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Old 03-05-2005, 08:42 PM   #46
AntiAsh Superstar
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Gabi - Excellent story so far, I can't wait to see what happens next. Caledor took having to return to the lab pretty well, I gotta say. 12 stamps.
Kerel - Weird as ever but bloody funny. Have 4 stamps for your impromptu charity fund.

Amy, Kyle, I'll try reading your battles as soon as I can.
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Old 03-05-2005, 09:00 PM   #47
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It's Caledor. That's as low as he gets. Or at least as low as he can possibly get with Kiara by his side. She acts as a failsafe for his cheering-up powers.

As I read your story stamps just kept adding up, and when I finally counted them they were 35! Congratulations, Ade! That's a new record for a story with a single battle.
˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘

By the way, among all pokemon, Eevees are the most commonly used in experiments. Probably because their naturally unstable genes.

Amy, I haven't managed to read your battle yet, but I'm looking at the paper where it's printed and I'm going to read it as soon as I can, whether or not Ade rates it first.
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Old 03-06-2005, 01:51 PM   #48
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I'd like a Random Battle from the Universal Adoption Center for Previsiona, my level 9 female Castform. *pays 7 stamps*
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Old 03-06-2005, 03:15 PM   #49
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Alright, Previsiona will battle a Gastly.
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Old 03-07-2005, 03:08 PM   #50
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Sorry for the delay, Amy, you can have 12 stamps. I've already made some comments to you on AIM. Other than that... you missed a few quotation marks, and some more punctuation marks would have helped, but it was a good story. What did the Rattata mean by 'turn'? Was the battle a game for him or something? Oh, and congratulations to Tiny and Colby on their evolution! ˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘

Ade, Ive just realized... we never did talk to you about the rating system, did we? Maybe we should have a small conversation to discuss it.
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Old 03-11-2005, 09:24 PM   #51
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***Blue***

“Hrrrgh!” I grunted. I lifted the large box onto the cot and sighed. It had been hard moving everything into the Barracks. The people over in Sector Alpha had said that they would get to work finding a place for me, but since they were a little more worried about the Blades and the lab at the moment, they set me up in the barracks temporarily. I had already packed my stuff from Happy-Happy Village when I moved out, but I had been keeping it in a storage place in Caledor. Let me tell you, I could not wait to be able to move into a house and finally be able to unpack everything for real. I swung my backpack off of my back and set it on the bed as well. Suddenly, behind me, the door burst open. I turned to face whoever it was.

“Blue!” It was Anzu. “I got everyone else,” she called, and from behind her, a line of Pokemon entered the room. First Mercandos walked in, looking slightly sullen, followed by the pounding footsteps of Bobbery. Kiva walked in after him with a vaguely sad look on her face. I looked out the door, and saw Trezzatura and Cambiamente arguing with each other. 99 was right behind them, listening eagerly. From what I heard, it had something to do with a Wartortle and some pink stuff, but I had learned not to question them. Previsiona was trying, unsuccessfully, to moderate. I waved to them. Previsiona was the only one to notice me, and she gave sort of a tired nod in return.

“Anzu,” I began, turning toward the Eevee, “what happened to Maza, Groviglio, and Mona?”

“They decided to stay at the big meeting area in Sector Alpha. Maza said that if you needed them, he could come back here in a flash. Then Groviglio started something about Maza being too weak, and Maza countered with a crack about Groviglio’s big feet… and it went downhill from there.” Anzu turned toward the door. “Do you want me to get them?”

“No, that’s okay,” I replied. “Thanks, though.” Anzu ran to the other side of the small room and began to talk to Kiva. Kiva immediately brightened up and soon the two were locked in conversation. “Hey, Bobbery?” Bobbery stood up and walked toward me.

“Yeah, Blue? What’s up?”

“I still have a few boxes outside. Could you help me with one or two of them?” Bobbery nodded and quickly hurried outside. I heard a loud thunk almost immediately, followed by Bobbery shouting rather loudly at Cambiamente for standing right in the doorway.

I focused my attention on the box in front of me and opened the top. Immediately, I was filled with nostalgia and longing – the first thing in the box was an old photograph. I pulled it out and gazed at it. It was a photo of me, my mom, and my dad, all standing in front of our house in Happy-Happy Village. I could see many features in my parents that later developed in myself – the shaggy, unruly dark brown hair on my dad, the need for thick glasses from my mom. Even though it was an old photo and I was several years younger then, I was already beginning to wear the boots that would later become standard fare for me. They were silver and metallic, reaching up to the knee, and they had small, retractable wheels set into the bottom. The boots had been a gift from my parents when I was really little, maybe only six or seven years old, but only when I got to be around 10 was I really able to wear them. I focused my attention back to my parents and looked at the determination in my father’s eyes. Likewise, there was a strong passion in my mom’s eyes. I could only hope that I had received the same traits from them.

“Jeff Azure?” I snapped my head up. Kiva and Anzu had climbed onto the bunk and were rooting through the box as well. They were holding an old identification card. “Blue, you’ve got somebody else’s ID card!” Kiva started. “He does look a fair bit like you, though…”

I laughed. “Kiva, that is me. My name is really Jeff Azure.”

“So… Blue’s just a nickname?”

“That’s right.”

“But I thought you mentioned at some point or another that your parents named you Blue.”

“That’s not entirely false. My parents were the first ones to use that nickname. It just kinda stuck.”

“Oh,” Kiva said. She and Anzu started tearing back through the box. “So what else do you have in here?”

“That’s pretty much all childhood stuff. I’ve got some old books in there, maybe a few stuffed animals. All of my more recent stuff is in the boxes that Bobbery is helping me move in,” I replied, leaning over the box as well. I stuck my hand in and pulled out a small, torn-up stuffed bear. “According to my parents,” I began, “I used to be inseparable from this guy. I wouldn’t go anywhere without him.”

“OUCH! Why you little…” The enraged cries of Bobbery flew into the Barracks. I groaned and turned toward the Eevees.

“Look, I need to go check on Bobbery, okay? Be careful with the things in that box.” I turned toward the door and dashed out.

* * *

What I saw when I got outside was not good by any means. Bobbery was hopping around on one foot, holding the other one in his hands, howling. A Snorlax jumping around has been known to register on the Richter scale, even if it doesn’t know Earthquake – but Bobbery did, making matters even worse. I took a quick moment to scuttle over to Previsiona.

“What happened?” I asked.

“Well, Bobbery tripped over Cam,” she started.

“Right, I heard that.”

“Then Bobbery picked up one of the boxes. Cam moved out of his original position, only to move right in Bobbery’s path. Bobbery stumbled over him again and dropped the box.”

“Right on his foot, I’d imagine.”

“You got it.”

I made my way over to Bobbery and stood in front of him. He noticed me and calmed down a little bit, still wincing. I reached into my pocket and pulled out a small vial. “Hey, Bobbery, this might sting, but it’ll help. I promise.” Bobbery nodded and I poured the contents of the vial onto his foot. He grimaced for a second, and then a look of relief came over his face.

“Oh… that feels so much better… Thanks, Blue.”

***????***

Oh, kid, you think you’re safe. You think you’re living the good life, don’t you? Running around, fighting evil, healing Pokemon…

I will destroy your comfortable little world. Know that terror and destruction will come your way. You can count on it. And then… once you are gone…

…Then my plans can really begin.

