Bringing you new stories for the ages

Latest

Tiger & Might – Interlude 1

Tiger & Might – Interlude 1: Inko Midoriya

“You can’t eat Mommy, Izuku,” Inko Midoriya said in a cheerful tone as her son, a few months old now, pulled her finger into his mouth from his high-chair. He hadn’t started teething yet, but his appetite was nothing if not healthy. She gently pulled her finger out and substituted it with a small spoon of baby food. “There, doesn’t that taste better?”

A childish giggle followed as his hands reached for the spoon in his quest to have more. It brought a smile to his mother’s face as she fed him until it was all gone. Then she put a fire-proof cloth over her shoulder, held him against her chest so that his chin rested against it, and then rubbed his back to burp him.

Thankfully there were no flames when he finally did burp, though there was a slight bit of spit-up that could be washed out. To be safe, she grabbed the mouth thermometer and placed it inside to read his temperature. The reading came back normal. “I guess we don’t have to worry about you breathing fire like Daddy just yet, do we?”

His response to that was to stretch his tiny arms and yawn, signaling that it was nap time. Inko gave him a kiss on his cheek and carefully laid him down in his crib, where he drifted off to sleep beneath the slowly turning mobile. Once he was out like a light, Inko sighed to herself as she went through the motions of making sure that everything was put away by the time he woke up.

There was no telling if Izuku would inherit his father’s quirk or hers, so she had to be careful while her husband was working more and more hours these days. She had gone through the precaution of having fire extinguishers in every room of the house, just in case he got the hiccups one day and started setting the furniture on fire. She’d also had anything that could be moved by telekinesis safely weighed down so he didn’t accidentally hurt himself because he really wanted another bottle of formula.

It was slightly time-consuming, but considering the nightmare she had been to her parents, it was worth it to make sure he was safe.

******

Years later, hours after the visit to the doctor, Inko sat in the dark with tears in her eyes as she spoke on the phone with her husband. She had found it strange that, even as he got older, Izuku hadn’t started showing signs of manifesting his quirk. Most of the kids in his Kindergarten had, including Mitsuki’s boy.

She had her suspicions, but pushed them down the entire time. She held hope in her heart that he was just a late-bloomer. She didn’t want to think that something was wrong with her darling son, but there was a knot of worry in her stomach that just wouldn’t go away until she finally decided to take him to the doctor.

Being born without a quirk was a rarity these days; in fact it was mostly the older generation that lacked them among the 80%. It was good that he had no other medical complications, but if everyone having a quirk was “healthy” for lack of a better term… then what did it say for him not to have one?

Though she tried to remain positive after they left the doctor, her mind raced with thoughts of what that meant for her only son’s quality of life. Now she tearfully shared those fears with her husband on the phone. He’d gone to work overseas ever since Izuku was young, leaving her to raise him by herself. Because of the time difference they rarely had time to call one another, but this was important.

It’ll be okay,” Hisashi told her over the line. “Even if he doesn’t have a quirk, he can still live a good life.

“But you didn’t see the look on his face when that doctor told him to give up, Hisashi. Like his dreams were crushed because I didn’t give birth to him properly.” She took a deep and staggering breath as she imagined the teasing that he would go through at his age for not having one. “When I think about what it’ll be like for him to not have a quirk while all his little friends are growing into theirs, it worries me that he’ll be teased or bullied for it.”

Just because he wasn’t born with a quirk, that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with him,” her husband said. “He’ll get over it as he gets older.”

“Will he?” she asked.  “What if he met a nice girl that he liked and she turned him down because he didn’t have a gift and they were afraid that it was a genetic defect? Or her parents rejected him because of it? Or what about his career when he gets older?”

Not all careers rely on a Quirks,” he said, which was true since they were too varied for that. “He can be a fireman, or a police officer, or even a salary-man. He can still live a good life.”

“But he wants to be a hero, Hisashi.” She fought back the tears stinging her eyes.  “You should see how he is every time he looks at that video of All Might, hoping one day that he can be just like him. What am I supposed to tell him when he asks me if he still can be?”

Silence answered her for a moment as another voice could be heard over the line. “…Shoot, I’ve got to go. But listen, he’ll find a new dream someday. Just try not to bring it up and give him time to come to terms with it. He’ll bounce back. He’s a strong boy after all.

“All right.” She took a staggering, deep breath. “Take care of yourself, okay?”

Same to you. And remember, I love you both.

The line went dead after that, leaving her with her doubts and sorrow as Inko pulled herself together. She wiped her eyes and dried her tears, telling herself that it would be fine. Her husband was right—Izuku was a strong and smart boy. He’d pull through this.

And it was better that he found out this way, while he was still young. That way he’d be able to come to terms with it quicker and find something new. Anchoring herself to that thought, she stood up from the chair and then made her way to his room to check on him.

…The room was dark as she opened it, the glare of the computer monitor leaving her to squint until she flicked on the lights. Izuku was staring at the screen, watching his favorite video of All Might that had a hold on his young heart and filled him with hope of one day being just like the Symbol of Peace himself. However, unlike before, his eyes that were wide and unblinking lacked the glimmer of joy and sparkle that was always present before.

“… Mom,” he said softly as he turned around. Tears were welling up at the base of his eyes, and his voice was fragile as he pointed to the screen. “H-Heroes are really cool, aren’t they?

She swallowed the lump in her throat and did her best not to let the fake smile she wore on her face fall. “Y-yeah.”

Then maybe… maybe I could become one someday?

In the wake of that simple question, asked by her child on the verge of tears as he sought reassurance from her, Inko couldn’t hold back her own tears. She couldn’t bring herself to lie to him either. Instead, everything that she tried to hold back came rushing forward like a broken dam and her heart shattered.

