My Fanfics :
Fanfics that I have found interesting and have recently been updated:
A Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic
Summary: Cissnei wanted to save Zack that night, only to find that it was too late. Though she couldn’t bring him back to life, she could keep his legacy alive. That was why she refused to abandon Cloud on his journey, despite going against her former friends and colleagues.
A Naruto Fanfic
Summary: A/U: Leaves spiral in the soft eddy as Naruto meets Karin in the Forest of Death. From that moment on, the two bearing the Clan name carried with them the fate of the Uzumaki and would be forever entwined.
A Pokemon Fanfic
Summary: Time travel, based on the Anime. So, the world ended. That’s bad news. Who best to get to fix it? Well, there is this guy with a track record in world saving… Not entirely serious. T rating may be overdoing it.
A Pokemon Fanfic
Summary: Follows coma theory: Ash wakes up from a ten year coma to realize that all of his adventures were only a figment of his imagination; but he questions if they were more than that. Everything has changed in ten years, and he must put back all the shattered pieces while he embarks on a new journey to save the world and himself. Pokeshipping
A Pokemon Fanfic
Summary: Novelization of Pokémon Sun. After moving to Alola from the Kanto region, an 11-year old boy is immediately sent on a crash course in local culture through the Island Challenge, a unique rite of passage amongst Trainers in Alola. Join our newest hero, Sun, as he meets new friends and encounters exotic new Pokémon…even those from another world. Sun X Lillie.
A Pokemon Fanfic
Summary: After disbanding Team Skull Guzma, the team’s former boss, decides to return to his home on Melemele Island. There, after a once in a lifetime opportunity arises, he is accepted into a teaching position at his old Pokemon school. Though with his infamous reputation, winning over his students will be a tough task. It is one that he is more than determined to take on.
A Naruto Fanfiction
Summary: Blind loyalty is simple. The problem only begins when the world makes you open your eyes. Sakura-centric, AU, pre-timeskip.
A Naruto Fanfiction
Summary: Character study. An accidental meeting brings Zetsu into Naruto’s life as his tutor. With Zetsu trying to sway Naruto to his own philosophy of “the only one you can rely on is yourself”, Naruto discovers that the world isn’t as black and white as his tutor is, that there are at least two sides to every story, and that he has a lot to learn. Hinted NaruIno and NaruTen; grey!Naruto
A Worm Fanfiction
Summary: In the wake of the Locker Incident, Taylor goes comatose. Wracked with guilt, Emma and Madison trigger. Things spiral from there as they quickly go different routes, both seeking redemption in a different way.
A Worm / Supreme Commander Fanfiction
Summary: Frustrated with her school life, Taylor Hebert dons an unfinished costume and goes off into the night to fight crime as a superhero. She stumbles across an infamous crime lord, Lung, talking about killing some kids. Taylor decides she has no choice but to act……and Lung kicks her ass.Not because she’s weak. Far from it. Taylor Hebert is hamstrung by being a moral person with an exceptionally lethal power set, one with horrifying and even potentially global implications.
A Devil Survivor / Persona 3 / Persona 4 Fanfiction
Summary: Midori Komaki from Devil Survivor 1 moves to Tatsumi Port Island to finish out her school year after her home school got wrecked in the Tokyo Lockdown. Less than a week later, she is drawn into the Dark Hour, and joins SEES in response with Black Frost as her Persona. Now, a year later, becomes involved with the events of Persona 4.
A Young Justice Fanfic
Summary: An SI with an Orange Ring ends up in the Young Justice Universe and seeks to advance humanity through advance technology and magic.
Vim & Vigor 8
Hours later, near-evening, I’m stuck at home. The painkillers are mostly working, but I was still feeling a dull throb where I’d been stabbed. Not to mention I feel like crap after everything was said and done.
I had gotten in touch with Taylor once I arrived at the hospital that Cienna took me to. I told her I survived because Circus left me for dead after I passed out. It was a lie, but I felt it was the best that I could come up with that kept the promise I made with Cienna and didn’t want Taylor to know that I got exposed.
She didn’t exactly question it, but she did tell me my parents called her. She stuck with the excuse I gave her, that she didn’t know what happened to me after we parted ways. That gave me some relief, right up until I called home.
Mom had sounded frantic when she picked up the phone. Her voice rasp and cracking like glass on the verge of shattering. And, when I told her that I was at the hospital because I was attacked by a bunch of ABB members who thought I was a member of the Empire Eighty-Eight because of how I looked, it was as if the glass itself shattered along with her heart.
I wasn’t proud of it. I wish that I was smart enough to come up with a better excuse. But I couldn’t at the time, so I had to listen to her crying over the line after telling her they stabbed me in the hand and stole my wallet before leaving in an alley somewhere.
I think she would have had a heart-attack of I’d revealed the full extent of it. That I had been nearly shot, crushed, and literally set on fire, while being chased by an apparently murderous villain.
A police report was filed for obvious reasons, but all I could do was tell them that I couldn’t really describe the attackers outside of being Asian. Again, I wasn’t proud of it and sincerely hoped that they chalk it up to being a random crime and didn’t bring anyone in. If they did, I’d feel even worse about getting someone else arrested for the lie I told.
Dad ended up leaving work afterwards to pick me up from the hospital, since knowing I was safe was enough for Mom to finally get some sleep after she had been up all night worrying about me. The conversation with him was just as awkward, what with me having to lie to his face about it. They thought it was just bad luck that I had ended up being targeted, but if they knew I had gone out specifically looking for trouble I got the feeling that all of that worrying would turn to anger.
