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The Multiverse

Setting

Famous for its shortbread cookies that it exports to the rest of Ruula, Shalour City is more than just a tourist trap. For Trainers seeking a new level of power, they just might find it if they can prove themselves worthy against the local Gym Leader, an avid roller skater named Korrina.

Once they've acquired the Rumble Badge against Korrina's fighting-types, then they will be allowed to ascend the Tower and learn the secrets of what is known as Mega Evolution, allowing Trainer and Pokémon to draw power from their bonds in a unique way that actually begets a temporary power-up and transformation. Only certain Pokémon in their final evolutionary state can benefit from such a transformation, however.





That's not to say that's all the town is good for. The standard amenities are present, and the Poké Mart even sells some useful TMs like Dig and Poison Jab. Even the Surf HM can be found around here if you know where to look, as well as some Berries that can be found by Trainers that are savvy enough to manipulate their environment during a battle with a wild Pokémon.
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Shalour City

A seaside town in northern Kalos, the looming Tower of Mastery is said to hold the secret to the awesome power of Mega Evolution.

Minimap

Shalour City is a part of Kalos.

3 Characters Here

Gary the Garchomp [9] Not your average shark-dragon-thing!
Lucy Reginald [1] "I will always become stronger, just like we were meant to be."
Sonya [1] "How foolish of you to think that you'll ever come close to the power of Psychic Pokemon."

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Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix
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Standing near the center of town, a woman stood overlooking the beach path that lead to the Tower of Mastery. Her expression was a faint and vague smile, and it was clear that her sleeves were tied at the elbow level, but no arm or hand protruded. She seemed to be awaiting something, or someone.

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Character Portrait: Titania Brightsmith Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix Character Portrait: Gary the Garchomp
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"All right, I've had enough of your lip, Gary. Return." Titania recalled Gary in order to look up his stats. Hmm. Not too good. Might need to head back to Alola and pursue this Hyper Training thing, but first things first.

The sea was at low tide. Good. The path was open. Titania walked briskly along the beach path, only to be stopped by a strange looking figure with no apparent hands.

"Uh...hi. Are you standing guard to make sure I prove myself worthy before entering?"

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Character Portrait: Titania Brightsmith Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix Character Portrait: Gary the Garchomp
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The woman looked back, over her shoulder. "I don't know. Am I? Perhaps. I have been wondering about it myself. I think I would know it if I was, though. I asked a few others, but they didn't know either. So the answer is unclear."

She shook her head and demonstrated a neutral smile as she turned to face Titania. "But, I guess that's okay. It's not too important. You seem pretty strong, but remind me of a Combusken. I can feel the fire and the recklessness. I can tell you're also very noisy when things don't go your way. However, you lack the feathers and bravery."

Tilting her head and body slightly ajar as she assumed a thinking posture, she shrugged. "Maybe lacking that means you're not a Combusken. The feathers and bravery, that is. Can we ever be Combusken? I don't know. I don't believe I can grow feathers, though perhaps you can. They are soft, and reassuring. Comfy too. They keep you warm."

In her rambling, the woman smiled a soft smile, eyes closed. It was more a grin, but a satisfied one, confident in its own conclusion. "Yes, you just need some feathers. You're too hard." Following the statement was a giggle. "You look like you haven't heard of me. My name is Rachel, since you will ask. They all do. It's a meaningless little title, but it makes them feel like they know me better. You can use it too, Titania."

She had an unintentionally smug look come across her face, entirely neutral in tone, yet somehow just condescending enough to create a conflict in someone not used to such looks. It was an interesting contrast. "Yes, I know your name. You do a lot, so you are well known. However, you need to take breaks every now and then. Perhaps you can 'save your progress' every once in a while too. Although, I am unsure of what that means. I assume it is something good though. Maybe you can figure out the secret to it. If you do, share it with me."

She left the words hanging at this time, almost as if opening up the floor for Titania to respond, yet somehow giving an air that she wasn't finished. However, she did not speak further, apparently anticipating a response.

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Character Portrait: Titania Brightsmith Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix Character Portrait: Gary the Garchomp
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"Uh...what? Saving my progress? Becoming a Combusken? Look, clearly you know who I am. I got to where I was by putting the pedal to the metal and never slowing down. Even got a nice auto shop going back in Alola. I wanted to retire, but here I am, back in the driver's seat once again because some Unovan chick wants my help to stop a super weapon of some kind. That's why I'm here. Part of the reason, anyway."

She coughed politely. "I heard tell that this region is no stranger to super weapons, so I thought I'd see what I could learn about it, as well as something called Mega Evolution. I'm no professor, but if there's some sort of link between this thing and Z-moves, well, I'll do what I can to find a new gear. Even picked up a talking Garchomp on the way. Now are you gonna let me in, or am I gonna have to make you move?"

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Character Portrait: Titania Brightsmith Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix Character Portrait: Gary the Garchomp
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"You can not make me move. My own move must be one I create myself. You can make imitations though. It's an art form among Pokemon Trainers, to make imitations of moves in pursuit of making their own moves. Perhaps that is what inspires a Z-Move. Maybe Mega Evolution stems from it too? I already know, but you need to figure it out still."