Inko stumbled forward and wrapped her arms around his tiny body and the chair. Then she cried her heart out. “I’m so sorry, Izuku. I’m so sorry.

******

In the present, Inko hummed softly as she washed the dishes until the phone began to ring. She turned the faucet off and brushed her hands against a towel to dry them before she moved over to the receiver and noticed who the caller was. A jolt ran through her body as she hurriedly answered it. “Honey?”

It’s been too long, Inko. I’ve missed hearing your voice.

“Oh you…” Inko giggled as she felt a warm, bubbling sensation in her chest. Then she gathered herself and held the phone tenderly. “I’ve missed you too. It’s so rare that you have a chance to call with your schedule. How is everything there?”

They’re keeping me busy.” He sighed. “And how are things with you and Izuku?”

“Well, I’m going to attend the community meeting soon. We’re planning something special for the neighborhood kids during the holidays. As for Izuku, he’s been a lot more active and coming home later.”

Oh?” Hisashi’s voice rose a notch. “How so?”

“Nothing bad,” she clarified. “He says he’s working out more in hopes of becoming a hero, and he’s usually so busy we don’t spend too much time together anymore. But his grades are still high and he seems happy.”

“…It sounds like he’s getting his hopes up again,” Hisashi said after a moment. The sullen tone of his voice stamped down on the fluttering feeling in her chest as she caught the underlying meaning beneath his words.

“Maybe so,” Inko said. “But if that’s what he wants to do, I want to support him.”

That’s what makes you a great mother,” he said. “He’ll be fine with you there, one way or another.”

Their chat continued for another few minutes before Hisashi had to go again.  Inko stared at the phone for a moment after the line went dead with a wistful, if somewhat somber smile. Then she placed it back on the receiver, looked at the time, and went into the Living Room to fetch the Community Planner off the shelf with her quirk as the door to their home unlocked and opened.

“How was your training, Izuku?” Inko said in her motherly tone as she turned around. She was expecting to find him wearing the tired smile he normally had on his face when he came home. Instead what she found was Izuku staring vacantly forward, eyes peering far into the distance past the wall, with his shoulders slumped. “Izuku?”

Girl… no sense of… personal space…”  He mumbled softly, ignorant of the world around him as she walked closer.

“Izuku?” She gave him a light shake on his arm. “Izuku, are you okay?”

The jostle seemed to snap him out of it, leaving him to twist and turn his head until recognition dawned on him. “Oh, I’m back home…”

“What happened?” she asked.

“I-I’ve met a… um… helper. I think?” It sounded more like a question than an answer. He exhaled softly before he noticed the planner in her hand. “Are you going out to one of those community meetings?”

She nodded. “We’re making plans for the holiday event for the children at the center. It’s best to start early, after all. ”

“I suppose that’s true…” Izuku rubbed the back of his head before giving her a hug and then letting her go. “Have fun. And Tell Kacchan’s mother I said hello.”

“All right,” Inko said, watching him head towards the bathroom. Though it was subtle, she felt that he had muscle starting to develop beneath his clothes. It was a testament to how Izuku had put in a lot more effort in his training, which also brought her husband’s words back to mind about setting himself up for disappointment.

Before she could dwell on it, Inko shook her head vigorously to rid herself of the negative thoughts. She swore after that day when she’d broken down into tears that she would support him in whatever he decided to do. So she wouldn’t discourage him.

She may not have been able to give him a gift upon his birth, but she would certainly give him the tools he needed to accomplish whatever he set out to do.

 

 

Image

Winter Wonderland 18-01

The words ‘Busman’s holiday’ come to mind when I remember her last vacation.

Heretical Edge

Previous Chapter

“And after a week in Rome, we’re gonna go up to Germany and see the old nuckelavee massacre memorials.”

Sands, who had been going on for awhile by that point about all the things that she and Scout were going to do with their father over the holiday break, blinked sidelong at me. “Uh, Flick? You okay?”

No. No, I wasn’t. There was so much I wanted to say to both of them about what I had found out. But I still wasn’t willing to put them through that right before they went on vacation. That wouldn’t be fair. Instead, I gave an awkward shrug and smiled apologetically at both Sands and Scout, who was standing nearby while giving me a curious look. “Sorry,” I murmured. “Just thinking about going home.”

It was the next day, Saturday morning. I’d spent most of the previous night walking around the…

View original post 2,983 more words

Interlude 17 – Virginia Dare

So a heretic took on the visage of a mythological figure? Or were they really myths in this setting and not actual deities? I remember the Seostein mentioning playing the role of Zeus.

Heretical Edge

Previous Chapter

Please note that there was a commissioned mini-interlude focusing on Wyatt posted a couple days ago. If you haven’t seen that yet, you may wish to click the Previous Chapter button above. 

May 18th, 1611 – London

Crash. Scream. Laughter. Shriek. Thump. Shout. Angry bellowing. Sarcastic retort. Crash.

All of that and more filled the air at nearly the same time, forcing Virginia Dare to snap her gaze from one noise to another. Her head twitched back and forth, the enhanced wolf-hearing that was such an asset in the forests she had spent so much time in becoming a liability here in the incredibly crowded, oppressively loud city of London. Every time she jerked her head to look at and subsequently dismiss one potential threat as its sound reached her, four others assaulted her ears from various directions.

It was safe to say that the twenty-three…

View original post 3,899 more words

Mini-Interlude 14 – Wyatt

I can’t say I approve of him littering the ocean, but that list of how many things they’re dealing with really impresses on you how absurd the amount of trouble Flick’s group is in the middle of.

Heretical Edge

Previous Chapter

The following is a commissioned mini-interlude focusing on Wyatt and his efforts to protect his newly discovered family (even if they remain oblivious to those efforts). It takes place earlier in the same day as the most recent regular chapter. 

