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Moving On

Discussion in 'Creative Archive' started by Carmen Lopez, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. OOC: So my most neglected fic has its time to shine. This OOC will be rather long so feel free to skip it. First off, Moving On will be posted at a slower rate than CoGV because it's still unfinished (yeah, I know I said I wouldn't post it until I finished it...well, I couldn't wait XD). Second, I made a number of minor cosmetic changes such as fixing some of the clunkier dialogue. I also made changes to take into account HGSS (i.e. changing Tin Tower to Bell Tower) and to make way for Gen V (i.e. instead of Goldenrod being the largest city, it became one of the largest cities). I must say that the server dying, was a blessing in disguise because it motivated me to finish this. And without further ado, here is my second fic ♥

    Stepping off the ship was like a sigh of relief to Carmen Lopez. It seemed as though she’d been away from land forever, but finally she was in Goldenrod City, Johto. Carmen stretched toward the cloudless blue sky as her silver eyes surveyed her beautiful and magnificent new environment. She saw immediately that Goldenrod City lived up to its name. Many of the buildings were made of materials that reflected the golden rays of the sun or of yellowish bricks. Even parts of the street were made of golden bricks giving the city a very sunny mood.

    Though it probably didn’t show on the outside, it was very emotional to Carmen to be in Johto. Sure she had been far from the home, the actual house, in which she grew up, but she was always in Sinnoh. Now she was in a completely different region where everything seemed to be different on the surface. It was a mysteriously lonely feeling being so far from home that even Carmen herself didn’t expect. But that was only part of what was on her mind…

    Carmen was in the port area of the city where many people were going from ship to ship and workers were unloading cargo. Just from noticing their very presence, Carmen saw that the people of Johto seemed to be of a different caliber than the people of Sinnoh. They seemed to be more emotional as shown by their speech: be it when they were upset, happy, friendly, or mean.

    However they were certainly more polite than the people of Sinnoh. A young girl dressed in a pale yellow sundress and a straw hat only gently brushed Carmen’s arm as she ran past with her Sentret. Realizing what she had done, she stopped.

    “Oh, I’m so sorry,” she apologized with a slight bow. Then she ran off with her black hair blowing in the wind.

    Well, that was certainly different, thought Carmen. Back home something like that would have gone unnoticed by everyone involved. Interesting…She was conscious of the fact that she was drawing a certain amount of attention to herself even from the trainers, but it was more curious than scornful.

    As Carmen left the port area, she realized that she was in the one of the largest cities in the world. There seemed to be nothing but a sea of skyscrapers and people. Ramón, her older brother had wanted to her to meet as soon as possible at Goldenrod Park. He told her that even though the city was gigantic, it was well marked by signs so the park would be easy to find. Luckily, she was used to, and liked large cities so she had no trouble wading through the sea of people and skyscrapers.

    There certainly was a lot to see and do as she walked. Apparently Goldenrod was also great for shopping because Carmen saw store after store and huge department stores in which she knew her sister would be in heaven. Not to mention the prices were much cheaper than in Sinnoh. Oddly enough, for a large city there sure were a lot of restaurants offering home cooked meals or ingredients “fresh from the farm” that were normally only seen in rural areas.

    As Carmen walked, something caught her eye. Running towards her at a very high rate of speed was a young boy with flaming red hair. As soon as he drew level with Carmen, he tripped over his own untied shoelaces and fell to the ground, skinning his knee. He got up quickly and dusted off his blue t-shirt and khaki cargo shorts, as many people laughed. Looking around, the boy found Carmen and quickly pointed.

    “HEY! You tripped me!” he accused in a very loud voice with fire in his deep blue eyes.

    “No,” said Carmen calmly yet uncomfortably aware that people had stopped and started to stare. “I believe you tripped over your own shoelaces,” she pointed out.

    Apparently the boy was expecting Carmen to get upset as he looked very much taken aback by her calm response. But he rallied back at once.

    “No excuses! We’re going to battle right here, RIGHT now!” he yelled and Carmen imagined a cartoonish background of flames in the absurdity of it all.

    “Wait, what?” asked she half amused and half annoyed. He reminded her of Reina in her younger days. She’d stop random people in the streets who’d merely made eye contract with her and demand a battle. She gave a small smile at the thought.

    “WHAT ARE YOU SMILING AT?!? GET YOUR POKEMON OUT NOW AND LET’S BATTLE,” he shouted with a Pokéball in his outstretched arm.

    A few of the passers-by laughed. A couple of teenagers even said “Awww, isn’t he cute?”

    The boy looked outraged. “Who do you think you’re calling cute?!?” And he started to argue with the two girls who honestly couldn’t take him seriously.

    Carmen thought she was off the hook and began to walk away. However, before she could take three steps, the boy was back in front of her.

    “Oh, here you are again,” said Carmen with a slight smile.

    “And yet you’re STILL smiling,” he said mutinously. “We battle now.”

    “Hey kid,” said a teenaged boy who was in the crowd. “See that ring on her finger? That’s not to look pretty. That’s the ring you get after winning the Sinnoh Pokemon League Tournament. She’d own you in battle for sure.”

    A few people in the crowd laughed and catcalled making the boy flush crimson. He quickly regained his composure and put his Pokéball back at his waist and turned to Carmen.

    “I’ll let you go this time,” he lectured. “But don’t think you’ll be so lucky next time!” And he took off once more.

    Carmen was speechless. The rest of the crowd laughed before dispersing. Well that was odd, she thought. Putting that random scene behind her, Carmen looked for the signs to the park once more. It turned out that she was a lot closer than she thought because before she knew it, she was found her standing at the gates of the park.

    It was like an oasis in the middle of the city. Trees, flowers, and lush grass flourished here as did bird Pokémon and grass types. The park was full of people relaxing by spending time with their Pokémon, reading, or playing games. Carmen took a deep breath and found that the air here smelled like the country side. She would’ve actually believed she was in the country if she didn’t see the tall buildings surrounding the park.

    All that was left to do now was find Ramón so Carmen set off on the sidewalk that wound its way around the park. About half way around, she stopped. Up ahead was a dark haired young man sitting on a bench who was attracting a good amount of attention to himself. For one he drawing some strange looks due to the Claydol, a seemingly ancient enormous book he was reading, and the fact that girls seemed to find him very attractive with his long dark eyelashes as his most prominent feature. However the man didn’t seem to mind the interest people were showing him.

    “Hey Ramón!” Carmen called as she walked over to him. Ramón looked up from the book he was reading and smiled. He was dressed simply in a T-shirt and jeans and wearing a gold necklace with charm that resembled the diamond shaped apparatus on the mythical, at least in Carmen’s eyes, Pokémon Suicune. It had once belonged to her grandfather who passed it down to his daughter, her mother, who passed it on to Ramón. At the bottom of the charm was a Pokéball that she knew held Suna.

    “Wow,” Ramón said vaguely. Many people describe him as being very spacey and it very much showed in the way he spoke. “It was hard enough to believe that you’d actually said yes to my offer. I thought you were only joking with me yet here you are.”

    “Of course,” Carmen said, sitting down beside him on the bench. His Claydol, named Nendoru, rotated once as though to acknowledge Carmen before staring down two small children who walked away nervously. Carmen groaned when she saw the book he was reading. It was simply called Legendary Beasts of the Johto Region. The book really did look old and as Ramón turned a page, dust flew out of it.

    “Um, Ramón, are you sure you should have that book out in the elements like this,” Carmen asked.

    Ramón shrugged. “Eh, it’s tougher than it looks. Would you like to read it when I’m done?”

    “I think I’ll pass,” said Carmen dismissively. “I’ll read it when there is clear-cut evidence that these legendary Pokémon actually exist.”

    “We’ve only been together for a few minutes and you’re already starting with that,” said Ramón, slightly amused. “I’m not going to argue with you right now, but one day you’ll see the light.”

    As if, thought Carmen.

    “In the mean time why don’t we just head to my house? We can talk there,” he said.

    “All right,” said Carmen sighing.

    Ramón closed his book and put it in the messenger bag under the bench. What’s bothering you,” he asked when they had started walking again with Nendoru floating beside its trainer. “I know something is because I can see it in your eyes.”

    Carmen sighed. Both she and Ramón were both described to be enigmatic and hard to read, yet good at reading others. However, out of the two, Ramón was more mysterious and more perceptive—to the point where even Carmen had trouble figuring him out. Yet he could read her like one of his books, something that was slightly unnerving to her that she still wasn’t used to.

    “You love messing with Reina with your emotion reading, but you don’t like it when I do it to you,” Ramón said.

    “Heh,” said Carmen. “It’s not that I like messing with her. It’s just that it’s easy because she’s so dense. But as to what’s bothering me? It’s a little complicated.” As in, I really don’t exactly know myself.

    Ramón dropped his head and smiled. “I’ve heard that line before. Well, I’m here when you actually sort out your words and feelings.”

    “All right…” Carmen trailed off. She had the feeling that he already knew what was on her mind, but was just waiting on her to say it herself. It was almost like a test of sorts. It was really ironic that she could help others get over what was bothering them, but often had trouble expressing what was troubling her very soul. Before it could get her down, she changed the subject. “It seems to be really nice here.”

    “It really is,” said Ramón. “Sometimes I wonder why Mom and Dad left for Sinnoh, but I always remember why.”

    “Yeah,” said Carmen. Her Sinnoh-born father had spent a significant portion of his life in Johto where he met their mother, but they had got caught up in the wrong kind of life…

    A light breeze played with Carmen’s long, thick wavy hair as they walked back into the city. It was warm, unlike the cool winds that usually blew around Sinnoh. Watching the people of Johto was fascinating. The clothing among the non-trainers was different with brighter colors than were seen in Sinnoh, but as it was warmer. There was no need to wear dark colors to absorb and hold heat. Carmen also noticed that the trainer gear here was different as well.

    “So that’s the Pokégear I’ve heard so much about,” remarked Carmen, looking at the cell phone like device that most of the trainers seemed to have.

    “They’re really interesting devices,” said Ramón distantly. “They have maps, phones, GPS, and a host of other functions. But its most important function is the radio.”

    “The radio?” asked Carmen. “Somehow I expected something a bit more high tech.”

    “Johto is unique in that the radio is far more important than TV. That’s another reason why I like it here,” Ramón responded. “The radio programs here are pretty interesting. There’s even one that explores the old stories and mythology.”

    “So people here talk about what will be on the radio more than they talk about the TV? I like it,” said Carmen. Maybe people here won’t be so obsessed with looks.

    “That’s the Goldenrod Radio Tower right there,” said Ramón pointing at a tall black building with a huge antenna on its top. “There are always a lot of people there trying to get their five seconds of fame by being on the radio. You know,” he added, “I don’t think I feel much like walking. Would you like to see an aerial view of the city before taking off?” They had reached a sort of miniature park that offered some open area with benches and some vending machines where people could rest from all their walking.

    “What? Oh, yes I would,” said Carmen excitedly. When Dragonite had evolved and she rode him for the first time, she realized that the weight she always carried on her mind to lessen when she was in the open sky.

    Like her and their younger sister Reina, Ramón also had a dragon that he used to get around. He pulled the Pokéball from the necklace and released Suna, his Flygon and recalled Nendoru. Suna stretched her magnificent diamond shaped wings wide to the amazement of some young children, ready to fly. Carmen followed suit and released her Dragonite.

    “Ready?” asked Ramón as he climbed on Suna’s back. To everyone except Ramón, Suna seemed to be a very stand-offish Pokémon. She was never outwardly aggressive, but she made it clear that only Ramón was allowed to enter her space. Their father had given Ramón Suna when she was a Trapinch and he was very young. Since they grew up together, they shared a close bond. Carmen was always amazed at how Suna was so at ease and relaxed when she was around Ramón. She attempted to nuzzle her trainer who returned the friendly gesture with a pet on the head. “Right, Suna. It will be fun to travel around the city.”

    Carmen climbed on Dragonite’s back immediately and already felt the weight lift off her heart. Dragonite stretched his wings out to the delight of some of the small children in the area. “Exactly where are we flying to, Ramón?”

    “Oh, around the city, and then to my house,” he responded.

    Fine by me, thought Carmen. Dragonite rose into the air on wings that seemed too small to support himself and his trainer. Carmen looked down at her brother who was still on ground. “Catch me if you can!” she called, getting out of herself.

    Dragonite rose even higher before shooting off into the cloudless blue sky. It didn’t matter that she didn’t have a clue where she was going. All that mattered was that she felt the sweet adrenaline surge. The people on the ground were just little spots on the ground as she and Dragonite flew above the level of the higher skyscrapers to avoid being seen. This time she decided not to use Dragon Dance or else she’d lose her brother for good. He did eventually catch up and pulled up next to her.

    “You know,” he said. “We should be thankful you don’t have wings because if you did, you’d never come back down.”

    “Maybe you’re right…” Carmen said thoughtfully.

    “Anyway, follow me!” he said going in front of her.

    Goldenrod City was very, very large and it seemed to take a very long time to reach the outer borders of the city—not that she didn’t enjoy it. It was like something out of the movies as they flew around the buildings and bird Pokémon in flight. Looking back on it, it was amazing they weren’t stopped by the police when they finally reached the boundaries of the city and the buildings began to fade to trees.

    “We can walk the rest of the way,” Ramón called out as he and Suna landed on the ground.

    “All right,” said Carmen, who really wasn’t ready to land but she did so anyway, then both siblings recalled their Pokémon. Carmen felt her adrenaline surge fade away into nothing.

    Though they were in the woods, the distant sounds of the big city still reached their ears yet it was still very peaceful.

    “I should start my research when we get back,” said Ramón in a far away tone.

    Carmen was almost afraid to ask, but she did so in spite of herself. “What are you researching?”

    “It doesn’t involve legendary Pokémon if that’s what you’re thinking,” he replied. “It’s something…a bit harder to research than legendary Pokémon….” Ramón trailed off.

    “And you’re not going to tell me what it is yet?” asked Carmen. She hated it when he left her hanging like that.

    “No, I’ll explain everything later…when we reach the house.”

    Carmen knew it was no use in pressing him so they just walked on. They were silent for most of the way as they wound their way along the twisting path along the way. However, the walk wouldn’t be totally uneventful. As they reached the top of the hill…

    “HEY! I knew I’d find you again!”

    “You’ve got to be kidding me,” sighed Carmen. “You again?”

    “Yes! Me again!” said the red haired boy as he stepped from behind a tree. ”And I’ve changed my mind! We battle NOW!”

    “Okay, how on earth did you find me?” said Carmen slowly.

    “HOW?! Well, that’s really none of your business,” he said loudly, pulling out his Pokéball once more.

    “What’s your name anyway?” asked Ramón calmly as though he were meeting a well-behaved child.”

    He paused for a few moments as though thinking about his next move. “That is also none of your business!” he screeched, Pokéball still outstretched.

    Ramón thought for a second. “Well, if you don’t tell us your name then I’ll simply have to call you Nemo.”

    “WHAT?! That’s stupid! Don’t EVER call me that again,” he said, outraged.

    “Then what’s your name?”

    “I’m not telling you!”

    “Then I’m sticking with calling you Nemo,” concluded Ramón.

    The boy was almost shaking in anger. “You know what? I DON’T have to take this!” and with that he stormed off into the woods from whence he came.

    Ramón looked mysteriously intrigued at the boy almost as though he saw something in him. “Bye Nemo,” he called before turning to Carmen. “Exactly how did you meet him anyway? He’s rather loud,” he added, stating the obvious.

    “It was totally random. He tripped over his own shoelaces, blamed me for tripping him, then demanded a battle,” said Carmen. “And he was that loud the whole time. But let’s head to the house before this headache gets worse.”

    “All right,” said Ramón who looked deeply amused by the whole thing.

    Ramón’s house and a second house were just over the hill in a small clearing. It was a simple, yet nice house that looked rather cozy and comfortable. The trees that surrounded the clearing shaded the area and filtered the sunlight into little squares. It had a large back porch that would be great for just sitting and thinking. A soft wind played with the wooden wind chimes making a gentle sound.

    The inside proved to be just the same, yet very open. The light colors and the skylight gave the impression that the house was bigger than it was. As they walked into the living room, Carmen saw a simple sofa and a few comfortable chairs. There was a fire place in the corner and a door way to her right lead to the kitchen.

    “Right,” said Ramón. “The house isn’t that big so you can look around by yourself. I’m going to sleep now.”

    “You said you were going to explain what you were researching when we got here,” Carmen pointed out.

    “And I will—after I sleep. There will also be someone coming that I really want you to meet,” he said. “I think you may find her interesting. And I have a secret as well. Hmm, you know, it’ll be nice to tell someone about this…well, see you in a little while…” He headed off down the hallway and in one of the bedrooms.

    Carmen plopped herself down onto the sofa, realizing her head was hurting worse. Sometimes her brother’s mysteriousness and his stream of consciousness made her brain bleed, but there was nothing to be done about that. She pulled out her cell phone and began to play a slot machine game, wondering what secrets her brother held for her.

    OOC: Psst, the next new chapter is nearly done!
    #1 Carmen Lopez, Jun 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  2. OOC: It feel so weird to go back and read this...I forgot how much Nemo screamed in the beginning lol



    You freak…

    No…this isn’t…it can’t…




    She sat bolt upright and realized she had fallen asleep on the sofa. Yet again she was haunted by the dream that had plagued her for nearly two years now. The same words would echo in her mind followed by blurred images and warped screaming. And when she awakened, she would have the sensation of horror and fear. For the next few moments she would actually feel like a monster. But the worst thing was that Carmen had no idea what the origin of this dream was…

    “Oh, good you’re awake,” said Ramón when he walked back to the sofa.

    “How long was I sleeping?” asked Carmen, trying to dispel the inexplicable emotions from her nightmare.

    “For about a half an hour,” he replied. “You weren’t supposed to fall asleep too, and you certainly weren’t supposed to be playing those gambling games on your cell phone,” he added, holding it up.

    Carmen was slightly annoyed. “I don’t use real money anymore! Doesn’t that satisfy you?”

    “No,” he said distantly. “Gambling like that is dangerous and it’s unnatural.”

    Before Carmen could make a retort, her phone began to ring. Ramón handed it back to her and she saw that she had gotten and e-mail from Porygon-Z saying it was ready to come back. Carmen had let it roam cyber space by allowing it to digitize into her cell phone. Carmen opened the email and out of the infrared port at the top of the phone came a stream of red energy, zeros, and ones. The mess of data then reformed itself into Porygon-Z.

    “It’s about as unnatural as that,” said Ramón, pointing at the Pokémon. There was no other way to describe Porygon-Z than to say it was a glitched Porygon2. It was as if someone had taken off its limbs and flipped them upside down and haphazardly reattached them. It also had a curious way of moving as well; it hovered like a humming bird but didn’t use any of its limbs for movement.

    At Ramón’s words, Porygon-Z made a horrible sound almost like an electronic screech before freezing up completely as a computer did when it was infected by a virus. Ramón sighed, he was never really outright mean to Porygon-Z but he did have strong opinions about it.

    “Now you’ve hurt its feelings,” said Carmen. Out of all of her Pokémon, Carmen found Porygon-Z to be the most intriguing. Her Gardevoir could pretty well sense the emotions of her teammates, but not Porygon-Z—even Reina’s Lucario sometimes have problems reading it. The only reason Carmen could give as to why was because it wasn’t an organic life form.

    “I wasn’t trying to,” he said. “You know I’ve always been slightly leery of man being able to create Pokémon and the entire Porygon line gives me probable reason to be so. The whole world should be alarmed that these Pokémon are showing behavior that was not in their programming. I mean what else could they—

    “So you’re saying that my Porygon-Z is a threat to the world?” said Carmen, putting her cell phone down beside her. She was not upset or fretful, but she believed in Ramón’s conspiracy theories as much as she believed in legendary Pokémon.

    “I’m merely saying that there is somewhere in the world where people are trying to artificially create so-called super Pokémon,” Ramón began. “These scientists think they have complete control over them, but as the Porygon line and the legend of Mewtwo prove, they really don’t.”

    “Not again,” Carmen rolled her silver eyes but her voice showed no signs of irritation. “Please tell me this isn’t what you’re researching.”

    “Well, I’ll never stop researching it completely. It’s just taking a backseat to what I’m doing now” he said. “What I’m researching now doesn’t really have anything to do with Pokémon…it has to do more with my secret.

    “Huh?” said Carmen. “What do you mean?” This was one of the few times he was getting straight the point so she was all ears.

    “I started to wonder what it was that made psychic Pokémon tick. What is the source of their psychic power? Is it the same kind of Psychic power that humans have?” he questioned.

    “Psychic power? Where did this come from?” Carmen asked because it seemed completely random and totally not his usual realm.

    “I have had psychic power for years, but only recently have I researched it. But lately I’ve been feeling more and more that it was I needed to be doing,” he nonchalantly.

    Meanwhile, Carmen was floored. “Wh-what? What do you mean you’ve had psychic power for years,” she said, mystified and thoroughly confused.

    “I guess I should explain.”

    “Please do so—for my benefit.”

    Ramón smiled. “I’ll start at the beginning. I’ve always known that I’ve been unusually perceptive of the people around me, but that in itself isn’t unheard of. After all, you have the same characteristic yourself, Carmen. However as I got older, I realized that my gift in particular was unnatural because I could actually sense the emotions of people close to me across long distances…”

    It suddenly dawned on Carmen. In her early days of training, whenever she was feeling down or discouraged, Ramón would call her. And most recently when she felt the need to leave Sinnoh, he offered let her travel with them.

    “Of course it isn’t perfect,” he continued. “Reina is actually more difficult to read across long distances and Isabel is the easiest to sense, I guess because we’re twins. But at any rate, that also isn’t unheard because there are many tales of people who somehow sense that a loved one is in danger. The thing that really convinced me was…”

    He held out his hand and Carmen’s cell phone zoomed into it without any visible means of doing so.

    “Wow,” said Carmen, stunned. Unlike with legendary Pokémon, there was real conclusive proof of psychic power, but it was still shocking to see it right before her eyes. “When did this happen?”

    “About three years ago,” he said. “Up until now, however, I decided to keep it a secret and not to look into it for reasons unknown, even to myself. I haven’t looked into it too deeply yet, but I’ve pretty much found the boundary between what makes a person psychic or just abnormally perceptive like you yourself, Carmen.”

    “I don’t even need to tell you I’m still in shock,” said Carmen faintly.

    “Yeah, I know it’s a bit overwhelming,” he said. Suddenly he looked up and stood still, as though he sensed something…which he probably just did. “She’s coming….” And he walked out of the front door.

    Wondering what her brother saw, Carmen followed him out onto the porch. Ramón was looking down the path, and at first, Carmen couldn’t see anything. But after a few moments what looked like an Arcanine with someone on its back appeared at the top of the hill and began to run towards the house. It was always said that Arcanine were famous for the way they seemed to run on the wind and the one that charged toward them was nothing short of magnificent.

    The sun that was streaming through the trees seemed to illuminate the mane and the fur of the Arcanine so that they almost shone. But as they drew closer, it was the trainer’s long familiar looking white hair blowing in the wind that caught Carmen’s eye. The girl and her Arcanine stopped gracefully in front of Carmen and Ramón.

    “Good to see you,” said Ramón.

    “And you,” she answered back. She made an elegant dismount off her Arcanine and onto the ground. She was wearing jeans, a purple camisole, sandals, and a wooden hairclip. “Oh, you must be Carmen. My name is Cate Porter Valentine” she said. “Ramón told me you know my cousin, Giselle.” She had a soothing voice that seemed as though it would calm anyone who listened to her.

    “I do,” said Carmen.

    The only thing Cate and Giselle had in common was their long white hair. Cate was taller and more willowy than Giselle. She was also about two shades darker which made her gray eyes stand out more. Their demeanor seemed to be different as well; Cate seemed to be in touch with her soul more than Giselle. Carmen could already guess what brought her and Ramón together.

    “She probably wouldn’t know of me though,” said Cate, speaking of Giselle. “Not with all our family problems…but there’s no need to bore you with that.” She turned to her Arcanine. “Would you like to stay out here in nature, Hakan?” The Arcanine gave a low growl in approval and the headed back into the house.

    “Your Arcanine is very well trained,” said Carmen, noticing how Hakan’s coat was even shinier than most coats of the Arcanine she’d seen in pictures.

    “Thanks, we’ve been together for a long time,” Cate.

    “I’m glad you were able to make it, Cate,” said Ramón. “She’s helping me with my research and she also happens to know a lot about the legendary Pokémon of Johto.”

    “I should’ve known,” said Carmen under her breath. “How did you two meet anyway?”

    “Remember that radio program that I was telling you about? Well, she was on it one day. I decided to that I should meet her so I went to the Goldenrod Radio Tower before the show ended and waited for her,” he said.

    “Ramón, do you have any idea how creepy that sounds?” Carmen asked, slightly amused and Cate smiled.

    “Well, sometimes you have to do what you have to do to get things done. Not that I really care what people think.” he said. “But anyway, not only did I find out that she was an expert on legendary Pokémon, but she is also another psychic.”

    It was still difficult for Carmen to grasp how casually he threw the word “psychic” around and it gave her funny feeling whenever he said it. She wasn’t surprised that Cate was also psychic; in fact she suspected that all along.

    “So, you’ve already told her everything about your powers?” said Cate as they both sat down on the couch. “I guess I should explain mine. I have a combination of remote viewing and precognition.”

    “Let’s see if I remember correctly,” said Carmen. “The remote viewing is obvious, that means you can see something happening in a place where you aren’t present, but you can also see the future?”

    “Correct,” Cate said. “It’s complicated though. In the movies and TV shows, remote viewing and precognition are supposed to let you see people in trouble or terrible events so that you can help. However, most of the time, that isn’t the case for me. I see rather mundane things like someone doing their shopping or two trainers battling; things like that. Well, once I did help find a missing little girl and her Pokémon.”

    “Interesting,” murmured Carmen and for a while after that, she remained silent, and looked down at her hands while Cate and Ramón discussed more conspiracy theories and outlandish ideas, including an inter-dimensional portal in Altering Cave in both Hoenn and Outcast Island.

    Truthfully, she envied Ramón and even Cate at this moment. They knew with certainty what they wanted to do with their life presently. Sure, she said she’d wander around looking for strong trainers, but, wow, how vague did that sound? And even worse, she lacked the will to do anything right now—like her battling spirit had vanished. It was one of the things that was both weighing on her and frightening her. She had felt it for a while now, but, oh, how she had tried to fight it and the bizarre shame that came with it. The silence was only making things worse because it allowed these thoughts to gain an even greater grip on her.


    She looked up and realized that both Ramón and Cate had stopped talking and were watching her as if she were an interesting TV show.

    “You got quiet,” said Cate. “What’s wrong?”

    “I’m normally this quiet,” said Carmen softly.

    Ramón continued to look at her intently. “You want to say what’s on your mind?”

    Carmen thought for a second. Exactly what was stopping her from saying it? Shame. And did she always have such a hard time expressing herself? No, that couldn’t be it.

    “Should I leave?” asked Cate.

    “No...no, it’s fine,” said Carmen.

    “Once again,” Ramón said distantly. “You’re thinking about taking to the skies for a bit to clear your head, but that only temporarily helps you. So I’d advise against it right now.”

    “You can read minds now?” said Carmen wryly.

    “Not yet,” he said simply. “I can read you, remember? There is something I’d like to show you though. It’s a great place if you ever want to get away to think.” And he left out of the front door for the second time.

    Carmen sighed and Cate giggled again. “So he’s been like that all of his life?” Cate asked.

    “Pretty much,” Carmen answered. “We should go or we’ll lose him in this forest.”

    They found Ramón and Hakan standing in front of what looked like just another ordinary patch of forest. When he looked up and saw them, he disappeared into forest and Carmen, Cate, and Hakan followed. It turns out there was a hidden path very well concealed by the large trees and tall plants. Despite being well hidden, it was wide enough so that Hakan had enough room to comfortably walk.

    The trail was tough to transverse at times because of the tree roots, but it was very tranquil. It was a lot cooler and darker here because of the large trees that were blocking the sun. Carmen marveled at the way Ramón could find hidden areas, trails, and passages. She’ll never forget the crystal filled cavern he’d found near their hometown.

    “Hey Ramón,” said Carmen who was behind him. “How did you find this trail?”

    “Call it Ramón’s intuition,” he said and Carmen was annoyed with herself for expecting a straight answer.

    The trail sloped downward for a while before evening out. But what Ramón wanted to show was just around the bend…

    It was two beautiful forest pools one higher, one lower. The higher pool, which contained the spring, flowed into the other creating a gentle waterfall. Colorful flowers grew at the waters’ edge. The water itself was spectacularly clear and even as they watched two Furret took a drink of water before scurrying away. Beams of light rippled across the water as the trees blew in the wind.

    “Ramón this is stunning,” said Cate delighted. She rushed over and dipped her fingers into the water.

    Carmen herself was silent as she took in the scenery. It was yet another example of nature’s flawlessness. A Butterfree flew over the pool, making Carmen wonder about Giselle back in Sinnoh. Carmen breathed in the clean smelling air, thinking the whole scene was perfect.

    So then why did he have to show up?

    “Are you guys following me or something?” said an annoyingly familiar voice.

    “Oh, hey Nemo,” said Ramón, smiling.

    “Didn’t I tell you NOT to call me that?” he said loudly. Pidgey flew out of the trees at the loudness of his voice.

    “Can you keep your voice down?” said Carmen. “You’re disturbing the peace.”

    “Whatever,” he said. This time he had a small black backpack.

    “Oh, Cate, I forgot to introduce you,” said Ramón. “This is Nemo.”

    Nemo rolled his eyes.

    “We met him earlier today. By the way Nemo, how did you find this area?” asked Ramón.

    “You keep asking questions that are none of you business. I’ll answer you just this once—but only if SHE battles me!” he roared, pointing at Carmen.

    “You just won’t quit! I change my mind; you’re worse than my sister Reina!” said Carmen in disbelief.

    “Caaarmen,” said Ramón. “Battle him. I really want to know how he found this place.”

    “Are you serious?”

    “Dead serious.”

    “All right,” said Carmen, knowing Ramón would bug her if she didn’t say yes.

    “Finally,” said Nemo, throwing up his hands. Once again, he whipped out that Pokéball.

    “We’re not battling here,” said Carmen. “We’ll have to walk back.”

    “Fine, fine,” said Nemo hurriedly. And with that, he flew back up the trail.

    “Energetic young man, isn’t he?” said Cate.

    “He’s certainly interesting…” said Ramón.

    When they had reached the clearing, they found Nemo tapping his foot and looking at his Pokégear impatiently.

    “About time!” he shouted when he saw them. Without even waiting for Carmen to face him, he released his Pokémon. “COME ON OUT ESPEON!” he yelled.

    Most Espeon were sweet and graceful creatures; so much so that they were renowned for it. Nemo’s Espeon couldn’t have been further from that characteristic. The Pokémon crouched low and gave a feline snarl. There was a hardened look in her eyes as though she’d had a tough life—and not from Nemo.

    “Well, what are you waiting for?” said Nemo impatiently.

    Carmen took a deep breath. She felt a feeble flicker where she once felt a huge rush from the anticipation of battle, no matter how big or small. Carmen gave a sad smile as she pulled a Pokéball from her waist. “Go, Blaziken!”

    Blaziken. Her starter and the Pokémon she was closest to. Flames exploded out of his wrists as he got ready for battle.

    “Ha! You use a Fighting type against my Espeon? A Psychic type?! I thought you were the Sinnoh champion!” Nemo bragged.

    “Type matching means nothing if one Pokémon has far more experience than the other,” said Carmen. “I should also tell you that I won’t hold back. So why don’t you make the first move?”

    “Hmph, fine then. Use Psybeam, Espeon!”

    Espeon held her head low as purple rings of psychic energy emerged out the red jewel on her forehead in a beautiful display. The rings grew larger and larger as the approached Blaziken, but when they made contact with the fire Pokémon, Blaziken barely flinched. Nemo was shocked.

    “HEY! What happened?”

    “Please don’t make me repeat myself,” Carmen said. “Use Flamethrower, Blaziken!”

    A ball of orange and red flame formed in Blaziken’s beak. The resultant jet of flame seemed to blister the air as it took in oxygen. Espeon attempted to dodge the flame but the attack was too fast. The flames fully engulfed Espeon but Carmen immediately saw that something was up, that something wasn’t right.

    Carmen had seen too many battles that seemed simple enough, but had many surprises. Therefore, her face did not betray the shock she felt when the Flamethrower dissipated. Espeon had shielded herself in a ball of the same purple psychic energy of which her Psybeam was made. It took a lot of power to shield against a Flamethrower as powerful as Blaziken’s. This was no ordinary beginner’s Espeon.

    “Impressive,” said Carmen, and Nemo looked so proud of himself he should’ve been shot. “But try blocking this. Double Team and then Shadow Claw, Blaziken!” Nemo face fell in dramatic fashion but Carmen wanted to test something.

    Ghostly energy surrounded Blaziken’s claw as he seemed to move so fast it was creating, blurred illusionary copies of itself as it moved erratically and very quickly before Espeon’s eyes. Carmen knew the Pokémon had been successfully confused and was getting frustrated. As soon as Blaziken saw an opening, he attacked Espeon from the right instead of head on like the Espeon thought. She took the full brunt of the attack and fainted.

    Nemo was shocked and he quickly rushed over to his Pokémon. Carmen was even more intrigued by this Espeon than before. Espeon could read air currents to predict their opponents’ moves. To defeat a Pokémon who used tactics like this, Carmen would generally just hit them with something they couldn’t avoid. They could often see the attack coming, but they just couldn’t defend against or dodge it. However Nemo’s Espeon was odd. She looked as though she couldn’t predict attacks at all, yet her psychic power was strong…

    Cate rushed over as well with a bottle of some kind of herbal medicine in hand.

    “Take this,” she said to Nemo. “Just open her mouth and sprinkle in a bit.”

    Nemo did as she told without thinking and after a few seconds, Espeon stirred and held her head up.

    “Feeling better?” asked Nemo is a surprisingly gentle voice.

    “Espy,” she said quietly.

    Nemo looked around and blushed when he saw Ramón, Cate, and Carmen looking at him while he had his guard down.

    “WHAT ARE YOU ALL STARING AT?!” he screamed.

    “You,” said Ramón. “Now since Carmen battled you, you have to tell us how you found the forest pools.”

    “Fine, fine,” grumbled Nemo. “I followed Suicune there.”

    The stunned silence of disbelief followed this proclamation, but Carmen sighed.

    “Suicune doesn’t exist,” she said.

    “ITDOESTOOIKNOWWHATISAW!” screamed Nemo rapidly. “I was just walking through the woods on a deserted path with Espeon when I saw it up ahead. Well, of course I got excited so I decided to follow it. It led me through the woods, but at one point I tripped and fell. When I got up it was gone but it had led me to this beautiful pool. And that’s the story.”

    “Amazing Nemo,” said Ramón. “That was a spectacular encounter you had. I’ll tell you what. You see the smaller of the two houses? That’s mine too. You can stay the night there and you can go to Ecruteak City with us tomorrow.”

    Nemo just looked at Ramón. “You know what? You’re weird!” and he and Espeon rushed off into the woods again.

    “Bye Nemo,” said Ramón vaguely.

    “He’s right,” Carmen said to her brother. “You are weird. And why are we going to Ecruteak City?”

    “I just think you’ll find it interesting,” he said shrugging.

