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Catharsis Series: Catharsis

Discussion in 'Creative Zone' started by 122 Generation, Dec 29, 2014.

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  1. 122 Generation

    Belle
    (Bellossom)
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    Premise:
    'Catharsis', written by 122 Generation, is a series focusing on the reformed life of former Team Galactic Commander Mars.

    The staple book which bears the series' title, Catharsis, follows the events of Stark Mountain in Pokémon Platinum and the choices Mars makes to deal with her post-criminal situation. With her name known as one of the International Police's Most Wanted, Mars has no options to advance in life, other than being on the run. At the same time, Mars is plagued by guilt she has wrestled with since Stark Mountain and has no idea how to let it go.
    The first book, Catharsis, focuses on the reformation of Mars' life, the choices she makes with the help of a friendly Pokémon Ranger, and how she finally achieves a life she could only dream of: a life where her past crimes no longer haunt her; a life where her guilt becomes the least of her worries.
    Catharsis is a story about desperation, guilt, and fear, but is also a story about friendship, compassion, and - perhaps most crucially - hope where it is least expected and most needed.

    If interested, reply for frequent story updates.
     
  2. EverchangingArcadia

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    I'm not a fan of you posting pretty much what the whole story is about at the very start, especially for a first post. Even so, I am interested in the story. Something different for a change is more like it. If you do end up posting the chapters, I'll be sure to read them.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. 122 Generation

    Belle
    (Bellossom)
    Level 101
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    Note: I wrote this about six years ago, and rewrote it [again] three years ago. Enjoy! Also, I hoped to give a general summary of the story, but I'll bear in mind to write better ones in the future. These are my first posts on Lake Valor, after all.

    Chapter one: Ocean Air

    Route 213: two weeks after the events on Stark Mountain
    The gentle ocean breezes soothed her mind. It was a very early dawn where the sun hadn't raised on the empty beaches of Route 213. And yet there was a teenage girl sitting down on the sand. She had come here because she had to think. She had to think of what she was going to do next, but she had come up with no decision at all.
    She was a member of the destructive Team Galactic, but ever since the events of two weeks ago she had nowhere else to go.
    A hairstyle coloured red where it stuck out at the front and covered at least one of her eyes. Maybe she should get a new hairstyle.
    She had a name; Mars. A name she was born with ever since she was a young child. But she could never recall how she got that name nor could she remember who gave it to her.
    She had a title; Commander Mars. No, Mars thought. That's ex-Commander. Ever since Dawn Platinum and Lucas Diamond had smashed Team Galatic's last plans two weeks ago, she had been on the run. Mars knew that on the events on Spear Pillar, Cyrus had disappeared into the Distortion World. After Stark Mountain, she tried to find the Distortion World on her own. But she failed in the end.
    It was their entire fault. Every time Team Galactic tried to pull off one of their operations Dawn Platinum and Lucas Diamond would arrive to crush their plans.
    WHY DIDN'T I STOP THEM AT JUBILIFE CITY IN THE FIRST PLACE?! She thought angrily to herself, because she had underestimated them, because they were capable of handling a greater power at an unimaginable scale.
    Mars had narrowly escaped arrest from the International Police at Stark Mountain. She found out that later the other Galactic Commander Jupiter had been arrested a week later.
    Saturn, however, managed to get his criminal record cleared by supporting the Galactic Energy Limited Company in Veilstone City. With no one else from Team Galactic on the run, it meant that she had moved up one spot on the International Police's Wanted List: Number Two.
    She thought back to the time of her final defeat at Stark Mountain when she and Jupiter had been defeated by Dawn and Lucas. Mars had told them that she would go back to being an 'ordinary' girl. What was that supposed to mean?
    She had her Pokémon, but what were they good for? She had hands. But these were hands which through her she had harmed others with.
    Mars wrapped her arms around her legs and tried to stay warm. But on the inside she was cold, how could she keep warm while she wrestled with her guilt?
    Indeed, she had too much to think of the crimes she had done previously. Why did she exist? What was her purpose in life? Mars didn't have one, she might as well disappear.
    Bottom line was: Mars was more or less broken. She put head in her knees and cried.

    Route 214: near the Valor Lakefront
    Now elsewhere the Pokémon Ranger Kellyn was walking through the cleanly cut grass of Route 214. Accompanying him was his Partner Pokémon Pachirisu and with special permission from the Ranger Union, he was allowed to legally take two more Pokémon as his partners; Grotle and Kirlia.
    He had come here on mission; find and apprehend a suspect on the International Police's Wanted List. The suspect went by the name of Mars, and if she was on such a high ranked number on the list, her punishments must be really harsh. Whatever, Kellyn thought. She deserved it.
    He walked past the Lakefront Hotel and turned right onto the beaches of Route 213 and the sun began to break through the skies of the Sinnoh Region.

    Kellyn shielded his eyes from the sunlight, which was now shining brilliantly on the waters of Route 213. It certainly did warm up the air in the cold, but it did no good to his vision. He lifted a hand near his eyes and continued to walk.
    There wasn't another route to Veilstone City to take except through the beachhead. Kellyn sighed and walked past the waters of Sinnoh. Still, he had to keep up the mission. Pachirisu, Grotle, and Kirlia tailed behind him.
    On the way, Kellyn couldn't help but hear a very, very, deep "Sigh..." Alarmed, he turned to see where the sigh came from.
    Sitting near the shores was a girl his age with a unique red hairstyle and dressed in a —
    Team Galactic uniform? Kellyn thought. Without having to think he knew that this unmistakably had to be Mars; the second ranked suspect on the International Police's Most Wanted List. The first thing Kellyn would have done would be to immediately turn her in to the police immediately, but when he really thought about it he wondered what Mars was doing all the way out here in the open. In the mission file it said that Mars was always on the run, Kellyn found it very peculiar.
    Thinking better, he walked over to Mars to investigate.