Still, I needed to find some way to make it up to them. Not sure what I could do exactly about it, but hopefully I’d think of something by the time my hand could fully heal. The pain flared every now and again, but thankfully there wasn’t any nerve-damage.
While Mom was still sleeping and Dad was at work, I checked online for information to pass the time. Circus had been known as a burglar, but not a murderer. But like Taylor stated, they simply never found a body—and I imagine that a corpse would be easy to hide with her hammerspace power. That might be why Nemean and Heimal go after her so much.
Bzzz! Bzzz! My burner phone ringing in the desk takes my eyes off the computer and onto it. The number on the screen is probably Cienna’s, after she made me give her it on the way to the hospital to cash in those favors I owed her. Giving her my actual number wasn’t happening, and a dummy number was pointless since she knows my name and where I live.
‘It’s Cienna,’ was the first thing she said when I picked it up.
“I know.” After all, there were only two people who knew this number aside from me. “So I’m guess you want a favor now?”
‘What, I can’t call just to check up on you?’
“And the other part is a favor, right?” The line went dead at that, leaving me to wonder if I pissed her off or something. That could be a problem since she knew one of my secrets and I couldn’t really do anything to silence her. Leaving aside the fact that she did save my life, she actually had powers unlike me.
Then I heard knocking on my window. The timing couldn’t be a coincided, could it? I found myself sincerely hoping so, considering the implications.
Tck. Tck. Tck.
Unable to ignore the fact that the volume increased that time, I got out of my swiveling chair and pulled open my blinds. She’s standing outside of my widow with a duffle bag slung over her shoulders. Crap.
“What are you doing here?” I asked as I opened the window and stuck my head out to look around. A lot of the homes in the neighborhood were landscaped to have natural barriers or fences. So while I don’t think someone spotted her, she really sticks out in this neighborhood and the last thing I needed right now someone calling the cops.
“I’m just calling in one of my favors,” she said, unslinging her bag from her shoulder and pushing it through the window. “Now let me in before someone spots me.”
I tried to get in a word against her coming into my room, but she pulls herself in through the window before I can. Just like that I have a girl in my room… while my mother is sleeping a room over and could wake up any second and find her!!! My mouth opened and closed as I looked between her and the door and tried to figure out what to do.
Do I kick her out? No, that’s a bad idea when I thought about it for more than a second. She had powers, I was currently powerless, and pissing her off while she had my secret identity and address will end up endangering my folks. That’s out, along with calling the police or anything else.
Okay, approach this carefully. I took a deep breath to calm down and looked over to her. She’s looking around my room where she’s standing, eyes wandering over the posters and books and stuff. I might not be the best at reading people, but I’d like to think I could at least recognize when someone’s about to kill me. She doesn’t look the part, and she’s been mostly reasonable, so violence wasn’t the immediate threat as long as things stayed as they were.
I walked over to the door and locked it to keep it that way. If Cienna went any further into the house, she could possibly wake my mom. Mom needed her sleep after last night and there was no way I could explain this so that it ended without the cops being called, yelling, and disappointment—or the house being torn down.
The sound of the lock clicking into the place caused her to turn her attention me. She frowned. “I’m not going to go steal anything, if that’s what you’re worried about.”
I shook my head and held both my hands up. “That’s not it. My mom is asleep after being worried sick about me going missing last night. I already went with the story about getting mugged by the ABB, so if she finds you here…”
“A lot of secrets come out that no one wants,” she finished, nodding her head. “Saves everyone trouble if they stayed a secret.”
Good, she at least understood why I did it instead of jumping to the telekinesis and tearing my room apart. I breathed a little easier at that and asked, “Okay, now what favor is it that you needed that was so bad that you tracked me home?”
She pointed to her duffle bag. “I want you to do my laundry for me.”
…What? “You came all the way here for laundry?”
“I did tell you this morning I’d need to use your washing machine and stuff.” She brought a hand to the collar of her shirt and pulled it open. “And I’ll want to use your shower, and some food.”
They weren’t unreasonable requests exactly. Simple things really. The kind that you would offer a friend, like if Taylor came over and spent the night. The only real worry would have been the twenty-questions Mom would put her through… at least before last night.
But I barely knew Cienna and having her here was just asking for trouble. “Can’t I just pay for a motel room or something?”
Her back straightened and she crossed her arms, giving me a sharp look. “Look, Kid. I’m not asking for much this time. Just do these little things for me and everyone comes out ahead.”
I noted the ‘this time’ part and the implication that there would be more requests in the future, but I don’t argue with her further. She held all the cards right now and, aside from the fact that I didn’t like being blackmailed, they weren’t that big of demands. But I was going to have to think of something eventually to cut things if she got to the unreasonable requests.
“Fine, but you can’t leave my room and you need to be gone before Dad gets back tonight,” I tell her, pointing a finger to the door opposite of my closet. “You can use my shower there.”
“Sounds good.” She nodded in approval and then turned her attention to her duffle bag, unzipping it and pulling out a smaller bag. She sat it on my bed before tossing over the larger bag. “Go ahead and put those in. I’ll leave the clothes I’m wearing in the smaller bag for you to dump in with them while I get into my clean ones.”
I caught it and cringed as the scent coming from inside of it catches me off-guard. That distillery smell from when I first spotted her was strong enough that the bag itself was probably in need of a wash. I hold it out at an arms-length by the straps as I opened the door and went out into the hall behind the Living Room to where the washer and dryer were.
I turned the bag upside down and dumped her clothes into the washing machine without sorting colors from whites, or really looking at it all since I didn’t want to ruin the illusion I’ve built up of what women should be like. Sure, I’ve handled Mom’s laundry at times, but your own mother doesn’t count as a woman—they’re different. Once the last of the clothes were in the wash, I poured in the detergent and left the machine to fill up with water.
