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 The Darkness Within Him 
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Pokemon Ranger
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I had a feeling it wasn't his dad.

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Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:36 pm
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Right, next update. It's the next part of the Dragon Tournament, and I haven't got a fancy table like last time, so you'll just have to pay special attention to the dialogue.

I'm actually getting quite tired of this tournament, and I'm looking forward to when we can move on...

Anyway, Chapter 22, Part 3...

Quote:
Scarlet looked up at the screen, her eyes shiny with tears, despite the smile that had grown on her face. The camera zoomed in on Xavier’s triumphant grin, and then switched to an equally pleased Alex.

“Okay, I am so confused,” voiced Red. “That’s Xavier’s father?!”

Scarlet nodded, finding herself just as choked up as Xavier appeared to be. “Yes, it’s the whole reason he came with us, Red! He told me during your battle with Morty, and now he’s found him!”

Red looked back up at the screen, as Xavier and his father released their Pokemon. “So…Xavier has been looking for his Dad…the whole of this journey?” he turned to Scarlet quizzically.

Scarlet recognized Red’s puzzlement; they had been friends, and Xavier had kept this from Red. “Don’t question you and Xavier’s friendship, Red,” Scarlet said softly. “Xavier’s the sort of guy who keeps things bottled up. Doesn’t want to burden his friends,” she added.

Red nodded, but he was no longer looking at Scarlet. His eyes were focusing on a distant point, but seeing nothing. “I suppose you’re right,” he said, finally making eye contact. “We’re going to miss the battle if sit here talking,” he added, indicating to the screen. Shelgon and Larvitar were standing in front of their trainers, staring each other down.

“Xavier, the challenger, battles Alex, his father and the leading Dragon tamer of Blackthorn!” announced the commentator. “Let the battle begin!”

“Shelgon! Dragon Pulse!” Alex took the lead, and Scarlet saw the attack on the screen as it built up, before being powered toward Larvitar.

“Jump out of the way!” Xavier called, but his Pokemon disobeyed. Instead, it lifted a nearby floating platform out of the water with its mind, and swung it in front of the attack. The platform remained intact, but the attack had dissipated.

“My other Pokemon obey me,” Xavier said, in response to his father’s amused smirk. “Larvitar’s just a little tricky. But he’s strong, too. Larvitar, Surf!”

From the changing rooms, Scarlet shook her head, a disbelieving smile on her face. Xavier had chosen the attack just to prove his Pokemon’s strength; the attack wouldn’t be effective at all!

She was right. Larvitar focused on the water around it and lifted it up, causing a great wave to wash over Shelgon. The attack did little to the Dragon type, and a triumphant smile appeared on Alex’s face.

”Shelgon, Take Down!” The dragon leapt from one platform to the next, bouncing close to Larvitar.

Xavier ordered his attack swiftly. “Larvitar, Mega Kick!” It jumped into the air, twirled, and delivered a powerful kick to the side of Shelgon as it landed on Larvitar’s platform. It fell into the water with a loud splash, and Xavier continued to order attacks. “Whirlpool!” Larvitar focused on the spot where Shelgon had fallen in, and the water seemed to dip inwards. The water began rotating, and Shelgon broke the surface, the inside of its shell filled with water. It tried to swim to the edge, but couldn’t escape the force of the whirlpool that Larvitar had created.

“We admit defeat!” Alex yelled, and the crowd cheered for the victor. Alex recalled his Shelgon and Xavier brought back his Larvitar. Neither heard the commentator’s words, for they were both regarding one another unspoken words exchanging between them.

***

The moon was a dim orange colour, a hue it takes when it is still low to the horizon. Scarlet sat on a bench, just outside the Pokemon Center. She had her hood up and her cloak pulled tight around her. In the near distance, she could make out two figures, deep in conversation, occasional nervous laughter emerging from them.

A hand on her shoulder made her jump, and she turned suddenly. Red’s concerned expression softened her own. “You scared me,” she stated, turning and looking at Xavier and Alex again.

“I came out to see if you were okay,” Red replied, sitting next to her. “It’s cold, Scarlet, and while that cloak of yours is warm, I don’t think it contends with the warmth of the inside.” He winked at her, but his gesture was met with a soft cry of anguish.

“Oh, Red…” she moaned, and collapsed into his arms. Red froze and did not move. He wanted to stroke her hair, but the gesture was too intimate when Xavier was only a number of meters away. Equally, a pat on the head would have been insincere and so he did nothing. “Xavier’s been looking for his Father the whole time, and I know I should be happy, but I can’t help but hate the fact that he’s found him!” She looked up at him, her teary eyes blinking quickly.

Red frowned. “I don’t really understand…surely you should be pleased?”

“I know!” Scarlet wailed, wiping at her eyes with a tissue. “But Red, what if he wants to stay with him? What if Xavier won’t come with us when we leave for Mt. Silver?”

Red surveyed her cautiously. The stress that she had placed on ‘us’ and ‘we’ had not gone unnoticed, and he felt a weight form in his stomach. He sighed, a little too loudly.

”Scarlet…you don’t have to come with me. If Xavier stays, I’d prefer it if you stayed too.”

She looked up at him again, and Red could see she was hiding her joy, masking it with uncertainty. “Are you sure?” she asked, feigning worry.

“Yes,” Red replied, a sick feeling rising in his chest and his throat. “I wouldn’t want you getting hurt.” He knew that it was what she wanted to hear, something that would give her the excuse to stay with he who she loved, and yet he wished that he had not said it; the climb to the peak of Mt. Silver would be lonely without his friends.

“You’re a kind hearted person, Red,” Scarlet whispered, and she squeezed him, a tight, short hug, that Red returned.

He knew that he had done the right thing, but for who? Scarlet was happy, she’d be staying with Xavier. He’d be happy, because he’d get his girlfriend and his father. But himself? Red would be alone, as he had started out. The idea was not pleasing, and Red excused himself from Scarlet’s company, saying he was going to see if the next tourney tree had been put up.

Scarlet was not alone for long, as Alex and Xavier ambled back over. Xavier sat in the middle, arm round Scarlet, engaged in conversation with his father, reliving the tale of how the Black Cardinal had captured a group of electric Pokemon to summon enough power to look for something or other.

Red wandered over to the Gym, not really noticing that he had lied, and then fulfilled the lie; his destination had been ‘away from Scarlet,’ and yet he had managed to fulfill his lie unintentionally, by arriving at the tourney tree. It took him a few minutes to actually see what was written on the board, for his mind had been focused entirely on his lonely journey.

The board had a notice, saying that battles would be taking place, starting at eight in the morning. The tree showed that his next battle was against Scarlet. Xavier, having defeated his father, would now face a Gym Trainer, and Clair was up against a challenger. If Xavier won, and Clair won, the two would face off. If Red won, he would challenge one of two other Gym challengers. And that was only if he defeated Scarlet…

Red sighed loudly, and turned back, walking towards the soft glow of the Pokemon Center. In the morning, he would be battling Scarlet.

***

Red left the Pokemon Center early the next day, noting that the sun had not yet fully risen. He judged it to be about six, and walked to the entrance of the Gym, intending on watching the sunrise, and was surprised to see Clair standing outside, looking in the same direction.

“I didn’t think I’d be seeing you before our battle,” she said, without looking round.

Red assumed she thought it was someone else; his next battle was against Scarlet. “I’m not battling you next, Clair,” he told her, and she looked round, smiling widely.

”No, but you and I are going to be facing off in the finals, aren’t we?” she tilted her head a little, waiting for an answer.

“You don’t know that,” Red said, frowning.

Clair nodded, arching an eyebrow. “Do you intend on making it to the final?” Red nodded quickly. “And I intend on making it there too. The Gym Leader of Blackthorn and the third strongest trainer in the region; there’s no way we can’t get to the final.”

