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On the Evolution of the Ralts line.

Discussion in 'Literature Library' started by DaniWesty, Oct 25, 2014.

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  1. DaniWesty

    DaniWesty School Kid

    Oct 23, 2014
    So, before I begin posting, I just wanted to point out that I am mirroring this thread with my development on fanfiction.net.
    This is a story I have been working on like mad. Developments in my emotional state arose initially which gave me the idea of an outlet about subjectivity and objectivity and how one can have difficulties. Given that I am also writing a paper concerning archaeological description of egyption artifacts, this also started out as a warmup since cultural anthropology can be touchy in how vague subjectivity and objectivity are. What has grown from me trying to bring myself to a greater understanding has turned into something in which I have come to genuinely enjoy writing about in my spare time.
    A word of warning though. The first chapter reads like someones research paper. I included names and dates in parenthesis. They have no real world or Pokémon world ties. Rather, they are made up citations to research papers that I could see being written by the well known Pokémon professors at one point or another.
    The format also changes a little at a time. I began with a format of introduction, then field notes, followed by Rowans point of view, then field notes again. This continues for a few chapters. The reason is very specific. If you come to realize why, then I commend you for your insights.

    Without further ado, I bring you my first Pokémon fanfiction.

    Field notes. 18 June 3130
    Kalos region,

    Well, if you are reading this then perhaps I should give a little bit of an introduction.
    My name is Rowan Ginko. Pokémon researcher Masters hopeful. My primary field concerns the newly catagorized family "Fairy type." In our university we were given the various species and types we could study more in-depth. I just happened to choose Fairy type as it was the one with the least amount of Data. This meant that anything I observed could be utilized in research. Certain species that have been studied only in captivity have since been reclassified into this new catagory. This is not a field notes on the various attacks, strengths and weaknesses though. This will focus primarily on social groups.

    In the Kalos region, There are multiple fairy type Pokémon. From the peculiar Snubbul to the more unusual Clefairy. In our research though, we could only select one particular species and observe it in the wild. Through chance, I was selected to study the group dynamics of the Ralts line.
    The ralts line is a psychic type Pokémon which are observed rarely in the wild as loner psychic types. Weak against a number of natural predators, its numbers, as well as the evolutions, are vanishingly rare in the wild. Rumors persist concerning tales of the Ralts line having a complex matrimonial society. However, until this can be observed in-situ, it remains purely speculation.
    The aim then, is to track a ralts, then observe its family group. In typical accordance, the main focus for me will be on ensuring that I have almost no impact. This will prove difficult as the Adult form of Ralts, Gardevoir, is able to sense emotions at range in order to avoid predators such as the poochyhyena.

    The best option then, would be to have a dampening device of some sort. Failing that, ranged observation will have to suffice.
    As I will be accompanied into the field by a trainer, I believe that her information should be included as well. Her name is Amelia and she is 18 years old. She has recently entered into University as well to continue her studies beyond just Pokémon training. She will serve to assist me in my tracking and provide protection should we be attacked.
    In the event of the Adult subjects discovering and attacking us, Amelias job is to stall while we fall back. Otherwise, she will provide location information and miscellanious support.
    Due to the nature of this field work, all observations concering terrain, weather, and backround activity will also be noted. This should ensure the best quality of additional data so that environmental scientists can build upon their models of movement.
    I confess to being curious yet also excited. Such is a trip I have spent many years waiting for. However, I wish I had one of the less well known Pokémon as the Ralts line is known well enough for their empathic abilities. Since they have Human level intelligence, a lot has been learned through direct communication. However, questions about their social structure have remained unanswered. Evidence (See Barberry 3119) suggests that they may in fact have a culture. In his article, Barberry discusses the cultural structure as related by a "domesticated" companion Gardevoir. Domesticated in this case refers to a Pokémon who has been caught by a trainer.
    As a child, the ralts was apparently raised by a family group in which the female was the primary leadership voice. She was joined by a male, who was responsible for foraging, and a second family group who also had a female in the lead position. Details are unclear about how they interacted and their movement patterns. So while this familial group did exist in an organized manner, no data exists to provide insight into how their interpersonal relations played out. As of now, this is an unknown.

    It was perviously thought (Jehna 3100 "A discovery of a bipedal crystalloid archeus" ) that the ralts line lived in isolation. Given that they were discovered initially as a single ralts, the argument held up until 3119 when the first interview was conducted.
    Following the initial interview, the physiology of the Gardevoir has been roughly understood. Genetic analysis suggests an astonishing 1.6% difference between humans and the ralts line. As bipedal locomotion requires a specific hip architecture, the evidence suggests that the ralts line and the humanity line share a relatively recent common ancestor. As of this writing, the ralts and humanity line apparently separated only 15,000 years ago. This is most curious as the physiological differences suggest that there was a vast radiation of lines with an abnormally high mutation rate following the split.
    Speculation (genges 3128) thus suggests that the reason for the physiological changes are environmentally based. While this accounts for most physiological changes, the evolution of the crystalline shard is ambiguous at best. As of this writing, no information exists which can adequetly explain the origin and development of this feature. While other Pokémon have similar looking crystalline forms (Staryu line 3100), the material composition is entirely different. Analysis (Gaelin 3090) of the Crystalline structures of other known Pokémon suggest a silica rich lattice which is, presently, serves no real purpose. The generation of the crystalline structure (Boden 3100) is suspected to be related to how the cloyster line generates pearls (Armstrong 3098).
    As of this writing, only preliminary data exists on the composition of the crystalline lattice. Currently (armacol 3129) suggests a Mercurium silica lattice interlaid with a peculiar neural cluster utilizing a hypothetical lithium structure as a radiating source for their peculiar emotional and psychic abilities. However, the only element considered stable in these configurations is silica, thus it is presently unknown how these elements can maintain an island of stability. In their current forms, the three should radioactively decay into their daughter elements, leaving Silica as the primary crystalline structure. More examination based upon cadevor subjects will be needed.
    The Pokémon in question will be observed regularly. Our sleep schedules will be modified to fit in with theirs. In the event that we are unable to maintain constant surveillance due to various unforseen circumstances, a remote drone utilizing the repulsor guidance and navigation architecture, will enable gap shooting observation. This device is a modified quad coptor configuration drone. The blades have been replaced with repulsors which cut down on noise by 95%. the battery pack is able to maintain all critical functions of tracking observation, and motion for 20 hours, and the CPU can be programmed to act both remotely and target tracking. Further, the advanced guidance system enables it to support tracking even at high speeds. this reduces (but doesn't negate) risk of damage while in flight by obstacles.
    While I was not eager to be assigned this particular evolution group, I do believe that as with other projects, this study is equally as important. Especially if an adequete test of the catagorization of fairy type can be formulated based upon their social dynamic.
    Rowan Ginko
    18 June 3130

    Important notes: Utilization of citations in text describe the author and publishing date. Utilize the usual database search to get access to their individual articles. They were not included here for brevity's sake.
  2. DaniWesty

    DaniWesty School Kid

    Oct 23, 2014
    Field Notes 19 June 3130
    Kalos region, Santalune city.

    After arriving in the city, Amelia and I familiarized ourselves with the city. We began at the Pokémon center. This would be a very important stopping point as it contained all the items we would need.

    Various medications and field rations primarily. A wonder of food preservation is that you can literally forget about some of these foods for years and come back to them and they will still be good. I think I was feeling philosophical or something while we stocked up because on instinct, I bought 2 poke balls despite not having any Pokémon. I suspect that the prospect of using them as something to throw up and catch at night along with my much favored racketball fueled my intentions.
    We then set out from santalune city along route 4. This location, in all of Kalos, was the only location which seemed to have any of the ralts line. Interestingly enough though, its evolved forms were never encountered in the wild. Instead, it was just the ralts. Is this because the ralts are more person friendly? With these thoughts in mind, we set to work in locating a ralts.

    The plan was simple: Amelia would engage it with her poochyhyena, then would use a status effect to put it to sleep. Once it passed out, I would attach a tag to the back of its head. The tag was a simple transciever system. I could issue a few commands to the ardx microprocessor that would then either transmit a homing signal, end all transmissions, or separate the tag.

    My reasoning behind the tag was simple:
    Upon finding the ralts, we would then track it back to its home range, and set up observation from there.
    Once it seemed to enter its home territory, we would shut down the transceiver and separate the tag from the Pokémon.
    To do this was exceptionally simple. A micro servo resided in the tags band itself. Upon the command, it would actuate, releasing the small locks that held the tag closed. Once this was done, it would simply fall to the ground. The intent also, was to attach it to a section of the ralts that would not be instantly noticeable.
    That was the theory at least.

    The day started out well enough. We entered the flower fields just outside of Santalune city then began a vigil for the elusive ralts. For the better part of 3 hours we encountered nothing but flabebes were all we seemed to encounter for the longest time. After a while, I began noticing that, based upon appearance rates, there seemed to be a variation in the species in coloration. Roughly 75% seemed to be of the red petal variety whilst 23% seemed to be of the Yellow petal variety. Only 2% seemed to display a white coloration. Perhaps this correlated to a mutation in the species? I will have to ask Gerry about it when this field work ends...

    Note: Ask about coloration in Flabebes! Gerrys work should reveal critical insights into the role of coloration and reproduction.

    After a while, we began to grow bored with this.
    I turned to Amelia to seek her opinion "Do you suspect that we might be in the wrong place?" She looked towards me to answer when she suddenly stopped short then pointed her finger over my shoulder.
    I turned around to see what was going on when at my feet there stood a ralts. It went without saying then, that we were, in fact, in the correct location.
    My surprise was immediate.
    I didn't expect one of them to come right up to me.
    This was worrisome!
    I didn't want it to see me and later recognize me. Given that the observations need to happen with as little interaction on my part, it was imperative, that we were not visible to the ralts. Otherwise, there was a danger that it could bond. This would ruin our observations as then its behavior, and possibly the behavior of its family unit, would thus be altered.
    Amelia reached to grab her Pokéball when an idea occured to me. While I appreciated her initiative to put it to sleep so that we could continue our work, I was curious if we could let it lead us back with no changes to its current behavioral state. I quickly explained this to Amelia. If we allowed it to come and go at its own discretion, it would not sense any danger, nor would it alert its parents to us. We could follow it back without having to put it to sleep and tag it. Amelia looked skeptical about my idea, but decided to give it a try. If it appeared frightened, then she would take care of knocking it out. That was good. I was relieved that she was willing to try out my idea. I simply hoped that it would work as I proceeded to kneel down whilst reaching into my rucksack.
    The sudden motion seemed to momentarily startle the ralts. It regarded me warily before it tilted its head whilst looking at me with its cherry red eyes.
    For the briefest moment I felt a probing sensation.
    I had the distinct impression that something was rifling through my brain. Or rather, it was picking at my emotions and mood.
    Since I was feeling curious, it likely picked up on the notion that I was no real threat to it. Either that, or it detected my happiness at finding a ralts. I couldn't tell. I was more worried that it would think I wanted to capture it.
    Without the proper context, this would seem odd so let me explain. Shortly after I felt that peculiar feeling, the little ralts made a weird chirping noise before rocking left and right with its hands up in the air.
    I drew my hand from my rucksack at that point. I did this slowly and fluidly.
    Note: It would be best to avoid sudden jerking motions, they seem skittish and are likely to flee if you are abrupt.
    From my rucksack I produced a banana then slowly peeled it.
    The entire time, the ralts regarded my actions with curiosity. As I exposed the fruit, the ralts suddenly made a chirping kind of noise again, then flexed its tiny fingers at me. It seemed to me as though the Ralts was hungry.
    I am curious about the wild Ralts metabolism. The best way to judge this for now is to utilize ranges of mass for the foods I observe it consuming. All future notes will include this if possible.
    If a young ralts is here in a populous area, hungry, and making to retrieve my food, the thought has occurred to me that perhaps this is intentional.
    Perhaps the amount of food dropped by many a carefree traveler has conditioned the ralts line to forage in this area primarily. If that is so, then that would explain why they are spotted in this spot. However, why only here? Why do we not encounter the ralts line elsewhere in Kalos? Especially near the bigger cities? Is there an upper limit to all of this? Is there a maximum population size that the Ralts line prefers?
    I confess I was lost in my thoughts longer than I should have been. For in the intervening time, the ralts had finished its meal then began padding at my pant leg expectantly.
    With a confused expression, I lowered my hand down, then proceeded to rub its head.
    For some reason, the ralts seemed to really enjoy that. It made a wierd gurgling form of its call. As if it were an expression of happiness...
    this was most peculiar. It had tactile sensitivity and was expressive in both vocalizations and movements.

    After enjoying a few more minutes of play, the Ralts suddenly stopped then turned its neck towards the woods. This was sudden. Did it hear something? I listened as well, straining my ears against the background noises in an attempt to discern what it could be the ralts was so interested in. After a moment it suddenly made a cry. I say it made a cry, but really this one was a long sonorous one. This was peculiar to me. The ralts was able to discern something that neither myself nor the trainer had picked up on.
    It seemed that the ralts had actually been answering something. For it then turned slowly back to me then gave a slight jump into the air. It was able to propel itself maybe an inch off the ground before it fell back to the ground. Afterwards, it then turned, and began making its way into the nearby woods.
    I wasted precious time in a curious stupor before I realized I should probably pursue it.
    As I stepped into the woods, Amelia warned me about paying close attention to my surroundings. She had the concern, apparently, that I would easily loose my way if I did not mark my progress. That being said, she eventually gave chase.

    Slowly and quietly we moved through the woods, keeping the ralts in sight, but staying easily 60 yards away. Since it was a slow mover, we found ourselves often stopping to let it gain some distance. Its average gait was .25 meters per second. I should note that it also seemed to be in a hurry for several times it failed to note where its feet were going. Often times, it would slip and balance precariously on one leg before finally putting the loosened foot down.
    We kept up this average pace for about 20 minutes before it came to a clearing. Amelia and I huddled down 20 meters from the clearing, watching the specimen as it stepped into the clearing, then made another sonorous calling noise.

    Shortly afterwards, its cry was answered by a deeper bell like cry that had a definite vibratto tone to it. From a strand of trees 60 meters from the ralts northwards, a fully evolved specimen appeared. This animal, known as Gardevoir, had apparently been the one who had called the ralts in the first place.
    Amelia watched as the two seemed to communicate in a string of calls. The gardevoirs cries started out slow and languid. The ralts was more rushed in making its calls. Suddenly, the Gardevoir gave a sharp cry shortly after the ralts vocalized a long string. The Gardevoir swept its eyes around the clearing, then knelt down to the ralts.

    I couldn't believe it.
    The mannerisms of this gardevoir seemed to communicate comforting and yet, there was at the end of one string of vocalizations, a slightly... harsher cry.
    The ralts then gave a hurried yet also somewhat quiet cry.
    I am tentatively suggesting that this is the first instance of Gardevoir rearing behaviour. The exchange seemed to be as if the ralts were being admonished. For what though, I cannot tell.

    After this continued for a while, the two walked back to the stand of trees.
    Amelia and I then relocated ourselves at this point. Our exact distance to the trees was unknown to us as we drew up short when we saw the Gardevoir, another gardevoir, and the ralts clustered together. They seemed to occupy that one location as there was a well worn break in the bushes and grass surrounding their location.

    Upon utilizing binoculars, I was able to observe that they were communicating back and forth. They were in a seated position in a rough semi circle. Interestingly, they were oriented facing east. They seemed to be eating from a small pile that was in front of them. Judging by the yellow coloration and the comparative size of the food, they were eating Bananas.
    Given the amount they consumed, it would appear as though this was either what they were able to forage, or part of a normal diet for them. Based upon one meal though, I am unwilling to make a declaration of dietary regime.

    We decided to fall back about 200 yards from the clearing that night. This put us about 100 yards back towards where we had come from in total. As we were unable to see the clearing at this distance, we estimated that the distance was more than sufficient to conceal our location from the potential family group. With wind blowing from the southwest, their direction, we knew we were well downwind of them. Given this, and since we know nothing about their olfactory capacities in the wild, we judged it safe for a small fire.
    Amelia seemed thoughtful as I recorded my observations though. I suspect that she finds this boring. I don't blame her. If not for this expedition, I suspect she would have attempted to capture the Ralts. Most trainers seemed to value them more as a show Pokémon. I wouldn't be caught dead trying that out.
    Tomorrow I hope to gain more information about its social dynamics. I am curious if there is a cultural aspect to this social group. All indications so far has it at slightly less than human capacity. This is based more on its inability to form complex vocalizations. However, this is too soon to tell. Since very little is known about how they function in the wild, there is insufficient data to determine their overall comparison to humans. Perhaps they have a different method of speech than we are used to.
    The current readings suggest that wild Ralts and Gardevoir do not have any major capacity for language. This is based on the fact that a domesticated gardevoir is shown (Betelwes 3125) to have a higher cognitive skill based upon guidance of humans. In the Article, it is noted that: "A Gardevoirs pattern recognition ability seems diminished in its natural state. As the domesticated gardevoir was able to complete the cognition tasks it was given approximately 63 seconds before the wild one. It should be noted that factors such as prior training have not been ruled out yet.
    Given that, one would expect the observations in-situ to match. Time will tell.

    Ralts size was judged as near normal height.
    .41 meters (1.47 feet)
    Weight: Undetermined. Specimen was not weighed.
    Average gait: .25 m/s or 900 m/hr.
    Specimen observed to consume 4 bananas in total. Each about 4-6 ounces in weight.
    Unable to determine full dietary habit as of yet. Further observation required to establish metabolism...

    Distance to supposed habitation from observation location: 300 meters. Proximity to habitations is peculiar. By all means, the ralts and Gardevoir live just outside of town.
    Final note: Later established that Ralts that was encountered was a female. Males seem to occupy the child rearing roles while the females seem to secure food supplies and establish security.
  3. DaniWesty

    DaniWesty School Kid

    Oct 23, 2014
    I'm kind of spamming this when you get down to it. I have the first 12 chapters uploaded at FF.net, so basically I'm just importing. As time goes on, you will notice a sort of regularity.

    Chapter 3 starts the first subjective chapter. Its style was uncertain at first as I began to settle into how I felt the writing should go. I began in third person, but writing it in first person began making the narrative more personal in nature, which was very important going on from here. Rowan is intentionally vague at this point. The reasoning why will be obvious later.

    Setting out from Santalune City, Rowan Ginkgo had high hopes. Being a researcher in training, he was very much working at the forefront of behavioral dynamics in Pokémon. Which was why, as he walked along amicably with his trainer escort, Amelia, he seemed at the top of the world.
    "So you've never even owned a Pokémon?" Amelia suddenly asked.
    Rowan looked over to regard the 18 year old Pokémon trainer. With Back length Auburn hair, wide emerald eyes, and a rounded face accented by freckles from sunlight exposure, the 5'5 Pokémon trainer looked as though being outside was not her thing. Heck, he thought, even her clothing didn't seem appropriate. She was wearing a denim skirt, some kind of floral patterned flats, and a wide brimmed hat. If it wasn't for the belt with poke balls and the backpack she carried, he would have thought she was just some well off child.
    Guess appearances aren't all they're meant to be.
    I grinned at the thought that perhaps the kids making it into university aren't as bad as I thought. Still, I was curious as to why she volunteered for this job. She didn't say anything outright when I saw an email a few weeks ago from my advisor that an escort for my research had been found.
    Amelia and I eventually found ourselves on route 4 outside of Santalune. With an expectant look, I dismounted my rucksack, then allowed myself to stretch quickly.
    Amelia gave me an amused look as I did this. I found her gaze and expression to be uncomfortable. I felt like I had somehow embarrassed myself in front of her. With this in mind, I went ahead and asked.

    "What?" was all I could think to ask.
    "Nothing." she responded as she shouldered off her backpack, "I'm just wondering how you're going to be able to continue on for the next 2 months if you are having problems now is all." She said that neutrally, though I could tell that she was secretly amused.
    I was tempted to rise to her bait and defend myself. Perhaps even win her admiration by telling a few old stories that pertained directly to how I even got into college. Instead though, I gave a grin. "We'll see who's going to be able to continue in due time. It never hurts to stretch as often as possible."
    With that said, I then turned to fully survey my surroundings. This route was rather elegant in design. The central path was bordered on both sides with a combination of flower patches and a hedgerow maze. Down the road by about a mile was a marvelous central fountain. It was a common leaping off point for new trainers apparently. With such a peaceful atmosphere, I couldn't help but to feel myself becoming more at ease.
    I could readily attest that before being selected for Field Work studying the Ralts line, I did not give myself much time to slow down and smell the proverbial roses. With how quaint this place was, I felt a pang of regret.
    Looking to Amelia, I tilted my head then finally asked "Ok so what's your story? You used to be a trainer and now you are attending college. What's the game plan?" My curiosity won out in this discussion.
    After a short pause, Amelia finally gave a slight shrug of her shoulders. It looked to me as if she were trying to formulate the best response. With a small smile, she finally elaborated.
    "Well, the truth is that after all these years on the road I wanted to settle into a life of taking care of Pokémon that have been abandoned." She looked away as if there was a deeper story associated with her motivations.
    I sat in silence for a few moments. Curiosity compelled me to allow her the breathing space to spill the beans. However, she simply sat there lost in her own thoughts. With a shrug, I returned my attention to the surroundings. I didn't want to be the one to say it, but this probably wasn't the kind of trip for someone who wanted to run a refuge.
    "What about you?" She suddenly asked, "Why are you out here chasing Ralts around? I mean, there are so many new fairy types that have even less information. Why would you dedicate the summer to such a... well, non-stellar Pokémon species?"
    Amelia looked a bit embarrassed to say such a thing. However, I knew she was right. To a Pokémon trainer, The Ralts line was actually rather dull. It was not exactly a powerhouse in battle teams. It was cumbersome, and did not actually know moves commonly associated with Fairy Pokémon. It was, from her standpoint, a pointless specimen to have. Maybe it could be considered something of a cute pet, but it wasn't the best.
    I gave a grin as I nodded in concession. "You are right. There are more interesting species..." I began, then heavily emphasized "From a battle perspective. They are weaker than a number of other species and there is less known about a fair few other Pokémon species. However, what warrants a closer examination is the fact that they show the clear signs of having a culturally based society. There is indications that they self-organize and utilize complex tools for their day to day activities. '
    "You see, over the last 14 years, examination of Gardevoir settlement zones indicates artifacts which have a non-sapient origin. The complexity of some of these items; clay pots, stone implements, tools, to put it simply, suggests that a number of assumptions about gardevoir are incorrect. For the past 80 years, it was assumed that they were not as intelligent as humans because they did not have our complex machinery. By comparison, they were simple animals living off the land. No different than that Pokémon you carry with you. "
    I gave a nod to her Poké Ball then glanced around.
    "The surprising number of...incidents... over the past 5 years all seem to indicate that advanced reasoning is common in the gardevoir species. That their attachment to humans is a function of a shared instinct between us and them: Organization and community. To a limited degree, reliable evidence indicates that a number of these... relationships, occur as a result of the Ralts line coming into adulthood and attempting to form a family bond with its trainer. When you think about it from a purely psychological view, it is only common. They see their trainer as the light of their world and seeks to understand them more. Both sides develop emotions for one another, and the race for pairing is on. "
    I gave a slight shrug. "But more interesting is what happens afterwards. In about 20% of the cases, mating is successful. But more interestingly, is how the Gardevoir begins treating the other members of the Trainers team. Now that they are on equal parity, they then begin assisting their trainer in the upkeep of their Pokémon. Were it not for the sophistication of their reasoning abilities, the argument could be made that they are mimicking human processes because they believe themselves to be human. Thankfully, research into their ability to learn our languages indicates that they are actually very much self-aware. In every case studied to date, in exact parity with humans."
    Upon saying that I finally sighed. I was not a fan of these kinds of discussions due to the negative connotations they carried.
    "So, what then, you want to prove they are basically humans?" Amelia asked after a few moments.
    With a slight shrug I replied to her "No, I just want to understand why they self-organize, why they utilize tools, and why they tend to easily form these bonds. My hope is that upon observing a family group, some insights might be gained. "My eyes suddenly shifted.
    "Oh, hey another Flabebe. They certainly seem abundant here"

    The subject abruptly switched just like that. I brought her attention to the bug like flower Pokémon that seemed to frolic here.
    For a few minutes she sat in silence before she spoke up "Is it possible that they didn't want to be subservient to us?" came her quiet voice.
    "Who knows? I'm not a Pokémon psychologist and I'm not about to make guesses at their motivations psychologically if I don't have the evidence to support such claims. "I responded.
    It was only after I said that, did I realize that I might have spoken out of term with her. I then turned to look her in the eyes. Sure enough, those words had struck a chord with her.
    Before she could speak I suddenly stated. "That's not right actually... I don't want to say whether we are or are not until I am certain I can say what is really happening. I want to get both sides of this, ours and theirs, before I would ever say one way or the other. Besides, if you really care about how they feel, then you see them as being worthy of your love and support. How could anyone ever say that they love something, yet treat it like it is less than them?" I gave a slight apologetic smile after I finished.
    Amelia looked down at the ground for a moment, then gave a slight nod. My clarification seemed to help her make up her mind about something.
    "So, is that why you don't have Pokémon?" she suddenly asked.
    Taken aback, I quickly replied "Oh, no not at all, my parents and I lived a peculiar lifestyle of being on the move a lot. I just never had a stable enough environment for one. I guess the fact that due to this reason I never really gave it serious thought does also play into matters."
    With that said, I glanced around once more. There were a peculiar amount of Flabebes floating around the flowers. However, I began to realize that there was some measure of variance to them. At least 3 prime groupings were apparent: Red, Orange, and white. Intrigued, I idly noted the numbers of each.
    After another couple of hours I finally stood up once more, then proceeded to stretch. Amelia was passed out not too far away. She had likely gotten bored by this. But then, I couldn't blame her. The area Ralts usually appeared at was seemingly in this narrow corridor. Only ever alone, and usually in Orange flower beds.
    I began to worry. It was getting late in the day, yet there wasn't even a sighting yet. With a sigh, I walked over to Amelia, then gently placed my hand on her shoulder, then gently shook it.
    "Hey," I said quietly. "Wake up..."

    Oddly enough, the woman snapped out of her sleep then sat up rapidly. Her eyes were wide as she looked around, as if to establish who was attacking her. By this point I had stepped back a good 5 feet. Previous experience taught me that such encounters rarely ended well. Especially when someone woke up that quickly.
    "What is the matter?!" she asked somewhat loudly.
    With a sheepish expression, I allowed her the time to get her bearings. After a few moments, she seemed to realize where she was and what was going on. She then finally turned to me with a somewhat cross expression on her face.
    "What was that all about?!" she asked, clearly irritated.
    I gave her an apologetic look, then brought my hand up to rub my neck. However, I made haste in answering her. "Well, I was just wondering if we shouldn't try a different loca-...what?" I stopped speaking as she began to point more or less towards me, but slightly to the left.
    I slowly turned around to see what had caught her attention.
    There, maybe 40 feet away, was a tiny Ralts. It seemed to have just emerged from the flowers directly behind it. It was frozen in place, looking at us with an unreadable expression.
    "Never...mind" I said quietly as the pair of us stared down this elusive Pokémon.
    After a few moments, I began feeling as if I were being questioned. Well rather, a sense of foreign curiosity. Then, I began to feel as if I were being prompted somehow to answer. Finding this odd I paid close attention to the ralts before speaking slowly.

    "Hey there little guy." I said in a quiet and comforting tone.
    The Ralts seemed hesitant at first. It did not make a move for about 30 seconds when I suddenly felt something. Like a light headache, I felt as though something foreign was occupying my mind. I felt my heart race as I became aware of this presence, then a sense of... violation. However, as suddenly as it began, it ended. The Ralts regarded me with curiosity for another moment, then gave what appeared to be an excited chirping noise. Its tiny body danced from side to side as it made this noise.
    Fascinated, I knelt down to the ground, then looked quickly at Amelia.
    "Hey, I guess the speculation about them approaching people is correct!" I stated in a somewhat excited tone of voice.

    Amelia regarded the Pokémon for a moment then asked "Want me to put it to sleep so you can tag it?"
    Despite me stating that this would be the preferred method of tracking it, I suddenly had an idea. "Well, let's hold off on that. I get the feeling that to do so would only work against us. Since their behavior clearly shows that they like human interaction on a certain level, we might be able to follow it back without recourse. If something suddenly startles it enough to make it run off, then by all means knock it out. However... I want to see if we can follow it back."
    With that said, I then slowly reached over to my rucksack, then produced a Banana. Oddly enough, this semi seedless fruit was abundant in this area. Even though the Rhizome plant did not require the seed pod that the banana fruit itself used to be, through some quirk in evolution, it continued to produce them. The current accepted model was that the current Banana plants seen in the wild were descendants of the plant Musa Basjoo which is known to be able to endure cold weather environments of -28 degrees Celsius. While it is not well known as to how the mutation has fully progressed, it is known that this has resulted in an extended range of growing. Further, given its Rhizome reproduction sequence, the bananas are vegetatively propagated by means of 'suckers' which develop from buds on the underground rhizome. Each plant is genetically identical to its parent plant. This means that each banana species consists of a group of genetically identical plants (a clone). Variation between clones results from mutations in the vegetative cells of the plant. In all there are some 300 daughter breeds of Musa.
    The Ralts attention seemed to perk up at seeing this fruit in my hand. With a curious expression, I slowly peeled it, then broke off about 4 inches of the fruit before holding the piece out for the Ralts.
    The Ralts seemed to regard it with curiosity for a moment before it quickly stepped forward, grabbed at the offered fruit, and then began eating it ravenously. With a curious expression, I wondered if it was either hungry, or if they were considered a major food source for this species.
    Or perhaps, I also thought, this was considered a specialty food that the Ralts preferred over most others.

    In short time, the offered piece was consumed. I broke off a small piece of the fruit for myself then handed the rest over to the Ralts. As I watched it eat, I heard Amelia laugh quietly.
    "It looks as though it likes them." She said. Her voice was quiet as well so as to not disturb the Ralts.
    Given the activity in this route, I wondered if talking in a normal tone of voice was even needed. The Ralts did not seem to acknowledge the steady stream of people moving north along the route. Instead, it seemed content to eat seemingly without a care in the world.
    With a smile, I slowly sat back to watch it.
    "Charming little creatures aren't they?" I asked, "If I didn't know better, I would have assumed that this was a child that had gotten lost. "
    Aside from its pale white skin, green hair, and horn that is. With this opportunity, I began to examine it as it ate.
    It stood at about .42672 Meters tall, (1.4 feet) with a head slightly proportionately larger than its body. Without being able to physically measure it, I would estimate that its head alone was 60 cm in circumference. (23 inches).

    As it finished its meal, it suddenly looked back up to me. With this motion, its peculiar red eyes could be seen. I regarded those eyes for a moment. They were scarlet. Much like the peculiar red eyes one sees in animals with albinism. Yet, the refraction of light off the irises seemed to indicate that this was not due to a genetic defect so much as actual melanin influence. This is quite peculiar in that it varies from the usual melanocortin 1 receptor. I found myself wondering if this was a common genetic sequence that had not been previously known.
    As if sensing my curiosity, the Ralts suddenly gave another excited chirping noise, then proceeded to grab at my hand. With a few insistent tugs, I allowed it to guide my hand.
    Rather than try leading me off, it seemed instead to desire contact. With a charmed smile, I decided to indulge it for a moment by patting its head.

    For some reason, this simple action resulted in what could be described as an endearing vocalization.
    "Hey, Amelia, are you seeing this?" I suddenly asked, "This is direct visual confirmation of the Ralts line directly seeking tactile stimulation for pleasure purposes." I looked back to her in a somewhat excited tone of voice.
    Seeing this, she came over, then proceeded to kneel down as well.
    "It's actually kind of adorable!" she proclaimed as she reached her hand out to pat it as well.

    In a most peculiar fashion, the Ralts seemed to have a negative reaction at her hand. It drew away, then gave a short, quick, vocalization. Indeed, its entire demeanor seemed to change when she made to pet it.
    Bemused, I looked at her to figure out what had prompted the different reaction. However, I could detect no real difference, her posture and expression was similar to mine. I could not see anything but endearment in her eyes as she tried to reach out and win the Ralts over.
    However, something had, and it then reflected on her face as she sat back with a dismayed face.
    "I guess it doesn't like you" I stated plainly.
    "Well yeah, but I don't know why..." she said.
    In this middle of this quick exchange, the Ralts, who had been since getting further pats from me, suddenly pulled away from my hand then faced away from us.
    "This is odd." I suddenly said as it seemed to rock from left to right, then made a sudden call.
    I wondered if it had detected a similar call from another Ralts line. However, I was unable to determine as I had heard nothing.
    "Amelia did you hear something?" I asked her.
    Confusion was on her face as she shook her head. "No," she stated "Nothing."
    We continued to watch for a moment as the Ralts then turned around to regard us. It gave a light call, almost hesitant. It seemed to be trying to communicate something to us. Suddenly, I had the distinct impression that it was feeling hurried and upset. If I didn't know better, it was reluctant to leave.
    "Rowan what's going on?" Amelia suddenly asked.
    I regarded her with curiosity then asked, "Did you not feel that?"
    Suddenly, I stopped then considered what I said. I felt something was amiss in this situation. The Ralts, by all appearances, had been communicating with me. Finally, I decided to just ask Amelia.
    "Earlier, when the Ralts appeared, did you get a feeling like someone was sitting next to you and listening in?"
    Amelia seemed taken aback as I asked that question "Yeah but it didn't feel very good. "
    "Like an invasion?" I quickly asked.
    "No, like I was being hated. "
    I gave her a long considering look then looked back to the Ralts. A thought occurred to me, but given that the Ralts seemed impatient about something. I decided to do the most logical thing at the time. I waved to the thing, then made a pointing motion, as if to say I understood that it needed to leave.
    Suddenly, a feeling of sadness came over me. The Ralts gave a downcast cry before it turned away, then began to slowly make its way into the wood line.
    I watched it go, counting the seconds as it crossed the 3 meter distance to the undergrowth of the woods to our west.

    I found myself counting the amount of time it took to cross the distance. 12 seconds from us to the wood line. .25 m/s
    I found myself suddenly in fascination of this little detail. A few seconds after it vanished into the wood line, I turned to Amelia.
    "Let's follow it." I pronounced, "If we want to see what its social structure is like, now is the time. Its sudden change in demeanor, and apparent sadness? I am willing to wager that it heard a searching cry and decided to return to whatever social group it has. Besides, something that young isn't the type to be left alone for too long."
    Amelia, oddly enough, had a reluctant look on her face.
    "Is this really a wise choice though? What if its parents decide to attack us?" She had a point, though it was a redundant point.
    "That's kind of where you come in. You are presently in possession of a dark class Pokémon correct?" I asked.
    With a nod, she answered my question.
    "Well in the event of an attack, your job is to stall for time and fight defensively until we are able to escape. Sleep powders, stuns, whatever is needed to help us get away. We will follow it at a distance though. 200 or so feet behind it preferably. "
    With a worried sigh, she then gave a slight nod.
    "Alright, but I hope you know what you are doing..."
    I gave a slight grimace as she said that. In truth, I did too. Not much was known about the psychic range of the Ralts line. There was no knowing whether or not it was able to detect us where we currently stood, let alone how close we will be allowed to approach before sparking defensive postures.
    Finally, I shrugged these thoughts off as I picked up my bag. "I know that as long as we stay away, we will not be attacked. So keeping this range should suffice."
    With that said, the two of us set off into the woods to follow the Ralts home.
    Upon departing from the well-worn paths, we saw a flash of green and red ahead of us. Apparently, the Ralts hadn't gone very far by the time we gave chase. It was, at best, 150 meters ahead of us. We followed its path by use of an apparent game trail. I regarded this path as we gave chase. It seemed as though this was made by something the size of the Ralts. Could it be that this trail was made by the ralts over the course of many days or weeks? The thought crossed my mind as we slowly gave pursuit.
    Our pace was leisurely to say the least. The Ralts excitedly walked along the trail but oddly enough never seemed to assume a guarded position. I regarded this with curiosity as we continued to follow it along. The thought then occurred to me that we have not seen a single Skitty or other carnivorous Pokémon in a while. They seemed to give this wooded area a wide berth.
    Due to our attempts at maintaining some measure of stealth, I was not able to voice this question to my companion. She, it seemed, was focusing more on the path than where we were going. It seemed as though she were used to walking through woods without a care. Now, she was forced to mind each step to reduce noise.
    I smiled at her diligent efforts then resumed watching the departing Ralts. In short time, it had proceeded about 800 meters from where we had started, then abruptly turned into some manner of a clearing.
    Amelia and I stopped, then moved northwest off of the path until we were at the brush line that separated us from this clearing as well. As We crept forward to get a good view, I couldn't help but to notice that the soil had slightly changed in composition. The soil, which had previously been loamy and clay like, now had a more sandy grey appearance to it. Recalling the geology lessons I learned back in my undergraduate years, this indicated we were now in a karst topography. That would explain why there was a clearing here...
    I was shaken out of my thoughts as the Ralts let out a long series of excited cries.
    Curious, I leaned in, thus gaining a clear view of the nearby field. There seemed to be a pond or spring source to the north of the clearing, while along the south end, there was a broken tree line. The Ralts, however, seemed to arrive at a slight dip in the field whilst making the cry.

    From the western portion of the field, an answering cry was heard. I tilted my head at the sound. It was very much a deeper sound. I was faintly reminded of bells being rung. Only... there was a lot of complexity to this call. I guess that meant it was a more mature adult. Shortly after the answering cry, an Adult Gardevoir emerged from the western side. Its steps fast as it appeared to run to its child.
    "I'll be damned..." I muttered as I watched this.
    "What?" Amelia asked in a similar quiet tone.
    "If that Gardevoirs pace is any indication, we might have just witnessed the equivalent of a child straying too far while the parents weren't paying attention" I explained. "I cannot be certain, but that pace seems quicker than one usually sees in a Gardevoir. Do you suppose it was worried about it?" I asked this more to myself than my companion.
    "I dunno..." she answered vaguely, "I can relate though"
    When she said that, I stopped watching the pair in the field, then gave her a curious look.
    "Oh come on" she said with a tone of irritation in her voice. "If I had wandered off, wouldn't you be concerned?"
    I tilted my head as I considered what she said, then finally nodded. "I suppose anyone would be." Came my simple answer.
    "Well look at it like that, plus, what if that Gardevoir is the Ralts parent?" She asked.
    I gave a nod at this then turned my attention back to the two in the field. The Ralts seemed to be vocalizing excitedly. The Adult, in turn, was matching its tempo with more drawn out soothing tones. In all, it seemed like they were actually conversing with one another.
    Suddenly, however, the tone of the Adult stopped being calming, then turned sharp. The Ralts vocalized again in, what I guess to be the same thing, what it previously said.
    The Gardevoirs head suddenly turned towards the treeline. As Amelia and I were well under cover still, we would not be visible. Plus, since we were not moving, I had confidence that the Adult would not investigate further.
    Without warning, I felt a more...commanding presence. It seemed to fill more and had a defensive feeling to it. Again, I felt the vague sense that I was being invaded. This time it was a more insistant feeling. The feeling with this one seemed to give me a sudden throbbing headache. As I gripped my temples, the feeling abruptly passed. There was a confused sensation as I felt the presence leave.

    I sat back from watching them, then looked around in confusion. Amelia was still watching the two out in the field. Apparently, the feeling was confined to me in this regard. I thought about it for a moment, then warily asked Amelia, thus voicing what I felt.
    "Amelia, did you... feel anything just now?" I asked with a certain amount of trepidition.
    "What are you talking about?" she simply asked.
    I gave a confused expression, then waved my hand slightly. "Forget it. I think I just had a brief headache."
    "Whatever..." she muttered while still watching the two in the field, "Oh! It looks like they are leaving!" Her hand suddenly shot out to point at the two.
    This brought my attention back to the field. Sure enough, the adult had taken the childs hand, then proceeded to lead it back to the west side of the clearing.
    "Well, let's skirt the trees then..." I said as I stood up. I slipped my rucksack off, then pulled a camel back off of it. Wonderful inventions. A large bladder of water you could wear on your back or in a rucksack. I made sure it held tight, then pulled out a pair of Binoculars and a small food pack. Food packs were very useful in the field it seemed. It was a double layer system. There was an outside durable canvas frame which looked like a pouch. It was held closed with metal snaps. Inside though, was the real genius. It featured a plastic sealing pouch that could be zipped close, much like the classic ziplock bags one could find at any grocer. However, unlike them, the plastic was thicker (About 1 mm thick) and the zipping apparatus seemed to be re-enforced.
    With those items grabbed, I proceeded to lead the way. Amelia, for some reason, did not remove her backpack. Instead, she occasionally twisted a branch as we walked along. I understood why she did that, though felt it unneccesary. Since we were so close to the treeline, all we had to to was run back until we saw the rucksack. Besides, I reasoned, we wouldn't be staying here all night yet.
    As the two of us approached, we could still hear the voices of the ralts and the Gardevoir. We managed to get to within 75 feet of them before we stopped. The Gardevoir suddenly made a louder cry, which was answered shortly afterwards by at least three more voices.
    I was shocked. 3 Gardevoir at the same location? This was a family group or at the least some kind of social group! I pulled out my Binoculars to have a closer look. Indeed, I could see into the woodline they had disappeared into enough to discern a sheltered clearing that had organization to it. Inside this clearing, there were at least 4 Gardevoirs, not counting the adult that had come out to retrieve the Ralts, and at least 1 egg that was plainly visible. The 4 adults seemed to be oriented near those eggs.
    This was curious... Most Pokémon have eggs, but then abandon them or leave them in very specific places. It was only in social groups that...
    "Amelia, this is a family unit..." I whispered.
    "A what?" She replied.
    "A family maybe 2! They live in a communal system!" I excitedly whispered again.
    "Is that important?" she asked in a quiet tone.
    I gave her a mildly irritated look then nodded.
    With that, I continued to look at them. 4 Adults, one seemed to come up to the Gardevoir and the child. That Gardevoir looked leaner and seemed to be slightly smaller than the other one. Sexual dimorphism usually occured when one gender took on the more physical tasks while the other one nurtured the offspring. In human society, by looking at bone remains, it was discovered that until rather recently, there was little sexual dimorphism. This meant that men and women shared equal roles in the society.
    Here though, it looked as though one was clearly different. I wanted to get closer to see if I could spot gender differences. However, I feared that getting closer would give us away. Instead, I watched in excitement as there seemed to be some kind of ritualistic crying. Perhaps more verbalization.
    "Hey..." Amelia whispered.
    "What?" I suddenly asked in an iritated voice.
    "I think that they are talking to each other. This isn't just them making noises. I'm hearing structure..."
    I put down my Binoculars then stared at her after she made this pronouncement.
    "What?" she suddenly asked, now uncomfortable with my look.
    "You'll have to tell me about it later..." I whispered then continued to watch them.
    I wish a play by play could be given. However, from the greetings, it eventually settled down. After another half an hour, food was produced.
    Really? Bananas?
    I gave a quiet laugh upon seeing that, then slowly made to stand up. Off to the west, the sky was starting to darken.
    "Come on..." I said to Amelia.
    She gave me a confused look as I pointed to the sky. "We need to get camp set up..."
    Later that evening, we settled into a spot about 75 yards from the clearings edge and off the trail we followed the Ralts in on. It was still visible to us at 30 yards distance, but we were far off enough that we would not directly attract attention.
    That night as I wrote up my field notes, I paused upon writing in the encounter with the adult. Should I include more? Should I mention that I felt like it was reading me? Learning who I am? Trying to judge me perhaps?
    With a shake of the head, I moved on. In research, it's best to move beyond feelings after all...
    I slipped the narrative style from third person to first rather unintentionally. However, I feel like it flows better that way. The prime thing I wanted to communicate in this was that for all that is written in his field notes, much of his experience is omitted. Instead, an attempt at objectivity is communicated. In this chapter, the prime conflict is thus established. It is something that mere observation does not fully encapsulate and I look forward to building on this in the future.
    Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed it.
  4. DaniWesty

    DaniWesty School Kid

    Oct 23, 2014
    Chapter 4 was written a few hours after my jeep was stolen. It was meant to simply serve as a summation of what followed in the next chapter. By this point, I was beginning to refine just HOW I wanted the notes and chapters to be perceived. This was one of the shorter chapters too. In fact, for the next 2 chapters, they were short as they began building towards a very important turning point in the character development of Rowan. At this point, a hint of the main conflict becomes visible. Everything afterwards becomes... longer in nature.

    Field Notes.
    20 June 3130. Route 4 woodland.
    During the night there was a peculiar noise. It only happened shortly after we extinguished our campfires. The sound sounded vaguely like the Gardevoir we had heard before. I cannot be certain though. When asked later, Amelia was also ignorant on what the sound was. It lingered for a few minutes, then we didn't hear it anymore that night.
    The next morning, we had breakfast. Nothing seemed to be missing and there was no sign of disturbance. Whatever it was, must not have been terribly concerned with us.
    We got back to the observation site from yesterday afternoon. It looked as though the 5 Gardevoir were just getting under way for the day. Judging by the time, 8:30, they did not seem to be dawn risers. Instead, there was a slow start. Initially one was up. It moved over to the eggs then inspected them. Then it stepped out into the clearing, then looked around.
    The Gardevoir then walked back into the clearing for a moment, walked back, then after another 5 minutes it then emerged into the clearing, then walked over to a water spring that sat nearly in the middle of the field. It seemed to retrieve water in a most peculiar fashion. From the spring, it produced a large sphere of water, then walked with it back to their clearing. I could not say directly, but perhaps it was 1 foot by one foot.

    The others began rousing around 8:15. I could not identify which one was which. Though the Ralts was already up. It seemed to dance along with vocalizations that were audible over where we were. This continued for almost 45 minutes. Occasionally, along with the Ralts call, there was also the accompanying calls from parents.
    It was interesting. They shared a communal meal of an assortment of berries and roots. Even in eating, a Hierarchical structure was plainly visible. The Ralts was allowed to begin eating first. Eventually, Another one of the Gardevoir began to eat as well, it seemed to make motions towards the other 4. Even here, there seemed to be a self organizing structure to their actions. However, I was unable to determine the precise pattern just yet. However, I did notice that each had their own traits.
    The one first one that began to eat, sat closest to the Ralts as it ate. This could have been either its father or mother. It was the more lean one. After that one joined in, another Gardevoir sat down next to the Ralts, then exchanged vocalizations with the other two. Then, two others sectioned off their meal, then sat across from them. This seemed to be a second pairing. Possibly another parental group. The last one, which had a lighter green tint to its hair and a slight redorange coloration to its center shard, joined in. If I had to assign a color to its hair, I would call it aquamarine. After conferring with Amelia, it was determined that this was about as accurate as could be.

    The only food disparity seemed to exist between the ralts and the rest. The Ralts' food portions were greater than the others. This seems to be an indication that the child is the most important member of this family group. Speaking of the ralts, it had sat closest to the eggs, the other pair sat on the other side of the eggs, then the aquamarine one sat opposite of the eggs. In all, 3 unhatched eggs sat.
    I found it peculiar that they were arranged in such a spatial configuration at this hour. Last night, they all sat oriented to the east. Today, or at least this morning, they were oriented in a circle. All faced one another. I wasn't certain what this structure was supposed to represent.
    After conferring with Amelia about this pattern, we settled on a tentative explanation that in the same way humans speak to each other in the mornings, Gardevoir shared a morning communal meal. Where they would freely talk to one another.
    This was speculation of course. We only arrived at the conclusion of talking to one another after hearing all of them seem to chatter on using their respective cries and a series of other vocalizations.

    Suddenly, the ralts sat back from its meal. It had been eating at a rapid clip up until this point. Is this because of its metabolism? Was that why it ate so quickly? I never read anything about that. Will consult a dietitian when I return to establish a working hypothesis. If the Ralts eats this enthusiastically after every meal, I should have enough observational evidence to support this assertion.
    Before we had settled in, we had arranged some fronds and branches to better obscure our observation site. This ensured that only our heads were visible when we were in the prone position watching. When we were sitting, we had to shift the branches to better hide our bodies. This also meant we had to sit in a different position. But then, this was meant to give us cover while we watched, not give us a luxury spa.
    Amelia had gotten bored at some point. By the time I looked away from the Family group somewhere after the second pair leaving, she was working on a grass mat of some kind. I found this fairly amusing as I turned my binoculars onto the pair that had recently departed.
    They seemed to be occupied along the southwest border of the field. Exactly opposite of our location and easily 500 meters away from our camp. After 50 minutes, they returned with a harvest of food in tow. They used their abilities again to hold up the load. By all estimates, this was easily 10 lbs of food. Given that much, it was obvious that whatever they were picking from had a high enough load to support the family group.
    We took a break to eat our meals. I ate one of my MRE packs (Lasagna with peaches and 2 slices of bread. ). MrEs are not for someone who enjoys taste over substance.
    Amelia had gone back to the camp to prepare her own meal. I was worried that the smell of a fire might attract attention. How well can gardevoir smell anyways?
    at 2pm, all but one of the Gardevoir seemed to settle in for sleep. It seemed that as the daytime hours reached peak heating, they seemed to rest in order to reduce energy expenditure. The remaining gardevoir, aquamarine, as I've begun calling it, seemed to depart the settlement then made to go over to the springs. It easily slid into the water. Oddly enough, it seemed as though the cloth like drapery was in fact removable. The Gardevoir had disrobed and left the article sitting on a rock. My curiosity was aroused.

    What was the story with that garment? Was it some kind of organic compound that their skin somehow produced that detached? Did they make it using an unknown method? This will be one of the things I wish to investigate further if given the chance.
    Around 2:30 pm, the Aquamarine Gardevoir left the water, then proceeded to continue walking across the field. It seemed to be wandering idly. If I did not know better, I would call this territorial observation as it looked around quite often. After 20 minutes, it began approaching the woodline closet to the shelter. I decided to go back under cover in order to not stand out in the woods.
    Eventually, it was close enough that I could hear its footsteps. Even though it was incredibly quiet, I could tell it was walking at a relaxed pace. It was very constant in sound and it did not indicate any kind of impatience. If I didn't know better, I'd say it was on a casual stroll.
    I adjusted my orientation so that I could watch it as it passed by. Strangely, I head its footsteps stop. I peered out the hide to see what had caused the Gardevoir to stop. Then, I realized that it was looking directly at my hide.
    As we did not do much more than bend a few bushes to make a wrap around feature with a bit of top cover, I did not believe it was especially noticeable. I settled down into the prone position, then continued to observe it as it stared in my direction.
    Oddly enough, I felt the same tingling sensation that had previously affected me.
    However, after a moment, the feeling subsided. I remained still as the Gardevoir continued looking in my direction, then, for a reason I do not know, continued towards my location.

    I continued observing from under cover. Its gait was more well defined at this point. There was very little disturbance of the surrounding grass as it walked. This supports the claim that they have very little gravitational awareness. Given their psychic nature that was wholly unexpected.
    By the time she stopped again I could see her eyes clearly. Further, I could resolve her features. I say her because at the range she was at (Less than 25 meters) I could resolve her body structure. Gardevoir subject Aquamarine was noted as having a bust size that visually confirmed a B cup. This in nature observation confirms the assertion that they develop naturally. Not as a function of trace used in human presence.
    Further, the hair could be resolved in nature as in fact being a natural curl rather than a side effect of artificial influences. At this range too, its voice was half an octave higher than the other one which had met with the baby ralts yesterday. Beyond this, the curvature of this Gardevoir indicated an increased waist size. Supposition indicates this is to better allow the egg to pass.
    Unfortunately, I am concerned about using this position again. It is very clear that the Gardevoir has attempted to make contact with me. It gave a low cry in my direction. When I failed to reply, it made it again.
    It continued this before it approached my position.
    Being that Amelia was back at the base camp, this left me in the position of being discovered with no means of falling back. However, while my presence was noticed, a most peculiar thing happened. It gave me an inquisitive look, then made the call again. With no response, it proceeded around to the camp side of my hide then proceeded to step into it. This confirmed to me that I was entirely exposed.
    It proceeded to sit down, then made the call again. Again, the light headache washed over me for a moment before I attempted communication.
    No matter what, this is very much a worst case scenario. However, I am confused as after the feeling subsided, it seemed to smile at me before it turned then left. As I watched it go, I made ready to break down the hide quietly. However, as I began standing up, I was made aware that if I stood up now, the entire settlement would be alerted to my presence.
    However, by this point, I had no illusions that my research could continue.
    Strange though, the gardevoir which came over to investigate me, proceeded back to her settlement. When others emerged from rest, there was an exchange, however, it did not appear as if any of them were made aware of my presence. I say this as not a single one nor the ralts ever once looked in my direction nor made an approach to my position.
    This is very confusing. Why would a Gardevoir not alert the others? I cannot say. However, I get the distinct feeling that my presence is not being considered intrusive at this point.
    I do not wish to get my hopes up however. I intend to find a different observation point. This will be difficult as the one I was at is the best location due to a number of factors:

    1. Any closer and I run a major risk of discovery.
    2. Due to it being near a field, I am essentially limited in my positions.
    3. If I were to move to the south of their position, I run the risk of detection.

    I find myself unable to come up with a better plan than to stay where I am for the time being. I pray that this will be a wise choice.
    Addendum: The Gardevoir approached our camp later this evening. We have been very much discovered by this one, though is never once seemed to communicate a threat. Apparently this very same Gardevoir was the source of a mysterious noise the night before.
    Amelia suggests that we attempt to open dialogue with it. This decision is very much on my mind.
  5. DaniWesty

    DaniWesty School Kid

    Oct 23, 2014
    The brevity of the previous chapter is stark. This chapter is... well it's a bit of a doozy. It was the longest chapter I wrote to date for this story, though in retrospect it is only the 3rd longest chapter. However, I considered this one to be rather special to me when I finished writing it. As I was writing, I felt myself finally tap into an emotional reserve that I have kind of neglected over the years. By the time I was finished, I realized that a few hours had gone by and that I felt weird after writing it. Also, it marked the beginning of chapter title uses.

    The problem with feeling.

    20 June 3130. Route 4 woodland.
    I woke up the next morning in a bleary state. I set my alarm to go off at 5:00 am. Well before sunrise, and with an estimated amount of time to get onto site before the Gardevoir roused for the day. As I glanced around, I couldn't help but think that field work was not the easiest thing to get used to without some kind of preparation.
    I sat in the semi darkness of predawns twilight alone in my tent. Amelia and I shared different tents. This was good as she decided she did not seem to like being disturbed at night. However, as I proceeded to pull out my clothes for the day and get changed, I did admit to carrying some dark feelings on the matter. If she was going to be assisting me, she needed to have the same time schedule as I did. Otherwise, what the hell did she expect to accomplish?
    After getting changed, I clawed my way out of my tent and into the cold predawn light. It didn't seem to matter if it was 21 degrees or 10 degrees (Celsius) it still felt cold compared to the tent. There was no wind, so the embers from last nights fire emitted a light smoke that hung over the area. I stumbled my way over to it, then set some wood into the fire pit. I then blew at it until I saw a small flame appear near one of the logs. Slowly, that flame spread to rekindle the fire that we had from last night.

    With the fire lit, I then began to survey the camp site. There were 3 main tents set up. One was a 10 foot by 10 foot wall tent. Inside of it was all the equipment I would need for studying samples and reviewing data. There was a small solar power generator that was hung on the roof of it, braced from within the tent by a series of poles. There was a desk and a chair as well. Beyond that, it also contained additional charging equipment for the inhibitor which had yet to see use and the camera battery chargers. At some point, we were to set these up for remote video surveillance. However, this required time. Time was made by finding patterns that allowed for camouflage deployment and remote system calibration. The idea was to have a camera network set up on site so as to observe the settlement remotely should the opportunity surface.
    This honestly seemed a bit of a waste as cameras could not cover the entire area at all times and until the radio repeater network was set up, it would be cost prohibitive to set up a satellite multiplexer link. Still, the department heads had dreamed big when they sent out both systems...
    Aside from that equipment, there was also a trunk of additional supplies due within the day. This would be food and additional cameras as well as a lindsradt rifle with a tranquilizer dart magazine. This was pushing it to be honest.

    I counted on simplicity. However, the department felt that if a settlement was observed, then long term stays were to be expected. Therefore, it would make sense to send out additional resources.
    Still... who was funding this? The department was rather mum on the precise origin of funding. There was, of course, the Fey-Tuttle foundation, which seemed to stick its nose in any new survey of psychic and fairy types now, but then there was other funding sources. Clearly such sophistication could not come from just one funding source.
    Take for instance the solar generator. Normally these weighed hundreds of pounds and were bulky to say the least, the solar array was rigid and usually required two people. This system however, seemed to collapse down to the dimensions of a notebook paper and yet folded our to 8 times that size and generated 100 watts. That sophistication is usually seen on military level operations into the field. Not some 2 man operation watching Gardevoir frolic in the field!
    I shook these thoughts out of my head as I set about making breakfast. I figured that Amelia would come stumbling out soon. So I figured the sooner we could eat, the sooner I could get back on site.
    Within 10 minutes, the food was coming along nicely. There was coffee brewing and eggs cooking along with some biscuits and gravy. With the food situation being resolved, I decided to look into something that had been bugging me since last night.
    As we had retired for the night, I had heard some noises coming from around the camp. Well not really some noises in truth, rather It was just one source moving around. I figured it was a mankey or some ratattas or something. However, upon a quick inspection, it did not appear as though anything had been damaged. Nothing in the wall tent was out of place, and the fire pit did not appear disturbed. Since we kept the main food supply in our bags, it was almost guaranteed that they were untouched.
    Odd. So nothing gets disturbed, yet clearly something was out and about last night...
    With a sigh, I decided that whatever it was probably posed no significant threat to us. Otherwise it would have attacked last night. Hell, it probably didn't really seem too concerned if nothing was disturbed...

    I shook these thoughts too out of my head as I returned to the fire pit in time to hear Amelia suddenly roll over in her tent with a groan. 5 minutes later she just emerged from her tent basically looking like hell. As she stumbled to the fire, I held up a spare mug for her.
    " -'s this?" she said, clearly still groggy.
    "Coffee, drink up, you're gonna need it for today."
    With a groan, she settled down onto a rock across from me then began to fuss at her breakfast. Oddly enough, she had the audacity to give a confused look at the meal I had made. "Is this.. biscuits and gravy?" She suddenly asked.
    "Yeah, let me guess, first time having it?"
    "Seems excessive, starch on starch? Who eats this garbage?"
    Rather than indulge her on regional cultures, I instead shrugged.
    "You're gonna need the carbohydrates in order to function today. There could be some running involved and you'll need the energy..."
    "Coffee won't do?" she asked.
    "It's only good to jumpstart the nervous system and that's it..." I responded as I mixed my eggs in with the Biscuits and gravy.
    She gave a repulsed look before digging into her breakfast.
    "So what will we be doing anyways?" she asked.
    "Well," I said as I put the plate down, "The plan is to get back on site and set up to watch them. I want to record their morning rituals to see if there is any kind of complex social behaviors in their morning rituals as well. "
    "Why are you so concerned with ritual behaviors in particular? " She asked, "You've used it a few times and seem to stress something about them."
    I smiled as I sat my plate, now mostly empty, then looked at her "Well, to understand this, you need to understand the reasons for why complex behavior arises. The Ralts line, like Humans, are born immature. If we think of them like birds, they are altricial. They have almost no instinctual habits. They cling to their parents who feed them over the first few months in life, then slowly begin teaching them all they need to know. Simple things at first like getting their food, to being able to vocalize, then to being able to first articulate and detect other emotional states. "
    She seemed taken aback "I thought the emotional states issue was instinctual."
    "In a way." He replied. "It's going to happen and they will eventually learn how to distinguish the two. However, there is a problem with this, when done individually, it takes a long time for the ralts to master this capability. In many cases, the individual results vary from trainer to trainer, yet whenever a ralts over the age of 3 years old, it has a better control over its abilities than a ralts at 4 to 5 years old raised in captivity. Why?" He then asked.
    He paused a moment to finish off his food.
    "The possible answer, is that the adults have a system set up to teach the ralts everything it needs to know. But when you look at what it can do by three years old, this is a wide variety of behaviors that suggest that a lot is imparted in a short time. This suggests that there is some specialization somewhere in the teaching environment. In humans, our evolutionary response was to establish a social society. Family groups whose sole purpose was to raise the children so that they too could function. Each member of the family group was specialised in how to hunt, how to speak, how to forage, how to weave, how to make tools, and so on. These are all behaviors we learn. We do not have these as instincts. Why not?"
    "...Because we are born too early?" Amelia asked.
    "Yes, because we walk upright, our hip bones are narrow. A more developed baby cannot be passed through the hip bones so the evolutionary response was to birth the baby sooner. This left them, like the ralts, with very few instinctive behaviors. Because of this, it had to learn everything in order to survive. "
    "That sounds disturbingly like the Ralts line."
    I smiled as I looked at her down my forks surface.
    "Precisely. Did you know that technically we are able to breed with them?" I asked.

    "I heard a few rumors but I thought that we couldn't because they were Pokémon..." she said.
    "Well, we cannot argue that they are Pokémon. But the genetic differences between us and them are only 1.6%. " I said, emphasizing this heavily.
    "Now, depending on what region we are talking about, the genetic variation in humans is only .1%, which can be found in variations of us who lived through a genetic bottleneck 7500 years ago, to .6% in all other cases. So a further 1% is all that separates us from them. Individually that means nothing though. What matters is the chromosome pairings. For us and them the pairings of chromosomes are precisely 23. Further, the pairing sequence is the same both ways. This is a very important notion. If we consider the implications of these observations. We must ask ourselves what this entails! Study of mitochondrial DNA suggests to us that the split happened between 15000 and 20000 years ago.
    "Now," I said as I took a drink from my coffee, which had cooled down a bit since I began talking, "With a split that recent, normally one wouldn't expect to see much variation. After all, most of these regions were settled by 10,000 years ago. So why are they so different?" I asked.

