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In Progress Visions Of Fate [PG-14]

Gardevoir Girl

^Don't call me that
One girl, starting her Pokemon journey… with a rather uncooperative partner. One boy, on the run from his past, trying to survive purely in the present. Two destinies, entwined inseparably, each soul unaware that the fates are guiding them closer to their true path.

How will they survive in a world where traitors and murderers smile at you on the street, where anyone you pass could be your darkest nightmare in disguise?

But they must succeed. For if they fail, all will end…

This story has a key to make it easier to understand.
* is a breaker I use to change the narrating character within a chapter.
*~*~* is a breaker I use to indicate passage of time but keep the same narrator.
This” is when a Pokemon speaks and I’ve translated what it’s saying.
“This” is humans speaking or telepathy.
This is used for thoughts, memories and other stuff that goes on inside the character’s mind.

The prologue is in third person, but all future chapters will be in first person. Oh, and by the way, the rating is PG-14 for violence, a little blood and dark themes, but there is one chapter that I'll have to temporarily increase the rating for.

Prologue

One day will come two… who will unite… conquer enmity… curse shall claim the life of… yet rescue at the hands of enmity is… will go on to fight obstacles and accomplish what… guardian never succeeded… not without obstacles… fail would result in the loss of all life, human and Pokemon alike…

Ancient scripture, written at unknown date.


*​

BBRRIINNGG!!!

A gaudy pink alarm clock began its shrill ringing from on top of its pine cabinet beside the heaped bed as the first rays of sunlight began to spill joyfully into the room, illuminating the avalanche of clothes and books scattered in heaps all over the floor. The monstrous, many-coloured pile of blankets on the bed shifted slightly; a pale-skinned arm clawed its way to freedom, the long-fingered hand groping around for the alarm clock until it finally knocked it onto the floor. With a crash, the clock shattered, spilling cogs all over the rosewood floor.

The hand clawed again at the patched and faded blankets, finally clearing enough space for a head to emerge. The mass of frizzy, dark blonde hair made its owner resemble an angry albino Jigglypuff. Two sleepy chestnut eyes blinked from beneath this mop of hair, then screwed closed as the girl stifled a yawn.

“Happy birthday, Marisa,” she murmured to herself.

After a moment of hesitation, Marisa kicked off her blankets and crawled out of bed, carefully avoiding the broken remains of her alarm clock. Her bare feet slapped against the floor as she made her way to the closet, kicked aside a heap of undersized children’s clothing and yanked open the green-painted closet door. Unsurprisingly, there was hardly anything inside. Another yawn shook her body as she gazed into the mirror on the inside of the door, seeing a slender, unimpressive ten-year-old girl with very little cleavage, wearing a bright blue nightdress that barely covered her backside. It had fit perfectly when she was eight.

Marisa cast a glance at her bedroom door to make sure it was closed, then shed her nightdress in favour of a simple outfit. Once dressed in her black shorts and aqua blue T-shirt, which featured the logo of a band called Jezebel’s Curse, she examined herself in the mirror and felt only a sense of relief that it fitted. She didn’t really like the shirt; her mother had picked it out for her earlier that year.

Finished with examining herself, Marisa began to search in the bottom of her closet for her favourite mauve backpack. She had last seen it months earlier…

…somewhere.

She dropped down onto her hands and knees and began to dig through a pile of shoes that no longer fitted. It was surprising how many different pairs she had, including soccer shoes, sandals, high-heeled shoes… She came to a halt, holding up a pair of pink satin ballet slippers. She couldn’t even remember taking ballet lessons…

There was no backpack among the shoes. Marisa rose to her feet again and nudged the closet door closed, then turned slowly to face the disaster zone that was her bedroom. She practically needed an Escape Rope to find the door from amongst all of her junk. She had been meaning to get rid of some of it, but there was always some sort of distraction.

With a sigh, Marisa resigned herself to searching for her backpack in the mountains of discarded possessions. She raised one hand to her face in imitation of a walkie-talkie. “Pshht… Marisa West calling in for backup. Repeat, Marisa West needs backup. And maybe a team of Growlithe to find me. I’m going in… pshht…” She dropped her hand, took a deep breath and waded into the sea of clothing on a rescue mission for her backpack.

*​

Meanwhile, not so far away, a young boy awakened to the sound of clanging. He shook his head to wake himself up, blinking eyes of a muddy green colour. His long, lank hair flopped about his face, so filthy that it was impossible to tell if the natural colour really was black or not.