The sun’s ray spilled over the horizon as a sense of unsettlement twisted in Red’s stomach. “Wait, third strongest?” he asked, his frown deepening.

“You lost to Lance, correct?” she asked, and Red nodded. “Lance isn’t indestructible, not yet, anyway. Even if you had beaten my cousin, you would still have had to face the champion.”

Red’s mouth fell open. “You mean there’s someone stronger than Lance?” he exclaimed.

Clair nodded. “Had it not been for your little black out, you might have become champion that day, and overthrown the most recent one.”

”You know about what happened?” he asked, a sense of excitement rushing through him. “You know what’s in my head?!”

Clair’s smile had vanished. “I have my theories, Red. Lance told me about your battle, and I couldn’t help but feel he was jealous, somehow envious of whatever it was that caused you to lose that match.”

The sun rose higher, suddenly becoming enveloped in a bank of low clouds. “Why would he be jealous of this thing that’s in my mind?” Red asked quietly, the cold memory of Lorelei’s scream surfacing in his mind.

“I don’t know,” Clair answered truthfully. “The consequences of that loss made him angered, somehow, where I expected him to be pleased that he had triumphed over the greatest challenger he had ever fought. He confessed it to me, soon after the battle. Lance has a very different view on the thing inside you than you have, by all accounts.”

Red did not feel that the answers had come. Instead, it felt as if a red hot rod of metal had been thrust into his head and stirred, swirling the questions in his mind together, a jumbled mass of chaotic confusion.

“What do you think it is that lurks within me?” he asked, fearful of the answer.

“Honestly,” she started, “I don’t know. But I believe, I practically know that whatever it is, it’s not good, and the sooner it gets out of your mind, the better.”

Red asked his final question, before the sun burst out of the cloud once more. “How do you know about me and this…’thing?’” He had an awful idea that she might have seen what had happened in the Frozen Cave…

“I’m the founder of the Life Alliance, Red, and I know that you know what it is. Reports of your Gym Battles have been spreading like wild fire around Johto, and with them have been coming stories of something within you. The Life Alliance has viewed you as a potential ally, and I sincerely hope that you’ll eventually join us.”

She looked down at Red, and he could see the sincerity that she spoke of in her eyes.

“I’d love to,” he said, “but I fear that I have to rid whatever has a hold over me first.” It pained him to say it, and he knew that Clair could see the decision he had made.

“That’s noble, Red. And self sacrificial, in an odd way.” She regarded him as one would a difficult puzzle, before turning her attention back to the rising sun. “You and your friend are going head to head today, and you’ve only got a little while until your battle. I’m looking forward to seeing it,” she added with a wink, before walking towards the doors of her gym.

Red was left alone, answers to questions forcing new questions to rise. The Life Alliance had been keeping tabs on him…they knew things. He suspected that they had some answers, too, answers that they were not going to give out just yet. He would wait. Until then, he would earn his last badge, and then take to the slopes of Mount Silver, where he might get some less cryptic answers to his obscure questions.

***

His battle with Scarlet came a lot faster than he had thought; Xavier’s combined power with Larvitar quickly dispelled an agonized Gym Trainer, and his Father had cheered his son along, sitting next to Scarlet and Red, flashing enthusiastic smiles to both of them. Red had joined in, but couldn’t miss Scarlet’s pained looks as Alex cheered for his son.

“And now we have two contestants that will be battling for a chance to battle our wondrous Gym Leader Clair!” the commentator roared, and Red and Scarlet stood up together. “The powerful challenger from Kanto, Red, will be fighting in the red corner, aptly,” the commentator joked, “while the mysterious trainer from Hoenn will be fighting in the blue corner.” Red, despite the flitting excitement in his stomach, had the obscure thought of how daft it was of the commentator to refer to the sides of the arena as corners, and he mentally scolded himself for not concentrating on the upcoming battle.

“Choose your Pokemon!” the commentator ordered as the two of them stood on their floating platforms.

The two trainers released their Pokemon simultaneously, and they both felt the tension rise as they realised one another’s choices.

Red had chosen Arcanine, and Scarlet was using Ninetales.

”And the challengers have both called forth their Fire Pokemon! Perhaps each trainer thought that they would outwit the other by choosing obscure Pokemon for the terrain?”

Red chuckled a little, for that was exactly as he had done; he had intended to offset Scarlet by choosing a Pokemon that had a clear disadvantage on the arena, but she had obviously had the same idea.

“Begin!” called the commentator, and Red wasted no time in waiting for his friend to attack.

“Arcanine, Flare Blitz! Get to Ninetales!” Red’s Pokemon gracefully bounded from one platform to another, its body wreathed in hot flame.

”Ninetales! Energy Ball on that nearby platform!” Scarlet took a tactical position as Ninetales blew up the closest rock, the platform that Arcanine had intended to use to get close.

“Good one,” Red congratulated. “Arcanine, Dragon Pulse! Destroy Ninetale’s base!”

Scarlet, wide eyed, realised what Red was doing; he was forcing her Pokemon to move, and Ninetales had just destroyed its nearest stepping stone.

“Ninetales, stop the attack with Fire Blast!” The ball of blue energy was countered with a five pointed star of fire. Red smirked at his advantage, and Scarlet ran a hand through her hair, clearly worried.

“Arcanine, all she can do it counter! Take the advantage to power up! Focus yourself!”

The fire dog Pokemon crouched down on the platform, and an aura could be seen emanating from it. Scarlet bit her lip, and Red could see that she didn’t know what to do.

“Keep going Arcanine, power up to the limit!” Arcanine howled loudly, and a shockwave powered out from the Pokemon. It was no attack, but it was a display of power.

In that instant, Scarlet’s demeanor changed suddenly; she stopped fretting, and a confident smile flashed across her face. “Psych Up,” was all she said.

Ninetales looked straight into Arcanine’s eyes, and a similar effect occurred again, but the energy wave came from Ninetales; it had stolen all of Arcanine’s power!

“Now Ninetales! Iron Tail!” Imbued with its new found power, Ninetales effortlessly leapt to Arcanine’s platform, before spinning round, the full force of all nine of the fire fox’s tails slamming into Arcanine.

The dog was thrown up into the air and, quite by chance, landed heavily on a floating platform, causing a mini wave of water with the impact.

”Follow it up with Hyper Beam!” She ordered, and a line of white light slammed into the platform, exploding with such force that a plume of water was sent into the air.

“Arcanine, Extremespeed!” Red hurried yelled, praying with all his might that the Pokemon would do as he had commanded. Before the water had chance to settle, a blur raced across the surface of the water, throwing up a spray as it tore towards Ninetales. It hurtled into the Pokemon, and Arcanine came to a stop on Ninetale’s platform, Scarlet’s Pokemon having been pushed into the water. As a fire type, Ninetales had little chance of doing anything afterwards, and a red beam of light recalled Scarlet’s Pokemon.

The crowd cheered at Red’s final tactic that had turned the battle round, and a similar congratulatory roar met him in the changing rooms. Scarlet smiled, almost amused at having been outwitted in battle, and the two shared a brief hug. Xavier then enjoyed a longer hug with Scarlet, and Red and Alex, feeling awkward, talked of the battle, both knowing the uncomfortable feeling that the other had.

“You know what this means?” Scarlet said, having broken away from the squeeze. “All the battles are done, the finals will be drawn up. Xavier will be facing Clair, and you, Red, will be facing that guy you were chatting up at the bar yesterday.”

”I was not chatting him up!” Red replied hotly, “We were arguing about Pokemon!”