Rachel smiled. "However, I doubt finding the answer will find you any new gears. The Tower of Mastery isn't known for a vast selection of machine parts. You might be better off searching for the Gear Pokemon. They are more likely to provide you a new gear if you truly need one."

She then looked aside. "Since you wanted to retire, that must mean you're all burned out. Yet you want to help this girl on her task. Perhaps you need to make sure you're capable of continuing."

Rachel looked back at Titania once more, as a smile crossed her face. "Not against me, though. There is a skill gap between us. A power barrier. Not the science kind. Or the move Protect. It's more like the kind of difference between someone who started their journey, and someone who has finished it."

She seemed almost smug somehow as she made her remarks, almost as if baiting a certain response, whether it was taken that way or not, or whether it was even intended or not.

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Character Portrait: Titania Brightsmith Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix Character Portrait: Gary the Garchomp
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Titania couldn't help but chuckle a bit. Rachel was right, of course. "Yeah. I did want to retire. Get a real job, settle down, maybe start a family. But people keep dragging me back into it. So I guess I've got no choice but to get fired up again. But I did pick up a couple of things when I was in Alola. Guess it's time to show you what I've learned."

With that, Titania just walked right up to Rachel and tried to shove her out of the way, sumo style!

Setting

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Character Portrait: Titania Brightsmith Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix Character Portrait: Gary the Garchomp
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Rachel watched Titania walk up to her, though she did not react, as she wasn't sure what Titania was going to do. When it became clear Titania was going to do her best Hariyama impression, Rachel's expression became one of surprise, though it was already too late for her to react at this point. Rachel found herself stumbling back from the shove as she lost her balance, falling on her back, her body hitting the sand.

"...!"

After a momentary period of the surprise wearing off, Rachel simply laid on her back and looked up toward the Tower of Mastery. Her face was back to its deadpan smile of an expression, and she didn't seem to be in much pain, if she was in any at all. Titania's actions didn't seem to particularly faze her as she focused her gaze back on the woman whom had shoved her, her face adopting a curious expression that always came right before she said something simultaneously profound and nonsensical.

"So you learned to be a Hariyama? First a Combusken, now a Hariyama. You should go and start a Dojo! Titania, the Master of Martial Arts! Kicking and punching is all in the mind, they say. Whoever "they" is. "They" say some funny things sometimes."

She didn't seem angry, but quite indifferent to what just occurred.

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Character Portrait: Titania Brightsmith Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix Character Portrait: Gary the Garchomp
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    by ClockworkTowers

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Setting

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Character Portrait: Titania Brightsmith Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix Character Portrait: Gary the Garchomp
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Titania just ignored the physically pitiful Rachel and marched right on inside the Tower of Mastery. The secrets of Mega Evolution awaited...and that monstrous machine was still out there somewhere as the brunette had warned her.

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Character Portrait: Titania Brightsmith Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix Character Portrait: Gary the Garchomp
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Rachel would toss a Poke Ball to release her Pangoro, the large panda turning to help her stand up by more or less picking her up. "Thank you, Georges. Now let us move on."

As quickly as she called him out, she returned him to his Poke Ball, looking behind her at Titania as the woman walked onward. Shaking her head, Rachel faced the city again before making her way back to the Pokemon Center, thoughts running through her mind. "Titania. What a mystery. Your arrogance will be your limiter. Once you understand, then the secrets may reveal themselves to you."

Fetching an Aerodactyl from her own PC, she would exit and take flight to another city.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: "Lord-Regent" Radegast the Trainer Character Portrait: Crimson the Chimchar Character Portrait: Tag the Turtwig Character Portrait: Sonya Character Portrait: Lucy Reginald
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(co-written by HolyJunkie)


Radegast shook awake, as his body had grown accustomed to waking up early in the morning. The embers of the camp fire had gone out long ago, leaving the only light the slowly brightening sky above the black forest. Suros was curled up next to him. Her body and nature kept the two of them warm on the particularly cold night. Reggie, on the other hand, hovered in place, a silent sentinel as he always has been.

"Good morning," Reggie spoke low as he saw that both Radegast and Suros woke up.

"Morning, Reggie," Radegast smiled. He had slept in the armour, which was surprisingly comfortable provided you laid down right. He removed his helmet and rubbed his eyes. The leftover dinner of fried nuts and wild fruits still remained on the stone slab Radegast had used as cookware. Nothing touched it, not while the imposing aura of the Aegislash was around. Radegast and Suros divvied the rest, before the Gallade kicked the remains of the campfire all around to be reclaimed by nature.

Radegast and Reggie fused once more, and their journey continued. As they moved, Radegast produced a metal canteen- a recent acquire, from a dealer near the Guild. It was technically an abandoned human object that was missing the strap. The Operative weaved together a much stronger replacement. Radegast had refilled it with fresh water from a river a kilometer back, which was then boiled by Suros.

