View Poll Results: If I made a Gen VI story, should Jim and friends return as side characters?
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23rd September 2013, 08:32 AM #1
Jim: The War for Unova
*The reason this has a Teen rating is because this book is darker than the others, for good reason. You may disagree with me, but I just put it as a precaution. Enjoy the final book. =)*
The War for Unova
The Advent of Plasma
Jim stared, open-mouthed, at the scene before him, joined by his friends and mother: an enormous castle, risen from who knows where, looming over them like an impenetrable wall, and there, floating above the ramparts, was Zekrom, N astride its back. Did that mean he was affiliated with this castle, or even that he was responsible for this? What did it all mean?
He felt June grip his leg, her eyes fixed on the immense structure. The Guy stood protectively in front of Mrs. Stevens and Professor Juniper. Leanne kept a tight hold on Jim’s arm, and Bianca kept a grip on Cheren, they and their friends unable to take their eyes away.
Then, Jim felt his legs move; he was going forward, walking, running, sprinting, going as fast as his legs could carry him. June had scurried onto his shoulder before he had sped up.
“Jim!” he heard his mother yell. “What are you doing?”
But he didn’t answer. He just kept running, one thought on his mind: get to N.
He didn’t know how long it took him, but soon enough, he had scaled the broken, aging stone steps leading to the altar, his heart hammering. Clattering footsteps from behind told him he had been followed. Sure enough, as he looked to his left and right, he saw Leanne and Cheren on either side of him, Bianca bringing up the rear. Wordlessly, they proceeded on, and soon found themselves standing before one of the stone walkways extending from the castle. There was N, floating in the air on Zekrom’s back.
Jim tried to step forward, but someone stepped out of the shadows to stand before him, blocking his path. It was Gorm, the Sage he had encountered all the way back in Nacrene City. He was soon joined by his fellow Sages: Bronius, Rood, Zinzolin, Giallo, and Ryoku.
“That is far enough, young Stevens,” said Gorm.
“Get out of my way, Gorm!” Jim snapped. “I have to get up there!”
“I’m afraid that is not possible,” said Zinzolin. “Our Lord N has something he wishes to say, and we would not have him interrupted.”
Jim looked up at N. The young man’s eyes flickered down at the four of them, blocked off by the six sages, but he spoke not a word to any of them, though his gaze lingered longest on Jim.
Then, N spoke aloud, and his voice rang loud and clear over the now-silenced stadium. Down below, through the corner of his eye, Jim could see that N was somehow being broadcast on the enormous viewscreen normally reserved for the scoreboard.
“Citizens of Unova! I ask that you not be alarmed! My message is one of peace, not of war!”
If Jim’s voice was still with him, he would have declared it rich for N to say that, considering he just walled the mountain up and nearly destroyed the stadium.
“My name is N Harmonia, the leader and ruler of Team Plasma, and this generation’s Black Hero. This is my partner, Zekrom, the Dragon of Ideals.”
Zekrom let out a deep, rumbling growl.
“The structure you see before you is my stronghold, the castle of Team Plasma. It was raised to attract your attention, for what I have to say cannot be ignored. I must speak.”
No one said anything, so he continued.
“Ever since my childhood, I have stood by and listened to the cries for help and mercy from the Pokemon of Unova. It is a gift that is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it allows me to hear the true voice of the creatures we call our companions, but a curse because it also allows me to feel and hear, for myself, the pain and sufferings they endure. Not all of humanity is to blame, but a significant amount is enough to make a difference.
“We call Pokemon our friends, our partners, and even our family, but how are we really treating them? Like slaves! Like weapons! Too much of humanity has come to neglect what Pokemon truly are, and only care for their purposes in battle! They work them to the last atom of their strength, until they can do no more, and then what is the fate that awaits them? More battles, or even worse, abandonment!
“This is why, citizens, I propose my ideal: the salvation of humans and Pokemon alike! Together, we can make our world harmonious once more! It is my wish to see a world where humans and Pokemon live in perfect unity and understanding! I seek your aid to make this ideal reality!”
His ending words rang loud and clear throughout the stadium. All eyes were fixed upon him, but no one spoke. Not a word of approval or dissent arose from any lips. They had been struck with the passion his words were filled with, the true heart and soul he poured into them, even if they could not agree completely on treating Pokemon so poorly in the past. It was a moment like this that showed Jim why N was a natural leader: he was charismatic and influential.
“Praise be to our Lord N!” cheered Bronius.
“Hail his wisdom and vision!” crowed Ryoku.
“Long live the king!” said Giallo.
Then, quite suddenly, the elders’ cheers were broken by a new sound: someone clapping slowly.
It seemed to be coming from behind N, through the doorway where the walkway was protruding. A red gleam glistened in the shadows, and out stepped the one figure Jim had been dreading to see ever since he realized the castle was Team Plasma’s.
But, there was something vastly different about him, something that made him even more unpleasant to the observing eye.
He had discarded his voluminous robe with the castle-like collar and the yellow and blue eyes. He was now wearing a black, high-collared cloak, still decorated with eye symbols. In one hand, he was holding a silver cane, with a circle below the handle bearing wheel-like spokes at its sides and the Team Plasma shield insignia in its center.
Jim could no longer doubt that he was looking at the true incarnation of this unfathomable, devious man. The other Sages, however, looked puzzled at this change in his wardrobe. Apparently, this was not something they had all been aware of.
“Stirring words, Lord N,” he said, softly. “Words worthy of a true visionary. Your ideal is admirable...but sadly, not within the confines of our agenda.”
“What is this?” Gorm asked, puzzled. “What are you saying, Ghetsis?”
“I am saying that the leadership of ‘our lord’ is no longer necessary” said Ghetsis, applying sardonic emphasis on the words ‘our lord’. “He has proven time and again to be successful in speech, but lacking in execution. He does not fulfill the designs of Team Plasma, and must therefore step down.”
“Step down?” asked Rood, outrage building in his voice. “How dare you suggest such a thing! Don’t jest with us, Ghetsis, not now! Can you not see he is fulfilling the promise we made: to liberate Pokemon from human oppression!”
Ghetsis smiled unpleasantly. Throughout all of this, N said not a word, but merely stared down at Ghetsis in astonishment and perplexity.
“You believe that he is, but sadly, more effective methods have risen that render the diplomatic approach a moot point. Colress?”
Through the shadows, another man took Ghetsis’ side. He was younger, with neat blond hair, accented with an odd blue extension that curved around the back of his head, and was dressed in a long white lab coat.
“You requested my presence, Ghetsis?” he asked, in a crisp, clear voice.
“Yes. It is time. Release it.”
Colress nodded, drew a remote from within his coat, and pressed a button on it.
There came a great rumbling as the ground began to shake again. Jim wondered grimly what was about to happen now: a death ray, maybe? More of the castle? How much more could the mountain take?
But no, the change was coming from the castle itself. A section of the wall above was moving aside, shifting its architecture, showing a kind of recess in it. Within its shadows, something was crouching, like a slumbering animal no one should dare awaken. Ghetsis raised his staff, and the shield within it began to glow with a blue light.
“Project Genesect!” he yelled into the silent air. “Awaken!”
Something red gleamed in the darkness, a red glow that shifted upwards. It was the sleeper’s eyes, and it was now wide awake.
With slow, laborious steps, it moved out of the shadows, revealing itself at last, and Jim felt his breath catch in his throat. Leanne and Bianca gasped, and Cheren muttered what sounded like, ‘My God...’
It was...what could be said to describe such a being? It was covered in purple, gleaming armor, with the appearance of polished metal. It had the appearance of an insect, with a thorax and abdomen, pointed legs, and thin forearms ending in knife-like claws. It had large red eyes and bared white teeth. Its head was flat and disc-shaped, but rising above it was what looked like a cannon with a silver muzzle. It looked like the stuff of nightmares.
Jim brought out his Pokedex to identify this creature, but the screen was filled with static.
“Data not available.”
“No data?” Jim asked, aghast. “But, what is this thing?!”
At last, N stirred. He jumped off of Zekrom’s back and advanced on Colress, his pale face alight with fury.
“What is the meaning of this?! Colress, I made it perfectly clear that Project Genesect was to be discontinued! How dare you defy me!”
“Forgive me, my lord,” said Colress, who had not batted an eyelid, “but you lacked the vision I possess. To stop the project would have been cruel, leaving Genesect incomplete and worse than dead. It was a saving grace to restore it this way.”
“Restore it?!” N shouted. “I told you when you first gave me word of your insane experiment: tampering with the Pokemon’s original state deprives it of its natural power! Genesect was already perfect: a fierce and intelligent hunter of this world’s past! I ordered the project to be halted because you were tainting its natural potential!”
“That’s where you’re wrong, my lord,” said Colress, a bitter edge to his voice. “My goal was not to damage Pokemon potential, but to heighten it. My wish is to bring forth the true hidden strength of Pokemon, bring it to the surface and let it continue to grow! What better Pokemon to test that on than Genesect, the very creature you so cruelly cast aside?”
“The cruelty was in initiating the project in the first place, without my consent, I might add!” said N, before turning his gaze on Ghetsis. “And you! You were in on this? I knew you were doing duties against my better wishes, but this?”
“As I said, my lord,” said Ghetsis, calmly, “your methods are no longer appropriate to our mission. We have tried the peaceable approach, and it has failed. If the people of Unova will not listen to reason, they will listen to force!”
He stamped the ground with the end of his cane with force at the end of this statement, and Genesect’s eyes glowed. The muzzle of its cannon began to glow with a silver light, the sphere of it growing larger and larger each second.
“Ghetsis, no!” N yelled, but the Sage paid no heed.
The beam fired, streaking across the sky like a comet and finally reaching the peak of a mountain far off in the distance. There was an explosion as a piece of the mountainside was blown away by the blast. People below screamed and shouted, but Ghetsis watched on with a cruel smile on his face.
“Ghetsis, you are mad!” shouted Gorm. “We seek the protection of Pokemon, but this is insanity!”
“If it is madness, there is method to it, Gorm,” said Ghetsis, calmly. “Unova will avert this fate, if they listen to us at last.”
Jim couldn’t stand it anymore. He pushed his way past the stunned Sages.
“So is that what you plan to do, Ghetsis? Blow up Unova if you don’t get your way?!”
Ghetsis and Colress finally looked down at the four teenagers standing before them. Cheren soon joined Jim’s side, followed by Leanne and Bianca. Though the girls were rattled, they still gazed unwaveringly up at them along with the boys. A smile played at Ghetsis’ lips as he looked down at Jim.
“Ahh,” said Colress, with interest. “This must be the Stevens’ boy you have told me about.”
“Indeed,” said Ghetsis. “He has been a thorn in my side for far too long, but now, he presents me with a perfect opportunity.”
“Perfect opportunity?” Jim asked. “What are you gonna do, test your freaky bug cannon on me?”
“Jim!” hissed Leanne. “Don’t give him ideas!”
“Not a bad idea,” said Ghetsis, “but I have something better in store for you, my young friend. You see, originally, it would have been in my best interest to see you taken out of the picture, but when Colress informed me that Genesect would be completed so soon, and so near your championship bout, it sparked a new idea in my mind. I need not say it, but your Pokemon possess truly remarkable strength. They must, to give your friend Cheren such a close challenge.”
Jim said nothing, but merely waited for Ghetsis to get to the point.
“That strength could easily be heightened under Colress’ guidance. He is a genius, after all.”
“You flatter me, Ghetsis,” said Colress.
“Thanks, but no thanks,” said Jim. “If your training methods are anything like your negotiation methods, I don’t want anything to do with them.”
Ghetsis’ smile became much more unpleasant..
“You misunderstand me, Stevens,” he said. “This time, I’m not giving you a choice!”
He slammed his cane down again, and Genesect’s eyes glowed once more. It turned on Jim, its cannon aimed right at him. Leanne shrieked and tried to move him out of the way, but she was knocked back as Genesect fired. The recoil was sharp, but it wasn’t a laser blast like the one that hit the mountain. It was translucent, blood red, and surrounded by waves. Jim felt himself go stiff, and felt the hairs on the back of his neck rise. It was like being filled with static electricity.
“JIM!” Leanne and Bianca yelled.
“Let him go, Ghetsis!” Cheren shouted.
“You have relied on the strength of your team for far too long, Stevens!” Ghetsis said, sternly. “If the world is going to learn not to depend on their Pokemon to solve all of their problems, it’s high time they had an example, the one you should have set back in Accumula Town!”
The next thing Jim heard was the sound of several Poke Balls being opened. To his horror, he saw Rok, Jolt, Torch, Torrent, and Spade appear before him, all five of them slumped and weary, still not having recovered from the fight with Cheren. Something moved on his shoulder. With a scream, June was dragged off of him and brought among her weakened teammates, as if a magnet had pulled her in.
“No!!” Jim yelled.
He tried to move forward, but the beam was holding him back, as if his shoes were glued to the stone floor. Ghetsis waved his cane into the air, and from the inside of the castle, what looked like small, propellor-lifted discs floated out from the door behind him. They floated over Jim’s Pokemon and, as Colress pressed another button on his remote, blue light shone down from the discs, enveloping the Pokemon and hardening into a glassy substance. Leanne and Bianca placed their hands over their mouths, and Cheren just stood there, mouth agape.
“Ghetsis, stop this!” N shouted.
“Is this not what you wanted, my lord?” Ghetsis asked, cruelly. “Pokemon freed from the oppressive hands of humans?”
“Yes, but not like this! You can’t do this!”
“But I can, and shall! Colress, take them away! They are yours to test.”
“You...you monster!!” Jim roared, fighting to break off the beam holding him down.
"Unhand her, you cad!" Oshawott roared.
He drew his scalchop and tried to charge at Ghetsis, but Genesect turned on him and fired its cannon at his feet. stopping him short.
"Coward! Coward!" Oshawott crowed. "Release my love this instant!!"
Leanne lunged forward and seized him.
"Oshawott, no! He'll take you too!"
"Let go of me, Leanne! I can't let him take her!"
He struggled in a violent fit to try and get away from Leanne, but she held tight.
"I'm sorry, Oshawott, but I can't lose you too," she said, decisively, holding up a Poke Ball. "Return!"
"No! Leanne! Don't! JUNE!!!"
His cries seemed to echo through the air as he disappeared inside the Poke Ball.
"I'm so sorry..." Leanne whispered.
"Do it, Colress," said Ghetsis, firmly.
Colress pressed another button on his remote. The cages containing Jim’s Pokemon lifted up and floated after him into the castle. They banged against their prisons, calling out to Jim, pleading with him to save them, but it was no good. By the time the beam finally lifted off, only June remained, and she too was rapidly disappearing.
“June! Everyone! No!!” Jim cried.
“Jim! Help!” June yelled, a look of pure terror, an expression so alien to her usual self, on her face.
They were gone.
Just like that, they were gone.
All of them, gone in an instant.
He had lost them.
Jim felt himself sink to his knees, the blood drained from his limbs, his gaze losing focus, his mind freezing up on him, numb to the rush of his friends at his side, numb to the triumphant smile of Ghetsis, numb to the shocked looks of the Sages and of N.
Team Plasma had finally gotten the upper hand over him.
They had diffused their Bane.
Y Rotation Team
23rd September 2013, 08:34 AM #2
Re: Jim: The War for Unova
The Beginning of the End
“As you see, Unova,” called out Ghetsis, in the same manner N had done, “your ‘hero’ has been dethroned! Plasma’s Bane has now been stripped of his power, and is humbled before me like the weak human he truly is. He has demonstrated why it is foolish to come against us and make himself our enemy! The same shall befall you if we are not heeded! If you do not all release your Pokemon and free them from their bondage, then the same methods with which we liberated Jim Stevens’ Pokemon shall be used upon you, on a much larger scale! You have been warned, Unova. You shall have 24 hours to decide.”
“That is enough!” N snapped. “I won’t allow this anymore! Zekrom, attack Genesect!”
Zekrom turned to face the bizarre cannon insect and growled. Its tail began to glow blue, and a loud, whining whirring filled the air as electricity crackled around it. With a roar, it unleased a bolt of lightning from its body straight at Genesect. However, Ghetsis raised and stomped his cane once again, and a glowing red bubble surrounded it. The bolt struck and glanced right off. N looked at Ghetsis in stupefaction. The Sage’s face was cold and stern.
“You disappoint me, N,” he said. “I thought I had raised you to know better. Genesect?”
The bubble vanished, and Genesect turned its cannon on N. Before anyone could stop it, the metallic insect had fired another beam, much like the one that leveled part of the mountain. It struck N squarely in the torso, throwing him off the plateau and into the air, where he hung for a brief instant, before tumbling toward the stadium below, people screaming as he fell.
Jim wanted to shout. He wanted to cry out. His heart was aching him at seeing N being treated like this. Despite being the purported leader of Team Plasma, Jim had come to like him slightly, mostly because he felt sure that Ghetsis had been pulling the strings all along. However, he was too stunned by his own loss to fully comprehend what was going on.
Zekrom looked aghast at the loss of its master, and turned a wrathful eye on Ghetsis, its tail flaring up again. It looked ready to murder, as it let out a terrible roar of rage.
“Silence!” barked Ghetsis, raising his cane. “Show respect for your new master!”
The shield within glowed an intense, bright blue, and Zekrom’s rampage subsided almost instantly. Its eyes were fixed on the light of the cane. Soon, they began to glow the same color, and its arms went slack. It had the appearance of one entranced and tamed by an experienced hypnotist.
“That’s much better,” said Ghetsis. “The time will come when you will unleash your might upon the disobedient.”
“Ghetsis!” spluttered Bronius. “We will not stand for this! You just blasted our king and took control of the Dragon of Ideals! This is mutiny!”
“This is how it must be!” said Ghetsis, sharply. “N was an ineffective leader. He was too soft to comprehend the harshness of reality. I let him delude himself with fantasies of ‘separate worlds’ for Pokemon and humans to coexist in peacefully, because I only wanted him to be happy. But he has openly defied me, and it was time to set things right. We will let the 24 hour time limit run, but when it has expired, there shall be no stopping us. I am giving Unova a fair chance, and they must take advantage of it. Now, come.”
With a sweep of his cape, he turned to step into the castle, but he stopped at the door and looked back at Jim.
“And you, young ones,” he said, “drag that pathetic sight out of here. He is not welcome on Team Plasma territory.”
And with that, Ghetsis disappeared into the castle, followed by the baffled and frightened Sages. With a roar, Zekrom took to the air and began circling the castle, like a vulture, while Genesect retreated into its recess and curled back up for slumber.
Cheren, Bianca, and Leanne stared mutely after them, too stunned to move, until they were shocked into awareness again by the appearance of the Shadow Triad, right out of nowhere.
“Lord Ghetsis has spoken,” said one.
“Leave now,” said the second.
“And take the fallen with you,” said the third, pointing to Jim, before the three of them vanished together.
“How...how horrible,” Bianca muttered.
“What did I just witness?” Cheren said. “This is insanity!”
“Guys, we can’t worry about them right now,” said Leanne. “We have to help Jim. He’s been hit really hard.”
“Ah, right!” said Cheren, hurrying over to his best friend’s side as Leanne helped him up by the other. “Take it easy, buddy. We’ve got you.”
“Oh, poor Jim,” said Bianca. “What’s going to happen to him?”
“I’m more worried about what’s going to happen to June and the others,” said Leanne. “Who knows what that scientist is doing to them…”
“We’ll find a way to get them back,” said Cheren. “For Jim’s sake, and ours.”
Carefully, with Leanne and Cheren both supporting Jim, they eased him down the steps, Bianca following close behind. They didn’t notice two slight-bodied figures exiting behind them, swiftly and without a sound.
The instant they reappeared in the stadium, Jim was jerked from his friends’ grasps by Mrs. Stevens, who clasped him close to herself. Professor Juniper and the Guy rushed up as well.
