Target Characters: 5+K
Achieved Characters: 21690
The Shellos Tell Us
Thunder crackled in sync with the crash of the waves. The day had gone from the quintessence of beauty and happiness to a seething tempest that swayed even the behemoth of a boat as the one Neon was currently a passenger of. It seemed as though Poseidon himself had it in for the unprepared crew on this research craft. More than anything though, this was a nuisance.
Neon had been trying everything he could to get some shut eye, the waves appeared to have other plans. Neon could hear the loud and hurried steps of scientists resonating throughout his chamber, most likely running to the nearest bathroom because their poor stomachs couldn’t handle the pummeling the ship was receiving from the unforgiving elements. Neon just laid uncomfortably on his modest cot staring at the ceiling of his quarters. The walls were all gray and made of the same iron as the rest of the ship, this gave Neon a headache because he was used to things with emotion, like his crimson blazer or his onyx corduroys. His room came complete with the cot he was currently on, a bucket, and a tiny window so that he could see the “splendors of the sea” like he was promised.
‘Humph, some splendors these are,’ thought Neon as he slammed against the wall again after the boat was met with another goliath of a wave. ‘You guys are just lucky to be safe in your pokeballs,’ noted Neon as he stared at his compressed pokeballs that were strapped to his hip. Neon covered his face with his fedora in hopes of separating his eyes from the straining gray of the wall. With the next wave he heard a foot step down heavily, as if to gain balance, the sound of a rubber sole sliding across the floor, and the loud thump of a body hitting something very hard. Neon let out a low chuckle, ‘Serves ‘em right.’ With that Neon finally grew accustomed to the sway of the boat and drifted off into a light nap.
Neon was finally awoken to banging on his door. The first thing he noticed was that the boat was no longer rocking, instead it was perfectly still. After a quick glance out his window, Neon concluded that the boat was indeed immobile and the weather had returned to the great manner that it had been upon departure. The sky was a crisp blue, the tropical sun was shining bright and the ocean stretched for miles on end. Breaking up the endless blue of the ocean were little dots of pink and light blue. ‘These must be the little creatures the scientists are looking to research,’ remembered Neon. ‘They don’t look like anything special to me.’
With that Neon went out into the narrow hallway and searched his way through to the stairs leading to the ship deck. Upon arriving outside, Neon was greeted with a salty sea breeze that stung his nose at first because of how foreign it was compared to the cesspool they called his “accommodations.” The sun was warm and felt great emanating heat all over his body. A flock of Wingull flew overhead leaving the island and heading across the great expanse of blue that was mirrored in the sky.
Neon’s sightseeing was brought to a premature close when a heavy set man in a captain’s get up hollered for him, “Hey buddy! Neon was it?! Get your rump over here so we can get the briefing started!” Neon walked over toward the man taking his place at the end of a line of about five other trainers, all rugged in demeanor.
“So do you puny fellas know exactly why ye’ve been hired?” interrogated the Captain in an obvious attempt at finding out exactly how good they were at collecting information.
“To get paid?” retorted one of the Trainers in a sarcastic tone.
“Don’t get ahead of yourself, wise ass,” retaliated the Captain. Giving the trainer the meanest glare he could muster.
“Well considering we haven’t been told anything about the job, besides that it pays well and we get to experience ‘splendor.’ What are we supposed to know?”
“Well ye swab, let me explain the basics then. First of all, we are on Fullmoon island, this much I hope ye knew. Secondly, these scientists here on our voyage are attemptin’ to research further in to the theories Mr. Darles Charwin wrote about in his book The Shellos Tell Us. Thirdly, these scientists are settin’ up shop here on the boat so they won’t be messin’ with the natural flow of the Shellos’ matin’ season. Fourthly, let me repeat, the Shellos be matin’ here and we won’t be disturbing them. Anyone who is found to have disturbed the Shellos will be left on this here island to find there own way back. Fifthly, your job will be to split up into groups of two and take shifts escortin’ these scientists around the island so they can make their little observations without worryin’ about their safety. Sixthly, I understand there be many a rumor about this island and the island directly to the east of here. They say that each island is the home of extremely powerful and rare pokemon, but you all must focus on your job at hand. I don’t care what you do when you aren’t escorting the scientists, just don’t go disturbin’ anythin’. And lastly, the scientists promised an extra special reward to the man who could present any sort of new observations to them. Now, any questions?” Only one of the original six trainers was still left standing in front of the Captain after his long soliloquy, and this one that was left had fallen asleep standing there. “Why do I bother?” And with that the Captain left to go manage the ship.
The trainers quickly grouped up and left Neon with the smart talking kid from earlier. He was short for his age, athletic looking, and he had a certain gleam of aspiration in his dark eyes. This kid was inexperienced and looked as if he would do anything to get his name out. Neon let out a deep sigh. “So Pinky, I guess that leaves me and you,” called out Neon to the boy, obviously teasing him on his choice of a bright pink shirt.
