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Old 04-26-2015, 10:36 PM   #51
Missingno. Master
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"Ah, there it is," Keith grinned, as a familiar dead, blackened, petrified tree came into view, as did the two-story house built atop it. "My Secret Base. The Poisonous Paradise, if you will."

"Ehh, I told ya, dat name'll never catch on," Meowth said to Keith, the feline seated as usual on Keith's shoulder. Keith rolled his eyes, though another Pokémon nearby didn't pay attention to Meowth's words, the newest member of Keith's team. Bart the Scraggy looked up at the Secret Base.

"Heh, what's the deal with that tree?" Bart called up to Meowth. "It looks all dead and stuff, like it'll turn to dust if I just touch it."

"Yeah, it sure looks like it, don't it?" Meowth agreed, jumping down off of Keith's shoulder. "I was wit Keith when we was lookin' for a good spot fer da Secret Base. Apparently, ta get a good deal on da price, it had ta be built in a tree, though Keith didn't wanna build something real high up off da ground, so when we found dis, he knew da base'd go here. See, it's been exposed ta all kinds o' poisons an' stuff ova da years, so it's harder den a Ponyta's hooves."

"Yeah, whatever," said Bart. "I dunno- still looks like I could destroy that thing with a good Low Kick..."

Meowth looked up at Keith. "Little help here?" he asked weakly. "Bart's lookin' at da tree and tinkin' he can destroy it."

"Yeah, that ain't happening," Keith chuckled, crouching down and facing Bart. "The tree's harder than diamond. A charging Rampardos wouldn't put so much as a dent in it."

Bart shook his head at Meowth. "Seriously? You go crying to this guy when the talk's not going your way?"

"Hey, knock it off," frowned Meowth. "I still ain't fully recovered from our battle, so I figured he oughta step in before tings escalate, is all."

"In other words, you didn't wanna risk going up against my manly toughness," smirked the Scraggy, hitching his "pants" up proudly. "I'm too awesome for you to handle."

"Yeah, keep dreamin'," Meowth sighed as he turned and walked off. "Manly toughness, my ass-"

Bart's eyes narrowed. "Just what the hell is that supposed to mean?" he demanded.

Meowth stopped and turned his head back. "Eh?" he said.

"What- you saying I'm not tough, is that is?" demanded Bart. "You saying I'm soft? Because I will kick your ass all over again, right here, right now, if that's what it takes to drill the message into your thick skull-"

"OK, take it easy!" Keith interrupted. He didn't speak Scraggy language, of course, but Bart had started yelling and advancing threateningly on Meowth- piecing the gist together from that, it wasn't exactly rocket surgery. "Meowth, Bart, cut it out, alright? You two already battled, and if you want a rematch, that's fine, but I'd much rather you rested up beforehand."

"Believe me, I ain't in no mood ta go up against dis guy again anytime soon," stated Meowth. "Watever ya do, don't ever insinuate dat he ain't tough."

Keith nodded. "Noted," he replied. "So, Bart," he added, turning to the Scraggy. "Ready to meet your teammates?"

"Ehh... sure," shrugged the Scraggy. "Why the hell not?" With that, he walked over to the rope ladder and started climbing it. Keith and Meowth followed him to the door, and Keith opened it, leading the way inside.

"We're back!" Keith announced, only to be met with a red and black metallic blur rushing up to him. He sighed as the Pawniard, levitating by way of her Magnet Rise move, circled him, eyeing him suspiciously. Keith rolled his eyes as Ginny landed a light Scratch on his arm- enough to be considered an actual attack, but too light to draw blood.

Bart turned to Meowth. "The hell is her deal?" he muttered.

"Dat's Ginny," Meowth replied. "She's as paranoid as dey come. Dat Scratch was ta make sure Keith wasn't a Zorua or Zoroark, since attacking dem breaks the Illusion." He paused as Keith giggled involuntarily- Ginny was now tickling him. "And now she's testin' ta see if he's a Ditto- dey can't stay Transformed if dey laugh."

"...That is friggin' weird," said Bart.

Meowth nodded "Welcome ta my world," he said.

Bart opened his mouth to reply, but didn't get a chance- after confirming that Keith was in fact Keith, she noticed the Scraggy and swooped down, her face very close to his, which meant the blade on her head was even closer to his head. "GAH!" Bart exclaimed."

"Identify yourself!" Ginny barked, brandishing her blades.

"I'm Bart. Who the hell are you?" replied the Scraggy. "Look, I'm new to the team, the big guy there just got me in a trade."

Ginny said nothing at first, continuing to eye Bart suspiciously. Then, she lowered her blades and backed off. "Very well," she conceded. "Just know that I take security very seriously around here. The password, should I ever ask you for it, is mayonnaise. And never assume I'm asleep, either."

"Yeah, yeah, eat my shorts," Bart said dismissively, before turning to Meowth. "Don't tell me my other teammates are this crazy," he added as Ginny flew off.

"Relax, dey ain't," confirmed Meowth. "Most o' dem, anyways. Da team's kinda all ova da place wit da personalities."

"As long as they're not as nuts as that Pawniard," said Bart. "Sweet digs, though," he added, glancing around the Secret Base. "I can tell already this is bigger than my old place. Levin's base, there's an entrance hall and two rooms, and that's it. There's at least four rooms and another floor to this place!"

"Yeah," Meowth nodded. "Why don't I give youse da grand tour?" With that, he led the Scraggy through the first door on the left. "Dis is da pool room," Meowth said- and sure enough, there was a large swimming pool set into the floor.

Bart's jaw dropped open. "Ay carumba!" he exclaimed. "An indoor pool- WAH!!"

For at that moment, a Tentacruel breached the surface of the pool, towering over the two Pokémon on the dry floor. "Hey, Meowth," she said. "Who is this?"

"Hey, Aquarius," said Meowth. "Dis is Bart, he's new to da team. Bart, dis is Keith's Tentacruel, Aquarius."

"Yo," Bart said, regaining his composure.

"Nice to meet you," the Tentacruel said politely, before descending back into the pool.

"Don't let her appearance fool youse," Meowth said to Bart as they exited the pool room. "Aquarius is real quiet, polite- basically everyting yer not- and she likes ta tink up new strategies fer battles, too, so youse could learn a ting or two from her."

"Heh, if you say so," Bart said skeptically. Meowth rolled his eyes, but did not press the point. Instead, he led the Scraggy in through the second door on the left.

"Alright, dis is da kitchen," he explained.

"Now we're talking!" grinned Bart as he rushed over to the fridge. "Let's see what's- Son of a-!" For as he reached the fridge and yanked it open, he was met with the sight of a Patrat carcass.

"Yeah, dat's Marvolo's lunch," Meowth stated. "It ain't often he does dis, but when he hunts down and kills more den he can eat, he takes wat's left ova back here and puts it in da fridge fer later. "I wouldn't touch it if I was youse, though," he warned. "Marvolo's a Seviper, and a damn strong one, too. Gettin' on his bad side ain't a good idea."

"Yeah, I'll be the judge of that," huffed Bart.

At that moment, a small insect approached them. "Hi, Meowth," said the Weedle. "Who's your friend?"

"Dis is Bart, our new teammate," Meowth said. "Bart, dis is Hermione. Don't underestimate her, she can be pretty tough when she needs ta be."

Bart chuckled. "A Weedle?" he scoffed. "Tough? Yeah, right."

"He's right, you know," Hermione said, seemingly unperturbed by the Scraggy's rudeness. "I don't want to brag, but I'm not exactly weak."

"Heh... OK, then," smirked Bart. "If you're so tough, then bring it." The Scraggy assumed a fighting stance, sneering at Hermione all the while.

The Weedle sighed. "Very well," she said. And the next thing Bart saw was a barrage of orange bubbles coming his way, and the next thing he felt was white-hot pain where the Firestream made contact. As he exclaimed and swore in response to the pain, Hermione followed up with a String Shot, pinning the Scraggy's arms to his sides. Finally, her head stinger gleamed as she charged up several orbs of Ground energy around her, and fired them off. The Hidden Power struck the Scraggy, knocking him to the ground.

"...Daaaaamn!" the Scraggy exclaimed as he struggled to get back to his feet. "How'd you do that? I didn't think Weedle could learn Hidden Power, or breathe fire!"

"Hermione ain't most Weedle," Meowth explained as he used his claws to slice the String Shot off of Bart. Hermione said nothing, but merely smiled politely in appreciation of his words.

"No shit," Bart retorted, though he still sounded impressed. "Heh, I'll admit it, I had you all wrong," he added to Hermione.

"It's no problem," Hermione replied. "I'm used to being underestimated. It doesn't bother me, it's simply a matter of proving them wrong, which is generally not a problem. What interests me, though, is that my Hidden Power is a Ground move. I just learned the move a little while ago, and I just think it's fascinating how the type varies for each Pokémon- I mean, it's obvious for some of them- Peeves, our Dusclops, he has Hidden Power Fighting, which makes sense because he was a Machop when he was alive, but some of them just seem so random. And recently, I've been reading up on some of Alex Morgan's research, he's looked into the subject of Hidden Power, and how some Pokémon have their Hidden Power types defined by their personality, and by comparing myself and my teammates to his findings, I have to say he might well be onto something..."

"Does she go off like this often?" Bart muttered to Meowth.

Meowth shrugged. "Ya get used to it."

"...was expecting either this or Electric for mine- oh, I'm sorry," Hermione said suddenly. "It's hard to get me to stop once I start going like this. Anyway, I was just starting to make the dessert for later on, if you want an early taste?"

"Go ahead," Meowth urged Bart. "Hermione's da best cook I ever seen in my life."

Bart shrugged. "Sure, why not?" he agreed.

In response, Hermione turned, looked up, and nodded. Bart followed her gaze, and saw a smiling Shuppet floating beside the counter. Her eyes glowing blue, Helena used Psychic to levitate a small bowl of ice cream down to the Scraggy, complete with spoon. The ice cream was topped with molten chocolate.

"Bart, right?" the Shuppet called down to him. "Nice to meet you- I'm Helena. And believe me, you're gonna love that."

"I'll be the judge of that," Bart replied. He grabbed the spoon that was stuck in the ice cream, took a large scoop, and swallowed it. Immediately, his eyes went wide. "I... whoa... This is friggin' delicious!" Bart exclaimed, eagerly devouring another couple of spoonfuls. "Mmmm!" he exclaimed. "What- are those Snoverberries in this?!"

"Indeed they are," Hermione nodded, pleased with how well her creation was going over with the newcomer. "Our Trainer used to have a Snover, but he opted to stay in the Adoption Center to cheer up the Pokémon up for adoption. And believe me, it can be a gloomy environment... Anyway, before he left, he gave Keith a handful of Snoverberries, and after a lot of trial and error, I've finally succeeded in growing them myself."

"Holy shitting shit, this is unbelievable!!!" Bart exclaimed, tears of happiness actually coming to his eyes as he savored the Snoverberry ice cream and the melted chocolate it was topped with. "What is this- someone used Chocolate Magic to make this or something?"

"That would be me," Hermione replied. "The move's really given me more possibilities for my cooking."

"Sweet," Bart murmured as he gulped down another spoonful. "Y'know, I'm hoping they discover a Caramel Magic kind of move at some point, that's the only thing could make this better in my opinion."

"Well, it's clear you like it," smiled Hermione. "I don't often see such tears of happiness in response to my cooking."

"Mmm... wha... tears of- WHAT?!" Bart exclaimed. He put the now-empty bowl down on the floor and hastily wiped his eyes. "Tears?! Me?! Yeah, right! Who do you think I am?! Tears from someone as tough and manly as myself? Not likely! Eat my shorts!" With that, the Scraggy stormed out of the room. Once he was out the door, though, he stuck his head back in. "Good ice cream, though. Keep up the good work," he added to Hermione before retreating back out the door. Sighing, Meowth followed him. Saying nothing, Hermione crawled back up onto the counter while Helena used Psychic to retrieve the bowl and spoon. And as much as Bart had tried to cover it up, Helena knew what she had tasted, and was still tasting, in the way of emotions Bart was giving off. No amount of his macho fakery could hide from her how elated he still was by the taste of Hermione's homemade Snoverberry ice cream.

This went on for some time, with Meowth showing Bart the rest of the house. After they saw the dining room and living room, they headed upstairs, where Meowth showed him Keith's bedroom (and stressed the importance of not messing with the Chespin doll Keith had in there), Hermione's library, and the Battle Room. Each room contained more of their teammates for Bart to meet, and even after the tour was concluded, he still had yet to meet a fraction of his teammates, so he spent the rest of his day doing just that. Bart's new team was an odd one for sure, but- though he'd never admit it to anyone, ever, and would kick the ass of anyone who tried to get him to admit to it- he was already starting to love them. He just knew he was gonna like it here.

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 03-26-2016 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 05-26-2015, 04:15 PM   #52
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"It can't be-"

"Dammit, Meowth, yes it can!"

The argument was taking place between a Pokémon Trainer in his Secret Base and his Meowth- the Trainer was none other than Keith Masters, whom after a decidedly eventful morning, had just witnessed a breaking report on the news about brutal murders at the Adoption Center. And that, coupled with what he recalled from earlier that morning, had shaken Keith to his core.

Earlier that day, Keith had taken his Enigma Egg to get hatched, and to his utter astonishment, it produced the extremely rare Zorua. Much as he wanted to keep it, he had to keep his Pawniard's sanity in mind, and so he put it up for trade. As he expected, the bidding started almost immediately, but what was nagging at him was the first person who had put in a bid for the Zorua. Not someone he identified by sight, thanks to the person's black hoodie which conveniently obscured their face, but... that voice.

The voice had resonated in Keith's mind and heart almost immediately, triggering certain feelings he felt on a regular basis, but in stronger doses than ever. Love, longing, grief... hope. Despite every instinct screaming at him then and there, Keith did not outwardly react to the voice beyond acknowledging the speaker's bids (which stopped around the area of 1,000); it wasn't the first time he'd heard that voice since... since it happened. Or rather, it wasn't the first time he thought he'd heard that voice. On occasion, particularly around the month of May and the Halloween season, his mind saw fit to play cruel, cruel tricks on him. He'd hear a voice he thought he recognized, only for it to be someone else entirely. He'd smell cigarette smoke, which, despite its foul odor, made his heart leap in excitement, only for the smoker to be someone he did not know. And yet... and yet, something was telling him that this time, it was the real thing. And now a vicious attack at the Adoption Center, one which the authorities believed a Shuppet or Banette to be involved in?

"It ain't Coselle," Meowth said flatly. "Ya've heard dese voices before, dey ain't never been nuttin'!"

"They haven't been anything so far," Keith corrected Meowth. "That doesn't mean they can never be."

"Oy," sighed Meowth. "Dere's optimistic, and den dere's Keith Masters..."

"Nothing's impossible, Meowth," Keith persisted. "What... what if the memory erasure didn't hold?"

"Oh, and wat broke it, huh? Da power o' love?" Meowth asked sarcastically.

"You know what? It can cause some Pokémon to evolve, so why the hell not?" asked Keith desperately. "Meowth, I... I want this to be what I believe it is, so, so badly..."

"I know dat," Meowth sighed. "But dat's exactly why I'm tryin' ta keep youse from gettin' yer hopes up too high. Remember when ya first... got da news? Youse was a wreck. I ain't never want to see ya like dat again."

"I know..." Keith sighed. "I didn't want to be let down again, either, that's why I didn't react until we got out of the White Market... You're a good friend, Meowth... but I don't give up hope. I never give up. You know that just as well as anybody, maybe even more. So if there's even just the slightest chance that this is what I think it is..."

"Let him believe it, Meowth," came a voice from beside them. Keith and Meowth looked to see a Swalot standing next to the couch. "Whether he turns out to be right or wrong about this, what's important is that he has hope. Hope that he and his beloved might meet again someday, somehow..." As he spoke, a tear came to one of the Swalot's ruby-like eyes.

"Crabbe..." Meowth murmured.

"I know what our Trainer's going through," Crabbe continued. "Every time I see a female Ghost-type who moves elegantly, who seems kind, who has an appetite possibly to rival my own, there's always that little part of me desperately hoping that it might turn out to be Narcissa, reborn yet again... It's never been her yet, but I will never give up hope. It's not when he keeps having hope that you should be worried, Meowth... it's when he stops having hope. It's when he forgets about her."

Keith gave Crabbe a grateful smile as a tearful, touched Meowth translated the purple blob's speech. "I knew you'd understand," he murmured. He turned to look at what was hanging on his wall- the stuffed, mangled, scorched, yet still unmistakable corpse of a Stunfisk, its face permanently frozen in the look of fear it had been contorted into just as those tons of boulders snuffed out its life. While Neville's death was beneficial to the region as a whole, in all honesty, there was only one person Keith had had on his mind while giving his own Stunfisk the final command in that epic final battle atop Mt. Chaos, one person he dedicated that fight, that final move, and the end of Neville to; the person to whom he promised he would someday kill Neville in the first place. To him, Neville represented a vast majority of the mistakes Keith had made, both as a Trainer and as a person, and he kept the stuffed Stunfisk on his wall to remind him to never make those kinds of mistakes again.

As they sat there, with Crabbe still standing beside the couch, Keith reached into his nearby backpack and extracted from within a handmade Chespin doll- it had been a gift years ago, though even after all this time, it was still in excellent shape, Keith having taken great care of it over the years. He considered it a good-luck charm and his most prized possession, and no matter what the situation, he couldn't help but smile when he held it. He thought back to what the news reporter had said- the message "REMEMBER ME" had been written in blood on a wall at the crime scene. If this was who he thought it was, was that a message to him? Honestly, he didn't know one way or another, but if it was, he could say with certainty that the message was received and understood. He didn't know what the future held for him, least of all in regards to this particular matter, but he knew one thing was for certain- he would never give up hope, he would never forget.

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 03-26-2016 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 05-30-2015, 10:41 PM   #53
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Wind Or Lose

"Tranquiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiil!" trilled the Normal/Flying-type soaring through the air. It was yet another beautiful day, not a single cloud in the sky, and Keith knew that this was a perfect opportunity to let his Tranquill get some good exercise. He had done the same with his Crobat several nights ago, and his Swoobat the other day, but now it was Batrach's turn.

As Batrach the Tranquill flew through the skies, below her was walking her Trainer- the Poison-type specialist, Keith Masters, clad in his usual outfit- a red and white sleeveless jacket over a black t-shirt, a pair of blue jeans, white sneakers, and perhaps his most distinctive feature, a big, brown cowboy hat. That someone so well-known for using Poison-types would have a Tranquill on his team might seem a bit odd, and indeed, Keith always showed a personal preference for Poison-types, owning nearly all known Poison-type evolution families. But that didn't mean he couldn't make exceptions to this. If he saw a Pokémon he wanted, Poison-type or otherwise, he went for it. Which also explained the Meowth resting on his shoulder, though Meowth's presence with Keith was to be expected in this day and age.

"So, where we headed?" Meowth asked Keith as they traversed the hilly landscape.

Keith shrugged (nearly jostling Meowth off his shoulder in the process). "Wherever," he replied. "I got no clue where we're headed, I'm content with just enjoying the day, y'know? And you know, even if we do get lost, Batrach's a Tranquill- she'll be able to help us navigate back home."

"Tranquiiiiiil," trilled Batrach in agreement as she flew down, perching on the arm Keith held out for her.

Keith smiled at his Tranquill. "Enjoying yourself, Batrach?" he asked.

Batrach nodded. "Tranquill, Tranquill," she replied.

Keith nodded back. "That's good," he said with a smile. "Maybe later we'll do some training once we get back home, hmm?"

"Tran Tranquill!" cawed Batrach happily. She spread her wings and took off once more, though this time she flew closer to the ground, electing to fly right next to her Trainer, level with his head, as they headed off towards who knows what.

And then, as they continued on, a sudden gust of wind whipped up from behind them- and a strong one, too! "Gah!" Keith grunted as he clutched his trademark cowboy hat to prevent it from blowing away. Meowth, meanwhile, held onto Keith's shoulder for dear life. Batrach, however, was not so lucky- the wind caught her and blew her away. "Batrach!" Keith exclaimed, as he broke into a run, chasing after his Tranquill.

"Tranquiii-iii-iiill!" trilled Batrach urgently as she desperately attempted to regain control. And then, just as soon as it started, the gust died down and all was still.

"...Man, dat was wild," Meowth remarked. "Wat da hell?"

"I dunno," shrugged Keith. He glanced around, for he had traveled a fair distance in pursuit of his Tranquill- indeed, he could now see a humongous valley before him, and could even see buildings down below- they seem to have stumbled upon a town.

"Ya seein' dat?" Meowth asked, pointing at aforementioned buildings. "Where dere's a town, dere's restaurants! I vote we go and get sometin' ta eat."

Keith nodded his agreement at this, when he heard something to his right. He turned to look, and a fair distance away, he could see a boy, in his mid to late teens, standing by the edge of a cliff overlooking the valley. He was looking out at something, and as Keith turned his head to see what, he could spot a large brown bird expertly navigating the powerful winds that were whipping up out there. Keith dug out his Pokédex and pointed it at the creature.

"Noctowl, the Owl Pokémon, and the evolved form of Hoothoot," droned the device. "Noctowl's eyes are able to magnify low levels of light, enabling it to see in the dark."

Keith watched, intrigued, as Noctowl continued to expertly navigate the powerful air currents. "Wow," he remarked as he approached the boy, who was almost certainly this Noctowl's Trainer. "That your Noctowl?" he asked.

The boy nodded. "Yep," he said proudly. "We're training for the Pokéringer competition!"

Keith blinked. "Uh... Pokéringer?" he repeated. The term was not familiar to him.

"You've never heard of Pokéringer?" demanded the boy. "It's great! It's this sport where two Flying Pokémon compete against each other. They have to race towards a balloon where a small ring is hanging, and they have to grab it and get it on one of the hooks on the goal post. And attacking is totally allowed, too, in order to get the ring from the opponent, or keep the opponent away from the ring, or whatever, so if you're thinking of entering, that Tranquill of yours doesn't just have to be fast, it has to be strong, too."

"Fast and strong, huh?" Keith murmured, glancing at Batrach. "Well, I think that describes you well enough, huh, Batrach?" he asked.

"Tranquiiiiiiil!" exclaimed Batrach, nodding emphatically."

"Well, I think we're in," Keith grinned, turning back to the boy. "The name's Keith, by the way. Keith Masters."

"The name's Irwin," replied the boy. "And if you're gonna enter, you better get on down to Breeze Town down there," he added. "Registration's at the Pokémon Center, and it closes at noon."

"Noon, OK," nodded Keith, checking his Xtranciever. "And that's just- fifteen minutes?!" he exclaimed, his eyes bugging out as he realized it was already 11:45 in the morning. "Meowth, Batrach, let's move!" he exclaimed urgently as he started to make his way down into the valley.

The time was 11:59 A.M. Nurse Joy glanced at the clock, and figured that anyone interested in entering this year's Pokéringer competition would have entered by now. And then, just as that thought occurred to her, rapid galloping could be heard from outside, getting closer by the second. And then, the automatic doors flew open as a 24-year-old man raced inside. Before the doors slid shut, onlookers could see a dark grey Scolipede with blood-red eyes standing just outside.

"Enter... Pokéringer..." Keith panted. "I... made it?" he asked.

"...Well, alright," conceded Nurse Joy. "You just got in under the deadline."

"Thank you," Keith said gratefully as he started filling in the form. "Sorry I didn't register earlier," he added. "I just heard about the competition fifteen minutes ago in the first place. Raced the whole way here, and if it weren't for that Scolipede of mine, I don't think I'd have made it."

"...Alright, Mr. Masters, you're all set," Nurse Joy smiled. "The competition starts in one hour, and since you're new in town, you'll probably need directions to the arena, right?"

"I'd like that, yeah," Keith nodded.

"Hey, so, wat kinda prizes is dere fer winnin' dis ting anyway?" Meowth asked.

"First prize is a month's supply of Pokémon food," replied Nurse Joy, acting as though a talking Meowth was an everyday occurrence for her. "We can even ship it directly to your Secret Base if you don't want to carry it around."

"I don't think I'll opt for that," Keith chuckled weakly. "Not the best idea considering my Swalot's back at my Secret Base. It'll be long gone by the time I get back."


One hour later, the competition was underway. Nurse Joy's directions proved extremely helpful, and Salazar was able to carry Keith to the arena with no trouble whatsoever.

"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this year's annual Breeze Town Pokéringer competition!" the announcer boomed. "All of this year's competitors are present and accounted for, so let's get started! Today's first matchup will be..." As the announcer paused, Keith looked up at the huge screen off to the side of the arena. On the left appeared a picture of himself and his Tranquill, and on the right, a picture of Irwin, the Trainer Keith had met just outside of town, along with his Noctowl. "...the team of Irwin and his Noctowl against last minute entries Keith and his Tranquill!" the announcer finished.

"All right!" Keith grinned as he climbed into a basket- numerous hot-air balloons were provided for the competitors' use, and Keith wasted no time in choosing the one designed to look like a Koffing. Meowth sat on Keith's shoulder as the balloon rose up into the air. On the opposite end, a Hoothoot-shaped balloon rose into the air. In the center, a much smaller balloon rose into the air, this one merely supporting a small purple and green ring.

"OK! Noctowl, go!" shouted Irwin, tossing a Great Ball into the air. In a flash of light, the Noctowl Keith had seen expertly navigating the powerful winds earlier materialized. It hovered in place, flapping its wings steadily, hooting confidently.

"Let's roll!" Keith grinned, throwing his own Poké Ball. "Batrach, do it!" The ball split open, and Keith's Tranquill was airborne once more.

"Start!" thundered the announcer.

"Go, Batrach! Head for the ring!" Keith ordered at once.

"Noctowl, the ring! Get it!" yelled Irwin.

The pair of Normal/Flying-types flew through the air, each of them determined to beat the other one to the ring. And then, to Keith's delight, his Tranquill was the first one to the ring. Batrach grabbed the ring in her beak, and made an abrupt turn in midair, now diving down towards the goal.

But Irwin wasn't going to let this go so easily. "Get that ring, Noctowl!" he ordered. "Use Hyper Voice!"

Noctowl responded by unleashing a loud, echoing hooting noise, complete with visible soundwaves that washed over Batrach. Startled, the Tranquill relinquished her grip on the ring. Seeing a perfect opportunity, Noctowl dove down.

"Batrach, get the ring back!" Keith called out, but it was too late- Noctowl had already grabbed the ring out of midair in its beak, and was headed towards the goal.

"Nicely done, Noctowl!" smirked Irwin. "Now head straight for the goal!"

Keith gritted his teeth. If something wasn't done, and fast, they were gonna lose in the very first round. "Batrach! Toxic attack!" he ordered.

"Tranquiiiiiiill!" trilled Batrach as she flew down after Noctowl. The Tranquill fired a glob of vile purple liquid from her beak, striking the descending Noctowl squarely in the back. Noctowl gave a surprised hoot, which quickly turned to a weak, feeble hoot as the potent poison started to set in. And as Keith had hoped, Noctowl was too preoccupied with the poison to bother keeping its beak clamped around the ring.

"There!" he exclaimed. "Batrach, the ring!"

"Tranquiiiiiiiiiiiiiill!" responded Batrach as she dove down, riding a gust of wind that had just whipped up. She nabbed the ring in midair, and from there dove down towards the goalpost. Noctowl, seeing this, attempted to fly after it, but the poison was weakening it at an alarming rate.

"Noctowl!" gasped Irwin.

"That's Toxic for you," grinned Keith. "Poisoning from Toxic is way more potent than ordinary poisoning. "Now, Batrach, get that ring on the goal!"

Almost before Keith had finished speaking, his Tranquill had already reached the goal, and deposited the ring onto one of the three metal hooks.

"GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAL!" bellowed the announcer, eliciting cheers from the crowd. "First time Pokéringer Keith wins the first match of the first round!"

"Way to go, Batrach!" Keith grinned as his Tranquill approached the basket of his hot-air balloon. "You were great out there!"

"Tran, Tranquill," Batrach cawed happily in response.

Minutes later, Keith was back on the ground, and the next match of the first round was getting underway. On one side, a Kecleon balloon rose into the air, and on the other side, a Pidove balloon. While Keith was unfamiliar with the man in the Pidove balloon, he was shocked to discover that he did in fact recognize the boy in the Kecleon balloon. "Whoa- that's Oliver!" he exclaimed.

"Da guy wit da Tropius?" Meowth asked.

"That's him, all right," Keith nodded. "Hope he's not thinking of using it here, though," he added suddenly. "Tropius is a Grass-type, it won't hold up too well against Flying attacks..."

"Well, we're about to find out," Meowth remarked.

"Quill," added Batrach.

The balloons, including the one holding the ring, had risen up into the air, and the announcer had just declared the start of the match. At once, Keith could see two Poké Balls being thrown from the balloon baskets. From Oliver's Poké Ball emerged a beast of a Pokémon with large, leaf-like wings- he was using his Tropius after all. The other one, however, Keith didn't recognize- a grey bird with an outlandish pink crest. He took out his Pokédex and aimed it at Tropius's opponent.

"Unfezant, the Proud Pokémon, and the evolved form of Tranquill," droned the device. "Male Unfezant swing their head plumage to threaten others. Female Unfezant possess superior flying skills."

"And the match between the team of Oliver and his Tropius and returning champions Morris and his Unfezant is underway!" the announcer exclaimed. "Morris and Unfezant have never lost a Pokéringer competition in the seven years they've been competing, whereas Oliver and his Tropius are newcomers to the sport. But still, there's no telling which way the match will go!"

"Tropius! Sweet Scent attack!" yelled Oliver.

"Like we're fool enough to fall for that kind of trick!" roared Morris- he was a large man, muscle-bound and taller than even Keith. "Unfezant! Gust!"

Tropius bellowed loudly as a pink mist issued from the bananas hanging from its head. Unfezant, however, blew the mist away with a single forceful flap of its wings.

"Now, if we're done screwing around, get that ring!" Morris ordered.

"Tropius, go for the ring! Now!" cried Oliver.

And they were off! Unfezant and Tropius took off simultaneously, but Unfezant got there first. And then, a sudden gust of wind whipped up, blowing from beneath them. Unfezant hastened to get out of the sudden updraft, only to see Tropius soaring up towards it.

"Hold onto that ring, Unfezant!" ordered Morris. "Use Air Cutter!"

"Tropius, Leaf Tornado!" shouted Oliver.

Tropius flapped its great leafy wings, whipping up a swirling vortex of leaves which immediately surrounded Unfezant on all sides. However, this was short-lived as numerous whirling blades of air sliced their way through the leaves, Unfezant emerging completely unscathed, and already diving down towards the goal.

"After it, Tropius!" Oliver called.

Tropius dove down after Unfezant, but another gust of wind blew through the arena. Unfezant had already gone below it, but Tropius wasn't so fortunate, the wind blowing it off course.

"No! Tropius!" said Oliver, but too late- Unfezant was already depositing the ring on a hook on the goalpost.

"GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAL!!!" bellowed the announcer. "Morris and his Unfezant win this match!"

The next couple of rounds went by with little incident. Keith and Batrach proved to be very capable despite this being their first time in a Pokéringer competition, managing to outmaneuver a Togetic and outright knock out a Ducklett. But Morris was good, too, easily overcoming the Salamence and Skarmory that he and his Unfezant went up against. Even before Unfezant beat Skarmory to the ring and subsequently made it to the goal with absurd ease, Keith had a feeling that he and Batrach would find themselves up against this formidable foe. And sure enough...

"It's time for the final round!" the announcer announced. "This one will determine the winner of this year's Breeze Town Pokéringer competition! Entering the arena- first-timers Keith and his Tranquill, up against returning champions and favorites to win this year, Morris and his Unfezant!"

"Hah!" Morris laughed from his balloon as all three balloons rose up into the air. "A puny little Tranquill? This is a joke!"

"Hey, watch it," Keith called from his own balloon. "My Tranquill's no joke, as you'll soon find out."

"Heh. Bring it, kid!" smirked Morris. At that point, the balloons had reached the required height, and so Morris threw his Poké Ball. "Unfezant!" he shouted.

Keith threw his own Poké Ball. "Batrach! Go!" he called.

The Normal/Flying-types materialized at the same time, hovering in midair and staring each other down, Unfezant whipping its pink plumage around in a threatening way.

"Begin!" shouted the announcer.

Keith wasted no time. "Batrach, get that ring!" he called.

"Unfezant, get there fist!" grinned Morris. "Quick Attack!"

"We'll use Quick Attack as well!" Keith shouted. Immediately, both birds sped towards the ring, but Unfezant was still faster, and managed to grab the ring first. Keith gritted his teeth as his Tranquill chased after the Unfezant. "Batrach, Toxic!" he called out.

"Taunt!" roared Morris.

"Un fez ant!" cawed Unfezant, its tone of voice cocky and irritating, even if Keith couldn't understand what was being said. Batrach, however, could understand it, and it infuriated her, so much so that she didn't even bother to use Toxic.

"It looks like Unfezant's Taunt has really gotten into Tranquill's head!" stated the announcer. "It can't use its Toxic attack!"

Keith groaned. "Friggin' Taunt... Come on, Batrach, you can still get that ring! Use Hidden Power!"

"Tranquiiiiiiiiiiiiill!" trilled Batrach as she fired off numerous orbs that crackled with electricity. However, Unfezant expertly swooped and swerved in midair, managing to dodge each and every one of them.

"Give it up, kid!" laughed Morris. "My Unfezant won't lose to your little Tranquill!"

"We'll just see about that!" Keith retorted. "Night Slash, let's go!"

"Tranquiiiiiiiiiiill!" screeched Tranquill. She dove down faster than before, her wings glowing an ominous shade of purple. As she caught up to Unfezant, she slashed at it with them, striking it squarely in the back, forcing it to let go of the wing.

"Dat hit pretty hard!" Meowth exclaimed.

"Batrach's Ability's probably helping with that," grinned Keith. "Super Luck makes critical hits more likely, and Night Slash is pretty good at scoring critical hits to begin with! Batrach, get that ring!"

"Tranquiiiill!" cried Batrach, already soaring after the falling ring.

"Get that Tranquill outta there!" frowned Morris. "Razor Wind!"

"Uuuuunfezant!" cawed Unfezant. It flapped its wings hard, and the resulting wind blew Batrach off course while also causing her damage.

"Batrach!" Keith exclaimed. "You OK?"

"Traaaan... Tranquill!" she cawed in an affirmative tone.

"Good!" Keith grinned. "Now use your Sky Attack!"

"Traaaaaaan... quiiiiiiiiiiill!" Batrach screeched as a harsh light came over her entire body, and she dove down at Unfezant, who was currently going for the ring.

"Behind you, Unfezant!" roared Morris. "About-face and use Giga Impact!"

"Giga Impact?!" Keith repeated in disbelief.

"Wat's his game?" Meowth demanded. "Giga Impact's just gonna take everyting outta dat Unfezant."

"But it won't matter if it knocks Batrach out in one hit, and that's just what this guy's going for!" Keith exclaimed. "Batrach, dodge it now!" he screamed.

But it was too late- Batrach and Unfezant were on a collision course, too late for either one of them to change direction. As they rammed into each other, as Keith had feared, Unfezant proved stronger and sent Batrach falling down towards the ground.

Keith gripped the edge of the basket. "Batrach!" he screamed, the shout echoing all around.

"Traaaan... Traaaan... Tranquiiiiiill!!!!" Batrach panted. Though she was exhausted and ready to call it quits, she knew deep down that she couldn't do that. She wouldn't lose to this jerk and his Unfezant, and there was no way in hell, after all Keith had done for her, that she would let him down.

With an unsteady yet forceful flap of her wings, Batrach started to rise back into the air. Though Unfezant had already grabbed the ring, the Tranquill soared up right in front, yoinking said ring right out of the Proud Pokémon's mouth. "Fez?!" Unfezant cawed indignantly.

"After it, Unfezant!" roared Morris. "Get the ring back from that loser!"

Batrach soared up higher and higher, a gleam in her eyes. Loser, was she? No. No, she was going to make Morris pay for his cockiness, for his rudeness. She was going to win this for Keith.

Almost immediately, Batrach's body began to glow brightly as she rose higher and higher into the air. Keith's eyes widened along with his Tranquill's wingspan, he watched as her body grew larger, and at last, a magnificent could be seen. "Uuuuunfeeeeeezant!" screeched Batrach. She lacked the showy pink plumage Morris's Unfezant sported, and where Morris's Unfezant had green feathers, Batrach instead had brown, but Keith didn't really give a Raticate's ass- he knew his was the better Unfezant in any case.

"Keith! Remember wat da Pokédex said?" Meowth said suddenly. "Female Unfezant can fly better den da males!"

"Right!" nodded Keith. "Batrach, the goal! Go for it!"

"Unfez!" replied Batrach. She dove down towards the goal, moving faster than anyone had ever seen her move.

"Unfezant, get it!" roared Morris. "Steel Wing!"

"Batrach, dodge it!" Keith cried out.

This time, Batrach proved to be much more maneuverable than Morris's Unfezant. The male Unfezant came diving down with its wings glowing brightly, but Batrach expertly evaded it.

"Now! Use Air Slash!" Keith grinned.

"Unfez! Fez! Fez!" cawed Batrach as she flapped her wing, sending whirling blades of air flying right towards the opponent. Neither Morris nor his Unfezant had time to react before the Air Slash connected, knocking the latter out of the air. Though he struggled to right himself, he had lost precious time, and Batrach was already streaking towards the goal.

"Giga Impact!" Morris bellowed.

"Sky Attack!" Keith shouted.

It was deja vu all over again- both Unfezant raced towards each other, but this time, it was the female Unfezant who won out, Super Luck allowing Sky Attack to strike a weak point and thoroughly overpower Morris's Unfezant's Giga Impact.

"Now! Go for the goal!" Keith cheered.

"Unfez!" replied Batrach, and in no time at all, she had flown down to the goal. Morris's Unfezant attempted to chase her down, but too late- Batrach was already depositing the ring on a hook.

"GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAL!!!" bellowed the announcer. "That's it! The winners of this year's Breeze Town Pokéringer competition are Keith and his Unfezant!"

"YES!" Keith cheered as Batrach approached the balloon basket. "I knew you had it in you, Batrach!" he congratulated the newly evolved Unfezant. "You were awesome!"

"Unfez, unfez!" Batrach replied happily.

Once the balloons were back on the ground, the first thing Keith saw was Morris approaching him. "What?" Keith asked, fully expecting Morris to say that their victory was a fluke, or that he cheated somehow.

Instead, Morris sighed. "I guess I owe you an apology," he said grudgingly. "Didn't think much of that Tranquill of yours, and, well, I was wrong, OK? You're alright, kid. Your Unfezant, too." As he said this, he held out a hand, as though offering a handshake.

Keith gave a small grin. "Thanks," he replied, as he shook Morris's hand.

"Unfezant!" Batrach cawed happily. Keith didn't need Meowth to translate this one to know that his Unfezant was accepting Morris's apology.

Later on, Keith was walking back to his Secret Base. In the end, he had arranged for the Pokémon food he had won to be shipped back to his base, but he requested that the shipment be delayed until he knew he'd be back, so he'd be able to prevent Crabbe from getting at it. He smiled as he looked up at the Unfezant flying above his head, happy for her victory. It was getting late, so they wouldn't be able to get in much training today after all, but that didn't bother Keith too much- the Pokéringer proved to be some damn good training for Batrach, after all.

What?  Tranquill is evolving!




Congratulations!  Your Tranquill evolved into Unfezant!

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 03-26-2016 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 06-09-2015, 02:58 PM   #54
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Out With The Old, In With The Neville

It was with a smile on his face that Keith approached his Secret Base. Meowth was seated on his shoulder as usual, and a raggedy-looking aquatic Pokémon was cradled in his arms, his large, red eyes looking up in awe at the two-story house built atop a petrified tree.

"Well, here we are, Neville," Keith smiled, looking down at the Skrelp in his arms. "Home sweet home. You'll be in good company here- lots of other Poison-types."

"Skrelp! Skrelp!" nodded Neville, excited at the prospect of meeting his new teammates.

Keith said nothing, merely smiling at his newest Pokémon as he tackled the challenge of climbing the rope ladder while still holding onto the Poison/Water-type. He then entered the house, and went through the first door on the right. In the living room, several of his Pokémon were already gathered. A Stunfisk with white fins was swimming in laps around a large aquarium in the corner, a Mightyena was lying on the couch, and a Crobat was hanging from the ceiling. All three Pokémon perked up at the sight of their Trainer, and approached him, glancing curiously at the newcomer in his arms.

"Hey, guys," Keith smiled. "Meet your new teammate- Neville!"

At that last word, all three Pokémon reacted very strongly. Rubeus let out a shocked gasp, Sirius's fur bristled, and Hedwig fell almost a foot out of the air before righting herself. All three of them began shouting and arguing, their voices overlapping with each other. Keith could feel the Skrelp shivering in his arms, frightened by their violent reactions.

"Hey! OK, that's enough!" Keith said sharply. His Pokémon quieted down at once- Rubeus was already quiet, but Hedwig and Sirius did in fact need to quiet down. Even so, the Crobat still glared distrustfully at the Skrelp in Keith's arms. "Cool it, you guys. Now, I know you all associate the name Neville with... well, certain unpleasantness. And who could blame you? I certainly can't. Until recently, the very mention of that name got me good and angry, too. But see, here's the thing- your reactions are the very reason I've named this Skrelp Neville. The original Neville might be unable to cause any more harm, but as long as the mere mention of his name is sufficient to scare or anger anyone, then he still wins. Now I don't know about you, but I for one don't intend to give him the satisfaction of being able to scare us even after death."

"...Stun. Stunfisk!" nodded Rubeus.

"Thank you, Rubeus," Keith smiled at his Stunfisk. "Now see, this Neville is a nice Pokémon. A little quiet, a little shy, but friendly, without a doubt. Basically he's everything the first Neville wasn't, which makes the name even more perfect- kind of a final 'screw you' to him, y'know? Now I want you all to make him feel welcome, alright? Show him around the base, introduce him to the rest of the team, that sort of thing, alright?" Sirius, no longer on edge, barked his approval.

"Stun!" nodded Rubeus.

"Cro," agreed Hedwig.

Smiling, Keith gently set his Skrelp down on the floor. Neville balanced on his tail fin like a makeshift foot, and slowly hopped towards the Pokémon. "Um... Hello," he said to them. "Nice to meet you."

"Hello, Neville," Rubeus said courteously, dimly registering how strange it felt to be addressing someone named Neville who wasn't pure evil. "I'm very sorry for how we reacted to you at first."

"That's OK," nodded Neville. "Um... I heard that my name came from someone... evil...?" he trailed off- in response, Rubeus glanced up at the wall. Neville followed his gaze, and his red eyes widened as he spotted the battered, burned corpse of a Stunfisk hanging on the wall. "...What is that?" Neville whispered.

"That, Neville, is Neville," said Rubeus. "No doubt you know the kind of reputation Stunfisk are known to have?"

"I did hear something," conceded Neville. "Back in Kalos, my brothers and sisters always said to avoid Stunfisk, because they'll zap you into paralysis and laugh about it... but you don't seem like you'd do that," he added to Rubeus.

"Correct," Rubeus replied with a gentle smile. "What you've heard is the stereotype that plagues my kind, a stereotype I actively attempt to defy... a stereotype that that Stunfisk up there perpetuated in the worst way. He was everything people fear about my kind- he paralyzed innocent people and Pokémon, did everything he could to hurt others, both physically and emotionally... Several months ago, he and I faced off at the peak of Mt. Chaos-"

"Mt. Chaos?" repeated Neville, his red eyes wide with interest. "I've heard the legend about that place- isn't that the mountain that an angel split in half to defeat the devil?"

"The mountain that-" Rubeus repeated. "Well, I can certainly say this is the first I've heard of that legend..."

"I heard it too," Meowth added as he jumped to the floor. "See, wat happened was- GAH!" he exclaimed, for his sudden jump to the floor spooked Neville, which resulted in a blast of ink to Meowth's face.

"Oh... Oh, sorry, Meowth," mumbled Neville as he sheepishly fired a Water Gun to clean off the ink.

"Ehh, dat's OK," Meowth sighed. "And stop laughin'!" he snapped, for Keith was chuckling at the situation. "It ain't dat funny!"

"I beg to differ, Meowth," Keith chuckled.

"Ehhhh," Meowth grumbled before turning back to Neville. "So as I was sayin', dat legend came about cuz o' da battle between da two Stunfisk dat took place. Wat happened was, Rubeus went ta finish him off wit a Fissure attack, right? So he flapped dem fins o' his, rose up high inta da sky, den dove right down, and slammed his tail fin inta da mountain. Da move was so powerful it split da whole ting in half. Neville- da Stunfisk- he was burned so bad he couldn't get outta da way, so he fell in, got buried under tons o' rocks, and died. And da way Rubeus was divin' down, wat wit his tail fin glowin' wit energy like dat, and da way his fins are white, he kinda did look like some kinda angel."

"Well, I wouldn't call myself an angel, really," Rubeus said modestly, though blushing profusely at the same time. "I just try to do good."

"Well, ya succeeded in a big way up dere," Meowth stated.

"...So why am I named after him?" Neville asked quietly.

"Because Keith believes you're everything he wasn't," replied Rubeus. "And thus far, I agree with that assessment. He wants the name Neville to lose the negative connotations that that disgrace to my species foisted upon it."

"I agree, too," added Sirius, the Mightyena smiling as he looked down at the Skrelp. "You seem alright to me."

"Th... thank you," smiled Neville. "In that case... I'll do my best to be the best Neville there ever was."

Following that, Meowth and the others showed Neville around the Secret Base, and introduced him to his teammates. And now, Keith was in the pool room, standing on one end of his indoor pool. Neville was bobbing in the water before him. On the other end, Helena the Shuppet floated in midair, with Pisces, Keith's Blue-Striped Basculin, in the water before her.

"Alright!" Meowth announced to the room and the numerous Pokémon inside it who had turned out to watch their newest teammate in his very first training battle. "Dis is a one-on-one battle between Keith Masters and Helena Masters. Keith will be usin' Neville da Skrelp, while Helena will be usin' Pisces da Basculin. Begin!"

Keith made the first move. "Neville! Smokescreen!" he ordered.

"Skrelp Skrelp... Skreeeeeelp!" bellowed Neville as he fired ink from his mouth into the water. Pisces scowled- the ink was obscuring her vision, preventing her from seeing her target.

"Pisces, Tackle attack!" ordered Helena.

"Neville, you use Tackle, too!" Keith commanded.

Pisces charged forward, but due to the ink obscuring her vision, she was unable to tell that Neville had swam off to the left. The Tackle missed completely. As Neville spotted Pisces swimming out of the ink cloud, he saw his opening. The Skrelp charged forward and slammed into Pisces.

"Pisces, Headbutt!" called Helena.

"Feint Attack!" ordered Keith.

"Skrelp!" Neville exclaimed, pointing with one of his fins off to Pisces's right. So sudden and urgent was this that Pisces was caught off-guard and couldn't help but look. Once she did, however, Neville tackled her hard. Enraged by this, Pisces retaliated with a powerful Headbutt. Neville reeled from the move, but recovered remarkably quickly.

Keith saw an opportunity and took it. "Neville! Play Rough!" he commanded.

"Skreeeeeelp!" responded the Mock Kelp Pokémon as he charged in at high speeds. Before Pisces knew it, she was getting attacked from almost every direction almost all at once as Neville swam in circles around her, landing forceful blows at every single opening he could find.

Unable to withstand the attacks any longer, Pisces floated up to the surface of the pool, bobbing on the water. "Bascuuuu..." she groaned.

"Pisces is unable ta battle!" declared Meowth. "Keith and Neville are da winners!"

"Hey, way to go, Neville!" Keith grinned as his Skrelp happily jumped up out of the pool. Ignoring the water, he scooped up the Poison/Water-type. "Yeah, you'll fit in just fine around here. I know it."

"Skrelp, Skrelp," replied Neville, smiling happily, between the praise from his Trainer and the cheering of his new teammates. Controversy around his name aside, he was already starting to like it here.

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 03-26-2016 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 06-13-2015, 04:16 PM   #55
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A Skrelp's Story

"...And that should do it," Keith said with a smile as the last of the half dozen disc-shaped objects broke in half and fell away from what appeared to be a large piece of rotten, dead seaweed. And then, the aforementioned piece of seaweed turned to look at Keith, with large, red eyes. It was, in fact, a Skrelp, and the broken discs littering the floor around it were used Technical Machines, which had been used to teach the Skrelp Sludge Wave, Protect, Rain Dance, Shadow Ball, Scald, and Thunderbolt.

"Skrelp! Skreeelp!" Neville said happily, the knowledge of half a dozen brand new moves swirling around his mind. He then started hopping up and down on his tail fin, holding him upright on dry land like some kind of raggedy tripod. "Skrelp! Skrelp!" he exclaimed.

"Neville's sayin' he wants a battle," Meowth translated to Keith. "Learnin' dem moves has got him all fired up."

"I hear that," Keith nodded with a grin. "But right now it's lunchtime," he added.

"Ooh, yeah!" Meowth added, now sounding excited. "Didn't Hermione mention sometin' about bacon cheeseburgers?"

"I do believe so," Keith nodded. "Let's see if we can help, hmm?"

"I'm all fer dat!" Meowth replied, and the two of them exited the living room.

Neville did not look disappointed- he was eager to battle, sure, but it didn't take him very long to recognize just how amazing of a cook Keith's Weedle was, so right now, he was a bit more eager to eat. He hopped out of the room and across the hall into the room which contained Keith's indoor pool. Hoping to pass the time with a good swim, the Skrelp hopped in.

"Hi, Neville," came a voice. The Poison/Water-type turned to his left, and saw a Qwilfish swimming his way.

"Oh! Hi, Hebenon," Neville greeted the Qwilfish. "Keith just finished teaching me some new moves!"

"Good for you," smiled Hebenon. "What attacks?"

"Um... Sludge Wave, Scald, Protect, Rain Dance, Shadow Ball, and Thunderbolt," recited Neville. "I think he said something about teaching me Hidden Power next week, too."

"Doesn't surprise me," replied the Qwilfish. "Keith likes to teach Hidden Power to everything on the team. It helps Hermione out- she's been reading up on the research someone did about Hidden Power and how the type is chosen, and likes comparing those findings to what types of Hidden Power we all got. My own Hidden Power type is Dragon, and while she didn't tell me what it meant, she also didn't sound very surprised by it." The Qwilfish bore an expression that suggested he'd have shrugged his shoulders if he had any. "I don't get it, but Hidden Power's a useful move in any case, so none of us really mind. Hey, Neville," he added.

"Hmm?" said the Skrelp.

"You came from the Kalos region, right?" said Hebenon. "Rubeus mentioned something to that effect..."

"Yeah, I did," nodded Neville.

"What's Kalos like, anyway?" asked Hebenon. "The Fizzytopia region's all I've ever seen. Well, I also saw a little bit of the sea of Kanto, but I was more focused on fending off a Gyarados than anything else at that time..."

"Oh, Kalos is great," Neville replied. "It's a beautiful region, and not just under the sea, either. I lived just off the region's west coast, and when I poked my head out of the water, I could always see these huge cliffs beyond the beach. I have a bunch of brothers and sisters, but they were all caught by Trainers... I envied them, actually- I wanted to be caught by a Trainer too, cuz I know they can help make Pokémon the best they can be." Hebenon nodded his agreement with this sentiment.

"And then, one day," continued Neville, "I see this weird thing in the water wiggling around. I don't know what it was, but it looked appetizing. But once I closed my mouth over it, I realized that whatever it was was on a hook, and I was yanked out of the water by some human with fishing gear, and I was put in this tank of water along with a bunch of Clauncher, Binacle, and even other Skrelp. Nobody I knew, though. Then the tank was put into one of those things the humans use to get around, it makes noise and has those weird round things on the bottom..."

"A truck?" Hebenon suggested.

"I think that's what they called it," nodded Neville. "Anyway, it was dark in there, and I must've fell asleep, because once I woke up, I was in a pond in that Friend Safari place. Not long after I woke up, I started to explore the place, and that's when I came across that guy with his Abomasnow and Swampert. From the looks of his Pokémon I figured he was a capable Trainer, so I went to him, wanting to see if I was right. And I was! His Pokémon are very skilled," Neville said happily. "So he ended up catching me, but... I never felt quite right on that team," he added with a shiver. "His Duskull gives me the creeps, and I get the feeling his Honchkrow and Shadow Zangoose hated me... well, more like they hated the Poison type in general, but I'm probably imagining things there," he muttered. "Anyway, Alex eventually decided I'd be better off with Keith, since he's apparently a master of Poison-types, and here I am," he concluded.

"Wow," murmured Hebenon. "And he was right, by the way- Keith is very good with Poison-types. You're going to get very strong being on this team, Neville."

"That's what I'm hoping!" Neville nodded happily. "I know I don't look like much now, but I really wanna evolve someday- I turn into a Dragon-type when I evolve!"

"So, what, a Poison/Dragon-type?" asked Hebenon. "That sounds pretty cool."

"Yeah!" came another voice. Neville and Hebenon turned to look- a large Haxorus had just entered the room. Norbert's height wasn't too far off from Keith's, so he was still able to be indoors- he just had to be careful to not damage anything with his tail or tusks. "It'd be so cool to have another Dragon on the team!"

Neville said nothing at the moment, merely looking up at Norbert in awe- Norbert was already a Dragon-type, and an obviously strong one at that, and as far as the Skrelp was concerned, that made him more than worth looking up to.

"Hey, Neville," Norbert added. "After lunch, you wanna train with me?"

"Yeah!" Neville exclaimed happily, actually leaping out of the pool with excitement.

Before Norbert could respond to this, however, Keith's voice rang throughout the house. "Lunch is on!" he bellowed.