    Mars still kept her head down and listened to the gentle sound of waves crashing against the shores. Apart from the waves the only thing in her mind now was... regret. How she wished she never joined Team Galactic in the first place, then she could be someone else.
    She looked up and saw the sunshine across a beautiful ocean. Mars, for what felt like the first time, could actually see its natural beauty. She gave herself a fraction of a smile and bowed her head again. Who was she kidding? She was nothing.
    "It's beautiful, isn't it? Especially in the morning," said a voice next to her.
    Mars jumped and looked right beside her, it was the Pokémon Ranger Kellyn. "Ranger!" she shouted. "What are you doing here?!"
    "Do you intend to fight?" Kellyn approached calmly.
    "If you're going to turn me in, yes!"
    Kellyn could see in Mars' eyes that she didn't have the hype to fight. Rather, they looked weary. "Do you mean it?" he asked.
    Mars opened her mouth to speak, but no sound came out. She sat down again to face the ocean. "No I suppose not."
    Kellyn kneeled right next to her. "What are you doing here?"
    "Well... I don't really know," Mars shrugged. "I haven't got any plans. There isn't much I can do now either. I'm definitely now going to Team Galactic now, they'll think of me as a deserter. In fact, I don't think I'll ever regard them as friends."
    "Anything I can do to help?" Kellyn offered.
    Mars took some time to think of something, but Kellyn was patient. "I would like a friend for a start," she said finally.
    "What about your Pokémon? Aren't they your friends too?" Kellyn said without looking at her.
    "What? They're nothing. They're just... tools. Tools to get the job done."
    "Don't be ridiculous Mars," Kellyn shook his head and smiled. "Can I see your Poké Balls?"
    Mars paused and took out her remaining Poké Balls and tossed them to Kellyn. He then threw them out and out came Mars' Purugly, Bronzor, and Kangaskan. They, like Mars, looked tired.
    "Why don't the three of you take a break in the water?" Kellyn suggested.
    The three Pokémon smiled and ran into the water. Mars saw them happily splashing each other and she could see that they were having a very good time with each other. They weren't battling, they were just... free.
    "You know, Mars, Professor Rowan once said; Pokémon aren't just tools, they're friends!"
    Kellyn was considerate of Mars' request. "Fine. I'll give you a friend for a start indeed."
    He spotted a Marill near the shoreline, loaded his Vatonage Capture Styler, and shouted. "Capture On!" and fired.
    The Capture Disc soared gracefully towards the Marill. Kellyn, using fine control with two fingers, captured the Marill within ten seconds. The little Pokémon leaped happily into Kellyn's arms. Kellyn showed Mars the Pokémon and held out a Poké Ball.
    "Hey, Marill, how would you like to join Mars' team? Trust me, she's friendly," Kellyn said.
    Mars stared at Kellyn. How could you say that, Kellyn?! I'm wanted Number Two! No one, not even Pokémon, could respect me!
    But Mars was sadly mistaken; Marill happily jumped into the Poké Ball. To Mars' surprise; the Ball only wiggled once before the capture was complete. Kellyn smiled and presented the Poké Ball to Mars.
    "You've got to treat your Pokémon well with kindness, Mars," Kellyn said. "While Marill is still young, treat her the right way in spite of what you've done."
    He sent out the Marill. "Why don't you give her a hug? It's not very dangerous."
    Mars' hands shook nervously. Kellyn placed the round Pokémon into her arms.
    It was a very strange sensation for Mars. The Pokémon felt squishy not to mention a water type Pokémon, and yet it was warm. Mars looked at the Marill. The Pokémon seemed to enjoy Mars' company very much and rubbed itself into her shoulder. Mars closed her eyes tightly and cried while hugging the balloon Pokémon very tightly.
    Perhaps Mars had spent too much time with Team Galactic to know what it meant to be normal, but that left her with a critical question.
    "Kellyn...? Can you help me with something?" she asked.
    "Sure. What is it?"
    "How can I be 'ordinary'?"
     
  4. 122 Generation

    Belle
    (Bellossom)
    Level 101
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    Chapter two: Veilstone City

    Veilstone Coffee Shop: one hour later
    Now Mars had ended up sitting at a table sipping a cup of coffee with Kellyn at Veilstone City. Kellyn personally purchased the drinks for her while she shifted nervously in her chair, afraid that she might be noticed by the people. Kellyn took a sip of his coffee and decided to engage a small conversation with Mars.
    "Just out of curiosity, what made you join Team Galactic in the first place?" he asked.
    Mars took her sip of coffee and looked at the sky for a long moment. "When I was a little girl, I was alone in the world... you wouldn't understand."
    "I think I'm good," Kellyn blinked. "Go on."
    Mars took a breath and continued. "Well, you see... I had nothing in the world to begin with. No purpose, nothing. So when I met Cyrus... he took me in."
    She stopped. Kellyn patiently waited for Mars before she spoke. "He made me do all sorts of harsh training and eventually showed me how to capture a Pokémon. When I caught my first; a Glameow, he began his operations."
    "I won't forget how he motivated us... with those speeches of his. He stood behind his microphone and practically said everything in a way that it looked like what we were doing was for a greater world. A world where everything lived under his iron rule..."
    She shook her head. "How silly it was of me to believe that. I can't believe we believed him just because of his words. Well! No use, isn't it?"
    Mars bowed her head. "I'm now on the International Police's Wanted List, I'm practically less desired everywhere. I might even have to go into hiding eventually..." Mars trailed off. "You're not going to turn me in to the police, are you?"
    Kellyn was a little taken back. "Hmm... I might if I really need to, but seeing you like this I can't bring myself to do it."
    Mars smiled weakly. "I suppose it wouldn't make a difference to me if I turned myself in. After all, I've nothing left, right? Come on, Kellyn! I'm on the run!"
    She didn't tell him this, but Mars still had a billion Pokedollars left in her HSBC (Hoenn and Sinnoh Banking Corporation) account. But what good was it to her since she was one of Most Wanted? Her account would have been locked down.
    "My life means nothing to me now. All I've done was to make the world an uncomfortable place... I think that I've done enough to the world already."
    The Pokémon Ranger pondered a long moment before hesitantly saying. "But Mars — what if... what if I gave you a new life? Think about it; your criminal record could be cleared and you could get a fresh start! A life where you could leave Team Galactic behind. Do you think you could live with that kind of standard?
    Mars looked at Kellyn, with tears in eyes. "Kellyn, could you make it happen?"

    Veilstone Department Store: several minutes later
    The massive department store in Veilstone City had just opened. Even though it was still morning, crowds of people had begun their daily shopping in the store. In fact, there were so much people that half an hour after opening a long lineup had grown throughout the store. When the twosome arrived at the building Mars was extremely worried that she might get spotted and identified as Most Wanted.
    "With this many people, I highly doubt people would recognise you," Kellyn assured her. "People wouldn't even bother looking twice."
    Mars relaxed and followed Kellyn to the elevator. They walked in and asked the attendant for the level. "Fifth floor, please," Kellyn casually asked and turned to Mars.
    "For a start, speak with politeness to people," Kellyn whispered. "It's pretty basic, and people will like you better!"
    Mars nodded.
    "Certainly! Elevator going up," the attendant pressed the button going up. The elevator ascended for several seconds and stopped.
    "Fifth floor; clothes and accessories," the attendant stated. "Enjoy your day!"
    Mars walked out to gaze around the store. She had no idea what she was doing here, and so she turned to Kellyn for inquiry.
    "What and why am I here?" Mars made a face.
    Kellyn walked past her. "We are here so you can shop for new clothes. I think it'd be better for your appearance to the world, and I think you wouldn't want to keep wearing your Team Galactic uniform forever, right?"
    She sighed and reluctantly browsed through the clothes available in the store. Shirts, dresses, ties... Mars wasn't very optimistic on clothes, and she highly lacked the motivation.
    "You know, Kellyn. I don't think I have the fashion sense to do this kind of thing," Mars looked.
    Kellyn didn't say anything, but he decided to help Mars anyway. "Choose something that will fit your own personal style, Mars. Look at you! You have a red hairstyle, so why don't you pick some clothes that are red?"
    Still, Mars was reluctant to look at clothes. But since she was still wearing Team Galactic clothes, she had to make it quick before someone finally noticed who she was. She picked out and tried many clothes, and she somehow started to enjoy trying on clothes. In the end, Kellyn watched Mars selecting what felt like half the store, and Kellyn began to grow slightly impatient.
    "Kellyn, do you think this looks nice?" Mars was wearing a black suit with a bright red tie.
    He shifted his gaze to Pachirisu. "What do you think?"
    The little electric squirrel shook his head and (to Kellyn's surprise) pushed Mars to another section of the store screaming. "Pachi! Pachirisu!"
    "Pachirisu is saying it looks too much," said Kellyn. "I think so too."
    "Like what?" Mars leaned closer to Pachirisu.
    "Pachirisu!" cried Pachirisu.
    "I think it looks way too formal, if you ask me," Kellyn yawned. "What kind of clothes do you personally prefer, Mars?"
    Mars sat down and pondered. "Well, the only thing I've ever liked was my old Galactic suit. But I obviously can't wear that anymore, that's insanity."
    Kellyn sat down beside her. "So why don't you pick something like that suit? Team Galactic aside."
    Mars clapped a hand on her forehead. "But... of course! It was so... so, so-so-so... so totally obvious! Thanks Kellyn! That's just what I needed!"
    And she dashed off to a further section of the store, picking out clothes of different sizes and colours. After ten minutes, Mars finally decided on a long, thin, red sweater, a pair of black pants with red trims on the lower edges, a pair of white running shoes that partially matched her style, and a Pokétch to keep track of time wherever she was. To top it all; she took a long, comfortable, black dress that had a length from her shoulders to her ankles. She brought them into the change rooms.