The sound of Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock filled the small kitchenette of the apartment that Crossroads had provided Wyatt Rendell for his security position at the school. In the midst of the lyrics about Spider Murphy and Little Joe, Wyatt himself worked his way across the room to the counter near the fridge. His steps were short and awkward, as his feet were crammed into shoes that were more than a little too small for him. As a result, his movements looked more like a mincing tiptoe than a stride.

Two cat litter boxes lay on the floor next to the counter where Wyatt was moving. A small gray cat…

View original post 3,336 more words

A Learning Experience 17-08

Dare has fought everyone, hasn’t she?

Heretical Edge

Previous Chapter

“Professor Kohaku wants me to join the Security track next semester.”

It was a few hours later, shortly after the end of our final Investigation track meeting before the winter break. I’d asked to talk to Professor Dare privately once the meeting was over (we’d mostly spent it talking about what we’d learned about various early investigative techniques), and she had led me into an empty classroom in the main building before gesturing for me to go ahead and talk.

Now, she raised an eyebrow. “Does she?” A thoughtful look crossed the blonde woman’s face briefly before she nodded. “That’s not a terrible idea. After all, Investigation and Security pair together well.”

Blinking, I hesitated. “So, does that mean you’re not disappointed or anything? I mean, I really like Investigation, Professor. I do. It’s just-I think I might need to… with everything that’s happening, I just-”

Dare raised…

View original post 3,590 more words

(Pokemon Sun and Moon Fanfic) A Lily Blossoms In Kanto: Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Starting in the Sevii Islands

The rays of the morning light from the cabin window stirred Lillie awake.  She was within the cabin of a boat that had left the Marina of Hau’oli City some time ago, heading towards the Sevii Islands. From there she would venture to the Kanto region to help her mother get well and begin a journey to explore new lands and become a Pokémon trainer as strong as her friend Elio.

Lillie stretched absentmindedly and found the fact that she had the room to do so jarring.  Nebby, the little Pokémon that had been accompanying for the last few months, was no longer with her and no longer in her care. It had grown, evolved, and chosen to remain with her dear friends back on the islands.

Rising to her feet, she left out of her room and knocked on the door of the one across from hers softly. “Mother, are you awake yet?”

“I am. You can come in,” Lusamine, her mother, said. Lillie opened the door to find her still in bed, sitting up with the sheet covering her lower half. She looked well enough, even though she should still be weak from the remnants of the Ultra Beast’s neurotoxins still in her body. “Did you sleep well?”

Lillie nodded, her short ponytail bobbing in the process. “How are you feeling this morning?”

“Far better than before.” She looked out of the window towards the water. “I saw a small island a little while ago, so we’re probably within the Sevii Islands now. I don’t think it’ll be long before we reach our destination.”

“That’s good.” They were traveling together in hopes that a man named Bill could purge her of the neurotoxin. He had apparently been fused to a Pokémon previously and managed to cure himself according to Wicke, who had arranged the meeting in the first place on the island while he was there helping someone named Celio making adjustments to a network machine. “Just a little longer and you’ll be as good as new.”

Lusamine’s emerald eyes grew softer as she faced Lillie. “And then you’ll leave to begin your journey as a trainer, right?”

“Yes.” Lillie’s response was said in a doubtless tone that left no uncertainty. She was actually excited at the prospect. A little nervous too, but still excited at the chance to explore more of the world.

Her mother sighed softly. “You and your brother have grown so much while you were out of my sight. It’ll take me some time to get used to that.”

That was true enough. Many things had changed while she was under the influence of Ultra Beast’s neurotoxins, and Lusamine herself had done many things that couldn’t be easily undone since their father had gone missing. Even though she returned to normal, the scars remained—in their bodies, hearts, and minds.

Even so, Lillie was glad to have her mother back. She walked over to the bed and then leaned into hug her. “It’ll be okay.”

Lusamine seemed surprised at the abrupt motion before gently wrapping her arms around her daughter and returning the affection given. “Once I’m better, I’ll continue my search for your father while you’re away.  Then we’ll be waiting to welcome you home when you’ve become a splendid trainer—all of us.”

They stayed like that for some time and then spent the duration of the trip in her cabin, talking. Lusamine had been curious as to what Lillie had been up to during the time that she had left the Aether Foundation with Nebby. The same went for Gladion, her eldest child. But he was understandably… less willing to open up to her after spending two years on the run from her and didn’t even see her off.

Their talk only came to an end with the Captain of the boat announced that they were reaching their destination. Lusamine rose to her feet and wavered for a moment, swaying slightly and bringing her hand to her head.

“Should I get the wheelchair?” Lillie asked. Wicke had packed one among her mother’s belongings and suitcases they brought for the trip. Since Lillie planned on starting her journey in Kanto and intended to buy her supplies in the region, she only had the immediate necessities in her backpack while her traveling clothes were in the traveling bag in her room.

“That won’t be necessary,” Lusamine said as she straightened herself up. “It wouldn’t do for me to show such weakness in public. After all, women must be elegant and confident, especially when they’re beautiful as we are.”

“I just don’t want you to push yourself too hard.”

“I won’t.” She reached out and set a hand on her daughter’s shoulder, reassuring her with a smile. “You have my word. Now, shall we go?”

After going to her room and retrieving her bag, Lillie walked with her mother off the boat dock and into the port building. Lusamine handled the documentation and having her bags delivered to the local Inn, while Lillie picked up a pamphlet from a stand in the port to see what the island had to offer for the duration of their stay over the course of the next three days. To the north of the island was a long stretch of road that led to a hot springs at the base of the volcano, but overall it was an otherwise relaxed place with a small population. It also listed some of the commonly sighted Pokémon that could be found for tourists, some of which she hadn’t seen in Alola during her time there.

