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Climbing Mt. Carello, *puff pant*
Living Arrow
post Jun 8 2009, 10:55 AM
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The wind swung around Mount Carello like a child on a roundabout, clutching tightly to the rocks with playful hands as it screamed its excitement in the merry dance of the morning. A lone traveller hiked up those dusty orange-grey boulders, keeping himself low as not to provoke the wind's clamour and get pushed free from his handholds. A scarlet fox with many tails pranced after him without a care, keeping herself no more than a few steps behind her beautiful master.

<Are you strong enough to be on your own?> Lady taunted Darryn’s thoughts as he continued the hike towards Arasam. Since he had left Darck, the teen had made decent progress – he was far from unfit and youth helped him out more than a little while scaling some of the steeper climbs.

“Shut up, Lady.” Darryn muttered, clambering over a rock and ploughing onwards. Lady pranced after him, skipping daintily from rock to rock without even breaking a sweat. Darryn was close to putting her back in the Heal Ball but her presence was reassuring and it helped that he had someone to talk to.

*Is this what it’s like to be friends with your Pokemon?* He mused as they scrambled into the next bend.

The terrain the pair had found themselves on was extremely rocky and uneven – large boulders jutting from the stern slopes of Mount Carrelo made walking an impossibility as the trainer’s hands were almost always on the ground ahead, searching for the best handholds. Climbing was far faster than walking around the base of the mountain and following the worn trail but, as it turned out, far more tiring.

“Y’know, Lady,” Darryn panted, jumping up to the next platform, “I was thinking about naming the others. Now that you and November have proper names, it is only fair for the others to have their own, right?”

Lady gave no response. Darryn continued:

“Like, I’ve been considering a lot of options and reckon it’s probably best to name you all after a common system so that it tightens us all as a group… That’s why I’ve chosen phonetics. November was the first to get a name from that list but it’s easy enough to put yours in place – ‘Foxtrot’.”

Still no response.

“Yeah, I know it might be a bit obvious, so I’m gonna stick it in after your name already and fill out the registration forms when we get to the Pokemon Center. I think Pidgeotto’s going to be ‘Bravo’ and Jolteon’s name will be ‘Romeo’… No real reason – I just thought they sounded good and I’m sure they’ll like them, too. Oh, and I’ll get in touch with Mindy to let her know Butterfree’s new name, too. Now for her, I went with an exotic name since she’s so beautiful and decided on ‘India’.”

Lady’s silence was deafening now.

“Bravo, India, Romeo, Lady Foxtrot and November… A great bunch if you ask me… Right, Lady?” Darryn stopped and turned around only to find an empty space following him. “Lady?!” He called, peering back the way they had come. He called again, impatience ringing in his voice which rapidly turned to panic.
“Lady! Lady!?” He yelled, searching each nook and cranny below him for signs of her scarlet fur. “This isn’t funny! Come out here, now!”

The wind ruffled Darryn’s open shirt as he waited for a response. When he didn’t get any, he snatched up his Premier Ball from his bag and tossed it high into the air. “Pidgeotto, I need you!”

The flashing red light with white sparkling orbs emitted the glorious flying Pokemon in a flaring sweep of wings as he alighted on a nearby crag. His proud beak and tall pink crown feathers were primed and styled in a neat arrow-straight arrangement that the best of all Co-ordinators would be proud of.

“Please, Pidgeotto, find Lady for me. She’s been left behind somewhere and I can’t spot her.” He asked of his first Pokemon, willing the bird into motion. Apparently Darryn’s will was not strong enough as the bird simply sat still and cocked his head to the side, fixing him with an ‘aaand?’ look. Darryn palmed his forehead. “Sorry, I mean Bravo. Please can you look for her?” His Pidgeotto’s beak twisted into a tight smile and with a shrill cry, the flying type shot into the air.


After the first five minutes, Darryn knew something was wrong. A few more minutes and panic was snatching fast breaths from his lungs as desperation clawed at his heart. After the following half hour, he was down right hysterical.

*My Lady! Where is she?! What’s happened to her? Is she OK? Is she hurt? Why isn’t she calling for me?*

Tears leaked free from Darryn’s dark eyes, staining his pale blue shirt with streaks of sorrowful deep navy. He had never truly appreciated what it was like to lose something close to him and yet now Darryn felt more scared and alone than ever. First Jaima, then Mindy… even Darck had had some sort of friendship with Darryn but he had never felt responsible for them like he did for his Pokemon.

*Is this how Jaima felt when Ember got stolen? Surely not – they had been together much much longer than Lady and I have been… But doesn’t that make it worse? If Jaima felt worse than this, I should have stayed behind for him. I should have helped him find Ember rather than go after this stupid gym badge!*

Darryn leapt from his perch and began to run down the slope, launching from rock to rock and shouting Lady’s name the whole way.

“PIDGEOOOH!” Bravo’s cry echoed around the blasted landscape, its high-pitched scream seeming to come from all directions at once. Darryn searched the sky for his friend, his heart giving a surge of hope.

*He's found her!*

A flurry of ocre feathers announced Bravo’s arrival, but Darryn’s relief to see him faded rapidly. As the bird came racing from around the southern cliff, he could see the stress in the flying type’s flight and the singed feathers on his tail and wing tips. Before Darryn could call out to his Pokemon, a dashing golden figure pounced from the cliff with outstretched claws.

“A Persian?!” Darryn gasped, watching helplessly as it bore down upon its target.

“GEOH!” Bravo spotted the incoming threat and flared his wings, flapping out of the cat’s reach and sending a rain of feathers down upon the beast.

“That’s Featherdance!” Darryn couldn’t help but state the obvious, proud that his Pokemon had picked up such a move all on his own. *When did he learn that?* With the Persian out of striking distance, Bravo jetted towards Darryn but the danger wasn’t over yet.

“HAA!” A column of flame roared up the mountain, just past Darryn’s face. The heat of the fire stung Darryn’s skin and knocking him off his feet. Confusion and fear nastily injected their venom into Darryn’s bones, the new enemy closing in fast. A snarling, slavering Houndoom hurtled up the mountain, chasing a dashing red streak that shot from rock to rock, using the granite as a shield as it fled from the dark monster.

“Lady!” Darryn shouted, “Get away from her!”

With strength born from fear, Darryn threw himself into a sprint, throwing caution to the wind as he sprang downwards to reach Lady and protect her. His feet dug deep gouges in the gravelly surface of the slope and he slid towards her, anger rising in his throat. How dare these Pokemon attack his friends?!

<Move!> Lady commanded, urging Darryn to turn and run but he carried on towards her, not caring for his own well being. The Houndoom bore down on top of the small fox, gnashing teeth snapping at her glorious tails.

“I said get away!” Darryn yelled, dropping the final step and kicking out harshly. His boot caught firmly under the Houndoom’s jaw, snapping its head back and knocking it clear from its feet. Darryn didn’t stop to watch it fall. Instead, he grabbed Lady in his arms and ran as fast as he could in the opposite direction. A flash of gold from the corner of his eye told him the Persian was in hot pursuit but Bravo was keeping it busy while they fled the threatening Pokemon.

<Release me!> Lady growled in Darryn’s mind, her body struggling to be let free. <You will come to harm! Release me!>

“No! I won’t leave you to-”

Darryn’s sentence was never finished. His leg was burning and his face was throbbing terribly. What had happened? Lady was no longer with him and Bravo’s aerial screams had fallen silent. Had he won? Moving was so painful that Darryn’s glance towards his leg brought almost as much anguish as seeing the two-inch teeth of the Houndoom clamping onto his shin. Bravo came rocketing in from the sky, his direct Quick Attack blasting the Houndoom clear but Darryn didn’t want Bravo to go on fighting – he could get hurt! Somewhere, somehow, a Premier Ball was activated at the swift-winged Pidgeotto and he was put back in his ball. The Houndoom’s attention went elsewhere – probably to Lady – and so Darryn’s had to follow.

*I can’t let them get hurt anymore!*

Darryn didn't know where the energy came from, but somehow he managed to get up to his feet and move towards where Lady was nimbly dodging the Fury Swipes from the lithe Persian with her excellent Agility. The Houndoom, however, was closing in fast and Lady didn't see it coming.
A fresh surge of adrenaline hit Darryn as he ran towards Lady, willing himself to reach her so that his body could become her shield from these terrifying, voracious Pokemon. That was when the ground gave way. Well, not ground exactly... The surface which he fell through cracked and splintered, completely caving in and claiming the trainer's body as its first meal for decades. Darryn gasped with shock but no other sound managed to escape his lips before he plumeted into the mine. His head struck a solid surface at the bottom of his fall and immediately, Darryn Kellor's consciousness was ripped from him and replaced with eternal darkness.

*-*-*-*-*-*


<Master?!> Lady called, still managing somehow to avoid the claws and teeth of both her opponents. <Are you alright?!>

When no response came, the small Vulpix scramble towards the hole where he fell and dove towards it. If he had gone down there, then she would have to follow! Just as the darkness reached out to welcome her, she was cruelly snatched away by some unseen force from above. Iron bars were clamped around her and a needle pressed into her fur. In silent desperation, Lady fired out a thought with her mind to the south, hoping that it would somehow reach the thoughts of a Pokemon she had once spoken to...

