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The Absolite Chronicles

Discussion in 'Literature Library' started by Hyperjade, Feb 25, 2017.

  1. Hyperjade

    Hyperjade Youngster

    Feb 25, 2017
    These stories are separated into books on Fanfiction.Net, but that won't be the case here. I will be releasing The Absolite Chronicles as a single story in this one.

    I started The Absolite Chronicles as my first story, so at the start of the first book, I warn that the quality will be significantly less in terms of physical writing than it will be by the end of it, or during other stories of mine like New Age: World of Pokémon, or The Kitsune and the Jackal. I have significantly improved between my first chapter and my latest.

    I am not entirely certain how the feedback process works here, but to all who read my work, I ask you to give me certain information in the reviews/comments. One of the things that truly helps a writer is knowing how certain things made someone feel. When authors take action, they very deliberately try to make a reader feel something. Telling us authors what you feel from something will help us know whether we've done something well or not.

    Another thing I would like to know is any constructive criticism you can give me, although because of how far I am, that might only be relevant in later chapters. I'll try to let people know when I'm caught up on this site.

    TAC2 is currently on chapter twenty-five. This means that I have fifty-seven chapters total to upload. I will upload them swiftly, but perhaps not all at once. Then, as time goes on, I will add to it as I add to TAC2 on Fanfiction.

    I appreciate all of you taking the time to read this note here, and I hope this website will work out in terms of feedback. Thank you all, and happy reading!

    The Absolite Chronicles

    Book 1: Change

    Chapter 1: Pokémon

    ⽯ Caleb's POV ⽯

    I was asleep, I think. I am not exactly sure. I could have woken due to the sudden chill that struck right down to my bones, but it also could have been a dream. I had lain down in my bed; an unkempt item that I have not bothered to wash too well in recent times. My mother helped me with that, prompting me to give her the dirty laundry, including the bed sheets. My mother is kind and generous, as is my father. I love them both very much. Personally, I think they go too easy on me. I do chores, schoolwork, and work for boy scouts in an attempt to get my eagle rank, which I am very close to. But the place I had just woken in was not home. My bed was gone, and the floor was solid, unwelcoming. Many sharp materials seemed to be jutting out of the ground underneath me at different angles. It was curious that I awoke, I thought, as there does not seem to be an alarm clock anywhere near me at the moment. Usually, only a noise like that could get me up in the morning. Yet, five seconds later, I found the source of my line pulling me to the surface of consciousness.

    "That", said a voice, "is a terrible place to nap"

    I did not react to the new potential source of information. I pretended, in fact, as though I was still asleep. I waited for the new, distinctly female voice to speak again. Perhaps she was responsible? or perhaps she just found me here. The latter, I decided, was more likely considering her comment on how I had found a bad place to "nap". I don't take naps.

    I may now, actually... I feel terrible.

    This observation struck a chord with me. I searched my physical anatomy for feeling, and got something I had not expected. I was tired, but I was not registering any pain. This did not explain the fact that my shape felt... broken somehow. for one thing, my arms and legs seemed to be the same length. and facing the same direction. Also, they seemed to feel similar in form. I also noted the fact that my legs felt no strain from the position they were facing: straight out.

    "Will you wake up anytime soon, or should I force you up?", the voice said pleasantly.

    Force me? Hang on a minute.

    I began to feel other things. My head, which I should have paid attention to first really, felt VERY different. There was a weight between my head and the ground, and I took the liberty of shuddering to find out if there was an issue with it. There definitely was. My head was held in place on the ground by something, I just could not figure out what it was. I could not feel my ears, and I felt a weight on my forehead and chest.

    "Finally waking up, sleepyhead? You must regret sleeping on your right side now, silly. That horn of yours must be completely buried. What, you fell asleep on the spot or something? You get hit with a hypnosis?"

    Hypnosis? I thought. Then I registered "sleepyhead", and "silly", and frowned. It took five whole seconds to register what make me shudder again.


    I tried to fight down a previously rare wave of absolute panic, I searched my physical self again. With barely controlled panic I registered what I should have noticed five minutes ago.

    I am not human anymore.

    I tried to stop freaking out. Panicking would get me absolutely nowhere, but I dismally failed to calm myself. It was past time to stop collecting information. I had to fix whatever issue caused this change in location and species. I tried to scramble up, but I was stuck fast in the ground by my head, specifically a "horn", if that's what it was. I opened my eyes slowly. there, peering down at me, was a very odd dog-like animal with a slightly feline face. It had what looked like a stone in its head, and a very obvious sickle-like growth on the right side of its head. Its claws looked menacing, and it appeared very nimble. I saw a dark shape directly behind it, that, from my angle, was barely visible. A tail of sorts, except it looked like a scythe. A very menacing creature in appearance, and then I noticed its color.
    I am not normally affected by color in the act of assessing danger, but the fact that the creature I was looking at had bright red skin, and its fur, though clearly white, had some pink as well affected my normal caution. Its eyes were bright blue and rather cute, really. Those eyes looked very innocent, like some puppy you just HAD to pick up because it was so dang cute. Those eyes calmed me, made me think that it was safer.

    the animal seemed to be laughing at me. "Do you need help? Or should I keep watching you struggle? Your choice."

    Not so innocent. I struggled to get up again and looked rather pitiful in the process. "Some assistance would be nice", I replied, noticing how deep my voice sounded. I was too busy panicking about my recent relocation to notice that this creature had just talked to me. I might have said something more, but the female creature walked over to me, grabbed what was likely my own fur, and yanked me out of the ground. Too hard, actually, as I was sent right over to my left side, smashing into the ground.


    I now tried to struggle to my feet, only to realize that getting to my feet in this form was not going to happen easily, as I had been human previously, and did not have the instincts to use my now dog-like form properly. The only reason I could get up at all is remembering how my dog at home got up: I rolled onto my belly and pushed myself up. I was now at exactly this creature's eye level and figured I must be the same species as her now. Having been lost in these thoughts, I had failed to recognize the fact that she was still talking.

    "-Really, you don't want to just sleep on a bed of sharp crystals like that. You get cut up that way, even with that strange armor on your chest. Oh, look, you are. I think I have something for that. By the way, why are you just sleeping right next to the entrance of the Crystal Crossing mystery dungeon? Here."

    At that, she seemed to produce an odd blue fruit out of nowhere. On closer inspection, I saw a bag on her side, not unlike a horse saddlebag. She likely carried things around like that all the time. The fruit looked interesting. I might have called it a massive tomato, but it was blue, and the stem piece it was broken from was much thicker, like a small pumpkin's. At the sight of it, my stomach growled very loudly. The female creature heard it loud and clear. Laughing, she pushed the fruit over to me. "Have this Oran berry", she said, "you will want to heal up those cuts before you go anywhere."

    "Thank you", I muttered in my new deep voice, unsure of how this could possibly qualify as a berry. realizing my new paws were useless here, I went ahead and ate it dog style. It felt very awkward, and I was eating it slowly. I had not realized how hungry I was, and I found that in my haste I had eaten the stem as well. The female said nothing, which must have meant I was not doing anything out of the ordinary. I guess the stems are perfectly edible. The "Oran berry" had a sweet taste, similar to an apple really. My stomach growled again.

    "When did you last eat?" the female asked.

    "last night, 6:30 pm," I said. "it doesn't make much sense. I am not usually this hungry this soon." suddenly, I noticed how incredibly rude I was being to this kind (uh... person? animal?) who had just got me unstuck from the ground, and simultaneously fed me and healed the small scratches on my right side. "I apologize, I have not asked your name."

    "Well, my name is Absol," she said, "but if you want it to be easier, you should try to come up with a nickname for me"

    Now, this confused me. "A nickname? why can't I just call you Absol?"

    Absol laughed at me. "Don't be silly, all Absol have the same name. That's why you should create a nickname for me"
    I blinked. "what?". this earned me a laugh from Absol. "Hang on, let me work this out. You are trying to tell me that your name is your species name? And that is why I need to make a nickname for you."

    "Yep," Absol said.

    "wouldn't you already have a nickname from your other friends?" I wondered.

    She looked down at her feet. "not so easy without friends" she murmured.

    No friends? She seems too nice for that.

    "Fine. here we go...". I then realized that I was very bad at making names. Instead, I just pulled a female name from somewhere in my memory. "I will call you Sarah," I said. "Does that work for you?"

    "That's a great nickname!" Sarah said "so what should I call you then, Absol? or should I just call you by your name?" she was teasing me, and it felt odd the way she did it. The way her eyes never left my face. The manner of which she was speaking.

    "Caleb" was all I said.

    "As your nickname?"

    "As my name," I stated firmly.

    Sarah studied me, and again it appeared as though it was more than simple calculation. She wants something from me, I thought. I could not figure out what. Sarah laughed again. "Alright, Caleb. Fine. What is it with you? You grow up out of the system or something? What's up with the armor?".

    "Something like that" I replied, again only hearing half of what was said until seconds after. I looked down at the 'armor' on my chest, like a large metal plate wrapped around my chest and back. A part of it had a circle carved into it; the very front. In the center of that circle was a small green stone with an image I could not see clearly from my angle. That puzzled me, but I let it go for the moment. Looking over and taking in the large entrance in the wall of crystals. I needed to change the topic. "Where would that go?"

    "That entrance goes to crystal crossing," Sarah said. "You don't want anything to do with that place. I already told you what it is." I had not been paying attention at the time, but it sounded important. I would ask for details later. "Come along, Caleb, we should get to a safer place. My home is there, and so are the homes of many other Pokémon in the area."

    I followed her across the room, starting to pay attention to the fact that the entire cave seemed to be made of beautiful crystals of all sorts of colors. I had a new question in mind:

    What does "Pokémon" mean?

    Chapter 2: Crystal Mirror

    ⽯ Caleb's POV ⽯

    Sarah is quite the chatterbox, it seems. She repeated to me what crystal crossing was, and what a "mystery dungeon" was, and gave me so much random information that I zoned right out. She may have mentioned the Armour once or twice, and I believe that she thought that the stone in it was some form of treasure. I managed to catch the definition of "Pokémon", and it seems to be a general term for any of these creatures around us. There were a few other Absol the closer to the secret town we got, and we passed other Pokémon too. Big floating ice monster things that looked like a giant head of ice with eyes and black horns on either side. Sarah identified the Pokémon as a Glalie.

    I asked: "I notice that all the other Absol are the same color as me. what makes you different?"

    "Not sure" she replied. "I was just born this way."

    Sarah walked past me, which was easy because I was still getting used to walking on four legs. I practically had to use all my focus on staying upright on the way here. I still tripped plenty of times. Anyways, she steps in front of me and takes this regal stance. "Do you like it?" she asked.

    Well, I did not see that coming. And I wondered again what she was looking for. She seemed to be asking for approval, but doing it in an odd way. I wondered what she could possibly want from me. I went through all the possible answers and chose the one that might halt the car before it turned the corner. "Uh..."

    Sarah did not miss a beat. She quickly fell into step with me again. "Anyways," she said, "it's not exactly made me popular around here"
    I wondered if I would learn what that meant soon enough.

    I did; After a while, we were approached by an Absol. "Is this Absol causing you any problems?" he asked in a similarly deep voice to mine, gesturing to Sarah.

    "not at all", I replied, "in fact, she has been a great asset in leading me here. I am new here, as I am sure you have guessed."

    "I certainly did," the Absol said. "And I am questioning her decision to bring you here. why has this... thing wasted your time? You ought to get back home where you are familiar with the terrain."

    Okay, I am not the absolute best at figuring people out, but when I hear a member of a community verbally attack someone else right in front of me, there tends to be a problem. My reaction was amplified when I realized that this was only about color. It's not exactly made me popular around here, Sarah had said. This Absol had called the person who had just potentially saved my life a thing. People do not get away with that around me.

    "A thing..." I said, my voice an octave lower. It was already low, and my words sounded more like a growl, really. "Sarah here has probably saved my life, getting me out of the crystal crossing entrance area unscathed. I woke up there, you know, horn stuck in the ground. Sarah got me out of there. The only thing I see is the one judging my friend without any real reason. And as for getting home, that isn't an option right now. Where I fell asleep was a different location than where I woke up. I currently don't know the way home. I also don't know the way OUT. The only viable path leads here. But before we go any further, you best explain yourself. I find treatment to others like that absolutely deplorable."

    He seemed taken aback by my sudden change of demeanor, almost as if he had never expected anyone to stick up for Sarah, but when he spoke, I realized I was wrong in that conclusion. "You do not know everything about her, yet you stick up for her... should I explain?"

    "Something tells me I don't need you to" I growled. "Let me guess: her personality is another of your justifications for treating her poorly. do all the other Absol treat her like this?!" I was shouting at him now, dragging the gazes of the other Absol and Glalie in the area. I did not really care, however. "If there is something else I need to know", I said much more softly, "I can ask Sarah. I recommend rethinking the way you treat her in the future, if you ever wish to be known as one who does not act in prejudice ."

    I turned to Sarah. "where do you want to take me? I suspect you had plans to visit your home." That is when I noticed that her eyes shone with wonder and delight. I don't think anyone has ever stood up for her before. Again, there was something else there. Deeper. What was it?

    "I would like to visit my house", she said, "get you some food and rest. You look tired, by the way."

    "The way you look at me, I would think nobody has stood up for you before" I commented, and she looked down at the crystals again. "nobody has," she said. "ever".

    We walked (well, stumbled in my case) right past the Absol I had been talking to, who had not said a word since I informed him of his prejudice. He acted, in fact, as though we had just finished a friendly conversation.

    The two of us began our trek through what was now looking like an odd town. Small holes that opened into caverns seemed to serve as homes, though they could not be that comfortable. A type of Pokémon that Sarah identified as a Floatzel scampered into one of the caves, and a splash was heard from within. I thought about that Absol, and his treating Sarah like a freak. "I can't imagine that you have done anything to deserve that distrust and hatred back there" I ventured.

    "Yeah, well, I don't look like, act like, or fight like any of the others." she said, almost as if she wanted to change the topic.

    "Fight? is that so important?"

    "Well, yeah. do you expect to just walk through a mystery dungeon?" she asked. "Those things are everywhere, and you need to get through them to go places. The stronger you are, the easier it is."

    Sarah had mentioned the mechanics of mystery dungeons to me, and how they were difficult to get through. Sarah also mentioned that the Pokémon there seem to be almost asleep, attacking everything unaffected by... whatever it is. It seemed cruel to me that these sentient creatures are just milling around there in some form of hypnosis, but Sarah assured me that the dungeon Pokémon were not like the sentient creatures outside of them, and didn't show very much 'life' in their eyes. Sarah's word choice told me that perhaps the dungeon Pokémon could be equated to common animals.

    "So you fight differently. How?" I asked. I immediately regretted it when she opened her mouth and a jet of fire cooked everything in the corridor. Luckily for my face and everyone else's, she fired it straight up. unfortunately, I still managed to get singed standing so close to the girl whom I no longer considered safe to be next to. Looking back at my shoulder, I saw the source of the damage: the fur around my left shoulder had been charred black, but I did not seem to be damaged too badly. I wondered how I had even stayed conscious next to such a heat wave.

    The bodies of Pokémon must be significantly more resistant to damage than humans, I thought. I shuddered, wondering just how durable. Was getting into combat going to cripple me?

    "Please warn me next time," I said, looking at the ceiling, hoping it was not in danger of collapse. It seemed fine. "Actually, please warn everybody next time".


    We made it to an incredible structure made of glowing crystals. It looked rather like a massive tree, with a thick yellow and blue trunk and red and purple branches and, yes, green crystal leaves. A hollow doorway stood in the center of the base. "My house", Sarah said.

    "Impressive." I said. "and extravagant compared to the other homes"

    "I made it," she said

    "The whole tree?!" I asked, incredulous.

    "well, at least the home inside. I was not exactly welcome in my previous home." Sarah said. "I decided to take the most obvious spot in the town mostly in spite."

    "it looks beautiful," I said.

    she turned her blue eyes on me as we entered the crystal tree. The first thing I noticed was a mirror made of crystals on the side. I walked over to it, almost oblivious to Sarah's gaze. My reflection showed something that I was not supposed to be. An Absol stared back at me from the mirror. red eyes, a vicious looking horn on my head, fur, and when I showed my teeth they were clearly fangs. A blade-like tail that could be used for anything from slicing up fruit to slicing up other Pokémon. When I experimentally tried to move the thing, I found that it could move back and forth, up or down. I was wearing a white metal plate with some form of stone in it like armor. I looked like I was built for combat.

    in a quick moment, the wonder of this new location disappeared, and reality set in. If I ever intended on getting back home, I would have to actively search for a way back. I did not belong here. I then thought about Sarah. She had been acting strangely since the instant she met me. Teasing, longing gazes like the one now on me. If I had still been human, I would have paled.

    She has a crush on me!

    I fought down a wave of panic. I could not afford to get in a relationship with this Absol. Yet, she was very hopeful. It would be easy in that state to take things I had said the wrong way, swinging the meanings in her favor. why did I not think this through!?

    I made my decision. I did not want to hurt anybody, and I needed to get home. If I got too friendly with anybody, or allowed anyone's love for me to get out of control, they would be destroyed by my departure. I could not do that to Sarah. This meant I needed to dissuade her from loving me.