“Same thing,” Scarlet joked, sticking her tongue out. “Anyway, whoever wins out of those two matches will be paired up in the very final, the battle for the badge!”

Red nodded, not daring to believe it; he was so close, and it was going to be this evening that he would be leaving Blackthorn for Mt. Silver, or going home, empty, save for a darkness that would be rooted within him for ever more…


Next time, it'll be...

Xavier vs. Clair

Red vs. That dude from Chapter 22 Part 1 that you've all forgotten about and I think I might have rubbished up on.

And then...

Winner vs. Winner

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Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:44 pm
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I like it; one thing though; Shelgon can't learn Take Down

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Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:29 pm
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Ghett0 wrote:
I like it; one thing though; Shelgon can't learn Take Down


I don't really use a Pokedex of moves and what a Pokemon can learn and therefore use in battle, because I'd rather just leave it to logic; Take Down is a ramming attack that inflicts mass damage on the opponent, while receiving a little recoil at the expense of using such a strong attack; Shelgon strikes me as a Pokemon worth using that, and it has legs, is strong, and therefore should be able to have access to it. The fact that the game says it can't, doesn't really factor in my mind, it's just what a Pokemon looks like it can do.

Ooh, that's an idea...

Ghetto, you are a star. You have just given me the perfect idea for the sequel. You need to post more here. :P

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Mon Dec 03, 2007 1:09 am
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Same thing that I don't think Larvitar can learn Whirlpool either.
And yes, I don't even remember "that dude". But it matters not, because I just watch for the battles.
And who does Scarlet have a crush on anywho, Red or Xavier? Because when Scarlet fell into Red's arms, all I could think was 0_o.
Still, this should be interesting, but I could expect nothing less from you.

- DNA

Edit:
Quote:
This Larvitar's special! >:O Heheh, it's always been special since Xavier captured it.


That's my point.

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Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:57 am
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Wolf wrote:
“Arcanine, Extremespeed!” Red hurried yelled, praying with all his might that the Pokemon would do as he had commanded.


Small grammatical error there, but this is good otherwise.

I always have liked the idea of a Ninetales with Iron Tail.

The moves thing is fine by me, I could care less what they could actually learn. In fact, I've decided that a character in my story will have a Pokemon that knows a move that it can't learn in the game. Vaporeon SHOULD be able to use BubbleBeam...

This is very good. So good, in fact, that this is the writing I am analizing to improve my own. You have a great future ahead of you. I'll bet you 5 psybucks you will be the next J.K. Rowling.

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Mon Dec 03, 2007 3:04 pm
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Thunder_dude7 wrote:
Wolf wrote:
“Arcanine, Extremespeed!” Red hurried yelled, praying with all his might that the Pokemon would do as he had commanded.


Small grammatical error there, but this is good otherwise.

I always have liked the idea of a Ninetales with Iron Tail.

The moves thing is fine by me, I could care less what they could actually learn. In fact, I've decided that a character in my story will have a Pokemon that knows a move that it can't learn in the game. Vaporeon SHOULD be able to use BubbleBeam...

This is very good. So good, in fact, that this is the writing I am analizing to improve my own. You have a great future ahead of you. I'll bet you 5 psybucks you will be the next J.K. Rowling.


I remember the time I forgot a suffix on one of the words on a spelling test.... hehe.

Obsidian wrote:

Ghetto, you are a star. You have just given me the perfect idea for a sequel. You need to post more here. :P


Why thank you. And I will start posting here more often. I always have liked books...

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Mon Dec 03, 2007 3:52 pm
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Quote:
And who does Scarlet have a crush on anywho, Red or Xavier? Because when Scarlet fell into Red's arms, all I could think was 0_o.


Well, I've been toying with the idea of Scarlet having an affair with Red, but I'm not really sure if I like the idea of it...but I'm not shooting all my chickens before they hatch. (Nice spin on the old proverb...:P)

Quote:
Same thing that I don't think Larvitar can learn Whirlpool either.


This Larvitar's special! >:O Heheh, it's always been special since Xavier captured it. ;)

Quote:
This is very good. So good, in fact, that this is the writing I am analizing to improve my own. You have a great future ahead of you. I'll bet you 5 psybucks you will be the next J.K. Rowling.


*blushes* you're too kind. I'd aspire to be as good as that though, difficult though it may be...:P

And the more the merrier Ghett0. I'm getting close to the climatic battle...

Watch this post; it might suddenly be updated with a new chappie that I'm working on. ;)

Again, thanks people for following this!

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Tue Dec 04, 2007 12:00 pm
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Will you do me a favor? When you publish your first book, could you post the title here? I would like to read it.

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Tue Dec 04, 2007 3:47 pm
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Another thing; stop posting them in the quotation box, it irritates my eyes as I have to stare at it to read. Plus gray and white don't look pretty together. And I'm a little more sure you'll be a very great writer some day than Thunder_Dude7. I'll bet 30 psybucks.

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Tue Dec 04, 2007 4:27 pm
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Heck, he's a great writer now. 99999999999 ect. ect. ect. psybucks!

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Tue Dec 04, 2007 5:50 pm
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Actually, Infinite psybucks. ;) And in the last chapter posted I think things happen a bit too fast; your skipping little tidbits and it makes it seem like that.

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Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:11 pm
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Infinite x infinite x infinite ect. ect. ect. infinite times.

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Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:28 pm
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Thunder_dude7 wrote:
Infinite x infinite x infinite ect. ect. ect. infinite times.

Enough please. And even so that would still equal infinity.
Still, I wouldn't be surprised if you became a renowned writer, Obs. You and Crimson are the two greatest fanfic writers I've ever seen...As always, keep up the good work.

- DNA

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Ive been very busy with "affairs" recently, with no time to go on psypokes to read this awesome fanfic.(is breaking my thumb an affair?). Anyways, I agree with obs, I dont think it would help to have something going on with red and scarlet. Although thier names make it seem like their should be. Also, not to say this story is losing its zip, but you should put more action/drama in it.

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Sun Dec 09, 2007 9:11 pm
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yoyoyo4582 wrote:
Ive been very busy with "affairs" recently, with no time to go on psypokes to read this awesome fanfic.(is breaking my thumb an affair?). Anyways, I agree with obs, I dont think it would help to have something going on with red and scarlet. Although thier names make it seem like their should be. Also, not to say this story is losing its zip, but you should put more action/drama in it.


But that's the thing, it is losing its 'zip' because of this blasted tournament. I didn't anticipate how long it would take me to get through it, and now it's really losing sight of the main plot...

The next chapter (which I am nearly finished with) includes a little snippet of Red's Darkness, so that might bring you all back round to the main plot.

Just a few more battles, and then one final battle between the two...finalists. :P Then we can proceeeeeeeed!

Oh, and I hope your thumb's better. ;)

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Okay, I'll lead with apologising for the lack of updates, but I have good news:

I have completed the last chapter, and all the others! :O

Font-size differentiation aside, I have a mega update of the last two chapters of the Dragon Tournament, and another chapter after that.

Watch out, there's a massive plot 'twist' at the end of the third chapter in this update!!

Quote:
Chapter 22 – Part 4

Red sat on the grassy edge of the lake behind the Dragon Gym. A school of Magikarp drifted lazily in the water, their movements causing little ripples to catch and reflect the high sun.

It felt odd that just hours ago, he had defeated his friend, Scarlet, in battle, and how he would be battling in the semi finals in mere minutes.

The rest of the day had gone past idly, but quickly. The whole of Blackthorn had been set alight with their furious passion for battling, and they were eager to see who, out of the four remaining trainers, would win the battle.

