The Multiverse

Lavaridge Town

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a part of The Multiverse, by Remæus.

Lavaridge Town is a town seated directly at the base of an active volcano. Many trainers come here to bathe in the hot springs and enjoy the somewhat resort-like feeling of the place.

ChaoticMarin holds sovereignty over Lavaridge Town, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
690 readers have been here.
1,742,573 readers have visited The Multiverse since Remæus created it.
Ylanne, Patcharoo, and lostamongtrees are listed as curators, giving them final say over any conflict & the ability to clean up mistakes.
Maestro, LawOfTheLand, HolyJunkie, Prose, TheNoremac42, LookingAtPerks, NeverEndingFlip, Fishbucket, and fractaloop are builders, granting them the ability to shape the world and alter sovereignty.

Setting

Lavaridge Town is a town seated directly at the base of an active volcano named Mt. Chimney. Though it is quite small, many trainers come here to bathe in the hot springs and enjoy the somewhat resort-like feeling of the place. It is especially popular with the elderly, and you can often find spring-goers burrying themselves in the hot sand nearby after their bathes. The town's gym is run by Flannery, a fire-type specialist.

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Lavaridge Town

Lavaridge Town is a town seated directly at the base of an active volcano. Many trainers come here to bathe in the hot springs and enjoy the somewhat resort-like feeling of the place.

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Lavaridge Town is a part of Hoenn.

1 Places in Lavaridge Town:

4 Characters Here

Lizzy "Flare" Blitz [21] Flare, as she nicknamed herself, is a fire pokemon enthusiast with an appropriately fiery personality.
Alonzo [0] Hey, how are ya?

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Verse and the Sand Five Character Portrait: Bic(Charmeleon) Character Portrait: Aereth Character Portrait: Vengeance (Ancient Feraligatr)

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At least he's confident Bic thought while watching the massive form of the Beast barreling towards them. He was really dizzy now, his head was spinning, and he could really use a nice. Long. Rest. Before he knew what was happening, he'd already stumbled backwards. Straight into the thankfully completed burrow. Verse might have said something, but he wasn't sure, he was cramped, tail cradled to his chest the weakened flame being carefully shielded. He could see out the hole. He couldn't see the sky however, the leering face of the Beast was there instead.

"Well, shit." He muttered to tired for a more violent reaction, as it began ripping violently at the hole widening it, and snapping its head down towards them, close enough he could practically taste its breath, and flecks of spittle hit him in the face.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Verse and the Sand Five Character Portrait: Bic(Charmeleon) Character Portrait: Vengeance (Ancient Feraligatr)

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The digging didn't stop, claws shuffling dirt out to the sides and sometimes even up onto the two friends backs. For Verse this was no problem as it just slipped between his spines and ran down his, but for Bic it might be unpleasant. But it didn't look like they had enough time. The beast was going to reach a claw in there soon. In the cramped space Verse curled inwards on his own body. "Get under me!" he ordered, trying to maneuver above the Charmeleon so he could lay himself flat on top of it. It was funny that he fell back on his natural defences instead of his trained talents.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Verse and the Sand Five Character Portrait: Bic(Charmeleon) Character Portrait: Vengeance (Ancient Feraligatr)

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The dirt flying all around them came dangerously close to his weak flame a few times. So, he did the only logical thing, and put it in his mouth to keep it safe. When Verse yelled he did his best to roll underneath his spiny ally, but, he was so tired.

"Don't think I can." He mumbled around his tail, doing his best to claw his way under Verse. So weak, so weak.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Verse and the Sand Five Character Portrait: Bic(Charmeleon) Character Portrait: Vengeance (Ancient Feraligatr)

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Verse gripped at Bic's sides with his claws and kicked with his feet to roll the two of them so he was pointed skyward just as a claw descended into the hole and brushed over his back. But the Sandslash wasn't out of tricks yet, shuffling his spines to give a small poisonous sting to the claw of the beast, causing the Feraligator to roar in pain and anger. As its claws jerked away from the hole it began to cave in, dirt tumbling onto their backs and starting to bury the two. Not that Verse minded. He was quite comfortable underground. He just needed to make sure they had air in case Bic...

"Hey, you okay?" He had sort of missed everything from the point he started digging.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Verse and the Sand Five Character Portrait: Bic(Charmeleon) Character Portrait: Vengeance (Ancient Feraligatr)

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Everything hurt, he couldn't really breath very well. "You're heavy." He laughed, blood seeping out of the sides of his mouth, and pooling beneath them from his larger wounds, in the low light from his tail he could just make out Verse's face. Bic was cold. Which was a new concept to him, so much so that he didn't even have a word for the feeling. All he could say was.

"I'm not warm. Core isn't burning hot, tired, pain." He mumbled it all and tried to shift to check their surroundings, it was oddly quiet underground. Not like his old home, there was plenty of noise there.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Verse and the Sand Five Character Portrait: Bic(Charmeleon) Character Portrait: Vengeance (Ancient Feraligatr)

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"You gotta keep yourself awake now buddy," Verse said, tilting his head upwards to shuffle away some dirt. The creature over head with a throbbing hand seemed to be at the point of giving in, favouring going after whatever humans it might be able to find instead of hunting a much more difficult prey. "I don't know if I can drag you all the way to somewhere you can get fixed with that guy out there... He can probably smell your blood. So you have to stay awake, you hear me?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Verse and the Sand Five Character Portrait: Bic(Charmeleon) Character Portrait: Vengeance (Ancient Feraligatr)

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Bic dug deep, scraping at the edges of his will, but he couldn't hold out. He'd pushed himself too hard already.Running all day, and fighting an enemy far beyond his kin, heh, damn it was a good day to be a Charmeleon, but he was just so tired. "Sorry, no can do." And just like that, he passed out.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Verse and the Sand Five Character Portrait: Bic(Charmeleon)

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It was a distant dull murmuring of voices that could probably be heard through a glass shield. Bic was in a different place now, of lights and near-silence. It was a cushioned chamber with a glass top, purpose unknown, in a large empty room with rows upon rows of others. Some contained pokemon, some did not. The light was artificial and attached to the ceiling, a little too bright for comfort. Air flowed into the containment chamber from little vents. But there was one noise the humans hadn't intended. A strange taptaptap of claw on glass.

"Hey," came a hushed voice, trying to wake the sleeping Charmeleon from their cell, pressing to the glass now to slide it easily aside. He reached out to scoop under the other pokemons shoulders and lift. "We gotta get out of here, before they come back."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Verse and the Sand Five Character Portrait: Bic(Charmeleon)

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He was floating on clouds. Body feeling light, the ground beneath him oddly comftorable considering he'd remembered being shrouded in earth, and bleeding out unable to even see the sky. The world behind his eyelids was bright too bright, so he kept his eyes closed huddling further into his bed. If this is what death feels like, I should come close to it more often. He thought with dark humour, a chuckle rumbling from his throat. Wherever he was the air was amazingly clean, cleaner even than in the fields he'd slept in since leaving his sulfurous origins.