That out of the way, I took the duffle bag back into my room. Leaving it around for my parents to find or smell was asking for trouble. I flipped it inside out to let it air and then hung it outside of my window as the door to my bathroom opened just a crack and the smaller bag was tossed out haphazardly onto my carpet.
“Greg?” Cienna stuck her bare arm out of the door with my bottle of body wash in her hand. “Why do you have a woman’s brand of body wash in here?”
“I like the smell after I take a shower since it helps me relax.” Plus, that brand doesn’t aggravate my skin the way the normal stuff does.
“Hmm… I’ll give it a try then.” Deciding that on her own, she pulled her arm back in through the gap and shut the door.
“There’s nothing saying men can’t use it,” I mumbled as I picked the smaller bag up. Just like before, I dumped the contents into the washing machine without looking, and shut it so that it could start. That just left me needing to fill the time until she got out of the shower.
Mom cooked last night so I checked the fridge for leftovers. It’s her favorite from the look of it, but it was almost untouched. Did… did she even eat while she was waiting for me?
…Tears sting my eyes as I took a deep, shuddering breath. I was careless and Mom had been worried herself to the point of starving. If she knew what I was doing, she’d definitely have a heart-attack or something.
But, at the same time, I owed Taylor for screwing up her leg. And she’s happy that I’m helping her. Or she appreciated my effort at making up for that. We’re on better terms than before at the very least.
And I was doing something meaningful for once, even if it was a little dangerous. I think I could deal with myself being at risk. But if this was what happened after a close call, how would Mom act if I ended up being killed?
…It was frustrating.
I wanted to keep helping Taylor. I had to, if only to make things right. But I couldn’t put Mom through this sort of thing again. I couldn’t let myself get caught like I did before, screwing up from the moment that can got crushed and turning my back on Circus before I put her down.
But first things first, I had to deal with Cienna’s demands until I could get her out of here.
Please note, if you haven’t seen it yet, there was a bonus chapter posted Wednesday that started off this arc. You may want to use the Previous Chapter button to check that out if you happened to miss it.
“Have you ever wondered why they’re all first-year teachers?”
Blinking across the library table at Vanessa as the blonde girl finished speaking, I asked hesitantly, “Wondered why who are all first-year teachers?”
It was Tuesday, January 16th, a couple days after Avalon, Shiori, and I had met with Seth and Calvin (and Buddy, of course). They had promised to get in touch once they actually had a meeting set with Fahsteth. So on that front, all I could do was wait as patiently as possible.
In this particular case, waiting patiently partly involved working on a project for a Heretical Geography that Vanessa and I had been assigned to…
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Stealth Mode engaged.
“I’m sorry, what the fuck do you mean, Ruthers wants to start a war?”
My voice, as the words blurted their way out of me, was much higher pitched than I was used to. It sounded like Alvin or one of the other Chipmunks was the one demanding answers.
Wait, why didn’t my brain conjure up one of the Chipettes? What the hell, brain?
Despite the fact that we were out on the beach, and using one of the privacy coins, Koren still shushed me, putting both index fingers to her mouth and making a hissing noise before looking around. Lowering her voice, she whispered, “He doesn’t actually want to start a war. Not really, he just wants it to look like he does.”
It had been about a week since what had happened with Hyde and his partner. In the aftermath, I’d found out that Dare…
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So Blackbeard is a heretic and an Argonaut. History has lied to me!
Early March, 1718
Smoke, shouts, and the terrifying boom of cannonfire filled the salty sea air as the man colloquially known as the pirate captain Blackbeard stood on the very edge of his ship. The Queen Anne’s Revenge shook under the force of another round of cannon shots as several struck home. Almost simultaneously, a shout went up from the opposite end of the ship, where a second opponent had come close enough for its soldiers to toss their grapple-lines over and began pulling themselves aboard.
“Boarded, Cap’n!” One of the crew shouted near his captain’s ear. “The Bastion’s got men coming aboard. We’d best be breaking off pursuit, yeah? Let the prize go for another day.”
In response, the man they called Blackbeard turned and pulled one of five different pistols he wore strapped across his broad chest that were already cocked and primed. Pointing it at the man…
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Please note, there was a commissioned mini-interlude posted yesterday focusing on Avalon and Shiori’s conversation after Avalon and Flick’s first kiss. If you haven’t seen that yet, you may wish to click the Previous Chapter button above.
About Seven Years Ago
“Hey, babies.” Sitting on the edge of the bed that her beautiful little girls were sleeping in, Larissa Mason gently reached out to brush the hair away from Sarah’s face. The ten-year-old shifted and blinked her eyes open, yawning briefly before blurting, “Mom, what–”
“Shh.” Smiling still, Larissa held a finger to her lips. “We don’t wanna wake up Daddy. Let him sleep.”
“What about us?” Sarah’s twin sister had rolled over by that point, burying her face against the pillow. Her words came out as a muffled protest. “Can we sleep?”
Of course, both of the girls had their own beds to sleep in. But more…
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The following is a commissioned mini-interlude detailing the conversation between Shiori and Avalon just after Flick and Avalon kissed for the first time. It takes place shortly before Shiori and Columbus left for Christmas vacation.
“You like Chambers.”
Of all the possible things that Shiori had expected Avalon to say to her when the girl had tracked her down in the room that she shared with Rebecca, that definitely wasn’t one of them. Although maybe it should have been, considering how unsubtle she was pretty sure she’d ended up being.