Having left Scarlet, Xavier and Alex, Red had wandered outside, removing his shoes and socks and letting his feet dangle in the water. Xavier and Scarlet had spent a lot of their time together, and now that Alex had surfaced as Xavier’s father, Red was left quite on his own. A lone Magikarp broke off from the group, and swam slowly closer to Red, searching through the submerged weeds for food, or just out of curiosity.

Seeing the water Pokemon, Red addressed the problem that he had been putting off since he entered; he didn’t have a water Pokemon. While Clair’s specialty was Dragon Pokemon, she seemed to be adept at controlling her Pokemon in the water, and so Red’s Nidoking, while able to swim, would not be strong enough to be of any use.

Red looked down again at the Magikarp, a wild thought flying into his mind. He dismissed it quickly; he wouldn’t battle effectively with a Magikarp, no matter how good a trainer he was. But no sooner had the thought been dispelled, a plan formulated in his mind, and he found a strategy working its way round, clicking together and cranking like the cogs of a rarely used machine.

Red took out an empty Poke Ball.

***

Xavier laughed loudly at his Father’s story of how he’d crushed a challenger just last month with only his Shelgon’s Tackle attack. The three of them sat around a table in a bar in Blackthorn, waiting for the next round to begin. He looked quickly at Scarlet, and was pleased to see that she was laughing along with them. When he had talked to her after his battle with his father, she had been distant, almost cold. But now she seemed to be settling with Xavier’s father, and they were getting along like old friends.

“Red’s been gone a while,” Scarlet noted, earning a swift look from Alex.

”He’s very powerful,” he started, but then caught himself, as if unwilling to go on.

Xavier arched an eyebrow. “What?” he asked, and his father bit his lower lip.

“I know it’s rude but…is he ‘all there?’” he winced as soon as he said it, for he knew he had offended Xavier.

“Yes,” Xavier replied, trying not to let his father know that he had been angered at this comment. “He’s more than ‘all there,’ as you put it.” Xavier was noting on the darkness that made Red do the things he did, and went to say more on it, but was interrupted by Scarlet.

“Red’s convinced that there’s something in his head, like a demon, that makes him do weird things.”

Alex frowned. “Like what?”

Scarlet and Xavier looked at one another, the same thought crossing their minds.

Lorelei.

”Well,” Scarlet continued awkwardly, “he talks to himself sometimes…” she felt foolish saying it, and a little guilty at talking of her friend like this.

Alex laughed. “I’m glad you choose your friends wisely,” he said, smirking at his son.

The two of them had not laughed, for they had seen over Alex’s shoulder. Red looked at the three of them, a display of anger and hurt forming his expression.

“You think I’m crazy?” Red asked quietly, directing the question at Scarlet.

Alex answered. “Your friends were having a joke, Red, don’t get uptight about-“

”Uptight?” Red asked, arching an eyebrow in mock surprise. “My ‘friends’ are sitting here, telling a stranger about everything in my life, and are then surprised as to why I react like this?!” he exclaimed. He was clenching his fists tight, and something in the back of his mind told him to calm down, but it was suppressed by dark rage.

“He’s more than a stranger,” Xavier replied quietly.

Scarlet stood up, and moved towards Red, as if to hug him, but he blocked the gesture. “Red, we’re sorry. Alex isn’t going to tell anyone, it’s not like we meant any harm.” She looked at him with wide eyes, pleading for his forgiveness.

“I’m going to go and prepare for the battle,” Red replied, turning away from the group.

Alex grimaced at Xavier and Scarlet. “Sorry guys,” was all he said, and the three sat in silence.

***

Red stood on the floating platform, his opponent confidently tossing a poke ball up and down. The commentator blared out his name, and then his opponent’s, and the crowd cheered. Red knew that he should be thinking about the choice he was about to make, and yet he could only focus on his friends’ discussion about him.

They had been telling a man that they have only just met about the problem that Red had…how could they be called ‘friends,’ if they were revealing Red’s secrets that he had trusted them with?

With a jolt, Red realised that the commentator had been announcing the Pokemon. His opponent, a young man named Scott, had chosen a Golduck, and Red hurriedly took out his own Poke Ball.

He knew it was a gamble, a massive one, but he didn’t feel like he cared anymore. Red knew that deep down, he did, but that sinking feeling he had felt when he had caught them gossiping…

“Go! Magikarp!” cried Red, hurling out his newly captured Pokemon. The crowd was silent as the red fish floated in the water. Then someone started to laugh, and the whole audience was soon gripped by the sheer madness of Red’s choice. His cheeks burned crimson, but he knew his plan.

“Tackle attack!” Red cried, and Magikarp dutifully responded, swimming quickly towards Golduck.

“Is this some kind of a joke?” Scott asked, part of him angry, the other bemused. “You insult me by thinking that you can take me on with that weak thing?” He gestured to the fish, before ordering an attack. “Golduck, dodge and use Psychic.”

Magikarp leapt out of the water, aiming for the blue Pokemon, but Golduck jumped to the next platform, before spinning round and launching its attack. Its eyes flashed, and Magikarp was held, suspended in the air by a glowing light.

“Hold on Magikarp.” Red’s words were not of encouragement, but orders, just like the attacks. Magikarp writhed a little, trying to escape, but was no match for the more experienced Pokemon’s technique.

“Golduck, Bubblebeam!” Scott ordered. Red could see that he was toying with him, not wholly finishing him off. A spray of immeasurably fast bubbles blasted forward, hammering into the fish Pokemon, flashes of pain flickering over its face.

“Keep it up Magikarp!” Red yelled and, through the pain of the attack, Magikarp slightly opened one eye, meeting Red’s determined own eyes.

“Now Hyper Beam!” cried Scott. “Finish it off!” Still gripped by the Psychic attack, Magikarp squirmed as Golduck began building up energy around its beak.

“Magikarp! It’s focused on the beam attack, struggle free now!” Red ordered, knowing that this battle, the whole quest for the badge, hinged on this act of his Pokemon.

The red fish shook itself, pulling its body out of the aura that kept it suspended. All the while, Golduck continued to power up, and Magikarp squirmed harder and faster to avoid the blast. Just as it broke free, the attack was launched, and Red’s eyes widened in horror as the edge of the blast caught Magikarp, sending it glancing off into the water.

The crowd cheered and jeered, assuming that Scott had won. Red looked fearfully into the water, as Magikarp’s body floated to the surface, upside down.

Had he lost?

The commentator began to announced the victory, but Magikarp had suddenly righted itself, and was powering towards Golduck, speed fuelled by rage. Red grinned, and ordered his final attack; “Magikarp! Flail!”

As the fish neared, Scott stumbled over his words, unsure how to react. All of a sudden, Magikarp was out of the water, and had barreled into Golduck, knocking it into the water. With power unrivalled, Magikarp flicked its tail up, tossing Golduck into the air. But Red had kept his eyes on his Pokemon. Surely, the power of his opponent should have given it enough experience…

Red’s hopes were confirmed. Magikarp began to shine a brilliant white and its body elongated, so that its head was pushed up into the air, so quickly that it caught up with Golduck, still airborne. With a final flash, Magikarp finished its evolution, and Gyarados bit down hard on Golduck, before violently hurling it back down into the water.

The crowd was stunned into silence. Then, as if they had all realised the events of the battle, that a Magikarp had defeated a Golduck, they burst into applause and cries and whoops. Red held out his Pokeball, recalling his newly evolved Pokemon, almost forgetting about his problem with his friends. However, the memory reared its head as he stepped into the changing rooms. The three of them sat together, not a word spoken between them. As they saw him, they all stumbled over their congratulations, before falling back into silence again. Presently, Xavier stood up. “Red. We’re sorry. We shouldn’t have told my father about you without you being there. He’s my family, and I’m not going to hide anything from him, but I see that we were wrong to tell him without your consent.”

