TEEN: Jim: The War for Unova - Page 2

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Thread: Jim: The War for Unova

  1. #16
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    Default Re: Jim: The War for Unova

    Chapter 16
    The Turn of the Tide


    “...Jim…”

    Jim’s eyes snapped open.

    He couldn’t have heard that right. He had to have been imagining things.

    “Jim…Oshawott…”

    “June??”

    June was breathing. Slowly at first, but it began to grow heavier.

    “June! You’re alive!’

    June didn’t answer. Her breathing became harsher, and she clutched her stomach, letting out a cry of pain.

    “June? What is it? What’s wrong?”

    “It hurts...it hurts…”

    “What hurts? What’s-”

    And then it hit him, like an anvil falling from a rooftop.

    “Oh my God. Oh my God!”

    June was about to give birth!

    Here, on the battlefield!

    “Hang on, June! Just hang in there, girl!”

    He scooped her up and made a mad dash toward the alcove where the healers were hiding.

    “Audino!” he bellowed. “Professor! She’s alive! But the Egg! It’s-”

    At these words, everyone’s looks of grief turned to looks of surprise and shock.

    “The Egg? Now, of all times??” shouted the professor.

    But Mrs. Stevens had a different response.

    “Jim! Behind you!”

    Jim turned his head, just in time to see Hydreigon bearing down on him!

    He let out a yell and tripped, sending June flying from his hands. Mrs. Stevens ran forward and caught her.

    “Oh dear,” she murmured. “Hold on, sweetie. Help is on the way!”

    She ran back to the professor and Audino, setting June down in front of the latter. She bent over her, the long feeler-like extensions of her ears uncurling to gently touch the Snivy’s belly. The inhabitants of the alcove’s attentions were divided between June and Jim, but no one could deny Jim was in a dire predicament.

    He turned over to find himself staring right into the face of Hydreigon. It growled, and he could feel and smell its hot, putrid breath on its face. A flame burned within its throat. It was going to roast him alive…

    *BOOM!*

    An explosion of blue light struck Hydreigon right in the face, sending it reeling back. At the same moment, with a clatter of hooves, Keldeo leaped in between the two of them.

    “Keldeo!” Jim gasped.

    “Stay away from him, you beast!” shouted the equine Pokemon.

    Hydreigon roared angrily, but Keldeo didn’t flinch.

    “You’re a terrible Pokemon, a reflection of the bitter heart of your master, the dark side of humanity...I swore to protect the innocent from persecution by the wicked, and I will not let you harm my friend!”

    All of a sudden, a golden light erupted from Keldeo’s horn, causing Hydreigon to jump back in surprise. The glow completely surrounded Keldeo, who didn’t seem surprised at all. He closed his eyes and let the light engulf him, before it expanded into a blinding flash.

    When the light cleared, Keldeo had changed.

    His mane had become even bushier, and had gained several colorful feather-like adornments. The biggest change, however, was his horn. It had grown to twice its normal length, and had turned blue. It looked like a jousting spear extending from his forehead.

    “Keldeo…” Jim gasped. “What happened?”

    Keldeo turned to him and smiled. When he spoke, his voice was deeper, more mature, as if he was no longer a child, but had spontaneously grown into adulthood.

    “This, Jim...is my resolution.”

    He turned to face Hydreigon, and his horn began to glow again. A curved blade of golden energy, like the one Cobalion had used, materialized over his horn. Hydreigon didn’t like the look of this, and snarled savagely.

    “En garde,” said Keldeo.

    He lunged toward Hydreigon, swinging his massive sword. It struck the Brutal Pokemon a sharp blow to its side. It shrieked in rage, not taking kindly to receiving such pain. It tried to scorch Keldeo with flames from all three mouths, but he shot a double Hydro Pump from both hooves, dousing the combined flames. Hydreigon continually tried to swipe and snap at the newly-transformed Pokemon, but it danced about it, parrying its attacks and nimbly dodging. Every so often, he would fire another Hydro Pump or Focus Blast, just to annoy it, and then dodge out of the way of its retaliatory attack.

    At last, enraged beyond belief, Hydreigon reared back its heads, the same golden-white light that had struck down June forming. It was going to employ the same method on this new annoyance.

    Keldeo, however, was having none of this. Surges of water shot from all four of his hooves, propelling him forward like a rocket, his sword gleaming and pointed straight at Hydreigon. Before the monster could even fire, Keldeo was upon him, and he swung his horn in a wide sweep, cutting right across Hydreigon’s chest.

    With a deafening, heart-stopping shrieking roar of pain and disbelief, Hydreigon stumbled back, the light within its three mouths fading away. Keldeo stood at the ready, horn pointed forward, in case this wasn’t, after all, the end. With a choked noise, Hydreigon keeled over and fell to the ground.

    Keldeo raised his horn to the sky and cried,

    “Justice!”

    Thunder crackled and boomed about him, and the curved golden blade disappeared from his horn.

    “Keldeo...thank you,” said Jim. “You saved me.”

    “Think nothing of it,” said Keldeo. “I was intending also to avenge Oshawott’s honor and weapon. It’s a shame to see him lose such a mighty scalchop.”

    “Jim! Keldeo!” Cheren called. “It’s not over yet! Look!”

    The two looked over at where Hydreigon had fallen. It was lifting itself back up, slowly, but unmistakably. As it floated back into the air, it let out another bellowing roar. This time, the Dragons, who had stood back, waiting for Hydreigon to finish its dirty business, started marching forward, growling and flexing their claws.

    “Oh, crud…” Jim muttered.

    “Wretched beast,” said Keldeo. “It doesn’t know when enough is enough?”

    It looked like the two were about to be preyed upon by the ferocious reptiles, when suddenly, the air was filled with a new sound: three voices, shouting war cries into the stormy sky.

    Keldeo raised his head in surprise.

    “I know those voices!” he said.

    Jim whipped around. There, standing at the edge of the arena, stern and majestic, were the three Swords of Justice.

    They had joined the fight after all!

    “Keldeo!” Cobalion called. “To me, please.”

    Keldeo galloped over to the three, and while Cobalion was still unmoved, Terrakion and Virizion looked him over.

    “Look at you, kid!” said Terrakion. “This is unbelievable!”

    “You’ve grown into your sword at last, Keldeo!” said Virizion. “I’m so proud!”

    Cobalion still had yet to speak. His expression was still stern, and Keldeo lowered his head, feeling he was about to be scolded. At last, however, he said,

    “We had been watching from afar. I saw your human friend’s struggles against this Hydreigon, as well as your valiant attack against it. It was very noble of you to step to his aid. I dare say, it was an act worthy of a Sword of Justice.”

    Keldeo looked up at Cobalion in surprise. For perhaps the first time he could ever remember, he was smiling at him. Keldeo bowed his head in respect.

    “Thank you, Cobalion,” he said. “Please, will you three help me in repelling these dragons?”

    “Gladly,” said Terrakion.

    “Of course,” said Virizion.

    “Together,” said Cobalion.

    In a blaze of light, three curved blades emerged from the Swords’ foreheads: blue for Cobalion, orange for Terrakion, and green for Virizion. Keldeo’s surged back to life as well.

    “United we stand,” said Cobalion.

    “Together we fall,” said Terrakion.

    “All for one,” said Virizion.

    “And one for all!” said Keldeo.

    And with that, as one, the four turned and charged, swords pointed at Hydreigon and the Dragons.

    What followed then could only be described as ‘mass confusion with a side of awesome’. The Swords of Justice charged the ranks of the Dragons, swinging and slashing with their swords this way and that. The Dragons attempted to fight back, of course, but they ultimately found themselves overwhelmed by the might of the four fighters. The bullies had become the victims…

    Only Hydreigon kept up a running resistance. It seemed to be possessed by a power of eternal persistence. In spite of its comrades falling back and being beaten, it still roared and spouted flames and beams at the four. One such onslaught caused them to pause in a charge.

    “We’re never going to finish this with Hydreigon giving us trouble,” said Terrakion.

    “But we have to hold off the other Dragons as well,” said Virizion. “Their numbers have lessened, but there are still many.”

    To their relief, and surprise, aid came much swifter than they anticipated.

    Just as Hydreigon came at them once again, with a bellow and a crash, Alder’s Bouffalant charged past the Swords of Justice and rammed into the Brutal Pokemon, stopping it short. The four quadrupeds found themselves joined not only by the Bash Buffalo, but by Marshal’s Conkeldurr, Caitlin’s Gothitelle, Grimsley’s Krookodile, and Shauntal’s female Jellicent. They turned to look at the Champion and the Elite 4.

    “You have the assistance of our Pokemon, Swords of Justice,” said Alder. “Lead, and we will follow.”

    Cobalion nodded, turned back to the surprised Dragons, and let out an echoing cry of, “CHARGE!”

    At this command, the Swords and the Pokemon of the Elite 4 and Champion charged the draconic masses. Bouffalant barreled through them with its Head Charge, Conkeldurr struck them with sweeping blows from its pillars, Gothitelle used its Psychic powers to freeze and launch them, Krookodile tore through their ranks with vicious claw and fang attacks, and Jellicent sent waves of ghostly energy and surges of water to disorientate and sweep them away.

    Jim felt stunned, and yet his heart was leaping. This was the true power of the strongest Trainers in Unova. These were the sort of Pokemon that made them the pinnacles of battling prowess, and they were sharing that strength alongside the legendary Swords of Justice, mowing down Dragons. There were simply no words to describe it…

    At last, only Hydreigon remained. The remaining Dragons were being held off by Alder’s and the Elite 4’s Pokemon, giving the Swords of Justice a clear shot. They stood together, side by side, their blades raised with the tips touching.

    “Greater than one is two,” said Virizion.

    “Greater than two is three,” said Terrakion.

    “Greater than three is four,” said Keldeo.

    “When the strength of friends is combined into one,” said Cobalion.

    “Then true power and courage are created!” cried the four in unison.

    With that, they lunged at Hydreigon, Terrakion and Virizion separating to take the sides while Cobalion and Keldeo charged straight ahead. Terrakion struck from the left, Virizion from the right, and, as Cobalion charged straight on, Keldeo leaped over him. The blue and gold blades swung together, striking across Hydreigon’s chest.

    The Brutal Pokemon reeled, roaring its pain and anger to the storm-fogged skies, where Reshiram and Zekrom were still fighting savagely. At last, it seemed all of the fight had drained out of it. It crumpled onto its front with a heavy thud, and lay prostrate, where it remained, motionless and defeated.

    At the sight of their leader beaten, the remaining Dragons, now reduced to cowards at such a retaliation, made a break for it back toward Team Plasma’s Castle. The draconic scourge had been beaten back.