Once you are gone…

***Blue***

Bobbery picked up the box again. I grabbed the second box and together we walked back inside. Previsiona, 99, Trezzatura, and Cambiamente came in close behind us (but not too close, as Bobbery was quick to remind Cam). I set the box on the floor and Bobbery followed suit. Kiva and Anzu had dug nearly everything out of the box and were staring at another old photo.

“Is that you, Blue?” Anzu asked, not lifting her head from the picture. I moved over towards them and glanced at the picture. It was a very old picture; I can’t have been older than four when it was taken. In it, I was sitting in front of a fireplace and a small Meowth was curled up next to me, smiling. I felt my eyes well up with tears.

“Whose Meowth is that?” Kiva asked, oblivious. “Was it yours, Blue?” A beat passed, and when she didn’t hear a response, she lifted her head to look at me. Her expression softened when she noticed the tears in my eyes. I sat down heavily net to her on the bed.

“That Meowth, Jake, was the first Pokemon I ever knew. He was my best, and only, friend. None of the other kids in the village liked me… I never was very fast or athletic as a kid, even when I was that young. No one else would play with me…” I paused and a single drop of water rolled down my cheek. “Then my parents brought a frail-looking, sickly Meowth home. They said he was on the verge of death, but we cared for him, and after some months, he became as healthy as any Meowth. From then on, I never left him. He and I would play together all the time. I loved him so much…” My voice cracked and the tears were freely running down my face.

“What happened to him?” Anzu asked, quietly.

I paused for a second to try to regain my composure. “One day my dad accidentally left the door open while he was getting the mail. Jake must have gotten outside… My parents always told me that he would come back on his own. But he never did. He probably wandered into the Lilliput Caves, where a mole or a bear got him.” I sniffled. “But even if he survived that, he can’t have survived Reaper…” I lowered my head and fell silent. Everyone else fell silent as well.

Then a glint of metal caught my eye. I started to turn my head, but I was interrupted by a very loud bang. I put my hand up to my shoulder and felt wet. The world in front of me lurched and turned to darkness…

***Mercandos***


Kiva and Anzu immediately jumped to Blue. I turned toward the window and saw a red-clothed arm with a gun rapidly withdrawing. I went to grab it, but it moved too fast. I could hear loud footsteps running around to the other side of the building, to the door. Kiva turned from Blue and jumped to his backpack.

“He most have something in here to help,” she said. “Anzu, help!” Anzu ran over to the backpack as well and they both began to rifle through the main pocket. I went over and began searching through a slightly smaller pocket. I was immediately rewarded by finding several small cubes. I pulled out two or three of them and looked closely at the type written on them.

“Trick…” I muttered. I pulled it open and a cloud of purple dust wrapped itself around me. I felt a dull surge travel through my body… and just as suddenly as it had appeared, the dust went away. I tossed another of the cubes to Bobbery. He opened it, and another cloud of dust emerged, this time brown. Just as it had done with me, the dust evaporated after a second or two.

“I found something!” Anzu hissed. Kiva reached in beside her, and started feeling around.

“What is it?” Kiva replied.

“I don’t know; it feels like a big rock…” Anzu was abruptly cut off as she and Kiva both began to glow simultaneously. The glows became increasingly brighter, and soon they completely enveloped both Eevees. The glows subsided, and in the place of Kiva and Anzu stood a Vaporeon and a Flareon.

“Kiva,” I started, “You’re the Vaporeon, right?” She nodded. I tossed the third cube at her. “Then use this!” The cube fell open at her feet and enveloped her in a dark blue dust, which quickly disappeared.

Bobbery stepped forward. “Now we’re ready for whatever that guy has!” he said grimly. The door burst open, and the man in red stood leering in the doorway. A Gastly floated next to him.

“Finally! I have taken him out!” the man hissed. “After such suffering… I’ve finally accomplished what I was meant to do…” Bobbery stepped closer to him.

“Wait… man in red… a Gastly…” he stopped to think. “You’re that Crimson Blade member Blue stomped a while back!”

“Yes, I am,” the Blade responded. “And your trainer got me fired from the organization! Mr. DiAnnio does not tolerate failure in his organization, but he refrained from murdering me because I had done everything he had told me to previously perfectly. But nevertheless, he fired me… from a job that I could have been living comfortably in! I made a pact right then that I would defeat this… ‘Blue’ character and then take revenge on Armand DiAnnio!”

I stepped up to the Blade, beside Previsiona and Bobbery. “I won’t let that happen!” I cried. “Let’s see what this does… TRICK!” I held my hands out and a purple aura surrounded them. The gun in the Blade’s hand lifted slowly out of his hand and to his amazement (not to mention mine), it flew over to me! I laughed. “It looks as if the tables are turned, you scum!”

“Have they? Have they really?” the Blade replied. I looked at him.

“What are you talking about…” I stopped as I realized what he meant. In his hands, he was holding a wildly struggling Previsiona.

“You idiot!” the Blade scoffed. “You don’t know what Trick does? It swaps items between the foes. Since Previsiona was near enough to you, she got swapped to ME!” He laughed.

“You won’t get away with this…” Bobbery murmured. He raised his arms. “Rock Tomb!” he yelled. The Blade began to look panicked, and he started running. The ground shook, and a series of large stones burst from the ground in a line, almost as if they were chasing him. Kiva dashed up to the doorway.

“I’ll nail him,” she growled. Kiva opened her mouth, and a powerful burst of water shot forth. Just as it was about to hit the Blade, he disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

***Previsiona***

The man holding me threw me onto the ground. “You worthless piece of trash,” he scowled. “I go in to assassinate your trainer, and what do I get out of it? A worthless, little Castform.”

I looked around me. The man had gotten his Gastly to Teleport to a large grassy area surrounded by tall, leafy trees on every side. It would have been idyllic if not for the sheer, heart-pounding terror.

“If Castforms weren’t so rare, I’d have Gastly kill you right now,” the Blade continued. “But I think I can get some decent money by selling you to a breeding center somewhere on the black market.” He paused. “But before I can do anything with you, I need… to make you mine.” He pulled out a Pokeball.

“How do you plan to do that?” I hissed. “I already have a trainer.”

“Oh, I’m afraid you don’t understand. You poor, stupid creature.” The Blade held up the Pokeball. “This is a special type of Pokeball – a Snag Ball! It has the power to capture other trainers’ Pokemon!” Before I could do anything, he lobbed the ball at me…

It sucked me in. I couldn’t see anything or feel anything; all I knew was that I wanted out…

And just like that, I found myself in the open air again. The Blade cursed. “I guess I have to weaken you first…” he growled. “Gastly! Now!” The Gastly swooped in front of his trainer and leered at me.

***Previsiona (lv. 9 Castform) versus the Crimson Blade Gastly (lv. 9)!***

I scowled right back at the Gastly. The Blade yelled out, “Gastly! Try a Will ’o’ Wisp!” The Gastly nodded and turned to me again. It closed its eyes and erupted into blue flames. The flames shot at me, but I just flew over them – having that trainer shout the attacks gave me a bit of an advantage. Apparently, the Blade realized that as well, as he just said, “Gastly, you know what to do!” Again, the Gastly nodded, and this time it crackled with ice crystals. It shot an Ice Beam my way, and this time, I was too shocked to do anything about it. The ice hit me square in the face, but luckily, it didn’t freeze me.