With the fusion-boosted running speed, Radegast dashed through forest and across planes. Suros even spread her wings and flew above and alongside him. They didn't need to say anything. There was the wind rushing past them as they made time and saw the sights.

By the time night came around, Radegast had passed Luminose City. He did spot an unusual sight: an object of some kind tumbling into the center of the city. Unfortunately, Radegast was too far, and too preoccupied to investigate. The Gallade continued on for another few hours before stopping to camp.

The next morning, he finally arrived at Shalour City's gates. Thick-grown trees covered the cliffs near the seaside. Between the natural forms,a not-insignificant number of buildings were clustered within the area. A great tower loomed over everything with an imposing mysticism from atop an island. This city, while not Luminose, was a populous location in its own right.

Radegast stuck to the trees, while Suros continued roosting on his shoulder. The Gallade's glowing blue eyes scanned his surroundings as he moved. As he got stronger, he could utilize Reggie's power to "feel" nearby auras. However, he could only sense vague suggestions in a general direction as they remained fused. Despite that, Radegast did avoid human contact thanks to Janine's training.

With the blade and shield strapped to his back, Radegast slipped over the edge of a bridge and climbed underneath. Out of prying eyes, Radegast took a much-needed break and considered his options. Despite being normally lazy, Suros would do anything for Radegast. Even though he never asked, the Talonflame flew out like a normal wildling, where she scanned all sides of the tower for any non-standard method of access.

When she returned and relayed what she saw, Radegast figured the best path. With Suros back in her pokeball, Radegast began climbing up the walls, using his phantom fingers to get a grip on even the smallest of indentations within the brickwork. Soon, he was up the East-side wall, hidden amongst the trees. From there, Radegast darted toward the tower. With some more climbing, Radegast swing himself into one of the openings within the stone walls.

Radegast found himself within a library. While the tower itself had large open floors for training, there were side rooms dedicated to storage such as this one. Even old martial academies in Kanto had side rooms where the masters kept old texts for teaching and mastery. The room Radegast happened upon was one such room. There were not as many bookshelves as a typical library, but the number was not insignificant. They may not actually find anything useful after all, but any knowledge is better than nothing.

To avoid their aura from being so imposing as to be noticeable, Radegast remained fused with Reggie as he looked through the small selection of books. Suros roosted on top of a bookshelf in order to keep watch with her sharp eyes.

---

"Crimson, can I ask you something?"

The Chimchar's eyes glanced up at the plan he was looking over to Tag, who's own face was buried in papers, "Sure, buddy. Wassup?"

"The entire time we've been together, you've taught up to push past our limits, to find our advantages in ourselves and break the mold of tradition in every possible way we could. It's why we've grown the way we have and why we've worked so well as a team. There is no ceiling, right?"

Crimson nodded, "Yeah."

"So why do you take it so easy on Radegast?"

Crimson flared up an eyebrow, "I'm not sure what you mean."

"I've seen you train with him. You're not as...hard on him as you were training with us...when we were rolling with the punches. You don't retaliate when he strikes...just block. You also haven't really taught him much of anything that makes you so...unique. I figure if anyone best fits your style, it'd be him. So why are you moving so slow while training him?"

Crimson curled his lip in thought, "I...I mean Radegast is different. I'm still trying to get a gauge on what he can do. I don't exactly know what to teach him yet."

Tag snorted, "What does that even mean? Teach him your style."

"I'm easing him into it-"

"Crimson," Tag cut him short, "From one friend to another, don't ease him into it. He's harnessed his skill enough. Teach him already. That's what worked for us when we were adventuring. That's what's working for everybody who's a member of the Guild. That's what will work for Radegast. Otherwise, what's separating him from any other combatant?"

Crimson clenched his fists, "His ability to fuse with the Aegislash. His own band of friends who use their own strategies. His own outlook on life and how he believes things should be done."

"And you can change types and reach a form that brings people back to life and transforms people into Pokemon and purges shadow energy and Arceus know what else. And you still adopt these skills. You gain every advantage you can. Why is he different from that?"

The door to Crimson's office swung open and Pert strolled in, "Hey Crimson!"

Crimson greeted him with a polite smile, "Hey Pert. What's up?"

"Team Levity came back," Pert continued, "No sign of the Regicide Crew though. They'll be back at it tomorrow. Thought I'd let you know, in case you asked."

"Appreciated. Thanks."

Pert closed the door and there was a moment of silence. Finally, Crimson took a deep breath. His grip had been heavy on the table and he relinquished it, "It's not the skills he learns but what he plans to do with them that makes me hesitant."

"What do you mean?" Tag inquired.

"He's got vengeance in his heart. He wants payback for everything that's happened to him. His quest to get stronger, from the moment he transformed to every action shaping him right now. I mean, you've seen him in action. He's definitely not the carefree soul we ran into back on the island."