“Oh, they have natural hot springs here that’s supposed to be good for your health,” Lusamine said as she looked over her daughter’s shoulder at the pamphlet, having finished what she needed to do. “We should go in together.”

“That sounds nice, but I didn’t bring my swimsuit.”

“Dear, this is an island. They’ll have someone selling one.” She pointed to a picture of a Ponyta. “Besides, this’ll be a good chance for me to help you catch your first Pokémon. I think you’d be lovely with one of these.”

Lillie pictured riding atop of the Fire Horse Pokémon, with the wind rushing past her face as they galloped across the field. And at night she could curl next to it as she slept, coddled by the gentle flames that made up its mane and tail. “It does sound fun to have one.”

The sight of Lillie looking happy brought a smile to her mother’s face. “Then let’s go after we finish our business today.”

 [-A Lily Blossoms in Kanto-]

A soft sound left the beak of the Delibird as he flew above the water’s surface, one flipper holding a map that he checked to ensure that he was heading in the right direction. The Delivery Pokémon had come a long way from Alola to do its job at the behest of its trainer, Professor Burnet. She had entrusted him with a delivery to be made to the young human girl named Lillie a short time after the boat left, so he should be able to catch up in a short time—

GRRRRR!

—after he had a quick break to eat since he couldn’t fly on an empty stomach, of course.

Delibird landed on a rocky outcropping with a flat top and then rummaged into his tail until he found a container with food in it and a can from which he could drink his lemonade. He had nibbled on the Pokémon food and was in the process of taking a sip to wash it down when he felt a part of his important delivery move within his tail. He let out a gaw in warning for it to settle down.

Apologiezzz, it said. Just eager to meet my new User, zzrt.

The Delivery Pokémon rolled his eyes and hastened to finish his meal before setting out again towards the Sevii Islands.

[-A Lily Blossoms in Kanto-]

On the dock leading into One Town, a nondescript boat pulled up. Inside were a group of men and women, dressed in traveling clothes that marked them as fishers. Yet they didn’t carry themselves as such while they disembarked the boat and eyed their surroundings with far more impatience than one would expect from one who made a living fishing.

They moved out of the port building and walked in a tight circle along the concrete roads that were rather straight-forward in the small town, leading to the Pokémon Network Center. As far as they went, this one was a modest size at three stories high. The third floor likely contained the servers while the second would house any visiting trainers. There weren’t any of importance in the itinerary, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

Stopping where they stood, the man in the lead looked over his shoulder towards the others and tilted his head towards the Pokémon Center. They walked forward into it while he went over to the beach and pulled free one of the compact Poké Balls on his belt and tapped his thumb against the button on the center. The ping-pong sized containment sphere expanded and took up the majority of his palm, rousing the Pokémon within it from dormancy.

Tossing it into the air above the sea as hard as he could, the lid popped open and light speared from within, sending the Poké Ball flying back into his grasp. From the depths emerged a Gyarados’ head as it swam closer to the shore, a rumble coming from its mouth as it did so. He climbed on top of it and off they went towards the distant volcano.

[-A Lily Blossoms in Kanto-]

Lillie hummed softly as she spent a moment mulling over which drink to choose from the vending machine within the Pokémon Network Center. She and her mother had arrived after a short walk and were informed that the researcher that they were supposed to be meeting with would be a few minutes before he would see them, so she decided to try and get something to drink. It was always important to stay hydrated in Alola and while the temperature was slightly cooler here, it was still a bright day. Eventually she settled on the bottle of Lemonade and then made her way back towards her mother.

Lusamine was standing in front of a large computer system that seemed to dominate roughly half of that side of the rectangular building. Lillie hadn’t seen a PC take up so much space before, but her mother was using it to hold a video call with Miss Wicke at the Aether Foundation.

“—so he’s still avoiding me, is he?” Lusamine asked as Lillie got into hearing range. It stilled her feet.

Miss Wicke’s eyes softened behind her glasses, giving the impression of being apologetic. “I tried to get him to answer the call, but he says he’s busy at the moment and can’t come to the video phone, I’m afraid.

“Gladion has been put into a position he wasn’t trained for,” her mother said in turn. “I’m counting on you to do your best to support him.”

“Of course. And you just give it some time and I’m sure he’ll come around.” Wicke then noticed Lillie behind Lusamine’s shoulder and waved to her. “And how have you been, Lillie?”

Lillie bashfully stepped out from behind her mother to answer. “Fine. We just arrived not too long ago without any problems. How are things at the Foundation?”

“The restructuring is about done here,” she explained. “I’ll make sure everything is running smoothly, so you can focus on exploring the region to your heart’s content. However, make sure your mother doesn’t do anything too strenuous or elevates her blood pressure. Otherwise the effects of the lingering neurotoxins will leave her weak and tired.”

“I will,” Lillie said. “Stay well.”

Lusamine scoffed after the call ended there, somewhat offended. “A child shouldn’t be the one having to take care of their mother. You don’t need to worry about what she said.”

Lillie looked around for anything to break the tension and change the subject, before she settled on the large machine in front of her. “I wonder what this is. I don’t think I’ve seen one in Alola.”

Her mother didn’t get the chance to answer as an unfamiliar voice rose up from behind her. “It’s a global link to the PC systems of Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh and Orre’s storage system. It enables trading between them, and we’ve been making strides to extend it further into Unova and Kalos as well.”

The pair turned toward the source of the voice to see that it was a man with brown hair and eyes.  He extended a hand over to Lusamine. “I’m Bill. Let me be the first to welcome you both to our region.”

She shook his hand as was proper courtesy.  “A pleasure to finally meet you in person. The Aether Foundation has contacted you because we’ve seen you’ve accomplished quite a lot for someone so young. It is our hope you’ll be able to assist me.”