"All right!" exclaimed all three Pokémon at once. Norbert opened his mouth to offer to carry Neville to the kitchen, but the Skrelp was already hopping down the hallway on his ragged tail fin. Smiling at the Skrelp's eagerness, Norbert exited the room himself, looking forward to training with Neville later, while Hebenon shimmered and then vanished into thin air, opting to Teleport into the kitchen.

*Neville learned Sludge Wave!*

*Neville learned Protect!*

*Neville learned Rain Dance!*

*Neville learned Shadow Ball!*

*Neville learned Scald!*

*Neville learned Thunderbolt!*

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Old 07-01-2015, 08:03 PM   #56
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Through the skies of Fizzytopia flew a formidable and fearsome dragon, shrieking roars coming from all three heads as it flapped its three wings, flying fast but carefully, so as to not dislodge the 24-year-old Trainer on its back. Anyone looking up would likely be astonished by this sight, for Keith Masters was not known to own a Hydreigon, or even a Deino or Zweilous.

"Alright, Jack, land right there," Keith said at last, pointing at a small clearing seemingly in the middle of nowhere. The alleged Hydreigon gave a confused roar, but descended regardless. As he reached the ground, Keith hopped down, and his ride started to glow, changing shape until he looked identical to his Trainer.

"What's up?" asked Jack, the Ditto who had now Transformed into his own Trainer. "I take it you don't live here, so why the emergency landing?"

"Because if my Crobat saw me flying in on a friggin' Hydreigon, she'd flip," Keith stated. "I'm lucky she's warmed up to my Swoobat and Unfezant as it is."

"Your Pokémon have a lot of issues, don't they?" remarked Jack.

"Not all of them," Keith said fairly. "Just trying to make sure you're informed, y'know, about which buttons to not press, which lines to not cross."

"Alright, fair enough," conceded Jack, as the two identical figures began to walk together. Meowth hopped down off of Keith's shoulder and walked behind hem.

"So yeah, basically, Hedwig doesn't like new means of aerial transportation on the team," Keith continued. "And she is powerful enough to crush you into a fine powder should she so choose, so I would advise against getting on her bad side. And if Godric- that's my Nidoking- if he tries to take charge of any sort of situation, you don't want to contradict him. Trust me, he knows what he's doing. Oh, and don't insinuate that my Beedrill is weak. He will kill you. I've seen him hold his own against a friggin' Steelix, so trust me, he'd have no problem handling you."

"Alright, don't try to usurp the Crobat's position, trust the Nidoking, and don't underestimate the Beedrill. Check," nodded Jack. "Anything else?"

"Yeah- the underestimating thing goes for pretty much the whole team," replied Keith. "My Qwilfish, my Hariyama, my Skrelp, my Weedle-"

"Your Weedle?" said Jack, raising an eyebrow skeptically.

"Yes. My Weedle," Keith said firmly. "Trust me on this."

Jack still looked skeptical, but shrugged in response. "You're the boss," he said. "So, how much longer till we get to this Secret Base of yours?"

"Shouldn't be much farther," replied Keith. "In fact," he added, peering through the trees ahead. "...Yeah, we're almost there. It's right there, on top of that dead tree."

"Dead tree?" repeated the Ditto.

"It's petrified," Keith stated, correctly guessing his new Ditto's concerns. "It's been exposed to all kinds of poisons and stuff, and now it's harder than a Ponyta's hooves."

"Pretty fitting, based on what you've told me," said Jack. "You're all about Poison-types, right?"

"Heh, yep," Keith grinned proudly. "I actually have Pokémon from every single Poison-type evolution line currently documented, up to and including the recently discovered Skrelp."

"Impressive," nodded Jack, as the group drew closer to the dead tree and the two-story house built atop it.

Over at aforementioned house, a red, black, and silver figure stood on a wooden deck that stretched all the way around the building. There was a guardrail going the whole way around to prevent people and Pokémon from falling off, short though the fall would be. The figure was keeping a watchful eye on the surrounding area- Keith's Secret Base, apart from a small clearing in front of the tree, was surrounded by trees of varying degrees of living- some of them were alive, full of lush green leaves, whereas others were dead, their brown branches bare. But the status of these trees was of little concern to this Pawniard- she was more focused on the footsteps she was hearing. And as she looked, her eyes widened as she saw the two people walking towards the base- the two people who both looked exactly like her Trainer!

Ginny sprang into action- she jumped up into the air, and a yellow aura came over her entire body, her Magnet Rise attack allowing her to levitate before gravity could take over and cause her to fall to the ground. With these newfound powers of levitation, she zoomed over to the identical figures, blades brandished. "Identify yourselves!" she thundered. "Which of you, if either of you at all, is my Trainer!?"

"Ginny, take it easy," Keith said. "This here is Jack, your new teammate. Jack, if you would?"

"Are you sure?" Jack whispered. "Can't we just have a little fun-"

"Not with Ginny," Keith said firmly. "Believe me, bad idea."

Jack sighed, then started to glow. Ginny kept her eye on the glowing mass as he shrunk down into a purple-pink shapeless blob.

Ginny's eyes bulged at the sight of the Ditto, then she dove down to it, hovering with her head blade mere inches from Jack's shapeless form. "Now listen to me and listen good," she hissed. "I take security very seriously around here, so if you think it's a good idea to try and pull a fast one on me, you will learn very, very quickly that it is a very, very bad idea. Do I make myself clear?"

"Inescapably clear," Jack replied, eyeing her blades with apprehension. "Look, I'm not out to screw with anybody, or at least to any extreme, OK? Just relax-"

"I am relaxed," Ginny interrupted. "Do you want to see me not relaxed?"

"Hell, no," Jack replied almost immediately. "Can you maybe get those pointy bits away from me now?"

Ginny backed off, but did not take her eyes off of the Normal-type. "Just know that I got my eye on you," she said ominously before hovering back towards the Secret Base.

Starting to relax a bit, Jack Transformed into Keith once again. "Well. That was an experience," he remarked.

"There's never a dull moment around here," nodded Keith. "Alright, let's go in," he added, gesturing to the rope ladder.

"Pfft," scoffed Jack. "Ladders are for squares." With that, he glowed and changed shape, assuming the form of a Pokémon Keith vaguely recognized as a Yanma (albeit with a longer tail than Yanma were supposed to actually have). In the blink of an eye, Jack had flown up to Keith's front door, and assuming Keith's form once more, opened the door and walked in. Keith chuckled to himself as he climbed the rope ladder to follow his Ditto.

Once they were inside, Keith led Jack into the living room. "Alright, this is the living room," he stated. "Got the couch, an aquarium, TV on the wall..."

"Nice," grinned Jack. "Definite step up from that stupid shop. Alright, who's these?" he added, glancing at the small assortment of Pokémon in the room- there was a Trubbish on the couch, a Skrelp in the aquarium, and an Umbreon lying on the floor, all of whom were currently looking back and forth between Keith and Jack, who at the moment was still Transformed into Keith's likeness.

Before Keith could answer, the Trubbish hopped off the couch and approached the two Keiths, looking up at them. "Trub..." she murmured as she looked from one to the other. Keith and Jack said nothing. And then, finally, she walked over to the real Keith and held onto one of his legs. "Trub Trubbish," she stated.

"Well, this is Ariana," Keith smiled as he crouched down and hugged the Trubbish. "The Skrelp over there is Neville, and the Umbreon's name is Cyanide. Everybody, this here is Jack, your new teammate."

At that moment, the Umbreon got up and started to approach Jack, at which point he glowed and shrank down, resuming his usual blobby self. "A Ditto?" she remarked. "You things are rare as all hell. Where the hell did you come from?"

"Coins for Prizes shop," replied Jack. "I-"

"That's a load of Tauros shit," interrupted Cyanide. "That craphole sells a whole hell of a lot of different stuff, but I'm pretty damn sure Ditto ain't one of them. And I ought to know, I came from there myself."

"It's a recent change," replied Jack. "I'm actually the first Ditto the shop got in after the grand reopening, apparently. So, you came from there, too, huh?" he added. "That's cool. Hey- is it true that some weird millionaire once bought an entire litter of 14 Eevee from that place?"

"I'd say so, considering I'm one of those 14," replied Cyanide. "Consider yourself lucky you got this guy, though- he had the good taste to specifically go for the pick of the litter- namely, yours truly."

"Pick of the litter, huh?" smirked Jack. "Well, that's as good a start as any for working on my Transform. Lemme see if I can get this right..." And the Ditto focused, glowed, and changed shape. Cyanide smirked as the Ditto assumed her shape and form, though as the glow faded, that smirk turned to a scowl- Jack had made a few alterations to its approximation of the Umbreon's form. It looked almost exactly like Cyanide, except it was cross-eyed, it had two very big, goofy-looking front teeth, the tail was long and droopy, and the yellow rings were replaced with the word "DUH" in yellow lettering.

"What- why, you- how dare you mock my beauty!" Cyanide shrieked.

"Duuuuuuh, I dunno, Cyanide," Jack replied, purposely altering his voice to sound stupid. "I think I done captured your likeness real perfect-like. It's like looking into a mirror, isn't it?" At that point, Jack chuckled, and then started laughing, causing the transformation to wear off, forcing him back into the shapeless shape of a purple blob. "Heh, heh... Oh, man, sorry about that, no offense meant," he chuckled. "Just saw the opportunity, couldn't pass it up, y'know?"

"Hmph!" Cyanide huffed in response before storming out of the room. Once Keith was sure she was out of earshot, he started laughing out loud.

"Heh... OK, I gotta admit, Jack, that was pretty sweet," he chuckled. "I mean, I do love my Umbreon, but she did need to get taken down a peg."

"Uh..." came a small, timid voice. Jack turned to see Ariana approaching him slowly. "Um... Th-thank you... Cyanide's... n-not so nice... I... it felt... p-pretty good to s-see s-somebody... y'know... be not so n-nice to her for a change..."

"Not a problem," grinned Jack. "I don't know her that well, of course, just seemed to me like she had that coming- whoa," he added, catching sight of something on the wall. He quickly Transformed into Keith again and pointed at the stuffed Stunfisk corpse on the wall. "What did that poor slob do? And how can I be sure to not?"

"Long story, Jack," sighed Keith. "Long story. For now, how does a little training sound?"

Jack shrugged. "Alright, sure," he agreed.


Just a few minutes later, it was all set up- Keith was standing on one end of the clearing in front of his Secret Base, with Helena floating at the other end, using Psychic to make a Poké Ball fly in an orbit around her. Meowth stood off to the side, and a number of Keith's other Pokémon stood (or hovered, in certain cases) around the edge of the clearing, watching what was about to happen with curiosity.

"Alright, youse two ready?" Meowth asked Keith and Helena. When they both nodded, he nodded back. "Den let's do dis! A one-on-one battle between Keith and Helena! Choose yer Pokémon and let da battle begin!"

The Poké Ball flying in circles around Helena flew out onto the makeshift battlefield. "Go! Joy!" the Shuppet exclaimed, as the ball burst open to reveal an Audino.

"Aud! Audino!" Joy exclaimed.

Keith responded by throwing his own Poké Ball. "Let's go, Jack!" he called as his new Ditto materialized.

"Ditto Ditto!" Jack exclaimed.

"Alright... begin!" Meowth declared.

Keith made the first move. "Jack! Transform!" he commanded.

"Ditto!" Jack replied, before glowing brightly and growing taller. As the glow faded, it was revealed to have taken the form of the opposing Audino.

"We won't let a little thing like that get in our way, Joy!" Helena said confidently. "Ice Beam!"

"Jack! Misty Terrain!" Keith ordered.

"Audinoooo!" bellowed Joy as she fired off a beam of pale blue energy.

"Audi Audino!" Jack responded, his body glowing pink for a moment. And then, a pink mist seemed to rise up out of the ground all around the battlefield. The Ice Beam struck Jack, but before any ice could spread across his borrowed body, wisps of pink mist rose up, seeming to dissolve the ice.

"Yes!" Keith grinned. "Misty Terrain prevented Jack from being frozen! Jack, now use Dig!"

"Aud!" replied Jack, diving at the ground and attacking it with its hands, tunneling underground with great haste.

"Joy, listen for it!" Helena exclaimed.

"Audino," nodded Joy. She knelt down and grabbed onto one of the feeler-like extensions coming off of one of her ears. She stretched it out, pulling it until it was right up against the ground, and listened intently. And then, after a moment, she jumped out of the way, just before Jack broke free from the ground, right where the real Audino had been standing just seconds previously.

"Yes!" Helena cheered. "And now use your Chocolate Bomb attack!"

"Jack, counter with Ice Beam!" ordered Keith.

The attacks were launched simultaneously- Jack fired off his own approximation of Joy's Ice Beam attack, whereas Joy flung a heart-shaped piece of chocolate. The attacks collided in midair,the Ice Beam forcing the Chocolate Bomb to explode prematurely, sending sharp shards of sweet, sugary shrapnel soaring every which way. The Ice Beam then continued on and struck Joy, though Keith knew better than to expect the move to freeze Joy- Misty Terrain was still in effect, after all.

"Now, Jack, go for the shrapnel!" Keith called out. "Get to it before Joy does!"

"Joy, go for it!" Helena called out.

And from there, it was a mad race between the two Normal-types as they rushed to gather up the shards left over from the Chocolate Bomb. They were evenly matched in that regard, though by sheer luck Joy managed to gather three pieces of chocolate, leaving only one for Jack. The combatants then feasted upon their gathered chocolate, each of them restoring a bit of their health for each bit of chocolate they ate.

"Jack, use Pound!" ordered Keith.

"Joy, Hidden Power!" commanded Helena.

As Jack charged forward, Joy fired off several orbs that more closely resembled glowing rocks. Jack was able to evade the first few, but the rest of them met their mark, slamming into the Ditto's borrowed body. Jack collapsed to the ground, struggling to get up.

"Jack, can you get up?" asked Keith.

"Hidden Power once more! Finish it!" Helena cried out.

"Audinooooooooo!" Joy responded, and this time, every single orb of Rock energy pelted Jack. As the Ditto glowed and lost its shape, Keith knew the battle was over. Sure enough, as the glowing faded, there lay Jack, in his usual purple blob form, not moving.

"Jack is unable ta battle!" Meowth ruled. "Joy wins it!"

"Diii-iii-iiitto..." murmured Jack as he slowly came to and righted himself. And then, as it sank in just what happened, he, with considerable effort, Transformed into Keith. "Wow," he murmured, panting slightly. "I guess I need a bit more training, huh?"

"Little bit, yeah," Keith grinned. "But hey, you did pretty good."

"Thanks," the Ditto grinned back. "You too, with the commanding me and stuff."

"Heh, well, I try," Keith replied modestly. "And you know, I can try and teach you some more attacks, so you can do stuff without even needing to Transform."

"It's an idea," nodded Jack. "But I gotta say, Transform is one hell of a sweet deal. The potential is unlimited. I mean, I want to fly, I turn into a Pidgeotto. I want to go for a swim, I turn into a Barboach. I feel like a little deep-sea diving, I turn into a Huntail. OK, yeah, I usually gotta do it from memory, and I don't exactly do so well with small details, but I get the job done. Like when I turned into a Hydreigon before, you said it was a little off. How so?"

"Uh... those pink spike frill things around the necks, they were longer than they should've been," said Keith. "And the belly stripes were a bit narrow."

Jack snapped his fingers. "The belly stripes!" he grumbled. "I had a feeling something didn't look right about those. Appreciate it, thanks- I can make the look more convincing next time. But yeah- and don't even get me started on the potential for fun," he added with a grin. "Like that mirror trick I pulled with you, and taking that Cyanide down a peg, y'know?"

"I do see what you mean," Keith nodded. Then, he blinked. "Wait, what the-" he added, for it was only at that moment that he noticed that Jack's borrowed hairline had been steadily receding, and now, even with the hat, it was clear to see that he now looked like a bald version of Keith. At this, Jack burst into laughter, which in turn forced him to turn back to normal. And as Keith watched the purple-pink blob jiggling on the ground laughing, he couldn't help but join in on the laughter, knowing that it was all in good fun.

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 03-26-2016 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 07-26-2015, 06:26 PM   #57
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"Bart! Zen Headbutt!" Keith ordered.

"Godric, use Tackle!" commanded... another Keith?!

"Dis is surreal," Meowth remarked as he stood on the sidelines, watching what appeared to be two copies of his Trainer battling each other, one of them using Bart, Keith's Scraggy, and the other one using Godric, Keith's Nidoking.

"Well, Jack's been on the team for a while now," said a small, blue, pointy creature who was standing behind Meowth. The Nidoran♀ was shyly watching the battle, seeming to show special interest in the bigger, bulkier, and more purple of the two combatants. "Shouldn't you be used to seeing this by now?"

Meowth turned to glance at Rowena. "Is youse?" he retorted.

"...Good point," Rowena mumbled.

Meanwhile, Bart had rammed headfirst into Godric, who grunted in pain, but ultimately managed to shrug off the attack before slamming into the Scraggy, sending him flying.

"Bart, you still good to go?" Keith asked.

"Scrag... Scraggy!" Bart nodded determinedly as he climbed back to his feet.

"Godric, Horn Attack, go!" ordered "Keith".

"Pull up your pants and block it!" Keith cried out.

"Scrag!" grunted Bart as he hoisted up the extremely baggy skin "pants" that concealed the lower half of his body, pulling them tight, all the way up to his neck. Godric, meanwhle, crashed down onto all fours and charged headfirst into Bart. Though the Scraggy stood his ground impressively, the elastic skin "pants" managing to slow Godric down, the Horn Attack ultimately won out. Bart collapsed to the ground at Keith's feet.

"Bart is unable ta battle!" Meowth declared. "Da winners is Jack and Godric!"

Keith knelt down beside Bart. "Nice battling, Bart," he grinned. "You're getting better at deflecting attacks, and I for one would hate to be on the business end of that Zen Headbutt. Bart said nothing, but gave Keith a somewhat grudging yet undoubtedly grateful grin in response. Keith then stood back up. "You too, Jack, Godric," he added as his doppelganger approached him. "Godric, that Horn Attack was excellent," he smiled. "And Jack, you're really getting the hang of remembering your teammates' attacks. We keep this up, soon you'll be even better at remembering minor details. You might even be able to do a perfect transformation going solely off of memory."

In response, Keith's doppelganger glowed briefly, assuming the exact shape of the Nidoking now behind him... except the horn was a bit on the short side, the ears were just a bit too large, and the tail was longer and thinner than usual. "Niiiidoh?" Jack grunted questioningly.

Keith shook his head. "Horn's too short, ears are too big, tail's too long and thin," he said.

Roaring his disapproval, Jack glowed once again, turning back into an exact copy of his Trainer. "Damn it to the Distortion World!" Jack groaned. "The tail again! Every damn time!"

"Remember- it's supposed to be thick," Keith advised his Ditto. "Godric here could reduce a telephone pole to a pile of toothpicks with one swing of his tail if he so chose, y'know?"

"Right, right," nodded the Ditto. "You want I should try again?"

"Maybe after lunch," replied Keith. "Hermione and Shelley should have the burgers ready soon."

"Excellent, I'm so hungry I could eat a Rapidash," said Jack. "Man, did I luck out, coming to this team! Your training's awesome, you got no problem just letting me be myself, and your Weedle is the best damn cook ever!"

"She certainly is," Keith nodded. Then, he turned and knelt down beside the Nidoran♀. "Rowena, how about you now?" he asked. "Think you might be ready to show us what you can do in battle?"

"Ni... Nido..." Rowena murmured shyly, shaking her head vigorously. Keith sighed- this was hardly the first time she'd reacted as such to the idea of battling. She seemed highly adverse to the notion of battling for reasons nobody could fathom. In fact, they had yet to even see her use any of her attacks, to the point where Stewie and Vinny were betting on whether she even knew any attacks.

"Alright, that's OK," Keith said kindly. "I'm not gonna force you to battle if you don't want to. The thing is," he added, "Rowena, I'd just feel better if I knew that you could at least hold your own in battle if ever you needed to, y'know? Training doesn't mean you have to battle, it just means you'll be prepared in case of an emergency."

"Nido..." murmured Rowena. She nodded almost imperceptibly, though Keith caught sight of the nod nevertheless. She still didn't feel ready to get involved in training, yet at the same time she couldn't deny that Keith had a point. Yes, perhaps someday, if only to put her Trainer's mind at ease..


Meanwhile, as they continued to talk to pass the time, none of them noticed a couple of sinister figures lurking behind the trees in the distance.

"Target sighted," smirked one of them. "That's him- Keith Masters."

"Which one?" asked the other one, shorter than his companion. "There's two guys there, it's like one of them's looking into a mirror!"

"The one on the left, dumbass," snapped the taller of the two. "Didn't you see the other one turn into a Nidoking and back again? That's a Ditto. Learn to pay attention for once in your damn life."

"OK, OK, geez! Don't have a Miltank, man," grumbled the other guy. "So what'd this Masters fellow do to get the boss so riled, anyway?"

The taller man shot his partner an annoyed look. "I told you twenty times already," he snapped irritably. "That's the guy who singlehandedly shut down our black market Moo-Moo Milk operation. His antics even got Kaden arrested, and he's one of the best battlers we got! Not to mention getting one of Team Rocket's best recruiters arrested as well. See, if you'd paid attention, you'd know why this guy is a huge detriment to Team Rocket's operation, and why the boss wants him dealt with!"

"Ohh, OK," nodded the shorter Team Rocket Grunt. "So how do we do that?"

The taller grunt facepalmed. "Were you listening to one word I was saying back at headquarters?!"

"Of course I was!" the shorter grunt replied defensively. "You had my complete and undivided attentio- all right, I didn't catch so much as one syllable," he sighed. "Long day, I missed lunch, I spaced out a little, can you blame me?"

"...Just ready the Rocket Balls we got at headquarters," snapped the other guy. Indeed, he already had half a dozen black and red spheres. Each sphere had a red R on the black half. Following suit, the shorter grunt prepared six more Rocket Balls, and together, the duo tossed them into the air. In a dozen flashes of light, a number of identical brown Pokémon materialized.


"...What was that?" Keith asked suddenly.

"What was what?" said Jack, looking around.

"Thought I heard something, coming from the forest," Keith frowned, looking off into the distance. "I guess it wasn't much of anything- what the?!" For at that moment, a great number of identical-looking rodents charged out from the trees, coming straight towards the base. Each rodent had extremely large teeth and fuzzy brown fur. Keith took out his Pokédex and aimed it at the oncoming horde.

"Raticate, a Mouse Pokémon," droned the device. "This evolved form of Rattata can chew through solid concrete with absurd ease."

"Dey don't look too friendly," Meowth remarked.

"Oh, we can handle this," Keith smirked, turning to the Poison/Ground-type beside him. "Godric, Bubble Beam!"

"Nidooooooh!" roared Godric as he fired off a powerful jet of foam from his mouth. One of the Raticate was struck by the move, but continued to charge forward, which surprised Keith- he'd have figured the Bubble Beam would've taken it out in one shot.

"Uh... Try your Drill Run attack," he said, clearly having been caught off-guard.

"Nidoh!" Godric grunted as glowing brown energy started to swirl all around his horn. The Nidoking then charged forward, but even as the move made contact with one Raticate, the other eleven jumped up and attacked as one. Godric roared his displeasure as numerous Hyper Fang attacks all met their mark simultaneously.

"Godric!" Keith exclaimed, but between the training battle and the powerful Normal-type moves he had just taken, the Nidoking slumped to the ground. Rowena gasped in horror as the Raticate started to surround him menacingly-

"Godric, return!" Keith exclaimed, holding out the Nidoking's Poké Ball. Before the Raticate could get too close, Godric was withdrawn back into the spherical confines of his Poké Ball. Keith then pulled out another ball. "Alright, no more playing around," he declared as he threw the ball. "Marvolo, dinner time!" he cried out as a Seviper emerged from the ball. Already practically salivating at the sight of a dozen Raticate before him, Marvolo lunged forward. Keith smirked as the fight commenced- Marvolo was powerful as is, but when motivated by hunger? Those Raticate didn't stand a chance.

...Or so he thought. Though Marvolo managed to eat two or three Raticate, the surviving Normal-types were starting to wear him down with their repeated Hyper Fang and Super Fang attacks. And then, wheels of fire formed around each one of them, and they rolled forward together. Marvolo hissed his displeasure as around nine or ten Flame Wheel attacks made contact at once. Keith could already see several burns on the Seviper's scaly skin- and then, Marvolo began to slither out of his own mouth, leaving the charred skin behind as his Shed Skin Ability kicked in, triggered by the burns. With renewed vigor, Marvolo slammed his tail into the ground, causing a powerful Earthquake. The Raticate were tossed around like so many furry pieces of popcornn, but only one of them actually passed out. As Marvolo and the remaining Raticate resumed their fight, Keith eyed the unconscious Raticate with a familiar gleam in his eye.

With one hand, Keith turned his cowboy hat backwards (inwardly thankful that his Banette was not witnessing this, lest she snidely point out the pointlessness of this action). With the other hand, he readied a blue and white sphere, with two red stripes on the blue half. "All right! Go, Great Ball!" Keith exclaimed, chucking the sphere at the Raticate.

The Great Ball struck the Raticate and rose up into the air and split open, but as transparent red energy formed around the Raticate, it didn't turn the Raticate into more transparent red energy. Instead, the energy dissipated altogether, and the ball snapped shut and flew back into Keith's hand, leaving the Raticate still upon the ground.

"Wait, what?" Keith murmured. "These Raticate belong to somebody!"

As soon as he said this, Marvolo came rolling back towards him, unconscious and tied in knots. And the Raticate were still coming, nine of them still with a lot of fight left in them. And then, two grown men stepped out from the trees, behind the Raticate. "All right, finish them!" commanded the taller of the two men. Keith's mouth fell open- both men were dressed in identical black clothes, each of their shirts bearing a large, red R.

"Team Rocket?!" Keith exclaimed. "Well, now I'm not sorry my Seviper ate some of your Raticate!"

"Shut it," snapped the taller Team Rocket Grunt. "You picked the wrong bad guys to screw with, and the boss wants you dealt with."

"M-maybe youse could get Helena out here?" Meowth suggested to Keith. "A Shuppet wit a grudge against Team Rocket might come in handy here."

"I don't disagree," Keith conceded, "but Helena's not here. She took Joy to the Pokémon Center for a checkup." And he turned to his doppelganger. "Jack, Transform into Bart!" he ordered.

"On it," nodded the Ditto, before glowing briefly and assuming the shape of the barely conscious Scraggy still lying on the ground. Grinning confidently, Jack charged forward and smashed one of his fists into the head of a Raticate, the Punch seeming to Power him Up somehow. Emboldened by this, Jack repeated the Power-Up Punch attack, but after this, he took note of the faint red aura that had come over the Raticate's body. "...Oh, crap," Jack murmured, just as the Raticate unleashed the stored-up energy from Bide. Before Keith knew it, a slightly jiggling, totally unconscious Ditto was lying at his feet. Hastily, he turned to get into his Secret Base, alert the Pokémon he had in there, but by that point there were a pair of Raticate blocking his way. The pair of Team Rocket Grunts grinned nastily as their Raticate started to surround Keith and his Pokémon on all sides. Slowly, menacingly they advanced on him, outrageously large fangs at the ready... Godric re-emerged from his ball, but was still too weakened to do anything...

Except not all of Keith's Pokémon were surrounded. Rowena peeked out from behind the dead tree, a conflict raging in her mind. She hated to fight, and yet, her Trainer was in danger- and Godric was in danger, too! But then, common sense started to replace fear and nervousness, and she knew what needed be done. With her small yet sharp claws, Rowena attacked the ground beneath her, burrowing her way underground.

"Dis is it, ain't it?" Meowth whimpered. Keith did not answer. He was wracking his brains furiously. Obviously Meowth would be able to fight the Raticate, but he'd be outnumbered nine to one, and Keith saw how that worked out for some of his stronger Pokémon. No, he wasn't gonna take that kind of absurd risk with Meowth's life. And then, one of the Raticate, the one directly in front of Keith, it jumped up, lunged straight for Keith's face with its mouth wide open, as though looking to Bite his head clean off-


Keith opened his eyes. He was not, in fact, dead. As soon as this fact registered in his mind, he started to look around for a reason as to why he was not dead. And he found it rather quickly- the Raticate had slammed into some kind of shimmering barrier, and was slowly sliding down it to the ground. Keith looked around for the source of the Reflect, and as he glanced at his feet, he could see a small hole in the ground, right behind Rowena, who was keeping the Reflect going with intense focus.

"Wha- Rowena?" Keith murmured.

"Ran! Nidoran!" nodded Rowena. She looked up at Keith, and in that moment, Keith understood perfectly- she was now ready to battle. And as big a risk Keith knew it would be, there was something about the look in Rowena's eyes that told him that it was a risk worth taking.

Keith nodded back. "All right, Rowena," he replied, quickly consulting his Pokédex for a list of the Poison-type's moves. "Use Double Kick!"

"Raaaaan!" Rowena shouted as she lunged forward. Twirling in midair, the Poison Pin Pokémon delivered two forceful kicks in quick succession, sending the Raticate tumbling backwards. It was looking battered, but it still got back up. Keith was amazed- up until now, Rowena shied away from the very idea of battling, and now here she was, taking on these Raticate like it was nothing, and looking right at home doing it, too. And winning, on top of it all!

"Now! Tackle it!" Keith ordered.

"Nidoran! Nidoran! Nidoran!" grunted Rowena as she charged forward, ramming the Raticate with exceptional force. And this time, when the Normal-type hit the ground, it did not get back up. At this, however, the other eight Raticate hissed their displeasure, and began to advance on Rowena.

"Uh-oh," Meowth murmured.

Rowena glanced around, saw the numerous Raticate closing in on her from all sides. But she wasn't scared. No. She was gonna make those Raticate sorry they ever hatched is what she was gonna do. She still hated to fight, but her friends- no, her family was in trouble, and that trumped everything.

Rowena's body began to glow brightly, causing the Raticate to nervously stop in place as the Poison-type grew larger. Her ears got bigger, her body grew larger, her legs got longer and thicker, and her tail became much more noticeable. And finally, the glow faded away, revealing a where a Nidoran♀ once stood. "Rinaaaaaa!" screeched Rowena as Keith took out his Pokédex.

"Nidorina, a Poison Pin Pokémon. The evolved form of the female Nidoran," droned the device. "Unlike Nidorino, the horns develop slowly. It prefers clawing and biting attacks when in battle."

"Rowena... wow!" Keith exclaimed. "OK, ready?" he added, as the other Raticate began to close in.

"Rina!"nodded Rowena.

Keith nodded back. "Then use your Ice Beam attack!" he ordered.

Though Keith had been intending for Rowena to just pick a Raticate, the newly-evolved Nidorina had a different idea. She jumped up, then launched Ice Beam straight down, allowing her to land on a large, icy pillar. Godric watched all this, mouth agape- nobody on the team knew that Rowena had that kind of talent!

This gave Keith an idea. "Rowena! Rock Smash!" he ordered.

"Rinaaaaa!" Rowena exclaimed, jumping up yet again. And this time, as she descended, she smashed her front right leg into the ice pillar, the leg aglow with red energy. The pillar shattered on contact, sending sharp shards of ice flying in every direction. Every single Raticate was blasted with chunks of ice by the time Rowena landed on the ground.

"OK, Rowena!" Keith grinned. "Blast the lot of them with your Hidden Power attack!"

"Nidoooo... rinaaaaa!" Rowena replied. Orbs of energy started revolving around her, each orb crackling with electricity. And then, as Rowena yelled out, the orbs flew out in every direction, each one striking a Raticate. The smarter ones among them were hauling ass away from there at this point- the pair of Team Rocket grunts tried to withdraw them, but in their haste, found that they had grabbed the wrong Rocket Balls.

"Dammit," grumbled the taller one. "I knew we should've used a more diverse selection of Pokémon..."

"So why didn't we?" asked the shorter grunt.

"Because this was all the boss could spare," snapped the taller grunt. "Will you pay attention! I hate having to repeat every single detail to you when we leave headquarters!"

"OK, sorry, geez!" grumbled the shorter grunt.

"Hey- why are you guys wasting your time going after me, anyway?" Keith asked, as Rowena proceeded to launch into a series of Double Kicks in retaliation to the remaining Raticate converging on her. "Why does your boss want me dealt with?"

"Heh, you have to ask?" smirked the shorter grunt. "You got one of our best recruiters arrested! And Kaden, one of our top battlers! And you got that black market Moo-Moo Milk operation shut down-"

The taller grunt slapped his coworker. "Shut up, George!" he roared. "It's bad enough I gotta tell you everything without you telling the enemy everything!"

"I wasn't telling him everything!" the shorter grunt replied defensively. "This is stuff he already knows! I ain't spilling nothing new! Give me a little credit, Jerry, I ain't that stupid!"

"That's debatable," the grunt named Jerry retorted.

"Oh, come on," whined George. "It's not like I let slip anything about Project Stone Edge!"

Jerry's eyes narrowed. "Oh, you mean really crucial information, like, say the name of the project?" he hissed.

"Yeah, exactly," nodded George, completely missing the point. "Or like, say, how the boss wants to bring out the full potential of Moon Sto"

Jerry cut his oblivious coworker's monologue short by way of a punch to the face. "From now on, I do the talking!" he snapped. "And you!" he added, turning to face Keith. "You better forget everything you just heard today, if you know what's good for you!"

"Yeah, and if I don't?" Keith demanded defiantly.

Jerry sneered. "Well, for starters, I'm thinking our Raticate could maybe chew your face off," he said, but trailed off as he looked at the Raticate- Rowena was standing victoriously over them. The ones that hadn't fled or been eaten were unconscious.

Keith smirked. "You were saying?" he said smugly.

Scowling, Jerry and George (after a few tries) withdrew the Raticate. "You haven't seen the last of us, twerp!" Jerry roared as he and George hauled ass as far away from the Secret Base as they possibly could... which, as it turns out, was not far. A Pawniard had floated down by way of Magnet Rise, and was currently brandishing her blades in their faces. Seeing an opportunity, Rowena raced up and delivered a Double Kick, one kick to each grunt's head. The grunts slumped to the ground, unconscious.

"Sweet," Keith grinned as he walked over to the unconscious grunts. "Now I think we should get these things over to the police-"

"One second," interrupted a voice identical to Keith's own- Keith looked to see that Jack had clearly regained consciousness, for the Ditto was now Transforming from Keith into Jerry, the taller of the two grunts. He then grabbed Jerry's cell phone off of his belt, and perused it.

"What are you-" Keith began.

"One second," Jack repeated, now sounding like Jerry. "Got a bit of the guy's knowledge in here. Not a lot about Team Rocket, but I got enough to pull this off." As he said this, he dialed a number. "Yeah," he added as someone picked up the phone on the other end. "Yes, sir. Yes. Jerry here. The threat is neutralized. Masters has been eliminated- cut that out, George!" he added, pretending to sound annoyed. "Sorry, sir, you know how George can be. Yes. Yes. Oh, absolutely- one more screwup and he's gone, I couldn't agree more. You know he actually let slip something about Project Stone Edge to that Masters guy? I mean, the whole operation would be in jeopardy if those Raticate you gave us hadn't chewed his face off, wouldn't it? Yes, yes, I made quite sure I wasn't followed. Uh huh. Uh huh. Well, naturally, naturally. Where was he? Well, you won't believe it- he's actually left the Fizzytopia region. We had to go all the way to friggin' Orre. Yeah, tell me about it. Well, of course the GPS is gonna say that, we only just got back to Fizzytopia now. And someone lost our phones in a restroom before we left Fizzytopia," he added, putting emphasis on "someone" as though insinuating it was George. "I tell you, we're damn lucky nobody found them. Hmm? Back to Orre? Yeah, no, George went to take a leak, why do you ask? Uh huh. Uh huh. Hmmmm," Jack said, feigning interest in whatever was being said. "Ditch him in the desert? I like. I like. What do I tell him, though?" A pause. "Promotion, of course. Head of Orre's branch. Brilliant, I love it, that's why you're the guy in charge. Excuse me, sir, but I don't believe it counts as ass-kissing if it happens to be true. OK. OK, bye." And with that, Jack hung up. "You're friggin' welcome," he smirked, looking at Keith.

"That... I... What in the Distortion World just happened?" asked Keith.

"Put in a call to Boss Rocket," smirked Jack as he Transformed back into Keith. "Ol' Jerry here's got the phone number saved, and I was able to learn that he was to call the boss to check in after ending you. So, let's see... I threw their boss way off your trail not only by telling him you were killed, but also by telling him you were in Orre, so he shouldn't be much of a thorn in your side from here on in. Also learned that George there has a history of accidentally spilling Team Rocket secrets. In fact, the boss wants Jerry to ditch George in the desert of Orre by telling him he'll be running a branch of Team Rocket there. Best part, he doesn't expect to hear from either of those clowns for about a month, so it'll take him a good, long while to sort this crap out, if he ever does."

"...Damn," was all Keith could say. "You are good, Jack. You are really, really good."

Even Ginny looked impressed. "Hey, Jack," she said, floating over to the Ditto. "I just want to... apologize for being so suspicious of you," she mumbled. "Seeing you throw a major criminal organization off of Keith's trail like that... I'm convinced you're not going to be a problem," she admitted.

Jack grinned. "Huh. I appreciate that. Thanks," he replied.

"What'd she say?" Keith asked.

"Ginny's sayin' she's sorry fer bein' so suspicious o' Jack," Meowth translated. "Makin' dat phone call ta trow Team Rocket offa da trail like dat convinced her dat he's alright."

"Glad to hear it, Ginny," Keith smiled at the Dark/Steel-type, who saluted him in response. "Now... what say we get these clowns to the police, hmm?" he added, nudging Jerry with his foot.

Ginny murmured something to Jack, who nodded and spoke up. "Ginny makes a good point- we oughta do something with their phones," he pointed out. "Their boss can track 'em with some kinda GPS technology, he'll get suspicious if he sees the phones going into a police station."

"Good point," nodded Keith. "You know what? I think this calls for a little voyage on the Banette's Revenge," he said with a a smile. "Sail to Orre, dispose of their phones, and come back. We can make a fun little vacation out of it, even." This was met with murmurs of assent and much nodding of heads. Keith led the way back into his Secret Base, hoping to start planning the voyage, but Godric stopped the Nidorina.

"Rowena," Godric said, "I... what was that, back there? I mean, you were incredible! I always thought you hated battling, but you looked like you were having the time of your life out there!"

Rowena blushed and looked down. "I... I used to enjoy battling," she admitted. "It- it's just... I don't... I don't want to hurt anyone," she mumbled. With that, she followed Keith and the rest of her teammates back into the Secret Base. Godric had a feeling there was more to this than he was getting, but decided that now was not the time to go digging any further.

What? Nidoran♀ is evolving!




Congratulations! Your Nidoran♀ evolved into Nidorina!

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 03-26-2016 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:23 AM   #58
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Project Stone Edge

A door slowly creaked open, revealing a small, dark office to the person who was tentatively peering inside. "Uh... Um... B-b-boss?" he stammered.

"Come in, come in," came a voice from inside the office. "You have news?" The voice's source could not be seen, though considering the front of the wooden desk which could be seen in the room, one could assume that the source of the voice was seated just behind the desk.

"Yes, sir," nodded the man, slowly making his way inside. "As per your request, I've uncovered as much information about Team Rocket's latest secret plan, which they've codenamed-"

"-Project Stone Edge," finished the voice. "That much I am aware of. Go on."

"Yes, well," the man replied. "See, it seems that in olden times, Moon Stones were said to be able to power up any kind of Pokémon, before it was discovered that they merely caused a select few species of Pokémon to evolve. However, it seems that these old myths about the Moon Stone are the basis for Team Rocket's latest plans."

"Basing a plan entirely on discredited myths?" the voice asked skeptically. "I dunno, that sounds pretty out there, even for those goofballs."

"Well, there's never been any real proof that they're discredited, sir," the man replied fairly. "It's more like, once they discovered its evolutionary properties, they figured that was what they meant and didn't bother to dig any deeper into it. Until now, anyway."

"Indeed," said the voice. "So what exactly did this digging unearth?"

"Something big," the voice replied. "If they can gather enough Moon Stones together, harvest their energy, and concentrate it all into a single rock... they can make a Mist Stone."

"...A Mist Stone?" repeated the voice. "Youse means to tell me that they intend to create a substance only heard of in legend, one which can evolve any Pokémon in existence?"

"Even those said to be fully evolved," nodded the man. "And I'm not talking about Mega Evolution- I'm talking forms that require the power and energy to unlock that only a Mist Stone can provide. I'm talking... Poké Gods. You are, I'm sure, aware of the legends, sir?" he added.

"Indeed I am," confirmed the voice. "And if half of them is true, just one Poké God brought into existence, particularly if it is under the control of Team Rocket, is very, very bad news." And then, the source of the voice walked forward- not around the desk, but over it, for the voice's source was in fact a Numel, clad in a black fedora. "You may go," Vinny said to the man. "I have... personal matters to attend to."


"OK, let's see," Keith said, as he entered the living room of his Secret Base, with Meowth following him. "Who could use some training?"

"How about Neville?" suggested Meowth. "He's been sayin' he wants ta work on dat Bubble attack he learned."

"True, true," nodded Keith. "Of course, you could use some training as well, Meowth," he added, turning to look at the Scratch Cat Pokémon. "You kept saying you wanted to learn Icy Wind, and now that you know it, we should get in some practice."

"Yeah, true," conceded Meowth. "Or wat about Vinny? I ain't seen him battle in a long-"

"Talkin' 'bout me?" came a tough-sounding voice. Keith turned to see Vinny, his Numel, entering the room. "Ordinarily I'd be up fer some training, but I got a bit of urgent news, hat man."

"What about?" asked Keith.

"About Project Stone Edge," Vinny said simply.

Keith's eyes widened. The name rang a bell- the Team Rocket grunts he took on almost a week ago let slip about some project going by that name precisely, but didn't mention much in the way of details. But then, Keith didn't remember mentioning this to Vinny. "How do you-" he began.

"I got my ways," Vinny replied mysteriously. "But that's not important. What is important is, they're planning something huge, and it involves them gathering as many Moon Stones as they can get their grubby paws on."

"Moon Stones?" repeated Keith. "What are they gonna do- evolve a bunch of Clefairy and Nidorino?"

"I wish," said Vinny, shaking his head. "Probably be easier to deal with than Poké Gods."

"Wait- run that by me again?" Keith said, blinking in surprise.

"Youse heard me," nodded Vinny. "Poké Gods. Project Stone Edge is all about harvesting energy from Moon Stones to make a Mist Stone, see?"

"So... that's actually a thing?" Keith asked. "I mean, I've heard of Poké Gods and Mist Stones, true enough, but I always thought they were just rumors... I got it!" he exclaimed suddenly, snapping his fingers. "When I was on vacation at Cinnabar Island when I was seven, Dad bought me a book that had to do with Kanto region folk lore. It's actually what first convinced me that it was a Missingno. that saved my life back then. I took it with me when I left home, it's in the library, c'mon!" he added, racing towards the stairs. Meowth and Vinny raced after Keith, the latter using a carefully controlled Flame Charge to up his Speed for the occasion.

They soon reached the second floor of the Secret Base, and directly across from the staircase, there stood the entrance to Hermione's library- most of the books on the shelves here were for Hermione to peruse, or notebooks containing notes she's taken over the years. However, some of the books were Keith's own, such as the large hardcover volume he extracted from a shelf.

"Here it is," Keith stated, placing the book down on a table. "Kanto Myths and Legends, by Viridian Coffee and Anne Mewtruck." He opened the book and started leafing through the pages. Meowth caught glimpses of various odd illustratins- a gigantic L-shaped creature with purple and orange markings; a Kangaskhan that appeared to be using Sky Attack; and a Clefairy evolving into a Nidoking. And then, Keith came to a page containing an illustration of a pale blue rock that looked transparent, the insides swirling with blue mist.

"Is dat-" Meowth began.

"-The Mist Stone," Keith nodded. He then began to read. "'The Mist Stone is said to be the rarest substance known to man or Mankey. The swirling mist contained within the stone contains nigh-unlimited energy, enough to induce evolution in any Pokémon exposed to it, even those said to be in their final stage of evolution. Unlike the mythology of the Kalos region, however, this evolution of supposedly fully evolved Pokémon is absolutely permanent, and unlocks far greater power. These ultimate forms, known only as Poké Gods, are so named because they are said to be absolutely unbeatable, with powers and abilities far surpassing that of any known Pokémon. Even just one Poké God in the wrong hands, or even in the right hands, could mean the end of civilized life as we know it.' Oh, my Arceus," Keith murmured. "Team Rocket's trying to get one of those Poké Gods? They'll be unstoppable!"

"And if they get enough Moon Stones, they're pretty damn sure they'll be able to do it, too," nodded Vinny. "Which brings me to the other reason why I came to warn youse- Team Rocket's got the technology to seek out Moon Stones with some kinda machines that track down the kind of energy Moon Stones give off. And since youse happens ta have a bit o' that energy in your backpack, well... That don't bode well for us, savvy?"

"Oh, geez," Keith murmured, but before he could do anything else, he saw two men in black uniforms approaching his Secret Base, one of them examining some sort of handheld tracking device. "...Oh, crap," Keith groaned, eyeing the red Rs on their shirts. "OK, looks like we're gonna have to fight them," he sighed, making his way to the stairs.

Meanwhile, the Pawniard standing outside the Secret Base was quick to notice the two highly suspicious newcomers. Flying forward with help from her Magnet Rise move, Ginny held her blades close to the men's throats. "Identify yourselves!" she barked. "And for both your sakes, those uniforms of yours had better damn well be really good Halloween costumes!"

"Gah!" one of the Team Rocket grunts exclaimed, shocked at the sight of the Pawniard who was suddenly accosting them. "What the hell's a Pawniard doin' here?" he asked his coworker. "This is the old Masters place- Boss said it oughta be deserted after Masters was dealt with."

"Clearly not all his Pokémon were dealt with," sighed the other grunt. "That- it's him!" he added suddenly, pointing to the 24-year-old Trainer currently bursting out of his front door. "It's Masters! He's alive!"

"Not for long, he ain't!" declared the first grunt, throwing a Rocket Ball. "Pangoro!" he shouted.

Likewise, the second grunt threw a Rocket Ball of his own. "Go, Krookodile!" he added.

The Rocket Balls burst open, each one unleashing a creature Keith was unfamiliar with. One was a bipedal crocodile, red in coloration with sunglasses-esque markings around the eyes, and the other was a black and white bear with a twig in its mouth. Keith took out his new Pokédex, purple with a yellow skull-and-crossbones symbol on the cover. As Keith opened it and pointed it at the Rockets' Pokémon, the indicator light started blinking the same shade of Koffing Smog Yellow as the skull and crossbones on the front of the device.

"Pangoro, the Daunting Pokémon, and the evolved form of Pancham," the device stated, its voice somewhat different from Keith's old Pokédex as it scanned the black and white creature. "Pangoro charges into a fight, bashing its opponents mercilessly, not caring about any damage it takes. It uses the leaf in its mouth to sense an enemy's movements. Krookodile, the Intimidation Pokémon, and the evolved form of Krokorok," it continued as Keith turned the device on the red Pokémon. "Krookodile can expand the focus of its eyes, allowing it to see into the distance as if through binoculars. Extremely violent, it tries to bite down on anything that moves in its presence."

Ginny's blades were still brandished threateningly, though she was eyeing the Pangoro and Krookodile warily now. She figured they must outlevel her thoroughly, and much as she was willing to Cut some Team Rocket throats, she knew those Pokémon would reduce her to scrap metal if she so much as tried.

And Keith must have realized this as well. "Ginny, come back," he instructed his Pawniard. She floated backwards, still glaring murderously at the Rockets and their Pokémon. Keith, meanwhile, threw two Poké Balls of his own. "Go, Godric! Go, Rowena!" he exclaimed as his Nidoking and Nidorina materialized in twin flashes of light. As usual, Rowena the Nidorina didn't look too pleased about having to battle, and yet there was that gleam of excitement in her eyes all the same, Keith couldn't help but notice... what was her deal?

"Pfft," scoffed one of the grunts. "Krookodile, Earthquake!"

"Pangoro, Protect!" called the other grunt.

"Rowena, Reflect!" Keith ordered. "Godric, use Aqua Tail on Krookodile!"

"Niiidooooooh!" roared Godric as he charged forward, water and Water-type energy alike swirling all around his thick, powerful tail. Rowena, meanwhile, focused hard, causing a shimmering wall of light to materialize all around her, as well as Godric. The wall, thankfully, did not diminish Godric's own attack power, as he swung his powerful Tail, the Aquatic assault catching Krookodile off-guard- and as Keith had hoped, it was off-guard enough to stop the Earthquake attack before it started.

The grunts, however, weren't so pleased about this. "Krookodile, get that Nidoking!" ordered one of the grunts. "Use your own Aqua Tail!"

"Pangoro, hit it with Karate Chop!" snarled the other grunt.

"Godric, use Thrash!" Keith called.

An angry gleam became visible in Godric's eyes as he roared loudly. As Krookodile and Pangoro converged on him, the Nidoking started Thrashing wildly about, pummeling the Dark-types mercilessly in a frenzied rage... or perhaps an enraged frenzy. Either way, before long, both opposing Pokémon collapsed to the ground, unable to take any more, as Godric started stumbling around, roaring in confusion. This prompted Keith to withdraw his Nidoking just as the grunts were withdrawing their fallen Pokémon.

"Damn it!" spat one of the grunts. "The boss ain't gonna be happy when he hears about this!"

"And who says he's going to hear about it?" Keith demanded. As if on cue, Ginny began to fly forward once more, blades still brandished threateningly. At this, the grunts exchanged nervous glances before running away.

"Dey're gettin' away!" Meowth exclaimed.

"Like hell they are!" Keith declared, throwing a Poké Ball as he jumped down from the short tree which held up his Secret Base. "Salazar, let's ride!" he exclaimed as the dark grey Scolipede materialized. Quickly, Keith withdrew his Numel and Nidorina, and as he climbed onto Salazar's back, they were off.

Thankfully, the trip wasn't a long one- rare is the human being that can outrun a well-trained Scolipede, and these grunts were most assuredly not exceptions to that rule. Before long, Salazar was barring their way. They had gone just past the forest near the Secret Base, and were currently in a wide open plain.

"Oh, come on!" exclaimed one of the grunts out of frustration.

"Yeah," Keith smirked. "This just ain't your day, is it?"

"Yeah, well- oh. Oho. Ahaha, ahahahahahahaaaa!" replied the other grunt, his retort turning into a triumphant laugh as he seemed to take notice of something directly behind Keith. Oh, boy. Keith slowly wheeled around, and sure enough, he could see something flying in from the distance, and now he could hear it as well- a helicopter, black with a red R on either side, and as it landed, several Team Rocket members unloaded a large machine. It reminded Keith of a water cooler, only instead of a clear plastic jug of water, there was a gigantic glass container, packed with identical shiny black rocks. An ordinary stone was fitted to the machine with some sort of laser pointed directly at it. It wasn't shooting anything at the rock just yet, but Keith had a nasty feeling that they aimed to change that.

"We're all set," smirked one of the newcomers. "Now, if this guy would be so kind as to hand over his Moon Stone-"

"I don't have one," Keith lied.

"Liar!" snapped another grunt, this one clutching a handheld device of some sort. "This gadget here tells me you have a Moon Stone right there in that backpack of yours. Now hand it over!" he snarled, holding out a Rocket Ball. The other three grunts he had accompanied in the helicopter did likewise, each of them brandishing a Rocket Ball.

"Interesting idea," Keith remarked, casually tossing several Poké Balls into the air, unleashing his Numel, Nidoking, and Nidorina. "But let me make you a counteroffer... um... what's the phrase I'm looking for... uh... eat my shorts."

"Enough of this nonsense!" exclaimed one of the grunts, throwing his Rocket Ball. The other grunts followed suit, and before Keith knew it, he found himself facing a Raticate, a Machoke, a Yanmega, and a Golbat.

Keith narrowed his eyes at the Pokémon the Rockets had sent out. “Oh, we can take these!” he scoffed. “Vinny, Flamethrower! Salazar, Sludge Bomb! Godric, Poison Tail! Rowena, use Ice Beam!”

And with that, the battle began. Vinny unleashed a powerful stream of fire from his mouth, but Yanmega was able to deflect it by charging up and unleashing a Powerful orb of Ancient Rock energy which cut through the Flamethrower like a knife through extremely fiery butter, then went on to crash into the Numel. Salazar, meanwhile, fired Sludge Bomb after Sludge Bomb at the Machoke, but it was able to evade the move by way of Double Team, before responding with a Mega Punch attack. Godric swung his mighty Tail, which currently glowed purple with Poison energy, right into the Raticate, but even as the poisoning took effect, Raticate started to look even more vicious than before, its Guts Ability beginning to kick in. Finally, Rowena nervously yet determinedly launched her Ice Beam at the Golbat, managing to freeze one of its wings solid. Golbat, however, responded by generating a Heat Wave, melting the ice on its wing almost instantly before blowing the hot wind onto the Nidorina.

Keith looked on, grimacing as his Numel fainted- Yanmega had followed up on its Ancient Power with a Wing Attack, leaving Vinny little time to respond- indeed, Yanmega was getting progressively faster, almost as though its Speed was being gradually Boosted. To further complicate matters, Golbat and Yanmega then converged on Salazar with their respective Wing Attacks. "Salazar, Rollout!" Keith ordered.

"Scolipeeeeeeede!" bellowed Salazar as he curled up into a huge ball larger than a truck tire and rolled forward, slamming into Golbat and Yanmega simultaneously. After taking a few blows such as this, Golbat and Yanmega both fainted, but before Salazar could celebrate, he was knocked out by Raticate's Flame Wheel.

"Come back, Salazar!" Keith groaned, withdrawing his Scolipede. "Godric! Mega Punch!" he ordered.

"Niiiidooooooh!" Godric roared in response, charging forward, white energy swirling around his right fist. Then he drew back said fist and slammed it into Raticate, sending it flying. When it came to rest at the Rockets' feet, it too was unconscious.