There was an irritating tapping coming from by him, but he dutifully ignored it. Content to take his well earned rest. The voice of Verse rousing him on the other hand made him come to. Especially when he started to try and pick him up. His eyes snapped open in an instant when the reality of the situation came to him, dilating in the bright light as a surge of adrenalin put him on edge, an instinctual growl coming from his maw in warning to any would be predators. It took a second for him to realize he was not under attack and to notice he seemed to be fully healed, healthier even than he was before the fight. He looked to Verse bewildered.

"Just how long was I out?" He turned looking at his strange new surroundings finally catching the sound of humans, "And, where the hell are we?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Verse and the Sand Five Character Portrait: Bic(Charmeleon)

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"Keep yer dang voice down," Verse answered in a low tone, "You're in some sorta human lab." Actually Verse knew damn well it was a pokemon center, but he figured this would be faster. "They patched you up, but we've gotta get going before they come back. Who knows what they want with us?" He dropped down from the edge of the pod to the floor, which was not a big drop but enough for the small creature. "But once we get outside I've got some good news fer you."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Verse and the Sand Five Character Portrait: Bic(Charmeleon)

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A lab? He wasn't sure what that was. He'd never heard the word, but if they healed hurt Pokemon it couldn't be that bad. Some humans were soft like that it seemed, Where he was from the weak got eaten. Silently as the predator he was, He dropped down after Verse, his claws clicking gently on the tile floor, tail flailing slightly behind him as he caught himself. Conveniently his face cover and eye cover were in a tray beneath where he'd been before, so he donned them, nodding at Verse afterwards, remembering to keep his voice down this time he spoke.

"Alright, but I need the story later. Let's get outside, I could use some good news."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Verse and the Sand Five Character Portrait: Bic(Charmeleon)

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Getting outside wouldn't be hard, thanks to a nearby emergency exit, and there were plenty of trees to sneak off into. "A'righty," Verse said, tugging on the brim of his hat. "I've got some good news 'n some bad. The good news is, when we were down in that there weather station I happened t' chance upon a little bit o' writing- that's the human language scratched onto things- about something real neat."

He glanced back towards the pokecenter. "Well, turns out they've got some space ship they've been building. To take humans off this planet and to other places. It was a weather report, y'see, tellin' em what day the skies clear enough to fly on. My thinkin' is, we get there on the day, n' we can take that ship for ourselves, then go exploring."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Verse and the Sand Five Character Portrait: Bic(Charmeleon)

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Bic was only paying half attention to Verse talking at first. Fingering the blood stains, burn marks, and tattered edges of his shemagh, amazed that he'd managed to dodge so many killing blows, and not get his head torn off. His goggles were only a little scuffed up, the humans must have cleaned the soot from them. Because they looked clean as the day he'd stolen them.

He understood somewhat about writing. He used to scratch into the side of his burrow about hunts, and good fights. Must have been similar. What really got his attention, and had his head snapping in Verse's direction, and settling an intense gaze on him, was the last part. It made him grin, the action pulling at the new scars running over the bridge of his snout, one side showing more teeth now do to them.

"That sounds like a plan. What's the bad news?" He asked, listening to the commotion beginning to sound from the "Lab" they'd been in before, He didn't know what was going on, and he was wondering why it was safe to be in the woods with the beast running around.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Verse and the Sand Five Character Portrait: Bic(Charmeleon)

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Verse rocked his jaw slightly. "Well, the bad news is we've only got two weeks to get there before the launch. They don't predict the weather far ahead o' time y'see. So we gotta hightail it over the sea and to Snowpoint. Which means we gotta get a boat real fast." He took this moment to idly clean his face and nose with his claws. "But I got a good feeling about this. I don' think we're the sort to give up when we've come this far."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Verse and the Sand Five Character Portrait: Bic(Charmeleon)

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"Boat." He mouthed the word, chewing on it for a second. He didn't like it. Didn't care much for the way it sounded at all. "Why does that give me a bad feeling?" He asked, it made his scales itch, and two weeks wasn't much time at all. They'd be on a rough schedule.

"What happened after I passed out anyway?" It had been bugging him. The last thing he remembered was being in a hole about to die. Then he woke up in a human "lab"? Strange.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Verse and the Sand Five Character Portrait: Bic(Charmeleon)

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"Cause boats go on water," Verse answered. "Don't very much like the idea myself. But that's the only way we're gon' get there." He stopped cleaning his face and shrugged. "Dug deep enough that he couldn' get you. Then he gave up. Probably to chase some scientists or to go back to his home. I dragged your unconscious ass here where the humans patched you up. Probably figured they owed you after the whole weather lab thing."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Verse and the Sand Five Character Portrait: Bic(Charmeleon)

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Made sense. He thought. He did get the shit kicked out of himself protecting the humans. Though, he still wished he'd been able to kill that damned thing. There was still also the matter of figuring out how to make his flame stronger. He idly brought it up to his eye level and stared at it, trying to will it to get hotter, to burn brighter, he managed to get a little more heat, but not much else.

With a sigh he gave it up as a bad deal. "So, a boat, ugh," He turned around in a circle, eyeing all the trees, and the lack of water, a faint smell of smoke still in the air from the battle. "What's the plan then? Where's this sea? And how do we get there?" He decided walking was a safe bet, and picked a random direction away from the humans, hoping it was the right one. Verse would tell him if it wasn't. He reasoned. He would worry about making his flame stronger later, maybe ask Verse if he knew anything like that.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Verse and the Sand Five Character Portrait: Bic(Charmeleon)

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"We're headed to a place called Lilycove, ever heard of it? Probly not. Anyway, there we can steal a boat or sneak on board one. It should only take us a few days to reach the Sinnoh region, then its just a short hike-" by which he meant longer than they had already been walking, "-To the lab. Then, the universe." Even he had to admit the idea was pretty exciting. He hadn't been in a space ship before, just the portal that lead to Terra, which was alright but it wasn't that big of a deal. This? This was huge. Bigger than anything he had done before.

"Maybe this is fer the best, y'know?" he said, forgetting just who he was talking to and what about. The words might seem a bit out of place.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: "Lord-Regent" Radegast the Trainer Character Portrait: Team Trebuchet Character Portrait: Psychic Rebellion Member(s)
  1. (co-written by NeverEndingFlip)

    by NeverEndingFlip

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The incident with the Family and the Krookodile passed on by without Margriet or Radegast's knowledge. The former was having lunch with Janine at the zoo. The latter, however, was on a boat once again.

The ferry to Hoenn was equally as large as the previous vessel- in fact, Radegast had a feeling that it was actually the same boat. The shape was the same, and the same pocket he stowed away in was in the same place. Elder noted a lack of evidence that they were ever there. "Isn't that the point?" Radegast asked.