I decided to take the offensive. I focused and sent an orb of mystical energy into the sky. The Blade and the Gastly followed it with their eyes as it disappeared out of vision for a second, then it came plummeting back down to earth. It landed right on the Gastly… and passed through him. The Blade chuckled.

“You must be an even more idiotic Pokemon than I thought! Weather Ball is Normal when the weather is also normal!” He laughed some more. I frowned. All I had were Normal type attacks. Beating Gastly was going to be harder than I expected…

***Mercandos***

“You’re sure this will work?” 99 asked.

“I’m reasonably certain,” I responded. “Previsiona will have a hard time against a Gastly, so this should aid her. Is everyone ready?” 99, Kiva, and Anzu nodded. “Then let’s go!”

Anzu and 99 both began to crackle with electrical energy. Just a few seconds had passed before they shot the Hidden Power and the Thunderbolt into the air, leaving a stream of electricity. Kiva quickly shot a burst of water into the air as well; the electricity and the water met and carried each other into the atmosphere.

“I hope this works…” muttered Kiva.

***Previsiona***

The Gastly laughed at me. I continued to frown. It dove at me with its fangs glistening in the sunlight, but I quickly made a jump over its head. It turned around and launched itself at me again, and this time I didn’t react quickly enough. It sank its fangs deep into my skin and suddenly, I began to feel drained. The Gastly was leeching my energy by the second. After what seemed like an eternity, it let go. I nursed over the teeth marks.

“Do you give up yet?” mocked the Blade. “You can’t possibly beat my Gastly! It will heal itself as it damages you!” He stopped short and cocked his head upward. “Why did it get so dark all of a sudden?”

I looked up as well. He was right – massive storm clouds had rolled in and there was thunder rumbling. The Blade looked at the sky for a little more, then looked at me. His face went white, as if he had just realized something. “Oh no…” he said under his breath as the first few drops began to fall.

I smirked back at him and felt the change overtake me. When it ended, I could feel the elemental power of water coursing through my body. “This ends now, scum!” I yelled. I sent another ball of energy into the sky. It came down and landed on Gastly again, but this time, it exploded into a strong splash of water.

“Do you think you’ve got us?” the Blade asked. I stopped grinning and paused, but soon enough what he meant became clear. The water had not even affected Gastly, but was gathering at his front. Suddenly, it turned into electricity and flew at me. It struck. Hard. The electricity ran through my veins, causing more pain than I would have though possible. “My Gastly is equipped with a Double Shield. Any water attack you use will be returned as electricity! It’s like an instant Mirror Coat! Now, Gastly!” The Gastly flew at me again, sinking his teeth into my head. I felt the draining sensation again…

Then I heard the Blade swear. I felt a few ice crystals drop from the sky and the change overtook me again. The cold sensation of ice felt refreshing after what I had been through. I looked at the Gastly, and it was sinking to the ground, in obvious pain. “Now’s no time to get brain freeze, you stupid creature!” the Blade yelled. Then he fell silent and stared into the sky. I had sent another orb of energy into the sky, and it was returning to earth in the form of a giant ice ball. It landed with a loud crash, completely knocking out the Gastly.

Previsiona wins! She grows to level 10.
Previsiona masters the move Water Gun!
Previsiona masters the move Ember!
Previsiona masters the move Powder Snow!


I shot another Weather Ball at the Blade and he panicked. He dashed off into the distance after making a hasty recall of Gastly. He dropped a small cube, and I hovered over to it. It burst, filling the air with pink dust, which disappeared quickly. I coughed.

Previsiona masters the move Future Sight!

I turned around and went through the trees surrounding the area. To my surprise, I found myself right near the Barracks.

***Blue***

I awoke. The faces of my Pokemon surrounded me and a nurse was fixing my pillow. She chuckled. “You know, we ought to just keep a room reserved for you, you’re in here so often.” I gave a half-hearted chuckle and then did a double take. Instead of the two Eevees I was accustomed to seeing, a Vaporeon and a Flareon stood there instead. My mind immediately jumped to the answer – they had found the stones. I started to ask, but the nurse shushed me. “You can talk all you want in the morning. Right now, you need rest. You had quite a bullet wound.” I turned my head, and saw that my shoulder was again bandaged up. I looked at my friends again, and somehow, I knew that they had taken care of the problem.
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Old 03-13-2005, 10:13 AM   #52
AntiAsh Superstar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Vulpix

Ade, Ive just realized... we never did talk to you about the rating system, did we? Maybe we should have a small conversation to discuss it.

Actually, no you didn't. If there's any guidelines I should have been following maybe you can PM them to me or something to begin with and we can talk it through properly to clarify things if I have any queries. Sound good? (oh, and whilst I'm thinking about stuff that still needs to be sorted out since my recent appointment I need a link to the RBG randomiser)

Anyone still awaiting their battle to be rated, sorry about the delay, will get it all sorted over the next day or two. Sadly a power cut and a horrendously things-to-do-filled weekend kinda screwed up my reading plans. :O

EDIT: Just finished with Kyle's battle. Take ten stamps! I'm a little confused as to where your story fits in with the scenario continuity tho, especially seeing as the chaos of last scenario was kinda triggered by... uh... the kidnapping of Giovanni. Still, nice story overall.
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Old 03-13-2005, 07:58 PM   #53
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Sorry about the double post. Now I have all this out of the way I can spend more time reading everyone else's. ^^;;; Part two of my story for this scenario follows.
-----
FIGHT!!! L23 Alakazam v L25 Aipom!