    After a moments thought, Amelia gave a tentative response "Because of technology?" She asked.
    I gave her a genuine smile. "Indeed, the advent of technology can be a very important role in this. When we consider that humanity took the option of adapting technology to our environment, that means that the niches we filled were now able to be adapted for artificially. However, that doesn't explain everything. If we consider the peculiar development of their shards, for instance. It is a very interesting crystalline structure. Why does it exist? What purpose does it serve? Well we know what its current purpose is, but there are issues too. I wonder if that wasn't the first change. Some kind of crystalline form which was the initial stage of the split. "
    "Ok, so you are saying that 15000 years ago there was a group of people with a crystal somewhere in them and a group of people who didn't?" she asked "Do we even have evidence of that?"
    "At this time, no we don't." I said. "We know how bodies can utilize minerals to formulate complex crystalline structures. The production of a pearl in the cloyster species for example deals with a complex mantle organ producing a calcium carbonate structure as a result of foreign bodies entering the filtration apparatus. So, one has to wonder if there wasn't a similar process which the Early Gardevoir/human species didn't experience as well. '
    "However, there is another issue which remains unresolved." I said as I looked at the fire. "Why has humanities genetic code stabilized so much where the Gardevoirs genetic code seems to be so unstable? Why does this exist all throughout nature but not with us? This is an unresolved question in our evolution. We do not know the sequence of events that led to us having a stable genetic structure while theirs is like every other Pokémon. It is doubtful that we will be able to answer those questions about their genetics out here, but there might be an answer as to why ours stabilized. Further, I want to answer whether or not we should also re-evaluate our views on their relative sentience as well." What I ended up leaving out for her is the position that there would be opposition on purely moral grounds.
    Due to mans ego, the notion of being at the top of things served as a rational justification for the concept of ownership. The International Pokémon Trainers League, for instance, advocated for peaceful co-operation and had recently petitioned the United Regions for a reassessment of trainer standards. Since the Pokémon Leagues of each region fell under the IPTL, this was assumed to have gone through without any issues.
    However, one paragraph in one section ended up derailing the entire process. That paragraph in particular included language which advocated for the re-evaluation of capturing techniques. In all non-sentient versions, the classic methods would not be altered. However, in the species with higher reasoning capabilities, it was suggested that instead of ownership, a kind of contract of mutual partnership would instead be formed. This simply meant that no trainer could legally own a Pokémon that had higher reasoning capabilities as this violated the U.R. Unanimous declaration of Human Rights Title B on Slavery. If a person forced another into servitude against their will, this was considered slavery. The argument, in its simplest form, went that if a Pokémon could reason in parity or beyond with a human, such as the Ralts and Abra lines, it was illegal to capture them as this was forcing them into servitude. Therefore, an agreement would have to be reached using the two parties that was mediated by a neutral third party.
    As expected, there was significant backlash. Various regional Pokémon Leagues faced censure and a massive campaign was instigated against it. Even though the Pokémon Leagues had popular support, they did not have the media savvy that corporations such as the Silph Industries did. It was no surprise then, that after a brutal media campaign. Voting naturally turned in opposition. The proposal was tabled and never saw a formal U.R. Vote.
    "So, then what? We are out here to make a case that we shouldn't in fact capture Gardevoirs?" She finally asked.
    With a sigh, I shook my head. "That attitude stays here in camp. We are not out to confirm or debunk any ideology. All we are really here to do, is to make observations so that we can actually understand what it is we are dealing with in the natural world. If they are, in fact, able to reason in a manner that we can adapt to and communicate through, then this should be known. If they have a complex social group and cultural attributes, we should also know that. We might very well also discover why there was such a drastic split a very short time ago."
    We ate in silence for a few more minutes before I stood up, then walked back to my tent. I grabbed a thermos then returned to the camp fire. After filling it with the remaining coffee, I proceeded to clean off the plates and then deposit my cookware in the tent.
    Amelia was still sitting at the fire, absent-mindedly eating when I finally finished then said "Come on, we should get over there before they wake up."
    After that breakfast, the two of us later found ourselves on site in the blind hide.
    The previous day, we set up a simple netting at 5 feet in height. It was supported on each corner by a simple black pole that was anchored into the ground using rope and a few stakes that were pushed in at a 55 degree angle from vertical. This allowed the net to have support and was not readily visible. We intentionally set this up in a grove of bushes which seemed to be of the Holly family. We selected this as it had a natural ring form and was dense enough that we could see through it without being readily seen ourselves. Further, it was flanked on the southern corner by sabal Palmettos, an oddity for this area as they were non native, and a pecha bush.
    We made some slight modifications to the surroundings. One bush was trimmed and its branches redistributed to obscure the hide poles. And another was trimmed to allow us to have an unobstructed view of the Gardevoir settlement. A major sacrifice was that from a distance, the hide did look natural. However at a distance of less than 25 meters, it was clear there was some form of a structure here. However, given that it gave us room to move and was far enough away that we could observe the entire site without attracting attention, we had a relatively comfortable observation site. This beat a Land rover parked in the middle of a plains watching a herd of tauros, at the least.
    The two of us settled in as the sun finally began to rise over the horizon. The Golden orange light cast peculiar shadows even on their settlement site.
    What I found interesting was that at this range, we could make out most of their prone forms. The current parent group with the Ralts was sleeping curled up together under a natural branch overhang that seemed to provide a kind of natural rain shelter. The grass around them seemed to be more fibrous in nature. As if it provided a very soft cushion when laid upon.
    The other pair was settled by a rock outcove. their sleeping forms were stretched out, with one within the others embrace against the rock itself. Seemingly supported into a more intimate position. The remaining one seemed to have made a sort of hammock for itself as it lay on a branch that seemed bordered on each side by branches that were secured together to provide a net like shape.
    Strangely though, the lone one was actually the closest to the Eggs. Which sat seemingly exposed in the back of the nesting site. If an animal were to exercise sufficient stealth, I would not be amazed if an egg occasionally was stolen from this nest.
    Naturally, I had no way of knowing this as there appeared to be no attempts thus far. In fact, the very air around here was absent a number of common dawn sounds. There was only a few isolated birds that cried. There were almost no bug noises around as well. The entire area seemed unnaturally still. Was this a side effect of Gardevoir inhabiting this area?
    Amelia gave me a cross look as we realized just how still it was. We did not previously know their usual waking time. It was assumed that since they could be considered prey for dark types, they would be up at dawn, and have a vanguard of sorts to provide them protection.
    "I could have gotten more sleep..." She muttered in a dejected fashion.
    I simply gave a shrug as I conceded this fact to her.
    "This is a fair point that I made an assumption that turned out to be incorrect. " He said in a low tone of voice. "Actually, I'm really happy that I'm wrong on this. It means that a few central assumptions, such as them having a need to have a posted guard of some sort, are about to change."
    I set up a small tripod mounted camera, then set it to take a number of rapid fire pictures.
    "Anything we observe here can then be correlated by more in depth studies in the future." He said quietly. "We can form a more unbiased assessment of their life styles based upon this."
    She looked at him.
    "I don't get why you are happy being wrong though," she said quietly "Most people are argumentative when they are wrong."
    I smiled at her, "Well that's just it. If I'm wrong, I will happily concede it. Because I'm wrong about when they wake up, that means that you don't have to rush out of bed in the morning. At the same time, we see before us that there is something more going on here. I can be wrong about these things because it also means our assumptions are wrong. It also means that we don't know as much about them as we thought we knew. "
    I then grinned at her.
    "Any time you are wrong is an opportunity to learn more about the world..."
    I then turned back to observe the settlement some more. I found it interesting how they arranged themselves, did they have a territorial nature to them? Did they like having a personal space? In certain species, you usually see them clustered together. Ranging like this seemed to mirror more carnivorous species but on a smaller scale.
    Finally, between 8 and 830, there was action in the settlement site. First the apparent male parent of the ralts woke up, then seemed to walk around the settlement. It first seemed to check in on the other pair, then the lone one, then back to its own family group. Then it walked into the communal area that they ate at the previous night, then seemed to inspect something. It then emerged into the field, then looked around.
    Curiosity compelled me to zoom in with the still camera, then observe closer while taking photos.
    It first looked to the left, then slowly turned its head, following the treeline. It continued this in a clockwise fashion. Then it looked upwards to the sky. It seemed to be looking for something. While I couldn't be certain. I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't just checking to see if it was being stalked by anything. Finally, it stopped this then walked back to the communal area. It walked back to the eggs, then inspected them briefly.
    Finally, it walked back out into the clearing, then crossed the 100 yards to the small spring pond that sat near the center.
    At first I thought it was just going to swim, or perhaps drink from it. Instead, it approached the waters edge, then held out its arm. I quickly took a number of photos as it then used its psychic powers to collect water into a large ball, which it then held suspended. The cameras clicking continued as it turned around, then carried this water ball in mid air behind it to the clearing.
    I heard a soft shuffling sound as Amelia sat down next to me to watch this. I could hear her slow breathing as she watched these unusual events unfold in front of her.
    "Is that... even real?" she asked.
    "We are seeing first hand evidence that their psychic powers are disciplined enough to manipulate medium quantities of water for the purpose of collection and transport. Yes, this is real and yes, this is happening.." I responded in a deadpan voice before finally adding:
    "Fruitcake..." In reference to her awe at something like this.
    I said that endearingly though. I knew she was a trainer by trade, so I expected something like this to be a common sight for her. However, it occurred to me that perhaps what I had simply accepted automatically was in fact an unusual ability.
    With this in mind, I took a few more photos, then settled back to make note of the event and the photo series in question that this would refer to.
    At around 8:15, the lone one was awake. It seemed to simply move in its perching hammock like bed, then turned to lay on its side. Again, there was an odd sensation in my mind as it faced in our general direction. It quickly passed as the Gardevoir joined the male that was awake then began assisting in subdividing food up into separate piles.
    Soon, the light sound of a ralts call was heard as it untangled itself from its mother Gardevoir, then seemingly danced over to the male that had retrieved the water. Its vocalizations were long yet rather loud as well. The male seemed to interact with it for a few moments as the female Gardevoir who had remained sleeping for an additional few moments, finally awoke then walked over to them. I raised my camera, then took a quick series of photos as they approached then began to interact. They seemed to rub their faces together followed by their chest shards. I say run but it would be more accurate to call it touching. Then, they separated, then allowed their hands to interlock. What took place then was most peculiar.
    Their hands seemed to move around one another, their fingers occasionally making contact. However, their fingers mostly glanced upon their palms. Though I could not make it out, it looked as if there was some elaborate ritual under way that involved the use of their fingers and palms. Like a dance, or a greeting? I was briefly reminded of hugs and hand shakes. Was it possible that's what this was?
    While the three were carrying on, the lone one finished laying out the food, then settled down. Its head was turned mostly to them, then it looked over to the other group. They were slowly awakening as well.
    I directed my attention to them next. They seemed to be interacting in a similar way. Face touching, followed by shard touching, followed by hand interaction. They chose instead to do this on the ground. However, theirs lacked the complexity the 3 member family group adopted.
    Perhaps the more complex rituals were reserved for large group bonding? I couldn't be sure.
    Finally, after about 45 minutes of this, the 6 all seemed to settle down around the communal area, where the food was set up.

    There was a pause as they looked around at one another. Then, the Ralts began eating the closest fruit to it. After it ate a few bites, the female mother then proceeded to bite into some fruit. Followed soon after by the rest. It was clear that there was a very specific reason why they ate in this manner. Perhaps it had to do with the ralts and the mother? Was this the key to dominance? I found it peculiar that it was the family group with the ralts that had the dominant female. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough information to make a call.
    What I did notice, was that each one had some traits that began to be noticable afer a time. The one that ate afterwards was clearly a female. It had a rounded curvature that the other member of the pair lacked. Its hips were wider, clearly because of the egg production she did. Further, and most peculiarly, she seemed to have a small number of scars. The male, on the other hand, seemed to be scar free. Was it possible then, that the female did most of the fighting?
    I looked to the only unpaired Gardevoir in the group. It seemed to be vocalizing a lot. Its colorations were slightly different from the other two pairings. While it wasn't one of the "Shiny" variants that trainers talked about, its colorations were certainly lighter green and more towards the blue end of the spectrum than the others.
    "What do you think Amelia? Aquamarine?" I asked quietly.
    "What do you mean?" She asked.
    "That unpaired Gardevoir, how would you describe her coloration? It's not really blue. It certainly seems more green than that. And I was settling on aquamarine as a coloration." I elaborated.
    She pulled the camera away, then began focusing on the unpaired Gardevoir herself. After a minute, she finally handed back the camera then nodded.
    "Aquamarine. " She agreed, "Do you think it's a shiny Pokémon?"
    I grinned at the suggestion but finally shook my head. "They usually are teal in coloration. Likely this is just a slight variant from the usual greens." Still, I couldn't help but think, it was somewhat unusual.
    However, as I watched them, I noticed that they all had slightly different colorations to them. Though they were more on the green side of coloration. The females, for example, seemed to run a little brighter green than the males. Further, the color of their chest shards were also unique. Through the camera, I could see that no two shards had the same coloration. Even the ralts had its own coloration that was unique to it.
    "I am not too certain that their colors are like our fingerprints, or face structures, or some other feature which is not shared by others..." I suggested.
    After watching for a while, I also noticed that like certain animals, the food hierarchy was being observed. The Ralts had a number of fruits to itself, which it was devouring with gusto. The parents though, they did not have nearly as much food as the child. The only one with nearly as much as the child ralts was the lone Gardevoir. Perhaps that meant it was still young? I didn't have enough to work on. Still, if this is true, it means that they are very socialized animals indeed.
    "It takes a village..." I finally muttered.
    "What do you mean?" She suddenly asked.
    "Well, I'm just wondering." I started, "Do you see their spatial organization? The ralts and the two possible parents are sitting right next to the eggs. Now, we don't know if it is because all three of those eggs belong to them, but I'm wondering if we aren't seeing a communal bond suggesting a group child rearing structure."
    The orientation indeed did suggest communality. They all face each other as they ate, and the eggs seemed to be bordered by the two adults who looked as if they were in charge, and the single one was oriented furthest away from it.
    "See that one sitting alone? It's facing into the group. Last night they all faced one direction, with the same three sitting closest to the eggs. Is it possible that morning meals carry a special significance to them? Like there is a lot of ritual taking place as we speak?"
    Indeed, the wind carried light vocalizations to our ears. The ralts seemingly chattering endlessly, the Parents joining in on occasion, and the Aquamarine happily vocalizing along with the child. I couldn't help but to wonder if it wasn't because they were all socially oriented, or if there was a special role being carried out by each member. Until better long-term observation can be carried out, it will be hard to tell.
    "What if it's like our morning meals?" She suddenly asked.
    "What do you mean?"
    "Well ok, when I Still lived with my parents, every morning we would eat breakfast together. We would talk about what our day was going to be like, and we just gathered comfort in each others presence before starting our day. Perhaps it's like that?"
    I gave her an approving smile, then decided to concede the logic in this idea.
    "Makes sense. It would also explain why all are involved. " I said.
    Indeed, the communication was not in between pairings. If that were the case, the aquamarine would have been all but silent. Instead, there was an apparently endless stream of chatter taking place right before them.
    The morning carried on. At some point, they had finished eating. Though it seemed to be entirely led by when the Ralts was full. It suddenly sat back and made a series of calls, then the others slowly finished as well. They then seemed to break off. The Aquamarine settled into some task we could not see, and the second pair came to the ralts pair. By all appearances, they each had some thing they all did afterwards. Though it looked like the next pair was settling in around the eggs while the parental pair led the ralts off.
    It looked as though they actually took turns watching over the ralts. This is different than I thought. The parents had taken it off, and while visible, I could not make out what if they were vocalizing.
    Sometime around noon, Amelia suddenly sat back from what had occupied her for the last hours.
    "Ha ha! Done!" she proclaimed quietly.
    I looked over to see what she was so happy about. I was surprised to find that she had made a grass mat. It was 3 feet in width by two feet in length. That meant most of the time that I had been watching the group, she had been distracted by this. Animal behaviorist she was not...
    "That's neat." I complimented. "What made you make that?"
    "Well," she said "The rocks had been digging into my leg for a while and I wanted something to protect them. And next thing I knew, I had this!" she seemed awfully proud of herself at her accomplishments. I could not bring myself to chide her for not paying attention. Her main responsibility was to provide cover and support if we were threatened. It is understandable that she could find this quite boring.
    I turned my attention back to the group as the adult with the ralts suddenly began to depart across the field. They walked along the tree line, slowly making their way over to a bushy spot 500 meters from our camp. I zoomed the camera in on them, then took a few pictures. I could see them reaching into the tree, then plucking something. They seemed to continue doing this for a while. Each object they pulled was roughly equal to the size of their hands, or one-quarter the size of a human head. Fruits of some kind?
    After a while, they slowly returned. They held suspended in front of them a large cache of berries, though different than the types that were eaten this morning. The two adults had a large pile, while the ralts made its way slowly along with about 5 fruits held in psychic suspension in front of it.
    "I'm heading back to camp" Amelia quietly said after the Ralts family had returned.
    "Oh?" I suddenly asked.
    "Yeah, I need some food and I'm going to take my Pokémon to train for a while. Will you be fine?" she asked.
    I gave a simple nod. "If something important happens, I'll let you know." I responded. There was no immediate way to let her know, if I tried yelling to her, it would alert the Gardevoir to my presence. Even the action of throwing a rock would be a dead giveaway.
    She shrugged at this, then quietly left.
    I watched her go for a while before I finally settled in to watch the return of the family group.
    I grinned as I watched this. Clearly the parents taught the child how to forage. Was this it then? Was it communality that developed as a function of raising a child?
    As they settled into a lighter second meal, this time with no orientation visible. I sat back to begin eating a packaged MRE I had brought with me. I sat back from my observation post then slowly opened up the individually packaged food items.
    I began with the lasanga pack itself. You could heat them if you wanted, though I prefered to eat them as is. The taste was the same, warm or not.
    As I slowly ate the meal, I noticed the aquamarine, for the lunch meal, took it alone. Oddly enough, it sat more in the field itself, still close to the others, but not under cover like the rest. I found that odd personally.
    Perhaps, I thought idly, there was some meaning to this, though I didn't know what. I was more focused on my meal at this point. The last meal they had indicated that there was a heirarchy, and this meal confirmed the pattern. The child got the most, the parents the least. All ate in small groups close to one another. Same as before, even though the aquamarine one seemed to self isolate for this meal.
    While I ate, I found myself wondering about minor things. How well developed was a wild gardevoirs olfactory senses? Could The campfire during the day attract them? Would my food? There seemed to be more gaps in our knowledge than I previously conceded to be honest.
    After I finished my meal (The aquamarine seemed to finish at the same time.) I stored away the trash for later disposal, then settled in to watch. However, as the afternoon began, I began to realize that after a certain point, activity seemed to level off and drop. The gardevoir group all seemed to settle in. The ralts curled up then fell asleep, then the parents, followed by the other pair.
    The aquamarine one, however, did not. It occupied itself with some task, then, after a while. It finally stopped, then stood up. It was the only one who was awake at this point. Were they nappers? Sleeping during high heat to save energy? Or was it something else?
    Nevertheless, the lone Gardevoir seemed to then break away and into the clearing again. With nothing else to do, I focused in on that one. It crossed the field to the pond, then seemed to disappear behind some foliage. However, I could tell it was still there as a minute later, its arm appeared, then proceeded to place an object on the nearby branch of a lone, dead, tree.
    A light wind blew the object in question. Was it some form of cloth?
    Cloth, hanging on a tree, by water, aquamarine obscured from sight.
    "I'll be damned... They bathe." I found myself saying.
    They bathed, plus that gown like portion of their anatomy was also removable.
    Well that was peculiar. Did that mean that their bodies generated it but then it could be freely removed? What kind of analogs did we know of in nature? What was the composition of this garment? Was it a special kind of weave?
    These questions nagged at me as I watched the Bathing Aquamarine Gardevoir from the hide.
    Occasionally I could make out the head of the aquamarine gardevoir as it swam around in the water for a while. Then it seemed to pull itself up to the side, then began scrubbing at itself with its hands, occasionally splashing itself with water.
    After it finished this, it then slid back into the water, then seemed to float without any real purpose. Perhaps it was basking in the sun? Was this therapeutic somehow?
    I couldn't be sure. However, at this point, I could now safely identify its gender as being female.
    After a while, it finally lifted itself out of the water, then grabbed its garment. It replaced it over its body, then proceeded to sit down in the grass near the water. Its body was fully visible from where I was. I snapped off a few photos of it laying like this. However, from this distance, I could tell that it had not settled into sleep like the others. Instead, it was moving on occasion. Eyes were partially open and it seemed to be looking off at the sky.
    Perhaps the clouds? Or maybe she was waiting for herself to dry off?
    Eventually, she stood up, then began walking towards the woodline north, or perpendicular to my location. She seemed to be going at a slow pace, as if she were strolling while thinking of something. Really, she was looking up for the most part, though she was aware of where she was going.
    Do Gardevoir have complex thought patterns? Does it contemplate things like we do? Does it have a sense of itself in the world on the same level as us? I had these thoughts in mind as I watched her stroll along the field to the treeline.
    Something that occurred to me in the next minute was the fact that they rarely ventured too far into the woods. Instead, they would reach the woodline and then walk along it. Was that considered part of their territory? Did they not see the surrounding woods as their territory?
    My opinion on this was seemingly bolstered by her turning, then walking along it rather than walking into it. She followed the woodline though walking towards me, that is, rather southeast.
    I watched this, semi exposed in that direction for about 20 minutes until I became conscious of the fact that if I did not get under cover soon, she would very much see me.

    I slowly crept into the hide, then proceeded to resume watching her while under cover. Her pace was slow and she did indeed seem distracted. However, As it was this close, I began to feel nervous. I began to worry that our viewing post was too discernible, or that something was not properly covered. Or even that It would somehow just know.
    All these thoughts went through my mind as she approached. Her small feet still making the slightest of rustling noises.
    Suddenly, she stopped. She was looking in my direction, but more upwards. As if she was looking at the hill behind me or something similar. Then, inevitably, her eyes began to lower.
    Then, we made eye contact.
    By this point, I had as low a profile as possible and the camera was stowed away under cover. So from the outside, I should not have been visible. Yet I still our eyes were still locked on each other inexplicably.
    Then, I felt it. Something was there with me, I had the distinct feeling that my mind was not my own for a moment, as if something were shuffling through my thoughts, reading my emotions, assessing my mood.
    Then, it was gone again. The headache that was associated with that feeling died and I found myself a fair bit confused.
    My confusion, however, ended, as it then began walking directly towards me.
    How was this possible? We shouldn't be detectable. We utilized psychic dampening to essentially hide us without leaving a psychic void, we obscured ourselves so that we simply looked like a cluster of bushes, and we made no noise nor did we have any noticable smells. We were, after all, downwind of their location. We should have been invisible.

    At a little more than 25 feet away, she stopped again. At this range, I could very much make out her features. Much more clearly than all the others to date.
    At this range, he could clearly discern her facial features. Her nose was very small, yet prominent. Her hair seemed to curl into one bang feature that partially obscured one eye. Her other while red, had a tint of cerulean to it. Further, there was a slight differentiation in coloration between her hair and her arms. While the aquamarine coloration was vivid in her hair, it seemed to be a more subdued blueish tint along her arms. Her dress was clearly visible at this range too. It stopped along her shoulders, and hung off her front bust. Her chest shard was 3 inches in length, and seemed to protrude between her small breasts.
    Her waist was willow thin. Almost tapering off to 18 inches. However, her legs were mostly obscured by that same gown. Thus it was impossible to determine otherwise.
    Her hair shifted as her head tilted to the side. She suddenly let out a quiet call as well.
    Honestly, I could listen to that again and again...

    I set out an audio recorder, then, making sure I selected a new file recording, rather than continuation recording, I pressed record, then sat the device down.
    She made the call again, then her lips curled into a smile.
    It seemed to be waiting on something. When I made a silent laugh, it gave a sudden jolt, its hands coming up to its chest, then clenching into tiny fists. It leaned towards me and its mouth opened. Then, when I closed my mouth, its hands fell to its side and, If I didn't know better, frowned.
    Then it made a hopeful call again, this time leaning forward slightly. I didn't want to assume anything, but I got the distinct impression that it was waiting on some kind of response.
    Then, it approached.
    It did so cautiously, as if it did not wish to startle me of all things. Making the same soft call as before. It walked slowly towards the camp side of the hide, then stood there. No matter how you cut it, from this angle, it was obvious I was laying in here, and it was obvious she could see me fully. I was cut off at this point. I could not fall back, nor could I call for help. She had deceptively trapped me into this location.

    I decided to sit up at this point. My ruse was over.
    However, instead of trying to attack me, she then began to approach once more.
    She stepped to the entrance of the hide, then examined it with I swear an expression of curiosity. Then, she ducked her torso down, then she entered the hide.

    I was confused at this point.
    She did not seem to fear me. Instead, I swear she was interested in me. She settled down across from me, then proceeded to smile. She made a series of cries to me, then stuck her left hand out towards me.
    Reluctantly, I stuck mine out as well. She suddenly grabbed it, then began to dance her fingers around my palm quickly with a bright smile on her face. Then, she stopped then turned her own palm upwards, her fingers extended.
    She then made another cry, perhaps of encouragement? Then, with her other hand, guided my fingers to repeat the process. Both times, when she did it to me, and when I did it to her, I felt a sensation, that was difficult to describe. My hand felt more sensitive than I was used to. Like the feeling that was playing out was somehow intensified.
    I felt kind of dizzy at this point to be honest. She was interacting with me, my cover was blown, she did not alert the others, she was happy, I felt myself smiling, she did not alert the others.
    She did not alert the others.
    For some reason, as she vocalized at me a few times, I had this thought in my mind.
    Did I not pose a threat?
    How could she know that?
    As we continued this hand ritual for a while, I got the distinct impression that we were also talking somehow. I felt questions rise up that were not my own. Like why I was here. Then a sense of answering in kind. Emotions of curiosity that mingled with my own diminishing anxiety.
    A feeling of happiness that mingled with my own curiosity. A feeling of companionship that arose.
    I was confused by this feeling. Were we in fact communicating this way?
    After a few minutes, I realized that my hand was moving on its own. And that our hands switched out between the other. Mine would do the intricate motion, then hers would do the motion. Yet I never really looked at my hand. I kept looking at her, I looked in her eyes, at her hairline, at her ear feature, a peculiar yet intriguing tri pronged feature that seemed to be part of her entire ears only.
    Strangely enough, I was no longer worried. I felt comforted by this interaction. And if this had words I could articulate, we communicated freely. Occasionally, vocalizations would occur from her. I didn't know what was said, so I tried to simply smile, and maybe grunt in response.
    "Well, you can't speak english anyways..." I simply said after a while of this back and forth.
    I didn't think it was possible, but her smile seemed to grow brighter.
    Strangely, my thoughts at a point began to feel like they were intermingled with someone elses. As though I was no longer thinking alone. My thoughts intermingled with surges of emotion, and the surges of emotion seemed to match up with mine briefly.
    Then, it was over.
    A noise was heard over in their settlement, and suddenly, I was aware that our hand interaction was changing ever so subtly.
    There was an impression in my mind of reluctance. Like the Gardevoir sitting in front of me did not want to cease communication. I felt a sense of reassurance swell within me. But I did not know at this point if it was mine or something else.
    At this point, I wasn't even sure where my own thoughts ended, and began.
    Suddenly, she brought my hand to her face, then rubbed it with her cheek. Then, she slowly extended her arm, bringing her hand to my face, then with an insistent nudge, I followed suit. There was that tingling feeling again. This time, it was warm. like I derived a certain level of comfort from her actions.
    With a bright smile, she slowly began to stand up. I started to as well, then suddenly caught myself. What was I doing?! I didn't want the other Gardevoir to know I was here! This one was fine but I didn't want them to be aware that they were being spied on like a couple of rats! It wasn't right! Besides, another more rational part suddenly spoke up. We are trying to know the real them, unaffected by us...
    Wait. I was suddenly aware that my hand was slowly extending as she began to crawl out. Then our arms went tight as I gently tugged against her.
    A look of confusion was on her face, and felt intensely. Then, a realization and awareness.
    I looked at her.
    Then I smiled.
    Understanding crossed her features.
    She gave a coy smile, then slowly, reluctantly, our fingers began to part.
    In short order, it was only out index fingers, then, suddenly, I was alone again.

    She smiled at me, a presence still there, at the very edges, but muted, then slowly made her way off.
    As I became aware of how alone I felt at that moment, my other senses seemed to return to me. I became more aware that my arm was extended, that my other was supporting my torso, that I was in a half crawling position, that I was sitting in my hide still. That There were the distinct sounds of birds.
    The Gardevoir were waking up, and she was returning to them, and I was still sitting here, outside of their encampment, watching her go, and I began to slowly realize what this meant.
    I was isolated from them.
    No, I suddenly felt myself think.
    One of them was aware of my presence! She could tell the others! They will attack me and the entire field study might be ruined!

    Suddenly, a wave of reassurance washed over me. It was as if something felt my sudden awareness and anxiety, then sent me a wave of reassurance.
    Confused, I crawled to the side of the hide, then watched her go.
    She joined the others, then happily vocalized as she settled down do seemingly play with the Ralts. It seemed as if there was a more in depth conversation going on. I dimly was aware that there was curiosity and worry, but also that she was reassuring them.

    Not a single one looked in my direction.
    During their dinner, I did catch that she seemed to glance in my direction when the others were looking. Each time she did, our eyes seemed to meet.
    And each time she did, I felt a wave of reassurance.
    I noticed that each time she seemed to do this, a strange sort of feeling was present. Like I wanted to replay what had happened. Relive the experience, and enjoy it for a longer period.
    I wondered, briefly, if she did this in response to that feeling.

    As the sun went down, I finally emerged from the hide, then went back to the camp site.
    Amelia was sitting with her Pokémon, eating happily.
    I settled in, then began making myself a soup.
    "How was it today?" She asked.
    "Very boring," I found myself lying outright, "After you left, they all seemed to sleep for a while, then they played with the ralts. I think there is a community effort in raising the young."
    She gave a nod as I settled into my usual habit, while my food was cooking, of writing down the field notes for the day.
    After I finished up all relevant details. I finally began serving myself a portion of soup.
    Suddenly, there was a noise about 20 feet off to the right.
    I felt a feeling associated with this noise. Surprise, worry, and then, curiosity.

    Amelia jumped up, but I calmly stood up then began walking over.
    With a confused look Amelia stopped me. "What are you doing?" she suddenly asked.
    "I'm going to check it out, I think you should recall your Pokémon just in case it attacks and scares her off." I responded in a calm voice.
    Amelia gave a confused look, but did in fact, recall the poochyhyena.
    After it was stowed away, I walked along to the edge of the camp.
    There, apparently wrapped up in a length of rope that served as a perimeter, was none other than Aquamarine. The very Gardevoir from earlier in the day.
    With a smile that communicated my relief, I walked over to her, then began untangling the rope from her legs. As I worked, there was a sense of confusion about what the rope was doing there and why I could handle it. I looked up into her eyes and I smiled. The confusion faded to understanding, then a sense of mirth as she found herself freed. Her hand slipped into mine then began the motion, racing along my palm.
    In short order, I joined in, the same emotional connectivity? I felt earlier, once again in full play. The sense of curiosity, then understanding, then trepidation, and anxiety. Then I felt as though there was a sense that a question was being asked. I turned my head around, then stepped apart, though my hand remained connected with hers.
    Amelia stood there with a look of shock.
    "Rowan, a G-G-Garde-" Amelia was, suffice to say, shocked at the presence of the Gardevoir. Let Alone that it was holding my hand.
    I gave a reassuring smile then began to explain.
    "This is the aquamarine one from earlier. I think she was curious and came to investigate. Maybe it was our fire? Or-" I noticed that there was no wind. "It might have been the smoke."
    It was because I left.
    I should have stayed where I was.
    Why'd You leave?
    Oddly enough, those thoughts were not my own. I was very much aware of them though.
    No good answer was forthcoming though.
    I'm sorry.
    Come back.
    Visit later.
    Whose thoughts were these? Were they mine? Were they hers? Were our minds joined?
    In the span of Answering Amelia, and looking at her, we seemed to have an entire conversation, if not an argument. Finally, I decided to lead the Gardevoir around our camp.
    She seemed interested in the various items. She looked at the soup I had, then stuck her hand into the pot, then quickly retracted it. I felt a sense of pain. Then curiosity. She brought her finger, which had some of the soup on it, to her finger, then gently licked it.
    I felt it more than I saw it. A wave of pleasure and an anticipation of more. Before she could stick her hand back in, I felt myself emotionally reacting.
    She suddenly stopped, then stood up. Then, she slowly began to walk away. Again, I felt our arms begin to reluctantly separate.
    I'll be here.
    Sleep well.
    Reluctant to leave.
    These intermingled thoughts played out as our hands separated.
    It felt like we had been communicating.
    No, it felt like we were communicating for hours in the span of a few short minutes.

    "Well... I guess we know who it was that was investigating our camp last night..." I said in a deadpan manner.
    As we turned in for the night, I felt as if I was falling asleep next to someone. I had a sensation of closeness the entire time that my thoughts slowly descended into dreams of woods and something aquamarine.
  6. DaniWesty

    DaniWesty School Kid

    Oct 23, 2014
    After the doozy, I had two chapters which were kind of cool offs, they bookend act one and the beginning of act two.

    Field Notes 21 June 3130.
    I slept better than usual.
    When I woke up, I was exceptionally eager to get to work.
    Amelia declined to follow along today. She wanted to train some more and the supplies were supposed to be here soon. She had been in contact with the University yesterday and they were going to drop off extra supplies in santalune City. I was momentarily torn between assisting her and getting back to the field site.

    Eventually, she all but shooed me off. She said that this was the arrangement anyways. Laying around in the dirt all day was dull work, for her.
    As I walked to the Hide, I had the distinct impression that she was just bored. I wasn't sure how I could include her on this though. She seemed more keen to train than to observe wild Pokémon. I'm hoping that this does not despirit her too much... I worry about her moral.
    I arrived on site around 700 am. The sun was beginning to rise at this point. It felt good on my neck.
    Morning temperature: 70 degrees F
    Sky : Clear.
    Barometric pressure: 30.09 and falling.
    Humidity: 70%
    Dewpoint: 60 degrees

    Weather forecast is clear.
    I should have known...
    The Aquamarine one is here again, and she looks excited by my presence. If it wasn't for the sense that I knew she was not going to give me away, I would have packed everything and moved last night.
    Somehow I get the feeling she would have found me again.
    She seemed to be curious as I sat up the equipment, then began writing down the relevant labels for today's photo series.
    I decided to give her some attention. She was rather interested in me after yesterday, so it seemed to be the right thing to do.
    She did the peculiar hand thing to me again. I did not include it in Sundays notes. So I will include it in Mondays notes.
    This hand interaction that she does is where she takes her fingers, then traces into my palm. I then do it to into her palms.
    There seems to be some kind of deeper meaning to this. Though I am uncertain as to the precise meaning. Last night I felt as though I was having a conversation with her. Today, it was much the same. In the interest in documenting this, I decided to include my feelings on what this was.
    There was a warm feeling like being greeted affectionately. First on her side, then on mine. I did, in fact, feel kind of happy to see her again. After the good dreams I had last night, it seemed like a pleasant way to begin my day. After the greetings, there seemed to be an array of questions. She was curious about what I would be doing today. And I seemed to indicate that it was the same as yesterday. She gave an expression that communicated a feeling of amusement that I would do the same thing as before. Apparently, her line doesn't realize that there are patterns in every day life. I pointed out that she had that pattern to her, and she felt momentarily taken aback and confused. I felt curious and needling senses that more details were desired.
    I made it clear that I was just curious. After that, I felt a probing feeling again. But this time, there was no headache. It seemed that the feelings I had were from her, and that I was no longer going to get them due to the repeated exposure.

    Then, I felt her probe a bit more, her hand motion seemed insistent and impatient. With a confused nod, the feeling arose again.
    She was wondering if I'd continue being here all day. I sent a sense of reassurance that I would.

    At that point, I felt overcome by a wave of joy before her other hand suddenly grasped my back. The additional contact resulted in a disoriented feeling. I realized in that moment what a joined experience felt like. The sensation eventually died down. I then placed my hand on her back as well, though my fingers seemed to touch the crystalline structure.
    We stayed like that for a moment. I felt like I was being led through an emotional experience that was entirely new to me. It wasn't a sense of being overwhelmed though. It was a sense of completion.
    I had set a timer to give me a 10 minute warning before the expected wake up time of the first adult. At precisely 8:05, that timer went off.
    I disengaged it, then I felt her curiosity. Uncertain, I just allowed my thought to flow freely. That I set that timer so that I could wrap up whatever it was I had to do between 7 and 8:05 and get ready to observe for the day.

    It seemed that she understood what was going on. With a reluctance, she began to stand up. Our hands remained interlocked as she did so. So I felt myself being lifted up as she stood up this time. We stood nearly eye to eye for a moment before our hands, reluctantly, disengaged.
    I can safely say at this point that the feeling of separating is one I am not used to experiencing.
    The sensation is akin to being torn apart from the most dear thing you held in the world. You suddenly are keenly aware of yourself and you feel that sense of isolation stronger than you are used to. It is as if you are then thrown into the deepest prison for the first time and you are deprived of light.

    Then, your awareness expands once more, and you are then left there. Alone in your own mind... heart.
    It was such that I felt my breath pick up and I had difficulty in breathing. It was almost too much for me to be honest.

    Then, she left. If I didn't know better, I'd say that she was prancing back extra quietly.
    She seemed to look at me again, then smiled brightly as she seemed to creep into her perching bed, then pretended to go back to sleep.
    Curious rouse. Is she supposed to sleep until lead family group awakens?
    Around the same time as yesterday, the first one awakens, then the same process as the previous day begins.

    No changes to the sequence. Orientation is the same as was previously.
    All interaction seems the same. Though Aquamarine is more happy than she usually is.
    I wonder if the group will nap around 2pm again? That would be something.

    Around 10 am is when it happened.
    I had been settled in for a while. As usual I was postured in a prone position, watching the group in their ordinary interaction. That was when I heard a noise off to my left.
    By the time I had rolled over, I felt something crash through the walls of the hide.

    The force of it was enough to send me out the other side of the hide and down the slope of the hill. I felt something biting into me and I felt the sharp cracks of my head hitting something.
    I'm not entirely certain why, but I remember thinking about Aquamarine.
    When I came to, I was surrounded by bodies. But the sky was really bright. Then there was a silhouette in above me. I felt something dimly in my palm and I remember that I felt a wave of fear and then insistent waves of reassurance. After that, I was out again.
    While I was out I had a peculiar dream. I was sitting next to someone and we were having something of a conversation. I don't remember what, but I remember that it was pleasant.
    Sometime around evening I came to. Above me was a green roof of some kind, but the sky was clearly visible. It was very much red. Which meant I had been out for most of the day.
    When I sat up, I took stock of my surroundings. I was laying in a tree that was sharply bent over with a number of vines that were suspended a foot above the bough itself. Off to my right was 3 eggs with light green patterns on it, and left of that was a small rock outcropping. As my vision focused, I felt something clench my hands.
    It was Aquamarine. I was in the spot she slept in nightly. She was sitting on the ground holding my hand. I couldn't move though. There was simply too much pain. I felt warm on one side. Like there was blood on my left arm. I could move my neck, and in doing so, I was racked with a headache that nearly knocked me back out.
    I knew the other gardevoir were there. I don't know how I knew though. The sense defied me. Again, I felt her hand gently interlock with mine. That peculiar hand dance happened again. I knew I was going to be alright though as she held that hand. Though I still didn't know what happened to me. It would be two days before I woke up again.
  7. DaniWesty

    DaniWesty School Kid

    Oct 23, 2014
    Dreams of a Telos was a little philosophical in writing. As a chapter, it was mostly emotion driven and dealt with his growing conflict. It also was kind of the turning point in just how I wanted the tone of the story to be. The stark difference between his dryness in writing the field notes and how curious and eager he was in describing the events through his own recollections (This difference will be addressed near the end. As the reason for the formatting is worked into the story) Finally, at this point, the relationship between him and the Gardevoir signified his own changes as a function of the tone shift. As this chapter came to an end, I'll go ahead and describe it now: The starkness between him hiding and watching was meant to seem kind of dry. In color terms, everything would have been trending towards sepia. The observation was limited and his suppositions were weak. He lacked the insights he needed to begin to understand. By the end of this act. The coloration would have shifted to bright and vivid.

    Dreams of a Telos.
    21 June 3130.
    Throughout the night I had a series of vivid dreams.
    In these dreams, I was never alone. I was hand in hand with someone. We would walk along at times. Or we would have discussions. I say discussions but they were really these experiences which seemed to form conversations. She asked who I was, I detailed my life. A life of fascination with how we saw our world. What life entailed for all of us. The peculiar rise and fall of species. How ours was a strange time. A time where biodiversity had swollen to a point where we could no longer hold onto assumptions about who was dominant and who wasn't. I described my education. How I was eager to understand what made us all the same. And why it mattered to me. How It mattered because I fundamentally saw a lot of us, human and Pokémon, on the same level.
    She, on the other hand, described life.
    Rather, she described radiance in the form of life. How we seemed to all rise and burn brightly. How she always found herself amazed. How everything pulsed and changed and seemed to coalesce into a conglomeration of life. She described curiosity. It was expressed in a way I couldn't begin to describe in words. The inherent wonder as the most recent egg gave birth to a Ralts. How she had wandered almost by accident into this group. How the mother accepted her almost without hesitation. How she loved the quiet mornings. The birth of woods and the every day tellings of the birds who seemed to fly freely in the sky.

    In these dreams, we were never speaking. We were experiencing. Mutually, we shared the experiences that arose. We walked these lines of thought, and each emotion dyed the world in comforting colors. Colors that existed that I had no words for. Colors that seemed to be entirely based upon the emotions we shared. Each color, each emotion, was not ours alone. Rather, it was the net result of both of us being in perfect synchronization with each other.
    In these dreams, I felt the most complete that I had felt in many many years.
    As I awoke that morning, I knew that today was going to be a big one. I looked forward to seeing her again. I had the distinct impression that no matter what happened today, I would see the real interactions of Gardevoirs, and I would begin to really understand what their lives were like. I felt like I was on the verge of a breakthrough in the understanding of their cultural ambitions. The true depths of their interpersonal relations, and the reason the Gardevoirs were arranged as they were.
    This excitement must have been present on my face as I sat down to eat that morning. Amelia was up for once and she was eating faster than usual. She had coffee again as well as some eggs and toast.
    "I won't be joining you today" She said suddenly.
    Confused, I looked up then tilted my head to the side questioningly.
    "Today the university is sending a shipment in and I'm going to go get that. After I bring it back, do you think you can manage a few days without me?"
    I gave her a concerned look. "What's wrong?" I asked.
    "There's been an accident and I need to go visit my family. I shouldn't be gone longer than a day." She explained.
    As I looked at her with curiosity and concern on her face. I got the distinct impression that what she described was very much the truth. Perhaps it was a lingering effect of what Aquamarine had done to me yesterday. Nonetheless, I simply gave her a nod.
    "Do you want me to get the drop instead? That way you can just go?" I asked. I didn't want her to waste time on a shipment if it was that serious.
    She gave me a kind smile then shook her head. "No, your research is very important. Just don't let the University know that I ditched you for a few days." she said guiltily.
    There was a lot that was not communicated. The University would frown on her actions and likely put her on academic probation. It would be very hard for her to continue if this was going to be how she treated the person she was legally charged to protect. There was also the fact that she was worried I would no longer trust her to continue ensuring my safety, or would report her.
    Even though the latter wasn't evident on her face, I had little issues learning of it. I found this momentarily odd, but eventually dismissed the notion out of hand. Finally I gave her a smile then said in a reassuring voice.
    "Look, don't worry about it. You do what you have to, and I will make sure not to say where you went. It can remain between us." I gave her a grin, then thumbed in the direction of the hide "Besides, that is dull work. Laying around all day watching some Pokémon hang out? For me this is exciting. I get to test my predictions in real time. I have a vested interest. You on the other hand? Not so much. " I then lowered my hand, then offered reassuringly "But, don't worry about it, in due time you will find something you are really passionate about. That's half the fun in being in a University. You get to find the thing that excites you. And, who cares what that subject is? You might just want to do Pokémon breeding. Or maybe you want to explore their different biomes. In time, we all find our passions. So go on, and don't worry. I think I can survive a few days without you!"
    Amelia seemed reassured as I collected my things then began heading out. I distinctly heard her crashing up the trail as I proceeded down towards the Hide.
    At about 50 yards out, I could tell something was near the hide. It was still kind of dark, so that thing was very light. Almost ghost like. As I got closer though, I could see precisely who it was. With a smile, I gave a cough and felt my happiness grow. Naturally Aquamarine would be here. She stood up with a start, then realized that it was me and not Amelia. Her smile filled her face as she rushed up to me then instantly took my hand. Her fingers danced in my palm. Almost instantly I could feel it again. She was happy to see me and surprised that I came so late. She expressed the worry she felt the previous night too. Apparently, she had waited a number of hours for me to show up. She thought that after she left I was going to follow her down. Then, dejected, she retreated to bed only to awaken an hour ago and immediately rush over to my hide. She was despondent that I waited so long to show up.
    A sense of apology filled me as I sent a feeling of comfort to her. My nerves tingled as she insistently urged me to explain myself more. My emotions then spilled into hers. I think that would be the best description for it. eagerness to spend another day here filled me. Curiosity as to what we were experiencing was really. A sense of wonder that the days events from yesterday transpired as they had. And a small sense of worry that I might have made a mistake.
    I felt a wave of comfort as the worry was expressed. There was nothing wrong. We were here and there was nothing that was wrong. we simply had to stop worrying. A nudge of feelings flowed from me, skepticism that one can simply stop worrying, then a sudden shove of reassurance. That the only one worrying was me.
    The conversation died down as I felt a question arise. As it filled me and was communicated to her, I asked it out loud.
    "Why are you doing this with me? I'm just a human who is interested in how you live your life. I don't want to take you on adventures or capture you. I want to understand you." I finally said.
    Then, it hit.
    My senses dropped away as I felt myself become more aware of this present moment. The longing for companionship she felt. The emotional attachment she desired to have, how she could feel something that she hadn't felt in any other family groups. The connection. That was what it really was. A sense of familiarity that she shared with me that she had never felt with any other Gardevoir.
    Any other?
    Her hand brought itself up to my back, then mine began to move up to hers. I felt my hand run along the fabric of her dress, then come to a rest on the edge of the crystal shard that protruded from her back. Her hand felt along my back, then came to a rest on a section of my spine. Then, I felt two pulses. But they were sync'd. If i had to describe them further, it was like both our hearts chose that precise moment to beat in rhythm.
    Even if you don't have this, it is the same as mine in an important way. That is enough for us to communicate. Even if you do not understand my words and I don't understand yours. Our hearts beat so that we do. Through that mutual understanding, you do not need to speak. You do not need to fear the barriers of communication. And the desires we seek will be understood. And in the end, that is the most important thing. Understanding. It is the thing which draws all together. But, we can talk about that later.
    Is that it? You have a culture built upon that don't you? Is that why you sit in a circle? I want to know. More than anything, I want to understand. I want to walk along with you and inspect it. I want to hold it in my hand and embrace the feeling of it. I want to feel more than anything else, that connection. I want to understand just who you are. Why you sought me out. What your understanding of a word, an emotion is, why the world seems so much more real when I'm speaking with you. Why you live here, what children are like... What life is like...
    I could feel myself brushing against something as my thoughts trailed to that sentence What children and life is like? Is that it then? Do I want to understand the experience of-
    I felt a wave of comfort.
    The impression of needing to walk one step at a time filled me. And I realized it. This realization flowed from me to her. Then, I felt myself asking it.
    I felt myself asking a question that formed in the span of 2 days. 2 very short days in which I only just learned of this Gardevoir. Whom I almost knew nothing about, and never once looked at with eyes approaching desire. Even now, as the question surfaced. I looked at her not with love or lust, but of wonder.

    Are you asking me to be with you? Are you initiating a mating ritual?
    I felt a wave of happiness as realization occurred then a sudden need for clarity. She was asking me to be here, to stay here with her. To stop hiding and walk along with her, to share in this emotional bond. And to be a part of her family. The words were more... organic. Where I stumbled and came up with simple descriptions, hers flowed like water. She wanted me as part of her family group. She wanted me to stop hiding, to walk with courage. to share in joy, to share in sorry. To share wonderment and excitement.
    More importantly, and with deeper consequences, she was asking for my life. The experience in it. The experience through it. The strange wonder and serendipitous adventure that would flow from it. We humans cloaked that experience in words. Mate, friend, lover, all of them were words for what she wanted to share.
    They were simply words for the concept of joining.
    The desire was present. We both seemed to share in it. There almost was no need for an answer really. I felt that within myself but failed to articulate it before another wave of emotion overpowered me.
    There was a sense of alarm. No, there was an alarm.
    I felt the world seem to coalesce back into the present. There was the dull ringing of something. It was tinny any annoying. It persisted without end and no matter how much we tried, its ringing was enough to cause us to recoil from it enough to momentarily break the deeper contact we had held.

    I blinked as awareness filled me. It was disorienting. As if I had suddenly awoken from a dream to find I was in fact sleeping in the middle of an erupting volcano. However, there was a problem. Everything was louder than I was used to. The light wind stirred up by the sun sounded more like a gale than the gentle breeze it was. The lights seemed more intense. As if we were bathed instead in the rays of creation rather than the gentle rising of the sun. Everything. Everything was intense. Especially the ringing noise.
    I finally looked around to find the source of the din.
    Sitting with my bag that I had sat down was a small alarm clock set to go off at 8:05 am. Precisely 10 minutes before the first Gardevoirs of the family group awoke.

    My foot shot over then kicked the timer. With a beep, the alarm shut off abruptly. Leaving blissful silence in its wake.
    "That was..."
    A bond.
    I felt it more than I understood it.
    In a wave of understanding, she had described what the last hour had been. What the two pairs share in. What she wished to share.

    Then, a sense of alarm overtook her as she realized what the time meant to her. Her hand broke away from mine with a great sense of reluctance. But, she looked me in the eyes, and I knew that it would be all right.
    She finally departed back to the settlement before I crawled into the hide, then sat down roughly. This, it seemed, was the Gardevoir way of communication. It was so much more.. real than I was used to. The emotions were amped up beyond anything I had felt. The sense of wonder, curiosity, desire? And so many others.
    I felt like I was beginning to understand. If only a little.
    I pulled myself over to the viewing area, then caught her looking at me as she crawled into her sleeping spot, then closed her eyes. Silence settled over the clearing and the settlement. Time drug by like molasses as I finished erecting the tripod remove video camera.
    Seeing that I still had time, I decided to write down what it was that I felt. I think I did this out of a desire to both understand and relive the experience. It was... intoxicating. As if what was felt within the last hour was reality and everything else was simply a shadow of what was real.
    Things had never felt this vivid to him in his entire life. He had never spoken to someone and felt like they had known each other for years. He had never experienced the sensation of first sight rapture either.
    It left him shaken to his core as he sat up his other camera, then took a picture of her pretending to sleep.
    In due course, the tell tale sound of the young Ralts rousing from its slumber could be heard. The adults too began to rouse. The same Gardevoir which went out yesterday to retrieve water, did so again today. I felt a momentary presence dig through my memories of yesterday as I made this observation. It seemed that She was seeing if I saw this yesterday.
    Then I felt it.
    I felt the events of yesterday through her perception just as she found it through mine. Of waking up. Of feeling bored. Of wishing to teach the Ralts a song. Of enjoying the meal. Of listening to the story about the people who followed him. Of the adults advising us to ignore them but be on the look out for people coming to their field.
    There was ritual and it baffled me. Even though I had spent the day studying them. I did not understand what it was I was seeing in a way. How each sat not just because of the eggs.

    Then. The memory ended.
    I blinked in confusion before feeling a mischievous sensation.
    She did that to distract me.
    It worked. I had missed them getting up in the same order. And only just caught her rising out of her bed. Sitting near everyone, and vocalizing again. I got the sense that she wanted to get the food this morning. There was a rush of replies from the matriarch then a curious vocalization from the second family group. With an excited reply, she seemed to answer them. Whatever she said, seemed to make sense to them. It seemed as though the offer was warmly received amongst the family groups.
    As they settled in to breakfast. I noticed that the same thing I had seen yesterday seemed to rule today. The Ralts and Aquamarine had the largest comparative portions. And The rest had the same amount otherwise. Again, that peculiar orientation arose. Where the mother of the ralts led the discussion, and how Aquamarine seemed to express her feelings the most eloquently...
    I suddenly sat back.
    I couldn't just sit here and observe them like this. Like a crashing sensation. There was a rush of emotion as I felt the realization of what I was doing come to grips with the conflict I was experiencing watching the group interact. This was wrong somehow. Like trying to watch them, when they were very clearly a family who had a right to privacy, was somehow wrong.
    My camera fell from my hands as my body froze up, then I felt myself scooting back from my observation. A sensation like I was light headed hit me like a rock. My body rocked with the waves of realization. The moral conflict that was quick in rising. I felt the sensation wash over me as my mind collapsed into this struggle. It was like stalking someone.
    It was like stalking a lover.
    I felt a wave of revulsion wash over me. The disgust that such a sensation brought to me was enough to make me feel sick. The nausea arose in my stomach, but was kept in check by me. I felt a sudden intrusion.

    Curiosity creeped into my awareness. I fought to keep it to myself but it slowly began to trickle from me. I held my mouth as I looked to the window, there was a look of horror as I realized the she was suddenly aware of this feeling of conflict. As her right arm jerked, I felt dialogue open. She was urging me to stay there. There was a wave of comfort as she indicated that she was coming.
    I pushed back against her in this. I begged her to stay. That when she went over to get the berries, I would loop around and tell her then. That she didn't need to come to me. That it would just attract attention and arouse more questions I couldn't bear to see her withstand.
    Then, there was the wave of comfort. If it wasn't for that, I would have collapsed in that moment. My body torn by that conflict.
    The comfort was articulated in understanding. And that understanding was relatable. Similar experiences flooded my mind and were swept away. Feelings like the conflict didn't have to continue. That I didn't have to hide.
    And there, at 9:30 in the morning, while she was teaching the ralts how to sing a song and I was in my hide at the verge of having a mental break down. She invited me into her life.

    It was an open idea.
    There seemed to be no details associated with her idea. Instead, it was a pure hearted, almost child like suggestion.
    That if it bugged you so much, why not sit with me in this circle and experience it yourself? Why hide away when you can be by my side and one of us? You don't have to be in pain this way. You can be appeased too. You can be happy, and we can be together. That's all that really matters anyways.

    The suggestion struck me like the proverbial ton of bricks. It was enough to physically disorient me while I heard her singing that little song to the ralts. Who sang it happily back. In that moment, I could see the lines of causality she described. Me walking out of the box and sitting hand in hand with her. Bright days, happy nights. Peaceful moments looking at the-
    It was then that I felt the impact.
    It was then that I felt myself be knocked back to my own body and the awareness that something was hitting me.
    I did not know it at the time. But in the Absence of Amelia, a pack of poochyenas had encircled my hide. I was currently in the way of their intended prey. While they usually would have gone for the gardevoir prey, they had detected that I was sitting up here, exposed and unaware of their presence. That was when one had charged through the thick foliage that made up the side of the hide.
    The force of it crashing into me was enough to eject me out the other side and onto the ground.
    I only found out later that at that moment, Aquamarine had felt me disengage suddenly. Her head turned to look just in time to see an animal crash into the side of the hide and emerge out the other side with me in its mouth. It was just in time to see the poochyena and I go tumbling down the slight hill that lead to the clearing.

    I say it had me in its mouth. But it would be more accurate to say that it had my arm in its mouth and it had pushed me back first through the hedge. As we tumbled down the hill, the others lept in to join in the attack. I was dazed by this at the time, so I did not know that I was being shoved down the hill. However, the momentum of the attacker had directed our bodies into a tree.
    It was with that tree that I felt a sharp crack, and I lost consciousness.
    They describe loosing consciousness in the wrong way sometimes. If you are loosing blood, you feel yourself backing away from reality slowly. Everything gets dark.
    You feel the curtains drawing in everything gets quieter and quieter. Then, like someone has clicked off the lights. You are gone.
    In a situation like what happened here, sometimes it happens without any warning. As I tumbled down the hill and slammed into the tree. Like a light, it was night night for my brain.
    Then, like being shoved out of a tunnel, I was awake.
    Everything moved in slow motion. My senses came back reluctantly. As if, with great reluctance, I was being pulled from darkness.
    My eyes slowly came into focus.
    Above me was a canopy of leaves. No light managed to get through them. This left me staring into a grey shadow that was fighting valiently against a light to my side. I tried shifting my eyes, but this resulted in my head rolling to the side. My vision was apparently blurry as I was only able to just make out an aquamarine color. With slow blinks, my eyes chased away that sensation.
    Finally, they focused enough to allow me to come eye to eye with Aquamarine. She was sitting there at my side. Both hands grasping desperately at my lowered right hand. Which hung limply at my side. Her deep red eyes stared into mine as I was able to finally focus on hers.
    I felt it more than I saw it. a wave of sweet relief that Filled my heart. Like a switch being thrown. I felt her deepest fears die as I slowly regained consciousness. Then, I felt myself smile as a sense of gratitude filled me. I could look into those eyes and the uncertainty I felt could easily vanish in fractions of a second.
    It was enough so, that for a moment, I was certain that these emotions had colored the world a warm , comforting orange.
    I felt her play at my palms slowly, tenderly.
    Emotion quietly passed between us. Like rivers, she told me of the confusion she felt as she saw me suddenly fall out of the bushes that served as the wall of my hide. They were mixed in with feelings of worry as I had my earlier breakdown. Then there was a deep sense of horror as she saw that I was being attacked. Fury as I hit a tree and rolled to a dead stop in the clearing. Rage as she and one of the pairs leapt forth to push back the animals.

    I felt gratitude rise up I didn't need a play by play to understand that she was genuinely frightened by what transpired. that she was frightened meant more than even I fully understood at the time. This was evident on my face, but more in my feelings as I learned what happened.
    As they swarmed onto me, She got there ahead of the others and unleashed an attack.
    it was able to knock out one of them, but the others then turned to attack her. Then, the others arrived and engaged. EVen to her, the situation was rather confusing in scope. Apparently though, It came down to them using a series of attacks that finally was able to beat them.

    There was horror as she approached me. She had honestly thought that what transpired had killed me. She convinced the others to help lift me and bring me back to the settlement. I was, however, deeply knocked out. She was terrified that I might have died. The fear had not abated by the time I finally was pulled out.
    I felt something cool on my arm as I slowly came to. There was a leaf stuck on my arm. Where it was attached, there was a pulpy substance that was plainly visible. She touched my head, then turned me to face her. However, doing so brought a wave of dizziness to me. I felt that peculiar feeling that one gets when they stand up too fast.
    She stood up, then slowly tilted my head back. Then, I felt my body shift as I felt her climb next to me. I could narrowly make out that I was on her bough and vine hammock like bed.
    Our hands were still interlinked as she adjusted her self next to me. I had the distinct feeling that there were 5 other eyes upon us as she sent a wave of comfort to me. It was enough to ease the throbbing pain that had swept through my body when I had that vertigo feeling.

    However, the added heat of a Aquamarine laying next to me brought a certain comfort that matched her mental signals. She explained in this dim way that we were in her bed and that I was lucky I was close. That I would feel better in the morning. But that it was sunset, and I needed to rest.
    I stubbornly held out though. I felt my fingers begin moving on their own. I traced into her palm the desire to stay awake. That I Slept enough. That I was afraid that I'd wake up and this would be false.
    She seemed to have felt that too. For, even without seeing her face, I could feel the smile. I could feel as she shifted her body, being careful not to touch my injured arm. To face me. I could feel her slowly turn my head to face hers.
    Upon making eye contact, I felt the wave gentle embrace of protection envelope me. It was more than her interlocking her other arm with me. It was more than her letting her chest shard touch me. It was far more than the feeling of tenderness envelop me.
    It was all of that. It was the intention that she managed to communicate in doing this. In bridging this gap between us while I was injured, she very clearly communicated to me that as long as I had her near me. I had nothing to fear.
    I gave a noise that passed for a laugh as those emotions enveloped me. I made it clear that while, yes, this was true, I still knew very little about her.
    Our eyes really spoke for us in this moment.

    I felt the confusion arise on my face.
    I felt the worry play in my delirium.

    Then, I felt her answer me. Not through a returning thought.
    But through a tune.
    Her voice began to gently articulate a humming melody.
    My fading consciousness felt swept away by her voice. Which carried a gentle, flowing, rhythm.
    The tune eluded me. But it felt both as distant and near to me, as the strange Gardevoir woman who comforted me into sleep.

    I felt a sense of hope.
    A sense of isolation.
    Dreams. A lot of dreams.

    I could not describe it. But as I slowly fell into this sleep, the sensation was that she was imparting to me a hope.
    A dream of a telos.
  8. DaniWesty

    DaniWesty School Kid

    Oct 23, 2014
    To Open act two, I sent off the old format with one last affectionate field note. It served as a preview for the opening of the second act in how he described things. From this chapter forth, all field notes were instead included within the chapter. Intentionally short and almost like afterthoughts. I want to eventually do just a pure field note driven story. told in documentary form with the character in an interview, only reading his field notes while also giving exposition for certain events. I'm still vague on how I wish to write this, but the idea is there and slowly forming as a concept. Anyways, enjoy the final short chapter before I began to go a little overboard...)

    Field Notes. 1 July 3130.
    It seems like forever since I was able to make note of the events which have transpired. On the 21st, I was attacked by a pack of poochyenas, much like the one Amelia carries with her. I was seriously injured and rendered unconscious by the attack. Had it not been for the Gardevoir, I would have died.
    They rendered assistance to me despite the fact that I had been spying on them. Although I was out for an extended period of time, I have been able to heal enough to be able to move without assistance.
    Their methods of tending to injury are comparitively primative to medicine used in our culture. However, they have knowledge of herbs and berries that have healing and antiseptic properties. I suffered multiple lacerations to my shoulder and my chest. Contusions are apparent on my thorax, thigh, leg and most of my upper right arm. However, their methods have alieved a great deal of pain without the disorienting side effects. They use a form of Oran and Pecha for the treatment of the lacerations themselves. This is accomplished by forming them into an adhesive paste which is apparently strong enough to hold wounds closed while a bandage is then applied. The bandage itself consists of leaves that act as a bonding agent, causing a chemical change which results in the paste to take on a resin property. The paste has an added effect of administering a light anesthetic to the injured area as well.

    In the time that I have been conscious, only one of their bandages required changing. That was one on my shoulder, incited by careless motion on my part the day I woke up.
    It should come as no surprise that obviously I have been cared for by them. The obvious conclusion is that I am no longer observing without interference. There is the risk of subjectivism creeping into the observations being made due to this. However, I'm starting to get the feeling that it is almost impossible to not affect their group dynamic at this point.
    Further, the telepathic architecture and complexity of their language strongly suggests that their reasoning abilities exceed ours. Upon waking, I found myself able to communicate with them through this telepathic link that was established to facilitate speech.
    Oddly enough, the question of why I'm here did not occur to them. I suspect that my presence was known by all the moment I encountered the Ralts. It was, then, by their own leave that observation was permitted in the first place.
    Notes on common words used:
    Be Sze: A phrase with a strong emotional connotation used between the pairs of the group. The approximation to our language suggests an upper level endearment that is connoted by the utilization of emotions that are fed back through the pair when the term is used.
    Ses Frau: A reference to a the female half of the pair dynamic. beh sze and ses frau seem to be used in a gendered context.
    Caim Duc: This word seems to be an approximation for not only a relationship, but also a bond. In human terms, it is simply both Gardevoir sharing their emotions freely. This seems to only occur in mating pairs.
    Te Ze: Uncertain meaning. Referred to in the context of a home or settlement. Their definition of a community seems to be communal primarily, with shared spaces but designated sleeping areas that are proprietary.
    It is impossible to describe their actions without indicating that emotion determines a lot of their actions. Ones greeting, based upon their emotional state, is widely dependent on their empathic awareness of the other. Thus, if one is tense due to a previous conflict, their greeting is met with a greeting laced with assurances that their pain is shared.
    Meal situations: The morning orientation is a metaphorical acknowledgement of the day and the progression of life. Reverence is attached to these events as the matriarchial member first gives food to the youngest member in hopes of prompting a healthy life. The current arrangement acknowledges the new life of the Ralts Amelia and I tracked, as well as the hopes for the Aquamarine Pokémon. It turns out that she was the youngest and had joined the tribe rather recently. She is not related to any of the current pairs. So that suggests she immigrated from elsewhere.
    While the interpersonal relations of the gardevoir is based on an empathic ceremony. There seems to be only an awareness that there is a central lead. It does not appear that the matriarch treats others, nor is she treated, differently except during meal times.
    With those out of the way, I wanted to describe the events of the day after I finally was able to move again.
    The night before Amelia charged into camp and as surprised to find myself patched up by them. She had been knocked out and apparently dragged off before her Pokéball force ejected her poochyheena who apparently communicated that she was not a target. However, since she had been drug off, it took her a number of days to regain her orientation and relocate base camp.
    When she did not find my body, she investigated the area I had fallen and found that the gardevoir tribe had relocated my body so that I could be healed. She charged in thinking that I was being held or that I had been killed by them. She was surprised to find me awake and able to reason. After she calmed down, I described to her what had happened and that I was healing. Due to my injuries needing constant attention, I decided it best to remain with the social group.
    I expressed to her my concerns about the integrity of data, but we both concluded that as long as I was able to observe them up close, I could utilize the favor given to better understand their sociological behaviors.
    She opted to return to the camp though. She felt it best to recover what she could and try to make contact with the university about the Poochyhyena attack. It was agreed that we needed a resupply. Since our communications equipment was damaged, I am skeptical if she will be able to use it. If need be, she should probably go to Santalune and relay the information there.
    I also made my first survey of the sites today as well. Most of the equipment was ruined. However the storage media was intact enough that the photos and videos collected so far will prove more than enough to construct a daily routine breakdown.
    It looks like they all but ruined the camp site though.
    What set them off? Why so much damage to the site?

    I find myself unable to resolve this freak incident. The ferocity of their attacks are plainly evident. It is no wonder that they have reduced the numbers of psychic Pokémon so far. However, it appears that Kalos regions Gardevoir have recently adapted techniques that seem to keep it from being at an evolutionary disadvantage.
    However, the question remains: Why were Amelia and I attacked while the Gardevoir settlement was not? I find no answers in either the contact I now have established, nor through Amelia.
    Also, two additional Ralts eggs hatched this morning. They seem to belong to the second pair. The remaining egg seems to be close to hatching, but it may be another 4 or so days before it does. It would appear that they do have some manner of a mating season. Giving that the incubation time of a ralts egg is 130 days this means that mating season began for this group in early February. 5 months incubation seems like a long time for an egg. Given their sedentary lifestyle however, this seems to make a measure of sense. Unlike other more mobile lineages, the requirement for short incubation times are not evident.
    Newborn Ralts seem to have very little instinctual behavior though. They currently suckle and grasp. Their diet is a pulverized fruit mixture that is fed to them by the mother. The Ralts that Amelia and I encountered though, is roughly a year old. The egg fragments we assumed were from that ralts were actually from an egg that was miscarried. Apparently miscarried eggs have a thin shell that causes them to shatter after one month. I find it curious then that fragments are left in situ, but have no explanations as to why at this time.
    Addendum: Amelia is not very happy with what has happened to me. She feels guilty and is now avoiding me as a result. I think she also is upset that she simply assumed that the Gardevoir had seized and killed me. Time will heal that wound I suspect.
    Rowan Gingko.
  9. DaniWesty

    DaniWesty School Kid

    Oct 23, 2014
    The opening of this chapter is a foreshadowing event. It is VERY important to the story, but it will not once be referenced for many many chapters. In fact, as of this post, I am still at least 2 chapters away from beginning to reference the dream. It does serve as a hint about the slow changes that are happening.

