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Thread: GCEA Sinnoh Monthly Short Story Challenge

  1. #1
    Mary Mary tell me how your garden grows. Desolate Divine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Melbourne Australia

    GCEA Sinnoh Monthly Short Story Challenge

    Thinking of doing something different with this GCEA Story.

    In addition to the normal Short Story Competitions, we will be running a continuous challenge for the duration of this story. The purpose is to help people flesh out their characters.

    Each month will have a different theme for your story, designed to delve deeper into your characters. By participating each month, you will get 10 points, but not in the sense of they get added to your GCEA total. These points stay entirely within this thread, and can be cashed in for a Pokemon of that point value. For example, if you participate in three months of challenge, you will receive ten points, for each, totaling to thirty. You could then cash in 20 of those points for a Vulpix. You can also gain an extra point per post of feedback you give on another players story, at maximum of 5 per month.

    1. Stories must follow all PXR Rules, and have appropriate ratings and tags.
    2. Stories must be relevant to the theme.
    3. Each months theme will begin on the 15th of each month, and end on the fifteenth of each month.
    4. Ideal story length is 2000 words, however if you want, you can go longer. The purpose of this is for character development.
    5. For completing a story, you will receive 10 points to spend in this thread per month. You may only submit one story per theme/month.
    6. Pokemon claimed in this must be non Legendary and base stage Pokemon.
    7. Only one Pokemon can be claimed per month (15th to 15th).
    8. Please use provided forms.
    9. Please post stories here. We will use the writers desk for the bigger events, however don't want to spam that board.
    10. If you want to provide feedback, you will gain one point per feedback post, at a maximum of 5 points per month this way.

    Story Submission
    Character Name:
    Story Title:
    Word Count:
    Rating/Content Warnings:
    Story (In spoilers)

    Pokemon Claim
    Character Name:
    Pokemon Claiming:
    Current Challenge Points
    Challenge Point Cost:
    Remaining Challenge Points:

    This months theme is:

    Current CP
    Shruikan: 20CP
    Noblejanobii: 30CP
    Desolate Divine: 19
    Last edited by Desolate Divine; 05-15-2019 at 01:05 PM.
    Sophie's Trainer Card
    Paired with the awesome FedoraChar.

  2. #2
    Mary Mary tell me how your garden grows. Desolate Divine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Melbourne Australia
    Story Submission
    Username: Desolate Divine
    Character Name: Sophie Reed
    Story Title: Guardian Angel
    Word Count: 3471
    Rating/Content Warnings: M (Language)

    I remember when I first met my master. As strange as it is, I don’t remember a great deal before that. It was twelve years ago, back in Hoenn, and I was only a Ralts back then. In his excitement at seeing me, Jacob captured me and another Ralts as well. When he realized, he gave the other to another trainer, and kept me. He named me Gwaine, and from there, I realized just how amazing it was to have a trainer.

    Whilst I call him my master, he hates being called that. He says I am his partner, but the truth is, I trust him enough that I would follow him anywhere. I don’t mind seeing him that way, because I know that my master will always have my back.

    We travelled across Hoenn, where I evolved, becoming a Gallade. However once we returned home, something changed. One morning, my master woke up, and he was somebody else, sort of. He was the same person, but one who had lived a slightly, yet so drastically different life.

    My master came from a different world. In his world, we met the same way, and still travelled Hoenn together. However unlike our journey which was relatively peaceful, his journey was full of despair, violence and sacrifice. A journey that seemingly ended with his own death in order to save his world. However he won favour of Arceus, a God among Pokemon, who let him live the rest of his life here. His world still existed, however, back there, he and the others who Arceus gave His gift to, were dead.

    When I met my master after this transition, he was in emotional turmoil. Whilst he tried to hide it from me, I could feel his thoughts, saying otherwise. Whilst he was thankful for the second chance, he missed his friends and family back home, who were mourning his death. He also felt guilty, as if he had killed my master and taken over his life, however this guilt and empathy helped me see he truly was my master, just one who walked a slightly different path.

    We travelled Hoenn again, this time competing in tournaments to earn money, and for Jacob to learn more about the life he has here. In those six months, I began to see my old master again. He was still hurt from what he had lived through, but the Jacob I knew was there more and more each day, until he reached a point where the pain was just a distant memory.

    After earning enough money, Jacob and Phoebe, the female human whom Jacob had mutual affection for, purchased a home in Johto, that was in need of repairs. They travelled Johto before repairing and moving into their home.

    Before too long, Jacob and Phoebe participated in the strange commitment ritual, in which they leave the security of their respective clans to form their own, which the humans call marriage. Phoebe meant everything to my master, and he would stop at nothing to protect her, which meant that I would do the same.

    Then nine years ago, their clan grew by one more. Phoebe bore offspring. A female, which they named Sophie. I remember meeting her for the first time.

    There was a flash of light as Jacob let me out of my Pokeball. When I opened my eyes, I noticed I was in a hospital room. Phoebe lay in the bed holding the infant human, as Jacob stood next to her, looking completely content. On the wall behind him was a sign. A symbol of a circle with a line through it, over the silhouette of a Pikachu. The humans way of saying no Pokemon were allowed in the hospital.

    “You shouldn’t have me out of the Pokeball here.” I said to Jacob telepathically, “The hospital doesn’t allow that.”

    “Screw the hospital. If they find out, I will take care of it.” Jacob replied with a laugh, before gesturing me to come over to the bedside.

    “I want to introduce you to Sophie.”

    Phoebe smiled, before handing the waking infant to Jacob, who then handed her to me. I carefully took the human into my arms, surprised to feel it didn’t weigh much more than a Torchic. As I tried to read her thoughts, I was surprised to hear no direct thoughts like Jacob and Phoebe, but instead waves of abstract images, some even of myself. I looked up at Jacob, curious by the look of contentment he had, before glimpsing into his mind. However what I saw was something I didn’t expect.

    Fear. Fear and determination. He was terrified at the question of whether he would always be able to protect her, and determined to do everything he could to keep her safe.

    I quickly left, as Jacob’s expression briefly changed to one of annoyance, before returning to what it was before. He usually let me look into his thoughts whenever I wanted, as he figured that in a dangerous situation, silent communication is our greatest weapon. If he looked like that after feeling me in his head, that was something he didn’t want me to see.

    I handed Sophie back to Phoebe, who gently took her back into her arms. Whilst I didn’t completely understand Jacob’s emotions, I knew one thing. She was now a part of his clan, just like Phoebe was. He would do anything to protect her. So by extension, I would do the same.

    This had been on my mind the last few days. It always was around this time every year. Jacob didn’t leave the house on a daily basis to earn money like Phoebe and other humans did. For the most part he was at home, training. However this time every year, he would travel Johto, or occasionally return to Hoenn to battle in tournaments. The two or so months of the year was enough to provide for his clan for the rest of the year, and in these two months, I know he is anxious to be gone for so long. He calls a few times a day to check up on them, and has even come home early before when something has worried him. So every year, I end up thinking to the day Sophie was born, nine years ago. And my promise to myself to protect her and Phoebe comes into play.

    When I made that promise, I thought it would be fighting of hordes of those Shadow Pokemon Jacob told me about from his world, or rescuing Sophie from a burning building. However it usually ends up being babysitting, like today. Jacob is away, Phoebe is at work, and Sophie is home from school because of summer break. I have battled in some of the hardest tournaments in the world, and won. But that is nothing compared to keeping a nine year old girl entertained for nine hours…

    “Gwaine, can I play with Shruikan?” Sophie asked, as she sat on the couch in the lounge.

    “Shruikan is with Jacob.” I replied telepathically.

    “Why?” Sophie asked curiously, “He was here last time Dad went away?”

    “He decided it would be a better idea to bring more Pokemon with him.”


    “So he can battle with different teams in different tournaments.”


    “He said that he is becoming too famous in the tournaments-”

    “Dad is famous?”

    “Sort of. People expect him to battle and are learning how he battles to try and beat him.”

    “So why does he have Shruikan with him?”

    “So he can surprise his opponents, and win.”

    Sophie looked at me confused before speaking up.

    “What about Skipper?”

    “He has Skipper as well.”

    “F***...” Sophie muttered.

    “You shouldn’t say that.”

    “But dad does?”

    “He shouldn’t either.”

    “Why does he say it then?”

    “Because he should know better about what he says in present company, but decides to say it anyway…”

    “I don’t get it…”

    “You’re not supposed to.”

    Sophie scowled, which in that moment, reminded me of Jacob, before slumping back on the couch.

    “I’m bored.”

    “You could always play with me?” I replied.

    “Hmm… I suppose…” she said, still sulking.

    I shook off the feeling of being slightly insulted, before using telekinesis to lift her off the couch, into the air. She couldn’t help but laugh at the sudden feeling of weightlessness. Once I had placed her back on the ground, we grabbed all the fruit we could find in the house and made our way to the backyard. I stood at the opposite end, and extended my blades.

    “If Phoebe asks, we made fruit salad, and ate it all. But you have to help me clean this all up.” I said, “Now throw them as hard as you can!”

    Sophie smiled, before pelting the first piece of fruit towards me. In a flash, the orange that she had thrown at me was in two halves on the ground. Next was an apple, then a watermelon which ended up in six equal pieces before it hit the ground. We spent the good part of the next twenty minutes throwing fruit, before we ran out. However towards the end, Sophie’s attention wasn’t on me, but instead on the trees by the edge of the forest. I looked over, quickly scanning through the trees, spotting a Pokemon trying to stay hidden. To the average trainer and their Pokemon, it would seem strange and unfamiliar. However Jacob had met it in his previous life, and showed me his memory. Even more concerning was that Jacob saw her again in this world, watching Sophie when she was a toddler. Celebi.

    “Gwaine, I am going to tell you something, and you can’t tell Phoebe or Sophie.” Jacob said as we stood in the garage. Phoebe was taking Sophie to the shops, and Jacob had just let me out of the Pokeball as soon as they left. He was about to leave home to compete, but looked panicked.

    “What’s going on?” I asked telepathically.

    “In my last life, I met many Legendary Pokemon personally, and encountered many more.” Jacob explained, “I met Latios, Celebi, Kyogre, Latias, Yveltal, Deoxys, Lugia, Groudon, Jirachi, even Arceus. I saw Raikou, Rayquaza, Moltres, Articuno, Regirock.”

    “That is a great honour.” I replied, “Some people live their whole lives just trying to meet one of them. There are probably few people in history who have met so many.”

    “To most people it is. To me, it’s a curse.”

    I looked at Jacob confused, before speaking into his mind again.

    “What do you mean?”

    “Every person from my world that I know who met one of these Pokemon died. They got caught up fighting their war and it got them killed. Even me.” Jacob explained, “When I came to this world, I hadn’t met any of them, so when I married Phoebe, and Sophie was born, it meant those ties from my past were not going to harm them. But I was wrong.”

    “Why do you say that?”

    Jacob scowled, before responding.

    “F***ing Celebi lives in Ilex Forest…”

    “What?” I asked, “How do you know?”

    “Yesterday afternoon. I was out in the backyard with Sophie. I heard my phone ringing inside, so I ducked in to get it, and when I walked back out, not even a half minute later, Celebi was just there, playing with her.” Jacob explained, “I always thought that the talk of Celebi being in the forest, the shrine and all that, was tourism bulls***. But Celebi is here, and has found Sophie.”

    “Maybe she was just playing her?”