<Sapphire Dancer! Help Master! Carel-> Her communication was cut off as the drug took effect and the Vulpix was successfully sedated.

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This post has been edited by Living Arrow: Jun 18 2009, 03:34 PM


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Master Houndoom
post Jun 9 2009, 01:36 AM
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Mercury did not understand.

Things had changed around her, and though a lot of it seemed in better harmony, when she'd finally been released from her pokeball, it felt as if all the disharmony that had been replaced had been instead transferred to her Trainer. When she asked, he only touched her crest and teared up, and when she tried to probe into his mind, he shied away mentally. However, and she noticed after a while, that he did not forbid her to try.

He felt shame for not. And receiving the two text messages after the trip with Celebi caused further shame. Daryn's news that Mindy had left had made Trainer Jaima feel that he'd failed her. But wose was Nurse Joy's message. She was being transferred, and she missed him, but if he didn't reply, she'd go. Well, of course he didn't. He had received thew message too late. So when they stopped at the pokecenter in Lenoilia, Trainer Jaima had looked mournfully at the nurse, handed her the pokeballs, and walked dejectedly to his room.

Mercury had, when released, asked Pikachu Tempest to show her how to release herself. She liked the pikachu, liked her protectivness and her spunk. And Tempest had a cute way of explaining things. So she learned the trick and used it that night. She stole into Trainer Jaima's room, looked into the memories he was both afraid to show her and ashamed in allowing her, and wept.

He had watched her die, in another time. He had felt so ashamed and guilty and responsible. He hurt.

Mercury sent soothing thoughts to him. The past was the past, and that had no longer happened. She was not dead, and he would not ever hurt her intentionally. She poured it all into her bond with him: her love for him, her trust, her loyalty, and all she knew about him. She found and gave to him Grondir's strength, Tsunami's gratitude, Ember's undying devotion, Fangs joy in him, and Shadow's pride in being taught by a worthy person. He found Tuesday's affection and sent it to him, and even Tempest's grudging respect. Casting further, she thought she caught a glimmer of Mr. Postman, who reminded her of his mother's love and his sister's playful loyalty, and she showed his sleeping mind that.

Finally, exhausted, she went back and released her team, her family, and showed them what she had seen.

She explained that it was important to show him they loved him, and to grow strong under him, and Shadow, brave, strong, smart Shadow also reminded them that teaching him would also show trust.

They made a pact. Trainer Jaima was the only master they would serve, ever, and they would protect him and love him until their dying days.

* * * * *

When Jaima woke, he sighed. Yes, things were not exactly working out for him, but he had to try to look at the bright side. He had a new companion, and she had grown to be like a little sister to him (an older, more sophisticated little sister). Yes, he'd missed both Mindy and Joy (and he had really enjoyed his time spent with the young nurse), but he didn't know if he could ask her to give up her life's work to follow him, and he didn't want to stay in one place; That wasn't why he'd come to Furoh in the first place. In the end, though it hurt, the right decision had been thrust upon them. And Mindy would never have been more than a friend, so it was better to leave it at that.

He did wish he could say goodbye.

The weird thing was that the hurt, the fear he'd felt since waking up again in the right time and place was almost completely gone.

Mercury popped into view, and had such a warm and welcome smile that he had to smile back. "You looked."

You never said I couldn't. In fact, I think you wanted me to.

Jaima said nothing, so Mercury touched his head. Trainer Jaima, I saw what you saw. I was not hampered by the cloud of memory that one experiences when one tries to remember their own events. You lost yourself, and I'm sorry that you hurt... and I'm sorry that you learned the lesson so harshly, but I know you, and I trust you. You would not have done that had you known what it would do to me.

She could see he was not convinced, so she pulled out her ace, her joker, her wild card. She had been reluctant to do so because it could backfire and send him deeper into depression, but now... You left Ember to someone elses care to make sure Shadow was unhurt. My Trainer Jaima, you are, sometimes, too kind for your own good.

Jaima sighed, but it was a releasing sigh. "You're right. Which reminds me... how is Shadow."

When I showed the rest of our family the events that made you so low, he was ashamed of his other self's reaction.

Jaima's brow furrowed, so Mercury continued. He left you, something he believes is a dishonorable act.

Jaima actually snorted, and the kirlia fought a giggle. "If I remember right, I thought he did the right thing."

You're both overly noble. Mercury sighed. I've come to care for you both a great deal.

Jaima smiled, and was just about to rub her crest when she gasped and pitched forward. For one wild moment, he revisited her death, which seemed like a nightmare now rather than events he had somehow lived with, but she straightened immediately, eyes wide.

Darryn's in trouble! I don't know where, but Lady said something about a Carol...

Jaima's eyes widened, and he lifted Mercury to his shoulder and dashed out, looking for Tuesday.

This post has been edited by Hungry Hungry Houndoom: Jun 9 2009, 10:32 AM


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Umbrae Calamitas
post Jun 9 2009, 11:28 AM
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There are certain ways that a person does something that can reveal their mood.

Some people, when they are angry, stomp around like some great beast, glaring and bristling as though everything they encounter is a threat or an insult to their person. Some, who are embarrassed, duck their heads low and hide beneath long shadowing bangs.

And some, who are frightened, try to make themselves a smaller target.

This was the case of Tuesday, as she lay trapped in dreams. Memories assailed her; those that were from far away, yet close. Those that had been so cruel when they occurred, but which had never occurred at all.

By nature, Tuesday was quiet. She had gained the name Silence, as she had gained silence from the world around her. So when she dreamed, she did not cry out in fear. Nor did she kick at the covers in an attempt to escape something within her mind. Rather, like she had been at that moment in Time, she was silent, and still... watching.

She could still hear their cries.

Those of the tauros and the miltank as they ran in fear down at them. Somewhere, deep within the recesses of her mind, Tuesday knew that she needn't worry. She knew that the danger had passed and that all was well now. They had helped a small boy, and everything that they had gone through had never occurred.

Except in memory.

Oddly enough, in this night, it wasn't the image of Jaima's death that called to her. It wasn't watching Mercury falter, or even holding Tempest in her arms as she died.

It was Shadow.

She thought that it must have been more than the fear that plagued her. With Shadow, she did not understand. Why had he simply given up? They could have fixed it!

But they couldn't... could they?

She had gone back in time to try and stop it, but there was no stopping it. There was no saving Jaima. Despite the power she'd held in her hands, she had been as powerless as... as any mortal creature.

Bound by Time.

But watching... watching Shadow fall into defeat. Watching him raise his head and stare out across an ocean of raging cattle. Watching him stand there and just let them...

Tuesday woke abruptly.

Silently.

She gazed about the room, glowing softly with the light from morning, and picked out her pokemon. Dante was curled up on a chair in the corner, his tail hanging over the side so as not to scorch the furnish. Wraith was standing outside, near the window, head lowered and eyes closed in sleep. Tempest was curled up at Tuesday's back. She could feel the taut form of the Pikachu pressing against her spine. Tuesday sighed in relief at the familiar feeling.

Slowly, she uncurled from the protective ball she had wound herself into. Crawling out of bed slowly so as not to wake her companions, she looked back to find that Tempest was gazing at her in concern.

"You were awake?" Tuesday asked. She was referring to the nightmare. Tempest always seemed to know when she was having one. Tuesday thought it might have something to do with the functions of one's brain. Something about electric impulses or something...

"Pi," came her only reply. Tempest's tail twitched. It was enough. Of course she had been awake.

"Sorry," Tuesday whispered.

Tempest snorted. Tuesday looked up to catch an eye roll, before a knock came on the door.

Dante awoke with a flaring tail flame and a snap of jaws. Tempest's ears twitched, but she didn't react impulsively, so Tuesday assumed it was Jaima at the door.

Still dressed in her red and black, Growlithe-printed pajamas, Tuesday opened the door.

Jaima stood there, a face of concern, with Mercury sitting on his shoulder. Tuesday blinked. "What's wrong, Jaima?" Certainly, he hadn't heard her during her nightmare...

"A friend of mine is in trouble," he said, and the worry rushed like a river through his voice. "One of his pokemon - a Vulpix - sent a message to Mercury. Something's wrong. I need to help him. I don't... I don't even know where he is." He was looking from side to side, trying to solve a puzzle that he couldn't even fully see.

Tuesday raised her hands in a placating gesture, drawing his attention back to her. "Two minutes," she said, and then shut the door in his face.

She was ignoring the fact that her behavior could have been misconstrued as being rude. His friend was in danger and they needed to help them. Tuesday couldn't save the world in Growlithe-printed pajamas. Though I dunno, she thought sassily, These pajamas are pretty hot. She frowned. "Bad pun, Tuesday. Bad, bad pun."

Being the type of person who would catch sight of a pokemon and want to hurry over quick and draw it, Tuesday was accustomed to dressing quickly and being ready within mere moments. Of course, it helped that her pokemon were so used to this, and were equally helpful.