"I'm just saying that it's not very likely that the same boat that was used to cross the ocean from Alola to Kanto would be the same used to move from Kanto to Hoenn."

"They're both graded for ocean travel," Radegast reasoned, "It can't be impossible."

"It's two different paths going through very different climates."

"Tell you what," Radegast said, "If you search the ship and can't find any familiar crew members, then it's a different boat, and I'll buy some crepes."

"You're on," Elder jabbed a claw towards Radegast, shortly before dissolving into mist and vanishing through the walls.


Oh wait... Radegast thought soon afterward. He had gotten used to this Gallade body now, after so much training with Janine. I can't buy crepes...

It didn't matter anyway, for the Gengar later returned with a disappointed look on his face.

"Did you realise I couldn't buy crepes?" Radegast asked.

"Yeah," Elder said, "And also this is the same boat."

--- TWO WEEKS AGO ---

The beaches of Hoenn were particularly beautiful nearly year-round. The white sands, kept clean via crews of water and grass-type Pokemon, were a tourist trap known all across Ruula. The most impressive beach was often a note of rivalry between the small town of Dewford and the immense societal hub of Slateport.

In the latter, larger city, a single woman lay bare-backed along her long beach chair. She relaxed as she soaked in her nice even tan, with her hair parted over one side. With sunglasses on, it was difficult to tell if she was even awake.

Her Pokegear beeped at a rhythm- someone was calling. With a sigh, she hooked her swimsuit top back on and leaned back in her chair. With her hand-held decide in-hand, she answered the call. "Talk to me, Tracy."

"We've reached the Kor of the issue."

"Good news," She continued to lounge in her seat as she processed the news. Tracy Levine was the leader due to her charisma, but the woman on the beach was the star player.

The woman parted her hair from one side to the next, revealing the left half of her head had been shaven. Her left eye was covered in an eyepatch. A somewhat conspicuous strip of metal snaked from the edge of her covered eye over to several pads that dotted the side of her head. "You like the sound of my voice?" she asked half-heartedly.

"Always, darling," Tracy replied, "Remember where we first met?"

"Yes," The woman replied. It was before she had these upgrades.

"We'll meet there, start a new life together, and we can feel young again."

This was all code to the woman, who simply said, "That would be wonderful." She replied, although deep down she did desire something that was mentioned.

She produced a cable from her bag and plugged one end into the pokegear. The other end was plugged into an otherwise covered port at the back of her skull. Within her hidden eye, she could see a black screen with applications syncing and booting up within the display. She closed her normal eye in order to focus, and sifted through folders with mere thoughts. If the Pokegear were to be plugged into any other system, no one would be able to access them, for they were files programmed with a very specific operating system in mind: her own.

Among the folders were some named "PROJECT 193 - SIREN", "PROJECT 219 - WITHDRAWL", and "PROJECT 95 - MECHA". She paused on one of the oldest folders, simply called "PROJECT VANDAL II". She opted not to open it, however, and moved straight to one of the most recent folders, simply titled "PROJECT 212".

The entirety of the folder contained notes and digitally preserved drawings that had since been destroyed without a trace. Satisfied with her organization and the integrity of her hidden information, she closed everything and unplugged herself. With a pass of her hand, her thick brown hair covered the shaven side once more.

Some would consider her quite intimidating- with her strong jaw, her razor-sharp eyes, and her toughened feminine frame, and the similar cybernetic ports that ran down her back. Others would view her as quite attractive, if not for the implants. When she covers the side of her head, however, she carried the air of a mysterious femme fatale.

Despite being in hiding, she found a particular joy in the gazes that followed her. A Reginald carries themselves with dignity, as she had always known, We are natural leaders.

Sometimes her thoughts drifted to her two uncles, Tarma and Marcus. Traditional, and stagnant, were always the first two words in mind. How dare they and the Lion disown Patricia- their own sister- for daring to break the mould. The Reginalds could've led Ruula to a new age with their control over the Shadow Realm.

They took everything from me... they humiliated me, and then Radegast, sweet cousin...

She knew he ran away, she knew he was different. They had weighed the options of what to do with him when they had him captured, opting to force a ransom from the Reginalds... but he acted of his own accord. Damn him for his sabotage... Despite that, she couldn't help but admire the tenacity and dedicated to his principles... But now he was dead. No one could've survived the virus.

---

She wore a long flowing dress, exposing her bare, toned arms. Her legs stepped lightly as she moved, flowingly, down an empty, out-of-the-way path to a park gazebo. Five hours had passed since she vanished from the beach. "How's your leg?" She asked.

"It's been fine for a while- you worry too much, dear Lucy." Tracy stood, wearing a short flowery dress that seemed very low-key comparatively.

"Samson," Lucy nodded towards a hulking man in a Hawaiian shirt and shorts that matched with Tracy's getup. They looked almost like a couple until Lucy came along. "You came out of hiding."

"Received news," Samson replied quickly, "Radegast lives. Uncovered family chatter a few months ago- he was last seen in Unova, but vanished once more."

Lucy felt a twitch in her hidden eye, but the normal, razor-sharp eye betrayed no emotion, "I'm almost glad."

"As family, it would be strange to me if you weren't," Tracy smiled as she wrapped Lucy Reginald in a girly embrace. Lucy's eye softened and closed as she returned the hug. "It's been too long, darling."

"Too long," Lucy agreed. Her eye opened once more to focus on Samson, "How many of us are left?"

"Enough, but..." Samson replied, "Our base and resources had been destroyed in our efforts to prevent anything falling into the wrong hands."

"Resources are what everyone requires," Tracy rolled her eyes at the universal truth after disengaging.

Lucy smirked knowingly, Tracy and Samson caught it. "How was your vacation?" Samson asked.

"Very fruitful," Lucy's smirked turned into a lovely, heart-warming smile, "I've found Hell. I'm going to make a deal with the devil."

"I thought we already were," Tracy teased.

"Let's just say we're kindred spirits," Lucy flicked her hair and winked. "This time, everything changes, and we'll all be closer to our goals."

"I'd like that," Tracy replied, "Let's do it together, you and I."

"We will," Lucy promised, "But you mustn't come with me. You and Sam... you can't come with me."

Tracy and Samson stared in shock, but neither could bring themselves to argue against Lucy. She had that look in her eyes, a determination, and an ancient emotion, broiling to the surface. They hadn't seen it since she implanted the virus that nearly killed her cousin. It was the eye of determination, and a clue to how she truly carries herself away from prying human eyes.

--- A FEW DAYS AGO ---

"You ever hear of this Rebellion of Psychics?" A woman in a long flowing dress stepped lightly, soundlessly around the table, where a Nuzleaf was strapped down, held in place by a series of unusual machines. The Nuzleaf remained silent, glaring at the woman with daggers.