“My poor baby!” Mrs. Stevens sobbed. “What did they do to you?!”
“They stole his Pokemon, ma’am,” said Leanne, regretfully. “He took it really hard.”
Professor Juniper clapped a hand to her mouth in horror.
“Stole his...Oh my God.”
“My poor little boy…” murmured Mrs. Stevens.
Jim could feel his mother’s warmth about him, but could do nothing but hang there, limp and unresponsive.
“I knew a storm was brewing,” said the Guy, grimly, “but I never expected this. Those Plasma skunks are more slippery than a wet Palpitoad. They snuck in right under the Elite 4’s noses.”
“But what do we do?” asked Leanne. “What can we do?”
“Fight back, of course. It’s the only option.”
“Fight back?” asked Bianca. “Against...against that?”
“We have to, young lady,” said the Guy, gruffly. “It’s either that, or let those maniacs steal our Pokemon by force, like they did with poor Jim here. And speaking of him, we can’t arrange a proper plan until he’s back under his own power.”
“But what do we do for him?” Cheren asked. “He’s lost his Pokemon companions, and one of them was June! How is he going to get over this?”
“He’s gonna have to toughen up, then,” said the Guy. “I hate to sound coarse, but he can’t just sit here and take it like a child. He has to be a man, square up to his misfortunes, and overcome them. Only he can get his pals back.”
Jim vaguely heard what the Guy was saying, but still couldn’t find the sense to truly register it or respond to it. He was as lifeless as a zombie.
“Guys! Over here!”
Everyone looked up. That had been Cruise’s voice. He, Solomon, and Nigel were carrying someone toward the group. Cruise and Nigel had him by each arm, while Solomon had him by the legs. When they were close enough, Leanne gasped.
So it was. His eyes were closed, and his mouth slightly open, but there was a burn mark on the chest of his clothes, and his scalp was bleeding.
“He took a very nasty fall,” said Nigel, “but we think he’s breathing.”
“He’s in serious condition, though,” said Solomon. “He needs help, right away.”
“Let’s take both him and Jim to Audino,” suggested Mrs. Stevens. “She might be able to help both of them.”
“Good idea,” said Professor Juniper. “That kid may have been Team Plasma’s leader, but he’s gone through a horrible ordeal just now, and I don’t think he ever meant for this to happen.”
With that, and with the Guy taking over the job of supporting N, the group made their way out of the stadium, as people continued going about in a panic-stricken frenzy, and the giant viewscreen was replaying over and over the events that had just transpired in a news report...
Y Rotation Team
23rd September 2013, 08:36 AM #3
Re: Jim: The War for Unova
A pleasant warmth spread over Jim’s numb body, as if he had been put out into the sun. His vision was beginning to clear, and the fog that was clouding his brain was lifting. He could hear familiar voices talking all around him, along with a gentle humming sound and...the sound of weeping.
With a groan, he sat up, provoking several gasps and exclamations of relief. He was lying on the bed of his room, and his mother and friends were surrounding him. Audino was right at his side, her paws held up and a soft, pink light emanating from them. It was this that was causing the warmth and the humming. The sniffling was coming from his mother, or rather, his mother’s arms. Missy was being held in her arms, her eyes and cheeks wet with tears and her ears dropped. Echo was perched on Leanne’s shoulder, and Croco was at Jim’s bedside.
“Guys?” Jim asked.
“Oh, sweetie, thank goodness you’re awake,” said Mrs. Stevens.
“You were lying there with that dead look on your face for forever, man,” said Croco. “It was freaky.”
“Jim,” said Echo, “Leanne told us everything. About how June and the others are...are…”
He couldn’t finish, as his eyes welled up with tears. Missy, meanwhile, had pried herself from Mrs. Stevens’ grip and tackled into Jim’s chest, hugging him tightly.
“Oh, Jim!” she sobbed. “If anything had happened to you, I’d never be happy again!”
“Me neither,” Echo finally said, as he flitted off of Leanne’s shoulder and put his wings around Jim.
“You’re too good a kid to lose, sport,” said Croco, putting a hand on Jim’s shoulder.
“Croco...You guys...At least I didn’t lose you.”
It was too much. Tears running down his face, he clasped Missy and Echo close to him; Croco probably wouldn’t have appreciated such a sappy bit of sentiment. The pain over losing June and his Pokemon team had resurged, but the wounds were slightly healed by the comfort of still having Missy, Echo, and Croco with him.
Once he had released them, Leanne took hold of his shoulder and squeezed it tenderly.
“It’s going to be ok, Jim. We’ll get them back.”
“I don’t even know what’s happening to them,” said Jim. “I don’t know what that Colress guy is going to do with them. What if he-”
“Don’t, Jim, please,” Missy interrupted. “I don’t want to think about it.”
“You’ve been through a tough time, kid,” said the Guy, “but we need you to be a man for us. I know it’s hard, losing most of your partners at once, but like Leanne said, we’ll get them back. We can’t fight back against Team Plasma without you. You’re still Plasma’s Bane.”
“Some Bane I was,” Jim muttered. “They disarmed me easily with that freaky bug thing. What the heck was that?”
“I’d never seen anything like it,” said Cheren. “It unsettled me.”
“I’m sure he could tell you,” said Bianca, pointing across the room.
Jim turned his head to look, and saw N lying prone on the other bed.
“N! Aw, jeez, I nearly forgot about him! Is he-”
“He’s still alive,” said Solomon, “but barely. He took a brutal hit from that creature, coupled with a fall from several stories.”
“Your mom’s Audino was going to tend to him after you got up,” said Cruise.
“Right,” said Audino. “I have to be swift, or it may be too late.”
She waddled over to N’s bedside and began her Heal Pulse process on him.
“Let’s hope he pulls through,” said Jim, firmly. “I want some answers out of him, about Ghetsis, that Colress guy, and that freaky bug thing.”
“All in good time,” said the Guy. “What we need to focus on is getting your crew back.”
“You can leave that to me,” said Croco, proudly.
“Huh? What do you mean?” Jim asked.
“That freako castle came up from the underground, yeah?”
“Well, then, I think I can get in the same way. I’ll burrow underneath and come out on the inside.”
“Well, that sounds like a good plan, but, I dunno. What’ll happen if they catch you too?”
“They won’t, Jimmy. The best part about being a former desert bandit is knowing all there is to know about stealth.”
“Even when you’re not in the sand?”
“Exactly. Just leave it to me. I’ll pop in, see what’s what, and bring back news. Get me?”
“Well, it’s the best we can do for now, I suppose. Just be careful, buddy.”
“Roger that, sport.”
Croco saluted, then left Jim’s bedside and headed out the door.
“What was that about?” Leanne asked.
“Croco volunteered to do some reconnaissance on the situation,” Jim said. “Although, I’m a little nervous about what he might find out.”
“So am I,” said Cheren. “Team Plasma’s done some despicable things in the past, but what could they be doing to bring out the ‘true potential’ in Pokemon?”
“Just a few more feet...I think it’s...Bingo! I’m in!”
Croco slowly and quietly lifted up a panel of stone flooring, peering about as he did so. The corridor that his path had taken him was deserted, so he shifted the panel aside, clambered up, and replaced it. He looked about at the ornate, austere architecture composed of white marble, and let out a low whistle.
“Man. For a bunch of nutso Pokemon snatchers, they’ve got some posh digs. I oughta snag a few of their candlesticks, just to spite ‘em.”
He shook his head, mentally reprimanding himself.
“Focus, Croco. You’re looking for the rest of the team. Now, lesee...if I were a crazy scientist, where would I keep a bunch of Pokemon captive?”
Suddenly, he stiffened. Footsteps were coming down the hallway. Quickly, he flattened himself against a shadowy corner of wall, just as Ghetsis came striding down, the heavy clunk of his cane intermixed with his footsteps. He went around the bend, and Croco heard another voice, that of Colress.
“Lord Ghetsis, your timing is perfect. I was just about to begin the test on Stevens’ Pokemon.”
“Excellent. I shall accompany you.”
“Jackpot," whispered Croco.
Silently, like a ghost, Croco edged along the wall, following the footsteps of the two men. The sound disappeared as it went through a door, and Croco found himself at a window. Making sure no one else was looking, he peered through, and had to exercise a great force of will not to exclaim at what he saw.
June, Jolt, Rok, Torch, Torrent, and Spade were all held within large glass tubes, wires attached to their chests and limbs and connected to the floor. Peculiar devices, resembling radio antennae, were fastened to their foreheads.
“What kinda weirdo procedure are they doing to them?” Croco muttered.
As Colress and Ghetsis approached the tanks, the Pokemon became hostile, and tried to break the glass in front of them. Jolt drummed against it with his hooves, while Spade and Rok slashed at it with their claws. Torch and Torrent beat against it with their fists. Only June seemed to reserve open aggression, but her eyes were cold and full of hatred.
“I would advise you to refrain from that,” said Colress, lightly. “I did not restore you to full health just so you could waste it trying to escape. These containment domes are indestructible, and all of your attempts to break them are futile.”
The Pokemon eventually left off, but they still glared at Colress.
“Although, I have to admit,” the scientist continued, “your sheer audacity in trying to break loose is a reward in itself. It shows me just how strong and fierce you really are. Young Stevens has trained you well.”
Croco’s lip curled as he watched all of this. He didn’t like this guy’s snide attitude.
“He has done half of the work for me,” Colress went on. “He has brought out your true fighting potential...but he has only brought you to 100%. Scientists balk at the idea of anything beyond...but I am not like those other scientists. I have always strived to seek the above and the beyond. I seek the perfect execution of unbridled, unhindered power in a Pokemon, and you, my friends, are going to help me realize my vision at last.”
Jolt’s mane crackled with electricity, his eyes narrowed. Colress smirked.
“I see we have our first volunteer,” he said. “You shall be the first to feel what I have in store for you.”
He crossed over to a nearby control panel and began pressing buttons. The floor beneath Jolt’s tube began to glow, and he looked at it nervously.
“Keep a close watch, Lord Ghetsis,” said Colress. “This is where the magic happens.”
Ghetsis smirked and looked at Jolt. Colress slid a few dials upwards, and the glass of the tank began to pulsate, and the antenna on Jolt’s forehead began to glow. His eyes opened wide, then shut tight. He let out a wild neigh and drummed his hooves violently against the glass. Croco felt chills go down his spine; whatever that maniac was doing was causing the mighty Zebstrika terrible pain.
“Yes, yes!” said Colress, his face alight with excitement. “Release your anger! Unleash the beast within! Show me your power!”
Jolt neighed again, but this time, the sound was fierce, unearthly, bestial. His eyes opened, and they were glowing with a red light. His mane crackled, all of the white on his body turned yellow, and he unleashed a discharge of lightning that lit up the entire cage. Both Colress and Ghetsis looked at the control panel; one of the meters, presumably that which monitored vitality or attacking strength, had surged up past the maximum.
“Astounding,” said Ghetsis, breathlessly. “To think a single Pokemon could possess such power! You are a genius, Colress!”
The two gazed again at Zebstrika, who had stopped firing his electricity and was now glaring through the tank at them with his vivid red eyes, his lips curled in a snarl. Croco gulped; tough guy though he was, the sight was unsettling for him, especially since he’d only just met Jolt and thought him a calm, kind Pokemon.
“Thank you, Ghetsis, but that was just one of our little friends,” said Colress. “Now that Zebstrika’s teammates have seen what they are to experience, I see no reason in denying them the same fun.”
“I quite concur, Colress,” said Ghetsis, smiling unpleasantly.
Colress began pressing more buttons, sliding more dials. Soon, all 5 of the remaining tanks were aglow with the same light, and their prisoners were exhibiting the same signs of agitation and pain. They too banged and slammed against the glass in their paroxysms, but they too soon succumbed to the beast-like attitude Zebstrika had displayed. Spade hammered against the wall with his silver-shining claws, Rok breathed his Dragon Pulse flames, Torch spewed a mighty Flamethrower, and Torrent buffeted the glass with Brick Break, all of them with the same glowing red eyes and bared teeth Jolt was exhibiting.
But the worst of them all was June. When her fits of violent agitation ended, something seemed to snap inside her. Her eyes went wide, slowly becoming all red, a darker, more vivid shade than her usual color. Then, they narrowed to mere slits, and she let out a hiss like a real snake. She swung her tail at the glass, slamming against it several times, tossed Energy Balls at it, and even splashed it from two different angles at the same time with Toxic, the poison hissing and sizzling as it splattered against the glass. Even Colress and Ghetsis were stunned.
“My word,” the scientist said. “That Snivy is exhibiting the most violent reactions of them all. It’s as if there is some deep recess in her mind that has been holding back such an outburst, and it has been surfaced by the experiment.”
“That Snivy is Stevens’ constant companion,” said Ghetsis. “I always had my suspicions that it was no ordinary Pokemon.”
But even as they watched her feral attempts to break loose, the two villains’ faces split into identical smiles. As far as they saw it, the experiment was a success. Jim’s Pokemon were now under their total control, more deadly than ever.
Outside the room, Croco was horrified.
“This...this is insane,” he breathed. “I’ve never seen anything like it! What did they do to ya, fellas? What did they do to ya?!...Aw, Jimmy...This is gonna break the poor kid’s heart, but he’s gotta know. He’s gotta, before it’s too late.”
And without another look at the horrid sight he had just witnessed, he sped back down the corridor.
Y Rotation Team
23rd September 2013, 08:38 AM #4
Re: Jim: The War for Unova
Back in Jim’s room, everyone was gathered around the bed reserved for N, as Audino worked her Heal Pulse magic upon him. From the look of his face, no one could have supposed he had just taken a laser beam to the chest; he looked sound asleep.
“He looks like such an innocent boy,” said Mrs. Stevens. “How could he be affiliated with Team Plasma?”
“The wicked take hold of the innocent more easily than you think,” said the Guy. “In my time, I’ve seen many who have the faces of angels, but the hearts of devils.”
“He’s not devil-hearted,” Jim insisted. “He’s never been cruel or unkind, as far as I’ve seen. That was all Ghetsis’ direction. I knew he’d always been the one pulling the strings.”
“Well, blameless or not, this kid is still their leader. Or was, only a couple hours ago. He has a stake in all of this.”
“And it’s because of that that I want some answers out of him,” said Jim. “If anyone’s going to know about what Team Plasma’s ultimate goal is, or what that freaky bug is, it’s him.”
“But what if he didn’t know?” Leanne asked. “Ghetsis did spring this whole thing out of nowhere.”
“But he knows about Colress and that bug. He said it was a project he wanted ended, and Colress disobeyed him about it. I want to know the story behind that.”
“He’s coming around!” Audino suddenly said.
Sure enough, N’s eyes fluttered open. He let out a sharp gasp and clasped a hand to his chest, then looked about wildly at the people surrounding him.
“I’m not dead,” he said. “By all accounts, I should be. That blast…”
“Are you all right, dear?” Mrs. Stevens asked. “You took a very nasty fall.”
“I thank you for your concern,” said N, “and I do feel all right, but I can’t understand why.”
His eye fell on Audino beside him, and he placed a hand on her forehead.
“Thank you, dear sister,” he said. “You rescued me from the brink.”
Audino smiled kindly, but Jim stepped forward.
“N,” he said shortly.
N looked up, and a mixture of surprise and relief came over his face.
“Jim! You’ve recovered. Good. It pained me to see you so distraught at losing your teammates.”
“Let’s discuss that later,” Jim cut in, a brief wave of pain passing over his face. “For now, I need you to tell me everything you know: about Ghetsis, about Colress, and about that mecha-bug.”
N frowned slightly. He sat up on the bed and removed his cap.
“Do not think I wouldn’t, Jim,” he said. “After everything that has happened to you, you well deserve the truth. It’s just...some things are rather difficult to describe by my own power.”
“We shall assist with that, dear N,” said a kind, sweet voice.
Everyone looked up. Two women had entered the room, unnoticed by anyone. Both were dressed in elegant dresses, and had benevolent faces. One had long, flowing pink hair, while the other had blonde, braided hair.
“Anthea!” said N, surprised. “Concordia! How did you-”
“We followed Jim’s friends when they were dragging him away,” said Anthea, the one with pink hair. “We were devastated by what had happened.”
“Ghetsis had always been our caretaker,” said Concordia. “How could he be so cruel?...”
“My sisters,” said N, “I do not understand it any more than you, but whatever aid you can lend me and Jim would be greatly appreciated.”
“What, just like that?” Jim asked.
“Yes,” said Anthea. “We waited on N during his time as king. In his private moments, when Ghetsis was not prowling at his throne side, he told us how much you intrigued him, how similar you two seem.”
Jim looked at N, but he said nothing to this. Instead, he said,
“The truth, Jim. That is what you wish, yes?”
“Then here is all I can tell you, as it is all I can recall. Anthea, Concordia, please sit down.”
The two women sat themselves down on N’s bed. The boys seemed quite taken with their beauty, but Cruise’s admiration was far less subtle than his companions. Luckily, it was ignored during the conversation.
“I grew up in the forest. The trees were my safeguard from the outside world, a world that shunned me and held me in distaste.”
“Distaste? But why?” asked Cheren.
“My ability to speak with Pokemon. I never realized it was something different, let alone something to be feared. Most found it unnatural, unsettling. They claimed I was not human, that I was not to come near them, so I obeyed their wishes. If the human world was so intolerant as to want nothing to do with me, then why should I live among them? My only friends, therefore, were the Pokemon living in the forest. They never mistreated me; they were understanding and kind.”
Jim felt stunned. N had been an outcast because of the same gift he shared with him? Jim had never even noticed his ability to speak to Pokemon was unusual, until Leanne and he had discussed it all the way back in Accumula Town (it felt ages ago). He shuddered to think what N must have gone through while he, Jim, enjoyed a relatively normal life.
“That’s when Ghetsis took him in,” said Concordia. “He had already taken us under his care, for we had been orphaned at a young age.”
“Does that mean you’ve always been together?” Bianca asked. “I mean, are you both sisters?”
“We are indeed,” said Anthea. “We have always looked out for each other, and now we had to look out for N.”
“We accepted him as our own brother,” said Concordia. “He was a kind boy, but very reserved.”
“Being taken from the forest and into an opulent mansion is not an easy transition,” said N. “It was jarring at first, but there were Pokemon living in the woods close by. Ghetsis allowed me to play with them...but things had changed.”
“How?” asked Cheren.
“The Pokemon there were sad, wary, but still kind toward a gentle hand. They told me how they had been oppressed, mistreated, hurt by thoughtless humans. They had been released, or they had escaped, from them to seek refuge, but the wounds were deep, and still painful. Memories of my own days among humans, memories of avoidance, aversion, and ostracizing, hardened my heart toward the human race. I made a solemn vow to free Pokemon everywhere from the cruel hands of humanity, however long it may take.”
So that was where it had all started: from young N’s empathy toward Pokemon mistreated and injured. It was so sad to think how much that wish had been perverted and twisted by the actions of his fellow Team Plasma members.
“Things went on peaceably from there,” said N. “Ghetsis was a strange man, rather secretive, and constantly busy with his own affairs, but he was patient and wise. Though I feel appalled by his recent actions, I would have been lost if he had not raised me in security.”
“I feel the same way,” said Anthea.
“As do I,” said Concordia.
“It’s hard to completely hate someone who protected and raised you,” said the Guy, sympathetically. “But men like him…”
He paused and knit his brows, as if he had said something he wasn’t supposed to. Everyone looked at him, but said nothing.
“Men like him are unfathomable,” said N. “It was impossible to know what was really going on in his mind. I had no idea what future he had in store for me until barely a year ago: when I came of age.”
“For what?” asked Leanne.