And so, when Tuesday opened the door again, Jaima was still standing there. His expression had been graced with another emotion, but that same concern still held. Dressed, her bandanna tied over her hair, with her pack slung over her shoulder, Tuesday met Jaima's eyes. Tempest leapt up onto her right shoulder, and Dante reached up and grabbed her left hand with his claws.

Tuesday offered Jaima a reassuring smile. "All right, Captain," she said, "what's our heading?"

This post has been edited by Umbrae Calamitas: Jun 9 2009, 11:30 AM


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Living Arrow
post Jun 9 2009, 12:17 PM
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When Darryn woke up he tasted blood.

"Yeurch!" He spat, immediately producing a sharp wince and a nightmarish flare of pain in his legs. He cried out, releasing the furious tension and exasperation that swirled in his mind. "LADY! LADY!" He yelled, his voice echoing around him in the immediate, cool darkness. Obviously, there was no reply but that only made him weep once more, the silence of solitude screaming into his ears.

The hole through which Darryn fell was approximately four metres overhead, filtering searing sunlight down into the cavern and illuminating the trainer's predicament. During the fall, a piece of the ceiling had broken off with the wooden covering and had landed on his leg, pinning him indefinitley to the ground. He pushed at it with both hands, begging it to move but the old saying "stubborn as a rock" rang true.

"Damn it!" Darryn cursed, lying back then regreting it as blood trickled into his throat, producing a nasty cough in the process. He wretched hard, bringing up what he could, and sat upright, fumbling for his Pokeballs. "Come on..." He muttered, feeling around his belt for November's ball - she'd be able to smash that rock no problem. When his fingers felt nothing he nearly started crying again.

He cursed colourfully, spotting his Pokeballs out of arm's reach where they had clearly been scattered from his belt due to the impact from the fall. Hanging his head in momentary defeat, Darryn began to collect his thoughts and the next plan of action...

*-*-*-*-*-*-*


When Lady woke up, the first thing she noticed was the cold. She moaned pitifully, slowly opening her eyes to find herself in a narrow cage with a large box on the top, blowing freezing air down onto her fur. She shivered involuntarily and pulled her legs and tails tighter to her body to conserve heat. A quick look around her was all she needed to work out what was going on. She had been stolen.

The campsite in which she found herself was simple yet excellenly organised - two tents and a fire with several pieces of unnamable machines scattered around and a large motor vehicle parked near one of the tents. Two humans were in sight, both wearing matching green uniforms decorated with a large letter 'D'. Lady strained her large pointed ears to listen to the humans, picking out most of what they had to say:

"I still think we should have found him and finished him off, Verity." The male human said, packing something into a silver briefcase.

"He fell in the mine, Dane." She replied haughtily, flicking her hair (tied into a multitude of thin braids) over one shoulder and passing her colleague a black and purple device. "There is no way he survived that and even if he did, it would take weeks to find the exit - long before he'd run out of water if he had any."

Lady gasped. Surely they couldn't mean her Master?

"Fine, let's just get this over with, shall we?" Dane grumbled, strapping some sort of metallic cuff to his wrist. "The Boss wants all of the fossil Pokemon in the Carello-Deep Mines located and captured as quickly as possible - his customers have been kept waiting long enough."

"Agreed. The faster we work, the faster we get paid." Verity mumbled. "And I have my eye on a very nice collector's piece in Petropolis with my name on it. Let's hurry and catch up to Horace - he should be in postion already - and get things underway."

With that, the two moved towards a square-shaped hole in the side of the mountain with wooden beams supporting the ceiling and walls. One of them whistled and from nowhere appeared the Persian and Houndoom that Lady had encountered before she lost Darryn. The group of four disappeared into the dark, leaving Lady to wait unguarded in the campsite. That was all she needed.

"VUL!" She spat an Ember attack at the metallic prison but was dismayed to find it fizzle out to mere sparks thanks to the cooling fan above her. Not giving in, she focused her mind and tore at the mechanics above her with Extrasensory. Again, nothing happened. Something deadened her attack almost instantly. Frowning, she cast her eys about to search for her block and found it in the form of a circle of white teeth positioned around her cage.

*Mightyena fangs?* She pondered. *They prepared for every possibility... very clever indeed.* Curling herself even tighter, Lady began to calculate the formula for escape...


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Master Houndoom
post Jun 10 2009, 10:26 AM
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Jaima and Tuesday walked briskly down the hall to the front desk. The Nurse there, significantly older than the previous but less assured, wrung her hands as they approached, but they were not paying attention.

"All I have is 'Carol'. I don't know who Carol is or why Darryn'd be seeing her."

"Maybe it's a date."

Jaima winced. "It's not a date. Although I suppose Carol could be a man's name. Sometimes..."

Tuesday thought a moment, then blinked. "Oh. Oh.." She looked up, as if the ceiling had a locator map that would tell them exactly where Carol or Darryn were.

"Excuse me, Mr. Kuonji?" The nervous voice of the nurse interjected itself into the pair's conversation. "Mr. Kuonji, I... there's a problem with..." She sighed, defeated. "I think I lost one of your pokémon. The Kirlia-"

Mercury bobbed into view over Jaima's shoulder, and the woman, startled, slumped in relief.

"I meant to talk to you about that," Jaima began, sternly, but Mercury's mental voice interrupted him.

I got out on my own! Don't blame her, please, Trainer Jaima!

Jaima paused a moment, then smiled. "Mercury's learned to get out on her own. She only does so at great need, but it still startles people. I apologize for not telling you," he bowed to the Nurse, who blinked and smiled, shakily.

"It's all right. You'd be surprised how many can. Miss Berleson's pikachu can as well, but she... she didn't disappear."

Jaima smiled at her and collected his team, releasing them each before setting their pokéballs into their slot on his bandolier. They took their usual positions, except for Shadow, who stayed on the counter and bowed low.

"Shadow," Jaima started, then crooked a finger under his snout to make him look his trainer in the eye. "What's done is done. If I'd been in that position, I'd have done the same thing."

The Nurse blinked as Jaima spoke to his pokémon, finally lifting the riolu to his shoulder.

"So," Tuesday said quietly, "We need to find out who Carol is and find out why Lady stopped speaking so abruptly."

Jaima nodded, leaning against the counter. "Yeah. It could just be distance and the fact that she's not a psychic type. But Mr. Postman doesn't seem to have a problem communicating... Hey, wait a minute, Mr. Postman! Maybe he can help find Darryn!"

Tuesday thought a moment. "As 'swell' as that would be, is he around?"

Both turned to Mercury, who closed her eyes. It didn't take long for her to open them. No. I'm sorry, he's not close enough to touch my mind.

"Well... we know he was on his way to Arasam... that's a start."

"Excuse me, Mr. Kuonji? Miss Berleson?" The Nurse again, this time sounding thoughtful. "Is it possible that Carol isn't a person, but whoever you spoke with meant Mount Carello?" She pointed to a large mountain on the map behind her. "It's between here and Arasam..."

Jaima looked at the map, then at Tuesday. He slapped his fist into his other palm. "That could be it! Thank you," he said, bowing.

Tuesday had another thought. "You that Mercury said Lady sounded frantic. How are we going to get there quickly..?"

Jaima thought a moment, then smiled. "Do you think Wraith can carry both of us..?"


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Umbrae Calamitas
post Jun 10 2009, 11:34 AM
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Tuesday's Pack



Tuesday had known Ponyta were fast, but she never realized exactly how fast, or how strong.

Wraith was perfectly capable of carrying both of them. Still young, despite his maturity, Jaima didn't weigh as much as a full-grown man would have. Tuesday, being small even for her young age, might have made up the difference.

More than that, however, Wraith was eager to prove himself.

And, oh, prove himself he did.

Tuesday had the benefit of having ridden before, both with a saddle and bareback. Of course, she had been even younger then and she wasn't allowed to take the Ponyta at a rate any faster than a trot (for a kid that wanted to ride like Zorro across the ground, or race into the horizon like Jesse James, this had been something of a disappointment). She was getting her chance now, however.

Jaima had never had the experience of riding before, so they weren't going as fast as Wraith could go, but they were still moving. Far faster than they would have gone if they had walked.

"This is awesome!" Tuesday yelled, the wind whipping into her face. Wraith's ears flicked back to better hear her and he snorted in agreement, obviously pleased at the chance to run. Tuesday supposed that he probably hadn't had this chance since he had been captured by the Gladiators.

But now, he'd have every chance that she could spare him, she promised.

Tempest had been loathe to remain in her pokeball, but after about a half hour of sitting in Tuesday's lap, the pikachu had finally decided that a little of her pride could be hurt by retreating. Obviously, she didn't enjoy this as much as Tuesday did.

Enjoy it though she did, even she had to stop.

"Ugh... my legs," she groaned, flopping down on the ground.

Jaima was in similar shape. He sat down with a moan. "Ow..."

"We could walk a little, if you wanted," Tuesday offered. She knew how he felt. She had taken riding lessons when she was little (that was how she got the experience), and they were only supposed to have her ride for one hour a day. The first time she had ridden for two hours straight, her legs had screamed at her. Saddle-sore...

"I don't think I can walk," he replied, but his voice held that layer of teasing that she had grown to pick out of his words.

