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 â½¯ Caleb's POV â½¯ 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. HORN?! 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. ow. 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, 60 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 â½¯ Caleb's POV â½¯ 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". "Sorry" 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 â½• Sarah's POV â½• 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. â½¯ Caleb's POV â½¯ 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. â½• Sarah's POV â½• 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. â½¯ Caleb's POV â½¯ "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... "Caleb?" "What is it, Sarah?" I responded "you always go quiet for no reason," she said. "I can't help you like that." help me? oh... "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. Poison 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.