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Breaking the Ties That Bind
Umbrae Calamitas
post Jan 17 2010, 01:34 AM
Post #1


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Tuesday's Pack



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She wondered if he had managed to survive until morning.

Tuesday was sitting on the windowsill, an area large enough for a person to sleep on. She had her knees pulled up to her chest and was staring out at the rising sun.

"Red in the morning, sailor's warning," she whispered.

She sat there for a long time, watching as the sun rose, and then the sky's morning colors faded to a gentle blue, spattered with clouds. She watched as the wind blew darker clouds from beyond the other side of the house, and then as those dark bodies, fat with moisture, finally released, and it began to rain. She stared through the droplets splattering on her window, not really seeing anything, not really caring.

The door to her room burst open, emitting two pokemon. Ashleigh came bounding in first, his tongue lolling out of his mouth, crimson eyes bright. Behind him, Mercury floated - an odd pair, the two of them, and she with more confidence than had ever been seen in the presence of a dark-type. She was scolding the houndoom for barging in on Tuesday, who, though she clearly wasn't, might have been sleeping.

Ashleigh didn't ignore her, but he wagged his tail fitfully, clearly amused by Mercury's attempted lecture.

The houndoom trotted right over to the windowsill and leapt up, flopping his forepaws upon the sill and sticking his cold, wet nose against the window. He blinked out at the rain, and then licked the window, trying to taste it. With a disgusted and disappointed snort, he shook his head wildly at having been blocked from the rainwater by the window, and then turned to Tuesday. He opened his mouth and his tongue flopped out, drool rolling down its length and dripping onto the sill.

His tail twitched as Mercury began to lecture him on that, and he nuzzled Tuesday's hand, seeking a headscratch.

Tuesday's movements were slow as she reached out and placed her hand on Ashleigh's head. She stared at him, though her eyes appeared distant and didn't hold any of the light that Ashleigh was so fond of seeing. He gave her a hopeful glance, but his wagging tail slowed, then eventually stopped and dropped between his legs. He gazed back at the silent Tuesday, and then softly whimpered. Tuesday's eyes seemed to focus momentarily. She looked at Ashleigh, and then glanced at Mercury, hovering nearby.

Her gaze dropped again and with a sigh, she stood up from the sill and walked to her closet. She changed robotically, moving on autopilot, and was soon dressed in black pants and a dark blue long-sleeved shirt. She was putting her hair up into a ponytail when she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. Her eyes filled with tears and she turned away quickly, opening the door and practically throwing herself outside.

She stumbled into Jaima, who looked as though he had just awoken not long before. Tuesday stopped, looking up at him. Ashleigh stepped out of the room behind her, whimpering softly in Jaima's direction. The blonde warrior would be able to clearly see the black bags under Tuesday's eyes that Ashleigh had seen, not at all hidden from sight by the redness around her eyes.

The houndoom's tail was dropped low between his legs and he dropped his head in disappointment when Tuesday turned without saying a word to Jaima and continued down the hall. Inching out of the bedroom, Ashleigh stared after her, whining softly.

A hand came down upon his head and Ashleigh rolled his eyes back to see Jaima with his arm extended downward, rubbing the houndoom between the horns. Ashleigh sighed in contentment, closing his eyes. He wish someone could rub Tuesday between the horns and make all her worries go away.

When Jaima removed his hand, Ashleigh perked up and wagged his tail. Tongue lolling out again, he trotted after Jaima down the hall.

He skidded to a halt abruptly when he saw Tuesday standing stock still in front of a taller girl - a young woman, in fact.

She was tall and thin, her arms taut from her own martial arts practices. Her hair was fire red and streaked with blonde, pulled back into a ponytail that splayed out like a horned halo. She was dressed in tight red leather pants and a tank top of the same material. Her high-heeled boots were red with black soles and buckles.

The sound of a low growl drew everyone's attention, but the redhead's gaze was fierce as she turned it on Ashleigh. The dark dog had crouched low to the ground and pulled her lips back, baring her fangs, dripping saliva. Tuesday turned her dark eyes onto the houndoom and sighed wearily. "Hush, Ashleigh," she whispered softly, her voice barely audible in the silence of the hall.

Ashleigh quieted immediately and though he loosened his muscles, he did not remove his distrustful glare from the redheaded girl.

"I see you're still capturing useless fire-types," the redhead drawled, regarding Ashleigh with a look of disdain. "I thought you would have learned from the wimp that they are weak and useless." She sniffed and turned her gaze back to Tuesday. "Force is all that will make a difference, little sister."

Tuesday sighed softly and looked back at the taller girl, and only when faced with their profiles in contrast were others able to see the resemblance. The two shared a nose, a sharpness of gaze. Tuesday's flesh was paler, however, and though her eyes were sharp, her gaze did not hold the fierceness that stood as dagger's in the older girl's. Tuesday's eyes held a constant, ruggedly unpolished kindness, like an uncut diamond - seemingly worthless, but beautiful when one looked close enough.

"Caring for your pokemon despite their weaknesses or strengths is what matters," Tuesday replied, her voice soft where her sister's was harsh.

The redhead scoffed, turning her head to the side and making a brushing motion with her hand. "You care too much for creatures that have no use. You would do yourself a favor by getting rid of trash such as this filthy mutt." She sneered at Ashleigh, and then raised her eyes to give Tuesday a disgusted look. "I had thought that you going on your own adventure would help raise your intelligence where it is sorely lacking." She raised her nose, gazing at her younger sister from half-closed eyes. "It seems I was greatly mistaken. You are even more foolish than you were before you left, and this time, we're not around to catch you when you fall."

"My friends are there for that," Tuesday replied softly. She swallowed convulsively, and then raised her eyes to meet her sister's. "I can rely on them, Anika."

The redhead stiffened almost imperceptibly at the words, but it was clear by the widening of her hazel eyes that they surprised her. "Well, I was leaving when I ran into you, and I've clearly overstayed my welcome." She glanced at Tuesday once more as she turned to leave, quickly being joined by a machoke and riolu. "Try not to get yourself killed, eh, little sister?"

That said, she turned and left the room. The sound of a door opening and closing followed swiftly after, announcing her departure.

Tuesday turned to see that Jaima had been joined by Meiko and Darryn, and a number of their pokemon. Tuesday lowered her eyes to the ground. "Sorry for the bad introduction," she mumbled softly, glancing up at them. "That was my older sister, Anika."


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Living Arrow
post Jan 17 2010, 05:44 PM
Post #2


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PANE: Darryn Kellor



Darryn hated waking up in other peoples’ houses. It made him uncomfortable to go walking around alone where someone else lived so he’d sit in the designated room until he heard the sounds of movement outside and rise to join whoever was on the other side of the door. In Tuesday’s Uncle’s house, however, things weren’t so simple. For a start, the place was huge – hearing a noise would be difficult enough in that place. But more importantly, he had something drawing him away from the bed that had been kindly loaned to him.

He donned a hooded sweatshirt and jeans, leaving his room quickly to search for Lady. It had felt so wrong to sleep without the Vulpix curled under his nose and the presence of Romeo hadn’t helped the way he had hoped. Even so, having someone – even a Pokemon – nearby had calmed Darryn a little.

When they had arrived in the night, Darryn left Jaima to talk with Meiko alone so that he could find somewhere to sleep but his feet had carried him a little further. He found himself in a clinical suite of sorts – a lab geared towards the treatment of humans or Pokemon. Clear glass walls indicated that the lab was larger than expected and had more uses than simply medical treatment. The room in which Darryn found himself held a table-like bed where Zorro lay still, his chest lifting and falling with each small breath he took.

~


“Zorro…”

“Ah, you must be one of Tuesday’s lot? Is it Damon?” A bumblebee’s voice enquired.

“Darryn.” The Co-ordinator turned, smiling weakly. “I’m Darryn.” The man standing there smiled, too, but his reached his eyes. There was a warmth there – like every kind hearted grandfather in every warm winter tale. Give the guy a whit beard and he would be Santa Claus himself.

“Well, Darryn, I am DeBrody – Tuesday’s Uncle.” DeBrody said softly. “I see that you found my lab – is there something I can help you with?”

Darryn gulped and looked around. Would it be rude? Would he be stepping too far away from politeness? He should really wait until the next Pokemon Center – Lady was hurt but she was nowhere near as bad as Zorro.

“My Vulpix got badly hurt tonight and I was wondering if there was room in here for her?” Darryn asked quietly, unclipping the Heal Ball. “If there isn’t then it’ll be fine… I’m just worried about her.”

DeBrody’s kind eyes crinkled again when he smiled.

“Of course. Let’s see what we have here, then.”


~


Romeo whined, nuzzling Darryn’s leg and biting at his jeans to lead him away from the lab. Darryn frowned down at him.

“We can’t play right now, Romeo.” He rolled his eyes. “Lady is-”

“Tee!” Romeo whined louder, dragging Darryn’s leg with more force.

“What? Crazy dog…” Darryn muttered, resigning himself to follow the golden Jolteon outside. The morning air was cold and crisp but the sky was clear – it was going to be a hot day in Furoh. The forest around them was thick but the ground of DeBrody’s manor had cleared more than enough trees to give the building an almost halo-like effect of smooth grassland with a few large boulders jutting from the earth like snaggleteeth.

<Good morning, Price Darryn.> Lady didn’t turn her head. Her little body sat primly atop a boulder, her face tilted up to bask in the rising sun.

“Lady!” Darryn ran to where his Pokemon sat, kneeling quickly and taking her head in his hands. He examined her with delicate fingers, stopping once when Lady winced but completing his check in moments. “You’ve healed up really well!”

<That old buffoon buys good quality Potions…> Lady admitted, rising to her feet and stretching out her body. <I am ready to train.>

“Hang on a second, Lady.” Darryn released her, Romeo instantly moving to try and get petted himself. When it was clear he would not get such treatment, he settled for sniffing Lady. She smelled of beets. Ew. “You’re still not one hundred percent so I think we’ll give the training a miss today.”

Lady glared.

“And don’t give me the ‘but I can train in any condition’ spiel today. There’s more important things right now, ‘kay?”

“Umm, like your bleeding back?” Meiko tutted.

“What is it with people sneaking up on me at the moment?!” Darryn exclaimed standing to find his tired-looking friend behind him. Ramhorn was with her, standind firm at her heels. *She’s worried…* He mock-gasped. “Wow… want me to fix your make-up?”

Meiko’s eyes widened.

“What?!”

“Yeah… you really need to sort yourself out before Jaima gets up…” Darryn teased. Meiko stuck her tongue in her cheek.

“Whatever,” she sighed, “just let me look at your back again – you’ve broken the scabs and bled all over that hoodie.” Darryn gasped and twisted his head in vain to see.

“Nooo! This is dry-clean only!”

Meiko tended to Darryn’s back swiftly, making sure to patch him up with bandages that wouldn’t come loose. It turned out that the wounds were pretty much superficial except for one particular gouge near his left shoulder. It was pretty deep and should really have had stitches. When she was finished, she patted his back.

“You’re good to go!”

“Thanks, Mei-mei.” Darryn said, tugging his sweatshirt back on. He chewed the inside of his mouth. As the most experienced trainer of their team, Meiko was usually his source of advice when it came to the treatment of his Pokemon. Even so, he felt that the issue raiding his mind was more of a Jaima topic – he really knew about Pokemon and how to handle their emotions. He sighed. Anyone was better at this than himself. “I need some advice.”

“Grey doesn’t suit you, so stop trying to make it happen.” Meiko finished for him cheekily. Darryn grinned. This was exactly what he needed after last night – she really knew how to lift him up.

“Very funny and, by the way, completely untrue. Anyway, I need to talk about Zulu…”

*****


In the manor, after his one-to-one time with Meiko, Darryn caught Tuesday out of bed and talking with some harsh-faced girl with hair made of fire. In a word, she was fierce. And it also seemed her attitude was, too.

She made an abrupt exit, stalking past Darryn and Meiko with a face like thunder. Darryn whistled low.

“Ooooh, bitch much?”

“Darryn!” Meiko chastised him, elbowing his ribs. He grunted playfully but when he saw Tuesday again, apologised quickly.

“Sorry – mouth. Autopilot.” He excused himself pathetically. Romeo trotted to Ashleigh, raising his nose to sniff at Ashleigh’s own, his stubby tail wagging underneath his golden fur.

*Aww. Romeo made a friend!* Darryn inwardly smiled, trying best to ignore the bright orange halo surrounding the two dogs. Now was not the time for his problems to surface. Instead, he picked up Lady and fussed her to distract himself and try and get the emotaglows to disappear.


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Master Houndoom
post Jan 18 2010, 05:07 AM
Post #3


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Jaima woke. And instantly wished he hadn't.

It wasn't just the pain in his head that made him wish that he was still asleep. It certainly wasn't the fatigue dragging at his bones. He was used to that particular sensation. It was, in part, the phantom tingling at his cheek. That reminded him of the mistake he had made (had to have made) with Meiko last night, and facing her so soon afterward was not a prospect he reveled in.

He imagined she must hate him now, or at least was angry with him. And there was no one to ask, to talk to, about what he had done wrong, though he suspected he had gone too far in kissing her. He'd like to have blamed the heat of the moment, but he couldn't even do that. He had been driven by the pent up fears and frustrations, and pride in his team and his friends, but that was an excuse, and nothing more.

Sighing, he sat up. Mercury was not in the room, nor was Shadow. He remembered, vaguely, seeing that there was so much room and deciding to release everyone still with him. As such, Grondir was in a corner, snoring. Ember had stirred at the foot of his bed, but drifted to sleep again. Tsunami also slept, but had opened her eyes briefly when he sat up. Fang had been curled at his feet and grunted as he moved. But Mercury and Shadow weren't there. It felt odd.

He stood, and dressed, not remembering the mundanities of getting undressed and crawling into the bed. Such trivialities were crowded out by the events of the night before. Zorro's weak yet steady breathing. Meiko's face just after slapping him (She had looked terrified. How could he make it up to her?) The battles before reaching the safety of Tuesday's family's house. DeBrody's words just before he found a room to sleep in filtered through the haze of exhaustion, and he pulled the door open to go and find Tuesday.

It didn't take long. He had barely moved down the hall when Tuesday had flung her door open and nearly run into him. He looked down at her, taking in the dark eyes and red rimmed lids that were from more than lack of sleep, and then she turned, retreating down the hallway.

Jaima sighed, not in exasperation, but to steel himself, taking the time to comfort the forlorn looking houndoom, and followed. Mercury was at his shoulder, her usual place, when they had to stop. A woman who looked very similar to Tuesday stood in her path, and Jaima had little time to observe her before Ashleigh started growling.

The following exchange was informative as it was insulting. Jaima had the strong desire to sic Ember on the girl, if only to make her eat the words about Fire-types, but Tuesday's retort to her was... less surprising to Jaima than to the girl, but still surprising. And heart warming.

He thought he heard Meiko mutter, "Subeta..." and definitely heard Darryn call her a bitch. He tsked, shaking his head, out of reflex. In truth, he wanted to say the same thing, but his upbringing had gotten in the way. He wanted to apologize, but when he looked at Meiko, she flushed and looked away, and his heart dropped. He no longer had the emotional strength to do it.

Pressing his lips together, Jaima stepped forward, touching Tuesday's shoulder. "Tuesy, come with me, please." She looked at him, for a long time, and finally bowed her head and stepped toward him. He put a hand on her shoulder and guided her down the hall, opening the door to the lab where Zorro lay.

If she recognized it, she didn't show it. In fact, she didn't even look up, not until Jaima had said her name, gently, three times. Finally, he knelt, tilting her unresisting chin up with the crook of his finger. "Imouto," he said softly, pushing hair out of her face. "Zorro is going to be fine."

The news seemed to not reach her for moments, and then her eyes widened, showing more life than she had all morning. They blinked, filling, then seemed to snap to the exact location of the riolu, taking in his chest rising and falling, the bandages around his frame, the tubes coming from him.

"Your uncle says that the fluids are more of a precaution than anything else." He didn't elaborate further, but the news seemed to relax Tuesday. As Jaima watched, tears leaked from her eyes. There were no other signs of her grief, except that Jaima could feel rather than see the tension in her shoulders. He moved behind her, looking at Zorro as well, and put an arm around her, hugging her from behind. His voice was soft in her ear as he spoke.

"I don't know what you're thinking. I do know you're a lot like me, and I know exactly what I'd feel if I were in this position. In fact, I was, and I did feel it. But you're not to blame." Tuesday stiffened in his arms, and seemed about to pull away, but Jaima's words seemed to stop her. "Listen to me, imouto... you are not to blame. It was them. The ones that attacked us. They hurt Zorro, and they lured him away, and they more than likely lured you away, too." Tuesday, slowly, seemed to relax; perhaps in relief, or perhaps in shame, Jaima didn't know.

"If it had been me, or Meiko, or Darryn, we'd have done the same thing; run off, to find our pokemon, and try to help him in any way you could. None of us would have done differently."