She grinned, but her smile quickly faded in that face of why they were moving so quickly. "Has Mercury been able to get hold of Lady?"

Jaima shook his head. "She's been trying as we moved, but there's nothing."

Tuesday sighed. She had been going to suggest that they could take a rest and camp here, but with all of the possibilities running through their minds, there was no way that they would be able to sleep. If Lady had been as urgent as Jaima said Mercury insisted, then Tuesday doubted if it was something simple and easily procrastinated.

Translation: They had to keep moving.

To her surprise, Jaima was the first one up, already on his feet, with the same thought obviously in mind.

"Do you mind if you sit behind me this time?" he asked. "I feel like I keep sliding off of his back."

Tuesday smiled. "Sure." She refrained from telling him that such was an inevitable feeling when riding bareback.

~*~


They had been riding for hours.

Hours.

Tuesday's butt hurt.

Equals major suckage.

"Are we there yet?"

Jaima snorted. "Yes."

Tuesday leaned to her right, peering around Jaima. Sure enough, there was a giant mountain sitting right smack-dab in front of them. "Aaaand... how did I miss that?"

"I think you fell asleep."

Tuesday blinked. Did she...?

Oh well, not important.

Both she and Jaima slid off of Wraith's back. The ponyta snorted heavily and bowed her head. White foam was lathered on her skin and Tuesday grimaced. "Can we spare ten minutes, Jaima?" she asked.

He nodded, sinking to the ground. Obviously, ten minutes sounded fine.

He pulled a pokeball off of his belt and released Shadow. Tuesday stopped running the brush in her hand over Wraith's coat to look at the riolu. She swallowed, but neither he nor Jaima seemed to notice her concentration upon the pokemon.

"Shadow, can you see if you can't find Darryn? He's somewhere around here, we're sure."

Shadow bowed low in agreement. Before he could run off, however, Tuesday grabbed Dante's ball and quickly released the charmander. He looked at her expectantly.

"You're good at climbing mountains, Dante," Tuesday said, remembering back at the Old World, and that Dante had been born and lived in a mountain when he was young. "Why don't you see if you can't help Shadow?" She refrained from saying that two heads were better than one. She thought that may have been pushing it. She didn't know how the riolu would react to either the offer for help or the company, but... well, even though he wasn't her pokemon, Tuesday was worried about him going off on his own. That nightmare still lingered...

Turning back to Wraith, Tuesday continued brushing his coat, giving him time to recover from the run, and clearing off the sweat that had accumulated on his creamy fur. She wouldn't look at Jaima. She didn't know how he'd react to her assuming Shadow needed help or company, either.




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Living Arrow
post Jun 10 2009, 12:27 PM
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"CRAAAP!" Darryn screamed, thumping his fists as hard as possible on the boulder pinning his legs. Nothing - NOTHING - he had tried to move the blasted piece of rock had worked and now, just to make things worse, he was even more exhausted than when he had woken up. "Stupid... bloody..." he muttered, twisting around for a better look at his surroundings.

A faint scraping noise emanated from the encompassing gloom but stopped almost as immediately as it began. Darryn froze. Had he imagined it? He strained his ears, drinking in the sound of silence to try and taste even the faintest whisper of sound. And long, dead nothing answered him until...

"CRANI?!"

"NARGH!" Darryn yelled, twisting hard with fright, a large grey face only inches from his nose. The bulky creature, startled by Darryn's protest, began to yell in unison, swaying its head from side to side with massive rolling eyes. Unlike a scared creature, however, it did not run away. It merely yelled in Darryn's face and began to hit itself in the head with stumpy, clawed hands.

Darryn's cries slowly subsided to bemused confusion and somewhat disgust as he watched the peculiar Pokemon beat itself silly while moaning like a Wailord in song. Whatever it was, the Pokemon was close enough to the descending shaft of light for Darryn to get a good clear look at it.
Two powerfully built legs supported an almost upright body with a pointed triangle of a tail that hung back to give it some sort of balance. Rough grey skin encapsulated the beast but it looked almost like pebbles - lumpy yet not sharp - apart from two sections that were shiny and blue on top of its head and its back. Short arms that barely reached the thing's nose hand narrow, stubby claws that looked far from dextrous. Lastly, its head was large and blocky - a lantern jaw framing the most plain of features topped by a crown of nicely spaced, pointed horns.

"What are you?" Darryn whispered under his breath, reaching out to touch the Pokemon. It noticed the movement and stopped wailing, standing stock-still as Darryn's fingertips grazed the side of its head. He had been right - the monster felt almost like course sandpaper but when he reached up to stroke the azure dome on top of its head, the texture became something akin to glass... warm glass.

"Niii?" The creatures shuddered with delight at Darryn's touch and pushed its head closer for him to continue rubbing.

"Easy, now!" Darryn leaned away from the mystery Pokemon and put on a wary smile. "Don't get too carried away, yeah?"

The thing looked dumbly back at him and coughed. Spittle hit Darryn right in the face. He kept still and groaned.

"Oh, fantastic..." He muttered, slowly wiping thick mucus from his eyebrows. "Something comes along and it just spits in my face. What a delightful monster you are..."

Apparently, sarcasm was lost on the thing as it began to laugh - a low, gutteral and extremely annoying braying sound that reminded Darryn of a broken car horn.

"Hate to burst a bubble or anything, but reckon you could help me out?" Darryn asked, pointing at the rock squashing his legs. "Bit stuck here..."

The grey biped looked at the rock and back at Darryn before shrugging its shoulders (rather comically) and walking off into the darkness. Darryn braced himself for the rock to be lifted free and fclutched tightly to the rocks at his sides. He tensed like that for about twenty seconds before he looked around and offered a few of his most colourful expletives before yelling:

"COME BAAACK!"


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Master Houndoom
post Jun 10 2009, 03:15 PM
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Jaima watched as Dante and Shadow hopped and climbed up the mountain with a deftness born of natural ability. Tuesday's instincts were good, to have the two pair. After all, what kind of wild pokémon might they find here?

Jaima thought he could hear a noise, a call, and released Mercury from her pokéball. "Anything," he asked with no preamble.

Mercury was used to this, and knew that he was used to her. There was such a feeling of warmth when she was released from his mind that it was like a greeting. She closed her eyes for a long moment, trying to find Darryn.

No, Trainer Jaima. There's a lot of people here, even though we can't see them. Mountain Climbers, tourists... some of them are very afraid, and I can't pinpoint anything... She seemed frustrated by this, her lips pressed together in annoyance. There are also a lot of dark pokémon in the area, I think. Things here are spotty, like looking through a dirty glass. I could find him if not for that...

Jaima waved a hand. "It's OK. Maybe you can help when we get closer, huh?" He smiled at her, patting his shoulder, then released Grondir, Ember, Tsunami, and Fang. "Be on the lookout, guys. We'll need you and Tempest to protect us while Wraith rests."

His team responded and fanned out, using Grondir as a central point. They each looked around warily, watching the nearby scrub bushes. Mercury continued to scan.

Shadow has found a hole, she said, amused. He says he can smell something coming from it, but it's not entirely human.

Jaima nodded and listened to her report, idly rummaging through his pack and pulling out plastic bottle, which he had gotten from the Nurse Joy, full of Gigarte Spring Water. He handed it for Tuesday and pulled a second one out as well. "I have another two, if Wraith needs some.

The Team is fine, Trainer Jaima, Grondir has engrained, and Tsunami says she is moist enough. The kirlia giggled. She has a cute mental voice!

Suddenly, Mercury stiffened, alert, and Jaima nearly dropped into a fighting stance by instinct. However, she relaxed. A dark type passed between me and Shadow. I couldn't 'see' him for a moment, but he's OK. He says he hears something and is going to look.

Jaima wanted to relax, but knew he couldn't sit down. His bum was so sore, he probably wouldn't be able to sit for a week!

And so they waited, Mercury giving status reports from time to time, and twitching when she couldn't feel Shadow briefly. Finally, she reported that Darryn's scent was found.

"Come on, Tuesy. Break's over," Jaima said in a pained voice. Mercury had put a mental highlight over his sight of the mountain, and the spot was pretty high up.

His thighs were going to kill him for this.

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post Jun 10 2009, 03:37 PM
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Waiting in the dark was not something that Darryn would want to revisit ever again. The tiniest of sounds, most often caused by his good self, made him flinch and nearly any sort of shadow around him seemed to come alive the longer he looked at it. It was only when the mystery Pokemon returned that Darryn was able to relax even a little bit.

"Doh?" The thing's voice appeared just before a large grey face emerged from the dark once more. Darryn, somehow, didn't jump at its sudden appearance. Maybe it was the desperatation, but he instead found himself immediately stroking the thing's coarse head again.

"Good boy!" He made sure to rub extra hard on the spot that made its eyes roll back in its head the furthest. "Now, please please can you try to move this big rock off me? It's super heavy and I bet a strong guy like you can lift something like this, huh?"