“For my coronation,” N said. “Ghetsis finally revealed to me, Anthea, and Concordia what he had been keeping secret so long. He was a member of a group of learned minds, the Seven Sages of the Plasma Order, forged in secret ever since I came to live with him, and planning all these years for the day that I would lead them to new-found glory. They had come to adopt and revere the wish in my heart: Pokemon liberation, and named me their leader. I was crowned King of Team Plasma, and that was when we made our presence known to the public. It was time the world learned from its mistakes, learned what selfish hearts they truly had, learn the consequences of their thoughtless actions. It was time for them to realize the price that would be paid if they did not amend their ways...”
Everyone stared. N’s face and voice had become cold and hard as he finished, as if the old memories were resurging in his heart. Concordia put a hand to his shoulder, and he relaxed.
“My mistake was allowing Ghetsis to lead the rally forces,” he said. “He told me I should not tax myself with traveling from town to town to deliver the message. He said he would make it a burden for his shoulders alone, and, at the time, I trusted him. He was the man who raised me and my foster sisters. Surely he had no other reason for it...I see now, though, that he was only doing it for his own desires. He wished to have no eyes upon him while he directed our forces and the other Sages. I turned a blind eye to his doings, satisfied that my dream was being realized...A most fatal error, I now know.”
“It was not your fault, N,” said Anthea. “He fooled us all, even the Sages.”
“Yes, but still, I should have been more perceptive…If I’d only known what he had been doing in the shadows, fine-tuning every instrumentation of his final plans with Colress…”
Jim felt his heart ache to hear this. N, raised to be the chief of an order designed solely for carrying out his ultimate desire, now betrayed and brought low before his very father-figure. There was something Shakespearean in it all…
“Which brings us to the next question,” Jim said, finally. “Who is Colress, and what does he have to do with that insect?”
“Colress is as much of an enigma as Ghetsis,” said N. “He had been a long-time friend of his, and I used to see him when he called upon our house, though briefly. He is a brilliant man, but eccentric. He believes in power beyond limitations. He has made it his goal in life to surpass the barriers nature had instilled in Pokemon, to breach the boundaries and achieve a higher plane of strength. I had only heard of his experiments after I was crowned king. He is determined to find the perfect balance between power and control, for too much power leads to little control, you see.”
Jim swallowed nervously. He didn’t like the sound of that. Did that mean his Pokemon friends were…
“As for the creature you saw,” N went on, “it is a project I had thought and hoped to have been disbanded: Project Novam Vitam, or Project Genesect. In the ancient days of the Earth, Genesect was a fierce, intelligent predator, an unparalleled hunter. Colress had discovered its remains, and wished to have it revived, deadlier than ever. He presented the idea to me shortly after my coronation, but I was revolted by the idea. Bringing the Pokemon back to life was all well and good, but the addition of bioengineered enhancements ruined its natural potential. It stripped it of its own dignity and personality, turned it into a weapon instead of a living, breathing creature. I ordered the project to be scrapped, but it seems Colress disobeyed me and continued tinkering with it. The end result is the beast that shot me and stripped you of your team.”
Nobody spoke. All of this was terrible to hear and even more unpleasant to visualize.
“So, then,” said Jim, at last, “what does this mean for us?”
“It means dark times, Jim,” said N. “Unless Ghetsis, Colress, and Genesect can be stopped, they, coupled with the addition of my poor ally Zekrom, hold the key to complete world control. They still seek the removal of Pokemon from human containment, but not in the way I had hoped to see…”
Jim got to his feet. There was a fire in his eyes as he gazed down at N.
“Then it’s up to us to stop them,” he said. “I can’t do it alone. You saw how handily they took me down, but united, we can make a difference. Will you help me, N?”
He held out his hand. Everyone stared at him in amazement, N the most amazed of all. No one had ever heard such a firm passion, a deep determination in Jim’s voice before. He was serious.
At last, N stood up and clasped Jim’s hand in his.
“Of course I will,” he said. “As I said, after what you’ve been through, you deserve every ounce of help I can offer.”
Both boys smiled at each other. The two Heroes of this generation, the Hero of Truth and the Hero of Ideals, were united under one cause: overthrowing Team Plasma.
Suddenly, the door burst open, and Croco rushed in, out of breath and frantic.
“Jim!” he wheezed. “You...you ain’t gonna...you’re not gonna believe...The crew, they…”
“What is it, Croco?” Jim asked, urgently. “Spit it out!”
There was the sound of a Poke Ball opening, and to everyone’s astonishment, Oshawott rushed forward and drew his scalchop, his Razor Shell activated and aimed at Croco’s throat.
“Oshawott!” Leanne yelled. “What are you doing?!”
“Speak, Croco!” Oshawott demanded. “What have the foul devils of Plasma done to my June and her companions?! Out with it!”
“Sheesh, no need with the threats, shorty,” said Croco, holding up his claws. “That Colress wacko, he hooked them up with some weird machines, and then he did something horrible to their brains!”
Jim rushed to Croco and grabbed him by the shoulders.
“What horrible something, Croco?! Tell me!”
“Jeez, Jimmy, you too? He said he was gonna make ‘em stronger, send ‘em past their limits, but it made them all go nuts! I’m talkin’ freaky red eyes and banging against the glass of their cells! They were like wild animals, like ya’d never even tamed them!”
Jim felt a freezing cold rush through his veins. Echo and Missy had their wings/hands clasped to their mouths in horror.
No, it couldn’t be. It just couldn’t…
“I’m sorry, sport,” said Croco, ruefully. “I knew you were gonna take it hard, but-”
“Where is he?” Jim said, in a hard voice.
Croco stared at him.
“Back up at the castle. What are ya-”
But Jim had already ran past him. He was speeding out the door.
“Jim!” Echo yelled. “Where are you going?!”
He took flight and soared after him, Missy right behind.
“Oh no,” moaned Mrs. Stevens. “He’s going to get himself killed.”
“Not if he has assistance,” said N, standing up. “Leanne, Oshawott and Croco, was it? You three follow me. The rest of you stay here. You’ll just provide Ghetsis and Colress with more targets.”
N rushed out after Jim, followed shortly after by Croco, Oshawott, and Leanne. Everyone else just stood there, looking horrified and bewildered, except the Guy, who had his arms folded and eyes closed, as if deep in thought.
As for Jim, he was making for the stadium, with one thought and one thought alone in his fevered, tortured mind:
“Get my friends back!”
Y Rotation Team
23rd September 2013, 08:40 AM #5
Re: Jim: The War for Unova
Jim charged into the stadium, followed closely by N, Leanne, and their Pokemon companions. He was making a beeline straight for the set of stairs that would take him to the castle. True, he didn’t have a bona fide attack plan, but he didn’t care. The idea that his teammates were no longer in their right minds and possibly turned against him ignited his blood, giving him the strong urge to punch somebody’s lights out, preferably Ghetsis’ remaining one…
“Jim, stop!” Leanne called, forcing him to finally skid to a halt. “Do you even know what you’re doing?”
“Of course I do!” Jim snapped. “I’m rescuing my team!”
“But you can’t just barge in without a full team! That’s Team Plasma’s stronghold!”
“She’s right, Jim,” said N, gravely. “It’s crawling with members of the order. To attempt to breach it in your current condition is suicide.”
“So what you’re asking me is to just abandon my friends and let them be used as experiments!” Jim said, sharply. “Is that what you’re saying?!”
“Of course not,” said N. “I’m just saying we should go about this cautiously.”
“You heard what Croco said!” Jim retorted, his voice beginning to break. “We don’t have time for caution! We need to act now! I can’t lose my friends, N! I just can’t! Don’t tell me you wouldn’t do the same if it was your forest friends who were imprisoned and being tortured!”
N did not answer right away. He seemed to have been struck by this bold statement, and was finding it difficult to reply.
“Jim!” Oshawott yelled. “Look out!”
All of a sudden, a loud screech rent the stormy air, and a blaze of blue-purple flames struck the ground in front of him, making all of them jump back. Jim’s heart constricted; he knew those flames…
Sure enough, with a clatter of talons, Rok landed on the ground in front of them.
“Rok!” Jim shouted. “Why would you do that? You know better than that!”
However, one look at the Archeops’ face told him something was very wrong. Gone was his happy-go-lucky, goofy face. It was replaced by the red-eyed look of a predator glowering at its prey. His plumed tail whipped side to side as he surveyed the three humans and four Pokemon.
“Rok,” said Jim, in a softer tone, “come on, pal, you know me. It’s your Jim-friend.”
He held out a hand to pet Rok’s’ head, but he snapped at him, his fangs coming inches within the reach of his fingers before he drew them away sharply. A low growl emanated from his throat. Leanne gasped.
“Rok...What’s gotten into you?” Jim asked, in a hurt voice.
“It’s no use trying to speak with him, Stevens,” came a familiar voice. “His mind is already gone.”
Colress stepped out of the shadows where the walkway met the stadium. There was a complacent smile on his face that made Jim want to punch the lenses out of his glasses.
“Master N!” he said, in a show of surprise. “You survived! How...fortunate.”
N merely scowled at Colress, but if looks could kill, Jim would have incinerated the smug scientist on the spot.
“What did you do to him, Colress?” he snarled through gritted teeth.
“Released his hidden potential, of course,” said Colress. “His power has jumped up exponentially, though it appears it may have done something to his senses. He no longer remembers who he is, nor who you are. All that he does know is that you are an enemy of his new masters.”
Rok growled and flexed his wings.
“You’re lying!” Jim snapped.
“Am I? He’s not the only one.”
He snapped his fingers, and more shapes stepped out of the shadows: Jolt, Spade, Torch, and Torrent. Jim felt as if a hand was squeezing his heart like a stress ball; these were not the Pokemon he knew and loved. Their faces were cold, cruel, devoid of real emotion. Their eyes were red, glowing, and sinister. They, like Rok, had the looks of hunters, savages eyeing their next victims. They stepped forward, closing in on the heroes.
“What...what’s happened to them?” Leanne asked, stunned.
“Those eyes…” murmured Missy. “I don’t like those eyes.”
“Guys,” Jim said, in a pleading voice, “come on. Don’t do this. You know me. It’s Jim, your Trainer, your pal!”
Their only response was more displays of aggression. Jolt’s mane crackled, Spade flexed his claws, and Torch and Torrent both cracked their knuckles.
“I don’t think anybody’s home in there, Jimmy,” muttered Croco.
“This is horrible…” Echo murmured.
Jim couldn’t believe what he was seeing. The world had gone upside down. His own Pokemon were turning against him, converted into wild predators poised to attack him. He had lost his team...
But that wasn’t all that was wrong. He noticed that something, or someone, was missing.
“Where’s June?” he asked, almost afraid to find out. “What did you do with my partner?!”
Oshawott brandished his Razor Shell once again, a fire dancing in his eyes.
“Your Snivy was quite a different case altogether,” said Colress. “There was apparently some hidden recess of power locked away within her that just surged to the surface with my assistance. Her true fighter’s spirit has come to light, and the results were spectacular. Unfortunately, it has also made her rather violent, and so we are going to work to stabilize her temper while keeping her power intact.”
Jim wanted to deny this atrocious statement, but the words of it made his innards turn to ice. June, his June, violent? Unstable? It just couldn’t be…
“No,” muttered Oshawott. “How dare he speak such poisonous lies! My June would never…!”
“We’ve wasted enough time,” said Colress. “Ghetsis has deemed your presence a liability now that we have extracted your Pokemon from your hold. He only asks one thing of you.”
“And what’s that?” Jim asked, teeth gritted.
“To hand over the Light Stone. If you do this for him, you shall go free.”
To his disconcertion, Jim actually laughed. N and Leanne looked at each other in surprise.
“He wants the Light Stone? Why, so he can burn himself with it again? He can’t lay a finger on it! He ought to have learned that by now. And even if it didn’t, what makes him, or you, think I’d ever hand it over? He just wants to control Reshiram like he’s brainwashed Zekrom. Well, forget it!”
Colress wasn’t smiling anymore. His face was cold and hard.
“You disappoint me, Stevens. I hoped you would be wiser than this. Eliminate him and his companions. Retrieve the stone yourselves, if you have to.”
Jim’s brainwashed Pokemon growled and stepped toward them in a body.
“Get ready, guys,” said Jim. “Don’t hold back.”
Echo hesitated, and Missy whimpered.
“This isn’t the time to get cold feet!” Jim said, fiercely, making them jump. “I know you don’t want to fight them! I don’t, either! I would never want to fight back against my own teammates...my own family...but there’s no other choice! Just hold them off for as long as you can, all right?”
After another moment’s hesitation, Echo flapped his way in front of him, glaring at the feral Pokemon. Missy, Croco, and Oshawott joined him.
“You guys should be ashamed of yourselves,” he said, “letting your hearts be swayed by power and control! Don’t you know what you are? You’re Team Jim!”
Torch spewed a stream of flames in Echo’s direction, but he soared out of the way of it.
“I don’t want to do this,” said Missy, an adorable but fierce glare on her face, “but you guys are just being a bunch of meanies! You need to be taught a lesson!”
She tugged at the ends of her bow, then lifted her plump belly up with her paws, letting it plop back down again. Croco just cracked his knuckles, his eyes mere slits, and Oshawott held aloft his scalchop.
“That merely makes 4 against 5,” said Colress, lightly.
“I think not,” said N, and he drew a Poke Ball. “Zoroark, come forth!”
There was a blaze of light, and a Pokemon Jim had yet to see appeared. It was a tall, dark-gray fox, standing upon two legs. It had an extremely bushy, shaggy mane of red fur reaching past its heels, ending in a ponytail held by a blue orb. Its chest was covered by a patch of darker gray fur. Its pointed face was keen, shrewd, and calculating. Jim brought out his Pokedex.
“Zoroark, the Illusion Fox Pokemon, and the evolved form of Zorua. Individual Zoroark hold strong bonds with each other, and protect their kin with illusionary powers. They are able to deceive large crowds of people effortlessly with their tricks.”
“So that’s what Zorua evolves into,” murmured Leanne.
“This Zoroark has been my constant companion,” said N, “one of my oldest friends. He is the only Pokemon who has stuck with me over the years.”
He reached out a hand and stroked Zoroark’s head. It gratefully received the gesture, then turned to stare down the mesmerized Pokemon.
“Now we are even,” said Colress, “but will it be enough? These are not ordinary Pokemon you are facing, but super-charged predators.”
Jim’s brainwashed team stepped towards them, and the five fighters braced themselves. Even as they did so, however, there came the sound of galloping hooves in the distance. To everyone’s surprise, a familiar (at least to Jim) equine Pokemon landed deftly in the midst of the heroes.
“Keldeo!” Jim gasped.
“The young Sword of Justice!” said Oshawott. “What are you doing here?”
“I hope I’m not too late,” said Keldeo. “I could sense something was awry; there was something in the air that unsettled me. My instincts led me to this mountain, Terrakion’s fortress, and I heard from him what had happened. I’m here to give my assistance to you, human Jim.”
Jim stared at Keldeo in amazement. Even more bewildered were Leanne, who had never seen Keldeo before, and N, who looked like he could not believe his eyes.
“You’re affiliated with the Sword of Justice in training?” he asked Jim.
“We met over a little dispute in the Moors of Icirrus,” Jim replied, “but his help is more than welcome. Just be warned, Keldeo: these Pokemon are my teammates, or were, at any rate. He robbed me of their minds and their loyalty!”
He pointed furiously at Colress, who kept his eyes on Keldeo. The colt Pokemon pawed the ground and lowered his horn.
“You’re just like the humans Cobalion warned me to stay away from,” he said. “Stealing and harming innocent Pokemon! Unforgivable!”
Colress’ lip curled. It looked like he understood what Keldeo was saying, probably because he was employing the same method of speech Terrakion used on all of them.
“Your influence is far-spread, Stevens, to extend to the Swords of Justice,” he said. “But we have wasted enough time. Attack!”
“Go!” Jim yelled.
The Pokemon charged together into the fray: Jim’s hypnotized Pokemon on one side, Echo, Missy, Croco, Oshawott, Zoroark, and Keldeo on the other.
To say the attack was brutal would be an understatement. As hard as the Pokemon on Jim and his friends’ side fought, they were outmatched by the strength of Jim’s former comrades. They were possessed of an animalistic ferocity Jim had never seen before, and wished he never had. To think that Pokemon could attack to severely injure, or even to kill…
Croco went for Spade, who swiped and slashed at him with his gleaming claws. Croco, however, sent him into the air with Earthquake and unleashed a storm of Stone Edge projectiles upon him. Spade blitzed through them with Drill Run, but Croco struck back with Iron Tail, making him unfold. The two grappled furiously, and it looked like Croco was in danger of Spade going for his throat.
“Jim trained ya too well, kid,” he said, straining to keep the fierce Excadrill off. “You’ve surpassed the teacher.”
Spade’s only response was to smack him with a headbutt, hitting him right between the eyes with the spikes on his horn, and disarming him. He knocked the Krokorok onto his back with a furious X-Scissor swipe, and then slowly advanced on him, claws glinting dangerously.
While that was going on, Echo had found himself in an aerial assault against Rok. The Archeops spewed multiple Dragon Pulse flames at him as he chased him through the air, which he barely managed to evade, and even attempted to redirect with Psychic. He lobbed Shadow Ball after Shadow Ball, but no impact from any of them seemed to slow the beast down. On the contrary, they only seemed to make him angrier. He soared right for Echo with Aerial Ace, but the swift Swoobat countered with Thunder Wave, hitting him dead-on. Rok stumbled in midair and missed with his attack, and Echo took the opportunity to lock him in a Psychic grip.
Rok was not to be undone, however. With a furious roar, he strained against Echo’s hold on him and attempted to raise his wings. The Swoobat sweated furiously as he tried to keep his telekinetic grip, but Rok was too strong for him. He broke loose and sent a Rock Slide barrage down on him. Echo was battered and buffeted by the following stones, giving the paralyzed but still deadly Archeops the chance to grab him hard in his fangs. He let out a squeal of pain as Rok bit into him, then tossed him down onto the ground, where he lay dazed and bleeding.
Missy was having a hard time against Torrent. The Simipour’s movements, already swift and deadly from his years as a circus Pokemon, seemed blindingly fast as he struck at the pudgy Emolga. She fired Thunderbolt after Thunderbolt at him, but though he cringed from the pain, they didn’t seem to slow him down any. She barely avoided getting swept away by his Hydro Pump, now like a tsunami more than anything, and countered his Acrobatic assaults with her own Aerial Ace. At last, the tide seemed to momentarily turn in her favor as she charged with Return, the love and affection she held for Jim speeding her along as she barreled into Torrent’s chest. He fell back, stunned for several moments, before straightening up and shooting an Ice Beam at her, freezing her arms and preventing her from taking to the sky. Then, with an unpleasant crack, he socked her in the belly with a Brick Break and sent her tumbling. She whimpered as she fell flat on her back, wanting nothing more than to go home.
Oshawott was pitted against Torch, and he started off with an easier time than the others. He easily dodged and parried Torch’s Flamethrower attacks, and countered his Acrobatics with Aqua Jet. He even had the audacity to make jesting remarks at the bestial Simisear, asking of him the time of day, and wondering if it would ever rain. He even said something about his mother, which, if Torrent had also heard, would have set the Simipour on his hide as well. Leanne cheered him on as he maintained a good lead over the angry Simisear.
This, unfortunately, was his undoing. Torch’s repeated failed attempts made his temper explode. He dove underground, making Oshawott ask if he was just seeking refuge to have a proper tantrum, when the ground beneath him exploded with a wave of green light. Torch had launched a massive Solarbeam right underneath Oshawott’s feet, sending him sky high and making him lose his hold on his scalchop. Torch leaped high into the air after him and, with both fists cupped together, spiked him straight to the ground. Leanne shrieked and tried to run to him, but Torch blocked her off, embers glowing between his bared teeth. All she could do was stand and look at her battered companion through teary eyes.