    "Okay, so I've got this dress..." Mars put it over her. It fit well, along that the red sweater she had put on earlier and the black sweatpants. The dress' flexibility, combined with the sleek looseness of the sweatpants, allowed her to be agile. That was perfect for her, and it fit her personality.
    She took even more time admiring her style in the mirror. Kellyn eventually had to drag her away to the cashier to pay for the clothes. Being compassionate again, he paid for half of her new clothes. Mars was overjoyed and rushed outside with the price tags still on! Kellyn and his Pokémon looked at each other and laughed.
    "You better get rid of those, Mars. They might be magnetised," Kellyn warned. "Unless if you're to be a thief of course. I was joking. Joking!" Kellyn quickly corrected himself, seeing the look on her face.

    Now, the hour had approached midday. But Mars wasn't really hungry and they practically had no place to go, as a result Kellyn insisted on taking a break at the department store's top floor. Mars partially objected to Kellyn's suggestion, because being a convict she felt uncomfortable near crowds. But Kellyn won anyway and they took the stairs to the top floor of the store.
    Mars was really surprised that no one seemed to really notice her in their presence. Even though she had her Purugly out, she was never taken into account by any of the citizens. Not even the security guards noticed her. Then again, she had Kellyn with her, which she thought probably meant some comfort to both the citizens and herself.
    They took a seat at the semi-crowded break area of the store. Kellyn went over to the vending machines and bought two bottles of Fresh Water and a few rice crackers to share.
    "Here's our lunch," Kellyn placed the contents on the table. "I hope it's good enough to satisfy while we discuss what we do next."
    "Thanks, Kellyn," Mars opened a rice cracker and took a bite.
    Kellyn opened his Fresh Water and took a sip. "Now... for we all know you are potentially in danger while you're exposed to the world, thanks to your criminal record. You'll have to keep going into hiding unless we find a way to clear it."
    "It's impossible," Mars shook her head. "The International Police issued an order around the world to bring me in with any means necessary. You know what? I think getting a new life is impossible. I better go into hiding." Mars took a sip of her water.
    "So? Why don't we just ask or persuade the I.P. to clear your record?"
    Mars accidentally spit out a spray of water.
    "What?! That's ridiculous! They — they'll just force me into custody! It's not worth my time there!" Mars cried. "I'll just end up in a cell..."
    "Mars, I'm sorry. But I can't see any alternative," Kellyn said quietly. "We have to go to the police station because it just might be your only hope of getting that record cleared."
    Mars was defiant. "And what happens if you're wrong? I will look down on you as one of the worst Pokémon Rangers ever known."
    "Hey, look. I'm a Pokémon Ranger!" Kellyn showed his Styler. "When have I ever betrayed my trust and yours?"
    They had finished their short lunch, Kellyn got up. "I'll vouch for you when we talk with the police. We can then arrange a deal with them. Is that okay with you?"
    Mars knew that she had no better choice for herself. It was either that she'd turn herself in to the police which she didn't want to do, go into exile like her original plan, or trust Kellyn that her life could be something really different. She looked at Kellyn and nodded.
    "Perfect, we can leave when you're ready," Kellyn put his hands behind his head and relaxed.
    "I want to go now," Mars said confidently.
    Well, that was quick, Kellyn thought. They got up, finished their water, and cleaned their table. They went down the escalator and went outside back on the streets of Veilstone City.
    "Wait! Kellyn! Let me do something first," Mars rushed to the Team Galactic Headquarters.
    "You're not thinking of rejoining Team Galactic, are you?" Kellyn called out.
    "Silly Kellyn! Of course not!"

    Just outside the building, Mars, now wearing brand new clothes of black and red, took out her neatly folded Commander uniform and placed it in front of the doors of the Galactic building. She gave a firm salute afterwards.
    "You know, Kellyn? I think I've just marked the end of my life," Mars stated.
    "And you're going to gain yourself a new one," Kellyn said in response. "Come on, let's go to the police station."
    They headed down the steep steps and Kellyn led the nervous Mars to the police.
     
  5. 122 Generation

    Belle
    (Bellossom)
    Level 101
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2014
    Posts:
    10,003
    PokéPoints:
    ₽20,869.1
    Chapter three: Reasoning with Justice

    Veilstone Police Station: minutes later...
    The little blue Pokémon Marill wobbled her way into the large doors of the police detachment of Veilstone City. This was followed by a Pokémon Ranger with a Pachirisu on his shoulder and two of his own Pokémon. A girl followed him dressed in a red sweater, a black dress, and black sweatpants with a red trim. She was also wearing sunglasses.
    "It's a precaution," Mars said to justify herself.
    Kellyn nodded and a walked into the police station, instructing his Grotle and Kirlia to wait outside. "We may take some time before we come out," he said.
    The two Pokémon nodded and stood beside the door.
    Mars walked quietly walked inside the station. To her, it felt very disturbing. Like anyone could pop out and force her into a cell. She silently walked over to the side and took a seat while Kellyn talked with the officer on duty.
    "Good afternoon, sir," Kellyn greeted.
    The officer looked up and waved. "Afternoon, Ranger. How can I help you?"
    Kellyn glanced at Mars, who was breathing steadily, and turned to the officer. "I'd like to have a discussion with the officer in command, please."
    The officer smiled. "You're in luck. The Sinnoh regional chief is here for inspection today. I'll patch him through to a room."
    Mars piped up. "Could we talk to him in an undisturbed room, please? One without surveillance cameras? I'd really appreciate that."
    The officer took that into account. "That's no problem. We've got two rooms for that sort of thing." He took an intercom and spoke into it. "Chief Shaw, you have two guests waiting for you in Briefing Room 204." He turned to Kellyn and directed to the stairs. "Up the stairs; second to the right.
    Mars got up and walked.