The boy levered himself up on his hands and knees and brushed dirt and food scraps off the tattered rags that barely passed as clothing. His skin was coated thickly in grime, although one could see just by looking at him that his natural skin colour was very dark indeed, almost completely black.

William crawled out of the overturned garbage can in which he had been sleeping. The early morning sunlight blinded him, piercing his eyes like sharp pins. He shielded them with his arm and squinted until the world came into focus.

William tilted his head slightly, noticing what had made the clanging sound that had woken him. He was crouching in a filthy alleyway behind a fast-food restaurant and a short teenage cook with a bad case of acne had just flung a bag of garbage into an enormous dumpster. The teen paused to give William a strange, searching look and, in response, he scuttled behind his garbage can to hide. He felt safer when he was out of sight.

As soon as the man had gone inside again, William leaped to his feet and scrambled into the dumpster. He landed lightly, his bare feet sinking deeply into piles of garbage. With a moan of longing, he fell upon the new black bag and tore it open, his fingers digging into the plastic and shredding it easily. The stench of rotting food assailed his nostrils but he ignored it and began sifting through the bag’s contents, occasionally coming across a scrap of stale and greasy food and cramming it hungrily into his mouth.

After he had eaten his fill, he crawled out of the dumpster again and dropped lightly to the ground. Now that hunger was not clouding his senses, he could take stock of his surroundings and decide where to go next. Ever since he had fled from the place he once called home, he had been frantically searching for a particular building. As of yet, however, he had had no luck with finding it.

He slipped one hand into his pocket, his questing fingers pushing aside scraps of rotting food and dead insects before finally brushing against the edge of a filthy scrap of paper. His grip tightened and he drew it out. Unfolding it and spreading it on the ground, he found himself gazing down on a greasy, yellowed map which showed a bird's-eye view of the city; unfortunately, the top of the map had torn, which was the main reason he had not known that his goal was here in Veilstone City.

William's finger traced a crayoned path scribbled over the map, its journey culminating with a scrawled circle around a particular warehouse. It must be close; he could practically taste it. He crammed the map back into his pocket, so eager to reach his goal that he could think of nothing else.

He moved silently to the edge of the alleyway and peered around the corner, checking for danger. Fate must have intervened, because at that moment the crowds in the city parted slightly and allowed the boy a glimpse of one of the buildings along the street. His heart leaped into his throat; it was a plain office building, but it was the one he had been searching for.

The building had no sign. It was three stories tall and built of grey brick in order to make to look inconspicuous. William stole toward it on silent feet, but his pounding heart was enough to give him away. He had searched almost all of Sinnoh and been on the run for months, but finally it would all be worthwhile.

The building was unguarded; it was surprising, considering the precious cargo inside, yet William had been expecting it. If the occupants wished to remain inconspicuous, they would have to relinquish their right to a guard.

It was a simple matter for William to sneak around to the back of the building without attracting too much attention. He found a sufficiently concealed window and pressed both palms flat against it, pausing to feel any vibrations caused by movement inside the room beyond. He felt nothing and braced his shoulders, leaning all of his weight against the glass.

A delicate, fractured white line traced itself along the glass as, with a sharp crack, the window began to split from the pressure. The unpainted wooden frame was splintering and with a sudden crunch, the rotting wood gave way. The glass fell into the room beyond and shattered on the floor, exploding into a million fragments of frosted white.

William clambered into the room, careful to avoid stepping on the broken glass as he touched the floor. He was standing in a filthy, bare basement, the stone walls dripping slime and the floor stained with the same substance. William’s eyes locked onto a staircase of identical stone and he proceeded toward it.

Minutes later, a shout went up from the building and countless alarms began their shrill shrieking. Gripping his prize tightly to his chest, Will caught hold of the edge of the broken window and hoisted himself out, ignoring the splinters of glass digging deep into his skin. With the alarms ringing in his ears, he bent double over the stolen object and pounded down the street, glancing neither left nor right. His breath rasped in his throat but he felt only a savage triumph; he had escaped. The guards would be far too late to capture him.

William glanced down at the object in his arms as he fled. His prize, one of the most valuable objects in the entire region, was a large egg the size of his head. Its hard, dark blue shell was patterned with splashes of midnight black.
 
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CNiall

New member
Why do you feel the need for a legend? Shouldn't everything be pretty obvious without that?