It seemed that compliments worked well on the simple beast as it began flexing its stumpy arm muscles with mock-bravado. It slowly moved into the gloom once more and Darryn nearly yelled at it again for leaving him but an ear-splitting "CRACK!" shattered his ear drums. He leaned to the side to see the biped smashing the boulder with the shiny blue dome on top of its head with horrifying strength. The boulder jolted back and forth but still did not move enough for Darryn to wriggle free.

"That's an awesome Headbutt!" He congratulated the thing as it continued its assault. "But I bet you have even stronger attacks, huh? Why don't you show me one of those?"

The monster came back into the light, peering at Darryn questioningly for a few moments before it gave a blink of understanding and grinned happily. It retreated into the dark again and, much to Darryn's surprise, began glowing. Two rod-like lights began to illuminate the dark and it shocked Darryn to the core to see that it was the thing's arms!!!

"Is that Hammer Arm?!" Darryn gasped as the thing threw itself upon the boulder. With an almighty swing, the attack connected and the enormous rock instantly cracked right down the middle. The pressure on Darryn's legs was immediately relieved and with a rapid surge, Darryn dragged himself clear and scooped up his Pokeballs.

"Yes! Well done, Thingy!" He clapped, smiling and dancing on the spot. "Now, lead me outta here!"

The thing gave a curt "CRANI!" of joy and waddled into the dark.

"Wait for me!" Darryn hurried after it, grabbing its tail and following it blindly into the blackness. "I really hope you know where you're going..." He muttered.


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Umbrae Calamitas
post Jun 10 2009, 11:59 PM
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Tuesday's Pack



"You okay?" Tuesday asked, as she put away the tack she had been using.

Jaima grimaced. "Yeah," he said, "we just have to go pretty high up on the mountain."

Tuesday tilted her head back to scan said obelisk with her eyes. "Hmm," was all she offered. To be truthful, she had never had a fear of heights. Of course, people had often told her that her element was air. Something to do with her astrological sign, but she didn't precisely remember. All she knew was that being really high up didn't bother her. So long as she was a decent ways away from water, she was fine.

Her legs threw a small fit at being forced to do any sort of work, but Tuesday ignored them. She hoped that Jaima's friend was okay. Maybe they'd be lucky and Dante and Shadow had found him.

Tuesday was just contemplating how she would have to call Wraith back into his pokeball (and that she probably should have done that earlier, so he could rest while they continued on), when Tempest let out a loud, angry "PIKA!"

Tuesday winced as Tempest's ire took charge in her cheeks, the electricity sparking and causing Tuesday's hair to stand on end.

Tempest leapt from her shoulder and landed on the ground in front of her, just as a Houndour burst into view, snapping and snarling. Tempest let out a growl low in her throat - a warning that the Houndour had no intention of heeding. With a snarl, it launched forward and was immediately followed by a lanky Persian, who hissed violently.

Two men came into view, then. They scaled the scene with their eyes, and then the one said, "The ponyta looks like the only think worth keeping."

"Understood," the second said, obviously of a lower command. "I'll take care of the others." He reached down and grabbed four pokeballs, releasing his pokemon all at once. Tuesday's attention had turned to the other man, however, and she didn't see what pokemon had been released. This man was after Wraith, but he couldn't have him!

Tuesday ran forward, not really thinking. "You leave him alone!" she snapped.

The man actually smirked. "You know, you look kind of familiar. Maybe he will, too."

He tossed out a pokeball before Tuesday had a chance to respond. There were no words to match her fear, however, as a Feraligatr appeared, eyes narrowed and jaw snapping.

Tuesday staggered back a step. Of all the pokemon... of all the people... it was him.


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Master Houndoom
post Jun 11 2009, 12:50 PM
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Jaima went into protective big brother mode as soon as he saw the effects a feraligatr had on his adopted sister. She was frozen, shaking, terrified. Her eyes were fixed on the large waterlizard's face, the grinning, snapping jaw, and he knew if that thing charged, there would be no reaction from her.

"Aw, HELL no." He stepped forward. "Grondir, Fang, Mercury. Let's make ourselves a set of boots."

The feraligatr snorted in disgust and amusement, and Jaima had to wonder for a moment where this sudden bout of wit had come from. It was likely that he was just terrified himself, and was trying to function under duress. Either that, or he was really funny all this time and never knew it.

It didn't matter, his team, dwarfed by the lizard, stood bravely between him and Tuesday and the huge evolution. Each side waited for the attack, and Jaima looked around the battlefield. Besides this monstrosity, there was a persian, grinning at them in a catlike way. Flanking it to either side were a wartortle, grinning and slamming it's forepaws together, and a loudred, stomping on the ground in barely contained fury. Coming around, tongue out and slavering, quivering as if he'd never eaten in days and horse meat sounded really, really good was a hungry, hungry houndoom.

They were so outclassed, it wasn't funny.

Jaima was about to twitch when the man turned to him, grinning. "What is it with you and protectors, kid?" He was addressing Tuesday, but sizing Jaima up. "Last time I saw the brat, some old guy sicced an eevee on me. Now this. The Weeny brigade."

The man snorted, amused, then flicked his fingers. Jaima was ready.

"Go!"

Mentally, he'd told Mercury that they should all attack, with Grondir and her firing leaves at it, and Fang shooting bolts of electricity. She had prepared them, and when he gave the command a flurry of leaves and lightning struck out at the lizard. It was hard to see him, but when the debris fell, the lizard was still standing, panting in anger and a little pain, and glaring at him instead of Tuesday.

"See, kid, now you just pissed him off..."

This post has been edited by Hungry Hungry Houndoom: Jun 12 2009, 03:31 PM


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Umbrae Calamitas
post Jun 11 2009, 03:51 PM
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Tuesday didn't even react.

That just pissed Tempest off.

Not that Tuesday did nothing, but why she did nothing. Tempest knew, of course. It was that man. That cruel man who had hurt her before. Tempest remembered clearly that day. She hadn't known Tuesday for very long, but long enough that she had trusted her, loved her, wanted to protect her.

Tempest had done her best that day, but her best hadn't been good enough. She had been young, and while angry, she had been weak. The Typhlosion hadn't even been knocked out, and the Feraligatr had barely flinched at her attacks, even with the type advantage. He was just too big, too strong.

And too damn confident.

Tempest remembered the fear. The fear in her heart for Tuesday. The man had got away with all three of his pokemon, but Tempest and Dante had let him go. They hadn't been able to chase after him. They were too worried for Tuesday, too scared that she wouldn't survive.

She almost didn't. Dante didn't know that. He hadn't understood fully, and Tempest didn't have the heart to explain it to him fully. He had thought that she was fine, since she'd made it, which was true, but... but she almost hadn't.

Tempest's life had been harder than his, despite what Anika had done to him. Her previous owner had used pokemon, abused them, and she remembered some of the things she saw from those days. Some things from that time, she would never forget.

But nor would she forget standing there uselessly, watching the professor give Tuesday CPR, trying to save her life.

He had managed, sure, but barely.

Tuesday knew what had happened. After being unconscious for almost three days, Cassandra had told her what had happened when even Brone failed to be able to explain. She wouldn't say anything, though. Maybe she thought neither Tempest or Dante knew what had happened. She would have been right about the latter, but Tempest was wise in the ways of the world's cruelty, and she had seen much. Dante was still innocent.

Tempest hoped he kept that innocence.

Not even Jaima knew the full extent of the injuries Tuesday had suffered that day. Tempest was fairly sure that Tuesday was, in fact, afraid to mention it. The water frightened her. Of course it did. She still remembered the feeling of drowning, no doubt. That was why she was so fond of fire pokemon. Subconsciously, it was a rebellion against the water.

But it looked like the past had come back to haunt them.

Tempest's eyes narrowed. Then I'll make him a ghost to fit the term!

She had grown since the last time she had faced off the giant crocodile, but her anger hadn't lessened in the slightest over the years. She had a score to settle, and he wasn't going to like it. With a snarl that was less like a pikachu and more like a dog - a vicious, angry, ready-to-kill-anything-that-looks-at-me-wrong dog - Tempest lunged. She felt the charge erupt from her cheeks, electricity crackling and dancing around her, sparking and making every hair on her body stand on end. As though she was outside of herself, she could see the lightning cause her body to glow golden, as she darted forward initiating in the attack gifted her by her father.

She'd make sure the Feraligatr remembered this, too.

~*~


The distant sounds of battle called Dante's attention, alerting Shadow to danger, as well. Both of them raised their heads and, without a word to one another, headed down the mountain. Shadow was faster than Dante, bounding from one rock to the other swiftly, as the charmander crawled over the terrain. He didn't slip, for he was born to this lifestyle, but he wasn't as fast as the lithe jackal, and so he fell behind.

It might have been a good thing, that he was late arriving on the scene. He wasn't seen and therefore, not caught.

But it still made him feel guilty, to still be free, as Shadow was caught by the pokemon thieves, before they returned their attention to Wraith.

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post Jun 12 2009, 10:20 AM
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Shadow had heard the commotion, but at the exact moment, Mercury's mental contact had unfocused again. He could not find out what was going on, and, worse, the contact did not return after a few seconds. He had to return. They were close to the Lost One, too. But they would be able to find the place.