    If she ever felt pressured; none would compare to this. With each step she took Mars could feel her heartbeat getting faster. Eventually she managed to enter Room 204 with Kellyn to help her. They shut the door and waited for the officer.
    Room 204 was a very standard briefing room with modern frosted glass tables and leather chairs. Kellyn took a seat first, followed by Mars.
    "But Kellyn... what if — what if this was a waste of time? I can't do this. I could end up like Jupiter; charged with a bunch of stuff. I think it'd be better if I leave."
    "I don't recommend it, Mars," Kellyn expressed his thoughts. "If you leave... you could end up wrestling with your guilt for life. And I can't imagine how much regret you'd be feeling right now! The best I can do is to see how justice will deal with it."
    "But we can reason with them, right?" Mars reminded him.
    "Yeah, we just need to wait," Kellyn patiently looked at the door.
    Two minutes had passed when another police officer had finally come inside the briefing room. He was a well-built officer with an intimidating face that reminded Kellyn of Professor Rowan's.
    The officer took time to examine his guests. One he could tell was Pokémon Ranger; based on the Vatonage Styler equipped on his arm, and the other... was a girl with a red hairstyle and she was wearing sunglasses. He sighed and turned to the Ranger.
    "Hello, Ranger. I am Chief Officer Shaw; leading officer of the Sinnoh Region police detachments." he spoke in a manner that cut straight to the point that he was serious, yet Mars could tell that it was pleasant and polite.
    "Sir...?" Mars began. "Are you sure we're not being watched?"
    "In Room 204? Never," Shaw replied obliviously.
    "Chief Shaw," Kellyn shook his hand. "I've come with a very contradictory proposal; it's about my friend here, and I hope you will approve of it," Kellyn gestured to Mars.
    Chief Shaw raised an eyebrow and took out a notepad. "What kind of proposal?"
    "It's one to do with... changing a life," Kellyn hesitated and turned to Mars. "Could you take off your sunglasses, please? We have to explain."
    Mars refused to move. Kellyn put a hand on hers. "Don't worry, I won't let you get arrested. I can promise you that."
    She felt confidence in her again. Turned to look at Chief Shaw; she removed her sunglasses. "I hope you can get at what's going on here."
    Chief Shaw's tone of voice changed to a strict one. "I think I do understand what's happening! So... Ranger, are you saying we change her life with force? Are you really going to turn her in? If so, I can give you a well-chosen reward for you. I'll call in some backup."
    Mars stared at Kellyn, face stricken with terror. What if Kellyn chose to backstab her right now? When the opportunity was at its peak?
    Kellyn slapped a hand on the table. "I can assure that you are misunderstanding, sir! Mars isn't here to turn herself in, but she's asking for something entirely different."
    "She's here for terms of mercy. Mars may have done many bad things, but she can now tell what's right and what's wrong! I can vouch for her that she's no longer a criminal and rather she's a really nice person. You've got to give her a chance, do you believe me?"
    "I could believe you, but how do I know you're telling the truth?" Shaw made quick and messy notes. "The fact remains that justice must be administered; we can't just let her go like that."
    Mars felt a single tear rolled down her cheek. "We have to try — there must be a way!"
    "What do you really want, Mars?" Chief Shaw scowled at her.
    Mars stopped and maintained her cool. "I... I request that — that my criminal record can be cleared. Is that possible for you to do?"
    Chief Shaw stopped writing his notes for a long moment and coughed. "Now that... that's a different story. No, that possibility is too low for that to happen."
    "But I've heard a story that you have the power to do that! Come on! You're the chief of police! Couldn't you help me out here?" Mars began to cry.
    "It's true that a criminal record can be cleared, indeed. But I don't have that kind of power, only that kind belongs to the I.P., I'll have to talk to them to do it, and you have to discuss with the I.P. yourself," Shaw reviewed his past notes. "If you like, I can call for an I.P. agent to arrive at this station, though I can only tell you that there will only be two outcomes out of it."
    Kellyn knew already; it would end up with Mars getting arrested by the I.P., or she could go free as an ordinary girl like she wished.
    Mars sniffled. Her only hope of getting a new life... and it had to be done with the International Police, why? I guess there's no other choice...
    "Chief Shaw, I accept it. Go call the I.P. please," Mars said quickly.
    "I will, soon," Shaw took out his phone. "The I.P. and I will discuss how we will deal with you later. I'm afraid you'll have to stay in Veilstone City for the time being, but at least I'll permit you to go wherever you wish. I will take a while, four hours at the most."
    "Thank you, and please contact me by voicemail, sir," Kellyn got up. "Let's go, Mars."
    [SIZE=11pt]Mars for a moment thought she was dreaming when she saw the position she was in: to be finally free from Team Galactic. She took a breath before heading outside.[/SIZE]

    City Restaurant of Veilstone: after hours.
    Mars and Kellyn spent time at a moderately renowned City Restaurant of Veilstone. Incredibly; the restaurant wasn't that busy that night. That was perfect for Mars; she didn't need attention nor did she need too many people around her.
    Mars had a meal of grilled carrots and cheese. Kellyn had a small tossed salad and water. He watched her eat her food in a rush.
    "What's the hurry?" Kellyn asked.
    "Am I in a hurry?" Mars kept chewing. "I'm probably just hungry."
    "Fair enough," Kellyn speared a lettuce leaf and ate it. "I'll be paying for this meal, Mars."
    "Oh, no! That's okay, Kellyn. You've done more than enough for me already. I'll be fine."
    He shook his head. "I doubt that you can carry enough money around, especially when your HSBC account's locked and not to mention you spent quite a bit on clothes."
    Mars handed fifty Pokedollars to Kellyn, who took it gratefully.
    Kellyn's Styler sounded, he finished his salad and switched on his Styler. Voicemail! Voicemail! Chief Shaw here! We've got an I.P. agent waiting for you here. Bring Mars to the police station at your own convenience, but make it quick.
    "The International Police is there already?" Mars finished the last of her carrots.
    "Apparently so..." Kellyn muttered. "When you're ready, we can go."
    Mars finished the rest of her water and watched Kellyn pay the bill. Later, when it was done, they left the restaurant to the streets of Veilstone City.
    This is it: the hammer, Mars thought to herself.
     
