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Thread: The Eon Academy [S.S. Wishmaker Side-Story]

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    Mary Mary tell me how your garden grows. Desolate Divine's Avatar
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    Season 2 Episode 1: Inductions
    Spoiler:

    Justin practically jogged from the bus stop to the gates of the Eon Academy. Last year he was the last one to show up, and this year was going to be different. They weren’t supposed to meet for another fifteen minutes, so he was well and truly early. He made his way up the driveway, noticing the two large buildings that had been built which he suspected to be the new lodges, as well as noticed the outdoor battlefield had been replaced with a building, similar size to a Pokemon Gym. Whilst part of Justin wanted to have a quick look over the new buildings, he figured it could wait, making his way towards the monastery.

    “Goddamn it…” Justin said as he walked in to see Jon, Dylan, Abbee, Chris and Charlotte already there waiting. He understood Jon and Dylan being there early, maybe Charlotte as well. But Chris and Abbee were there before him as well…

    “Hello to you too…” Charlotte said, slightly confused, as Jon laughed, realizing why Justin was so infuriated.

    It was then that Justin decided to actually take in the building. Last year when he had been here it was still under renovations, with a large empty space, and one usable classroom at top.

    The building itself was shaped like a T, now consisted of three classrooms at the end of the building, with one large room making up the vertical section. Two partitions separated the large room into three, with the south most one consisting of a kitchen and dining room, and the other two seeming to act as recreation rooms. The Eon Academy was starting to look less like a military-style boarding school, and more like a summer camp.

    “Justin, come take a seat.” Jon said, as he gestured to one of the tables in the dining room they were all sitting around.

    Justin greeted the others, though it felt like little time had passed, due to them being in contact via the group chat. They gave him strange looks, though he knew that was due to the questions he had been ignoring about what he did over Christmas and New Year break, and who was there with him. He hadn’t seen any of them since last summer, though knew that Chris and Charlotte had competed against each other, and occasionally Abbee, and Chris had mentioned to Justin that Abbee mentioned Dylan spending Christmas and New Years with her and her brother in Johto.

    “It’s great to see you all again, and even better that you’ve all agreed to come here not only as students, but workers as well.” Jon explained, “There’ll be plenty of time to catch up, but while we are all here and focused, I want to go over what’s changed since you were last here.”

    “Last year, the only staff member of the Eon Academy was myself, with Steven and Alyssa helping me out when they could off the books.” Jon explained, “The five core classes will remain the same. However, I will only be taking Tactics and Strategy, and Practical Training. Dylan will handle Raising Pokemon, amongst other responsibilities he has here, while Steven and Alyssa will be handling Pokemon Knowledge and Trainer Career respectively. Additionally, all the other campers will be divided up into five groups, with each of the five of you overseeing these groups. Abbee and Dylan’s group will do their classes together, and Charlotte, Chris and Justin’s group will do their classes together.

    Justin couldn’t help but notice an awkward grimace on Abbee’s face that disappeared a moment later, which made him wonder if things were alright between her and Dylan.

    “As group leaders your role will consist largely of two things. Firstly, making sure that your groups are present and accounted for during classes, meals and other such activities, and if any of the older campers decide to go off site, being aware of where they are. The second responsibility is to be intentional about being aware of their needs, both personal and educational.” Jon explained, “If someone feels sick, or needs help with something, they will go to you. If it’s something important, you’d go to Dylan or myself. And in terms of training, if you notice someone in your group is falling behind, or needs a little extra help, you will do that.”

    Justin felt a pit in his stomach. Whilst he felt a lot more self assured as a trainer since the end of last summer, having seven other campers he was responsible for seemed daunting. Jon seemed to notice it before speaking up.

    “You might be here and paid as employees, but I am well aware you’re here to learn and enjoy yourself as much as the other campers. So you will ideally find that it isn’t much additional work for the four of you.” Jon explained, “I have intentionally not allowed many campers this year over the age of fourteen, and most of those older will go into Dylan’s group. I’m not expecting you to be disciplining them, or anything like that, but more just to be aware. If you have a camper in your group that is being a pain and not getting up in time for classes, or keeping other campers awake at night, sure, try and deal with it yourself, but if they refuse to listen to you, don’t bend over backwards. Just get me, and I will handle it.”

    Chris shuddered a little at the thought of Jon dealing with a stubborn thirteen year old who refuses to allow the other people in his room to sleep.

    “In terms of who is in your group, I will hand pick them myself.” Jon explained, “I will attempt to have a mixture of boys and girls in each group, so you might find yourself approached by campers in someone else’s group that you share classes with. For example, Abbee, if a girl from Dylan’s group is keeping her roommates awake at night, they will probably ask you to come in and deal with it, instead of asking Dylan, so be aware, you have minor responsibilities outside of your group.”

    “I will also attempt to make sure all members of your group are at least a year or two younger than you, as I know most teenagers don’t like being under the authority of someone their own age. But ideally, I will try and group them based on which campers I think you will be able to have the best impact on, both personally and in terms of battling.” Jon concluded, before moving onto the next topic. “The Eon Academy has hired kitchen staff to prepare meals. In terms of sleeping arrangements, Abbee and Charlotte, you two will share a room, as will Chris and Justin, and Dylan will have his own room. And in terms of downtime, we have the rec-rooms here, in addition to battling facilities, and also the option to go into town, though if any campers under fifteen want to go into Mossdeep, they need to bring one of you, myself, or Alyssa with them.”

    “Wait, if we’re sleeping in the new lodges, meals are prepared for us, and downtime is in here, then what’s happening with the lodge we were in last year?” Abbee asked, “Will the kitchen staff be staying there?”

    “The kitchen staff are all local, and will be living in their homes on Mossdeep Island, so the lodge will mostly remain unused.” Jon explained, “I get it is a bit of a step down going from your own private rooms to camp-style cabins, however I want you all to be nearby the other campers in case they need something from you.”

    “No, it’s not the sharing rooms, I really don’t mind that.” Abbee said, “I guess some of my fondest memories from this place were in the lodge, and it almost seems sad that it’s gonna probably be locked up this year…”

    The others murmured slightly in agreement. They understood why it wasn’t being used, it made little sense to use it the same way they did last year. But it still felt like a loss.

    “I understand, and because of that, I will be making a point of running some whole group activities during weekends that you are not obligated to attend.” Jon explained, “I will be keeping an eye on your campers, and if during those couple of hours, you guys wanted to have dinner together, or watch a movie in the old lodge, you are more than welcome.”

    Abbee beamed hearing this, as Jon continued.

    “The campers are due to arrive tomorrow. So spend the rest of the afternoon getting settled in, and becoming accustomed to the changes around here.” Jon explained, “Your guardians have all already signed off on this summer, and in terms of induction, that is it.”

    “Aren’t you forgetting something?” Charlotte asked, as Chris grinned.

    “And that is?” Jon asked, though knowing what she was going to say.

    “The first thing we did here last year was a few battles to see where we were at. Then halfway through summer, we repeated the same fixture to see where we were at then.” Charlotte explained, “We thought it would happen at the end of last summer, but you said you had seen enough, and would rather wait and see where we were at when we came back. Well we are back…”

    “You don’t want to wait until all the other campers arrive tomorrow?” Jon asked with a grin.

    “We already waited the last nine months.” Chris said to Jon.

    “Besides…” Justin interjected, “I wouldn’t want to embarrass you in front of the other campers…”

    The room went silent as Jon’s focus shifted to Justin, and he started laughing.

    “Okay mystery man, I’ve been patient about this little surprise you’ve kept from me the last six months…” Jon chuckled, “But if you think that’s going to be enough to beat me, then I might just indulge you guys with this…”

    “I didn’t say I’d beat you, but I’m sure as hell not gonna make it easy for you.” Justin retorted as Chris laughed at the entire thing.

    “He was sending us photos during his trip over Christmas, but we don’t even know what exactly he was doing there…” Abbee said to Jon, “So yeah, I’m curious. Let’s battle…”

    “I’m game.” Jon retorted, “Let’s head to the Colosseum.”

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****

    The students, other than Dylan who had seen it all before, watched in awe as Jon turned on the lights in the Colosseum. The bare patch of earth with stadium markings was gone, replaced with this state of the art facility, with stands, a battleground, as well as locker-rooms with showers.

    “Goddamn, this is nicer than the Mossdeep Gym…” Chris said as he wandered onto the battlefield, “How the hell did you afford this?”

    “Chris…” Charlotte muttered, scolding him at how blunt the question was, though couldn’t help but wonder herself. She knew how much it cost, and even with thirty five campers paying in full, it wasn’t enough for this, as well as the two lodges that have been built during the summer.

    “No it’s fine.” Jon said, “A lot of league funding and sponsorship. Mossdeep isn’t exactly much of a tourist hotspot, and there isn’t anything like what we offer on the easten half of Hoenn, so the League are happy to fund it, and try to bring more people to Hoenn. Between them and other businesses who stand to gain from me inviting forty aspiring trainers to spend the summer in Mossdeep, people were willing to fund improvements.”

    “I’d ask who is up first…” Jon said, as he made his way to the opposite end of the battlefield, “But based on certain remarks made earlier, I think I know which battle everyone wants to see first…”

    Taking the hint Justin made his way to the opposite end of the battlefield, and on Jon’s call, selected his first Pokeball, as Jon selected his.

    “Begin!” Chris called out, refereeing the match.

    Justin threw forward his first Pokeball, revealing Alakazam, as Jon revealed Jolteon. He raised his eyebrows seeing that Justin’s Kadabra had evolved.

    “Shadow Ball!” Jon called out, as Jolteon cried out, letting out a spectral orb from its jaws that flew towards Alakazam. However, something wasn’t right. Whilst Alakazam tried to dodge, it seemed far slower than it did last year. Additionally, whilst it took the hit, it didn’t seem very phased by it.

    “Speed Swap!” Justin called out, as time froze for a split second, and suddenly, Jolteon was as slow as Alakazam, whilst Alakazam had sped up to Jolteon’s level. Jon was shocked at what had just happened. It took him a moment to put it all together. Justin had reduced Alakazam’s base speed to both slow down his opponent and speed himself up. Most likely through mood elevating berries, and Galarian mints…

    “Who taught you about the mints?” Jon asked, surprised.

    “Steven…” Justin said with a grin, “He taught me a lot when I saw him over Christmas…”

    Jon remembered Steven not being in Mossdeep last Christmas and realized that they were together. Justin had been busy…

    “Calm Mind!” Justin called out, as Alakazam’s eyes glowed, whilst Jon made use of the moment of peace.

    “Electric Terrain!”

    Jolteon cried out, before electricity discharged indiscriminately around it, giving the battlefield an electric charge.

    “Recover!” Justin called out, as Alakazam returned to full strength, and Jon gave his next command.

    “Thunder!” Jon called out. Whilst an all out attack wasn’t usually his strategy, Alakazam had the upper hand here. The longer it was out, the less damage that Jolteon would do, and the stronger it would get. Meanwhile, if he switched Pokemon now, he would be giving Alakazam time to act, and locking himself in to using certain Pokemon, just like Cassandra did against him two years earlier in the High Seas Tournament Grand Final.

    The attack hit, doing a great deal of damage to Alakazam, however not enough to knock it down.

    “Calm Mind again!”

    Alakazam’s power and resilience boosted again, whilst Jolteon let off another Thunder attack, this one doing even less damage. Whilst Alakazam was shaky on his feet, he still stood.

    “Rest…”

    Jon’s eyes widened, having never seen Justin use this strategy. Alakazam had Synchronize as an ability. If it went to sleep, so did it’s opponent.

    Jolteon fell asleep, whilst Alakazam got all of its health back, before Justin gave his next command.

    “Sleep Talk!”

    This play was risky, however Justin had enough of an advantage for it to be worth taking. Sleep Talk would choose a random move, and if it didn’t pay off, then this lead he held could be gone.

    Alakazam appeared to use Calm Mind again, whilst Jolteon remained asleep.

    “Sleep talk again!”

    This time, Jon’s luck had run out. Alakazam used Psychic, launching Jolteon into the air, and causing it to crash against the small wall between the battlefield and the seating. Jolteon remained unconscious.

    Jon thought over which Pokemon to send out next. Whilst Blaziken tended to be a staple for his team, Alakazam would not have an issue disposing of it. He grabbed his next Pokeball, sending it onto the field.

    “Go Absol!”

    Absol looked at the sleeping Psychic type, before flashing Jon a puzzled look.

    “Don’t underestimate it! Protect!” Jon called out, as Justin ordered another Sleep Talk. Alakazam used Focus Blast, which Absol protected in time, however Jon swore to himself when Alakazam woke up. He looked over at Justin who was grinning from ear to ear.

    “Focus blast!”

    “Protect!”

    Whilst Absol attempted to create another Protect barrier, it couldn’t guarantee multiple one after another, and this second one wasn’t strong enough. Alakazam’s attack shattered it, hitting Absol and knocking it unconscious.

    Jon called back his Pokemon realizing he may lose, even without seeing what he thought Justin really wanted to show him.

    “Latios!” Jon called out, as he threw his third Pokeball. He wanted to save Latios until Justin revealed his trump card, however this was his only opportunity.

    “Shadow Claw!” Jon called out. Shadow Claw was more likely to do critical damage than other moves, and this was Jon’s only chance at taking down Alakazam.

    Latios took a Psychic attack from Alakazam, however resisted it, before his claw became engulfed in a spectral light. He darted towards Alakazam, slashing at it. Alakazam took the attack, and Jon breathed a sigh of relief when the Pokemon fell.

    Justin called back Alakazam, before sending out his next Pokemon, Greninja.

    “Recover!” Jon called out, as Latios regained energy, preparing for the next attack. However what happened next, shocked Jon.

    “Soak!”

    Soak was a water type move that, whilst it didn’t deal damage, drenched the opponent, effectively making them a water type in terms of their weaknesses, and removing any resistances to grass and electric type moves.

    “Oh s**t…” Jon thought to himself, as he realized the situation he was in. Greninja was faster, however Justin had let Latios go first, most likely to focus on landing the Soak attack. Between that and the electric terrain he had Jolteon create, Jon knew Justin had something big planned.

    Justin called back Greninja, as Jon used the opportunity to have Latios use Calm Mind to try and buy a little time. As Justin grabbed the third Pokeball, he didn’t say a word, just grinning, as he let the Pokemon out.

    The Pokeball opened and what Jon could only describe as a four foot tall orb of lightning emerged from it. It had a pattern of dots on its face, which after a moment, Jon knew was reminiscent of the Battle Frontier’s Brandon’s Legendary Titans, as well as long arms and short legs that seemed to be made of electricity themselves. The thing that worried Jon most, was that this Pokemon was faster in battle than any Pokemon he had ever seen. It zipped from one side of the battlefield to another, Latios barely able to keep track of it.

    “Thunder Cage!” Justin called out.

    The strange Pokemon darted forward, leaping into the air above Latios, and before Latios could get out of range, sent out a dozen bolts of lightning, surrounding Latios, and knocking it unconscious. Even if Latios had have remained conscious, Jon suspected it would have been unable to move, and continued to take damage.

    “Justin wins the battle…” Chris said, though sounding like he didn’t believe it.

    Jon shook off his own shock, before approaching Justin and the strange Pokemon, and shaking Justin’s hand.

    “That was incredible…” Jon said, “Even without this Pokemon, Alakazam would have wasted my entire team if Latios didn’t get lucky with that critical hit…”

    “I had to learn that trick to catch Regieleki here…” Justin said with a grin.

    Jon’s suspicions were confirmed. This electric type Pokemon was an undiscovered Legendary Titan.

    “So this was your challenge…” Jon said with a grin, “You will have to tell us the whole story later.”

    Chris and Charlotte made their way to the battlefield next, both selecting a Pokemon, before letting them onto the battlefield. Jon however was hardly surprised when Luxray and Charizard were the first Pokemon sent out.

    “Begin!”

    “Earthquake!” Chris called out, as Charlotte responded, seeming to be expecting this.

    “Magnet Rise” Charlotte called out, as Luxray let out a pulse of electricity, causing it to be lighter on its feet, and unaffected by the earthquake.

    “Flamethrower!”

    Charizard roared, opening its jaws and unleashing an unyielding torrent of flame on Luxray, who cried out in pain, however was quick to respond to it.

    “Eerie Impulse!”

    Luxray let out an electric shock, that whilst it didn’t seem to harm Charizard, left it slightly disoriented and dazed. Charizard attempted to respond with another flamethrower, this one also hitting, however seeming far less intense than the one it let out prior.

    “Agility!”

    Luxray darted from one side of the battlefield to another, outspeeding Charizard, before Charlotte gave another command.

    “Now Thunder!”

    Luxray roared, before generating a large bolt of lightning. Whilst this more powerful move was less accurate and easier to avoid, Charizard seemed to be unable to keep up with Luxray and stood less chance of dodging it, which came to pass. Charizard took the hit, before being knocked unconscious, which Chris quickly responded to by calling the Pokemon back and sending out his next. Garchomp.

    “Scary Face!” Charlotte called out, knowing that Luxray wouldn’t be able to take both Flamethrowers and whatever Garcomp would hit it with. At least she could weaken it slightly.

    “Dragon Rush!”

    Garchomp became encased in a draconic aura, before darting towards Luxray, slashing at it with it’s bladed arm, and knocking Luxray unconscious. Charlotte called it back before sending out her next Pokemon, Roserade.

    Thankfully, Luxray’s Scary Face had taken effect, and Grachomp was slowed, allowing Roserade to act first.

    “Grassy Terrain!”

    Roserade launched hundreds of miniscule seeds from its rose-shaped appendages, which upon making contact with the earth beneath them, bloomed into lush grass, strengthening the grass type Pokemon.

    “Earthquake!”

    Garchomp roared before striking the ground, as it started to shake, and whilst the attack was enough to definitely wear out Roserade, the grassy terrain supported it enough to remain standing.

    “Petal Dance!” Charlotte called out. Roserade began to glow with a green aura, as hundreds of razor sharp petals discharged from its appendages and the grassy field around it, launching into Garchomp, and knocking it out.

    Jon watched, slightly confused at what was going on. This battle was different to the way they battled a year ago. Charlotte was still using some more complicated tactics, however was focusing less on them and more on just dealing as much damage as she could, even using risky moves like Petal Dance that will cause her Pokemon to be confused after a few uses. Chris hadn’t even attempted anything that wasn’t an all out attack at this point in time.

    Chris sent in his last Pokemon, and Jon was slightly surprised to see Dragonite enter the battlefield, remembering Chris’ Dragonair from last year. Roserade used Petal Dance again, as it now had to until it confused itself from sheer fatigue, which Dragonite took, resisting near completely, before using Dual Wingbeat, knocking Roserade out.

    Charlotte sent out her final Pokemon. Milotic.

    “Double Edge!” Chris called out.

    “Ice-Beam!” Charlotte replied.

    Dragonite descended towards Milotic at high speed, as Milotic struck Dragonite with an Ice-Beam. Dragonite crashed through the attack, near frozen, hitting Milotic with a reckless attack, causing it to take recoil damage, and both Pokemon lay unconscious. Both trainers called their Pokemon back, as Jon declared the match a draw, and the three spectators watched in disbelief at the match they had just seen. It made no sense. Whilst both trainer’s Pokemon had definitely gotten stronger, it seemed almost like they had taken steps backward since last year, focusing on dealing damage and having the type advantage and not much else. Abbee half expected Jon to not be happy about this backwards progress, however he seemed to understand something they didn’t.

    “I know the first time you two battled against each other after leaving here, it was a tie…” Jon said, “Has it been like this every time?”

    Chris nodded.

    “Every time we have battled, it has come down to a tie…” Chris explained, “I know what you’re thinking. We were too focused on just dealing damage and not thinking outside the box.”

    “We were both doing that the first few tournaments, but neither of us could get the upper hand. So we’d end up doing what we could, within reason to hit that little bit harder than the other…” Charlotte said, “Not to the point of doing what we did last year, but no matter what we did, neither of us could get the win…”

    Jon nodded.

    “I understand. I just wanted to make sure you haven’t forgotten everything I taught you…”

    “No, definitely not.” Chris explained, “Charlotte and I made it to the finals every time because we were focusing on more advanced tactics like you taught us. They work well against everyone else except each other…”

    “Maybe this summer then, you two shouldn’t battle…” Jon explained, “You know each other too well, and whilst your Pokemon are stronger than ever, you’re showing less skill as trainers.”

    Charlotte nodded.

    “Hopefully after three months of battling other people, and being able to come up with some new ideas, you two can have a more varied outcome during the next year…” Jon said.

    “I hope…” Chris replied, “Do you have any idea how frustrating it gets knowing no matter what you do, you will only be able to get a tie at best? The fans love it, but honestly, it is painful…”

    Chris and Charlotte made their way back to the stands, as Abbee and Dylan silently walked out to the battlefield, Victini sitting on Abbee’s shoulder. Before long, in front of them were Ariados and Flygon, ready for the battle to take place.

    Dylan quickly thought through his next few moves. Whilst he had no objection to being the weakest battler there, knowing his passion and skill was elsewhere, he didn’t want the others there to think after a year living with Jon that he was in the same place he was when they last saw him.

    Ariados was a trap-setter for Abbee, and whilst the traps wouldn’t affect Flygon, she could still cause problems for his other Pokemon. However the obvious move would be to hit it with something hard-hitting quickly, as Flygon had the advantage of speed. Except Abbee may be expecting that.

    “Protect!” Abbee called out, confirming his suspicions.

    “Dragon Dance!”

    Flygon’s attack power and speed increased, and whilst Abbee attempted to have Ariados use Spikes before the barrier protecting Ariados disappeared, Flygon was now too quick, over twice as fast as the large bug type.

    “Stone Edge!”

    Flygon’s tail hardened into a sharpened stone point, before it launched towards Ariados, somersaulting in the air and slamming its tail on it. Ariados was launched back, unable to battle, whilst Abbee called it back. Whilst she knew that luck was against her, she had a Pokemon with a major type disadvantage, against a Pokemon that wouldn’t struggle to make the first hit, she was impressed that Dylan was able to turn that to his advantage, using every opportunity he had. Something he hadn’t been able to do a year ago.

    Abbee sent out her next Pokemon, Poliwrath. Flygon darted forward, landing another hit on Poliwrath who was knocked back, but retained its footing.

    “Mind Reader!”

    Poliwrath’s eyes glowed for a moment as it locked onto its target. Whilst Flygon was fast, and landed a second hit on Poliwrath during this process, it did not interrupt it, and after a moment, Poliwrath was focused on Flygon, and would not miss it’s next strike.

    Dylan knew that there was nothing he could do to prevent Flygon from taking this hit. Whilst Protect would buy him another move, Abbee could use the same tactic again, and she was the sort to switch things up if he relied too much on drawn out battle.

    “Breaking Swipe!”

    Flygon’s claw became engulfed in a draconic aura, before it lunged at Poliwrath, slashing at the Pokemon, dealing damage and reducing its attack power. However this was the last hit Flygon would land.

    “Ice Punch!” Abbee called out, as Poliwrath lunged forward, the air around its fist freezing, and striking Flygon with precision accuracy. Whilst the attack was weakened by Breaking Swipe, it still had a double advantage over Flygon, knocking it down and out.

    Dylan called back his Pokemon, before sending out Dusknoir.

    “Wait, wasn’t that a Duskull last summer?” Chris asked Charlotte.

    “Obviously he has been busy…” Charlotte replied, impressed herself at Dylan’s progress. Whilst she was certain Abbee would win this round, due to her sheer experience, and having a Legendary Pokemon herself, Dylan was not going to make it easy for her…

    “Liquidation!”

    Poliwrath became engulfed in a harsh jet of water, slamming full-force into Dusknoir, who seemed mostly unphased by the attack.

    “Curse…”

    Dusknoir cried out in pain, as it seemed to lose its own strength, however Poliwrath seized up, and began convulsing, as a curse was placed on it.

    “Is that even allowed?” Justin asked, slightly disturbed at Poliwrath’s convulsions.

    “It will stop when Poliwrath is knocked out…” Jon explained. Poliwrath stood back up, gaining its composure, and striking Dusknoir again, who responded with a Night Shade attack, however after taking the hit, Poliwrath began convulsing again, this time falling unconscious.

    Abbee called back Poliwrath, and considered sending in Typhlosion, or Ampharos.

    ”Send me in…” Victini said to Abbee telepathically.

    ”What if it uses Curse again?” Abbee asked, “That looked painful.”

    ”Dosknoir used its own energy to power that curse. That pile of rags can’t do it again…”

    Abbee nodded, as Victini jumped down, and rushed onto the battlefield, facing Dusknoir.

    “Destiny Bond.” Dylan began to command. Victini heard before Abbee responded, knowing that if that attack landed, it was game over.

    ”Nice try…” Victini said telepathically so everyone could hear, causing Jon to laugh out loud, before being engulfed in a V-Shaped flame, and rocketing itself straight into Dusknoir, knocking it to the ground like a ragdoll. Whilst V-Create had its determinants, reducing Victini’s speed and resilience, it was the move most natural to the Pokemon, and the one it could let off most reliably in a pinch. In this case it paid off, knocking out Dusknoir before it could try and follow Dylan’s instruction. However now it was going to be weaker against whatever Dylan sent out next.

    Abbee was slightly surprised when Dylan sent out Metagross and not Walrein. Granted they both were disadvantaged against Victini, Metagross was more so. Whilst her first reaction was to remember the first battle they had, where Dylan panicked upon falling behind and made bad decisions, Dylan seemed too calm for this.

    ”He has had Jon there to teach him since last summer…” Victini explained, “Whatever he has planned, it will be something tricky…

    Abbee nodded, agreeing with Victini.

    ”He wants to confuse us, so let’s confuse him.” Abbee replied with her thoughts, “If he attacks, use Protect, and if he doesn’t, hit him with Incinerate. I will give a fake order…

    “Use Double Edge!” Abbee called out.

    “Cosmic Power!”

    Instead of darting towards Metagross, Victini darted to the side, before unleashing Incinerate on Metagross, which was weakened by Metagross’ defense increasing.

    “Now Flame Charge!”

    Victini darted forward, encasing itself in flame, though nowhere near as intensely as V-Create, hitting Metagross.

    “Cosmic Power!” Dylan called out again.

    ”What’s he doing?” Abbee wondered, knowing Victini was likely listening, ”He hasn’t used something like curse that is wearing you down…”

    “V-Create!” Abbee called out, knowing that if Metagross kept boosting its defense, Victini wouldn’t be able to take it down.

    “Abbee, I can’t!”Victini replied before launching another Flame Charge instead, which Dylan had Metagross use Protect against instead.

    ”Why?” Abbee asked, shocked at Victini’s unwillingness.

    ”One more V-Create, and I will be slower than Metagross, and liable to go down in a single hit…” Victini explained.

    “Another Flame Charge!” Abbee called out, though slightly panicked, trying to juggle creating tactics with Victini whilst monitoring the battle.

    “Something’s wrong.” Charlotte said to Chris and Justin, “He’s got her rattled…”

    “Meanwhile, he’s calm as can be…” Chris said, gesturing towards Dylan.

    “A lot’s changed…” Jon said quietly, watching the battle intensely.

    Metagross took the Flame Charge attack, before using Cosmic Power a third time.

    “Searing Shot!” Abbee called out. Victini had two signature moves. Searing Shot, which was a powerful-ranged fire type attack, and V-Create, one roughly 50% more powerful, but physical with downfalls to Victini if used. Neither of them could be used too many times in a single battle.

    “Protect!” Dylan called out, as a Protect Barrier emerged in front of Metagross, taking the attack.

    “Searing Shot again!”

    Victini launched another powerful fire blast at Metagross, who took this one, knocking it back, and starting to show signs of weariness.

    “Cosmic Power!”

    Metagross’ defense increased again, as Abbee called out again in a panic.

    “Searing Shot!”

    Abbee knew she had to end this battle of attrition, and could see Victini’s exhaustion from the continuous ranged attacks. The third Searing Shot hit, and Metagross was launched back, and half collapsed.

    “Cosmic Power…”

    “End this Victini!” Abbee called out, “V-Create!”

    “Protect!” Dylan called out, as V-Create was blocked, and Victini emerged from the attack more worn out.

    “Rest…” Dylan said, as Metagross seemed to go to sleep, restoring its energy.

    ”I can’t do another Searing Shot, and even a Flamethrower might be too much for me…” Victini explained, “I think I can handle one more V-Create…”

    Abbee was still, trying to process this, knowing she didn’t have long before Metagross awoke.

    “Hit it with an Incinerate!” Abbee called out, as Victini lobbed a small fireball at Metagross, who remained asleep.

    “Again!”

    Metagross began to stir as the second one hit.

    “One more time!”

    The third Incinerate hit, and Metagross’ eyes began to open. Abbee knew if she couldn’t end this now, the battle was over.

    “Now V-Create!”

    Victini became engulfed in the crown of flames, before launching itself into Metagross.

    ”Just go down!” Victini projected telepathically to everyone, as the attack hit.

    ”No…” replied a low rumble of a voice, that everyone heard in their mind, though only Dylan didn’t seem shocked.

    “Did Metagross just speak?” Charlotte asked.

    “He’s a psychic type, so it’s not uncommon…” Jon explained, “But Pokemon do tend to take after their trainers.”

    “Earthquake!” Dylan called out, as Metagross launched itself into the air, slamming all four of its large claws into the ground, causing it to erupt all over the battlefield, and Victini to be knocked unconscious.

    “Victini is unable to battle!” Jon called out, “Dylan is the winner!”

    Dylan and Abbee both approached Jon, who thought over what he saw.

    “Truth be told, I thought the battle would go the other way…” Jon explained, “Abbee, I’m guessing that was the most stressful battle you have ever had?”

    “Yeah…” Abbee admitted, “I was shaken up by the Curse attack, and too on edge. I was too focused on figuring out what Dylan was doing.”

    Jon nodded, before turning to Dylan.

    “Dylan, that was great battling. Using moves like Curse and Destiny Bond are a great way to get into your opponent’s head and cause them to trip up.” Jon said, as Abbee grimaced a little.

    “However, don’t think that luck didn’t play a great role in this win.” Jon explained, “Had Victini used a less extreme move to dispatch Dusknoir, Abbee would have won this round, no doubt. That’s not to say you didn’t do well, or that you shouldn’t use this strategy, but make sure you have something else in case you battle someone whose focus you can’t break.”

    Jon turned back to Abbee.

    “It was a lot of luck that determined this battle.” Jon explained, “The fact Victini used V-Create put him at a disadvantage, and if he had have used Flamethrower instead, Victini probably would have been fast enough that Metagross couldn’t have rested to restore its health, and Victini would have been able to take more than one Earthquake. I’d recommend spending some time getting Victini equally comfortable with something a little less extreme, like Searing Shot, or even Flamethrower so if he has to act on instinct like he just did, he isn’t causing himself problems down the track.”

    Abbee nodded, though still seemed solemn.

    “Don’t think this means you didn’t battle well.” Jon explained, “You and Victini worked well together once you realized what Dylan was doing, and really, would have taken the match if you didn’t start with a slight disadvantage…”

    Abbee sighed, before looking at Jon.

    “Thanks.” Abbee replied, “I won’t make it that easy for him to shake me again…”

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****

    After the battles were over, Jon showed the four interns to their respective quarters, and allowed them some time to rest before dinner. However when they arrived at Jon and Alyssa’s cottage like they had been instructed, they instead found both Jon and Dylan’s cars loaded with food and firewood, though Jon refused to tell them where dinner would be. Charlotte and Abbee rode with Jon, Alyssa and Amelia, whilst Chris and Justin climbed into Dylan’s car, which Alyssa had explained Dylan had saved for himself over the last nine months.

    As they drove, Chris and Justin pestered Dylan about where they were going, to which he remained, as per usual, silent, until they arrived at Mossdeep Beach. They parked the cars in the carpark, before bringing the firewood and dinner they had brought with them down to the beach.

    “Is this even legal?” Chris asked, as he put down the firewood he had been carrying.

    “Technically no, but I’m on good terms with the police in Mossdeep and got an exemption.” Jon explained, “And I’d like to stay on good terms with them, so try and not get arrested again…”

    Charlotte laughed, as Chris grinned, whilst Justin just looked embarrassed.

    As they sat on the beach around the large campfire, they shared what they had been up to since last summer. Jon explained in detail the different improvements he had made to the sight, and what he was thinking of doing differently that year. Abbee didn’t have much to say, mentioning Dylan visited her and Tyler during New Years, and Dylan talked very briefly about the work he had been doing at the Eon Academy during their short term camps that they ran for schools in Hoenn to visit. Chris and Charlotte talked a lot about the tournaments they entered, and how they had tied for first every time, much to their annoyance. However the one that everyone really wanted to hear, was the story that Justin had to share.

    “Come on, you’ve kept it hidden long enough.” Jon said to Justin.

    “Yeah, spill it.” Chris added on.

    Justin grinned a little.

    “So last year, I was talking to Jon about wanting to challenge myself before I came back here. I already had an idea, but kept it to myself because I wanted to do this as much on my own as I could…” Justin explained, “I wanted to capture a Legendary Pokemon.”

    “Starting small I see…” Chris retorted.

    “That’s the thing, I wasn’t sure if this was too big or not. So I spent months researching it.” Justin explained, “When I’d battle Jon, I didn’t have options. I rely a lot on Ninjask, but if I don’t send it out first, Jon’s Blaziken will be faster by the time I do, and beat it. So the only way to not have it taken down with one hit is to send it out first, which is predictable. I wanted something that was even faster than Ninjask.”

    “I mean, you were beating my a** before you brought that Pokemon out anyway…” Jon replied.

    “Yeah, but I didn’t think of that trick before this.” Justin explained, “I figured if I wanted a fast Pokemon, my best bet was going to be an Electric or Flying type, but there were no known Legendary Pokemon that were faster, so I decided to change my approach, and look into something a bit tankier, that can take a few hits. I started looking into Registeel.”

    “From there, I met a PhD student at Jubilife University called Lauren Mendez, who had a theory that in addition to Regirock, Regice and Registeel, there may be other Legendary Titans, and believed they were in this desolate area in the south of the Galar Region, called the Crown Tundra.” Justin explained, “Her and her brother Andrew went there in November and spent weeks exploring the place, and found four sets of ruins. The first three contained Regirock, Regice, and Registeel, and the fourth they believed contained two Legendary Titans that were undiscovered.”

    Justin noticed how enthralled by the story the others there were, and couldn’t help but grin.

    “Lauren was willing to let me try and capture one of the Pokemon in those ruins, especially since I mentioned being at the Eon Academy the summer before, but there was a problem.” Justin continued, “The temple was locked and would only unlock if Regirock, Regice, and Registeel were presented at its door, and our hunch was that they had to be the ones captured from the other three temples.”

