-huh,” said the girl, looking up at Melanie. “Why, didn’t you know?”

    “No, not at all! I came all the way from Unova, and I’m here to challenge him to my first Gym battle.”

    “Ooh!” squealed the girl. “A Gym Battle! It’s been a while since Clemont’s had an opponent! He’ll be really happy! Come on, follow me!”

    She scampered to the elevator, motioning for Melanie and Sprig to follow. Exchanging bemused looks with each other, Trainer and Pokemon followed her inside, where she pressed a big silver button, the doors slid shut, and the elevator shot straight upwards.

    ***


    The elevator let them off in a room no less technological than the ground floor, except that it was structured much differently. The space of the room was taken up by an enormous dirt rectangle, with a painted Poke Ball symbol in the middle. The walls were designed to accommodate stadium seating, as if they were in a sports stadium, but at the moment, they were vacant. Someone was standing at the far end of the room, his back to Melanie, Sprig, and the little girl.

    “Clemont!” called the girl. “You’ve got a challenger!”

    The person turned around to face them. He turned out to be a boy about Melanie’s own age, just like Ted had been, and shared the same blond hair color as his sister, though his was neatly combed with a cowlick on top vaguely resembling a lightning bolt. He wore round glasses, and was dressed in a blue jumpsuit with yellow accents, a backpack slung over his shoulders. He had an intelligent, good-natured face, though at the moment, he looked slightly peeved.

    “Bonnie,” he said, sternly, “I thought I had made it clear that I didn’t want to be disturbed while I was working.”

    “Sorry, big brother,” said Bonnie, “but this lady said she wanted a Gym Battle. It’s her first.”

    (Lady? I’m no one’s granny, kid…)

    “Your first Gym Battle?” Clemont asked Melanie. “Trainers usually have one or two Badges under their belts before facing me. Where are you from?”

    “From Unova,” said Melanie. “I’m Melanie Stevens, and this is my Servine, Sprig. She’s my only Pokemon.”

    “I see,” said Clemont, meditatively. “Well, it’s my duty as a Gym Leader to welcome any and all challengers who come to face me, and as a Gym Leader, I accommodate my roster accordingly. Bonnie, will you referee?”

    “Of course!”

    Bonnie ran to the outside of the ring, standing right at the dividing line. Clemont stepped forward onto the field, and Melanie and Sprig followed suit. To their surprise, something like a long, silver arm with a round hand extended from Clemont’s backpack, a hand that actually waved to them. Clemont looked from their dumbfounded expressions to the hand.

    “Ah!” he said, comprehending. “My apologies. This is my Clemontic Aipom Arm. I invented it to give me some extra assistance with my inventing.”

    “It really comes in handy!” said Bonnie, giggling.

    “Thank you, Bonnie,” said Clemont, with a wearied sigh from the childish pun. “Take it away.”

    Bonnie cleared her throat and said, her voice echoing through the room,

    “Today’s match will be Miss Melanie Stevens vs. Lumiose Gym Leader Clemont! The battle will be one on one with no time limit! Let the battle begin!”

    “All right, Sprig, go for it!” said Melanie.

    Sprig leaped forward onto the battlefield, alert and ready. Clemont’s robotic arm went into his backpack, drew out a Poke Ball, and deposited it into his palm.

    “Dedenne, you’re up!”

    He hurled it forward, it burst open, and a tiny Pokemon appeared on the field. It looked like a very plump hamster with a long black tail, its fur orange with black ears, a yellowish belly, and orange cheeks, from which protruded two black whiskers each. A single tooth poked out from its upper lip.

    “Aww!” Melanie cooed, smitted with its appearance. “It’s so cute!”

    Dedenne squeaked merrily, and Melanie took out her Pokedex.

    “Dedenne, the Antenna Pokemon. By sending and receiving electrical waves via its antenna-like whiskers, it can communicate with others over vast distances. It uses its tail to absorb electrical energy from power plants or outlets in houses, then fires this electricity as an attack.”

    “Hang on,” said Melanie, looking closer at the Pokedex. “It says Dedenne’s an Electric and...Fairy type? What’s a Fairy type?”

    “You don’t know?” asked Clemont. “Then again, I don’t suppose Fairy types are known anywhere else outside Kalos. They’re mystical in nature, and are thus far the only confirmed type that can completely resist the furious onslaught of Dragon type attacks.”

    “Whoa,” said Melanie, amazed.

    “Indeed. Now, then, shall we get started?”

    “Yeah, lets! Sprig, use Tackle!”

    Sprig charged straight for Dedenne, her head held low in front of her.

    “Dedenne, fight Tackle with Tackle!”

    Dedenne sprinted toward Sprig, and the two Pokemon collided against each other. However, as Sprig was much bigger than the tiny Antenna Pokemon, Dedenne went flying back, though it landed back on its feet.

    “Atta girl!” said Melanie. “Now, use Vine Whip!”

    Sprig’s vines rose out from the lapels on her neck and struck straight for Dedenne.

    “Dodge them, Dedenne!” shouted Clemont.

    Dedenne scampered this way and that, dodging the whipping vines with surprising speed.

    “Now use Nuzzle!”

    (Nuzzle? I’ve never heard of that attack before…)

    Dedenne placed its paws on its cheeks and started rubbing them rapidly, stopping once they began to spark profusely. Then, it leaped straight at Sprig, turning to side as it did so, and, as it collided with her right in the chest, rubbed its cheek against her in an affectionate way. Sprig flinched as sparks flew all around her body.

    “Sprig!” shouted Melanie. “Knock it away from you! Vine Whip!”

    Sprig still sparked violently, but, with an effort, she managed to whip out one of her vines and send Dedenne flying. Bonnie cringed at the sight, but looked relieved when Dedenne landed back on its feet, looking no worse for the wear. Despite being so small, Clemont had obviously trained it to be tougher than it looked.

    “What happened?” Melanie asked, looking anxiously at Sprig. “What did that attack do to her?”

    “Nuzzle?” Clemont asked. “It’s a small attack, merely a spark compared to an attack like, say, Thunder, but it always paralyzes upon contact.”

    “Always?”

    “Always.”

    (Nuts. This isn’t looking too good…)

    “Sprig, try a Leaf Tornado!” she commanded.

    Sprig attempted to move, but another burst of sparks from her body kept her from moving. She flinched and stayed where she was. Melanie bit her lip tensely.

    “Now, Dedenne,” said Clemont, “since our opponent seems ignorant to the Fairy ways, give her a demonstration! Play Rough!”

    Before Melanie could say or do anything, Dedenne pounced on Sprig and began tussling around on the floor with her, scratching, biting, etc. It looked like a hyperactive little kid attacking their babysitter after juicing up on sugar.

    “Sprig, don’t let it do that to you!” Melanie shouted, “Make it get off!”

    Sprig attempted to whip Dedenne away with her vines, but she cringed as sparks flew once again. The paralysis was preventing her from fighting back. Everything had been turned around on her…

    “All right, Dedenne,” said Clemont, his glasses glinting, “let’s finish this battle here and now. Parabolic Charge!”

    Dedenne jumped off of Sprig, seeming to hang in the air as electricity coursed all around it. It aimed its tail down at the paralyzed Servine, and, with a surge that sent bolts flying everywhere, one particular streak of lightning shot down, striking Sprig on the spot. Though Grass types were strong against Electric attacks, it appeared that the Paralysis, combined with the ‘Play Rough’ attack had done more than enough on her. With another surge of sparks shooting from her body, Sprig’s attempt to rise faltered, and she fell back, out cold.

    “Servine is unable to battle!” said Bonnie. “Dedenne wins!”

    Melanie felt stunned. She had felt completely confident about going in with victory in the bag. She had been pitted against such an easy-looking opponent, but everything just fell apart, ever since that Nuzzle attack. She’d lost in her very first Gym Battle…

    “You did admirably,” said Clemont, recalling Dedenne, “but perhaps it would be wise if you trained up a bit and came back for a rematch. You could always try the Gym in Santalune City, to the southeast. It’s normally Trainers’ first go.”

    He said this in such a genial tone that Melanie couldn’t stay angry with him. After all, it was his job as a Gym Leader to test Trainers, and that was just what he did. It wasn’t his fault she failed.

    “Yeah, maybe I’ll do that,” she said. “Thanks, Clemont. Your Dedenne’s pretty strong.”

    “Thanks. It’s really Bonnie who looks after it. She’s got a thing for cute Pokemon.”