  6. 122 Generation

    Belle
    (Bellossom)
    Level 101
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    Chapter four: Catharsis

    Veilstone Police Station: evening hours.
    Mars still couldn't wear off the slight possibility that she could be arrested by the International Police. But, unlike what she felt in the morning, she felt more confident that she wouldn't. Mostly thanks to Kellyn and Chief Shaw, her Team Galactic days might be banished forever.
    She walked past the doors of the police station and greeted the officer on duty Kellyn talked to earlier. "Evening, sir."
    He looked up. "Ah... it's you. Room 204 again, Chief Shaw is expecting you two."
    "Is the International Police here?" Kellyn asked out of curiosity.
    "Didn't you get the message?" the officer was astonished. "Oh well... the I.P. arrived here only half an hour ago. They've probably sorted everything out. But don't ask me for the details, go to Chief Shaw. Don't keep him waiting!"
    The duo walked to the stairs and made their way up. As confident as Mars was, she couldn't shake off the horrors of her past life. But after this... what comes next?
    Mars walked through the second floor hallway, and looked to find the same room; 204. She knocked on the door quietly and entered the room, followed by Kellyn and his Pachirisu.
    As Mars expected; Chief Shaw was sitting inside on one of the conference chairs, a file no bigger than two centimetres thick laid out in front of him. Sitting beside Shaw was a well-dressed man with an even larger file in front of him and an ID card hanging from his shirt pocket; an agent from the International Police.
    "Welcome, Mars," the agent nodded and gestured to the seat across from him. "Please, take a seat. We are still discussing half of the terms and we need you to take the time to verity them."
    Mars and Kellyn sat down on the seats opposite Chief Shaw. The agent presented several sheets of paper to Mars. "Your request has been heard by the International Police immediately, Mars. With the reasons and justification of the Sinnoh Regional Police Chief Shaw and the Pokémon Ranger Kellyn; the International Police has created a formal approval of your request to completely clear your criminal record. The authority of the I.P. has been issued with Chief Shaw. I am here on the I.P.'s behalf."
    Mars read through the papers of her request and looked up at the I.P. agent. "How long has the order been in effect, sir?"
    "It has never been," the agent firmly replied.
    What?! Why?! Mars thought to herself.
    As if he read her mind, Chief Shaw spoke up. "While you were gone, I've been discussing with the I.P. about a few minor restrictions for you. Also we need your own signature before your request is fully in effect."
    "So when can I sign it?" she sighed.
    "In a matter of minutes," the agent replied and took out a single sheet of paper from the file. "I will need to read out your present charges placed on your criminal record so we can be sure to clear them. That's procedure."
    Mars nodded. But she soon realised what she was about to hear... It was going to be something... dreadful. Something she didn't want to be reminded of... it were her own secrets of Team Galactic that she absolutely refused to be remembered.
    "Your first charge..." the agent began. "...is your hostile takeover in the Route 205 Valley Windworks. Evidence has shown that you have stolen many of the energy sources at that time. Another charge specifies that you may have attempted to take a hostage."
    Mars shut her eyes tightly. She didn't want to — no... the memory was coming back...
    "The next charge... is considered highly criminal. You were responsible for the theft of the legendary Pokémon Mesprit at Lake Verity. Even though you were defeated afterward, you still kept the Pokémon for the deeds of Team Galactic."
    No! The image was getting clearer...
    The agent did not look at her and instead continued to read out the charges. "One of the further inconceivable charges is your acquaintance with helping Team Galactic annihilate all of reality in the world at the Spear Pillar. The destruction of time and space is the point."
    I didn't mean to! Mars felt tears trickle down her face even though she couldn't see them. The memory was coming...
    "You've also managed to evade arrest after the events of Spear Pillar; and from that point on you are also charged with flight. Finally you decided to help out Team Galactic with stealing another legendary Pokémon, Heatran, at Stark Mountain. Like Spear Pillar, you chose to go into hiding."
    Mars started to feel her mind crash. But the agent had one last thing...
    "The final charge is your actual participation with Team Galactic in the first place, where you have been accused and proven that you chose to join Team Galactic!"
    The memory of her first encounter with Cyrus... when she was a little girl...
    "And this is what is all on your criminal record, Mars," the agent finished.
    Mars fell to the ground with a crash with hands on her head. The memories became overwhelming. She had never experienced pain this intense on her... it was like her mind could break apart by her secrets she had kept inside her for so long...
    "Mars!" Kellyn was alarmed. "Are you alright?! What's...?"
    She had tears flooding out of her like a torrent. At the same time Kellyn could notice how much this must have impacted her. But he couldn't interfere with the International Police's business at this point, especially when it involved a criminal record being cleared. What could Kellyn potentially do...?
    Kellyn jumped out of his seat and kneeled beside Mars. Taking her hand, he lifted her to a seating position. He took her wrist and felt her heart pulse; it was beating quickly. "Easy," he said quietly. "Breathe slowly."
    Mars opened her eyes and looked at the Ranger's. "Kellyn...?"
    "I'm right here," he affirmed.
    So Kellyn helped Mars up to her seat again. When Kellyn sat down on his own seat Chief Shaw and the I.P. agent had remained silent for a very long moment. Room 204 had remained quiet for ten extra minutes after Mars collapsed.
    I wonder what's going on in their heads right now... Kellyn thought.
    Mars could still feel the aching of her memories in her head. Though she felt they were much less painful after Kellyn helped her. Eventually, her mind seemed to be back to normal and felt healed.
    "Okay, Mars," the I.P. agent finally broke the silence. "I think it's safe to say that you can have your criminal record cleared at last. Please, read the terms of agreement and sign at the bottom when you're done. Ranger, you will need to sign it too as you are vouching for her."
    Mars gave a humourless smile. The terms of agreement was a massive list written in what she saw as microprint sized. Reluctantly and enthusiastically she read through the list.
    The agreement wasn't as bad as she expected. The first part was a brief topic that cut to the point that she would never again join Team Galactic again. With the exception that she may visit Team Galactic areas in rare cases.
    Another part stated that she could visit practically any part of the Sinnoh region, even places that she had been to during her Team Galactic career. Additionally, she was granted permission for international travel to any other region in the world.
    Over fifteen minutes had passed when she approached the final ends of the agreement:
    This agreement reinstates that you must not rejoin Team Galactic by any means. If so, this hereby will violate the terms of this agreement and will be void. Please consider carefully if you are to sign the agreement.
    When signed; the agreement will guarantee the issue of your own personal identity and Trainer's card. Any restrictions imposed by your criminal record barring access to your own assets will be removed upon signing (property, HSBC, etc.). It will take effect immediately when agreement is signed by yourself and a witness.
    She looked over the agreement quickly for five minutes. After confirming that she had really made the right choice; she picked up a pen and neatly handwrote her name Mars.
    Kellyn, Chief Shaw and the agent watched that happen. The agent had a flash of a smile on his face and, after Kellyn had signed too, took the papers. "Thank you, Mars. The record clearing will take effect in twelve hours. Please, don't use your HSBC until tomorrow morning. You might set off an alert."
    Mars got up and shook hands with the agent and then shook hands with Chief Shaw. "Thanks a bunch! I... am entirely grateful."
    Chief Shaw nodded approvingly. "No problem. Now, go out into the world and see how much different your life is now."
    As Mars and Kellyn left the room, Mars couldn't help but eye at the I.P. agent's actions. He quickly packed his papers into his briefcase and prepared to leave.
    "Mars? Where do you suppose you should go now?" Kellyn asked her.
    "I... don't know Kellyn, absolutely no idea. But I really can't think of what to do right now... what should I do?! I'm just... overwhelmed... that this is really happening."
    Kellyn turned to his Kirlia. "Kirlia, do you think you could teleport us to Hearthome City?"
    Kirlia smiled and focussed her gaze on Kellyn, Mars, Pachirisu, and Grotle. Soon the five of them warped away to another city...