    “So Lauren put together a team. Andrew would catch Regirock, Lauren’s friend Candice, who is the Gym Leader at Snowpoint City, would catch Regice, and as for Registeel…”

    Before Chris could make a remark about Candice, Jon’s eyes widened and he interrupted.

    “Are you telling me, Steven has had Registeel in his possession for the last six months?!” Jon asked, seeming even more shocked than when he saw Regieleki earlier…

    “Yeah?” Justin replied, slightly surprised. “I asked him not to tell you he was meeting up with me, or that I caught Regieleki, but I didn’t expect him to keep Registeel a secret from you…”

    “Oh he has…” Jon retorted, “He always seemed so smug when I’d beat him during our training, as if he knew something I didn’t…”

    Chris burst out into laughter hearing this, as Charlotte contained a chuckle.

    “So we all met up in the Crown Tundra, and spent a week and a half hiking through there. Steven caught Registeel, then Andrew caught Regirock and Candice caught Regice.” Justin explained.

    “What were the battles like?” Charlotte asked, wanting details.

    “Incredible.” Justin said, “I didn’t think I’d stand a chance at beating Regieleki seeing how the three of them won their battles.”

    “Steven had his Aggron use Earth Power, but with extreme precision to pull the earth out from underneath the battlefield, leaving a cushion of air between the floor they were on and the earth beneath them, connected only on the surface.” Justin explained, “Then when Aggron used Earthquake, it broke that connection, causing the entire battlefield to drop, and knock Registeel over, but also to contain the Earthquake attack. Stop it from affecting outside of the battlefield, and concentrate the damage to the battle area itself.”

    “That sounds like Steven…” Jon muttered, still seeming peeved that Steven kept this secret for over six months.

    “Andrew had his Golem tear the ground up and make it dusty, before his Rhyperior used an attack on the ground and launched the dust into the air, blocking everyone’s vision. He then had his Machamp use a thief attack to put the Float Stone his Steelix usually held onto Regirock, before having his Steelix Heavy Slam Regirock.” Justin explained, “Then Candice had her Sneasel attract Regice’s Ice Beam attacks. She’d have Sneasel wait in certain places so Regice would attack them, and leave giant mounds of this extremely clear and pure ice all over the place. It was genius really…”

    “How’s that genius?” Abbee asked, more so curious than doubtful.

    “Because she turned the entire battlefield into a hall of mirrors, as well as set five or so mounds of ice up one after another to be a series of magnifying lenses.” Justin explained, “Her Abomasnow used Solar Beam through them, which was concentrated massively by the lenses, and knocked Regice into the mound of ice behind it. The mound it crashed into was half melted by the Solar Beam, but Regice cools the air around it to well below freezing point, so before Regice could even get back up, it was frozen into the mound, and unable to defend itself from the real attacks…”

    “Goddamn, that is smart…” Charlotte replied.

    “And how did you capture Regieleki?” Jon asked.

    “Similar to what I did against you.” Justin explained, “We had brought a bunch of mood enhancing berries, the ones that reduce stats, in case the Pokemon started struggling with the cold. That and Steven taught me about the Galarian Mints a few days earlier. I fed Alakazam enough berries to slow it down significantly, and gave it a mint that would decrease its speed and increase its resilience towards special attacks. Then during the battle, I opened with Ninjask so I could buy some time to see what I was up against, and build up speed, before Baton Passing to Alakazam, who used Speed Swap before Regieleki could attack.”

    “Wouldn’t that make Regieleki faster?” Chris asked.

    “No, Power Swap will swap the enhancements made to Pokemon’s attack power.” Jon explained, “But Speed Swap will swap their natural speed capabilities…”

    “Then, I had Alakazam use Rest, which put Regieleki to sleep, and then used an Awakening to wake up Alakazam and Baton Pass to Geninja to use Soak before Regieleki woke up.” Justin explained, “I Baton Passed again to Lucario, who used Role Play, because I realized that Regieleki’s attack power for special moves on its own wasn’t too impressive, but it had some sort of ability to power up electric attacks to stupid heights. So Lucario copied that, then stalled until Regieleki used Zap Cannon. Then Lucario used Copy-Cat, and blasted Regieleki across the room. That’s when I caught it…”

    “Well, I think I speak for all of us when I say I’m impressed…” Jon replied, “Earning a Legendary Pokemon’s trust without battling is hard, and earning it with a battle is even harder. When the Pokemon is undiscovered and you can’t do much to prepare, that is quite the accomplishment. You should be proud…”

    “Thanks!” Justin replied, glad he could finally tell the story.

    “So how strong is Regieleki?” Abbee asked.

    “Between us, there is no Pokemon discovered faster in battle than Regieleki. And it has an ability that increases its attack power by roughly fifty percent when it uses electric type attacks.” Justin explained, “And according to Lauren’s research, it is continuously generating and can continuously output enough electricity to power the Galar Region…”

    “S**t…” Chris muttered, before he had a thought.

    “Wait, you said there were two Pokemon that temple where you caught it…” Chris said, “What happened to the other one?”

    “These Pokemon were inanimate until we activated them. Statues basically.” Justin explained, “The other one was called Regidrago, and at a guess was a Dragon Type. Stood at about seven feet tall. But we could only activate one there, so Regidrago will remain inanimate. The only way to catch one and research it would be to find another temple somewhere in the world…”

    Chris was in awe imagining it. Whilst he didn’t know what its attributes would be like, if it had the equivalent ability, one that increased its attack power for Dragon Type moves, that would be game changing.

    The sun was starting to set, and Jon checked his watch.

    “You ready to head back?” Jon asked Alyssa.

    “Some point soon, if you are.” Alyssa replied, as Jon nodded.

    “It’s getting a bit late for us thirty-somethings to be hanging out with you young people.” Jon said jokingly, “So we’ll head back. Dylan will drive all of you back. Feel free to stay out late. Just be safe and remember everyone else arrives tomorrow at eleven, so get a reasonable amount of sleep.”

    Jon and Alyssa said goodnight, before returning to Jon’s car as the five teenagers sat around the fire.

    “Okay, now that Jon’s gone…” Chris began, turning to Justin, “What’s the deal with you and Candice?”

    “You couldn’t even wait until they had backed out of the parking space?” Charlotte asked, as Jon’s car started to reverse.

    “I’ve been waiting the last six months…” Chris explained, “Spill. You don’t get to send a message like that and leave us in the dark.”

    “Nothing really noteworthy.” Justin said, thinking over his words to not give them anything else to interrogate him about, “Her and I spoke a bit in the lead-up to the trip and became good friends. She caught the train from Wedgehurst into the Crown Tundra with Steven and myself, then on the first night, we stayed up late talking. She remembered that the weather was clear that day, so we went outside to check out the stars without all the light pollution and talked a bit more. Then she decided to get some sleep, since she was battling Regice the next day, and before she left, kissed me on the cheek.”

    “That’s all that happened?” Charlotte asked.

    “That’s probably a good thing. Isn’t she like, in her twenties or something?” Abbee replied.

    “That’s pretty much everything that happened. And she just turned twenty-one. Alyssa is that much older than Jon...” Justin explained, wishing Abbee hadn’t mentioned her age. “She invited me to come visit Snowpoint over Christmas, and said she will come visit Mossdeep during the summer and check out what we’re doing here…”

    “So you do like her then…” Chris said with a grin, before he started laughing.

    Justin definitely felt strongly about Candice, especially having only been able to talk via phone call at best, however knew that their ages, not necessarily the difference, but him still being a minor and her being in her early twenties, would cause people to think differently about it. More so negatively about her. And he was certain she thought the same, and that was why she invited him to come a year later, when they were both adults.

    “Yeah…” Justin said quietly, “I mean, so what, you know?”

    Abbee’s eyebrows raised at what Justin was saying.

    “This whole thing of being secretive about being having feelings for someone is so f**king juvenile… Like, do people really think they will end up with someone if they keep how they feel a secret and that one day it will happen? It’s so f**king stupid…” Justin muttered, “Yeah, I like her, and I think she likes me as well. Nothing happened over Christmas, and it’s not like we got together while I’m still a minor or anything, so what’s the big deal?”

    “You’ve grown a lot…” Abbee said quietly, almost surprised this same boy was the one who kept stealing her phone, and caused her to miss the last chance she had to speak with her dad…

    “And you’re making it abundantly clear who the most immature person in the group is…” Charlotte said as she shoved Chris, who rolled over.

    “He knows I’m only messing with him.” Chris said, as he sat back, “Good on him. Better than any of us did over the last nine months, right?”

    There was an awkward silence as Charlotte groaned.

    "Charlotte, you mind walking to the bathrooms with me?" Abbee asked, gesturing to the toilet block down the beach, "Kinda don't wanna go by myself at night..."

    "Yeah of course." Charlotte said, as she stood, dusting the sand from her clothes, before glaring at Chris.

    "Behave yourself…"

    Chris rolled his eyes, before digging into the bag containing snacks that Jon had left them.

    Charlotte and Abbee walked down the moonlit beach in relative silence, the quietness covered by the sound of the waves.

    "Okay, what's going on with you?" Charlotte asked when she was sure the guys weren't listening, "You've been awkward whenever Dylan is around. A year ago you wouldn't stop pestering him, and now I haven't seen you even bring yourself to look at him…"

    Abbee sighed as Charlotte pointed this out.

    "Did he do something when he visited over Christmas?" Charlotte asked, starting to sound worried.

    "God, no." Abbee replied, "I did something stupid, not him."

    "So what did you do?" Charlotte asked, slightly surprised.

    "I kissed him, or at least tried to…"

    Charlotte's jaw dropped as Abbee explained.

    "I shouldn't have invited him to stay." Abbee continued, "It was my first New Years Eve without both Mum and Dad, and I thought I would be in a better headspace than I was…"

    As they walked Abbee continued.

    "New Year's Eve, Tyler had some friends over, and everyone was enjoying themselves, but I went downhill." Abbee explained, "I went into another room and Dylan kept me company. Offered a shoulder to cry on. He was great, really…"

    "And in that moment, I guess I realized how great he was, and how much I actually cared about him and…"

    Charlotte sighed hearing this, though more out of pity. She had tried to keep in touch with Abbee as much as she could, imagining how hard it would have been for her going home again.

    "How did he react?" Charlotte asked.

    "He pulled away…" Abbee said, "He said now wasn't the time, and to make sure that is what I really want, and not a fleeting moment of high emotion…"

    They reached the public bathrooms before stopping.

    "Is that what you want?" Charlotte asked.

    "I… I don't know…" Abbee replied, "I thought I did then, even before that. But now he has brought it up, I don't know if he is right or not…"

    "When Dad died, both you and him were amazing friends to me. And now he has said what he said, I'm not sure if I actually feel that way, or think I do because he was being so nice to me…" Abbee explained, "He went home the next day, and we have barely spoken since. You know he is rarely the first to speak, and I've just been too embarrassed and confused since to reach out…"

    Charlotte looked up at the moon, wondering how things got so confusing on Day Zero. Or in this case, Day Negative One since campers hadn't even arrived yet.

    "If you don't talk to him soon, things are just going to get harder. Now you are stuck with each other, he will think you're angry with him or something if a week goes by and you're still avoiding him…"

    "I know…" Abbee groaned, "I just haven't got a clue what to say. Whether I meant what I did that night, or whether I was just emotional and he was just there and supportive…"

    "Then don't say either. You don't owe him an explanation…" Charlotte said, "You're lucky it was Dylan and not someone else, because if anyone isn't going to expect an explanation, it's him."

    "I don't know…"

    "Hey Dylan, look, I'm really sorry about the awkward position I put you in. I really do want to forget about it and move past it if you're okay with that?" Charlotte said, rolling her eyes slightly, "It's only awkward if you let it be. And the more you let it be, the more awkward it will become."

    Abbee groaned as Charlotte continued.

    "I didn't think I'd be relying on his words of wisdom, but Justin hit the nail on the head. Who gives a s**t if you like him and he knows it. Congratulations, you're human. If you want something to happen with him, he has to know eventually anyway. Ripping the band-aid off and just talking to him can't be any more awkward than kissing him while you're a teary mess and him pulling away anyway…"

    Abbee sighed.

    "You're right. I will talk to him tomorrow…"

    "And I will make sure you do…"

    In the distance, Abbee could see the light flicker of the fire down the beach, where Dylan, Chris and Justin still sat.

    "So what has life been like here this last year?" Chris asked Dylan, as he offered him some potato chips, which Dylan politely declined.

    "Pretty good." Dylan admitted, "The work has been great. So was getting my license and my own car."

    "Now you can drive us into the city instead of us waiting for the bus." Justin laughed, before his tone shifted a little, "Has that guy been giving you problems anymore?"

    "Bill?" Dylan asked, "Once. I ran into him in town, and he got aggressive. I told him to leave, since he technically isn't allowed to make contact with me, and he refused to get out of my way. So I dropped his a**..."

    Chris began to cheer, as Dylan grinned slightly.

    "I just put him on the ground and walked away. Enough for me to leave without him being a pain, but not too much for there to be legal issues, or my intervention order to be in jeopardy." Dylan explained, "It sucks that it has to be this way, but he won't change…"

    It wasn't too much longer before Charlotte and Abbee returned, and the group found themselves sitting around the fire again.

    "I still can't believe the look on Jon's face when you beat him…" Charlotte said to Justin.

    "Savour it because I doubt it will happen again." Justin laughed, "I caught him by surprise with Alakazam being slowed down so much, and by the time Regieleki came out, I already had the advantage. I think I'm gonna need something a bit better than that to beat him again."

    "I wouldn't be so sure…" Dylan explained, "I've seen Jon battle nearly every week, and he is a great battler, a cut above most really. But that's because he focuses more on tactics and creativity than the majority of other trainers who just want to hit harder than the other person, and that gives him a massive edge. He is only human and if he is against someone who knows how he thinks, and has an equally eccentric way of battling, beating him isn't that unlikely. He is only human…"

    "Sometimes it's easy to forget that." Justin laughed, "I showed Candice the footage of him battling Steven from last summer, and she called him a demon."

    Chris burst into laughter, falling backwards into the sand, before noticing something.

    "What's that?" Chris asked, pointing directly up into the sky.

    The rest of the group looked up, and noticed a small light, shooting across the sky, and descending, slowly growing larger…

    Dylan was the first to react, calling out Metagross.

    "Justin, get your Alakazam out and have it use Calm Mind as much as it can… Get Regieleki out too..." Dylan said, concern apparent in his voice, "Now…"

    "What's going on?" Abbee asked, slightly surprised to hear Dylan sound so rattled, whilst Justin followed Dylan's instructions.

    "That's a meteorite…" Dylan said, "And whilst I can't guarantee it will hit from this distance, I can’t guarantee it won’t either…"

    "Wait, what?" Chris said, scrambling to his feet, "Are you sure?"

    "What else would it be…" Dylan replied, as Charlotte spoke.

    "What do you want us to do?" Charlotte asked.

    "Any Pokemon that know Protect…" Dylan explained, trying to remain calm to not worry the others, "I don't know how big this thing will be, and it doesn't seem to be changing course. We will try and break it into smaller pieces, but one of those hitting someone will still be enough to kill them. So cover us…"

    "Ready when you are." Justin said. Dylan nodded.

    "Metagross, use Psych Up on Alakazam." Dylan said, before turning to Justin, "Now have Alakazam use Power Swap on Regieleki."

    Justin nodded, forwarding the command. In the distance they could hear other people starting to notice the light in the sky, pointing it out to those nearby.

    "Does Regieleki have any moves that guarantee a hit?" Dylan asked, "We still have some time before it strikes, but if we wait until it is close enough to aim at properly, it will be too late…"

    "Yeah, it knows Lock-On."

    "Do you really think you two can take this thing out?" Chris asked, letting out some of his own Pokemon.

    "Well we try, and we either succeed, or we fail and the city gets wiped out, or we don't try and the city gets wiped out…" Charlotte said as she let out some of her Pokemon, "I know which chances I'm taking."

    "Point taken."

    Dylan watched as the light in the sky grew, juggling the risk and reward in giving it more time. Alarms started to sound out from the Space Station, however they were too late noticing it.

    "Let's do it." Dylan said, "Once Regieleki uses Lock-On, Metagross will link to it telepathically and follow Regieleki's aim."

    "Regieleki, you heard him…" Justin said, "Lock On."

    "It's still pretty far away isn't it?" Abbee asked.

    "It is, but the higher up it is when we hit it, the less likely fragments will hit the island." Dylan replied, "If we can hit it from this distance, hopefully they will all spread and land in the ocean…"

    Dylan looked over to Justin.

    "How accurate is Regieleki after a Lock-On?" Dylan asked.

    "I've never seen it miss."

    "Then now is our best bet." Dylan said, before calling out to Metagross, "Steel Beam!"

    "Zap Cannon!"

    Both Pokemon charged up their most powerful attack, with a pair of extraordinarily bright silver and white lights launched into the air, one after another…

    The Steel Beam hit first, causing the meteorite to shatter into hundreds of smaller pieces. However the gap between the two attacks was too small to differentiate. The Zap Cannon hit almost instantly after, the millions of watts of electricity hitting one of the fragments, and arking outwards towards the remaining fragments, vaporizing the smaller ones, and launching the larger ones outwards.

    There were cheers from others on the beach, and even those away from the shore who had seen it began cheering out.

    “What do we do about them?” Justin asked, as Charlotte, Chris and Abbee’s Pokemon began using Protect to cover the group from any fragments raining down.

    “Nothing we can do.” Dylan replied, “If we leave this area to try and protect them and a fragment hits us, we won’t be much help. They still have time to find cover, or do what we’re doing. We’ve done enough, and most of the smaller fragments should disintegrate before they even make impact…”

    After a few more minutes, they saw the glowing barriers start to shimmer, as dust seemed to fall on them, and the occasional crash between waves of a bigger chunk landing in the water. There was a dull thud as a large fragment, crashed into the sand, which absorbed most of the impact, however they still felt the earth shake slightly from that. However they didn’t hear sounds of destruction, or people crying out in pain, and once a few minutes had passed, it seemed like all of the remaining fragments had hit the earth, and they were safe. They called back their Pokemon.

    “How the hell did the Space Center not know that was coming before we did?” Chris asked, slightly irritated, “It seems like every few weeks there is some sort of news report about a meteor shower or something… If we did nothing, that could have taken out the city…”

    “The ones you hear about are repetitive events. They happen once, and the big-brains do the maths to figure out how long until their trajectory crosses the Earth’s. At least I think…” Abbee replied, “It’s not like they have satellites scanning deep space for something on a collision course with Earth. Chances are that is something that came from outside our Solar System, and happened to not get close enough to any bigger planets and get pulled into their gravitational pull. One in a million chance, probably even more.”

    “Still…”

    “So we have you to thank!” Called out a familiar voice. On the dimly lit stone staircase leading from the carpark down to the beach, descended a familiar figure.

    “Did we upstage you?” Justin called out, recognizing the voice.

    “Definitely not.” Said Steven Stone, who reached the bottom, being lit up by one of the large lights illuminating the area, “I wasn’t aware of it until the sirens started to ring, and was trying to figure out what to do before I saw the lights. I recognized the Zap Cannon…”

    Justin laughed, before explaining.

    “Chris noticed the light in the sky, and pointed it out, and Dylan figured out what was going on and coordinated the entire thing.”

    “So when did the four of you arrive?” Steven asked, as a couple more people began descending the staircase, trying to get a glimpse of the people who had destroyed the meteorite.

    “Today…” Charlotte replied, “Impeccable timing really…”

    “Impeccable indeed.” Steven remarked, “Well as the Hoenn Champion, and a resident of Mossdeep, you have my thanks.”

    Over the next few minutes, more and more people gathered around the campfire, thanking the group of trainers, and asking their names, and why they were on Mossdeep Island.

    “Jon’s gonna love the free publicity…” Charlotte whispered to Abbee, who couldn’t help but laugh at the situation. She was right though. A lot of the locals had heard of the Eon Academy, but knew little of its focus, and the level of skill it produced in its students. If a group of returning students managed to stop the city from possibly being wiped out in some sort of apocalyptic fashion it can’t help but look good…

    When the group around them was nearing thirty people, a familiar Pokemon cry filled the air, as a Pokemon descended with a trainer on it’s back.

    “Are you guys alright?” Jon asked, as he climbed off Latios’ back, “None of you got hit?”

    “We’re all fine.” Chris retorted, before moving on to tease his teacher. “Where were you when your students were busy saving the city?”

    “I was… making other arrangements to deal with it…” Jon said quietly, giving Chris a knowing look. It took Chris a moment to understand what he meant.

    “This is part of the reason why I tried to deal with this myself…” Dylan whispered to him “Because if Jon had to deal with it, there was no going back…”

    “You know about… his green friend?” Chris whispered back, realizing that Jon must have been considering having Rayquaza take it down. If he only found out about the meteorite when the sirens began, Rayquaza would have been his only option.

    “He showed me not long after I moved in. Trained it to listen to me, in case of emergencies.” Dylan whispered, before moving away as to not draw too much attention to the conversation they were having.

    The crowd left a large perimeter around Latios, who seemed slightly offended, though Jon knew this was partially because of the footage from the S.S. Wishmaker two years earlier. As the crowd harassed Jon, Steven, Dylan, Justin and even Abbee a little, though part of that was from her minor fame due to her Dad’s reputation as a battler, Charlotte nudged Chris.

    “While they’re distracted, let’s go find it…” Charlotte said quietly.

    “What?” Chris asked, equally quietly, slightly confused.

    “You heard that one bit of the meteorite hit the beach, right?” Charlotte asked, “It didn’t seem too far from here… It’s one thing to be here for something like this, but to take part of it home…”

    Chris’ eyes widened at the thought, as Charlotte sent a message to their group chat.

    ”Chris and I will be back soon. Don’t let the crowd realize we have gone if you can avoid it…”

    Without another word, they waited for people to not be looking their way, before silently leaving, walking in the direction that they heard the meteor thud earlier.

    “How big do you think this thing is?” Chris asked, as he scoured the beach in front of him.

    “Wouldn’t have a clue…” Charlotte replied, “I doubt it’s small, but I hope it isn’t too big… Kinda don’t feel like carrying a five hundred pound boulder back to the Academy…”

    Chris laughed, however realized something.

    “Wait, the tide…”

    “What about it?” Charlotte asked.

    “We got to the beach as it had started to come in.” Chris replied, “It’s been what, half an hour since the meteor hit?”

    “S**t…” Charlotte muttered, as took off her shoes, thankful it had been a warm night and she decided to wear shorts…

    She walked knee deep into the water, and was even more thankful that Mossdeep’s beach was one of the cleanest in Hoenn, with there being little but sand. Somehow, she had never seen as much as a rock in the water there, and right now, it would make it easier to spot this thing.

    As she walked, moving the light on her phone across the surface of the water, she noticed a reflection, different from the ocean water. A light purple color flickering from the water and the light.

    “I think I found it…” Charlotte called out, as Chris threw off his sandals, and made his way towards her in the water.

    “Hold this.” she said, as she handed him her phone, before digging around the purple colored object. After a few minutes, she lifted it out of the water.

    It was purple, and roughly the size of a Pokemon Egg, though it seemed crystalline, and transparent.

    “What the f**k is that…” Chris said, shocked. Charlotte didn’t blame him. She was expecting to find a glorified piece of rock, jagged, ugly and not overly special. But this…

    “We can’t let any of the crowd see it.” Charlotte explained, “Give me your shirt…”

    “Why?”

    “Because I want to cover this thing, and I’m not taking mine off…”

    Chris went red, before quickly removing his shirt.

    “If anyone asks, we found an abandoned Pokemon Egg, that we think was a bit too cold…” Charlotte explained, “When everyone else boots off, we will show Jon and Steven.”

    “Agreed...”

  2. #42
    Mary Mary tell me how your garden grows. Desolate Divine's Avatar
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    Season 2 Episode 2: Media Frenzy
    Spoiler:

    It was well after midnight, when Jon, Steven, Dylan and the four interns found themselves in the lodge that Jon had unlocked, sitting around the dining table with the purple meteorite that Charlotte and Chris found, sitting in the middle.

    When Chris and Charlotte arrived back at the group on the beach, Jon had noticed Latios seize up a little.

    “What is it?” he had asked Latios with his thoughts, feeling the Eon Pokemon poking around in his mind.

    ”I don’t know…” Latios replied. "And that scares me."

    Latios explained that something had come back with Chris and Charlotte, and Jon noticed the object wrapped in Chris’ shirt. Someone from the shrinking crowd had asked what it was, and Charlotte mentioned finding a Pokemon egg, however Latios wasn’t sure about that. Jon departed soon after, asking Dylan, Steven and the interns to meet him in the lodge back at the Eon Academy as soon as they could.

    Upon arriving, Jon asked Charlotte what she was holding, and she placed it on the table, everyone else gathering around in awe and shock.

    “It looks like a Pokemon egg, but I doubt it.” Charlotte explained, “It’s transparent for starters.”

    “It is sentient.” Jon explained, “Latios was able to perceive its consciousness, and said it was too active to be a Pokemon egg. However its thoughts were too foreign for Latios to understand, or even spend too much time poking around inside its head.”

    Chris looked at the object in shock. Could he even call it an object?

    “Are you saying this thing might be a Pokemon?” Steven asked, looking over the crystalline orb, “Could it not be some form of bacteria in it?”

    “I doubt it.” Jon explained, “Latios is able to perceive its emotions, though not understand them.”

    Jon nodded towards Latios who floated in the corner of the room, watching them. Suddenly, everyone was seeing the scene they were in from Latios’ perspective. Around each person was an aura with a mixture of colors, and through guesswork, they could understand what they meant. Steven’s aura was that of great curiosity, whilst the interns and Dylan shared that, however it was mixed more so with confusion for them. Jon’s aura was that of concern.

    However, the strangest aura was that surrounding the orb. Charlotte tried to identify the colors, however they were ones she had never seen before, and didn’t think even possible, which made little sense. That and they were shifting from one to another, before she had time to even comprehend.

    “There is bacteria everywhere, and Latios’ emotion-sense doesn’t pick that up.” Jon explained, “But this, as a whole, Latios is able to see something, though he doesn’t know what…”

    There was a flicker, as everyone’s vision returned to normal, and their focus shifted back to the stone.

    “Honestly, I think it may be a Pokemon. I have seen equally strange Pokemon in terms of appearance.” Jon explained, “But a Pokemon from space is completely new…”

    Steven sat back in his chair, thinking it over.

    “I’m going to take this to the Space Center to see if they can shed a little more light on the matter.” Steven explained, “Even if they have no answers now, they’re better equipped to find out more about it…”

    Charlotte began to protest, however was interrupted by Jon.

    “The Space Center is the best place for it.” Jon interrupted, “We don’t know what it is, whether it is potentially dangerous, and in twenty four hours, will have our hands full enough with thirty five trainers staying here, without having to worry about what this thing is.”

    Charlotte sighed. Jon was right. This wasn’t just any Pokemon she had found, but one they knew nothing about, and stood little chance of learning anything worthwhile about. Which meant there was no guarantee it would be safe. One of Jon’s first lessons about being a trainer was that a trainer’s first responsibility is the safety of the people around them. And keeping this thing had the potential to put those around her at risk.

    “I will let you know if they discover anything.” Steven explained, as he removed his jacket, and wrapped the object in it.

    Charlotte nodded, though still disappointed.

    “Go get some sleep.” Jon said, as he stood, calling Latios back to his Pokeball, “There is plenty of time to ponder this during more reasonable hours…”

    Steven departed, taking the stone with him, and Dylan and the interns left the lodge behind him, whilst Jon turned off the lights, and locked the building. Half an hour later, Charlotte and Abbee found themselves in the cabin they’d be sharing for the next three months. The cabin itself was large enough. There was a pair of bunk beds, however only Charlotte and Abbee would be in this cabin, so the unused bunk instantly became storage, as well as a desk by the window. It was definitely a downgrade from last year, however the amount of space and funds needed to put every student at the Eon Academy in accomodation like the lodge, as well as the added difficulty in making sure everyone was in their room when they needed to be made it understandable, and neither of the girls minded.

    “I wonder what that thing was.” Abbee said, as she unpacked her belongings on the bunk above her bed.

    “Honestly, I think it’s a Pokemon.” Charlotte explained, “Latios’ ability to perceive emotions only works on humans and Pokemon, doesn’t it? And it sure as hell isn’t human.”

    “Once they figure out what it is, hopefully they let you keep it.” Abbee replied, “It would kind of suck if you are the person to discover the first extra-terrestrial Pokemon, and you don’t even get to keep it.”

    “It would, but I doubt they will.” Charlotte explained, “They’ll be too focused on running tests, I doubt they’d let me take it back home to Sinnoh.”

    “You never know…” Abbee said, “Justin got to keep Regieleki. Maybe ask him how he went about that? What sort of deal he had to make so they can research it.”

    “Maybe…” Charlotte said, “I’ll ask him.”

    As the pair climbed into their beds, and turned off the lights, Charlotte spoke up.

    “Did you talk to Dylan?”

    “When did I have the chance?” Abbee laughed, “We got back and all of a sudden Chris has spotted a meteor and Dylan and Justin are taking measures to blast it to pieces before it hits.”

    “Just checking you didn’t talk to him when Chris and I went off to look for whatever it was we found.”

    “No, I’ll talk to him at some point tomorrow…” Abbee replied, “But what about you and Chris?”

    “What about me and Chris?”

    “You know damn well what I am asking.” Abbee laughed, “Is it purely coincidence that you’re within striking range every time he says something dumb, which happens to be quite often?”

    Charlotte went red, though was thankful the room was dark.

    “Maybe I am within striking range every time, because I know he will say something stupid, and am hoping that he gets the hint to think before he speaks if I treat him like a Skitty with a spray bottle?” Charlotte retorted, “Really, no, nothing like that between Chris and I. I’ve just known him for years, and seen him most since last summer.”

    “Right...” Abbee replied, as she wondered what discussion was happening in the other cabins when they should be sleeping.

    “Give me the options again…” Chris said in the cabin he shared with Justin.

    “Would you rather skinny-dip in the lake of rage, end to end, if you knew the only other thing in the was a Sharpedo, or slow-dance with Jon’s Scizor…” Justin asked.

    Chris grimaced hearing both.

    “Sharpedo is the only other thing in the Lake of Rage?” Chris asked, trying to remember how big the lake was.

    “It is.” Justin replied.

    “Slow-dancing…” Chris said, “Definitely slow dancing…”

    “Really?” Justin asked, “Step on Scizor and you might lose half your hand. More likely than the Sharpedo noticing you…”

    “Yeah, but I’m not even considering risking that...” Chris retorted, before there was a bang on the wall, from Dylan’s cabin.

    “Sorry!” Justin called out embarrassed, before Chris called out.

    “What about you? Swimming starkers across the Lake of Rage and hoping the Sharpedo doesn’t find you, or slow dancing with Jon’s Scizor?”

    There were a few moments of silence, before Dylan responded, his voice muffled from the room next door.

    “I’ll take my chances with Scizor. It’s 2am. Go to sleep…”

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****

    “We have a problem…” Jon said as he walked into the dining room the next morning, where Dylan, Charlotte and Abbee sat in near silence. Justin followed Jon into the room, hearing his comment as well.

    “What’s that?” Abbee asked, as Justin made his way to the counter where dishes and breakfast food was ready to be prepared.

    “The press.” Jon explained, as he put a slice of toast in the toaster for himself, “It’s been all over the news this morning that it was Eon Academy students who shattered that meteor. There are reporters outside the gates, waiting for me to come out and make a statement, and we have students arriving in two hours…”

    “Couldn’t you just make a statement so they go away?” Charlotte asked.

    “Reporters are like stray Houndor. Give them anything and they aren’t going to leave.” Jon replied, “I’m married to one and she is wonderful, but once she sets her mind to getting a statement, or the big scoop, she is near unstoppable…”

    Dylan chuckled hearing Jon’s sentiment.

    “My biggest concern is that they will get in the way of the students arriving, or harass them.” Jon explained, “I could call the police and have them send them on their way, but it won’t be a great look.”

    “So what’re our alternatives?” Justin asked, as Chris wandered into the room with a yawn.

    “We need to distract them, get them away from here for an hour while everyone else arrives…” Jon explained, looking over his options.

    The incident happened at the beach, and whilst it wouldn’t make a difference to the print media reporters, those on TV would wet themselves for a statement at the scene of the incident. The problem is that if Dylan or Justin indulged them with anything, they would be pestered for days about it, being the two who shot the meteorite out of the sky. So it had to be Chris, Charlotte or Abbee. Abbee would be most used to the media, however he wouldn’t have her deal with this on her own.

    “Abbee and Chris, how would you two feel about taking these Mandibuzz hanging around the gate down to the beach and enlightening them about what happened?” Jon asked, remembering their commentary during the live stream, “Keep them busy while we have the students arrive, so they aren’t pestering them.”

    “What?” Chris asked, not hearing the setup for the conversation, or what was going on.

    “Sure.” Abbee replied, half thankful but also slightly disappointed it wasn’t with Dylan. Whilst it would be awkward, it would force her and Dylan to actually talk, and hopefully get the ball rolling with talking about what happened over New Year’s. But now it seemed like she’d be making this happen on her own.

    “Be prepared to be in front of cameras in an hour.” Jon explained, “Alyssa will take the pair of you down to the beach after we let the reporters know.”

    Jon left, as Chris sat at the table, his mouth full from the bite of toast he just took.

    “What was that about?” Chris asked.

    “There are reporters at the gate wanting to hear about what you and Justin did last night, and Jon’s worried that they’re gonna cause problems when students arrive.” Charlotte explained, “You and Abbee are going to deal with it…”

    “What, set my Charizard on them?” Chris asked, and whilst Abbee hoped he was kidding, she was slightly concerned when it appeared he wasn’t.

    “No, genius.” Charlotte explained, “You two are going to lure them down to the beach to talk to them about what happened last night, and keep their attention there until everyone is here and we can just lock the gates…”

    Chris sighed, before continuing to eat his slice of toast. An hour later, Jon escorted Chris and Abbee to the gate where they saw a larger crowd than those gathered on the beach the evening before, however this crowd were armed with microphones, voice recorders and large and expensive looking video cameras.

    “Can I have your attention please!” Jon called out, as the group of reporters quietened down, waiting to hear what he had to say next.