Also, clichéd plot, judging by what you said at the beginning.
 

Dragon_night

New member
Also, clichéd plot, judging by what you said at the beginning.
Uh, could you give some reason's as to why the plot seems cliche from the first chapter? (although, I've read ahead. It's definitely not cliche)

Keep it up GG!
 

Gardevoir Girl

^Don't call me that
Why do you feel the need for a legend? Shouldn't everything be pretty obvious without that?

Also, clichéd plot, judging by what you said at the beginning.
Ah, I've just restarted and already I have my first flamer. If you don't like something, please tell me what you don't like, or it's pointless flaming. If you don't like the story itself, don't review just to say that, or it's pointless flaming. Actually, if you don't like it, don't review. Period.

I put the legend in because all stories use different signs for different things. In some stories, <this> might mean Poke-speech rather than "this", which could instead mean telepathy which in this story looks the same as normal speech. Get it now?

By the way, for the people who aren't going to flame the story, this copy is pretty much the same as the original. I just fixed up a few mistakes, swapped out a few words for others and mended a few plot holes, mostly based on what Saffire Persian said but also based on the fact that I've improved since I started this. It won't be that much different, but I hope it's enough.

~GG~
 

surskitty

「にがいのは いやだ」って…
Pronoun
they
I'm sorry, but asking why you need a legend is not flaming. Why do you need to distinguish between whether a Pokemon is talking or a human is? Are there characters incapable of understanding Pokemon?

Also, it is incredibly overused for a story to start with the main character waking up on her tenth birthday. :| It's also pretty obvious that the girl will end up getting the egg somehow and quite possibly the egg will hatch to be her first Pokemon. Agh.
 

Dragon_night

New member
Okay, I can see this turning into some stupid argument >_>

Although, what Surskitty said makes sense (for the cliche thing, and possibly the flaming stuff). Although, I totally missed that >_>

But, there are people out there that might need the legend. Heck, for all you know, someone requested it >:(
 

Gardevoir Girl

^Don't call me that
I'm sorry, but asking why you need a legend is not flaming.
Of course not, but posting simply to say the story is cliched is flaming.

Why do you need to distinguish between whether a Pokemon is talking or a human is? Are there characters incapable of understanding Pokemon?
Only Pokemon can understand other Pokemon in this story (for the most part), unless the Pokemon in question is speaking with telepathy.

Also, it is incredibly overused for a story to start with the main character waking up on her tenth birthday. :| It's also pretty obvious that the girl will end up getting the egg somehow and quite possibly the egg will hatch to be her first Pokemon. Agh.
I know it's overused, but the egg ends up nowhere near her until a lot later in the story, by which time the Pokemon inside already has a trainer. Don't criticize me for giving out so many spoilers, either, you're asking for them.

But, there are people out there that might need the legend. Heck, for all you know, someone requested it >:(
Certain readers have trouble remembering my use of the legend, which is why I left it there and why I add the note at the beginning of each chapter. Someone asked the same question three times before I started doing that.

Please, people. One more attack and I'll delete the thread from this forum for good. After that, there won't be any point in me staying, and do you really want to chase me away? *Gives puppy-dog eyes*

Actually, don't answer that.

~GG~
 

OrangeAipom

New member
Pronoun
he
I'm not going to comment on the breakers until you get the first chapter up when it's in the first person and all.

BBRRIINNGG!!!

As the first rays of sunlight began to spill joyfully into the room, illuminating the avalanche of clothes and books scattered in heaps all over the floor, a gaudy pink alarm clock began its shrill ringing from on top of its pine cabinet beside the heaped bed. The monstrous, many-coloured pile of blankets on the bed shifted slightly and a pale-skinned arm clawed its way to freedom. The long-fingered hand groped around for the alarm clock, finally knocking it onto the floor where it shattered, spilling cogs all over the rosewood floor.
The paragraph would transition from the onomatopoeia better if you state the clock first, and then the room. The things about the arm moving seems as if it should be one sentence, and seperate from the blankets and the clock crash. The word "finally" doesn't seem to make sense to me in this.

The hand clawed again at the patched and faded blankets, finally clearing enough space for a head to emerge. The mass of frizzy, dark blonde hair made its owner resemble an angry albino Jigglypuff. Two sleepy chestnut eyes blinked from beneath this mop of hair, then screwed closed as the girl stifled a yawn.
Albino animals have light blonde hair, not dark blonde. The hair is also stated in the part with the eyes, so it feels redundant. Maybe you should eliminate the similie and combine it with the blinking.