    Bonnie smiled and giggled.

    “Well, until then,” said Melanie, and, after recalling Sprig to her Poke Ball, she turned around to take the elevator back to the ground floor.
    Last edited by TPrower; 4th November 2013 at 06:42 PM.

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    Default Re: Melanie: The Kalos Chronicles (X/Y Spoilers)

    Chapter 4
    A New Friend


    As soon as Melanie stepped out of the Lumiose Gym, she saw a familiar face standing outside by the entrance. It was Ted, along with his Froakie, Winston, but he wasn’t alone. A girl was standing in front of him, hands on her hips, staring him down with a hard glare, while he was cowering in front of her. She had long, flame-red hair and green eyes, and was dressed in a tank top the same shade of red as her hair, a white skirt, and black slacks beneath it. Winston looked like he was trying to match the girl’s glare in an attempt to make her back off.

    “Were you trying to go in there for a Gym Battle, Ted?” she asked.

    “What? N-No, I was just-”

    “You’re not just trying to copy off of me, are you?”

    “O-Of course not, Kaitlin!”

    “You’d better not be! I’m gonna be the next Champion of Kalos, once I get the perfect team to befit my stunning self-”

    She flicked her fiery locks for emphasis, a move that, from the looks of it, nearly made Ted swoon. Winston, for his part, just glared at her.

    “-and I’m not gonna let some wishy-washy little loser one-up me!”

    Ted said nothing. He just continued to stare meekly up at her. It was a miracle he hadn’t passed out, given how terrified he was. Melanie, for her part, felt a hot surge run through her veins. She still hadn’t completely gotten over Winston’s attack on her, but she couldn’t stand seeing poor Ted being treated so spitefully, especially by someone as obnoxious as this girl. She knew the feeling too well.

    Back home, during her school days, some of the kids would pick on her for her glasses or for being overweight. She’d long grown comfortable with her chubby build and need for glasses, and bore the taunts without rebuttal over time. Nonetheless, she hated seeing other innocent kids being picked on or mistreated, when they never did anything wrong. Her father called it a ‘desire for poetic justice’, which he himself admitted to possessing, and said was nothing to be ashamed of. He himself had said that the world needed more compassionate people to balance out the inconsiderate ones.

    “Then again,” said Kaitlin, “why should I even be concerned? If you’d have wanted to take on the League yourself, you’d have left when you were 10. Instead, you just hung around Lumiose, twiddling your thumbs, hanging around with that stupid little Froakie. I only hung around because I thought you’d want some company, Teddy. Don’t you like having me around?”

    She leaned in teasingly, giving him a flick on the nose. His cheeks went scarlet, but he said nothing.. Winston, however, shook his fist at her and said,

    “You keep away from him, you impudent woman! He doesn’t need your ilk!”

    Kaitlin eyed him coldly and said to Ted,

    “I don’t know what your Froakie just said, Teddy, but I don’t think I like his tone…”

    There this was again. Neither Ted nor Kaitlin could understand what Winston was saying. Why were they having such a hang-up understanding plain English? Melanie had always been able to understand what Pokemon were saying, no matter what their species were. Her dad’s Unova-bred team was like an addition to the family, and she’d always treated and conversed with them as if they were her brothers or sisters.

    But then...why didn’t her mother ever join in at those times? She always spoke with her father, asking what one of the Pokemon said if they addressed her. How had Melanie not seen that before?

    Was she the one who hadn’t been hearing things right? Was it possible she was hearing what no one else could? Was she really the only one able to pick up what Winston had been saying?...

    Her thoughts were interrupted when Kaitlin spoke again.

    “Don’t even try it, frog-boy. I’ll sic my Chespin on you before you even have time to say ‘ouch’.”

    To demonstrate, she took out a Poke Ball and clicked it open. A little Pokemon appeared on the ground in front of her, resembling a brown-furred rodent, but clad in green armor from its head, which was crowned with a few spikes, down its back. Its cute, buck-toothed face was marred by its smug expression, an exact mirror of its Trainer’s.

    “Armor-clad rapscallion,” hissed Winston.

    “Bubble-wearing poindexter,” retorted Chespin, in a squeaky male voice.

    In spite of her anger, Melanie couldn’t help but pull out her Pokedex to scan it.

    “Chespin, the Spiny Nut Pokemon. While the quills on its head are usually soft, Chespin can flex them to make them sharp and hard enough to pierce rock. The shell covering it is so thick and strong that it can withstand a direct hit from a truck.”

    The sound of the Pokedex arrested Kaitlin’s attention from Ted, making her turn on Melanie. Ted spotted her as well, and a fleeting look of relief flew across his face. Kaitlin looked annoyed at having been interrupted, but then her eyes fell on the device in Melanie’s hand. Her gaze roved from that to the Lumiose Gym behind her, and her expression dictated that she had put two and two together. Her gaze became icy.

    “What?” Melanie asked, calmly. “Is it a crime to use a Pokedex on a Pokemon I haven’t seen before?”

    “If you have a Pokedex,” said Kaitlin, stepping toward Melanie, followed by her Chespin, “and you just came out of the Gym, that means you’re taking the League challenge yourself.”

    “And what if I was?” Melanie asked, not backing down. “First him, now me. Are you the League police or something?”

    “Oh. You heard all that, did you?”

    “It was impossible not to,” said Melanie, dryly. “You were shouting at that poor kid loud enough for the whole city to hear.”

    “And so what?” asked Kaitlin. “Whoever I talk to and however I do it is none of your business!”

    “None of your business!” echoed Chespin.

    “But what did he ever do to you?” asked Melanie.

    “Nothing, yet,” said Kaitlin, “and I intend to keep it that way. All I’m trying to do is make sure little Teddy doesn’t do something he may come to regret.”

    Melanie’s glare became stony as she crossed her arms.

    “In short, you’re threatening him and trying to keep him from doing what he wants, just so you can have your own way.”

    “Yeah. Problem?” asked Kaitlin, complacently.

    “You know, I don’t like people who torment others for their own pleasure.”

    “Save it for someone who cares,” Kaitlin said, coldly.

    “I’m someone who cares!” Ted suddenly piped up.

    “You keep out of this!” Kaitlin snapped at him, making him cringe, before turning back to Melanie. “Are you asking for a fight, fat girl?”

    “No,” said Melanie. “Unlike some people, I don’t need to solve my problems with violence.”

    “I wasn’t giving you a choice,” growled Kaitlin. “Chespin, show her why no one talks back to me!”

    Chespin stepped forward, flexing its stubby arms and glaring at Melanie, who felt quite bewildered. Was this girl serious? Even if Sprig hadn’t been weakened from the battle with Clemont’s Dedenne, she would have still refused to dignify Kaitlin’s rudeness by accommodating her request.

    “You’re really doing this?” Melanie asked. “I said I don’t want to battle you.”

    “And I said I’m not giving you a choice!” said Kaitlin. “You’ve got to have a Pokemon with you, since you just came out of the Gym, so send it out!”

    “Look, I’ll show you what it is,” said Melanie, beginning to lose her temper, “but she’s exhausted from the battle she just had. I can’t battle you with her.”

    She clicked open her Poke Ball, and in a flash of light, Sprig appeared, battered and unsteady on her feet. She was conscious, at least, but she didn’t have enough in her to keep up a prolonged combat.

    “A Servine?” Kaitlin asked. “That’s all you’ve got?”

    “That’s all,” said Melanie.

    “Looks like it took quite a beating. Ah well, win-win for me. Chespin, go get it!”

    “Wait!” Melanie shouted. “What’s your deal? I just said I don’t want to fight you! Sprig can’t fight right now! She needs to go to a Pokemon Center!”

    “She’s still standing, isn’t she? She can go once she isn’t.”

    Melanie couldn’t believe what she was hearing. This girl was infuriatingly stubborn and unpleasant. She was willing to battle a Pokemon that had no means of fighting back just to prove herself superior. If Ted had to routinely deal with this girl, she had newfound sympathies for him…

    “Chespin, Vine Whip!”

    A pair of quills on Chespin’s armor glowed and stretched, lengthening into long green whips. Both struck straight for Sprig, who saw them coming, but could do nothing about it. Melanie bit her lip.

    *CRACK!*

    Both Melanie and Sprig gasped, while Kaitlin and Chespin started in surprise. Ted’s mouth hung open in shock. Winston had jumped right in between Chespin and Sprig and, arms crossed in front of him, had cavalierly taken the vines meant for the poor Servine. Cringing from the pain, he nonetheless stood his ground.