Keldeo and Zoroark had teamed up to take on Jolt, as he was the biggest and easily the most potent threat. As Jolt unleashed fierce Thunderbolt attacks, Zoroark would protect Keldeo with Protect, whereafter Keldeo would launch a Hydro Pump or Focus Blast, the former attack also employed to douse Jolt’s Overheat attack. Furious, Jolt charged forth with Thrash, but was held at bay when Zoroark unleashed an attack N called ‘Night Daze’: an explosion of black and red energy that expanded from its body like a dome, throwing Jolt back with the force of its release.
Then, something unusual happened. As Jolt, brought to the limit of his rage by the resistance, charged upon them with Wild Charge, Keldeo seemed to be trying to concentrate, as beads of sweat formed on his brow. His small, pointed horn glowed with a golden light, but it eventually faded. It was like he was trying to use an attack he had not yet mastered.
“No!” he gasped out. “Not now! Not when I need it!”
Jolt barreled right through them, throwing the two apart. Keldeo landed on his side, while Zoroark landed on its hands and knees. Both tried to get up again, but Jolt shot Thunderbolt attacks at both of them. Keldeo screamed in pain, and Zoroark howled. The two fell back down, incapacitated at last.
“Zoroark!” N yelled, distressed.
Jim wasn’t just feeling nervous; he was frightened. The sheer power and raw ferocity his old Pokemon were displaying was terrible to behold. It was as if they had never been tamed before, and had always lived and survived on these horrific, primal instincts. They weren’t just out to knock out, they were out for blood!
A tear ran down the side of his face as he watched the horrible fight unfold.
“My friends...how could I let this happen?...I’ve failed them…”
Suddenly, the air was rent with a sharp beeping. Colress, who had been standing by and watching it all with a satisfied smile on his face, held up his wrist. The crackling, translucent image of a Team Plasma grunt appeared out of thin air from his watch.
“Yes, what is it?” he asked, sharply.
“Colress, sir! The Snivy! She’s escaped! She’s coming your way!”
Y Rotation Team
23rd September 2013, 08:41 AM #6
Re: Jim: The War for Unova
The Beast Within
“What?! I told you to keep a close watch on her!”
“We tried, sir! We were transferring her, like you suggested, but she overpowered us! She poisoned Dirk and ran off! I was only now able to contact you because we had to get Dirk hospitalized.”
Jim felt as if his insides had turned to water. June had poisoned a human? Sure, it was Team Plasma, but still!
“If that were the case,” muttered Colress, “she would have been here already.”
His musings were answered, however, when the sound of a whip cracking reached their ears. As the sound echoed, all of the other Pokemon seemed to break off their brutal assaults on the heroes. They looked toward the walkway, where a small, plump figure was making its way toward them, eyes glowing red in the darkness.
It was June, sure enough, but this was nowhere near the June Jim knew. This was a Snivy with no trace of kindness or warmth on her face. There was only cold cruelty, a bestial light gleaming in her eyes. Her pupils had contracted even further than normal, so that they really did resemble a snake’s eyes. Her vines were extended and held at her sides, ready to lunge out. The other Pokemon, primal as they were, actually seemed intimidated by her, especially considering the fact that she still looked like she had put on weight.
That wasn’t the worst of it, however. The worst was that her cold stare was fixed solely on Jim and Jim alone. He felt as if his heart had stopped beating, as if a clamp was pressing on his brain. It was the same feeling as when his Pokemon were taken from him, only worse. Mere hours ago, he had seen June, pleading to be released, looking sad and scared. Now, however, she was regarding Jim with pure hatred in her eyes. It was nothing close to the scorn she had displayed when they first met; it was unadulterated loathing.
“June…” he breathed, unable to believe it. “What did they do to you?”
June said nothing. Her eyes remained fixed on his, unwavering. Oshawott, getting to his feet at last, struggled toward her. His scalchop had been recovered.
“Darling,” he said. “Don’t do this. This isn’t you. I know it isn’t. The real you would never-”
One of June’s vines lashed out and struck Oshawott across the face, sending him spiraling. Leanne caught him and clasped him protectively against herself.
Jim could now see that his Snivy had truly been lost. The Snivy he knew and loved would never attack her mate like that. She was an empty shell filled with strength and hatred.
Colress himself seemed rather taken aback by this display of aggression.
“All right, Snivy, fun’s fun,” he said, “but you really must return to the castle. You’re forbidden to leave for a reason-”
But he couldn’t finish. June, letting out a sharp hiss, unleashed her vines again and wrapped them around Colress’ throat. The scientist’s smug face was long forgotten, replaced with shock and terror as he tried to loose the binds around his windpipe.
“Stop it!” N shouted. “He’s not worth it!”
“June, please!” Jim pleaded. “Listen to me! Let him go!”
June didn’t heed any of them, however, and only tightened her grip. Colress let out a strangled gasp. Jim couldn’t believe what he was seeing: his own Snivy, attempting murder on a human!
Then, all of a sudden, her vines lost their hold, and Colress fell back, grabbing his throat with both hands and breathing heavily. Oshawott had leaped out of Leanne’s arms and struck June a glancing blow with his Razor Shell. Her cheek had been cut, and a thin trickle of blood ran down her face.
“Oshawott…” Leanne gasped.
“You viper,” Oshawott growled, his eyes glistening with repressed tears. “You stole away my darling, my precious June, turned her heart to stone...I will beat you out of her and bring her back! I swear it!”
June snarled, her vines cracking dangerously. She struck at Oshawott, who parried with his Razor Shell, and he swung at her again and again, but he had only had his one lucky strike. June was ready for him this time, and evaded his wild blows. It was heartbreaking, to say the least, to see the two lovers brought to such a level: fighting each other with the fury of warriors.
“Oshawott, stop!” Leanne cried. “You’re already tired out from fighting Torch! Don’t do this!”
But he paid no attention, he swung his blade blindly, yelling savagely, as June slipped and slid out of the way with serpentine ease. Then, when she found her opening, she conjured an Energy Ball in her palm and launched it, hitting him hard in the chest. He stumbled back, and in that brief space of time, he found himself struck again, this time by a pair of fingers glowing with Toxic energy.
“NO!!” Leanne shrieked.
Jim, N, and Colress stared, dumbstruck, as Oshawott, eyes wide, mouth agape, let out a sick croak and fell back, his face an unhealthy hue. Even the mesmerized Pokemon seemed taken aback by such a display of violence. Leanne sank to her knees, tears spilling from her eyes.
“...What have I done?” Colress murmured, shocked. “This...this isn’t what I asked for…”
“June, that’s enough!” screamed Jim, tears of fury in his eyes. “How can you do this?! Don’t you even realize what you’ve done?!”
June’s cold eyes fell on him, emotionless.
“I hate you!” Jim shouted. “I hate what you’ve become! If this is what was going to happen to you, then I wish I’d never saved you in the forest all those months ago! You’re a monster!”
June hissed sharply, and her vines whipped out, grabbing him by the throat. He felt his windpipe tighten under the tough binds, and he crumpled onto his knees.
“JIM!” yelled N, Leanne, Croco, Echo, and Missy together.
But June wasn’t finished. She stepped forward, reeling her vines in, her fingers glowing a sickly, poisonous purple again. Jim’s brain seemed to ignite. She was going to poison him!
“June...please...no…” he gasped out.
June kept on coming until she was standing on his knee, level with his chest. She pulled her arm back, the purple glow intensifying.
For just a second, her resolve seemed to shudder. Her eyes flickered, the pupils widened. She looked...bewildered, scared, confused.
Jim’s entire frame jolted. That was her voice! The voice he knew!
But it was gone. She clenched her eyes shut and snarled again, as if trying to block away an unpleasant thought.
“No, June, you can do it!” Jim yelled, hope welling inside him again. “Fight it!”
June seemed to be having a struggle with herself. She was growling, having fits, but the voice kept changing. It went from the bestial snarls and hisses to the voice Jim knew, as if there were two Junes fighting for supremacy over the one’s mind. Her vines tightened and loosened around Jim’s throat, and her Toxic hand kept wavering, now inches from his chest, now pulled back. It was impossible to say which was going to come out on top.
Finally, with a roar, the primal June seemed to come out on top, and she pulled her arm back, ready to poison Jim.
There was a crunch of metal and a spark of electricity.
June’s fingers stopped, tips barely an inch from Jim’s heart. It was if she had been turned into a statue. Jolt, Spade, Torch, Torrent, and Rok too had stiffened, jaws slack, eyes wide.
Colress had thrown his controller onto the ground and stomped it to pieces.
“Colress…” N muttered.
Without another word, the scientist disappeared, beating a hasty retreat out of the stadium.
The Toxic glow vanished from June’s fingers, and the grip of her vines loosened. She blinked rapidly, the red glow disappearing from her eyes. She shook her head and gazed up at Jim. She looked from her hand to her vines, and realization sank in. She gasped in horror and pulled her vines back in.
“Jim! I...I didn’t...I…”
Tears were welling up in her eyes, unable to believe what she had come close to doing. They didn’t match Jim’s, though. His were falling freely, like a child’s, but for a different reason.
“Oh, June! My June! You’re back!”
He embraced her close, tighter than he had ever hugged her before, and she returned the gesture, licking his cheek as she did so.
“I’m sorry...I’m so sorry...Jim, forgive me…” she wept.
“I already have, June...I already have…”
They stayed that way for a long time. The two old partners, torn apart by a man’s selfish desire, brought back together by the unexpected generosity of another, would never forget this horrible day, but would always remember the bond they held onto in spite of it…
At that moment, Jim felt himself crowded by multiple bodies. All of his Pokemon, including Echo, Missy, and Croco, had congregated into a group hug around him. The formerly-brainwashed fighters were looking extremely contrite.
“Me try to hurt Jim-friend and friends,” Rok sobbed. “Me not even realize…”
“We were all horrible,” said Jolt, voice breaking. “Just horrible…”
“Ah can’t believe Ah lost control like that,” croaked Spade, “and on mah old friends…”
“It was like a bad dream, man,” sniffed Torrent, “a bad dream I couldn’t get out of!”
“Aw, Jim, can you ever forgive us?” blubbered Torch. “We didn’t mean it!”
“You guys…” Jim sniffed. “I’m just glad to have you all back safe and sound…I’ll never lose you again!”
As best he could, he put his arms around all of them and pulled them closer into the group hug, all crying openly, guilty about what they had done, but happy to be together again. N, Zoroark, and Keldeo looked on proudly, glad the nightmare was over.
Leanne, however, was still crying over Oshawott, cradling him in her arms, and only now did June notice. She let out another horrified gasp of realization.
“Oshawott! Did I...Oh my God…OSHAWOTT!!”
She leaped from Jim’s arms and ran over to Leanne, scrambling into her arms to nuzzle against her love, tears rolling down her face once more.
“Oh, Oshawott...what have I done?...Please, don’t leave me! You have to hold on! You’re going to be...you’re going to be…”
But before she could finish, she collapsed in Leanne’s arms, too exhausted to carry on. The events of earlier had finally taken their toll.
“The Pokemon Center,” said N, shortly. “We need to get everyone to the Center, right away. Oshawott, especially.”
“Right,” said Jim. “Everyone, return!”
One by one, he recalled Torch, Torrent, Rok, Jolt, and Spade, so that Echo, Missy, and Croco remained.
“You guys will get healed up too, don’t worry. After the beatings you took, you deserve it.”
“We’ll tough it out until then, Jimmy,” said Croco. “But Oshawott needs our attention first.”
He turned to Leanne and gripped her arm.
“He’ll survive, Leanne. I promise.”
“I know…” Leanne sniffed. “It’s just...it was just so horrible to watch…”
“It was for me, too, but we’ve gotta move. Quickly!”
She finally nodded, then became the first to sprint back toward the main stadium center.
“Keldeo, are you coming with us?” N asked, as he recalled Zoroark.
“Yes,” said Keldeo. “I feel it’s my duty to stand by all of you.”
“Good,” said N, appreciatively.
So the three humans and four Pokemon sprinted off for the Pokemon Center, just as Colress had so wildly fled the scene after his odd but life-changing decision...
Y Rotation Team
23rd September 2013, 08:43 AM #7
Re: Jim: The War for Unova
The Time for Action
The Pokemon Center was an epicenter of activity, but it had hardly seen so many people together over a single set of patients. Jim, his mother, Leanne, N, Cheren, Bianca, Nigel, Cruise, Solomon, the Professor, the Guy, Anthea, and Concordia were all gathered about the main lobby, waiting on tenterhooks for Jim’s team, Leanne’s Oshawott, and N’s Zoroark to be healed up. The Stevens’ Audino had volunteered to help out, quickly befriending the Audino on staff.
The strangest of all was Keldeo, standing like a sort of sentinel among all of them. When the young Sword of Justice in training appeared when Jim returned, Professor Juniper was the most astonished, having known quite a bit of the lore behind the mysterious three that Keldeo called his masters. Even more surprising was the revelation that they could all understand his talk. The professor wanted to plug him with questions, but the Guy said that their priority was healing the wounded, so she decided to just try later.
Jim received a rather severe scolding from his mother for his brazen actions, though he bore her words with resolve, enduring her ‘don’t you ever...without even warning me! What would your father have thought?!...Never in all my days…” until she finally wore herself out, and expressed her relief that he and his Pokemon were all right, enveloping her boy in her arms.
Though the pain had not, by any means, left him, Jim related to his friends about what happened. Everyone was horrified at the description of what his Pokemon had become, especially June’s behavior. The Guy himself seemed quite taken aback, though he was still the least moved among them.
“Unreal,” breathed Cruise.
“Inconceivable,” said Solomon.
“Unsettling,” muttered Nigel.
“But this Colress guy just busted the controller and ran?” asked Cheren.
“Yeah,” said Leanne. “It was so sudden.”
“I never expected it of him,” said N. “He holds his passion in such high regard. To think he would just end it there is unbelievable.”
“Even the wicked have their limits,” said the Guy. “I’d imagine almost being choked by June made him see just how dangerous his project was if taken too far.”
“But what’s going to happen to him?” Bianca asked. “Is he going back to Team Plasma?”
“I don’t know,” said N. “He’s in a precarious situation. His experiment for Ghetsis failed. He won’t be happy to hear about that. However, he’s seen the dangers of his own work. I just hope he finds the right path for himself.”
“As much as I hate him for what he did,” muttered Jim, “I can’t help but feel grateful that he stopped my Pokemon from continuing their rampage. He could have let June end me, me, the enemy of his team, but he let me go.”
“Another point that leaves his situation unpleasant,” said N. “Colress is one of Ghetsis’ most trusted advisors, and he showed you mercy. If Ghetsis ever found out…”
The Guy’s brows furrowed. He seemed deep in thought.
“So, what does this mean for us?” asked Solomon. “Where do we go from here?”
“Isn’t it obvious?” asked Cruise. “We gotta fight back! No way do they do this to Jim and get off scot-free!”
“I’m in full agreement,” said Nigel, “but we need a strategy first. We can’t just barge into the fray and expect to come out with barely a scratch. We need to manage our resources.”
“We’d need every willing Trainer in Unova to help us!” said Bianca. “It’s no secret that Team Plasma’s not exactly popular. They’d want to fight back!”
“Now that would be a considerable army against Team Plasma,” said the professor.
“But remember,” said Cheren, “we have less than 24 hours. When the time expires, Ghetsis is going to force every Trainer in the world to give up their Pokemon.”
“Not only that, but the storms caused by Tornadus and Thundurus are getting much worse,” said Solomon. “It’ll keep anyone from leaving or ascending the mountain, unless they use the byway, but that’s too treacherous to attempt these days.”
“So how could we possibly drum up so much support in such a short time?” Jim asked. “It’s impossible.”
“Not if we play our cards right,” said the Guy. “You’ve got a Swoobat and an Archeops. Use them to your advantage.”
Jim stared at him in puzzlement for a bit, then,
“Oh! You mean send them out to spread the word!”
“Exactly. Have them tell every flying Pokemon they come across to tell them to prepare for some tough times. Team Plasma’s finally unmasked itself, and the face beneath the mask is ugly as sin. If they can’t reach us, at least let them know what they’re in for.”
“They could send word to the Gym Leaders,” said Cheren. “They’re the most influential people in their hometowns. If anyone can get the word around, it’s them.”
“Yeah!” said Bianca. “Even if the Pokemon are released from their Poke Balls, they can’t stop their Trainers from convincing them to stay!”
“Exactly what I was thinking,” said the Guy, grinning. “It’s up to them to decide.”
“I could send Tranquill out,” said Leanne. “I remember Jim’s Pokedex saying that Tranquill are always where there’s no conflict or war. I could send her off to get away from what’s coming.”
“Echo would like that,” said Jim. “We’ll talk it over with them.”
“Hang on a sec,” said Cruise, suddenly. “You said the storm is keeping anyone from coming up the mountain, as well as leaving it.”
“Well, what about Alder? The Elite 4? All the spectators? There’s thousands of people who attended the tournament, and most, if not all, of them should be Trainers. Can’t we rally them together to take on Team Plasma? That should be plenty!”
Everyone looked at him, then at each other, as if struck.
“Good grief, I’d completely forgotten!” said the professor.
“With everything happening, it just slipped my mind!” said Cheren.
“Cruise you’re a genius!” said Solomon. “We have the forces necessary to fight back!”
“Ah, well, I do have my brainy moments sometimes,” Cruise conceded, modestly.
“You knew all along, didn’t you?” Jim whispered to the Guy.
“Yeah, but why spoil it for him?” the Guy whispered back.
“Someone should get in touch with Alder and tell him,” said Mrs. Stevens. “Where is he?”
“Come to think of it, I’m not sure,” said Professor Juniper. “He and Burton just disappeared after the castle rose.”
“I hope they’re all right,” Bianca murmured.
“Of course they are,” said Nigel. “Alder’s the Champion for a reason, after all, and Burton’s in safe hands if he’s with him.”
Bianca smiled, reassured.
“So we have a few orders of business,” said Jim. “Rally the spectators, and spread word by wing across Unova.”
“It’s a start, Jim,” said the Guy. “It’s a start.”
The intercom suddenly rang throughout the lobby.
“Jim Stevens, Leanne Summers, N Harmonia, your Pokemon are fully healed.”
The three Trainers got up and went over to the reception table. N accepted his Poke Ball, and Jim put away those of his companions. June and Oshawott were a different case, however. They had been healed outside of their Poke Balls, and were sitting together on a tray, nestled up against each other in complete serenity.
“Oh, Oshawott!” said Leanne. “Thank goodness! Are you all right now?”
“In perfect health and spirits, m’dear,” said Oshawott, and Jim translated for him, making Leanne sigh with relief.
“I take it you two have patched things up?” Jim asked.
“Yes,” said June. “I still feel horrible about how I acted, but Oshawott comforted me, and told me it wasn’t my fault.”
“She wasn’t in her own mind, lad,” said Oshawott. “I refuse to hold her responsible.”
“Well, that’s wonderful,” said Jim. “I’m just glad everything’s back to normal.”
“Oh, not exactly back to normal, Jim,” said Audino, coming from around the desk. “You see, June is...well…”
“She’s what?” Jim asked, nervously. “Is she sick with something? Is it that Pokerus I’ve been hearing about?”
“No, no, nothing like that,” said Audino, giggling. “Something much better. When we were healing June and Oshawott up, we discovered that...well…”
“Discovered what?” Jim asked.
“Discovered that June...is going to have a blessed event.”
June’s cheeks went bright red, but Oshawott clasped her paw.
“A blessed event?” Jim asked, blankly. “What does that-”
But his mother and the professor gasped, suddenly.
“Oh my goodness,” breathed his mother.
“I never would have guessed…” said Professor Juniper.
“What? What does it mean?” Jim asked, wondering why they were taking the news like this.
“Jim,” said June, softly, “it means...I’m expecting.”