Her mouth opened to voice… she wasn’t sure. Confusion, maybe. Or denial. But when her eyes found Avalon’s, she saw the serious expression there and the words died in her throat.
Instead, all she actually managed at first was a somewhat weak, “Um.”
Yeah, Shiori, the girl thought to herself, that’ll convince Commander Busty McNinja you don’t have…
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Read the rest of the comics at Snafu-Comics – See more at: http://snafu-comics.com/swmcomic/bonding-down-and-matching-frowns/#sthash.wCdzNp6u.dpuf
“But hey, at least this time it wasn’t personal. He just hated me because I was a Heretic, not for anything particularly unique. Although the fact that that was kind of an upgrade was a bit sad.”
Agreed. It is sad that someone wanting to murder you just because of what you are is an upgrade to everything else.
The last major fight that I’d gotten into had been at the Wonderland mall. In that case, there had been a lot more room to maneuver than there was in this little classroom, crowded as it was with so many desks and tables. It might have been a good place to learn in (as far as learning from a genocidal psychopath could be good), but it pretty much sucked as far as gladiatorial arenas went.
But I was learning how to improvise.
Hyde was fast. Wicked fast. Not so long ago, he would have taken me completely by surprise as he lunged clear across the classroom in a single leap. But now, well now I had the reflexes of a werewolf.
He was still at the start of his leap when I began to react. Pivoting on one foot, I hooked the end of my staff around the…
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Chapter 6: Back in Alola 2
Morning light speared through the open roof of the cavernous grove that was known as Verdant Cavern, where rushing water carved out the stone into paths and left the moist cavern rich in moss. Ilima and Hau, with their Smeargle and Incineroar respectively, entered in the wee hours of the morning, just after sunrise. In each of their arms were baskets of berries, two in the case of Incineroar, gifted from the nearby berry field to feed the Pokémon there.
“Just set them down in front of those dens,” Ilima said, pointing towards the entrance of three large rocks hollowed out by powerful fangs as his Smeargle went off towards a different one. “Those are the dens where the Yungoos live. I’ll set the one by the entrance to the Totem Den.”
“You got it, Captain.” Hau turned to his starter pokémon and gestured his head towards the other two dens in the back. “Can you get those for me?”
The Incineroar nodded and lumbered towards the dens, leaving the Kahuna’s grandson to head towards the remaining one. Once he set it down, Ilima whistled loud enough that the piercing and shrill sound resounded throughout Verdant Cavern. A breath later, out came the hungry hordes of Loitering Pokémon to swarm the baskets for berries.
“These little guys weren’t around when I did my trial,” Hau said as he watched them go at it. Some ravenously bit into the berries with their sharp teeth, tearing open the skin to devour the ripe interior in a frenzy that left their cheeks and noses covered in juices. Others, older ones, seemed to take the berries and bring them inside of their den. “What happened to the Rattata?”
“They’re in the dens that we’re leaving alone for now,” the Trial Captain explained. “My trial is the only one on this island since it serves as two instead of one, depending on the time of day. It also means that I’m responsible for keeping both the Rattata and the Yungoos in check. If I don’t feed the Yungoos during the day and the Rattata at night, they’ll start attacking each other and the Totem Pokémon will get involved.”
And when that happened, he was also the one in charge of quelling their violence. It was the duty of the Trial Captain, appointed by the Kahuna, to oversee the Totem Pokémon. It wouldn’t do to have them go on a rampage.
“Wow, so you have to do the work of two Trial Captains, huh?” Hau whistled as the Yungoos continued taking their fill until a pair began to threateningly chitter at one another over an Oran berry. It then turned to squabbling as they howled at one another, and finally violence as they began to nip and scratch at each other as an entangled mass of fur and teeth. “Whoa! Calm down guys, there’s enough to share!”
Hau managed to snatch them both up and hold them apart by the scruffs of their necks as they continued to flail about until a larger one came out and screeched at them. They immediately stopped struggling and instead sulked as best Hau could tell. To be safe, he set them down on opposite ends. They began to hiss at one another again, but the larger one hissed at them in warning and that settled them down for good.
“I admire your dedication to keeping the peace, but that was somewhat risky,” Ilima warned him. “Those teeth can do some real damage, even though the ones around here have been semi-domesticated so that they know better than to attack humans. It would have been better to have one of your pokémon calm them down.”
“Good point.” To his credit, Hau looked somewhat abashed as his gaze shifted to his starter Pokémon.
The male Incineroar, Kamala, was watching curiously as some of the Yungoos carted their berries into the Totem Den, while the basket in front of it was already empty. Then his ears twitched and his head wheeled around towards the large moss rock. The Heel Pokémon began to lumber over until the Yungoos, all of them, stopped what they were doing and began to threateningly hiss towards him.
“Ah, what’s got them all riled up?” Hau wondered as they began to leap forward, just enough to try and drive the Heel Pokémon away. If that didn’t work, they would begin to attack. “Kamala, come back over here. We’re not here to pick a fight.”
Kamala let out a low, guttural sound that bubbled up in his throat as he gave the rock a piercing glance with its emerald eyes. As chill as he was as a Litten, he could get vicious in a serious fight.
“C’mon, buddy,” Hau called again. “They’re not going to be much of a match for you. You really want to pick on a couple of Pokémon that don’t even come up to your knees when we’re getting ready to face Elio and the Elite Four?”
Kamala huffed, not at all intrigued by the prospect. He sought challenge after he’d evolved. So he turned his back on the Yungoos and made his way over to his trainer.
Ilima watched the scenario unfold with his hand on his chin, observing their behavior. “How strange. I could understand if they were being territorial with the Rattata, but this is a first.”