“I believe I will be able to do so based on the data they sent me,” he said. “It’s actually fortunate timing that we could meet this soon. My colleague and I have almost finished linking Molayne’s system to the network here—with the necessary permissions, of course. Once connected, Alola will be linked to the network. That’ll make trade between the different regions easier, bringing the world together. As a researcher, I look forward to that much given how intriguing the local Pokémon there have evolved.”

“That may be true, but it’ll also bring its own set of problems for the native Pokémon there,” Lusamine said. “Regional variants have their own appeal, and while it may be okay for some to be relocated, that sort of thing inevitably invites smuggling. Considering that many Pokémon require special consideration if they are removed from their native environments, such as with an Alolan Executor, trainers who are unable or willing to provide the necessary requirements risk endangering their lives. There are more than a few of the Pokémon that ended up in the Foundation’s care because of those very circumstances and had to be cared for until they could be released back in their native regions.”

Lillie couldn’t help but give it some thought as well. Having been Professor Kukui’s assistant for some time now, she had an opportunity to read up on the subject. “And I suppose that means that introducing too many of them into the ecosystem can have a drastic effect as well. Like when Yungoos were introduced in an attempt to deal with the Rattata population and they competed with native species for resources.”

“Or the Corphish situation in Hoenn,” Bill agreed. “Measures are being taken now that there are new regulations in place to prevent that sort of thing. One among them ensures that should a trainer decide to release a Pokémon through their PC, it reads their identification and original capture location and then transfers them over to nearest Pokémon Caretaker available in the area where they were originally caught, to be released after they’ve been checked over to ensure they were being well taken care of.”

He then gave her a smile. “You must be Lillie. Should I assume you intend to take the Gym Challenge in Kanto?”

“After seeing Mother is taken care of, yes.” If she was right based on what she heard from Professor Kukui, it was like the battles against the Trial Captains back home, so it would be a way to assess how strong she had become as a trainer, much like a coming of age ceremony. “I’m mostly looking forward to seeing the Pokémon and locales of Kanto as a trainer.”

“I hope that you’ll be able to meet the challenge. They’ll likely be somewhat different from what you’re used to, but if you manage to collect all eight badges and defeat the Elite Four, you’ll become the new Champion.”

“Challenging the Elite Four is something I don’t think I’ll be ready to do for quite some time.” She didn’t exactly want fame or anything. All she wanted was to become stronger and have fun, like Elio and Hau did as they underwent their island challenges. Though, if she did become a Champion, would she be on equal terms with Nebby and Elio? “After all, I still haven’t gotten my first Pokémon yet.”

“You can do whatever you set your heart to with enough effort,” her mother said on her behalf. “Once we’ve finished talking, I’ll even help you come up with a training regiment similar to my own.”

“We can talk about the more sensitive topics in private and I’ll try to make it brief so that you can spend time with your daughter.” He gestured towards a sliding door to the side.  “There’s a private room I’ve reserved through the corridor here.”

“Good.” Lusamine turned to her daughter. “I’ll be back shortly and then we’ll see about getting your first Pokémon this evening. That way we’ll have the next two days to deal with the training and searching for an adequate swimsuit.”

“You don’t have to rush it for me,” Lillie said. “Take your time.”

Lillie watched as they went through the door and then sighed when it closed. It was starting to feel like her mother was sliding into being a little overbearing again at the end. She seemed to mean well and Lillie did want to catch a Ponyta if she could, but at the same time she wanted to become her own person and couldn’t if her mother was instructing her every step of the way.

The question was how to address it while her mother was in a sensitive state?

She thought it over for a few minutes, ignoring the pair of fishermen that entered the door to the corridor after her mother and Bill.  Maybe I should ask Professor Burnet for advice?

THOMP!

Then the power abruptly cut off, everything shutting off all at once.

“Everyone please stay calm,” Nurse Joy said as she her held a key in her hand. She stepped around the counter and was heading towards a locked door with Chansey by her side. “We’ll have the back-up power running in just a moment.”

Since Lillie could see clearly thanks to it still being the afternoon the blackout wasn’t particularly alarming to her, but it was the first time she’d seen the power go out at a Pokémon Center. She hoped that there were no Pokémon in the process of being treated. Looking around revealed that the others weren’t particularly frightened—a little agitated, but no one making a fuss.

“WAHHH!!” Then a cry of pain sounded out. It was a man’s voice, coming from the door Lusamine had gone through.

Unable to ignore it, Nurse Joy and her assistant Pokémon ran towards the door. “Is there someone hurt?”

CRASH!

“Ah!” Lillie jumped in fright at the abrupt crash, as did several others in the lounge area. What had answered was not a human voice, but the resounding sound of wrenching metal. Something hard impacted the metal door with enough force to dent it deeply, knocking Nurse Joy to the ground from being too close. She fell onto her back before turning on to her side and wincing as she laid a hand over where her lower ribs were.

Lillie moved over to her side with the Chansey and crouched down to help her up. “Are you okay, Miss Joy?”

“I don’t think anything’s broken,” Nurse Joy said to assure her and Chansey alike. It failed as Lillie felt there was a palpable change in the atmosphere of the room. Everyone was on edge, on the tipping point of snapping under the tension.

What finally set it off was when a second crash came from the door, leaving their imaginations to go to the worst possible conclusion. Immediately, the distinct flash of multiple Poké Balls being deployed filled the darkened room and grabbed the attention of everyone there as shapeless energy solidified into menacing shapes.

A massive purple serpent rose as high as it could, flaring it hood while releasing a hiss that sent a chill down the spines of the other visitors as it glared at them. A humanoid yellow creature, with a white ruff and a polished pendulum that hung from a simple string, scanned the room with shifty eyes. A ball of fur with arms and legs that were shackled roared, despite having no visible mouth to do so as it waved its boxing-glove like hands.