The safe house was characteristically dark, with a single light flooding a spot with warmth. Lucy Reginald, in her long dress, looked almost inhuman with the hard shadows covering parts of her face.

"It's not polite to leave a question hanging," she smirked lovingly. However, it didn't appear the pokemon was planning to spill anything.

"Why does that matter?" he spat back, "Why do you think I know anything about them?"

"I don't, but wildlings are well known for avoiding humans," Lucy replied as she adjusted her dress and sat down on a stool in front of the Nuzleaf. "You're just the next one in line."

"Well obviously I avoid you all," he gave her a no-duh stare, "You all like to torture us in your little fighting competitions."

Lucy snorted, but her eye sharpened. "You think I'm like one of those Champions?" She spat at the ground seemingly uncharacteristically. "While I can get what I want with ease, I refuse to torture a kind dear like you," she admitted as she produced a pokeball. "I never tortured a single one of the darlings who didn't have what I needed." Her eye gazed towards a table to the side. If the Nuzleaf could see out of the corner of his eye, he would see a series of pokeballs- stacked rather high, neat and organized. "The most I would use you for is a bargaining chip. As soon as I get what I need, every one will see freedom, and never see me again. If not... well, I'll ask the next one, and the next one, and the next one." Her visible eye brimmed with determination; she was not lying.

Still, the Nuzleaf remained skeptical, "You say that and yet here I am, trapped by this...whatever this is." Hie eyes glanced around at the unusual contraptions set around him. "Sorry to say you didn't make the greatest first impression."

Lucy's smile returned, "None of the previous ones said that... You do know something, don't you?" This time, the Nuzleaf remained silent. She stood up. "And such professionalism too." She inched close to the Nuzleaf's face, a light in her eye. "It would be so fortunate if you were a part of them, wouldn't it?"

"I wouldn't DARE associate with those monsters!" the Nuzleaf suddenly grew hot, venom in his words at the mere thought, "Not in a million years."

A crumpling series of cracks and snaps, like shattering plastic, filled the small room. The burning excitement in Lucy's eye vanished. "That's a shame," she said after a pause as she stood once more. The Nuzleaf watched, eyes the size of saucers, as the pieces of the Pokeball fell from her seemingly bare, seemingly human hands. "You're against them. I was hoping to find someone who could introduce me."

His voice was less confident as he stammered, "I-If you want to work with the Psychic Rebellion, y-y-you're just as bad!"

"Bad?" she was taken aback, offended, "What's bad is stagnation." An eerie purple glow flared to life from behind the lock of hair that covered her left eye. "What's bad is traditionalism! What's bad is this... Human imbalance!" Her eye grew wild, and her dress rippled with an unseen force. After a moment, the glow faded and her dress grew still. "Oh, I'm so sorry..." She waved the same hand delicately in front of her face, giving herself some air. "I've just had... a rough upbringing..."

The Nuzleaf just stared, confused and scared. It was evident he'd never seen a human do that before.

"Have you heard anything about the Reginalds?" She asked, almost as if that had just happened had never happened. She folded her arms behind her back, accentuating her bust as if no one was looking.

The Nuzleaf hesitated before shaking his head.

"They've declared war, you know...on the Rebellion." Her slender hands gripped on another pokeball. "Tradition, versus evolution," she smiled at the thought. "But they have the Key. They can strike down all who oppose them with the key."

The Nuzleaf blinked. "The Key?"

She continued as if she didn't hear the question. "I can give them the Reginalds, that is why I want to find them," She once more sat down, and made sure she didn't break a second pokeball. "I must find them. You know where they are, don't you? Any rumours, or anything?"

The Nuzleaf sighed, unsure of what to do. He sat there for a moment, since he couldn't do much anything else, occasionally looking around at the predicament he was in. Finally, he glanced back towards the lady in front of him, "Look, I don't know all that much. Just that they exist and that I don't want to have any part with what they're about."

"You haven't seen any members you could describe?" Lucy asked, spinning the pokeball slowly in her hand.

This time, a note of familiarity entered his eyes, "Well...there are a couple Pokemon that like to do what you do not far from here. I believe they're Psychic Rebellion members."

A giggle emerged from her mouth, and she put a finger to her cheek. "You'll give them to me, won't you? Then you and all these other darlings will be free to go."

The Nuzleaf noticed the way she held out the PokeBall, understanding what she was saying, "You promise?"

"You are what I strive to be," Lucy replied, reaching forward and softly caressing the Nuzleaf's cheek with that hand- that same hand that crushed metal and hard plastic. He flinched in response. "You will have your freedom. A Reginald always keeps their word."

---

The field teemed with scared, uncertain life, as Lucy Reginald watched over the released captives with a warm smile on her face. She glanced to the Nuzleaf that had also been released- the one that finally gave her what she wanted. "Until we meet again," she waved cutely as she turned and headed back towards the road with a bounce in her step. As she left, the Nuzleaf could see what appeared to be cybernetic plating and unusual open ports snaking down her neck and back. She hadn't shown her back to her captors before, so such a sight would seem especially unnerving.

As she left, her bouncy exterior seemed to calm down somewhat. She mentally prepared herself for her first meeting, her first contact. Despite her mental preparedness, she couldn't help but feel excited.

Later in the day, not soon enough in her eyes, she arrived at the location the kind Nuzleaf indicated: A small wood-cluttered path that was barely visible and snaked through the surrounding forest. Were it not for the wear and tear of Pokemon tracks that walked through the area on the daily, she wouldn't have even known it existed. As it stood, it was practically unnoticeable to the naked eye, especially from the path she took to get here.

Her eyes flickered as something caught in her peripheral. Turning right, she took notice of a small gathering of Pokemon just off the beaten path and her eyes lit up. There they were indeed, a Lunatone and Solrock floating around a small gathering of Pokemon, all clumped together and trembling in fright.

An Electrike managed to find his voice to shout at the two floating rock-like Pokemon, "Let us go!"

They made no reply, continuing their encirclement around the group.

The twenty-some young lady strolled up with silent steps, although her bounciness returned in full. "Hiii~" she greeted from a non-threatening distance.

All eyes turned her direction, including those of the Lunatone and Solrock. One of them mentally projected into Lucy's mind, "I suggest you leave, human. This meeting doesn't concern your race."

They would be surprised to hear a voice respond in turn. "I want to join you." Her visible right eye opened slightly, giving a knowing, somewhat sultry look.

The two turned to each other, bewildered, before turning back. Another voice filled her head, "What do you mean by your request?"

"I mean I want to join the Rebellion, the Rebellion of Psychics." Her face did not change.

The Solrock hovered forward, glancing back towards the Lunatone and telepathically telling it something. The Lunatone turned around and continued to circle while the Solrock turned back to her. The first voice she heard answered her request, "How did a human like you come across our whereabouts?"