    “Maybe she was. But I can’t take that risk. Celebi is a time traveller. For all we know she could come from a future where Sophie is involved with her. We can’t take any chances.”

    “So what did you do?”

    “I told Celebi to get away from her, then when she was far enough away from Sophie, had Mushu send a warning attack, so she fled.” Jacob explained, “Look, Gwaine, the reason I am telling you this is so you can keep her away from Sophie. If Phoebe or myself aren’t here, don’t let Sophie out of your sight. And if Celebi shows her face here again, I want you to get rid of her. She is dangerous and will hurt Sophie, whether she intends to or not.”

    “Sophie, can you run inside and grab me a garbage bag for me?” I asked telepathically, “I will start cleaning up the fruit.”

    Sophie ran inside towards the door, and once she was in I extended my arm towards the house, using telekinesis to close the door and draw the blinds. As Pokemon, we are loyal to Legendary Pokemon. They are practically Gods. But my loyalty was to Jacob and his family, and that outweighed my loyalty to Celebi...

    I could see Celebi, still trying badly to remain hidden in the trees, before quickly slashing my blades in the air in front of me, launching a Psycho-Cut at the trees. The one closest to me took the direct hit, causing it to come crashing down, as Celebi quickly fled. I made my way to the edge of the forest, before sending out a loud telepathic message to anyone close enough in front of me to hear.

    “Stay away from her!”

    The sound of alarmed Pokemon broke the air as they all felt my voice scream through their minds.

    “What’s that sound?” Sophie asked as she walked outside with the rubbish bag, and started piling fruit into it.

    “Something must have startled the Pokemon.” I replied, as I helped her tidy up the mess.

    It didn’t take long to clean it all up, however I was faced with the same problem as before.

    “I’m bored…”

    “Well what do you want to do?” I asked, wondering if I was going to have to explain to her why her dad has most of his Pokemon again.

    “Can we play frisbee?” Sophie asked.

    “I don’t have thumbs… I can’t hold a frisbee.”

    “You don’t need thumbs. You just do your brain thing like you did before with me on the couch.”

    I sighed. She is too smart for her own good.

    “Okay, go grab the frisbee and we will play.”

    “I can’t reach it.” Sophie muttered, “Dad got s***ty last week when I nearly broke a window with it. He put it on top of the fridge.”

    “What did I tell you before about saying that?”

    “You told me off for saying f***! You didn’t say I couldn’t say s***ty?!”

    “It’s the same thing.”

    “Then why does Dad say both of them if they’re the same thing?”

    “Because he really should know better.” I explained, “I will get it. Just stay here.”

    I made my way into the house to try and find this frisbee. I’m a championship winning Pokemon, trained by a man who has slain two Legendary Pokemon, and I am stuck on babysitting duty…

    I found the frisbee and made my way outside. However there was nobody there. Sophie was gone.

    I dropped the frisbee and made my way to the edge of the yard, where the trees of the forest begin. It had been raining the last few days, which was one of the reasons why Sophie had been so restless. The ground over here was still damp, and there were footsteps leading into Ilex Forest.

    “F***ing s***...” I thought to myself, as I ran to the house.

    Not too long after Jacob saw Celebi in the backyard, he travelled for a few weeks around Johto, however instead of competing, he was searching for something. A Mega Stone. He already had one which was embedded into his writst watch, however needed that for his tournaments.He wanted to keep a second one in the house for when he wasn’t home, in case something happened. By this point, my bond with Phoebe was strong enough that she could trigger a Mega Evolution, and from there I could battle without instruction.

    I found the Mega Stone, before running into the forest, trying to follow the tracks. Whilst telepathy had been useful in the past, I couldn’t yell out to Sophie with it now. I spooked the native Pokemon before, telling Celebi to leave Sophie alone. If I did that again, and she is near a Pokemon, it might attack her.

    I ran for a few minutes, trying to telepathically reach out. Human minds feel different to Pokemon, and I have talked to Sophie through telepathy for years. I could feel the Pokemon around me. However after a few minutes, I felt Sophie, and felt her fear.

    “If you can, shout.” I said to Sophie.

    There was silence which told me she was in trouble. I kept running, trying to figure out where she was. Then I heard a scream. Sophie.

    I ran to the sound of the scream, and by the time I got there, I heard the buzzing of wings.


    I looked over and saw Sophie with her back against a tree. A few meters away from her was a Beedrill who had decided to make me it’s next target. Big mistake.

    “Catch!” I said as I threw the Mega-Stone to Sophie, hoping to Arceus that this would work.

    She caught it, and the moment the stone touched her hands, I was engulfed in a white light, as I felt a familiar surge of energy flow through me that I hadn’t felt in a while, and as my body changed. When the light disappeared, the Beedrill was almost on me.

    I used my improved telekinesis to lift myself into the air, pulling up loose branches and leaves with me, before launching a telekinetic blast at the Beedrill, knocking it back. As it flew through the air, I launched myself forward, using Psycho Cut, knocking it unconscious in two quick, successive slashes.

    Once I knew it wasn’t getting back up, I made my way to Sophie.

    “I told you to wait in the backyard! Did you ask for the frisbee so you could sneak off?!”

    “I promise I didn’t!” she sobbed, “Back when we were playing with the fruit, I saw a Pokemon, then when you went inside I thought I saw it again, so I went looking for it.”

    Celebi. I was understanding even more, Jacob’s frustration with her.

    “Let’s go home. And don’t ever come in here by yourself again.”

    We made our way back, but once again, Celebi was watching.

    A few days later, Jacob returned home from his recent string of tournaments, managing to win every one, and earn a bit of money. Once Phoebe and Sophie had said their hellos I addressed Jacob.

    “Garage at midnight. We need to talk.”

    Once Phoebe and Sophie went to sleep, Jacob grabbed a beer, and met me out in the garage.

    “I gotta, say I miss Phoebe and Sophie more than anything when I’m on the road.” Jacob said, “But I gotta say, this stuff comes a close second. I really gotta find you some Pokemon beer or something so you can try it Gwaine.”

    “I’ll pass.”

    “So what’s going on?” Jacob asked, “Why are we in the garage at midnight?”

    “There was an incident while you were away.” I explained, “Celebi.”

    “F***!” Jacob shouted, before remembering Phoebe and Sophie were asleep, and toning down his voice, “What happened?”

    “We were playing in the backyard and she was in the trees. Sophie saw her, but I sent her inside to get something, and scared Celebi off.” I explained, “A little while later, Sophie wanted to play with the frisbee, but said you left it on the fridge, so I went to get it. But when I was inside, Celebi must have come back, because Sophie was gone. I found her in the forest, about to be attacked by a Beedrill, so I went mega and knocked it out. But I caught Celebi watching us as we left.”

    “That pain in the f***ing a**.” Jacob muttered, before noticing something, “Wait, how did you go mega? Sophie?”

    “The moment she touched the stone, I mega evolved.”

    “That’s comforting to know.” Jacob replied, “But for now, we need to send a message. That my daughter is off limits.”

    And that’s how we ended up here, in Ilex Forest, in front of the Shrine to Celebi in the dead of the night. Jacob brought three water types, and two fire types. He had the water types douse the nearby trees until they were soaked. He didn’t want to burn the forest down. However…

    “Flamethrower…” Jacob muttered as Pyro and Mushu unleashed their flaming breath upon the shrine. He called them back to their Pokeballs, before shouting into the forest.

    “My daughter is off limits Celebi! So stay the f*** away, if you know what’s good for you…”
    Sophie's Trainer Card
    Paired with the awesome FedoraChar.

  3. #3
    The Maddest Shaymin
    Noblejanobii's Avatar
    Site Editor

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    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Story Submission:
    Username: Noblejanobii
    Character Name: Amy Risa
    Story Title: All the World’s a Stage
    Word Count: 2800
    Rating/Content Warnings: G
    “Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.”

    Amy stared at the stage wide eyed in fascination as the memorized lines spilled forth from her father. She watched as he moved across the stage with graceful coordinated movements, the soliloquy coming to a dramatic close. To her, this theatre was the most famous and the best in the world, even if it was only a rinky dink theatre in the backroads of Kalos. To her, nothing could top her father’s performance.

    As the show drew to a close, Amy’s other parent, Jaime, led her backstage. Handing Amy a rose, they pushed her forward towards her father. Amy stumbled forward before running over to her father. “Great job, Papa!” she cheered, holding out the rose to him.

    Her father, Lugos, smiled and took the rose. He sniffed it and chuckled. “A rose from my biggest fan, I’ll treasure it forever.” Amy giggled excitedly as Lugos ruffled her hair. He bent down to her and put a hang on her shoulder. “Now Amy, Jayjay and I have been talking. We think it’s time that you get a proper introduction to pokemon.”

    Amy’s eyes grew wide with excitement as the statement set in. She stared with childlike wonderment at her parents, grinning wildly. “Really?” she asked, “Really really?”

    Lugos chuckled at his young daughter and nodded. Ruffling her bright red hair, he answered, “Really really. I’ll be introducing you to the pokemon I work with. They’re all very friendly, but they are ghost types, so if you think you’ll be too scared we can introduce you to Jayjay’s pokemon first.”

    Amy looked between her two parents in thought. Jaime nodded their head with a smile, as if to encourage Amy to pick whichever option she felt most confident in. After a few moments of thought, her excitement got the better of her and she began to bounce. “I want to meet your pokemon! I want to meet your pokemon!” she chanted.

    Lugos and Jaime exchanged happy looks before Jaime put their hand on Amy’s back. “Alright then, sweetie. Lugos, please lead the way.”

    Amy continued to bounce as her parents led her further backstage. She paid little attention to the other actors and workers, having met them before they were not her focus at this time. No, she wanted to meet the real stars. She wanted to meet the pokemon behind it all. Her eyes darted around the backstage, hoping to catch a glimpse of anyone hiding in the rafters and curtains of the theatre.

    Lugos pushed aside one of the curtains and opened a door, Jaime pushing their daughter inside. Amy gasped as she gazed around the room. It was filled with pokemon! Consisting of mostly ghost types, the room has a desk for every pokemon. They were all covered with an array of items ranging from flowers as gifts to makeup for the actor pokemon.

    Amy’s mind began to flood with questions. How did the pokemon talk in the plays? Did they make all the cool special effects? Did these pokemon all live in the theatre? She continued to look around, hoping to spot one pokemon in particular, but had no luck as her parents led her over to the nearest pokemon.

    “Ya? Yaaa. Yamask!” the pokemon chattered as it spoke to the pokemon next to it. As Lugos and the others approached, the yamask paused and looked over at them. He waved and floated closer. “Ya ya!”

    “Good to see you too, Osiris,” Lugos answered. “I wanted you to meet someone knew today and help me introduce her to the others. You know my spouse, Jaime.” Jaime gave a short wave as they were mentioned. “Please meet our daughter, Amy.” Lugos looked down at his daughter and pushed her forward a bit. “Amy, please meet one of our main pokemon actors, Osiris the yamask.”
    Amy gasped and stared at Osiris in wonder. She had seen him perform alongside her father many a time. The yamask seemed delighted at the attention from Amy and extended his hand to her. Amy eagerly clasped onto it with both her hands and shook his hand aggressively.

    “Eaze up there, Amy, you’re gonna hurt him,” Jaime teased.

    “Ya ya!” Osiris protested, waving off Jaime’s comment. He pat Amy on the head and gave her a large smile. “Yamask!”