    “Ted!” growled Kaitlin, turning on the bewildered Trainer. “Call off your Froakie!”

    “B-But I didn’t-” Ted started.

    “Don’t give me that! You put him up to it! I know you did!”

    “I swear, I didn’t-”

    “Chespin, get that Froakie out of my sight!”

    Chespin whipped out with his vines again, but Winston sprang into the air, avoiding the attack. From there, he grabbed pawfuls of the bubble foam covering his back and shoulders and hurled them at Chespin. They splattered onto his face, making him yelp and wipe at them, trying to get them out of his eyes. Landing back on the ground, Winston then charged at Chespin with blinding speed, ramming into his stomach shoulder-first, sending him flying backwards and onto his back.

    “I don’t know what that foam fling was,” said Sprig, “but that was definitely a Quick Attack.”

    “That little Froakie’s got a handy arsenal,” said Melanie.

    Kaitlin was beside herself with fury.

    “You’re letting him make a fool of you, Chespin!” she screamed. “Use Rollout!”

    Chespin sprang back onto his hind paws, curled into a ball, and began rolling in place, picking up speed like a car tire revving up. Winston, on the other hand, seemed perfectly composed. Taking hold of the bubble foam in his paws, he removed the back of it, causing more to grow with little ‘pop’s in their place, and held it before him like a matador’s cape. With a squeal like a tire burning rubber, Chespin launched forward at Winston, but the Froakie sidestepped, allowing the Spiny Nut Pokemon to roll right past, through the cape of bubbles.

    Ole`!” he shouted, to further compound his act.

    With a loud *clang!*, Chespin rolled headlong into a lamp post, uncurling and slumping on his front, eyes rolling dizzily. Melanie and Sprig were laughing themselves silly, and even Ted chuckled.

    “For a Pokemon that’s supposed to withstand a truck collision,” said Melanie, finally composing herself enough to speak, “it’s pretty fragile.”

    “How dare you!” Kaitlin snapped. “I’m not going to stand here and let you humiliate me like this!”

    With a jerk of her arm, she recalled Chespin into his Poke Ball.

    “This is far from over, fat girl,” she said, coldly. “You just made the top of my ‘to beat’ list.”

    “The name’s Melanie,” said Melanie, calmly, “and I’ll be looking forward to a fair fight the next time we meet.”

    “Tch!” huffed Kaitlin.

    Then, she turned her wrathful eye on Ted. Winston, however, sprang back over to his Trainer and stood between the two of them, blocking Ted off from the furious girl.

    “And you, Ted,” she hissed, “maybe you’re gutsier than I imagined. Either that, or you need to keep a leash on that Froakie. Either way, you’d better watch your back and remember what I said. You’re a loser, and you’ll always be a loser…”

    With that, Kaitlin finally walked off in a huff. Ted got up from where he had been cringing on the cobblestone, and Melanie came up to him, Sprig tagging alongside her.

    “Geez Louise,” she said, “who spit in her cornflakes?”

    “It’s something you get used to around here,” said Ted, grimly. “Kaitlin’s dad is one of the richest men in Lumiose, maybe even in all of Kalos, so she feels like she can get away with whatever she wants. She’s one of the reasons I’ve never left to pursue my own Pokemon journey. She doesn’t want anyone getting in her way, and she’s stuck around just to make sure I don’t get any ideas.”

    “Is she why you’re so…” Melanie began, not quite sure how to phrase it.

    “Weak?” asked Ted, with an ironic smile.

    “Well, not weak, per se, but-”

    “It’s ok, really,” said Ted. “Let’s just say she’s always been like a shadow to me, hounding me, putting me down, bragging about how much wealthier she is than me, and how I’ll never amount to anything.”

    Melanie could feel her blood boiling yet again.

    “That little…” she began, but stopped herself from using words that would have gotten her grounded in a heartbeat.

    “Still,” Ted said, “thanks, for sticking up for me, and all that. I didn’t think you’d want to, after what happened earlier.”

    “I couldn’t just let you get pushed around like that,” said Melanie, kindly. “I hate seeing that kind of thing. I should be thanking you and your Froakie, too. You saved Sprig.”

    “Ah, well,” said Ted, modestly, “that was more Winston than me.”

    “Do you always just let him do his own thing?” Melanie asked. “Each time he’s attacked someone, be it me or that Chespin, you never said a word to encourage or stop him.”

    “It’s not that he’s disobedient,” said Ted. “He’s just very independent. He’s always looked out for me, even if the thought of battle reaches him before it reaches me.”

    He reached down and patted Winston’s head, bringing a smile to the Froakie’s face. However, it faded as he said to Melanie, in a sober tone,

    “Madam, for what it’s worth, I wish to apologize for attacking you earlier. It was a most unforgivably rash act, and absolutely unbecoming of a gentleman such as myself. You defended Master Ted’s honor, and gave me time to intervene and teach that hussy and her little ruffian a thing or two. For that, I hope we may find ourselves even.”

    He concluded this with a gracious bow, an action that brought a smile to Melanie’s face.

    “Yeah, no hard feelings,” she said. “Right, Sprig?”

    Sprig, however, had her arms folded, and was avoiding eye contact with the Froakie in a very sullen way.

    “Sprig…” said Melanie, in a warning voice. “He did save you.”

    Sprig sighed heavily.

    “Fine,” she said, grumpily. “I accept your apology…”

    “Much obliged, fair lady,” said Winston.

    Sprig just rolled her eyes.

    “So, what were you doing out here?” Melanie asked Ted.

    “Oh, that,” said Ted, meekly. “Well, it was nothing, really. I wasn’t even sure what you’d say, if you were still angry, but...Winston insisted.”

    Melanie looked down at Winston, who nodded to Ted and made a ‘go on’ gesture with his paws. Ted cleared his throat awkwardly.

    “Melanie,” he said, “would you...would you consider...letting me…”

    He paused, shut his eyes, clenched his fists, and then finally, let it all burst out.

    Will you let me go with you?!

    Melanie and Sprig jumped back, floored by the volume of his voice. Ted clapped a hand over his mouth in surprise.

    “Sorry, sorry!” he said. “I just didn’t wanna chicken out again…”

    “You want to travel with me?” Melanie asked.

    “Even more than ever,” said Ted, his cheeks reddening slightly. “You’re compassionate, you’re fair, you’re not afraid of Kaitlin, and you can talk to Pokemon! I don’t know how you can do it, but I think it’s amazing!”

    Melanie rubbed the back of her head awkwardly. She’d almost forgotten about that brainstorm she had.

    “I don’t quite understand it myself, to be honest,” she said, in a small voice. “My dad’s always talked with his Pokemon like they’re part of the family, and I’ve been able to understand them just fine. I guess I never got that not everyone can do it...I shouldn’t have blown up at you about not hearing your Froakie talking, since that Kaitlin couldn’t either.”

    “It’s all right, really,” said Ted. “But it’s part of why I think you’re so amazing! Think of all that you could accomplish by hearing what no one else can! You’d be a real hero!”

    Melanie felt her cheeks grow hot from such praises.

    “A hero? Me? Aw, you’re buttering me up…”

    “Am I? Sorry…” said Ted.

    “No, no, you don’t have to keep apologizing,” said Melanie, regaining herself. “If you’re gonna prove your worth to that Kaitlin, you’ve got to be more assertive, not beat yourself up so much.”

    “O-Oh, I see,” said Ted. “Sorry for saying sorry.”

    Melanie felt like putting her face in her hands at such a comment, but she composed herself and said,

    “Ted, if you really want to, Sprig and I would be glad to have you and Winston aboard.”

    Ted’s mouth fell open in surprised delight. He looked like he wanted to shout for joy to the heavens, but no sound came. There was just the look of inexpressible jubilance on his face, and the start of tears in his eyes. Winston beamed up at him, patting the side of his leg in a proud way.

    “T-Thank you!” Ted finally managed to say. “I promise, I won’t make you regret having me along!”

    “I believe you,” said Melanie, smiling. “You can start by showing me to a Pokemon Center. Sprig needs to heal up, and then I need to head out to Santalune City.”

    “Santalune City? What for?”

    “To challenge the Gym there. I lost against Clemont, and he suggested I face the Gym in Santalune.”

    “Ahh, I see. Lucky Kaitlin didn’t hear you, or she’d never have let you live it down. I can show you the nearest Pokemon Center no problem! Just follow me!”

