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The Multiverse

Setting

This noble city in the Kanto Region has historically been used as a giant graveyard of sorts. Though it's famous Pokemon Tower was once converted into a radio tower from it's previous status as a tower of graves, it was converted back after an incident, involving several members of The Hand of Arceus being exposed, caused the deaths of many residents. Despite all the ghosts that wander this town and all the grief and tragedy that has been shed here, people still flock to it. It is the third most populated city in all of Kanto, and easily the most unique and tourist attracting.

The locals are quite religious and superstitious. It is not uncommon for tourists to become confused over their foreign lore. (See: White Hands and such)


Image Ghost Warning

Even Pokemon are frightened by Pokemon Tower, as the spirits of the dead torment those brave enough to scale it. It is rumored that there are secret rooms that haven't been accessed in quite a while within the town.

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Lavender Town

This noble city has historically been used as a giant graveyard. To this day, it still does just that, it's famous Pokemon Tower home to the ghosts of pokemon and humans alike, as well as it's Soul House.

Minimap

Lavender Town is a part of Kanto.

8 Characters Here

Shane Clear [40] Male Pokemon trainer with only a Squirtle and a Mightyena
Strahga Darkpyre [16] A tall Scythe Weilding Elf,A fond drinker and fighter,Although he's overly cheery he's halted by body wracking pain and has a curious tattoo.
Julie Jensen [9] "If I see one more ad for accepted augmentation, I'm going to start cutting peoples arms and legs off, give them a head start. Ingrates!"
Maroon [6] A young trainer from lavender town
Kearyai Grim [0] Kearyai (meaning lord in greek) is a 17 year old boy with the power to manifest his soul into any weapon of his chose.
Dragol gro-Urgash [0] "Unless you can give me a 'Good-Death'... Move along milk-drinker."
Bob Hampton [0] Father of Josh Hampton.

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Strahga Darkpyre Character Portrait: Lazarus Bloodwheel Character Portrait: Woyzeck Viator Character Portrait: Jager Holt
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#, as written by duramon
Strahga turned after seeing his attack miss sending out another sweeping strike of void to tear through the spikes, again he raised his fists and slammed them into the ground, watching the row of crystalline spikes flow towards his opponent, these were different however and upon reaching his foe would suddenly explode in a glorious fountain of destructive energy.

Meanwhile Lazarus continued to rush at his foe, suddenly dropping mid swing and placing the charged hand on the ground his momentum carrying him forward as he flipped his leg into the air, the appendage slipping through one of the many handles on the weapon as the energy passed through his body and condensed on the leg, slamming it down onto his foes blade along with his own even as the flames poured out over his body. Although they seemed to brush harmlessly off of his bandages, even as he pressed further down on his opponent, twisting his lower half so that his arm swung from below towards the mans leg, a similar energy burning across the attacking appendage.

He had faced Phoenix fire and demonic flames, even complex enchantments wouldn't slow him down, however he was running low on energy at this point, having not killed or spilled blood for a fair while. His 'partner' had better provide or the match might just become a free for all.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Strahga Darkpyre Character Portrait: Lazarus Bloodwheel Character Portrait: Woyzeck Viator Character Portrait: Jager Holt
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Jager shot the two arrows into the ground in front of him a large black obelisk shooting up in front him the massive monolith towered over the area a seemingly dark energy emanating out from it. The tower would merely shake as it was struck by the energy with a loud ringing sending out visible waves through the air that would contort time and space. This was meant more as an annoyance with a slight nausea effect for all targeted by it. Jager pulled back the string of the bow a black arrow gathering shape on the string, springing forth from the bow into the air it would disappear then a rain of arrows would fall directly over Stragha's position.

Woyzeck laughed wickedly as the man made contact with the sword. Little did the other man know was that the blade leeched energy from it's opponent to magnify the waves with terrible effect as the users own energy was transferred back to them at full force. Woyzeck in his own madness jumped up whilst holding the blade to quickly place his feet on hit to push himself off from the blade he would relinquish the weapon but it would continue to harm his opponent as long as he gripped it. Woyzeck would flip a few meters back landing with a skin before rushing headlong again at the enemy his right fist raised now it sparking with energy.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Strahga Darkpyre Character Portrait: Lazarus Bloodwheel Character Portrait: Woyzeck Viator Character Portrait: Jager Holt Character Portrait: Maroon
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An amorphous, ethereal creature ever so briskly floats along the ground; it was no stranger to this land. It had the appearance of concentrated mist and beelined straight for Maroon. Wrapping around the boy's sides, the misty entity seemed to grasp him whereupon the ground simply... swallowed him up! Gone in a flash, it may very well have been entirely missed by anyone that wasn't paying close attention. In it's place was nothing, an empty spot that had once occupied a person.

Meanwhile, several locals watched the small group of aliens fight with a perplexed expression on their faces. They were not scared, not really anyway; intense battles were commonplace. They did have to wonder how in the world something like this even came to be though. Why were they here specifically, and why did they seem to have powers of a magical nature?

...Most would likely assume this was simply normal where they came from. Decidedly few to none would be interested in getting involved. Simply put, this was not how battle 'was done' on Ruula. Some would watch, but only from a respectful distance.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Vicki Vale aka BatGirl
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Hello?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jessica Stark Character Portrait: Em "Worldhopper" Sparks
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Em wouldn't normally have considered stopping anywhere ghosts were possibly around... She didn't like the idea of a threat she couldn't just punch away. Yet here she was due to her and her Swablu needing rest, the currently 7'5" chub making scared noises as the lights flickered- causing her to grow another few inches in size. At this point she was thankful her clothes grew with her.

And then she happened to meet eyes with someone looking at her as she grew, Swabs cuddling against her visible shoulder even more. Em patting the Swablu in thanks as she managed to stop growing once again, now 7'8" as she stopped. "Er. Hello." Feeling more awkward than usual due to her fear.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Crimson the Chimchar Character Portrait: Winter Sakkio
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WinterVSCrimson


One would think that a town that carried such a legacy of death and spiritual inhabitance would inspire dark and depressing scenery around it. Lavender Town might be the exception. A surprisingly thriving community with a high tourism rate, this part of the Kanto Region had lush green grass and colorful buildings to match its seaside fit. It was kind of like a harbor town…kind of like Driftveil City in the Unova region. Only this place had less coastal interaction and more history behind it. The atmosphere was unusually heavy here, giving the feeling of spiritual presence all around the area…or maybe that was sea salt. Still, it wasn’t like the air was stagnant. From gentle breezes during nice weather to heavy gusts during storms, there was always oxygen moving through the area…as if cycling in new supernatural entities every day.

Yes, Lavender Town would make a great backdrop, the former Pokemon Tower jutting over the treetops and looking over the city, as the afternoon sun stood high and oversaw a young boy with gleaming white hair and deep blue eyes walking away from it. It wasn’t chilly, but the boy had on a long sleeved white shirt and blue jeans anyway. Apart from a necklace with a water drop around his neck and a Squirtle sitting on his shoulder, he looked fairly plain and average. Nothing too signature about him.

Which was ironic considering this boy, Winter Sakkio, was the Champion of the Indigo League.

“Sorry we had to leave Lavender Town so early, buddy,” Winter was saying to Lucky as he walked. The Squirtle curled his lip and gave a harrumph! kind of look.

Winter gave his best friend an apologetic look, “I know you wanted to check out the Radio Tower, but this is part of our job as Champion of the Region. When someone from the capital contacts us, we have to answer it,” he smiled reassuringly, “We’ll have plenty of time to go back to Lavender Town later.”

Lucky appeared to think for a moment before finally sighing, “Squirr…”

“Thanks for understanding,” Winter said as he peered back, “We can always come back. It’s not like we’re going to be gone for long. We just need to figure out what Burgh wants.”

While in Lavender Town, Winter had received a telegram from Burgh, the Gym Leader of Castelia City, that was only for his eyes to be read. Because of this, it was sent to the Pokemon League directly and dropped off in his chamber there, unopened. Now Winter would have to return to the Indigo Plateau to figure out why personnel in the capital of Ruula wanted his attention. He was hoping he didn’t have to participate in national meetings just yet. He wanted to prove himself as a friendly face to the region he was champion over first. Not to mention he wasn’t sure he was up to helping govern a planet. He had always been iffy about that last part of it. And he still had one more task to do before he believed he would truly be ready…one final task given to him by Titania Brightsmith, the former champion of the region.