    Play dumb, Caleb

    "This is a nice home, Sarah."

    she smiled at me, (darn it) and walked over to a damaged wooden chest, the only item visible not made out of glowing crystals. Promptly smacking it open with her head, seeming not to be hurt badly, she bent her head in and gently took out a few items. One was an odd bag like her own, except this one had odd markings on it, like a weird writing. Another item was a box within a secondary side pouch, maybe for providing organization when carrying things around. The third was a specific sky-blue berry that she carried directly to me.
    "Eat this Rawst berry. You must be hungrier than that, but eat this first. It's bitter, but as long as you avoid the leaves you should be fine." Sarah said, putting it on the ground in front of me. now unconcerned with the fact that I was eating things off the ground, I ate it as quickly as I could to avoid tasting it, but eating without hands or utensils still seemed like a tall order when it came to cleanliness. nevertheless, I finished it off, careful to avoid the leaves. wondering what the purpose of eating such terrible bitter food, I looked at the burn on my shoulder. It vanished without a trace.

    "Stronger than an Oran berry, huh?" I asked.

    Sarah replied: "Oran berries heal most wounds, but only a little. Rawst berries are specific to burns, and fix them completely.

    Completely? Really?

    "I suppose that those items are also for me, considering you already have them." I guessed.

    "Yeah. These should help you carry things easily." she said, picking them up and carrying them over to me. "let's get you set up in gear, then load your packs with food and other items."

    "Maybe we should handle breakfast, or lunch, or dinner, whatever time it is first," I said, and my stomach loudly agreed practically on cue.

    She seemed anxious to leave, but I was not sure why. "well, fine." she said, putting down the equipment. She seemed disappointed in my lack of haste, but then her own stomach growled loudly. I guess that sound was not blocked very well in the Pokémon body. She was startled, and then began laughing. I allowed myself a little smile, and it felt weird. It had been many days since I last smiled. I was always too serious. If I ever got back home, I should try to fix that. But being serious was getting me through this.

    "Right," Sarah finally got control over her laughter. "there is a kecleon brothers store practically across from my door."

    "I saw a small building" I remembered "but there was nobody at the desk"

    "You weren't close enough to see them, Caleb. Even you should know about kecleon stores."

    I had no clue whatsoever, but I still led the way out the door and towards the 'empty' shop. I felt silly until two outlines became visible among the merchandise. As I got closer, much more detail was apparent. Two Pokémon stood behind the counter, with a red stripe around their waists. The rest of them was still hard to see. They were basically massive chameleons, constantly colored like their surroundings. One instant later, they became fully visible. They were green (like chameleons are known to be), and were looking right at us.

    "My, you're a new face!" he said, and I wondered how he could tell. my image in that mirror almost matched the other Absol I had a 'discussion' with on the way here. I wondered how anyone could tell anyone apart. Kecleon continued: "what would you like from us today?"

    It was Sarah who spoke up. "I would like four large apples please, and about 3 pecha berries. I'm getting low on those"
    Kecleon complied, while his friend spoke to me "And what would you like, sir?"

    I replied: "I'm with her for the moment," I said, gesturing at Sarah. I included 'for the moment' mostly for my benefit.

    Kecleon studied me briefly, and I wondered how much he understood. He looked like he wanted to say something. Encouragement? but I was saved by Sarah saying "thank you" to the other kecleon and turning around to leave. I was going to turn around normally, but Sarah had other ideas. She seemed in a hurry, and promptly hooked her horn with mine and forced me into an 180 spin. This directly resulted in me losing my footing and getting a face full of crystals. I stood up, my face looking like I had been attacked by a large, glowing porcupine. I probably did not look so happy.

    "Oh, Caleb, I'm sorry," Sarah said, as though she had not recalled my earlier issue with balance.

    "Please slow down, Sarah. why are you rushing about so much?" I asked. I realized that if anyone should be rushing, it would be me. Right now I was being counterproductive, telling her to slow down. On the other hand, I don't want another porcupine treatment. So whatever.

    "I just..." was all she said for a moment. I waited patiently. "I need to get out of here," she said softly. "permanently. So what if I have a nice house, or a nice room. I don't have a real life here." she noticed my wounds. "Here"

    I stiffened as she got in close, but she was just taking a crystal shard in her teeth and pulling it out. The pain there stopped quickly. She seemed to try and send me a message by taking her time and lingering close, but I pretended to be oblivious. After my face was crystal-free, we made our way back to the house to finish all of our packing. Sarah helped me set up the pack, again taking her time and again lingering after she would finish a strap. She had some trouble getting the straps tight around my armor. She looked right into my eyes after all the items were packed away on the both of us. I used the act of testing that I could open the box on my left side to avoid it.

    Our stomach's growled at the same time. Loudly.

    "Oh," I said, wondering how I could possibly have forgotten about the food.

    "Apples," sarah said, walking over to the four fruits sitting on the ground. She looked at me in an expectant way.

    "you go ahead and start," I said walking back to the mirror. I pretended that a human still looked back, but I cannot fool myself. Sarah was still waiting for me, like: So help me I will find a way to break that barrier of yours.

    I gave up and walked to the apples. Sarah had positioned them so that I would have to face her while we ate. I found another loophole, simply not looking away from my food at all. The apples really filled me up, and tasted many times better than any apples I had at home, even though those were delicious.

    I nodded at Sarah and looked at the door. Sarah took a few particularly neat crystals from the structure and added them to her bag. Of course, I thought, her favorite part of this town and everything in it was her beautiful house. She had taken one of each color, and wrapped them in the same material her bag was made of.

    "Where will we go?" I asked her

    "Mostly just out," she replied, "Let's see the sky"

    She walked uncomfortably close to me on our way out the door.

    Chapter 3: Crystal Star

    ⽕ Sarah's POV ⽕

    I walked next to Caleb, noting how he constantly stumbled around. It was almost as if he had never walked before. The guy was just so mysterious, particularly if the topic was about his life before I found him. I almost thought he may have amnesia, but he was too adamant about what happened the night before he woke up at the entrance to Crystal Crossing when defending me from the verbal attack by that other Absol. Caleb really was odd by Pokémon standards. For starter's, the guy was very particular about the fact that his name was Caleb, and that it was not a nickname. Caleb had been rather bleary-eyed when he woke up, but was on full alert now.
    I noticed a location that came right before the entrance to Crystal Cave, and I motioned to it. "Let's go in here for a moment"

    Caleb obeyed in a manner of not having anything better to do. I was not fooled in the slightest. Problem was, he did not seem to have that much of an interest in me at all. I watched him move into the room. He seemed not to realize how powerful he was. The way his muscles rippled under his fur...

    "Sarah..." Caleb said, dragging me back to the surface "what are we doing here?"

    "Oh... right" I said. "this is a training ground we can use to teach you some moves."

    "Moves..." Caleb echoed. "like your flamethrower? No! Don't use it right now!"

    I had almost demonstrated my fire again out of habit, and Caleb would not like being torched again.

    "You need to fight your way through the Crystal Cave dungeon with me. To do that, I need to teach you how to use attacks"

    Caleb frowned. "you mean Crystal Crossing?"

    "No, silly, Crystal Cave," I said "it's an entirely different dungeon right next to Crystal Crossing, and much safer. But we will still have to fight through it. I can teach you how to use Scratch, Bite, and Quick Attack."

    "I think that we should start with scratch." said Caleb "that sounds simple."

    "I agree," I said "first, channel normal energy into your horn"

    Caleb Blinked. "Pardon?"

    "Normal-type energy" I explained. "We have many different types of energy in our bodies, and scratch uses normal energy. Allow me to demonstrate"

    I walked toward a small rock, building up energy in my horn until it glowed white. I then struck the rock, putting a decent sized crack in it. "one thing different about me is that my special capabilities have been swapped with my physical abilities. I'm unique in that way, as most Absol are much more powerful in their physical capabilities."

    "You are telling me that I will do more damage to a rock than you did," Caleb said, and I nodded

    Caleb concentrated, but nothing happened. "it isn't building properly" he complained. "What is wrong with me?"

    "Nothing's wrong with you," I said, winking. "it takes practice to channel energy properly"

    Caleb went silent. He closed his eyes. There was a buildup of power in his horn, but instead of glowing white, the energy was dark. I knew what it was, and I wondered where he could have possibly learned that at such a low level. Caleb lunged towards a large rock and annihilated it with Night Slash.

    ⽯ Caleb's POV ⽯

    I stood in the rubble of a boulder I had just torn apart. An action that I could never have accomplished as a human. I looked over at Sarah, hoping that that was enough for scratch. She looked completely astonished, and I took that as a good sign.

    "How was that?" I asked

    "That was not scratch" she replied. "that move was much more powerful."

    "Care to elaborate?" I asked

    "That move was called Night Slash," Sarah said. "a high-level dark type move. And one you could not have possibly learned at your skill level. Your energy should not be nearly powerful enough."

    I tried to do it again, but the energy was gone. I felt a little drained. I stumbled a bit and managed to catch myself. Sarah looked worried.

    "Are you all right?"

    "I'm fine," I said "just a little tired"

    "Now you have to build up normal energy. Save your dark energy for bite. night slash clearly sucks up your energy."

    I wondered if I really needed to use up dark energy to bite things. I was pretty sure that I could bite things fine, but perhaps there was an added effect. Whatever. I tried searching for energy first, tried focusing on certain points of my body and found some strange energies. There was an almost invisible yet powerful energy in my front claws. A non-mobile energy in my tail, and a huge assortment of energies in my horn. dark powerful energy also ran throughout my body. I could not identify which type was which, but I realized that there were more types of attacks than I could use. I tried to use a less powerful energy, building it into my horn, and out of the corner of my eye I saw a white glow. Much better. Now I leaped forward, intent on taking apart another rock.

    ⽕ Sarah's POV ⽕

    I watched Caleb gain a white glow on this horn, and I know he had gotten scratch down, at least at starting it. now Caleb had to aim it properly. He lunged into the air, and tripped. His lunge turned onto a painful somersault resulting in a painful crash against a wall. He forgot to turn that energy off, so the wall was pulverized. It partially buried Caleb.

    "Caleb!" I ran to him as he scrambled out of the rubble.

    "I'm all right..." he said. He actually sounded rather bored, but he sounded bored a lot.

    I was not bored. "Are you hurt? I have more Oran berries-"

    "It's all right, Sarah."

    "are you sure? Caleb-"

    "I am all right."

    he was being a stubborn fool. I could see the damage on his flank and face and legs. But I realized what was happening

    He's pushing me away

    That hurt. That really hurt. his strength and stubbornness had not stopped him from asking for help before. He was always ready to interact until they had left her house. Before they left, he became distant, like he had made some sort of decision.

    "Did..." I choked out the words "Did I do something wrong?"

    Caleb stopped. He looked at me, right at my eyes. I saw a sadness there. He did not want to hurt me. But those eyes also contained a sort of resolve.

    He has a goal, and he is resigned to what he has to do to get there, I thought. I thought of him speaking of home, but giving no details. I had assumed that he was from another community of Absol, although I had never heard of such a thing. He had no knowledge of fighting before now. No idea of the mechanics of the world. I thought about a recent story I had heard, of a Pikachu and a Mudkip who together saved time from stopping. It was a nice tale, but what I remembered about it was the Pikachu's ridiculous claim that it had been human prior to being a Pikachu. I looked into Caleb's eye's, and saw a look no Absol ever gives. One of everything. Pain, sorrow, hope, resolve, a small bit of anger, and a small bit of acceptance. The look that can only be given by someone who really cares about everyone, but cannot make the correct decisions to help everyone.

    "No, Sarah." Caleb said to me in a kind tone. "You have done nothing wrong. The problem lies with me and the steps I must take to get home. You are not responsible for my frustration, and you do not deserve it. I apologize."

    With that, he stood up and looked at another target, this one a small stone hanging from a string. Target practice. Caleb went right up to it, and promptly used bite. His teeth glowed, and elongated a bit, and he shattered the thing easily.

    "right then." Caleb said, spitting out chunks of rock. "quick attack"

    Next he faced a medium sized boulder.

    "Lead with the piece on your head to avoid recoil damage,ve" I told him

    He smiled very slightly, and enveloped himself in a white energy and shot forward. He ran right through the rock, bashed a couple more, and tripped again. This crash was much more catastrophic, and I was taking out the Oran berries before the dust settled.

    ⽯ Caleb's POV ⽯

    "Right then," I said, taking one last bite of Oran berry. "we best be going now"

    "Sure" Sarah agreed, looking toward the entrance in front of us.

    My power restored, I walked right in with Sarah at my side. I could use attacks now. I likely would avoid using quick attack until I could stop tripping all over the place, but walking was rapidly becoming a habit. It would not be long.

    "Once we enter a room" Sarah whispered "the corridor we are in now will vanish, and we will be in the dungeon.

    "Right. Okay" I said. Fully prepared for fights now. We were surrounded by beautiful crystals, big and small, any shape you can imagine. This place was truly more beautiful than any place discovered on earth. The entire cave was made of crystals, no bare rock visible at all. We reached the room, and like Sarah told me, the corridor promptly vanished.

    We were trapped.

    "So we seem to be in a smaller room" Sarah said

    I said not a word, observing the nature of the room, it's relatively square shape, for one...


    "What is it, Sarah?" I responded

    "you always go quiet for no reason," she said. "I can't help you like that."

    help me?


    "Sarah... I would like your help. Honest, I would. But some things I have to keep reminding myself of. unpleasant things. And if I let myself forget them, I will lose track of my goal"

    "And what exactly is your goal?" Sarah demanded

    "Home" was all I said.

    Sarah was at a loss for words.

    I had to change the topic, and said "let's talk about something else, like the peculiar pile of random things in that corner"
    she turned and looked, and at a nod, we walked to it. On our way, we were interrupted by a very angry looking Pokémon. There was an issue, its eyes were clouded and looked almost lifeless, and not in the way I'd thought. It looked more instinct-driven. It looked like some form of elephant, but it was my height, though much thicker. It had a type of material in a line from it's trunk to it's tail that looked suspiciously like rubber from a tire. My suspicion was proven correct when it started spinning and driving at me.

    "Rollout! Caleb, take cover!" Sarah said

    I dove to the right immediately to avoid getting steamrolled, and the thing turned around to try to run me over like so many instances of roadkill in my world. I was not the classic deer in the headlights, though. I prepared a scratch attack. If these creatures were purely confrontational and didn't give warnings or other things, I couldn't equate them to a normal animal. It was more like the thing itself was a defense mechanism of sorts.

    "Don't be stupid!" I heard Sarah say

    I bolted out of the way again.

    "I could have gotten him..." I muttered

    "Caleb, you hit that Donphan while it is rolling, you'll get caught and squished, no matter what angle!"

    I avoided another Rollout "Thanks Sarah, but what can we do about it?"

    "Wait for it to stop!"

    "So helpful... when will that happen?"

    "How should I know!?" she cried helplessly

    We continued dodging the attack. It seemed to go on longer than it should have. Then, after about two minutes, it stopped. It simply stopped attacking, and I yelled "NOW!"

    I bolted in with a quick attack and sideswiped it with a scratch at the same time. I managed not to kill myself in the process. My attack was followed by Sarah simply enveloping it in a massive flamethrower. I couldn't even look directly at it. But then, I experienced a terrible moment of blindness as the entire room reflected the fire. I was completely surrounded by the red and yellow swirling around, doing it's best to blind me. Those stupid crystals were awful in this scenario.

    In my distraction, I got slammed in the flank, winding me. The light was fading, and now I had a odd Pokémon shaped like some dinosaur with a big blue-tipped head and spines. Looking behind me, the Donphan was still standing.

    "Stupid me" Sarah said "Donphan is a ground type"

    "I guess that means no fire. Sarah, how about this one?"

    She replied "Cranidos is a rock type"

    "No fire either?" I was worried now

    "Nope" was Sarah's reply

    "Do you have any other attacks?" I asked desperately

    "Weak physical moves"

    "It will have to do." I replied.

    We are so dead

    I faced Cranidos, while Sarah distracted the Donphan. The battle seemed hopeless, because we had no real moves to affect them. I hoped that bite could affect rocks more than normal types.

    Let me tell you, that Cranidos is a speedy sucker. I barely managed to get my teeth in him, and then I barely managed to keep my teeth in my mouth. I was flung about the room, but I was thinking pit bull thoughts. I got the occasional glimpse of sarah, but I was moving too fast to see anything properly. Suddenly, the Cranidos froze. He seemed to be shivering or something. I really did not care. I sunk my teeth in more, and flung him around for a bit. I have to say, that felt really good. I bashed him into a wall, and let go. He was out cold.
    "Right," I said, glancing around in time to see Donphan drop as well.

    "Turns out our initial tag-team attack did quite the number on him. I managed to take the donphan out. Oh! Caleb! Your neck!" she finished loudly.

    "My-" I began, and then I felt pain erupt on my neck in several places. The cranidos had spikes all over him, and I had stupidly let him make contact with me several times. I realized that it really hurt. "Ow" I finished

    "Ooohhh, Oran berries won't do enough good, there! we need something stronger." Sarah said. She then ran to the untouched pile of random things, and pulled out a yellow berry that was about the same size of the oran berry. Sarah put it down in front of me and I quickly ate the thing. it tasted really good, but not specifically like anything I have ever eaten. The pain went away immediately. My neck seemed fine.

    "Sitrus berry" she explained. "triple the healing capabilities of a oran berry."

    That led me to wonder why Oran berries were used at all, but then I realized that Sitrus berries must be much more rare I pondered her decision not to keep it and simply give me more Oran berries. we found more things in the pile that intrigued me. Two discs that looked like really big computer discs. There were lots of seeds that looked exactly alike, but smelled different. And there were plenty of berries, Rawst berries, Oran berries, berries that looked like cherries, and heart shaped pink berries.

