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Pokémon: Rise Of The Rockets

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-==IC: Ray==-

 

The alternate Entei and the orange haired trainer came to a stop at the edge of the forest where Ryan stopped. Ray frowned in silence at the trees.

"Why did they go this far...?" Ray mumbled, as he shook his head. He had seen first hand some of what had happened in Sinnoh, but this... He'd say that Sinnoh got rather lucky in comparison to this. Silently, Ray walked forward, as he recalled the Entei, and looked around at the burnt trees.

But there's no real way to replace this, without it being years before it happens... Ray thought, a slightly pained look on his face; he didn't want to see nature treated this way at all.

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IC:

 

She's not there.

 

Why is she not there?

 

Click. Click. Dial.

 

Ringing of a call that never goes through.

 

A frustrated sigh.

 

"Bronzong, stay on alert. Something must have happened here . . ."

 

Where is she . . .?

 

IC - Sonja Baron - Fortree City, Burnt Woods:

 

Were it not for the sudden change in Ryan's demeanor, Sonja may have brushed the scorched earth and trees away as simply the result of a normal brush fire. Knowing the truth, however . . . It was yet another grim reminder of everything that had come to pass throughout the world in the past few years--and in the past one, particularly.

 

"Evan," she said at length, looking at the Plasma Agent. "Couldn't Landorus help with restoring the trees here? He was able to in the portions of Unova where there was even more damage than this, wasn't he?"

 

IC - Kyle Eston/Esen Windred/Victoire Coleman - Dendemille Town:

 

"The Pokémon Center's a good option," Esen said, wiping her eyes and nodding to Cero. She moved past Kyle, leading the way into town.

 

The Liberty Agent stared after her, having taken notice of the action. And now he was torn, both wanting to check on Esen and figure out what was wrong, yet knowing that now was likely not the right time to ask. Between her silence at breakfast, her sudden fatigue, and now this . . . Something was not right. How could her personality have taken such a huge flip in such a short amount of time . . .?

 

He sighed, shouldering his bag and following.

 

 

Victoire trailed after the group the entire way to the Pokémon Center. With every step she took, she was keenly aware of several facts. She knew that anyone watching would likely think oddly of her, for her attention was very clearly set on the group. Perhaps it was beneficial, then, that she had had a Shadow Admin as a father, one who had taught her the value of dismissing street-side judgments. She also knew--or at least it seemed--that her initial analysis of Esen was correct: Something was wrong with her. What that 'something' was, Victoire could not discern. But if the two boys' body language was any indication, it was not simply her overreacting, or seeing things that were not actually there.

 

Lastly--and this did not come up until she came to a stop across the street and watched them enter the building--she did not appear to be alone in observing them.

 

It was getting late and the crowds were thinning. If this were not the case, Victoire may not have noticed the man. He wore a white coat and dress shoes, black trousers, and a black, red-feathered bowler hat with a white trim that covered a head of red hair. A white-handled cane rested under his arm, and he puffed on a cigar near the wall of a building across the way There had been little to trigger warning bells in Victoire's head when they had initially passed him by--he had been in the midst of conversing with another, larger individual wearing similar, though darker clothes and wielding an odd-looking old and black cane. But a glance and a double-take later, along with an urgent prodding of the arm and a nod toward the trio as they neared the front doors, indicated that something was off.

 

They did not seem to notice Victoire. But she certainly noticed them, and every ounce of her being recoiled at the strangeness of their interest in Esen's group, as well as the questions now raised. Not even their quick departure a moment later could make her feel at ease.

 

Victoire drew her coat closer about her, turning to look back at the Pokémon Center. You get your sleep, Esen. I won't let anything happen to you . . .


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~ Rise of the Rockets (I II)/Discussion Topic/Side Stories ~

 

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IC: Evan Tierra, Outskirts of Fortree

 

"I doubt he can restore the trees.", Evan said, furrowing his brow, "His power is that of Abundance. The ability to make the land fertile and rich. I don't think he can restore the trees to their original state."

 

With those words, Evan sent out Landorus. The Abundance pokemon stretched his arms and looked around the area. He looked around, an air of familiarity about him.

 

"I can't restore the trees to their former state, as much as I'd like to.", Landorus said, as he looked at Sonja, "But, I can hasten the growth of the plants further, thanks to the ash and charred wood."

 

"Destruction and creation are two halves of the same coin." Evan said, managing a small tired grin.

 

Nodding at Evan's comment, Landorus mustered his power, and released a faint golden wave of energy upon the area. As it spread, the grass seemed to grow more numerous. Saplings rose from the soil, their growth hastened by the power of Landorus.

 

"It's the same principle of my brethren.", Landorus said, "From the devastation they wrought, I made the land even more rich and vibrant as a result. Dead and destroyed things in the plant world, are just fertilizer."

 

Evan looked on in wonder at what Landorus had done. He had witnessed the incredible power of the Abundance Pokemon before, but the sight of the land being given new life, never failed to strike him with awe....

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IC: Ryan

Ryan paused when the wave of energy passed him, watching the saplings sprout up before his eyes. The charred trees still loomed above them, a grim reminder of the Darkrai's attack, but the underbrush seemed rejuvenated, springing anew with hope. Destruction and creation. Death and life. Melancholy of the past and hope for the future. It was somewhat jarring, seeing two opposite forces in such proximity to each other.

 

He turned around, locking eyes with the Abundance Pokémon. "Thank you," he said in a weary voice. "It's a shame you couldn't make it the way it once was... but you did what you could." He offered Evan a sad smile, then turned around and continued walking. They weren't walking for long before the burnt trees started to thin out, signaling their arrival on the outskirts of Fortree.


Konuju: Kopaka and Nuju meet the Spear of Fusion

 

Quotes from throughout the years:

 

2001: "Your past is forgotten, and your future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer." --Nokama

2002: "Mata Nui faces perhaps its greatest challenge -- one that will test our courage, our strength, and our belief in each other." --Tahu

2003: "So... it has begun, my brother. But soon, it will also end..." --Makuta

2004: "Your journey must end." "By the will of the Great Spirit, it has just begun!" --Makuta and Vakama

2005: "Our destinies are not written in stone, set in place. They are something we have to find for ourselves." --Vakama

2006: "Don't you realize you're fighting for a lost cause?" "Maybe. But don't you realize those are the only ones worth fighting for?" --Axonn and Brutaka

2007: "Sometimes a hero has to do something else besides beat the villains and come home covered in glory." --Hahli

2008: "Dive into the darkness, Ignite the flame within. Now, there is no turning back. Make the future... begin." --Narrator, The Final Battle Animation

2009: "It is said that all endings are merely beginnings waiting to be born." --Mata Nui

2010: "All journeys must come to an end, but this time, there is a new beginning as well. ... All that has gone before, my friends, has only served to give birth to this new day. Let unity, duty and destiny be your guides." --Mata Nui

2011: "Not dead. Just frozen. They’ll thaw out … eventually. I’m tired of villains spouting gibberish." --Kopaka

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IC: Adam Zynthic (+Pippi/Piplup, +Charlie/Chimchar)

 

Adam stomped his way through Eterna Forest, more than a little frustrated. "I don't know why she won't listen," he muttered, mostly to himself but still audible to the little blue bird ambling along beside him. "They were my friends, too--practically my family. And now we're the only ones left, which means we're supposed to support each other, help each other rebuild." He looked down to his Piplup. "I'm not crazy for thinking that, am I?"

 

Pippi shrugged, the concerns of her human utterly foreign to her. For her part, the Piplup found the conflict between the two humans boring, and she wished the two would just settle things with a flat-out Pokémon fight--a fight she would win, naturally. Adam's Grotle, Wiggy, would likely have something to say about her assertion, but he wasn't here, having been left in his Pokéball after lumbering away from one of Adam's earlier rants. Pippi knew better than to make the same mistake, but privately she thought the Grass-type was right--though she'd never admit it, even to him. She sometimes had a complicated with him--and with her Trainer, for that matter--but deep down, she knew she wouldn't trade either for the world.

 

She knew one thing for sure, though: if her human continued stomping angrily through the grass, he would almost certainly--

 

Sure enough, the sharp sound of pained clicking was heard as the patch of grass Adam was trampling through turned out to be a Grass-type Pokémon--a Seedot, specifically. Pippi prepared to defend her Trainer, when an angry jingling rang from the treetops, a particularly aggressive Kricketot climbing down to defend its friend.

 

Though she wouldn't show it, Pippi was worried. Her Peck would severely weaken one of her opponents for sure, but which one to target? In the end, it was Kricketot whose fangs began to glow in a Bug Bite attack, so it was the Kricketot to whom she directed her attack. Pippi paid dearly for her decision, however, as the Seedot managed to channel its Nature Power into a devastating Energy Ball that launched her across the path before Peck could connect.

 

"Pippi!" Adam called, finally having recovered from his surprise. I hate surprises, he thought to himself as two angry Pokémon advanced on him, the Kricketot beginning to glow red in preparation for a Struggle Bug while the Seedot sent its energy skyward to bring about a Sunny Day.

 

Suddenly, Adam heard the sound of a Pokéball releasing a Pokémon from within, and the next moment the Kricketot was batted away amidst a nimbus of fire. In its place stood a Chimchar, its fist wreathed in blue flame. Charlie stood leering in rage at the opponents for a moment, before launching himself once more at the Kricketot, which by some miracle had managed not to faint.

 

The Kricketot, for its part, recognized its own imminent demise, and Growled as menacingly as it could at its opponents. At first it appeared the attack would be successful--if ineffective at stopping the Chimchar--when Pippi leaped in front of Charlie, absorbing the attack and shaking it off with a smug sneer. Unfortunately for her, Charlie had already launched into a Thunder Punch that couldn't be stopped--a fact that Adam noticed just a second too late.

 

"Charlie, no!" he cried, just in time for the blow to connect with Pippi, who in turn collided with Kricketot. If the unintentional Peck hadn't been enough to finish off the Bug-type, then the arcs of lightning leaping from Charlie to Pippi to it certainly were; they were also, however, enough to down Pippi as well, the little blue bird falling to the ground amidst minor convulsions. Charlie, for his part, had intended to turn his momentum into another attack, this time on Seedot, but between his Trainer's call and the sudden appearance of Pippi his momentum ground to a halt. "Chi-ii?" he inquired, chirruping in soft concern for the Piplup.

 

Seedot wasn't about to let its opportunity go to waste. While the other Pokémon had been distracted, it had concentrated on Growing its power in the harsh sunlight, and it was more than ready to use its newfound energy. Drawing once again on the Nature Power of its surroundings, it swiftly launched a hail of Energy Balls upon the Chimchar that still opposed it. Adam called out for Charlie to dodge them, and he did--one, two, three--before leaping into the air to deliver a finishing sun-boosted Punch of orange Fire. The Seedot's Chlorophyll made it too swift to strike, however, as the Acorn Pokémon simply rolled out of the way, leaving Charlie to scorch soil. Charlie rolled and tried to perform a Scratch with his other hand, but the Seedot simply soared above him, landing directly behind the Chimp Pokémon.

 

That's when the tide turned.

 

The Eterna Forest had always been a dark place, but the darkness always seemed even more looming and oppressive as it settled back in after a brief moment of glorious illumination. That was the case now, as Seedot's earlier Sunny Day came to an end. Both Adam and Charlie smiled, the Pokémon executing the move precisely the same moment his Trainer uttered it:

 

"Taunt!"

 

Striking an arrogant pose with one hand on his hip and the other pointed straight at the opposing Pokémon, Charlie performed a "come hither" gesture, followed by a few quick vocalizations whose translation would probably be unprintable. The Seedot stamped its shelled feet in frustration, then did something completely unexpected--it evolved.

 

The Acorn Pokémon's body began to glow with a bright white light, its form begining to grow and morph. Both Adam and Charlie wished they could attack, but the blinding radiance from the Grass-type was simply too much to even look at, let alone aim an attack towards. In a flash of brilliance to match that of the Seedot's evolution, however, Adam gave an utterly incomprehensible command.

 

"Charlie, jump!"

 

Doing a double-take at its Trainer, the Chimchar nonetheless complied, leaping into the air despite the move doing nothing to counter the aim-inhibiting glow. However, a moment later Charlie recognized the wisdom in Adam's plan, when said glow immediately cut itself off as Seedot's transformation into Nuzleaf became complete. Charging up a fistfull of orange flames in one hand, the Chimchar brought them down upon the now-Nuzleaf hard as the newly-minted Grass-and-Dark-type countered with a cutting Leaf Blade. Both attacks flared out, an aura of smoke and singed leaves surrounding the two combatants, but when the dust settled...there Chimchar still stood, the clear (if battered) winner.

 

Adam scooped Charlie up into his arms--as much out of concern as out of congratulation--and then quickly swooped down upon Pippi, who was only just regaining consciousness. After a thorough check to ensure she was alright, Adam placed both Pokémon upon his shoulders and set out back to the city for which the forest was named.

 

 

-------------------------

Adam's journey back to Eterna City was uneventful. The same could not be said about his arrival in the city itself. Just minutes after his return, an unfamiliar face appeared in a burst of light in front of the Pokémon Center, a man of military bearing clad in green and gold accompanied by a Claydol. He stumbled and wavered, eventually having to lean against the wall of the Pokémon Center for support. Adam quickly increased his pace to meet him.

 

"Are you all right?" Adam asked, sounding for all the world like the Ranger he'd once tried to be. He instinctively set Charlie and Pippi on the ground to free up his arms, prepared to help as best he could.

 

"...first chance I get, I'm asking a Move Deleter to help you forget Teleport..."

 

"Excuse me?"

 

It took the disoriented man a moment to realize he was being spoken to. "Oh! My apologies. I'm...not the biggest fan of--ulp!--teleportation."

 

Adam observed the man with concern. "Are you sure you don't need help?"

 

"No need, I'm--ulp!--fine." Despite nearly having lost his lunch twice in as many minutes, the man tried to put on a brave face. "Don't suppose you could tell me where someone named Jupiter lives?"

 

"Jupiter?" The familiar name struck a familiar chord within Adam. "I know her well. She's the Ad...I mean, she's the new Gym Leader in town."

 

"Really? That's strange, I thought she'd be--ulp!" This time, the man had to put a fist to his mouth to stop himself from unleashing the human equivalent to Sludge Bomb. "I don't suppose you'd mind taking this to her for me?" the man asked weakly, waving a letter sealed with the Team Liberty logo.

 

"Of course," Adam said, carefully keeping his expression neutral. "Er--feel better."

 

"Thanks--ulp!" Throwing both hands over his mouth, the man ran into the Pokémon Center as fast as he could, his concerned Claydol right behind him.

 

Shaking his head, Adam started for the Eterna Gym--but not before sliding a nail beneath the letter's seal...

 

-------------------------

IC: Jupiter, Clemont, and Adam

 

"Hello? Is anyone here?" The man stepped through the open glass doors into the Gym of Eterna City, which already seemed a mere shadow of its former self. Clustered around the door were numerous plants and trees in cheap plastic pots, many of the holes in which they had been planted still fresh. A number of shovels and other tools rested along the wall next to a red dolly, along with two enormous metal panels that must have originally been the petals of the Gym's famous flower bridge. In fact, the crater the bridge had once crossed now lay barren, a shiny metal axle in the middle the only remains of the original clocklike structure. Above, an enormous blue tarp covered the shining skylights that had once brightened the space, while dangling pipes and cables hung down from the numerous removed ceiling and wall panels.