    Amy tilted her head in confusion and looked at her parents. “Why isn’t he talking? He always talks on stage.”

    Lugos paused, taking a second to glance around the rafters before pointing to a perch high above them. Nestled in the wooden rafters and velvet curtains was a bird with a variety of brightly colored feathers. As it shifted, Amy saw its head poke out, revealing a chatot!

    “That’s the source of the voices, my dear Amy,” he answered. Lugos gestured to Osiris. “Yamask, as well as most other pokemon, don’t have the ability to speak. But thanks to our helper, Muse the chatot, we’re able to create some theatre magic to make it seem like they can talk.” Amy’s eyes grew wider as Lugos continued to talk, completely enamored even if she was too young to totally understand everything Lugos was talking about. Lugos chuckled in amusement and ruffled Amy’s hair. “Alright, now say goodbye to Osiris and I’ll take you to meet someone else.”

    “Awww, okay,” Amy pouted. She turned to Osiris and said, “Bye Osiris!” Osiris offered her a smile and bowed before returning to his desk.

    Amy followed close behind her parents as they began to lead her to the next desk. Suddenly all the lights cut and a spotlight shown on the trio. Lugos shielded his eyes for a moment and chuckled. “Alright, Shara, stop messing around and come meet my daughter if you’re so eager.”

    All the lights returned to normal as a rotom burst from one of the stage lights. It garnered a couple glares from the other pokemon as it zipped its way down to the group. Shara let out a snicker before lowering itself to Amy’s side. “Roto! Rotom!” it cheered as it floated around Amy’s head.

    Amy giggled and watched the little orange pokemon in amusement. She liked how her hair stood on end in its direction as it moved around her. “Hi there!” Amy answered back, “I”m Amy! Nice to meet you!”

    “Roto roto!” Shara cheered back.
    Jaime pointed up to the lights high above the stage and said, “Shara is one of the stage manager’s pokemon. It helps with all the lighting you see, like the big giant spotlight.” They gestured to Amy’s hair and added, “Shara’s part electric type so it’s able to control the electricity in the lights. It also causes your hair to stand up like this.”

    “That’s so cool!!” Amy exclaimed, “Make all the lights flicker! Right now!”

    Shara got a devilish look on its face, but was quickly intercepted by Lugos. “I’m not sure that’s a good idea, Amzy, with everyone still working. Maybe another time, okay sweetie?”

    “Awww, alright,” Amy said with a pout.

    “Yo, Lugos!” another worker called out from the catwalk above the stage, “Can you send Shara back up here? I need some lighting tests done.”

    “Sure thing,” Lugos called back. He looked at Shara and pointed to the catwalk. “Alright, you heard your trainer. Back you go.”

    “Roto roto!” Shara snickered and waved goodbye to Amy before zipping off back to its post. Amy watched in amazement as it jumped from light to light until it reached its trainer. Her father worked with so many cool pokemon!

    “Kirlia!” another pokemon called as it approached the group. Amy looked over and spotted a kirlia with a stufful and a gastly somewhat hiding behind it. She stared at them curiously. She recognized the kirlia as one of the actor pokemon, but who were the other two?

    “Oh perfect timing! Amy, please meet Allen the kirlia. He’s one of our bests actors, but he’s assisted by his two companions, Tima the stufful and Aage the gastly,” Lugos explained. Each pokemon nodded their head as they were introduced. “We typically use Allen for more supernatural roles like those of a warlock, so Aage and Tima have been trained to use moves like Haze and Role Play to help create the mystical effects that Allen’s roles require.” Lugos looked at the group of pokemon and asked, “Care to demonstrate?”

    “Stuff!” Tima suddenly grew a bit braver and stepped out from Allen’s side.
    Aage floated off as well. Taking a deep breath, the gastly began to spew a haze that covered Allen. Allen began to spin, causing the haze to completely cover him. When the smoke dissipated, he was gone!
    Lugos pointed across the room where not one, but three kirlias stood. Allen began to dance, the clones following his movements at a delayed time. Another haze began to surround him, creating a mystical effect that reminded Amy so much as plays she had seen in the past.
    Then, as quickly as they had all appeared, the smoke and afterimages disappeared.

    The three pokemon returned to their posts in front of Amy and all took a bow. Amy clapped eagerly, very impressed with the demonstration. “Bravo! Bravo!” she cheered, “That was so cool!”

    Lugos chuckled and ruffled his daughter’s red hair a bit. “It is very cool. Do you want to know how they did it?”

    “Heck yeah!” Amy blurted out in excitement.
    “Language, young lady,” Jaime chided.

    “Sorry. Yes sir!” she corrected.

    “Well, when Aage covered Allen in smoke, Allen used teleport to move further away. Then Time used role-play, creating two clones of Allen that followed his exact movements, just with a slight delay. This creates quite the mystical effect that really sells some of Allen’s more magical roles like that of a warlock!”

    Amy stared wide eyed and with mouth agape at her father. That was so cool! “How much practice did they need to have to perfect that?” she asked.

    “Lots,” Lugos responded, “but with time and that much practice, they’ve created quite the act, don’t you think?” He turned to the trio and waved. “Thank you for your time. Please, rest up and relax for the rest of the day.” The trio bowed away before heading to their dressers.

    Lugos took Amy’s hand and began to lead her towards the back of the room. “Now we’re getting to the last three pokemon you’re going to meet today. The next two are my personal favorites. They’re a great team that do a lot of rather underappreciated work for the theatre.”

    “Really?” Amy asked curiously, “What do they do?”

    “Well, Amy,” Jaime answered, “you know those pretty backdrops that show up in all the plays? Those are designed by these two pokemon.”

    “Ooh!” Amy cheered, “So is one of them a smeargle?”

    Lugos shook his head. “No, we’ve got a much more talented artist if I say so myself.”

    They stopped as they approached an incomplete set piece. Standing in front of it was a Weavile, his fur and claws stained with different colored paints. He tapped his foot as he stared at the semi-completed canvas. After a moment, he snapped his fingers. “Wea,” he commanded.

    Amy saw some movement out of the corner of her eye as an inkay flew in with a paint bucket. Spraying some ink into the bucket, the inkay added some powder and quickly stirred it. They waited a few moments before the weavile dipped one of his feathers into the paint and began to coat the uncolored canvas in a brilliant sky blue.

    Amy watched in fascination as the weavile made swift and strong strokes, filling a section of the canvas with the blue paint. He stepped back after a moment, staring at the canvas before nodding in satisfaction. Tucking the feather behind his ear, the weavile turned to speak with the inkay, only to realize he had an audience. The weavile blinked a couple times before bowing to them; the inkay doing the same.

    “Sorry, Cyrus,” Lugos said, “I did not want to startle you when you were in such deep concentration. The new piece for Hamlet is looking great.”

    Cyrus puffed out his chest a little at the flattery and waved his claws a little. “Weavile wea.” He paused and pointed at Amy. “Vile?”

    Lugos pat Amy’s shoulder and answered, “This is my daughter, Amy. She adores your set pieces, so I wanted to introduce her to the pokemon behind it all.” Lugos turned to Amy and said, “This is Cyrus the weavile and Joe the inkay. They’re our set design team. Inkay ink mixed with powdered paint really makes for a great color scheme, don’t you think, Amz?”

    Amy nodded eagerly, stepping closer to look at the set. “This is so pretty!” Amy turned to Cyrus and said, “It’s for Hamlet? Is this for one of the scenes in the garden?”

    Cyrus seemed taken aback at Amy’s knowledge of the play, but gave a short nod in response.

    “It looks so good!” she responded, “All it needs is some roses on the hedges and a sun in the sky and it’d be perfect!”

    Cyrus tapped his claws on his chin and nodded. “Weavile.” He turned to Joe and nodded again. “Weavile vile vi.”

    “Inkay!” Joe responded, floating off to get some red paint.

    Amy watched in fascination as they mixed another small batch of red paint. Drawing a different feather, Cyrus motioned for Amy to come closer. As she stepped forward, Cyrus dipped the feather into the red paint and then handed it to Amy. He stepped behind her and began to guide her hand, helping her paint small roses onto the already dried bushes on the set piece. After a few moments, he let go, allowing Amy to paint on her own. She eagerly dotted the bush, the movement becoming muscle memory to her until Cyrus put his claws on her shoulder, indicating she should stop.

    Amy handed him back the feather and stepped back, gazing at the new roses with pride and glee. She had painted those! Amy turned to her parents as she squealed a little and saw smiles plastered on their faces. Jaime was especially beaming, the comic artist seeing a bit of themselves in their daughter.

    “What do you say, Amy?” Jaime encouraged.

    Amy spun back to Joe and Cyrus. “Thank you!” she said eagerly. Cyrus and Joe smiled back her and nodded back.

    Lugos put his hand on his daughter’s shoulder and guided the red head past the canvas to a more isolated dresser. “And now, for your final pokemon today, I wanted to introduce you to Freya.”

    Amy gasped as she spotted a froslass floating next to the desk. Freya was Amy’s favorite pokemon actor to watch perform. She had seen her star in so many plays as the leading role, and even had signed letters thanks to her father. She looked up at her father and asked, “Is it really okay?”

    Lugos nodded and chuckled. “Of course. She’s looking forward to meeting her biggest fan.” He gave Amy a small push forward.

    Amy approached Freya nervously, freezing up when the froslass turned around to greet her. Freya offered a small smile to the young girl and extended her hand. “Fros. Froslass,” she said.

    Amy stares at Freya for a moment before shaking her hand. “It’s nice to meet you, Freya. I’m… I’m Amy! A-And um… I’m your biggest fan!”

    Freya giggled and nodded, as if to say she knew. “Froslass lass fros.” Freya turned away, gliding gracefully to her desk. She picked up a small white flower and turned back to Amy. Taking a deep breath, Freya blew freezing air onto the flower. A chill ran across Amy’s body, goosebumps popping up all over her arms as she watched Freya freeze the flower. Moving closer to Amy, Freya held out the flower. “Froslass!”

    “Well now isn’t that special,” Lugos chimed, “a permafrost flower. That will last quite a long time, Amy.”

    Amy took the flower and eagerly cheered, “Thank you! Thank you!” She held it close and grinned widely.

    Freya smiled back, obviously pleased at Amy’s excitement. She pat Amy’s headband blew another cold wind over her. She bowed and returned to her desk.

    “A blessing too,” Jaime said, “aren’t you a special girl, Amy? Now come on, it’s time to go home.”

    “Okay, Jayjay!” Amy chimed. Waving goodbye to the theatre pokemon as they exited, Amy clutched the white flower to her chest, the coolness prickling her fingers as the memory became one that Amy knew she would cherish forever.
    /// /
    Double Agents with Suicune's Fire

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  5. #4
    "Sleep is a curse, and yet a curse I need to live." -Steven Universe.
    Shruikan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Snowdin Librarby
    Story Submission
    Username: Shruikan
    Character Name: Neith Nimr
    Story Title: This was barely finished on time, and you expect a title? :P
    Word Count: 2270 accourding to Scrivener.
    Rating/Content Warnings: Umm, G i think?
    Story (In spoilers)
    Sara Nimr rushed though her morning routine. Today she’d need to cover multiple shifts, so she needed to get together as soon as she could. Gulping down some coffee, Sara sighed. It was barely 6AM, Yet somehow Neith was already awake and sitting in front of the TV, watching some superhero show. Sara quickly sorted through her notes, grabbing the paperwork she’d need. Suddenly, Neith started shouting.