Her bare feet slapped against the floor as she made her way to the closet, kicked aside a heap of too-small children’s clothing and yanked open the green-painted closet door.
Too-small isn't a word. You should try rephrasing that.

Marisa casted a glance at her bedroom door to make sure it was closed, then shed her nightdress in favour of a simple outfit. Once dressed in her black shorts and aqua blue T-shirt, which featured the slogan of a band called Jezebel’s Curse, she examined herself in the mirror and felt only a sense of relief that it fitted.
Maybe you should replace slogan with logo, becuase it doesn't make much sense.

She had last seen it months earlier…

…somewhere…
Redundant ellipses are redundant. Remove the second one.

She dropped down onto her hands and knees and began to dig through a pile of shoes that no longer fitted. It was surprising how many different pairs she had, including soccer shoes, sandals, high-heeled shoes… she came to a halt, holding up a pair of pink satin ballet slippers. She couldn’t even remember taking ballet lessons…
You should make the word after the ellipsis capital since it is not a continuation of the fragment.

There was no backpack among the shoes. Marisa rose to her feet again and nudged the closet door closed, then turned slowly to face the disaster zone that was her bedroom. She practically needed an Escape Rope to find the door from amongst all of her junk.
I never assumed that there was a backpack. O_o Escape rope should be lowercase.

Meanwhile, not so far away, a young boy awakened to the sound of clanging. He shook his head to wake himself up, blinking eyes of a muddy green colour. His long, lank hair flopped about his face, so filthy that it was impossible to tell the colour.
So, what's the colour of the filth? It's not as if the hair becomes transparent or anything.

William crawled out of the overturned garbage can in which he had been sleeping. The early morning sunlight blinded him, piercing his eyes like sharp pins. He shielded them with his arm and squinted until the world came into focus.
Of course he'd been sleeping in the garbage can. You just said he woke up.

The building was unguarded; it was surprising, considering the precious cargo inside, yet William had been expecting it.
If it's in the building, the egg couldn't be shipped at the same time.

A delicate, fractured white line traced itself along the glass as, with a sharp crack, the window began to split from the pressure. The unpainted wooden frame was splintering, and, with a sudden crunch, the rotting wood gave way. The glass fell into the room beyond and shattered on the floor, exploding into a million fragments of frosted white.
There's nothing to say here.

William clambered into the room, careful to avoid stepping on the broken glass as he touched the floor. He was standing in a filthy, bare basement, the stone walls dripping slime and the floor stained with the same substance. William’s eyes locked onto a staircase of identical stone and he proceeded toward it.
You could change was standing to stood to make it active instead of passive.

I like it. I don't think people are supposed to get their monster on their birthday, and that just happened to be Ash's coincidence. Otherwise, I don't see any clichés, nor do I care if the story itself is done well.
 
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Gardevoir Girl

^Don't call me that
I've made a decision. ArtificialFlavour, thank you for the advice, but I've decided to stop posting this story on this forum. When the older forums were lost, I pretty much lost everything, and now that I've also left my friends I'm starting to lose my will to write and even to live. I'll make the changes you suggested to the prologue and save it to the other places this is posted, but I doubt if this story or I will ever come back here.

I really do love this story, but very few other people seem to. However I may seem, I'm very sensitive when something or someone I love is hated visibly by other people. I just can't handle posting the rest and having more attacks directed at it.

EDIT: After rereading the suggestions, I'm having some trouble implementing some of them into the prologue. After finishing the edits, most of the text looked awkward and some didn't even make sense to me any more. I'll fix what I can, and if you're still not happy, at least this story will never be finished.

The paragraph would transition from the onomatopoeia better if you state the clock first, and then the room. The things about the arm moving seems as if it should be one sentence, and seperate from the blankets and the clock crash.
Changed.

Albino animals have light blonde hair, not dark blonde.
It was the closest comparison I could come up with.

Too-small isn't a word. You should try rephrasing that.
Maybe you should replace slogan with logo, becuase it doesn't make much sense.
Redundant ellipses are redundant. Remove the second one.
You should make the word after the ellipsis capital since it is not a continuation of the fragment.
All changed.

I never assumed that there was a backpack. O_o Escape rope should be lowercase.
I did mention the backpack beforehand, and I meant Escape Rope as in the item in the games, which is capitalized.