"Grr..." growled the grunt who withdrew the Raticate. "This guy's tough."

"Yeah, well, so are we!" exclaimed another grunt. "Machoke, Fire Blast!"

"MaCHOOOOOOOOKE!" bellowed Machoke. Keith's eyes widened- the Fighting-type was now unleashing the uniquely-shaped Fire Blast- one of the most powerful Fire attacks in existence! And it was headed straight for Rowena!

Godric roared his displeasure at this and hastened to put himself between the Nidorina and the Fire Blast. Keith gritted his teeth as the Nidoking intercepted the attack, trying with all his might to push it back. Rowena, meanwhile, gazed up at the Nidoking who was doing this for her. "Rina..." she murmured.

"Niiii... Niiiidooooh..." grunted Godric- the Fire Blast was starting to win out.

"Give it up, punk," sneered one of the grunts. "We got all the Moon Stones we need except one- you're going to give us that last Moon Stone we need!"

"Hell, no!" Keith shot back defiantly. "I am not gonna help you make a Mist Stone! Bringing a Poké God into existence will put the entire world in danger!"

The grunts scowled. "He knows too much!" one of them exclaimed. "Machoke, forget that Nidoking- get the stubborn asshole in the cowboy hat!"

"Maaaa," Machoke smirked, letting up on the Fire Blast at long last. Godric had managed to hold the move back, and was still conscious, but was now in pain, covered in burns. Rowena looked on in horror as the Machoke drew closer to Keith, and she knew she had to act. Summoning her courage and determination, the Nidorina charged forward and Tackled Machoke hard. Before Machoke could recover, Rowena followed up with a powerful Double Kick, and then with a Rock Smash. Machoke growled as the Nidorina kept landing attacks before finally managing a Karate Chop. She had been in the process of attempting another Double Kick, and as she flew backwards, she ended up delivering a powerful kick to Keith's torso, so quick was Machoke's counterattack that she hadn't had time to stop the attack.

"Rinaaa!" Rowena gasped, horrified as she saw Keith double over- the kick had packed some serious power, and though he was fairly certain nothing was broken or damaged, it still hurt.

"Ooof..." Keith murmured, before he saw just how horrified his Nidorina looked. "Rowena, don't worry about me," he added, managing a brave, reassuring smile. "That was a pretty good Double Kick. Keep it up!"

"Yeah," Meowth added, hopping down off of Keith's shoulder. "Yer doin' pretty good."

"Ohhhh..." sighed Rowena. "But, but this is exactly what I was afraid of! I... I don't want to hurt anybody... not again," she said quietly.

"What do you mean, 'again'?" Godric asked, the Nidoking still looking in no condition to battle, but more concerned with Rowena than with himself.

Rowena sighed. "I... Nobody else knows about this, not even Chad or his Pokémon, as far as I know," sighed Rowena. "There was a time when I loved to battle. And one time, I snuck away from Chad and the others, before he traded me to Keith, just to try and get in some training against wild Pokémon. And... And I... I... that poor Patrat," Rowena sniffed, tears coming to her eyes. "I was enjoying the battle so much I... I didn't even realize how badly I was... It had a family!" Rowena wailed. "And I killed it!"

"Rowena..." murmured Godric. "I had no idea. But... it was an accident, right? You shouldn't stop doing something you love doing just because one bad thing happened."

"I... I don't know, maybe you're right," the Nidorina sighed. "But just now, I accidentally kicked Keith in the stomach! I... I don't want to hurt anybody..."

"Do youse has any idea how many times dis guy's been injured durin' trainin' sessions?" Meowth demanded, gesturing to Keith. "He's taken misfired Sludges, Water Guns, Confusions, Shadow Sneaks, Icy Winds, it goes on and on. Dat kinda ting happens."

"It's true," Keith nodded to Rowena. "Accidents are inevitable, Rowena. Just because one of them went badly for you doesn't mean you should give up on battling altogether, especially if you enjoy it. And let me tell you, whenever you do battle, I can tell you enjoy it."

Rowena said nothing as she looked around. They all made decent points. Could it... could it really be OK for her to battle?

"How touching," sneered the grunt in command of Machoke. "OK, Machoke, put an end to this sappy mess! Earthquake! Finish off that stupid Nidoking!"

At this, Rowena spun around and raced forward. "Rinaaaaa!" she screeched as she lunged forward and Tackled the Machoke once again, throwing it off balance before it could use the Earthquake attack. "Rina rina rina rina!" she snarled as she started striking with Scratch and Double Kick yet again. Keith couldn't tell what his Nidorina was saying, of course, but he did notice that Godric was starting to blush.

"What's Rowena saying?" Keith muttered to Meowth.

"Sometin' about rippin' off Machoke's head and puttin' it on display as a warnin' ta anyone fool enough ta go after Godric," Meowth muttered back. "She also pretty much just admitted dat she's in love wit Godric."

"Ma.... CHOKE" grunted Machoke, finally throwing the Nidorina off of her. Keith raced backward to try and catch her, but Godric was quicker, despite his battered, beaten, and burned state. The Nidoking caught the Nidorina and held her close. And then, Keith saw that Machoke was approaching him, punching its right fist into its left hand threateningly.

"Uh, guys?" Keith called back, for the pair of Poison-types seemed to be lost in a romantic moment.

"Ri? Rina!" Rowena exclaimed as the reality of the situation sank in. And very quickly, the quick-witted Nidorina realized there was only one surefire way to stop Team Rocket from getting their hands on Keith's Moon Stone. She jumped down out of Godric's arms, raced over to Keith, jumped up, and started to rummage through his backpack. Keith grunted as his backpack was suddenly 44 pounds heavier, but managed to keep his footing. And then, finally, Rowena hopped down off of Keith's back. Machoke glared down as she revealed what she had been concealing with her front legs- the Moon Stone Keith had had in his backpack. And then, what happened next was completely expected- Rowena started to glow. As she had planned, the Moon Stone was absorbed into her body as she grew larger, taller, and bulkier, her tail getting longer and thicker, the shape of her body changing to allow her to stand on her hind legs, making her front legs work more akin to arms. At last, the glowing faded, and Keith was beholding a formidable . "NIIIIDOOOOOOOH!" Rowena roared. Amazed at the sight of Rowena's new form, Keith took out his Pokédex and aimed it at her.

"Nidoqueen, the Drill Pokémon, and the evolved form of Nidorina," said the device. "Nidoqueen's body is covered in hard scales which grant it strong protection from oncoming attacks. Its hefty bulk allows it to execute powerful moves, even allowing it to send enemies flying with a single Tackle."

"I get it," Keith grinned. "You did that so they couldn't take the Moon Stone," he said. Rowena nodded, happy that Keith had caught on. "Well, that'd do it, all right," Keith said with a smile. "And I was saving that Moon Stone for you, anyway, so it's all good. Hm?" he added, looking at something on his Pokédex. "Rowena, looks like you even learned a new move!" he declared.

"What do we do now?" asked one of the grunts.

"We kill the guy with the hat," said the Machoke's owner. "The guy's seen too much. Then we haul ass outta here, get that last Moon Stone from somewhere else. Machoke, do it!" he added, as his Fighting-type stormed forward.

"Rowena!" Keith exclaimed, his newly-evolved Nidoqueen already standing before him, roaring loudly, ready to battle. "Use Tackle!"

"Niiiidooooh!" growled Rowena. With earth-shaking steps, the Nidoqueen charged forward, slamming into Machoke with considerable force. It didn't send it flying, but it did send Machoke stumbling backwards.

"Close Combat!" roared the grunt.

"Rowena, Superpower!" Keith ordered, deciding on the spot to try out his Nidoqueen's new attack.

The combatants charged towards each other, and Machoke started punching, kicking, and chopping at the Nidoqueen without mercy, but the Poison/Ground-type took the attack well. Not only that, but Machoke seemed to have struck one of Rowena's spikes- the Fighting-type groaned as Poison Point's effects became apparent. Capitalizing on this momentary distraction, Rowena focused a lot of Fighting energy into her tail. Then, she wheeled around and slammed the tail into Machoke, and this one did send it flying. It crashed, to Keith's delight, into the device that had been unloaded from Team Rocket's helicopter. The machine was crushed beneath Machoke's weight, and Moon Stones went flying in every direction.

"No! The machine!" exclaimed one of the grunts.

"Get the Moon Stones!" ordered the grunt with Machoke, who Keith was starting to suspect was the leader of that group of Team Rocket grunts. "The machine can be rebuilt! Just get those Moon Stones!"

"Yeah, I don't think so," Keith smirked. "Rowena, trap them with Reflect!"

The Nidoqueen nodded and roared her approval, then closed her eyes and focused. Immediately, shimmering walls of light appeared all around all of the Team Rocket grunts present, as well as the now-unconscious Machoke still lying atop the crushed remnants of the machine. The grunts shouted loudly as they banged their fists against the Reflect, trying to get free. Keith paid them no attention- instead, he called the police from his Xtransceiver, and they were on the scene within minutes, collecting the Moon Stones and promising to return them to their rightful owners, and more importantly, arresting the Team Rocket grunts.

As Salazar was in no condition to be giving rides at this time, Keith opted to walk home, Meowth on his shoulder, and his Nidoking and Nidoqueen walking hand in hand behind them. He was a little concerned by what that one Team Rocket grunt had said about being able to rebuild the machine, but right now, he was just glad to have been such a huge detriment to such a horrifying evil plot. And of course, his Nidorina evolving, that was pretty awesome, too. All in all, a good day.

What? Nidorina is evolving!




Congratulations! Your Nidorina evolved into Nidoqueen!

*Rowena learned Superpower!*

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 03-26-2016 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 08-14-2015, 05:12 PM   #59
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The trip back to his Secret Base was a long one, between the ferry ride and the land portion of the journey, which required Keith to make a quick stop at a Pokémon Center and change up his team via the PC- this enabled him to get Salazar the Scolipede into his current party, and thus allowed them to ride the rest of the way back on the Bug/Poison-type. And long though the trip was, Keith wasn't complaining. Indeed, he had nothing to complain about- he had just had one hell of a day, an adventure so epic that it almost felt like it took him a little over a year to complete. He had just gone to Aduro Island for a bit of sightseeing, and ended up locked in a fierce battle against a massive Heatran, fighting for the survival of a pack of Heatmor, and to end said Heatran's reign of terror over Mt. Aduro. What was more, he had actually managed to put an end to Heatran, effectively stopping its tyrannical reign once and for all, though he never could've done it without the help of the numerous allies he made along the way. And what was more, he was returning from the island with more than just the memories and several small, spherical, significant, symbolic souvenirs- he was also returning with a brand-new Pokémon on his team.

Kyle was holding onto the dark grey Scolipede, the Heatmor rather enjoying the ride. Much as he still missed the pack he left behind in the mountain, he knew in his heart he made the right call by agreeing to go with Keith. The two of them fought together in the mountain, each of them saving the other numerous times during their adventure, and near the end, he even gladly took orders from Keith in battle, despite not belonging to him at the time, and he found, to his satisfaction, that Keith really knew what he was doing. Indeed, the paralysis induced by Kyle's Lick attack was instrumental in Heatran's downfall, and he was quick to pick up on the Fire/Steel-type's iron helmet being a weak spot, and used that knowledge with excellent results. Besides, he liked the idea of seeing the world beyond Mt. Aduro, and he knew that the rest of his pack could take care of themselves, now that Heatran was no longer in the picture.

Soon, they came to the short, dead, petrified tree, and more to the point, the two-story Secret Base housed atop it. As Keith, Meowth, and Kyle climbed down off of Salazar's back, a Pawniard jumped down from her usual post, eyeing Kyle warily.

“At ease, Ginny,” Keith said sternly. “This here is Kyle, your new teammate, I want you to make him feel welcome, OK? Kyle, this is Ginny,” he added, now introducing the Pawniard to the Heatmor. “She's a bit paranoid, takes security way more seriously than it necessarily needs to be taken, but she's all right.”

“Mor,” nodded Kyle as he approached the Pawniard, making sure to make no sudden movements. It was then that it occurred to Keith that Kyle would understand especially well about taking security seriously. After all, considering what Mt. Aduro was like under Heatran's rule, letting your guard down was akin to suicide in there.

Soon, Keith had managed to bring out all of his Pokémon. Kyle now brought that number up to 57, so there were, as Keith had said, a lot of new friends for him to meet. And the Heatmor was taken aback at first by the sheer size of the team, but he quickly recovered from that as he started to meet his teammates. Some of them, like Pomona, Helena, and Ruby, were eager to welcome him to the team. Others, such as Melittin, Myrtle, and Hedwig, were still a bit wary of him. Some, such as Marvolo and Stewie, were wholly indifferent to him, though Kyle never once lost his cool, Keith noticed.

Not long after that, they started training. As Keith started thinking about which two Pokémon to use in a training battle first, he walked around and observed his Pokémon practicing their various attacks. Godric was helping Rowena work on her Strength attack, which proved time-consuming, for the Nidoqueen was constantly nervous about accidentally harming one of her teammates; Melittin was sparring with Dennis, the Beedrill and Venusaur exchanging blows; Fang was trying to get the hang of his Hyper Beam attack; and Bart was... hitting on Millicent. Keith facepalmed- this was not the first time this would happen, and nor, he could only assume, would it be the last. And sure enough, an irritated Force Palm from the already-taken Timburr sent the Scraggy flying... and crashing into Melittin, sending the Beedrill tumbling to the ground. Quickly, the Scraggy and Beedrill righted themselves and began shouting at each other.

Hey, watch where you're going!” Melittin buzzed angrily. “I'm training here!

Eat my shorts!” Bart retorted. “You should watch where you're going, if anything! Would it have killed you to move just a little to the left?

Well, would it have killed you to get a clue for once? How many times does Millicent have to tell you she has a boyfriend before you-

Oh, that's a load of Tauros shit and you know it!” Bart interrupted. “Clearly a figment of her imagination because she's intimidated by the Bart-man!” he smirked, flexing his arms unimpressively. It was hard to tell, but Keith supposed Melittin had just rolled his eyes at this.

Intimidated? By you? HAH!” Melittin began, but at that moment, someone stepped in between the two of them, just as they were getting ready to start attacking each other.

Alright, that's enough,” Kyle said sternly. “We're supposed to be a team, so what say we start acting like it, hmm?

Who the hell are you?” Bart demanded, hitching up his “pants” defiantly.

I'm Kyle,” the Heatmor introduced himself. “I'm new on this team.

Yeah, well, keep walking,” snapped Melittin. “This doesn't concern you.

I'll keep walking when you two cool down,” Kyle replied patiently. “That collision was unintentional, and you both know it, so how about you apologize to each other and drop this silly argument?

For a moment, Bart and Melittin glared at the interfering Heatmor, but relented all the same. “Sorry, Bart,” grumbled Melittin.

Yeah, yeah... sorry, Mel,” replied Bart.

That's Melittin!” the Beedrill snapped. “I don't recall giving you permission to call me-

Melittin, please,” Kyle said. “I didn't ask you to drop one silly argument just to start another one.

It's not silly to me,” Melittin retorted. “I hate being called Mel by someone I didn't give the OK to, y'know? Unless I say different, it's Melittin.

Bart, can you respect that?” Kyle asked, turning to the Dark/Fighting-type.

The Scraggy rolled his eyes- this was such a stupid conversation! But he had to admit, he just wanted the whole stupid fight over with already. “Fine,” he spat. “Sorry, Melittin. Better?

Much,” the Beedrill nodded. Satisfied, Melittin resumed his battle against Dennis, and Bart started to wander around, figuring he'd try his luck with Millicent again later.

“Wow,” Meowth remarked- he and Keith had saw the whole thing. “Didja see how Kyle broke up dat argument before it escalated?”

“Yeah, I did,” Keith nodded. “I gotta admit, that was pretty cool. Looks like Kyle's an even better fit for the team than I originally thought.”

Meanwhile, Kyle had come to where Vinny and Pisces were sparring against each other, the Numel and Blue-Striped Basculin each trying to overpower the other with repeated Tackle attacks. “You know,” Kyle said as he approached them. “It's pretty clear that you two are evenly matched in terms of power. Neither of you will be able to overpower the other, so try dodging the Tackle, then striking while the opponent is recovering. A bit underhanded, but it'll at least get the battle going.

Shut up!” Pisces snapped. “If I want advice from the new guy, I'll ask for it!

“You'll have to excuse my associate,” Vinny added, the Numel speaking, to the Heatmor's mild surprise, in human language. “Hotheaded though her words were, however, they are not incorrect. A newcomer to the team must earn my respect before I consider taking their advice, savvy?”

Kyle thought about this as Vinny and Pisces resumed their pointless head-on attacks. He realized that all of his years of experience was going to do him no favors if his own teammates weren't willing to accept his help. So, he supposed, he might just have to earn their respect. The Heatmor wandered around, sizing up his various teammates, and then his eyes fell on a large yellow dragon with axe-like tusks. Perfect.

“Wat's Kyle doin?” Meowth asked suddenly. Keith looked, and saw Kyle talking to Norbert. Norbert was roaring excitedly, and assuming a fighting stance.

“Wha- Kyle!?” Keith called to his Heatmor. “What are you doing?”

“Heat! Mor!” Kyle called back, giving his Trainer the best thumbs-up he could muster with claws, before turning back to Norbert, also assuming a fighting stance.

“Kyle's sayin' he's tryin' ta prove someting,” Meowth translated. And as they looked on, so were many of Keith's Pokémon. A fight between this freshly-caught Heatmor and a powerful, experienced Haxorus was about to get underway, and even now, Kyle was insisting to Norbert that he not hold back.

Norbert made the first move. Dashing forward, the Haxorus's claws glowed a vibrant blue-green as he prepared a powerful Dragon Claw. Keith tensed up as Kyle stood still... and then, the Heatmor jumped out of the way! Norbert's claws crashed into the ground where the Fire-type was standing just moments ago!

“Mor! Heat! Mor!” Kyle grunted with each and every jump as he evaded the Haxorus's moves. Some of the onlooking Pokémon looked somewhat impressed by this. And then, Kyle found himself before a large rock, and started swiping at it with his Claws, clearly intending to Hone them. “Heatmor Heatmor Heatmor- mor!” Kyle exclaimed, as he managed to spot an oncoming Dragon Claw and jump out of the way just in time- the Dragon move instead managed to destroy the rock.

This went on for a few minutes- Kyle would jump and duck out of the way of Norbert's attacks, and would repeat Hone Claws whenever faced with a rock or tree. Keith was watching with interest, as were his other Pokémon- Kyle was doing rather well against Norbert, and they were wondering just what his strategy was.

“Kyle's pretty good at dodgin',” Meowth observed.

“I'd say so,” Keith nodded. “I mean, to survive for that long in Mt. Aduro like he's been doing, you gotta know what you're doing. He's clearly had a lot of practice- he never misses any of Norbert's movements.”

Just then, as Kyle finished using Hone Claws yet again, water started to swirl around Norbert's tail- an Aqua Tail attack! With a mighty roar of “HAAXOOOOOR!”, Norbert swung the tail. Kyle tried to duck down under it, but the tail caught him anyway and sent him tumbling backwards. However, he managed to right himself. Some of his teammates looked visibly impressed by this- Norbert was no weakling, and that Aqua Tail was super effective! Keith wasn't too surprised, though- he had watched this Heatmor go head-to-head against a damn Heatran, he wasn't too surprised by how well he was doing. In fact, in retrospect, he supposed it was stupid of him to be so nervous about Kyle going up against Norbert to begin with.

Deciding that now was the time to act, Kyle jumped up behind Norbert. “HEEEEATMOOOOOOR!” he bellowed, unleashing a magnificent blue flame from his narrow mouth. Norbert roared his disapproval as the burning attack ravaged his body, and once it stopped, there were multiple burns visible all over the Haxorus's body. Keith took out his Pokédex, hoping for an explanation.

Inferno- Heatmor's strongest attack,” said the Pokédex. “A powerful yet tough to aim blast of extremely hot blue flame. If it hits, the target is guaranteed to sustain a burn.”

“So dat's wat he was after!” Meowth exclaimed.

Keith nodded. “All those Hone Claws were to boost his accuracy so he could be sure to land a hit with Inferno. And the burn is gonna weaken Norbert's attacks as well as chip away at his health. That was a pretty smart strategy.”

“Haaaxooooor!” bellowed Norbert. This time, he shot a bright blue Dragon Pulse from his mouth, clearly realizing that his physical moves weren't going to have their usual effect. In response, Kyle fired a small ember from his mouth, which erupted into a large wall of fire in midair, the Incinerate and the Dragon Pulse exploding harmlessly on contact, neither attack doing any damage to the opponent. Norbert winced nonetheless, however, as the burn started taking its toll on him. Again he tried to attack Kyle, pulling out such moves as Dragon Claw, Aqua Tail, Poison Jab, and even Hidden Power, but the Heatmor was able to nimbly dodge or deftly deflect each and every move (except for one of the Hidden Power orbs, and even then, it merely grazed him.

After a particularly draining Aqua Tail, Norbert was starting to breathe heavily now, the burn really starting to get to him. Seeing his chance, Kyle dashed forward, and landed a Tackle attack- just after dodging, while Norbert was still recovering, just as he had told Vinny and Pisces. And that was sufficient- the Haxorus toppled over, making no attempt to get up.

The other Pokémon were murmuring among themselves, some of them sounding impressed, most of them sounding shocked. Eventually, Norbert sat up, and judging by the tone of his voice when he addressed Norbert, the Haxorus sounded more impressed than unhappy about his defeat.

“Chaaaa,” came an impressed-sounding hiss from beside Keith. He looked to see Nagini, his Arbok, coiled up beside him. She, like her other teammates, had been watching Kyle and Norbert battle, and the Arbok seemed rather impressed with him. She slithered over to the Heatmor, who looked at her curiously- Nagini had yet to actually introduce herself to Kyle.

That was impressive,” Nagini said to Kyle. “Forgive me, though- I didn't get a chance to meet you like the others did. My name is Nagini.

Pleasure to meet you, Nagini,” nodded Kyle. “I'm Kyle. You know, I think I'm going to like being on this team.”

That's good,” smiled the Arbok. “Because I think you really wowed them with that battle. I also saw how you handled Melittin and Bart's argument earlier- that was pretty good.

Oh, that?” chuckled Kyle. “That was nothing, really. I used to be the leader of a pack of Heatmor back in Mt. Aduro, so I'm pretty used to stopping those kinds of things before they escalate.

Oh, it shows,” Nagini nodded approvingly. “As I said, it's good that you're going to like this team- a lot of us are more mature than to break out into petty arguments like that, but as you've seen, that definitely doesn't apply to all of us...

Kyle nodded. “So I gathered,” he said. “I- oh? What is it, Neville?” he added, for at that moment, a small Skrelp was hopping up to him, using his ragged tail fin like a makeshift foot.

Um, excuse me, Kyle,” Neville said quietly. “Can... can you maybe teach me how to dodge attacks like you did? It's just, that was so cool!

Kyle smiled. “Sure,” he agreed. “Now, it'll take you a while to get that good at it- I've had to get good at dodging attacks like that in order to survive, I've been at it for many years- but I'll be glad to teach you what I know.” With that, Kyle and Neville went off to train, and many of their teammates followed after them, almost all of them having changed their tune about the Heatmor after having seen him in action.

“Well, I guess Kyle proved his point,” Keith grinned. “It's gonna be pretty cool having him around.”

“Ya got dat right,” nodded Meowth.

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 03-26-2016 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 09-21-2015, 05:21 PM   #60
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Lake It Or Not

The Fizzytopia region, like most other regions in the Pokémon world, was a vast land with many different things to offer. Indeed, it was perfectly possible to explore Fizzytopia as a Pokémon Trainer for over a decade and still not have seen every corner of the region. So it came as little surprise to Keith Masters when he found himself in a part of the Fizzytopia region that he did not recognize. A quiet country area- vast plains of lush green grass, with trees scattered sparsely across the land.

“Wow,” Keith murmured as he walked across the grassy plains. “This is a nice place, isn't it?”

“Yeah,” nodded the Meowth on Keith's shoulder, also taking in the scenery. “Why don't we keep lookin' fer a town, though?” he added. “Gettin' kinda hungry ova here.”

“Meowth, will you stop complai-” Keith started before he was cut off by a growling sound coming from his stomach. “...Eheheh,” he chuckled sheepishly. “Alright, let's try and find somewhere to eat,” he conceded. They continued onwards for several minutes, and as they reached the top of a hill, they could see houses in the distance- a small town, built around a very large lake.

“Hey, I bet dat town's got some good restaurants!” Meowth exclaimed, excitedly pointing. “Let's go!”

Keith did not need telling twice! With Meowth now holding on tightly, he hauled ass down the hill and in the direction of the town, and after only five minutes or so, they found themselves approaching the town. A wooden sign in the ground revealed it to be a place called Cobalt Town. As Keith and Meowth explored Cobalt Town, they saw a number of wooden houses, several shops dedicated to fishing and boating equipment, a Pokémon Center, and right next door to it, a Pansear Pizza Parlor. Upon spotting this last place, Keith and Meowth exchanged grins before entering.

“Ahh,” Keith sighed contentedly as he and Meowth exited Pansear Pizza Parlor. “Now that's how much meat you should put on a pizza.”

“Amen ta dat,” Meowth nodded, equally contented. “Hey, wat's goin' on ova dere?” he added, glancing out at the lake. Following the Normal-type's gaze, Keith could see a small commotion going on out on the water. As he made his way, joining up with a small crowd of people who had gathered near the water, he could see just what was going on.

Two Trainers were standing on Water-types out on the lake, and were using different Water-types in a battle. Keith recognized their rides as a Mantine and a Walrein, but the Pokémon involved in the fight were a whole other swarm of Yanma. One was blue with a ruby-like jewel in its torso, and the other was a blue crustacean, one claw slightly larger than the other one. Intrigued by both Pokémon, Keith dug out his Pokédex and aimed it at each combatant in turn.

“Phione, the Sea Drifter Pokémon,” said the Pokédex. “Phione lives in warm seas, and will instinctively return to the place of its birth when it is old enough. It is thought to have a connection to the legendary Manaphy.” Then, the Pokédex's screen changed to display the blue crustacean and continued to speak. “Clauncher, the Water Gun Pokémon. Clauncher expels internal gas in order to fire blasts of compressed water from its large claw. These blasts can knock down flying prey, and at close range, are powerful enough to shatter solid rock.”

“Cool,” Keith murmured, watching Phione and Clauncher battle each other. As he watched, he saw Clauncher's Water Pulse get stopped by Phione's Ice Beam.

“Yeah,” said the man standing next to Keith. “You're new in town, aren't you? Everyone in town battles their Water Pokémon out there on the lake. In fact, if you got any Water-types, I'll be glad to take you on once this battle's done,” he added.

“It's a deal,” Keith grinned. “The name's Keith, by the way.”

“Nice to meet ya, I'm Owen,” replied the man.

“Phione is unable to battle!”called one of the spectators standing closest to the water, clearly acting as the referee. “Clauncher wins!”

This elicited cheers from the crowd, as well as dejected sighs, depending on who was cheering for whom. The Trainers had already withdrawn their Pokémon, while their Mantine and Walrein took them to shore. At this, Owen gave Keith a look before stepping forward, a Net Ball in his hand.

“I'm next,” he declared. “I'm gonna battle this guy- Keith,” he added, pointing at Keith. The crowd turned to look at Keith, who was already taking a Poké Ball off his belt. He and Owen threw their balls out onto the lake- from Owen's Net Ball emerged a Swampert, while Keith's unleashed Chance, his Blastoise.

“Cool Swampert,” Keith observed as the two Water-types were taking their Trainers out onto the lake.

“Thanks,” grinned Owen. “Your Blastoise is pretty cool, too.”

At that point, Keith and Owen were far enough from land for Owen to signal Swampert to stop. Taking the cue, Keith spoke up as well. “Right here's good, Chance,” he instructed.

“Blaaaastoise,” rumbled Chance as she stopped, floating in the water with Keith on the back of her shell. Meowth was still on Keith's shoulder, holding on for dear life as he eyed the water warily.

Owen plucked a Dive Ball off his belt and enlarged it. “One Pokémon each?” he called to Keith.

Keith grinned back, a Safari Ball already in his hand. “Sounds good to me,” he said.

Owen nodded, then threw the Dive Ball. “Then go, Floatzel!” he exclaimed.

Keith responded by throwing the Safari Ball. “Neville, let's go!” he called.

In twin flashes of light, the Pokémon appeared. From Keith's Safari Ball appeared Neville, his Skrelp, and from Owen's Dive Ball, there appeared an orange creature with what appeared to be an inflatable life raft on its back. Keith pointed his Pokédex at the unfamiliar creature.

“Floatzel, the Sea Weasel Pokémon, and the evolved form of Buizel,” said the Pokédex. “Floatzel's well-developed flotation sac allows it to float on the surface of the water with ease, enabling it to come to the assistance of drowning people. When it inflates the flotation sac, it can carry people on its back.”

“Alright, Floatzel vs. Skrelp- begin!” called the referee.

Keith made the first move. “Neville! Bubble!” he ordered.

“Skreeeeeelp!” Neville exclaimed. He took a deep breath, and fired a powerful stream of foam from his mouth. Floatzel cried out as the bubbly blast assaulted it. Though not terribly hurt by the move, Floatzel seemed rather distracted by the foam and bubbles still stuck to it once the move was done. Keith grinned- this was sure to screw with Floatzel's reaction time, and more to the point, its Speed.

“Floatzel, get that Skrelp!” ordered Owen. “Headbutt!”

“Flo! Flooooooo!” Floatzel cried out. And then, its twin tails began to spin at dizzying speeds behind it, resembling a propeller before long. And just as that had occurred to Keith, Floatzel shot forward at impressive speeds, ramming into Neville headfirst and knocking him back.

“Don't give up, Neville!” Keith encouraged his Skrelp. “Use Poison Tail!”

Double Slap, let's go!” Owen called.

Neville and Floatzel swam towards each other simultaneously, the Skrelp's ragged tail fin aglow with purple Poison energy. Then, as they got in close, Floatzel began slapping Neville around with its front legs repeatedly. Though initially shaken up by the move, Neville was able to retaliate by swinging its tail right into Floatzel's head, knocking it back.

“Nice!” Keith grinned. “Now let's use Play Rough!”

“Skrelp!” Neville replied before swimming in close to Floatzel. Before the Sea Weasel Pokémon could react, it was getting struck from all sides seemingly at once. Neville was swimming in circles around Floatzel, striking at every opening he could spot, and Floatzel wasn't prepared for the Fairy-type move in the slightest.

“Floatzel, inflate your flotation sac!”ordered Owen.

“Flo!” replied Floatzel. It took a deep breath, and suddenly, the yellow raft-like flotation sac on its back puffed up as though filling up with air. Neville's Play Rough was stopped as the flotation sac blocked its way, and the Skrelp backed off.

“Wow,” Keith murmured, impressed with this maneuver. “Neville, use Shadow Ball!” he ordered.

“Floatzel! Me First!” called Owen.

“Flo!” Floatzel exclaimed, a flash of red shining in its eyes, not unlike the eyes of a Skrelp. And then, as Neville was forming his Shadow Ball, Floatzel formed a larger Shadow Ball of its own and fired it off. Keith winced as the more powerful Shadow Ball sent his Skrelp flying, but while in midair, Neville managed to launch his own Shadow Ball, which struck Floatzel right in the head.

And then, when Neville landed back in the water, Keith got an idea. “Neville, get underneath Floatzel!” he ordered.

“Skrelp!” Neville nodded before descending below the surface of the lake. Once Keith could see that the Poison/Water-type had swam directly below Floatzel, he grinned.

“What's he up to?” Owen murmured.

“Now!” Keith exclaimed. “Use Hydro Pump!”

At first, nothing happened. And then, a forceful stream of water erupted from the lake directly beneath Floatzel, sending the Sea Weasel Pokémon flying high into the sky. Neville resurfaced right where Floatzel had been a second ago, looking up at his adversary.

“Do it, Neville!” Keith exclaimed. “Jump out and give it a Thunderbolt!”

“Skree-eeeeeeelllp! Neville cried out as it slapped the surface of the lake hard with its ragged tail fin, sending him up into the air as well. Then, he let loose a powerful electrical blast which struck Floatzel directly. Keith grinned as the super effective move made contact- he didn't want to use Thunderbolt while either of them were actually in the water, after all. And as the attack stopped, both Floatzel and Neville landed back in the lake, but of them, only one was still in any shape to battle.

“Floatzel is unable to battle!” exclaimed the spectator who was acting as the referee. “Skrelp wins!”

“Way to go, Neville!” Keith cheered. The Skrelp looked on at the unconscious Floatzel being withdrawn back into its Poké Ball, as it was still sinking in that he had won.

After that, Chance took Keith back to shore, where they, along with Meowth and Neville, watched as other people battled each other with various Water-types. A young boy's Starmie managed to defeat a teenage girl's Azumarill; another boy's Surskit overcame the boy's brother's Prinplup; and a grown man's Poliwrath managed to strike down a Swanna.

“This is cool,” Keith grinned, watching the Pokémon fights unfold before him. “Hey, Neville,” he added, addressing the Skrelp he was now holding in his arms. “You feeling up for another one?”

“Skrelp! Skrelp!” Neville nodded vigorously. He was eager to battle- more eager than Keith could remember seeing him, for that matter. And then, suddenly, the battle currently going on stopped. Neither Vaporeon nor Simipour had been defeated- rather, they, along with their Trainers, and the Wailmer and Seismitoad they were riding, were looking out closer to the center of the lake. Something was flailing around. And glowing. And growing.

“Oh, no,” Owen murmured, horrified. “It's happening again.”

“What's happening?” demanded Keith, as just about everyone around him was starting to panic.

“Some of the wild Pokémon towards the center of the lake can be rather aggressive and territorial,” Owen explained to Keith as they backed away from the water. “And sometimes, a Magikarp finds its way to the center of the lake, and gets attacked by the territorial Pokémon- stuff like Carvanha and Basculin, y'know?”

Keith nodded. Owning a Basculin of his own, he did indeed know.

“And well, usually they just frighten off the Magikarp, or on occasion, kill it,” said Owen. “But sometimes, the Magikarp that they antagonize is strong enough that just making it angry causes it to...”

Keith's eyes widened as he realized exactly what the situation was. He eyed the glowing mass which now towered over the lake, just as the glow faded away. Sure enough, it was a Gyarados. A big Gyarados. A big, angry Gyarados.

“Not good,” Meowth squeaked.

“So what do we do?” Keith asked Owen.

“Wha- well, we haul ass, is what we do!” Owen exclaimed. “We stay the hell away from the lake until the Gyarados calms down!”

“And how long does that take?” asked Keith.

“Usually a couple of days,” said Owen. “Sometimes more if it makes its way onto land...”

“So, wait,” Keith demanded. “That thing's putting the town on lockdown for days, and can possibly destroy the town, and your solution is to just hide?”

“Well, what do you suggest we do?” said Owen.

“I suggest we fight!” Keith exclaimed. “You guys train your Water-types in this lake all the time, surely you're strong enough to take on an angry Gyarados if you work together!”

There was an outbreak of murmuring at Keith's words. Some people sounded as though they believed him to have a valid point, whereas others were expressing concern for the safety of their Pokémon. Nevertheless, they all turned to face the lake, and the massive Gyarados Thrashing around within.

All at once, Poké Balls, Net Balls, Dive Balls, even a couple of Lure Balls, they all flew into the air, each one unleashing its aquatic occupant into the lake. As the Gyarados drew closer, the Trainers began to give commands. Several Azumarill and Vaporeon started things off with their Helping Hand attacks, and the rest of them followed up with numerous powerful, long-range moves. Several Hyper Beams, a couple of Smack Downs, and a lot of Ice Beams. Gyarados roared in pain as the various attacks struck, but quickly lashed out with a powerful blast of Dragon Rage. The fireball exploded as it reached the shore, and numerous Pokémon were already knocked out. The Azumarill, naturally, were unharmed, but not much else was so lucky.

Neville was still in Keith's arms at this point, though as the Skrelp looked on, he knew the situation was serious. That Gyarados was out of control. It just took out a dozen Pokémon with just one Dragon Rage! Thankfully, nobody had been seriously injured, human or Pokémon, but the situation still had the potential to turn very ugly very fast. And what was Neville doing to help? Nothing! As this occurred to Neville, he decided he had to take action.

“Neville, wha- no!” Keith exclaimed, for at that moment, the Skrelp wriggled out of his grasp and jumped in the water. To Keith's horror, the Poison/Water-type was swimming right towards Gyarados! Quickly, Keith ran to the water's edge. Chance, who saw Neville swimming out towards Gyarados, was waiting for Keith, and as soon as he climbed on, the Blastoise took off after the Skrelp. Meowth was still standing on shore, at a loss for words as he watched his Trainer and teammates heading off.

Gyarados's attacks were continuing, and fiercely so. It was Thrashing so violently that nothing was even daring to get close, but the long range attacks like Dragon Rage and Hydro Pump were still dealing horrifying damage. Keith wasn't even certain how a Gyarados could pull off all those moves so soon after evolving from Magikarp, but wasn't thinking much of that at the moment. He realized he wasn't gonna be able to talk Neville out of this, so he figured that at the very least, the Skrelp could use some backup.

“Go!” Keith exclaimed, throwing three Poké Balls into the air. In three flashes of light, there appeared his Swoobat, his Blue-Striped Basculin, and his Gengar. “Guys, help Neville out!” he ordered. “Luna, Synchronoise! Pisces, Ice Beam! Chuck, Mega Punch!”

“Right!” the Gengar grinned. He floated in close, heedless of any Thrashing Gyarados was doing- Thrash was a Normal move, after all, and he a Ghost-type. He drew back a fist and slammed it into the seriously scary sea serpent. However, this seemed to do little more than irritate Gyarados. As it looked down, however, Pisces unleashed her Ice Beam attack, encasing part of Gyarados's long body in ice. However, Gyarados roared angrily and continued to rampage, easily shattering the ice. Luna, the Swoobat, smiled serenely as she seemed to sing something inaudible to Keith. However, it was certainly not inaudible to Gyarados, another Flying-type, who roared in agony. Back at shore, a barely conscious Starmie and Swanna also flinched as they heard the Psychic/Flying-type's Synchronoise technique. Even Chance got in on things, launching Dragon Pulse after Dragon Pulse at Gyarados.

Neville, meanwhile, was giving no letup. The Mock Kelp Pokémon was blasting Gyarados with repeated Sludge Wave attacks, though Gyarados didn't seem to be feeling them. That, however, didn't stop the Skrelp from trying. And then, as Neville fired off another one, Gyarados happened to look down, resulting in a faceful of sludge. Gyarados growled angrily, then roared louder than ever before. Seemingly in response to this roaring, a massive Twister formed above the surface of the lake, and the little Skrelp was pulled into the swirling vortex of wind and water.

“Neville! No!” Keith exclaimed. Without thinking, he jumped off of Chance's back and into the Twister, eliciting horrified gasps from all of his Pokémon. Except Luna. The Swoobat looked on at the Twister with vague interest. She had had one of her infrequent visions of the future earlier that day, and she had a feeling that this situation right here, this was what that vision had been referring to. And if that vision came true, as her visions tend to, then there just might be no need to worry...

Inside the Twister, Keith could barely hear a thing over the roaring of water and wind. He looked around desperately, and finally saw Neville, several yards away, getting tossed around like a Hoppip in a hurricane. “Neville!” Keith shouted to his Skrelp. It was barely audible, but it seemed to catch the Skrelp's attention nonetheless. He turned his big red eyes on Keith and tried to swim his way through the swirling water, but his attempts to fight the current were proving fruitless.

“Skreeeelp... Skreeeeelp...” Neville panted, as he started to realize there was no way he could fight the current and swim to his Trainer. Moreover, he was starting to think he was a fool for trying to stop Gyarados, and that he might not live to regret his mistake if things kept up this way. But as he looked at Keith, he could see a very different attitude from him. Keith was still mouthing words that were barely audible to Neville, but the Skrelp could still see- Keith was gesturing for Neville to swim to him, and the look he was giving the Poison/Water-type was one of total confidence. Indeed, Keith knew that Neville had it in him.

Emboldened by his Trainer's faith in him, Neville summoned strength and courage anew, and fought the currents with renewed vigor. With a monumental effort, he swam against the current with enough force to climb a Waterfall, until Keith was able to grab onto him and hold the Skrelp safely in his arms. “I knew you had it in you, Neville,” Keith grinned. “And I know we can find a way out of this, too.”

“Skrelp...” Neville murmured. Even now, in the face of overwhelming odds, Keith was still optimistic. Of course, he had heard all about all the times Keith had refused to concede defeat when things looked bleak, and ended up coming out on top, but this was his first time witnessing Keith's truly optimistic nature firsthand. Neville was awestruck and inspired by his Trainer at this moment, and with that, he decided at that moment he wasn't going to let him down. If Keith believed that they'd get themselves out of this mess, then damn it, Neville was gonna get them out of this mess!

Back at shore, the locals were looking on in horror as they tended to their injured Pokémon. They wanted to help, of course, but Gyarados's continued attacks were wearing down their Pokémon, and fast. Very few Pokémon were still even able to fight at this point, let alone try and get Keith and Neville out of the Twister. And then, a bright blue glow shone from within the swirling vortex of wind and water. All eyes fell on this glow as more and more light shone from within the massive maelstrom. And then, with a sudden burst or energy, the glow stopped, and the Twister stopped spinning. All the water the winds had kicked up was starting to fall back into the lake, and coming back down with that water was Keith, alive and well, riding on the back of a majestic and magnificent , who was riding the rush of falling water with ease.

“Wat da?!” Meowth exclaimed. “Did... Did Neville evolve?!”

As Keith climbed back onto his relieved Blastoise's shell, he looked at the powerful new Pokémon he had just climbed off of, and held out his Pokédex.

“Dragalge, the Mock Kelp Pokémon, and the evolved form of Skrelp,” said the Pokédex. “Dragalge is an extremely powerful and territorial Poison and Dragon-type Pokémon. The poison it spits can eat through metal boat hulls with absurd ease, and it is said to spew it indiscriminately at anything to enter its territory, including ships.”

“So, Aunt Fateen was right,” Keith smiled, looking at his new Dragalge with pride in his eyes. “'A formidable dragon of the sea,' she said you'd be, and that sure looks like you right now, Neville.”

“Dra! Dragaaaalgeeeee!” Neville exclaimed happily, before turning around in the water to face Gyarados once more.

This time, Keith was all set. He had even more confidence in Neville than he did before now. Now, it was time for the real battle to begin. “Neville, let's do this!” he said. “Show that Gyarados a real Twister attack!

“GAAAAALGEEEEEEE!” screeched Neville as he swung his longer, stronger tail through the water. Almost immediately, a huge swirling vortex of wind and water whipped up, this time all around Gyarados, who roared in anger, fighting and thrashing wildly, trying to break free. It worked eventually, but the Twister's damage had most certainly been done.

“Nice!” Keith grinned. “And we're gonna finish this up with a powerful super effective blow, too! Neville, use Dragon Tail from underneath!”

“Galge!” Neville exclaimed as he descended beneath the churning waters. And then, a huge impact could be heard, and with a great splash, it was revealed that Neville, swimming up from underneath, had slammed his Tail, aglow with Dragon energy, into Gyarados, sending the Water/Flying-type flying straight up into the air. Keith grinned- Dragon Tail, he knew, was a powerful move, even though it didn't do an especially large amount of damage. Rather, the bulk of the move's power went into making sure the target was sent flying. An excellent move for moving particularly heavy or stubborn adversaries who wouldn't budge from most other types of attacks. This was why Neville was able to send Gyarados flying, despite the obvious size difference.

“And now, we finish it!” Keith declared. “Neville, jump up and use Thunderbolt!”

Slamming his powerful tail against the surface of the water, the Dragalge jumped up beside Gyarados, who was still flailing in anger. And then the Poison/Dragon-type crackled with electricity. “Dragaaal... GEEEEEEEEE!” bellowed Neville as Gyarados's body lit up with lightning, the Atrocious Pokémon roaring in agony from the super effective move. Once this was done, Neville landed back in the water, and several feet away, so did Gyarados with a tremendous splash. Keith looked on warily, but Gyarados wasn't rampaging anymore, or even trying to. Severely damaged, too tired to continue carrying on, Gyarados was starting to calm down, if only a bit. Keith had a feeling that Gyarados hadn't completely calmed down just yet, but that it was too damn tired to act on what bit of rage it was still feeling. Slowly, almost reluctantly, Gyarados swam away.

As Keith, Chance, Luna, Pisces, Chuck, and Neville returned to shore, they were greeted by the uproarious cheering of the locals. Trainers left and right were thanking Keith and Neville. Keith overheard two small children exclaiming that they wanted Dragalge of their own someday. Meowth, meanwhile, jumped into Keith's arms, relieved beyond words that the Poison-type Trainer was OK.

This went on for some time, to the point where Keith wasn't able to leave town until late that night, so he booked a room at the Pokémon Center instead. And if he was being honest with himself, he was in no big hurry to leave Cobalt Town. He and Neville were considered heroes for stopping the Gyarados rampage, they inspired the locals to train harder so they could fight the Gyarados themselves should this sort of thing happen again. He would leave the next morning to get back to his Secret Base, fill in the rest of the team on Neville's evolution, but it had been a long, exciting, tiring day, and right now, he just wanted some sleep.

What? Skrelp is evolving!




Congratulations! Your Skrelp evolved into Dragalge!

*Neville learned Dragon Tail!*

*Neville learned Twister!*

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 03-26-2016 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 09-28-2015, 01:54 PM   #61
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Evolutionary Woes II

Keith was pacing around the living room of his Secret Base, sighing, a troubled look on his face, and not without reason. As a Pokémon Trainer, it was his duty to make sure his Pokémon were healthy, well-trained, and above all, happy. And for the most part, he wasn't too shabby at doing that, but right now, he was focused on one of his Pokémon, one who was distinctly unhappy. That Pokémon wasn't in the same room as him at that time, but the Pokémon who was was deep in conversation with Keith.

"He's miserable," Chuck said to Keith, the Gengar hovering in the center of the room as Keith paced all around him. "He may have been a Machop when he was alive, but..."

"I know," Keith replied, nodding. "I mean, he tries to not show it, but I can tell, that look he gets in his eye whenever he walks around."

The Gengar nodded. "You see it too, huh?" he said. "Boss has been my friend my whole life- I've noticed, too. Hell, look at me- I got legs again, and I'm still hovering. You go airborne, you never go back, I'm telling you."

"So... what should we do?" asked Keith.

Chuck sighed. "He ain't gonna like it, but... we gotta talk him into evolving."

Keith nodded. "You're right, he ain't gonna like it," he agreed. "But he's miserable the way he is right now, Chuck, so if you got a better idea..."

"If I had a better idea, I'd've said something by now," said the Gengar.

Keith sighed and nodded, before leading the way into the kitchen. Peeves, his Dusclops, was standing near the fridge, pushing a roast beef sandwich into the black hole that was his body. "Oh, hey, Keith, Chuck," Peeves greeted them. "We got more roast beef, so don't worry about that-"

"Peeves, we need to talk," Keith interrupted.

"What about?" inquired Peeves.

Keith exchanged looks with Chuck, then looked back at the Dusclops, looking him right in the eye. "About you," Keith said. "Peeves, you're miserable the way you are right now, don't think we haven't noticed."

Peeves said nothing at first, then closed his eye and sighed. "OK, fine," he admitted. "But you of all people ought to know what I'm going through- I haven't seen Liliana in years now, and none of the local ghosts know anything about her whereabouts, or even if she's OK."

"That's not what I was talking about," Keith said gently. "I see the look in your eye whenever you have to walk somewhere. You hate it. You want to be able to hover again."

"...Yeah," Peeves admitted quietly, looking down at the floor. "But what do you want me to do? I refuse to evolve unless Liliana's evolving by my side."

"Boss," Chuck spoke up. "We think maybe you ought to rethink that particular stipulation of yours-"

"No," Peeves interrupted flatly. "She and I evolved into Dusclops together, I wouldn't feel right evolving any further without her."

"I hear that," Keith nodded. "I do, but Peeves, hear us out. Now, I don't know Liliana nearly as well as you do, nor am I fool enough to pretend otherwise, but answer me this- would Liliana want you to be miserable like this? And you yourself just admitted you're miserable the way you are, so don't pretend you're not- give us a little credit here, Peeves."

Peeves sighed, his eye closed. For a moment, he said nothing, seemingly deep in thought. Finally, he opened his eye and spoke up. "I... I guess you may have a point," he conceded. "Lil and I never really discussed whether we actually liked being Dusclops... I never really told her how quickly I came to hate this form, the opportunity never really came up... and you're right- if I'd have said something to her, I'm pretty sure she'd understand, she's really good like that... she'd hate to see me miserable like this... it's just, I had so much more freedom, being able to hover! And even if that wasn't the case, I dunno if you've noticed, but we Dusclops aren't exactly built like Machop! Have you ever seen a Dusclops run? No, you have not! Or jump, for that matter! I don't fly, I don't hover, I don't run, I don't jump. I just walk at the speed of continental drift, and I HATE IT!!!" he exploded. As he stopped speaking, he panted slightly. None of them, Peeves included, were prepared for that outburst. It was clear that this rant had been a long time coming, and with it, Keith knew that Peeves was about to come around to the idea.

Chuck was the first to speak up following Peeves's outburst. "Bagon are not meant to remain cumbersome Shelgon," he stated. "They are meant to spread their wings and fly as mighty Salamence."

"And don't Dusknoir have those antennae things that let them communicate with other ghosts anywhere at any time, right?" Keith added. "You could use that to get in touch with Liliana."

"What do you say, boss?" Chuck asked the Dusclops.

Peeves said nothing at first, looking at Keith and Chuck as they looked at him with concern. Then, a resolute look could be seen in Peeves's eye as he turned to face Keith. "Where's that Reaper Cloth?" he finally asked.

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 03-26-2016 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 11-16-2015, 01:25 AM   #62
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Keith & Stewie

It was a chilly autumn afternoon in the Fizzytopia region. All over the land, leaves on trees were turning from green to various shades of yellow, red, and brown, creating a beautiful sight for anyone out and about. Indeed, Keith Masters was enjoying such a sight for himself... well, OK, he was a little more focused on the Pokémon battle he was a part of at the moment, but you get the idea.

"Now, Bart! Incinerate attack!" Keith ordered.

"Tropius, evade with Fly!" called the other Trainer- Oliver, a young Trainer from the Orre region, whom Keith had met several times before. As he spoke, the banana-bearing beast before him gave a great flap of its leaf-like wings, and was in the air before Keith's Scraggy could attack. The Incinerate fizzled out as Tropius soared out of range. And then Tropius flew a loop-de-loop and started diving back down towards Bart for the second part of the attack.

"Wait for it, Bart," Keith instructed. Both he and his Scraggy were watching intently. "Wait for it..."

"Scraaaag..." Bart murmured, eyeing the oncoming Tropius with just the tiniest bit of apprehension.

And then, once Tropius was mere seconds away from striking, Keith made his move. "Now! Use Payback!" he ordered.

"Tropius-" began Oliver, but just as Keith had planned, it was too late- Tropius slammed into Scraggy, but as the Grass/Flying-type backed off, a sinister black aura could be seen all over Bart's body. The Scraggy then lunged forward and slammed its tail into Tropius, who fell to the ground almost immediately. Meowth, who was standing off to the sides to act as the referee, made his ruling.

"Tropius is unable ta battle!" Meowth declared. "Bart wins dis one!"

"Come back, Tropius," sighed Oliver, holding out a Poké Ball and withdrawing his Tropius. "OK, it's all up to you now," he added, addressing a Safari Ball he took off his belt. "Let's go!" he exclaimed, throwing the ball forwards.

Keith's eyes widened at the sight before him, for this was a Pokémon he'd never seen before. It looked to be some sort of bird, but its face made Keith think of Mexican wrestlers. Considering that Oliver had previously used his Kecleon in this 3-on-3 battle (and managed to thoroughly defeat Keith's Ditto with it as well), and of course his Tropius, Keith had been expecting Oliver to send in his Pelipper last, those three being the only Pokémon Keith even knew the young boy to own. Curious about this creature, Keith held out his Pokédex.

"Hawlucha, the Wrestling Pokémon," said Keith's Pokédex. "Hawlucha is capable of utilizing its proficient fighting skills to keep up with larger and more muscular Fighting-types than itself, despite its small body. It uses its wings to control its position in the air and to attack from above, one of its favorite tactics in particular, due to the difficulty in defending from such a maneuver.

"Fighting and Flying?" Keith murmured, glancing at the Pokédex's screen. "That ain't good... Bart," he called to his Scraggy. "What say you take a rest?" One thing was clear to him- Bart was at a big disadvantage here!

"Scrag Scraggy!" Bart replied, shaking his head. He hitched up his "pants" defiantly and glared up at Hawlucha.

Keith sighed, albeit with a small smile. Despite the colossal type disadvantage, Bart was stubbornly going to go for it- Keith would be one hell of a hypocrite to argue with that! "Like Trainer, like Pokémon," he murmured with a chuckle. "OK, then, Bart, let's show it what you got! Zen Headbutt, go!"

"Scraggy!" Bart exclaimed, charging forwards, Psychic energy glowing all around his head.

"Hawlucha, Detect!" called Oliver.

"Lucha!" exclaimed the Wrestling Pokémon, as one of its eyes gleamed. And then, with almost supernatural ease, Hawlucha ducked out of the way of Bart's Zen Headbutt, causing the attack to miss completely.

"So that's how you want to do it, hmm?" Keith smirked. "Use Sand Attack!"

"Swords Dance!" ordered Oliver.

Bart swiped his tail along the dirt road on which they were battling, sending a cloud of dust Hawlucha's way. In response, Hawlucha began spinning rapidly, its claws glowing brightly. The spinning repelled the Sand Attack completely.