And then it clicked.
Jim felt as if a hammer had hit the base of his brain.
The sense of it all came avalanching down upon him.
“Whoa, whoa, wait a minute,” he said, calmly at first, though his tone soon reached a fever pitch. “Audino, are you saying that June, my June, my Snivy...she’s PREGNANT?!”
Audino and June both nodded.
“WHAT?!” came a chorus of his astounded friends’ voices.
“Pregnant?!” Leanne asked, aghast. “You mean she...and Oshawott…”
“Are you telling me that my Golurk-” began Solomon.
“And my Stoutland-” continued Cheren.
“Lost to a pregnant Snivy?!” they finished in disbelieving unison.
“And here I thought she was just getting fat,” mused Nigel.
“But how?!” Jim finally spluttered. “When did this happen?!”
“I’m not sure,” said June. “It must have been during our winter holiday. Oshawott and I were spending much time together alone.”
“You sneaky rascals!” Leanne said, hands on her hips.
“This is...I mean...this is unbelievable!” Jim went on. “It’s wonderful, but...so unexpected!”
“It’s been a wild one for all of us, lad,” said Oshawott.
“But, any idea when it’s coming?” Jim asked.
“Soon, but there’s no definite day or time,” said Audino. “Pokemon Eggs have always been mysterious in their ways.”
“It’s just one thing after another,” Jim went on, hand on his forehead. “Ok, ok, we need to focus. Mom, Audino, can you make sure June and Oshawott are comfortable? They deserve it after what they’ve been through.”
“Of course, honey,” said Mrs. Stevens.
“Everyone else, go around the stadium and spread the word to as many people as you can. Tell them to meet in the stadium lobby. We need to rally our troops...”
“You’ve disappointed me, Colress…”
“I know, Lord Ghetsis, but you must understand-”
“I understand enough. I understand that you were too soft to handle your own vision.”
“But you weren’t there! You didn’t see what-”
“Silence! I assume Stevens has his Pokemon back by this point?”
“Then you have failed me, Colress. I need your assistance no longer, as long as Genesect and Zekrom are in my power. Take yourself out of my sight…”
Y Rotation Team
23rd September 2013, 08:45 AM #8
Re: Jim: The War for Unova
Rallying the Forces
“All able Trainers, meet in the lobby! Emergency meeting! No time to waste!”
“The future of Unova depends on your attendance! Please be punctual!”
Cruise, Solomon, Nigel, Cheren, and Bianca spread out through the stadium grounds, knocking on every residential door they came across and announcing the meeting in the lobby. Doors everywhere opened, heads peeked out, and soon the hallways were packed with people following the messengers, talking confusedly amongst themselves.
“The future of Unova?”
“I don’t like the sound of that…”
Nevertheless, in a little less than an hour, the main lobby of the stadium was packed with people, adults and children alike, wondering what was going on. Some had stayed behind, suspicious of the message being spread, but the majority had consented to see what was up. Several had Pokemon out with them, the majority of which were small enough to carry. Little kids were clasping theirs tightly, while adults kept them cradled protectively in their arms.
At the front of the procession were Alder, Charles Burton, and the Elite Four, having been alerted about the meeting by Professor Juniper beforehand. The Champion stood patiently with his arms crossed, a rather grim look on his face, while Burton muttered to himself.
“Absolutely unprecedented,” he said. “Never, in all my years, has anything of this magnitude...They’ll be talking about this for years!”
The Elite Four stood alongside them, two on either side, just as stoic as Alder. Apart from him, these were the Trainers with the most authority in all of Unova. They were the toughest Trainers next to the Champion, and they more likely than not specialized in a certain type, like Gym Leaders.
Marshal, a strong-figured, dark-skinned man with close-cut orange hair, was an expert in Fighting Pokemon. He was a zealous bodybuilder and fighter, and considered himself to be Alder’s apprentice. The Champion, to this day, has neither confirmed nor denied such a claim.
Caitlin, a pretty young girl with waist-length blonde hair, was a mistress of Psychic types. She was usually very drowsy, but also had a volatile temperament. Nevertheless, she was respected and revered for her beauty and psychic powers.
Grimsley, a bony but handsome young man with black hair, specialized in Dark types. He had come from a rich family, but had fallen upon hard times in later years. This, unfortunately, had brought about an addiction to gambling, a topic of humor among his fellow Elite 4 members.
Shauntal, a bookish woman with purple hair and large glasses, preferred Ghost types. Aside from her duties as part of the Elite 4, she was a famous author. She was currently working on her magnum opus, a story that, after 3 years, was still incomplete; she wanted it to be perfect.
Jim and his friends were all standing at the front, patiently waiting to be given an all-clear for when to start. N hadn’t yet arrived; he had been taking a last sweep of the ground to make sure no one had been forgotten or misdirected. When at last he did arrive, the crowd began turning their attention on him, shouting,
“There he is!”
“The leader of Team Plasma! He said so himself!”
“How could you let this happen?”
“Peace and harmony between humans and Pokemon, huh? Fat lot of good that’s doing us!”
N said nothing to these accusations, nor the ones that kept coming. He stood mutely beside Jim, not taking his eyes off the crowd, allowing their insults to wash over him. It seemed as if he had expected such a tirade after what had been happening.
“Silence!” bellowed Alder, and the tumult died down. “We are not here to send this boy to the gallows for what has transpired. Those of you who kept your attention to events will remember that this young man has just as much a stake in what we are here to discuss as any of you. He’s been betrayed by his own people, people he had hoped would be on our side.”
“Our side?” called someone. “Oh, sure, I can totally see someone nabbing Pokemon on the street being on our side!”
“Are you seriously intending to mouth off to Champion Alder?” Cheren suddenly asked, stepping forward. Whoever just said that, I dare you to say that again!”
The person didn’t speak up again. He didn’t dare, as he knew Cheren was the winner of the tournament for good reason.
“You don’t know the whole story,” said Jim, stepping forward.
Those who were still muttering hushed at once. His reputation as Plasma’s Bane still held some weight after all.
“This man, N Harmonia, only wanted to see Pokemon protected from the harms of humanity. He grew up among Pokemon who had been hurt and rejected by humans in the past. He felt their pain and their sorrow, and wanted to right those wrongs. Who among any of you would not share the same wish to protect Pokemon from neglect and suffering?”
Several people looked at their Pokemon beside or cradled against them. It seemed they understood what Jim was talking about.
“It wasn’t N’s fault his stepfather had no interest in his real desires at all,” he went on, bitterly. “He was just using him as a front to orchestrate his real plans: to remove Pokemon from human handling by force, and then to pervert their power for his own means. That may sound completely outrageous to you, but I was very nearly a victim of such a deed. Those who were still about may have witnessed my Pokemon being forcibly taken from me.”
Many heads in the crowd nodded and muttered assent.
“What you didn’t see, and I thank God you didn’t, as no one should ever have to see such a thing...was my own Pokemon being brainwashed against me, their powers heightened, but their sanity crippled.”
Several people gasped, and another string of excited mumbling went through, like the hissing of dying candles.
“Brainwashed, did he say?”
“What if that happened to my little Cottonee?...”
“Yes, I know,” said Jim. “It was awful to witness, and I hope it should never have to happen to any of you, but that’s why we’re here. It could happen to you, if Team Plasma isn’t stopped! The clock is still ticking, and unless Ghetsis gets an answer, he’ll remove your Pokemon from your ownership by force with that insect-cannon, Genesect. I don’t think there’s any among you who will stand to see that happen.”
“But then we’re finished either way!” shouted someone. “He won’t use force if we give up our Pokemon voluntarily, but if we don’t, he won’t leave us a choice!”
“And why should you be so worried about that?” Jim asked, firmly.
The room went deadly silent. They must have thought Jim had gone nuts. Jim glared at them all.
“You all must think I’m crazy to say such a thing, don’t you?” he asked, and felt a grim sense of satisfaction at seeing some of them cringe. “You all should be ashamed of yourselves. We’ve all been concerned about the thought of letting our Pokemon go, of losing our closest companions...but isn’t that ironic in itself? You’re worried about losing creatures who have been our friends, our family, our allies for as long as we can remember, and you haven’t even considered what makes that so laughable? Do you really think Pokemon whom you have raised for years, whom have come to know you and whom you have come to know, whom you love, cherish, and would do anything in your power to protect, would leave your side just because their Poke Balls said so?”
The silence was palpable, but somehow, Jim could feel that the realization was beginning to sink in with this crowd.
“Are you trying to convince yourselves that we’re not better than machines at deciding whether a Pokemon stays by our side or leaves us forever? That’s like saying Pokemon have no free will or choice of their own! To say that the release of a Pokemon from its Poke Ball is the end of your relationship, just because it wasn’t mutual or by consent, is the biggest disgrace to Pokemon training I have ever heard! I’ve only known my Pokemon for barely a year, but through the trials and tribulations I’ve undergone to make it this far, I’ve come to accept my team as my family, and I wouldn’t lose them for the world, and I know for a fact they wouldn’t abandon me willingly.
“This is what Ghetsis is trying to do! He’s trying to psych you out by saying it’s over once he unleashes Genesect’s power on you unless you do what he asks! That’s the kicker, my friends: if you haven’t given up on your Pokemon, and your Pokemon haven’t given up on you, Ghetsis and Team Plasma have already lost! They think they have the upper hand over us by messing with our Poke Ball technology, but what they can’t take away is the bond Pokemon and Trainers share with each other!”
He paused to take breath. All eyes were fixed on him, goggling at what he had just shouted. He could see his mother, the professor, and the Guy in the crowd. All of them were looking upon him with admiration and respect on their faces. Even Alder, Burton, and the Elite 4 were giving him their full and undivided attention.
“It’s time we showed Team Plasma our own brand of liberation: the liberation of Pokemon from their tyranny! Who will stand with me?”
There was silence in the room, though the echo of Jim's voice still rang. No one seemed to have the courage to say anything.
Then, someone finally spoke up, a timid-looking man in his forties.
"My daughter," he said, hesitantly, "my daughter's P-Purrloin...it was abducted by Team Plasma when they first became public...We've done all we can, but we could never track down the thief...My little girl loved that Purrloin, and to think that someone would just take it from her, from a little girl...it's despicable. I want to see justice done to Team Plasma! I will stand with you, Jim Stevens! Long live Plasma's Bane!"
Jim felt his heart swell. This man was clearly frightened, but he was willing to fight, if it meant avenging his daughter.
"I'll fight with you, Jim Stevens!" came a familiar voice in the crowd.
It was Cody Halleck!
"And so will I!" shouted the Guy. "You've never let us down before, kid! Let's show them what we're made of!"
"I will!" said Mrs. Stevens.
"And so will I!" said Professor Juniper.
“I will!” shouted Leanne.
“I will!” said Cheren.
“And me!” said Bianca.
“And I!” said Nigel.
“And me!” said Cruise.
“And me!” said Solomon.
“And me,” said N, softly, but still with great emphasis.
Slowly, one by one, people in the audience began raising their hands up into their air, proclaiming their wish to fight alongside Jim and his friends, shouting “And me!” or “I will!”, until the air was full of it. Applause and cheers ran wild, as some even shouted “Jim Stevens!” and “Plasma’s Bane!”
Jim beamed and looked around at his friends, who were looking just as excited as he was. Phase 1 of their attack plan had succeeded. They now had an army to take on Team Plasma. He had unveiled the weak link in Ghetsis’ ‘foolproof’ scheme.
All that was needed now was to prepare for what was to come.
Y Rotation Team
23rd September 2013, 08:46 AM #9
Re: Jim: The War for Unova
“But Jim, I can’t just leave! Not after what’s happened!”
“Me no wanna go! Me wanna stay with Jim-friend!”
“I don’t want to abandon you, Leanne, not now!”
After the meeting, everyone dispersed to prepare for the upcoming unpleasantry that would occur when they defied Team Plasma in the open. Jim and Leanne were on a balcony overlooking the stormy mountainside, with Echo, Rok, and Tranquill standing before them. When they heard what they were being tasked to do, they were, understandably, reluctant.
“Guys, you’re not leaving us,” Jim consoled. “You’re being sent on a diplomatic mission.”
“It’s gonna be your job to spread the word of what’s happening,” said Leanne. “It’s a huge honor.”
“We need you to clear the mountain, get past the storm, and let as much of Unova as you can know about what kind of situation we’re in. Tell as many Pokemon in the sea and sky as you can, they’ll send the word out quicker that way.”
This elaboration seemed to mollify the avian Pokemon, as their distress ebbed away.
“Can we ask you to do this?” Jim asked.
“Of course, Jim,” said Echo.
“Me do good for Jim-friend!” said Rok.
“If Echo goes, then I’ll follow,” said Tranquill.
“That’s the spirit,” said Jim. “Now go on, boys! Do me proud!”
“Go, Tranquill,” said Leanne. “Don’t stick around where war’s on the rise!”
The three Pokemon swept their wings and took off into the cloud-choked skies, Rok ahead and Echo and Tranquill together. Jim and Leanne watched their departure until they were out of sight at last.
“Do you think they’ll be safe?” Leanne asked.
“Of course. They’re tough Pokemon. They can take care of themselves.”
“But what if Team Plasma catches them?”
“They won’t. N gave instructions to those with Psychic and Ghost Pokemon to cast illusions around the stadium and its grounds. To Team Plasma’s eyes, the place is deserted, and they’ll be none the wiser.”
“Ooh! That’s really clever!”
“I know. I’m glad he came up with it and not me. I can’t take all the credit for this. But we’re getting off track. We’d better get the rest of our teammates squared away.”
“Ah, right. I don’t think I’ll be able to bring most of them. I can’t subject Lilligant to the possibility of war, and Zorua and Larvesta are far too young.”
Jim couldn’t help but smile at Leanne’s maternal instincts. She definitely had her priorities in the right place. And she was right: the two youngsters shouldn’t be involved in something like this, and Lilligant would most likely not want to, anyway.
Inside, they found their remaining teammates waiting for them, looking expectantly at them.
“Guys, huddle,” said Jim, shortly.
“I need to speak with you guys for a second,” said Leanne.
They each directed their teams to separate corners of the room. As Jolt was the largest among them, Missy and June, helped up by the kind-hearted Emolga, sat on his back for a better view.
“I want you guys to listen carefully,” said Jim. “This isn’t just another battle-prep strategy discussion. This is far more serious than that. This is more than just another battle...this is war.”
No one spoke. Their eyes were fixed upon his.
“The championship battle with Cheren, that was a huge deal, but this?...This is even huger. The entire fate of Unova rests on us taking a stand against Team Plasma. It’s time for us to show them why we can’t let them intimidate us anymore, why they can’t just hang the threat of releasing you from your Poke Balls over our heads.”
“Poke Ball, Schmoke Ball!” said Croco. “I ain’t gonna leave ya just cuz I’m let out!”
“They must think us very shallow to think we can be subdued by such a threat,” said Jolt.
“Exactly,” said Jim. “For whatever reason I can’t fathom, Ghetsis doesn’t seem to understand that loyalty to Pokemon doesn’t just extend to keeping to their Poke Balls. If we wait out the deadline, he’ll force all Pokemon in Unova out of their Poke Balls. If we surrender, we have to release them anyway.”
“And openly defying him?” asked Torch.
“Will probably cheese him off enough to do the force-release thing anyway,” said Torrent.
“Right, but it’s there that we prove why we’re not going to be pushed around! We’re here to fight for our freedom, and no one is going to tell us otherwise! Are you all with me?’
He threw his hand forward, and, one by one, Croco, Torch, Torrent, Spade, Jolt, Missy, and June put their hands, paws, claws, and hooves forward into the pile.
“I knew I could depend on you guys,” Jim said, proudly. “Unfortunately, there’s a bit of bad news I have to give.”
The excitement drained slightly from their faces.
“Well, I say that as if it’s all bad, but this should actually be something truly blessed,” he went on. “June...is pregnant.”
The males’ jaws dropped, and they gawked at June. Missy, on the other hand, let out a delighted squeal and embraced the Snivy.
“Ohh, congratulations!” she said. “You must be so proud! It’s Oshawott, isn’t it? Oshawott’s the daddy?”
“Of course,” said June, smiling and giving Missy a little squeeze. “He’s going to be a proud father soon.”
“Holy cow…” muttered Torch, who then looked at Torrent. “Does that mean you and Lilligant-”
“Uh-uh,” said Torrent, with a shake of the head. “We ain’t in the same Egg category, but we don’t care about that. We’re happy just being together.”
Torch grinned in an understanding way.
“Yes, it’s wonderful,” Jim went on, “but unfortunately, this is why June cannot join us in the battle.”
The smiles faded at once into looks of surprise. June looked scandalized.
“Excuse me?” she asked, sharply. “You’re just going to leave me behind while the rest of you go off to war?”
“You won’t be alone,” I said. “I have a feeling Zorua and Larvesta won’t be joining us either. You’ll be able to keep them company.”
“I can’t believe this!” June snapped. “After everything we’ve been through, after we both agreed we would never abandon each other, you’re going to let me just sit here while you go and risk your lives?! If you’re going, and if Oshawott is going, then so am I!”
“I don’t think so,” said Jim, firmly. “Not with a baby on the way.”
“You didn’t seem so reluctant when the tournament was still going on!”
“Because I didn’t know you were pregnant!” Jim shouted. “I thought you’d just put on a little weight!”
“And yet I fought just fine, which is why you should let me fight with you now, when the future of Unova is in the balance!”
“My mind is made up, June,” said Jim, sternly. “You are not going out there.”
The two glared at each other, while the others looked at each other in apprehension. Over on the other side of the room, Zorua and Larvesta were protesting against Leanne for opting to have them stay behind, while Lilligant just stood by, silently. She seemed to have accepted the conditions without fuss, something that was too much to expect from the young ones. Oshawott had come over to join them, and by the grim look on his face, he knew what the arguing had been about.
“June?” Missy finally piped up. “I don’t want to go into battle, either. I’d rather stay with you and keep your baby safe.”
“I appreciate your concern, Missy,” said June, still not taking her eyes off Jim, “I truly do. What I don’t appreciate is Jim’s lack of trust in me.”
“It has nothing to do with trust!” Jim snapped. “I’m thinking of you and your unborn child! What if something happened to you out there?! What if something even worse than the brainwashing Colress inflicted upon you happened?! How do you think I, or Oshawott, would live with ourselves knowing you put yourself and your infant into that kind of danger?”
“He has a point, darling,” said Oshawott. “If something were to befall you, it would be you and our child who would be lost. I refuse to afford that.”
“So it’s all right for Oshawott to go out, and leave me to potentially lose my mate and the father of my baby,” June retorted, tears blossoming in her eyes, “but you won’t allow me to go out when my pregnancy hasn’t hindered my fighting ability at all? You need me, Jim!”
Oshawott was at a loss for words. His mate’s speech had stung him hard.
“Yes, I do, June,” Jim said. “You’re my best Pokemon friend, and I love you dearly. That’s why I don’t want to lose you. That’s why it’s best you stay here.”
June’s eyes became icy, her tone bitter.
“So that’s how it is, is it?” she asked. “The brave, valiant men go off to fight, leaving the women and children to stay behind and worry for their lives? Isn’t that always the way of war?”
“June, it’s nothing like that-”
“No, no, Jim, you’re absolutely right,” June snapped. “After all, I’m just an expecting mother. What would I understand of the consequences of war, of the possibility of never returning, or losing freedom or life in the process?”
“Don’t take that tone with me, young lady!” Jim growled. “You’re acting like a spoiled brat!”
“And you’re acting like a stubborn mule!” June retorted. “I liked you better before you became Plasma’s Bane! I hope being out there on the battlefield will knock some sense into that thick skull of yours!”
She hopped off of Jolt’s back and marched off into the bathroom.
“June, don’t you run away from me like that! JUNE!”