    I apologize for the length.
    Kind of .
    Also, I am keeping the authors notes on this chapter because it explains a few major thought processes that helped to lead to this point.

    Chapter 8 Waking towards a Henosis.
    My dreams revolved around a vivid recollection of my early days.
    In these dreams, I was joined. Accompanying me time and again was her.
    I called her Aquamarine. But her name eluded me. Perhaps she didn't have one.
    Perhaps I hadn't earned the right to know it yet. Or perhaps it was something more.
    Still, regardless of the circumstance. I found myself standing in a room where younger version of me played with animals. The plastic toys were cheap, disposable items that you could pick up at any store. The young version of myself seemed to build these elaborate scenarios.
    Was this when?

    No, I answered. This was when I learned about other animals.
    It was when I was sitting in my room. My parents were yelling out in the hallway once again.
    The argument this time was about me running away from them. I had broken away from them and taken a Flabebe I found laying on our side walk to the local pokecenter. My parents had received a phone call from the nurse. They showed up. Mom looking proud of me, but dad looked furious.

    I was dragged from the pokecenter and sent immediately home before I had a chance to explain myself. I was yelled at and sent to my room. However, dads reaction earned moms ire, once again.
    "He can't go running off like that!"

    "Are you insane?! He just saved a goddamn Pokémon! We should be congratulating him on being so selfless!"
    "No! It doesn't matter what he was doing! He disobeyed me and I'm not going to allow it!"
    "Disobey you, what are you? Some kind of Egotistical sociopath?! Don't you realize that nothing is truly the black and white you wish it to be?! If the child doesn't learn moral right and wrong, how can he truly grow up to be a happy person! If you'd get off your high horse for 5 minutes you would realize that not every thing done wrong requires a firm hand!"
    "I'm the goddamn manager here not you! So don't you talk to me about right and wrong!"
    A loud noise was heard. The child cringed then curled his legs to his chest. A fresh wave of tears began falling down his cheeks. Foolishly, he blamed himself for his parents shortcomings. He thought it really was his fault that his dad was mad at him. At that young age, he had no way of knowing that the one who was truly at fault was his father.
    Then, the lightest, voice finally spoke again.
    Was this it?
    This was the moment that set him on his path.
    Two shades. One at 5 foot 7, the other at 5 foot 2, stood looking upon the child. In this memory, there was the two, a human and a gardevoir, standing side by side in a little childs room. The child, naturally, was unable to see this spectral pair. However, the emotions the kid emitted were very real to the both of them. They watched as the child curled up further as the sound of a slapping noise, followed by the sounds of a struggle broke out below. A crash was heard, and the barely discernable shouts of one of the two was briefly audible.
    "This is when I gave up."
    June 3130.
    The sounds of nature brought me slowly back to reality.
    At some point, I began to be aware of the sounds of the outside world around me. There was a crying noise that was melodic in nature, followed by a melodic response. The sound of footsteps were audible as I slowly began to open my eyes.
    My eyes opened to a harsh input of light. A brilliant azure blue. So pristine in color, and unblemished by the sky. I allowed my eyes to slowly adjust to this heavenly grace. I felt weighted down. But my attention was distracted from that. As my eyes adjusted to the light and I felt myself becoming fully awake, I took a moment to simply enjoy what I was seeing. It was not often that the sky seemed to vivid to me. Nor was it often that I dreamt of the time my parents were arrested.
    With a sigh, I decided to begin sitting up. With a spasm, I flexed my abdominal muscles, only to find that no matter the effort that was put in, little resulted. The weight that I had dismissed seemed to be restraining me. I shifted one arm slowly. It was free, but it was resting against something warm. I rubbed it slowly. Investigatively. Then I looked down towards my hand.
    However, I wasn't able to find my own hand. Instead, I discovered a mass of aquamarine hair at chin level. Confused, I moved my hand till I could see it, then I placed my hand on the mass of hair, then gently pushed it aside. Under that hair was the still sleeping face of an adult Gardevoir, who carried the peaceful expression that very few people would likely see on this earth.
    Further confused, I glanced around. I could see that it was laying almost entirely on me, but had positioned itself so that the shard that portruded from its chest did not poke into me. One of its legs was drawn up to my waist, and its leg emerged from the gown it wore, effectively hooking me into place. There was a dull pain in my left shoulder, which was currently being covered by the sleeping gardevoir. Due to this, I was unable to see just what the matter was. However, I was able to see a shadow against the tree we were apparently sleeping in move.
    I slowly turned my head to see a young Ralts looking at me. It had the most peculiar expression of curiosity on its face. I gave it a small smile, then looked questioningly at the Gardevoir that was laying on me. My brain began to slowly put the pieces together as the Ralts happily chirped at my acknowledgement. I was laying in a hammock like bed, with a ralts happily speaking to me, and a Gardevoir laying atop me. Luckily, I only had a moment of confusion before the events of the previous day came rushing back to me:
    I was attacked.
    She saved me.
    I nearly died but now, because of her, I am alive.
    My shirt was missing.
    Strangely, the last thought seemed rather relevant in my mind. My shirt was missing and I was injured. Aquamarine was curled up on me and the Ralts seemed amused by this. My naked chest was in contact with her. She and I were warming each other up.
    The professor is going to draw, quarter, and commit me to the firing squad for this.
    I gave a light groan as my eyes closed. I felt myself grow depressed as the consequences of today settled upon me. I was completely exposed. I was interacting with the observed subjects. I was now part of the observation when I was supposed to be observing and documenting.
    I dejectedly closed my eyes then turned my head so that my face was buried in Aquamarines hair.

    I was screwed in every possible sense of the word.
    The light, melodic murmers of aquamarine as she emerged from slumber brought me out of my reverie and back to the present. I shifted my head slightly as she slowly woke up. Then, with hair slightly askew, met my eyes with her deep crimson orbs, then gave a small, warm, smile.
    I felt her arms clench slightly around my still trapped torso, then I felt her left hand seek my left hand. Immediately, a warmth spread through me as our emotions began that process of intermingling. She communicated relief and hope. My response centered heavily on momentary confusion and embarassment which was met with obliviousness on her part. my fingers seemed to dance as I felt myself communicating my perception of how the Other Gardevoir would take this.

    To further emphasize my point, I then made a slight jerking motion towards the young Ralts sitting not 2 feet away from us. A cloudy expression was communicated that threatened to invade my expressions until I quickly tried to articulate that I was just worried for the young ralts. Further, I communicated enjoyment at our interactions and how fascinated I was specifically by her. The smile and joy that radiated from her face as she slowly sat up could have lit up even the darkest of caves.
    She slowly untangled herself from me, then walked over to the young ralts. before she knelt down to look it in the eye. With my body now free and her distracted by communicating happily with the Ralts, I took a moment to examine the damage.
    As far as I could tell, my shoulder was covered in wrappings made of leaves. A blue paste was visible at the edges. and the gritty feeling seemed to run throughout the entire wrapping. As I gingerly touched the wrapped shoulder, I could feel very clearly that something had been heavily damaged. The pain centered on three strips in the front and a wide expanse along the shoulder and down the bicep. However, the pain was dulled despite the tactile evidence that I was rather badly injured. This was a multi week healing at best...
    I could flex my arm below the elbow, but I could only do so gently. If I tried flexing it too fast, the entire arm lit up in a screaming, heavy metal, display of pain.
    I felt along my abdomen to find that there was heavy bruising on the left side, and near black bruising along my sternum. My leg hurt but looked relatively undamaged. My head however, didn't feel as bad. Considering that my hand gingerly touched a lump I am certain will be playing mary cobb with my senses for the next few days. Yeah, all things considered, my head was fine.
    I decided that it was now or never. I slowly retracted my legs then turned myself so that I could sit my legs on the ground, I slowly proceeded to sit upright. As long as I moved slowly, I wasn't too bad off. I sat there with the left arm curled up in my lap, and the right one rubbing my head idly. Then, I glanced around, to find the other Gardevoir watching with a mixture or reactions on display.
    The matriarchs male had its mouth slightly open. It seemed to register honest surprise that I had managed to sit up. The surprise turned to confusion, then to uncertainty.
    The Matriarch, as I called her, gave me a curious look at well. Though hers seemed to be amusement. Judging by the exchange of glanced between the two, it seemed likely that some kind of debate had taken place concerning my physical health.
    The other two simply regarded me with curiosity as well. No doubt they were uncertain about what to make of the human who crashed into their lives while getting attacked by a poochyena.
    Speaking of, I looked to my savior who was happily humming lightly to the ralts. She seemed as carefree as ever. The human she seemed interested in survived the day and was in her bed, and the ralts was seeking more singing lessons.

    It was like everything had gone according to plan.
    He tried to speak, but found that his mouth was quite dry, and his voice quite hoarse. With a worried expression, he rasped out a single word to them.

    The word was met with expressions of confusion between all of them. Even AquaMarine seemed to be perplexed by the word. Her head tilted, cutely, to the side, then looked him in his eyes as he repeated the word.
    Confusion remained on her face. This seemed to indicate that she could not understand english. Thus, he decided to try something. His right hand edged out, then gently tapped her middle finger. With a bright expression, she happily placed her palm above his as he found his fingers moving almost automatically as he formed the image as clearly as possible as he could in his mind.

    A look of realization came to her face followed by a feeling of embarassment that she had forgotten something like this. Then she looked to the others, then vocalized quickly.
    "Gard, ir rd."

    I listened closely as she vocalized what I had asked for, then tried it out for myself.
    All eyes snapped to me as I made an attempt. Aquamarine broke the silence by furiously tracing her fingers across my palm.
    I felt the rise in questioning as she focused. In confusion, I broke through her frustration, then focused on the image of me drinking water, followed by the recent memory of me trying to say what she did followed by a questioning sense.

    Realization came to her face followed by embarassment again. She then vocalized slowly to the others "Devo ga ga voir!"
    That one I understood better. The lead female of the ralts-less pair, brought forth a cupped hand of water, then gently held her hands to my lips.
    As I reluctantly drank from her hands, I felt cool relief spread through my mouth and down my throat.
    "Ahh... yeah that will do the trick..." I finally said, sighing as I finished off the water.
    The grateful feeling seemed to radiate from me without Aquamarines assistance. A radiance of joy spread from the one who offered me water, which matched the gratitude I apparently radiated.
    I felt myself suddenly being grabbed as I realized that I had an emotional exchange with the another one of the Gardevoir. A wave of jealousy consumed me as Aquamarine turned me to face her. This seemed to earn the lightest laugh from both the Matriarch and the other female.
    Posessively, I felt her hand fall into mine. Again, we seemed to lapse into this exchange. Her indicating I had angered her. The expression of confusion passed from me to her, then a sudden groaning noise that emitted from her followed by the feeling of frustration.

    Her left hand left the ralts before she stood up then all but pressed her chest to my face.
    I recoiled backwards, then looked up to her in confusion. She gave me a cross look, then placed my temple against her chest shard. I felt my temple pulsing gently as I began to notice the heat that seemed to radiate from her chest shard. With each pulse, I felt the sense of coherence as their vocalizations remained incoherent to me, but more attunded to an apparent cloud of emotions. Then, I began to hear it ever so softly. r me beh would have been dead!

    I sat back then looked up to meet her face. She gave a smile then tilted her head to the side. beh sze can you now understand me? I felt a voice bubble up into my consciousness.
    At first, my confusion began to broadcast, then I was aware of the fact that the voice came from her. Yes.I suddenly thought. I poured my focus into this task to make sure that I could be understood.
    Aquamarine suddenly gave a loud vocalization then grabbed onto my right shoulder before pulling me gently into an embrace Now my beh sze can hear me! Hello Beh Sze! I am glad that we can understand one another now!
    There was a slight murmuring noise to the right as the matriarch looked at the two of us. Again, the seemingly innocent gardevoir had clung herself to me. Arias bond seems to have worked. She spoke to me through my mind. welcome to our tet ze. your addition to our family honors us greatly. If Aquamarines voice was like honey, this one was like a church bell. Elegant yet commanding.
    How is this possible? I asked.
    With a smile, The matriarch looked first at me, then at the bubbling Gardevoir who sat with me, yet seemed focused briefly on the Ralts.
    Aria has taken an interest in you. She seems to have been fascinated in you since you ensured Asas safe return to myself and Aitsu. The matriarch replied.
    Names were used just now.
    I looked around at the Ralts and Aquamarine.
    It would seem that the matriarch called her Aria.
    I then looked at The Ralts. This one was called Asa.
    Finally, I looked to the male Gardevoir. Aitsu.
    I see... I am glad you all have such amazing names... though...I trailed off then looked at the Aquamarine Gardevoir Aria?
    She suddenly looked up from the Ralts apparently named Asa then gave me an expectant look which I felt as if it were my own emotion as well.
    Yes my beh sze? her voice filled my mind. Honey. That's how I would describe her voice. It was sweet and a little thick. Like honey.
    I looked her in the eyes, then offered a small smile. Thank you for saving my life. I am honored to meet you...I finally said.
    It's nice to meet you beh Sze! But we've known each other all our lives! I gave her a confused look then decided not to pursue this for the time being.
    Her ramble was cut short by the sudden interruption of the Gardevoir Matriarch. She shared your dream last night. As such, she feels as though she knows you better than anyone one else in fates paths. She elaborated.
    I gave a nod, but it was clear that the implications of what was meant was currently lost on me.
    With a shrug, I looked at Aria. I was very self conscious of her and the others for a moment before I looked back at the Matriarch who seemed to have suddenly vocalized.
    Alright, It's time that we circled forth to bring the fruits of our fortunes to our lives. As usual, young Asa, the light of our future. You grant the life that pulses into us all.
    I felt my eyes widen slightly as the matriarch spoke these words telepathically to us all, all the while vocalizing for the sake of the young Ralts.
    I found myself wishing, as she said these ceremonious words, wishing that I had my notepad so that I could copy down just what was said. Instead, I tried my damnedest to commit her words to memory for when I found my shirt.
    Then, I felt some fruits placed at my feet by Aitsu.
    Again, the matriarch vocalized. For the one who Aria has brought to us. The life that seeks to know in innocence like a child. The mate and beh sze of young Aria,With those words, I realized how I was described.
    Beh Sze?
    I was confused once more, then looked to The Aquamarine Gardevoir now known as Aria with uncertainty. She then recieved her serving of food then gave a smile as the matriarch spoke again For Aria, the new bell that rings vitality into our lives. Bringer of a new mate and fighter of the dark animals. I felt my hand fall to her shoulder as her accomplishments were described. Was I suddenly proud of her? I was uncertain of the emotions I was feeling at that moment. However, I felt her humility as she seemed to reflect on previous events.
    Then, the Matriarch turned to the pair, food was then placed in front of them by Aitsu. Then she spoke to them as well:
    Aina and Aika, the first of the community who brought us to prosperity. your unborn children await the bright potential that you will bring them!
    With food all but served out, Aria gave me the slightest nudge, then brought the food to her mouth but did not bite. I followed suit , I noticed that the Ralts did not seem to care as it happily began eating freely.
    For us, the leaders. May we continue to serve you, our family. May fate be kind to us, and may the new family that Aria and her mate represent bring us new vitality!I did a double take just in time for everyone to suddenly bite into the fruit.

    Family? Was I suddenly included into that?
    I quickly followed suit realizing that I was partaking in this ceremony as well. Therefore, I decided that I would be better off saving such thoughts for later.
    I couldn't help but to notice that the mornings ceremonies were different than the ones I had previously observed. Rather than it being short and to the point, this one seemed longer. More drawn out. I watched Aria eat her fruits while I slowly consumed mine. Had it not been for the pain in my shoulder and the difficulty chewing, I probably would have eaten quicker.
    But then, I noticed that even though I was uncertain about how long I had been out, I was still not very hungry. I attributed this tentatively to the fact that my body was trying to focus on healing the rather serious wounds which still throbbed with pain. Though it was muted by some method I was unaware of.
    As I ate, I thought about the blunted pain. Usually it was some form of painkiller which did this. However, I did not feel the effects of such pain killers. I usually felt the keen grip of slightly altered mental states whenever I took high strength pain killers. This time however, I felt fully awake despite the fact that my injuries still seemed very fresh.
    I must have stopped eating at some point as I suddenly heard Arias voice in my head Is there a problem my Beh Sze?
    I lowered my arm, then looked at her as she said that.
    What does that mean? I found myself asking without even realizing that the question was being asked.
    What does what mean? came her almost endearingly innocent reply.
    I waved the fruit distractedly as I formulated the question Sometimes when you talk to me, you refer to me strictly as 'Beh Sze' but you do it without any clear pattern other than referring to me. I said.
    She considered my question for the longest moment, then grinned happily It's what you should call me too Beh Sze, only if you are to refer to me, it would be ses frau! her face grew excited as she then proceeded to elaborate. It's what all caim duc ... mates call one another!
    Mates. Caim duc.
    Aria, I found myself asking her. Does Beh sze mean lover? Or does it mean something like husband and wife? I asked. I tried using a few examples so that if I was incorrect, at least I could figure out the pattern to this strange ritual.
    She gave me a perplexed look then asked me What does husband and wife mean?
    I felt my head drop as those words were unknown to her. I shouldn't be surprised. If she is speaking to my mind, then it is probably being made to that I can understand it from her native tongue. Thus, I shouldn't be surprised that certain words do not translate.

    With a thought, I tried to draw an analogy using words I had heard them both speak before Husband and wife are two mates that will spend their lives together. They love one another and are devoted to one another. I sat back slowly, minding my shoulder as I finished the explanation. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught the Matriarch looking on with a faint look of amusing in her eye.
    Aria finally gave a wide smile before she nodded! A Beh sze and ses frau have pleged their caim duc to one another just like you said! We are two mates who will spend our lives together in caim duc because we have caim duc... love for one another!
    Even though her explanation was something of a shock. I was momentarily astonished with how easily those words flowed from her lips. I gave her the most searching expression I could, then felt a wave of nausea overtake me. My eyes closed for a moment as I felt my head and chest sag forward suddenly as the full weight of her words sunk in. I was uncertain about how to really take this though. In fact, as she said those words such such an innocent smile on her face, I actually found it endearing. Like she was the most innocent being in the universe at this moment. I didn't even know how to feel anymore. Sitting there so innocently, this Female Gardevoir who I have only known for a grand total of three days manages to say with a straight face and a heart full of mirth that I am now wed to her, and that she and I are somehow lovers.
    I mean, ok. Sure, there was this weird interaction that we have going on. And sure, I feel like the two of us are apparently one unit. And Sure, MAYBE we shared a moment that seemed to transcend space and time. And The possibility certainly existed that I might have actually enjoyed the sensation of waking up next to her despite not remembering how in the hell I got here. And why the hell not? I was grateful for her saving my life shortly ago when I got attacked and nearly died! And I was fascinated by how she seemed to understand me well enough.
    But lovers?
    Once the shock wore off though...
    Was... Was that what it was?
    Just before I was attacked, I had the distinct impression that watching them was wrong. I felt, for a few moments before I nearly died, like I shouldn't be this deceptive. Was that guilt? Or was it longing? Was it because I felt too attached to them to be objective? Or was it that Objectivity died the moment that Aria found my hide and proceeded to make contact with me?
    Was it really such a short time ago that I looked on at their daily routines in such a dispassionate expression?

    I felt the fruit suddenly be extracted from my hand. A three fingered hand placed itself onto my cheek, then gently lifted my chin up so that my eyes were met by hers.
    Beh sze, when you were attacked, you called out to me. In that moment, your heart reached out desperate to find mine. Your heart had been affected by a realization that you belonged here, sitting with us, having such a wonderful morning. You longed for it. It was because you and I shared our hearts with each other those 5 nights ago. When I came to your camp and you showed me where you and that human were staying. We felt each other. But you weren't ready for it. So, I simply gave you the space you needed. But now you are here and you are home finally. You no longer have to only feel my emotions to know what it is that we both want. The thing that you have always missed in life is right in front of you. As long as you reach out, your family... me, your ses frau, shall be here to help you see the path you wish to walk. Her voice carried with it the comfort and confidence I found myself endeared to. Like a light, it penetrated the storm of my heart which beat an uncertain rhythm to the discordant path I found myself on.
    I...called out to you? I decided to seek clarification. I felt like it meant that in all the world, if I was dying, the one I called out to would be the one I wanted most.
    Our hearts, when we face trials, seek concordance. If you had never known me, it would perhaps be your mother. Or even that Amelia woman... Regardless of who it is, you would have sought for the one who was most important to you. Her palm fell into mine as she said that. Our hearts have begun to intertwine...
    I felt something stir in me as she said those words. It was an uncertain stirring. As if some emotion that I hadn't felt in many many lifetimes stirred upon being summoned. I looked at her, with an innocent yet loving expression on her face whilst her hand danced along my palm. She could feel the distant stirrings of a greater emotion, but did not push that. Rather, She gently placed the fruit into my hands, then raised her hand up to rub my cheek. Now then, it is important that my mate finishes his meal. You are still injured and without food in your stomach, you will never get better There was a tone to her voice as she gave me this instruction. Like a mother trying to be strict with a child that was not really misbehaving. I found it adorable, then began to slowly comply with her wishes.
    By around 10am, I had finished my meal, then found myself still sitting in Arias hammock like bed. For some reason, I found my current position comfortable enough that the balance between rocking and falling out seemed to have a net calming effect. I watched as Aria took to playing with the ralts again while the Matriarch and Aitsu conferred with Aika and Aina concerning the eggs. All four of them were watching two eggs in particular. It seemed that those eggs were expected to hatch at any time. In fact, noises could be heard coming from within.
    If it wasn't for the occasional bout of lightheadedness, I would have enjoyed the scene more. However, and against my better judgement, I found my attention focused on Aria once more.
    She was teaching the ralts another song. While the vocalizations were essentially useless to me save for finding the tune, I did manage to catch a lyric as she sang it. You, you are in my heart, You are in my mind~ So, as I love you, so,so love me too, The most tender desires, I alone feel for only you!
    She repeated this simple little lyric, then allowed the Ralts to rejoin.
    I realized that she was teaching the Ralts how to sing.
    She was teaching the ralts how to sing. Her and her alone was teaching it how to sing.
    The researcher part of my mind fairly rang with alarm as the thought occurred to me. However, the more curious part of my mind noticed that she had turned to me, vocalizing the tune.
    It... It was tempting to get up and walk over to her...
    In fact, I wanted to for some reason. There was a part of me that seemed to be accepting the situation as it was. I had to admit that there was a part of me that enjoyed this moment of sitting in a hammock like vine bed, On a warm summers morning, watching someone I was apparently mated to sing to a child, while the birds sang softly overhead. I guess it was the sap in me.
    I soon found myself slowly standing up instead.
    This was the first substantial motion that I had completed in an unknown number of days. As such, my legs began supporting my weight with a great uncertainty. My left knee fairly shok as it took on the weight of my body. So, I leaned slowly to one side, allowing my good arm and knee to do most of the heavy work. As I stood to my full height, I felt another round of lightheadedness come on. However, before I could loose my balance to it, I felt comforting arms wrap around my waist. Supporting and guiding me.

    It was her.
    Was this love? Did I even know that that word even was? Did I have the right to claim that feeling of my own? These thoughts were swept away by a wave of calm that enveloped me. It wasn't through that hand contact this time though. I got the distinct feeling as though our interactions were entirely telepathic at this point.
    You didn't have to help me stand up. I stubbornly and quietly said.
    Nonsense Beh sze! That's what you even have me for! She all but chirped.
    Slowly, We made our way out of the shelter and into the field that bordered the Settlement. I shifted my weight so that I was heavily leaning on one leg, thus sparing her the burden of having to support so much of my weight. I suddenly felt a wave of guilt as my entire reason for getting up was because I wanted to see the surroundings from their viewpoint.
    I glanced around, then found a large rock which jutted up from the ground. She felt my intentions well before I did as we slowly began to make our way towards it. Then, she slowly helped me to settle down onto it. A wave of relief passed through me as my body was no longer stressed by the act of moving. However, I found myself looking at her with an expression of concern on my face.
    Aria, what do you even feel for me? I found myself asking her.
    She gave a small smile as she walked around in front of me, then, very elegantly sat herself down before me. Her head cocked to the side as she contemplated the question. When you and I spoke, She held up her hand, indicating that she was referring to the contact we established on my second day here You and I communicated using a method which allows us to forgo the slow blossoming of friendship. We linked together to understand one another. I would not do that had you not shown your heart to me.
    I was apparently confused as she placed her small hand on my chest. While the contact initially hurt, I was able to see through the pain enough to feel the spreading warmth. The Gardevoirs heart is our most powerful prize. We see the world through our heart. While you think the world, we are immersed in it. As such, when you and I joined our hearts, I saw the qualities of you that made you a wonderful person. You and I have opened ourselves to one another in a way that transcends the need for speech. You have felt it right? how intricately and ornately we experience each others emotions? That can only arise when two hearts begin beating as one, as our have done. She raised her hand to my face, then placed the back of it to my cheek. Almost instinctively I felt my good hand reach up, then hold it.
    Whether you fully realize it, the bond we have created is so subtle that we can think it isn't even there. All of us though, we learn from this bond. And the bond we grow is part of what being a gardevoir is. For, in the end, the bond we grow from that feeling you call love, is what we define.
    I chose you as my mate because of the bond we forged on that day.

    I felt my head sag. But I'm not a gardevoir. I found myself saying to her. I'm a human. The obvious problem finally was being aired. Don't you find it peculiar? Are you even sure that we can mate? That I can even give you a family? I was wrong on this, I knew it as I said it. I was wrong because I was trying to take a simplistic approach. And I felt self remorse as I asked it.
    We won't know if we don't try. She said simply.
    How... blissful, it must be, I thought, to be her.
    I suddenly felt her small hand rest upon my cheek, drawing my attention to her face. And even if we cannot, it does not matter. mating is more than having children. It is the path we walk. The corridors of feeling that we are surrounded by. The lives we share and live from here out.
    Damn her. I smiled as the thought crossed my mind. There was a sense of logic there that I found myself incapable of fighting. That it didn't matter what the biological purpose of mates were. What mattered was the sensation. The affirmation that I felt through her. Affirmation of life. The experience that defined ones life. Nothing mattered in the end except that.
    I stopped fighting it. Everything I threw at her would be similarly deflected. Every objection I could dream up would sound hollow and trite. Rather, every objection I could dream up was entirely for my own ears. I needed to understand from a different perspective. I needed to let go of this urge to deny what I have in favor for platitudes. I needed to stop running.
    I needed to start again.
    I looked at her again. I look in her somewhat radiant features. Her innocent smile, her eyes that mixed with cerulean like a sunset on the ocean. Her sylph like body. Fragile looking and, in a way, pure.
    With a smile, I finally nodded to her.
    do you want to know what's funny? I suddenly asked.
    Of course! she all but chirped in response. As I looked at her, I could all but feel the anticipation roiling off of her. She seemed to hang onto every word I said without any hesitation. She seemed genuinely interested in understanding me.
    At least, I think she did.
    I'm actually scared to death of this. I mean, you saved my life, and that alone is more than I can ever express in words. My gratitude cannot be articulated and expressed enough about this. But, I am terrified if what I feel is what you feel... I feel like my subjective experience of the emotions you radiate are somehow getting in the way of seeing how you really feel. I am trying to justify to myself that what you feel isn't what I define as love. But that you are infatuated. But there's something more to it.
    Her smile dropped as she considered what I said. I got the feeling that how I said it came off wrong. I am talking to a being of pure emotion. She probably understands emotion better than I will ever be able to. She experiences it on levels that are nearly intoxicating. But I speak of it like I have some kind of understanding? The arrogance!
    Isn't... it normal to be afraid? She asked. Beh Sze, when you and your friend came to our territory, I was frightened. When I saw you watching us, I was afraid. When you nearly died, I felt as if your death would have been the death of me. Why is it wrong to be afraid? I know what it is you feel. I can feel the conflict and the turmoil. The utter lack of desire to harm me. And I especially feel your fondness. How you struggle with yourself. Your conflict plays out in waves you are unaware you broadcast. Yet I can feel the tumultuous emotions that you fight to restrain. But, I can feel how they tear you apart. The day you were attacked, I felt your mind begin to slip. I was worried that someone had given you a feedback of guilt. That someone in our tet ze had done this to you despite the Mothers desire to leave you alone. I realized then what you felt for me. Your desire to be with us, your guilt at watching us. Your attempts at holding back your friendship. Beh sze, your emotions are only a secret to yourself! She never let her eyes leave me. Yet as she spoke, she slowly walked towards me. Gently taking my hand in hers.
    As she continued speaking, the cascade of emotions swept over us, once more. Her hand motions took the lead in articulating this. I approached you that day because I felt your desire to be a part of us growing. You watched us in fascination. You were absorbed in our cultural beliefs even if you couldn't understand it. When the others fell asleep that day, I intentionally approached you because I wanted you to leave that dark hole you were living in and sit with us in the light. I wanted to let you know you were welcome.

    She glanced at our hands for a moment. The intricate motions of our interlinked hands slowed to a more sedate pace. Punctuated by a gentle rhythm in syncronization with a warm fondness. When we touched, I felt your emotions. I felt a growing sense of attraction. More than anything though, I felt that you looked at me as with love in your eyes. Love that had begun to bloom without you even knowing it. I felt my heart swell. I felt elated when I felt this! Feeling the small bud of love growing. I was ecstatic! She said as a pulse of happiness emanated. I could finally bond with someone! I could join hands with them and we could speak as equals! No longer would I have to walk alone. I felt her relief in those words. Pushed through by my memories of that day. I could share my love for my life with someone else who felt the same! This relief that I felt that day helped me to understand just why I had felt this way in the first place. Beh sze, the day I taught you this. Our fra cu sche, the feelings you felt that day were not just mine. They were your own. They were our emotions syncronizing with one another. We fed into one another with these feelings we currently are tied by.
    With a smile, she suddenly gripped my fingers, then rolled our hands together.
    So why deny what we both feel? Why stand on what we think we should feel? Why not just free ourselves and allow ourselves to love?

    I... was rendered speechless by her words.
    I felt my bad arm gently reach out, shakily though, then place my hand on her waist, just below her crystalline shard. I felt my arm slowly pull at her, indicating my desire for her closeness.
    Her body came close to mine. Her chest adjusted to allow closeness without her shard getting in the way. We found ourselves in a mutual embrace. Fueled by my gratitude to her for taking the initiative to show me just what it was I felt. Any other person might have taken offense at being told how they felt. But she saw through me. She saw through my pedantic attempts at maintaining an illusion of knowing the bonds shared in family. She forced me to confront them, but never once did I feel it as insistent. Rather, it grew organically from an awareness she had at me trying to hide behind a calm, detached exterior. I allowed myself to feel for a moment, something falling away.

    I know what it was, though at the time, I was afraid of it leaving. The reluctance I felt at allowing her in was the natural result of me not wanting to be hurt again. I didn't, initially, want to let her past the defenses I built to keep me safe. Of all the petty things I didn't want, this one was obvious:
    I just didn't want to be hurt again.
    Aria, I kept trying to push you away because I was acting selfish... I found myself saying. I didn't want you in. I didn't want the feeling of closeness because I feared the most simplistic thing. I didn't want to be hurt like I had been before. I wanted to trust, but to do that, I would have to try and have both at once, which is impossible. The safety and the sensation of closeness.
    When you and I first... connected, it was like you saw right through to my core with no effort. Like your presence was so strong that there was no way I could ever not want to walk side by side with you. I felt like I was saying nothing at this point. I felt like I was rambling, thanking her without saying the words, trying to comprehend and articulate that which defies explanation.

    It was clumbsy, but I did manage to say the most important thing I am attracted to you. I want to know more about you. I want to know why you laugh, where you have been, what your future is, why you like the water so much... and I want to know if we can understand our own hearts. I... feel like I want to be with you... And what kills me is that I know that I feel love... I was terrified when I woke up and you just began calling me that. But I know why... Whatever those words mean, it's because that day, when I was attacked. I felt regret. I felt ashamed that I was going to die and I didn't even tell you that I think I was in love with you... I guess sappier people would be crying at this. Me, I just shut off my filter and let my heart speak for once.
    My eyes shifter to look at her aquamarine hair. I wanted to bury my face in it, and learn more about her. I felt Eros in that moment. Yet, somehow, I did not feel desire in the way I usually did. Rather, I simply wanted.
    For what could have been a while, we stayed like that. Though I suspect it was only a few minutes. In this embrace, our hearts felt like they were all but one. Our emotions seemed to resonate with each other. Oddly enough, I could, in fact, feel that. I want to think it was our bond, but I think that the moment we embraced and I let her in, when things began to change, it was more than just our feelings for one another. The bond we forged soon before I was attacked, was strengthened here, on a field, near a small pond, in a forgotten piece of backwoods wilderness that nobody ever bothered to explore.
    Instead. When we finally broke our embrace, and she helped me back up, while we worked together to get me back to the communal area, it was really one entity that walked back. At that moment, our lives had been intrinsically linked. Our emotional selves were entirely dependent on the other. Without one, the other would have fallen apart.
    We were Henoisis from that moment forth. And it honestly felt right...
    30 June 3130.
    Field Camp.

    The failing light brought a bright moon to the sky which helped Amelia to navigate her way back to their field camp. Knowing Rowan, he would probably be closing down shop for now. Since he was closer to camp than she was, she had no doubt that he would be getting some food cooked right about then.
    She gave a small grin. Or maybe, she mused, he was lazy enough to live off that reprocessed garbage he calls a meal every day. The man was mal-nourished though. Sure, he could make some good coffee and his eggs and biscuits with gravy were up to muster. But when you get down to it, he lacked the finesse to really make a good meal. She had been gone almost a week now. Much longer than she intended. But then, she mused with a darkened expression. It was a needed thing to do.
    Sometime in the next few days the University should be checking in on them. The big satellite video down link was pretty much for that exact reason. Despite being close enough to the cities, the distance still prevented their usual phones from working all the way out here. So, they had to lug in the expensive goodies.
    Truth be told, even Rowan was impressed by the full video conferencing suite that was going to be on the load she had retrieved before leaving. He didn't seem like the type who minded going a few days without talking to another person. However, she thought with a mischievous smile, since that Aquamarine Pokémon came around, he seemed rather fond of it.
    Perhaps it was just how different it looked. Or maybe he thought it was cute. Either way, she thought with a light laugh. There was plenty of room for messing with him. He would probably get so flustered that she could butter him up enough to convince him to take an off day and catch a freaking Pokémon with her or something.
    These idle thoughts bounced through the older teens head as she finally came up to where the campsite was. Since It was dark, she had taken to watching her feet first and foremost. Therefore, as she stopped then looked up, the shock at what she saw was only intensified.
    The entire camp site was in ruins. Her tent was alright. Collapsed but no real damage. But Rowans tent and the work tent were shredded. Bits of metal were scattered around. Food was ripped apart and clothing lay in ribbons.
    Her eyes darted around as she took stock of the damage, then she turned and ran as fast as she could to the observation hide.
    As she arrived at it, she felt her heart sink.
    Everything was in ruins. The cover had been blown off and was half missing, the entire bushworks was missing on one side and a large chunk on the opposite side was gone. The camera was smashed to pieces and its parts scattered around.

    As she was examining the camera, she felt her blood turn to ice.
    There was blood on the metal fragments.
    Not just a little blood. This place was all but bathed in it. The blood streak was visible in the collapsed section where it was chaotically scattered around the ground. She felt her feet heavily carry her down the hill, following the trail of blood as it was sprayed across a tree, then was scattered in the clearing itself. She knelt down, then looked at it. There was a long dried pool here, yet, what she saw around her was enough to turn her stomach.
    Usually in battles with Pokémon, there could be some scratches. Maybe a little blood.
    But not like this.
    Whatever happened here was all but a slaughter.
    She raised her flashlight back to the large pool then realized that the blood could only have belonged to one person.

    She felt a whimpering cry come to her throat as she realized that her selfishness just got a friend she was beginning to like killed. Her whimpers escaped in the form of hesitant noise filled gasps. Her mind abstractedly wondered if this was the end of her education as a Poochyheena field researcher. That she would never get the chance to become a researcher all because she did something as self centered as go see her mother who, it turned out, just was feeling ill and checked herself into the hospital due to her hypochondria.
    It was so stupid! She felt her rage rise as she hit the ground, then began slamming her hands into the ground. Her hands clenched desperately at the grass, then ripped some up. It was only when she realized that some of the grass kept sticking to her hand, that she stopped then looked at why.
    On her hand was blood.
    In her panicked state, she beat her hand against her skirt trying to get it off. In the process, her flashlights beam was sent askew. In the dancing light, her eyes caught something that made her instantly forget the blood on her hand.
    The blood was smeared. It was as if someone had dragged a body away.
    Her mind raced. An impossible series of connections flew together as she felt herself arising at a conclusion. Yet even before the conclusion was entirely reached, she felt a surging anger rise in her. The more she was made aware of it, the stronger it became. It all but boiled in her blood as she came to a conclusion which sent it into a rage.
    It was THEM!
    THEY were responsible!
    She looked in the direction with a resolve that came from the cold logic of cause and effect.
    They clearly were dangerous. They had killed a human. They had killed her friend.
    Rowan did nothing wrong. Rowan had too much affection for them to raise a hand in anger.
    He posed no threat to them. And still, they killed him.

    Her rage guiding her, she set forth into the pale moonlight.
    A/N: There was a lot I needed to cover in this chapter. Most importantly, Rowans conflict was a moment for me. His reluctance, his confusion and his acceptance were tapped from me allowing myself some serious emotional searching. But more importantly, This chapter does a lot to introduce what the 2nd and 3rd acts focus on. There is a delicate dance at work that I felt myself moving through. But, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge a fellow user. In his writing, Fractured Unity, Edge Feyera introduces the concept of complex high cultural behavior in the Gardevoir species. When I was reading his work, the gem for this story was born in a question I found myself asking: What was Gardevoir culture anyways?
    I wanted to hint at a few discoveries that Rowan would make from here on out, but I really hope I was subtle enough. More importantly, I was curious in just what a complex emotional species perception of their love was. I kept on feeling myself riding waves of inspiration for this chapter. I intentionally left the date empty at the top because our entire way of keeping track was through Rowan. After being injured and in and out of consciousness for days at a time, there is no way that he knew. That 5 day gap will be slowly filled in. And it is important too. As I wrote their confessions, I was fully under the understanding that there had to be more at play. In the intervening time, they must have somehow bonded further. With their emotional states, it is impossible that they didn't.
    Finally, the naming convention.
    I began coming up with their proper names based mostly upon music. To me, music is the conveyance of emotion. In music, we find in ourselves the feelings we might be unfamiliar with. Seeing as how Aria was teaching the young Ralts to sing, I felt it appropriate that she embodied this. I hope to expand upon this music motif as I continue the story.

    A final note: This is the only chapter which will not include some measure of field notes. He will summarize the events of the past 5 days, but as this was entirely beyond what he had expected to have happened, and due to the fact that he was seriously injured. There was no expectation that his first conscious day would result in him dutifully trying to give an objective account of a subjective experience.
    It is my sincerest wish that you too like the story enough to follow it through to the end. I cannot say how far along we are yet. I keep on going through revisions for chapter 12 on out. I feel like I am closing in on just what I want to accomplish, but the path to getting there is hard to find.
    Thank you again.
  10. DaniWesty

    DaniWesty School Kid

    Oct 23, 2014
    This was the accident. It was dark and moody, and the only time that foul language is used. I am very loathe to use explicit language for my characters. For the Gardevoir, they would not have a concept of swearing in the human sense, Rowan was not the type to use it. However, My dear Amelia was the only one who was the type who would. She gets some abuse over the next few chapters.... Poor girl.
    Also, for the sake of the forum, I'm splitting this up into two chapters.

    30 June 3130.
    7:30 pm.
    Aria and I retired to our hammock bed. The sun was going down, and that hammock provided one of the most alluring views of the sun. The two of us lay in an embrace as we watched the sun go down. The golden rays cast a wane light, and in the sky, an almost full moon was dimly visible. We could hear the humm of insects in the woods and the sound of lotads in the springs waters. When a significant enough bond was formed, the ability to perceive emotions as colors was possible.
    Our bond had been deepend by the opening of our hearts earlier in the evening. Drained, we communicated more by emotion afterwards than by word. Our emotions were currently intertwined. Feelings of peace, but also a sense of eagerness. our interlocked hands had rarely separated since I felt myself break down and confess to her my feelings.
    There was a feeling of an afterglow. The climax of our emotions led to an ebb. Drained, we simply allowed ourselves to fall into our bed.
    What do you think the sun really is? Aria suddenly asked.
    I looked at her for a moment, feeling her genuine curiosity. I wondered for a moment if she was making a joke, yet nothing I felt indicated as much. I smiled as I tilted back my head, then thought back to my chemistry class. Many years ago, a brutal and new teacher assigned problems twice as hard as they needed to be. My amusement was easily detectable as I answered her. In the simplest sense, it is a giant ball of gas and plasma 865,374 miles across. It shines because it is taking hydrogen, the simplest atom, and fusing it to form helium. The light we see is the result of that process.
    Oh. Aria said. I meant, what do you think it IS. Is it life? Is it something else? What does the sun mean to you?
    I was taken aback by her question. I did not realize that the Gardevoir philosophized. I found myself at a loss for words. I... really don't know. I know what it is, I know what it does, and I know how it forms. To me, that's all that is important. I know that the planet is 4.65 Billion years old and in 1 billion years the Earth may well be dead and in another 4 or so billion years the sun will start to die. When it does, it will reduce the Earth to a whorl of atoms... But, to me the sun is simply an ever present feature of life. Like a friend you hold onto no matter what... I never assigned it special significance beyond that...
    Aria looked at me then grinned. A gardevoirs grin can only be described as... adorable. If they are the type to show their teeth, it has an impression of trying to look intimidating, but instead invoking a feeling of contradiction. Hers though, her closed mouth smiled barely shifter her skin. Yet her expressions were radiant when she smiled. So the sun is a friend who helps you to see and keeps you warm. It is a personal thing to you?
    It is life, but also, it is passion. I think. I feel passionate when I think about the sun. I think it is the expression of so much, without actually being any one thing. I tried. At this point, talking in context of emotion was growing steadily easier.
    So what is the moon? She suddenly asked.
    I smiled then slowly lifted my bad arm to stroke at her head. My hand lingered near her ears. Which seemed to be cartilage. Flexible and soft to the touch. Tranquility, a dream. Whenever I think of the moon, I think of the time I visited the Ocean and walked along a sandy beach one night under a full moon. The sandy dunes shimmered gently and brought a dreamlike tableau to my wanderings. I felt peaceful but also, entranced.
    She looked at me then shifted her head so that her cheek came into contact with mine. This was a deeper form of affection, similar to how we as humans kissed.
    You love the moon then don't you? She asked after we stopped rubbing our cheeks.
    Yes, I used to dream about walking on it. Many years ago man walked upon its face. I used to look at those photos and I dreamt about walking among the craters, looking up at earth. Looking out into the endless sky beyond the moon. A wistful smile came to my face.
    So, if there were men walking on it, why did you not go walk on it to? She asked in a curious yet innocent manner that struck me.
    I suddenly felt an old emotion wash over me. I felt a hint of guilt and trepidation. Nobody is walking around on it anymore. We only went there for a few years and we haven't been back...
    I felt disappointed in myself for some reason as I said that. Even though political grandstanding and missile technology were not my fault. I saw it as a perfect metaphor for what we have wrong in our world.
    My disappointment was slowly eroded as I felt Aria emit a wave of comfort.
    Apollo...Dazzled me. Of all the events surrounding the moon program, my most vivid recollection was how dreamlike it was. The moon has been there for the entirety of our history. Everything that we did for the generations, was framed by the moon. Folklore always attributed a mysterious quality. Then, when men walked upon it, you could feel that we had entered that world of myth and legend. When we sailed out into the sky, we had emancipated ourselves from the earth. Once upon a time, man soared into the solar system. For a few important years. Then we ran home. Apollo was not actually about scientific enterprise... It was about nationalism and geopolitics. We desired to step out into the space, but that desire was sullied by ideological confrontation. I elaborated. The initial rush died, and we did not continue. We stayed close to home, and instead dream about what we could do next.
    I felt myself drift into silence as the last rays of day gave way to twilight. The red coloration slowly began its recession from the world. A gentle, comforting, warm darkness spread its fingers ever so slowly.
    But, didn't it inspire you for a time? Aria suddenly asked.
    I shifted my head to look into her Red and cerulean eyes. The question was there, but her smile stayed my words. Even if it was about all of that, didn't it inspire you to dream about what could be? You seemed optimistic when you described your bedazzlement. Yet your lament only came out when you considered the why. Doesn't it make sense to acknowledge that, but look at what it really did? Don't your kind still look up and ask questions about the universe? You didn't stop afterwards did you? Her innocent questions all but spilled out of her as she asked that.
    I found myself comforted by her words, then I leaned my neck so that my forehead met hers. Our warmth mingling where our skin touched. I felt a wave of affection envelop me as I formulated my answer. That is true... No matter what it was about, we still hold that as a symbol of what we can do if we put forth the effort. The moon landings inspire an optimism for innovation, and they elicit dreams of what could be. I guess the reasons for something are only as relevant as we wish them to be...
    At such a close range, her eyes filled the entirety of my vision. My bad hand, previously stroking her hair, paused, then splayed around her ears. I felt my hand touch upon a spot just behind them which elicited an audible cooing noise from her. With a giggle, she shifted her head to cause my hand to brush the spot again.
    After a few moments of this, I finally decided to close the remaining distance between my lips and hers. Kissing was an experience both of us had little real experience in. The cheek sensations were their forms of kissing. Yet, as my lips brushed hers, I could feel a crushing wave of desire spread from her. Somewhere, I knew I was aware that since we had bonded, I was more aware of emotions. I could sense hers, and there were the radiant emotions of others. Yet compared to hers, all others seemed grey. I wanted nothing more than to loose myself in them. As my lips separated from hers, I felt her head move forward to find mine. Her teeth, so similar to ours, even if tiny, nibbled gently on my lips. As we separated, the satisfaction she felt was evident.
    Under the steadily brightening moon, we slipped into our affections.
    7:47 pm. Field 50 meters west of the hide.
    Amelia had just concluded that this was the work of the Gardevoirs. Rage enveloped her as she turned to look scornfully at the location of the settlement. Without a word, a flash of light enveloped the area as she released her Poochyhyena. She walked steadily towards the settlement, which prompted the Dark type Pokémon to lop loyally after its trainer.
    She didn't know if they could sense them yet. She didn't even know if they were still there or if they left after they did who knows what to Rowan. However, she realized that she just didn't care. She had a thirst for vengeance that seemed unexplainable in scope to her. Never before had she felt this much anger. It mixed with her feelings of guilt and heartbreak. She felt responsible for his death and yet, she knew that had it not been for those damn elves, this would never have happened.
    She soon found herself just outside of the entrance to the settlement he spent so much time studying. What looked innocuous to her before, even boring , now looked repulsive. The very sight of the settlement offended her. She knew there were 5 adults there. She knew that to these psychic types, Assurance would quickly render them unable to fight. She wasn't going to kill them.
    Not yet.
    She was going to beat them all, then she was going to exact pain until they fairly begged for death. She was going to make sure that they felt every inch of her wrath and that they could see her eyes and beg for forgiveness. Their deaths would be slow and they would learn never to cross humans again.
    I hovered between sleep and wakefulness. Arias emotions were ebbing towards peace as she began to drift off.
    However, with a flash of light nearby, I could feel her suddenly sit up in alarm, then vocalize towards the others. In a flash, The Matriarch had joined her while Aitsu saw to Asa. Through Aria, I felt surprise and confusion.
    I slowly pulled myself out from the hammock, then began making my way over. to see what the commotion was about.
    Standing in the field was a figure and a poochyena. There was anger there. Was this person the owner of the animals that had attacked me? Dimly, my brain began informing me that something wasn't right. That I was forgetting something.
    However, it wasn't until I heard her voice order the poochyena to attack that I realized who it was.
    Amelia stood in front of their settlement as the Poochyena growled menacingly. It assumed an attacking stance as ghostly figures began to appear just beyond the entry into the place Rowan observed so meticulously. She could remember him describe it as a communal eating area.
    She noticed that the Aquamarine bitch was there.
    "Kalos, Use Assurance." She simply ordered.
    The Pokémon suddenly leapt into action. It bolted across the field in the direction its master had indicated. The footfalls sounding exceptionally loud in the still summer air.
    Amelias face began to fall as she realized that something was wrong. A person had suddenly appeared who set off alarm bells in her mind. His voice seemed slowed down as he bolted for the Aquamarine Gardevoir.
    By the time she realized who it was, Kalos had already leapt into the air to deliver his strike.
    Her eyes suddenly widened in horror as she realized that she had just sentenced Rowan to death.
    Her voice caught in her throat as she attempted to scream some kind of cancellation order before her struck.
    But it was too late.
    When I saw the Poochyena bolt towards Aria, I felt myself moving. I wasn't even aware of the distance as I felt myself running towards her.
    I didn't register the pain as her chest shard dug into my chest as I pulled her into my embrace. All I did register was an emotion of horror for her and the strongest desire to protect her. It was enough that as I felt the impact from behind, I was keenly aware of Arias surprise when I hugged her. The force of the impact was enough that I felt my feet leave the ground and the world went sideways.
    Everything in this moment felt exceptionally dragged out. The beginnings of a great pain spreading across my back. Arias scream as she came to the realization of what happened. There was another terrified scream as well. I didn't know where it came from. It wasn't mine though as I was dimly aware that my lungs lacked air. What I was aware of as I flew was a sense of relief as our bodies turned in midair. Dismay at the bandage being damaged as my bad shoulder dug into the ground. Confusion as I felt something hot falling down my back like liquid.
    But more than anything, I was keenly aware of waves of terror coming from Aria as she regained her senses and saw me on the ground holding her. I felt my vision swim for a moment as the force of the blow finally overwhelmed my senses. But I remember thinking that Arias face was not suited for sadness as my eyes closed.
    Oh. God.
    When Kalos attacked, it was Rowan who jumped out and used his body to shield the Aquamarine Gardevoir from its attack. She could only watch on in terror as his body was sent flying from the impact and the two of them landed on the ground with a sickening sound. Even in the dark, Amelias eyes could make out the dark crimson pool of blood that spilled from the wound and formed a disturbing puddle around his body.
    Amelia suddenly took off at a mad dash toward Rowan. As she approached, her desperate voice screamed for Kalos to stand down. Her speed picked up as desperation gave her muscles strength.
    This was the worst case scenario! I killed him! she thought in terror!
    Suddenly, Amelia slammed bodily into something.
    The force of impact sent her sprawling backwards painfully.
    In confusion, she stood up, then took off running again. She barely made it a foot before she crashed into the barrier again.
    She felt herself stumble backwards then raised her hands up, then began striking at the space before her. Her fists making dull thuds against the invisible barrier that had been erected around her.
    The Matriarch turned away from the now imprisoned woman, then swept over to Rowan.
    Along his back, starting from the previous injury, and extending across his back, was a fresh, deep gash. While dark blood poured profusely from this new, sickening injury, she gave a quiet sigh of relief when she realized that it was not life threatening either.
    The Matriarch seemed to regard the man with a sense of curiosity.
    In his arms was Aria, who was crying out in horror that her mate had been attacked for the second time in 5 days. She appeared uninjured and did not yet seem to register that her mate just took a serious blow for her. In many ways, she was lucky. Had the blow struck her, the consequences would have been so much more severe. Yet, she was relatively uninjured thanks to the man.
    She suddenly turned to the woman who was imprisoned. Her companion Pokémon seemed confused by this turn of events. It stood uncertainly by as Amelia hysterically screamed and hit the barrier panels with her hands.
    The Matriarch regarded the imprisoned woman silently. While Rowan had been readily accepted as he was the one who spared her Asa the trauma of being struck until it fainted, the same could not be said for the female companion who had been regarded as missing until this moment.
    The human woman harbored something within her. A desperation to prove herself perhaps. Or an inherent sense of superiority that was unwarranted in nature. No matter what it was, as the human woman began screaming out in despair and hatred, the matriarch couldn't help but to feel pity for the young woman.
    It was obvious she seemed to care for Arias mate. Yet Rowan held no emotions towards the human woman. There was a feeling of companionship and familiarity. Yet there was no tell tale feeling of caim duc that Aria and he shared.
    Amelia fell to her knees as helplessness engulfed her.
    She was being contained in a box and was unable to move. Her hands hit the sides uselessly as she felt regret overwhelm her.

    The matriarch sighed, then allowed the barrier to collapse. With a snapping noise, air that was displaced by the barrier rushed to occupy the void left. The collision of air particles set off visible sparks that lanced through the air as a function of the barriers disappearance.
    Amelia almost instantly scrambled up, then began running towards Rowan again.
    As quickly as before, the Matriarch had her seized. This time though, it was through psychic. Her Red eyes glowed amber as she held the hysterical woman in her grasp. It was, she realized, almost pointless. The woman would just keep trying until she was cast as far from here as she could be thrown.
    Sympathy filled the matriarch as she looked to Aria, who had scrambled over to Rowan, then began screaming for Aina to bring forth more medication and leaves.
    This night was a mess...
    Amelia felt herself hang suspended in the air. Her body wracked itself occasionally with a sob. However, she couldn't bring herself to continue her hysterics. Instead, she watched as the Two gardevoir began applying some kind of gel to his badly cut back. The gel seemed to thickly coat every inch of skin around the cut. The Aquamarine Gardevoir then began applying leaves to his back while making strange cooing noises.
    She wasn't able to tell, but she had the feeling like the Aquamarine one was comforting him with gentle calls.
    Slowly, the blood flow stopped entirely and the injury was covered from view with this strange assortment of leaves and gel. Then, The Aquamarine one Rolled him onto his side then seemed to cradle his head in her hands.
    "Leave him alone you little whore!" She found herself lashing out angrily.
    In a moment, the Aquamarine Gardevoir appeared in front of her. Recognition was clear on her face and, to Amelia, there was a certain threatening quality to all of this.
    Her voice died in her throat as she felt the Aquamarine gardevoirs piercing gaze. She felt a sudden sensation of Loss. A feeling of being torn apart filled her head. It was like she was experiencing the death of a loved one in explicit detail. Her breath quickened as she felt this sensation grow. Her breath became ragged and her senses seemed to mute. The feeling of devastation seemed to grow exponentially until she was certain the feeling would rip her apart. It was too much for her to stand this wasn't right it was.
    Then, it was over.
    Amelias body sagged against the psychic restraints as she felt her strength fail her. Her body seemed to be dropping to the ground. Her feet hit the ground first but her knees gave out as she felt them begin supporting her bodies weight. She felt her body sag as she was gently deposited on the ground. By the time that her eyes had refocused, the Aquamarine Gardevoir had him in her arms again. Again, she was making that strange noise.
    It occurred to her at that moment.
    The streaks of blood on the ground were not them dragging him off to kill him.
    The destruction was not their doing.

    Something else attacked Rowan and he was saved by the gardevoir.
    Her body tensed up again as she realized just what it was she had just done. Then, she curled up into a ball as another round of guilt laced tears exploded forth.
    Aria took Rowans head in her hands. Her small hand rubbed his cheek affectionately as she felt him for how bad it was. She felt a gentle trickle of emotions. Tiredness, pain, confusion, a sense of closeness...
    He was ok.
    In relief, she gently raised his body with psychic, then slowly walked away, her arms guiding his now limp body. In short order, he was back in their bed, and this time he was turned to the side. She gave dismayed look at her mates body. Any more attacks and he would not be able to move. His body couldn't stand many more attacks like this... Nor could she. The suffering he seemed to take was almost too much for her to stand. She slid into her hammock with him. Fear radiating from her as she pulled him close to her body.
    As silence settled across the settlement, it was broken only occasionally by Amelias shuddering sobs.
    1 July 3130.
    8:30 am.
    Dimly, I became aware of her body.
    This was actually unusual. The previous time that I had fallen asleep in her embrace. I could acutely feel her. It was more than a physical feeling. She was there with me the entire night too. My dreams were never unoccupied as she descended into them.
    However, I was keenly aware that she had not been in my dreams this last night. It was a depressing thought really. Her presence in my mind had brought me a great sense of comfort. Being with her in my dreams brought a sense of completion that I did not know I was previously lacking.
    Gradually, I felt my eyes labor to open.
    Aquamarine gratefully filled my vision. As my eyes focused on my surroundings. I realized that I was laying on my side facing her. Her arms were draped protectively around my torso and hooked along my back. My bad arm was pinned by her but my other hand was draped across her body. By all appearances, we had fallen asleep hugging each other last night.
    I felt myself unable to fully remember what happened. My last cogent memory was that we were laying in bed together talking about the moon. Then I have hazy recollections of rushes of activity followed by darkness. For some reason, my back was rocked with pain. It was that kind of dull thudding pain that seemed to run the length from my shoulder to the bottom of my ribs.
    With a groan, I gently moved my good hand from her waist then placed it on her face. I pushed her light hair back, exposing her eyes, then let my hand trace along her eyebrow, then down the contour of her face, gently caressing her ear.
    As I touched upon the space just behind her ears, she finally stirred with a cute cooing noise.
    Her body shifted, gently pulling herself closer to me. Her shard graced my sternum. A soft heat was felt almost radiating with serenity.
    Her eyes cracked open finally. Her red and cerulean eyes met mine with a dreamy expression on her face. It was clear that she was still encompassed in sleep as she regarded me. Good morning beh sze.... Her soft, honey like voice rang in my head.
    Good morning Aria... I replied. While I was fully awake, she often took a fair few moments to really wake up. So, he went back to stroking her face with his hand. Though, after he discovered the spot behind her ears that she seemed to love having touched by him. He gently stroked that little spot. A small crook where her jawbone and ear met.
    She closed her eyes, then shifted her body in sign of pleasure at his actions.
    Then, she stopped as her eyes snapped open.
    A wave of concern washed over him as he felt her recall the events from the previous night. She suddenly disengaged her arms then began pawing at his face.
    Beh Sze, tell me you're ok! That monster attacked us last night don't you remember? Her emotions became panicky as she also began to get out of her bed, jostling him in the process.

    Her sudden movements sent me askew as I slowly tried getting up as well. I don't remember much except that something leapt at you. That's about it really. He gave her a worried look as it didn't really occur much to him to be worried about his own body. You didn't get hurt did you?
    She stopped then stared at him for the longest moment. Her neck tensed up as a racking sob overcame her, T-that's not funny... of course I'm fine! You were the one who was injured not me! She roughly said that as she then looked around quickly. Suddenly, her eyes shot over to a curled up body on the ground. Her eyes narrowed as waves of anger roiled off from her.
    I felt the anger, but felt confusion more than anything as I looked over in the direction. Suddenly, it occurred to me what had happened.
    Last night, for some unknown reason, Amelia attacked us and Aria was almost seriously injured. I had jumped in front of Aria and took the hit. Apparently it was strong enough to knock me out. O put my arm onto hers, then gave her a comforting rub. Trying to calm her down as I realized the source of her feelings. Since Amelia had attacked seemingly without reason, there was no reason to believe that she was seen positively. Had it not been for the steady rise and fall of her chest, I would have at first thought her dead.
    I stood up slowly, then felt Aria also get up. Automatically, she put her arms around me. I looked at her, then gave a thankful nod before I began making my way towards Amelia, who was still lying on the ground in the communal area.
    He finally reached her, but found that leaning over to gently rub her shoulder difficult and cumbersome. However, with great effort, he managed to do just that.
    Why are you even bothering with that woman? Aria suddenly asked. She attacked us without provocation and hurt you. She is no better than that dark type beast that she uses.
    I looked at her with a look of surprise. She wouldn't have attacked us without a good reason. She's my friend. She wouldn't just turn on us like that unless if something was... A wave of realization washed over me.
    As Amelia stirred I found myself standing up. The change in altitude caused me to experience a sensation of vertigo that made me momentarily unsteady. I leaned heavily into Aria. Her warm body instinctively embraced me as I found my footing.
    Aria, when I was attacked, did anyone ever go back and clean up the blood? I asked.
    She fought back a repulsed look then shook her head. We do not return to where we are attacked. She said. It is considered to be spoiled by the negative energies that we lace the ground with. To us it carries a trace of the emotion we felt that day.
    That explained it... As my brain worked, I realized that I hadn't gone back to the camp site since I woke up. I know that the hide at least was damaged since the Pokémon had leapt through the walls and struck me there.
    She saw what had happened and I am thinking... If you saw our bed ruined and me surrounded by some Pokémon, wouldn't you think that I had been attacked by them? I suddenly asked. There was no accusation in my voice. I didn't even know if she had been struck by anyone.
    Empathy is what stayed my hand last night. Came the bell-like voice of the matriarch. It appeared that she had awoken. I could feel the hatred she felt towards us. I figured that since she was with you before, it had something to do with the attack of a cyclic ago. I restrained her last night so that she wouldn't hurt others nor herself. Her melodic voice rang out.
    I gave a slight nod as Amelia began to stir. I could feel confusion sweep across her features as she slowly roused herself from slumber. Her eyes glanced around and felt uncertain as she was not able to remember precisely why she was there. However, her eyes met mine, then I could feel the wave of recollection strike her. To me, it was like suddenly being elevated to a great height. The sudden onrush of emotions left me disoriented.
    "Rowan!" She cried out.
    I suddenly felt my body get struck by a great weight, then a wave of pain overcame me as I felt the injuries suddenly cry out in protest. Along with the sensation of relief that I felt, there was also the sense of jealousy that radiated not from Amelia, but from my Aria.
    I was suddenly aware about how this looked.
    I gave a sensation of worry towards Aria as Amelia suddenly pulled back, aware that she had slammed into my body and probably opened a few recently closed wounds.
    "Oh god I'm sorry! I am so sorry! I didn't mean. I didn't know!" She let out as regret and confusion mashed together in a strange sensation.
    Aria gave me a confused look which prompted me to Rub my head against Aria briefly before I elaborated. I think she thought I was attacked by you and didn't know that you saved me... She's feeling regret because she made an assumption and didn't think things out.
    A surge of sympathy overcame me from Aria as she realized what had happened. I became aware that the commotion had roused the other Gardevoir from their rest. As such, they gathered as well to watch the scene with the strange human woman who previously was an enemy, but now seemed surprised.
    "Amelia..." I started to say, but felt the words hard in coming. "It's ok... Just... " he allowed his voice to stop. I noticed that his voice felt rather rough. I coughed a few times in an attempt to make my voice work properly. Suddenly, it occurred to me that it had been at least a week since I really had need to properly speak. The entire time, I spoke to Aria without once using spoken words. Everything that I said to her felt natural. I felt like more was being communicated to her. Our words were laced with emotions, but it was not open to misinterpretation. There was no clumsy attempts at articulating those feelings. When we spoke, they were absent. It felt the exact same as talking for me. Yet it was only then that I realized just how different it was speaking vocally.
    She took a few minutes to regain her composure. I could feel her relief slowly subside as she eventually came back under control. By then, I had seated myself on the ground with Aria sitting next to me, her willowy body leaned onto mine. Amelia finally looked up at the two of us. Her mind now calmed down significantly.
    "They actually saved me..." I said simply. My words were confirmed by how my torso had those familiar leaves and the bonding agent. "I got attacked by a bunch of Pokémon like yours. Poochyena. Had it not been for them, I would have died. Since the attack, I have been slowly healing up here with them..." I indicated the other Gardevoir who had seated themselves in a semi-circle.
    "I... I see, I had arrived last night and... everything was ruined. All your equipment was destroyed. Your tent was shredded and the wall tent was collapsed. The hide was completely destroyed too. I thought that it was them. I...I saw these large puddles of blood all over the place and then I... I thought the worst..." She looked at the ground as she answered. "I...I shouldn't have left you... I could have stopped this. I...I was worried while I was gone, but I comforted myself in the idea that since they seemed to like you it would be ok..." She kept staring at the ground despite trailing off.
    There was an awkward silence that had fallen. There was hostility still from the Gardevoir. I could all but feel their thoughts. Arias in particular was especially hostile.
    I confess that there was something that had concerned me about this entire situation.
    "Amelia... you attacked to get revenge didn't you..."
    There was a sense of regret that I seemed to be able to feel.
    "I... I didn't want them to get off with your death..." She simply said.
    I gave a sigh.... Her intentions were troublesome. The Matriarch understood the meaning of her words. But did not move. This was my mess in a way. I could feel their desires though. I slowly stood up. Aria kept holding me as I did this. In a way, I found the thought occurring to me that her clinginess was kind of unusual considering that She normally let me get up on my own.
  11. DaniWesty

    DaniWesty School Kid

    Oct 23, 2014
    Part 2.