Gently he stroked her hair, in a way that Mariko and Natsume had always found comforting. "And what you said to your sister was right. You have us to rely on. What's more, when we needed you, you came through for us. Do you understand that? You found us a place to be safe and get the help and rest we need. We needed you, and you were there."

He didn't force her to look at him, but he did come around to face her and wipe the tears from her eyes. "When you're ready, I'd like you to come out for training. Zorro wouldn't want you to miss that, and you'll need to be ready for when he joins us." With a final squeeze of her shoulder, he stood and, smiling down at her, smoothed her hair one more time. "I'm going to give you time with him. Take as long as you want."

And then he was out the door, hoping that, for once, he'd said the right thing.

* * * * *

It wasn't much later. Or maybe it was. Mercury had decided that she didn't need to keep track of time for the moment. Jaima was no longer in here, and nor was Tuesday. She was alone.

That made her feel no better.

<<I'm sorry, Zorro. I'm so sorry. I should have been paying attention,>> she whispered to him, her paw gently stroking from above his mask to between his ears. His breathing was steady, and Mercury thought she saw, hoped she saw, his eyes move behind the lids. <<You never should have heard that your emotions hurt me. That couldn't have been helped.>> With a shaky sigh, she allowed herself to open her mind to Zorro's. The images were serene, muted; he was still asleep and would likely stay that way. And she decided that was for the best.

Turning, she began to float to the door when Tempest let herself in, looking behind her to make sure she wasn't followed. When the pikachu turned, Mercury was floating, in plain sight. Tempest gasped, then narrowed her eyes.

Before she could snap at Mercury, however, Mercury was already speaking, her voice at a whisper. <<This, Tempest, is why I didn't want him to know I was affected. This is why I was upset when you told him.>> Tempest blinked, then looked to see Zorro lying still. Her ears lowered, flattening to her skull. When she looked to speak to Mercury, the kirlia had already teleported out.

* * * * *

When Jaima had cleaned, and dressed, and stepped out of his room, he was only half surprised to see Tuesday waiting for him. She looked up at him, still wordless, but with more color to her cheeks and more light in her eyes. Jaima smiled at her, and she seemed to begin to smile back. The smile developed as something a bit more amused when Jaima's stomach growled loudly.

Together they moved to the kitchen, Tuesday leading with the precision of familial knowledge. They stopped in the doorway, confronted by yet another person that wasn't part of their group.

Sitting at the table was a young boy, slightly younger, it seemed, than Jaima, but with a face that held knowledge and maturity beyond his years. His hair was blonde and unkempt, but naturally so, not out of neglect. His faded blue eyes were looking toward the door they had just entered, but did not seem to focus on them at all. A kadabra stood behind him, and as he smiled and sipped his tea, just bfore the cup reached his lips, he said, clearly, "Well, hello there."

Jaima bowed. "I'm sorry to disturb you. I'm--"

"Kuonji Jaima. I know," he said, his voice as well as his face smiling with amusement.

Tuesday's reaction was quite surprising, but welcome. "Brone!" she cried, crossing the kitchen quickly. The kadabra made a small coughing sound, and Brone just managed to set his tea down and catch her in a hug.

"And how is my little sister today," he said, embracing Tuesday fondly.


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Jaima Kuonji and Meiko Omura||Branwys Muphenz
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As of January 29, 2010, at approximately 7:50am CST, 2gamers helped me complete my pokedex!

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Umbrae Calamitas
post Jan 18 2010, 06:48 PM
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Tuesday's Pack



“I missed you, Brone.”

“And I, you, Silence.


Tuesday buried her face in Brone’s dark green sweatshirt, drawing in the familiar and oh-so-missed scent of peppermint that clung to him continuously, compliments of the medication he used. Her arms were wrapped around his waist and she realized she had tears rolling down her cheeks. She had missed him so much…

”Hush now, Silence, you didn’t really think you’d never see me again, now did you?”

Leave it to the psychic to be all-knowing – even moreso than she was of her own heart. It seemed impossible that he was here – a mere dream.

She heard a chuckle echo through her mind, a psychic laugh that he was prone to give often. She sighed at the familiarity, relaxing. She felt his arm around her back, holding her close.

”You’re exhausted.”

“I’m okay.”

“You should still be sleeping, Tuesday.”
The fact that he had used her real name was testament to how serious he was. Tuesday opened her eyes and pulled back enough to gaze into his face. He wore an expression of concern and she flushed in shame. She loathed making him worry. He had enough problems of his own.

”Caring about you will not be the end of me, Tuesday, no matter how overprotective and worrying our parents might be. She suppressed a whimper just barely, but he felt the tremor in her mind and sighed mentally, hugging her close both with his arms and a touch to her mind. She welcomed the embrace on both levels. ”You need to sleep, Tuesday, and I will make sure you do if I have to Suggest it.”

Tuesday shivered at the concept. She had, of course, been the victim of psychic Suggestions before and she never found Sleep to be a pleasant one. The Suggestion did not work on her as it did others, for some reason (and now that she knew about it, it was quite possibly her Aura powers which caused this difference) cutting her off from everything, even dreams. She remained in a lucid state while sleeping, trapped in a void of darkness that she could not escape. It was terrifying for her, and Brone knew that.

”That bad?”

“Yes, though I will not tell you why.”
She had expected that and it did not disappoint her where it normally would have. Perhaps she really did need sleep. ”Yes, you do. You’ll be here for a few days, Silence. Take the time to rest.”

“And Zorro?”


It wasn’t as though she didn’t trust Jaima’s judgments, or that she doubts Uncle DeBrody’s abilities. It was simply that she had always relied on Brone before, and call it falling back on old habits, but she knew she could rely on him to be right.

”Three days,” he assured her, and she felt her heart lighten, her body relax where she hadn’t known it was tense. ”He will be weak, and perhaps subdued, but he will be fine.” Tuesday hugged him tight in response and he brushed a hand down her back. ”You should listen to Jaima,” he added, almost as an afterthought, he mental voice full of admiration, ”he, too, is wise beyond his years, and more caring beyond his species.”

And then the connection which Brone had created and pulled them both into was broken, and he leaned back. Tuesday stepped backward, wiping her eyes, as he reached for his cup of tea and took another sip, smiling against the porcelain.

The interaction between the two had hardly lasted a few seconds – enough for an extensive hug, a few glances. The words were all spoken in their minds, Brone projecting his voice for Tuesday to hear, and using his telepathy to allow him to read Tuesday’s thoughts – a deep connection that he crafted with so few, but had long ago shared with her.

Their discussion had lasted maybe ten minutes internally, but only a few seconds outward, and only those with psychic abilities, or those accustomed to them, would have recognized the signs of such a deep interaction.

As it was, all those in the kitchen were well acquainted with psychic powers, or were themselves psychic, and so they knew what had happened, if only vaguely. None asked, for that would have been to pry more deeply than was morally right, and so Tuesday wiped her eyes, Brone sipped his tea, and DeBrody, in the corner of the kitchen, burnt the bacon.

“Son of a crap!”

~*~


It was so wrong, for him to be lying still.

This had been the general consensus of thought for all who had seen Zorro, but it bore repeating in Tempest’s mind. She was sitting on the table beside him, staring down at his unconscious form. She wanted to say “slumbering,” but that would have been a lie. Sleeping suggested that one could wake up at any moment, or be woken. Unconsciousness, however, was involuntary and suggested nothing for certain, except that something was wrong when it occurred.

Tempest’s ears were flat against her head, but her face was not contorted into rage. Her eyes held a deep sadness – a kind that she never let others see.

She hated seeing others like this, human or pokemon alike. Eraki, who had been her friend when she had been held by her previous trainer, had ended up like this. The work of their trainer during one of his tantrums, she had ended up bandaged and unconscious, and Tempest had worried over her.

Until one day, she just wasn’t there anymore.

He had gotten rid of her, tossed her away somewhere, and turned on his other pokemon when he had lost one to attack. It wasn’t long after that when Tempest had managed to escape, but the image of Eraki lying unconscious, bandaged on a table like this had never left her. It was later replaced by the image of Tuesday, unconscious, lying on a couch after the feraligatr’s attack.

And now, here was Zorro, lying unconscious on the table, bandaged, breathing steadily, but weakly. Tempest reached out and placed a paw gently on Zorro’s bandaged arm, unknowingly the same place where Tuesday had placed hers earlier that morning.

If she was honest with herself, here, where no other conscious person was present to hear, she could admit that this – Zorro’s state, how far Team Deception had gotten in their attack – was her fault. She had been so cruel to Zorro, telling him that it was his emotions that had overwhelmed Mercury, when her own emotions hadn’t helped, and her actions had made it worse. Tempest sighed softly and rubbed her paw over Zorro’s arm. His hyperactive, mischievous actions annoyed her to no end, but it was better than this.

“I’m sorry, Zorro,” she said softly, and she meant it – every word. “I really am.”

~*~


Cassandra had been listening and watching as the house woke up. Tuesday was one of the first awake, but her consciousness did not equal comprehension. She was physically awake, but mentally bound by the forces of her own weakening despair. It was heart wrenching and Cassandra moved to shield Brone from sensing such emotions within his little sister. It would cause him undue amounts of pain, and not because of his psychic abilities, either.

She watched the others awaken, but her psychic eyes followed Tuesday most prominently. She watched as Jaima spoke with the young girl, telling her what she needed most to hear, and then left her to take what time she needed with the young riolu.

The bond between them shocked Cassandra, despite knowing how fast it had been growing. She had known of Tuesday’s Aura powers for some time, but had said nothing to anyone, choosing instead to let it develop as it would.

The riolu was doubtlessly meant to be with Tuesday. Cassandra could not read Auras, but she could feel the minds of pokemon and humans alike, and the two held a similarity that was deep and profound. In some ways, Tuesday was closer to Zorro than she was even to Dante.

Cassandra watched as Tuesday stood in the laboratory, her eyes full of unshed tears, more leaking silently down her cheeks. Her eyes were red-rimmed, dark bags heavy, as she gazed sorrowfully at the riolu. She had her arms wrapped around her midsection and she did not take her eyes from the riolu on the bed. Her eyes, Cassandra could see, had a golden tinge to them, and she saw Tuesday reach her hand out and hesitate, pulling it back. It took her some time, before she finally gained the strength of will to touch the riolu without fear that he would shatter beneath her hand.

She rested her hand on Zorro’s arm for a long time, before she seemed to calm down. With a sigh, she softly left the room. Cassandra smiled softly, as she listened to them come closer, Tuesday and the boy she called both her adoptive brother and her sensei, and his kirlia, Mercury.

Cassandra liked the little kirlia, which didn’t really surprise her. She knew who she was as soon as the boy entered the house, having become accustomed to his particular presence through others. Still, she could not deny her surprise upon finally seeing and sensing Mercury for herself. The kirlia had a remarkable resemblance to her mother.

Gentle but fierce; that was how she had always seen Serenity. The gardevoir had found her when she was lost and alone, having been separated from her family and all things familiar and kind. Cassandra had been a mere abra at the time, young and full of fear, but the kindness of the beautiful gardevoir had given her hope. It was Serenity who led her to Professor Oak in Pallet Town, and through him that she came to be the companion to Brone. She owed the gardevoir a great deal of thanks and would miss her, like many others that had known her. The emotion pokemon had helped her in other ways, however, given her links across the globe. Even when in Pallet Town, Cassandra was able to keep her senses attuned to Tuesday, through others who worked as bridges, not the least of which was Mr. Postman, who had become a good friend.

Cassandra smiled serenely as she felt the probing mind of the kirlia reach out to her. She was not surprised by the other’s sense of distrust. It was, after all, only natural after what she had been forced to face in her short lifetime.

“It is a pleasure to finally meet you, Mercury,” Cassandra intoned gracefully. Her mind was constantly locked down, both in attempts to be certain she retained her calm around Brone, as well as to keep him from learning all that she knew. He did not know of all of her contacts and she did not wish to worry him about his sister, when the young girl was in danger. That had become a frequent state of being, of late.

Cassandra was not so surprised by Mercury’s attempts to determine her place in this great plan that had been crafted to test the very limits of their group, of the self-proclaimed Team Rogue. She was, however, pleasantly surprised by the craftiness of the kirlia’s questions. She kept her form more questioning than accusatory, and whether she did so out of a type of respect or in some attempt to hide her true purpose for the interrogation, Cassandra could not read from her. It didn’t really matter at the moment. It merely made the kadabra feel a surge of pride at Mercury’s abilities. The kirlia was quite a bit more of an opponent, whether by force or wit, than she appeared. That would help her in the future.

Cassandra answered sincerely to every question asked her, when able. She held her calm demeanor despite the nature of some questions, or how they could be misconstrued, and she thought that this might, in fact, be annoying to the kirlia. It was not her intention, but she understood. As an emotion pokemon, Mercury was accustomed to being capable of reading others, human and pokemon alike, who were not blocked to her powers with a dark affiliation. Being unable to read Cassandra would have been like staring at the holographic image of your favorite book. You could stare at the title and long to reread it, but you couldn’t touch it or open the pages, and it remained blank to you.

It was not something that Cassandra did on purpose, though in a way, that was untrue. Over years of practice, she had grown to be able to hold her emotions within herself. She was not emotionless, but she placed a wall up around what she and Brone referred to as her Inner Core – the deepest part of her heart, where she held all that she was. It was here where she felt emotions and held her deepest secrets, and nothing escaped the wall surrounding this place of chaos without her consent, and nothing got in without it, either. The ability had not come easily, and Cassandra had made her fair share of mistakes, one in particular that she would never forget. She had, in a way, eventually triumphed over herself, and though it annoyed Mercury to be faced against this wall of serene apathy, Cassandra would not lower it for her. For Brone’s sake and the sake of Darryn Kellor, the boy coming into his Light Sight, she dare not reveal her Inner Core.

The interrogation eventually stopped, Mercury either satisfied or too mentally exhausted to carry on, in which case Cassandra expected the questions to pick up again at a later time. She smiled gently at the kirlia, hoping to give her a sense of serenity that she seemed to need. It was easy to see that Mercury was exhausted, in more ways than one.

“How do you do it?”


Cassandra’s ears twitched, even though the kirlia had spoken to her mentally. “Pardon?” she asked, meeting her eyes.

Mercury sighed, a weary sound that did not befit her age or beauty. “How do you handle it all?”

“Mm…” Cassandra hummed softly in thought, her eyes glancing to the right as she thought, her smile soft, if a little sad. She took some time to consider the question, to give the best answer, before she looked back at the weary kirlia. She gave Mercury a hopeful smile. “I do what I can,” she admitted gently, “and I rely on my friends to be there when I have taken on too much.” She closed her eyes, sighed in contentment, before opening them again. “None of us are all powerful, little one. And none of us will never not fall.”


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Living Arrow
post Jan 19 2010, 05:21 PM
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PANE: Darryn Kellor



Darryn followed the others into the kitchen, still amazingly aware that he was in someone else’s home. The manor, though large, managed a homely feel that the young Co-ordinator appreciated and yet couldn’t hold to. He resigned himself to the fact that showing up to someone’s place uninvited (despite the circumstances) went against every bone in his body and decided to instead focus on everything that had happened the night before. None of them had talked about it and he didn’t want to bring the mood down. His thoughts, however, were soon to be distracted.

In the kitchen sat a boy, maybe a little younger than Darryn himself but only by one or two years, holding a cup of steaming tea. His eyes were glazed white with blindness, staring blankly ahead but directly at them. He must have heard them coming. Darryn kept at the back of the group, smiling slightly at the Kadabra that stood at the boy’s shoulder. It didn’t respond.

When the boy introduced Jaima for him, Darryn’s eyes widened. How was that possible? Another one of Tuesday’s letters sent by tele-Swellow? Actually… it had been a while since Mr Postman had appeared… The next time, Darryn would have to see what his Emotaglow was like. In fact…

Darryn turned his eyes on Tuesday’s brother – Brone – and his Kadabra. His eyes narrowed and sought out the telltale glow of emotions that surrounded everyone and everything. He had worked out how to switch it on and off now, so it didn’t take a great deal of concentration. He just narrowed his eyes, allowed them to drift in and out of focus and…

<Lady?> He asked quickly, taking a slight step back. <I can’t see!>

<That, Prince Darryn, is a lie.> Lady corrected him. <There is only one blind person in this room.> He squeezed her in his arms as a warning to be nice.

<But that boy… his Pokemon…> Darryn tried again, scanning the pair for the glowing lights that should be surrounding them. Automatically, colours burst out of everyone else in the room and yet those two remained untouched by the swirling lights.

<The female with the moustache is blocking their emotions.> Lady said calmly, nuzzling his arm. She nudge him meaningfully. <And she is listening to us.>

Darryn’s heart skipped.

<What?>

<She can hear everything we are saying.> Lady’s body shifted nervously. <And I can’t stop her.>

Darryn swallowed hard. The realms of the psychic Pokemon seemed to be expanding every day. First it was images, then speech. They could read some thoughts of others and even tell when another Pokemon was using a psychic ability but never, never, had they been able to eavesdrop on another psychic conversation. Darryn knew from Lady’s admission that she had tried many times to listen to Mercury and Shadow talking – the Vulpix was certain it would be better than any soap opera on television.