“Maybe they’re just antsy because they’re hungry and this is the first time we’ve been around in the morning?” Hau suggested, patting his starter on the back. “Kamala can be kind of menacing since he got so tall.”
“…Perhaps so,” Ilima conceded, though with a hint of uncertainty in his voice. “Very well. For now, we’ll head back to the city and give them a chance to settle down before I return later on to check on them. If they’re still aggressive then, I’ll have to take action before the Rattata get involved as well. In the meantime, I’ll treat you both to malasadas as thanks for your help before we begin training again.”
“Whoo-hoo!” Hau cheered, a bright grin on his face. The Incineroar’s demeanor also changed, with the Heel Pokémon licking his lips at the thought. Hau had shared many malasadas since they’d been partners and the Incineroar had gained a mighty need for them.
They all made for the exit of the cavern, feeling the eyes of the Yungoos on them the entire way. Once they were outside of it, Ilima set the barricade down in front of the entrance to the cavern to stop anyone else from wandering in. Then they proceeded to walk back to Hau’oli City.
[-A Lily Blossoms in Kanto-]
Watching the trainers and their pokémon disappear down the hill leading towards the city, a male Yungoos huffed as he darted back into Verdant Cavern and towards the large, mossy rock. Climbing behind it revealed the youngest of the group of strange pokémon that had settled into the cavern, the very same one he had basically been relegated into babysitting to keep out of trouble…which was a challenge, given that it kept sneaking out to explore the island. The Yungoos believed that it was a female, since their group as a whole gave off a scent that made a lot of the younger male Yungoos try and curry favor with them—hence that fight earlier between the brothers.
With them gone, she rose to her full height and ran her digits over her antenna nervously. She had gotten curious at the arriving trainers and slipped out of the Totem Den, where she should have remained with the others, and nearly gotten caught. Since one of the orders they had received was to keep the trainers, including the Trial Captain, unaware of their presence, they had turned on the hands that fed them.
It was risky, but at least it ended with no conflict.
Standing on top of the rock, he chittered at her for being so reckless. He understood that she was young and curious, many of their young were after all, but all of the constant running and keeping her out of trouble was tiring. The only reason he did it was because he was ordered to by their leader, the Totem Gumshoos, after her older siblings came in like a pair of Tsareena and stomped both the Totem Pokémon, while their progenitor managed to sway the rest with her scent.
She dipped her head in response, eyes and antenna drooping as she mumbled an apology. That sole act caused another uproar from the other Yungoos around them, directed at him for making her look sad. Many flung sand at him, knocking him about until he curled up to shield himself.
His charge quickly snatched him up and held him close as she released her own pheromones. While it was weaker than her siblings, due to only molting once, it served to calm and render them docile long enough for her to use her long legs to walk over them. She apologized again as she headed back to the Totem Den, gently trying to brush the sand out of his fur.
He only let a rumble leave his throat as they passed through the threshold and into the Totem Den. The Yungoos found it unpleasant since the chamber felt weird, but apparently it felt similar to the strange group’s home. They could absorb the same energy in it that made the Totem Pokémon stronger and store it for when they entered a battle.
Inside of the den, they found her siblings getting ready to spar with one another. Both had their arms out in front and legs in a readying stance as they synced their breathing together. The youngest of the group sat with the Yungoos in her arms and watched as they began.
The middle-aged one opened with a fearsome and blinding kick, bringing her rear leg around and twisting her hips to strike the oldest’s head faster than the Yungoos could track with his eyes. The impact was hard enough that it kicked up a breeze, yet it was blocked as the oldest brought her arm up for a Quick Guard. The defensive aura wrapping around her arm shielded her from the impact of the strike beautifully.
Undeterred, the middling pulled her leg back and thrust it forward twice with a Double Kick. The first of which passed by the eldest as she tilted her shoulder to avoid being kicked in the chest, and the second one she dipped her head so that it passed through empty space. Before the middling could angle her leg down for a Stomp, the eldest snapped her own rear leg around for a Low Kick and knocked her leg from beneath her.
Letting out a minor hiss of pain as she fell backwards, the middling rolled backwards to avoid the impending counter Stomp that was hard enough to leave a small crater despite how lithe their kind’s feet were. Then she snapped back up to see that the eldest was still in a defensive stance, waiting for her.
The middling then began swaying to her side as she bounced from feet-to-feet in a rhythmic manner. Her body slowly glowed with sparkles coming off her, empowered by the mystifying Quiver Dance. She then rocketed off the ground with a Jump Kick.
Bringing up another Quick Guard, the eldest intercepted the strike, only for the middling to bring her other leg around for a Feint-empowered strike that shattered the defensive shield and allowed for the attack to connect. The blow made the eldest take a few steps back, shaking her head to clear it as she tried to ignore the stinging of the blow until she saw another Jump Kick flying towards. Then the oldest sibling was gone, leaving the white blur that was the middling to crash against the wall.
The crash itself was loud, throwing up a spray of stone fragments and rubble. The middling pulled herself out of the impact crater and winced, having clearly hurt herself. But her eyes were fixed on the eldest, who was flickering from position-to-position, having bolstered her speed with an Agility.
Hissing in anger, the middling clasped her hands together and produced a white sphere that she then thrust-kicked. The sphere exploded into a gale carrying silver crescents of power. The Silver Wind attack missed despite the coverage, passing through an afterimage and slamming into the walls… including the one they were under!
The Yungoos let loose a shriek as he realized they would be stricken as one of the silver crescents bore down on them. But before it could connect, the eldest was in front of them. Faster than his eyes could track, she brought her leg upwards and shattered the silver crescent into loose, glittering powder.