    “It really is an awesome place,” Cate said. “You’ll find it very enlightening.”

    “All right then,” said Carmen.

    Hakan and Blaziken were speaking to each other a short distance away. Carmen and Blaziken had been together so long that, though she didn’t exactly know what he was saying, she could pick up on his mood. By the sound of it, and by Blaziken’s body language, Hakan was just as mystical as his trainer.

    “I think I’m going to try out your back porch for a while and think. Blaziken you can stay here if you like,” said Carmen, and she left everyone behind as she went back into the house.

    Ramón and Blaziken watched her retreating back--both of them seemed worried.

    “So you noticed too, huh,” Ramón said to Blaziken. “She still isn’t back to her normal self.”
    #2 Carmen Lopez, Jun 28, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  3. Maybe I'll be able to stay on top of your updates this time around, Renia. As I said the first time I posted in your thread, you do a wonderful job at describing the world around your characters and in developing the characters themselves. I'm sure your revisions will also help the progress of your tale, and I look forward to seeing your following chapters.
  4. Psycho Monkey

    Psycho Monkey Member of the Literary Elite Four

    So by reposting this one before Diaries, does that mean you intend on finishing this one first? I hope that's a yes! All of your stories are so facinating, detailed, and the characters are very well developed and interesting that I enjoy reading them. I can't really think of anything else to say at the moment, so I'll just leave it at that.

    Keep reposting! :)
  5. OOC: Thanks Moon-Z and Mr. Psycho! And yes, I plan on finishing this one first (it's a chapter and a half away from being finished). That was always the plan, but Diaries took over my psyche and wouldn't let me XD

    The next morning Carmen had arisen before anyone else after being awoken by that dream. Rather than just stay in bed and stare at the ceiling, she found her way back to the forest pools. It was chilly outside, much more reminiscent of Sinnoh, which was a comfort to Carmen. It faintly reminded her of the shores of Lake Verity in the early morning. For reasons unknown she felt drained—as though she had completed some difficult mental task. By now, she was starting to wonder what on earth was wrong with her.

    “Told you this was a good place to think,” said a voice behind her.

    “In this case I didn’t doubt you,” said Carmen who wasn’t surprised to see her brother, but she was surprised to see him in a jacket. “Don’t tell me the warm weather here has already spoiled you,” she teased.

    “You can say that,” he shrugged. “By the way I’m making breakfast; you should come back to the house and get something to eat.”

    “No thanks,” said Carmen. Ramón’s cooking, to put it bluntly, was horrible.

    “My cooking has gotten better,” said Ramón.

    “You mean there are people besides you and your Pokémon that can eat it?”

    Ramón smiled. “That was a low blow. I was only kidding anyway. Cate tasted my cooking last night while you were off being antisocial. Then, she volunteered to cook for us from while she was there. That’s so nice of her,” he finished.

    “Yes, it’s nice for all of us,” said Carmen. She wasn’t sure if Ramón missed the sarcasm or not.

    “Anyway, you should hurry back and eat. Then we can set off for Ecruteak City,” Ramón said thoughtfully. “…Unless you have something you wanted to talk about; you left awfully early.”

    “Heh,” said Carmen. Now that Ramón had revealed his secret, he used his powers without reservation.

    Carmen listened to the sound of the water and the wind in the trees for a while without saying anything. She wasn’t intentionally ignoring him, just trying to find the right way to say it. After a while, Ramón started humming while using his power to manipulate the water.

    “I’ve lost my will to battle and at this point also to travel.” Carmen was surprised when the words came out.

    “Every trainer reaches that point,” said Ramón. “Why do you feel shame as well? I could hear it in your voice.”

    “I guess it’s because that battling and training is my life and my passion, and with that passion gone…I feel empty…” she trailed off. “I tried to hide it from everyone because that feeling scares me. My relationship with my Pokémon hasn’t been affected yet, but…”

    Flower petals that approached the base of the waterfall were pushed under the water, only to resurface when they were floated away.

    “Oh, Carmen,” Ramón sighed. “Do you know why you came here?” And when she was silent, “You do remember, right?”

    “I thought a change of scenery would help,” she answered. “And...it just seemed like the right thing to do. I don’t know why.”

    Ramón smiled. “You remember what you said to me? You said you were afraid of being complacent and wanted to battle stronger trainers and see new things. I knew there was something more to it.”

    “And you were right,” Carmen said.

    “Well, never fear little sister. I agree with you on one thing: a change in scenery will help,” Ramón said. “You realize that it’s the feeling that has you worried the most, so don’t worry. You’ll be fine.”

    “Thanks,” said Carmen, feeling slightly better.

    “Then let’s head back,” her brother said.

    Together Ramón and Carmen returned to the house back through the forest while he talked about Olivine City, the hometown of their mother, Abigail. By the time they returned, Carmen felt a slightly more hopeful, but the feeling hadn’t went away completely. When they entered back into the house, the found Cate sitting in one of chairs with her eyes closed. She seemed to be in a trance, so Carmen didn’t want to interrupt her, but she seemed to notice them anyway. Cate opened her eyes which had a misty, milk white film over them.

    “Oh, good you’re back!” she said as though nothing were out of the ordinary. Since neither Cate nor Ramón seemed to want to explain, Carmen decided to bring it up.

    “Your eyes…”

    “Oh, that,” said Cate. “It happens whenever I’m remote viewing or seeing the future. Flashes of things pass before my eyes.”

    “What are you seeing now?” asked Carmen. Even if what she was seeing was mundane, it was still very fascinating.

    “Hmm,” sighed Cate. “I see trainers battling on a beach, and I see the Lilycove skyline in the distance. Let’s see…I see a couple of children at a playground…some sort of festival…a pack of Houndour. Now, this image is clearer. I see a really beautiful woman who’s completely exhausted. She’s resting on a sofa while a Gallade watches over her…and Carmen, she has your eyes.”

    “Isabel,” murmured Ramón, pulling his wallet out of his pocket.

    “You mean your twin sister?” asked Cate.

    “Right,” he answered and he showed Cate a picture of the two of them.

    “That’s the woman I saw,” said Cate. “But you don’t look a thing alike.

    “Well,” said Ramón. “I look like our dad only I have Mom’s eyes. Isabel looks like our maternal grandmother with Dad’s eyes. Carmen and Reina are a mix of the two.”

    "Interesting," Cate said. She closed her gray eyes and when she opened them again, the white film had disappeared. “I made breakfast burritos so you can eat them fast,” she added.

    It turned out that Cate was a great cook as they grabbed a burrito. Her cooking reminded Carmen of Abby’s cooking because of the unmistakable Chansey or Blissey eggs in it. Ramón polished off his burrito in less than a minute.

    “All right, I’m done,” he said after he swallowed the last bit. “Are we ready to leave?”

    Carmen, who had just taken the third bite out of hers and wasn’t even half way done, just looked at her brother. “Are you serious?”

    “You don’t eat fast enough and should really hurry,” he suggested. Then he was off; probably to find something in that pigsty he called a work space.

    Even Carmen had to smile through her annoyance at her brother. After all, he had made her feel marginally better, so she finished off the rest of her breakfast as fast as she could and was done by the time Ramón returned.

    “Good! You’re done,” Ramón called. “Now we can get moving. All we have to do is collect Nemo and we’re off.”

    “Nemo?” repeated Carmen. “You mean he came back?”

    “He sure did,” said Ramón with his usual vague smile. “Come on,” he beckoned.

    Carmen picked up her bag and followed Ramón and Cate outside and as they did so, Nemo and Espeon came strolling out of the smaller house.

    “Guess what,” he said to Carmen. There was no “hello” or “good morning” but it didn’t matter; she was just grateful he wasn’t screaming. “I’m going to train until I can beat you one day.”

    “Do you like battling?” asked Carmen.

    “Well, yeah!” he said fiercely. “It’s important to be strong so no one ever mess with you or take advantage of you or a—

    He broke off and flushed red. There was definitely something about Nemo that was starting to make Carmen curious. Espeon was certainly not normal either. Carmen had never seen a Pokémon that was so full of anger that wasn’t directed at its trainer. But at this point neither Carmen nor Cate or Ramón pushed him for answers.

    “Are we going to head out or not?!” said Nemo, his voice rising. He really seemed to dislike people trying to figure him.

    “Sure,” said Ramón.

    “OKAY THEN!” he roared and started running.

    “Nemo!” called Ramón. “Using our Pokémon to get there is much easier!”

    He stopped short, turned on his heel, and ran back. “You mean you actually have a Pokémon that’s big enough to carry more than one person?”

    “Well, Suna wouldn’t like anyone other than me riding her, but would Hakan mind another person Cate?” asked Ramón.

    “Not at all,” she said easily. She pulled out a kind of Pokéball that Carmen had never seen before and released Hakan.

    “Nice Arcanine,” said Nemo, he said in awe.

    Hakan knelt down so that Nemo and Cate could get on his back. Nemo recalled Espeon and jumped onto Hakan’s back before anyone could move and snatched onto the Pokémon’s mane as a grip. The Arcanine tossed his head and snarled making Nemo nearly jump out of his skin.

    “Good grief!” he said loudly, trying to cover his fear. “He’s a touchy one!”

    “Well, you’d be touchy too if someone grabbed on to your hair,” said Cate coolly. “Why don’t you let me have the front?”

    “Whatever,” he said, as he let Cate on.

    Carmen raised an eyebrow. “Why did you invite him along again, Ramón?”

    “Well, for one he encountered Suicune,” he said. “And plus he’s…interesting.”

    Carmen made a noise in the back of her throat as she released Dragonite as Ramón released Suna. The usual thrill of flying coursed through her veins as she rose up. Carmen was eager to see if Hakan could keep up with them, and the Arcanine didn’t disappoint. He seemed to fly as he wound his way through the forests. For a moment, it was no different than flying over the forests of Sinnoh only it was a bit more humid. And Carmen noticed something on the ground and decided to ask Ramón.

    “Is that a shrine?” she asked when they were as close as they could be.

    “Yes, there are many shrines to the forest guardian Celebi, the biggest one being in Ilex Forest, and many other shrines, some just for mediating. You’ll see when we get to Ecruteak City,” Ramón explained. “Johto isn’t much different from home in that respect.”

    “Oh,” said Carmen. Sinnoh had its share of shrines for guardians, legendary Pokémon, and reflection. Celestic Town was well known the mysticism. She generally scoffed at it all; that was more Reina’s and Ramón style, although she did like to visit the haunting, silent, beautiful Foreign Building in Hearthome City.

    They flew along for about twenty minutes when they found the main path. Ramón descended and Carmen followed him. Dragonite looked more disappointed than Carmen to stop flying. In fact, the only thing he liked more than flying was swimming, so Carmen wanted to take him to the ocean soon. Cate and Nemo had already dismounted from Hakan’s back.

    “Carmen, I wanted to ask you,” said Cate once she and Ramón were on the ground. You’re native to Sinnoh, so how did you get this Dragonite?”

    Carmen thought back to that time. “I was in Jubilife City after I’d captured a Gible that morning in Wayward Cave. While I was there, I met a girl vacationing from Kanto named Mikayla who had a Dratini. It turned out that she was breeder, and she was actually in Sinnoh to find a Gible, so we did a trade. It made her job a lot easier, and Dratini and I really connected.”

    “Wow,” Cate murmured.

    Then something rather disconcerting happened. Carmen saw Cate’s eyes flash in the same solid milk white color as earlier, but only for a heartbeat. She shook her head briefly.

    “Is something wrong?” asked Ramón and Cate at the same time.

    “No, it was nothing,” she answered, slightly unnerved. Did either of them notice what happened?

    As they were walking along the path, Ramón was staring at Nemo, who raised an eyebrow. “You people sure do have a thing about staring and it’s creepy. The two of you are brother and sister right?” he said pointing at Carmen and Ramón.

    “Did anyone ever tell you that pointing was rude?” Ramón said serenely. Nemo made a “t-ch” noise. “Anyway, yes, we’re siblings, but enough about us. What about you? How old are you and where are you from? And though I’m calling you Nemo regardless, what’s your real name.”

    “Why do you need to know?” he snapped.

    “And you called Hakan touchy,” said Cate amused.

    Nemo sighed heavily. “I’m thirteen and that’s all you’re getting.”

    “You’re a closed lipped one,” said Ramón, and they walked on.

    Once again, it was mostly Cate and Ramón who filled the silence. This time they talked about many theories including Ramón’s Porygon conspiracy and Cate brought up some interesting things about the Valentine family.

    “My father’s side of the family is pretty well split on that issue,” said Cate. “Michel, my father, thinks the idea of sentient computer programs could bring about new and dangerous changes to our world. My uncle Claude didn’t think so. He thinks that the creation of artificial life forms would benefit the world.”

    “Many people think that,” said Ramón.

    Cate continued. “He was power-hungry trainer and businessman and always on the look out for powerful Pokémon, even if it meant creating them. That was years and years ago though. And my uncle and father conflicted and fought over other things and finally had a huge falling out. Now I don’t know what Claude is up to now, but it’s probably...disreputable.”

    Carmen took in everything she said and mulled it over, losing track of their conversation. She had always known, or picked up from Giselle that, her home life was cold, but this was more sinister still. At any rate Carmen was satisfied with not being in this conversation, though she disagreed with the both of them, so why did Ramón have to bring her into it?

    “…Porygon-Z is the scariest of them all. How in the world did you get a Dubious Disk anyway, Carmen?” said Ramón.

    There was a reason she hadn’t ever gone into detail about this subject with Ramón—she knew he wouldn’t approve despite is laidback personality. “I won it in Veilstone after the Sinnoh League battles.”

    “You won it,” he repeated. “Don’t tell me.”

    “I won it gambling, yes,” said Carmen. “I got it in a poker game with a mysterious man who turned out to be a scientist.”

    “You took a corrupted piece of software…from a scientist in a casino,” said Ramón slowly. “Really?” he said, raising his eyebrows.

    “I was in the heat of the moment and I took it,” Carmen admitted. “The next day when I examined it, I realized that I knew nothing about this Dubious Disk so I called up someone who I’d met on my travels. He concluded that the Dubious Disk wouldn’t harm my Porygon2, but he also didn’t know what it would do.”

    Carmen sighed.

    “Go on,” said Ramón.

    “All right,” she said. “I was a bit skeptical but Porygon2 seemed to be attracted to it, so I made up my mind and used it and you can see the results,” Carmen said. “But Cate, Ramón Porygon-Z isn’t as bad as you think. I’ll let you spend time together later.”

    “Sounds interesting,” said Cate. “I’m still unsure about the whole thing but I’m genuinely curious.”

    Well that worked, thought Carmen. She was finding she didn’t like her brother and Cate talk bad about her Pokémon and decided to stand up for it.

    “Nemo is quiet,” said Ramón, stating the obvious.

    “You and Cate are bizarre,” said Nemo bluntly. “I’m glad we’re almost here.”

    Sure enough, they were approaching the gate to the walled city. The wall itself reminded Carmen of a different era in another history. As the walked through the gates to Ecruteak City, it seemed as though the past and the present had collided in awesome beauty. Most of the buildings looked old fashioned and Carmen reminded herself that there was chance that those buildings were built long ago. Though the city was fairly large there were no skyscrapers here. The most prominent features in Ecruteak City were those two towers. One was tall and whole while the other was burned and charred.

    Carmen wanted to ask about the story behind those towers but she decided not too. She vaguely remembered her mother telling her the story when she was very small but had forgotten it. Carmen wanted to ask a native citizen of Johto and learn more about the people. Like in Goldenrod City, the people here were fascinating. Many of the people were dressed in traditional clothing such as kimonos while students in their school uniforms entered a school. People pushed carts filled with all kinds of things through the streets.

    Ecruteak City was bustling with activity as people went about their daily business. As they walked passed, they saw some open air markets, a studio for traditional dance, and school for Ikebana. Carmen had never seen a city quite like this back in Sinnoh. Ecruteak gave off the same atmosphere as Celestic Town, but on a larger scale. It was amazing how a city could be rooted in the past yet be so…modern.

    “I’ve been here plenty of times and I still haven’t always find something new,” Cate breathed as she touched some fabric being offered in a small market.

    “Where are you from, Cate?” asked Carmen.

    “My family is from Kanto but I was born in Violet City which is south of here,” she responded.

    “Home of Sprout Tower,” said Ramón. “I should make a visit there.”

    “Speaking of visits, where are we going next?” Carmen asked.

    “I’m thinking Olivine City,” he said. “I haven’t been there yet and I want to see what Mom’s hometown is like.”

    “Sounds good to me,” said Carmen.

    “AWESOME,” Nemo screeched, suddenly, waving around a newspaper. “Johto is now officially separated from Kanto. We now have our own Elite Four and everything!” A couple of trainers nearby shouted in agreement.

    “Well that took long enough.” Carmen knew that Johto and Kanto had shared the Indigo League for many years which never really made sense to her. It was good that they had their own Elite Four now; Johto had been in Kanto’s shadow for too long.

    “Honestly I’m not sure if that little rivalry between Johto and Kanto will go away with this,” Cate said. “This may even make it worse.”

    “Ha ha!” sang Nemo who had apparently not heard what Cate said. “We’re finally free of Kanto! Awesome!”

    “I rest my case,” said Cate. “Nemo, do you want to challenge the league someday yourself?”

    “Probably, I just have some unfinished business to take care of first,” he said deviously.

    “And you’re not telling us anything, right?” said Ramón.


    “You have to know that’s getting old,” Ramón told him. “But not to worry, we’ll figure you out.”

    “Go ahead and try,” Nemo sneered.

    “And try I will,” said Ramón. “But right now, why don’t split up and explore the city? There’s a lot to see and do here.”

    “Sure,” said Carmen. She was looking forward to going off on her own, but that didn’t go according to plan.

    “I’m going with you,” Nemo said to Carmen. “You’re the most normal here. Then you can tell me how you got so strong in battle.”

    Carmen sighed. Did he really have to bring up battling? She didn’t say anything but just walked away with Nemo following behind talking at top speed.

    “Hey! Are you listening to me!?” said Nemo, annoyed.

    “Nemo, I’m a bit weary,” Carmen looked up at the building they’d stopped in front of. “I’m just going to go in here and rest for a bit, all right?”

    “Suit yourself then,” he said. “I’m heading to the market across the street.” He pulled out Espeon’s Pokéball and released her. “Come on, we’re going to do some exploring,” he told her brightly.

    Nemo walked away, leaving Carmen to her thoughts. Nemo had a soft side, but only for his Espeon. But what on earth was he hiding because he sure wasn’t telling them anything. Perhaps only Espeon knew his secrets. Carmen sighed and slid the paper door open and entered the building.

    It appeared to be a combination of a small library and a resting place. It was a peaceful, open place with rich dark wood floors. It was divided into rooms with Carmen standing in what seemed to be the largest of them. A long, narrow wooden table ran the length of the wall with cushions placed in front of it. A girl with long thick black hair in an up do and her Clefable were kneeling on the last two cushions. She looked to be about Carmen’s age and she was wearing a furisode. She looked to be deeply involved in the book she was reading.

    Perhaps it was the norm to read with a Pokémon, so Carmen released Gardevoir. The Pokémon appeared her usual graceful, beautiful self. Gardevoir was the second Pokémon she acquired and the first one she captured on her own so she was nearly as close to Carmen as Blaziken was. In Sinnoh custom, Carmen decided to give the woman her space and picked a cushion on the other end of the table. But as she sat down, however—

    “My friend and I don’t bite; you can come a bit closer.”
    #5 Carmen Lopez, Jun 29, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  6. Carmen looked up to see the girl was smiling. Her Clefable cocked her head slightly, as though apprehensive. Since it would be considered rude to remain where she was, Carmen got up and moved to the cushion beside the girl.

    “I apologize if I seemed rude,” Carmen said. “This is my first time in Johto so I’m still getting used to how it is here.”

    “It’s no problem,” the girl said a soothing voice. “My name is Kerry and this is my friend Zara.”

    “It’s nice to meet you. My name is Carmen and this is Gardevoir.”

    Kerry turned her hazel eyes to Gardevoir. “I’ve never seen such a beautiful Pokémon. Is Gardevoir the species name?”

    “Yes,” said Carmen. “They’re native to Hoenn and Sinnoh where I am from.”

    “Sinnoh…” Kerry repeated. “What brings you here?”

    “A change of scenery,” Carmen sighed. “I’m here with my brother and he thought it would be a good idea to explore the city on my own. My mother is from here as well, so I guess it would be nice to see the region where she spent her childhood. ”

    “This is my hometown and I could show you around if you like,” Kerry offered.

    “That sounds great,” Carmen said. Whenever she roamed around Sinnoh, she always found being with the locals helpful and very informative.

    “I like showing people around,” said Kerry as she, Carmen, and their Pokémon exited the building. “I’ve always known Ecruteak City was one of the jewels of Johto and I love for people to see it.” Kerry had on a pair of geta and was adroit at walking in them rather like Carmen was adept at walking in extremely high heels which she had Isabel to thank for. Kerry was very ladylike in her movements which was common in many of the woman Carmen saw.

    The first place at which they stopped was one of the many shops in the city. Carmen wasn’t surprised at how familiar and at home she was in these surroundings. Her parents had been assimilated to Sinnoh but they didn’t leave all of their Johto history behind. In this shop she found the type of chests that decorated the Lopez family home and the glass figurines that stood on shelves in living room. Carmen was about to pick up an elegant necklace with a crystal bell charm when she thought about something.

    “Kerry, how do the people of Ecruteak City pay for things?” Carmen knew that Johto was also converting to only using electronic payment but wasn’t sure how far along they were.

    “Oh, don’t worry,” she said. “Ecruteak is like Sinnoh in that doesn’t really use hard money. Now there are only a few cities in Johto that do widely use hard money.”

    “Well, that’s good,” said Carmen and without further questions she bought the necklace, some stationary, and a few other things.

    The weather was simply wonderful as the quartet moved through the busy streets. A light breeze played the wooden wind chimes which were seemed to be all around Johto. Gardevoir was capturing many admiring looks from the women in kimonos. Kerry smiled.

    “It would appear that Gardevoir gives off the same image, the epitome of gentleness and femininity that these women want to project” she said. “The same thing happened a while back with Mawile among the samurai admirers.”

    “Heh, that reminds me of the Skitty fad back home,” said Carmen. She remembered when she kept running into the “cute” schoolgirls who were obsessing over them. It was a relief that that ended quickly and was only really centered in the larger cities.

    Kerry went on pointing out different things in the city including a dojo for Pokémon battles that stirred something in Carmen that she hadn’t felt in a very long time. The other feeling didn’t go away but she was glad to feel some sort of passion for battling. Perhaps soon she would feel up to battling when she wasn’t forced to.

    Eventually, Kerry and Carmen found themselves standing in front of the burned, wasted ancient tower Carmen had seen when they first entered the city. At one time if must have been as grand as the tower that stood in the distance.

    “Well, this is the biggest attraction of Ecruteak save for the gym,” said Kerry. “This is the remainder of the once mighty Brass Tower and the center of the biggest legend of Johto.”

    Carmen now looked skeptical. This had all the makings of legendary mythical Pokémon story, but she hid her apprehension. “What is the story behind it?”

    “Once, Brass Tower was as mighty as Bell Tower,” Kerry began. “Brass Tower and Bell Tower were the hosts of the powerful bird Pokémon called Lugia and Ho-oh respectively. Then one day Brass Tower burned down killing three Pokémon, Entei, Raikou, and Suicune in process. Ho-Oh brought them back to life and gave them new power and now they roam Johto, never remaining in one place. Afterward, Ho-Oh was never seen again while Lugia is made its home in the Whirl Islands.”

    Carmen suddenly had a vision of her mother telling her and Reina the story and of herself telling her mother that it was silly. “Do you think these Pokémon exist?” She didn’t sound patronizing as other skeptics did.

    “Well, yes,” Kerry answered. “Entei, Raikou, and especially Suicune have been sited many times and Suicune has even been photographed. And you could go down to Lugia’s cavern in the Whirl Islands right now. Not many people do because getting to Lugia is very dangerous and people have died trying. And even if you manage to reach it, there’s Lugia itself. As for Ho-Oh…it was frequently seen in the past and very well documented in scholarly works. The world is big and it isn’t unimaginable that something can roam the skies under our radar, even if for centuries.”

    “Yes, but centuries—

    “After all, these so called fossil Pokémon went out of out site for millennia as well, but then we found their fossils and eventually we found live specimens,” Kerry said winking.

    Carmen was silent for a moment and then she said “I have to admit you have a point.” She wasn’t one to let her pride take control of her and even vowed to apologize to Nemo and her brother later. “I totally stand corrected. That doesn’t mean I believe in all legendary Pokémon, but I’m open to the fact that the ones of Johto exist.”

    Kerry bowed slightly. “I’ll have to agree that some of those stories are outlandish. What is this about an alpha Pokémon that’s supposed to live above of a mountain in Sinnoh?”

    Carmen laughed. “Ha! That’s just one crazy story!”

    As Kerry and Carmen laughed about some of the more odd stories of Sinnoh, they spotted two good-looking people walking towards them, a boy and a girl, who really stood out from the crowd. The girl was well toned with skin the color of honey. Her hair was only slightly darker with wild kinks. She had on a very short, black one piece bodysuit and knee high black boots like some kind of female comic book villain. The boy had on boot cut jeans, a white t-shirt which showed off his muscles and a Pokégear around his neck. He also had black boots. Carmen felt Kerry stiffen beside her. When the couple had reached them, they stopped right in front of them.

    “Don’t think we didn’t see that,” said the girl getting in Kerry’s face. She was taller than Kerry and therefore dominated. Zara looked afraid.

    “And don’t you think you should stand down,” said Carmen icily. She didn’t know what was going on, but that didn’t matter. She felt the atmosphere change slightly as Gardevoir readied herself against this threat.

    The girl switched her focus onto Carmen. She and Carmen were the same height but her boots made her taller so that Carmen was more level with her glossed lips. However Carmen didn’t back down and the girl was forced to step back if she wanted to look Carmen in the eye.

    “Hmm, should our fists or our Pokémon do the talking?” implored the boy as he rolled a Pokéball in his fingers. He had shiny, jet black hair that came just passed his chin. His eyes were two different shades of brown. The right one was medium brown while the other one was nearly gold in color.

    “You’d hit a girl!?” said Kerry incredulously. Almost immediately, she regretted it saying it.

    The girl had a sweetly cruel look on her face. “Aw, the prim girl is saying we have no manners. But you don’t seem to be from around here,” she said to Carmen. The boy was looking at her curiously with his mismatched eyes.

    “No,” said Carmen indifferently. She wasn’t afraid to admit that. If push came to shove she could defend herself.

    “Your eyes…” said the boy. “They look familiar.”

    “What?” said Carmen and the girl together.

    The boy and the girl exchanged a look and a look of realization dawned on the girl’s face.

    “Well, we’ll let you go for now,” said the girl. “You’ll see us again. Remember our names: Sienna and Isidore.”

    “See you around,” said Isidore darkly. And with one last glance at Carmen they turned and walked away.

    “You know,” said Carmen. “I’m starting to get tired of the bizarre encounters.”

    “I’m really sorry about that,” said Kerry. “Those people…they usually don’t come out on the street in the daytime like this. They’re what you call the people from the underside of Johto. The girls especially take offense at what they perceive as our submissiveness so sometimes they make trouble for us. I don’t know that much about them but I do know they’re more than just thugs.”

    “Wow,” said Carmen. It almost reminded her of the lives her parents had lived while in Johto.

    “But you really seemed to know how to handle yourself,” Kerry said to Carmen when they had started walking again. “That was really cool.”

    “My mom and dad just thought it was a good idea to teach us all self-defense,” said Carmen shrugging. She disliked fighting but she wouldn’t let herself get attacked either if she could help it.

    “Either way, I should be more like you because the few times I’ve come in contact with those people, I’ve made myself look silly,” Kerry explained sheepishly.

    Carmen smiled. “It’s mostly about being sure of yourself….”

    They talked about self defense as they walked. Kerry also told Carmen about the traditional dances and the tea ceremonies that were performed in Ecruteak City. As they were approaching a spectacular temple, Kerry explained how it was off limits to the general public and that any trespassers would be thrown in jail. However as they came close, they saw two female temple guardians escorting Ramón and Cate out of it.

    “I’m sorry we had to put you out,” said one of the guardians to Ramón, blushing.

    “Oh no it’s fine. I’m grateful you didn’t call the police,” he said with that vague smile.

    “Um…it was very nice meeting you,” said the other guardian, flushing red.

    “Nice meeting you too,” said Ramón pleasantly.

    The two girls closed the heavy doors to the temple, but not before giving one last silent squeal behind Ramón’s back. Carmen sighed.

    “Oh, hey Carmen,” said Cate when she spotted them. “You have no idea how lucky we were back there. Honestly I’m not sure why we aren’t under arrest right now for sneaking into that place.”

    “Yeah,” said Ramón. “I guess it’s because the people of Johto are so nice…”

    Carmen put her face in her hands. “Ramón, are you serious?” Sometimes his obliviousness was charming, but other times it was just unbelievable.

    “About what?” he asked in complete earnestness.

    “Ugh, nevermind,” said Carmen. He really didn’t realize that the only reason he and Cate weren’t in jail was that the temple guardians had a crush on him.

    “All right then,” said Ramón. “Who’s you friend there?”

    Carmen looked back to see that Kerry was just as enraptured by Ramón as the guardians were. Did her brother really have this kind of affect on girls? It was almost scary.

    “Oh, right, I’m Kerry,” she managed to choke out when she had pulled herself out of her trance.

    “This is my brother Ramón and our friend Cate,” Carmen said to Kerry. “Kerry was showing me around the city,” she explained.

    “Really?” said Cate. “What was your favorite thing so far?”

    “There was plenty to see but I guess the legend of the Brass and Bell Towers were my favorite,” said Carmen.

    “What’s this?” said Ramón in mock disbelief. “You? You found the legend interesting after you told Mom it was silly?”

    “Yes,” said Carmen as Kerry laughed. “And from the way Kerry explained it, I’m forced to admit that the legendary Pokémon of Johto exist.”

    Dead silence from Ramón and Cate followed this proclamation. Then, Ramón smiled.

    “This is amazing! Kerry, I want to thank you. You’ve done what I never could do in years,” he said happily. “I can’t believe you’re now a believer!”

    “Over–dramatic much?” Carmen muttered. “And don’t push it. It’s only the legendary Pokémon here.”

    But Ramón didn’t care. “This is cause for a celebration! Kerry I’d be honored if you and your wonderful Clefable would join us for dinner,” he said.

    “I’d love to,” said Kerry, glowing.

    “Now we just need to get Nemo and we’ll be off,” and then Ramón was off, leaving everyone else behind.

    “Don’t even ask,” said Carmen before Kerry could say anything. “He just does that.”
    #6 Carmen Lopez, Jun 30, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  7. Carmen, you are absolutely incredible! I love how much attention you pay to creating worlds. I'm forced to believe that Johto actually does exist, and we just can't seem to find it on a map! Every one of your characters seems like a real person, the personalities are completely realistic. I mean, they've got real dimension. You're absolutely fantastic at this writing stuff, and I'm eagerly awaiting more!
    #7 Cody, Jun 30, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  8. OOC: This is actually my favorite chapter of Moving On. It's entirely from the POV of Carmen's Gardevoir and involves her encounter with Nemo's Espeon ♥

    The room was filled with delicate things: the beautifully painted paper lanterns that hung from the ceiling, the sweet aroma of burning incense, the dried flowers in their pretty vases, the Bellossom who was acting as decoration. The fragile looking Pokémon in this room seemed to fit in with the décor perfectly. She seemed as though she would break if touched. But the Pokémon’s inner strength belied her elegant and delicate looks.

    Gardevoir took a break from the rest of her family and friends to be alone for just a little while. The atmosphere around them was emotionally charged: anger, happiness, annoyance, sadness, secrecy, regret, hopefulness, anxiety, curiosity, timidity. At times, Gardevoir found her empathy to be burdensome. She is far better with it than she was when she was younger; that is shown by the fact that she can handle a crowd of strangers without becoming overwhelmed. But when those who are close to her are wound up emotionally, sometimes she needed a slight interlude to get the feelings sorted out.

    Gardevoir’s friend, Carmen, who was also her human, was in another room of the building with everyone else. She could still feel their thoughts and emotions but from a distance. Now that she was alone, Gardevoir decided to examine the things in this room for her surroundings were still very unfamiliar. The glass figurines were particularly fascinating to her. They really were as delicate as they appeared. Gardevoir remembered a conversation that she had with Blaziken when he was just a Torchic and she, a Ralts. He wondered why humans would like things that were so delicate and so breakable. She remembered that she told him maybe it symbolized the how life was delicate and breakable. He called her silly.

    Blaziken…He had been worrying her lately. All of the Pokémon were concerned about Carmen, but Blaziken probably worried most and he was being a bit moody about it. Ever since that incident in which she had been Pokénapped…She never really talked about it that much and Gardevoir had long believed she couldn’t talk about it even if she wanted. Gardevoir herself didn’t know all the details because she had been knocked out, but something happened. But no one would talk about it and whenever the subject came up, Gardevoir sensed the fear.

    Carmen had been different since then. All of the Pokémon felt closer to her afterward, but there was now some sort of eerie presence…something Gardevoir couldn’t pinpoint exactly or rationalize. Some times were worse than others, but lately the dark presence had been growing more and more. She wasn’t sure if Carmen herself knew what it was, or could even feel it. Gardevoir and Blaziken certainly could and she had the feeling Carmen’s brother could as well. Presence or no, it never got it the way of the close relationship they all shared.

    Gardevoir closed her eyes and prepared to wipe everything from her mind, but that wasn’t to last. Another life form had entered the room, and an unhappy one at that. Gardevoir had turned to face the new being, an Espeon, who was slightly irritated because of the smell of the incense and the Bellossom. Some Pokémon felt that watching their fellow Pokémon act as decoration was demeaning and an insult to all Pokémon. The Espeon gave one great menacing hiss at the Bellossom and it burst into tears before running off.

    “That was rude, do you not think?” asked Gardevoir.

    The Espeon jumped, startled. But her shock quickly turned to annoyance. “Don’t scare me like that! Where did you materialize from anyway?”

    “I was in this room before you arrived,” Gardevoir replied, puzzled. “And you have the power to sense me; why did you not?” Espeon did, after all, have the same basic abilities that Gardevoir had.

    “Hmph,” grunted Espeon.

    She seemed so full of anger and Gardevoir was shocked to sense that some of that anger was directed at her. But why?

    “Get out of my head!” Espeon growled.

    “I am not in your head; I am merely reading the emotion in the air. It is so second nature I do not think about it,” said Gardevoir. “But the fact that you could tell I was reading something proves that your sensing ability is not completely dead.”

    For a moment Espeon looked stunned—as though someone had told her she was the most horrible Pokémon on the planet. She growled again.

    “Why are you so angry at me?” asked Gardevoir, for the Espeon was now even looking at her with intense loathing.

    “Because I hate you all that’s why!” Espeon screeched. Gardevoir was glad that the other humans and Pokémon were too distracted to notice what was happening here.

    “That still is not telling me why,” said Gardevoir calmly.

    “I hate all of you creatures with that power!” Espeon said viciously.

    “Power? You mean my psychic abilities? At least, that is what humans call it,” Gardevoir said. “And that is self-hatred is it not?”