    "Those small red ones are Cheri berries, and the pink ones are Pecha berries," Sarah said

    Cheri berries? Seriously? This is more evidence that there is influence between the worlds

    "Pecha berries huh? What do either of these things do?" I asked

    "Cheri berries heal paralysis, and Pecha berries heal poison" she answered.

    "If i'm paralyzed, how am I supposed to eat the berry?" I asked

    "I'll have to feed it to you," Sarah said with a slightly mischievous tone

    "Uh..." was all I could say. She was pushing it, going that far with her little messages. I hoped i could get out of this place quickly.

    "Lets look at the rest of these seeds. See how they smell different?" she asked

    "The ones that smell like smoke must be avoided at all times," she said "they are 'doom seeds' and will lower your energy"

    "Pardon?" I asked

    "doom seeds make it harder to access your type energies, so you can't attack as well."

    "Lets avoid the doom seeds," I said. What situation in evolution could possibly lead to seeds harming those who eat it? The best situation for seeds is to be picked up and deposited somewhere they can grow. This seed was not flying anywhere on it's own; not like that.

    "Heal seeds smell like a combination of all the berries we have here: Cheri, Pecha, Rawst. It also has the smell of some berries we don't have. Those are Chesto, which wakes Pokémon up, Aspear, which defrosts Pokémon that are frozen solid, and Persim, which heals confusion.

    "So what is-"I said

    Sarah interrupted: "confusion is an induced state a Pokémon can suffer where they lose their reasoning, sense of direction, and sense of friend or foe.

    "I hate confusion already," I said, and then I smelled the heal seed before sarah put it away in the bag, trying to pin it to memory.
    "I have a slight issue with short term memory," I told Sarah "it is difficult for me to remember small things without much experience of them."

    "I think I will handle the item checking from now on," Sarah said

    the third and fourth seeds were also heal seeds. The last seed was a 'Reviver seed', which apparently completely healed a Pokémon and restored their energy for attacks.

    "It only works," Sarah said "if the Pokémon is unconscious, and must be fed by a teammate"

    "I fail to see the circumstances where there are restrictions like that," I said.

    On to the discs, apparently called Technical Machines, or TM's for short. One was a move called protect, another was a move called vacuum cut. vacuum cut was a special move, and protect was best at protecting people at long range.

    "You'd best take both of those," I told Sarah. "I doesn't make any sense for me to learn protect, and you are the long range character of our little team" I knew that what i had said makes sense, but I did wonder how long it was before I got to use a Technical machine, and how useful the move would be.

    She raised her eyes, and I thought she would say thanks, but she said "team?"

    Crap. Think of something, Caleb.

    "Yeah. A team. I expect we should protect each other as long as we travel together. I don't know how long that will be."
    I dodged a bullet there, mentioning that there was a time limit, but she still appeared hopeful.

    "Could you help me with these TM's?" she asked

    "What do I do?"

    "Hold it against my forehead, for about ten seconds"

    It felt awkward, but I obliged. I seriously doubted that it took ten seconds, but I did it twice with vacuum cut and protect

    "What did it feel like?" I asked

    "Like having knowledge of a move just appear in my mind" she replied.

    Fun times. "We should move on," I said, "we have spend a lot of time here."

    So we continued on. We never found a pile of goodies like that in the dungeon again. We fought many enemies, Golems, Gravelers, Beldums (those things were weird), Riolus (I felt bad about taking down those, they were so small). Shieldons and sevipers were annoying, because of the fact that shieldons could keep their shield-like face towards us at all times, even when I used quick attack (ow) and the amount of times I had been squeezed almost to unconsciousness by a giant poison snake. At one point, at the last staircase, we came across one seviper and one shieldon. Sarah happily discovered that shieldons were steel types with a flamethrower, and I unhappily discovered again the power of the crystals.

    "Not nice" I muttered to Sarah, unsuccessfully trying to rub my eyes with my new foreleg.

    "LOOK OUT!" was the response before I got hit with a glowing purple tail and smashed into a wall. Sarah tried to use fire, but the Seviper interrupted the attack with odd needles from it's mouth, striking Sarah in the face.

    "I forgot to use protect," she said "ow", and i could not believe she could not remember to use an attack that negated all damage, like the ultimate shield. I had not even seen it yet.

    I noticed she was having trouble breathing, and so was I.


    Crap. This poison really hurt, and if nothing was done, we would both be done for. I remembered my bag. I struggled to open the berry pouch and produce two pecha berries, and tossed one to Sarah with difficulty. She caught it in her mouth and ate it whole. Instantly, she seemed to recover.

    I tried mine, and discovered my favorite food in the world. Seriously, I don't think I would ever taste something better. It was so sweet and juicy, I almost could not imagine not savoring this amazing food. If the timing was not so bad, I would have spent the next ten minutes nibbling at it. nevertheless, I wolfed it down and recovered from the poison immediately.

    "Are you OK Sarah?"

    "I'm fine!"

    I glared at the Seviper, who was preparing an attack "You are the only thing standing between us and those very important stairs. do you really want to stand there?" it responded by belching out some sort of poisonous haze, which I avoided with quick attack, and lunged towards the big ugly snake, only to slam face first into a big ol' crystal that the seviper had grabbed from the broken wall. I'm pretty sure that my descent was extremely comical, almost cartoon like, sliding down the crystal with my face smashed against it. It hurt so much, I almost fell unconscious. The seviper dropped the crystal, and I noticed that this crystal was absolutely perfect, with a well shaped handle, and the rest of it was of identical width. The thing was a beautiful club. And I was strong enough to hold it, easy, being an Absol now. I surreptitiously ate a few oran berries while pretending to be down for the count. I then picked up my new weapon

    "hey, Seviper!" I called from my new position on the field. The thing whipped around really fast with a poison tail, but just hit my new weapon. A very odd thing happened: The crystal seemed to absorb the poisonous attack, and began to glow bright purple. I chose that time to attack with it. The thing did much more damage than my scratch could, crunching up the ground underneath the Seviper. The Seviper simple dropped under the strike, knocked out cold. The purple glow faded from the crystal. I decided to keep it after that, because it seemed able to absorb attacks and then take on the corresponding type and then strike.

    "Wow" was all Sarah had to say.

    "You know, this thing needs a name. I'm thinking it's gonna stick around." I said "after what these crystals can do with the light of your flame, i'll call this weapon 'Crystal Star'"

    "Wow," Sarah said again. I wondered if she was stunned because of my new weapon, or myself attacking that snake without hesitation.

    "Lets get out of here," I said, walking to the staircase. Once we went all the way up them, they vanished, and we found ourselves in front of a cave entrance, outside. Everything smelled great, the sun was shining, and some pure white clouds floated around. The landscape was a beach like surface, but not on the water's edge. Instead, we were surrounded by cliffs, with a visible exit down a path to our right, and some tree's were visible. There was no pollution, no stink of poison. Technology was a foreign concept in this world, and despite the fact that I enjoyed video games, it was peaceful and nice. I took a deep breath.

    "Shall we follow the path?" I asked Sarah

    "Why not" she replied, taking her own deep breath. "I don't see you getting up those cliffs"

    "Hold on, now," I said, feigning being hurt.

    She smiled, and despite myself, I smiled too.
  2. Hyperjade

    Hyperjade Youngster

    Feb 25, 2017
    (Let's start this post by apologizing for the randomly bold lines in the previous post of the first few chapters. I attempted to fix it but found myself unable to. At any rate, let's continue, shall we?)

    Chapter 4: Nincada

    ⻤Nincada's POV⻤

    I peeked out from my little burrow, trying to see the cause of the commotion without being seen. I was very good at this, but the hole I dug today to hide in was mistakenly close to a clearing. Two Pokémon I had never seen before were chatting together in the clearing. They seemed to be talking about some sort of 'sense'

    female: "your horn should allow you to sense your surroundings"

    Male: "hold on, now, I've searched my entire system. I found all sorts of type aura's, but I have no inkling of what is around me."
    I creeped out a little more to get a better view. The two Pokémon were of an odd type that I have not seen before. They look like the same species, but one is bright red, instead of black, and the black one has some form of armour on it, and a massive crystal strapped to it's back. Both had bags on them, and both had different demeanors. The female was clearly the grounded one, while the male fidgeted constantly, moving from foot to foot. The female seemed to be trying to coach the male in something, and the male was failing miserably.

    female: "don't search your physical feelings at all. Instead, try not paying attention to anything in your body at all. You should find-"

    male: "a mental map of the surroundings and the events forthcoming. Yeah. But it is difficult to let go. I will try."

    female: trying is the issue. You are putting energy into not putting energy into anything.

    male: thank you for the advice, Sarah

    Sarah: no problem, Caleb

    Caleb seemed to be doing less focusing. I noticed that he was almost in a trance. "the meadow" Caleb said, "it's apparent, like an outline of what's there, but with changes." he tilted his head "a fire to our left" he turned his head "uh... that looks like a fissure..." then, much to my horror, his face turned slowly to me "a Pokémon..."

    I turned to scurry down into my hole, but was stopped by a paw on my back. Looking up, I saw the pink one, Sarah. She said "who are you?" she sounded friendly enough, or as friendly as one can be while trapping someone else.

    "Nincada" I responded, with fear in my voice.

    "nice to meet you, Nincada" Sarah said, and promptly released me. I immediately fled down my little hole.

    "it's nearing dark, Sarah" this from Caleb.

    "yeah. It is. We have been traveling for a few days. Let's take a rest."

    "well-" Caleb began, then seemed to notice the masked exhaustion in his friend. "yeah. Sure, let's rest."

    with a slight shock, I realized that Caleb was actually making the decisions, and Sarah was helping him decide them. It also became apparent to me that neither of the Two were willing to leave the immediate area. Sarah scared me even more that Caleb did. When Sarah was asleep, Caleb stopped pretending to be and sat up. He watched the stars, muttering under his breath so low that I could not even pick up the words through vibrations. I crept out of my hole and inched toward Caleb, paying attention this time for the telltale vibrations of walking. I did not want that female to creep up on me again. I approached Caleb until I got almost right next to him. I could hear what he was muttering now.

    "every break we take is a wasted chance to get me home..." he said to himself. "I need to respect Sarah's abilities and limitations, but I want to focus on getting home... what should I focus on really?"

    "perhaps I can help you decide" I whispered.

    in an instant, he had shot to his feet and pulled that monstrous item from his back like a weapon, held next to my face. This whole exchange was silent as the night itself.

    "I want to help you" I whispered, hoping that would get me out of a painful strike. "my advice is: getting home can wait. Your friend needs attention and rest. Stop and sleep every day. don't rush through everything"

    Caleb put the instrument back on his back. "I was transported from my home to a random location by some force." he whispered back "I cannot afford to wait. My family and friends were unaware, and I simply vanished under their noses. They probably think I was kidnapped, or that I ran off. The sooner I get back, the better."

    I pondered that. His story made sense. I made an offer that no sensible Nincada should ever make. "I'll go with you" I said. "I'll travel with you for a while, make the trip a little easier."

    "are you sure?" his question startled me. I figured that he would want what help he could get. Suddenly, I understood that Caleb knew exactly what would happen if I got anywhere near an enemy. "I will help any way I can" I promised. Caleb studied me for two entire minutes, then said "do what you will. If you are still here when we wake, we will take you with us.

    "I'll sleep right underground here." and with that, I used dig and burrowed right underground.
    I felt Caleb lay down on the grass and fall asleep quickly. I soon followed suit, after wondering what insanity made me put myself in this situation.

    ⽕ Sarah's POV ⽕

    My dreams in the Mystifying forest were as vivid as reality. I had difficulty deciding what was real for a while, but I was not about to let go of my reality with Caleb. I woke up in a peaceful manner, with Caleb right there, sitting calmly and looking well rested. At some point, he had found a way to get the dirt out of his fur, probably with a river. He was dry, however, so it must have been during the night. I got up.

    "'Morning, Caleb," I said, letting loose a yawn.

    "good morning, Sarah."

    Caleb then pushed a small bowl shaped rock towards me, filled with berries of many sorts. "you need to eat"

    "thank you," I said tiredly. I was confused as to why he was being so nice to me. I did not seem to be making any progress with his emotions, but here was a bowl of fantastic berries. I started eating, and Caleb turned away to look at the hole that Nincada was sleeping in.

    "did you hope that Nincada would join us?" I asked.

    "I guess I did..." he said, glancing at me. "it does not seem that he remained here. Oh well."

    Caleb seemed to be showing more hope than normal, perhaps the mystifying forest was messing with his head too. "do we keep heading southwest?"

    Caleb looked into my eyes. "we do" he said.

    and we dived into the Mystifying forest.

    we had entered another mystery dungeon, this one populated with grass and poison types, as well as some bug types. I informed Caleb of our type weakness to bug, and he was happy to be a little more cautious. Mystifying forest proved no problem at all really. My flamethrower took out any creatures that got in our way, even though dozens of small but powerful Pokémon got in their way in every room. This was no cave, and the flamethrower was very effective. Anyone not taken down by flamethrower was quickly struck with Crystal Star, that seemed to absorb any flame that touched it and added to its powers. One downside, the weapon glowed green if it was hit with a grass type move, and became mostly ineffective. There were plenty of times, however, when Crystal Star glowed the lime-tinged white of the bug type, and he wiped out everything in a fell swoop. That almost included me once, actually, as I ducked to avoid being crushed by a giant bug crystal.

    "watch it" I scolded Caleb

    "I apologize, " Caleb said

    one time, I almost got cut up by a vigoroth, but the fool flew too high and scraped my horn without damaging me in the slightest. I noted that afterwar, he had three scars on his belly before we defeated him, even though I only have one horn. Caleb made a noncommittal gesture to signal his lack of concern when I told him so, and said "perhaps you were just being affected by the forest again." he almost convinced me, but I decided that I could not have been fooled like that. We cleared the forest easily and walked a road along the water, aiming for the mountain next to the water.

    "How are you feeling?" Caleb asked me. "do you need some rest?"

    "some rest would be nice" I answered.

    we lay by the sea's edge, and then Caleb decided that he would climb a tree bent over the water. He plucked several bunches of bananas, and came back with a box full.

    "these can replace apples for a while," he said. And then our stomachs growled again. That kept happening; our stomachs rumbling at the same time. Caleb told me once that it was because we tended to eat at the same time and eat the same food. He asked me if this was a problem

    "no, of course not." was my answer then.

    we were eating our last apples so that we had an excuse to keep the bananas when I asked the question on my mind ever since the story of the team Thunderwave came to me. I had formulated it specifically to trick him into giving me a straight answer

    "you tend to get full after one apple most of the time." I noted

    "yeah?" was his reply

    "how many could you fit in your stomach back when you were human?"

    "probably about three and a half" he muttered. Three seconds later he shuddered and then froze, a look of shock on his face mid-bite.
    Triumphant, I looked him over again. unlike the story of jake the pikachu, Caleb had not lost his memory, and no goal other than home. I understood why he had been so secretive when it came to questions about his past: who would believe him?

    I would

    he raised his head slowly, looking into my eyes. We held that position for minutes. I had no idea what he would possibly say next, if he could say anything.

    I know who you are, Caleb, and I am OK with it.

    ⽯ Caleb's POV ⽯

    I don't understand. I have not mentioned humanity once! This is not something I can deny. There was no chance of her figuring out who I was on her own! Unless...
    If another human had entered this world at any point, they would likely leave behind a story. If Sarah heard even one...
    That would be it. There are answers to how to get home somewhere! I have to find this other human. That is my new priority.


    I was then distracted. This distraction was the most humorous of events that I had been ignoring to keep from giving anything away. I stared at the little guy for a long time, with Sarah staring at me. I felt a laugh building in my chest, and I had no chance of holding this back. As I stared at the two of them, I figured, what the hey.

    Definitely a qualified success.

    ⽕ Sarah's POV ⽕

    All of a sudden, the ever so quiet Caleb burst into a frenzied laughter. He would not stop, and I worried that I had driven him mad right there, but his laughter was clearly one of joy and happiness.

    He's happy that I figured it out, and is discovering it himself. He is glad to be recognized.

    He was still laughing, the laughter increasing in hilarity and mirth.

    Wait... Now his laughter is humorous. What is he laughing at?

    Caleb had started to move for the box of bananas. He plucked one out with his teeth and tossed it over my head, to high to catch without moving, which I did not do.

    Now he's going crazy

    With a sudden jolt, I realized that there had been no sounds of the impact of the banana hitting the dust behind me. I whirled around, but there was no banana to be found. Caleb's laughter had been reduced to chuckles as he walked back to the spot he had been in before and sat there. I started to panic.

    What sort of freaky trickery is this? is this a dream? are we still in the forest?

    Caleb watched me, smiling. Normally his smile lit up the room, but this smile was tantalizing.

    Caleb is making fun of me. Why are you making fun of me?

    "That's enough!" I snapped suddenly at Caleb, whose smile just widened.

    I started spinning in circles, trying to find the source of his joke. I was missing something, and it was killing me.

    Caleb walked to the banana container again and tossed one over my head. Again, there was absolutely no noise whatsoever of it hitting the ground

    "Alright, you..." I started. "so help me I will beat you down with your own Crystal Star if you don't tell me what's up!"

    Caleb continued to smile, continued to wait.

    Not a word is coming from his mouth. Is he telling me to figure it out for myself?