The Emotaglows in the room were extinguished in a flash. Darryn sliced the connection with Lady and tried to remain calm. Whatever happened, he did not want to explore that route of thinking any further. He mentally stamped on his adopted abilities and joined the others for breakfast.


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Master Houndoom
post Jan 20 2010, 10:22 PM
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He was a good kisser.

A great kisser.

She could feel his arms under her hands. Muscular. Strong. Her fingers pressed against them, unable to press into the flesh, and it sent a thrill up her spine. She smiled into the kiss.

She could feel the pressure of something behind her, and he pressed her, lightly, into it. She moaned, and pressed into him, half to get away from the pressure, half to get closer to him. To feel the pressure of him against her. To feel his heart beat through her chest.

She wasn't sure, still, when the moment happened. When her mind interrupted the good feelings to send warnings to her nerves. She tried to ignore it, of course. But it persisted, and she noticed why. A hand was straying too far. Again.

She pushed it away, but it came back. She did not stop kissing. Boys would, after all, be boys. But she did push it down again.

The third time, it would not be pushed away.

Meiko tried to pull back, but whatever was behind her stopped her from pushing back, and his arms kept her from stepping to the side. Her heart started to beat rapidly, and she squirmed. "Stop it," she hissed, playfully at first, and them alarmed when her protestations met with nothing but stronger efforts to move his hand to parts unexplored.

"Stop it!"

"Meiko-chan... it's OK. It's going to be OK..."

"Let go--!"

"Meiko-chan...

"No!"


"No..."

Her eyes were open before she realized it. Her heart was throbbing in her chest, and she forced herself to lie still, swallowing deeply before the muscles in her chest, arms, and legs unclenched.

When they did, she flipped the covers away as if they burned, her face set in a deep scowl.

"Great. Just great," she snarled into the room, putting her hands over her eyes, breathing easily.

When she looked up again, Rockclaw was staring at her, across the room, his eyes hooded. Meiko blinked, then narrowed her eyes.

"Just... great."

* * * * *

The sandshrew perched on the high stool, sitting and watching over the riolu on the table. He had no idea what the tubes and machines did, except that the tubes had liquid in them, and the machines were constantly beeping and making other kinds of noise, some mechanical, some near biological, all disturbing. It couldn't be healthy to be the only thing one heard, even if one was not cognizant of hearing. And so, Desertdancer searched for topics of conversations.

Of course, Dear Mercury had told him, in a fit of melancholy, all that had happened, and exactly why, in her words, "it was, ultimately," her "fault". Of course, this was patently ridiculous.

<<You know, lad, I would have to say that growing pains, like that which young Tuesday, and yourself, and, well, quite a few of us, are a fact of life. Why,>> he chuckled, looking up as if the story he was about to tell floated just above his head, and he only had to watch and retell it, <<when I was just a lad, I remember my time in the desert. Oh, the sand was flying all around, even on days that didn't seem as if there was a breeze in the air. It got... well,>> he mused, brow-ridges raising as if he'd just read the most interesting thing about cheese mold, <<it got everywhere.>>

He rocked back on his tail, smiling a bit at the memory. <<Including just under my plates. Oh, goodness,>> he chuckled, <<that was quite annoying. Even painful, if you don't mind a fair bit of whining.>>

He looked down at the resting riolu and nodded. <<Yes, painful lad, and I hope it doesn't shock you. Oh my, it itched something fierce. It was even hard to move a bit.>>

He looked down, fondly, at the resting pokemon. <<But, you see, the sand served a purpose lad. The more that got under my plates, the harder those plates became to counteract the sand. And soon, my defenses against physical attacks was through the roof.>>

He sighed, speaking seriously, wishing the riolu could hear him now, for certainly it would help. <<It may be the same with Dear Mercury. Though it sometimes causes her distress, experiencing the full range of emotionsmakes her that much stronger. It is something she needs, and something that she needs to endure.>>

He smiled, and reached over and patted Zorro on the head. <<At any rate, I apologize for boring you. Master Shadow will be in soon to keep you company.>> He smiled, hopping down to the ground. <<Get better, lad.>>

* * * * *

Ember had wandered out of the house. She had heard the one with a vulpix on her head deriding fire types (which was surprising, since she obviously wore an electrocuted vulpix on her head). She'd known that she was weak. She'd always been weak. She'd been weak from the very beginning. But Jaima kept her around, anyway.

Maybe, though, Jaima hadn't known how weak she was. She tried to be stronger. She did her best, really! But she wasn't strong enough. She had been knocked out early before she could have helped with the fighting. She knew she should have roasted that big flappy bug when she'd had the chance! But she had assumed that it was part of the forest, and by the time she realized there was danger, sleep powder was floating all over them.

She had failed Jaima. She had failed everyone. Even Fang had woken before her. She was worthless, and the vulpix head had finally told Jaima how worthless she was.

But maybe she could get stronger.

<<Um... Um, excuse me?>>

The water weasel turned, blinking at her. <<Ay, lass?>> When Ember only looked down, Odysseus raised a brow. <<Come then, lassie, let's have it.>>

Ember looked back toward Jaima, then looked down at her paws. <<You fight pretty well... can... can you teach me?>>


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Umbrae Calamitas
post Jan 22 2010, 12:51 AM
Post #7


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Tuesday's Pack



Cassandra studied the boy before her, for a boy he was. Although he was mature in the eyes of other humans, his mind was still young, and his powers still very weak. That would change, but it would take time – much time.

He was growing in many ways, she could see and had seen. He was learning to love where he had not loved, and love greater where before there had been less. It was enlightening, and beautiful, and it pleased Cassandra greatly, to see how one could take a gift that was never meant to be theirs and use it as he would use it. She smiled softly. Ah, the things that boy had the potential for, and those which he might do.

But one who sees the future does not speak of it. That was the way it was meant to be. The way it had always been.

The creature that Darryn Kellor held within his arms was of a far greater concern, and Cassandra’s dark blue eyes narrowed upon the crimson vulpix. She respected The Lady Foxtrot, as was her name, for her strength and sheer force of will, as much as she pitied the vulpix, for she would find it difficult to be a target for friendship. Although such relationships would come in time, they would not come quickly, and Cassandra feared that the vulpix had a hard road ahead of her that she did not anticipate facing.

Cassandra dared not reveal the future even to Brone in most cases, but that did not mean that she could not offer aid.

She had not allowed her emotions to lift, keeping she and Brone as a distinct void to psychic readings, and she could tell in a number of ways that it bothered Darryn Kellor and The Lady Foxtrot.

She did not reveal her emotions, but she did lower her shields enough that her mind connected to the vulpix’s, sliding together with hers with the ease and smooth motion that came only with practice and understanding.

“The Lady Foxtrot,” Cassandra whispered gently into the vulpix’s mind, and was pleased when the vulpix did not startle at her voice. So, she had been expecting this. “I could tell you many things, FireMind. I could tell you many things, all of which you would hear but perhaps not listen to. I could tell you many things which you might find interesting, but gain nothing from. I could tell you many things. I can tell you one thing, however, that will aid both you and he you call your own.” She nodded at Darryn, for the two of them were unmistakably linked. She was his bonded pokemon, the one who bore the weight of his powers alongside of him.

Or the one who should.

“He would protect you, FireMind, with all that he has, and all that he is.” She felt a smugness in the heart of the creature, and her pity grew all the more. “This is not the way that it should be, for the one who sees the colored lights to give himself entirely to a creature who is all but his blood. You are his guardian, Lady Foxtrot!” She yelled the last part, listening to the echoes that ran through the link she had crafted, bouncing off the pillars of a there-yet-not-there bridge.

“He found you, or perhaps you found him, but Fate or powers far greater than the both of you or I have brought you together, and given you each a purpose in the other. He would protect you, FireMind, but it is you who must protect him. He bears powers that are not his own, but his own inner-strength with overcome this hardship with colors that far surpass those which he can see, and you can see through him.

“It is not the origin of the powers which will be the danger in this, but the powers themselves. They will be a great asset, FireMind, and they will stand as one of his greatest strengths. However, they alone will also be his greatest weakness, for humankind is young and often foolish, but they have the potential to do great things – whether these things be those which help or harm others. As pokemon born with these powers, we grow with them and know them and have no questions about our strengths, just as we have none of our own nature. Humans, however, have no set nature but in its unpredictability, and these powers are rare and appear abruptly in most, as with the one you calls yours.

“He will need you to be strong for him, fight for him, and protect him, FireMind – even if it is himself that you must protect him from. You must be his sword – his strength and force – just as you must also be his shield. There will be times when fighting will cause him harm, and to spare him pain far more than even you can imagine, you must stand down.

“You must learn, FireMind… Lady Foxtrot. You must learn, and you will learn, but I pray that you heed my words now and do not leave it to experience to teach you these lessons, for such teachers are harsh and too oft quite cruel.”


She bowed her head gently to the vulpix, and without even a farewell warning, cut off the link that had bound their minds together, and turned back to Brone.

~*~


It was strange that it was both dark and light.

It was strange that he was both walking and flying.

It was strange that he was alone and yet there were many around him.

It was strange that he was scared but he felt no fear.

It was strange that he was awake but dreaming.

Zorro opened his eyes, but he did not open his eyes. He was awake, but he was still asleep. He was within a dark, forbidding forest, but he was lying on a table in a laboratory. He was alone, but he could feel people all around him. He was frightened, and yet he did not want to run away.

It was strange.

Zorro knew that he was dreaming, and perhaps that was why he did not instantly dash off in search of his hermana, who was clearly not here. He was aware that the disembodied feeling in his limbs meant that he was asleep, and his mind was trapped in a dreamy unconscious. He knew that he was dreaming, and so he took some time to stare down the dirt path upon which his dream-feet stood.

Around him on both side there were trees, growing too thick together to see anything beyond them. Zorro tried to look, but he could see nothing, and so he turned, instead, toward the way of the path that seemed to lead to a brighter end. Perhaps he would wake up as he walked?

With that thought in mind, he began trotting down the path, glancing around. There were strange patches of ground that didn’t seem to belong standing along the edges of the path. Zorro continued walking, but he glanced at a large stone pedestal that looked like a birdbath as he past.

And then again.

And then again.

And then he past it again.

He was going around in a circle.

Pausing, Zorro sighed, and then walked over to the birdbath. There was no water within its depths, but sand as golden as the sun on the clearest spring morning. Zorro stared into the sand and, as he watched, the grains began to ripple like disturbed water. He watched curiously, easily recalling that this was a dream, as the ripples began more pronounced, and then a voice erupted out of the sand, echoing slightly.

“When I was just a lad, I remember my time in the desert.” The voice was unmistakable – Desertdancer, speaking softly but with great strength. “You shouldn’t let the sands weigh you down, lad. Now get moving. There’s someone up ahead who wishes to speak to you.”

Zorro stared at the sand for a time, but the grains gradually stopped moving until they had sank to a standstill, and the presence that had been there a moment before was suddenly gone.

With a slight backward glance, Zorro turned and moved on.

~*~


The rain was gentle, but harsh.

It was gentle because it came down softly, a light sprinkle and nothing more. It was harsh because it caused him to weaken, but he refused to go back inside until he had become strong enough to protect them.

Dante stood out in the center of the yard, his face set into a mask of grim determination, his lips pulled down into a painful sneer. He refused to give up, even though his tailflame flickering in defiance against this masochistic act, and steam rolled off of his fire-heated flesh.

Evolution was supposed to have made him stronger, but he was still just as weak as he had been before. Anika had assured him that she recognized this, before she left. And it couldn’t be that way. He had to be stronger. He needed to protect them.

He would never fail to keep any of them safe again.


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Living Arrow
post Jan 23 2010, 02:40 PM
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PANE: Darryn Kellor



Darryn gratefully took his breakfast of burnt bacon sandwich and orange juice outside, keen to make some distance between himself and the Kadabra that had put his nerves on edge. It would have been the greatest understatement of the year to say that he was simply scared of the psychic Pokemon – the truth was he was petrified. What were the limits of Psychic Pokemon? Could they take control of a human body by force? What sort of secrets could they draw out of an individual’s memories? Was anyone’s privacy safe?

The cold of the morning air refreshed Darryn as he drank it deeply while ignoring the faintest hint of rain, stuffing the final crust into his mouth and planning out his training routine for the morning. He hadn’t wanted to push his Pokemon so quickly after their intense battle the night before but it would clear his head and put him more at ease.

“Is that OK with you, Victor?” The Co-ordinator asked his Squirtle as his other Pokemon took their positions. The gutsy turtle grinned and gave Darryn the thumbs-up, tottering across the grass field to jump atop one of the raised boulders. As appointed fire-fighter, he would be able to control any stray flames that may spread during the practice session that was about to begin.

“Right, so this song should help us with timing.” Darryn instructed his Pokemon, ensuring that their Emotaglows were parcelled away in the back corners of his brain. “Zulu, I want you to drum the bass as I showed you and then Lady and Bravo can get started.”

Darryn’s Rampardos yawned and looked away, more content to watch the clouds roll lazily by. His temper had faded as soon as Darryn had put him back in his Pokeball whne he evolved – almost like the lifting of Confusion. Even so, his lazy demeanour had not changed. November snorted with derision from her position beneath a stand of trees, stomping her hoof clearly to let Darryn know that she would take over, instead. He smiled at her fondly and gave her the nod. With the crisp forest air filling his lungs, Darryn sang through the morning while directing his Pokemon with his arms like the conductor of an orchestra.

~


“Is this how you guys normally train?” Victor asked Romeo, not taking his eyes off the swirling flames on the grassland. Bravo and Lady repeated their combos again and again, striving to achieve the perfect timing that Darryn was calling for. Victor was not stranger to training under a Co-ordinator but the boy’s approach was a lot different to what Victor was used to.

“Yup!” Romeo replied, his knees quivering with the restraint it was taking for him not to launch himself onto the field and join his team mates in the dance.

“So you don’t actually battle?” Victor asked again, tensing as a tongue of fire flew past them harmlessly. “How will timing help if you don’t have the surprise of an experienced opponent against you?”

Romeo cocked his head to the side.

“Danny says that a perfectly timed combo can’t go wrong. If we as fast enough, we can always come out on top!” Romeo replied heartily, nodding to his own words with enthusiasm. “And Danny says that I’m the fastest so I help everyone to run faster in those sessions!”

*Danny? He's so hyper his brain isn't connected properly. Stupid mutt.*


Those sessions?” Victor asked, frowning deeply.

“Yup… We got different sessions!” Romeo pawed the ground, eager to leap into action when it was his turn. “Danny makes us go through different sessions so he can pick out what we all need to focus on. He gets me to help with speed attacks since I’m fastest and I’m the target when we do target practice!”

“OK, now you’re just pulling my tail.” Victor rolled his eyes.

“Nope! No-one can hit me cos I run too fast. Foxy thinks she can but she cheats every time. Birdo is faster than her, anyway – he’s a lot faster now he’s evolved. An ol’ Novvy’s getting better every time.” Romeo stated, his tail wagging quickly.

“And what about the big brute over there?” Victor asked, his voice slowly catching. Romeo didn’t notice. “I bet he’s not very fast.”

Romeo shook his head. “He’s real fast! We battled together in our first Contest and he was faster than both our opponents. All of us are really quick – Danny makes sure we can all keep up so that our timing is in sync. If any of us is too slow, we wouldn’t be able to do a double battle properly so we’d lose all the time. Danny really know what works!”

Victor hid his worry expertly. All of Darryn’s Pokemon were far faster than he was. Not only that but speed was the driving force behind all of the Co-ordinator’s strategies. With a brave face on, Victor continued his surveillance of the training session but one thought could not be completely removed from the forefront of his mind.

*If I can’t keep up, will I be left behind again?*

~


*Protect him? I have been! How dare she speak to me like that?!*


Lady jumped high, Bravo diving behind her to sweep below her feet at ground level. As he shot past a swirling stream of glittering feathers fell in his wake, creating a pathway into the air that Lady could solidify with her mind. Her psychic powers were constantly growing and telekinesis was a simple trick for her now. With floating feathers under her feet, Lady sprinted into the air, dashing after Bravo as he climbed higher into the air, banking a sharp turn before diving right back at Lady.

“Quick Attack! Flamethrower!”

Bravo shot like a rocket, folding his wings and diving at the imaginary target below. As he passed over Lady’s body she roared flames into his undercarriage where it spiralled around his streamlined form. Darryn named it the Burning Quick Attack.



Lady sprang from the golden highway, dropping on fours to wait for the next move.

*What would a moustache-wearing, man-handed, spoon-bending-”*

“Lady! Focus!” Darryn called abruptly, stealing her thoughts. “Just a little more and then we’ll break. Ready? Will-o-wing!”