She giggled, and put a hand to her mouth, "A little bird was kind enough to direct me." The Solrock would find it unusually difficult to pierce her mind beyond projecting simple words, and thus would not be able to discern that the unrelated Nuzleaf blabbed. "But I imagine champions of evolution such as yourselves wouldn't take on a stranger like me without some..." The hand removed, and her bubbly eye sharpened, "Real offerings."

The Solrock seemed to accept this information and continued his interrogation, "What is the rationale behind your interest? And what offerings have you brought?"

"The Reginalds," She spoke, rather than project through her mind. "I know you're at war with them. I can help you win." Despite her feminine charm, she exuded an aura of power, and with it the confidence to make such a bold claim out in the open. Her sharp eye darted towards the group that was held captive. As if to say "If you inconvenience me by attempting an escape, these two will be the least of your concerns."

The Solrock continued to hover there while she addressed their captive group, emotionless. It seemed to be contemplating her request. Finally, it mind-spoke a reply, "Remain in the vicinity for a few minutes. Our Officer will be here shortly."

The sharp eye returned to bubbly softness. She flicked her hand into a salute. "Roger dodger," she giggled as she replied with her mind. She then spotted a smooth rock nearby, adjusted her long dress, and sat down delicately while the Solrock rejoined it's counterpart.

Not too long afterward, steps could be heard off in the distance. A few seconds later, a small crowd of Pokemon broke through the dense forest. Lucy saw mostly Psychic-Types among them, though a number of Dark, Fairy, and even a couple of Steel-Types were among them. Leading the pack was a Metagross, the blue steel-colored Iron Leg Pokemon hovering a few paces in front of everyone. It's red eyes glanced around for a second before landing on the group of Pokemon the two Psychic Rebellion subordinates guarded. Lucy would get the pleasure of watching as the Metagross glanced back towards the troops he commanded, ordering them to do something. The large pack of Psychic Rebellion members nodded and began walking towards the group. Some even took to running, as if the activity excited them.

Lucy watched with a pleasant smile. The sight of some taking to running seemed to tickle her fancy. However, she was the picture of patience as she sat, relaxed, as these souls went about their business.

While the party encircled the captive Pokemon, the Solrock and Lunatone hovered forward to address the Metagross directly, explaining the situation. Their telepathic conversation was out of mind for the woman, but she picked up context clues that it was about here simply by the Metagross's hard stare that shot her direction every so often. The Officer nodded it's head towards the group and the Solrock/Lunatone duo joined the party. It then turned to face her.

"They told me you know telepathy. An impressive feat for a human like yourself." it said.

She gave a pleased smile as her cheeks turned a light shade of pink. "Oh stop it, you." The words filled the Metagross' mind as Lucy waved a hand.

"They also said you knew a few things about the Reginalds," it continued, ignoring her playful banter, "Said you could help us in dealing with them."

"They are stronger than they seem," Lucy warned, albeit not betraying her bubbly expression, "They are a terrifying enemy to have, if you know your history."

"Influential in the past," it mentally pressed, "But a small threat today."

"Then you underestimate them." Lucy stood. "But I know them like family. You probably heard already, but I want to join. I'll give you the Reginalds, but I would need a few things in order to do it."

"You have a strong will, I take," the Officer hummed, "But you are mistaken in our ambitions. The Reginalds are a small hurdle in the grand scheme of things. They are more like an opportunity to take advantage of rather than a real threat. There are multiple ways to reach the same goal. The Reginalds are simply one of them."

"Why not take advantage?" Lucy asked.

"We already are."

"Then we are in agreement. Are we not?" Lucy stooped a little lower so she was at eye-level with the Metagross. "All I need is a lab, and the Reginalds will be broken within the week."

The Metagross hovered back a foot, indignance in it's eyes, "Do you really think we need your help to take care of our pests? It doesn't matter how strong you are mentally. You're still human." Somehow, it spat the word at her. "The lowest of the low."

Suddenly, the air grew incredibly heavy. Every Pokemon in the area, as if grabbed by a terrible vice, slammed into the ground. The grass around them flattened so harshly that the water squeezed out, leaving an enormous circle of brown. The branches of the trees around them bent straight downward, and some even snapped. The Metagross could do nothing as an immense force pressed down upon him. It felt like a hand was simply holding the Metagross in place, suggesting that all it would take was a little more force to flatten the hard metal exterior into a pancake.

Lucy's hair flaired skyward, flapping like a blazing fire. The eerie purple glow showed from behind the eyepatch.

"I am more than a mere human!" her voice crackled and boomed. "I AM..."

With that, the force vanished as quickly as it appeared, and Lucy began adjusting her hair. She cleared her throat softly. "Ahem, I'm sorry for my outburst. That's not how you make allies at all." She rapped a knuckle on her head before she glanced at the now-dead greenery around them. "All I need is a lab," she repeated, "Would you be so kind to provide one?"

The Metagross began hovering once more, shaking the dirt particles off it's underbelly before continuing with much less harsh conviction in his voice, "We don't have those."

"Then we will have to take one," Lucy replied simply.

"Implausible," the Metagross was taken aback, "We don't go near the human civilizations."

"You... don't?" Her now-sharp eyes glared daggers into the Metagross' soul. "You, the Rebellion, who consider the Reginalds a... 'small threat'... and you fear to venture near human civilization?" Lucy crossed her arms.

"We don't fear the humans. We keep a low profile for now," the Metagross explained, "Until we're ready to take over without interruption or resistance."

"No battle plan survives contact with the enemy." Lucy quoted, "You're familiar with the Reginald history- it is bloody on both sides, despite their might, their wit, their tactics. They did not avoid loss. You won't be able to avoid loss either, so long as someone steps up to oppose you." She uncrossed her arms, and clenched her fist. The unseen force rippled through her long dress. "It cannot happen in one fell swoop, believe me, I have tried. Many have tried." The revealed cybernetics seemed indicative of the costs she had paid in the past. "We break the Reginalds, and claim what they have hidden away. That is when everything changes."

The Metagross hovered around her, examining her appearance, before hovering back, "I predict it wouldn't be a bad idea to have your help. Where do you reside?"

"I have no home- the Reginald boy made sure of it," she replied.

"I mean currently. You're too nicely dressed to be homeless."

"I have a safe house, and a select few friends," Lucy continued, "They are a means."

The Metagross sighed, "Oh. My. Arceus. I mean where should we come looking for you?"

"You only need to send a signal. I will catch it," Lucy replied, confident the Metagross knows exatly how she could say such a thing, Her bubbly demeanour then returned in full force. "Until I have my lab, I walk the roads."

The Officer nodded in understanding, "A small red beam will appear in the sky. When you see that, come directly to this spot. Come alone. We will let you know what our Lord says."