"Now we got 'em!" grinned Oliver. "Hawlucha, time for your special attack!" Hawlucha nodded in response.

"Special attack?" Keith repeated, holding out his Pokédex once more as Hawlucha jumped up high.

"Hawlucha's special attack- Flying Press," said the Pokédex. "Hawlucha dives down onto its opponent from a great height. This Fighting and Flying-type technique is exclusive to the Hawlucha species, is the only known move to be two types at once, and is generally a Hawlucha's favorite move for finishing off its opponents."

"Oh, crap!" Keith exclaimed. "Bart, dodge it!"

But it was too late- Hawlucha was hurtling towards the ground- towards Bart!- at high speeds, and the Scraggy hadn't the time to so much as take a single step before the extremely super effective move made contact. Hawlucha sprang out of the dust cloud, but Keith had to wait for the dust to settle to see what had happened.

"Bart is unable ta battle!" Meowth ruled- sure enough, as the dust cleared, Bart was completely knocked out.

"Come back, Bart," Keith sighed, holding out the ball to withdraw his Scraggy. Once Bart's Poké Ball was secured back to Keith's belt, Keith reviewed his options. Jack had fainted... Bart had fainted... Meowth was the referee... he'd been wanting to try out some of Hermione's newer attacks, but somehow he didn't think this was the kind of opponent to do so against... Salazar was exhausted from carrying Keith around all morning... which only left one option. Keith didn't like this option, but he knew in his heart as he plucked the Shadow Ball off his belt that it was his best option.

"Is youse crazy?!" Meowth demanded as he witnessed Keith enlarge the sinister sphere. "Dat better not be wat I tink it is!"

"It is, Meowth," Keith nodded. "And I just might be crazy. But I gotta give it a shot!" And with that, he threw the Shadow Ball. "Go, Stewie!" Keith exclaimed as his Shadow Ledian materialized in a flash of light. Unlike regular Ledian, Stewie's body was a sinister shade of dark grey, and his eyes, rather than the normal blue for his kind, were a piercing shade of red. He glared all around, and once he saw Keith behind him and the Hawlucha before him, he gritted his teeth, getting the point. So, the hat man wanted to command him, did he? Well, he'd just see about that!

"Whoa," Oliver remarked. "Cool Ledian."

"Thanks," replied Keith. "He's actually a Shadow Pokémon, so he can be a little unpredictable, but I'm hoping we'll work well together in this battle."

"Well, then, let's see," grinned Oliver. "Hawlucha, Wing Attack!"

"Stewie, use Psybeam!" Keith ordered.

Hawlucha lunged forward, its wings outstretched and at the ready, but Stewie seemed to take issue with Keith's order. Instead of firing the Psychic move, he zoomed forward, preparing to use, instead, Ice Punch.

"No! Stewie, what the hell?" Keith groaned. Stewie had attempted to land an Ice Punch, which would have been even more powerful than usual thanks to his Iron Fist Ability, but Hawlucha was quicker, landing a powerful Wing Attack and knocking the Bug/Flying-type backwards. "Why do you think I ordered a projectile move? Our best shot is to attack Hawlucha from a distance!"

"Led led Ledian ian Ledian Ledian ian!" Stewie snapped in response before turning back to Hawlucha.

Keith sighed. This wasn't going well. "OK, well, then, use Shadow Wave!" he called.

But Stewie shook his head. While he charged up Shadow energy, he did not use the attack Keith had ordered him to use. Instead, the bundle of energy flew up into the air. and numerous Shadowy spikes flew out of it. The spikes flew right into Stewie and Hawlucha, cutting their health in Half.

"What did Shadow Wave do?" asked Oliver.

"That wasn't Shadow Wave," Keith sighed. "Stewie didn't listen to me- he used Shadow Half instead."

"Shadow Half- wait! I've heard of that one! That means Stewie can't move for a while!" Oliver exclaimed suddenly. "Hawlucha, Sky Attack!"

"Stewie, dodge it!" Keith exclaimed desperately, but it was no good- Stewie was still recovering from the massive amount of energy he put into the attack he hadn't been ordered to use, and as Hawlucha soared right at him, glowing harshly, the Shadow Ledian was rammed into a tree and slumped to the ground.

"Stewie is unable ta battle!" Meowth ruled. "Hawlucha's da winner, so da match goes ta Oliver from Gateon Port!"

“Eheheh... Uh... sorry,” Oliver said nervously as Keith scooped the unconscious Shadow Ledian into his arms.

“Nah, don't be sorry,” Keith shook his head, smiling slightly. “You're really improving, Oliver. I'm the one who wasn't as prepared as I should've been,” he admitted. “Not to mention, Hawlucha is seriously strong,” he added, giving a respectful nod to the Fighting/Flying-type, who nodded back. “That Flying Press... I've never heard of an attack that's two types at once!”

“Yeah, it's pretty cool, isn't it?” Oliver replied, now smiling again. “But we should get to a Pokémon Center,” he added. “There's one just up the road, I passed it not long before running into you. C'mon, I'll show you,” he offered as he turned and ran back up the road. Keith followed him, though at a decidedly slower pace, so as to allow Meowth to get back onto his shoulder.

Keith sighed, looking at Stewie, who was still unconscious. “Damn it, Stewie, why do you gotta be so stubborn?” he murmured. “Would it kill you to take orders from me for a change? I do know what I'm doing sometimes, after all...”

Oliver was true to his word- only a few minutes of walking later, Keith found himself entering a Pokémon Center, constructed as a rest stop for the Trainers who traveled that dirt road. Once Nurse Joy had handed Oliver back his Poké Balls, Keith handed the balls containing Salazar, Jack, Bart, and Stewie to her, then collapsed in a seat in the waiting room and gave a deep sigh.

“Didn't tink da walk was dat long,” Meowth commented. “O' course, I was on yer shoulder fer most of it-”

“Nah, it's not that,” Keith sighed. “It's just... I mean, I know Shadow Pokémon are these violent fighting machines, but still, Stewie's no dummy. You would think he'd have realized by now that following my directions in battle, even only occasionally, just might work for him, right? I mean, after Bart's fighting, I realized Stewie going head-to-head with Hawlucha was doomed to failure, that's why I tried to get him to use Psybeam.”

“Can't blame him fer tinkin' like he did, though,” Meowth said fairly. “Dat Ice Punch would'a been super effective, not ta mention Iron Fist.”

“I don't disagree,” nodded Keith. “But the point still stands- I saw how good Hawlucha is at physical combat, and Stewie didn't. Ice Punch crossed my mind, make no mistake, but I knew it wasn't a good idea in that situation.” Keith sighed again. “Sometimes Stewie can be a real handful...”

“Why don't ya just purify him, den?” Meowth asked.

“Strange as it sounds, Ginny doesn't want me to,” Keith replied. “Peeves translated what she said on the matter for me last week- as much as she likes the idea of Stewie posing less of a threat, she likes him the way he is, and claims their constant battles bring some much-appreciated excitement into her life.”

Meowth stared at Keith. “Yer Pawniard is weird,” he declared.

“Again, I don't disagree,” chuckled Keith. “Still, though, I do like the challenge of raising a Shadow Pokémon. Having him purified just seems like a cop-out, kinda, if that makes sense.”

“Mr. Masters?” came a voice. Keith stood up and turned to look- sure enough, Nurse Joy was addressing him, holding a Poké Ball tray. One of the Poké Balls in said tray was purple and giving off a sinister aura. Keith approached Nurse Joy, as she held out the tray. “Your Pokémon are in perfect health,” she reported. “Though I must warn you, Shadow Pokémon like your Ledian can be extremely dangerous-”

“I know,” Keith nodded. “Believe me, I know. Thank you very much.”

Nurse Joy left the tray on the counter, and Keith picked up the Shadow Ball, just staring at it. “What am I gonna do with you, Stewie?” he murmured. Finally, he shook his head and made to attach the Shadow Ball to his belt, but instead dropped it. “Oh, crap,” he muttered, running after the ball, which was bouncing and rolling straight out the door as it had opened to allow a heavily-dressed man holding an unconscious Raticate to enter. Keith raced out the door, forgetting completely about his other Poké Balls inside, and at last, halfway across the dirt road, he managed to grab the Shadow Ball.

But then, just as Keith attached the Shadow Ball securely to his belt, he heard a loud slamming sound from behind him. He turned to look, and saw that a large steel door had been closed over the Pokémon Center's entrance! “Wha- my other Pokémon!” Keith exclaimed, racing over to the building. He tried to move the door, but it wouldn't budge. However, he could hear frantic pounding and banging on the other side, as though people were trying to break down the door from inside. Keith was at a loss for words- what the hell was happening here?! He peered in through a nearby window, and his jaw dropped- a bunch of Team Rocket grunts were inside the Pokémon Center, seizing every single Poké Ball and Pokémon they could reach! Keith even saw the man who had entered the center as he had exited, commanding a very much conscious Raticate against Meowth.

Keith tried frantically to open the window, but it was locked tight. He could only watch as Meowth blasted the Raticate with Swift and Thunderbolt attacks, but Raticate seemed undeterred.

“Arceus damn it!” Keith swore. “I gotta get in there. Salazar, Megahorn atta-” he began, reaching for his belt, but he stopped as he realized, mid-sentence, the horrible truth- the only Pokémon he had access to at this time was his Shadow Ledian. “Oh, hell, no,” Keith shook his head. He whipped out his Pokédex and tried to access the PC storage system, only to be met with an error message- they had picked basically the worst possible time to do maintenance on the servers. Keith couldn't swap Stewie for another of his Pokémon.

And then he felt it- another Poké Ball on his belt! “Yes!” he exclaimed, as he realized what this was- he hadn't given Hermione to Nurse Joy, as she hadn't been battling or carrying Keith around all day! And he knew that if any of his Pokémon could work out a way past the metal security door, it was that Weedle of his.

Facing the metal door, Keith threw the ball. “Go, Hermione!” he exclaimed, his Weedle appearing before him in a flash of light. “Any chance you can take out that door, Hermione?” he asked. “It's an emergency- Meowth and the others are trapped in there with Team Rocket members!”

“Weedle...” Hermione murmured, peering intently at the door. Finally, something seemed to come to her, as she launched a Firestream attack. To Keith's dismay, however, the molten bubbles did nothing except make the door hotter. This, however did not deter Hermione, who next attacked the door with Ice Beam. Again, this didn't seem to harm the door at all.

“What the...” Keith murmured. Now Hermione was alternating between Firestream and Ice Beam, seemingly undeterred by the lack of apparent damage to the door. And then, after about five or ten minutes, Keith heard it- a loud cracking sound. And more to the point, Keith could see what was cracking- the door! “Hermione, awesome!” Keith exclaimed. “I'm guessing one good, solid blow would finish the job?”

“Weedle! Weedle!” Hermione nodded vigorously.

Keith nodded back. “Then let's do it! Hermione, Swift attack!”

“Weedle Weedle... Weeeeeeedle!”Hermione exclaimed. Stars made of pure energy formed in the air above her, and flung themselves at the door. And to Keith's delight, this tactic blasted a huge hole in the metal door. Everyone in the center cheered at this, but were stopped very quickly, for at that point, numerous Team Rocket grunts dashed out through the newly formed opening, each one carrying a large sack full of Poké Balls. And one of them, to Keith's horror, was carrying Meowth.

“Meowth!” Keith exclaimed. The Normal-type seemed unconscious, however, and did not respond. At this, Keith dug into his backpack- Meowth might not like this, but this was an emergency- he pulled a dusty red and white sphere out of his backpack; Meowth's Poké Ball. “Meowth, return!” Keith exclaimed, aiming the sphere. However, the grunt carrying Meowth raced ahead, shielding himself with his comrades, and the recall beam missed its target. In the next instant, Keith watched them all pile into a van and drive off down the road. “Rrrrgh...” Keith seethed. “Hermione, let's follow them!”

“Weedle... Weedle...” panted Hermione. Keith turned to look- of course. All those Firestreams and Ice Beams, not to mention that final Swift, they had taken their toll on Hermione. The poor Weedle was exhausted. Keith sighed- he could not, in good conscience, put Hermione through fights with Team Rocket grunts in her present condition.

Keith entered the Pokémon Center and found Nurse Joy, handing her Hermione and her Poké Ball. “I'm going after that truck,” he told her. “In the meantime, please heal my Weedle, OK?”

Nurse Joy nodded. Keith nodded back, then raced out the door and down the dirt road, the same way he had seen the van go. And to his delight, he could still see it, albeit way ahead in the distance. He kept running, but he knew he wasn't about to catch up to it. He had to slow it down somehow... But he only had one Pokémon on him, and it was-

“Stewie,” Keith said as he let the Shadow Ledian out of his Shadow Ball. “I need your help- that van up ahead, that's Team Rocket's van. They've got Meowth, they got Jack, they got Salazar, they got Bart- I gotta save them, but I need your help to do it.” He said all of this while continuing to run after the truck, with Stewie flying alongside him.

“Leeeed... Led, Ledian,” Stewie said, shaking his head no after pretending to think it over.

“Stewie, come on,” Keith insisted. “Look, I know you hate taking orders from me, but this is an emergency. And I'll be way more focused on getting those guys back than training you, so if you want me to help you get stronger, you're gonna have to care about this.”

“Ledi...” grumbled Stewie. The hat man had an answer for everything, didn't he? “Led Ledian,” he snapped, finally nodding. And then, he started charging up shadow energy in front of him.

“Stewie, wait,” Keith said hastily. “Aiming a Shadow Wave from this distance is ridiculous- use String Shot instead and tie it off on that tree,” he said indicating a nearby oak tree. “That'll slow them down, and we can get closer, and then you can aim an attack at the tires.” He didn't dare mention that Shadow Wave hitting the van itself could harm the Pokémon within- he figured that would just give Stewie an incentive to stick with Shadow Wave.

Stewie gritted his teeth. How dare the hat man claim to know better than him, to question how well he could aim his attacks! And yet, at the same time, he couldn't help but realize he had a point- he'd just have to aim String Shot at any part of the van, whereas Shadow Wave would have to be aimed right at the tires. Finally, the Bug/Flying-type let fly the String Shot from his mouth, and his aim was true- it struck the back of the van. Hastily, Stewie flew over to the oak tree and flew around it a few times before breaking off the String Shot- as Keith had pictured, this did indeed do the trick, for the van's rear tires were now spinning uselessly, kicking up a lot of dust as it struggled against the String Shot and the tree.

Seizing his opportunity, Keith ran after the van, and as he and Stewie drew closer, the Trainer knew they were at a much more optimal range. “Now, Stewie!” Keith grinned. “Use Shadow Wave! Slash those tires!”

“Led Ledian!” Stewie responded. This time, he barely thought twice about it, and fired waves of Shadow energy right at the rear tires. The Shadow Wave sliced right through the tires, reducing them to shreds

All of a sudden, the van's doors opened, and out came the Team Rocket grunts. “Hey- hey, it's him! It's Masters!” exclaimed one of the grunts. “The guy that-”

“We all know what Masters has done to us!” interrupted another grunt. “The question is now, what to do to him?”

“How about you guys give back the Pokémon you all stole?” Keith demanded. As expected, the grunts replied to this with uproarious laughter. Stewie shot Keith a look. “Give me a break, of course I knew that wouldn't work,” Keith muttered to Stewie.

“Heh, heh... whoo, nice joke,” chuckled one of the grunts as the laughter died down. “But now it's time to get serious,” he added, throwing a Rocket Ball. “Go, Noibat!” he roared. In response, the other grunts each threw a Rocket Ball as well- Keith found himself facing two Machoke, two Raticate, and three Poochyena, in addition to the aforementioned Noibat. Keith took out his Pokédex and aimed it at the unfamiliar Flying-type.

“Noibat, the Sound Wave Pokémon,” said Keith's Pokédex. “Noibat lives in pitch-black caves, communicating with others of its kind by emitting ultrasonic waves from its large ears. It can also use these ultrasonic waves as a means of attack.”

Keith looked at Stewie. “Think you can take 'em?” he asked.

“Led Ledian!” Stewie snapped. Of bloody course he could take them, how dare the hat man insinuate otherwise?!

Keith smiled, getting the idea nevertheless. “Then go, Stewie!” he exclaimed. “Use Shadow Rave!”

Stewie grinned- Shadow Rave was quite possibly the strongest Shadow move in his arsenal to date. He unleashed a pulse of Shadow energy straight down into the ground, and a second later, shadowy spikes jutted up out of the ground from beneath the opponents, some of them even rising high enough to strike Noibat. The trio of Poochyena fainted almost immediately, but everything else was still ready to go.

And just like that, the fight commenced. The Machoke launched Stone Edges at Stewie, but Keith was able to alert him to the attacks in time for him to evade them, after which he retaliated with a Shadow Wave directed at the entire horde of opponents. This wasn't quite as effective as Shadow Rave, but it was effective nonetheless. Next, the Raticate jumped up at Stewie for Hyper Fang attacks, but on Keith's command, he met them with a Mach Punch apiece. Things went on in this vein for some time, but one thing that stood out to Keith... was that Stewie was listening to him.

Stewie noticed this as well. He wasn't happy about it, but after the hat man had been right about String Shot being their best bet for slowing down the van, he couldn't help but be a little impressed with him. He had only tried it to shut him up, really, though now he couldn't help but think... perhaps there could in fact be something to this listening-to-one's-Trainer thing. Not that he'd make a regular thing of it, of course- he had his pride, after all- but he figured it couldn't hurt to not be so quick to dismiss the guy's orders. Sometimes.

At last, Stewie landed a powerful Mega Punch, knocking out the second Machoke, and all that remained was the Noibat, who had thus far kept its distance from the Shadow Pokémon.

Keith grinned. “OK, Stewie!” he said. “Ice Punch attack!”

Stewie's grin was identical to Keith's as the Shadow Ledian zoomed forward, icy energy swirling around one of his fists. This time, Keith knew Ice Punch was the way to go. Noibat had clearly been avoiding a direct confrontation for a reason, and Keith had a feeling that that reason had something to do with sucking at physical combat. Indeed, as the attack landed, Noibat was sent flying right into the back doors of the van. As it collapsed to the ground, the van doors popped open, presumably from the impact.

“Gah!” one of the grunts exclaimed. “Let's get outta here!”

“How?” demanded another grunt.” The tires are slashed, and I sure as hell ain't walking the whole way back to headquarters!

As the grunts argued among themselves, Keith smirked at Stewie. “I'm thinking now would be a good time for String Shot,” he said. The Shadow Ledian nodded and fired off the sticky strands, tying up the Rockets almost immediately.


“...How'd ya do it?” Meowth was asking Keith. Once the Team Rocket grunts were tied up, Keith started taking the bags of Poké Balls out of their van and back to the Pokémon Center. When he got back, many of the Trainers cheered for him, and several of them accompanied him back to the van to collect the rest. Following this, Meowth's injuries were treated by Nurse Joy, and Keith was able to find and retrieve his other Poké Balls. Now, they were on their way back to Keith's Secret Base, and Meowth was wondering how Keith was able to pull it off.

“Well, I couldn't have done it alone,” Keith replied. “I really have Stewie to thank for getting you guys back, to be honest.

Meowth laughed. “No, seriously, how'd ya do it?” he chuckled.

Keith sighed, though this time with a small grin. True enough, he had a hard time believing that he and Stewie managed to work together for once, but it had happened. And what was more, Keith got the feeling that he and Stewie had become somewhat closer as a result. Of course, he wasn't fool enough to expect that kind of obedience from Stewie on anything even remotely resembling a consistent basis, but he got the feeling that Stewie would at least refrain from disobeying him on principle alone. This might not translate to unswerving obedience in every situation, but as far as Keith was concerned, it was a damn good place to start.

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 03-26-2016 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 11-21-2015, 11:58 PM   #63
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You Don't Know Jack

"Eugh! What the hell is that thing?!"

Those seven words... well, OK, those six words and one sound of disgust, were the first thing I ever heard. I opened my eyes and looked around my surroundings. I was in some sort of container, surrounded on all sides by transparent green glass, save for the machinery hooked up to the top and bottom of the container. On the other side of the glass, I could see a dark room. All sorts of computers and tools were scattered throughout the room, with a number of humans wearing white coats working with them. Except for three of the humans- those three, they were the ones I saw looking down at me in disgust.

"Ugh," groaned another of the men- his voice was different from the first I heard, so I knew this wasn't the same man. "What are we gonna do? This thing isn't fierce at all!"

"It's disgusting, is what it is," stated the man standing in between the other two- this one had the voice I'd heard earlier. "Makes my wife's cooking look appetizing, and that's saying something."

"Now, let's not be so quick to judge," said the third man, an older man, sounding less disgusted than his colleagues. "Appearances can be deceiving. Onix looks as terrifying as Gyarados, but is no more powerful than a Spearow, after all. Just because it looks like pudding doesn't mean we didn't succeed in other ways. Analyze it, see what attacks it can learn."

"I'm on it," said the first man, the one whose wife was apparently a horrible cook, as he strode over to one of the computers. I could hear keys clacking, machinery whirring... and then some sort of light shone onto me from the machinery in the top of my container. "Alright... Transform," he declared.

"See?" smirked the third man, the one who wasn't disgusted with me. "Already it shows signs of a successful cloning attempt. What else but Mew can Transform? What else?"

"...That's it," said the man at the computer, sounding defeated. "Transform is the only attack it knows or can learn."

"Well... if it can Transform, then maybe it won't matter that it gets no further moves," suggested the third man. "I still say we bring this to Mr. Giovanni- the whole point of Operation Mewtwo was to create an ultimate Pokémon that possesses Mew's most remarkable qualities. And it does possess knowledge of Transform- I'd call that Mew's most remarkable quality."

"Yeah, well, I'm more inclined to call Mew's superior strength and ability to learn almost every attack its most remarkable qualities," the first man shot back. "Mr. Giovanni will fire our asses if we try to pass off this thing as the ultimate Pokémon! What do we call this thing anyway?"

"The hell do I care?" replied the second man. "We call it a failure is what we call it. We still got Mew's DNA, we can just try again, and the boss need never find out about this thing. What could possibly go wrong?"

I sat there that whole time and listened in silence. Those two men thought I was nothing, merely a failure on their own part, even though my only attack was apparently one that could only be learned by Mew... I've only existed for a few minutes at that point, and even then, I knew. I knew that was something big. Maybe it was the Mew DNA that gave me the knowledge, I dunno, but point is, I knew it. Moreover, as I looked at the third man, he was giving me a sympathetic look. He didn't look disgusted in the slightest. We maintained eye contact for a minute or so, then he turned to the other two. "What shall I do with this?" he asked them.

"Get it the hell away from here," replied the first man, already distracted with something on his computer. "We gotta try this cloning deal again, and this time, maybe come up with something with a bit more power. Just get going, Fuji, we'll get this started up- no time to waste."

The man, apparently named Fuji, nodded as he pressed a red button. Immediately, the glass all around me rose up, but the floor of the container stayed put- the container was opening, exposing me to fresh air for the first time. Fuji scooped me up into his arms. Had this been either of the other two men, I'd have oozed out of their arms and made a break for it, but... I dunno, something told me I could trust him.

Fuji carried me outside. It was the dead of night, and yet I could still see my surroundings, barely illuminated by a magnificent starry sky and full moon. Palm trees, sandy beaches, and in the distance, a massive volcano. It was pretty awesome, I gotta say.

"I'm sorry for those other men," Fuji said to me as he walked. "We have a job to do, and while I see no problem with you, they're more... picky. Honestly, they're really just afraid of what Mr. Giovanni will do to us if we present him something that doesn't immediately strike fear into the hearts of those who look at it. He wants fierce beasts of Pokémon, like his Rhydon and Nidoqueen." As he spoke, neither of us realized I was dropping small globs of purple... stuff... onto the ground. But apparently I was. And apparently those globs came to life as the same shapeless, transforming beings that I am. To this day I don't know why that only happened that one time. Maybe my body was still adjusting to having only just come into existence, I dunno. Probably stabilized a bit after that.

Fuji set me down on the sand. "Will you be able to survive?" he asked me. "You are cloned from Mew, after all, which makes you a remarkable individual... Dr. Cartman mentioned you can use Transform. Would you demonstrate it for me, please? I'll be happy to take care of you if I need to, of course, but if you can survive on your own..."

I thought about this. I knew what he meant by Transform, and I somehow knew what to do, but I was still a little nervous. After all, I've never actually Transformed before. But the guy was the only thing showing me any semblance of kindness, so I figured, y'know, why not give it a shot? So I focused. I took in Fuji's appearance, and I focused on it, and before I knew it, I was looking him in the eye. I looked exactly like him. "...Like this?" I asked him. I wasn't sure why I expected him to understand my words, but it was then that I learned that copying a species means I can copy their language, too.

Fuji beamed at me. "Exactly like that," he nodded. "So, you think you can survive in this world?"

I shrugged. "I think so," I replied. "And hell, if it gets to be too much, I'll come find you. Kinda got a bit of your know-how in here, such as where you live," I added, slightly apologetically- I wasn't sure whether he'd appreciate me suddenly knowing where he lived.

But he smiled, he was cool about it. "That works out fine," he nodded. "Good luck, friend... whatever you end up being called."

"Yeah, ditto," I nodded. I had only meant it as basically saying the same thing back to him, y'know? But that one word- ditto- that seemed to click in the old guy's mind.

"Ditto..." he repeated thoughtfully. "You know something? That's actually a fitting name for something whose only power is copying the powers of others. What do you think?"

"Huh," I said. "That's... that ain't bad. You might be onto something, Fuji."

Fuji left after that, leaving me alone with my thoughts. I turned back into myself and just sat on the beach, jiggling slightly, looking out at the sea. Yeah, sure, I had a name now, but... I dunno, I guess I... All I knew of the world was that I was a failed experiment, and that one person out of three was nice. That last one actually sounds like it's still true today, actually. Heh. Anyway, I dunno, I didn't know what to think. I had some common sense in me- like for instance, when a Gyarados swam past, I knew better than to try and swim into its open mouth- but I knew nothing of the world, nor of my kind's place in it. And then, something huge slowly rose up from the depths of the sea. It was this huge, blocky creature. Purple and orange and black markings all over, she looked down at me with those big eyes.

"Uh... hi?" I said warily. I didn't know what I was dealing with here, but... I dunno, I kinda sensed I wasn't in danger here. "Who are you? And... and what, for that matter?"

The creature smiled. "I'm a Missingno.," she replied, her voice surprisingly soft and musical, considering her huge size. I mean, I'm talking ten feet tall, easy. "I've never seen a Pokémon like you before. Who are you?"

"I'm... I'm Ditto, I guess," I replied. "I dunno, I'm like, the first of my kind, I only existed for all of, what, twelve minutes? I just got my species named by this old guy who's pretty nice... I dunno," I sighed. "The humans call me a failed experiment or some crap like that. Was... was I a mistake?" I asked, finally voicing the nagging concern that I'd been struggling to put into words for my entire twelve-minute life.

Missingno. gazed down at me. "I know how you feel," she admitted. "My kind... are not popular with humans at all. We get called terrible things... glitches, abominations... they say we Missingno. don't even count as real Pokémon."

"Yeesh," I murmured. "I mean, you're big and fierce-looking, I can understand them being scared of you, but that's a bit much, isn't it?"

"I think so," sighed Missingno. "But I try to not let it bother me. Though it's not easy... the Pokémon of the sea won't be my friends. No human will try to approach me, except if they're hunting us down. My... my parents..." At that point, tears came to her large, rectangular eyes.

"Oh, man," I murmured. "That's gotta suck. At least, I guess. I was, like, cloned or something. I don't even think I got parents, in the traditional sense. So... what was that about trying to not let it bother you?"

"Well, I try to ignore what the humans think of me," Missingno. explained. "I try and focus on the positive things. There's not many of them, but they're there for sure. Such as, I can fly just as well as I swim," she added, demonstrating by rising out of the water and soaring around in midair, a small smile returning to her face. Impressed, I Transformed yet again, assuming her form, and taking off after her.

We had a lot of fun that night. We flew around, we swam around, we talked, we laughed... Oh, Arceus, it was great. But then... a few days later, it all went wrong. I was still Transformed into her, and we were swimming around. And then this Gyarados saw us and totally freaked out. Dude launched a Hydro Pump right at me in about the time it takes you to blink, y'know? I couldn't fight it. I tried like hell to fight it, but it wasn't doing a damn thing. She swam after me, trying to save me, but the Gyarados barred her way. By that time, the Hydro Pump had blasted me right into some really tough currents. And I'm not talking wimpy currents that only a Magikarp would struggle with, I mean resistance was friggin' futile. All I could do was continue to struggle as the currents swept me away from her...


Keith was sitting on a couch in the living room of his Secret Base, his undivided attention on his doppelganger sitting on the opposite side of the couch, who had been telling him the story so far. It was at this point in the story that Jack's voice had grown thick with emotion, and he had to stop for a moment.

"Jack," Keith murmured. "I... I had no idea."

"Yeah, well, I ain't blaming you," Jack shrugged. "You've been asking me what's my story for months, so it ain't like you didn't want to know. Anyways, after that, I spent years traveling the seas trying to find her again. Obviously I kept changing my shape, of course- stuff like Sharpedo, Seadra, Poliwrath- y'know, the real good swimmers. But the sea's a big place. And then, one day earlier this year, I'm resting up on dry land, and all of a sudden, boom. Poké Ball thrown from behind, didn't know what hit me. Next thing I know, I'm being let out in the Coins for Prizes shop, I discover that I accidentally made more of me back on Cinnabar Island, and that my kind's been flourishing ever since. Been classified as an official Pokémon, Pokédex classification, all that good stuff. Spent months in that boring place, so I started with harmless tricks to pass the time, found out I had kind of a passion for them, started driving that one clerk nuts. Then one day this dude with a cowboy hat comes into the shop... heh, well, I think you get the gist of it," smirked Jack.

"Yeah, I think I get it," Keith grinned. "Wow... You were the first Ditto. I never would have called that."

"Pretty sweet, huh?" said Jack, grinning in an identical fashion to the Trainer the Ditto was impersonating. "Still, though," he added, the grin fading somewhat. "I can't help but wonder what became of that Missingno. Never learned her name- the subject never came up, since I didn't have no name but my species- but we were friends. Good friends. Never did find her again... maybe I will someday, huh? Anything can happen, right?"

"In my experience? Damn straight," Keith nodded, as he and Jack shared a fistbump. As they did so, neither one of them noticed the Banette floating in the doorway, having been listening in on everything. Myrtle's eyes had gone very wide, and her mouth was unzipped and slightly agape.

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 03-26-2016 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 11-29-2015, 09:43 AM   #64
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One Basculin, Two Basculin, Red Basculin, Blue Basculin

"Ducklett! Wing Attack!" ordered the Trainer.

"Rubeus, here it comes!" Keith exclaimed. "Out of the water and into the air!"

"Stunfisk!" Rubeus exclaimed, as the oddly-colored Stunfisk flapped his oddly white side fins furiously. The fins acting like wings, Rubeus flew up right out of the pond, and more importantly, soared above the opponent's Ducklett as it tried to strike with its wings.

"Gah! Ducklett, it's above you, watch out!" warned the Trainer. "Bubble Beam, go!"

"Rubeus, finish it! Use Thunder Shock!" Keith called out.

Ducklett opened its beak, but before it could expel so much as a single bubble, Rubeus began to crackle with electricity. "Stuuuun... FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISK!" he bellowed as he zapped the Water/Flying-type with the super effective Electric move. Considering the type advantage, to say nothing of how much damage Ducklett had taken earlier in the fight, the result came as a surprise to nobody.

"Ducklett's unable ta battle!" Meowth declared, standing off to the side and acting as a referee. "Rubeus da Stunfisk wins dis one!"

"Gahhh... OK, Ducklett, get back!" declared the opposing Trainer as he held out a Poké Ball. The red beam which emerged from the ball sucked the unconscious Ducklett back inside, and once this was done, the Trainer prepared another ball. "You're not bad," he grinned, addressing Keith.

"Not bad yourself," Keith grinned back. "That Ducklett and Dewott, you've trained them well."

"Thanks," replied the boy. He looked younger than Keith, but not by much- Meowth's best guess put him at 17 or 18 years old, and even then, Meowth's best guess in such matters was usually not so good. "Your Stunfisk and Seviper are pretty good, too. But here's my last Pokémon!" he added, throwing the Safari Ball. "Go, Binacle!"

In a flash of light, there appeared on the surface of the water... a rock. At least, it looked to be no more than just that, it was completely unremarkable save for the fact that it was floating on the water's surface. And then, to Keith's mild surprise, two arm-like appendages rose up out of holes in the rock. Each "arm" was tipped in a clawed "hand", the palm of each hand bearing a face. "Bina! Binacle!" both heads exclaimed at once.

"Whoa!" Keith murmured, taking out his Pokédex. "Never seen that Pokémon before!"

"Binacle, the Two-Handed Pokémon," said Keith's Pokédex. "Binacle live in pairs, two Binacle in each rock, though will sometimes argue to the point where one of them leaves to find a rock of its own. Their arm-necks stretch and contract, allowing them to pull themselves across land and row their way across the sea."

"Rock and Water, huh?" Keith murmured. "Rubeus, let's do this!" he added. "Thunder Shock, let's go!"

"Quick, Binacle, use Tickle!" called the other Trainer.

Almost immediately, Binacle's arm-necks stretched out to ridiculous lengths, allowing each hand-head to lightly tickle the Stunfisk, resulting in a fit of uncontrollable laughter, which prevented the Thunder Shock attack.

"Come on, Rubeus, focus!" Keith exclaimed. "Keep your head in the game!"

"Binacle, now hit it with Surf!" called Binacle's Trainer.

Binacle's four eyes glowed blue, and a massive tidal wave rose up out of the pond. "Wait for it, Rubeus..." Keith advised the Ground/Electric-type. "Wait for it..." As he spoke, the wave drew closer and closer to the Stunfisk. And then, as the wave was less than two feet away, Keith sprang into action. "Now! Use Payback!" he ordered.

"Stun!" Rubeus grunted as he took the Surf attack, powering his way through the wall of water. And once he had emerged from it, his body was covered in a black aura. Spotting Binacle, Rubeus dove down and slammed his tail fin into the Two-Handed Pokémon.

"Whoa!" the boy exclaimed as his Binacle was blasted backwards. "Binacle, still good to go?"

"Bina!" nodded both heads simultaneously.

"Alright, good!" grinned the boy. "Now use your Shell Smash attack!"

A red aura formed all over Binacle's rock. And then cracks formed in the red aura, causing it to shatter into pieces, leaving tiny shards of red energy swirling all around Binacle.

"Rubeus, its defenses are down!" Keith exclaimed. "Scald attack!"

"Oh, no, you don't!" the boy called out. "Binacle, Cross Chop!"

Propelled by the Shell Smash, Binacle's hand-heads paddled the rock across the water at ridiculous speeds, until the whole thing was almost a blur. And then, as Rubeus had opened his mouth to unleash Scald, Binacle had jumped up, and both hand-heads were glowing brightly as they executed a picture-perfect Cross Chop, sending the Stunfisk plummeting to the ground just before Keith. When the dust settled, Meowth was able to make a call with ease.

"Rubeus is unable ta battle!" he declared. "Binacle wins!"

Keith sighed as he held out the Ground Ball. "Come back, Rubeus," he said, the ball already firing its red recall beam to withdraw the ball's occupant. "You were great," he murmured to the ball. "Get a good rest."

"Give up yet?" smirked the boy. "My Binacle's unstoppable once it's used Shell Smash!"

"Oh, this ain't over," Keith grinned, another Poké Ball already in his hand. "Let's see how well you can handle this one!" And he threw the ball. "Pisces, let's go!" he exclaimed.

In a flash of light, the Poké Ball opened up, emptying its contents into the pond- a Blue-Striped Basculin who glared fiercely at the Binacle before her.

"Ooh, cool," said the boy. "But just looking cool won't win this! Binacle, Night Slash!"

Keith reacted swiftly. "Pisces, use Scald!" he ordered.

"Bascuuuuuuuu!" bellowed Pisces as she opened her mouth and fired a jet of steaming hot water at the oncoming Binacle. Both heads screeched in pain as the attack hit, and as it subsided, multiple burns could be seen all over the Rock/Water-type.

"Whoa, that hit pretty hard," the boy murmured in surprise.

"That'd be Pisces's Ability- Adaptability," grinned Keith. "Any Pokémon puts a little extra power into moves of their own type, but if it has Adaptability, it can put more power than usual into moves matching its type. Pisces's Water attacks are some of the most powerful ones I've seen as a result!" he finished. "Now, Pisces, let's use Headbutt!" he ordered.

"Basculin!" Pisces exclaimed, swimming across the pond with great speed. The Binacle, still wincing from its burn, was unable to defend itself as the attack made contact.

"Binacle, come on, you can do this!" pleaded the boy. "Slash!"

"Pisces! Superpower attack!" Keith commanded.

The two Water-types swam towards each other at great speeds, but as Binacle prepared to strike with glowing claws, Pisces swung her tail fin into the Rock/Water-type, the super effective Fighting move blasting Binacle right out of the water. Binacle landed at its Trainer's feet, and made no attempt to get up.

"Binacle is unable ta battle!" Meowth called out. "Pisces wins, which means da match goes ta Keith Masters of Lavaridge Town!"

"Hey, way to go, Pisces!" Keith grinned, as his Basculin swam over to him. "That was the strongest Superpower I've seen out of you yet!"

"Bascu," smirked Pisces, trying not to look as pleased by Keith's comments as she actually was.

"Wow, that Basculin of yours is awesome," the boy added, as he approached Keith, his Binacle back in its Safari Ball. "Where'd you catch it?"

"I didn't actually catch Pisces," Keith admitted. "She was traded to me a couple of years ago."

"Oh, OK," nodded the boy. "I thought you might have caught it in Lake Basculin."

"Lake Basculin?" repeated Keith. "Never even heard of it."

"Oh, it's not far from here," said the boy. "It's this huge lake full of nothing but Basculin, and they're said to be pretty powerful."

"A lake full of Basculin, hmm?" Keith said, sounding intrigued. "Well, that certainly sounds like it's worth a look."


The boy then proceeded to give Keith directions to Lake Basculin, which, as it turns out, was a very short walk away- mere minutes after bidding farewell to his latest opponent, Keith found himself beholding a large body of crystal clear water- or at least, the water would have been crystal clear, but the surface was churning as a result of all the fighting going on. Keith could see a number of green fish Pokémon fighting each other, all over the lake. Half of them he recognized as Basculin, or at least Basculin as he knew them, but the others, much as they resembled Basculin, were unfamiliar to Keith. He whipped out his Pokédex and aimed it at the lake. Immediately, images of both Pokémon appeared on the screen, the unfamiliar one looking remarkably like Keith's Basculin, only with wider eyes, more ragged fins, and red stripes in place of blue stripes.

"Basculin, the Hostile Pokémon," said the Pokédex. "Basculin come in two varieties- Red-Striped and Blue-Striped. The two varieties of Basculin are extremely aggressive towards each other, and fights are all too common in bodies of water inhabited by Basculin."

"Ohhh," Keith remarked. "So that's what that's all about- the other ones are Basculin as well."

Meowth turned to give Keith a funny look. "Youse didn't know dat Basculin come in two forms?" he demanded.

Keith shrugged, nearly jostling Meowth off his shoulder in the process. "Pisces is the only Basculin I'd ever seen up until this point," he said. "And back when I got Pisces, my old Pokédex didn't say anything about a Red-Striped Basculin..."

Originally Posted by Flashback
It was a little over three years ago, not too long after the disastrous Halloween incident. Keith was in the Fizzytopia region's most popular Cable Club, having just completed a trade with Alex Blackhall, in which he swapped a singular Rare Candy for the Poké Ball he now held in his hands, and of course, the ball's contents. Excited about his new Pokémon, Keith threw the ball into the air. "Basculin, come on out!" he exclaimed.

In a flash of light, there appeared before Keith a fierce-looking fish, green in color, flopping in place and snapping aggressively with razor-sharp teeth. A pair of blue stripes ran down the full length of her body. Keith took out his Pokédex, which in these days had been red in color and spoke with a more droning voice, and an image of the Pokémon before him appeared on the screen.

"Basculin, a Hostile Pokémon," droned the device. "A powerful Water-type with an aggressive personality, Basculin will often get themselves into fights."

"Well, you're pretty cool," Keith grinned, looking down at the Basculin before him. She was now glaring insolently up at him, sizing him up. "As long as you try and get along with the rest of the team-"

'Bascu!" interrupted Basculin, who had just used her tail fin to jump up. She had lunged at Keith, mouth agape, but he was able to catch her just in time, allowing her teeth to snap at thin air, inches away from his face.

"As I was saying," Keith continued, as though he had not just almost become this Basculin's lunch, "as long as you try and get along with the rest of the team, I think we'll do just fine together. As for your name... how does Pisces sound?"

"Bascu..." Basculin murmured. She looked up at Keith, though with less insolence and more interest. He had pretty good reflexes for a human, she realized, and he didn't seem so scared of her, either. Perhaps this wasn't gonna be so bad after all. And Pisces... she liked the sound of that. "Bas, Basculin," she finally nodded.

Keith's grin widened. "Alright, then. Welcome to the team, Pisces."
"...yeah, it just gave me some vague information about Basculin being hostile and prone to getting into fights," Keith shrugged. "Only showed the Blue-Striped form on the screen, too."

"Yeah, I guess dat'd do it," Meowth conceded. "But geez... ya sure it was a good idea ta bring Pisces here?"

As Meowth spoke, however, the fighting seemed to cease. Wounded and injured Basculin swam away from each other, the Red-Striped ones retreating across the lake, and the Blue-Striped ones gathering in the part of the lake nearest to Keith. "Hm," Keith murmured. "Yeah, you might be right," he nodded. "These Basculin seem to be in some sort of turf war, I don't think I want Pisces getting into danger by- GAH!" he exclaimed, for at that moment, a Poké Ball on Keith's belt burst open, unleashing the exact one of Keith's Pokémon you expected to see into the lake.

The other Blue-Striped Basculin were startled to see another of their own kind materialize in their midst. Pisces looked around- the other Basculin were regarding her warily. Finally, a small Basculin swam up to her. "Who the hell are you?" she demanded in a more childish tone of voice than one usually hears from a Basculin.

"The name's Pisces, bitch," snapped Pisces. "Heard there was a Basculin turf war going on, and if it involves putting some Red-Stripes in their place, then count me in."

"Never seen you around here, though," added the gruff voice of an older male Basculin. "You belong to one of them humans?"

"Hell, yeah," Pisces nodded. "Ever hear of Keith Masters?"

Most of the Basculin exchanged confused looks, but the young Basculin who had been the first to speak up, her eyes widened. "I've heard that name before!" she exclaimed. "Ain't he the one what that up and killed a volcano god?"

"Yeah, that's him, alright," Pisces nodded. "Dude's not someone you mess with. Tried to eat him when we first met- he grabbed me before I could get a bite. Zero fear."

"Hot damn," murmured one of the Basculin.

"OK, so now that we're all clear on this, what about this turf war?" Pisces persisted. "We kicking some Red-Striped tail fin or what?"

"Damn straight," replied the young Basculin. "Usually we keep to our side of the lake and they keep to theirs, and things are fine. But now those greedy bastards want the whole damn lake to themselves."

"Well, that's a load of Tauros shit," Pisces spat. "Alright, here's the deal- you jerks don't know me from a puddle of Goldeen piss, but I think we can all agree there ain't no way a bunch of fucking Red Stripes can be allowed to have a whole damn lake to themselves. So I'm gonna help you out here," she declared. "We'll make meals of every single one of those pieces of-"

"...I don't tink I gots da stomach ta repeat da rest o' wat she said," Meowth said to Keith, having relayed to him a translation of the Basculin's conversation thus far.

"That's fine, I get the gist of it," Keith nodded. "So, Pisces is gonna help the other Blue-Striped Basculin fight off the Red-Striped Basculin?"

"Seems dat way," Meowth nodded.

Keith sighed. "I don't suppose there's any way to talk Pisces out of this."

"Yeah, I wouldn't try it," Meowth agreed, shaking his head. "Dis seems ta me like dat whole Seviper-Zangoose deal all ova again, y'know?"

"Yeah, I see what you- ho, boy," Keith said suddenly, looking out at the lake. Meowth followed Keith's gaze, and saw what Keith was seeing- an entire school of Red-Striped Basculin, swimming towards their end of the lake. In response, all the Blue-Striped Basculin surfaced, every one of them glaring out angrily at the intruders. In front of them all, however, was Pisces, who glanced back at Keith. They made eye contact, and Keith gave a small smile and a nod. Pisces returned the nod, and even gave the slightest hint of a smile as she turned back to face the oncoming Red-Striped Basculin.

"Alright, here they come," Pisces said to the other Blue-Striped Basculin. "Everyone ready? Let's do this!" And with that, she unleashed a powerful Scald attack at the Red-Striped Basculin leading the others. The Basculin exclaimed in pain as angry burns could be seen all over his body. Wasting no time, Pisces swam forward and took advantage of the momentary distraction to make a meal of her Red-Striped counterpart.

Taking the lead from Pisces, the other Basculin began to fight as well, with Pisces giving them instructions whenever she wasn't launching attacks or eating Red-Striped Basculin. Under her orders, two Blue-Striped Basculin managed to freeze over half a dozen Red-Striped Basculin with their Ice Beam attacks, and the Swagger attacks of several other confused a whole bunch of Red-Striped Basculin, to the point where they started attacking each other.

Keith looked on, half-shocked, half-proud, as his Basculin led the others in the relentless attacking of the Red-Striped Basculin. Under Pisces's command, the Blue-Striped Basculin were gaining an immediate and sizable advantage. Much as Keith wasn't too fond of such violence, he couldn't help but feel proud of Pisces, considering how well she was doing. Indeed, as this thought had occurred to him, her Headbutt had only just won out against the same attack coming from a Red-Striped Basculin, the former sending the latter backwards through the water. But then, Keith could see two more Red-Striped Basculin approaching Pisces from either side. "Pisces, look out!" Keith exclaimed. "Dive out of the way, then use your Cut attack!"

What happened next could not have gone more smoothly. Pisces dove underwater so swiftly and suddenly that the two Red-Striped Basculin actually collided head-on. And then, Pisces came rising up from the depths, her fins glowing brightly as she hacked at both Red-Striped Basculin with them. While they were distracted by their injuries from Cut, two more Blue-Striped Basculin swam in and started to devour them.

After more fierce fighting, the remaining Red-Striped Basculin seemed to decide that enough was enough, for they proceeded to hastily retreat. The Blue-Striped Basculin were nothing short of jubilant, many of them shouting insults after the retreating Red-Stripes. The younger Basculin seemed to be the ones shouting the more vulgar insults, too.

The little Basculin from before swam up to Pisces. "Holy shit, Pisces, you were fucking amazing!" she said with a big grin. "We must have killed dozens of Red-Stripes! Hundreds! Those sons of bitches will think twice before fucking with us again!"

"Damn straight," smirked Pisces. "But you're stupid if you think it was all me, you hear? I made the calls, but you all did as I said."

"Hey, hey, why don't you stay with us?" asked the small Basculin. "You'd be fucking amazing to have around this lake! Maybe with your help we can even wipe out the Red-Stripes altogether!" This idea was met with murmurs of assent and profanity in equal measure from the other Basculin.

Pisces did not answer the question right away. She had to admit, she felt right at home commanding a school of her own kind against a school of Red-Stripes... but at the same time, much as she tried to not be so obvious about it, she really did like Keith.

Meanwhile, Meowth had translated everything for Keith. The Poison-type Trainer looked out at the lake. "...What did Pisces say?" he asked finally.

"Nuttin' yet," Meowth replied. "She's tinkin' about it, I tink."

"I see," sighed Keith. "Well... maybe she should stay here, then."

"WHA?!" Meowth exclaimed.

Keith sighed again. "I love Pisces like I love all my Pokémon," he said quietly. "Which is exactly why I couldn't, in good conscience, drag her away from this life if this is what she wants." As he spoke, a tear fell from his eye.

"Ya don't know dis is wat she wants, though," Meowth said fairly. "She still ain't spoke up yet."

In response to this, Keith approached the water and crouched down. "Pisces," he called. His Basculin swam up to him, looking up at him. "I... If you want to stay here, Pisces, I won't stop you," he said. "You were a natural out there, and these Basculin clearly look up to you. Maybe... maybe this is where you're needed," he finished.

"Bascu..." murmured Pisces. She wasn't sure what to think. She was being given an opportunity to join a school of her own kind who admired her... but as she considered this, she couldn't help but think about Dudley, about Fang, and Aria, and Marvolo... about all the friends she had on Keith's team, to say nothing of Keith himself. Sure, he forgot her birthday earlier in the year, but if she was honest with herself, that's pretty much the only problem she had with the guy. She wheeled around and addressed the entire school of Blue-Striped Basculin. "Bas Basculin culin, Basculin Basculin Basculin. Lin, bascu Basculin lin, bascu Basculin," she said.

Meowth's eyes teared up. "Pisces says dat she... she appreciates deir offer, but... but her place is... wit youse!" he translated, choked up with emotion.

Keith's eyes lit up at this, and at that moment, Pisces turned back around to face him. They made eye contact, and the Blue-Striped Basculin jumped out of the lake and into her Trainer's arms.

"Pisces..." Keith murmured. "I... thank you. And you know what?" he added, on a sudden inspiration. "Since you just won this big victory over a bunch of Red-Striped Basculin, I'm thinking a standard Poké Ball won't cut it for you anymore. Too much red," he said. As he said this, he reached into his backpack and pulled out a sphere with varying shades of blue forming a wavy pattern- a Dive Ball. "This one looks more like your kind of thing, right?" he asked.

"Bascu!" nodded Pisces.

Keith grinned. He set Pisces back down in the water and took out her Poké Ball. He fiddled with the sphere until the two halves broke apart, and then tapped Pisces with the Dive Ball. The Basculin was sucked inside, and the ball barely shook before giving off that familiar low-pitched ping. Grinning happily, Keith attached the Dive Ball to his belt, and after waving goodbye to the school of Blue-Striped Basculin, he and Meowth turned around and headed home for the day.

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 03-26-2016 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 12-07-2015, 02:19 AM   #65
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The Seviper Who Saved Christmas III

It was the evening before Christmas. As the sun was setting, a gentle snow was falling, giving many areas of the region an almost magical appearance. A few Trainers were out in this weather, but mostly because they'd yet to get to a Pokémon Center or somewhere else to spend the night.

Keith Masters was not one such Trainer- he was already in his Secret Base, seated in his living room. It looked more or less the same as it usually did, except for the large Christmas tree in one corner, and the plush Plusle and Minun elves perched above the fireplace. Several of his Pokémon were also in the room, gathered with Keith to watch some Christmas movies.

"OK, so, anyone up for a little training after this is over?" Keith asked as How the Grinch Stole Christmas went to a commercial break. "Nothing big, maybe just a little practice battle upstairs."

"Ehhh, I don't tink so," Meowth replied lazily. The Scratch Cat Pokémon was in his usual spot, lying on one of the arms of the couch. Meanwhile, the Trubbish seated right next to Keith gave a small yawn, and the Seviper coiled up in the floor gave a decidedly disinterested hiss. Keith glanced behind him, and saw the Blue-Striped Basculin in the aquarium shake her head no.

Yeah, no, came Mustard's voice in Keith's head, the Weezing floating right beside the couch. Me and Gemini are thinking of hitting the hay pretty soon, actually.

"Yeah, didn't really think so," Keith shrugged. "I'm guessing we all want to get to sleep early, right?" The various Pokémon again replied, this time to register their emphatic agreement with what Keith was saying. "Yeah, same here," Keith nodded. "OK, I'm thinking we all turn in once the movie's over."

A few hours later, night had totally fallen. It was 10:30 at night, the movie was long over, and Keith had fallen asleep on the couch. Gemini and Mustard had made sure to turn out the light and drape a blanket over Keith before they floated out of the room. Meowth had gone to sleep in Keith's room, and Pisces had crawled out of the aquarium, dragged herself using her fins all the way to the indoor pool, and was currently asleep in there. Ariana, Keith's Trubbish, was asleep on the couch beside her Trainer, snuggled up to him in her sleep. And Marvolo, he was just starting to drift off to sleep. This year, he vowed, would be unlike the previous two Christmas Eves. It was hard for him to forget what happened two years ago, when he accidentally ate one of Santa Claus's flying Stantler, and subsequently had to help pull Santa's sleigh himself in order to save Christmas. And then there was last year, when Santa called upon Marvolo's help to build him a new sleigh after an accident destroyed the old one. But this year, this year, Marvolo was determined to have a perfectly normal Chrismas. Perhaps he'd "persuade" Keith to take him to visit Hyrem, and more to the point, Amethyst and Kinana- Marvolo knew he had to be there for his daughter's first Christmas. And with this happy thought, he started to drift off into a peaceful slumb-

"Hey. You," came a gruff voice.

Marvolo's eyes snapped open. No. Surely not. Reluctantly he lifted up his head and looked up at the fireplace- sure enough, the Plusle elf and Minun elf dolls were moving on their own, just as they'd done last year. They hopped down to the floor and approached the Poison-type, who eyed them with a total lack of enthusiasm. So much for a normal Christmas Eve...

"Pluself. Minelf," Marvolo curtly greeted the sentient stuffed toys.

"Marv," replied Pluself, still in that same gruff voice that completely contrasted his and Minelf's cutesy appearances. "Hey, me and Minelf heard the good news- you're a father now, eh?"

"That's right," Marvolo hissed, a hint of pride in his voice. "But you didn't come to life just to congratulate me. What's wrong this year?"

Minelf sighed. "We got trouble, up at the Pole," he said. "Y'know how Christmas gets all the commercialization, all the sales and TV specials and all that crap? Well, the other holidays, the ones that don't get such preferential treatment, they ain't so pleased."

"Wait- what the hell do you mean, the other holidays?" Marvolo demanded.