    Hearthome City Pokémon Centre: late night hours
    Mars, Kellyn and his three Pokémon reappeared in front of the Hearthome City Pokémon Centre. It was late night, and Mars felt sleepy.
    "Good night, Mars. I'll see you tomorrow morning," Kellyn escorted her inside and left.
    Mars smiled weakly and checked in for a room in the Pokémon Centre downstairs near the Wi-Fi Plaza. Now that she could freely send her Purugly out to the field, she could interact with her own Pokémon freely, but she really couldn't worry about that at that point. As happy as she was with getting her criminal record cleared, that could not stop her from falling asleep.
    "Good night, Purugly," Mars yawned and climbed into her bed. She fell instantly into an exhausted and well-deserved sleep. Purugly and Marill crawled on the floor and rested too.
     
  7. 122 Generation

    Belle
    (Bellossom)
    Level 101
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2014
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    Chapter five: Mars: A Fresh Start

    Hearthome City: next morning...
    Over the Sinnoh region; the dark skies had slowly fading away to a deep blue. From the easternmost part of Sunyshore City; the sun had broken through the horizon and shined its brilliant light over the skies of Sinnoh. The skies had illuminated to a bright blue and some of the stars still twinkled in the sunlight. The light stretched to the edge of Hearthome City...
    The girl woke up in her bed the next morning at the Hearthome Pokémon Centre. Laying down there was not Team Galactic's Mars, or the Mars from the day before. No, the girl resting on that bed was Pokémon Trainer Mars. She was a reformed girl with a fresh life ahead of her.
    Eventually, she had to get up.
    Mars slowly stretched upward and gave a great yawn. Incredibly, her Purugly just happened to yawn at the same time. What seemed odd to her was that she smiled by her own will. She wondered how, but she needed to focus on now.
    "Great, so what do I do now?" Mars said to herself. She jumped out of bed and realised that she had been sleeping in the same clothes she wore from the day before. Now that she was fully awake she noticed that her clothes were wrinkly.
    But at least her black dress was neatly folded away. And since her red sweater was thin, flexible, partly tight and thankfully stretchy the wrinkly parts of her sweater disappeared with a slight tug of the sleeve.
    Her sweatpants weren't as lucky as they were sleek. She'd have to live for the day with that until she could flatten it later.
    [SIZE=11pt]Finally, she took her black dress and put it on in seconds. Ensuring that everything was in place, she took her bags, Purugly, Marill, and left the Pokémon Centre with a feeling of great content.[/SIZE]

    Just when she exited the Pokémon Centre, she was friendly greeted by Grotle and Kirlia. Mars smiled; that meant that Kellyn was also here too.
    "Grotle, where's Kellyn?" she asked happily.
    Kirlia took her hand and Grotle led them to a bench beside the fountains of Hearthome. Sitting on the bench was Kellyn and Pachirisu. In Kellyn's hands was a stack of toast and a cup of coffee.
    "Yours has extra sugar in it," Kellyn held out the drink.
    "Thanks, Kellyn," Mars took it and drank a quarter of the coffee. She later sat down beside Pachirisu and munched down on a piece of toast.
    All I ever needed... Mars thought to herself. ...was an ordinary life without Team Galactic. [SIZE=9pt]As she saw the life, people, and Pokémon around her; Mars knew that the world had one thing that Cyrus' didn't: freedom.[/SIZE]
    She helped herself to another piece of toast. Kellyn fed another piece to his Grotle and faced Mars again. "So, what do you think you'll do now?"
    In her previous circumstances, she would have asked what her new assignments were to Team Galactic. But that was before. Mars instead smiled awkwardly. "No clue, apart from battling. So what can I do?"
    Kellyn had a quarter of coffee left in his cup. He drank it slowly and put it down. "You've got two typical choices and a natural one. There's battling, like you mentioned, and Pokémon contests in Hearthome Contest Hall. Of course, you could always entertain yourself and your Pokémon by playing with them. You can bond with your Pokémon better this way."
    "I'd like to battle for sure! But... huh? How am I supposed to bond with my Pokémon?" Mars' eyes widened.
    "It's easy! I'll even demonstrate it to you later!" Kellyn nodded with a grin.
    He took out a little envelope and held it in front of him. "This is for you, the I.P. gave it to me a few hours ago."
    Mars took the envelope and opened it. She gasped. It was a brand new (and shiny!) Trainer's card issued with her own name and registration number. She flipped it over and saw the signature she had signed with the I.P. also written there. It was a little much for her, and she started to cry silently.
    "And here's a gift for you, I bought it last night," Kellyn presented to her a standard Trainer's bag. "It's to store your items, Poké Balls... whatever."
    Trying to keep her tear away from Kellyn, she took one last piece of toast.
    Mars finished her toast and got up. "Where are we going later?"
    Kellyn drank the rest of his coffee, got up and disposed of it in the trash. "Follow me!"

    Hearthome Amity Square: minutes later...
    Mars walked into the gates of Hearthome's Amity Square; a public park where anyone from the Pokémon regions can enter to relax themselves, on the park's condition that a cute Pokémon can accompany the Trainer.
    "Pachirisu, let's go!" Kellyn let his Pokémon jump on his shoulder and walked past the gates. Mars had no idea what to do, so she decided to ask a passing Trainer, but she could tell that he was extremely shocked based on the look on his face.
    "You okay?" Mars asked.
    That Trainer stormed. "I'm appalled! They refused entry to my Pokémon!"
    He took out two Poké Balls. "Oh, my poor Gyarados and Steelix! This is discrimination!"
    And he took off to Hearthome City afterwards. Mars thought to herself. Well, obviously he didn't know what he was dealing with... and walked into Amity Square.
    The first thing she did was ask the receptionist what to use. The receptionist smiled.
    "Any cute Pokémon is acceptable. What kinds of Pokémon do you have with you?"
    Mars took them out. "I have one Purugly, a Marill, a Kangaskan, and a Bronzor. That's all."
    "Your Marill will do. Please! Go right ahead," the receptionist gestured up ahead.
    The weather was warmer with the sunlight streaking across the Sinnoh skies. Kellyn and Pachirisu walked with Mars around the square to the lake in the park. Mars' Marill jumped in the water and splashed around. When Mars kneeled down beside the lake, Marill hit a splash of water on Mars' face and kept leaping around.
    If it was Team Galactic's Mars who was there, she would have sent out her Pokémon to destroy Marill. But Pokémon Trainer Mars was different; she laughed and splashed back.
    "Marill!" Mars shook her head. But Marill just kept happily splashing Mars with a Water Gun attack. It soaked Mars' arms.
    Kellyn yawned and rested on the cool grass. He closed his eyes and said, "Pachirisu, we may be a while... Hey, do you want to play with them, too?"
    Pachirisu nodded.
    "Then wake me up when she's done, okay?"
    Pachirisu ran to Mars, and played with her and Marill as the day went on.