    “No, not really. Outside of battle, I don’t use those abilities,” said Espeon with unhealthy pride. “I hate even using it then, but I do for my master.”

    “Why?” was Gardevoir’s simple question, and what an answer she received.

    “The thought of using the weapons,” she practically spit out the word, “that those monsters used to hurt us is disgusting.”

    “Wait,” said Gardevoir. “Who was it that hurt you?”

    “Those humans,” Espeon began. “I mean the ones that only used us for making money and for hurting people. We never understood why they did it. They treated us like we were less than living creatures with all the abuse they heaped on us. And when any of us would try to rebel against the humans, they had their Psychic power Pokémon to get in our heads to shut us up. Some Pokémon ended up getting messed up in the head.

    “When we were both Eevee, my younger brother and I were among those Pokémon,” Espeon continued. “And sometimes the humans would abuse him just for the fun of it. I couldn’t even do anything about it because they’d just sick those Pokémon on the both of us if I tried.”

    Gardevoir didn’t say anything. She had decided to just let Espeon talk because this was probably the first time she had ever told anyone this. This would also make Espeon feel better.

    “I made two vows to my little brother,” Espeon said sadly. “One was to escape these humans, and the other was to evolve into Umbreon so that those Pokémon would never touch us again. I only managed to fulfill one of them and you can tell which it was. My brother and I escaped while the humans were transporting us in this disgusting truck. We ran into the woods, not sure if they’d send those Pokémon after us, so we hid for a while.

    “After about two weeks we went back into the open. I was so happy I was able to keep my promise to my brother and for the first time in a great while, we were able to do what we want without worrying about the abuse. Then one day at twilight while we were gazing at the rising moon, I started to evolve, but I immediately knew something was wrong. I’d heard rumors of Pokémon being strong enough to stop evolution. Apparently I was one of the weak ones because the next thing I knew I was this creature.”

    Gardevoir looked at Espeon intently. She knew about the Pokémon that regretted evolving into the Pokémon they’d evolved into. In fact her own brother was torn about whether he should evolve into a Gallade or a Gardevoir. He was still in doubt even after he’d made his decision, but eventually he came to terms with and enjoys being what he had become.

    “I’ve never been so angry and disappointed in my life. I saw the moon so why wasn’t I an Umbreon? Then I felt the heat from the setting sun on my back. I’ve been pissed about it ever since. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did. Not long afterward we were caught in a flood that came out of no where, a-and we were separated.” Espeon looked down at the ground. “I searched and searched but I haven’t seen him since. Something is telling me that he’s still alive, but I can’t find him.”

    Espeon didn’t speak for a bit after that and she still looked irritated. But nevertheless, the atmosphere changed subtly. The anger Espeon felt was no longer directed at Gardevoir, so she felt it safe to speak again.

    “How did you meet your human?” Gardevoir asked.

    Espeon looked up and for an instant, Gardevoir saw her eyes soften. “I used to hate all humans, but my master helped me when I was close to death. I told myself I’d leave him as soon as I got back strong, but I realized that he had issues just like I did. I couldn’t bring myself to leave him so we stayed together.”

    “Why do you call him master?” said Gardevoir. “He doesn’t seem like the “master” type,” she added as she listened to Espeon’s human scream at Carmen’s brother for teasing him.

    “Isn’t that what you’re supposed to call your human?” asked Espeon, annoyed.

    “Well, it is contingent on your relationship and the beings involved,” said Gardevoir thoughtfully. “Some Pokémon call their humans teacher; other’s pack leader; still others refer to their human as their partner in crime and I have even heard owner as if they were but pets and nothing more to their human. There are many other descriptions out there. But master is harder to define. Usually the relationship is cold and that does not describe your relationship with your human. You clearly feel something for him.”

    Espeon thought for a second. “Then what do you call your human?” she asked Gardevoir.

    “I call her friend,” said Gardevoir and Espeon scoffed.

    “You call a human friend?”asked Espeon who nearly laughed.

    “Our relationship fits the definition of friendship,” said Gardevoir methodically. “We aren’t blood related but we’re still close. We go out our way to help each other—even risking our lives for each other. We keep each other’s secrets and we talk and spend together. Carmen and I make each other feel better emotionally. That constitutes a friend to me.”

    Espeon was speechless for a while, perhaps thinking about the relationship with her human. “I guess that would make Nemo and me friends. He helped me when no one else would, and I stayed with him when no one else would. I also keep his secrets, like his real name.”

    “Sounds like a friend to me too,” agreed Gardevoir. “But I assume he does not know about all the terrible things you went through.”

    “No,” said Espeon. “He’s a human. I can’t really communicate with him well.”

    “Ah,” Gardevoir breathed. “That is where you are wrong. We Pokémon can become so close to our humans that we can understand each other. But we have an added advantage of being Psychic.”

    At the word psychic, Espeon sneered.

    “Espeon, Dark types like Umbreon may have the best protection against psychic power, but that does not mean we are completely vulnerable to it ourselves,” Gardevoir explained.

    “What do you mean?” asked Espeon quickly.

    “When two Pokémon face each other with their psychic abilities, the one with the more powerful abilities prevails,” Gardevoir said. “Do you know what that means?”

    “Yes,” said Espeon, an epiphany breaking over her. “That means if I let my abilities get stronger, Pokémon with psychic power will have a harder time getting into my head.”

    “Correct,” said Gardevoir happily. “So become one with your abilities and use them more. As you gain more experience with them, they will grow stronger. You would be a more efficient battler and you could better protect Nemo and yourself.”

    Espeon looked hopeful at the prospect of being more useful and being able to better defend the ones she loved. “And just maybe if I can sense things better, I could find my brother.”

    “Just maybe,” repeated Gardevoir. “And I would be happy to help you get stronger.”

    That would be…helpful,” Espeon said.

    Just then, Carmen entered the room. “Ah, here you are! I’ve been looking all over for you and Espeon. Dinner is finally ready, so come join us.”

    “We are coming, Carmen,” said Gardevoir as she and Espeon followed her back to the rest of the family.
  9. OOC: You couldn't access Bellchime Trail in HGSS when you first got to Ecruteak City, right? I don't remember really...

    After Carmen had found Gardevoir and Espeon, she returned to the dining room with everyone else. Dinner was very pleasant that night. The restaurant was very nice and had the biggest dining room that Carmen had ever seen. Even better, the place was nearly empty so they had most of it to themselves. Kerry had told them that this was not a traditional restaurant because people didn’t kneel on cushions to eat, and that it was one of the best in the city. They all found the waiters and waitresses very polite, but they were slightly alarmed that they had let some of their Pokémon out.

    “Well, here in Johto it isn’t heard of for people to actually eat with their Pokémon in civilian restaurants,” said Kerry. “At private residences or for a trainer on the road, it’s a bit more common.”

    “I figured that out when I first got here,” said Ramón serenely. “More than a few people were afraid of Claydol when we were eating at a restaurant. But I never let that bother me.”

    “In Sinnoh and, from what I know, Hoenn, it’s very common,” said Carmen who was watching Drapion, the largest of the Pokémon in the room, steal a piece of chicken from her plate. “The Pokémon follow the same rules as humans: as long as you’re civilized, you can stay. Right Gardevoir?” and she agreed.

    “I remember reading a story in one of Ramón’s books about that subject,” Cate said. “It stated that there was once no difference between humans and Pokémon. I can definitely see how Sinnoh’s modern culture reflects that. I think Johto is trying to emulate Sinnoh and Hoenn in that respect for two reasons. The first is that people are really starting see that that is the respect that we need to have for Pokémon. The second is that Johto is trying to fully separate from Kanto.”

    “And we should. Besides, Espeon has been more of a help than humans have a lot of the time,” said Nemo fiercely as Espeon hissed in agreement.

    Carmen was thoroughly enjoying the conversation but she couldn’t help but feel that there was still a sort of weight she was carrying. But how could that be? When she had found Gardevoir and Espeon, she noticed that the atmosphere around them was more hopeful. Gardevoir seemed happier and even Espeon didn’t seem as angry. Alas, Carmen decided to put it behind her and focus on the dinner. In addition to Drapion and Gardevoir, Porygon-Z was also floating around, just as Carmen had said. She wished she had a laptop with her to really show off its abilities, but that didn’t stop everyone from being curious anyway.

    “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you battle with it before,” said Ramón. “Does it battle anything like it did as a Porygon2?”

    “For the most part, yes,” answered Carmen. “But its attacks are far more powerful now. Tomorrow…at that dojo, I can show you in a battle.” And the little spark was there again.

    Ramón smiled at her words. “Sounds like a good idea. And Porygon-Z isn’t all that bad. It just goes with the flow.” He poked it and it drifted aimlessly in the opposite direction. “But I’ll never like the idea of manmade Pokémon, I’m afraid.”

    “Ah, well,” said Carmen. “I guess that’s a compromise.”

    She looked around at the rest of the Pokémon that were around the table. Drapion had a very healthy appetite, especially for meat, so Carmen had made sure to order him extra. He also loved to wreck things which used to cause him (and Carmen) problems. However once Carmen was able to channel that into battling, he became a very powerful, very vicious physical fighter. Nevertheless, he passed up the opportunity to destroy something whenever Carmen asked. Gardevoir, meanwhile, was eating berries Carmen had taken with her from Sinnoh with Espeon. Carmen laughed when Espeon bit into a Rabuta Berry and gagged.

    “Here, try this,” said Cate, holding out a Figy Berry. Espeon was hesitant to take it but loved it once she’d taken a bite.

    “Espeon likes those berries?” asked Nemo.

    “She enjoys spicy berries to be more general,” said Carmen.

    “That makes sense,” said Nemo happily, yet loudly. “She seems to like hot sauce a lot.”

    “Your Espeon just seems to even more unlike other Espeon,” said Kerry, smiling. Zara was still hiding by Kerry because she was too shy to socialize with anyone else.

    “That just makes her cooler,” said Nemo proudly and Carmen thought she saw Espeon smile with her eyes.

    After dinner and after everyone except Nemo had recalled their Pokémon, Kerry led them to an absolutely gorgeous garden in the city. If time in Ecruteak moved slowly, time appeared to have stopped here. The sakura were in full bloom now and the beautiful white flowers seemed to glow in the light of the full moon. Kelpsy and Pomeg Berry plants dotted the walk way. Carmen had rarely seen them this vivid before. Pokémon that possessed flowers and petals were now sleeping gently—all except the Vileplume. At the sight of people they began using Moonlight for their viewing pleasure. Glowing sparkles seemed to descend from the night sky and into their lovely flowers. A gentle spring bubbled peacefully a short distance away.

    “How pretty,” said Cate. “I’ve never seen this garden by moonlight before. It’s amazing.”

    “This would be a good area to mediate,” said Ramón as he petted one of the Vileplume.

    “Espeon! Leave the Vileplume alone!” hissed Nemo to Espeon who was snarling and threatening to tackle one.

    Carmen meanwhile just took in the scenery. It reminded Carmen of their garden at home, which was a combination of Sinnoh and Johto traditions. Reina and Ramón claimed that the legendary Pokémon Mesprit often visited the garden. It was here that then five year old Reina wandered when she was sick and alleged to have seen the fairy like Pokémon with her own eyes…

    “I also have a song I’d like to play,” said Kerry quietly as she pulled out a flute from her bag. “It’s called Lugia’s Song.”

    Cate, Ramón, and even Nemo all had a somber expression at her words. It didn’t take Carmen long to find out why when Kerry began to play. An ethereal sound enveloped the garden and even penetrated to Carmen very bones. She remembered this song: their mother had hummed it to them as a lullaby when they were little. But this was different and that was no ordinary flute. The sound it made was simply indescribable. Kerry’s playing had power yet was so very gentle. Everyone was soothed by it—even the Pokémon. Espeon looked fair less tense and no longer looked at the Vileplume in malice. A trio of Murkrow had landed on a nearby tree branch to listen; not even bothering to go after the shiny flute. They merely listened to Kerry’s playing and focused on nothing else for the longest time. So when she finally finished, it took them all a while to become fully conscious once more.

    “The song…I feel more spiritually powerful. Thanks Kerry!” said Ramón and Kerry blushed. Carmen knew that he was referring to his psychic power while Kerry didn’t.

    “I feel more relaxed myself,” said Cate.

    “Well you know what?” said Nemo excitedly. “It made me feel like battling, so who DARES to challenge me!?”

    “No one,” everyone else said at the same time.

    “Well FINE then,” said Nemo, folding his arms.

    “Nemo, you see, we’re in a very special moment,” said Ramón. “Do you really want to interrupt our special moment?” Then he gave Nemo a rather unnerving smile.

    “Creepy,” Nemo said, perturbed. “I’ll battle someone in the dojo tomorrow then, sheesh!”

    Kerry laughed. “I love how Lugia’s Song has the ability to relax some and energize others. Lugia will sometimes sing the song from deep within the Whirl Island caves. It is said to bring tears to the eyes of anyone who hears it.”

    They all murmured in amazement. They were all making plans for what they were going to do tomorrow when Kerry looked at her watch and gasped.

    “Oh no! When did it get this late! I have to be in my dormitory in TEN minutes!” she said horrified. “Meet me at the same place tomorrow at 3:30 Carmen,” she called as she was running off.

    “I guess we should find ourselves a place to sleep,” said Carmen. “I guess the Pokémon Center would work.” Cate and Ramón agreed.

    “All right then it’s settled,” said Nemo hyper-actively. “Let’s race each other Espeon.” And they too sped off into the night.”

    “Where in the world does he get his energy?” asked Cate, intrigued. “At least the center isn’t hard to find. Let’s head out as well.”

    “You go ahead,” said Ramón. “I’m going to mediate here for a little while.”

    “Are you sure?” asked Carmen.

    He laughed “You’re worried about me? That’s so nice. But no one is going to see me.” He used his powers to levitate some flower petals before releasing them to the wind. “I’ll make sure of it.”

    “If you say so,” said Carmen. In the back of her mind, she sincerely hoped he had the ability to erase people’s memories or some other power in case he was seen.

    Cate and Carmen turned back and walked toward the direction in which Nemo had run. Ecruteak was very peaceful at nighttime for a city of its size. Cate said that was because the nightlife here wasn’t as active and that the only people out now where mainly looking at the scenery or watching a show of some kind.

    “So perhaps there is actually a low chance of Ramón being seen,” Carmen said quietly.

    “Maybe,” agreed Cate. “Plus he has heightened senses so he could tell if someone is coming a long way off.”

    “Heightened senses?” said Carmen dubiously. “He must have the ability to turn them on and off because he sure doesn’t use them all the time.”

    “You’re right about that,” said Cate. “You should ask him more about it. I bet he’d like to tell you himself.”

    “I’ll bet he would,” said Carmen. “By the way, have you had any remote visions or visions of the future?”

    “As a matter of fact I had a vision of the future,” said Cate. “I see us in Olivine City and, from the mood of it, we’ve just had some sort of adventure.”

    “And you didn’t see what we encountered?” asked Carmen.

    “Not this time,” answered Cate simply.

    They made some plans about what they would do tomorrow, which included eating breakfast in the great outdoors the next morning. A little while later, they found themselves at the Pokémon Center. It was made in the same design as the historic looking buildings around them, so it appeared to be from another times as well. The inside looked just like any other Pokémon Center however, except for the magnificent portrait of Ho-Oh hanging over the front desk.

    “Hey! What took you guys so long? I’ve been waiting for about fifteen minutes.” It was Nemo.

    “For one, we weren’t running,” Carmen pointed out. “And you can’t have been here that long.”

    Nemo opened his mouth as though he were about to say something, then closed it. “Where is your creepy brother?

    “He’s said he was going to meditate at the garden for a while,” Carmen told him.

    “Hmph,” he said, suddenly. “I’m going to my room now. Come on Espeon.”

    “You know what?” said Cate. “I’m not normally the prodding or the confrontational type, but I say we try to get something out of him tomorrow. Doesn’t it feel like he’s hiding something?”

    “It does,” Carmen agreed. “It’s like he’s running from something.”

    ~ ~ ~​

    Cate and Carmen woke up the next morning and packed their backpacks, and made two discoveries. Nemo had vanished without saying a word and Ramón never came to the Pokémon Center last night. Carmen found she wasn’t too worried about either of them. If he wanted, Nemo would manage to mysteriously find his way back to them. If he didn’t want to, there was really nothing they could do about it, though Carmen had to admit she was curious about him now, too. She wasn’t worried about Ramón because he’d probably gotten carried away with his meditation or distracted by something else entirely. And sure enough, as soon as Cate and Carmen stepped out of the Pokémon Center, Ramón came running up to them.

    “Oh, good, I caught you,” he said breathlessly. It looked like he ran the entire way, and plenty of people were staring.

    “What happened to you?” asked Carmen who probably already knew the answer.

    “While I was meditating last night, I had a sort of epiphany,” Ramón began. “If you’ll remember I couldn’t lift heavy objects with my telekinesis—

    “I never really noticed,” said Carmen. Now that she thought about it, the heaviest thing she’d seen him lift was her cell phone.

    “But last night I felt something in my mind clear. A-and I levitated!” he said, as though he still couldn’t believe it. “So now I can lift objects that are my weight or under.”

    “Wow Ramón,” said Cate. “That’s amazing!”

    “I’m so happy about it,” he said. “And not only that, I managed to sense Reina the clearest I’ve ever been able to. I can feel that she’s excited about something.”

    “I wonder what about,” Carmen said, but she didn’t have to wonder for long. Her cell phone began to ring and Carmen was amazed to see that it was a message from Reina. “Ha, take a look at this,” said Carmen as she held it over to Ramón and Cate.

    ‘Carmen, Carmen, Carmen, GUESS WHAT!?! Luz and I are going to HOENN. Steven Stone here I come!’ read Reina’s message.

    “Well, she certainly seems excited in that message,” Cate laughed.

    “I’m really in a good mood now,” Ramón said happily. “It feels like my powers have increased ten-fold.”

    “Even your heighten senses?” asked Carmen as they began walking toward the city walls. “How do they work? Cate told me you had them.”

    “She did? Nice,” he said. “Anyway, it generally only works when I’m in danger of some kind. Then, my powers make my sense of hearing, sight, smell, touch, and even taste sharper. It’s like the physical manifestation of my abnormal perception—only it’s involuntary unlike my emotional perceptiveness.”

    “When did you first figure out you had to be in danger?” Carmen asked, trying to not to get too lost in his words.

    “I had a run in with some shady individuals in Sinnoh a while back,” he answered loosely.

    “Oh,” said Carmen. For some reason, she chose not to press him any further and instead just concentrated on her walk. They learned that the quickest way to reach the woods was to walk toward Bell Tower. Suddenly, Ramón stopped them.

    “What are you doing?” Carmen asked bewildered.

    “Nemo’s coming,” he said.

    “You can sense him now?” groaned Carmen.

    And not surprisingly, when they turned around, they saw Nemo and Espeon running towards them. He seemed very disappointed that he’d been spotted.

    Ramón smiled. “Did you want to sneak up us?”

    “No,” he lied flatly.

    “Where have you been?”


    Now it was Cate’s turn to smile. “Nemo, Nemo, Nemo. Why won’t you tell us anything?”

    Nemo quickly went on the defensive. “And why on earth would I tell you guys anything? I haven’t even known you for three days yet.”

    “Weeeeee’ll come back to that later,” said Ramón. “Let’s just focus on finding a nice place to eat.”

    Ecruteak City was gorgeous in the golden morning sun. It warmed them as they walked eastward toward Bell Tower. Here, they passed a more residential area. Parents were walking their young children to school. It rather reminded Carmen of how their mom used to walk them to school, and how Ramón and Isabel would always insist on going alone because they were big kids. Bell Tower looked elegant in the sunlight. Carmen looked at the very top and tried to imagine Ho-oh at the top even though Kerry said it hadn’t been seen in a very long time. It didn’t take them long until they were actually in front of the tower.

    “I wonder if Ho-Oh and Lugia would have stayed had Brass Tower not burned down,” said Carmen.

    “I never thought I’d hear those words come out of your mouth,” said Ramón in awe.

    Carmen groaned.

    “But to answer your question,” said Ramón. “I don’t believe they would’ve stayed. The story goes that Brass Tower burned in a mysterious fire and that Ho-Oh will only return when it finds a trainer with a pure heart. Maybe Ho-Oh and Lugia grew fed up with the state of the world and left.”

    “And Ho-Oh took its tower with it? That’s a radical thought,” said Carmen.

    “Hence why it isn’t a popular theory,” Cate said shrewdly.

    “Hmmm,” said Nemo. “I actually like that theory.”

    “Why?” asked Ramón.

    Nemo shrugged. “Well, the people wouldn’t quit being idiots so Ho-Oh left and burned down its tower and left. That’s really cool. It sounds like the kind of thing an anti-hero would do.”

    Ramón tilted his head slightly, interested before looking toward the entrance of the tower and at the monk guarding it. “One day I’m going to gain entry to that tower. I’m not leaving Johto until I do.”

    “Even if it takes years?” asked Carmen.

    “Even if it takes years,” said Ramón smiling.

    Carmen sighed. “You and Reina are a lot alike. She’s probably not going to leave Hoenn until she finds Steven. That’s one of the reasons she wanted to go in the first place.”

    “And look who’s talking,” said Ramón, amused. “Think about why you came to Johto in the first place.”

    Carmen had to admit he had a point. She knew Johto held answers for her, but it wasn’t that she didn’t want to leave. It was that she couldn’t even if she wanted to. With one last glance at the tower in front of them, they turned and strayed off the path into the woods. The trees here weren’t quite as thick as the ones around Ramón’s house so sunlight was able to reach the ground in places, illuminating the morning dew.

    “Look, there’s a good place,” said Cate pointing. It was a wide circular grassy clearing surrounded by trees. Everyone unpacked things from their bags and spread it out on a blanket Cate had brought. They also released their Pokémon. Ramón decided go on a quick fly on Suna before eating. Nemo spotted some berries and went to see if they were the kind Espeon liked. In addition to Hakan, who was lying beside her, Cate also had a Togekiss who greatly impressed Carmen.

    “Amazing,” Carmen said. “They’re so rare that this is only second Togekiss I’ve ever seen in person.”

    “Her name is Jubilee,” Cate said. “Hakan actually came across the egg while we were traveling through the Ruins of Alph. She’s really sweet too.”

    “She sounds like my Dragonite,” Carmen noted, as she and Cate sat down beside each other. Jubilee and Dragonite seemed to get a long well together.

    “It’s interesting that even though you’re psychic, you don’t have any Psychic Pokémon,” Carmen noted.

    “I suppose it is,” said Cate. “But I did take care of a Natu for a friend a while back. But I’ve noticed something about you, Carmen. Your Pokémon don’t have nicknames. Why is that?”

    “Well, my Milotic is named Nerrisa,” Carmen replied. “But I don’t know why I didn’t nickname the others. I’m unique among my siblings in that respect.”

    “Would you like your Pokémon to have names?” asked Cate.

    “I guess…if the right name came along,” said Carmen.

    They looked up and saw Nemo returning with an armload of Tomato Berries. He sat down on the blanket across from them and put the berries down. Espeon happily ate one.

    “Say, what would happen if I ate one of these?” asked Nemo.

    “I wouldn’t advise it,” said Carmen. “They’re really spicy. I’ve only seen one person eat one raw and that was my older sister.”

    “Well, maybe I’m the same way!” said Nemo eagerly. And before they could stop him, he took a huge bit out of one. Almost instantly his face turned as red as his hair and his blue eyes began to water. Cate said nothing, but gave him a bottle of water which Nemo downed in one gulp.

    “Looks like you’re not like my sister,” said Carmen.

    “Oh, shut up,” said Nemo, gasping.

    Breakfast was fairly enjoyable in the beginning. They had a laugh at Nendoru and Porygon-Z. The two Pokémon appeared to be having a staring contest and it was thoroughly creeping out the other Pokémon. Of course, it was always possible that they could actually be having a conversation, but you really couldn’t tell with those two. Ramón finally joined them and grossed them all out by eating something of his creation. Whatever it was a disgusting green color and he ate like it was gourmet.

    “Ramón, I thought you said your cooking had improved,” Carmen said slowly.

    “And it has,” said Ramón. “Taste it!” he added as he shoved it under her nose.

    “Ugh, no thanks,” said Carmen, pushing it away. Instead she ate the sandwich she had packed back at the Pokémon Center which she shared with Gardevoir and Blaziken.

    Cate stayed true to her promise to try to get some information out of Nemo. After she finished eating a burrito she’d made, she turned to him.

    “So where are you from Nemo?” she asked.

    He ignored her and continued to eat his sandwich. Ramón decided to join in.

    “What’s the harm in telling us where you’re from?” he asked. “You know that Cate is from Violet City and Carmen and I are from a village on Verity Lakefront in Sinnoh. I mean seriously, if you’re on witness protection or something, you can tell us.”

    Nemo glared at them. “Why do you want to know? It’s not like it’ll help you any.”

    “If you’re overly suspicious and overly hide things, it makes people very…curious,” said Cate. “It makes people ask more questions.

    Again, Nemo ignored her. Espeon looked from Ramón to Cate—getting ready to attack if they bothered her trainer too much.

    “Nemo,” Ramón said. “You seem to be a loner yet you travel with us. That means you trust us a little deep inside of you. Enough trust to tell us where you’re from anyway.”

    But he remained silent until they finished breakfast. It wasn’t until they were clearing up that he finally spoke again—but it was in a low mumble that no one heard.

    “What?” said Ramón. “I didn’t catch that Nemo.”

    “Alto Mare,” he still said quietly, but clearer. “I’m from Alto Mare.” He didn’t look up from the ground.

    “That’s one of the prettiest cities in world,” breathed Cate. “What was it like living there?”

    “I don’t want to talk about it anymore,” Nemo said gruffly.

    “All right then,” said Cate. “Shall we head to the Dojo now?”

    “Yeah,” said Nemo. His expression brightened immediately.

    After they made sure they’d left nothing behind, they returned back to the city to go to the Dojo. Carmen was going to battle with Porygon-Z just as she had promised because Ramón was eager to see. Nemo was now so excited he nearly collided with Kerry and Zara as they were coming out of the dance theatre they were passing.

    “Oh, hello Nemo,” said Kerry as she composed herself. She looked much differently when she was in her school uniform which consisted of a simple white shirt and black jumper.

    “Where did you come from anyway?” Nemo asked rather rudely.

    “Quiet Nemo,” Carmen scolded. “That wouldn’t have happened if you were watching where you were going. And Kerry I thought we weren’t supposed to meet until later.”

    “Well,” began Kerry who was blushed at the sight of Ramón. “My roommates and I forgot that we didn’t have school today. Needless to say we were upset when we got to school and no one was there because we’d gotten up early for nothing. Everyone else could get back to sleep but I couldn’t so I came back to the dance studio.

    “You’re more than welcome to come with us,” Carmen offered. “We’re going to the Dojo.”

    “Oh great! I’d love to see a battle,” said Kerry excitedly.

    The Dojo was right down the street from the dance theater and sound of battling could be heard from the outside. Carmen pushed open the paper door and they entered. The place was enormous with several doors which presumably split into different arenas. It greatly reminded Carmen of the Coliseum in Veilstone City. The room in which they were standing appeared to be the reception area. Carmen had to sign it and fully expected to have to wait for an opening and was surprised when she didn’t. The woman at the desk directed her to the room in the center. When they entered it, they saw a pretty large crowd of people in the stands, the referee, and Carmen’s opponent.

    “Finally, someone arrives…”

    It was a girl around Carmen’s age and height with shoulder length blonde hair. She was rail thin but strength seemed to emanate from her—especially from her sharp green eyes. She was wearing jeans, a white shirt, and a black and pink striped vest. A medal pinned to her vest glinted in the light. Carmen recognized it immediately.

    “You won the Johto League Tournament,” said Carmen, smiling slightly.

    “And you won at the Sinnoh League,” the girl said, thrilled. “This battle will be good. My name is Madalyn.” She held out a differently colored Pokéball while Carmen pulled out Porygon-Z’s Pokéball.

    “Good luck, Carmen,” said Ramón. “We’re heading to the stands now.”

    Madalyn and Carmen took their places on opposite sides of the arena and released their Pokémon. Porygon-Z appeared in a flash of light motionless and soundless. Madalyn had released a Weavile who flexed her razor-sharp claws as soon as she appeared from the light. She had one large scar that vertically crossed the center of her right eye. Weavile looked nothing short vicious which contrasted greatly with Porygon-Z’s utter lack of emotion.

    For the first time in what seemed like an eternity, Carmen felt the full rush of battle in her. It was like she was flying. She looked across the arena at Madalyn and they locked eyes. Everyone in the room felt the power both girls exuded and they were eager to see what this battle held in store for them.
    #9 Carmen Lopez, Jul 2, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  10. Psycho Monkey

    Psycho Monkey Member of the Literary Elite Four

    I found Johto on a map Cody, they just cleverly disguised it by calling it the Kansai region of Japan XD

    And no Carmen, the monks wouldn't let you pass beyond the gate to Bellchime Trail until you had the Rainbow Wing. Also, I have to ask: You've alluded to the Pokenapping before, so I was wondering if you plan on writing that story out. It sounds like it would be a chaotic and emotionally charged tale that would be most interesting with the amount of detail you use.
    #10 Psycho Monkey, Jul 2, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  11. Aaah, thanks for answering that ^^ And as for the Pokenapping story: there's a strong possibility that I'll write that story out. There's about three one-offs I -really- want to do, and that's one of them (because I've brought it up in CoGV, MO, and in a random bite in the wiki hurr). It'd be a real shame not to. Thanks for asking ♥
  12. OOC: Battle time! \o/

    “This is a one on one battle between Carmen Lopez and Madalyn Scott!” shouted the male referee. “Let the battle begin!”

    Carmen took a deep breath while Madalyn made the first move. She let every thought in her head be wiped away. The only beings that existed were herself, Madalyn, and their Pokémon.

    “Ready to go, Neve?” she said. “Use Ice Shard!”

    Everything slowed down in Carmen’s eyes, but she could tell this was the fastest Weavile she had ever seen. Ice Shard was a fast attack in general, but this was unbelievable. The span of time between the formation of the icy sphere between Neve’s claws and the attack’s launch couldn’t have been more than a split second. Shards of ice from the shattered orb hurled toward Porygon-Z. But Carmen had a counter.

    “Z, use Agility and then Aerial Ace!”

    In the blink of an eye, Porygon vanished and was in Neve’s face in the next moment. The Weavile’s eyes narrowed as it took the brunt of the attack. Madalyn contemplated her next move. She was by no means arrogant but she knew she was a powerful trainer.

    “Crush Claw! NOW!” yelled Madalyn.

    “Dodge it using Double Team!”

    Porygon-Z appeared to split in five. Neve hit the middle Porygon-Z but it was only a fake. Neve slammed into the ground but was unharmed, and in fact, her attack made a huge crack in the arena floor. Without missing a beat, however, she also used Double Team as well, making two additional copies of herself.

    “Foresight and Beat Up,” said Madalyn easily.

    Neve’s eye began to glow red and she zeroed in on the next to last Porygon-Z—the real one. She raised her right claw in front of her and shadowy, demonic form of the head of a Meganium enveloped it. Meganium head opened it’s mouth and used what looked like a black colored Solar Beam.

    “Evade Porygon-Z!”

    Using Agility again, Porygon-Z looked as though it teleported to avoid the attack. After Meganium, Electivire’s head appeared in the same fashion with a negative Thunderbolt attack. Then came the heads of Ninetales, Xatu, and Qwilfish all with ghostly versions of an attack. Porygon-Z was able to dodge them all, but on the last hit, Neve’s aim was true. Golem’s head was the last up to appear, and the shadow Giga Impact was a direct hit. Porygon-Z staggered backward a bit like a robot, its face not showing the damage it had taken.

    “Again, Neve use Crush Claw!”

    Carmen countered at once. “Z use Discharge!”

    Neve’s claws glowed white once more as she leaped into the air. Her attack came crashing down on Porygon-Z right as it released electricity and the entire arena temporarily glowed in its intensity. Carmen felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. And then something rather curious happened. It appeared that Neve was actually stuck to Porygon-Z because the electricity and wasn’t freed until the Discharge attack stopped. Both Pokémon took damage from the others’ attacks, but still Porygon-Z showed no emotion. On the other hand, the fact that Neve, who had taken the harder hit, was giving it her all and was making a valiant effort to shake off the damage was etched into her eyes.

    “Impressive, that was one the strongest Discharge attacks I’ve ever seen,” said Madalyn her green eyes fixed on Carmen. “But what do you have to say about this? Night Slash, Neve, rapid fire!”

    Quite frankly, Carmen was surprised she was still standing, let alone attacking. Neve’s claws darkened as it made brutal swipes at Porygon-Z who did its very best to dodge. Carmen’s silver eyes seemed to flash. She loved this fast paced battle. Neve never stayed still for more than a second at a time.

    “I say this! Protect powered by Psychic, Z!” Psychic power itself may not affect Neve but she could still be touched by something that was being manipulated by it.

    Instead of dodging, Porygon-Z remained in one spot. Wherever Neve’s attack would’ve made contact, an electric blue wall of zeroes and ones would appear at the very point of impact. And to add to Neve’s problems, the psychic power actually turned Protect’s barrier into a moving wall, pushing Neve back whenever she hit it. Porygon-Z’s Protect was one of Carmen’s favorite moves to use because it looked so cool and could easily be manipulated by other attacks as well. At this point though, Carmen was nearly intoxicated by the adrenaline of battling a power opponent and what a darkly sweet feeling that was. It was even better than a gambling spree.

    “Now, that’s really…inconvenient,” Madalyn said politely. “Taunt it, Neve!”

    Neve stopped attacking and landed herself right in front of Porygon-Z. She rapidly blinked her eye lashes while she beckoned it claws; the expression on her face clearly asked “Is that all you got?” But to Neve’s and Madalyn’s great surprise, Porygon-Z remained completely motionless.

    “My Porygon-Z doesn’t exactly show emotion in battle, so attacks like Taunt won’t work,” Carmen explained.

    “Of course,” said Madalyn. “You can’t rile the emotions of a Pokémon that doesn’t have them. On to plan B then. Use Brick Break! They can’t keep up the Protect forever!”

    She was right. That was the nature of Protect: the more it is used, the less effective it becomes. Neve’s claw began to glow just as it did with Crush Claw, but this time she prepared to Karate chop. Carmen knew that if the attack hit Porygon-Z, it was done for.

    “Use Tri-attack to ward it off!” Carmen called out.

    Porygon-Z produced three beams of light in red, blue, and yellow which cork screwed around each other. Now it was Neve’s turn to be on the run because the neither the possibility of being paralyzed, burned, nor frozen solid were appealing.

    “Now use Charge Beam!” Carmen shouted. An orb of blue electricity began to form at the place where Porygon-Z’s mouth should’ve been.

    Madalyn’s eyes seemed to burn. “Oh no you don’t! Use Snatch, Neve!”

    Neve was able to dodge the Charge Beam by rolling. Then, she soared upward again and made a wild grab at Porygon-Z grabbed onto what looked like the ghost of the Charge Beam attack. Neve looked energized and enhanced. Carmen’s eyes narrowed; this wasn’t good. Neve had Snatched the boost in power that sometimes followed Charge Beam.

    “Dark Pulse!”