~


Bravo fluttered to the ground, his chest heaving. Maintaining that sort of speed while generating enough heat to power his Heat Wave and shield himself with a stream of wind took nearly everything he had. His one-and-only master was clearly very proud of his efforts and so Bravo was content to exhaust himself.

“Good work, Bravo.” Darryn smoothed the Pidgeotto’s pink crest feathers under his hand. “You did an amazing job – we’ll leave it there for today. Next time I want to see your wings making clean, crisp movements, OK?”

Bravo revelled in Darryn’s praise. Oh, how he loved to be praised! And Darryn’s soothing, melodic, splendiferous, magical voice made it all the more wonderful! His favourite, the Vulpix, said something with her mouth but Bravo could not hear it. Well, that wasn’t exactly true.

Since his evolution, Bravo had not only gained an undying gratitude to his trainer for turning his health and life around but he had also developed an unshakable faith in his trainer. This faith, his obsession, had worked to focus Bravo’s mind on the one and only being that had ever shown confidence in him, resulting in the rejection of communication from any other creature.

His ears, yes, were able to hear the words coming out of the Fire Fox’s mouth. His brain, no, could not understand them. There was simply no recognition to convert sound into understanding. Somehow, in his growing worship for Darryn, Bravo had lost his ability to pay any sort of attention to anyone or anything speaking to him. Did he know that he was afflicted by this condition? Yes. Did he care? No.

“Pidgeoooh!” Bravo cried enigmatically, rejoicing in his master’s adoration.


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Master Houndoom
post Jan 23 2010, 09:49 PM
Post #9


Team Rogue: Houndoom
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<<Rain!>>

It wasn't long after the pitter-patter of little drops hit the window that Cosette made the first gregarious move that Grondir had seen; she trotted up to him, grabbed one of his large sprout-leaves in her mouth, and tugged until he followed her, blinking. With a giggle Grondir hadn't known she was capable of, she cantered to the sliding glass door, kept open to allow the pokemon access. This was, evidently, common practice for the elder man; the outer patio was built far out into the yard beyond, covering enough beyond and around the door that only the strongest winds would be able to send rain inside.

Cosette scampered out, closing her eyes and laughing as the light drops hit her face and back, saturating the soil that packed there and bringing that final surge of green to her healing leaves. <<I love the rain!>>

Grondir couldn't deny his own affection for the life giving moisture, but he still had trouble reconciling this Cosette with the one that had begged the two rattata who's tails she was kicking in not to eat her. The memory made him chuckle.

<<What?>>

Grondir looked at her fondly. <<I'm just surprised, is all. You seem to be feeling much better.>> When she tilted her head, quizzically, Grondir clarified. <<Less afraid.>>

Cosette blushed green. <<W-well... A lot of the things that eat my species don't... Don't like the rain. Especially fire types and ground types. I know, because some of us are ground types. Like my Uncle Grot!>> She sighed, still happy. <<I can't wait until I evolve like Uncle Grot did... Then I'll be too big to eat!>>

Grondir turned to look at her. He hadn't ever seen her so happy. Getting caught by Jaima's mate was a good thing.

Over her back, Grondir spotted something that almost made him choke. There was Dante, arms spread, looking up defiantly at the sky.

<<Hey,>> Grondir called. <<Are you sure you should be doing that?>>

At first, it seemed that Dante didn't hear them. Cosette pressed against Grondir's side, but both of the plant types stayed where they were, watching. Finally, Dante muttered, voice shaky, <<I have to get stronger.>>

Grondir nodded, frowning in thought. <<Your Tuesday won't like it if she sees you out here. I've seen how it is with her and water... Especially when it comes to you.>>

<<At least one of you sees it,>> Dante growled low, causing Grondir's brow ridges to raise. The ivysaur made no comment, however.

When it became evident that Dante would neither go back inside, nor speak anymore about why he insisted on standing steaming in the rain, Grondir stepped back, next to Dantes tail. <<Gets kind of chilly out in the rain. Mind of we borrow your tail?>>

Dante didn't answer, but also didn't move his tail, and Grondir positioned himself so that one of the large, broad leaves arced over the charmeleon's tail flame. After a while, much of which was spent gaping at her companion, Cosette moved to the. Other side and, with the force of will used to create new leaves to send spinning to attack, forced one of her headleaves to grow, covering the tail flame from the other side.

* * * * *

Shadow sat, stiffly, on the stool. He had taken his turn soon after Desertdancer had left, and he knew, less from seeing a time keeping device and more from the sensation that someone was just outside the door. A feeling that was confirmed when the door was opened and Ramhorn stepped in.

<<You may go, Noble Heracross.>>

Ramhorn looked at Shadow, who had not turned to see him. Wide set eyes blinked, and rather than turn and walk away, he asked a simple question.

<<Have you slept?>>

<<My kind do not need as much sleep as others. We can pass three valleys and two mountains in a night and be ready to fight at need.>>

Ramhorn studied him, then turned. <<I believe, last night, there was more than a mere three valleys and two mountains worth of work.>> He closed the door, but did not leave by it. <<And I am here for my healing.>>

Shadow shrugged, but stood and sighed when Ramhorn used what Shadow considered a low blow. <<Perhaps I should see if Mercury would care to join us.>>

As Shadow left, Ramhorn smiled, then called after him, calmly, <<And I will know if you stay under Mistress Meiko's window again, too. You must rest.>>

Even through his frustration, Shadow found himself chuckling.

* * * * *

Ember was panting by the time the impromptu training session was over. But her panting was nothing on the wheezing, moaning carrying on from Odysseus.

She had been able to knock him flat (striking from behind and being careful of his tail) twice now, and as he stood up, he looked at her incredulously. <<I'm not complaining none. I needed the work out too, of course. But seems to me when you asked if I could teach you how to fight, you were sailing under a following wind.>>

Ember blinked, frowning worriedly. <<... Huh?>>

Odysseus chuckled. <<You fight fine, lass. Better than fine. It's getting you to fight that takes some doing.>> He put his paws up as she scooted forward, and Ember slowed; she hadn't meant to seem aggressive. He leaned back, his forepaws on his hind leg joints, and caught his breath as she sat. <<So in order to make you a better scrapper, we've got to find out how to get some wind in yer sails.>>

Ember wasn't sure she understood him, but she had caught the jist of it. <<I... I have to find out what makes me want to fight?>>

Odysseus smiled, showing fangs. <<You don't lack power, lass, you lack will.>>

Ember sighed. <<I don't like to fight. It... it scares me.>>

<<What about fighting scares you?>>

Ember blinked up at the buizel. <<I don't like to get hurt. And I... I don't like the idea of my teammates getting hurt.>>

Odysseus tilted his head. <<I don't know. Seems like your teammates can take care of themselves. And you don't learn moves like that by watching others.>>

Ember blinked. <<So... so you're sayi-->>

Odysseus pushed off of the wall, sending a water jet her way, and Ember dodged to the side, immediately lunging forward to attack. Only the quick dodge and chuckle from Oddyseus stopped her, confused.

<<You're skilled enough, lass. The rest... that will come in time.>>


* * * * *

Meiko looked over her shoulder for what seemed like the umpteenth time. Half the time, it was the creeping of memories, but the other half, it was because something was following her, and it was as disturbing, thought not as frightening, as her fears.

Rockclaw's claws clacked harshly as he turned from a crop of bushy grass, having missed the weedle he'd been hunting. He looked at Meiko with hooded eyes, then scuttled away, his eyestalks seemingly turned toward another patch of grass.

Meiko shuddered. Rockclaw had been a gift from her first real boyfriend, and she had gotten him a little before they'd broken up and she returned to New Bark Town. With the memories flooding back to her, the circumstances behind her leaving, she was beginnign to look at Rockclaw under a new light.

She turned away from him and started. There was Jaima, running down the path, dressed in his gi bottoms and a tank top. He hadn't seen her yet, and she fought the urge to run and hide before he did.

What had made her do it? What had made her slap him? She tried in vain to remember if he had done anything, bu the memory of kissing Jaima was indelibly connected with the memory that had so frightened her.

She had to talk to someone. Get over this so that she could continue with her life. The only other alternative was to leave Jaima here and run away again, to spare him dealing with her issues.

And that was not acceptable. Not when she'd been so happy for the last two days.

Meiko clenched her fists and turned, stalking back to the house. Maybe she couldn't talk to Jaima just yet, but Darryn might be able to help, or at least listen.

Unfortunately, Jaima saw her just as she turned. Her clenched fists and rigid posture told him the story that he'd already assumed was true, and his run back was much, much slower.

* * * * *

Mercury was outside when the shadow passed over her. Unlike metaphorical shadows, however, this one caused her to smile, almost leaping for joy.

As soon as the figure that cast the shadow made itself known, she sent him, with as much joy as she could muster, a mental message.

Oh, wait a minute Mr. Postman!


--------------------
[align=center]Uprising Mod

||
Jaima Kuonji and Meiko Omura||Branwys Muphenz
[spoiler=Jaima's Gym Badges][/spoiler]
PANE


||
Jay Lange||Olivia Prewitt
Uprising


As of January 29, 2010, at approximately 7:50am CST, 2gamers helped me complete my pokedex!

:houndoom: I claim Houndoom! :houndoom: [/align]
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Umbrae Calamitas
post Jan 26 2010, 12:31 PM
Post #10


Team Rogue: Espeon
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Tuesday's Pack



He was walking still, only this time he didn’t pass the birdbath full of sand anymore. Whatever loop he had been caught in that made that repeat was somehow broken by hearing the voice of Desertdancer speaking to him from the rippling sands.

Now he was walking again, trees still on either side. The forest was thick, but he could see little flickers of sunlight trying to peek through. Still, they fought against the shadows futilely, unable to reach him. He looked away from the helpless flickering lights; it hurt him too much to see them struggle so painfully. He didn’t like it here.

He stopped abruptly when he nearly ran into a large steel door. Blinking, he stared at the door, sitting in the middle of the path. It was so out of place, it might have been hilarious, except that it had both a sinister and friendly feel to it.

Zorro stared at the door, glancing to either side of it, but finding no way around it. He stood in front of it, regarding it with curious eyes, before reaching out a paw and tapping it gently.

The metal rippled like silver water, from the center all the way out to the sides. The metal darkened in the center, until a shade seemed to appear in the steel. It still wasn’t definable, but it was clearly there.

“Little brother. Do not follow the path so closely that you forget others walk with you.”

The voice was clearly his big brother’s. It was clearly Shadow’s. The shadow in the metal stood there for a long moment, as though staring at him, making sure that he had heard, before it faded into the metal with the gentlest of ripples.

Zorro placed his paw flat on the door, trying to reach his brother, but it was cold to the touch.

The door swung open. Zorro stepped through and continued on.

~*~


He was getting too old for this.

When the quilava had come asking for his help in learning how to fight, he had expected her to not know how to fight. Or, at least, to not be good at it.

Neither was the case.

Being a water-type, he had a natural advantage against the timid child, and he tried not to use this advantage to the point where he caused her undue harm. As she fought him, however – swabbed the deck with him, he thought was more appropriate – he found it more and more difficult to simply sit back and let himself be beaten.

Contrary to what an untrained eye might see, speed was not Odysseus’ strength. In the water, he was indeed faster than pokemon of another element, but in comparison to others of his own kind, he tended to lag. No, no, it wasn’t speed that gave him the advantages that his type did not. It was his ability to see incoming attacks before they happened, and to dodge accordingly.

That’s not to say he was psychic – far from it. In fact, he had been told before by pokemon of that disposition that he hadn’t a psychic flipper on him, and never would. That was fine by him, he did need to see the future to realize an attack was coming. He only needed to read his opponent – the tensing of muscles, the narrowing of eyes, the slight, nigh-imperceptible pressure placed on one foot rather than the other. It was something born from experience and years of making mistakes in learning it, but he had succeeded in the reading.

It was probably the only thing keeping him on his feet in this fight.

The lass had power, she had strength, and she knew how to fight. It was clear that none of these were the problem. From the concerned, unsure look in her eyes when she first approached him, however, he had a feeling he knew what was.

A sharp strike to his back sent him crashing face-first into the dirt. He pushed himself to his feet, wheezing. “I’m getting too old for this,” he moaned to himself, as he turned to face his impromptu opponent. She was merely panting – nowhere near as tired as he was. Younglings, they didn’t realize how strong they were.

He shook his head and stared at her incredulously. “I'm not complaining none. I needed the work out too, of course. But seems to me when you asked if I could teach you how to fight, you were sailing under a following wind.”

~*~


”I have to get stronger.”

The rain had stopped some time before. Dante vaguely recalled Grondir speaking to him, but he couldn’t remember what was said, before the ivysaur took a frightened Cosette and left him still standing where he had been for some time now.

The rain had stopped and the natural heat from his body had caused the water on his flesh to evaporate, but his skin felt clammy now, and his breathing was ragged, as though he had run a long distance without a break.

He imagined that he sank to the ground, rather than collapsing, though others would have likely disagreed. He laid on his stomach in the wet grass, breathing heavily, his eyes drooping. Exhausted as he was, he let his eyes slip close, and his mind slip off to sleep.

~*~


Tuesday was sitting on the floor of her room, a pokeball in her hands.

It was an antique pokeball, in use because it was as unique as the pokemon inside of it. Made of stone, the ball contained Wraith, the black-fire ponyta that Tuesday had received as a gift. Whether her dream was a result of the gift, or the gift somehow a result of the dream, she neither knew nor bothered to concern herself with any longer. Wraith had been an important part of her team and she loved the ponyta as much as any of the rest of her pokemon.

That was why this decision was so very hard to make.

Wraith had been injured in their run from the three steelix. One of the pokemon’s attacks had shattered the ground beneath the ponyta, and when Tuesday had been thrown from her back, Wraith had gone down on her knees, gouging and twisting her left knee on the sharp stone.

Tuesday had been waiting for them to get to a pokemon center before she could deal with Wraith. She knew that basic cuts and bruises could be healed by the nurses and equipment at the pokemon center, but sprains and twisted muscles were more complicated and therefore difficult.

She had asked Uncle DeBrody to take a look at Wraith. He had been reluctant to tell her that the ponyta’s fall had done a number on her leg, and even if the pokemon center could heal the damage, it was likely that the horse would be lame.

“So Wraith won’t be able to run anymore?”

“I’m afraid it’ll be difficult for her to battle or run for long distances, especially carrying someone.” He looked at her with a sympathetic eye. “Hey, kidlet, stuff like this just happens. It’s not your fault, all right?”

Tuesday nodded softly, sniffing despite herself. “All right.”


Tuesday ran her fingers over the stone pokeball and sighed. She knew what she had to do. If Wraith remained with her and was forced to battle, the ponyta could further injure her knee and be unable to walk properly. Wraith didn’t need a life of battling or a life of standing around, watching other pokemon battle but being unable to. What she needed was to be able to live calmly, where nothing was required of her but to enjoy an open field of grass.

All of those years helping Professor Oak, Tuesday remembered how the pokemon in his pasture had seemed so happy. By the time she had left, among the various other pokemon there, the ponyta and rapidash had accumulated to such a mass that they had actually formed a herd. Tuesday knew that Wraith would be happy there, and safe. That was the important thing.

Hugging the pokeball close to her, Tuesday left the room to find the computer. She needed to make a call to Professor Oak.

~*~


The light was slipping through, just little rays, but it was enough to bring a smile to his face. Zorro smiled contentedly as he continued walking, the light flickering over his face as he walked. The trees were not as close together as they had been, and the shadows not as dark. Zorro glanced between the trunks, but still he could not see what lay beyond them, and so he continued walking.

He stopped when he turned a corner and the path was bathed in light. His ears perked up and a smile lit up across his face as he bounded forward.

The sunlight enveloped him in a warmth embrace and he sighed in peace, melting into it. The light was so much more inviting than the darkness he had been traipsing through. His golden eyes scanning the lit area, he was surprised to see that the air itself began to ripple. Blinking, he stared at the area, watching as two dark blue orbs appeared before him, and then blinked as a faint white shadow began to materialize. The eyes appeared downcast as he stared at her. He knew who it was.

“I'm sorry, Zorro. I'm so sorry. I should have been paying attention. You never should have heard that your emotions hurt me. That couldn't have been helped.”


Zorro stepped forward, reaching out a hand, but his paw passed through Mercury’s ghostlike form, and she reacted as though she hadn’t even seen him move. “You have to keep going, Zorro. You have to keep going. There’s someone who needs to talk to you.”

The air rippled again, and her form flickered and was whisked away like smoke. The light went with her, and Zorro wilted when she was gone. It was like he was alone again.

"Do not follow the path so closely that you forget others walk with you."


"Mi hermano," Zorro whispered. He looked to the side, where the trees were thinning and light was slipping through. It wasn't the great swath of light that had covered the path, but there were rays of sunlight leaking through the trees. He walked over, stepping off the path, and stood under one of the rays.

"I'm no alone," he whispered into the sunlight. "I'm no alone."

Smiling softly, he turned and continued on.