    With that, Ted started off at a brisk pace, Winston hopping up into his shoulder. Melanie recalled Sprig into her Poke Ball and followed the boy. It was wonderful to see such a shy kid so happy, and she felt glad to have given him a reason to smile after such torment for so long. Hopefully, she’d show Kaitlin how useful Ted truly was, the next time they encountered her...
    Last edited by TPrower; 9th November 2013 at 02:57 PM.

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    Default Re: Melanie: The Kalos Chronicles (X/Y Spoilers)

    Chapter 5
    On the Road to Santalune


    “And there you are, Miss Stevens! Your Servine as good as new!”

    “Thank you, ma’am!”

    Pokemon Centers were always a hive of activity, Trainers constantly going in or out to rest themselves or have their Pokemon healed up. No matter what region, what city, one could be rest assured that there was at least one Pokemon Center for their needs. However, Lumiose City boasted several, being such an enormous city. The centers were run by Nurse Joy, or rather, one of many Nurse Joys. The Joy family was extremely expansive, and each Pokemon Center was the home of one Nurse Joy. They were aided in their work by Pokemon whose aptitude was healing and caretaking, such as Chansey or Audino. Audino were preferred in Unova, but Kalos Pokemon Centers utilized both in various Centers.

    Melanie gratefully accepted her lone Poke Ball from the Center’s Chansey, an egg-shaped, pink Pokemon with a pouch on its belly for a single white egg, and clad in a cap much like Nurse Joy’s. With Sprig back, she turned to Ted and Winston, who were waiting nearby. She clicked the ball open, and the Servine reappeared by her side.

    “Feeling better?” Melanie asked.

    “Much,” said Sprig. “I’m sorry I couldn’t help earlier, though.”

    “Oh, it’s not a big deal,” said Melanie, stroking her head. “I doubt that’s the last we’ll see of Kaitlin, and we’ll show her next time.”

    Sprig smiled.

    “Thanks for leading us,” Melanie then told Ted. “I know this isn’t the only Center in town, but this city is absolutely gigantic. I’d never have found my own way.”

    “It was no problem, really,” said Ted. “So, are you ready to head out to Santalune?”

    “Yep!”

    “Good, because I have the perfect means of getting us there.”

    Melanie raised a puzzled eyebrow at this.

    “What do you mean? Wouldn’t we be going by foot? I mean, I’m not exactly looking forward to it, but I figured that was our only option.”

    “You just don’t want to have to exercise,” teased Sprig, giving Melanie a nudge in her pudgy middle. “If it were up to you, we’d be rolling around the countryside in a carriage, tossing Poke Balls at new Pokemon left and right and saving wear and tear on your feet.”

    “Shut up,” grumbled Melanie.

    “You know you’re thinking that,” said Sprig, wryly.

    “But I’m not the one who said it,” said Melanie, coldly.

    “Suit yourself,” said Sprig shrugging.

    A small smile crossed Ted’s pale face.

    “Don’t worry, you’ll like my idea. It’s traditional in Kalos, after all. Come outside and I’ll show you.”

    Ted led Melanie outside, the latter still perplexed by the oddly sly way he was talking. Once outside the Pokemon Center, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a Poke Ball, clicking its button to bring it to its proper size.

    “Come on out, William!”

    He tossed the ball up, where it burst open, and a large Pokemon appeared in front of them. Melanie let out an ‘Oh!’ of recognition: it was one of the goat Pokemon she had seen people riding around through the streets. Up close, she saw that it had red eyes and very scruffy white fur on its muzzle. She took out her Pokedex to examine it.

    “Gogoat, the Mount Pokemon. Gogoat inhabits mountain regions, and the leader of its pack is decided by a battle of clashing horns. These horns can detect how a Trainer is feeling by subtle grips on them. This emphatic sense allows them to run as if one being.”

    “William’s a family pet,” said Ted. “Mom and I sometimes ride him through the city on errands. Just after you left to take on the Gym, I had made up my mind that I wanted to travel with you, so I asked Mom if I could take him with me. She said ‘yes’, and that the fresh countryside air may do him some good.”

    Melanie looked into the calm, stoic eyes of the Gogoat. They stared right back at her, unwavering in their steadiness.

    “Hello,” she said. “So your name’s William?”

    William said nothing, but merely acknowledged her with a nod of his head.

    “My name is Melanie. It’s nice to meet you.”

    Still William remained silent.

    “I see,” said Melanie. “Not much of a talker, huh?”

    Once more, silence.

    “Is he not saying anything?” asked Ted.

    “Not a word.”

    “Oh,” said Ted, disappointedly. “That’s too bad. I was kind of hoping you’d be able to understand him. I’ve always wondered what my Pokemon were really saying to me.”

    “Well, don’t worry,” said Melanie, bracingly. “He may open up as we go along.”

    “Y-Yeah, you’re right,” said Ted, brightening. “Hop aboard, then, and let’s be on our way!”

    William bent his knees and crouched down so that Ted could clamber onto his back, Winston following and taking a seat on his Trainer’s shoulder. Melanie tried to climb up herself, but she found it difficult to lift her own weight with her arms. She was no gymnast, as evidenced by her figure and Sprig’s comments. Three times she failed to climb onto William’s back, even while gripping his shaggy, grass-like fur, an act that made him look at her out of the corner of his steady eyes, with an expression unmistakably like exasperation.

    “Here, let me give you a hand,” said Ted, holding out his arm to her.

    Smiling sheepishly, Melanie took his hand, while he gripped one of William’s horns with the other. He gave a great tug, and up Melanie came, plopping herself on the Gogoat’s back behind him. Sprig followed suit, climbing on behind her Trainer and keeping a grip on her arms.

    “Sorry,” said Melanie. “I was never much for outdoor exercises.”

    “Hey, neither am I,” said Ted. “Nothing to feel ashamed about. Now then, William, let’s head for Parterre Way!”

    “Huh?” asked Melanie.

    “That’s what they call the road leading to Santalune.”

    “Ohh.”

    William gave an affirmative grunt, stood up again, and began walking at a brisk, heavy gait down the road. Because of the start, Melanie nearly lost her balance, but Sprig used her vines to steady her. Ted sat right near the base of William’s neck, his hands gripped firmly on the Gogoat’s horns, eyes straight ahead. At the moment, he looked nothing like the shy, awkward boy Melanie had saved from a bullying girl. It was as if an enormous burden was lifted from his shoulders, and he was his own man, ready to take on the world.

    It made her smile to see him this way.

    ***


    Lumiose City was connected to several routes and pathways leading to several towns, making it a sort of ‘hub’ in the middle of Kalos. Route 4, also called Parterre Way, was one such route, connecting Lumiose with Santalune to the southeast. The entrance to it from Lumiose was dominated by a massive, sprawling hedge garden, completed with parallel mazes on both sides. There were also large patches of red and yellow flowers, within which Pokemon played or scampered about, trying to avoid contact with Trainers.

    It was through this collection of flowers and hedges that Ted directed William, who kept on at his firm gait, never speeding up or slowing down. Melanie had to admit, despite the minor jostles, she was enjoying herself in riding this Gogoat. It beat having to walk everywhere, and he didn’t seem like one who was going to complain about it. On top of that, the scenery astounded her with its vivid colors and flowery scent,

    “Wow…” she breathed. “It’s so beautiful.”

    “Isn’t it?” asked Ted. “This is one of my favorite spots to go to when I want to get away from all of the city noise. It’s the perfect place to sit down, read in the sun, nap…”

    “Positively devoid of outside intrusion,” said Winston. “Nothing but the sweet, cherubic voices of the Flabébé as they go about their play.”

    “Flabébé?” Sprig asked.

    “Why, yes,” said Winston. “There’s one now.”

    “Where?” asked Melanie, interested.

    “On that red flower. See? It’s tiny, but it’s there.”

    Melanie and Sprig both shaded their eyes, looking in the direction Winston was pointing.

    “Hmm...Oh!”

    In a patch of red flowers was a very tiny Pokemon, clutching the stamen of one particular flower. It was white with a yellow circlet crowing its head, long wing-like ears, stubby arms, and a body that was white above and green below, with a little tail at the end. Melanie brought out her Pokedex again.

    “Flabébé, the Single Bloom Pokemon. When Flabébé finds a flower it likes, it holds onto it for life, leading many to believe it is a part of its body. It draws out and controls the hidden power of flowers, and floats along the wind with an untroubled heart.”

    “Ohh...it’s so adorable,” breathed Melanie.