So, what's the colour of the filth? It's not as if the hair becomes transparent or anything.
Changed.

Of course he'd been sleeping in the garbage can. You just said he woke up.
There would be too much explanation if I said exactly where he was from the beginning. I didn't say he woke up in a garbage can outside a fast-food restaurant in Veilstone City, because that would be boring. Instead, I revealed gradually that he is there.

If it's in the building, the egg couldn't be shipped at the same time.
It wasn't. I meant cargo in the sense of loot, treasured item, etc., not in the shipping sense.

There's nothing to say here.
Since you quoted it anyway, I'm guessing I made some huge mistake I can't see.

~GG~
 
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surskitty

「にがいのは いやだ」って…
Pronoun
they
I've made a decision. ArtificialFlavour, thank you for the advice, but I've decided to stop posting this story on this forum. When the older forums were lost, I pretty much lost everything, and now that I've also left my friends I'm starting to lose my will to write and even to live. I'll make the changes you suggested to the prologue and save it to the other places this is posted, but I doubt if this story or I will ever come back here.
... that's dumb. Just because people comment on your fic does not mean they hate it and want it to die. What?
It wasn't. I meant cargo in the sense of loot, treasured item, etc., not in the shipping sense.
What 'loot, treasured item, etc' sense?
 

Gardevoir Girl

^Don't call me that
... that's dumb.
I know, people have been telling me my whole life that it's dumb to be so sensitive. I can't help it. I get hurt easily. Constructive criticism is good, but not comments that only say why the story is bad without saying how I can improve it.

Just because people comment on your fic does not mean they hate it and want it to die. What?
It sounds to me like out of the four people who've posted, only Dragon_night and ArtificialFlavour would give a hoot if this story continued or not.

What 'loot, treasured item, etc' sense?
Okay, I have bad word use. Want to arrest me for it? I can't help it if I'm better with my second language than with English.

~GG~
 

CNiall

New member
Of course not, but posting simply to say the story is cliched is flaming.
This is just me being a pedant, but it wasn't posting simply to say the story was clichéd; the main point of the post was to ask why you use a legend to highlight things which should probably be made obvious in the narrative, with the cliché remark added as an afterthought (surely you've noticed that having the (or a) main character wake up on their tenth birthday as the beginning of a story and the use of the whole 'all will end but their destinies are guding them; idea is just a bit common?).
 

Dragon_night

New member
>_>

Okay, the last thing I want is this story to not continue posting. THE LAST.

But, there are more people who like this fic, GG. Not just me and ArtificialFlavour. If the old forums were back, I'd show you all the people who loved your story. They just haven't commented on it yet, or haven't registered. But there is a lot more people loving you're story then you think.

And, of course people are going be be skeptical about your story on the first chapter (and probably what I'm saying), but people need more then one chapter to start liking a fic, unless it's some mega thing like Aeon:End (sorry if no one knows that fic).

And, as much as it would suck if you still won't post your fic here, I guess I can always follow it on serebii. But I do hope you change your mind, cause I'd rather read from where I left off on this forum, then there.

(oh ya, this is a hint for all you closet readers to show support)
 

Zora of Termina

forget your high society
*closet reader'd*

Believe me. It's a pain in the ass trying to find ANYTHING on Serebii, and I'm not going to bother registering there just so I can comment. Too many noobs.

But I love this fic. The characters have grown on me, the story is wonderful, you CANNOT stop posting it here because some people are questioning the flipping first chapter. I myself thought it seemed a bit cliched at first, but then I read onwards and I absolutely adore it now. You have me pacing the floor waiting for more. (lol rhyme :D))

Don't stop posting it here because of CNiall or Surskitty. A lot of people really love your fic. I also urge people to come out of the closet (Not like that you perverts) and say what they think.
 

OrangeAipom

New member
Pronoun
he
Since you quoted it anyway, I'm guessing I made some huge mistake I can't see.
It's not big at all. I just didn't say anything because I assumed that it would be easy enough to understand from the parts I added in with bold.
 

Gardevoir Girl

^Don't call me that
Guys and girls...

... We are back!

I've had some time to think, and I realized it's stupid to quit. I mean, I remember how many readers I had before, and someone even wanted to link to this story on a different website! So if you don't like it so far, it's your choice if you keep reading or not, and if you do, I'd appreciate some advice rather than contempt, and if you don't, too bad, I can't win over everyone and I don't expect to.