"Easy enough, I'm always alone," Lucy replied cryptically.

"Then we will meet then." The Metagross looked behind him, noticing that the small group of Pokemon had been rounded up, chained together and formed into lines of four. The Officer nodded at Lucy and she nodded back. With that, the two took off in their respective directions, until the next encounter.

--- PRESENT TIME ---

The red beam indeed appeared in the midnight sky, and Lucy swiftly left her safe house upon seeing it- a cabin hidden under thick, featureless foliage. It was a lovely stroll in the dark of night. Normally young ladies would be fearful of things in the dark. Lucy Reginald was very clearly something else. As she strolled down the featureless meadows and forests, down an obscure human path, and finally into another forest, her steps were light...unnervingly light. Whether in the dirt or the grass her simple, elegant slippers tapped soundlessly. It was almost as if she hovered in her long flowing dress. She wore a different dress compared to last time. Equally long, it was white with a fading green gradient reaching a full hue at the bottom hem. In actuality, she could see everyting as if it were as bright as day. Every little pebble on the ground, every bug-type that rose from their slumber to avoid predators, every blade of grass. Lucy Reginald could see it all- albeit only psyonically. At her side, a suitcase was gingerly held with a delicate grip.

The dead grass of their last meeting had been cleared, thus avoiding the potential smell of compost. This allowed new grass leaves to reclaim everything from the outside. She regarded it as an unfortunate, "happy accident", but that darling Metagross needed to be shown why this was an opportunity that could not be missed.

As she entered said circle, a familiar form hovered in front of her, stopping her short. It was the Lunatone hovering before her, making it's circles around her and emmitting small hums of noise as it did so.

"See something you like?" she teased as she struck a pose.

The Lunatone ignored the comment, it's voice floating through her mind, "Officer Ankh is waiting for you."

"Everyone's a critic," Lucy shrugged, but she followed the Lunastone anyway. She seemed to dance as she crossed the circle. Floating on the outskirts was the Metagross accompanied by the Solrock, both turning to face her as she approached. The Metagross spoke first.

"You made it," he thrummed, his tone of voice stoic.

"How could I miss such an exciting new chapter in our lives?" she winked.

"I sent your request off to our Headquarters," he began, "And it turns out Lord Zane is far more interested in you than I imagined he would be. Which is fortunate, in your case. He instructed me to let you know that he has effectively surrounded the Reginald Estate and would like for you to lead the charge upon the compound."

Lucy's smile grew ten sizes. "I like that name, Lord Zane. It screams overlord!" She giggled, but slowly grew more serious, her eye sharpened once more. "I am ready to go," she said. Over the past week or so, she had stolen lab materials and secured them in her safe house. She had to make do with what she could get, but she was confident the things in her case

Officer Ankh nodded, glancing down towards the suitcase in her right hand, "Good. Because he expects you to make it to Fuchsia City within two days, or he starts the siege before you get there."

"How gentlemanly," Lucy commented as she raised the suitcase, "With this, I'll only need a few hours."

"Then I wish you the best on your travels, Lucy Reginald." The Metagross turned to go, the Solrock and Lunatone falling in behind it.

"Oh, so you know who I am?" she asked as she opened the case with a gleeful expression. Not even the dropping of her last name seemed to affect her, "I love competent friends. I like this relationship already."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: "Lord-Regent" Radegast the Trainer Character Portrait: The Reginald Family

0.00 INK

(mostly written by HolyJunkie)

[North Coast of Hoenn]


Having absorbed Tarma's memories and soul, Reggie now knew everything the degraded old uncle knew- from contacts new and old, to tidbits given by little birds about certain persons of interest.

This included Lucy Reginald, last reported working for Team Trebuchet. After some deeper description, Radegast learned that they were the same group of criminals who had abducted himself and Metronome. The two of them later sabotaged their ambitious "Project Siren." Radegast wondered if Lucy had known they were family when the Team unleashed that virus that nearly killed him.

"Why does she hate the family?" He found that question more pressing than the attempt on his life.

The Aegislash didn't respond. The arms shrugged.

"You do know, don't you?"

"She idolizes the Vandal," Reggie finally said.

Radegast nodded, but suddenly paused. "There is no history on the Vandal, though. How can someone admire such a person?"

"I wish to avoid this chain of questions."

"The best way to beat an enemy is to understand them," Radegast retorted. The Aegislash shifted around, visibly uncomfortable. "Why are you being protective of these secrets?" Radegast pressed, "I thought we were gonna master fusion and trust each other... right?"

"It is... difficult..." The Aegislash's voice was strangely shaky. Radegast noticed this, and his expression softened after such an interrogative demeanour.

Radegast nodded, "Alright... I do want to know- I want to get as much of an edge as I can, but... If it's that troubling, I'll drop it for now. I mean, we gotta cross this channel and all." Problem solving was particularly easy when one had a pair of Pokemon friends who could form an ice boat. Rage and Crystal were such great boat craftsmon. With Radegast and the others on the boat, the Aegislash pushed them off and accelerated them. They moved at an uncomfortable, yet not unwelcome pace.

"How are you feeling?" Elder asked.

"Sick," Radegast admitted, "But at least..." At least, with the exception of Tarma, everyone was alright. He had no idea where they had escaped to, but he knew that with the ability to tear holes between points in space, they could escape any situation they'd need to. The thing that felt like a punch to the gut was the complete destruction of his home. Now the only items that Radegast had to his name from the Estate sat on a shelf in Alola. His old guitar, the framed pictures he had drawn long ago, the books he had read as a child, all were gone.

The Catacombs were the worst part. The ancient tombs were no more, along with the history. The spiralling descent into the earth, the empty tombs and plaques depicting history, Radegast had spent a lot of time down there, breathing in the dead air as he read the tales of his ancestors by candlelight. Until he learned the truth of fusion with the loss of Gregorovich, he once thought that he'd be happy to add his name to the annals of the Reginalds.

Now the only evidence that they had existed rested in the memories of Radegast and the Aegislash. With the discoveries surrounding the ancient family, Radegast toyed with the idea of drafting a record of the family history. He wondered if Dad or Mom or Margriet were thinking the same thing. He wondered where they were now.

Safe, at least. Soon enough, the ice boat reached the shores to the continent mainland. With a single punch, Rage sent the boat flying out into the ocean in pieces. With the group back in their respective pokeballs, Radegast and Elder continued their journey into the deeper wilderness. As they walked, Radegast fused with Reggie, in order to continue their developing bond of souls. Thanks to the Limiter given by the Necrozma, this training could be done every day.

"The Family has a dark history." Reggie said.

"I figured that much from the stories in the Catacombs," Radegast replied.

"It's worse than that... and I hope... I honestly do hope... that you don't see us..."

"As terrible?" Radegast asked, "I've had people call me terrible. It's only because I didn't fit with their norm."