    “I understand you would like a statement regarding what happened on the beach last night, however I am not the best person to give you that statement as I was not present.” Jon explained, “Additionally, the worker and intern who orchestrated the plan to strike the meteorite are both currently busy with Eon Academy responsibilities, and I don’t wish to interfere with that. So instead, Chris Kingswood and Abbee Strauss, two of the interns who were present during the incident yesterday evening, will make a statement.”

    Jon nodded towards Abbee and Chris. Abbee went to speak, however Chris stepped forward, and began speaking first.

    “So I understand you want to know what happened last night, in every bit of detail?” Chris asked the crowd casually, as a few confirmed what he was saying.

    “The thing is, to really capture the essence of what happened last night, I think we kind of need to go to the beach, and tell the story there.” Chris said, “What do you think Abbee?”

    “Yeah, I can’t think of a better way.” Abbee agreed struggling not to laugh at how stupid this whole situation was, “Why tell the story here if we could tell it at the place where it all actually happened?”

    “Jon, you cool if we go down to the beach to tell these guys exactly what happened?” Chris asked, as Jon nodded.

    “I can’t take you myself, as I have some stuff to do, but Alyssa should be able to drive you down there…”

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****

    They arrived at the beach and before long, Abbee stood by Alyssa’s side, watching in slight awe as Chris managed to waste the time of every reporter there, but have them unable to leave. He told the story, going into great detail about things that really didn’t matter, such as spending a total of ten minutes finding the exact spot on the beach where they had the fire, and why they chose there, to the positions around the fire everyone was sitting, and the snacks they were eating, as well as going on different tangents of useless information. When it seemed as if one was going to leave, Chris would say something important to draw in their attention, however would quickly return to wasting their time…

    “How does this make you feel?” Abbee whispered to Alyssa with a grin, whilst Chris described in great detail the position of the tide through the evening.

    “I’m glad I’ve never run into someone like him…” Alyssa whispered back with a grin, “Part of working in media is you are not allowed to lose your cool unless you are being personally targeted. And some of these guys are struggling…”

    Abbee noticed a frown on a nearby reporter’s face before giggling to herself. However, as Chris took a breath, one of the reporters turned to face her.

    “What about you, Miss Strauss? What is your recollection of what happened?”

    Abbee quickly came up with her own game plan before speaking.

    “Uhhh, that’s a very good question…” She said slowly, before taking a minute to look as if she were thinking over what to say.

    “Well…” She began equally slowly, “Ummmm, firstly, we arrived at the beach at around…”

    She continued talking and saw the reporter’s expression sink as they realized she was just repeating everything Chris had said so far, albeit slower and much more interrupted with umms and uhhhs. Alyssa grinned seeing this. They were wasting their time, just like Jon wanted...

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****

    Jon watched as the last of the thirty five teenagers arrived in the stands surrounding the arena, counting them once more in his head to make sure all were accounted for. He held Amelia, who looked around curiously at all of the people around her.

    Justin, Charlotte and Dylan sat on chairs on the edge of the battle arena, waiting for Jon to begin.

    The students had all arrived forty-five minutes earlier, where their parents spoke briefly to Jon, and the three interns who remained on site had escorted students to their rooms where they could leave their belongings before making their way to the arena, making a point of memorizing some names, however they still didn’t know which students would be under their care. Jon had kept that a secret.

    Once all the students were on the property, about twenty minutes earlier, Jon sent Alyssa a message letting her know that Chris and Abbee didn’t need to hold off the press any longer, and could return to the Eon Academy. He estimated they wouldn’t be far off.

    A few minutes passed, before Jon’s attention was pulled.

    “S**t…” Chris said, a little too loudly, as he entered the arena, and saw how many people there were.

    “Control yourself…” Charlotte muttered, as he realized what he had done. Abbee and Alyssa followed him into the arena, as Jon breathed a sigh of relief.

    “You should have seen them…” Alyssa laughed, “They had the reporters in the palms of their hands, and were wasting their time the entire time. I am surprised none of them snapped…”

    Jon laughed, as he handed Amelia to Alyssa, before turning to Chris and Abbee.

    “Great work.” Jon said, “And you’re just in time. Find a seat, and I will get started.”

    Abbee and Chris moved to the remaining two seats with the other interns, as Jon produced a microphone and got the attention of the near three-dozen students chattering in the stands.

    “Hello everyone, and let me be the first to welcome you to the Eon Academy!” Jon explained, “Before we begin, let me make something abundantly clear. Whilst this is technically a form of summer camp, think of it more-so as a summer intensive. You are all here because you want to improve your battling, however that will require some work. This doesn’t mean you won’t be enjoying yourself, but you will only get out of this time what you put in.”

    Justin felt a twinge of embarrassment hearing the words. Abbee must have noticed his head slump a little, as she gave him a gentle kick.

    “You came back here with an undiscovered Legendary Pokemon…” Abbee whispered, “Give yourself some credit…”

    Justin nodded, though still wasn’t sure that he completely agreed he deserved the credit, whilst Jon continued.

    “Weekdays will run similar to school here. We have five classes, taught by myself, my wife Alyssa, Dylan, who is one of the workers here at the Eon Academy, and Steven Stone, the Hoenn League Champion.” Jon explained, as the murmurs grew, hearing that the League Champion would be teaching them this summer. “Classes begin at 9am, and run for an hour each. There are three morning classes, before an hour for lunch, and then two hour long training sessions here. If your group isn’t involved in a day’s training sessions, then you are finished for the day at lunch, however I do recommend making the most of the free time and finding someone to train with elsewhere on the property.”

    “You were all dropped off at the main hall, and would have seen the dining area. Breakfast is there at 8am sharp, lunch from noon until 1, and dinner at 6. Out of respect for the cooks preparing your food, I expect you all to be punctual to meals, though if all goes to plan, you will have worked up an appetite and will be wanting to get there as soon as you can.” Jon explained, “Everyone will be in their cabins by 10:30pm, and lights-out is at 11pm. Weekends will be a mixture of leisure events and different seminars. You have probably gathered that there will be a decent amount of free time this summer. Whilst there will be recreational activities both on site and in Mossdeep City, if you want to get the most out of your time here, you will need a good balance of work and leisure. Don’t spend every free moment training, but don’t goof off every spare second you have.”

    Abbee rolled her eyes as both Chris and Charlotte tensed up slightly hearing that recommendation, as Jon continued.

    “Students over the age of fifteen can leave the property during daylight hours in pairs if they wish to visit other parts of the island, however must let one of the team leaders, or myself know exactly where you are going, and be reachable at all times. This is a privilege and can be revoked at any time.” Jon said, his tone hardening, “It is your responsibility to make sure you have a phone with enough battery when you leave the property, and if we attempt to reach you and are unable to because of something like that, the privilege of leaving the property unsupervised will be revoked.”

    “Lastly, you will all be assigned into a team. This team will be the group you do afternoon training with, and one of the groups you attend classes with. Your team leader will be your key contact during your stay here, and will keep an eye on you and make sure everything is okay, as well as help with your own training.” Jon explained, “Be aware that all but one of the team leaders are still students at the Eon Academy, however, attended last year and have more experience both in terms of battling, and life here. Whilst they are working here for the summer, they are here to learn and improve, just like you, so for their sake, please try to not make their role any more difficult than it needs to be.”

    Jon looked at Dylan and the four interns and grinned.

    “Heading up Team Metagross, is Mossdeep local, and Pokemon Care Extraordinaire, Dylan Squier.” Jon began as he nodded towards Dylan to stand. Dylan stood, slightly embarrassed as Chris began to laugh at the introductions.

    “Next, taking care of Team Roserade, hailing from the Sinnoh Region, is the extremely talented, and slightly terrifying Charlotte Jones.” Jon called out as Chris burst into laughter. Charlotte didn’t mind though, giving a slight grin as she stood to her feet to join Dylan. Of all reputations, that’s one she didn’t mind having

    “Spearheading Team Dragonite, is the brave and slightly abrasive brother of Clair from Blackthorn City Johto. Chris Kingswood.”

    Chris jumped to his feet, hands in the air, lapping up the attention as Abbee laughed slightly at his reaction to being called abrasive. Jon wasn’t wrong.

    “Looking after Team Victini, is the daughter of battling royalty, on her way to being battling royalty herself.” Jon began, “Joining us from the Johto Region, Abbee Strauss.”

    Abbee stood, making her way to stand next to Chris, as Jon began his final introduction.

    “And lastly, we have the explorer of lands unknown, trekker of temples and discoverer of Legendary Pokemon.” Jon began, Justin slightly shocked by the calibre of the introduction he was getting, “Joining us from Kalos, is the leader of Team Regieleki, Justin Collins.”

    “Now, you’re all probably wondering which team you will be in.” Jon began with a grin, “These guys are wondering the same thing…”

    Dylan rolled his eyes, as Jon continued.

    “Well, it is nearly lunchtime. So in a few minutes, I will call a one hour break, where I encourage you to get something to eat, and meet the Team Leaders. Then, get keen…” Jon said, as his grin widened and Justin’s expression shifted, “Because after lunch, we will reveal the teams, then Justin will battle Abbee, Chris will battle Dylan, and Charlotte will battle myself, and it will be abundantly clear why these five are team leaders…”

    “Hell yeah!” Chris called out, shaking his fist in the air, loving the excitement in the air.

    “Be back here at 1:15, and be prepared to have your minds blown…”
    Last edited by Desolate Divine; 07-25-2021 at 01:58 AM.

  3. #43
    Are you ready for this? Zimzalabim! Neo Emolga's Avatar
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    Dang, Justin, way to school the teacher! Although I don’t expect Jon to fall for the same tricks again. I foresee a Trick Room in Regieleki’s future. XD

    Also, that battle between Victini and Metagross was wild. I was rooting for Victini and was glued to reading until the very end. Just when I thought I could predict how these battles would go, nope, you sir have mastered the art of getting me thinking I can predict how things are going to turn out and then you pull the rug out from underneath with these clever and unexpected occurrences just as things are coming down to the wire.

    Going to be interesting to see how things change with so many more students showing up to the academy and how the original Season 1 cast is going to step up in terms of leadership and responsibility. I’m also curious to see just how many of these newcomers will be diligent in their studies and training, and how many will be slackers and get into all kinds of trouble. And how will the original Season 1 crew deal with that? See, this is the kind of stuff that keeps me reading this. :3

    Overall, the way you handle the strategies in these battles and pair them with individual character styles is really clever and you do a lot of stuff I never really considered doing in Pokémon battles. It definitely makes the way battles are handled in the games seem so unbelievably bland and linear in comparison to the way you implement more of the environment, emotion, strategy, and intensity. Considering how easy it is to cruise through the games just knowing the type chart, this is honestly a welcome change and seems a LOT more akin to what actual competitive Pokémon battlers do in tournaments than what goes on in the PvE environment of the games, but with all those extra flavorful twists in terms of storyline, character development, and emotion. The big message I get from this again and again is “type chart be damned, there’s way more that can go on in Pokémon battles.”

  4. #44
    Mary Mary tell me how your garden grows. Desolate Divine's Avatar
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    Season 2 Episode 3: Unexpected Aid
    Spoiler:

    It was halfway through lunch when Abbee found herself sitting at a table, with Victini, as the pair ate lunch. At least, Victini ate lunch, whilst Abbee poked at her food. Whilst it was understandable that she battle Justin, given that both of them had a Legendary or Mythical Pokemon, having seen Justin beat Jon with such ease made her nervous. He had definitely improved since last summer, and grown as a person as well, and whilst this was no competition, merely a showcase, and winning or losing didn’t matter, Abbee didn’t want to go down as easily as she suspected she would.

    Whilst she sat by herself during lunch, that was the first time her and Victini had been alone since they arrived in the dining hall. After she let Victini out of his Pokeball, one by one, trainers had come over, curious to meet the Mythical Pokemon, and out of politeness, her as well. Victini would be lying if he said he didn’t enjoy the attention.

    Abbee made a point of asking their names, aware that it was likely more than one of the students who approached her would be in her group, and a first impression would be vital. The one that shocked her most however was one of the younger girls, who mentioned being from Rustboro City in Hoenn.

    Rose Drake.

    “Drake as in…” Abbee had begun, as the young girl smiled.

    “Alyssa is Dad’s younger sister,” Rose had explained, “Her and Jon are my aunt and uncle. I was actually here last New Year’s. Even battled Jon, though he was definitely holding back.”

    Abbee laughed hearing that.

    “Don’t get used to that.” Abbee replied, “He will push you to your limit, but you will be better for it.”

    Rose had left a little while after, leaving Abbee and Victini in their current lonesome state, as Abbee tried to come up with some sort of plan for beating Justin. She was pulled from her thoughts by someone sitting next to her, and was slightly surprised to see Chris, looking intently at the biggest sandwich Abbee had ever seen.

    “Surely you won’t eat all that…” Abbee said, as Chris grinned.

    “Will try my best.” Chris retorted, “Why, do you want half?”

    Abbee looked at the sandwich, and realized half was over twice as much as she had dished herself up.

    “I’m good…” She said, somewhat absent-mindedly, as she went back to thinking over the battle, zoning out watching Victini digging into the bowl of fries he had in front of him.

    “What’s wrong?” Chris asked, “You seem quieter than usual. More like Dylan than yourself…”

    Abbee chuckled slightly.

    “I’m just trying to figure out how I can beat Justin, since he made it look so easy to take Jon down yesterday…” Abbee answered, “Honestly, Regieleki seems intense, and I don’t know that I could beat it…”

    “Really?” Chris asked, “Justin beat Jon because he completely shifted his battling style. And it wasn’t Regieleki that beat Jon, but Alakazam. If they were to go toe to toe now, Jon would beat him no doubt.”

    “Still, I’m not Jon…”

    “No, but as good of a trainer as Justin is, I’d still say you’re better.” Chris said, as he took a bite from his sandwich before continuing to speak with his mouth full, “You have more experience, and Justin is still trying to catch up. Heck, no offense to Victini, but Jon was right. If Victini had have used Flamethrower to finish Dusknoir, you would have beaten Dylan no sweat.”

    Victini looked at Chris, brow raised.

    “You’ll get it next time.” Chris said to Victini, trying to make sure he didn’t just offend the Mythical Pokemon, who had paused loading fries into his mouth to stare down Chris. Abbee laughed lightly, but returned to silence, as Chris and Victini both continued to eat.

    Something didn’t make sense to Chris. Whilst he didn’t know Victini’s move-set well, Jon had mentioned one move that seemed to imply Victini knew others, that if used well, could disrupt the strategy Justin used to get the upper hand on Jon.

    Chris looked over at Victini, who was continuing to eat fries, before noticing Justin looking.

    ”You got a problem?” said a voice in Justin’s head, which he recognized as Victini’s.

    ”No problem. I just wanted to ask you something, without Abbee hearing…” Chris replied with his thoughts.

    ”And what’s that?” Victini asked as he continued to eat his fries.

    ”Does Abbee know about the battle you and Latios had with Jon’s green friend?” Chris asked, as Victini froze.

    “He told you about that?” Victini asked, sounding slightly irritated, and Chris figured that it was due to the truth about Cassandra being alive.

    ”The Eon Academy got attacked last year by some guys Lance sent. Jon had a gun to his head, and was about to use Rayquaza as a last ditch effort to stop them.” Chris explained, ”I helped him take them down without using Rayquaza but noticed the Pokeball. That among other reasons, Jon took me to Southern Island to show me.”

    “He really shouldn’t have…” Victini replied.

    ”I haven’t told a soul and won’t breathe a word of it as long as I live.” Chris said, knowing telling a lie in a telepathic conversation to a Psychic Pokemon was near impossible, ”So did you tell her?”

    ”Of course I did.” Victini replied, ”I can’t expect her to want to partner with me if I am keeping an encyclopedia’s worth of secrets…”

    Abbee had noticed the intense staring going on between Chris and Victini, and figured out what was going on.

    “What are you two talking about?” She asked, confused as to why Chris and Victini would need to have such a serious, private, discussion.

    “Just getting some quick clarification.” Chris replied, as he took a few more large bites of his sandwich.

    “Honestly, I have a few ideas of how you could use Victini to mess up Alakazam’s whole strategy…” Chris explained, “I won’t say exactly how, because you should figure this sort of thing out for yourself. But it might be worth having a chat to Victini about the Double Battle he did with Latios that one time…”

    Abbee was surprised to hear Chris mention this. Her first thought was Victini mentioned it, however she remembered Chris occasionally accompanying Jon when he would train off site last summer, and figured that Jon had told him.

    “Later…” Chris said, as he ate the last of his sandwich, and left.

    Abbee looked at Victini, and felt the Psychic type start poking around in her head.

    ”What do you think he is talking about?” Victini asked.

    ”I don’t know, but as blunt as he is, Chris is smarter than he looks, and if he is willing to make a comment like that, chances are he is on to something…” Abbee replied, ”I know it was eighteen months ago, but I need you to tell me all you remember about that battle you and Latios had against Rayquaza…”

    Knowing they didn’t have a great deal of time left, Victini quickly explained the battle with Rayquaza. How Cassandra used some of Jon’s Pokemon to draw Rayquaza’s attention, whilst Jon had his Pokemon increase their attack power with the Baton Pass combo that she had seen used dozens of times. Then when Victini entered the field, he made himself near impossible for Rayquaza to spot by using Double Team, and communicating telepathically with Latios, who had maximized speed and attack to pick Victini up. Once they were above the clouds, and out of sight of Rayquaza, Victini used Power Swap on Latios, before Latios dropped him. Rayquaza was still not aware Victini was in the sky as well, and shot Latios out of the sky with a Hyper Beam, before Victini unleashed the mother of all V-Creates on the Dragon Type, knocking it to the ground…

    As Abbee listened, suddenly she had a thought.

    ”What other non-damaging moves do you know?”

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****

    Once lunch was over, Jon had everyone gather outside the arena, where he announced the teams for the summer. Abbee was glad she had made the point of asking names of the people who approached her and Victini, as a few of them wound up being part of her team, most notably, Rose.

    Abbee’s team consisted largely of girls, however this wasn’t a surprise, as Jon had mentioned that there were 50% more girls at this camp than boys. Jude, Alicia and Rose were the youngest girls, at thirteen, with Elsie being a year older than them. Max and Sean were also part of her team, both fifteen years old, and the oldest member of Team Victini being Melissa, who was only a matter of months younger than Abbee.

    As Abbee introduced herself to her team, the younger four girls seemed to like her already, however she couldn’t say for sure about Melissa and the two boys, Max and Sean. It wasn’t that they disliked her, but more she felt that they wanted her to prove herself. She didn’t blame them. She wasn’t even two years older. She felt herself more determined than ever to beat Justin, or at least put up a fight that was noteworthy even if it ended in defeat.

    She had spent some time going over Victini’s moves that they hadn’t had reason to use yet, and found some that would definitely throw a wrench into Justin’s strategy. From what they knew, Alakazam was their biggest threat, due to how much damage it could endure and its potential to heal and put Victini to sleep as well. Whilst Abbee didn’t like gambling on her opponents being predictable, this was all she had right now.

    Victini had returned to his Pokeball as to not make his entrance into the match to come predictable, and before long, Jon gathered all the students to their seats in the stadium, and Justin and Abbee found themselves opposite each other on the battlefield. Abbee noticed Justin seemed a little uncertain, and knew he probably felt the same way. If he wants his team to respect him, he has to give them reason to. However she wasn’t going to go easy on him for that. Even if Justin lost, he still had an undiscovered Legendary Pokemon in his corner, with a story of admirable hard work to get there. There was reason to respect him if he lost. Meanwhile, Abbee’s own Legendary Partner was partnered before with Cassandra Silvers, one of the most infamous cheaters in League history, and whilst this meant nothing to Abbee, she knew that this meant she had more work to do to earn the respect of her team, and the others than Justin did.

    Both trainers selected a Pokeball, before Jon called the match to begin, with both of them sending out their first Pokemon. Abbee opened with Victini, to the shock of most watching, whilst Justin opened with Alakazam. Victini was faster than Alakazam, even though naturally speaking, most Alakazam would outmatch Victini.

    “Skill Swap!” Abbee called out, as Justin’s face contorted slightly, realizing what she was doing. Justin’s little trick to put his opponent to sleep was now gone…

    “Speed Swap!” Justin called out, as time seemed to freeze for a moment, and the Pokemon’s natural speed ability was swapped. This allowed Alakazam to gain time for another attack, and knowing that healing was now more difficult than he anticipated, he went on the defensive. “Cosmic Power!”

    “Trick Room!” Abbee called out. Whilst Victini also knew Speed Swap, something she wasn’t aware of prior, Speed Swap didn’t account for adjustments to natural speed, only swapping natural speed itself.

    Victini’s psychic abilities twisted the dimensions, allowing the slower Pokemon to strike first, and giving Victini another opportunity to attack.

    “V-Create!” Abbee called out, as Victini became engulfed in a crown of flames, and slammed into Alakazam, who was knocked back, before using another Cosmic Power. Justin cursed under his breath. Alakazam’s normal tactic was to use Calm Mind, to increase both attack power and resilience to special moves, buying time by using Rest and Sleep Talk to put both Pokemon to sleep, and heal itself. However Abbee had torn that plan to shreds in the first three moves…

    “V-Create again!” Abbee called out, as Victini used another of his signature move, wearing down Alakazam even more, though not knocking it out completely.

    “Cosmic Power!” Justin commanded, at this point only trying to buy time to figure something else out. Victini was making itself less resilient, so could potentially go down with a well placed hit, however Justin was unsure if Alakazam could remain standing to do that by the time Trick Room ran out.

    “V-Create!”

    Victini launched into Alakazam, leaving it unsteady on its feet, and Justin had to make the decision. Attack, or Defend…

    “Rest!”

    Alakazam fell asleep, however, without its Synchronize ability, Victini remained awake, and Abbee was certain Trick Room wouldn’t hold for much longer…

    “Encore!” Abbee called out, as Victini’s eyes glowed, and the color disappeared from Justin’s face. Even whilst Alakazam was asleep, Encore would still take effect, forcing it to use Rest as long as the move was active, though Abbee wasn’t sure how long that would be. However, she knew that Alakazam would wake up naturally on its own before then, so she had bought herself twice as much time.

    Alakazam used Rest, which failed as it was already asleep, before Abbee commanded Victini to use Work-Up, increasing its attack power in both physical and special attacks. Alakazam attempted to use Rest again, however it failed, and as it did, Trick Room wore off. Whilst Abbee considered using it again, if her plan worked, she wouldn’t need it just yet.

    Alakazam remained asleep, however was still affected by the encore, and attempted to use Rest, whilst Victini used a second Work-Up. Alakazam opened its eyes, and whilst it attempted to use a Shadow Ball attack, the encore forced it to use Rest again, putting it back to sleep, much to Justin’s irritation, as Victini used its third Work-Up.

    “Sleep Talk!” Justin called out, however Alakazam didn’t respond, attempting to use Rest again, as Abbee prepared for her next move.

    “Guard Swap!” Abbee called out, as Victini grinned.

    ”Sorry buddy…” Victini said telepathically to Alakazam who remained asleep, as its own boosted resilience was switched with Victini’s weakened constitution from the flurry of V-Creates.

    “Sleep Talk!” Justin called out, as Alakazam finally responded to it, Sleep Talk producing a Psychic attack, however it was too little and far too late.

    “Trick Room!” Abbee called out, as Victini’s eyes flashed and the dimensions were twisted once again, “Then Flame Crash!”

    Victini launched towards Alakazam, engulfed in flames, and whilst Flame Charge was a much weaker variant of V-Create, Victini’s boosts to its attack power gave this the intensity of any normal V-Create. It crashed into Alakazam, knocking the Pokemon unconscious, leaving Justin to return it to its Pokeball.

    Abbee grinned as the sound of the younger girls in her group cheering pierced the battlefield, as Justin took a moment to figure out how best to deal with Victini. He had one idea, using Haze to remove all of Victini’s buffs, and putting them on equal footing. And normally, that wouldn’t be too difficult, due to Victini being slowed by the numerous V-Creates, however Trick Room was still affecting the battlefield, and Abbee was done messing around. She was going on the offensive.

    Knowing it was his only option at this point, Justin called out Greninja, knowing all the Pokemon had to do was buy time for Trick Room to run out. Once it did, there was nothing that Abbee could do to stop Greninja using Haze.

    “Thunderbolt!” Abbee called out, surprising Justin slightly that Victini knew electric type attacks.

    “Protect!”

    Greninja erected a protect barrier, making itself a normal type and stopping the attack, as Abbee commanded another Thunderbolt.

    “Dodge it!” Justin called out. Whilst Trick Room allowed the slower Pokemon to act first, it did nothing in terms of reaction time and ability to dodge, and Greninja was still much faster than Victini. Meanwhile, Abbee heard a voice in her head.

    ”I’ve got a plan. Tell me to use another Thunderbolt…” Victini said, leaving Abbee both reassured and worried for Justin’s sake at the tone Victini used.

    “Thunderbolt!” Abbee called out, as Justin responded with Protect, however no lightning bolt erupted from Victini, instead the Pokemon’s eyes flashing, and nothing appeared to happen. Greninja had erected the Protect barrier, however it faded, not being struck.

    ”It worked…” Victini said to Abbee in her mind, whilst pretending to be surprised at what just happened.

    “Cheeky little bugger…” Jon muttered to himself as he watched, unable to hide a grin at Victini’s tactics, though knowing Justin would need a miracle to win this match.

    “Taunt!” Abbee called out, as Victini’s eyes flashed, and Greninja was unable to avoid making contact in time.

    “If she wants to attack…” Justin muttered to himself, hating being backed into a corner like this, “Hydro Pump!”

    Greninja faced Victini, hitting it with a Hydro Pump, that should have knocked it out, however seemed to have not much effect on the Mythical Pokemon due to its increased constitution that it had stolen from Alakazam.

    “Hydro Pump again!” Justin commanded.

    “Protect!” Abbee called out, knowing that the Trick Room was about to end.

    Victini raised a protect barrier, taking the hit, before grinning.

    ”Wait for it…” he said in Abbee’s mind. Unsure of what he was talking about, Abbee watched, as there was a loud bang, and seemingly from behind Greninja, a telepathic blast erupted, throwing the Pokemon across the room.

    “What the-” Justin began, looking confused. Abbee didn’t blame him. She wasn’t sure what she had just seen.

    “Victini used Future Sight before, and made it look like his move failed…” Jon called out, not wanting the other students to think Abbee had done something to cheat, especially since it was so unclear what happened.

    Justin called back Greninja, knowing he only had one Pokemon that stood a chance, and even then, it wasn’t pretty.

    “Regieleki, it’s all you…” He called out as he threw the Pokeball.

    The electric titan emerged, and began zipping around the battlefield, now that Trick Room had ended, making itself near impossible to track and target.

    “Zap Cannon!” Justin commanded, as Reieleki locked on to Victini, who was too slow to avoid the powerful electric attack.

    The attack struck Victini, leaving a large cloud of dust. There was silence as the dust settled, everyone watching in suspense to see the result.

    ”That the best you got??” said a voice telepathically projected to all in the room, as cheers from Abbee’s team erupted. The dust settled, and Victini remained standing, looking worse for wear, however still able to fight, if not barely.

    “Stored Power!” Abbee called out.

    ”Because this isn’t even the best I’ve got…”

    There was a shimmer of light in the air as every boost to Victini’s stats was converted into pure Psychic energy, creating a large dust cloud, as coughs could be heard from those in the stands. When the dust settled, a large crater was visible in the battlefield, where Regieleki remained unmoving, as Victini slowly walked back towards Abbee. The crowd was silent at the sheer power of the attack, before Abbee’s team started cheering her on.

    Abbee and Justin shook hands, before Chris and Dylan made their way to their respective sides of the battlefield. When everyone was ready, and both trainers selected a Pokemon, Jon called out for them to begin, starting the battle.

    Dylan sent out Flygon, and to everyone but Charlotte’s surprise, Chris sent out his Ninetales. The Pokemon wouldn’t have even been a year old, yet Chris seemed to have this air of certainty around his decision.

    “I know what he’s up to.” Charlotte said to Abbee and Justin. “He pulled this trick on me once, and almost beat me with it…”

    “You think he will beat Dylan?” Abbee asked.

    “If Dylan figures out what he is doing before Chris gives himself every advantage he needs…” Charlotte replied, as Ninetales' ability kicked in, whipping up a snowstorm, reducing visibility and buffeting Flygon with hail.

    “Toxic!” Chris called out, causing Ninetales’ eyes to glow for a second, and Flygon to slow, being badly poisoned.

    “Stone Edge!”

    Flygon darted forward, its claw hardening, as it slashed towards Ninetales, however due to how slow the move was naturally, Flygon’s own sickness slowing it down, and the cover of the snowstorm, Ninetales dodged the attack with ease. Meanwhile, Flygon’s strength started to dwindle due to the pummelling of hail and the poison.
    “Laser Focus!” Dylan commanded, as Flygon locked on to Ninetales amidst the snowstorm.

    “Now Roar!” Chris called out. Nintales roared aggressively at Flygon, which darted back fearfully towards Dylan, refusing to fight. Dylan called the Pokemon back, before sending out Metagross.

    “Dylan’s fallen for it…” Charlotte said to Abbee, “Chris has the advantage…”

    Chris called out for Ninetales to use Double Team, as Dylan commanded a Meteor Mash, which missed, Chris being thankful for, as the damage would have knocked Ninetales out in a single hit. Metagross then used Bullet Punch, hitting Ninetales, however not knocking it out, as Ninetales used Double Team again, becoming even more difficult to target.

    “Bullet Punch again!” Dylan called out, as Metagross darted forward. It lunged quickly with one of its large arms, however was unable to hit as Chris called out his next move.

    “Roar!”

    Ninetales roared again, causing Metagross to flee back.

    “I don’t get it…” Justin said to Charlotte, watching, “Sure, it’s not ideal, but I wouldn’t say Chris has the advantage, if Metagross just needs to land a good hit?”

    “Because Chris has only revealed, and therefore locked in, a single Pokemon, and Dylan now has to either send in Flygon who has a snowflake's chance in hell at beating Ninetales should it actually decide to attack, or send in and therefore commit to his third Pokemon.” Charlotte explained, “If Metagross knew something like Taunt, it could have bought some time to take out Ninetales. That’s the only reason he didn’t beat me when he tried to pull this stunt in one of our battles…”

    Dylan was still, having realized the position he was in himself. Should he send in his third Pokemon, or sacrifice Flygon?

    Dylan sighed as he threw the Pokeball, revealing Dusknoir.

    “Double Team!” Chris called out again, the snowstorm vanished, revealing the apparitions of Ninetales.

    “Trick Room!”

    The dimensions twisted, as they did before, allowing Dusknoir to strike first.

    “Shadow Punch!”

    A spectral hand launched from Dusknoir, seeming to be attracted towards the real Ninetales, hitting the Pokemon and knocking it out cold.

    “At least he isn’t letting Chris walk all over him…” Charlotte muttered.

    Chris was slightly surprised at how easily Dusknoir finished off Ninetales, and the fact he hadn’t accounted for a move like that, as he called Ninetales back, however he wasn’t too shaken by the turn of events. He still had three other Pokemon to choose from, and knew exactly which Pokemon Dylan would be working with.

    “Go Dragonite!” Chris called out. Whilst Dusknoir could strike first, this was limited, and if Chris could waste their time, he would be able to get the advantage. And Justin had given him an idea…

    “Ice Punch!”

    Dusknoir’s fist became encased in ice, as it lunged forward, striking Dragonite, which whilst it had a major disadvantage to ice-type attacks, didn’t seem as affected by it as it should. Dylan was slightly surprised, as Chris called out for Dragonite to use Double Team, the Pokemon now disappearing amongst a group of three apparitions.

    “Protect!” Chris instructed. Dusknoir attacked again, this time with a Shadow Punch, which hit the protect barrier, before launching another, this one hitting Dragonite squarely in the chest, knocking it back slightly.

    “Rest!” Chris called out. Dragonite fell into a supernatural slumber, as it regained its energy, as did its apparitions that it had switched places with, and Dusknoir attempted another Shadow Punch, as to not be fooled by the false copies.

    “Wait, that Shadow Punch was weaker…” Abbee observed.

    “Dragonite’s ability. Multiscale” Jon explained, as he watched the battle, “If it is at peak health, attacks will only do half their normal damage. That Ice-Punch should have knocked Dragonite out, and now Chris is using Rest to get that ability back to use.”

    “Sleep Talk!” Chris called out, as Trick Room wore off, allowing Dragonite to act first. This was a gamble, as Chris had no control over which moves Dragonite used.

    Dragonite used Double Team, as more apparitions appeared, and Dylan called out his next command.

    “Darkest Lariat!”

    Dusknoir leapt forward, spinning and swinging both arms, smashing through multiple copies of Dragonite, and hitting the original, seeming to knock it down.

    “Sleep Talk!”

    Dragonite obliged, this time using Dragon Rush, hitting Dusknoir, causing it to flinch. Chris could see Dragonite beginning to stir, however wasn’t sure if it would wake up in time. Knowing he had to take a risk, he took the one that seemed to have the better outcome.

    “Dragonite!” Chris called out, hoping to call the Pokemon from its slumber, “Dragon Rush!”

    Dragonite’s eye burst open, as it darted towards Dusknoir, enveloped in the same draconic aura, striking it and knocking it back.

    Dusknoir was knocked to the ground, and barely able to stand, however tried. Dylan sighed, before giving his next command.

    “Curse…”

    Dusknoir fainted, losing the last of its energy, and Dragonite began to convulse. When the seizure seemed to stop after a few moments, Dragonite seemed not much better than Dusknoir was when it used the move.

    Dylan sent out Metagross, knowing that Dragonite only had one move left before it would be unconscious, and all the work Chris had done with Double Team would be for nothing.

    “Bullet Punch!”

    Metagross darted forward before Dragonite could react, striking it hard and leaving it barely able to stand.

    “Dragon Tail!” Chris called out, hoping the move would hit.

    Dragonite let out a frustrated cry, before launching itself into the air, and slamming its tail against Metagross, before darting back to Chris, and returning to its Pokeball. Whilst the move didn’t deal much damage, it was a start, and got Dragonite off the battlefield and removed the effects of the curse. Chris then sent out his third Pokemon. Garchomp.

    “Meteor Mash!” Dylan called out, as Chris seemed to hesitate. However as Metagross began to move, Dylan realized that Chris wouldn’t lose his cool in something like this. He may have been able to rattle Abbee yesterday, but if Chris were hesitating, it was intentional.

    “Counter!”

    The heavy steel punch from Metagross struck Garchomp, hitting it hard in the torso, before Garchomp roared angrily, and lashed out at the steel Type, knocking it airborne towards Dylan. It hit the ground with a loud crash, and Dylan returned it to it’s Pokeball. Dylan only had one Pokemon he could use, and it was still poisoned from earlier.