"So you're worried that if he gains so much strength-"

"He'll become so absorbed in his capabilities that his only thought will be to vanquish his enemies and conquest. He'll lose that unique perspective of his that make him capable of understanding both the good guys and the bad guys and become a conqueror over both."

"C'mon, Crimson," Tag reassured, nudging him in the shoulder, "Radegast won't be like that. I remember that argument you told me about the first day he arrived and it sounded like he had that mentality in check with how he was defending the Psychic Rebellion and their existence."

The Chimchar sighed, "It's still there, but it's warped. Right now, he sees no difference between us and them, but instead of seeing a possible avenue of neutrality in their doings, he's making our actions out to be as bad as theirs. But even then, that's not nearly as bad as the fact that he puts more blame on himself than anyone else."

Crimson glanced out the window towards the early afternoon sun, "Just like a few days ago, when that Gallade came charging through here. Yes, his action was selfish and yes it was wrong, but it was also wrong for that Gallade to come in here and start trying to pick a fight with the one responsible. They both had justified reasons for their missteps. But unlike the Gallade who took his anger out on Radegast, Radegast went self-destructive...almost like he was trying to prove his point. And if he has so much negative persuasion around him...I'm scared he might succumb to it."

"So remind him what's important," Tag said decisively. Crimson looked over to him as he went on, "It's not who you need to stop but why you need to stop them. In this case, he shouldn't be focused on exacting revenge on the Marine but saving the ones he lost: the Champion and the Necrozma. And I think once he's done those things, he probably won't takes things to the extreme of exacting revenge."

Crimson's gaze turned hopeful, "Are you sure?"

"Well, no one's sure of anything," Tag shrugged, "But I can say I had those same fears about you when Neeko nearly killed you and you seemed to turn out alright. Radegast may have a different cast of friends by his side, but I'd trust him as much as I trusted you."

Crimson nodded in agreement, "Fair enough."

---

"Young master," Reggie suddenly spoke quickly, "She is here."

"Wh-" Radegast was about to ask who, but he knew immediately. He felt it before, his instincts screamed at him as an aura more imposing and terrible than even Reggie's flooded the room- possibly the tower. For most, they'd be petrified at the natural energies that carried an evil bite over the air currents. Beyond the library door, Radegast heard no echoing footsteps, but he could sense a graceful movement.

That feminine voice echoed in the larger halls. "I've been told there was some Gardevoirite in storage here. I'd like to purchase it."

Radegast heard some Lucario bark. Since he could understand them, he could tell they were shouting "Stay back", with an obvious fear in their voices. While most Pokemon wouldn't sense the bubbling madness within Lucy Reginald, Lucario would understand an aura like this the most.

"I don't think the Lucario here take kindly to you," An old man's voice was wary, though he couldn't sense what the Lucario sense. "What sort of woman are you?"

"Not your daughter," Lucy replied. Apparently the old man made a face, which instilled the added response. "I've done nothing to her. She is a famous girl. Her status is common knowledge in Kalos, after all. No. I'm just here for the Gardevoirite."

Doesn't she have one already? Radegast thought to himself as he slowly gripped the blade and shield of the Aegislash. He was hiding at the far end of a book shelf, where he kept one eye on the only door. However, his eye caught something glinting as he shuffled slightly. Covered in a glass, Radegast spotted what he initially thought was Galladite. No, he shook his head. The color was slightly different

"There isn't any here." The old man lied, though he did sound convincing.

Lucy giggled, "You sound convincing, but your Lucario already knew it'll take more than sound to convince me."

An ordr was half-barked, but a blast of energy erupted, flooding the area with the sound of crackling and hums. Dull thuds and cracking stone indicated that the Lucario were being outmatched in an instant.

For a split second, Radegast looked to the window. Could he make it? Lucy seemed preoccupied with the Master, but she did detect Elder from through a wall- the distance was comparable last time too. If she could sense Radegast, she made no indication that she could. If he tried to run, would she give chas-

Another thud, and the old man groaned in pain, as well as another Lucario.

The door flung open as Radegast burst through. He concentrated psychic energy into his legs and closed the distance in a moment. As he entered the larger hall, for the first time, Radegast saw her with his own eyes.

She looked like Margriet; beautiful, though fittingly older. However, Lucy strangely also resembled Glade's mother. Her hair- swept to one side- rose with the radiating psychic energy, revealing the prosthetic eye that housed her personal Gardevoirite.

The blade was a mere inch away, but was stopped completely. Radegast and Lucy locked eyes. Her eye was cold, but held a willpower behind them that could not be budged.

"Should've stayed down like the rest of these dogs," She smiled as she spoke with a terrible voice.as graceful as her lithe figure. Without a single movement, she flung Radegast away. "Now then I-," She continued, only to pause entirely.

Radegast's helmet had fallen off as he rolled against the hall floor. Radegast looked back with a Gallade's glare as he scrambled back to his feet.