    As if in answer to this, the downpour that had cascaded over the dreaded debacle lifted, and at last, at long last, a ray of sunlight fell down upon the battlefield.

    “VICTORY!” Jim yelled. “The battle of the Dragons is ours! Three cheers for the Swords of Justice! Three cheers for the Champion and the Elite 4!”

    Cheers loud and hearty rang through the stadium. They rang from the throats of humans and Pokemon alike, clapping and praising the bravery of the 4 Swords, the Elite 4, and their Champion in driving back the draconic menace. It felt as if the nightmare had washed away at last. The threat of the Dragons had passed. If Hydreigon had been Ghetsis’ most terrible Pokemon, what else could he possibly throw at them?

    Then, all of a sudden, every cheer, every clap, every cry was silenced, as a new sound cut across their jubilation.

    A sound that sent a cold shiver down Jim’s spine.

    A sound he had come to recognize and loathe.

    The slow clapping of Ghetsis.

    In the midst of their mini-celebration, he had come down himself to the stadium.

    But he was not alone.

    Standing beside him, its armor shining in the flare of the sunbeam...was Genesect.

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  2. #17
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    Default Re: Jim: The War for Unova

    Chapter 17
    How the Mighty Fall


    Many people screamed, cowering into the alcove with the healers. Audino, still tending to June, attempted to shield her with her body, while another Audino bent protectively over Leanne and Oshawott. Mrs. Stevens clapped her hands to her mouth in horror, and all Professor Juniper could do was whisper,

    “God help us…”

    Jim didn’t move, his eyes fixed on Ghetsis and Genesect. However, he felt movement at his side. Torch, Torrent, Croco, Spade, and Jolt had all returned to his side, their wounds healed, though still looking battle-weary. They formed a protective ring around him, glaring at the mechanical monster before them.

    “Everyone stay back,” Jim said. “It’s me he wants, and I won’t let anyone else get in the crossfire…”

    “Bravo, Stevens, bravo,” said Ghetsis. “Congratulations are most indeed in order. You’ve beaten back my Pawniard squadrons, my own personal Bisharp, my Dragon army, and my own Hydreigon. Not without help, of course, but then again, it’s not just about the man in charge of it all, is it? Every individual has their merits and successes. You have bred an admirable stock of warriors, my young friend.”

    “Get to the point, Ghetsis,” said Jim, sharply.

    “Yes, you deserve special consideration, Stevens,” Ghetsis went on, “but, in the end, it’s all meaningless. I still have the upper hand. You can decimate my forces however you wish. Throw them to the wayside, injure them into unconsciousness, it doesn’t matter to me, for I still hold the key to this world’s future. As long as Genesect and Zekrom are under my total control, no one will ever truly defeat me. It is high time you recognized that…”

    Genesect bared its sharp claws threateningly.

    Jim was about to say something, when he was interrupted by a familiar, gruff voice.

    “You still haven’t gotten a clue, after all this time? I’ve gotta say, I never expected someone like you to come to this.”

    It was the Guy.

    He was speaking directly to Ghetsis.

    But...did that mean...they knew each other?

    How?!

    Ghetsis’ one visible eye scrutinized this odd person, then widened in shock, before narrowing in anger.

    “You…” he hissed.

    The Guy smirked.

    “Me,” he said, simply.

    “Guy, you know him?!” Jim asked, astounded.

    “I didn’t think I did,” said the Guy, “but it looks like I was mistaken. I could never forget this weasel if you put him up against 100 men of the same ilk.”

    “But how? When?”

    Ghetsis was seething with rage, his grip on his cane tightening.

    “Well, since he doesn’t look like he’s going to answer, I might as well do it for him,” said the Guy. “It was a long time ago, probably 15, 20 years. I was still wandering the globe, always had been, and had come back to Unova after a walkabout through Sinnoh. This guy, Ghetsis, stopped me on the road and challenged me to a match. Now, he wasn’t just some punk kid trying to prove himself to be on par with the Champ; he was more within my experience bracket. So, I decided to humor him, and we battled. All throughout the match, he was really harsh on his Pokemon: kept yelling at them when they messed up, ordered them to use moves even if they wouldn’t work, all around pushing them past their limits. Needless to say, I handled him easily, gave him a piece of my mind about his battle strategy, and went on my way. End of story.”

    Ghetsis was still glaring at the Guy with a murderous light in his eyes, the bottom of his cane grinding against the ground.

    “Never, in a thousand years, would I have imagined that the very same guy would amass a hostile takeover of Unova, backed by a stolen legendary dragon and a weaponized insect. I’m having a hard time deciding whether it’s a step up or a step down.”

    “Shut up!” Ghetsis screamed at last. “Shut up! Don’t condescend to me like that! I already had an earful of it all those years ago!”

    “And it looks like you haven’t learned a thing from the advice I gave,” said the Guy.

    “Advice?! Your words were poison to me! I was working my way to becoming the strongest Trainer in the Unova region! If I was unable to be Champion, I would become the next best thing, so I trained hard, gathering only the strongest and fiercest Pokemon I could muster…

    “But even then, all I saw before me was failure, again and again! My Pokemon weren’t strong at all! They were falling to the most basic of foes! I tried to whip them into shape, but they didn’t become any stronger! Every Trainer I faced had the same thing to say: ‘You need to treat your Pokemon better’, ‘you’re being too harsh on your Pokemon’, ‘lighten up on your team’, bah! What did they know!? You don’t gain strength through coddling your Pokemon! You just turn them into spoiled, selfish, pampered pets, no longer any use for battling!

    “And then you came along...you were the straw that broke the camel’s back! I still remember your words to this day…”

    “I expect this kind of rookie-level battling from snotty little kids or schoolyard bullies, but you? You make even Trainers like that look more competent. All you do is throw everything you can into one hit, but that’s not enough. Real battling takes strategy, not just throwing yourself into the fray kamikaze-style. If I were you, I’d hang up the Poke Balls until you finally understand what raising a Pokemon is really about…”

    “I’d had enough. Never had I been so forcibly humiliated in all my days...that’s when I swore that I would make those who tried to lecture me pay. I would show them how the strong survive and the weak perish! I assembled Team Plasma to aid me in my goal: to rob every Trainer in Unova of their Pokemon, and leave me to control them! I would have the ultimate force in all of Unova, no one would stop me! All I needed was someone to do the dirty work for me, someone to bring me what I needed...someone like N.”

    N reeled. He seemed to have been struck dumb by what Ghetsis had just said.

    “You mean...your entire plan was to take all of the Pokemon in Unova for yourself?”

    “That’s right. If my Pokemon weren’t good enough, I would make sure no one else had Pokemon that were better! I’d have them under my power, and then we would see who had the last laugh!”

    “You...you despicable old vampire!” N shouted, rage in his voice. “I would never have believed that you would use me for such a goal! I should have never let you raise me!”

    “And where would you have been without me, you thankless boy?!” Ghetsis snapped. “Alone in the forest, abandoned by humanity, forever branded a freak because you can speak to Pokemon! You should be worshipping me on bended knee for saving you from that!”

    “This kid doesn’t look the type to worship demons,” the Guy said, sternly. “Besides, what’s wrong with being able to talk to Pokemon? I think it’s a great little knack. It’s one of the things I admire about Jim here.”

    “Oh, is that so?” Ghetsis snarled. “What makes him so special to you?!”

    “Because he gives me hope,” the Guy said.

    Jim looked at him in astonishment.

    “Hope?”

    The Guy sighed heavily.

    “I’ve been a drifter most of my days, kid. I just couldn’t feel satisfied being confined to a single home. I’d also grown tired of seeing the same thing around me: unhappy Trainers with even more miserable Pokemon. They had no idea how to treat ‘em right, mostly because they didn’t know how to take care of themselves. It made me sick to my stomach.

    “When I left home, I left for good. I decided to wander the globe, see the world, get away from all the unhappiness at home...but for a while, it didn’t seem to make a difference. Maybe it was just poor luck or something, but everywhere I went, there was nothing but the same thing: Trainers who weren’t treating their Pokemon the way they should be. Running them to their limits, forcing them to go on even when they were too tired to move a muscle...it was like they couldn’t even understand them…

    “Then you came along. When I encountered you and Leanne outside Wellspring Cave, I’d thought you were just another couple of Trainers, nothing else. But then I realized just how much you were willing to save that Deerling, to return it to its owner...it’d been a long time since I’d seen that level of compassion. In a way, Jim...you saved me. You kept me carrying on, when I was about to just give it up. You gave me hope for the younger generation, that there are Trainers out there who do understand Pokemon better than most, who know how to talk with and be there for them...You’re a godsend to what I thought had long died away…”

    Jim didn’t know what to say. He had never heard the Guy speak so paternally to him. He cared about him that much? He thought of Jim as an inspiration to him? He’d never even imagined…

    “Enough of this drivel!” Ghetsis snapped. “Your ‘award-winning speech’ is only delaying the inevitable. I was intent on merely doing this to Stevens, but you’ve given me an appreciable change of plans. Genesect, eliminate them both, starting with the boy!”

    Genesect pulled one of its arms back, its claw gleaming like a sword. Several people screamed, Leanne and Mrs. Stevens being among the loudest.

    Jim felt his insides clench as he saw Genesect lunge.

    “Kid, look out!!”

    Jim felt himself shoved out of the way, heard a cry of pain, and saw Genesect’s dagger-like claw pass right through the Guy’s torso.

    “NO!!!!”

    Genesect removed its claw, and the Guy, his face ghostly pale, an odd expression on his face, crumpled to his knees. In a body, his Scrafty, Seismitoad, and Ferrothorn ran over to support him, all three of them looking distraught. Jim kneeled down by him, tears in his eyes.

    “Guy…” he croaked. “Why did you do that?...”

    The Guy let out a rough chuckle, which turned into a cough.

    “I couldn’t let him shishkabob you, kid...This is your battle, not mine...You’ve got to be the one that finishes it...”

    “Don’t talk like that. We can help you! Audino, the healers, they can patch you back up again!”

    “Sorry, Jim...but no amount of patching’s gonna mend this…”

    He weakly gestured to the stab wound in his chest.

    “Listen, kid...I’ve lived a long, eventful life...I’m old, older than you think...it’s time for me to go...”

    “Guy…You can’t die...”

    “I didn’t know it’d come like this...but I’m glad it was here at the end....I can die a happy man, knowing you’ve come so far...”

    “Guy…”

    “I wanna ask a favor of you, though, kid...Set my Pokemon free, once I’m gone…”

    “Huh?”