“Return those Pokémon at once,” Nurse Joy ordered sternly, rising to her feet with Chansey supporting her. She stepped forward in hopes of pacifying the situation. “There’s no need to escalate things. Just stay calm.”

Her words were falling on deaf ears. The trio of fishers weren’t panicked like the others inside of the Pokémon Center, and it showed on their faces as the single male pointed to Nurse Joy and Chansey. “Hypno, use Hypnosis!”

The Hypno immediately locked eyes with the two and swung its pendulum, using the medium to release waves of hypnotic power to ensnare them. Nurse Joy and Chansey’s eyes went dull and lifeless before slumping closed. The nurse fell backwards and would have hit the floor hard if Lillie hadn’t grabbed her to lower her gently, while the Egg Pokémon fell asleep on its feet instead. Finished with them, the Hypno then looked towards Lillie while raising its pendulum towards her. Their eyes locked and she realized it was going to try and do the same to her.

Lillie tried to look away, but was a moment too late as the hypnotic waves took hold. Her thoughts slowed. The world began to tilt and churn, like the gentle ocean at night. The dark waters drank in the light, making the world darken. Her mind felt like it was slowly fading beneath the dark curtain that rippled in the

CRASH!!!

Lillie gasped for air like she had just been on verge of drowning when the thunderous crash ripped apart the darkness, her awareness snapping back to her surroundings. The Hypno had been flung into the wall hard enough that the metal was dented. An inhuman whispering echoed in her ears as she felt a chill running along her skin that was draped in violet fog, clinging to her like a cloak. She turned her head upwards to see her mother’s Mismagius hovering over her, dark streamers of power dissipating from where it had formed and fired a Shadow Ball.

Lusamine strode out of the corridor until she was in front of Lillie and the slumbering Nurse Joy and Chansey. Any attempt to attack her was hindered by the presence of the Lilligant by her leg and the Bewear following behind, carrying two fishers in its arms that were unmoving but moaning in pain. All eyes immediately turned their attention towards them.

“Are you okay?” her mother asked, her cold gaze never leaving the fisherman and women in front of her who had ordered the attack on them. “Lillie, are you hurt?”

Lillie gathered herself and responded. “N-No, I’m fine. I’m not hurt.”

Lusamine let a soft sigh slip out of her mouth. “Then stay with Bill and his Pokémon. I’ll deal with these hoodlums shortly.”

“What’s going on?” Lillie asked before a cerulean light shrouded her. Gravity ceased to bind her as she found herself floating in the air along with the slumbering Nurse Joy and Chansey. They were being carried by an Espeon that stood just past the entrance of the door, eyes illuminated and the ruby on its head shining.

“Get them, Arbok!” One of the fisherwomen ordered the Cobra Pokémon. It lunged for her with all the quickness its serpentine body afforded, intending constrict them—

“Mismagius. Bewear.”

—and was immediately beset by Mystical Fire as the Mystical Pokémon lived up to its name, before being smacked away as the Strong Arm Pokémon brought its Hammer Arm around with enough strength that it was sent flying into the global network machine, shattering the screen before it collapsed onto the ground.

Espeon finished pulling them through the corridor door and let them down. It then blocked the entrance with a wall of light that seemed almost like a pane of glass, sealing them off.

“I hope she can keep the damage contained until the authorities arrive,” Bill said as he crouched down to check on Nurse Joy, while his Umbreon did the same on Chansey.

“Mister Bill, what’s going on?” Lillie asked again.

Bill gestured to the two men now on the floor, where they’d been dropped like garbage by Bewear to free its arms. “Two of those fishermen intruded on our discussion and tried to kidnap me using their Pokémon. Your mother intervened and paralyzed them with her Lilligant. Then they mentioned they had others outside prepared to take hostages and she decided to fix that, despite the fact that I had informed the authorities of the situation with a Pokégear.”

Lillie looked at what remained of the door. It had been knocked from the frame and torn apart. Of all her Pokémon, her Bewear was the only one strong enough to do so through sheer brute strength. It wasn’t called the Strong Arm Pokémon and feared on the islands for no reason.

“Listen up,” Lusamine said as she held two more Poké Balls. “I don’t know or care who you are. All I know is that the gentleman you’re after has business with me, and your presence is sullying my daughter’s experience with this region.”

The lids popped open, releasing two masses of shapeless energy that solidified into Clefable and Milotic. The former stood at the front, flexing the protrusions on its back. The latter floated in the air around her mother, eyeing them with its red eyes.

“My Pokémon and I will have you answer for this.”

[-A Lily Blossoms in Kanto-]

“Found you,” the dark-haired man said as he looked through the remote viewing mode of his visor. The image in the lenses was passed through the observation drone that peeked over the rim of the volcano. It was a recent creation of their organization, as small as a Poké Ball while being capable of hovering silently and visual camouflage using stealth technology, allowing them to observe Pokémon without being seen.

There, bathing in the lava, was the Flame Pokémon—Moltres. There had been rumors of it floating around between the Orange Archipelago and here, but they hadn’t had anything concrete until now. It would fetch a fine price if they managed to catch it. The only problem was that the temperatures it could reach and that of the lava made approaching it difficult and they would have trouble keeping it in one place.

For now he’d settle for tracking its movements until they could find an appropriate place to ambush it far enough from any source of flames it could use to recover and then capture it.

Bzzzt! Bzzzt!

“Hm?” The vibrations coming off of his Pokégear drew his attention. After checking the name of the caller, he flipped it open to answer. “Have you secured the target?”

What met him was a cacophony on the other end, with the voice being drowned out. “We’ve run into a complication, Sir!