Red waved his hand, unwilling to lose his friends over a petty disagreement. “It’s no fault of yours, Xavier, I’m just a stubborn git.” The four of them laughed a little, and Red could manage a genuine smile.

“You beat that dude with a Magikarp, Red.” Scarlet noted. “I’m pretty impressed, and I think I see why.”

Red smirked. “Go on then, reveal my master plan.”

“Well, none of your Pokemon have the ability to battle effectively in the water, which hasn’t been a problem up until now. Only the best have got through, and if you go up against Clair, you’ll be taking her on in the water, which is where her specialty lies. So, you needed to get a powerful water type Pokemon that you could train easily. Magikarp, I suppose, was the best candidate. And now you have perhaps the best water type in the Pokemon universe!”

Red nodded. “Got it in one, was it that obvious?”

“Perhaps not the best,” came a voice behind Red, and he turned to see Clair, smiling widely. “I would like to think, as Gym Leader, that I have the best water type Pokemon, even if I am a dragon trainer.” She smirked at Red. “Pretty good going, defeating Scott with a Magikarp. He underestimated you, I promise I won’t do the same.”

Xavier cleared his throat. “I’m sorry Clair, but you haven’t actually beaten me yet, there’s no guarantee that you’ll even get into the finals.”

Clair fixed him with a piercing gaze. “I’ll defeat you, Xavier. Don’t go clouding your head with visions of victory, because they’ll soon be blown away.” She looked up at the screen. “Oh, look. Our names, it seems that we’re about to see who’s right.” She winked at the group, before going out into the arena to passionate cries of support.

“Do you think I stand a chance?” Xavier asked his father.

“For the sake of your feelings, yes,” Alex responded. “Realistically, no.” He laughed, and Xavier did too, though he felt a twinge around his midriff; this wasn’t going to be an easy battle.

***

Clair and Xavier stood facing one another, standing on the platforms that Red and Scott had just waged their battle on. The commentator’s pitch reflected the crowd’s excitement, as he ordered the battle to commence.

“Go Milotic!” cried Clair, and she tossed her Poke Ball into the water. A flash, and then a breathtakingly beautiful Pokemon surfaced, a serpentine water type. It slipped through the water with grace, and its crimson tendrils floated about behind it.

”Flaafy!” yelled Xavier, and chose his sheep Pokemon. Red noted how Milotic was so much more stunning than Xavier’s plain ‘pretty’ Pokemon. “We’ll lead! Thunderbolt!”

The attack was launched directly into the water, but Milotic made no attempt to avoid the blast. “Mirror Coat,” ordered Clair as the attack struck the water Pokemon. Its body flashed a multitude of colours as the electricity enveloped it, before being cast back at the attacker in the form of a white beam.

Flaafy was knocked into the water by its own attack, and it was now that Milotic moved with a speed that none would have thought it held. It wrapped its body round Flaafy, and the pink Pokemon cried out.

“Flaafy, use Thu-“ Xavier’s voice cut out as Milotic moved beneath the water, dragging Flaafy under with it. Flaafy’s cry gurgled into silence, and Xavier yelled into the depths of the lake. “THUNDERBOLT!”

Nothing happened. The water remained entirely still, save for a small burst of bubbles that abruptly stopped.

“We quit.” Xavier said it so quietly that Red, watching from below thought that he had heard incorrectly, but the commentator wasted no time in announcing it louder.

Milotic surfaced with a choking Flaafy as the crowd cheered for the Gym Leader. Xavier withdrew his soggy Pokemon, and Flaafy vanished with a tearful expression on its soaked face.

”I told you I would not lose,” Clair said, smugly. She smiled at Xavier, before turning to a hushing audience. “Spectators!” she cried, with a louder voice than any had imagined. “You have watched these battles with fervor and passion, and now you will witness the greatest of them all! I summon Red to the battlefield!”

The crowd cheered, and Red stood up.

Here we go, he thought.



Okay, and here's the next one:

Quote:
It had been a long time since Blackthorn had seen anything as dynamic as the finals of the Dragon Tournament, and the change of pace in the lives of the people was a massive one. The most powerful Gym Leader in Johto was protecting her badge from the most powerful challenger to walk the lands. The crowds hushed as the two combatants spoke to one another.

“I know what this battle means to you, Red,” Clair said, and Red nodded. “I know that this battle will determine whether your journey has been a waste or not. But I can’t let that hinder me in battle. I will fight you with the power that I hold and with the passion that every Gym Leader feels within their hearts.”

Red nodded. “If you know how much this battle means to me, Clair, you’ll know that I won’t lose it.” The crowd could sense the tension in the air.

“It’s going to be a good fight,” Alex whispered to Xavier and Scarlet, the three of them having joined the audience as they had all been eliminated.

Xavier nodded. “I really can’t say who will win,” he admitted, and Scarlet murmured her agreement.

“Would the challengers choose their Pokemon!” cried the commentator, his voice a loud and booming interruption, overriding the pre-battle banter between Clair and Red.

The two challengers both chose their Pokemon at the same time. Red released his Gyarados and Clair released a large blue Pokemon that Red hadn’t seen before.

“Oh no…” whispered Alex, and Scarlet and Xavier turned to look at him, expressions of puzzlement on their faces. “Clair’s using her Kingdra. Red hasn’t got a hope in hell.”

Clair was talking. “This has been my Pokemon since I first started training, Red. You hope to defeat me with your inexperienced Gyarados?”

“Hope doesn’t come into this. I know I’m going to win.”

Clair smirked arrogantly. “We’ll see. Kingdra, lead with Octazooka!”

Red hadn’t heard of this attack, and didn’t know how to react. Gyarados was splattered with a black substance, but remained unharmed. Red laughed. “Pretty weak for the best trainer in Johto, Clair. Gyarados, show Kingdra your Hyper Beam!”

Clair, however, did not seem bothered by the weakness of her attack, and merely watched as Gyarados powered up an energy attack. The blast was fired, but fell short of Kingdra by a couple of meters, yet Kingdra had not moved.

“What the…?” Red was speechless.

“Secondary effect, Red,” Clair pointed out. “Not all moves are solely about damage. Octazooka lowered your Gyarados’ accuracy. Now it’ll fall prey to our own Hyper Beam!” Kingdra returned its own blast, and the attack slammed into Gyarados. The serpentine Pokemon roared, and its colossal body fell into the water, a great wave rising from the impact.

“Gyarados!” cried Red, before looking at Kingdra. The Pokemon had barely moved, and yet it had already severely weakened his own. “Get up and use Dragon Dance!” Gyarados’ head appeared above the surface, and before long, its long body was raised out of the water. Lightning crackled around the Pokemon, and the water around its body’s base was beginning to steam.

“Kingdra, don’t let it power up! Weaken it with Flash Cannon!” This was another attack that Red wasn’t sure of, and a silver beam lanced through the air, before striking Gyarados’ body. The attack wasn’t as damaging, but it was enough to distract the Pokemon.

“Gyarados, go underwater, use Tackle!” Red’s order brought a smile to Clair’s face.

“Kingdra, Smokescreen. Then use Rain Dance.” The dragon dipped beneath the water, and from its diving point, a black cloud emanated under the water. Then it surfaced, and a mist rolled across the lake, before rising and forming big rain clouds. They burst open in the arena, and Red shivered with the cold.

Underwater, Gyarados struggled to see where Kingdra was. It thrust in this direction and that, eventually giving up and surfacing again. The visibility was just as bad due to the rain.

It was then that the battle took off. Clair ordered her attack; “Dragon Rage, Kingdra!” A small disturbance could be seen in the water, traveling quickly, Gyarados’ eyes followed it as the shape drew closer. As it hit Gyarados, there was an almighty explosion, and Gyarados roared in pain. Kingdra appeared above the water, having rammed into the Pokemon, before vanishing again for another round.