Sindel really wasn't sure how it happened. One moment she and her friends had been busy readying themselves for a potential battle in one of the larger market squares of Sector Alpha, being drilled with surprising efficiency by a handful of trainers including her own. The next there had been a loud cry of 'They're coming!' and the entire place had erupted into chaos. Things had moved too quickly even for her enhanced brain to keep up with after that. She recalled something about a muscular redhead who moved faster than Amy's Sugar after a bowlful of the sweet substance she was named after, of course, but after that? Well, the redhead had opened up a pokéball. And here she was, facing off against an Aipom that looked so smug that it made Sindel almost miss Milliardo's mean-spirited taunts.
"So," Sindel's opponent smirked. "Are you going to actually attack me? Or do you just gawp your opponents to death?"
"You want to be attacked that badly? Fine!" the Alakazam huffed, having never been the sort who responded well to taunts. Her eyes began to glow with a strange light. "I won't go easy on anyone who sides with that awful Armand DiAnnio!" Angrily she pointed both of the spoons she carried around as stress relief in the direction of her opponent. And fired a large beam of pure white energy at the Aipom, knocking it backwards with enough force to send it flying through the air.
"YEOWCH!" The Aipom yelled, suddenly feeling a lot more contrite now that it had experienced the Psybeam of an angry Alakazam. "That... hurt."
"You're not seen anything yet!" When it came to storing up tension Sindel was a master, and now that she had found a place to vent she wasn't going to stop after one measly strike! Again the eyes glowed. And again a beam of energy flew out from her spoons in the direction of her opponent. This time, however, the attack didn't have quite as much success. For some reason the Crimson Blades Aipom didn't seem too thrilled with the prospect of being hit by another Psybeam and hence did everything in its power to evade it. In the end the psychic energy only succeeded in striking the puny pokémon in the tail which, since Psychic attacks were designed to be used on the mind, hardly even made it wince.
"You think I'm letting you hit me again? You're mad!" The weird creature concentrated hard and as it did so its body seemed to split into three. "I'll destroy you just as my master wants!"
"Why follow such a twisted man as a Crimson Blades follower?" Sindel spat angrily, replying to her foe's Double Team in kind, her psychic powers blurring her image so that it was almost impossible to tell exactly where she was.
"Same reason any pokémon follows a master. He looks after me. The Blades aren't like Team Rocket. They know how to treat a pokémon. Sure, the training's really hard but it's well worth it. After all, they know they wouldn't be where they are without pokémon to help them."
"Without Reaper to help them, you mean."
"Eh, that line might hit a nerve with some of Mr. DiAnnio's other pokémon but it don't matter to me one jot. I don't have to deal with either of them, after all. Anyway, time I finished you off!" With a cry of sheer rage the Aipom raced towards Sindel, paws outstretched and ready to deliver some serious damage. It was a shame, then, that the Alakazam wasn't having any of it.
"Like I'll let that happen!" Sindel bellowed, sending yet another bolt of psychic energy crashing into her opponent. The Aipom flew backwards, landing hard in the dirt coughing and spluttering as it did so.
"Why... you..." it muttered,trying to get up but swiftly finding itself pinned by Sindel's foot.
"Not another word!" she snapped. "You try anything and the next Psybeam I do will be intended to do serious damage. I've a few questions I want to ask. Who is your master? What are the Crimson Blades trying to pull here? Where is their base? Do you know of any weaknesses Reaper has?"
"Y... you got a lot of questions, lady. My master's part of the new Crimson Blades elite unit. He's one of the best soldiers the world's ever seen. Dr. Douyoko made sure of that. I don't know why we're doing this, just to make a point I guess. Reaper... heh, Armand's her only weakness as far as I know. Get one of them and you've got the other. And as for the base, why should I tell you that?"
"Because I know I'm an Alakazam and am probably not hurting you very much when I stomp on you but I know an Onix who'd be only too happy to help me crush you?" Sindel glowered at the Aipom with the sort of furious look that only she could muster, the one that usually made all her teammates back slowly out of the room. Except for Milliardo, of course. For some reason Sindel's infuriated moods only seemed to make him more determined to get in the way. Fortunately very few pokémon, if any, were anywhere near as proud of being a pain in the butt as Milliardo was. And also, rather fortunately, this Aipom didn't know Brandy, either. Otherwise it would have seen Sindel's bluff for what it was. After all, Brandy was about as likely to come within a mile of a pokémon she could crush under her immense mass as Armand's Reaper was of taking up flower arranging.
"Alright! Alright! What harm can it do, anyway? Our base is in Nagarythe."
"What???"
"Fitting, don't you think?" The Aipom's eyes suddenly glazed over and the voice that came from its mouth was no longer its own. "They do say that the Shadowlands are home to the most unspeakable evil, after all. By all means drop by. We'd enjoy it."
"What the...?" Sadly that was as much as Sindel managed to get from the Aipom for at that moments its eyelids closed in a dead faint. Sure, she had won the battle. But was it a victory well earned? Or just a portent of evils to come?

Sindel wins!
Sindel grew to L25!

It had all happened way too fast for my liking. One minute I had been waving off the party that had been sent over to investigate the secret laboratory, giving Soo, who had elected to join the party in the hopes of finding out more about Kaguya and Yuki, a warm goodbye kiss and wiping a tear from my eye as the pokémon sent to teleport the party away performed their duties. The next a huge swarm of dark red had descended upon Sector Alpha, wave after wave of bloodthirsty soldiers led by creatures that should have been human but weren't. Creatures that seemed like normal men, but moved too fast. Reacted too quickly. Packed too strong a punch. And seemed to be possessed of unearthly powers that most Psychic type pokémon would have killed for. In short, it was far, far worse than any of us could have ever have hoped to imagine. And what made matters worse was...
"Get down!" I found my head being shoved towards the ground by a black-gloved hand for what felt like the millionth time. Somehow or other I had found myself fighting alongside Lord Absol, a man whom I had grown to detest with every fibre of my being over time. And although I couldn't fault his actions as a soldier – every shot seemed to count, every action was well thought out – part of me wished he could have been a little more... pleasant about things. Then again, I had thought that from the first moment I set eyes upon him. Here was yet another who didn't really seem to care too much about who he trod on in order to get his end results. And I had quite enough of that already between Tsuyoi and the more sinister side of Rhiannon. "Damn!" Gunfire sailed overhead, effectively trapping us behind a low wall. His black gloved hand went for his belt. However, whereas most Tamers would have produced a pokéball at this point Lord Absol instead pulled out a chunky and archaic-looking black handgun covered in strange silver runes. Without so much as looking where he was aiming he poked the weapon over the top of the wall and fired off three shots. Abruptly the enemy fire seemed to cease. "Listen." Lord Absol turned to me pulling out a second gun, this one a standard regulation pistol, from his pocket and thrusting it in my direction. "Take this and get out of here. Our forces are getting scattered. We need to gather them together again and present a united front."
"Makes sense," I commented, taking the weapon without hesitation plus a handful of spare bullets. It sat almost too comfortably in the palm of my hand. "From what I've seen we don't stand too much of a chance against them one on one."
"Exactly. Besides, you're not going to be as much use as you should if you're distracted wondering where the ones you care for are. I'll cover you until you get out of sight."
"Why are you doing this?" I asked suddenly, to which Lord Absol responded by removing the thick sunglasses and looking me directly in the eye. His gaze was disturbing to say the least, not least because his irises were a golden yellow colour.
"I doubt we'd get along in times of peace, Scholar. We're far too different. But it's easy to show solidarity in the face of such adversity. If we don't then we're finished, after all. Now go!" He clapped me smartly on the shoulder and I took the hint instantly, making a sudden break for the closest piece of cover. I could hear more gunfire behind me but I didn't look back. First things first. I had to find my pokémon. Then I had to help my friends as best as I could. Lord Absol could take care of himself.

The Lord of the Dragons Guild watched me go with a certain satisfaction. It was nice to see that the rest of the Guild was finally beginning to get its act together. It was still riddled with spies and creature who shouldn't really have belonged within its halls. But at least all could show a united front when it counted, which was more than could have been said previously.
"Okay. Time to stop playing games." Lord Absol stood up suddenly. "How about we settle this right now?"
"I was beginning to worry you'd never ask." A tall, thin man stepped out from around a nearby corner, his sandy-coloured hair flopping over his face in a long fringe and his eyes possessed of a almost psychotic look to them. Dagger. Armand DiAnnio's personal assassin. And a man only the likes of Lord Absol would ever stand a chance against one on one. "So then. Shall we?"