June’s only answer was to slam the door behind her. Missy and the boys cringed when it did so, then looked up at Jim. He was breathing hard, and had the very look of a parent who had just been defied by a disobedient child.
“Lad,” Oshawott said, softly. “It’s not your fault. You’re only looking out for her best interests. I would have said the very same, and would most likely have met with the same results.”
“...Funny how that’s never good enough,” Jim said, with a sigh.
“Should I still stay behind, Jim?” Missy asked, in a small voice.
Jim looked at her, and he felt his anger melt away. He plucked the paunchy Emolga off of Jolt’s back and held her up.
“Only if you really want to, Missy,” he said. “It’d be nice if June had company while she was here, but it’s up to you.”
“...I want to stay and keep her safe,” she said, decisively. “I’ll do it for you, for her, and the baby.”
“That’s my girl,” said Jim, proudly.
Missy smiled as he set her back down and stroked her head.
Jim looked up. Leanne had come over, tagged along by Lilligant.
“She took it really hard,” he replied. “She’ll cool down eventually...Leanne, am I wrong by doing this?”
“No, sweetie. You’re looking out for her well-being. She’ll come to realize that sooner or later.”
“I hope so…”
Lilligant, meanwhile, went to Torch and Torrent, her pretty eyes glistening with tears.
“...I’m going out there with you two.”
The brothers looked stunned.
“What?!” Torch shouted. “But, Lilligant!”
“No buts, Torch. We’re a troupe, remember? We’ve always stayed together. I’m not going to let Team Plasma tear us apart! If you’re going, so am I!”
“Babe, you don’t have to do this,” Torrent said.
“I want to, darling,” she said. “I can’t stand being separated from you.”
She clasped his paws tightly, and he gripped her leaves in return. Then, the two leaned forward and kissed, briefly, but with unmistakable passion. Then, turning to Torch, she embraced him as a sister would a brother, and he returned the gesture.
At that moment, there came a knock at the door.
“Come in,” Jim called.
The door opened, and Cheren peeked in.
“I’ve let Unfezant take to the sky,” he said, “and the rest of my team is prepared for what’s to come. How is everything going here?”
“June and I have had a bit of a disagreement,” said Jim, “but it’s for the best that she stays here.”
“I agree. Having her battle before was already dangerous, even if we didn’t know she was bearing a child at the time. Does anyone know where N’s gone to, by the way?”
“I don’t know,” said Jim. “I think he went to take a walk with Keldeo.”
As if to invoke the old phrase, ‘speak of the devil’, N came rushing down the hall toward them at that moment.
“Jim!” he panted. “Keldeo...the Swords of Justice…”
“Huh? You mean the other Swords of Justice are here? Where?!”
“Out in the courtyard. They came upon me and Keldeo when we were talking. They wish to speak to you.”
“To me? Why?”
“They never gave a reason, but I promised I’d bring you right away.”
“Well, all right, then, if that’s what they want,” Jim said, unsure. “Can you all wait here?”
“Of course,” said Cheren.
“Lead the way, N.”
N went off back down the corridor, Jim following close behind.
Y Rotation Team
23rd September 2013, 08:48 AM #10
Re: Jim: The War for Unova
The Swords of Justice
Sure enough, as they entered the empty courtyard, Jim could see Keldeo standing before three other Pokemon, his head bowed. He looked like he was ashamed to look any of them in the eye. Either that, or he was showing reverence to their presence. They were his teachers, after all.
Jim only recognized Terrakion among them, and knew he had seen the other two by silhouette before, but never up close like this.
Cobalion was the tallest of the three, resembling a mix between a horse and a goat. His coat was blue, with a high collar in the back, and studded with black spots. His tail was short, gray, and spiky, and the same shape as the tan protrusions on his shoulders. There was a shaggy ruff of white fur, like a beard, below his neck. His hooves and pointed face were gray, while his forehead and toes were black. His horns were long, pointed, and tan, and his eyes were yellow, piercing, and stern. He looked like a Pokemon not to be crossed.
Virizion was a stark contrast to her companions, and did not look war-like at all. Her overall appearance was like a hart or deer. Her coat was forest-green, except for the red-tipped leaves extending from her throat, her cream face, underbelly, and forelegs. Her feet were shaped like boots with black toes and red borders cut off at the knee. Her horns gave the top of her head an arrow-shaped appearance, the ends curled. Her face was gentle, wise, and calm.
As Jim and N approached them, they all looked up.
“Is this the one?” Virizion asked, in a female voice quite soothing to listen to.
“This is the one, Lady Virizion,” said N, respectfully. “Jim Stevens, Plasma’s Bane and the White Hero.”
“He is but a boy,” he said, in a deep, authoritative voice. “How is this lad the bearer of Reshiram’s might?”
“I am roughly the same age as he,” said N, “and yet you did not deny that I was the Black Hero.”
“Hmph. Maybe so,” Cobalion assented, “but you say this is the boy who met with Keldeo on the Moors of Icirrus?”
“Yes, as he could tell you yourself, Sir Cobalion,” said N.
“And the same I told you about who passed through the hidden tunnel in the mountain,” said Terrakion. “They had no other way to go.”
“Yes, I understand that,” said Cobalion, rather snappishly. “Tornadus and Thundurus causing trouble once more, yet I now see why...but speak, Keldeo. What happened on the Moors?”
Keldeo raised his head to look at his superior.
“I was out training, like you said, when a lost Cubchoo wandered onto the Moors. I didn’t know what it was crying about, so I tried to keep it company until it calmed down.”
“Very noble of you, Keldeo,” said Virizion.
“And then?” asked Cobalion.
“Some time later, Jim here, along with a Snivy and an Oshawott, came onto my training ground. They were looking for the Cubchoo. I took them for trespassers and tried to fend them off, but they wouldn’t leave. The Oshawott insulted me, and didn’t believe that I was training to be a Sword of Justice.”
Cobalion stared hard at Jim.
“The Oshawott didn’t belong to me,” he said, defensively. “He’s my girlfriend’s Pokemon. Besides, he’s always been rather...eccentric.”
“I see,” said Cobalion, slowly.
“I challenged him to a duel to defend my honor. He was quite strong, but even though I disarmed him, the battle ended in a stalemate. It was then that Jim told me why he was there, and I let them take the Cubchoo back to its owner.”
“That is all well and good,” said Cobalion. “However, why are you here now? We agreed that you would stay and train on the Moors until you were ready.”
“I know,” said Keldeo, slightly abashed. “But I could feel that something wasn’t right in the air. I ran all the way here, taking Terrakion’s byway, to ascend the mountain. My suspicions were confirmed when I saw that castle looming over the stadium. I felt it my duty to repel this menace, so I joined Jim in fighting off his brainwashed comrades.”
“Brainwashed?” asked Terrakion.
“The people who occupy that castle,” said N, “are intent on forcing all of humanity to give up their Pokemon. They forcibly took Jim’s and put them under their control.”
“What?!” Terrakion growled. “Manipulating innocent Pokemon like that...unforgivable!”
“Exactly!” said Keldeo. “Which is why we must stand and fight! We need to defend Unova from-”
“Enough, Keldeo,” said Cobalion, firmly. “I have heard all that I need to. It is time we took our leave.”
Keldeo looked at Cobalion in disbelief.
“This is not our affair, young one. Do you not remember the oath we swore when we inducted you into the Swords of Justice? We must never interfere in the affairs of humanity. They must right their own wrongs.”
“But this isn’t just their battle!” Keldeo protested. “Team Plasma is threatening all of Unova. That means humans and Pokemon alike! We swore to protect the innocent!”
“Yes, innocent Pokemon,” Cobalion corrected, sternly. “Humanity must mend its own follies, without our interference.”
“But think how much swifter we might turn the tide if we banded together with Jim and his forces!” persisted Keldeo. “With our combined strength-”
“You are not yet a Sword of Justice, Keldeo,” said Cobalion. “You have not yet even grown into your sword.”
“Yes I have!” Keldeo insisted.
He closed his eyes and strained. His horn began to glimmer with a golden light, intensifying second by second, until finally, it winked out, and Keldeo let out his breath in a tired gasp.
“You still have a ways to go, Keldeo,” said Cobalion, “and this is not the way to do it.”
“Are you suggesting I just return to the Moors and leave this war to my back?” Keldeo asked, angrily. “I can’t do that in good conscience!”
“Keldeo, please,” Virizion started, but Cobalion cut across her.
“Do you not remember what humanity did to you? Do you not remember the great fire?”
Keldeo blanched, his eyes going wide. Whatever Cobalion was talking about cut him to the core. However, he steeled himself for a reply.
“Yes, I do, but that was years ago! The world has changed, Cobalion, and you should know that! Not all humans are as bad as you’ve been telling me! Jim and N are proof enough of that! Why do you have to be so stubborn?”
Cobalion stamped the ground furiously.
“You have already disobeyed my orders by leaving your training ground! Do you intend to defy me here as well, by allying yourself with humans you barely even know?”
“My mind is made up, Cobalion! I’m staying to help fight alongside them. If you had any shred of sense, like I always believed you did, you would too!”
“That’s enough, Keldeo!” Terrakion said.
But Cobalion had a different response.
All of a sudden, his forehead glowed blue, and a curved blade, much like Oshawott’s Razor Shell, materialized there. With cold anger in his eyes, he swung at Keldeo, striking him and sending him flying back, whereupon he fell hard upon the ground.
“Cobalion!” admonished Terrakion and Virizion together, but one swift glare from him shut them up at once.
He crossed slowly over to Keldeo, who was getting back to his hooves. He looked dazed and disbelieving as he gazed up at his master.
“Disrespectful child,” Cobalion said, coldly. “I took you under my wing because I felt you needed protection, because I felt you had potential. I was willing to shield you from the pain of deceit of humanity, and this is my repayment? The Oshawott was right; you are no Sword of Justice.”
The blade on his forehead vanished, and he walked off, past Keldeo, toward the dark horizon. Keldeo stared after him, bitter tears lingering in his eyes. He looked like he wanted to shout something back at Cobalion, but the words never came. Terrakion and Virizion stepped up beside him.
“You shouldn’t have mouthed off to him, Keldeo,” said Terrakion. “You know what he’s like.”
“We can’t stop you from helping your companions,” said Virizion, “but we can’t assist you beyond giving you our moral support.”
She leaned down and nuzzled his face gently, like a mother comforting its child.
“Stay safe, Keldeo,” she said. “And don’t fret. Cobalion truly does care about you. That’s why he’s so angry.”
“Give ‘em what for, kid,” said Terrakion. “Show them what you’re made of.”
With that, but with last looks over their shoulders at their exiled protege, Terrakion and Virizion went to join Cobalion. Keldeo got back to his feet as Jim and N approached.
“Are you going to be ok, Keldeo?” Jim asked. “That was a cruel thing for him to do.”
“I deserved it, honestly,” said Keldeo. “But I’m not going back on what I said. I’m staying to fight with you. I’ll sort things out with them later.”
“If you’re sure,” said Jim.
“I am,” said Keldeo.
“Then there’s one last step we must complete before we engage Team Plasma,” said N.
“And what’s that?”
N gave Jim a very solemn, singular look.
“We must summon Reshiram.”
Y Rotation Team
23rd September 2013, 08:50 AM #11
Re: Jim: The War for Unova
The White Dragon
Jim didn’t need N to have told him something like that. Ever since he’d gotten the Light Stone, he knew it would eventually come to him to finally bring Reshiram forth and summon him to his assistance. After all, wasn’t that his duty as the new Hero of Truth? Wasn’t it his birthright, or whatever it was called, to perform this task?
The only problem had been knowing when would be the right time to do so. He had hoped he wouldn’t have had to call Reshiram for something innocuous or meaningless, and had wanted to save his power for just the right time. It seemed now that this was that time they were waiting for. Zekrom was under Team Plasma’s power, and the only Pokemon that counteract its power was its counterpart. He therefore told N that he would summon it when all of the Trainers who would stand by their side were ready.
He returned to his room after that to await the moment of truth. Nothing had changed. June was still in the bathroom, sulking and refusing to come out. Oshawott had implored her to be reasonable, but she just yelled at him to go away through the door. She was thoroughly convinced that he was on Jim’s side, and thus against her aiding them. Finally, he gave up and joined Leanne and Cheren on the bed, and was there when Jim, N, and Keldeo returned. They asked about what had happened, and Jim related the details, along with what was about to happen.
Leanne put her hands to her mouth, and Cheren’s eyes widened behind his glasses.
“You mean,” he said, “you’re finally going to summon Reshiram?”
“At this point, it’s now or never,” said Jim. “Once everyone else is prepared, we’ll get it underway.”
From there, Jim sat on the other bed, silent and immersed in his own thoughts. One might have thought him asleep, if not for the fact that he had never mastered the art of sleeping with his eyes open. His teammates occasionally came up to him to ask or tell him something. His responses were quiet and brief, but usually accompanied with an encouraging pat on the head or the shoulder. Sometimes they would go up to N to talk with him, since he spoke on their level. Even in his meditative attitude, Jim couldn’t help feeling grateful when he saw the gentle, kind way N treated his Pokemon. He really was an understanding, benevolent soul, and it made him sick to think how he had been manipulated by his own adoptive father...
The hours seemed to tick away slower and slower. It had been mid-afternoon when his battle with Cheren occurred and when the Plasma Castle rose up. It was now several hours after that fateful time. He had barely eaten, hadn’t gotten a wink of sleep. He had been too busy with Colress and Ghetsis’ ploy, regaining his Pokemon, rallying the Trainers, and preparing his Pokemon. Sleep was the furthest thing from his mind at this point.
At last, around 9 in the evening, there was another knock at the door. Leanne and Cheren jumped, but Jim and N didn’t seem phased at all.
“Come in,” Jim called.
The door opened, and Nigel stepped inside.
“Is this a good time, Jim?” he asked.
“That depends,” Jim answered. “What’s going on?”
“The Trainers have made all the preparations they could muster,” he said. “A representative among them said they are ready when you are.”
Jim looked at N, who nodded.
“It’s time, then,” he said. “Nigel, tell them to gather in the courtyard outside the stadium. This is something they need to see.”
Nigel raised a puzzled eyebrow, but nodded and said,
Just as Jim requested, the outside courtyard was soon filled with the hundreds of Trainers who had chosen to fight by his side. Many of them had what were presumably their best or most favored Pokemon at their sides. Some were of the ‘adorable’ persuasion, like Cottonee, Lillipup, or Purrloin, but others had powerhouse-looking Pokemon, like Darmanitan, Krookodile, and Gothitelle. All Jim could hope for was that they really did take this entire ‘war’ mentality seriously.
Flanked by his friends, he stepped out to face the masses. A cloth-covered object rested in his hands.
“I suppose you might all be wondering why I’ve called you out here,” he said. “I’m told that all of you have made the necessary preparations for the endeavor we are about to undertake. I’m glad to hear that. I don’t consider myself an expert on leadership, so I can only do what I can to steer you in the right direction. The rest will be up to you. However, that is not the only reason I’ve assembled you all. That has to do with what is in my hands. Cheren?”
Cheren stepped forward and whisked off the cloth. Many in the crowd gasped as the Light Stone glistened, despite the lack of sunlight.
“This is the Light Stone, the key to summoning Reshiram the Vast White, the Dragon of Truths. Only the White Hero can even hold the Stone. I didn’t want to believe it at first, but now I’ve come to accept my fate. I am the White Hero of this generation. Reshiram is mine to summon, and now, the time has come! I must ask you all to stand well back!”
No one needed asking twice. The crowd stepped back as far as it could, and Jim, taking a deep breath, held up the Stone.
All at once, the Stone began to heat up, as if it had been dunked into a cauldron of hot water. It began to glow a fiery orange, and flames began to encircle it. A wind whipped around him, swirling and blowing as if a cyclone was forming about him. The flame swirled upwards into the sky, towards the clouds.
A rent burst open in the clouds, and a bolt of lightning struck the Stone. The ground shook from the force of the bolt, and the orb began to lift out of Jim’s hands, floating above him, flames swirling about it.
And then, from out of nowhere, perhaps from the orb itself, a voice, deep and mighty, spoke.
“What is the truth you seek?”
This was it. Jim cleared his throat.
“The truth I seek...is peace and harmony between humans and Pokemon everywhere! What I seek is a world where they are able to live together in happiness, without fear of separation! That is the truth I seek!”
There was a pause, and then,
“A most admirable truth.”
The Stone erupted into larger, wilder flames. Jim cried out as the heat burned his hands, but the tongue of fire spiraled upward into the sky, through the rent in the clouds. Then, the rent expanded, growing wider and wider. All eyes were fixed upon it.
A shape, enormous and winged, flew through the gap, coming closer and closer, and consequently huger. It swooped, righted itself, and came to float right above Jim, beating its wings slowly and majestically. No one spoke. No one even screamed. They just gazed in awe at the dragon before them.
Reshiram was all white, as its pseudonym suggested, but, unlike Zekrom, seemed to be covered entirely in fur. It had a long, flowing mane, a snout that reminded one of a canine or vulpine, and piercing blue eyes. Its arms were also part of its wings, unlike Zekrom. Its tail was thick and long, shaped like a turbine engine. Every once in a while, it flickered a bright orange-yellow. As it hovered there, it raised its head and let out an unearthly, howling roar, almost like a wolf baying at the moon.
That was when Jim realized.
This was the creature he had seen in his dream.
The steed he had been astride, facing the far-off castle.
It was Reshiram all along.
“Reshiram, I must ask,” Jim breathed. “Was it really you who saved me nearly a year ago, outside Nuvema Town?”
“Yes,” boomed Reshiram. “I sensed the pure heart of the next Hero of Truths, and could feel that it was in danger, so I lent my flames to your aid.”
“Thank you. You saved my life that day. I owe so much to you.”
Reshiram merely inclined its majestic head in a sort of bow.
“It is I who is at your command, my master.”
“Master? Oh, no, none of that,” said Jim. “You and I are partners. We’re in this together.”
N glanced at him, and a wry smile came upon his face. A slight smile also creased Reshiram’s muzzle.
“You possess a humble heart, James Stevens. Partners it is, then.”
“Are you aware of what is going on?”
“All that has reached my notice is the return of Zekrom into the public eye. I am afraid I cannot keep him monitored at all times, nor can he keep track of me.”
“Well, the man beside me, N Harmonia, is the Black Hero of this generation, and the one who summoned Zekrom.”
Reshiram’s eyes roved to look at N, who inclined his head respectfully.
“Unfortunately,” Jim went on, “through a cowardly play of deception, Zekrom has been taken under the control of Team Plasma, our enemy, and now patrols their castle like a guard.”
Reshiram turned his head to look at Team Plasma’s castle, and his gaze fell upon the shape of Zekrom floating about the stronghold. He frowned.
“Tis my worst fear,” he said, “that one of us may be swayed to darker purposes. This man who now holds his allegiance must command a powerful force to keep Zekrom under his control.”
“We are prepared to engage Team Plasma in battle,” said Jim. “When that time comes, we will need you to keep Zekrom at bay and distract him from our combat. I know neither of you can win against the other, no offense-”
“Do not apologize,” interrupted Reshiram. “You are right. We are of the same mold; neither can conquer the other, a lesson the previous Heroes should have kept to heart. All the same, I will do what I can to stall Zekrom. The rest shall be up to you. If you can, you must terminate that which holds him under Team Plasma’s control. Then, Zekrom and I may be able to work together.”
“That’s the ultimate goal we’re hoping for,” said Jim. “Thank you, Reshiram. You truly are a noble dragon.”
Reshiram smiled his small smile again.
“My nobility is merely an extension of he who holds my power. I shall await your summons for combat, James Stevens. Farewell.”
And with a sweep of his wings and a flare of his tail, Zekrom soared upward and vanished in a burst of flames. Everyone began talking at once.