--------------------
[align=center]




UPRISING MODERATOR[/align]
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Living Arrow
post Jan 26 2010, 05:06 PM
Post #11


Team Rogue: Pidgeotto
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PANE: Darryn Kellor



Darryn sat at the window, cupping a steaming mug of coffee in his hands. The rain fell at a lilting slant, turning the very air grey with its light touch. He watched it bathe the forest earth producing the typical scent of loam and fresh dew even as the sun emerged. Darryn loved it when the weather did that. Rain and sun together forming a shimmering curtain of diamonds that took the breath away.

*That gives me an idea...*

Unknown to the casual observer, Darryn's real reason for sitting at the window was not to watch the world go by.

"Dante... isn't it?" He whispered to himself, watching the Charmeleon for some time. The crimson lizard stood proud, defiantly facing the sky, seeming to silently challenge the very heavens to bring down all that he could take. It was, to Darryn, extremely disturbing.

*That should be hurting him... Not a lot but it must sting like a bitch...* Darryn sipped his tea. It was sweet. Refreshing. *Why is he doing that?*

<If you are so interested in the reptile, why not watch his emotions?> Lady asked, stirring in his lap to stand and prance to the floor. She turned her large chestnut eyes back to him. <I'm going for a walk.>

"Huh? Knock yourself out..." Darryn sighed, turning back to the window and raising the mug to his lips once more.

He wached Dante for some time, somehow aware that Tuesday's brother entered the room with his Kadabra, Cassandra. Without looking, Darryn could tell that the psychic Pokemon was watching him. Her eyes had been so piercing before. So clear. He ignored her.

Outside, Jaima's Ivysaur and Meiko's Turtwig attempted to shield the Charmeleon's tail flame but they did not out-stay their friend. Even as they slowly lowered their leaves and moved to re-enter the house, Darryn was surprised to find Dante still standing. Still defiant. Was it some sort of special training? Darryn had read that Forcing was a dangerous way to build defences and only particular types of trainer went that far - bad trainers.

A quiver. That was all it took. Darryn's eyes narrowed straight to the offending muscle. Dante was weakening. And it wasn't surprising - he had been facing that rain for some time. In fact, Darryn's tea had gone cold. How long had he been sat there?

*I don't need those stupid auras to see how he is feeling.* Darryn set the cup down. *He's angry, frustrated, desperate... But why?... Maybe just one peek...*

Blue. Red. Brown. Gold. Grey.

Darryn coughed and squeezed his eyes shut. They ached as though someone had just shone a light right in his eyes after sitting in the dark. Holding a hand to his head and looking back outside, the Emotaglow around Dante was gone and instead, the Charmeleon was face-down on the ground. In a flash, Darryn was at the door and rushing to his side.

Even though he was still tired from the night before, Darryn scooped up the large lizard making sure the burning tail was pointed away from his clothes and hurried to find DeBrody. As he passed by the living room door, his eyes caught with Brone's glazed white and something chilled the Co-ordinator's neck. Ignoring it, he went in search of Tuesday's Uncle.

~


<So this is where you're all hiding.> Lady announced as she entered the lab. Shadow barely glanced in her direction but Mercury swivelled in the air and floated down to the ground.

<Zorro's recovering, it seems.>
Mercury informed her, a light smile reaching her eyes. <I'm sure Tuesday will be pleased.>

<Pleased? For how many minutes before he starts making a fool of himself again?> Lady rolled her eyes, sitting down and curling her tails around her legs. <What's wrong with him, anyway?>

Mercury passed a look to Shadow and he, back to her.

<It's kind of private for Zorro.> Mercury shrugged, floating back up to the table to watch over him.
Lady sighed and stood, circling the table and leaping up to the foot of the bed.

<Privacy means secrets and secrets mean lies.> Lady stated calmly. <How do we help him if we are surrounded by lies?>

There was a mental pause.

<You want to help?> Shadow accused, folding his arms and frowning.

<He's slowing me down from getting to that Contest Hall.> Lady snipped back. <The faster he gets better, the faster we move on.>

<You don't have to pretend that you don't care, Lady.> Mercury said softly. <I know you do.>

<You know nothing, 'Dome.>
Lady hissed. She turned her nose up as though Zorro was afflicted by a bad smell. <It would make my Master happier if Tuesday started smiling again.>

<Hmm... Whatever you want!> Mercury half laughed, rising up and floating backwards towards the door. <Just be nice - Zorro's actually been through a lot and needs a bit of compassion right now. If he wants to tell you anything, I'm sure he will in his own time - his thoughts are not for me to discuss with others.>

Shadow eyed Lady warily and joined Mercury, leaving the room with one backwards glance that simply said "I've got my eye on you".

Lady watched them go, unperturbed. Once they had left, she laid down next to Zorro and stared into his closed eyelids.

<You have a past?...> Lady's eyes grew pensive. <Don't we all...>

~


Darryn fidgeted behind Tuesday, not wanting to interrupt her phonecall. There were a few reasons behind that. The first - it was rude. The second - he knew telling Tuesday about Dante would likely upset her. And third? He was too starstruck by the face of Professor Oak to move.

As he waited, chewing his lip nervously, Darryn kept passing glances over Tuesday's shoulder. He was far enough away not to be eavesdropping but he could see the scene on the other side of the videocall. The Oak Ranch sprawled out in the background - lush and green, sunny and peaceful.

*It's like Floaroma Town... Zulu... November...*


--------------------
Darryn Kellor ~ ~ PANE Moderator ~ ~ Lori Pardare
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Master Houndoom
post Jan 28 2010, 01:29 PM
Post #12


Team Rogue: Houndoom
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From: Austin, Texas
Member No.: 804

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Strike. Turn. Spin. Kick. Spin. Parry. Dodge. Thrust.

Whack!

Ok... Let's try that again...

Jaima took his stance, once again running through the motions of a makeshift kata. He would get so far into it, and his mind would empty, and he'd be in a state of near emotionlessness. Then, as sudden as a strike, the memory of Meiko, and the battle, and the Slap, would hit him with a resounding mental whack!

Jaima gave up, sitting on the ground and putting his head in his hands. He realized he was curling his fingers through his hair and pulling after he'd felt the pain of it for a while. A part of him, the same part that had derided angst ridden moments in romance movies, thought he was being melodramatic. Other parts of him realized that there may be some truth behind the trope: he felt as if he were being driven to nervous breakdown by the mere thought that he'd hurt or frightened Meiko.

A sudden sound, a high pitched, laughing, joyous sound interrupted his teen angsting, and he looked up to see Mercury flying on the back of Mr. Postman (identifiable by his green vest-like plumage on his chest), arms spread wide, eyes closed, crying out "Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!" As he swooped toward his master's son in long, diving arcs. Despite his earlier thoughts, Jaima smiled.

"Oh, wait a mi-"

There is no need for that, Jaima. The one on my back has graced me with the amusement I seek. When Jaima's eyes widened, Mr. Postman landed and nodded. Besides, I sense you could use what I carry without distraction. There is only a note from the girls, as your mother is on vacation with her new romantic interest, and it is still too early to bother them. he and Mercury smiled at the look of uneasy illness that crossed Jaima's face.

Jaima took the letter that was proffered in Mr. Postman's claw, opening it slowly. The letter was written in the girl's usual style of alternating colored ink designating the voice of each different sister, Mariko in a bright green, Natsume in a sky blue.

QUOTE
Ohayo! Konnichiwa! Whatever time it is when you get there, hi!

Jaima, we love getting letters from you even though it makes us read, (our sister, Jaima, is a... Heathen!) But we'd rather talk to you. There's so much time between the last letters, and Mr. Postman tells us that there's too much to talk about to put in a letter. Did you know he could mind-talk?! Anyway, Natsu's right. Besides, we miss you.

We'll be in Goldenrod City for a while (we got jobs. Long story.) and we'd love to hear from you. Please?

We look forward to hearing from you, tou-kun.

Mariko
& Natsume


As usual, the letter brought a range of emotions across Jaima's face, from a soft smile the an embarrassed grimace. He looked up at Mr. Postman. "Are they still in Goldenrod?"

Yes. They have taken jobs in order to finance some small project. Young Mariko has discovered a mechanical aptitude and is working on the bicycles, and little Natsume is working at the flower shop.

Jaima frowned, but instead of pressing and folded the letter. "I'll call the-"

"OF ALL THE STUPID--"

From the direction of the house, from which he was not very far, came a strident, angry call, which Jaima would not have reacted to, except for one thing..

The voice was Tuesday's.

Jaima was on his feet and running in an instant. Even though it didn't sound like trouble, per se, a yelling Tuesday was not something to be ignored.

* * * * *

Meiko sighed. She'd gotten halfway back to the house before she turned around again and walked to the nearby beach, letting the sound of the surf clear her mind. Just when it seemed as if the pounding waves and susserating sea would give her serenity, the image of Jaima's face, his cheek red and one eyes watering, came crashing into her like a wave, threatening to suck her into an ocean of confusion.

Why had she hit him? Why was she pushing him away when she had worked so hard to get close to him?

She had never been one to quail at the harder things in life. She had always faced her problems head on, except for one time when she ran away, her spiritual tail tucked between her legs, and went home for a while. Even then, however, after a time or relative peace, rather than stay at home, she decided what was best for her was to take a chance. And a big one. So she did, and it had paid off big time for a while.

So why was she ruining it now?

She stood, staring out at the ocean, but the only thing that would come to her besides a litany of 'whys' was that she really, really wished Chompwater was around. With a sigh, she turned around and began walking back. When her feet hit the grass, she heard it, the sound being able to overcome that of the waves.

"- IDIOTIC THINGS THEY -"

Meiko's eyes widened, and she almost grinned at the sheer absurdity of the mental picture in her mind; Tuesday, Little Silence-san, shouting at the top of her lungs.

She raced toward the house.

* * * * *

They will take care of it, little one. For now, there is something that must be done as soon as possible. When will such a convergence happen again?

Mercury peered over her shoulder. The beak on her arm was firm, yet surprisingly gentle, and not painful despite the sharp material the beak was made of. But... Trainer Tuesday is shouting. That never happens!

And it will be taken care of by the trainers. We have other things to discuss.

Before Mercury could protest, they were in front of the kadabra of Tuesday's brother (this was not a hard task; they, trainer and pokemon alike, had been attracted to the odd sounds of a thirteen year old young lady shouting in anger, an unpracticed and odd reaction for the girl, and unfamiliar to all that knew her. Behind Brone and Cassandra, Mercury caught sight of Jaima and Meiko nearly plowing into each other in the hallway. Seeing each other had a very odd effect on them: They stopped, looked at each other in surprise, and then looked away, saddened and blushing.

How much was she missing?

But Mr. Postman was already 'speaking' to Cassandra. I'm sure you've taken the time to meet this little one, Mama Cass. A flash of amused annoyance went through the other pokemon's eyes, but did not register psychically. Mr. Postman continued as if he hadn't noticed. I think, perhaps, she is far past the point of needing to learn to establish her own psychic network, and since the one who perfected the ideals behind it was taken from her, I believe she should learn from Serenity's prized student.


--------------------
[align=center]Uprising Mod

||
Jaima Kuonji and Meiko Omura||Branwys Muphenz
[spoiler=Jaima's Gym Badges][/spoiler]
PANE


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Jay Lange||Olivia Prewitt
Uprising


As of January 29, 2010, at approximately 7:50am CST, 2gamers helped me complete my pokedex!

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Umbrae Calamitas
post Jan 30 2010, 11:32 AM
Post #13


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Tuesday's Pack



Zorro was walking down the path with a bounce in his step. He stuck to the side of the path so he was nearly walking on the grass, letting the rays of sunlight dapple on his blue and black fur. It was growing warmer the more he walked and he couldn’t help but want to know who it was that wished so badly to speak to him.

He was looking up at the canopy of leaves above his head, watching the sunlight dance through the leaves, like a child playing Peek-a-Boo, when he was startled out of his reverie by many voices speaking at the same time.

“So this is where you’re hiding.”

Zorro gave an undignified yelp of surprise, his head coming down quickly, his eyes adjusting to the change in light, as he stopped walking.

Before him, the dirt path he had been walking on widened, and split off in seven different directions. There were three on the left, three on the right, and one right before him.

Sitting in the middle of each path, blocking his progress, was a vulpix.

“Privacy means secrets and secrets mean lies.”

The vulpix all spoke at once, their voices synchronous. They did not, however, all look the same.

On the left, the vulpix closest to him was black in color, her fur like the shadows that he had been trapped in, wading through for some time. Her eyes had a level of intelligence that he had seen mimicked in other pokemon, but rarely ever one that didn’t hold a mass of psychic power.

Beside her, on the next path, there sat a glittering vulpix, her fur golden in color, so rare and beautiful that Zorro was struck with awe. She had a slightly lesser glitter in her eyes to the black vulpix, but one that seemed to match the other vulpix beside her.

On the third path, the vulpix with an equally strong glimmer in her gaze was pure white, her fur like powdered snow. Zorro would have thought, perhaps, that the vulpix was nothing more than a snowmon, except for the expressive eyes and the soft rise and fall of her chest.

Straight ahead of him, there sat a beautiful crimson vulpix that did not escape a sense of familiarity. Lady Foxtrot, she was called. Her eyes were locked to his, as the others, but her gaze, as always, held something of a sinister gleam, as though she would hurt him just to prove to whomever doubted that he was not worthy of her presence.

On the other side of her, to Zorro’s right, there sat a vulpix with oddly pink fur. She was easily the most beautiful of all the vulpix before him, her coat appearing so soft it might have been brushed by a god.

To her left sat her exact opposite. Mottled red and brown fur had patches of bald spots and rough patches that made the vulpix the ugliest among them. Her eyes held barely a spark within them, but there was still something there.

The closest to Zorro on the right, and the last, was a brown vulpix with eyes as dull as a slowbro’s in comparison to the first vulpix’s. There wasn’t a glimmer or spark within them, and she herself seemed dull and faded to his eyes, flickering in and out like a fuzzy image. Zorro couldn’t bring himself to focus on her for too long. It was as though her unfocused form came to his mind, though because he intended it, as an obvious failure for her to matter.

Zorro studied them all with confusion, the seven of them blocking his progression through this forest and toward greater sunlight. He stood for a long moment, waiting for them to do something, but when nothing was done, he took a step forward.

They spoke as one again.

“How do we help you if you are surrounded by lies?”

Zorro stopped and looked at them all. “Escuse me?” he asked. He didn’t understand what they meant. He knew the one vulpix was clearly Lady Foxtrot, the princess, but he did not know the others, and why would they bother to help him, anyway? The princess didn’t like him, and who were the others to care?

“You have a past…?” the black vulpix asked him, speaking alone.

“Don’t we all…” the brown vulpix replied solely, causing Zorro to whip his head around and stare at her.

“We have not forgotten each other,” the golden vulpix said.

“Though we have often wished to forget,” spoke the ugly, mottled vulpix.

“We are the Seven Vulpix Sisters,” the white vulpix said quietly, her eyes glimmering.

“We are rivals and allies, as one,” the pink vulpix declared.

“You are foolish,” Lady Foxtrot said, her eyes locked dead to his golden gaze, as he turned to her. “You will act a fool soon after you wake, but you should wake. It would make my Master happier if Tuesday started smiling again, even if you are a fool.”

“There is someone who wishes to speak to you,” the seven spoke again as one. Zorro looked at them all, wondering who they were and what names they bore, if they were the princess’s sisters. In his mind, he gave them all names.

The black one, a shadow, was Shade, for her fur might have been black from soot, her eyes gleamed with too much intelligence to bear such a name.

The gold one glimmered as her color, and so he called her Treasure.

The white one looked as snow, her fur as soft as such, and so in his mind, he named her Powder.

Lady Foxtrot though she had been named, Zorro called her Princess, for that was how her trainer treated her.

The pink one, so beautiful and soft, he called Belle.

The mottled, ugly one, he called Mask.

The brown one, with the dim eyes, he called Terra, for her earthen-colored coat.

In his mind, he named them all, for they seemed important somehow, and he did not wish to forget them.

“Go on. You must go on, and find the one to speak to you.”

The seven sisters finished their synchronic exclamation, leaving a ringing echo of their final words dancing in the air. As smoke is brushed away by the wind, so the vulpix sisters began disappearing, first the two closest to Zorro, then those after, and then the following, until only Princess was left, staring at him.

Her eyes locked to his, she sniffed and raised her head, turning her nose away. “Fool,” she called him, simply, and then vanished like the others, leaving that path uncovered.

Zorro looked around, finding that the other six paths had vanished, and only then realizing that the views beyond them had not been of the forest he saw now. He stared around him for a long moment, and then, shrugging to no one in particular, turned and trotted down the path that Princess had blocked.

Who wanted to speak to him, anyway?

~*~


In hindsight, she would realize that she had been extremely rude to Darryn. She had finished sending Wraith to Professor Oak, getting his promise that he would take good care of her (and he assured her that Tyson – the stallion who led the herd – would also watch out for her, as he did all of the ponyta), when Darryn came up behind her. He seemed nervous somehow, though she didn’t understand why, as she listened to the computer shut down behind her.