    His Pokemon looked surprised.

    “I can’t tie ya down with them. It’d just make for some bad memories. I want them to be able to live their own lives, go back to their own families...”

    Jim couldn’t answer. His tears were choking back his reply. All he could do was nod his assent. Scrafty, Seismitoad, and Ferrothorn were all fighting back their own tears, but the looks on their faces told them they would honor their Trainer’s last request gladly.

    The Guy coughed harshly again.

    “I hope Pichu’s been waitin’ for me...up there…”

    “Guy…”

    The Guy remained silent for a moment, then finally said,

    “Jim...There’s just one thing I regret in all of this…”

    “What?”

    “...I wish...I’d had a son...like you…”

    And with that, his eyes slowly closed, his last breath leaving his body for good.

    He was gone.

    Jim’s mentor, this mysterious, enigmatic man of the wild, whom he barely even knew until now...was dead.

    Jim’s cry of anguish, mixed with that of the three tough but humble-hearted Pokemon, was a stark contrast to the sunlight that had, moments before, celebrated a short-lived victory…

    Y Rotation Team

  3. #18
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    Default Re: Jim: The War for Unova

    Chapter 18
    Endgame


    “Well, isn’t that just a pity? I was hoping to save him for last. It would been such a pleasure to see the look on his face when I took out his little protege in front of him. Oh well, at least I have the satisfaction of eliminating him after so many years…”

    At this, the ice in Jim’s veins turned to fire. Ghetsis’ words had ignited an inferno in his breast. He clenched his fists so tightly, his nails dug into his palms. His breathing was heavy, his teeth bared. He had never hated Ghetsis as much as he did right now.

    “But then, killing you right now would be too much of a mercy,” said Ghetsis. “I want you to feel the burden of your pathetic endeavors to stop me. I shan’t be satisfied until you’re crushed by the pain of your folly…But where to start?...”

    His eye roved over the people in the back, all appalled by what had just happened. It finally settled on the huddle in the corner: Mrs. Stevens, Professor Juniper, Leanne, Audino, June, and Oshawott. A cruel smile appeared on his face.

    “Yes...your little friends shall be the first to fall...Genese-”

    *POW!*

    Everyone gasped.

    Ghetsis reeled, a stream of blood running from his nose.

    Jim had risen, his face livid, and had punched him right in the face.

    “Don’t you dare, you heartless monster,” he snarled.

    “You...you wretched brat! How dare you damage my face! Genesect, take him out!”

    Genesect pulled back both of its arms, ready to double-skewer Jim, but as it lunged, it froze.

    “What?! What are you doing!? I said take him out!”

    Genesect didn’t move, or, to be more accurate, it couldn’t. There was a blue aura surrounding its body, keeping it from attacking. Jim looked up, and there, sure enough, was Echo, surrounded by the same aura.

    “Keep your filthy claws away from my friend!” he growled.

    “Echo!” Jim shouted, relieved.

    The Swoobat caught his eye and winked at him.

    “And company!” came a familiar voice.

    Rok, Tranquill, and Unfezant swooped down to join Echo, hovering beside him.

    “The message is out, Jim,” said Tranquill. “Plus, the storm on the mountain looks like it’s clearing away.”

    “We see lots of people in blue trying to get up,” said Rok. “We think maybe police officers, to arrest Team Plasma!”

    “Excellent work, guys!”

    “What?! What did you do?!” Ghetsis growled.

    “Oh, just spread it along the grapevine that you were planning to mass-release every Pokemon in Unova,” said Jim. “The cops aren’t too happy about a terrorist threat, and are on their way up. Besides, in the event that you did manage to pull it off, it wouldn’t matter. No one’s going to give up their Pokemon without a fight, Ghetsis. You must realize that by now.”

    “Is that right?” Ghetsis snarled. “Well, we’ll soon see. Once I’ve rid myself of you, I’ll have Genesect send out its Poke Ball disruption waves everywhere! They won’t dare hold back knowing I’ve eliminated their precious champion, ‘Plasma’s Bane’! Genesect, shoot those avians out of the sky!’

    Genesect struggled against its Psychic hold, and for a second, it looked like it had, but it was just Echo breaking off so he could shoot a Thunder Wave down on it. After that, he continued his telekinetic grip. Genesect, frozen in place and sparking with paralyzing electricity, tried to move, but couldn’t. Ghetsis was enraged.

    “Zekrom!” he bellowed into the sky, as he raised his cane. “I command you to blast those pests away!”

    Zekrom turned its head in the direction of the battlefield, gazing down at the scene before it. It tried to swoop down at them, but Reshiram cut it off, flying in front of it and blocking it from the battlefield. Ghetsis growled, stamping his cane into the dirt.

    At last, with a surge, Genesect broke off the Psychic hold and fired a white-hot beam from its cannon up at the fliers. They swooped out of the way, and Echo and Rok even stuck their tongues out at it. It shot again and again, but the paralysis was affecting its aim.

    “No! No-no-no!” Ghetsis raged. “This can’t be happening! They’re turning my weapon into a mockery!”

    “That was your mistake to begin with, Ghetsis,” said Jim. “Trying to make Pokemon into tools of war. When are you ever going to understand that the strength of a Pokemon lies in its heart just as much as its fighting abilities?”

    “Silence!” Ghetsis roared. “I’ve had enough of your preachings of morality, you detestable whelp!!”

    *WHACK!*

    Jim stumbled back and felt his glasses crack. Ghetsis, in a fit of insane rage, had swung his cane at him, striking him in the side of the head. Blood ran down from a gash in his forehead as he fell backward into the dirt.

    “JIM!!” shrieked Mrs. Stevens.

    “NO!” yelled Leanne.

    The Swords of Justice looked aghast at the violence of the strike. Fury on his face, Cobalion reared his head, and his blade surged back into view, followed by the other Swords’. Before they could charge, however, there came an angry roar from above.

    Rok seemed to have gone mad. His eyes alight with rage, he swooped down on Ghetsis, talons first, and began attacking him. Ghetsis shouted in surprised horror and tried to fend the enraged Archeops off.

    “YOU NO HURT JIM-FRIEND!” Rok roared. “ME HURT YOU FOR HURTING HIM!!”

    “Stay back!” Ghetsis yelled. “Get away from me!”

    “Rok!” Echo yelled. “Don’t kill him! Jim wouldn’t want that!”

    Rok grabbed Ghetsis’ cane in his hands and tried to rest it from his grasp. Ghetsis fought hard, but his human strength was unequal to that of the maddened Archeops. With a wrench, it was torn from his hands and flung across the field, right by Jim.

    “No!”

    Ghetsis tried to run over to grab it, but Rok blocked him off, snarling viciously.

    “Get out of my way, you foul Archeops! Genesect, get rid of it!”

    Genesect rounded on Rok, its cannon charging up again. However, Rok, still blocking Ghetsis off, turned his head and spewed a Dragon Pulse right at the mechanical bug. The blue-purple flames swept over it, stopping it in its tracks.

    While this was going on, Jim, with a groan, had risen slightly. His head was throbbing, and he could feel blood as he touched his forehead. Worst of all, his glasses were broken, impairing his vision. However, he felt something long and cold right be his side. Looking over, he saw that it was Ghetsis’ cane.

    He had it!

    It was now or never!

    With an effort, he raised himself up, holding the cane in both hands. Ghetsis saw this, and his face when deadly pale.

    “NO!” he shouted. “Put that down immediately!”

    Jim didn’t listen. There was a sizeable rock sitting in the dirt, upheaved by the combat before. Facing this, he raised the cane above his head.

    “This is for you, Guy,” he said, “and for all the people and Pokemon of Unova!!”

    He swung it down.

    With an almighty smash, the top half of the cane splintered off, and the shield within shattered to pieces on the stone.

    Ghetsis let out a long, piercing scream of rage and horror, worse than any sound Jim had ever heard before, even counting his inhuman wail back in the Relic Castle.

    As if the smashing of the cane was a signal to the end, the cloudy skies overhead began to fade away. The blue reappeared, and the sun began to shine down on the torn apart, blood-splattered battlefield.

    Up above, Zekrom suddenly stopped its fighting, shut its eyes and shook its head. When it reopened its eyes, it looked about, dazed and confused.

    “What…” he rumbled. “What happened?...”

    He caught sight of Reshiram before him.

    “Reshiram! What are you doing here? What’s been going on? The last thing I remember was N being blasted off of the castle by Genesect!”

    “Suffice to say, my brother,” said Reshiram, “you were the victim of a vile mind-control experiment, but the spell has been broken. Come, let us join our partners. They might still need our aid.”

    “Can you forgive me for losing my head, brother?”

    “Of course. It was not your fault.”

    The two majestic Dragons descended to the battlefield below.

    Genesect, meanwhile, seemed to have frozen again. The red glow in its eyes had blinked out, and it went slack, like an automaton switched off. Then, all of a sudden, it sprang back to life, its eyes having changed to a softer blue color. It looked about itself in perplexity, then, did the strangest thing. It folded its cannon into the back of its head, retracting its limbs so that it looked like some kind of hovercraft. Then, with a jet-like sound, it soared away into the sky, as the legendary Dragons touched down.

    “It got away!” Jim said.

    “Let it go, Jim,” said N. “Its mind had been freed from the influence of the cane. Perhaps now, it can live in peace and solitude, away from the vices of humanity.”

    Jim stared at him. N had been the most vehement on Genesect’s reveal, having been the one who ordered the cancellation of its restoration. To hear him speak about sparing it was something new.

    Ghetsis seemed to have utterly broken down. He crumpled to his knees, staring disbelievingly at his empty hands.

    “How...how could this happen?...I planned everything out, made every calculation...How could I lose to a mere boy?...”

    He let out a gasp as the splintered end of his cane was pointed straight at his chest. He looked up to see Jim standing over him, holding the metal staff in his hands. His face was stony and resolute.

    “You threatened all of Unova,” Jim said, icily, “you stole and brainwashed my Pokemon, you attempted to murder me when I attempted peace, you threw our country into war, you murdered an innocent man, and you tried to murder your own stepson. Men like you are deserving of death for your actions, Ghetsis. I dare you to deny it.”

    Ghetsis stared straight into Jim’s unwavering gaze. Though humbled before him, there was still hatred in his face.

    “Strike me down, then, Stevens,” he said, softly. “End me. You’ve taken everything from me. I have nothing else to live for, so do it. Avenge your fallen comrade and finish this!”

    Jim glared down at him, his grip on the staff tightening. Everyone waited on tenterhooks to see what would happen.