    “Oh, oh, there’s a carnival in town! Can we go? Canwecanwecanwe!? Pleeease?” The show had gone to a commercial break, where it was advertising the local carnival troupe, and Neith was bouncing like a yo-yo.
    “We’ll see.” She replied.

    In the kitchen Liam was making pancakes. Sara briefly wonderer who in their right mind made pancakes at 6 in the morning, but was in too much of a rush to think too much about it. As she gather up her last few thing, she brought up the subject of the carnival.
    Sara massaged her forehead, frowning. “I’m needed at the center. I agreed to cover Laura’s shifts while she has the flu, and no-one else can take my place.”
    “Hey, that’s what dads are for! I can take Neith. It’ll be fine.”
    Sara sighed. “Very well, but keep a close eye on her. You know how much she likes wandering off.”
    Liam gave a lopsided smile. “Reminds me of someone I used to know.”

    There was a crashing sound from the living room. Liam and Sara entered to see Neith had tipped over a chair, and was standing hands on hips with one foot in the backrest, a blanket wrapped around her as a makeshift cape. “Hah, take that evil Demon!”
    Sara shook her head in disbelief. “I really don’t have time for this.” She gave her husband a quick kiss then was out the door, leaving Liam to sort out his superhero daughter and the felled chair.

    Near the entrance were many game stalls line up in a row. A pair of teenagers were handing over the money at the closest stall. A sign advertised a prize to anyone who could topple all the bottles with a single ball.

    “Dad, dad! Look!” Neith pointed excitedly at the row of plush toys handing above the stand as prizes. “That purple bug one looks so cool! Can we try and get it?”

    Ahh, see that stall is one where thy try to trick you. See how the cans stay piled up? They always have some kind of trick that makes it almost impossible to actually know them over.
    The lead teenager took a ball and threw it with perfect aim, hitting the bottles hard and fast, but the ball just bounced away.
    “Things aren’t always what they appear to be. Heh, now you can tell your mother that this was an educational trip.” Liam smiled down at his daughter. “How about we try and win at one of the fairer games?”

    Of course, it turned out that by fairer, Liam mean more fun for him. After several attempts at the Hoopa Ring Toss, the Tin Can Alley, and even a basketball hoop, Neith had concluded that Carnival games weren’t made to be won, and had resigned herself that if she was to get the toy, she’d have to get a lot of practice first. Instead she decided to just have fun playing the games & rides.

    Taking a break, the passed a confections stand, stocking up and everything sugary they could find. “Just don’t tell your mother about this, she’d say this much candy would be bad for you.”
    Neith nodded, in a reply, mouth full of toffee apple. A few moments later her foot caught on a lose pebble and she fumbled, her Candy-floss falling from her hand.

    Before Neith had time to be disappointed, she glanced a small black furry shape moving in the shadows between the stalls…

    The Poochyena sniffed. He could scent something very sweet ahead. Peering out, he saw his target; a pink cloud attacked to a twig. Many times he had tried to get ahold of some, but guests or cleaner always got there first. This time would be different.
    In a flash, he was on top of the cloud, and had quickly dragged it back into his hiding place.

    Salivating with anticipation, the Poochyena bit at it, and was puzzled as the food seemed to disappear in it’s mouth before it could be swallowed. It ripped another chunk of the pink substance, and once again it seemed to fold in on itself upon coming into contact with his tongue.

    A pair of the two-footed creatures were staring down at it. Were they going to try and take away the food? The Poochyena bared it’s teeth and let out a small growl. Even if this was strange inedible food, it was his, and he wasn’t going to give it up!

    Wait, was one of the creatures was holding out something? It appeared to be an apple, but with a twig poked though it, and coated in something like the Honey that Sword-throat sometimes gave him. The dog had seen many of the visitors carrying them, but had never tasted one before. One paw placed protectively on the cloud-stick, the Poochyena sniffed at the offering, then in one quick movement grasped it in his jaws and began chewing.
    The Poochyena look back reverently to the smaller one that had offered the golden apple. This one had darker skin than most, perhaps it was like the strangely coloured Four-eared-ruby-head that performed with Fire-breath and Sword-throat. It was baring it’s teeth at him, but it’s eyes showed no sign of hostility. He had come to notice that these pale-two-foots did this when they were pleased.
    This one reached towards the Poochyena, and he let her pet his head. She had offered food, and therefore was a friend.

    Neith petted the Poochyena. “Hey it’s just like Cerbero!” Neith refferred to the Mightyena sidekick to one of the heroes in that show.
    The Poochyena puppy wagged it’s tail happily.
    Liam bent down to look at the collar around the dog’s neck
    “Hmm, it seems this little guy belongs to one of the workers here. I wonder how they got separated?”
    “We need to help him. Just like the superheroes would.” Neith said.
    “Hmm, I agree. Lets ask the stall owners if they know anything.”

    Neith picked up the dog, and they stepped back up to the confections stand.
    “Back for seconds already?” The owner teased with a grin. “I should say too much sugar is bad for you, but it’s good for business, so eh.”
    “No, no, we just wanted to ask you a question.” Liam gestured to Neith and the puppy, who was sniffing at her hands, trying to determine if it still had traces of toffee apple stuck to it.
    “You see, we found this puppy wandering the stalls, clearly lost. It’s tag says he belongs to Sven Davison, and has the carnival logo on it, so we thought he probably works here. Do you know where he might be found?”
    The man looked thoughtful. “I’m just a temp, but ol’ Tetsu’ll probably know. He knows everyone ‘round here.” The man gestured with his thumb towards a circus tent taking up a large part of the carnival. Liam and Neith thanked him and set off.

    Inside the tent was laid out with standard circus rings. A green Espeon in the center of the stage, using it’s psychic to move several rainbow striped beach balls around the room, while a Furfrou hopped from one to the next, doing flips and twirls with each jump.

    Liam approached the director. “Hello, Tetsu I presume?” The man nodded. “um, we were told you would know where to find Sven Davison?”
    Tetsu gave a gruff nod. “Oh, old Red Sven. Yeah, he should be preparing for his performance. He’ll be near the entrance about now. You can’t miss him. Found his dog have you?”
    “Yes, actually. I take it you knew he was missing?”
    “Yes, constantly wandering off that pup. Needs better training. I’ve got my hands full preparing for the performance, so I’ve no time to watch over runts like that here.”
    “Oh, that’s no problem, we can take him over ourselves.” Liam said, frowning slightly. He turned to go. “Come on Neith, let’s take Cerbero home.”

    The sun was low in the sky, and the carnival was near closing time. The Poochyena puppy was whining slightly and looking around around anxiously. “There there Cerbero. If we can’t find your trainer, you can always come live with me and dad.”

    As they passed near the entrance to the carnival, there was quite a crowd gathered around. Upon investigation, it appeared that a show was being put on.
    A guy with paint-on stubble and dressed in what appeared was supposed to be a ninja suit, but looked more like a pair of old pajamas a few sizes too big. He was brandishing a metal pipe, that wobbled in the breeze revealing it’s true nature as Styrofoam. Facing him was a red caped man with a motorbike helmet covering his face.
    To Liam it was obviously a play being put on to draw in customers, but to Neith it was a real life superhero.

    “You think you can get away with this? Justice will alway find you, no matter where you hide!”
    The “ninja” let out a yell like in a bad kung-fu movie, and leaped at the masked hero. With perfect choreography, he knocked the pipe away, punched the ninja in the gut, then hopped back and nailed the assailant with a roundhouse kick that sent him sprawling to the ground.

    Neith was so engrossed by the performance, she barely noticed the Poochyena’s exited look until he wriggled out of he grasp, weaving through the crowd and nuzzling against the masked hero, tail wagging at 50 mile per hour.

    The hero looked down, obviously shocked despite the visor covering his face. “Kira? What are-Ahem, I mean, hello there young pup, are you lost?”
    A man in what could barely pass as a police uniform handcuffed the ninja and lead him off. A man with a loudspeaker, who appeared to be the narrator hurriedly began to speak. “And once again, the city is safe, thanks to Musou Red!”
    The masked man bowed, and then with a swish of his cape headed off for the changing rooms, with the puppy, Liam, and Neith following behind.

    The superhero sat down on a bench and pulled off his mask. Beneath the gear was a young man with pale hair and a touch of stubble. He grinned at them. “I take it Kira got lose again, and you guys found him?”
    “Yep. Found him amongst the refreshment stands. Happen often?” Liam replied with a smile.
    “Three times this week. Thank Arceus he didn’t get out of the carnival.”
    Sven turned to face Neith, who was staring up at him, eyes as wide as saucers. “You must be pretty good with pokemon. Kirakira doesn’t let just anyone carry him around.”
    “So, does that mean that Cerbero is really a crime fighting dog?” Neith said in awe.
    Sven looked a bit bewildered.
    “She’s a big fan of superheroes,” explained Liam. “She though that Kirakira looked like the dog from one of the shows.”
    “Ooh, right.” Sven turned back to Neith. “Well, not yet. Kirakira’s still too young to fight crime, but once his training is done, the world had better watch out!” He struck another pose, and Neith’s eyes grew wider still.
    “Is it ok for me to know your secret identity?” She asked.
    “Oh, thats fine. I’m sure you can keep a secret.” He replied with a wink. “Now, is there any way I can thank you? I would give you free tickets, but today’s the last day before we pack up.
    “Liam smiled. Well, there is one thing you could do…”

    8 years later…

    “Next up is Sven Davison.”
    Neith sat of closer to the screen. This was what she’d been waiting for. A man dresses in red spandex, with a short cape and a helmet shaped like a wolf with an open jaw, with a black visor covering his face. Sven struck a pose then threw his pokeball high into the air.
    Kira leaped out of his ball in a burst of rainbow stars, landing gracefully in the center of the stage.
    The Mightyena was wearing a red scarf with orange lining, and a pair of red goggles perched on his forehead.
    Energetic music started up, as the Mightyena showed off what looked like martial arts moves, standing on it’s hind legs to punch air the air with it’s forepaws, the dropping to the ground in a spinning kick.

    Neith clutched her well-worn Scolipede toy to her as the MC opened the envelope. “And the winner of the 2025 2025 Slateport Contest is… Brakus and his amazing Mankey!”
    Neith let out a sigh. Kira had done so well that time too. As she lay back in her bed, a notification popped up on her laptop. Cattale☆ had sent her a message.
    “How did Kira lose that? That Mankey was good, but come on! Re-enacting Slaking Kong for the umpteenth time? how unoriginal can you get?”
    Neith smiled and typed a reply. “Yeah. Would you believe I actually met Kira and Sven in person?”
    “WHAT. WHEN? HOW!? Tell me everything!”
    “Well, you see it all started when a carnival came into town…”

    GCEA Stats

  6. #5
    Mary Mary tell me how your garden grows. Desolate Divine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Melbourne Australia
    This Months Theme is...

    'My Hero'

    You have until 11:59pm of March 14th AEST to get this in for 10 CP. However you can still earn CP from last month by leaving feedback on the stories already posted.

    Good luck!
    Sophie's Trainer Card
    Paired with the awesome FedoraChar.

  7. #6
    Mary Mary tell me how your garden grows. Desolate Divine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Melbourne Australia
    Update to Rules
    After speaking to a few members, I have come up with a slight update to the rules.
    You can still participate in last months theme, however you will only receive half points for submitting late.
    @Rival Max @Suicune's Fire @Brettles @Noblejanobii @AWA1997 @Shruikan
    Sophie's Trainer Card
    Paired with the awesome FedoraChar.