    The now strengthened ball of sinister energy was released almost a split second after it was formed. There was no way for Porygon-Z to dodge the attack this time. It was hit and sent flying back to Carmen’s feet. But it wasn’t over yet—these were her very last coins to put into the slot machine and as every gambler knows, it can go either way. Madalyn wasn’t holding her breath either. She’d seen enough battles to know how they could turn on a dime.

    “Porygon-Z use Recover!” said Carmen to her weakened Pokémon. White spheres of light surrounded Porygon-Z and gave it their restoring energy.

    “No matter. Now you use Agility in combination with Double Team, Neve!” Madalyn said.

    This was one of the oldest techniques in the book. Carmen had seen this one many times before and yet she’d also seen many people fall to it. Carmen didn’t even try to follow the pink and black blur that was surrounding her Pokémon and she didn’t even need to tell Porygon-Z to use Lock-On next. The attack that would follow would put a stop to Neve’s physical game.

    “Thunder Wave!”

    “But that won’t hit—ah!”

    Porygon-Z let loose a weak blue electrical charge. The attack actually wrapped around and went to the side of Porygon-Z to hone in on Neve who was to its right. The Thunder Wave was a direct hit thanks to Lock-On and Neve was effectively stopped in her tracks thanks to the paralysis. Because she knew Neve’s long range attacks and Ice Shard attack were still usable, Carmen pondered what attack to use to finish her…and sure enough—

    “Ice Shard, once more!”

    “Porygon-Z, use Hyper Beam!”

    The Pokémon turned toward Neve. A massive white beam tore across the arena and hit the Weavile who was no longer able to dodge…and just like that, the battle had ended returning Carmen to reality. The crowd was screaming and clapping wildly. Carmen felt the adrenaline rush fade but she was calmer than she’d been in very long time. She and Madalyn recalled their Pokémon, thanking them for an excellent battle.

    “I had a fun time,” said Madalyn. “And that pretty much settles it. I’m heading off to Sinnoh!”

    The crowd shouted their approval, perhaps wanting Sinnoh to see the best Johto had to offer. Madalyn bowed to Carmen who in turn bowed back, because her father had told her that was what powerful trainers sometimes did in Johto after a good battle. Johto’s Pokédexes had been upgraded to function the same way as Sinnoh’s—including in the dispensing of prize money. Carmen collected her money from Madalyn and they exchanged trainer’s profiles with one another.

    The crowd began to simmer down as Madalyn and Carmen said their goodbyes. Madalyn probably had no idea just how grateful Carmen was for her. It was now that Carmen understood that her idea of wandering around looking for strong trainers was actually pretty sound. The rush and the high from the challenge of a tough battle were simply amazing.

    “Carmen, you were amazing,” squealed Kerry when they were all together again.

    “Thank you,” said Carmen. Unlike her sisters, she always felt a slight tinge of awkwardness whenever someone complemented her.

    “Porygon-Z is very interesting,” said Cate. “And a little unsettling as well. It can’t be easy to face down an opponent that shows no emotion.”

    “I used to be like that,” Carmen admitted. “People would tell me that they got chills just from being around me.”

    “What made you change?” asked Kerry. “You looked as though you were having the time of your life in that match.”

    Carmen shrugged. Remembering those days was always hard for her. “I didn’t find battling fun then. I loved my Pokémon but it was all about winning and gaining power and absolutely nothing else. Heh, at least until the day Gardevoir was stolen from me. I realized just how screwed up my priorities were…” A far away look crossed Carmen’s face and no one decided to question her. Ramón looked especially concerned as he glanced at Carmen until she spoke again.“Hmm. Is there anyway for us to go to Goldenrod City?”

    “Oh no,” said Ramón, the concern fading slightly. “You still have that horrible urge? Why must you insist on gambling after a tough battle?”

    “Why not?” said Carmen. “It’s not like I’m addicted. I just like to follow one adrenaline rush with another.”

    On the very rare occasions that Carmen saw Ramón get frustrated, it was for two reasons: when he and their father didn’t see eye to eye and whenever Carmen’s gambling came up. His demeanor changed as he turned to Cate, Nemo, Kerry, and Zara. “After she won her battle to become a Sinnoh League Champion, you know what she did? She went off to the Veilstone City Game Corner.”

    “You say that like it’s a bad thing,” Carmen complained. “I actually doubled my money that night!”

    “That’s not the point,” scolded Ramón. “I’ve seen you when you get in one of those trances and it’s scary.”

    “Not much scarier than when you start getting carried away in your mythology studies,” Carmen shot back.

    “Hey! We were talking about you not me—

    Cate and Kerry giggled.

    “This is the most normal I’ve ever see you act,” Nemo said to Ramón flatly.

    “Normal? How is this normal?” Ramón wanted to know. Carmen knew he was sincere but that still didn’t mean she wished he hadn’t asked.

    “You aren’t being spacey and you’re arguing with your sister,” said Nemo.

    “All right then,” said Ramón his vacant smile returning. “If that’s what you call normal, fine then. But Carmen, really, it was a good battle. The crowd here was more reminiscent of one in Veilstone City than Ecruteak City.”

    “I think I saw a camera man as well,” said Cate. “So your battle will likely be on TV and on the radio.”

    “Wow,” said Carmen. She never thought a simple battle would land her on TV. That was always more of Reina’s thing than hers, though. “And Ramón, to compromise I might fly later instead of gambling.”

    “I like that idea,” Ramón replied. “Are we ready to leave now?”

    “Wait, wait, wait,” said Nemo, shaking his head. “I haven’t had my battle yet! And we haven’t seen THEM battle either,” he said, pointing at Kerry and Zara.

    “Haven’t I told you that pointing is rude?” Ramón reminded Nemo. “And how do you know Zara and Kerry even want to battle?”

    “It’s true,” said Kerry. “Zara and I don’t battle…” she trailed off, as though unsure if that was a good thing.

    “I don’t really like to battle much either,” said Ramón. “But my Pokémon know moves just for safety’s sake. That’s what my father always told us anyway.”

    “So you don’t like to battle, but you can?” asked Nemo and then before Ramón could respond, “Practice with me then!”

    “Hmm, fine then,” Ramón responded. “Nendoru and I need the practice anyway. I also noticed that your Espeon needs a bit of help with her psychic powers and I love to be of assistance.”

    “You think you could help?” asked Nemo who looked a bit skeptical.

    Carmen smiled. “He helped out my Gardevoir before she evolved. She couldn’t access her psychic at all and now it’s second nature to her.”

    Nemo didn’t need convincing anymore. “SCORE! I’m going to sign up right now. You just wait in the reception area!” said Nemo excitedly as he scampered off.

    The others followed Nemo’s figurative dust back to the reception area and had a seat. It was much more crowded now and it seemed like everyone was talking about Carmen and Madalyn’s battle. Fortunately, no one spotted Carmen so she was able to remove her ring and put it in her pocket. She really didn’t feel like being questioned at the moment, not when she was feeling so reflective. Ramón pulled out a Coordinating magazine from his bag and began reading.

    “I didn’t know you were into coordinating,” said Cate, surprised.

    “I’m not, but my twin sister Isabel is,” said Ramón as he rifled through the magazine. “She’s an excellent coordinator, even winning the Sinnoh Grand Festival a while back. She said she’d come to Johto soon, so hopefully we’ll get to see each other.”

    “My older brother Shaun is a coordinator as well,” said Kerry. “He’s going for a win at the Grand Festival this year.”

    “Nice,” said Carmen. “I think Isabel is going to challenge the contests in Kanto next. At least, that was where she was the last time we talked.”

    “Ha,” said Ramón. “Look at this.” He handed the magazine to Cate and she held it between her and Carmen.

    It was the magazine’s spotlighted coordinator and it was none other than Isabel and her Gallade, Carmelo and her Altaria, Mariah. They were posed to look as though Carmelo were asking Isabel for a dance while Mariah serenaded. There was her coordinators profile of how many ribbons she’d won and her Grand Festival win. As always, she looked flawless. Her long black hair flew behind her and her silver eyes, even sharper than Carmen’s, commanded the photo though she wasn’t looking at the camera. The red dress she wore showed off her perfect figure and her long, long legs.

    “She’s really…gorgeous in this picture,” said Cate. “You never told me she modeled.”

    For a split second, Carmen thought she saw a frown crease Cate’s serene face. Could she actually be jealous? It was hard for Carmen to believe because Cate had seen Isabel in a photograph and a vision. But before she could put anymore thought into it, Nemo came back.

    “Okay, we have practice room number two. LET’S GO!” he said.

    He led them to the room which turned out to be slightly smaller than the arena in which Carmen battled and didn’t have the stands for spectators. There were only two benches along either side of the field and some practice dummies.

    “Seeing that picture of Carmelo reminded me of how frustrated Isabel was at me,” said Carmen as she, Cate, and Kerry, sat down on the bench on the right side of the room. Ramón and Nemo were discussing battle plans. “Carmelo and my Gardevoir are brother and sister. And she named him Carmelo after me. It wasn’t until a long time afterward that I found that she expected me to then name Gardevoir after her.”

    “And you still haven’t,” said Cate, smiling.

    “I never bothered,” Carmen said nonchalantly. “She’s going to bring it up again and get upset with me once more. But I am thinking about humoring her because Anabel sounds like a really pretty name for Gardevoir.”

    “Why don’t you name here that?” asked Kerry. “It really is a beautiful name.”

    “Maybe I will,” said Carmen. “I’ll have to see what Gardevoir thinks.”

    “Right,” said Ramón. He and Nemo were on opposite of the field now. “I noticed something change in your Espeon and I want to see.”

    “You think?” asked Nemo. “We’ll see then.” He took out Espeon’s Pokéball and released her.

    Ramón held out Nendoru’s Pokéball on left hand. Whether it was by Ramón’s power or Nendoru’s, the Pokéball levitated and opened revealing the enigmatic Pokémon within. It was a strange Pokémon in not just looks; Carmen felt that the Pokémon was much older than anyone could imagine and because of that it was very powerful. The Claydol’s abilities always astounded her. Beside her, she felt Kerry and Zara shudder slightly.

    Nemo swallowed as he stared down Nendoru—perhaps feeling the vibes that many people got from the Pokémon. “That Pokémon even creepier than you, but it’s cool.”

    “Thanks,” said Ramón while Nendoru made a raspy rattling sound in thanks as well.

    Nemo thought to himself for a second. “It’s a psychic type so use Shadow Ball, Espeon.”

    Espeon obeyed and but before she could launch the attack, Nendoru Teleported away. Carmen had to marvel at how long Nendoru could stay vanished during a Teleport move. The Sun Pokémon looked around, wondering where it had gone. If anything had changed in Espeon, it was certainly her demeanor. While she was still far from graceful, she seemed a lot less angry, and more alert. The fur on the base of her neck stood up and her eyes scanned the field. Carmen immediately saw what change Ramón had sensed.

    “She’s finally using her psychic power for more than just Psybeam and barriers now,” said Ramón triumphantly. He looked as though he knew the reason behind Espeon’s change but Nemo still looked clueless.

    Suddenly Espeon sidestepped to the right—right out of the line of fire of a powerful Signal Beam attack. Claydol had appeared right in her blind spot and fired an attack.

    “I had Claydol stay vanished for an extended period to see if Espeon would actually use her powers,” Ramón explained.

    Nemo looked puzzled. “I never knew she could predict attacks like that. Can we try that again?” he added eagerly. “But wait, how did you tell your Claydol—

    “Sure. I want to see if she can predict faster,” said Ramón, cutting Nemo off, smiling.

    Nendoru vanished again, but this time it reappeared much faster than before. Espeon was still able to predict where Nendoru would appear next and even prepare to defend, but when Nendoru got faster it was another story. Espeon could see what was coming but she could not defend herself had Ramón commanded Nendoru to use an attack. It was the same strategy that Carmen often used again Reina’s Lucario: hit her with something she can’t avoid.

    Nemo was silent for a few seconds then he smiled. “THAT WAS AWESOOOOOOOOME ESPEON!” he shouted, while Espeon shrieked in happiness at her trainer’s happiness which made everyone flinch. “You know, if we practice more we’ll have this prediction thing down!”

    “Pretty good,” Ramón agreed. “But I have one more thing I want to see. Has your Espeon ever used the attack called Psychic before?”

    Espeon and Nemo looked at each other and then he spoke. “I don’t think so. I’m not even sure what the attack does.”

    “Oh?” said Ramón. “Then let’s demonstrate, Nendoru.”

    The Claydol turned toward one of the alloy dummies on the side of the field and both Nendoru and the dummy began to glow in a sinister red color. A second later the dummy, which was about five feet tall, was crumpled into the globe the size of a basketball. Nemo’s eyes grew wide. Carmen was amused as she remembered her first time seeing Nendoru, then a Baltoy, perform that very attack. Their mother had spent the half a day organizing Ramón’s messy room as a surprise. When he finally arrived home from school, he took one look at it and told Nendoru to destroy his room with Psychic. He claimed he couldn’t concentrate in an organized room, but needless to say, Abigail wasn’t happy when she saw Ramón’s room looking a mess again.

    “Can you do that, Espeon?” Nemo asked.

    Espeon looked uncertain, but she turned to another dummy and resolved to try anyway. Carmen felt her brain hurt just watching Espeon try to perform the attack, and because every bit of her struggle reminded her of Gardevoir. She was focusing as hard as she could and the strain was causing her entire body to shake, although at first it was all in vain. Finally a weak, quivering purple aura of psychic energy surrounded her, but the exertion was taking its toll. With one final shriek, Espeon released all the power she could, but the dummy barely twitched. Espeon collapsed from exhaustion and Nemo rushed over to her.

    “Are you all right?” asked Nemo anxiously. Espeon responded back weakly. Nemo fed her some spicy berries to help her regain her strength. “But she can perform Psybeam perfectly! Why is Psychic so difficult?”

    “Because Psychic requires a different level of control of her abilities,” Ramón said. “It’s closely related to being able predict things. Some Pokémon just have more trouble with it than others as my sister found out…”

    And then a strange and frightening feeling overcame Carmen. Her brother’s voice faded to a distant place and Kerry and Cate seemed miles away when they were sitting right beside her. Everything began to die away around her and she felt herself falling…


    The warped, maniacal voice seemingly came from the depths of Carmen’s own mind. It was far worse than the voice that haunted her nearly every night because it chilled her to the bone and made her sick to her stomach. She closed her eyes to make the feeling go away.



    Carmen! “Carmen! What happened? What’s wrong?”

    She opened her eyes to see Cate, Kerry and Zara, and even Nemo and Espeon surrounding her with Ramón kneeling in front of her. Everything was still blurry but she could feel the fear of every being in the room.

    “You don’t look well it all,” said Ramón. “We should—

    “No, no I’m fine,” said Carmen faintly.

    Ramón shook his head. “Stop it. You’re not fine!”

    His voice caused Carmen’s vision to sharply return to its normal clarity. Finally she saw the concern and worry in his brown eyes; it was the same expression their mother gave whenever she was anxious about one of her children, and at the moment it was making Carmen feel worse than she already did. Without warning, she rose unsteadily to her feet.

    “I’m going to…” She couldn’t even get her destination out before she pushed past Ramón and bolted. Even in her state, she was slightly surprised he didn’t stop her.

    “Is she going to be all right?” asked Nemo anxiously. It was the most concern he’d ever shown to anyone in the group since he’d been with them.

    But Carmen didn’t hear his question, let alone the response. She ripped open the door to the room and ran out—not knowing where on earth she was going. Her instincts guided her steps as she wove her away around the many people in the Dojo. It was a miracle that she didn’t crash into anyone though many people gave her strange looks. The next thing she knew, she was in the largest stall of the bathroom. Carmen put her back to the wall and slid down to the floor taking in heavy shuddering gasps to steady herself.

    Where did this come from? Carmen thought to herself. Just a short while ago she was on cloud nine—elated that her battling spirit returned. She was thoroughly invested in watching Ramón and Nemo practice together. The voice sounded so familiar yet so evil, but it wasn’t the first time she’d heard it. In fact, Carmen had had this experience before—right after she'd won the tournament. Fortunately she had hid that experience from everyone though Ramón could tell something was wrong—even if he couldn’t put his finger on the exact reason. Carmen felt cold sweat droplets on her face and her breathing didn’t slow…she was very glad she didn’t have to vomit this time.

    Out of the blue, two of the Pokéballs at Carmen’s waist expanded and Blaziken and Gardevoir released themselves. They had been with her the last time this happened.

    “I need…to get out of here…” said Carmen weakly. The chemicals they had used to clean the bathroom and the loud voices of the other girls were finally getting to her.

    Blaziken and Gardevoir looked at each other and contemplated. They weren’t sure if they should give her what she wanted or alert the rest of the group. Blaziken wanted to leave immediately but Gardevoir wasn’t so sure, however to prevent a potential argument, she went along with Blaziken. They looked at each other once before Gardevoir put her hands on her human and her teammate and teleported away.

    Carmen felt her herself flying through a world of psychic energy before finally landing. The wall of the bathroom she had been leaning against had been replaced by a huge tree and the smell of chemicals was replaced with the clean scent of fresh air. The soothing sounds of the wind calmed her slightly though she was still exhausted.

    “Thanks guys,” said Carmen quietly. She closed her eyes and fell unconscious…

    ~ ~ ~​

    Carmen slowly stirred awake at the Pidgey chirp high in the trees of the forest and the sun shining down on her. Her head was still hurting but she no longer had the nauseated feeling for which she was relieved. She looked around and saw her self looking at Gardevoir and Blaziken who were relieved to see her awake.

    “Thanks again for watching over me, Gardevoir and Blaziken,” said Carmen with a small smile. Both Pokémon said you’re welcome in their own language.

    Before she could say another word, Nendoru and Ramón Teleported in their midst. Carmen had a sneaking suspicion that Ramón had been there before because her Pokémon showed no sign of surprise.

    “Carmen, I’m so relieved you’re awake.” Ramón said as he sat down on the ground beside her. It hurt Carmen to look him in the eye because they still had that worry in them.

    “Where is everyone?” asked Carmen. She was trying to stave off the questions that Ramón would eventually ask her.

    “I wanted to be the one to find you first and Cate knew that,” he explained. “So I sent everyone else off in a different area of the city while I came straight here.”

    “And you can sense my exact location now?”

    “Yes,” he answered simply. And when Carmen couldn’t come up with any more questions to delay the inevitable, he began speaking again. “Carmen, you have to tell me what happened back there. Both Cate and I felt something really dark and sinister.”

    “It was nothing,” she said resolutely. “I’ll be fine.”

    “Stop lying to me—

    “Ramón, please, not now,” Carmen groaned. “I don’t want to talk about it now.”

    “Then when do you want to talk about it?” he asked. “And don’t just say later,” Ramón added.

    “Fine, tomorrow,” said Carmen to shut him up. At times he could be just a little too perspective! “I’m feeling a bit better now, so you can call the others now.”

    Ramón shook his head and held his hand out for her phone. “And remember, we’re going to talk about this tomorrow.” After he made some phone calls, Nemo showed up in about five minutes, Cate in ten while riding Hakan, and lastly Kerry and Zara came in twenty minutes.

    It was an uncomfortable scene for Carmen because all the attention was on her. Unfortunately, she had no idea how she could explain this away. There was no way she could tell them about the nightmares or the voice she’d heard while she was having the spell, but she couldn’t lie either. When she couldn’t take it any longer, Carmen spoke. She had no idea what effect it would have but she had to say something.

    “Sorry about scaring you all earlier,” said Carmen, standing up. “I haven’t been feeling well, and I guess the high emotion of the battle didn’t help. I’m fine now.”

    She looked around at everyone and saw that no one bought it, yet no one said anything. No one dared to say anything that could upset her while she was already not feeling well.

    “Even so,” said Kerry gently, pulling a bottle of rich crimson juice out of her bag and handing it to Carmen. “You should take this. The Shuckle we keep in our dorm made this juice and it’ll really pick you up!”

    Carmen opened the bottle and took a sip. “It’s really good,” she told Kerry. “It’s just like the juice my mom makes with her Shuckle.

    Cate looked around at Gardevoir and Blaziken. “I see your Pokémon helped take care of you,” she noted.

    “They did,” said Carmen, grateful for the conversation. “Gardevoir and Blaziken were like my protectors and made sure nothing happened to me.”

    “And that reminds me of how Zara pushed me out of the way of a Poison Powder attack from an angry Oddish for me,” said Kerry. “But even though she took a face full of toxic dust, she didn’t seem to be harmed. To this day I have no idea why…”

    “Your Clefable has the Magic Guard ability,” Carmen said, but Kerry only looked confused, so she explained further. “That means that Zara will only take damage from direct attacks. She won’t be hurt by burns or poison or anything like that. It’s a very useful ability.”

    Nemo nodded. “Okay that settles it. She seems fine for now. And since we’re out here, can we get back to our training,” he asked Ramón. “Espeon should be rested now.”

    “All right, why not,” said Ramón. “And Carmen, may I borrow Gardevoir for a little bit?”

    “Sure,” said Carmen. She was really starting to feel better now that everyone attention was getting focused elsewhere. Even her headache was starting to lessen.

    Nemo released Espeon who seemed to be happy that Gardevoir was joining them. Ramón seemed to pick up where he left off when Carmen’s spell interrupted them earlier. Meanwhile, Cate, Carmen, and Kerry sat down on a felled tree while watching the practice session. Zara was attempting to overcome her shyness and speak to Blaziken because she was impressed by how much he cared for his trainer.

    “I feel almost ashamed that I didn’t know about my own Pokémon’s ability,” said Kerry awkwardly.

    “Don’t worry about it,” said Cate. “It was a while before I knew about Hakan’s Flash Fire ability.”

    “Wait, don’t tell me,” said Kerry brightly. “That ability makes a Pokémon immune to fire type moves right? My brother said his Ninetales had it.”

    “Right,” said Carmen. “That’s another really handy ability.”

    “I must say,” said Kerry. “Thanks to you, Carmen, and our run-in with those goons, I’ve been inspired to start battling with Zara. Not competitively or anything like that, but enough to protect ourselves. I’ll be spending more time at the Dojo now!”

    “Sounds like a good choice,” said Cate.

    Carmen pulled out her Pokédex and showed Kerry Clefable’s entry. “This can give you more information about Clefable like its attacks.

    “Interesting,” said Kerry mesmerized as she thumbed through the entry.

    The group stayed in the forest for most of the day training, talking, and spending time with their Pokémon. Nemo and Espeon seemed especially zealous about practicing and Ramón had to tell them more than once to take it easy. Kerry grew especially interested about the move Protect when she found out Clefable could learn it as well. Carmen gave her the Protect TM and challenged Kerry to learn how to use it herself. They ended up eating both lunch and dinner outdoors. Nemo claimed to want to practice more after dinner, both he and Espeon passed out asleep in the middle of dinner after revealing they’d been awake since 4:30 in the morning.

    “Well, as it’s nearly sunset, it’s time for me to go again,” Kerry managed to choke out after she finished laughing at Nemo. “You’ll be leaving in the morning, right?”

    “Correct,” said Ramón, making Kerry blush scarlet again. “We’re heading out to Olivine City tomorrow morning. And thanks again for turning my sister into a believer,” he added as Carmen rolled her eyes.

    “Yes, it was very nice meeting you,” said Cate, giving Kerry a hug.

    “Same to you,” Kerry responded graciously.

    Carmen rummaged through her bag. “And as thanks for showing me around this gorgeous city, here’s a Life Orb.” She gave the pretty, yet powerful, purple orb to Kerry.

    “Wow, what does this do?” she asked curiously.

    “It powers up a Pokémon’s moves in battle but at the cost of its energy,” Carmen explained. “But with Zara’s Magic Guard, she doesn’t have to worry about that cost, so it’s essentially a free boost. I know it’s generally only used by competitive trainers, but I think you’ll find use for it.”

    “Thank you so much!” squealed Kerry. “But did you ever use it?”

    “I used to,” Carmen admitted, “back when my battling style matched my gambling lifestyle. Now I’m certain you can get better use of it than I can.”

    “I do hope we see each other again,” said Kerry bowing. “I want to show you how much Zara and I will have grown stronger.”

    “And I’m sure we will see that,” said Carmen smiling.

    “Bye everyone!” said Kerry as she and Zara turned and walked away. “Come back to Ecruteak sometime!”

    “I guess we should get our Pokémon to the Pokémon Center,” said Cate after Kerry was out of their sight. Carmen recalled her tired Pokémon and thanked them again.

    Nemo proved to be quite a deep sleeper. When Ramón tried to wake him, he only mumbled something about asparagus before becoming silent again. Espeon was just as unresponsive

    “He’s not waking up,” said Ramón amused. “I guess we’ll have to do this the hard way.” He carefully pulled Nemo onto his back and stood up while Cate pulled Espeon on Hakan’s back. The boy looked so peaceful it made both Cate and Carmen smile.

    After they were satisfied that they’d left nothing behind, they began walking back to the city. Carmen was very content with how the day ended. She really enjoyed helping Kerry and watching Ramón and Nemo practice with Espeon. But when Ramón fixed Carmen in his gaze, she knew he wasn’t done with her yet. He was going to press her for answers the next day and Carmen wasn’t at all looking forward to it.
    #12 Carmen Lopez, Jul 5, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  13. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    Eeee. You don't write good battles, PAH. That was a great battle with Z and Weavile. I ♥ it, especially because of Z. Can't wait till the fic catches up and we see some new content, but as for now I'm enjoying rereading this.
    #13 Sem, Jul 5, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  14. I just Re-read all the chapters and I like how the fic is going. Espeon is awesome while Z is just so ♥. Keep up the good work, I can't wait to read more.
  15. OOC: This chapter was longer than I remembered...

    The clean smell of grass was carried on the spring winds as they passed the western boundary of Ecruteak City. Ramón said it would take about three days to reach Olivine, but there would be a lot to see on the way there. And Carmen hadn’t forgotten that Cate said they would have an adventurous encounter of some kind. Johto was in full bloom as they traversed the path between Ecruteak and Olivine Cities. The three days were lazy, tranquil, and wonderful days, but Carmen wouldn’t be able to enjoy them at first.

    For much of the first day of their journey Carmen dreaded Ramón’s interrogation. She really didn’t want to tell him about the nightmares—particularly the one she had the night before because it was nearly as bad as her spell at the Dojo. The dream was as usual but the after-effects were even more ominous than normal. She felt like a monster as usual, but instead of despising it, for a few minutes after waking she enjoyed the feeling. It was a sadistic feeling but after the spell had passed, she felt worse than normal. Was she finally losing it?

    “Carmen!” said Nemo, breaking Carmen’s trance. For some reason she just knew he was going to start asking a string of questions.

    “Yes, Nemo?” she asked.

    “How old were you when you started Pokémon training and when you became the won the Sinnoh league?” he wanted to know.

    “Four years ago when I was 13,” she answered. She glanced down at the elaborate silver ring on her middle finger. “And I won last year. I'm training to challenge the Sinnoh Elite Four some day.”

    “Cool…” Nemo breathed. “I can’t wait until I compete in the Johto Pokémon league. Do you know what it'll like battling the Elite Four?”

    “Intense,” said Carmen. “The whole thing lasts for five days at the minimum. It’s usually more because your Pokémon may need to rest. You battle one Elite Four member per day and then the fifth day is reserved for the champion. From what I know, it’s the same in every region.”

    “That…does sound intense,” said Cate who was walking along with Ramón behind them. “I’m guessing very few people become champion.”

    "Very few," Carmen agreed. "I'd like to count myself among those few one day."

    "What's the Sinnoh Champion like?" Nemo asked.

    “Really, really powerful,” said Carmen. “It’ll be one of the toughest battle I’ll ever fight. Her name is Cynthia and she’s definitely champion for a reason. In particular, her Lucario is scary. I watched her battle with it and I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many attacks on one Pokémon.” Carmen added, laughing slightly. She enjoyed talking about the tough battles she's fought and will fight. That compounded by her thoughts of her battle with Madalyn the day before, almost put Ramón’s interrogation out of her mind…almost.

    “Cynthia,” said Ramón. “She’s really awesome for more than just her battles. I actually got to meet her in Celestic Town and she’s really interested in legendary. She even said she’d like to meet Dialga and Palkia.”

    “I’m not going there,” Carmen said sighing.

    As they continued walking, Ramón went into more details about his encounter with Cynthia in Celestic Town. Nemo also seemed genuinely interested in what they were talking about but it was probably because Cynthia was one of the most powerful trainers in Sinnoh. Carmen was getting paranoid that Ramón was just lulling her into a false sense of security.

    “Let’s take a break,” she heard Cate say. “We’ve been walking for most of the morning.”

    They had stopped near a peaceful, clear lake where a couple of trainers were already resting. The late morning sun reflected off the waters—once again reminding Carmen of Lake Verity in the morning. Carmen walked over to the water’s edge and saw Goldeen and Seaking along with the ever-present Magikarp. Because the lake was deep, other Pokémon could also be hiding in the depths.

    “I’m glad we found water,” she said. Carmen released Nerissa, her Milotic, and Dragonite who were also glad to see the lake. “We’ll be in Olivine City soon, so you’ll get to be the in ocean for the first time in a long time.”

    Nerissa and Dragonite both made noises of thanks before Nerissa sank beneath the waters and Dragonite flew off to the opposite bank. Neither Pokémon minded lakes because that was where the primarily grew up, but as the ocean was a rare treat, they were looking forward to it.

    “It looks like you’re the only one who has Pokémon with an affinity towards water,” Ramón noted. “Though I wouldn’t mind going swimming, we’re not staying here long.”

    “Carmen, let me see your Pokédex,” said Nemo.

    No one said anything for the longest time. In fact Carmen imagined a tumble weed blowing past.

    “Hellooooooo?” said Nemo as he rolled his eyes.

    “You forgot the magic word,” said Cate serenely.

    With his most pronounced eye roll yet, “Please may I see your Pokédex?”

    “Sure,” said Carmen brightly. She handed her Pokédex to Nemo who looked slightly disturbed that it was pink. “Ha! My sister felt the same way when she got her Pokédex and saw it was pink. But she was too afraid of Professor Rowan at the time to complain too much.”

    “You’ve seen a lot of Pokémon!” said Nemo excitedly. And without another word he sat down at the lake’s edge and began looking through it.

    Carmen looked up to see that her Dragonite had returned. “Dragonite, would you fly me to the other side of the lake?” she asked him.

    Dragonite was more than happy to oblige as Carmen climbed aboard. The dragon Pokémon flew so low to the water’s surface that Carmen’s feet were nearly touching it. She looked down into the clear water and saw the reeds waving back and forth in gentle waves.

    “Thank you,” said Carmen when they’d arrived at their destination.

    The dragon smiled with his eyes as he dived into the water to join Nerissa. Carmen was attached to Dragonite from the first time she met him as a Dratini because she could feel his loyalty. He was always the cheerful one of her team, the one who could always brighten the day. But Carmen also knew that he could sense that something was wrong with her even though he didn’t show it. Carmen sat down and leaned her back against a tree to look across the lake.

    “Don’t tell me,” she groaned, closing her eyes, knowing what was coming.

    She could see Ramón’s grin from were she was as he stood next to Nendoru. He raised his left hand and waved once before putting his hand on one of Nendoru’s cannon-like arms. Within a second, they teleported and within another, Carmen found herself in her brother’s presence.

    “I couldn’t resist,” he said brightly at the look on Carmen’s face. “I mean, you’re over here being antisocial. Seems like the perfect opportunity.”

    Carmen didn’t say anything.

    “Now you can tell me what happened yesterday,” Ramón said, his voice growing more concerned.

    “Ramón, it’s…” she started but couldn’t finish.

    “Don’t say it’s nothing,” he said. “Both Kerry and Cate said your eyes rolled back in your head. And later Cate told me she felt a sort of disturbance from you…a sinister disturbance at that. This isn’t the first time this has happened, has it?”

    The silence appeared to stretch on forever. Carmen could hear Nemo screaming something about a battle at an amused Cate on the opposite shore. Ramón was forcing Carmen to admit the very thing she’d slightly hoped to take to her grave, but she couldn’t remain silent forever…

    “Yes,” she said, defeated. “It’s happened before. After my last league battle…”

    “I knew it,” said Ramón. “I knew something was wrong. But I also see that something else has been wrong too, ever since Gardevoir got Pokénapped.”

    No! I can’t admit to the nightmares, too! Carmen screamed in her head. Was Ramón really doing this to her? And if he was, why was he doing it now? But she had long since learned it’s better not to question him about his idiosyncrasies. “Oh, something’s been wrong all right,” she managed to say.

    “Like what exactly?” he asked.

    “No more prying,” Carmen said shaking her head.

    Ramón sighed. “Weren’t you always the one who said you should be honest with what’s going on? What, does that only apply to people who aren’t you or something?”

    He had her there. If she chose not to say anything now, she’d go for a long time feeling like a hypocrite. “I’ve been having nightmares ever since the day after Gardevoir was Pokénapped,” she finally revealed. “And I have no idea where they came from.”

    “That’s really odd,” said Ramón. He looked more concerned than ever. “Unfortunately, I’m as mystified by this as you are.”

    “Oh,” Carmen said in a small voice. There had been a part of her that wished her brother would know exactly what was wrong. And while he didn’t make everything magically all better, “It did help to tell someone though,” said Carmen, smiling faintly.

    “I can imagine so,” Ramón agreed. “That’s a really long time to keep something like that to yourself. But there is one last thing I wanted to ask you: do your nightmares affect your actual feelings when you wake up?”

    Carmen thought for a moment. “Mostly I just feel terror when I wake up. However last night, there was a sadistic feeling in my nightmare and when I woke up, I also felt sadistic. But that faded in seconds…”

    “Hmm,” Ramón said. “Also interesting and I want to help. Can you start telling me what your nightmares make you feel like when you wake up?”

    “Okay,” said Carmen. “And I’ll also go into…detail about what my dreams are like. I just don’t feel up to it at the moment.”

    “All right,” said Ramón bracingly. “I didn’t want to pry that information out of you. Just tell me when you feel you’re ready. Is that fine?”

    “It’s just fine,” Carmen responded back.

    Ramón smiled and stared back over the lake at Cate. “I’m going to reveal my secret to Nemo tomorrow,” he said off-handedly.

    “Wait, what?” said Carmen. She was thrown for a loop at the abrupt change in both the subject and the mood. “But what if he reacts badly? Then what will you do?”

    He laughed lightly. “I have a good feeling about this,” he said simply.

    Carmen brought her hand to her forehead. Whenever Ramón had a good feeling about something, it was never a guarantee it would go well. Once, he had a “good feeling” about wandering off the main road in near blizzard conditions in north Sinnoh and he ended up finding a gorgeous cave with a frozen waterfall and an elaborate shrine. But another time he had a good feeling about wandering off the main path near Stark Mountain and was nearly killed by flaming rocks.

    “Fine, Ramón, have it your way. But what does Cate say?” Carmen asked.

    “She agrees with me,” he said. “Both of us are tired of hiding our powers from him, so we’re going to reveal them to him. Don’t worry, Carmen. Even I wouldn’t do something like this without consorting with her first. We talked as we left Ecruteak.”

    “Talked as you left? How? We were together!” said Carmen.

    “Oh, Cate and I have ways of communicating,” said Ramón with a mysterious smile. “And we can steal moments away to ourselves, too.”