    “Go Flygon.”

    The two Ground and Dragon types stared each other down. Dylan knew the average Flygon and Garchomp were near equal in terms of speed. However, whilst Flygon was immune to Ground type attacks, Garchomp was superior in every other attribute. Both Pokemon had the potential to one-hit the other, but Garchomp was less likely to go down in a single hit.

    “Dragon Rush!” Dylan called out, as Chris called for Garchomp to use Protect. The Protect barrier appeared just in time, blocking the attack, as Flygon began to slow from the effect the poison was having on it.

    “Now Outrage!” Chris retorted, as Garchomp roared, and dashed forward, savagely clawing at Flygon.

    “Protect!” Dylan called out, managing to get Flygon to stop the attack, though barely. Flygon seemed to stall further, as Dylan grimaced, before returning Flygon to its Pokeball.

    “I concede!” Dylan called out to Jon, who understood. There was not a single way for Flygon to have beaten Garchomp, and it wasn’t worth letting the Pokemon be harmed for the sake of pride.

    There were cheers, Abbee noticed from both teams, as Chris and Dylan both left the battlefield, before Jon and Charlotte made their way to their respective sides.

    As Charlotte considered which Pokemon to use, she realized just how much luck she would need to put up a decent fight. Whilst she knew Jon didn’t want to humiliate her, he also wanted to make sure she put up a good enough fight that even if she lost, there was no doubt to her skill, and was not going to go easy on her.

    As she considered which Pokemon to open with, her first thought was that Jon would open either with Jolteon or Blaziken. None of her Pokemon would be ideal to open with in terms of type advantages. Jolteon would absorb Luxray’s attacks, and Blaziken would be difficult for Roserade to deal with, as well as Miltoic and Drifblim struggling against Jolteon, and she had plans for Drifblim later on. Magmortar would be her least-worst bet, however Jon may be aware of this, and open with something unpredictable.

    She shook off the train of thought she was going down, knowing this rabbit hole of if he knows that I know that he knows could go on forever, instead choosing a Pokemon she was confident opening with, and one that could buy time if she needed it.

    Dylan called for the match to begin and both trainers let out their first Pokemon. Charlotte sent out Roserade, and a grin graced her face when she saw Jon had opened with Nidoking. Opening the battle, she had the advantage, though she knew Jon wouldn’t let that stop him.


    In the opening moments, a plan began to form in her mind. She had an idea of how to not give Jon the win, however it relied on both trainers being on their final Pokemon, and she didn’t have enough information before to figure out how to get there. But now…

    “Grass Whistle!”

    Roserade contorted the petals on its roses, before moving them quickly and precisely, creating an eerie melody in the air, lulling Nidoking to sleep. Whilst Roserade wasn’t the quickest Pokemon, relatively speaking, it was faster than Nidoking, and gave her the edge to start the battle on the right foot. Jon tried calling out to Nidoking to rouse it, however it didn’t wake.

    “Toxic Spikes!” Charlotte called out, “As much as you can!”

    Roserade glowed as purple thorns erupted on Jon’s side of the battlefield. Roserade focused a little longer as Jon continued to try and wake Nidoking, leaving twice as many as the move normally does.

    “Now Leech Seed!”

    Seeds were sprayed over the ground, and Nidoking awoke, as they sprouted, some wrapping themselves around his limbs. Whilst Nidoking quickly broke free from the vines connecting him to the ground, it was too late. He had been seeded.

    “Iron Tail!” Jon called out. Nidoking darted forward, his tail being coated in a silver aura. He leapt forward, landing on one leg in front of Roserade, using the momentum of the jump to swing his tail around, hitting it easily, and knocking it back. Whilst the steel attack was painful to Roserade’s poison typing, Roserade didn’t do down, before having its own energy restored by Leech Seed.

    “Now, Magical Leaf!” Charlotte commanded, knowing the attack wouldn’t miss, and whilst it was relatively weaker, its power was increased by Roserade’s technician ability.

    Nidoking couldn’t avoid the attack, being struck with dozens of glowing leaves, knocking it to the ground. Whilst normally it wouldn’t have been knocked out by a single Magical Leaf, between Technician, as well as being weakened by Leech Seed, it was unconscious, putting Charlotte in the lead, causing Jon to grin as he called back his Pokemon.

    Jon quickly considered his options. He didn’t want to use Latios in this match, as, whilst it wasn’t against League rules for one trainer to use a Legendary Pokemon against a trainer without one, it wasn’t a good look for him. He didn’t want his students thinking he couldn’t beat Charlotte without using a Legendary Pokemon. This left him with Absol, Scizor, Blaziken or Jolteon. Whilst Scizor resisted nearly all of Roserade’s attacks, and couldn’t be poisoned by the spikes, it was also extremely susceptible to fire, and Jon knew Charlotte had a Magmar, and chances are it had evolved. Additionally, Blaziken was a powerful physical attacker that gained speed the longer it was on the battlefield, and using Blaziken as his third Pokemon would be a waste of its abilities. If he wanted to use Blaziken, and he wanted to, now was the time to use it, when their opponent was going to be disadvantaged against them.

    Jon sent out Blaziken, and winced as its hide was punctured by Roserade’s toxic thorns that protruded from the ground on his side of the battlefield. Charlotte had done well making the most of the lucky opening matchup, and Jon was going to have his work cut out for him.

    “Venom Drench!” Charlotte called out. Roserade pointed its roses towards Blaziken, soaking it in a foul smelling liquid, as Blaziken darted towards Roserade. Charlotte knew Roserade wouldn’t have more than a single attack, and the best she could do now is buy her next Pokemon a turn.

    “Blaze Kick!”

    Blaziken feinted, leaning to the left as it ran, before using its powerful legs to side step to the right, before igniting one of its feet to roundhouse kick Roserade, knocking it out. As Charlotte called back her Pokemon, Blaziken grimaced from the poison, and Charlotte sent out Milotic. Whilst Blaziken had been slowed by Venom Drench, it already seemed back to normal speed, given its ability.

    “Bulk Up!” Jon commanded, as Blaziken’s power and resilience increased, while Charlotte gave her first move.

    “Scald!”

    Having not had to focus too hard on using its own move, Blaziken dodged the jet of steaming water, before appearing to struggle with the poison, then sped up again.

    “Protect!” Jon called out, surprising Charlotte, as unless Blaziken had means of curing itself of poison, and as far as she knew, it didn’t, it was on a countdown.

    Blaziken created a protect barrier, taking the next scald, as its speed increased again, and it took more poison damage, before Jon made his next command.

    “Power-Up Punch, then dodge!”

    “Wrap!” Charlotte called out, knowing that the difference in speed was going to make Blaziken hard to hit.

    Blaziken darted forward, landing a weak but quick punch to Milotic, which boosted its own attack power, before dodging Milotic’s attack. Charlotte could barely see it, though knew the poison was still taking effect, getting worse, though Blaziken was still speeding up.

    “Close Combat!”

    Now nearly four times as fast as Milotic, and physically stronger now than when it entered the battlefield, Blaziken leapt forward, well in range of Milotic, and instead of a quick, weaker attack, planted itself in front of its target, and began ruthlessly beating it. If Milotic were able to remain conscious after the attack, Blaziken would not stand a chance, however both trainers knew that Milotic was not going to be able to withstand it, and neither were surprised when Milotic collapsed, and Charlotte called it back.

    Jon had taken the lead. Even if his Pokemon only had one more round of attacks left before the poison knocked it out, Jon would still know his opponents final Pokemon before he had to select his own, which, like Chris in the match before, would give him an advantage.

    “Go Drifblim.”

    The balloon-like Pokemon emerged from it’s Pokeball, and Jon couldn’t help but admire Charlotte’s ingenuity. If Blaziken burnt Drifblim, its own ability would boost its power with special attacks, however Drifblim was immune to Blaziken’s fighting typing. Blaziken didn’t know any status moves that would make a substantial difference for him at this point, so the only combat moves it could use would be ones that are of other types, and are by extension weaker than Fire and Fighting moves. Or so most people thought...

    “Thunder Punch!” Jon called out.

    “Minimize!” Charlotte replied.

    Blaziken darted forward, its fist surrounded by electricity, attempting to strike Drifblim, which shrunk, becoming a smaller target, and managing to dodge Blaziken’s attack. Finally, Blaziken’s eyes closed, as it fell to the ground, the poison knocking it unconscious and Jon calling it back to its Pokeball.

    Jon found himself in the same position as he did earlier. Jolteon and Absol were both susceptible to poison, however Jon had seen Charlotte have Drifblim use Will-O-Wisp to burn a target then use Hex, which would be almost as bad on Scizor. And whilst he hadn’t seen her use it before, he had taught her about Destiny Bond, and its use in battle. Jon knew if he rushed this by sending out Jolteon, fast with a move guaranteed to hit, he may be playing into her hands.

    “Go Absol,” Jon called out, as he sent out his final Pokemon, the white and grey Dark type. Whilst Absol wasn’t as fast as Jolteon, or as resilient as Scizor, it did resist a lot of Drifblims worse attacks, and hit hard when it mattered. Jon wasn’t going to be relying having to make sure he didn’t rush an attack and Charlotte getting the jump on-

    “Explosion!” Charlotte called out with a grin, as Jon’s eyes widened. Drifblim began to glow, before crying out with glee, and flying towards Absol.

    The balloon-like Pokemon exploded, launching Absol from the ground, sending it flying into the air and landing a few meters away. Drifblim lay unconscious, as Absol stood up.

    As Jon went to call out to Charlotte, Drifblim began to glow again, as a spectral version of itself split from its, darting towards Absol, causing it to cry out in pain, before falling unconscious itself. It took Jon a second to realize what had happened…

    “You changed Drifblim’s ability?” He called out, slightly surprised.

    “What was it you taught us about relying too much on what we know of our opponent?” Charlotte retorted with a grin. Jon jokingly hung his head in shame, knowing she was correct. She had played him like a fiddle, using what he had seen of Drifblim to affect his decisions and had stolen the win from him.

    “You did well,” Jon replied, “You made the most of the opportunities luck gave you, and you took advantage of my own weaknesses. The best battlers don’t have the strongest Pokemon, but identify the circumstances around them and make the most of them.”

    Charlotte beamed, hearing such praise, especially since her battle with Chris was so anti-climatic given what they had learnt last summer.

    Jon sighed jokingly, before turning to the audience.

    “You have seen it yourself. What sort of things you can learn this summer, and who you have to learn from,” Jon called out, “Classes start tomorrow. Spend the rest of this afternoon getting adjusted. Make sure you meet your team leader, get to know your team, and be at dinner at 6pm. Everyone’s now dismissed.”

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****
    It was nearing 5:45pm when Abbee found herself by the lodge that housed the boys, specifically by the north end, where she had overheard Justin, Chris and Dylan were staying. The question was which door was Dylan’s. She hadn’t seen him in any of the communal areas, and figured he was probably in his room. However, she wasn’t sure which door had Dylan behind it.

    “You waiting to thank me for the brilliant advice?” called out a voice from behind her.

    Abbee turned to see Chris, followed by two of the younger boys in his group.

    “This is Tommy and Matt.” Chris said, gesturing to the two boys following him, “They’re convinced that us interns have better rooms than they do, so I’m here to prove them wrong.”

    Abbee laughed at the reason.

    “Thanks for the advice. I don’t think I would have beaten him otherwise,” Abbee explained, “But actually, I wanted to talk to Dylan, but I'm not sure which room is his...”

    Chris grinned menacingly as Abbee realized she had made a mistake.

    “Dylan!” he called out loudly, “You’ve got a visitor!”

    Abbee rolled her eyes at Chris who continued to grin.

    “In all seriousness, you did really well. I was intentionally vague so that you couldn’t argue that this wasn’t your win.” Chris said as he began walking towards his room, as Abbee noticed Dylan sticking his head out the door of his cabin, “But don’t think I’ll make it that easy when we battle next.”

    “Wouldn’t dream of it…”

    Chris walked into his room, Tommy and Matt following behind him, as Dylan wandered out, looking over to Chris.

    “What was that about?” Dylan asked, nodding towards Chris.

    “He gave me the idea of how to beat Justin,” Abbee said, “And I get the feeling I will be hearing about that for a while.”

    “Is it worth it?” Dylan asked, mostly joking.

    “Yeah, he’s a good enough guy,” Abbee replied, “Just a little rough around the edges.”

    Dylan chuckled as Abbee sighed slightly. She had come here for a reason, and if she wasn’t intentional about it, this would be a waste of time for both of them.

    “If you have a minute…” Abbee began, “Can we talk?”

  5. #45
    Mary Mary tell me how your garden grows. Desolate Divine's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
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    Season 2 Episode 4: Control
    Spoiler:

    All I see is darkness, and I’m deaf to the world around me. Yet, this seems normal. The lack of sight, hearing, and I only just realize, smell, doesn’t seem to startle me, as much as I feel as though it should. However, my sense of touch remains intact, and I feel myself encased in a protective shell.

    I feel the presence of others, like faint voices creeping into my mind. Thousands, all gradually growing louder. All thinking different things, but as they grow louder, more of them tend to start thinking similar things, though I don’t necessarily understand what it means, only that it is very similar.




    W̜̥̥̣̄͒ͥ́̑ͅh̍ͥͪͪ̃͏͇͇̲̩̞ḁ̫̫̫̻̜ͫ̎̈̊͌͝t̜̦̱̦̙͖͍͋̔ ̘̱̝͙͎͈ͤ̿̓̽̓ͫ̕ͅi͖̝̦̖̤̻ͧ̒ͯ͛̀̚͘ŝ̡̧͍͚͖̽̒͊͌ͦ̔͛͋ ̓̊̋ͩ̌̎̃̓҉̺͉̱̮͔t̵̨̹̖ͧ̒ͧ̒͑̐͆̕h̝̗̥͓̰̤̦͓̀̏̈́ͫ̀̄͢͡aͥ̒̆̾̂ ̫̗͌́t̠̙̼̿ͥ͂ͧ͋ͪͥ͂͠?̸̤̰̞̙̹̃ͪ̔͒ͪ



    I̧̭̟̋̔̎̋̅ͦ̌͝͝ş̡͍̬̩̭͚̮̬ͤ̋͗̊̾̄ ̴̲̹̬̃͂ͩ͗͌̓ͥͬ̀t̡̼̣̗̙ͯ̎̈́̽h̾̄ͮͤͬ͏̙̦̣̪͎̘̮͉ä̸͓́͋ͮ̐̆ͥͯ̀͟ ̮t̶͚̯͎͓͌̑͢͞ͅ ̶̭̭͚ͣͦ͑̑ͦ̋̋̿͢a͕̜̬̯̗̫̿̀̄̀̀̒ͯͭ̔͟ ̺̞͎̬͇ͤͣ̔ͅͅm̷̟̜̮͍̻̙̠̄̒̉͛̄͒͡ͅe̴̟̪͕̿ͣ̊̕͝t͓̠̤̽̅̂̓̀̚e͂̚ ̻̟̫̱͚̊̅̀o̵̝͍̰̫̥̫͂̈ͮ͗͒ͥͪͅr͖͈̦͙̬̞̭ͪ̈́ͮ̉̈́͂͆͜͝?͐͊ͭ̎̑͐̂̓ ͝͝͏̤̮͔̝̗͕͉!̵̻͎̳̂ͨͪͬ̽ͮ̚



    The voices grow louder as the common thoughts become more pervasive, until out of nowhere, I feel myself the protective shell surrounding me struck by something heavy, before moments later being hit by a form of energy that quickly passes through me, leaving me feeling energized. Am I being attacked? A few moments later, I feel a large crash, however I don't feel pained or injured by this.

    I lay unmoving, unable to move of my own accord, and gradually I feel water creep over me. The thoughts I hear are now even more in sync, those of relief. I quickly realize this sense of relief started when I was attacked. Have I done something for these minds to mean me harm?

    I am unable to spend too much time dwelling on this when I feel two more presences, drawing closer. They seem to be looking for something. Whilst I can’t hear in the natural sense, when two presences talk to each other audibly, in moments, their thoughts repeat what they hear, and what they are about to say. Granted, I still don’t understand…



    “I̷̼͙͇ͤ͑ ̡̣̗̥̟͒̈́ͬ͂ͨ̕t̴̷̷͍̻̮̺ͨ̿͊̂̓̂ḩ̤͉̼̩̼̥̝ͦ́̎͒̍̄͗̚̚í͒ͩ̏͊ͨ ̷̧̱͙ͫn͕̭̝̻̩̥̦̽̊ͨͪͤͣͯͥ̚͜ͅk̴͉͖͍͍̲͌̾͛̏̈́̐̆͊̈͜ ̵̜̹̬̻̪̍͌̐͑̎̊͂̅ͨ͢Iͭ̌̇͑͘҉̼̼ ̨̞̦͕ͥ͗̀f̢̘̼̦̦̱̟̒̍̎ŏ̵͙̥̫̘̺̹͌͐̐͌͟u̗̼̟̞͎ͬ̇͛ͬͮ̏nͤ̌̒̃̎ ͎̜̣̞̤̫́̿͜͠͡ͅd̳͇͒͂̃͒͌ͅ ̢̝̘͚̖̍̒̾̄ͧi̮̭̱̩͍͛̆ͯ̔ͮ̚͠t̞̮͔̐ͭ…̝̤͎̖̳ͭͩͦ͠”



    I feel myself lifted out of the water…


    “W̳͂̍͆̿͆hͯ̈́̑ͩͤ̄̓ͨ̚͏̸̧̠̙͉̰͖͎̰͍ă̟̰̮̝͎̺̈́̂́̚͞t͐ͦͦ̕҉̠͞ ̹̫̣̫̘ ̫̮̙̖̘͉̝̟̮̒͐̅̓ͧͧ͆́́̚͡ẗ̸̖̪̦̤̜̦́̓́̐̒͢͠ͅh͎̦̲̣̣͉͓̠̀e͖̊̐ ͉͕̰̫͙̹ ̡̠͙̠̗̺̦̭̾ͧ͒̓̓͊͡ͅf̸̴͙̹̞̈́͊̆̑̑ͦ͑̔͠*̻̮̩̤̦̠̦͈͆̍ͧ̐̒̑͆̃̀* ̴̴̴͓̖̪̯̫͒͋́̉̿ͩ́k̵̳͎͖̯̭͔̮ͯ͛̕ ̡͎̘̣̳̩̃̂̏̆ͪͧ͜i̡̝̳͉̤͉̹͈̗̰ͯ̅͒ͮ̓͗̋̀͢s̳̫̥̏͝ ̶̗̳̖̙̊́ͣͫ̅̍ͧ̾ͯ͞t̨̠͈̺͉̗̤̲͋̀ͯ͂ͭ̀̑͟h̸̭̙͔̪̲̋ͅã̴̵͖̬͉͂̑ ̣t̮͎͙̯́̑̐ͮͨ̍̀͜…̷̵̱̹͙̟̠̥͙͊͘”



    “Ẁ̡̘̜̦̞͕͔̋̃e̺̻̠̖̙͈̼̙̍̋̈͠͝ ̧̮̜̝̿ͨ͐̆ͨ̾̈̒č̲̰̚ǎ̻̟̩̣̣͖̯̊͋n̵̶̛̤̼̼̹̤͔͙̿̒͛’̧͍̼̬͛̕͘ t̴̫͙͇̜̻͌̂͂͡ ͇̀ͯ̏ͮͭ̽̚ḽ̥̜̰̫̥̥ͥ͋̎̓̐̐̎̋̔e̵̫̫̦̙̻̬͆ͥ͑ṯ̶̯̤̯̳̍̎̍̆̄ͧ͢ ̙͖ ̹͖̫̟͕͖̝ͧ̆̍̿̉̄̽ͮ͠a̢̩̖̰͒̄͘͠n̵͍̰̦̺̥ͣͧ̑ỹ̶̷̖̺̽͌ ̮̜͍̦̰̝̙̠ͦ̽̏̿̍̎ȯ̻̠̲̈́ͩ̓ͮ͂ͅf̫̮͗ͤͯ̇̓͌̃͜ ̶̡̼͔̭̮͕ͣ̆ͅt̹̳͎̬̭̭̬̙ͧ̾ͥͭͨͯͅh̻̹͋͊ͪ̿̈̍ͦë̠͚ͬ̈́ͣ͆̇͛ͪͬ́͠ ͚̗̪͓̬ ̢̢̫ͬ́͛̋ͨ̌̋͊́c̨͈͓̙̲̥͙̖̓̔ͪͦ̈r̖͍̙̟̼̈̌̓͝o͖̣̦̗ͫ̓͂̑̾ͨͤ̀͟ w̼̮͓̖͕̣̫͗́̏ͤ̑̑ͯ͢͡ͅd͕͖̹̭͍́͆̓̄͛͌̏ͪ ̶̨̼̼̘͖͈̐͂͗͗̕ş̪̟̃ͤͧ̌͗́e̛͕̾̌͢͞e͇̻͖͔̝͈̬̰ͩ̇ ̼̠̤̦̬̭̑͊ͧ͢͞ͅȉ̷̢̜̗̜̼̲̯̆̈ͨ̀̚t̸̨̺̹̳̜̙̥̬̱̬̐̃́.͛̍́ͧ̉ͦ͆ ̺͉͓̰̙͍̜ͩ͝ͅ G̢̛̠̠̰̪̺̍ͨ͐̉̉́i̷̝͙̳̟ͤ̀ͦ̿ͯ̓͝v̢̜̖̭͖͔͉͓̍̄̏͒͑ͫ̽e̵̛̓ ̭̦ ͈̺̗̊m͉̺̲̳͕͂̇̃̃͝ȩ̳͓̹̖̯̠̞͌̌̈̋̏͑ͫͩ͝ ̝͕̒͊͞ͅy̶͉̝̰̳͐̃͐͌̓͑ͪͩ́ö̴̝͖̱́̀̾̑ͩ͐͢͞ǘ̥͕̲̺̣̃ͬͬͨͨ͟r̨̈ ̭̬̪ ̨̯͉̹̬͇͚͐͆͂̓ͮ͑͛͛̚͞s̨̝̙̜ͪ̅̑͒ͥ̓ͭ̚h̛̞̫̥̮̲́̀ͬ̋͗ͭ̀͡ḯ̇ͨ̽ ̶͕͎̳̖̠̬ͅr̷̮ͮͩt̴̺̹͈̮̼̪̩̰ͭ̌͂̇͡.̱̰̞͈̺̑͗͑.̙̠̜̩̲̜̰̀ͯͧ.́ ̨̠̗̘̤̥͓͋ͮͫͬ̍̔”




    “W̞̦̟̯̙ͮ̌͑̈́̀h̛̃͆̔̓̚҉͚̭̠yͤ̿͂͗̇̊ͮͭ̽҉̨҉̠̙?̢̄̐̅͑͞ ̮̥̬ͅ”



    “B̴͎̜̫͕̤͌ͩ͒̑̈̈́̕e͎ͨ̑͗ͬͩc̴̟͎͖͈͍̼͎͚̾̏̊a̤̮̟͕̤̘͖͂ͤͬ̏ͥ̽͐ ͕ư̬̱̠̫͐̏̐ͦ͑͊s̶̞̳͇͔̲̀̂͊ͦ̀͐́ͅe̲̋̇ͪ̐̉ͨ͒͒ ̫̱̣͍ͨͪ̃͛Ị̳̥̔̃͛̑̃͝ ̞͉̙̣͔͉̝ͫ͒͑͂̏ͬ͑͒́w̺͈̠̾̓̿̍̅ͤͯ̃̆̀̕͜ä̴̹̟̭̳͚̫̜̩́ͪ͂̆̽̂n̎ ̵̱̖̏̓̀ͨtͪ̃̇͏͉̖̩̝͉ ̧͓͓͈ͬ̌ͦͦ̃̃͋͢t̵ͣ̓҉͎͚̗̤̼o̶̢͖̩̘̞̱̗̿̐̕ͅ ̟̘̹͎̟̺̱̬̑̐͒͆ͭ͟c̨̱͎͕̱̪ͣ̑̕͡o̠̅̔̀̚͘͟ͅv̴͎͔́ͣ̒̑ͅē̖̞͐̈ͥ ̥͕̳͖͓̯r̨͕̞̯̥̆ͦͩͦ̎̊̓͡ ̡̠͇̙̩ͮ͋͌̈́͑ͣ͛͛t̿͊̂҉̷͚͔̹̱͚̳̖̖͉h̢̠̠̜̙͐ͤ̉ͨ̎͆͠i̪͔̺͔̋sͫ̈́ ̙̟͇̣̰̿͡ ̶̛̖̹͉͈̼ͤ̏̑̒́̅ͭ͗t͓̯͕͎͔̼̝̝̎ͫ̀h̴͔̫̮̤̭̠̭̐̄ͮ͆͆̋̒̿̀ī̉̓̈́ ̗̟̥̬̩̣̭ͬn̠͈̻̳̦̞͖̫͔ͩ͛ͮͬ͐̾́g̩̫̦ͪ̓̌̌̕͠,̟͈̳̭ͭ̍ͥ͌ ͊ͣ̇҉͏̯̠ã̢͉̠̦͉̤̞̠͋ͯ̑̿̐͊͒͝ͅn̡͇̭̤̺̣̫̣͒͗͌ͅdͮ͊͆̅ͭ͞ ̺͖̙̫ ̛͚͉̯̣̪̜̫̐ͧ͒ͣ͑İ҉̪̯’͕̯̥̬̄ͪ̄̿͋m̃̾ͬͪ̀͑͘҉̛͈͙͔̩̲̟̯͕ ̺ ̼̪̅̃̿̄ͤ̈̈̋ͪ͝ͅn̦̞͔̠͋̅̒ő̗̬̳̰͛͞t̜̰͕̪͔̣͎̳̑̑ ͇̟̗̩͎ͮ̅ͬ̓t̵̥̰̙̃̀͞a̴̐̒̐ͦ̌̉̎҉͏̱͖̗̖̣̜̟k̢͈͔̱̯̓̎̏ͥͫ̒͛͋i ̧̰͕͎̙̗̯̪͆̇̅́ͭ̈́̕n̴̩͍̻̱͉̂ͩ͆̅̽ͥ̽̚͢ḡ̓ͮ̇͐҉̡̜̞ ̸̵̮͓͉̜͐ͦͮͩ͊ͯ̀m̴̮̯̪̣͈ͯͬͫ̏ͭ̾i̫̟ͨͤ̃ͨ̾́n̷͙͍̱̏͑̉̓͂̈́ͥ̕e͌ ̨̣̬͉̌̅͞ ̸̶̢̱̝͍̠̄̓͑o̷̯̫̫̳̬͉͊̋̀̿̂ͣͬ̃f̣̣̣͔͖͕̙̱͗͋ͤ̔͘̕͢fͤ͛͒̑̃̊͌ ̀҉̵͓̻̭̥̠…̷͔͈͎̥̒ͥ̈́͡”




    I feel a sense of embarrassment from one of the presences, before I find myself coated in something new. Not hard and protective like the last protective shell I had, but something soft and warm.

    As the conversation seems to dwindle, I feel a strange emotion from the one holding me. A protective instinct, and realize that for the first time, I feel a strange emotion myself. A sense of peace, or safety.

    I am carried towards a crowd, where this protective instinct seems to grow stronger, and eventually all but a small handful of the presences start to leave. However it is then I feel a presence pushing its own consciousness into mine, though I don’t understand what it’s trying to say.



    “W̡͓̖̝̰̣̪̪̔̂̔̏͜ḥ̢̖̟̅̿̐̑ͩ̌ͨͦa̡̹͔̟̖͂̌̈́̋̓͒͘t̏̃̐ ͕͍̠ͪ̅ ̜͔̠̍̋aͪ̋̚͏̳͕͚̗͇̼̩͠r̟̱̍̑͘̕ḙ̷ͧ ̸̸ͩ́ͬ͗͏̬̼̫̩̱y͔̗̤̆̑͋͂͢o͖̳̫̳̅̄͋̓̏ͤ̀ủ͎͔̂ͩ͊͋̈́?͉̣̻͍̈̀ ̫̪̻̤ ̴͇͚͖̩̱̗ͮͩ̆ͤ̄͆̿̆̈́̕ͅͅÃ̷̟̠̥̖̼͇͓͆ͭ̌̎r̻͇͈̞̬̟̱ͪͫ̋͐̐ͅẽ̅ ̹̜ͣ͌ͨ́̚̕ ͍͍̒̆ͦ̊ŷ̖͕͎̬̯̪͌ͮͨͦ̾̍͡o̶͛͏͚͉͉̦̱̼̣̱u̶͙̿̌ͭ͂̓́ ̹̜̳̩̝̬ͣ̄̿̚̚͠a̸͕͕̟̱̘̰̖̳̼͌ͫ̕ ̷̬̝̪͙̪̬̗ͤ͌̓ͩ̒ͭ̋̎͝͞P̖̯ͮ̀̍͒͗̓͌ͣ̀͘o̭̝̝͍̹̅̊̀̕ͅk̆̑͑̃̓́́ ̛̛̺̯̫ͫ̒̀e̴͚̱͙̙͕̠̳͛̅͂̎͋̃̾̒͟m̨̡̙̯̲̤̀̈́̆́̃̚͘ǫ̲̭̪̀ͪ͊̿̚ ̻͈͎n̮͕̫̫͇̋ͦ̅͒ͯ͑͘?͆̔̈̀͏͇̬̳̹̳̣͉̠͡”

    I try to say I don’t understand, however I know that chances are it doesn’t understand either. And whilst I can see some of this being's own senses, what it sees, and hears, leaking through the telepathic connection, and could eventually grow to understand, all I see and hear is nothing. I feel, and detect, but that’s not enough to bridge this gap of understanding.

    The presence disappears, and I have no choice but to wait. I continue to be held by the being who seems to want to protect me, and after a while, they eventually place me down. There, many of the beings talk, most of them having a sense of intrigue or curiosity, though a lot of it is slightly intertwined with concern and fear.

    Then something changes. The being that wanted to protect me is now suddenly alarmed, before having a sense of resignation. That something is out of their control.

    Suddenly I am picked up again, and taken away, this time by another being, being forced to leave my protector, and suddenly, this feeling of peace and safety is gone…


    Charlotte awoke with a start. It was a dream but something didn’t seem right about it. Charlotte had nightmares a lot as a young child, and from there, without even realizing it, learnt to be aware that she was dreaming, and learnt to wake herself up when things became intense. She couldn’t remember the last time she had a dream and wasn’t aware she was dreaming. Why now? And what did it mean?

    She checked the time on her phone next to her, seeing it was only 6:45, and she had over an hour before breakfast. Before she knew it, the majority of all she had seen in her dream was forgotten, and it was little more than an afterthought, of why she didn’t know she was dreaming. It had been a week and a half since the students arrived at the Eon Academy. Thursday morning.

    Careful not to wake Abbee who slept in the bunk on the other end of the cabin, she quickly got dressed and grabbed her Pokeballs, before heading outside, figuring she would make the most of the hour she had before breakfast.

    Whilst a year ago, it would have been easy to use the battleground, now it had been replaced with a large building that Jon kept locked. Additionally, with the construction of two new lodges on the property, the best space outdoors to practise was either by Jon and Alyssa’s cottage or by the front gate, and considering they probably got less sleep than everyone else, Charlotte decided the best place to train would be at the front of the property.

    It was nearing 7am when Charlotte found herself near the front gate, where she had Roserade and Milotic out of their Pokeballs. She had been attempting to teach Roserade a hybrid attack. AGrassy Terrain attack, with Leech Seeds hidden amongst the terrain. Essentially using two moves in the time it would take one, but also to be subtle about the leech seeds. Currently Roserade was able to do it, however was slow and obvious, which made it not viable in a battle.

    As Roserade practiced this, using dummy seeds that didn’t harm Milotic, but instead just exploded into harmless spores, Charlotte had Milotic turn away, unable to see where the dummy seeds were hidden, and when Roserade was done, Milotic had to try to identify where the hazards were, and reach Roserade without triggering them. It was nearing 7:30 when Charlotte was pulled from her thoughts.

    “That’s a very good way of training,” came the voice of an older man from the other side of the gate. Charlotte turned towards it to see a man who looked like he was in his eighties, standing with a walker, and a small suitcase sitting on the ground next to him. She noticed a taxi leaving the front gate, and was surprised she had been that focused to not see this man arriving.

    “Thank you,” Charlotte said, as she walked towards the gate, “Can I help you?”

    The man seemed familiar, though she couldn’t pick why.

    “I’m here to visit my grandson, Ryan,” the man replied, “My name is Jack Mason.”

    Charlotte didn’t know a Ryan at the camp, however she had far from learnt the names of campers that weren’t in her team. However it still seemed strange that a kid's grandpa would come visit him in summer camp, and seem packed enough to be planning on staying. Even more confusing was that the name sounded familiar. She had definitely heard it mentioned here before.

    She looked at his eyes, and suddenly it made sense. He had the same eyes as Jon. She remembered Jon mentioning last year being taught by his grandfather, Jack Mason.

    “You’re here to see Jon?” she asked.

    “Oh yes, sorry,” Jack replied, “He only started using his middle name after he started competing, and I keep forgetting that people don’t know him as Ryan now…”

    Charlotte was slightly surprised to hear that Jon uses his middle name instead of his first name. It seemed odd. He didn’t seem like a Ryan, but that being said, she’d be saying the opposite if it were the opposite way around.

    “Come in.” Charlotte said, as she made her way to the electronic lock on the gate, and typed in the code Jon had given all of them during their induction. She called her Pokemon back, and grabbed the man’s suitcase.

    She considered walking him to Jon and Alyssa’s cottage, however was worried the distance might be too much for him. Instead, she walked him to the hall where people were going to be having breakfast. Chances are Jon would be there anyway, and if he wasn’t Jack could sit down while she went and fetched Jon.

    “I’ve seen you battling on TV,” Jack said, “I’m sorry though, I can’t remember your name…”

    “Charlotte Jones,” Charlotte replied, slightly surprised, “You must really love battling to watch the junior matches on TV? They usually air in the early hours of the morning, don’t they?”

    “When Ryan and Alyssa visited last autumn, Ryan showed me the videos from the summer, and I asked him to set the box on the television to record the matches his students might be in,” Jack explained, leaving Charlotte slightly embarrassed, “Ryan’s really proud of the five of you.”

    As they slowly made their way towards the hall, other students passing them and noticing Jack, though not knowing who he was, Jack told stories of the tournaments that he had won, and talked about his own team of Pokemon, though the only one who hadn’t passed away since was his Flareon.