    "Okay, Marill? Pachirsu? Are you ready?" Mars whispered.
    The three of them were kneeling around the sleeping Kellyn. Marill had taken the time to slowly coat Kellyn's legs with water. Knowing what would happen later, Mars stood up.
    "Okay... NOW! Pachirisu!" Mars shouted.
    Pachirisu grinned and charged one hand with electricity and touched Kellyn's ankle. The water; seeing that it was a conductor, had immense effect on Kellyn's legs. The electricity generated by Pachirisu channelled through the water and shocked and jolted Kellyn awake.
    "MARS!" Kellyn quickly jumped and looked to see where she was.
    She laughed, picked up Marill and Pachirisu, and ran to the Amity Square entrance. "Catch us if you can, Kellyn!"
    Kellyn couldn't help laughing himself. "You're done for, Mars! Hear me? You're dead!"
    Very soon, the Pokémon Ranger chased the Pokémon Trainer out of the park.

    Jubilife City HSBC: afternoon
    Grotle, Kirlia, and Pachirisu entered the edges of Sinnoh's technological capital. Mars' Marill decided to take the liberty of leading Mars and Kellyn into the city. It didn't take long for them to find the building which was really a leading bank for everyone; Trainers and citizens alike. Kellyn stood near the doors to attend to his Pokémon.
    "Let me know when you're done," he said.
    After passing through the glass doors, Mars groaned at the sight of so many people lining up to the tellers. Ten... fifteen... Mars lost count when there were so many heads in line. And there were only six tellers to support the crowd!
    Only fifteen minutes later; she finally got her turn to see a teller. She walked up to the desk counter and talked with the teller, a young woman named Acuity.
    "Welcome to HSBC, miss. How may I serve you today?" she asked.
    "I'd like to withdraw twenty million Pokédollars from my account, please," Mars replied, remembering Kellyn's tips on manners.
    "Certainly!" Acuity answered happily. "Do you have your HSBC card with you?"
    Mars hesitated for a brief second, and then she took out the red banking card from her bag.
    "Thank you, please wait a few moments," Acuity took the card, scanned it, and looked up Mars' files on her computer. Mars could tell that she was deep in thought.
    Mars held her breath as she felt her heart sink. Had the criminal record been finally cleared?
    Acuity took out a file and stamped it twice. After finalising all the files and data needed to confirm on her computer, she gave Mars her HSBC card back.
    "Transfer and withdrawal complete. You have eighty million Pokédollars remaining in your account, Mars," Acuity said, without any sign of suspicion.
    Mars took her card back with a huge smile on her face. "Thanks!"
    She darted out of the bank with a feeling of great content. Even her Purugly seemed to be sharing her happiness by purring beside her.
    Upon leaving HSBC, she met up with Kellyn.
    "So where're we going now?" Kellyn lifted Pachirisu onto his shoulder.
    Mars ran through the streets of Jubilife City with such speed that Purugly and Marill were trying frantically to catch up with her. "Follow me!"
    Kellyn quickly ran too. But still, Mars was just too quick.
    Poor Grotle and Kirlia! They had to run after Mars as well!

    Floaroma Town: one hour later...
    In the end, Mars ran out of energy.
    After passing through the cave on Route 204; Mars, in spite that she wore clothes that could keep her agile, came out exhausted. She rested near a patch of flowers on the route, which allowed plenty of for Kellyn and the Pokémon to catch up with her. Afterwards, they entered Floaroma Town.
    It was as serene as Mars remembered it. The atmosphere was clean, and far from anything that could remind Mars of her life with Team Galactic.
    "Mars, why are we in Floaroma?" Kellyn asked her.
    A gentle gust of wind blew in Mars' hair. She took a breath.
    "I want to live here," Mars smiled.
    Kellyn smiled as well. "Great! I — never mind. Where do you think you'll live?"
    Mars thought about it. "Hmm... I'll go find a realtor."
    They ended up speaking to a real estate near the Pokémon Centre. Mars browsed through the different types of houses in Floaroma Town, with Kellyn to assist her.
    "How about this one?" Kellyn examined a house in the Floaroma Meadow.
    "Nah... it's too far off from the town," Mars humorously rejected. "I'll keep looking."
    They spent what felt like six hours' worth of searching for a house for Mars (though it really had only been one hour). To Kellyn, Mars seemed to like houses that were at least two stories high.
    "Hmm..." Mars had eliminated and reduced her choices to only a few houses. All which were found within the community of Floaroma.
    "Kellyn?" Mars shifted him to look at the houses.
    He considered the location of the houses. The first one was a two-story house located behind the Floaroma Flower Shop with enough space for gardening, the other a suburban house near the Floaroma gates that left something of a leaving convenience.
    "What would you like better?" Kellyn asked, with a sense of order. "It's your choice."
    She went up to the realtor. "I'm interested in the sale for this house. May I ask for the purchase of the property?"
    "Sure," the realtor took out folders and binders of an inch thick and looked through them thoroughly. He took out a form and pen. "Fill in the info needed here, please."
    Mars shrugged. "Oh, and does the house include any furniture?"
    "We've taken the liberty of equipping the bedrooms and kitchens with what they need."
    She completed the form in minutes and gave it back to the realtor. "How much is the purchase?"
    "Patience!" he took the form and put it into the binder. "For you, one that's looking for included furniture; seventy-five million Pokédollars, including taxes."
    Mars took out the red card from her bag and gave it to him.
    "HSBC? Alright," he scanned the card just once, took out a receipt and the same pen. "Sign."
    Mars gave an oh-come-on look at the realtor and reluctantly signed the slip of paper. The realtor grinned and gave Mars another sheet of paper. This one looked official.
    "Here's the title to your deed, you can move in straight away."
    [SIZE=11pt]Mars laughed, snatched the deed with a word of thanks, and ran out of the building with Kellyn and Pachirisu to run after her.[/SIZE]