 

Clemont was fascinated. His own takeover of what was now Lumiose Gym twenty years ago had not required nearly as much alteration, and even the rennovations he had made in the intervening years had not been as extensive as the project Gym Leader Jupiter was undertaking. As he admired the handywork of the former Team Galactic Admin--much of which she had likely accomplished herself, he realized--the voice of the newly-minted Gym Leader beckoned from the back.

 

"I'm in the back--past this last row of trees." Clemont heard a beeping noise, followed by his fellow Gym Leader dictating a voice note. "Note to self: ask tomorrow about getting the big trees removed, I'm tired of not being able to see who's coming into the Gym." As Clemont made it past the barrier of obscuring foliage, the purple-haired woman adjusted the reading glasses she currently wore. "If you're looking to challenge the Gym, I'm afraid we aren't accepting challengers. As you can see, this place is in no state for a battle, even if we weren't experiencing technical difficulties." Jupiter looked up to the ceiling, as if expecting the lights to go out on cue, but to her relief they remained lit. Thank Arceus for small blessings, she thought to herself.

 

"Huh?" Clemont asked, momentarily confused, before chuckling. "Oh, no. I'm not here to challenge your Gym, Miss Jupiter. My name's Clemont, I'm the Leader of Lumiose Gym in the Kalos region." The inventor sheepishly drew his hand out of the pocket of his lab coat and extended it to Jupiter, who politely accepted the gesture. "I was in the area when I heard there was a new Gym Leader in town, so I thought I'd drop by and offer you my best wishes." Clemont adjusted his own glasses, the lenses momentarily shining opague in the light. "You mentioned you were having technical problems?"

 

Jupiter crossed her arms and shrugged. "Power problems, mostly. The previous Gym Leader was a Grass-type trainer, so she relied a lot on sunlight and solar power. That's not going to cover what I have in mind, so in order to accommodate a real generator I have to re-wire the whole place. I was thinking about contained singularity core technology as a centerpiece for the Gym, but with the necessary components being so rare now--are you all right?" Jupiter leaned back from Clemont in both confusion and concern.

 

"So amazing..." the man mumbled, his glassy gaze and silly smile making him look for all the world like he had lost his marbles.

 

"Excuse me?" Jupiter asked, raising an eyebrow.

 

"Huh?!" Clemont shook himself to his senses, blushing beet red in the process. "Ah! This is so embarassing! Why does this keep happening to me?" Clemont cleared his throat uncomfortably. "I'm so sorry. Er, you see, I'm a bit of a technology buff myself, so when you start talking about all your cool Team Galactic gear..." The Lumiose Gym Leader scratched the back of his head awkwardly before self-consciously smoothing his goatee.

 

"Uh-huh," Jupiter replied, unimpressed. "Well, unfortunately for you, that's all gone now, so I have to handle the matter myself--"

 

"Oh, please don't say that!" Clemont cried, clinging to the ex-Admin. "I know I might be a bit awkward, but surely there must be something I can do to help you out!"

 

"Well," she said, considering her options. "I have to admit I could use some help. And you seem pretty harmless--"

 

Just then, to the Eterna Gym Leader's dismay, another unexpected visitor arrived.

 

"Jupiter?" Adam asked, "Admin Jupiter, you need to see this." Climbing carefully across the central crater, Adam made his way to where Jupiter and Clemont stood. "It's a message from Team Liberty."

 

"Who's this?" Clemont asked, the Kalos native taking in Adam's disheveled appearance in a glance.

 

"A former...business associate," Jupiter answered annoyedly. "He's normally only in town for a few days. I'm not sure why he hasn't moved on yet," she added pointedly, glaring at the meddling ex-Galactic sympathizer.

 

"And where exactly am I supposed to move on to?" Adam retorted, "It's not exactly like I can count on the team for a good reference."

 

"It's not my job to figure that out. Pokéworld Daily said Team Magma's having personnel problems, maybe you should go consult for them." Turning her back on the Trainer, Jupiter grabbed a wrench and went back to working on wiring.

 

"You know, you really shouldn't trust tabloids like that, they really don't check their facts very well," Clemont interjected, apparently clueless to the insult.

 

Adam set his jaw. He had the information, this time he would make Jupiter listen to him for once. "You could say they're having personnel problems...namely, their personnel are all dead."

 

As he'd hoped, this got the reaction he wanted out of Jupiter and Clemont. "They're WHAT?" Jupiter asked in shock, closely overlapping with a "No way!" from Clemont.

 

Just then, the lights went out. Jupiter swore, shaking her now-empty hand in pain.

 

"How shocking," Clemont continued, completely oblivious to his own pun. It was fortunate that the dim blue glow of the sun through the tarp-covered skylights was insufficient to illuminate the space, as it prevented the Lumiose Gym Leader from the twin stares of disgust aimed his way.

 

"Mr. Clemont--"

 

"Just Clemont, please," Clemont corrected.

 

"Clemont," Jupiter asked, calm despite her diminishing patience, "could you please go in back and help me fix this? I think I just tripped the breaker box, with luck it won't be anything worse."

 

"Of course I can help!" the man exclaimed, clicking a button on the side of his glasses to activate a miniature flashlight beam. "The future is now, thanks to science! Clemontic gear on--"

 

"I'm...sorry, Mr. Clemont, but could you maybe just...fix it?"

 

"--Oh. Ah. Right, of course." Chuckling nervously, Clemont made his retreat into the back room.

 

Jupiter wheeled on Adam.

 

"Why would you tell me this?"

 

"Well, for starters--"

 

"Nova was only two weeks ago, what makes you think it would be a good idea to bring up--"

 

"Well, for ONE thing," Adam yelled, then winced at his own loudness. "For one thing, the message was for you, from someone named Blackskull. I'm guessing he's important?" At that moment, the lights came back on, momentarily distracting both participants in the conversation.

 

"Somewhat important. Continue."

 

"For another...they need us."

 

A pause. "What."

 

"They need our help--your help."

 

Another pause, this one much longer. "...Explain."

 

Adam took a breath, both to steady his nerves and to compose his thoughts. Just then, Clemont started to walk back into the room, but stopped at the threshold upon perceiving the tension between Jupiter and Adam. Unnoticed by either of them, he decided not to interrupt, and waited listening in the doorway.

 

Adam released his breath, then began. "Team Magma...they're just like us. They've lost their leader, their team, their home. If you're so set on moving on...well, maybe they deserve the chance to move on, too."

 

Jupiter stood silently, considering. Adam grunted in frustration.

 

"For Arceus' sake, there's six of them, total, is that really such a huge deal?"

 

"...Do they have any Poison-type Pokémon?"

 

Adam's jaw dropped, as Clemont let out an involuntary "What?!"

 

Jupiter rolled her eyes at both men. "So I know if I need to go catch some for them. They're welcome to come here, but I need them to put in the proper effort if they're going to work in my Gym."

 

While Clemont seemed unconvinced, Adam took a step back.

 

"That's...fair, I suppose. Do you want me to send a message to Blackskull?"

 

"No, you've helped enough, I'll do it. Now, if you would just leave me--"

 

For the third time that afternoon, the Gym doors opened. Jupiter suppressed a sigh, but spotted a familiar-looking Piplup leading Officer Jenny up the edge of the crater. Adam took one look at them, saw the blue-stained Chimchar the officer was carrying, and blanched.

 

"Sir, do these Pokémon belong to you?"

 

"Oh Bidoof...yes, they do." A slightly scorched-looking chef covered in blue berry juice leaned out from behind Jenny and glared at Adam. "What did they do?"

 

"I'll need you to come with me, sir."

 

Adam reluctantly left the Gym, shrugging helplessly at the Gym Leaders. Jupiter allowed herself a small smirk of satisfaction, though she quickly resumed her ordinary demeanor.

 

"I'm sorry, Mr. Clemont, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to cut your visit short. Is there anything else you needed?"

 

"Well, actually, I did want to give you a little advice about being a Gym Leader. You know, things I wish I'd known back when I started, that sort of thing."

 

For a moment, it appeared Jupiter would decline, but the next she sat down on a stump and prepared to listen. "Very well. What advice do you have for me?"

 

Clemont nodded, then held up his fingers. "There are three rules I follow in leading the Lumiose Gym. First rule: Be modest. It doesn't matter how many Badges a challenger has, everyone deserves the chance to learn. Second rule: Be kind, even while you're being tough. And don't forget to give the challenger constructive advice after the battle! And the third rule: Be thoughtful. Try to help challengers grow their skills." Clemont smiled, remembering the day he had devised those rules for himself. "These are rules every Gym Leader needs to follow," he concluded.

 

Jupiter waited for more advice, but none was forthcoming. "Is that all?"

 

"That's all."

 

"...I'll keep that in mind."

 

Clemont bowed respectfully and turned to depart, a little disappointed his idol didn't seem very enthused. "Please, come see me next time you're in Kalos. I'd be happy to have a battle with you." As he reached the sliding glass doors, however, Jupiter called to him once more.

 

"Clemont?"

 

"Yes, Miss Jupiter?"

 

"Thank you."

 

Clemont smiled. "Any time, Miss Jupiter. Until next time!" The Lumiose Gym Leader departed Eterna Gym, heading out into the world once more as his adventures continued.

Edited by Flipz


 

Me: *has idea*

Blade: "I'd say too convoluted, and I know too convoluted =P"

 

"Dangit, I shouldn't have gotten ambitious."

--Merc, RE: our plotting

 

Pokémon Rise of the Rockets Profiles: LINK

3DS FC: 3625-9584-9417 (Pokemon X Friend Safari: Electric-type, Pachirisu, Electabuzz, Zebstrika)

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IC: Aspen Seaton

"Learn my place......." Aspen repeated with a low growl, a fire slowly burning in his eyes. "And just what gives you the right to determine my place, oh mighty tyrant? The only thing I can think of which would make power go to your head is that Heatran you carry around.... Speaking of that, do you have any idea what kind of mayhem it caused in Sootopolis?" he asked forcefully, struggling to keep his voice level. 

"That crazy legendary.... What do you think would happen when it sent lava flying through the air? Did you have to think about how much destruction it'd have caused? I did.... When Ellen ran after an Eevee into an abandoned building. Wanna know what happened?" Aspen growled. "Of course, your stupid Heatran's lava dropped onto the building, setting the whole thing aflame and breaking it down. That Eevee? Got its leg pinned and trapped. Me and Ellen stayed behind to free it.... We barely escaped."

The trainer looked around everyone present, before focusing his gaze once more upon Dack. "That Heatran of yours nearly killed Ellen and Saya." he muttered with a quiet rage. "And it killed others, I know it..... So, if you can't keep this power under control... What makes you better than Hannah? What makes you more than a madman with more power than they can comprehend?" 

 

IC: Lachina Adaon

 

Lachina looked back at Kiri, and nodded back at her. She turned to Aolani, who was nearly about to screech in annoyance at Drew's attempted petting, and the Altaria relented once more, begrudgingly allowing the urchin boy to pet her. 

Then the Ranger turned her attention to Drew and Alaina, taking a moment to clear her throat and adjust her flight goggles slightly. ".....If I wanted to punish two kids trying to survive.... I would have become a police officer." she said at last, kneeling down slightly to meet Alaina's eyes. "I became a Ranger because I wanted to help people. I took this job because I wanted to spend my days doing something fulfilling. And what's more fulfilling than spending time focusing, not on myself, but the needs of others?." Lachina explained. 

 

"You and your brother... Well, yes, you two are street rats. But there's a story behind you two. Tales of countless hardships and struggles...." she muttered. "I'm going to do the best with the time I have, to make sure your story has a happy ending."

Edited by Toph Beifong

Haven't seen one of these in a long time...

 

 

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IC: Dack/Madison/Luke
Dack grabbed an Ultra Ball off his belt and shoved it under Aspen's nose. "You know what makes me better than Hannah?" he asked, seething with rage. "This." His thumb hovered threateningly over the release button of the black-and-yellow capsule.
 
"Dack, stop!" Madison cried, trying to pull him back. Dack shrugged her off, continuing to glare at Aspen.
 
"You know why I keep Heatran in here?" he asked in a low voice. "Because I know what it's capable of. Hannah sent it to Snowpoint, my hometown, to burn the place to a crisp. You think I don't comprehend its power? Hannah let it roam free, destroying everything in its path. I keep it contained. I only use it as a last resort, when the situation is really dire. Like, I don't know, a fifty foot monster stomping a city flat."
 
Shannon rolled her eyes. "Sounds to me like you only made the situation worse than it already was."
 
"Here's a bright idea," Luke said. "How about we listen to Ryan's advice and all take a chill pill."
 
"Yes, I agree," Madison said, glaring at both Dack and Aspen. "Both of you are acting like two-year-olds."
 
Dack glared at Aspen a moment longer before whirling around and continuing the walk back to the restaurant, slipping Heatran's Ultra Ball back onto his belt.
 
IC: Kiri/Alaina/Drew
A wide smile formed on Drew's face as he pet the Altaria. Upon hearing Lachina's words, he turned his goofy grin toward her and gave her the biggest hug he could. "Thank you, Miss," he said. At his side, Buizel squealed excitedly.
 
Alaina was less optimistic. Being the older sibling, she was more aware of the sweet talk adults tended to give children when they wanted them to cooperate. And while this Ranger didn't seem to be more than a handful of years older than her, Alaina wasn't about to just turn herself over to someone she had just met, even if she had saved her brother's life. But at the same time, she couldn't leave Drew. "Well, let's get to it, then," she said, giving Lachina a sharp look. "We won't be finding any happy endings in this old dump."
 
"That's the spirit," Kiri said with a smile as she started to lead the group back outside.
 
"Where are we gonna go now?" Drew asked, following close by Lachina.
 
"We're gonna see who else needs our help," Kiri said brightly. "If everyone helped each other like that, this city would be back on its feet in no time!" She turned to the Ranger. "Lead the way, Lachina!"

IC: Paul
Paul had arrived in a disaster zone. Debris was strewn everywhere, with destruction as far as the eye could see. But there was no sign of the Legendary Pokémon that had caused it. "Is it already over?" the blacksmith muttered to himself. "Have they managed to force Groudon back underground?" Scar landed in the middle of a block of buildings that were mostly still standing. "What happened here? Did they stop Groudon?" he asked a man who was handing out bottles of fresh water to the hundreds of people who had suddenly found themselves homeless.

"I'd wager it's over," the man replied. "But people are saying it wasn't a Groudon at all, but a Ditto."

"A Ditto?" Paul frowned. "Then it would seem that this is more than just a freak occurrence."

"Maybe." the man shrugged. "That's a load of bogus if you ask me. People don't want to believe Groudon would just attack us out of the blue, so they'll believe whatever story they can come up with."

"Well, I wouldn't put it past a Legendary to lay waste to a city," Paul said, recalling the disaster in Southeast Unova. "Anyway, I'm looking for my daughter, and I heard she might be here."