“Did you see that?”
“The Reshiram! The Reshiram!”
“Never in all my born days…”
“Everyone!” Jim called. “Now’s not the time to lose your heads!”
The talking died down.
“Reshiram is now on our side, but that does guarantee us total victory. As you heard, it will be his job to keep Zekrom occupied. Our main goal is going to be Ghetsis. He’ll most likely be holding a cane. That’s how he’s controlling both Genesect and Zekrom. If any one of us can get to him and disable that cane, we’ve already taken a huge step to victory. Don’t be overzealous, though. Don’t try to broadside through a situation you can’t get past. Be forceful, but also be tactical. Understand?”
Unanimous shouts of assent and agreement rang through the crowd.
“Then tomorrow, we’ll gather at the stadium and send an emissary to make contact with Ghetsis. If we can, we’ll try to sway him to reason. If he does not accept, then it’s war, my friends!”
Shouts and yells filled the air.
“If they want to have it the hard way, we’ll give it to them the hard way! We will prove to them why we won’t be undone, why we won’t be dominated, why we strive for our Pokemon! This is Unova’s darkest hour, but we will see the dawn before the midnight strike! FOR UNOVA!!”
The cry was shouted several times over, from the Trainers, from Jim’s friends, from the Guy, from the professor, from his mother.
All were prepared to take the final plunge.
It was war.
Y Rotation Team
23rd September 2013, 08:51 AM #12
Re: Jim: The War for Unova
The First Blow
The coming and going of the night did nothing to eliminate the bank of clouds over the mountain. They had remained in the sky ever since the battle between Jim and Cheren’s final Pokemon, and seemed to prove as a testament of the dark times looming. The end of the deadline was coming ever closer.
Ghetsis strode to one of the windows overlooking the stadium below. No word had reached him of any change in the conditions of the enemy. No reports had come to him of suspicious activity. That was impossible. There was simply no way Stevens could remain so inactive. He had to have been up to something since yesterday, ever since the debacle with his own Pokemon. Ghetsis had a sneaking suspicion that it had to do with Team Plasma’s reluctance to go anywhere near Stevens again without him supervising. He would deal with their cowardice later…
Why should he be worried, anyway? He had all the power he needed. No one was daring to oppose him in the open. If they did, they would be staring down the double barrel of Genesect and Zekrom. No one in their right mind would try to cause him trouble when he had a dragon and a mechanized insect cannon at his disposal. It was like poking a sleeping dragon in the eye with a stick.
It was all too easy for him. When the countdown finally reached zero, he would declare himself the winner. He would have Genesect fire its Poke Ball disruption wave all across Unova, sending it across every air and communication wave imaginable. All Poke Balls on hand, and even those in the PCs, would cease to function, and those Pokemon would be easy pickings for him…
For that was his own private goal, a goal he never revealed to anyone else: to ensure that no one was able to own Pokemon, and that he would have them all to himself. He would have an unstoppable army, an army of every previously-owned Pokemon, Pokemon already trained and primed, already possessing strength of their own. What did he need that failure Colress for? He could augment and harness their power himself. After all, the cane was Colress’ design, and he already knew how to control that. The chessmaster was prepared for checkmate…
Ghetsis started. A sentry had entered quite out of nowhere.
“Yes, what is it?” Ghetsis barked.
“Someone approaches from below!”
Ghetsis turned his attention back below. There, standing in front of the main walkway of the castle, was Stevens himself. He had discarded his hat, and now stood with his hair blowing in the wind, a defiant look on his face.
“Ghetsis!” he called. “Come lower so that I can speak to you!”
Ghetsis lips curled into a sneer.
“Surely he’s joking...what is he playing at? Still, I’ll play along, just to amuse myself…”
Ghetsis eventually reached the entryway to the castle, and there Jim still stood, gazing up at him. Eventually, he began ascending towards him until he was face to face with him.
“Well, Stevens, I’m impressed,” he said. “I did not imagine that you would have the courage to speak to me again after what happened. Have you come to peaceably forego your Pokemon this time? You must have realized that resistance proved so futile.”
“Actually, Ghetsis, I’m here to give you a warning,” said Jim.
Ghetsis raised an amused eyebrow.
“Surely you must realize your success has made you some very bitter enemies. They’re not going to take being threatened and extorted like this lying down. You want to take away our Pokemon and remove all resistance before you? That’s just not going to happen, not on my watch.”
“Ha! That is very rich. And just what gives you the right to speak to me like that, oh Bane of Plasma? Do you intend to throw down the doors and besiege me and my men? Surely you jest.”
“Oh, how I wish I was, Ghetsis. It’s not too late, however. There’s still time to make amends.”
Ghetsis’ sneer vanished. He was taken aback.
“Make amends? What are you talking about?”
“It isn’t too late to right the wrongs you made. You can still save yourself. Deactivate Genesect and return Zekrom to N. He is still alive, you know. Do these things, Ghetsis, and we will let you depart in peace. You can go back into hiding, where no one will ever trouble you or your people again. If you choose to ignore my advice, then you will have to face the consequences. Unova will answer.”
Ghetsis’ pale face was an ugly color. His mouth was the thinnest of lines. He was livid.
“How dare you…” he muttered. “How dare you try to lecture me, you insolent whelp! You’re not even human! I refuse to believe it! You’re of the same stock and breed that wretched N belongs to! What human being can speak to Pokemon?! None! You have no right to dictate what’s right and what’s wrong to me! The strong survive, and the weak perish! That’s why the strong seizes what it can to stay alive, and that’s just what I’ve done! Soon, every Pokemon in the world will be mine for the taking, and no one will be able to stop me! No one! The days of your fairy tale fantasy are gone, Stevens! This is the real world! My world! ‘Unova will answer’? I AM UNOVA!!”
And all of a sudden, with a mad gleam in his eyes, he raised his cane, downward side pointing right at Jim, and stabbed it right at him!
It hit Jim right in the chest, but to Ghetsis’ disconcertion, it didn’t penetrate through his body. Jim smirked in an unusual way at him, then, with a flash of purple light, transformed into a Zoroark!
“W-What?! What is this?!” Ghetsis spluttered.
Zoroark smirked again, and in another flash of light, vanished into thin air. At the same time, as if it was a pair of before and after pictures swapping places, the scenery before him changed, in a way that made his jaw drop in horror.
The stadium was not empty after all. The furthest half was packed with humans and Pokemon alike, Pokemon of all types, all sorts, all gazing up at him with anger in their eyes. The sky was full of floating Psychic and Ghost Pokemon, and many Flying types littered the air as well.
There were Alder and the Elite 4. Alder was standing beside his Bouffalant, Shauntal beside a female Jellicent, Grimsley beside a Krookodile, Marshal beside a Conkeldurr, Caitlin beside a Gothitelle.
There was the Guy in a patched, worn trench coat, standing with his Ferrothorn, Seismitoad, and Scrafty.
In the very back were Professor Juniper and Mrs. Stevens, standing with Audino.
And there, at the head of the pack, standing in a cluster, were Jim and his companions. There was Cruise with his Serperior, Solomon with his Reuniclus, Nigel with his Simisage, Bianca with her Dewott, Cheren with his Emboar, Leanne with her Oshawott, and Jim sitting astride his Zebstrika like a knight on a horse. Keldeo stood at his side like a sentinel.
And beside him, sure enough, was N, his Zoroark having returned to him.
Gheteis couldn’t believe what he was seeing. These were the same Trainers, yet a change had come over them. They seemed...older, fiercer. Jim, N, Leanne, and Bianca had all discarded their hats, letting their hair flow freely. There was a fire dancing in everyone’s eyes as they looked up at the usurper of Team Plasma. These were not the same home-bred, comfortably-raised Trainers he had supposed to be easy pickings.
They were different.
He didn’t like that at all.
“How did he…?” Ghetsis muttered. “How did he amass such a force under my nose?...”
“Ghetsis!” Jim called up. “By what just happened, it appears you chose to ignore my offering of peace. Quite violently, I must say. I warned you. I gave you the option of letting this abide without hassle, and yet you refused. You’ve left us with no alternative.”
He held something aloft in the air, something that gleamed like fire.
The Light Stone!
With an unearthly, spine-tingling roar, something huge and white swooped out of the shadows of the mountain and soared into the air above the castle.
His jaw dropped, his face going ashen.
Jim had summoned it at last!
“No!” Ghetsis railed, pounding his cane on the stone. “No! No! NO! Curse you!”
His voice roared, full of rage, through the stormy air. He had been deceived, outdone, shown up at his own game. They were prepared to take him on head-to-head.
“I will not stand to be humiliated like this!” he snarled. “If this is how you want to play, then prepare to meet your doom, Stevens! PLASMAAAA!”
He tossed down a Poke Ball, and a new Pokemon appeared. It was an armor-clad humanoid, its helmet bearing an axe-like blade, its arms armed with blades themselves, and its torso bearing curved, razor-tipped semicircles. It had a very commanding air.
From where they stood, Jim and Cheren both brought out their Pokedexes.
“Bisharp, the Sword Blade Pokemon, and the evolved form of Pawniard. This pitiless Pokemon mobilizes an army of Pawniard to subdue its prey. It then rushes in to administer the finishing blow.”
The Bisharp raised its arm into the air and let out a loud, bellowing call. As if by magic, Pawniard, countless Pawniard, sprung out from every conceivable angle of the castle, popping up like ants from an anthill.
“So he did have a contingency,” muttered N.
“Good,” said Jim. “I never liked unfair advantages.”
With shouts and yells that rent the air, the Pawniard surged from the castle and charged toward the stadium. Their spots were taken by Team Plasma grunts, who had Poke Balls at the ready to supply more Pokemon.
This was the time.
Reshiram let out a challenging roar at Zekrom. The Deep Black Pokemon ceased its circumlocution and glared at the Vast White Pokemon. It roared back at it and flew straight for it, its tail crackling.
“CHARGE!!” Jim yelled, Jolt rearing up and striking at the air with his hooves.
With cries fierce and terrible, the tide of Pokemon lunged forward to intercept the oncoming army of Plasma. As they went, the Trainers tossed more Poke Balls into the air, letting out the rest of their teams to join the fray. The most striking of all were the Golurk, Beartic, and Scolipede that charged through the pack like titans.
The War for Unova had begun.
Y Rotation Team
23rd September 2013, 08:53 AM #13
Re: Jim: The War for Unova
There’s More Than One Way
When Jim had given the signal to mobilize, he and all of his crew vacated the room at once, and he had taken care to lock the door behind him. The hallway outside soon became filled with the sound of marching footsteps, both human and Pokemon. It was quite some time before the echoing footfalls finally died away, and the area was once more silent, but not empty.
There were only four Pokemon left behind in the room: June, Missy, Zorua, and Larvesta. Of these four, only Missy seemed to be taking their, well, for lack of a better word, incarceration with a better spirit. She continually tried to start up casual conversations with her companions, making jokes, or in general finding ways to pass the time, but all of these efforts were in vain. Her roommates were sulky, restless, and bitter.
Zorua was extremely fidgety. Every little sound seemed to agitate him, and he’d spring up with his fur poofing all over the place, looking for the source. Eventually, he’d calm down, but his eyes continued to rove this way and that.
Larvesta couldn’t sit still, either. He would make little whimpering noises and call out for his mama, hoping, by some miracle, that Leanne would come back. When this was exhausted, he curled up into a little ball and lay very quiet.
June was in a bad temper. She sat with her arms folded over her now very prominent belly, eyes fixed on the opposite wall, on the door where Jim had vacated. She sat unmoved, unhearing of her younger roommates’ fidgetings, but merely sighed to herself every so often, in a huffy way.
At last, Zorua broke the silence.
“Aaaargh!” he groaned. “I’m so bored! When is this stupid war gonna be over?”
“It doesn’t sound like it even started,” said Larvesta.
“Gah! This is stupid! I could be out there with them! I’ve got my Illusion skills!”
“I could, um, burn some of them,” suggested Larvesta.
“Speaking of burn, Jim’s got Reshiram! Can’t he just toast those Team Plasma jerks?”
“He wouldn’t do that!” said Missy, scandalized. “He’d never resort to such a thing.”
“You’d be surprised as to what he can resort to,” June grumbled.
“June, are you still on that?” Missy asked. “Why can’t you understand-”
“I do understand, Missy!” June snapped. “I know he just wants me and my baby to be safe. I’m just so annoyed that he doesn’t trust me! I can take care of myself, pregnant or not!”
“Heh, yeah,” said Zorua. “I heard you took down a whole Golurk and a Stoutland with an Egg in your tummy!”
“You’re awesome, Aunty June!” said Larvesta.
June allowed herself a small smile.
“Thank you, boys, but a fat lot of good it’ll do us, just sitting in here, waiting for the war to be over…”
“At least we’re safe in here,” Missy offered, hopefully.
“Oh, yes, quite safe,” said June, sardonically, “until some nightmarish Pokemon comes crashing in through the ceiling or the air duct.”
Suddenly, June stopped, as if struck by a sudden inspiration.
“June?” Missy asked.
“The air duct,” she murmured.
“What about it?”
“The air duct! That’s our way out of here!”
“We’ll get out into the open through the air ducts and join the battle!”
“Hey hey!” said Zorua, excited. “I like this idea!”
“That’s so clever!’ said Larvesta.
“Now, hold on a minute!” Missy began.
But she went unheeded. June, Zorua, and Larvesta jumped down from the bed and went into the bathroom. With a sigh, Missy clambered down and waddled after them. They had climbed onto the sink and were looking at the ceiling, where there was an air duct opening, covered by a metal grate.
“We just need to unscrew that grate,” June mused.
“Ooh! I know!” said Larvesta. “Lift me up to the screws!”
Puzzled, June complied, lifting Larvesta up with her vines. He jammed his topmost horn into one of the screws.
“Spin me!” he said.
At last, June caught on.
“Aha! Such a clever little boy you are!”
She spun Larvesta around, and by this means, they managed to remove the screws holding the grate in place. The covering came clattering to the floor.
“Awesome!” said Zorua. “See you guys on the other side! Come on, Larvesta!’
With a leap and a bound, Zorua jumped through the little hole and began shambling his way down the vent. Larvesta shot a String Shot thread inside and roped himself up, eager to follow his companion.
“June, I can’t believe you’re doing this!” Missy fumed. “Jim told us to stay put!”
“Missy, we can’t just sit here!” June said, turning to her. “He said it’s for our own good, but I think I have a pretty good idea of what’s for my own good. I won’t be satisfied just sitting back, letting Jim, Oshawott, and all of my friends take the abuse while I hang back and do nothing! No, Missy, I’m going out there. You can stay if you want, but I’ve made up my mind!”
Missy just stood, looking at her with a troubled look on her face. She looked like she wanted to go, but wasn’t sure whether she should. June, meanwhile, had latched onto the edges of the opening with her Vine Whip and hauled herself upward. Unfortunately, the hole was rather small, and her pregnant belly wedged itself in. She pushed and strained against the vent.
“Hrmph! Hrrgh...Come on, just a little more...just a little...Almost...Gah, this is harder than I thought...”
Missy stood watching June struggle to squeeze through the hole. She had half a mind to grab her by the tail and drag her back down. However, she couldn’t deny she admired her spirit in trying to get out to help Jim. Maybe she was right; the real injustice was not being able to do anything at all, even if it meant being safe.
She made up her mind at last.
Stepping back, she took a running jump and rammed herself upwards against June’s backside. She popped through the hole and landed in the vent. She got up, surprised, in time to see Missy cram herself into the hole, trying to squeeze through.
“You’re right, June! I was afraid of what might happen if I joined the battle, but if you guys are going to rush off anyway, I don’t wanna be left all alone! Please don’t leave me behind...”
June looked at her in amazement, then smiled tenderly.
“I would never really abandon you, you silly girl,” she said.
Missy let out a grateful sigh, smiling up at June.
“Now, come here.”
She roped her vines around Missy’s middle..
“You may wanna suck your tummy in. I barely got through here.”
Missy nodded and took a deep breath. With a great heave. June tugged hard, and sure enough, after a few tense moments, the plump Emolga burst through, landing on the duct floor in front of June.
“There we go,” she sighed. “I wouldn’t have wanted to do this without you, anyway.”
Missy smiled tearfully and put her arms about her, and she hugged her in return.
“Now let’s go. The boys already got a head start.”
The two round-bellied Pokemon began shuffling their way through the air vent, which was considerably wider than the opening. One thing was for sure, neither Jim nor Team Plasma would see this coming…
Y Rotation Team
23rd September 2013, 08:54 AM #14
Re: Jim: The War for Unova
The First Wave
Jim had never seen a battle of this magnitude, nor did he believe he would see any like it afterward.
The entire stadium was a confused mass of rushing, slashing Pawniard and the Pokemon sent out by the Trainers allied with him. Everywhere, Pawniard were tossed about, thrown back, punched, kicked, burned, electrocuted, pummeled by anything that could be thrown at them, and yet they still kept coming. It was as if they were driven by a force that made them fight until there was not a drop of energy in their bodies left.
For the larger Pokemon, the Dark/Steel buggers weren’t that much of a threat. Several Pawniard clung to the limbs and bodies of the Golurk and Scolipede on the battlefield, jabbing at them with their dagger hands. However, all it took was a mighty shake or charge to knock them loose. Then, the Scolipede, led by Cody Halleck’s scarred fighter, barreled through them with their horns lowered. The Golurk, led by Solomon’s behemoth, stomped through the ranks of Pawniard, sweeping them away with their huge fists or shaking the ground with earth-cracking stomps.
Cheren’s Emboar was slamming through them with ferocious might, slamming them into the ground with Hammer Arm or scorching them with Flamethrower. He would bellow his challenge to oncoming hordes, daring them to mess with him, but they’d still charge. It was as if they had a death wish against the strongest Pokemon of the Pokemon League victor.
Oshawott, for his part, was in the prime of his life. He had never felt so alive. He was swinging his scalchop left and right, slashing and striking at any Pawniard that dared come within a foot of him. The air was full of the sound of clinking blades, coming from him, Bianca’s Dewott, and Keldeo, who was kicking the metal-coated rascals hard with his back hooves.
“Tally-ho!” Oshawott crowed, swinging his Razor Shell to and fro. “Aha, there goes another! Don’t think I forgot about you, laddie! Oh, you want one as well? Well, have it!”
Beyond that, the attacks were usually generated by packs of the same type, a great number of which had even come from different regions. The Fire forces, led by Torch, sent wave after wave of scorching flames at the Pawniard, until they ran screaming and cursing. Torch even threw insults after them, such as ‘Back to the smith’s with you, ya butter knives!” He displayed wonderful charisma and energy.
The Water and Ice brigade, led by Torrent and Cheren’s Beartic, surged the battlefield with wild splashes of rushing, savage water and blasts of chilling ice. Though affected by it normally, the Pawniard were swept away in a tidal pool of aquatic and frozen fury. For a Pokemon so laid back, Torrent knew how to fight mean.
The Electric army, headed by Jolt, zapped and shocked the living daylights out of the Pawniard with storm-force blasts. Jim, sitting astride his faithful Zebstrika, could feel his hair going wild with the static discharges. His focus, however, was on the battle at hand, so he paid it little heed.
The Grass forces, joint-led by Cruise’s Serperior, Nigel’s Simisage, and Lilligant, sent the furious forces of Mother Nature at the ruthless ruffians. The Pawniard were bashed and buffeted by razor-sharp leaves, petals, Seed Bombs, Leaf Blades, and Solarbeams. Even though they were strong against Grass attacks, they were still kept at bay by the onslaught.
Spade and Croco took charge of the Ground, Steel, and Rock types, among whom was Cheren’s Gigalith, an imposing powerhouse if ever there was one. These assaulted the Pawniard with rocks, made the ground shake, or fought them hand-to-hand with their claws, fists, or tails, whatever the case may be.