She then turned towards the youngest, who had curled down and braced for impact, and inquired if she was okay. Once she got a nod in response, she turned back towards where her other reckless sibling had been and found the spot empty. She then looked around until she felt the air shift from above and found the middling rushing down for them, having used a Bounce to get that high.
Letting out a hiss of her own, she held out her hands as they shone with a white light and then released countless stars that rocketed up to meet her. The Swift attack connected, slamming home with enough power that they knocked the middling out of her attack and sent her tumbling to the ground. The eldest one then went over, pulled her up by the arm, and then marched her over to apologize to the youngest as she held the Yungoos in her arms.
The middling did the opposite. She plucked the Yungoos from her arm and held her down with one foot, leaving the youngest pinned as she dangled him in the air. All while she chided her for goofing around instead of training so that they could take back their territory.
The Yungoos struggled fruitlessly, but that only seemed to annoy the middling. She threatened to Stomp him, much to the dismay of both him and the youngest, until the eldest smacked her on the head. It startled her enough that she lost her grip and he fell down to the ground.
He took that as a cue to leave and immediately scurried out of the Totem Den, away from the terrifying one. He didn’t stop until he was far down the slope and away from them, closer to the rushing water that had carved out the deeper portions of the cavern. Then, and only then, did he stop running and collapsed by the water in exhaustion and fear.
Panting, he wondered exactly why it was him who had to deal with this. Things were so much easier when all he had to do was show up, grab a berry to eat, and lounge around. Now he was hungry and still covered in a mix of sand and silver powder that left him feeling filthy.
Sighing, he crawled into the water’s edge and laid down on the slope with his head sticking out. Letting the running water clean his fur as he ruminated on the good times in the past, he drifted off to sleep until a gnawing in his stomach roused him. The Loitering Pokémon yawned, showing his teeth, before getting ready to pull himself out of the water and finding that he wasn’t in it anymore.
Instead, he was on the shore and sitting on a rock further out with a few berries in front of him. Next to him was the youngest, curled against the wall and her eyes closed as she slowly breathed in and out whilst asleep. Had she been watching him sleep and brought him food as an apology for earlier?
He huffed at the very thought of that being enough… but supposed he could do worse if he had to be stuck babysitting.
[-A Lily Blossoms in Kanto-]
Plumeria’s feet were aching by the time she made it back to Route 13 from visiting Po Town.
The abandoned town that had been the haven of Team Skull had been mostly cleared out, barring the three numbskulls and their Spinda in the Pokémon Center there. Unlike most of the others, they didn’t have homes to return to. So they stayed in the place and made themselves comfortable in the rooms there until they could get enough money to chase their dreams.
Plumeria could relate to them. She didn’t have her mother and father either after they’d gotten themselves locked away, not that they paid all the much attention to her before then. She only had her granny, who had taken her in when she was a runt from overseas, and it hadn’t been easy moving from Orre to Alola to live with a relative she barely knew.
Still, the rest of her dumb little brothers and sisters were scattered now that Guzma had disbanded them and it was her job to look after them. So she’d been checking on them over the last few days. They were mostly going back to their old lives and, while she was happy they were all managing given that occasionally they were too dumb for their own good, it still left her feeling a bit down.
When she arrived in Alola, she was treated like she didn’t belong and hated it. It was only when Guzma showed up that she really made a friend, even if he was a couple of years older than her. When they formed Team Skull as a place for outcasts like them, they also made a place where she could be who she was and belong with them. Now that they were disbanded, she was again without a place.
I should have known it wouldn’t last though, she thought to herself as she got into viewing distance of her granny’s camper and found Molo and Lanai outside of it. The two of them took it after themselves to watch over her granny out of a sense of loyalty to the former Admin of their group, with Molo guarding the outside and Lanai keeping her company. Plumeria was appreciative of them for it.
Lanai spotted her eventually and ran over. “Big Sis, that old dude Nanu showed up with some nerdy-looking guy! They’re inside talking to your granny!”
“I tried to stop them,” Molo said. “But granny told us not to be rude… and then gave us pocket-money to go get some food while she talked in private. But we didn’t spend it.”
“…Alright, I got this,” Plumeria said. “Go get something from the café in Tapu Village. You two look like you’ve been out in the sun too long. We don’t need you passing out.”
They consented and ran off as she walked up to the door of the camper and entered inside. No sooner than she did, the male Stufful that had been lying on the makeshift bedding nearby rose up and greeted her with a cheerful sound. He was happy that she’d returned.
She would have picked him up, if not for Nanu sitting on the couch with a scrawny man that had blond hair and glasses. “Who are you and why are you here?”
“My name’s Molayne.” The scrawny man stood up and held a hand out for her to shake. “So, you’re Plumeria? It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
She stared him down instead for a moment, before judging him as no real threat and then turning to Nanu. “Why you bugging my granny? If you got something you want to complain about, then come find me. Don’t bring her into this.”
“Be polite, Plumeria,” her granny chided her before turning to the two other men. “Forgive my little flower, please. It’s an honor to have a Kahuna and Trial Captain grace us.”
“Trial Captain?” She practically balked as the words came out and gave the man a once-over again. “Never seen you before.”
“I’m a former one,” Molayne explained. “My cousin has the position now, while I just manage the Observatory and Storage System for Alola. But I went through my island trials around the same time that Kukui and Guzma did, before he dropped out. Did he never mention me?”
“No,” she said rather bluntly as she crossed her arms. “Anyway, what’s a former Trial Captain and the Island Kahuna want with us, if not to cause problems?”