As he wondered, he kept walking along the path, enjoying the view of the day and the beautiful weather they were having. The ocean to his left, the trees to his right. The breeze today was flowing quite nicely…just the right amount it seemed. Sure, he could fly on Rio and get to the Indigo Plateau lickety split, but he wanted to enjoy the journey. He wanted to walk at least some of the way before he had to put himself on a time crunch. After all, stopping and smelling the roses could prove to be beneficial sometimes. One never knew when they’d encounter something important.

And so, he walked, talking with Lucky some of the time while enjoying the path the other times. Route 12 was gorgeous at this time of day. He looked left, down from the top of the cliff side, and watched the fishermen casting lines on the bridge. A lot of fishermen, Winter realized. It was a great day for fishing after all.

“Squir?” Lucky stared forward in confusion. Winter laughed at the sudden noise he made.

“They’re just fishermen,” Winter said to him, “It’s a good day to fish. I’d be walking through there if there weren’t so many and we weren’t pressed for time.”

The Squirtle gave him a look that said “Are you friggin’ kidding me?” and pointed forward, “Squir.”

Winter followed his gaze and discovered the real reason for his confusion. He was taken aback himself. Standing in front of him was a Pokemon for sure, but it wasn’t one he’d seen before. It was small, around Lucky’s height, and it had the shape of a chimp (except those don’t exist natively in Ruula). The orange fur covered its arms, legs, and head, performing a small hair peak on the top. Its belly was cream colored and accented with a small swirl in the center of his chest while its rear was definitely on fire. Its eyes were a surprisingly vibrant blue and staring into the forest directly left of it, or Winter’s right. It appeared to be examining something or someone there, though Winter couldn’t tell from his vantage point what it was.

The Pokemon stopped when it glanced towards Winter. He immediately held out a palm up in front of him, the universal sign for stop. Winter raised a brow, but did halt progression.

“Hmm,” Winter thought out loud as he reached into his pack and pulled out his PokeDex, “You’re a new one, I think. What does the Dex here say about you?” As he flipped the switch and performed the scan, the notification popped up that a new Pokemon had been scanned and entered into the PokeDex. What was more intriguing, however, was that it didn’t register in the Kanto Region portion of the PokeDex.

Chimchar, the Chimp Pokemon,” the PokeDex beeped. “It is very agile. Before going to sleep, it extinguishes the flame on its tail to prevent fires.”

“So you’re from the Sinnoh Region, eh?” Winter noted aloud as he looked through the information, occasionally glancing up to see if the Chimchar was still there, “That means you traveled here somehow. You’ve probably got a trainer around here somewhere.”

“Squir squir?” Lucky asked. Do you?

The Chimchar thought for a moment, then shook its head, “Char…”

“So you’re a wilding?” Winter realized, also taking note that the quality of tone told him this Chimchar was male, “Woah…interesting. I wonder what you’re doing all the way over here. The Sinnoh Region is pretty far away.”

The Chimchar said nothing in response. His stare seemed to flash with something. A slight twinge of an emotion of some kind, too quick to read out. But it almost seemed like it was dissonance. Like something didn’t register right with the Chimchar when Winter said those words to him. And then it was gone, replaced by that sturdy gaze once more.

Weird…

“Alright, well it’s been fun and all, but I need to move on. I’ve got to be somewhere,” Winter tried to walk past him, but the Chimchar stepped in front of his path once more, blocking the way forward. A flash of annoyance registered on Winter’s face.

“Dude, seriously. This is important. I need to pass through here,” Winter took a step back, arms crossed while he waited for this random Pokemon to be rational. But the Chimchar didn’t move. Something about the calmness of the Chimchar in front of him made Winter uneasy. It was too smooth…too practiced. Way more practiced than a Chimchar should be. He’d never laid eyes on one before, but he knew from the PokeDex that this one had a couple more evolutions to go before it could even be considered threatening to him. Then again, Lucky wasn’t exactly what he seemed to be, but that was different. He was the best friend of a Champion. This was just a wilding. Right?

“Please don’t make me have to wipe you,” Winter said as Lucky positioned himself in front of him, ready to battle. “You don’t know the power I pack in these PokeBalls.” It was more a matter of principle for the young Champion at this point than anything else. He knew there were other options. He could take Rio and fly out of there. He could even turn around and take the north path to the Indigo Plateau. But it was almost like he chose to stick around out of spite. He’d chosen this path for a reason. And while he respected the wildlife around him, he didn’t expect to be pressured by it to pick a different direction. He wasn’t going to be bullied around. Not in his own region.

The Chimchar still didn’t move, though. In fact, he gave off a small smirk, like he was daring him to try it. That uneasiness settled in Winter once more, caused by the Chimchar’s surprising amount of confidence. But he wasn’t going to let this one know it. Winter steeled his own glance and pointed forward.

“Sorry, buddy. You asked for it. Lucky, strike with Hydro Pump!”

The Squirtle squared itself, feet shoulder width apart, left foot in front. His mouth opened and out came a high volume of water, humongous in area and spread. The ultimate all-power Water-Type move shot forward across the field, gunning for the Chimchar. Its massive size alone would make it pretty hard to dodge for Pokemon around Lucky’s strength, much less those that were weaker. This should perform the easy knockout.

That is, until it didn’t.

The Chimchar rolled to the right, the tip of the flame alight on his posterior moving as the massive cannon of water whizzed past. He’d effectively dodged the move. Winter’s eyes widened slightly until he remembered what the PokeDex told him.

“Pretty agile, hmm?” he commented quietly as he stared at the Chimp Pokemon. His right hand was down in the dirt beneath him, fingers spread for stability. His feet were very wide apart and he was crouching. But he was tense. Unmoving. His eyes locked onto Lucky, a small comfortable smile creeping into the corner of his mouth.

“Chim-chaaaaaaaar!” he said, staring at Lucky. The Squirtle’s eyes narrowed.

“Lucky, be on your guard,” Winter said thoughtfully, “Something doesn’t feel right here. Not with this Pokemon.”

Lucky nodded as he closed his eyes and clenched his turtle-like hands. A flash of light pulsed through the area and suddenly the Squirtle looked much harder. The effect of Iron Defense was just a precaution, but a necessary one that he elected to take.

The Chimchar was quick to put an end to that, however. One elusive wink and two fingers motioning for the Squirtle to come at him was enough to drive Lucky to irritation. Now all he’d want to do is strike the monkey. A clever tactic using Taunt, Winter realized.

“Lucky, try using Surf!” the Champion called another move, less aimed to be a one shot and more aimed to test the waters out. Lucky conjured a wave of water from beneath him and sent it careening towards the Chimchar. It was a lot more spread than even the Hydro Pump was, although it carried much less pressure.

But the Chimchar proved to be far too agile again, corkscrewing in the air as he leaped over the massive wave of water. But as he was about to land, Winter chose to go for the rapid counter attack.

“Lucky, Aqua Tail! Hurry!”

And the move connecte- wait what?! Winter’s jaw dropped as Lucky’s tail smashed into the ground by his own force and velocity instead of hitting the Chimchar. The Chimchar had his arms extended and to the left of him…the same direction the tail had struck. Now everything had been happening so fast in the heat of battle, especially given the quick counter attack. But had Winter just seen a Pokemon redirect a move?! Such a thing had never been contemplated to him before.

“Go for the Brick Break!”

But the Chimchar was done giving up freebies. His left hand shot forward like a dart, closed into a fist and covered in fire. The Fire Punch landed so suddenly and so powerfully, Lucky was knocked a good distance away, landing on Winter’s side of the makeshift battlefield. Winter bit his lip as his mind raced, looking at Lucky get up on his own willpower. Naturally, he took it like a champ. It was naturally resisted after all, and he did have added defense. It effectively did little to him. But it didn’t do completely minimal to zero damage, which confused him. How much power was this Chimchar actually packing?

Any remaining thought that he was fighting a normal Pokemon flew out the window at this moment as Winter put on his game face, “Looks like it’s not going to be an easy one, Lucky. But let’s give ‘em all we got!”

The fight continued. Lucky had another Aqua Tail poised, a horizontal swipe aimed for the Chimchar’s waist. The Chimchar flipped back, avoiding the blow, but Lucky was back at it with a quick Brick Break aimed for the chest. The Chimchar caught Lucky’s wrist, shoving the blow to the side and pulling the Squirtle’s weight forward. Winter watched incredulously as the chimp used Lucky’s momentum against him and vaulted over him, landing on the other side of him gracefully. His eyes twinkled as his brow twitched, like he was saying, That’s really all you got?