"And yet you called the Psychic Rebellion an abomination."

"The Master Blaster is, but I can't see them as such," Radegast corrected, "They're Pokemon- zealous, mind, but their desires are simple. They're individuals, with their thoughts and feelings. They are the good guy in their own story."

"And the Regicide Crew?"

"Them too... but I realised something: Despite my best efforts, I've become an antagonist to someone... and while I make an effort to avoid confrontation... I don't want to lose."

The walk continued for a time. On occasion, Elder stopped to examine his surroundings with a critical gaze. Normally he wouldn't have such an eye in a perfectly natural environment, but in this case he seemed to view some of the trees as unusual. When Radegast looked closely, he could see why.

Some of the trees had markings on them. They appeared to have been formed by a thin layer of acid- just enough to burn in a light indent on the bark, but nothing more. "You recognize any of them?"

"No, and yet they're familiar," Elder replied, "We must be getting close."

"Unless the symbol means 'We moved shop,'."

Elder gave Radegast an unamused stare. The Gallade shrugged with a sly grin. Anything to lift their spirits after the news. "The burn was refreshed," Elder continued, "Otherwise the tree would have shed the bark and replaced it with another layer.

"Let me see if I can find them," Reggie offered as he unfused. "I can sense life signs."

"So can I," Elder replied.

"Can't we all?" Radegast asked. The trio stayed silent for a moment, then Elder and Radegast laughed. "It's funny because I died," Radegast sighed after that good laugh. Elder did a spit-take.

"Well, let's let the Young Master try," Reggie hovered around. "More than fusion, you will need to master yourself."

Radegast nodded, and readied himself for psionic projection. It was an intermediate technique, but Vorpal did teach him the fundamentals. It couldn't be that hard since he's mastered the phantom fingers.

With his eyes closed, Radegast saw the trees. He moved without moving through the forest. With all senses cut, he sensed everything. Everything suddenly became truly everything, and his senses were flooded with the sounds and presences of everything around them. Every Pokemon, every plant, every individual blade of grass, moving with a wing he could now physically fathom.

As quickly as the sensation overwhelmed him, Radegast's eyes opened with a flinch. He then grasped at his head. "You pick it up better than most, at least," Reggie replied.

"Most what, Psychic-type Pokemon?"

"Humans," Reggie replied, "Like your aunt, and your cousin."

"Who were they?" Radegast asked as he sat down to recover from the throbbing in his head.

"To understand them, you would have to understand the Vandal, and the secrets the First had hidden from all future generations."

"Secrets you hid in turn?" Radegast asked.

"Yes."

"What is this secret?"

"The First Reginald... was an abomination."

"We're really throwing that word around, aren't we?" Radegast spoke with a hint of snark.

"It is a word I only reserve for those who perfectly encapsulate its meaning. He amassed incredible power for his own sake and no one else's. Future generations began to hold to the idea that their greatness came with a responsibility, and that was until the Vandal tried to go back to his roots. I had secrets to keep, so with Ilya Reginald, I silenced the Vandal. If I didn't... we'd be in a very different world, where Reginald would be the final word."

"So you put a lid on the Family's potential."

"Indeed. Mario Reginald was a friend- a brother, even- but he grew drunk on power. The things he did to make himself greater affected generations even to this day... As your friend Janine pointed out.

"You mean this form... is because of Mario?"

"He made himself an abomination through the True Soul Link, an amalgam of his indominable will and the bodies of Pokemon he won over with his charisma. In order to stop him, I did the same, only my will was stronger. If he had remained... well, I wouldn't be who I am... and maybe there would have been more Vandals."

"And the Vandal figured out this True Soul Link."

"Yes... but he was worse. He wanted me to try. He wanted the chance to take me and become unstoppable. It made me question myself, which guaranteed his victory in the Soul Link. In the end, we killed him by throwing him into a vat of liquid steel."

"Holy shit."

"The remains were sealed in a coffin designed to never be opened... but if Lucy Reginald reclaimed it..." The Aegislash shuddered at the idea.

"If the Vandal was worse than the First... what does that make my cousin?"

"Neither of them could take on an unleashed Fusion... Lucy could. She's unlocked her potential. Lucy Reginald has induced a Primal state."

"Primal..." Radegast didn't recognize the term.

"If we are to defeat Lucy as she is, and what she's planning to become... we must unlock that potential within yourself as well."

"So to fight a monster, we're gonna turn me into a monster," Radegast sipped a breath between grit teeth. "Can't say I like the idea, but... if it's to save Lukas and Floyd and get justice for Max... I guess it's true, I have to be the shield of light... I'm not even seventeen yet."

"It's not something a child should-"

"I'm just a guy," Radegast interrupted, "So how does a guy get this Primal state?"

The Aegislash read Radegast's eyes. They were filled with a newfound determination and will. "We will need a Megastone compatible with your genetics. In this case, a Galladite. Lucy had a Gardevoirite. We will also need a way to fasten it to you. We will need to improve your psychic potential."

"And master the fusion bond," Radegast nodded as he held his hands out, "We got this, man."

The Aegislash fused, and the Limiter did its job. After training with Janine for so long, Radegast could feel a slight increase in his awareness and strength. It gave him a sense of steady improvement, and an enthusiasm to continue moving forward.

"Let's go, Elde-" Radegast said, only to drop to the ground. A dart clung to his neck.

Elder flailed, and the Aegislash tried to move, only Radegast held the blade in an unconscious grip. With a careful claw, the Gengar plucked the dart to reduce the venom intake. The Gengar then spun around to try to find whoever did it.

A Toxicroak stood before him, along with a team of others as well as Croagunk. Elder's worried expression suddenly made way for joy. "It's you guys!"

The lead Toxicroak was taken aback at the friendliness. "Do we know each other?"

"It's me, Elder."

"We don't know an Elder."

"Oh right, that's my new name; I don't remember my old name- I'm dead now, but when I was alive, I was one of you guys." Elder bounced on the spot in excitement. "I'm buried in Hoenn! One of you guys dropped off a flower a couple days ago?" The group backed away nervously. Elder's bubbly glee dissipated as he became aware of the awkward situation. "Is something wrong?"

"Scholar Spruce...?"

"That name..." Elder gripped at his head. "I know that name... It's mine, it must be mine... isn't it?"

"I can't believe it. How do you not remember?"

"Not rememb-?" Elder shook his head. "No I do remember! I remember you all were my family!"

"Ash... she accepted what happened, but remembers out of respect... but the rest of us..."

"What are you saying?" Elder caught that they wouldn't look directly at the Gengar anymore.

"You were a constant pain to everyone."

"That..." Elder shook his head, "That can't be right. I wouldn't do that."

"I don't believe death can change someone deep down."

"So I was outcast... and killed." Elder nodded, "It's... not what I had expected..."