Those that would normally not do effective damage against the Pawniard, such as Normal, Psychic, Ghost, or Dark types still found ways to add their own brand of variety. Their propensity for collectively learning moves outside their normal typing gave them a massive element of surprise against the enemy masses. The air was thick with Hidden Powers, Focus Blasts, and other moves that sent the Pawniard running away.
For the Pokemon that did get injured against the Pawniard, and there were several that did, Mrs. Stevens and the professor were waiting by with the Stevens’ Audino, plus several other Pokemon with healing powers, to heal their wounds. They worked tirelessly, pepping them back up to fighting strength. More than once, Audino received a grateful thanks from one of her patients.
Far up in the air, the two dragons were continuing to duke it out. Reshiram sent wave after wave of red and blue flames at Zekrom, while Zekrom countered with bolts of lightning, or by surrounding itself in a ball of electricity and charging at Reshiram. The sky blazed with the collisions of their attacks.
Jim wasn’t sure what to make of this. On the one hand, the forces of Unova were holding their own impressively well against Team Plasma’s forces. On the other hand, Team Plasma’s forces were little more than an endless army of Pawniard. Was this really all that Ghetsis had in store for them? All of this planning to surmount N’s position and take control of Genesect and Zekrom, and he didn’t have anything beyond Pawniard to fight with? Was he missing something?
“Is this it?” he asked himself. “Is this all you can conjure up, Ghetsis? If not, then just what are you up to?…”
Up on the castle, Ghetsis was watching the proceedings with an unusually calm expression on his face. The other Sages were standing by, looking very apprehensive.
“Ghetsis, we implore you!” said Rood. “End this before it escalates! They have us on the run!”
“For now, Rood, only for now,” said Ghetsis. “They think they have the upper hand, but we shall soon see the day won.”
“It is pointless,” said Ryoku. “They have healers to revive the fallen! They thought of everything!”
“Perhaps,” said Ghetsis, thoughtfully. “And yet, so have I. Bisharp!”
Bisharp turned to look at its master.
“Go down there and weed out the troublesome ones. Attack the healers, if you have to.”
Bisharp nodded and, with a swift leap, cleared the wall of the castle and landed on the walkway. Once there, it charged toward the battle.
“I may not even have to use Genesect after all. Shame to waste such potent firepower…”
“I can’t imagine what he’s planning,” said Cheren, who had run up to Jim’s side and was gazing out at the battle raging before them. “I mean, all of these Pawniard. Is this a joke?”
“I’m not sure. This is almost laughable, but at the same time disquieting. Why is he holding back?”
Solomon rushed up to them, his Reunlucis at his side.
“What is it, Solomon?”
“Reuniclus just spotted a Pokemon coming from the castle. It was moving fast. It might be Ghetsis’ Bisharp.”
“So the captain is joining his troops, huh? Jim asked, grimly. “It’s not going to be as easily repelled, either.”
Sure enough, the air was split with another bellowing call, and the Pawniard ceased whatever they were doing. They made a path to reveal Bisharp standing at the other end of the field, staring down at Jim. Its blades glinted dangerously.
“We can’t let it get to the healers,” Jim said. “We need someone to take it on.”
“Leave that to me, old bean.”
Jim looked down. There stood Oshawott, scalchop in paw.
“Oshawott, are you crazy? That thing is 5 times your size!”
“I have never backed down from the prospect of a good fight. Keldeo!”
Keldeo, after giving another Pawniard a solid kick for good measure, galloped over to him.
“Will you fight by my side against this rogue? I feel that even my scalchop may not be enough.”
Keldeo smiled wryly.
“So your weapon is no sharper than your tongue, Master Oshawott?”
“A razor wit and a sharp tongue serve as efficient weapons in themselves, young master. But come, we’re delaying the inevitable.”
He leaped onto Keldeo’s back, and the equine, rearing briefly, galloped straight for Bisharp. Bisharp did not even blink at their behavior. With a mighty cry, Oshawott brandished his Razor Shell and…
With one swift swipe, Bisharp knocked the scalchop straight from Oshawott’s paw, where it flew into the air and landed in the dirt. Oshawott stared from his empty paw to his discarded weapon.
“...Right, then,” he muttered. “That was not expected.”
But before he could say or do anything else, Bisharp was already dashing toward the alcove the healers were occupied in. Mrs. Stevens let out a terrified scream.
“Mom!” Jim yelled. “Someone, stop it!”
With a war-like yell, Spade dove in front of Bisharp and brandished his claws. Bisharp swung, and the two steely weapons clanged together, both fighting for supremacy. Though he was about 3 feet shorter than Bisharp, Spade did not back down an inch.
“Keep yer filthy daggers away from the womenfolk, ya scoundrel!” he growled.
Bisharp snarled and tried to swipe at Spade again, but the Excadrill countered. The two went back and forth, their claws clashing together like real swords, filling the air with their metallic clangs. Spade was trying to move the fight away from the healers, but Bisharp was trying to move it towards them. Everyone watched in tense anxiety to see who could come out on top.
All of a sudden, a jet of water struck Bisharp in the back of the head, giving Spade time to unleash an X-Scissor on it, throwing it backward. Keldeo galloped onto the scene, Oshawott still on his back, and his scalchop returned to him.
“Much obliged,” Spade panted.
“Same to you for keeping him distracted,” said Oshawott.
Bisharp got back to its feet, enraged. It rounded on the three fighters and advanced on them, blades drawn. The three got into battle-ready poses, poised to strike back, when all of a sudden, something leaped in right between them.
It was a lone Pawniard, holding its arms out to block either Bisharp from advancing or Spade, Keldeo, and Oshawott from advancing. The former seemed more likely, as it was facing Bisharp. The commander made a sign for it to get out of the way, but the Pawniard shook its head. Bisharp bared its teeth in anger and raised its arm to strike, when the Pawniard suddenly yelled out,
Something small bounded into the air, exploded into a ball of flames, and then soared down. It struck Bisharp square in the chest and sent it flying back, groaning in pain.
“What the deuce?...” Oshawott muttered.
The fireball fizzled out, and the small something landed on the ground, revealing…
With a sneaky chuckle, the Pawniard jumped into the air, pulling a somersault, engulfed in purple light, and turned into…
“Worked like a charm!” said Zorua.
“We got ‘em!” cheered Larvesta.
Jim’s jaw dropped. How had they gotten out here?! He’d locked the room!
“Well, I’ll be darned,” said Spade.
“Very clever, I must admit,” muttered Keldeo.
The two boys cringed, Zorua’s ears lowering. Leanne was marching over to them, looking extremely angry.
“What are you two doing out here?! Didn’t I tell you to stay in the room? You both are in so much trouble!”
“Wait a minute,” Jim said, realizing something. “If you two got out, then that means-”
But he wasn’t allowed to finish. Bisharp had got back to its feet, looking murderous. It began advancing on all of them, both blades glowing white, ready to strike. Zorua and Larvesta hid behind Leanne’s legs, for brave as had been their ploy, they were still only children.
All of a sudden, a green ball of light shot from out of nowhere and bowled into Bisharp, followed by a bolt of lightning, sending the Sword Blade Pokemon sprawling.
“What the-?” Jim gasped.
There, standing tall and proud, even with their short statures and plump figures, were June and Missy.
“June! Missy! I thought you were back in the room, safe and sound!”
“We came to a unanimous decision, Jim,” said Missy. “We wanted to fight with you!”
“Now, listen here!” Jim snapped. “I have had just about enough of your independent attitude, June! Missy, I can understand, but I expected better of you! You led Zorua and Larvesta into danger!”
“And they gave that Bisharp what it had coming to it!” June retorted. “Just as we ourselves did.”
Jim couldn’t find a ready retort. She had a point, after all.
“Listen, Jim, I’m not heartless. Of course I care for the safety of my baby, but I also care for your safety, for Oshawott’s, and for my friends’! You can try to hold me back, but nothing is stopping me from standing by your side!”
Everyone looked at Jim. They seemed to be expecting him to burst into a furious tirade, as well he should. A pregnant mother Pokemon had just put herself, her close friend, and two children into danger, just to defy his orders! Surely this wouldn’t pass!
Jim stared at her long and hard, and then, to everyone’s surprise, he smiled.
“Jolt, can you bring your head down? I want her up here with me, where she can have a prime place to fire off some Energy Balls.”
June smiled glowingly at him. Jolt lowered his head, and she clambered up his neck up to where Jim sat. Once there, she threw her little arms around him, and he patted her back in return.
Meanwhile, Bisharp got to its feet again. It was seething mad, but at seeing so much resistance, and more building behind that resistance, it seemed to realize that to proceed was suicidal. Therefore, it raised its arm, gave another bellowing command, and at once, it and every single Pawniard turned and made back toward the castle.
“They’re retreating!” said Leanne.
“They’ve given up!” shouted Cheren.
A cheer rang through every Trainer, and every Pokemon, present as the field emptied of every trace of Bisharp and its squadrons. They had beaten them back, in spite of their numbers.
“Hold your cheers!” Jim shouted, quelling the jubilation. “Now’s not the time to celebrate! We’ve repelled the Pawniard and their leader, yes, but that doesn’t mean Team Plasma is out of tricks!’
“And right you are, Stevens,” answered Ghetsis, more to himself, before shouting, “Team Plasma! Release the Dragons!”
The sound of innumerable Poke Balls opening filled the air. The castle walls and openings were no longer filled with Pawniard, but with Fraxure, Deino, Druddigon, Zweilous, and Haxorus. All let out loud, fierce, echoing roars that seemed to rival even those of the two dragons dueling in the sky. It was as if the castle itself was alive and daring the heroes to attack.
Many of the Trainers stepped back, gazing with apprehension at the draconic forces ready to strike. Even Jim could feel his heart sinking. Of all the things Ghetsis had to have in store, it had to be Dragons…
“Oh no,” he heard N mutter. “If he’s sent Dragons, then that means…”
What it meant became apparent as Ghetsis, now smiling with manic glee, threw up another Poke Ball. It burst open, and a monstrous Pokemon appeared, causing several people to scream in terror. It was another Dragon, but its appearance was horrible. It had blue scaly skin, striped with red, but its upper body appeared to be covered in thick black fur. Its arms ended in what looked like miniature heads with their own sets of eyes. They were nothing compared to the main head, however. It was crowned with sharp, petal-like protrusions, its eyes were black with red pupils, and its fangs were pointed and gleaming. It floated in the air on what looked like six thin, papery wings.
Jim’s Pokedex was out once again.
“Hydreigon, the Brutal Pokemon, and the evolved form of Zweilous. Anything that moves is regarded as its foe, triggering its attack. All three heads, including the ones on its arms, consume everything in sight.”
“His most powerful Pokemon,” N muttered. “He only uses it when he gets serious.”
“...Well, this is unfortunate,” Jim said.
Y Rotation Team
23rd September 2013, 08:56 AM #15
Re: Jim: The War for Unova
The Wrath of the Dragons
The summoning of those dragons had become something akin to a death sentence upon Jim’s endeavors.
The ferocious beasts stormed the battleground, charging into the fray, slashing, stomping, swinging their tails, snapping their fangs, and breathing red, blue, and purple flames into the fighting masses. They were, in essence, a terrifying wall of flesh, scales, and spikes, ripping and tearing at their opposition. Horrible as it is to say, that was not far off from the reality.
No Pokemon seemed to be safe from their savage attacks. The smaller and more vulnerable ran in fright from the threat of their onslaughts, but these seemed to make them the easiest targets. Many of the Dragons were vindictive bullies, delighting in picking on smaller Pokemon, and would chase after them, teasing them by breathing flames or snapping at them with their fangs, just to hear them cry and see them run. This, however, would incur the wrath of bigger, protective Pokemon, who would come in to lay a beating on the bullies.
Even so, those that had stood out as the sturdiest in the Pawniard swarm were meeting their matches against the Dragons. These powerhouses, who could knock aside Pawniard as easily as bowling pins, were now receiving the beatings of their lifetimes by these draconic menaces. They didn’t like being stopped in their fun, and knew how to get back at those who ruined it for them, making them pay in spades. The claws, fangs, and spikes they boasted were most certainly not for show, and they left deep, lasting imprints on their victims’ bodies.
Emboar, in particular, had gotten locked in a standoff with a Druddigon, both trying to push the other back, glaring into each other’s eyes. The spike-covered brute had been trying to stomp on Missy, whose Electric attacks were doing nothing against it, and the Mega Fire Pig Pokemon, in a fit of rage, stormed in and held it off, ordering Missy to run. She did not need to be told twice. Eventually, Emboar tried to use Hammer Arm on the oversized bully, but found himself countered and scratched by Dragon Claw, leaving gashes in his chest. When he tried to fight back, the Druddigon flattened him to the ground with Dragon Tail. Cheren, aghast at the sight, had to call on the aid of his other Pokemon, wearied as they were, to drag Emboar off to be healed.
The battlefield had become spattered with drops, even pools, of blood. Jim had rarely seen a Pokemon bleed, and, for a long time, had forgotten that they could. It had been so rare to see Pokemon attack each other with such force as to actually draw blood. The sight of these Dragons inducing it so easily turned his stomach…
All around him, the strong fighters he had seen battling with bravado were wearing down, becoming easy pickings for the brutish Dragons. To see them knock them unconscious, slam them to the ground, or send them flying with a vicious swipe was heart-rending. It was if it were the signal to the end of it all. It felt as if this was nature’s way of saying Jim’s luck was running out, and that his time was growing shorter and shorter.
The enclosure where the healers were protected was packed with Trainers and Pokemon who had backed off from the Dragon assault, as well as those injured in the debacle. Leanne’s youngsters, despite their initial sense of daring, eventually folded before the draconic menaces and ran to join the crowd, along with Lilligant, who had been forced to bear witness to both Torch and Torrent being mowed down by a Zweilous they had been protecting her from. By this point, it seemed as if only Jim and his closest companions were left to face the horde of monsters. He, Cheren, Leanne, Bianca, Cruise, Solomon, Nigel, N, and the Guy had their entire teams out and were doing what they could to hold back the Dragons with whatever they could.
“This is horrible…” Mrs. Stevens said, sitting huddled next to Audino. “How did it come to this?”
“The greed of humanity,” said Professor Juniper, grimly. “We brought this upon ourselves. I hate the sight of it myself.”
“But Jim...he’s fighting so bravely. Do we still have a chance?”
“As long as he stands, I truly believe we do…”
On the battlefield, those sentiments weren’t being shared unanimously. The Pokemon were growing more and more tired, but they kept up their attacks as best as they could. There was a spirit burning inside them that refused to let them quit…
“Jim,” Bianca groaned, “this is getting hopeless. Why can’t we just fall back?”
“We can’t fall back, Bianca,” said Jim. “Not when we’ve come so far. Besides, the Dragons are falling. We’re taking them out!”
“Yes, but not as much as they’re taking us out,” said Cheren. “There are still too many of them. We have to retreat!”
“Cheren’s right, Jim,” said Nigel. “This is a complete mismatch! We’re unprepared to take them on!”
“No,” said Jim, stubbornly. “I’m not going to give Ghetsis the satisfaction of knowing he’s beaten us! We’re not through yet!”
“If we aren’t now, we will be soon,” said Solomon. “What are you hoping for?”
“I don’t know, Solomon, I don’t know...I just have to believe that our luck might change, at the turn of the tide…”
“It’s wishful thinking, sport,” said the Guy, “but we’ve got to live to see the turn of the tide. When these Dragons have no more Pokemon to thrash around, who’s to say we’re not next?”
Jim gulped. He hadn’t considered that. Would Ghetsis have actually sicced these Pokemon on him and all of the Trainers? He had tried to impale him on his cane. If it hadn’t been for Zoroark...
“Jim!” N shouted. “Your Snivy!”
Jim looked up, and felt the blood drain from his body.
He hadn’t noticed that she had left his side, but there she was, standing before Ghetsis’ Hydreigon. It had come down from its lofty perch of security and had actually joined the battle. The other Dragons, either out of respect of intimidation, had backed off, which gave time for the Pokemon on Jim’s side to retreat and rest, unnoticed. It was staring the pregnant Snivy down with all six of its eyes, but she wasn’t backing away.
“June…” Jim groaned. “Of all the Dragons to pick a fight with, why Hydreigon?!”
“This is bad,” N muttered. “Hydreigon are already savage by nature, but one belonging to Ghetsis...and with your Snivy in her condition, too…”
“This is exactly why I told her to stay put,” Jim muttered.
Hydreigon roared and spewed flames from its main mouth. June ducked to the side and sent a surging mass of leaves right back at it. The Leaf Storm buffeted it, but it shook it off like a cloud of flies. It attempted to bite at her with its hand-mouths, but she swept upwards with Aerial Ace and began chucking Energy Balls at it. This only seemed to make it angrier, as it kept alternating between biting and spewing flames. Despite her larger physique, June was still a difficult target, due to being so small, and had prime positioning to pepper the Dragon with Energy Balls and Leaf Storms.
When she attempted a Toxic attack, however, that was when Hydreigon seemed to decide enough was enough. With a savage roar, its three mouths began to glow with a golden-white light, a light even Jim recognized.
“It’s a Hyper Beam!” he yelled. “A triple Hyper Beam! Is that even legal?!”
Apparently, it was, as the three beams fired, forming into one that incinerated the oncoming glob of poison. June’s eyes shot wide open in horror, but she could not do anything to evade or prevent it.
The ground rocked with the explosive force of the beam’s impact. Everyone shielded their eyes, except for Jim, whose eyes were fixed on a single spot: June’s tiny body, flying lifelessly through the air.
She fell hard against the ground, on her back. The girls gasped, and the boys yelled for assistance, for a healer. Jim jumped off of Jolt, or more like stumbled off, in his state, and ran to her, falling upon his knees in front of her. Her eyes were closed, and a thin trickle of blood was running out of her mouth.
“June...no…” Jim croaked, his vision fogging with tears. “Don’t be dead...Please don’t be dead...I can’t lose you, not now...Not when you’re going to be a mother…”
Oshawott, despite his battered state, had seen everything and hobbled over to June, gripping her paw tightly.
“My darling...Please, not now...Not yet...Don’t leave me, my love...Please…”
None of these appeals seemed to reach June. She lay perfectly immobile on the ground, eyes closed, breathing impossible to register. This was not mere ‘unable to battle’ unconsciousness. This looked nothing like that. Did that mean she was…
No, it just couldn’t be!
Jim pounded the ground violently with his fist, the tears streaming down his face. As if the heavens had sensed his mourning, it began to rain, evolving into a hard downpour upon all of them. Those in the shelter of the healer’s alcove seemed to sense what had happened, and horror and grief swept over all.
“June…” Missy whimpered, her ears flat against her head. “No…”
Oshawott was the first to recover. He stood to his feet, his breathing heavy and sharp. Through the tears in his beady eyes, there was rage burning away. He drew his scalchop, his Razor Shell springing forth like magic.
With this roar, he charged at the Brutal Pokemon, Razor Shell held high. He swung, but Hydreigon intercepted with a strike of its own, lunging one of its arm-heads at him.
As Oshawott was tossed backward through the air, struck senseless by the blow, his precious scalchop, his personal weapon, broke in half, like a china plate dropped on the ground.
“OSHAWOTT!!” Leanne shrieked.
She ran to catch him, the broken pieces of his scalchop lying on the rain-soaked dirt. She cradled him against her body, running off to join the others in the healer’s alcove.
Jim, for his part, couldn’t move. He was still stunned by what had just happened. June, his June, his dearest and most precious Pokemon...gone, in one blast.
Oshawott, struck down avenging his love, his weapon broken.
All around him, his Pokemon, his friends, their Pokemon, all of them were falling to Team Plasma’s might, all because of him…
It was hopeless.
All was lost…
Y Rotation Team