"I mean the legendary figures who are to their holidays what Santa is to Christmas," said Minelf. "The Easter Bunny. The Great Pumpkin. See, they're fed up, and they wanna take Christmas down a peg."

"You might say it just ain't their day," smirked Pluself.

Minelf turned and punched Pluself in the head. "Shut up, Pluself," snapped Minelf. "Anyways," he added, turning back to Marvolo. "They're up at the Pole right now, holding the big guy hostage until the 26th."

"Doesn't Santa have, like, a bunch of Delibird in addition to the Stantler?" asked Marvolo. "They can't handle, what, some overgrown gourd and some long-eared rodent?"

"They can't even get to them," said Pluself. "The Great Pumpkin and Easter Bunny may be Pokémon, but they're magic, like Santa. They've sealed off the workshop. They got all sorts of powers their own kind don't got, just like Santa's got powers normal humans don't got, get it?"

"So what do you want from me?" asked Marvolo. "Taking on super powerful magic Pokémon? I'm good, yeah, but still!"

"Yeah, we been thinking about that, and this is the thing- we want to get Keith involved," said Minelf. "We heard about what went down in Mt. Aduro over the summer, and we figure if your Trainer can pull off something like that, he can pull this off, especially if he's commanding youse. So, you think he'll be open-minded enough to not waste too much time with questions?"

"It's possible," Marvolo remarked, glancing at his sleeping Trainer. "Alright, I'm in. I'll wake him up-"

"I got this," Pluself interrupted, the plush Plusle hopping up onto Keith's sleeping form and slapping him in the face. "Hey, stupid, get up," he added.

"Zzzz- huh! Wha?! What the-" Keith spluttered as he awoke with a jolt. "What the... who... wha-" he said as his eyes focused on the sentient plush toy currently waking him up. "Very funny, Myrtle," he grumbled. "You might not sleep, but some of us have to..."

"Hate to break it to you, man, but this ain't your Banette," Pluself said. "Name's Pluself. Over there on the floor's my associate Minelf."

"'Sup?" Minelf added.

Keith glanced back and forth between Pluself and Minelf. "...Yeesh," he murmured, rubbing his eyes. "The hell did I eat? This has gotta be one of the weirdest dreams I ever-"

"Yeah, no, it's no dream," interrupted Pluself, who had hopped off of Keith and onto the coffee table. "Look, time's running short, so I'll make this quick- Santa needs your help, you and Marvolo. The Great Pumpkin and the Easter Bunny wanna knock Christmas down a peg, so they're holding the big guy hostage in his own workshop."

"OK, assuming this isn't some kind of elaborate prank-" began Keith.

"Seee, Seviper!" Marvolo interrupted, shaking his head. Keith met Marvolo's gaze, and the two maintained eye contact for a moment.

"...This is for real," Keith finally said.

"Sssseviper," nodded Marvolo.

"...Holy crap," Keith murmured. "Well, OK, I guess we're saving Christmas, then. OK, what do we do?" As he spoke, he scooped up a Poké Ball off of the table nearby- his Scraggy's. He figured it might come in handy.

"You stand there," stated Minelf. "Me and Pluself, we'll warp youse to the North Pole once you're ready."

"Wait- you're not coming with?" Keith asked.

"Yeah, no, we can't," said Pluself apologetically. "There's limits to our powers. But Marv here's been up there before, he'd be able to point youse in the right direction. In fact, y'know what, maybe this'd speed things along," he added, before unleashing a beautiful bolt of red and green electricity. Keith flinched as the electricity flew at him, but it didn't hurt at all. On the contrary, the electricity only caused a pleasant tickling sensation, and Keith could swear he could hear the faint sound of sleigh bells ringing in his ears until Pluself stopped... whatever the hell it was doing.

"What the hell was that?" Marvolo murmured.

"I dunno," Keith replied. "I mean, it looked like a Thunder Shock, but it didn't hurt at all-" he stopped at that point as it sank in, what exactly had just happened there- Marvolo had asked a question, and he, Keith, understood the words. He looked at Marvolo, eyes wide, mouth opening and closing like a Remoraid out of water. "Tha- I- Did I- Did you- What just-"

"You can understand Seviper language now," said Pluself. "You're friggin' welcome. Would've made you understand all Pokémon languages, like your friend Jake, but we ain't got that kind of juice. So yeah, Marv can convey stuff to you much quicker now, which'll come in handy up at the Pole."

"Or he could've woken up Meowth there," argued Minelf.

Keith shook his head. "Waking Meowth up in the middle of the night isn't a good idea," he said firmly. "Fang tried it once. He still has the scars."

"Ouch," winced Minelf. "OK, point taken. Now let's get moving! Big guy's supposed to take off at midnight, that gives you... an hour and fifteen minutes."

"Right!" Keith murmured. He stood beside Marvolo in the living room, as Pluself and Minelf both glowed brightly. Once Keith could see again, his jaw dropped- they were standing in a frozen wasteland, with a large castle up ahead of them. A bunch of Stantler and Delibird were attempting to break into the castle. Keith and Marvolo looked at each other. "I'm guessing that's-" began Keith.

"Santa's workshop? That's the place," nodded Marvolo.

"So I'm guessing it's a long story, how you came to be familiar with the North Pole, right?" Keith asked his Seviper as they started off towards the castle.

"Oh, yeah," Marvolo replied. "Let's just say I've saved Christmas a couple of times before."

"Remind me to ask for more details when we're back home," Keith stated as they drew closer to the castle. The Pokémon nearest to them had noticed their arrival, though Keith couldn't help but notice how the Stantler were warily regarding Marvolo.

"Marvolo," one of the Stantler greeted the Seviper curtly.

"Blitzen," Marvolo hissed back. "What's the situation?"

"The Great Pumpkin and Easter Bunny, they've set some kind of magical barrier around every entrance," Blitzen reported. "None of us can break through. One of the Delibird tried blasting it with Present, but that only made it stronger."

"Magical barrier?" Marvolo repeated. "Well, that ain't good. Any ideas?" he added, turning to Keith.

"One," Keith said after a moment's thought. "It seems almost too simple to work, but I think it's at least worth a shot." As he spoke, he threw the Poké Ball he had brought into the air. "Bart! Brick Break!" he exclaimed.

In a flash of light, Keith's Scraggy appeared on the ground. "Scraggy!" he exclaimed, hitching up his "pants" and taking a running start towards the door. As he ran, he raised one hand above his head, then brought it down on an invisible barrier just before the door in a swift chopping motion. And to Keith's delight, the barrier instantly became visible- a transparent red cube of energy surrounding the entire workshop. Even more to Keith's delight, numerous cracks started forming all over the cube. And then, the barrier shattered into shards of energy which dissipated almost instantly.

"...Whoa," Blitzen murmured. "OK, I'll admit it, I never would've thought of Brick Break. Not that any of those Delibird know it anyway, but still..."

"Alright, looks like we're in," Keith grinned, exchanging looks with Marvolo as he withdrew Bart. "C'mon, everyone!" And with that, he pushed the door open and led the way inside. Marvolo was the first to follow him in, followed by Santa's Stantler, but before the Delibird could follow them in, the door slammed shut once more, and judging by the commotion that was kicking up, the barrier had been reapplied. "OK, looks like they know we're here," Keith sighed. "Well, no matter. We gotta do this anyway. C'mon."

He led the way down the small corridor, which led into a large room. Judging by the rolls of wrapping paper all over the place, this was where the presents were wrapped. But right now, only one aspect of this room was catching Keith's attention- the large flying dragon hovering in the middle of the room. It had a long tail, bat-like wings, and ears like speakers. Keith took out his Pokédex and aimed it at this Pokémon.

"Noivern, the Sound Wave Pokémon, and the evolved form of Noibat," said the Pokédex. "Noivern is virtually unmatched in a battle in the dark. It flies around on moonless nights and swoops out of the dark to attack, usually by emitting destructive sound waves from its ears."

"One of the Great Pumpkin's goons," Blitzen stated, eyeing the Noivern warily. "That thing's strong."

"Pfft," Marvolo replied. "I can take it."

"You're not tackling that thing alone, Marvolo," Keith said sternly. "The Stantler can help you. It's the smart thing to do, and you know it."

"...yeah, I know," Marvolo hissed grudgingly as he slithered forward, along with the eight Stantler that had accompanied them. All eight Stantler rose up into the air, hovering level with Noivern in the spacious room. Keith blinked in surprise, but remembered in the next second- of course. Santa's Stantler. Right. They could fly.

"OK, Marvolo! Toxic attack, let's go!" Keith ordered. Marvolo hissed viciously as he fired a blast of vile purple liquid from his mouth. Noivern shrieked in agony as the especially bad poisoning started to set in. And then, several of the Stantler unleashed simultaneous Thunderbolt attacks, capitalizing on the Noivern's momentary distraction.

"Heh. So, he did teach more of them Thunderbolt, then," Marvolo murmured. "Long story," he added in response to Keith's questioning look.

Keith shrugged. He was curious about it, no question, but he knew this was far from the time or the place. "OK, now, Marvolo, use Venom Drench!" he instead said.

Marvolo smirked evilly before unleashing another vile blast of liquid. This one reacted with the poison already in Noivern's system, weakening it significantly. Noivern chose that moment to strike back, letting loose a blast of sound akin to that of an explosion. Keith covered his ears as the Boomburst washed over him, but several of the Stantler weren't so lucky- Dancer, Comet, and Dasher 2.0 had all fainted.

"Marvolo, do it!" Keith exclaimed, undeterred. "Venoshock attack!"

"Ooh, I like," Marvolo hissed sadistically. This time, the liquid he fired from his mouth was a vivid shade of green. Noivern shrieked in agony as the Venoshock splattered against it, reacting violently with the poison in its system, this time to cause significant damage.

"Now let's wrap this up with Dragon Pulse!" Keith commanded. And Marvolo did not need to be told twice! The powerful blast of Dragon energy erupted from Marvolo's mouth. Quickly, Noivern attempted to ready its own Dragon Pulse, but Marvolo's was quicker (thanks to the Speed-lowering effects of Venom Drench), and Noivern took the full force of the attack, causing a minor explosion. When the dust settled, Noivern had collapsed to the floor, unconscious.

"Let's keep moving, c'mon," Keith urged Marvolo and the Stantler that were still conscious. Quickly, he led the way across the room and through a small door the Noivern had been barring their access to previously. There were a few more exits to that room, but this, Keith noticed, was the only one Noivern had been bothering to block. This time, they were in a somewhat longer hallway, which gave Keith the opportunity to ask Marvolo to elaborate on his previous experiences with the North Pole.

"...so then Santa tells me that since I ate Dasher, I'd be able to fly just like him until I digested him completely," Marvolo was saying. "So he hooks me up to the sleigh and I help fly the thing all over the world. And let me tell you, that thing is fucking heavy! No wonder he needs eight Stantler to pull it!"

"Wow," Keith murmured. "So, how did that go?"

"Could've been worse," conceded Marvolo. "Had to tap into the energy I save up for Flamethrower in order to keep warm. Except when we were in Hoenn, anyway."

"Yeah, that sounds about right," Keith grinned. "Hoenn's nice and tropical. Never even saw snow until I arrived in the Fizzytopia region."

"Speaking of tropical..." Marvolo replied, for at that moment, they had entered the next room. A pair of what appeared to be sentient palm trees stood at the opposite end of what Keith could only assume was the actual workshop where toys were made, judging by all the tools and half-built toys lying around. But right now, he was focused on their arboreal adversaries. They stood on either side of a pair of double doors, and the looks on their many faces made it clear they weren't going to just let them past. Keith pointed his Pokédex at them.

"Exeggutor, the Coconut Pokémon, and the evolved form of Exeggcute," said Keith's Pokédex. "Exeggutor is known as 'the walking tropical rainforest'. Each of its heads thinks independently of the other heads, and if one head were to drop off, it would send out a telepathic call to other dropped Exeggutor heads, and they would gather to form an Exeggcute cluster."

"I'm guessing these are the Easter Bunny's minions," Keith speculated. "Alright, guys, we can take 'em!" he declared. "Marvolo, start things off with Sludge Wave attack!"

And with that, the battle commenced. Both Exeggutor were hit hard by Marvolo's Sludge Wave, but quickly retaliated with powerful Psychic attacks, aimed at the whole group. Which was lucky for Marvolo- had they been concentrated entirely on him, they could have knocked him out. But no, he was still standing. Which was more than could be said for Prancer, Vixen, and Cupid- they had fainted from the Exeggutor's attacks.

Undeterred, Keith called out another order. "Marvolo! Poison Tail the left one!" he ordered.

As Marvolo slammed his glowing purple tail blade into the left Exeggutor, Donner dashed forward, hitting the right Exeggutor with a powerful Megahorn, while Blitzen unleashed Signal Beam. In response to these super effective Bug moves, the right Exeggutor's trunk glowed a harsh shade of green, and it tackled Donner hard, the powerful Wood Hammer knocking out the Stantler immediately. Fortunately, the recoil damage from the powerful Grass move was the straw that broke the Numel's back- Exeggutor fainted as well. At the same time, Marvolo's repeated Poison Tail attacks took their toll on the other Exeggutor, and it too was felled.

"OK," Keith grinned. "Great work, guys. Let's keep moving."

"Santa's office should be just through that door," Blitzen said to Marvolo, who translated this for Keith, though still marveled at the notion that Keith could understand him now.

"And lemme guess- that's where Santa's being held?" Keith asked. Blitzen nodded. "OK," Keith sighed. "Well, let's just try and be ready for anything, then." As he spoke, he sent Bart back out- he figured he'd need all the help he could get here. And then, after taking a deep breath, he pushed the double doors open and walked through him.

Santa's office was huge. There was a large desk on the opposite end, numerous bookshelves and television screens, the latter of which seemed to depict various parts of the world. A small door off to the left, according to the sign hung on it, led to the room where the naughty-and-nice list was kept. More importantly, there sat the man himself, Santa Claus, behind the desk. He was tied to his seat with what appeared to be tinsel, and a pair of large Pokémon stood in between him and Keith. One of them appeared to be a large Jack-O-Lantern with something growing out of the top, hovering in midair. The other, a large, somewhat rotund rabbit, with powerful-looking ears. Keith aimed his Pokédex at them.

"Gourgeist, the Pumpkin Pokémon, and the evolved form of Pumpkaboo," said the Pokédex. "Gourgeist comes in four different sizes, ranging from Small Size to the rare Super Size. It is rumored that a Super Size Gourgeist with unusual powers exists somewhere in the world as the Great Pumpkin." And then the image changed to match the fat rabbit. "Diggersby, the Digging Pokémon, and the evolved form of Bunnelby," it continued. "Diggersby's powerful ears make it a valuable asset at any construction site, as they allow it to easily lift boulders weighing over a ton. The Easter Bunny is commonly believed to be a Diggersby."

"So," Keith said. "The Great Pumpkin and the Easter Bunny, I presume?"

"Yeah, that's right," the Diggersby replied- speaking in perfect English, to Keith's astonishment. "Oh, don't look so surprised," the Easter Bunny added, for Keith's surprise had shown on his face. "Old Man Kringle here understands what Pokémon say, after all."

"So, what, you think you're going to free Santa, save Christmas, all that shit?" demanded the Great Pumpkin.

"Well, I'm gonna try," Keith said defiantly.

"That's telling them!" Santa called from his seat. "Blitzen, work with Marvolo! You can do this!"

"Marvolo, Bart, let's go!" Keith exclaimed. "Marvolo, use Flamethrower on the Great Pumpkin! Bart, use High Jump Kick on the Easter Bunny!" As he spoke, he registered just how bizarre these orders sounded.

"Hey, EB- here!" the Great Pumpkin exclaimed. At once, several ghost-like wisps of energy emanated from the Great Pumpkin's body and circled the Diggersby for a moment before drifting into his body. In the next instant, Bart had lunged at the Easter Bunny, but inexplicably passed right through him! Keith looked on as his Scraggy nursed an injured knee on the floor behind the Easter Bunny.

"What- but- how?!" Keith spluttered. His Pokédex spoke up at that moment with an answer.

"Trick-Or-Treat- Gourgeist's special attack," said the device. "Gourgeist adds the Ghost-type to the target temporarily."

"So that's why High Jump Kick missed- he turned the Easter Bunny into a Ghost-type!" Marvolo exclaimed, before launching a Flamethrower. The Great Pumpkin was caught off-guard and took the super effective move. However, it didn't seem too badly hurt by the move, and in fact retaliated with a Flamethrower of its own. Marvolo screeched angrily as the flames assaulted him.

"Gah..." Keith grunted. "Bart, use Crunch!"

"Scraggy!!" Bart exclaimed, jumping up and biting the Diggersby. The Normal/Ground/Ghost-type exclaimed as he felt the currently super effective move, but with his ears, plucked the Scraggy off of him and threw him across the room with ease. At the same time, the Great Pumpkin slammed Marvolo with a Shadow Ball, sending him skidding across the floor.

Blitzen, meanwhile, was in the air, firing Shadow Balls at the Great Pumpkin, but in an instant, he too was in the air, evading the super effective blows with remarkable agility. The Stantler warily eyed the Great Pumpkin as he flew around the Normal-type... only to not see the Easter Bunny jumping up at him. "Blitzen, look out!" Keith shouted, but it was too late- the Easter Bunny had struck with a powerful Hammer Arm, and the Stantler was knocked out before he hit the floor. Meanwhile, the Great Pumpkin focused on Bart, and before Keith could issue orders, the Gourgeist unleashed Bullet Seed upon the Scraggy, knocking him out as well.

"Well, well, well," sneered the Easter Bunny. "All that's left is you two. A puny human and a sub-par Seviper. You guys are gonna save Christmas? HAH!"

"Yeah, enjoy your precious Christmas while it lasts," smirked the Great Pumpkin.

"What do you two even got against Christmas, anyway?" demanded Keith. "What's so bad about it that you want it ruined?"

"What's so bad about it?!" repeated the Easter Bunny. "I'll tell you what's so bad! Fat man back here keeps getting all kinds of letters from kids every year, kids who want him to break into their homes and give them stuff! Do you think I get that kind of publicity? No, sir!"

"And half the world doesn't even believe in me!" the Great Pumpkin added. "They think I was just invented for that one TV special!"

"Not to mention, how far in advance were stores stocking Christmas stuff?" demanded the Easter Bunny. "As far back as, what, September, right? Nobody gives two shits about Easter or Halloween anymore! That's why we gotta knock Christmas down a peg- we're saving our own holidays before they get wiped off the calendar altogether!"

"You two are stupid idiots, you know that?" Marvolo hissed. "You think stopping Santa means stopping Christmas? Christmas isn't just some fat prowler coming down the chimney and leaving presents. It's about love, happiness, being with family, all that good stuff."

"And you know what else?" Keith added. "Christmas is just one day out of the year, however early people start to get ready for it. Easter and Halloween will never be wiped out completely- your holidays are necessary, they give us something to look forward to while we wait for the next Christmas, don't you see? The year would be ass personified if Christmas was the only thing we ever had to look forward to."

Neither the Easter Bunny nor the Great Pumpkin spoke for a moment as they each exchanged looks. At last, the Easter Bunny spoke up, following a brief silence. "...They make good points," he said quietly. "What do you think, GP?"

"I think we been a couple of idiots," sighed the Great Pumpkin. "What are we doing, man? Stopping Santa from delivering wouldn't kill Christmas- it'd just give our holidays some seriously bad PR."

"Damn straight," nodded the Easter Bunny. Then, they turned to face Santa, and started to untie him, the Easter Bunny using his ears, and the Great Pumpkin using his long hairlike arms.

Keith and Marvolo exchanged small grins as, at last, Santa Claus was free.

"Man, we're sorry, Santa," said the Great Pumpkin. "I feel like a Small Size Gourgeist right about now. We were stupid."

"Yeah, we... me too, I'm... sorry," mumbled the Easter Bunny, looking down ashamedly.

"Ho, ho, quite all right," Santa smiled warmly. "There's still ten minutes left before I'm scheduled to take off- plenty of time to make the final preparations! And what's more, you two clearly seem to have learned your lessons. No harm done whatsoever. Now, who's gonna help me finish preparing to take off?" he asked.

Santa was true to his word. As it neared midnight, everything was coming together. The bag of gifts had already been packed prior to the incident, and was now being carefully loaded into the sleigh by numerous Delibird, as well as the Easter Bunny. Santa's endless supply of Christmas magic allowed him to revive his unconscious Stantler, all eight of whom were now hooked up to the sleigh. Santa himself was dressed in his trademark red suit, and looked ready to go. And perhaps most exciting to Keith, he and Marvolo were allowed to ride along until Santa swung by their Secret Base.

The experience was a magical one. Keith thoroughly enjoyed the ride, and in his opinion, they arrived back on the roof of his Secret Base entirely too early for his liking.

"Thank you both," Santa said as Keith and Marvolo climbed out of the sleigh. "I'm glad you were able to talk sense into the Great Pumpkin and the Easter Bunny. That's three years in a row now that Christmas has needed saving... they say these things always come in threes, so perhaps this may be the last time I require your help."

"Well, if it isn't, I'll be happy to help," Keith replied.

"As will I," added Marvolo. "I'm starting to like this whole saving-Christmas deal."

"Ho, ho, ho!" Santa laughed heartily. "Good to know, good to know! Now... perhaps you two should get some sleep?" he suggested. Before either one of them could reply, Santa clapped his hands twice, and snowflakes swirled all around Keith and Marvolo.

Keith blinked. They were back in the living room, Ariana still asleep on the couch, Pluself and Minelf glancing up at them. "Heeeey, nice work, you two!" grinned Pluself.

"Yeah," nodded Minelf. "Now, don't expect to see us every Christmas, y'know? We only come to life if it's an emergency, and just because this makes three Christmases in a row that needed saving don't mean it's gonna be a regular thing."

"That's more or less what you said last year," Marvolo pointed out, smirking.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," chuckled Minelf. "Alright, get some sleep, you two," he added as he and Pluself climbed back onto the fireplace.

"Marvolo, hold up a sec," Keith said, reaching into his backpack, which was lying on the coffee table. "Considering all that's just happened, not to mention this history you seem to have of saving Christmas... you think you might prefer being in this ball?" As he spoke, he produced from his backpack a red and green sphere- a Christmas Ball.

Marvolo studied the Christmas Ball for a moment before grinning. "You know, that could work," he said finally. "I mean, I personally prefer the Vampire Ball, but I can't deny this'd be fitting for me after all that's happened. OK, make it happen," he decided.

Keith smiled. He produced Marvolo's Poké Ball from his backpack, and fiddled with it until it split in half. He then tapped Marvolo with the Christmas Ball. It sucked the Seviper inside and pinged shut almost immediately. Keith then threw the Christmas Ball, unleashing Marvolo in a swirl of snowflakes, who coiled up on the floor, falling asleep almost instantly. Taking the hint, Keith laid back down on the couch, looking to get some sleep himself. It had been a long night. Indeed, when he awoke the next morning, Keith wasn't sure whether it had all been a dream... until, of course, he found he could still understand Seviper language.

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 03-26-2016 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 12-10-2015, 08:28 AM   #66
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Helena's Decision

Keith stood in the middle of the dirt road, grinning broadly as he faced the odd, shapeless, blob-like creature that had just crawled out of the nearby grove of trees. Meowth sat on Keith's shoulder, and Helena, his Shuppet, floated before him, facing the strange blob. Keith had his Pokédex out, and was pointing it at this unfamiliar Pokémon.

"Goomy, the Soft Tissue Pokémon," said the Pokédex. "Goomy is said to be the weakest of all Dragon-type Pokémon. It lives in damp, moist locations to prevent its body from drying out."

"Cool," Keith murmured. "I've never seen a Goomy before. Helena, ready?" he called.

"You bet!" nodded the Shuppet.

"OK, then!" grinned Keith. "Helena, use Headbutt!"

With that, Helena dove down at the Goomy, slamming her head into the Dragon-type. Goomy was sent tumbling backwards, but once it righted itself, it hastened to unleash a blast of Dragon Breath. The attack, however, seemed to have little effect on Helena. "Hey," Helena said suddenly. "Goomy's a Dragon-type, right? Wouldn't a Fairy attack work well against it?"

"Right!" Keith nodded. "I almost forgot about that! Use Dazzling Gleam!"

In response, Helena's eyes glowed brightly, and they unleashed a powerful blast of pure, white light. Goomy gurgled its discomfort as the super effective attack connected, and when the light died down, Goomy was struggling to not collapse.

Seizing his chance, Keith hurled a red-and-white sphere at the wild Goomy. "All right! Go, Poké Ball!" he exclaimed. However, as the sphere made contact, it made an odd buzzer-like sound and flew right back to Keith's hands, not even attempting to open. "Wha-" Keith began, before his Pokédex started beeping.

"The PC Storage System is full," said the Pokédex. "This Pokémon cannot be caught."

"...Oh," Keith sighed, remembering- that's right, he was out of space for new Pokémon, ever since he caught Kyle, his Heatmor, back in Mt. Aduro.

"I'm sorry," Helena sighed as she floated over to Keith (Goomy, grateful for the distraction, hauled ass out of there as fast as it could ooze). "I should've remembered you were out of PC space."

"No, if anything, I should've," Keith asserted. "It's my PC, after all. Helena, don't beat yourself up over this, I should've realized I didn't have the space for another Pokémon."


Back at Keith's Secret Base, Helena was pacing around the library. Keith had told her not to blame herself for what had happened with Goomy, but somehow she couldn't drop it. She couldn't shake the feeling that she had something to do with Keith's lack of PC space. Well, more to do with it than any other Pokémon would, anyway- more than just taking up her one PC space.

"Helena, are you OK?" asked Hermione. The Weedle was standing on a nearby table, looking up from the book she was reading on the history of the Apricorn.

"I'm fine, Hermione," Helena said with a small smile. "It's just... Keith was trying to catch a Goomy earlier, but he couldn't because he had no PC space. I just... I dunno, I can't shake the feeling I'm to blame for this somehow."

"Hmm... Maybe you're feeling this way because of Joy?" suggested Hermione. "She takes up one of Keith's PC spaces, after all. And even then, that's no reason to blame yourself. If Keith had wanted Joy off the team, I'm certain he'd have said something by now."

Helena said nothing in response. Joy. Of course. This was why she was feeling guilty about this- technically, Joy was Keith's Audino, but Helena was considered her Trainer. Her lifelong desire to own an Audino was the sole reason Keith kept Joy. Nodding to Hermione in acknowledgement of her words, Helena floated out of the library, and into the nearby Battle Room. Using Psychic, she produced a Poké Ball seemingly out of nowhere and made it rise up into the air. "Joy, come on out," Helena said as the ball opened up, unleashing the Audino withing.

"Hi, Helena," smiled Joy, though her smile faded somewhat as she noticed the heavy look on the Shuppet's face. "...Is something wrong?" she asked.

"Joy..." sighed Helena. She wasn't sure she could bring herself to say what she had to say, but she knew it had to be said, even if both Joy and Keith would disagree. "I... I have to find you another Trainer," she said at last. "I can't... I can't keep you."

"...Why?" Joy asked. She wasn't smiling anymore. She didn't look angry- more confused than anything else, really. "Wh-what did I do wrong?"

"Nothing!" Helena exclaimed emphatically. "Joy, it's not like that. It's just... it's... Keith doesn't have any PC space left, and I'm to blame for it. I was selfish to let him keep you just because I've always wanted an Audino. Joy, I... If I was still alive, we wouldn't be having this conversation. But I'm not a Trainer anymore, Joy. I'm not going to be entering Pokémon Contests, or competing for Gym badges, or entering any tournaments, or any of that. And you deserve to have a Trainer that's actually going to do that sort of thing with you."

"...I do kinda like the idea of entering Contests," Joy admitted. "I... it's just, Helena, you're a great Trainer, though!" she protested. "I... I'd miss you..."

"I'd miss you, too, Joy," sighed Helena. "But... a great Trainer knows to do what's best for their Pokémon. And Joy, what's best for you is that you find a Trainer who can bring out your full potential. If I was still alive, I'd have done everything I could've to be that Trainer, but... well, unless they change a lot of laws and make it so Ghost-type Pokémon can carry Trainer Licenses," she chuckled, "then I've done for you everything I can."

"...What does Keith think of this?" asked Joy.

"I didn't talk to him yet," Helena said. "Keith doesn't know."

"Oh, yes, he does," came a voice from behind Helena. The Ghost-type wheeled around- Keith was standing in the doorway.

"How much did you hear?" Helena asked.

"The whole thing, unless you were talking to Joy some more before you sent her out," Keith replied. "Helena... you don't have to do this. I have no problem keeping Joy around. I mean, if you wanted an Audino even half as badly as I've wanted a Trubbish, I wouldn't feel right asking you to give her up."

"Well, you're not asking me," Helena said, her voice shaking somewhat. "I... I want to do this, Keith. I want you to have more space for Pokémon you want for yourself, and I want Joy to go to a Trainer who can do more for her than I can." Her eyes were tearing up, but she still looked resolute.

Keith sighed. "Your mind's made up on this?" he asked. Helena nodded in response. Keith nodded back understandingly. Not only was Helena a Shuppet, she was also Keith's sister. Those two things added up to one undeniable fact- if Helena had made up her mind about something, she was not going to be persuaded to change it. "Alright," he sighed. "If this is really what you want, I'll help you find a Trainer to take in Joy."

"Audi..." sighed Joy. She sounded rather dejected, but deep down, she knew Helena was right. There was only so much Helena would be able to do for her as a Trainer.

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 03-26-2016 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 01-17-2016, 10:15 AM   #67
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Melittin Vs. The Mega II

The sun reflected off of the Key Stone set into Keith's Mega Hat as he walked along the shore of the lake. This was it. He and Melittin had been training hard, and at last, Keith knew they were both ready for a rematch.

"Ya sure he'll show up?" Meowth asked Keith, the Normal-type seated as usual on his Trainer's shoulder.

"Heh, you kidding?" grinned Keith. "That dick never passes up an opportunity to humiliate me. He'll show, Meowth, make no mistake."

Indeed, as Keith came to an area where a number of people were gathered, he saw none other than his longtime rival Ralph McPhione standing across from him. The gathered Trainers, many of whom had been present the last time Keith and Ralph battled, were quick to notice this.

"McPhione," Keith said.

"Masters," sneered Ralph. "I gotta say, it's not often you're dumb enough to actually request that I kick your ass. Usually we just bump into each other and it all goes downhill for you from there."

"You just gonna stand there talking?" demanded Keith. "I called you here for a Pokémon fight, and that's what I intend to have here. Same as last time- three one-on-one matches, best two out of three wins. That good with you?"

"Worked pretty well for me last time," retorted Ralph. "And make no mistake, it'll work out just as well for me this time," he added, as he threw a Dusk Ball. "Zweilous, stand by!" he shouted.

Keith's eyes narrowed as he saw the Dark/Dragon-type materialize. That thing had been able to take out Scorpius last time, despite him having evolved into Drapion during the match. Much as he was sure Scorpius would've liked another shot at Zweilous, he wanted to see how another of his Pokémon would do- she was, after all, due to participate in another battle he had scheduled.

Keith plucked the Premier Ball off his belt and clicked the button, bringing it to its full size. As he did this, one of the bystanding Trainers had taken the position on the sidelines, intending to act as referee. Keith then threw the Premier Ball. "OK! Ariana, let's go!" Keith exclaimed, as his Trubbish materialized in a blast of light. Ralph gave a derisive snort at the sight of the Trubbish, which caused her to look down in embarrassment. "Don't pay attention to him, Ariana," Keith called encouragingly. "What he thinks doesn't matter. I know you can do this, OK?"

"T-trub, Trubbish!" Ariana nodded, the words doing wonders to restore her confidence.

"OK, match number one- Zweilous vs. Trubbish," announced the referee. "Begin!"

"OK, Ariana! Use Take Down!" Keith commanded.

"Use Dragon Rush!" roared Ralph.

Immediately, both combatants charged forward, Ariana cloaked in a bright yellow aura, Zweilous surrounded by powerful blue energy takign a dragon-like shape. They collided in the middle of the makeshift battlefield, and Ariana was sent flying backwards. But to Ralph's surprise, so was Zweilous! Both of them slammed into the ground, but were able to get right back up.

"Now, Zweilous, use Double Hit!" ordered Ralph.

"Double Slap, let's go!" Keith called to Ariana.

Again, Ariana and Zweilous rushed at each other. But this time, Ariana's attack was quicker. Before Zweilous could strike with either of its heads, the Trubbish proceeded to slap the Hostile Pokémon, again, and again, and again. And what was more, Keith was delighted to see one of the slaps leave a trail of yellow gas in its wake. Zweilous froze up upon one of the heads inhaling this gas, and abandoned its attempt to attack.

"What are you doing?!" Ralph screamed. "Attack that Trubbish!"

"Yeah, that ain't happening," Keith grinned. "My Trubbish's Ability is Stench- that Double Slap made your Zweilous flinch! Now, Ariana!" he added. "Gunk Shot! Go!"

"Truuuuuuubb..." Ariana said as she held up her arms, charging what appeared to be a garbage bag aglow with purple energy between said arms. "...bbiiiiiiiish!" she yelled, hurling the glowing glob of garbage. Zweilous cried out in equal measures of pain and disgust as the attack made contact.

Now Keith was on a roll, and he knew it, too. "Infestation attack!" he called out.

Ariana took a deep breath, and burped loud and long. As she did so, a large swarm of glowing green gnats flew out of her mouth, whereupon they began to swarm all around Zweilous. The super effective Bug move was seriously pestering the Zweilous, but the more it tried to swat the bugs away, the more damage they caused to it.

"Zweilous, that does it!" Ralph snapped. "Use Earth Power right this second!"

"Ariana, give it a Rock Blast!" Keith ordered.

Zweilous reared up on its hind legs, but once again, Ariana was quicker. She started firing a barrage of large rocks out of her mouth. Keith watched as they plowed into Zweilous one right after the other, and he was delighted to see one of the rocks surrounded by the same yellow gas from before- Stench was kicking in again!

"Zweilous!" exclaimed Ralph. The Rock Blast had done its job, and thanks to Stench, the Dark/Dragon-type had flinched- it couldn't use its Earth Power attack.

"Let's wrap this up, Ariana!" Keith called out. "Use Sludge Wave!"

Almost immediately, a thick layer of translucent purple sludge formed all around Ariana. "Truuuuuuubb.... BBIIIIIIIIIIIIISH!!!" Ariana bellowed as the disgusting glop was unleashed all at once. The battered, beaten Zweilous found itself getting drenched in disgusting sludge, and this was just too much for it. The Hostile Pokémon slumped to the ground, not even trying to stand back up.

And that was all their referee needed to see. "Zweilous is unable to battle!" he declared. "The Trubbish is the winner!"

"Ariana, you were great!" Keith exclaimed as his Trubbish came running up to him. Keith scooped the adorable sentient trash bag into his arms and hugged her warmly, turning several onlookers' faces a delicate shade of green in the process. Ignoring this, Keith placed the Trubbish on the ground so she could watch the next round.

"This one'll be in the water," said Ralph. "And I forbid you to use that freakish Qwilfish of yours!" he added.

Keith raised an eyebrow. "You forbid me?" he repeated.

"You heard me," snapped Ralph. "That thing is not natural!"

"You mean he's too powerful for you to handle," smirked Keith. "Well, tough Timer Balls. I'll use him if I so please... and if I had him on me, which I don't at the moment." Meowth facepalmed (facepawed?).

"Heh, yeah, right," smirked Ralph as he threw a Safari Ball out over the lake. "Dragonair, stand by!" he called as a serpentine blue Pokémon materialized in the water. Keith remembered seeing this one as well- it had a powerful Thunder attack as he recalled, so any Water-type he used would be at a disadvantage. Then again, he reasoned, who said he had to use a Water-type? True, what he was thinking would put him at risk from any Dragon-type moves Dragonair might be packing, but it had some pretty good moves of its own in that regard...

Keith produced a Safari Ball of his own and threw it out onto the water. "Go, Neville!" he shouted, the ball splitting open to reveal a magnificent Dragalge.

Ralph raised an eyebrow. "One of those things?" he snorted. "OK, I'll be damned if I end up losing to such a disgraceful excuse for a Dragon-type. Dragonair, ready!"

"The hell did you just say about my Dragalge?" Keith demanded.

"You heard me, Masters," sneered Ralph. "That thing lost its right to be a Dragon-type the second it decided to be a Poison-type."

"You're delusional!" Keith exclaimed. "Why do you hate Poison-types so much, anyway?"

"Never you mind," snapped Ralph. "Dragonair! Dragon Pulse!"

"Neville, let's show 'em a real Dragon Pulse!" Keith ordered.

The Dragon Pulses were fired simultaneously. Both turquoise spheres of energy exploded violently over the surface of the water.

"Now use Dragon Rush!" Ralph shouted.

"Neville, use Smokescreen!" Keith called.

"Galgeeee!" Neville responded, firing a shot of ink from his mouth. Fired expertly, the attack got Dragonair right in the eyes, and as a result, its subsequent attempt at using Dragon Rush missed completely.

"Now, Neville!" Keith exclaimed as Dragonair was attempting to wash the ink out of its eyes with the lake water. "Play Rough, let's go!"

"Use Ice Beam!" snapped Ralph.

Neville charged forward, plowing through the water, but unfortunately for him, Dragonair wheeled around to face Neville, all the ink washed away. Its horn glowing a pale blue, Dragonair unleashed a powerful bolt of icy energy. Keith gritted his teeth as the super effective move made contact. And what was more, ice was spreading all over Neville's body as a result.

"No, Neville!" Keith exclaimed. "Use Draco Meteor!"

Though the ice continued to spread, a glowing orb of energy formed in the Dragalge's mouth. As it grew, the ice surrounding it began to crack. And then, finally, the ice exploded off of Neville as the orb flew up into the air and split into numerous shards of energy, which then began to rain down upon Dragonair. It was able to evade many of the shards, but a decent amount of them still made contact. More to the point, the ice had stopped spreading all over Neville's body.

"Dragonair, let's finish this!" Ralph ordered. "Dragon Rush!"

"Use Double Team!" Keith called.

Multiple copies of Neville began to materialize in the water, but Dragonair was undeterred. A powerful aura formed around Dragonair, taking a menacing, dragon-esque shape, before the Dragon-type jumped out of the water and dove down towards one of the Double Team copies. Or so Keith thought, anyway- as the move made contact, Keith realized entirely too late that it had in fact hit the real Neville. Once the ensuing spray of water died down, Keith saw his Dragalge adrift on the surface of the lake, feebly stirring.

"Dragalge is unable to battle!" declared the referee. "Dragonair is the winner!"

"Neville, come back!" Keith called, holding out the Safari Ball as Ralph held out his own. The two Dragon-types were withdrawn simultaneously. "Don't sweat it, you were great out there," Keith murmured to the Safari Ball. "You'll get it next time."

"Fat chance, Masters," sneered Ralph, who, Keith noticed, was already gripping a Great Ball in his hand. "Even you, stupid though you are, must know what's in this ball."

"Oh, I know what's in that ball," Keith nodded, taking a regular Poké Ball off of his belt. "And I, in turn, assume that your brain has not yet been addled by all of that hair grease, and therefore, that you must know what's in this ball."

"Heh. I think I can guess," Ralph smirked. "So you really think this is gonna be any different from last time?"

Keith chuckled, taking a second to tweak the brim of his hat, which had the added effect of allowing the Key Stone to catch the sunlight (and by extension, Ralph's attention). "You tell me, McPhione," was all he said.

Ralph's smirk widened. "I see," he said. "Finally wised up about Mega Evolution, hmm? Well, we'll just see about that. Sceptile! Stand by!" he shouted, throwing the Great Ball.

At the same time, Keith threw the Poké Ball. "I choose Melittin!" he exclaimed, his Beedrill appearing at the same time as Ralph's Sceptile. This time, the Sceptilite Sceptile wore around its neck was immediately visible. However, also visible on Melittin was a brown wristband on his left stinger, with a distinctive spherical stone set into it- the Beedrillite.

"Sceptile, Dual Chop!" ordered Ralph.

"Melittin, Twineedle!" Keith called.

The fight was on. Sceptile charged forward, its arm leaves aglow with Dragon energy, while Melittin flew forward, its forearm stingers aglow with Bug energy and poison in equal measures. They slashed and stabbed at each other, each managing to block the other's attacks rather effectively.

"Still evenly matched," remarked Ralph. "Well, not for long," he added, taking a familiar device out of his pocket. He pressed the button to bring the Mega Scepter to its full length, before striking the ground with it. "Sceptile, Mega Evolve!" he exclaimed.

Keith watched the transformation take place, the tendrils of energy connect the Key Stone and the Sceptilite. It was a sight he remembered all too well from many months ago, but this time, he was feeling confident about the battle. And at last, the transformation was complete- Sceptile had, once again, Mega Evolved.

Keith and Melittin exchanged highly significant glances. This, they both knew, was the time to unleash the full extent of the Beedrill's power. Keith grabbed the brim of the Mega Hat, swept it off his head, and held it up high. "Melittin!" he exclaimed. "Mega Evolve!"

At once, four tendrils of energy erupted from the Key Stone on Keith's hat, each one connecting with one of the four tendrils of energy erupting from the Beedrillite Melittin was wearing. Once they connected, the transformation began. Melittin's stingers grew sharper and longer, and two more stingers sprouted from its hind legs. At the same time, its rear stinger changed in shape slightly, as did the Beedrill's wings, and before Keith knew it, the transformation was complete- Melittin hovered before him in his formidable form.

Melittin's Beedrillite is reacting to Keith's Mega Hat!




Melittin has Mega Evolved into Mega Beedrill!
The crowd murmured excitedly- it wasn't often any Trainer got to see a battle between two Mega Evolved Pokémon, and now, that's just what they were in for. Melittin looked more fierce than any Beedrill had ever looked before, all five of his stingers sharp and ready for action.

"Wow," was all Meowth could say.

"You're damn right, 'wow'," Keith grinned. "Melittin, ready?" he called. A deep, echoing buzz from the Mega Beedrill was what Keith got as a response. "Then let's win this!" Keith exclaimed. "Use Swords Dance!"

"Sceptile, Dragon Breath now!" Ralph ordered.

Sceptile unleashed a bright green blast of energy from its mouth, but Melittin's stingers started glowing, and he spun around in midair. And this time, he did not have to cut the attack short to evade Dragon Breath- the spinning deflected the entirety of the move.

"Now! Use Poison Jab!" Keith ordered.

What happened next, Keith would have missed it if he had blinked at the wrong second. At lightning speed, Melittin stuck his four smaller stingers into grooves that were now on the sides of his rear stinger- the effect made it look like he had one very large stinger. And Melittin zipped forward with incredible speed, the whole mess of stingers aglow with a poisonous purple aura. Mega Sceptile was sent flying backwards by the force of the move, crashing into the mercifully sturdy trunk of a large tree.

"Sceptile!?" Ralph exclaimed. In response, Mega Sceptile climbed back to its feet. It was unsteady, shaky, wobbly, and looking less confident than Keith had ever seen it in that form, but still standing nevertheless. "Now use Dragon Pulse!" Ralph ordered.

"Fury Attack!" Keith shouted.

Melittin flew forward at dizzying speeds, jabbing viciously at Sceptile with all five stingers. Despite this, however, the Grass/Dragon-type unleashed a powerful blast of Dragon energy from its mouth, sending Melittin crashing into a tree as well. The Mega Beedrill was able to right itself with little trouble, however.

"Give it a Dragon Claw!" Ralph called.

"Mel! Twineedle, do it!" Keith yelled.

The combatants lunged at each other again. This time, however, the Mega Beedrill deftly evaded the powerful swipe of Mega Sceptile's claws and put all of his stingers together again. Then, the cluster of stingers glowing a vivid shade of green, Melittin jabbed at Sceptile with great force, sending it soaring into the air. But he wasn't done- Twineedle called for two hits, after all. He flew up, zipping past Mega Sceptile, and jabbed at it a second time, this one from above, sending it tumbling to the ground. And yet, despite the damage it had taken, despite the purple tint around its forehead telling Keith it was now poisoned, Mega Sceptile still stood back up. Keith was actually in disbelief at this point- he was sure that that would have finished the job! Not only was Melittin being powered up by his Swords Dance right now, he also was able to put more power into his Bug and Poison attacks. Not only because they matched his type, either- no, as Mega Beedrill, Melittin's Ability was Adaptability. Keith knew that Ability well, as it was the same one as his Blue-Striped Basculin possessed. Adaptability allowed the Pokémon to put even more extra power than it usually would into moves matching its own type, like Melittin's Poison Jab and Twineedle. And that's to say nothing of the naturally high attack power Mega Beedrill possessed!

"Sceptile, we'll finish this once and for all!" Ralph shouted. "Get ready!"

"Melittin, let's make this one count!" Keith called.

For a moment, all was still and silent, the tension so thick in the air you'd need Defog to get through it. And then...

"Hyper Beam!" bellowed Ralph.

"Giga Impact!" Keith exclaimed.

Mega Sceptile aimed its missile-like tail at the same time Melittin positioned his stingers close together. And then, as the Grass/Dragon-type unleashed a powerful, purple-black beam of pure destructive force from his tail, Melittin zoomed forward, stingers first, spinning like a drill, streaks of intense purple and yellow energy swirling all around him. The attacks made contact, causing a powerful shockwave to erupt from the point of impact, but neither attack was stopped- in fact, Melittin was drilling his way through the Hyper Beam with Giga Impact, like a knife through incredibly destructive butter. Though the Hyper Beam was slowing Melittin's progress, it was by no means stopping him. They drew closer and closer... and then, with one last effort, Melittin forced himself forward, blasting through the Hyper Beam completely, and slamming into Mega Sceptile, pushing it backwards, plowing it clear through the trunks of several rather unfortunate trees before the Giga Impact finally died down. Everyone rushed over to get a better look, but even as they did so, Sceptile glowed briefly as it resumed its normal form, barely stirring as it lay on the ground.

"Sceptile is unable to battle!" the referee exclaimed. "Beedrill wins- which means this guy wins with a score of two wins to one loss!" he declared, gesturing towards Keith.

"YES!!!" Keith cheered as Melittin also resumed his normal form. "Mel, you were awesome!" Keith exclaimed, his Beedrill flying celebratory loop-de-loops in midair. "I knew you had it in you!"

In stark contrast to Keith's joyful reaction to the battle's outcome, Ralph was nothing short of livid. His hand was shaking so violently that he was having trouble aiming the Great Ball properly- it took him five or six tries to withdraw Sceptile. Once he finally did so, he stormed over to Keith, who looked at him expectantly. "Yes?" Keith said to Ralph.

"This was a fluke, Masters," seethed Ralph. "It has to be!" he exclaimed, firing up at the sight of Keith rolling his eyes. "I trained my noble Dragon Pokémon long and hard, there is no way in the Distortion World I should be legitimately losing to some idiotic, second-rate, loser of a Trainer, especially one who believes Missingno. are real, and who uses stupid, stinking, low-down, disgusting Poison-types!!!" he exclaimed.

Keith opened his mouth to retort, but found this to be unnecessary- Ariana, infuriated by Ralph's harsh words against her Trainer, sprang into action. The Trubbish jumped up, ramming into Ralph with a Take Down, forcing him to fall to the ground. "Trub Trubbish trub!" she exclaimed, a fire burning in her eyes the likes of which Keith had never seen before. "Trubbish Trubbish.... TRUUUUUUUBB!" she bellowed, unleashing an Infestation onto the ill-tempered Dragon-type Trainer. Ralph exclaimed angrily as he ran away, fruitlessly swatting at the numerous glowing bugs circling his head. Keith laughed at this sight, even moreso as he heard distant coughing and gagging noises implying that Ralph had swallowed one, until he felt a pair of garbagey arms hugging his legs. Keith knelt down and hugged the Trubbish gratefully.

"Heh... Ariana, thanks for that," Keith smiled. "I've never seen you so riled up before, though. What brought that on?"

Ariana blushed and looked down. "T-trub, Trubbish," she murmured. "Trubbish Trubbish trub Trubbish, Trubbish Trubbish trub."

"Ariana says youse ain't none o' da tings Ralph was calling youse," Meowth translated. "She says she couldn't live wit herself if she let him get away wit talkin' to youse like dat."

"Wow," Keith murmured. "Ariana, thanks," he said, hugging the Trubbish again, who hugged him back tightly. "You don't have to worry about that, though," he added. "Believe me, the crap he's saying to me is nothing new. He seemed a bit more agitated than usual, but this is the same old stuff I've heard from him all my life. You and I both know that the things he was saying aren't true. Now, how about we go home?" he suggested. "Get you some nice garbage to eat? And Mel," Keith added, turning to face his Beedrill with a proud expression. "You were nothing short of amazing out there, man. In fact, I think you've earned this,” he added, taking a sphere out of his backpack- one half was white, but the other was black and yellow. It was an Ultra Ball. Melittin buzzed happily upon spotting the sphere. Keith grinned- he knew Melittin had wanted to be transferred into an Ultra Ball ever since just before Keith ended up buying the Beedrillite to begin with, but the events following that served as a more than adequate distraction from that matter. But now, Keith had already forced Melittin's Poké Ball to split into useless halves, and he tapped the Beedrill with the Ultra Ball. Melittin was sucked inside the ball, which barely wobbled before pinging shut. Satisfied, Keith made his way back towards his Secret Base, though not before scooping his Trubbish into his arms- after that maneuver she pulled with Infestation, he was carrying Ariana the whole way home- she'd earned it.

(OOC: Ultra Ball is #3 of 4.)

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 03-26-2016 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 01-24-2016, 10:55 PM   #68
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A Pawniard stood in front of the door leading into the Secret Base. Ever alert, she cast sharp glares at anything unfamiliar that ventured too close, and even anything familiar, for that matter. Despite the wariness and suspicion constantly present in her personality, however, Ginny saw something walking in from the distance that caused her to betray a small smile- her Trainer.

It had been a long day for Keith- it felt like almost a week, in fact. Early that morning, he set off for the Clawmark Mountain Range, following news reports of a massive rockslide among the supposedly treasure-packed peaks, in the hopes that said rockslide might have dislodged some treasure. However, he found nothing of particular monetary value, although he was far from disappointed with what he had found. Accompanying him, aside from the obvious Meowth, were Bellatrix, Keith's Skuntank, and Malfoy, Keith's Toxicroak, the former looking beside herself with happiness, and the latter looking... much the same as ever, though Ginny could've sworn there was more of a spring in the Toxicroak's step than usual.

As they approached the Secret Base, Ginny approached them, now floating in midair courtesy of her Magnet Rise technique. Keith sighed, but allowed Ginny to administer her usual tests- she tickled Keith to make sure he wasn't a Ditto in disguise; she delivered a light Scratch to his torso to ensure he wasn't a Zorua or Zoroark; and he also had to generate a small wisp of Smog to rule out anything else she didn't think of. Once assured of Keith's identity, Ginny saluted her Trainer.

"Alright, Ginny, at ease," smiled Keith. "I want you to meet the newest member of the team, actually," he added, producing a pale blue sphere from his belt and enlarging it. "Now don't be like that," he added sternly, for Ginny had narrowed her eyes in suspicion. "I saw this hatch myself, he thinks Bellatrix and Malfoy are his parents, and that's just what they're going to be to him. There is no way in the Distortion World that this guy has any kind of hidden agenda whatsoever. Are we clear on that?"

Ginny still had her suspicions, but then again, she always did. She knew, deep down, that if Keith was indeed being honest, then odds were he was right. And Ginny knew that sometimes, she just had to trust Keith. "Pawn Pawniard," she replied with a nod and a salute.

Keith nodded back with a smile. "Glad to hear it," he said. "OK, then," he added, tossing the Ice Ball. "Go, Lenny!" he exclaimed, as the ball split open, unleashing a Sneasel, though not like any Sneasel Ginny had ever seen- this one had brown fur, and his feathers were a shade of pale blue very similar to that of the Ice Ball from which he was sent out.

"Hey, hi!" Lenny greeted the Pawniard. "I'm Lenny! Who are you?"

"The name is Ginny," was the Pawniard's reply. "Now be sure to understand that I take security very seriously around here, OK?"

"Ohhh, you're Ginny?" said Lenny. "I heard of you. My dad thinks you're a nut."

"Eheheh, now, now, son, that's- that's not exactly what I was getting at," Malfoy said sheepishly.

But Ginny didn't seem offended. "Your dad's far from the only one," she said to Lenny. "But as long as I can continue to ensure our Trainer's safety, I don't give a Raticate's ass who thinks I'm a nut-"

"Ginny! Language, please, he's not even a day old yet!" hissed Bellatrix.

"He's going to be exposed to foul language on this team one way or another," Ginny retorted. "Why prolong the inevitable?"

"She's not wrong," shrugged Malfoy. "Aria's had a colorful vocabulary since she was a Budew, mostly due to Marvolo and Pisces."

"Yeah, I know," sighed Bellatrix. "And I suppose I won't be able to stop Lenny from hanging out with them, either."

"Can I hang out with them, Mom?" Lenny asked, excitedly. "Dad's been telling me about them- they hunt! That's so cool! I could team up with them to grab Eggs out of a nest!"

"You're a little young to be hunting, though, aren't you, Lenny?" asked the Skuntank.

"I know this isn't my business," Ginny piped up, "but Fang's told me that Aria wasn't a day old when she made her first kill."

"Yeah, that's true," admitted Bellatrix. "Alright, then, you can hunt with them- but I want a word with them first," she insisted.


"...Yeesh," Marvolo was saying, the Seviper leading a small, motley pack of predatory Pokémon- Lenny, of course; A Carnivine and Roserade holding hands; and a Heatmor with a Blue-Striped Basculin slung over his shoulder. "Did any of you ever see Bellatrix like that before?"

"Never," replied Aria, the Roserade. "Usually she's pretty easygoing. Never expected her to threaten us, let alone threaten to do those kinds of things to our-"

"We get the idea, Aria," interrupted Kyle, the Heatmor. "Anyway, I wasn't all that surprised by Bellatrix, personally. I mean, Lenny's her son, he's very young, it's only natural she'd be very protective. It was the same way in my pack. Besides, what have we to worry about? We're not about to let anything actually happen to Lenny, right?"