    Right behind the flower shop, Mars unlocked the doors of her new home. She entered it and explored the premises. There was a fully equipped kitchen as promised by the realtor, with stainless steel oven and countertops.
    The bedrooms were as simple as Mars had hoped. Walls of black, white, and frosted glass decorated the rooms. A low bed made of birch wood coloured black and a low side table completed the look. The same applied for the other two bedrooms.
    "Okay... I think I'll add a table here..." Mars pointed in one room. "And a large screen in the other... maybe in front of the bigger table..."
    Mars also showed compassion to her Pokémon too. She grabbed her four Poké Balls and tossed them into her home.
    "Okay, guys! Here's our new home!"
    Mars' Pokémon looked around the unfamiliar home. After settling with the location, they looked for a place to rest.
    Kangaskan made himself comfortable at the second floor. Marill and Bronzor chose to rest downstairs where it was much cooler. As soon as her Pokémon had settled in, Mars and Purugly went outside to meet Kellyn.
    "Okay, so now what?" Kellyn asked.
    "Could you teach me how to battle properly? Please?" she looked at Kellyn with big eyes.
    "Certainly, Mars."
    The rest of the day was spent training at Floaroma Meadow. Kellyn used Pachirisu to help Mars when not to overdo her attacks. It took several tries for Mars to adjust to a new fighting style.
    "Keep treating your Pokémon and others fairly," Kellyn advised. "When you battle, there's always a limit to when you attack other Pokémon. When they're knocked out, stop!"
    "I'll remember that," Mars nodded.
    After more practicing in the meadow with Grotle and Kirlia, the twosome returned to Floaroma Town.
    Mars considered that since she didn't help Team Galactic anymore, she needed something else to do, particularly something purposeful.
    "I can battle, but is there anything left to do?"
    Kellyn clapped a hand on his head as though it were obvious. "Anything left? You're just barely starting! All you need to do as a Pokémon Trainer... is battle and collect Gym Badges from the region. You know that, of course."
    "Right," Mars confirmed. "Then what?"
    "Enter the Pokémon League Championships," Kellyn said. "And try your best to be Champion!"
    He paced left and right in front of Mars. "What you'll do after winning the Championship also bothers me, too..."
    "I have an idea," Mars said to Kellyn.
    There was enough space beside her house for gardening. Mars went to the shop to buy some seeds to grow berries.
    "I'm going to see each berry that's grown for 100 Pokédollars each. This way, people don't even need to grow berries themselves for days. They can just buy them!"
    What Mars was still slightly concerned about was if anyone recognised her as a member of Team Galactic. The community was aware of her presence which was true. But Mars' surprise was that the Floaroma community welcomed and greeted her as a friendly neighbour.
    "Hey! Welcome to Floaroma Town!" said one person.
    "You seem familiar... agh! You're not Mars, are you?" said another.
    Kellyn came to address the town. "Everyone, this Mars is the same Mars you know from Team Galactic. But I know her well, she actually a really nice person! I saw to it myself!"
    The crowd was silent at Kellyn's words. Mars began to wonder if the crowd was even convinced by Kellyn's words, being a Pokémon Ranger.
    A little boy came up to Mars and held out a hand. "Are you going to live in Floaroma? So what are you going to do here? My mom can give you a tour."
    Mars kneeled down and shook his hand. "I sure am living in Floaroma now, and I'll probably be opening up a berry shop here. And a tour... I think I'll pass!"
    The little boy walked back to his mother. "Anyway... welcome to Floaroma Town! I'm telling you; you won't regret staying here! We're great neighbours!"
    [SIZE=11pt]Mars gave a smile of relief. "Alright, I'll see you guys later."[/SIZE]

    "Well, I hope you'll know what to do when I'm gone," Kellyn said.
    They were still standing in front of Mars' new house. Kellyn had graciously purchased a glass table as an addition to Mars' house. While the bedrooms were neatly furbished and the kitchen fully equipped, the rest of the house was empty.
    "Come on, Kellyn! Do you have to leave now?!" Mars said, voice hinted with worry. "Couldn't you at least stay a night?"
    Before Kellyn could say anything, Pachirisu and Grotle pushed him in. "Come on! I insist!" Mars said as Pachirisu and Grotle snuggled comfortably in Mars' bedrooms.
    "Ugh... even you two are turning against me..." Kellyn muttered.
    Kirlia took Kellyn by the hand and followed Mars into one of the rooms.
    "Okay, you can sleep here!" Mars smiled and turned to Pachirisu and Grotle. "You two can sleep in here, too! Not to mention Kirlia. You're all my guests."
    "Why not?" Kellyn stretched his arms. "I could use a break."
    [SIZE=11pt]The Pokémon cheered quietly.[/SIZE]

    Floaroma Town gates: three days later...
    Kellyn remained in Floaroma Town for three days, thanks to Mars' persuasions. Within that time he helped her continue to train herself not to overdo her use of power with her Pokémon. Also, Mars developed a passion for growing many kinds of berries, and occasionally ordered Mulch from the Berry Master on Route 208. Kellyn and Marill helped her with the gardening.
    After the three days, it was time for Kellyn to leave for Jubilife City. Mars and Purugly came to escort him and his Pokémon out. At the gates, she also gave the Ranger a pouch of Pecha berries for him to eat on the trip back.
    "I have to get back to my Almia base very soon," Kellyn smiled warmly. "Thanks for the berries."
    Mars was silent, but only seconds later she started to cry. "Will I ever see you again?"
    Kellyn took out a card. "Here's my contact number for voicemail. I still can see you one of these days. But I have to go at some point, right? See you later, Mars."
    Mars took it in a bittersweet manner and watched Kellyn and his Pokémon walk away.
    "Kellyn..." Mars sobbed and whined.
    She spoke so dejectedly that Kellyn had to turn around to look at her. She still had a lot of tears in her eyes. Kellyn sighed with a flash of a smile.
    "There's no need to cry Mars —" Kellyn began.
    But before Kellyn could stop her, Mars had thrown and thrust herself into Kellyn's arms and hugged him very tightly. She was crying so hard that her tears had made a particularly damp spot on Kellyn's shoulder.
    "Thank you, Kellyn," Mars sobbed. "You have my deepest gratitude. I mean, you showed me..."
    She gulped. "I never thought that it would be possible for me to end up like this, here in Floaroma Town right now. Team Galactic took away what might have been my entire life and I could have ended up in exile!"
    "From that time I saw you so looking down at Route 213, I knew you could be someone different," Kellyn pat her on the shoulder. "You could never be that evil of a person, and I certainly hope you wouldn't have to go in exile. You're a really nice person, Mars!"
    Mars still didn't let go of him. "I don't know how I can ever repay you."
    Kellyn said comfortingly. "It's alright. My work for you is reward enough. My final wish for you is for you to live a free life."
    Mars brightened up and finally let go to wipe her tears. "Consider it done! I'll see you again, right?"
    "One day, perhaps," Kellyn said. "We can go for coffee next time. I expect you to be Pokémon Champion when we meet again!"
    Mars laughed at his joke. "I'll start my collection next week, then. Bye, Kellyn! Thank you!"
    Kellyn, Pachirisu, Grotle, and Kirlia smiled and began to head down the Route 204 to Jubilife City. Soon, they disappeared from Mars' sight.
    "Purugly," Mars looked at the semi-sunny skies. "Come on, lets' go do a little more training for today. Please?"
    Purugly purred and walked with Mars to Floaroma Meadow for the rest of the day. It was going to be sunset very quickly, but Mars knew that she had enough time to finish her training. Maybe she could spare some time to play with her Purugly if there was still some sunlight left, then she could head back home to rest.
    At last, Mars finally earned the new life she had dreamed of, and her troubles were nothing but a gentle breeze of wind behind her.
     
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