Winter called for Surf in response. The wave of water was launched at the Chimchar from behind. This time, there would be no dodging as the wave hit him with a splash! Winter clenched his fist in triumph.

“Alright! Way to go, Lucky!” he cried happily to his companion, who was panting from the effort. It did take five for six attempts to even land that strike after all.

The Chimchar was quick to get up, though it was clear the attack had taken its toll on him. He was straining from the effort. He couldn’t take another hit like that, Winter knew. He could see it in his eyes. But quickly shaking the water off, the Chimchar took up a fighting stance once more. Winter knew that had this been a standard Chimchar, it would’ve been knocked out.

What made it special?

“Lucky, let’s finish him! Go for Surf!” came Winter’s call. The Squirtle prepared the wave of water again.

But the Chimchar suddenly went on the offensive. A flurry of punches interrupted the Squirtle as he was caught with a right hook followed by a jab, another jab, and another hook from the other side. Lucky brought up his own arms, defending where he could, but the Chimchar was moving so fast it was hard to dodge. A roundhouse kick capped the Close Combat, sending Lucky flying back to Winter.

“Buddy, are you alright?” Winter ran up to his pal while he stirred. His eyes shot open and he clutched his chest, but it appeared the Squirtle was fine. Lucky took quite a beating from the all-power move, but he looked like he could handle a couple more. He gave Winter a nod with a determined smile.

“This thing seems to be all power and no defense. If we get another hit in, that’ll be it. You still good to hop back in?”

Again, the Squirtle nodded.

“Okay, then let’s show him why we’re the Champion of this region! Aqua Tail, once more!”

The Chimchar perked his ears at the mentioning of the word “champion” and looked at the two of them, confused. His mouth opened as his brow furrowed, but that didn’t stop him from reacting to the Squirtle applying Aqua Tail again. In fact, it seemed to heighten his awareness as he was quick to dive under it, his arm slapping Lucky’s feet in mid-air while he did so and causing Winter’s companion to hit the ground hard. It would little to no damage of course since it wasn’t powered up with any kind of strength, but it did leave him on the ground, vulnerable to another hit.

But the Chimchar didn’t deliver it.

He stood there, poised and ready, but he didn’t strike upon an opening in Lucky’s defense. He held out a palm of his own, giving the signal to Winter that he wanted to stop the fight. It was the Champion’s turn to be confused as to the sudden break in the action. Regardless, he mustered the patience he needed to hear this Pokemon out, curious about what it was the Chimchar was going to do.

Once the dust settled and the air was less adrenaline pumped, the Chimchar reached a hand out for Lucky to take, which the Squirtle did to pull himself to a standing position. They then began to talk.

“Chim char?”

“Squir…squirtle?”

Back and forth their dialogue went, Winter unable to interpret any of it. Even his best friend and greatest companion was speaking so fast, he couldn’t register what it was that he was saying.

“Be careful, buddy!” Winter called out in caution. The Squirtle gave him a thumbs up and continued to talk with him.

As they spoke, Winter turned and gazed towards the sun, which was in its mid-afternoon stage. He couldn’t wait much longer, he realized in that moment. This whole time he’d been fighting this Chimchar, he should’ve been hauling butt over to the Indigo Plateau, where Burgh’s message waited for him. Walking along the beachfront wasn’t that important. Not when his Champion business was mentioned. He realized the error he’d made in that moment and felt the slight tinge of guilt wash over him. I should work more on being a better Champion for this region, he made a mental note to himself.

And it started with an apology. When he found a break in their conversation, he walked up to the Chimchar and lowered his head (mostly to talk to the Chimchar, but also out of shame), “Sorry about fighting you earlier. As Champion, I should’ve probably been more respectful to the wildlife and their territories. I’m still kind of getting used to my responsibilities, to be honest. But I let a bit of pride take over in a crucial moment and I shouldn’t have done that.”

The Chimchar’s reaction and response was warm and inviting, holding out a hand for Winter to shake as a way of saying ”I forgive you.” The Champion took it eagerly, shaking it with a pleasant smile of his own. The hostilities between them appeared to be over.

“Squir-tle,” Lucky said, pointing up to the sky as he hopped on Winter’s back. He knew exactly what that meant. Let’s go up. Meaning they would have to fly.

“So after all that, you’re still not going to let me through?” Winter turned towards the Chimchar angrily. The Chimchar had an apologetic expression on his face as he shook his head, confirming the theory. Winter was about to take to laying into the Chimp Pokemon with words asunder until Lucky slapped his back with his tail.

“Ow! Hey…” Winter rubbed the tender spot as he looked at his companion with nothing short of annoyance. The Squirtle looked like a sage, eyes light and lax as his gaze told him to take a deep breath. Winter did so.

“You’re right,” Winter exhaled, relinquishing the pent up aggression. “I shouldn’t be so stubborn. Rio is the fastest way anyway.” But as he reached for the PokeBall, he still felt like he owed this Chimchar something…something more than an apology.

“Hey,” he turned back around again, “Let me make true amends. Let me give you something in return, kind of as a peace token, y’know?” He started digging in his pack for supplies. The Chimchar again shook his head, saying that wasn’t necessary. But Winter held out a hand of his own. “No, I insist. Besides, you gave me a pretty great fight after all. There’s not many who can stay in the ring with Lucky as long as you have. I get the impression you’re kind of like him…hiding your true potentials behind a façade.”

The Chimchar merely shrugged. Winter kept excavating through his pack, pulling out knickknacks he’d gathered on his numerous adventures.

“Let’s see…I have an Energy Root from when I went exploring the Ruins of Alph. Or maybe this Lava Cookie I got from the Volcano Path. That one seems fitting. Or maybe this Ice Stone I got from a Suicune in the Ice Path. Maybe you know a Pokemon that can evolve with it. I can’t find one. There’s this Blue Scarf I picked up in Goldenrod City. Ooo! Or maybe the Destiny Knot I got from a friend one time. That’d be a cool one! Or maybe-“

The Chimchar stopped him, examining the Ice Stone with pure intrigue. Winter raised a brow and chuckled at the chimp with an awe of some sort, “You like enigmas, huh? Maybe you can find a use for this thing. Here. You can have it.”

Winter held out the light blue glowing stone in front of him, waiting for the Chimchar to take. He seemed very hesitant to touch it, his palm outstretched and hovering over it, but not daring to get any further with it. He seemed to be contemplating the decision thoroughly, Winter decided. The Champion still wondered what kind of use a Fire-Type could have with such a stone while the Chimchar finally rested its palm against the cold surface.

Almost immediately, there was a spark of energy, a cold frosty air shooting out from the Ice Stone itself. Winter had to brace himself from the sudden explosion of cold air, but the force of it was nothing more than that…a blast of cold air. Lucky hid his face behind his friend’s back. However, it was the Chimchar that had the worst effect from it, the force of the air sending him backwards quite a bit before he collapsed to the ground. Winter noticed this and immediately ran forward, checking on the new Chimchar friend he’d just made. He was knocked out.

And just then he heard a rustle in the forest followed quickly by quick pitter pattering of footsteps. Before Winter could turn to investigate, he felt something clock him in the back of the head, and then everything went dark.




That feeling…that feeling wasn’t one he’d felt in a long time…

His eyes slowly opened as he recovered, noticing that his gaze was facing the blue sky above them. He took a deep breath as he slowly pushed himself to a sitting position, examining his body once more. Same thing that always happened… he noted, examining with satisfaction that his orange fur was still present and unscathed. His body was still the Chimchar-like shape that took place every time he’d touched an Elemental Stone…every time he’d gathered its effects. But he knew something else was there…something deep down in his essence, a new presence lingered, this one hard and cold. He smiled in light of it.

Crimson had just absorbed the Ice Stone’s energy.

And what a stroke of luck it was! What a stroke of luck this entire adventure turned out to be, he realized as he couldn’t count the amount of lucky breaks he’d received. The report following the clean-up in Anistar that the Master Blaster had been fired twice that very evening wasn’t a good one, but when it also led to the report of a large summation of Pokemon witnessed shoving off by boat in the direction of the Kanto region…that was pretty big. A valuable clue that could lead to the takedown of the Psychic Rebellion all together.