    I focused intently, and found nothing. I had a flashback to the forest, and my speech to Caleb

    "Don't search your physical feelings at all. Instead, try not paying attention to anything in your body at all."

    "Trying is the issue. You are putting energy into not putting energy into anything."

    The flashback ended, and I stopped panicking. I let my horn do the work, telling me what had changed. And... on my back was an object that was hard to sense it's full shape because of its location compared to my horn. I could not even feel it, it must have been so light. It was in a place where I could look all over, even at myself, and not see. A blind spot. It was... a Pokémon!? it was...


    Another flashback:

    "Did you hope that Nincada would join us?" I asked.

    "I guess I did..." he said, glancing at me. "it does not seem that he remained here. Oh well."

    Son of a...

    I calmed myself, but not before vowing revenge on Caleb for this joke

    Watch your back, Caleb

    "Get off my back, Nincada"

    "Okay" came the tiny voice of the Nincada we met at the clearing.

    He clambered off of me. He had caught the bananas as they sailed over my head and promptly ate them.

    "thanks for feeding me, Caleb, I told you that we Nincada could go without food for a few days, but I had already had a day without food by accident. It's fine, I didn't starve"

    "Fine?" I growled loudly. I hated this. Hated it. What could have led to Caleb doing this?

    "Not starving is good," Caleb said. If I had realized that you were hungry, I would have tried to sneak you some food earlier. "

    at this point, it dawned on me that I was not actually part of this conversation. Furious, I amended that by generating a weak flamethrower to just cook the fool a bit. "ow." was all Caleb said

    He quickly took out a rawst berry, but I cooked it real quick and made it useless. The inside of his mouth got some fire there too. I blasted him again, this time with a bigger wave of fire. He was blackened by this point, and coughing smoke out of his mouth, several patches of hair burned mostly down to fine hairs. Once I was satisfied, I took out my own rawst berry and gave it to him. He ate it slowly, probably because I had burned his mouth. The rawst berry could not even heal him within five seconds. In fact, it took twenty for his burns to heal up.

    Why would you do this to me, Caleb?
  3. Hyperjade

    Hyperjade Youngster

    Feb 25, 2017
    (The problem persists with the bold lines. I must be honest and say I have no idea how to make it not happen. Bold is used in my story to show emphasis and sometimes high volume. Until later on, you won't normally see lines that are all bold. I will let you know when chapters are supposed to have lines that are entirely bold. So for now, if you see a line that is entirely bold for no clear reason, please ignore it. Thank you.)

    Chapter 5: Wigglytuff's Guild

    ⻤Nincada's POV⻤

    We were resting near a massive waterfall, I was partially underground, under a rare point of shade in this new landscape. Sarah sat nearby the entrance, her being the one anxious to go this time. The crazed pyromaniac had been ready to keep moving at all times after the situation where Caleb and I played a joke on her. Caleb, however, was the same as before, except for when he saw Sarah grow tired. He gave the order to rest. Sarah was not at all happy about it, but she regained some of her energy while Caleb focused on editing his Crystal Star. I burrowed underground to his location.

    "When will you want to leave?" I asked.

    he looked up at the sky, noting that the sun was past noon. "not certain. Sarah is still tired from our most recent trek" he went back to using his horn to affect the shape of his Crystal Star. I noted that the handle Caleb had changed would be much easier for him to grip, and I also noted that he had cut the large part down so that two edges were more blade-like, but the rest of it still served as a decent smashing weapon. He finished his work, then placed it on the now bigger holder on his back. The thing was less likely to slip out of that holder now. He picked up the shards of crystal, and put them in an empty part of his bag.

    Caleb looked right at me "would you like to keep moving?"

    I looked at Sarah, who was now pacing near the entrance. "I don't think what I want is important at the moment. I'm not tired. Sarah seems revitalized. I think that we should make it to a town. I believe that that may satisfy her for the time being.

    "so there are towns in this world," Caleb said slowly. When Sarah uncovered that he was human, I had tried to wrap my head around it. He did not seem human. Saying that, I realize that I don't know what humans seem like. This character was the only representation of the human race I knew of. He had explained some of it at Sarah's insistence: vast cities, easy travel through machines called cars, the fact that no one human can represent the species easily because no two people are the same. All human's apparently looked different from each other, unless they were identical twins (a phenomenon that Caleb explained as when two humans are 'conceived' and have identical genes.) I don't know the word genes, and I did not understand the context of 'conceived'. Caleb grew uncomfortable when I asked about it, and muttered something about it having to do with human reproduction. That just made me more confused than ever, but I did not press him.

    "the town will have a place to rest, and, more importantly, reasons to rest. The sooner we make it the better." I said

    I could visibly see him make a decision: he straightens in his sitting position, and his eye's become clearer. "we should go now" he decided. "let's go to town"

    ⽯ Caleb's POV ⽯

    We walked Quickly. Well, Sarah and I did. Nincada was resting on Crystal Star, which was resting on my back. I had informed Nincada about the peril of sitting on a volatile crystal that could violently destroy whatever it was touching it when it got hit with an attack. He had told me that it was safer than being on Sarah again. I wondered if that was true. Sarah was walking alongside me as we walked the grassy plains. I myself had gotten much warier of her since she torched me. It had hurt much more than I had let on. Frankly, I had almost teared up trying to handle the pain all over my body. She must have been really angry, because she burned the rawst berry too (and my mouth in the process), and finished with a wave of fire. She gave me her own rawst berry in the end, but geez. I was forced to eat that bitter thing with a burned mouth too.

    "do you know how close we are to the town?" I heard Nincada ask

    "I don't know, Nincada" I sighed. It was not like him to be forgetful that it was my first time too. Nevertheless, I was not being fair to him

    "I'm sorry Nincada,i'm" I saidI'm a bit sleepy at the moment"

    "it's all right," he said "I forgot"

    now Sarah spoke up "I don't know where the town is either..."

    I used some human logic to try and solve a Pokémon problem, which could have been a mistake, but it was what I had. "the town should have to be built near water. It needs a position where it is easy to obtain goods from other places. When we get close, there should be an actual road leading right to it. We need to find that road. Nincada?"

    "yes?" he replied

    "do you know the name of this town?"

    "not sure, but it may be Treasure Town."

    "thank you, Nincada. We will look for any sign saying 'treasure town'"

    "signs?" this from Sarah.

    well, that shattered my logic. "oh..." then I said: "I don't know if they are around, but they are basically markers with words on them describing directions, locations, warnings, and about a dozen other uses."

    "I see," Sarah said, definite anger in her voice.

    I looked at Sarah, wondering why she was still so hostile. I played one joke in her. Okay, it was a big joke, and I had acted like an ass, but it was unlike her to hold a grudge.

    "that needs to stop," I said to her

    she looked at me, looking somewhat confused. "what does"

    "you are harboring a grudge on me because of a joke, " I said. "at least tell me why you can't let this go like other issues."

    "you..." she began, and then she looked away.

    this action troubled me. I knew that she had a crush on me since the day she woke me up here, but I did not share those feelings. She seemed to take random things I said and redefine them in her mind to make it sound like I was flirting or agreeing with her feelings. It wa a naive hope, and deep down she knew it. Nevertheless, I had senselessly obliterated that hope with my insensitivity

    You betrayed me was what she was going to say. And she was right. regardless, I needed to stop trying to fix the issue. I had planned to separate myself from her fantasies so that I could depart without causing pain. That was possible now, but I needed to repair the relationship enough so that we could act as a team in battles. It was a tightrope, and I feared that I was not good enough to balance on it.

    "yeah." I said "I did. But that is not the important part. We still need to act as a team. What I have done to you does not matter in that sense. You can do what you want when we arrive in Treasure Town.

    she looked at me, and I purposely avoided her gaze. She could have said something to the tune of "I'm sorry", or she could have torched me again. She did not do either, mostly because Nincada spoke up "what is that line of dirt there?"

    I looked at the area in question, and it did look like a dirt road stretching into the plains.

    "that would be what we are looking for" I said "let's go"

    ⽕ Sarah's POV ⽕

    Why did he keep stopping me? I don't understand.

    I wanted to move quickly, but after those jerks played their little joke, they seemed intent on resting. Caleb would keep checking on me, as if I cared. As if he cared. And if I seemed even a little tired, he called a break.

    I don't need a break!

    We walked down a trail now, heading for some interesting terrain with the water backing it and to the side. We approached a beach, and there seemed to be a commotion above the cliff. No, in the cliff. The cliff face above us was literally a face: shaped into the shape of a Sharpedo. Some noise of conflict was coming from within the mouth.
    Caleb spoke up. "That doesn't sound good"

    "thanks, Sherlock" I muttered.

    "perhaps we should check on it?" Caleb asked

    Then, basically on Que, a powerful blast of lightning lit up the world. Originating from the mouth of the Sharpedo cliff, it launched three figures out and into the water below. Two of them floated up, unconscious. They floated to the edge of the water, and me and Caleb pulled them out. The third was still conscious, splashing his way to the edge. It was a skuntank, known for having a tendency for misbehavior. You want to be careful around them. He walked over to us. He opened his mouth, as if to speak, then saw his friends.

    "I'll be taking those two with me," the Skuntank said, roughly pushing his way past us, and trying to wake up his friends by smacking them around.

    "get up, you two" he grunted

    I really wished Caleb had not decided to speak up right when he did. "that won't help them when they are already unconscious," he said "you might as well just carry them"
    The much bigger Pokémon turned his backside to Caleb. "...shut up," he said, before blasting him with the most disgusting smelling cloud I had ever experienced. Caleb took the full brunt of the attack, dropping. Nincada scrambled off before he could be hit, too. The Skuntank laughed "Chaw-haw-haw" (what a stupid laugh!) before grabbing his friends and walking away. I had not done a thing to stop him.

    I was just running to Caleb when I realized that Crystal Star was already sucking up the poisonous gas, and starting to glow purple. Nincada scrambled away, but I made the mistake of trying to help Caleb. Crystal Star's energy expanded in a poisonous wave of energy, causing quite the issue when it touched me. Caleb appeared unharmed. Nincada was fine too, which was odd, but I was very badly poisoned. I did not even have the strength to get a pecha berry. As I fell into unconsciousness, I said "Nincada... help..."

    I blacked out.

    ⽯ Caleb's POV ⽯

    I woke to a pleasant chiming. I felt relatively OK, considering what had happened.

    I kept my eyes closed, because I could tell that I was in a different place. I heard commotion again, but it was certainly not fighting. The conversation was mostly questions.

    "what happened to him?!" said a female voice

    "who did it?" said a slow, low voice

    "you don't see that many Absol around here." said a small voice

    "only place I have heard of Absols appearing is Crystal Crossing," said a high pitched female voice

    "YA THINK HE'S FROM THERE!?" a ridiculously loud voice said

    "I bet he's from there! yup yup!" said a goofy sounding voice

    "perhaps Azelf know's him," said an indescribable voice.

    "he look's bad," said an average male voice
    "He was very badly poisoned by an attack," said a voice directly behind me. "I have already cured the poison. He just needs to recover now"

    there were more questions, but one voice called out above the others. A singsong voice, like if a small bird learned to talk

    "everyone, please," the person said "he cannot be surrounded by you lot when he wakes up! you will simply stress him out. return to your duties"

    too late for that, bird.

    sounds of many different size feet walking away filled my ears. I heard loud footsteps headed my way.

    "will he be all right, Chatot?" said a high pitched female voice.

    "yes, guildmaster, sir, he just needs rest," said the singsong voice. I guess her name is Chatot

    "please take him to team Thunderwave's old room, where he can wake up privately," said the guildmaster. I also figured that I was at a guild of some sort.

    where are Sarah and Nincada?

    "I can't take him there, guildmaster, my psychic is ineffective," said the voice behind me. Her voice was like a wind chime had learned to speak.

    Ineffective psychic powers huh? you new to this or something?

    "then I'll take him." said the guildmaster. "anything for a friend!"

    Strong arms picked me up. I was carried into some room, and laid on my left side in a bed of... hay? I heard a door shut, and then nothing. I opened my eyes immediately. I was in fact on a bed of hay, which did not seem very fitting to me. I got up quietly and took inventory. My pack was on, and all items were in their correct locations, even though they carried a lingering smell of that awful attack. Crystal Star was missing, which I was not happy about. I figured I would get it back when I made my consciousness known. I hoped I would get it back. I had made the thing myself, and I was quite fond of it. Its holder was still in place, and appeared untouched.
    neither Sarah nor Nincada were mentioned. I hope they got away

    there was a window in the wall, and I walked to it. The ocean was visible, but that was about it. It was built so that I could not see directly sideways out of it. There were two beds, which must have meant that team Thunderwave had two people. They had not been slept in recently. Otherwise, the room was empty. I would have to leave to achieve anything. My stomach growled again. I hate how quickly my stomach empties. Nothing about how my body works makes sense. As much as I understand it, a Pokémon's body is so incredibly efficient that I use all of the food I eat. And some other things too. There are no organs for expelling waste because there is no waste. I had gotten attacked by a Pokémon called Marshtomp on our way to the mystifying forest. The jerk had forced mud down my throat, and the only repercussion was that I tired out faster for the next ten miles. I understood why Nincada was confused about human reproduction, seeing as Pokémon don't seem to have any reproductive organs at all. We just ate, and then our belly empties over time. I guessed that the food simply replaced lost energy in combat, and fuelled basic motor control. The more I worked, the hungrier I got.

    I am getting sidetracked. Right now I ought to be doing some sneaking around

    I walked to the door, and just pushed it open. No handle or anything. I was glad the door was quite silent, as if I planned to learn some things before people knew I was awake. I wanted my questions answered first, and then I would let them ask questions. I tried to be stealthy, but the corridor opened straight into the main room occupied by many different Pokémon. I moved back, hoping no one saw me. Across the room, an odd Pokémon with bulging cheek pouches stirred a large cauldron with a purple liquid. He saw me, and looked at the crowd around the corner, then back at me. He moved very slowly. I shook my head. He nodded and went back to stirring the cauldron.

    did he understand me? I hope I haven't made some sort of deal there.

    also across the room was another corridor, this one smelled of food. I was tempted for a bit before I shook my head and focused on the task at hand. I listened at the corner to the many conversations in the room, before realizing that none of them had anything to do with me. I glanced around again quickly, and saw a window showing the outside of the guild. There was also one ladder leading up to another level. A door with torches on either side, and looked rather elegant. I assumed that this was the guildmaster's room. No other exits were visible. We were built into a cliff, if I had to guess. And I would need to go up a ladder to get to the next floor, something I did not know how to do in Absol form. The ladder was covered in holes and indentations, as if it was the guild's scratching post. I guessed I would have to walk right up to it with my claws. I would fail the first time. There was no sneaking out of this building.

    I will have to make my presence known to get out of here

    perhaps there was something in the guildmaster's quarters. Another exit. Crystal Star. Something useful. Most of the Pokémon seemed to be leaving the chamber via the ladder, and there were only a few left in the room. A birdlike Pokémon pushed open the guildmaster's door, jabbered at two others who seemed to be quarreling, and all three of them left the room. The bird's voice matched the voice I heard talking to the guildmaster. Chatot seemed to be the right-hand man of the guildmaster. I saw my chance when only three were in the room, all looking away. using quick attack, I shot across the room and right through the door as quietly as possible. I caught my breath, because there were a lot of things in this room. Crystal Star was one of them, propped up against the wall. I replaced it on my back. Nobody was here, but there was a lot of energy in the room. I searched the room with my horn, and it felt like the room was detonating over and over. Like something kept exploding in it over time. I hoped that the volatile trigger in question was not in this room now. I also hoped that the volatile trigger was not Crystal Star. That whole situation scared me a bit. Satisfied by this find, I surreptitiously opened the door, and zipped back to my new room when the coast was clear.

    I'll wait for a visitor, I thought, and then we will see what is going on.

    ⽕ Sarah's POV ⽕

    I woke up on a rocky surface. My vision was filled with Nincada, looking down at me worriedly.

    "oh, wonderful! I thought I had done something wrong!" he sighed, clearly relieved.

    I had only one thing on my mind "is Caleb OK?"

    Nincada looked at me "I only had time to get you out of there with dig before these three Pokémon came and found him" he said. "I had to focus on getting you a pecha berry, and they took him."

    I noted that he had just protected me, but I was more concerned with Caleb. "were they friendly?"

    he nodded "I think so. They looked worried, and they carried him off. They did not see us because I had used dig"

    "thank you for saving me, Nincada, I stopped thinking," I said, "we need to get Caleb. How long was I out?"

    "practically a day and a half" came his reply, and then I saw him push an apple to me. "you must be very hungry"

    a day and a half?!

    My stomach growled, and I stopped thinking about Caleb for a minute and ate. Instead, I asked Nincada "how did you get away from that poison wave?"

    "I did not" he said. I looked up in surprise. "i'm a ground type. It did not last longer than a minute before the poison faded away"

    "lucky me you tagged along with us" I said. So there had been some usefulness to the little guy after all. I forgave Caleb and Nincada for their little joke. I felt that Caleb had been trying to tell me something. Probably that he was not interested in me.

    too bad. I will work on him until he is

    "lets go" I said standing up

    "where?" Nincada asked

    "to save my stupid future boyfriend" I answered, walking back to the beach.

    ⻤Nincada's POV⻤

    Future boyfriend, huh?

    I stood atop sarah so that she could move faster without leaving me behind. We walked up the path to a crossroads, and sarah took a left. Immediately, we saw buildings, and Pokémon everywhere.