"True," Marvolo conceded. He sounded less reluctant to admit someone else was right than usual- ever since the Heatmor had proven himself against a fully-grown Haxorus, almost everyone on the team had great respect for Kyle.

"Yeah, she ain't got nothing to worry about," grinned Fang, the Carnivine. "Especially if Lenny here's got as much natural talent as a certain someone," he added, turning to look at the Roserade, who blushed and giggled at the compliment.

The entire time this conversation was happening, Lenny was walking alongside Kyle. "So, Kyle, did you really kill a Heatran?" the young, off-color Sneasel asked. "Because Helga was saying something like that when I met her, and I know Heatran's this really, really strong, like, legendary Pokémon-"

"You didn't hear the whole story, lad," Kyle interrupted. "It was mainly Gemini, Mustard, and Helga- I merely helped as best I could."

"Hey, according to Keith, your help was pretty fucking big," Pisces piped up, the Blue-Striped Basculin still slung over the Fire-type's shoulder. "Not only paralyzing Heatran but also giving Keith the idea to target its iron helmet? That don't sound like nothing to me. That's some good shit."

"I suppose there's something to that," Kyle conceded modestly. "I-" he stopped suddenly, however, and sniffed the air, detecting Odors like he was some kind of Sleuth. "Oooh," he murmured hungrily. "Guys, there's a... mmm... Durant nest not far from here. Anyone else like those?"

"Hey, I'll try anything once," said Pisces. "And I love a good crunch!"

"Melt 'em down, they're a decent enough snack," agreed Marvolo.

"As long as they're bugs, count me in," grinned Fang, already starting to salivate.

"If Fang's in, so am I," Aria added. "Never tried Durant myself, but I suppose that's about to change."

"Do they lay Eggs?" Lenny asked.

"They do," confirmed Kyle. "I personally prefer them when they've hatched, but the Eggs make a decent snack if you're impatient. Or desperately starved. Either or."

"Well, I'm sold," grinned the Sneasel. "Let's go!"

The group continued onward, changing direction as Kyle dictated, until only a few bushes separated them from a large mound of dirt. Multiple Pokémon that resembled mechanical ants were crawling in and out of a big hole in the top of the mound, and crawling all around, some carrying food, some seeming to be doing some sort of maintenance on the mound, and so forth.

"Alright, where's the Eggs at?" whispered Lenny excitedly.

"Be patient, lad," Kyle whispered back, although the sight of so many Durant was causing him to salivate, tiny embers dribbling from his mouth and onto the dirt below. "Durant nests are dug into the ground, and the Eggs are hidden beneath. What we need to do is flush out the Durant so we can eat them all, and then proceed into the nest unopposed."

"I got an idea," Lenny said suddenly. "Marvolo uses Dig to get into the nest another way, puts the fear of Arceus in them with Flamethrower, and I follow him in. They flee, and you guys wait for them when they get up top. Meanwhile, Fang, Aria, you put these guys out of commission with a nice Grass Whistle duet. Me and Marvolo split the Eggs 50/50, then come out so Marv can get in on whatever Durant you guys didn't already devour."

A stunned silence was all the response Lenny got. None of them could quite believe that this baby Sneasel had just concocted such a well thought-out plot, knowing nothing of Durant but the few sentences Kyle spoke of them to him.

"...Isn't it a good idea?" Lenny added meekly.

"It's fucking brilliant," Pisces replied. "I just didn't expect you to come up with something that good!"

"Frankly, neither did I," Kyle admitted. "I suppose you merely caught us off-guard. The plan sounds good, Lenny. What do you all think?"

This question was met with murmurs of assent, which Marvolo took as his cue to quietly Dig his way underground. At first, all was quiet. And then, dozens of Durant started racing out of the nest as fast as they could, throwing the whole colony into a frenzy. At this, Lenny jumped down into the hole after Marvolo, while Fang and Aria hovered and stepped, respectively, forward, and started their Grass Whistle attacks simultaneously. It was a beautiful duet, though Kyle covered his ears- he didn't want to sleep through the hunt, after all!

The Grass Whistles kicked in almost immediately- the frenzied Durant started to slow down, then they slumped to the ground, and then they started snoring. "Excellent," Kyle murmured before stepping forward and picking up a sleeping Durant. With his flame-covered tongue, Kyle melted down the Durant's innards and drank it up hungrily, discarding the empty exoskeleton afterwards. He joined up with Fang and Aria, whereupon he taught them how best to eat Durant. Of course, neither the Carnivine nor the Roserade had flame-covered tongues, but they both had Fire-type Hidden Powers, which Kyle agreed would work just as well. Aria took to the technique almost immediately, bombarding a sleeping Durant with fiery Hidden Power orbs, all of them aimed at the exact same spot with great precision. The attack on its own, of course, wouldn't melt a Durant's innards, but when aimed with such expertise, that was a whole other swarm of Yanma. She found herself gulping down multiple melted Durant innards, while Fang preferred to stick one in his mouth and let his digestive acid do the work instead. Even Pisces was able to eat some Durant, albeit without melting them- it took some persistence, but her sharp teeth were able to break through the hard shells.

After a while, Marvolo emerged from the now-empty Durant nest, with Lenny not far behind. Both of them looked rather full, though Marvolo still found room to melt and drink the innards of one Durant, if only to experience it. Lenny, on the other hand, was too full- he'd eaten enough Eggs to last him the whole day through.

"Oh, man, that was epic!" Lenny exclaimed as they made their way back to Keith's Secret Base. "You should've seen Marv in there, he was all 'aaaaarrrrgh', with the fire, and the Durant were scared out of their wits, and then we found this big chamber and it had nothing but Durant Eggs! Man, did we eat good today!"

"That we did," smirked Marvolo. "You did good, kid," he added to Lenny, the Sneasel looking even more pleased at this praise.


"Well, how was my baby's first hunt?" smiled Bellatrix, as Lenny raced over and hugged the Skuntank and the Toxicroak.

"Oh, man, it was fucking epic, Mom!" grinned Lenny, oblivious to the look on his mother's face in response to the swearword. "You should'a seen it, me and Marv were in this Durant nest, and Marv was breathing fire and scared all the Durant shitless, and they fled, and everyone else is all eating them, but me and Marv, we found their Eggs, and there were a lot of fucking Eggs, and we ate 'em all! It was AWESOME!! " he exclaimed. Yes, he even said the smiley face. Somehow.

"Sounds like you had a real adventure, my boy," grinned Malfoy. "Glad you had so much fun."

"Yeah, that sounds amazing," smiled Bellatrix. "Malfoy, Lenny, would you excuse me for a minute?" she added as she started to walk away. "Mommy needs to go murder Pisces."

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 03-26-2016 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:06 PM   #69
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Evolutionary Woes III

In a darkened room, the Numel paced back and forth, deep in thought. Knowing the reputation that Numel, as a species, are known to have, one wouldn't think a Numel to be deep in thought, but nevertheless, this one was. One might have thought he was muttering to himself as well, were it not for the Torkoal standing nearby, saying not a word herself, yet clearly listening intently to everything the Numel was saying.

Another way that this Numel was not ordinary was that he was speaking English. Human language. And then there was the matter of the black fedora atop his head. Yes, Vinny was a decidedly unusual specimen, but at the moment, the conflict raging in his head was one not uncommon among Pokémon in the slightest.

"...and Simple is damn useful," Vinny was murmuring as he paced back and forth. "I mean, I use a move that boosts my stats, my stats get twice the boosts. It's friggin' glorious. But then again, I'd stand to gain Solid Rock. Now that I think I'd like- Water moves ain't exactly a picnic..."

The Torkoal watched as Vinny paced back and forth, debating various pros and cons as he did so. She knew what was troubling the Numel, and wanted to offer her support, but she wasn't sure how to put it.

Eventually, Vinny stopped pacing and turned to face the Torkoal. "Hey, Shelley," he said. "What do you think, babe? I mean, youse made it clear you're cool with me stayin' like this, but suppose I was to, uh..."

Shelley didn't give Vinny a chance to finish the question. She pumped out a few puffs of White Smoke from a hole in her shell. One took the shape of a Torkoal, another took the shape of a Numel wearing a fedora. The third one, floating between them, took the shape of a heart. Then, Shelley focused, and the Numel-shaped puff changed shape, resembling a completely different creature that looked to have twin volcano peaks on its back. The heart-shaped puff changed as well- it grew larger.

Vinny gave a small smirk at this sight. "Heh... thanks, babe," he said. "I mean, you know I ain't sure about this one way or another... nice to know ya got my back either way."

Shelley focused again. Now the puffs of smoke took the shape of a man wearing a cowboy hat, and a question mark.

"Nah, the hat man's cool with it either way," Vinny responded. "I just ain't sure, cuz there's pros and cons no matter which way I go with this. Bein' bigger, havin' more raw power, that's good and all, but it'd come at the cost of Simple, and youse gots to know by now I friggin' love that Ability. While on the other hand, if I want to keep Simple, I gotta stay like this... and ain't nobody gonna take me serious like this," he sighed. "Well, I know you would," he amended with a small grin in Shelley's direction. "And the hat man, too, he's good like that... nah, but I mean our enemies. And believe you me, I've made some enemies. It comes with the territory in this, uh, line of work. Not to mention, hat man keeps interferin' with Team Rocket's affairs, and they've already tried to eliminate him more than once." Vinny sighed. "I dunno, Shells. Am I being selfish here? Simple's basically the only argument I got here, and the way I'm talkin', it's gettin' harder and harder to justify it."

In response, Shelley slowly approached the conflicted Numel and kissed him on the cheek. This elicited a small smile from the fedora-clad Fire/Ground-type.

"Heh... y'know what? I think I'll do it," Vinny decided. "I think I'll-"

At that point, however, he was interrupted by a frantic knocking at the door, followed by aforementioned door swinging open. A middle-aged man in a suit came stumbling into the room, out of breath and disheveled.

"What," Vinny snapped to the man, "have I told youse about interrupting my private time?" Despite Vinny being decidedly shorter than this man, the newcomer looked almost fearful of the Numel.

"My apologies, boss," he said hastily, bowing respectfully. "I know you like your privacy, so you know I wouldn't have dared to interrupt were this not urgent, but you said to keep you posted if Team Rocket made any move for Masters-"

"Out with it," Vinny cut across the man's babbling. "What's this about Team Rocket and Masters?"

"They're planning an attack on Masters's Secret Base," the man explained. "My source claims the order came from the very top."

"Giovanni..." murmured Vinny. "Very well. Thank you for telling me this. You may go," he said to the man.

"Thank you, boss," the man exclaimed, breathing a sigh of relief. "Thank you-"

"Enough," Vinny snapped, and the man ceased his groveling at once, instead backing out of the room in silence, bowing the entire time. Once he was gone, Vinny turned back to Shelley. "I know what I gotta do here," he said to Shelley. "Hat man ain't gonna be too pleased with what I gotta do here, but the way I see it, it's the lesser of two evils. C'mon, babe- we're goin' home. But first, I got a little... withdrawal... to make on the way."

Shelley nodded understandingly, and followed Vinny out the door. She knew exactly what the Numel meant, she knew Keith wasn't going to be happy about it, but she also knew that if it meant the difference between life and death, Keith was likely to be a lot more forgiving.


"Meowth, Fury Swipes! Chance, Aura Sphere! Mel, Poison Jab!"

Keith Masters stood outside his Secret Base, looking around in all directions- no fewer than six Team Rocket grunts were coming in from all directions, their various Pokémon closing in on the Poison-type Trainer. Several Pangoro and Krookodile, as well as a handful of Raticate, and even a Tangrowth. And several of Keith's Pokémon, the few he had been training at that moment, were doing their best to fend off the intruders. Meowth was furiously scratching and swiping at a Raticate, the Blastoise's Aura Sphere slammed into one of the Krookodile, and a formidable Mega Beedrill was plowing its large stinger into the Tangrowth. However, their efforts were looking to be in vain- the enemies kept closing in. Keith glanced up at his Secret Base- a Golbat was hovering at the top of the ladder, or else Keith would have tried to retreat into the Secret Base and get some backup.

And then, as Keith looked on, a stream of flames flew from out of nowhere, striking the Golbat down. Surprised, Keith looked around for the source of the Flamethrower. "What the-" he began.

In response, his Numel approached him, with Shelley following close behind. "'Sup, hat man?" smirked Vinny. "I ain't too late, am I?"

"Just in time, Vinny," Keith grinned back. "We need all the help we can get right about now. Vinny, Shelley, double Flamethrower!"

Immediately, the pair of Fire-types set to work, launching twin streams of powerful fire at various opponents. The Tangrowth and one of the Pangoro collapsed from the attacks. What struck Keith about this in particular, however, was just how strong Vinny's Flamethrower was- Keith didn't think his Numel had that kind of power in him.

"Vinny, what the..." Keith murmured. "That was stronger than usual for you."

"Oh, you ain't seen nothin' yet, hat man," smirked Vinny. And then, as if to drive the point home, the Numel started glowing! His mind made up, Vinny allowed his body to undergo the transformation he'd been long debating the pros and cons of. His legs grew thicker and sturdier, his head got larger (as did, somehow, his fedora), and the hump on his back split into two mountain-shaped humps. And the entire time, Vinny was also getting taller. Keith looked on in astonishment as the glow faded- what was, just minutes ago, a Numel that barely came up to his knees, was now a tall, imposing , much closer to Keith's height than ever before.

"...Holy crap, Vinny," Keith murmured, holding out his Pokédex.

"Camerupt, the Eruption Pokémon, and the evolved form of Numel," said Keith's Pokédex. "Camerupt's body contains a volcano with superheated magma boiling within. It lives in volcanic craters, erupting whenever it is angered."

"Yeah, I think I made the right call here," Vinny smirked, his voice remarkably unchanged. "I ain't sayin' it was right of me to do what I had to do to do this, but I think you'll agree it's a better alternative than letting these thugs do you in, savvy?" he said to Keith.

"What you had to do-" Keith began, before a look of dawning comprehension came over his face. "...My Rare Candies," he sighed. "You know I was saving those for Marvolo, Vinny?"

"Yeah, well, extenuating circumstances and all that," replied the Camerupt, eyeing the Team Rocket grunts now regarding him warily. "Those Candies ain't gonna be too useful if you're dead, after all."

"There's something to that," Keith agreed. "So, uh, what say we deal with these Team Rocket jerks, hmm?"

"Music to my ears," Vinny smirked. "Go ahead, make the call."

"With pleasure," Keith smirked back. "Vinny, Earth Power!"

"Yeah!" exclaimed Vinny as he reared up and slammed his front feet into the ground. Immediately, the Earth all around began to erupt with Power. Every single Raticate and half the Pangoro fell to the ground unconscious immediately.

At this, half of the grunts withdrew their fallen Pokémon and ran off. Not all of the grunts did this, however- the remaining ones looked furious. "Get him!" roared one of them. "Krookodile, Aqua Tail!"

"Vinny, look out!" Keith warned his Camerupt.

"Relax, I got this," Vinny responded. Indeed, though the Krookodile landed the super effective move, the Camerupt stood his ground, his Solid Rock helping him to withstand the harsh blow.

"Heh, you sure do!" Keith said, evidently impressed. "Alright, Vinny, Headbutt, go!"

Vinny gladly obliged. The Krookodile, now panting slightly from its ultimately useless attack, was knocked to the ground by the force of the Camerupt's Headbutt.

To make matters even better, despite the fact that Keith was only giving Vinny orders at the moment, his other Pokémon were putting in a good effort against their enemies. Meowth, claws still extended, stood triumphantly atop a fallen Pangoro; Chance stood before an unconscious, frozen Tangrowth; Melittin's speed kept causing a pair of Krookodile to accidentally attack each other; and Shelley was toppling several other Krookodile with her Gyro Ball. Before long, all that remained of their opposition was one Team Rocket grunt, a pair of Krookodile, and a Pangoro.

"Grr... I won't give up," hissed the grunt. "We got orders, and unlike my teammates, I'm not such the coward as to retreat before carrying out my orders!"

"Yeah, yeah, tell it to Officer Jenny," Keith smirked. "Time to take out the trash. Vinny, let's try out one of your new moves. Rock Slide attack!"

In response, numerous red rings of energy flew out of Vinny's humps. The rings soared through the air, and as they flew above the grunt's Pokémon, a number of large rocks fell out of each ring, quickly burying the Dark-types in a pile of rocks. Meanwhile, a wall of rocks quickly went up all around the grunt, preventing him from escaping. This made his subsequent arrest by the police a very easy matter, and more to the point, it allowed Keith to escape this situation unscathed. And best of all, just as Vinny had known, the fact that Keith's life had hung in the balance made him a lot more forgiving about the fact that his Numel- sorry, Camerupt- had basically cleaned out his entire Rare Candy stash.

What?  Numel is evolving!




Congratulations!  Your Numel evolved into Camerupt!

*Vinny learned Fissure!*

*Vinny learned Eruption!*

*Vinny learned Rock Slide!*

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 03-26-2016 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:40 PM   #70
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Bird's-Eye Unova

The Pokémon world- vast, expansive, full of interesting places and lovely sights. Any Trainer should consider themselves blessed to have the luxury of exploring even just one of its various regions, from the historically significant Sinnoh region to the vast, expansive Fizzytopia region, to even the barren, desert Orre region, let alone all of them. And yet, that kind of luxury was available to one individual in particular. Not a Trainer, no, but rather a Pokémon. A full-grown bird with admittedly plain plumage, who wore the white half of a Poké Ball on a shoelace around her neck.

High in the sky over the vast blue ocean soared Batrach the Unfezant, taking in the beauty of the ocean below, as well as the landmass in the distance. Not 72 hours ago, Batrach hadn't nearly this level of freedom, but rather, had been under the ownership of a Pokémon Trainer known as Keith Masters. Until, that is, she knew her real dream was to see the world, to have the freedom to go anywhere she pleased on the slightest of whims. And Keith, never one to stand in the way of his Pokémon's dreams, obliged her request to release her, the better for her to live her dream.

And was she living it! In the previous day alone, Batrach had the good fortune to see the Kanto region from above, take in its natural beauty, from the volcano of Cinnabar Island to the massive Mt. Moon and everything in between, to say nothing of the neighboring Johto region. She wound up flying alongside formidable Flying-types owned by one of Johto's Gym Leaders, even sparring with them at their request.

Today, however, Batrach's travels took her to a somewhat distant region, nowhere near Kanto or Johto, or even Hoenn, Orre, or Sinnoh. This region went by the name of Unova, and as Batrach drew closer, she could see many beautiful sights. Long rivers ran the entire length of the region, a series of bridges built to span them, keep the region connected. A big city with a gently curving main road sat on the south shore, just south of a sandy desert. And in the very center of the region, a strange and mysterious-looking forest.

After admiring Unova from above for a while, Batrach decided to see some of the sights up close. And as she descended, she decided on her first destination- an impressive, massive stone tower in the northwest. Clearly a very old structure, and yet it looked much sturdier than many modern buildings. It was almost intimidating, really, and indeed, Batrach found it tempting to not actually land anywhere near it, and merely admire it from afar.

And just as that thought crossed the bird's brain, she spotted something- no, someone- atop the tower. A young man, who looked, she supposed, not too far from Keith's age, wearing a black and white baseball cap over long, light green hair. He was looking out from the top of the tower, as though pondering something. Driven by curiosity, Batrach flew in even closer to the top of the tower.

The man noticed her immediately. "Hello," he greeted the Unfezant with a gentle smile. "Unfezant... I get the feeling you're not from around here, are you?" he asked.

Batrach wasn't sure what to make of the man. He asked it as though he seriously expected an answer in a language he could understand, but Batrach couldn't speak human language. "No, no I'm not," she replied.

The man nodded. "I thought not," he said. "You look like you've come a considerable distance. Where are you from?"

"The... the Fizzytopia region," said the Unfezant, giving the man a curious look. Could he... could he understand what she was saying?

To her astonishment, the man replied, "The Fizzytopia region? I don't believe I know of it... Then again, I'm not very well educated in the regions of this world beyond this one, the Unova region. My name is N, by the way."

"So wait- you can understand what I say?" Batrach asked, astonished.

"I can," N nodded. "I grew up around Pokémon from a very young age. Pokémon mistreated and abused by Trainers," he added with a slight scowl. It was then that he noticed what hung around the Unfezant's neck. "What- why do you wear that?" asked N, indicating the Poké Ball half. "Do you belong to a Trainer?"

"I used to," the Unfezant responded. "Well, actually, several Trainers. When I first hatched, it was under the brief ownership of a Trainer whose name I never learned, for he traded me to another one before long. This one I remember- his name is Ethan. But it wasn't long before he seemed to lose interest in me. He actually planned to release me into the wild if no other Trainer showed interest in me."

"And did another one show interest?" N asked.

"Yes," nodded the Normal/Flying-type. "Ethan traded me to my third and last Trainer, a man named Keith Masters. He's the only one of them who took an interest in training me."

N scowled. "I am sorry you had to go through that," he said, bowing his head.

"Sorry?" Batrach repeated, confused. "Why should you be sorry? Keith is good people. He took me in, he was patient with me when I still had bad memory in the Pidove stage, and it was with his help and support I was able to evolve into what I am today."

N looked incredulous. "I... Are you sure this was good for you?" he asked the Unfezant uncertainly. "If he was so good, why are you not still with him? Did he too lose interest?"

"Actually, him releasing me was my idea," said Batrach. "For a long time, I had no real goal in life, and about a week and a half ago, I started to really obsess over that. Of course, Keith picked up on this. Somewhat. He knew something was bothering me, and he couldn't figure out what, but that didn't stop him from trying. He's good like that. I'd have helped him, only even I didn't know what was bothering me. And then, a few days ago- well, one thing you have to know about Keith is that he has this Crobat who used to get very jealous whenever Keith would get another Flying-type..." And with that, the Unfezant launched into the story about how Keith's special treatment started to spark Hedwig's jealousy like never before, how she flew off in a fit of rage, and finally, the day when Keith went after Hedwig to calm her down.

"He just stood there and took the Brave Bird?" N asked incredulously.

"It was something you had to see to believe," said Batrach. "Hedwig was still furious, she was trying to kill him at this point, but that didn't deter Keith one bit. And he calmed her down, too, he just sat there- the Brave Bird kinda knocked him down- and held onto Hedwig and told her in no uncertain terms how much she means to him. Anyway, Hedwig reconciled with us, but it was around then that I knew what I aspired for, and what I had to do then and there. So I explained that I wanted to roam the world, wanted the freedom to go wherever, whenever, for whatever reason, if any at all."

"How did you convey this to Keith?" N asked. "Or can he too understand Pokémon languages?"

"Not all of them," replied Batrach. "He can understand Gastly, Haunter, and Gengar language because of something that happened in his youth- long story- his Banette taught him Shuppet language when she was a Shuppet herself, and by extension he can speak Banette, and for some strange reason even I don't know, he's been able to understand Seviper language since last Christmas."

"So how did you-"

"His Meowth," said Batrach. "Meowth can speak human language due to a freak accident, so he tends to translate a lot of things for Keith."

"And is Meowth happy doing that?" N asked. "Or is he forced into it?"

"He loves it," the Unfezant replied. "He and Keith are inseparable, best friends."

N shook his head in disbelief. "Friends don't cram friends into a tiny ball and call them out whenever they need something," he retorted.

"...What are you talking about?" Batrach asked. "Look, I doubt you've ever been in a Poké Ball, but I have, and lemme tell you, it's way roomier than it looks. It's like a little world that loops back around on itself. And second, Meowth doesn't even like his Poké Ball, so Keith keeps him out of it. He only puts Meowth in the ball if Meowth requests it for whatever reason, or in case of some dire emergency."

"He gives you the choice?" N asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Well, yeah," Batrach replied, giving N a strange look. "What kind of abusive asshole Trainers have you met?"

"The kind there's far too many of," N frowned. "I was taught that Pokémon Trainers are the worst thing to ever happen to Pokémon."

"I beg to differ," Batrach shook her head. "There are good Trainers out there, for sure, and Keith is one of the best. When he knew how I felt, he understood that letting me go was the right thing to do, regardless of how much we'd miss each other. He actually fashioned this," she added, indicating the crudely-fashioned necklace she wore, "out of half of my old Poké Ball, for me to remember him by, and he kept the other half to remember me by. Besides, I saw my reflection in the sea, and I kinda like how I look with it," she added with as much of a grin as one could muster with only a beak to work with.

N looked thoughtful. "This Keith intrigues me," he said after several seconds of thought. "Perhaps I ought to pay a visit to this Fizzytopia region and meet him myself."

"That's not a bad idea," said Batrach. "He's a nice guy, and from what you've said, way different from your idea of Pokémon Trainers. In fact, I can Fly you there myself," she offered.

N gave that gentle smile again. "No thank you," he replied. "I do appreciate the offer, but I have a friend who has transportation covered."

"Alright, that's cool," said Batrach. "Hey, so, just what is this place, anyway?" she added, glancing around at the tower upon which she'd landed.

"This? It's called Dragonspiral Tower," N explained. "It's actually where I met that friend I mentioned. And some time ago, there was another Trainer, one who intrigued me much the same as this Keith intrigues me. He too is a kind and caring Trainer, beloved by his Pokémon. I believed him to be the exception rather than the rule, but if what you tell me about this Keith is correct..."

"I think it'd be good for you to meet Keith," Batrach stated. "At least lemme tell you where to find him," she added, before going into a description of the Secret Base Keith called home, as well as general directions to the Fizzytopia region. As N and Batrach continued to talk, the latter didn't notice an impressive creature flying high overhead, a vast white beast looking down at the two of them through bright blue eyes. Even once Batrach flew away to explore more of Unova, she did not notice this creature flying down to meet N atop the tower.

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 03-26-2016 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 03-08-2016, 01:07 AM   #71
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N-ter The Dragon-Type

"Ahh," Keith sighed, looking out at the scenery before him as he stood on the deck outside his Secret Base. "The sun is shining, the weather is beautiful, some huge white Pokémon is flying... this... way," he finished weakly, as it sunk in that, indeed, a giant white Pokémon was flying right towards his Secret Base.

Ginny was quick to respond to this. As the creature landed in the clearing in front of the Secret Base, the Pawniard leapt into action. Floating in midair by way of Magnet Rise, she brandished her blade-like arms at the green-haired man who was climbing down off the large Pokémon. "Identify yourself!" she snarled.

In response, the man gave a gentle smile and held up his hands in a gesture of surrender. "My name is N," he replied. "Is this the residence of Keith Masters?"

"Why do you want to know?" Ginny demanded. "And how can you understand me- ohhh, I see," she said suddenly. "What are you, hmm? Zorua? Zoroark? A Ditto, maybe?"

"None of the above, I assure you," N replied.

Keith, meanwhile, had descended the ladder and was now approaching the man. "Ginny, calm down," he said. "Sorry about that," he added to N. "Ginny here means well, but she's a bit... obsessed with security. Who are you, by the way? And for that matter... who's that Pokémon?" he added, glancing at N's ride, who was now eyeing Keith with piercing blue eyes. As Keith eyed this Pokémon back, he aimed his Pokédex at it.

"Reshiram, the Vast White Pokémon," said the Pokédex. "Reshiram is a legendary Pokémon spoken of in Unova region mythology. It helps those who want to build a world of truth."

"...A legendary Pokémon?" Keith murmured, in awe.

"Reshiram here is my friend," N said. "My name, by the way, is N. Are you Keith Masters?"

Keith raised an eyebrow. "I am," he replied. "I'm thinking the more pressing question here is how you know that."

"I was on Dragonspiral Tower several days ago," N began, "when a Flying Pokémon perched not far from me- an Unfezant wearing half of a Poké Ball around her neck, who calls herself Batrach."

Keith blinked. "You know Batrach?" he asked. "How's she doi- wait, how do you know her name in the first place?" he added.

"You yourself can speak certain Pokémon languages, I believe?" N responded. "Batrach told me as much. I too can understand what Pokémon say- only with me, I can understand them all."

"Ah, OK, that'd do it," Keith nodded. "So- Batrach's doing OK?" he asked.

N nodded. "Very much so," he replied. "What intrigued me is what she's told me about you. Apparently, she has a very high opinion of you as a Pokémon Trainer, something contrary to all I've been taught about Trainers. With your permission, I would like to learn more about you."

"Uh... OK," said Keith. "Well, I-"

"No, no," N shook his head. "Not from you- from your Pokémon. One can learn so much about someone and their Pokémon from battling them. You may use six Pokémon of your choosing, while I shall only ask for Reshiram's assistance."

"A battle against the legendary Reshiram?" Keith murmured, sounding more intrigued than worried. "Well, alright, then. You got a deal, N."


Before long, Keith and N were ready. On one end of the clearing in front of the Secret Base stood N and his Reshiram. On the other end stood Keith and Meowth, the latter eyeing Reshiram nervously.

"Reshiram, come forward!" N stated. At this, Reshiram flapped its white wings and flew several feet forward, landing with a heavy crash in front of the green-haired man.

Keith sized up Reshiram for a moment, who was currently looking directly at the Poison-type Trainer with piercing blue eyes, almost as though trying to see into his soul. It was a mildly unnerving sensation, but Keith knew better than to let it deter him. He turned to the Normal-type standing by his side. "Alright, Meowth, you're up first," he said.

"Ehhh, should'a seen it coming," Meowth nodded in a resigned way. He dashed forward, looking up at the Reshiram which towered over him.

"Just relax and you'll be fine, Meowth," Keith called out. "Let's start with a Fake Out attack!"

At this, Meowth darted forward at high speeds. He jumped up high, higher than what seemed possible, and clapped his front paws directly in Reshiram's face, creating a small shock wave. Reshiram shut its eyes in response to this and staggered backwards slightly.

"Now! Use Icy Wind!" Keith followed up.

Once Meowth was back on the ground, he took a deep breath, then exhaled forcefully, blowing a frigid blast of air onto the Dragon/Fire-type. Now Reshiram shivered slightly. N, knowing Reshiram was still flinching as a result of the Fake Out, said nothing up to this point, but that was about to change. "Use Fusion Flare!" he called out.

Keith's jaw dropped. The fireball forming above Reshiram's head was massive. "Quick, Meowth- Detect!" Keith called hastily.

"Right!" Meowth nodded. A gleam became visible in his eyes, and as Reshiram launched the Fusion Flare attack, Meowth lunged out of the way abnormally fast, the gleam having vanished by the time the Fusion Flare had slammed into the ground, throwing up more dust than a Hippopotas with the stomach flu.

"Reshiram! Dragon Breath!" N called.

"Meowth, Fury Swipes!" Keith ordered.

Meowth charged forward, but try as he might, he was unable to duck underneath the stream of energy Reshiram was spewing out of its mouth. Meowth tumbled backwards as a result of the attack and came to rest at Keith's feet, looking to be in no shape to battle any further.

"Oh... You alright, Meowth?" Keith murmured as he picked up the Scratch Cat Pokémon.

"Yeah... Yeah, I'm OK," Meowth muttered, still sounding a little out of it. "Meowth is unable ta battle... Dat's right..."

"Alright, well, just sit here for now, get ahold of yourself," Keith said kindly, placing Meowth on the ground beside him. Then he turned back to face Reshiram, sizing it up once more, running his fingers along the Poké Balls on his belt.

"What will be your next Pokémon?" N asked.

In response, Keith plucked one of the balls off of his belt- this one, crafted from a Red Apricorn, he knew to contain a Pokémon that had a bit more experience fighting legendary Fire-type Pokémon than Meowth. "Go, Kyle!" Keith exclaimed, throwing the Level Ball, which unleashed his Heatmor onto the battlefield. The Anteater Pokémon showed surprisingly little surprise at what his opponent was to be, looking up at Reshiram and sizing it up just as his Trainer was doing. Keith and Kyle exchanged glances and nods, then both faced Reshiram once more.

"Interesting," N murmured, and indeed, he sounded interested. "You and... Kyle, he's called? You and Kyle seem remarkably similar. I'm looking forward to this." And he turned his attention back to Reshiram. "Fusion Flare!" he said.

Keith smirked. "Kyle, Hone Claws!" he ordered.

Kyle, unconcerned by the massive fireball Reshiram was charging up, began to sharpen his claws against a rock on the ground near him, not even bothering to dodge the fiery onslaught. However, this quickly proved to be a mistake, for the powerful Fire move, to general surprise, blasted the Heatmor backwards!

"What the-" Keith exclaimed. "That's impossible! Kyle's Ability is Flash Fire! That Fusion Flare shouldn't have done a thing!"

"Ah, but you didn't consider Reshiram's Ability," N responded with the faintest of smirks. In response, Keith took out his Pokédex.

"Reshiram's Ability; Turboblaze," said the Pokédex. "Reshiram's attacks are not impeded by the target's Ability."

"...That'd do it, yeah," Keith sighed, turning back to his Heatmor. "OK, Kyle, Flash Fire won't do any good here, so we gotta be careful."

"Mor," nodded Kyle.

Keith nodded back. "OK, now it's our turn! Kyle, Dig!"

"Heatmor!!" Kyle exclaimed, attacking the ground beneath him with his sharpened claws, tunneling underground in an instant.

N's face tensed. "Reshiram, evade it," he said. "In the air!"

"Kyle, do it!" Keith exclaimed. "Flamethrower, straight down!"

With a great flap of its wings, Reshiram was in the air. However, when the ground beneath where Reshiram stood broke open, the Heatmor came flying out of it. mouth pointed straight down, unleashing a strong stream of flames which served to propel him into the air. N was astonished as Kyle drew level with Reshiram.

"Now!" Keith exclaimed. "Use Aerial Ace!"

As Kyle began to fall, he twisted and turned his body to steer himself towards Reshiram. And as he drew near, he performed a skillfully executed slashing maneuver too fast for the eye to follow. Reshiram grunted as it felt the Flying-type move slashing away at its side, and glared down at the Heatmor who landed on the ground before it.

N looked mildly impressed by this, but issued another order anyway. "Now, let's use Dragon Pulse!" he said to Reshiram.

"Kyle, use Incinerate to block it!" Keith ordered.

The attacks were launched simultaneously- Reshiram fired a massive orb of intense blue energy from its mouth, while Kyle spewed an ember from his mouth which erupted into a wall of fire in midair. The two moves exploded violently upon contact, and both Kyle and Reshiram were blown back by the blast. However, whereas Reshiram landed squarely on its feet, the Heatmor collapsed in a heap at Keith's feet.

"Alright, Kyle, take a good rest," Keith stated, holding out the Level Ball and withdrawing the Heatmor. "You were awesome."

"He was indeed," N acknowledged. "The two of you do make a remarkable team."

"Thanks," grinned Keith. "Though I gotta say, did not see Turboblaze coming at all."

"People rarely do," said N. "Though I was impressed with how quickly you two adapted. So... who's next?" he asked, tilting his head curiously.

In response, Keith took a regular Poké Ball off his belt and threw it. "Go! Sirius!" he shouted, the Mightyena materializing on the ground before him. Sensing an imminent battle, Sirius bared his sharp teeth and growled menacingly at his legendary opponent, in a valiant attempt to Intimidate the adversary. And although Reshiram wasn't truly frightened by something like a Mightyena, it was nevertheless taken aback by the Dark-type's spirit and natural ferocity somewhat, enough for the Ability to still have its intended effect on the Vast White Pokémon's Attack power.

N observed Sirius with interest, before issuing a command. "Reshiram, Hyper Voice!" he called.

"We'll use Hyper Voice, too, Sirius!" Keith exclaimed.

The attacks were unleashed simultaneously. Reshiram unleashed an earsplitting howling roar, at the same time Sirius started barking loud and viciously. Both uproarious outbursts resulted in visible soundwaves emanating from the Pokémon's mouths. The Hyper Voices collided in midair, each soundwave cancelling out the other, the attacks evenly matched.

"Now! Use Snarl!" Keith ordered.

Sirius growled menacingly, then launched into a series of particularly vicious barks, each bark accompanied by a harsh burst of black energy from the Mightyena's mouth. The Dark-type move washed over Reshiram, not causing much in the way of significant damage, but Reshiram looked oddly rattled nevertheless.

"Use Slash!" N called out.

"Sirius, hold it..." Keith urged the Mightyena, who stood his ground, eyes on Reshiram the entire time as it glided closer, the claws on its right wing glowing brghtly. "Wait for it..." Reshiram was raising the wing into the air. "Wait for it..." It was starting to bring the wing down... "Now!" Keith exclaimed suddenly. "Payback, let's go!"

In the instant before Reshiram's Slash landed, a black aura formed all around Sirius's body. The aura intensified as Reshiram's claws raked the Dark-type's body, and in retaliation to the powerful strike, Sirius lunged forward and slammed into Reshiram, a powerful blow that actually made the legendary stagger backwards a little bit.

Keith grinned- Sirius may have just gained the upper hand in this fight, and if that was the case, now was the time to press their advantage! "Sirius! Poison Fang, let's go!" Keith exclaimed.

"Fusion Flare!" called N.

Reshiram started to charge up the fireball above its head, but Sirius was moving too quick. It sank its sharp teeth, dripping with vicious venom, into Reshiram's leg. Reshiram cried out, albeit not losing its focus, though it was starting to look a little unwell.

"Poisoned..." N murmured. "Badly poisoned... Reshiram, attack now," he urged the legendary.

"Sirius, Double Team!" Keith exclaimed.

Reshiram launched the massive fireball, which slammed into three or four of the Mightyena at once... wait, what? As this occurred to Reshiram, it looked all around- several other copies of the Mightyena were surrounding it, with no way to tell which one wasn't a Double Team copy.

"Now!" Keith exclaimed. "Use Venoshock!"

N said nothing, but his face was one of shock and surprise. A Mightyena that could use Venoshock? Who was this guy? Indeed, impossible though N would have thought the idea, the Mightyena copies each sprayed a powerful blast of vile green fluid from their mouths. Reshiram shrieked as the Poison move reacted with the poisoning to further intensify the damage.

"Now, my friend, use Earth Power!" N called, finding his voice at last.

Keith opened his mouth to issue a command to Sirius, but to no avail. The ground all around Reshiram started to erupt with power. All the Double Team clones disappeared on the spot, and the real Mightyena was much easier to identify, as he landed at Keith's feet, struggling to get up.

"Alright, take it easy, Sirius," Keith said, kneeling down and scratching behind the Mightyena's ears. "You battled hard, I'm very proud. Take a good rest, hmm?" In response, Sirius looked up and licked Keith's face a couple of times before getting back off and walking off to the side, preferring to spectate the rest of the match rather than go back in his ball.

"An impressive display," N said to Keith. "A combination of Intimidate and Snarl to weaken Reshiram, so as to be able to withstand Slash, in order to power up Payback. Very well thought out."

"Thank you," Keith grinned. "And using Earth Power to counter Double Team, I like that. But now," he added, now producing a Timer Ball from his belt and throwing it. "Here's the next one! Go, Luna!" he exclaimed, the Swoobat materializing in a flash of light. Luna looked over at the Reshiram currently sizing her up, looking remarkably unfazed by the fact that she was up against a legendary Pokémon. Luna tilted her head as she eyed Reshiram.

After a moment, a familiar voice sounded in Keith's head. Reshiram is testing us, the Swoobat's telepathically transmitted tone told to Keith.

Yeah, so is N, Keith thought back. Apparently Batrach's told him good things about us, and it seems to be something he needs to see to believe.

I don't doubt it, Luna continued, now fixing her odd gaze and tilted head on N. His opinion of people in general, and Pokémon Trainers in particular is... not high. But I have faith in you. You changed Hedwig's mind, you can change N's,

"Reshiram, Fusion Flare!" N called out, effectively cutting short Keith and Luna's telepathic conversation.

"Luna, Supersonic!" Keith commanded.

Though Reshiram began to charge up the powerful fireball yet again, the Swoobat had other ideas. Heart-shaped soundwaves were emitted from her single heart-shaped nostril, and as they washed over Reshiram, it began to stumble around, and the fireball fizzled out. It raised one of its wings high above its head-

"Luna, prepare for Assurance attack!" exclaimed Keith.

And sure enough, Reshiram hit itself in its head with its wing. At the same time, Luna, who had started to swoop down, slammed her wings into Reshiram, both of which were glowing black. Since Reshiram had sustained damage just before the Assurance hit, the blow was that much more powerful.

"Follow up with Venom Drench!" Keith grinned.

"Reshiram, Protect!" N called out loud and clear. At that moment, Reshiram shook its head suddenly, as though to clear it, and immediately crafted a translucent blue dome all around its body. The Venom Drench splattered harmlessly against the shield.

But this didn't bother Keith. A minor setback. "Luna, Calm Mind," he instructed the Swoobat, who immediately closed her eyes and focused.

N smirked. "Reshiram doesn't just have special attacks, did you forget?" he asked. "Let's use Slash!" he added.

"Evade with Fly, and then use Torment!" Keith ordered.

With frantic wing flapping, Luna rose up, up, high above the reach of Reshiram's claws. Once Reshiram's Slash had missed, Luna then spoke up, addressing Reshiram in an accusatory tone. The exact translation was not clear to Keith, but Reshiram looked pissed, and that was enough to tell Keith the attack had been successful- Reshiram would surely be unable to go for another Slash right away.

And N knew it, too. "Use Fusion Flare, my friend!" he called.

"Luna, Calm Mind once more!" Keith ordered.

Luna closed her eyes and focused once more, seeming to not even notice the Fusion Flare knocking her out of the air. She opened her eyes, however, and righted herself before hitting the ground. This one was, Keith noticed, the least effective Fusion Flare yet. Now, perhaps was the time?

I think now's the time, Luna's voice sounded in Keith's head, as if on cue.

And indeed, Keith took it as his cue. "Luna, now! Use Stored Power!" he ordered.

"Swoooooobat bat!" Luna exclaimed, firing off a powerful beam of bright pink energy from her nostril. Reshiram roared its displeasure as the Psychic move made contact, powered up not only by the boosts to Luna's Special Attack, but also by the fact that she had stat boosts to begin with.

Now Reshiram was starting to look a little worn down, as though it was just beginning to feel the damage it was taking. And the poison was certainly not helping it any. "Reshiram! Blue Flare!" N exclaimed.

Almost immediately, Reshiram opened its mouth, and a stream of brilliantly blue fire erupted from within. Luna, having had little time to react, was caught up in the beautiful yet blazing blast.

There's a weak spot... I'm out... came the voice in Keith's head, and sure enough, when the attack ended, Luna fell out of the air, landing in Keith's arms, barely conscious.

"Don't sweat it, Luna, you did good out there," Keith smiled reassuringly. "In fact, I know you've had your eye on that Space Ball I got on Pokémon Day..."

I have, actually, Luna's voice sounded in Keith's head. It's very nicely designed, I like it a lot. Even in her beaten and burned state, she was giving Keith that look with her head tilted. You wouldn't mind switching me into it, even though my Timer Ball cost you money, she continued. Not a question, but a statement. Keith smiled and nodded in response, and set the Swoobat down on the ground, then turned back to face N and Reshiram.

"I must say, I like your Swoobat's unique style," N remarked. "Am I correct in assuming she tends to prefer moves like that, lesser-known ones with odd effects?"

Keith nodded. "Luna likes moves that are most likely to be totally unknown to the opponent, moves you don't see very often," he explained. "Her thinking is that everyone can easily defend against more common moves, but these kinds of moves she feels are harder to defend against." He hoped he explained it well enough- Luna was an odd one, but decidedly in a good way, it was almost universally agreed by Keith and his other Pokémon.

"A very interesting style indeed," N nodded. "So... what will your next Pokémon be?"

In response, Keith grabbed the Christmas Ball off of his belt. "This one," he replied, throwing the festive sphere into the air. "I choose Marvolo!" he exclaimed, the formidable Seviper materializing on the ground, glaring up at Reshiram.

Marvolo turned to Keith. "The legendary Reshiram?" he hissed in mild surprise. "And I wasn't your first choice against this thing?"

"Hey, be glad you were a choice against this thing at all," Keith retorted, though with a grin. "Now, you ready, Marv?"

"Of course!" the Seviper hissed proudly, turning back to face Reshiram. N listened to the words being exchanged here very intently. Batrach hadn't been lying, then, about Keith being able to understand Seviper language. Not that he thought the Unfezant a liar, of course, but all the same, some of her claims about Keith had sounded a little outlandish. But no, as far as N could tell, Batrach hadn't been exaggerating.

Keith made the first move. "Marvolo! Dragon Pulse!"

"What-" N began, surprised- he didn't think Seviper were capable of learning Dragon Pulse! "Reshiram, we shall use Dragon Pulse as well!" he added.

Both combatants fired their attacks simultaneously. The Dragon Pulses actually looked about even, something Keith knew to attribute to Reshiram being severely weakened by four other Pokémon beforehand, but also knew to pretend to attribute solely to Marvolo's power whenever he was within earshot. Indeed, as the identical moves collided, they immediately exploded on impact, and once again, dust was thrown up in every direction. "Do it!" Keith exclaimed.

Exactly what "it" was was unclear to N, especially given the dust that still wasn't settling. Reshiram flapped its wings in an effort to blow away the dust, but once it was gone, Marvolo was nowhere to be seen! And just as N registered this fact, the ground underneath Reshiram broke open, and the Seviper sprang out, the Dig attack dealing super effective damage!

"Marvolo, follow up with Venoshock!" Keith ordered.

"Use Dragon Breath!" N called out.

Once again, the attacks collided in midair, only this time, they were decidedly different- Marvolo's attack was a vile green stream of liquid, while Reshiram's was a stream of intense Dragon energy. Nevertheless, each attack held the other at bay, and once this was realized by both sides, the attacks ceased at once.

"Use Poison Jab!" Keith exclaimed.

"Slash!" said N.

This time, the combatants moved in to attack, Marvolo aiming to stab with his poison-filled tail blade, Reshiram taking a great swipe with glowing claws. Alas, it was the latter that struck first, the brutal move striking a weak point and sending Marvolo tumbling to the ground. He managed to get back up, but it clearly took him a great effort to do so.

"Marvolo, can you keep going?" Keith asked.

"Of course I- ow," Marvolo grunted, wincing at the prospect of moving again.

Keith raised an eyebrow. "Wanna run that by me again?" he asked.

Marvolo turned and glared at Keith in response, and Keith met his gaze unflinchingly. N observed this, fascinated- such a glare from such a powerful Seviper, he'd known to frighten away bigger and burlier men than either him or Keith. He knew, just as well as Keith, that there was a battle of wills taking place here. The Seviper's glare, an attempt to scare the Trainer into changing his mind. But Keith wasn't scared. He wasn't even sweating. He was coolly and calmly locking eyes with the Seviper. And then, Marvolo gave a small nod, and slithered back over to him.

"Don't sweat it, man, you battled great," Keith reassured the Seviper. "To hold up how you did against Reshiram, that's something worth bragging about."

"You fascinate me," N said to Keith. "All my life, it was taught to me, again and again, that Pokémon Trainers were the primary cause of Pokémon suffering. That they force Pokémon to leave their homes, confine them in cramped balls, and force them to fight. But in recent years, I met another Trainer, not unlike yourself in spirit, who proved vastly different to what I had been taught. And now there's you, Keith Masters. You have shown compassion and understanding towards the Pokémon who have faced Reshiram thus far. You seemed completely in tune with them, with their feelings, and their battle styles of choice. It actually saddens me that our battle is nearing its end," he admitted. "But nevertheless, please, show me your sixth partner for this battle."

Keith nodded, a Poké Ball in his hand. Just an ordinary Poké Ball- a somewhat beaten-up one, for that matter, one which bore unmistakable signs of age and repeated use, and yet was still in prime working order. This was one regular Poké Ball he never once sought to replace with another, for the ball itself held just as much sentimental value as what lay inside.

Keith had briefly considered Melittin for this fight, considered showing N that true bonds between Trainer and Pokémon could unlock an even greater power, but he resisted the urge. No, Reshiram was a Fire-type when all was said and done, and Mega Evolved or not, it would put the Beedrill at a distinct disadvantage. No, the partner Keith was about to unleash, while not able to Mega Evolve as far as he knew, was still his most powerful partner, his most loyal and trusted friend.

Keith hurled the ball forward. "Go, Gemini!" he exclaimed, the Weezing appearing in a flash of light. Both Gemini, the larger head, and Mustard, the smaller head, eyed Reshiram, with Reshiram eyeing the Poison-type back. They could easily tell how strong they each were, and that this last fight was bound to be a good one.

N eyed the Weezing himself, coming to a similar conclusion as Reshiram, before issuing a command. "Use Blue Flare, my friend!" he called out to Reshiram.

"Gemini! Smog attack" Keith ordered.

"Weezing weez," groaned the Weezing as it unleashed thick black clouds of poisonous smoke from its pores. At the same time, Reshiram unleashed a powerful stream of brilliant blue fire from its mouth; however, the flames, upon coming into contact with the Smog, exploded back on Reshiram, actually knocking it down to the ground.

"Gemini, now use your Psybeam attack!" called Keith.

As Reshiram climbed to its feet, now seeming to visibly struggle, the Weezing unleashed the rainbow-colored beam of Psychic energy from the larger head's skull and crossbones. Reshiram roared its displeasure as it shakily stood back up.

"Reshiram, Dragon Pulse, let's go!" N called.

"Dodge it!" shouted Keith. "Then use Sludge!"

The Weezing managed to soar above the Dragon Pulse, but only barely. In retaliation, Reshiram gave a great flap of its wings, and it too was airborne. The battle had just gone sky-high, and it was only narrowly that Gemini's Sludge missed its mark.

The battle was getting more intense by the minute, and Keith, for one, loved it. "Use Sludge Bomb!" he called.

"Hyper Voice!" shouted N.

Reshiram opened its mouth and assaulted Gemini and Mustard with powerful soundwaves, only to be force-fed an explosive glob of sludge in retaliation. The tiring battle, it was starting to really take its toll on Reshiram. Angrily, the Dragon/Fire-type spat out the sludge, though deep down inside, knew the battle wasn't going to last much longer.

And N knew it too. "Alright, my friend," he called up. "We shall use it, then! Draco Meteor!"

"Gemini! Hyper Beam!" Keith exclaimed in response, the same inevitability not lost on him.

Reshiram tilted its head back and fired a glowing orb into the sky. At the same time, the Weezing fired off an ultra-nasty beam of pure destructive force. The Hyper Beam plowed Reshiram into the ground at the same time the Draco Meteor rained down on Gemini and Mustard. The combatants were all down on the ground now, concealed by yet another cloud of dust. And the dust started to clear at long last...

"Dey're all down!" Meowth exclaimed. Indeed, he was right- both the Weezing and the Reshiram were lying on the ground, knocked out completely. A draw!

Keith walked over and picked up the now feebly stirring Weezing. "Gemini, Mustard, great job, both of you," he smiled.

"Weez," the two heads groaned simultaneously, too wiped out even for telepathic communication.

"And Reshiram, you were great as well," N said to the legendary Pokémon. Then, N approached Keith, hand outstretched. "A truly amazing battle," he said respectfully. "I learned much from it, about you, about your Pokémon, and about the deep bonds you share."

Keith smiled and shook N's hand. "It really was an amazing battle," he agreed. "Reshiram is incredible, and you've also helped me see I still have a long way to go as a Trainer. I mean, I don't mind- the journey's half the fun. So, thank you."

"You're welcome," N replied with a friendly smile. "Um... I don't suppose you'd have any berries?" he added. "I'm sure Reshiram is hungry after such an intense battle."

"I certainly do," Keith replied, as he turned to go into his Secret Base.


Before long, Hermione had helped to prepare all sorts of dishes with numerous kinds of berries, not only for Reshiram but also for her own teammates. She even prepared delicious batches of Snoverberry ice cream for Keith and N. Luna, Marvolo, Meowth, Kyle, and Gemini and Mustard were all eating their berries, as well as Reshiram. Keith had also remembered what he and Luna discussed during the battle, and obligingly swapped her out of her Timer Ball and into the Space Ball he'd gotten on Pokémon Day.

After all this was done, and Reshiram was ready for takeoff, N bid farewell to Keith. "I hope we meet again someday," he said. "I should like a rematch."

"Oh, definitely," Keith nodded in agreement. "And next time, I think you and Reshiram will be pleasantly surprised by how much we'll have improved by then."

N smiled. "I look forward to it, Keith. Farewell, and thank you. Thank you for proving Batrach's words to be true, thank you for showing me that there are indeed other Trainers out there who truly care for their Pokémon. I shall return to Unova for now, but you can be sure I'll come back for a visit."

Keith grinned. "I look forward to it, N," he said. With that, and with one final handshake, N climbed on Reshiram's back, and the Vast White Pokémon took off with a great flap of its wings. Keith watched until Reshiram was no longer visible, then turned back to his Pokémon. "Well, that was an experience," he remarked. "So, guys, what say we head back inside for now, rest up a little?" This was met with sounds of assent (both verbally and telepathically) from the various Pokémon. Keith led the way inside, none of them noticing the brown bird flying very high overhead, wearing half of a Poké Ball around her neck and as much of a smile on her face as she could muster with a beak.

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 03-26-2016 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:38 AM   #72
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The Missingno. Link

It was a good morning indeed. Keith was in a pleasant mood after just having had a large breakfast, and his other Pokémon all seemed to be in a good mood. Chuck in particular, he was positively ecstatic after Luna confided in him a vision she'd seen the night before. She wasn't telling Keith what the vision was, but all Keith knew was, the Gengar was looking happier than he'd looked in the past two years or so. He supposed he'd find out in due time what this was all about, but in the meantime, the weather was just as pleasant as Keith's mood, so there was really no reason to not be out and about. Indeed, he was both out and about, walking down the street of a small town with Meowth on his shoulder, with Keith telling the Normal-type about a family reunion he'd been to once in his youth.