"Now wait just one minute," Her eyes lit up with familiarity. "The Coat of Arms? I didn't think it was you when I sensed... but that means..." She eyed up Radegast. "My cousin... Little Margie? No- Little Raddy...?" Her eyes widened as her mind whirled. Radegast could tell because her mere wayward thoughts caused ripples of Psychic energy that created small gusts inside the tower. "Whoa... now this..." She strode toward him until she was just outside stabbing distance. She looked over Radegast's exposed face as if it were a work of art.

"Radegast... Little Radegast. You're perfect!" Lucy's eye began to tear up, as if she bore witness to the most beautiful work of art ever created. "My goodness, Why would the Rebellion want to kill you? You're everything they've dreamed of being!"

Radegast kept his mind shut tight, as he felt multiple probes trying to peel away his psyche. He couldn't even think to lunge forward. As he felt her imposing power push against him, he couldn't do anything save for shutting himself off entirely. He didn't even have time to process what the heck Lucy was saying.

"How did you get this body? I must know!" She motioned a finger, and Radegast felt his whole body constricted by Psychic energy. "Come, we've got so much to do! The Vandal is a great first step, but seeing an Apex like this!" Her excitement bubbled into reality as more ripples formed in the air. "Oh Sonya's going to love thi-" Her excitement evidently had fully distracted her. Lucy Reginald should have easily seen the orange blur coming. Her shriek and the subsequent gust of prickling wind made way for the stench of burning flesh and metal. Suros had unleashed an Aerial Ace on Lucy Reginald's grafted cybernetic spine. As sparks flew and the burns from Suros' flame body began to sink in, the woman dropped to one knee. Radegast felt the force gripping him vanish entirely.

Lucy's voice, once graceful and deceptively lovely, was now harsh and venomous. "How DARE you!" The shrill shriek of hate made way for a surge of energy. Radegast moved quickly and raised his shield as a terrible Psybeam emitted, poised to strike Suros in mid-air. The beam exploded against the shield, launching Radegast back a few meters down the hall.

He barely maintained his stance. "Suros!" Radegast called. The Talonflame spat a stream of fire at Lucy Reginald. While her cybernetic spine was heavily damaged, Lucy managed to dodge.

"You can't escape our destiny, Reginald Blood," Lucy bared her teeth as she hovered. Her legs dangled- disconnected- as she flew into the room Radegast had just attacked from. Radegast gave chase, but there was a shatter of glass, Suros was about to fly in to give chase, but Radegast recalled her into her PokeBall- saved the Talonflame just as a hail of glass shards flew out the door. Radegast bounded through the door after the dodged ambush, only to find that she was gone. The Gardevoirite was gone with her.

Radegast collapsed to his padded knees as his adrenaline faded along with Lucy's aura. "Oh fuck... Ooooh my Arceus... Holy shit..." He could barely move. This whole encounter was pure luck. If Lucy Reginald wasn't so distracted at that exact moment, then Suros... Radegast released the blade and the shield, which moved to his back. Radegast rubbed his temples; they both throbbed with pain. Most of Radegast was in pain. Even with the shield, that Psybeam did a number on the Gallade himself. Would Suros have survived a direct hit from such power?

Suros burst from her PokeBall again, flapping in place and darting around to search for her quarry. After seeing Radegast on his knees, the Talonflame retrieved hiss helmet. As strength returned to his legs, Radegast put his helmet back on, stumbled to his feet and moved to check on the Lucario and the old man. "Are you alright, sir?".

The response was minimal. The elderly man was still alive, albeit in rough shape. Radegast reached for his own bag, but remembered he didn't have what he was looking for. Instead, he looked to the Lucario that were present. Two in total, both sprawled, completely knocked out when they were flung into the solid stone walls. Radegast spotted a leg satchel on the old man's hip. A quick search resulted in two revives, which Radegast used to heal the Lucario. "C'mon, I need your help," Radegast said as the two Pokemon were restored, "We gotta get the old dude to a hospital."

The Lucario were understandably wary, but any aura was more welcoming when compared to Lucy Reginald's. They were careful and ginger when picking up the old man, grabbing his appendages and lifting him with little effort.

"What even happened?" One of the Lucario rubbed his head, as if he was trying to jog his memory, "It was like...we got this bad feeling, then she started acting really crazy and then...we were just out."

"That woman stole the Gardevoirite," Radegast replied, "I couldn't stop her, but Suros..." The Talonflame swooped to his shoulder. Radegast couldn't help but smile. "She at least prevented anything worse from happening."

"Hmm..." the other Lucario grunted, rolling his shoulder as if to work out the aches and pains that remained, "I guess we owe you two a thanks then. If for nothing else, then at least for reviving us."

"Not just that," Radegast continued as he assumed a meditative stance close by the old man. He held his arms up and began a breathing exercise. In a few seconds, a wash of energy emitted. The Heal Pulse began to take effect on the Lucario. However, it was difficult to tell if the same could be said with the unconscious old man. "I hope that helped, but we should get him to the hospital just in case."

They proceeded out the front door and began making their way towards the Pokemon Center. A few people had actually heard the commotion going on and were watching from the outside, waiting to see how things would develop. Those that stuck around did see the unconscious old man being carried by two Lucario and knew someone got hurt.