It hadn't really taken very long to accomplish my goals. Practically every living thing in Sector Alpha seemed to be engaged in some life-or-death struggle against either the Crimson Blades or their pokémon. Fortunately for the most part the Dragon Tamers seemed to actually be slowly winning the battle. Slowly but surely the Crimson Blades seemed to be being turned back.
"Okay, guys.." I huffed from the shelter of an abandoned building, watching as Thunderblast calmly blew yet another terrorist clean off his feet with her psychic powers.
"That'd be five-nil to me," the Raichu grinned. "I hope you're all keeping scores."
"Whatever." I could have lectured Thunderblast on not treating the situation like some sort of game but I knew perfectly well it would just go in one ear and out of the other. The Raichu was going to do as she pleased regardless, there was no point in deluding myself. "Anyway, I reckon if we just keep trying to take pot shots at the Blades as they pass we might stand a chance. We can't win straight on." My mind raced back five minutes to when a shootout with a particularly nasty, scarred individual with a cigar had nearly cost me my life. I shuddered inwardly. There was no way I was going to be so blasé about taking them on again!
"Well that's coz ya didn't have all yer firepower 'til now, did ya?" A familiar voice rang out from a darkened corner of the room.
"Katnip?"
"I told you the world would go to hell without me, didn't I?" The little scouting party, it seemed, had returned. From out of the gloom stepped Katnip, Bolovayr and Rhiannon. Milliardo, it seemed, was playing at hiding in the shadows although this didn't seem to make him any quieter. "Right, Ade, we're here to save the day. Honestly, you guys are all so useless when I'm not around to tell you what to do, aren't you?"
"You've a lot of catching up to do, Milly," Thunderblast sneered. "I'm already five up on everybody else."
"Right! You think I'm letting a annoying little bitch like you beat me at anything?" Almost instantaneously Milliardo raced to the front and commenced tripping as many enemies as he could with his Hidden Power. Leaving me to have a quick word with his sister.
"Rhiannon, how did it..."
"Terribly," came the honest response. "We would have liked more time to assist. If we're being honest then the Tamers there could have probably done with it. Unfortunately we sensed we were needed here more urgently."
"Well nothing's been going on here to suggest that. We actually seem to have this under control!" All of a sudden the skies grew cloudier, a thick blanket of ominous dark cloud that almost blocked out the very sun. My blood ran cold. I had seen this before! "Rhiannon?" I asked, my voice suddenly very small.
"As we said, Ade," the Jolteon snarled, her sights fixed firmly into the air. "We're needed here more urgently."

Back on the other side of Sector Alpha it couldn't be said that Lord Absol was having the easiest time of things against his chosen target. There was no doubt that he was one of the best, most physically able members of the Dragons Guild. But even being in good shape couldn't help him much against Dagger. The Blades assassin was far too quick. Far too strong. And on top of everything else he packed a mean psychic blast that was definitely proving to be the deciding factor in this particular confrontation. Right now he was effortlessly holding the Lord of the Dragons Guild down with a combination of a black booted foot and an unseen power that left Lord Absol stuck to the floor like glue, his narrow mouth twisted into an ugly smile.
"Looks like this is the end of the line for you," Dagger smirked, the barrel of his favoured rifle aimed squarely at his prone captive's forehead. "Such a shame. You were a rather fun opponent, too. I almost feel sorry I have to kill you now."
"Overconfidence has toppled many a greater man that you," Lord Absol snarled, reaching for Dagger's boot and, with a supreme effort, finally managing to throw the man from off his chest. Dagger, however, simply laughed cruelly, backflipping in mid air and landing on his feet with ease. Lord Absol acted quickly. With a roar of pure rage he charged the Crimson Blades assassin, drawing closer and closer until the two men were practically touching. And then Dagger seemed to just disappear. "What..?"
"Too bad. You almost reached me, too." The ominous click of a loaded gun sounded from a point just behind Lord Absol's head and an arm clad in dark red wrapped itself around his throat. Dagger had somehow managed to get behind him. And now he was at his mercy. Not that any member of the Crimson Blades seemed to have any of that. "You Guild lackeys are becoming more and more of a pain in the neck. Maybe if I shot a few of you the rest might get the message."
"I think they already are quite aware of what a cold-blooded murder you are," Lord Absol commented as cooly as he could under the circumstances. "Aberration."
"What did you call me?"
"You heard me. You shouldn't be allowed to exist."
"Tough talk considering the position you're in," Dagger whispered into his captive's ear. "I could kill you at any time, you know."
"Then quit stalling and do so. Death holds no fear for me."
"Well then. If you insist..."

BLAM! BLAM!

The grip around Lord Absol's throat relaxed. Dagger took a step backwards. The holes in Lord Absol's cloak were plain for all to see. And yet...
"You..." The assassin fell backwards into a barely sitting position, his eyes wide from shock. Calmly Lord Absol removed his arcane gun from behind his back. He walked calmly over to Dagger, squatted down next to him and rammed the barrel of the weapon practically into the man's mouth. As if putting two holes in his chest wasn't enough.
"I can't stand you people," Lord Absol snarled, taking his sunglasses back out of his pocket and placing them upon his face once again. "You had all your talent handed to you on a plate. All you had to do was go over to your lab and have your enhancements. But there's a flaw with that process. It's the same reason why Team Rocket's experiments into pokémon genetics never seemed to help them any. All the shortcuts in the world are no substitute for hard-earned skill. Which is why you were never going to be able to defeat me." A slow smile formed on Lord Absol's lips. "Twenty years, friend. That's how long I was forced to spend in training. I did it all. I was subjected to every extreme they could think of. Heat, cold, mental and physical torture, all in the name of building up my resistances, until the normal frailties of the human race were almost erased. I spent days at a time researching, forcing myself awake for periods that would have driven others insane. I exercised until my body could no longer move. I was burnt, cut, poisoned... oh, those twenty years saw me have more near death experiences than any other person on the planet. But at the end of it all I emerged strong. Strong enough to deal with the horrors that my department has to deal with on a daily basis. Strong enough to deal with the likes of you."
"Damn..." Dagger snarled. "Damn you!"
"In judgement of all the wrongs you've committed... to pay for all the lives you and your kind have taken... in the name of the Old Ones I sentence you to death, aberration!"
"Leona I..." Dagger began only to be silenced by the firing of Lord Absol's handgun. This time he lay still, blood pouring from the wound in his head and spilling out onto the pavement.
"May They have mercy upon your soul." Lord Absol stood up, the corpse of his opponent lay at his feet. He raised his pale face to the skies. To have been given such a burden! Nobody knew of the true horrors that threatened to engulf Ulthuan on an almost daily basis. Nobody save his department, an ages old faction that dated back to the days when the first settlers descended upon Ulthuan. Day in, day out, the inner demons of the world had to be pushed back. It was a tiring process. Doubly tiring when those demons somehow were allowed to sneak past Ulthuan's magical defences. As was the case with his current mission. Right now the entire area seemed to have been engulfed in an altercation that should have never been allowed to happen. "Damn it, what am I to do now? Even with Number 27 by my side... what am I to do?" His eyes stared up at the skies in hope of an answer. But the skies were most unforgiving. Not only did they fail to provide what he required, they also provided so many more questions that even Lord Absol was going to have a hard time getting his head around them. For at that very moment they grew dark, ever darker than they had before. The clouds seemed to gather to such a thickness that they blocked the sunlight from reaching the ground, shrouding the land in an unnatural darkness. Lord Absol's eyes narrowed. This was the beginning. He could feel it. But the beginning of what? Not even he knew. All he could do was watch. And wait.