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  9. #7
    Mary Mary tell me how your garden grows. Desolate Divine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Melbourne Australia
    Username: Desolate Divine
    Character Name: Sophie Reed
    Story Title: Consequences
    Word Count: 7517
    Rating/Content Warnings: Language
    Story (In spoilers)

    Chapter 1
    “Arriving in Olivine City in fifteen minutes. Please ensure all belongings are packed, and passengers with vehicles, please make your way to your vehicle on the main deck.”

    It had been two days on the S.S. Aqua since I had left Slateport, and I have never been so bored in my life. After I woke up after the Hoenn Crisis, I couldn’t struggled going back to a normal life. Going to school, parties, family dinners, they were all just too normal, when really I had just witnessed my world almost end around me, and been mercilessly killed by a monstrous creature, and somehow wound up in a world not much unlike my own where none of this happened. I tried living a normal life, finishing school, but by the end of it, I felt even more restless. That’s why I became a nurse. I couldn’t stand to live a normal life. At least working in the hospital, no two days were the same. There were some where nothing happened, and some where I was on my feet for hours on end. Some had happy endings, and some left me wondering why I even worked in that place. But I was able to help people, and in that place, as strange as it was, full of death and sickness, I felt alive working there every day. That was something I needed coming out of what I had come out of.

    I made my way down to the main deck like instructed, and found my motorbike. My Honda CBR1000RR. Lucky for me, it was the first in its lane, which meant I wouldn’t be stuck waiting for everyone else to leave. I made my way over to the bike, sitting up against it, hanging my backpack over my shoulder.

    Whilst being a nurse helped me to survive the mediocrity of everyday life, it wasn’t enough to pay the bills. So a few years back, I got qualified to give learner licenses for potential riders. Something to do on weekends when I needed the extra cash. The amount of times I wouldn’t have been able to pay rent for the month if not for that extra bit of cash was crazy and somewhat concerning.

    Over the next few minutes, various passengers began making their way to their cars, and once they were mostly in place, an announcement came over the intercom, asking passengers to start their vehicles. However I held out for a moment, as the ship was still docking.

    “Hey, you with the bike!” shouted a man in a high visibility vest, “Start the bike! Everyone behind you doesn’t want to be waiting.”

    “That’s not the best idea.” I replied, somewhat annoyed, “And trust me, they won’t be waiting…”

    “I don’t care smarta**, just start the damn bike!”

    I shrugged before taking a moment to put my bag on properly, and put on my helmet, before starting the bike, which roared to life, blocking out the sound of almost everything else. I climbed on, kicking up the stand, and waiting for the all clear to move.

    As the ramp began to lower, I looked over at hi-vis man, I noticed him glaring at me, not liking the noise from the bike. Feeling a bit antagonistic, I held in the clutch, and began pulling the throttle, revving the engine, and gesturing towards the ramp, seemingly asking if it was time to go. The man began yelling and waving his arms, however his voice was drowned out by the sound of the engine. Once the ramp was low enough that I could see the other end was clear, I released the clutch, spinning the back wheel, before it gripped, causing me to launch forward, shooting past hi-vis man, taking a moment to flip him off, as I launched off the edge of the ramp, gaining air for a few moments, before hitting the bitumen below me, and taking off quickly towards Olivine City.

    It had been a year since I was last in Johto. My brother Jacob lived here with his wife and daughter for the last sixteen years, and they always were willing to offer me a place to stay, but getting time off work is always a nightmare. The last time I had seen them was when they came to visit Hoenn last year for Jacob’s birthday, but even then they couldn’t stay too long. It was nearing Sophie’s birthday, and I had leave I could take, so figured I’d come visit her. Jacob and Phoebe were glad to hear I’d be coming around for a week, and very quickly offered me a room at their house.

    Before too long, I found my way to the cafe that Jacob had told me about earlier that day. It was nearing lunchtime, and as I pulled into the carpark, I recognized his car in the carpark, parking by bike behind it, in order to keep it hidden. Whilst my little stunt at the boat may have pissed off hi-vis man, it also was probably very illegal, and figured I’d better lay low for a while.

    I dismounted the bike, before making my way inside and found my brother, impatiently waiting at a table.

    “How was the tournament?” I asked, as I removed the helmet and sat opposite him, placing it on the ground.

    “You seem to think anything different than usual happened Laura.” Jacob replied arrogantly. I knew he was just messing with me. He was right. He had been competing in these tournaments for about seventeen years and was still to lose one.

    “You know what I mean.” I asked, “How much did you win?”

    “$8500.” Jacob replied, “Not the best I have won, but it will do.”

    “Not the best, my a**.” I replied, “Lunch is on you, seeing as you’re so loaded.”

    “Sure thing.” Jacob said, before being interrupted by the sound of his phone. He quickly looked before muttering to himself.

    “What’s going on?” I asked curiously.

    “Sophie.” Jacob explained, “She will be travelling Johto next year, and wants to go with a group instead of by herself.”

    “And that’s a bad thing why?” I asked.

    “I have been teaching her for years how to look after herself. Not many people know what she does.” Jacob said, “If she is travelling with anyone less prepared than she is, she is more at risk. She is safer by herself.”

    Jacob took a sip of his beer before continuing.

    “Besides, she is too much like me, and that scares me thinking of that while she is away.”

    “What, she has a short fuse like you?” I laughed.

    “Not that. She has a protective instinct.” Jacob explained seriously, “I see it in the way she battles when we train in the backyard. Even the way she talks about her friends and classmates. She would do anything to protect them.”

    “You say that like it’s a bad thing?” Laura explained, “If you didn’t have that, where would Hoenn back home be?”

    “You’re right.” Jacob explained, “But look what we left behind. Mum and Noah had to bury both of us. It hurt when I first got here and realized what happened, but after Sophie was born, it all came back, and now worse.”

    “As selfish as it is, I would rather Sophie be an a**hole. Turn her back on the world and let it fend for itself, than do what we did, and Phoebe and I have to go through what you and I put Mum and Noah through.”

    I was silent at the thought. Whilst Jacob was always fairly serious, he lightened up a lot after he got used to life in this world. He seemed genuinely happy. So to hear this was different.

    “So naturally, she hates me for expecting her to not have any people with her when she travels. Insists I am being paranoid.”

    “So I take it she doesn’t know the truth yet?” I asked, already knowing the answer.

    “She can’t know. She is too young.” Jacob explained.

    “She is almost fifteen. She is as old as I was when I got dragged into this.” I explained.

    “It would be different if we were back home, and the memories of what happened to the world were there, but they aren’t.” Jacob explained, “I can’t get newspaper articles or anything about what happened. All she would have is my word, and if she doesn’t believe me, the only way for her to see is for Gwaine to show her my memories.”

    “Laura, I saw Deoxys once in a hallucination and it haunted me for months. It did the same to you. Even after we won, I had nightmares for years about everything.” Jacob said, “Do you remember dying? Did you feel anything?”

    “No.” I admitted, “The beam hit me, and I felt a surge of heat before everything went black. It was over before I even felt the pain of the burning.”

    “I had Deoxys impale me, and I can still remember every moment of pain. I remember looking down to see whatever those tentacle things it had for arms were, through my chest, as blood poured out, and struggling to breath, before I took my last.” Jacob explained, “If Sophie sees my memories, she sees all of that. She doesn’t need to see that. Not yet.”

    “Fair enough.” I replied. Whilst I didn’t necessarily agree, I could see where he came from.

    “And now, I gotta figure out what to get her for her birthday.” Jacob explained, “I got absolutely no idea…”

    I couldn’t help but grin.

    “I have one. But you aren’t going to like it.” I replied, picking up my helmet.

    “No f***ing way.” Jacob said, “Besides she doesn’t want to ride a motorbike.”

    “That’s what you think.” I explained, “Come on, you think if she did she would tell you, when she knows your reaction is going to be exactly what it was just then.”

    “You’re full of it.” Jacob laughed.

    “Really?” I asked, “Because the last two or three times I have seen her, she has not stopped asking me questions about how to ride and to get her license.”

    Jacob went silent, coming to terms with the fact that he was wrong.

    “Look, think of it this way. You have brought up Sophie to be more independent than either of us were at her age, but honestly, she thinks you still see her as a little kid. That’s part of the reason why she gets to angry at you about what you’re not telling her.” I explained, “This would be giving her a lot more independence than most people her age, and would be showing her that you actually trust her.”

    “And what about the fact that, I don’t know, it is dangerous as all f***?” Jacob asked.

    “Well the stats for this year are out.” I explained, “90% of the motorcyclist fatalities are caused by rider error.”

    “And that is comforting how?” Jacob asked irritably.

    “Because the main fear of riding a bike is being killed by a 3000 pound metal box where the driver f***s up.” I explained, “That is debunked, which means that if a rider isn’t stupid with how they are on the road, they’re fairly safe.”

    “People make mistakes though. I don’t want that causing her to get hurt.” Jacob replied.

    “Look, I’ve been riding full time for fifteen years and never been close to getting hurt.” I continued, “I will teach her to ride myself, and make it one hundred percent clear what will happen if she does anything stupid.”

    “Besides, for the cost of her first car, you could get her a brand new bike, with warranty, which will be cheaper to run, and it means she will only have to rely on herself for transport, instead of getting into a car with one of her friends, who are probably stupid teenagers.” I explained, figuring I’d have Jacob convinced with the stupid teenager argument.

    “Look, I’ll think about it.” Jacob said. I couldn’t help but smile. Getting my brother to change his mind about anything is a battle and a half, so this was a good start.

    “Anyway, do you mind if we skip lunch, and grab something in Azalea?” I asked, “I kinda did something before that may have caught the attention of the local authorities, and want to get out of here pretty quickly before they find me…”

    “F***ing hell, it was on that bike, wasn’t it?” Jacob asked, “You aren’t selling this very well. But sure, I’ll see you back in Azalea Town.”

    Chapter 2
    It was a few hours later when I arrived at Azalea High School, a few minutes before the school day was about to end.

    I got off my bike, put down the stand and rested against the seat, taking off my helmet. This is what I wasn’t looking forward to. Jacob and I must have good genes, because both of us look about ten years younger than we actually are. I noticed a few older male students gesturing towards me.

    “Move along.” I replied irritably, causing half of them to jump out of their skin. I remembered something Jacob said to me almost eighteen years ago.

    "I was seventeen, and surrounded by seventeen year olds. We were all idiots."

    Well, he wasn’t wrong. They do tend to be idiots.

    “Laura!” came a voice from the nearby gate. I looked over and noticed Sophie walking towards me. She quickly greeted me with a hug.

    “I thought you weren’t coming until tomorrow?” Sophie asked.

    “They overbooked the ship I got tickets for, so offered me a free ticket to an earlier one.” I explained, before pulling a spare helmet out of my bag “Want a lift home?”

    “As much as I would love to, Dad would kill me for thinking about it, before killing you for offering.” Sophie laughed.

    “Oh believe me, I can deal with your dad.” I replied, “He might be tough. But not as tough as me.”

    I handed Sophie the helmet, as she pondered for a second, before putting it on.

    “As long as you handle Dad…”

    “Don’t worry Soph, I got this.”

    I climbed onto the bike, before Sophie climbed onto the back, as I started the engine, and took off.