    Charlotte walked into the hall, and noticed Jon talking to one of the younger campers. As Jack followed her in, she called out to Jon.

    “Jon, you have a visitor!”

    Jon looked over, and was shocked to see Jack walking into the room, looking around.

    “Your flight wasn’t supposed to get here until noon?” Jon asked, somewhat surprised, as he walked over, before giving his grandpa a hug.

    “I got to the airport early, and they were able to get me onto an earlier flight.”

    “How early did you get to the airport?” Jon asked.

    “Seven hours…” Jack replied, “Isn’t that how early you're supposed to get there for inter-regional flights?”

    “It’s three hours…” Jon replied, slightly shocked that his grandfather had the patience to potentially wait seven hours at the airport for his flight.

    “So where are Alyssa and Lili?” Jack asked, “Dylan as well?”

    “‘Liss and Lili are in one of the classrooms at the end of the building, going over some stuff, since ‘Liss is running a class at 9. I sent Dylan to round up any of the boys who are liable to miss breakfast,” Jon explained.

    “Sounds like this is keeping you busy?”

    “You have no idea…” Jon retorted, “What are you going to do? I’m free from about 3pm onwards, and Alyssa is free from 10am onwards. You’re welcome to rest at the house for a little while?”

    “I’ve come all this way, and you think I wouldn’t sit in on some of your classes?” Jack laughed, “You might even be able to teach this old fool something new…”

    “If you really want to,” Jon replied, “But most of the stuff I am teaching is what you taught me, so I’m not sure what I can teach you?”

    “I’ll be the judge of that…”

    Charlotte had left Jon to catch up with Jack, and quickly scanned the dining room for her group. Five of the seven were here already and the two who weren’t were the sort to show up right on eight, and she wasn’t going to make the trip to the lodge if it’s going to be redundant.

    As she stood at one of the counters, buttering some slices of toast, as Chris and Justin made their way into the dining hall, noticing Charlotte, and making their way over towards her. Chris nodded towards Jack.

    “Who’s the geezer?” Chris asked, as Charlotte elbowed him, though at this point, knew he meant no disrespect, and was just trying to get a reaction out of her. It worked…

    “Jack Mason. Jon’s grandfather.” Charlotte explained, hoping Jack didn’t hear. “From what I have heard, he was a pretty big deal in Goldenrod fifty odd years ago…”

    Whilst this was happening, Justin noticed Jack glance over with a slight grin, wondering what was going through his mind. If Jack did hear Chris, Justin was already worried for him, knowing what Jon’s sense of humor was like, and having a good idea where he got it…

    Dylan arrived soon after, and was slightly surprised to see Jack there. Whilst Charlotte knew Jack was friendly already, she was still surprised at how he was with Dylan, treating him like his own grandson, or something similar. When she heard Dylan would be staying with Jon and Alyssa after he wasn’t able to go back home, she didn’t doubt that they would treat him like family, but she appreciated seeing that confirmed like this.

    Abbee was the last of the interns to show up, who alongside the remaining members of Charlotte’s group, showed up right on 8am. Then at 9, Dylan and Abbee’s groups went to the first room for Trainer Career with Alyssa, and Chris, Charlotte and Justin’s groups went with Jon to the arena for Practical Training.

    Abbee sat at a table in the back row, with Dylan next to her. She had learnt within a few days that whilst the younger girls in her group were motivated, and did want to be there, they were still naturally chatty, and it would sometimes get the better of them. However if Abbee were behind them and able to see them at all times, as well as within reach to give a tap on the shoulder when they needed it, they would tend to focus better, and pay attention to what Alyssa was saying. Alyssa was teaching on the involvement of the Pokemon League with trainers under eighteen, and what things are different for them. As she spoke, Amelia sat on a small mat in the corner of the room, playing with some toys Alyssa had brought for her, and making the occasional noise that Abbee found to be adorable.

    Abbee looked over, and noticed Dylan browsing different articles on Pokemon food on his laptop, and for the first time in nearly two weeks, she realized something. She started writing in the bottom of her notebook.

    ”You’ve technically graduated now and work here, right? Do you even need to be in classes?”

    She slid the notebook over, with the pen on it, and Dylan looked away from his laptop. Making sure nobody else could see him, he quickly wrote back.

    ”You’re technically right. Jon’s tutored me one-on-one during the year, so in terms of what’s taught here knowledge, I’m a couple of years ahead of you and the others, though not the most experienced battler. I technically don’t need to be here.”

    He slid the book back to Abbee. One of the girls in front of her, Alicia, heard the sliding sound, and looked back. Abbee made eye contact with her, then nodded towards the front of the classroom, keeping a straight face. Alicia turned to face Alyssa again, and Abbee held in a chuckle. She did enjoy the power a little. Dylan grinned next to her, as Abbee read his response and wrote her own.

    “So why come? Surely you have work responsibilities you could be getting ahead on?”

    As Dylan took the book, he read Abbee’s question, and began writing.

    “So that if something is said in class and they want me to elaborate later I can. And for the same reason you’re sitting up here. If my group knows I’m here, they are more likely to behave themselves.”

    Abbee understood as she read the message. Whilst Dylan’s group were mostly level headed, and didn’t cause much trouble, Blake and Hannah, two seventeen year olds, did try to sneak out, and were caught by Dylan. Granted, it was nothing too serious, the pair wanting to look for water-type Pokemon at the beach that only appear late at night, Dylan was the one who had to deal with the situation, and Abbee had wished she could be a fly on the wall. She didn’t know what exactly was said, and couldn’t guess, as she couldn’t even imagine how Dylan would handle a situation like that, but Blake and Hannah both seemed like they had learnt their lesson, and didn’t seem to have beef with Dylan afterwards. If she found herself in a similar position, she knew she would definitely be going to Dylan about it.

    Regardless, she was glad Charlotte had put the pressure on her to talk to him. Three weeks earlier, being in this position made her anxious. Now, things seemed okay…

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****
    “Before we continue our sessions on double battles, I will answer the question you might find yourself asking…” Jon began, getting the attention of the two dozen students in the arena. “You may have noticed we have a guest…”

    Jon nodded towards Jack who sat on one of the seats by the commentators table, who gave a grin in response.

    “You may or may not have known, but I was taught to battle by my grandfather, who has come to see what the Eon Academy has become. His name is Jack Mason, which may or may not be familiar to some of you, though more likely to your grandparents.” Jon explained, “Almost everything I know of battling and am teaching you all, I learnt from him.”

    Chris stood with Charlotte and Justin at the front of the group of students. Charlotte was focused on Jon’s every word, whilst Justin was busy taking notes, knowing that this was what he had missed with his slacking the year before. Chris on the other hand, stood with a grin.

    “So why not cut out the middle man?” Chris called out to Jon, as Charlotte snorted before she could contain herself. Jon rolled his eyes, before continuing.

    “Anyway…”

    “I’d be okay with that…”

    Chris’ eyebrows rose as he realized Jack had been the one to say it. Jon looked at Jack, then back at Chris, before grinning. Justin watched carefully, and figured Jon knew something…

    “You wanna run part of this session Grandpa?” Jon asked. “Give the students a break from my voice?”

    “I’d be willing to try…” Jack said, as he slowly stood, getting a hold of his walker, and making his way over. “You’re teaching on double battles now, aren’t you? What have you gone over?”

    “Mostly moves that will harm allies, and moves that are more suited to double battles.” Jon said. “That and how to choose which two Pokemon to use together.”

    “Good, good.” Jack replied, “I think I have something I can teach them that hasn’t been covered yet…”

    Jack stopped walking, and looked over to the three interns standing together.

    “You, young man.” Jack said, nodding towards Chris, “Would you mind helping me demonstrate a point with an informal battle?”

    Jon’s eyes widened.

    “Flareon’s too old to be battling, especially against Chris…”

    Chris felt a slight sense of pride that Jon was concerned for his opponents safety, however Jack spoke up.

    “Flareon’s battling days are definitely over, so…” Jack began, before looking to Justin and Charlotte. “Could I please ask a favor from the pair of you, in the form of loaning a Pokemon each?”

    Remembering the look he saw Jack give Chris, and thinking over Jon’s knowing look just then, Justin had a hunch Chris was going to be getting more than he expected, and was eager to see how Jack would handle him.

    “Sure.” Justin said with ease, as he unclipped a Pokeball. He considered for a second loaning Jack Regieleki, however figured even for a veteran trainer, handling an extremely rare, powerful and unique Pokemon with no experience whatsoever could be dangerous for his own wellbeing. Instead, he chose a Pokemon he knew would be adaptable, and easy to work well with.

    Charlotte had originally been a little apprehensive about loaning a Pokemon, but didn’t see the harm in loaning one to Jack.

    “Yeah, that’s fine.”

    Charlotte unclipped one of her own Pokeballs, handing it to Jack, who made his way towards the closest end of the battlefield, whilst Chris went to the far end, and everyone else spread out to the sidelines.

    “Watch yourself Chris…” Jon called out, “He can be quite tricky…”

    “Trickier than you?” Chris laughed.

    “Where do you think I learnt it?”

    Jack laughed, before calling out.

    “Select your Pokemon, young man. Then we will begin…”

    Chris chose two Pokemon, and on Jon’s word, four Pokemon entered the battlefield. On Chris’ side were Charizard and Ninetales, and on Jack’s, Justin’s Lucario, and Charlotte’s Luxray.

    Jack took a moment to inspect both Pokemon, and confirmed some of their moves and abilities with their trainers, before Jon gave the word for the battle to begin, and sat down on his walker.

    “Luxray, Protect!” Jack commanded, “And Lucario, Follow Me!”

    Both Pokemon acted with no hesitation. Chris had commanded Charizard to use Bulldoze on Luxray, however due to Lucario’s Follow Me, Charizard’s attention shifted, and it launched the attack instead at Lucario, whom, whilst affected by the attack, did not seem hurt by it. Meanwhile, Ninetales, whose ability had created a miniature snowstorm, used Aurora Veil, a move that would reduce damage done to both itself and Charizard.

    “Smart moves…” Jack called out, causing Chris to grin.

    “That Protect seemed like a waste…” commented Sarah, one of the students in Justin’s team. “Didn’t Follow Me protect Luxray?”

    “It didn’t protect Luxray from everything…” Charlotte replied, nodding towards Chris, “And Chris knows exactly how to get around it.”

    "He's still going to lose though…" Justin said, "Even I know that."

    "Oh, he knows that." Charlotte said, "I think he just wants a challenge…"

    “Earthquake!” Chris called out to Charizard, knowing the move will hit all other Pokemon on the field. “Ninetales, Protect!”

    Ninetales raised a protect barrier, as Charizard launched the Earthquake.

    “Wide Guard, Lucario!” Jack called out, as Lucario created a smaller protect barrier, but one that protected both itself and its ally, “Now Swagger, Luxray!”

    Luxray snarled at Charizard, raising its attack power, however also causing the Pokemon to become immensely confused, as Chris cried out in shock.


    “Powder Snow!” Chris called out, knowing that the only way to deal damage to Luxray was through moves like this, and if Jack is making it that difficult to hit Luxray, he had something planned, “And Earthquake!”

    Ninetales cried out, as fine white snow blasted from its fur, hitting both of Jack’s loaned Pokemon, with Lucario seeming near unaffected by it, though Justin knew that resistances aside, it couldn’t remain standing forever as the sole target in this double battle.

    Charizard however was still confused, and didn’t follow the command, instead crying out in irritation, and letting out a jet of flame into the air.

    “Luxray, Magnet Rise!” Jack said, “And Lucario, Iron Defense!”

    Luxray became encased in electricity, causing it to rise lightly from the earth beneath it, as Lucario’s hide started to harden.

    “Icy Wind!” Chris called out to Ninetales. It cried out happily, as a blast of icy-cold air escaped its jaws, and sent a chill through the battlefield. Luxray was knocked back by the blast, but regained its footing, roaring back at Ninetales, as Lucario’s own footing was shaken.

    “Now Fire Fang!” Chris said to Charizard, who snapped out of confusion, and darted towards Lucario, fire escaping its jaws. Chris had realized at this point how pointless it was trying to stop Luxray without first taking out Lucario, and had set his sights on the Steel-Fighting type.

    “Endure!” Jack said to Lucario, “And Luxray, Agility!”

    Lucario took the attack, being knocked back and to its knees, however remaining barely able to battle, as Luxray’s own speed increased sharply.

    “Now, Luxray, Charge!”

    Luxray cried out, as it began to stockpile electricity, and Chris gave out his next command.

    “Ice Beam, and Flame Charge!”

    “Protect!”

    At the last moment, Lucario managed to get a barrier up in time, protecting itself from the match ending attack. As it did, the colorful veil that was softening the attacks to Ninetales and Charizard disappeared.

    “Now Helping Hand, Lucario!” Jack called out, “Luxray, Discharge!”

    Lucario cried out, sharing its own power with Luxray, who indiscriminately discharged intense bolts of electricity, slamming into Charizard and Ninetales and knocking the pair of them out cold...

    As both trainers returned their Pokemon to their Pokeballs, before converging in the middle of the battlefield, Chris knelt down in front of Jack.

    “I’m not worthy!” he said jokingly, causing Jack to laugh, and Jon to scoff.

    “Show-off…” Charlotte called out causing the other students to laugh, as Chris stood back up with a grin.

    “Hey, it’s true, mostly.” Chris replied, as he stood to his feet, “I got beaten by someone using two Pokemon chosen for him. That’s saying something…”

    “I think I like this kid…” Jack said to Jon, who rolled his eyes, before addressing Jack.

    “So what was Jack trying to teach with that battle?” Jon asked the group. Charlotte knew the answer, though wanted to give one of the newer students the chance to speak up, and Justin had a pretty good idea of it as well.

    “To control the battle?” Christy, a seventeen year old from Charlotte’s group asked, Jack nodding in response.

    “It’s very important in a double battle, but can also be quite useful in a single battle too.” Jack explained, “Ultimately, the goal of a trainer and their Pokemon in a battle is to either knock out their opponent's Pokemon, or get the opposing trainer to concede. Both sides will be trying to knock eachother out. Both sides are strategizing and planning with that goal in mind.”

    “But if you can figure out a way to force the opponent to act a certain way, preventing them from using whatever tactics they may have planned to beat you down, whilst still implementing your own plan of attack, you will find yourself with a significant advantage.” Jack continued, “In this case, Luxray was going to be the heavy hitter of the duo, and Lucario was buying time for it. By using Follow Me, and moves like Protect and Wide Guard, Luxray was mostly safe, whilst Lucario bought time for Luxray to prepare a powerful attack. Had I just simply tried to knock out both of Chris’ Pokemon, Lucario and Luxray wouldn’t have done much damage to either Pokemon because of Aurora Veil, and been beaten before they could beat the opponent.”

    “Even if you don’t use a control tactic such as this, it is imperative to be aware of their existence, in order to not be victimized by them.” Jon explained, “This tactic in particular, whilst difficult for Chris to counter, was not impossible. Charizard was not able to defend against it in any way short of just knocking out Lucario. As for Ninetales…”

    Jon began listing moves from Ninetales’ moveset that he could have used.

    “Ninetales had a few moves that could get in the way of Lucario using Protect, and was naturally faster than Lucario so could have used these first” Jon explained, counting the moves on his fingers, “Spite would reduce the amount of times Lucario could use Protect during the match. Encore would have force Lucario to use Protect continuously, making it fail, and also preventing it from using Quick Guard to stop the Earthquakes from hitting, and Imprison would have prevented Lucario using any moves that Ninetales’ knows, and Ninetales had used Protect to not be hit by the first Earthquake. If Lucario couldn’t use Protect, it couldn’t buy time for Luxray to make itself immune to Ground moves, speed itself up, and prepare for a big attack, and wouldn’t have been able to use Helping Hand to boost Luxray’s attack power.”

    Chris’ shoulders sank a little hearing how overlooking a few of his Pokemon’s moves cost him the match.

    “Make no mistake, Chris battled well.” Jack explained, “Both Pokemon were sent in with a clear purpose, one to attack and the other to cause trouble and provide support. And he adapted well, having Ninetales switch to wide reaching moves to try and whittle down Luxray’s energy, and then just focusing on beating Lucario. I’ve just had a little more experience…”

    Charlotte noticed Chris’ grin return, and groaned about how easy it was for his mood to shift, though she suspected part of that was his way of just trying to take each moment as it came, and not dwell too much on what has been and what is to come.

    Jon began pairing up the students, each of them taking half the battlefield each where they would battle, but instead of battling to win, giving them the instruction of restricting their opponents options, and trying to break free of whatever restrictions are placed on them.

    Justin was paired with one of the other students, and as Jon came to Chris and Charlotte to pair them up, Chris raised a question.

    “We did double battles last year, but we never talked about this control stuff?” Chris asked.

    “Not exactly.” Charlotte interjected, “We covered it in one on one training, but I don’t know if it was just me. It wasn’t suited to how I battle, so I didn’t implement it much myself, but more so kept note so I could cover myself if I faced someone who did.”

    “I covered it during training with Abbee as well.” Jon explained, “Dylan started off a couple of steps behind the rest of you, so I was covering more foundational things with him during one-on-one.”

    “What about myself and Justin?” Chris asked, though he had a hunch he knew the answer and didn’t like it.

    “It took a little while for you to make the most of your time here last year, so I wound up spending a bit more time during one-on-one training reinforcing stuff you weren’t getting out of class time alone…” Jon explained, “Justin even more so, though he almost seems like a different person now.”

    Chris sighed, before another thought hit him.

    “That doesn’t sound like you?” Chris asked, “You always made it clear you will help how you can when we want it, but if we want to waste our time, you aren’t going to bend over backwards to give extra help?”

    Jon chuckled.

    “You got me there,” Jon answered, “I said that to give you some incentive to take things seriously. I figured at some point or other you and Justin would come around, and did what I could to make sure that when you did, you weren’t gonna be too far behind. But even if I didn’t teach you this stuff one-on-one, you still managed to beat Dylan by pulling similar tricks last week.”

    Jon walked over to check on one of the groups, as Jack supervised the other, before calling back to them.

    “Keep that between us though. Gotta keep that trick working somehow…”

    As Jon left them, Chris thought over what Jon had just told them.

    “How does he do that?” Chris asked Charlotte quietly.

    “Do what?” Charlotte replied, as Chris laughed.

    “I don’t even know how to explain it. I guess, see the potential in someone he has no reason to, and be willing to take a chance and help them not be too far behind when they do finally get their s**t together…”

    Charlotte was silent as she thought over how best to respond.

    “I think you’re wrong there,” Charlotte explained. “He took a chance and helped you because he saw reason to. Justin too. Even if you can’t see those reasons just yet.”

    “Maybe…”

    “No maybe about it,” Charlotte replied. “Now send out a Pokemon. I’m a camp intern, not a volunteer counsellor…”


    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****

    It was 2:15 when Abbee found herself in the surprisingly empty Main Hall. Charlotte’s team was currently training with Jon, and most of the younger students who weren’t in training had gone with Justin to the arcade in town. The older students were scattered across the property, some in their rooms, others enjoying the nice weather outside.

    Abbee collapsed into one of the couches in the rec-room end of the hall, and exhaled deeply. Her team hadn’t even done one-on-one training today, and she was still exhausted. Part of her considered going back to her cabin to nap, however knew that if she did that, she would barely sleep later at night, and figured she was better off just relaxing while she could. She pulled her phone from her pocket, and began browsing Twitter.

    After a few minutes, she heard the sound of the door into the hall and noticed Jack enter the room, making his way to one of the counters where there were clean mugs, instant coffee and a kettle. She watched as he began making his coffee, and considered offering to make it for him, however let it be. He seemed to be managing, and based on how frail he looked due to his age, that was somewhat a surprise. She didn’t want to take what could be one of the last things he could do for himself from him.

    She had heard from Charlotte during their lunch break that Chris ran his mouth, and made a joke about cutting out the middle man, during a class Jack was sitting in on, and Jack proceeded to take the class, and teach the class a lesson on battle control by beating Chris effortlessly with Charlotte and Justin’s Pokemon. Chris making a stupid joke, Abbee knew was in character. However, according to Charlotte, Chris took losing very well, and it surprised Abbee when she realized that was also in character for him. The part that surprised her most was the fact that a year ago, Chris taking a slightly humiliating loss well would be a massive shock. It got her thinking how much everyone had changed in only a year. Charlotte was probably the one who changed the least, but even then, she was noticeably less uptight, and generally happier these days.

    Abbee didn’t realize that whilst she was staring off into space, thinking over these things, she was still looking at Jack, who began to approach her. She realized what had happened when Jack was already two thirds of the way to where she was sitting.

    “You’re one of Ryan’s students from last year, aren’t you?” Jack asked, as he transferred his coffee from the seat of the walker to the coffee table in front of Abbee, and slowly sat on the couch opposite her. She was slightly confused for a second, hearing Jack mention Ryan, but remembered what Alyssa told her about Jon’s history, and how he goes by his middle name, figuring Ryan must be his first name.

    “Yeah, this is my second year here,” Abbee replied. “I’m Abbee.”

    “Jack,” he said, before taking a sip of his coffee, before seeming to notice something, and looking at Abbee more carefully. “You’re Richard’s daughter, aren’t you?”

    Abbee was slightly surprised to hear Jack reference her father in such a casual manner. She began wondering if Jack may have been at the funeral, but quickly realized it wasn’t likely. Her and Tyler shared delivering the eulogy, making them center of attention, and whilst it had been a year, Abbee still looked mostly the same. If Jack were there, he would have recognized her sooner.

    “Yeah, did you know him?” Abbee asked. “I know he was a fan of yours, though I don’t think he realized you and Jon were related when I came here.”

    “Sadly, only as a colleague. His time battling competitively started around the same time mine came to an end, and after I retired, I had other responsibilities, so we didn’t cross paths very often at all. I met and spoke with him a small handful of times, but always enjoyed watching his battles on the television,” Jack replied, “I was, and still am, very sorry to hear about his passing, and wish I could have crossed paths with him a few more times.”

    Abbee nodded, feeling the familiar knot in her stomach thinking about her father’s death. Whilst it was nothing compared to the days and weeks following it, she still felt that knot every time she remembered the moment when she found out her father was gone.

    “Thank you. I was here when it happened, but looking back, I don’t think there was anywhere better for me to have been,” Abbee explained. “I wish I could have seen him more before the accident, but Jon and Alyssa were so amazing and supportive when it all happened. Alyssa dropped everything, and came back to Goldenrod with me, so I wouldn’t feel alone during the funeral.”

    Jack smiled hearing this.

    “He’s definitely got himself a keeper…”

    Abbee laughed, before continuing.

    “If Dad were still around, I think he’d be fangirling like crazy to hear that you knew me as Richard’s daughter,” Abbee laughed. “Jon mentioned you were his grandfather at the end of last summer, and if Dad had have known I was being taught by your grandson, he would have freaked.”

    Jack laughed at the idea, as he had the last sip of his coffee. He looked down at the empty mug, before speaking up again.

    “I came here to get a pick-me-up before I spend some time with my very energetic, great-granddaughter,” Jack said, as he placed the mug on his walker again, and began to stand. “Thank you for indulging an old man with some good conversation.”

    “It’s my pleasure,” Abbee replied, as Jack nodded with a grin, before turning to walk towards the door. As he did, Abbee couldn’t help but notice how he only really seemed old of body. Experienced, yes, and probably pretty wise, but Jack still seemed very young at heart. As she thought over this, the bittersweet idea came to mind, of whether her dad, had he not died a year earlier, would have grown to be like Jack at that age. Abbee sighed, knowing that if she dwelt on that too long, it would just depress her, before opening Twitter again, and resuming her time-killing.

  6. #46
    Mary Mary tell me how your garden grows. Desolate Divine's Avatar
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    Season 2 Episode 5: Resolve
    Spoiler:

    ”I̶̼͇͙̺̘̙̲̰̐̒̾͠n̶̛͚̺͍̮̦̣̳͂ͤ̈́͐̈́͡c̡̛ͧ̿̆̋̎͏̮̠̱͎͉̲͍̫r͋ ̧̺̟̞͖̻̬̼͑̒̀̕e̝͎͕̙̿̂̑ͅa̠̘͋̽ͬ̒̋s̙͂͂͊͘ḛ̪̗̞̏͑̐̿̿ͣ ̟ ̉̊͒ͥ͐͊͆̐ͣ͏͔̣̤͉͚̘v̛̻̲͖̝͖̤̑̐ͤ̽́͝o͙͈̼̺̟̱̤̮̾̓ͤ̀̀l̐͑͌̄͞ ̱̲̟͎͚̞͙̦̕t̞̭͓͚͇̞̙̱̦̓̎ȁ̪̬̬̙͔ͤ̌ͭ͒̅̾̾ͮ̀g̷̢͎͙͚͐ͪͫͨ̾ě ̙͎̠͖͕ͮ ̪́̄͋̓̊ͬͫ̆̀b̦̞̥̿͆͋̈́̔ỹ̱̞̪̪̣̓ͪ͑̅́̂ͩ ̥̱̳̰ͦ͌̽̓͆ͭ͡ͅs̛̝͍̠̍i̠̝̬̩̰̤̠̖̽̒̀ͩ͐ͭ͘͠x̧̡͔͖̦̙̼̟͆̾̂͊́͌ t̢̩̗̘̪̣̠̣̩̓̓y̼̹̲̗͕̖̪̥̐̍̓́ͪ̇ͧ͗ͣ͢ ̸̸̱͇͉̬̮̺̟͉̲̌p̴̫̊͆̇ͪ͐e͇̣͈̮͎̻̭̮ͦ̃̌͊ͨ̊͠r̻̞̤͔̞͌̐ͭ̌ͮ͘͢ͅ c̸̲̫̓̒̄̈͐̎ͮè͆̇ͭ̌̇̎͝͏̠̺͈͖̳̭ñ͏͈͕̦̜̱̼͙͖͇t̳̰̥̤̫ͧͣ̀͌̕ ̼̺̻.̳̦͖̫̲̌̊̀̕.̸̔ͫ̚͟͏̹̙̤͈.̢̛͙̭̫͖͈̳̟͈͉͆̍̂͝”

    It has been only moments since the last shock, feeling energy blasted through me. I can’t see or hear, my only sense being the foreign thoughts of those around me. And every time a command is given, I feel as if I am going to burn from the inside out.

    I’m no stranger to this feeling. Right after the shell protecting me was destroyed, I felt a shock, however, whilst it hit extremely hard, it was of little substance, and passed as soon as it came. It left me more alert, but did little else. These on the other hand are far different…

    The humans that do this to me follow a pattern. For the amount of time I spend with them in my presence, I spend twice as much alone, which I find myself thankful for. Whilst I don’t understand it, for every five of these cycles they have, there is the equivalent of two where I am left alone. The first time it happened, I thought they had decided to show mercy. Then they returned. After the third of these five to two cycles, I understood the pattern. There is solace in knowing roughly how long they will torture me for, and especially knowing there will be a larger break towards the end of each of these larger cycles.

    There have been three of the five-two cycles where they have been torturing me. The first of the two cycles, I felt different touches to myself. Some were sharp and thin, attempting to cut me, and others were blunt, heavy impacts, attempting to shatter me. However, none were successful, not even hurting. I didn’t even realize they were attempting to torture me until the week after. That’s when I was placed somewhere, where the air around me began to heat. At first I thought nothing of it, however eventually it became uncomfortable, and after that, painful. And the pain only got worse.

    I tried reaching out to the humans, to beg them to stop, however my attempt to communicate failed, not getting past their own thoughts. Or so I thought.



    “T̢͂̈́҉̸̻̟͇̜̻ĥ̺̠̤͕͎̹̱͂̏̄̏̌̒͟͠ḛ̛͓͚ͥͬ͛̂r̪̓̋͗ͦ̇̐ͥ̕͝͞ ̟̠̯͖e̶̡̻͓͙͍̖̥̓̃̈́ ̡̨͎̦̘͈̞͚̂͊͌ͅẖ̴̴͕͓̲̘̟͔̃ͣ̽͠a̶̪̩͍͎̐̿̓̋̓ͨ̅͌͞͝sͫ̒̐ͯ͒̓̚ ̸͎̑͂ ͇̰͖̱̗̪̜͂ͤ̒ͮͯ͒͗̕b̛̫ͩ̆ͪ̊́ͩͬ̀́̚͠ẹ̶̮̰̣̝͇͉̫͑̊ͬ̎̎͌̽ͦeͨ̏ ͈̭̜͑ͥ̅ͦ͢͞n̠̥̹̂͗̀ ̞͉͚̖͒̊ͮ̏͗ͬͧ̈a̙̹͓ͬ͗ͯ͡ ͕̪̹̫ͫ̅̓̿̏͡r̢̲͕͓͖͕ͩ̊̀͝eͫ͌҉͏҉̟̺̯̠̪a̧̮͔̹͍̲̠͕̜̽͗̑͊͛͊c̿ ̫̳̭̲̞̟̱̮̈ͫ͗̐͑̈̏t̵̪̟̀̇̎̽͞͞ͅi̛̬͔ͮ̅̏͒̕o̠͕͇̿͞ͅn̡̯ͪ͑̿̀͟ ͈̭͍̝̯͓!̨͖ͤ̇ͥ̚͝”


    The humans all suddenly became excited and I began to understand when the temperature started to increase at a higher rate. I’d attempt to communicate, and whilst it seemed like they weren’t understanding me, it also seemed like they somehow knew I was trying to, and would get excited, only making my situation worse. That was when I realized they were torturing me…

    Since then, I have endeavoured to not react. If I react, and beg them to stop, they get what they want, and continue at a greater pace. At least if I give them no reaction, they will continue, but progress slower. Granted, remaining silent during this torment is easier said than done.

    After a five-two cycle of heat, the humans changed their tactic, reducing the temperature to that well below what is natural. And again, my resolve was tested, trying to not give the humans what they were after. But naturally, I broke, and things became worse.

    When the humans aren’t here, and I feel I have the strength, I reach out, attempting to connect with the consciousness of someone who may help me. Whilst it was difficult at first, I managed to find the mind of the human that carried me what felt like so long ago, wrapping me in a soft cocoon and wanting to protect me. After many attempts, it became easy to find that mind, however I found myself with the same problem. My attempts are too weak to breach the running thoughts of the human mind.

    However, I also discovered that for roughly half the time I am left alone, the humans aren’t actively thinking, instead resting, with their subconscious taking control. I have attempted to reach the human during this time, knowing they can’t understand my thoughts, but trying to share my experience, to let them know I need help.

    Yet here I remain. The human is aware of my attempts to a degree, however they don’t understand. It seems as if they cannot remember the majority of what I share with them once their mind becomes active, so every break, I reach out, hoping that with repetition, they will piece together the smaller parts, and realize I need their help.

    That’s if the humans here don’t kill me first. This cycle, they are sending pure energy into me, increasing the force of it and the amount, and I don’t know how much more I can take.



    A̷͕ͫ́̿ͦ̚n̞͔̪̼̍ͦố̘͓̞͍͙̥t̴̯̰̳͎̩̓̓̂ͣͭ̔̿͝h̘̻̙͇̩̼͑͗ͩ̀ ̤̦ẽ̛̛͇͓͕̫̥͕͓͚ͥ̏̐ͦͦŗ̸̻͕͋͗͆ ̭͇͎̯͔̘̏͆͂͐̔̂́͠ę͚̫̥͔̳̤̮̓̀̃̄͒ͯ͘ĭ̥͚͉͖̮ͅg̶̯̈́̍ͫ̊̿ͤ͗͗́ ̞͚̞̗̝h̹̖ͦͩ̐̈́͠ţ̸̠̳̗ͨ͊̊̔y͔̙͉̰̤̍͑͒̊̓͗̌ ̜̼͔͚̏ͫͩͅp̛̼͚̾͑ͨͨ͒ë̩̯͎̮̜̮̱̗͂͂̂̈̆ͮͤ̓͞r̶̛̲̜ͮ̍͑ͩ͊ͩ͊̚c ͍̆̓̉̋̅ͨ́ẹ̽͌̂ͧ̊͊n̤͔̻͌ͩ̄ͤ̕t̨̨̳̦̲̘̗̎̅̾̔ͪ͛ ̧̘̭͉͈̳ͬ̅̈́ͥ͂̆v̡͙͕̠͈̖ͪ̽o̠ͩͤͭ̉ͤl͑ͥͭͧ̂͂͏̧͖̦t͕͛ͮͭ͋̋̄ͫa̾ ͩͫͨ̓͏̴̯̠̺̞̙̬̩̹g̡̯̞̀ͩ̔ͧ͡e̒͆̋̂҉̷̰.̴̴͇̊͌̉̑̐͆͐͡.̷ͮ̒ͣ̍̓ ̗̹.̨͉̐̀̀




    Charlotte awoke, covered with a thin layer of sweat. As she took deep breaths, gaining an awareness of her surroundings, the majority of the dream, or more so, the nightmare, she had just had began to fade from her memory.

    The nightmares started three weeks ago, and since then have become more and more common, to the point where it was Friday, and this week she had not gone a single night without them.

    Quickly checking her phone, she saw the time was a little after 2am. Knowing attempting to sleep straight away with all this on her mind would just result in more nightmares, she slipped out of bed, before making her way out of the cabin barefoot, into the warm, summer night air.

    Between the two lodges were three wooden tables with seating built around them, where Charlotte found herself, trying to process what she had been dreaming about. If it wasn’t difficult enough, given how fleeting the memories of dreams are, these were different. They were black, and silent, the only sensations being touch, and by extension, pain, as well as other senses that she did not have naturally nor understand.

    “Can’t sleep?”

    Charlotte turned to see Dylan approaching in a pair of shorts and loose fitting t-shirt. She was surprised that she didn’t notice him sooner.

    “No…” Charlotte responded. “I’ve been having a lot of nightmares recently, and I don’t know why…”

    Dylan sat opposite her at the table, and looked up at the full moon in the sky.

    “What sort of nightmares?”

    “I don’t even know…” Charlotte replied, frustration apparent in her voice. “I struggle to remember the good dreams after I wake up, and these, deep down I don’t want to remember.”

    Charlotte looked up at the moon as well, only seeming to notice the size of it now.

    “On top of that, these dreams are weird. I can’t see or hear anything, but for some reason I don’t find that unusual in my dreams. Instead, I can only feel touch, and seem to have some other senses that I don’t understand,” Charlotte explained. “Every time, it is just wave after wave of pain, as if I’m being tortured. Even worse, I have always been able to tell if I am dreaming, and wake myself up, but now, it seems like I can’t…”

    “Hmm…” Dylan muttered to himself. “If you don’t mind me asking, did anything happen that could have triggered these? Something traumatic maybe?”