    “Uh huh.” Carmen had to resist the temptation to raise her eyebrows, but she still had an “all righty then” expression on her face. The last part of that statement was totally unnecessary but very telling…

    Nerissa poked her head above the water to survey her trainer with her beautiful eyes. Out of all of Carmen’s Pokémon, Nerissa was the most peaceful—something she had in common with her species in general. But, like her trainer, Nerissa tended to shy away from too much attention. She preferred to be either alone or with a couple of others, however she never seemed standoffish the way Suna did.

    “Hello, Nerissa!” said Ramón brightly.

    Nerissa responded back in her musical voice. Then, she began to emanate a soft blue glow that slowly expanded to immerse both Carmen and Ramón. As with Lugia’s Song, Carmen almost immediately felt calmness spread over her body. As what was characteristic of Milotic, Nerissa had the ability to soothe negative feelings. With practice, this ability got more potent but Nerissa still couldn’t match Gardevoir’s prowess with emotions. But that didn’t matter; Carmen greatly appreciated the gesture.

    “Thank you, Nerissa,” said Carmen as she reached out to pet her. She sank back into the water and swam to the other side to join Dragonite.

    “Ready to go back?” Ramón asked her. “We can both teleport with Nendoru.”

    Teleporting with Nendoru was always an odd experience. When people teleported with Gardevoir, they flew through a world of psychic energy and aura. Nendoru, on the other hand, teleported into an inky black void. This, coupled with the fact, that the Claydol could stay in this world for an extended period of time, made the experience unnerving and very creepy.

    “You know, I always forget how much I hate teleporting with Nendoru,” said Carmen, once they’d joined Nemo and Cate again.

    Unsurprisingly, Ramón said, “I find it interesting.”

    “You would,” said Carmen as she narrowed her eyes slightly.

    “Are we leaving now? We’ve been here forever!” said Nemo impatiently. Absentmindedly almost, he made a motion to grab at something invisible over his shoulder. He dropped his hand as soon as he realized what he was doing, but it didn’t go unnoticed.

    “Did you used to have long hair, Nemo?” Cate asked.

    “No!” he said defensively, turning red again. “Why would you ask something like that?”

    Ramón laughed. “No need to get upset. It just looked like you were reaching for hair that used to hang at or below your shoulders. It takes a long time to get out of that habit, as Reina and I found out when we cut off our hair.”

    “Either way, you’re both too observant! Sheesh!” he said irritably. He turned his back on them and stomped off.

    “Well, that was very interesting.” Cate said calmly. “But we should really get going and catch up to Nemo though. Hey, Ramón are we still telling him tomorrow?”

    “Yes,” he said simply. “We could even tell him tonight if you want.”

    Carmen was still skeptical. “Are the both of you sure you want to tell him?”

    “Absolutely,” said Cate. She looked as though Carmen were crazy for even hinting that telling him could be end badly. My visions are difficult to hide sometimes so I’d rather have this out in the open.”

    “If you’re sure…” said Carmen, dropping the subject.

    After Carmen recalled her Pokémon, they headed back to the main path to Olivine once more. Surprisingly, it didn’t take them long to reach Nemo who was kneeling on the ground observing some pretty flowers growing alongside the path. He hastily got up and started walking again as though nothing had happened when he discovered that the rest of the group had caught up to him. Cate and Ramón looked at each other and smiled but they didn’t tease Nemo this time.

    The day was for the most part peaceful after that. They passed through a small village whose spirit greatly reminded Carmen of her own home village. There, they picked up lunch in the form of sandwiches and Miltank milk. For the first time, Carmen saw first hand why Johto was considered the breadbasket of the world. Farms large and small seem to dominate the path to Olivine, and the food in the surrounding villages was fresh and delicious. Nemo used the map function on his Pokégear to inform everyone that they were a third of the way from Olivine City. By then, night had fallen. Ramón had spotted an empty campsite where they could rest for the night so they could begin their journey again.

    Carmen and Dragonite built the fire that they sat around. In the absence of manmade lights, the stars shined brightly in the sky overhead. They pulled out the rest of the food they had gotten in that village and peacefully ate while sitting in front of the fire. Carmen noticed that Nemo was oddly subdued as he stared at the fire, the flames illuminating his face. He wasn’t hyper or loud as he usually was, nor was he asking Carmen a million questions.

    “Is something wrong, Nemo?” Carmen asked him.

    “No, I’m just thinking,” he muttered.

    Cate and Ramón watched him intently as though looking for the right time to tell him. When he didn’t speak for several minutes, they looked at each other and nodded.

    “Nemo,” Cate began. He broke his gaze toward the fire and turned to her. “We—Ramón and I—have something to tell you.”

    He perked up slightly at these words and something stirred in his eyes. “Yeah? What is it?” he asked.

    “Hmm,” Ramón said. His already warm brown eyes softened further. Carmen knew the words would slide from his lips as easily as they did when he told her. “What if we told you we were psychic?”

    “What if you did?” Nemo retorted back. “It isn’t like the two of you can get any weirder.”

    Carmen frowned slightly. She wasn’t sure if Nemo’s reaction was good or bad, nor could she tell if the fact that Ramón and Cate were unfazed was good or not. Ramón glanced at Carmen and smiled and it only took her two seconds to figure out what he was about to do.

    “No, Ramón wait!” Carmen said frantically. “I don’t want to be in your demonstra— GAH!”

    The next thing she knew she was being hoisted ten feet into the air with her brother’s psychic power. The sensation completely pushed Teleporting with Nendoru aside as one of the scariest feelings she’d ever experienced. It felt as though Ramón’s power’s hold on her was strengthening and waning—as though he might drop her at any moment. Carmen was greatly relieved to be put back on he ground and very irritated at Ramón. She had to resist the urge to pick up her phone and throw it at his head.

    “I just gained the ability to lift heavy objects a not to long ago,” Ramón explained to Nemo. “I guess I shouldn’t have tried to lift my sister that high,” he added sheepishly. “She’s a lot heavier than I thought.”

    It’s a good thing I’m not sensitive about my weight, Carmen said to herself as she thought of her curvier frame.

    “And I also have heightened senses when I’m in danger and heightened emotional perception,” Ramón finished.

    “I have the ability to clairvoyance and pre-cognition,” Cate added.

    But Nemo had turned back to the fire without saying a single word, and it was this silence that bothered Carmen most of all. It was heavy and oppressive, most unlike Nemo’s usual presence of vibrant energy. It seemed as though he were a completely different person. His eyes looked flat; the only light they had was the fire reflected off of them. Nemo seemed to be wrestling with a decision he had to make and only snapped out of it when he made a choice.

    “I’m going for a walk,” he said. Nemo got up abruptly and walked off toward the woods. He said nothing about what he was just told and what he’d seen.

    “He’s turning out to be a good mystery story,” Cate noted once Nemo was out of earshot.

    ~ ~ ~​

    Nemo’s silent response followed Carmen to sleep, accompanying her nightmares. It was her most vivid, surreal dream yet…it was completely dark and her legs were completely paralyzed. He arms and her head were the only things she could move. In spite of the darkness she could see the dark red blood flowing down the length of her arms. Tears flowed down her face and as she reached to wipe them away, she found that the tears were also blood. But suddenly the dream turned so cold that Carmen could see her breath. A feeling of foreboding came over her. She wanted to run but couldn’t. And out of the darkness appeared a demonic, horribly disfigured Mismagius.

    The Pokémon looked as though she was melting. The parts of her that were supposed to be a lighter shade of purple where instead mirror-like and reflecting Carmen’s bloodied arms and face. Mismagius had no eyes under her hood and a malevolent presence surrounded her. Her mouth was the opening to a deep black abyss. She curled her mouth into an evil grin as she gave an unnaturally deep cackling laugh. Carmen had to stifle the scream. She was relived to find the campsite mercifully empty.

    Carmen was grateful for the sunshine as she went to look for Cate and Ramón. Johto’s weather was going to cooperate with them yet again. The temperatures were already warm and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. While her recent nightmare was just as scary as usual, she was comforted by the fact that the dream had no lasting effects this time. She didn’t wake up feeling horrible or sadistic which was a first. This improved her mood slightly.

    She was about to ask Dragonite to help her scout the area until she came upon this ancient looking mansion. Aside from just looking abandoned, the house was in good shape structurally. The grass around the place had grown wild and very tall. It was almost up to Carmen’s waist. The weeds had overtaken the once neat flowerbeds and they reached as high as the first floor windows. Vandals had not yet gotten to the house so the windows were still in tact, yet grimy. Unlike the Old Chateau in Eterna Forest, this mansion was oddly tranquil and not eerie in anyway.

    “Oh, hi Carmen!” a voice said brightly.

    It was Cate and Ramón as they were coming around the house. Cate was dressed for the warmer weather by wearing knee length shorts and a sunshine yellow camisole and matching headband. Ramón meanwhile had on this horrible eyesore of a lime green t-shirt with a bright orange silhouette of a Solrock on it. Reina had bought it for him in an open air market in Sunyshore City and he’d been wearing it habitually ever since. Carmen hated it.

    “Caaaaaaaarmen,” said Ramón in a singsong voice. “Look! I’m wearing your favorite shirt.”

    “You’re as awful as that shirt,” said Carmen but she laughed nonetheless. “Are you guys just exploring?”

    “We are,” said Cate as she pushed her white hair off her shoulders. “Why this house hasn’t been severely damaged yet is beyond me. It’s amazing really. “

    “Almost as amazing is this,” said Ramón. He pulled a gorgeous pendant out of his bag. It was an exquisite, high quality pearl in an intricate gold setting. A beautifully cut diamond was attached to the top. However, it was dirty, as though it had been buried.

    “Where did you find this?” asked Carmen, but she thought better of it. “Nevermind,” she said, cutting him off. “Ramón’s intuition?”

    “And you say you can’t read me,” Ramón said, bowing slightly.

    “THERE you are!” Nemo and Espeon emerged from the woods dramatically. He had to tear and rip at the weeds and vines to make his way over to them, tripping a couple of times. He disturbed an indignant Hoothoot who was apparently resting in the grass. “I saw that stupid shirt before I saw you.” Nemo acted as though the night before had never happened; he was back to his usual irritated, impatient self. “So what are you all staring at?”

    “Nemo,” said Cate carefully as though she were addressing a person who was having delusions. “Do you remember anything about last night?”

    He in turn looked at her as though she were crazy. “You mean the part where you and Ramón told me you both were psychic? Yeah, I remember. And it explains a LOT,” he said loftily.

    “Well at least I don’t have to worry about hiding my powers anymore,” said Ramón. “But are you sure you’re all right, Nemo? You were acting…strangely last night.”

    He locked eyes with Ramón. “Was not,” Nemo retorted. “And we should start moving again before it takes us four days to get to Olivine instead of three.”

    “Oh now, this is interesting,” said Cate suddenly and everyone looked at her. Her eyes had that white film over them again. “But before you ask, Carmen, it’s a secret.”

    “I think Ramón has rubbed off on you,” said Carmen. Since Cate was too dark to blush, she instead took on a glow. “But I’m not one to overly press anyone. Can you at least tell me who it involves?”

    Cate said nothing, but she smiled and glanced at Nemo who was searching his pockets for something. “It’s starting now…”

    “Oh no!” he muttered. “Where is it?” He began looking frantically along the ground. Carmen was about to ask what he was looking for when they heard a sound coming from some distance away.

    “HOOT!” It was the Hoothoot that Nemo had bothered a few minutes ago, but now it appeared to have something shiny in its beak. The owl Pokémon was now taunting Nemo by hopping back and forth in front of him in a very “this is what you get for bothering me” way.

    “GIVE THAT BACK NOW!” Nemo screamed and he and Espeon gave chase.

    The Hoothoot hopped around in great circles with Nemo and Espeon on his heels. Cate, Ramón, and Carmen were all trying not to laugh, but it was hilarious. The Hoothoot looked like he was having the time of his life while Nemo’s face was crimson in anger. The vein in his neck looked like it was going to blow at any second. Out of the blue, the Hoothoot turned around abruptly and fired a Hypnosis attack right at Espeon who fell asleep instantly.

    “You. Are. SO. DEAD!” Nemo screeched getting, if it were even possible, more upset.

    The Hoothoot laughed in his face before jumping into some bushes. Once again Nemo pursued the Pokémon, but as he was entering the bush, Hoothoot practically flew under Nemo’s right arm in fear.

    “YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH” he yelled when he saw what had scared the Hoothoot.

    It was three very angry Beedrill. The drills on the ends of their forearms looked lethal. This was the first time Carmen had seen one in person and she saw at once why they were the bane of a young trainer’s existence. The three Pokémon quickly surrounded Nemo. Ramón quickly released Nendoru but before he could command it to do anything, Nemo glowed in a bluish color and vanished, reappearing right beside Carmen. A moment of silence followed this stunning event, but before they could do anything about it, there was still the Beedrill to attend to.

    It took a couple of seconds for the Beedrill to realize what happened, possibly because they’ve never seen a human just vanish. When they finally located Nemo and Hoothoot, the three bug Pokémon charged.

    “Nendoru use Psybeam!” Ramón called out calmly.

    The Claydol turned its cannon like arms toward the Beedrill and fired circular waves of red colored psychic energy to scare the Pokémon off. The Beedrill quickly scattered back into the forest without further incident.

    “Espeon!” said Nemo rushing over to his still sleeping Pokémon with Hoothoot still under his arm. Carmen caught a glimpse of the gold locket in the Pokémon’s beak.

    She stirred awake and looked around before looking at her trainer. “Espy…” she said, as if apologizing for not being there for him.

    “Don’t feel bad, Espeon,” said Nemo encouragingly. “It was this things fault!” he said as he finally pulled the still cowering Hoothoot from underneath his arm. “You can stop being a coward now, the Beedrill are gone. And why didn’t you Hypnosis THEM like you did Espeon?”

    “Hoot,” he sniffed.

    “Gah, whatever,” Nemo groaned. He snatched the locket back from Hoothoot and put the Pokémon on the ground.

    “Nemo,” said Carmen, “since when could you teleport?”

    Nemo looked thoroughly annoyed as he stuffed the locket back in his pocket. “You didn’t see that,” he said plainly.

    “Oh, but we did,” said Ramón. “Can you tell us more about your powers?”

    He sighed deeply—hating the fact that he’d be discovered. “Well, the cat’s out of the bag now, I might as well,” said Nemo regretfully. “I’ve been able to Teleport since I was about ten. I have the ability to somehow know that where I’m about to land is safe from objects and people. I can also lock on to certain people. Remember how I found you and Carmen at your house? I locked onto to Carmen when we met in Goldenrod City and I was able teleport where she was,” he said in a flat voice.

    “That’s very interesting and really amazing,” said Cate. “But why Carmen of all people?”

    Nemo rubbed his forehead. “I can’t explain it. It’s like I’m drawn toward certain people or Pokémon and it’s like I have to act on it. And if I don’t, it just keeps bugging me and bugging me.”

    “So you were destined to meet Carmen and then Cate and me,” said Ramón in awe. “That’s beyond cool. I knew there was something about you.”

    “And now we know why you’re able to beat us places all the time or find us after you’ve run off,” said Cate. “Teleporting is really convenient.”

    “It’ll be even more convenient when I can teleport across really long distances,” said Nemo. Then he smiled slightly. “And if you want to ask me anything else, you’ll have to find me first! Come on Espeon!” Without another word, they both teleported away.

    Ramón laughed. “He really is something. This will be a good test of my ability to sense others with powers. Let’s go find him!”

    “Can we just let him find us?” Carmen asked. “That’s worked well enough so far.”

    Cate laughed and pulled Carmen by the arm. “But where’s the fun in that?” she asked. “And Hoothoot would you like to come too?”

    “Hoot!” he said. The Pokémon seemed completely unperturbed by Nendoru and hopped happily on its head for a ride. Nendoru didn’t seem to mind the Hoothoot and indeed seemed a little pleasantly surprised.

    “Now off we go Carmen,” said Cate cheerfully, like they were going on a treasure hunt.

    Carmen had to admit even to herself that she welcomed this distraction. But she couldn’t help but think Nemo still had other secrets—his real name being one of the biggest ones. And what on earth was in that locket?

    ~ ~ ~​

    By the time the third day had arrived, they had covered good ground on their trek to Olivine City. Though he wouldn’t admit it, Nemo had a good time practicing his Teleporting skills with Ramón and Cate. In addition to not being able to teleport across long distances, he also couldn’t teleport with a human being either, though he could with a psychic Pokémon. But that would change as he gained more power and control. Carmen had to assure Cate that she didn’t feel left out because she was the only one who lacked psychic power.

    “I’m fine, trust me,” Carmen said to Cate. “I like watching you better. And after all, everyone has their “thing.” It was true; to Carmen’s eyes, psychic power looked like more trouble than it was worth. She was perfectly happy the way she was.

    “Good way to look at things,” said Cate cheerfully. “Reminds me of someone else I knew,” she added on under her breath so that Carmen didn’t hear her.

    Once they’d passed by a couple of more farms and passed through a village, they were back in a forested environment. The Hoothoot had now taken to following Nemo around to his great annoyance.

    “Why are you still here?” Nemo asked rudely.

    “Hoot,” said Hoothoot, as if to say “because I want to.”

    “So Nemo now has a something following him around now?” said Carmen smirking. “Karma is something, isn’t it?”

    “Shut UP!” said Nemo, turning red. “It’s not like you don’t know why!”

    “Calm down, I’m only kidding,” Carmen said laughing. “Besides, I think Hoothoot will make a good companion.

    “Tch,” said Nemo, stalking off with Hoothoot fluttering behind him.

    Meanwhile Ramón was finished training himself, so he trained with Nendoru by asking Carmen for a battle with Drapion.

    “All right,” said Ramón, who was now wearing a t-shirt which was plain forest green rather than another eyesore. “I just want to test Teleport right as Nendoru is being hit with dark type move.”

    “Works for me,” said Carmen.

    “Dra-pi-on,” said Drapion enthusiastically in a low growl. He never passed up the opportunity of for a battle.

    “Use Night Slash, Drapion!” said Carmen.

    Drapion quickly extended his accordion like arms. His claws were enveloped in dark energy as he lunged at Nendoru. Right on cue, the Claydol use Teleport mere seconds before the attack was to strike, but then something rather odd and funny happened. Nendoru managed to vanish completely but Carmen and Ramón saw something black fly off and land at Nemo’s feet.

    “What the heck is this?” he asked, picking it up. He had been training with Espeon and not at all paying attention to anyone else.

    “Ah, that would be one of Nendoru’s arms,” said Ramón serenely.

    “WHAT!” Nemo exclaimed, promptly dropping it on the ground. “Now that’s just creepy!”

    “Now how would you like it if someone treated your severed arm like that?” Ramón said as he levitated the arm into his hands. “Good job, Drapion! You managed to disrupt the psychic power that Nendoru uses to keep its arms attached to its body.” Ramón didn’t have an ounce of sarcasm in his voice. “I’ve never seen that happen before.”

    “Drapion,” said the scorpion Pokémon, flashing his claws in pride.

    “So a strong Dark type attack can do that to any limbs that are attached to the body with psychic power, huh,” said Cate as Ramón helped Nendoru reattach its arm. “That’s informative to know. But I’m not sure—

    Suddenly, Cate’s eyes flashed white. She made one fluid, graceful movement and dodged by mere centimeters the kunai that came out of nowhere. It hit the tree right where Cate’s head had been the second before. She and Carmen looked up to see who had thrown it and Carmen received a slight shock. It was Isidore and Sienna who still had her arm outstretched from the throw. Sienna smiled devilishly.

    “I see your pre-cognition is as good as ever, big sister.”

    OOC: Yes I know the kunai is extremely lame.

    *Curls up in the corner
    #15 Carmen Lopez, Jul 6, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  16. Oh finally, my favorite chapter! :D

    I remember the first time I read this I was squeeeing when Nemo revealed his secret, and I love his little Hoothoot friend ♥
    I'm excited and sorta sad to see we're getting near the end of this fic. I can't wait to read the ending, and I'm pretty sure the chapter coming up next is a good one too. Your writing really is fantastic, Carmen, and I looooove all your characters. I hope you never stop writing :>
  17. OOC: Thanks Virgil ♥ And Sem beware for there be Togeplanes in this chapter XD

    Cate and Sienna stared each other down. Cate regarded her sister with an expression full of concern while Sienna looked at her sister with burning hatred.

    “Fancy seeing you here, oh magnificent Cate,” Sienna announced, her voice full of biting sarcasm. “I was sure you’d be off somewhere helping mankind with you “gifts.”

    Cate said nothing.

    “What’s the matter, dear sister?” asked Sienna scathingly. “Persian got your tongue? Seems like some things never change. And look at who we have here!” she said, turning her gaze at Carmen. “The world just keeps getting smaller and smaller doesn’t it?”

    “You could say that,” said Carmen looking directly into the girl’s eyes. This time Sienna had on flat boots making her the same height as Carmen. Sienna took noticed the fact that Carmen was very much her equal when it came to physical strength. And so, they considered themselves as such.

    “Is there anything we can do for you?” Ramón spoke up pleasantly like he was helping someone find something a in a store.

    “As a matter of fact I think you can,” Isidore spoke for the first time. He brushed his black hair out of his face casually as he looked at Ramón with a curious, yet oddly disappointed expression on his face. “You have something in your bag that we want.”

    “Really, now?” said Ramón. Carmen couldn’t tell if the surprise in his voice was sarcastic or not. “And what would that be?”

    “I think you already know,” said Isidore menacingly. “The pendant! We know you have it!”

    “And they call me the stalker,” said Ramón smiling. No one else dared to say a word. Drapion stood at the ready nearby and Hoothoot had dove under Nemo’s arm again and even he didn’t have anything to say.

    “If you have any survival instinct, you’ll quit cheesing and hand it over,” said Sienna who had turned her focus to Ramón.

    “Stop it, you’re making me laugh! You’d kill me over this?” said Ramón. He then nonchalantly looked over his shoulder at the Claydol behind him. “Nendoru use Ice Beam!”

    The Pokémon fired two icy beams behind itself, nearly hitting the Honchkrow that was attempting to steal Ramón’s bag. The bird Pokémon cawed loudly as she flew back to Isidore’s side.

    “What the heck?” Isidore said in disbelief. “How did you know Doña Kurai was there? She wasn’t making a sound!” Carmen had to admire her brother’s abilities because she didn’t even notice the Pokémon was there.

    “So…why do you want the pendant anyway?” asked Ramón, ignoring Isidore’s question.

    “Let’s just say there are some powerful people who want it,” Isidore answered easily. “And you don’t ask them questions.”

    “That’s right,” said Sienna fiercely. “So are you going to cooperate or will we have to do this by force?” She pulled out a Pokéball of her own and enlarged it. Her feelings of rage were bubbling just under the surface…

    “Since you want it so badly, you can have it,” said Ramón and the duo was caught completely off-guard.

    “You’re just giving it to us without a fight,” asked Isidore in shock.

    “Yes,” Ramón replied smiling. “I have no use for it and it most certainly isn’t worth the effort of fighting you over it.”

    “You’re one tree short of a forest,” said Sienna derisively. “But hey, it works for us.”

    He picked up his bag from the ground and pulled the piece of jewelry out of it. But just as Ramón was about to drop the dirty locket in Isidore’s hand, Cate spoke up. “Wait! Ramón don’t give it to them!”

    “Oh?” said Ramón. He closed his hand over the locket once more. “Weeeell, if Cate says you can’t have it, you can’t have it.”

    Both Sienna’s and Isidore’s jaw dropped. Then Sienna stomped over to her sister and stood right in front of her. “What the heck are you on about?!” she shouted at Cate who didn’t flinch in the slightest.

    Cate folded her arms and looked her sister directly in the eye. “I just had a vision and you’re not getting that locket—I can guarantee that.”

    Sienna looked as though her anger was about to boil over at any moment. “Oh really?” said Sienna as she raised her eyebrows. “We’ll see about that then! Go, Madura!”

    Nemo’s mouth dropped open as he gasped. In a bright flash of light and sparkles, a shiny Pidgeot burst out of his Pokéball and landed next to Sienna. The Pokémon was golden in color which was most prominent in his talons and crest feathers. The sun shining on Madura only made him more magnificent. It was easily one of the most beautiful Pokémon Carmen had ever seen—even rivaling Hakan and in more than just looks. Pidgeot was enormous: he was even taller than Sienna and just as imposing.

    “Madura is looking very well,” Cate noted. “But Sienna, really, do we have to do this?”

    “Yes, and for more reasons than just the pendant,” she answered her sister.

    “Would you care to explain what you said?”

    Sienna’s eyes flashed. “Don’t play dumb, Cate.”

    “I guess that’s the way it is. I’m not getting a straight answer from you” Cate sighed and released Jubilee.

    “Ah, the holy bird. It so suits its holier than thou master!” Sienna said scornfully. Carmen could feel the woman’s fury began to bubble over.

    “Would you like our help, Sienna?” Isidore offered.

    “No, I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time,” said Sienna hungrily.

    “Suit yourself then,” he said as he began to back away. “Just let me make sure Cecelia is safe.”

    Carmen attempted to arrange her own thoughts as she looked at the two sisters who were about to battle. Cate’s vision about the locket was intriguing. It was already established why the locket was so important and even why they were battling over—even if the reason wasn’t exactly clear. But Sienna had already made it clear that this was matter was personal to her. Carmen remembered the vision Cate had back in Ecruteak—this was obviously the encounter she meant. She would merely watch to see what adventure this would lead to.

    Sienna wasted no time. “Madura use Whirlwind!”

    The golden Pidgeot took to the sky above them and whipping up a huge gust of wind with his enormous wings. The wind ripped through forest tearing leaves and branches from the trees. Pokémon dashed to find shelter from the vicious wind that sucked the air out of Carmen’s lungs. No one could hear anything over the sounds of the wind and the forest being ripped apart.

    Perhaps because Cate and Jubilee were psychically linked was how Cate communicated an attack to her Pokémon. Jubilee formed a ball of nearly invisible, concentrated wind in her mouth and released it toward Madura. The Air Slash attack was powerful enough to get through Madura’s Whirlwind and struck the Pidgeot directly in the chest—stunning it. Madura stopped his attack because it was now all he could do to stay airborne. Sienna looked slightly impressed in a dark way.

    “So…you’re using your Pokémon for more than just “companionship,” Cate?” she asked. “Maybe you have changed.”

    “That’s life,” said Cate. Her soothing voice contrasted greatly with Sienna’s harsh tones. “Now Jubilee use Flamethrower!”

    “Counter with Air Cutter, Madura!”

    The attacks met each other in midair. The blades of wind that Madura created split the Flamethrower into embers that floating upward in the sky before vanishing. If it had been a Pokémon contest, Sienna would have won major points for the beauty of that move. Jubilee turned up the intensity of her attack. The fire attack absorbed oxygen from the air as it charged toward Madura. The Air Cutter attack was no longer effect—it was also swallowed by the Flamethrower. Madura has to dive steeply toward the ground to avoid being burned by Jubilee.

    “Ha!” Isidore crowed. He had returned with a Vulpix in his arms. “This battle is hot! Right, Cecelia?” The Vulpix mewed in agreement.

    For the first time, Nemo turned his attention away from the sky battle and toward Isidore. “Why on earth does a guy like you have a Vulpix?” he said in a tone that pretty much said “guys like Isidore shouldn’t have a Vulpix.”

    Cecelia growled and Isidore leered. “I dare you to come over here and say that close to Cecelia. Go on…I dare you.”

    “Uh, I think I’ll pass,” said Nemo, for Cecelia’s eyes began glowing in a ghostly manner. “I’ll just watch the battle.”

    “You’d better,” said Isidore.

    Nemo gulped and turned back to the battle. Madura and Jubilee took turns flying at each other and dive-bombing one another as the battle continued. The golden Pidgeot fired a Twister attack at Jubilee that turned an earthen color thanks to the leaves and branches it had taken in from the surrounding forest. In an awesome show of power Jubilee flew right into the heart of the attack and dissipated it with Psychic.

    “Now Jubilee use Psychic on Madura!” Cate called to her Pokémon.

    “TogeKISS!” said Jubilee as she began to glow in a soothing green color. Madura was now frozen in a greenish aura as well and winced as his mind came under attack. Soon the pain turned physical as Madura’s wings folded into his body and he began to shake violently.

    “Release!” said Cate.

    Jubilee began using Madura as a battering ram against the trees of the forest. Bark flew off of even the heartiest of trees and still Madura was able to keep from fainting.

    “Faint Attack Madura!” Sienna shouted.

    The Pidgeot was surrounded by a purple and black glow—shaking off the Psychic attack. He spread his wings wide and dived toward Jubilee so quickly it was barely able to be caught by the human eye. The attack was, of course, a direct hit and Jubilee dropped a few feet in the air before she was able to regain her battle stance.

    “Wait, Sienna!” said Cate. “I still don’t understand. What’s the point of this?”

    “Then use the power of your almighty visions to figure it out!” Sienna snapped. In response to his trainer’s anger, Madura began to glow.

    “If it’ll end this nonsense…” said Cate under her breath. “You use Sky Attack too, Jubilee!”

    And so Jubilee began to glow as well. Carmen knew it was one of the most powerful attacks in existence and had only seen it on one other occasion. The glow that both Pokémon possessed soon turned to a light so bright and harsh that it was hard to even look at the two Pokémon directly. Madura and Jubilee now resembled the stars in the night sky.

    “Let’s see your little saint birdy survive this!” Sienna yelled. “Attack Madura!”

    Madura flew upward sharply while Jubilee remained completely still as she braced herself for the attack. Everything in the forest seemed to be silent for a split second like they were waiting for the two Pokémon to collide. With one loud battle cry, Madura dived with a spin at Jubilee with what seemed like the speed of a jet plane. Jubilee then rushed forward to meet the attack and the resultant collision rocked the forest. A wave of energy crashed over the forest and the two trees that were closest to the point of impact were completely incinerated. For a moment, no one could see anything in the cloud of dust…

    “Hahaha,” Isidore laughed. “Looks like you underestimated your sister’s Pokémon, Sienna!”

    When the dust cleared, both Pokémon were miraculously unharmed from the attack. Except for the fact that Madura was exhausted from using the attack, he had not one scratch on him. Jubilee on the other hand wasn’t even tired from the attack. Sienna’s mouth dropped.

    “No way! That thing should’ve been burnt to a crisp like those trees!” said Sienna furiously. “What did you do?”

    “You have no idea how powerful Togekiss are, do you?” said Cate with disdain. “They aren’t to be taken lightly.

    Sienna clenched both of her hands into fists. “I demand a rematch dear sister! Ready for another go, Madura?” Madura extended his wings once more to show that he was raring to go.

    Cate sighed. “Return to my side Jubilee. No, Sienna,” she said before her sister could say anything. “I’ve already humored you with a battle I knew you wouldn’t win. Now it’s time for us to talk privately. All I want to do is help you.”

    Sienna snapped—plain and simple. She let go of her anger and it exploded like a bomb. “You self-righteous little freak!” Sienna screeched. She was beyond irate; her brown eyes were so full of rage that it looked as though she could set fires with them. “Who do you think you are?”

    “Sienna, please—

    “Cate! SHUT UP!” Sienna yelled. “I’ve had enough with your preaching. Why don’t you go back to Violet City and continue being the golden child. Isidore, let’s just get that stupid pendant and get out of here before I really lose my temper!”

    Isidore, who was looking amused by the whole scene, smirked. “We’re not getting after the pendant anymore.”

    “What?” gasped Sienna who was clearly taken aback. “Is this another one of your crazy schemes?”

    “You bet,” said Isidore. “This particular one is priceless. And I can guarantee you our commander will be pleased.”

    Sienna thought for a moment. “Fine then. After all, your stupid schemes do always have a way of working to our benefit. Let’s just get out of this wench’s presence.” She added indicating her sister.

    “As you wish, Sienna,” Isidore said easily, shifting Cecelia onto one arm. He pulled a Luxury Ball from his belt. “Doña Kurai, returned to your realm,” he said as he recalled his Honchkrow and pulled out another Luxury Ball. “And now, come on out Imani!”

    It was a powerful looking Alakazam. Her mustache was much shorter than that of a male Alakazam and she appeared to be wearing an onyx cuff around her right leg.

    “Madura, return and take a good rest,” said Sienna. She walked over to Isidore and Imani and threw one last look of disgust at her sister.

    “Teleport, Imani!” said Isidore. The Alakazam’s eyes and body became outlined in a black as she teleported herself and her human passengers away. It was the first time Carmen had ever seen a Pokémon’s psychic power manifest itself in black—usually it was blue, red, purple, or pink.

    Everyone was still stunned as they recovered from the tornado that was Sienna Valentine. Then, Cate fell to her knees and everyone rushed to her.

    “Are you all right?” asked Ramón. He offered a hand to help her up which she accepted.

    “I’ll be fine…” Cate replied. “And I hope the forest will be too. Sienna really did a number on it with that Whirlwind attack.”

    Carmen looked around and saw that she was right. The forest looked as though it had been hit with a hurricane. Many of the smaller trees had been uprooted completely. Many more trees had lost their leaves which where now scattered all over the forest floor. Branches and flowers littered the ground. It was fortunate that the nearby shrine hadn’t been completely destroyed in Sienna’s rampage.

    “I see her anger at me has grown even stronger.

    “She’s scary,” said Nemo, speaking for the first time since Sienna and Isidore had appeared. “And you all call me touchy.” He pulled the Hoothoot from under his arm and allowed him to flutter to the ground.

    “Sienna has every reason to be angry,” Cate admitted. “Every reason in the world.”

    “If you don’t mind telling us, why?” asked Ramón.

    “It a bit of a long story,” she said. “I’ll tell it while we walk.”

    They all recalled their Pokémon for the journey. Nemo however became completely annoyed at Hoothoot again.

    “For the last time, STOP FOLLOWING ME!” Nemo said.

    “HOOTHOOT!” If Carmen didn’t know any better, she’d have thought Hoothoot had said “Make me!”

    “Nemo, please, keep it down?” Ramón said as he watched Cate put a hand to her forehead.

    “Hmph,” said Nemo. “Fine, whatever, follow me. I don’t care.”

    “Hoot,” said Hoothoot happily as he hopped along beside Nemo as he walked away.

    Carmen was the last one to start walking because she was looking back at the damage Sienna had caused. For some reasons it evoked strange memories almost as if she was having déjà vu. But she couldn’t remember when she’d seen a forest get wrecked by something other than natural forces…

    “Hurry up, Carmen!” she heard her brother call. “You’re going to be left behind!”

    “Coming, coming,” said Carmen. She took one last look back and ran to catch up to the others.

    “So, you said your sister wasn’t jealous?” she heard Nemo saying when she’d made it to them.

    “No, in fact she was a lot like Carmen in that respect,” said Cate pensively. “She thought powers were more trouble than they were worth. But I should start at the beginning. Psychic abilities run in my mother’s family and they’re quite proud of it because we consider ourselves closer to the spiritual forces in this world. Who inherits the abilities is completely random and having a psychic parent doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be psychic too.”

    “Hmm, that’s…curious,” said Ramón vacantly.

    “It really is mysterious,” said Cate. “But at any rate, my family can tell at birth whether or not the baby has, or will eventually develop abilities. It’s a glorious occasion when a baby with gifts is born—it’s like the greatest thing in the world to them. The child and the child’s parents are lavished and adored by the whole family. When I was born this was especially true.

    “No one was more thrilled than my mother, who also has psychic abilities. She told me how people would come by the house everyday just to see me when I was a baby.” Cate exhaled deeply. “And I’m sorry to say that it went to my parents’ heads—especially my mom. And then Sienna was born a year and a half later, but she didn’t have the abilities. Her birth went virtually ignored by everyone.”