    When we arrived at Jacob’s house, he still hadn’t arrived. That made sense since I spent most of the freeway ride well above the limit. As we walked through the door, Sophie greeted her mother, before Phoebe made her way over to me, giving me a hug.

    “I don’t mind the whole motorbike thing, but don’t let Jacob know you gave Sophie a lift.” Phoebe explained half jokingly, “I can only do so much.”

    “Don’t worry, I think he will come around eventually.” I laughed.

    “Don’t hold your breath…”

    Almost as if on cue, Jacob arrived home, remotely opening the garage door, and driving in. I went to my bike, holding in the clutch and rolled it in to the garage where there was space.

    “Make yourself at home.” Jacob joked.

    “Hey, it’s not my fault Johto has a crime problem.” I retorted, “You coulda just stayed in Hoenn.”

    “Crime problem my a**.” Jacob replied, “You don’t have a husband yet or kids yet, so you treat the bike like its family.”

    “A**hole.” I laughed, before we made our way inside. As we walked in Gwaine approached Jacob to greet him. Jacob had made a point of leaving Gwaine behind when he was away to look after Phoebe and Sophie. He actually told me that as a child, Sophie managed to trigger a Mega-Evolution with Gwaine, so I understood why he chose his favorite Pokemon to stay behind, even though he could probably battle better with him.

    Jacob and Gwaine were staring silently at each other, when I realized they were having a telepathic conversation.
    “Come on guys, you already did this enough when Jacob and I were teenagers.” I laughed, “Don’t leave me out.”

    Gwaine nodded at Jacob before leaving.

    “I asked him to keep Sophie occupied for a little while.” Jacob explained, “I want to talk to you and Phoebe privately.”

    We I made my way to the office, as Jacob said hello to Phoebe, before they both joined me in there.

    “What’s this about?” Phoebe asked, sounding slightly concerned.

    “Sophie’s birthday.” Jacob explained, “I assume you’re just as stumped on what to get her as I am?”

    “Yeah, I got nothing.” Phoebe admitted, “Christmas was only a few months ago, and she got a lot of new clothes then that are still fairly new, and it’s not like she wants anything in particular. She is easy to please to the point where it is difficult.”

    “Laura had an idea, which I wasn’t too fond of at first, but after thinking about it, it may not be a bad idea.” Jacob said, “Sophie turns 15 tomorrow, which means she is old enough to get her learners permit for a motorbike…

    Phoebe was silent for a moment.

    “You want to give our fifteen year old daughter, a motorbike?” Phoebe asked.

    “I thought the same thing at first too but-” Jacob began.

    “Not not that I disagree.” Phoebe explained, “I just figured it would be a cold day in hell before you let her anywhere near a motorbike.”

    “I told you he might come around soon.” I laughed.

    “What do you mean?” Jacob asked, “Did you already tell her?”

    “No, she said that you would probably flip if you knew I gave Sophie a lift home from school on the bike…”

    Jacob went silent, seemingly embarrassed at how predictable he was and how easily he changed his mind.

    “Anyway, whether we like it or not, Laura raised a good point. Sophie is independent but because of the circumstances of my past and how we can’t tell her yet, she thinks we see her as a little kid. By giving her this level of independence, it will show that we don’t see her that way.” Jacob explained, “Besides, for the next few years she probably is hardly going to ride anywhere but here, school and other places local. By the time she finishes school and is going places by herself, she will already have a few years experience under her belt, and will probably be better off in the long run for it.”

    “And you don’t think it is too dangerous in the short term?” Phoebe asked.

    “Laura said that 90% of rider fatalities this year have been rider error as opposed to someone else making the mistake, and that she would teach Sophie herself.” Jacob said, “As much as I hate those things, I trust Laura, and if she says that she will teach Sophie to ride safe, and that it will be a good experience for her in the long term, then I’d say let’s do it.”

    “Look, I don’t hate motorbikes anywhere near as much as you do.” Phoebe explained, “So if you are okay with this, I don’t see a problem.”

    “I do.” I explained, “Her birthday is tomorrow.”

    “I’m taking care of that.” Jacob explained before turning to Phoebe, “We need you to keep Sophie busy for a few hours tonight. Laura and I will go find a bike tonight.”

    Chapter 3
    “So where do we start?” Jacob asked as we walked through the dealership, “I know a bit about cars, but bikes, I know nothing.”

    “As a learner, Sophie can’t ride anything with more than a 650 cubic centimeter engine.” I explained, “0.65 Litres for you car people.”

    I made my way to the Honda section where the bikes were lined up by their engine displacement. On one side were cruisers and on the other side, sports bikes.

    “My attitude is it is better to have more power than you need and not need to use it, than not have enough power and need more. So I’d recommend 350cc and up.” I explained, “For someone Sophie’s size, a heavier bike will not work. So I wouldn’t go for a cruiser, which means that if we are doing sports bikes, I wouldn’t go for anything with more than 550cc.”

    I had a look around, and noticed one in particular. A CBR500RA.

    “This one.” I explained, “500cc engine, light enough that she can ride that, but still a little bigger so she can grow into it.”

    Jacob flicked over the bit of cardboard with the price before whistling.

    “S**t…” he muttered to himself, “You better be right. I got my first car when I was 21 and it cost less than this.”

    “This will go three times the distance that car ever did.” I explained, “You have with that price, registration, insurance and warranty. You aren’t going to get much better. Besides, you can earn that much in a weekend.”

    Jacob pulled aside a sales rep to talk numbers, whilst I went and found a helmet and riding gear that would fit Sophie. Before too long, everything was paid for, and I was riding Sophie’s bike back to Jacob’s house.

    Whilst the bike wasn’t anywhere near as quick as mine, for a learner bike, it was as quick as some of the fastest learner approved bikes. We had made the right choice.

    We arrived at Jacob’s house, before quickly hiding Sophie’s bike in the back shed, and wrapping up the riding gear. Whilst Jacob was trying to hide it to maintain that he kept his same stance on motorbikes, it wasn’t too hard to tell he was excited. I think the only reason he didn’t let Sophie see it tonight was because he didn’t want her wanting to ride it at midnight…

    Phoebe and Sophie arrived back, with Sophie telling my I should have come to the movie with her and Phoebe, however didn’t really seem to address her dad at all. Whilst his expression remained neutral, I could see in his demeanour that it hurt him, especially since he had come home from his tournaments early to be with her for her birthday.

    Sophie went to sleep a couple of hours later, after which, I found Jacob on a chair in the backyard, in front of the brick fire pit that had been built in the center of it. I made my way over, and sat opposite him.

    “You want one?” Jacob asked, gesturing to the bottle of whiskey and the empty glass on the ground next to him.

    “Why not.”

    Jacob poured me a glass, and handed it to me, however for the most part remained silent, staring intently at the fire.

    “I always knew it, but it has hit me only then just how much.” I explained, “You must really love Sophie.”

    “Of course I do. But why does it only hit you now?” Jacob asked, sipping from his drink.

    “The way Sophie was around you earlier tonight. She seemed almost indifferent towards you, and I could see how much it was hurting you.”

    I took a drink, before continuing.

    “You would rather her see you as the bad guy, than have her have to see what you saw.” I explained, “You must really love her to be willing to do that.”

    Jacob was silent for a moment.

    “I don’t want her to try and do what I did, because I don’t want her to meet our fate.” Jacob explained, “However… Look, Hoenn was absolute hell. It was something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. But I would go through all of that again in a heartbeat if it meant that Sophie would be safe.”

    I couldn’t help but think about what he said. I remember Jacob back in the Hoenn Crisis, and how he was so hell bent on protecting Hoenn from what was going on, even if it meant his own peril. I couldn’t help but see that again, but this time, this desire to protect was focused on two people.

    “Sophie is lucky to have you.” I said, “Give her some time and one day she will understand.”

    Chapter 4
    “Sophie, in here.” Jacob shouted. Him, myself and Phoebe all were in the garage. It was a Saturday, and Sophie usually trained with Jacob on Saturday mornings, however today we got up a little earlier than normal and hid out here, until Sophie called out asking where everyone was.

    A few moments later, Sophie walked through the door into the garage, where she found us standing behind a brand new motorbike.

    “Wait, you’re kidding right?” Sophie asked, before looking to Jacob, “I thought you said there was more chance of me meeting Arceus than me being allowed to ride a motorbike?”

    “I… said a lot of things. Sometimes I can be wrong.” Jacob explained, before giving her a hug, “Just don’t let that get to your head. Happy birthday.”

    Sophie looked happy, but one might struggle to have seen that past how shocked she looked.

    “F***ing hell, this looks expensive.” Sophie said in disbelief, “Like if you wanted to get me a bike, you didn’t need to spend this much. I feel bad.”

    “Don’t.” Phoebe explained, “We got you this now, but you have to organize your own first car. Deal?”

    “Deal.” Sophie replied, seeming to feel a lot better about the situation. I couldn’t help but grin, before Sophie turned to me.

    “When you said you’d deal with dad, this isn’t what I was expecting!”

    “Deal with me?” Jacob asked before almost laughing, “Yeah good luck with that.”

    “Hey, I almost beat you in your first tournament, remember?” I asked.

    “Yeah I remember.” Jacob explained, “But I also remember throwing away every Pokeball I had except for Gwaine’s and beating the rest of your team with just him.”

    “S**t really?” Sophie asked.

    We went and had breakfast, where Jacob explained that I was going to teach her to ride, and when she was ready, give her her learners permit.

    There was an old church around the corner, where I rode my bike, before Jacob brought my back to the house to get Sophie’s bike, and ride it there. The car park was huge, and empty on a Saturday, so it was perfect.

    Whilst Sophie wasn’t a natural, she was determined, and managed to get the hang of most of the basic concepts.

    We covered the basics, as well as some of the trickier stuff like shifting gears, and maneuvering at low speeds. When I felt like we had covered enough ground to justify a break, we stopped for lunch. However when there wasn’t the distraction of the bike to keep her occupied, Sophie was unusually quiet.

    “Everything alright?” I asked, “You’re doing fine. I’m just being a bit strict on you so you are safer when I’m not around.”

    “No, it’s fine.” Sophie replied, “You’re doing great. I’m just… Thinking…”

    “What about?” I asked, somewhat curious.

    “Dad.” Sophie explained, “I guess I am just a bit confused.”

    I remained quiet, giving her the chance to explain herself.

    “This is just so out of left field for him, you know?” Sophie explained, “Like, when things are good between him and I they’re fine, but when things go bad it all goes to s**t. Neither of us refuse to back down, it takes days for us to both cool off.”

    “Did you and Jacob have an argument or something?” I asked.

    “Nah, not since before he competed last. I’m supposed to travel next year, and was wanting to go with some friends, but he told me I had to go alone.” Sophie replied, “I guess it’s more so I have never known Dad to change his mind with anything. But you managed to change his mind about the bike. And like, I’m glad you did. I guess I just am trying to figure out why he refuses to budge with me.”

    “Do you know why he wants you to go alone?” I asked, feigning ignorance.

    “He says travelling with other people makes me responsible for their safety and will get me killed.” Sophie explained, “He gets so over dramatic about all this stuff. Goes on about how this and that will get me killed, but when I point out that he had a group, and ask why, he says nothing, and tells me I am too young…”

    I couldn’t help but frown slightly. Sophie was so much like her Dad that it was putting a wedge between them. Whilst I understood why Jacob was so secretive, I hated seeing this happen between them.