    Treasure Town

    Sarah walked into the town. Many Pokémon looked right at us, and shrank away. I understood their fear: Sarah looked ready to torch anyone standing in between her and Caleb. I honestly feared for Caleb more than anyone else; Sarah seemed to have this crazy idea of keeping Caleb in her world. Caleb won't have any of it. Sarah was being driven crazy by a love she knows won't stay.

    "Sarah," I said, "do you know where you are going?"

    "to the cliff" she replied

    at least she didn't say 'off the cliff'...

    "what do you hope to find there?" I asked

    "team Thunderwave" she responded unhelpfully

    "team what now?"

    "Thunderwave," she said "a team in a story I heard. The team leader is rumored to be a human who was transformed into a Pokémon."

    uh... what?

    "I fail to see how that will find Caleb in this circumstance, Sarah," I said

    "They're a rescue team"

    ah... I see...

    "Sarah, if he was taken to the guild, that should be the first place we check?"

    "if he is being held down there, someone on the inside could easily get him out."

    "an alternative?"

    "I rush the place burning everything"

    "on the other claw, im sure these guys can help," I said, slightly terrified now. It was bad enough that I no longer had Caleb to protect me from this pyromaniac, but now more poor Pokémon were about to be dragged into this mess. As we reached the bluff, I began hoping that the pecha berry did not work 100%. Sarah saw a pile of leaves on the ground, and quickly cleared them with vacuum cut, revealing a staircase. She walked right in, and I made sure to jump off before anything bad happened to me.

    "see ya" Sarah whispered

    "wouldn't want to be ya" I whispered back.

    she walked into the room, and I burrowed underground for maximum safety. I could understand the happenings through vibrations in the ground

    "hello?" Sarah called

    I sensed movement behind a curtain of vines in the wall.

    "helloooo?" Sarah called again

    suddenly, she fired a flamethrower at the curtain, and a blast of electrified water was the response

    stupid, stupid, stupid. You attacked. How do you expect to get help from Pokémon if you attack?

    I did not take pleasure from Sarah getting wrecked by a water gun and thunder wave combo. I did not take pleasure in the fact that Sarah was paralyzed, and fell to the floor, unable to move. A Swampert and a Raichu stepped out and studied her. I figured that they would toss her right out, no question. I decided to step in, and dug to the surface.

    "wait" the Raichu said, clearly sensing my prescence

    I surfaced next to Sarah, and immediately got attacked with a ridiculously powerful thunderbolt. Being a ground type, the attack was useless, but Sarah was hit with the excess energy.

    "stop hurting her!" I squeaked.

    in the face of such power, I should have run away. I should have done the smart thing and let Sarah take the hit, but I was feeling brave, and I did not want these people hurting her, even in self defence.

    the Swampert towering above the Raichu said "what are you doing here?"

    "we are looking for a friend of ours," I said. "he got knocked out, then carried away. I apologize for my friend's behavior, and I apologize for intruding on your home."

    it seemed I did a good job. The Raichu stopped flinging sparks everywhere, and the Swampert visibly relaxed.

    "who knocked him out?" the Raichu asked

    "it was a skuntank. One known to you, I should think, considering how he was blasted right out of your home. Anyways, he attacked Caleb, and then a different poison attack by an unseen enemy wiped Sarah here out. I saved Sarah, but while doing so, three Pokémon I could not identify came and carried Caleb off" i said. i had lied a bit, saying that i did not know where the second poison attack came from, but i did not think that these Pokémon really wanted to know what Caleb could do to them by accident.

    the Swampert and the Raichu were now listening intently, and Swampert said: "Jake, do you think that he was picked up by the guild?"

    Jake the Raichu said "probably. But I have a more important question: you said their nicknames where Sarah and Caleb? Those are uncommon nicknames for Pokémon."

    "Sarah is a nickname," I said. "Caleb was adamant about how it was his name." I then know what Jake was asking. "Caleb is a human" I simply said.

    Jake froze at this. And I continued "we really should go find him, but, ah, I think it would be best to keep Sarah paralyzed" I earned a glare from Sarah from the corners of her eyes "she might start burning things in her way to Caleb" I clarified.

    Jake looked at me. "human?" he echoed

    "Yeah. Like you, I believe. unless it's your Swampert friend, which I doubt very much"

    "What is he like?"

    Now Sarah was glaring at Jake

    "Caleb is quiet, and he has a goal above all others: find a way home. He claims that he is not the best at making decisions, but he has been a leader the entire time i've known him. He does not smile much, and spends a lot of time looking at something before approaching." I said

    as I described Caleb, I wondered what Sarah really thought of his goal, or if she even comprehended it. He planned to leave, and Sarah treated him like he planned on staying.

    it was Swampert who spoke next. "Jake insisted that Jake was his name..."

    "lets find Caleb" Jake said. "now".

    Swampert went to pick up sarah, and I jumped on board before she was too high to reach. She was as stiff as a board until the paralysis flickered, and she went limp.

    I have never seen paralysis before. She can only move in quick jolts, and then she is frozen in her next position.

    she seemed to be recovering, but Jake put some more undamaging electricity into her body, renewing the paralysis. We moved quickly back the way we had come. Nobody was speaking, and soon we arrived at the crossroads again. We turned left (straight from our initial entrance) and climbed until we arrived at an odd structure shaped like an odd Pokémon, with a metal grate in front. Swampert and Jake stepped on the grate

    A voice from below shouted: "Pokémon detected! Pokémon detected!"

    A second voice, further down asked: "who's footprint? Who's footprint?"

    "The footprint is Swampert and Raichu! the footprint is Swampert and Raichu!"

    "Heard ya!"

    Voice number two was now audible from the gate: "come in, team Thunderwave!"

    we walked in and climbed down a two ladders to arrive at a bottom floor. A loudred stood at the bottom, and noticed Sarah and me in Swampert's arms. "WHAT IS THIS!? DO THESE Pokémon NEED HELP!?"


    "no, Loudred" Jake said "these Pokémon are friends of the Pokémon you found on the beach"

    "OH!" Loudred said, blasting my eardrums again. "LET ME GET CHATOT!"

    anything to get you to stop killing me with that ridiculously loud voice

    he ran off toward the birdlike Chatot. They had an exchange, and Chatot flew over. "you were here for the Absol we found?" he asked, and then noticed Sarah, paralyzed and fuming, and me in Swampert's arms "what is this?"

    Swampert said "these are the Absol's friends. We were forced to subdue this absol, who was practically catatonic looking for the one called 'Caleb'."

    "Caleb is the name of the Absol you have here," Jake said.

    "we would like to talk to him please," I said, eardrums still ringing.

    Chatot made a face. "I will have to talk to the guildmaster. One moment."

    and we waited for a few minutes. I was unaware that we had forgotten to re-paralyze Sarah, or that we were about to get involved in one of the worst fights I have ever seen.

    ⽕ Sarah's POV ⽕

    I fumed silently as we waited for that bird to arrive with news. The paralysis was wearing off, but that did not mean that the world had to know it. My view of the door was partially obstructed, but I knew well enough that the person responsible for releasing or holding Caleb was in that room, and I knew who to challenge if the correct decision was not made. I glared at Nincada out of the corner of my eye again. The little jerk had gone ahead and insulted me, knowing that I could not move. Then, Chatot emerged, tailed by the pink wigglytuff. "we can let you talk to Caleb, but he cannot leave until his weapon has been located."

    that was not the correct answer.

    "weapon? you mean Caleb's Crystal Star?" Nincada asked.

    "that is it's title?" chatot asked

    "yeah. You said it was missing?"

    "it disappeared from the guildmaster's chamber's shortly after Caleb was placed in the extra room to rest. Your old room." he finished, looking at Jake.

    I had had enough. I was going to talk to him NOW. Building up the most powerful flamethrower I could muster, and launching it at Chatot. The force flung me backward and out of swampert's grip. I landed on my feet, prepared to take on everyone in the room. I noticed that Wigglytuff had taken the hit for Chatot, and was now looking in my direction. The standoff was brief. I took a deep breath, bringing up flamethrower, and to my surprise, he took a breath as well. Instantly, everything became chaotic; Jake and swampert immediately pressed themselves against the wall far away from wigglytuff, terror in their eyes, and chatot flew straight up the ladder and out of the room. And I noticed a certain Pokémon fall straight in between us, who had been thrown by my attack as well: Nincada. It was way too late. Flamethrower erupted from my mouth, and wigglytuff unleashed an attack I had never heard of. My flamethrower was obliterated, and so were my eardrums as the scream literally picked me up and smashed me through the wall, burying me into the dirt. I blacked out.

    ⽯ Caleb's POV ⽯


    I jolted out of sleep, and immediately noticed the smell of smoke. What was happening out there? I ran right out of the room, trying to find the source of the battle. I found it immediately. That nice room I had snuck about in earlier was utterly destroyed.

    "what happened?!" I cried out, searching with my horn for signs of life. A large blue Pokémon that looked similar to the marshtomp I had fought days earlier. The other one looked like a big orange mouse with a electric cord for a tail, tipped with a lightning bolt. Those two were smashed against the wall, and knocked out cold, but clearly breathing. I noticed a pink Pokémon that stood at the center of the carnage, who looked burned. He was standing in the only undamaged spot in the room.

    burns... Sarah!

    I searched more, but the only other movement was a small form laying in the smoke. I found him and checked his heartbeat. He was breathing, but he was not conscious at all. I wondered how he had withstood the attack. Sarah had told me something about it before she had gone crazy. Apparently, Pokémon bodies stiffen up after unconsciousness has occurred, and it's difficult to damage at all during that time. That makes it hard for Pokémon to die in combat. I was grateful for this aspect now. I ran back to the pink Pokémon with Nincada still in my mouth. I put him down and produced a rawst berry from my pack and tried to give it to the Pokémon

    "it's OK, friend!" he waved the berry away. "watch!"

    I watched the guildmaster, who now had little stars surrounding him. The stars were absorbed into his body, and he glowed yellow for a moment. When the glow faded, he was absolutely fine. Nonplussed, I let go of the berry, which hit the ground with a thud. I shut my jaw, which was still open. "um... who were you attacking?" I asked. I was pretty sure that Sarah had just made a huge mistake, but I wanted to be sure. I could not sense her, after all.

    "a mean red Absol," the guildmaster said, shattering my hope that she had not gotten herself in another tight situation. I tried to defend her. "her name is Sarah," I said "and she was fixated on me. She seems to have a crush on me of sorts. Where is she?"

    "oh, friend! a love story! but your friend is in the wall right now." he said

    I had winced at the words 'love story', but now I realized that Sarah had provoked the guildmaster, resulting in him promptly smashing her deeper than any buried treasure. I needed to save her. The only Pokémon who knew dig was unconscious, but I could fix that. I brought out the reviver seed from the crystal cave and fed it to him.
    Nincada woke up instantly, perfectly fine. There was no time, and I started barking orders. "get Sarah out of the wall, she's buried! then find a way to keep her subdued!"
    Nincada understood perfectly. "on it," he said before disappearing underground. I rushed back to the guildmaster. "is anyone else hurt?" I demanded, before realizing that yelling at the guy who just blew up a room easily is not a good idea. He did not seem to notice, though, and started looking around "I think that Chatot escaped unharmed," he said, relieved. "oh, you found your item!"

    I looked at Crystal Star, then back at the guildmaster. "yeah" I said. "found"

    at that moment, nincada appeared out of the wall, towing Sarah behind him. I rust over. "Sarah!" I yelled, hoping that my friend had not suffocated in the dirt. She was still. "come on, you," I said "you are not allowed to die around me, you hear? WAKE UP!"

    she coughed dirt out of her mouth, and her eyes fluttered open. She looked up at me and smiled "hi, Caleb"

    "Hello, Sarah. I responded.

    "WHAT?!" she yelled

    "I said hello"


    her ears were damaged. That was clear. No wonder there was such a loud noise, the attack the guildmaster used must have been sound based. I yelled "YOU NEED TO QUIET DOWN. YOUR HEARING IS IMPAIRED"

    "I STILL CANT HEAR YOU!" she said.

    she had gone completely deaf. I started to panic, not knowing what to do. I looked at the guildmaster. "can you heal others too? Sarah's lost her hearing"

    he said "of course, friend!" and lumbered over. This time, he used a pink pulsing attack that enveloped Sarah completely, and I thought that it did not look very much like a healing move. Regardless, Sarah shook her head and blinked. "Caleb?" she asked, unsure of herself. "I'm here," I said. "can you hear me?"


    "excellent. Let's keep it that way."

    luckily, she was too out of it to redefine that.

    "I need to say something to you," she said.

    "sure," I said, coming closer.

    she whispered so softly I almost could not hear her. "I'm so sorry," she said. "please forgive me. I won't act that way again. I promise."

    "apology accepted," I said, matching her volume. "I understand perfectly, Sarah. But it can't happen the way you want. I have to go home as soon as I have a way."

    she shook her head. "I disagree, Caleb," she said, looking up at me with the kindness that had disappeared from her when she discovered my joke. "I can change your mind eventually"

    I looked sadly at her. I remembered that she had a goal too. "just please don't go crazy again" I said, that sadness still in my voice. Why was I sad?
    i'm sad because I am still pretending not to be slipping into this fantasy bit by bit.
  4. Hyperjade

    Hyperjade Youngster

    Feb 25, 2017
    I have a hypothesis that the random bold paragraphs have something to do with this site reacting poorly with the Grammarly function, so I'm going to upload the next part with a bunch of errors in it to see if that goes away. It has errors because this was first written when I did not have Grammarly. Let's do this experiment.

    Wait, scratch that. I'll fix this with Grammarly in a different medium and then paste it. Let's see how this goes.

    Chapter 6: On the Edge

    ⽕ Sarah's POV ⽕

    I tried attacking again, only to find failure. Again. The stupid shadow ball never worked for me. We were in a part of the plains close to town, and I was trying to perfect shadow ball. I was a bit tired of only being able to burn things after our little issue with Wigglytuff and the guild (Caleb and Nincada agreed wholeheartedly). Wigglytuff had forgiven me completely, but Chatot had been wary of me since. Caleb and Nincada watched me accidentally blow myself up a few more times. The stupid shadow ball just inflated and fluctuated and exploded in my face. Caleb spoke up.

    "Why are you using your mouth for that attack?"

    It seemed like a really silly question to me. "that's how the attack works, Caleb" I sighed.

    "Not for you, it doesn't, " he said unnecessarily. I wondered where he was going with that until he sai: "ghost type energy is focused mostly in your front claws, right?"

    I had not thought about that. I realized that I was dragging the energy through my body in a way that it did not want to go. My front legs felt like I had fire in them. "how do you expect me to do it?" I asked, wondering if he had actually thought of an answer.

    "Try sending the energy directly out of your claws into the air" he instructed, "I have no idea if it will work at all, but it's worth a shot".

    "Okay," I said in a noncommittal tone. I spread my forelegs apart in front of me, and tried to force the energy straight up instead of up my legs. Much to my surprise, a small shadow ball began forming. I got excited, which caused me to lose focus. The small sphere dissipated into the air as smoke.

    "Imagine that," Caleb said a bit dryly. "you've got a smokescreen"

    I made a face at him, and tried again. getting the shadow ball formed was easy enough, but I realized an issue right away: when I tried to fire it, it went backward from the direction I was firing it at, straight at my face. This explosion was a bit worse than the others, mostly because the ball did not explode for at least ten seconds, literally carrying me into the air before blowing up. I was falling, and I was in no shape to soft-land on the ground with my forelegs hurting. Luckily, Nincada had the idea to quickly set up a pit, braced himself at the top, and basically make himself a pad to land softly on. He was hurt, but he seemed glad that I was OK. I really meant that he was quick in making that pit. The little guy was a much better a teammate than I gave him credit for, and he seemed not to care that he had gotten hurt in the process of saving me from a bad fall.

    Caleb walked over to us. "well done Nincada" he praised the little guy, and then turned to me. "smokescreens, flight," he laughed "what else don't we know about you?"

    It dawned on me that he was joking around easily, something that he always had trouble with before. I wondered what it meant for him. I wondered what it meant for us. His body had gotten tougher, with muscles rippling underneath the fur, and he walked like he was much lighter now. I understood now why he had trouble walking when I met him, because he had explained some about human anatomy when I insisted that I wanted to know about humans. Apparently, they were bipedal, and were built completely differently from an Absol.

    "Frankly, humans are weaklings compared to any Pokémon" he had said.

    Caleb interrupted my thinking by turning away to look at the sun, which was setting. "we need to make a decision about where to go next. Wigglytuff said he was willing to let us sleep in the extra room for a while." Caleb informed us "we ought to get back now."

    "I agree," Nincada said let's go".

    Nincada practiced a new technique that he had put together with two of his attacks. His scratch was a weak attack, and his dig attack did not do much in the way of attacking. What he was doing now combined the two, introducing a powerful stabbing attack from underground. Then he clambered onto my back and we set off.

    The guild was good as new, somehow. The wall had been fixed entirely, and all signs of burn damage were gone. Caleb searched the place with his red eyes, and said "there is literally no change from when I first arrived here... no sign of battle at all".

    Caleb was right, it was very odd. Then a familiar figure flew up to Caleb. "you're back, Caleb" Chatot said "your timing is impeccable. The guildmaster wishes to see you now".

    "Excellent" Caleb said

    We walked up to the fancy doors, and I had an automatic reaction because of the memory of our fight. A little fire escaped my mouth, and Caleb shot me a warning glance.