    “Oh no….” said Carmen, who knew where that was going.

    Cate nodded. “It was definitely an ominous sign of things to come. So even though Sienna was the new baby at home, I was still the one getting the attention from our parents and the rest of the family. Everyone would “ooh” and “aah” with every new development with my powers. They’d watch in amazement when I’d go into trances and were amazed when I would make predictions. No one really paid much attention to Sienna.”

    “I thought you said she wasn’t jealous,” Nemo interrupted.

    “And she wasn’t,” said Cate with a sad smile. “Looking back on it, it’s amazing how she wasn’t too fazed by the lack of attention paid to her. She’s changed now, but back then, she shied away from attention, so she was happy being left alone. When she and I were little, Sienna would follow me around when I wasn’t being swarmed by people. She thought I was the coolest thing ever. Back then, I thought it was because she liked my powers just like everyone else; I didn’t realize that it was only because I was her sister.”

    “Wow,” said Carmen as she tried to picture Sienna as little girl following her sister around.

    “I…thought I was superior over everyone else because of my powers,” said Cate. “And my parents really didn’t do anything to try and correct me because they thought my gifts were wonderful too. I actually was self-righteous back then too. Sienna was my complete opposite; I was calm and in touch with my emotions and she was a wild child. I was constantly telling her she needed to change and how she should be living her life. To tell the truth, I surprised she didn’t snap before she did.

    “Sienna’s personality began to change when she was about eleven and she became more aggressive and more power hungry. She lashed out more and instead of trying to reach out to her and be patient, I just preached at her and drove her further away. It got even worse after she met Isidore Alexander…

    “The man we met earlier?” asked Nemo.

    “Yes,” Cate said, nodding. “They became best friends but they brought out the worst in each other. Isidore is very manipulative and has ulterior motives for nearly everything he does. Sienna became even more of a bully and our relationship became even more strained. It was probably around that time that she and Isidore became involved in the Johto underworld.” Cate took a deep breath. “I remember that day vividly. Our parents were away that day. Out of the blue Sienna had grabbed her backpack and her Pokémon and was casually just about to walk out of the house. I asked her where she was going and she simply said she was leaving and wasn’t coming back. Of course I tried to stop her, but I…only enraged her.

    “The argument was terrible; it felt like she shouted at me for an eternity. But one thing she said…it cut me deep. She told me the only reason my family paid attention to me was because of my psychic power. It was something I’d been anxious about that and she t straight for that insecurity. She then looked me straight in the eye and told me ‘go die you self-righteous jerk.’ Sienna turned and walked out of the house, never to return. And I was the one who had to tell Mom and Dad what had happened. That was five years ago when she was sixteen and I was seventeen.”

    “I sense that you still blame yourself,” Ramón said.

    “I’m getting better with that,” said Cate. “But yes, I do blame myself for that. After Sienna walked out, I had to do a lot of soul searching. I started focusing on changing my self-righteous attitude for one and I slowly began to realize that I was more than just my powers. My parents really helped me too. But I decided to head out on the road and that is what I’ve been doing for the past two years. That was probably the thing that changed me the most. I met new people and I even found others outside of my family with powers, including Ramón here.”

    “And your also still trying to help your sister,” said Carmen. It wasn’t a question.

    “Correct,” said Cate smiling slightly. “This is only the second time I’ve seen her in the five years since she’s been gone. The first time, we didn’t get to even speak to each other. It was in Goldenrod City and we were standing on opposite sides of the street. I realized I wasn’t ready to confront her so we just stared at each other…Sienna’s eyes were full of anger then too. She didn’t yell or scream or anything. All Sienna did was shake her head and walk away from me. And you saw what happened this time. My self-righteous roots reared their ugly heads and I ended up making her angrier.” Cate closed her eyes and shook her head sadly.

    “Don’t give up, Cate,” said Ramón encouragingly. “Just keep working at it. You of all people know that life is unpredictable.”

    “I agree,” said Carmen. “And after all Cate, you aren’t the sole reason Sienna is the way she is today.”

    “You’re right—both of you,” said Cate. “I will keep going and hopefully Sienna and I can have a good relationship someday.”

    “That’s the spirit!” said Ramón.

    “Hey, we’re almost to Olivine!” said Nemo as he looked at his Pokégear.

    “Oh?” said Cate. “That’s good! Time flew by as I was telling my story. And Carmen, Ramón, thanks for the encouragement.”

    “You’re very welcome,” said Ramón cheerfully.

    Carmen looked up at the cloudless sky and wondered what they would get into in Olivine City—their mother’s hometown. She didn’t have the ability to see into the future like Cate did but she knew they hadn’t seen the last of Sienna and Isidore. Isidore’s “scheme” especially bothered her…
    #17 Carmen Lopez, Jul 7, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  18. OOC: O.O.............DUDE. We're almost caught up to my latest chapter. That means I need to get to writing and fast o.o And yes, I know parts of this are totally overdone XD;

    Gray, gray and more gray…

    The weather had started out beautiful enough—the sun shining brightly, the weather was warm, and there was a pleasant breeze blowing on from the ocean. But by midday, that was all over with. The clouds had rolled in and seemed to suffocate everything. This abrupt change in weather pretty much described how things here could quickly go south…

    Once bustling, this area was now desolate and a ghetto. Empty warehouses where workers once earned their living had broken, mismatched windows. The pavement of old parking lots had scrawny brown grass growing in its cracks. Paint that at one time separated the parking places had nearly faded into nothing. Stores and restaurants were closed and boarded up. Whether the businesses left when the people fled to “better” areas or vice versa, no one seemed to know. The graffiti was the only source of color around here.

    Yes, this was the part of Olivine City no one put in the tourist books. Not even the ocean view could help this place be any less depressing.

    Isidore Alexander often thought about what this area was like in its zenith—when the stores were all new and “respectable” people ventured here. He saw in his mind’s eye the memories these old buildings still contained—of parents taking their children shopping, of men eating dinner at the restaurants after a long day’s work, of people taking strolls around the city. That was all gone. This was now one of many openings to what people referred to as the Johto underworld in hushed tones. Isidore smiled to himself as he walked alongside Sienna with Cecelia in his arms. He could still appreciate the area for what it was and wouldn’t change it even if he could.

    As a place well known in the underworld, this area had all the shady dealings and underhanded happenings that came with the territory. Isidore had seen enough to write several books; the black market, the corruption, the manipulation, and everything else in between. Beside him, Sienna made another grunt of displeasure. It amused Isidore whenever she did that because she didn’t even realize she was so terrible at hiding her emotions from him.

    “Sienna, are you still sulking?” asked Isidore wryly.

    Sienna stopped short and looked Isidore directly in his mismatched eyes. She looked as though she wanted to communicate her anger to Isidore through just her facial expression alone. Sienna was about to shoot a comeback at him but she merely shook her head and stalked off once more. “Look Isidore, don’t start with me,” she said, her voice breaking slightly.

    Isidore chuckled. “I’m just saying. You don’t need to feel so down just because your plan to break your sister in half didn’t go so well. Sometimes these things just happen and we don’t accomplish our goals.” Isidore barely had time to dodge the punch Sienna aimed at the side of his head.

    “I’d like to see how you’d react if you saw some of your family again!” Sienna shouted.

    “Ha! I’d love to see some of my family in a place like this,” Isidore said as he scratched Cecelia on the head as she growled in content. “Believe me, not only would it make my day, it’d make my life!”

    “Easy for you to say!” Sienna said. “And what about this scheme of yours? Why do I get the feeling I’m not going to find out until I get there?”

    “Because you’re right,” Isidore shrugged.

    Sienna smiled slightly in spite of herself. “You always do this to me!”

    “And have I ever let you down?”

    “No, never.”

    “Good!” said Isidore with a half smile. Cecelia closed her eyes and sighed, comfortable to be in Isidore’s arms. His smile grew as he looked at her.

    “Isidore, I know I’ve asked you before, but what will you do if Cecelia’s real owner tries to take her back one day?” asked Sienna. “Has your answer changed?”

    “No, not at all,” Isidore answered lightly. “Why do you ask?”

    “No reason really,” said Sienna. She felt most of her anger melting away and began to relax around the person who knew her best. “I was just asking.”

    “All right,” said Isidore and he fell silent in contemplation again. This scheme of his would work; he was sure of it because their commander would get exactly what he wanted. But there was a part of him that wondered about the full extent of the consequences of what he was about to set in motion. There would be no turning back once the first domino had fallen. It was out of his hands. Isidore mused that his commander should really be careful what he wished for.

    Sienna and Isidore passed by another warehouse and then turned the corner to face a dilapidated building in the distance. At one time this place was a hotel but had since fallen into disrepair. The windows were grimy and difficult to see through and many of them were boarded up. The paint was chipped all over; most people wouldn’t have given the building a second look after seeing its shabby exterior but Isidore and Sienna knew better. They briskly and confidently walked up to the building’s entrance and stood there for a second. Someone, a guard, peeped through a thin rectangular opening cut into the door before admitting Sienna and Isidore into the building.

    The inside of the hotel reminded Isidore of a Vulpix—and how the exterior didn’t necessarily represent the interior. It was impressive and everything looked like it was the best money could buy, the marble floors, the chandelier, the furniture, everything. The guard who had let them in was dressed plainly in a black suit and had a face like stone. There was only one other person in the room besides the three of them, and that was a scrawny, pimply brown haired boy dressed in what looked like his school uniform. He was leaning against one of the columns. Sienna gave the room a once-over before sitting down on the on the fancy sofa. The boy looked miffed that Sienna had completely ignored him. Isidore’s eyes flashed.

    “Ah Sienna!” he said in a would-be tough, yet smooth voice—it was too bad he was failing hard. Sienna looked irritated and Isidore smiled. “Didn’t see me standing here, did you?”

    Sienna leered slightly then she stood up to face him. “Oh, I’m so sorry,” she said sarcastically as she did a mock bow. “I didn’t notice you there, Mr. Kiss-up.”

    Isidore snorted. The boy turned bright red. “That’s Mr. Killian to you,” he said lamely as he settled back into his normal voice.

    Sienna rolled her eyes and went back to ignoring him. Killian looked at Isidore in dislike and envy. “Isidore…pleasant seeing you here,” he lied in a cajoling manner.

    “Spare me,” Isidore spat as Cecelia looked on haughtily. “Save your sucking up for someone else. You’re only making me get that vomit taste in my mouth. Why don’t you just go back to your mommy and daddy?”

    Killian turned even brighter red and looked away—too embarrassed to face Sienna and Isidore. Isidore didn’t hate the young man, but he didn’t believe he had what it took to make it in the underworld. To put it simply, he was a bit of an idiot. Killian mumbled something about meeting someone and walked back out of the front door. Isidore pulled out another Luxury Ball from his belt and released Imani.

    “Imani, dear, can you help Sienna and me with the commander’s Hypno?” Isidore asked kindly.

    “Ala…” she answered affirmatively, but Isidore could look in her eyes and tell she wasn’t all that happy about doing it. “I’m sorry, Imani,” he said. “I know you don’t want to do it, but I promise to make it up to you.”

    Imani’s eyes outlined in a black glow as she telepathically sent Isidore a message. It’s a good thing we’re such a good friends. Isidore strode over to the opposite wall and pressed a certain spot in a small indention in the wall which revealed a set of gilded double doors. The commander paradoxically loved to be stealthy yet liked to show off at the same time. Sienna came up beside him and pushed open the doors.

    Darkness enveloped them as the doors closed behind them. The only light came from the computer illuminating the commander’s face as he sat at his desk…and from the glowing eyes of his Hypno. Isidore hated that thing—and not only because of how ugly the Pokémon was. The commander ordered his Hypno to probe the mind of anyone in his presence. Honestly, the man couldn’t let go of the past. It was a felt like a cold invasion of privacy while the swinging pendulum made anyone feel sluggish. Ever since Isidore had experienced it the first time, he’d made sure to have Imani with him as she suppressed the effects of Hypno’s powers.

    Sienna, Isidore! Welcome…” said commander in his rough voice. “Isidore, Isidore, why must you bring her (meaning Alakazam) here every time? You know how she…affects Hypno.”

    At his words, Hypno turned to Imani—his glowing eyes feasting on Imani as if she were something to eat. Isidore could feel Imani’s displeasure and disgust so he was going to get straight to the point. “I will tell you up front: we didn’t get the pendant like you wanted.” He paused before saying anything else to let the words sink in. Cecelia mewed sleepily in his arms.

    The Commander’s face was ever so slightly lined, and the deepest wrinkles included the ones he got from scowling so much. His nose and forehead creased as he looked at Sienna and Isidore. “You didn’t, did you?”

    “But we have something better,” Sienna said even though Isidore hadn’t revealed his scheme to her.

    “Something better?” the commander repeated.

    “Yes…” said Isidore. “We stumbled upon some interesting people…with connections to him.”

    The Commander’s expression changed as once at Isidore’s words. Realization had finally dawned on Sienna’s face as she figured out Isidore’s plan. Him referred to the man that haunted the Commander’s past, the man the commander swore he’d get revenge on, the man whose name was rarely if ever spoken aloud in the Commander’s presence…

    “Well, do tell,” he growled at Sienna and Isidore.

    ~ ~ ~​

    Carmen took a deep breath and could almost taste the salt of the ocean. A day had passed since their encounter with Sienna and Isidore, and they were just now reaching Olivine City. Of course, they could’ve reached Olivine the day before, but they were caught by a sudden downpour and took shelter in a nearby village. After the storm had rolled out, the weather was once again beautiful.

    “So Carmen,” said Ramón. “How do you like it so far?”

    “It’s really gorgeous,” Carmen breathed.

    Easily the most prominent thing about Olivine’s low skyline was the lighthouse. It looked to be one of few especially tall buildings as it overlooked the harbor like a guardian angel. From were they were, they couldn’t actually see the ocean, but its presence was felt because a lot of the environment seemed to be related to it. The children’s school uniforms were based on sailor outfits, plenty of people wore white clothing and straw hats, and they passed restaurants that catered to the sailors that delivered cargo. The first place they visited was the Olivine Harbor. There was an extensive system of boardwalks that crisscrossed close to the shore. Like in Goldenrod, everything was more laid back here and more lively too…

    “Hah,” said Nemo as Hoothoot fluttered behind him. “This is even more impressive than the harbor at Alto Mare.”

    “Yes, but I’m sure Alto Mare even surpasses this in beauty,” said Cate, smiling. “And that’s saying a lot.”

    “Yeah, sure,” said Nemo hurriedly.

    “Caaaarmen,” Ramón sang. “Is there something wrong?”

    “What? Oh, it’s nothing,” said Carmen. In truth, she had just had an intense feeling of longing and a feeling that she could conquer the world—neither of which belonged to her. It was quite different from the emotions she felt after her nightmares, no, these feelings were not creepy or ominous or foreboding. Just…well, not hers. Maybe that was considered creepy.

    Carmen could tell Ramón didn’t believe her in the least, but he didn’t say anything. He shielded his eyes as he looked out onto the ocean. “I wonder what Dad must have felt when he first landed here.”

    “Here?” Carmen asked. “He landed here? I thought it was Goldenrod.”

    “No, it was Olivine,” said Ramón thoughtfully. “Goldenrod didn’t start taking inter-regional traffic until pretty recently. Not that Dad ever talks about it, but he probably felt like Johto was a new world and his for the taking.”

    “Uh, huh,” said Carmen. Ooooh dear, she thought. That wasn’t just a coincidence. Carmen desperately hoped she was wrong…she didn’t need this; really she didn’t.

    “Ugh, I’m so BORED,” Nemo announced to everyone within earshot.

    “That’s nothing new,” Cate replied. “So what do you want to do, oh bored one?”

    “The beach,” said Nemo. “I want to go to the beach.”

    “All right,” said Ramón, then suddenly, his face became somber. “But, you’ll have to tell us one thing before we’ll let you go.”

    “And what is that?” Nemo asked, his eyes narrowed.

    “You have to tell us your real name,” said Ramón. He could no longer hold is stern expression and smiled.

    “I can’t believe I actually thought you were actually being serious,” said Nemo in disbelief. Without warning he teleported away.

    I certainly hope no one saw him,” said Carmen. “I can’t believe he’d do that with so many people around.”

    “Maybe he’s used to it,” Cate said shrugging. “He’s probably at the beach though.”

    And sure enough, he was. As usual he was glancing at his Pokégear in impatience. He was already in his swim trunks with Espeon now by his side. “Naturally, you’re too slow. NOW HURRY UP!” he called out as he ran to the ocean.

    “And to think I believed he was past yelling at us,” Ramón said amused.

    Ramón, Cate, and Carmen also changed into their bathing suits as well. Cate wore a simple white one piece with a red sarong wrapped around her waist. Carmen had on a tank top and some shorts and called it a bathing suit. She knew both Reina and Isabel would probably kill her for it, but like she cared. Ramón’s swim trunks were black and decked out with…Blisseys?

    “Ramón, I really want to go clothes shopping with you some day,” said Carmen as she laughed at the Blissey trunks. “And honestly, why would you even buy those?”

    “To make people smile,” said Ramón.

    Carmen shook her head as Cate and Ramón ran after Nemo who was dipping his toes in the water. Everyone released their Pokémon to enjoy the beach with them. Milotic and Dragonite were thrilled to be in the ocean again. Suna on the other hand did not look remotely pleased at being near such a large body of water and responded by being even colder than usual. No one even wanted to look at the Dragon Pokémon. And as always when there Pokémon, small children flocked; they made sure to steer clear of Suna though.

    Yes, everything was normal—nothing at all out of the ordinary. Carmen sat down in the sand with her knees to her chest and watched the scenery. She didn’t feel bored as much as settled and balanced. Beautiful women in bikinis waved a Ramón while they pretended not to be unnerved by Nendoru. Carmen closed her eyes and put her head on her knees for the briefest second, but when she opened her eyes, everything had changed.

    The beach was completely deserted. All of the color was faded; the sky was not as blue and it was and the sand was an odd off-white color. Alarmed, Carmen stood up and looked around wildly. The only sounds that could be heard were the ocean waves and the distant sounds of the harbor. Or…she thought the beach was deserted. Standing some distance away was a dark haired man dressed in all black. Since he had his back turned to her, she couldn’t make out who he was, but his silhouette and the figure next to him looked oddly familiar...

    Carmen quickly closed her eyes again and this time when she reopened them, everything was back to normal. The beachgoers were back, and the colors were bright and vibrant once more. What just happened? Carmen thought as she watched Ramón hold Nemo down while Cate and the Pokémon buried him in the sand. No one appeared to have noticed anything, so Carmen put it at the back of her mind. Maybe it just was the sun getting to her. Porygon-Z drifted over to Carmen, but before it could indicate what it wanted, it froze up.

    “Oh no, not again!” There were times when Carmen rather regretted using the Dubious Disk on Porygon-Z but she would rather die before admitting that to Ramón. Carmen quickly sent it to cyberspace—the only place it seemed normal. Carmen jumped when she heard someone shout through a megaphone—a someone who wasn’t far from her at all.


    Carmen turned around to see a man standing in Suna’s personal space and pointing at her. If she looked annoyed before, it was nothing compared to what she looked like now. Carmen thought she was about to fire an Earth Power right at the guy. Ramón stopped playing around and looked up. Carmen hoped he wouldn’t humor the man, but of course that was just wishful thinking. Ramón stood up and raised his hand like he was in school.

    “OH GOOD!” the man yelled. “YOU SHOULD BATTLE MY GLISCOR!” He put the megaphone down when he and Ramón were facing each other. The man had sandy blond hair and had on a Hawaiian shirt and orange shorts.

    “Hey, how long has it been since you actually battled, Ramón?” Cate said as she abandoned Nemo to get himself out his sand cocoon.

    “A while,” he said simply before turning to the man. “What’s your name anyway?”

    “Just call me Tommy,” he said pointing at himself. “And what about you?”

    “Ramón,” he answered. “But one thing though. Suna doesn’t look all too thrilled about battling. Would you like to battle Nendoru instead?” The Claydol promptly teleported beside its trainer and spun once, producing a psychic charge out of one of its arms.

    “Eh,” said Tommy who looked slightly disappointed at not being able to fight a dragon. “Works for me. A battle is a battle.” He threw an unusual Pokéball—a Level Ball—and produced a fearsome Gliscor.

    “HEY! Does someone want to help me out here!?” It was Nemo whom Carmen and Cate had completely forgotten about. Cate ran and helped dig him out and they both sat on the sidelines to watch Ramón’s battle.

    “Come on Dragonite!” Carmen called. “We’re going to watch this from the air!”

    She climbed onto the dragon Pokémon’s back as he rose into the air. The weird incident from before, along with the rest of Carmen’s worries, were left on the ground as she watched the battle that had commenced. She liked watching battles as much as participating in them, and this one was reminding her of another battle on a beach—Giselle Valentine’s first winning battle.

    “All right Gliscor! Let’s start this off with X-Scissor!” Tommy yelled.

    Gliscor bared her fangs as she crossed her pincers which now glowed in a white light as she lunged at Nendoru. She showered any bystanders who were too close with sand as she lunged at Nendoru. But with no word from Ramón, the Claydol teleported to behind Gliscor. Nendoru wasn’t done yet though; without warning, the Pokémon raised one of its disembodied arms and fired two twin beams of blue light that resembled a helix. The Ice Beam hit Gliscor in the back.

    “Hey, wait a minute!” Tommy sputtered as his Pokémon roared in pain. “You didn’t tell your Pokémon to use an attack!”

    “Nice observation,” Ramón who had no derision in his voice.

    When Ramón didn’t elaborate, Tommy just looked dumbfounded. “But…that means you’ve lost control of your Pokémon.” Carmen saw the sand began to shift beneath Nendoru, but Tommy who was now accusing Ramón didn’t notice.

    “No it doesn’t,” Ramón corrected, smiling. “And you might want to focus on that Ancient Power that’s about to hit you.”

    “What? OH SN— Gliscor use Sandstorm!” Tommy shouted.

    Gliscor began to rotate but she couldn’t stop the Ancient Power. The Sandstorm had begun but Gliscor was slammed by rocks glowing rocks which made her drop a few feet before she was able to stop herself. Nendoru attempted to fire another Ice Beam, but thanks to Sand Veil, Gliscor was camouflaged perfectly in the Sandstorm. The Ice Beam missed her by mere centimeters; Nendoru would have to rely on its trainer and psychic power if it didn’t want to waste its energy on attacks that just missed Gliscor.

    “We got ‘em now,” Tommy said shrewdly.

    “Really now?” Ramón said.

    “Yes, use Ice Fang Gliscor!” Tommy said.

    Even from her vantage point, Carmen could barely see what Gliscor was doing. Her fangs encrusted with ice, she flew at Nendoru with her wings spread wide and mouth gaping open. It was a direct hit…or so it looked that way. For a instant Claydol became outlined in a red glow.

    “Hey! What happened?” said Tommy.

    “Protect,” Ramón said cheerfully.

    Carmen gasped. It was one of the fastest Protects she had ever seen—and one of the briefest lasting only a few nanoseconds. Since when had her brother learned to battle like this? As the battle went on, Ramón continued to mess with Tommy’s mind. To be honest, this battle was difficult to keep up with and not only because of the sandstorm. Ramón never verbally commanded Nendoru and Tommy was growing more and more desperate as he had to contend with the Reflect Nendoru had set up.

    “Gliscor!” he said frantically as an X-Scissor barely dented the barely visible walls of the Reflect. “Use Brick Break to shatter that Reflect! If we can’t get rid of it, your attacks won’t do anything.”

    Gliscor’s left pincer glowed white and with one jab, the Reflect wall became fully visible a second before it collapsed like an old building in an earthquake. “Now use Night Slash!” Tommy shouted. He was clearly trying to capitalize on the short moment before Nendoru could make its next move. And sure enough, the attack was a direct hit. Nendoru staggered backward away from Gliscor with all of its eyes closed in pain, but Carmen knew she saw the Claydol glow for a second. Tommy looked relieved that an attack managed to hit, but his relief was short lived.

    Nendoru’s left arm suddenly pointed toward Gliscor and fired an Ice Beam that neither Gliscor nor Tommy saw coming. It was unnaturally fast—for a Claydol anyway. Again, Nendoru’s attack hit directly, but then a block of ice formed around Gliscor. She was frozen solid. The Sandstorm began to die down as Gliscor fell from the sky and landed in the sand with a muffled thump.

    “What is going on with you?” Tommy gasped.

    “What do you mean?” Ramón asked smiling. “Have you had enough?”

    “Y-you haven’t said anything even resembling a command for you Pokémon,” Tommy said weakly.

    Carmen suddenly realized how important hearing the opponent’s commands were. That little bit of time made a huge difference, and without it, the trainer could become totally disoriented as Tommy had then.

    Ramón made no move to respond to Tommy. Instead he pointed at Gliscor. “Look! Can you do anything about that Psychic?”

    “What now? Oh geeze,” Tommy said, defeated. Through the clear block of ice, Gliscor was being silently tormented. She was trying to move, but she was immobilized. Only her eyes let on to her pain. She couldn’t fully close her eyes so people could clearly see her eyes bulging. Her trainer had had enough. Tommy recalled Gliscor before taking a hard look at Ramón.

    “Before I take Gliscor to the Pokémon Center,” he said falsely calm voice that couldn’t mask the shaking. “Just tell me this: Did you use Trick Room at any point in the battle.”

    “Yes,” said Ramón brightly.

    “Heh, I really need to explore communicating nonverbally with my psychic Pokémon too,” Tommy said. “Well, see you around!”

    The crowd watched as he took off toward the city. “Don’t worry about the prize money,” Ramón called vaguely. Carmen shook her head as she and Dragonite landed next to him.

    “That was WICKED!” Nemo shouted as he ran to Ramón. “Do you think you can teach me how to do that? Huh? Huh?!”

    But Ramón didn’t respond right away. His attention, as well as Carmen’s, was focused on a man with stringy brown hair who was walking toward the group. The mysterious man looked to be in his forties with frown lines on his forehead. He looked very out of place on the beach with his all black suit and people were staring, but he just ignored them. Otherwise, the man was distinctly average; he was neither handsome, nor ugly.

    “Hmm,” said the man once he had reached them. “My little subordinate was right. You really do look a lot like him.”

    “Come again?” said Ramón.

    “Heck, you even battle like him,” the man continued as though Ramón hadn’t spoken. “But you,” he said turning to Carmen. “Those eyes…huh.”

    “Are you going to tell us what’s going on?” Carmen asked. She couldn’t explain it, but this man was giving her the chills. His very presence was making her feel as though there was a weight on her chest. The man seemed gentlemen enough but…

    “I knew your mother and father,” he said looking an elaborate ring with a huge sapphire in it. “I must say, I’m a little disappointed he never mentioned me to you.”

    “Well, he doesn’t exactly tell us anything about his past,” said Ramón, shrugging.

    “Ha!” the man laughed. “With all the stuff that went on, he has good reason. Anyway, I must be off. Business to take care of, I hope you understand.”

    “But we never got your name,” Cate spoke up.

    “Just call me Charles,” he said with a slight bow. “We’ll see each other again.”

    “I don’t trust him at all…” said Ramón once Charles was gone; he had disappeared as quickly as he had appeared. “He seems like he’s out to get us.”

    “Well, at least I’m not the only one feels that way,” Carmen said under her breath.

    A cool breeze blew off the ocean and played with Carmen’s hair. She had already made up her mind to call her father later. Knowing him though, he wouldn’t tell her anything, but it was still worth a shot.

    “Are we just going to stand here all day?” said a voice from behind them. It was Nemo who had a purple slushie in his hand and Espeon and Hoothoot following behind him.

    “And are you aware that no one even knew you were gone?” Ramón asked. “Where did you go anyway?”

    “To get a slushie, duh,” he said dismissively. “Anyway it doesn’t matter where I went. I’m going back to watch another battle. Are you coming?”

    “Sure, why not?” Cate said. “Then we can actually go swimming later. Can you swim?”

    “That’s a stupid question,” Nemo said. “Of course I can! I’m from Alto Mare for goodness sakes! Sheesh!”

    “Just thought I’d ask,” said Cate laughing.

    ~ ~ ~​

    “Dad, you’re talking in circles again,” Carmen groaned in frustration.

    “I wouldn’t have to talk in circles if you’d just give up,” he said Carmen could visualize his silver eyes narrowing.

    They were staying on a house boat that served as a Trainer’s House. It was quiet because Nemo decided that what he needed was a hotdog and had gone in search of one. The sea was beautiful and calm as Carmen look out the window, trying to dispel the irritation she was feeling.

    “But Dad, we met a man named Charles today and—

    “Charles? I haven’t talked to him in years,” he said. “Did he mention anything?”

    Carmen rolled her eyes in disbelief. She was glad she decided not to use the video option on her phone. “No he didn’t mention anything! That’s why I’m calling you!” Her father and Ramón were opposites in personality but they were similar in their ability to frustrate Carmen.

    He just laughed. “I’m still not telling you anything. Maybe Charles will if you ever see him again. I’d rather him tell the whole story anyway.”

    “The whole st—Dad, I’d rather hear it from you!” Carmen said.

    “Well then I guess you’re out of luck,” he chuckled. “I have a bit an emergency delivery to take care of so I have to go now. I love you Carmen.”

    “I love you too, Dad,” Carmen sighed and hung up. She ran her fingers through her hair without thinking. What the heck could her father have done to make him not want to tell his children after all this time?

    “No luck?” asked Ramón who had just walked passed her door. The ceiling was low so his head nearly touched it. In fact, he had to duck to get into the small room.

    “Not at all,” Carmen replied. “Same old, same old. Was he the same way with you? Talking in circles, I mean.”

    “He actually talked to you?” Ramón said in surprise. “You’re already ahead of me. He usually just brushes me off and gives me the silent treatment whenever I asked.”

    “Good grief,” said Carmen sighing.

    Then, Cate appeared at the door with a slightly puzzled look on her face. “Ramón, Carmen? Charles is at the door.”

    Ramón seemed calm enough but Carmen had to work hard to hide her bewilderment as they walked to the boat’s entrance. Sure enough, Charles was standing there in the same black outfit from earlier.

    “What are you doing here?” Carmen asked.

    “To ask you all to come with me,” Charles said as he looked at the giant ring on his middle finger.

    “And why would we do that?” Ramón asked. For the first time since they’d gotten to Johto, Carmen heard an edge to his voice—something she hadn’t heard in a long time.

    “I’m sad that you’re suspicious like this,” the man said with a slight pouty expression on his face. It was grotesque. “Here I am, nice enough to give you a chance to get your friend back and you’re being mistrustful.”

    “What do you mean get our friend back?” Cate asked. “You can’t mean—

    “Oh yes,” said Charles smiling. “You’re not getting your red-haired friend back if you don’t come with me.”
    #18 Carmen Lopez, Jul 9, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  19. Psycho Monkey

    Psycho Monkey Member of the Literary Elite Four

    I had forgotten how awesome Ramon's fashion sense was! I'd like to go shopping with him one day too if only to get myself freakishly bizarre clothes :D
  20. OOC: I'm not sure what I was on when I wrote this, but here it is. Anyway, with this post, we're all caught up. The next chapter will be completely new ♥ .

    ..And btw, I edited the completely stupid bit in here >>

    Nemo opened his eyes to a beautiful garden behind a large mansion. From the flowers in full bloom, Nemo knew it had to be summertime. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the sunlight was being filtered through the leaves of the big tree he had his back against. The wind gently blew his hair; Nemo reached to touch it and discovered it was long again.

    Wait. Nemo thought. What’s going on here? He looked around quickly and saw the back of a woman kneeling at the edge of a pond in front of him. She had straw colored wavy hair that was held back by a headband. Her light green and white polka dotted cocktail dress was cinched at the waste with a pink belt. The woman was hand feeding the Pokémon at the water’s edge; she seemed calm. At that moment, terror filled Nemo’s heart. He remembered this day—it was last day he’d had any semblance of peace.

    But why was he reliving this day? Was this another aspect of his psychic powers? No…this felt like something entirely different. But another shock of horror jolted him as he saw the woman stand up and come towards him. However with once glance of her clear blue eyes, Nemo felt all knowledge of memories of this day vanish. As suddenly as the ominous feelings came over him, Nemo was wondering why he was ever feeling scared in the first place. The woman smiled and Nemo stood up and ran to her.

    “Finally, you’re awake!” she said brightly as she fiddled with her hair. The sunlight glinted off the golden locket she wore—the one that matched his.

    Normally, Nemo would’ve shrunk away from his mother’s affection like this. But for some reason he felt grateful though he couldn’t quite remember. His thoughts were very muddled…

    His mother didn’t appear to notice. She just turned and gazed back over the water. “The weather is so beautiful today. It’s like Alto Mare wants us to have a wonderful last day here.”

    “It really is,” Nemo said hesitantly. He couldn’t fathom why they would be leaving home and to be honest, he wasn’t too bothered at the moment…that is until he heard a voice from behind them.

    “Last day?” the man said. “Why, do you think you’re going somewhere?”

    Both Nemo and his mother froze when they turned and saw a man with long auburn hair wearing a dark suit coming towards them. With his refined feminine face, he could’ve easily been mistake for a woman. A little smiled played around his lips. He walked over to Nemo’s mother and cradled her face in his hands. Then Nemo discovered his voice still worked and he stood up to the man. Finally, a memory of this day has broken through the cloud of confusion—they were running from this man—Nemo’s father.

    “How did you find us Dad?” Nemo said harshly. His fists were clenched at his side in an attempt to look like he was less terrified than he actually was.

    His father had always scared him. He never did anything overt, but Nemo could tell something was off about him—like he never really cared about him and his mother. Not to mention he reminded Nemo of a complete psychopath.

    “Haven’t we taught you anything?” his father responded callously. His brown eyes didn’t have a shred of mercy. “You treat adults respectfully. And we’re conducting adult’s business here and you know better than to interrupt. Now…”He turned his attention back to Nemo’s mother. “Woman, you’ve committed a serious crime trying to keep my son from me.”

    His voice sounded cruelly gentle. To an outsider looking on, it would’ve seemed like he was saying nice things to her, but in reality, she was paralyzed with fear.

    “Hnn, you’re so scared,” he said sardonically. He dropped one of his arms to put it around her waist. “And you have every reason to be.” Nemo’s father pulled a Pokéball from his belt. “Come on out Jynx. I need you to restrain my dear son there. This could get messy.”

    And before Nemo could make a move, Nemo felt himself bound by the Jynx’s psychic powers—her pouty lips parted as she smiled at the boy struggling against her. Nemo’s mind went blank as he realized here was nothing he could do.

    “Thank you dear,” his father said to the Jynx who winked in response. He once again focused on Nemo’s mother. He began playing with her hair. “You’re going to pay dearly for your crime, but you knew that didn’t you? Or else you wouldn’t have had me running all over Hoenn trying to find you. And all that effort gone to waste.”

    Nemo trued to scream but the Jynx’s powers wouldn’t allow it. He had never been so angry in his life—he couldn’t see straight and he knew his face was as red as his hair. Nemo made a valiant effort to break free of Jynx’s hold, but the Jynx waggled her finger at his futile attempts which only ticked him off further.