    “When was the last time you saw him compete live?” I asked.

    “Not for a few years.” Sophie replied, almost sounding guilty, “The weekends where he is away are the only ones I have where I can do my own thing, and I always see him battle when we train.”

    I looked down at my watch. Jacob was battling in Goldenrod this afternoon in two hours, and we could be there in one.

    “Look, you’ve passed all of the stuff we need to do here. But we still need to do the test ride.” I explained, “Let’s go to Goldenrod and see your dad battle. I want to show you something.”

    Sophie looked at me confused for a moment, before putting on her helmet and starting her bike. I started mine before we took off.

    The ride there was uneventful, which was a relief seeing as it was Sophie’s first ride on public roads. I kept behind her, though pulling the throttle when it looked like we would get separated by a red light.

    As we rode, I used the bluetooth headset in my helmet to call Phoebe.

    “Hey Laura. How are the riding lessons going?”

    “Good. We are actually on her test ride now and she is doing great so far.” I explained, “Listen, I need a favor. Jacob keeps all his accounts logged in on his laptop doesn’t he?”

    “Yes...:” Phoebe replied, sounding slightly concerned.

    “Don’t worry, I’m not asking for a bank transfer.” I explained, “Jacob told me a few months back he gets given a few tickets to tournaments for friends and family. I assume he has them all still. Could you please email me a pair for myself and Sophie for today’s tournament?”

    “You’re going to Goldenrod?” Phoebe asked.

    “Yeah. Sophie mentioned that she hadn’t seen him compete in a few years, and I’d enjoy seeing him battle again.” I replied, “I figure kill two Pidgeys with one Geodude, and do Sophie’s test ride.”

    “Fair enough. I will see what I can do.”

    We arrived at Goldenrod Stadium, where I checked my phone, to find two e-tickets in my inbox. Front Row, Jacob’s side of the field.

    “Geez, these tickets wouldn’t be cheap.” I said to Sophie, “I’d have killed to get these for free.”

    “Yeah, I know I should see him compete more often. I guess the weeks where both Mum and I are free and actually can be bothered with the road trip are few and far between.”

    We got through the gate and found our way to our seats. Within the next half hour, Jacob was on the field, where he won his first battle.

    “He seems almost the same as at home.” Sophie explained, “Is his opponent just not too great, or am I better than I give myself credit for?”

    “Neither.” I explained with a grin, “He just isn’t trying yet.”

    “Okay, I gotta see this…”

    Chapter 5
    Four hours later, Jacob had just won his semi-final round and was waiting to start the grand final. With each match that passed, I saw Sophie get more and more impressed, but even in what had been his hardest match yet, I saw Jacob holding back.

    “Watch this.” I explained, “Your dad would never admit it, but he is a bit of a showman. This will be where he really makes his statement.”

    “How do you know that?” Sophie asked.

    “He did the same thing to me.” I explained, “As sure of himself as he is, Jacob has something to prove, even if it’s just to himself. And I reckon, I know how to guarantee this will be a good match.”

    I looked out towards where Jacob stood, waiting for his match to start.

    “Hey Jacob!” I shouted, “How’re you gonna go without Gwaine?”

    Jacob turned around, shocked at seeing us, before gaining his composure, and seeming more determined. He wanted to prove me wrong. Even if he knew I was manipulating me.

    “Now, this will be a good match…” I explained.

    A few minutes later there was a countdown as the match began. Once it hit zero, there was a flash of light as both trainers released their first Pokemon. On one side of the field was a Skarmory, and on the other was Mushu, Jacob’s Charizard. However the biggest difference was reaction time. Within a split second, Mushu had already launched itself into the air, and was unleashing a flamethrower on the Skarmory.

    “How the hell did he do that?” Sophie asked, stunned, “He is never that quick at home.”

    “He has trained all of his Pokemon to act without command.” I explained, “Each of his main battlers have about four simple actions they are trained to take based on the circumstances. My guess is that he has trained Mushu to get as high as he can as quickly as possible against another flying type to get the high ground, whilst slowing down his opponent with attacks as much as possible.”

    “How have I never seen this?”

    “Your dad is someone who likes to be extremely prepared, and to always have the upper hand. So he doesn’t use this tactic often in case he is in a dangerous situation.” I explained, “My guess is he has briefed them on which matches to wait for his command on. You know what this means?”

    Sophie shook her head.

    “He was going to do this from the get go. He hasn’t even started showing off yet…”

    As the Skarmory ascended, Jacob shouted a command, as Mushu quickly began to dive downwards heading straight for the Skarmory. At the last second, Mushu ducked a few inches to the side, sliding past the Skarmory, almost touching the Pokemon, before quickly wrapping his tail around the Skarmory’s neck, and pulling it out of the air, causing it to crash on the ground.

    Mushu dived down, landing on the Skarmory, pinning the Pokemon to the ground, before launching a Fire Blast at point blank range. After a few moments, Skarmory was unconscious.

    “S***...” Sophie muttered, “This is the grand final and he beat the first Pokemon in under a minute.”

    “Your dad is such a good battler, because he uses unorthodox techniques. It’s his creativity that makes him such a threat.” I explained, “That trick with the tail around the neck? You could line up a hundred, no, a thousand trainers in that situation and they would all say to use Take Down. None of them would even think for a moment to do that.”

    The next opposing Pokemon was a Blastoise, which most of the crowd seemed to enjoy seeing. The opponent seemed to have the advantage here, but I knew this meant nothing to him.

    The Blastoise launched a Hydro Pump at Mushu, who responded with a flamethrower, immediately evaporating all of the water, clouding the battlefield with steam. A moment later, Mushu erupted through the steam into the air, before launching a flamethrower into the steam where Blastoise was, causing the steam to dissipate.

    The Blastoise had retreated into its shell, seeming to be unfazed by the fire attack. But Jacob seemed to be grinning. This was intentional.

    I looked closer to see that Mushu was not aiming directly at the Blastoise, but only had half of the flamethrower aimed at the large water type, and the other half on the ground.

    “He’s buying time.” I explained to Sophie, “He is heating the ground to keep Blastoise busy, whilst he does something else.”

    After a few seconds, the ground was red hot, and the flamethrower stopped, as Mushu was enveloped in a light, and Jacob pressed a button on his watch. The light became blinding before exploding, revealing Mushu Mega evolving into Mega Charizard Y.

    As Blastoise came out of its shell, Mushu unleashed an instant Solar Beam thanks to his new drought ability.

    “Most trainers will Mega evolve straight up at the start of the match to make the most of their one Pokemon limit.” I said to Sophie, “But by doing this, he is giving Mushu the element of surprise. Blastoise would have emerged from its shell to realize its opponent had Mega Evolved, and had no time to adjust.”

    Blastoise was knocked out, and its trainer had four Pokemon left. Tyranitar, Umbreon, Ampharos and Victreebell. And Jacob managed to beat them all with Mushu. Whilst the Charizard was exhausted by the end, it had managed to defeat an entire team in a grand final match. I looked over at Sophie who was speechless. I figured this would mostly be new to her.

    As we made our way back to the bikes, my phone buzzed, with a message from Jacob.

    “Stick around for a few minutes and say hello.”

    “Laura, you seem to know everything about Dad I want to know.” Sophie explained, pulling my attention from my phone, “I know he has probably forbidden you from telling me anything, but I still have to ask. Where did he learn to battle like that?”

    I knew this was coming. By taking her here and showing her this, I may have given her a little more peace of mind, but I was also opening myself up to this question, as much as I tried to pretend it wouldn’t happen.

    “Your dad battles like his life depends on it,” I explained, “Because for a long time it did.”

    Sophie went silent. If Jacob had his way with how much she knew, the danger he was in when we first met would be something she didn’t know about.

    Sophie remained fairly quiet, pondering what I had just told her as we waited by the bikes until Jacob arrived.

    “So how did she go?” Jacob asked, seeming pretty happy.

    “She still has a bit to learn, that she will only get with experience.” I explained, “But I think she’s fully capable of riding on her own. But I gotta say, I am just as impressed with that last battle. Like, I always knew you were a show-off but you really kicked it up a notch.”

    “Well I just won $10,000 so had to make sure I was earning it.” Jacob explained, “Besides, if I knew you guys were watching, I would have made it a bit more interesting in the opening matches.”

    Before I could continue to be a smart a** with my brother, Sophie chimed in.

    “Nice job.” Sophie said, somewhat quietly, before giving Jacob a hug, “I wish I had come to see it earlier.”

    Jacob was shocked for a second, before putting an arm around her.

    “It’s fine. I’m glad you guys decided to come.”

    Chapter 6
    Sophie and I rode back to Azalea Town that afternoon, whilst Jacob went to Ecruteak City for the next tournament. I spent a few more days in Johto with Sophie and Phoebe before heading back home to Hoenn.

    A week after I got back home was when things became interesting again. It was nearly 8pm on Tuesday night, when I heard a knock at the door. I opened the door and was shocked to see Jacob on the other side.

    “We need to talk.”

    “Hello to you too.” I muttered, as I let him in, and he made his way to the lounge room. I was expecting something like this, but I figured it would be a phone call.

    I followed Jacob into the lounge, however he chose to stand.

    “Sophie told Phoebe what you said to her. And she told me.” Jacob said, “And whilst that may have satisfied her for a day or two, not even half an hour after you left, she was asking Phoebe more questions, which she didn’t want to answer. Because I’m not there to be the bad guy, Phoebe and Sophie are arguing like Sophie and I usually do.”

    “I’m sorry, but she needed to know something.” I explained, “Anything.”

    “It wasn’t your place to tell!” Jacob shouted, before rubbing his hand up against his face. This was stressing him out, “I’m sorry, but you aren’t her parent! You don’t get to make these decisions about her! You might have changed my mind about the bike, but that doesn’t mean you can just go directly against Phoebe and I, and tell her this stuff.”

    “Jacob, when was the last time she hugged you like that?” I asked, “Seriously, you were this close to losing her! Do you know what would have happened if you got your own way?”

    “Enlighten me.” Jacob replied, “Please, tell me all about how I am a bad parent!”

    “By the time she turned 18, she would have hated you, and done whatever she could to get away from you!” I shouted, “How do you think it will go then? You just tell her what happened to us in Hoenn, and it will all be magically better?”

    “That’s a risk I’m willing to take!” Jacob yelled back, “Because unlike you Laura, I don’t stay awake at night if I know someone I care about doesn’t love me back! I mean, I grew up without Mum around for sixteen years, not like you would know what that’s like. “

    “F*** you!” I shouted, “That’s a cheap shot and you know it!”

    “Tell me it’s not true!” Jacob replied, “The fact is, that every f***ing thing I do, I do for her. I would rather her hate me but know that she will be safe and will be okay! But you’re that hell bent on her looking at you as the cool aunt that you go and do s*** like this, justifying it by telling yourself it’s a solution to a problem that is none of your f**king business in the first place!”

    I remained silent. Whilst I knew he was upset, every single thing he said just then was specifically chosen to hurt me. That being said, that didn’t mean he was wrong.

    “You know what I have to look forward to when I get home?” Jacob asked, “Phoebe in tears, because she has now been dragged in to mine and Sophie’s fight, Sophie harassing me for answers and hating me for refusing to give them to her, I mean f***, I am gonna have to take the keys to that bike of hers, because I’m scared she is going to get angry, take off and hurt herself. And naturally, she will hate me even more for that. And what do you get? You get to come home, and still be the cool aunt who she looks up to. You made the decision and wear absolutely none of the consequences. Phoebe and I do.”