"Quickly! Get the Nurse!" a middle-aged man told his son and pointed in the direction of the Pokemon Center. The boy took off in a sprint.

Radegast and Suros followed soon after and a few other folks were curious enough to ask some questions.

"Uh...excuse me, uh...person!" A woman called out to him, "What happened to Gurkinn? Is he gonna be alright?"

"I hope so," Radegast replied. "Did you see a woman walk into the tower? Flowing dress? Hair parted to one side?" He thought for a moment, "Icky aura?"

"No, I don't think so," she shrugged, "I was just walking outside when I heard all the noise. By the time I got here, it had stopped and...here we are."

Radegast nodded. "She must've teleported then." He sighed. This didn't bode well. Lucy had his number, as well as his general location. He needed to move quickly after retrieving what he came to Shalour to do, only his reason for coming here was currently being sent to the hospital. Just my luck... he thought bitterly.

"What is the next step, young master?" the voice of Reggie echoed in the back of his mind. The young boy was running back, the nurse right behind him.

As Radegast waited on standby, Radegast produced the Galladite to look at it. The old man wasn't going to be much help until he recovered, and staying too long would garner unwanted attention from civilians. Lucy Reginald got away, and she seemed to know what Radegast had become... Radegast grit his teeth, realizing his one advantage in hiding was now completely lost. He couldn't stay long at all.

"Perhaps the Lucario might know something?" Reggie asked, "They are probably as well-learned about Mega Evolution as the master."

Radegast didn't see any fault in the logic. There was only one way to find out either way. "Excuse me," Radegast spoke to the Lucario directly, "I actually came here to learn how to use this," He held up the Galladite.

"We shall get our master the help he needs," he replied, "Then, we can talk."




About an hour had passed since the attack at the library. The nurse had brought the elderly man to the Pokemon Center and ran a diagnostic test on his body to try and figure out the problem. Apart from a few broken ribs, a concussion, and many bruises, he would be fine. He would just need a day to rest. The two Lucarios were more than good, particularly from Radegast's Heal Pulse, but the nurse insisted on checking up on them and ensuring they were good to go. The townspeople had all but gone about their business, the rumor mill spreading like wildfire across the city about what they heard, what they saw, and what they believed. Fortunately, no one seemed to blame Radegast for the events.

One of the Lucario stood by Gurkinn's bedside, keeping a watchful eye over his master. Meanwhile, the other one had motioned for Radegast to follow him. They traveled outside the Pokemon Center and then behind it, walking through the woods. They stopped when they were out of sight of the city and it's inhabitants.

"Now then," the Lucario gazed back the way they came, ensuring that no one had followed before he continued, "Why do you need to know how to unlock the power of Mega Evolution, Gallade?"

"Simply put," Radegast removed his helmet, "There's someone in trouble, and I want to save them. There's also the woman that attacked you guys. I want to stop her too."

"Your aura..." the Lucario put his paw out, feeling the air around Radegast, "I sense a strand of similarity between you and that woman. A blood relationship. Do you know her?"

"My cousin," Radegast replied somberly, "One I didn't know I had. I was too young."

"Hmm..." the Lucario seemed to be studying him, examining him and his armor. He even sniffed the air around him. All the while, his hand remained raised, as if his aura sensing capabilities were doing the same thing, "Interesting. I sense more than that, though. You don't seem to be tricking me, but you've got three souls occupying this one body."

"If the other two could talk, I've yet to hear them, man." Radegast shrugged before producing the Galladite. He was being honest because to not be honest would end up wasting time with one who can sense auras and easily detect lies. "Is there a way for me to use this?"

"Well, that depends. Do you have a Trainer?"

"I guess technically I am?"

"The Mega Evolution is achieved through a strong bond between a Trainer and their Pokemon. The Galladite is merely a catalyst...a spark to ignite the flame. Without all the components, you won't be able to reach the Mega Form you seek. Not in the traditional way."

Radegast nodded, though he felt a pit form in his stomach. If Fusion could do it, he'd already feel the sensation of Mega Evolution by simply carrying the Galladite. "So I can't use this," The conclusion seemed pretty clear to him. He started making a mental note to drop the Galladite off back at Glade's place... or ask Suros to drop it off in his stead, since Glade's father didn't want him around anymore.

The Lucario's gaze didn't waver, but he did turn to stare Radegast, "But maybe there is another way. As the perception goes, many people believe that we were the first Pokemon to discover Mega Evolution. In fact, we were the first ones to do it by the power of the Mega Stones. There is a Pokemon who is able to achieve the Mega Evolution form by itself, without the need of one of those."

Come to think of it, Lucy Reginald could utilize that eye implant. Radegast saw it clear as day- unmistakably Gardevoirite. It did make him wonder why she needed a second one, however. "What Pokemon was that?" Radegast rose a brow as he shifted his stance.

"Rayquaza," he answered, "The Sky Legendary."