Remember, people; Poke-speech will always be in italics and telepathy will be in normal text. Yes, this will be at the beginning of every chapter. Just ignore it if you remember.

Chapter One

The Journey Begins

Rarutos​

The first time I saw my new trainer was just after she released me for the first time. I felt some sort of soft fabric beneath my newly-forming, wide feet and sensed that I was in a large, enclosed space, most likely what the humans call a house.

I lifted my head, tipping my lime-green, red-horned cap back so that it wasn’t in the way of my eyes. My garnet eyes locked onto a pair of bare feet and moved slowly up, taking in a pair of loose black shorts, an aqua T-shirt decorated with some sort of slogan, shoulder-length dark blonde hair and a grin stretching from ear to ear.

I concealed a snort of derision. Surely this isn’t my new trainer? She doesn’t look capable of handling a goldfish, let alone a team of Pokemon.

The girl seemed to have lost her voice. Then again, perhaps she hated me so much that she would release me immediately. I can hope, can’t I?

“A Ralts!” the girl finally managed to choke out. Her eyes were glittering with delight and she spun around, throwing her arms around an older, almost identical human female who I guessed was her mother.

Oh, please. What is this, Let’s-All-Be-Soppy Day? I can’t travel with this girl!

Finally the girl let go of her mother and crouched down before me, the idiotic grin plastered over her features once again. “Hi, Ralts! My name is Marisa and I’m your new trainer!”

Well, duh. You think I don’t know that? My IQ is probably higher than yours.

“We’re going to be great friends!” Marisa continued cheerfully. “Now, I’d better give you a nickname. Let’s see…”

A nickname! I felt repulsed by the very thought of having this human call me by any name other than my own. I took a chance and summoned my telepathy, projecting a word into her mind. She would never know where it came from and hopefully I would never again have to talk to her with my power. It was a waste of perfectly good mental energy. Then again, so was every thought that passed through her thick head.

Marisa paused, a light of excitement coming into her eyes. “That’s a good name!” she exclaimed. “Okay, Ralts, I’m going to name you Rarutos.”

At least I can stand her using my true name. She probably would have named me something stupid like Mushroom.

I smothered the smug expression that had started to appear on my face. Hopefully Marisa would never figure out where the idea had come from.

The older female turned to Marisa with a frown of confusion, a strange expression in her eyes. “Rarutos? Where did you think of that?”

Marisa shrugged cheerfully. “Not a clue. It just came to mind and I thought it fit. Anyway, Raru, you should go back into your ball. We should get going.”

Raru? Oh, travelling with her is definitely going to be torture. Arceus, what did I do to deserve this?

The girl extended the fist clutching a red and white sphere. In a flash of clarity I realized what was going to happen and drew on my power once again, feeling the red horns on the front and back of my head begin to pulse with pure violet energy. In a flash of light I vanished, reappearing three feet away as a beam of crimson light from Marisa’s Poke Ball struck the carpet where I had stood.

Marisa tried again with the same result, then flung the sphere at me in a fit of anger and an attempt to force me inside. I teleported easily out of the way once again and stood watching calmly as, in her anger, Marisa began to flush as crimson as the light.

“I think you should leave it out,” Marisa’s mother advised. “Your father had a heck of a time trying to get it into the ball in the first place.”

I flashed back on the day before. I had been minding my own business in the grass field that used to be my home. The ugliest human I had ever seen had barged in, trampled most of the plants and started ordering some dim-witted water rat Pokemon that he called Bibarel to attack me, then began flinging orbs at me while I was still trying to fend the thing off. So much for the peaceful life of a wild Pokemon.

I shivered involuntarily, then realized with indignation that the woman had called me ‘it’. What did she think I was, an object? I focused on the abandoned sphere and telekinetic energy began to pulse around it. As the two humans watched, open-mouthed, I picked the thing up and flung it as hard as it could at the mother. Before she could dodge it, it smacked her in the face and dropped to the carpet with a thud, leaving an imprint on the human’s face.

I couldn’t help a smug smirk. That’s what you get for treating me like an object.

With a grumpy expression, the woman snatched up the orb and held it out, the white button aimed at me. Obviously she had changed her mind about leaving me out. Once again I teleported easily out of the way, but as I reappeared Marisa lunged at me in one quick motion. Before I knew it, her hands were wrapped around my entire body. I kicked and struggled ferociously, but I was small enough for her to wrap one hand easily around my slim waist.