I believe my sensei and your sensei are in trouble, he told the FireTail. Mercury is out of contact, but there was fear in her. I will go back to them. You should follow. Would you like me to carry you?

No, the FireTail said, it will be all right. Shadow didn't wait to try to change his mind. He was little, and brave, but the FireTail had a fear that might prove a liability. Perhaps he'd have Mercury ask Sensei Jaima to ask Sensei Tuesday if he could teach FireTail Dante how to be as brave as a riolu. Helping Sensei train had given him a sense for it, and he found he liked it. And Sensei was a good student, when he wasn't worried about hurting the little pokémon.

As if that could even happen.

He dashed down, bouncing from rock to rock to outcropping to path, his feet nimble and sure. Genetic memories sprang forth, of riolus like him cresting hills and valleys in one day. His was a speedy race, and this particular race had to be speedy indeed.

When he arrived, he could see four pokémon surrounding the DarkMane, who was spinning, eyes rolling about as he tried to cover all four sides, and three of his own team facing against a large monstrosity. The three were competent fighters, and a forth, Sensei Tuesdays BoltTail, was charging, full of righteous anger and fighting spirit. He turned his attentions to the DarkMane's tormentors.

One was a Normal (enemies did not deserve names, only types) and could be stunned easily. Shadow hopped on its back and struck it in the head, long enough for it to yowl and stagger, then launched himself off to give the same treatment to the Dark. He flipped from the Dark to the other Normal, the big one with a huge mouth, and crushed it in the forehead with his foot.

He realized his mistake almost immediately. The DarkMane was most vulnerable to the Water, and couldn't help Shadow very well. He fell easily. Also, the three Shadow had attacked were far stronger than he, despite the fact that each opponent had a weakness to his skill. He'd hurt them, yes, but that did not make them wary, nor distract them long enough. He was going to fall. He was going to fail Sensei Jaima again.

He failed Mercury, and that was enough to drive hope from him as darkness claimed him.

* * * * *

"Huh," the man said, collecting the ponyta. Beside it, hidden by it's bulk, was a small riolu. "Still young. Was this what hit you, boy?" The houndoom sniffed it, then snarled, baring his teeth and preparing to tear Shadow to shred. The man grabbed the canine's horn.

"Whoa, there, Bane. This guy will fetch a pretty poké." He collected the riolu as well, then signaled to his partner, who was tormenting a kid with his Feraligatr. "Plagueis, Sidious, Maul!" He waved to the Wartortle, Persian, and Loudred, getting their attention. "Let's go!"

The man nodded and smiled. The blonde guy's hair was matted, meaning the Boss had let the Feraligatr attack the trainers directly, but a Pikachu, a shinx, a kirlia (shiny... maybe we should collect it) and a bulbasaur all still did their best to fight. The boss shook his head. "We'll be back for your little ballerina, boy. For now... we have what we came for."

The boy was standing protectively in front of a little girl, who seemed terrified. "Next time I see you," he said, trying to be tough, "Things'll be different." The Boss sneered, but the Collector thought the kid had spunk: He'd taken on a fully trained Feraligatr with a team of first tier evos, and survived. Maybe he would be a problem later. He shrugged. He'd let the boss worry about it.

The Boss recalled his feraligatr and walked away, and the boy, though he wanted to give chase, turned instead to make sure the little girl was all right.

This post has been edited by Hungry Hungry Houndoom: Jun 12 2009, 03:30 PM


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Living Arrow
post Jun 12 2009, 11:18 AM
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"Have I mentioned yet how living in caves must be so lame?" Darryn muttered to the Pokemon leading him through the utter darkness of the mine. "Not only is it dark, but it's damp and cold down here, too... Don't you ever get bored of it?"

"Niii..." Came the reply from ahead. Darryn had no hope of telling if that was an affirmative or negative in the sightless gloom but it carried a hint of agreement.

"Well, when we get outside I'll cook you something great to eat as a thanks. That sounds good, huh?"

"NIII!" Now that was a definite affirmative.

Darryn inwardly giggled and continued his slow plod through the dark, putting all his trust in the strange monster leading him. Somehow, he didn't feel scared or worried that the Pokemon was leading him into a trap or somesuch. Instead he felt calm and relaxed. The thing hadn't made one move to harm him as yet and on the whole seemed far to basic-minded to be plotting anything. If he had shown anywhere near as much intelligence as Lady then he would have-

"Lady!" Darryn gasped, stunned that he had forgotten about her for so long. The beast gave a lurch in the dark and stopped walking. It pulled its tail free from Darryn's hand but almost immediately its big head was pushing itself under Darryn's fingertips. He stroked the smooth surface of the creature's domed head and cast his mind back to what happened just before his fall.

Lady was being attacked. Darryn was trying to help her but she wanted him to get to safety first. He fell down the hole after that Houndoom bit him... But that was it.

"Damn it!" Darryn bit his lip. "Can you get me out of here any faster? I need to..." Darryn broke off as faint noises began to echo through the dark. Instinctively he dropped low and turned his head to the side, trying to pick out whatever the sound was in the blackness.

"Doooh..."

Darryn, although not fluent in Pokemon, understood the tone with which the Pokemon spoke. It was wary of that noise and anger or aggression was leaking into its vocals, too. It reminded Darryn of the way Jaima's Riolu sometimes acted when provoked.
Listening for the sounds again, Darryn could definitely pick out the gravelly crunching of feet on pebbleswhich was soon accompanied by the dim glow of a light shining somewhere far ahead .

"Is that people?" Darryn asked himself, making to rise.

"Crani!" The Pokemon's mouth clamped softly around Darryn's elbow and pulled him back down to a croutch once more.

"What now?" Darryn rolled his eyes, rubbing the thing's head again. "We can't hang around down here - if people are around then it would be best to talk to them and find an exit."

"Niii..." Came the warning sound again, this time insistent. Darryn pursed his lips. He was stuck down a hole with no way out except for whatever was lighting the path up ahead or following the tail of a strange Pokemon that he had only just met. He rolled his options over in his head and grumbled to himself for taking the less-than-easy option.

"Fine, but I want to see what it is, 'kay? We'll take a look and then find a way around. Deal?" He asked the grey biped, scratching it just under the horns. It took a long while before the thing gave a reluctant nod (which Darryn felt in the dark) and moved on towards the light, its pacing a lot slower and quieter than before.

*Maybe he's not as dumb as he seems...* Darryn wondered as they approached the wavering light at the end of the tunnel.

*-*-*-*-*-*-*

Lady grumbled once more as she missed the target.

Using her tails, she had managed to scoop several small stones into her cage and toss them at the fangs which stood upright in the dusty soil around her. So far, she had managed to knock three of the four offending objects away from the cage, but the final obstacle remained.

If she could get them far enough away, she would be able to give the fan above her a quick mental-frying before literally frying the bars of her prison once she warmed up. She could practically feel the release of Dark energy as she moved the fangs away bit by bit and was certain that in a few more minutes she'd be on the road to freedom.

*Hurry back to me, my Prince.* She urged Darryn, flicking another stone through the bars, *I shall find you soon and then once you are safe, I shall make those thugs pay.*

This post has been edited by Living Arrow: Jun 12 2009, 11:19 AM


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Umbrae Calamitas
post Jun 12 2009, 12:49 PM
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Tuesday was shivering.

That was the first thing that she became aware of occurring in the present.

The second was that she was cold, on the inside. It was as though someone had injected the icy water of a Water Gun attack directly into her veins.

It was funny, in a despairing kind of way; she couldn't remember anything that had happened. No, since that Feraligatr appeared, she didn't know what had occurred.

Wherever she had gone when the terror took over her mind, Tuesday came back from there now. The darkness of her sight receded, leaving in its place a view of the base of the mountain, a group of tired pokemon, and Jaima. He looked concerned, kneeling in front of her with worry and regret in his eyes.

"Jaima...?" she asked softly.

"Hey, Tuesy," he said, his concern bleeding through. "You okay?"

"I'm cold," she whispered, still not quite understanding why, as she looked down at the ground and shivered. She felt something draped over her shoulders, as Tempest came over and crawled into her arms. The pikachu nuzzled her softly, sadly.

"'Pest?" Tuesday looked up at Jaima, who still had that look of regret in his eyes, the concern fading with the realization that Tuesday was okay. "Jaima, what's wrong?"

He met her eyes and looked reluctant, but it was something he couldn't keep from her. "They took Wraith, Tuesy," he said softly, "and Shadow." He looked away. "I couldn't stop them. They were too-"

"Strong," Tuesday finished, her interruption calling Jaima's eyes back to her. "I know." She was looking past Jaima, toward where the thieves had gone, but perhaps further off than that, through time, even. "That was the man," she said softly, unaware that Jaima had already figured that out on his own. "That was the Feraligatr, and the man." She looked down. "I... didn't do anything."

Tempest let out a gentle "Kaa..." of reassurance, though it didn't make Tuesday feel much better. She tightened her arms around the pikachu, hugging her close.

"I feel completely useless, Jaima," she whispered. "I was too scared..." She felt tears slip from her eyes, but they were silently shed. She was rolling in self-pity, and somewhere, part of her was disgusted by it. There was something that they had to do. They had to find the thieves. They had to get Wraith and Shadow back.