    "Hiya!" came the voice of Wigglytuff as we entered the room. He was standing in the center of the room, with some things on the ground in front of him. One was a fancy box, another was a normal looking bag, and the third was a pile of twelve black gummis and six brown gummis.

    "Hello, Wigglytuff, " Caleb said politely. I might have been less polite, so I decided to keep quiet for the time being.

    "hi, friends!" Wigglytuff said again, this time looking at me and Nincada. I simply said "hi", fearing what might escape my mouth if I said anything more. Nincada simply said "hello".

    Wigglytuff looked at each of us in turn, looking us over like he was judging our abilities. He then said, "why don't you look in this box please?"

    Because I am afraid you will take me apart again.

    Caleb stepped forward, seeing me hesitate, and pushed the box open with his right foreleg. He looked in it. "what are these items, Wigglytuff?" he asked.

    "Why, necessary items for your new exploration team!" he said.

    Exploration team?

    Nincada became restless beside me, and I probably had an odd expression.

    Caleb blinked. That seemed to be his way of showing his confusion or surprise. Probably both in this case. "pardon?" he asked, his voice a bit shakier now. I realized that Wigglytuff had really shaken him with that.

    Of course, he has things to do. He wants to get home.

    I then realized that this was my best chance. If I could get him involved in this, he had little chance of leaving me. At least for a while.

    "Caleb" I began, and he turned to me. "I think it's a good idea."

    He blinked again. "but..."

    "An exploration team would have access to knowledge and reasons to travel long distances," I said. "you might find your way home"

    That sealed the deal instantly. But Caleb had not realized that the commitment that this involved would keep him from actually leaving for a while longer. Maybe he had understood that, and decided that he could get around it somehow. I thought not. He nodded, and looked at Nincada "what do you think? Want to join us?" he asked Nincada.

    Nincada looked very confused by Caleb's change of heart on the matter, but once he realized that he was not being left out, he was very eager. "of course!" he answered, "thank you so much!"

    "That's settled then!" Wigglytuff said, and pushed the items to us. I walked forward and looked in the bag. It was bigger inside than outside. I had not heard of such items. Caleb looked in as well, and began muttering quietly to himself. I only caught "laws of physics" before he was looking in the box again. He pulled out a black cloth and a red cloth, and then a badge of sorts. The box was now empty. The badge was blank.

    "What will be your team name?" Wigglytuff asked us. "you will need to identify yourself". I noticed that Wigglytuff was no longer being goofy, like this was really an important part of our team. I looked at the badge at Caleb's feet, blank and waiting for a name to be inscribed on it.

    "It's your choice, Caleb," I said.

    Caleb looked like he had been offered a free poisonous fruit. He started muttering again, thinking aloud. Finally, he looked at me and Nincada, then back at Wigglytuff.

    "Team Edge" he decided. "does that work?"

    "It works perfectly, friend!" Wigglytuff said. Then, he said "YOOM-TA!" and there was a powerful flash in the room. When the black spots disappeared from my eyes, the badge read:

    Team Edge

    Normal Rank

    Exploration Team

    Now Chatot spoke. "you are now guild members," he said. "you are rookies in need of training, and will live in the guild until you have graduated. The room Caleb used when he was recovering will serve as your new room."

    the audience was over, and our new lifestyle had begun. Caleb led the way back to the room, where there were still only two beds, but that was fine because Nincada preferred to sleep underground anyways. "see you two in the morning" I said, and promptly fell into my new bed of hay, feeling exhausted. Before I could get to sleep, I heard Caleb yowl in frustration as he laid down on his right side again, stabbing his horn into the hay. He readjusted onto his left and fell right asleep. I slept, too.

    tomorrow will be a long day.

    ⽯ Caleb's POV ⽯

    "UP AND AT EM'!" a voice roared "IT'S MORNING!"

    I felt like I had gotten no sleep at all, but my mind had been kicked into high gear by that ridiculously loud voice. It was a miracle that I did not go deaf.

    "Morning" I heard directly underneath me. Nincada surfaced and pushed me out of my bed. Shaking off the ringing in my ears, I stood up.

    "Get up, Sarah" Nincada said, and pushed her out of bed as well.

    My bed was messed up badly. I had cut it up with my horn while tossing and turning in my sleep.

    "You've got hay on your horn" was the first thing Sarah said this morning. I shook my head violently, but the hay stayed. "I'll get it" Sarah volunteered, and I let her pull it off of me. I noticed that she was back to taking her time and trying to give me pretty looks. I ignored it and started walking towards the door. As I reached it, it slammed open, smashing me into the soft wall behind it. I heard that voice again, this time right next to me.

    "YOUR LATE, ROOKIES!" he yelled. I hadn't even gotten a proper look at this guy yet. "GET OVER HERE!"

    Geez. What a loud voice! I had just recovered from that.

    "Caleb!" I heard Sarah scream in panic. "get away from the door!" she yelled at the Pokémon, who apparently obliged. Sarah pulled it back to spill me out of the new Absol shaped indentation in the wall. I got my first good look at the Pokémon who had blasted my eardrums three times. It was bipedal, and purple, with oddly shaped eyes and two circular ears. His mouth was ridiculously large; he could have eaten me in one bite, easy. I hoped he wouldn't.

    "Ow,Im" I said

    "GET UP, ROOKIE!" he screamed at me "IF YOU MAKE WIGGLYTUFF MAD..."

    That was plenty for me. Ignoring the ringing in my ears, I scrambled up and followed the Pokémon out of the room. Everyone in the guild was standing in two horizontal lines, waiting in front of Chatot and Wigglytuff. No two Pokémon were the same. There was one that looked like a sunflower with legs and two leaves for arms, who saw me immediately. "ooh!" she shrieked "there he is!"

    I was instantly swarmed by the Pokémon. questions. questions. I couldn't even hear most of them. There was one Pokémon that looked like a small beaver with a different tail, and had buck teeth.I'm glad you're all right, yup yup!" he said in a goofy voice.

    I shot Chatot a look like: help.

    "Everyone, please!" Chatot said, getting my message. "there is time for questions later, but we have to start off the day."

    "Right!" everyone said. And they launched into a quick chant, involving three ideals that I could not even hear because of the ringing in my ears. I only heard the last line: "and THREE! smiles go for miles!".

    "Okay, Pokémon" Chatot said, "let's get to work!"

    "HOORAY!" the whole group said, including Sarah and Nincada.

    I don't chant. Ever. I don't chant I don't sing I don't dance. I just do not see the point of it. I feared that I may have to soon, though.

    By tomorrow morning at least, I will be expected to chant and sing along with the rest of these Pokémon.

    On that happy note, I noticed that we were the only ones in the room besides Chatot. He walked over to us, and said: "today, I will have Bidoof show you around the guild and treasure town. He will show you the different facilities, the job boards, and all of the useful buildings to explorers in treasure town. Please feel free to ask any questions you like. I will bring Bidoof down here now." he then left us there, flying up the ladder. I hated that ladder. It had taken me three tries to get up it last time, being judged by Sarah, Nincada, and Croagunk (the one stirring the cauldron).

    Suddenly, the small beaver like creature came down the ladder slowly. Bidoof walked up to us and said: "Good morning! Chatot tells me that you need a tour".

    "Thank you, Bidoof" Sarah responded.

    "Aw, shucks,idea's" he said, embarrassed. Then he led us up. I went last for maximum privacy in my inevitable failure. It only took me two tries this time.

    I'm getting better.

    Bidoof waited for me on the second floor. One more ladder to climb, and this time I was surrounded by other, judging eyes. Bidoof had ideas. He walked over to one of the two boards, to the left of the ladder. "this board here" he said, "is basic jobs for exploration teams. rescue missions and such. You won't be taking any jobs today, that's for sure."

    Bidoof was moving quickly, like he was in a hurry. He led us to the board on the right of the ladders, and notified us that this one was the outlaw notice board.

    "Outlaws" I repeated.

    "Yes. Big tough thieves and other criminals" he said. "you don't want to take outlaw jobs until you have at least risen in rank, showing that you have much better experience in the field."

    I looked down at the badge attached to my armor. The words 'Normal Rank' stood out. And all you had to do to become a target of a guild was to steal things and be difficult to take down. I guess there was not much else to do in the way of bad things. This community of Pokémon so far had shown that life was so much simpler than in my world. Most were kind unless they were attacking us in a mystery dungeon.

    "Hang on a minute!" Sarah suddenly exclaimed, pushing her way to the board. "Caleb!" she said, "its Marshtomp!"

    "Surely it was a different Marshtomp,low level" I said, looking at the picture of the Pokémon on a wanted poster, labelow-leveloutlaw.

    "I recognize the picture!" she said "you don't?"

    "Not the best at discerning faces yet" I admitted. "if it was the same guy, then you already beat him up."

    Bidoof had been listening quietly. Now he spoke up. "if you two just took down an outlaw on your way here, then by golly, you must be strong. Where was he?".

    "Right where that poster said he was" I said "outside the mystifying forest."

    "What did he do to you?" Bidoof asked.

    "Incapacitated me by stuffing mud down my throat" I answered. "it was Sarah here who took him out." remembering the event was not fun. I remember not being able to breath, and almost blacking out while Sarah battled that prick. She wiped him out with vacuum cut, and I fell unconscious. I woke to Sarah standing over me. I had swallowed all of it because I could not throw it up while unconscious. The only negative effect was me slowing down, but it was still disgusting.

    Nincada spoke up "why haven't I heard this yet?".

    "Mostly because I tried to block it out of my mind" I answered him. "i'm sorry, Bbidoof, but we walked away from the battle without taking him with us".

    "Its alright, by golly", he said. "just be glad you walked away from it".

    I wondered what that meant, but Bidoof had moved on.

    "Over there," he said, "is Chimecho. She can heal you up with heal bell, and she handles team alignments".

    In other words, she was the nurse and the one who controls who you can officially take into dungeons with you. That was useful. Now Bidoof went slowly up the ladder. I went second, also moving slowly. I almost fell several times, but managed to get up without failure by just moving really slowly. We walked out of the guild and around the grate. I had not been to treasure town yet, and was ready to find out what exactly was going on there. Sarah had not told me much about it. It looked rather like an event back home where on the second Friday of the month, small stores appeared all over the roadsides. I did not actually see any homes, so they may have been hidden within the surrounding landscape. The visible buildings were all stores or services or attractions. I saw a dark building on the right first, which had a floating Pokémon in it. He looked ghost-like.

    "Duskull" Bidoof said "handles the bank. Any money you wish to store can be given directly to Duskull. He has never lost any of anybody's. Ever."

    I worried about it, but that was likely the aura the ghost-like Pokémon was exuding.

    "Chansey is down there" Bidoof gestured downhill to the left to a small pink building "handles Pokémon eggs found in dungeons by explorers. When they hatch, the teams who found them decide whether to let that Pokémon join their team or to have it go and start their own life."

    "Hang on", I said. "joining a rescue team at birth? is that even remotely safe?"

    Sarah moved closer to me and whispered so that Bidoof could not hear her. "Caleb, Pokémon grow more powerful through exposure to combat. It's a part of life here. There couldn't be anything better for a newborn Pokémon's growth than joining a team who will protect them through dangerous locations."

    That sounded wrong. So wrong. But then again, I really had no say in how things worked here. If that is really what helped Pokémon grow, then that was a part of natural life. I had no place protesting it.

    "Next up is Electivire's link shop", Bidoof said. "he can link two moves of your choice so that you can use a second attack much easier, and with less energy. It only works for the second attack, however".

    We moved on down the street, coming up to a very familiar shop this time.

    "This is-" Bidoof began.

    "A Kecleon shop" I interrupted. I walked up to the two kecleons. This time there was a difference. One of them was purple in color instead of green. "hello," I said. "i was not aware that you guys had shops in other communities".

    "We have shops everywhere" the green one answered. "even in mystery dungeons. We are happy to serve you anywhere".

    "Thank you", I said, and then Sarah walked up.

    "Is Caleb causing trouble?" she asked teasingly, looking at me.

    "None at all!" the purple one said, as if the idea was silly. "you two are just as polite as when you talked to my brothers in Crystal Community!"

    "They already told you? That was fast" Sarah said.

    "Are all the Kecleon shops run by your brothers?" I asked.

    "yes" both said, the green one looking at me, the purple one looking at Sarah.

    That's a lot of brothers.

    "We best continue, yup yup!" said Bidoof behind us.

    "Pleasure meeting you", said Nincada to the Kecleon brothers, the only one of us who remembered to say a proper goodbye.

    next we came to a big building with a Pokémon in front. It was brown, with a bone helmet of sorts, (or was that his head?) and held a bone in his left hand. That whole appearance was not very reassuring. "good morning, Marowak!" Bidoof said.

    "who are these?" he asked.

    "These Pokémon are our new recruits", Bidoof said, as if he was used to using that answer. Then he said "they are team Edge.".

    "I see." Marowak said. "well, you three feel free to come to my dojo and participate in my challenges".

    "challenges?" Sarah asked.

    "I have set up numerous artificial mystery dungeons within my dojo", he said proudly "they are type specific, so you can use them to test your strategies for battling each type".

    "Thank you", Sarah said.

    Numerous? That building is too small for even one. Oh, wait, its like that treasure bag. Why is it that these Pokémon are capable of breaking the laws of physics on a daily basis?

    Our next stop was a building shaped like something from a classic totem pole. An oddly shaped bird. I then realized that the same Pokémon was behind the desk.

    "Xatu appraisal", Bidoof said. "he opens specific locked boxes that you find in dungeons".

    Very specific. But then again, if I had needed to open an odd locked box, I would need to go here.

    And finally, we came across a large brown building, with a massive Pokémon inside at the counter. It looked over and saw us, gesturing for us to come over. We obliged, and the giant intimidating Pokémon said in a sweet female voice: hello, sweetie, what can I do for you today?".

    I was unsure of what to do, but Bidoof walked right up to the counter. "hello, Kangaskhan" he said.

    "Why, if it isn't Bidoof", Kangaskhan said sweetly. "do you need anything?".

    "I am just showing our new rescue team the different facilities available for exploration team use" Bidoof answered.

    "Well", she said. "i will explain what I do for them".

    She turned to us. "I am Kangaskhan", she said "I handle storage for rescue teams across the world.".

    "Across the world?" I asked "do you have other's helping you?".

    "Of course, sweetie", she said. "every region of the world has a Kangaskhan Storage. The rest of the time, teams can use Kangaskhan rocks to store or take materials and other tools, or save your location."

    "Saving?" that made no sense. I was not in a video game.

    Sarah leaned over. "you can choose where you end up if you are beaten by a mystery dungeon. right now, because we joined the guild, we would end up in our beds".

    I blinked "okay...".

    As we were turning to leave, Bidoof asked for two of the Oran berries he had saved in there for his next trip. I barely remembered to say goodbye. "saving" I muttered so softly that nobody heard me "i guess that if they can make things bigger on the inside, they can find ways to change where freaky magic dungeons place you if they knock you right out."

    We returned to the guild. The day was not even halfway over, and the guild was much quieter. "most other teams are on missions at the moment" Bidoof said. I noted that most of the pages were taken off of both boards. "sometimes they are away for more than a day" Bidoof said "but most of our jobs are within the distance that we can cross within a day. To get back, teams use their badges to transport back immediately."

    That was interesting, teleportation via team leader badges. "instruct me in that process" I said.

    Bidoof seemed taken aback by my sudden harshness. "sure" he said "you just concentrate psychic energy into it. You can also save Pokémon from dungeons by using normal energy. If you need to rest in the middle of the dungeon, use ghost energy, and you will become unnoticeable for a time period. You will also fall asleep. You can't be touched or seen in that state."

    "Thank you", I said. That was all useful. It would definitely help us get missions done and return in time for the night.
    the rest of the day was truly uneventful. I enjoyed it, but it would not last.
  5. Hyperjade

    Hyperjade Youngster

    Feb 25, 2017
    Chapter 7: Swords of Wind and Water​

    ⽕ Sarah's POV ⽕​

    After two hours of listening to our stomachs growl, the three of us were just about to snap from boredom and hunger. Bidoof had suggested to us that we eat with the rest of the guild this time. We had not eaten breakfast, and were just dying to find out why this was worth the wait. Caleb was of course the logical one, claiming that we would be best off sticking to a regular eating schedule. Nincada was also impatient: his stomach was much smaller than ours, and it was probably completely empty.

    "you know what" Caleb said "why don't we look over the notice boards and think about our first mission?"

    I agreed mostly because it would get my mind off of my stomach. When we got to the boards, however, I realized that the boards were even emptier than before. "perhaps some teams work at night?" Caleb said, more analytically than confused.

    we walked to the left mission board. Caleb looked at a easy looking one, set at Mt. Horn. "Is that the one we will do?" Nincada asked, speaking for the first time in a while. "Perhaps" Caleb said. "It is very basic: save two Nidorans from Mt Horn's seventh floor." he frowned. "this is the only paper to mention the gender of the Nidorans. Why is that important in this scenario?"

    It was Nincada who had the answer: "Nidorans look different based on their gender" he informed Caleb. "female Nidorans are blue, and males are purple." He looked at the page. "One male and one female Nidoran need to be saved from mt horn. Lets hope this mission is there when we wake" he finished.

    Then, we heard the wonderful sound of dinner being called.