“What do you mean you ran into a complication?”

It’s a Trainer. She’s blonde and carries a—” Static followed before the line abruptly went dead.

He frowned as he looked down at the Pokégear and then closed it down. “Never send a bunch of grunts to kidnap a researcher.”

Finishing setting the data into the observation drone to track the Moltres, he made his way down towards the water and rode his Gyarados back towards the beach where he dismounted someplace where he could observe the situation from relative safety. There he found that the Pokémon Network Center crawling with officers, his grunts being carted off in cuffs while the local Jenny was having what looked to be a heated conversation with a blonde woman with long-hair, who stood with her hand on her hips.

She must be the trainer they mentioned. He reached for a second observation drone and deployed it to observe the conversation through the built-in microphones and camera rather than risk getting caught.

[-A Lily Blossoms in Kanto-]

Lillie watched from side as the green-haired policewoman who introduced herself as Officer Midori Jenny took a statement from her mother regarding the incident. It had been resolved within a matter of seconds really. Her mother’s Pokémon were awfully strong and Lilligant managed to use Stun Spore to paralyze them, but she was still being scolded by the policewoman.

“You handled that situation poorly,” Officer Jenny said after listening to everything Lusamine had to say. “Punching through the door with your Pokémon harmed Momoko Joy. That was brash.”

“I’m fine, Midori,” Nurse Joy said as she exited the center.

“Regardless, she should have waited for the police to arrive and resolve things peacefully.”

Rather than look rebuked, Lusamine stared back at her evenly. “I handled the situation as best I could given that those hoodlums managed to get into the building and were threatening to take hostages. Eliminating them quickly was the best course of action. That Miss Joy was hurt I do apologize for, but it could have been much worse.”

That caused the Jenny’s lips to curl back in annoyance. She opened her mouth to say something when one of the male officers ran up to her and whispered something into her ear while showing her something in his hand. From Lillie’s perspective all she could see was that it was a deep shade of blue, but whatever it was caused Officer Jenny to whisper something back into his ear and make him run off.

She then turned her head towards Lusamine and said, “I’m going to strongly suggest that you leave the Sevii Island as soon as possible for your own sake.” And then went off to towards where Bill was.

Lusamine watched her leave with a sour glance before turning and walking towards Lillie. She had barely made it within a few feet before her legs stalled and she rubbed her eyes.

Lillie frowned. “Miss Wicke said not to do anything strenuous or that elevated your blood-pressure because it made your symptoms return quicker. But you pushed yourself, didn’t you? “

“I’ll be fine,” Lusamine insisted as she stood straight once more. “It wouldn’t be an issue at all if that officer had done her job.”

“She couldn’t have known that would have happened,” Lillie said. “And using Bewear to get through the door was risky too. Miss Joy was hurt and you made your condition worse.”

Her mother’s lips pursed before she sighed and brought her palm over her eyes. “If something happened to you because I was slower, it wouldn’t matter if I was better or not. I wouldn’t forgive myself for that after how I’ve been these last few years. No mother would.”

“But I don’t want you to get worse for my sake,” Lillie said, softer this as she brought her hands around her mother’s waist and hugged her. “That’s why I’m doing this, to get stronger as a trainer so that I can help others instead of needing to be sheltered. So please, take care of yourself first.”

Lusamine went still for a moment as she was caught by surprise, but she quickly returned the hug. They stayed like that until Bill approached them. His conversation with Officer Jenny was over it seemed.

“Well, this has been an eventful day,” he said. “Some of the equipment was damaged during the battle, so until it gets repaired there’s nothing more I can do here. It’d be best if we headed back to Kanto and then from there we can make arrangements to head back to Cerulean City and my cottage on the cape.”

“My apologies for that,” Lusamine said sincerely. “I should have been more careful.”

“No, it’s fine.” He looked towards where the fishers were being loaded into a car. “If you hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t be free to make modifications to it along with Celio later on. I never imagined they would be after me of all people.”

Lusamine looked towards them as well. “Did you learn why they were after you?”

He frowned. “Yes. I believe I have. That’s part of the reason why I feel we should leave quickly as well.”

“Perhaps you’re right.” Lusamine set a hand on Lillie’s shoulders. “Though it is a shame that we won’t be able to catch a Ponyta or visit the Hot Springs.”

Bill looked apologetically towards them upon hearing that. “I’m afraid you wouldn’t have had much luck there with the Ponyta. During this season they’d be protective of their young, helping them learn how to run. They usually avoid or scare off trainers to avoid being split apart.”

“Then maybe it’s for the best. I don’t want to split a family apart…” Lillie trailed off as a shadow passed overhead and a familiar Pokémon’s cry reached her ears. It drew her eyes upwards, where she found a Delibird flying above. “A Delibird?”

Said Delibird lowered himself until its yellow feet touched the ground and waved to her. “De de!”

She recognized the way that it addressed her. “Frosty?”

The Delibird nodded.

Lusamine cast a contemplative glance at the Delivery Pokémon as her daughter ran over to it. “Why is a Delibird this far from Alola?”

“He’s Professor Burnet’s,” Lillie explained as she crouched down to stroke his head between the pointed white crests above his eyes. “She adopted one that Professor Kukui found. He must’ve been following me here for some reason.”

Brrrr….” Frosty reached into his hollow tail and pulled out a present box. Lillie looked over the box to see that it had both Professor Burnet and Kukui’s names on it, addressed to her. The Delivery Pokémon set it on the ground and tapped on the lid.

Immediately, something red popped out and floated in the air in front of them.  It moved both of its arms in a circle motion in greeting. Alola, User Lillie, zzt!

“You’re a Rotom Dex,” Lillie said as it hovered in front of her, blinking blue eyes and a smile on the screen. “Did Professor Kukui ask you to help me?”