"Well, it's the truth. So you better get out of here before we have to do it again."

Elder's eye twitched. He looked back at Radegast, and then returned with a more determined glare on his face. "What did you do to him?" He asked.

"A Psychic-type is our natural enemy," the lead Toxicroak replied, "Especially if the rumours throughout the wilds are true."

Elder stepped between them.

"You plan to defend him?"

"Not by myself," Elder replied as he tapped on the pokeballs on the Gallade's belt. A flash of red, and a swirl of fire. The Demonslayer herself had emerged.

"What have they done?" Suros cawed as the rest of the team emerged.

"This... is my family," Elder introduced them. "Apparently they killed me."

"THEN WE SHALL RETURN THE FAVOUR!" Rage bellowed.

---

Radegast groaned as his vision returned to a semblance of sharpness. He rose from his prone position, with the Aegislash still in-hand. "What happened?" He asked Reggie.

"You held an almost death grip there," Reggie replied, "I didn't want to risk damaging the Limiter... but your friends handled it well enough without me."

"What?" Radegast asked before he turned. In front of him, the results of utter carnage lay ahead. Splintered trees, shattered stone, chunks of earth sent everywhere, immense spires of ice, shattered, cracked, or intact. Crackling flames burning wood dry and wet. And lots and lots of webbing and burn marks. The sky was darkening as the day made way for the night.

Suros rested on a low-hanging branch, where the others lay huddled in their own resting positions. They looked somewhat at-peace, especially Elder.

Radegast looked between the devestation and the sleeping group. He had a mind to ask what had happened, but he simply smiled at the cute sight. He released his grip on the Aegislash and moved to sit down beside them.

"I'll take first watch," Reggie announced.

"You always take first watch," Radegast replied, "And second and third."

Reggie had no mouth to smirk with, but he did project an aura of what felt like amusement. "Goodnight, young master."

The venom in the dart had left Radegast tired and fatigued, despite laying prone the whole time. A peaceful rest period like this, after all the travelling they had done since they left Alola... It was quite welcome.

---

"When you cut out a Pokemon's tongue, you do not tell us he was wrong- you tell us you're afraid of what he had to say."

"He wanted to meet humans. Humans have been nothing but a scourge to our kind, to all our kind."

"That was no reason to murder him- our top Scholar!"

"Our top scholar, whose mind would have been wasted on humanity should he have been captured. Reflect on the price we had paid, over the price we would have paid, as you continue making those... illegal visits."


---

Elder jerked awake. The sound of voices filled his ears as he regained a state of awakening. Close by, he saw the Aegislash setting itself between a female Toxicroak.

"I wanted to see him," The voice spoke.

"As the night watch, I cannot allow you to come any closer. Leave immediately, or I will-"

"Reggie," Elder called low, to avoid waking the others, "I'm awake. What's happening?"

"This Toxicroak insisted to speak with you," The Aegislash responded, "The one they called Scholar Spruce."

Elder examined the Toxicroak. Much like other Toxicroak, she was pretty typical. Nothing about her seemed to trigger nay memories, but given her less hostile demeanour compared with the others, it was worth asking. "Were you the one who left the flowers?" The Toxicroak nodded. "They were nice," Elder added sheepishly.

"Do you remember me?"

Elder remembered the existence of "Her", but even with the time and thought he went through after that catalyst during Skyla's gym challenge, the Gengar really didn't know anything, besides Her and She must still care. "I don't remember specifics," Elder admitted, "Only that you cared... and until now, I realise what it meant."

"You were going to leave," She replied as venomous tears began to form, "It hurt... but it'd have hurt more to stop you... to deny your most charming quality." Elder tilted his head. "Have you met any?" She then asked, "What are the humans like?"

"Humans..." Elder glanced back to the group, where Radegast was huddled together with everyone else. "Overall, they're... fascinating. In truth, they're just like us."

"Just like us?" She asked, hardly believing it.

"They're all individuals." The Gengar stared at the sleeping Gallade. "They think and feel, and they form groups on like-mindedness. They make goals and set out to achieve them. They have a need to feed, and to live. They have a capacity for evil... but also greatness. The only real difference is that we can spit poison."

"You haven't been captured?" She seemed most nervous about this particular detail.

"Never." Elder smiled as he returned his eyes to meet her's. "I've wandered far away as a Gastly and have met many humans, but I feel so blessed to have met the Lord-Regent."

"Lord-Regent...?" She asked as familiarity with the title made her tilt her head in interest. "You've met the weird human?"

Elder's eyes widened. "You know about him?"

"Lots of news tends to find its way in the wilderness. The dangers humanity poses make paying attention a must if we're to live far away in peace."

Elder nodded. "What have you heard?"

"I've heard from a Skrelp that he is dead."

Elder nodded again, albeit slowly. "It's a shame," he sighed. "He was one of the good ones."

"Who could have done such a thing?"

"Other humans- the not-good ones," Elder replied, "But he was also targeted by a group of evil Pokemon as well."

"This Lord-Regent guy made a lot of enemies..."

"He sure did..."

The night air filled with an awkward silence. "So..." The Toxicroak shifted her stance nervously, "I still haven't... found someone else."

"Huh?" Elder asked.

"Well..." Her eyes scanned the ground randomly. "You wouldn't remember... wouldn't you?"

"Only some feelings," Elder replied, "I remember a warmth... I remember care... and a taste of... new bark tea..."

"Your invention," She added, "When you were alive."

"Was it?" Elder asked. "I've had it before."

"It had been spread amongst the wildlings after you..."

"Yeah... Okay, I couldn't help this, but..." Elder grit his teeth, anticipating a bad response. "What's your name?"

"Oh!" The Toxicroak shuddered, "That's right! I should've realised... I'm Ash- Guardian Ash."

"Scholar Spruce, Guardian Ash," Elder repeated the names. "So... Croagunk and Toxicroak in the deep wilderness adhered to a caste system. That seems somewhat different compared to the clans of Dragalge and Mankeys."

Ash nodded. There was so much the Gengar didn't remember. The longer they talked, the greater her awareness became at the sheer scale of missing pieces. The only thing Elder recalled was that same warmth, attributed entirely to a "her".

"I guess that means you were something special," Elder finally said.

Ash tilted her head, with a sad look in her eyes. "I couldn't let you go... but I still had a duty..."

"Why don't you join us?" Elder asked, "Our group sticks together because we're friends. We go out and seet the world, meet new people, sometimes have a brawl, it's fun! Out there, we're truly wild, and we're free."

"I can't," Ash replied, "I have responsibilities."

"Are you sure?" Elder asked.

"I loved you- I still do... but I also love my people. I became a Guardian so I could protect them. We used to have a lot of fun sneaking out, but... someday we all need to grow up."

Elder nodded sombrely as he stared back at the sleeping Lord-Regent. "Yeah, I think I know what you mean."