    I remained silent as Jacob walked to the door.

    “Have you got a place to stay the night?” I asked through gritted teeth. I was angry with him, and angry at myself, but I wasn’t going to force my brother to crash at a hotel when I had spare beds here.

    “I’m staying with Mum and Noah tonight. I figure I should at least say hi if I am here. Granted, I now have to lie to them about why I’m here, because they have no idea about Hoenn.” Jacob replied as he made his way through the door. However before closing it, he stopped.

    “Laura, I think it would be best if you don’t see Sophie for a while.” Jacob said, “I hate doing this, but I can’t trust you anymore. And now, s***t, I have a hell of a mess to clean up at home, and chances are things will never be the same again. Until I know that you actually understand what you have done, and why she can’t know, then I don’t want you talking to her.”

    “Really? That’s how it’s going to be?” I shouted, “Your relationship with her is f***ed and I try to help, so you doom me to the same fate?”

    “Don’t contact her. And don’t come by the house anymore.”

    With those final words, Jacob left, closing the door behind him, before walking away.

    I considered opening the door to continue this but decided against it. Now wasn’t the time to try and fix this. It would only make things worse.

    I made my way back to the lounge, where my phone sat on the coffee table with the screen illuminated. I opened it and found a text message from Sophie, with a picture of the bike.

    “Just gave it a clean! Thanks again!”

    I couldn’t help but tear up, as I locked the phone and threw it against the couch.
    Sophie's Trainer Card
    Paired with the awesome FedoraChar.

  10. #8
    "Sleep is a curse, and yet a curse I need to live." -Steven Universe.
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    Apr 2014
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    Username: Shruikan
    Character Name: Neith Nimr
    Story Title: Heroic Condition. (AKA this story sucks but at least it has a title)
    Word Count: 2057
    Rating/Content Warnings: Uhh, G again I think?
    Story (In spoilers)
    “Give it up Flamemonger! You’re plan’s failed and you’re cornered.”
    “Hah, that’s what you useless heroes think! You may have saved the president, but I’ve lead you right into my trap!”
    The villain pressed a concealed button on the wall, and two panel on slid up on either side of the heroes, revealing flamethrowers mounted into the hidden alcoves.
    Tiger Lily looked around in a panic, before hitting the ground. “Duck!”

    The Team fell to the ground, all except Last Bastion, who instead threw up his arms, as a wall of energy surrounded his team, almost as though a pokemon had used protect. Firemonger’s flames bounced harmlessly around them. “Now!” Contact shouted. Seeing an opening, he flung his hands forward with a blast of telekinetic force, sending the villain flying into a wall.
    Tiger Lily closed her eyes, and a Purrloin ran over to the villain and deftly tied him up with uncat-like dexterity, before prowling back over to the team. “Good job Sage,” Lily said as she petted her companion.

    “You think you’ve won, but the Devil’s Basement will find you, and then you will rue they day you even heard the name Wilhelm Svenson!”

    “Wait, is that really Flamemongers real name?” “Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s the first time he’s mentioned it.”

    Police sirens wait nearby. “Well, that’s our cue to leave.” Contact pushed checked once more that the villain had no further tricks up his sleeve and was immobile, before dashing off into the back alleys, to await evil’s next move.

    Neith had read this issue seven times already, but this time was different. The creator of the comics was going on tour, and one of the stops was Lumios city!
    The timing couldn’t be more perfect. She was set to begin her journey with the other new trainers only two weeks later so the arrival in Lumios was right at the last minute. Not only would she be getting her own pokemon and going on a journey, but she would get to meet the creator of the best TV show and comic series ever; the G-Force!

    As she returned her comic to it’s shelf, Neith felt a strange twinge in her leg. Must have twisted it at a strange angle or something. Nothing to worry about. She whipped out her laptop and logged into the online classroom.

    Neith barely listened through her lessons, mind wandering back to the signing, leading to much chastisement from her teachers. Once the last of the classes was over, she hopped onto her usual MMO.

    Where she proceeded to excitedly gush about the upcoming signing in the public chat.
    A blue-skinned elf wearing a suit of gold armour three sizes too large gleefully shouting about superheroes in the village square.

    “I’ve never heard of that? Is it like a show about cars or something?”

    “You’ve never heard of them? But the G-Force are the best! They’re a team of superheroes, but none of them know each others identity, and they’re on the run from the law cause they’re not supposed to use their powers, but they do it anyway because they are the only ones who can stop the Devils Basement, a group of bad guys who-”

    “Okay, okay, I get it. Sounds like you’re a big fan. Hope everything goes well.

    “Me too. And a few weeks later, I’ll finally get my own pokemon!!!”

    There was a pause before the reply.
    “Wait, you haven’t started your journey yet? Have you been delayed or something?”

    Neith had to stop and think for a moment. Law stated that she shouldn’t be able to sign up here until she was 13, which would be several months from now. “Yeah, I got held back because they ran out of starter pokemon.” Doh, that was the worst excuse ever! Luckily No-one questioned it, and the discussion quickly returned to the normal talk of daily quests and grinding.

    Only a few more days to go! Neith pulled one of the comics off her bookcase. Can’t be too careful, she needed to know every detail in case it’s brought up at the signing. As she picked out the first issue, the room started to blur. Huh, that was strange. Her legs felt weak. She just needed to lie down a moment. Then a searing pain burned in her stomach. Neith only managed a few steps towards her bed before crumpled onto the carpet, lying in a fetal position as she blacked out.

    She remembered being wheeled through a hallway, her mother standing over her, saying words soundlessly. Then it faded away again.

    She vaguely remembered having various scans and test run, but everything was like a dream, half-remembered and out of focus.

    When she came to, she was lying in a hospital bed, with an IV drip attached to one arm.

    “Wha-?” Neith blurrily looked around. Her parents were sitting next to her bed, looking worried, but quickly trying to hide it with forced smiles as soon as the saw she was awake.

    “You collapsed in your room. The doctors say that you have a very rare disease.” Liam said, soothingly.

    “Am I going to be okay?” Neith’s eternally cheery disposition had fallen away, and she was barely holding back the waver in her voice.
    Sara leaned over and hugged her daughter tightly. “Yes, you’re going to be fine, as long as you stay in bed. But you wont be able to go on a journey this year, not until you’re better.”

    After a while, once it had all sunk in, Neith wore an expression of gloom. Her legs would be useless for the foreseeable future, her dreams of getting a pokemon dashed, and there was no way she’d make it to Chris Tui’s signing. Everything she’d been looking forward to had been ripped from her at the last moment…

    Sara had left her side for the first time since Neith had arrived, as her work had lost it’s patience and demanded her back, as Neith was no longer in critical condition, there was little Sara could do; she needed that job. So now Neith was alone. Well, apart from the other children in the ward. But the children’s ward ranged from 6 to 12 year olds, Neith was barely young enough that she was stuck there, with her only company being a bunch of kids she’d never met with wide age gaps.

    One more day at the hospital, then she could go home. She kept telling herself that, as she hugged her Scolipede plush close; the only part of home she had with her right now. Not that much would change, but it would be nice being back in her familiar room instead of this sterile kids ward; After a few days the brightly coloured mural of Shugs Scorbunny and Ricky Rattata started to gnaw into your soul. She couldn’t even play Warlocks of Alterbridge here, since she wasn’t technically supposed to have an account yet. She’d fall way behind now.

    “Yes, this way sir. She’s in here.”

    A man in a grey spandex-like suit, mask covering his upper face, and the telltale lightning bolt G in his shirt. It was the Last Bastion! Neith was old enough by then to know that these characters weren’t real, and this was just a performer, but his costume had such attention to detail! It was just like the one in the TV show.

    It was when he got closer, that it hit her. It was him. Joseph Gleen, the actor for Bastion in the live action G-Force show. Not just some stunt actor hired for parties, but the actual real guy from the show. Neith’s frown evaporated. Her #1 favourite character’s actor had come here!

    “Greetings, you are Neith, correct?”
    Neith just nodded, too stunned to speak.
    Good. I heard that you missed the signing because you were here, and I thought a fan this big shouldn’t miss out just because they’re in the hospital. Now, I can’t stay for long, the government mustn’t know I’m here after all,” He said with a wink. “But I have some gifts for you.”
    ‘Bastion’ handed over a shrinkwrapped comic. Neith took it. It was a copy of the next issue of G-Force, the one that was only on sale at the signing. And it had the signatures too. But not just by Chris, there were the signatures of the entire cast of the show too! “This is…” Neith began.
    “No need for thank miss. It’s all in a days work, and I could hardly say no to such a big fan of ours. Now, I heard that you also won’t be able to get a real pokemon just yet, so I brought you this guy to keep you company while you wait.” He handed over a plush Lairon; the signature pokemon and trusty partner of the Last Bastion
    “Th-thank you so much”
    “No, thank you, for being such a big fan of ours. There’s one more thing. Once you get home, send a message to this address, and Chris will set up a chat with you, to make up for not being able to come in person.”
    Neith’s eyes almost bulged out of their sockets. “You mean, I get to talk with Chris as well? This is the best!”


    A week later, Neith had settled back into her life. All her worries had evaporated, and Neith was feeling her old self again. She was bound to her bed, but otherwise, not much had changed. She was still able to use her PC, thanks to it being a laptop, it was able to rest it on her lap.

    Today was the day. Neith ledged her laptop on her covers and logged into the video call.
    “Hi, Mr Tui? I just have to say, I’m one of your biggest fans!”
    Chris chuckled. “I can see that. You appear to have one of my posters taking up most of your wall.”
    Oh, yeah it’s been there so long I kinda forgot.
    “I want to be just like you when I grow up! And write comics and inspire people!”
    “Oh, a fledgling writer?”
    “Yes, I just wanted to say, your characters are awesome! It’s like they’re really alive. Not like most superheroes, who are just emo dark gloomy people who punch stuff.”
    “Hah, I’m sure a few of my characters are like that.”
    “But not the G-Force! Or at least, not the iconic ones. How did you come up with them?”
    Chris stroked his stubble for a moment. “I don’t tell many people this, but the G-Force were based off real people I met on my journey.”
    Neith’s eyes nearly pooped out of her head. “Wait, you mean they were real superheroes?!”
    Chris laughed. “No, no, not the superhero part. But my traveling companions each had personality traits that I used to make the original team. One of the group was always being the mediator, and another had many pokemon that were big and strong, and always put herself in harms way to protect others. I took both of those people and made Bastion. And for Contact’s backstory was based off the leader of our group, while his personality was more from another who frequently argued with him.”
    “Wow, so these characters feel so real because in a way they actually are.”
    “Yes, that’s right. If you want to write well, I’d suggest meeting as many different people as you can, and finding out about their lives.”
    “Oh, but I can’t go on a journey now. The pokemon are being given out tomorrow, and I’m stuck in bed…”
    “Never let that stop you. Just because you can’t do something now, never stop dreaming of it. It took me years to get the G-Force published, but just like Contact, I never gave up. And you shouldn’t either. Just tell yourself, I’m going to get better and go on a journey. Make it you goal, and keep striving towards it.”

    Neith and Chris talked for almost an hour, before work pulled him away. When the video call ended, Neith thought on his words with renewed determination. She would get better, and go on a journey. And nothing would stop here, even if it took a hundred years.

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