    “It is, isn’t it?” asked Winston. “The perfect example of the serenity of nature.”

    Melanie felt her hand itching to grab at a Poke Ball. She wanted to catch her very first Kalos Pokemon, and what better than this cute little creature. However, no sooner did they approach when one of the Flabébé spotted them. It let out a cry of alarm, and it and the rest of its kind scattered this way and that, disappearing into the brush.

    “Wha-? Where are they going?” Melanie asked. “Come back!”

    “They must be very skittish,” said Winston. “I suppose the sight of two humans on a big Gogoat was a little too much for them.”

    William nodded.

    “Well, I’m gonna catch me one, even if they are timid!” said Melanie, decisively.

    Before anyone could stop her, she had leaped off of William and started chasing down one of the fleeing Flabébé. As it was running away, however, it stopped, turned around to face Melanie, and began whisking itself around on its flower like a top. A faintly pink wind began to whip up around itself, which then blasted straight at Melanie. The girl, caught by surprise, was blown back by the sudden surge, and fell on her rear as the Flabébé escaped. Sprig rushed over to her as William plodded forward.

    “Are you all right?” Ted asked.

    “Y-Yeah,” said Melanie. “I had no idea it could learn Gust, though.”

    “That was actually Fairy Wind,” said Winston, wisely. “An attack common to Fairy types.”

    “I still wish I could have gotten one, though,” said Melanie, gloomily. “They were so cute.”

    “Do not lose heart,” said Winston. “Flabébé are fairly common, so you should find another chance soon enough. But next time, don’t forget your Pokemon, unless you intend to capture your quarry with your bare hands.”

    “I got excited…” Melanie muttered to herself.

    William, meanwhile, sent out a pair of vines from within his shaggy, grassy coat and wrapped them around Melanie’s waist. With surprising strength, he lifted her gently off the ground and set her once more on his back. Sprig followed back up on her own accord.

    “Thanks,” said Melanie to the Gogoat.

    William merely grunted, then moved on forward with his passengers.

    ***


    According to Ted, they would reach Santalune City via the route by nightfall. Melanie was glad for this, as she wasn’t prepared to spend the night sleeping outside in the dirt. If she was going to sleep anywhere, it would be within the comforts of a Pokemon Center. Still, she liked looking about at the beautiful scenery as William strode along at his own slow pace. Even as the day wore on, the air was still full of the fresh scent of exotic flowers. Now and then, Melanie would see more Flabébé, but every time she grabbed a Poke Ball, they were already gone. She just had to accept that they were too fast for her, though she wasn’t exactly happy to give up on trying to catch one.

    Her bad mood didn’t last, however, when they came upon the most breathtaking sight around sundown. There was a circular pavilion in the path ahead, and there, rising up in the center of it, was an enormous golden statue. It depicted a pair of Horsea, little seahorse Pokemon, spitting jets of water up into the shell of a Clamperl, a clam-like Pokemon. The waning sunlight gleamed beautifully off its polished surface.

    “Oh my gosh...” Melanie breathed. “It’s amazing…”

    “I...I’ve never been this far down the route,” said Ted, equally astounded. “I never imagined…”

    Their attention was arrested from the statue, however, by the sound of angry voices. A group of people, mostly geared for roller skating, were talking amongst themselves in an excited manner. Curious, Ted urged William on until they were level with the mob.

    “Excuse me,” he said.

    But his voice, at its normal volume, was not enough to penetrate the noise of the crowd.

    “Excuse me!” he tried again.

    Still to no avail.

    “Oh dear…” muttered Ted. “I can’t make myself heard.”

    “Can’t you go louder?” Melanie asked.

    “I could, but I don’t like to…”

    *WHAM!*

    The sound died instantly, and the two Trainers and their Pokemon looked surprised. William, with only the merest change in his expression to a look of impatience, slammed his mighty hoof down on the ground, silencing the rabble. He then glanced at his Trainer as if to say, ‘Go on’. Melanie let out a low whistle, while Sprig and Winston looked at each other, unable to say a word.

    “Er,” said Ted, “what are you all arguing about?”

    “There’s some Pokemon tearing up the road!” said a boy standing next to a bike.

    “It’s not the first time, either,” said a girl. “The Santalune road workers have tried to pave down its damage, but it keeps coming back and doing it all over again!”

    “If you’re heading down that way,” said another boy, “be careful. It’s sneaky.”

    “We’ll bear it in mind,” said Melanie. “Let’s go, Ted.”

    “Er, right.”

    He gripped William’s horns tighter, and the Mount Pokemon walked past the crowd, which had returned to its indignant muttering.

    “What kind of Pokemon could be tearing up the road?” Melanie asked.

    “It could be any sort of Ground type,” said Ted, “but seeing as we’re not out in the Wastelands, it may just be a Bunnelby.”

    “Bunnelby?”

    “Bothersome little devils,” muttered Winston.

    “Wait, look up ahead!” said Sprig, pointing.

    Looking ahead, Melanie could see what the skaters and bikers had been so angry about. The road was full of potholes and mounds of dirt, as if someone was doing construction duty. Dirt was flying from one of the holes, an indication that the perpetrator was hard at work on a new hole. Ted urged William on, and they came up to the scene of wreckage. Melanie could hear, as if far away, a male voice singing, marked with a thick, Scottish accent.

    Oh, I dig when I dig
    Cuz diggin’s what I do
    If I didn’t need no sleep
    I’d dig the whole year through
    There’s nothin’ quite as fine
    As this little den of mine
    But I keep on diggin’
    Cuz diggin’s what I do


    “He’s...singing about digging,” said Melanie.

    “Really?” asked Ted. “He must be very passionate about it.”

    “Passion or not, he’s still a vandal!” said Winston, huffily. Then, raising his voice, he shouted, “You there! Come out and show your face, you obstructive rapscallion!”

    The digging and singing stopped, and moments later, a head popped up from the hole. It was the head of a gray-furred rabbit with long ears tipped in brown. The tips were divided like a set of three fingers on each ear. Melanie took out her Pokedex.

    “Bunnelby, the Digging Pokemon. Bunnelby uses its shovel-like ears to dig burrows, digging the whole night through. This digging strengthens its ears to the point of being able to sever thick roots with ease.”

    “Did someone say somethin’ about scallions?” asked the Bunnelby. “I’ve already had me lunch.”

    “I said rapscallion,” said Winston, “and I was referring to you, sir. You’re making quite a mess of the road!”

    “Mess?” replied the Bunnelby, indignantly gesturing to the plain of holes and mounds. “Y’call this a mess?! This is me proud handiwork!”

    “The handiwork of a hooligan, is what it is,” said Winston. “You’re making it impossible for anyone to pass by!”

    “Take it up with someone who cares,” huffed the Bunnelby. “A Pokemon’s gotta dig when he’s gotta dig.”

    “But can’t you take your digging somewhere else?” Melanie asked.

    “I was born and raised in these fields, lassie,” said the Bunnelby. “It’s me home, and I ain’t budgin’.”

    “Then I suppose we’ll just have to force you to vacate, if you’re going to be obstinate,” said Winston.

    “Ach!” snorted the Bunnelby, jumping up out of the hole. “Are ya threatenin’ me, frog face?”

    “As a matter of fact,” said Winston, coldly, “I am.”

    The Bunnelby’s furry face contorted into a hard glare.

    “Well, there’s only one way to rebut an affront on me honor as a digger,” he said.

    Reaching into the hole with his ear, he scooped up a glop of mud and, quite suddenly, hurled it at Winston, where it splattered right in his face. Melanie, Ted, and Sprig recoiled in surprise, while the victim of the assault merely stood stock still in his position. Raising one arm to his face, he wiped away at the mud covering his eyes. They were cold and icy, glaring down at the rude Bunnelby.

    “You, my dear sir,” he said, in a quiet but deadly voice, “have just settled your fate. Tallyho!”

    And before Ted could stop him, Winston sprang from his perch and landed in the road, facing Bunnelby. The Digging Pokemon flexed his ears threateningly.

    “Winston…” groaned Ted.

    “Fear not, Master Ted,” said Winston. “I’ll have this unscrupulous lout begging for mercy!”

    He charged at Bunnelby like a bullet, but Bunnelby dove down into his burrow, making him leap right over it. With another spout of dirt, Bunnelby sprang out of the ground, lobbing earfuls of mud at Winston from above. Winston was forced to shield himself with his arms, not having time to use his bubble cape. Once the barrage was finished, however, he cupped his paws at his side, a ball of water forming between them. This he tossed right at Bunnelby, striking him a hard blow and throwing him back.