“My name is not Pinky!” yelled out the boy, obviously infuriated with Neon’s remark. “It’s Max!”
“Eh. I prefer Pinky," toyed Neon, trying his hardest to get this kid's goat. Concealing his grin to the best of his ability.
“I was named after, Maximillian Victory, the greatest legendary hunter who ever lived! At least show the name some respect,” He defended with the utmost pride in his words. Placing his hands on his hip and giving his most majestic pose while staring off at some unknown object in the clear blue sky.
“Never heard of him," stated Neon with a prevalent bluntness. Shrugging his shoulders as he gave up his short, thinking facade.
“Are you kidding? He is known around the world for raising a Dragonite, a Metagross, and a Salamence," boasted Max with his ego soaring through the roof because he believed he know more than his elder trainer.
“That’s all? Obviously you don’t get out very much. Those are all fine and dandy, but you can’t consider them anywhere near as amazing as pokemon like Heatran, Suicune, or Zapdos. Even seeing one of these Legendaries is a monumental event in a trainers life, let alone catching one. I got to talk with a man who fought with a Suicune and earned its respect. In return for this act, he got it’s first born pup," calmly returned Neon. Reciting the story his best friend had boasted about every time their conquests had come up.
“Wha... What? He owns a Suicune?” stuttered Max, fumbling over his words in awe and disbelief. Reading into the honesty gleaming through Neon's eyes, the boy started to fumble even more over his words.
“No. He doesn’t OWN any of his pokemon. Only irresponsible trainers own their pokemon. A real trainer coexists with their pokemon and lives with them in a balance of friend and partner.” Neon showed a hint of anger in his voice, trying to give Max the hint of his mistake.
“That’s stupid. Pokemon are tools to be used to battle with and to decide who is a superior trainer, nothing else.” Max had found Neon's weak point and with a smile decided that this was his chance for his earlier harassment.
“You’re sick, kid.” Neon turned to leave letting his icy last words linger in this boy's mind.
“Takes one to know one,” and with that scorn laden end remark, Max walked away.
Neon, now more than a little angry with Max’s showing of bigotry towards pokemon, decided that he would take his break and explore the island before business caught up with him and he would have to work with his lowlife of a partner. Neon walked off the ship and was shocked to see the sheer majestic glory that awaited him. The island, though lacking in any kind of beach, made up for it in beauty. The grass seemed to be perpetually cut, the trees were all tall and strong, and littering the ground were flowers of the most moving red Neon had ever seen. The trees smelled of rich oran berries and the sound of every step echoed through the small forest as if each were a part of an intricate melody. Neon reveled in the sight of happily sleeping starlies in the trees.
Neon was baffled as to how something could remain so beautiful without any sort of human intervention. ‘Perhaps,’ pondered Neon, ‘It’s the human intervention that makes this beauty deteriorate.’ As Neon walked through the forest, he came upon a diminutive clearing that seemed to be in the innermost part of the woods. This clearing was marked with a crescent moon shaped pond that glowed as if it was the moon itself. Perched in the center peninsula of land through pond was the most incredible pokemon Neon had ever seen. It had a blue body with a light yellow lining its underbelly and two magenta tufts on it’s chest. It’s head was the same light yellow, with two crescent moons converging at the top of it’s head with a magenta ball right below the point of convergence. Not only did it have these physical characteristics, but it had several pink rings protruding from its back and sides. It was a magnificent creature Neon had only heard about in legends.
Neon held out his poketch to scan the creature, just to make sure he wasn’t imagining things. As quickly as he put his poketch up, it eagerly started reading: “Cresselia, the Lunar Pokemon. Shining particles are released from Cresselia’s wings like a veil. It is said to represent the crescent moon.” After the poketch got done announcing the pokemon, silence fell on the clearing. Both Neon and Cresselia just remained unmoving in a staring deadlock. After the initial shock of finding this creature settled, Neon was filled with joy and happiness. He had finally done it. He had come face to face with a Legendary pokemon. Quickly, he regained his composure and convinced himself that he wouldn’t let this opportunity go to waste. He took charge of the deadlock he was in and approached the Cresselia. The Cresselia didn’t show any fear whatsoever as Neon drew closer and closer. When Neon was finally within an arms length of the pokemon, it turned to him and stuck its head out, as if to signal it wanted its head rubbed and that it meant no harm. Neon happily obliged and stood next to the creature rubbing its head, not know what else to do.