And then he had told her about Dante, that the foolish charmeleon had been standing out in the rain, letting it pour on him.

There weren’t a great many things that could get Tuesday riled up (Reilly, however, counted among these things, since there was no way someone that annoying could be human), but her pokemon being self-mutilating could do it in a heartbeat.

“Shards!” she cursed, and brushed past Darryn without a thought to thank him or even apologize for being so rude, as she bolted down the hall.

Now, she stood in the small room that held Dante, conscious once again and lying on the table. He looked tired and more than a little worried, but Tuesday took no notice, as she was busy ranting, pacing back and forth violently as she waved her hands emphatically in the air.

"OF ALL THE STUPID, IDIOTIC THINGS YOU COULD HAVE DONE! WHY ARE ALL OF MY FRIENDS SUDDENLY ACTING LIKE THEY DON'T HAVE THE SENSE THEY WERE BORN WITH?!"

“Is the pup gonna be okay?” Ashleigh and Odysseus were also in the room, staying out of the way of the pacing child. Ashleigh was sitting on his haunches underneath the table on which Dante lay, and Odysseus was standing beside him, arms crossed, slightly amused.

“The lass’ll be all right, boy. She’s jus’ worried an’ rightly so.”

"CALL ME VIZINI IF YOU WISH, BUT HOW CAN IT NOT BE INCONCEIVABLE THAT THE LOT OF YOU ARE SO INCREDIBLY FOOLISH THAT YOU MAKE A TOOK LOOK SANE?!"

“The lass likes ‘er books, dun she?”

“That’s how she names us all,” Dante replied wearily. He sighed, his tail hanging over the edge of the bed. “I’ve done a dumb thing, I guess.”

“Water and fire dun mix, Scaley! You should know that, yes you should!”

Dante sighed again and closed his eyes, leaning his head against the table. “I want to be stronger,” he whispered. “I need to be strong enough to protect her.”

”I think yer missin’ a key point in how things work ‘round here,” Odysseus said, walking out from under the bed so he could look Dante in the eyes. “None of us want the lass t’ get hurt, and we’re gonna do our damnedest t’ make sure she ain’t. Ye getting’ yerself all hurt ou’ of stupidity ain’t gonn’ do her no good, lad. Ye don’ get stronger tha’ way. Ye jus’ get hurt.”

Dante closed his eyes. “How do I get stronger?”

“Tha’ comes wit’ time, lad, patience, an’ practice.” He nodded sharply. “Ye get yerself better an’ I’ll see if’n I can’ help ye wit’ tha’, yeah?”

Dante looked at him for a long time, and then nodded in agreement.

Odysseus nodded sharply. “Good lad! Now ye rest. Me and the landlegger’ll take care of the lass.” He motioned for Ashleigh, who bounded over to Tuesday, who was still pacing and ranting, and nudged her head against Tuesday’s legs.

The girl stopped and looked at Dante, who had fallen asleep almost immediately, and sighed. “Why do you guys keep doing this to me?” She grabbed a blanket and threw it over Dante, careful to keep it clear of his tail. She stood at the table, staring down at him. “Do you guys realize that I couldn’t handle it if I lost any of you? And it almost happened with… with Zorro. And now Wraith’s gone.” Her eyes cast to the floor. “I don’t want to lose anyone.”

“The lass don’ realize how strong she is, landlegger,” Odysseus said in answer to Ashleigh’s worried look. “Com’on, lad, get ‘er out o’ here.”

Standing beside Tuesday, Ashleigh leaned against her leg a little, at first, earning himself a scratch between the horns that made his tongue loll out. At a motion from Odysseus, however, he leaned almost all of his weight on Tuesday’s leg.

The girl let out something between a yelp and a cry, as she nearly fell over. She caught herself staggering to the left and looked at Ashleigh, his tail whipping back and forth, tongue letting drool drop all over the floor. He barked softly at her.

“I get it, I get it,” she muttered, and turned to the door. “I’m going.”

She did, she realized, need to apologize to Darryn.

~*~


The path was bathed in light, the shadows flickering in, trying to take over, but they couldn’t. Zorro was full of glee as he bounded down the path excitedly, the sunlight warm against his fur, his golden eyes practically glowing in anticipation. Who wanted to speak with him?

Maybe it was his hermana. That would be nice, he missed her. He wondered where she was and why she hadn’t come into his dream like she had before. He liked that, even when the dreams were scary. It was nice when she was around. She felt like home.

He turned a corner, skidding through the dirt and laughed, before stopping abruptly in surprise.

In the middle of the path before him, there was a thunderstorm.

It was more like a small dark cloud that had too much fight in it, lightning arching down to scorch the dirt path, rain pouring, the area too dark for him to see the path beyond the storm.

Maybe there wasn’t anything beyond it.

Zorro took a step forward and the lightning arched down again, golden and fiery. It did not last a moment, however, but remained in a fall of electricity, slowly, he realized, rippling, taking form.

Unlike the others, however, who were merely voices, eyes, and shadows, this form was full. Golden and brown, small, the pikachu appeared, stepping out of the lightning as much as it birthed her.

”Ratta?” he asked, cocking his head to the side. Why would she want to speak to him?

Tempest looked at him, and her eyes looked so sad, before she looked away, ashamed, her ears flattened against her skull not in anger, but in self-disgust. ”Ratta?”

“I’m so sorry, Zorro,” she said, and her voice sounded so full of emotion and lost that he couldn’t for a moment doubt her sincerity. “I really am.”

”I know,” he said, stepping forward. He hesitated, because he knew that Tempest did not like him, but then he placed a paw on her back in what he hoped she understood was meant to be a comforting manner. ”It’s okay. You no mean to hurt me.”

“But I did.”

Zorro shrugged, grinning. ”S’ok, then. In past, and we no worry anymore.” He shook a finger at her mockingly. ”You no do it again, Ratta.”

She grinned. “Do you want to wake up, mutt?”

His ears perked and he grinned. “Back to mi hermana,” he said excitedly, and nodded.

Tempest held out a paw to him and he took it in his own. Before moving forward, however, she leaned up and kissed him softly, surprising him, on the cheek. She turned around and started toward the door that had appeared in the storm, and so she missed his full-faced blush.

”This way, Zorro… It’s time to wake up…”

He stepped through the doorway and there was nothing but light.

~*~


“Keep with me, Mercury,” Cassandra said softly into the kirlia’s mind. “I will show you where the others dwell.” Cassandra hardly considered herself Serenity’s best student or greatest at anything, but she was available and it was past time for Mercury to have made a network, so she supposed that was all that mattered.

“Here, Mercury, is where dwell Dresden, my friend in New Bark Town.”

They were jumping from friend to use, using each as an anchor as though playing connect-the-dots. Cassandra was introducing Mercury to her own network, so that the kirlia could contact them and perhaps find others that she could link with, to create her own. For a network was formed out of trust, first and foremost.

Dresden was the Hypno that Cassandra had personally met once when she was younger. He had become a good friend. She, keeping Mercury’s consciousness hugged tightly to her own, had introduced the kirlia to the Espeon, Amelia, the Chimecho, Belle, and the Xatu, Zen.

She continued to carry her throughout the world, letting her pass other psychics and not saying anything as she felt the kirlia stretch out her own senses to recognize them for what they were.

“You must find those who you are comfortable with, and if you wish to speak with one, jump from another to reach them – connect with one to use it as a base for those who are too far. Ride on the back of Mr. Postman if you need to; he is always more than willing. This is how I keep tabs on Tuesday, for she always was getting herself into trouble. My friend, Chimera, a girafarig, is here in Furoh, and I link closely with him.”

Cassandra pulled away slowly, letting Mercury linger throughout the world on her own. She remained close by if she was needed, but she doubted that she would be. This was Serenity’s daughter. She would be fine.

~*~


He opened his eyes slowly, finding it too difficult to do so, his body stiff and pained. The room smelled funny, felt funny, and he was so tired, it didn’t seem right.

He yawned, stretched, and winced, and then looked around as he felt around.

There was one other presence in the room whom he recognized, and though he was tired, his golden eyes lit up in excitement upon seeing him.

”Mi hermano!”

Zorro was awake.


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Living Arrow
post Feb 1 2010, 04:56 PM
Post #14


Team Rogue: Pidgeotto
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PANE: Darryn Kellor



“Shards!”

*Aw, crap!*

Darryn stumbled backwards as Tuesday rushed past him, her face already flushing into a bright beetroot. A glimmering trail of scarlet, grey and pale green followed her like a bad smell, clinging to her tiny body. Darryn blinked them away and watched the younger trainer’s back storm away.
Lady nimbly side-stepped Tuesday’s trotting legs and snorted with distaste as she leisurely sauntered down the hall.

<Bad shrimp?> Lady chuckled to herself, rubbing into Darryn’s legs as a prompt for him to lift her into his arms. He did so, albeit absentmindedly, and chewed his lower lip in worry.

“Oooh, I’ve done it now.” He muttered, smoothing the fur on his prized Pokemon’s back.

<You corrected her hair? Took long enough.> Lady sighed, stretching her neck lazily. <Next it should be those Mew-awful shoes.>

“No, not that.” Darryn huffed. “I told her that Dante was hurting himself. You know? When we were watching him in the rain?”

Lady looked up with unimpressed eyes.

<So?>

“So, that’s going to make Tuesday sad – she really cares for her Pokemon.” Darryn made to move towards where the blonde youth had disappeared but stopped himself short when her usually tiny voice made the picture frames in the hall shudder:

"OF ALL THE STUPID, IDIOTIC THINGS YOU COULD HAVE DONE! WHY ARE ALL OF MY FRIENDS SUDDENLY ACTING LIKE THEY DON'T HAVE THE SENSE THEY WERE BORN WITH?!"

<She does?> Lady snorted. Darryn frowned.

“Look, Lady. Shut up. Why do you have to be so mean? We’ve talked about this before – If you can’t say anything nice, just don’t bother talking. I’m sick of it. These are my friends and I like them for who they are – not what I want them to be!”

Those large, chestnut, glittering eyes scowled up into Darryn’s own. An unseen force opened Darryn’s arms and pushed him back, causing him to drop the Vulpix and stumble a few steps. He shot her an incredulous look and reached for her Heal Ball. Lady, however, was too fast for Darryn’s recall and darted out of the front door.

“Bitch…” Darryn hissed under his breath.

“And I didn’t even say ‘Hi’ yet. That’s got to be a record.” Meiko rolled her eyes as she approached, arms folded defensively. She stuck her tongue in her cheek – it was an obvious joke. Jaima, next to her, was a picture of worry and there were no surprises there. For all intents and purposes, he was Tuesday’s big brother and everyone knew it out of character for her to shout.

Darryn knew what was coming next. The “why is she so upset?” demand and the “it’s my fault” admission. He hated being the badguy but he hated not having Lady to protect him even more.

~


Victor sat in the rain, thinking. All of his contemporaries were high-flying, fast-running, speed-wheeling stars who had proven their abilities to their shared master long before the Squirtle had arrived on the scene. It had only been a day, but Victor felt the desire to impress his captor even stronger than he had when she had caught him.

One battle. That’s all he had under his belt. A simple, straight-forward duel with a foe Pokemon which Darryn had barely had time to glance at. Victor had been left to his own devices to engage with the Pinsir and defeat it in a timely manner so as to catch up with the rest of the gang. One battle was all he had to show for himself. One battle that proved absolutely nothing.

“Damn, Shellshocker.” Victor said to himself, speaking aloud his original nickname. “You’ve got your work cut out for you, yet again.” He tilted his face up to accept the falling patter of rain. “Don’t mess it up this time.”


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Master Houndoom
post Feb 1 2010, 11:29 PM
Post #15


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He didn't want to ask. Not really. But at the same time, he had to. And, thinking about it (which he'd rather not have to, thank you,) it was a lot better to ask 'why is Tuesday so upset?' than 'who's attacking us this time?'

He looked at Meiko, and once again his stomach flew into turmoil. Concentrating on Tuesday suddenly became a welcome distraction. He looked at Darryn, not seeing Meiko turn to look at him, just in time to watch him look away. She crossed her arms over her chest again.

With a heavign sigh, half to calm his stomach and half to clear his mind, Jaima looked at Darryn, unaware of how bone tired he looked. "OK, so why is Tuesday so upset?"

Darryn sighed, speaking hesitantly at first. "I was watching out the window when I saw Dante standing out in the rain. He collapsed just after the rain stopped. I went and got him, and..."

Jaima rubbed the bridge of his nose. "And then went and told Tuesday."

Darryn hesitated, but then the words seemed to come out in a rush. "She had to know, Jaima. If one of her pokemon is hurting itself deliberately, she has to be told, doesn't she?" Jaima didn't look up, or he might have seen him wringing his hands. Meiko patted his shoulder, but her eyes were on Jaima, her brow scrunched.

Jaima's hand shook, and his eyes began to burn. For a brief moment, he wanted to stand up and punch something. A wall. A book. A rock type pokemon. Shadow (but only because Jaima knew it would hurt his hand more than it would hurt the lucario). In the end, he fought it down, clenching the one fist and pinching the bridge of his nose so hard he gave a minor his in pain.

He didn't notice the vulpix trot quickly into the room.

Looking up, feeling even more drained, he nodded. "You're right, of course, Darryn. She had to know." He stood, ignoring or not seeing the worried look on the faces of his companions, and walked to the door. "I'll go talk to her," he sighed, wearily, and left.

Meiko stared after Jaima, torn between cursing him under her breath and chasing after him to hug the melancholy out of him. Instead, she turned to Darryn.

"Da-kun... can I talk to you? It's... it's important. I need a friend."

* * * * *

Shadow smiled as Zorro sat up, stiff yet brimming with the energy and aura that defined him. <<It is about time you woke up, Little Brother.>>

The words seemed to be the wrong things to say. Zorro's ears drooped heavily, and he looked down, staring at his paws. Shadow rose from the stool upon which he had been perched and put his own paw on the top of Zorro's head. <<My apologies, Little Brother. It was a poor attempt at levity, something which we have sorely missed in your absence. I haven't near the skill with bringing it out as you do.>>

Zorro's golden eyes met Shadow's green ones, and the riolu's face began to split into a great grin.

* * * * *

"I... I was..." Meiko began to pace in front of Darryn, gesturing with her hands. "When I was ten, the thing I wanted most was to go on my pokemon journey with my best friend. Best friend ever." She looked at him, blushing and looking sheepish, but not shying away from it. "Jaima."

She sighed. "Has he told you his past? He doesn't talk about it, and maybe I shouldn't... but it's important!!" She looked pained, then foraged ahead. "Jaima's father was killed the day we got our pokemon. At first I didn't think about what would happen after. I mean... it was so sad. But then he said he was staying home... and I didn't get it."

Meiko's face worked, as if she were struggling not to smile or cry. "I hate to admit this, but I felt let down. Like he'd abandoned me. And we didn't talk much, but part of me... I had a little girl crush on him, you know?"

She stopped at the window, looking out. It was a small window, befitting the small room, but the outside captured her attention. At least, it seemed to. In reality, she was deep in the past, and speeding through it.

"I did a lot on my journey. I was determined to make it without Jaima. That'd show him," she said, her voice shaky. "But I was lonely, and... and Mom seemed to know it. She arranged for me to meet up with a boy from our town. Toshiro Yamamoto." She sighed, as if saying his name had taken some building up to. "He was from a good family. The Yamamoto's were great friends to my family, especially Mrs. Yamamoto. Mom and her were tight. Best friends."

She turned to face Darryn, her arms crossed across her stomach, but couldn't seem to look up at him. "I... I liked him, Da-kun." She smiled sadly at the ground. "I really liked him. We got along well, and he was funny, and fun, and strong..." When she finally looked up, there were tears just about to fall in her eyes. "And a great kisser." She chuckled, a sad, lonely sound that shouldn't be associated with a laugh. "I found out I liked kissing because of him."

Wiping her eyes, she seemed to steel herself. "A little bit ago, we were both in Blackthorn. Blackthorn has cultural festivals all the time, and it was the Cherry Blossom Festival. So I got dressed up in my kimono, and so did he, and we went to the festival grounds. He gave me Rockclaw." Her face crumpled again. "I don't like having pokemon given to me. I feel like it doesn't have the same bond, you know? But..." she whispered. "But I thought I was in love. Maybe I really was."

"We went into the nearby woods, and... and we started kissing..." Meiko began to breathe heavier, and when she noticed that Darryn was hugging her, and realized that he was carefully to her side, as unthreatening a hug as any boy could give, she clung to his arms, leaning against him. "His hands started roaming... it wasn't the first time, you know? Boys will be boys... that's what Daddy said. So long as they listened when I said no, then it would be fine." Meiko actually sobbed, and knew she would hate herself later. "He'd always stopped before. Always. But not this time. This time he... he got pushy."