"Aren't we all looking for someone?" The water man shook his head sadly as Paul pulled his photo out of his billfold. "I've already had dozens of people ask me if I've seen their friends and family. One man can't keep track of all those faces. But here, have a bottle of water. It's the least I can offer you."


Konuju: Kopaka and Nuju meet the Spear of Fusion

 

Quotes from throughout the years:

 

2001: "Your past is forgotten, and your future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer." --Nokama

2002: "Mata Nui faces perhaps its greatest challenge -- one that will test our courage, our strength, and our belief in each other." --Tahu

2003: "So... it has begun, my brother. But soon, it will also end..." --Makuta

2004: "Your journey must end." "By the will of the Great Spirit, it has just begun!" --Makuta and Vakama

2005: "Our destinies are not written in stone, set in place. They are something we have to find for ourselves." --Vakama

2006: "Don't you realize you're fighting for a lost cause?" "Maybe. But don't you realize those are the only ones worth fighting for?" --Axonn and Brutaka

2007: "Sometimes a hero has to do something else besides beat the villains and come home covered in glory." --Hahli

2008: "Dive into the darkness, Ignite the flame within. Now, there is no turning back. Make the future... begin." --Narrator, The Final Battle Animation

2009: "It is said that all endings are merely beginnings waiting to be born." --Mata Nui

2010: "All journeys must come to an end, but this time, there is a new beginning as well. ... All that has gone before, my friends, has only served to give birth to this new day. Let unity, duty and destiny be your guides." --Mata Nui

2011: "Not dead. Just frozen. They’ll thaw out … eventually. I’m tired of villains spouting gibberish." --Kopaka

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-==IC: Ray==-

 

Ray stopped and watched in surprise and awe, as Landorus restored the land.

"Wow..." Ray said; it wasn't totally fixed, but the forest definitely did seem to be back on its way.

That power is something else... I can't believe that it could even help the sprouts. Too bad about the trees, though... Ray thought, and noticed that Ryan still didn't seem to be totally pleased, and frowned slightly. The orange haired trainer slightly sighed, and followed along wordlessly.

 

-==IC: Jenny==-

 

"Wow!" Jenny said in amazement, as she smiled widely. "I know we saw the land getting restored on TV six months ago, but... To see it in person is just, wow." Jenny said, as she had a sudden new appreciation for how Landorus had helped out.

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IC: Cero did not sit as much as he fell and stayed perpendicular to the floor. He felt the bed beneath him.

 

He reflected that it was good to have a foundation. Lately, that had been absent; when he spoke to Kyle first, it had been prompted only by common courtesy. And since then, his actions had been, likewise, without precedent. Entering a tournament? He hadn't prepared for that. Joining another traveler? He grew stronger alone, not with others. Talking? He tried to avoid it. He didn't want to waste anyone's time.

 

Yet he'd taken the leap. Now he saw the consequences. Aridez had evolved, and if Kyle was right, that meant a beast worth his weight in trouble. His traveling plan, and his regimen by extension, lay at the mercy of two strangers. He had witnessed extremely private behavior in public. Where his discipline had once reigned was now a web of intrigue. He was at a corner between strands.

 

Before this, he learned of the world through observation. He traveled without changing what was around him, and though he always stayed by people, he rarely talked to them. He only spent or earned to survive. He had friends, they were simply a notch beneath on the totem pole.

 

At present, he wasn't sure any of that was true. He wasn't sure that was good.

 

But looking at the prize he'd earned for the tournament, and thinking of Kyle, he wasn't sure it was bad, either.

 

He quickly smiled, then summoned Buitre, Piedra and Sombra. He needed to catch up with them while the others rested. They deserved something for their fighting, too. Perhaps he could give them a gift.

 

One of Buitre's feathers fluttered to the ground, and he eyed it, remembering the molting he had kept to track her growth.

 

His companions were still a notch down, but from this perspective, they looked even enough for an exchange.


[Profiles]

Cropped.png.611b6f973fd434d0847c1fdaa53ac881.png

Wisdom. Restraint. Emptiness. 

 

 

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IC: Aspen Seaton

 

Aspen didn't flinch outwardly, but braced himself for punches flying towards his face. And yet.... Dack relented. The youngest Seaton blinked, watching the trainer walk away.

 

".....I still don't see why you're so crazy about him." he muttered to Madison, before turning around and letting his scarf whip behind him as he trudged back towards the Olivine Garden.

 

IC: Lachina Adaon

 

Lachina smiled a wide smile when Drew threw his arms around her, an action she reciprocated. While the Ranger squeezed Drew tightly, Aolani simply turned away and scoffed, trying to unruffle her feathers from where Drew had pet her.

 

After giving the urchin boy a reassuring hug, his sister Alaina spoke up, to which Kiri asked Lachina to lead the way. "You got it! I'm not going to let any of you three down!" she promised, and took the lead when walking the gardener and urchin children out.

Soon everyone exited the abandoned building, and Lachina scanned the area for those who might need help. "Hrm? Oh, would you look at that!" she cried, pointing to the direction of a man handing out water bottles to the scattered citizens. "There are people doing their best to help out after all..... Let's go help 'em out!"

IC: Ruth Fishers

"So, plan is, Yugo gets his Sandslash to make a dirt mound that Will the Scolipede stands on." Ruth repeated. "Sound alright, everyone?"


Haven't seen one of these in a long time...

 

 

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IC - Sonja Baron - Fortree City, Ground Level:

 

Admittedly, Sonja, too, had been hoping for more, but she wasn't about to lambaste what Landorus had accomplished--particularly not when she knew that cynicism would do nothing to help the situation any further.

 

"It's a good starting place," she said as they walked, offering the Legendary Pokémon a half-shrug and a cheerful smile. She ran her hand absentmindedly against the trunk of a healthy tree as she passed it. "Get a couple of Grass- and Water-Types here and the forest will restore itself in no time. It's not all that bad, right?"

 

She hoped so. Even so, the group fell silent the rest of their way to Fortree, until they finally emerged beneath the platforms that housed many of the buildings. Sonja stared in amazement at the structures, a genuine grin spreading across her face at the sights before her. She had seen some pictures of the place before, but none of them could have ever managed to capture the true magnificence of the City in the Trees.

 

"This . . . is fantastic."

Edited by Parugi

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~ Rise of the Rockets (I II)/Discussion Topic/Side Stories ~

 

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IC: Evan Tierra, Fortree City

 

Sonja pretty much said what Evan was thinking.The very city was the picture of living in harmony with nature. Evan looked about, clearly in awe of the city's marvelous structures. Landorus looked on in pride at the trees supporting the homes of many. He may have been the embodiment of Abundance, but even he couldn't help but admire the power of nature.

 

"This is your hometown, Ryan?", Evan said excitedly, playfully ruffling Ryan's hair as he spoke, "It looks absolutely stunning! Which tree is yours? C'mon, give us a little tour!"

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IC: Arius Jacobson - Alamos Power Plant

Arius nodded. "Yeah, that sounds...fine to me, I guess."

Edited by Ehksidian

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Steam name: Ehksidian

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== Alomos Power Plant ==

== Yugo Doseki ==
== Pidgey(Airazor) - Sandslash - Charmander(Spitfire) ==
 
IC: Yugo nodded to both Ruth and Arius before selecting a white premierball.png Poke ball from the pouches on his hip and clicking the center button expanding the ball to it's full size. Stopping for a moment he looked to the group and more specifically the Pokémon within the group. "I should probably warn you my Sandslash is not the most docile of individuals when it feels cornered or threatened. It may not take too kindly to the large grouping of new faces." Yugo tried to put emphasis on the last part to show he was talking about the more threatening looking pokemon. Hoping to get their cooperation Yugo proceeded to activate the Poke ball's release feature. "Sandslash I need your help."

 

The Poke ball opened with a flash of red and white as the energy formed into the general shape of a large ball that was covered in large quills. Sandslash was summoned in his curled up form and remained as such for several seconds as the quills flexed back and forth. Then the ball started to expand and get larger until Sandslash's feet and arms emerged from below it. The ball continued to uncurl and reveal Sandslash's full form. When his head emerged as he stood up his eyes were closed. Then they opened without warning and his forward claws slammed into the ground with a crack and a rush of dust.

 

Yugo stepped forward and leaned into a crouching position next to Sandslash before placing a hand on its head and stroking its quills. "Everyone, I would like you to meet my Sandslash. I have raised him since he was but a small Sandshrew. Other than my family's Pidgey He has been with me the longest."


"A stranger will always be a stranger unless you give them a chance."

:m_p: :r: :m_o: :w: :l:    :n: :i: :g: :h: :t: :w: :m_o: :l: :f:

 |premierball.png| <- My Pokémon | BZPRPG Characters: Po-Matoran Doseki & Nui-Jaga Scorpio; Ga-Matoran Orca 
Matoran und Panzer: Doseki & Glitch | Marvel RP PC | Mata Nui Monopoly: Come... Own a piece of the legend!

Onua.png

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IC: George

The Rhydon was beaten back by the Cross Chop, enough for Manectric to land a Crunch on the wild Pokémon's thick hide, making sure to keep clear of its swinging arms. Sunhound's Fire Spin didn't do much to damage the Rock-Ground type, but it did manage to trap the Rhydon in the inferno. Thick as its armor was, the Rhydon was not about to plunge itself into the roaring flames. Instead, it slammed its feet on the ground, creating an Earthquake that shook the canyon.

 

"Look out!" George cried, as rocks rained down on them. Manectric did its best to shoot Thunderbolts at the falling boulders, breaking them into harmless dust.

 

IC: Kiri/Drew/Alaina/Paul

"Hello," the man said as Kiri, Lachina, and the two urchin children approached him. "Might I offer you a bottle of water?"

 

Kiri smiled. "Well, actually, we--" She paused at the sound of sudden gulping. Apparently Alaina had snatched a pair of water bottles when no one was looking and proceeded to quench her parched mouth. She offered the other bottle to Drew, but the boy paled at the sight of the liquid. He had shrugged off his near-death experience before, but he was in no hurry to drink more water any time soon.

 

Meanwhile, Paul sat down on a rock and slowly sipped his water, while Scar stood by his side. "I can't believe it," he muttered. "The whole city'd been wrecked." He shook his head with a sigh. "Curse that Berry Lady for sending Ellen here of all places..."

 

IC: Ryan

Being back in his hometown seemed to rejuvenate Ryan. He smiled at Sonja's amazement and laughed at Evan's teasing. "Sorry, Evan," he said. "But I can't give you a little tour. A place like this deserves a grand tour! This way, everyone!" He headed toward a nearby tree and grabbed a rope ladder that hung from the platform high above. "Hope you aren't scared of heights," he said as he quickly climbed.

 

Once everyone had made it to the top of the platform, Ryan led them over to a long bridge that stretched out over many of the smaller trees. "This," he said with an air of pride, "is one of the best views of the whole city." He paused, looking out over his hometown with a nostalgic smile. Wooden platforms and buildings dotted the landscape above them and below, in every direction. Some of them were so subtle they seemed to blend in with the natural landscape. All in all, Ryan considered it the perfect mix of nature and civilization.

 

When he felt everyone had taken in the view, Ryan led them the rest of the way across the bridge. "There's plenty of other lookout spots like that," he said. "I'll have to get Ellen to show you her favorites." He navigated the group through the vast network of platforms, ladders, and bridges, until at long last they arrived at a small home. "Welcome to my humble abode," he said with a grin. A low bell tone reverberated through the trees, scaring a flock of Tailow into flight. "That's odd," he muttered. "Did one of the neighbors install a clock tower while I was gone?" He reached into his pocket for his key and went to unlock the door, only to find that it was already unlocked. "Hmm, I should've reminded Ellen to lock the doors at night before I left," he said. "I had a feeling she'd forget. Ah, well, Terry's a pretty good guard dog anyway." He slowly opened the door and stepped inside. "Ellen?" he called out. "I'm home! And I've got a surprise for you!"


Konuju: Kopaka and Nuju meet the Spear of Fusion

 

Quotes from throughout the years:

 

2001: "Your past is forgotten, and your future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer." --Nokama

2002: "Mata Nui faces perhaps its greatest challenge -- one that will test our courage, our strength, and our belief in each other." --Tahu

2003: "So... it has begun, my brother. But soon, it will also end..." --Makuta

2004: "Your journey must end." "By the will of the Great Spirit, it has just begun!" --Makuta and Vakama

2005: "Our destinies are not written in stone, set in place. They are something we have to find for ourselves." --Vakama

2006: "Don't you realize you're fighting for a lost cause?" "Maybe. But don't you realize those are the only ones worth fighting for?" --Axonn and Brutaka

2007: "Sometimes a hero has to do something else besides beat the villains and come home covered in glory." --Hahli

2008: "Dive into the darkness, Ignite the flame within. Now, there is no turning back. Make the future... begin." --Narrator, The Final Battle Animation

2009: "It is said that all endings are merely beginnings waiting to be born." --Mata Nui

2010: "All journeys must come to an end, but this time, there is a new beginning as well. ... All that has gone before, my friends, has only served to give birth to this new day. Let unity, duty and destiny be your guides." --Mata Nui

2011: "Not dead. Just frozen. They’ll thaw out … eventually. I’m tired of villains spouting gibberish." --Kopaka

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IC: Amelia Zann

Having remained decidedly silent--if a bit smug--during Dack and Aspen's argument, Amelia sidled up to Madison. "Sheesh," she confided quietly, "I know I joked about the kid before, but seriously. Is he always like this?"



 

Me: *has idea*

Blade: "I'd say too convoluted, and I know too convoluted =P"

 

"Dangit, I shouldn't have gotten ambitious."

--Merc, RE: our plotting

 

Pokémon Rise of the Rockets Profiles: LINK

3DS FC: 3625-9584-9417 (Pokemon X Friend Safari: Electric-type, Pachirisu, Electabuzz, Zebstrika)

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IC - Sonja Baron - Fortree City, Ryan's Home:

 

The ringing of the bell from outside was one signal. And as it sounded, the connection ignited, and she saw through Bronzong's eyes a sight that made her stop in place. Five individuals, three men and two women, rapidly approaching the house. Of the five, four were familiar. She knew them--she knew them all too well. And they knew her.

 

She let the image burn away, giving the room one last sweep of the eye before opening the door. 

 

As she moved across the room, headed for the window, the front door opened.

 

 

Sonja knew that something was wrong as soon as the bell tolled. She did not know what, and she did not know why. All she knew was that the sound felt . . . familiar. Distinctive. It was something that she knew she must have heard before, but could not pin where or why. So she said nothing, only following Ryan and the others, lulling at the back of the group. Uneasy eyes seemed to watch them, but she knew not where they lurked.

 

Ryan opened the door. The fact that it was unlocked, by itself, was not suspicious--perhaps Ellen was home. If that were the case, then it needn't be anything to worry about. But it was the mentioning of Terry--and the lack of a response--that drew further suspicion from her. Sunlight poured into the front room as the rectangular wood swung inward, spilling the illuminating rays across the floor.

 

And in the warmth of the sun, Sonja and the others froze, all smiles and ease vanishing in an instant.