“Gyarados! Use a beam attack in the water! Try and stop it from hitting you!” Red’s order was vague, but Gyarados obeyed. It fired multiple beams into the lake, sending great plumes of water into the air. Suddenly, Gyarados roared again; Kingdra had struck once more. “Thrash!” cried Red, and Gyarados responded quickly. It began to writhe and lash out with its tail and fangs, and before long, the water foamed and frothed with the activity. A sudden wail told Red that an attack had hit Kingdra, and the Pokemon was thrown out of the water away from Gyarados, before splashing back in.

“Interesting,” was all Clair had to say. “But it’s time to stop playing about. Kingdra, Dragon Rush!” As Gyarados’ attack was fuelled by pain, Kingdra’s was fuelled by rage. It darted forward, dived beneath Gyarados’ flailing tail, and head butted Gyarados hard on the skull. The great Pokemon roared and, by luck as opposed to intention, tossed its head to the side, slamming into Kingdra with great force.

“Hyper Beam!” cried Red, taking advantage of the luck. Gyarados had done more damage than usual due to the previous Dragon Dance, and the beam was laced with those same sparks as it obliterated Kingdra as it fell through the air. Its charred body hit the water and steamed with a slightly sickening hiss.

Clair was speechless. The battle was over, and she was not the victor. It did not make sense.

The crowd erupted into cheers and the commentator went wild at a challenger defeating the Leader. Red recalled his Gyarados before holding his hands up high, basking in the audience’s praise.

Clair held out her Poke Ball and Kingdra vanished gratefully inside. Her eyes were wide and her mouth slightly open, but she composed herself and donned the smile that her cousin was so fond of wearing; an arrogant one.

“Congratulations Red,” she said, tossing something underhand over the water. He caught it and held it up to the light. The badge glinted, and Red felt an overwhelming sense of pride at his achievement. He could hear Xavier and Scarlet cheering in the stands, and waved to his friends, but suddenly stopped as he saw Alex. He remembered Scarlet’s talk with him, how she would stay if Xavier wanted to remain at Blackthorn with his father.

He had won the badge, but he may well have lost his friends.

***

Red stood in the Pokemon Centre, quite alone as he packed his things into his bag. He had bought a lot of food, perhaps more than he needed, but he did not want to pack too little for his journey up to the mountain. He rolled his sleeping bag up, tucking it in, before clipping shut his bag and slinging it over his shoulder. Red walked over to the Pokemon Center doors, looking back at all of Xavier and Scarlet’s things, unpacked and going nowhere. Red was going alone.

No sooner had he stepped out of the Pokemon Centre doors, a voice called to him. He turned and saw Clair beckoning, before vanishing inside her Gym. He sighed, wanting very much just to get on with his journey and leave. He didn’t want an emotional farewell with his two friends; he wanted his last memories of them to be of their smiling faces, cheering him on, not tear-stained and heart-broken. He laughed a little to himself, scolding his self-love. They were good friends, but he doubted that they would have been reduced to tears over his departure.

He pushed open the door to the Gym and walked inside, shocked to see bubbling pools of lava sporadically dotted about the Gym.

“Oh, they’re just something of a project I’m working on,” came Clair’s voice, a little way off. “But that’s not why I called you here.” She walked towards him, clearly worried about what she was going to say. “The Life Alliance, as you know, has been watching you. You knew this already, but there were things we discovered that we couldn’t tell you. We’ve known for a long time that your ultimate quest was to ascend Mt. Silver, Sabrina told us soon after she directed you to go there. What I have to tell you is this; we had a spy in the Doom Project, and from him, we have learnt that the Doom Project have been gathering their forces at the peak of Mount Silver.”

Cold sweat immediately covered Red’s body, and icy hands ran down his back. “The Doom Alliance are at the top?”

Clair nodded. “And not just them, but their leader as well. His identity has been shrouded in mystery ever since the Doom Project’s creation, known only as ‘The Last Messiah.”

Red’s breath caught in his throat. Just minutes before Lorelei had died, she had told Red of how she had been serving the Last Messiah, and that it was his wish to obtain Moltres, and to have Red killed. What if they were gathering there to kill Red? Would he be walking into a trap?

Clair had continued talking. “Of course the first thought that crossed our mind was ‘what is the importance of Mt. Silver?’ All the best trainers have been to the summit and – no offence intended to you,” she added. “But yes, there is nothing at the peak that would interest them, and that’s what leads me to think that they might be planning on luring you there…”

Red nodded thoughtfully. “When I asked Sabrina for help, she told me that the thing inside my mind would only go when I reached Mt. Silver.” He realised that tears were beginning to form in his eyes. “Clair, what if she meant that the only way to get rid of this darkness within me is to die?”

Clair frowned. “What on earth are you talking about?”

“Well, what if Sabrina knew that my death was fated to meet me at the top of Mt. Silver, and she told me that this was how I escaped the thing inside me; by dying.”

Clair shook her head. “Certainly not. When I spoke to Sabrina, she assured me that while she could not remove the darkness, whatever happens atop Mt. Silver will, ultimately, free you from it.”

Red felt a little better, though he disliked being kept in the dark. “In that case, I’d better get there as soon as possible. I’m scared, Clair, but I know that everything I’ve gone through on this journey is for the sake of getting to the top, and I’m not about to waste that.”

Clair nodded thoughtfully, toying with a charm on her necklace. Red noted that it was a dragon’s tooth and as he looked, he found himself transfixed by it, as a person does when they meet someone they haven’t seen in a long time and yet can’t remember their name.

“Then I wish you good luck,” Clair said, breaking Red out of the trance. “You’ll need it. I’ll be here at Blackthorn if ever you need me.”

Red thanked her and headed for the door.

“Oh, and Mt. Silver is to the east of Blackthorn, but you’ll need to go to Newbark Town, and then east up Tohjo Falls before you get there. And Red: Thank you for the battle.” Clair smiled a genuine one, free of arrogance as Red closed the Gym’s door.

“I suppose you were just going to leave Blackthorn without saying goodbye?” demanded an angry Scarlet, and Red fell back against the Gym wall with fright.

“God’s sake Scarlet, you nearly killed me!” Red smiled sheepishly at Xavier and Alex who had also followed her.

“Red…” Xavier began, but Red stopped him.

“Don’t trouble yourself by asking it of me Xavier, I’d prefer it if the both of you stayed with your father.”

Xavier frowned, bemused. “How did you know I was going to ask if I could stay?”

Red shrugged, avoiding Scarlet’s eye contact. “Not sure, just figures, I suppose. It was the reason you came with us, after all.” Red wasn’t sure if he had meant to include that venomous comment or if it had just come out wrong. Xavier looked a little stung, but Red laughed, allowing him to assume that he was joking. Red wasn’t sure if he was or not…

“I suppose this is goodbye,” Scarlet muttered.

Xavier rolled his eyes. “Please, Scarlet, cut the Hollywood crap, Red’ll be back soon.”

“Where’s Hollywood?” Alex voiced, but he was ignored as Scarlet, Xavier and Red pulled together in a tight hug.

“I’ll miss you guys,” Red whispered as he let go of them. He could feel himself getting choked up, but was determined not to let the tears start falling.

Scarlet beat him to it, falling forward and squeezing Red. “You’d better not get hurt!” she cried between sobs. Xavier put an arm round her and smiled at Red, almost amused.

Scarlet slapped his arm. “And you can stop smirking,” she said through a teary smile.

The three laughed, and the silence that came after was highly awkward.