    “Hmm,” his father said after a while. The man thought about something for a second, and then to Nemo’s horror, he put his long fingers around her neck and began to strangle her. The woman’s eyes bulged as she tried to struggle against the man who was stronger than he looked. “Stop resisting. And for goodness sake stop trying to look at him! I want to be the last thing you gaze upon as you die… I wonder what it’s like to be killed by someone you once said you loved. You’ll never be able to say. Good bye.

    After a few moments, the woman stopped moving and her body went limp. Nemo felt a numbness spread through his body. He didn’t even know it was possible to feel nothing at all. Just a few minutes ago, she was alive and they were both enjoying the peace. So how did this happen? Of course, they both knew this could happen. When his father’s behavior had gotten too disturbing, he and his mother picked up and ran away to places he wouldn’t have thought to look. But today…they had failed.

    His father laid his mother’s body on the ground and pulled out a cell phone. “You can come to take her away now. I’ve satisfied my curiosity now…Don’t worry. I’ll let you take care of my son…”

    But Nemo’s anger was rising again and through sheer force of will, he broke through part of Jynx’s hold and screamed louder than he’d ever screamed in his life. “HOW COULD YOU! YOU’RE A MONSTER!”

    “Shut up,” his father said yawning. Nemo looked into his brown eyes and saw that this man really didn’t care about what he’d just done at all.

    Then they both heard another man’s voice. “My goodness, Feliciano, you weren’t kidding when you said you sated your curiosity.”

    “Ah, Charles,” Feliciano said. “I didn’t expect you to get here so soon. This boy here is my dear son, and he’s all yours.”

    “Thank you very much,” Charles said. He had an oddly rough voice, but he was dressed like a gentlemen. A creepy looking Hypno was at Charles’s side. The swinging pendulum was making him feel stupid… “The world needs ridding of people like him.”

    Ridding? Nemo thought. What the heck did that mean? Anxiety was affecting him nearly as much as the fear and anger did. He felt his breathing get deeper, heavier and his heart started pounding. His head was also aching now…..he had to get away, but the weight of the psychic power from both the Jynx and now the Hypno on him was too much….

    Nemo jerked awake from the horrible nightmare. He couldn’t believe he was reliving the day his father and found them and then killed his mother right in front of him. As his vision came into focus, he saw that he was in an empty room that resembled an asylum with its white walls and flooring. He looked up and saw a heavy iron door in front of him with a camera directly over it. Nemo tried to lift his arms and found that he was chained to the chair he was sitting in and the panic set in. He couldn’t even teleport away. What had they done to him?

    He looked around wildly. “What’s going ON?” Nemo yelled, frightened.

    And to his horror, a voice answered him. “Jyyyynx….” The Pokémon materialized out of nowhere and winked devilishly. This Pokémon had been screwing with his head the entire time; it certainly explained the fuzziness he felt. But he took a good look at the Jynx and realization dawned on him—it belonged to his father. And that could only mean one thing…Nemo groaned.

    “No,” he said, almost to himself. “No, this can’t be happening! How did you find me again?”

    Feliciano’s sinister voice answered him. “I told you I’d find you eventually.” He opened the door and entered Nemo’s prison.

    Any fear that Nemo felt was immediately replaced by annoyance when Nemo got a good look at his father. Finally his outrageous personality was showing in his choice of clothing. Nemo gawked.

    “When did you start dressing like THAT?” he demanded, dumbfounded.

    His father was wearing a sleeveless black a-lined dress with white polka dots. A red sash was tied around his waist into a bow at the back and red heels to match. Feliciano’s auburn hair was in curls this time. It was especially galling to Nemo because the outfit seemed strangely familiar. Feliciano smiled at the look on his son’s face.

    “I feel more comfortable this way,” he said lightly as he gave a slight little and curtsey. “Besides, I thought you’d appreciate the look. After all, I stole it from your mother’s closet—along with this…”

    He held up the locket he had in his hand—his mother’s. Nemo’s eyes began to burn as Feliciano gently put the locket around his neck.

    “Y-you’re evil,” said Nemo. His voice was shaking as he struggled against his chains. “I hate you!”

    Feliciano promptly turned around and punched Nemo in the face hard. “Is that any way to talk to your father, Adriano?”

    Hearing his real name for the first time in a long time stunned Nemo more than being punched. He glared at his father with contempt in his eyes, but he said nothing.

    “Adriano!” his father said sharply. “I’m talking to you, stupid brat. You should be lucky I haven’t strangled you like I did your mother.”

    Nemo was shaking with rage now. “H-how did you find me?” It took a lot of effort just to hold his voice somewhat steady. “I teleported away before Charles saw me!”

    Feliciano sighed. “You stupid, stupid child. Do you remember Isidore and Sienna?”

    Nemo felt annoyed with himself. “Yes,” he reluctantly admitted.

    “Charles is their commander so of course they reported you to him soon after they encountered you,” Feliciano explained. “We’ve been carefully tracking your little group ever since and hoped your friends’ annoying abilities didn’t ruin our plans. But tell me one thing: Why on earth didn’t get far away from Olivine after you saw Charles?”

    Nemo was silent at this. Truth was, he didn’t know Isidore and Sienna were associated with Charles, and therefore he never thought they were being tracked. And because Charles didn’t even get to see him, why should he have guessed that he would be found out? Nemo cursed himself for not being more careful.

    Feliciano leered at his silence. “Well, I almost feel ashamed for having been evaded by you all this time. You’re still an idiot.”

    “You shut your mouth!” Nemo shouted at his father.

    He was about to raise his hand to his son again when the door opened once more. It was Isidore, and he did not look remotely happy to see Feliciano. Unlike in his last appearance, Isidore was wearing a simple black suit similar to the one Feliciano wore in Nemo’s flashback. But like last time, he was carrying his Vulpix in his arms.

    “Commander wants to transport our young prisoner,” Isidore said in a bored voice. “And of course he just had to send me. Oh joy.”

    “Oh ho, my mismatched eyed friend,” Feliciano said gliding over to Isidore and made to put his arm around his shoulders.

    But Isidore immediately knocked him away and looked furious. “Don’t touch me, you piece of trash.”

    Feliciano looked shocked. “Why you little brat! You don’t talk to me that way!”

    “I can talk to you however I want,” Isidore fired back. “I don’t answer to you and I won’t think twice about dropping you where you stand if you ever touch me again.” His Vulpix hissed in agreement.

    For a moment, Feliciano and Isidore glared at each other, but Feliciano was forced to give in. “Fine, take him out of my sight. And I shall be speaking to Charles about how you’ve been treating me.”

    Isidore looked thoroughly indifferent. “You do that,” he said in a dull voice. Then he walked over to Nemo and pulled out a syringe filled with liquid. “And since I can’t have you just teleporting away…”

    Nemo only managed one scream before Isidore shifted the Vulpix and plunged the needle into his arm. Within a few seconds, he was out.

    ~ ~ ~​

    “You know I’m REALLY getting tired of this happening,” Nemo complained when he had come to after being knocked out for the second time.

    This time he was sitting on the floor of another white cell. Only this one had a glass wall that made him feel as though he were a Pokémon at the zoo. And indeed, both Isidore and his Vulpix named Cecelia were looking at him through the glass.

    “Yeah, I imagine that gets a bit tiresome,” Isidore agreed, smiling.

    Nemo tried to clear his head. “Okay, okay, I know I got here because you reported me to Charles.” Looking at the Vulpix, Nemo remembered something very important. “But what did you do with Espeon? You didn’t hurt her, right?”

    “She’s fine,” Isidore said holding out her Pokéball. To Nemo’s surprise, he spoke gently. “I wouldn’t let any Pokémon get hurt especially by that pathetic excuse for a human being you call your father!”

    Nemo rolled his eyes and gave a slight humph. “I don’t call him anything. I hate him and I hate you for bringing me to him.” He stared icily at Isidore who sighed.

    “Sorry about that,” Isidore said. When Nemo continued to look cagey, he continued, “No, I really am. I can promise you I don’t take orders from Feliciano or anyone else who’d senselessly kill the mother of his child.”

    “Oh, so you have morals or something?” Nemo asked scathingly. It was rather hard to be nice to anyone who’d just reunited him with the very last person he wanted to see.

    But Isidore only smiled darkly through the glass. His eyes seemed far away. “Trust me, I know how you must feel; my father killed my mother too. Or rather, he had someone kill her. He’d never do the dirty work himself.

    Nemo looked down at his feet. He was feeling conflicted; going through what he’d gone through, he had plenty of empathy. But on the other hand, Isidore’s words only made him think of his own mother—something he generally avoided in order to keep his sanity. So he merely responded, “I’m sorry to hear that.”

    “My father is a greedy man who only cares about himself,” Isidore said as if he hadn’t heard Nemo. Anger was now in his eyes. “A politician. He’ll do anything to get ahead which included hurting innocent people and Pokémon. He once bankrolled a ‘scientific endeavor’ that involved doing these horrendous experiments on Psychic type Pokémon to try to see what makes their abilities tick. That’s what he had my mother killed over; she was threatening to expose him, not to mention she didn’t fit his ‘image.’ So yes, I know all about bad fathers.

    “It’s a long story, and I won’t bore you with the details,” Isidore continued. He had that dark smile on his face again as he played with Espeon’s Pokéball. “Maybe I’ll tell you the full thing later because I think you’ll find it interesting. But for now, I’m more interested in your story, kid. There are a few things I’d like to know.”

    “Like what?” Nemo asked defensively still looking down.

    “Like…how did you manage to escape and then evade Charles and Feliciano for so long?” Isidore asked, intrigued.

    Nemo turned to face Isidore. Just like when the others had found out about his abilities, the jig was up. “They tried to restrain me with their Pokémon, but then I snapped and I overrode their control over me and I managed to teleport away. I…used to have long hair and I cut it off as a disguise. Basically, I just teleport randomly to throw them off my trail. Simple as that. I picked up Espeon along the way so I wasn’t totally alone.”

    “Riiight,” Isidore said slowly, suspiciously. “Then why were you traveling with Carmen, Ramón, and Cate?”

    “I was drawn to them really,” Nemo explained. “I tried to fight it, but even Suicune lead me to them. But it’s just as well. The less they know about me, the better. They don’t even know my real name.” Nemo casted his eyes down again. “I’m just glad they didn’t get hurt on the account of me.”

    That was all true. He had been afraid that they would’ve been caught up in his messy situation. It was the best he’d felt in a long time while he was traveling with them, but it couldn’t last forever…

    “Oh really?” Isidore said in surprise. “You say that like you were the main catch here when you were really the bait.”

    That caught Nemo’s attention at once, and for the first time, he stood up to face Isidore through his cell. “And what is that supposed to mean? Isn’t that why you turned me over to my father?”

    “No…well…kinda?” Isidore said shrugging. “See, you and I both know why Charles and Feliciano are after you by now right?”

    “My abilities,” Nemo said, defeated. “They want to do all these weird experiments on me.” Which will likely be the end of me, he thought.

    “And are you the only one with abilities?” Isidore asked as if Nemo were about five years old.

    “You know?” Nemo asked. His heart sank; was this somehow his fault too?

    “Well, yes!” Isidore said brightly. “While I’m sure the Valentine family didn’t expect treachery, but Sienna told the commander all about her sister’s powers. And thanks to an incident with Carmen and Ramón’s father Reymundo years back, he’s been wary of abilities ever since.”

    “I-what?” Nemo asked incredulously. “Their father had abilities? Looks like I wasn’t the only one keeping secrets.”

    “No, it was probably just you,” Isidore informed him. “Commander told us that their father would rather take that what happened to his grave, so they didn’t know either.”

    “So I wasn’t the only one Charles was after,” Nemo asked.

    “Nope, not at all,” Isidore answered calmly. “Commander wants to imprison everyone with abilities to prevent them from being a menace to the world. He’s been feeling even more anxious about it lately after he found out Ramón and Carmen had inherited his abilities.”

    “Except that Carmen doesn’t have abilities,” Nemo pointed out. “She was the only one of us that didn’t.”

    Isidore was silent at this. Cecelia was curled up on the floor asleep by this point. Her trainer smiled at how peaceful she looked; he picked her up and cradled her in his arms. “I have an ability as well; I can sense the psychic abilities of humans. And while my ability isn’t foolproof, I know I’m not wrong here. Her psychic abilities are way too strong. Perhaps they’re latent?”

    Isidore was surprised by that statement. Maybe she was indeed keeping secrets…or maybe she really didn’t know she had them. Either way, Commander was about to do some serious experimenting on Carmen. Isidore had advised warned him that against that there could be hell to pay for doing that, but he hadn’t listened. He was too wrapped up with his past with Reymundo. Oh well, he tried to tell him. That wouldn’t be on his shoulders at least.

    Behind him, Nemo exhaled a laugh. “You know, you really aren’t that much different than your father after all.”

    Isidore turned to face him. Nemo, who thought that his big mouth had gotten him in trouble, flinched slightly; that amused Isidore. But he didn’t yell, or even get angry. That wasn’t his style.

    You don’t know anything about me,” Isidore said as Cecelia yawned.
    #20 Carmen Lopez, Jul 12, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  21. asdfjhk.

    Carmen I love your writing so much. I really wish I had more to say, but I've already said it all; your characters are so real, so believable. I can't wait for the next chapter ^^
    #21 Cody, Jul 13, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  22. OOC: OW! OOOW! My brain! D: This chapter broke my brain ;_; Well, finally it's a new chapter of MO and the hardest thing I've ever written. Getting from point A to point B has never been so nerve wracking . I realized I had to get a move on after Chad and Sem started posting new stuff XD I hope you enjoy the penultimate chapter. It's a bit dialogue heavy, and my descriptions---let me stop rambling ;_;

    The limousine slipped quietly through the dark streets of Olivine. The beach, the sunshine, and the laughter were far from them now and the light-hearted atmosphere was replaced with apprehension and fear. Ramón and Cate held hands while Carmen was ringing her hands in her lap. The more she was around Charles and his Hypno, the more uneasy she felt. Carmen was rarely one to be anxious like this and that bothered her more than anything. Charles himself looked relaxed and calm as though kidnapping people was normal for him. He smiled to Ramón who didn’t return it.

    “Come now. Why so serious?” Charles leered in his rough voice.

    No one responded.

    Charles looked at Ramón intently. “You have Abigail’s eyes. It’s strange to see them in Reymundo’s face. Hmm, I remember the day I saw your father. It was on the beach many years ago. Back in those days the place was exclusive and restricted to the privileged of Olivine, but Reymundo didn’t care; he was there like he owned the place. Guards told him to leave and he refused. That pretty much defined his character. He had to be only sixteen or seventeen with his beloved Bronzong, but that look he gave people…it was clear that whoever underestimated him would be sorry for doing so.”

    As much as she didn’t want to be, Carmen was engrossed in Charles’s story. She and the rest of her siblings had always been fascinated by their father’s past—perhaps because he was so secretive. However Carmen had wanted to hear the story from her father…

    “I’m going to make the most of our time together and tell you exactly what I’m doing,” Charles explained. He never broke eye contact with either Carmen or Ramón, and in response, they never flinched under his intense gaze. “But first you’ll need a bit of background before you understand my….ah, mission. You see, your father and I used to be friends. He’d come from Sinnoh with nothing but the clothes on his back and that Bronzong. There wasn’t as much about interregional travel then, so no one knew what the heck that weird thing was. I’d run away from my home in Azalea Town with my Hypno and our lives crossed in Olivine City’s world of organized crime.”

    As Charles spoke, Carmen had the strangest sensation. In her mind’s eye, she envisioned Charles story unfolding—but too vividly. She could clearly see younger versions of the two men—her father and Charles standing and facing each other. Reymundo’s silver eyes were as biting then as they were now. The expression on Charles’s face could only be described as colorless as the two young me evaluating each other. Carmen frowned at the images in her head; it was literally like she herself was there as she smelled the dankness of the alley they were in and heard the cars nearby. She tried to convince herself that this was merely her mind constructing her own version of the story, but she failed. The images and sensations were just too real…

    “So our dad was involved in organized crime,” Ramón mused. “I know it’s illegal and all, but there are far worse things a person could be involved in. What was so bad that he couldn’t confide in us? Is there someone after him now?”

    It was Charles’s turn to smirk. “I haven’t gotten to that part yet…the part that leads me to why we’re here together now.”

    Carmen was starting to find the Hypno irksome; it felt like the Pokémon was trying to probe her mind as she grew sluggish from watching the pendulum swing back and forth, back and forth…

    “I found out your father’s secret after we were cornered during one of our missions,” Charles said. “And up to that point, you could even call us friends, but what happened changed everything. Reymundo was facing down three men alone, one of whom had a gun pointed to his head. Another guard had me pinned to the floor and both our Pokémon had been knocked out. I was sure we were done for, but then I felt something radiate from Rey. From my vantage point I could see debris from the wall we had destroyed began to levitate and I could hear choking sounds from the guards that surrounded him. There was no mistaking it…he had psychic powers.”

    Carmen, Ramón, and Cate all gasped.

    Charles laughed at their reaction. “It gets better from there. I don’t think I have to tell you that Rey…thoroughly took care of them.” He gave another short laugh didn’t go any further; instead, he continued with his story. “The relationship between the two of us didn’t break down immediately, but we certainly grew distant. I couldn’t look at him the same way again even though I was secretly in awe of him.”

    “Okay, right,” Carmen said as a brief moment of clarity cut through Hypno’s mental block like a sword. “Aside from his past, I know my father very well. I talked to him on the phone before you decided to blackmail us into coming with you” She took a deep breath before continuing. “I mentioned your name and he said that maybe you would us the whole story…but why do I feel you’re not supposed to know this?”

    “You really are perceptive,” Charles said with a note of triumph in his voice. His face was illuminated when they passed a streetlight. “It’s because I’m not and that will be what brings us to this point. After Rey’s secret was revealed, everything was going well enough for a while. It was during this time that he met and became smitten with your mother Abigail. She was surprisingly accepting of his powers when he told her. But as we all know, all good things must come to and end.

    “Abigail was unfortunate enough to be at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Charles said. “She got kidnapped by a rival gang. It sent Reymundo over the edge. He made up his mind to find her and there was nothing anyone could say to stop him…

    And without warning, a sharp pain pierced Carmen’s head as though she’d been stabbed. It was worse far, far than what than the pain she’d felt after her battle in Ecruteak that day. The burning pain radiated from her head, down her spine, and to the rest of her body from the tips of her fingers to her toes. She felt her surroundings—the limousine, her brother, Cate, and Charles—dissolve away leaving her terrified in a sea of complete darkness. Gasping, Carmen fell to her knees writhing and tasted the vomit in her mouth. She let out a long, hard scream that was swallowed by the silent darkness in her own mind.

    Just as suddenly as the pain had begun, Carmen’s surroundings began to reform. With one ominous cackle, Carmen felt the pain vanish though her throw was still raw from the screaming. Still breathing heavily, Carmen pulled herself to her feet and surveyed her new environment.

    Just like that moment at the beach that seemed so far away, everything was grayscale; she was the only one in color. The living room she was in was very Spartan. It had no windows and extremely sparse furniture—only a table, a couple of wooden chairs, and a nondescript sofa. There were two doors, one in front of Carmen and one behind her which smashed open as two men stormed in.

    The much younger Reymundo looked nearly deranged in his rage as he turned to face down Charles who was trying to calm him down.

    “Rey! Rey, look I know you’re upset but you have to stop before you do something that could ruin us all!” Charles tried to keep his voice calm, but he was desperate.. “We’ll get her back. You know that!”

    “I don’t think you understand,” Reymundo hissed. “They have her. They had the audacity to come on our turf and take her. I’m not letting them walk away with her!”

    Charles reached out and grabbed Reymundo’s arm. “Look man, I think your powers are messing with your mind! You’re not thinking straight!”

    It was like he hadn’t said anything at all. Reymundo smiled the smile of a crazed man. “Charles, I don’t want to hurt you. Let go of me now.”

    “I’ll do whatever it takes to stop you from making a huge mistake. It’s a wonder they haven’t caught us yet!” Charles shouted.

    “You keep yelling like that and they will,” Reymundo shot back. “Look, I don’t have time for this. I need to get my girl back.”

    He wrenched his arm from Charles with slightly unnatural strength. Though Carmen was, for all intents and purposes, a phantom in this memory world, she could still feel Reymundo’s psychic power. Charles flinched before watching his friend walk away. A million thoughts crossed Carmen’s mind. She had never seen her father this angry and stubborn before. All her life people had said that he was an intimidating man, but that didn’t compare to this. Reymundo looked as though he might lost it at any moment…

    “Wait!” Charles called to him. “I-I’m coming with you. You’re not doing this alone!”

    Reymundo, who was reaching for the doorknob, turned slowly and faced Charles. “Whatever. Just don’t get in my way…”

    His last words trailed off before the world around Carmen began to warp before her eyes. Colors flowed freely in this black void and different, seemingly unconnected sounds—a piano, a crash, laughter, crying, breaking glass for example—bombarded her ears.

    This can’t be happening! Carmen shouted in her head. There is no way this can be happening! She thought about Cate, Nemo, and finally Ramón and the events of just a few of days ago. They were the ones with the powers—not her. But that was wrong. Ramón hadn’t been the only one to inherit their father’s powers; she had inherited them too. Amazingly, she was viewing the past through Charles’ words as though she were there…Carmen allowed the thoughts to sink in as her environment properly reformed in the next round of memories.

    She now appeared to be in a narrow, dark hallway standing behind Reymundo and Charles. They had their ears pressed against the door to listen. Reluctantly curious to test her powers, Carmen walked forward and pressed her ear to the door as well. To her surprise, she heard the voice of her mother, Abigail.

    “Do you know what you guys are? Cooooowards! Here let me spell it! C-O-W-A-R-D-S!” she said in a loud boastful tone. “You couldn’t face my boyfriend in a fair fight, so you had to kidnap me. How pathetic and lame is that?”

    “Either you shut up, or we shut you up,” said a gruff voice. “Got it, you little wench?”

    “Then you’ll just have to shut me up! I’m not afraid of you pansies who kidnap girls when they can’t be real men!”

    “Don’t we have something to gag her with?” said another man with a sigh as Abigail continued on her tirade. “She’s pissing me off!” It was obvious they’d been listening to Abby’s mouth for a while.

    Carmen had to suppress a smile even though there was no one around to see it. Her mother was calm and gentle most of the time, but when she was younger, she would trash talk when her temper got the better of her.

    “I SAID SHUT UP!” one of the men shouted. And then there was what sounded like Abigail being backhanded.

    Reymundo had had enough. He raised his palm toward the door and released a psychic pulse that blew the door off its hinges before Charles could make a move to stop him. It revealed a large, stylish office with many valuable articles held in glass cases. Priceless pieces of art and shelves stocked with impressive looking books lined the cherry wood paneled walls. The chandelier casted a beautiful glow around the room. At this point the world went from black and white to full color. Carmen could see the crème colored carpet, the red curtains at the large picture window, and the orange of the flower on one of the shelves. The most prominent feature of room was a large, stately desk.

    Abigail was bound to the handsome leather chair behind it. Her right cheek was red from where the man had hit her. Carmen marveled at this younger version of her mother who had to be only a year or two older than Carmen was now. She had rich, wavy brown hair that came to the middle of her back. Abigail was so pale and slender that she looked breakable—the complete opposite of Carmen. Her annoyed expression melted away into relief as she smiled at Reymundo and Charles’ appearance. However when she took a closer look at Rey, her angelic brown eyes widened in fear. She seemed almost speechless.

    All of the men in the room look up and saw Reymundo and Charles. They looked puzzled—perhaps they were looking for the Pokémon they used to break down the door. One of them, who Carmen assumed was the leader of the group, looked momentarily shocked before it faded to anger.

    “Well, well, look what the Meowth dragged in,” he smirked. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t surprised you got past the fortifications—

    “Cut the crap, Drake.” Reymundo was almost shaking in rage. “Give me my girl back, and I don’t have to kill you.”

    “Kill? Really?” Drake raised his unnaturally thin eyebrows. “Good lord Rey, what happened to that calculated guy that robbed that art dealer Harmon blind? Did we finally get to you?”

    He casually strode over to where Abigail was sitting and taunted Reymundo by playing with a lock of her hair.

    “Stop it!” Abigail screeched at Drake. “Just leave him alone!” She knew very well that there was something very wrong with Reymundo and she was terrified. Couldn’t Drake see it? Maybe he did and was playing tough…

    “Abby, you just don’t know when to shut it, do you?” Drake patted her cheek.

    “You’ve really done it now,” Reymundo said with a dark smile. He jerked his head up and the glass cases shattered all around them filling the air with glass. The rest of the men yelled and dropped to the floor. Reymundo raised his hand and suspended the glass in midair. He took control of five of the large shards and aimed them at Drake’s throat. “What’s the matter? You don’t seem so confident now.”

    “W-what are you,” Drake choked out. It seemed like his feet were being anchored to the floor against his will. He held his hands up in surrender, but Rey didn’t seem to care.

    “Rey, please stop!” Abigail called out to him desperately. “This isn’t you! Snap out of it!”

    “What are you talking about?” Rey’s voice was filled with concern even though he still looked crazed. “I’m only here to save you.”

    “Rey, she’s right!” said Charles urgently. “We’ve noticed that lately when you use your powers, you get more and more…unbalanced. Stop it now! You’ve won! J-just untie Abigail and we can wipe their memories and then escape!”

    “No!” Reymundo yelled and a vase that was in one of the cases shattered. He turned his attention back to Drake. “You’ll pay for what you did here.” The glass inched closer to Drake’s neck.

    “Man,” Drake snarled. “You’re a freak.”

    “Look’s like Abby isn’t the only one who doesn’t know when to shut it,” Rey smirked. Suddenly the Drake and men on the floor levitated into the air as though they were being pulled up by marionette strings. From the tortured expressions on their face, Rey was assaulting their minds with his powers. “Say one more word and I crush all of their wind pipes.”

    Abigail face contorted and she began to cry. “R-Rey, please stop it. Wake up! I know you’re in there!”

    Carmen saw a strange look pass over Reymundo’s face and he closed his eyes. When he reopened them, he looked confused.

    “What in the world is going on?” Rey asked. He was no longer radiating the ominous power; he instead looked like a man who’d awaken from a deep sleep. The glass and all the men who were unconscious now dropped to the floor.

    Abigail made a sound of relief. “Rey, you’re back!”

    “I never knew I was gone,” he mused. “I remember getting the call that you were kidnapped, but everything is a blur after that.”

    Charles closed his mouth and inhaled deeply through his nose. It looked as though he were trying to get the energy to speak. “It was like you were possessed. And I can tell you one more thing: I don’t trust your powers anymore.”

    Reymundo narrowed his eyes slightly, but said nothing. He just walked over to Abigail and untied her. “Let’s get out of here and—

    He suddenly grasped his forehead and fell to his knees. Carmen backed against the wall in horror at the familiarity at the scene. Rey was clearly in pain as he began to writhe on the floor unable to shake it off. Charles eyes widened; he looked as though he couldn’t figure out whether to stay or run.

    “Rey! What’s wrong?” Abigail gasped. She knelt down beside her boyfriend trying to comfort him, but to her surprise, he pushed her away.

    “Get out,” Rey grunted. “You and Charles need to get away now…”

    “We can’t just leave you here!” Abby said gently though she looked worried.

    She could barely get the words out of her mouth when a crack formed in one corner window and splintered across the rest of the window. Reymundo was suddenly wracked by another burst of pain; he let out a heart wrenching scream and the window buckled and shattered. The shards levitated and swirled around the room to form a glass maelstrom that encircled the entire room. Carmen’s heart began to race though she was technically in no danger. Reymundo had lost complete control; his eyes were wide open but not seeing anything around him; his pupils had dilated to the point where they nearly blocked his irises.

    Abby and Charles yelled in fright as they covered their head with their arms. The glass cut into their skin and embedded; Carmen saw blood run down Abigail’s arms onto her white dress. They both struggled to move to the wall while staying low to the ground where they could escape the glass. The men could consider themselves lucky for being faced down on the floor and wearing long sleeves Carmen’s first instinct was to protect every one with Milotic’s Protect, but when she reached for Nerissa’s Pokéball, it wasn’t there—none of her Pokéballs were. She was forced to just watch Charles and Abby struggle against the tornado of powerful psychic energy which was now destroying the rest of the room. Though she knew it was futile to worry, she couldn’t help it…

    The books flew from their shelves and ripped apart in midair. Chunks of splinters from the ruined desk joined the lethal vortex along with the contents from it. All of the paintings on the wall and the delicate articles that were in the glass cases had disintegrated. Even pieces of the wall were being gouged out by the force of psychic whirlwind.

    “CHARLES, we have to DO something?” Abigail yelled over chandelier being shattered into thousands of crystal pieces. She struggled to reach for a Pokéball that hung from the pendant on her necklace, but before she could grasp it, she saw the familiar white light of a Pokémon being released—Reymundo’s Bronzong had let itself out. It landed on the floor with a dull thud and turned to face Rey.

    Carmen had admired her father’s Bronzong since she was very young. Though it showed no outward emotion whatsoever, it was one of the most devoted Pokémon she’d ever seen. As it levitated itself into the air without moving a muscle, Carmen knew that it was on a quest to protect its trainer.

    “Come on out Hypno,” Charles called out. “Help Bronzong!”

    The tapir Pokémon braced itself against the psychic storm by putting up his own invisible psychic barrier, but he nodded at Charles’s words. With the combined force of the two psychic Pokémon, they managed to contract the vortex to a compact ball around Reymundo whose mind was somehow protecting him from the danger he’d inadvertently created. Charles and Abigail breathed a sigh of relief, but it was short-lived. Reymundo let out an intense pulse of energy which created a hole in the floor and pinned Charles and Abigail against the wall. Hypno, who had barely missed falling into the hole, immediately left Bronzong and went to his trainer’s side.

    “Hypno, it’s no use!” Charles grunted. “There’s nothing we can do. Help us get out of here.

    “But— Abigail began to protest, but Charles shook his head.

    Both of them looked terrible, but Abigail looked especially ghastly. Her thin dress offered her no protection. It was stained almost completely red with blood, but from her expression it seemed as though it looked worse than what it really was.

    “Let’s go!” Charles grabbed Abigail’s hand and pulled her away, but Reymundo released another psychic blast that stopped them cold. Even Hypno’s powers were no match for it.

    Bronzong became outlined in a thin blue glow; otherwise there was no indication that it was about to do anything.

    “Zoooooooong.” It let out one singular soothing note from its hollow body. Carmen saw some of the debris dropped to the floor. It seemed as though the psychic energy had become less intense and Rey wasn’t releasing blasts of energy anymore. Bronzong turned to Hypno who motioned towards Charles.

    “Here’s our chance! I don’t think this is going to last long!” he said.

    Charles, Hypno, and Abigail got up and ran for the door. Since it was Charles’s story, Carmen had to follow them, but before they could leave the room, Carmen’s surroundings begin to morph again.

    “Wait. WAIT!” Carmen yelled into the incoming nothingness. She had been riveted this entire time and wanted to see what became of Charles, Abigail, and Reymundo. Obviously they had all survived, but how? Carmen tried closing her eyes and breathing deeply like she’d seen in meditation videos to stay in the memory, but it was apparent that didn’t work. Instead of fading into another memory, Carmen found herself back in the limousine albeit disoriented.

    She looked up and saw that Cate had slumped over onto Ramón; they were both unconscious. Carmen immediately turned to Charles.

    “What did you do to them?” she asked. Her head felt strangely heavy and blocked.

    “Let’s just say that they fell under the spell of my Hypno,” he chuckled. They looked to the Pokémon who was smiling darkly. Carmen found her vision going in and out of focus.

    “You know it really is a shame you fell unconscious and didn’t get to hear the last bit of my story,” Charles said. “Then you’d know why this was all happening, but no matter—

    “I heard…most of your story,” Carmen left out the part about traveling into his memories. “Up to the point were you and my mom escaped the room.”

    “Ah yes!” he said. “We ran down the hall and as we were about to take the stairs, we heard a loud crash. We didn’t think of going back—or rather I didn’t. I had to restrain her to keep from checking on Reymundo. We went back a short while later and it turns out that the ceiling had collapsed, but that was all we found. None of the men were there and Reymundo and his Bronzong were all gone. I’m convinced they were all killed and Rey just disposed of the bodies.”

    Charles then inhaled deeply and stared long and hard at Carmen. “I was about to tell our leader what happened, but Reymundo met us at the door. When I looked into his eyes, I wanted to kill him dead for what had happened. Abigail was such a fool. She ran to him like he’d just recovered from a long illness. Hugged him. Kissed him. I kindly reminded her that he nearly killed us both, but she defended him. Then Reymundo made a big mistake. He walked over to me and put his hands on my forehead to make me forget everything I’d seen. It was a success, but unfortunately for him, Hypno helped to recover the memories later.”

    “So then you really aren’t supposed to know…” Carmen murmured. She was fighting an oddly sleepy feeling…But that didn’t stop her from sensing something more from Charles’s words. Perhaps it was jealousy? Carmen found herself unable to concentrate.

    “No,” Charles shook his head. “I played dumb and I watched as Abigail and Reymundo left Johto and the memories here forever. They had no idea I knew what happened. That leads us to the present. Ever since those events of that day, I’ve been…cautious about how many individuals in this world have the kind of power that Reymundo had and what they could do to this world when they lost control. I believe this kind of power needs to be eradicated. That was the reason I founded my organization. We round up people who we know have abilities, but since we haven’t figured out how to remove the powers without irreparably damaging the person…heh heh.”

    Carmen felt sick to her stomach. Just how many people had Charles killed in his twisted quest to save the world? She immediately though of Nemo, but she didn’t let her mind go there; Nemo just had to be okay. “You’ve probably captured so many innocent people.”

    “Never,” Charles smiled. “Isidore whom you met has the ability to sense people with psychic abilities. I have no desire to kill innocent people. It’s also the reason why we don’t go public. There would be witch hunt after all.”

    “What will you do with me now?” Carmen’s words were now slurred as though that part of her brain were shutting down. Thunder rumbled in the distance.

    “Hypno has been probing around your brain this entire time,” Charles informed her. “Whatever powers you may have have been suppressed and you’re going to fall unconscious like these two in less than a minute. I’ll transport you back to the lab and I’ll continue my probing there. I want to learn all about your powers before you die…”

    Carmen felt as though her head were detached from her body and floating. Her limbs were too heavy for her to move so she couldn’t fight Charles back. She had no choice but to be absorbed back into unconsciousness once more…

    ~ ~ ~​

    “Charles…” Carmen had finally come to though she was still groggy and unable to think straight. Her vision was blurry, but her gaze was as sharp as ever. She looked at Charles who seemed surprised to see that she was awake already. “Charles, what do you hope to achieve by doing this anyway?”

    He raised his eyebrows and glanced at his Hypno. “Did Hypno give you amnesia? I told you exactly why.”

    They were in what looked like a hospital room—complete with the green walls and the smell of disinfectant. Carmen found this ironic. He certainly didn’t seem to care about whether his subjects lived or died, so why did he keep the place so clean? The walls appeared to be thin because she could clearly hear the rain pounding outside. Carmen was sitting up straight, but she was bound to the bed with shackles so heavy she could barely lift her arm. Charles wanted to make sure she didn’t escape.

    Carmen laughed and shook her head. “That’s not what I meant…and you didn’t tell me exactly why. You didn’t tell us the whole story.”

    “What more do you want to know?” Charles asked. He was smug. “Reymundo and people like him are a danger to everyone around him. That’s all you need to know.”