    I looked at her then gave a reassuring feeling. It flowed from me in a gentle rush, however, I felt it crash against her feelings. They swept over me suddenly. There was a feeling of fear, of uncertainty, and desire.
    Then, it occurred to me.
    Aria was worried that I was going to leave her.
    ses frau.. I sent.
    Aria realized that this was the first time I had actually used the gardevoir term for her part of our bond without any hesitation. I wanted to make it clear with each word that she did not need to fear for our connection.
    Beh sze? She suddenly replied. What is it?
    I'm not going to abandon you... Not after what we shared last night... it went without saying that we were feeling each other's emotions freely, so she knew I was aware of how she felt. However, I realized something important: Amelia couldn't stay here. Not after this. I'm... going to send her back to the camp... I don't want her to endanger you anymore...
    I touched Amelias shoulder. She suddenly snapped her eyes up to look at me. Her eyes swam with surprise as she stood up suddenly then seemed to move towards me. However, he body met with opposition as soon as she tried to move towards me.
    It was my hand.
    In confusion, she stepped back. I then nodded towards the field, then slowly began making my way out into the field itself. I heard light shuffling as she fell into step just behind me. Next to me, I could feel Arias sense of uncertainty, but I wrapped my good arm around her waist to reassure her.
    After the three of us were out of the te ze I stopped, then collapsed onto what was quickly becoming my sitting stool.
    "Amelia, I'll be blunt with you with this... They all want you gone. "
    Shock crossed her face as she considered what I said.
    "I don't quite understand... So what? They're just po-"
    My voice suddenly cut her off
    "Amelia stop!"
    She flinched at the sudden harshness of my words.
    "That attitude is what the problem is. I would have thought you'd have realized it by now that we honestly cannot sit here and ignore all the facts."
    "What facts? They're a bunch of Pokémon! They don't have houses they live out here and you cannot honestly be saying that what they want has any relevance here! You need my help and god knows you probably haven't been eating right" She said. A dark expression was on her face as she said that.
    "Amelia, what are Pokémon to you?" I finally asked.
    "Friends I guess... They fight with us and help us out when we can't do something alone." She answered.
    "Can you talk to yours? Do you understand it?"
    "...Yes. " She allowed.

    "Do you remember our talk about group dynamics? How it takes a village to raise a child?" I asked, referring to the second day of our field work.
    To my surprise, she nodded. "I remember everything you said! I would never forget!" She responded.
    "These Gardevoir live in a village, they dedicate their effort to raising the children. So, do they have a social structure?"
    "Sure.." she said.
    "Do humans?"
    "Then Amelia, what is the only thing that is really different between us and them?"
    "...Appearances?" She said uncertainly.
    With a nod, I then continued.
    "As long as you keep forgetting that they actually can think, can reason, and do organize, then you think you are somehow superior to them."
    "So what? We are aren't we? We have homes, we have cars, we capture them. We have technology and they do not" She said in a haughty tone of voice.
    "And that's why you have to leave...." I simply said.
    She stopped then gave a confused expression once more.
    "Amelia, as long as you think you are better than them, you will not be able to form a bond with them. You will not be able to really understand them."
    she didn't say a word.
    "These gardevoir are social creatures. The only difference between them and us is our reliance on technology. We are truly no better than they are..." I said that then finally shook my head. She wasn't getting it.
    "Amelia, go back to the camp site, please recover what you can of the cameras and their memory. My notebooks are important too, so I need those as well. After that, send a message to the university that there was an attack by poochyenas and both of us were injured. Let them know that while we are both fine, A lot of the video equipment was ruined. However, I'm still able to do my work. I don't care what you do otherwise, but after you get me the memory cards and my books, you can take your leave. I'll write a positive assessment of you so there is no chance of your enrollment being pulled. But take some time off or something... Visit your family, go see the beach. I don't really care. Because of what happened, they want me to stay with them for the time being. So aside from my personal things, I have no need to keep the hide up and running... "
    She was confused. I couldn't blame her. In a sense, I was firing her from her main role. I felt a measure of guilt. But then... As things were right now, no matter what I said, this would not be easy for her.
    "B-but I can stay! I can help with the research! God knows how disorganized you are! Who will proofread what you've written? Who will protect you if you are attacked again?" She asked.
    I didn't say anything in response. The answer was sitting in front of her.
    She didn't seem to understand just what was going on though. This was good. It made it easier for me to send her off. I searched my feelings for a moment. As silence settled, I finally reached out to Aria. I need to send her away... I am worried that I might have to... be abrupt with her...
    Aria shifted her eyes, then I felt a rush of understanding from her. Our hands skirted each other, but we did not join them. Instead, I gave a sigh as I steeled myself.
    "Amelia... you haven't helped me. Truth be told the only reason you were sent out here was to stun the ralts so that I could tag it and to cover our escape. We didn't need to tag the ralts and we don't have to risk discovery anymore. ....Having you here will only hinder the work... not...help it..."
    Amelia looked at the ground. I could feel the words having the impact on her. She had just been told by me that she was useless. That she was a burden. I felt terrible. I felt self-hatred rise as I said such a cruel thing to her. She didn't deserve that. She was, in fact a great person and was a help to me when I needed it.
    "I... get it..." she finally said. Then, her head raised up, then met my eyes. I never really looked into them, so I was momentarily taken aback by how vivid they were. If it wasn't for what had transpired, I probably would have found them attractive in their own ways.
    "Rowan... I'll be honest with you... The only reason why I wanted to stay with you is because of how I feel about you... Ever since you took that approach to the Ralts I felt attracted to you. You are confident in yourself, but you show sensitivity towards others without a moment's hesitation. You are intelligent and can rationalize in a way that I am almost frightened of, but you are perceptive.... Let me stay with you..." she said then suddenly stood just in front of me. A look of pleading in her eyes.
    Aria seemed to understand what was going on. Amelia liked me.
    That made it even worse.
    "Amelia... I don't like you in that way. To me, you are a friend... but not someone I could be with. Whatever kept you away for that length of time wa-"
    "It was my mother!" She suddenly exclaimed. I realized that I had just stepped on an emotional landmine with her. However, the explosion carried out differently than I could have predicted.
    "That stupid bitch! She got all worried because she hadn't heard from me and got it in her head that if she was in the hospital then I would come running back to her! Her daughter would talk to her and give her attention she doesn't even deserve!" Anger would have been an understatement. There was a look that bordered on hatred in her vivid blue eyes.
    "She kept on coming up with reasons after I realized she was ok then she does the most idiotic thing I have ever seen! I felt like I was guilted into staying around her! I hated every moment of her presence! I hate her!"
    I was struck dumb by her explosion. I thought she would have yelled at me for daring to imply that she was supposed to be able to see the future or something. Instead, I saw her in a new light. A kind of damaged girl who had dependence issues and a great sense of trust to anyone who treated her like an equal.
    However, she continued.
    "When I finally got away from her and came back, I was so happy! I was going to see you again and see how things were going. Being away was like a slow torture. Nothing seemed to make it better! But now you want me to leave again?! Especially after how I feel about you?! You're just going to turn me down and expect me to take it?! Don't understi-"
    "Amelia Shut up!" I suddenly found myself yelling.
    She flinched then stepped back from me. Somewhere as I yelled, my hand had retreated into Arias hand.
    "You aren't even considering how I feel about this! You are stuck in your own wants and desires! Look around you! Look hard! All you want to see is what is convenient for you. You don't even care about what's really going on! Look... I don't expect you to understand this... But right now, there is almost nothing you can do. The Gardevoir here hate you for attempting to attack them in cold blood. I was injured and I need to heal. The site is ruined, the equipment is destroyed. If it weren't for the fact that I was saved and brought into the...."
    Shit shit shit shit shit..

    I felt it.
    I felt Amelia suddenly realize what was going on. She looked at the Gardevoir then she looked at me.

    "Brought into the what?" She asked. Her tone was flat, and I felt shock. She was confused. She didn't really know what to feel. But strangely enough, I did not feel disgust. That would have made it easy to be honest.
    "They brought me into their family group." I said. "They see me as one of them. I gave them kindness by not intruding upon them, I helped their ralts out, and they trust me. When I was injured, apparently... they decided to let me stay with them..." I didn't tell her the whole truth. I only gave her a small fragment. I didn't tell her that the entire reason I was now one of them was because the Gardevoir sitting at my side saw me as her mate. I didn't tell her that I had created a bond with Aria that made me reconsider my own understanding of love. I didn't tell her about how at home I felt waking up in her arms. Nor did I ever dare to mention that I felt happy.
    "I.... I see..." she simply said.
    Whatever tension was in the air seemed to drain as she realized that she was losing this battle.
    "That Gardevoir... She likes you doesn't she?" Amelia finally asked.
    I could only nod.
    "Do you like her?"
    I looked not at Amelia, but to Aria then to my hand in hers. Slightly, imperceptibly, my head nodded.
    "I... I do..."
    I could feel the sinking feeling in Amelias heart. A sense of loss, a sense of confusion, a sense of defeat too. That was the strongest emotion I felt from her.
    "I really can't believe it... I lost to a freaking Gardevoir..." she muttered.
    "Aria..." I said simply.
    "What?" Amelia asked sharply.
    "Her name is Aria... she communicates via telepathy. As all Gardevoir do."

    "Aria...huh..." Amelia looked unsteady. Her eyes were clouded over in an unreadable expression.
    I began to mentally brace myself. Instead, I simply heard shuffling. I looked up and saw what had happened.
    Amelia had begun to turn away. Her breath was hitching with each draw. She seemed to be fighting back tears.
    "Amelia... If it wasn't for her... I would be dead... " I said.
    "I...I know that... I just..."
    Her breaking down into tears was the last reaction I expected. I expected... well anything! Hatred, revulsion, anger, pity, disgust! Something other than heartbreak!
    After a moment of collecting herself, she finally straightened her back, then turned to look at me.
    "I'll get your stuff. But I think the idea of a vacation sounds good. I'll check up on you in a week. I think the University should send you some new equipment though. I mean... Living with them will be a huge breakthrough right? You'll learn so much more this way!"
    "It'll be fine! I wanted to hit the beach this summer anyways. Not hide in some dark and creepy old woods anyways. Do you need some more clothes?"
    I decided to simply nod. It went without saying that I was kind of exposed at the moment. All I really had on were my jeans. My shirt was long gone and I only ever found one boot. I guess it didn't really matter in the end, but I still valued my modesty.
    "Alright, I'll get you a couple changes of clothes too while I am gone. Make sure you are eating properly though. I know you like ignoring your stomach because you get so caught up in what you are doing."
    "Thanks I..."
    "Anyways, Your tent is ruined so I'll get you a new one too. You've been lucky it hasn't rained so far." She continued on. Apparently, this subject change was her coping. I could feel the pool of sadness just below the surface, but I decided to let her continue on. If it made her feel better, who was I to stop.
    "Camera too... I could really use one..." I finally added.

    "Got it, camera, clothing new tent. Your books should be fine so I'll bring those down!"
    With that, she began to turn around. When her back was to me she finally said what was really on her mind.
    "I'm sorry I wasn't here..."
    With those words. She suddenly tore off to the base camp.
    Aria and I sat in silence for a moment. The sudden lack of noise was a bit of a shock to me. Finally, like the gentle rattling of chimes, she spoke up. She seemed so... composed...
    She'll be fine. I'm just sorry that she had to suffer so much because of me...
    I felt an insistent nudge from Aria at that moment, I turned around, then found myself gazing into her eyes.
    It's not your fault. While she meant well... her heart is self-absorbed. It is because of that that Hermestas declined her the privilege of staying...
    After what I had seen so far, I understood intrinsically that she meant the matriarch. I realized up until that moment that she had not been referred to by any name. If someone were speaking of her, it seemed as if the use of a name were not needed.
    I nodded finally in understanding, then felt my hand shift. I felt my fingers probe hers, then slide in between the gaps in her three fingers. Our joined hands felt warm as I took her in this manner.
    We should get back to the others... I said after a while.
    Yeah... We haven't even eaten yet... She agreed finally.
    There was an emotional weight evident as we both finally stood up slowly, then began making our way back to the others. I felt her trepidation as we supported one another. But sent her a sense of contentment.
    I hope you realize that you are the only one I really care for in this way. I said.
    With a flustered look, I felt her tiny elbow gently prod into my chest. I.. I know that. I was just scared. I was afraid for a moment that she would take you away from me. That we would be torn apart...
    Aria... I don't think I could stand that. I suddenly found myself saying truthfully. I get the feeling like something such as us being torn apart would be too much for me to bear.
    She felt reassured by that somehow. I got the feeling that she felt threatened by Amelia. After all. She was a human and she was a woman. Aria did not really understand human culture very well. I could understand though. I had my similar misunderstandings of Gardevoir culture. The two of us actually occupied an unusual space in that we had much to learn about one another. Yet, I got the feeling that in due time, those gaps would be closed. And our understanding would grow that much more as a result.
    Ah, they're back! Came the mental call of Aitsu as we entered into the common area clearing. In front of us were an assortment of fruits. However, everyone else had seemed to have eaten already. The 5 of them were gathered around the eggs. Oddly enough.
    The awareness that something more important was going on occurred to me as Aria collected a few fruits for us, then joined me as we made our way over to the rest.
    You're just in time Rowan of the Tree, We are about to welcome two new fec duhs into our lives.
    I looked to Aria as the Matriarch used these new words.
    Aria smiled brightly then clarified. Two eggs are hatching. The birth of any new life is fec du, um... the awakening of souls? When they hatch, they are considered to be new souls to us even if they had been with us the whole time... She gave a look as if she didn't even know if she was describing it right. However, I gave her hand a reassuring squeeze. I understood what she meant. New life was very significant. Therefore, the significance was emphasized.
    Two of the eggs rattled about as within, the young ralts struggled to emerge. A crack appeared in one as the horn of the ralts made the first break. Then, it retreated away as breathing could be heard. Shortly afterwards, another crack was heard as its horn broke through in another spot. This continued on for a few moments until finally the egg toppled to the side and the broken pieces circled around to allow the ralts to begin emerging. A large radial crack appeared running the length of the Egg. Finally, that piece fell away as the ralt all but tumbled out. It lay on the ground breathing heavily. It was still moist though, likely from the albumen and other assorted liquids that made up an eggs component. Aina suddenly swept forth, then took the Ralts in her arms. I could hear cooing noises from her as she ministered to the newborn ralts.
    After a few coos from her, the ralts suddenly let out a cry. It was gurgled and weak. But it was enough to cause Aina to hug it tightly to her. She brought its small head to her chest, then let its horn touch her shard. I felt a rush of warmth as the two embraced in that manner.
    When the baby is born, the mother bonds the child to her by connecting their hearts. Aria spoke softly at my side.
    The horns are us. mic tem we call them. The seat of our soul. Just like your heart. She brought her hand to my still discolored chest, then gently ran her hand along it.
    I could only nod in understanding. This tender and intimate moment held me entirely.
    For the first year, She will always keep the Ralts with her. Since she is expecting two, Her Beh sze will also be with her. They will never part, and will work as one... Her voice adopted a dreamy quality as she said that. I felt every emotion that was associated with this. There was a sense of romance and a sense of deeper love there. However, beneath all of that, I began to realize that there was an additional feeling in all of it.
    It was rough, it was undefined. But it was there. The desire, I think, to have a child of her own. To walk the road to motherhood, and to share with me that feeling. There was also an expectation. An expectation that I too would feel that nurturing desire in my own heart.
    Then, it occured to me. The parenting roles, as humans understood them, were essentially misunderstood.
    It wasn't two separate notions. There wasn't motherhood and fatherhood, there was a combined maternalism. Both Gardevoir felt this emotion.
    This feeling of understanding rose within me as I brought my hands apart from hers enough to allow my hands to dance in her palm. I realized that I did this whenever I wanted to closely share a feeling with her alone. It was a form of intimacy that was unique to them.
    There was a feeling of understanding as her hands then began to dance in response to my emotional communication. She seemed to feed that emotion, the maternalistic feeling, into me.
    As the other egg hatched, and the Matriarch welcomed the young ralts into her life, we stood in our own little world that late morning. I had gained a deeper awareness into her feelings.
    Our bond deepend.
    Afternoon rolled around. With it came Amelia. She appeared at the edge of the field, then stood there. Her eyes were downcast and her expression sullen. There was a sense of alarm in the te ze as she appeared, but as Aria and I made our way out to see her, the worry began to die down.
    "...Hey..." She greeted.
    "How bad is it?" I simply asked.
    "Most everything is ruined. The video system works but don't count on it having the same clarity as before. The solar charger is also working but half the panels are ruined, so don't expect to have full power whenever you do come back. The wall tent wasn't badly damaged but almost all of your stuff was ruined. I guess it was because I have a poochyena that I escaped the worst of it... " She looked away with a sense of guilt, then held out a tattered looking bag.
    "This is all that remains of your field notes... " She said.
    As I took the bag, I saw that roughly half of the notebooks containing reference material were destroyed. My personal field notebook though seemed ok. There were bits of mud and I assume my blood on the cover though.
    "Amelia, thanks... " I finally said.
    "I'm going to go to coumarine city for the week. I'll stop back by afterwards and drop you off some stuff... But I'll keep away for their sakes..." She said. Her eyes fell on Aria as she said this. It was obvious that her consideration came both from guilt and from a fear she felt. Further, the sense of jealousy was evident in her.
    Before I could actually say anything, she suddenly turned then began running away from me. Aria and I watched her go before we turned, then headed back to our home.
    Even though a lot had transpired, I felt energized by the turning of events that this indicated. Secretly, I was glad that most of my affects were destroyed. It made it easier to stay with Aria. Sure, I only had a few changes in clothes, and only a third of my books survived, but the important thing in my life was undamaged.
    At least that was my thought as I gently held Arias hand.
    That evening, as Aria taught the year old Asa how to express its emotions in song, I found myself finally able to sit down.
    I ended up writing two accounts. One was the field notes, and the other was an expression on my feelings that had grown for Aria.
    Field Notes. 1 July 3130.
    It seems like forever since I was able to make note of the events which have transpired. On the 21st, I was attacked by a pack of poochyenas, much like the one Amelia carries with her. I was seriously injured and rendered unconscious by the attack. Had it not been for the Gardevoir, I would have died.
    They rendered assistance to me despite the fact that I had been spying on them. Although I was out for an extended period of time, I have been able to heal enough to be able to move without assistance.
    Their methods of tending to injury are comparitively primative to medicine used in our culture. However, they have knowledge of herbs and berries that have healing and antiseptic properties. I suffered multiple lacerations to my shoulder and my chest. Contusions are apparent on my thorax, thigh, leg and most of my upper right arm. However, their methods have alieved a great deal of pain without the disorienting side effects. They use a form of Oran and Pecha for the treatment of the lacerations themselves. This is accomplished by forming them into an adhesive paste which is apparently strong enough to hold wounds closed while a bandage is then applied. The bandage itself consists of leaves that act as a bonding agent, causing a chemical change which results in the paste to take on a resin property. The paste has an added effect of administering a light anesthetic to the injured area as well.

    In the time that I have been conscious, only one of their bandages required changing. That was one on my shoulder, incited by careless motion on my part the day I woke up.
    It should come as no surprise that obviously I have been cared for by them. The obvious conclusion is that I am no longer observing without interference. There is the risk of subjectivism creeping into the observations being made due to this. However, I'm starting to get the feeling that it is almost impossible to not affect their group dynamic at this point.
    Further, the telepathic architecture and complexity of their language strongly suggests that their reasoning abilities exceed ours. Upon waking, I found myself able to communicate with them through this telepathic link that was established to facilitate speech.
    Oddly enough, the question of why I'm here did not occur to them. I suspect that my presence was known by all the moment I encountered the Ralts. It was, then, by their own leave that observation was permitted in the first place.
    Notes on common words used by members of the Gardevoir social structure:
    Be Sze: A phrase with a strong emotional connotation used between the pairs of the group. The approximation to our language suggests an upper level endearment that is connoted by the utilization of emotions that are fed back through the pair when the term is used.
    Ses Frau: A reference to a the female half of the pair dynamic. beh sze and ses frau seem to be used in a gendered context.
    Caim Duc: This word seems to be an approximation for not only a relationship, but also a bond. In human terms, it is simply both Gardevoir sharing their emotions freely. This seems to only occur in mating pairs.
    Te Ze: Uncertain meaning. Referred to in the context of a home or settlement. Their definition of a community seems to be communal primarily, with shared spaces but designated sleeping areas that are proprietary.
    Mic tem: The proper expression for the horns in the Ralts and Kirlia evolution. In Gardevoir, the proper term arises from it very literally being the seat of life from them. As they grow and evolve, the Mic Tem becomes infused with nerves and blood vessels. This forms a neural architecture that forms a sort of transmission node. It appears that should that be seriously damaged, they will die.
    Fec Du: Fec du is described as the soul in the simplest terms. However, what it refers to is the entirety of their being. Upon birth, they are recognized as being imbued with a fec du that awakens upon emergence from their egg.
    It is impossible to describe their actions without indicating that emotion determines a lot of their actions. Ones greeting, based upon their emotional state, is widely dependent on their empathic awareness of the other. Thus, if one is tense due to a previous conflict, their greeting is met with a greeting laced with assurances that their pain is shared.
    Meal situations: The morning orientation is a metaphorical acknowledgement of the day and the progression of life. Reverence is attached to these events as the matriarchial member first gives food to the youngest member in hopes of prompting a healthy life.
    While the interpersonal relations of the gardevoir is based on an empathic ceremony. There seems to be only an awareness that there is a central lead. It does not appear that the matriarch treats others, nor is she treated, differently except during meal times.
    With those out of the way, I wanted to describe the events of the day after I finally was able to move again.
    The night before Amelia charged into camp and as surprised to find myself patched up by them. She had been knocked out and apparently dragged off before her Pokéball force ejected her poochyheena who apparently communicated that she was not a target. However, since she had been drug off, it took her a number of days to regain her orientation and relocate base camp.
    When she did not find my body, she investigated the area I had fallen and found that the gardevoir tribe had relocated my body so that I could be healed. She charged in thinking that I was being held or that I had been killed by them. She was surprised to find me awake and able to reason. After she calmed down, I described to her what had happened and that I was healing. Due to my injuries needing constant attention, I decided it best to remain with the social group.
    I expressed to her my concerns about the integrity of data, but we both concluded that as long as I was able to observe them up close, I could utilize the favor given to better understand their sociological behaviors.
    She opted to return to the camp though. She felt it best to recover what she could and try to make contact with the university about the Poochyhyena attack. It was agreed that we needed a resupply. Since our communications equipment was damaged, I am skeptical if she will be able to use it. If need be, she should probably go to Santalune and relay the information there.
    I also made my first survey of the sites today as well. Most of the equipment was ruined. However the storage media was intact enough that the photos and videos collected so far will prove more than enough to construct a daily routine breakdown.
    It looks like they all but ruined the camp site though.
    What set them off? Why so much damage to the site?

    I find myself unable to resolve this freak incident. The ferocity of their attacks are plainly evident. It is no wonder that they have reduced the numbers of psychic Pokémon so far. However, it appears that Kalos regions Gardevoir have recently adapted techniques that seem to keep it from being at an evolutionary disadvantage.
    However, the question remains: Why were Amelia and I attacked while the Gardevoir settlement was not? I find no answers in either the contact I now have established, nor through Amelia.
    Addendum: Amelia is not very happy with what has happened to me. She feels guilty and is now avoiding me as a result. I think she also is upset that she simply assumed that the Gardevoir had seized and killed me. Time will heal that wound I suspect.
    Rowan Gingko.
    Wow. I did not expect this chapter to stretch for this long. The field notes at the end were actually the first things I typed up. I had considered for a moment just having that as this chapter, then I realized that it felt lazy. I wanted to take the journey back to the field note. Everything in this chapter had special significance for me. Truth be told, Amelia is my second favorite character in this story. I wanted to introduce some of her traits though as they really stood as a serious personification for the kind of duality that this story has been tackling. I considered turning this into a few chapters a few times. However, each part seemed to feed into the next one for me. The realization, Amelias desperation. The awakening of maternalism, even the encounter. Each part needed to be here and they all needed, desperately so, to happen in this exact order.

    I apologize for the language in this one. I didn't even realize it, but this is the first time that any curse words were even used. However, they were needed. The feelings associated with their use would not have been articulated if I tried using anything else.
  12. DaniWesty

    DaniWesty School Kid

    Oct 23, 2014
    Valse De fleurs leads up to a very important part. However, as a writer, I make it a point to not write certain things. When you finish the next chapter, the reason is listed.

    Valse De Fleurs
    4 July 3130.
    As dawn pulled me away from the world of dreams. I felt Her shard pressing against me.
    Last night, Aria and I were intimate. She showed me how Gardevoir expressed deep affection. The sensations... were greater than I could have articulated before. Wrapped in embrace, we explored one anothers bodies. Each spot seemed to carry a special emotional significance.
    We felt it grow as I found my hand beneath the gown she worn. Her stomach... it was incredibly hot to the touch, but it paled in comparison to her breasts and most especially her shard.

    The previous nights had become peculiar in that we were more physical at times. Even though we communicated in such an intimate way, the telepathy and the hand frolicking were insignificant compared to the emotional pathways associated with desire and beauty.
    We stopped shy of intercourse. The feelings aroused within me and the desire etched on her face made it reluctant. In the three days since Amelia left, I fell into the pattern of helping Aria with Asa the yearling Ralts. Aitsu and the Matriarch were entirely occupied with tending to the newborn who was being called Aura, and Aina and Aika were entirely consumed in the raising of the two young ralts. They were thus called Assai, given for how quick he moved when cuddled against aika and Alto, for how high pitched her cries were.
    As the others began to stir, Aria and I were accompanied by Asa to the water spring. It was proper for members to gather supplies after all. Aria raised her hands, then showed Asa how to concentrate enough to draw forth water. She produced a 2 foot by 2 foot sphere, then gave a nod for Asa to attempt. Her best attempt produced a small 4 inch sphere of water. I stood off to the side as they did this. I lacked psychic powers, so I was unable to retrieve water. Still I found pleasure in watching Aria show Asa how to manipulate the water.
    Since Amelia left, Aria and I have not been more than 5 feet apart. She and I both felt that fear of being separated. As such, we both seemed to naturally gravitate towards one another. Our mutual sense of desire seemed to act as the agent which kept our hands intertwined and our eyes on each other. In the intervening days, I regained my ability to walk unassisted and the wounds on my body were finally beginning to fully heal. The back wound was still fresh, but with the passing of the days, the pain seemed to ebb little by little. The bruising on my chest began to fade and the pain in my shoulder began to diminish.
    As I began to heal, I began to feel enlivened again. My urge to move returned a little at a time. After we ate, Aria and I usually sat outside of the te ze while she taught the ralts how to sing. In the saying "It takes a village to raise a child" It is understood that each member had a job to perform in raising the child. It was, indeed the case. Aria taught them how to express their emotions through the cultural dances and the songs she taught. Aika and Aina normally taught them how to gather, and Aitsu taught them how to collect water while the matriarch taught them how to control their emotions.
    With Aika and Aina out of the running due to their child rearing, I found myself finally having a use. In fact, today would be the day I would take the Ralts with me to show her what to pick and what to leave alone. I was fortunate in that the food in question was the same fruits I had grown up around and the plentitude that grew along the far side of the field.
    As Aria finished her lesson, I felt my hand grasp onto hers, then with a small dancing, began to communicate.
    I think it's time I said with a note of anticipation in my emotions.
    Are you well enough to gather fruits? I worry that the weight will be too much for you... Aria suddenly said. Her worry seemed crystal clear to me. My injuries were, after all, not fully healed. However, the confidence that I felt myself impart to her seemed to reassure her as relief met my mind.
    Nothing will ever be too much for me. Especially since I have you ses frau... I found myself happily saying.
    Stop being such a romantic! I would fall back for you beh sze! came her mirth filled reply.
    Truth was that I loved our banter. We could say essentially nothing, but the value of even a line of dialogue with her was increased by the emotions we shared in between barbs and comments made.
    We walked hand in hand together with Asa all but running ahead of us. Occasionally she would kick up a small insect, then change direction to chase it. Due to how slow she was, we did not fear loosing her or having her run too far ahead. Still we, like good parents, kept a good eye on her.
    Good parents?
    Aria sensed the confusion radiate off of me as I came to realize just what it was that I said. I had referred to our relationship with the young ralts as a parental one. Even though we were not parents, the feeling remained the same. I began to wonder if it was because we had grown so emotionally attached to her, or if it was because the two of us had begun to feel that desire.
    Certainly it was common for us to mate in the summer as well as the winter. But we usually...
    They usually waited until the winter months both because of being confined together and because of the chances of survival. When it was cold out, it was harder for the egg to develop. So, we usually waited until the colder months so that the rising heat could help the egg to develop.

    I felt that something was off as we arrived at the trees. It wasn't so much anything around us. It wasn't a feeling of premonition. However, I could tell that something was beginning to trouble me ever so slightly.
    Alright Asa, we're going to show you the right fruits again! Can you tell me the different types? I asked her with eagerness. I found that she likes energetic teaching. She feels more involved and the memory is imparted to her better.
    With a chirping noise, she responded lapapa berries! Bananas! oran berries!chesto, pecha, hondew, qualot! Aspear and Leppa! And sitrus! Her voice all but sang the berry types we had taught her. There were a lot to be certain, yet her memorization seemed second to none.
    Alright, so how can we tell which one is ripe and which one needs some more time to get ready?Aria then asked.
    If they have a vivid color and are right to the touch! They can't be too hard but they can't be too soft! If they're brown they're yucky! Asa giggled as she said that last line.
    Well, she wasn't wrong really.
    Ding ding ding! Last question! How much do we take? I asked.
    No more than we need! She happily chirped back.
    However, I decided to toy with her a little bit.
    How do we determine what is what we need?
    Ralts looked confused for a moment as she thought it over, I could feel the confusion and her sincere efforts to come up with the right answer. Finally, inspiration struck her as she mimicked holding a large load.
    Only enough for one persons hands to be all full! She exclaimed finally.
    I smiled at her. She had picked up that we all took enough for 3 or so fruits per meal, and each meal had a slightly different combination. In truth, we really weren't able to eat much more than that. Three fruits may not seem like a lot. But three fruits is enough to sate our hungers.
    We set about picking the fruits. As I began pulling leppas down, I felt a berry suddenly impact the side of my face. I looked over to find Aria grinning at me as she used psychic to pick the berries that were up high. Meanwhile, I had to keep to the lower branches as I was limited in my range of motion. Unlike her, I didn't have the psychic abilities to really help her.
    I felt sad that I was limited like this. I could feel her suddenly concerned as she felt that wave of sadness roll over her.
    Beh Sze, what is it?
    Nothing really. I was just wretling with the notion that the best I can do is what you see. As I have no psychic abilities like the others, I can't exactly go around picking them so effortlessly like you are. I explained. These limitations had begun to eat at me. I didn't feel jealous of their abilities. Rather, I felt limited by my lack of them. I wanted to be able to collect water so elegantly. I wanted to be able to manipulate things with my mind.
    I realized recently that the sensing of emotions technically made me an empath. However, I quickly rationalized that they arose only from the bond I forged with Aria. As such, without her, I would never have had them in the first place. Something more intricate, such as telekinesis was well beyond me.
    Aria gave me a cross look then gently tapped me with her hand. I could feel her getting upset that I allowed our differences to get the emotional unity lowered. Beh Sze, I don't know why you worry about it. Not all Gardevoir can do this. Just because you cannot do what I am doing does not make you useless. You can grab items quicker than me, you are physically stronger than I am, and you have the ability to feel my emotions. We share a lot of commonality as it is, why let yourself worry about what you cannot do?
    Because I feel like I'm not useful enough I suddenly said, my feeling of inadequecy was fully evident not only in my statement but how I felt as I said that. I cannot retrieve water and I cannot sing. I do not know how to dance so I cannot give you an courtship dance that you deserve and I-
    Arias eyes suddenly widened. You cannot dance? She suddenly asked. Her surpise caught me off guard.
    Not really. I've never learned how to express my emotions through dance. It was never important to... My culture...
    Aria smiled though as I said that, then I felt the nudge of her growing question. There was anticipation and anxiety fully evident as she then said Do you... want to learn?
    You... you can teach that? I found myself asking.
    I wasn't certain why I was compelled to ask. For some reason, I felt the need to learn more. If there was something she could teach me, I felt the inescapable pull to learn it. If It drew us further together, I would master it.
    Of course I can beh sze! She audibly laughed as if such a suggestion that she couldn't was beyond the ludicrous. The reason I teach Asa song is because that is what I am good at. I was gifted with feeling in motion. Like how you are gifted with seeing two worlds unmarked by your own past!
    I suddenly stopped picking the fruit then looked at her. W-What did you say? I asked. I could feel that familiar confusion rise up within me as I searched her red and cerulean eyes for an answer that perhaps was beyond me.
    I said you can see two worlds unmarked by your own past. She said as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. Your empathy comes from the fact that you can see others for who they are. You see our caim duc for the caim duc of our fec du. You don't see our caim du as our te ze. You see? You see things as they are. Yet you can describe them as both!
    Even though more of the description was in Gardevoir rather than english, I was beginning to understand. She believes that I see our love for what it is; the joining of two souls. I do not allow our commune determine what we feel. Nor do I let my society determine what it is I feel.
    I fell into contemplation as I considered her words. Because I am willing to learn. And because I want to be taught. I can learn. I am not resistant to new perspectives because I know that perception does determine our reality to a great degree.
    I knelt down, then gingerly put the fruits onto the grass. I then turned to her, then pulled her into my arms. While she was surprised, the fruits that she was picking, fell to the ground, inadvertantly adding to the pile.
    se frau... you have a way with words. I never thought about it to be honest. I saw this as only what you and I had in front of us, I never thought that you saw so much more in me than even I knew... I quietly said as I sought her warmth in my arms.
    O-of course beh sze! What kind of mela would I be? You are my mate, and slowly, we become as familiar to each other as our own hearts. Our souls join as one precisely because of this! Even you do it! You can tell what I feel as I begin to feel it and you have a way of understanding my heart that when you speak soothing words, I become more at ease. You know me as well as I know myself... Our hands came up, then we each drew one another close. Instead of the human form of kissing as affection, Our cheeks came together, our warmth passed between us. If I had a shard, ours would have been touching. Instead, where it met my skin, warmth radiated out.
    But it wasn't enough. Even if we were pressed closely together, there was a desire rising in us to draw even closer. To meet in a way that was steadily growing difficult to articulate. My left arm fell to her waist, then it began creeping back to the rear section of her shard. Her mic tem. There was a sense of pleasure as I ran my hand along her back where it protruded. Then, I felt her hand meet mine. I felt our hands meet, then I felt our fingers begin their dance.
    Our emotions fell into syncronization once more. In the midsts of pleasure was joy. There was the desire too. It had begun to grow, creeping gently forth to fill more of our awareness. Had it not been for the Ralts at our feet, still practicing her fruit picking, I fear that we might have succumbed to it. However, the emotional syncronization was enough for us to recollect ourselves.
    Reluctantly, we separated to the unusual vertigo that was associated with allowing our hearts to mingle this closely. I never told her this, but whenever we separated, my vision was off kilter. I would see her the most vividly, but the rest of the world was at times discolored and somehow unusual. This feeling lasted perhaps 5 minutes. Enough time for us to recollect our things, then begin the process of heading back.
    That afternoon, the others had retired for rest. Aria and I found ourselves alone once more. I was making a vain attempt at writing. However, her voice kept on distracting me from my task.
    Be Sze, when the sky is grey, do you think it's because the world is upset? She suddenly asked.
    No, usually that means rain is on the way, why do you ask? I said then looked over to her. I saw her head tilted up to the sky, but off to our east. I followed her gaze to see that a storm was forming away from us. With a smile, I watched it for a moment, then shrugged.
    What? She suddenly asked as I broke into laughter.
    I just sometimes wonder how you can abstract simple things like a thunderstorm so far is all I answered as I resumed writing. I mean, ok, storms hold a significance to everyone. When it rains I love sitting back and watching them. I find it relaxing. There is a fury there that is free in a way. It's like crystalized emotion. All of it cries for release, and when it does, it brings relief to all.
    Aria suddenly looked at me. I just don't like them much. They make me sad because I once got separated from my mother in one. I always associate storms with sadness.
    Apparently I was the one being all subjective about them this time.
    Well that kind of makes sense you know. My sister was the same way. When we were little, our babysitter took us for a drive and our car broke down in a park. But then a big thunderstorm came along. It scared my sister so bad that she always would get extra nervous around them. Oddly enough, even though I was right there, I didn't feel the same fear. I gave a look back at the sky. The cloud was thickening, but it was very slowly moving away from us. However, off to our west, more clouds appeared on the horizon.
    I closed my book, then stored them into the bag. The sky gradually darkened with the oncoming rainstorm that was certain to soak nearly everything not under cover. However, our bed was safely under the thick canopy of leaves. Thus, I knew that we would be fine.
    The two of us curled up as rain slowly began to fall. The clouds brought a cooling dimness to the world as the rain began drowning out all other sounds.
    Aria swelled with comfort. The two of them sharing this moment and this time, framed by an otherwise depressing event, seemed to lend a new meaning to something she never really attempted to see in another light. The rain gently fell as a far off rumble of thunder could be heard. It was such that no matter the noise, she didn't feel much the same fear that she had before.
    As I held her, watching the rain fall, I thought about how dull it would have been to be in that useless shelter during this rain.
    Beh sze...Aria suddenly said.
    Se frau? He found himself automatically saying.
    Why did you choose us in particular? She suddenly asked.
    I gave her a look of confusion, then shook my head. I don't know what you mean. Where else would I go?
    To another Gardevoir colony. We are such a small te ze that there is only so much to understand.
    She said. She gave off a feeling of uncertainty as she expanded upon this.

    The truth is... I felt drawn here. I knew that occasionally trainers would encounter Ralts wandering around. So to me, this was a place to find one... I knew no other place to go. I answered then tilted my head Why are you here? Why this one particular te ze? Certainly there were others you could have joined?
    Aria tilted her head to look at me with an odd expression. That's not fair...
    Aria, I don't know of other places. I know of this one, and to me, that is enough. It brought me to you, and the circumstances of fate have brought you and I together. Why does a flower bloom? What is the purpose of it? I asked.
    Sometimes... I want to leave here... She finally admitted. There was reluctance in her heart as she said this. Her mind rang with gratitude towards the te ze for having taken her in. And she felt indebted to the matriarch. However, there was dissatisfaction here for her.
    Because before I arrived you were the odd gardevoir out? I simply asked.
    To my surprise, she agreed with this. I knew that her feelings were dampened by the rain. Her downfallen mood was directly related to this weather and it brought to the surface an underlying sadness at how her life turned out.
    I came here because I heard that others like me lived out a quiet existence. I didn't know that it was a single te ze I wasn't really a part of. I hoped that I would find a new te ze that had a lot of others and we would all dance under the moon. There is no dance here... Matriarch just doesn't have the interest in it like I do. For a se frau who defined her life by the dance, this must have been painful for her.
    I didn't think about the fact that she was actually dissatisfied.
    What if you left here? Where would we go? I suddenly found myself asking.
    We? She suddenly asked me.
    What, did you think I wouldn't go with you if you wished to migrate to a new te ze? I asked.
    Suddenly, she giggled. We wouldn't be with a new te ze, we would be with a te fa not some little te ze! She corrected me. Fa was a larger expression. It denoted greater size, which meant that it was a greater collection of te ze rather than just one.
    Ok, a te fa, I said. Where would we go?
    She smiled as she cuddled into my arms. She slowly rotated her body so that her back was to me. We would go south. There are various te fa which live under the feather trees. She said.
    Palm trees? I...didn't know that there were palm trees around here... How many days does it take to get there? I asked.
    Two cycles. she simply answered. It's actually rather close. I think humans are there too. I remember there were a few in a te fa I traveled through, though they never seemed to understand what it was they were doing. They didn't seem to feel the gratitude you and I feel when we join for our morning meal.
    So you are saying that I actually feel what they don't? I asked her.
    You do. When you and I interlock hands, I notice your desire to make me feel better. You care more about me, and you care more about the te ze than you do about yourself... She suddenly turned, then held herself mere inches before me. Her hand sneaked around my chest, then ran along the slash that was covered in leaves. The Slash Amelias Pokémon inflicted. None of them had this... She whispered.
    I felt my breath catch in my throat as she said this. I.. didn't want you to get hurt... I said, feeling reluctance at those precise words.
    It was more than that. You and I both felt it. It was my life you reacted for. No other thoughts were in your head than the thought of me dying. None of them had that... She said.
    Then... I'll dance with you in the moonlight. I said suddenly. And we will go to the southern te fa. If there are Palm trees, then I feel like it would be greatly enjoyable.
    She smiled We will then. And you and I shall dance under the moonlight. Tonight too! She suddenly said. She seemed to desire this more strongly than I was aware.
    Aria... do we feel emotion in the same way? I found myself asking.
    What do you mean? She suddenly asked.
    Sometimes... there would be colors after we stop sharing our emotions. Like you would be extremely vivid but everything else would be different. The flowers colors would be more complex than I was previously aware, and the sky would be extremely bright. I explained. with a measure of anxiety.
    You are experiencing the effects of our caim duc. Your heart is not used to our perception of the world. I see you always as a vivid collection of colors. Your eyes almost are the ocean itself they are so blue, your emotions are like a mountain stream, and your loyalty is like an imposing mountain. When I look at you, my mind can feel overwhelmed by the presence of you in it. Yet the feeling is not frightening. Rather, there is a feeling of comfort, like you are the embodiment of what an island is.
    I was taken aback by this. Uncertainty clouded into my mind as I took time to understand what she meant. Will this become a normal thing? Will I always see like this? I asked her.
    As we lock ourselves into step, we both change ever so slightly. For some, the changes are greater, for some, they are more intimate. Being around you has reminded me about how much this world has. Yet I can see your ease at shutting the walls of your heart to focus on the present.
    She said.

    That... explains a lot actually. I've felt my perception of colors change as I've spent time around you. The te ze is all vivid but yours is sharpened. Your aquamarine hair shifts like the waves of the ocean and your shard always glows to me like the setting of the sun. Yet your skin shines always to me like a full moon. It is as if I am watching a myth while feeling a legend...Yet, I find myself experiencing emotions of those around me. Or rather, I feel yours all the time, but a few days ago when Amelia fled after hurting me, I could feel her every emotion like they were my own. I am used to always feeling calm. Yet being around you, I have never felt calm. I've felt my emotions fairly sing with every action I take. Every single feeling I feel has been so much more amplified as late. I confessed to her.
    She smiled as I described my feelings. You are feeling things like a Gardevoir should. She simply said. What you are feeling is natural. Our caim duc have begun beating as one after all!
    I couldn't help but laugh as she said this. Despite the gloomy mood of the rain, we still managed to find joy in each others arms.
    Slowly, we fell into a dozing sleep as the rain carried on. It was only when sunlight struck our eyes that we both began to stir awake.
    Drenched in Vanilla twilight, the field had taken on an almost magical feeling. The waning light gave everything a warm hue , yet the darkness of the clouds refracted the light just enough to bathe us in a direct sunlight.
    As we walked out of the te ze to look at it, I felt my hand take hers, then I communicated the experience as I was seeing it.
    Then, I felt a flood of color as the vanilla coloration began breaking into a variety of hues that all seemed to interact with one another creating a kalediscope of emotion. I felt the mellow sun mix with the refreshed grass as pleasant droplets of water acted as miniature prisms. Casting a warm rainbow.
    The impermanance of the vanilla twilight made the feeling that much more intense for me. Its fleeting nature seemed to reflect the melencholy mood perfectly, yet it added a pleasant bookend that served to cause Arias mood to soar.
    Shortly afterwards, I sat down to write my field notes for the day.
    4 July 3130.
    With the pairs tending to the care of the newborn ralts. Aria and I began assisting with more tasks than we normally took on. Her primary role was that of the instructor of dance and song. Yet we have been compelled to assist in gathering food and water. I find myself frustrated by the fact that I cannot use psychic abilities. Thus, It is one role that I am unable to adequetly fulfill without the use of tools. I'm not happy that I cannot equally help out wit-
    I suddenly stopped writing.
    I reread my field notes, then compared them to the previous days, then flipped back to 19 June for comparison.
    I realized that I was not writing observations with this entry. Instead, I was writing about my feelings as I helped out around the te ze.
    The wave of realization was associated with a feeling of shock as I realized the full depth of what I was doing. Tentatively, I decided to write this out in its entirety before Trying again.
    -with the simple tasks. If I had some psychic abilities it would be easier. However, it is a grim reminder that no matter how well integrated I have become into this society, I am still physically human. I feel at odds with this. I have developed a cultural identity that I cannot rectify with my physical appearance. I feel inadequete about not seeing color in the same way as her, and I feel uncomfortable when I realize that I do not have a heart that seats my soul like hers does. Because of this, I am worried that I won't ever be good enough. That the bond we hold will never be good enough for her.
    Further... I find myself...desiring her. We are mates. Yet we find ourselves slowly moving towards actually mating. I'm starting to feel anxious about the effect this will have on us. I am afraid that I will never have the depth of feelings towards her as she does to me. I feel as her, but I get the feeling my emotions are blunted by my being a human. I worry that what she feels from me is a gentle trickle of emotion rather than the oceanic waves I feel from her.
    Further, I worry that she will desire more and more yet will never be able to get it from me because of my humanity. I feel conflicted by these doubts. Yet, I have recently begun to feel as if they are simply worries based upon my recent realization of the scope of emotions that I can really feel. I'm used to having my emotions blunted. I'm used to them entirely being within my control. Yet the sudden surge has left me wanting more. I feel ourselves locking into the same mood and I feel thoughts forming that seem to be hers. I wonder if she has the same feeling as I do?
    I looked at the short note, then tore it out suddenly.
    I flipped the page to a clean sheet, then began to write once again.
    4 July 3130
    Temperatures: High 80's
    Weather: Morning sun, afternoon storms.

    As I have been living with the Gardevoir social unit since the date of my injuries, I have become more aware of the significance of their group dynamics.
    The parent gardevoir pairs now dedicate the entirety of their time to feeding and caring for the young. Daily, the Aquamarine Gardevoir and I are tasked to retrieve foods and water.

    The fruits that are collected are then peeled and then crushed to a watery pulp This is then slowly fed to the Ralts. It feeds roughly 5 times daily and sleeps in between a majority of feedings. The other ralts has relied more strongly on the Aquamarine Gardevoir. As it is now able to control its psychic abilities to a degree, it assists her with collection of water and fruit. After these tasks are complete, assistance is rendered in converting some of the fruits into a soup like mixture described above.
    In the early afternoons, the Ralts and the aquamarine then practice the craft of songmaking.
    Based upon observations so far, the importance of creating and reciting song is strongly valued in gardevoir culture. Through a basic telepathic link, awareness was made of the content and social importance of their songs.
    Their individual songs are meant to communicate pieces of their culture and traditions. They have a mythologic cycle that is communicated in song. However, there are also dance techniques that accompany these songs. To date though, dance has not featured in this particular social group. This suggests that there is regional importance but individual choice concerning the importance of song.
    Satisfied, I sat back from the field notes, then turned to look at Aria as she played with Asa.
    I stood up, then walked over to join them in the dying daylight.
    Are you sure that it is that important? I found myself asking.
    What? are you embarrassed to dance? Aria asked in a teasing tone of voice It's like you've never tried expressing yourself in song.
    It's just... I said as I held up the item she handed me. Let's put aside that it is a gown for a moment. Heck, let's put aside the fact that there is a slit running up the middle. And just for giggles, let's put aside the fact that you want me to not wear pants during this. However, don't you find, all these other facts, which are, I might add, very important in their own rights, aside, that this might possibly just probably be a bit on the small side? I held up the seemingly tiny garment as I said this. Like, I don't know if you are aware of this, but our bodies are kind of different sized.
    I don't see how that's entirely important Aria said in an airy tone.
    With a sigh of resignation, I just decided to go with it.
    I'll save you the description. It is very much as bad as you can imagine. A 5 foot 5 inch man wearing an outfit intended for someone who had an 18 inch waist and a 24 inch bust.
    What was important though, was that for some reason it did fit and comfortably.
    My embarassment was still there as I stepped out from our qu fon, our sleeping area, and into the field where the full moon hung serenely above. The rest of the te ze had fallen asleep, so it was only us and the night.
    Arias delight floated into a wonderous crest as I joined her under the moon. There was a tension in the air as I took my place in front of her. I felt anxious about learning how to dance. And I also felt nervous about getting it right.
    However, I felt the desire to better understand her. To understand her perception of emotions. I wanted to understand the significance that the dance had to her. Her connection to the power of myth.
    So, I swallowed my reservations and gave her a small, embarassed smile.
    Alright se frau, I am ready to learn from you I said in an encouraging tone of voice.
    Beh Sze, clear your mind first. Allow yourself to be aware of yourself in this field. Feel the nightwind upon your skin, and the moonlight upon your eyes, let all thought fall away.
    As I closed my eyes, then stopped concentrating, I slowly felt a sensation of higher awareness envelop me. There was a slight disorientation that I was aware of, but upon her suggestion, did not concern myself over. Little by little, I felt my thoughts fall away, observations dying, errant thoughts falling to a sea of white noise that seemed to flow like the flowing of a stream. It was a feeling I always knew about, lurking just below all things, yet never in my awareness.
    You will feel your fec du, it is a familiar feeling that has always been there. Let it now rise up until you feel as if you are swimming in it. Let it slowly expand to fill your entire perception
    At the time, I did not think about what she meant. Instead, I allowed my awareness to turn to that stream of white noise that seemed to suddenly begin growing louder with every second. I felt it from my fingers as a gentle humming sensation that perhaps was always there, my ears was filled with a ringing noise that I later remembered as being like tinnitus only with a gentle tone, My closed eyes perceived it as a feeling as if something was moving that they were unable to track, a ghostly band of something that always lurked beyond their range. My noise was filled with a metalic tang and the sensation of something thick. My tastebuds seemed to be aware or something that lurked just beyond memory. It was an encompassing feeling, a feeling I had only dim awareness of otherwise. a feeling I remembered from many nights past. Where there was a sensation of something that defied my ability to explain.
    Sensing my immersion, Aria finally spoke again, Now, seek me out. follow the currents of your fec du, it will lead you to mine. I will feel as if a great lake that you suddenly find yourself in. But more importantly, your instincts will let you know that you have found it.
    If I were thinking rationally at the time, this would have seemed absurd to me. However, rationality was displaced the day I felt the desire grow to be with her. Thus, I had no problems understanding the meaning of her words, If one thought in the terms of white noise, there was always motion, there was always some pull. To cede to that pull, was to allow the self to become in accord with what the soul desires. With the gentlest feeling of letting go, I felt a rush of motion even though my body remained still, I felt a searching feeling, as if I were grabbing my way to orient myself. However, the entire time, I felt these urges rise up, then fall away as the speed of this sensation dropped slowly. Then, I could feel proximity. Even though 10 feet seperated us, I had a sudden sensation of being mere centimeters away.
    Then, I felt it, it was like falling into a great stillness where so much light danced softly underneath. I felt a sense of serenity wash over me as I somehow managed to follow these abstract directions to her presence.
    Arms out, one to the front, one to the side, our souls are great depths of colors, our job is to connect these colors to create feeling. we do this, by moving. Feel the colors, then let their push guide your feet. Do not focus on your legs, do not worry about being balanced, and do not worry about trying to make the next move. the push of our emotions will guide us to the next color. From the connection of those colors, a new feeling will be created which will push us to the next. Our dance is to create the same feeling. We do so, to communicate that to one another.
    Inexplicably, I felt a push and a sensation of cerulean. my arms seemed to react on their own accord as my body bent in response to this push. I felt myself being moved forward by a few steps. Then, as I and the wave of cerulean pushed forward, we suddenly felt ourselves be impacted by another color, this gently deflected us into a rotation as the two colors mixed to create a new color which then pushed us out of the spin, then forward. we rode this feeling until it collided onto another, though instead of mixing, we instead were pushed ever so gently along, our bodies rotating as a response to this.
    Looking back on it, It reminds me of the waltz of flowers the dance which had a dreamlike quality. As if we were weightless, Aria and I moved in synchronization with one another. Soon, our bodies came towards, then touched one another. however, rather than this be a mistake, this was instead the push of the soul creating a feeling that we both experienced in tandem.
    I felt it swell around me, as if I were encapsulated in the feeling and that rather than it be mine alone, it served as a conduit for her perception of the same moment to be comprehensible to myself. Our hands joined as we made contact, then, following the gentle suggestions, we navigated the flowing feelings as they were created. Unity was a strong feeling, joy, rapture. They were just the words, they were the names we gave for the feelings as they flowed. What it really was, was our hearts finally merging. The dance we performed was the dance of the moonlight. Our feelings reflected the mystery of the moon, and the serenity that it brought that was reflected in the serenity we found in each others arms.
    Beh sze, you have crafted a feeling into a representation that we both are a part of. This is what the sensation of the dance truly is. Her words seemed to penetrate through the fog as we came to a gentle stop. Even as I opened my eyes, I could still feel the pulse of her soul. It simply refused to go away. Instead of the night being brighter or more vivid, it instead was intensified greatly. The mysterious light of the moon brought added contrast to her skin. The soft glow became much warmer as it reflected the serenity for all to see.
    My breath, despite me being nearly overwhelmed, was strangely calm. I felt an incredible lightness as I experienced the shifting and free nature of her emotions myself. It was beyond rapture. I felt as if I were embodying them myself!
    You worried once if your emotions would ever be able to match mine. If you would ever feel them as I did. You always will. When our hearts joined, you began to. Your emotions flow from you like a river. They flow to me like I am your lake. The same happens to mine. When you feel yourself become more aware of my emotions. You are feeling the flow of mine. But we must be careful, otherwise we will feed each other back and forth, your fear will become my fear, my fea then becomes your fear raised to my fear raised to yours, back and forth, back and forth, until the two of us fall into them entirely. We become overwhelmed and we are drained. Never allow yourself to loose control of that. Aria smiled then pulled me closer to her. Rather, her and I stepped closer at once, then we wrapped our arms around each other in tandem.
    When our lips touched this time, the sensations seemed magnified. they all but vibrated within my heart as I felt our emotions simultaneously react to the simple physical interaction that kising brought. It rang through our bodies as we separated, when we proceeded to nuzzle, the affection seemed to magnify itself until it all but glowed a brilliant red color. physical sensations, normally like tender jolts of electricity, fairly charged the air. The entirety of the word fell away as we felt our hearts magnifying the emotions we felt in the afterglow of our souls joining together. Rather than be overwhelmed, it seemed to instead give us the strength to begin.
    I was dimly aware of my body falling back into the long grass, of her falling on top of me. I only focused on her waist, on her face, on her eyes, of a sensation of looking through her eyes back to myself as they looked at my eyes looking back to her. I felt as my hand found an opening of her gown, then felt it push gently up towards her shard. I felt her heart in my hand, our heart. Our joined fec du. The joining of our soul the joining of our hearts. I felt my body push myself up closer to her as my hand left it then explored her breast. Then, I felt her as she pushed me to the ground.
    That was the night that we joined both in body and soul.
    Alright. This one was the one I was nervous about writing to be honest. This one touched on something that normally, I don't write about. This one danced around physical desire and fears of inadequecy. I am very much leaving it to the readers imagination to explore the depths that they go in intercourse. I intentionally left it out because nothing I could write would ever begin to capture the experiences that these two felt. Further, I felt like it would have distracted from the story. This event though, will have significance later. That is why I spent the time building it up.
  13. DaniWesty

    DaniWesty School Kid

    Oct 23, 2014
    Oh this chapter....
    Oh oh oh this chapter...

    Uncertainty Principle.

    5 July 3130
    When the sunlight broke the horizon, it cast its warm rays upon the land.
    When the warm rays reached us, our bodies stirred.
    In the days that would come, This marked the beginning of something bigger than myself. Everything leading up to the two of us making love in the field under the full moon after having a merger of souls in the pursuit of dance prepared us for what was to come. Gone were my ambitions at this point of putting together a research paper. Compared to the previous night, nothing I ever did from then on would ever be able to measure up to the feelings that we communicated as our bodies, as one, crossed a line.
    When my eyes opened, I saw her, sleeping serenely mere inches from me. My hand tightened against hers as I snuggled in to find comfort in her warmth.
    I had done it.
    By all means, our relationship crossed a line last night, and there was no longer any walking away. I had committed myself to her. I had mated with Aria.
    Instead of feeling the weight of my decision, I felt myself wrapped in a sense of rapture. We had, after the chaotic events of the last few weeks, been on the verge of this. It took a beautiful moment of our perceptions joining for me to realize just how wrong I had been. It took yet another for me to realize that the woman I joined hands with that day, was a woman I entwined my fate to. I found "Fallen in love" to be too dull a word. I found "With all of my heart" lacking. Instead, I found bound to be closer.
    Last night, during the dance that she taught me, I felt myself merge closer with her. During the dance, I was aware of our soulds comprising some great expanse, and the colors of emotions that we both bore, guided our moves. A rational part of me examined it in detail. What was the purpose of the dance? Was it to build these emotions from the feeling we had? Or was it to use emotion to tell the story through dance? I found it fascinating in its own right, and seemed a more intimate form of art than I had ever been aware of in my life.
    A cooing noise came from her tiny lips. The light had fallen on her eyes, and I could feel her stirring in both body and mind. Like a fish rising from the depths, the pull of a peaceful emotion stirred something within me. I wanted to stay like this for a little bit longer. I wanted to bask in the afterglow of what it is we had done.
    As her deep red eyes slowly opened, I felt her bliss feeding to me. It grew as if a blanket, then seemed to surround us. The balmy air of mid summer felt cool compared to the warmth that we were enveloped in. Her eyes finally focused as she registered my presence in front of her.
    Beh sze... She whispered mentally as her hand lifted to brush my cheek.
    Ses frau... I returned.
    Words that seemed foreign in the past not rang with pleasant tones to my ears. The emotions contained within them did more to communicate our feelings in this moment than any words we could muster.
    Last night was... She began.
    I felt the urge not to spoil the moment so I simply nodded.
    The happiest moment of my life... I responded.
    I felt a wave of joy wash over me as she suddenly grabbed onto my arms, then bodily pulled me closer to her. I felt my chest gently impact her mic tem. Her chest shard. However, the feeling of it pressed against my skin did not feel uncomfortable in the least. Instead, I felt as if my own heart were pushing against my chest to experience the touch of it. I could feel soft heat radiating from it. A sign of the emotions she broadcast.
    What we did, was a very symbolic and precious facet of our culture. In the eyes of the te ze, you and I are now fully adults. Ready to begin the task of raising our own ralts. She said.
    Doubt washed over me as she said that Aria, I'm not entirely certain we will be able to have children. Not because I don't want them I added that in due to a sense that she wanted to interject But because I do not know if... well, our mating will yield eggs for you. I simply do not know. I've only heard little bits. If we do, then it will mean something very important. However, if you can never have children because of me, I want you to be aware of this. I deeply fear that this one most important aspect will be denied to us. That we will never know the roles of maternalism. That you will regret choosing me as your mate. Since the urge had arisen in me, I wanted to heavily emphasize this point to her. I will never, ever, regret our caim duc, but be aware, that no matter what, we walk an uncertain path. But I will never leave these hands empty.
    I watched her for a reaction. Her eyes fell as she contemplated what it was I said, then she looked me in the eyes once more, then offered a small smile.
    But you said it yourself, you don't know. Beh sze, you are afraid that we cannot, but your fear is based only on you not knowing. Do not believe that anything is set in stone. If we can, a week will tell. If we cannot, then so be it. I will be very sad by this, but I have you. I trust that you will keep me from falling.
    Her words spoke with an unusual clarity. Like a knife, it gently sliced into my uncertainties. Though the way she said it left me confused.
    What do you mean by a week? I found myself asking suspiciously.
    She gave a grin. Silly! We copulated as I began to feel receptive to you in a more intimate manner. When we reach a certain age, once every 4 months, we are able to copulate and produce an egg. If we have an egg, it will lay in one week. If we cannot have a child because of our differences, I will instead experience great sorrow. It will be then that I will need you with me the most.
    She seemed...rather direct in her explanation. I began searching her eyes for an answer.
    Aria, that is shockingly explicit. How do you know this so well?
    Beh sze, just because we do not have...what do you call them? Where children sit and are taught by a matriarch all day?
    School Aria. I said.
    School... ha ha I like that word, school. It rolls so well! We do not have schools, but we do teach our young to know themselves. We are aware of our bodies in an intricate way, such as my mic tem. I know that there are blood vessels and a collection of neurons which are arranged in much the same way my emotion center is in my brain. I can feel my body directing blood to them when I need it. In the same way, I can feel and understand my body when it begins preparing. I can feel the egg a day before it is laid. Our awareness of our bodies is much that way.
    I took a moment there.
    So, your psychic abilities lets you understand what your body is doing in a very intricate way? I asked her.
    Of course! How else do you think we know so much about them? She laughed as she asked.
    Well... humans cut open the dead to learn about what made us work in life. I volunteered.
    A look of horror crossed her face.
    Why would you desecrate them so?!
    I felt panicked as her expression turned to gut wrenching horror.
    W-well you see, to us, we understand that after we die, we can learn much about ourselves. So, some people elect to let others use their bodies to learn more about us. Their sacrifice after death allows us to track down the root causes of that death and gives us knowledge about how to prevent the same death from occurring again. If someone is sick, we can examine what was hurt most. What a virus attacks and what it avoids tells us how we can fight it. Using that method, in the past 100 years we have gone from living for only 39-45 years to 75-100 years at a time.
    She took in what I said, but seemed confused about the entire concept.
    However, she simply nodded as she absorbed the information.
    We have reverence for our dead. But we also have a love for life. And if our knowledge means we live for a longer time, then it is worth pursuing. The longer we live, the more full our lives become because we get the chance to do much more with it.
    Aria gave me a long look after I said that, then smiled softly. I guess there is much about humans I simply do not know. She said happily.
    The same goes for me but... It's a process. I replied.
    We Slowly began standing up at that point. Little differences in distance made it seem like even greater ones. instinctively, we held each other close as we quietly walked back to the te ze.
    It was still around 7 am when we arrived, so nobody was awake yet. Asa was still sleeping peacefully with her parents the Matriarch and Aitsu. Aina and Aika were still curled up together, lost in dreams. As we walked into the communal area, I became aware that I was still wearing that Gardevoir gown.
    Quickly, I felt my modesty catch back up with me. In no time at all, I ducked off into our sleeping area, then quickly got changed.
    My jeans slid easily back on with the satisfying noise that such a strangely durable material makes. While I was happy to be rid of the odd garment, I couldn't help but regard it as I put my shirt on. I really thought until recently that their garment evolved with them. It wasn't until that day at the lake that Aria removed hers, showing that it was possible to remove them. This only deepened the mystery really.
    I sat in our bed for a moment, then gently pulled out my field notes book. I turned to a clear page then began to write:
    5 July 3130,
    I made a discovery about the symbolism inherent in dancing. As has been related, the propensity for dance is present in almost all Gardevoir. Even males have a tendency towards it. Based upon observation of Aquamarine Gardevoir, I am now able to discern that it is their way of telling stories. Much like how we as humans have elaborate ceremonies to enact certain cultural customs, they too have shown the proclivity for the same. Their mythological structure though is strongly based in the assumption of emotions. Rational discourse in which only the examination of their symbolism is irrelevant without this understanding.
    Concerning the reproductive cycle:
    The female is able to spontaneously bring her body to ovulation once every 4 months. Thus, 3 times a year are considered primary breeding season for them. It would appear as though sex is also sometimes seen as recreational as in humans.