    Ding ding ding ding ding. "Dinner is ready!" chimed Chimecho

    We rushed downstairs, and saw Chimecho floating at the entrance of the mess hall. Everyone was rushing towards chimecho at a speed that I worried might hurt her. Caleb and Nincada where the only other Pokémon who were being orderly in entering the mess hall. Big bowls full of apples, oran berries, a few bananas (from Caleb's harvest on our way here), and to Caleb's evident delight: pecha berries. I made a mental note to feed him pecha berries more often. Everybody was clamoring as they waited for the word from Chatot. We took our spots at the table: three of the last five plates at the end.

    Chatot spoke up once we were all prepared. "lets eat!" he called from the head of the table. Every Pokémon in the room immediately started chowing down. I followed suit, and I saw Nincada do the same. Caleb, however, was eating slower than the others. I wondered what was wrong, but he was simply savoring. Particularly the pecha berries. It took him three times as long to finish his food than the other Pokémon, who just stared at him. Even Chatot seemed dumbfounded by his control over himself. By the time he finished, he had everyone's attention, and some frustration to go with it.

    "i want to go to bed..."

    "hurry up will you?"

    "just eat faster"

    "how can he do that?"

    meanwhile, Wigglytuff danced with a giant, wonderful looking apple balanced on his head. He was oblivious to Caleb it seemed, but when Caleb finished, wigglytuff stopped dancing immediately, widened his mouth bigger than he should have been able to, and ate the giant apple in one bite.

    "well, that was a lovely dinner!" he exclaimed. "off to bed, friends! there is a long day ahead of you tomorrow!"

    with that, everyone left quickly, their bedtimes disrupted by Caleb's casual eating. A few shot him frustrated glances. I was okay with his pace, and Caleb pretended to be oblivious to the actions of our fellow guild members. Nincada climbed onto my back, and with our bellies full we walked back to our chambers. Without a word, we all laid down and slept.

    "UP AND AT EM'!" Loudred roared again "IT'S MORNING!"

    i shuddered in bed, but I did not have to wait for Nincada to 'help' me out of bed this time. I rose to my feet, and plodded out of the room. Caleb and Nincada joined me in a few seconds, and we arrived at the main room. We were not the last this time. quickly, we started off the day by chanting the first three rules of the guild.





    i sang with them, I thought it kinda corny and fun. Caleb did not feel the same. He mouthed some of the words, but no sound escaped him. He did a good enough job looking like he was singing to not get caught, but there was no sense of humor in this eyes. We then moved quickly to the next floor and walked straight to the job board. The Mt. Horn job was there, and Caleb pulled it down. We figured out how to take the job, and stuffed the directions in our treasure bag.

    "you" a hostile voice said behind me.

    Caleb automatically started to reach for Crystal Star, before realizing that it was likely not an enemy. Likewise, I had almost spun and used vacuum cut. (i had been threatened by Chatot with extreme punishment if I used my flamethrower within the guild ever again)

    a Mightyena stalked toward us with a Machoke and a Bastiodon in tow. "who are you?" the mightyena demanded. He was clearly hostile, but he would have to be part of a team. Otherwise, why was he in here.

    Caleb answered "My name is Caleb, and these two are Nincada and Sarah" he said, gesturing to each of us in turn. "we are the guild's newest recruits, named Team Edge. We were about to-"

    "i don't care what you are doing" the Mightyena snarled, "i only asked who you are"

    boy, Caleb did not appreciate that. He looked at Mightyena disapprovingly before asking "who are you, and what are you doing?"

    "we are Team Rush" Mightyena growled "and we are talking to a fool, a red monstrosity, and a bug".

    Caleb did not react to the word 'fool', but the instant I was described as a red monstrosity, he shuddered and became utterly furious. The same fury that had shown when that Absol called me a 'thing'. His head lowered a bit, and his eyes practically smoldered. With sudden fear I realized that Crystal Star was turning from a calm blue to an angry red, reflecting Caleb's mood. I worried that some explosions might be caused, but I was not about to defend Mightyena.

    Mightyena noticed the color change as well, and growled. Caleb growled right back, his growl lower and much more dangerous sounding. A week ago, Caleb did not even know how to growl. A fight might have broken out between the two leaders, but they were interrupted by Chatot.

    Chatot made a Squawk! sound, and said "what is going on, here?"

    The two of them tore their gazes apart and settled them now on chatot, still with hostility in their eyes. Crystal Star dimmed a bit, but was not about to turn back to the safe color of blue. Chatot recoiled, realizing that standing anywhere near these two would be a mistake. Even so, he said "i will not have two respectable exploration teams fight! I forbid you to do it!

    "You forbid me" Mightyena repeated harshly

    "Two respectable teams?" Caleb growled

    "Think you aren't good enough?" Mightyena said to Caleb

    Caleb went back to glaring at Mightyena "no person can judge others based on color or species without losing all respectability" he said, fury igniting Crystal Star's red glow again.

    "STOP!" me and Chatot exclaimed together.

    There was a horribly long standoff, and then Mightyena noticed that his teammates were not exactly paying attention, as if he had done this before, and they wanted no part of it. Mightyena backed off, and Crystal Star's glow faded so that it was just plain red.

    "I'm sorry about that" I whispered to Chatot. "he only get's angry like that occasionally"

    "I see." Chatot whispered back. "i will have to have a chat with Team Rush later about that. I assume that they were attacking you?"

    "Verbally, but that's all it takes for Caleb to get fired up on this topic." I whispered. I noted that most of the guild members were not openly hostile towards me. This included Chatot.

    "We should be on our way" Nincada whispered to Caleb

    His blade went back to blue. "very well".

    We were on our way to Mt. Horn. It was apparently within the mountain range, and there was apparently a path straight through the mountains that led to the mystery dungeon within Mt. Horn. We ran at top speed, Nincada on my back again. I really don't think Nincada would ever ride on Caleb when he had that weapon on his back. I was okay with that, I did not exactly think that thing was safe. We would need a break soon, and would likely take one at the base of the mountain range. We raced east, with some mountains on the right, and a vast forest on the left. Initially, that forest had a lot of blue oran berries in them, and we had restocked. Then, the forest promptly switched from blue to red as apples replaced berries. We restocked on those too. Our bananas were in the guild's food stock.

    "That doesn't look right..." Nincada said. He was looking at a weird dark spire that was about five strides tall, and had a diameter of about a foot. It hovered two inches above a blackened patch of grass. Caleb marked the location on his map. He was not the best with maps, but by pouring water type energy into his badge, which I don't believe was easy to do, the map received a blue mark near the corner of Apple Woods. He put the map away. "let's keep moving" he said, shaking his head.

    so we continued, and only when we hit a spot when the mountains surrounded us, and a path appeared that we rested. A Kangaskhan rock stood near the entrance. Caleb frowned. "will that affect the badges teleportation?"

    "no" Nincada said. "the badge only transports people to the guild."

    Caleb walked to the stone statue of Kangaskhan and tried to figure out how to use the saving mechanism. He did not have much luck at all. "it's just a stupid rock!" he protested.

    i walked over and looked inside the pouch on the statue. It did look like nothing special, but when I tried to feel the area around me with my horn, the rock definitely had a freaky energy coming off of it. Caleb touched the rock, and I felt the energy make a connection with Caleb's own energy. "i think you just did it, Caleb"

    he said: "lets hope so". And then he went and made himself comfortable on the ground near the statue.

    "someone should keep watch" Nincada said "i'll wake you two up in one hour."

    "you arent tired?" I asked

    "not at all" he replied, and then climbed onto the statue's head and kept an eye on the road.

    i walked over to Caleb, who was pretending to sleep. I knew that he intending on keeping watch too. "go to sleep, Caleb, Nincada can handle it" I said, and saw him relax slowly. I went to lie down right next to him, but he suddenly stiffened up.

    not yet.

    i went to the other side of the statue. It took me several minutes to fall asleep, and when I did, I had dreams of future events I had planned out. I did not know if they would happen, but I would do my best.

    ⻤Nincada's POV⻤​

    I did not need to sleep much. I always woke up prior to Loudred's wake up call, and was always eager to start the day. Nincadas in general did not have to sleep much, and I was wide awake. Even so, I almost missed the dark shape slipping past a rock on the far side of the clearing. Slipping off the statue, I burrowed quietly underground. This actually gave me a better view of the landscape and what was moving on it. I saw a Pokémon behind a stone, moving too stealthily for me to properly make out it's shape. I burrowed closer to it, feeling the vibrations of it's movement. I heard sniffing, like some Pokémon following another's scent. It was MIghtyena, and he had followed us. I did not sense anyone else, no Machoke or Bastiodon. Mightyena had likely come alone. Why?

    Revenge. He holds a grudge

    He suddenly began walking towards the statue. He found us. I made a decision. I burrowed over to each of my friends in turn, waking them up and whispering the situation to them. They feigned sleep, and I prepared to attack. He stalked up to my friends... And then just sat down and waited.


    I again whispered to my friends. I told them what was happening. Mightyena just sat there, watching. I waited for him to attack, and he waited for something else. His friends? For my friends to wake up? I burrowed quietly over to a blind spot and surfaced. If Mightyena smelled me, he gave no sign of it. But what he was waiting for came: Crystal Star began to shine in blue. Mightyena smiled, and walked over to it so quietly that I would not have known if I was asleep. He reached down and tried to grip Crystal Star.

    he wants the blade. He wants if for his own.

    As he reached for the blade, the glow took on a different color: black. Mightyena was shocked with a dark lightning spark, and as he recovered, Caleb attacked. Suddenly Mightyena was being held down by a paw, and Crystal Star was held to his neck. Caleb's eyes smoldered, probably remembering the incident at the guild.

    "Caleb-" Mightyena pleaded

    And then, Caleb stepped off of mightyena. He put his blade down on the ground. All anger had vanished from him. I realized that Caleb never wanted to hurt mightyena at all.

    but Caleb was still stern and disapproving in tone. "do you understand?" he asked

    mightyena still lay on his back, shocked. Caleb sat down. "please answer me mightyena. do you understand what I told you back at the guild? about being respectable?"

    Mightyena still had no answer.

    "you wanted to see the blade" Caleb said. "go ahead. Look"

    at this point, Mightyena got up. "do you mean that?"



    "because if you attack me or my friends, the blade will strike you back."

    Caleb was so sure about that. Then again, he had been paying attention to how he had not been hurt by the poison wave, and how it only hurt Sarah during the time when she became dangerous. I did not know if that was coincidental, but the blade had struck Mightyena before.

    Mightyena approached the blade again, and it started to turn black. He reared back.

    "Stop that!" he barked.

    "I'm doing nothing at all, Mightyena." Caleb said. It's your own spirit reflecting in the blade. You have shown the blade you're cruelty to Sarah because of nothing other than color. Crystal Star is reflecting that. Think about it. Apologize to Sarah, and consider how little it matters how she is different."

    i could see Mightyena think about it. It was more likely that Caleb was playing a mind game with Mightyena than telling the complete truth. His game, I realized, was transforming Mightyena into a better Pokémon in general. "Sarah..." Mightyena said.

    "Yes?" she said suddenly up and next to Caleb.

    "I..." he choked out the words, but it sounded sincere. Like he was sorrowful. "i apologize, Sarah."

    "Thank you" Sarah said.

    "Would you like to try holding the blade?" Caleb asked.

    "No thank you" Mightyena answered.

    As he was leaving, Caleb spoke up. "one thing, if you are heading back to the guild, there is something along the way that we saw. If you could check on it and report to chatot and Wigglytuff, that would be great. If you don't want to, we will talk to Chatot and Wigglytuff ourselves."

    "What is it?" Mightyena asked.

    Caleb took out the map and showed Mightyena the mark. MIghtyena, being a team leader, took out his map and marked the same spot. "ill check it out" he promised. "good luck".

    "Thank you, Mightyena" Caleb said. "Nincada, where are you?".

    "Here" I said, and scuttled over to them. climbing on Sarah, I said "it's been only about 20 minutes" .

    "Oh well" Sarah said.

    "I feel rested" Caleb said.

    And we moved into the canyon.

    ⽯ Caleb's POV ⽯​

    That had been difficult.

    I don't have a tendency to play mind games, but brute force would only lead to him holding a grudge. On the plus side, we were definitely a proper team. Sarah caught on and played her part beautifully (don't tell her I used that word), and nincada was excellent at sneaking around underground, and was so quiet and precise that he could let us know what was going on right in front of the enemy without giving anything away. I have not gotten to see him attack anything, but it was a matter of time. Also, I noted that I was capable of taking naps. That never worked for me as a human. I guess that there was less stress here, or something. But we were running to save two Pokémon trapped high on Mt Horn. Realizing this, I picked up the pace. Mt Horn loomed above us. The entrance to the dungeon was right in front of us. And another Kangaskhan rock was there. I walked over to it and touched it. My horn alerted me to the link between me and the statue now. I stored some of our apples and oran berries that we likely would not need, in an effort to save space.


    "Yeah, Sarah?"

    She was holding a Technical Machine that said 'water pulse'. Where on earth had she gotten that?

    "Go ahead" I said.

    "I need your help, silly"

    She really did not, but I obliged anyways. She gave me puppy eyes while I did it, which was harder to ignore this time. Weird.

    "We should go" Nincada informed me.

    "Yes" I said. "of course"

    And we dived into our third major mystery dungeon.

    I had expected a lot of pesky rock types again, but this place was populated mostly by bugs. Sarah seemed disappointed, maybe because she wanted to try out her new attack.

    "We should probably use these gummis now" Nincada said, bringing them out of Sarah's pack.

    "You should probably tell me what they do first" I said, looking at the small things. Nincada had piled them, two half dozen piles of black colored 'gummis' and one half dozen stack of brown colored gummis.

    "They boost your IQ" Sarah told me.

    "You're kidding" I said. Food could not literally make you smarter. That concept was just not a thing.

    "And give you special abilities over time" Nincada said "at six, you should not be able to accidentally hurt your teammates at all, even if you are confused. The effect is called the 'Nontraitor' skill."

    Now that sounded useful. I did not believe it for so much as a second, but I might as well eat them anyways. I already felt a little hungry. I tasted one first, and realized that it tasted a lot like chocolate. That made no sense, but I wolfed it down all the same. I felt no different at all.

    "No change" I said

    "Me either" Sarah said

    "We should no longer be able to hurt each other" Nincada said

    "Shall we test that?" Sarah asked, looking at me. She was already charging a flamethrower.

    "No thanks" I said a bit quickly.

    We continued on. Sarah's flame lit the way in dark floors. On our second floor, we encountered a pile of little gold coins. "Poké" Sarah explained


    "It's used to buy things at shops."

    "And I haven't heard this yet how?" I asked "i went a week and a half without understanding the monetary system of your world."

    your world...

    i had almost said 'our world'. That scared me. I was losing focus.

    "I bought those apples from the kecleon brothers at Crystal Community" Sarah said

    "I guess I was letting other things sink in. Like the change of species" I said.

    "Oh" she said "right".

    "And it's just sitting on the floor of a dungeon." I said. "like everything else".

    "That's how these places work" she said. "when you are knocked out in a dungeon, all of your Poké disappears. I think that's where the dungeon gets it."

    Now i'm thinking of the dungeon like a living thing. Thanks.

    we met our first enemy. It was a giant purple moth, with big eyes and constantly scattering different colors of dust.

    "Let me guess" I said "something to do with the word poison, and then 'moth'"

    "Its a Venomoth" Sarah said.

    Okay. getting used to this. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

    Nincada piped up "if you get anywhere near it, you can get poisoned, paralyzed, or fall right asleep. Sometimes all at once."

    Lovely. "Sarah, you're up again"

    "Fine with me" she said before torching it.

    I almost stupidly walked right into the cloud, but Nincada grabbed me by the leg and stopped me.

    "Thank you" I said, suddenly feeling sluggish

    "You got a few particles of sleep powder up your nose" Sarah said. "you'll be drowsy for a while."

    "Oh." I said, wobbling.

    Sarah came to me, and to my embarrassment, pressed herself against me. I could not do anything about it. "you need some support" she said, but I could tell this meant more than that. She was taking advantage of my weakness because I was stupid enough to walk right into a cloud. She was trying to get me interested. How could she still do that, I wondered, when she knew why I needed to go back? I think she understands perfectly how selfish she is being. She just chooses to ignore the facts. I was human, and this was not my home. I realized that I was getting sleepier, and realized that soon, she really would have to carry me, and that would embarrass me to no end.

    Why am I embarrassed? I should say creeped out, but that would not be accurate anymore. Why am I falling so quickly into this fantasy? I need help staying focused. I should tell someone. Talk to this 'Jake' Character I am hearing about. Somebody whom I can trust to keep everything in balance, who can help me get out of here. I will talk to Jake and that Swampert. Perhaps I will talk to Chatot. He should be able to keep Sarah separated from me. Until... I... Ugh! I'm so tired. I'll figure this out later. Right... After... I... Rest...


    ⻤Nincada's POV⻤​

    A few minutes after Sarah needlessly began to support him, She was forced to carry him as he fell asleep standing up. That sleep powder he inhaled was not that strong: He should have been fine after a few minutes, but it was like he was sensitive to it.

    "Now I have to lug him around" Sarah complained after a few minutes of walking. "do you have any idea how heavy he is?"

    I sensed that she was not insulting Caleb, but instead acting like he was still awake; an affectionate joke that was rendered useless by his state. I had helped drape his unconscious form over Sarah, in a way that did not affect Sarah's ability to grab item's from her pack. I stood on top of him, getting a better view of the path ahead while being able to grab things from Caleb's pack. I had tried to feed him a heal seed, but anyone who has ever tried to get an unconscious Pokémon to swallow something was wasting their time. I was now included on that list.