    “Well, you could tell me about how your whole mission could be because of jealousy. Or maybe even a power-trip,” Carmen said shrewdly. “I think you get off having Reymundo’s daughter at your ‘mercy.’ Of what exactly are you jealous anyway?”

    She had touched a nerve with those words. The smugness melted into a very sour look. He quickly raised his fist as though he was about to punch her, but he lowered it. Charles was taken aback by the fact that Carmen didn’t flinch. “You talk far too much—just like Abigail did. Do you have anything else to say, deary?”

    Carmen glared at Charles. Though she was facing almost certain death, the fact didn’t register with her. “Yes, I do…what did you do with Ramón, Cate, and Nemo?”

    “Oh, they’re safe for now. I put them in other rooms in my facility. But my first priority is you.”

    “Should I feel honored?” Carmen muttered.

    “Ha! And you just don’t quit!” Charles said. His eyes had brightened for a second before the spark vanished once more. “Hypno, it’s time for you to go to work!”

    The Hypno walked over to Carmen and looked deep into her silver eyes. She wanted to look away from the unnerving Pokémon, but found she couldn’t. The Hypno and its pendulum began to glow a sinister red and the next thing she knew she was filled with pain so intense it wiped nearly everything else out of her mind. It was far worse than her first decent into Charles memories and far, far worse than the incident in Ecruteak. Her back bowed inward in reaction to what felt like white hot fire down her spine. She had the presence of mind for one thing: she refused to give Charles the satisfaction of her screaming. She clenched her teeth so tightly she was sure they’d crack and shatter…

    This is it, isn’t it? Carmen thought as she felt herself black out. She closed her eyes. This is the end of me…

    “Oh really?” an oddly familiar voice cackled.

    When she reopened her eyes, she discovered she was in a forest. It should’ve been serene with the gentle breeze and the morning sun, but it wasn’t. It was too quiet. There were no sounds of Pokémon at all which Carmen found slightly unnerving. It was obvious that her psychic power was at work again. Maybe it was a defense mechanism to block out the pain. But what was that voice?

    As though answering her thoughts, a silvery, reflective ball appeared in front of her. It began to mold itself in midair as though it were made of clay until it formed into a Pokémon: the disfigured, melted-looking, Mismagius from her nightmares with the same malevolence. It looked the same as before with her light purple parts reflective and her mouth looking as though it opened into a black oblivion. However this time she had blood red eyes under her hood and was leering at a horrified Carmen.

    “We meet again,” the creature said in her deep cackling voice.

    “Did you bring me here?” Carmen asked harshly as she faced down the soulless thing that had haunted her.

    “No you brought yourself here. Well more specifically your powers brought you here with Charles’s help,” she answered. “But I’ve been waiting a long time for this.”

    “I bet you have,” Carmen shot back. Being in the thing’s presence, she no longer had to wonder what this Mismagius was.

    The creature was the manifestation lack of control that Carmen had over her psychic abilities. Carmen herself had inadvertently created it out of the fear and anxiety over memories she had tried to block out…memories of the last time she lost control. And now it was threatening to happen again. She smiled wryly to herself as she wondered what she looked like from Charles’s point of view. Was she lifeless or had her powers begun destroying everything like her father’s did that fateful day? If she didn’t take control, he, Hypno, and everyone in close proximity would die. Taking control meant defeating this Mismagius.

    “So you finally figured it out?” Mismagius was darkly delighted. “This will be fun at least. But I must warn you that this won’t be as easy as you think, and there’s a chance you’ll fail.” A ball of black energy slowly formed as she aimed the Shadow Ball at directly at Carmen.

    Carmen braced herself for the assault. She had no idea what on earth she was going to do against the creature, but before she could agonize over it, a strange, warm sensation over came her that countered the malice the Mismagius exuded. In the next moment, Carmen’s Gardevoir appeared by her side. She turned to her human with a smile that Carmen returned. How powerful was their bond that allowed Gardevoir inside her mind for something like this? She didn’t have the words to describe how grateful she was at that moment to have her Pokémon with her, but at the same time she didn’t want to see Gardevoir get hurt because of her.

    “Thank you so much,” Carmen said. “You really don’t have to do this though.”

    “Gardevoir,” the Pokémon glowed a soft golden color as she readied the Light Screen. She knew she didn’t have to help her human, but that’s what friends did for each other. Gardevoir stared down the Mismagius who had been temporarily stunned by her appearance just like Carmen had been. By then the ghost had regained her composure.

    “This will be interesting…” she said as she readied the Shadow Ball once more.

    From what felt like another lifetime ago, Carmen heard Gardevoir’s Pokédex entry echoing in her mind…this Pokémon will try to protect its trainer even at the risk of its own life—something Carmen would do and did do for her Pokémon as well.. Well, Carmen certainly hoped it didn’t come to that this time, but the threat was certainly there. Gardevoir raised her arms as she poised herself to attack ready to help save her trainer from the demons in her own psyche. The Mismagius let out one long cackle as the sky above the forest darkened.

    OOC: Like I said, this is the penultimate chapter. The next and last chapter won't be as long and will just tie up some loose ends~ And now...
    [me=Lady Carmen]runs before the paranoia sets in[/me]
    #22 Carmen Lopez, Jul 19, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  23. That is a freaky mismagius..

    and FFFF cliffhangers D:

    I've been secretly reading this ever since 'Charms came back :p
  24. Psycho Monkey

    Psycho Monkey Member of the Literary Elite Four

    This... This new chapter was awesome! I have a strong feeling that the battle with Mismagius is going to be badass and then Carmen is going to kick major ass with her awakened powers. Yay!

    [me:psycho Monkey]is excited for the end of this fic[/me]
  25. Oh man, that had me on the edge of my seat! Excellent job Carmen, really excellent!

    Yeeess, Gardevoir vs Demon Psychic Pokemon thingy ftw.
  26. CARMEN. CARMEN CARMEN. This is fantastic. Words do not describe how excited I am for the next few chapters. :D
  27. OOC: So...I told a little lie. I started writing, and then writing some more, and then writing some more and I realized I need two chapters to finished this ^^ As a result, this is the actual penultimate chapter--the battle scene! I had major writer's block so that's why it took so long. So without further ado~

    It looked as though a big storm was about to roll in complete with thunder and in-cloud lightning. Even Carmen had to be impressed by her abilities to be able to create this in her own mind, but then again, maybe those people considered mentally ill did this type of stuff all the time…seeing things that no one else could…Carmen refocused herself. The wind whistled ominously through the trees, but Carmen didn’t smell the familiar sent of approaching rain. It was all design to set the mood.

    “Do you just like dramatics?” she asked the deformed Mismagius.

    It was like Carmen hadn’t said anything. The creature continued to gaze at Gardevoir with almost sadistic pleasure. Like her trainer, Gardevoir didn’t look perturbed at all. She returned Mismagius’s gaze with a no-nonsense that complimented her demeanor.

    “Let’s do this already then!” the Mismagius cried.

    “Not so fast! We’ll be doing this a little differently,” Carmen interrupted. The Mismagius looked taken aback. “Gardevoir are you up for a freestyle battle?”

    The psychic type cocked her head in agreement. She turned to face Mismagius with a stern expression. A freestyle battle seemed all too appropriate in this situation. It was more than a fast-paced, more challenging form of battling. It was a test of trust; the trainer and the Pokémon had to trust in each other’s abilities and the Pokémon had to know that the trainer would intervene when needed. Carmen was instantly taken with the battle style when she learned of it in Veilstone City.

    “Make your move then. You’re not getting any younger,” the Mismagius growled.

    “Are you ready, Gardevoir?” Carmen asked her partner.

    She had always admired her Pokémon’s sleek elegance in contrast to her Blaziken cool toughness. Her dress billowed in the soft, yet ominous breeze. Gardevoir turned her rose colored eyes to Mismagius’s blood red ones. Without warning, she teleported to the creature’s left and fired off a Thunderbolt equally fast. Mismagius dodged the attack my millimeters; the attack continued and hit a large tree. It instantly dissolved into red, oil-like globs like those seen in lava lamps and dissipated into the air.

    Carmen took a deep breath and felt the adrenaline take over.

    “Interesing…” the Mismagius muttered. She warped slightly and began making copies of herself—a Double Team attack to surround Gardevoir. Ghostly balls of blue fire encircled her.

    Gardevoir immediately went on the defensive. She surrounded her thin arms with pink psychic energy and crossed them over her heart. Mismagius launched the Will-o-Wisp at Gardevoir from seemingly all angles but it failed. Gardevoir began to spin and blocked each attack with her arms so quickly that it looked like pink pinpricks where ever her arms made contact with the blue fire. Carmen’s eyes were locked on the battle to make sure she didn’t miss a second of the action.

    The creature formed a purple and black sphere of ghostly energy that was much bigger than a normal Shadow Ball in front of her body. She launched it at Gardevoir who countered with psychic to tear the ball apart. Not missing a beat, Mismagius summoned little blue, firefly-like lights which formed into shimmering leaves—a Magical Leaf attack. Both Carmen and Gardevoir knew that attack was difficult to avoid, but it wouldn’t stop them from trying anyway. Gardevoir allowed the leaves to come very close to hitting her and then teleporting at the last second. Carmen smiled as she watched the Mismagius’s frustration deepen.

    “Are you afraid to face me head on? Is that why you keep using that cheap trick?” the ghost type hissed.

    “All right, Gardevoir, we’ll show her that you’re just as powerful on offense,” Carmen taunted.

    Gardevoir took on an attacking stance and used Calm Mind to boost her power further. Mismagius tried to use the opportunity to use Shadow Ball again, but it failed when Gardevoir ripped it apart again—this time with Thunderbolt. It was time to end Mismagius’s strategy of using her attacks to defend herself.

    “Gardevoir, use Thunderbolt again!”

    Mismagius attempted to dodge, but Gardevoir was too quick for her. The ghost took the full brunt of the attack and Carmen watched the Mismagius being electrocuted by the psychic type’s second most powerful attack after her Psychic. Carmen’s opponents noted how Gardevoir could sustain the attack longer than some electric types can. Mismagius screeched out in pain, but Carmen and Gardevoir wondered if the attack did its job. When it ended, they saw they that they’d gotten their wish. Mismagius heaved and gasp, but she could hardly move; Thunderbolt had paralyzed her.

    The Mismagius wasn’t done yet though. To Carmen’s horror, she saw the creature recover enough to appear to stab herself through the heart with a purple railroad spike. She weakened herself further to lay down a Curse.

    Gardevoir went rigid at once. Her back bowed inward like she was being tortured horribly. Carmen felt her Pokémon’s pain…thought it only lasted a few seconds, the damage was significant. Mismagius looked on with nothing but pure sadism in her eyes. They had to end this very quickly. Gardevoir had no time to recover as she slipped into the shadow of a tree and raced toward Mismagius. The Shadow Sneak was so fast Mismagius never had time to dodge. The ghost Pokémon countered with Shadow Ball while Gardevoir was being tortured by Curse once again. She teleported just in time and the attack hit another tree; it too dissolved into globules. Mismagius was angered once again at Gardevoir’s refusal to quit.

    “I didn’t think I’d have to resort to this, but you pushed me to this point!” the creature cackled. She began to chant an incantation yet again.

    Like when Carmen entered Charles’s memories, the world around her began to warp and distort, but something was off. Instead of the world reforming into something normal, they were plunged into pitch darkness. Gardevoir drifted to Carmen’s side so she could assist her human with whatever was coming next. Carmen saw her Gardevoir grimace in pain at the effect of Curse. Then, a crack of blinding white light appeared in the sky, but before Carmen could discern what it was, she started hearing whispers…

    What the? What’s going on? I don’t think a Pokémon is doing this! It was a woman’s voice…

    A male’s voice chimed in next. Then what…Is it her? What is she? Some kind of freak?




    The voice became warped with each time it was repeated until it sounded like the voice that had haunted her nightmares ever since. Carmen winced as she remembered all those times she woke up in terror or feeling sadistic. She looked to her side and saw that she was quite alone—Gardevoir was gone from her side. Carmen tried to tell herself that it was only another one of Mismagius’s illusions, but the rest of her body didn’t want to listen. Her heart began to race, and the adrenaline began to flow as though her body were preparing to eliminate the threat that took her Pokémon from her…just like before.

    Carmen had never actually gone into detail about what happened that day to anyone, but only because she barely knew the events herself. She remembered going to confront the thieves that took her Gardevoir and how Reina tagged along begging her to stop. Reina had never seen her sister like that before and she was truly scared about what Carmen might do. Her sister was right to be afraid; Carmen definitely remembered going after those poachers with overwhelming, vicious force before blacking out.

    She heard the voices of the poachers but nothing else…The next thing she remembered was Ramón shaking her awake and the forest being in ruins and blood on her arms. She hadn’t actually known what happened after the battle and that’s what she told everyone.

    Heh, she knew what happened now. That clearly had been the first time her powers had manifested, but her brain had suppressed nearly all memory of the event. Carmen closed her eyes and reopened them at the realization. Ramón had found her, Reina, and the thieves unconscious and they didn’t seem to remember anything either. Carmen had been plagued with bad dreams ever since. It was time to break this illusion and be free of this nightmare once and for all.

    Carmen regretted the fact that she never asked Ramón, Cate, or Nemo what it felt like to focus or even use their psychic powers. It was knowledge she never thought she’d need for herself. Instead, she decided to think of someone with whose power she was more familiar—Gardevoir. She remembered when her Pokémon had trouble centering her abilities and even got overwhelmed by them at times. In Gardevoir’s case, it had merely been a matter of brief meditation to clear her mind until she took full control of her abilities. Carmen hoped that was all it took in the case of a human. But like with Gardevoir the idea of clearing her mind, especially in its current state when she had no battle to focus herself was daunting. She had to try though.

    A screech punctured through the darkness and Carmen felt her heart jolt. The Mismagius had gotten the upper hand over Gardevoir. Under more pressure than ever, Carmen tried focus but nothing was happening. She didn’t know how long meditation would take, but Gardevoir was in trouble now. Her frustration mounted; she was known for being calculated in battle, but now she couldn’t even think straight now. Carmen clenched her fists so hard her nails dug into her palms. As she did so, she felt an odd sensation.

    It started in her shoulders and spread down her arms. Carmen felt as though her muscles where expanding—like she was gaining strength though she couldn’t see anything physically happening to her body. She flexed her hand and felt this new power falter slightly. The shadow of a smile crossed her face. Carmen wanted to take this opportunity before her psychic power faded. Was she supposed to fight her way out? It’s certainly worth a shot, Carmen thought. She raised her fist and punched at the darkness. Full expecting to punch air, Carmen was surprised to come in contact with something solid.

    It was like a Pokémon using Brick Break to reveal a Light Screen or Reflect and to subsequently smash it. Cracks of light appeared in the darkness where Carmen’s fist hit as though she had punched a window. The cracks crisscrossed all around her until the illusion shattered revealing the battle between the ghost and psychic types. Mismagius was so shocked by Carmen’s reappearance that she stopped and left herself open to Gardevoir’s Shadow Ball.

    “Why you!” the Mismagius screeched as she recovered from the attack. “How did you do that?”

    Carmen only glared at the Mismagius. She felt the power in her arms fade away.

    “Hmm, I wonder if you can pull that little trick again…” the Mismagius taunted and she began chanting again.

    Carmen glanced over at Gardevoir who smirked in spite of the fact that she looked fairly battered by this point. Out of the blue, what looked like a pink bolt of lightning came down from the sky and struck the Mismagius. Future Sight hit its mark in a powerful way; the creature let out a blood curdling scream as pieces of its body were blown off in dark purple blobs.

    “Ding dong! The witch is dead,” Carmen said under her breath.

    “I’m not gone yet!” The Mismagius appeared to warp and fade in and out as though she were a bad television signal. “You think you can keep me away forever?”

    “Actually, I’m not sure,” Carmen said softly with her eyes cast on the ground. “So I won’t make you any promises for now. I can tell you that I’m going to get control of this.”

    Carmen and Mismagius gazed at each other for a while. Now that they had beat her, the Mismagius didn’t seem has frightening as before. “We shall see then,” the creature finally murmured in a strained voice. And with one last, unnatural twist of her body, Mismagius melted back into the silver ball and disappeared as she’d come.

    Carmen rushed over to Gardevoir who looked as drained and tired as she felt. The Pokémon looked as though she might collapse at any moment. “Gardevoir?” Carmen asked gently. “Will you be all right?”

    “Gaaar,” said the Pokémon in a weakened voice. Unable to levitate any longer, Gardevoir collapsed into her trainer’s arms. She looked into Carmen’s eyes to show her that she would be all right.

    “And even in your condition, you still don’t want me to worry,” Carmen mused. “You were amazing, you know. That was one powerful Future Sight; I should’ve known you had that in you.” Gardevoir faintly brightened at the praise. “I can’t thank you enough for what you did for me.”

    Gardevoir smiled as she closed her eyes. She had done her duty to protect her trainer. As Carmen watched her slip into unconsciousness, she knew her Pokémon would be just fine. Carmen looked up at the clearing skies before closing her eyes as well and waited until she finally woke up from her mind’s illusion.

    OOC: Thanks so much Pheo and Sem~
  28. That was so sweet around the end, yet completely amazing as well. I know I'm a sucker for battles, and this one didn't let me down Carmen! *claps*
  29. OOC: Thanks Chibi and thanks to everyone who replied! I ♥ you! And it's finally here: the last chapter of Moving On ^^

    “It’s been quiet for quite some time,” said Isidore Alexander who was still keeping guard over Nemo’s cell. He stroked the fur on top of Cecelia’s head, and the Vulpix purred like cat in response.

    “Does that mean that whatever happened is over?” Nemo asked. He had been anxious ever since Isidore revealed what Charles could do to Carmen. He hoped against hope that she was all right…she just had to be. They’d both heard the loud crash and felt the powerful wave of energy coming from where she was being held captive.

    Isidore smiled at him. “You’re very pale behind those freckles. You really do care about the rest of the group, don’t you?”

    Nemo looked down at his feet, but didn’t say anything. He was strangely embarrassed because of the way Isidore had said it.

    “Nothing to be ashamed of,” said Isidore as he read Nemo’s body language. “In your case it’s a sign of strength. A lot of people would be broken after going through what you went through. I applaud you for that.

    “It’s really nothing,” Nemo mumbled. “A lot of people have been through worse and are still functioning.”

    “That doesn’t make you any less strong,” Isidore shrugged. “I’ll tell you what. Why don’t you come with me to see if Carmen is all right?”

    Nemo looked up at Isidore in surprise. “You’re letting me out? Won’t you get in trouble?”

    “Consider it a favor from me.”

    “Does that mean I have to pay you back for this one day?” Nemo said as he eyed Isidore suspiciously.

    He laughed at that. “Maybe that was the wrong word to use…let’s just say I’ve started to like you.”

    And sure enough, he walked over to the door of Nemo’s cell and opened it. The redhead walked out as though he hadn’t tasted freedom in many years; he was still unsure of Isidore’s motives, but he was grateful. To top it all, Isidore handed Nemo Espeon’s Pokéball and he released her immediately. The Pokémon stretched and arched her back; she wasn’t used to be in her Pokéball for so long and was glad to be by her trainer’s side again.

    “If you don’t mind my asking,” said Isidore. “How did you two meet anyway?”

    Nemo didn’t immediately answer as he knelt down beside Espeon. In fact, he was quiet for so long, Isidore thought he wasn’t going to answer at all. Finally he broke his silence. “It was shortly after I ran away from Charles and my father,” he spit out the word father. “I was running when I noticed her lying unconscious in some bushes. She was all dirty too and it looked like she’d been through a lot…like me. That drew me to her, so I stopped to help even though I was on the run. We’ve been together ever since.”

    Isidore knew this was the abridged version of the story, but he didn’t press further. “Sounds like you two quickly formed a bond. Cecelia and I were the same way.”

    Nemo wasn’t sure if Isidore wanted him to ask about how he and his Vulpix met, but he didn’t really care. He was still a little upset with Isidore.

    “Why do you still look so wary? I let you out, didn’t I?” Isidore was genuinely interested.

    Nemo glared at Isidore. “In case you forgot, this whole thing is still all your fault. If it wasn’t for you, we’d be back in Olivine having fun.”

    “Ah well. I really am sorry about having to reunite you with Feliciano,” Isidore said. Nemo knew he was being sincere. “But about everything else…let’s just say you’ll thank me later.”

    “Somehow I doubt that,” Nemo mumbled.

    They’d finally reached the room were Charles and Carmen were. The big metal door was concaved slightly—as though it had been hit with a sledgehammer from behind. Isidore forced the door open and was surprised by what he saw. The room hadn’t been totally destroyed as he and Nemo thought. From the way Charles described Reymundo’s loss of control, Isidore expected much worse. Instead, the room looked like it was hit by a brief, intense gust of wind. There was broken class, torn sheets, and instruments all over the place, but the room was still structurally intact…no holes in the wall, no collapsed ceiling.

    Carmen and Charles were both unconscious but otherwise seemed unharmed. Isidore assumed the Gardevoir belonged to Carmen; likewise she seemed physically fine apart from being unconscious. Charles’s Hypno looked the worst of the lot. Isidore shrewdly guessed that Hypno had gotten a little too deep into Carmen’s mind. Again, none of them were as bad off as Isidore thought they would be…

    “Interesting,” he said. He definitely wanted to know what happened exactly.

    Nemo and Espeon rushed over to Carmen and Gardevoir. “Are they going to be all right?”Nemo asked Isidore urgently.

    “Oh they’ll be fine,” Isidore answered easily. Nemo was calmed by lack of doubt in his voice. Isidore shifted Cecelia to one arm to pull another Luxury Ball from his belt and enlarged it. Cecelia stiffened slightly. “All the same, I’ll help Hypno out a bit. There’s no reason why a Pokémon should have to suffer for his trainer’s foolishness. Come on out, Braelen”

    Isidore released not a traditional healer Pokémon, but an Umbreon. And just like Nemo’s Espeon was different from other’s of her species, so too was this Pokémon. He was easily the happiest and most energetic Umbreon Nemo had ever seen. As soon as it was released, the bubbly Pokémon ran in circles around Isidore and Cecelia in happiness and then nuzzled up to his trainer’s leg. Isidore laughed, but Cecelia scoffed at him. Isidore knelt down to the Umbreon and petted him which made Cecelia slightly miffed. Nemo felt Espeon stiffen at his side.

    “Espeon, what’s wrong?” Nemo asked, puzzled.

    But the psychic Pokémon only gazed at the Umbreon who was now frozen and staring back at Espeon in wonder. To Nemo and Isidore’s surprise, they saw their two Pokémon approach each other cautiously. Espeon and Braelen circled one another before coming together. If Nemo was excited before, he was astounded into speechlessness.

    “Hey, Braelen,” Isidore said. Realization dawned on him. “Is this the sister you were looking for?”

    Braelen nodded enthusiastically, but Nemo frowned.

    “Wait, how did you know they were siblings? Espeon never mentioned a brother to me,” he said. Espeon looked slightly guilty at those words.

    “Well, it goes back to where I first met him as an Eevee,” Isidore said. “He was looking through bushes and stuff. Sienna and I were out on doing field work and I offered to help him before I noticed he had a broken leg too. Sienna just wanted to leave him there, but I couldn’t. I ended up treating his broken leg and my Alakazam helped me translate so I could find out what he was looking for. Turns out he’d been in this huge flood and got separated from his sister. I offered to help him find his sister and he’s been with me since then. He brings joy to everyone…except Cecelia,” Isidore chucked when the Vulpix scoffed again.

    Suddenly, Braelen walked over to Hypno and beckoned to Espeon to come as though he wanted to show her something. She watched the Umbreon put his front paws on Hypno’s chest. He closed his eyes and his paws and rings glowed golden yellow. Braelen let out one clear note and before everyone’s eyes, Hypno’s various wounds began to heal.

    “What is he doing?” Nemo asked.

    “It’s a version of Wish,” Isidore answered. “For some strange reason he didn’t gain the ability to use it until after he evolved, but I was amazed when I saw how potent it was. No one ever expects it.”

    Braelen stopped and motioned for Espeon to come closer. He moved a little so that she also had room.

    “Go on,” Espeon,” said Isidore gently. “He wants you to use Wish too. Chances are, if he can use it, so can you because you’re siblings.”

    Espeon looked unsure but she too put her paws on Hypno. Braelen closed his eyes once more and started using Wish again so Espeon could watch. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. However where the power flowed easily from Braelen, Espeon strained and strained, but nothing happened. She looked a little dejected.

    “Don’t feel bad,” Nemo said to her. “You just need a little practice.”

    Ever the optimist, Braelen agreed earnestly. He encouraged Espeon to try again, and after about five minutes of trying, Espeon’s forehead jewel glowed faintly and her paws briefly glowed purple—the beginnings of something. Nemo was pleased with Espeon, but even that couldn’t entirely distract him from his thoughts. Isidore noticed Nemo frown and his forehead crease.

    “Now what are you thinking about?” Isidore asked him.

    Nemo honestly didn’t know where to start. Everything about this guy bugged him. Isidore seemed like a nice person. He was great with his Pokémon and he’d been kind to him (Nemo) the entire time. Isidore sympathized when Nemo was reunited with Feliciano. But Nemo couldn’t shake the feeling that Isidore was up to something and it made his head hurt just thinking about it. He just didn’t get Isidore.

    “That makes three of us,” said a spacey voice. “We don’t get him either.”

    Ramón and Cate stepped into the room with Ramón’s Claydol in tow. Nemo was so happy to see them that he didn’t mind that annoying Hoothoot had somehow found them and was riding on top of Claydol’s head once more. He secretly wondered what had happened to it after he was knocked out. Both Ramón and Cate were unharmed just like Isidore said.

    “How did you escape?” Isidore asked plainly. He looked surprise to see them, but he didn’t look overly troubled by the situation.

    “A combination of telekinesis, Nemo’s Hoothoot, and a nice right hook from Cate,” Ramón said with that vacant smile of his. “Who knew she had brains, beauty, and brawn. Her sister never saw it coming!”

    “I hated to use force against her,” Cate said modestly. “But we wanted to find Nemo and Carmen as quickly as possible.

    “To think that you got past Sienna,” Isidore said. “I’m actually impressed!”

    But Cate and Ramón didn’t respond immediately. They were now entirely focused on Carmen and Gardevoir who were still unconscious. But somehow when Ramón grabbed her hand, she grasped it back in response. It was a relief to see.

    “I’m more impressed that Carmen got enough control over her abilities to keep from killing us all,” Ramón said. “But back to you Isidore. I agree with Nemo. You seem like a good guy. What’s your deal?”

    “Yeah, I—” Nemo started, but he cut off in a realization of horror. A sinking feeling took a hold of him so suddenly that it felt like he’d been sucker punched. It was his worst nightmare and hoped against all hope it wasn’t true. “W-wait a minute,” he said shakily. “I-I didn’t say any of that stuff out loud. Pleeeease tell me it isn’t true.”

    “What isn’t true?” asked Cate and Ramón at the same time. Both of them were smiling.

    Nemo didn’t even want to say that out loud. He swallowed hard. That you’re a mind reader, he thought.

    “Right!’ Ramón said. His smile was even bigger now. “Carmen wasn’t the only one who awakened a new power under stress. It’s taking time to get used to it because I can’t turn it off yet.”

    Nemo rolled his eyes. “Great. JUST great,” he groaned. Ramón was the very last person besides his father that he ever wanted in his mind. And he didn’t care if Ramón heard that.

    Ramón only chuckled. “Don’t worry, Nemo. I’ll keep your secrets.” Nemo groaned again. “I can’t read Isidore’s mind though. He’s blocking me,” he added.

    “How are you doing that?” Cate asked.

    Isidore was in no hurry to answer—or give them a complete answer. “Let’s just say I have abilities of my own. I can sense people with psychic abilities, but let’s just say they also make my mind a little more difficult to probe. And as for my deal? I’ll have to get back to you on that.” He never took his eyes off of Ramón’s

    “Oh, they’re finally waking up…” Cate murmured.

    Both Carmen and Gardevoir began to stir at the same time. Rather than looking groggy or confused, they seemed well rested as though they’d awakened from a deep sleep. Carmen easily pulled herself to her feet and Gardevoir did the same though she still looked concerned about her trainer.

    “How long was I unconscious?” Carmen asked matter-of-factly. She could’ve been asking about someone else. “I heard voice and I remember squeezing Ramón’s hand but that’s about it.”

    “Not as long as you should’ve been,” Isidore answered. “Your powers are really remarkable.”

    “My powers…” It would take Carmen a while to get used to that phrase.

    “But nevermind that,” Ramón said excitedly. “What all do you remember hearing while you were out?”

    “Lot’s of things,” Carmen said as she smiled faintly at her brother’s eagerness. “Like how you now have the ability to read minds, but you can’t read Isidore’s.”

    “And I can’t read yours,” Ramón added.

    Nemo’s mouth dropped open. “Are you freaking kidding me? Why can’t I be the one that’s immune to your stupid powers? It’s not like I want you in my head. That is SO unfair!”

    “I know!” Ramón said. “I can’t read the two minds I want to read most. It’s a shame—especially since Isidore seems to be keeping more secrets than even you, Nemo,” he added though he didn’t look upset.

    Isidore was watching the Pokémon continue to heal the still unconscious Hypno. “You should leave before Charles wakes up,” he said without looking up. “I’m not sure how much that psychic blast stunned his mind, but we don’t want to take any chances.”

    Cate frowned slightly. “You mean you’re just letting us go?” Cate asked. Carmen had never heard so much suspicious in Cate’s voice before, but then she remembered Cate said that Isidore was extremely manipulative and no one seemed to know on whose side he was. “What’s the catch? You and I both know very well that Hypno could possibly tell Charles of what happened here.”

    Isidore’s mismatched eyes met Cate’s eyes and he smiled. “I do know that, but regardless, there’s no catch.” He then turned his attention to his Umbreon. “Braelen, I think you and Espeon had done enough for now. It’s time to go.”

    Both Pokémon looked disappointed; in fact, Espeon looked as though she was about to make a move to shield her brother. Isidore reassured them.

    “Don’t worry,” he said gently. “You’ll get to see each other again…that I can promise you.”

    Braelen and Espeon looked at each other for a while as though they were committing what the other looked like to memory, then the turned to Isidore and nodded. Espeon trusted her brother’s trainer just like he did. That surprised Nemo because Espeon usually took a long time to trust humans. She allowed him to be recalled to his Luxury Ball without protest (Cecelia certainly didn’t mind him being recalled either).

    “I’m going to check on Sienna now,” Isidore said as he walked toward the door. “You can just teleport away.” He gave a backward glance back at Charles. “I’ll try to help you out a little, but you have to get as far away from Olivine as you can and as quickly as possible…”

    His expression was unreadable as they watched Isidore walk through the open door with Cecelia without looking back at them. Everyone looked at one another.

    “What does he mean by helping us out?” Nemo asked. “Why is he helping us at all? He’s totally weird!”

    “I honestly have no idea,” Cate said. “Isidore has never been an easy person to figure out, but I think we should do what he says.”

    Everyone prepared to teleport—Cate, Ramón, and Hoothoot with Nendoru, Espeon with Nemo, and Carmen with Gardevoir. She thought back to the first time she’d met Isidore back in Ecruteak City. Carmen thought he was just an ordinary thug, but he seemed so much more. So much had changed since that meeting until now. She took one last look around the room she had been imprisoned in just a short while ago. The damage was nothing compared to what her father had done, but the fact that she was capable of even this much frightened her.

    She shook off the feeling and focused on teleporting with Gardevoir. They joined hands and Carmen felt the familiar sensation of flying through a world of colors and psychic power that was much warmer than Nendoru’s inky black void. The group found themselves on the beach where they were hours earlier. Carmen breathed in the salty air and looked up at the star filled night sky. The light from Glitter Lighthouse was helping the ships come in had been doing for generations. The area was currently deserted which helped to calm the group. The Hoothoot once again flew under Nemo’s arm, but for once, he didn’t seem to mind.

    “Well, where do we go now?” Carmen finally asked.

    “Blackthorn City,” her brother answered immediately. “That was our original plan anyway.”

    “What’s there,” Nemo asked.

    “A person who can really help us hone our powers,” Cate explained. “We contacted her some time ago because she’s renown in our circle. It’s especially pertinent that we’re seeing her now that Carmen’s powers have manifested.”

    “That’s if you don’t mind, Carmen,” Ramón said. “We’re not forcing you to do anything…”

    Carmen thought of the Mismagius her subconscious had conjured and the battle of her life. “No, I definitely want to go. I want to gain control so nothing like this ever happens again.”

    “It’s settled then!” Ramón said brightly. “We’ll go back to get our things and take a bus to Blackthorn City! I guess things will be a bit more complicated since we’re on the run, but we’ll manage.”

    Carmen marveled at how Ramón and Cate seemed to consider being chased by Charles just a minor inconvenience. Nemo didn’t seem to mind either, but perhaps he was just used to it. It was certainly going to be an adventure for them all though. They began to walk back toward the houseboat where they had originally planned to stay the night. Carmen and Gardevoir took once last, long look at the ocean.

    It was making a soothing sound: the wind and waves were very gentle that night. Carmen’s life had been changed forever just like her father’s had been in Olivine City. She took a deep breath before she Gardevoir went to join the rest of the group.

    #29 Carmen Lopez, Oct 14, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  30. It's bittersweet, this ending. I'm glad it's over, and at least somewhat wrapped up. But I'm also kind of sad it's done....almost for the same reason. I suppose I'll have to move on to Diaries...

    But Carmen, this is a fantastic piece of work. You should be proud of yourself. :)
  31. @Cody: Whoo! Thanks for the reply. I was starting to get worried for a bit. And...rest assure that just because MO has ended doesn't mean Carmen's story is over yet in the least. It just means I have to connect some other dots first ^^

    And so this post isn't completely pointless, I thought I'd share a few random points and I totally didn't rip off Chad ahem <<

    1. I'm fairly sure this is the last third person fic I do in a while. Diaries got me very accustomed to first person shindigs.
    2. That last battle between Carmen and Mismagius almost didn't happen. It took me so long to write it because nothing I wrote ever seemed right...it was Pheo and Sem that helped me finish it :D
    3. Isidore became my favorite male character by the time I finished with this...or maybe he's just tied with Mateo.
    4. I wanted to have a chapter where Carmen finally named all of her Pokemon and I totally forgot ^^;
    5. Speaking of Carmen, her middle name is Alejandra.
    6. There will definitely be a sequel, Pheo. The enigma that is Isidore needs to be explained.
  32. So I finally got my act together and reread this story and got caught up and all that jazz. I have to say, your ability to create a diverse character set along with wonderfully visuals. I gotta say, I wasn't even expecting Carmen to attain any powers even WITH all the foreshadowing that you sprinkled all throughout the story, so that was a neat surprise! I absolutely adored the pokemon POV chapter and I require to you to write more of these! >:3 Overall, it really was a wonderful ride that explored the introduction to a world that not many see, both the supernatural and the spiritual, not to mention the seedier parts of society and the moral ambiguity that happens to go along with what people consider to be just and/or needed. I can't wait for you to explore Isidore more and possibly explain him in more depth so he isn't so crazily unreadable and surprising. I would love to know his motivations and how he obtained Cecilia.

    Keep up the good work and I eagerly await any new writings from you. You can always call on me for editing as I highly enjoy doing it (at least whenever I get around to it XD)

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