At that moment though an earsplitting scream echoed through the forest, ending the happy encounter with the Legendary pokemon. All of the sleeping starly woke and flew off their previously occupied posts, scared of whatever was causing these screams. Neon and Cresselia both were put at attention and rushed in the direction the screams were coming from. As Neon and Cresselia came closer and closer to the screaming, the forest grew darker and darker as if some malevolent force was covering it in its veil of malice. Everything had quickly turned pitch black like the sun had been blocked out, and all Neon could see was Cresselia. Cresselia stopped alongside Neon one second, handed him a piece of it’s wing, and was gone the next second.
With the wing in hand, the darkness lifted little by little and Neon pushed on. When he approached the screaming, the scene he saw was horrific. Max was in the fetal position, rocking back and forth on the ground screaming. And what made it worse was that he was surrounded by Shellos that were delivering blow after blow to the poor boys frame. Neon could instantly tell that something was off with the pokemon, but he wasn’t going to hesitate and try and figure it out while Max’s life was in danger. These Shellos weren't just any regular Shellos, they had significantly darker colors to them than the average blue and pink. They had sinister scowls on their normally cute and bubbly faces and their eyes gleamed with a red intensity.
Immediately Neon reached to his hip strap and grabbed his top pokeball and flung it into the air, releasing a dark shadow of a bird. The small midnight black bird resembled a witch in more ways then one. It possessed a witch's hat shaped feather-crest, a broom end shaped tail, and a crooked nose. It was a wonder how it's tiny neck was able to hold up it's giant head.
“Murkrow, protect that boy in the center from the Shellos! Use Wing Attack!” commanded Neon. Murkrow, sensing the urgency in Neon’s voice, immediately sprung into action. Murkrow spread his wings wide and and maneuvered through the crowd of Shellos delivering hit after hit with his wings to their small gelatinous bodies. This caused a few of the weaker ones to drop off and head on their way back to the ocean, but the mob was still numerous and had now turned their attention on Murkrow.
“Murkrow, fly high up in the air! They won’t be able to reach you there!” Murkrow happily obliged, wanted nothing more than to get out of the reach of these angry Shellos. To the horror of both Neon and Murkrow, the Shellos’ necks began elongating to humongous lengths reaching Murkrow even as he climbed higher into the sky.
The Shellos began bashing their heads into Murkrow as he passed by mimicking the same damage they would do if they had their whole bodies in on these slams. A few of the Shellos broke off from the pack that was attacking Murkrow and started sending mud bombs at Neon. Neon quickly started off at a full sprint attempting to outrun the range of the mud bombs while remaining in range to command Murkrow.
“Murkrow bash their skulls in with Sucker Punch whenever they get near you!” Murkrow followed orders and dealt huge hits on any head that came anywhere near it. This got them to back off a bit, but instead of physical body slams, light blue circles started gathering around the heads of the Shellos. These circles came together and formed orbs in front of the Shellos and started shooting even more light blue balls out at Murkrow.
Just one of these attacks was enough to pose a threat, but there were around twenty Shellos unleashing this all at one time. The balls kept coming and formed a nearly impenetrable wall that was headed quickly toward Murkrow. “Murkrow, you don’t have any way besides trying to go through! Use the accuracy of your faint attack and aim for the biggest gaps you can find!” And with that Murkrow executed the orders as flawlessly as possible, getting nipped on his way through, but only barely. At the end of the wall there was no where to go, so Murkrow took the brunt of the attack by plowing through with his faint attack. Murkrow was obviously at the end of his rope and needed help, Neon was slowing down and running out of breath after the constant barrage of mud bombs.
With one last ditch effort, Neon called out, “Murkrow take this and use the extra power to get us out of here! Use mean look to slow them down, drop a haze cover over so I can get to Max and get him out of here!” Neon tossed Murkrow a dark purple gem that seemed to glow in the darkness. With a harsh glare, that cut through the battlefield, that battlefield slowed to a stop and a shroud of haze coated the forest blocking any sort of vision. As the combo finished the glowing purple jewel could be seen reaching it's final objective, Murkrow.
In the next minute under the white cover, a bright light shone through, a pokemon was heard returning to a pokeball, and footsteps resonated throughout the forest masking which direction they were headed.
When Neon returned back to the ship, he saw the cause of disturbance that had made the Shellos go crazy. Dark storm clouds circled the island, and in the center were two powerful forces battling back and forth. The Cresselia from earlier was now locked in an encounter with a dark mass of a creature that emanated hatred and despair. The dark veil was falling from the black creature over the forest, most likely casting some form of hypnosis on the Shellos.
“Amazin’, isn’t it?” asked the Captain as a loud crash was heard emanating from the two conflicting forces meeting together in another blast.
“Yeah. Two Legendaries going at it,” answered Neon. The sky now shone brilliant colors as a beautiful aurora beam erupted from Cresselia, knocking Darkrai backwards.