All eyes were upon the skies at this point. It was quite obvious that something was going on. Only on a few occasions had day turned to night in this manner. None of them had turned out to be pleasant experiences. So it was with an air of expectation that everyone was watching. They were braced for the worst. But the worst wasn't even close to what they actually got. No, what happened next was beyond 'the worst'. A dark shadow cast itself over the assembled trainers, a shadow that grew ever smaller until its source was finally distinguishable. A dark blue dragon, practically black in the limited light, with a single ruby gemstone set into her forehead. And upon her back... a medium built man dressed in a crimson suit, dyed blonde hair flopping over his face in a manner that would have been fetching had his expression not been so cruel. By now everybody knew who these were. Armand DiAnnio, the brains and the motivation behind the Crimson Blades, and his beloved pet and soulmate, Reaper. Reaper, the true force that drove the Crimson Blades. Without the Salamence Armand would have been nothing. But he had made his pacts, and although their relationship seemed to be more like that of two lovers than that of summoner and demon the end result was the same. The Blades had access to almost unlimited power. At least as long as their boss and his favoured pet existed.
"You know something?" Armand snarled from his position on top of Reaper, his voice somehow managing to carry across to everyone as if he were speaking through a megaphone, "I've had a really, really lousy day. Sure, you could well argue it was my own fault for underestimating the defences of the last village we wiped from the face of the planet. I mean, you could argue that if it weren't for that little niggling problem that I'd have you shot if you suggested it. But to finally arrive here to see my supposedly elite troops being bested? Well, aside from the fact that I'm really gonna have to have words with my chief scientist before having her executed for making promises she can't deliver, this does piss me off something shocking."
Now, now, Armand dear, a sly, female voice echoed telepathically through the heads of all susceptible to such things. You act as if you're shocked! We all know nothing can best a trainer with a pokémon who truly loves them. Except for...
"Nerve gas?" Armand chuckled. "You're right. I should have expected this. Although we might as well have Leona executed anyway. She's long since outgrown her usefulness."
"Armand DiAnnio!" A lone voice rang out through the streets, its tone carrying almost the same power and resonance as Armand's. All heads turned to see Lord Absol standing in the middle of a deserted street, his hand resting on the butt of his handgun. "You will give yourself up at once and turn your pokémon in to the custody of the Guild!"
"Will I?" Armand guffawed. "News to me, friend. And who are you to make such bold demands anyway?"
"They call me Lord Absol," came the calm reply. "In the name of the holiest order of the Dragon Knights you will do as I say!"
"Hmm... well, let me think about that for a second..." Armand mused. "Okay. Second's up. I say you and your Dragon Knights can go to hell. Reaper, how do you fancy taking a good chunk out of this town?"
In a moment, Armand. These things take time, after all. The Salamence cast her vicious gaze around the ever-gathering crowds. We want to gather as many witnesses as possible, don't we?
"Reaper, sweetheart, I like your thinking," Armand chuckled. "In fact, come to think about it, let's make this more interesting. It's open hunting season on us. You're five minutes to throw whatever you've got in our direction. And you'd better hope you make it count, because if we're still alive at the end of those five minutes you can kiss your precious city goodbye." All eyes watched as all of those with ranged attacks to their name took the bait perfectly, guns and cannons and mouths and any other weapons the assembled humans and pokémon had to hand now pointing directly into the sky.
"No!" Rhiannon cried out suddenly. "They mustn't!"
"Huh?" I turned to look at my Jolteon oddly. "Why not?"
"Because," she explained, "Reaper will just take the energy of their attacks and add it to her own."
"Say what?" I returned my attentions to the darkened skies, where Reaper and Armand were currently under assault from every kind of ranged attack possible. Guns were fired. Flame was spewed. Electricity was sent out in jagged bolts. And still somehow the terrible Salamence and her unhinged master stayed in the air. "Rhi, can't you do something here?"
"Believe us, we'd love to. But even for us taking Reaper head on would be suicide."
"Can't you at least try???"
The Jolteon shook her head. "If you find us callous we're sorry. But what would be the use in undertaking a mission that we have no chance in succeeding in? The most important thing at the minute is to call the others off, because they're playing right into their hands." I opened my mouth to speak. Then Rhiannon's words sunk in. The Jolteon herself had a remarkable talent for absorbing psychic energy. If Reaper could do something like that... and channel that power into her stronger attacks...
"GUYS! QUIT ATTACKING!" No use. Well, at least now I had the option of pulling rank! "That's an order! Hold fire! They wouldn't be giving us the free shot without a damn good reason!" Sure enough my fellow Tamers and Guild members slowly withdrew their assault. If it wasn't already too late.
How boring you are, Rhiannon, Reaper smirked in her booming telepathic voice. Wouldn't it have been far more fun to leave things as a surprise?
Our idea of entertainment is mercifully different to yours, Reaper, Rhiannon shot back in kind.
No matter. The damage has already been done. Right, Armand?
"You got that right, darling," Armand chuckled, scanning the upturned faces of his foes carefully. The scene below him was total pandemonium. Houses were trashed. The streets were littered with rubble and unmoving bodies. Smoke billowed out from many fires that had been ignited throughout the area. To a man as in love with chaos and anarchy as Armand DiAnnio, this was almost perfection. Almost. For he had always believed that if something was worth doing it was worth doing to extremes. A philosophy that applied just as much to his senseless acts of destruction as it did to anything else. "Well, it's been real fun but it's about time we put an end to this. This stupid city must be on the last of its nine lives by now! Reaper, show the world your true power and do what no other before you has managed! I want to see that city razed to the ground!"
What Armand wants, Armand shall get, the Salamence responded in her usual glacial tones. She flew higher, ever higher, until the full expanses of Sector Alpha lay sprawled before her. All of a sudden the ruby set into her forehead began to smoulder with a blood-red power. She reared up and that power began to gather between her front limbs, building steadily until it shone with the brilliant light of a tiny sun. To the people on the ground it appeared as if Reaper herself was glowing. But that wasn't the case. It was simply the missile she was forming, a missile that contained enough power to blow an entire city apart with one shot.

"That's quite enough, DiAnnio!" Salvation, it turned out, came yet again from the man most of us still considered to be at odds with our own goals. The man known as Lord Absol. "If you refuse to cooperate then you leave me no choice!" His hand went to a pure black pokéball hanging from his belt. What was he playing at? Had he not seen how ineffectual pokémon attacks were against Reaper? "Number 27! I require your aid!" The pokéball opened in a flash of light. And...
"Sci Scizor Sci." The creature stood before us now seemed to be in the prime of its health except for two rather odd facts. Firstly, this Scizor – for that was what it was – spoke in tones so lacking in emotion that it might as well have been sedated. And secondly its entire right arm was missing, having been replaced with a bionic monstrosity of chromatic blue plates and cables that probably was hiding at least ten different hidden weapons within its steel plating.
"27, it's time your true powers were put to the test." Lord Absol pointed a finger up in the direction of Armand and Reaper. "Your target is that Salamence and its rider. Do whatever you have to. Kill the human if you must. The most important thing is that you do all you can to take the pokémon alive."
"Sci." The Scizor nodded.
"You know, for a moment there I was about to give you some credit for being a quite entertaining enemy but now you've really gone and blown it, haven't you? Did all that fuss earlier not teach you anything? There's no way in hell you'll be able to pull off anything capable of bringing down my Reaper!"
Maybe not, Armand, but that one might be able to have a good shot. Reaper's eyes narrowed cruelly. She addressed this newcomer with remarkable familiarity. I hadn't expected to see you alive again. Last I heard you had perished during the strikes on Nagarythe. Your good luck is my misfortune, I suppose. Still, you are far less annoying as a brainwashed puppet, Alto.