    “Ted!” Melanie urged. “Don’t you think you ought to do something?”

    “Like what?” Ted asked.

    “Oh, I dunno, direct him! You’re his Trainer! You should be calling the shots, not him!”

    “He seems to be doing fine on his own, though. I’d probably just order the wrong move and cost us the battle.”

    “That’s not the point…” sighed Melanie, wearily.

    Still, she couldn’t deny that Winston really knew how to hold his own. Now he was dodging this way and that as Bunnelby struck at him with his ears, as if he were boxing.

    “Stand still so I can wallop ya!” Bunnelby growled.

    “On the contrary,” said Winston, “it is I who shall ‘wallop’ you!”

    Winston cupped his paws again, forming another ball of water, then launched it, point-blank, at Bunnelby. The force sent him flying back, and he landed on his back, out cold. Winston straightened up, one arm behind his back, and bowed grandly.

    “And that is, as they say, the coup de grace.”

    “Poke Ball, go!”

    Winston looked up in surprise. A Poke Ball sailed through the air, struck Bunnelby, and opened up, allowing him to vanish inside it in a flash of light. It snapped shut and landed on the ground, wriggling as the button in the middle blinked. After a few tense moments, it stopped and clicked shut with satisfying finality.

    “What the deuce?” Winston muttered.

    Then, a long vine snaked out, grabbed the ball, and reeled it in. Turning about, Winston saw William, the owner of the vine, deposit the Poke Ball into Ted’s hand.

    “Good job, Ted!” said Melanie. “That was some quick thinking!”

    “It was really spur of the moment, actually,” he admitted. “I felt it was only right to catch it once Winston had weakened it.”

    “Don’t tell me you intend to keep that uncouth rascal!” said Winston, indignantly.

    Even if Ted couldn’t understand him, he could sense that Winston wasn’t happy.

    “It’s all right, pal,” he said. “I’m going to train him to be a better Pokemon. Who knows? You may actually become friends.”

    “Friends. Ha!” snorted Winston, as he jumped back up onto William’s back. “That’ll be the day.”

    “Well, hopefully now the roads will be hole-free,” said Melanie.

    “Exactly,” said Ted. “Now, William, on to Santalune! Not far now!”

    With an affirmative grunt, William started off again, stepped over the several holes in the dirt road, and lumbering on toward Santalune City, the lights of which Melanie could already see winking in the distance...

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Melanie: The Kalos Chronicles (X/Y Spoilers)

    Chapter 6
    Santalune City and Forest


    The moon was high in the sky by the time William finally pulled to a stop. The group stood at the gate to a small but well-built town, bordered to the south by an immense forest. The structure was rustic and humble, to say the least, with a nice cobblestone pathway system running through it. A fountain was situated in the very middle, and off in the distance, Melanie could see the lit-up windows of the Pokemon Center.

    “We’re here,” said Ted, proudly. “Santalune City, and off in the distance is Santalune Forest.”

    “Very apt name,” said Winston, dryly.

    “If we’re heading back toward Lumiose after I take on the Gym,” said Melanie, “I don’t think we need to go in there.”

    “You’re not scared, are you?” Sprig asked, teasingly.

    “Of course not!” said Melanie, abruptly. “I...just don’t like bugs, that’s all.”

    “Well, it’s not just home to Bug Pokemon,” said Ted. “There’s the three monkey Pokemon, some Pikachu-”

    “Pikachu??” said Melanie, an excited squeal in her voice. “Oh my gosh, those are so adorable! We don’t see them in Unova, but Mom and Dad showed me pictures of some they saw in their travels! They’re just the cutest things!”

    “I thought you said Clemont’s Dedenne was the cutest thing,” said Sprig.

    “Can I help it if I like multiple adorable things?” Melanie asked, stiffly.

    “But there are plenty of Bug types, too,” said Ted. “Caterpie, Weedle, Scatterbug-”

    “Eugh!” groaned Melanie. “Anyway, I don’t think it’d be very smart to go wandering around a forest at night.”

    “Good call,” said Ted. “Let’s head to the Pokemon Center for the night. On we go, William.”

    William gave an affirmative grunt and started off again, making for the lights of the Center. Melanie let out a sigh of relief, feeling like she’d just dodged a bullet.

    ***


    Due to a recent trend in architectural restructuring, the Pokemon Center was divided into two floors. The first floor was devoted to Pokemon healing, shopping for supplies and equipment, and, just recently, a changing room for the fashion-happy Trainers. The second floor was devoted to sleeping accommodations for Trainers on the go, including a dining area and a ward full of ready-made beds. It was the perfect resting spot for Trainers who didn’t wish to sleep out in the wilderness, like Melanie.

    Once they had reached the Center, Ted recalled William, thanking him for carrying them there, then went to heal up his team. Melanie, meanwhile, immediately went upstairs to check out their beds for the night. She flopped down onto one with a contented sigh, Sprig climbing up to lay beside her.

    “Ah...this is what I’ve been waiting for ever since leaving home,” Melanie sighed. “After sleeping on boats and trains, it’s great to be back on a cozy bed. At least you have the comfort of a warm Poke Ball.”

    “Yeah,” Sprig consented, “but it’s not as nice as being out with my best friend.”

    “Aww, thanks,” said Melanie.

    She drew an arm around the Servine and hugged her close to her side, whereupon the latter nuzzled her.

    “Melanie?”

    “Mm?”

    “Do you think...were we...right in leaving?”

    Melanie’s content smile slowly vanished as the weight of these words sank in. She didn’t say anything at first, so Sprig continued,

    “I mean...we didn’t leave a note, we didn’t give them any warning at all. All I know is what you said: ‘We’re going.’ You sounded upset, so I didn’t want to pry, but…”

    Melanie didn’t make eye contact with Sprig. She was beginning to feel very uncomfortable, and had the expression of one suffering an increasingly bad stomachache. Her attention was arrested, however, when she heard Sprig sniffle. There were tears lingering in the Servine’s eyes

    “I never even got to say goodbye to my own mom and dad…”

    Melanie felt as if a bucket of ice cubes had been forced down her throat. It hurt her deeply to see her Pokemon like this, and it was her own fault...

    “Sprig...why didn’t you say anything?”

    “Because I didn’t want to argue with you. I assumed you knew what was best. After all, you’re the Trainer, and I’m just a Pokemon…”

    “No-no-no,” said Melanie, drawing Sprig in closer, like a mother comforting a child.

    She tilted the little Servine’s head up until they were looking each other in the eye.

    “Listen to me, Sprig: don’t you ever feel like you’re beneath me. You’re not just my Pokemon: you’re my friend. No Pokemon should ever feel inferior to their Trainer. Don’t be afraid to tell me anything that’s bothering you. I’ll listen. Ok?”

    Sprig slowly nodded, and Melanie continued,

    “I’m not proud of the choices I made, but I felt like they were my only options at the time. I’m sorry I dragged you along for it, but I just couldn’t do it without you. I hope you can forgive me…”

    Sprig gazed at her for a while, then, with the smallest of smiles on her face, she leaned up and licked Melanie’s cheek.

    “I already have,” she said.

    Melanie smiled warmly in return and kissed the top of Sprig’s head. The Grass type snuggled deeper against her Trainer’s plump body, Melanie’s hand gently stroking her smooth back. Neither of them were aware of Ted, Winston, and the newly-captured Bunnelby watching them from across the ward.

    “Now there’s a motherly lassie,” murmured Bunnelby, “protectin’ her Pokemon like it was her own bairn…”

    “It is rather heartwarming, isn’t it?” asked Winston, gently. “I thought they were rather crass when I first saw them, but they’ve got golden hearts underneath. Speaking of,” he added, turning to Bunnelby, “I do hope there’s no hard feelings, er...What did Ted nickname you, again?”

    “Roger,” said Bunnelby, “and think nuttin’ of it. I just hope Ted learns how to command soon; I don’t fancy lettin’ meself run wild and undirected, like he lets you do.”

    “I beg your pardon?!” snapped Winston. “I do not ‘run wild and undirected’! I take initiative!”

    “Still looks like yer callin’ yer own shots,” said Roger, wryly. “One ‘o these days, yer gonna run headlong into summat, and wish ye’d have stopped and listened.”