    Charlotte shook her head.

    “Life is better than it’s ever been. That’s what is so confusing about all of this…” Charlotte replied. “Like, I could understand if this happened to Abbee, since it’s nearing a year since she lost her dad. But I’ve got nothing like that on my mind…”

    Dylan remained silent, as an idea began to form in his mind. It was far-fetched though, and he didn’t want to worry her on as little as an idea.

    “I wish I knew how to help…” Dylan said, as he began to stand. “I’d better get to sleep, but if you have some earbuds, maybe try listening to quiet music, or white noise. Maybe that will steer your subconscious somewhere a little nicer.”

    “I’ll try…” Charlotte replied. “Thanks for coming out anyway. It was nice to be able to talk about it if nothing else.”

    “Any time.”

    Dylan began to walk away, before Charlotte had a thought.

    “So why were you up at this time?”

    “Chris brought his Switch, and he and Justin only stopped playing it an hour ago, and woke me up…” Dylan muttered, rolling his eyes. “I haven’t been able to get back to sleep since.”

    “I’m sure if you knock their door in, they will get the message…”

    Dylan laughed, which surprised Charlotte slightly. She still wasn’t overly used to hearing him talk as much as he did, which still wasn’t a great deal, but a laugh was definitely something new.

    “Try and get some sleep,” Dylan explained. “Your first class tomorrow is with me, so if you want to sleep in a little later, I can cover your group.”

    “Thanks…” Charlotte replied, very seriously considering taking him up on that.

    Dylan left, as Charlotte looked up again at the night sky, wondering how long she would be suffering from these nightmares.

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****

    It was 8:20am when Jon found himself in the dining room, where he did a quick headcount to make sure all were accounted for. When he found himself at thirty-nine, one person shy, he quickly rattled off the students he knew were most likely to miss breakfast, and was somewhat surprised to see they were all present. He sighed, knowing that if it wasn’t one of them, figuring out who was missing would be more difficult.

    He saw Chris and Justin sitting together at one table, with a few of the students in their groups, and Abbee sitting with his niece Rose, and Dylan, and suddenly it became a lot more obvious.

    Jon made his way towards Abbee’s table, greeting the students there before kneeling down next to Abbee, speaking quietly as to not let the younger students hear.

    “Do you know where Charlotte is?”

    Before Abbee could reply, Dylan tapped Jon on the shoulder, before gesturing elsewhere and getting up. Somewhat surprised, Jon followed to a quieter section of the room.

    “I told Charlotte since her group is in my class, she can sleep in,” Dylan explained. “I found her sitting outside at 2am last night, because she has been having intense nightmares for weeks. Apparently she is dreaming she is blind, deaf, and in excruciating pain, like she is being tortured or something…”

    “Goddamn…” Jon muttered, shocked to hear this had been happening. “Good call giving her the morning off.”

    Dylan nodded, as Jon continued.

    “Can you keep me informed if things change?” Jon asked. “Charlotte is too independent to want me to know about this, so I won’t say anything to her. But it is worrying…”

    “Yeah, I know,” Dylan said. “Hopefully this is just a phase, and passes before too long.”

    Jon nodded, and Dylan wished he believed that himself. He had a few ideas, but Jon wasn’t the person to confirm them.

    Jon left not long after, not having any classes he was teaching in the morning, and before too long, the person Dylan wanted to speak to entered the building. Steven Stone. Dylan approached the Hoenn Champion, who greeted him with a grin.

    “Morning Professor,” Steven said to Dylan jokingly, causing Dylan to chuckle a little. Dylan did find it odd that he was teaching at the Eon Academy alongside the Hoenn Champion, and Steven seemed to enjoy the fact as well, even though this was their fourth week here.

    “Morning,” Dylan said, before looking around to make sure nobody was listening in. “You got a minute?”

    “Of course.”

    Dylan led Steven to one of the empty classrooms, closing the door behind him.

    “What’s up?” Steven asked, a little concerned by the effort Dylan was going to.

    “Charlotte has been having consistent nightmares for weeks, seemingly out of nowhere. And something doesn’t seem right…” Dylan explained. “It’s the same thing nearly every night, and she says nothing has happened that she is aware of to trigger it…”

    “I’m sorry to hear that, really,” Steven said. “But I’m not quite sure why you’re talking to me about it, and not Jon? I mean, while she is here, she is technically under his care.”

    “Because you have a bit of authority as Hoenn Champion…”

    Steven crossed his arms, not sure where Dylan was getting towards.

    “Okay, now you have me curious,” Steven replied. “What do you want me to do?”

    “I think there are two causes for consistent nightmares like this. The first being some form of trauma which doesn’t seem overly likely…” Dylan explained. “The second, being some sort of outside interference.”

    “Pokemon causing nightmares in other Pokemon is pretty standard in some battle strategies. And growing up, I remember kids telling scary stories of a Pokemon in Sinnoh that causes uncontrollable nightmares,” Dylan continued. “Nearly a month ago, Charlotte found what we believe may be a Pokemon, that even Latios couldn’t understand, and a week later, Charlotte starts having unexplained, consistent nightmares every night.”

    “You want me to look into the Space Center?” Steven asked, understanding Dylan’s reasoning.

    “It may just be coincidence, but I want to make sure that it is looked into,” Dylan replied, “Even if it’s just asking what they have discovered about the thing Charlotte found so far, and if there is any chance it could be reaching out telepathically…”

    “I’ll make some calls,” Steven said. “I can’t guarantee the stiffs at the Space Center will give up any information easily, but I will do what I can.”

    Dylan nodded, before hearing the door begin to open, and seeing Chris walk into the room. Dylan would be teaching Chris, Charlotte and Justin’s group in that room for first session, and didn’t realize how close to 9am it was.

    “Am I interrupting something?” Chris asked, as he made his way to a table.

    “Just telling Steven how my obnoxious neighbors woke me up at 1am with their shouting about a blue shell…” Dylan retorted as Steven started laughing. Chris chuckled to himself.

    “I think you’re just jealous we forgot to invite you in to join us.”

    “Of course…” Dylan replied sarcastically, as Steven said goodbye and made his way into the room next door. Before too long, the classroom was full with Dylan and twenty-three students, and Dylan’s focus was on the lesson he had to deliver.

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****

    It was early evening when Dylan’s phone began to buzz. He was sitting at a table in the dining room, consisting of himself, a few members of his group, and a few of their friends from other groups, mostly Abbee’s as they did classes together. The called ID read Steven Stone.

    “Excuse me…” Dylan said, before exiting the building, and answering the phone.

    “Hey, what did you find?”

    “Not much but a whole lot at the same time,” Steven explained. “Found out nothing about the orb that Charlotte found, because it was transferred to a larger facility in Unova that was better suited to finding out what it is. It was on the island for three days before being transferred.”

    Dylan wasn’t sure whether to be irritated or relieved. On the one hand it was good that these nightmares weren’t being caused by some alien Pokemon, but on the other, he was no closer to finding out why Charlotte was having these nightmares, and finding a way to stop them.

    “Not sure whether that is a good thing or not…” Dylan replied.

    “It’s really not, if I’m being honest,” Steven explained. “The Space Center shouldn’t have done that without getting the all-clear from the League, given at this point this thing is most likely some sort of Pokemon, and if jurisdiction over it changes, things may fall through the gaps. I certainly wouldn’t have approved it if the decision came through me.”

    “Understandable.”

    “So what’re your next moves?” Steven asked.

    “It could quite easily still be a Pokemon of some sort. Maybe a Psychic type that has adapted a Nightmare attack to affect humans,” Dylan explained. “I’ll borrow Latios from Jon, and see if he can help me try and see if something is causing this…”

    “You think Jon will lend you Latios?” Steven asked.

    “If I pitch it right,” Dylan replied. “I will tell him the truth once I have had a chance to look into it all a bit more.”

    Dylan ended the call before making his way into the dining hall, where Chris was walking from his table to place his dishes on the rack that would be loaded into the dishwasher. Dylan walked behind him, waiting for him to turn around. When he did, Chris jumped a little.

    “Can I help you?” Chris asked, almost sarcastically, and seemed worried when Dylan smiled.

    “Actually, I think you can…” Dylan replied. “I need you to cover for me tomorrow with Jon’s seminar in the afternoon. I’ll return the favour next week of course.”

    Saturday afternoons, Jon would run a three hour seminar for half the students at the Academy, usually based off age, and two interns would be scheduled to assist in running it. Tomorrow was supposed to be Charlotte and Dylan.

    “Hard pass, sorry,” Chris replied. “I have plans tomorrow.”

    “Those plans are playing Mario Kart with Justin…” Dylan retorted. “I could hear you making them at 1am this morning…”

    Chris began to stutter hearing this, before Dylan continued.

    “Do me this favour, and I won’t tell Jon that the reason the internet here has been so slow is because you used a month's data downloading Switch games,” Dylan interjected. Chris’ eyes widened.

    “Bulls**t…” Chris argued. “You don’t know that was me…”

    “Who do you think set up the network here, and can monitor which devices are hogging all the bandwidth?”

    Chris scowled as Dylan began to walk away.

    “I owe you one. Though I didn’t get to sleep again until 3 last night, so you can say we are even…” Dylan said as he walked. “Cheers buddy, I’ll let Jon know you’re covering for me…”

    “What the f**k just happened…” Chris muttered to himself. “Did I just get shaken down by Dylan?”


    It didn’t take Dylan long to find Jon, who stood in the kitchen, talking to one of the cooks.

    “You got a second?”

    “Of course,” Jon replied.

    “Firstly, Chris has offered to cover my shift tomorrow with the seminar, so he will be there instead of me, and I’ll cover his next one,” Dylan explained, as Jon nodded. “Secondly, can I borrow Latios for the weekend?”

    Jon raised his eyebrows at the request.

    “Why do you need Latios for the weekend?”

    “I have heard some rumors from a couple of the campers,” Dylan lied. “Firstly, that they are sneaking out at night, and secondly, that some of the older guys are thinking about checking out Shoal Cave while you’re running the seminar tomorrow afternoon. If Latios could catch out three witches, I think a few hormonal teenagers shouldn’t be too difficult…”

    “He’d definitely be helpful…” Jon said, thinking it over. They nearly had a student die in Shoal Cave last year and something like this needed to be looked into. “Are you sure you don’t want me to look into it?”

    “You have the seminar, and if they are from my group, I should be the one to handle it,” Dylan explained, “They won’t have any respect for me if any time I have to lay down the law, I get you to do it instead…”

    “That is true…” Jon replied, mulling over what Dylan had said. “I’m just surprised I haven’t heard any of this.”

    Dylan steeled himself for the low blow he was going to have to make to convince Jon. Whilst it wasn’t very obvious, Dylan had noticed in the last year, Jon having a slight complex about his age, especially after turning thirty.

    “I had a younger camper mention overhearing it to me,” Dylan explained. “I think he just felt more comfortable telling someone closer to his age about it. Like I could relate to him more…”

    Jon sighed hearing the explanation, before resigning to his fate of being the old man amongst the crowd of teenagers. He unclipped Latios’ Pokeball, handing it to Dylan.

    “Be careful with him.” Jon explained, “He has grown up a bit in the last two years, but I am not completely convinced he will revert to flying through walls if someone else is his trainer…”

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****


    ”Ỷ͎͍̼͓̦̃ͯ̀o͖̝̒̾̉̃̈̃͡u̺̬̘ͮ̐ͩ̓ͥ̅͆͟͝ ͚̙͉͎̍͐a̧̗̦̫̺̱͉͚͎ͫ͂͑̑ͧ͂̀̚͜r̶̴̙̯͔̍͂ͤẻ̴̡̥̥̆͘ ̷͔̈̐̊ͣ͐̾̔̓͞ǎ͎̰̝̤̤͌ͯͫ͂͒̆ͭb̅͆ͬ̂̋̈́͏͙͚̤̭̞ș̶̘ͩͮ̄͂͋o͊̾ ͔̭͈̰̥̣͂̈ͤl̸̷̩̖̒̽̆ͫ͑̉͡u̷̗͍ͪ̾͊̽̒͆̓́ͮ̀t̵͓̤͈̞͊̈́ͧ͞e͒̽̕͠ ̪͔̩͙͈̰l̴̢̙̝̰̥̳̖͉͓̦̔y̼̤̣̞̗̗̜ͫ̈́͗̄̚ ̡͈̻̰̩̎͂͑̽ͭͬs̷͔̤̜̯̫̽̀ͅͅų͔̥͕̘̳̭̈́ͨ͛ͬ͑͂́̒ͪ͡ͅrͣ̀̾ͣ̽̍̇̚ ͇̺̻̜͕̘̲e̵̼̺͉̓̀ͣͤͤ̃͘͘?̛͍͎̗̑̅ͩ̎̋͊”



    The humans seem to be communicating much more during this cycle, and something seems to have frightened them. I am grateful, as this cycle is the last before reprieve, and they seem less focused on tormenting me.




    “Í͉̠̟̤̦̃̽ͫ̐ͪ̉́̀͡ͅ'̝̩̱̳̻̤͐ͮͥ̀ͪͯ̕͟m̸̗̟̪̟ͧͦͦ̓͋̅ ̺͓ ̵̼̺͖͓̜̄͐ͮͅp̨̖̯̝͛̋͑͗̀͡ö̴͎̝͖͎̭͇ͦͣ̊͊̚s͖̒ͣ̄̐͆͌̆͘͞i̊͛́ ̖̜ͪ͆ͬ͘t̛̘̳̺̲̝̃̽̉̂̇̚͘i̵̠̮͚͚̠̍̀́̂͝v̀̅ͭ͛͏͕̺̼͎e͖ͯ̾̌͋͂͟ ̹̝.̩̝̳̖̦̪̝ͪ ̤͚͔͈̖̻̬̎ͨ̋ͮ͐͌ͩ̈́̐W̹̬̹͎̫̬͕͌ͪͥ̍̋̇̓̀ͅę͎̜̤̻̜͇̮̹ͥ͗ ͇̗̜̟̲̳̘͑ͫͯ̇̚͜ͅa̦͍͇̰̹̺ͭ̆ͪ̈́̽͒ͤͮͧr̹̙̖̍̂ͭͩ̆̽̚eͭ̒́ͪ̔ͮ̆͆ ̸͇̖͉̱͒̕ ̸̵̜̹̹̟̮͎̥̈ͨ̎̏̋̎̄̿f̢̞̦̝͓̻͛a̧̤̥̺̞͇͚̘̜ͩͮ̋͆͑̉͑͝r̨̒ ̴̪̫̞ ̘̺̥̥̠̉̾ͧͣͩe̸̘̞̜̪̰̯̝̙͐ͨ̅ͦņ̖͍̘̠̋̌̉̇ͧ̓̄͗ò̷̙̭̜̝ͥ̋u̐ͧ ̽ͪ̒̒͏̯̻̥̯͚ͅg̛̖̱̱ͭ̿̉ͯ͞h̝͈̻̯̹̺̹ͤ̅͌̐͞ ͇̺̬̩͍̞͈͎͂̆̋́͡d̪͕̝̔̂o̶̴̙͙̳̳͉̹̰ͤ̕w̧͋̊̎̈́̐ͫͪ̉́҉̦̞̫̮͔̖̯ n̵̗̔̽̕ ͎̱͎̫͕̙͛̈́̚͢t̶̘̘̱͊ͥ̊̌̂ͅḫ͎̥͚͎̦͔͋ͣ̿͑̔̅̚ͅä́̃̌͊̈́̚҉̨̠̟͙͎ ̘͓ͅt͒̍҉͍̫̤̙̟̤̞̀͠ͅ ̶̧̣̰̠ͫ͐ͬ͟n̰̺͙̜͇̙̱̗̋͘͞o̠͔̘̮͎͍̪͌̅̅ͮ̊̓̀ṱ̡̰̣͑̒̃̀̿̃̾͘͜ ̠h̴͖͈̮̮͙̭̪ͪͅi̺̰̮͛̽͗͒̓ͮͪ̚n̛͔͓̤͙̳̼͋̑ͣ͂͋͝g͌̋̎̂ͣ̉̽́͞҉̖ ̣̫ͅ ̡̬̺͋ͧ́s̝̖͈̞̙̗ͤ̒ͧͤ̀ͦ̋̇h͔̤̰̱̦̩ͮ̔̇̑̉̆͝ͅo̳ͤ̑ͯ͋̇̕uͯ̔͋̊̓ ̉̒͝͏̬̝ͅḷ̺̘̣͚ͥͪ̃ͭ̊͌d͕͍͔̝̪͚͋̀̑̊̊ ̘̺̲̼͈̝̳͉ͯͨ̕d̛̜̰̫͎̰͓̎͛̅̅́e̼̝̖̗͙͔̮̫͂̓ͨ̎͗ť̢̪̀̄̅͊́e̒̆ ̠̟̩̰͇ͬ͝c͖̭̙ͫ̈́t̷̡̧͎̊ͯ̈ͥ ̢͂̃̂ͫ͊ͫ̎ͅṭ̞͈̘̘̞̣̈ͪ̀͢h̻̜͚̣̤̹̟̆́͡e̜̦̘̭͈̬͇͐͗̇͡ͅ ̷̸̱̻̮ͤŝ͍̯̤̤̣̱̭̠̗ͬ̒͗̇̎p̧̨͓̘̞̥͕̻̩̝͓ͦ̊̑̄͒ͮ͢eͫ͊ͩ̑͌̑͝͞ ͉̹̟̗̯̲c͓͚͉̳̤͚̑̈́ͪ͋̎ͅi̖̹̙̗̲̹ͬͯ͛́́ṃ̛͚̘̘̘̙̞̻̽ͣ͊͂̓̆̏͜e ̲̼̩̘͋̅̾ͦ̚n̛̝̘̖̙͈̣͚̉͒.̜̒̓̊ͭͅ”




    “T̛̜̗͕͔ͯͩͨ̌͡h̀̀ͯͣ͗ͣ͌҉͔̝̼͝e̛̲̜̹̥̳͗͑ͭ̏ͤ̏ͯ́̚ͅ ̛̲̳͖̗̟̼̜ͨ̌͂ͮt̛͎͕̺̍̿͞r̸̢̹͈̱̣̰ͧ̈́ͅả̞͙̆̑͂̌͊ͤ͌i̎̌ͣ̾̓͑ ̭͕ͯͦ̀n̲̜̪̠͇̥̋ͧͮͧ͡e̪͖̟͖͖͇̅͋ͩ̐̊͛ͨr̯̺͚̫͙ͫ͒̈́͌̕ ̢̝̘̘͖̦͗͂̌̇͌w̧̘̻̳̭ͥ͊̀̉̑̈́͜͟h̶͓̼̞̹ͪ̅̃̄ȏ̴̱̭̼ͨ̽̌͞ ̣͚̼̑̉̾͑ȑ̞̰̋u̴̢̪ͨͫͥ̍ͨͪ́͐͟n͓̹͉̺̼̍̎̉ͯ̚͘s̛͒́ͩ͊͏̫͝ ͍̼ ͈̩͙͕̯͈̯̿̑̑ͣ͡t͕̙͍̋̌̿ͨ̅h̰͎̫̱͇̙́ͣ͋̈́́͐a̸͎͉͓͕͓̜͒ͭ̆͒̾ͮ̋̽ ͇t̅̈̈́͊̔̀͝͏͏̣̻̮̩̫ͅͅ ̸̝͎ͨͪ̾̀ś͊͐ͥ̈͏̴̦̹͓̝̖̠́ͅc͚̼͚̟̼̲ͯ̔͂̂ͣͪḩ̴̫͈̈̊͝o̵͆͐̌̂ ̪̠̗̤̥̫ơ͚̣̬̞ͤ̒͢͜l̃̐͐͒ͮͭ͝͏̴͓̠̺̘͔ ̨͖̥͙̫̗̞̐ͬh̘͖̼̖̝͖̫̻̉́ả͚̫̜͈ͭ̉̾̋ͣ͝s͉̬̟̿͗̃̑̉̈́͂͆͢͝ ̞̯̯͇ ̰͇̔̈́̿̃́͒a̹̜͌͗̈́̎̀ ̱̥̠͇̼͂̀͠͝L̥̱̩̖̖̇͐ͯ̽̎̑̔̑́̕a̴̛̪̐̽ͦͦ͌͌ͅt̶͇̟̓͆̉̎̓ͧͬ̐̽̀ ̥̪͕̥͍̠ḭ̩̮̌ͨ̂ͯ̓ͮ̌̿͜͢ò̯̹͖͍̤͐͒̆̾̕͞s̶̲ͧ̋̀.̰͕̯̺ͦ̓́̌ͫͭ ͇ ̡̖̳͚̄̀̏̂̚C̯͈͙̣̜̩̻̆̋̐͛͌͒̈̚ͅo̩̙̍̏̈́̓̿̈̉̚͢ü͙͙̓͛ͧͧͭ̅͘͠ ̠l̜̺ͧͣ̎̍͠d̢͚̫̖̣͋̌ͬ̈́̽̕ ̶̬͕̠̫̬͍̣ͨͫ̓͋͐̇̅̃͠t͍̳͎̺̘͚̬̒ͬ̏́h͉͔̣͚̬͇ͣ̀ͩͣ̎̽ͯ͜ͅaͭ̏̎ͯ ͑ͦ͌͏̲̳̬̪̺̘͖ͅt̖̥̜̳͕̦̺̩̅̆̊ ̣͉͙͚̯͙͉͉͇̓ͤͮ̇͑̅ͬͯͩ͘͠d̢̙͓͖̠͍͎̫̩̔ͣͤ̈̅ͅe͚͛ͨͩ̐ͧ̇ͮ̒ͥ́̕͡ ͈t̨̟͍̫͎̹͙̻͖̎͂̎̐̓̀͡e̻̣͕̭̹̳ͣ͐̂̃́ͨ̾͌͌c̶͕͓̬͔̿̐̅ͥͣͣͤ͐͒́ ̭̗ͅt̶̲̪͇̳̐ͤͨ̂ͦ̓̎͝͝ ̧̨̛̻͎͉̰̰ͪ͂i̛̮͔̜͂̑͊͝t̖̻͍̜̻͉̺͐̎͊͢͞͞ͅ,̝͕̬͈̯̫̓ͫ̇̀ ̢̪̟̭̅̽̇̚͟ͅḽ̸͈̳͔̣͉̲̤̠ͥ̈́̃͋ͣ̒í͕̹̟̿ͯ̂̀́́̕k̆ͧ̅҉̢͕̪̩̰͜ ̮̞̪e̥͌̀͠ ̡̫̞̬̫̯͓̈́̏ǐ̃͛̈́͢͏̺̝͕̦t̲̣̜͖͎̐ͯ̑̾̃ͪ̀͝͡ ̸̸̛̯ͯ̾d̼͙͑͋ͪ̀iͥͮ̇̋ͫ̒ͬ̿͋͏̯͈̬d̷̠͎̟̝̻͉̖ͪͦͨ́̐̾ ̷̳͉͙̥̖͕̘͗͋̓̉́̚t̵͎͚͔̰͚ͨ́h̘̜̟̗̘̝̣̻̅̂̏ͭ̔̿̎̀̕ȇ̄̂̉͛̈̃̿ ̛̟͉͢ ̨͙̮͈̍̾ͣ̉̆͌́D͈͋ͦ͌̉̿͐͟i̛͉̻͎͇̮̭͉͊̆ͭ̐ͮ͞a̢̬̥ͤ̃͂ͧ̄͌͟mͭ͒ͥ ̶͉̱͚͉̞̞̪ͬ̊͛̉o̼̱̰̼̟̣ͨ̃ͥ̂͊͠nͣͪ̂̇ͩ̈́ͯ̈́҉̧̦̠̝̝̙̫̬́ͅd̡ͤ͢͠ ̰̠͖̣̪̩͕͍ ͚̰͕̟̰̊̂̇͐̿͌̂̕͘L̯͎͎̠̻͐̒ͣͤ͊̂̀͠ą͈͈͎͇͎̙̯̖ͧͯ̂ͬ͒̓͘͜d̈͐ͪ ̭̳̥͈̬ͭï̛͈̤̲̤ͤͦ̀͛̔̃̿e̴̫̪̳̯̬ͦ̀̚̕s̢̺̫͖̪͈̘͙͙̻̑͛ͬͦ̚͢͡? ̘ͨ͌̐ͪ̽ͪ̄ͯ ̜̱̬̲̥̬̠ͫ͊ͩ̅́̚”





    “W̮̰͗ͧ̏̒̑ͤ̒̚͢e̫̣̯͔̳̠̦͊̑̚ͅ ̧̤̦̲͈͚͈̞̖ͪ̉̄́͡ã͈̖̖̜̤͕̮ͅr̴̖̞͈͚̱̙̊͐ͅe̸̛͙̣̻ͭ̍̐͐ͬͦ̋͊ͅ ̲͇ ̶̛̭̖̺͚̳͎̝͙̐̽̏́̚t̸̠̤͇̜̝̟̙̃ͣ͊ͧ́o͈̦ͯo̍͏̸͓̤ ̠̖͕̖̮̺̥ͤͣͣͬ́ͩͭ͋͘͟f̧͈̱̦̩͈̪̮̍̂͡a͇̲̩̐ͥ͞͠r̠̭̓̉̈͢ ͎̯͎̪ͪ̆ͯ͂ͅu̵̴͉̰̣͔̼͚̗̠̾ͩ͛̽̒͒ͯ̚n̟̳̱͖ͮ̅̇ͯ͌̎͛̚͜d̫̲̯ͬ̄͘ͅ ̰͇̗̱e̙̞͉͎̟̭̳̻̅̏̄͂̐͗͐͐͠ȑ̎ͤ͑ͯ͏̡͓̺̜͎ĝ̹̠̜̘̟̠̿̔͢͞͠rͪͥ ̴̵͈͇̭̺͔̱͋̏͛̆̎̍̕ơ̢͔̰̼̲̬͙̊͌̈̒̿͊̓̚uͩ̐ͤ͑҉͎̼̤̜n̈̾̈͂҉͔̯ ̯̜̣͚͕d̝̗̮̗̏͜ ̿̊̇ͪ͐̾ͫ҉̝͔̪̦̝̻f͙̳͔ͨͩ͟͠o̝̦̮̖̱̘̽ͣ͛̏̋ͭ̍̋͘͢r͚̓̇̒̃ͨͣͪ͢͠ ̺͖̗͖̠ ͂͒ͣ̌ͫ̏҉̦̳͚e͕͓̭͔͎ͧͬͬ͋͗͌̋͊͜v̨͎̰̗̟͔̱̓ͭ̌ͫ̈́̑ͬ̓ĕ̀̉ͮ͋͗̀ͩ ̶̡̝̞̜̮̤͉̕n̛̥̰͖͓̯̫͖̑̿͌̆̊̍̇͠ ͑ͪͫͥ̈̄̚͏̙̱̭L̵̬ͫͨ̅́a̝̱͔̼̥͙̼͋̉͞ͅͅt̶̗̫̥̲̟͔̙̬ͤ̈ͦͨ̈́̐͡iͤ ͎̗̙̝͕ͪͦͧͫ̎̐̈̚͜ọ̶̶͎ͮ̽͛̔͆͑s̗̻̖͆ͨͮͨ͒̌́͜ ̴̔̇̇ͦ̔́͂̿͏͉̬̲̬̹t͕͇̻̤̝͒̽͗̀̀͋͆͑̀͡͠o̪̥͎̱̹̺͍̾̓̅̀͡ ̦̰̥̘̃̓̈k͔̳͙͚̣̺̱̖̮̾͆ͣ̐ň͈̹̮͈͋̉ͭ̽ͫ̉ò̷̡͚͔̰̥̈́̓ͦ͢ͅw̌ͧ͞ ̧̹̲͓̙̱̞̱̳̼ ̶̦͎͇̜̰̱͕̗̿̑͐͘͟t͍̭̪̪͉̅͊̑̏h̵̳̖̄͐͟͜i̴̪̗͖͈̪̜̔ͯ͛̏͠͞sͧ̈ͤ ̴̭̗̻͓̱̟̋͆̓ͥ̾͞ ̖̬̫͚̟̃̎͌͛̋̀i̒̏͆ͥ͛̍̽̅͒͏̤̣͖̦͖̮͢ͅs͑̈̇͒͜͝҉̖̗͈ ͚̻̰̹̐͆͂̑ͪ͘ḧ̺̫̗̰̬̏ͤ̋͡͞ͅe̶̯͗̃ͤͬͩ̀̚͠r̬̗̞̫̠̞̝͋͒̐͟ë̖̇ ͎̠͓̲.̣͓̩̯̣̺̻̞ͣ͜͜ ̳͐̈͆̍̌ͭ̽͑́̀̚͞A̸̸͍͔͔̜̞̥͔͗͋̽ͥͤn̶̩̪ͦ̅ͬ͆ͭ͋̽̈́̅d̋͌ͮ̎̎ͪ̌̚ ͇̻̲̤͠ ̴͎ͧ̅́͢e͈̖͚̳̪̪̊̆͐̓͞v̰͚̝̺ͯ̒͊͟͢e͇̖̺͙̗͙͇̟ͧ̊̎́ņ͕̳̉̃̈́̒̏ ͈ ̶̲͖̮ͬͪ̒͂̈́͢i̘̻͈̥͕̬ͬͪ͘f̠̖̻̖̟ͨ́ͮ͒͐ͫ͗̉́͠ ̡̲̫̲̝̗ͬ̃ͫ̍̈̂͊í̷̸͙̺̳̤̺͈ṯ̲̙̠̪̼̰͕ͧ̄ ̴̺͍̬͎̟͕̟̲̾ͣͧ̒ͮ͊͂̂́ẘ̷̬͇̣̱̞̳̤͊̂ę̢̮̝̟͚̆̽̃̈́ͮͭͮͤ̚r͐̇ͤ ̶̵̙̞̦͍̖ͮ̌ͣ̌ė̵͎̝̱͓̟̖͔̓̅͋ͤͥͦ́̚̚ ̃ͦ̀̋̍ͦ҉̡̻̙̺̱̯ṱ̙͙̻̮̦̓͘o̩̮͐̂ͧ̆̅̒͌̀͡͝ ̸͈̠̼̘̱̭̿͊ͭͪͦ̂ͪͫt̤̦͍̱͉͇͑͘̕u̺̱̼̳̠͍̗ͯ̉͛̚̕r̷̪͙͇̩͉͈ͬ̈́͛̐ ̣ṋ̶̰̗̥̳̾̆̕ ̷̤̱̯̣͍̟͇̝̀ͥ͟į̫̫̝̗͋̿͆̉ͤ͊ṋ̛͍̤̥̠̺̪͇ͯ̈́v̯̭̻̹͇̭͆̅́͗̾̂̕ ̼̞̝i̢̼̦̞ͯ̓̀͝ͅs̶̖͂̿́ï̵̟̻̓ͯͩ́͢b̸̗͎̓̌ͤ̂̑͑ͤ̎l̶͑̿̍ͭ̋ͮ͠ ͏͙̻̻͓̖e̢͉̗̣̗̫̍ ̹̼̫̦̖̻͖ͦͯ̿ͫ͛̊ͥ͌͠ǎ͓̘͉̲̤n̉ͯ̇ͧ̓͏̻̲̗̗͙͖͜͟ͅd̫̺͕͑ͨ̇̀̅͜ͅ ̣̹ ̲̤̞̩̞̓̂̊̈ͥͣ͢f̨̙̓ͮ̌̆̈͟o͍̳̝̲̦̖̍͗̃̃ͯ̋̒̑͘͜l̡͕ͣͧͮ̍̏ͥ͊̾͠ ͎͚͉̥̭͉̩l͑͛̆̐͐͋͋͋͘͏̫̣̯̞̻̻̰o̸̤̺̘͆ͮ̈̍w̷̢͓̬̺͍͍̻ͦͣ̈ ͍̗̥̮͎̠̞͊̄̐̉̂̑ͮͧ͢o̘͍̥ͨ͢͞ñ͉͖̄̋̓ͤ̏̎e̹ͯ͜ ̼̦̻̓͟ͅo̵̙͕̟͙̦̺̜̘ͩ̄̍f̴̝̭͔̬̞̞̠̌ͨ̓ͤ͂͐̑̓́̕ ̢͓̹̥̓͆̈̽͌ṷ̴̫̩̓̍̀s͆ͧ̑̐͂̃̿̍͋͏͖̞̯̜̻̻͙̠͘ ̝̬͙̯̗̦̬͊ͬ͜h̞̘͈ͫ̉̿͝e̶͓̪͚̙̫̋̓̾̈̾͢ȑ̴̙̽͂̎ͪe̡ͤ̃͒͏͔,̄ͦ̚ ͯͮ̉́̚͞҉͚̪̭͉̞͚̳ ̢͖͎̝̜̹̪͔̭̰͋̈́ͧ̎͆̐ͬͤ́͜t̓̆͏̢̮̹̙͙͍̺͈̬͞h̢̛̖̻͍͈͉͍̓ͅe̴ͣ̏͠ ̟̺͓ ̸̴̻͓̞͎̩̞̏̐̌͝t̢̛̠̣͙̼̖̮̬͌͋̅̆h̜͖ͤ͒̔ͯë̺̩̜̇ͥ̀͒ͤŗ̖̻͊́͘ ͚̳̞̫̖m̸̯̗̣̮̂̍ͦa̵̮̟̪̪̾̀l̠̟̮̾ͭ͒̀̕ ̶̨͚̘͎͕̇c̺̱̭̣̎̂̄͑̈̀̓͋͝a̳͔̒͂̿̎͞m͔̙ͥͫ̿̎̍̊̈̑e͐̐̒͐̈̓҉̬̬ ̱̲̰̙rͮ̀҉̳͔͚͕̙͎̻͜ͅa̸̳̟̝͓͚̗͈͗͆ͅ ̰̼̞̓̚͟w͔͉̟͉̼ͪ̔ͧ̎ͭͮ̀͢͟ͅͅo̲̍͗͋ͧ͐u̻͐ͨͥ͐͌͑̾ͤ͊͝l̂ͦ͌̐ͫ̃͜ ̺̼͉͔̕d̮̭̼̖̯͔͕̺̾ͭ̇ͤ́ ̴̗̫̬͍͎̲̲̻̔̂ͨͣ̕͠p̺͕̥̤̝̝̗̌̈͒̽̐̀͘ͅi̝̳ͮͤ̓̉ͤc̫̦͂ͭ̓ͤ̕k̏͑ ̝͇͙̯̰̥̗͔͎̀ͧͬ̒̀̀͡ ̠̦͉̯̜̗͛͒ͫͥͦ͋ͮ͝į̟̭̳̳̣̥̜̭̇̊͋ͩͬͥ́t̶͕̻̭͕͉͉̏͒̎̇̆ͨ͘ ̨̞͕̖͇͈̮̗̱̥̓̓ͧ̋̓ͯ̍͌͟u̱̼̼̺̫̓̔̄͌͡ͅṗ͓͕̍ͧ̋̉ͩ̈́͘ ̬̭̭̂͐̇̐͌̀̚͞b̮͚̜̯̅̈́ͬ͐͌͂ͥ͊́ę̴̮͔̯͕̂̊ͧ͆ͅf̡͑̍͌̈́͑̿̆͏̣͇o ͒̌ͫ͐҉͓̫̟͇̦̝̠͠r͇͚̳͙̬͍̈́̿͟e̡͖̣̲̲̮̟ͨ̃̀͊̎ ̧̹̘̹̳͈̈͊ị͔ͭͪ̉͒̋̎̈ͧt͓͈ͭ̆̄͆͌̒ͩ̕ ̜̘̝̭͙̓̓͠d̀̓ͫ̊̄ͩͮ̆͏͍̦e̛̙̫͐̿̋͛ͩ͛͡s̴͕̩̪̫̞̳̻ͦ̅̌̈͛̏ċ͑ͮ ̐̀̄͏҉̺̯͝ȩ͙̙̬̗̰̞͙̞̦ͭ̉̐̓͒ͫ̋ͣn͎̯̭͇̻̜̍ͯ͂́d̻͍ͦ̃̃ͦ̄̓̋̾͡ s̛̞̪͓̲̻͆͌̓̾̑̃.̡̹͖͐͋ͪ.̮̥̼̲͛̌̾̅ͭ̏̄́ͅ.̛̞͎͍̠͙̅̔̂ͤͯ͒̓͛̓ ̞̬̖”