 

Ellen was not home. But there was someone else. The darkness partially covered her, darkening the upper half of her body such that her face could not immediately be discerned. But in her stance, the frozen, surprised backward step, the group saw something that they themselves felt: Recognition. It was not a fleeting feeling, and it did not register immediately for them, but it was there, and they felt it all too sharply as their eyes began to adjust, allowing them to make out those eyes, vague purple cutting through the dark--that dark brown hair--the face that mirrored all too closely one of their own.

 

And the next moment, a palm held forward, around which flickered the light of psychic energy pointed directly at them, its illumination revealing her face.

 

"I'll be the first to admit that this is a very unexpected situation," Maddison Hayes said. "That being the case--I will have to ask that the five of you avoid any reckless action."

 

 


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~ Rise of the Rockets (I II)/Discussion Topic/Side Stories ~

 

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-==IC: Ray==-

 

On their way there, Ray had heard the bell, which seemed odd. Now, it all made sense.

"What are you doing here?" Ray asked suspiciously with a frown, as he didn't move to act just yet, however, he subtly changed into a pose that would allow them to act faster if that was necessary. "And where's Ellen? Because you're most definitely not her, Sophia." Ray said, as he used the name that he could not forget after Castelia, to emphasize the point.

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IC: Evan Tierra, Fortree City

 

At the sound of the voice, Evan froze. He hadn't heard that voice in a long time, and had hoped to never hear it again. It may have been a long time ago, but the memory of what Hayes had don was as clear to him as if it were yesterday. At her words, Evan assumed a relaxed pose, not wanting to escalate the tension already present.

 

"You seem quite well, Sophia.", Evan said, scowling at Hayes, "Especially considering how you were at Route 4 way back when. Mind telling us why, you of all people, are here?"

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-==IC: Colette/Jayron==-

 

After a short rest, Colette and Jayron hopped down into the next tunnel. After only traveling a short distance, Colette paused with a shudder. "Is it just me, or does this place just feel..." Colette struggled to find the words to describe what she was trying to say, and simply shuddered again.

Jayron closed his eyes, still unable to feel anything with his aura. He shuddered nevertheless, as a sudden chill made its way down his spine. "Yeah," he said with a nod. "Whatever's in the next chamber... well, let's just say it's probably a good thing we gathered our strength."

Colette nodded, as she began to walk down the tunnel again. However, as the trio progressed, about halfway down, they noticed that the walls were starting to get odd... patterns on them. It took Jayron and Colette a while to realize that the patterns were some sort of vine, glowing a sickly purple color. Hundreds, no, thousands of vines snaked their way across the walls, floor, and ceiling of the tunnel. In addition to the vines, it seemed someone had carved letters into the tunnel wall. A lot. The letters formed a single word, repeated hundreds of times along the walls, in various shapes and sizes.

 

'VIAPOIS.'

 

Colette seemed very unnerved at the words. "Okay, I understand carving one word, but... The walls are covered..." She had a disturbed look on her face, as she noticed the words were faintly glowing about the same shade of purple; just darker. As she looked closer, however, she noticed they also were on the ceiling and floor as well. "What could this one mean...?"

"What do any of them mean?" Jayron asked. "Let's just keep moving. The sooner we get out of here, the better. This place just... isn't natural."

The vines and words only got worse as they went on. Soon they were not walking on the stone floor, but on a layer of the strange vines. They made an odd crunching sound when stepped on, like decaying roots.

Colette winced as they walked over the roots. "I just don't--" she started to say, but stopped, as a little voice rang out through the tunnel.

 

"You shouldn't be here. Turn back." The voice said, and Colette's eyes widened.

"Alexa?!" Colette gasped, as she ignored what the voice said, and instead ran forward through the tunnel.

"Colette, wait!" Jayron cried. "It could be--" He sighed as Colette disappeared down the tunnel. "...a trap."

Regardless of whether or not it's a trap, we should follow her, Lucario advised. It won't do any of us good to be alone down here.

Jayron nodded and took off after Colette, worried about what they might find at the end of the tunnel.

Colette was focused. More so than at any other point of the trip to this moment. She was so focused that she never noticed the vines covering more and more of the wall as they went. She did not stop when she tripped over a couple of the vines; she just used the forward motion to plant her other foot down, and just kept running, until she arrived at the giant chamber at the end of the tunnel. Colette gasped again; the chamber was easily much bigger than the previous chambers... And in the middle of the chamber, was Alexa.

 

Alexa hung suspended in the air, her nightgown billowing in what appeared to be a harsh wind. She wore a flower in her hair; the same flower that had been in Colette’s headband. Its petals fluttered, the strong winds threatening to tear the adornment to shreds. All around her, a vortex of particles swarmed about in a mad frenzy. It was bigger than the vortex that had surrounded Colette's duplicate or the monstrous Feraligatr. And it was made out of a different substance entirely.

Jayron finally caught up to her, gasping for air. He took one look at the vortex and reached for a Pokéball. "Colette," he said urgently. "Those are Unown!" Suddenly everything made sense. That strange omnipresence he had felt had been the Unown. For the Unown had likely been watching their progress this entire time, sending illusions harnessed from Alexa's mind. "Alright," he said. "We need a battle strategy."

Colette growled, as she noticed the... things flying around Alexa. Jayron mentioned the name, but she didn't know what they were. All she knew was that they needed to pay. "Battle strategy?" she repeated, as her aura began to flare up, glowing around her as her hair was flung around in the wind. Colette glared up at the Unown, and then narrowed her eyes. "We attack; full force."

 

Jayron nodded, sending out his entire team, as well as summoning an aura sphere into the palm of his hand. "We'll take care of the Unown," he said, his eyes brimming with aura. "You just get Alexa out of there!" With a battle cry, Jayron launched his aura sphere at the horde of Unown. The Symbol Pokémon formed a shield of energy to deflect the bolt, but it had never been intended as an attack. It was a call to battle. The moment the sphere sailed into the air, Jayron's Pokémon launched onto the offensive. Lucario Extremespeeded through the swarm, hoping to break the Unown up. Absol performed a Double Team, then began to Night Slash the letters left and right. Servine planted herself against the wall and unleashed a huge Leaf Storm. Zwelious fired a series of Dark Pulses at the Unown. Metagross floated into the air with Magnet Rise and began spinning about, sending the Unown flying with a rapid-spin-style Hammer Arm. Aqua dug into the ground beneath the chamber, gathering a large Mud Bomb which she threw at Alexa's assailants. Meanwhile Jayron began forming another aura sphere in his hands.

In another time, Colette would've congratulated Jayron for being able to more easily summon aura spheres. But right now, she was determined; and she felt like nothing could stop her. Colette dashed forward, gathering two aura spheres in her hand. The aura wielder flung the two blasts toward the Unown quickly, as she ducked under two of them flying toward her. Turning back for a moment, she fired off two more blasts toward the Unown that had passed her, and then turned back around, as the Aura Spheres collided with the psychic Pokémon. Colette then sent out her usable team, and continued on her path toward Alexa.

 

The Unown realized what was happening and began to swell. Blasts of Hidden Power flew toward Jayron's team, each one landing a super effective hit. Jayron threw up a shield to protect himself, then his eyes widened as he saw the Unown condense in front of Colette, barring her progress. Lowering his shield, Jayron darted after Colette, nimbly ducking and dodging the Unown's attacks. Just before a hundred different Hidden Power attacks fired at Colette, Jayron reached her side and threw up a shield around them. "They couldn't make it that easy, could they?" he said.

"Guess not." Colette said, as she slightly smiled. She nodded to Jayron to drop the shield, and ran out as soon as it dropped. The Aura wielder tried something new; but it was a necessary experiment. As she moved forward, Colette crossed her arms and gathered aura around the edges of them, and then whipped them toward her side, sending off an x-shaped arc of aura toward the Unown. The aura wielder hoped that the attack would at least clear a path for her to go through, and simply continued to run forward.

The Unown parted at the assault, but immediately began to converge back together. Jayron lobbed a few half-formed spheres into the swarm to try and buy Colette more time.

 

Colette smiled at the attempt to converge back together. "I made a promise. You can't stop me now!" she yelled out, as her aura began to radiate off her. Alexa... I know you're in there still. I know you're waiting. I'm going to keep my promise. So wait for me! Colette thought, as she generated two aura spheres in her hand. The aura wielder began to run at full speed toward the Unown; toward Alexa... And then jumped, using the power of the aura spheres to try and push through to where Alexa was. The Unown pushed against her, trying to force her out. But Colette pushed back, her eyes burning with fierce determination. Finally, she managed to break through to the inner core of the Unown swarm. The letter Pokémon flew all around her, batting her left and right. But directly ahead of her lay Alexa, arms outstretched, her eyes unseeing.

"Leave this place," Alexa said, her gentle voice sounding jarring against the cacophony of Unown swirling around them. "You are not welcome here." As if in response, the Unown started to swirl faster, becoming more and more agitated.

Colette shook her head with a soft smile. "Not without you, kiddo." Colette said, as she started to walk toward Alexa, her vision slowly swimming for a moment, as she stumbled a bit. She managed to make her way to where Alexa was, and then tried to pick her up.

Alexa did not make a move to resist. The Unown, however, swarmed angrily around her, trying to force Colette to let go. "Leave us alone," Alexa said calmly. "You are not welcome here."

 

Colette was not about to give up. She winced as some of the Unown slammed into her, but refused to let go. "Well you 'Unown' are not welcome either," she said, as she held Alexa close and tried to walk away, her vision swimming again for a moment. She managed to take a few steps before she met a solid wall of Unown. The letters continued to slam into her, clouding her vision. She pushed through with all her might. She couldn't see, couldn't hear. She could only walk and hope that she and Alexa would make it out. The Unown screamed in rage. Then, Colette felt her legs give way. She fell to the ground, rolling so she could cushion Alexa.

 

And then her vision went black.

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IC: Ryan

The moment he saw Hayes, Ryan's smile turned into a scowl. He instinctively reached for a Pokéball, standing poised to throw it. His mind raced. He couldn't risk having an all-out battle in his living room. And yet he wasn't about to let Hayes just walk away. "What are you doing in my house?" he asked, his voice shaking with rage. "And what did you do with Ellen?"


Konuju: Kopaka and Nuju meet the Spear of Fusion

 

Quotes from throughout the years:

 

2001: "Your past is forgotten, and your future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer." --Nokama

2002: "Mata Nui faces perhaps its greatest challenge -- one that will test our courage, our strength, and our belief in each other." --Tahu

2003: "So... it has begun, my brother. But soon, it will also end..." --Makuta

2004: "Your journey must end." "By the will of the Great Spirit, it has just begun!" --Makuta and Vakama

2005: "Our destinies are not written in stone, set in place. They are something we have to find for ourselves." --Vakama

2006: "Don't you realize you're fighting for a lost cause?" "Maybe. But don't you realize those are the only ones worth fighting for?" --Axonn and Brutaka

2007: "Sometimes a hero has to do something else besides beat the villains and come home covered in glory." --Hahli

2008: "Dive into the darkness, Ignite the flame within. Now, there is no turning back. Make the future... begin." --Narrator, The Final Battle Animation

2009: "It is said that all endings are merely beginnings waiting to be born." --Mata Nui

2010: "All journeys must come to an end, but this time, there is a new beginning as well. ... All that has gone before, my friends, has only served to give birth to this new day. Let unity, duty and destiny be your guides." --Mata Nui

2011: "Not dead. Just frozen. They’ll thaw out … eventually. I’m tired of villains spouting gibberish." --Kopaka

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-==IC: Ray==-

 

Ray frowned, as he glanced over to Ryan.

"Ryan." Ray said calmly, as he wasn't happy at the situation either, but knew that fighting inside would be disasterous. "We can't fight inside, or we'll have a repeat of last time." Ray reminded the Liberty agent with a frown, as he glanced back to Sophia... No, Maddison Hayes. He wasn't going to let her get away this time; not without an explanation.

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IC: Dack/Madison/Luke
Madison rolled her eyes, shooting an unamused look in Aspen's direction. "We only just met him this morning," she muttered to Amelia. "But it certainly seems that way. He definitely seems to bring out the worst in Dack."

IC: Jayron/Colette
Jayron opened his eyes with a groan. He was lying face down in the sand. The last thing he remembered was the Unown swarm suddenly dispersing. His Pokémon lay in the sand around him, along with Kammy, Vivian, and Myriam, each of them beginning to wake up as well. Jayron's body ached all over. He slowly stood up with a grimace, looking around.

He was on a rocky beach, with tall buildings indicating a city off in the distance. A little closer to the shore lay Colette, Alexa wrapped tight in her arms. Both girls were unconscious. The remains of the petal that had been in Alexa’s hair lay scattered about them. Jayron quickly ran down toward the water's edge, shaking Colette awake.

Colette groaned, as she slowly opened her eyes and gripped her head. "I feel like a train hit me, then another train, and then a car repeatedly rolled over me..." Colette muttered, as she shook her head.

"Well, you did it," Jayron said, helping Colette slowly get to her feet. "You managed to grab Alexa. It looks like that disrupted the Unown's power." He looked sadly at the young girl, who remained unconscious. "Without a host body to control, it seems the Unown could do nothing but retreat."

Colette winced, but nodded, and looked around, before she paused slightly. "... Wait, where are we?" she asked in confusion. "Did we get teleported after the fight or something? This doesn't look like Seven Island or even that mini island we started on..."

"That's a good question," Jayron said with a frown. "Maybe the Unown teleported us away, in a last-ditch effort to protect themselves? But that still doesn't answer the question of why they kidnapped Alexa in the first place..."

Colette seemed confused about that too, and nodded, as she brushed herself off slightly, and looked away from the water. "Come on, looks like this leads further in to land; maybe we'll find out where we are." she said, as she breathed a sigh of relief, and went to pick up Alexa again.

Jayron nodded as they returned all their Pokémon except Lucario to their Pokéballs, and led the way further inland. Jayron, Lucario said. This city seems familiar somehow.

"I know what you mean," Jayron said. "But I can't quite place it. It doesn't seem like Seven Island or Four Island..."

Colette looked over curiously. "Yeah, it feels less like the Sevii Islands somehow, but I can't really say it seems familiar..." she said, as she tried to find the word. "Seems a little more..." Colette struggled to find the word she was trying to use here, and simply shrugged.

Urban, Lucario suggested.

Jayron's eyes suddenly widened with recognition. "But how -- this is impossible!" He looked over at Colette and Lucario. "This is where I grew up... Fuchsia City!"

Colette stopped in her tracks, and looked over at Jayron in confusion. "Isn't that in Kanto?" she wondered, and thought for a moment. "Well, it is closer to the Sevii Islands than other things, but, that does seem like a ways away..."

"Yeah, if they were to teleport us, you wouldn't think they'd send us this far," Jayron said with a frown. He glanced down at Alexa. "Either way, we've got to make it back to Seven Island, to take Alexa home."

Colette nodded again. "Yeah... Any way we can like arrange a teleporter back or something?" she asked, as even though she wished there was another option, she knew there likely wouldn't be one.

"Yeah, I'll send a message back to the Alamo to get a teleporter..." Jayron reached for his PokéGear, then suddenly stopped walking. "Colette?" he said, staring at the screen of his device. "We have a problem."