    “Sweetie, no…” Mrs. Stevens muttered.

    “Don’t do it…” Leanne murmured.

    At last, Jim let his hand fall open, and the piece of metal clattered to the ground. Ghetsis stared from it to him.

    “No.”

    “W-What?”

    “I won’t kill you. That would make me just like you. Besides, I hadn’t finished. Men like you deserve to die for crimes such as yours, but a more fitting punishment is to live with the remembrance of what they’d done. That’s what you deserve, Ghetsis: to live the rest of your days knowing that your plans have fallen to pieces, and that you were bested by a mere boy.”

    Ghetsis’ face twitched horribly. His eye popped, and his teeth clenched.

    “You...you coward…” he snarled. “You deny me an honorable death...Your mercy is more poison to me than a stab to my heart every could be…”

    “Then take it as it is,” Jim said, simply. “You’re finished.”

    At that moment, there was a great bustle. Men and women in blue police uniforms charged into the stadium, several looking about in astonishment at the legendary Pokemon, the ruined battlefield, and the body of the dead man lying on the ground. Officer Jenny stepped toward Jim and Ghetsis.

    “We were alerted to what was happening,” she said, “but couldn’t get up the mountain due to the storm. Is this Ghetsis of Team Plasma?”

    “It is,” said Jim. “There are more of their members up in the castle.”

    “Very good,” said Officer Jenny. “We overheard every word of his crimes when we arrived. He’s looking at life in prison. You’re a brave young man, to try and hold him off, but creating a full-scale war was extremely unprecedented.”

    “I won’t apologize for that, ma’am,” said Jim. “I felt it was the only way.”

    Officer Jenny said nothing, but merely smiled at him, then turned to Ghetsis. His face still working with fury, he raised his arms, and Jenny cuffed his wrists.

    “Take him away,” she told two officers. “Rout out the castle. It must be packed to the gills with his accomplices.”

    Two male officers lifted Ghetsis up and took him away, while many others rushed toward the castle. Jim would leave them to their duty. For now, he could rest easy knowing that the nightmare was finally over. Team Plasma had been subdued.

    They had won.

    Unova was free.

    Y Rotation Team

  4. #19
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    Default Re: Jim: The War for Unova

    Chapter 19
    Goodbyes


    The next thing Jim knew, he was being mobbed, gripped tightly in many pairs of embracing arms. His mother, Leanne, the professor, Bianca, Cheren, Missy, Echo, Rok, Torch, Torrent, Spade, Croco, Jolt, all of his closest and dearest friends crowding around him, hugging him, weeping, crying for joy, congratulating his victory.

    “Three cheers for Jim Stevens!” yelled Nigel, Cruise and Solomon standing beside him. “Three cheers for the Savior of Unova!”

    The cheers rang loud, clear, and proud throughout the entire stadium. It was re-echoed by the roars of the dragons and the calls of the Swords of Justice. The sun shone gloriously down on them all, the victors of a long, hard battle. It was as if they had all been immersed in a terrible nightmare that the rays of dawn finally washed away.

    At last, Jim was able to break away from the embraces of his friends, and he turned to everyone.

    “My friends,” he said, “you congratulate only a single man. It wasn’t just me who brought us to victory...it was all of you. Without your assistance, I would never have even come close to stopping Team Plasma’s diabolical plans. This is not just my victory...it’s yours as well. Long live Unova!”

    “LONG LIVE UNOVA!”

    “It is, however,” Jim went on, somberly, “regretful that it is this war that forces me to say goodbye to a good friend.”

    His eyes fell upon the body of the Guy, where his Ferrothorn, Scrafty, and Seismitoad still stood, gazing sadly down at him.

    “I never knew his real name,” Jim said, “but he was the bravest man I ever knew...I owe my thanks to him for guiding me through my journey to the Pokemon League...he will never be forgotten…”

    There was a deep, reverent silence in respect for the Guy’s sacrifice. Shauntal and Grimsley stepped forward, laying a tarp over the Guy’s corpse. Two officers gently lifted him up and carried him slowly away, to be conveyed to a proper place. Ferrothorn, Scrafty, and Seismitoad followed after them, but were never seen again. Jim could only conclude that this was them taking their leave to return to their homes, just as the Guy had wanted.

    He felt a tug at his elbow. He looked over to find Leanne at his side.

    “He would have been really proud of you, if he lived to see the end,” she said. “I know I’m proud of you.”

    Jim smiled tenderly.

    “Thanks, Leanne. I’d never have made it without you by my side. You were my inspiration from the get-go.”

    Leanne smiled back, her cheeks reddening.

    “I love you, Jim,” she whispered.

    “I love you too, Leanne.”

    It didn’t matter who was watching. The two embraced, their lips pressed passionately against each other. Many people cheered and whooped, and Mrs. Stevens wiped at her eyes with a handkerchief.

    “Jim! Leanne!”

    Audino’s shout interrupted the two lovers. They looked over at the alcove.

    “June and Oshawott are coming around!”

    Jim felt a surge of joy and relief in his breast. He grabbed Leanne’s arm and rushed back to the alcove with her.

    By the time they had made it over, the two Pokemon were recovered and awake. Oshawott was nestled beside June, who was cradling an egg in front of her, nestled on a bed of straw. It was green, just like the Snivy, with a cream bottom.

    Jim knelt down in front the two of them, Leanne at his side. Oshawott smiled at them.

    “Well done, lad,” he said. “I knew you could do it.”

    “I’m sorry about your scalchop, Oshawott.”

    “Don’t be. A scalchop is easily mended, compared to the loss of one you hold dear. I’d have broken my scalchop myself for June’s sake…”

    Leanne, though she didn’t know what Oshawott was saying, smiled warmly and stroked his head. Jim, meanwhile turned to June, whose eyes were closed as she nuzzled her egg.

    “June…” he said, softly.

    June opened her eyes and looked up at him. The warmest, most glowing smile he had ever seen on her face greeted him.

    “Jim…”

    “We won, June...we won…”

    “I know...I’m so proud of you...”

    “And I’m proud of you, partner...you’re going to be a wonderful mother.”

    A tear glistened in June’s eye. She allowed Jim to pick her up and embrace her close. She nuzzled him warmly, giving him a soft, tender kiss on the cheek as she did so. He set her back down in front of her egg, then turned to Audino.

    “Thanks, Audino. You saved my June.”

    Audino merely beamed in response, and accepted Jim’s hug gratefully.

    “Come on, guys!” came Cruise’s voice.

    Everyone looked up to see him peering into the alcove.

    “Don’t just sit around in the dark all day! It’s time to celebrate! Viva Unova!”

    He threw his fists into the air and rushed off, crowing and whooping. Everyone stared after him, then burst out laughing. It was the first genuine laughter Jim had heard ever since the war had begun, and was like music to his ears…

    ***


    That night, the air was filled with music. A bonfire had been set up in the courtyard, and humans and Pokemon alike were dancing, singing, laughing, celebrating their victory. They wouldn’t have it out in the stadium, as Alder wanted the damage repaired right away. He intended to have the award ceremony as soon as the mess was cleared up, which suited Cheren and Jim just fine. A little R&R was in order after the hell they had all been through.

    A sort of dance floor had been set up, where Trainers and their Pokemon danced the night away. Prominent among them were Torrent and Lilligant, Echo and Tranquill (who kept to the air above the dancers), and, of course, June and Oshawott.

    Bianca’s Dewott had found Oshawott’s broken scalchop and had painstakingly worked with his Trainer to have it repaired. The charismatic Water type was most grateful, and had graced Dewott with the honor of a gentleman’s handshake. Here, on the dance floor, he spun and swung June about as skillfully as a tango master. June, despite having only just recently given birth, was still as lithe and graceful as ever. Leanne watched the pair of them with a glowing smile on her face.

    Torrent, having donned a black bow tie for tonight, was sweeping Lilligant in an elegant ballroom dance. Lilligant’s pale face was simply aglow, and she filled the air with petals as she went. Torch, meanwhile, was keeping a running catalogue of jokes with a group of Pokemon belonging to other Trainers, with Jolt, Spade, and Croco among them.

    “So I said, ‘Gurdurr? I hardly know ‘er!’”

    This set them bursting into hysterics of laughter.

    “Still got it,” Torch muttered to himself.

    Rok was creating quite a few laughs himself. He was doing his own kind of dance, but with wild, jerky movements. Professor Juniper found it the most amusing, and even joined in with him, gripping him by the claws and dancing about with him. Bianca didn’t even try to hold back her giggles.

    Cruise had started a conga, comprised mostly of him and his Bug and Grass Pokemon. Solomon and Nigel merely sat back with Reuniclus and Simisage, watching their friend’s antics.

    Mrs. Stevens, after being playfully danced about by her son, was now swirling Missy about. The little Emolga, happier than she had ever been, squealed with joy as Jim’s mother danced with her. After all, she had been her especial pet once she had gotten to know her boy’s team.

    As for Jim himself, he received claps on the back, congratulations, and all sorts of greetings as he passed by them, but though he was invested in the party, there was one Trainer he was constantly on the lookout for, but which he couldn’t see.

    N.

    He had disappeared almost as soon as the party started, and Jim couldn’t find a trace of him. He kept up a thorough search for a sign, but found nothing.

    At last, however, acting on a hunch, he stepped away from the party and made for a more private part of the courtyard. There, sure enough, was N, but he wasn’t alone. Reshiram, Zekrom, and the four Swords of Justice were there as well.

    “Jim,” said N, softly. “I knew you’d find us eventually.”

    “How come you’re not at the party?” Jim asked. “You had a hand in this too.”

    “I’ve never been much for social gatherings. Besides, it’s time for me to depart.”

    “Huh? You’re leaving?”

    “Yes, Zekrom and I. There’s nothing left for me here. I can depart knowing my ideal is closer to being realized.”

    “Your ideal? A perfect world for Pokemon and humans to coexist?”

    “Yes. The disbanding of Ghetsis and Team Plasma was a step towards that. He had lied to me for so long, made me believe that what I was doing was for the good of Unova...but now that he’s no longer using me as a tool for his schemes, I can roam free with Zekrom, until the day my dream comes true at last. I have you to thank for everything, Jim. You helped free me.”

    He held out his hand, and Jim, though perplexed, reached out and shook it.

    “It was nothing, really, N,” he said. “I didn’t do it alone. You all were there beside me. You, Reshiram, Keldeo, the Swords.”

    He turned his attention to the four quadrupeds, who inclined their heads in respect.

    “You do not have to separate, you know,” said Reshiram. “You are more than welcome to join us.”

    Jim stared up at Reshiram.