So he sent Team Vitality with Tag and the up and coming Team Slowpoke off to investigate while he launched his own examination here. And even though his exploratory mission wasn’t complete or nearing completion yet, he had been fairly successful in other ways by running into the Champion of the Indigo League, even though he had outdated information of who that was. But that was the downside of having his HQ in the Kalos Region…he couldn’t have communication across a global scale that often. And as such, he’d never heard of the change in power from Titania Brightsmith to Winter Sakkio.

But he found out eventually…and he’d even contacted an Ice Stone in the process, a welcomed bonus to his ability repertoire. He’d have to test it out later.

His celebratory mood would be short-lived, however, as he turned around and caught sight of his newest acquaintance, Lucky, lying on the ground and not moving. At first, he was confused. The Ice Stone blast should’ve only been strong enough to affect Crimson, not the Squirtle. He approached and rested a paw on his shell.

“Hey, you alright?” Crimson asked, shaking the Squirtle slightly. No response. He had been knocked out.

A puzzled expression crossed the Chimchar’s face as he turned towards the Champion of the Region for the answer. Instead, the question intensified as he saw him on the ground, unconscious as well. Crimson’s eyes widened in shock. Had the Ice Stone blast really been that intense?

But how? he asked himself as he ran to the forest edge, where he’d placed his pack behind a tree, and dug out a Revive Seed. There was no way one stone was different from the rest he’d absorbed. Especially since he’d been in the presence of many Pokemon when he absorbed the Elemental Stones’ energy and not one of them had the relapsed effect that this one had. Was the Ice Stone different?

He’d get his answer soon, he told himself as he rolled Lucky onto his back, placing the Revive Seed in his mouth and letting the effects take place. A few seconds later, the Squirtle’s eyes blinked open, a slight groan coming from him as he began to move.

“You okay?” Crimson repeated his question to the Squirtle.

“Yeah, I think so…” Lucky replied, rubbing his head as he got up onto his legs and stood there. His eyes suddenly widened as he began recalling events and he let out a small gasp, “We were attacked.”

“What?”

“After that Ice Stone touched you and you fell down unconscious, Pokemon appeared from the forest and attacked…Winter!” the concern the Squirtle felt towards his trainer was very real in his voice as he ran towards Winter. Crimson drew a sharp breath as he looked towards the forest. He remembered just a few minutes earlier when he’d thought he saw someone watching them from the forest. He was about to investigate it when Winter showed up, so he dismissed it. He knew there was something there!

His thoughts and concerns quickly shifted to the Champion, causing Crimson to catch up to Lucky. Winter hadn’t awoken yet. “Were they coming after him or me?”

“I don’t know,” he admitted, “It was so quick. One of them knocked him out with a Shadow Punch while two others ganged up on me. I didn’t have time to see exactly who it was, but I think it had red hair on its head and black fur everywhere else.”

Crimson gritted his teeth and let loose a low grunt of frustration. Zane…

So he was here. That at least confirmed the theory. But now Crimson was concerned with this development. Zane had waited for an opportune moment to strike. Why?

He heard the sound of dirt shifting slightly, and Crimson looked down to see Winter stirring. His eyes were squeezed shut.

“Ugh…my head…fuck that hurt…” the Champion was saying as he exhaled deeply before opening his eyes. Lucky was who he laid eyes on first and he smiled, “Hey, buddy. You alright?”

“You’re the one on the ground. You tell me,” Lucky lifted a brow as a small smile creeped across his face at the concerned nature Winter had for him, even though he was the one in the most pain. It even made Crimson smile a bit.

Winter seemed to understand what Lucky was saying, “Touché.” He started to pat himself down, making sure his body was intact for the most part. But he stopped when he patted his chest, a small frown forming on Winter’s face. Crimson’s brow furrowed as the patting on his chest grew more frantic and the panic forming in his eyes.

“The whistle! Where’s the whistle?!” he was saying, anxiety in his voice. Lucky’s own emotion was that similar to shock. Crimson was just confused.

“What whistle?” he asked Lucky, though his tone shifted to a serious one, similar to that of a commander.

“It’s a whistle given to him by an Articuno,” Lucky quickly relayed, “As a thank you to saving her life when they met the first time. She said to use it when he needed her help and she would come.”

A tense anger set in as Crimson guessed what must’ve happened, “Zane stole it.”

“Who?”

“Zane…a Zoroark with a bad attitude and even worse intentions for how this world should be run. He probably took it off Winter’s own neck.”

“Does he know what it does?”

“We have to assume he does,” Crimson’s gaze turned to the forest, “He set up an ambush, I think.”

“But why would he want to summon an Articuno?”

That was the million Poke question indeed. What was the point? What gain did summoning a Legendary bird bring him? And why did he choose now to strike? It would’ve serviced him more if Crimson hadn’t been there when he chose to attack the Champion. Was this a planned attack, or did he just take advantage of a moment?

Well, nevertheless, he made the wrong decision, Crimson thought as he approached the edge of the forest, beckoning for Winter and Lucky to follow.

Zane’s decision would lead Crimson right to him.

. . .


It was a great partnership between Crimson and Winter. The Chimchar was excellent at navigating the wilderness and tracking footprints while the Champion had very extensive knowledge of the region and it’s layout as a whole. Together, the two could navigate around the woods, stopping each other when one of them went a bit too close to a hazardous spot or nearly lost themselves among the trees. Lucky played the role of scout, keeping an eye above, below, and all around them, warning the two if he saw any threats. It helped that he was kind of the bridge in communications between the two, considering he knew PokeSpeak and had an incredibly tight bond with Winter. And Crimson would take any advantage he could get.

Night time was approaching at this point, giving the forest they were in a very twilight-ish look about it. The sun couldn’t pierce them directly as they were heading in, but luckily his own tail could provide enough light to keep them moving. The sky was slowly getting darker above them, from what they could see through the canopy. But it was likely that they weren’t going to sleep. Not yet. Crimson could easily see the determination in Winter’s eyes each time he looked at them. No way was he giving up. They were going to find this whistle tonight.

Then they heard it. A mid-ranged musical tone…D4 on the piano. It cut through the silence of the woods around them. Even though it was definitely darker, the Chimchar could easily see Winter’s face go pale. He squeezed his hand and gave him a reassuring smile and a confident stare when he looked down.

“We’re going to find them…I promise you,” Crimson’s words, although lost to the convoluted language of PokeSpeak, seemed to cut through enough so that Winter could understand him. His brow lowered, a determined gaze in his eye once more, and nodded firmly.

At least there was one up side to the Articuno being summoned, he thought as the two pushed further. It gave them a pinpointed location as to where they were. Due north of them.

Now they didn’t even need to examine the tracks as the two made a quicker pace just by following the sound alone. Winter took the middle, Lucky on his right while Crimson took his left. This form of navigation was incredibly useful in terms of keeping a single direction in a wooded area so no one individual would stray away from the direction the other two were traveling without them knowing it and calling back to them. A few minutes later, they could hear voices.

“I don’t think it worked!”

“Shhhhh…be a bit more patient. The Legendary Birds can’t teleport, you know?”

“How far away is this thing from this side of Kanto?! You’d think an emergency whistle bestowed by the Articuno itself would be answered quickly.”

“Vexio, I’m going to jack-slap you so hard if you don’t shut your mouth.”

Crimson put a finger to his lips in front of Winter’s view, indicating silence. Winter and Lucky nodded and followed Crimson at the same pace. The way the two moved through the grass was stealthy, stepping over crumpled leaves and dry twigs to remain unseen. Crimson debated over whether he should shift to the Dark-Type, but decided against it. He didn’t want to change types if he couldn’t help it.

Always your identity first, huh?

He could already feel Tag’s voice penetrating through his mind and telling him how stupid he was being. But it was a legitimate concern for him. He wanted a few people to know of his unique abilities as possible. Back on Mohka, everyone knew what he could do. He didn’t have a problem with it then. But this was a different dimension. And even though he’d been in Ruula for a year now with a whole Guild behind him who knew about his abilities, he still didn’t feel secure enough to be completely out with it. It was an internal feeling…an inner motivator as to why he did this. He had no clue where it stemmed from, but that same word kept popping up every time he tried to root through his mind to find the answers.

Experimentation…

It was a negative word in Crimson’s vocabulary. And he’d been around such a word long enough for it to have more of a positive connotation. Dr. Eckels had gone through many…MANY different experiments back when Crimson was still developing his type-shifting abilities and he’d never had a problem with it. Not so much as he did now. Maybe he’d uncover the source one day, but for now he had to remain focused.

He had to get that whistle back.