”I’ll be seeing you then,” Red said eventually, and broke off from the group. The remaining three waved and wished him luck. With the setting sun to his left, Red walked defiantly south, heading for Newbark Town, and from there, to Mt. Silver…


Okay, and the journey there...

Quote:
Red had taken his friends for granted. As he walked down the gloomy hill towards Newbark, he hummed to himself, hating the silence that his friends would have filled with mindless chatter. Though glad to have lost Eusine’s incessant droning, he wouldn’t have begrudged yet another recollection of how he’d braved the electric storms of Hoenn while it underwent a massive weather change, all because he’d put two orbs in the wrong place on some mountain.

The sky was growing dark, quickly, now that it was winter, and Red illuminated the path with his torch. The leaves had all abandoned their trees, and there weren’t many left on the ground to even vouch that they had ever lived on their branches. A frost was settling on the grass, and Red had pulled out his jacket to wrap himself up warm.

He had intended to travel south and get to Newbark before the night was too advanced, and then spend the night there before continuing in the morning. He had misjudged the amount of time it would take him, however, and the silent night and bitter chill conspired to bring about an intense feeling of loneliness about him.

He considered releasing Moltres and asking her to fly him to Mt. Silver, but knew that it would be a great insult to ask this of her. She’d probably have done it for him, had he asked, but he valued her far too greatly to even think about insulting her in that way.

Instead, he released Nidoking. “Fancy a walk, Nido?” he asked the purple Pokemon who stretched from his long time in the Poke Ball. It nodded its large head as it trudged along side its trainer.

Red sighed loudly. “You probably don’t really care about my problems, but I need to talk to someone.” He looked over to his Pokemon, not really expecting a reaction, but trying to recreate the courtesy that one would have in a normal conversation. Nidoking shrugged; battle commands weren’t an issue, it was talking it had a problem with.

Red expressed his fears about Mt. Silver, telling Nidoking how he wondered who the Last Messiah was, and ‘what the hell this thing’ was inside his mind. Nidoking nodded occasionally, between picking up snapped branches and hitting tree trunks out of boredom.

“And I miss Scarlet and Xavier,” he added, having been silent for a moment. “They were such good friends to me, and I really haven’t appreciated them, have I?”

Nidoking hurled his branch away, finding a larger one that had a deeper noise when it hit the bark of the trees.

“I wish they had come, Nido,” he said. “It’d certainly take my mind off the cold.” He pulled his jacket round him a little more, while Nidoking threw twigs that he had snapped from low branches at the small circle of light that Red’s torch emitted.

“Do you miss them?” Red asked his Pokemon. Nidoking looked at its trainer, as if trying to understand what concept Red was trying to convey to him, before giving up and sitting underneath a tree. Nidoking shut its eyes and fell asleep before Red had time to get cross with it.

“For heaven’s sake,” Red sighed, and recalled his Pokemon, alone once again.

After another half hour’s walking, Red’s heart jumped; a flickering light at the base of the hill told him that he had reached Newbark, or was at least on the outskirts where someone’s house was. The timing could not have been better, for the batteries in his torch were fast fading, and he had switched it off to conserve the power for his journey up the mountain. He jogged the last little way, toward the light. As he got closer, he realised that it was the window of a house that had been hidden in darkness, and the light was a fire that burned in the hearth. Red was only a meter or so away from it now, and he could make out a large armchair that held a small woman in her late thirties. She stared into the fire absent mindedly, and had her hands wrapped around a mug of something. Red felt a twinge of jealousy as he saw wisps of steam rise from the cup, and he realised how cold he was.

He made his way to the front door, and knocked twice, softly so as not to frighten the woman, but loud enough so that she would hear.

The catch lifted, and the door opened a crack. “What is it?” came a voice, and Red could make out an eye peeking round.

“I’m a Pokemon Trainer, and I’m traveling to Mt. Silver. I’ve underestimated my walking speed, and don’t have a place to stay for the night. Would it be too much trouble if I –“

The door opened fully before he could finish, and the woman held it open for him.

***

Before long, Red sat opposite the woman in a chair of his own, his hands held out in front of the fire. She had made him a drink and he had finished it so quickly that she had put on another kettle and was waiting for it to boil before she could make another.

“It’s very kind of you to let me stay,” Red said to the woman. “I’m most grateful.”

The woman, who Red realised was older than she had looked, waved her hand in the air, dismissing the thanks. “I have a son that’s traveling, collecting badges too, so I sympathise with you youngsters. You’ve got guts to travel the regions.”

She surveyed him closely. “Mt. Silver, you say?” she suddenly said, and Red nodded. “You must have a fair number of badges if you’re going there.”

Red nodded again. “I’ve been collecting them for a while now, and Mt. Silver has been my goal for the past nine months or so.”

The woman closed her eyes, as if going to sleep, but she spoke again. “I’d offer you a bed, but the only spare one I have is my son’s, and I’d rather not…” she trailed off, opening her eyes and looking at Red with a look of pleading.

“I’d not want to impose,” Red said quickly. “This armchair is more than comfortable.”

The woman smiled her thanks before getting up. “I’m afraid I’ve stayed up far later than I should, and I really must get to sleep. You’re welcome to make yourself breakfast in the morning if you wake up before I do.” Red heard the woman leave the room and up the stairs to her room. Within moments, he was asleep and dreaming of the dark trek up the slopes of Mt. Silver.

***

Red was once again on his way in the morning. The woman had fed him a full breakfast, and Red noted that he had eaten very little of what he had packed and, after the breakfast that she had provided, he judged that not much more would be eaten, either.

He walked through the little village, following a path that wound round houses and a rather large laboratory that looked out of place amongst the quaint cottages of Newbark.

Suddenly, the path ended, and seemed to dip into a lake. An arrow pointed over the water, with ‘Tohjo Falls’ and ‘Mt. Silver’ written on it. Seeing the words on this sign made Red’s heart judder. He released Gyarados, clambered on its back, and rode the Pokemon across the body of water.

Before long, the stream led to an opening in a rock face. Gyarados had to lay flat in the water to fit through, and Red was worried that his own back would scrape against the rock if they didn’t leave enough room. There was an almighty crashing sound, and Red noted that it came from a massive waterfall inside the cave. The stream led nowhere else, and Red knew that he had to climb up this towering body of water, else turn back.

“Gyarados, return,” Red called, when he was safely standing on a jutting rock. Then he released his Alakazam. “I know it’s a bit of a cheek, but I need you to levitate with me over the waterfall and follow the stream, just until I can release Gyarados again.” His Psychic Pokemon nodded, before enveloping the two of them in a pink bubble. Red felt immediately lighter, and his feet left the rock as Alakazam raised them both over the water.

Red, suspended in the air, released Gyarados, and the Pokemon fought against the current while Red and Alakazam landed on its back. The Pokemon swam against the flow, and Red saw that the water had a very peculiar behaviour: its source was from one tunnel, but at the exit point, it split. One route was the one that they had just come from, and the other was where they were headed.

“Go carefully, Gyarados,” Red warned as their speed increased with the new current. They rounded a corner, and Red yelled with shock; they had come to another waterfall! Unable to do anything, Gyarados tumbled downward and Red and Alakazam were flung from its back. Red whirled about in the air, before landing on something soft; then he realised that it was Alakazam’s telekinesis that had saved him. Gyarados righted itself, and allowed them back on him, before riding with the waves again, shaking itself a little.

Bright sunlight shone down on them as they came out of the cave. The stream ran parallel to a wooden pier, a path over water, while green hills lined the other side. Gyarados followed the curve of the stream, and Red noted that they were bearing too far east. He clambered off Gyarados’ back, lowering himself onto the wooden path, before recalling his Pokemon. He followed it a little way, before taking a path north that came back into contact with the land. He walked steadily up, a feeling of determination keeping him from feeling tired. The hunger that the woman had staved off with her meal was now creeping back, and Red took an apple from his bag to munch on as he continued walking.