Big stupid oaf.

Marisa lifted me to her reddened face. “We are going to be great friends,” she said through clenched teeth, practically trembling with rage. “Now, Rarutos, are you going to come with me peacefully or do I have to force you back into the ball?”

I hated that sphere, but I wasn’t particularly too fond of Marisa either. In the end we decided to compromise; after retrieving a bulging mauve backpack from what was presumably her bedroom, Marisa somehow managed to cram my empty Poke Ball right down to the bottom. In return for that, I agreed reluctantly to travel with her for a while. I was far from home and she seemed quite proud of me; I had to hope she would be willing to protect me. If necessary, I could teleport to safety while the wild Pokemon were busy feasting on her.

Marisa attempted to carry me at first, but I soon put a stop to that with an electric attack I had recently managed to learn from a discarded human item. As we left the house, Marisa was still smarting from the charge and her hair was sticking up wildly in every direction. Every time I looked at her I had to conceal a snort of laughter.

Marisa unchained a white wooden gate as I gazed around at my surroundings. The city seemed enormous, but I was used to a quiet field with only the occasional minor conflict to break the monotony. Of course, with several Pokemon living in close proximity there were sure to be fights occasionally.

This city… was something completely new to me. The buildings were gargantuan and the air smelled faintly of soot, but not of chemicals as a friend had once told me it would. The paths between the buildings were paved with something hard, black and rough; this must be a road, what human vehicles travel over.

I turned back to Marisa, my curiosity getting the better of me. A clunking sound had been emanating from behind me and I now realized that she was struggling with the gate; it had shut behind her and she couldn’t get it open again. Eventually it yielded and Marisa emerged again, pushing a wheeled contraption.

I felt another lurch of disgust. I don’t even want to think about what my friends would say if they saw me travelling with a human on that…

The contraption seemed to be what the humans called a bicycle. The metal frame was painted bright red and the two black wheels were coated with a thick layer of dried mud and grime. The handlebars had once been covered in white rubber; it was now a dirty shade of grey. In front of and between these handlebars sat a woven wicker basket, fastened tightly and decorated with fake flowers.

“Oi!” Marisa yelled to me. I winced; she was only six feet away. “Get in,” she continued, jabbing her finger at the basket. A fake chrysanthemum fell off the edge of the basket and fluttered limply to the ground.

Get real.

Marisa stared impatiently at me. “I don’t have as much patience as you think I do,” she warned. “Get in here or I’ll put you back in your ball.”

Grudgingly I permitted the violet shimmer to surround me again, transferring my body instantly into the basket. As Marisa swung one leg over the bicycle and settled herself on the seat, I hunched down in the basket and hoped that no one would see me.

“This is Hearthome City,” Marisa told me as we set off, wobbling unsteadily at first but straightening out after a while. She was probably going to make me travel-sick.

“I've lived her all my life with my ma,” Marisa continued. We were moving more steadily now. “My pop went away to work and never came back, but he still sends us things. He sent you to me for my birthday. Today’s my tenth birthday! How old are you, Raru?”

This girl talks way too much.

I refused to answer and eventually she gave up. We continued in silence, wobbling occasionally, down the road to our future… and our fate.

*~*~*​

I had drifted to sleep because of the constant motion, but a deafening shriek jerked me back to consciousness with such abruptness that I had to struggle to regain control of my teleportation ability. My heart was pounding furiously, pounding as though a Spoink was bouncing on my chest. Suddenly the bicycle skidded to a screeching halt and I was flung from the basket. Before I could react I had slammed into the muddy ground.

Everything was a blur of flying mud and pain. Suddenly I found myself lying half-buried in the slop, my entire body coated thickly with it. Rain was beginning to fall and the cold leeched through my skin, chilling me to the bone.

My entire body ached, but I braced myself and gingerly flexed my arms and legs to see if anything was broken. I appeared to be all right. I levered myself up onto all fours and staggered upright, wiping filth out of my stinging garnet eyes.

I turned and my eyes locked onto Marisa, who had also tumbled off the falling bicycle. It was lying on its side and she was laboriously picking herself up, her clothes and skin as muddy as I was.

“Darn,” she muttered to herself, surveying the mess. She hesitated, then flashed me a false, broad smile. Her teeth looked startlingly white in her filthy face. “Sorry, Raru. I think I nearly hit a wild Pokemon and I had to stop.”