And it started with examining the scene unfolding and looking for an opportune moment to interject his presence. From a low bush, Crimson hid his body behind, peeking over the top and surveying the area below. Lucky began climbing the tree above them, peeking from behind the trunk he was scaling every once in a while. A good vantage point, Crimson thought as his eyes followed the Squirtle’s path to the foliage that would keep him out of sight. He was trained well. He heard a soft gasp from behind as Winter caught sight of the scene.

No human expected such a structure to be built so far away from the routes and towns around them. And when they stumbled across one, it was easy for one to be shocked by it. But Crimson was used to these structures at this point. It was a very well-built complex, Crimson gathered right away. A seemingly baron clearing with a medium sized building in the middle. It was crafted from steel and it was built to be a defensive position for residents to hold against attackers what with its thick walls surrounding it and a single gate that was it’s only entry and exit point (if you weren’t a flying type, that is). The wall itself was tall enough to tower over Winter and Crimson, yet short enough to hide underneath the treetops unnoticed from a horizontal view. Crimson knew the inside would be laced with trees so from a top down perspective, it would look like part of the forest. From a first glance, it didn’t look all impressive. However, he knew the base spanned a hefty size underground, similar to how the Isle Defenders HQ was structured. Similar to how the Sunrise Division of the Crimson Guild was structured. Only he was positive he wouldn’t meet friends and allies should he choose to explore underneath. But Crimson gathered all that intel subconsciously. What his focus was on was the Mismagius and the Froslass standing in front of the gate and the figure standing in front of them…a figure whose blood red hair was made slightly more vibrant in the very dim light of the setting sun, his claws shining menacingly in that same illumination. His fur was gray and his stance was theatrical. There was no denying who that was. Crimson’s gaze narrowed at the sight of him.

“It will come eventually,” Zane the Zoroark held that ever sparkly gleam in his eye. It matched the equally intimidating gleam in his sneer as he spoke like a messiah to them. “And that’s what’s important.”

Crimson made a gesture up to Lucky, asking him if that particular Pokemon was the one he’d seen ambush Winter. Lucky gave a nod and kept his trained eye on him. Winter did the same.

A couple more minutes passed before they heard a loud hum from above them. Winter caught on to it instantly, but Crimson had no idea what was causing it until he looked up and saw the Legendary Ice Bird descend. At once, Crimson noticed the gaze of suspicion in the Articuno’s eyes as it hovered lower and lower. Its mighty wings flapped, creating arctic gusts that swirled around them and even left a bit of frost on the ground in front of the three.

“Who are you? And where is the Champion?” it asked immediately upon touching the ground, the threat in its tone prominent above every other emotion.

“You must hurry,” Zane immediately took over, a look of worry showing as he spoke, “The Champion was brutally attacked by wild Pokemon. We brought him in our stronghold, but we’re not sure how long he has left.”

Crimson snarled at the façade Zane was putting on. Tugging at emotions, eh? he thought. That’s dirty…

But it worked. Immediately, the Articuno’s face softened as the Mismagius, Froslass, and Zoroark opened the gate and began filing in, motioning for the big bird to follow. In fact, it was eager to step forward underneath the archway as it inquired further, “What do you mean? Did you see exactly which Pokemon it was?”

“We know exactly who did it,” Zane rounded the Articuno so that he was directly behind it, “And they won’t stop there. They have another target in mind.”

“And who’s that?”

“You.”

Crimson felt the alarm bells ringing in his head just as the Zoroark pushed the Legendary Bird within the gate. Immediately, the Chimchar bolted forward in a flurry of motion. He could hear the trees and bushes shift behind him, letting him know that Winter and Lucky were directly behind. He heard Zane give a command.

“Shut the gate! And secure the bird!”

From within, he heard the many noises and scuffling of a brawl going on. It seemed there were many more Pokemon waiting to jump the Articuno when it was pushed inside. At the same time, he heard the creaking of the gate coming down from the archway. In a final attempt of desperation, Crimson tossed his pack aside to lose that extra bit of weight and slid underneath, baseball style. Just as he reached the other side, he heard the gate shut behind him with a solid thud!

“Arty!” Crimson heard Winter cry from the other side as two sharper thuds sounded behind him…the sound of a teenager and a Squirtle hitting the gate. Luckily it was grated so they could see within, but the thick steel would be hard to break through…even for most Pokemon if not all standard ones. Crimson turned around and held a hand up to the two of them, letting them know that he would take care of this. After he got an unsteady nod from Winter, he whirled back around to see what was going on.

The Articuno was very much tied up. All around it were strands of rope wound tightly and tugged hard against its body. Surrounding it were a variety of Pokemon, though one could easily guess the type based on appearance. Ghost-Types were the most dominant, Dark-Types and Psychic-Types almost equally numerous. They held the ropes around the Articuno and were holding on to keep her on the ground. It’s wings were pinned to its body in awkward positions that made Crimson wince a bit. They even went so far as to tie her beak closed so that it couldn’t strike at them that way. It was effectively immobilized.

But all eyes turned Crimson’s direction at the Champion’s cry for his friend and sound the odd one out…the monkey with a flame for a tail. A foe all too familiar to them through the stories told and the legends formed. Many murmurs went through the crowd of Pokemon, some in awe like they couldn’t decide if it was him or not, others in terror. It helped that Zane knew of Crimson and what he was capable of from their butting of heads in Mohka, but it was still slightly jarring to Crimson how much weight his name actually carried…even in Ruula. And he hadn’t been here that long.

Speaking of Zane, the ever so cunning brute was walking forward, the Mismagius and Frosslass on his respective left and right side. Zane let out a sultry chuckle.

“Ah, Crimson,” he spoke, that sneer never leaving his face, “How nice of you to show up.”

There was something else in his tone of voice besides the standard fluffy language and overly polite mannerisms that pointed out his own fallacies. Crimson could hear it in his voice. A slight tremor in his words. Was that…fear?

“I figured you’d slip up one day,” Crimson crossed his arms, “You always have.”

Zane snorted, his nostrils flaring. “Keep that bird under control!” he commanded back to the legion he controlled, “We will deal with this pest.”

Crimson took a careful glance around, “Don’t see Sonya anywhere.” He noted out loud, his language harsh, “I figured she wouldn’t wanna miss this.”

Again came a snort. “She has other plans to be attending to. You shouldn’t concern yourself with her whereabouts.”

“Yeah?” Crimson shot back, “Because from what I recall, your right hand Meowstic nearly killed my best friend. And you’ve done the same.” His own gaze narrowed intensely, “You remember how that went down last time, don’t you?”

Zane growled, “Vexio! Nyla! Take care of this one!”

Crimson kept his guard up as the Mismagius and Froslass approached, all the while his mind raced. Something felt wrong here. Zane wanted revenge on him. He wanted to be the one to dish out punishment to Crimson. Not to mention out of the entire Psychic Rebellion forged, only Sonya and Zane really had the best shot to take him down. So why was he sending his back-up dancers to fight his battles for him? Perhaps to weaken him?

Well, whatever the case, the Mismagius named Vexio and the Froslass named Nyla came firing in with special waves of psychic energy that charged towards Crimson. They hit before he could dodge. One felt like an inner vibration in his body, the familiar yet variable sense of Psywave. This one wasn’t at a very high dosage. The other was an exterior smash against his entire front side, sending him flying into the gate behind him. That was Psychic. Both attacks had a fairly strong effect on him and he struggled a bit to get to his feet, the effects of the Oran Berry he ate while tracking becoming nullified.

But he did learn some things. He did learn that Vexio was the stronger of the two in general and definitely so in special attacks, even with such a weak Psywave. Both were proficient in speed, of course. And they both knew a Psychic move despite being Ghost-Types, but that was to be expected from Psychic Rebellion members. When Crimson was on his feet once more, he grinned. His eyes seemed to gleam with an intensity long undisturbed as he shot daggers at Vexio and Nyla.

They were apt at combos, but they had no idea what they were up against.

“So that’s how we’re gonna play it,” he spoke deeply, “Then I guess it’s my turn.”

Crimson’s speed seemed to triple as he shot forward like a laser guided rocket, a Fire Punch striking the Froslass with an equally tripled attack. Nyla didn’t even stand a chance as she smashed into the ground beneath her, knocked out instantly. Vexio’s emotions changed, first out of shock, then in fear, then to anger. His body began to pulse as a shimmering veil surrounded him for a second before disappearing. Vexio had successfully performed the Destiny Bond. If he was going down too, he was taking this monkey with him.