    “You mean leave with you? See the world with the legendary Reshiram?”

    “Indeed. What do you say?”

    Jim paused. He looked over his shoulder at the partying and merrymaking off in the distance, then turned back to face Reshiram.

    “As amazing as that sounds, I’ll have to pass. I’ve grown tired of having the weight of the world on my shoulders. As grateful as I am that I could free the world from Team Plasma, I’m ready to just spend the rest of my life as a normal Trainer. After all, what’s the point of being Plasma’s Bane if there’s no Plasma to be a Bane of?”

    Reshiram smiled.

    “I understand. The choice is yours. Then it must be here where we bid you farewell. Remember: I shall always be ready when you need me.”

    “Thank you, Reshiram. And thank you, Keldeo, Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion.”

    “It is us who should thank you, Jim,” said Cobalion. “I was wrong. Humanity has not completely lost its better nature. You showed me there is much in the human race to admire. You have brought out the best in Keldeo, and for that, we are grateful.”

    “Thank you, Jim,” said Keldeo. “It was an honor to fight by your side. Farewell.”

    They bowed low to Jim, and then to N and the Dragons, before springing away into the darkness, disappearing into the night, silhouetted against the moon. N clambered onto Zekrom’s back.

    “Will we ever meet again, N?” Jim asked.

    “Who knows?” asked N, with a smile. “All paths eventually meet at the same point. It’s all a matter of where and when you take it. Farewell, Hero of Truths.”

    “So long, Hero of Ideals.”

    With sweeps of their wings and flares of their tails, Reshiram and Zekrom took off into the air, with N astride the Deep Black Pokemon. The two Dragons flew upwards together, then separated in mid-air, Reshiram flying west, Zekrom flying east, leaving red and blue streaks behind them. Jim watched them until they completely disappeared from sight.

    Just like that, they were gone.

    Wherever N ended up, Jim hoped he would find what he was looking for.

    “Jim!”

    Jim turned. It was Bianca.

    “There you are! Where’ve you been?”

    “Oh...just saying goodbye to an old friend.”

    “Oh? ...Oh...”

    “It’s all right, Bianca. It was time, anyway.”

    “I see. Well, come on! There’s still a whole lot of party to get done!”

    “Heh-heh. Right behind you.”

    And with that, Jim followed Bianca back toward the hubbub and celebration, as two lights, one red and one blue, winked like stars in the evening sky.

    Y Rotation Team

  5. #20
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    Default Re: Jim: The War for Unova

    Chapter 20
    Cheren vs. Alder


    It took quite some time to get everything cleared away and the battlefield cleaned up once again. Alder didn’t want anything remaining that would serve as a reminder of the horrible ordeal Unova had just undertaken. At the most, he gave it two, three days. Now that the storm was over, people were allowed to leave the mountain, and some did, having had enough and feeling homesick, but most wanted to stay to see the end-of-tournament ceremony finally go underway. Jim and his friends were among these, especially since he and Nigel were supposed to remain as the runners-up.

    Jim used the time in between to get some well-deserved rest, sleeping better than he had done in a long time. In fact, it had been the most rest he had gotten since he had ever started out on his journey. To have the threat of Team Plasma finally eradicated, and knowing that Unova would enjoy peace from here on out, was like a warm blanket over his weary bones. The mattress felt heavenly to his aching body, and he had June and Missy snuggled up beside him. June’s egg lay warm and snug between the Emolga’s and Snivy’s bellies for double-incubation, for though June was no longer pregnant, she hadn’t quite regained her figure. Nevertheless, it was still only a little tummy, smaller than Missy’s, but it didn’t bother her any. All she cared about was finally getting some peace and quiet to hatch her young one.

    N’s castle had been completely emptied. The remaining Sages, wanting nothing more than for everything to be over, pleaded guilty to being accomplices to Ghetsis’ plans and were led away, along with many of the Team Plasma grunts. The Shadow Triad, however, had inexplicably disappeared. No one had even noticed their departure, and so their absence went unnoticed. Colress, too, had vanished without a trace, and no more was spoken of him. With the castle deserted, it sunk back down below the earth, never to be seen again.

    As for Anthea and Concordia, they were not at all surprised that N had departed on Zekrom. As a matter of fact, they thanked Jim for releasing him and them from the burden of Team Plasma, promising they would never forget his kind-heartedness. As for their living situation, now that they no longer had a caretaker, and wished not to return to Ghetsis’ manor, Professor Juniper suggested they come stay in Nuvema Town, where she could make sure they had a comfortable home. They gratefully accepted.

    With the tournament over, Jim was only allowed to have six of his Pokemon with him. In the end, by unanimous consent, Jolt and Rok would return to the lab to be watched over by Fennel until their return. So, the day before the award ceremony was to finally take place, Jim bid farewell to his comrades for now.

    “I’ll see you guys when we get back home,” he said. “You’ve both done so well for me, during the tournament and the war. I’ll never, ever forget that.”

    Rok sniffled like a child and hugged Jim in a bone-crushing way, while Jolt settled for a warm nuzzle. After that, they were returned to their Poke Balls and given to Professor Juniper, who then had them returned to the lab. It hopefully wouldn’t be too long for them to get back home, though Jim had never considered how they would be returning home.

    “Hey, Jimmy,” said Croco, “ya think the Prof can connect to Gyms?”

    “Probably, why?”

    “I think it’s time I headed back to Clay. My work here is done.”

    Jim couldn’t help feeling a pang of regret, but he knew Croco wasn’t really his Pokemon anymore, so he grinned and nodded.

    “I understand, Croco. You’ve been a huge help.”

    “Hey, don’t sweat it. You’re a good kid. Maybe someday we’ll see each other again. And give my best to Spade and the others. I can’t stand long goodbyes.”

    “Heh. You’ve got it, pal.”

    And the two signed their parting with a firm, brotherly handshake.

    ***


    That same day, as Jolt, Rok, and Croco were sent back to their respective homes, a private funeral was held in the courtyard, in honor of the Guy. He had been placed in a rough wooden casket, and, with help from Spade and Croco, a grave had been dug for him. When that was filled up, Jim placed a stone at its head, the very one he used to shatter Ghetsis’ staff. It would remain as an unmarked headstone, nameless as its host. Jim, Leanne, Cheren, Bianca, Nigel, Cruise, Solomon, Professor Juniper, and Mrs. Stevens stood around the grave in solemn reverence of his last, honorable deed.

    “Goodbye, Guy,” Jim whispered. “Thank you...for all you’ve done…”

    He looked up at the sky, and could almost fathom that, in the clouds, he could see the mysterious drifter’s rough face within them, cracking a fatherly grin down at him. Tears brewed in his eyes, and he lowered his head, feeling his mother’s comforting hand on his shoulder.

    ***


    “Ladies and gentlemen, words cannot express the sort of trials we have undergone the last few days. Unova was poised on the precipice of disaster, about to become the victims of a mad scheme composed by Team Plasma. As amazing as it may sound, it even made this announcer here quake in his boots. However, one young man rose to the challenge to defend us from the terrible onslaught of Team Plasma. Jim Stevens, Plasma’s Bane, the new wielder of Reshiram the Vast White, assembled an army of Trainers to take on Team Plasma, and helped us win the day. Though this young man stands as the runner-up of the Pokemon League tournament, none of us will ever forget the bravery, compassion, and leadership he displayed in defending our nation. Three cheers for our Pokemon League winners: Cheren, Jim Stevens, and Nigel Richmond!”

    Burton was in top form today, and even before he finished, he had the stadium roaring with cheers. The three friends stood on the winners’ podiums, bearing the gold, silver, and bronze trophies of the Pokemon League, respectively, presented to them by Alder himself.

    “Congratulations, boys,” he said. “You three are a shining example of what we hope to see out of League competitors. And now, Cheren, are you prepared for your battle with me?”

    Cheren’s eyes lit up with excitement.

    “Y-Yes, sir!” he said. “It would be an absolute honor!”

    “Well, then, let’s get the battlefield cleared away and we can get started.”

    The podium was rolled away, and Jim and Nigel returned to their seats to sit with their friends. June settled back on her Trainer’s lap, the egg still clasped against her body.

    “I can’t wait to see where this goes,” said Cruise. “Cheren going toe-to-toe with Alder himself!’

    “Judging by how fiercely his Bouffalant fought in the war,” said Solomon, “Cheren’s in for quite a challenge.”

    “It’s time for the honorary battle with Champion Alder!” said Burton. “This shall be a two-on-two match, no time limit! Now let’s...begin!”

    “Beartic, go!”

    Cheren tossed his first Poke Ball, and his faithful Beartic appeared on the battlefield.

    “Volcarona, come forth!”

    Alder threw his first ball, and a new Pokemon appeared, hovering in the sky. It looked like a giant moth, with six orange wings, a fuzzy white thorax, and a blue and black abdomen. Its head was black with large blue eyes. Jim brought out his Pokedex.

    “Volcarona, the Sun Pokemon, and the evolved form of Larvesta. Believed to be an embodiment of the sun, it saved Pokemon from freezing during a bitterly cold winter. Its six wings scatter ember scales, engulfing their battlegrounds in a sea of fire.”

    “Oooh,” said Leanne. “So that’s what Larvesta would evolve into.”

    “Very majestic,” said Bianca.

    “Begin!” shouted the referee.

    “Volcarona, Quiver Dance!”

    Volcarona flapped its wings, then began to spin around and around, throwing embers about as it did so.

    “Beartic, use Brine!”

    Beartic spewed a wild stream of water from his jaws. The blast struck, but Volcarona still kept on spinning, so it was hard to say whether or not it did anything. At last, Volcarona stopped, but seemed to be flapping its wings quicker.

    “Ahh, of course,” said Cruise. “Quiver Dance is a Bug move that raises Special stats and Speed all at once. Cheren better watch out.”

    “Now, Volcarona, Bug Buzz!”

    “Uh oh,” said Solomon. “Cover your ears, everyone.”

    Everyone who knew what was coming did so. Sure enough, Volcarona let out a barrage of red shockwaves that were intermixed with the cringe-inducing sound of cicada cries. Beartic clapped its paws to its ears, wincing from the awful noise.

    “Don’t let it get to you, Beartic!” Cheren yelled. “Ice Beam!”

    Beartic shot a bolt of icy lightning from its mouth that struck Volcarona, but seemed to just glance right off.

    “Man, that is one tough Volcarona,” said Jim.

    “Volcarona, use Heat Wave!”

    Volcarona stopped buzzing, then reared its head back. A ball of orange light formed in front of its face, and when it snapped forward again, a wind that seemed to be made of flames blasted forward, sweeping over Beartic, who tried to shield himself.