    It was not long before we met more enemies. I actually got a chance to attack some, because so many were around that Sarah could not take them all out on her own. My technique of spearing a Pokémon from underground was causing damage, but nowhere close to what Flamethrower was doing. My real chance for fame was digging pitfalls faster than other Pokémon could fall into them. as they struggled to get out, Sarah would appear above them, give a sweet smile, and then roast them.

    Caleb saw none of it. the guy slept like a Snorlax. I pondered at his inability to combat the sleep powder. It likely had to do with his being a human prior. He was incredibly strong, but he was so easy to affect with sleep or paralysis or poison. Ridiculous strength was not always worth it in my opinion if you cant handle the real threats to your health. Caleb snored away, riding on Sarah's back. his weapon occasionally became a problem, absorbing an attack, and then becoming dangerous for me to be near. one time, we had to drop him and flee as it unleashed a poison wave after absorbing Poisonpowder. Caleb was unharmed by it as always, but several of the bug type enemies nearby got a nasty treatment. after replacing Caleb on Sarah's back, we continued to the sixth floor. There were not too many enemies apparent, but we took no chances. I did recon ahead underground, though it was hard to feel the vibrations of flying Pokémon.

    Eventually, we located another room with treasure. A Technical machine that was dusty, and we could not read the label, a cheri berry, and a small bottle of something that I could not identify. the label read: 'Max Elixir'.

    "Huh" was Sarah's only comment.

    "Lets keep that" I said "we might need it".

    "Fine with me" she replied "we have plenty of room in our bag".

    But before we could do anything else, we were interrupted. a horrible shriek filled the air behind us, down the corridor. as we whirled around to face it, a monstrous flying thing roared around the corner. it was giant and gray, with massive wings, horrible looking teeth, and just looked deadlier than anything I had ever seen. another thing I noticed is that unlike the other Pokémon in the dungeon, this one had no cloud in it's eyes. it was awake, it was angry, and it wanted our destruction. I tried to move away so that me and Sarah could get different angles on it, but the huge Pokémon moved impossibly fast. I was about to use scratch, but it rammed me with it's wing incredibly hard. I was flung across the room, hit a wall, and blacked out.

    ⽕ Sarah's POV ⽕​

    When I saw Nincada get smashed, I grew very serious. this thing had just hurt my friend. and now it was attacking me, as if it could beat me.

    Give me a break

    But soon enough, I realized that this was no ordinary dungeon Pokémon. it roared at me and spiraled towards me incredibly fast. I made the foolish mistake of trying to burn it. the Pokémon passed right through my flamethrower and slammed me with it's wing. I was flung against the wall, and it hurt, but I was not about to give up. flamethrower was not working.

    what is this thing?!

    There was no time to think. I had to bolt to my left as it went to attack, and still got hit. the thing had turned practically on a Poké coin, and slammed me again.

    I got up slowly, favoring my back leg where it had hit me. it hurt so bad, I was not sure I could keep standing long. once again, I was thinking too long. it struck me, this time making it's wings glow white and striking me with a powerful blast of wind. I was thrown clear to the other side of the room. I stumbled, and tried to grab an Oran berry, but it had reached me again. It was just so fast. desperately, I tried to use vacuum cut.

    this thing isn't even hurt!

    It struck me again, this time on my side. I crashed against the wall and stayed there for a moment. I tried jumping up, only to slide back down again as my side protested the movements.

    This thing could defeat us. how is it so strong?!

    I pushed through the pain, and stood up. My abilities haven't done me any good this far. what was wrong? With a roar, that Pokémon attacked. But it did not attack me. it flew directly at Caleb instead, and struck him. Caleb went flying against the wall, and flopped down there on his right side, horn buried in the ground. he was still asleep.

    Nobody hurts Caleb and gets away with it. I was ready to tear this thing apart. It was diving at me again, this time its entire body glowed with an awesome power. it would crush me and end the fight. I could not move. How on earth do I fight something like that?

    Oh, wait. I can't lose. stupid, stupid me. I forgot what I have.

    It was seconds away, and I was just standing there. because knew how to beat this monster. as it prepared to crush me, a powerful azure glow encased me. I felt it's energy slowing down anything around it. I felt the power in the air become suppressed.

    The giant Pokémon slammed into me, and nothing happened at all. I did not move, I was completely unaffected. With a surprised grunt, it was stopped cold. It's forward momentum tried to carry it through me, but it simply crashed. I prepared to attack it, but it suddenly flew off and hovered there at the other end of the room, like it was making a decision. I thought it would run off, but that monster roared and soared back into action. I powered up that amazing blue energy, but then, it simply faded. Protect had failed me!

    The Pokémon crashed into me with the power of nothing I had ever felt before. I tried to struggle to my feet again, but I was not strong enough.

    We've lost. I've failed.

    i was no longer in danger. that creature was flapping toward Caleb now. I think that is what set me off.

    If you hurt Caleb, you will regret it for the rest of your life.

    I stood up, ignoring the pain in my side and legs. I felt my power grow, and I felt an intense energy as I tapped into my reserves of power. I might hurt myself, but there was no choice. it was fight, or watch Caleb get smashed in front of me. No contest. I knew what to do. I began to generate a powerful blue sphere in front of me. the attack was not perfectly centered, and was rather in front of the spot where my horn connected to my head. I could see past it and aim with my left eye. I chose my target.

    Take this, you bastard...

    ⽯ Caleb's POV ⽯​

    I was in a field. One that stretched forever. it went on in every direction.

    What is this?

    I felt no breeze, yet the grass swayed. there was no real landscape. the grass was about a foot tall. I looked around, hoping to see something. absolutely nothing at all. just me, and a giant field of grass. what would this place be?

    I fell asleep. this could only be a dream. so why is there nothing? and I don't even dream. Ever. I never have.

    I was going to try and wake myself up when I heard laughter. Laughter and small growls, like children roughhousing with dogs. I listened for a bit. there were two laughing kids and two different animals.

    They are likely Pokémon.

    I turned. only two were playing, the laughter and playful growls coming from them both. they were young Absol, much smaller than I was. about the size of puppies. They ran about, pouncing on each other, ETC. it was a good image, but I wondered why it mattered to me. One Absol was colored like me, the other was colored like Sarah. she had a younger voice compared to Sarah, but I could tell that this was the same. the other one could only be me.

    Why am I dreaming of this? This never happened. a week and a half ago I was human. am I being sent a message by my subconscious? perhaps I have begun to be attached to this place. I do like it here, but that is nothing compared to what I need to do.

    They played on. I felt like an adult supervising kids, making sure that they got in no trouble.

    How accurate is that?

    The laughter was infectious. I wanted to find out what they were doing. I shook my head. I needed to wake up. I needed to get back to helping the others. I could not wake up. something was keeping me asleep, and that would be the sleep powder. I could not push through it. I could only stand here in an endless field, watching two small Absol jump at each other playfully. Something was wrong with me. I should not be thinking about this. home was my priority.

    This is a dream. this is my dream. it is mine to control.

    I looked out over the field. I looked through it. this dream was controllable, I simply needed to bring about memories. I thought about home. I thought about the tufts of grass and the juniper trees, the high desert that is saturated by a recent rain. my scene shifted until I was there. for some reason, I could not summon my house into the picture. I could not remember it well enough. That made me very sad. I already was forgetting my home. I remembered the nature around it better. I could not make myself appear human again, much as I yearned to. Looking back at the two Absol pups, I saw they had begun a tug-of-war with one of the many dead sticks littering the place. They seemed unfazed by the change in scenery. When I began to walk through it, those two pups followed me in a random pattern, jumping, playing, but always staying a certain distance away from me.

    Please stop following me. It hurts.

    The Absol pups would not stop playing. their laughter drilled into my ears and their playful growls infected my ability to focus. they were just having a good time. I could not bring myself to interrupt them.

    That black Absol will not be me. I promise. I will find a way home.

    I was not convincing myself. I was not affecting my own judgment with logic. if anything, I seemed to want to rebel against it.

    How dare I act like it would be OK to stay? how dare I let my family and friends down?

    The two Absol continued to laugh and play, this time with a orange frisbee they had found that was a dog toy back home. they flung it around, and tugged at it. All I could do was watch. All I could do was think. Finally, I walked towards them. they noticed me, and looked at me with wider, more innocent eyes than I think I have seen in many years.

    "Who are you?" the male asked.

    Child Sarah said nothing, just looked at me adoringly.

    "I'm Caleb" I said to the male Absol. he continued looking at me, and finally answered: "i have never seen you here before".

    Could an image in a dream really have its own memories? I did not know. but I wanted to keep talking. it felt good to talk. this was a dream: only I really heard what was said.

    "What is your name?" I asked, sure I knew the answer.

    "My name is Caleb, too" he said quickly, earnestly. Child me was carefree, ready to play a game that I should not play. but he pleaded with his eyes in a way I never could in my state. Child Sarah pleaded with her blue eyes as well. I needed to find a way awake. I needed to help Sarah and Nincada and save the two nidorans. but there was no waking up. For once, I really wondered if I would succeed in getting back. there was no guarantee, and I had been acting like there was some way home. What if there was no answer? What would I become if I stayed? would I become this, a playful, childish being, frolicking around? specifically playing with Sarah?

    If I give up, I can never forgive myself. it would haunt me for the rest of my life. my biggest what if. My biggest regret.

    But in that moment, I realized that no matter what goal I had, I was not getting out of this dream without time. I realized that there was no reason to say no to this little pup, this little version of me. He was what I might have been if I had lived here my whole life. Right now, he wanted me to join their game. I felt awkward. what sort of person did that make me? I hesitate to play with a child because I am too busy worrying about something I cannot control. I needed to let go for once. just forget what I don't have for once.

    "Of course" I told Child Me. "Of course ill join you".

    He looked at me like I had acted unexpectedly. then, he smiled broadly. he raced back to join Child Sarah, and I followed him at a walk.

    We played for a while. I know it was all in my imagination; a dream that I could decide my actions in. they kept charging me, jumping on me. I felt like a parent to these little dream kids. two people that I needed to take care of. My dream even included exhaustion. after way too long of getting pounced on, I simply lay down and rested. when I closed my eyes in my dream, I wondered if I would wake up. Nothing happened.

    How long will I be here? do I care?

    The Child versions of me and Sarah still wanted to play, but I just let them charge each other for a while again. Watching them, I felt longing. I had not much of a childhood. not much time was spent running around with good friends, wrestling and playing. I had friends of course, but I was always the distant one. the logical one. the one of the group who took on a challenge whilst the others talked about sports or games or did you go to the party last night? This was these two. a childhood I could have had but did not let myself have. In the interest of success for me and those around me, I chose the life of adulthood. To be fair, I was treated as an adult. people shook hands with me when I was in fourth grade. adults congratulated me on my attempts at a science fair, or a school project. My attentiveness. My ability to understand adults better than the children around me. I now wondered if that was worth it. The two young Absol moved me. I wanted to stay in this dream where worries do not exist. where I could do what I liked. I wondered if I would get my wish.

    I found out seconds later. my dream suddenly changed. we were still in the desert, but the two children in front of me had changed drastically. they were grown, Me and Sarah.

    they are fighting each other.

    A wail of pain caught my attention, and I saw Sarah get tossed across the field and into a tree. I was there, having struck her, and I was here, still lying down. still on the ground. I feared for them. I wanted them to stop.

    "ENOUGH!" I shouted at the two of them. they both turned on me, without anger in their eyes. it was fear I saw. the same fear I felt. I immediately felt an invisible blow to my belly and felt myself go flying. The two of them rushed to me, looking over at me. they tried to ask if I was hurt.

    "Don't worry about me" I groaned. "please. just stop fighting" .

    They looked at me, and despite that I could distantly hear the sounds of a battle, the screaming of anger and pain, I was worried about these two. why? why was I so intent on keeping Pokémon in my dreams safe?

    Its because they are children. they don't know what is going on. they only reflect what I am feeling outside.

    I thought of them as nice children again, peaceful, playful. and my dream complied. the two of them were afraid still, but I got up and went to them. My very presence calmed them. and while the battle erupted around us, I told them: "This is only a dream. Something you can wake up from. This cannot hurt you."

    "Who's dream is it?" Child Me asked.

    I thought about it. I felt bad about it. I wanted these two to think of themselves as living. They were alive to me at any rate; they had shown themselves to be a little more than I could understand. A little more than dreams. The kids looked up at me expectantly.

    "Both of yours" I lied. "You share this dream".

    They smiled and drew close to me, and everything started to fade.

    ⽕ Sarah's POV ⽕​

    My Water Pulse struck that huge Pokémon and sent him flying onto a wall before the sphere promptly exploded. Caleb was safe for the moment, and i was the target again. with yet another roar, it began to race towards me sideways, the tip if the wing facing downward now had glowing misshapen material around it. with a Boom-Boom-Boom the glowing items turned to stones and slammed together, creating a massive spike.

    Stone Edge

    I controlled my fear and prepared another Water Pulse, shooting it straight at its ugly open maw. the explosion drove the Pokémon backwards, the Dangerous Stone Edge breaking apart. I was feeling pretty triumphant when that Pokémon roared at me. It told me it wasn't done yet.

    What the hey?! Fall already!

    At this point, i just started shooting it repeatedly with water pulse. It went on for many minutes until it stopped getting up, badly damaged and out cold. I did not even know what it was. I felt a breeze of sorts, and i suddenly felt stronger. my wounds did not feel so painful.

    I had leveled up. i felt my physical body grow stronger and heal, and i felt my strength return. i felt a power that i recognized based off of stories i had heard. i let Vacuum Cut fade away from my memory and accepted the new attack. i felt powerful. unstoppable. unbeatable. i had taken down this large Pokémon, and saved the mission. I walked over to Caleb and saw that he was no longer snoring. he would wake soon. i wanted to be near him when he did, but i then remembered with a guilty shock that i had forgotten Nincada.

    I raced to the small Pokémon, who was knocked out cold. his body was badly damaged by the crushing Wing Attack. i was not able to send him home with Caleb asleep, and we would have to wait for him to wake up. i brought Nincada over to Caleb's sleeping form and laid down next to him. his breathing was much quieter, and his sleep was finally fading away. His eyes opened slowly.

    "Morning sleepyhead" i said from my position lying next to him.

    He looked at me, right next to him, and blinked the rest of sleep off. His eyes widened a bit, but he did not leave. he simply looked at me. His eyes were softer, and sad.

    What happened to him?

    He then said: "i'm sorry, Sarah" and got up. he began to walk away.

    "wait!" i called "Nincada is hurt!"

    He spun around, and noticed the unconscious form next to me. he raced over, and said "we don't have any reviver seeds. i need to send him back.

    "Do it" i said, trying to get up. My legs acted up again, all of them. i collapsed, my legs and side were killing me.

    "What happened to you two?!" he exclaimed, finally figuring out how to send Nincada back, and used the badge to teleport Nincada.

    "That" i wheezed, gesturing over to that large rock Pokémon.

    "You forgot to use Protect again?"

    "At first, but we would not have won if i had not used Protect and Water pulse." i said, and noticed that Caleb had not noticed the injuries on his belly at all. he would if i mentioned that he got hit. I let out a whimper of pain involuntarily.

    "You need these" Caleb proclaimed, pushing Oran berries over to me. Three of them. I wolfed them down and recovered a bit, but no basic oran berry could heal the damage to my side from that Take Down. I groaned as i stood, but i could stand. I stumbled over to the other items that were in the room initially. i wondered if the Technical Machine was also for me, but as i cleared the dusty surface with a gust of wind i forced through the air, it read: Swords Dance.

    That was Caleb's, no doubt. i had heard of that move, and it was beyond lifesaving in a serious fight. with Caleb awake, i could no longer pretend that it took ten seconds for the Technical Machine to work. in fact, they worked instantly.

    "Swords Dance?" Caleb said, walking up to me. he had a edge to his voice that took me a moment to identify. He was afraid. "it doesn't actually involve dancing, right?" he asked worriedly.

    I laughed at him, he was just so silly. "i don't know" i said teasingly. "lets find out".

    He shrank away, but i just tossed the thing at his head. it whacked against his skull and taught him the move instantly. he breathed a sigh of relief. "no, i don't have to dance to make it work" he said. "thank goodness".

    I laughed at him again and said "we should continue."

    "Yeah..." he replied.

    We progressed to the seventh floor, out destination somewhere here. we were attacked by more enemies, but Caleb was here this time. I was in no shape to do anything quickly, just fire the occasional flamethrower. Caleb swung his massive weapon around, absorbing attacks and basically destroying any enemies that crossed our path. Crystal Star would not have done that to that giant flying Pokémon, it was too strong, but we faced weaklings from that point forward. soon enough, we found the two Nidorans, huddled in a corner, scared out of their wits. Caleb headed over to them. "its all right" he said soothingly. "we will get you out of here".

    After they were done thanking us, Caleb sent them home with his badge.

    "Should we continue?" i asked.

    He shuddered. "no" he said, and promptly activated the badges ability to transport us back. we found ourselves standing in our beds, and the sun was setting. The day was basically over. We checked on nincada, who was being nursed back to health by Chimecho. He was fine in time for dinner. Caleb marveled at how easy it was to fix up Nincada, despite the injuries that he sustained. Chimecho's heal bell move restored us as well. and at dinner, all of us chowed down our food. the only berries Caleb savored this time was the Pecha berries.

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