But Crimson turned and shot her a hard smile, one packaged with mischief, confidence, and overall annoyance for the Mismagius to eat up. He concluded his Taunt with a wink and a palm outstretched, motioning for Vexio to come try it.

And oh, did he! Vexio zoomed forward in pure rage and shot a beam seemingly formed out of crystalline gemstones at him. But Crimson easily corkscrewed out of the way and closed the distance in the same motion, his body shifting from its twirling motion to a somersault in mid-air. Vexio’s eyes widened suddenly as the Chimchar’s body was engulfed in flames while he rolled in the air, a sudden change in velocity occurring at the same time. Vexio didn’t even have time to move as the Flame Wheel crashed into him, propelling Vexio into the ground in a similar way Nyla had just received earlier.

Two knockouts…only twenty more to go.

Crimson’s new target was set on Zane, who was looking back at the Articuno to make sure it was still bound before turning back with a furious stare.

“This is my victory today, Crimson!” Zane roared at him, his claws forming black smudges of energy, the familiar look of Dark Pulse charging. He was clearly gathering his own negative energy.

But from behind, a commotion began to occur. Crimson had perfect view of seeing the crowd of Psychic Rebellion members fall over as a gray blur of motion cut the cords they were using to bind the Articuno. The blur darted around the bird, slicing through every cord before coming to a rest in front, its furious eyes glancing down at every Pokemon and studying them, as if he were selecting the appetizer for his meal. Yes, Aerodactyl made for an intimidating entrance, but nothing was nearly as bad as the intense, steely gaze the boy riding on top of the incredible Pokemon was giving them. It seemed they had figured out that they could fly over to enter from above.

“No one messes with my friends,” Winter said in a cold tone.

The Articuno behind them flung it’s wings open, the wingspan covering half the courtyard before launching herself in the air. From above, she began to rain down Ice Shards upon the battlefield. Keeping in mind she was leagues stronger than her foes that contained her, they began to drop left and right. Winter joined in, hopping off his Aerodactyl and pulling what seemed like a squadron of PokeBalls from his belt. Lucky, who had been riding from behind, was already pummeling through a band of Gastlys.

One by one, the PokeBalls opened, revealing a cast of characters as Winter began giving directions, “Glist, Flow, you two take on the ones on the right.” The Glaceon and Vaporeon twirled around each other like agile cats as they took foes out. “Mane and Sumo, use each other’s strengths to take care of the ones on the left.” A Typhlosion was giving a Shuckle a piggy-back ride, the Shuckle using Encore to disable them while the Typhlosion took them down. “Arty’s bringing support from above, right?” The Articuno cawed as Winter looked up, giving the gracious bird a thumbs up. “And Rio…go nuts, dude!” The Aerodactyl behind him grinned menacingly as he took off, crashing through waves of Pokemon as fast as a bolt. Crimson noted he still had three PokeBalls untouched on his belt. He definitely came prepared.

But Zane didn’t. As the battle went on and his team went from overwhelming to outnumbered, his rage grew. And he decided to take it out on his rival Chimchar. With a mighty roar, he lunged forward, a Dark Pulse shot straight at him. Crimson took an easy sidestep out of the way as he decided it was time to unleash his own havoc.

“Let’s see what the power of ice does to me,” Crimson said as his aura seemed to flare to life. He closed his eyes and searched within himself…searching for a new presence. Something cold…something freezing…

And then the area around them flashed a brilliant white as Crimson was coated in his own transformation. The Pokemon had to shield their eyes, breaking the stage of conflict for a moment while the bright light diminished naturally. All eyes, when able, turned to see what had caused the theoretical flash grenade and what they saw would be unlike anything they have seen before.

An arctic blue was the primary color of his fur, though it did look noticeably thicker. His white belly seemed to gleam like a shiny pearl, even while in the darkness. His feet and hands retained their chimp-like stature, like they always did, but his tail was no longer engulfed in flames. It was short, spherical, and puff-like…almost like a bunny or even a bear. But what took away from cute and added to intense was Crimson’s cold piercing stare with his bright blue eyes.

“By Arceus…” He heard Winter mutter as he stepped forward. He wasn’t even going to focus on their part in the battle. His focus was on Zane and Zane alone, who had let his façade slip for a moment, revealing his true fear before baring those sharp teeth again.

“You getting déjà vu yet?” Crimson spoke, hard as ice, remembering the Mohka Guild Tournament when he’d fought against Zane in the championship round, dawning the Thunder Form for the first time and going to town on Team RedEye. Back then, before they’d even come to Ruula, Zane was an espionage agent for the Psychic Rebellion and had rose in the Isle Defenders as its most elite member with the help of Gova and Pounce. Now times had changed. They were in an entirely new dimension, Gova and Pounce had long since dumped Zane and were doing their own thing somewhere in Hoenn, and Crimson was leading his own Guild against tyrannical dictators…

Like Zane, who now held the reins over the Psychic Rebellion.

The fight between them began, Zane unleashing a war cry rather than answering the question as the other Dark Pulse was fired at him. A quick use of Acrobatics was all it took for Crimson to dodge, but Zane was already on top of him again, a Night Slash prepped. Crimson matched it with an Ice Punch, the two moves colliding in mid-air, a smashing sound erupting around them as the force of the two blows sent both of them flying away from each other. Zane smacking into a tree while Crimson’s head found that wall of the stronghold again.

Zane did have an advantage in this fight, for Crimson had previously been hurt by the combined efforts of Vexio and Nyla. The Zoroark was quick to get up, ready to keep on trucking. Crimson had to find an inner drive to bring himself to his feet, though that wasn’t hard. In fact, he was surprised he still felt somewhat decent after that trade-off. Zane’s blows typically hurt more. Crimson stared Zane down with newfound confidence and began launching his own assault.

While they fought, the battle continued around them, clearly one-sided. The Psychic Rebellion had the numbers, but only to get mowed down as Winter’s team proved to be overbearing, even while they had a good seventy members battling against seven. Rio and the Articuno were basically untouchable from the air, Rio moving so fast and taking massive chomps out of their ranks with every type of Fang based move imaginable while Articuno was dodging projectiles aimed at it while raining down its own. And those were just the Flying-Types. The other five were fighting in their own torrential way, breaking the swarms up just as quickly. Flow and Glist were fighting by each other in such a natural way, it was easy to tell they were brother and sister. Mane was using his own speed to help Sumo, who had already boosted her attack power and was slaying fools left and right. And of course there was Lucky, the enigmatic Squirtle who was defensed up himself, protecting the League Champion while Hydro Pumping the toukus out of the Psychic Rebellion, taking down five to ten at a time. Winter didn’t even need to direct their efforts. They were doing it themselves, accustomed to fighting side by side with one another over the course of four years. Apart from the occasional glance around to make sure his friends were alright, his gaze was focused on the Chimchar, the other enigmatic presence in this fight tonight.

Who was delivering a mighty whallop to Zane. An Ice Hammer to the ground to shake the earth beneath their feet was enough to shake Zane’s foundation enough for Crimson to get a good punch in, despite the speed reduction. After the strike came the sweep, which Zane immediately jumped backwards from and began to boost his own speed, the soft magenta light enveloping him boosting his own speed. Agility or not, Crimson kept pushing back, shooting off an Aurora Beam when he spun back around, then leaping forward gracefully to perform Acrobatics. Both moves hit, and the Zoroark was sent flying back into a tree again. This time, he had to grit his teeth to get onto his feet as he took a step backwards. Crimson was beginning to notice subtle differences in fighting technique and was getting the impression his opponent was rusty. The Zoroark’s offensive stature went to defensive so quickly, Crimson almost lost composure during the assault. And now he was beginning to back off, not out of tactics but out of the feeling of being completely overmatched. But Crimson didn’t come here to let Zane slip away again…he came here to end this.

Zane suddenly began darting around the trees, the familiar effects of Double Team. At night against a Dark-Type surrounded by large tree trunks, this was a pretty effective move to use. Zane appeared to be in multiple places at once, a few of them even feinting attacks. Crimson reacted to them as naturally as he could, dodging and weaving when necessary. However, he couldn’t shake the feeling of what would happen if Zane did land a lucky shot. Crimson was rather close to being knocked out.