"Alto?" I asked.
"It... it can't be!" The sudden appearance of the Scizor had triggered a most alarming change in Rhiannon. Gone was the calm, cool creature that had been guiding me just moments ago. Instead was a Rhiannon who looked just about ready to burst into floods of tears at any moment. "He can't have already been caught! He just can't!"
"Rhi, I'd love to feel sympathetic, I really would, but the least you can do is tell us who this Alto guy is! Although..." Milliardo frowned. "Wait a second. I remember that psycho of a Scyther I fought in the Unicorn Games... Delta I think his name was... he had a giant %&^*ing chip on his shoulder about someone called Alto. What gives here, Rhi?"
"Alto..." the Jolteon sniffed, "...he was one of us. He was the fourth. You know, in the experiments the Dark Cloak did to give pokémon magical power. When the Guild destroyed their base a few years back... well, I just thought he had died in the chaos. But he survived! But look, oh look, look what they've done to him! He's hardly even conscious!" By now she was openly crying, tears streaming down her cheeks and wetting her yellow fur. "He used to be so much fun and full of life and now he's acting like some sort of robot!"
"Wait. Let's see if I've got this straight. He's been enhanced in the same way you have? And now he's being controlled somehow by Lord Absol? Who, seeing as you don't how to use your own power half the time, probably hasn't got the first clue as to how to get the most out of him? And even if he did nobody actually trusts the guy? That right?" Thunderblast visibly winced. "Fine. If we're all going to die horribly when this all goes wrong then I want to at least go out with a bang. Sumi. See you over in that corner in fifteen seconds."
"Right!" my Growlithe responded smartly, looking to bolt over to where her girlfriend was pointing.
"Guys, this is no time for jokes!" My heart sank that little bit more with every passing second. Just for once how hard could it have been to have a bit of good news? Sadly that seemed to be in short supply in this place where the people and places I had known for what seemed like an eternity were slowly being shattered and discarded, mere toys for the whims of the Crimson Blades. Where the once pure air had been polluted by the acrid stench of a million pyres. Where certain destruction loomed a mere fifty feet in the darkened skies. "I don't know if this is such a good thing in the long run, but can this Alto possibly win against Reaper?"
"No," Rhiannon replied simply. "Neither of us took as well to the process as Reaper and Abbadon. We don't have the right temperament for it. But..." The Jolteon stared hard at the Scizor for a moment. "But he ought to be able to stop her from destroying the city at least. Yes, we think he might just be able to do that."

By now Reaper had lowered her altitude enough to look her opponent in the eye, although the sun-like sphere of glowing energy was still hovering dangerously in front of her. The two pokémon glared out at each other for the longest of times. And then Reaper spoke.
"So then, Alto. Is this how you want it?"
"This is how it must be. This is what I am instructed to do."
"Pity that you must die, then. I was rather hoping that you might at least be able to put up a fight once I finally had to crush your pitiful skull."
"I can put up a better fight than you'd imagine."
"Not whilst you remain a puppet of that foolish human, Alto. As long as he commands you then he passes his flaws on to you."
"You possess a trainer yourself, do you not?"
"True. I, however, know perfectly well my capabilities. You, however, have become a machine. You're not the same Alto I once knew. You've become weak."
"That remains to be seen. And stop calling me Alto. I am Number 27."
"I rest my case, you stupid Scizor. It's a shame, really. I almost feel saddened to see you reduced to this. You may have been a nuisance, a loudmouth and the worst flirt I've ever known once but at least you were your own pokémon. Now, however... I have no qualms about killing you right now. The Alto I would have at least granted a decent argument to before his death is long gone. So goodbye. Number 27.