"Hm?" Colette stopped, and looked back toward Jayron, confused, as she walked over toward the other Aura Wielder and attempted to look at the device's screen as well.

The screen was full of static, just as it had been all day. "No signal," Jayron said with a frown.

Colette frowned, but scratched her head. "Well, we've been gone for a day, maybe we missed something about Fuchsia's nearest radio tower going down...?"

"Maybe." Jayron looked around suspiciously. "Either that... or somehow the Unown have spread beyond Seven Island. Because that electromagnetic interference was definitely caused by the Unown."

Colette nodded. "Yeah, no doubting that now..." she said, and frowned, as she thought for a moment. "Though, there was that tremor we felt while in that one chamber..."

"Right before that illusion of Amber evolved, right?" Jayron replaced his PokéGear and began walking towards the city again.

Colette nodded again, and followed Jayron, as she wondered just what that could have been.

"I wonder..." Jayron said, looking down at the girl in Colette's arms. "Did Amber evolve because Alexa wanted her to?"

Colette looked down with a frown, and scratched her head. "Hmmm... It's a possibility... After all, we don't know how that stuff worked."

"I suppose she never wanted her Munna doll to evolve then," Jayron said. "It's strange, though. Why wouldn't Amber start out as an Arcanine, if that were the case?"

Colette frowned, as she bit her lip. "... Could that quake have been something like, happening...?"

Jayron glanced at her. "You mean like triggering the evolution?"

Colette thought about that for a moment. "Or the Unown gathering enough power to allow something like that..."

Jayron nodded. "I wonder if the Unown made Amber evolve on purpose. Could they have taken Alexa's thoughts and... twisted them, perhaps?"

Colette nodded. "That's possible..." she said, as she sighed and looked down at Alexa in slight worry.

By now they had made it to the edge of the city. Jayron walked the familiar streets, but was surprised to find them empty. Like on Seven Island the day before, there was not a person to be seen. "I have a bad feeling about this," Jayron said. "Where are all the people?"

Not inside like on Seven Island, Lucario said, his ears twitching slightly. I can't sense anyone anywhere.

Colette frowned, and sent out a scan herself, and then her frown deepened, as she didn't sense anyone either. "This doesn't seem good at all..." she said, as a shiver went up her spine, a bad feeling totally present now.

"It doesn't make sense," Jayron said. "Why would the entire city be abandoned?" A small noise echoed from a nearby alley. Jayron motioned for Colette and Lucario to stop. "Did any of you hear that...?"

There was a gleam of light as something shot out of the alley. It was only Jayron's quick reflexes that allowed him to duck out of the way as the object sailed past him and embedded itself in a wooden fencepost.

It was a ninja star.

Before Jayron could fully process this, a tall figure dashed out of the alley, flinging a handful of stars. The Liberty Executive threw up an aura shield to protect himself and the others, then his eyes widened as he saw his opponent. "Koga?" he cried in shock and rage. "What are you doing here? What did you do to all these people?" The ninja master merely laughed. "Colette, keep Alexa safe," Jayron ordered. "This battle's mine!" With that, he rushed toward his old master, already charging up an aura sphere in his hands.

Edited by Konuju

Konuju: Kopaka and Nuju meet the Spear of Fusion

 

Quotes from throughout the years:

 

2001: "Your past is forgotten, and your future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer." --Nokama

2002: "Mata Nui faces perhaps its greatest challenge -- one that will test our courage, our strength, and our belief in each other." --Tahu

2003: "So... it has begun, my brother. But soon, it will also end..." --Makuta

2004: "Your journey must end." "By the will of the Great Spirit, it has just begun!" --Makuta and Vakama

2005: "Our destinies are not written in stone, set in place. They are something we have to find for ourselves." --Vakama

2006: "Don't you realize you're fighting for a lost cause?" "Maybe. But don't you realize those are the only ones worth fighting for?" --Axonn and Brutaka

2007: "Sometimes a hero has to do something else besides beat the villains and come home covered in glory." --Hahli

2008: "Dive into the darkness, Ignite the flame within. Now, there is no turning back. Make the future... begin." --Narrator, The Final Battle Animation

2009: "It is said that all endings are merely beginnings waiting to be born." --Mata Nui

2010: "All journeys must come to an end, but this time, there is a new beginning as well. ... All that has gone before, my friends, has only served to give birth to this new day. Let unity, duty and destiny be your guides." --Mata Nui

2011: "Not dead. Just frozen. They’ll thaw out … eventually. I’m tired of villains spouting gibberish." --Kopaka

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IC - Sonja Baron/Maddison Hayes - Fortree City, Ryan's House:

 

Their initial cooperation was surprising, though Hayes knew it would not last. She kept a hand raised in front of her, taking slow steps to the side until she could come to a stop in the middle of the room, maintaining her distance from the group.

 

"Listen to Hakuda," Hayes advised, glancing between the five of them. "Fighting me won't do you any good if it's Ellen you're concerned about--I came here to check on her, and perhaps have a talk if she had felt up to it. But all I've found is an empty house, with her nowhere to be found." She brushed her hair behind her ear, her hand shaking slightly from the strain of maintaining her psychic energy. This was hardly discernible, though the general air of fatigue about her made it difficult to keep hidden.

 

Sonja picked up on it.

 

She pushed past Ray and Ryan, approaching Hayes with cold fury that manifested in her step and posture, as well as her own trembling hands. Hayes instinctively twitched her arm as if to throw forth a defense, but the sight of her sister's face--the sheer ice within her gaze--caused her to hesitate. And when Sonja stopped directly in front of her, simply staring at her older sister, Hayes couldn't help but stare back, the tension between them hanging thick on the air. Gradually, Hayes's stance relaxed, her hand beginning to sink to the ground.

 

For some time, neither quite knew what to do or say, though it seemed like something hovered just on the tip of Hayes's tongue, for there were several times where she seemed as if she was on the verge of saying something.

 

The words never formed, because at last, Sonja threw a fist forward, connecting it with the left side of Hayes's mouth and knocking her to the ground.

 

Hayes lingered on the floor for a moment, supporting herself with one hand. The other she lifted to her mouth, gingerly touching the corner of her lip. Blood seeped from the point of impact where Sonja had struck her, sending dull throbs of pain along her skin with every heartbeat. The Second Child looked up at the Liberty Agent glaring down at her, sighing and beginning to push herself to her feet. "I suppose I've had that coming for a long time . . ."

 

"Yeah," Sonja said, her voice quiet. She rubbed her fist, already feeling the beginnings of a bruise on her knuckles. "You have, haven't you?"

 

IC - Esen Windred/Kyle Eston - Dendemille Town, Pokémon Center:

 

For how tired she had been on the train, Esen could not sleep.

 

Was it that she had gotten too much sleep already? She did not know. But her mind buzzed incessantly, brimming with fuzzy images that longed to clarify themselves and yet could not find the pull to do so. It had been this way since she had changed and lied down on the surprisingly-comfortable bed--an endless stream of non-sequiturs within her mind. 

 

So instead of failing to sleep, instead of fruitlessly lying under the covers and accomplishing nothing, she sat in bed, her back against the headboard and her knees pulled up to her chin, where she rested it. In this position, she at least could prevent herself from burning up under the thick blankets, even if it meant that she still was accomplishing nothing.

 

What was wrong?

 

This was the question that, amidst all the other thoughts, continuously emerged and presented itself. What was wrong? What was wrong? What was wrong? So many repetitions of the question, so many different voices asking her, yet she couldn't provide an answer to any of them. They were merely words by now, their meaning lost in the sea of her mind. Perhaps if she knew the context . . . Knew who was asking . . .

 

Well, she supposed that in this case, she did know the context. And perhaps the answer.

 

What was wrong? The buzzing in her head. The grainy images. The knowledge that she did not know things that she should know--did not recognize people who had once been important to her. Faces, features, even names . . .

 

What had caused this to happen . . .?

 

She couldn't remember . . . There had been an alleyway, hadn't there? Someone . . . The only thing she could clearly remember were the sunglasses . . . Not even their name--V . . . Valerie? Victor? Vicky . . .?

 

Esen clapped a palm to her forehead. Thinking about this was causing her to burn up--even now she could feel it. As if her brain itself was working against her, working to scrub away the memories. She slid off the bed, moving to the window and opening it. The cool breeze of night swept into the room, easing the heat somewhat, though not by much. She still felt terrible--too restless. But what to do . . .

 

Lingering at the window proved to be a good distraction. As she stared out at the quiet silhouette of the city, her attention fell on a large object moving across the sky. It appeared to be draconic in shape, and as she watched, it dipped and dived through the sky--perhaps snatching some unseen insects out of the air. Though she could not make out the color of its body outside of the white fur around its neck, this was enough for her to know that what she was seeing was the Noivern that she so intently sought to capture.

 

Watching it only reaffirmed her ambition. Because it was through watching its majestic movements that she finally felt the inklings of sleep again. And as she returned to the bed, those inklings transformed into an embrace, allowing her tired mind to rest at last.

 

 

Midday. The group traversed an older section of town, Esen leading. She had woken up relatively early, undeterred by her troubled night, and had already spoken to several individuals around town regarding the possible nesting locations of Noivern within the city by the time that Kyle and Cero had emerged from their rooms. As it turned out, many of the older, abandoned windmills had become homes to the Pokémon. Thus, it was merely a matter of finding one that had come into such a purpose.

 

Esen came to a halt in the middle of the dirt path that bisected a section of the mills. "I think we've got out pick of the lot, to be completely honest," she said. "How do you two feel about splitting up?"

 

Kyle stopped behind her, hands in his coat pockets. "I think I'd prefer it if we stuck together, personally," he said. So far Esen seemed to be doing better than she had been the day before, but her change in pace had primarily occurred after they had split up. Even if he was not still concerned about her, however, the fact that she was so focused on this . . . It was something he was keen on continuing to observe--seeing how she went about battling, recruiting the types of Pokémon that she wanted.

 

Not that there weren't any practical reasons. "Considering none of us know this town all that well," he continued. "If we all get lost, at least we won't get lost alone, right?"

 

"Unless we just meet up back here," Esen pointed out. "But I see your point . . . What about you, Cero? What do you think?"

 

IC - Joker/Sam Moreno/Will Moreno - Blackthorn City, Moreno Estate:

 

Though the darkness of sleep had been thwarted in its attempt to overpower her, the darkness of terror and despair was just as powerful, if not more so. And though she did not sleep, Joker could not move. Every breath she took sent jolts of pain throughout her entire body. And with the fear, the uncertainty of whether Will and Sam had escaped hanging heavy on her mind . . . It was all she could do not to slip into madness, or slip away into unconsciousness--something that, by all rights, should have happened by now. She ebbed in and out, counting the ticking of a distant clock behind closes eyelids, shuddering breaths marking them irregularly.

 

"Mom?"

 

The voice did not immediately register. The clock, the metronome of passing time--tick, tock, tick, tock--was too engrossing.

 

How much time had passed?

 

Had it been 272 seconds? 273? Or somewhere in between?

 

She had lost track. 

 

"Mom!" This was a different voice. It was more frantic. It shook her. "Wake up!"

 

Soft hands literally shook her, the pain forcing her awake.

 

Joker gasped, a sharp pain running through her side and arm, swatting away Will's hands with her less-injured arm. The Shadow Admin took several moments to get her bearings, before finally managing to focus enough on her two children to make out their combined expressions of relief and concern. Will's hands glowed with healing energy, although he appeared hesitant to apply his powers anymore than he had before, lest he anger his mother further.

 

"You two," Joker said with a cough, grimacing as Sam helped her sit up. "I told you . . . to get out of here."

 

"We couldn't leave anyone behind," Sam said, glancing to the urn sitting at her side, and then back at her mother. "You, or dad." She smiled warmly, a look that had so often remained absent from her face. The sight made Joker feel somewhat better, enough that she, too, managed a small smile in return.

 

"You two are reckless," the Shadow Admin said, sighing. "But at least you're safe . . ." She grimaced again as Sam and Will helped her to her feet, the former simultaneously using her mother's relatively uninjured legs as better support for herself. Joker cast a long look around the foyer, her expression becoming downcast at the sight of her injured Pokémon. Will, sensing the heaviness of her mood, followed her gaze. "Help me get them into their Poké Balls, will you?"

 

 

On the roof of the manor, the Darkrai continued to face off against Seer and Gladiator. He had found himself in a less-than-advantageous position even before the latter's arrival; now, with the Aegislash offering a means for the Alakazam to supplement its already impenetrable defense, it seemed that there were no further routes to take. Such was obvious even from an observer's perspective, for the Darkrai showed many more signs of fatigue and injury than the two of its opponents combined.

 

This battle was lost. And the Darkrai knew it.

 

A column of shadow emerged from beneath him, engulfing the Nightmare Pokémon. Seer and Gladiator remained tense, ready to retaliate at a moment's notice, until the column vanished along with any trace of their opponent's presence. Both kept a keen eye on the area, watching, waiting for some sign of movement. But none came, and a quick mental scan from Seer revealed only himself, Gladiator, and his Mistress and her family to be the only conscious and active beings within the vicinity.

 

He exchanged a look and a shrug with Gladiator, before the two headed back inside through the hole in the roof.

 

 

Outside the walls of the Moreno Estate, Joker leaned against the cold brick, accompanied by a watchful Aegislash and Alakazam, the pair that had succeeded where the rest of her team had failed. Sam had taken a seat beside her, eyes closed and seeming to bask in the relief of tension, while Will remained standing at the gate, peering back at their damaged home.

 

It was the latter whom Joker currently watched. She could tell that something troubled him, though she could not discern what it was. But that look on his face--the furrowed brow, the puzzled gleam in his eye--it was an indication that he believed something did not fit. Somehow, their experience was flawed--whether missing a piece, or distorted by a disarrangement.

 

She would have to ask him later. But for now, she merely waited, glad to be in their company, and keen on getting back to Abyss.

 

IC - Sleight/Eileen Alaric/Jackson Sang - Viridian City, Hospital:

 

"It's been a week since the attack. Are they showing any signs of improvement?"

 

"I'm afraid not, sir. The Darkrai that attacked them had to have been on par with one of the Ancients, otherwise these effects would not have lasted this long. Until we can arrange for Team Rocket's Cresselia to be retrieved, I'm afraid all we can do is keep them here, where they can be protected."

 

Sleight sighed, disappointed that the answer he had been dreading had turned out to be the correct one after all. He looked up from the floor, resting his eyes first on the unconscious form of Eileen in one bed, and then Jackson Sang in the next. Trays containing the Poké Balls holding their teams rested on the nightstands next to either bed, though Sang's Elgyem currently sat on the railing behind the freelancer's head, small hands hovering over the sleeping man's temples.

 

"How much longer will it be before we can use our Cresselia?"

 

The doctor looked over the notes that had been sent over from Chapel regarding this. "I can't say for certain," he admitted. "It's been kept in the custody of Agent Ortrune ever since it was recruited, so we do know where its current location is. However, Ortrune has just recently returned from a mission in which she was forced to use Cresselia, and in the conflict Cresselia was injured. When we can use her here will largely depend on her rate of recovery. And even then . . ."