But, wait...

"Jaima," she said, meeting his eyes, "your friend. We have to find him."

"Char."

Tuesday and Jaima both looked to see Dante walk over slowly, looking sad and remorseful. He looked at them and then turned, pointing up the mountain. "Char."

It looked like he knew where Jaima's friend was.

They'd find Wraith and Shadow, but... this came first.


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Master Houndoom
post Jun 12 2009, 02:11 PM
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Jaima was very happy that Tuesday was OK. He would have gladly carried her if she wasn't, but he was happy that she was. It was one less thing to worry about. He loved Tuesday, like he loved his sisters, but he really, really wanted to dwell on what he'd do to the Feraligatr Man when he saw him next.

It wasn't pretty. But it was satisfying.

"People need to stop stealing my kids," he growled lightly. Tuesday blinked at him, but evidently thought better of speaking. She was still shaken from simply seeing the man, and still, probably, ashamed of having done nothing.

Jaima struggled to think of something to say, anything to say, to help her, and finally remembered a quote that had been displayed during his martial arts classes at the gym. "If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment." Again, Tuesday blinked at him, then looked at the ground. She was thinking.

"I used to be scared of mankeys."

Tuesday looked at him, wide eyed, a small, fraction of a smile fighting to either show or not show on her face. He caught this out of the corner of his eye, but didn't look at her. It was pretty embarrassing. "I was a kid, but I didn't get over it for a while." He finally did look down, smiling sheepishly. "They're loud, you know? And they run at you when you tick 'em off. Just... I couldn't handle that. So I'd avoid them."

He stopped their walking and crouched next to her, despite the protest of his angry legs. "Thing is, when I worked for Professor Elm, I had to go through the woods to work, and then back to pick up the twins, and sometimes I'd do deliveries. So, Professor Elm, thinking it'd help, caught a mankey and took me to observe it. INSIDE the room."

Tuesday's eyes widened, and Jaima grinned. "It didn't go as planned. The mankey just didn't like my hair, and he attacked me. Professor Elm was mortified, but in the end, all I got was a scrape or two and my hair pulled. Punched me in the gut, but it was a small one. The ones in that forest tended to be small or caught, 'cause it was so near our lab, where the new trainers go."

He looked Tuesday in the eye. "So even though it didn't work, I learned that what I was afraid of wasn't real. And as I grew up and got better with training, I realized even the things I had a legitimate fear of weren't as scary as I was making them out to be."

He put a hand on her shoulder. "I know he hurt you. But your kids are stronger now, and you're wiser now, and, most importantly, he isn't going to split us up, not like he did when you first met. We're pretty tough together. Understand?"

Tuesday thought, then nodded, living up to her nickname. He smiled at her. "Good. Time to climb."

Dante lead them to the hole in the rock, and Jaima looked into it. It was dark, and he had no pokémon with a light emitting move. Tuesday, however, had a solution: She had packed a flashlight.

"Show off," he said fondly. They were about to enter when a plume of smoke rising up distracted them. It looked like it was nearby, but something about it...

"Into the Darkness or Into the Fire? Where shall we go, lower or higher?
Shall we find our fortune in Flame, or shall we deny the Darkness it's shame?"

"Don't ask where that came from," Jaima said, pulling out his pokémon. "I have a feeling that smoke means a camp, and a camp means, likely, our thieves. It's too close to be a coincidence. What do you think, Tuesy?"


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post Jun 12 2009, 02:58 PM
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*Finally!* Lady watched as the final Mightyena fang clakced out of range, it's Dark energies falling short of her cage. *Let's get this ugly thing off!*

Lady Foxtrot's eyes swirled in their sockets, their deep chesnut brown darkening to black before flashing into an incandescent crimson that made her eyes seem to ignite in her head. Extrasensory waves blasted upwards into the coolant fan, shorting the circuits that drove the disgusting contraption and allowing warm air to creep into her body. Her heart skipped a beat as she felt her fire-sac come back to life and with a scream she lets loose a focused Ember attack on the roof of the cage.

Burning pellet after pellet shot free from her lips, charring and scorching the fan overhead while driving deeper and harder into the casing above. She barely paused to take breath as she focused all of her power on one spot, pouring flames into the tiny crack being forced in its structure.

*BOOM*

The top of the casing explosed in a shower of shrapnel and smoke, a thin column rising high into the air. Lady immediately sprang through it and pranced clear of the stinking smog, catching her breath after exerting herself so hard. She was about to raise a paw and run into the mine when a sound caught her ears from behind. She span and growled menacingly, the hair on her back standing on end (liek that on a conered Glameow) as she faced her what was fast approaching....

*-*-*-*-*-*-*

"And then all the fossil Pokemon will be mine! Mwahahahaaa!"

"Ugh, a real life Dr Evil..." Darryn muttered as he listened to the strangely-clothed man from his hiding place in the shadows. The guy was wearing a pecuiar green-and-black uniform emblazoned with a large letter D on the front. He was short and kinda fat with frizzy yellow hair and glasses on the end of a very short and yet very hooked little nose. He looked almost like a Natu that landed on a powerline but not nearly as cute.

While Darryn had listened to the idiot blather on about his ultimate scheme in collecting all the fossil Pokemon in the mine, this strange fellow set up a compact device stood on a tripod, a small antenna sticking out from its top. There was no real way to say what it did, but it must have had something to do with the odd plan the guy was chatting about. He worked by the light of a glowing Umbreon - its yellow marking softly illuminating the tunnels around them as faintly as a couple of candles.

The unnamed Pokemon that squated at Darryn's side appeared to be getting anxious, twisting and fidgeting like a child while uttering tiny moans of discomfort.

"Don't worry," Darryn whispered, rubbing its head again, "fossil Pokemon don't exist, so this guy's gonna leave in a minute. Then we can get out once he leaves."

"And now to begin!" The man announced suddenly, flipping several switches on the machine at once. It whirred to life and began humming, a tuneful rumbling that reverberated along the walls.

"Pish. What an idiot." Darryn muttered. "It's not gonna- huh?" Darryn gasped as his new ally stood up and began to walk straight towards the man and his Pokemon. A glazed look had passed over its eyes making it seem even more slow-witted than normal. "Psst! Come back!" He whispered after it.

"It works!" The man delighted, clapping his hands as Darryn's buddy moved into the light. "A Cranidos! My, and what a large one too! Much bigger than the records say they should be! And now to catch it..."

*No way! That's a Cranidos? I had no idea! I was touching a fossil Pokemon and didn't even realise it?! That's so awesome! But they shouldn't be tricked into coming out like this... It's not right for someone to come along and disturb them with some dumb machine then just stick them in balls like any old Rattata...*

"Hold on!" Darryn came strutting out of the dark, shaking his head with disagreement. The man jumped four feet in the air with fright, squealing like a girl. "I'm sorry but there are no fossil Pokemon around here. They don't exist. Just turn that box off and go home."

"Buzz off, kid! Horace doesn't take kindly to petulant little whelps! Right, Delusion?" He spat, his Umbreon leaping forward and snarling at Darryn menacingly.

"Well shall see!" Darryn yelled, tossing his Quick Ball while running full pelt at the one named Horace. Romeo appeared in a flash of light, immediately tumbling with the Umbreon to the ground, yapping and snarling as they bit and clawed at each other in a bewildering lightshow of crackling electricity. Up close and personal, Horace was actually a lot bigger than he seemed and Darryn's well-aimed gut-punch hit a very hard wall of stomach. Horace grinned at him wickedly.

"Oh, so we're playing that way, are we?".....


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Umbrae Calamitas
post Jun 12 2009, 10:49 PM
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Tuesday's Pack



Jaima's words had calmed Tuesday. They made her think. Not dwell on what had happened and what she could have or should have done, but think. And she needed to think.

The fact that he quoted surprised her. Other people didn't... they didn't do that. Tuesday was the weird person that remembered random quotes from various pieces of literature and somehow managed to use them in real life situations. She'd met people that tolerated her, but never someone else that did the same thing. It was odd, and different, and... nice.

She looked down at the ground, remaining silent, a blush creeping over her face. She felt silly, and wasn't quite sure why her face was hot, but... she tried to hide a smile, but apparently wasn't making very good progress.

Jaima offered up his own story, which she listened to with rapt attention. He was a good storyteller, and he was nice.

When he made up the poem off of the top of his head, she almost laughed in delight, but for the fact that her face was all red again at her thoughts, and there were still more important things to concern themselves with. He was leaving the decision up to her.

He was right, of course; where there was smoke on this mountain, there was bound to be a campfire. It was plausible that it was the thieves, as they probably wouldn't have wanted to travel far. Tuesday wondered, though, on why they would risk allowing the smoke to be seen, considering that they knew there were at least two people still on the mountain who would undoubtedly be coming after them. Sure, they weren't uber-powerful, but... they were a force to be reckoned with. Something just didn't add up.

Sitting on Tuesday's shoulder, Tempest bristled, electricity sparking at her cheeks. Apparently, she was under a similar impression, and Tuesday couldn't doubt the pikachu's gut. Tempest was... she tended to be right.