The events that happened next went by so fast that nobody could really be sure of their exact details. The sphere of energy in front of Reaper seemed to flare up, illuminating the area all around with a blinding light. Lord Absol screamed something at his Scizor, who responded by bracing himself for an impact, a small teardrop-shaped stone that looked like amber opening up in his metallic forehead. Then it all seemed something of a blur. With a loud roar of rage Reaper not only fired her attack into the distance but also spewed out a huge mouthful of blue flame at the exact same time. There was a loud explosion. And then everything went black.
"Ade! Ade!" I finally came to just in time to see the worried face of Pearl staring down at me.
"Uhh... hi. Am I dead?"
"No. Oh, thank God, for a moment I thought you might have been, though, you had me really worried!" The Ninetales blinked away a tear. I reached up and ran my fingers through her crest of long fur.
"Don't you know that it takes more than that to keep me down? I mean..." I blinked suddenly, the events of the past few moments suddenly jarring uncomfortably back inside my mind. "Oh my God! Reaper! Where is she?" I looked all around, but there was no sign of Reaper or her cruel master anywhere. Nor were there any signs that Sector Alpha had been irreparably damaged, either. Aside from one building to one side that had now been reduced to a large pile of rubble it all would be back to normal within a week from the looks of things. "What happened here?"
"Well our least favourite dragon decided she's go for two attacks at once. So she hurled that fireball of hers into the distance and shot some weird blue fire attack at that Scizor." Milliardo shuddered. "Thought it was Dragonbreath at first, but it wasn't; it threw everything aside that was within thirty feet of it. You included, I might add, which I guess is why you don't remember much."
"Anyway, after that it struck both Lord Absol and this Scizor and knocked them straight into that building... well, that pile of rubble that was a building five minutes ago... over there. There was nothing anyone could do. The entire structure collapsed straight on top of them." Sindel took up the story with a shudder. "After that... I don't know myself, everyone was so busy staring at what happened to Lord Absol that somehow or other Armand managed to get away."
"What about her other missile though? What kind of damage did that do?"
"None, fortunately," a familiar voice echoed in my head. "As it happens your house lay within the blast zone. Naturally I felt the need to protect my sound investments and hence dealt with that particular problem myself. You ought to be careful about the kind of creatures you associate yourself with, though. Had I not stepped in that would have destroyed everything within a two mile radius. A good chunk of the city, in other words."
"Thanks anyway, Tsuyoi," I murmured. "I owe you one."
"I know you do," came the cool response. "The instant I can think of a use for you I'll be sure to claim that debt, rest assured."
"Whatever." Groggily I picked myself up from the floor, my eyes surveying the scene around me. The other Tamers and Guild members were in a pretty bad way. Not a one of us had managed to escape unscathed. But at least we were still alive. And although our home had taken a battering it still stood firm. In that respect we had succeeded in our task admirably. "Guys," I beckoned everyone over, people and pokémon alike. "I can't begin to express how proud I am of you all. You all really put your necks on the line for what you believed in. I'm honoured to be working alongside people like yourselves." I cast my gaze downward slightly. "And yes, I know the threat isn't over. But... well, I know this is going to sound corny but I really do believe that as long as we have faith in ourselves it'll all turn out okay in the end. Anyway, thanks for all your help. I'd say this mission was a success." I shook my head, feeling suddenly dizzy. "We'll organise the rebuilding operation when we get back to the Guild headquarters. Right now I need a sit down." Nodding to the crowds I paced over to the nearest sidewalk and sat myself down on the kerb, my pokémon rushing around me sporting expressions of concern. "No need to worry, guys," I sighed. "I'm just exhausted."
"Nobody can blame you for that," Pearl commented. "Nobody is going to hold it against you when you ring the Guild up to delegate the cleaning up to somebody else and head straight back home to bed, either. Which you are going to do, by the way."
"In a second, Pearl. Just let me catch my breath." Now that the adrenaline was dying down the shock of the past few hours was finally catching up with me. I felt sick, sick to the very pit of my stomach. People had died out there! People who were supposed to be under mycare! It was almost enough to make my throw away my Dragons Guild pass in a fit of self-hatred. What right did I have to be in any position of authority at all?
"Ade." Rhiannon suddenly spoke up. "In every war there are casualties. You cannot afford to lose sight of the fact that you successfully defended the city. Those who gave their lives did so willingly. And of course we must give them funerals of heroes. But none of this is your fault."
"A second Pearl in the making," I smiled weakly. "Thanks, Rhiannon."
"We've been there, Ade. We didn't even have the knowledge that our actions were just, but we endured all the same." The Jolteon shrugged. "Pearl's right. The best thing you can do right now is to go home and rest for a few days. We hear a mug of warm, sweet tea is good for shock as well, and as you know we happen to be experts on making those." Rhiannon smiled slightly. "Before you do go home, though, we have one more errand we wish to have leave for. With your permission, or course." All eyes were now on Rhiannon. "You all saw what just happened. The Crimson Blades can be dealt with easily enough. But Reaper... Reaper is out of control. We don't possess the skills to stop her. And with Alto under the control of that Lord Absol we're afraid he won't be much use either."
"What about Tsuyoi?"
"He could do the job. He could probably manage it with a minimum of effort, in fact. But he won't, will he? Not without many conditions. You've already let him get a stronger hold on you than is healthy. If there is another option available then we should take it. We ask for your permission to go and seek out another who may be able to defeat Reaper."
"Hold it. Give me a few days. I'm coming with you."
"No, Ade. You're needed here. And besides, we can't have you being endangered. The lives of those we don't know can be ignored, but even we hurt when those we love are threatened. No, Ade. This journey I make alone."
"Rhi..."
"We're sorry." The Jolteon gave a sad half smile before opening up a portal directly underneath her and sinking down into its darkness.
"Rhiannon!" I darted forward, trying to grasp at her before she sank totally from view. But I was too slow, my fingers passing just over her head as it vanished from sight. "No..."
"Ade, let her go," Milliardo sighed. "If there's one thing I've learned about Rhi since she first decided to show her face again it's that if she says she's going to do something then she generally goes ahead and does it. And comes back unscathed to boot. So just let the idiot run off. ^*&% knows if she can bring an end to all of this shit we ought to give her the chance." I looked all around the assembled pokémon crowded around me. From the forceful Thunderblast to the submissive Brandy the looks upon their faces all said the same thing. Let it be, Ade. You've done all you can for today.
"Alright already," I sighed, flapping my arms uselessly in a gesture of exasperation. "I guess I know when I'm beat. She's going to be fine, isn't she?"
"Ade, you could drop an atomic bomb on Rhiannon and she'd somehow find a way to survive," Pandora laughed mirthlessly. "I should know, I've seen some come pretty close to doing that in an attempt to kill her and she's still here now isn't she? Now come on. Today's been crap and we all could use a rest." Well there was no arguing with that one! I would just have to trust in Rhiannon. What more could I do?
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:10 PM   #54
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Jeff, before I can rate your story, I have a question to ask you: how did your pokemon cause the weather to change the two times it did? It's also hard to picture Previsiona as an item, and an armed Crimson Blade making it into the barracks of the Dragon's Guild. If you can explain all those things, I'll give you the stamps.

Ade, that was another good story. Quite a climatic one too. And you've managed to show a side of Lord Absol we hadn't seen before. He reminded me of Scott at some points, and also creeped me out at some other points, but the latter's nothing new. It was also interesting to see you act like a leader, and Rhi being wise. Nice open ending too. Rhi's plan may turn out to be a double-edged sword if it's what I think it is, but either way it will be interesting. I just have one question: how does Sindel's battle fit in with the rest of the story? It seemed a bit disconnected. Take 21 stamps.
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:21 PM   #55
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The weather: The heat from the electricity caused the water to turn to vapor. The electricity also attracted particles in the atmosphere, giving the water the necessary mass to eventually fall to earth in the form of rain. The same sort of strategy was used in the Red vs Blue battle in Pokemon Adventures, except with lightning. The hail... well, it was a cold day. Also, keep in mind, Previsiona wasn't too far from the Barracks, so the rain only affected that little area.

The Trick: Okay, I admit that I took a few liberties with the move. However, a Castform is not big at all, and Merc had never performed the move, and had problems controlling it, so it is conceivable to think that it could have affected Previsiona.

The Blade: The way I imagine it, since the Blades are terrorists, it fits that they'd also be stealthy. But since that's not enough on its own, the Gastly knows Teleport - that's how the Blade got away from Kiva's Water Gun and Bobbery's Rock Tomb. So, he managed to get to the barracks using his own ingenuity and his Pokemon's skills.

I hope that that was explained to your satisfaction.
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:29 PM   #56
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Hmm... I think that's stretching it a little bit, but the rest of the story was good, so you can have 8 stamps. ˘˘˘˘˘˘˘˘
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:37 PM   #57
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Hehe, actually I gotta admit the battle was kinda disconnected. Sorry, at the time I was full of the idea of 'OMG let's blow the intro-battle-ending format wide open by starting with the battle!' and in a Thunderblast-esque fit of impulsiveness I actually did so even tho with hindsight it don't flow quite so well, does it? =O Umm... ok, now I'm not double posting again may Rhiannon have an RBG in the Free Range Corral so she can get on with her solo mission?
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:40 PM   #58
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Following in the same vein, I'd like a RBG for Groove Guy (lv 5 Sudowoodo) from the Universal Adoption Center.
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Old 03-16-2005, 04:18 PM   #59
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Sure. *Rolls the RBG*
Rhi will be battling a Castform. O_o More Castform battles.
Groove Guy will battle a Skarmory. Sorry, Jeff, the Universal Adoption Center seems to keep giving you opponents of inconvenient types. But I'm sure you can work with this.

*Takes 7 stamps from each of you.*

I may have to request an RBG eventually. Or maybe I'll write a conclusion once Amy has written her battles (that's what I'm waiting for). Or maybe I'll just wait for the next scenario and post a flashback of what happened at the lab... who knows. I guess it depends on my inspiration and how busy I am (and how busy/inspired Amy is).

Has Kyle's battle been rated yet? And did you get my PM, Ade and Karin? (I tried to send it to Amy too, but her inbox was full).
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Old 03-16-2005, 04:22 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntiAsh Superstar
EDIT: Just finished with Kyle's battle. Take ten stamps!

Yeah, it has.

Whoo, a Skarmory? This is going to be interesting... but if Maza can beat a Slugma and a Numel with Fire Punch and Previsiona can beat a Gastly with only normal moves, Groove Guy can handle this.
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