"...and then the toilet exploded," Keith was saying to Meowth. "I'm telling you, that was the second most disastrous Masters family reunion we ever-" Suddenly, Keith stopped, looking at a crowd that had gathered up ahead. They seemed to be cheering about something.

"Wonder wat dat's about," Meowth remarked.

"Well, we're about to find out," Keith declared, as he approached the crowd, squeezing his way through it, weaving through the multiple people gathered around... whatever this was about. And then, finally, Keith could see exactly what this was about, and it was decidedly not to his liking. Normally, watching a Pokémon battle was alright by him, and this was a thrilling enough battle based solely on the competitors. Indeed, the two Pokémon squaring off were both species of Pokémon Keith was completely unfamiliar with. One was a brown dinosaur-esque creature with a large mouth, and the other looked like some sort of... provocatively-dressed bird? Keith didn't know what to make of that one, but found himself rooting for its Trainer, for the brown big-mouthed dinosaur's Trainer was very familiar to Keith, and not in a good way. He dug out his Pokédex and pointed it first at the weird bird.

"Aromatisse, the Fragrance Pokémon, and the evolved form of Spritzee," said the Pokédex. "Aromatisse can generate many different kinds of scents, both good and bad, though its natural scent is so overpowering that only Trainers that really enjoy the smell can walk alongside it. In battle, it will attempt to gain an edge by emitting scents that its opponent would find unpleasant." Next, Keith turned the Pokédex onto the dinosaur.

"Tyrunt, the Royal Heir Pokémon," the device continued. "Tyrunt will throw a tantrum and run wild in response to anything it dislikes. It lived a hundred million years ago and exists in modern times due to being restored from a fossil."

"Aromatisse, Moonblast!" called the young girl commanding the Fairy-type.

"Hah! Tyrunt, Iron Head!" ordered none other than Ralph McPhione.

Tyrunt charged forward, head lowered, the top of its head glowing silver. Aromatisse fired off a silvery orb of energy, but the Iron Head plowed right through the Fairy-type move, and straight into the Fairy-type, which turned out to be the final straw.

"Aromatisse is unable to battle!" declared a man standing off to the side, clearly acting as referee. "All three of Lisa's Pokémon are unable to battle, so Ralph wins the battle!"

"Piece of cake," Ralph smirked. "Tyrunt here didn't even break a sweat taking out those weaklings." At this, the girl called Lisa ran off, fighting back tears.

"Oh, here we go," Meowth sighed. Sure enough, Keith stepped forward, breaking free from the crowd.

"Wow, McPhione," Keith said loudly, stepping forward. "Just wow. Real sportsmanlike of you."

"Masters," sneered Ralph. "Hey, it ain't my fault she can't handle the truth- her Pokémon are weaklings, plain and simple. Tyrunt here swept all three of the ones she used against me, no sweat."

"Tyyyyyyrunt!" growled Tyrunt, eyeing up Keith and Meowth.

"And he seems to still have energy to spare," Ralph added. "I'm guessing you're about to challenge me now."

"You know me all too well, McPhione," Keith scowled. "I wish I could say the reverse didn't hold true. Three Pokémon each?"

Ralph snorted. "Bring it," he replied. "I'll be starting with Tyrunt, naturally."

In response, Keith took a Level Ball off his belt and enlarged it. "Then I'll go with this one," he said, throwing the Level Ball. "Go, Kyle!"

The Heatmor materialized in a flash of light, eliciting much confused muttering- Kyle was a Heatmor, a Fire-type, and at a distinct disadvantage against a Rock and Dragon-type, right?

Ralph didn't bother to hold back his derisive laughter. "Really?" he snorted. "That pathetic Heatmor's what you're gonna put up against a Rock and Dragon-type?"

"Yeah," Keith replied with confidence. Kyle, who had narrowed his eyes in disapproval at Ralph, exchanged looks with Keith. Seeing the confidence in his Trainer's eyes, Kyle nodded and turned to face Tyrunt.

"Ohh, heh, heh... your loss, Missingno. Boy," smirked Ralph. "Tyrunt! Dragon Claw!"

"Kyle! Power-Up Punch!" Keith commanded.

The Tyrunt and Heatmor dashed forward. Kyle's right hand glowed with orange energy, while the claws on Tyrunt's right foot glowed pale blue. Then, Tyrunt jumped, lunging towards Kyle, and flipped in midair, swiping Kyle with its glowing foot claws. Kyle flew backwards, but landed on his feet at the same time Tyrunt did, and continued to charge. Tyrunt, not having expected such a swift recovery, took the Power-Up Punch head-on, growling its annoyance at the super effective move.

Keith was grinning. "Now! Use Night Slash!" he ordered.

"Use Bite to intercept!" snapped Ralph.

Keith didn't look concerned very much at this. As Kyle charged forward, he glanced back at Keith, and the two exchanged nods- the Heatmor knew Keith had something up his sleeve. Indeed, as Kyle expected, despite his best efforts to aim anywhere but the general area of the mouth, Tyrunt was able to quickly chomp down on the Fire-type's arm, stopping the Night Slash, but Keith's grin widened.

"We got it now!" he declared. "Kyle, Inferno!"

"Tyrunt, get away!" Ralph ordered, but no good- understanding immediately what Keith had been thinking now, Kyle fired off the powerful steam of blue-hot fire from his mouth at point-blank range. Tyrunt exclaimed in pain, relinquishing its grip on Kyle's arm as it staggered backwards, furious at the burn it sustained.

"Now follow it up with Focus Blast!" Keith ordered.

"Dragon Pulse!" Ralph exclaimed. Tyrunt tried to focus and prepare the Dragon-type move, but Kyle, not being burned, was more focused, and had already fired off the blue sphere of Fighting energy by the time Tyrunt managed to fire Dragon Pulse. The two moves collided and exploded in midair, but after exchanging looks with his Trainer, Kyle had charged into the ensuing dust cloud before preparing his next move...

"Gahhh... where'd it go?" demanded Ralph. The dust started to settle, revealing... nothing? Kyle was gone- but in the next instant, Ralph noticed a hole in the dirt road that certainly hadn't been there before. "Tyrunt, get out of there now!" he ordered.

"Kyle, attack now! Use Dig!" Keith exclaimed. And before Tyrunt could take more than two steps, the ground broke open beneath it, the Heatmor jumping up out from under the ground, striking a super effective blow. This was the last straw for Tyrunt, who fell backwards and did not get up.

"Tyrunt is unable to battle!" declared the referee to a cheering crowd.

"Awesome job, Kyle," Keith grinned, congratulating his Heatmor.

"Hmph," scowled Ralph as he withdrew Tyrunt into a Heavy Ball. "You're just lucky Tyrunt had already battled beforehand," he said.

"Luck had nothing to do with it, McPhione," Keith retorted. "Kyle here's no weakling. You think a Tyrunt's gonna stop one of the Pokémon who killed the tyrannical god of Mt. Aduro?"

"And you really think I buy that story?" Ralph retorted back. "That's all I've been hearing for the past year, is how you somehow killed a giant Heatran in the middle of a volcano... yeah, right!"

"Heat Heatmor Heatmor!" Kyle exclaimed indignantly. "Heatmor mor Heatmor!"

"Kyle ain't pleased wit Ralph, ta put it mildly," Meowth said to Keith as the Heatmor continued shouting at Ralph. "He's sayin' he- Kyle- owes his life ta youse, and dat Ralph oughta show youse some respect."

Keith smiled proudly at his Heatmor, but still said, "Calm down, Kyle. He's not worth it. So you gonna bring out your next Pokémon or what?" he added to Ralph.

Ralph glared disdainfully at Kyle, but threw his Dusk Ball all the same. "Hydreigon, stand by!" he exclaimed.

Keith's jaw dropped- quite clearly, Ralph's Zweilous had evolved. Once a four-legged beast with two heads, this creature seemed to have no legs, a long tail, six thin wings, and three violent-looking heads. He took out his Pokédex and pointed it at the fearsome dragon before him.

"Hydreigon, the Brutal Pokémon, and the evolved form of Zweilous," said Keith's Pokédex. "Hydreigon perceives anything it sees as an enemy, which spurs it to attack. Only its middle head possesses a brain, but it still uses all three heads to consume and destroy everything."

"Heh... Well, we got this, don't we, Kyle?" Keith said confidently.

"Heatmor!" nodded Kyle.

"We'll see about that," Ralph chuckled. "Hydreigon, Rock Slide!"

"Kyle, Protect!" Keith ordered. Hydreigon soared above Kyle, leaving numerous red rings of energy in its wake. As Kyle erected a shimmering semitransparent dome of energy around himself, a number of rocks tumbled out of each ring, but they all shattered into harmless gravel as soon as they hit the Protect.

Ralph scowled. "Now use Dark Pulse!" he ordered.

"Dodge and use Flamethrower!" said Keith.

Hydreigon's heads all fired off identical barrages of glowing black energy rings at once, but Kyle was quick to react. Deftly dodging all three blasts, he retaliated with a stream of flames from his mouth. Hydreigon tried to evade, but the flames hit one of its wings, which caused it to roar its displeasure.

"OK, Kyle!" Keith exclaimed. "Jump up and hit it with Rock Smash!"

At this, Ralph smirked. "Meet it head-on with a Head Smash," was his reply.

Kyle jumped up, right hand glowing red, prepared to deliver a forceful punch, but Hydreigon was ready for the Heatmor. The middle head glowed with brown energy, and Hydreigon slammed it into Kyle with great force. The Heatmor fell to the ground, spurring Keith to run out and try to catch him. Though the Heatmor landed in Keith's arms, he was still unconscious.

"Heatmor is unable to battle!" declared the referee. "Hydreigon wins!"

"Hey, you battled hard, buddy," Keith smiled, setting Kyle down next to him back across the makeshift battlefield. "That's kinda my bad for forgetting about that Head Smash- we've faced this guy before."

"Heatmor mor," Kyle said weakly in response.

"Kyle's sayin' dis weren't nobody's fault," Meowth translated. "So, wat's ya gonna use against dat ting?" he added, looking up nervously at Hydreigon.

Keith thought about this. Only two of the Pokémon he had on him could be a match for Hydreigon in the air, and one of them was weak to Dark. That said, though, the other one wouldn't fare much better than Kyle against a Head Smash, though might be better equipped to dodge one...

Meowth's look of nervousness turned to one of outright terror as he saw what Keith had taken off his belt- a Great Ball. "WAAAH!" Meowth exclaimed, nearly falling off of Keith's shoulder. "Is youse crazy?!" he demanded.

"Hey, out of the Pokémon I got on me right now, this is the one that stands the best chance against Hydreigon in the air," Keith replied. When Meowth couldn't seem to think of a suitable counterargument, Keith threw the Great Ball. "Fatale, let's go!" he exclaimed.

In a flash of light, a Shiny Beautifly materialized. The crowd cheered as blue sparkles flew all around her, but Fatale seemed startled at the prospect of having a crowd nearby. She started eyeing the people hungrily, but stopped once she spotted Hydreigon. The insolent human behind Hydreigon was laughing his ass off at her, saying unkind things about how weak she looked... well, she'd show him how weak she was, wouldn't she? After Hydreigon, she figured, he would be next...

"OK!" Keith exclaimed. "Fatale, Signal Beam, let's go!"

In response, Fatale flew higher into the air, and fired off a colorful beam of energy from her eyes. Hydreigon dove out of the way of the attack, which seemed to infuriate the Shiny.

"OK, playtime's over," decided Ralph. "Use Flamethrower!"

"Fatale, dodge it!" Keith called, but the Shiny Beautifly was already diving out of the way of the attack. "OK, now let's use Poison Sting!" he commanded.

The thought of Hydreigon suffering slowly from the poison was an all-too-welcome one in Fatale's twisted mind, and so she complied, unfurling her long mouth and firing numerous poison spikes from it. Hydreigon growled as the attack made contact, but the growling quickly turned feeble as a purple tint appeared on the middle head's forehead- Hydreigon was poisoned!

"Hydreigon, get ahold of yourself!" Ralph exclaimed. "It's just a stupid Beautifly! Use Head Smash and be done with it!"

"Fatale, String Shot!" said Keith. "Aim for the wings!"

The wings... of course! If Fatale's mouth was built for such things, she would've given an evil smirk as she fired off the strands of sticky string. Very quickly, as the attack had bound Hydreigon's wings together, it started to fall, and ended up executing its Head Smash against solid ground, eliciting trilling from Fatale which bore a disturbing resemblance to sadistic laughter.

"Way to go, Fatale!" Keith grinned. "Now let's try that Signal Beam once more!"

Not only did Fatale not need telling twice, but considering how quick she was to unleash the multicolored beam, one might argue she didn't even need telling once. Hydreigon, who had been attempting to separate its six stuck wings, screamed in agony as the super effective move made contact.

"Hydreigon!?" Ralph exclaimed in disbelief- it only evolved a few days ago, sure, but a Hydreigon losing to a little Beautifly? What was this madness?!

"Finish this up now, Fatale!" Keith ordered. "Use Bug Bite!"

"Bau-u-u-u-u-utifly-y-y-y-y!" trilled Fatale, now dive-bombing Hydreigon. Her mouth was unfurled, glowing green, and pointed right at Hydreigon. She stabbed at Hydreigon with her mouth, and that one stab was the straw that broke the Numel's back- Hydreigon slumped to the ground.

"Hydregion is unable to battle!" declared the referee. Ralph scowled, but withdrew Hydreigon all the same- a wise move, considering Fatale had been about to stab Hydrigon with her mouth again, the better to drink its fluids. Indeed, the Shiny Beautifly cast a hateful and hungry glare at Ralph for having taken away her next meal.

"Fatale, no," Keith said warningly. He knew where this was going and sought to stop it before it started. "Bad idea, trust me." The Beautifly looked skeptical, but abandoned what was about to be her attempt to end the other man's life. Keith clearly disliked this Ralph, after all, and she could go for a snack, so as far as she was concerned, killing that Ralph person had to be pretty much all upside, right? "So, Ralph, still think my Beautifly is weak?" Keith smirked.

"Pfft. Naturally," Ralph snorted. "You lucked out. And I'm gonna show you just what happens when you rely on luck alone. I'm not even gonna use Sceptile- I'll beat you with something weaker to show just how weak you really are!"

"Uh huh," Keith said dryly. "And this, of course, has nothing to do with the fact that Sceptile would be at a huge disadvantage?"

"You think I'm worried about type matchups when it comes to Mega Evolution?" smirked Ralph. "Of course not! I already told you why I'm going with this one," he added, throwing an Ultra Ball. "Flygon, stand by!"

This time, Keith didn't go for his Pokédex- he was all too familiar with Ralph's Flygon. "Fatale, be careful- this one's not weak to your attacks," he advised the Beautifly.

"Flygon, use Headbutt!" ordered Ralph.

"Fatale, Harden attack!" Keith replied.

Fatale stiffened her entire body in midair, her wings gleaming in the sunlight like the stained glass they so resembled. Flygon came flying in fast, but its head bounced off with a loud clanging noise.

"Now use your Gust attack!" called Keith.

"Flamethrower!" Ralph shouted.

The Shiny Beautifly flapped her wings, but the forceful winds weren't too much for Flygon, who quickly ascended above the attack, before retaliating with a powerful stream of flames from its mouth. Fatale screeched her displeasure as the attack made contact, but once the fire subsided, she was still in the air, to general astonishment.

No astonishment from Keith, however. "Way to hang in there!" he cheered to Fatale. "Now fight back with Signal Beam!"

"Counter with Dragon Breath!" ordered Ralph. Flygon immediately unleashed a peculiar green blast of breath from its mouth, which collided with Fatale's Signal Beam in midair, creating an explosion. "And now use Iron Tail!" Ralph added, recalling how Keith had taken advantage of a similar explosion earlier in the fight. Flygon flew right into the dust cloud, the red covers over its eyes shielding them from the debris.

"Fatale!" Keith exclaimed, only to hear a loud impact, followed by the Shiny Beautifly being forcibly ejected from the cloud. He raced backwards and caught the falling Beautifly in his arms. "You OK?" he asked.

"Beau-u-u-u..." Fatale murmured as she rose shakily back into the air. She gave Keith a brief look that almost seemed grateful, before turning back to Flygon, and this time, the fury blazed in her blue eyes like never before.

"OK, Fatale, use Tackle!" Keith commanded.

Ralph smirked. "Hyper Beam now," he replied.

Fatale soared straight towards Flygon, but before contact could be made, the Ground/Dragon-type unleashed a powerful purple-black beam from its mouth. For the second time in recent days, Fatale found herself collapsing to the ground as the result of a Hyper Beam. Unlike the first time, however, she did not remain conscious after this Hyper Beam.

"Fatale, return," Keith sighed after the referee made his completely expected ruling. Once Fatale was back in her ball, Meowth stopped trembling in fear, causing Keith to roll his eyes. "Meowth, for the millionth time, Fatale is not going to kill you," he said patiently.

"...I know dat," Meowth lied unconvincingly. Keith facepalmed, but reached for his next Poké Ball all the same.

"It's your turn now, Myrtle!" Keith exclaimed, throwing the ball from which his Banette emerged. The Banette's red eyes narrowed as they fell on Ralph.

"Is that the one, Meat Sack?" Myrtle asked. "The one who does not be-lieve?"

...Oops. Keith forgot- he'd mentioned to Myrtle Ralph's lack of belief in the Missingno. species. The Banette... was not pleased, to say the least. "...Yeah, that's him," Keith replied. "Look, Myrtle, just battle the Flygon-"

"Stay out of this, Meat Sack!" Myrtle interrupted, floating right over to Ralph, who took a step back in surprise. "So," she hissed. "Ralph Mc-Phi-o-ne."

"You know my name?" Ralph asked, trying (and failing) to disguise the nervousness in his voice. Flygon had wheeled around and was screeching threateningly to Myrtle, who was not paying attention to the Mystic Pokémon.

"Oh, I know aaaallllll a-bout you," Myrtle replied ominously. "You are an ar-ro-gant jerk who does not be-lieve Mis-sing-no. are real, that much I know."

"Well, they can't possibly exist," Ralph replied defensively. "I mean, come on, they sound way too ridiculous to be real, and that dumbass liar of a Trainer you got claims one of those freakish fairy tales saved his life-"

"Myrtle, no!" Keith exclaimed, for the Banette had actually produced her needle, and was brandishing it threateningly. The crowd was now backing up, looking extremely wary- many of them had heard about what happened on Halloween night, 2012, after all.

But Myrtle did nothing more than brandish the needle. "You would de-serve it," she hissed in a barely audible whisper, every word of which Ralph got nonetheless. "But not now. Meat Sack would be in trou-ble if I did what I want to do to you... in pu-blic," she added ominously before floating back over to her side of the battlefield.

"You alright?" Keith asked Myrtle, switching to Shuppet language.

"I will be, once I defeat this-" Myrtle began before calling Ralph a string of nasty names Meowth had no desire to translate into English for anyone's benefit, not even Ralph's.

Ralph looked shaken, but still gave the first order. "F-Flygon, Dragon Claw!" he said.

"Myrtle, use Shadow Claw!" Keith ordered. Both Pokémon flew forward, each slashing at the other with claws which emanated two different kinds of energy. Both attacks made contact simultaneously, and they backed off, eyeing each other warily.

"Now use Flamethrower!" Ralph ordered.

"Water Gun!" Keith called.

What happened next came as a great surprise to many people. While Flygon unleashed Flamethrower, Myrtle unzipped her mouth, the Banette unleashing a forceful stream of water. It cut straight through the flames like a knife through extremely fiery butter, and struck Flygon,g sending it tumbling down. It managed to right itself and regain altitude without hitting the ground, but the move had clearly surprised it.

"Now, Myrtle, use your Icy Wind attack!" Keith commanded. At this, the Banette unzipped her mouth again, this time to assault Flygon with a chilling blast of freezing air. Between Flygon's natural and severe weakness to Ice, and the fact that it was soaking wet, the move had an immense impact. Flygon fell to the ground, still conscious, but shivering uncontrollably.

"Flygon, get ahold of yourself!" snapped Ralph. "Use Fly! Now!"

"Myrtle, Phantom Force!" Keith exclaimed. As Flygon ascended into the air, the Banette vanished completely. Flygon looked around in confusion- where did she go? To get a batter look, despite Ralph's protests, Flygon descended slowly towards the ground-

"Now!" Keith exlaimed.

Myrtle reappeared right behind Flygon and rammed right into him, sending him tumbling back down to the ground once more. The Banette was looking like she was in a much better mood, now that Flygon was losing horribly.

"Grrrrrrgh..." Ralph grumbled furiously. "I will not lose to either of you! Flygon, Draco Meteor!"

"Myrtle, get ready for Sky Attack!" Keith ordered.

Slowly, a brilliant white glow started to come over Myrtle's entire body. Ralph was dumbfounded- first Water Gun and now this? Weren't those the same moves known by... no, no, that was ridiculous. It couldn't be that. Especially if Masters believed it existed.

Flygon, meanwhile, had fired a glowing orb of energy into the air, and it exploded, raining numerous shards of energy down on Myrtle. But she kept floating, never once lost her focus, continued to charge up her ultimate attack. She almost felt like she was her old self again whenever doing this... like she was a Missingno. again, just as she'd been in life. The Draco Meteor hurt like hell, but she was too stubborn to be stopped now. Her eyes flew open as the aura of power around her intensified, and she took off, soaring up, then straight down, right towards Flygon, the aura seeming to take the shape of a gigantic- vaguely L-shaped creature. Weakened by the effort Draco Meteor took, all Flygon could do was shut its eyes just before the move hit. The powerful impact plowed Flygon into the ground.

"Flygon is unable to battle!" the referee ruled as the dust settled. "This battle's winner is... uh..."

"Keith Masters," Keith supplied.

"...Keith Masters!" the referee finished, eliciting cheers from the crowd.

"You know, McPhione," Keith said as he approached Ralph, who had just withdrawn his unconscious Flygon. "Nothing wrong with an open mind. You notice some of the attacks Myrtle was using there? Take a wild guess as to why she can use them."

For once, Ralph didn't seem to have a retort. He glared at Keith and at Myrtle and walked away in silence. This whole thing was stupid, he figured... and yet, what Masters had said was sticking in his mind. That Banette knew those moves, neither of which a Banette ought to know... could it really be that he was wrong about Missingno.? He loathed- absolutely loathed- the thought that Masters might be right about something for once in his fool life, and yet, what alternative was there? Trying to shake these disturbing ideas out of his head, Ralph continued onward. He needed to think.

Myrtle watched Ralph walk away. "He does not feel as ar-ro-gant as he did be-fore," she murmured to nobody in particular.

"Really?" Keith asked with surprise as they started to walk down a different road (well, Keith walked- Meowth rode on his shoulder and Myrtle hovered). "So, what... you think he might actually be starting to realize the truth?"

"One can on-ly hope, Meat Sack," Myrtle responded. "One can on-ly hope."

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 04-15-2016 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 04-24-2016, 06:13 PM   #73
Missingno. Master
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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Helena's Revenge

The sun was starting to set, but one Trainer was nowhere near done for the day. Keith Masters was walking down a dirt road, a gorgeous sunset just to his right. His shoulders both had Pokémon sitting on them- on his right shoulder sat his Meowth, and on the left one sat Hermione, his Weedle. They were headed home for the night, having had a very long and informative day- off in the distance behind them, and getting further away by the second, was Darkshade Village, home to a research facility that specializes in Shadow Pokémon. Between Keith owning a Shadow Ledian, and Hermione's natural curiosity about damn near everything, it was only natural they come here eventually.

"Man, wat a day," Meowth remarked. "I ain't known half da stuff dey told us about Shadow Pokémon. Dat Hyper Mode deal sounds intense."

Keith nodded. "I didn't know half of that stuff myself," he agreed. "I mean, I figured they'd know stuff I wouldn't have known otherwise- apparently the head of that lab used to work with Dr. Krane in the Orre region. Krane's considered an authority on Shadow Pokémon- specifically, on purifying them. I hear he actually invented an addition to the PC storage system that helps to purify Shadow Pokémon."

"And all dat stuff about Celebi's power helpin' da purification process," Meowth added. "Dat's pretty cool any way ya slice it."

"Weedle, Weedle," Hermione nodded in agreement. The Weedle, slightly larger than average for her kind, had spent the entire day taking notes enthusiastically on everything the scientists explained to the group. She learned a lot, which as far as she was concerned, meant the day was well-spent.

As they continued up the road, they could see headlights approaching from the distance. "Huh," Keith murmured, stepping aside as the large black van drew closer. "Didn't think this road got that much traffi- WHOA!" he exclaimed, for at that moment, one of his Poké Balls burst open. The flash of light which erupted from the Poké Ball formed itself into a levitating scrap of sentient cloth- it was Helena, Keith's Shuppet, and without giving any sort of explanation, she floated forward. "Helena, wha-" Keith began, before Helena did something quite unlike her- she charged up a large Shadow Ball and launched it at the oncoming van! "Helena!" Keith exclaimed. "What the hell was that?!"

"Look!" Meowth exclaimed before Helena could answer. Keith looked at the van- the Shadow Ball seemed to have struck the front right wheel, considering it looked horribly damaged, and also its tire was in shreds. More to the point, however, the van was forced to stop because of this, and a pair of men in identical black uniforms had climbed out. Black uniforms with a red R.

"...I withdraw the question," Keith said meekly.

"Motherfu- it's Masters!" exclaimed one of the Team Rocket Grunts. "What's the Executive gonna say?"

"Probably gonna tell us to take him out and get back on our way, so let's cut out the middleman and do that before he tells us," suggested the other Grunt, producing a Rocket Ball from his belt and throwing it. "Murkrow!" he exclaimed.

In response, the first Grunt followed suit, throwing a Rocket Ball of his own. "Go! Golbat!" he exclaimed.

"Oh, we can handle these!" Keith smirked as the pair of Flying-types materialized. "Helena, Hermione, let's go!" he added.

"Gladly," Helena hissed, sounding angrier than she usually sounded when in the presence of Team Rocket members.

"Weeedle!" Hermione exclaimed, jumping down off of Keith's shoulder.

The first Grunt snorted. "A Shuppet and a Weedle? Piece of cake. Golbat, Air Cutter, go!"

"Murkrow, use Dark Pulse on the Shuppet!" commanded the second Grunt.

"Piece of cake, are we?" smirked Keith. "Helena, dodge that Dark Pulse and fight back with Gunk Shot! Hermione, blast them with Blizzard!" As he spoke, Helena soared up, hovering above where Murkrow fired the Dark Pulse, evading the move completely. At the same time, the Shuppet charged up a glowing garbage bag in front of her, which she then fired at the Murkrow.

"Weedle Weedle... WEEEEEDLLLLLLE!" Hermione exclaimed. Her head stinger glowed a bright blue, and an identically-colored orb of energy charged up above it. Then, the orb fired off a powerful storm of ice and snow at both Golbat and Murkrow.

"Gah!" exclaimed the Golbat's owner, whose Golbat had to try very hard to not collapse to the ground. "What the-"

"Yeah, that's the thing about cake," Keith smirked. "You bite off more than you can chew, you end up choking. Now, Hermione, use your Electroweb attack! Helena, Dazzling Gleam, go!"

"Protect!" exclaimed both Grunts simultaneously.

Keith gritted his teeth- Electroweb and Dazzling Gleam both amounted to naught due to the Flying-types simultaneously throwing up shimmering spherical shields, blocking both the Electric move and the Fairy move.

"Now, Murkrow, Drill Peck that Weedle!" ordered the second Grunt.

"Golbat, Bite that Shuppet!" commanded the first Grunt.

"Hermione, fight back with Blow-Back!" Keith ordered. "Helena, Psychic!"

Undaunted by the menacing Murkrow diving down at her, Hermione took a deep breath and forcefully exhaled what amounted to a gale from her little mouth. Murkrow flapped its wings valiantly, but was blown off-course nonetheless. Meanwhile, Helena's eyes flashed blue, and a similar blue aura came over Golbat's body. Seeing Murkrow getting blown back, Helena telekinetically sent Golbat flying, right into Murkrow. The pair of Flying-types collapsed to the ground, both feebly stirring, and only barely so.

"OK, that ain't good," the first Grunt murmured as he and his coworker withdrew Murkrow and Golbat. "Yeesh... and here I thought we'd have it easy tonight! 'Oh, break into the Darkshade Research Lab, swipe their research, oh, it'll be easy-' Tauros shit, it'll be easy!"

"Well, who would've known we'd run into frickin' Masters on the way?" said the second Grunt, eyeing Keith warily. "Darkshade's supposed to be this out-of-the-way hick town, who would've thought we'd have this kind of opposition?"

Before Keith could open his mouth to tell off the defeated Grunts, he heard the sound of a car door opening. More specifically, a van door. Even more specifically, a door on Team Rocket's van. As it opened up, this allowed a man to step out. Taller than either of the Grunts, and also dressed differently- he wore a white uniform with a smaller letter R, only a quarter of the size of the Rs on either Grunt's uniform. He had horribly uncombed dirty blond hair on his head, an insufferably smug smirk on his face, and as though to complete the ominous picture, four purple Poké Balls on his belt, each one giving off a sinister aura.

"Now, that's quite enough," the man stated, stepping forward. Startled, the Grunts stepped aside to let him pass.

"E-Executive Greg!" stammered the first Grunt. "We-we're sorry, sir, we couldn't-"

Greg stopped the Grunt's groveling by holding up his hand. "No worries," he replied. "This is, after all, the infamous Keith Masters. Had I the slightest inkling we'd run into him out here, oh, I would've insisted on much more backup.

"So, you know who I am?" Keith said to Greg.

At this, Greg chuckled. "Oh, dear boy... everyone in Team Rocket knows who you are. I mean, how could we not? You only blew up our Ekans experimentation facility, you got Kaden arrested, breaking up our oh-so lucrative black market MooMoo Milk ring in the process, and Kaden was our top battler in the Fizzytopia branch... let's see... you ruined Project Stone Edge... got one of our top recruiters locked up... and, well, you've pretty much been a consistent thorn in our side for a good long while now. Too long, as far as the boss is concerned. So, my dear boy, I hope you can see why we simply cannot tolerate your continued existence."

"You're breaking my heart," Keith replied dryly. "So, what, you expect me to just step aside while you go and rob the Darkshade Research Lab? How is that place even of interest to you?"

Greg chuckled again. "I can see I need an introduction," he smirked. "You see, m'boy, over at Darkshade, they study Shadow Pokémon. And in case the balls on my belt haven't clued you in, I happen to specialize in Shadow Pokémon. The name's Greg- I'm one of Team Rocket's Executives. My friends call me Shadow Greg. Well, now they call me Executive Shadow Greg, ever since my promotion."

"Whatever you say, Greg," Keith frowned. "Well, I happen to, well, how do I put this, uh... oh, yeah, I kinda loathe evil and all that, so yeah, not so inclined to let you pass. Hermione, Helena, ready-"

"Stand down, Hermione," Helena interrupted, her voice thick with rage and hatred.

"Helena, wha-" Keith began.

In response, the Shuppet turned and gave Keith a highly significant look. "Keith... it's him," she said in a deadly whisper.

"Him? What do you mean by- oh. Ohhhhhh," Keith murmured. His eyes widened as he realized just what his sister was getting at- this man was the one who attacked Helena and Michael years ago. He was not only the reason Helena was dead, but for several reasons, was also the reason she came back as a Shuppet of all things, the reason Keith's otherwise pleasant and cheerful older sister bore such a terrible grudge. He nodded back to Helena, who gave him a small smile, then turned back to face Greg, enraged scowl right back in place. "You heard her, Hermione," Keith said to his Weedle. "Come back. This is her fight."

"Weedle..." Hermione murmured. She cast Helena a concerned glance, but upon seeing the absolutely horrifying look of fury in the Shuppet's eyes, she complied and backed off. That sight, that cemented in Hermione's mind like nothing else the fact that Keith and Helena were brother and sister. The both of them, whenever they were pissed, got this look of intense fury in their eyes that was terrifying to behold.

"Heh," smirked Greg. "Just the Shuppet, then? Oh, that's adorable. But you know what? Team Rocket here. Just because you're going with just one Pokémon does not mean I'll do likewise. Why, on the contrary, it gives me all the more incentive to sic two on you at once." He grabbed a pair of Shadow Balls off his belt and threw them. "Go, Stantler! Go, Yanmega!" he exclaimed.

Keith gritted his teeth- the Stantler and Yanmega Greg had sent out, the both of them were clearly Shadow Pokémon! Their bodies were varying shades of purple and gray, and their battle cries could only be described as vicious.

"You up for this, big sister?" Keith asked Helena, switching to Shuppet language.

"And then some, little brother," Helena replied.

"Then let's do this," said Keith. "Let's start with Flash."

Helena wasted no time. An intense Flash of light shone from her eyes, temporarily blinding both Stantler and Yanmega.

"Don't take that lying down!" snapped Greg. "Stantler, Shadow Rush! Yanmega, Shadow Sky!"

"Dodge it!" Keith exclaimed, with Helena immediately flying off to the right. The charging Stantler missed completely. Yanmega, however, had fired a shadowy orb straight up into the sky. "What the..." Keith murmured. And then, the Sky above turned an ominous shade of purple, and flashes of Shadowy light rained down onto the battlefield. Neither Yanmega nor Stantler seemed affected by the bursts of light, but Helena cried out in pain every time one of them struck her. Desperate for an answer, Keith pulled out his Pokédex.

"Shadow Sky," said the machine. "An attack known only by Shadow Pokémon. It creates an unnatural weather condition in which flashes of shadowy light harm everything except Shadow Pokémon."

"A weather condition..." Keith murmured. "Helena, Sunny Day!" he exclaimed.

The Shuppet's horn glowed brightly, then fired off a beam of light into the sky. To Keith's delight, the ominous purple turned back to normal. In fact, instead of the darker sky, it instead looked as bright and sunny as the middle of the afternoon, the still-setting sun shining brighter than ever before. And with the Shadow Sky dispelled, no more bursts of light injured Helena.

"Yes!" Keith grinned. "Now use your Dazzling Gleam attack!"

Helena's body gave off a brilliant flash of light. Unlike Flash, this one did more than just blind the adversaries- the Fairy-type move blasted the pair of Shadow Pokémon, actually dealing damage.

"Enough!" said Greg, looking decidedly less smug and decidedly more irritated. "Yanmega, Shadow Hold! Stantler, Shadow End!"

Yanmega's eyes flashed an ominous purple, and swirls of shadowy energy flew all around Helena, attempting to bind her in place as Stantler charged forward once more. However, Helena simply floated right through the swirls with no ill effects.

"Hah!" Keith exclaimed. "Your friends should call you Stupid Greg. Oh, excuse me- Executive Stupid Greg. Trying to use a trapping move on a Ghost-type? Bad call on your part. Now," he added, switching back to Shuppet language. "Helena, use Ominous Wind on Yanmega!"

Helena complied with the order. In her fury, she whipped up a forceful blast of ghostly wind that could be accurately described as an Ominous Hurricane. Yanmega was blown back by the move, and collapsed to the ground, as Helena grinned her satisfaction at having taken out one enemy already, as well as the sudden boost in power, defense, and speed the attack seemed to have left her with- the secondary effect of the Ominous Wind move. In response, Stantler bellowed angrily, its red eyes flashing red. Keith's Pokédex spoke up once more.

"Hyper Mode- a state Shadow Pokémon enter when their emotions reach a fever pitch," explained the device. "When in Hyper Mode, a Pokémon's Shadow attacks are more likely to hit weak spots. However, this also makes the Pokémon more prone to disobeying the Trainer, especially when non-Shadow moves are commanded."

"Perfect," grinned Greg. "We never use non-Shadow moves anyway! Stantler, Shadow End! Finish this!"

"Helena, use Return!" Keith exclaimed, not even bothering with Shuppet language this time.

Both Pokémon charged forward at once, Stantler cloaked in a harsh purple aura, Helena cloaked in a pure white aura. While Stantler's attack was fueled by anger and rage and evil, Helena's was powered by the bond between herself and her Trainer, her brother, who had instantly understood what she needed to do here and was not only allowing her to do it, but was commanding her, helping her to do it. The combatants collided, struggling against each other. It was a tense clash, but after a few seconds, Stantler started to get pushed back. With a massive effort and a loud shout, Helena finally slammed the Stantler into the ground. Stantler made no attempt to get back up.

"Pfft," spat Greg as he withdrew Stantler. "You think we're through yet? I'm just getting started!" he declared, throwing two more Shadow Balls. "Go, Ursaring! Go, Wobbuffet!"

Keith gritted his teeth- Greg had sent out two more Shadow Pokémon. The Ursaring looked nothing short of terrifying (even by Ursaring standards), and even the Wobbuffet looked more menacing than one might expect a Wobbuffet to look. "Helena, ready?" Keith asked.

But Helena didn't respond. Her eyes widened as she looked on at the Shadow Pokémon before her. "No... You didn't... YOU BASTARD!" she screamed at Greg.

"Helena, what-" Keith began, for the third time that evening.

"My Pokémon!" Helena exclaimed. "The Ursaring and Wobbuffet I had when I was alive- Teddy and Smiley! He turned them into Shadow Pokémon!"

"Wait, your-" Greg began, before his eyes widened. "Oh, hell, no," he whispered. "You? And you came back as a Shuppet after I... OK, things just got dangerous," he said to the Grunts, sounding less smug than ever before. "Fix up that wheel and prepare for a getaway! Wobbuffet, use Shadow Storm, and Ursaring, use Shadow Rave!"

Without waiting for orders from Keith, Helena flew in, weaving between the shadowy spikes Ursaring was making erupt from the ground, and soaring above the maelstrom of shadowy energy Wobbuffet had whipped up. "Teddy! Smiley!" she cried out in desperation. "It's me! It's Helena! Don't you remember me?"

Ursaring growled, but hesitated to attack for the briefest of moments. "Wobbu..." murmured the Wobbuffet as all four of his eyes scrutinized the Shuppet. Her voice, certainly, rang a bell, but...

"Don't be a fool!" smirked Greg. "Their hearts have long been locked away! You mean nothing to them now! Ursaring, Wobbuffet, show her we mean business! Double Shadow End!"

"Helena!" Keith exclaimed, but Helena did not move. The Ursaring was the first to slam into her, sending her flying. This did not deter her, however, and she flew back in, only to get hit by the Wobbuffet. Keith winced with every hit Helena took, but she refused to back off.

"Come on, you two..." she panted, still smiling at the Ursaring and Wobbuffet, to their mild bewilderment. "I know you remember me... Teddy, remember how I'd always give you a hug whenever you were scared by a thunderstorm?"

"Uuuurrrrr..." growled Ursaring. Something was coming back to him, now that she mentioned it...

"And Smiley, remember all that practice we did to get your Counter attack just right?" Helena added, now addressing the Wobbuffet. "Remember? Remember the pillows we used to practice with? Remember the time you actually started juggling them with Counter, until I pointed it out and you ended up dropping them?"

"Wobbu..." growled Wobbuffet, but with less ferocity than before.

"Ursaring! Wobbuffet! Finish it off now!" snapped Greg.

But they didn't obey. "H... Helena?" murmured the Ursaring. "Is that you?"

Helena beamed. "Yes! Yes, it's me, Teddy!"

"Wh... Helena..." murmured the Wobbuffet, to Helena's delight.

At that moment, however, the six eyes between the two flashed a violent shade of red, and Teddy and Smiley shook with sudden rage.

"Oh, crap- they're going into Hyper Mode!" Keith exclaimed. "Helena, get out of there now!"

"No!" Helena called back. "I can't leave them now! They remember me... They're so close..."

Keith's mind raced furiously. How was he gonna help? It was clear that Helena was trying to purify them, and she seemed to be making progress, but now, as the Ursaring and Wobbuffet both seemed to be charging up Shadow Wave attacks simultaneously, the situation was looking hopeless.

"Keith!" Meowth exclaimed suddenly. "Remember wat dey said? Dat Celebi's power helps wit purifyin' Shadow Pokémon?"

"Yeah, but a fat lot of good that does us," Keith argued. "It's not like I have a piece of Celebi's power right in my backpack!"

"Wat about dat Rose Incense?" Meowth asked. "Didn't youse say Celebi made it fer youse?"

Keith froze. Of course! The Rose Incense from the Forest of Adventure, the one Celebi had given to him! She seemed to have made it herself, so surely it had some trace of her power within it! It seemed like a long shot, but right now, Keith would gladly take a long shot over no shot at all. "Helena, catch!" he exclaimed, deftly digging the Rose Incense out of his backpack and throwing it.

Using Psychic, Helena managed to catch the Rose Incense, and having overheard what Meowth said, she knew just what to do. "Here!" she exclaimed, telekinetically making the Rose Incense fly right towards the Shadow Pokémon. And as the fragrance reached them, the Ursaring and Wobbuffet paused in their attempts to attack. The flowery fragrance, infused with the power of Celebi, was unlocking memories, clearer than ever before, of all the good times they'd had with Helena.

A verdant green aura seeped out of the Rose Incense container and wove its way around the pair of Shadow Pokémon. "Wha... No! NO! My Shadow Pokémon!" Greg screamed. He held out the Shadow Balls, attempting to withdraw Teddy and Smiley, but the recall beams couldn't penetrate the green aura. And as the green aura intensified, the Ursaring and Wobbuffet glowed brightly for a moment... and then, in an instant, it all faded away. The green aura had faded, and the light died down, and now Keith could see that they no longer had their purple-gray color schemes. Teddy was brown with a cream-colored ring on his torso, and Smiley was a bright shade of blue. Keith and Helena grinned- it had worked! They were purified!

Greg was much less pleased at this outcome. He was desperately trying to withdraw Teddy and Smiley even as the Shadow Balls crumbled away in his hands, their shadowy auras completely gone, rendering the balls powerless. He looked on in horror as the Ursaring and Wobbuffet tearfully hugged the Shuppet, and in even more horror as they turned on him.

"...Are you quite finished with that wheel yet?!" Greg demanded.

"Almost!" one of the Grunts replied.

"Oh, no, no, no," Helena stated, floating forward slowly and ominously. "No, no, see, you're not leaving. We have a little score to settle, you and I."

"Eheheh... yes, well, you see... oh, screw the van, run for it!" Greg screamed.

"Smiley, go!" Helena exclaimed in response.

"Wobbuffet!" Smiley replied, saluting his former Trainer (the Shuppet, not the Rocket Executive) before stepping forward. Immediately, Greg froze in place, courtesy of Smiley's Shadow Tag. The Grunts weren't trapped, and took full advantage of this fact, hauling ass as far away from the situation as they could.

Helena turned to the Ursaring. "Teddy, time for some payback," she stated. "Use Hammer Arm!"

The Ursaring nodded, then roared loudly, charging forward and slamming the entirety of his right foreleg into Greg's stomach. This knocked him on his back, and the wind out of him as well. "Stop... stop it... you're only... digging... your own grave..." gasped Greg, trying to sound as defiant as he could while trying to catch his breath.

"Smiley, Brain Freeze, go!" Helena ordered.

"Woooobbuffet!" Smiley responded, firing a cloud of icy particles from his mouth. Greg cried out in pain, clutching his head.

"You... you will... you will all pay for... for interfering in Team Rocket's-" Greg grunted defiantly.

"No, you're the one who's going to pay," Helena interrupted furiously. "For killing me, for what you did to me before killing me, for making my boyfriend hate himself... to say you deserve death is an understatement." Teddy stepped forward, the claws on his right front paw glowing fiercely as he prepared a Slash attack, but Helena stopped him. "No, Teddy... leave him to me," Helena hissed, before floating towards Greg, who was still on the ground, glaring up at the Shuppet.

"So... so what?" Greg said weakly yet defiantly. "You're gonna kill me? What, you think that's gonna solve everything?"

Helena gave a sadistic smirk. "It's a start," she replied, before slamming into Greg with a Headbutt attack.

"Oooof... Well... Well, you're wrong there," Greg replied. "Team Rocket's already targeting your precious Trainer for what he's done to us. You ready to give them even more incentive to kill him? I am one of the top Rocket Executives ever known to the organization!"

"I don't give a Raticate's ass if you're Ash friggin' Ketchum with the world's strongest Pikachu," Keith retorted, approaching Greg. "Helena, before you finish him, may I?" he asked the Shuppet.

"Be my guest, little brother," smiled Helena.

Keith smiled back, before making a fist and punching Greg in the face. Greg grunted in pain, his nose starting to bleed. "So yeah, like I was saying," Keith said to Greg. "You don't mess with the Masters family. I don't care if this makes Team Rocket hate me even more. I've been sabotaging your organization for years now, and I have no intention to stop. Now you... you violated and murdered my sister, so what she's about to do to you, you got no hope of talking yourself out of it. She's already made up her mind on that. She can't be swayed, and I am by no means about to try and change her mind. So, you're dead- there'll be no arguing that point- the only question is whether or not you show any remorse for what you did."

For a moment, there was silence. Greg glared up at Keith and Helena, both of whom glared back down at him. "...What's my incentive?" he asked. "I tell you I'm not sorry, she kills me. I tell you I'm sorry, she still kills me. I'm fucked any way you slice it."

"Gee, why does that sound so familiar?" Helena hissed.

"So, basically, you're not even gonna try for any sort of redemption, is that what you're saying?" Keith asked.

"I don't see the point," retorted Greg. "I ain't sorry, and there's no incentive for me to lie and say I am."

Keith gave Greg one last contemptuous glare before turning to Helena. "You've never used that move before... you sure you got this?"

"Oh, yes," Helena nodded, her eyes gleaming with a kind of indecent excitement at the thought that her long-awaited vengeance was finally at hand. "I know exactly what to do... it's like a Shuppet instinct."

In response, Keith dug a long, sharp needle out of his backpack, holding it very gingerly. "It's a fragment of bone I picked up from my last trip to Whale Island," Keith explained, offering it to Helena. "I figured you'd need a needle eventually, so I carved this as best I could. It's not perfect, but I hope it gets the job done."

Helena smiled as she used Psychic to claim the bone needle from Keith. "It's perfect. Thank you," she said to her little brother. She turned back to Greg, who whimpered quietly, sensing that his final moments were upon him. "And as for you," Helena hissed, as she focused powerful energy into the needle. Hatred, rage... her very grudge against this man... the needle started to glow black. "I'm going to do something I've wanted to do to you for years," she hissed as the malevolent aura surrounding the needle intensified. "I would say this is going to hurt me more than it's going to hurt you... but unlike you, I am not a damn liar!" And with that, Helena telekinetically plunged the needle straight into her cloth body, casting her very first Curse. And as Greg started to convulse with pain, Keith's jaw dropped- not because of Greg's obvious agony, but because the exact instant the needle pierced the purple cloth, Helena's body started to emit an intense blue-white glow. The cloth started to change shape as Greg gasped for breath, attempting to choke out desperate pleas for mercy, which would have fallen on deaf ears anyway.

"She's evolving..." Keith murmured.

As Greg flailed in agony, lack of breath the only thing preventing him from screaming, Helena's body continuing to change shape. Arms, legs, a tail, all of this sprouted from her cloth body, her new arms now clutching the needle. Her horn split into two much smaller horns, now positioned on her head not unlike ears of some sort, and cloth that could pass for braided hair in shape sprouted from the back of her head.

Finally, Greg collapsed to the ground, more dead than a Klang whose minigear didn't come back. At the same time, the glow faded away, and the new pulled the needle back out of her body with her new arms. She looked down contemptuously at Greg's body for a second, then turned back to Keith, smiling warmly. To Keith's mild surprise, instead of the piercing red eyes one expects to see on a Banette, Helena's eyes had retained that soothing shade of blue they'd had in the Shuppet stage.

"Congratulations," Keith smiled. "You finally did it, Helena. How's it feel?"

"I... I feel amazing," Helena replied, her new zipper mouth grinning happily. "Like... like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders." As she spoke, she stowed away her needle, then floated over to Keith and hugged him. "Thank you," she added.

"What are you thanking me for?" asked Keith. "This was all you."

The Banette shook her head. "No, it was your Rose Incense that finished purifying Teddy and Smiley."

"Yeah, after you started to get through to them in the first place," Keith smiled. "Alright, why don't we call it a team effort, then?"

"Works for me," Helena smiled, turning to face the Ursaring and Wobbuffet. "You guys... It's so great to see you again," Helena said, floating in for another hug, which Teddy and Smiley were only too happy to offer. Once they broke apart, however, Helena added, "...that said, I think you two had better go your own way from now on. I'm no Trainer anymore, and after what you two went through after I died, you deserve freedom."

Keith watched as Helena talked to her former Pokémon, her former partners, tears in his eyes. He would have gladly welcomed both Teddy and Smiley onto the team, and he knew Helena knew it, too, but he said nothing.

"...Why don't ya offer ta let 'em come wit us?" Meowth asked Keith.

"It's not my call to make," Keith replied. "They're Helena's Pokémon. She knows full well they'd both be welcome additions to the team, so if that's what she wants, she'll offer."

After a while, however, the Ursaring and Wobbuffet, after one last tearful farewell, turned around and walked away. Helena waved to them until long after they were out of sight, at which point she floated back over to Keith and hugged him again, this time holding back tears.

"I take it they didn't want to come with us?" asked Keith.

"...They wanted freedom," Helena sniffled. "And they deserve freedom."

Keith nodded. "It's all about doing what's best for your Pokémon," he agreed. "Speaking of which... now that you've gotten your revenge, Helena, what's next for you?"

"Honestly? I don't know," Helena shrugged. "I mean, even though Greg's dead, there's still the fact that Team Rocket is still operating, and I can't stand that... All I know is, I'm definitely sticking around. All my life I've wanted to know my birth family, and I know you've wanted to find your sister all your life. And we get along really well, and we make a great team-"

"Helena, if you want to stay with me, you don't have to talk me into it," Keith interrupted with a grin. "If anything, I was prepared to have to talk you into it!"

Following this emotional exchange, Meowth swiped Yanmega and Stantler's Shadow Balls off of Greg's body (they unceremoniously kicked the body into a nearby ditch afterwards), and they headed back to Darkshade Town. With Rocket Executive Greg no longer among the living, it was agreed all around that his Shadow Pokémon should be brought to the Darkshade Research Lab. They could study them, maybe even purify them and let them go. Of course, this would delay their trip home even further, maybe even force them to stay the night in the Darkshade Pokémon Center. But right now, Keith was just happy for his sister.

What?  Shuppet is evolving!




Congratulations!  Your Shuppet evolved into Banette!

*Helena learned Phantom Force!*
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Old 06-07-2016, 08:04 AM   #74
Missingno. Master
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Virbank City
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One Man's Trash

It was a beautiful day in the Fizzytopia region. Sun shining, not a cloud to be seen... ideal conditions for Pokémon battles. Which was quite fortunate for one Keith Masters, considering what he was doing right at that moment. A chance encounter between two Trainers on the outskirts of the desert resulted in pretty much the only logical conclusion- a Pokémon fight.

"Hawlucha! Wing Attack, go!" exclaimed Keith's opponent- a young boy by the name of Oliver, to whom Keith was something of a mentor and friendly rival.

"Jack, we'll use Wing Attack as well!" Keith called out, commanding what appeared to be a Hawlucha identical to the one Oliver was commanding. Both Hawlucha lunged at each other, but Jack proved to be the quicker of the two, striking with his glowing wings and sending the opponent tumbling backwards. However, it managed to right itself remarkably quickly.

"It's fast," grunted Oliver. "OK, then, Hawlucha- let's use Aerial Ace!"

"Jack, Detect!" ordered Keith.

"Lucha!" Jack nodded, deftly evading the opponent's swift slashing motions with a gleam in his eyes. This one caught Hawlucha off-guard, and it lost its footing.

"We got it! Flying Press, go!" Keith grinned.

"Oh, no, you don't! exclaimed Oliver. "Hawlucha, Fly!"

What happened next was pretty hard to follow. Though Jack was already diving down towards his mirror image, aforementioned Hawlucha managed to spring up out of the way, staying aloft with its wings spread wide... and then it dove down after its doppelganger, who had just crashed into the ground. Between that, and Hawlucha's powerful attack, Jack made no effort to get back up. Instead, he glowed briefly and lost all shape, resuming the form of a totally unconscious, slightly jiggling Ditto.

"Jack is unable ta battle!" Meowth ruled from his position on the sidelines. "Hawlucha wins!"

"Return now, Jack!" Keith said, withdrawing his Ditto. "Not too shabby, Oliver," he added with a grin. "But let's see how you deal with this one," he added, throwing a Heal Ball. "Cotton, it's your turn now!"

In a flash of light, Keith's Swirlix materialized, floating in midair with only his tail sticking out of his fluffy fur. "Swirlix swirl!" Cotton exclaimed, eyeing up his opponent.

"That's new," observed Oliver. "Alright, then- Hawlucha, use your Steel Wing!"

Keith's grin widened. "Cotton! Flamethrower!" he commanded.

Hawlucha was flying in close, its wings casting a silvery glow... only to be met with a powerful stream of flames from the Fairy-type's mouth. The Steel-type move couldn't muscle through the Fire-type move, and Hawlucha tumbled to the ground.

"Now! Use Dazzling Gleam!" Keith ordered.

"Swiiiiiiiiiirl!" trilled the Swirlix, his entire body casting a burst of powerful magical light. Hawlucha cried out as the super effective move bombarded it, and it subsequently slumped to the ground.

"And Hawlucha is unable ta battle!" ruled Meowth. "Dat's one Pokémon down on each side!"

"Wow," Oliver commented as he withdrew Hawlucha. "That Swirlix is pretty good!"

"Thanks," grinned Keith. "So's Hawlucha. So, what's up next?"

At this, Oliver threw another ball. "See for yourself!" he exclaimed as his Pelipper appeared in midair. "Pelipper! Hydro Pump!"

"Bad move, Oliver," smirked Keith. "Cotton! Thunderbolt!"