 

"Her powers aren't guaranteed to work," Sleight solemnly finished the thought. "Matching the abilities of a normal Darkrai is one thing. But to match those of an Ancient . . . That's an entirely different matter." The doctor nodded, though said nothing. After a moment, Sleight stood up, giving Eileen's hand a soft squeeze before following the medical officer out of the room. "Alright . . . Well, keep me updated."

 

 

Felix watched them go, curious as he filtered through both the memories in his hands and the emotions buzzing in the air. When the door had shut behind them, he returned to focusing entirely on his trainer, pushing the flow of emotion out of his mind. Sang had sought to use his power to find something, had he not? So it seemed that now was the perfect time to work, to find those memories without the interference of time and conscious resistance.

 

The Elgyem closed his eyes.

 

The Darkrai's assault had left Sang's mind shrouded as much as it had petrified his body. Even compared to that initial look into the depths of his trainer's memory, Felix could tell that the veil had become significantly darker. Navigating it thus proved to be difficult, as memories became more and more muddled against the nightmares that naturally came with the Darkrais' deep sleeps. For a time, Felix attempted to fight against these intruding pseudo-thoughts, growing more and more frustrated as he went due to their sheer persistence. Before long it became obvious that the effort was futile, and so he relented, pulling his influence back and merely watching, waiting to see what would surface.

 

What he saw puzzled him greatly.

 

That boy was back, the child with whom Sang had shared his encounter with the Mightyena. But he was not in one place or time--he was in many. The memories were surging back to Sang in the form of a continuous nightmare, a still-image show of everything that had ever transpired between them. Images of them traversing the streets of Castelia a little later in life, both of them more rugged than they had been in the first memory--older, more rebellious, both equally lost in life. Images of a party both had attended--a shared birthday? A celebration of a new year? It seemed that many similar memories had converged.

 

But amidst the positive, there lay the negative.

 

A conflict in the streets. A still-young Jackson and a still-young Emre--fourteen, fifteen? A pair of good-hearted troublemakers traversing the night. A pack again--not of Mightyena this time, but of burly men, perhaps a bit older. Bullies? Simple thugs? A bloodied body on the ground--a classmate? A friend? A stranger? It did not matter--the specifics did not present themselves in that great of detail. But what followed proved all too telling. Someone waved, an angry yell, an attempt to distract--a pulling of attention. Divergent from the initial target. Such angry thugs, never too pleased with being called out on their evils. Seven against two--or perhaps three. Three victims, at least. Jackson. Emre. The other.

 

Blurred images of a fight.

 

Three beaten bodies. Two moved feebly, one of those two barely strong enough to crawl to the third. He did not move. Eyes unfocused, he saw nothing. A deep gash crossed his head. The one moving--Jackson. Calling. Bleeding. Crying.

 

Emre.

 

Emre.

 

Unmoving.

 

Though Felix himself did not understand what he was seeing, it was obvious that the nightmares were causing Sang distress. As more and more images of Emre played within Sang's head, the trainer shifted more and more uncomfortably, breaking out in a cold sweat where he lay. The beeping from the heart monitor connected to him increased until it became too rapid to bear. Felix scrunched his eyes closed, feeling Sang's growing, unconscious panic.

 

These images needed to stop.

 

They needed to.

 

But how . . .

 

How . . .

 

Felix's eyes glowed, the answer coming to him in a burst of inspiration.

 

The Psychic-Type reached forward into the depths, the shadows becoming tangible to his metaphysical fingers. He gripped the veil tightly, the darkness folding within his grip. Felix focused, imaging Emre's face in his mind's eye and willing it to vanish, wishing for the ghost to cease its torment.

 

Gradually, the images faded, the face sinking back into the darkness, the darkness lightening, and the pressure of the veil relieving itself upon Sang's mind.

 

Sang relaxed. And so did Felix.

 

As the Elgyem regained his strength, he peered closer into the depths. A pathway was forming, one that led to another gate. But this gate was weak, and beyond it, phantom images of a rooftop conflict hovered, a recent conflict frozen in time, waiting to be thawed.

 

The shroud was not gone. But at least the goal was near. And with more rest, more time . . . Felix knew he could retrieve it.

 

OOC: Felix learned Disable . . .

Edited by Parugi

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~ Rise of the Rockets (I II)/Discussion Topic/Side Stories ~

 

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IC:

 

"Not to stifle anybody's creativity or be mean to their Pokemon," Elijah began, looking skeptically at the group around, "But why don't we just send the people who can move the fastest off to go to the town and borrow a ladder? We'll be able to return it when we're done and it'd be a lot easier than digging up the property here to any extent and then having to put all the dirt back, or climbing on people and Pokemon, or anything like that."


profiles i guess

i'm a south american giant otter now

 

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IC: Arius Jacobson - Alamos

Arius paused. "...Yeah, that actually sounds like a better idea. I'm sure someone can lend us a ladder."


1Ydp0mg.jpg


Steam name: Ehksidian

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== Alomos Power Plant ==

== Yugo Doseki ==

== Pidgey (Airazor) - Sandslash - Charmander (Spitfire) ==

 

IC: Yugo looked over at Elijah as he spoke up. He hadn't yet deployed Sandslash and was still kneeling by his Pokémon stroking it's head. "I can see your point, though not being from around here I wouldn't know where to go or whom to ask. So that leaves me out. Even with my bike." Yugo stood up and walked over to the wall under the open window. "So who's going to go?" Yugo didn't even know why he was talking. He just came across this group by accident and while he didn't mind being of help, there was no reason for them to listen to him. He had to wonder if this was something that needed to be done in a timely manner? It wouldn't be nothing for Sandslash to have a viable and safe ramp or pile of dirt to allow them free access to the window. How long would it take to get a ladder, return then get to work using it to get it inside.


"A stranger will always be a stranger unless you give them a chance."

:m_p: :r: :m_o: :w: :l:    :n: :i: :g: :h: :t: :w: :m_o: :l: :f:

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-==IC: Ray==-

 

Ray seemed shocked, but his mouth curled upwards into a smile for a moment.

Good on you Sonja, I think you needed that. Ray thought, and moved to walk forward, but hesitated for a moment. ... What if... No. I'm not going to keep letting doubt get in my way. Ray decided, and walked forward, and placed a hand on Sonja's shoulder, even as he wondered just how strong that punch was. He then looked over toward Sophia, and frowned slightly, but nodded to her in acknowledgement.

"You know what? I was wrong about you last year. Sonja had a point; you might have caused all that trouble, but you saved her and Ellen, and never let them be put in any real danger. Though that ending part was a bit odd, gotta say..." Ray mumbled out the last part, and paused. "My point is, I was wrong to say what I did when we last fought. However..." Ray paused again, and looked around.

"We really should step outside if we're going to keep this up. I don't think anyone wants this place damaged if we start to fight." Ray said, as he looked around at the others.

 

Jenny, meanwhile, looked over at Evan quizzically; she had missed the Castelia fight, so she had no clue that this person, apparently named 'Sophia', had been the cause of the destruction there, or that Sonja and Ellen had been kidnapped by her back then.

Who is that? And why does Sonja seem to know her? Jenny wondered, as everyone but her seemed to already know Hayes.

Edited by An/A Blade

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IC: Evan Tierra, Fortree City

 

"Way to go, Sonja!", Evan said softly but excitedly, "Of all of us, you needed to do that!"

As he spoke, Evan noted Jenny's puzzled look. She hadn't seen what this woman had done, in the name of "peace". She didn't know that she had kidnapped Sonja and Ellen. She didn't know that Evan let her flee for said crimes.

"Jenny, this woman, is responsible for the bombing of Castelia City.", Evan explained to Jenny softly, "She did so, to educate Team Plasma regarding their stance on the war."

"I agree with Ray.", Evan said, turning his attention back at Hayes, "This is Ryan's home, and he would not appreciate us wrecking this of all places."

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IC: Ryan

Ryan was thoroughly impressed by Sonja's punch, if a little frightened at her tenacity. But he shook his head as Hayes' words sunk in. "Wait, Ellen's gone?" he cried, stepping forward and looking down at the Ford agent on the floor. "What did you want with her, anyway? Last time the two of you 'talked' you ended up nearly killing us all!" With his Pokéball still in one hand, he pointed the other sternly toward the door. "I don't care who you think you are. Get. Out. Of my. House."

Edited by Konuju

Konuju: Kopaka and Nuju meet the Spear of Fusion

 

Quotes from throughout the years:

 

2001: "Your past is forgotten, and your future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer." --Nokama

2002: "Mata Nui faces perhaps its greatest challenge -- one that will test our courage, our strength, and our belief in each other." --Tahu

2003: "So... it has begun, my brother. But soon, it will also end..." --Makuta

2004: "Your journey must end." "By the will of the Great Spirit, it has just begun!" --Makuta and Vakama

2005: "Our destinies are not written in stone, set in place. They are something we have to find for ourselves." --Vakama

2006: "Don't you realize you're fighting for a lost cause?" "Maybe. But don't you realize those are the only ones worth fighting for?" --Axonn and Brutaka

2007: "Sometimes a hero has to do something else besides beat the villains and come home covered in glory." --Hahli

2008: "Dive into the darkness, Ignite the flame within. Now, there is no turning back. Make the future... begin." --Narrator, The Final Battle Animation

2009: "It is said that all endings are merely beginnings waiting to be born." --Mata Nui

2010: "All journeys must come to an end, but this time, there is a new beginning as well. ... All that has gone before, my friends, has only served to give birth to this new day. Let unity, duty and destiny be your guides." --Mata Nui

2011: "Not dead. Just frozen. They’ll thaw out … eventually. I’m tired of villains spouting gibberish." --Kopaka

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IC - Sonja Baron/Maddison Hayes - Fortree City, Ryan's House:

 

"I see someone's had a rough week," Maddison said to Ryan, her tone flat. By now she had risen back to her feet, dusting her clothes off. She looked at the group with a gray expression, as if totally unconcerned with the mixed bag of emotions that had gathered around her. The Second Child walked toward the door, pushing past the group with a light application of psychic power. "I was ready to leave, anyway, before you all arrived. Don't worry--I haven't taken anything. Ellen was my only concern, and seeing as she's not here . . . Well, I suppose I can trust the five of you to track her down, even if I can't."

 

Sonja turned, watching Hayes with every step. After a moment, her hand twitched in annoyance, and after pushing Ray's hand away, she made after her sister. "Hey--wait just a minute!" She moved to grab Hayes's arm at the door, though the Ford Agent shrugged it away. "We said 'get out', not 'you're free to go.'"

 

"Are you going to stop me?" Hayes asked, never breaking stride--neither to look at Sonja nor to directly challenge the group. "Don't waste your time--you have more important things to worry about."

 

"They don't need me to find Ellen," Sonja snapped. "And I'm not about to let you walk away a second time without at least an explanation for everything--not if I can stop you." She sped up, until she was walking right behind the Ford Agent. "Do you realize how much grief you caused everyone, Hayes? You destroyed a city, did you forget that?"

 

Hayes closed her eyes, though still did not stop. "You understood my reasons. I'm not repeating them."

 

"Whether or not I understood doesn't change a thing about this! You hurt Kyle in ways that I can't even begin to rationalize. You nearly killed all of us--nearly killed me. If it wasn't for Suicune . . . She died because of you." Hayes's silence prompted a growl from Sonja, though she at least came to a stop, several yards from Ryan's front door. Sonja glared at the back of her head. "Do you even care about any of this?" Still nothing. "For Arceus's sake--look. At. Me!"

 

She grabbed Hayes's shoulder.

 

The Second Child whipped around, throwing Sonja's hand to the side and thrusting her own forward. Two fingers hovered in front of Sonja's face, both of them pointed in the space between her eyes. Psychic energy glowed around them, as well as in Hayes's eyes, a perfectly legitimate threat. Sonja clenched her teeth, though did not back down, glaring back at her sister.

 

"I could ask you the exact same thing," Hayes hissed. "Do you care for your life? It doesn't seem that way--I could split your skull right now, and that'd be it. Yet even knowing that, you insist on pressing every button you can find. Just like you don't care that your friends are anything but friendly to each other right now--you just hate the inconvenience of having two hopeless idiots pining for your attention. Isn't that right?"

 

Sonja felt her face redden, though now took her turn remaining silent. The glow around Hayes's fingers dimmed as she pressed them to Sonja's forehead. "Your brain is nothing special, sister--it's an open book to me. Just like theirs." The Ford Agent nodded back at Ryan's house. "So let me assure you of something: I know what I've done, I know why I've done it, and I know what would happen if I hadn't. Just because the board does not make sense to you, does not mean there are not others to whom it does. And knowing what I know . . ." Her jaw clenched before she could finish speaking.

 

Sonja narrowed her eyes, noting that this did not seem voluntary. "Then, by all means," she said, the words coming slowly. "Enlighten us."

 

Hayes pulled her hand away, stepping back with a shake of her head. "It's not that simple," she said. "The call draws near. And when it arrives . . . Believe me--you'll know everything." She turned, walking now to the Bronzong that had emerged from the trees--the source of the bell that had sounded earlier.

Edited by Parugi

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~ Rise of the Rockets (I II)/Discussion Topic/Side Stories ~

 

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-==IC: Ray==-

 

Ray frowned, as he watched Sonja walk out the door, and then followed after Sonja quickly, since Hayes was his primary target right at that moment. Ray, however, stopped as he noticed Hayes' hand near Sonja's head, glowing purple. Ray's frown simply deepened, as he broke into a run, catching up about when Hayes started to talk about Sonja's mind.

"And what exactly do you know?" Ray growled, as he stepped forward, and passed Sonja for a moment. "I ask you a question; what happened to Ford stopping when the war was stopped? We've been in a ceasefire for six months; and yet the other day, I heard that a colleague of yours attacked Team Magma. Was that a 'necessary' thing to cause the war to end?" Ray asked, as he clenched his fist. Ray honestly could not tell what was going on with Hayes; one minute she seemed to be more sympathetic... The next, she was the exact same person as at Coeur Tower, if not worse. Threatening her sister directly was definitely a new low, that was for sure. And Ray was most definitely not impressed.

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IC: Ryan

Ryan's blood was boiling. He was horrified at the thought of what Hayes wanted with Ellen, and he found it a small miracle that Ellen had not been there; she must have gone out for an early morning stroll with her Pokémon or something. He couldn't imagine what would have happened had she actually been there. As Sonja and Ray went after Hayes, Ryan remained rooted to the ground, seething in anger.

 

Then he processed what he had seen: Hayes' glowing hand held against Sonja's forehead. That was the last straw. With a scream of rage, Ryan broke into a run, throwing the Pokéball in his hands. Quil emerged in a burst of light, charging as fast as he could toward the Ford agent. The Typhlosion made it a point to dart around Sonja as he ran, but he had no qualms about forcefully knocking Ray aside as he pursued Hayes. Quil rammed into the Ford agent, aiming to send her falling off the platform on which the house sat, tumbling toward the ground far below.