There was a deathly silence from the reveal. Radegast nodded slowly, but it was Reggie who spoke up. "Where can we find Rayquaza nowadays?"

"I dunno it's a matter of where and more a matter of can." Radegast replied with a smirk. Seriously, though. How in the world can they find Rayquaza?

"The Rayquaza is never stationary," the Lucario said, glancing up towards the sky, "It is constantly travelling around Ruula, protecting the planet from above. All I know for sure is the last seen location, which was Anistar City. And that was a year ago. Your best bet would be to travel as many mountain peaks as you can and hope you get lucky."

The Lucario's own brow raised as he crossed his arms, "But I thought you said your souls couldn't talk. Who was that I just heard in my head?"

"Oh, that," Radegast put a Limiter-clad hand on the pommel of the sword on his back, and the two of them de-fused. "This is Reggie," He introduced the Aegislash, which reformed into the Shield Forme and hovered in place. Without the Limiter doing what it does to Reggie's natural strength, the imposing full power of the Aegislash could be felt once more. However, it didn't quite match the aura of raw strength that Lucy Reginald exuded.

"An old soul..." the Lucario noted, putting his paw in front of Reggie and closing his eyes, "A truly old soul, in fact. I can sense you have lived well beyond your years."

"Thank you," The Aegislash apparently took it as a compliment.

"But it has been through the expense of others," the Lucario wasn't done, "Those absorbed souls that now possess your body and provide your significant power...they are what keep you going. Your aura is far more complicated than the Gallade's, which is a feat in it of itself." His eyes shot open. "How have you done this?"

"I do not deny this," Reggie replied, "However, it was their decision, in order to hold off the very same woman that attacked you. As for the process..." The great aura grew somber. "It is a curse, one the young master and I are working hard to cure."

"Hmm..." the Lucario grunted, finally lowering his paw, "Well, I have told you both everything I can. Do you have anything else?"

Radegast thought for a moment, "Mega Evolution usually involves bracelets and stuff, right?" He asked, remembering some vague entries in a school textbook. "Where can I get some of the ore used in those?"

"There's no clear deposit for the special ore you're looking for," the Lucario pointed east, "But many of the locals have found their ore in the mountains due east from here."

"Got it," Radegast slipped his helmet back on. "Thank you so much for your help," He gave the sun & moon gesture as Reggie fused once more. "We'll be taking our leave if that's alright."

The Lucario wasn't sure of the gesture he was making, but returned with a traditional bow, "Take care, complicated Gallade. May safe travels be with you."

"Oh, and before I go," Radegast quickly rooted through his leg satchel and produced his wallet. Out of the 8,320 Poke on his person, Radegast separated 3000. "I had to use your master's Revives. I owe this to him." He wouldn't take no for an answer.

The Lucario sighed before accepting the money, "Your kindness is appreciated, then. Be safe on your adventures."

---

The laboratory was nothing like her old setup back in the Lavaridge base. While Lucy had managed to clear out with the most incriminating equipment, the Hoenn police managed to get her surgery table- which held the automated machines that grafted her cybernetics. Her systems were well-designed, and maintenance could be done in the wild by-hand. Lucy made a mental note to track down her surgery table. While she doesn't have a proper power situation sorted out, it would be nice to have it back.

Not even Lucy could've accounted for a single bird getting the drop on her. Next time she sees that bird, it's dead.

Thanks to a quick patch, her legs could respond again. However, it's only thanks to leaving the Gardevoirite activated that she could tap into her Psychic potential without the functioning cybernetics. With a wave of the hand, Lucy Reginald moved two mirrors into place around a stool. Her toned shoulders pressed together as she used what power she had left to move the tools she needed around to begin tinkering.

The tools dropped, however. The Galladite system had just shut off from its daily limit. Lucy Reginald smirked. In truth, while she was pissed off at that Talonflame, she didn't even care. For one: she had all the time in the world. For two: she had proof that she was right, all along.

An Apex. its power was untapped, but it was an Apex nonetheless. Of course it happened to be a Reginald. Only people like the blood Reginalds could become an Apex. It's part of that Pokemon DNA within them.

"You got destroyed."

Turning around, Lucy would notice that it was only the Meowstic she had grown accustomed to meeting. Her own smirk was on her face as she casually walked into the room, toolkit in her hand. She knew that unlike her own self, Sonya had an arrogance to her nature, dripping out of that powerful gait and condescending stare. It wasn't hard to see that her hatred was a cool, focused blade that loved to slice through skin slowly and methodically, taking in every iron-filled scent until she was done playing with her food. And that expanded to most everybody...and everything.

"Just an inconvenience. I can fix it myself tomorrow." Lucy smiled warmly as she rolled a shoulder casually. "I've just had the most wonderful encounter, Sonya."

"Oh?" she set the toolkit on the ground and popped it open, sifting through it's contents, "I bet they didn't see it that way. With whom?"

"My dear cousin, Radegast."

The sound of contents moving through the metal box stopped abruptly. Sonya whipped right around, her eyes filling with both excitement and pure hatred, "Where?"