    “S̶͈̫̱̟̳̜̖̤͎̋̅̈́̉͗̂͠ō̴̮̥̹̞̜̪ͭ ̝̽̈́ͣ̕͟͡ͅw̢͖̳̹̙̼̦̝͈ͪ̅ͅh͖̫͔̹̩͊͌ͤ͒̕ý̷̖̬̰̎̿ ̫̫̳͙̉̽̇̽d̤͚̏̓ͬͮ͌͛i̷̟̟̲̟̝̺͂ͯ̕d̴̻̤̞̳̟̳̻̱ͫ͆̌ͩ̏͟ ̼͉͉̰͔͌͢ẁ̛̫͖̞̦̙̜̟̳ͭͫ́̅ͨ̓ͥͩ́e̩̥̲͈͊ͩ̎͟͠ ̮͇͓͈̗̈̂͋ͤ̓ͫͣ͌͝͞ͅh͔̤̥͉̺͆͘å͉͓̭̳̦̲̗͖ͦ̄̀ͅv̢͓̝̜͂ͯ̾̈ͧ͝ͅ ̪͙̟̦ͅe̯̋̿̀̅̃̍̕ͅ ̟̩̐ͩ̀S̢͖̼͙̫̗̫ͯ̎͗͌̐̒͐̂ͮ͜ṭ̼̪̹̪̙̖̝̂̋ͥͫͨ͟e̢̅͋ͮ̑ͯͣ̆̋́̚ ̺̥̦̣̘̜ṽ̷̬̘͓̌́̎͗̏͜e͎̪̙̍͗̊͒̕͟n̦̭̏̂̊ ̵͙͓̩͈̣̫͓̒ͤͯ̒ͯŞ̳̾̐̆ͥͮͮͩ͗͠͞t͆̉͊̌ͯ͏̺̘̗͚͈ͅo̩̟̮͈͍̱͖ͪͤn ̡͕͔̘̠̓̌̂̏e͔̩̗̼̩̘̾̓̍ͯ͛̔́ͅ ̟͈͉̗̗̈́ͥͨͭͤͯͭ̇̚ą̘ͤ̂̎͊̅ͦ͂̎ŝ̨̱̰̻̤̤͓̿ͨͤ̚͢ͅk̈́̌ͪͯ͐ͤ̉̄̅ ̢̞͉̫̱͍͓͍̦i̪͈̅͋͒̅ñ̛͕͙͚̜͓̼̬̯̗͛g̸̨̘̰̪̞̰ͤ̍ͤ̐͆́ ̙̣͉͔̩ͥ̍̋̄̂̚a̸̴̢̭̬͙͗̓̄͑ͫb̧̺̥͉̑̎́ô̴̜̞̹̂̿ͤͪͩ̅̚͘u̓ͪ͛ͭ ̇̆͏͕̜͎̦̝̦͈͇͟t̴͖̲̘̱̔͂̋͘ ̧͈͍̼̺̤͚̥̤̒̊͝tͣ͛ͮͯͤ͋ͩ҉̙̙̩̀͢h̓ͮ͒̌̓̂ͦͬ͏̛̱̳̼͍ͅi̟̜ͥ͂ͦ͟s ̨ͥ̆̽̈́͋͏̨͔̱͕̖̞ n̡͕͔̘̠̓̌̂̏o̩̟̮͈͍̱͖ͪͤẁ̛̫͖̞̦̙̜̟̳ͭͫ́̅ͨ̓ͥͩ́?̵͈͐͋ͦ̽ͯ͢͡ ̙̯̝̞͎͕͓”




    “B͉̬̞̩͂̎̌e̲͇̲̣͔͕͛ͬ̃̅̓̽ͣc͒̐̅ͯ̚͟a̠͆̅̉́ͨ̎͑͠u̥̝͖̼̖̻̾ŝ ̫̗̗̞̱̉̓ḛ̘̦̝͉̌ͫ̓ ̽ͮẗ̩́͐ͩ̒ͭ̉͘h̐̐̃͠i͕͚̬̻̩͒s͎ ̨̭͈ͬ̍̈͛̍̍̿i̴̖̰̜͔̺͕ͦ̂s͚̥͇̣̗̣̎ͮ̀ ̡̹̝ͧͫa̶̰̰̣̔ ̨͍͕͉̺̾̊̑͂̀̑̍ȑ̢̳̤̋ͬeͨs̼̤͇͍ͬͣ͞e͍̝̞̱̻ͦâ̪̥͚̞̿̿̉ȑ̌̔̌ ҉͓͉̦̱c͓̘̲̯̪̫̦̊̅͐͠h̠̖̮̻̒̿̒ͨͭ ̳͎̲̽ͪf̴̲̹͈̗̠̦̋̉̈̍a͕̲ͯ̽̂̒c̘̃ͮ̾ī̊̃̒͢l̦̜̹̝̺͍i̵̹̘̠̓̎́ ̱̱t͉̟͖̩͖̥̦̅͋͛̓y̨̫̘̻̯̟͒͑͊͌̄͌,̯̫̖̖̃ ͉͍͕͍̳͎̅̂̈́̋̚a̸͔͇̩̺͔͔͇̿ͪ̒͑ͯn̢̺͕͖̱̺̻̈͆ḍ̻̯̙͓̣͈ ̥̘͐͠ḫ͙̀̈e̵ͩ̋͐̌̒ ̔͏̩̮̞͔̭̟̤b͙̟͚̝̺͔͌ͭ͡r̗̬͍̱̾͘o̩̲̳̠̟̐̊ͣū̦͚͕̱̹̪͓͊͊ͩ͂g̸ ̭̥̼̟̼h̦͚̭ͩ̀t̳͍̭̀̈ͤ̽ ͓̭̥̹͗a̢̹̩̹̘̍͌͂͆̎̂ ̷s̮͙͂u̓͒͒̂̐͂b͉͈ͣ͌͒̚j͉ͪe͓̞̙͍͉ͨ͊͂ͭc̯̱̬̗͕̦͙t͇̒̄̍̂̓͑ͦ͟ ̜̙̼̹ͅ ͙̥͇̗̭ͣ̒ͫ̊ͩf̬̫̭͖͓̟̗o͔̖͔͊̏̔̀̍̒̈̕r̨͉͚̝ ͔̦̬̥ͩu̜ͨ̐̌s̭͎͖̉̄͗ͮͪ͋ ͍̦͂̋̍͆͂t͔̦͍̙̲̩̓͒͗̉̒́̚o̖̜̠̬̣͔̟̔̒̔ ̜̰̼̟̎̓͑̿͛͜r̰̺̰̰͙̄ͩͣ͐e̙̙̬͍̼̗͌̀s̢͉̻̤̬̫͕̈e͖̩̿̔ͥä̠́̋ͮ͑ r͖̎͂̓́c͚̪ḩ͓͖.̬̋̒̌ͣ ̙̫ͦ͊ͧ͢Ţ͖͉͖͇̯͔͆ͫ́̍̄̚h͑ͮ́e͖͛ͪ͋̎̔ͬ ͇͢p̠̰͎̫̜͉͆͌ͬ̀̔͋́r̗̘̱̪̱͛̽̿ͥͭ͐̾o̴̪̎̒bͫͬ̓̄̄ͪ͏̤͍̲l̂͌̽̀ ͋͏̤ȅ̸͎͆̓̚m͈͉͚̪̥̬̬̂̽̊ͧ̍̊ ̳͇̮͚͂ͬ̒͆ͨỉ̫͐͆̿s̳̺̘̘̊ ̜̮̼̒ͩ̊̆̈́̋t̼̱̺͍ͨ̆͂̾h̳̩̻͎a̼̎ͨ̊ͥͭͥ̚͟ṭ̶ͫͫ ͖̗̜̜͙͎ͅh͍̰͕̖̺̍̒e̤̐̕ ̸̻͖͗̓̏̃ͩ͊t̘̺̫̯̤̤͂̚ͅh̟̙̦̥́̅̎̔̇̽in̪̗̔k̃̾͛̊͛҉̝̜ș̵̯͎̐ ̱͖ ̮͒ͧͫ͐ͦ̇i̴̳̣̳̭̬ͬt̸͈͎̫̰̗͈̗͗ ̯͙̱̺͕̰̟͗͐͂̏̆͊͡is̳ͮ̅͐̏ͩ͌ ͍̝̪͔̈͐͟a̛̓͌́̽̾ ̘̝̰̫͉͖̤͞P̠̣͇̖͈̯ͤͨͫ͊͠o̵̩̪͚̲̲̺͆̆̓ͮ̔k̮̫͕͊̔̇͗ͩ͌é̗̃̒̃͒ ̥͓̝͇m̷̬͎̗̞͈͚ͮȍ͇͇͗ͤ̋͆͝n̼̬͓̩̤ͥͥͭ̅ͧ͋̿͠,̱ͧ͊͗͛̊ͧ͑͘ ̣̠͚ ̲̣̭̋̿̑͊ả͙͈̯̪̟̟͂ͤͪ̅ṇ̛̟̥̪ͫ͆ͧͭd̜̟̦ͯ̅ͮ ̡͉̪̻̥ͣw͋͋̒o͎̫͙̤̟̻͑͋̄ͧ̏̉u̮̜̓͘lͥ̓ͮͩd̤̠̺̥̾̀̆́n̡͐̄̌̌̉̾ ͓͓͓̬̭ͅͅ'̣̣͛ͮͨ̈ͧ̔̀t̮͎ ͍̻͈̰͈͚̉̋ͭͯl̢̫̱̗̮̰eͩ̊̎̌ͪ͛̎t̵̻̙̰͚ ͉̳̮͉̜̊͋ͮ͐̈͐͋͡u̵͚̙͋̐̎̚s̎ ̱͇̺̣̼͍̩̀ͦ͋͝d͖ͬ͐͟o̥̭̯̰͉̙̙ w̻̏ͦ̊ͩh͇̫̉a͕̼͚̦̎̉́͛̚t͕̺̩̦͓͘ ̘̹̣ͫ͊̊̏̃͋̍w͉̯͜e̱͘ ͖͙̱̤ͩ͆ͦͯ̓̌h̤̪͐͡a̴̞̼̩͈̳ͭ̈́ͦ̀̓̇̈v͉̠͚̞̮̅̽ͬͭ̎̂̓e̘̤ͪ ̪̮͇̫ ̲͈͕͖̻͈̿t̹ọ̺̲͉̲̲͒̽ͭ̌̕ ̷̝͓̺̱̪̟͉̂̆͂ͭ̄d̶͎o̬̬̗̍̃ͦͩ̉ ͇̰͙̻̙̼̅̀ͬ̚t͍̞͌̾̒ỏ̻͕̝̖͉ͣ͛͘ ̦̖f̠̏͂̚i̼̖̗͍̣̟̳͒ͥ̍͋̃̋ͧ͠g̚u̳̬̩͙̯̲͖ͦ̓͋r̿͊ͥ̎̃͛͏ě̹͐̚͢ ̲̱̘̜ ̼̹́ͯ̌ͬ̚ơͥ̎̅u͋̕t͂ͭͭ̆́͒͏̻̱̖ ̗̟ͭ̅ͦͬw͇̙̮͈̅̓̆͆h̬̮̃͒ͯ̚â̶̠̟̎̇ͤ̃t̶̐̒̈́ͬ͒ͥ ͖ͨ̄̆̅̆͠ṱ̛̜̘̻̥̟ͩ̔ͥh̃̏̊̈́̾̈́̂͟į͎̼̘̘͇s̪͉͆̓ͧ̂ ̞͋̊ͤţ̰͕̗̰̳̑̽ͨ̉̀ͅh͎̦͘ị̒͌̌̈́ͫ͢ṅ̫̫̞̞̩ͅg̥̗͈̝͠ ̠͓͖ͫ̂̃͢ị̺̬̲̤̰ͣ͒ͅș̦̹͙͈̠̋̆͐̐̚.̢͓͇̥͕̜̫̗̈́̿̂ ͇͛ͭ̇̓̿ͅÁs̲͔̞͙̠̪̿ ̭ͨ̀ͤ̈́́ͩf̛a͊̀ͨͫ͗ͥ͗r̛̦ ̨̱̜͙̂a͖̘̳̥s̳̦̝̍ͯ̐̉͋̈́͊ ̄̓͗̌͘ę̰͕̹̙̹̙ͨͤ͋͌̑̇ͅṿ̮͡ȩ͇̘̺̥͍̮ȓ̀̈́͏y̺͎ͬ͛͗̂̅͜oͦ͑͒ ̴̮͖̗͙͍ͯ͂ͪn͟e̤ ̲̳̤͔̌͂̄͛̄̇̑͡o̼̰͔̥̖̅͑ṳ͔̭͍͉͐̃ͩ͑͑̈́̚t̸̯̲̟̫̦̿̋̑̉ͩ̚s̈́͛̓ ̼̲͕̟̼͙̼ͦ̆͟í͇̥̗̦͖̃̏͊͜d̰̃ͬ̊͑̅̊͟é͙͉͕̬̹͉̜ͫ ̥̏o̒̅ͫ̈f̙̺̽ ̙̞̹̌̍̒ṯ̲̋h̼͔̦̱̤̼ḭ̙͍ͩ̈͛́s̟̞̹̯͚̓ͦ͞ͅ ̴ͩr͎̥̟oͭ̈́ͯͤͮͣ҉̲̣̖͔̖̱ͅo̴͔̦ͥ́ͧ̃mͫͩ̒̈͂ͤ ̨̩͓̝͔̪͖̓̊ͪ̉̽ȋ̖̂̿̇̈́͑̊s̩ͮͧ ̛͇͈͋̄a̖͖͙̳w̨a͍̤̮ͥ̈͌͒r̥̼̤͚͖̮̎ͣͤͫͤͪe̽̾̔ͩ͊̏͏͕͔̰̬,̓̽̽͢ ̘ ̴̠̠͖̣͙̋ͥt̗͇͂ͯ̑h̵͈̥͍̮̩͗̋ͮͪ͊e̯͎͕̮͌ ̩͍̺̟̱͎ͭ͠s̯̠͇̊͆̇̇̀ͅp̒҉e̵͉ͧ̈́̌ͦͫ͒c͞ìm̫ͫͯ͠ẻ͉n̸̑ͪ ̲̞ ̴͎̦͕̫̂̆͗̿͂͋i̛̺̼̝̻͉̺̇̃s͏͓̫̘̦̬̟̘ ̨̞̪̲̒ͤͨ̈̔͑͌i̛͔̯̣͇̳͗ͨͬn͈̬̑̍͌ͧͬ̏ͅ ̨̞̪͎͕U̘̾̃n͚̼̻ơ̤̞̙̭̻͇̭͊ṿ͔̝͖̇͒a̟̰͍̯͈,̱̩ͪ̓͑̐ͣ̊̕ ̼̬͇̱̥̉ͤͨ̔̑a̰ͫ̓ͤ͋̑nͦ̑́̎ͭ͟d̛͇̘̥̺͕̺̓͗̐ ̞̲̭̌ͧb̶̟̼̯̫͈ͫ̂̓yͩͦͪ͌ͫ̐̑̀ ̶̰̹͕͓̌̎͂ͅt̟ͣͬ̀h̾ͮ̓ͪe͕̫͍͉̭͎͒ͅ ͚̹̠͎̮̯̋ͣ͑̋̓̊͐͜t̡͎͖͍̮̰̩̲i̪̗̹ͅm̧̫͋e͕̠̣ͪ̓ ̛̲ͮ͐̑̽̽̚p̫̈e̲̻̼̫̾ͬ͛ͫͪ̊͡o̸̩ͩ͊̉̂ṗ̹̗̣͈͔̦̆ͅlͭ͒ͦ̏eͬ̃ͤ̋ ̙̩͙̓̽͡ ͔̳̀r͎̳̩ͧ̊͞e͖̺̻̙̙͇̝͐̊á̴̲̮̈́́̑̊ḻ͕̼̥̫͐i̬ͬ̈́̐̽ͨ̋̑zͦ̊̇͌ ̽ẽ̖͉ͬ ͈͓̪̮̣̫̆͂ͭ̃ͅi̢̞͕̯̣̽̏̑̊ť̙̲̦͈̺́̍͗̊̐ ͚͉̭̑͗̉͐̿ͪ̚i̔̏͋͞s͙n͔̹̰̺ͣͫͨ͑̃ͦ́'̭̰̗͚t̙͇ͥͣ̈́,̶̲͋̋̓͆͋̈̒ ͙͍͓͙̣͇ ̮̰̣̼̝͓̥ͣ͒͋ẃ̾̏̚ͅě̢̻͕̹ͩ͌̽ ͚̖̲̖̙̤̾ͧ̈ͣ̊͆̚ͅw̺͔̯̘̬͑ͬi͕̓͋ͭ̉̏ͯͮl̪ͪ̓̍̑ͧ̆͋l̤̝͗́͊͋ͯͮ̑ ̱ ̧͔͓̥̲̹̼̓ͧ̈̆ͦ̏ͅk̞̯̻̰̈́n̳̯̻̖̖̠ͩͤ̏o͍̖̤̕w̤̪̬͙̺͟ ̬̘̤͓̼̓͆w̷̩̑̈́h͕̺͉͆̎͢a͓̜̺͚̫ͤ̏̎̈́ͨͤ͐͝ͅt͉̮̩̖̬̯ ̰̭̰̙͐t̟̗͕̋̑h̬̣̞̻͖̹̋̾ͣͭ̄́ͮi̼̦̯͈͚̒͢ͅs̬̞̩̥ͦ͆̏ ̅ͯ͆̿ͪ͌҉̣͖͕͓̹i̫̩̲͐̏̽̒̏͌s̞͍͕̝̗̤̈ͧ̊̅͌ͧ͘,̲̜̭̫͔̓͗̃͒ ̭͈ ̔̇̒͛ͩ͞a̴̻̗̣͆͐͐̚̚n̨̮̘d̛͚̮̟̿͛̐̈́ ̤̜̮̘̞̺̺ͣ̄̄b͙ͬ͝ě̀ͅ ̧ͧͤ͗͗a͔̮̖ͣ̿̌̃̓̔b̗̰͍̰̯̿ḷ̸̹͖̮̐e͓͔͎̙̠ͧͣͦͦͣͪ̐ ̩ͥ̆͜t̳̭̭̍̍͋͗͐̈ö͈̗̜͖̣́̄̚͞ ̝͛ͯ͊͊̇ͅbͅl̰̊͐͟a͔̟ͦͧͪ̎̍̽m͚̱̥̮͂ͯͬͬ̏ͤ͋e̟ͣ ̼̠̼̗̽̈́̓̐ͥ͋̕i̬͚̪ͬt̴́̀̈́ͫͮ̐̚ͅ ͚̌ͨ̊̌͒a̫ͨͬ̇͂̽ṡ͙͉ͣ̔̌̈̅̉͟ ̰̙̙͍̖a̘̟̞͔̜̙̭̒͢ ͔c̩̲̗͔̋͂͂̀̚l̖̬̦̣e͎̟͉̗͖̝͐̈́̒ͅr͍̱̩̊̑͐i̤̫̙̥͍͚ͨcͫͦ̽̊ͮ̿̈ ̵̠a̔̃ͦͩ͏̺͇͉͍ḽ̝ͩ͌͗͆͐͂ ͚̟͇ͧe̤̼̍͗̀̚r̹͍͔̺̤͆ͮ̔̕ͅr̷̿ͧ̏ö̞̩͎̮̙̗́̽̌̑͛̾̋r̊ͤ̽̋̇̈́̚͞ ̮̟̲̤̱̪.͖̰̘̯̖̤͗́.̛͕̽̍ͧ͆ͭ̚.ͤ̈̾̒ͦ̚”

    The humans start to calm down, before the sense of deadly curiosity begins to emanate further.

    “D̶̷̻̩͔͉̫̎ͥo̴͎̬̲̬ͪͭ̉̓̄̀u̷͚̳̣̺̘̘̇̔ͪ̄ͥb̶͍͚̣̞̳ͤ̉̑ͪ̉͝ͅ ͙ĺͪ̿͏̞̖̗̻̬̼̰͟ͅe̤͊́̋ͫ̔͡ ̽̔ͮ͌̀̈͏̴̗̙͟ţ͕̻̤͈͍͕ͥͧ̆̍̔͋̃ͅh̪̮̗̆́ͩ̇ͩ̓ȩ̫͂̽ͧ̌͗͋́̌̚̕ ̖̠̙̦̮̫ ͙͙̘̥̲͉͔́ͯ̏ͧ͊̏̈v̐̔҉̢̥̟͕̣͞ȯ͑ͯ҉̬̱̼̗̜̭̪̹͈́l̶̨̹͕ͧ̈̏͞t͆ ̋̑̀͏̡̼̹̖̦a͈̩̻̠̯̻̳̅̾͘g͈̳̗͔̟̠ͥ̌̆͐ͪ͢e̮͖̲̲͉̤͖͉͚͛͌̂̕,ͤ̈́ ̓̒̓͏̵̮̦́ ͔̬̫͔̟̤͙̓ͫͧ̅ͧ͛͜a̢̙̰̞̲̣̙̞̠ͮ̈́̍ͯ̎ͫͭ͠ń̢̯̞̞͇͔ͦ̄̓͘ͅd ͇̟̋͞ ̺̝̮͍̖͙̰ͤͪą̭̰̟̺̤̓̿ͨ̈́ͦ̇͘d̨͕͔͓̟͈̱͖̻͒͆͒͋̔͂̅̚d̋́ͭ̓ͮ͊̀͞ ̨͕̟̝̖̹ ̨̝̜̰̮͍̫̤̤̜ͨ͗ͧ͒̓ͣ̇͘a̢̎ͤ͒ͦ́͂̚҉̷͖͎̘̯̜̞̘ṇ̫̝͇̜̏ͭ̕̕oͤͣ̂ ͣ̕҉͚̘̮t̷̬͉͖̹͊͋ͦ͛̽̇̊̂ͪ͡h̺͈̋ͪ́͢͡e̢͍̭̣͔̞͓͈ͫͯͪ̆̌̈̿̕rͦ̓ ͔͉̰̺͚̝̬̻ͤͬ̓͗͐͒ ̴̴̣͉̜̲̺̬̼͕̠ͧ̃ͫ͘f̴̧̘̠͔͂́ḯ̴̧̛̦̘̻̭̭̈̑͑ͪͪ̏ͬf̶̛̯͚͆ͥ̋̾͢ t̥͉̪̜͔̯͔̂́y̶̸͍̫ͧ̆͒͋͗ͮ͊́ ̨̬̗̠͙̌͗p͉̤͉̖͇̣̽ͨ͝ė̜̰̖̬ͭ͊̏͠r̷͇̫̭͈̩̪̳͎̦ͪ͗̋̈́ͩ͡cͦͦͮ̿ͧ ̪̟̦͎̰̩̓̽ͪͥe͔̞̹̣̝͈͈͙̎̒ͫͦ̌͜n̥͕̼͕̏́̕t̻͍̥̟́ͮ̇ͣ̽̐͜͜ ̨̼̳͖̘̻ͤͭ̔ͤ̋̈́ͮc̸̣̪̼͉ͦͨ̑̃͋̌̑̃͘u͈̯ͦ̈́r͖͙̆͗͜͠r͕̋ͦ̅͗͂̉̀͢ e̘̪͖͓̤̳ͨ̉̕͝n̛̬̓͘͡t̟̳̺͕ͧ̌̿̈́ͤ͟.̨̩͈̰̜̙͉̦ͦ͌ͮͣ̓̚͜”



    Latios could only watch, as Charlotte’s aura was polluted by pain and fear. Whilst Dylan had considered having Latios attempt to read her thoughts whilst she dreamt, to better understand what she saw, he decided against it. It may wake her up, and startle her to know something was listening in, and whilst it was for her benefit, this was the sort of thing he’d rather have her permission before doing.

    Whilst Latios couldn’t see Charlotte directly, his empathetic sense was able to go through thinner surfaces, such as the window and the blind behind it of Charlotte’s room. Really, this was only to make sure Charlotte was having a nightmare. There was little point staying up late to see if there was a Pokemon nearby causing this nightmare, if they didn’t know for sure she was having one.

    Dylan had told Latios the truth about why he had borrowed him from Jon, and whilst Latios wasn’t a fan of keeping Jon in the dark, he agreed to help Dylan for Charlotte’s sake, on the expectation that once Dylan had done his investigation, he would tell Jon the truth.

    Dylan sat in his room, telepathically talking to Latios. It was 1am, and next door, he could hear Chris swearing at Justin for holding on to a Blue Shell, for the sole purpose of using it when Chris was about to cross the finish line in first place. Not to steal the win for himself, but deprive Chris of it.

    ”Is this what you are listening to every night?” Latios asked, hearing the noise from the next room through the telepathic link.

    “Nearly,” Dylan replied. ”Don’t tell Jon though. It’s good leverage for when I need something from one of them…”

    “Eight in this one,” Latios said as he passed another room, counting the amount of auras he could detect. Dylan sat in his cabin with his laptop open and the database of the students attending. Whilst that room only had six trainers, he knew two of the trainers had a Pikachu and Eevee respectively, and wouldn’t be surprised if they let their Pokemon sleep in their bed with them. And according to Latios, all of the auras seemed to be those of people and Pokemon sleeping.

    Whilst Dylan doubted this was the case, and really didn’t want it to be either, if there was a Pokemon causing nightmares nearby it had to be in one of the cabins, as Latios had already scoured the grounds and found nothing.

    ”What will you do if we find nothing here?” Latios asked, as he passed another room. ”Six in this one.”

    ”That adds up,” Dylan replied with his thoughts. ”And if we find nothing here, tomorrow afternoon, you and I will do some tests on the island, and expand our search tomorrow night…”

    ”Four in this one,” Latios said. ”What sort of tests?”

    ”Adds up,” Dylan replied. ”As for the tests, I want to see what sort of range you can focus in on connecting with me at, and sharing your sight. I figure being a Legendary Pokemon, not many can match your ability in that, so we would have a rough idea of what sort of radius something could be affecting Charlotte from. Then tomorrow night, we do the same thing but expand our search…”

    ”Five in here,” Latios said about the next room. ”And if we find nothing there?”

    “Adds up,” Dylan said about the room before answering the question. ”In that case, I don’t know. You’d be able to tell if something upset Charlotte to the point of it doing this to her when she sleeps. It just doesn’t seem likely…”

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****

    Abbee awoke the next day, and wasn’t surprised to see Charlotte was already gone, being hit with a pang of sympathy. Whilst Charlotte wasn’t the sort to trouble Abbee with her problems, Abbee knew enough to see how much the nightmares were affecting her, and if she was already gone, chances are she awoke at some point during the night and couldn’t get back to sleep.

    As she went to the cupboard that contained her wardrobe, she grimaced. Once every few months, her and her dad would go shopping to replace any clothes she had outgrown or worn out. However, in the year since her father had passed away, replacing clothes had been something Abbee tended to put off, replacing very little of her older clothing in that time. Additionally, she had grown nearly an inch taller since then, and had been starting to realize just how much of the clothes she had brought with her were due for replacement.

    It was 7:50am, with breakfast due to start in ten minutes, so she quickly grabbed something she knew still fit her well, and made her way to the dining hall. It didn’t take long before she found Charlotte, Chris and Justin sitting at a table. Charlotte seemed exhausted, as Chris and Justin were debating which version of Rainbow Road was the best.

    “Morning,” Abbee said, as she sat at the empty seat next to Chris and opposite Charlotte, carrying a bowl of cereal. Charlotte nodded in acknowledgement whilst Chris and Justin continued their debate.

    “You free this afternoon?” Abbee asked Charlotte. “I’m thinking of heading into town to get some new clothes, and we still gotta go in pairs.”

    “Sorry…” Charlotte replied, before yawning. “I’m rostered on to help out with this afternoon’s seminar.”

    “Of course,” Abbee said. “Sorry, I forgot you were on this week. I guess that means Dylan is also busy…”

    Hearing Dylan’s name was enough to pull Chris’ attention from the debate he was having with Justin.

    “Not anymore. He blackmailed me into swapping shifts with him for some reason,” Chris said irritably. “I had to cancel my plans for this afternoon…”

    “We can just do it tonight instead…” Justin said, slightly consoling Chris.

    “Wait, what dirt did Dylan have on you to be able to blackmail you into taking his shift?” Charlotte asked. “And what plans?”

    “Mario Kart…” Justin said, before yawning. “He’s addicted, and I share a room with him. If he has to keep me up all night with it, I might as well enjoy myself…”

    “And as for the dirt, that’s a great idea…” Chris retorted sarcastically. “I tell the two of you, and you now have blackmail material to use against me. No thank-you…”

    Charlotte rolled her eyes, as Abbee looked towards Justin.

    “So in that case, you’re free?” Abbee asked Justin.

    “I suppose…”

    “Well would you mind coming along so that I can go?” Abbee asked. “I’ll buy you an ice-cream?”

    Justin was quietly mulling it over, before Chris interjected.

    “Goddamn dude, she is asking you to tag along, not go on a fancy date or something…”

    “Your tact never ceases to astound me…” Charlotte said sarcastically, before yawning again. “I’m too tired for this s**t…”

    Chris laughed, as Abbee looked at Justin.

    “You’d really be doing me a favour…” Abbee said. “I am not sure when I will have a spare moment to go again for a few weeks if I can’t go today, and I really need to replace some of my clothes…”

    “Sure, as long as you don’t mind the company.” Justin said, as Abbee looked around.

    “So where is Dylan?”

    “Not sure.” Charlotte asked, “His car is gone, so I presume somewhere in town…”

    As the group finished their breakfast, Chris was the first to leave, still sour that Dylan had blackmailed him, with Charlotte not far behind him. Abbee stood to take her plate to the dishwashing pile, addressing Justin before she spoke.

    “So meet at the gates at about noon?”

    “Sure, but what about lunch?” Justin asked.

    “We’ll get something in town,” Abbee began, before looking around to make sure she wasn’t being overheard, and leaning in. “The cooks here are great, really. But when you’re cooking for forty people day in day out, you find yourself getting a little repetitive. It’d be nice to get something different.”

    “Understandable,” Justin replied, slightly nervous. As much as he did believe Abbee had moved past the incident last summer, he could count the amount of one-on-one conversations he’d had with her since on one hand. Let alone an afternoon spent with her. He foresaw a lot of awkward silences, knowing that he was more there so Abbee could go into town without breaking the rules.

    “Thanks again, really,” Abbee said. “I’m sure we’ll have a great time.”

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****

    ”What about now?”

    Dylan could hear Latios’ voice in his head, but it sounded very distant. Near inaudible.

    “I can hear you, just…” Dylan thought back, concentrating hard.

    “Now?”

    The pair were on the Mossdeep Island beach, Dylan at one point, and Latios out of sight, both in terms of distance, but also invisible, far away.

    ”Still can hear you,” Dylan replied. ”Try another fifty meters.”

    The pair had been at the beach for the last two hours, coming up with a method of testing, before implementing it. Dylan measured out fifty meters, roughly speaking, showing Latios the distance. Latios would attempt to lock on to Dylan’s mind, before moving fifty meters away, and trying again. Whilst Latios seemed to have no issue at all increasing distance, the last few attempts have been quieter and quieter.

    And now, silence…

    There was a few more seconds of silence, before Dylan felt a splitting pain in his head.

    ”Dylan!” Latios was shouting telepathically. ”Can you hear me?!”

    “My deaf grandmother is buried in Mossdeep Cemetery, and she can hear you…”

    “Sorry…” Latios replied. ”But I think I found my limit.”

    Whilst Dylan had been keeping track of how many times Latios moved fifty meters, he was aware it wasn’t an exact science, especially since Latios was guessing the distances. To confirm, Latios used his sight sharing, which was like a laggy video, to show Dylan where he was. When Dylan had a rough idea how far down the beach Latios was, he opened the maps app on his phone to calculate the distance between them.

    There was a boom in the distance, and less than ten seconds later, Latios was in front of Dylan.

    “Goddamn…” Dylan muttered as he calculated the distance, impressed both at Latios’ range telepathically, and how fast Latios travelled that distance. “I’m not sure why Jon doesn’t have you take him to visit Johto…”

    “It’s too risky…” Latios explained.

    “Us humans can’t withstand those high speeds?” Dylan asked.

    “I originally thought that, but no,” Latios replied. ”When I didn’t understand Jon explained it to me, that it isn’t the speed that would kill him, but the change in it. I could gradually reach top speed, and Jon would not be harmed. Except I am travelling over a kilometer a second, and whilst I can stop myself within two or three seconds, even if I were to keep Jon on my back, the sheer force would kill him instantly. I’d need to take nearly ten seconds to slow down for him to not pass out. So if a plane or a large Pokemon were to cross paths with me, it’d be a disaster…”

    “Right…” Dylan replied, having never considered it. He always knew Latios was quick, and presumed Jon would make the most of that sort of high speed flight. “So Jon has never flown at full speed with you?”