But Crimson stayed smart and he stayed consistent. And when one of the clones shot forward, he dodged to the right, whirling around at the same time to discover the real one charging a Night Slash aimed for his midsection. But Zane mistimed it. With ease, Crimson ducked underneath the blow, missing it by a couple inches before retaliating with an Ice Hammer that slammed into Zane’s torso. The Zoroark fell over, groaning from the pain. Crimson felt the knockout in the impact, leaving a pretty wide grin of triumph on his face as he looked down at the defeated Zoroark.

But his smile faded when he noticed Zane’s appearance began to change. Crimson’s snow-white brow furrowed as Zane began to shrink, ever so slightly, his ligaments curling in on himself and becoming less shaped. His rather large snout was growing shorter and his hair seemed to thicken, then become engulfed in this masked blob shape. The black from his fur began to meld with and soon be taken over by a purplish blob with a straight line for a mouth and two beady eyes…eyes that Crimson had only seen once before.

The eyes of a Ditto.

Crimson grunted in fury, partially out of surprise that this wasn’t Zane, but mostly out of his own frustration and the fact that he got played like a fiddle. The signs were there. The “Zoroark” he’d fought seemed like a weaker fighter and a completely different one at that. The fluidity of movement felt wrong throughout. He saw that last play with Double Team coming a mile away, executed very poorly. It was too improvised a plan for it to be Zane’s. His were more thought out…more prepped before the fight. Not to mention he didn’t have Sonya with him, which was the biggest indicator. Crimson was shaking slightly as he clenched a fist.

Gah, he just felt like he’d been duped big time and it infuriated him to no end.

So steamed that when he looked down, he noticed that he’d flared back into Fire-Type form, his own anger causing the transformation. Better than the other thing, he thought as be began to calm down bit by bit. He wanted to keep that trump card a secret for as long as he could. And it helped release some of his pent up aggression. Quickly giving the Ditto a thorough look-over, he spotted the whistle on the ground next to it. Picking it up and examining it, he glanced over to the fight on Winter’s end, his combatants were outclassing his opponents tenfold. A victory in the books, it would seem.

Crimson anger had faded, replaced by a somewhat positive feeling. Sure, his mission had been somewhat of a bust in finally taking care of Zane and putting an end to his Psychic Rebellion, but it wasn’t a complete loss. In fact, it was the opposite, a huge dent in their escapades for sure. This wasn’t a standard Labor Camp that was taken down…this was a Stronghold. This was one of the more important places in the Psychic Rebellion’s ranks, and it had to be especially important if they were to keep a decoy Zane watching over the place. He also made another important and powerful ally in the meantime. The Region’s Champion was pretty close to as powerful as it got around here. And with him and Touko as friends and capable fighters, it only made their force that much stronger.

So for now, he held two fists. One balled by his side, holding the whistle by the string it was attached to while the other pressed against his chin, contemplating his next move.




The battle was shorter than Winter expected. It turned out that a Region Champion with six Pokemon out could lay waste to a good seventy Pokemon if they were strong enough. Though he did have help from Arty on that one. And the Chimchar, who seemed to take care of the super big threats.

As for collateral, there wasn’t too much. Sumo actually took a knockout hit herself, but was Sturdy enough to hang on the rest of the fight, protecting Mane from any and all harm. Lucky had taken the second most damage, as his eyes shut tightly when he moved certain muscles. Glist and Flow took a couple shots, but were mostly fine. And Rio and Arty…they went unscathed.

While Winter set to work on healing his team, he occasionally glanced at the Chimchar, who was heading over to a small hut at the far left corner of the walled-in area. Winter watched him open the hatch and drop in with no hesitation. He kept staring, puzzled. What was he searching for?

His thoughts were interrupted by the landing of a graceful bird he’d saved the life of once before. Articuno cawed as it nested up next to Winter, it’s millennia of wisdom used to convey the question across: Are you alright?

“Yes, I’m fine,” Winter replied, hugging the legendary bird (or at least attempt to. There’s a notable size difference). “I’m glad you’re not hurt.”

The Articuno took a deeper breath, signifying the relief it felt. They sat there for a couple minutes, not really doing anything but taking in the night sky and resting. Winter decided to release Hyper at some point so he could join his brother and sister. He left Derp and the Weavile in their PokeBalls, not sure they wanted to stumble onto the scene.

They were laying among seventy knocked out Pokemon after all.

“You owe him your life, y’know?” Winter said to the Articuno and pointed when he saw the Chimchar pop back out of the hole and proceed to walk towards them, “He’s the one who really saved you. I wouldn’t have found you otherwise.”

The Articuno turned and cawed at him, sounding like a sincere thank you to Winter. The Chimchar held an easy grin as he lowered his eyes and almost seemed to push it aside, like he didn’t want the attention. But Winter was all invested in what this Chimchar was about. For starters, he wanted to know how he could transform like that. He didn’t know much about Pokemon from the Sinnoh Region, but he was pretty sure only Eevee could switch Types through a method of choice. And there was definitely no reset button on that option. So how did this one do it? And there was the whole debate about how he got here in the first place and why he’d blocked the path he wanted to travel down to get back to the Indigo Plateau-

Oh shit! The message! In all the excitement, Winter completely forgot about why he had left Lavender Town in the first place. He suddenly bolted upright, Articuno giving him a quizzical stare in the process. As did the Chimchar and everyone from his team around him. But Winter was quick to explain.

“I was so caught up in finding the whistle, I forgot I needed to hurry up and head to the Indigo Plateau!” he said hurriedly as he proceeded to pull the PokeBalls out and recall his Pokemon except for Rio and Lucky, the latter of whom was climbing onto his back.

The Articuno soft tone echoed through the place as it offered to give him a ride, but Winter smiled apologetically, “It’ll be fine, buddy. I don’t want you to overload yourself for me. Besides, Rio’s faster.” He gave a subtle wink as he hopped on the Aerodactyl.

The Chimchar presented the whistle to him, which Winter took gratefully, “You know if this were taken out of context, we really fought a bunch of bad dudes over a whistle of all things. But…I could never be more thankful that I got it back. Thank you, Chimchar. I owe you big!”

“Squir squir!” Lucky waved as he said good-bye.

And with that, Rio took off, a speeding gray bullet through the sky. The scene below them grew smaller and smaller in a matter of seconds. Winter was sure he would never be able to find that place again, given it was so far away from everything. But he was content with letting the Chimchar take care of dismantling the structure.

Winter placed the whistle around his neck, examining the wooden thing to make sure it wasn’t broken during the fighting. There was something on it. Winter had to squint against the wind blowing in his face to make it out. It definitely wasn’t there when he got it, but across the long shaft was inscribed words…words that burned into the thing by some kind of fire. Words that weren’t there when he’d lost the whistle.

It read:
“Two short blasts and I will come.”
-Crimson





(this segment co-written by LawOfTheLand)


"All right...Winter, was it? Congratulations once again. I didn't think you could do it with basic form Pokémon like that, but you sure proved me wrong," the elegant Titania in a Bisharp-themed dress commented on the little Squirtle. "Walk with me and we'll record your team and likeness into the Hall of Fame. But there's one more thing I need to show you before we leave, my new Champion...and it has to do with your new political responsibilities. I just want you to be sure you know what challenges await you next."

But Winter's mind was definitely far from words as the full weight of what he had accomplished began to set in. As they walked from the Champion's room and into the Hall of Fame, he had to keep the tears of joy from spilling onto his cheeks. This was a huge moment for him...he was the Champion! Even Lucky seemed to have a permanent smile plastered on his face as Titania continued to speak.

"All right, just stand there and put your Pokeballs into the pedestal. Give me a nice smile and the machine will do the rest." One by one, Winter's loyal partners were registered for the sake of posterity, as well as an estimate of their power level. "Eighties? No freaking WAY! You could go toe to toe with the Grand Champion herself with levels like that!" Now it was Titania's turn to be awe-struck. Lance was solidly mid-seventies...the dragon master never had a chance against this sort of raw power and experience!

Winter simply shrugged, "Well, if you go on the adventures we have-"

"But after that, I got one more thing to show you," Titania cut off Winter. "It's something I saw back when I was the champion...and what you are about to see is NEVER to leave this room, got it? This is super secret stuff that only a few select people on Ruula get to know."

Winter's brow furrowed at the precautioned tone Titania was using. It eluded to a serious matter of some sort. "What's up?"

"It concerns a trip I took to Mount Silver west of here a few years ago."

"Oh yeah! I've been there!" It was Winter's turn to cut off the Iron Maiden, "That's where I found Rio...and saved Arty!"

"What the public saw of me at the peak...that was a doctored image." She pressed her hand to an authenitication panel, releasing a large folder. "Here are the real pictures."