Meiko could feel Darryn's arms tighten around her, but rather than let him speak, which, she feared, would make her stop, she soldiered on. "I could feel his hands... and I was scared. I... it wasn't like I hadn't wondered, or imagined... it was just that I knew, I knew I wasn't encouraging it at the time... and I was very aware of how strong he was..."

She swallowed, but spoke as soon as her constricting throat allowed. "I finally got space between us, and slapped him, and managed to get away. I ran... all the way back to the pokecenter. I remember calling out Chompwater, and prac-practically screaming into her... her chest. And then he was at the door, and we were yelling back and forth. Stupid stuff. 'But I got you that corphish!' 'I can't believe I trusted you!' We must have sounded... so odd..."

Finally, she looked up at Darryn, her eyes wet, tracks of tears running down her face. "He finally went to bed. I left. I.. I couldn't stay, I couldn't do my challenge... I just left. And I went home. Mom... Mom still doesn't know."

She sighed, leaning her cheek against Darryn's chest. "I'm sorry, Da-kun. I'm sorry, it's just... I thought I was over it.. but it's coming back, and I'm scared... because..." She could feel the sob coming, and tried to hold it back, but heard, to her mortification, the quiet, keening whine escape her. "Because Jaima... is so strong now..."


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[align=center]Uprising Mod

||
Jaima Kuonji and Meiko Omura||Branwys Muphenz
[spoiler=Jaima's Gym Badges][/spoiler]
PANE


||
Jay Lange||Olivia Prewitt
Uprising


As of January 29, 2010, at approximately 7:50am CST, 2gamers helped me complete my pokedex!

:houndoom: I claim Houndoom! :houndoom: [/align]
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Umbrae Calamitas
post Feb 2 2010, 04:26 AM
Post #16


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Tuesday's Pack



Exhaustion was probably part of the reason that Tuesday was so emotionally distraught, or it was, at least, a good excuse. She had left the room at Ashleigh’s forceful insistence, Odysseus following behind. She stood in the hall, leaning against the wall, staring off into nothing. The anger had faded, leaving her feeling drained and empty.

She heard footsteps coming closer, but didn’t turn. She knew it was Jaima, though if pressed, she wouldn’t be able to say how she knew. She continued to gaze forward into the wall, her mind not really pondering much of anything in her weary state.

“Tuesy.” His voice was soft, as it usually was when he spoke to her. He was like an older brother in so many ways she could never see him as anything else. Maybe it was a little weird, being in Brone’s presence again. It was like she had two older brothers now. She liked that.

“What’s wrong, Tuesy?” he asked, stepped up next to her. He didn’t touch her, but he was close enough for a hug. It seemed an unspoken offer, and she was grateful for it.

“Dante was out in the rain.” She didn’t mean for it to sound so emotionless, but she didn’t seem able to call forth enough energy to put any force behind her words. “He was just… standing in it.”

There was a moment of silence, during which Jaima seemed to be trying to figure out what to say. “I know,” he finally settled on. “Darryn told me.”

“He was hurting himself,” Tuesday whispered, her voice taking on an unwanted pleading tone. “Why was he hurting himself, Jaima?” She narrowed her eyes, trying to hold back the tears, but they blurred her vision in an instant and a couple rolled down her cheeks. She heard a groan from Jaima. It wasn’t one of those “oh, damnit, now she’s crying” groans that adults with no experience (or just bad experience) with kids will utter, but a sound that showed how he shared in her distress, wishing she didn’t have to suffer it.

His arm was around her shoulders in a second, and she turned to him, wrapping her arms around his chest in a tight hug and burying her face into his chest. She didn’t sob; the force required for such an action probably would have sent her reeling into unconsciousness, but she did cry. Jaima just held her for a time, offering the comfort that she so desperately needed.

“It’ll be okay, Tuesy,” Jaima assured her softly, brushing his hand down her hair, “I promise.” Tuesday nodded into his chest, sighed, and pulled away, brushing away her tears.

The tell-tale sound of tap-tap-tap on the floor, familiar to Tuesday above all others, was the only warning she got before her brother appeared.

In his left hand, he held the end of a white cane, used when Cassandra was too busy to meander with him. A thin tan leash was wrapped around his right hand. The other end was latched onto a thin, matching collar around the neck of an umbreon.

Brone’s steps were silent but swift. He marched in with purpose, raised his cane, and pointed it sharply at Tuesday, causing her to blink in surprise. “You. Bed.”

Tuesday’s eyes went wide. “But-”

“Now!” The tone Brone used was sharp, one that was rare and not argued with. Tuesday wilted slightly and looked at Jaima.

“You… you heard your brother,” Jaima said, sounding uncomfortable.

Tuesday swallowed, nodded, and left quickly, Ashleigh trotting behind her, his tongue lolling out.

Brone, of course, did not watch Tuesday leave, but he was silent as he listened to her receding footsteps. He heard Jaima sigh and give telltale signs of getting up and leaving. He chuckled lightly and raised a hand to stop Jaima. “I have only one cane, Jaima, but that command was meant for you, as well. You need to rest.” He raised a hand, holding it out for Jaima to begin walking in front of him. “Come; I’ll walk you.” He stepped to follow as the umbreon tugged lightly on the leash.

They walked in silence for a time, Brone walking confidently through the darkness as the umbreon led her.

“I wanted to thank you,” Brone said finally, continuing his steady walk, “for taking care of Tuesday.”

Jaima’s footsteps halted, and Brone stopped, as well, the umbreon purring lightly and rubbing against his legs. Brone steadied his equilibrium by touching the cane to the ground and turned an ear to Jaima.

“I know Cassandra keeps an eye on Tuesday through her contacts, and I can do what I can to make sure I know she’s safe, but the fact is that I cannot be there for her, no matter how much I would wish to. But I understand that she needs to learn to live without me hanging on her; it’s a part of growing up. Still, she shouldn’t have to do it alone.”

Brone turned sightless eyes to where he thought Jaima was standing. “You have been there for her when she needed someone most, and I am grateful for that.” He could feel the rise of Jaima’s emotions, his own exhaustion causing him to lose control as Tuesday had. He made a gentle motion with his left hand and the umbreon moved in between he and Jaima, easing Brone’s mind of the emotions he was feeling, but still not leaving him completely blind.

“I know Tuesday considers you a brother.” Brone reached out and placed a hand on Jaima’s shoulder. “You should know that I feel the same. As far as I am concerned, ani, you are as much a member of this family as I am, and I’m glad to have you.”

He could feel Jaima’s shoulders shaking under his touch and he smiled softly. He knew the boy was trying to hide his tears, but Brone could sense his emotions, and there was no shame in that.

“Come, ani. You need rest as much as our sister. It will do you both good.”

~*~


Ashleigh lay on top of the blankets, curled into a ball in the crook of the pup’s bent knees. The little one had tried repeatedly to cover him with a blanket to make sure that he was warm, and he had finally endured it long enough for her to fall asleep, before shaking the cover off and making himself more comfortable.

His head lay on his paws, his nose taking in the pup’s scent, spread throughout this room so prominently that it didn’t take a genius to realize that she slept in here every time she came.

Captain had told Ashleigh to watch over the pup and to make sure that she slept, and he intended to do just that.

Lying in bed, he watched his chest gently rise and fall, her face calm in sleep. He sighed softly, yawned, and curled up tighter against her.

Captain didn’t have to worry. The pup was safe with him.


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Master Houndoom
post Feb 2 2010, 11:55 AM
Post #17


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Mercury, at first, felt the beginnings of panic, much like a new swimmer getting into deep water for the first time. The sensation was similar; stepping from familiar territory to that where there was nothing under your feet, yet somehow you stayed afloat. It was frightening, and exhilarating, and she found, after a while and with Cassandra close by, her panic turned to elation.

It was a world in which she, and others of her type, belonged. And yet there were strong presences as well, that were not of her type. Almost like intruders. No, that wasn't right. More like immigrants. Those with natural ability who wandered into this world of free-floating psychic energy that was like air to Mercury, and in surviving it, thrived and were adopted into the family.

Vulpi, noctowl, psyduck, denizens of the sea, denizens of the air, grass types, bug types, all of whome seemed to look with wonder at this new addition, or perhaps simply with more clarity. As they 'passed', it was the non-psychic types that stood out.

After meeting Zen, who was wiser than his form indicated, Mercury passed by a particular non-psychic and reached out, tentatively.

At first, it was as if she were suddenly yanked away from Cassandra, but she could still feel the psychic weight of the kadabra. But there she stood, in a white skirt, blue clad legs on "solid" ground. She was, briefly, surprised to see feet at the bottoms of her legs, but it seemed, also, natural. She looked back to Cassandra, who merely smiled and said nothing.

Before her was a squat man, dressed all in beige with yellow slippers on his head and bright yellow lips that seemed both overly large and just right. "Yes. What is it I can do for you, who has reached out to me like this?"

Mercury blinked, then smiled. "I'm..." She looked back and Cassandra nodded once, encouragingly. Briefly, she caught a flash of both the kadabra she was in the "real" world, and her representation here; short blonde hair to the back of her neck, a veil of the same color over her mouth that hid nothing but seemed fitting, a brown blouse with large shoulder pads and a yellow skirt, holding a spoon.

She turned back to the odd little man. "I'm Mercury, and I'm in the psychic plane for the first time. I'm building a network of friends to help me help my trainer."

The little man walked around her, running a hand through the tuft of black hair on the top of his head. "Seems you're a little late," he said, but was smiling in such a friendly manner that she knew he was joking. "Very pretty, I think. You're a shiny, yes? Yes, of course. Rude of me to ask. Name's Mortimer, but friends call me Morty." He leaned in close, as if to whisper to her, and there was a chuckle on his breath. "This means you can call me Morty."

Mercury giggled, and Morty went on. "Can't say I can help you. I'm here, but sometimes, not so much, you know?"

Cassandra cleared her throat. Her voice here was the same as her mental voice in the physical world, deep and smooth. "Sometimes, Mortimer, being in a psychic network can improve your psychic powers."

As if just seeing her for the first time, Morty stepped back, then tilted his head. He moved forward, waddling around her, then chuckled. "Ah, so this is Mama Cass, I think. Mr. P speaks highly of you, or, at least, as highly as Mr. P speaks of anyone." Cassandra stiffened, but Morty was already back in his usual place, which seemed to be represented by a beanbag chair surrounded by water reeds. "Call me Morty too. Any friend of Mr. P, and all that."

Mercury smiled and bowed. "Thank you, Morty. I will contact you again."

It continued on. There were, really, only four contacts she was able to make on her own, but it was a start, and it was enough. And then a presence attracted her like nothing else could.

She looked back at Cassandra, who had stopped at her alertness, as she had when the other four had caught Mercury's attention. Instead of leading Cassandra to the presence, Mercury pulled away. Cassandra nodded, seeming, if not surprised, then impressed. A line appeared between them, like a rope, but it stretched in length as Mercury traveled away from Cassandra, and she could still feel Cassandra's presence through it.

In this area, there was darkness, and destruction, and things flickered in and out of existence. Mercury, however, felt no fear, only curiosity.

Chained to a crumbling wall was a girl dressed similarly to her, except that her leggings and hair (Mercury had to reach up and confirm that, yes, she had hair, which was blue) were green. Her arms were extended above her by heavy, black chains, and the girl wept bitterly. Mercury's heart broke.

"Hello?"

As if the word triggered life, the girl looked up, not sad and pleading, but frightened, and then terrified. The terror rushed at Mercury, and the girl opened her mouth and screamed.

"GET OUT!"

The scream was accompanied by a pull, a push, like being caught in a current, and Mercury was thrown out of the dark destroyed area to land at Cassandra's feet. Cassandra knelt next to her, eyes wide.

"What happened?"

Mercury looked back at the place she had been. The words had been few, the push had been quick. So little had happened, but that brief moment had been so informative that Mercury knew she would think on it for months and learn something new each time.

The girl had not been angry. She was not reacting to a trespasser nor expelling an intruder.

The girl... the kirlia... had pushed Mercury away as one pushes someone out of the path of an oncoming tauros. The kirlia was protecting Mercury, even at the cost to herself.

"We have to go back," Cassandra announced, not pushing for information. "Your trainer needs you."

* * * * *

Mercury sat at the head of Jaima's bed, softly stroking his thoughts to keep him asleep. Brone had been right, and something he had said had released a great fear in Jaima, obliterated it. But it was one of many stones in Jaima's heart, and sleep was what he needed now.

To the outside world, it was a kirlia sitting at the head of Jaima's bed, one hand on his head. In the psychic worlds, however, it was a young girl with blue hair sitting in the lap of a strong, yet defeated man, giving him comfort and tending his wounds, singing to him to ease his troubled mind. Mercury loved Jaima, like a young girl loves a father, and yet she now knew something, simply by interacting with Cassandra, and with Morty and the others, and even with the strange girl who'd protected her so violently.

She, too, was strong. And she, too, had strong friends to support her. And she, too, would protect her Trainer with all that she had.

She reached out, to Shadow, to Zorro (welcoming him with the strongest mental hug he could stand), to Desertdancer, and to Lady, though she seemed annoyed at first, to be approached mentally so suddenly. One by one, she hugged them, and implanted in their hearts that as much as she could count on them, they, too, could count on her.

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Living Arrow
post Feb 2 2010, 05:41 PM
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PANE: Darryn Kellor



"OK, so why is Tuesday so upset?"

Darryn nearly threw up. Too much was coming at once! His own nervousness was as miniscule as an ant to a towering Oak compared to the bombardment of light that swarmed into his eyes. The series of Emotaglows pouring out of Jaima were erratic, inconsistent and so bright that they burned through Darryn's eyelids even when he blinked. They whispered on his skin like a chorus of Nincada, caressing and probing and then clamping tightly like so many claws trying to break into Darryn's shell. From every direction, the lights stabbed into his skin and searched for his soul, twisting and turning into his mind. It was too much! And Darryn couldn't stop it!

*IT HURTS!* Darryn screamed to himself, his stomach pitching with every wave of melancholy grey, angry red and exasperated violet that attacked him so ferociously. *But I can't tell them!*

Darryn sighed, more to calm himself than anything else before speaking. His breath came out slowly, unfocused as his attention was repeatedly snatched from him. "I was watching out the window when I saw Dante standing out in the rain. He collapsed just after the rain stopped. I went and got him, and..."

Jaima rubbed the bridge of his nose. "And then went and told Tuesday."

Before he could lose touch with his flow, Darryn continued as fast he could. "She had to know, Jaima. If one of her pokemon is hurting itself deliberately, she has to be told, doesn't she?" Jaima didn't look up. Streaks of glittering crimson flew off him amid a darkening blue-grey aura. Darryn had never seen anything like it! Why wouldn't it stop?! Why couldn't he quell it as he usually could?

*HELP ME! IT HURTS!*

<Prince Darryn. STOP.>

The world froze. Not only did it all stop moving, but it went dark in an instant - the calamity of lights vanishing as shadows before a sunrise. And, much to Darryn's surprise, Lady was the sun.

<Your talent grows stronger and you ignore it. The longer you do so, the less control you shall have.>

<Lady, I-> Darryn began, but the Vulpix silenced him with a slice of her own power.

<As cliché as it is, you focus too much on your own outer beauty. Without caring for your inner self - your own emotions - how can expect it to flourish? Without care, it will rot and blacken your thoughts.>

<Isn't that a little dark? Even for you?>

<It's a metaphor.> Lady quipped. <In simple terms, your power is a true extension of your own emotions. You're an Empath, Prince Darryn. Emotion is what you are learning to see, read, feel and, in time, project. If I am to be your guardian, you must develop yourself enough so that I have something left to protect. Without control of yourself, you will find your emotions - and those of others - take you over. Now, my skill isn't enough to make our Moment any longer so I will leave you with this.> Those enormous brown eyes burned straight into Darryn's soul. <Learn to accept what has been given and I will learn to ... be nice>

"You're right, of course, Darryn. She had to know." Jaima continued, walking to the door. "I'll go talk to her," he sighed, wearily, and left.

Darryn watched with disbelieving eyes as the Emotaglows around Jaima vanished with a touch of Darryn's will.

"Da-kun... can I talk to you? It's... it's important. I need a friend." Meiko's voice was worried.

*Time for the next steps, huh?* Daryn thought to himself as he listened to Meiko's story.

~


"I'm sorry, Da-kun. I'm sorry, it's just... I thought I was over it.. but it's coming back, and I'm scared... because..." Meiko began to weep more freely. "Because Jaima... is so strong now..."

Darryn's throat caught. With Lady's help he had managed to shield himself from the probing hands of Meiko's aura and block out the blinding greys and greens of her emotions. Her story was sad, to be sure, but not one he hadn't heard before. His sister, Cleo had had a similar eperience. Well, at least Meiko's case hadn't involved the police. Even so...

"And you think Jaima will get to be like this Toshiro guy..." Darryn finished for her, rocking her sobbing body against him soothingly. "Shhh, shh..." He hushed her. "Oh, Mei-mei. What will we do with you?"

Her reddened face turned up towards him.