"Shalour City, though I imagine he'd be on the move by now. His little bird friend did this." Despite the damage, Lucy's excitement was absolutely noticeable. "I'm sure you can find him if you use any of your contacts in Kalos."

Sonya giggled darkly, "Oh, we've got more than the numbers need to find him. He's proven himself to be a little more slick than that though. How did you find him?"

"Well," She spoke as if she was going to tell a most interesting tale. She explained that she was heading to the Tower to buy some Gardevoirite- though she was planning to take it anyway, she wasn't going to stoop to the level of a savage thief. But then Radegast jumped out of the blue and tried to save the old man. "As if that geezer were in any danger." Lucy giggled. "Anyway, when you do find him, would you mind taking him alive?"

"That's the plan," she replied, turning back to the box, "Zane wants to have a few choice words with him for giving him a headache over the past year. After that...I'm sure he won't mind giving custody over to Radegast's older cousin."

She pulled out a notepad and a pencil and glanced back at Lucy, "Mind if I give your broken parts a look over?"

She didn't wait for a response, but rather walked closer and began inspecting her synthetic parts, "So, I take it he went after you, and then that...bird...did some damage to protect him?" It was clear in her voice that she held some special zone of hatred for Radegast's friends...at least for Suros.

"I know, embarrassing, right?" Lucy giggled, "I let my guard down- I was just so excited. Something wonderful has happened to Radegast."

"What, did you impale him through something sharp?"

"By goodness, no!" Lucy looked shocked- if only for a moment. "He's become an Apex!"

"An Apex?" Sonya repeated the term, unfamiliar with it.

"A true hybrid, proof of Mother's work, proof of my work. Not just a bonding of souls, but a bonding of DNA. The will of a human with the power of a Pokemon. Oh, if only I knew how Little Raddy did it!"

The Meowstic looked up at Lucy, her lips curled, "Wait, so you're telling me that Radegast is a Pokemon now?"

"A Gallade, just like our ancestor," Lucy nodded, "He's wearing a suit of armor, and he's got the Coat of Arms as well."

Sonya growled at the mention of Reggie, scribbling something on her notepad, "Another name I wish I could forget. But...that does make him easy to identify. As far as I know, there's only one other... well, Apex as you called 'em, running around on Ruula. Or are there more of them? They sound like a less than uncommon species if they've got a term for them."

"It was a theory my mother and I used," Lucy explained, "To describe the pinnacle of Ruulan evolution. Something far, far greater than Arceus could dream to be."

Sonya tched, but didn't seem to dismiss the theory entirely, "Yeah, tell me about it." Her eyes analyzed the back, studying the wires that ran up to her arm.

"Indeed," Lucy nodded as her excitement mellowed out a little. There was a silence as Sonya worked on the repairs. Lucy pointed out some steps, using the mirrors to allow her to see. "You know what I mean, don't you?" Lucy suddenly asked, "There is another Apex?"

"There is," Sonya said, walking back to her toolkit. She glanced to the side, staring at Lucy from the corner of her eye, "Crimson, the leader of the Crimson Guild."

"Sounds like another fun autopsy," Lucy grinned.

"That's a good word for it," Sonya agreed, walking back to Lucy with something in her hand, "But it's not that simple, unfortunately. You've seen the destructive power of the Master Blaster before your own eyes, but even then, Zane's still not completely confident he can beat him with it. Hold still for a second. This might hurt."

"I know," Lucy winced, "I designed it." It's the closest she's gotten to becoming an Apex, but the machine did have its limits- this repair session was proof of its limits. "On the plus side," She looked to the Gardevoirite she had left sitting on the casket in the corner, "I've got some other ideas."

"Oop," She spoke up as a piece Sonya adjusted snapped into place. Lucy's powerful psychic ripple returned almost instantly. "Ah, perfect. Thank you so much, Sonya."

"I threw in something extra," Sonya told her as she started to make the cosmetic touch-ups, "It should be linked to your cybernetics. See if you can feel it."

She did so, of course. Her psychic probe found a storage box containing some sort of substance. She pulled it out, and a glowing pink semi-fluid floated with her probe. This was Barrier material. "How much can this handle?" She asked, recognizing its function immediately as she spread it out into a floating round shield of pink light.

"More than what the Talonflame can dish out," she answered with a sneer, "It took a combined effort for them to be able to break it last time. It can easily handle a single opponent. And it should protect you from those pesky sneak attacks. It's got a proximity sensor that will unleash the Barrier when anything projectile-based gets a little too close."

"Similar to a design I couldn't quite figure out." Lucy smiled surprisingly warmly, "Pokemon really are amazing." She then looked to the Meowstic, "What say we exchange ideas, and make something greater?"

The Meowstic thought about it, but not for very long as she gave a smile...a genuine smile...of her own, "I think...that sounds like fun."

Nicolette Porter has arrived, coming from Lumiose City.
Nicolette Porter has left the area, heading down into Lumiose City.