    “I’m just trying not to push him!” hissed Winston. “He’s a sensitive boy. I’ve known him for nearly 5 years. I want to give him a little time to learn to do it himself.”

    “Oh, aye, I getcha,” said Roger. “Then mebbe you’d better let me do the battlin’ from now, fancy-pants. I need the experience just as much as you.”

    “How dare you!”

    “Guys, guys,” said Ted, pushing them apart from each other. “I don’t know what has you so excited, but let’s not wake them. I was gonna see if they wanted dinner, but I guess I can wait. Now, if you two can’t behave, one of you has to go in a Poke Ball until you get along. Don’t make me have to do that.”

    Roger blew a raspberry at Winston. The Froakie growled and clenched his fist, but out of respect for Ted, stayed put. Already he was regretting his master capturing this ruffian…

    ***


    Melanie couldn’t remember the last time she had slept so soundly. After waking up from her little nap to grab dinner with Ted, she made right back for bed without another word, though only after she willed herself to change into her pajamas and wash up. The next day dawned, and the young Trainer felt fresh and rejuvenated, as if she had been back at home the whole time. Still, she was too comfortable to just get out of bed, and just redrew the covers over herself, even when Sprig awakened beside her.

    “Come on, Melanie, it’s time to get up,” she said, drowsily.

    “Uh-uh,” murmured Melanie. “Too cozy.”

    “Don’t make me have to force you out of bed,” said Sprig, in a warning tone.

    “Go ‘way,” Melanie grumbled, grabbing a pillow and slapping it down on Sprig’s head.

    “All right,” said Sprig, moving the pillow away, a devious smile on her face, “you asked for it.”

    Sprig’s vines snaked out from their hiding place in her collar and sneaked under the covers until they came into contact with Melanie’s belly, just sticking out beneath the hem of her sea-green pajama top. Like one employs a feather for a similar tactic, the Servine tickled Melanie’s middle with her vines, causing her to burst into a snort, then a fit of laughter that eventually forced her off of the bed and onto the floor. Sprig grinned cheekily as Melanie stood up, her hair a mess and looking disgruntled.

    “I hate you,” she grumbled.

    “Love you too,” teased Sprig, sticking her tongue out, an act that even Melanie couldn’t help but smile at.

    “Ok, ok, I guess I should get up, anyway, if we want to get to the Gym soon. Where’s Ted?”

    “Awake and dressed, by the look of it.”

    Sprig pointed to a bed opposite theirs. It had the appearance of being used recently, but only because Ted’s shoes were sitting under it. The bed itself had been made up again, the sheets neat and straight.

    “Wow,” said Melanie. “Ted’s a lot neater than me.”

    “Only because you wait until your mom told you to make your bed,” said Sprig.

    “Semantics,” said Melanie, waving it off with her hand, before heading to the bathroom to shower.

    ***


    Sure enough, when Melanie was dressed and went down to the dining area, Ted and Winston were already waiting with breakfast sitting on the table: pancakes, eggs, bacon, and orange juice.

    “Morning!” said Melanie, cheerily.

    “Good morning,” said Ted. “I hope you don’t mind that I got breakfast ready.”

    “Not at all. I’m famished!”

    Melanie and Sprig sat at the table and started chowing down. As expected by someone of Melanie’s noticeable, yet not exactly abundant, girth, she was a heavy eater, and took big, very unladylike bites of her food that raised Winston’s eyebrow and drew a rather bemused expression from Ted, who still had his fork in his mouth. Melanie finally took notice, her face speckled with pancake crumbs, and giggled sheepishly.

    “Sorry. So, you going to come and watch me take on the Santalune Gym?”

    “Of course,” said Ted. “I wish I’d been around to see your battle at the Lumiose Gym.”

    “Trust me,” said Leanne, flatly, “it was an unqualified disaster. You were lucky to have skipped it.”

    “Oh. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to-”

    “It’s all right. Is there anything I ought to know about this Gym, though?”

    “Well, I’ve heard the Leader, Viola, is a photographer, and she specializes in Bug Pokemon.”

    “Argh!” groaned Melanie. “Again with the bugs!”

    “And that could prove disastrous for you if Sprig is your only fighter,” said Winston.

    “Huh? What do you mean?” asked Melanie.

    “What did he say?” Ted asked.

    “He said if I only have Sprig, I might be in trouble.”

    “Ohh, right. Well, you ought to know Grass types are weak against Bug types. A good Fire type or Flying type would help you out a lot better.”

    “And where could I find Pokemon like that?” Melanie asked.

    “There’s some Pansear and Fletchling in Santalune Forest. That might help.”

    Melanie heaved a sigh, poking at the remains of her eggs with her fork.

    “Great. Guess I am going to the stupid forest after all…Should have packed bug spray…”

    ***


    Much like the Viridian Forest in Kanto, or the Ilex Forest in Johto, the Santalune Forest was a dimly-lit, quiet maze of trees and grass. To the north was Santalune City, and to the south was the small, quaint town of Aquacorde. Sunlight filtered through the sparse spaces between the treetops, and the only sound one could hear was the scuttling of small Pokemon through the grass or along the trees. It was most certainly not the sort of place one wanted to be wandering through in the dead of night.

    Melanie, Ted, Sprig, and Winston stepped into the dark, stuffy closeness of the forest atmosphere, though the former of the two Trainers came rather reluctantly. Her bespectacled eyes kept flitting this way and that as they went deeper and deeper in, trying to keep an eye out for any creepy crawly that might come out at her.

    “Are you ok, Melanie?” Ted asked. “I never took you as the nervous type.”

    “I...I just don’t like being in the outdoors too much,” Melanie said.

    “Oh? But you were just fine riding William yesterday.”

    “Yeah, and that was fine, but I don’t mean that. I mean, I don’t want to be out in the wilderness for longer than I have to. I never liked camping when I was a kid. You always get so dirty and sweaty, and there’s all kinds of nasty things crawling all over you when you’re just trying to relax.”

    “Oh. The most I’ve ever camped is in my backyard, so I guess I wouldn’t understand.”

    “YEEEEK!!”

    Ted, Winston, and Sprig jumped.

    “W-What is it!?” Ted asked.

    “B-Bug!” Melanie squeaked, pointing a trembling finger.

    A dark-gray caterpillar-like Pokemon was crawling up the side of a tree. It had a fluffy collar of white fur around its neck, three wispy antennae atop its head, and a single pointed incisor peeking out of its mouth, giving it the look of a buck-toothed infant. Even in her agitation, Melanie still took out her Pokedex.

    “Scatterbug, the Scatterdust Pokemon. When under attack by bird Pokemon, Scatterbug spews a poisonous powder that paralyzes on contact. The powder covering its body regulates its body temperature, enabling it to survive in any temperature and environment.”

    “P-Poisonous powder??” Melanie spluttered. “Get it away from me!”

    “Oh, come, now, Miss Melanie,” said Winston, “Scatterbug are harmless if you don’t agitate them. As a matter of fact, many find it and its evolutions downright charming.”

    “I don’t care! I don’t want to be near it!”

    She edged away from the tree, bumping into another one. With a loud trill, a bird-like Pokemon came fluttering out of the treetops. It landed on the path, eyeing Melanie curiously. It was the same kind of bird Melanie saw flying in a flock when she arrived in Lumiose: red-headed, gray-bodied, and beady-eyed. Her Pokedex was still out, and this distraction from the Scatterbug was already calming her down, so she checked it.

    “Fletchling, the Tiny Robin Pokemon. This friendly Pokemon conveys messages to its kind with beautiful singing and graceful tail movements. Despite its lilting voice, it is aggressive to those that invade its territory.”

    “Hey, this is one of the Pokemon you said would help me against the Gym Leader!” she said, excitedly. “All right, Sprig, go get it! Tackle!”

    Sprig lunged straight for the Fletchling, which spread its wings and soared into the air, causing the Servine to overshoot and trip. When she got up, the little bird was hovering above her, singing a taunting tune.

    “Teach that little wise guy some respect!” said Melanie, angrily. “Vine Whip!”

    Sprig lashed out her vines, smacking the Fletchling twice. Though it had a type advantage over the attack, the onslaught still left it winded, and it began falling slowly toward the ground.

    “Aw yeah!” shouted Melanie. “Now we’ve got you! Go, Poke Ball!”