    Further examination of their culture reveals customs that were previously not recognized as such.
    I closed the notebook, then considered what I wrote.
    So much was being left unsaid. So much detail... my detail, was omitted. It was as if what I felt was unable to be communicated. Objectivity had a major role in observational science. However, without the understanding of why we did what we did, it just felt hollow.
    Beh sze, are you writing in your book again? Aria asked as she walked up to me.
    I was, though I have been finding it hard of late to take more detailed notes. They want details that omit my very existence it seems. Like even being here, as a part of the te ze is irrelevant. Like I should be observing like a ghost rather than a member. I said. I confess I was exasperated about writing these observations down. The experience was so much more fulfilling.
    She tilted her head as I confessed my frustrations. And what are those little words of yours really meant for anyways? She asked. It was surprisingly direct of her to ask. She new I was researching the Gardevoir, that their ways interested me, but she never asked why I cared so much.
    If we understand why you do one thing, we can answer questions about origins. I told you once that it is believed that you and I have a rather recent common ancestor right? That about 15,000 years ago there is evidence that our lines split?
    Sure, though it doesn't really mean very much. She replied airily.
    I always was confused when she gave dismissive little answers, so I decided to corner her on this.
    Why doesn't it? I felt myself asking.
    Because, no matter how different we are, we can still find each others hearts! She answered then gave a quiet laugh, careful not to disturb the others. But more seriously, does it really matter? What if we are the same species but separated by a few little mutations? Or even let's say you and I are as different as a ralts is for a pidgey, the question is: Does it really matter? The feeling remains the same no matter what it is.
    Sometimes I felt myself disarmed by her reasoning. She was essentially arguing that I was thinking too hard about the matter and that what was really important was the fact that we loved one another. However, I felt the tiniest bit stubborn on this point.
    Aria, what if I said you were homo sapien angellus and not confucform angellus? I know you don't really know what those terms mean because unless if you read this stuff all the time, they wouldn't be familiar to you. However, one indicates the proximity genetically to humans, and the other indicated distance. Which would you rather have the world know? Closeness or distance?
    She tilted her head abruptly. That's what this is about isn't it? You want the world to see us as close. You can't stand us being different? I picked up on a sense of confusion as she asked the second question. But more importantly, I realized how important to her that question was.
    I can't stand that we assume we are so different that we forget to look at how similar we really are. In this world, we are alone. But if we understand how close we are with the other species that inhabit this planet, we feel that much more as a community. I reasoned.
    A laugh like the chimes of bells came from her.
    You have such weird logic sometimes Beh sze. You wonder why things are and never dream of why not. I've wondered though, have you ever stopped and looked at yourself since getting here? Have you looked in the water lately? So much about your inquisitiveness has changed, but you have not yet learned how to control your emotions. You try holding them back, you try suppressing them, but it comes off silly. You are like a young ralts with them.
    Part of being a Human adult is controlling our emotions. The culture I come from values keeping a lid on our emotions. It is essential that we do not let our emotions swing about. I replied.
    Somewhere, this had turned into a fight. Well.. it was a disagreement. I wasn't sure what it was precisely but I suddenly had the feeling like I had done wrong by her.
    But that's just it! How can you say your culture when we share the same culture! You say part of being human, yet you live here with me and I am not human. Your culture is one of emotion. One you have had a hard time understanding. I see you sitting there with your little book sometimes, trying to puzzle out how what we do means what. But every time you miss the most important thing about our culture. It's not about thinking it all through! It's about feeling your way.
    Aria, I'm a human! Pale skin, proclivity towards guns, carrier of Pokémon capturing devices...Well ok not me, but of the same species as. But that is my origin. I come from a society which looks at emotions in mixed light. We like to praise them and exalt them, but the second they get in the way of what it is we need to do, then there's suddenly a problem. You can't just-
    Would you just stop for a second and listen to yourself? She suddenly asked him. You are trying to rationalize your fear of feeling away. You are trying to justify it with hollow words that you know taste like ash in your mouth! You try holding up human culture, but let's face it: You don't like your own culture very much do you?
    I was taken aback. I don't feel one way or another about it.
    She suddenly snapped at me. How could you not like your own culture?! You danced with me last night! You partook in the highest cultural tradition with me! You did it eagerly and with a reverence for me that was beyond words! Your culture is my culture now!
    Aria...I.. I started but was met with her sudden words.
    Beh sze, before you say "you didn't know" just know that I know. But as long as you have such a muddied view of your world, you will not really understand what it is to be Gardevoir. She then flashed me a look that I couldn't quite understand. However, you really should begin trying to. You are part of that world now. You are, in the eyes of this te ze, gardevoir. Even if you are mostly physically human, you are not seen as human. In fact, the day Matriarch met you, you were not seen as one even then.
    What? I suddenly found myself asking in confusion. My mental exclamation was louder than I meant it to be. The entire time we had been keeping our voices down due to the hour. However, as we continued this back and forth, now mostly her chastising me, I know that our voices had risen. In fact, this awareness suddenly caused me to raise my hand, then point to the field. Actually, come on, let's continue this outside near the water. I suddenly found myself saying.
    Apparently the same consideration had not crossed her mind. she looked at me with confusion, then narrowed her eyes. Why?
    Aria, we are starting to get loud. I just don't want to wake the others with this actually very very very important conversation we are having and-
    This isn't a conversation beh sze! You aren't acting very Gardevoir like and I think it's about time you stopped playing Kirlia games and accepted your responsibilities!
    Look, I get that, I get that I've been looking at this wrong ok? I just don't want to wake the others. Come on, let's walk and talk. I want to know more after all. I don't even know what I'm doing wrong. So come on, we can talk more outside. I gently took her hand in mine as I said that.
    Don't think you can make me forget the conversation by a show of affection or something... She suddenly said.
    I felt exasperation build as she said that, but decided not to retort to it. That had a way of backfiring on me.
    I won't. I want to know what you mean.
    For your little book?
    Of course not! This hasn't been about learning more about you for an academic purpose in quite some time! I still write in the book because in 10 days I have to go into santalune city and give a report about what I've learned, but the reason I want to know is because of what you said: I need to accept my responsibilities. I want to know what responsibilities I am missing.
    We had since made our way outside and I instinctively made my way over to my now much favored sitting rock that was affectionately called the sitting stool.
    At times you are more dedicated to the te ze. You worry too much about how the others are doing. Your responsibility is to me now. We have to be able to feed off one another for our own growths as gardevoir, otherwise our bond will stagnate. She suddenly said as she sat down next to me, perching on the edge of the same rock.
    I thought we were supposed to be. I thought it was all about helping them so they can raise their ralts. I said.
    It is but... You are neglecting to make sure I am taken care of first.
    Aren't I?
    Beh sze, when was the last time you fed me emotions?
    A look of confusion crossed my face as she said that. Fed emotions? What did she even mean by that?
    I know you don't know. So I'll explain. This thing we do... She took my hand, then danced our fingers together on our palms. Is more than just a way to communicate our emotions. It is also something deeper. I Whenever we do this, we feed each other our emotions and vice versa. This is important not just for our bond, but for our empathy towards each other.
    I...guess a few days? I had not paid much attention to doing it since we were able to talk and whenever your emotions swelled, for some reason I could just feel them. And I know you cold feel mine, so I stopped asking why.
    She gave a small smile. For such a smart beh sze, you can be quite dumb sometimes.
    I teasingly dug my elbow gently into her side. This coming from the gardevoir who doesn't see why I was opposed to wearing a garment that women generally wear. Playful yes.
    Hey! Men wear that too! She suddenly retorted with a cute angry expression.
    Yeah, but then there isn't much difference in appearances save for two real things. I said.
    Exactly! She said as she crossed her arms. The sooner you realize that the better too!
    I missed something with that.
    Yeah, something just went sailing past my head with that comment.

    Erm...pardon? I suddenly asked.
    Silly! That's what I'm talking about! You are so caught up in human preconceptions that it never occurred to you that maybe your way of looking at things was wrong! Men and women occupy the same roles and the only real difference in the two of us is in our chest and our waist as you so happily discovered last night.
    My face blushed. I won't even deny that she had a point.
    I'm still physically human though. There is a lot of difference between the males and females of our species.
    So what? You are gardevoir now remember? You are one of us because you affirmed m affections and committed yourself to them with your own! No matter what others may say, you and I are bound together by our souls and our love.
    It was my turn to be surprised to be honest.
    So what if one day I sprung that on you? That in the eyes of society, since you and I had sex last night, you were now human. Would you be able to abandon your ways in an instant?
    She gave a considering look.
    ha! Got her!

    I wouldn't even know how to act! I'd be begging you to teach me how to act human! She suddenly responded with a blissfully happy expression.
    "Urk! So...goddamn cute..." I said aloud so that she didn't understand me.
    So... shouldn't you teach me? You're the Gardevoir here, not me! I finally said.
    That's what I've been trying to do! You always seem to get it a little, but then you just do the most...Human! Things! She exclaimed.
    Like what? I suddenly asked her.
    Last night you were so embarrassed to come out into the moonlight in that outfit! What does it matter? Who's going to see you? Who's going to even care for that matter? Why were you so worried about it?! You were thinking like a human. But you have to think like a Gardevoir, otherwise, everything that we do will seem strange.
    Arg! I could feel the frustration building up in me. I swear, we've wandered around in a giant circle this entire time!
    But that's just it! I don't know what thinking like a gardevoir really is yet! I'm asking you to show me!
    Then first you have to stop right there. Aria suddenly commanded, then pointed her tiny finger at me.
    Then, she suddenly jumped from the rock, then took off running.
    I watched her go for a moment then looked on in confusion as she all but frolicked around the field. Had I not been so confused by what it was she was doing, I probably would have joined her.
    A few minutes later, she returned to me looking quite cross.
    Fail! Try again! She suddenly exclaimed then began tapping me on the head repeatedly.
    After a few seconds of this, I noticed my left cheek was beginning to twitch as she did that.
    Gah! Stop it already that feels annoying! I suddenly exclaimed.
    Pass! Beh Sze reacted emotionally!
    I.. I don't get it. I admitted.
    Gardevoir feel their actions. Sometimes we don't just think about it. You have to be willing to embrace your feelings rather than just think about doing them.
    But that's just impulsiveness. If we ran around doing every little thing we felt like doing, how would you and I even get the food picked? How would we collect water and get the food ready for the Ralts? We'd just be running around doing whatever we want.
    That's just it! You see those actions as things we have to do! We collect the food and water because we want to! You have to feel that desire for it to really matter!Aria suddenly said exasperated.
    I sat back in realization, well at least a partial realization. She didn't do those things because she felt like it was her duty to? She did them because she wanted to?
    Little by little, I could feel the links in her logic connecting in my own mind. She loved the Te ze, so she wanted to help them. She loves them enough that it isn't even about obligation to her when it came to tending to the needed duties. It was done because she wanted to. She derived pleasure from helping them out. So, it became a thing she wanted to do rather than something she had to do.
    Ses frau you never cease to amaze me... I suddenly said.
    Whatever do you mean beh sze? She asked innocently then gave me a radiant smile.
    Wanting to help the others because of love only. Is.. it really that simple? I asked her in perfect seriousness.
    Of course it is! What, did you think I liked doing those things on their own? She asked. I used to do them because I felt like I had to!
    Wait a tic...
    I began thinking back to the first week I was here. A memory of recently to be certain, but it felt so far away now. The truth is I hadn't been thinking much of the past.
    There was a sense of celebration in the air as she volunteered to collect food one day. Her desire to help out was seen as important somehow but the importance had completely eluded me at the time.
    When the other Ralts were born, she began taking on more of a parental role as Aitsu and the Matriarch occupied themselves with tending to the newborn. The sense of celebration and joy was there as well.
    I think I was starting to understand, just a little, what she meant.
    I could feel a gentle surge in her emotions as I made this connection. Suddenly, she embraced me full on.
    I reacted almost without thinking and wrapped my arms around her as she fell into my arms. Then she happily proceeded to exclaim to me
    Beh sze is starting to get it finally! You big dummy! I thought you would never understand just what was going on! She released me then backed up with that same smile on her face.
    That act of spontaneity, doing something only because you feel love for others, learning something because you love others enough to understand them. Running around the field, frolicking because you love them. Stopping them because you love them and don't want to be mad at them. The first lesson is love. Feel love without effort, and let it guide your desires.
    Aria smiled at me as I made that connection.
    I could tell without even having to speak what it was she was feeling at that moment.
    So, ok, I do love unconditionally. And I do it without thinking about it. I love you. I love it here, I love Asa- Aria gave a slightly hurt look- Like a daughter. Ew... no... Anyways... I do those already though.
    Well then let those guide your actions! Not the logic of doing something! She happily exclaimed.
    Thank you master Yoda.
    I looked at her for the longest moment, then took her hand in mind.
    What else? Continue teaching me. Let our emotions be the motivation behind our actions, let it come forth, and let it be spontaneous. Let that be why I do things. Let my emotional connection be why I help raise the Ralts. Let my love for you be why we communicate. The way you put it just makes it seem so simple Aria Ses frau.
    Our fingers danced in each others palms as our emotions freely traveled between one another.
    Why do I love you? She suddenly asked.
    Because we both feed each other. We share the same desires in the ways that matter, and we feel the most open towards each other.
    She gave a slight pout, then answered me. You aren't wrong but... it's because I just do. I don't have to justify my love. It is free and it is your love and your love is my love and it resonates between our fec du. Asking why is useless because it simply is. The experience of being in love is enough of a reason for love! Just like how being alive and living your life how you want is itself a meaning for life! What's the purpose of anything? It simply is!
    But isn't that just going back to spontaneity? I asked her. I mean, you aren't wrong in a way. But why state something twice?
    Understanding the first part is essential to understanding the second part. She chided me. If we don't understand how to love, how can we then understand the importance of feeling it? These are two very important aspects of Gardevoir- Your, culture. You need to understand this if you are to understand just why we have such a reverence for emotions. Why they are so important to our myths.
    I leaned in to listen better as she spoke.
    Our myths celebrate emotion. They always speak of how important it is to be aware of your feelings and what they do to you. The importance of feeling is highlighted by the experiences of those who feel freely versus those who try to be like you. Those who try not to feel freely, their life is strife with struggle as they have to fight wars with themselves. One reminds me a little of you. There was a little ralts who was walking down a path one day. He came up to a branch where a golden fruit was hanging. Desire filled him as he wanted that fruit. However, he couldn't reach it. So, he decided he would try to get it down. He walked over to the tree trunk and looked at it with all his thoughts.
    I know! He cried! I will climb the tree and I will climb to the branch and get it down!
    So he dug his little paws into it, and soon enough, he was able to climb up to the bough. Unfortunately, whenever he would try to climb his way out to the branch, it would bend. He couldn't get it without breaking the branch! Undeterred, he decided to try getting it using a stick. So he waved and he waved, but he was unable to get it down that way.
    Finally, a gardevoir walked by and saw all the commotion he was causing as he tried to get the fruit. In pity, she reached out and plucked it with psychic. She brought it to the Ralts, then watched him as he happily ate the fruit. However, the fruit did not taste very good suddenly. He looked at the Gardevoir who stood watching him, then broke the fruit in half. He held out his little hand and the piece of fruit for the Gardevoir to take. Happily, she ate the fruit with him. And it was the best food he had ever had.

    I tilted my head as she finished the story. However, she suddenly asked me.
    Why was the fruit so good?
    Because he wanted the Gardevoir to enjoy the reward for getting the fruit?
    In a way. She said He felt like she should share in what he got. It became better becaus he wanted her to enjoy it too.
    Huh. That's more like a bedtime story really... I said. Myths to humans refer to the metaphorical story for how life is lived. A god gives a man a trial and he gains something from it. He learns a lesson and brings it back to the others. I said.
    Well isn't that just saying the same thing? He experiences but wants to share it with others. It doesn't mean anything if it doesn't help others.
    So human and Gardevoir mythology is alike? I suddenly asked her.
    Yes and no at the same time! Different messages are communicated! Yours is about sharing life, ours starts from the awareness that we are alive. In the present, in the now, it is a given that we share life! We look at it from a place where we learn right and wrong, how to apply it, and how to question it. You simply teach right and wrong and how to live it in that respect. You never ask why and how it feels to you! She replied.
    Notions that I previously thought were attributes of Aria which signified naiveté found themselves re-evaluated when she said those words. It wasn't her being naive this entire time. It wasn't her being stupid or anything like that. I was biased in my assumption. I assumed things from my own standpoint. I was biased in my assumptions. The entire time I looked at things from one viewpoint and thus missed the point entirely!
    I felt myself begin to laugh.
    Soon, the laughter grew out of control as I felt the hilarity of the situation truly come to my awareness. How stupid I was!
    Aria could feel my amusement growing exponentially. It was, in a way, feeding off of itself. In a flash, I felt her grab my hand. From her, a calming sensation began to overwhelm me. Little by little, the laughter began to fade, to be replaced instead with a vague sense of euphoria.
    What was that all about all of a sudden? Aria asked. Her confusion was evident and to be honest, my ses frau did deserve an explanation.
    Aria ses frau, you are incredibly perceptive. I however, am only just now connecting the dots between how you act and how I originally perceived them. Where I thought you were being naive, you were just expressing things from...our cultural perspective. However, I was so wrapped up in how my culture saw things, that I lacked the understanding to see things from a different point of view. I just realized how stupid such things were.
    She gave me a searching look as I finished.. then she grinned lightly.
    When we first met, I thought a little bit like that. I saw you sitting there in your hide and thought you were just scared. When I saw the deep curiosity in you, and more importantly, the growing desire to understand. I realized that you didn't even know what compelled you yet. When our hearts mingled that day, and our caim duc began to grow, I knew that we could learn from each other and the two of us would learn to love more readily! We need that from each other.
    The two of us let our words tail off into a sense of deepened attachment. I finally stood up, then held out my hand to her.
    Let's go get food for the te ze together!
    With that happy exclamation. Aria and I happily walked over to pick fruits for everyone. I picked Bananas that day due to my peculiar love for them. The two of us worked together, feeling the comfort of each others company as we worked. In a major way, this was a step for me. Starting on that day, I accepted that I was as much a Gardevoir by adoption. By being a part of their te ze, by being a member of this family, I was accepted as such. Even though I was human, that acceptance was not diminished. It was merely a detail that did not detract from my love for them and their love for me. Aria helped me to facilitate this change.
    While I had been accepted as a part of the te ze, I realized that my acceptance was emotionally different between the two days. The love felt before and after tht day were completely different. Instead of it feeling as love for a friend, it became more familial. All of it went back to that oh so important discussion with Aria about human culture and Gardevoir culture. We could live in both worlds if we wanted. But to really experience those worlds, we had to understand one and be able to live in it just as readily as others do.
    In order to observe one aspect. In order to understand one aspect, another aspect would have to change. In quantum theory, this is understood as the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. There is a limit that describes the precision between to observations. To observe the speed of an electron, you change its position. To observe its position, you change its speed. The day after I made love to Aria under a full moon, I began to change my cultural perspective to better understand her. In order to understand her culture, I allowed mine to change as well.
    From that point, nothing I did was purely for the sake of my research. It was for her. It was for my te ze. The research then, was slowly changing not to explain what they did. But why they did it.
    I wouldn't even be aware of the consequences until 1 week later.
    Oh boy, this chapter... I have thoughts about it.
    First off, let me just say that I am not a sexual story writer. So, I hope that people didn't mind too much that I left it out. I felt like it would be more of a distraction as it wasn't so much the act itself. Rather, I always felt that the act represented something. So I wanted to capture what it represented. Further, the discussion they had for the majority of the chapter also represents a major turning point in their relationship. Before this chapter...well, I think you all can see how they saw one another and what the problem was going to be. However, I like the notion of couples actually talking about whats wrong so that they can work together to come up with a solution.
    Truth be told, as I built this chapter, I decided to begin addressing a major point in this story. See, all along there has been a metaphor at work. This is a metaphor which I have been slowly crafting, thinking about, and playing with. I started out this story in essence wanting to communicate a few things about gardevoir culture I have been having ideas about thanks in part to other works. However, there also was something I had been crafting as well. As much as this story is about one thing, it is also made equally important by the other things which have crept into this story. I've dropped hints throughout the story. I think I have been blunt on at least a few. However, I did want to take a moment to point out that this story is essentially the story of the metaphor. Each aspect can easily be representational about other things. However, it is more than just the metaphor. It also is meant to examine something. It will be made painfully clear in the next chapter. After chapter 13, I need to make some decisions about how I want to move into the final acts and what 13-20 will spell for any future.
  14. DaniWesty

    DaniWesty School Kid

    Oct 23, 2014
    This is the most recent chapter. After this post, everything will be updated dualistically. Both here and the FF.net account. I'm splitting this up as well though. at 13,909 words, it is the heavyweight. It accomplished almost too much at once. However, they're needed....

    Well... Enjoy.
    9 July 3130
    Since we've had our discussion and came to bond more closely, Aria has leapt into getting me to understand the world from a Gardevoirs perspective. As such, tiny things which I previously took for granted took on an entirely new dynamic for me. Today, for instance, found me trying to care for Asa. She had fallen while playing near the spring. She had thus hurt her leg.
    The injury was actually incredibly minor, but waves of pain and fear had rocked Aria and I as we watched nearby. Aria seemed to take a special interest in her minor injuries, then seemed to warp it into a lesson. Gardevoir used comfort to make the children feel better. As such, it was up to me to minister to the tiny Ralts' wounds.
    However, as with all learning experiences, it wasn't going to well...
    I'm telling you, as long as you don't get it covered up it will only hurt some more. Plus, it'll get infected and you'll get sick. I found myself saying as the young ralts Asa tried squirming her way out of my hands whilst I attempted to apply crushed pecha to her wounds. I could feel a sensation of frustration rising up as I tried to hold her gently. I'm trying to help you fau Tet se...come on... No matter the soothing words I gave, it couldn't hide the fact that I was not sending comforting feelings to her like I thought I was.
    No beh sze, comfort her with thoughts in the form of emotion! Aria corrected.
    Even though she was instructing me, and even though never once did she admonish me, I still felt guilty at how I was handling this.
    I found myself closing my eyes to concentrate. Being in close proximity to Gardevoir for so long had caused me to be aware of their emotions. Like a constant friend, I could feel what they felt to a limited degree. It was only really through Aria that I felt it the sharpest. However, if I had to say, Asa was the second strongest link. Primarily because I had taken a parental role to the young Ralts as she grew more independently.
    I decided it was time to try a different approach as regardless of how close she felt, she still was carrying on. To accomplish this, I closed my eyes, then found myself thinking of the things that calmed me. That was actually the ocean. In my mind I could all but see myself standing on a beach. The crashing of the waves, the quiet cry of a wingull here and there, the emptiness of it all.
    I could then feel that feeling radiating off of me. It was a feeling of serenity. I opened my eyes as I held onto the sensations then gave Asa a warm smile. This approach, I was hoping at least, would be what was needed to comfort her.
    Sure enough. The young Ralts began to find herself becalmed. Actually it was more peculiar than that, my feelings flowed to her. Her feelings slowly changed before they seemed to flow back to me. Back and forth they went until she was entirely calm. At this point, with some difficulty, I stopped receiving so that we did not cause the process to reach a state of exponentiation.
    Something I had learned as I lived with the Gardevoir Te ze, was that emotions were such an important aspect of their culture. Yet the processes are the exact same in many ways. If Asa was scared and I was scared as well, she would feed that emotion to me, then I would feed it back to her. At some point, a runaway effect would set in as the process was itself exponential with no way of stopping it.
    This process was actually like a human's panic attack. The only thing was, since Gardevoir are more in tune with emotions, the sensation is magnified until physical pain and disorientation occur. The only way to recover from the effect is with time and patience.
    This was one of the most important things to learn. How to be at one with your emotions, to freely feel them, yet to be able to control how others are affected by them.
    This started out with her playing a simple game with me. It was a game she herself had learned when she was younger. She would playfully call me beh sze and feed a small amount of positive emotion. I had to reciprocate with the exact same level. I could not let our emotions combine as I sent it back. Otherwise the game would be over.
    This seems like a simple task on the surface. However, we tend to multiply feelings without even being aware of it. So it took me a few hours to understand how to do it.
    Now, here I sat with a young ralts, putting this method into practice. With my rather clumsy control, I struggled to keep the feeling from initiating an exponentiation resulting in a runaway effect. For the most part, I was having luck.
    As Asa settled down to let me work on her, I could hear a gentle cooing noise from next to me as Aria watched me begin tending to Asa.
    Alright, now that you have her calmed down, peel one side of the pecha berry, then gently break the fruit by running your fingernail across it. Make sure not to squeeze the fruit with your other hand. As you drag your nail across the exposed fruit, make sure not to press down very hard. Otherwise the pulp will spill out.
    Aria guided me through the process of tending to Asas injury. It was much like human medicine in that a wound was cleaned out with an anti-septic agent then bandaged. The pecha berry, along with having the ability to dispel toxic substances, served another purpose in that it was a germicide.
    I felt a slight tug as my fingernail ran across the fruit. Ever so gently, I could feel my finger suddenly dig in to the pulpy under fruit.
    Aria saw that I had completed this process, then sent me a wave of approval. While I was tempted to reciprocate, I instead focused on Asa. However, I did smile in response to her approval. Unlike her, I couldn't multi-task my emotional broadcast. It was too distracting for me. Instead, I slowly brought the pecha over to her, then gently began to rub the exposed juice onto the wound.
    I could feel Asa cringe in pain, but the calming feeling I sent continued.
    While I worked, I could feel Asa start to calm back down. This was, after all, a very minor wound. However, the Gardevoir are very emotionally susceptible. Thus, she couldn't help but to feel every little emotion that rose up to the surface.
    It occurred to me that learning how to guide her into focusing on a feeling to control the impulsive emotion that arose was also part of the lesson. As I tended to Asa, Aria kept a watchful eye. She wouldn't let me fail. However, she respected me enough to let me make my own mistakes. In essence, this was a mutual experience for us. We trusted each other, and we realized that unless if I was taught a certain thing, what would be intuitive to her, was not so for me.
    In short order, I finished applying the gel to Asas little knee. Then, Aria handed me a spare leaf as I held my hand out to her. By my holding out my hand expectantly, it was obvious that I knew what to do. Since there was no need to instruct further on this particular matter, she simply smiled as I cut the leaf into a smaller piece then placed it onto Asas knee.
    I found myself cooing to Asa as I placed the leaf onto her.
    That was a new thing. I never really made noises like that. However, I simply shrugged it off as a side effect of calming her down. With luck, she would stay calm after I let her go.
    Still, in short order, I put her down, then smiled as she gingerly tried out her freshly patched up leg. With a wave of happiness, I felt her turn to me and give a wave of gratitude. It turns out that the Ralts cannot speak very well. At about 3 they begin formulating simple words with telepathy. Greetings, emotions, and the likes were all they could really recite at such a young age. As they got older and moved towards Kirlia, they eventually speak much like a 10 year old would. Then, they evolve to a Kirlia, their language skills improving in lockstep with their psychic abilities. By the time they are Gardevoir, they have reached the vocabulary and eloquence of an 18-20 year old.
    Speaking of eloquence. Aria was only a Kirlia until about 4 months ago. Her coming of age coincided with her coming to this Te ze to settle down. By the time I met her, she had just come to terms with her roles as an adult. Gardevoir processes were laid out in that as they came of age, they were compelled to form a bond with a family group. Then, as they selected and settled down, they mated. Shortly afterwards, they settled into family rearing. After the first year, the Gardevoir then had an option to set out to another family group with its young ralts.
    I still didn't understand this peculiar compulsion. However, as with all the other questions I had to date, in time an explanation would be coming. All I had to do, was ask.
    You did very well tending to Asas wounds. Aria said with a sense of praise. However, you were slow to use your emotions. You tried comforting her with words instead. Remember, she cannot understand you very well yet. So we use our emotions first to make her know it is ok. Her chastisement was well deserved to be honest. In order to understand the culture I happily choose as my own, I needed to feel it spontaneously. I couldn't force myself to remember it, otherwise it wouldn't come naturally to me. Just as I had to feel my love for her to speak of her as ses frau, or the love for my home to call it te ze, I too needed to feel the culture as mine in order for it to flow naturally for me.
    You are right ses frau. I apologize for having lost sight of that. It really comes down to practice. The second I stopped trying to comfort her in a forced way was when I felt the urge to relax her. When I followed that, I could see what you meant in letting her feel the emotions. I'm actually surprised that I allowed myself to not remain cognizant of this.
    She smiled as I freely admitted my shortcomings. A wave of sympathy hit me as she indicated that she understood just why.
    Beh sze, I am just happy that you are picking up on it so quickly. She said. Her small smile always caused my heart to stir a little. I confess that it was actually very cute. Endearingly so.
    Well, when I stop letting myself ping pong from two cultural perspectives, I find myself fitting into this more naturally... I admitted to her.
    Ping...pong? She suddenly asked. Distraction filled her followed by curiosity and amusement. What an odd word. What do they mean?
    I raised my hand, then made a metronome motion with my hands.
    You play a game on a table where you hit a tiny little ball back and forth with another person. If one of you misses, the other gets a point. The one with the most points wins. I explained.
    Just like our mec zah games then? She suddenly asked with glee in her eyes.
    Mec zah, it was an emotion laden word which referred to the sending of emotions back and forth to learn how to control them. It helped you to learn not to let your emotions begin feeding back and exponentiating.
    Pretty much I replied to her. Only, if one of us misses, the other doesn't get hurt. The ball is hollow and you barely even feel it hit you. I said.
    I would like to try this "Ping-Pong" with you sometimes. If it is nearly as much fun as our mec zah games, I imagine that it would be very fun.
    I gave her a sly look as she said that, then idly tapped her arm. I don't know... you don't have much muscle. You might get tired out rather quickly. The slight differences in physiology always amused me. She could tell that whenever I teased her about her arms, I did so with lighthearted intentions and only in such a way that never demeaned her. Stating that she had small arms was like calling the grass green or water wet.
    This then elicited a laugh from her as she grabbed my somewhat larger arms, then gave them a gentle shake. I am certain that I could beat you. Since you spent all your days sitting around in a classroom reading your books, you honestly cannot use strength to your advantage.
    Well, I realized, she wasn't wrong at least.
    When Amelia originally commented on my physical strength, I did not rise to her bait because I knew in a way she was right. However, given that I at least went camping every now and then before the fieldwork, I did not bring it to her attention that the weight I carried was of no consequence.

    Now however, the effects of having been laid up due to my injuries did have an atrophying effect. At least to a degree. Since leanness was considered attractive, it did not hurt my standing in the te ze. If nothing else, it helped me to assume the role better.
    Had it not been for my concern over something, I probably would have pulled her close to say just that. However, for the last 5 days, we had been refraining from too much contact below the waist.
    Inside of her was a potential egg. If we could in fact reproduce, we would know in a few more days.
    According to her, she could not know if it was almost complete. She knew that up until this point, she seemed to be showing all the signs of carrying an egg to term, but until she actually laid it, we could only speculate.

    For a moment, I considered her stomach area. I had never known of such a feeling of anticipation. We had seemingly rushed into this. Yet at the same time, it seemed a natural part of the romance that we had entered. If this were a human culture, we would probably have been considered married or something in that moment that our bodies joined. Though by our Gardevoir cultures standard, that had come the day she claimed me as her mate and I responded in kind.
    Later, as she set about preparing food for the Matriarch, Aina, and Aikas newborns, I sat down to begin writing again.
    I used to do this at the end of the night, but I found it better to sum up the discoveries of the past day in the warmth of the early afternoon sunlight.
    9 July 3130.
    One of the Gardevoir is currently gestating in preparation for a potential egg. Since joining their group, I have discovered that the mating rituals are in fact quite complex. The mate is selected for by the female. She then initiates an emotional exchange that takes place over multiple days. At the end of the mating ceremony, the Male either accepts her advances, or her advances are rejected. After that, she is free to begin again, though at this point, the male may immediately reject them, or let them go on.
    If they do in fact become mates, a period of time is spent in which the two begin forming emotional bonds with each other. This way of bonding, which we could think of as a friendship period, is meant to bring the two closer together. The end result is an elaborate dance that the two perform.
    Dancing in a Gardevoir tribe is very significant for more than just telling their mythologies. To think of it as a courtship display also seems to miss the mark. Rather, their dance is a communication the two have empathically that seems to synchronize the two of them. If the dance is considered a success, they then proceed to have intercourse.
    The intercourse and mating period is actually very specific in its timing and execution. A wild Gardevoir can only seem to come to ovulation once every four months. This means that they have a narrow window for this practice. However, her ovulation window is a period of 3 to 5 weeks depending on the environment. This allows enough time for the initial courtship and mating to occur before intercourse. After this 4 month window closes, if copulation has been successful, an egg will then begin forming. While aware of the forming egg, viability is not determined until it is laid. If she is able to lay the egg, this means that the embryo is viable and will develop as normal. In rare occasions, two eggs will be released from the ovum of the female. In this case, it is possible for two eggs to develop. Should this happen, the gardevoir is tended to until both eggs are deposited as this will be stressful to her body.

    Decalcification is entirely common, so for the period following the laying of the egg, her diet is then switched to apples in order to replace the calcium lost. She is given priority in food utilization to by the matriarch as she is drained of strength.
    The tendency towards making sure the youngest or the injured eat first and most has been in evidence since I have arrived. With the birth of 3 new ralts, the food utilization has skyrocketed. Yet strangely enough, there are enough fruits from the surrounding trees to support their increased population. If anything, I am seeing less fruit deposits on the ground from fallen ripe fruits.
    I suspect that as time goes on, the family group will begin adjusting its size to come back into equilibrium. There seems to be a loosening of the bonds after the Ralts comes to term enough to move and act on its own. At this point, the window seems to open up for the pair and their child to depart.
    That all being said. I gained a critical insight into the comfort and rearing behavior of the gardevoir today as well. Ralts A had injured itself while playing in the grass. The Aquamarine Gardevoir and I tended to its injury. It was first antiseptized by pecha juice. Then a lead which contained an antistringent was applied. While this indicates advanced medicine and the ability to problem solve, the behavioral reaction to the injury of the Ralts was the most fascinating.
    Due to the strong emotional tendency, the Aquamarine Gardevoir seemed to send it a series of comforting emotions. Upon conversing, the reason was put forth. A child ralts will stay in one emotional state for an extended period. This can cause the injury to be aggrevated or even made worse. Thus, the Gardevoir utilizes calming emotions to diminish this urge to recoil.
    SInce the emotional awareness is bi-directional, this also means that the resulting calming emotion will be fed back to the one who initiated. As with people with emotional conditions due to receptor damage or insufficiency, this can result in an exponential effect as the emotions build upon themselves. Since this is a very real danger to empathic species, the impetuous is in place from a young age to teach emotional control. Interestingly, this is done as a series of recreational activities or games. It teaches the young ralts self control and emotional awareness.
    How interesting it is that we do not consider this from an anthrological standpoint. I find it harder to not look at this study more as a form of cultural relativism than just observation. What the observations have led me to conclude is that a paradigm shift may indeed be needed to account for this behavior. Further study of additional social groups should be made a priority to settle this question.
    Addendum: One of the gardevoir looks about to lay an egg. We will know in 2 days if it is viable. If it is laid, then there will be a new baby ralts in 3 months. Time will ultimately tell.
    I finished my days field notes, then gave them something of an approving nod. I had been moving towards this for a while since I began embracing my gardevir culture. Looking at this situation without understanding the full scope of what it was I was seeing was a mistake from the get go.
    Perhaps, I mused, the best answer is in fact something more anthropologic in a way... Perhaps just trying to describe behavior is the wrong approach. That had become a thought of mine as I continued spending my time with my new te ze.
    11 July 3130
    12:23 pm.
    I was by the water.
    Of all the rituals I was not able to understand, this one took the cake.
    The emotional experience of laying an egg.
    Honestly, I should have known there would be a ritual associated with this. A major emotional tradition, those kinds of things. However, I did not think that for once I, as her mate would not be included in this.
    I was not alone though. Aitsu sat next to me. His deep red eyes looked out over the water. It was still and the sounds of lotads could occasionally be heard in between the fletchiling chirps.
    This might have been the first time I have been alone with another Gardevoir since I was saved by them all. His emotions were placid. As if this were just another day for him.

    Aitsu, may I ask why you've decided to join me in my vigil? I decided to ask. In a way, when addressing others that are mated to the Matriarch, one tends to give them a more respectful wording.
    He looked at me for a second, then looked back at the water.
    Egg laying terrifies me. Came his simple response.
    After he said that, I realized I could tell why.
    I was nervous at that precise moment because the entire time I could feel the discomfort and bouts of pain that Aria was going through. Every emotion was broadcast specifically to me, a function of the bond we shared. It filled my senses like water. No matter how I tried to redirect or send emotions of calming, they never seemed to affect those waves of pain and occasionally anger.
    I can understand why... Arias thoughts threaten to overfill my mind. I find myself afraid for her and guilty for the pain I brought on her. Though I know that in a way, this is what we wanted, I still worry that she wasn't emotionally prepared. I found myself saying.
    Welcome to Gardevoir culture then Rowan of the Trees. Her replied with the same dry tone.
    For some reason, the two of us never really associated. He always stayed with the matriarch and I always with Aria.
    Is it traditional for the males to not associate with one another as friends? I compulsively asked him.
    As males, our roles are primarily to our mates and children. So unless if we are cooperating to gather, the only time outside of situations like this, that we associate is when we choose to bond over meals and during the dances of the seasons. Do you miss having men to talk to? He suddenly asked.
    I gave a grin then shook my head. I'm just surprised that even though we all are so close together, hardly a word passes between the three of us.
    He gave me a slight smile, then stood up to look me in the eyes. He was only an inch or two shorter than me. However, as he looked at me, he felt... larger, as if he were a person I could respect as a father or something.
    Rowan, you have done well to adapt to our life. I would say that you have proven yourself a fine Gardevoir. But do not let these things worry you. The three of us stand together and share the bond of friendship even if we don't speak. Aika and I speak quite often as he more freely expresses that concern. Now that you have, we shall include you in our discussions as well. It is not right to isolate you.
    A thought occurred to me as he said that.
    Aitsu, what feelings do you have of how I came to know you? Everything from the day I arrived to the day I was attacked. How did it make you feel? I realized that while Aria was ok with it, the notion hadn't occurred to me to ask Aitsu.
    He looked out to the water, then pawed his shoulder in contemplation. You two thought yourselves hidden. However, the moment you set foot in the woods near our te ze, we knew you were there. You personally gave us no cause for worry. The woman you brought with you though...
    I suddenly held up my hand. Alright, spill it. What is everyones problem with Amelia? I can undersand Aria. She was jealous of how easily I expressed my emotions to her despite me rejecting her. Yet I pick up on everyones unease about the woman. I get that she is a trainer and uses a dark type. But something bigger is at work here and I wish you would bring me into the light about it...
    Aitsu looked at me, then seemed to chuckle to himself before he turned away. I forget easily that even though you share the ability thanks to your bond with your mate, you are still unable to read human emotions. I thought it would have been easy for you.
    Well... I consider these gifts on loan from Aria. As long as I love her, then they will be a part of me. I can understand her and the rest of you, my dear te ze, through it, but I do not understand how I am expected to use it on people I have no bond with.
    He seemed to give me an expression of modest surprise. I confess, I thought that you and the woman were closely bonded. You seemed in sync emotionally. We could forgive what resided below the surface of her because of that.
    I suddenly held up my hand. Hold it I said What lies beneath Amelias surface?
    With a sigh, Aitsu suddenly cued me in on what seemingly everyone but me was easily aware of. She desires. Her desires are corrupt desires. Self glory and other such trifles. She wanted you because you were being courted by someone else. She wanted Asa because you treated them both well. She wanted to kill us because she thought she had a right to feel appeased by a slaughter. That you, her link in the chain of her plans, was removed.
    Talk about a bombshell of a statement.
    So in other words she was a selfish manipulative woman who saw only opportunity and profit instead of potential for a new connection and understanding?
    I asked that more as a rhetorical question. I already knew the answer. Further, his expression said everything that words couldn't.
    Well, it tried to anyways.
    The reason why it tried to but failed was because at that very moment, Aria suddenly unleashed a wave of pain that seemed to begin overwhelming me. I felt my eyes struggle to focus onto something. I found myself looking at the grassy field. Then I instantly began feeling my thoughts travel to endless plains I had once visited as a child. It wasn't even in this region. It occupied a continent to the west of ours. It was a place where the storms screamed in deadly fury and the winds became a tunnel of devestation. However, it was still a beautiful landscape. Where the fields like the ocean continued on into apparently eternity.
    However, such a calming thought was not able to drown out the renewed pain I felt intimately.
    That feeling is why, in case if you were wondering. They broadcast a lot of their experience to us as well to keep themselves from being overwhelmed with pain.
    So we help each other more intimately in times of pain. But the depth of the bond determines the empathic effect? I asked despite the urge to groan in pain. Seriously, this was beginning to overwhelm even me. I began to feel glad that she didn't have to go through much more of this.
    That's right meh sze. You two help each other even when you do not realize it...Ah. It is complete.
    The sudden switch left me disoriented. That or the effects of her pain left me momentarily confused. Was that why it suddenly peaked?
    Aitsu looked at me, then gave a grin with his tiny mouth.
    For a human, you make a fine Gardevoir.
    I was uncertain about how I should take his compliment, so instead of really dwelling on it, I accepted his words as they were offered. I wasn't in much of a condition to really care anymore. As the pulses of pain died, I began feeling a sense of euphoria overcome me. I realized that what he said was true. The feelings of pain had indeed spiked, then receeded off to a feeling of euphoria mixed with excitement and nervousness. I realized that I was entirely experiencing what it was Aria was feeling in that precise moment. Usually, there was a sense of disconnect in the feeling. Like I could tell it was hers. However, for some reason the mental exertion seemed as if it had brought our minds closer together. For the brief period during the actual laying of an egg, it was as if I could not tell where my mind had ended and hers began. Now, as we began to make our way back, I could feel the barrier of our minds more clearly.
    Idly, I wondered if this was what our future would mean. Protecting each other for pain, tking on the emotional burden in a very real way, and at times becoming so mentally linked that we could often meld our minds together. The thought of loosing that level of self identity terrified me, if only for a moment. However, some part of me craved that. Call it a sense of obligation to her, Or maybe I just wanted to have that closeness. To better understand her perhaps...
    But then, when you get down to it, I honestly cannot say if I am unable to understand her better in the end. A major, unspoken, rule that we've seen to is the mutual respect of our minds deepest corners. While our intentions and emotions ring through clear as day, we have not proceeded beyond that point.
    Perhaps, the time where we allowed our minds to completely open to one another was on the horizon. I at least thought so.
    I noticed that Aitsu kept on adjusting his pace to walk at my own. I realized then that this entire time I had been walking rather slowly. I made a vague gesture with my head then spoke up.
    You can go on ahead. I'm just fatigued. Likely from the whole shared pain experience. I expect that Aria is too.
    You misunderstand He said suddenly, I am walking slow in the event that you pass out from empathic shock resulting from her projected pain.
    I don't feel like I will. I assured him. I felt tired to be certain, however, I did not feel as if my muscles were going to give out at any second. Further, with only 10 yards to go, even if I felt like I was going to fall, I was close enough that I could stubborn myself to her side.
    Call it determination. I finally said But I feel like no matter what, I have to be by her side now that it's over. I already feel a measure of guilt because I was not allowed to be there, taking on the pain.
    Sure enough, I made it back to my te ze, then found myself next to our bed where Aria was stretched out. Truth be told, she looked like hell. But then, laying a 3 foot circumference egg was no easy task. As far as I was concerned, she should have been knocked out or something. However, her cerulean red eyes instantly made contact with mine. She gave a small, weak smile, then held out her hand.
    As I took her hand in mine, I could feel a more pronounced version of her exhaustion.
    Sweat clung lightly to her skin, giving her a clammy feeling.
    Her hair was more stringy due to the sweat clumping her mint green hair together. Even her ears looked like they were dropping.

    Of course that part might well have been me misinterpreting what it was I was seeing.
    Beh sze She whispered telepathically.
    Ses Frau I am so sorry that you had to go through that. I found myself instantly saying. I wish that this could have been better, easier, less painful for you...
    She gave me a slight smile as her attention sharpened. Beneath the exhaustion, I could feel that jittery euphoria from before. Off to the side, the Matriarch had all her concentration focused on the egg. I was told that in order to tell if it was viable, it had to be examined. One of us had to see if we could detect the faint heartbeat of the embryo in it. Since Aria was greatly weakened and I did not have that sort of skill, it fell to her, the Matriarch, our midwife of sorts, to determine this.
    The moments in between the laying and her answer felt like the longest in my entire life. Even longer than the moment Aria and I made eye contact and initiated our bond of lovers.
    I felt a cold feeling of nervousness forming in my stomach as she stared at it.

    Finally, she looked up at us.
    You can rest now Aria and Rowan of the Tree, your child will hatch.
    Simultaneously, the two of us let out our breath. I found my head bowing down to rest on Arias. There was a mutual sense of relief mixed with the beginnings of great joy within us. For whatever reason, we were going to be parents. For whatever reason, we had managed to make the exception to the rule. 1.6% difference in DNA was still close enough for us to have a child. 1.6% was closer than I had ever thought it was. I did not know if the child would be able to have children, birth would tell that, but the simple fact that we had made it this far meant that for now, we could celebrate. We could rejoice.
    We were parents.
    That night, while she was still in our bed, I sat by her, slowly feeding her Sitrus. She admitted to me that she loved the flavor of sitrus. It reminded her of cold flowing streams and a tropical jungle she had the faintest of memories about. I broke each chunk with my hands, then gently held them to her small lips. Even after this time, I still found it astonishing how delicate her small bites were. It was adorable in its own right.
    I am incredibly happy for you Ses Frau I said I was terrified that something would go wrong...
    I know beh sze, your fears almost overwhelmed me as I needed to focus the most... I am forever greatful that you took the pain I sent without complaint. She replied.
    I looked at her as I held the fruit out. I found it odd that she would feel like a debt for such a thing was needed. I gave her a reassuring smile.
    Of course I would. I would gladly take on all the pain in the world for you if it meant that you would never loose that strange little smile of yours... I said as I reached out to stroke back that large lock of hair from in front of her eyes. I watched her fuss with that one bang on many a morning. It seemed like no matter how hard she tried, it refused to be moved.
    It was no surprise then that as the bang settled back into place, she simply gave it an annoyed look. Both of her eyes narrowed on it, giving her a slightly crosseyed expression.
    So, three months and then we will know if it is a boy or a girl. I said.
    I think we both know already that it will be a girl Aria suddenly said.
    Oh? I asked.
    Most of our children are. We outnumber the men 3 to 1 on average. That is why you occasionally see the lone ralts. It seeks that companionship, so it wanders off looking for one of the other gender.
    And then here comes the humans. We see it, we capture it, and we end up accidently finding her a mate. I responded with a wry smile on my face.
    We rarely object to them being captured. Our hearts cry out for reunion. However, in short order, we realize that they are on their own paths. We take solace in that the people who do capture them generally are good hearted individuals. She responded.
    I...did not know that.
    Wait, this is kind of new... I suddenly said. We do not mind if a ralts is captured? I asked in disbelief. I said We, only because "Our kind" seemed...wrong somehow.
    Of course we mind. However, we understand that they are in good hands. So we put our faith into the trainer to take care of our children...She answered.
    I sat back, then found myself instinctively looking at her mic tem before I looked back into her eyes. I won't let that happen to ours when it's born.. I pronounced.
    Her smile broadend as her tiny, three fingered hand found my empty one, then placed her fingers upon my palm. As our hands danced, in that moment, we shared a promise between one another that I would protect her and the child at all costs, and that no matter what, neither of us would ever give up.
    We didn't even know what the next week had in store for us, but as we let our fingers dance their emotion laden dance in each others palms, it was clear that no matter where either of us went, the other would forever be there.
  15. DaniWesty

    DaniWesty School Kid

    Oct 23, 2014
    Here's part 2.

    July 13th 3130.
    Two days had passed since she laid the egg when we received a warning from Aitsu.
    I got out of our hammock bed, where Aria was still stretched out, her hand resting upon the egg near her head. This protective posture was an entirely normal one. As long as the egg did not get below 65 degrees, the embryo within would grow and begin putting out its own heat. However, the two of us felt especially protective of it. It was our child. No matter what, we wanted it as close to us as we could keep it.
    I stepped into the communal area to find Aitsu staring in the direction of the woodline.
    The woman has returned. He said simply.
    The woman? I found myself asking.
    The one who attacked us. The one who gave you that. He said, his eyes moving to my right shoulder.
    Amelia was back.
    Wait, what day was it?
    I thought for a moment about the precise day. Amelia and I did the soul unification dance on the 5th, she laid the egg on the 11th, we haven't really moved in 2 days.
    I know why she's back. I said suddenly.
    With an expression that indicated his curiosity, Aitsu stared at me.
    I have to go give my report. I said in a matter of fact voice.
    I suddenly turned, then walked back to our sleeping area.
    Beh sze what is it? Aria asked.
    I gave her a look of trepidition. before I answered her.
    Ses frau It has been one month. As such I must go give a report detailing my preliminary findings. That means I will have to go into Santalune city to use the pokemarts video conferencing system. Will you two be ok for a day or so without me?
    Aria tilted her head in confusion as I gave her my explanation.
    You... have to go away... your anxiety is like a white light. Beh sze, why don't I come along with you? I can be there with you as you give your report? to the video conferencing sy...object. I would like to see a human settlement for a change. She instead replied.
    I instantly shot my eyes to the egg. With its light green spots, it seemed sun dappled even in direct light. I felt a fear that it would be seized somehow, that something would happen if one of us were not here to be with it.
    Aria, sensing my worry about the egg, sent a wave of reassurance.
    The Matriarch and Aitsu will see to the egg. It will not be going anywhere in the span of a day anyways. She reassured me.
    Whenever Aria got an idea in her head, I was loathe to dispell her from it. I had found that she was rather simple minded in what she wanted. If she asked for something, or if she suddenly wanted to get her hands on something, she would find a way. I personally found it endearing, but I could tell that my presence was also good for the others as it gave her something to actually focus on rather than form half bonds with everyone else.
    After considering that, I finally gave the slightest of sighs, then nodded my head.
    Alright but do not wander off. If you get separated from me, call for me. I will come for you, and I will find you. I gave these words as serious an emotion as I could manage. I wanted her to realize just how important it was that she did not wander off. A trainer might try to capture you or you might get attacked by someone. I don't know what I would do if that were to happen..
    She smiled brightly in response to my concerns. My words, it seemed, were more important to her than even I fully understood.
    My beh sze, hearing you say that brings comfort to my heart. No matter what happens to me, I feel like I could trust in you no matter how difficult times become. I will not allow myself to get separated from you. She said this a little more formally than usual.
    Then, it occured to me. Us expressing these wishes of each other were a form of contractual obligation. We put our bond on the line to guarantee that the two of us would not allow the other to come to harm. It was... honoring, in its own way.
    I turned to face her, then drew her body towards mine. I knew that she knew that I was also kind of nervous. I made contact with no other human in the past month than Amelia. Even then, at the end of it, our friendship was broken as I sent her away. It was peculiar then, that she had shown up our of the blue like this.
    Meh sze Rowan, Aitsu suddenly called out She approaches the woodline. She is not with her Pokémon today.
    I gave Aria a confused look, then decided it was high time that the two of us got a move on. I shouldered my pack, then the two of us walked out of the te ze, then slowly over to the trees.
    Suddenly, Amelia emerged from the bushes. She had her eyes down as she got herself untangled from them. Thus, as we approached, she looked up then gave us an expression of surprise.

    "Oh my god! How the hell did you two do that?" She asked suddenly.
    "Do what?" I asked with a slightly hoarse voice.
    "Just appear of course! Did you learn teleport or something while I was gone?" She demanded. Her temper was back, though I got the feeling that it was blunted somewhat. It felt more... endearing, like the kind of teasing you give to someone you are deep friends with.
    This was odd...
    "Sure... and in our spare time we sacrifice goats to the dark ones and bring about plagues as well. You should have seen the last one. Lot's of fleas." I retorted.
    She gave a light grin, then looked me over. "Still looking malnourished I see. I swear you get any thinner and you'll look just like them." She said.
    Her eyes then flicked over to Aria. I suddenly felt a twinge of fear in Amelia as her vivid blue eyes made contact with Arias Cereulean red ones. The feeling passed as she attempted to force a friendly demeanor to her face.
    "Hello again Aria! " She greeted.
    Aria looked at me for a moment and remained vocally silent.
    She is faking joy at our meeting...Aria directed at me.
    I do not like this...
    "So, I assume you are here to pick me up?" I asked.
    She put her hands on her hips, then began examining me more closely.
    "That and you are a mess. When was the last time you had a bath?" She asked.
    "This morning. There is a mineral spring that is as warm as the air. We use that for bathing. It keeps the spring there clean and allows us to relax as well" I responded.
    "Yeah ok. Well, whatever, let's go..." She muttered as she turned around then began heading back towards the old camp site.
    I felt my hand close around Arias as the two of us, for the first time in almost a month, stepped beyond the treeline.
    We found ourselves quickly passing the hide. It looked much the same as when it had been vandalized by the poochyenas. The roof was collapsed, a few of the bushes surrounding it were destroyed, and camera parts lay everywhere. Dark brown red patches marked my blood, highlighting where I rolled down the hill.
    Do not look upon your past sorrow. You are alright now and we are happy... Aria suddenly chided me. I looked at her, then offered a smile as our hands stopped their dancing of emotions, then clenched one another.
    We soon arrived at the old camp site to find that it too was a mess. We had expected that though due to what Amelia relayed. However, it looked as if there had recently been work done around here.
    I looked at Amelia as she stood outside of the wall tent, then cocked her head towards the entrance.
    "Let's try this first. If it doesn't work, we'll go into town." She said curtly.
    I gave a tiny shrug as I first stepped into the wall tent.
    Unlike the rest of the campsite, this place didn't look as bad. It had, at the least, been cleaned up and the desk and video equipment was once again set up.
    I walked over to the system, then began the process of turning it on. I could hear the rush of fans as the main power box tapped into the stored battery power that remained in the battery bank that led from the solar panel and power distribution kit.
    However, as I made the adjustments to the frequency, then tried doing an Automated Link Establishment with the Kantosat 1, geostationary satellite that this system used to communicate, I got an error message:
    Warning: Ku multiplexer down. Unable to utilize telemetry lock.
    Warning, rotator assembly offline.
    Warning, overload on video system.
    Warning: Unable to transmit.

    The warning messages populated the video screen in rapid succesion. Each issue alone would take hours to fix. With a sigh, I killed the power to the video conferencing system, then stood up slowly.
    As I walked outside, my Ses frau and Amelia both gave me questioning expressions.
    Aria had a small smile on her face as this meant we were going into the city. However, Amelia did not have the ability to read my emotions, so all she ended up really seeing as a poker face that I had adopted.
    "Video systems busted. If I wanted to fix it, it would take at least the rest of the day and parts I don't have. Let's just use the holo-vid system at the pokecenter." I suggested.
    Holo-vid worked over local fiber networks. The video system created a composite of my body and displayed my motions and actions in real time. I could appear to be sitting in a conference room if I was needed for a meeting, or I could even just be standing in a classroom giving an advanced sort of video lesson. I could hold up objects, or two or more people could be standing next to me and it would look like we were there with them. I rather liked using it whenever I had a chance. Gimmicky things had their own sort of charm to them.
    Amelia gave a slight sigh. "That sucks. I thought for sure the thing worked properly last time I checked..."
    I gave that some thought, then answered her whilst walking back to Aria "If it was on recently as you checked the system out, then it probably overloaded one of the circuits that the error message described. If that's the case, it was going to fry anyways and we are just lucky we had plenty of warning"
    Aria gave something of a hopeful look as I finished my sentence. Then, as I spoke up, I could have sworn I felt a sudden wave of joy.
    "Let's get going shall we?" Amelia suddenly said.
    The three of them quickly departed from the campsite. Amelia led the way while Aria and I followed along just behind her. Our hands were interlocked.
    Tell me, what kind of things do they have in this "city"? Aria asked.
    Apparently, Amelia could tell at the very least that we were communicating as she shot me a look over her shoulder.
    "She say something to us? You jerked your head towards her just now" She said.
    I gave her a perplexed look. I wasn't aware she was even looking at me. Truth be told, I found it hard to read Amelia. She seemed jumbled and confused, like her thoughts were chaotic and uncertain.
    "Um...She was asking what the city was like is all" I translated.
    Beh sze, you don't have to repeat everything I ask for her sake Aria suddenly said. Her emotions ran a little more hostile than usual.
    She asked.. it was only polite. However, I'm going to say how the cit-
    I was cut off as Amelia began talking as we turned onto the trail that led out of the woods.
    "Oh you will like Santalune Aquamarine. It is a very large town and has a school I used to go to when I was younger. Plus they have a little cafe that sells simply wonderful Au Lait. I don't think you'd really like it though. I hear that Pokémon can't handle caffeine."
    I couldn't help but feel a touch of annoyance at Amelia.
    I'm sorry I instantly said to Aria. She doesn't seem interested in treating you like a Gardevoir with her own agency. I will make sure that she keeps her tongue in check.
    Even though I said this, I felt Aria send me a feeling of serenity.

    You are one of the only humans I know of who has treated me with respect and kindness. Though to be certain, you are the only human who was ever allowed to cross the border into our te ze. The others, upon seeing us, just saw us as Pokémon to be captured.
    It continues to astonish me how graceful Aria is. Any other gardevoir would likely have been furious. However, Arias understanding shone through even now. I was reminded again why I had fallen in love with her.
    As we crossed the fields to route 4. The presence of people reasserted itself. I could feel their eyes on Aria as we walked.
    "Her names Aria by the way. I would greatly appreciate you remembering that" I said suddenly.
    Amelia slowed down for a moment. It seemed that my displeasure had struck a chord with her. However, to her credit, Amelia did not rise to the bait. Instead, she gave her hand a dismissive little wave.
    Soon, we crossed into the city. I could feel Arias wonder increase as we walked along the cobblestone path that led to the center of town. Her perception seemed to move along at a dizzying pace as she tried to take it all in at once.
    It's so large! Beh sze how do humans even do all this?! She exclaimed.
    I gave a small smile that displayed the amusement that she felt from me, then squeezed her hand.
    Humans use machines to lift heavy objects. Machines help the- us to build big structures like this. I answered.
    Amelia glanced back at us again, then gave an amused grin. "Better watch her head, it might snap off with how fast she keeps looking around"
    I replied with a smile, then gently pulled Aria closer to me.
    I'll make sure to show you around after we are done. If everything goes well, this will be a short video conference and we can enjoy the town.
    I felt Arias happiness that I would show her around increase as her head nodded.
    Soon enough though, we were at the pokecenter.
    As we walked in, the nurse who stood behind the counter looked at us then gave her usual greeting.
    "Welcome! Thank you for choosing the pokecenter, shall I heal your Pokémon for you?" The pink haired lady smiled as she said those words.
    I might have been offended if I was less understanding. Thus, when I shook my head and began to respond, I had no difficulty in deflecting.
    "Nope, I'm Rowan Gingko, the researcher who checked in here about a month ago. I'm just stopping in to use the holo-net conference center to file my monthly progress report." I replied.
    Smooth and casual. Even James Cashew would be impressed by how I could so easily read her.
    "Very well then sir. Are you sure you don't want to leave your Pokémon during your conference? I know it can be boring for a Pokémon if it doesn't understand what is being discussed." She said.
    I gave another shake of the head.
    "Believe it or not, she actually feels like she wants to. Right Aria?" I asked.
    What's going on? She snapped off rapidly.
    Just nod your head and the Nurse will stop trying to heal you. I quickly answered.
    Aria suddenly nodded her head, then placed her free hand on my arm while pretending to look nervously at the nurse.
    This seemed to have the desired effect as she suddenly stopped trying to force the issue on us. Instead, she simply nodded then waved us on.
    "Well Dr. Gingko, you know where the conference center is. Since we mostly get trainers, it doesn't see any use, so you should be fine for the next couple of hours." She responded.
    "Great, we'll let you know when we're done!" I responded in kind.
    The three of us then went over to the stairwell, then went up to the second floor.
    A well known fact about pokecenters is that they have multiple levels and features that are appropriate for their size. Every Pokémon center has a healing center and a trainer item selling booth. Further, on the second floor, there is always a video conference hall for the occasional Pokémon professor like the famous professor Sycamore, to wander through and suddenly have need to contact other academics in universities and research institutes. Since professional research was the second largest Pokémon related field aside from training, it was no surprise then that all Pokémon centers had this additional resource included.
    However, the centers in bigger cities which also had gyms would also include either an onsite or offsite dormatory where itenerant trainers could rest while they completed their travels. What always amused me was that there was so much money tied up in this. The healing centers were granted funding through the government in the same way that hospitals in Kalos provided free healthcare. Even the price to stay in the dormitories was subsidized to a degree. For just 40 pk a week, a trainer could use these dorms.
    As we walked to the conference center, I gave Aria that quick rundown. However, I could tell much more needed explaining such as the concept of currency.
    I envy her sometimes...
    Soon enough, the three of us were seated in the conference center. A 20 foot by 10 foot wide room with a large table in the middle, speaker phone system in the center, and multiple chairs scattered along the table and against the walls. The holor projector was built into the ceiling. It could project multiple holograms at any position in the room. Further, video systems allowed for the images of the three of us to also project to them. It was like having your own meeting no matter where you were.
    I felt lucky for a moment that we had such conveniences.
    At 1pm, We proceeded to send a command via a command terminal for connection to the Applied genetics and behavioral studies department of the luminoise city University annex.
    As that command was sent through, I also activated a scanner system, then inserted my field notes into a slot.
    This system would scan the ink on each page then create a digital copy of what I had written. The alphabetic detection algorithm then translated it into 12 point calibri font text, then assembled the finished file as a single .rox or readable ordered extension document then sent it to the receivers of the video call.
    In short order, holographic images began to occupy the various seats around the room. In all, 3 men, 5 women, and I couldn't believe it myself, Professor Sycamore, all occupied the various seats in holographic form. Under the table, Arias hand suddenly shifted as her fingers danced in my palms. Her actions communicated surprise even as she spoke to me with wonder.
    There are shiny humans beh sze! Are they ghosts? Do humans speak with ghosts? She asked.
    Holograms ses frau, I'll explain more in detail later. I quickly sent her.
    "Ah, young Dr. Rowan. Back from the field and looking at energetic as ever!" My advisor Chris Krafft, the famous geologist, said.
    "Dr. Krafft. Are you back from the western islands yet or did I catch you at the Volcano observatory?" I greeted with a warm smile. He advised me originally to look into field research of Pokémon so that I could broaden my understanding of Pokémon in the context of our environment. I felt bad that instead of going into the mountains or working on a volcano like he would have wanted (And myself in a way) I was instead in the middle of the woods.
    "Oh no, we are still out here ya? She is erupting again and I cannot wait to see the show she puts on next!"
    She? Aria asked.
    The volcano, erm... its a mountain that shoots fire out of it and creates new land for us all to live on... I explained rapidly.
    I gave a laugh as another of the scientists cleared her throat.
    "Dr Ross, I'm glad you joined us for this." I said.
    "Well, I'm eager to learn about your behavioral studies of the Gardevoir. I trust you will have...
    She stopped, then turned her attention to Aria.
    Professor Sycamore suddenly cleared his throat. "Ah, Dr Gingko, I believe you have not introduced us. Who is this gardevoir that's with you?"
    Mentally, I steeled myself as I began to explain. "This is an Aquamarine variant Gardevoir whom I met while in the field. Her name is Aria and expressed a desire to join Amelia and I for the progress report. " I answered.
    "Tell me," Came the voice of another researcher. I struggled for his name for a moment, then remembered him as Dr. Freeman. He was a noted quantum mechanics specialist who was currently investigating the singularity abilities of certain psychic types.
    "If I recall correctly, your field work was supposed to be strictly observation and to break off contact if discovered. Care to explain why then a subject is sitting here and why you continued associating with them despite your objectives stating the opposite?"
    Damn. He was right to the point. It felt as if Sycamore, Krafft, and Dr. Ross were going to ease into that subject.
    "Well for a detailed explanation, please see section 12 date index 21 June. That should be the accurate file describing the events that led to her being here. However, I will explain in short. Amelia and I were attacked by a pack of poochyenas who had escaped detection. Amelia was moderately injured and was rendered incapacitated. I was directly struck and seriously injured. This Gardevoir here actually saved my life by fighting off the pack. She then took me to her settlement then nursed me back to health. Ever since then, I have been there."
    Dr Krafft studied my notes for a while, then seemed to catch onto something.
    "Dr. Gingko, I couldn't help but notice that your behavioral notes become more detailed after the events of the 21st. Also I am seeing definitions here for words I cannot quite articulate.. What is a Bee see?"
    "That is Beh sze. It helps to pronounce beh as you would when saying meh, only replacing the Indicaor with a sharp B sound. Further, the sze is best pronounced with a short gutteral stop followed by zeh. That is a term for an endeared one within their family group. I was introduced to these terms when I awoke. This one here acts as my interpreter. Through her I understand their family group, which, if you will refer to subnote C is known as a te ze. Again, pronounced with the same system as before. Sharp letters and short vowels do not exist in their vocabulary."
    Dr. Sycamore gave a slight smile, as did Dr Krafft and Dr. Ross. Dr Freeman had a slight frown. However, the other 5 seemed to have poker faces set.
    However, Dr Holtz then spoke up with an expression of interest.
    "So you are saying that they have a complex language system?" He asked.
    "Actually... Section 28 paragraph D. They have a complex cultural system. More complex than has been previously known. This alone, I argue, indicates that further study must be completed."
    Dr. Holtz turned to look at the section in question while another professor, one I was only familiar with, a Dr. Gabbard, spoke up.
    "You believe they have a complex social dynamic. Do they have artifacts Dr. Gingko?" He asked.