    “Beartic, use Brine again!”

    Beartic shot another blast of water from his mouth, splashing Volcarona and sending it fluttering backward.

    “Nice shot,” said Alder, “but it’s time for Beartic to say good night. Volcarona, Fiery Dance!”

    An aura of flames surrounded Volcarona’s body. It lifted into the air, spinning like a top, and the fire completely cloaked it, before spreading out like a flaming haze. Jim could feel the heat wash over him, and he protectively covered June in his arms. Beartic tried to withstand the scorching blaze, but it was too much for it. It fell to its knees and crumpled onto its face.

    “Beartic is unable to battle!” said the referee. “Volcarona wins!”

    Cheren, with no sign of distress or resignation on his face, recalled Beartic.

    “Good job,” he said. “Get some rest.”

    Next, he drew his second Poke Ball, weighing it in his hands.

    “Emboar, it’s up to you!”

    He tossed it forward, and Cheren’s starter Pokemon appeared on the battlefield. It let out a roaring bellow that made its fiery beard crackle.

    “Ahh, now that’s what I’ve wanted to see,” said Alder. “Show me the true power of your Emboar, Cheren!”

    “Gladly!” said Cheren. “Emboar, Head Smash!”

    Emboar crouched low, its forehead glowing a bluish white.

    “Volcarona, Heat Wave!”

    As Emboar charged, veiled in blue and white light, Volcarona sent another fiery gust from its mouth. However, Emboar wasn’t the least bit slowed down by an attack of its own typing. It collided right into Volcarona, sending it toppling. With Head Smash being such a powerful attack, and being a Rock type move against a Fire and Bug type, and coupled with the damage received by Brine and Ice Beam, Volcarona fell to the ground after that one hit.

    “Volcarona is unable to battle! Emboar wins!”

    Jim and friends cheered for Cheren and Emboar, while Alder recalled Volcarona.

    “Nicely done,” he said. “Now we’re both down to just one Pokemon, and, coincidentally, this last happens to be my star as well. Bouffalant, go!”

    He tossed his second Poke Ball, and the Bash Buffalo appeared on the battlefield. It stared down Emboar, pawing the ground with its hoof, while Emboar flexed its arms.

    The air went deadly silent. Everyone knew it was all or nothing now, the final showdown with the Champion himself.

    “Begin!” shouted the referee.

    “Emboar, use Flamethrower!”

    Emboar breathed in and snorted a stream of flames at Bouffalant.

    “Charge through it with Head Charge!”

    Bouffalant dashed forward, its afro glowing with a red-orange light. It ran right through the Flamethrower, as if it couldn’t feel it at all, and rammed right into Emboar, sending him skidding back. Unfortunately, Bouffalant had the bad luck of skidding along with it by the impact.

    “Emboar, Hammer Arm!”

    Emboar brought his arm back, which glowed white, and then swung it like a club. It caught Bouffalant right in the face and sent it flying back.

    “Bouffalant, use Earthquake!” said Alder.

    Bouffalant regained its equilibrium, righted itself, and stomped hard on the ground with all fours. The ground shook violently, and Emboar was tossed skyward.

    “Take advantage of it, Emboar!” yelled Cheren. “Use Head Smash from above!’

    Emboar turned himself about so that he was facing Bouffalant from above, then barreled straight down, arms tucked in, surrounded by blue-white light once again.

    “Giga Impact!” said Alder.

    Bouffalant crouched, its afro glowing with a golden-white aura, and then, with a bound, it shot straight up at Emboar like a missile, carried on by the momentum of its charge. The two were like a pair of comets about to collide with each other. Several people ducked, covered their eyes, or shielded their heads, but Jim couldn’t take his eyes off the sight.

    With an almighty crash, the two Pokemon collided, the force sending them careening back down to the ground. The earth shook with the impacts of the heavy Pokemon as they landed. After several tense moments, Bouffalant finally rose back to its hooves. Emboar attempted to rise, but ultimately fell back, unable to carry on.

    “Emboar is unable to battle! Bouffalant wins, which means the winner is the Champion, Alder!”

    The stadium erupted into cheers, for Alder’s victory, and in support for Cheren’s great effort.

    “You did all right, Cheren!” Jim called.

    “Whoo!” cheered Bianca.

    Cheren grinned at his friends, then recalled Emboar.

    “You did a great job, old friend,” he said. “Well done.”

    Alder stepped forward, Bouffalant by his side.

    “Thank you, Cheren,” he said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve had such a close battle. You’ve really come a long way.”

    “Thank you, sir,” said Cheren. “It was an honor to finally face you in battle. It’s been something of a dream of mine.”

    “Oh really? Well, what do you intend to do now, with the tournament over?”

    Cheren mulled it over for a moment, and then said,

    “I’ve actually been giving it some thought for a while, and...I think I’d like to be a Gym Leader someday.”

    Alder burst into a hearty laugh.

    “That so? I like that! You’d make an impressive Gym Leader, Cheren! Tell you what: I’ll keep you posted in case something opens up in the League registrar. How does that sound?”

    “Wonderful! Thank you, sir!”

    And thereupon, Cheren and Alder shook hands, as the cheers in the stadium renewed. However, no one in the crowd clapped harder, or cheered louder, than Cheren’s best friend, Jim Stevens.

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  6. #21
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    Default Re: Jim: The War for Unova

    Chapter 21
    Homeward Bound At Last


    As exciting as the tournament had been (save for the exhausting and taxing ordeal of the war with Team Plasma), Jim felt it was high time to return to Nuvema Town. He was anxious to return and be able to rest in peace and quiet back in his hometown. Best of all, he’d be there with his Pokemon companions. He felt confident that they would be extremely happy in the quiet little burg. Jolt and Rok had already given their approval of the laboratory accommodations before, after all.

    There only remained one thing that weighed on Jim’s mind: what was to be done about Leanne and Oshawott? Their home lay back in Accumula Town, which was roughly a day’s journey from Nuvema Town. Would they want to return home now, after everything that had happened? What about the egg? It was Oshawott’s just as much as it was June’s. He didn’t want to have to separate the child from either of its parents once it hatched. He just wasn’t sure what to think…

    This reflection was temporarily shelved, as there were a lot of preparations to be made for their departure. Professor Juniper got in contact with Skyla, but wasn’t able to request a passenger plane from her hangar; everything was booked. However, she was able to get in contact with the ferryboat service they had used to get from Undella to the Victory Road checkpoint, and the pilot agreed to take them back to Nuvema Town that way. Jim, Leanne, Bianca, Cheren, Mrs. Stevens, Audino, and the professor therefore took the rest of the day to empty out their reserved rooms and packed up their belongings, making sure nothing was left behind. Anthea and Concordia would be accompanying them, but, unfortunately, Nigel, Cruise, and Solomon passed on the offer. They assured their friends they would find their own ways back. This meant finally having to say goodbye to them.

    The day of their departure, it was at last time for everyone to say their farewells. They met outside the entrance to the stadium, but, for a time, no one was sure what to say. After being with each other for so long, having gone through so much, it was difficult to find words. At last, however, Cruise broke the silence.

    “Well, Jim, everyone, I guess this is so long. It’s been a real blast hanging out with all of you, being able to help out with the whole Team Plasma thing. You’re really something else, Jim.”

    “Thanks, Cruise,” said Jim.

    “It’s been a wild experience for myself, as well,” said Solomon. “I’ve always prided myself as a Trainer who’s had everything planned out or visualized ahead of time, but you, Jim...you’ve shown me that I’ve still much to see and learned. I hope we may meet again under less dire circumstances.”

    “I’ll be waiting, Solomon.”

    “Though we part here, I have the hope that we may meet again ourselves,” said Nigel. “You’re always welcome back in Castelia City, and, despite my earlier, harsher words, I might perhaps take a sojourn to Nuvema Town. Who knows? The fresh air may do me some good.”

    “You’ll always be welcome, Nigel. All of you will. I’m never gonna forget my time here, battling with and alongside you guys.”

    The three boys beamed, and each in turn shook Jim’s hand, bidding similar farewells to Leanne, Cheren, and Bianca. Cruise seemed very reluctant to part from Anthea and Concordia, even babbling something about them always being welcome in Striaton City, whereupon Solomon had to drag him away so that the group could catch their ferry. They shouted their final farewells to each other, and, just before joining his friends in their trek down the slope, Jim cast one last look over at the stadium.

    It had been a scene of so many eventful moments, and in such a short time. Memories floated swiftly and abundantly through his mind: his League battles, N’s Castle rising, Ghetsis and Genesect seizing power, battling his own brainwashed Pokemon, rallying the army, summoning Reshiram, charging into battle, Keldeo and the Swords of Justice fighting the Dragons, the Guy’s sacrifice, Ghetsis subdued at last...It felt like an eternity.

    “Jim! Come on, slowpoke!” called Leanne.

    “Coming!” Jim called, and he turned and followed his companions down the clear, un-stormy mountain path.

    ***


    The trip down the mountain was much smoother and quicker than having to go through the tunnels, not to mention saving them the issue of having to face the Durant again. They spent much of the time discussing Cheren’s battle with Alder, and he even shared his admission of wanting to be a Gym Leader with them. To his relief, Jim and Bianca thought very highly of the idea.

    “You’d make an awesome Gym Leader!” said Bianca. “I can see it now: Gym Leader Cheren, keeper of the Brainiac Badge!”

    “The Brainiac Badge?” Cheren laughed. “However did you come up with something like that?”

    “Just came to me,” said Bianca, with a silly grin.

    “Of course,” said Jim, “it might mean you’ll have to choose a type and stick with it.”

    “I know,” said Cheren. “Emboar is my star, but I’ve also liked the strength and diversity of Normal types, like my Stoutland or Alder’s Bouffalant. I don’t know, it’s something to consider, at least.”

    They had departed the stadium in the morning, and reached the bottom by early afternoon. Sure enough, just as Professor Juniper had planned, a ferry was waiting for them at the small bay they had arrived at when they reached the outpost. It was even piloted by the same man, Captain Lowell.

    “Glad to see you all safe and sound again!” he said. “I heard everything about what happened up at the stadium. It must have been a horrible ordeal.”

    “It was, Captain,” said Professor Juniper, “but it’s all behind us now. Set a course for Nuvema Town, if you please.”

    “Of course, Professor. Seaward ho!”

    Once everyone was aboard, Captain Lowell turned the helm, and they pulled out of the little harbor, heading south for Nuvema Town, and leaving the mountain housing the Pokemon League to their back at last. After so long keeping his gaze toward reaching it, it was something new, yet not wholly unpleasant, to be moving away from it now. At last, Jim was homeward bound, and glad of it.