"You've known Jaima forever, right?" Darryn smiled softly. "I know I'm pretty new to you guys but I'd like to think we've all grown closer. And, I know it's not my place to start spouting opinions everywhere but, I really really honestly don't think you have a problem there. Jaima's always going orange and gold when he looks at you and he-"

Meiko's eye were quirked at a confused angle. Darryn's mouth stopped moving.

*Awww CRAP!*

"And he's never seemed the pushy type. 'Sides - I'm still around, right? And Tuesday will be around a lot longer, too. We're all here to support each other and none of us would let anything bad happen to anyone else." Darryn managed to get out quickly. Meiko's face softened.

"I know, Darryn... I know..." Meiko sighed heavily, fat tears rolling off her cheeks. "Thanks... Thanks for listening..."

"Oh, and Mei-mei? This Toshiro guy? If he talks to you again, I'll have Lady mak him think he's a 4-year-old girl for the rest of his life. Y'hear?"

Meiko's blubber-soaked giggle was music to Darryn's ears. He smiled more intently and hugged her tightly to him. Everything was going to be alright.

~


<Hug me again, 'Dome and I'll burn that shiny head of yours to ash, got it?> Lady shot at Mercury. The reply was a resounding giggle.

<Awww, Lady! I love you, too!> Mercury laughed, dodging a psychic slap and cutting the connection.

Lady curled up defensively next to her trainer's feet at the base of the bed, watching out for Mercury in case the Kirlia had a deathwish enoug to come and actually hug her. When the suspected threat of incoming affection was clear, Lady relaxed a little and closed her eyes. With no-one to see her smile, Lady sank into the fading feeling of the embrace and snuggled deeper into the duvet.

*You might have a nice touch, 'Dome, but next time let it be the sweet stroke of the Darkhound's tail...*

That night, Lady slept soundly. Very soundly, indeed.


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Umbrae Calamitas
post Feb 2 2010, 10:54 PM
Post #19


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Tuesday's Pack



Odysseus sought the North Star with his eyes, finding it nearly faded into blackness against the bright glow of the waxing moon. He sighed as he studied the stars, mentally naming the constellations with ease, his mind elsewhere.

“Elizabeth,” he murmured, and his voice was taken by the wind. Odysseus had never been one to mope on the past. The man who had raised him from his youth had taught him to live in the moment. Worry not for the future or the past, and all that. It was a law to live by, and Odysseus had done it for a long time.

When you had kids, however, you fell into the habit of gazing into their future, even if it wasn’t always wise.

It had been painful to see George go. The man had raised him for years and Odysseus had been his first mate – first pokemon mate, anyway. It had been hard to say good-bye, but life went on, whether or not it seemed fair.

Odysseus returned to the wild and though it had taken determination and more than a little stubbornness, he had made it – he had survived. He had found others of his kind, bested the cocky ones, taken a place high in the ranks of his fellow buizel, and fallen in love. He’d had a daughter – Elizabeth – and he’d looked to their future as a family.

A pity not all humans were as kindhearted as the lass. His wife and daughter had been captured by ruthless pokemon hunters, Odysseus managing to escape with only a scar along his belly, buried in his fur, but he had been too injured to follow them at the time – too wounded to save his family.

He’d followed later, kept on their trail, gathered news from connections he had about the land and most especially the sea. That’s how he’d learned his wife had been killed when she fought too hard for freedom.

That’s how he learned that Elizabeth was still alive, being sold to other trainers as though she were goods and not a living creature, but it gave him hope. He knew she was on Furoh, knew he could find her, if he had the search the rest of his days. It was worth it, to make sure she was safe, and free. Even if he had to remain with the lass, he would make sure Elizabeth was free.

That was the most important thing; family.

~*~


“That was an incredibly stupid thing to do. How did you think she would react? Did you expect her to be pleased with you for hurting yourself? No one cares if your intentions were to get stronger, you were standing out in the rain, you big oaf.”

Tempest stared down at the slumbering charmeleon, completely oblivious to her one-sided rant. “You big stupid oaf, you had us both worried.” She grumbled slightly. “I’ve had enough to worry about these past few days.”

Tempest’s conscience had not been kind to her since they had arrived at DeBrody’s ranch. Tempest usually enjoyed it here; DeBrody knew well enough from his own experience to leave her be and Tuesday usually let her roam, so Tempest was allowed some privacy outside of the pokeball. Oh, she liked Dante well enough, but she got tired of his constant yammering about how great Tuesday was. She was great, yeah, kind and soft and loving, but could he make his poke-crush on her a little less noticeable?

Yeah, she usually enjoyed coming her. This time, however, they hadn’t arrived for a chance to see Tuesday’s uncle, but because Zorro had been injured to the point that they weren’t sure he would be all right. Beaten, poisoned, dying… it didn’t escape Tempest; it was on everyone’s mind.

She tried to convince herself that none of it was her fault or her concern, but she knew she was a lying sack of camerupt dung to try and force that opinion on herself. She hadn’t needed Mercury to add onto that; Tempest had already been well aware, if reluctant to admit it, of her mistake in being so crass with him. That’s why she had visited him in the lab. She wanted to make sure that he was okay, but… he wasn’t.

Tempest reached out and placed a paw on Dante’s horn, sighing. “You get better, you stupid oaf, and we’ll see what we can do to help Tuesday.”

And help Zorro,
she added silently, as she hopped off of the table and scampered to the door, slipping out silently. She wasn’t paying attention, and so she didn’t notice the charmeleon’s smirk as he cracked his eyes open to watch her leave, before closing them again and going back to sleep.

~*~


“If he calls me Mama Cass one more time, I’m going to use him as a feather duster and clean this whole manor. … it could use it.” She scowled when a chuckle met her ears. “I’m not kidding.”

“Yes you are, and we both know it. You may not like the name he gives you, but you’re incredibly fond of Mr. Postman and wouldn’t pluck a feather from him, much less turn him into a cleaning instrument.”
He smiled softly. “It is a good threat, though, if that’s what you’re going for.”

“Thank you.”
There was silence for a long time, during which the two concentrated on the mental chess board in their linked minds, moving their players back and forth. “You’re worried.”

“Of course I’m worried; you’ve seen what they’re up against.”

“You should have more faith in her; in them.”

“No amount of faith, however great, could keep me from worrying about her. She is my sister.”

“And he is your brother.”
She merely smiled when he looked at her. “He would wound himself a thousand times before allowing harm to come to her, you know?”

“Yes, I know. It both worries and gratifies me. I am grateful to know that she has others willing to watch out for her, but I do not wish for them to be hurt any more than she.”

“In your hopes for her to remain protected, don’t lose sight of the strength she has. She is not as weak as you have thought her – not in the past nor once you finally came to accept that things are as they are.”

“Her powers are the cause of most of this.”

“Do not be cruel,”
Cassandra chided him sharply, causing Brone to look down in shame. “Tuesday has done nothing to deserve the harsh attentions of these people. It is by their choice that they hunt her, just as it will be their choice to hunt you, eventually.”

Brone opened his mouth in surprise, but said nothing. He shut it again and went back to concentrating on the chess board in their linked minds. There was silence for a long time.

“You do not question this?”

“When are you ever wrong?”

“Hmph. Don’t become too reliant upon my gifts, else they will falter when you most are. But I have seen this – they will come for you, whether or not you choose to take your sister’s advice.”

“And you have an opinion on that, too, I’m sure.”

“She is wise and I agree with her.”

“Yeah, and now all I have to do is convince Mom and Dad.”


Cassandra chuckled in merriment. “No, I don’t think you need worry there. It is Tuesday’s intention to speak to your parents. She merely waits to know your opinion, and intention. She is, of course, better with a pen and word than either you or I.”

“Will she convince them?”

“As before, I say again, Brone. Have faith.”


~*~


Ashleigh lay on the end of the bed, heavy forepaws hanging over the edge. His tongue lolled out of his mouth as his tail whipped wildly behind him, making a thud-thud-thud sound every time it smacked against a pillow. His muscles were tense, quivering with his readiness to leap to his feet at the earliest sign of their leaving the room. He kept getting false alarms and nearly jumping to attention, only to realize that the pup wasn’t ready yet and lying back down, panting with the exertion of staying still.

He wanted to go!

“Hang on, Ashleigh, I’m not ready yet,” Tuesday mumbled, her voice muffled as she pulled a sleeveless black shirt over her head.

“You know, this would go a whole lot faster if you would move and let me sit there," Tuesday said matter-of-factly, from where she sat on the floor, pulling on her sneakers.

In response, Ashleigh rolled over onto his back and drooled, grinning up at her. Tuesday, tying her pants off, raising an eyebrow at him. “Do you want a belly rub?”

“Yuuuuuuuuusssssss,” Ashleigh drooled, as Tuesday scratched his underside. His eyes rolled in ecstasy, his tail curling. When she stopped, he abruptly rolled over and leapt off of the bed, racing around the room twice before jumping back onto the bed and lying down, tail whipping.

Tuesday stared at him for a long time, her hands clutched to her chest, her eyes wide. “Remind me never to give you a belly rub inside again.”

“Belly ruuuuuuuuuub,” Ashleigh moaned, flopping onto his side and watching Tuesday pull her hair up into a tight ponytail. She moved on auto-pilot, her mind on the dream she'd had the night before. She had woken up in the dream, lying in a grassy field of sunshine, and Zorro had been waiting for her, wearing his pirate hat and dancing in the sunlight. She'd gotten up and danced with him. It had been a good dream.

“Okay,” Tuesday said, opening the door, “time to go for our run.”

The door wasn’t even open all of the way before Ashleigh was out of it, racing down the hall at top speed. Tuesday chased after him, hoping he didn’t decide to just plow through a closed door instead of waiting for her to catch up and open it.

Either Uncle DeBrody was already up, or Cassandra had foreseen this incident, because all of the doors were open. Tuesday raced through each and out of the house in time to hear a sharp cry of “Pharos!” and see Ashleigh race swiftly past the ampharos standing by the fence.

“Sorry, Lex!” Tuesday called, as she chased after Ashleigh, the flocks of mareep scattering at their intrusion in the field. The houndoom’s legs carried him faster and farther than she could travel by half, and soon she was breathing heavily and had slowed to a walk, as she made her way up the hill the rest of the way.

When she made it, the sun warm on her skin and Ashleigh grinning and panting beside her, tail whipping, she looked around and blinked. She had woken up a little late today, but where was Jaima?


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Master Houndoom
post Feb 3 2010, 05:04 PM
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For the briefest of split seconds in his mind, Tuesday was dead.

Mercury watched, the speed of her own synapses slowing the moment and thought down, bit by bit, image by image: a bloody, small hand sticking up limply from a bush, the wild, laughing fat man who didn't match the boy Jaima actually knew, the crying pikachu mourning her fallen friend. With the images of the memory came the feelings associated with it. She let herself feel what her trainer felt: sick shock, despair, disbelief, and anger. Building to rage before the image went away.

For a split second, she was dead, and new images and feelings flooded into her heightened perception. Grief. Despair again. Shame, so deep, so harsh that his heart had stopped because he'd wanted it to. Her wrinkled, pale crest, Shadow's look of suffering, Jaima's own shaking hands...

It did not overwhelm her. And, realizing that she had braced herself for nothing, Mercury chased the images and memories away like swatting away flies.

It had beena dream, anyway, a bad one, but just a dream.

She marvelled at the sudden strength in her mind. Touching the few she'd befriended had surely strengthened her, yes, but more importantly, she began to believe, was meeting Cassandra's network. Meeting them, touching their minds, she began to feel surges of strength, minor in some, great in others. All of them had mentioned Serenity at some point, and truly Mercury felt like she was learning and remembering her mother better. She hadn't told Trainer Jaima, nor had she told Cassandra. She felt Cassandra knew as much.

But even Cassandra couldn't suspect that she had felt the largest connection to her mother aftwr she'd made her own contacts.

she's dead, she's dead, she's dead...

Mercury blinked. Hadn't she just banished those memories? Looking again, she saw the same ones playing, only now there were more. Meiko lying in a room, sprawled on a bed, glassy eyed. A green haired girl and a blue haired girl that, for a moment, she thought might be the mindscape versions of her and that poor trapped kirlia, but turned out to be familiar to her Trainer, broken and bleeding. Darryn hanging from a tree as if lynched. Brone lying pale and unmoving on the floor.

None of it beyond the first two, with Tuesday and Mercury, had any basis in fact or dream. Even when Meiko and his sisters (for that is who his memories told Mercury the green and blue haired girls were; his sisters) featured in nightmares, they took the place of principal members of previous nightmares. These images were new. Harsh.

False.

She envisioned a shield around Trainer Jaima, and a weaker one around Trainer Meiko (if they'd just sleep in the same bed like they wanted to, she'd be able to protect them both). Alerting Cassandra and Lady to watch Brone and Darryn, she cast out, getting the hint of a malicious presence, but nothing solid.

* * * * *

Rage.

It had been going so well. The boy was wallowing in despair, the girl in fear, the one with powers in shame... More time, and he'd have completely isolated the aura user, and incapacitated her with rage.

But the aura user kept leaping in and out of his control, and the last time he could sense her, she was Not Thinking. As opposed to having no thoughts, Not Thinking was a state of not allowing thought to grip your mind. He noticed it most in those who were involved in physical activities of all kinds.

Instead, he attacked the girl, and the boy, and the Talent. He left the Psychic alone. He was too well trained, and besides, attracting the attention of the kadabra was akin to suicide.

How was the expletive deleted kirlia throwing him off?!

Squit paced. He should call Perdita in. He should report back.

No.

Screw Perdita.

This kirlia was really rubbing him the wrong way. And besides, he had to prove, once and for all, that just because he was a gardevoir didn't mean he was useless.

* * * * *

He twitched, and she reached down, stroking his hair. She'd woken early. One moment, she was pushed up against a wall, unwilling to move, and the next the image exploded and she was...

Safe.

It was an odd, yet wonderful feeling, to feel safe after feeling unsafe (and ashamed for feeling unsafe) for a while.

He twitched again, but this time his eyes opened, and her fingers were in his hair. He rolled, and she let her fingers release his hair naturally, and then they were looking at each other for the first time since they arrived.

She blushed and looked away. She had been ready! Talking to Darryn had helped, and she was ready to tell Jaima the truth, but Meiko now couldn't go through with it.

Jaima sighed, sadly, and she had to look back or he'd get the wrong idea.

"I'm..." She winced. He was going to say he was sorry. He was going to take the blame himself.

"confused."

Blink.

"I don't know what I did. I don't..." he hesitated, then soldiered on. "I don't know that I did anything. But if I did, I don't know what it is."

"You didn't," Meiko whispered, looking down at his chest.

Jaima didn't look at her expectantly. He didn't sigh, or get angry, or even press for an answer. He just closed his eyes and muttered, "then why are we acting like it's too hard to look at each other."

That, she thought, was worse than any yelling.

"Jaima--"

"Meiko," he interrupted, and for a split second she was afraid, deeply afraid, that he'd call an end to their relationship. Only later would she find a sparkle of hope, realize that she wanted their relationship to continue. "Meiko, I... I like you. A lot. I mean... I think you like me, too, a lot. Right? So... whatever it is... you can tell me anything." He was stumbling over his words, and he knew it, but he pressed on anyway, trusting her to understand somehow.

And she did.

"Jaima," she said, putting a hand on his chest to stop him from talking. He paused, and she swallowed. "I need time. And... I need to slow down. OK?" She thought she saw his eyes fall, and if he'd been sitting up, she knew his shoulders would sag. "I do, I like you, a lot. I just have to deal with something... I have to tell you some things, and I have to deal with... with telling you that."

Jaima nodded, swallowing, and looked at the window. His voice was even when he asked, "How's Tuesday?"

"I don't know. She ran out the door with Ashleigh. I think she's going to train."

There was a pause, then Jaima sat up, the cover falling from his chest. "Aw crap! Training!" He pulled the cover up as Meiko stood, then slammed it back down, red as a radish.

"Um... M-mei-chan?"

"What is it..?"

"... Can you step outside for a bit?"

"Jaima, what's wrong?" By now, she was alarmed. He was acting strangely nervous, like he was hurt, or about to be sick."

Jaima sighed, squeezing his eyes shut. "My pajama bottoms were dirty..."

"So- Oh... OH!" Meiko turned, flushing herself. His bare chest didn't exactly help matters. "Um... yes. I'll j-just..."

As she left out the door, mechanically, there was Rockclaw, staring at the door, eyes half lidded, his claws clacking. Meiko's own eyes narrowed.

"Shut up," she snarled, turning on her heel and walking to the kitchen.


--------------------
[align=center]Uprising Mod

||
Jaima Kuonji and Meiko Omura||Branwys Muphenz
[spoiler=Jaima's Gym Badges][/spoiler]
PANE


||
Jay Lange||Olivia Prewitt
Uprising


As of January 29, 2010, at approximately 7:50am CST, 2gamers helped me complete my pokedex!

:houndoom: I claim Houndoom! :houndoom: [/align]
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