    "Yes," Interrupted another one, Dr. Armstrong, a kindly old mathematics professor who had a vested interest in the reproductive rates in the wild, "And do they have a social structure too?"
    I began to feel a little overwhelmed, so, as I communicated this sense to Aria, who reassured me that I felt confident and calm, I began to answer in turn.
    "Based upon video file D, and photographic records 621-630, that there is enough evidence to support the theory of a heirarchical society. That is, of course, if direct visual evidence from Video file 3A through 5 is insufficient to demonstrate at the least, a matriarchical structure." I answered then I looked at Dr Armstrong before I continued. "The social structure suggests a central role who acts more as a cultural moderator, each member of the family group has its own roles, though there is no direct relation. Instead, they act communally to take on various roles. When there are no young who are beneath 1 year of age, they all equally share responsibilities. The primary roles are as follows:
    1. Matriarch.
    2. Primary psychodevelopment specialist. This role is currently occupied by the matriarch gardevoirs mate.
    3. Food and liquid procurement. Normally occupied by couple 1. Indicated as GR 1 and GR2 in the video annotations.
    4. Cultural and developmental instructor. This role is currently occupied by the Gardevoir sitting next to me.
    In times when each member is currently tending to its young. Video file 3C through 3M, then the primary food and liquid collection also falls to the only unmated gardevoir. Again, that is the one sitting next to me. As of right now, there are 4 young. "

    I sat back as I said all that. I had been worrying for the last few days about how I wanted to articulate the social structure of the Gardevoir.
    "Ah, um yes, excuse me for a second" came a voice down the line.
    All eyes turned to him as he suddenly spoke up. Dr. Tennyson. The currently reknown doctor of complex social behavior.
    "I have to ask. Are you daft?" He suddenly said.
    "Er Dr Tennyson I really don-" Professor Sycamore suddenly said.
    "Oh be quiet you deranged voyer" Dr Tennyson suddenly said. He then turned his attention back to me.
    "I must say, I am impressed that you allowed yourself to be fooled so easily Dr. Ginkgo. THere is no way in which a Gardevoir can actually articulate itself enough to have a cultural structure. Much less this nonsense of a social structure like you described. " He said.
    Shock settled into the room. All eyes were on him as he then proceeded to lay into me again.
    "Your field notes from the 21st on seem very hesitant. I notice additional anecdotes scattered throughout the notebook. What is this "Mic Tem?" Some special word you came up with? The phonetic structure is simply too scattered. Further, Video files 4A-C seem very unusual. They show the gardevoir holding their youth. It is commonly known from Birch and his research that ralts are abandoned at the earliest possible opportunity. Are you sure that you are being properly objective in describing this? If I didn't know better, I'd say that an element of Hermeneutics aren't in play with this research so far. This seems more like your interpretation of what is going on based upon what your feelings are."
    I gave him a confused look. However, Dr Carp decided to speak up.
    "Objectivity is important in this. I keep on finding myself coming back to you remaining on site even after healing up. Do you mind explaining that?"
    "Sure, while on site, communication with Aria here allowed for a better interpretation of what I was seeing. While we can observe the same behavior from afar, there is no way that we will understand cultural beliefs without direct interaction with that culture. In this case, we are lucky to have a living member of that culture in this room with us. We would be remiss in making our theories if we did not take into account that our attempts at objectivity can in fact lead us to misinterpret their cultural system. Especially if that objectivity does not allow us to see the events from their perspective. In this case, the best interpretation then comes from understanding their culturral practices through their eyes and then interpreting them utilizing our heuristics systems that arbitrarily take into account their belief structure.. Otherwise we will inevitably let our biases creep into our interpretation of their lives." I explained.
    Dr. Tennyson seemed to want to say more but was cut off by the Severe looking Dr. Freeman.
    "Tell me, how would you describe the basis of their culture?" He asked simply.
    "The basis of their culture is the belief first and foremost that they are emotional beings. Their role in life then is to be the vessels of emotion, which comes from an unknown beginning source that is commonly believed to be a network of their souls all combined. The emotion to them also serves as the source for their power and is the source of their art. Their artistic system is the dance. Through dance, emotions are conveyed. But its more than just conveyance to. Each dance also serves as an interpretive system to teach the others in their society about their beliefs and to instill a common understanding of their myths. Their final goal then turns into the experience of their lives in regard to emotion and giving that experience meaning. So to them, the meaning of life is the experience of being alive and the rapture that is associated with it. Also of note is the correlation between their psychic powers and their emotions. Their belief is that the expression of their emotions is so clear that it allows expression of their abilities which are known only as "The powers of the old ones" Each ability then is tied back into a base emotion. For example, the gravitational inversions that lead to singularities that you study seem to grow from the interpretation of emotions of affection. The amplification of emotions in a feedback system, similar to the process of panic attacks, are the basis of that. No matter the example, it all goes back to Emotion. Culture, self image, art, attacks, everything. We could sit here all day and we would still find ourselves looking at it as an emotional basis of their culture."
    As I finished, I found myself reaching for a glass, then drinking a little water. It hadn't been since I acted as a student teacher than I strung together so much at once.
    "Emotions... " Dr. Krafft said. "That is worrying. This is not a research expedition to understand emotion. "
    "Exactly," Dr Tennyson suddenly interrupted. "All this talk of emotion leads to a rational question: What are your feelings on your observations?"
    I gave him a look of confusion as I tried to formulate an appropriate answer.
    "My feelings? I was shocked at these interpretations myself. It indicates that my own theories on their behavior was wrong. I am excited at the indications, though I am anxious about whether or not my interpretation is correct. That is why I believe further extended study is required. I also believe that publication should also be sent to anthropological journals. Further, I find myself confused. Research conducted previously suggest that their genetic structre is too variant for them to be considered homo sapien angelicus. However, as indicated in report section 4F, the genetic variance is not 1.6% as was previously reported, but closer to .8% variance. Which is the nearly the same variance as is seen in our own species save one region. Further, blood typing, as shown in 4G, indicates that interbreeding is possible. This makes me worried that our current classification is wrong. I feel like we need more definite research in that to establish the genetic drift between us and the implications that has for our classification scheme."
    Dr Tennysons expression darkened.
    "Who was it who originally classified them as Homo Angelicus Dr. Ginkgo?" He asked.
    There was a ripple effect as the others began to realize just what was said.
    "Again," I stressed. "I feel like more research should be conducted. The evidence as it sta-"
    "What evidence? This evidence? Your feelings and your subjective little notes and your home videos?" He snapped.
    "The blood samples, the genetic markers and the DNA cross sections! Those alone suggest that our classification needs to be re-examined" I said. Frustration began seeping into my mind. Aria began to feel worried. Even Amelia seemed nervous when the man spoke.
    "I assert your results are flawed!" Dr Tennyson suddenly said.
    "Prove it." I simply replied. I had enough experience with cocksure kids who thought they knew it all.
    "Phenotype B MRNA receptor linkage clearly indicates a-"
    "Rapid regenerative cycle that accelerates growth. All species on earth save humans have this. In fact, Dr. Wilson at the Kanto Silph research facility wrote in 3120 that we had lost that due to environmental stresses which show up in haplogroup B. Even in humans, the accelerated growth and telomere splitting indicates that we have vestigal evolutions like them. Further, refer to Dr. Rowland and Arnolds research into a variant of Gardevoir which show the same mutation. Further, Dr Birch and his subject, a Gardevoir with a genetic mutation that is popularly called shiny, had actually developed at a rate equal to a human woman. I believe that the subject is now a functional member of society with a job and a fiancee." I responded quickly.
    "That alone is enough to show that they are a seperate species!" He retorted angrilly.
    "Your own paper though indicates that humans and gardevoir can reproduce. My question is, have you studied any in situ cases that resulted in viable offspring?" I shot back.
    "Then why is it so hard to actually look into further research?" I demanded.
    Suddenly, there was a coughing noise.
    Dr. Krafft looked uncomfortable as he interrupted this verbal sparring match we were having.
    "The suggestion for extended study will be taken under consideration. For now, I am worried about the integrity of your data to a degree. However, I feel that you should continue your in the field research. Rather, you are currently ordered to remain on site pending a formal investigation. Your observations indicate that further action is needed both in methodology and in the question of sociologic and anthropologic studies. However, the real issue is your objectivity. You are there to study behavior, not understand their culture. "
    Aria and Amelia both were confused. I was actually feeling disturbed.
    "But the integrity of my data has not been compromised. If you look at the breadth of information as a result of direct interaction, you can clearly see that observation without interference has its limitations." I argued.
    "So they do. But right now, you have put us in a rough spot. Even though your data will prove useful in publication, you have to realize that unconventional research methods put the integrity of the data at risk and open up the research to individual biases. You should have broken off contact when you were finally able to leave Dr. Ginkgo. " Dr Krafft gave me a look of disappointment.
    I... I didn't get this.
    He was supporting me up until a moment ago.
    Professor Sycamore seemed distracted while they argued, then berated me. Even as Dr. KRafft spoke, he continued reading the field notes I had turned in.
    "Dr. Gingko, consider yourself on probation for the interim as an investigation into your methodology is being conducted. You can continue staying and observing the Gardevoir, but I suggest sending your assistant back. She will be given credit hours for the completion of field work. However, you will hear from one of us later regarding your decision." He solemly said.
    "I expected better out of you. You showed great promise. Even the detail of your observations show that you still have a keen eye. However, You can't just ignore protocol. You are acting like an undergraduate."
    Suddenly, most of the video feeds cut off save for Professor Sycamore and Dr. Freeman.
    "Dr Gingko, I wonder if you could conduct gravimetric observations in situ for me while you are on suspension" He simply asked.
    "Sure... though I would rather do it while the subjects mental activity is being recorded so that the emotional correlation can be demonstrated." I responded simply.
    "Expect a package to be dropped containing the EKG system and the Gravitational measurement devices. Do try not to tamper with them or let any more poochyenas attack you." He said.
    Eventually, it was just me and Professor Sycamore.
    I waited as he continued reading. Then gave a nervous cough, this was taking too long for my likings. I had an uncomfortable awkwardness like he had forgotten that he was even in a holo-net conference.
    "What" he suddenly asked.
    "Well... everyone else had disconnected... the meeting is over.." I simply responded as Amelia tried to suppress a giggle.
    "True that the meeting is over, but I'm not done reading the report. Unlike them, I don't tend to skim through notes done by other researchers. Now hold on one moment, I'm reading." He replied offhandedly.
    I looked at Aria, then gripped her hand.
    It was over.
    For some reason, things were going well until that Dr. Tennyson interjected. I wasn't expecting this turn of events. An explanation of my findings, sure. An explanation for staying on site, absolutely. However, I didn't expect... this. Stripped of my position and placed on suspension? I was lucky enough to be allowed to stay. But still... what hurt worse was Dr Kraffts tone of voice. He was a man I had seen as a father figure. We had spent many an evening in the field out on those islands at that volcano observatory sharing beer and stories. If I ever wanted to make a positive impression on anyone, it was him. He was the only one whos words actually stung before Aria.
    Aria could feel my confusion and fear building.
    Beh sze, calm down. You are growing fearful. Remember how you get out of control when in-
    "Is that gardevoir talking to you right now?" Professor Sycamore suddenly asked.
    "Um... Yes he is Sir." I simply responded.
    He raised his eyebrows, then casually put the report down. Then, he leaned forward.
    "I'm not going to lie to you Dr. Gngko, they have a point about you having stayed. You should have left when you could. But instead, you stayed behind. But as a result, you might have just gained me a little insight that I've been needing. Can it understand me?" He asked while pointing at you.

    Aria suddenly held her free hand up, then pointed to herself. She then nodded vigorously in response to his question.
    "Obviously..." I replied.
    "Good" He said.
    "My prime field of research has to do with mega evolution. I know it exists and can be achieved under certain circumstances. However, what has interested me is the circumstances. All indications point to the bond between a trainer and the Pokémon. Yet I can tell that you two are close as it is. Which leads me to wonder if the bond is about seeing each other as equals and being connected in a willful sense. I'd like for you to look into this and get back to me. "
    I gave a confused expression which he could clearly pick up on.
    "Well what else are you going to do? You can't come back any time soon. Your findings are too radical for their own good. Maybe if you only focused on one small aspect of gardevoir. Instead you walk in here with a Kuhns paradigm shift in paper form and expect everyone to just accept the evidence as it is. There is going to be one hell of a controversy over this. It's better if you just lay low until you hear anything else. Thus, stay there, continue researching, and look into the matter for me." He stated.
    Suddenly. It was just Amelia, Aria and I sitting alone in the conference room again.
    With an uncertain future ahead, The three of us quietly got up to leave.
    Wow, what a doozy. Ok, so the Drs all mentioned here are based upon friends and colleagues I have. Some of whom are currently teaching and a few others who are field oriented. However, there are also a few who are based upon living people, just with their occupations changed, and one other who is dead. Dr. Krafft is based upon Maurice Krafft, the famous Geophysicist who died during the eruption of Mt. Unzen in 1991. When I was really young, I still remember watching the exploits of him and his wife on National geographic. Dr Gabbard and Dr Carp are chemists I know. They are actually very socially awkward. Which is adorkable in its own right.
    That all being said, others like Dr. Freeman are based on popular characters, like Gordon Freeman from Half life. His name was chosen due to some students phone ringing to the Freemans mind theme.
    The direction from here on out was solidified on Thursday when a colleague and I were having a discussion on heuristics over some beer. The conversation was originally about how we classified the silica content in basalt and how we would arbitrarily define the limits between the different igneous rocks. Well, this discussion turned into a discussion about opposition to research and how new ideas result in drastic effects. It was from this discussion that I was able to solidify the conflict and its resolution.
    Also, I was uncertain how I wished to proceed with the whole egg bit. As I was developing their culture, I considered how in the games they just had an egg out of nowhere (Well, I think all of us know how gardevoir mate...) and the thought occurred to me that there must be a lot of emotional investment in that egg. Therefore, doesn't it stand to reason that a complex system also was involved in how they dealt with this process? So, if it seems like I was hesitant, it was because while I was writing this scene, I was trying to ride that balance.
  16. DaniWesty

    DaniWesty School Kid

    Oct 23, 2014
    As promised, the next chapter.

    Amelia, Aria, and I stood quietly in the hallway outside of the conference room. Amelia had fallen silent and her expression grew unreadable. I had the distinct sense that she wasn't sure about how to feel. On the other hand, She did not look happy to be ordered back.
    Arias hand danced across my palm. Our mental dialogue had been silent since the end of the video conference. I felt my hand instinctively reply, though the emotions I felt myself communicate still bordered on desolation.
    "Well..." Amelias voice said, causing Aria and I to flinch.
    "It looks like this is where I take my leave. I had back to the University tomorrow morning. I should go pack. Even though they didn't say anything about it, I'm pretty sure that this is it for me."
    I gave her a confused look then proceeded to touch her shoulder reassuringly.
    However, her hand suddenly flew up to mine, then knocked it roughly off.
    "Don't!" She screamed at me.
    Aria and I could only stare at her as she seemed to radiate her feelings. Which was weird considering the fact that she wasn't the one who just got suspended and stripped of their position. Her feelings seemed to intensify with each passing second. However, with each passing second, I felt a certain measure of disgust as I began to see what they meant.
    Finally, just as she looked ready to say something, I turned around. Then, led by Aria, began to walk away.
    "W-Wait!" She suddenly called out as she turned to me.
    I stopped but kept my back to her. Aria turned around, then looked me dead in the eyes before looking to Amelia instead.
    "My chances at a good college career migh-"
    It wasn't me that shut her up. Instead, it was Aria. The sudden rage that billowed up in her seemed to radiate to me too quickly. Instead of amplifying it, I instead simply passed it back. I couldn't help it either. The rush of emotions were simply too strong.
    However, she didn't scream. She didn't yell. As she said her following words, she had a calm face. I found it astonishing in retrospect considering the torrent of emotions that were flooding me. In a telepathic link that she all but drilled into Amelia with her eyes. All she said was the following.
    It must be terrible. It's not like you lost your job, got put onto some "academic review", lost all your possessions, and your father figure. But it must be terrible.
    With that, I could feel Aria snap the telepathic link shut. Further, the faint bond of friendship that she had tried to forge with Amelia could be perceived as a snapping to me. The sudden secession of emotions in any meaningful sense towards the woman.
    Amelia stood there in shock as I placed my hands in Arias hands, then began attempting to calm her down.
    "Rowan I-"
    "Good luck Amelia. We are going back to our family. I trust you'll be ok for the night." I simply said.
    With that, the two of us left her standing in the hall. The sum of her self-absorbed delusions on full display for only one person to truly see.
    Her harshest critic.

    Aria and I walked silently out of the Pokémon center. The nurse began to speak but her words were cut off by the sliding door snapping shut as we simply blew past her. As we got outside, I came to a stop. My eyes were closed as barely contained emotions threatened to boil over. Aria, upon realizing just how close my emotions were to initiating a feedback, suddenly grabbed, then pulled me into a hug.
    I felt her sense of serenity as she embraced me. It took a few seconds before I began to melt into her embrace. Her tiny arms were able to wrap completely around my waist, applying soft pressure in an attempt to fully convey her feelings to me.
    I felt them all, reassurance, understanding, sympathy, hope, support. Love. In all the emotions we shared with each other, it kept circling back to that. No matter what ended up happening, even when I was disgraced and stripped of my standing. Her love kept circling back to me. It kept me grounded. Further, I began to remember that even if the culture I came from rejected me as it did now, I still had the culture I truly belonged to. It was her culture.
    No, it was my culture.

    I felt somewhat enlivened as the realization dawned on me. Dr. Kraffts disappointment was the only thing that really affected me in that room. However, out here, in the sunny pleasant day near my new home, I realized, in a small way, that I was not to face this alone. I still had that which mattered most.
    Aria, and our soon to be born child.
    That thought was enough to pull me back to speaking to her again. We had not lost the ability in that time. Rather, we both knew that at the time I was a hairs breadth away from being overwhelmed. Neither of us wanted to see that happen to me. So, we both remained silent until we finally released the embrace. However, our hands remained joined as our fingers fell back into their dance of emotions.
    That could have gone better. I simply stated.
    I hate Amelia. Was all Aria said.
    I gave her a strange look when she said that. Amelia was... kind of pathetic in her own right. She was self-absorbed and egotistical. She only sought personal gain and was cold towards other people's feelings. If anything had sealed my displeasure at her, today was it.
    We are well rid of her. I imagine that by tomorrow she will be back at the University telling her little friends about the strange Researcher who liked Gardevoir too much, they'll laugh about it, call me whatever, and then go get drunk and mate with the first males they see. I responded, perhaps a little too bitterly than was appropriate.
    With a gentle tug, I decided that it was high time that I held up my end of the bargain. She came into town with me. So it was time to show her around. She seemed overly eager anyways. And I wanted to get rid of the remaining money I had. I had a feeling that in the coming months, I wouldn't be needing it anyways.
    The first place we stopped was the Pokémon academy. Most trainers started here if they lived in town. A few commuted from the villages to the south, but the majority were from this area.
    So, kids come here for a combined education in Pokémon and the basics that they need. They attend school from 6 years old until they reach trainer age. Then they can either continue with education for a while, until they are 17 like me, or they can go out and be a Pokémon trainer. If they are a trainer, they go see professors like that Professor Sycamore and get a Pokémon. Then they go out and well, you know the rest.
    My explanation served as a preface as we stood outside of the school. I didn't really feel comfortable taking her inside. However, she looked at the building expectantly, then turned to look at me with those eyes which caused my intentions to shatter.
    Can we go on? Will we get in trouble? She asked expectantly.
    Actually... we can. I was reluctant to since I didn't want you to be swamped by the children or anything. Though at this time of day, it should be mostly empty. I replied with a hopeful tone.
    More importantly, why do you want to visit a school? I asked. The question seemed almost pointless as I could sense her intentions. However, the communication was a welcome relief in a way.
    A slight shift indicated her curiosity and excitement. She turned to me, then her tiny lips curved into a smile as we opened the door to the schoolhouse.
    I wish to understand how humans learn. If I can see where say you went to school, I feel like I'll understand you better. She replied happily.
    I didn't feel like correcting her about the fact that I went to school elsewhere. Geosenge town was where I grew up. Surrounded by peculiar formations, it never ceased to bring in the curious. Interestingly enough, it also happened to be where I met Maurice Krafft for the first time.
    At the time, he and his wife Katia were examining the stone formations. I was young so I didn't understand at the time the difference between vesicular basalt and rhyolite. However, they both fascinated me by telling how strange it was that the natural formations had been supplanted with artifice. The rocks, called columnar joints due to the Basaltic rock shattering profile of 120 degree hexagonal formations, were long a curiosity. Further, he described, there was a possible cavern underneath the town. Apparently it used to be the emptied chamber of a volcano. Now, it sat unexposed as a mystery that still attracts people.
    At the time, that was it for me, I went to college and sought a degree in geology. While I got one, I ended up minoring in biology as a result of the desire to also pursue paleontology. In one of those strange twists with which life is repleat, I ended up stumbling into a masters of environmental geology with an emphasis on behavior patterns as a result of formation and deposition of land-forms. My paper on the evolution of the Aerodactyl and divergence of therapod dinoasaurs earned me a doctorate in a time where the realization of the origin of flying type Pokémon were being restructured drastically. Even to this day, the ever-changing facet of early Pokémon dinosaurs still manages to make headlines whenever a radical new species is discovered preserved with features not previously described.
    My musings ended as Aria tugged on my hand. She could sense my fond memories. Her curious face was turned to me while the light behind her framed her between a musing that developed about how heavenly she looked, a thought had occurred to me. I didn't mention much of my past to her. I felt regret at not doing so. However, I knew that since I had plenty of time until the board likely informed me that I was ejected from academia for good, I would do well to fill her in.
    In response to this slight turn of less than enthusiastic thought. She simply smiled, her happiness radiating enough to chase such musings from my mind.
    I want to say that you should stop worrying. She said as she looked around with curiosity. However, I know that you being able to research and to pass along what you discover is important to you. I see the enthusiasm you have when teaching young Asa our ways. I see your eagerness to learn. And I see your eagerness to understand me. But Beh Sze, With this, she placed her hand on my face, then gently tilted my head so that I was facing her. Do not get caught up in contemplating such troubles. The most important things in your life are never far from your heart. Don't let yourself forget what matters. As long as you don't, then no matter what trouble befalls you, you will never be alone. That's what our child and I are after all. We are your Te Ze.
    Her hand was still on my cheek as she said that. However, as she finished. I found myself stepping closer to her. It was just a pep talk. However... it meant more to me than that. As my hand fell to her waist, then pulled her close, I was filled with comfort. Her intent and the meaning of her words were more than just placation. To me, they were reminders. I did not want to lose that which is the most important to me. She stood before me even when I was castigated. She did not lose faith in me, nor did her opinion diminish. Instead, I felt her instead become more enamored with me as I vigorously defended what was an entirely valid point. I stood by my beliefs even when it would have been better to give a platitude during the meeting just so that the report could be submitted and I could be left to get back to my work. That integrity was what mattered to her. I could tell that in her eyes, which were slowly drawing closer to mine as I moved forward to kiss her in the empty hallway of the school.
    After the moment passed, the pair of us found ourselves in one of the classrooms. It had the 26 letters of the alphabet and a little chart of the numbers 1-10 on them. Further, there was also a colorful chart which showed all the different types of Pokémon and well-known examples of them. Her eyes danced across that particular board whilst trying to understand the words, which were to her, illegible. Her finger traced across the board, then stopped when she saw a picture of herself. Her excitement was enough that I leaned in to see what the commotion was about.
    Type: Fairy.
    Well known species: Gardevoir, the embrace Pokémon.

    Beh sze, there is a picture of me, what do those squiggles mean? She asked.
    Ses Frau those squiggles are the letters of the human language. They spell out different words based upon how you arrange them. That one there says "Fairy type" which is what you are known as. Further, those letters also spell out your name "Gardevoir or, as you are known in other locations, Sirknight. Here you are called the embrace Pokémon due to the ready communication of emotions which you all but live in. It is said that if a trainer raises a Ralts all the way to adulthood, the Gardevoir forms an unbreakable bond. In a few cases, in order to save the trainers life, Gardevoir can create a singularity by collapsing a single rock or even a little bit of the air into a tiny point so dense that light itself is absorbed. This is used devastatingly. In fact, Dr Freeman wants me to look into it a little and see if you and I can't replicate it ourselves.
    My somewhat long winded explanation was kind of rambling. However, I wanted to voice this right now while the oddity stuck out to me.
    Beh sze, you find it strange too that he wants you to do this. She said as she felt my contemplation.
    Of course. I am confused as to why he and professor Sycamore would dump these onto me despite it being made very clear that as of now, no real research could be done by me in any meaningful sense. I cannot be sure, but I feel like something bigger is going on and it bugs me. But the real question is this: Do you feel up to it? Do you feel like trying the singularity thing sometime, well well well away from everyone else? I have no problems refusing his intentions in the end. In fact, refusing him would be comforting in a way, I wouldn't have to put you in harms way. I said. I didn't touch on sycamore yet as I was still trying to understand just what it was he was asking for.
    Beh sze, why don't we? I've got a feeling that even though he gave you this task, he trusts you very much. It was like he didn't want to side with you during the meeting because that man who insulted and demeaned you was someone to be intimidated by. She gave a look of concern as she said that too. The confusion as to how a single doctor who felt threatened by new research could so quickly influence the opinions of 10 others was something that both of us felt troubled by.
    Finally, I gave a slight sigh as she directly asked to give it a try. I was reluctant to, but I have to admit that my ses frau made a point.
    Alright but we will not push ourselves too hard... I said.
    Speaking in the dualistic sense had become very common for us since the birthing process. The emphatic bond meant that our pains were shared with one another, our exertions were in sync. I couldn't be certain at the time, but this more directed merging seemed to be a turning point in our matehood. We seemed to be moving towards a singular end result. However, the sensation of being more codependent on her did little to make me nervous. Instead, I felt a sense of anticipation, as if some greater thing awaited us.
    The two of us soon departed the classroom with her insisting that I teach her to write and understand our written language. I couldn't help but to smile. Just as her traits began to meld into mine, so did a number of my own. She gained a sort of greater appreciation for the concept of learning unemotional aspects. Her wanting to learn how to write was a perfect example of this.
    As we walked along the path back towards the center of town, I noticed a cafe which was small yet looked to be quite popular. A chairs and tables were sat up outside in the sun. I felt a sense of joviality overcome me, which caused Aria to suddenly stop then look at me. I noticed her curiosity then nodded to the restaurant.
    Cafes like that are very popular. They serve popular drinks and very sweet foods. I explained to her.
    Cafe? She suddenly asked.
    You know... if it wasn't for how adorable she looked as she repeated the word, I would have likely felt annoyed at myself for forgetting that she doesn't know every human expression under the sun.
    A place where we can get food. It's considered special because it has a pleasant and serene atmosphere. Further, we can relax and take our minds off what happened earlier. I elaborated for her.
    Her head tilted again as she gave consideration to my idea. After a few moments of contemplation, she finally agreed with a grin that outwardly expressed the anticipation I felt radiating off of her.
    Within a few moments, the two of us were seated out on the patio. I did not know it at the time, but this was actually a popular spot because trainers could come with their Pokémon and enjoy meals together. A number of restaurants seemed to have a no Pokémon policy. Though when I thought back to such ones, they never seemed so popular. Given the countries collective love of Pokémon, it was no big surprise that such places never seemed to progress beyond hole in the wall status.
    After being seated, we were left on our own to consider our meals. For Aria, they gave her a menu in which all the items were given as pictures rather than worded selections. Given that few Pokémon could read, this made sense. A thought occurred to me as I entertained that notion. If Aria were raised by humans, she probably would be able to speak like a human woman and read. However, the cultural identity which helped to define her so much would have been missing entirely. I watched as she browsed the menu items. She seemed curious about the tastes of the various foods. However, since communicating taste was rather beyond my abilities, I never really could taste to begin with, I could only describe the foods in terms of texture.
    Well, Ok, so the fruit salad is a collection of different sweet fruits, it includes berry types which are common, but also a few melon type fruits. However, a deli sandwich is a collection of sliced meat with a savory sauce and some lettuce with buns of bread on either side. Now a salad is just different vegetables like the onions we dug up yesterday only not as sharp tasting...
    I don't know...I've never had "meats" before.
    Um... Aria I have been meaning to ask. Do we ever eat anything other than fruits and the occasional vegetable?
    Not really... I mean what else is there?
    Oh... ok then.
    With a slight sigh, I decided to just explain it to her. I knew that as I explained to her the complexities of meat, where it comes from, and how it is important to humans diets, that her reaction would be... less than cordial. In fact, as I carefully explained how humans occasionally needed meats if they couldn't get the right fruits, and how meat was the carefully cooked and prepared flesh of a dead Pokémon, I could feel the disgust rising in her.
    Come to think of it, while she had small incisors, she lacked the flat front teeth that humans had which served to slice meat so that it can be chewed easier.
    I...how? She simply asked.
    This question was one in which no answer was needed. It was the natural order of things, but her hand slipped to me then placed itself into my palm as she looked around. In a very real sense, she regarded other humans for a moment as pure carnivores.
    I felt this growing fear, then quickly made to broadcast serenity towards her.
    While humans do eat some kinds of meat, they are very very very specific about what is eaten. Humans have a very specific selection and do not like seeing Gardevoirs or fletchlings killed and eaten. In fact, to do so is considered a crime because they all agreed that while it is necessary to kill some things, humans cannot just go around killing anything it sees to survive.
    But still... She said weakly.
    I danced her hand in my palm, to try soothing her further.
    In human culture, there is a very fine balance that is always sought. Doing what is needed without being cruel. Realizing that certain natures exist and that it is often best to make sure that everyone sits down and agrees on what's right and what's not. The necessity is recognized, but a sense of guilt makes them desire a better solution always. Just as fruits are picked and there is no future tree as we have eaten it, so too does that happen.
    Aria did not look entirely convinced, but decided that my explanation sufficed for now.
    She looked at the menu for a few moments longer, then decided to go with a house special salad which contained mushrooms, tiny slices of orange, cheese of varied types, hearty vegetables and saute'd onions. As a side, I encouraged her to get a slice of the chocolate and cream cake.
    As for myself, in respect for her views, I elected for a fruit salad, Gougères as a side of sweet puffs... with enough for the two of us, and a ceasar-esque salad. Given that Aria was adverse to meats being consumed, I had to settle with 3/4ths of all menu items not being available to me. It was a small pity, but her disgust was something I could feel was more personal. More importantly... If it meant so much to her, then I would endeavor to change. I was beginning to understand why too. When Dark types were discovered rather recently, Gardevoir stopped being almost unstoppable. They were now prey items for most dark types. Poochyenas tended to make short work of entire tribes, at least that's what one report I read stated...
    To see it from her eyes then, would be realizing that the piece of meat on someones plate could easily have been a fellow gardevoir, even her mother.

    After a few moments, drinks arrived for us. It was understood that Pokémon showed preference towards sweet, so this cafe served sweet drinks by default. Thus, Aria got a fruity sweet juice made from sitrus berries. On the other hand, coffee was poured into a mug for me. With our orders then taken, we were left alone. Aria had stopped thinking primarily about humans taste for meat and had instead turned her attention to the surroundings. It seemed every few moments her head would turn to look at yet another object. I contemplated her, sitting in the sunlight with a cup full of juice, the sunlight reflecting off her aquamarine hair, looking as though not a care in the world existed.
    I realized again that it was this, her positive attitude, her inquisitive nature, her eagerness, that made me come to love her. From these aspects sprung forth the other feelings that led to that wonderful night. Still, more importantly than all of that, was the sense that as long as I had her and our te ze, it didn't matter if the University suspended me. Dr. Kraffts words were the only thing that truly stung me earlier. However, I understood. I mean, I made a mistake. I got too involved. Strictly speaking, I should have left after that day. Everything that is rational indicates that I should have seized on that unease and made some distance between myself and the rest as I healed.
    But the thing is, I would have regretted doing so. I do not regret the peculiar series of events which led me to this point. That empathic insight that day on the hill might have actually saved me in a way that I cannot yet articulate.
    Aria could sense the subtle shift in my mood as the pain faded away to a sense of peace.
    Beh sze, are you feeling better now? It seemed... too much for you earlier. I thought you were going to start feeding back your sadness onto yourself earlier. Aria looked me dead in the eyes as she said that.
    I could feel the intent behind them. Our shared emotional link made it hard to miss. She was afraid that I would fall and that she would be powerless to stop it.
    My smile seemed to brighten as I came to the understanding just how it really was. We were becoming more than just the either of us. If I fell, she would have fallen. The two of us would have gone into a feedback loop which could cause her severe pain. But more importantly, we would have allowed ourselves to become too concerned with this obstacle that was placed in front of us, that we would have forgotten the most important thing besides ourselves.
    We would have forgotten the new life that quietly grew, waiting for us, its parents, to love and raise it well.
    In that moment, I felt something slip away. So what if I was never allowed to work in an academic environment? I had a home, I had a family. I have experiences in my life which were more precious to me now than anything I had done since entering into university. Besides, even if I lost that, the bonds of friendship I shared with Maurice and Dr. Holtz told me that no matter what happened, I would at the very least still be able to confide in them.
    So, in the end, I realized that while it did hurt to have such a quick dismissal of what I worked to collect, it didn't matter. I had something greater now than I ever did.
    With those thoughts on my mind, and well within Arias perception, I reached towards her, then took her palm in my hand. As we waited, the dance of sensation we practiced so often just to have that tactile moment of shared emotion played out between our hands. In that little moment, I could feel myself finally returning fully to the present for the first time since the meeting ended.
    Something must be said for how Gardevoir experience taste. Rather, the pleasure of taste. In comparison, this food put all the fruits we had to date back in our te ze to shame. It was especially her reaction to such new tastes that sealed it for me. I could feel her wonder fill me as she tried the different tastes of the various fruits. To a degree, I actually felt myself ceasing the act of eating just so I could drink my coffee and enjoy the atmosphere of her drinking. It was simply marvelous for me.
    In due time, we found ourselves sitting at a table bereft of any remaining food. I still had some more coffee left due to my languid drinking pace, but she was without any food remaining. Instead, she had taken an uncharacteristic pose of sitting back in pure contentment. I had the feeling that if she knew about such things, she would pat her stomach in contentment.
    Her bliss was evident as she began to speak.
    Beh Sze, that was one of the most marvelous foods I have ever had. I did not know that humans had such a creative hand with food! Her beaming smile was more than enough for me to understand her happiness. However, I felt the joy reciprocating into myself. I felt a grin also come to my face as I found myself soaking in her happiness.
    Well, humans get bored with their food rather quickly, so it becomes a race to discover new combinations and flavors that appeases people. For some reason, there has been a recent kick for spicy items like peppers that all but burn the tongue. I do not care much for such things myself ses frau, and I don't know how you would handle it. However, they say that it is very much an experience worth having. I happily replied.
    Like the well placed observer the waiter was. The waiter came over, then surveyed the scene before him. Apparently, he had been expecting more of a mess rather than the neatly placed plates of food and the utter lack of any food particles. He proceeded to place the check on the table.
    "Thank you so very much for coming sir. I hope that you will come again" He said simply.
    I was cued off to how Aria began to feel as I was the only presence acknowledged at the table. Her dismay and confusion seemed to be palatable, the imagined taste feeling coppery in my mouth.
    Taking the check though, I simply looked at it before placing money down. Rather than allow myself to rise to this blatant refusal to acknowledge my lover, I instead placed the money on the table, then turned to look back at Aria.
    She seemed confused but I cut her thought words off by speaking aloud.
    "Wasn't that great Aria? We should try making that ourselves sometime." I gave a light grin but then repeated it mentally to her. We had a shared language that somehow we could understand, in fact, it would be worth elaborating on in my notes later, but she still did not understand spoken english.
    "Sir, I hope tha-"
    "Anyways girl, let's get out of here. We don't want to get back too late" I said simply as I stood up, then walked over to her, holding my hand out. She gave a bright smile, then, finally catching on, took my hand before vocalizing happily.
    As she began to walk off, I regarded the waiter then said simply to him:
    "This is a Pokémon friendly cafe. Try to pretend that you care about that policy in the future. If you want good tips"

    My advice given, I proceeded after my ses frau.
    Outside, the two of us gave one another a simple look of amusement as we left the front of the cafe, then burst into quiet laughter.
    He was so confused! Oh, Oh I'm a bad person... I said in between laughs.
    I know! Oh his face when you cut him off! He was so angry! Aria replied.
    Serves him right really. I mean does he even REALIZE that he works in a place where people with deep bonds with their Pokémon come to enjoy a meal together? Jeeze, Want to bet he doesn't last long?
    Bet? Aria suddenly asked.
    Um, it's when gardevoir make a prediction of what's going to happen but decide to see who's more right. This involves wagering, or opting to pay out, in any form of currency, like, you and I could wager that tonight, when you show me the waning gibbous dance of rest, I could say that I'd get it right after 2 tries, but you say I'll take 3 tries. Then we wager breakfast foraging duties tomorrow for it or something. I elaborated for her benefit.
    She gave me an endearingly curious expression then asked. And do you think you can? Her small smile was sly, as if she wanted to test my confidence.
    Who are we kidding? You and I both know that when it comes to that harmonic motion where we break sync to enhance one another's moves, I am still not timing it right. So it'll take 4 before I figure out the pattern. I remarked with a guilty smile.
    Since she had recovered, she had been showing me a few of the more complex dances. One required one to initiate a dance, then the other would copy the move, but would then add an additional amount of emotion to the move, this would then bounce to the partner, then back and forth until the chaos of their motions suddenly seamlessly melds into one smooth motion. In this dance, the frustration of understanding and the sense of pleasure as one comes to understand another comes heavily into play. The feelings resonate until they fall into harmony.
    Honestly, until I met Aria, things such as figure skating and ballet were merely things to watch and judge based upon how they looked. It occurred to me though: How would Aria interpret Ballet? Would she enjoy watching a figure skater dance across the ice?
    I gave a sidelong look at her as she pressed her face against some glass, looking at a hat. Oddly enough, she seemed to like the light pink felt hat. The thought crossed my mind about how it would look on her.
    She would look amazing. She didn't need to wear human clothes though to be honest.
    Ses frau... I found myself saying.
    She turned around from the window then looked at me with those eyes that I had been captivated by since the day I met her.
    In the event that you ever wonder, I've always seen you for who you are. A woman Gardevoir. A Gardevoir who has a deep empathy for others, a large heart, the genuine enthusiasm towards others even if they don't deserve it, a love for teaching, an intimate awareness of the heart. I don't look at you and compare you to others, I don't wish anything on you other than that you continue to be who you are. You are perfect the way you look. No human clothing will ever change that.
    I'm not sure why I felt the need to say that, but the desire to let her know this seemed to have filled me until it was all I could think to say.
    Her face seemed to radiate happiness as she then leapt towards my arm, then hugged into it. I found myself curling into her hug, letting our cheeks come into contact in the process. Acceptance, I wanted her to realize entirely that it had always been about her and us...
    Within a few hours, we found ourselves walking slowly along route 4. The sun was lower in the sky now, casting a more vanilla light onto the surrounding fields.
    Suddenly, I stopped then glanced around. I knew this spot... Without really even thinking about it, I clenched her hand, then gently led her away from the path, then walked over to a stand of grass and flowers. A flabebe leapt off as we approached, thus allowing us to have the spot all to ourselves.
    This is it... I found myself saying.
    Where you found Asa? Aria asked.
    It's funny I know, but I am overcome with a nostalgic feeling. It was recent, but it feels like such a long time ago that I was sitting right here, trying to make her realize I didn't want to hurt her. I was so scared and excited too. I had never really been a Pokémon person you see. I never gave much thought to it. I had my own affairs. I gave a light laugh, then fell into the flowers. A small cloud of yellow petals kicked up that were quickly caught by the light breeze kicked up by the setting sun.
    You never owned a Pokémon? Aria asked suddenly.
    Never had an inclination. Oddly enough, I never really saw Pokémon as pets. They were... kind of like people in how I saw them. Just more things nearby who I didn't really care about. Geeze, hard to believe I could be so apathetic... I responded.
    Why were you? She suddenly asked.
    I gave her a look for a moment, then let my eyes trace the outline of a cloud before I dropped my eyes to the ground.
    I'm not a psychologist. First and foremost I want to make it clear that I'm doing little more than speculating. I think that I was so afraid of others that I stopped seeing individuals after a while. I had people I associated with to be certain, but I never really felt close to others. I have trust issues. My parents weren't... very knowledgable about how to handle children. We often were taken to places children had no business in because they were still trying to have their adult lives. We always got blamed, my sister and I that is. It was always our fault somehow. The car breaks down, we get blamed, the tv breaks, somehow me sitting in my room was the cause. So on and so forth. After that, when I had the first chance, I left. I went to university, and I buried myself in work. Always it was about getting perfect grades, acing every exam, getting into the masters program, submitting my doctoral thesis. Now here I am, 28 years old and for the first time in my life I ask myself why the hell was I working so hard? Why did I drift from the applied geology and paleontology to paleontological field behavior of extinct species to comparative studies of living species? '
    'Finally, I think I know why. I was hiding all this time. Trying to get the hell away from my past, cutting off all contact, never returning phone calls, never checking to see how everyone is doing, not going to weddings. Doing all I can to ignore just what the problem was: I really had a family. Sure, I had parents, I had a sister, I think I have a few nieces and nephews. But, until I met you, I never had someone I could call my wife, in the words of humans, or a desire to raise a child, or the desire to think more of myself. To think about my life in the context of being in it, and walking down the path towards the future hand in hand with you. Living a life with even an ounce of genuine happiness in it.
    I took her tiny hand in mine, then looked into her eyes.
    Until you came into my life, I was incomplete. So thank you Aria. Thank you for finding me.
    Alone, with naught but a few Flabebes, a few skitties, and The sun as our witness, the two of us extended our hands to one another's face, then leaned in for a kiss. Drenched in Vanilla Twilight, I felt that no matter the troubles that plagued our day, nor the uncertainty of the future, I decided that no matter what, with her was where I belonged. With her, I felt the greatest sense of accomplishment.
    The University could die in a fire for all we cared in that moment.
  17. DaniWesty

    DaniWesty School Kid

    Oct 23, 2014
    July 20th 3130
    I heard the thumping of helicopter blades about a minute before I saw the Helicopter itself.
    The deep pulsing was initially just so that I emerged slowly from the dream Aria and I had been sharing. As I was roused by the noise, she slowly too began to emerge from slumber. In an instant, she saw my confusion, then sat up next to me. The slight chill of the morning drew the two of us together under orange tinged clouds as I looked around trying to understand the source of the sound.

    Suddenly, the chopper burst from the woodline above our heads. While Aria clung to me in confusion, the others awoke with alarm. The Helicopter was painted white with stylistic mauve stripes running the length of it with a large symbol embedded on the side of it. I recognized it instantly as the symbol for lambda. The instant I saw that symbol, I knew what the game was.
    I quickly jumped out of our hammock as The Helicopter began to circle the field, apparently looking for a spot to land. In no time, I found myself running towards the spring shirtless.
    If the pilot was confused or uncertain, I could not detect it as I watched him slowly begin putting the Helicopter down. I felt her confusion and panic before I felt Arias presence as she rushed after me. Oddly enough, she had the frame of mind to have grabbed a shirt for me.

    Over the din, I heard her speak to me plain as if we were in a quiet room.
    Beh sze! When the rest of us run from danger you leap right for it! This isn't natural! I have heard of men who use these to capture us! She suddenly called out as she latched onto my arm then began tugging it insistently.
    The others, having seen me race towards the Helicopter, rather than away from it, stood with their children in their hands and our child's egg in the middle of a semicircular formation. I could sense the confusion and fear easily from them.
    Ses frau, listen to me. This is a helicopter from that Dr. Freeman that wanted me to do some research for him. This has to be the equipment we need to look into the effects he mentioned. I said that in a rushed tone. Lambda labs, the leading non-governmental research facility, was very concerned with the quantum effects of space-time. More specifically, how it was affected by high energy states. Their current research was centered on how to create a singularity like point that could be used to warp space enough to extend spaceflight travel and reduce time required.
    After I said that, I turned my attention back to the Helicopter as it proceeded to make a final adjustment, then settle down onto the ground. The two of us were hit by a buffering wind as the helicopter settled to the ground. Aria leaned into me while I tilted my head down, partially burying my face in her aquamarine hair.
    Coconuts... I blurted without thinking.
    I felt her head adjust, as if she wanted to look at me in confusion, but instead, I pulled her face tighter to my chest then sent along a message Sorry, I will explain later.
    Eventually, the wind died down enough that we were able to look back to the Helicopter. The whining noise dropped enough that when we saw multiple people getting out, there was little surprise while we separated to face the approaching men.
    "Ah, Dr. Ginkgo!" Came a surprisingly jovial voice.
    "Dr. Krafft?!" To say I was surprised to see the curly-haired geologist I greatly respected was an understatement. He walked out from under the blades, going from being hunched over to his full height in a very short time.
    The two of us crossed the field to him as he was flanked by two other people. On one side, I realized it was Dr. Freeman himself. On the other side of him it was none other than Professor Sycamore.
    As he approached me. I initially stuck my hand out to give him a handshake. However, he jerked me away from Arias arms and into a bear hug. As I felt his bear like arms squeeze me, I realized that my arm wasn't the only one that had gotten stuck in this hug.
    A pained cry from Aria rang out as she realized that she had been drawn into the hug, partially. Her tiny arm was compressed next to mine, her fingers desperately grasping about to find a way out.
    "Oh, I am sorry. " He suddenly said as he released the two of us from his death hug. Dr. Krafft was a Barrel chested man. In a lot of ways, his appearances were almost the opposite of mine. He was barrel chested and robust. I was thin and rather quick to tire. He had a great shaggy head of curled hair. Mine remained somewhat unkempt but was otherwise without significant volume. His eyes had a warm and friendly tone to it. Mine was simply green and distracting.
    As Aria rubbed her arm, then seemed to withdraw behind me, Prof. Sycamores eyes seemed to flick between the two of us, but said nothing.
    "I have to ask! I was expecting a parachute drop of the equipment and maybe a new holo conference suite, not a Helicopter with the three of you! Welcome to the te ze as it is called!" I swept my hand around the field, indicating back to where the others were clearly visible watching us. Then to Aria.
    "Well, there's more to the visit than just dropping off equipment yes? Tell me, did any beer survive or should I break out the equipment and dig out a case?" Dr. Krafft asked, which earned him either a sharp cough or a light laugh from Dr. Freeman.
    My excitement was quickly replaced with trepidation as I led them over to the te ze, then stood just outside of it with them. I could feel curiosity and defensiveness begin to arise from the Matriarch. Dr. Krafft made to step closer to them, but my arm stopped him before he made that mistake. Instead, I led them away from the entrance, to a small collection of boulders about 2 feet by 3 feet that I have since been calling my sitting stool.
    As I sat down, Dr. Freeman and Dr. Krafft joined in while Prof. Sycamore kept standing, an eye on the settlement the entire time.
    Aria, meanwhile had sat down on the same rock as I sat.

    "Alright, so what's this about? The standard procedure for Gardevoir is to knock you all out and then make you wander off into the woods. If you are strongly disliked, then you usually end up without apparel. So, I need to know why you three showed up unannounced. If you had sent word ahead, I could have given them some warning." My stern tone was obvious.
    "Well, I will be direct. The other day my hand was forced by that Tennyson. He feels threatened by you and is pressuring the board to revoke your tenure and ensure that you never publish another research paper again. I realized that we had to placate him before he went too far." As he said that, his eyes had darted to Aria.
    I felt hostility from her.
    Ses frau?
    He sits there and thinks that just explaining himself is enough... Aria said.
    "Just so you know, Aria here, the very same Gardevoir from the meeting, can understand your words. She feels insulted that you did not stay afterwards as these two did and apologize while explaining" I said.
    Please don't fluff what I say beh sze! I want him to feel my anger! She insisted.
    Look he doesn't know better. He thinks an explanation so that I understand his intent is enough. I gently argued back. He doesn't realize that how he said it was wrong. I cannot get mad at him for honestly not knowing.
    Ok, I modified what she said a little bit so that I could chastise him gently while suggesting improvements. He was not well-known for picking up on social cues after all... I looked at Prof. Sycamore who seemed to have brought his attention to Aria entirely by this point, then gave a small smile.
    "Are you two speaking together while you are also speaking to Dr. Krafft?" Prof. Sycamore asked suddenly.
    "Yes we are. " I replied simply.
    With a smile, his right hand balled into a fist then fell into his other hand.
    "Tell me, what is the depth of the bond you share with her?" He asked. There was an accusing tone there, but it was underlain by another emotion. He seemed curious. As if he were trying to puzzle out an answer based upon our response.
    Our eyes flicked towards each other's. There was uncertainty and worry in our thoughts of each other, then we both simultaneously glanced back towards our te ze, more specifically, we glanced at the egg sitting in the center of the Gardevoir semi-circle. Then we looked back to each other.
    Whatever preconceived notions the three of them had, the shock of realizing our synchronicity and the two of us looking directly at an egg then back to them was enough for at least Prof. Sycamore and Dr. Freeman to get. Trepidation began to creep in. Prof. Sycamore looked troubled for a moment. Dr. Freeman seemed unconcerned. Dr. Krafft took roughly 43 more seconds than the others to put the pieces together.
    After a solid minute of sitting in silence, Aria and I allowing our hands to fall into one another's, there was finally a cough that came from Prof. Sycamore.
    "Well... that should make the question I wanted to ask simple then..." He said after a moment.
    He finally looked at us with a small grin, then looked back to the egg. After he exchanged a look with Dr. Freeman, he finally asked.
    "When is your child due?"
    By the way, this was roughly second 43. While I loved the guy to death. When it came to things beyond his wife and volcanoes, Dr. Krafft tended to be slow on the emotional uptake.
    "His child? But he has been..."
    Finally, Dr Krafft looked at the two of us, holding one another's hands, then allowed a smile to cross his face.
    "Yeah? Now I am knowing why you stayed my friend! After you got better you fell in love with her yeah? And then you had a breakthrough somehow in your understanding of them! "He jovially said this as our eyes turned to Dr. Freeman who suddenly coughed.
    "Yeah, this will make it easier then. Dr Ginkgo, the precise reason we came was because we both suspected you two had a relationship. As it turns out, this subjective element may in fact benefit the three of us greatly. "
    I looked at Sycamore with confusion. Why would our relationship assist them in the development of their research? Sycamore was investigating correlation between mysterious jewels and the ability for various Pokémon to go one step further for brief periods of time. However, Dr. Freeman was studying gravitational anomalies. Someone's relationship seemed to be wholly superfluous to his studies.
    "I'm afraid that I am not seeing the correlation here..." I muttered.
    Dr. Freeman gave a slight cough before he began speaking.
    "The Gardevoir species is currently the only known species who can affect space-time enough to create a gravitational anomaly that reaches a critical implosion limit necessary for formation and propagation of a singularity. What is unique about this is the conditions required for this to happen. Something the Gardevoir in Lambda have not been able to achieve on their own. See, in the Pokédex itself, observational studies indicate that the Gardevoir must feel threatened or that its life is in danger. However, conditions also indicate that a primary bond can give rise to their more maternal natures. This results in the Gardevoir wanting to protect its trainer. Who the Gardevoir protects as though it is the trainers mother. We feel it has to do with the mental connection between the Gardevoir and human that acts as a channel to opening that neurological pathway. What we'd like to do is use this subjective relationship to understand this from a purely objective point of view. "
    I honestly was not sure how to take this. To be frank, he was all but saying that he needed me to be put in extreme danger in order for her to develop a singularity? Wasn't there some other way to accomplish this that did not require us to be in harm's way? Could Arias mentality even take the idea of me being in danger? Could I take the idea that Aria could be in danger?
    "So, you want to...what? Hold me at gunpoint, release a bunch of poochyheenas on me and let them try to kill me or something? It sounds like you are saying that the emotional response is the prime factor in this."
    "Well, to be frank, I wanted to pursue your emotional state theory. I wonder if there aren't other paths towards this effect. In fact, as I was discussing emotional pathways with Dr. Sycamore the other day, we both realized that the possibility exists that other, altered, emotional states can exist which present similar endorphin cascades that result in the same possibilities being unlocked. What we would like to do, with both of your permissions, is to examine this possibility."
    "More to the point, he wants your love to be the catalyst for a black hole and her mega evolution." Sycamore said simply.
    "But don't you need those fancy jewels that some trainers have? Diantha, the current champion, and some kid who took her on recently, both had these jewels and that was the only way such forms were possible. How do you expect someone to do the same without these jewels?" I asked incredulously.
    Sycamore smiled as I asked that. Then he looked at Aria with his clouded eyes. He then looked between us again, before he finally offered a small shrug.
    "Well, those jewels seem to deepen a bond between Pokémon and trainer. However, if your hypothesis is correct, then the needed synchronicity can be achieved without those objects. If that is the case, then you will be able to do the same with her without needing an intermediary. The primary concern is how to regulate the release of energy that sparks the evolution without the regulatory effects of the jewel."
    After he finished his explanation, I quickly turned to Aria, then began filling her in.
    Something is up here, they want to have a more in person observation of the thing we talked about a few days ago. Also, the way they are acting is a little too... personal.
    What do you think is going on? Aria suddenly asked.
    I wish I could tell. I'm not too certain that they aren't just here building a case against me to be honest. However, those two did give me the task. So it makes sense that they are following up on it and want to do better research in person.
    To an outsider, I conversation grew from a series of glances to more dynamic communication. As we spoke back and forth, our hands sought each other, then began to intricately dance again. Our gestures remained minimal despite this hand motion.
    I'm nervous about them. So is everyone else.
    Truth be told, if they wanted to, they would have done something by now. You and I couldn't really stop them on our own. I don't have anything beyond what you've given me and I know you don't fight very often. So I don't know what we can do.
    Do you trust them?
    I trust Dr. Krafft. I don't know if I trust Freeman very well. Sycamore though... I'm still undecided. He has a fair bit of a past with less than reputable sources. This cannot be ignored.
    Beh sze, I say we entertain them for a while. We can give it a try, but if they begin feeling deceitful, then we should act quickly. The more you are around others, the more in tune with their emotions you will become. Aria looked at me with her eyes set to reflect the determination she radiated.
    Ses frau... I found myself saying.
    The two of us suddenly leaned into one another, then held each other. This simple sign of determination and trust, mixed with the two of us reaching a consensus might have looked untoward. However, by this time, I no longer really cared about what they would say. This simple action was beyond affection at this point. It was an expression of our feelings, our misgivings, and our resolution to accept their terms for the time being.
    After a moment, though it felt much longer to us, We separated, though we kept our hands together as I turned back to them before nodding.
    "Alright, so here's the deal, that chopper goes. If you three are staying for any period of time, I suggest setting up camp a little further out. It's well far enough away from the te ze that you will not be disturbed by us or the young. However, you do not approach without signaling your intentions. This is their home. You are only guests on it. But most importantly, do not treat any of us like animals. Gardevoir have their own culture, and there is a lot to be said for any group that resembles humanity in social dynamics. I don't know if your mega evolution research will really benefit. However, we are willing to at least try so as to help. " I said this all while also having Aria relay our message back to the Matriarch. She needed to be in the loop on this so that if she felt any further restrictions needed to be mentioned, they could be.
    I could feel the Matriarchs assent to my suggestion though. However, I could sense that she was worried about them. I decided to add one last little note.
    "Also, no touching the children. The young are commonly captured by passing trainers and we would all like to see the 3 ones all grow up without loosing any." I squeezed Arias hand as I said that.
    It was understood that I also meant our growing child.
    "Of course Rowan." Dr. Krafft suddenly spoke up. "These terms seem agreeable. However, shall we set up some beds for you and Aria? It might help to have you two closer to us. That way when we all set up to do the singularity experiments, you two don't have to travel so far."
    I looked at Aria.
    What do you think Ses frau? Should we stay with them?
    I am uncertain. What do you want to do?
    To be perfectly honest. I really enjoy sleeping in our hammock together. The closeness to you and the gentle suspension of the ropes has been wonderful for me I freely admitted.
    I told you there was a good reason I liked it so much! We can sleep however we want but we always feel comfortable! She chirped in response.
    After the quick exchange, the two of us looked back at them, then shook our heads.
    "Sorry, we have our own bed that we greatly enjoy. Further, we help out around here and at night we tend to the egg. It is easier for us to simply walk over when we have to. Besides, it's only a short walk away. You could practically shout to us if you needed to say something. Well, ok, talk loudly. " I automatically corrected. "Though, I think that this communal area should be the division point. It keeps them feeling safe, we keep our privacy, you three have an open-work area, and no toes are tread on. "
    Maurice smiled as I made that suggestion despite declining his invitation to stay with them at their camp for a while. With a vague thought, I looked back to the woodline where the remains of my original camp was. It was hard to believe that it's been over a month since I stayed there.
    Aria felt my thoughts briefly drift to the long abandoned camp site, then gently took my hand in hers. There was a comfort but also the slightest excited reminder that I didn't need worry about that place.
    Suddenly, it occurred to me why I had thought about that site in the first place.
    "Oh, right!" I said as my free hand came up to my chest level, then made a slight fist.
    "Alright, so if you guys need extra solar panels or battery buses, the old camp still has a few of those lying around under a tarp. I haven't used them save when I tried to use the Holocomm system that was sent with me, but they still work just fine.
    Dr. Freeman gave a distracted grin as I made the suggestion but was beat to the chase by Prof. Sycamore.
    "Actually, we should be fine. " He said reassuringly "Though I have to say, you seem to be doing fine out here with no power or anything."
    I gave a slight laugh then gently rubbed Arias middle finger.
    "Well, we don't really need it. In the late season, everyone tends to begin moving south and larger settlements have interesting conveniences. For example, larger settlements use a piezoelectric crystal to generate light and some settlements have communal fires for general use. The absence of fire in this settlement is more a function of the environment. With lots of food supplies and a mild climate, there simply is no need for anything more complex. It's only when things turn cold and the days are shorter do such conveniences become needed. It's simple practicality. " I responded.
    Eventually, the reunion began to break up. Dr. Krafft and Dr. Freeman returned to the helicopter, then began the load out. Aria and I began to get up but were stopped suddenly by Prof. Sycamore.
    "Hang on you two" He said in an unreadable tone.
    Uh oh... I said to Aria.
    Truth be told, we expected a sterner talking to.
    Do you think he will try anything? She asked. Worry was evident. It came off her in gentle pulses that were slowly trying to override her base curiosity.
    "So, when you two did it..." He suddenly asked.
    "Nope. I'm not discussing it. I will prepare a report on their mating habits but I am NOT having a face to face discussion about how we had intercourse!" I said a little more flustered than I realized.
    "I was going to ask if it was much different from regular sex to be honest..." He said with a grin on his face.
    "It was... more personal. I'll leave it at that" I simply said then made to stand up again.
    "Relax! I was just messing with you!" He said as he chuckled in a low one of voice.
    "But more to the point, I was wondering if you two ever felt in sync with one another. Like your thoughts happening at once, that kind of thing" He asked.
    "Actually... As Gardevoirs continue the courtship past the initial mating, they begin functioning as one unit... At many times, our thoughts begin melding together. It sometimes becomes difficult to deduce where one persons thought ends and the other persons thought begins" I admitted.
    The reaction I received next was... unsettling.
    Sycamore took a long look at me, then narrowed his eyes slightly. Then he looked to Aria with an equally intense expression. I could faintly feel a deviousness there, but also the intense concentration of a man deep in contemplation. In a flash, the emotional awareness was gone. All that was left was the discomfort and worry that Aria expressed.
    "Well then... " He said after a moment. "I wonder if there is not something to be pursued there..." He said more to himself than to us.
    My hand gently clutched Arias as he spoke as a wave of nervousness arose. Finally, he seemed to come out of his contemplation then looked at us. His usual expression was back and the peculiar thoughts he all but broadcast had long since vanished.
    "Oh it's nothing. I'm just wondering if this bond you two share and that syncing up has something to do with the whole matter. That's all" his smile was meant to dispel whatever worries lingered within us. However, coming from him, the expression seemed strangely hollow.
    Within a few moments, he finally turned from us, then walked back to the Helicopter. As essential gear was loaded out, I noticed that Dr. Krafft was not getting back on the chopper. Instead, as the engine kicked back on and the blades began their roaring spin up, he ducked out from under the Helicopter, then slowly jogged over to the others.
    I gave Aria a confused look, which prompted a sudden round of conversation from us.
    I expected him to get onto that chopper and fly off. I said.
    Why would he? Aria asked.
    Well, he's a Geologist first and foremost. His main concerns are rocks. Not what you and I would be up to.
    She looked at me then smiled slightly as I had unknowingly equated the two of us.
    Minor changes in speech like this were more common for me. Truth be told, until I got a wave of happiness from her out of nowhere, I wasn't even aware that I was doing it. It was only afterwards that I realized that my mindset had changed to thinking of this place as my only real home.
    As Dr. Freeman and the others sat up, Aria and I finally walked back into and back to our te ze. In the communal area, the rest were sitting in a semi-circle. They knew that we needed to discuss this. With worry evident, I sat down, then looked at the Matriarch before I glanced down in apology.
    I extended them the offer without directly consulting you.
    And I allowed them to stay because they are not like that woman who came here once. You do not need to allow that guilt you feel to consume you. She suddenly said in a very kindly tone.
    I looked up at her in a confused manner, only to be stopped.
    When you came here, it was because it was you that you were able to stay. Gardevoir normally turn humans away and give them an instance of fear as well as a memory gap. The suggestion is usually placed in their heads that they just got into a bad battle. With you, I could sense your intent, so you were allowed to watch. I sensed how you felt about the others, the relief you had at seeing them, and the urge deep down to continue doing your work. Your troubles have been right there under the surface. You were fully aware of them, but you channeled them well to helping us rather than helping only yourself.
    There was a sense of comfort that I felt as she said those somewhat confusing words. There was an implication that I had inadvertently acted as her vessel during the encounter. It would, after all, explain the flash of insight.
    Anyways, I think that it would be best to keep them close. If something were to happen to friends of yours, I would much like them to be near at hand should assistance be needed. Further, given our needs as well, it works out best.
    I couldn't help but to smile when she added that last sentence. It was obvious that she was referring to the fact that Aria and I have been helping out so much since the children have all hatched.
    With this all said, the group of us fell back into conversation about Aria using her psionics in the coming days.
    In the human world, Gardevoir that assist young trainers seem to have an understanding of using their powers to create a back hole. What has concerned people is the exact nature of this. What I worry about, is whether my ses frau will be ok. I readily voiced.
    Aria looked down then away from me. I could feel the embarrassment burning brightly. However, buried under that was a sense of happiness that my thoughts were so bent on her well-being. With a grin, I pulled her hand into mine then readily, physically, communicated this fact to her.
    She looked back at me then gave a small smile before she said to us all.
    I want to try it still. I would like to see if it is possible for me to do so. I can create a shadow ball with little effort. What she did not say was the circumstances behind that attack. To clarify, when I was attacked, she used this skill along with one called dazzling gleam to subdue my attackers. I think it would be easy to continue to push it to the next level...

    I looked at her then to Aitsu. He gave a simple nod before I spoke.
    Aria, just realize that I am reluctant to let you do this. See, I don't want you to think like you have to fight or do what they would like because I would be disappointed. In fact, I'd really rather not have to burden you with this...
    She looked at me, then smiled. Beh sze, there is also a matter of pride. It is said that we glow our brightest when we are driven by others. You cannot fight off the Pokémon who would seek to kill you. In that way, you are weak. You protect my dreams but I need to protect your body so that we can both continue walking forward! She gave me a hopeful look as she asked this.
    Rather, I could feel her conviction.
    With a smile, I simply nodded, my assent given, all of us began eating. Asa this time had chosen to sit between us. Since she had been spending so much time with us lately, it was suspected that she was beginning to form a familial bond with us. Over the past month, her behavior has in fact changed. Where she was energetic but lacked focus, lately she has begun to emulate us in many ways. Much, actually, to the Matriarchs chagrin in my case.
    Our nightly dances, in that regard, have been joined by her tiny form.
    It was difficult at first though. When Aria and I conducted these dances, in a very real sense, the two of us were connecting our hearts and allowing a free exchange of emotion. This... had a tendency to escalate rather quickly. See, in that state, our deeper, baser instincts were also at work. Our curiosities at first ended up dominating the structured form at a point which resulted in... extra dancing activities. When Asa joined us, the usual quiet was interrupted by the curious emotions of a third presence.