    ***


    With the absence of another sea-attack by Team Plasma, the ferry ride was much more relaxing, as well as lengthier, due to their being much more distance between Undella Town and Nuvema Town. Captain Lowell didn’t mind, however. He said they had fuel to spare for such a journey. He kept the passengers in good spirits with his cheery nature and worker’s attitude. The voyage passed blissfully, as the Alomomola, Frillish, and Basculin frolicked in the waves.

    As the journey began to reach its end, however, a feeling of melancholy settled over Jim. He spent most of his time out on deck, gazing out at the waves, all by himself. He wanted to be happy that he was almost home, but there was still that nagging doubt about Leanne. She had been there for him practically since his journey began. She’d constantly supported his endeavors and bolstered his spirits. Was the repayment for that, then, to just drop her off at home without a second thought? That seemed like poor thanks to him…

    “Jim?”

    Jim started and looked up. Leanne had joined him up on deck.

    “Leanne! Hi.”

    “Hey. Is everything all right?”

    “Oh, yeah, yeah, just fine.”

    “You sure? You seem kinda blue about something.”

    Jim sighed.

    “I can’t hide anything from you, can I?”

    “Nope.”

    “Well...there’s just something that’s been weighing down on me for a while.”

    “What?”

    Jim stood up and clasped Leanne’s hands.

    “Leanne, you’ve been my friend and traveling companion since the start of my adventures. We’ve been through a lot together, and...I’ve grown to love you.”

    Leanne smiled.

    “I know that, silly. That’s nothing to be depressed about.”

    “You don’t understand. My home’s in Nuvema Town, yours is in Accumula. When we return home, are we just going to go our separate ways? We’d be practically a day’s walk apart from each other. And besides, what about the baby? It’s June’s egg, but it’s also Oshawott’s. We can’t split them apart.”

    “We won’t have to, silly.”

    Jim blinked. Leanne was being unusually upbeat about all of this.

    “Am I missing something?” he asked.

    “No, hun. I’ve been waiting for the right moment to tell you.”

    “Tell me what?”

    “I’ve been thinking about the same thing ever since...well, for a long time. I was keeping my folks posted about it, and, well, June getting pregnant kinda cemented it.”

    “Cemented what?”

    Leanne giggled.

    “Come on, Jim, you’re smarter than this. We’re moving to Nuvema Town!”

    Jim stared, his mouth falling open.

    “W-What?!”

    “Yeah! Isn’t that great?”

    “You mean...are your parents-”

    “They’re totally cool with the idea! They felt it was time for a change, anyway. Now we get to live in the same town together!”

    Jim’s gape turned into a wide smile.

    “That’s...that’s great, Leanne! It’s fantastic, even! Why didn’t I ever think of that?”

    “Because you’ve got so much on your mind, my brave man,” said Leanne.

    “My clever girl,” said Jim, appraisingly.

    The two kissed passionately. The last fear that had settled on Jim’s brain had died away. It was all going to be all right now…

    “JIM! LEANNE!”

    The two pulled apart in surprise.

    “That’s the second time Audino’s interrupted us,” Jim muttered.

    Audino came waddling up the stairs from below deck.

    “Come quick! The egg! It’s hatching!”

    Jim felt his heart jump, and Leanne gave a delighted gasp.

    “Oh my gosh-oh my gosh!” she squealed. “Come on, Jim!”

    The two raced downstairs to the cabin reserved for Jim, Leanne, Mrs. Stevens, and Audino, where everyone else had already gathered. There, on the bunk, June and Oshawott were sitting on the bed, the egg between them. The egg was flashing golden, and the glow was beginning to blink rapidly.

    “You’re just in time!” said Mrs. Stevens, excitedly. “Look!”

    The egg shone brightly, sparkling in the midst of it like a sea of stars. Then, the glow faded away, revealing a tiny Snivy, even smaller than June, sitting huddled up on the bunk, its eyes closed. The women “Aww”ed, and Jim and Cheren gazed in wonder.

    Slowly, very slowly, the Snivy opened its eyes, blinking about. It caught sight of June and Oshawott, gazing lovingly down at it.

    “It’s a girl,” June whispered.

    “A beautiful girl,” Oshawott whispered in return.

    The baby Snivy cooed and reached up for June. She picked her up and tenderly licked her forehead.

    “Hello, my little darling,” she said, nuzzling her.

    Jim felt a powerful warmth flow through him and a big smile come over his face. It was one of the most heartwarming sights he had ever seen. He couldn’t remember the last time June looked so happy.

    The baby turned to Oshawott, reached out, grabbed his nose and honked it. Everyone laughed, even the proud father.

    “Quite a grip you’ve got, my little one,” he said. “That’s my girl.”

    “Have you decided on a name?” Jim asked.

    “Yes,” said June. “We talked about it for a long time, and we decided, if it was a girl, to name her Sprig.”

    “Sprig,” said Jim, contemplatively. “I like that.”

    Suddenly, there was the sound of a Poke Ball opening, and Missy appeared on the bed. She let out a happy squeal when she saw Sprig.

    “Oh my gosh, the baby’s here!” she said, grabbing her own cheeks. “She’s adorable!”

    Sprig cooed again and reached out to Missy, fondling her bow. Missy giggled.

    “You like it? You’ve got such a good eye, you little cutie!”

    She rubbed her nose against Sprig’s, making her laugh. June smiled warmly.

    “Missy,” she said, “would you like to be Sprig’s godmother?”

    Missy gasped, her eyes going wide.

    “That’s a huge honor, Missy,” said Jim, petting her head.

    “YES-YES-YES!” she gushed. “I’d be so honored! Oh, thank you, June! Congratulations, both of you!”

    The two parents smiled dearly at each other and shared a loving kiss.

    “Nuvema Town ho!” came Captain Lowell’s voice. “Estimated time of arrival: one hour!”

    “We’re almost home, Jim!” said Leanne.

    Jim gripped her hand tightly.

    “Yeah, Leanne,” he said, fondly. “We’re almost home…”

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  7. #22
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    Default Re: Jim: The War for Unova

    Chapter 22
    A New Adventure


    Two years had passed since that day, when Jim and his friends finally returned to Nuvema Town after nearly a year abroad. The days of the Pokemon League behind him, the former Bane of Team Plasma was fully intent on settling down in peace, especially with Leanne taking up her abode in the same town. The days since then were full of nothing but peace and good memories, at least in the young Trainer’s opinion, and he felt even better to share them with his longtime Pokemon companions.

    About a year after their return, Cheren received a letter from Alder, alerting him to come to Nacrene City as soon as he could. Excited, but also curious, he left immediately, but not before wishing his friends farewell this time. Some days afterward, a letter arrived from him, which, to make a long story short, detailed that he was currently in training to be the next Gym Leader of Nacrene City. Lenora had retired and had gone on to work the museum and its library with Hawes, and had chosen Cheren as her replacement. Jim, Leanne, and Bianca were thrilled with such news, and knew that their old friend was going to make for an amazing Gym Leader. They’d have to see him in action one day, when he was fully ready.

    Bianca kept to her work with Professor Juniper. Her diligence and can-do spirit were unlike any Jim had ever seen. It was unbelievable to imagine that the peppy laboratory assistant had once been his clumsy best friend. Jim made it a point to visit her whenever he could, and she and the professor were always happy to see him. Her favorite duty was looking after the new Snivy, Tepig, and Oshawott that were prepared for new Trainers.

    For a time, Professor Juniper was doing what she could to keep her father, who had returned from a harrowing expedition with a nasty bump on the head and a sprained ankle, to stay at home, but Professor Cedric kept railing and ranting about the call to adventure, and how it was a crime to ignore it. He has since left for his own journeys again, having sneaked out when his daughter wasn’t looking. The younger Juniper couldn’t do much but shake her head in amusement about her crazy but well-meaning parent.

    Anthea and Concordia had adjusted nicely to their new home, and took up gardening and Pokemon breeding. Their hand-grown patches of flowers were the delight of Nuvema Town, as testified for by Lilligant, and their gentle care for Pokemon have made them renowned as caretakers. One of their most frequent (and favorite) tasks was helping take care of baby Sprig, who was a lively and energetic child, having inherited her mother’s looks, but her father’s drive for thrills. She was constant playmates with Zorua and Larvesta, who played with her tirelessly for hours on end.

    Audino returned to her housekeeping duties, and kept the house sparkling clean for Jim and Mrs. Stevens. She also took care of the cooking, and more than once Jim remarked that he was going to get fat from her cooking. It was a favorite joke that whatever Jim ate, Missy was the one who gained the weight from it; she seemed to grow slightly fatter as time went on, but she was still the same lovable Missy. Leanne, who came over for dinner whenever she could, never passed up Audino’s cooking, and Mrs. Stevens doted on her as if she were her own daughter. June, on the other hand, would grumble about how she wasn’t losing any of her baby weight any faster, and had indeed started to put on a few pounds since returning home, but she was never bad-humored about it. Mother and son, the Audino, the Snivy, and the Emolga made for a very content household.

    With June growing domestic, Oshawott wanted to teach little Sprig some fighting techniques. Scalchop in hand, he had attempted to teach her Leaf Blade, just like he had seen his mother doing, with mixed results. When June found out about these secret training regiments, she was not happy, and told her mate that if she ever caught wind of something like that again, she’d stick his scalchop where the sun didn’t shine. His ‘classes’ never continued after that; Oshawott was no fool as to call the bluff of a woman’s wrath.

    Torch and Torrent, now having retired from circus life, took to more homebred practices. Torrent took to fishing while Torch took up meditation. When his Simipour brother called him out on such an odd idea, he merely replied that it was to strengthen his Flamethrower and Solarbeam moves, and to give him a new sense of peace and relaxation. It would also help broaden his mind to broaden his humor repertoire. It was a favorite prank of Torrent’s to tip Torch over while he was in these meditative stances, then dive into the water when Torch went after him in anger, goaded further by Torrent’s jokes of how losing his temper ‘wasn’t good for the chakra or whatever you call it’. Still, the two brothers lived happily alongside Lilligant, who felt rejuvenated in the clean, crisp air of Nuvema Town.

    Spade, inspired by his days carving sand sculptures on the Undella beach, took to wood-carving. He could reduce an entire log to an immaculate, painstakingly-crafted wood sculpture by the end of the day. His carvings have become a favorite sight for people visiting Nuvema Town, and he wasn’t shy about free demonstrations.