    “Once. He called in a favour with Steven to find a section of sky in the ocean south of Southern Island that had no flights scheduled to fly through it. I took about a minute to reach full speed, and flew at it, using my telekinesis to keep him secured to my back, for about thirty seconds, and then another minute to slow down. We travelled about a hundred kilometers by Jon’s guess…”

    “Goddamn…” Dylan replied, even more impressed.

    “Just don’t tell Alyssa. This was before he met her, and if she made him sell his motorbike because it was too dangerous, she would not like hearing this…”

    “Wait, Jon had a motorbike?” Dylan asked.

    Latios nodded, before gesturing to Dylan’s phone.

    “So how far away is my range with telepathy?”

    “A little shy of two kilometers.” Dylan explained, still impressed.

    “That is only trying to communicate with someone I know well. I couldn’t communicate with one of the new students if I couldn’t see them. And my emotion-sense is a hundred meters at best…”

    “No, that is fine,” Dylan replied. “Brilliant really. Because if two kilometers is your limit, unless whatever could be causing these nightmares is a more powerful psychic than you, it should be within two kilometers of the Eon Academy. If we can’t find anything within the two kilometers, it either means the nightmares aren’t being caused by a normal Pokemon, or if they are, they are by a Psychic Type even more powerful than you, which on this Island, is unlikely…”

    ”So back to the Academy?”

    “We’ll have a quick drive around the city to see if there are any Pokemon within your broad telepathic range triggering any warning bells.” Dylan replied. “But then tonight, we will have a stake out. Confirm Charlotte is having a nightmare, and see if there are any Pokemon that could be doing it, active within that two kilometer range.”

    ”I’m two meters tall…” Latios began. ”I don’t think I will fit in your car…”

    “Not comfortably…

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****
    Abbee and Justin sat opposite each other at a cafe in Mossdeep City. The silence was overbearing, and whilst Justin normally wouldn’t mind using his phone, seeing as Abbee was only a friend, and maybe a meme on his newsfeed could actually trigger a conversation, Justin still felt a little sensitive about the topic of phones, and didn’t want to risk opening that can of worms.

    Justin looked up, and saw Abbee looking out to the street, having finished her lunch, looking at the different people walking past. She noticed him looking, and flashed him a grin, causing Justin to go slightly red, not used to this sort of attention from her.

    “I still can’t believe you helped discover a new Legendary Pokemon. Let alone capture it…” Abbee said, trying to break the awkward silence. “I’m kinda glad we haven’t had a rematch yet, because I don’t think I could beat it again…”

    “You never know…” Justin replied. “I won’t fall for the same trick again, but I know you’re not the sort of person to try and use the same gimmick twice in a row.”

    Abbee laughed at Justin’s observation.

    “You give me too much credit,” Abbee explained, “Chris gave me the idea of using Victini’s status moves, and Victini was the one who thought to hide that Future Sight attack. If not for them, you would have probably thrashed me.”

    “We’ll never know…” Justin said lightly, not wanting to labour the debate if Abbee was convinced he was a better battler.

    “So have you heard much from Candice recently?”

    The question shocked Justin slightly, however he retained his composure, not wanting to look like a hypocrite with what he had said about Candice on the beach weeks earlier. He still stood by what he said. Who gives a s**t if he is interested in her. He wasn’t going to be secretive about it and deny everything.

    “Yeah, she got in touch the other night, and we video-chatted. Mostly small-talk since Chris is my room-mate and either couldn’t or wouldn’t take a hint to play his switch somewhere else…” Justin answered. “But she is visiting Mossdeep next week, and staying in the lodge we were in last year.”

    “How was Jon when you asked if she could stay?”

    “I tried telling him she was a friend from my trip and could be a good guest tutor, but he saw right through me,” Justin sighed. “He didn’t say anything, but I could tell he had a hunch what was up, which made him saying nothing even worse. He just gave me this stupid grin. Maybe Steven said something...”

    Abbee laughed at what she imagined that conversation being like.

    “So why now?”

    “She had to make sure she wouldn’t have any challengers showing up at Snowpoint and her be in another region. She’s the seventh gym leader in the sequence, so waited until there was nobody still active in the Gym Challenge that had the fifth or six badges.” Justin explained. “She has been keeping an eye on the standings since the start of summer, and only just found the break where she can leave Snowpoint for a little while.”

    The pair paid for their meal before leaving the cafe. Abbee had already visited a couple of shops, finding some new clothes to replace the old ones, and whilst she had asked Justin if there were any stores he wanted to visit, he had been pretty content browsing the men’s sections at the stores she had visited at that point. He had mentioned to her wanting to get some new clothes, however wasn’t in as dire need as Abbee was.

    “So how is it being Chris’ roommate?” Abbee asked. “I’m betting he snores a lot…”

    “He talks in his sleep, but he doesn’t snore…” Justin answered. “That is assuming we get to sleep, because Dylan is next door and his snoring could be mistaken for a Wailord’s mating call…”

    Abbee laughed, remembering last year when Dylan’s snoring kept her awake, being in the room next to hers, and realized Justin would have been in the same position, being in the room on the other side of Dylan. She had forgotten about Dylan’s snoring since last summer. Even when Dylan spent a few days at her house over New Year’s Eve, she didn’t hear anything, as, much to her embarrassment, Tyler had made a point of making sure Dylan was in a room at the other end of the house. Not that they had any intention of being in each other's room, however she did wish that Tyler was less obvious that that concerned him…

    “During the first few weeks last year, I was convinced he snored as loudly as he did to make up for the fact he never spoke,” Abbee joked. “Now he talks a bit more but it sounds like the snoring hasn’t changed…”

    “Most of the time I am asleep before him anyway, but if I wake up for anything, I can’t get back to sleep,” Justin replied. “So I don’t feel too bad when Chris and I keep him awake when we end up playing Mario Kart or something…”

    Abbee led the way into the next store on the main street. It didn’t take her long to browse through the women’s section and realize there was very little she wanted to buy, however noticed Justin browsing through some of the button down shirts on a rack.

    “So what’re you gonna wear when Candice is here?”

    “Clothes…” Justin replied, somewhat bluntly. “I haven’t really thought about it. Just figured I’d wear what I normally wear? It’s not a big deal…”

    “Maybe,” Abbee said before nodding towards the board shorts and black singlet he was wearing. “But I’m sure it’d score you some points if the first time she sees you in six months, it looks like you’re making an effort to impress her.”

    “Or, I show up looking like I was dressed by my mother for picture day, and she just sees me as a kid…” Justin retorted. “We spent nearly a week hiking, unable to bathe without risking frostbite. This is a massive upgrade…”

    Abbee laughed at Justin’s reasoning, understanding somewhat, though still disagreeing.

    “That is a very fair call. Look, I don’t know Candice personally, but she doesn’t strike me as the sort to take an interest in you if she sees you as a kid. I’m willing to bet that she already sees you as an equal, especially given what you guys accomplished over Christmas, and I doubt her seeing you try to dress a bit nicer than usual when you do finally see her again, is going to change that,” Abbee explained. “I’m not your mother, but I reckon I could find some decent stuff in the sale section that can be put to good use.”

    Justin sighed. He was planning on picking up some clothing whilst he was in town. The only reason he had argued Abbee’s point until now was because he was nervous enough as it was without accounting for what he was going to be wearing.

    “Fine,” Justin said, feigning exasperation. “Impress me.”

    With a grin, Abbee began looking through the sale section, hoping to find a few days worth of outfits there. She got Justin’s approval on colors, before passing him different garments. By the time she was done, and gotten his approval on the items she picked out, he had three pairs of canvas shorts, two new tees and three button-down shirts, all of them half price or less. As Justin tried a few of the outfits on, Abbee eventually found a sundress that she liked, deciding to add that to her purchases for the day.

    “I’ve outdone myself…” Abbee said as they walked out of the store, gesturing towards the full bag of folded clothes that Justin carried. “If she isn’t impressed by this, she isn’t the one…”

    Justin chuckled at Abbee’s commentary, before nodding towards her bag.

    “What did you end up getting?”

    Abbee grinned, pulling the dress out to show Justin.

    “It’s… nice…” Justin said, now knowing the first thing about dresses, and doing a terrible job of hiding it. “Though I don’t think this is supposed to be here…”

    Abbee looked at where he was pointing, and noticed the beige security tag. She sighed as she saw it, and realized what it meant.

    “Lucky you saw it now and not when I tried to wear it,” Abbee remarked, as she turned back to the store. “I’ll be back in a minute.”

    “I’m happy to come with you?”

    “I’ll just be waiting in line,” Abbee replied. “See if you can find an ice-cream shop nearby. I owe you one for helping me out today…”

    Justin nodded, pulling out his phone and opening Google. He quickly found an ice-cream shop within walking distance and was reading through reviews when he was pulled from his thoughts by someone’s loud voice further down main street.

    Closing his phone, Justin wandered towards the commotion, and started to piece together what was being said.

    “I’m not paying for this meal!”

    The person yelling was a man who looked to be about Jon’s age, standing in the outdoor seating area of a nearby cafe and the recipient was a waitress, who barely looked any older than him. She seemed to be trying to stand her ground, however it was obvious that tears were forming in her eyes at the barrage of abuse.

    “How stupid are you to think I should pay for a meal that I couldn’t even eat?!” the man continued, as other passersby slowed their pace to glimpse the altercation they could hear happening.

    “Sir, you didn’t request the gluten-free option when I took your order, and as such, we gave you the standard meal-” the waitress tried to explain, before being cut off by the aggressive patron.

    “Don’t you f**king dare interrupt me!” the man shouted, his voice growing louder. “And don’t blame me for your mistakes! I ordered the gluten-free option.”

    “Sir, I have my notepad here with your order, and my colleague who was pouring drinks for your table was there when you gave it-”

    “Are you stupid?!”

    Justin gritted his teeth, before walking towards the man, who was continuing his rant, as the waitress broke down in tears. He didn’t even know what he was going to do about this. Only knowing he wouldn’t do the things that Chris probably would resort to…

    “Hey!” Justin called out, getting the man’s attention, and causing him to turn around to face Justin. The waitress took a step back, wiping her eyes in the moment of reprieve. “Relax, she’s just doing her job.”

    The man’s eyes narrowed as his attention focused on Justin, looking down on him like a Gyarados looking at the next Pokemon to be its punching bag.

    “Who the hell do you think you are?” The man asked, not yelling like he was before, but still plenty loud enough. “Mind your own business, and f**k off!”

    Every part of Justin wanted to curl up into a ball, or run away. But he remembered what he had talked to Candice about during the summer. Wanting to help people, and not just fight off a**holes until they run and hide.

    “Look, I get you’re upset, but that doesn’t make it okay to treat somebody like this for just doing their job,” Justin began. “How would you feel if somebody treated your daughter like this? Or your wife?”

    The man didn’t respond, instead, shoving Justin, knocking him back a couple of steps.

    “I won’t say it again. Mind your own business, and f**k off!”

    “Justin!” Justin heard Abbee call out from behind him.

    Justin shook off the instinct to antagonize the man, or threaten him like Chris would, wanting to defuse the situation. Taking a breath he stood forward, forcing himself to make eye-contact with the man.

    “I’m just trying to help someone out here. There’s no need to be so aggressive. If we can all just calm down, and be civil, and I’m sure you can come to some sort of-”

    Justin wasn’t able to finish the sentence, before feeling the man’s fist smash into his face, and his nose break. Tears filled his eyes before he even knew what was going on, leaving him partially blinded, as he dropped the bag he was carrying, its contents spilling onto the ground. The man shoved him, and not expecting it, and unable to see in that moment, Justin tripped backwards, falling to the ground.

    “A**hole! Leave him alone!” Abbee shouted, as Justin heard footsteps moving quickly towards him.

    Justin grimaced at the pain from his arm rubbing against his broken nose when he attempted to clear the tears from his eyes, before standing. He raised his hands, partially to protect his face, knowing this man was beyond reasoning, and the best he could do was keep his attention, and not get beaten in the time it takes for someone to call the police.

    The man rushed at Justin, punching him in the stomach and knocking the wind out of him and leaving Justin curled over. He heard the man grunt, and saw him shoved to the ground in his peripheral vision. Looking up, Justin saw Dylan standing over him, back turned and facing the man who was scrambling back to his feet.

    “You want to do this?!” the man yelled, rolling up his sleeves.

    “Nobody does but you, you stupid p***k!” Dylan shouted back, matching the man’s volume, and shoving him again. “A teenager was trying to reason with you, but you were so bent on stroking that rage-boner that you assaulted him!”

    Justin had only ever seen Dylan like this once, and that was after Abbee’s dad had passed away. He was thankful for Dylan’s size and not being on the receiving end of this.

    “Just pay for your meal, and leave.” Dylan said, quieter but firm. The man spat at Dylan’s feet, before turning to leave. However as he did, there was a shimmer of light in his path, where Latios quickly materialized, looking down on the man, before letting out a draconic roar, harsh and out of character for the mostly gentle Legendary Pokemon.

    “Are you threatening me?” the man asked, facing Dylan.

    “So what if I am?” Dylan retorted, refusing to back down. “You verbally abused a waitress, and assaulted a minor. You’re the a**hole no matter which way you put it…”

    He sneered, before pulling a bank-note out of his pocket and throwing it at the waitress, before walking off, Latios moving aside to let the man pass.

    “I’m going to sue your a**!” he shouted back.

    “Good luck with that!” Dylan called back, rolling his eyes at the man who had finally left. Abbee helped Justin to his feet, as the waitress approached the trio, thanking Justin and Dylan for intervening, and apologizing to Justin for his injuries.

    The three teenagers and Latios were invited inside the cafe by the owner, where Justin was given an ice-pack and some tissues for his bleeding and broken nose, whilst they waited for the police to arrive. Whilst technically, they had done nothing wrong, with Dylan shoving the man clearly defensive and not intending any real harm, and Latios’ intimidation being completely of his own accord, they figured it wouldn’t be a good look if they left before the police had the opportunity to speak to them. Justin was already worried about Jon’s reaction to him coming back to the Eon Academy with a broken nose, and the potential influence it could have over the younger campers. Having the police show up at the academy because they left in a rush would look even worse. And it’s not like they can remain hidden. As far as everyone was aware, there wasn’t another Latios in Hoenn…

    The police who arrived later to get statements on the ordeal seemed ambivalent towards Justin and Dylan. They commended Justin for intervening, but also recommended he try to avoid that, citing his broken nose as proof. As for Dylan, they weren’t too thrilled at how antagonistic he was towards an already volatile and violent person, but impressed Dylan managed to scare him off.

    As the group drove, Justin and Abbee in the back seat, as Latios was still, unbeknownst to the other passengers, trying to detect a psychic presence more prominent than himself, Justin tried to break the silence.

    “So why do you have Latios, and why is he squashed into the front seat?” Justin asked, gesturing to the Eon Pokemon, one wing pointing out the window to the sky, and the other behind Dylan’s head.

    “I asked Jon if I could borrow him for the weekend to help me out with something…” Dylan explained, as he took a turn that would take them to the hospital.

    “Help you out with what?” Abbee asked, now curious, especially since she was cramped with Latios’ seat being all the way back in order for him to fit in Dylan’s car.

    Dylan was silent for a moment, before finally speaking up.

    “Between us, I lied to Jon to get him to lend me Latios, but I will tell him the truth tomorrow,” Dylan answered. “I wanted to make sure that Charlotte’s nightmares weren’t caused by a Pokemon…”

    Abbee’s eyebrows raised hearing this as Dylan continued.

    “I found her sitting outside at like 2am the other night, after my neighbours woke me up,” Dylan explained, as Justin remained silent. “She was telling me about the nightmares, and how suddenly they started, and how consistent they were. It almost seems like something is causing them…”

    “So why keep it a secret from Jon that you’re looking into it?” Abbee asked. “Especially if you’re borrowing his favorite Pokemon?”

    Latios cried out happily being referred to as Jon’s favorite, as Dylan thought over what Abbee had asked.

    “I don’t even really know…” Dylan sighed. “I guess he has enough on his plate as it is, and I figured if I were honest, Jon would deal with it himself. My theory is really just a theory, and I don’t want to waste his time by inadvertently getting him chasing this down, if I am just gonna be wrong about it.”

    “Does Charlotte know about this?” Justin asked. “You looking into it?”

    “Not at this point, and I think she’d flip if she knew,” Dylan explained. “I don’t know her well, but she strikes me as the sort who would prefer to suffer in silence than let someone else be put out trying to help her…”

    “To a degree, yeah…” Abbee agreed. “So what’s your theory?”

    “Pokemon can use Nightmare on sleeping Pokemon, however there are only rumors of Pokemon being able to use it on humans. Most of the time when it does occur it is an isolated incident. Some sort of mutation,” Dylan explained. “If something external is causing these nightmares it is most likely a Pokemon. Last night Latios could tell she was having a nightmare, however he detected no Pokemon on the property that seemed to be using Nightmare on Charlotte, based on what he could see of their emotions. But the only people awake were myself and my neighbors…”

    Justin grimaced hearing this, making note to not indulge Chris and his desire to stay up late too often, since they weren’t as subtle as they originally thought.

    “So today we tested Latios’ telepathic range. I figure there probably isn’t a Pokemon on the island with more powerful Psychic abilities than Latios. Latios’ range is between eighteen-hundred and two-thousand meters, depending on interference, so if a Pokemon is doing this to Charlotte, it has to be within a two kilometer radius of the Academy, unless it is more powerful than he is…” Dylan continued. “Since we had time, we planned on spending the afternoon driving around the island to see if Latios could sense a psychic stronger than himself. Hence why he is in the passenger seat. I wasn’t expecting to find you getting beaten by some a**hole outside a cafe…”

    “I wasn’t expecting to have my face punched in when we left this morning…” Justin muttered, looking out the window.

    “I’ve answered your questions, so I have a few of my own…” Dylan commented, continuing to look straight ahead. “Why did you intervene? Why not just call the cops and let them handle it?”

    As Justin thought over the question, he couldn’t help but notice that Dylan didn’t seem critical or judgemental in the way he asked it. More just curious.

    “I guess for a similar reason to why you didn’t tell Jon the truth about borrowing Latios. Really, I wanted to be able to do it myself. I want to be able to help people, and actually do something worthwhile. Sure, I could call the cops, but that won’t always be an option. Meanwhile, if I could get this guy to calm down, and deal with it without the situation getting violent, then maybe we’d all be better off for it…”

    “And how did that work out for you?” Dylan retorted.

    Justin chuckled to himself.

    “If you didn’t intervene, I probably would have been worse off, and had to fight back myself,” Justin said. “And I am not even sure I could, short of sending out a Pokemon, but that’s a one way trip to getting them taken away…”

    As Justin said this, Abbee’s expression turned to one of slight worry.

    “You don’t think because Latios got involved, you or Jon will be in trouble?” Abbee asked.

    “I’d say the chances are astronomical. He had been out of his Pokeball for hours at that point, and the current standard of Pokeballs keep track of when a Pokemon is let out and called back. So it’s not like I let him out to fight this dude. Security cameras nearby, as well as Latios being telepathic and able to communicate can confirm Latios acted of his own volition,” Dylan replied. “At worst, if it did get escalated, Latios could be required to undergo a psych evaluation to make sure he isn’t dangerous, which he would pass quite easily, Jon would be given a warning about lending a Legendary Pokemon, and I’d be given a warning about the example I set for Pokemon under my care. If I had sent out Latios and demanded he attack, then we’d be in a lot of trouble.”

    “Besides, Jon would board up the academy, and let them lay siege before he let anyone take Latios away…” Justin added.

    “Anyway, just remember, a lot of people are reasonable and can talk things out, but a lot can’t, and things get dangerous. If you want to help in a situation like that, for everyone’s sake, make sure you know what sort of person you are dealing with…”

    The next hour was spent at the hospital, waiting for Justin to be seen by a doctor, who told him to come back in a few days when the swelling around his nose had gone down, so it could be relocated back into place. After that, Dylan drove the group back to the Eon Academy.

    They were all back earlier than expected, and the property was near empty, with everyone else in the stadium for Jon’s lecture. The car slowed to a stop in the driveway out the front of Jon and Alyssa’s cottage, as Dylan turned off the engine before addressing Justin and Abbee.

    “Do me a favour, and forget what I told you about why I had Latios. Just pretend you don’t know,” Dylan said. “I will tell Jon the truth tomorrow, when I have a better idea of what’s going on…”

    “I won’t say anything,” Justin replied. “Jon’s probably going to be too preoccupied with what happened to me to think about it anyway.”

    “Thanks for stepping in,” Abbee added. “I wasn’t sure what to do before you showed up. You too Latios...”

    Latios cried out happily, before Dylan called him back to his Pokeball.

    “Not a problem. I’m just glad, relatively speaking, you two are alright,” Dylan replied. “Make sure you see Jon about what happened, before he hears the other students gossiping about it.”

    Justin and Abbee made their way towards the lodges in relative silence. When the lodge was getting close, Abbee spoke.

    “Sorry for dragging you out today…” Abbee said quietly. “I know it wasn’t how you wanted to spend your day off, and you ended up getting your nose broken by some a**hole…”

    Justin halted to a stop hearing this, and looked over at Abbee, who was looking pretty downcast.

    “Hey, don’t apologize. I had a good day, even with what happened,” Justin replied. “And hey, now I have some decent outfits to compensate for the smashed in face when Candice visits next week…”

    Abbee cringed a little hearing that, but couldn’t help but smile at the sentiment.

    “Truth is, that was bound to happen eventually…” Justin continued. “Truth is, I want to help people. I don’t want to be that guy who stands by and waits for someone else to step in when someone is in trouble, but the thing that’s been weighing on me was whether I actually had the nerve to do that. I needed to prove it to myself that I could, which is why I did it.”

    “Still, if I had have not pestered you to come out, you’d have stayed here, and not wound up in an emergency room.”

    “But then I go into town with Chris, and something similar happens, and instead of now, it is then,” Justin replied. “Could you imagine if Chris were there today? He seems to thrive on altercations. Last time we were in a situation like this, he broke a dude’s nose with a Pokeball. We would still be in the police station if he were with me today...”

    “He is a bit on the punch first, ask questions later end of the spectrum, but I think more so, he wouldn’t take a friend being hurt lying down. He’s a bit out there, but definitely good value as a friend,” Abbee said. “So are you. Even if it went south, I know a lot of people, that waitress especially, are glad you stepped in.”

    “Even if I am the idiot who kept taking your phone, and…”

    Justin’s words trailed off, as he couldn’t bring himself to finish the sentence. He just sighed, half wishing he kept his mouth shut. Abbee looked at him, surprise across her face.

    “You’re still beating yourself up over that?”

    Justin kept silent, before continuing to walk towards the lodge.

    “Justin!” Abbee called out as he walked away. When he didn’t respond she walked quickly towards him and grabbed him by the shoulder. “Justin!”

    Justin sighed, as he stopped, and turned to face Abbee.

    “I found the phone thing frustrating at first, and when I missed out on speaking to Dad that last time, and found out about him through the news, I was heartbroken. More than ever…” Abbee said. “But by the time summer was over, I had forgiven you. And when we all arrived day one, and were on the beach that night, it was obvious how much you’d grown up. You screwed up, but nearly everyone did at some point. Chris almost got himself and Jon killed, and Charlotte hurt her own Pokemon trying to be better than the rest of us. Hell, I did something stupid and put a massive awkward wedge between Dylan and myself…”

    “So…” Justin said quietly. “What do I do then?”

    “Accept that it happened, and that it’s in the past, and move on,” Abbee replied. “You only know as much about other people as they are willing to let you know, which means we always see the worst of ourselves more than everyone else. Everyone else has just as much s**t they have done that they wish they hadn’t. You aren’t a worse person than anyone else for being willing to look past your own mistakes.”

    Justin remained silent, not quite believing this himself.

    “Look, I owe you an ice-cream, not a lecture, so I won’t say anything more,” Abbee said, before turning towards the girl’s lodge. “But I’m asking you a favor as a friend, that you forget about this. Let yourself be happy…”

    “Thanks again for coming out with me today!” Abbee called out as she turned the next corner. Justin felt his phone buzz, pulling it from his pocket to find a message from a number he didn’t have saved.

    “Hey Justin, this is Sophie. I’m the waitress that you helped out today. The police gave me your number so that I could get in touch.

    I just wanted to say thank you for stepping in today. It couldn’t have been easy, and it is terrible that he assaulted you the way he did.

    Truth is, I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong, and he was being unreasonable. But when someone is screaming at you, and nobody is stopping them, deep down, you start to think ‘maybe I did do something wrong’. ‘Maybe I’m the bad guy here’. ‘Maybe I deserve this’...

    Thank you for stepping in and proving that little voice wrong. For your troubles, your next meal is on us. Please feel free to come any time.

    Thanks again, and I hope your nose heals quickly, and that guy gets what he deserves.
    Sophie.”


    Justin couldn’t help but smile at the text. His nose may have stung like hell, but it was worth it.

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****

    “What the f**k happened to your face?!” Chris said loudly, before Jon shot him a warning glare.

    The lecture had just finished, and most of the students had gone, however a few still lingered. Jon, Chris and Charlotte had remained in the stadium to tidy up when Justin arrived to tell Jon what had happened. Having quietened Chris down, he turned to actually see what he was talking about.

    “S**t…” Jon said in disbelief, looking at Justin’s broken nose. “You gonna tell me what happened?”

    “That’s why I’m here,” Justin replied. “Figured I can’t hide this, and probably don’t want you hearing whatever rumors start about it first.”

    “So what happened?” Charlotte asked, as she walked forward to get a closer look.

    “Some guy in a cafe ordered the wrong thing, and started abusing the waitress there when he couldn’t eat it…” Justin explained. “He was screaming in her face, and nobody was doing anything…”

    “Did you hit him?” Chris asked, remembering their arrest the year before.

    “No. I tried reasoning with him, and getting him to calm down,” Justin replied. “Worked a treat, seeing as he broke my nose, and would have beaten me senseless if Dylan hadn’t shown up…”

    “Good thing he did then,” Jon replied with a sigh. “How did he go handling it?”

    “I don’t know how, but he got the guy to pay for his meal and leave. Stood his ground and called the guy out for being an a**hole…”

    “And he hit you instead?” Chris asked in shock.

    “Dylan isn’t exactly small…” Charlotte answered. “Dude’s obviously a coward, not minding hitting a teenager but running with his tail between his legs when an adult that’s bigger than him gets involved.”

    “Pretty much…” Justin muttered, cringing as a wave of pain from his nose hit him.

    Noticing this, Jon handed the pair of garbage bags he had filled to Chris and Charlotte.

    “You two mind taking these to the bin out front?”

    Charlotte nodded, passing a bag to Chris, before the pair left, leaving Jon and Justin alone in the empty stadium.

    “I know, it was stupid of me to intervene. I should have just called the police…” Justin said as Jon shook his head.

    “As much as it might not feel like it now, you did the right thing,” Jon replied, before opening the cooler against the wall of the stadium, and tossing Justin a bottle of cold water. “Any idiot can call the police to do the right thing for them. Sometimes, only they can deal with a situation. But sometimes the police aren’t going to be able to come and deal with something and you need to be willing to step up and act on your own.”

    Jon watched as Justin took the bottle of chilled water, and instead of opening and drinking it, held it softly against the bridge of his nose. He winced slightly for a second as it made contact, however before too long the cold began to provide some relief.

    “And sometimes, you wind up with the s**t kicked out of you. Sometimes worse…” Jon continued. “But truth is, you did a lot of good today. You said nobody was willing to do something to help this waitress?”

    “Yeah…”

    “Well they all saw a teenager willing to step in, to do what’s right and help someone else out,” Jon said. “And I’m willing to bet that a lot of adults who were there will be feeling pretty guilty because they let a teenager get hurt trying to do something on his own that they were all too gutless to do. If even one of them realizes that it’s wrong to turn the blind eye to someone in need, and actually grows from this, then you’ve done reasonably more good than you realize…”

    “Still, if Dylan hadn’t shown up, it would have been for nothing…” Justin replied. “I tried dealing with it peacefully, and got hit. Then Dylan showed up, got aggressive with him and he finally left. It almost seems the opposite of how it should be…”

    “What did Dylan say about that?”

    “He said a lot of people can’t be reasoned with, and it can get dangerous. For my sake, I need to know what sort of person I am dealing with…”

    Jon grinned hearing that. Having had Dylan as a foster-son of sorts for the last year, he had come to see a lot of Dylan that he could only really see through passive observation, given Dylan’s quieter tendencies. This mindfulness amidst a chaotic situation, and ability to judge and act were both something Jon had noticed grow in Dylan, especially when compared to his first battle at the Eon Academy, where his nerves skewed his decision making. Jon was pulled from his thoughts when Justin spoke.

    “Could you teach me?”

    Jon looked at Justin in slight disbelief.

    “Teach you what exactly?”

    “How to deal with situations like that…” Justin answered. “I saw how you dealt with Dylan’s stepdad showing up here last year. How you tried reasoning with him, and when push came to shove, got aggressive. Teach me where to draw the line, and how to respond to things like that? I mean, the League approached you to be an operative for them?”

    “They did, and that situation with Dylan’s stepdad may have worked out for the best, but I have a list of screw-ups longer than my arm,” Jon explained. “The guy who leaked the evidence about the Diamond Ladies, was one I got into a fight with the night before, because I though Alyssa was at risk, and he was getting in the way of having her protected. When Lance offered him a position on the next operation where he wouldn’t have to deal with me, he leaked the files. Then Lance had some guys attack the Academy last summer, and I am certain it was because of how antagonistic I was towards him back on the S.S. Wishmaker. I was stressed and had a lot of weight on my shoulders at that point, but I handled myself poorly, and it had consequences.”

    Justin thought over what Jon had said. He had mentioned befriending the Diamond Ladies after they came clean and started trying to make amends, and whilst Jon hadn’t talked about it specifically, Justin figured it probably hit somewhat hard to find out they died the way they did. And now, it seemed like a real possibility to Justin that Jon blamed himself for their secret getting out the way it did.

    “I get that you’re not perfect. Just a guy with his head screwed on straight enough to have a decent idea on how to handle stuff like this,” Justin said. “So think of it this way. I want to become a cop when I can, but still have a couple of years before I can. And I’m sure when I go through training, I will learn the right way to handle this stuff. But until then, I don’t want to be helpless when something like this happens. I don’t want to get my head kicked in until Dylan shows up.”

    “I won’t go out looking for fights, or anything,” Justin added. “I just want to be able to do more than be a punching bag for someone else to actually help out…”

    Jon thought over what Justin said.

    “Even if I say no, you’re still going to do something if you wind up in this position again, aren’t you?”

    “I’d be pretty disappointed with myself if I stood by and waited for someone else to step in…”

    Jon chuckled at Justin’s resolve.

    “Fine. Tuesday mornings at 6:30am, meet me here,” Jon explained. “I’m far from an expert, but will try and teach you how to defend yourself, how to predict how someone will act, and when reasoning is not possible. Enough for you to actually try and do something without ending up with a broken nose every time…”

    Justin nodded, before thanking Jon and turning to leave.

    “Justin,” Jon called out. “One more thing…”

    “Yeah?”

    “If Candice asks about what happened to your face, don’t try and bulls**t her. She will see right through it…” Jon explained. “Just tell her the truth. She’ll respect you more for it.”

    Justin sighed, not sure what was more embarrassing. Jon giving girl-advice, or Jon remaining knowingly silent…

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****

    It was 1am when Dylan found himself sitting in his bedroom again, listening to Justin and Chris continuing their trend of staying awake far too late playing Mario Kart. The hour before had been spent with Chris wanting Justin to tell him what he knew about the guy who broke his nose so they could ’pay him a little visit’ and Justin trying to convince him to drop it.

    Latios had been gone for the last hour, scouring the two kilometer radius around the camp, trying to find some sort of telepathic presence that could be causing Charlotte’s nightmares, however was found nothing, having already done the same scan of the Academy he did the night before.

    ”I think that’s everywhere…” Latios said to Dylan. “Unless it’s something stronger than I am, but I would have noticed it during the day when we were scouring the island…”

    “That’s okay,” Dylan replied with his thoughts. “Come back, quietly…”

    The last thing he wanted was Latios to wake half the island up by flying faster than the speed of sound. The locals knew that Jon Drake and his Latios lived on the island, and that the booms that pierced the sky were usually Latios. Which means that if they’re awoken at 1am, they will know exactly where to send their complaints…

    A few minutes later, Latios arrived, and Dylan felt a sense of alarm come through the telepathic link he was sharing with the Eon Pokemon.

    “What is it?” Dylan asked, as his vision was suddenly replaced by Latios. He felt his stomach drop as he was all of a sudden high above the ground, looking down on the academy. It was the same as the night before, but with one exception. A large presence in the main hall. Large enough that it wasn’t being blocked by the interfering walls, with an unfamiliar aura.

    “What is that emotion?” Dylan asked Latios.

    “A mixture between sheer gluttony and ravenous hunger…” Latios replied, wondering if this was some form of Dream Eater.

    Knowing the buildings had electronic locks, and Latios couldn’t get into the building without putting holes in it, S.S. Wishmaker style, Dylan left his room, with Latios descending to meet him by the main hall. Dylan held a torch in his right hand, punching in the code on the electronic keypad to unlock the door, before readying Metagross’ Pokeball.

    “Follow my lead…” Dylan whispered to Latios, before creeping into the building.

    As they entered the dining hall, strange noises echoed through the larger room, seeming to originate from the kitchen. Something strong enough to alarm Latios was there, and it was hungry enough to be giving Charlotte nightmares and feeding off of them…

    Or so Dylan thought.

    As he turned a corner, he pointed his torch at the source of the noise, to find a large tub of ice cream, being held protectively by a wide-eyed, messy-faced Victini…

    Dylan groaned at the sight, before turning off his torch, and reaching for the room light, turning it on.

    “Can I help you?” said a slightly irritated voice in Dylan’s head.

    “You can tell me why you're here at 1am, eating a month’s supply of ice-cream…”

    “Because you showed your class that documentary on Pokemon diabetes, and Abbee has put me on a diet…”

    As Victini said this, Dylan noticed Latios sniffing around at the fridge.

    “This is a school…” Dylan chided. “Jon wouldn’t keep beer in this fridge…”

    Dylan felt a sense of disappointment emanate from Latios.

    “Though after that scare, I could just about use one…”

    Last edited by Desolate Divine; 07-28-2021 at 12:02 PM.

  7. #47
    Mary Mary tell me how your garden grows. Desolate Divine's Avatar
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    Of all the episodes I thought I'd struggle to write, I didn't think it would be that one. But finally, a new episode is ready.

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