    After that, we tended to not allow our emotional intertwining to progress so far in her presence.
    I gave a light laugh as we talked about such trivialities over our dinner. The dances Aria passed along to Asa were, after all, very important. Inevitably, Aria and I would depart, of that the te ze was certain. When we did, Asa would have to take on that role. She was, in a very real sense, learning how to become a teacher from Aria.
    After we had finished our meal, Aria and I walked out into the clear night. It looked to be another full moon tonight. Which was good, to be frank, after the first time, I looked forward to full moons. Especially this one.
    Low murmuring drew our attention away from the moons heavenly glory and onto more mundane matters. Our attention shifted to the new campsite, recently erected with 3 tents that were standard dome styles and a wall tent, resembling the one I had been using before the attack. Those three dome tents were arranged in a cross shape with the wall tent at one end. Aside from that, I could see a larger solar power generator was erected. By larger I mean that this one had 6 panels, all one meter by one meter, all secured to the ground on a gimballed tripod system that used small amounts of electricity to drive rotors to keep them aligned with the sun. By rough estimate, the meter panels had to easily be putting out 300 watts per panel. That meant that 1.2 KW of power per hour could be produced.
    1.2 KW... That was a lot of power. Then it occurred to me: that satellite dish outside of the wall tent, along with a peculiar pole structure roughly 50 meters further away from the camp (And away from our te ze) all wired back to the generator system. They had a VSAT communication system as well as the equipment set up already. I was honestly impressed by their efficiency. A VSAT terminal is a miniature dish that is aligned with a geostationary satellite in orbit. Using a Ku band transponder, it has the capability to achieve 2048Mbps data rates. This is a standard EPT telecommunications standard for transmitting vital data along with telemetry data back to ground sites from various field sites. Occasionally, you would find a more complex one which uses MPEG encoding and HLV forwarding systems, but using an RTP protocol as a baseline carrier in a secondary channel, 22 channels can be allocated to transmitting data. All in all, serious equipment with a lot of power.
    The other equipment... Well, Aria and I would have to find out later I guess. What was really pressing though was what was actually going on.
    The three of them were sitting around a small campfire, engaged in discussion.
    "I like how he doesn't even think it's wrong" Dr. Freeman said simply.
    I tilted my head. Confusion was apparent on both of our faces, but especially noticable on mine.
    Let's go see what they're talking about... I urged My ses frau.

    "Well why would he? He was never around Pokémon as a child. He doesn't know how they are seen. To him if it reasons like us, if it talks like us, and walks on two legs, there's no reason not to see it the same as us" Dr. Krafft said.
    I'm not too certain... I don't know if we want to hear this... Aria said, her hesitation emphasizing her anxiety at knowing what their true thoughts about us were.
    "Well if your university ever hears of this..." Professor Sycamore stated.
    "He will be disbarred for good yes we know. I'm thinking about convincing them to let him set up a research outpost and keep funding allocated just for one person. That way he doesn't cause a scene..." Dr. Krafft replied.
    Slowly, the two of us finally began to approach. Due to their positioning, until we were about 8 feet away, we likely would not be noticed. Our feet carried us lightly across the field, the sound of their voices growing ever louder.
    "Still, the entire time we've been carrying on like this. He doesn't even realize pokephillias perception. Why did you two keep silent about this?" Dr. Freeman pushed.
    "Why the hell should we? Did you see the way those two act? I've seen the occasional kid get all twisted up over his pet gardevoir, but can you honestly say that he's really pushing her into this? If anything, I'd say it was her leading him on" Professor Sycamore replied.
    "I kept quiet because, to be honest, it's none of my damn business. I just worry about his future.." Dr. Krafft replied.
    I couldn't help but to smile. That's Dr. Krafft for you! The man knew that the situation was more complex than Dr. Freeman was making it sound. My pride caused Aria to give me a curious look.
    See? Like a father figure! He understands what's going on! I said.
    "Of course you would. The damn kid sees you as his dad. In fact, I bet if you said something to him he would seriously try to break it off."
    "Don't you tell me what to do you stoic atom watching half wit. " Dr. KRafft suddenly snapped.
    "Hey you two. The real concern is making sure that Tennyson doesn't come down here and cause trouble. That's the entire reason we are here anyways..."
    "Well still, I didn't... I mean, I should have seen this coming when I read that he stayed. But.. what the hell even is this?" Dr. Krafft said.
    "Well, that's been bugging me to be honest... See, in the kids who seem to fall for their gardevoir, the whole issue really seems to spring from psychological dependence and the Gardevoir coming to see their captors as saviors of a sort. They capture them, give them an easy life, they grow quickly, develop their powers, become strong. The whole time there is this kid helping them through it all. The kid becomes more attracted to them because of that latent Elektra complex that most boys had. However, while she helped him out, there was something going on before. As I reread the notes leading up to the attack, that could be seen..."
    "Well that's just it! What caused him to go so wrong?" Dr Krafft asked.
    "I kind of wish he kept a separate set of notes. Your universities regulations for what can and cannot go into field notes leaves much to be desired. In fact, wasn't that part of the problem to begin with? If he was allowed to keep better, more situation oriented notes, you could probably have let him include transcripts of the first real contact made between them!"
    Professor sycamore lapsed into silence as Dr. Krafft broke open a bottle of beer, then began to sip at it. The silence began to protract as it appeared as though none were certain about how to proceed.
    "You could just ask you know" I suddenly spoke up.
    Upon saying those words, Aria and I walked up to the campfire. She continued holding my hand while I placed my free one on my waist.
    "Ah, Rowan we didn't know you could hear us..." Dr. Freeman said.
    "We are sitting in the middle of a field, in the middle of the night, with nothing else around us but some trees and gardevoir who use telepathy to speak instead of primarily vocalized sounds. Suffice to say, there isn't much to drown you out" I replied.
    "Well, look it's just that.." Dr. Krafft began.
    "You realize that what you are doing is a violation of not only dbp code but also your universities regulations right?" Professor Sycamore asked suddenly.
    "Codes that pre-supposed that humans were the smartest species and obviously knew what was best for fully sentient and rational beings. Sounds like certain laws we had on the books in the past concerning other people." I said in a very pointed manner.
    It was obvious at that point what I meant.
    "Look, against the law or not, the fact remains that the two of us wanted this. She approached me, She initiated contact with me, we both began to communicate, we both felt attraction as a function of that. Our falling in love was serendipitous in a way. Illegal? Sure, why the hell not? But that's just it. We both want this. Besides, what changes laws? Facts right?"
    "Well yes sure but..." Dr. Krafft began.
    "Well the current facts we have are woefully outdated. We see gardevoir as being tied only to their emotions. The current view attributes them no advanced reasoning skill. Yet look at where we are! We have a settlement of them, a clear structure, primary interest in a basic social structure, a teacher for crying out loud! Advanced mythology and cultural traditions. The only thing that separates them from us is .6%. So, either A, we revise our laws based upon what the facts say. Or B we ignore the fac-"
    "Don't you realize who you pissed off?!" Dr. Freeman said.
    "Of course I do!" I suddenly exclaimed.
    Beh sze, calm down... you are starting to feedback... Aria suddenly said, though I realized I was growing too angry to really care at this point.
    "I pissed off a guy who is so stuck up with pride over his own research that he doesn't even want to consider the fact that he is wrong!" I angrily said.
    "You should have tried a different approach!" Dr. Freeman suddenly said.
    "Different approach? Like what? Walk in there, have her just link to each and every one of you at once and explain in detail? The best I can do is present my findings! If they're wrong, someone else should be able to test my theories!"
    "The only ones who would are perverts" Dr Freeman said.
    "Oh? So now I'm a pervert. First unprofessional was enough to condemn me because we don't want to think outside of the box but now I'm a pervert?! Do you think I walked out here to just cruise for a ralts and raise it like one of his little trainers?" I asked then pointed to Professor Sycamore.
    "Hey leave me out of this..." He said as he took a beer from Dr. Krafft.
    I felt arias hand try to find mine, but I realized I had long since detached from her. Still, I could feel her trying to push through, but I felt offended, defensive, and invalidated. I didn't understand why, but I kept on.
    "I bet you'd love for that wouldn't you? "Dr. Rowan is just some pervert. Don't listen to him, all he cared about was making love to his gardevoir. I'm the one who did the work" Wouldn't that be perfect? Sometimes it pisses me off when assholes like you walk over people and disregard their feelings just to promote yourself. "
    Dr. Freeman stepped forward, threatening to reach across the fire and grab me.
    "You little shit. The reason why I care is because I want you to succeed. I want you two to live happily. The problem is that you never once thought about what you were walking into. You had forgotten just why you're out here! You aren't here to become one of them. Yet look at you! You're thin enough that people wouldn't even notice if not for your skin tone and hair. But you sit here apparently completely happy to go on oblivious of the serious mistakes you are making by just sitting here and not worrying about the fact that unless if the review board decides your insights are sufficient to keep you on, you stand to lose your career. But you don't care do you? You don't care about the fact that your career now hangs in the balance. You just care about that gardevoir and her little friends back there. Your priorities have been screwed up since the day you woke up from your attack. You were meant to observe and that's it. Not become one of them. Your experiment failed that day. Now I will allow that you were able to gain critical new insights, but from the very get go, you should have framed your presentation to best represent those insights! Yet all you did was trying to downplay your failings. Until you get it through your head that you failed yourself and the university, you can just go back to screwing that Gardevoir all you want."
    Suddenly, he turned then walked away.
    I could feel my frustration still simmering. I wanted to continue this, but I suddenly became very aware of a very strong presence in my mind.
    Strong presence is... putting it lightly. Rather, I was feeling my own anger being reflected back towards me.
    Startled, I turned my attention to Aria who was looking at me with intense eyes. Without a word, she pulled me to her, then I felt the world close in around us. I felt as though my entire being had been compressed into an infinite point, then suddenly expanded again. I felt ta sudden rush of perception. The wind in the trees, the dappled moonlight, the effects of gravity threatening to pull me downwards as I felt my legs suddenly try buckling, her scent as she continued holding me close.
    We had teleported.
    Truth be told, this is the first time I had ever seen her use that ability.
    Calm yourself beh sze. She suddenly said.
    Her red eyes pierced into mine as I realized that my breathing was accelerated. I could feel a slow volley of ever-increasing anger. No, it was more than anger. I felt embarrassed, humiliated, anxious, incensed, frustrated. All of these. They were wrestling for control and dominance and my breathing was not slowing down at all.
    How can I? After all he said?! Of course I know the experiment failed! Doesn't he realiz-
    BEH SZE CALM DOWN BEFORE YOU BEGIN FALLING! She suddenly shouted in my mind.
    The force of her words took me by surprise. The emotional imprint left me momentarily blinded with a headache as my mind suddenly found itself trying to make sense of everything. I became aware, at that point, of just how garbled my thoughts were becoming.
    I felt her tiny hands clench my arms as if to steady me. I looked up at her then realized that there was one emotion I was feeling strongest of all.
    What's happening to me? I feel like I'm having a panic attack or something... I suddenly said.
    Your feeding back your emotions towards yourself. Your anger at how he treated you and I is threatening to slip out of control. Look at me. Look at my eyes and focus. She said rather forcefully.
    I looked into her eyes, then began to be aware of how calm she seemed in comparison.
    Let me calm you. She said simply.
    Suddenly, I felt my eyes grow heavy as I was suddenly inundated in a wave of peacefulness. I felt my arms go limp as her emotions intruded into my own, slowly pulsing my anger away.
    He's right you know? I found myself saying in a somewhat defeated tone, I can't go back. Not anymore. No matter what my research could do, no matter what it could do for Gardevoir in general, it's irrelevant now. Because I let my feelings interfere, because I acted on my feelings for you and stayed, there is no way that I can present my findings and expect someone not to call me biased. All I wanted was to understand Gardevoir... you... better. However, in doing so, I screwed up all chances of it making a lick of difference. Take a good hard look at me. Your Beh Sze is something of a failure.
    I wasn't entirely sure why I said that. It just kind of erupted. The sudden tailing off of emotions left me drained mentally. I found that whatever I felt would just freely flow.
    You aren't a failure. I kn-
    hold on, before you say anything, just know that I know that I've done good here...
    I wasn't finished She squeaked out. Her expression intensified.
    You aren't a failure. I know that what you did was important. I could feel your pride when you talk about what you did at that university. However, what I do know is that you feel as if you have failed because you approached it from one perspective and that failed. When you began learning our ways, it was only after just watching left you more confused that you began to approach your understanding of me differently. That day when I came to you while you hid in your box, you expressed your desire to understand me. Not our te ze so much, but me. When we shared our emotions, you experienced a sense of similarity for a reason. Remember what that reason was?
    We are both eager, curious people... I said. I shook my head, then made to sit down. It's more than that though. We wanted to know more about each other. But not for the reasons we presented. It wasn't me just trying to learn about Gardevoir. It was understanding why you were so fearless and wanted to seek my companionship. You weren't trying to learn why I was watching you. You were wondering why I hid when I could have walked out. We are both just trying to understand our similarities while trying to negotiate our differences.
    She smiled. Our hands found one another as an emotional bond began to form again.
    More importantly than that, I honestly thought you were attractive. Just don't tell that Freeman guy that. She said with a small smile.
    I paid closer attention to you because of your hair coloration. I found myself blurting out. It's a favorite color of mine. It reminds me of this memory... heck, it's probably just a dream. But I'm floating just beneath the surface of the water. It's hot and the water itself is cool. But everything is the color of your hair, yet I didn't feel afraid. I felt... comforted.
    She giggled then ran her free hand through her hair as I said that. It's actually considered unattractive unless if you are one of the odd ones. What do humans call them? When they are entirely different than usual?
    What? You mean the genetic mutation shiny? That's seen as albinism but is valued by collectors. I said with honest surprise.
    That's the one. While they are not really well liked by males, they tend to be seen as closest to the spirits. But unless if you are one of them, different colors means you are not as well liked. She admitted.
    Well... you know what I think I said.
    With a smile, she looked me over one last time, then finally asked.
    Do you feel better now?
    I considered her words for a moment, then looked around. Things were...more vivid than usual. The moon seemed brighter. Her white skin seemed more porcelain like than usual, the slightest rustling was clearly audible. Further, if I really focused, I could just about feel her...
    Um... I think something is wrong. I admitted.
    She exuded waves of worry as I tried to focus on the sensation.
    Everything is... sharp. I'm just more hyper aware than I usually am. That's the best way to describe it. I confessed to her.
    With a vocalized laugh following by a gentle humming noise, I felt her arms wrap around me as I was pulled into a hug.
    It's just the effects of your feedback. Since you are heavily tied into your emotions now, a side effect is that when you have moments like this, everything tends to be different for a while.
    I gave a nod while giving a nervous laugh I'm not going to grow a horn and have to wear a dress all the time am I?
    With a laugh that seemed to ring like bells, she gave great pleasure at the thought. Oh I would certainly hope not. But we will see. No matter what, remember that you aren't alone. Your anger is mine and vice versa.
    I gave a slight nod. I realized in that moment that I tried to take on too much alone when Freeman and I got into our fight. I tried to keep it about me, but really, it was just as much about the woman sitting in front of me. It was stupid of me really. She was truly the most important person in my life. I could not just try to fight alone. We aren't people who need protecting. We are people who need to stand side by side when we need to fight. We help one another, but we do so with mutual respect and love.
    By the way I suddenly said, breaking our momentary reverie, Where the hell are we?
    She looked around for a moment, then smiled. She stood up quickly, then gently tugged on my arms. Almost too quickly, I found myself on my feet and being led along by her. Within seconds I found myself standing in a field. The full moon was still high in the sky and I could make out hedges and flower beds. Further along was an occasional person walking along. They had a sense of boredom mixed with nervousness at traveling during the night. However, other than that person, we were empty.
    Then, it occurred to me.
    This is where you and that woman met Asa. Aria said as she led me slowly over to the flower patch, then fell down into them.
    I fell down next to her. My body kicked up a few loose petals that fluttered in the gentle night wind. With our bodies touching, I realized that this was the most isolated we had been in a fair few days. I felt regret that we had to escape in a fit of anger just to find some needed solitude. I wrapped one arm around her shoulders. Her smaller hand reached up to my chest, then held onto me as we both fell backwards to lay in the flowers themselves.
    Above us, the Milky way shone the brilliant backbone of night. Casting the gentlest light that accentuated perfectly the new atmosphere we seemed to find ourselves in.
    We find ourselves back here a lot these days... I suddenly said.
    I think it's because when I grabbed you, I was thinking of a happy place that we could get calmed down. She said.
    We? I asked.
    She gave a bashful look as she played at the flower with her unoccupied hand.
    It's... hard not to be affected when my bhe sze is about to cause both of us to feedback. She admitted.
    In that moment, I felt guilty.
    I'm sorry... I'm sorry I let my emotions begin getting out of control. I'm... not used to such surges. How do you even control it when so much piles on at once?
    She gave a small smile If you had been born a ralts, it would have been a normal part of your life. In fact, you'd have been taught how to by someone like me. I keep forgetting that unlike me, you didn't grow up with so many emotions ruling your life. She said.
    No, you were able to pull me back before it got too bad. I can never thank you enough for that I said.
    She looked away, then she tilted her head against mine. Her extended lobes tickled against my ears. The three points eventually burying themselves into my hair. I suppressed a small laugh. The sensation left me aware that my skin was more sensitive than I originally thought.
    You know though. She said after a while of us just sitting here.
    Yeah what?
    She grinned as she suddenly rolled onto her side, gently tugging my arm to pull me to face her.
    We've become closer... I have never felt this way with anyone. So for that, I am happiest. She said.
    As the night overtook us, we eventually returned to our te ze.
    By the time we had gotten back, the fire over at the other camp site had died down and the others had gone to bed. We found ourselves to be the only ones awake as we slipped into our shared bed that night. Even though we could have stayed there longer that night, falling asleep in each others arms, sharing a dream that neither of us remembered the next morning seemed the closest we had ever been in our lives.
    A/N: And that's this chapter. I've set up a few things for the coming chapters, and I have begun bringing things mentioned in the past back into play. There is a lot that needs to be resolved and tended to over the next 6 chapters. However, as I began escalating Dr. Freemans and Rowans argument, I suddenly felt like they needed to duke this out right then and there. Rowan needed to understand that yes, he was in fact wrong. So I had fun going back and adding in little things after the fact. However, the entire wording of the argument was very organic in its nature.
    The idea has humorously occurred to me to make rowan go full gardevoir, but I really wanted to just toss little things that suggest fridge horror. However, I'm not really sure why something like that would be needed. So, more than anything, whenever I call attention to that, I'm suggesting the reader go back and look at something a little closer.
    The next 2 chapters will bring back a form of field notes. Rather, I wanted to describe from an objective standpoint observations about what is going to happen after having it be described. The reason for everyones presence is really obvious by now~ Not everyone has pure intents.
    This chapter was for the most part done on Thursday, but I think I added a quarter of it within the last few hours. I wanted to thank another author DrVillain2654 gave me a flash of insight that shifted the story slightly. I wanted to bring a little more dialouge into play that is fridge in nature. We've come to a series of conclusions about what can be done and what is just too...tropey. So thanks to him for giving me some ideas.
    The next chapters... well I can't wait to write them. I'm going to do a main story conclusion around 20 or 21. Then do up a special report like write up. Like one would see in the national geographic, that summarizes the events but also compendiums the essential ralts line.
    To be honest, this is the furthest I have gotten in writing in well over 8 years. I'm impressed that I'm still going. I look forward to riding this train to completion!
  18. DaniWesty

    DaniWesty School Kid

    Oct 23, 2014
    July 21st 3130.
    When dawn broke, I was awake rather suddenly.
    As I laid there in Arias embrace, I took stock of the previous nights events. Freeman and I had gotten into it, quite predictably. Aria and I suddenly teleported off, and then we later returned to our te ze. As I shifted my posture to let my left arm get needed blood again, I could feel Arias breathing change. Her emotions began to drift from a peaceful sort to groggy and somewhat nonplussed at being disrupted.
    It always amused me how light of a sleeper she was. Usually within moments of me waking up, she would too. As I looked at her face as she began to rouse, I wondered if it was because we ended up sharing our dreams, or if my emotional state caused her to be roused in reaction. I felt a sense of curiosity as I contemplated that question. However, as her eyes opened, I welcomed her back to the world of the living with a smile.
    Good morning Ses frau.. I greeted.
    You don't sleep enough... She muttered to me as she slowly awakened, I don't know how you do it sometimes... but every time you wake up with the dawn, I am always amazed...
    I gave a slight shrug as her arms tucked in towards our chests, then seemed to curl up into my body. Apparently she was rather chilly. I couldn't really blame her though. While it was still rather warm, the mornings were always chilly affairs for the both of us. I brought my right hand down to the gap between our bodies, then sought out her hand. As I groped around for it. I felt it brush against the gentle warmth of her mic tem. The shard that all Gardevoir had.
    "Gau..!" She vocalized suddenly as my hand brushed it.
    I couldn't help but give her an apologetic look as I found her hand. That was the single most sensitive portion of her body. Yet oddly enough, it was never affected by rubbing against my body all night. It only seemed to be affected by my hand.
    Today's a big day for you... I'm worried that something bad will happen.. I said, voicing my concerns.
    She leveled her eyes at me, then gave a small smile.
    You still don't get it? She asked.
    With a confused expression, I shook my head slightly.
    It's a big day for us both... You'll understand, though I'm sure you already know...
    Indeed... I did know.
    This wasn't just her. We were in this together. I would be there with her the entire time, never more than a few feet away. Our proximity the result of our almost requirement of the other. Near her, my emotions were escalated into a new realm I did not previously think existed. I had a stunning insight into potential that normal people couldn't ever hope to have. Its seductive grasp ever trying to claw at me and fill me with greed. Yet, despite all of that, it was only my desire to remain close to her that compelled me. My wish to understand her better, to share in this life with her.
    For her... it was a sense of completion that I didn't even know either of us lacked until then. We, as one mind at times, functioned and felt in a way that neither of us truly knew we could. She drew from me and I gave to her, the emotions both of us needed to sustain ourselves. My feelings filled her with vitality. Further, little by little, we found ourselves essentially one and the same. Any pain that one felt, the other certainly felt. We stood at the edge of becoming one unified being in this regard.
    It came with a price. The pain of death would certainly kill the both of us. Extreme sorrow would plummet the both of us into a deep depression from which neither of us could escape. We had the capability of feeding back our emotions into one another. To humans, this was like a panic attack. However, unlike with humans, deep, severe pain accompanied the results.
    There was a thrill in walking this thin line. However, it was not the thrill which compelled us. Rather, it was moments like this. Laying here, in complete peace, holding one another, feeling our perceptions meld into one another. It was like the moment I first learned the rapture of the dance. Our thoughts and feelings flowing freely, giving birth to higher sensations of feeling, greater depths of mutual understanding.
    But possibly the greatest thing that compelled us now was what rested, wrapped in some vegetation and under watchful eye at all times, near our feet.
    Inside of this small egg, grew a life.
    The impossible aggregate of our emotions and our desire to express that emotion led to this moment. Where no matter what, the importance of our lives now resided in the young life that was developing inside. Occasional forming thoughts and sensations of comfort could be felt. The very young embryo of a child, no doubt to be its own wonderous being like its mother, grew.
    These thoughts compelled me as I slowly roused myself from the hammock. We were used to getting up at this hour, well ahead of the others. We did this partially so that we could have the time to ourselves, but also the time to get the others enough food and water for the day. We would likely not be back until nightfall or later.
    We quietly went through the processes of getting ready. Hand in hand, we walked to the springs edge, then collected the water. The sphere she constructed using the water shone brilliantly in the morning light, casting a prismatic array of colors across my face and the ground. Effortlessly, she held it before her as she did every morning. Yet every time, I was always enraptured by it.
    Off to my right, I could hear sudden clicking. I felt Arias concentration begin to waver, which resulted in me fortifying her thoughts. A slight surge of feeling washed over me though. It was as though it were my thoughts now holding the sphere aloft. It was my thoughts that kept it from falling.
    However, this feeling proved taxing. As I felt my mind begin to weaken, the sensation of me holding it fell away as it seemed as though her focus had been restored. I gave a small cough as this feeling of exertion left me taxed, but indicated in thought that she should continue.
    This was one of the few times where our verbal thoughts gave way to the interplay of pure thought connected to emotion. In her focusing on the sphere, that left little else for her to be able to do. Thus, it fell down to us being in silence the duration of the walk.
    As we approached our Te Ze, I heard the clicking again. However, I did not feel Arias concentration wavering this time.
    Encouraged, I hazarded a cursory glance around to find the source. In little time at all, my eyes alighted upon Dr. Krafft with a camera mounted on a tripod. The glinting of sunlight off the lens told me it was pointed in our direction. With a grin, I returned my thoughts to Aria as we deposited the water.
    After we had gathered the fruits we all ate and distributed the paste into stone dishes for the young, Aria and I sat down then ate together. It was still too early for the others to be awake. So, the two of us shared a meal with only one another.
    I've been meaning to ask. How is it that you never grow tired of fruits? I asked her.
    It's the feelings associated with them. Surely you've noticed how when we eat, we are both content? The feeling is like when I am with you, sitting alone near our egg. That simple happiness is what I feel every time we eat together. It doesn't matter the food. Our emotions nourish us as much as the food we consume. You've felt fortified after times like that too. I suspect you just haven't realized it yet! She chirped this with a smile that was made all the sweeter by her closed eyes.
    Well certainly... I have wondered why I'm so energetic even if I haven't had meat in a while. I threw in the last one for the reaction she made as I mentioned meat.
    Her face scrunched up into a slight scowl as she felt annoyance at my comment. Then, she realized the mirth I was radiating as I said those words.
    Her tiny hand reached out, then pushed at me gently. To which I laughed quietly, then gave her an apologetic look.
    But seriously, I don't mind. I want to do right by you. Always. I said to her before taking another bite of the fruit. It was banana again. Alas, if only we lived near the tropics, I could eat my much loved coconuts... or even mango.
    But still... the notion that I had been deriving nutrition from something other than food... I felt myself chewing slower as creeping realization seeped into me. While I was becoming culturally Gardevoir, the bond we shared seemed to do more than just share emotions and feeling. It could in fact sustain us as if our feelings were food. Was that even known before now? I began thinking over the different works on Gardevoir I had read. There were dietary habits, mating habits, attachment profiles based upon trainer gardevoir studies, there were attack habits. But nowhere was there a mention of them feeding off of emotion.
    I gave her a look of realization, but was met with only a smile. She had known my thoughts from beginning to end. Every notion I had was already known by her. Perhaps she had led me to this realization. Or perhaps it was just time to discover it. I couldn't say.
    About an hour later, we found ourselves outside of Dr. Krafft and the others camp site.
    I could smell the light perfume of wood smoke as Dr. Krafft tended to a small fire. Sausage, eggs, and coffee seemed to be on the menu today. Revulsion filled me as I realized the food, but then I realized it was Aria. I felt her revulsion, but I also felt her curiosity at the drink they were making.

    We made our way over to him as he began pouring himself a cup.
    Beh sze, what is that he is drinking? Aria asked as we walked up.
    It's called coffee. It is a drink which has caffeine in it. It helps people get going for the day if they are slow risers like Dr. Krafft is. I explained.
    Slow riser? She asked.
    Imagine being unable to get woken up properly. You cannot focus very well and you are still tired. That is what most human adults feel when they wake up in the morning. I explained.
    So... it's like a potion for adults. She said. Her confusion was evident which resulted in me smiling.
    Kind of, it's a bitter drink made from the beans of a special plant. To some people it tastes good. I always like mine with sugar. But then, I was never a real fan of coffee... or even alcohol.
    "Ah! Rowan, you are all done? " Dr. Krafft asked jovially as he looked up to see us approaching.
    "More or less, we got food and water for everyone, plus the young needed the food prepared specially for them" I said.
    As I said this, Aria briefly detached from my hand, then made her way over to Dr. Kraffts cup, then leaned down to examine it. I saw her tiny nose flare as she sniffed at the drink, then seemed to look on in confusion.
    "She wants some..." I translated.
    "Well by all means!" Krafft said as he handed her the cup.
    Ses frau drink it slowly or you'll- I tried to warn her but...
    She chugged the coffee.
    Ah! It burns my mouth! She suddenly exclaimed.
    Instantly, I could feel her panic as she spat out what she had in her mouth, then I could feel my own tongue burning as her pain was shared with mine. I felt her terror rising, but I quickly grabbed her, then held her while calming myself down.
    "Gah! Son of a- " I exclaimed.
    After a moment, we composed ourselves as the pain subsided leaving our tongues feeling very raw.
    Dr. Krafft looked on with a mixture of uncertainty and confusion as we both reacted in pain. Finally, he coughed once to get our attention.
    "Is this, how are you calling it? The.. shared emotion that Freeman was perhaps speaking of?" He asked.
    "More or less." I replied sheepishly. "Her pain is my pain and vice versa... Also, you didn't add jaegermeister to your coffee again did you?" I asked.
    "Only a shot of triple sec, it helps to calm me in the mornings" he confessed.
    Aria looked at me as we traded the alcohol jokes before I finally explained.
    He used to spike everyone's coffee with a lot of alcohol in order to get them drunk. Then he would send them off to collect rocks, and wait for the real show to begin. In no time at all, people would be falling all over themselves. Ending up in gullies, passed out, throwing up, the whole nine yards. Since then, we like to joke about it. Are you ok now?
    Yes of course I'm fine Beh sze. We may have had some pain, but why would you drink such a hot substance? Are humans secretly fire types? She squeeked in indignation.
    No, not at all. It being hot just helps the molecules of coffee disperse into the water better, that's all. I gave a relieved smile to her.
    Dr. Krafft poured a new cup, then handed it to me this time.
    Like this. I instructed.
    I gently blew on the coffee, then gently sipped a small amount. The tiny portion was warm, but being so small in amount, it quickly cooled in my mouth.
    After demonstrating how to drink coffee, I handed the cup to her, then instructed her once more.
    Tiny ripples rose up as her breath blew on the surface of the coffee. Then, her little mouth gently took a tiny sip of the substance.
    Her face was neutral for a moment, then twisted slightly into a frown as she forced herself to swallow the substance.
    It is very bitter! She exclaimed after swallowing.
    Yeah, that's kind of the appeal. But it gets people going in the morning. I retorted with a grin.
    She gently handed the cup back to Dr Krafft, then made a humming noise as a show of gratitude.
    "Oh? Does she perhaps like it?" He asked.
    "Actually... she finds it revolting and thinks you crazy for ingesting such a disgusting drink" I said.
    "Then what was the humming and smile?" He asked.
    "Well, gratitude is shown for all gifts. Even the ones not welcome. It is a way of acknowledging your care but if you were able to sense her emotion like other Gardevoir, you would sense the subtle urging to find a more suitable gift." I said.
    You could have just said I was being polite... She said.
    He wants to learn though! How can we just not explain the customs to him? I asked.
    He will never find occasion to use them. Teaching humans is a waste... she said.
    I could feel my retort begin to rise, but the feeling was cut off as she realized what she said then looked at me apologetically.
    I'm sorry Beh sze! I have been seeing you as one of us for so long now that I instantly did not realize your feelings! She rushed to apologize.
    "Ah... you two..."
    Well, sure ok. But you know that most humans do want to learn right? I asked.
    Most humans perhaps. But very few ever try to. You did though so to me you aren't really human anyways. You are my Beh sze. She said. Her face was a mixture of caution and also that slightly innocent smile I always loved seeing.
    I am not sure how to feel about that. I mean I get what you mean but what does it culturally mean to not be seen as human? If I'm not human than what am I? I asked with a slight edge of indignation.
    Beh sze you occupy the gray in between the two. You are physically human, but you are part of me and I you. Accepting that means forming a bond that only Gardevoir form so natura-
    "If you two are going to keep this up I will dump cold water on you."
    What do you want?!
    "What do you want?!"

    The both of us suddenly snapped at Maurice without realizing it.
    "Well, if you two keep up with your little discussion, I am feeling rather left out. Besides, it is rarely good to ignore when others show up" Dr. Freeman of all people suddenly spoke.
    It was then that I realized that Dr. Freeman and Professor Sycamore had joined Dr. Krafft. They had taken a seat and begun their own meals. Apparently this happened in the span of time that Aria and I had lapsed into our more intense discussion of just what she saw me as.
    Flustered, The two of us gave apologetic looks.
    "We're sorry... just a rather important discussion we were having.." I said for the two of us.
    Professor Sycamore smiled then nodded in understanding "I understand" He then said, "When you are with the one you love the most, time does seem to fly by in an instant."
    Dr. Freeman simply gave the two of us an appraising look, then shrugged as he sat down then poured himself a cup of coffee.
    I remembered our argument from last night suddenly. Embarrassment filled me as I regarded his stoic silence for a moment, then I looked him dead on. I felt Arias comforting grip on my hand as I quietly said.
    "You're right."
    Freeman gave a slight sigh then looked up to meet my eyes. I could tell he was going to say something, but I held up my hand.
    "I failed and let's face it, my research will probably never see the light of day. Further, according to the Kalos law, I engaged in relations with a Pokémon and can face prosecution. I'm lucky that I'm not a trainer though. If I was, she would be in danger too. That never occurred to me as we were falling in love. Our relationship is wrong in societies eyes and my lack of objectivism has blinded me to that. I can only apologize for the insinuations about your character I made last night. I felt offended that you were equating this with bestiality or something of a similar sort. I wanted you all to realize that to me, she is just another person. She just happens to have the appearance of a Pokémon and cannot speak in a vocal sense. However, those are just details to me. I love her, against all reason I want to stay with her. I realize that I should have stopped or walked away... But I didn't. And I am not afraid anymore."
    Freeman regarded me for a while, then he shrugged his shoulders.
    "Be careful. If you are cleared of wrong doing, it will be a tenuous life you live. Having to hide who you are just to avoid persecution. Always worried and always conflicted..."
    There was... something there.
    His words seemed... a little too knowing. It was through a glance shot to me from Sycamore that I connected the dots.
    To him, my situation paralleled his own. However, what I didn't realize at the time was that he too had his own relationship issues. However, how could I? I could not read his mind. Only his emotion. It was empathy, pure and simple. He understood the weight I would have to bear, because he knew what it was like to have a relationship that was looked down upon.
    With this knowledge in mind, a measure of peace was made. Sycamore, Freeman and I could understand one another somewhat better because of this.
    Dr. Krafft gave a slight smile, then nodded for us to sit down.
    Apparently, the quartzite rocks were simply too interesting to be left alone over at my "Sittin stool" spot. So he brought them over to the fire. They served as fine chairs as the five of us fell into light conversation.

    Aria would vocalize to indicate she had questions which were then asked through me.
    "What will todays tests involve?" I asked.
    "Well, we will have the two of you wearing EKG devices. They will independently record your emotional states as Aria attempts to create a singularity. Then we will try different methods to see what the correlative factors are." Freeman said.
    I don't quite understand that... what is an MEG? Aria asked.
    An MEG is short for Magnetoencephalography. It is a device meant to record brain activity and the various activities our brains make based upon our mood. Little probs sit near our heads and record what our brains do while we feel various emotions.
    She tilted her head as if to ask an obvious question but was quickly cut off by me.
    Humans need tools to understand their brain. Unlike Gardevoir, people cannot intuitively understand the complex neural functions at any given moment of time.
    She gave a vocalized laugh that sounded like the gentle chimes of bells.
    As she giggled over the notion, I clarified. "Gardevoir can understand their neural activity intuitively, so she finds the use of such devices funny."
    I saw a slight smirk appear on Sycamores face.
    "Alright, so measure moods, try a few different things. Got it. What else?" I asked, hoping to keep the easy pace aside.
    "Actually, that's it. This could be an all day affair. Besides, even the Gardevoir in the lab was always tired after she attempted. We usually had to give her a few days rest afterwards. Even with a full spa and massage routine, she remained drained for days afterwards." Freeman said.
    "This is the second time you've mentioned a Gardevoir in your lab, what's the story there?" I asked.
    "Oh, this Gardevoir belonged to a young researcher. She was terribly interested in our research and volunteers time to assist us. She lives off site normally but is given access to our labs. Funny thing is, we can't keep her away. I had to confront her and her trainer about it after her last attempt. Oh the tantrum she threw... After that, I promised her that if she took a few days off then her trainer and her would be put up in a spa for a few days to rest and relax. The agreement was amicable. " He said.
    "Well, as long as it is voluntary." I simply said.
    "Of course it is! We aren't like some of those Rocket affiliated labs that just steal Pokémon and run tests on them! We are better than the abominations that made that super Pokémon back in the Kanto region!" he said defensively.
    It was clear from his tone of voice that he was very proud of his work and his adherence to ethics was due to his desire to be better than what was expected of him. I found my respect for him growing.
    After the three had finished their meals and coffee, it was then 9am. It took them three times as long to eat and get ready as it took us. Aria and I usually were ready to go within half an hour to 45 minutes. Though longer if we were sharing mornings with the others. However, they took an easy hour and a half just to get going for the day.
    In little time at all, we found ourselves at the furthest point of the camp. 100 meters away from the tents and 300 from our te ze. This was a minimum safe distance. Aria and I stood enclosed in the framed structure we had seen yesterday. However, this time it seemed all the more imposing despite being a series of passive sensors and nothing more.
    Freeman, Sycamore, and Krafft all stood well away from us. At 25 meters, they were gathered around a portable desk that had a laptop and a series of black boxes. These were batteries which powered both the computer and the electronics that ringed us.
    Beh sze, this thing sits on my head weirdly and my hair feels odd... Aria muttered as we stood in the middle of the frame.
    We were both wearing head gear which had miniature probes. They were seated next to our scalps. Since Aria had a fair bit more hair than I did, her hair was puffed out in spaces where the harness did not touch her. The frame itself consisted of 4 bands which ran laterally with supporting structures in between. Where the two frames met, there was a single sensor. They were wired back to a small transceiver device which was 1 inch in length by 2 inches in width. It had very little weight save the batteries, but threatened to pull the entire harness backwards. Yet, no matter how we moved our heads, the device stubbornly remained in place.
    I know. I've had to wear these a fair few times and they never feel right. I empathized with her whilst taking her hand.
    "Alright! We have a good read on the sensors. Aria! Think of something happy first! We want to use it as a baseline!" Freeman called out.
    "Rowan, try to just remain calm if at all possible. " Krafft said.
    I could feel the slowly shifting mood in Aria as she focused on something. I could not tell precisely what yet as I was focused on not feeling the same thing she did at the time. After being so close for so long, this proved to be a formidable task in and of itself.
    After a solid minute. Freeman suddenly called out.
    "Alright great! Rowan! You do the same, Aria you think of something calming!" He called out.
    With a smile, I closed my eyes then thought of the first time I heard her voice. No, the first time I felt my connection to her. It was a warm happy moment that filled me. It brought with it a sense of nostalgia that I relished too.
    "Alright, that's good!" Freeman called out.
    Anxiety began creeping in as the primary test concluded.
    From this point out, it would move into something terrifying.
    There are monsters in the cosmos that can swallow entire stars. From the early days of calculus and advanced mathematics, there seemed to be a monster hidden in gravities calculations. A tantalizing suggestion, as gravity reached a certain limit, that it would then extend to infinity. It wasn't until advanced telescopes looked at places where space seemed to bend that the notion of black-hole remained only theoretical.
    Gravity is infinite. Time stops and space fails to make sense. It is an anomaly of gravity that is so strange that its mere existence suggests something that is beyond the boundary of science. In every sense, a black hole is the very hole in the universe that should not exist. At its core is a point of infinite density that defies logic. It is the complete destruction of space itself.
    And we were going to try to create one here...
    Intuitively, there was no way that mass could be compressed enough here on earth to create a singularity. Instead, we were going to focus all of Arias emotion into a moment of spontaneous creation. Her psychic energy was going to pour into a single spot at such a rate that it would spontaneously convert into matter that would act as a catalyst for the implosion.
    Nothing is more terrifying than a black hole either...
    We were insane. There was no other way to say it.
    "Alright, let's begin. We will start by having Aria create a shadow ball, then I want you to guide her to keep adding energy into it. We will see where that initial try takes us." Freeman said.
    I looked at Aria, then I stepped closer to her. Our bodies made contact with my chest resting on her back. My hand in her non dominant hand.
    Let's take it easy... don't over exert yourself too much...
    I'll be fine Beh sze! We can do it together! She said.
    Her confidence was infectious. Had it not been for the fact that I was used to it at this point, I probably would have shared her exact feeling. Instead, I gave her hand a small squeeze.
    I felt her begin to tap into the emotional connection of desire to protect that the shadow ball itself came from. I could feel her concentration and selflessness begin pouring out of her as she formed the small sphere of pure energy in her hands. Little by little, I could feel her push more and more energy into it.
    After a half a minute though, I felt the energy pouring into it level off.
    "That's as high as we can go Freeman!" I called out.
    "Damn..." He muttered.
    However... something began to change in that moment. I could feel her emotions the same as usual. However, I began to feel them instead of her. It was as if she were imparting the feeling onto me. However, I realized that I was then feeding it back towards her.
    That's when it began happening. A sense of panic overcame her which quickly spread to me. I felt the panic myself, then realized it was feeding back to her. This exponentiated her panic which fed back towards me. This panic then began to contain terror. This fed into her. Which caused a strange effect. THe orb began to change in coloration. Originally it was purple, lighter in the fringes, but darker towards the center. As the panic and terror fed into her, it caused a surge in her powers. This resulted in the orb changing composition slowly.
    Then, I felt it feed into me.
    Terror intensified as I realized that the two of us were beginning to spin out of control. Aria began fighting to stop it as emotions fed back into her, but it was impossible to stop at this point. I began to feel the surge of emotions begin to overtake me. Anxiety began to ramp up as well. I began to feel a sense of hopeless desperation which flooded into Aria, causing the ball to change composition further as deeper wells of emotion gave rise to a surge of power that fed into the ball.
    Over at the desk, while all of this was happening, the gravimetric devic es began picking up the gravitational surges.
    "Oh wow, the distortion is up to 4 Gs of acceleration. All of the devices are picking it up!" Sycamore exclaimed.
    "It's still increasing..." Freeman said with a note of dread in his voice.
    "This isn't right. Those two look as though they are beginning to hurt..." Krafft said. He had not taken his eyes of of his protege. Instead, he noticed that the two of them seemed to be in great pain.
    Beh sze... Aria seemed to weakly call out.
    This is too much what's happening?! I exclaimed.
    However, the words were then lost in agony as we both became aware of pain. The exponentiation of emotion continued, though it seemed to pick up speed slightly. The whole time, I began noticing that my vision was becoming obscured in world of blue as pain began to rack my body.
    "Arh ! ugh!" I managed to choke out as the pain began to seriously affect me. I felt on the verge of consciousness. My thoughts were scattered. Nothing seemed to make sense. All I knew at the moment was that I was desperate to keep holding onto her hands.
    "We're approaching critical limit!" Freeman suddenly said.
    Freemans stoic front fell away as he realized that the gravitational acceleration readings were beginning to become asymptotic in nature, the sudden rise corresponded to a sense of things failing to make sense.
    He tore his eyes away from the screen, then stared directly towards the two.
    Barely 5 feet in front of Aria and I, there was just blackness. From Freemans perspective, our forms were heavily distorted by a gravitational lensing effect. OUr bodies, now writhing in pain as we suffered a full feedback effect, could hardly be discerned as it seemed a dimness had overcome our immediate vicinity. We did not know it at the time, but the gravitational effects were bending light itself, resulting in less light hitting an area 300 meters on a side overall. Further, the ground beneath us had begun giving away as the soil began getting sucked into this point of infinite density that Aria and I had created.
    In the creation and propagation of the feedback effect, my emotions acted as the fuel for this. As a result, empathic surges of psychic energy had caused a runaway reaction which resulted in Aria channeling the full effect into this gravitational well that now resulted in a small black hole that seemed to float, fed by our combined efforts, in front of us.
    Then, the two of us lost consciousness.
    Darkness overtook us. In my fading consciousness, I thought that we too had been consumed by the eternal darkness that is a black hole...
    My awareness stretched out. I could feel myself standing in darkness. However, I could tell something was near me. I reached out, then felt my hand come into contact with another hand. I desperately pulled the object towards me.
    Aria fell into my arms as I pulled. She seemed shaken as she looked at me, then slowly began finding her footing.
    Where are we? She asked.
    I don't know... I said as I looked around myself.
    The world was a vivid arrangement of colors. More colors than I ever had perception of. All around us there was a slight pulsing too. As if the air itself was charged. We seemed to be standing alone with only these colors as our company.
    I looked back to her, but realized that she was the only object which seemed to make sense. Her chest shard glowed brilliantly with the soft mauve of love. Her eyes burned brilliantly with her life. Yet the entire time, her emotions were worried, anxious even.
    I don't think we are awake... I said suddenly.
    "Beh sze, are you suggesting that the two of us are linked in unconscious? "She asked.
    Suddenly, I began to realize something.
    Say that again? I asked.
    "I said, are you suggesting that the two of us- "
    I suddenly held up my hand to stop her.
    "Yes, but more importantly, I hear you audibly." I said aloud.
    She gasped then looked around herself in confusion.
    She heard it to. Even though we were speaking, we always heard each other within our heads. I had previously tried to associate them to sounds, but in this state, whatever was going on, our thoughts were made audible, as if for the world to hear.

    "Beh Sze, this is a new experience even for me. I've never suffered a full feedback effect before. I know to expect disorientation and all of that but..."
    Her words echoed as we felt a disoriented sensation.
    "I think... this is both of our minds..." I said.
    "Both of our minds?" She asked.
    "Sure, rather than just the two of us being more aware of one another, I get the feeling like we are as one unit. I...don't get it but... this is beyond anything I've ever known..."
    She grasped onto my hand, pawing it with her fingers as we communicated emotionally.
    Something was different though. The feelings associated with her doing this seemed to be magnified intensely. Rather than feeling just the emotions and the feeling, I was very much aware of the faintest of touches. It was as if my hand were many orders of magnitude more sensitive than it had ever been. Curiously, I took her by the waist, then brought my chest to hers.
    Her chest shard, as it touched me, seemed to radiate forth wave after wave of thought. Each was more clear and vivid than any thought the two of us had previously shared. In this world of our darkened minds, it seemed as if I was having a full empathic meltdown. I was less aware of the boundaries between our bodies. I felt like she and I were in essence that one being. Her thoughts appeared in my head as clearly as if they were my thoughts.
    "Aria, we might not have much longer, or we could be dead and have all the time in the world. But supposing we wake up I want to just say this: I love you. The bond I share with you is the most amazing sensation I have ever felt. "
    She smiled then gently tapped my cheek with her hand. Everything seemed sensitive apparently. The physical connection sent waves of emotion from her body into mine. However, unlike a few minutes? A few years? An eternity? Ago, there was no feedback. Instead, there was just the two of us feeling the exact thing in perfect sync.
    "You are mine and I am yours Beh Sze. This is the bond we Gardevoir share. It has been yours too... Even if this is new. I don't feel fear right now..."
    Then, it was over. I felt a rush of sound as light spread out like an explosion of sorts. The world that Aria and I lived in rushed back into view as I felt something retract from my eyes. The brightness seemed overwhelming as the worlds color palate was dyed in shades of pastels. I felt my hand instinctively flex. Arias hand was still in mine.
    I fought to focus as I sat up, then began to roll her body over so that I could feel her to verify that she was alright. My hand, shaking as it was, was barely able to place itself on her neck, her pulse was slow. But it was stable.
    I realized that she was awake as well, but disoriented as I was.
    Beh sze/Ses frau.
    We said those in unison.
    Are you alright/ Are you ok?
    Yes/Of course.
    Wait/Hold on.
    We tilted our heads in sync with one another. Then we both righted them at the same time. Our free hands reached out, then felt each others chest. However, mine fell upon her heart, then snapped back quickly. Hers did as well with the same amounts of confusion.
    When I touched her heart shard, I felt it vibrating strongly. Waves of heat radiated off of it. My hand felt burned raw, yet it did not carry any physical sign of being damaged. Instead, an awful sense of sensitivity spread. It encompassed the entirety of my lower arm, stopping at the elbow.
    That has never happened before/ That is weird.
    Beh sze, you should stop speaking when I am. /Ses frau we are talking over each other.
    Huh? /What?
    We both let out a worried chuckle as we heard footsteps coming over.
    Turning our heads, we saw Freeman Krafft, and Sycamore come running up.

    -Hello you three!
    "Hello you three!"
    The both of us said this aloud. It was a triple effect as we both thought it aloud, but I also vocalized it. Her voice carried a humming noise which seemed to mimick my own voice in cadence.
    Freeman looked worriedly at us as Dr. Krafft pulled the sensors off of our heads.
    "Well how did we do?" We both asked.
    Krafft looked at the sensors, then around. He didn't seem to say anything however.
    We both looked around as well. Then it dawned on us why he didn't say anything.
    The entire frame structure was ruined. A number of sensors were missing as were a series of poles as well. Where it looked like they stopped, the metal was crudely twisted and sheered. As if a Machamp had pulled them apart himself.
    "Oh wow, how did that happen?" The two of us asked.
    "You don't remember?" Sycamore asked incredulously.
    "Well kind of, we were focusing on the shadow ball when we began feeling terror, we ended up collapsing shortly afterwards but we think we saw our emotions cause us to hallucinate." We answered.
    "Would you two stop that?" Freeman suddenly snapped at us.
    "Stop what?" We asked.
    "That! You two are talking at once. I can hear you in my head, both of you! And yet you two keep on speaking aloud! Pick one!" He was clearly frustrated and was feeling stressed at having to process about 4 voices at once.
    "We're sorry! We don't know what's going on!"
    Suddenly, Sycamore snapped his fingers loudly.
    "You two be quiet and just listen for a bit!"
    We cringed, then looked at each other, feeling guilty for overwhelming our friends with too much at once. Then we looked back up at Sycamore patiently.
    "You two managed to do it somehow. However, we tried telling you two to stop but instead it just kept getting bigger and bigger. Then, it just vanishes after destroying the structure. You two have been passed out for the better part of the last 3 hours. I think it's obvious, but whatever you two did was a success. We lost MEG data as the black-hole was formed. However, before we did, both of your brainwaves seemed to synchronize. " He explained.
    "Rather, leading up to it, your emotions seemed to compress closer and closer together, then when they began overlapping, the black-hole intensified strongly and your brains seemed to be in perfect synchronicity with each other." Freeman elaborated.
    We looked at him, then tilted our heads.
    "So in other words, that feedback we suffered caused our brains to work as one?"
    KRafft looked at us two, then began chuckling as he held out his hand for us to grab. Both of us reached for his hand, then stopped. We looked at each other, then gave a light grin before our hands intertwined with one another. We were feeling giddy but tired. Even this sync was amusing to us. It was al so new and wonderful! We could feel our thoughts forming. THoughts that didn't seem to originate from either of us!
    We instead rested the intertwined hands on the ground, then pushed ourselves up. Our bodies felt exceptionally light. Much lighter than we were used to. Freeman walked over, then began to look both of us over. However, he seemed to be focused on the Rowan aspect of us rather than the Aria aspect. With a look of indignation, we gave him a slight frown as Sycamore looked on in amusement.
    "Both of you have the exact same reactions... ah forget it... Come on, you two will need to see this..." He said finally.
    We followed the three of them back to the desk then found ourselves watching a screen that had 4 feeds playing at once. Two of them showed our brain waves. One showed the gravitational acceleration as measured in real-time in three dimensions. A fourth screen showed us a video feed of the experiment itself. We could see that our thoughts started out entirely as independent waves. However, as the shadow ball began to intensify, our brain waves seemed to begin sliding closer together, our peaks and troughs beginning to overlap more and more. Then, as the shadow ball became a black hole, our thoughts converged and began to appear exactly the same. In the video feed, we could no longer make ourselves out. Instead, we were an amorphous shape.
    In the gravitational readings, the graph being displayed began to increase, then as our thoughts converged, shot upwards asymptotically. Then, it dropped all the way back to zero.
    At the point where it dropped to zero, our brain feeds continued to function in synchronization with one another. The video however, showed the two of us clearly for a moment as the singularity fell apart. We were both standing with equally vacant expressions on our face. However, the Rowan aspect of us had the same blue glow to his eyes that Aria did on hers. It was as if we were both tapped into psychic powers. We laughed at the notion but could draw no answers at the time.
    Instead, we looked to them whilst feeling the slow increase of weariness.
    "Well, It looks like you were right after all Freeman!" We both said happily.
    After a long moment, Krafft finally shook his head then said.
    "I need a beer, and you two need to lay down and rest yes?"
    The two of us laughed at his urge to consume alcohol, but did not know what to do. We instead contemplated giving into our tiredness. But instead looked to Sycamore for guidance.
    "We don't know. We feel fine! We are enjoying this feeling really! Have you ever felt anything like it?! We should be tired but we have such elation that there's no way that we could rest."
    "Rowan, Aria, go look in the water..." Was all he said in response.
    Curious, the two of us walked away from them. Our eyes kept locking at we walked. Feeling each other at both ends of our vision.
    "What's his problem? He should have expected this from us! We knew that if we got pushed something weird could happen. He could at least try seeing this from our perspective and try appreciating how much we love this." Our thoughts ranged from dejection at being told to get some water or something to elation at being fully aware of one another. We could feel all of what it was to be gardevoir in that moment. The comforting hum of the mic tem, the sensations of colors in the sky. The whole nine yards. We loved this feeling.
    "It would be nice if we could keep feeling this way. The others don't seem to act this way, maybe it has to do with the feedback?" We found ourselves asking. With a shrug on both our parts, we knelt in front of the water then froze at what we saw.
    Rowans arm was discolored and Arias eyes had become more blue. We did not notice it when we looked at each other. But aspects of ourselves too had seemed to leak. We shared the same height and build, but did not think of it. While our hair remained different, we could not help but realize that whatever we had done in that moment, had affected the both of us. Our merging of spirits seemed to carry with it the added effect of shared traits. Our eyes flicked to our hands, then to our chests then to each others eyes. Rowan did seem a little paler, and Aria did seem a little more peachish than usual. We were confused...
    No, we weren't confused. We were flabbergasted. This defied our own explanations. We had no basis by which to judge this. We had no precedent, no book smarts from Rowan, no myths from Aria. We just had each other and the realization that whatever we stumbled across had changed both of us.
    Later, we found ourselves back at Freeman, Sycamore, and Kraffts camp. Our blood was being drawn and cognitive tests were being done. The entire time though, our thoughts turned instead to our bodies. We were probing our selves gently, trying to find our own understanding for what happened. Our hearts, beating in time with each other, raced as much as our thoughts did.
    Then, we felt our eyes seem to seize, as if we were becoming overburdened with exhaustion.
    We stood up to leave, but seemed to only make it a few steps before the two of us fell to the ground, once again passing out. This time though, it was just from our bodies finally acknowledging how tired we really were.
    A/N: Well, the ending arrived at a place much different than I thought it would. This one was kind of fun to write, but I had to take some time yesterday to think about how I wanted to write it. Further, the slight shift in development after this point has solidified the next 5 chapters. The 6th and 7th chapters after this one are looking to be the final chapters. After that, I will be beginning on the next story itself. I decided I wanted to have some noir themes to the story, but without so many of the blues.

    That all being said, I expect a few chapters this week. I don't want to push this particular story too far past 20 chapters though. However, the notion of spreading storylines has been occurring to me. Where not only does the child get her own story, but the main characters get their own new adventure in time. Further, I confess that Amelia needs her own story too. I was thinking of having her team up with Dr. Freeman at some point to have her own adventure. I'm not putting too much thought into those stories yet. But the idea has occurred to me. In the meantime, everyone hold onto your butts because I hope to keep the momentum going into the next few chapters and try damn hard to finish strong!
  19. DaniWesty

    DaniWesty School Kid

    Oct 23, 2014
    July 3130
    Date: U/A
    Time: U/A

    As we stood in an empty blackness, I felt myself momentarily back in a single state of mind. Aria stood directly behind me her small frame pressed as far up to my body as we could get.
    "You know... we seem to end up here a lot these days..." I muttered dryly.
    "Beh sze, I am amazed you can be so calm about this. " She said before we turned to face one another.
    In this dream world, the two of us had not changed. I still looked entirely like myself, and she looked the same as before. I lifted my hand, then ran my fingers through her hair. All around us, I could tell that we were in the same boundary between dreams and wake that we had found ourselves in after the singularity. There were no outside influences save our own presence.
    Seemed as good a place as any to begin talking out what in the hell is even going on.
    My hands fell upon hers, then our eyes interlocked. In this weird state, our words could come without hindrance. So, I began by asking the obvious question.
    "Ses Frau vet Aria, Do you have any legends or anything that can help the two of us understand what's going on? I have to admit, seeing the changes to our bodies has me worried for you. I am worried that whatever is going on is hurting you."
    She smiled then nuzzled her face into the crook of my neck.
    "Truth be told, there are no legends which cover this. The closest I can think of is the one about the Human who got turned into a gardevoir to learn a lesson, but it was our kind of bond that turned him back. That's no good. We are on the opposite end of this..."
    I gave a slight sigh, then began contemplating a few instances. The only one that came to mind was when a gardevoir traced a humans latent psychic potential that caused her genomic structure to begin changing. Even then, there was no correlation.
    "Is... it possible that we touched something that we aren't supposed to? That becoming one thinking entity resulted in our traits melding into one another?" I asked.
    She tilted her head, then melodically hummed as she contemplated what I said. "It might well be that we simply reached a level only two Gardevoir were supposed to reach..." She opined.
    In mutual frustration, we slid down to allow ourselves to be in a seated position. It felt as if we were simply suspended in the air in that moment. We had little awareness of proper orientation, so our bodies reacted only in accordance to what we wanted.
    "You know what though?" I suddenly asked.
    "What is it Beh sze mit Rowan?" she asked with a smile that seemed to be so sweet that it was pure honey.
    "As long as I can remain with you... I'll accept whatever happens to me. However, if you suffer any ill effects..." I trailed off.
    Suddenly, I found her lips upon mine as her hand went to my cheek. Surprised, I found my lips folding into the kiss and my hand reaching up to caress hers as well. Suddenly, she pulled away, then offered a grand smile. One of pure joy.
    "Silly! I don't think this will kill us! Nor will it really hurt. Instead, we will just become like the others!" She chirped these words before she placed her hands behind her back.
    "I worry about that... more than anything else, little else matters except your safety and our childs safety... those are the most important things to me Ses frau. No other worries trouble my heart like them. "
    She smiled brightly as she brought her hand to mine again.
    We stayed locked in this embrace for a few moments before I finally looked around again.
    "Hey, speaking of, this is like, the intersection of both of our minds right?" I asked.
    "I...think so. Why do you ask?" She said as she tilted her head to the side with a questioning look.
    I waved my hand around blandly before I continued. "Well... I'm just wondering why there's so...little here. I would have expected like... a beach or something. That would have been nice."
    Aria giggled then took my free hand in her free hand. She then looked at my then at the emptiness around us.
    "Who care's? We have each other"
    Before I could respond, we found ourselves emerging from sleep. Our eyes opened slowly, both sets of pupils squinting from the harsh light of day that threatened to override our vision. When we passed out, it was early evening easily. Now however, we estimated it was at the least high noon.
    We sat up but realized we were in separate beds from one another. In confusion, our hands lashed out, then suddenly made contact. We were all of 4 feet away from each other the whole time. As we both sat up, we realized for a moment that we were still in the others camp. Which meant that this was some other tent or it was possibly the big work tent from the other day.
    We looked at each other, then looked around at our surroundings. We were in a walled off portion of the big wall tent. Judging by the barrier and the electric hum of the F-T satellite transceiver, we were in the work tent.
    Suddenly, the tent flap was pulled away as Krafft walked in, then immediately walked over to the other side of the divider. His steps suddenly stopped abruptly before he walked back over to see us sitting upright, once again holding hands and looking at him.
    "Good morning!" we called out. The excessive exuberance was certainly Arias doing. There was no way that was a Rowan trait.
    "Ah... You two are waking up finally! It has been maybe 2 days then yes?" He said. He then turned and left the tent.
    We were left alone for a moment, looking at one another. After two days of sleep, our vision was clearer, we were aware then of the slight changes that had occurred. Arias red eyes had become a fair bit bluer. However, her skin seemed more enlivened than it previously was. It instead looked more like a very pale person or someone with a porcelain like complexion. Kind of like some of the people in the northern countries with their red hair. Other than that, she looked, for the most part unchanged.
    The Rowan aspect of ourselves looked a fair bit different from what we had initially thought. Pale skin was made paler. In fact, our skin tones began to match one another's. We both looked rather pale, as if we had never seen any good sun. Instead of Rowan appearing slightly taller and more bulky, we were looking at each other. We were, in a sense, the same height. However, aside from that, we shared no further commonality. She still was very much a Gardevoir and He still very much human.
    We did not share the heart that we knew of...
    The tent flap was pushed aside again as a new figure walked in on us. We turned to look but were surprised to find not Krafft, Sycamore, of Freeman, but Aitsu. He stood before us surveying our confused expressions, then simply turned around. We knew, without him having to say a word that we should follow along.
    Wordlessly, we followed along behind him as he led us away from Krafft and the camp and back to our Te Ze. We felt a fair bit worried as he never once seemed to speak whilst we entered the communal area, then indicated for us to be seated.
    As we were received, we were quickly given a double portion of fruits that we quietly began eating in sync with one another. More than anything, we were waiting for him or the Matriarch to speak. Instead, we felt curiosity as we ate. Our thoughts mixed together as we enjoyed the hasty meal of banana and mango. This was a real rarity in these parts. We had never seen them since Rowan came. Even now, we had no idea that two were even here. We examined the fruit with curiosity as we happily enjoyed the tart sweetness. Our happiness seemed to mutually fortify ourselves whilst we ate. Providing a strange sort of nutrition that we could not clearly articulate.
    Whatever it was, it was enough for us to feel energized, as if the happiness of eating such a humble fruit was more than enough for us to go all day.
    First off, I understand the two of you have synchronized. In every Gardevoirs life, for a while, two share a single mic tem. When this happens, the final barriers to understanding fall away. Neither of you can keep any aspect of your hearts from one another. Your thoughts flow freely between the two of you. Yet what is unusual is that this has happened between a human and a Gardevoir. Aitsu began.
    While it is not unusual for a human to mate with one of us. What is unusual is for the human to go this far in their mating. Physiological changes are part of this process. Since the two of you are one, it is only natural that you share such changes. We know of only a few who have had similar experiences, but we do not know what else may happen.
    The matriarch said that with a worried expression.

    If you two wish to continue helping your friends, you may do so. But be aware that whatever happens to one, the other will feel in the same intensity. Rowan mit beh, prepare for an onslaught of emotions that you cannot handle. Humanities awareness of emotion has always been limited to how much you give to them.
    We nodded in sync with one another as Aitsu carried on.
    Finally, he smiled then nodded to the freshly eaten Mango at our feet.
    Exotic fruit is usually saved for the mates who finally complete the unification ceremony. Normally this is done in the presence of the Te Ze. However, whatever happened over there caused it to happen outside of our presence. While this does not diminish the emotional rush, we are all aware that we should have been there. As such, we hope that no ill intent is expressed.
    The matriarch... she was always so direct.