Winter looked up at the screen towards the photos she wanted him to examine. It was a picture that he'd seen before, though he was eight or nine at the time and paid no mind to it. A semi-blurry image of Titania standing on the right side of the image with flurries of snow falling around her, her fist clenched and her body poised as if she was itching for a fight. But also in the shot was a robotic looking girl with her back turned to her. It was hard to tell from that angle exactly who it looked like, but it was definitely weird for Titania to stumble across someone already on top of Mount Silver. No living being could have survived up there for that long...and yet here she was, dressed like a legendary Trainer of old. Like someone designed her that way.

"I have no idea how or why, but someone put her here...and she's a hell of a battler. She was able to defeat me. Of course, had I won, the real story would have run immediately...but now it falls to you to ascend to the peak, defeat her, and find out what's happening. There's other robots like her running around, too, I've heard...I ran across one that looked and acted like Gold a while back, and other Trainers have reports of running into copies of Ruby, Platinum, White and even Serena."

Winter looked at Titania incredulously, "I have to fight [i]her
?" His gaze kept shifting from the Former Champion to the Trainer in the photo and back again. His mind was racing, his pulse seemed quicker. There was a slight edge of apprehension in his voice. If Titania, the Champion, couldn't do it, what chance did he stand?

And then rationality set in for him. You are the Champion now! the voice in his head was telling him. You beat Lance, just like this lady in front of you did. You have as much of a chance to take her as she does!

Winter continued to study the photo despite this, trying to learn as much as he could from the image presented. But accompanying that sense of fear was a lot of excitement. It was a whole new adventure...another milestone to reach towards. Only recently had he climbed the peak and tasted the glory before he looked out on the horizon and saw a bigger peak waiting for him. He had to get there.

Finally, he sighed, a smile resting on his face, "I guess I can give it a shot."


...


A few minutes later, Winter and Titania were standing outside the Pokemon League, shaking hands.

"It's a shame I didn't get to battle you," Winter said, "Maybe we should schedule a match at some point?"

"I'll do you one better, kid. I'll give you my number," Titania pulled out a piece of paper and a pen and jotted down her number as she continued, "That way, when I'm retired and starting a car shop in Alola, you can call me when you need a junker to learn how to drive on. Battling, I'm convinced, is a young person's game...that's why we start you at 10 or 11. Children seem better at forming tight, lifelong bonds with Pokémon for whatever reason. It's about time for this old maid to settle down, get a real job, maybe think about starting a family. I mean, yeah, if we meet again down the road we could have a friendly battle, but I'm not really optimistic about my chances unless I get some more variety in my team." She held the paper out to Winter, who took it and looked it over.

"Well, I'll still look forward to it. Considering the legacy you've left, I know it'll be close." Winter jammed the number in his pocket as he stepped away, "Be seeing ya! I promise I won't let you down!" His words were broad enough to note that any bystander would think they were talking about his new reign as Champion of the Kanto and Johto Region. But Titania would know better. "All right, kiddo, you know what you have to do from here on out. I'm gonna fly coach...nobody would ever suspect that. You go out and do the Indigo League proud...and who knows, with skills like that, you might even be a match for Iris. Girl hasn't had a good fight in a long time." Titania added as she made her way down the impossibly long stairs back to the league front gate, where she began to make arrangements for her departure.

"One step at a time..." the new Champion mumbled as he watched her go. When Titania was long out of eyesight, he looked out and beyond at the Region...his Region. Particularly at a snow-capped peak in the distance...the peak infamously referred to as Mount Silver. There was courage in his heart, the feeling of adventure returning as he began to have ideas...ideas to train for this up and coming match-up ahead of him. He stared at the mountain respectfully, but defiantly. His burdens would now be doubled, what with his duties as acting Champion and the special task provided by Titania.

But he would do it...if only to keep the adventure alive a while longer.[/i]




That was the memory that popped into Winter’s head as he continued to read the telegram, over and over. His expression represented one of…conflict. Like he was deciding between the lesser of two evils. His hand went from his chin to his head as he sat down at his desk, slumped forward in his chair. He was thinking and he was thinking hard.

It wasn’t too long after the altercation just west from Route 12 in the Kanto Region. After Winter saved his fellow Articuno friend and met an intriguing Pokemon in the process, he flew off, heading directly for the Indigo League without a second stop or anything. Not like anyone did want to stop. They had healed from their battles and were more restless to get home. Well, all except for Lucky, who still wanted to see the Radio Tower in Lavender Town.

When he got there, the time was 5 A.M., the sky just beginning to get brighter. No one was around to challenge his entry at this time of morning anyway, so he took a direct and unblocked line to his office at the back. There, the telegram waited. But only when he began to open it and read it did he get some kind of picture as to what Burgh wanted:

Dear Winter Sakkio,
I apologize for my rushed service, but a matter like this couldn’t wait. I also apologize for my…ancient method of sending this, but it was the only assured way this would end up in your hands and be seen by no one else. As you are probably aware, my name is Burgh, the Gym Leader in Castelia City. And I have a request to ask from you. I understand that you haven’t become involved in national politics yet, and that is fine. For now anyway. But something has come up that I need your assistance in.

Recently, there have been a few incidents in the Unova Region. An invasion of Orks came rolling through Castelia City not too long ago…a deadly Ork invasion. There would have been more casualties were it not for the aid of one of my old friends Emiko Touko. But it has left me unable to leave the city at this current time as I must deal with the damages from the attack on top of my regular duties. But Touko is searching for an old legend written down in history…a fabled Titania Brightsmith. She is looking for her to help disable a cannon of mass destruction known as the Master Blaster and the gang of Pokemon who control it. Miss Brightsmith is rather good at dismantling horrific machines that would bring the world to its knees if it ever saw the light of day.

Unfortunately for us, the trail for her goes cold. Titania fled the scene after the transfer of power had confirmed and no one knows where she’s gone to. No press, no media, not even people who knew her well. Which is why I call upon you, Winter. You are the last person to have seen her as the Champion of this Region. We need your help finding her again. We hope she gave you some indication as to where she’s disappeared to so that Miss Touko can begin her searching. For the sake of the world, of course.

Thank you for your services. And I do hope we get the opportunity to meet in person one day. I’d like to witness one who can control 80 Leveled Pokemon!
Sincerely,
Gym Leader Burgh


Burgh wanted his help in finding Titania once again. And Winter had a pretty good idea of where they should begin looking. The Alola Region is pretty new and developing. He didn’t even know if they had a set-up Pokemon League or not. But it would be the perfect place for her to settle down and avoid the press at the same time.

But maybe that was what she wanted. Maybe she wanted to avoid everything about this job. Maybe she didn’t want to save the world. Maybe the toll it had taken on her was too much for her to come back. After all, it wasn’t Titania he’d fought to become the Champion. It was Lance.

That was the conflict he faced: One woman’s sanctity or the entire world potentially collapsing under the weight of this power. Was it worth it?

And a smile formed on his face as he realized the answer: it wasn’t his decision to make. It was Titania’s.

So he got out a piece of paper and a pencil. As he did, Winter looked out the window to the view he had. It was a pretty one. The sun was starting rise above the snow-capped peak of Mount Silver, a new dawn for a new day. Clouds were hovering just above the sun so it could peak through for a moment before going into hiding at least for the morning. It gave Winter a sense of nostalgia. Suddenly, the climb didn’t seem all that bad. And he knew what he had to do next.

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 “ ”

Leanne (Leavanny) has arrived, coming from Saffron City.
In a cacophony of obliteration, everything to the west vanishes.
Suddenly, a swirling vortex appears to the west.
Leanne (Leavanny) has left the area, heading west into 9f2e0b88dba519da5b90aaa0dd2c9a33.
Leanne (Leavanny) has arrived, coming from Saffron City.
Leanne (Leavanny) has left the area, heading west into Kanto Route 8.
Leanne (Leavanny) has arrived, coming from Kanto Route 8.
Suddenly, a swirling vortex appears to the south.
Leanne (Leavanny) has left the area, heading south into e611d1c98dc8b38043f76c48abafbd15.
Leanne (Leavanny) materializes from the void.
Leanne (Leavanny) vanishes into nothingness, but you get the feeling they are heading somewhere else.
Leanne (Leavanny) materializes from the void.
Suddenly, a swirling vortex appears to the north.
Leanne (Leavanny) has left the area, heading north into fd4667cac3ce8c876987a6bdbdda3c14.