    Grabbing a Poke Ball from her pocket, she lobbed it at the Fletchling. It struck it, opened up, and snared it inside in a flash of red light. The ball snapped shut and fell to the ground, twitching and blinking the light in its button. Melanie and Sprig stood perfectly still, their eyes fixed on it. The wait seemed to take an eternity…

    Then, all of a sudden, the ball burst open, and in a blaze of white light, the Fletching appeared, and it did not look happy.

    “Oh, nuts,” Melanie muttered. “That wasn’t good enough…”

    Fletchling’s wings flapped furiously, and, to Melanie’s astonishment and horror, its tiny body seemed to surround itself in glowing, fiery embers. At last, with a loud *FROOSH*, the little bird became enshrouded in a veil of glowing flames.

    “W-What the-?!” Melanie gasped.

    “Oh...did I forget to mention?” Ted asked, weakly. “Fletchling become Fire and Flying types once they evolve, so they know Flame Charge…”

    With a loud squawk, the Fletching came soaring straight at her.

    “NOW YOU TELL MEEEEEE!” Melanie shrieked.

    With speed belying her pampered physique, she dashed off in the nearest direction the path would allow, the Fletchling hot on her tail.

    “Melanie, wait!” yelled Ted. “Don’t stray off the path!”

    “Oh, dear…” muttered Winston, pensively. “The underworld hath no fury like an enraged Fire attack user…”

    “Melanie!” shouted Sprig, hurrying after her through the brush.

    Anxious though he was about getting lost, Ted hurried after her, Winston clinging tightly to his shoulder.

    ***


    “PeasedontburnmepleasedontburnmePLEASEDONTBURNME!”

    Melanie could not remember the last time, or any time, she had run as fast as this, but one does not simply stroll leisurely when an angry, flaming bird was flying at them like a guided missile. She stumbled over rocks and tree stumps with only one thought flashing through her mind: get the heck away!

    “W-WHOA!”

    Melanie’s foot caught against a stump and she went tumbling down into a clump of bushes. The Fletchling soared overhead, but stopped, having lost sight of its target. After looking around, it simply gave up and flew off. After a few moments, Melanie stood up, covered in leaves and dirt, spitting more of both out of her mouth.

    “Ugh! Gross...Now I’m gonna need another shower when this is all over. Stupid touchy bird…”

    As she stood up, she couldn’t help but feel like something was crawling across her arm. Looking down, she felt her blood freeze in her veins as she saw a Scatterbug, dazed from her intrusion into the bush, clinging to her forearm.

    “AIIIIIEEEE!!! GET OFF! GET OFF!”

    Waving her arm wildly, Melanie managed to shake the Scatterbug off, where it landed on the grass. However, if that wasn’t enough, the bush quivered, and even more Scatterbug came crawling out, gazing up at her with childlike curiosity. Letting out something between a whimper and a shriek, Melanie backed away from the little Bugs, which were coming closer and closer towards her, until she found herself backed against a tree. They were almost at her shoes now, and there was nowhere else to go.

    “HELP!!”

    And, in an instant, it was as if her cry had been answered.

    A shrill ‘yip!’ echoed through the forest, causing the Scatterbug to stop and look to the left, from whence it had come. A tiny shadow with enormous ears was standing framed against the rest of the forest, but even in the dim light, one couldn’t mistake the gleam of ruby-red eyes.

    The shadow reared its head back, then thrust it forward again, sending a red-orange cloud right at the Scatterbug. Only when it passed by Melanie did she notice how incredibly hot it was. The cloud was a blast of embers! The Scatterbug, squealing in pain, scurried away into the underbush. Melanie clapped a hand over her heart; her pulse was beginning to return to normal.

    “Are you ok?”

    The voice that spoke was young and tough, almost like a boy’s, yet there was something in it that told Melanie it was a girl. The tiny shadow had run from its spot to stand right in front of her, and now Melanie could see just what it was. It was a little fox kit, yellow-furred with a white muzzle and big red eyes. Its tail tip was red, as were the large tufts of fur extending from its ears. The bemused but grateful Trainer took out her Pokedex.

    “Fennekin, the Fox Pokemon. Fennekin enjoys snacking on twigs, which gives it energy. It intimidates opponents by shooting hot air through its roomy ears, at temperatures of up to 390 degrees Fahrenheit.”

    “Thanks,” Melanie said. “You really saved me.”

    “From those Scatterbug? I figured they were annoying, but I didn’t think anyone saw them as scary.”

    “Well, I just really don’t like Bug Pokemon,” Melanie said. “But I’ve got to fight them in the Santalune Gym if I want a Badge.”

    “Oh, you’re a Pokemon Trainer?” asked Fennekin, eagerly. “Maybe I can help you out!”

    “Really?” asked Melanie, puzzled. “But, are you a wild Fennekin?”

    “I am now,” said Fennekin, shrugging. “My Trainer’s splitsville, if you know what I mean.”

    Melanie gasped.

    “You were abandoned??”

    “It just wasn’t meant to work out,” said Fennekin, a sad hint in her tough voice. “I didn’t do so hot in my first battle, so he just didn’t really wanna bother with me. I wanted to try and prove myself again, but he was stubborn. Midway through this forest, he ‘accidentally’ drops my Poke Ball and activates the release function.”

    Melanie put her hands to her mouth in horror.

    “That’s...that’s awful! How could he just leave you like that?!”

    “I had all the twigs I could eat, so I survived. Still…” she went on, wrapping her fluffy tail around her legs, “it hurts that he wouldn’t even give me a second chance…”

    Melanie felt her blood boiling in her veins. The very idea of a Trainer up and abandoning their Pokemon was...inexcusable! She had heard stories about the atrocities performed by Team Plasma in Unova in the past, kidnapping Pokemon and forcing Trainers to release them, but to willingly leave a Pokemon behind to fend for itself, when that Pokemon had invested its trust and loyalty to him or her…

    “You poor thing…” she murmured. “Come here.”

    She bent down and picked up the Fennekin, cradling her in her arms. Her fur was very soft and warm, especially by her ears. Fennekin looked up at her with those big eyes.

    “That Trainer of yours was wrong to get rid of you,” she said. “Just from what you’ve told me, you’ve proven you’re a tough cookie. You managed to survive all by yourself even after that jerk gave up on you. Every Pokemon in the world has the perfect Trainer waiting for them, and he obviously wasn’t it. If you really want to come with me, then I won’t say no.”

    Fennekin’s fuzzy face split into a wide smile. She reared up and nuzzled Melanie warmly under her chin, and Melanie just stood there, holding her in her arms.

    “Melanie!”

    The two looked up as Ted, Winston, and Sprig came rushing up, out of breath and covered in loosened leaves.

    “We heard you scream,” Ted panted, “and came rushing over!...Are you...all right?”

    “I am now, thanks to my new little friend here,” said Melanie, scratching behind Fennekin’s ear.

    “Oh! A Fennekin!” said Ted, interested. “Is she yours?”

    “She is as of this moment,” said Melanie, proudly. “Everyone, say hello to my new teammate: Vixy!”

    “Vixy…” mused Fennekin, contemplatively. “...Yeah. I like it!”

    “Vixy, this is Sprig. She’s been my best friend since I was little.”

    Melanie held Vixy at arm’s length in front of Sprig. The two sniffed at each other curiously.

    “Hello,” said Sprig, breaking the ice. “If you saved Melanie’s life, I guess I can trust you.”

    “Heh, thanks,” said Vixy. “Don’t worry: it’s not like I’m gonna try and upstage you. I'm the newbie as of now, but watch out, cuz I'm no slouch!”

    Sprig couldn’t help but grin.

    “All right, Vixy,” said Melanie, holding up an empty Poke Ball. “Welcome to the team!”

    She held it out in front of her, and she eagerly pressed the button with her paw. The ball sprang open and sucked her inside in a flash of red light. It snapped shut, wriggling and blinking in the palm of Melanie’s hand, before finally stopping with a *click*.

    “Yes!” Melanie crowed, holding the ball up. “I just caught a Fennekin!”

    “Congratulations, Melanie!” said Ted. “Now you’ve got a Fire type for the Santalune Gym!”

    “Lucky me!” said Melanie. “Now, can we please get out of here? I’ve had enough of this place to last a lifetime…”

    “Oh, but the forest has already left an impression on you,” said Winston. “Literally.”

    “Don’t push it, froggy,” Melanie grumbled.

    Still chuckling to himself, Winston readjusted himself on Ted’s shoulder as they, Melanie, and Sprig made their way back toward the path. Once out of the forest (and after a quick rinse), Melanie would be ready to take on the Santalune Gym!

    Y Rotation Team

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