The attacks met in midair, with the Thunderbolt electrifying the Hydro Pump. As the Hydro Pump connected, Cotton felt not only the effects of the Water move, but also of his own Electric move. Fortunately, Keith noticed, the Thunderbolt had traveled up the Hydro Pump and affected Pelipper. However, to general astonishment, both Pokémon collapsed on the spot! Keith hadn't expected Pelipper to be knocked out in a single blow, even if it was by an Electric attack. And he certainly didn't think a single Hydro Pump, electrified or otherwise, would be sufficient to knock out Cotton.

"Cotton and Pelipper are both unable ta battle!" Meowth ruled,. "Dis one's a draw!"

"...Holy crap," Keith remarked once both the Swirlix and the Pelipper were withdrawn. "Didn't see that one coming."

"You and me both, man," nodded Oliver. "So, we're each down to one Pokémon, let's make it a good fight!"

Keith nodded. "My thoughts exactly," he agreed, plucking a Cherish Ball off his belt.

"Then let's see how you fare against my very first partner!" Oliver exclaimed, preparing a Poké Ball. "The Pokémon I started my journey with!" And he threw the ball. "Lairon! Go!" he cried out.

What appeared to be a four-legged creature made out of metal materialized on the ground before Oliver. It gave a somewhat metallic roar as Keith pointed his Pokédex at it.

"Lairon, the Iron Armor Pokémon, and the evolved form of Aron," said the machine. "Lairon nests near mineral water springs, and drinks this water until it is bloated to temper its steel body. It also feeds on iron ore found in rocks in the mountains where it makes its nest, which leads to it clashing with humans who are attempting to mine said ore."

"So, a Lairon," Keith murmured. "Well, I still got faith in you," he added to the contents of the Cherish Ball, before throwing it forward. "Let's go! Ariana!" he exclaimed, and in a flash of rainbow light, a small Trubbish materialized.

"A Trubbish! We've got the advantage, Lairon!" smiled Oliver. "Let's make this quick! Use Take Down!"

"Ariana, Dark Pulse!" Keith ordered.

"Trub Trubbish!" Ariana exclaimed, firing off a barrage of black rings of dark energy from her eyes. Lairon, however, charged right through the attack, muscling past the Dark move and slamming into the sentient trash bag and sending her tumbling backwards.

"Come on, Ariana," Keith said encouragingly. "Fight back with Seed Bomb!"

"Lairon! Iron Defense!" commanded Oliver.

"Laaaaiiiiirrr!" Lairon trilled, hardening its already hard body even further. The blasts from Ariana's Seed Bomb barely budged it, the explosions resulting in loud clanging noises. Keith gritted his teeth- Lairon was tough!

"Now! Use Head Smash!" Oliver ordered.

"Double Team!" Keith called.

Lairon suddenly found itself charging down a trio of Trubbish, and fortunately for the Poison-type, the Rock-type move made contact... with a copy. The Double Team clone vanished upon contact, and Lairon hastily came to a stop.

"Now's our chance, Ariana!" Keith grinned. "Drain Punch!"

"Truuuuubbiiiiiiish!" Ariana exclaimed, running towards Lairon, the end of her right arm clenched into a garbagey fist. Streaks of purple and yellow energy swirled around the fist as she slammed it into Lairon. This time, the attack had a noticeable effect, sending Lairon stumbling forward. The attack had dealt a great deal of damage, and while it hadn't knocked Lairon out, it had been highly effective nonetheless. Now Keith was grinning- time for a comeback!

"Lairon, Headbutt!" Oliver ordered. "The real one's right behind you!"

"Ariana, one more Drain Punch!" Keith shouted.

Ariana ran forward as Lairon turned around and also ran forward. The two Pokémon were on a collision course, and the attacks collided head-on, throwing up dust everywhere.

"Ariana!" Keith exclaimed.

"Lairon, you OK?" asked Oliver.

For a while, there was nothing but dust. And then, as it started to settle, both Lairon and Ariana were able to be seen, and both of them were still standing, though clearly just barely hanging on. And then, after a few tense seconds... the Trubbish collapsed to the ground.

"Ariana is unable ta battle!" Meowth ruled. "All tree o' Keith's Pokémon is unable ta battle, so Oliver wins!"

Keith approached Ariana, who had regained consciousness, and was looking down shamefully. "Ariana, don't sweat it," he said kindly, picking up the Poison-type in his arms. "You did great out there."

"Trubbish..." Ariana sighed, still sounding sad about the outcome.

Keith sighed, and then turned to Oliver. "Great battle, Oliver," he said. "Your Pokémon are definitely getting better."

"Same with you," grinned Oliver. "You and that Ditto are a great team, you adapted really well to Hawlucha's battle style. And I can't say I saw that outcome coming with your Swirlix and my Pelipper."

"You and me both," agreed Keith. "And I seriously didn't expect Lairon to do so well against Ariana- she's really powerful," he added, glancing at the Trubbish as he spoke, hoping the compliment would do something to improve her mood. If her unchanging facial expression was any indicator, however, it did not.

"Well, all your Pokémon were good," stated Oliver. "You thinking of entering the tournament, too?"

Keith perked up at this. "Tournament?" he repeated. "Well, now that I know about it, hell yeah. What is this tournament?"

"There's a battle tournament that's supposed to take place in Static Town," Oliver explained. "It's this out-of-the-way desert town-"

'I know of Static Town well enough," Keith nodded. "I've been there once before. So, they're having a battle tournament?"

"Yeah- tomorrow, actually," replied Oliver. "One-on-one single battles, and you can enter as many different Pokémon as you like, but with this really weird restriction- every Pokémon you enter, their species name has to start with a letter that's in Stunfisk's name. So I'll be able to enter Kecleon and Tropius, but not Hawlucha, Pelipper, or Lairon. I wonder why Stunfisk..."

"I think I might know why," Keith grinned. "So yeah, I'll definitely enter. And hey- there's a T in Stunfisk, so I know a certain Trubbish who'll be participating," he added with a grin... which Ariana didn't seem to notice.


The next day, Keith had made it back to Static Town. The townspeople welcomed him with open arms, vividly recalling what happened as a result of his last visit to their town. Fortunately, he'd arrived just in time to register for the competition, which they'd dubbed the Stunfisk Spelling Standoff. Due to Keith's wide variety of Pokémon, he had no problem entering a full team of six.

When it came time for round one, Keith stepped out onto the dusty battlefield. Static Town didn't have a proper stadium, but they were able to put together a respectable battlefield with temporary seating set up all around. Not bad at all, Keith had to admit.

"Alright, and now begins the first battle of this year's Stunfisk Spelling Standoff, a celebration of the great Stunfisk battle atop Mt. Chaos!" the emcee exclaimed, a speaker system carrying his voice all around. "And on one side, we have none other than Keith Masters from Lavaridge Town, the skilled Trainer who has given us reason to celebrate in the first place!" The crowd's cheering was explosively loud in response to this. Meowth, who was sitting in the stands to cheer Keith on, had to cover his ears. "And entering the battlefield is his opponent- Jeff Cherrim from Floaroma Town!"

"Hey- I remember you!" Jeff said to Keith. "Your Victreebel beat my Tangrowth back in Springreen Town!"

"Oh, yeah," Keith nodded, remembering the Grass-type tournament he'd entered in. "Well, I intend to win this battle as well, so you better give it all you got."

"Heh, you know it," smirked Jeff, throwing a Poké Ball. "Go, Illumise!"

In response, Keith hurled a Poké Ball of his own. "Let's do it, Chromium!" he exclaimed.

The Poké Balls burst open at once, Jeff's unleashing a purple and black insect whose fluttering wings suspended her in midair, and Keith's unleashing a beige canine with a paintbrush-like tail tipped in purple. Keith took out his Pokédex and pointed it at his Smeargle's opponent.

"Illumise, the Firefly Pokémon," said Keith's Pokédex. "Using Sweet Scent, Illumise lures in a swarm of Volbeat, and conducts them to use their luminous tails to create geometric patterns in the night sky. The more complex the pattern, the more respect the Illumise earns from its peers."

"Illumise vs. Smeargle," said the referee. "Let the battle begin!"

Jeff made the first move. "Illumise! Bug Buzz!" he ordered.

Keith reacted swiftly. "Chromium! Teleport behind Illumise!" he called.

"Smear!" Chromium exclaimed. Before the angry red soundwaves Illumise was firing could wash over her, the Smeargle vanished into thin air, only to reappear directly behind the Bug-type.

"Illumise, look out!" Jeff called. "Dazzling Gleam!"

"Now! Use Firestream!" Keith ordered.

Chromium took a deep breath and unleashed a barrage of boiling bubbles from her mouth. Though Illumise prepared to unleash the powerful Fairy-type move, she was interrupted by the super effective attack. Her wings singed by the move, she fell to the ground, standing unsteadily on her legs, wincing from obvious burns all over.

"No!" Jeff exclaimed. "Come on, Illumise, use Thunderbolt!"

"Chromium! Dragon Rage!" Keith commanded.

Chromium's tail paint turned a fiery orange, and she scribbled with it in midair, leaving streaks of fiery energy in its wake. The energy then formed into a fireball, and by jabbing the tip of her tail forward, Chromium sent the attack flying right at Illumise. The injured, incinerated Illumise managed to fire a bolt of electricity, which made the Dragon Rage explode in midair.

But Keith was unfazed. "Now! Sludge Wave, let's go!" he ordered.

Chromium's tail paint turned back to its default purple, and she spun around, the tail leaving a spiraling trail of purple sludge in its wake. The trail formed one singular glob of sludge all around Chromium, and she unleashed it all at once at the weakened Bug-type, who could do nothing to evade it. And once the attack cleared, the referee could make his ruling right away.

"Illumise is unable to battle!" he declared. "Smeargle wins!"

The crowd cheered as Keith congratulated his Smeargle, none of them aware of several shady-looking people in the crowd. They were eyeing Keith with unsmiling faces, and they certainly weren't cheering for him.

The next couple of rounds went remarkably well for Keith. Rubeus, his Stunfisk, obviously a favorite of the crowd, triumphed over a powerful Skarmory with his Electric attacks; Godric, his Nidoking, proved to be way too much for the opposing Throh to handle; and Cyanide, his Umbreon, relentlessly took down the other guy's Kingler. Before very long, the time had come, and the final round was upon them.

"So, which one's youse usin' in da final round?" Meowth asked, having exited the stands to meet up with Keith as he was making his preparations for the final round.

"Ariana, no question," Keith replied, the Cherish Ball already in his hand. "I was just about to give her a little pep talk, actually." With that, he tossed the ball into the air, and the Trubbish materialized, still looking down. "Now, Ariana," Keith said, kneeling down beside his Trubbish. "I want to use you in the final battle, so I want to make sure you're ready to go."

"T-T-Trubbish..." Ariana murmured, seemingly unable to face Keith.

"Ariana ain't so sure about herself," Meowth translated. As the Trubbish said more stuff, Meowth continued to translate. "She's ashamed o' how she lost ta Lairon yesterday, she tinks she let ya down."

"Ariana..." Keith sighed. "Look, losing is nothing to be ashamed of. Lairon was just the stronger one yesterday. It happens to the best of us. Believe me, you didn't let me down. You did great yesterday, and I know you'll do great today. As long as you do your best, win or lose, that's all that matters. So what do you say?" he asked.

After a few moments of silence, Ariana finally gathered up the courage to look at Keith, and in stark contrast to the look of disappointment she'd been dreading, she saw the same warm, friendly smile he'd always shown her. Slowly, her Trainer's words started to sink in, and she gave him a hug. Keith hugged Ariana back, not letting go until she herself did. Once the hug stopped, Ariana looked much happier. "Trub! Trubbish!" she smiled.

"That's what I like to see," Keith smiled back. "Now let's-"

At that point, however, the usual voice came over the speaker system. "Keith Masters, please report to the battlefield for the final round- hey, what- hey, stop it! Get away from- AAAAAGH!"

"...That can't be good," Meowth remarked.

Indeed, as if to confirm Meowth's words as true, another voice came over the speakers. "Heheheh... Yes, Keith Masters, please report to the battlefield. However, instead of reporting here for your battle, you will instead report here to surrender yourself to us."

"What the..." Keith murmured, wandering back towards the battlefield. Now he could see crowds of men in black uniform surrounding the stands, keeping the crowds hostage.

"Yes, you see, don't you?" came the voice again. "We, Team Rocket, have come to eliminate the biggest threat to our organization since the great Red himself."

Now Keith was running back onto the battlefield, Ariana in his arms, Meowth clinging to his shoulder as if for dear life. "Team Rocket?!" he repeated in disbelief. "What... Why are you here?"

"Haven't you been listening?" the voice snapped, annoyed. "We're here to get you out of the way."

"OK, who's speaking? Show yourself!" Keith demanded.

In response, the makeshift room where the emcee was sitting, the door opened up, and out walked a man who wore the exact same Team Rocket Executive uniform as Greg, but this man's head had been shaved completely. "Of course, how impolite of me to not introduce myself," he smirked. "I am Jet, one of Team Rocket's four executives- sorry, three executives now. We've yet to promote someone to fill the position left by Greg's unfortunate passing."

"There was nothing unfortunate about it," Keith retorted. "Given what that guy had done to my sister, he deserved everything he got."

Jet's smirk faded. "You listen to me now, boy," he snarled. "What havoc you've wrought upon our organization is unforgivable in and of itself, but we won't have you disgracing the good name of one of our better executives. Greg was my mentor when I started out in Team Rocket."

"Spare me," Keith frowned. "I don't give a Raticate's ass if he was Ash friggin' Ketchum with the world's strongest Pikachu- he was a despicable excuse for a human being. Now let these people go."

Jet snorted. "Or what?" he retorted. "Go ahead, try to send something out."

Keith plucked the Moon Ball off his belt and pressed the button, but nothing happened. "Cyanide, I choose you- wha- oh, come on," he groaned. "Not one of those things again."

"Oh, yes, yes, one of those things again," smirked Jet, indicating a very familiar-looking device clipped to his belt. "Poké Balls aren't gonna work for a little while now that I've pressed that button. So why don't you do yourself a favor and surrender to us now? And don't think about fighting us- we all come bearing Rocket Balls, which are immune to the device's effects."

"Wait- Rocket Balls?" said one of the men in the crowd. "Hey, I got one of those!" he exclaimed excitedly, throwing the ball in question into the air. "Go, Crobat!"

To Keith's mild surprise and immense relief, a good number of people in the crowd responded likewise, revealing that they themselves had some of their own Pokémon in Rocket Balls. Numerous Dark-types and Poison-types were suddenly sent out into the stands, forcing the numerous Rocket Grunts to send out their own Pokémon. Once Keith saw that they were all busy, he turned his attention back on Jet. "Well, so much for the advantage in numbers," he stated. "Meowth, Ariana, let's show him what we can do!"

"Yeah!" Meowth exclaimed, jumping down, claws extended.

"Trubbish!" Ariana added, wriggling out of Keith's arms.

"Hah!" Jet sneered, producing a pair of Rocket Balls off his belt. "You come at me with a measly Meowth and a stupid little Trubbish? Me, one of Team Rocket's top executives? Don't make me laugh!" And he tossed both Rocket Balls at once. "Hitmontop! Duosion!" he bellowed. From one ball emerged a light brown and blue creature which appeared to be balancing on the horn on top of its head. And the other ball unleashed what appeared to be a shapeless white creature suspended in a glob of green Jell-O. Keith pointed his Pokédex at both creatures.

"Hitmontop, the Handstand Pokémon, and an evolved form of Tyrogue," said Keith's Pokédex. "Hitmontop spins while launching kicks which, while elegant and graceful, are extremely powerful. If it spins at high enough speeds, it may bore its way under the ground." Then the image changed to depict the Jell-O-encased creature. "Duosion, the Mitosis Pokémon, and the evolved form of Solosis," the machine continued. "Duosion's brain has divided into two at the moment of evolution, and these two brains may cause it to suddenly try to take two different actions at once. If both brains are thinking the same thing, however, Duosion will exhibit its maximum power."

"OK, be careful, you two," Keith warned his Pokémon. "These are some tricky opponents. Meowth, use Shadow Claw on Duosion! Ariana, use Sludge Bomb on Hitmontop!"

"Hitmontop, Rapid Spin!" ordered Jet. "Duosion, Acid Armor!"

But Meowth was too quick for Duosion, the Shadow Claw hitting its mark right away. Nevertheless, Duosion seemed to start to melt, increasing its Defense greatly. That said, however, Ariana wasn't having such luck- the Sludge Bombs were deftly deflected by Hitmontop's swift spinning.

"OK- Ariana, try using Dark Pulse on Duosion," Keith said. "And Meowth, use Fury Swipes on Hitmontop!"

"Take dis!" Meowth exclaimed, lunging at Hitmontop, claws outstretched, when-

"Use Triple Kick!" commanded Jet.

"Hitmontop! Hitmontop! Hitmontop!" Hitmontop chanted- as Meowth drew nearer, the Fighting-type suddenly lashed out with three consecutive kicks, each one more powerful than the last. When the attack finished, Meowth was struggling to stand up. Moreover, Duosion had narrowly evaded Ariana's Dark Pulse.

"Good," Jet smirked evilly. "Alright, Duosion- give it a Psyshock! Shut it down!"

"Protect!" Keith exclaimed, and thankfully, Ariana was able to throw up a transparent dome of energy, shielding her from the Psyshock completely. "Now, Meowth- Fury Swipes on Duosion! Go!"

"Duosion! Gyro Ball! Get this over with!" Jet commanded.

The atmosphere tensed as Meowth and Duosion closed in on each other, the former scratching madly, the latter spinning rapidly, both attacks colliding many times over. And then, at last, both attacks faded away... and then both Pokémon collapsed on the spot. Jet wordlessly withdrew Duosion as Keith scooped Meowth up into his arms."Meowth, you OK?" Keith murmured.

"...Meowth, dat's right..." Meowth murmured, in a daze.

"OK, Ariana, it's up to you now," Keith said.

Jet snorted. "If that pile of trash is your best hope, then the great Keith Masters is in real trouble here. Hitmontop! Bulldoze!"

"Ariana, use Sludge!" Keith called. "Knock it off-balance!"

"Trubbish... TRUB!" Ariana exclaimed, firing a stream of sludge directly at Hitmontop's horn. Before Hitmontop could build up sufficient Ground energy to execute his attack, the Sludge attack struck. And just as Keith thought, the attack knocked Hitmontop off-balance and made him topple over.

Jet growled. "OK, playtime's over!" he declared. "Hitmontop, High Jump Kick! And aim for Masters- let's see that smelly Trubbish defend him from this!"

"Don't call her smelly!" Keith retorted, though he could see little hope- Hitmontop was lunging right at him, right knee glowing viciously. He had but less than a second, and his reflexes, while not bad, weren't good enough- he wasn't gonna be able to jump out of the way in time, and he knew it. All he had time to do was close his eyes and brace himself.

Ariana, on the other hand, felt quite differently about the situation. Between Keith defending her in response to Jet's repeated insults, and the fact that Hitmontop was about to try and take him out right then and there, she felt unspeakable anger like never before- that Hitmontop had to be stopped, and Ariana was the one to do it. All insecurities pushed aside, Ariana focused hard...

Keith slowly opened his eyes- he wasn't dead. A shimmering dome of energy was Protecting him, and Hitmontop was lying on the ground, nursing an injured knee.
"Wha... Ariana?" Keith murmured, looking down at the Trubbish. As she turned and looked up at her Trainer, Ariana gave him a reassuring smile and nod, then turned back to Jet. On her face was the angriest look anyone would have ever seen on her. That man. That awful man just tried to kill Keith, and she would not let that go unpunished.

A collective gasp went up from the members of the crowd not preoccupied with battling Team Rocket Grunts, for at that moment, Ariana's body took on an intense blue-white glow. The trash bag that was her body seemed to burst open as the garbage within expanded. Her long, thin ears expanded into spherical shapes. Her arms got longer- the left arm's garbage now separated by what appeared to be flexible piping, and the right arm tipped with three hollow tubes. She grew wider and taller, her feet becoming very wide. And once she stood just slightly taller than Keith, Ariana stopped glowing, revealing the imposing that she now was. "GAAAAARBOOOOOOODOR!" she bellowed. Speechless, Keith took out his Pokédex.

"Garbodor, the Trash Heap Pokémon, and the evolved form of Trubbish," said the machine. "Garbodor's left arm is used for grabbing and holding its opponents, while its right arm is used for firing foul, poisonous liquid. It consumes garbage, making it part of its body, which in turn lets it create new poisonous liquids and gases for use in battle."

"Ariana evolved inta Garbodor?" Meowth murmured, now conscious and watching events unfold from his usual position on Keith's shoulder.

"Damn right, she did," Keith grinned. "OK, Ariana, let's beat him!" he added.

"Gar!" nodded Ariana.

Keith nodded back. "Double Slap!" he ordered.

"Gaaaaarbodor!" Ariana exclaimed, extending both arms at once. Before Hitmontop could react, the pair of extendable garbagey arms were slapping him around. And best of all, one slap was followed by a bit of smelly yellow gas which Hitmontop seemed to hate the smell of- Ariana's Stench had activated, causing Hitmontop to flinch and ignore Jet's furious screams for him to use his Bulldoze attack.

"Now! Use Toxic!" Keith ordered.

With her left arm, Ariana constricted Hitmontop, and after taking careful aim with her right arm, fired a vicious cloud of black gas right into Hitmontop's face, badly poisoning him.

'Finish this, Hitmontop!" an increasingly frantic Jet was exclaiming. "Drill Run! Right now!!!"

"Ariana! Venoshock!" commanded Keith.

Try as Hitmontop might, he couldn't get the Drill Run started fast enough- the poison was hurting him that much. Ariana's Venoshock hit its mark, reacting with the powerful poison for extra damage, and now Hitmontop was looking very weak indeed.

"And let's wrap this up with your Return attack!" Keith grinned.

With her stumpy legs, Ariana dashed forward as fast as she could. Initially, not very fast, but as she focused, as she channeled her deep affection for Keith into energy for this attack, she found herself picking up speed. Hitmontop tried to sort of stumble out of the way, not having the energy to do much else, but the attack hit dead-on, the sheer force knocking Hitmontop right into Jet, which in turn sent him flying back. Jet landed on the ground, but even as he started to get up, the faint sound of police sirens could be heard. At this, the Rocket Grunts started fleeing in every direction, withdrawing their Pokémon, whether fainted or not. Jet tried to get up as well, but found Keith and Ariana standing above him.

"Ohhhh, no, no," Keith smirked, shaking his head. "You listen to me now, boy," he said, mimicking Jet's words from earlier. "What havoc you've wrought upon this competition is unforgivable in and of itself, but I won't have you disgracing the good name of my Trubbish- well, now my Garbodor," he amended, grinning at Ariana, who smiled back at him.

In response, Jet defiantly told Keith to go do something that Keith wouldn't have dared to repeat in polite company. Keith simply shook his head, he and Ariana continuing to stand guard over him and Hitmontop until Officer Jenny arrived on the scene to arrest him.

The competition was canceled not long after that, considering all the fuss Team Rocket had raised. However, the grand prize- a year's supply of Pokémon food, which was a practical prize, if not the most original- was evenly split among the two Trainers who were to face off in the finals. Keith was a bit disappointed, but somewhat less so when he was informed that Ariana wouldn't have been allowed in the final round anyway, now that she was a Garbodor instead of a Trubbish- there was no "G" in Stunfisk after all.

"Ariana, you were great," Keith smiled, addressing his newly evolved Garbodor. "You stepped up and destroyed that jerk and his Hitmontop. I couldn't be more proud of you."

"Gar..." Ariana replied, blushing from the praise, before pulling Keith into a very powerful hug.

"Ulp!" Keith exclaimed. "Ariana... squishing me..."

"Bodor..." Ariana murmured sheepishly, relaxing her grip somewhat.

"Ah, don't sweat it," Keith smiled, hugging his Garbodor anyway. "You just gotta get used to your new form, Ariana, that's all. Like for instance, carrying you in my arms... kinda not gonna happen anymore."

"Gar..." sighed Ariana, nodding to acknowledge this. Then, her eyes lit up. "Gar! Garbodor!" she exclaimed. Before Keith could ask Meowth for a translation, Ariana made this unnecessary by scooping Keith up into her arms and continuing to walk down the road. Keith had to chuckle a little at this. Ariana now being a Garbodor was gonna be one hell of an adjustment, but as long as she remained her same sweet, lovable self, he figured it'd be easy to get used to.

What?  Trubbish is evolving!




Congratulations!  Your Trubbish evolved into Garbodor!

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 06-10-2016 at 02:17 AM.
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Old 07-21-2016, 10:43 PM   #75
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Masters & McPhione

"You sure this is the place, Vinny?" Keith said, looking up at the old, dilapidated warehouse. He turned to look at the Pokémon standing next to him- a Camerupt, clad in a black fedora.

"Positive," replied the Camerupt. "My sources ain't steered me wrong yet- Team Rocket's set up shop in there. Now, apparently, it ain't their main headquarters, more like a hideout."

"It's a start," Keith stated. "Any way I can screw them over works for me."

"You want I should come in wit youse?" offered Vinny.

"Nah," Keith shook his head, ignoring the nervous looks the Meowth on his shoulder was giving him. "I already got a team picked out to explore this place. What's the worst that could happen?"


"Wat," Meowth was screaming as Keith ran for his life down a corridor, "did I tell youse about askin wat's da worst dat could happen?"

"Less nagging, more running!" Keith replied, looking back to make sure the Team Rocket grunts weren't catching up to him as the intruder alarm blared loud and long, echoing throughout the building. "Meowth, slow them down with Icy Wind!"

"Right!" Meowth agreed. He wheeled around on Keith's shoulder so he was facing their pursuers, and exhaled a freezing breath of air onto them. The grunts shivered, slowing down somewhat.

"Yes!" Keith grinned. "That's the way to-"

"Vileplume! Sleep Powder!"


Keith opened his eyes groggily. He looked around... bars. Metal bars everywhere he looked. Oh, not good. He blinked, his vision coming more into focus- he had been locked in what appeared to be a jail cell. He reached for his belt, only to find it devoid of Poké Balls. Moreover, Meowth was nowhere to be seen. "Oh, crap," Keith murmured. As he looked around, he noticed his backpack sitting on a desk just outside the cell, but it was out of arm's reach. His Poké Balls were there as well, including Meowth's ball- whoever had knocked Keith out must have withdrawn Meowth. There was another backpack and set of six Poké Balls on that same desk, Keith then noticed. And they looked familiar... where had he seen that backpack before?

As if the universe itself sought to answer that question, Keith heard a voice next to him. "Figures. Of all the intruders they could've stuck me with, they stuck me with Keith Masters."

Keith wheeled around. "McPhione?!" he said. Indeed, sitting on a block of wood that served as a crude chair, was Keith's longtime rival Ralph McPhione. "What are you doing here?"

"Right now, rotting away in Rocket jail," McPhione spat bitterly. "Found out this was Team Rocket's hideout, figured I'd come in and mess 'em up with my dragons. So I go in, we're wrecking them, naturally... Then I hear this guy behind me ordering his-"

"-Vileplume to use Sleep Powder?" Keith interrupted.

"Yeah," Ralph nodded. "Anyway, that's the last thing I remember before waking up in this hellhole. I'm guessing you came barging in, trying to be some big damn hero, and got the same Sleep Powder treatment for your trouble." He scoffed. "Loser."

"Hey, we're in the same boat here," Keith retorted. "Calling me a loser when the exact same thing got you stuck in here too is just the Umbreon calling the Murkrow black. Now shouldn't we be focusing more on getting the hell outta here?"

"What do you think I've been doing?" snapped Ralph. "What, just sitting here and moping? I tried escaping. This jail's well-built, and it's not like I can just call out any of my Pokémon. The balls are minimized, so unless they suddenly become psychic or something, get wise to what's happening and actually want out, no freaking way-"

He was interrupted at that point- Keith was shushing him, as one of his own Poké Balls had started rattling around. "Meowth?" Keith whispered.

As if on cue, the shaking ball burst open, and Meowth was back out in the open. "GAH!" he exclaimed. "Wat's da big idea, stickin' me back in dat... in dat... wat da hell?" Meowth murmured, upon realizing that Keith was behind bars. "Ralph in jail I can understand, but wat'd youse do?"

"We're still in Team Rocket's hideout," Keith explained. "Meowth, can you get us outta here? They locked us in here after putting us to sleep."

"Lemme take a crack at dis," Meowth grinned, approaching the cell door. He climbed up to the lock, extended a single claw, and started picking the lock with it.

"How did-" Ralph began.

Keith smirked. "Meowth hates being in his ball," he explained. "I figured that as soon as Vileplume's Sleep Powder wore off, he's want out of there something fierce."

"Huh," murmured Ralph. Keith's smirk widened- the concept of having to thank Keith seemed to be causing Ralph a strange mixture of indigestion and constipation, if his expression was anything to go by. "...Alright, if it gets us outta here, then I can't complain," he muttered.

"Aaaand, done," Meowth grinned, hopping down off the door. Keith pushed on it... and it swung open!

"Yes!" Keith grinned as he exited the cell. "Meowth, you rock."

"I know," Meowth grinned, climbing back up onto Keith's shoulder. Keith and Ralph rushed out of the cell and collected their belongings. Keith placed his backpack back on his back, his Poké Balls back on his belt, his Pokédex back in his pocket, his Xtransceiver back on his wrist, and his Mega Hat back upon his head. After a quick check to ensure a certain Chespin doll was still safe and sound, Keith was ready to go.

"Hey, where's youse goin'?" Meowth demanded, for indeed, Ralph had turned to leave.

Ralph stopped. "You got me out of there, and I'll admit I... don't hate... that... you did that... but I can manage on my own from here on out."

"Hold up a second," Keith said, going after Ralph. "Look, I don't like the idea any more than you do, but it seems to me like our best bet of getting out of here is working together. Elseways, we're practically inviting them to ambush us from behind again, and we wake up right back in that cell, with security about a thousand times tighter since they'll know we got out the first time."

Ralph said nothing. Whether he had even been listening to Keith was anyone's guess. Then, he started to continue on his way.

"Alright, look here," Meowth said suddenly, jumping down to the floor. He ran around and stood in front of Ralph, barring his way. "I don't understand youse. Keith Masters is just about da nicest guy in da world, and if he ain't da best Trainer out dere, he's gotta be close to it. Every time youse loses ta him, ya just go and claim it was a fluke, dat dere's no way you oughta be losin' ta him. Well, ya know wat? One loss, dat might be a fluke. You've lost to da guy, wat, five, six times now? Dat ain't no fluke. Dat's pure skill. So suck it up, let yer big, fat ego get taken down a peg or six fer once in yer life, and maybe, just maybe, appreciate da fact that even after all youse put him trough, my Trainer is still willin' ta help youse!"

Keith looked around warily, for Meowth's voice had carried and echoed as he spoke, but he heard no alarms, no sirens, no rapid footsteps- their escape had not yet been noticed.

Ralph turned to face Keith. He was not making eye contact, and he was gritting his teeth as though steeling himself to do something highly unpleasant. "...Alright, fine," he relented. "We'll work together to get out of here." As he spoke, he offered Keith a handshake, making no effort to hide his extreme reluctance to do so.

"Alright," Keith stated. "Let's get moving." And he led the way out of the room, moving quietly, carefully peering out into the hallway to make sure nobody was there. Once he was certain, he motioned for Ralph to follow him. Ralph rolled his eyes, but did indeed follow. The corridor was completely devoid of Rockets, so Keith led the way around the corner... and stopped short.

"HEY!" exclaimed one of the two Team Rocket grunts standing before them. "The prisoners are escaping!"

"Oh, no, they ain't!" retorted the other one, throwing a Rocket Ball. "Go, Sandslash!"

The first grunt also threw a Rocket Ball. "And go, Sneasel!"

"Ralph, let's do this!" said Keith, throwing a Poké Ball. "Jack, I choose you!"

"Fine," Ralph said with a curt nod, throwing a Safari Ball. "Tyrunt, stand by!"

The grunts' Sandslash and Sneasel materialized at the same time as Ralph's Tyrunt and Keith's Ditto. Jack looked surprised to see Keith and Ralph working together, but the Normal-type knew the more pressing issue at hand was the Team Rocket members before him. "Ditto dit!" he declared.

Keith made the first move, and pointed at Sneasel. "Jack! Firestream!" he ordered.

"What?!" exclaimed both grunts simultaneously.

"Ditto dit... DITTOOOOOOOOOOOO!" bellowed Jack, belching a barrage of burning bubbles out of his mouth. Sneasel screamed as the Fire-type move made contact, weakening it severely.

"Now! Transform!" Keith exclaimed, pointing at Sneasel once more.

"Tyrunt, use Dragon Pulse on Sandslash!" Ralph ordered.

"We ain't gonna take this!" roared one grunt. 'Sandslash, Rollout!"

"Sneasel, Brick Break!" added the other grunt.

Jack glowed and changed shape, and before anyone knew it, he had Transformed into Sneasel. However, the real Sneasel's attempt at a Brick Break was cut short as it was grazed by Tyrunt's Dragon Pulse. And now the Dragon Pulse was clashing with the rapidly rolling Sandslash.

"Jack, Icy Wind, go!" Keith commanded.

"Sneasel sneeeee!" Jack exclaimed as he unleashed a frigid wave of air from his borrowed mouth. Sneasel- the real one- wasn't bothered too badly, but Sandslash started shivering uncontrollably. Moreover, this slowed down the Rollout, allowing Dragon Pulse to win out. Sandslash had fainted instantly.

"Heh," smirked Ralph. "Now, Tyrunt, use Head Smash on Sneasel!"

"Oh, no you don't!" retorted the grunt. "Ice Beam!"

"Jack! Headbutt!" Keith commanded.

"Snee!" Jack exclaimed, lunging ahead of Tyrunt. The Headbutt hit its mark, and as Keith had hoped, the real Sneasel had flinched- it couldn't use its Ice Beam, and thus was left defenseless as Tyrunt's Head Smash made contact. The grunts were quick to withdraw their unconscious Pokémon after that, and they turned tail and ran.

"Nicely done, Tyrunt," smirked Ralph.

"Same to you, Jack," Keith added as his Ditto turned back into his usual blobby self.

Jack looked at Keith, then at Ralph. He Transformed again, this time assuming the shape of his Trainer. "Correct me if I'm wrong," he said. "But... ain't you two sworn enemies or something like that?"

Keith shrugged. "Desperate times call for desperate measures," he replied. "It's either we work together to get out of here or we get trapped here."

"That'd do it, alright," Jack nodded. "Even so, though, you two make one hell of a team. That battle went smoother than I thought it would."

Jack undid his transformation after that, prompting Keith and Ralph to withdraw their Pokémon. "We better keep moving," Ralph said. "I'll bet anything those lousy Rockets went to blab to some Executive about where we were."

Keith nodded. "You're right, Ralph." He then blinked. "Did I say that?" he murmured, sounding surprised. He shook it off and led the way onward, with Ralph glancing back warily every so often to make sure they weren't about to be ambushed again.

For a while, things went smoothly. With Keith leading the way and Ralph checking behind them to ensure a complete lack of Sleep Powder ambush, they managed to make some decent progress. And then...

"Oh, crap," groaned Keith- they had rounded a corner, and two more Team Rocket grunts were running their way.

"There they are!" exclaimed a grunt as each of them threw a Rocket Ball. "Nuzleaf!"

"Machoke!" called the other grunt.

"Here we go again," said Keith, preparing and throwing a Rocket Ball of his own. "You're up, Strychnine!"

Ralph had thrown an Ultra Ball. "Flygon, stand by!" he exclaimed.

The grunts' Nuzleaf and Machoke materialized, only to find themselves facing a fierce Flygon and a smelly Muk.

"Take out the Muk!" ordered one grunt. "Nuzleaf, Extrasensory!"

"Machoke, Cross Chop on the Flygon!" commanded the other grunt.

"Strychnine, wait for it..." murmured Keith.

"What?" muttered Ralph. "Flygon, Dragon Claw!"

"Muuuuk..." rumbled Strychnine as Nuzleaf fired the Extrasensory.

"...Now!" Keith exclaimed. "Use Payback on Machoke!"

"MUUUUUK!" bellowed Strychnine. The Extrasensory assaulted her sludgy form, but this caused the red aura around her body to intensify. She then oozed forward at great speeds and rammed into Machoke, stopping the Cross Chop. Moreover, she was able to get out of the way in time for Flygon to land a Dragon Claw.

"Alright, that wasn't bad," Ralph conceded. "Now, Flygon, use Flamethrower on Nuzleaf!"

"OK, Strychnine, time for a Body Slam attack!" Keith grinned, pointing at the struggling Machoke.

"Muuuuuuk," replied Strychnine, already enveloping Machoke with her sludgy form. Machoke struggled to get out of there, but soon the punching and kicking died down. Strych backed off, revealing an unconscious Machoke on the floor. Meanwhile, Nuzleaf hadn't been able to react in time to evade the Flamethrower, and it too fainted.

"This isn't over, punks!" snapped one grunt as he and his coworker withdrew their fallen Pokémon. "The Executive knows you two are snooping around!"

"Let me at him," Ralph snapped, sounding unexpectedly vicious. "I got a bone to pick with the guy."

"Oooh, I'm so scared," chuckled one of the grunts.

"Yeah, I wouldn't talk if I were you," said Keith. "Considering you two just got your asses handed to you."

"Yeah, well, we're nothing compared to the Executive," retorted the other grunt. "He makes us look pathetic."

"Really?" smirked Ralph. "From where I stand, you don't need any help looking pathetic." Keith couldn't help but chuckle at this one.

"Alright, enough. You really want an audience with the Executive, his office is just down the hall," said the first grunt. "Don't say we didn't warn you." With that, the two of them withdrew their Pokémon and walked away with as much dignity as they could possibly muster. Which really wasn't much.

"What was that?" asked Keith as he and Ralph started walking.

"Hm?" said Ralph.

"That- the whole 'I got a bone to pick with the Executive' deal," said Keith. "Take it from someone who's raised two Banette- that sounded personal."

"...I'm pretty sure I've met this particular Team Rocket Executive before," admitted Ralph. "Bad memories. That's all. None of your business, even." He paused as they continued to walk. "...Two Banette?" he added to Keith. "After what happened on Halloween night, 2012?"

"Oh, you heard about that," nodded Keith. "Well... I won't go into details, but let's just say there's more to the incident than most folks know. Over the years, I've acquired a certain affinity for Shuppet and Banette. I'm actually fluent in Shuppet language."

"Yeah, right," smirked Ralph.

Keith smirked back. "Oh, so you doubt me? I can see you need to hear it firsthand, then," he retorted in Shuppet language. Ralph exchanged glances with Flygon, who gave a single, surprised nod.

"...Huh," murmured Ralph. "Well. Alright, then. Did not see that coming. Y'know, Masters, I thought you were all talk, but I gotta say, actually learning a Pokémon language? That... that's not too shabby, I guess."

Soon, the two arrived at a closed door. There was a red R painted on the door. Keith and Ralph exchanged looks before the former reached for the doorknob... and the door wasn't locked. "Ahh," came an ominous, smug voice from within. "Might you be the guests I'm expecting? Come in, come in."

Keith led the way inside. It was a rather large office, with a desk near the back. And standing before the desk, eyeing up the newcomers, was a man. He looked about thirty years old, give or take, he was dressed in the usual Team Rocket Executive uniform, and he sported a startlingly familiar hairdo- greasy, unkempt brown hair that gave the impression of a man who had never seen a comb in his life. Keith looked from the man to Ralph, then back to the man again- was he crazy, or was there a resemblance?

The man chuckled. "I see you see the family resemblance," he said to Keith. "There's no need for you to introduce yourselves. You're Keith Masters. You've been wreaking havoc with Team Rocket's plans left and right. And I see you've met my baby brother."

"Shut up," growled Ralph. "I have no brother!"

"I'm gonna need some explanation here," said Keith. "I get the feeling there's a lot I'm missing."

Ralph turned to Keith. "Masters, may I introduce you to Remy McPhione," he hissed. "One of Team Rocket's Executives, and a complete disgrace to the McPhione name."

"Oh, now, you just say that out of jealousy," smirked Remy.

"No, I say that out of anger," retorted Ralph. "You stopped being a McPhione the minute they gave you that uniform, and any shot you had at redemption, you promptly flushed down the toilet."

"Ah, now, that was an unfortunate accident-" began Remy.


"She wasn't seeing the big picture," Remy said dismissively. "I tried to tell her what a great business opportunity I'd been given, and she was all, 'oh, no, not Team Rocket, oh, no, please, Remy, you're better than that-' the woman would not shut up," he said. "One track mind, I swear to Arceus..."

Keith was appalled. He turned to Ralph after a moment of shocked silence. "...So that's why you hate Poison-types?" he managed to ask Ralph.

Ralph's eyes were squeezed shut, but a few tears managed to make it through. "...When I was five, Remy came home one day and told us he was joining Team Rocket. We tried to talk him out of it, Mom most of all. The two of them started arguing, until Remy snapped and told his Oddish to use Poison Powder... I... I couldn't even look at a Poison-type after that..."

"Heh, you always were the weak one in the family," smirked Remy. "So yeah... kinda got to take you two out here," he added, two Rocket Balls in hand.

"Yeah, nothing doing," frowned Keith, taking out a Level Ball. "I used to think Ralph was a jerk, but you take the cake. Not to mention, you made someone associate the Poison type with evil- the exact opposite of what I strive to do."

"You're going down," growled Ralph, ready with a Safari Ball.

"Yeah, we'll see who's going down," chuckled Remy, throwing the Rocket Balls. "Go, Golbat! Go, Hypno!"

"Kyle, let's go!" Keith exclaimed, throwing the Level Ball.

"Dragonite, stand by!" exclaimed Ralph, throwing the Safari Ball.

Remy had sent out a formidable-looking Golbat and an ominous-looking Hypno. Keith, of course, had sent out his Heatmor. Ralph, on the other hand, had sent out a large orange dragon- his Dragonair had clearly evolved.

"Heh," chuckled Remy. "Let's start with a double dose of Hypnosis!"

"Kyle, use Thunder Punch on Golbat!" Keith exclaimed. "Close your eyes- I'll guide you!"

"Dragonite, Dragon Pulse, go!" ordered Ralph.

Golbat's eyes glowed blue, and Hypno started waving its pendulum back and forth. Kyle, however, squeezed his eyes shut, charging forward, his right clawed hand crackling with electricity as he waited for Keith's guidance.

"Wait for it... Now! Jump! Golbat's right above you!" Keith exclaimed.

"Heatmor!" Kyle exclaimed, springing up the instant Keith said so. To Remy's surprise, the Thunder Punch was a direct hit.

Ralph, however, was having trouble- the Dragon Pulse had hit Hypno, but Dragonite was starting to doze off. "Dragonite, snap out of it!" he exclaimed.

"You always were the weak one!" smirked Remy. "Dream Eater!"

"Kyle, Night Slash!" Keith commanded his Heatmor.

Dragonite began to moan in discomfort as the Dream Eater started to take effect, but almost immediately, Kyle lunged at Hypno, disrupting the attack with a powerful Night Slash.

"Pathetic," chuckled Remy. "Golbat, Hypno, attack Heatmor together! Brave Bird and Zen Headbutt!"

"Kyle! Fire Blast!" exclaimed Keith.

"Dragonite!!!" Ralph screamed desperately. And sure enough, just as Kyle launched the powerful Fire Blast, Dragonite's eyes flew open. It stood back up, roaring triumphantly. "Yes! Now give them a Dragon Rush they won't soon forget!" grinned Ralph.

"Get out of the way!" Remy exclaimed. But Golbat and Hypno, both still smarting from the Fire Blast they'd just sustained, were naught but sitting Psyduck at that moment. The Dragon Rush was on target, and managed to knock the both of them out at once.

"Yes!" Keith exclaimed as Remy withdrew Golbat and Hypno.

"Oh, this ain't over yet, sonny," snapped Remy, preparing two more Rocket Balls. "Now come my strongest!" And he threw the Rocket Balls. "Go, Swalot! Go, Vileplume!"

Keith gritted his teeth- that Vileplume was surely the one that had ambushed him from behind! And Ralph, too!

Ralph looked nothing short of furious as he looked at Vileplume. "That murderer..." he hissed. "Dragonite! Flamethrower!" he commanded.

"Kyle, you use Flamethrower, too!" said Keith.

"Vileplume, treat them to a Moonblast!" smirked Remy. "Swalot, give Heatmor a taste of your Wring Out."

Dragonite unleashed Flamethrower, but Vileplume ducked underneath it, and fired a powerful silvery orb in retaliation. Dragonite exclaimed angrily as the super effective Fairy move landed a direct hit. Meanwhile, Kyle did land a Flamethrower, but then was bound in Swalot's mustache, getting squeezed tightly.

Remy's smirk widened. "Yawn and Sleep Powder," he ordered.

Keith and Ralph opened their mouths, both issued hasty orders, but Kyle and Dragonite were both so worn from the attacks they just took that the sleep-inducing moves took effect instantly. Even Yawn- Kyle was that tired.

"Now serve up a double dose of Dream Eater, Swalot!" grinned Remy.

"Kyle, wake up!" pleaded Keith.

"Dragonite, come on!" exclaimed Ralph.

But it was no use. They could only watch helplessly as Swalot drained both of them with the powerful Psychic-type move. Soon, it got to the point where they were no longer merely asleep- they were passed out.

"You can surrender any time you want to," smirked Remy as Keith and Ralph withdrew their Pokémon. "I am Remy- the poisonous master of sleep! Now you know I'm not just sleeping on the job- my Pokémon are very well-trained."

Ralph and Keith looked at each other. "We'll have to go all-out," Keith said simply. Ralph nodded, knowing exactly what this was about. One of them readied an Ultra Ball, and the other, a Great Ball.

"Heh. 'All-out'. Cute," chuckled Remy. "Don't think you get any leniency for making me laugh." In response, Keith and Ralph threw the balls at once.



From Keith's Ultra Ball emerged a Beedrill, buzzing menacingly. On his right foreleg stinger he wore a band with a Beedrillite set into it. And from Ralph's Great Ball emerged a Sceptile, standing proud and tall, wearing a Sceptilite on a chain around its neck. The duo looked surprised to be apparently on the same side, and exchanged looks with their Trainers. The nonverbal communication here was significant. They quickly understood- an understanding had been reached between the rivals. Their opposition was not each other for once, but rather, this Team Rocket Executive and his well-trained Poison-types. And so they stood (or hovered, in Melittin's case), ready for battle, ready for what was about to come next.

Ralph produced the Mega Scepter from his pants pocket and pressed the button to extend it. "Sceptile-"

Keith gripped the brim of his Mega Hat. "Melittin-"

At once, Ralph struck the floor with his Mega Scepter, while Keith swept the Mega Hat off his head.


The transformations were simultaneous and instantaneous. Sceptile's tail grew magnificently, while Melittin's stingers grew, in both size and quantity. The transformations were soon complete- before Ralph stood the formidable Mega Sceptile, and Melittin had now become .

Melittin's Beedrillite is reacting to Keith's Mega Hat!




Melittin has Mega Evolved into Mega Beedrill!
"Enough!" snapped Remy. "Swalot, Sludge Bomb on the Sceptile! Vileplume, Firestream on the Beedrill!"

"Use Drill Run!" Keith ordered.

"Dragon Pulse!" commanded Ralph.

Melittin buzzed menacingly, all five stingers put together, and spun around extremely quickly, rotating like a drill. The attack cut straight through the Firestream and rammed into Vileplume, slamming it backwards into the wall. Meanwhile, Swalot suffered a similar fate from the Dragon Pulse Sceptile fired off.

"What are you doing?!" demanded Remy. "Get your sorry asses in gear this instant! Swalot, Ice Beam attack!"

"Sceptile-" began Ralph, but Swalot was already unleashing the frozen blast.

"Now, Vileplume, Sludge Bomb!" Remy added.

"Pluuuuuuuume!" cackled Remy's evil Vileplume, adding an explosive orb of sludge to the mix. To Ralph's shock and horror, Sceptile fainted from the onslaught, reverting from its Mega Evolved state.

Remy, Swalot, and Vileplume approached Ralph. "It's been nice knowing you, little brother," said Remy. "But... you really do take after our dear mother. Vileplume... Poison Powder."

"You wouldn't-" began Ralph, reaching for the Dusk Ball on his belt, but in an instant, Swalot had him tied up in its mustache.

"I would," smirked Remy. "And I am. Say hi to Mom for me, Ralphie."

"Meowth! Fury Swipes!" Keith exclaimed.

"YAAAAAAAAAAH!" Meowth screeched, springing off of Keith's shoulders and clawing furiously at Remy's face. Remy cried out and staggered backwards as Vileplume prepared to launch a toxic dust cloud right in the trapped Ralph's face-

"Mel! Twineedle!" ordered Keith.

Suddenly, Melittin, his stingers put together and glowing green, jabbed at Vileplume from above, startling it, and disrupting the attack. Then, for the second hit of Twineedle, Melittin rammed into Vileplume, stinger first, and pushed it across the room, straight into Remy, who was still clutching the bleeding scratches forming a lovely crisscross pattern on his face. This attack slammed the both of them into the wall. Keith turned to the Swalot, but the Poison Bag Pokémon was no dummy. Knowing this was defeat, Swalot relinquished its grip on Ralph and backed away.

"Heh... looks like we won," Keith said to Ralph with a small grin.

"Yeah... looks like," Ralph agreed, returning the grin. "Look, Masters... I... uh... what I mean to say is... I... I am... s-sorry. Y'know, the whole... thing with... everything..."

Keith listened intently as Ralph stammered out an apology. He still seemed to have trouble getting it out, but this seemed to be less due to reluctance- he had a much more humble air about him now.

"...I mean, yeah, the things I... I kinda... y'know, with the mean nicknames and all that... and hating on you for Poison-types... I mean, after all the crap I put you through, you just saved my freaking life... I... you're a good guy. And I'm... I'm sorry," he mumbled.

Keith and Meowth exchanged looks. "Wat do you tink?" Meowth asked Keith.

Keith considered this. "I think there are experiences in life that change a person," he finally said. "And I think this was one for Ralph." He turned around and shook Ralph's hand. "Apology accepted," he said.

Ralph gave a small smile as he shook Keith's hand. "Thanks, man," he replied.

"Oh, so touching," came Remy's voice. Keith and Ralph wheeled around- Remy had climbed to his feet, and was staggering towards them. He looked horrifying- his slashed-up face was covered in blood, and judging by the way he moved, that impact with the wall must have broken a rib or two. But none of that was deterring him- he looked positively insane now.

Ralph stormed over to Remy. "I've been wanting to do this for the past two decades," he snarled, and he punched Remy in the head. "That was for Mom, you son of a bitch," he spat as Remy fell to the floor. Neither he nor Vileplume were moving anymore, however.

Keith cautiously moved forward and checked Remy for a pulse. There wasn't one. "...He's dead," he reported to Ralph. "Vileplume, too."

"...I didn't mean to do that," Ralph mumbled. "I mean... Remy's no loss, for sure, but even so... I hate the thought that I've stooped to his level."

Keith shook his head. "Remy killed purposefully and intentionally," he argued. "You, on the other hand, you can claim this was an accident. And you know what sets you apart from him? You'll actually mean it."

Ralph thought about this. He still didn't look especially pleased with the situation, but he nodded all the same. "...Thanks, Keith," he said. The first time Keith could remember Ralph actually referring to him by his first name, as opposed to his last name, or some derogatory nickname.

At that moment, Swalot moved forward once more. Ralph and Keith tensed up, but the Poison-type had its hands and mustache raised in a gesture of surrender. "Swa Swalot," it said. "Swalot Swalot swal."

"Swalot's sayin' it were only followin' orders," Meowth translated. "He's sayin' he wants ta travel wit Ralph, try ta make up fer all da bad tings he been forced ta do ova da years."

Ralph considered this, looking at the apologetic Swalot. "Had you asked to join me this time yesterday," he said, "I would've sneered and turned you away. But..." He turned and glanced at Keith. "...I think I learned something today. All this time, I was blaming Mom's death on Poison-types... the blame lay with Remy and nobody else."

"Pokémon do bad things because masters bad," Meowth added. "Pokémon not bad."

Ralph nodded and picked up Swalot's dropped Rocket Ball. "Alright, Swalot. Welcome to the team. From now on, Poison-types are welcome to travel with me." He turned to Keith once more. "Thank you," he said. "I... I feel like a new man, y'know? So... what say we get the hell outta here?"

"Right behind you," Keith agreed.


A few other Rockets got in their way as they sought out the exit, but Keith's Weezing and Swirlix, along with Ralph's Hydreigon and new Swalot, made short work of them. At long last, they stood a considerable distance from the building, watching as police swarmed it, having been called in on an anonymous tip.

"Heh," Keith chuckled. "I gotta say, Ralph, this has been one hell of an adventure. It's kind of a shame we didn't get to bond like this years ago- we could've become friends a long time ago."

"Yeah, that'd have been nice," agreed Ralph.

"Hey- you want a battle?" Keith asked.

Ralph shook his head. "Nah, not right now," he replied. "I gotta get these guys to a Pokémon Center, and introduce Swalot to the rest of the team. But we'll battle again, Keith, for sure."

Keith grinned. "Works for me," he agreed, shaking Ralph's hand. "I gotta get home anyway, make sure my Shadow Ledian hasn't destroyed the place. Speaking of which, feel free to swing by whenever you're in the area."

"I might take you up on that," grinned Ralph. "Alright, see you around, Keith," he added, walking away.

"See ya," Keith called back, headed off in his own direction.

"Wow," Meowth murmured as Keith headed off towards his Secret Base. "I would not have called any o' dat happenin'."

"I know, right?" chuckled Keith. "I mean, had Luna woken me up this morning and told me I would become friends with Ralph McPhione and end up taking out yet another Team Rocket Executive, all before the day is done, I'd have thought she was losing her touch."

"Same here," nodded Meowth. "Now comes da fun part- seein' how many o' da others believe youse." Keith chuckled in response to this, picturing the potential reactions his Pokémon might have to such insane news, as he and Meowth continued on their way.

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 07-22-2016 at 12:01 AM.
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