Bingo. Its screen transitioned to a digital picture of Professor Kukui and Burnet. I look forward to completing my Kanto database with you.

“Fascinating,” Bill said with a hand on his chin as his eyes regarded it with fascination.

“Kew!” Delibird called out, grabbing their attention again as it pointed to the present box and what was inside.

There was Premier Ball. Lillie grabbed it and pressed the button to see what was inside of the Poké Ball meant to commemorate a special event. The lid popped open and eager light burst from within, arching up towards the sky before coming back down on the ground in front of her abruptly.

It took on a small shape, sitting on hind legs while its forelegs held its head and snout up. With fur as white as fresh snow and paws as blue as ice, three matching tails waggled as a pair of crystal-blue eyes took in their surroundings. “Pix?”

“It’s an Alolan Vulpix,” Lillie said as it stared up at her in the most adorable manner possible, a slight tilt of its head until the Rotom Dex floated down and snapped a photo. The flash caused the young Pokémon to flee in surprise until it ended up circling Frosty and trying to take refuge behind it. “Rotom, you have to tell other before you take a photo. It’s rude otherwise.”

Noted, zzt. Rotom Dex displayed a screen with the Pokémon on it. Vulpix, the Fox Pokémon: Alolan Regional Variant. Its beautiful fur and tails have made it very popular. As it grows, its tails split to form more tails and from its mouth spew flames that seem to resemble the spirits of the deceased. Some people mistakenly think this fire is a ghost.

“I remember Professor Kukui studying them once before, but why was it in the box?” Lillie asked the Delivery Pokémon as it caressed the Fox Pokémon’s wisp-like hair. Frosty reached into his tail and pulled out a letter for her to take. She did so and opened it up.

Dearest Lillie,

I’m sorry that I didn’t see you off on your journey. I wanted to. I really did. But I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to stop crying if I was there. That would have ruined the moment for you and the others seeing you off there.

You appeared into my life so abruptly with Nebby and, even though we’ve only known each other for a short few months, it felt like you were a daughter to me. Then it seemed that just as quickly as you arrived, you were leaving. I didn’t think I would have been able to hold myself together at how much you’ve grown in that short time.

However, I didn’t just sit around crying at your departure. Instead, I was trying to arrange for you to have a ‘going-away’ present. Every Pokémon Trainer needs a starter. So I went looking for a Pokémon that I felt was as beautiful as your were. She’s a little young, but I’m sure she’ll grow to be strong along with you during your journey.

With all my love,

Burnet.

Lillie was on the verge of tears as she finished the letter. Professor Burnet had gone out of her way to try and find such a beautiful Pokémon for her. She fell to her knees and closed her eyes to try and stem the tears, but they crept past her eyelids and began to fall to earth.

“You shouldn’t cry on your knees like that,” Lusamine said. Her emerald eyes were soft as she looked down at her daughter and the Fox Pokémon that looked on curiously from behind the Delibird. “It’s not befitting of a lady. Besides, it’s sending the wrong message to your new friend, isn’t it?”

“I’m sorry, Mother,” Lillie said as she wiped the tears away. Taking a deep breath she rose from her knees and approached Frosty and the young Pokémon. A foot away, she crouched down and greeted it. “I’m sorry to you too, Vulpix. I was just happy to hear from Professor Burnet. I’m Lillie, and I’ll be your trainer starting today.”

The Alolan Vulpix looked on for a moment before stepping out from behind the Delivery Pokémon cautiously. She flinched back when Lillie extended her hands out low to the ground, but after a moment the Fox Pokémon moved closer and gave her hand a lick.

“I guess that means you accept.” Lillie began to stroke the locks of hair on her head tenderly. “What should I call you then?”

“Pix! Vulpix! Vul!”

She’s saying to pick something cute, the Rotom helpfully translated.

“Well, let’s see… they used to have a different name for Vulpix on Alola in the past, didn’t they?” Lillie mused aloud as she stared her new partner in her eyes. “Keokeo, if I remember right. So… how about I call you Koko from now on?”

The Fox Pokémon yipped.

“Okay then. Koko it is!” Lillie lifted her newly named triple-tailed partner into her arms and cradled her close. The air around her was notable chilly. “Let’s get along, okay?”

The Rotom Dex then chose to float close. Shall I take a photo to celebrate the moment for the Profezzzor? I can send digital data to his computer in a Flash, zzt.

“That okay with you, Koko?” Lillie asked. Considering Koko started brushing her cheek, it was safe to say that the Fox Pokémon agreed wholeheartedly as Lillie cuddled her close and giggled. She then rose to her feet and moved next to her mother and Bill. “You two as well.”

Click-click. *Flash*

And so the moment when Lillie’s grand Pokémon journey, after a bumpy start, was immortalized in a photo…

 

 

 

 

 

Image

A Learning Experience 17-07

You know, his fears for his children are slightly justified. An experienced student was expected to run into danger. She’s been there for a term and managed to get into more trouble than senior students.

Heretical Edge

Previous Chapter

A couple quick notes, guys. First of all, there was a donation-fueled bonus chapter posted on Wednesday. If you haven’t seen that at all yet, feel free to click the Previous Chapter button and check it out.

And secondly, if you did read the chapter immediately after it came out, there has been a somewhat major revision. Due to my own major mistake in the timeline, adjustments had to be made. Long story short, if you read the chapter when Larissa/Liam’s wife was involved in his reasoning for betraying Joselyn, you may want to go back and re-read the updated version. Very sorry about that, guys, and this notice will be removed in about a week, just to make sure everyone has a chance to see it. Anyway, on with the real chapter!

I honestly had no idea how much time passed before Professor Mason finally made his…

View original post 3,168 more words