“Well, there’s something we were hoping you could assist us with,” Molayne said. “Tell me, how much did you know about the original Team Skull?”
“Granny told me a lot of the old stories when I arrived here, including about them,” Plumeria answered. “They formed around the former Kahuna of Ula’ula Island because he didn’t like the idea of being bound to serving the whims of the Tapu just because he was chosen and tradition dictated it. Eventually, Tapu Village was leveled, leading to the battle between the four Tapu and Team Skull at the time.”
Supposedly, the former Kahuna was former royalty as well. Even after the roles of royalty fell out with Kahunas taking their place, occasionally they overlapped. However, the Kahuna didn’t want the job since it meant being chained to the island and the whim of the Tapu for the rest of his life, so he ignored its desires and allowed the island to drift from the path the Tapu set, with the village at the base of Mount Lanakila being the primary one.
Then the supermarket was built, destroying an old tree that stood there for ages and was supposedly sacred to Tapu Bulu. It finally acted towards the offense by leveling the entire village in retaliation, and Team Skull rose up around the Kahuna, who was said to have lost something dear to him in that incident. Then they stormed the desert to face Tapu Bulu, only to be met with all four of the Tapu and struck down for it.
The Kahuna was ousted from his position, but then was supposedly cursed because of it as well. He died sometime after that as eternal rain and gloom hung over Po Town. It was known as the wrath of the Tapu and served as a warning against going against their wills, fickle as they may be.
After she’d finished recounting that, Nanu decided to speak up. “So then you must know that the name of Team Skull isn’t exactly something most people would throw around lightly. Especially on this island. Even so, you were the one who came up with that name for the second group, weren’t you?”
“And what if I was?” she asked, practically challenging him as the Stufful pushed against her leg in a bade for affection after being abandoned to that motel not far from here and only recently adopted by them. Thankfully, he was trained by whoever had him before, so he didn’t bowl her over in the process. She crouched low and stroked his head to appease him.
“What we want to know is why you chose that name?” the former Trial Captain asked. “You had to know that name carried a bad reputation from the start.”
Plumeria scoffed at that. “Maybe it did to you two, being a part of the traditions of Alola. But to us it carried a different meaning. They were a group of people who felt the traditions and Tapu were unfair and outdated, outcasts who fought to change them and were labeled as being wrong because they failed. We took up their name because we felt the same. All of us were outcasts because of how things worked, the traditions and everything, and we wanted to change them.”
“Except that you were a bunch of kids who didn’t know how difficult it would be to do that and could only rebel by causing mischief,” Nanu said. “Once everyone realized that it was a bunch of teenagers running around and calling themselves Team Skull, they stopped taking you seriously. The only ones who did were the ones who flocked over to that town Guzma claimed to have taken over when it was all but abandoned. And once they were there, they were too stubborn to go back.”
“Watch it, Old Man,” Plumeria said in warning as her eyes narrowed. “Because if it’s a fight you want, we can go outside.”
Her granny looked shocked at the blatant disrespect. “Plumeria, apologize!”
“I won’t listen to him talk that way about those kids I watched over or our boss like that, Granny,” she said, rising to her feet. “Yeah, they were stubborn idiots a lot of the time. But they chose to stick around because they weren’t being judged because they didn’t live up the unfair expectations pushed onto them. They needed somewhere to go and we gave them a place to belong.”
Neither one denied it. They just listened.
“And the island trials weren’t the only traditions we rebelled against either,” Plumeria continued. “We took in anyone who was an outcast because they didn’t conform to the island ways. Whether it was because they didn’t behave a certain way, or look a certain way, or didn’t come from the islands. We looked out for them, even when it was tough and we had to get our hands dirty. So I’ll never apologize for that.”
“…It’s good to see you really have such strong convictions,” Molayne said, adjusting his glasses by the bridge. The glare of the light hid his eyes in the process. “And you’re absolutely right.”
The shock of his admission left Plumeria stunned. “What?”
Seeing her reaction brought a small smile to his face. “Like I said, I traveled around with Kukui and Guzma when we were younger. Though we didn’t think much of it at the time, when Kukui and I looked back on how Guzma changed because he couldn’t live up to the expectations placed on him to be the best among us, we realized that as great as the traditions were, they could also leave people behind.”
“If you knew all of that, why didn’t you do something sooner?” she demanded.
“Because we couldn’t just give up our traditions and throw away part of what made us who we are,” he explained. “So we decided to find a road between them. That’s part of why I worked so hard on getting the Storage System up and running, while Kukui dedicated himself to bringing a Pokémon League here. Pokémon link people around the world through a common interest, which allows for them to become more diverse and accepting.”
He then turned to Nanu. “Isn’t that right?”
Nanu sighed wearily as he stood up and rubbed his neck, only to slouch over and place his hand in his pockets. “The Kahuna were also in agreement that some of the traditions don’t mix well with the present day, such as needing to be an Alolan native to participate in the island trials. So we worked with these guys to get some of them changed, such as that any trainer under twenty-one can partake in an island trial.”
“It wasn’t that way when I got here,” Plumeria pointed out.
“Change takes time,” Molayne stated. “But now it’s come to fruition with the latest Island Challenge Champion also being our first Pokémon League Champion. Kukui’s choice proved that once someone else was given a chance that they could rise to the occasion and become great for Alola.”
A knot of guilt stirred in her stomach at that. The very thing she hated was being fought against by the people they rebelled against. If they had succeeded in crushing him, then she would have only been reinforcing the traditions.
“…Well, what does this have to do with me now?” she asked, her tone a little more hesitant upon realizing that fact.
The former Trial Captain looked over to her granny, who nodded, and then dropped a bombshell. “We want you to enter the Pokémon League.”