True, Tuesday was worried about Jaima's friend. He could be hurt and in need of help. Something was telling her, though, be it her own gut or some higher power, to follow this other sign. And she couldn't rightly ignore the feeling. So, nodding more to herself than anything, she turned and began to walk toward the smoke. "Let's check this out, Jaima," she said softly.

He didn't seem at all adverse to the idea, and Tuesday wondered if he had let her make the decision, because his mind was split, as well.

He must be concerned about his friend, she mused, if I'm concerned about him, and I don't even know him. In fact, I don't even know his name. Jaima and I haven't had much time to talk about anything outside of our letters. We were... busy. She shook her head to keep it from falling back to what had happened in the past. It was bad enough that she was suffering from nightmares; she didn't need problems in the day, as well. She was also trying not to think of how Shadow had been kidnapped, when he was the source of the majority of her nightmares. We won't take very long here. We need to keep our priorities, and Jaima's friend is priority number one... right after we see exactly what this is. It could be a problem, after-

Tuesday's thought processes were cut off abruptly when they turned the corner, and the sound of a snarl was her only warning before a furry scarlet blur pelted at her with speed that not even Tempest could match. Tuesday got a decent enough glimpse that she was pretty sure it was a vulpix, and she managed to wonder what a vulpix was doing here and what she could have possibly done to piss it off, before the fox was practically on top of her.

~*~


Considering the circumstances, Wraith was fairly pleased with himself.

Sure, he had been poke-napped, along with the Sore Rider's riolu, and he hadn't managed to get many attacks in at the time. However, since the Thieves had recalled their Slaves, Wraith had a much better time relaying the message that he was NOT happy.

The one man was still clutching his stomach from when Wraith had bucked and kicked him, and he had been coughing up blood, but he looked like he would survive. Unfortunately.

Quite a few of the men had large blisters on their hands, and one man had brought his face too close. One swish of his tail and Wraith had made him the next Phantom of the Opera. The ponyta couldn't contain a whinny of glee.

Of course, not all of the men were quite so stupid, and they had managed to finally get a bridle on Wraith. Not that he made it easy for them. Let them wear fire-resistant gloves. Quite a few pairs had holes in them where Wraith had bit their fingers.

Put a bit in my mouth, indeed! He reared, whinnying loudly and kicking out with his forelegs. A few men were sent scurrying away like rattata in fear, and Wraith whinnied in triumph. Of course, he wasn't exactly winning. Apparently, the men were being picked up in a helicopter, when some others were bringing pokeballs that could override the claim that the Little Rider's pokeball had on Wraith, and that the Sore Rider's pokeball had on the riolu, Shadow. The Thieves had taken them further up the mountain, and it was cold here, dimming Wraith's fires.

His mane and tail could dim, but the fires of his spirit wouldn't. He wouldn't give up, and he wouldn't go down without a fight. Shadow was fighting, as well, kicking and hitting with quick precision. If they could make this just right, they could get free, and Shadow could even ride Wraith down the mountain and back to Sore and Little Rider.

All they had to do was keep fighting.


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Living Arrow
post Jun 13 2009, 06:31 AM
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<ChromeDome!> Lady dashed past the little girl, aiming for the familiar glittering face behind her. The human child made a shocked cry but Lady ignored her. Such ugly sounds were not privy to her ears. <You came!>

<Oh, did we? Hang on... let's see if I can state the obvious in an even better->

<Don't be ugly.> Lady cut her short, their eyes meeting with something akin to mirth but Lady held herself back from showing too much emotion. As her Prince had explained a wise man had taught him - emotions were to be released in a private place lest you appear weak.

<Don't be a priss.> Mercury practically giggled back at her. Lady stuck her tongue in her cheek.

"Lady!" Jaima announced, the smaller human giving a shocked 'Oh!'. "Where's Darryn? Is he OK?"

<I don't talk to any humans but my own.> Lady told Mercury, turning her nose up at Jaima. Mercury's emotions of annoyance rebuckled on Lady in an instant but Lady wasn't completely rude. <You can tell him that I thank him for coming to aide me with this. There are strong opponents ahead and I don't know if Prince Darryn is healthy or not - these mountains restrict my thoughts. He is somewhere under our feet though and there is a cave entrance nearby. We must hurry and go inside - bad humans have entered the cave and they have cruel intentions towards the Pokemon that live here.>

Lady waited patiently as Mercury relayed the information to her master before the Kirlia nodded and held out and arm.

<Lead the way.>

<Keep up, if you can.> Lady replied, dashing back towards the camp and the black hole that undoubtedly held her Prince.

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

"You've got spunk, kid." Horace laughed, advancing on Darryn while cracking his knuckles. "But you're in over your head here. You've seen too much, too. I'm gonna have to finish you off now."

"What? Like your Weedle-weak Umbreon? Puh-lease!" Darryn snorted back, his false bravado ringing in his voice. Romeo had fought valiantly and defeated the thing named Delusion with speed. Still, the Jolteon had taken some damage and was not exactly in tip-top condition. Not only that, but Romeo was the only one lighting the cave now that the Umbreon was unconscious. His lightning crackled like a strobe light as the thickly-set man advanced on Darryn.

"Once all of the fossil Pokemon are mine, you'll laughing out the other side of your face!" Horace roared, rushing at Darryn with a clenched fist. Darryn dropped and rolled, using his old gymnastics class as a platform for dodging effectively. It didn't always work as his split lip and limping left leg exhibited the unsuccessful dodges that he had unfortuneately stumbled into. Nothing he had done to Horace, however, had produced a visible effect.

"Get lost!" Darryn yelled, dashing back out of the great man's reach. "Leave these Pokemon alone!"

"Whatever! Don't you have any idea how much money these things will fetch on the Black Market?"

"No, and I don't care either! Romeo! Charge Beam on that machine!" Darryn ordered. His Jolteon leapt at the device and screamed an electrical ray of white lightning upon the metal object, causing it to explode.

"What have you done?!" Horace roared, rushing at Darryn once more. There was no way Darryn could dodge this one. Horace's fist slammed into Darryn jaw, causing him to practically backflip before slamming to the ground. "You've ruined EVERYTHING!"

Horace's boot came dashing towards his face just as...

"CRANI!" The wild Cranidos, free from the hypnotic effects of the device came flying through the dark, its head cracking into Horace's side. The fat fool crashed into the tunnel wall with a wail and fell to the ground.

"Cranidos! Thank you!" Darryn panted, struggling to get back on his feet. "Now, you get out of here before any more of those goons show up." Cranidos' face looked sad and confused. "I said get out of here!" Darryn urged it, limping after Romeo as he guided Darryn towards the exit. "You shouldn't be captured and sold like meat - it isn't right!"

"I think we'll decide that!" Came a snide voice from the dark. Into Romeo's crackling light came two more figures, each wearing the same uniform that the fallen Horace had worn. "Twerps like you shouldn't mess with Team Decpetion!"

This post has been edited by Living Arrow: Jun 13 2009, 06:34 AM


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post Jun 14 2009, 08:27 PM
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Jaima's mouth hung open for the split second it took for Mercury and Lady to have their conversation. He wasn't privy to it, but he could tell by the smile on Mercury's face that it wasn't altogether unpleasant.

OK, what's going on?

I'm sure I don't know what you mean...

You're being civil. To "bad doggie". Remember? 'Eeeew'?

Oh, Trainer Jaima, things change! People change! Lady is still quite the priss, but she's not a murderous psychopath... Anymore. Before Jaima could interrupt, Mercury went on. She says that Darryn is below, but she doesn't know if he's hurt or not. I can't tell either. She knows where there's a cave entrance, and there are bad people who don't have good intentions to the native pokemon. We should really hurry, because the stuck up little priss won't wait up for you, let alone talk to you-

AH-HAH!

Hush! Mercury thought, blushing, then looked at Lady. With a yip, the vixin vulpix was off, Jaima, Tuesday, and their pokemon scrambling after.

* * * * *

It had seemed like hour, but jad to be a fraction of the time. As they went deeper, Fang and Tempest lighting the way with an arc of electricity each (Tsunami gave them a wide berth), Lady seemed to be turning more and more haphazardly, but Mercury assured Jaima that she was actually getting more an dmore sure of where she was headed. Finally, she stopped, wary, listening at a corner.

"Twerps like you shouldn't mess with Team Deception!"

"What is it with these bad guys and their teams?" Jaima muttered, getting a quiet nod from Tuesday. Silently, he laid out a plan. Mercury would sneak behind the Team Decrepit (earning a mild giggle from Tuesday) guys, and teleport Fang, Dante, and Tsunami to that side (it would have to be one by one, but it wouldn't take long, she claimed.) Tuesday, Jaima, and the remaining three would keep the bad guys' attention, and hopefully evvery thing would be OK.

Lady, Mercury informed them, would go to Darryn's side. She was quivering in anticipation of it.

Finally, when things were ready, Jaima stepped out, followed by Tuesday and their pokemon. "How about twerps like us? Will we do?"

This post has been edited by Hungry Hungry Houndoom: Jun 14 2009, 08:34 PM


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