    Echo claimed a particularly tall, shady tree as a home close to home. He shared it with his love, Tranquill, and the two would often soar over Nuvema Town or Route 1 together, side by side. During those times, Echo’s supersonic squeaks could be heard far and wide within the town, proclaiming his joy at being with the Pokemon he loved most.

    Jolt couldn’t settle down once back in Nuvema Town. His days on the battlefield had made him uncomfortable with staying in one place for so long. Jim understood; he needed to roam, and he wasn’t going to get that by sitting around in the pastures of the town all day. So, not without some sadness or tears on either side, Jim took Jolt off into the wild and set him free, allowing him to return to his herd, show them the Pokemon he had grown to be. Jolt, though a stoic and steadfast Pokemon, shed a few tears at their parting, telling Jim he would never forget any of what he had done for him. With one last look at his old master, he galloped off to find his kind, while Jim, though his heart stung with regret at losing his friend, returned home, knowing he had done the right thing…

    Rok was a similar case. Though he loved being with Jim, the latter could sense that he wasn’t adjusting to Nuvema Town as well as he used to. There was a droop to his feathers, a kind of sag in his expression. Jim asked Professor Juniper about it, and, though she felt sad to say it, said it might be time to let Rok go as well. This wasn’t as bad, however, as she was able to get in contact with Skyla, who gladly accepted to take care of the lovable Archeops. So, after Trainer and Pokemon bid each other a tearful farewell (Rok blubbering like a baby and crush-hugging Jim), the Archeops was sent, via Poke Ball transfer, to his new home. Jim knew it wouldn’t feel the same without him around, but he had a good feeling he’d be happier.

    Two years passed in this fashion, with the unanimous feeling and hope that it would never end, until one day…

    ***


    It was the day just after Jim’s 18th birthday. He was standing outside, gazing out at the open sea. He’d grown taller over the last two years, and had a let a short, brown beard take up his face. His mother joked that it made him look like a lumberjack, but they both knew she was only making fun. However, there was no joviality in Jim’s face at that moment. There was a thoughtful, almost desiring look in his eyes as he gazed out at the waves.

    “Hey, hun. What are you doing?”

    Leanne stepped up to join him. Though she too had grown taller, Jim still dwarfed her somewhat. If anything, she was a little wider than she was taller, but she took that in stride. She had gotten rid of her ponytail, and wore her hair at shoulder-length nowadays.

    “Just looking out,” said Jim. “Thinking.”

    “About what?”

    “I dunno...I’ve just got this odd feeling in my bones.”

    “Maybe you should have that looked at.”

    “Not that kind of feeling, silly,” Jim chuckled. “I mean, this nagging kind of feel. It’s been two years since we came back.”

    “Feels like a lot longer,” said Leanne, fondly.

    “I know, and they’ve been some of the happiest years I’ve known, especially with you.”

    Leanne smiled and gripped his hand.

    “And yet...I can’t help but feel like I should be doing more than sitting around. I feel like...like I want…”

    “Like you want to see the rest of the world?”

    “Yes, exactly. It’s like...seeing Artemis Kirk’s Pokemon back in the League, all of those Pokemon you wouldn’t be able to see in Unova. It made me realize there are so much more Pokemon I could be seeing, could be getting to know. I want to see the world, see the other regions, meet the Pokemon and people there…”

    He went silent for a long while, but then Leanne broke the silence.

    “Well, why don’t you?”

    He stared at her.

    “Why? Well...because it wouldn’t feel right, leaving you behind like that.”

    “But you wouldn’t,” Leanne interrupted, turning to look him in the eye. “I’d go with you.”

    Jim stared into her unwavering, honest eyes, unable to look away. She meant what she said.

    “You really mean that?”

    “Of course. I’d go with you to wherever your feet took you. I want to see those kinds of things just as much as you do.”

    She smiled tenderly, and he smiled back.

    “Dear Leanne…” he murmured.

    “Dear Jim…” she replied.

    And the two shared one of the most passionate, intimate kisses they had ever shared since the day they realized their love for one another. A decision had been made there and then, and the consent was unanimous between the two parties.

    They would set sail for a new adventure.

    ***


    Jim worried that his mother might disapprove, but somehow, like all mothers seemed to, she had sensed his growing wanderlust, and gave her son her blessing for such a voyage. Leanne’s parents, who had grown fond of Jim and saw him as a son of their own, asked that he keep Leanne safe, while also telling their daughter to keep Jim out of trouble. To this, Leanne replied,

    “That’s gonna be tough to do. He’s like a magnet for trouble.”

    This set everyone laughing. Although Jim was going to miss his home, after being home for what felt like such a short time, he couldn’t shake off the feeling within him. He had to go out and see the world.

    Therefore, one day, at sunrise, Jim and Leanne waited on the docks as their luggage was loaded onto a polished, streamlined, attractive little boat called the S.S. Meloetta, named for the siren of Unova. It came as a pleasant surprise to find that their captain for the journey was none other than Lowell himself. He had retired from ferry boat piloting and decided to take to the open sea. He was glad to have old friends aboard for his maiden voyage, and Jim and Leanne were grateful to have a familiar face taking them along.

    Mrs. Stevens, Professor Juniper, Bianca, Audino, Anthea, and Concordia had all come out to say goodbye to the two. Cheren had been told about the situation, but was unable to leave Nacrene, due to being immersed in his Gym Leader duties. He did, however, express his congratulations and his hope that their adventure would go well.

    Anthea and Concordia were the first brave enough to say goodbye. They hugged Jim and Leanne warmly.

    “Thank you for everything,” said Anthea, “and good luck.”

    “May the wind carry you always where the sun smiles down,” said Concordia.

    Bianca was more emotional, and embraced Jim like any sister would a brother. Jim had to fight back tears as he hugged her in return.

    “I’m gonna miss you so much,” she sniffed. “I wanna hear all about the kind of Pokemon you meet out there.”

    “You will,” said Jim. “I promise.”

    Professor Juniper merely gripped Jim by both shoulders and smiled maternally at him.

    “Look at you, sport. All grown up and off for another adventure. Just like your dad.”

    Jim only smiled in response, and let himself be embraced by the professor.

    “Take care of yourself, kid,” she said. “We’ll always be here, waiting for you.”

    At last, it remained only for his mother and Audino. They both embraced Jim warmly, his mother kissing his forehead.

    “Be careful out there, sweetie,” she said. “I’ll always keep you in my prayers.”

    “And I’ll keep you all in mine,” said Jim, in return. “I love you, Mom.”

    “I love you too, honey.”

    She even gave Leanne a motherly hug, bestowing the same wish of good luck upon her. With that taken care of, Jim and Leanne finally boarded the ship, looking out over their farewell party.

    Then, quite suddenly, Jim tossed up his Poke Balls, all of them bursting open at once. June, Echo, Torch, Torrent, Missy, and Spade all appeared at the railing. Catching on, Leanne threw up her Poke Balls as well. Oshawott, Tranquill, Lilligant, Zorua, Larvesta, and Sprig appeared. They all waved farewell to the humans standing at the docks, and they received a hearty farewell in return.

    “We goin’ ‘sploring, Mama?” Sprig asked June.

    “Yes, sugar,” said June, patting her head. “We’re off on an adventure.”

    “Yay! Adventure!” Sprig cried.

    “Ha-ha!” laughed Oshawott. “That’s my little girl! A thrill-seeker, just like her old man!”

    “That’s what I’m afraid of,” said June, dryly.

    “Whole new regions to explore!” said Torch. “This’ll give me great material for my comedy act!”

    “You still on that?” asked Torrent.

    “Of course!” said Torch. “I’m gonna wow them with my foreign jokes and other-worldly wits!”

    “And you can pick up on some Johto Jokes!” said Echo.

    “Or Hoenn Ha-has,” said Spade.

    “Or Kanto Cornies!” said Missy.

    “Or Sinnoh Side-Splitters!” said Lilligant.

    “Whoa, slow down, guys, slow down!” said Torch, energetically. “That’s all gold! That’s gonna give me tons to work with!”

    The Pokemon and the two humans burst into laughter as the S.S. Meloetta let out a deep-toned horn and began to pull away from the dock. Jim and Leanne took one last look out at Nuvema Town. Never had it looked so desirable a place until now, with all of his friends standing there, waving, crying goodbyes to him. It hurt to have to leave it behind…

    But Leanne’s comforting hand on his elbow made him feel all right again. He smiled fondly at her, and she smiled at him in return.

    “So, Mr. Stevens, Miss Summers, where to?” Captain Lowell asked. “I hear there’s some interesting Pokemon way off in the Kalos region.”

    “Kalos, huh?” Jim asked. “Sounds interesting, but we’ll leave our destination to you, good sir. We’ll go wherever the wind takes us.”

    “Aye-aye, sir!”

    And with a spin of the helm, Captain Lowell steered the Meloetta off, away from Nuvema Town, bearing its two human and twelve Pokemon passengers in tow.

    It’s destination?

    Adventure!



    THE END





    *Two years, at least, I've been working on this story, from the start of Hero's Journey. It's been tough, but well worth it. I'm sorry the final book was so short, but there wasn't much else to say or tell. Thank you all so much for sticking with it, and I'll see you next time. =)*

    Y Rotation Team

  8. #23
    Moderator AceTrainer14's Avatar Forum Head
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    Default Re: Jim: The War for Unova

    @TPrower
    Just following up on some Awards judging. In reading this story, I focussed mostly on Ghetsis rather than the story itself, but it seemed to be well written and an enjoyable adaptation. For Ghetsis, I think he was well written and an enjoyable antagonist; he filled the role quite nicely, and made a worthy adversary for Jim. I liked the touch of the slow clapping, it was an enjoyable attribute (though at times it did feel a little forced like you really wanted it to be a thing associated with him), and his speeches were very well written at times. However, at times I felt that he was a bit too close to his game adaptation and was not really morphed into his own character. Ghetsis is a very intriguing villain in the games, but they barely scratch the surface of his motivations, background and reasonings for his actions, and there were times where the story wavered to being the same. My biggest advice for adapting game characters in the future would be to create your own spin of the character and make them into an Original-Adapted character: it would make your story more unique and more refreshing for the readers. Hopefully this has been of some use :)

    Also, I did not notice the dates while reading, but I have seen now and should let you know that you significantly broke our rule on Excessive Updates, which says you cannot post a new chapter more than once every three hours. Please do not do this again as there will be consequences and make sure you read over the rules, and you will need to move The Jim Trilogy into the Archives ASAP.

    ^^^^ The GalacticVerse Bibliography (Thanks to Blazaking for Banner) ^^^^

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