Edited by Konuju

Konuju: Kopaka and Nuju meet the Spear of Fusion

 

Quotes from throughout the years:

 

2001: "Your past is forgotten, and your future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer." --Nokama

2002: "Mata Nui faces perhaps its greatest challenge -- one that will test our courage, our strength, and our belief in each other." --Tahu

2003: "So... it has begun, my brother. But soon, it will also end..." --Makuta

2004: "Your journey must end." "By the will of the Great Spirit, it has just begun!" --Makuta and Vakama

2005: "Our destinies are not written in stone, set in place. They are something we have to find for ourselves." --Vakama

2006: "Don't you realize you're fighting for a lost cause?" "Maybe. But don't you realize those are the only ones worth fighting for?" --Axonn and Brutaka

2007: "Sometimes a hero has to do something else besides beat the villains and come home covered in glory." --Hahli

2008: "Dive into the darkness, Ignite the flame within. Now, there is no turning back. Make the future... begin." --Narrator, The Final Battle Animation

2009: "It is said that all endings are merely beginnings waiting to be born." --Mata Nui

2010: "All journeys must come to an end, but this time, there is a new beginning as well. ... All that has gone before, my friends, has only served to give birth to this new day. Let unity, duty and destiny be your guides." --Mata Nui

2011: "Not dead. Just frozen. They’ll thaw out … eventually. I’m tired of villains spouting gibberish." --Kopaka

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IC: Evan Tierra

 

Evan and Jenny followed Sonja and Ray, his pace slow and cautious. He had seen Hayes' threatening of her own sister. He had heard Ray's reply to Hayes' remarks, and was about to add his own thoughts, when Ryan, fuming with anger, sent out his Typholsion. The Typholsion had shoved Ray aside and rammed into Hayes, to attempt to send her falling down to the ground below. Evan's eyes widened in shock at the drastic action Ryan had taken.

 

"Ryan, we can't just kill her!", Evan said urgently, "We still need answers from her. How can we get them if you KILL her? Not to mention you could have hurt Ray!"

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OOC: Jam with Konuju!

 

IC: Dack/Madison/Luke

Madison rolled her eyes, shooting an unamused look in Aspen's direction. "We only just met him this morning," she muttered to Amelia. "But it certainly seems that way. He definitely seems to bring out the worst in Dack."

IC: Amelia/Madison

Amelia nodded. "Good to know." She walked in silence for a minute, then leaned in conspiratorially to Madison. "You don't have to worry about Dack, you know. M'not after his heart or anything. Just interested in seeing what makes the man tick."

 

"What makes him tick?" Madison repeated, looking suspiciously at Amelia. "Why would you be interested in that?"

 

Amelia shrugged, her casualness belying the serious nature of the question. "The first one should be fairly obvious," she said, her gaze squarely on the Ultra Ball clipped to Dack's belt. "Should probably get used to that, by the way. News got a clear shot of his face. Everyone and their grandmother's gonna know 'bout him, and it won't go unnoticed. I'd say 'enjoy the fame' but from what I've heard it's not that great." The spy let out her breath as she considered her next answer. "T'be honest, it's just what I do. In my line of work, everyone you meet's an asset. You, Dack, everyone." Amelia smirked. "Even the ones that mostly embody the first half of the word," she added, jabbing her thumb unsubtly at Aspen.

 

Madison bit her lip. She was not sure how well known Dack was within Team Rocket, but she herself had always lived the quiet life of a skier in a remote town. She wasn't sure how she felt about the publicity they were sure to get for their actions in Sootopolis, not to mention the inevitable battle in Celadon. Upon hearing Amelia's explanation, she frowned. "So you really are just out for your own gain," she muttered. "What could you possibly need Dack's help for in the future?"

 

Amelia shrugged. "Won't know that for sure 'til I've seen more of him. But even from just what I've seen, he's the kind of Trainer every Trainer wants to know, and all the better to have owe you a favor. He's got pull just by virtue of personality alone, and he's about to get a whole lot more. Maybe I'll need him to put in a good word to shift public opinion, or to get me face time with an important player--or maybe I'll just need him to help me scare off some persistent, uppity creep who doesn't get the meaning of personal boundaries. Whatever it is, I now know one of the most interesting people in the Kanto Regions, and more importantly he knows me. That goes a lot farther than most people think."

 

"So what've we got?" Amelia asked, raising her voice to address the entire group. "We have any idea of the enemy's means of approach? Targets? Timeframe?" As the group drew near to the Olivine Garden, Amelia couldn't help but stare at the tall structure in which two-fourths of her team currently resided...

 

-----Earlier-----

Some men, Amelia thought wryly, really can't help but relish bossing people around, no matter how dire the situation.

 

She was in the water, along with the Nurse who had ultimately accepted her help. They each clung to a fin of Amelia's Carvanha, Van, amidst a long line of other Water-type Pokémon, from Swampert to Surskit to Sealeo to Seaking, along with many, many others. A lone Lapras hung back, preparing to ferry those refugees too weak for what they were about to attempt, while dozens of others adjusted their grips in preparation for the trip. It was a dangerous attempt, but it was the fastest way off the island, the fastest way away from the Continent Pokémon still rampaging through Sootopolis. At the front of the formation, an Ace Trainer issued orders, clearly feeling more than a little self-superior.

 

"Now Whiscash, I want you ahead of Wailmer...good, good, you there, Sealeo, you stay just a little behind Seadra...perfect. All right, now everyone, prepare to use Surf on my command. 3...2...1...now everyone, let's GO!"

 

The wave of Water Pokémon surged slowly forward, then began to rise, an enormous tidal wave forming beneath them. For her part, Van simply did her best to keep up, the weakened Savage Pokémon occasionally using her Aqua Jet to contribute to their forward momentum, but otherwise unable to assist in the effort. Amelia and the Nurse shared a look. It would have to be enough.

 

Naturally, of course, it wasn't.

 

The group had propelled the wave westward, hoping to reach the eastern shores of the mainland as well as the eastern terminus of Route 123. Given the overall risk of the attempt, it was a miracle that they made it as far as they did. But miracles didn't last forever, and this one was no exception. A wayward Walrein first succumbed to exhaustion, and from then forward the fight was on to maintain the formation's fractured stability. One by one, Pokémon began to fall back, the lucky ones merely losing pace while the less fortunate spun out, slinging themselves and their unlucky passengers into the waves below. Van, for her effort, maintained a valiant effort to keep riding the massive tidal wave, but it was clear her strength was flagging, and once she gave out, both her and her passengers would be stranded at sea--

 

"There! I can see the shore!"

 

Amelia followed the Nurse's gaze, and sure enough an expanse of sun-kissed sand awaited them. "Atta girl," Amelia congratulated her Pokémon, "just a little bit further."

 

Perhaps she was spurred on by her Trainer's praise, or perhaps her perception was simply clouded by weariness--either way, the Carvanha lurched forward under the power of another Aqua Jet...unwittingly launching herself in front of the wave.

 

The next few seconds seemed like hours, seeming hours of panicked confusion. Air, water, sky--all were one in an endless, swirling expanse of blue. Fingers slipping, grips expiring, one last, desperate push--freedom--!

 

Something snapped. Not her. The Nurse? No, she sat safely on the sand, next to--

 

That sound not one a Trainer ever wanted to hear.

 

"No.."

 

The Nurse had heard it too--already searching, feeling her patient. "I can fix it. But we need to get to a Center now--"

 

A blur of purplish-black feathers. A blast of glowing blue leaves. A shriek of pain. Blood. Blood. None of this was helping her head.

 

It took a few moments for Amelia to register that she, the Nurse, and Van had shot free of the out-of-control tidal wave, and into the middle of a fight between two oddly familiar wild Pokémon waiting ashore--a deep violet Murkrow, furiously fleeing the frenzied attacks of a blue-topped Ralts. "Magical Leaf," she realized, naming the attack that had, through the unlikeliest of circumstances, actually drawn blood from her beloved companion.

 

No one hurts my partners.

 

Amelia was enraged. For a moment, it appeared she would attack the offending Ralts herself, and the Nurse swiftly stood up to stop her--but then the Spy threw her arms out as she interposed herself between Van and the battling Pokémon.

 

"Enough!!!"

 

The Murkrow, which had angled itself for yet another pass through the trio to try and shake the Magical Leaves trailing it, suddenly swooped skyward, the majority of the leaves missing Amelia by millimeters. The pursuing Ralts skidded to a stop, sliding on the sand before gently leaning against Amelia's leg. The Psychic-type chirruped in confusion at the collapsed Carvanha, having finally realized something was amiss.

 

A shriek from the sky showed that the same was not true of the Flying-type. Screaming out of the sky at breakneck speed, the Darkness Pokémon started spinning into its strongest strike, the Drill Peck. The Ralts cried shrilly and attempted to Teleport--

 

--too late. Ralts was thrown back into Amelia, and Amelia into the already-injured Van--

 

And then they were gone.



 

Me: *has idea*

Blade: "I'd say too convoluted, and I know too convoluted =P"

 

"Dangit, I shouldn't have gotten ambitious."

--Merc, RE: our plotting

 

Pokémon Rise of the Rockets Profiles: LINK

3DS FC: 3625-9584-9417 (Pokemon X Friend Safari: Electric-type, Pachirisu, Electabuzz, Zebstrika)

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IC - Sonja Baron/Maddison Hayes - Fortree City, Outside Ryan's House:

 

Hayes stared at Ray. "I cannot speak it. Perhaps you know the feeling?" She gave him a dark, knowing look, though did not elaborate. "All I can say is that the board has changed. And Havoc's destruction--"

 

A shout and a roar interrupted her. What happened next seemed to occur in an instant, though Hayes knew it must have taken longer than that. Quil appeared on the platform, charging forward toward herself, Ray, and Sonja. Hayes had just enough time to psychically push Sonja further out of the Typhlosion's path, as well as partially do the same for Ray, before the Fire-Type slammed into her. The impact winded the Second Child, eliciting a sharp crack and knocking her far enough back that she stumbled over the rope railing.

 

Bronzong rung with alarm, sending a whip of psychic power at Quil before flying down after her.

 

The push had knocked Sonja against one of the poles supporting the rope guardrail. She stared at the place where Hayes had fallen for several moments, too shocked for words. "Sophia?" she said at last, as the reality of what had just occurred dawned on her. "Sophia!" She straightened up, running to peer over the edge. Through the branches and leaves below, she could see nothing, except for the spots where Hayes had evidently fallen through. The Liberty Agent could not find the words to describe the horror that slowly washed over her mind and body.

 

It was lucky, then, that she did not have to.

 

After several moments, Bronzong reappeared, the glow of mental energy surrounding its body. It floated up from the branches, carrying Hayes in its telekinetic grasp. The Ford Agent held her hands gingerly against her stomach, already feeling the effects of at least one cracked rib. She coughed and sputtered in pain as Bronzong gently set her down.

 

"Sophia!" Sonja ran to her side, helping to support her. "Are you okay?"

 

"I think . . . You've all made your point," Hayes said between coughs, forcing herself to take several deep, shuddering breaths. She could not hide her look of surprise at feeling her sister briefly rest her head against her shoulder, feeling the relief in Sonja's mind. Evidently there was still some sort of love between them, even after everything . . .

 

Love, which was quickly dissolving into anger.

 

Sonja's blood boiled as she turned back to face Ryan, taking a moment only to ensure that Bronzong protected Hayes before approaching her fellow Liberty Agent. She stopped several feet in front of him, her expression a disturbing mirror of that one Hayes so often wore. The Ford Agent's prior words rung in her ears, drumming against her brain from every direction. Perhaps it was their presence that drowned out Sonja's ability to think, or perhaps it was the sheer disbelief she held toward what she had just witnessed. Whatever the case, though Sonja wanted to say something to Ryan, she knew that nothing she could think would be coherent enough to get her point across.

 

So, instead, she slapped him. Her palm stung from the impact, but much like the bruising on her knuckles, Sonja did not care. She only hoped that the full extent of her frustrations with Ryan would translate through the mark on his face.


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~ Rise of the Rockets (I II)/Discussion Topic/Side Stories ~

 

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IC: Evan Tierra

 

Evan could not believe his eyes. He could not believe what could have happened, and was glad it didn't. He didn't like Hayes, but, he also did not wish her any harm. Ryan had gone too far with this. No matter his justification for this action, Evan would not let it slide. Evan wanted to punch Ryan so much, but couldn't bring himself to do so. He decided to punch him on an emotional level, if he couldn't do so on a physical level.

 

"What the heck, Ryan?", Evan said, clearly enraged, "You could have killed her! Do you have any idea of what could have happened? What if Ellen were here? I am sure she'd be absolutely broken if she saw you do this!"

Edited by Hades

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-==IC: Ray/Jenny==-

 

Ray looked at Sophia in slight confusion, but was still listening, as it seemed like Sophia was going to explain in some form or another. However, before she could finish, Ray felt himself get pushed to the side from two forces, and was forced to grip the wooden floor with his hand to prevent himself from being swung over the rope railing as well, and winced, as he glanced back in shocked annoyance, as he examined his now splinter embedded hand. However, before he could say anything, Sonja yelled out Sophia's name, and Ray looked back in shock, at where Sophia had once been, and then was not. Ray stayed where he had landed, and watched in relief, as Sophia was battered, but alive.

 

Jenny put her hands to her mouth, as she saw everything that had occurred. In a matter of seconds, everything had gone from okay, to just not okay at all. Jenny looked at Ryan in horror, even as Sophia recovered, shocked beyond all that he would even consider that.

 

"What the heck?!" Brother and sister yelled out in unison, as Ray glared back in Ryan's direction. Ray slowly stood to his feet, a judging frown on his face, as he looked back from Quil to Ryan, and ignored the throbbing pain in his hands from the splinters as best as he could.

No. There was no call for that. Ray thought, as he watched Sonja and Evan take their turns against Ryan, and walked up toward the Liberty agent who had fallen from grace. Unlike the other two, however, Ray simply stood there with his judging look. Enough damage had been caused already, on and by everyone involved. He wasn't going to step in needlessly too.

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IC: Ryan

Quil stumbled back from the psychic attack. When the Bronzong reappeared, he growled and raised a claw, looking to Ryan for the affirmative to attack.

 

Ryan, however, just stood there.

 

It had taken him a moment to realize what had actually happened. He stared at the rope railing where Hayes had disappeared. It was only when Bronzong brought the Ford agent back safely, and Sonja ran to her side, that the full implications of what he had done hit Ryan like a ton of bricks. He stood there in disbelief, unable to move. Then Sonja walked up to him. The kindness that usually radiated from her eyes was gone, replaced by a cold hatred. Ryan would have said something, but his mind couldn't even process coherent thoughts, let alone the words to convey them. He felt a knot twist in his stomach, and he knew that he had gone too far.

 

Then, she hit him.

 

It didn't hurt at first, much to his surprise. The area on his face where she slapped him merely felt numb. He blinked in astonishment. Then he felt the pain. Waves upon waves of it. His face throbbed. Evan began to yell, his voice sounded like it was coming from far away. He brought a hand to his aching cheek, as he somehow managed to catch part of Evan's words.

 

Ellen...