Easy for you to say. You did that on purpose to humiliate me.

I glared darkly at her, watching her flinch at my hate-filled stare, then dragged one hand across my face to clear away some of the mud. I flicked the glop away and waited for Marisa to set her bicycle upright again. She was not interested in it, however; she had bent over to pick something up.

The object was small, barely bigger than me, and it was coated thickly in filth, but I could make out four distinct limbs and a head. Marisa shook the object, splattering the slop all over both of us, then wrung it out to clear away even more. Finally it was clear; the object was a teddy bear, old and worn, its brown woollen body torn in places and one rounded ear missing.

“I think a little kid might’ve dropped this,” Marisa said. Uninterested, I crossed my arms and allowed my gaze to drift away.

I just want to get home.

“We should take this to the nearest town,” Marisa mused. “Maybe whoever lost it will want to claim it.” She righted her bicycle, swung her leg over and settled herself astride the vehicle. “Come on, Raru. We’re near Solaceon Town; we can stop for a rest there.”

I reluctantly allowed my telekinesis to envelop my body once again, transferring me into the basket. As soon as I had settled down Marisa carefully tucked the toy in beside me. I glared at it, then fixed her with a look filthier than all of the words in my mind put together.

Marisa recoiled. “Sorry, but my bag is full. We’ll be able to drop it off as soon as we get to the town, all right?”

As she once again began to pedal, I settled down in the basket with my back against the toy. Still the pregnant clouds above us groaned with the weight of their rain, pouring it down upon us first in sheets and then in torrents, drenching us both until our teeth chattered with cold and we could not feel our hands or feet. Marisa’s hair lay flat against her head and shoulders, her clothes clung to her slim body and rivulets of water ran down her face, but she had physical activity to keep her warm. As the rain drenched my slight form I began to shiver, feeling the chill soaking through my skin and numbing every inch of me.

It was a good thing that I was crammed so tightly into the basket; soon I could not have gripped the edges even if I had to save myself. My muscles seized up but I felt no pain, only the tension. As the path opened out and houses sprang up on either side of it, Marisa squeezed the brakes and came to a gradual halt before a red-roofed building.

I felt a feverish warmth blossoming throughout my entire trembling body. As much as I hated to speak to Marisa, I knew I had no choice. As she brushed a strand of drenched hair out of her eyes, I summoned the last of my energy and feebly projected my voice into Marisa’s mind.

“Marisa… something is wrong… I don’t feel well.”

Marisa turned concerned golden-brown eyes on me. The last thing I saw was the rain falling in a ring around her head, creating a sort of sparkling halo… then the blackness folded around me.

*~*~*​

Hovering in the unbroken blackness, I attempted to cry out. Images flashed before me unceasingly, images of death and destruction, images so ominous that they shook me down to my very core with the fear of them. A bridge collapsing, sending hundreds of humans and Pokemon plunging to their deaths… a ship capsizing in a glacier-laden sea… liquid fire blossoming from a volcano and clouds of toxic ash spewing forth into the sky… an out-of-control aeroplane crashing down upon an oblivious school…

The images kept coming and coming, flooding my mind and filling every inch of me with the emotional anguish until I writhed in agony. “No! Make it stop! I can’t take it…”

The images paid me no heed, only flashing through my head with even more ferocity. Nameless, faceless humans and Pokemon perished in an instant, unaware that their lives had been wiped out, as a nuclear reactor exploded. Terrible screaming filled the air as enormous waves crashed down upon tropical islands, drowning homesteads, washing screaming babies out of their dead mothers’ arms, tearing apart couples who clung desperately to each other with their fading breaths and numb hands.

”No! Please stop!” My voice begged, sobbed, screamed without rest, although I was unaware that I was still making any sound. The images were engulfing me… no, the images
were me. Maybe they had always been a part of me; maybe they had always been filling me up with their terror for every moment of my existence.

Then, suddenly, it stopped. I floated in silence, drifting through my own mind, listening to my own fading heartbeat. As the pulsing thuds grew further and further apart, I began to feel more and more sluggish. As my eyes finally closed I heard the sound finally come to a halt. The silence rushed in, engulfing me completely, and I welcomed it. I welcomed the abrupt end to the torment that the images had brought, along with the enclosing silence. I didn’t care if I never saw anything again, as long as the pain never returned.
 
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