“These two be no ordinary Legendaries, they be rivals who hate each other’s existence.” In response, Darkrai formed a dark sphere close to his chest and launched it at Cresselia. The ball expanded and surrounded Cresselia in a dark void.
“What makes them so agitated with each other?” When the void released Cresselia started to fall out of the sky, asleep. But as it was falling, a much more benevolent orb surrounded it and another orb of the same kind surrounded Darkrai.
“Well the magenta one, Cresselia, represents good dreams and the black one, Darkrai, represents nightmares. They be as polar opposites as Yin and Yang.” After the orbs cleared, Darkrai started to fall. Cresselia's sleep had been transferred to Darkrai. Darkrai managed to shake it off just before hitting the ground and rose back up to the challenge. Darkrai released a huge purple ball of wind that gave off large amounts of animosity.
“How do you know so much about them?” Cresselia managed to just barely dodge the oncoming blast. It still got a bit cut up from the outside winds of the ball, but was ultimately unscathed. Cresselia then countered by releasing several large psychic blades flying through the air at it's foe.
“They’ve been the guardians here for centuries and stories get passed down through generations. I don’t know what Darkrai be doing off of Newmoon island though.” Darkrai quickly countered each blade with black pulse streams, one landing on each blade and another hitting Cresselia. Cresselia flinched in pain from the resulting blast.
“You said he represents nightmares?” Darkrai then found it's niche and kept sending pulse after pulse of pure darkness at Cresselia. Cresselia could do nothing to stop the onslaught of dark power as the blasts were just too much.
“Aye.” When Cresselia finally was ready to put up an offense against the oncoming blasts of darkness, it became engulfed in another dark void, succumbing the ensuing sleep. Darkrai took advantage of this by devouring Cresselia's dreams through a steady stream of aura.
“Is it possible he was attracted by Max’s anger and hatred towards the pokemon around here?” Cresselia managed to break out of the Darkrai's hold with barely any power left in it. And as if by power of a greater entity the moon broke through the dark clouds and shone on Cresselia restoring it's energy.
“I reckon that would be our best bet. If that be the case, this kid is lucky you got there when you did. If you hadn’t, his soul would have been sucked out of his body. I’m amazed you were able to fight off those Shellos while under Darkrai’s veil. Just being in the vicinity of it and I am getting chills.” This marked the start of Cresselia's revenge, summoning more energy from the moonlight. It released blade after blade onto the shocked Darkrai. Darkrai managed to regain it's composure and dodge the blades skillfully. Cresselia then did a dance in the moonlight summoning all of it's power and released a final wall of psycho cuts flying at Darkrai. Darkrai was ready to dodge the mass by diving into the ocean, but realized it was being held in place by a blue aura. The blades connected and Darkrai fell into a newly opened dark vortex. Cresselia followed it through the vortex.
“Well it was getting to me at first, but then Cresselia gave me this and I was fine.” Neon held up the piece of it’s wing thinking of how much power it really held after this amazing display.
“That be a piece of Cresselia’s wing! It gave it to ye? That be amazing! The creature must really trust ye.” The Captain stood there gawking at the piece of wing that belonged to the majestic creature that just won it's fight against Darkrai.
“I’m going to leave this here with Max in hopes that he heals quicker, and that his dreams might help cure his hateful demeanor.” With that Neon tossed the wing onto the sleeping Max and then started off back towards the clearing ominous island.
“That be a very honorable thing to do, but where are ye going?” The Captain wondered, obviously puzzled why anyone in their right mind would go to the island that was what he still believed to be infested with malevolent Shellos.
“I broke rule four of this expedition and as I recall, I am condemned to find my own way home.” Neon smiled giving the Captain a farewell wave.
“You actually listened?” remarked the Captain as he stared in even more befuddlement than before. His jaw was literally about to hit the floor.
“Course I did, I wouldn’t be that impolite to not listen to an old man give me a lecture.” And with that Neon reached to the pokeball on his hip strap and tossed it into the air. “Come on out Hunchcrow! Cresselia needs our help, and who knows, we might even befriend some of the Shellos we save.” Emerging from the ball was a large shadow bird that was at least twice the size of its previous form. It’s wings now had a crimson lining that matched Neon’s blazer. It had also gained a large white feathery collar and a feather crest that matched the shape of Neon’s fedora. Neon leaped off the starboard bow of the ship and grabbed hold of the newly released bird pokemon who took them into the dark forest and out of sight.
“Showoff,” mumbled the Captain. “Hey, wait... I AM NOT OLD!”
Post Note: I know technically I didn't "catch" the Shellos, but it is your decision as to whether or not I befriend one after the fight with Cresselia and Darkrai clears up.
Also, I am open to any sort of reader comments anyone would like to leave me. After the grader gives me their two sense, of course.