There was a long, pregnant pause at that as she looked at all three of them in the face. Her granny looked proud. Molayne’s were closed as he kept smiling. Nanu… well, just looked tired as always. “You’re not messing with me, are you?”
“Not at all,” Molayne assured her. “You’re under the age of twenty-one by about two years, and you’ve lived on the island for over a decade now. Who better than the person who suggested the name of Team Skull in the first place to participate and show that the traditions have changed for all of those kids who you watched over?”
Her lips pursed as she actually thought about it. Personally, she felt that it was too little too late for her own sake. She’d been shunned in her youth because she wasn’t native to Alola and wasn’t permitted to have the same chances their little Champion had now. But, at the same time, it wasn’t about her.
It was about those she considered her little brothers and sisters, who had been scattered when Team Skull separated. They disbanded without accomplishing anything in the end, failing to keep the promises of change that Guzma and she made to them. More than anything, she wanted to correct that so that it didn’t feel like it wasn’t a waste, and to make them proud of being a part of Team Skull.
“What would I have to do to get a Z-Ring?” she asked. Unlike Guzma, who had earned a Z-Ring before he threw it away, she didn’t have one. She’d never taken the trials and the Poisonium-Z crystals she had were ones her Grunts had found, much like the ones they’d gathered for Guzma.
And she had a strong suspicion that Nanu would be reclaiming those eventually.
“We may be pointing out an opportunity for you, but you’ll have to earn it under your own power,” the Kahuna said as he pulled an object out of his pocket and set it down on the table. “You know where to find me. Try not to take too long, but don’t be in a rush, okay?”
He then left out with Molayne, leaving Plumeria to stare at what was left behind. It was an Island Challenge Amulet. The unspoken message carried:
If you want to get a Z-Ring, beat my Grand Trial.
And all sympathy was lost. I hope they can mindwipe Doug, because him learning about a Stranger that could use magic and Wyatt’s competency may cause complications.
Barely a few seconds after I activated the emergency alert stone that Hisao had given us, it crumbled into dust in my hand. Stopping short for just a moment in the middle of the sidewalk just outside of the school, I stared at the dust while a thousand thoughts went through my head. Most of them centered around wondering what the hell had gone wrong this time.
I looked toward Doug, about to tell the boy to try his own alert stone just in case, while I used my phone to call someone. Before I could get the words out, however, the dust in my hand swirled up into the air, forming a cloud that expanded and grew. The dust cloud reshaped itself over the next couple of seconds, turning into the shape of a man. A moment later, the cloud solidified and Hisao was standing there.
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Whelp, circle of revenge continues.
Please note that there was a commissioned mini-interlude focusing on Croc from Eden’s Garden posted yesterday. If you haven’t seen it yet, feel free to use the Previous Chapter button above.
“Have I mentioned,” Doug asked while the two of us jogged down the mostly empty street toward the school, “how weird it is that they’re sending first-year students to check out an active threat? I mean, isn’t it? This guy, if it’s him, he’s killing people. He’s killed people. And they’re trusting a couple first year nobodies to try and deal with it? What—why? Is it just how this Hisao guy does things or what?”
Well, I supposed that actually asking if this was Hisao’s ‘thing’ or a regular Crossroads plan was progress toward the Eden’s Garden substitute’s being accepted. At least Doug didn’t immediately jump…
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Wyatt probably had everything in the Food Court under enchantment. A little paranoia goes a long way… and its not really paranoia in his case, given his past.
“Uh, here’s your order, sir. Will there be anything else?” The scraggly-haired teenager who held the tray full of three cheeseburgers, two orders of fries, two large drinks, and an order of chicken nuggets stared at his customer with wide eyes. He had to tilt his head back to look the man in the eyes.
“No thanks,” the man named Croc replied easily while taking the tray. “This’ll be just fine.” He gave the boy a nod before turning to walk across the mall food court. The boy’s stare was obvious, as were those of several of the people he passed.
It was nothing new. Born a member of the now-extinct Calusa Native American tribe that lived around what was now Florida, Croc had always stood out. He was an enormous man to begin with…
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I know this was a serious moment, but I couldn’t help but laugh at: “Can I be your dork?”
As it turned out, we couldn’t go visit the town that the Aswang (if we were right) had targeted right away. Not because we weren’t allowed to, of course. Hisao assured us that getting out in the field was kind of the whole point of being a Hunter. Rather, we couldn’t go immediately because the other two, Russell and Harper, also asked to go see the town themselves. Hisao thought we should be on the same footing by all going at the same time, so he set it up for the next evening (Monday) to take the place of our normal Hunter track meeting. That way, no one got an unfair advantage by checking the town first.
That would happen tomorrow. Meanwhile, I had another appointment scheduled with Gaia tonight so that she could work a bit more on getting the anchor spell transferred from me to Vanessa…
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That first part was awkward. That last part was just gross.
“I understand that you had a rather important conversation this earlier today with Avalon and Shiori.”
Jumping a bit at the sound of the voice, I blinked up guiltily to see Gaia standing there. I’d been sitting on the bench beside her office door, waiting for her to get back. And apparently, I had been so absorbed with writing in my notebook that I hadn’t even noticed the woman’s approach. Though, to be fair, if she actually wanted to sneak up on me, it really wouldn’t have mattered how much attention I was paying.
“Errr.” Belatedly getting over my surprise at her appearance to notice what she had actually said, I found myself blushing even more. Coughing, I decided the safe response was to ask, “She told you?”
Smiling faintly, the woman gave a slight nod. “Yes, she was surprisingly open about it. Normally I’d have to coax…
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