 

Part of him was coming up with some feeble argument that if Ellen had been there, he wouldn't have had any need to attack Hayes. The other part of him wondered if he'd have done it anyway. As if it were aiming to cause him the most torment, his mind latched onto that idea and followed it. he could see Ellen's horrified face... to think that Ryan, of all people, the one who had took her in and watched over her, would be capable of doing such a terrible thing...

 

What... w-what have I become...?

 

Ray strode up to him, but Ryan wasn't paying attention. He stumbled backward until he was leaning against the wall of his home for support. His vision blurred, though he wasn't sure if the tears were from the pain or from genuine sadness. He could feel the eyes of everyone staring at him. He knew he had to say something. Show some sign of remorse.

 

But he had nothing. All he could do was stand there, as that knot in the pit of his stomach twisted itself tighter and tighter.


Konuju: Kopaka and Nuju meet the Spear of Fusion

 

Quotes from throughout the years:

 

2001: "Your past is forgotten, and your future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer." --Nokama

2002: "Mata Nui faces perhaps its greatest challenge -- one that will test our courage, our strength, and our belief in each other." --Tahu

2003: "So... it has begun, my brother. But soon, it will also end..." --Makuta

2004: "Your journey must end." "By the will of the Great Spirit, it has just begun!" --Makuta and Vakama

2005: "Our destinies are not written in stone, set in place. They are something we have to find for ourselves." --Vakama

2006: "Don't you realize you're fighting for a lost cause?" "Maybe. But don't you realize those are the only ones worth fighting for?" --Axonn and Brutaka

2007: "Sometimes a hero has to do something else besides beat the villains and come home covered in glory." --Hahli

2008: "Dive into the darkness, Ignite the flame within. Now, there is no turning back. Make the future... begin." --Narrator, The Final Battle Animation

2009: "It is said that all endings are merely beginnings waiting to be born." --Mata Nui

2010: "All journeys must come to an end, but this time, there is a new beginning as well. ... All that has gone before, my friends, has only served to give birth to this new day. Let unity, duty and destiny be your guides." --Mata Nui

2011: "Not dead. Just frozen. They’ll thaw out … eventually. I’m tired of villains spouting gibberish." --Kopaka

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OOC: And jam with Blade and Minun!

 

-==IC: Lucia==-

 

It took Lucia and Jamie a while longer than they wished to get to the hospital, as Lucia led them down a wrong turn and Jamie did not correct her. So when they arrived in front of the hospital, snow had begun to fall on their heads.

"Oh look, Lucia, there's snow fallin-ow...."

Lucia stopped, and blinked, as she looked up at the snow. "That's... odd. Why is it snowing...?"

"It's... odd?" Jamie muttered in a whisper before speaking up, "uh.. well I don't know Luc-ow... let's get patched up first before we think about this."

 

Lucia looked over at Jamie, as she thought the other girl had said something, but nodded, as she led Jamie into the hospital.

After a little while, some bandages, a brace for Lucia's hand, and some ice, the two girls were cleared to be able to do things; luckily, nothing was too bad other than Lucia's hand. As the girls were about to leave, however, Lucia stopped, and turned her head, as a small mouse thing started to squeak.

Jamie turned her head to follow Lucia's line of sight and saw the mouse thing as well.

"That Pokémon... looks familiar."

Lucia nodded, and frowned slightly. "Isn't that..." Lucia started to say, as the Dedenne ran up to her, and began to pull on her socks, squeaking more, as Lucia sighed.

But why is she here...? Lucia wondered, as she followed the squeaking Dedenne, Jamie trailing along after. After a little while, and Didi leading them through the halls, the two finally reached a certain room, which Lucia seemed rather curious about, considering she wasn't sure why the electric mouse had led them there... But, she was starting to have a sinking feeling about it.

IC: Lucia Zyther, Jamie Arthur, Didi/Dedenne (T: Alex Zyther), Blissie/Blissey (T: Alex Zyther)

Blissie's eyes snapped open as she sat up suddenly in her chair. Two humans had entered, and unfamiliar ones at that. She leapt to her feet, ready to defend--only to see Didi at their feet. The two Pokémon chittered at each other in their own language before the Blissey reluctantly let the visitors in.

 

The sight awaiting them was not a pleasant one. Before them lay a young man--or at least, the shell of one--withered and frail. A multitude of tubes extended from the body--many of them ordinary, like the standard IV, but some more specialized, like the one emerging from and taped securely to his mouth, and, most noticeably, the blood-filled one in particular attached to the man's skull. The sound of the beeping monitor combined with the whirring of machines could mean only one thing: those machines were the only thing keeping Alex Zyther alive.

 

Muffled footsteps approached from the hall, and soon the doorframe was filled with a tall, wide-built man in a doctor's coat. He seemed none too pleased with the unexpected visitors. "Excuse me, can I help you?" he asked sternly.

 

Lucia stood in shock, as she noticed the person who was laying in bed.

But, what? Lucia thought, as she whirled around, at the doctor's comment.

"What is the meaning of this?" Lucia asked, a frown on her face; as there seemed to be no way that Alex could be there.

... But, he wasn't at Aunt Stacy's place. Lucia reminded herself, as she seemed just utterly confused by the situation. I thought he might have headed to uncle Joe's, but...

 

"I could ask you the same question," the doctor asked, crossing his arms. "The ICU is a restricted ward. How did you end up in my patient's room?"

 

Lucia looked down at Didi to show that, and then glared up.

"This is my adoptive brother, so would you kindly explain what's going on?" Lucia asked, as she mimicked the doctor's pose, not entirely too pleased at the fact that the doctor wasn't saying anything.

 

"Di di di!" Didi piped up, none too pleased herself with the way the doctor was treating Lucia. Blissie sighed, not really understanding Didi's protectiveness of the Rocket agent, having only met her a few days earlier.

 

The doctor paused. "I'm sorry--adoptive brother?" He looked back to his patient. "Hm. Normally I'd ask for identification, so we could compare it to the records for his next of kin. In this case, though, we don't have the latter, which complicates the matter." The doctor stroked his chin, trying to decide if he believed Lucia or not. "Can you tell me his name?" he finally asked. "We should be able to compare his filed records to the ones we have for him here, see if we can get a match. I'm afraid I can't discuss his condition until we can confirm your relationship to the patient."

 

Lucia was still annoyed at the way the doctor was behaving, however, she knew better than to get upset at him.

"Alex Zyther." She said shortly, as she was still annoyed enough to not be able to mask the slight emotion in her voice.

 

The doctor whipped out a notepad and wrote down the name quickly. "And your name?"

 

"Lucia Zyther," Lucia replied, showing the man her ID.

 

The doctor nodded. "This should only take about an hour to run, if that. In the meantime, I'll need you to wait in the waiting room."

 

With another pained back-and-forth between Alex and Lucia, Didi followed the three humans out of the room.

 

The Doctor led Jamie and Lucia--and, unwittingly, Didi--down a different set of hallways than Didi had taken them, these ones much more trafficked and obviously more intended for public use. As they walked, the two Rocket Agents could see patient after patient, some surrounded by family, others surrounded by scientists and doctors, all of them hooked up to heavy medical machinery in various configurations. A few Pokémon were there as well, a rare sight in a long-term care facility considering the overall efficiency of Pokémon Centers.

 

Upon seeing the Pokémon, Jamie thought of Tristan. The Metagross withstood far more pain and damage than it would normally take to make him fall unconscious. Long story short, it was good news that Team Liberty had as good medical facilities as they did, otherwise... well, being out of commission might have been the least of his worries.

 

Then again, the clone supposed she would know what good medical facilities were. She was hooked up to many medical devices for one reason or another growing up, though she never had it as bad as looked with Alex.

 

That last thought snapped Jamie out of her thoughts and back to the present. Lucia's adoptive brother was in the hospital and Jamie guessed that Lucia would need comforting, though what to say?

 

"How are you holding up?" was the best she could come up with.

 

Lucia looked up with a blink, and scratched the back of her head, unsure herself.

"I'm... Not sure, this is kinda a bit surprising. Not like this week hasn't been surprising in itself." Lucia admitted, as she frowned. "But it's odd, like, he said he was fine before we left..."

 

 

 

-------------------------

Celadon City Department Store, right after the downfall of Team Zephyr

 

It took a few minutes of searching, but Jamie and Lucia finally located their quarry: Alex Zyther, Trainer of the Dedenne Lucia had inadvertently borrowed just a few hours earlier. The young man leaned shakily against the wall, steadied by his Blissey. The Happiness Pokémon was too distracted to notice the two Rocket Agents' approach, but her Trainer was not; he perked up at the sight of the Dedenne.

 

"Didi!" he cried happily. "I'm so glad you're safe." The pallid Trainer looked up at Lucia, who had been carrying the Electric-type until a few moments earlier, and then Jamie, who still held his specialized crutches, recovered from the fifth floor of the building, which was still an active crime scene. "Where did you find her? And, ah, how did you know those were mine? If you'll...erm...forgive my asking..." Alex trailed off quietly, blushing slightly and looking down at the ground as he did.

 

"In the department store." Lucia said, and then pointed at the name on the crutches. "Your name was on it." Lucia said, and smiled slightly.

 

"Oh," Alex said shyly, taking the crutches from Lucia's companion. "Um, thank you." He paused. Didi suddenly leaped from Alex's shoulder and danced around Lucia excitedly.

 

"Di dididi didi!"

 

Alex smiled, opening up a little and thus drawing a little more attention to his injuries--namely, the scratch running down his right arm and the light bruise on his forehead, among other injuries. "Didi really likes you," he said, apparently oblivious to his appearance. "If...erm...if it wouldn't be too much trouble, do you think you could give me directions to my Aunt Stacy's house? I was supposed to come stay with her for a while but I had to stop here first." Alex looked down at his shoes again, embarrassed he had to be asking for help yet again.

 

Lucia looked at Alex in slight confusion, as she noticed the injuries.

"Sure, bro, but uh; what happened to you?" Lucia asked, as she wondered what had happened.

 

"Er...bro?"

 

Lucia smiled amusedly, and nodded.

"Yep; though, hm, I don't know how long Gavin and the others are waiting, because I'd take you there." Lucia said, as she rubbed her chin.

 

Alex stared at the strange woman. "Do...do I know you somehow? I'm...I'm sorry..., I feel like I'm supposed to know..." The poor guy seemed extremely embarrassed by the whole situation.

 

"Um... Lucia," Jamie piped up, "you should really introduce himself... especially if he is who you think he is. He looks really confused."

 

You really ought to, a telepathic voice entered into the heads of those present. The first thing gentlemen and ladies should do when they meet is courteously introduce themselves.

 

The Metagross who spoke walked up behind Jamie with a tank full of Shellder and Clamperl being pulled behind him.

 

I am Tristan! A pleasure to make your acquaintance! he shouted as he extended a foreleg to be shook.

 

"Didi! Didididi!" Didi squeaked, jumping up to grab Tristan's outstretched claw. She tried to shake it, but only ended up shaking herself.

 

Alex stared at Tristan, unconsciously taking a step back. "Wow! A Metagross? You must be a really strong Trainer." Alex blushed at Jamie, then decided to look at Tristan, more to be able to look away from Jamie than anything else. "I'm Alex--Alex Zyther, but you already knew that..." The Trainer let go of the handle of one of his crutches, leaning his weight on it to try and support himself while still reaching out to shake Tristan's claw. At the last moment, however, the crutch slipped, with Blissie instantly reaching out to grab him--the sudden fall and change in position now highlighting the Trainer's badly skinned knees. With Blissie's help, Alex took another step forward and clutched the Metagross' claw.

 

"Bliii..." Blissie crooned to Tristan in introduction, glancing apologetically at her own hands, both of which were occupied holding Alex. The ribbon-clad Eevee named Sylph peeked its head out from behind Alex, opening his mouth to speak to the Metagross before getting distracted by and chasing the ribbons tied to his own tail.

 

Lucia turned to Jamie with a pause, and then awkwardly scratched her head. "Oh; good point there." Lucia admitted sheepishly, and then turned back to Alex. "My name's Lucia Zyther; your adoptive sister." Lucia said with a smile.

 

Alex's eyes nearly bugged out of his abnormally pale (and bruised) head. "You're...?" He cocked his head. "You're not...you're different. Than I expected. But not in a bad way." He looked to Jamie awkwardly, trying to find the words, but only managed to make himself blush again, forcing him to look down at his shoes again. He reached up to brush a lock of hair out of his face, but winced and drew back when his fingers made contact with his bruise.

 

Jamie looked back at Alex puzzled. She thought that his focus would have been better spent on the step-sister he literally just met as opposed to the random stranger he also literally just met. However, her brother had raised her to be polite (even if Lucia's influence sometimes overcame that), and so she returned a soft smile.

 

"If the two of you wish, I can send a message to Ethan to tell him to wait up for a while. Then the three of us can continue to your 'Aunt Stacy's house. If it would make it easier for you, Tristan can ferry you on his back."

 

"Nono," Alex protested, "That's...that's okay..." He went to brush the hair out of his forehead again, and winced again. "I'm fine..." he repeated unconvincingly.

 

Lucia seemed unconvinced, and frowned slightly. "Are you sure?" Lucia asked, as she caught a glimpse of the bruise. "That doesn't seem too healthy, there..." Lucia noted, and between that and the other things, she wondered just what had happened in the meantime.

 

Alex waved Lucia back. "It's...I fell. I'm fine..." Suddenly, the Trainer reached down somewhere within himself, drawing up a courage that had not been there before. "I can do this," he said earnesly, his earlier shyness still present but clearly suppressed. "I need to do this on my own." And just like that, it was gone, and Alex was back to his usual self. "I mean..." he paused awkwardly. "Not that I don't want to spend time with you, or get to know you, or your friend, or anything like that...it's just..." Alex dipped his head in premature apology for his perceived future bluntness. "This is my journey. I have to prove I can do this." To Mom...and to myself.

 

Lucia frowned slightly.

"Are you really sure...?" Lucia asked, but sighed, and shrugged. "Well, the helicopter's probably waiting for us anyway, and Ethan seemed extra giddy for some reason after we left the building, so we probably don't wanna leave him alone with Gavin, or he might end up killing Gavin with puns." Lucia said with an amused smile. She could see how Alex wanted to prove himself, and knew just how much she had wanted to have her own independence as well. However, the injuries still seemed a bit odd to her... Yet, she got this feeling that he wouldn't change his mind about this, and sighed again.

 

Jamie was confused by Alex's response but relented, "Gavin hangs out with so many Ghosts, Ethan may already have and we didn't notice..."

 

Alex watched hesitantly as his sister and her companion departed, wondering to himself about the strange machinations of fate...

 

 

 

-------------------------

The Present. Just outside the Olivine Garden, Celadon City

In an otherwise-ordinary bag belonging to an anything-but-ordinary woman, Stacy Trilan's PokéNav Plus began to ring.



 

Me: *has idea*

Blade: "I'd say too convoluted, and I know too convoluted =P"

 

"Dangit, I shouldn't have gotten ambitious."

--Merc, RE: our plotting

 

Pokémon Rise of the Rockets Profiles: LINK

3DS FC: 3625-9584-9417 (Pokemon X Friend Safari: Electric-type, Pachirisu, Electabuzz, Zebstrika)

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