    Our hearts went out to her. This was supposed to be a very important thing for both of us. Yet whatever pushed it forth so quickly happened without warning. We felt bad for her because she did have an expressed desire to be there for us so that we could take those steps together. Still, we gave an apologetic smile.
    We are sorry that it happened away from our much beloved Te Ze, if we had a way of knowing that this emotional loop would have brought us unity, we would have committed the ceremony knowingly in front of you. We hope that we did not disappoint you at all. We said, both of our heads bowing slightly.
    A surge of sympathy was felt as she glided over to us, then gently took us into her arms. We curled up into her embrace, our emotions bridging the gap between the three of us, thereby sharing the love and comfort of family. After a moment, she let go, then stepped back as Aitsu glided up, then pulled us into his arms as well.
    As he held us, we heard him say in a quiet voice No matter what, we will always be here for the both of you. Before he then pulled away.
    Asa then stumbled up. Her tiny Ralts body looked at us with a curious expression, then gave a bright smile as she jumped up into our waiting arms. She didn't understand fully what was going on, but was happy for us.
    We found it odd for a moment that they were congratulating us so shortly after we had nearly died. But then it occurred to us that no matter the circumstances, our unification was seen as the most important part of our courtship. No matter the eggs that would come or have come before, this marked the moment where our unification put our lives in each other's hands. A notion that we were very much struck by. In the human sense, this was very much like being officially wed.
    We smiled at the rest of them whilst holding our hands. Arias thoughts led in this one. Her thoughts gave us the words needed to articulate the gratitude we felt for their acceptance and love. Further, her thoughts also allowed us to articulate the comfort their words brought.
    We thank you for your acceptance. Our love could not have grown without the support from you. Your guidance has allowed us to discover deeper aspects of ourselves that we were never aware of. Matriarch, had it not been for your graces, we would never have grown close. Aitsu, without your patience and guidance, we would never have developed a deeper understanding of our cultures. We are forever in your debt for your kindness.
    Our gratitude expressed, we found ourselves drifting back towards our egg. We sat down next to it, then were overcome with a quiet sense of peace. We tended to our egg for a few more moments before we found ourselves curled up next to one another. In our peace, we found ourselves thinking about a sense of bliss that seemed to accompany this peculiar situation we found ourselves in. Thoughts so in sync that we now functioned as one unified being, we could feel each of our thoughts on a deeper sense. The lingering senses of wonder that she expressed were like a constant undertone that seemed to cast additional light on the world. Each and every mood had color associated with it. The love for our future child had the coloration of deep vivid reds and pinks. Each of us in our own rights too carried tones.
    After about an hour of allowing ourselves to bask in this feeling, we found ourselves wandering back to the camp. Freeman and Sycamore seemed to be in deeper discussion. Freeman's thoughts conveyed worry as he was unable to quantify what it was the two of us were experiencing. However, Sycamore seemed enthusiastic to see what breakthroughs would be had. Kraffts emotions were a dark purple of worry. He did not share in the contrasting thoughts these two seemed to have. We could tell that his primary concern was us. Freeman seemed to be ok with the notion of continued testing. However, he wanted better data from the labs. Our blood samples had been sent out via data transfer. Interestingly enough, the same technique that allowed for Pokémon to be stored in a PC allowed for our blood samples to be sent. Usually a humans wouldn't have sent. Which worried us a little.
    If our blood could be sent, what did that say about the Rowan aspect of ourselves? We felt those worries but did not get the chance to really dwell on them as we watched Krafft emerge from the wall tent, then walk over to Freeman and Sycamore. We could feel his mood change from troubled to furious. From a distance, we could not make out his discussion, but a sense of urgency filled his voice as he suddenly waved his arms in an expressively agitated manner. Sycamores emotions took on a blue tint as he fought to stay calm while expressing his viewpoint.
    As we got closer, we began to make out the argument better.
    "I am thinking this has gone on far enough! Rowan can not be exposed to more of this." Krafft said with a desperate sense of urgency in his voice.
    "We shouldn't push it too much, but what's done is done. There's no correlation between the physiological changes and the Singularity itself though. I think it has something to do with the two of them acting all... like they're one person or something..." Sycamore insisted.
    "Oh? What's to say that trying your little Mega Evolution won't push him or her for that matter, past a point of no return? Can we even be certain?" Krafft thundered.
    "Look, the fact remains that this turn of events does represent something bigger than just our individual studies. I think we should try to isolate the cause of this before we make assumptions that things like the Singularity was the cause of it." Freeman quietly grumbled.
    Maurice turned on him. "It was you who pushed them in the first place! You couldn't leave it well enough alone. If he wants to be with her, we shouldn't have said a word. Instead, you pushed them to thinking they have to prove themselves for your respect and acceptance. Do you realize that the entire time you've been here, he's tried to become your friend? Or are you that emotionally closed off that you cannot see beyond your own objectives?"
    Freeman turned away then shook his head. "I can see. The thing is though that I have to maintain my professional distance from all people. I've seen first hand what getting too involved does. Heck, we are seeing it right now."
    "Look, could you two just focus? We need to decide if the risks are worth continuing the experiment. On one hand, we really are in uncharted waters here. Nothing on record ever has indicated this kind of condition on a human and a Pokémon. The most we've seen is one or the other becoming subservient. Not the two literally changing into each other. This is absolutely absurd!" Sycamore stated.
    By the time he said that. We had arrived. Our footsteps were quiet, so we more or less had the jump on them as we spoke up.
    "Why not just continue with it? We are fine with whatever happens. If it means data to help us all understand Gardevoir better, then we aren't afraid of what will happen." We said in the quadruple effect of both mental and both vocal.
    The three stopped dead then looked at us.
    We smiled as we nodded to them.
    "We realize that this is unknown and we can easily stop. However, we want to help the both of you out. Both of you have a lot to gain with the knowledge you gleam. And if we can be the source of even a tiny portion of that knowledge, isn't that something worth trying? The risks are there, but we will accept the consequences. Normally, the dualism bond that we now share doesn't affect us in this regard... but we realize that the extremes we have gone to is what's pushed us. We feel eager and able to push it a little further for you three... You're the closest things to true friends and a father figure we have had."
    Maurice threw a rag on the ground, then stomped back off to the wall tent. Clearly, our words were not received well. Shortly, we heard him begin talking in a more expressive kalosian to a female. Likely his wife. We then turned our attention away from the tense confused emotions of Maurice to resume looking at Freeman and Sycamore.
    Sycamore was the first to break the silence that had fallen after we made our case.
    "Look, you don't have to. I have a lot of data as it is on the jewels themselves. Replicating them without the jewels is only meant to verify the potential origins and if it's the jewels themselves that amplify a bond, or if the jewels just channel it. You don't have to risk yourselves for that..."
    Freeman looked between the three of us, then shook his head.
    "You two are something else... Rowan, aren't you the least bit... I don't know, worried about what's happened to you? You stand at the edge of loosing your human life. Doesn't that bother you?"
    A flash of empathy arced between the three of us. We looked at Freeman, then gave a slight shake of the head before we answered.
    "It doesn't. And you of all people should know why..." We said.
    A single name was broadcast from us to him. The name of someone he cared about more than anyone else in this world. Christian Bates.
    His eyes widened as he realized we knew. However, we radiated acceptance. We understood why he felt the way he did. Why he worried. We and him shared a relationship which was seen as taboo still. His though, was still seen as more wrong than ours. When one loved someone of the same gender after all, it was natural that they would be the ones targeted, seen as less than human, and degraded.
    It only made sense that he knew exactly the road that lay before us.
    He broke eye contact, then seemed to drill holes in the earth with his eyes. Without another word being spoken, he turned around, then gave a slight wave of his hand. It was clear that he had agreed to our suggestion to keep on going.
    Sycamore sighed as he realized that we were ready to go through with our first attempt at a Mega evolution. We could feel the unease radiating off of him, knowing full well that opportunities to stop us had come and gone.
    We now took our own possible fates in our own hands. We made it through the singularity experiment, the single most energy and emotional stability intensive move we would ever try. To our naive minds, a mega evolution should be a walk in the proverbial park by comparison. However, while we may simply think that, we knew, in an intrinsic way, that we were perhaps moving too rapidly towards something we were not quite ready for in a more basic sense.
    Regardless, we found ourselves again away from both our Te ze and their camp. This time there were only a few recording devices. Two of which were cameras, the MEG again was on our heads, and a few other devices we could not identify, even with Rowans extensive knowledge, were perched on small tripods. We stood at 5 feet of separation. To us, this seemed to far a distance. It made us feel rather sluggish. Further, without direct contact with one another, we felt disoriented. We had grown entirely used to it by that point.
    Sycamore looked at the two of us, then nodded as Freemans computers indicated that there was a clear read from all sensors. The video Cameras were collecting a proper 3 dimensional image, and the MEGs were transmitting their data properly. We beamed at the two of them as we awaited their commands.
    "Alright, so if emotional states are a part of this, I want you both to fall into that similar emotional trance you lapsed into before with the singularity." Sycamore said.
    "Wait a second" Freeman suddenly said.
    "What is it?" we asked.
    He looked between Sycamore then us before he finally spoke up.
    "Look, I don't think the same emotional state is going to work. I want you two to focus on your love from one another. Then I want you two to lose yourself in only the love. Then I think the concept of protection should be interlaced into those feelings while feeling confidence bordering on arrogance... We might have the best luck with that approach."
    Our heads tilted, but accepted what he said.
    Our eyes closed as we allowed our consciousness to begin tracing emotion. We felt both of our minds bent entirely on this task. We felt our hearts touch upon something. It felt like the same thing we had touched upon when our hearts first interlocked when we danced. There was a sense of something pulsing in this mauve colored vastness. As if we were standing before a great ocean that seemed to contain the sum of all emotions we would carve out in our lives.
    Like the dance, we felt our hearts dip gingerly upon the surface of this vastness. With each minute slice, arrays of colors ranging from the deepest reds to the most brilliant yellow splayed out into our field of perception. We could feel each twisting, comporting themselves from a feeling to an emotion before our very awareness. In each minor stroke, we felt the emotions come forth into our external hearts. The gentle pulsing of each move becoming more tangible. As if we were creating emotion from nothing.
    We could feel it enveloping us ever more. Touches of the feelings we shared. Vulnerability took on a gentle pink that was overwashed by a strong amber of protection. They seemed to separate into a world of colors that coalesced on a deep purple of unity. From that emotion, we felt something within both of us rise. Whatever we were doing though, was slow in forming. With more insistent sweeps, our hearts deepened our emotional connection. Vivid greens of passion filled our perception, washing into the Deep purple, casing both of our forms in a white glow of pure white radiance.
    Then, we felt it. As our combined hearts carved out a sense of determination, it seemed as the entire vastness of potentiality came alive. Along the perceptual cuts of our actions, we could feel seething power beneath. At every cut, it seemed to demand release. The more we cut, the more this power seemed to guide our actions. On and on this back and forth of outpouring, emotional awareness, and seething power continued until the very cuts we perceptually made seemed to form a flowing, cursive like pattern.
    That pattern... it was our heart.
    From this symbol, drawn onto the vast resevoir of emotion, came the surging power, like a mighty wave crashing upon the shore. Our awareness briefly seemed to vanish as we felt it overcome us. Crashing out and into our bodies in an uncontrollable torrent that coalesced as a link. A strong white, radiant link that thus existed between the two of us.
    That was when we became aware of Arias body changing. From our combined viewpoints, we could feel the morphological changes sweeping across her body. We could feel some aspect of Rowan changing, but all of our thoughts were bent onto hers. Encased in pristine radiance, we could feel each gentle tug of change. We could feel her Mic tem change ever so to resemble a brilliant heart. From which potential we both could barely control seemed poise to flow. The ear clippings seemed to change too, becoming more elaborate while framing her face like a pristine silver tiara. Her eyes seemed to be back to deep Cherry red. With a sense of awareness we simply had no articulate understanding of.
    Whatever morphological changes were caused by this radiance extended to her outfit as well. We could feel the sensations of the fabric being affected by the energy of our change. Her dress expanded outwards, giving a more full appearance. Yet her arm guards, previously green in color, became a deep pure white.
    Then, we felt this sense of morphologic power leave. Instead, it seemed to possess the both of us. It seemed like a ready reservoir of power that neither of us had thus felt to date. Her eyes flicked about as they were thus allowed to see again. We looked out them, seeing everything in their true colors. The brilliance of our love casting the two of us only in white with deeper crimsons at our collective cores. The others seemed slow, duller. Freeman cast in hints of green, Sycamore in Magenta. The sky took on a beautiful amber coloration while the field seemed excessively golden green in coloration.
    Our breaths came out in gentle drags. The suddenness of the changes left us feeling a wide gamut of exhilaration to confidence to a sense of strength we did not seem to know previously. Our emotions, previously on a high, seemed to crest even further. As if we were feeding back into one another. Only this time it seemed more controlled. Like we were letting the full emotions form, but instead of falling victim to the effect, it seemed to strengthen us. Our eyes looked around, then found one another. The Rowan aspect of us was different somehow, but we could not understand why. Instead, we found ourselves in each others arms. Our chests seemed in full contact, with a sensation of unadulterated, pure, emotion flowing between the two of us.
    It was really as if the entirety of the universe faded away as our chests came into contact. Like our collective Mic Tems no longer had the barrier between one another as before.
    Then, we felt it ending. Arias body seemed to lose the ability to hold its form as we felt a great out-flowing of energy. It seemed to envelop us, vitalizing the Rowan aspect of ourselves even more than we had previously been aware of. We could feel Rowans heart seem more aware of the emotional dynamics that the Aria aspect held.
    Like a light switch being flipped, we felt ourselves overcome with a great sense of fatigue as our bodies seemed to lose the strength to stand. Her body was encapsulated in white once more as her features returned to that of a regular Gardevoir. Even though we did not feel mentally tired, a sense of exhaustion did seem to accompany her reversion. We started to become more aware of our individual bodies. This bond, whatever it was, had run to the point where, as our individual identities reasserted themselves, we could still feel the presence of our component thoughts crystallizing.
    Our world became that of two people and suddenly I was aware of my own self. However, I could still feel her in my body. As though our minds remained link, but we were capable of thinking independently. Our breaths became ragged as we looked at one another. The exhilaration left us wanting. Our bodies quickly embraced lovingly. We could feel one another, the gentle pleasure my hand in her hair gave her, her gentle tickling of my ear. We felt it from each others perspective, yet it was also uniquely our own.
    Sycamore came running up as we seemed to have become more exploratory. Truth be told, had it not been for their presence, I dare say that we would have had a further round of coitus right then and there. The mutual physical desire seemed to remain there despite us turning our attention to him. She had the strongest sense of annoyance. I felt amused but sympathetic of this.
    As I individually turned my attention to him, I could feel the excitement radiating from his body. That we were fully awake and aware seemed a greater bonus to him.
    "Marvelous! Simply wonderful you two!" He all but shouted.
    We each had our own reactions. Her humble nature caused her to blush before gripping my shirt in her tiny hands. I felt momentary embarrassment as I looked up at him.
    "It was... something different from what I had ever experienced before..." I said.
    My voice felt different. The words felt more melodic in nature. A slight tremor in one aspect led to a wavering bell-like tone as I spoke. However, I was so high on the emotions we both felt, that even as Aria fell into thought about the differences in my voice, I continued, feeling an insistent urge for her to remain here, in this moment, to bask in our momentary triumph.
    "It was like our hearts touched upon this... great reservoir that existed in our subconscious minds. With every emotion we felt, something fed the emotions until... She changed." I stumbled out.
    Freeman came walking up as I finished my explanation.
    I have never felt anything like that before. It was... intoxicating. I could literally feel the entire paths of the future open up before the two of us. Nothing seemed impossible. If I willed it, I felt like we would achieve it. Aria opined.
    Freeman looked between us, then gave a momentary grin.
    "Finally, you two aren't talking in perfect sync with one another. That was giving me a headache." He joked.
    Shortly after he said that, Maurice too walked up, then looked between the four of us. Over his shoulder, I could see Asa trudging up accompanied by Aitsu. They both projected deep waves of curiosity and concern. From across the clearing, our eyes made contact as a sense of relief washed over him. He seemed to turn back while Asa broke away from him, then continued to approach us.
    It felt odd that Asa would approach, though as I felt myself becoming aware of the question, Arias thoughts slid into my mind. Relief, that was the feeling of Asa, we both felt embarrassed that we had made our surrogate daughter, our mutual responsibility, worry so much.
    Beh Sze, we have made her worry too much.
    Agreed, what do you say to us not agreeing to further power tests for the time being? We should probably take time off to recuperate... We are both incredibly drained, you even more so since your body was forced to be the vessel for the evolution.
    She grinned at me, then pawed at my chest playfully. Her tiny hand brushed across my sternum, then looked into my eyes. From her eyes I felt a morass of emotions. A haughty sort of humor that I would downplay my own role, the joy at seeing modesty, but also worry that I was more exhausted than I let on. She could feel my tiredness the same way I could intimately feel hers. Lethargy threatened to settle in at any second for the both of us.
    "That is it." Krafft simply said.
    "What is?" Sycamore asked.
    "Those two are done with your little tests. Look at him for Pete's sake!" He thundered.
    The anger that rolled off of him was disorienting. I felt myself latch onto Arias side for support as the sheer force of his emotions left me dizzy. She looked at me, then looked to Krafft. Then, the pieces fell into place.
    Further morphological changes had happened. But, it didn't seem to only be that. I was keenly aware of everyone's emotions. It did not seem to be a function of Aria this time either. I seemed to be fully in possession of this sensation of everyone's emotions regardless of the level of trust and friendship. My breaths felt more ragged in my chest as his dizzying anger led me to feeling shocked. I felt like I was being overwhelmed by his own worry. My awareness seemed to slip from myself to Aria. From her perspective, I could see myself.
    To describe the changes would be difficult. My vivid eyes were mostly red for one thing... My hands seemed tiny compared to how they used to be. I could only marvel at how delicate each of my fingers seemed. My arms too seemed like they were rail thin. My skin looked more porcelain like than I previously remembered it. Further, I could see discoloration on my sternum. My legs seemed more tapered. The most important changes though, were internal. At least it felt that way. I felt a stronger sense of emotion. Normal feelings seemed magnified somehow, like every emotion was an entire ocean in and of itself.
    When giddiness threatened to overtake my countenance, I simply felt a deeper wave of amusement. I felt the light laughter begin deep in my chest, still drawing in the occasional ragged breath, then build through my sternum, into my vocal cords, then erupting in a melodic tone that bared great similarity to Aria or even Aitsus voice. I was more keenly aware of a greater range of vocal expression. Multiple octaves seemed coalesced into a harmonic tone that seemed to reverberate off of my ses fraus mic tem shard. It invigorated me as I ran my now tiny hand through my hair, keenly aware of the now tapered point the ears terminated in.
    "What about this is funny to you Rowan?!" Krafft exclaimed.
    His countenance showed genuine fear at what had become of me. I could feel his worry that my own mind was fading. Though, I never felt more myself in many years. I felt my beaming smile gently fade into a confident happy smile as I answered.
    "That this is even possible! Why are morphological changes so easy in humans? Why is it that my body can so readily seem to change! It shouldn't be possible if we weren't so closely re-"
    "Are you kidding me right now?! How can you even think about your research at a time like this!?" He looked like he was ready to fly off the handle at any given moment.
    "Because this is precisely because of my research! This... sense of empowerment! Potential! Can you believe that this is even possible?! This shouldn't be happening! Yet look at us! How can I seriously ignore this?! If it weren't for my failure, this dazzling insight would be impossible! Her and I, what we share, culturally, physiologically, romantically, all of it! It's so amazing to consider that this is even possible! So much more considering the serendipitous events which led to this moment! How can I possibly fail to acknowledge this moment? This shared experience that I would never know otherwise?! I have never felt this happy in my life! When I'm with you Aria" I briefly turned my attention to her, "The experience of life becomes that more vivid" I then returned my attention to Krafft, "But more importantly than all of that, I can FEEL! Every emotion we share, it's overwhelming, delicious. There's so much to it! I would never trade this feeling for anything in the world!"
    "Even if it costs you your humanity?" He severely asked.
    I felt another laugh, more gentle this time, rising up within myself.
    "Have I truly lost it? Does Aria, the most important person in my life, seem to lack it then?!" I shot back.
    I may not be human Krafft but the only thing that really separates us is our awareness of emotion! You like to be aware of it and occasionally feel it! But we live in it every moment of our lives. It forms the basis of our actions, guides our thoughts, dictates our logic! Nothing in our lives is divorced of emotion! Aria suddenly retorted.
    He looked at the both of us, then turned his attention away as he felt Sycamores hand on his shoulder.
    "What they are saying is that they feel insulted that you of all people would think that he was any less just because he looks somewhat different now." Sycamore said.
    Freeman continued watching this all with a sense of bemusement. Clearly, he felt uncertain of where this all was heading, but curious to see.
    "Rowan... you aren't any less than you were... I just... This is all so new and everything is changing so rapidly... I am afraid that it would somehow prevent you from being able to leave here..." He finally admitted.
    I felt myself lapse into a shared sense of sadness.
    He made sense in a way. As it stood, if anything further happened to me, then there is no way I could be seen as human. I wouldn't be able to walk out of here without being seen as just some Pokémon to be captured. Yet, I realized that caution, while needed, was sometimes overstated.
    "Maurice... That means a lot to me coming from you. However... even if that does happen, what is the most important thing in life? Is it working and studying? Do you do such wonderful volcanic research because it is your job?" I asked.
    "No, of course not. Katia and I, we are making with volcano studies because we are loving it." He confidently replied.
    I smiled, then placed my hand on Arias shoulder.
    "This is my happiness...This is the one thing in the entirety of the world I love. As long as she is by my side, I don't care if I can never set foot in the university. Further, as long as you guys can still see the me who is, rather than the physical, then that is all that matters. You three, well Sycamore and Freeman, have become very dear friends to me. I've always seen you as the father I never had. As long as I have those bonds, university work is irrelevant"
    What is working but gaining items to continue that which you love? Aria attempted to helpfully reinforce the point.
    Krafft looked at the two of us, then looked away. In the absence of his spoken words, Freeman spoke up.
    "Truth be told, with the data we have all been gathering to date, it is unlikely that the university would ever disbar you at this point. In fact, given the gigabytes of data collected in just the past few days, along with your pre-existing theories, they will have little option but to vote continued research." He glanced back at the computer that was left abandoned on the desk.
    Below the desk, we could see Asa finally approaching us. Her poor feet must be hurting from having to go so far at her running pace. Aria and I both felt the wave of sympathy for her. Hopefully, in another year or so when she evolved into a Kirlia, she would not have such a rough time of it.
    Sycamore smiled as he considered Freemans words, then nodded back to us.
    "Given that we can easily put together a more comprehensive argument for changing the study of Gardevoir to cultural anthropology, your blood and DNA samples too will prove invaluable to making a case to keep you on staff as a full-time field researcher. " His reassuring words lifted our spirits.
    We fell into momentary silence. Aria and I idly watched Asa with encouraging expressions. Our expectant eyes seemed to urge he tiny body on.
    "We are forgetting something" Krafft said.
    "What would that be?" I asked.
    Do you mean that man who hates my Beh Sze so? Aria asked.
    "Indeed" Krafft said, "He holds enough influence that he might swing the universities review board to disbar you from coming back."
    It occurred to me after a moment that Krafft was, in fact, answering Arias question while answering mine as well. The curiosity arose within me, but was met with her answer.
    Our mutual connection to the three of them, reinforced by your bond of friendship to the three of them, facilitates us being able to communicate in the same way all Gardevoir can communicate.
    But it's limited isn't it? I suddenly asked, While we speak to one another, our thoughts seem laced with emotions that enhance the communication process, it feels like it would just come across as dull words to them.
    Well, yes it does. Since they are not Gardevoir, they will never know that sensation. But that is ok. We can communicate to them, and that is enough.
    Sycamore seemed to chuckle at our back and forth. It seemed that our conversation was entirely audible to them.
    "Well geeze, way to hurt my feelings" He joked.
    We looked at him, my face curled into an apologetic smile. Aria, on the other hand, gave a catlike grin that conveyed a sort of sympathy that I did not know existed.
    The thing is tau Sycamore, that humans have been making a habit of downplaying the possibility of us experiencing anything like what they do. The arrogance stings us every time. Can you blame a poor chi such as myself-
    "She means woman" I opined.
    Aria gave me a little hurt look that was playful in nature, then continued.
    ...as myself, from wanting to mention this? We just see things slightly different from how you see the world. Otherwise, as Beh sze has noted, we are not really all that different.

    Sycamore gave a wide smile then gave an apologetic nod.
    "Well I can understand that, I just..."
    I suddenly cut in.
    "She didn't mean any harm in it. It's a form of teasing. That she would do so with you is encouraging. It means I don't have to bribe her with Bananas to keep her from ever so casually making you get lost"
    The atmosphere lightened upon this being said. This proved to be fortuitous as Asa finally made it to us, then proceeded to dive towards the both of us. We caught her, then gave her a warm embrace.
    Was worried. I'm happy now! She exclaimed.
    The two of us continued to hold her as we began to finally stand up. My legs felt weak, like they were unable to support my own weight. With great effort though, I was able to maintain balance despite it feeling so different from how it was before. My center of gravity felt off. Like the bulk of my weight now seemed to be elsewhere. I could not readily define it even as my steps suddenly found my boots falling from my feet, leaving them exposed.
    I regarded my boots for a moment, then kicked the other off with ease. As Aria and I were too busy holding Asa, I simply left them discarded. I would grab them later.
    Back at the encampment, Aria and I once again allowed ourselves to receive tests. Blood and skin samples pulled, DNA swabs from our mouths pulled. Cognitive tests ran. The same as before. I felt happy that I wasn't in a hospital for this... While I couldn't remember why, hospitals, especially bandage sheers, gave me the heebie jeebies.
    Aria sensed my wandering thoughts, then followed the pathways of emotion through my thought with me. She then let out a giggle as I made my thoughts into word form.
    What are Heebie jeebies? It's such an adorable sounding thing! It is a Pokémon of some kind?
    Truth be told, it is just another way of saying that it creeps me out, makes me feel uncomfortable, vulnerable somehow. I said.
    I felt the gentle twinge of pain as a needle pierced my arm. Then, as Freeman drew the needle itself out, leaving a catheter in my arms vein, I nodded to the tiny hole in my arm.
    This for instance. I am fine with this, but for some reason, metal tubes with clear gel always bug me. There's a sense there of familiarity and vulnerability. I don't fully understand it myself, but whenever I am in a hospital, I think of that. That's why I'm happy that we aren't in a hospital getting our blood drawn.
    As Freeman hooked up a tube to a tube, my blood ran freely to collect in the plastic vial. I tilted my head in curiosity as I studied my blood. I could feel vitality. A gentle sapping.
    Confused, I looked to Aria, my thoughts obviously there for her to determine.
    It is normal. Blood is life. Rather, it is the vessel by which life travels and vitalizes us. It is the channel of emotion that is purely physical, the link between nourishment and simple expression.
    She gave a small yawn after expressing this, then attempted to lean her head onto my shoulder. As we were sitting next to one another with Asa seated on our laps, this proved to be quite easy.
    However, Freeman seemed to be having none of it.
    "If you two could save the flirting for later... I would greatly appreciate it..."
    We looked at one another, then began laughing lightly. Our melodic voices resonating to amplify the expressed joy we were feeling.
    I'm sorry~! She intoned in a sing-song manner.
    "Sorry about that man..." I tried in a more sympathetic tone.
    "Whatever..." He muttered.
    In little time, he finished drawing our blood, then walked back over to the Fey-Tuttle Ku12000 Satellite transceiver, then opened up a connection back to Lambda labs. With a few strokes of the keyboard, he dialed up the protocol for object transport. We watched in idle wonder as once again, our blood was teleported away for analysis.
    After he completed that, he killed the connection, then regarded the two of us, sitting in a camp bench, all but curled up next to one another, with a young Ralts laying on both of our laps.
    Our eyes idled towards the tent flap, where the last rays of daylight trailed away. The fading red of twilight left the sky momentarily brilliant, while the world below was reduced to silhouettes.
    "You two should stay here this time... It's best to rest up after all you've been through." He simply said.
    We gave a light nod in agreement, then leaned against one another. While we were tempted to join Krafft and Sycamore at the campfire, to bask in the pleasant mood that had befallen the camp. We instead found ourselves drifting off. Our minds mutually becoming weary from all we had done. Both of us would likely be sharing a dream that night, it seemed to become the norm for us, but it felt like it would be exceptionally enjoyable that night.
    Especially with the much missed young Asa by our side.
    University of Kalos west Campus.
    Lumiose city.

    Amelia sat on her bed in her dorm room. She had been back almost 2 weeks now. After having left on the 9th to return to school, 12 days had gone by. She had attempted to fit back in and lie about how awesome her time had been. However, as she looked around her darkened dorm room, the lies seemed especially hollow. She had received praise from her adviser by helping out as much as she did. But it felt so... wrong.
    She felt guilt. She knew that.
    She hated herself for how self centered she had acted. How callous she was towards Rowan and that Gardevoir he seemed to love. She hated how oblivious she had been to their suffering. She got off scot free while Rowan was horribly punished?
    With a sigh, she thought about that.
    When Rowan suggested she leave after what she did to the Gardevoir, she felt betrayed. Then she felt jealous at them. Then, when she really thought about why she felt that way, she realized it was because she had begun to feel attraction to him. His charisma was attractive in that he seemed to know what he wanted and seemed very grounded. Even after he had been healed up, while he seemed more... aware, it didn't seem to distract him from his duties.

    In fact, she reasoned, it only heightened his sense of duties! It was like his dedication now had a better sense of focus than before!
    She hated it all. It confused her how calm he could act. How he could just walk into a complete unknown, accept that animals were more like people, and how it seemed to make a weird sort of sense. Then, that freaking woman. That Gardevoir who all but hung off of him. It was so confusing. Why did she? What was there?
    Then, she realized it.
    It was love. What Amelia had been feeling wasn't really love. She was infatuated with him. She was impressed by him, but she didn't really see him. She saw what she wanted to see and ignored all else. It was kind of sad really... A gardevoir, a Pokémon! Understood love better than her, a woman who could be hopelessly romantic at times.
    In annoyance, she finally stood up then walked to her Pokéball. She regarded the small sphere for a moment, then picked it up. Instead of releasing her Pokémon from stasis, she clipped it to her belt. She suddenly felt like she needed to get out. To go do SOMETHING. But she found herself drawing up short.
    What could she do?
    She thought about it for a moment. The situation arose from Tennyson being so adamant at hating Rowan because he actually had an opinion. The vehemence seemed overwhelming. Maybe... there was something to it? Like...
    Amelia let out a melodic laugh as she picked up her holocaster, then began dialing in a number.
    Someone in Cyllage town owed her a favor. And besides, she knew just the person who could help her come up with an idea.

    This one was fun. My only regret was that I nearly had to have a full-out panic attack to actually write it. My emotional states seem to dictate how certain chapters go at times...
  20. DaniWesty

    DaniWesty School Kid

    Oct 23, 2014
    25 July 3130
    With the light of dawn, came a slight groan as I attempted to wake up. My head still felt heavy, and a headache was likely to come. Aria and I were laying on a shared cot. This morning though, Aria did not seem to wake up as I did. Instead, she simply curled closed into my form as I shifted around to grab my slowly throbbing head.
    Last night Aria and I had gotten drunk. Well... ok I was only buzzed. However, Aria was three sheets to the wind watch out I'm going crazy drunk. Krafft had busted out his good stuff the previous night to celebrate the completion of testing and obviously Aria and I partook in the festivities.
    I groaned slightly as I glanced around the tent. We were in the Wall tent where most of the needed equipment was stored. We previously had shared this tent when we had passed out from the mega evolution exertion. In the corner was the F-T satellite transceiver, humming gently in standby mode. There was the usual divider between us and the equipment. However, this morning, there was an additional noise. That was the sound of a sleeping Ralts. . Arias arm was half buried in my face, a shock when I woke up as it is.
    Asa had previously come in to here last night and fell asleep in the cot that I occupied when we were brought in. Her tiny body was nearly lost in the pile of blankets that she had twisted into something of a nest. The only clear view I had of her was her tiny red horn sticking out from the side of the pile.
    With a sigh, I glanced down at myself beneath the covers, then looked at Aria. I casually pulled up the light blanket, then found that yes, the two of us were without apparel. I sighed as I reconsidered the events of the previous night.
    As I slowly sat up, Asas gentle cry breaking the silence of the morning, we looked one another over. Arias hair was all askew from her trying to find a comfortable sleeping position. Little tufts of her hair was pushed out to the side, exposing her often hidden forehead. I...was not much better for it. While my hair was, for the most part stringy as a result of the weird sleeping position, it was my neck which bothered me. Aria as I set to cleaning each other up. My hand fussed over her hair, gently stroking it to make it rest.
    Aria made a like purring noise, indicating her pleasure as I did that. I grinned while Asa watched us groom one another. Our best attempts at making one another presentable was proving difficult at best.
    We should have gone back to our Te Ze Last night.... Aria muttered.
    Well... It's the last night for Sycamore, and besides, we got to talk over the video feed, with Maurice's wife Katia. I've never gotten the chance to really meet with her. Besides, you plus rum? I'd pay money to see that again. I gave a mirthful laugh as I remembered the events from the previous evening.
    24th July 3130
    10 pm...ish
    "So then, Katia runs over and pulls my foot up and there is this tiny hole where my foot had fallen in! Had it not been for the flash cooling of Lava on my feet I would have a crispier leg!" Krafft brayed as he showed Sycamore and Aria his leg. Along the shin, there was some light scarring from the burns he got that day on the southern island volcano. It was well known how those two often were the first ones to arrive at an erupting volcano, so naturally he and Katia had peculiar stories like this quite often.
    "That's nothing..." I rejoined before I held up my hand, around the thumb was a long thin white line, almost the same color now as Arias skin.
    "Remember that volcano you sent me up to get gas samples on?" I asked him.
    "Ah, Hadoka! I remember it!" Krafft replied.
    Hadoka? Aria asked.
    Instead of answering her in telepathy as was common for us, I instead replied in full voice for Sycamore and Kraffts benefit.
    "Hadoka is a mountain in a region just south of the Sinnoh region and well north of the Kanto Regions. It is an old volcano which has erupted quite a few times. Now it is regarded locally as the Entrance to hell by the local folks due to all the gas and the really acidic water." I replied.
    Krafft handed me his bottle of rum, which he had retrieved from his tent earlier in the evening.
    "Thanks... I'm going to need the courage to tell this harrowing tale..." I muttered as I took a small shot of the rum.
    "Anyways, it's a sunny day... for the side of a volcano at least, but some clouds were moving in and I still had to get down the rim and get water samples from the Crater Lake. Now this is... what? 175 meters down the side? So I had to use repelling gear in order to make my way down. Now my friend Chris has the anchor but I could tell he wasn't doing too good since the previous night he got rip roaring drunk and we had to fish him out of a storm drain." I paused, smiling at the sight, "Well anyways, he's got me while my ass is dangling out a 500 foot sheer cliff face. Now the caldera is looking a little unstable. More gas lately and seismic tomography shows that the minor eruption that was underway could easily kick off more pyroclasts if we weren't lucky. I hit the ground, sliding ass over kilter down an ice sheet that was quickly melting. Well Chris is supposed to be keeping me from sliding too far but wouldn't ya know it? He loses grip and I go tumbling right into a collection of obsidian! However, we still need that fresh dacite lava, so I go running up to the stuff, whack off a piece, and leave a trail of blood all the freaking way back to the cliff! Then suddenly Chris loses his footing and he just goes sliding down next to me as I'm climbing back to the face! Suddenly, I feel the rope go taught and I'm sliding like hell back to the freaking dome! We managed to get our hammer into the ice which brought us to a bit of a stop. Then we slowly made our way. Well, I walked normally, Chris just goes staggering along. Next thing I know, we're hearing rumbling again and I'm scrambling like hell all the way up the cliff! No sooner did I hop onto the ledge than a small eruption rang out. A goddamn pyroclast goes flowing out the open crater rim and right into site 3."
    I stopped for a moment, then chuckled to myself.
    "Site 3 had a pig buried at 3 feet in order to cook. Wouldn't you know it? The pig was superb that night! Freshly cooked at 500 degrees thanks to some lava! Anyways, we got out safe and I had to use some super glue to hold the damn cut together!"
    Krafft chuckled in response while Aria looked at me with concern.
    Suddenly, it dawned on me that Aria didn't really know these little war stories. Close calls that were hilarious in retrospect and were kind of the name of the game.

    But Beh Sze, you nearly died! She suddenly exclaimed.
    "Well yeah... it's one of the reasons I stopped studying volcanology and instead went into the environmental and behavioral studies branches. Not as many erupting volcanoes, deadly landslides, giant earthquakes, or killer tsunamis. "
    "Oh come on! You know I wasn't in danger during that tsunami!" Krafft suddenly rejoined.
    "Oh sure Mr. I'm going to climb a tree naked as the day I was born! You could have walked 50 feet and gone up a little hill but you were so focused on taking pictures! I have to ask, how long was it until you were able to feel your toes again?"
    Krafft roared in laughter before he responded "Three days ya?"
    Aria looked between the two of us, then let out a gentle sigh. Our antics were mostly fueled by alcohol at this point. She did not entirely realize this fact though. Rather, I could feel her examining me with curiosity.
    Finally, and I knew this was coming, her hand simply reached out to grab the rum bottle.
    "Ah, I am thinking that she is wanting some" Krafft said with a hearty laugh.
    "Well... he isn't wrong"
    Beh sze, what is this stuff that you two have been drinking anyways? She asked as she eyed the amber liquid.
    "It's called rum! It's made of tropical fruits and water!" I said with a bit of a dumb grin on my face.
    While I was certainly able to continue reasoning like a normal human being, the infusion of alcohol did have the effect of making me more jovial than usual.
    Aria sniffed at the bottle, then turned to look at me. Her face was entirely straight, with no real emotion shining through. At least, none that Krafft could detect. I could sense her curiosity. More directly, there was a sense of wanting to enter the same slightly altered emotional state we were in.
    "Alright ses frau.... Go on ahead, but be careful." I urged her before looking at Krafft.
    Krafft gave a small laugh as he proceeded to pour her about two shots worth into the cup he had been using.
    Aria looked at the amber liquid, then gently sniffed at it. Before she could raise it to her lips I gave her a warning.
    "Sip it slowly. It'll be incredibly bitter and sour. Once you feel it hitting your tongue, just begin swallowing. Otherwise you could gag"
    She gave me a playfully hurt expression, then began tilting it.
    Don't say that I did not warn you. I finally conceded.
    I watched as she quickly drank the entirety of the rum in the cup with an expression of anticipation. She would either begin gaging or she would power through it and frankly, the wait was beginning to kill me.
    She tilted the now empty cup down, then closed her eyes as a wave of revulsion mixed with enjoyment overcame her. For about 20 seconds she stayed like that, her brain processing the mixture of sour, bitter, and sweet. Finally, she let out a tiny gasp that carried the distinctive scent of alcohol, then simply held out the cup.
    More please. She simply said.
    Oh ho!
    I fought to contain my laughter as Kraft poured her another shot. She looked the stuff over, then drank it more slowly this time. Despite the cringe on her face at the extreme taste, she seemed to let the rum wash over her tongue. I could feel her curiosity mixed with a sense of revulsion. She seemed to be enjoying the flavors. Especially the coconut.
    Finally, she fought a valiant battle to swallow the drink.
    As she sat there, awash in a slowly warming feeling, I gently pulled the cup from her hand, then held it out to Maurice.
    "Hit me Barman!" I said with a gleeful expression.
    He gave a light chuckle at an older joke the two of us shared, then poured me a shot as well. Unlike her though, I drank it slowly. Enough so that as I felt my tongue firing at the taste sensation, I still derived a sense of pleasure at the ridiculously sour drink.
    Aria looked at me with amazement as I drank without the same emotional intensity. In fact, she could tell that to me, it was just a pleasurable experience. I smiled as I radiated off a sense of nostalgia at this sensation she felt.
    "This is like old times ya know?" I asked.
    Over the last few weeks, things had been so... odd. Awash in a sense of emotion. Waking up with pure happiness, feeling myself settle into this new life, facing the whole University issue. All of it left a toll. It left me still wanting this quiet life Aria and I had settled into. However, sitting there with Aria, Maurice, Sycamore, and Freeman, it was like the old times all over again. A major difference though, was that right about now... it just felt good.
    Aria took another shot of the alcohol just as she was beginning to loose full cognitive focus. Feeling what intoxication was like to a Gardevoir as if it was your own gives a certain new sense to what it feels like. When you have the time to examine it before it overtakes you, you can understand why the emotional loosening happens, why someone just says what's on their mind. The emotional freedom is amazing to see.
    Double that with a Gardevoir though...
    I cut her off after her fourth one, though I continued to soldier on.
    Sycamore finally emerged from his tent. Inside, I could see a single large duffel bag, packed up entirely with his affects. He walked over, then proceeded to sit down on a spare rock. In short time, Krafft handed him the proverbial watering cup, then gave a slight nod.
    "So, you're going back to Lumiose city?" I found myself asking while feeling a pleasant buzz from the alcohol.
    "That's the general plan. One of the kids I entrusted the mega research to should be returning within a week or so to present their findings. I gave a few kids the task of completing various errands for me. Two kids took on the task of completing their Pokédex and looking into what makes a mega stone work. One of them got a Ralts from Diantha, you know her right? And I'm curious to see how far along she's coming with it since it had Gardevoirite on hand courtesy of Diantha. If the Ralts has reached Gardevoir stage, I'd like for her to try a mega evolution, just to get a baseline as I put together the data from the tests you two ran for me"
    I nodded as Aria seemed to purr in satisfaction.
    See Beh Sze? We won't have to get all drain drain again! She exclaimed.
    Oh boy... I gave a slight wince which she picked up on instantly.
    What's with that uncomfortable feeling? You don't like being with me?
    I gave her a worried look as she began to slide closer to me. I placed my hand on her shoulder, then gently ran it down her arm. I knew that I had to play it carefully with her.
    Of course not! There is nobody else I could think of spending my time with. I reassured her.
    Roughly, I could feel her begin to probe into my feelings. It was like I was holding her as she shifted around in my arms, poking at this, pulling at that. Within my mind, there was no deeper sense of intimacy. However, it was an uncomfortable intimacy.
    Finally, I could feel her attention focusing back into the external as she gave a happy cry before she all but leapt onto me.
    I held her embrace while I looked at the others, then gave an uneasy smile.
    "Now we know what a drunken Gardevoir is like!" Krafft exclaimed while he laughed a deep belly laugh at our antics.
    I'm not drunk! I just... feel really happy! Beh Sze! She exclaimed.
    With a laugh, I nodded to her.
    Indeed, super happy! I happily agreed with her in an attempt to offer a placation of sorts.
    I looked to Sycamore, then to Krafft with a light grin.
    "I blame you for this." I happily joked.
    "Do not be blaming me for your marital concerns." Krafft happily rejoined.
    "Speaking of..." Sycamore said while looking at Aria and I, "I would think it wise, when you go before the board, to keep your relationship with her quiet. It would not be received well."
    His face looked rather severe, though he did not seem to be so much angry with us as he was worried.
    "Yeah... Based on the argument the other night, I find myself agreeing..." I said.
    I felt a degree of indignation. It was foolish on one hand to see Aria as just an animal. Her interactions were very human. In some cases though, it was like she was beyond human, as if Gardevoir had somehow skipped ahead in the evolutionary arms race to a state that humanity was fast approaching. In popular culture, people liked to depict humans of the future as having larger heads, more willowy bodies, and incredibly intelligent. This argument was based purely on speculation based off of us using technology to circumvent physical effort.
    There were more factors at work of course... Our spread into multiple climates gave us varying degrees of resilience. Closer to the tropics, our skin tones grew darker as a result of increased sunlight. Further away from the tropics, we grew paler and paler until we nearly had the same complexion as Aria did. However, our bodies had not changed significantly in the 15000 years since Gardevoir and Humanity split off. Nature preserves that which works after all.
    On the other hand, this habit of seeing only the external was intrinsic to our species. It conferred great survival potential to be aggressive. In a genetic war, we were fighting ourselves for dominance only because the most diverse populace will survive. When we looked at Gardevoir, we only really saw the Ralts. A young, immature Pokémon unable to really care for itself on its own. We find them in isolated spots, surrounded by Pokémon it is weak against. We catch it to save it, never knowing what lurks just behind the grove of trees we find it near. We assume from the way it appears, that it is a loner in nature and slowly declining. We assume that due to these facts, we are somehow better than them all and proceed to capture or beat it "For its own good"
    Tauros shit if you ask me...
    I was pulled out from my reverie as Aria snuggled up to my body, her small frame felt hot compared to mine. Her heart was bare millimeters from my chest as she let out a small sigh. Apparently my musing was entirely open to her.
    Does it matter anymore beh sze? She seemed to whisper into my mind.
    I gave her a look that reflected the thoughtfulness I felt. Did it truly matter? Let's say for a moment that I was entirely disbarred. Aria and I would still have here to call home. I wouldn't have the same purpose as before, but I did still have a home.
    However, that home would still be susceptible to intrusion and possible abduction. The young were vulnerable to the whims of any passing trainer. Further, what's to say that I will even be allowed to come back? What if, instead, they decide to relocate me as punishment? What would Aria do? What would our child do? Aria and the soon to hatch Ralts were my number one priority in life. If my work can protect them, and protect the Te Ze we live in, along with many other Te Zes' scattered around the world, wouldn't that matter?
    I almost didn't need to respond. But I did so anyways.
    I think it does. If it helps you all, keeps our child safe, and allows you to be treated as equals, I consider that something worth working towards.
    She turned her face up to look at me. Even though a Gardevoir is hard to read due to the lack of major emoting that humans do, I could still feel her gratitude. More importantly, I could feel a sort of approval.
    You'll make a wonderful Gardevoir beh sze. I knew I fell for the right man...
    Stop it! I exclaimed in a somewhat embarrassed tone. The others are sitting right there!
    She gave a catty grin but acquiesced. The others had fallen into a conversation about what was next. Sycamore continued detailing what his plans were. Krafft then dropped the bomb onto all of us.
    "I am thinking that I should be leaving soon too. The big islands volcano is turning interesting and Katia and I would much like to get back to see the show"
    I had frankly grown accustomed to his presence. So his sudden announcement of his intent to depart hit me like a proverbial wrecking ball. I was simply shocked at his pronouncement. He was the type to give more warning. Besides... it felt good having more people around. Aria and I could have so much more interaction, and the days had become somewhat more exciting than they had been before.
    "When will you be leaving?" I asked.
    "In about 5 or so days when Freeman departs as well. We have much to do too ya? I was primarily worried about you but I can see that you are doing fine. I can take comfort in whatever happens to you, she will stay by your side." He then nodded to Aria who was only half focused.
    Her mind kept trying to drag me into it. I kept having to urge the notion off as I could see that we needed to be entirely in the present at the moment to focus on these major developments. I urged her, gently, to pay closer attention.
    "Well... I am sorry that you all will be leaving. I have to say, I had gotten used to all of you being around. Even you Sycamore!" I jokingly exclaimed.
    "Yes, I am quite the evil man aren't I?" he joked along.
    "Speaking of us leaving" Came Freemans voice as he walked up to us finally, "I have a request of you."
    "Another one?" I asked as Aria and I turned to face him.
    Freeman gave a small smile, the closest thing to a grin we've seen out of him to date, then sat down at one of the other rocks. He looked the two of us over for a moment, his thick framed glasses obscured his eyes from us due to the reflective glare of the fire, but we could still sense how he was contemplating what he was to say next.
    "I would like to introduce a new variable into your comfortable little system here. If what you say is true, then it stands to reason that an outside Gardevoir who knows nothing of her own cultural history, should be able to learn and adapt right?"
    "Sure, if Gardevoir culture is learned rather than genetically programmed in, then introducing one with no sense of Gardevoir culture should result in her having to learn through experience. If it is in fact very much genetically based, as Tennyson would argue, then there should be no difficulties with her fitting in instantly."
    Freeman finally gave a wide smile.
    "Want to test that?"
    I gave a smile of my own, which hinted at the emotional interplay that began to occur between Aria and I. I didn't need to entirely voice what the plan was. She gave a warm glowing assent of sorts as she hovered on the edge of a drunken joy.
    "Sure, though first you should probably get the permission of the Matriarch. I'm not in a position of authority" nor do I want to be... I mused.
    "Alright, fair is fair. Tomorrow after we wake up and eat, we will go down and I will ask her. "He said simply.
    "But more to the point, what's the plan?" I asked him.
    "Well, I said we have a number of Gardevoir who help out at the lab." Aria seemed to bristle at this but he took no notice, "Since they are not being forced there, we try to let them have as much freedom, only being obligated to be on grounds during the experiments they are needed for. I would like to take one of the trainer less ones who lives with a researcher who is employed there, and let her spend a while here. I want you to track changes in her demeanor and personality if at all possible. Then, you give me a call at the end of the review, let's say 2 weeks prior to your in person appearance to the review board, and I will prepare a report co-authored by you, that provides a real world test of your own theory. It should bolster your position immensely and could, in fact, win this for you. "
    I considered his proposal, then nodded before I replied "Well, after the meeting, let's identify metrics of changes that we should look for and decide from there what constitutes a confirmation condition and what constitutes fail conditions. "
    With that, the plan for the next day had been settled.
    As we began to break away, Aria seemed to tighten her grip on me.
    Beh sze... I... want. She simply said, although with a large measure of difficulty.
    Want? I asked.
    I felt her intentions well before I felt her hand on my face. The desire that we felt that night on the 4th of July was present again, though more focused than before. Her posture shifted slightly so that as the two of us fell into the cot, I landed first.
    I snapped out of the reverie as Aria gave a happy cry. She had detected my warm recollection of the previous night, but also the realization of what we had done. She seemed to be taking her hangover quite well too. I guess the saying that a hangover is better when shared is, in fact, true.
    We sat there on the cot for a moment. My hands had snaked around her exposed waist, then held her to me. In return, she had turned herself so that she was straddling me. Our minds seemed to linger in that grey area between being connected as one and being separate. Our emotions lingered in the others minds as our proximity gave off the sensation of mutual desire.
    In fact, as Kraft bustled in at that moment then saw us in such a position, it was likely that he thought... No, I could dimly tell from the haze we had fallen into, that he had walked in on us in the act of lovemaking. In fact, we were simply sharing in each other's emotions, allowing our mutual feeling to compel it to a new depth of understanding. By all means, this was just the simple embraces and sharing of emotion by comparison.
    But then again, in the previous times that we found ourselves in this position, we were fully clothed.
    We awkwardly began to disengage, then wrap ourselves in the blanket on the bunk. Curled up together, we gave him an apologetic expression.
    "Sorry about that... I... wasn't expecting you to come bursting in like that..." I explained.
    "Yes yes, I know I should have said something. I am being sorry yes?" Krafft said quickly.
    Whenever he did that, it was obvious that his grasp on the common Kalos language was shaky at best... Still, I gave a sheepish grin then pulled the blankets closer to us.
    "We should have known better... This is a work tent after all..." I said.
    Krafft seemed to stiffen, then gave a slight laugh. Though the way he laughed seemed to suggest that he was laughing at a memory rather than what I had said.
    "Well, do not be worrying about it my friend. I could fill your ears with stories about places Katia and I-"
    "Ok thank you very much!" I suddenly exclaimed before I looked at Aria.
    Her expression seemed eager, as if the prospect of another Krafft story greatly interested her.
    I would like to hear more! She happily chirped.
    And no! I exclaimed to her.
    This earned a giggle from her as her left hand came up then pawed at my neck for a moment before she affectionately stroked my cheek.
    I am only kidding Beh Sze! You getting flustered like this is simply adorable! She said, her tiny face curling into a mirthful face.
    With a sigh, I simply sagged my head as Krafft left. I was defeated on this front. Aria knew how to manipulate my emotions to get the reactions she so loved from me at times...
    Lets... Just get dressed ok? We should really see Sycamore off. I don't know when we will see him again...
    About 25 minutes later, Aria and I emerged from the tent to find Sycamore breaking down his tent, then trying to stuff it into his bag. We decided to just watch for a few moments. Tearing down a tent was usually a one person affair unless if it was one of the bigger ones as it was. So we really didn't have much else to do. Helping would likely have just made the process more complicated.
    Freeman approached while we watched, then took up vigil next to us. Finally, he gave the lightest cough, enough to get our attention without distracting the raven haired man.
    "Are we enjoying the show?" He asked simply.
    Aria and I looked at one another, then gave a bashful grin towards Freeman. We didn't really mean to just stand around watching. We did want to speak to Sycamore, thank him for what he's done, and the insights he had provided. Instead, we turned out to be unable to accomplish even that.
    "Well, if you two are done, I have a few important things I think we should discuss while we still have the time." He said, then turned away.
    Shortly, we found ourselves in the work tent once more, seated on the cot we slept in last night with him sitting across from us. His face looked rather severe for a moment before he spoke.
    "The DNA and bloodwork came back last night. Both post singularity and post Mega, "He said as he held up the paperwork.
    "Lay it out for Aria, I can read it just fine but communicating what's going on will be difficult." I said simply.
    I had fallen into a state of nervous anticipation as he first looked over the papers, then looked to the both of us, sitting side by side.
    "Layman's terms?" He simply asked.
    "Both." I replied.
    He gave a slight sigh, then chuckled at my urgings.
    "Alright, the blood factors indicate an increased hemoglobin rate for both of you. As her blood is rather different, using standard ABO typing, we have determined that she maintains a modified glycolipid structure on her red blood cells. However, the structure is kind of interesting in its own right. Gardevoir are known to primarily have a Galactose and fucose system. However, her current structure suggests a Galactose-N Acetyl-Glucosamine-Galactose-Fucose structure. Interestingly enough, yours also matches. In cellular composition, Rowan you have an increased mitochondrial count in each cell with a matching RNA matrix that is similar to hers. This seems to be acting as a primary vector too as further mutagens have been found in the White blood cells themselves. Further, All chemical markers suggest stellar liver function. Out of curiosity, I ran deficiency tests and except for a lower lysine level for you Rowan, both of you check out well... This is peculiar in that after this period of time you should be Vitamin B12 deficient. Further... Rowan your DNA base pairs were examined and compared to hers..."
    Freeman seemed to draw short before I gave a slight nod for him to continue.
    He gave both of us an uncertain look, then simply went on.
    "Telomere length has increased by 7% based upon your baseline sample provided a year ago as part of phenotype studies done. Further, markers from 23 pairs suggest mutation in line with hers. Further, there seems to be a foreign substance which seems to be a catalyst for this. When DNA replicates, Polymerase should handle the precise replication. However, it appears that a foreign substance has resulted in erroneous replication. If I had to give a tentative reason, I would say that her psychic influence on you has something to do with it. "
    He looked back down at the paperwork, then handed it to him.
    "In layman's terms: The two of you have the same blood type and for whatever reason, your DNA seems to resemble hers more closely. That .6% difference between the two of you just shortened to .2% at best. Whatever happened... well...? "He seemed to pause. Reluctance was obvious on his face.
    "In layman's terms, I wouldn't be wrong in calling you a Pokémon."
    That struck me.

    Aria could feel my mind begin reeling and a sense of confusion creep into my being. I could feel her probing into my emotions, grasping at me despite me feeling as if I were slipping ever further from her. I became aware of a spinning motion as the weight of his words brought me to a point of dizziness.
    Then, I felt myself regain footing. Aria had me. She seemed to be struggling, as if my mind were slipping further and she was close to falling with me. However, I felt myself slowly come back from whatever I nearly fell into. I had fallen to the ground though. I was now crouched in front of Freeman with Aria clutching my head desperately. Her mic tem... her shard pressed against my temple, spreading a gentle, comforting, heat to my body as I began to come out of whatever that was just then.
    Beh Sze! Focus on me! She seemed to be shouting.
    I was dazed, I knew that. I looked at her, my hand instinctively finding her free hand. I looked at him, my other hand seeming to push the ground as my legs attempted to shoulder my weight. Freeman grabbed me by my armpits, then helped me slowly stand back up.
    What... what was that? I asked Aria directly.
    We... we can talk of it later... she said with a form of reluctance.
    I could tell that she was pained to not simply tell me. However, I could understand why. Whatever she had to say, it would take longer than we presently had. Rather, it would do well to speak of it away from Freeman. When things were calmer. When my mind wasn't racing with a million thoughts and I did not stand at the edge of a frantic breakdown.
    Shakily, I simply nodded.
    Later then... I finally agreed.

    "W-Well... you know how to scare a man..." I finally said.
    Freeman looked apologetically at me as I tried to regain my sense of orientation. He felt pained to say that to me. The unintended effects of us going so far was unknown before we attempted the singularity. It wasn't something that could have been planned for, it was an unknown side effect which could not be quantified in situ, nor could we guarantee it was entirely linked to the singularity itself. There were many unknowns in this equation and it terrified both him and me.
    "I am sorry Rowan..." He started.
    I could feel the regret. He was blaming himself in a very direct manner. We had agreed to this. We didn't know what the effects would be. We knew that we were venturing forth into unknown territory with these experiments. However, in the afterglow of two successful experiments, we did not stop and think about what was really happening... We just went with it without a care in the world.
    Now, however, the torchics were coming home to roost.
    I finally gave the slightest of smiles to reassure him whilst I gripped Arias hands tightly. I asked a question I didn't even know was on my mind at the moment. I wasn't even aware of it until it left my mouth.
    "These effects aren't destructive are they? Are the polymerases unstable in configuration?"
    Freeman pulled the notes away from me to double check. After a moment, he handed them back to me with a slight smile and a shake of the head.
    "No, fortunately, you should be fine in that regard. I'm not sure I can really predict how long the vector effects will be and what immunological changes will happen. However, the current configuration seems to be stable. Whatever this is doing to you, does not seem to be killing either of you..."
    A torrent of relief flooded primarily from Aria. Her primary concern seemed to center more on my well-being. Which made sense as we seemed to be worrying for one another. She wouldn't die and for the time being, I had a clean bill of health. Whatever was happening was not like a tumor or a cancer. Instead, it seemed to be a spreading change. Perhaps it would be slow enough that Aria and I could adjust to it a little at a time.
    "Now then... onto the next order of business..." Freeman said.
    My eyebrows fairly danced in surprise as he said this. There was a measure of trepidation as he said this, but the anxiety died as he steadied himself then made his proposal and request to us.
    "I would now like to test your theory on Gardevoir behavior and culture directly." He simply said.
    "How so?"
    "Well, if what you say is true, then if Gardevoir culture should be able to be learned. If this is the case, then a Gardevoir with no sense of its own culture should be able to learn. What I would like to do is introduce one into your Te Ze here and have you track her changes until Late August. Around then, I want you to put together a psychological profile to detail how she has changed, if she has in fact been affected by Gardevoir culture, and what the results are. We will use a Gardevoir as a baseline back at the lab. If Gardevoir culture is in fact genetic, as Tennyson would suggest, then the Gardevoir in the lab will be able to articulate and understand the cultural traditions that Aria here seems to know so well."
    Aria looked at Freeman then tilted her head.
    So, you wish to bring a new fec du into our Te ze? Just to prove my Beh Sze correct? She asked.
    I quickly offered a translation since a number of the honorifics and designators were untranslatable into the human basic language.
    Freeman gave a nod then directed his words to her.
    "In short, it would help us to really tie up a few loose strings in Rowans theory. Further, it would provide a great in person example of a proper test of his theory. Human raised Gardevoir, especially those that come from eggs without ever knowing their parents, tend to emulate human culture rather than their own culture. So it would be interesting to see if your husband's theory is correct. If it is, when he goes before the review board, his case will be impeccable." Freeman elaborated.
    Aria purred slightly at being called Rowans wife by the very human who greatly chastised them only a few days before. Indeed, since the argument, the dynamics of the group had changed massively. Freeman seemed more sympathetic, though Aria could tell Rowan seemed to understand why, she did not entirely understand. So far, Rowan had not divulged the reason.
    Perhaps she would have to weedle it out of him tonight...
    "There's a problem though" I said suddenly.
    "What's that?" Freeman asked.
    "It's not my call to make. If you want to bring Gardevoir into this Te Ze, then the one who leads the Te Ze should be the one you directly ask. I'll support this proposal though. I find the idea to directly test my theories to be exciting to say the least. If this idea is correct, then we stand to learn much much more than what I originally set out to do."
    "That's an understatement you know" Freeman reminded me.
    "I know I just..." I trailed off slightly as I found myself lost for words to convey my gratitude to the three of them.
    "Look, what you two have accomplished to date is more than what either of us would have been able to do. Our research got a massive boost forward thanks to your screw up. Had you not made the choice to stay, who knows what would have happened? ...I probably would have saved you... this..." He said with a faint nod to my body.
    I considered the implications of what he said, then gave him a gratitude filled smile.
    "Had it not been for you, Aria and I would have reached a wall... Or worse, I would have fallen into a sense of despair. However, when I didn't even realize I needed you three, you still showed up. You guys were right in many ways. People won't understand Aria and I. However, if they can, in time, come to see the mistakes made in assuming that they are better than anything else, then I would consider my work to be a success. "
    Freeman laughed lightly. I could feel from him that his laugh was more to do with the similarity in what I said to other people's ideology. Before I could push him though, he went ahead and elaborated.
    "Have you ever heard of Team plasma?" He asked.
    "Bunch of crazies, pushing their views onto others by force rather than letting the facts come out and make the argument better? Sure. Bunch of idiots the lot of them. "I said
    Freeman gave a slight grin but continued.
    "They wanted to liberate Pokémon. Free them from man's tyranny if you will. They love Pokémon. Almost as much as you love Aria here... But the fact is that such motivations can drive people down a dark path. Remember that some of the most terrible atrocities in our history were committed with the best of intentions."
    I gave a slight nod before me responded, "I will keep that in mind. Though the truth is, I'm not looking to "liberate Pokémon" or anything like that. I just want to point out that our perception of Pokémon as being somehow less than us can be fundamentally wrong. Instead, we should respect their wishes. If Aria were to ask me to leave, as her Beh Sze, I would be hurt. But it is her decision to make. This is her... our home. Though I am here mostly by her leave. That consent, to me, should be important in the coming years..."
    Freeman looked at Aria, then gave a slight smile before he simply shrugged in response.
    "Just remember what you said to me then. And remember that it isn't about what you want. Other than that, I'm fine." He said.
    "Hey, when did you want to go speak to the matriarch?" I asked him.
    "When do they finish their midday meal?" He simply asked.
    "Um... wait, what time even is it right now?" I suddenly asked as realization dawned on me that neither Aria nor I had eaten, nor had either of us checked in with the others.
    "Oh, it's about 11. You two were sleeping so soundly that I didn't want to wake you." He simply replied.
    Aria looked at Freeman for a moment, then hazarded a glance to the sky. She then looked at my shadow, then tilted her head in confusion.
    I thought it was earlier than that... Beh Sze... I do not think that we should drink so much in the future...
    To be honest, Aria still looked a little rough around the edges from last night. She woke up with a headache... which was still evident to me despite the haze of the morning, and unlike the last time, there was no afterglow of extreme contentment. Rather, it had only awoken further desire...
    That was entirely new...
    I didn't even realize that we had slept so late myself... I rejoined.
    Then, I realized Freeman was owed an answer.
    "We should get over there on the soon side." I said, "If I know them, after eating a lunch, they will settle in for some rest until midafternoon"
    Freeman turned to regard me, then gave a slight nod of his head.
    "Let me just get what I need."
    Aria and I stood in a near embrace while we waited.
    By the way SES frau, you have been rather silent this morning... I pointed out to her.
    She gave me a slight smile that was wreathed in tiredness. I find myself still tired. I would much like to return to sleep after Sycamore leaves. She simply replied.
    Well that's cute. My hung over Gardevoir wanted nothing but to sleep her pain away.
    I gave her a tiny comforting nudge with my hand. Quickly, hers interlocked with mine, seemingly desperate for the calm I was feeling. This... was the upside of being able to hold your liquor. If you knew how to do it right, you didn't suffer too much of a hangover.

    After Freeman meets with the matriarch, we will get some rest before sycamore leaves. I assured her.
    She smiled hopefully at me after I said that, then turned her head slightly so that our cheeks came into contact with one another. I could tell that in her drained state, she wanted as much nourishment from my emotions as she could get. For my part, I was more than happy to oblige. In this little moment we had. We quietly affirmed to one another the support we both needed and gave.
    About half an hour later, Freeman, Aria, and I were once again outside of the Te Ze. The Matriarch gave us a curious glance as Freeman seemed to draw to a sudden stop by the rock that had become my favored stool.
    Ah, Aria mit ginkgo and Rowan mit Ginkgo, you have brought one of your friends to see me? She asked in her sonorous voice.
    If the guiding light of our hearts can afford to hear the request of her youngest mates, we would feel gratitude. Aria responded in a formal manner.
    The Matriarch Gardevoir looked between Aria and I, then tilted her head with the gentle smile that I had grown accustomed to. I let my emotions of gratitude guide my motions as I gave a posing bow before I spoke up.
    Freeman of Lambda wishes to make a request of you. I ask that you hear his words and his intentions. I simply said.
    The Matriarch looked past us to him. I could feel her curiosity as clearly as I could feel Arias hand in mine. However, I did not know at the time that she was, in fact, reading his intentions.
    Of course I will hear his request! Please tell him to come forth and that his presence is warmly received! She responded.
    I turned to Freeman, then gave a nod. He would be the first human since my arrival to enter.
    Freeman walked in then stood next to us.
    I turned to look at him, then gave a further translation.
    "She is happy that you have come. She greets you warmly." I simply said.
    "I am happy that she has allowed me in. I want to ask you to let me bring a Gardevoir to your home so that Rowan can teach it your culture." He proposed simply.