The sun was high in the sky when he stopped for a rest, sat beneath the leafless branch of an oak tree. It did little to block out the winter sun, but it was more a place to lean his back as opposed for shelter from the light. Despite the cloudless sky, there was a bitter wind that forced its way to Red’s skin, and he put on yet another jumper. When he would finally get to Mt. Silver, he mused, they’d mistake him for a Hariyama, he had so many layers on.

After another few hours walking and seeing no-one, Red began to notice something in the distance. At first, it was no more definable than a sheet of glass against the clear blue sky, but as the distance lessened, the cloud-topped mound came into focus:

Mt. Silver.

Mixed feelings of joy and fright flashed through Red’s mind as he walked steadily on. From where he was, it would be another few hours walk before he would reach the base of the mountain.

An idea suddenly struck him; while he couldn’t ride Moltres, there was nothing stopping him from riding Arcanine…

Seconds later, he was feeling the wind fly through his hair as he whooped with joy. His fire Pokemon’s speed was unrivalled by any of his other Pokemon, and Arcanine bounded with grace over boulders and banks. Mt. Silver loomed in front of him, and Red could not see its peak. Great clouds wreathed the top in wide rings, and Red was sure that he could see flashes of lightning in those black shadows.

Before long, he had reached the base. He clambered off Arcanine, the Pokemon needing a good rest, before starting towards the mountain’s slope.

Suddenly, a man came running towards him, a Poochyena running with him. He waved his arms, before yelling when he was in hearing distance.

“I need to see your badges! This place is off limits!” the guard was young, and wide eyed. Red took out his case of badges and showed him the sixteen glittering emblems.

“You’re the second person to go up today, you know that?” the man said.

“Oh?” Red asked, puzzled. “Who was the other person?”

The man frowned, racking his memory. “His name escapes me, but he’s pretty famous, on telly all the time.”

Red waited a moment, before realizing this half-wit would spend the majority of the day working out who the mystery man was, and left the man to his puzzling.

The trek up the slope was easy, at first. The path was natural, and the trees did not obstruct his way. He let the natural order of the mountain carry him for some time, resting only once to stave off the hunger. He had plenty of water in three flasks, though he was fast drinking one of them.

The trees became thicker as he climbed, forcing him to take new routes, occasionally having to go back down the mountain in places to find a better route. But it was not until the trees all vanished that Red found his true difficulties.

It was as if a great explosion had left a border of trees, for beyond a fixed point, no more grew. The way up was barren, and it seemed to Red that the bank of black cloud was only a little way up.

However, as he trekked higher, the incline got steadily steeper, and Red slipped more than once. Before long, he was having to use his hands to keep his balance as he climbed upwards, often scaling a wall of solid rock, only to be met with a small plateau and another cliff face.

He checked his watch to see that it was just passed quarter past four, and he took another short rest. This would be his last before he reached the summit.

After wearily throwing himself onto the next ledge, Red groaned; the next rock face had to be at least forty foot high. He felt like breaking down and crying with the effort it would take to scale that.

Clearly, someone else had thought that too, for a man-made hole ran into the cliff face a little way off, and Red wandered over. He flicked his flash light on and noted that the path inside wound its way up. This was not natural, and Red wasn’t entirely sure that it was an old cave; the walls were smooth, and it was more like a broad spiral staircase, without the steps. No Pokemon were inside, no screeching Zubats, and to Red, this foretold danger.

He did not know for how long he walked in the gloom of the cave, but after a while, Red began to wonder if he should go back down and try his luck with the high wall. It seemed to him that he had been walking for hours, when it was only just half past five. Red wondered how high the mountain was for him to walk in this steady spiral, winding upwards into never ending darkness…

Red could see a faint sort of light as he rounded a corner, just as his torch had failed him. He ran the last little way, to come out and find the peak covered by night. It took a moment for Red’s eyes to adjust to this change of scenery, but what he saw made him literally rub his eyes.

A group of black-cloaked and hooded men stood in a semi circle, a concave barrier of dark figures. Large torches of fire gave out light, and heat too, they were so bright. The peak of Mt. Silver was as barren as it was dark, and the cloaked men all stood, facing the cave opening that he had just walked through, and a man, commanding respect and exuding power, stood in the center.

Something in his posture made Red’s hairs on his neck tingle and stand on end; he had met this man. His robes were a stark contrast to the others, as he was dressed entirely in white, with gold lacing on the material, his boots and gloves. A shock of red hair outlined his head, and the man looked straight at him.

“Welcome to Mount Silver, Red,” Lance announced, spreading his arms wide. “I am the Last Messiah.”


SUPER SPECIAL AWESOME PLOT TWIST!

...or perhaps not. Please tell me if you already had guessed this or 'had an inclin.' :P

Next chapter will unveil a lot of the plot, and I'll be posting it tomorrow. Expect updates everday from now on, because I am officially finished!!!

(and I'm currently starting a mini sequel, and planning a second sequel, with the ideas of a third acting as a jumbled mess in my mind. ;) )

Thanks for your support guys!

(If any of this post is missing, thanks to me posting over the character limit, PM me, and I'll edit it into a second post. ;) )

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Sun Dec 16, 2007 2:47 pm
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Duuuuuuuuuuuuude.... (I shall summarize that word in three parts.)

@ part 1: Wow, that was an unusual Magikarp gambit. But yeah, it worked good. As for Xavier, that was pretty darn fast.

@ part 2: This couldn't be considered a plot twist here, but it could be considered an unexpected ending to the battle. Good going. And I lol'd at the Hollywood comment. Almost like that Espresso comment in my story.

@ part 3: Very descriptive. But the ending...not only is it a plot twist, it's scary. I had no inkling whatsoever. This is starting to make me think that the Life Alliance was naught but a ploy, seeing as Lance and Clair are distant cousins. Additionally, it makes the guy look hungry for power, trying to collect every legendary. And the name, Last Messiah, almost reminds me of Omega Zero. (If you know who he is you know what I mean.)

My nerves, my stomach...They're tensing up, just like when I get to a difficult final boss of a video game. There is only one thing on earth that can relieve it.
Post the last chapter! I don't want to be a tense guy for weeks! Everyone will think I've lost it...

- DNA

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Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:58 pm
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Heheheh, I'll comply with your wishes. ;)

Here we go, a mega explanation for the whole of the plot so far (with added things in the next one, which I will post tonight / tomorrow evening.)

Quote:
Lance…? Lance was the Last Messiah?

Red shook his head. “But how…? You’re not…” he couldn’t find the words, and they caught in his throat. “You tried to kill me!” he finally said, and to his surprise, Lance laughed.

“I did, you’re right. It seems that Lorelei failed, however, which is why I have been waiting for you up here.”

Red felt the anger burning inside him, and that dark spectre in his mind was stirring. “Why?” he demanded, yet Lance’s expression of amusement did not change.

“Allow me to start from the beginning,” Lance said. Red noted that none of the other figures had moved, as if they were too scared. Red realised that one of these might well be The Black Cardinal. They might all be The Black Cardinal, different people assuming the same name. He counted seventeen, before turning his attention to Lance.

“Take yourself back to our fine battle, Red. Your Moltres held the upper hand, while my Dragonite cowered, about to be obliterated. Then something happened that completely warped everything I had ever stood for. You were attacked by something that I had been searching for, for a very long time.

I have been the Leader of the Doom Project for a good number of years now, and it is my belief that life is a disease. We spend our lives yearning to please, setting our ambitions high, only to lose everything that we have worked for by the felling hand of Death. So, I set up the Doom Project, whereby we would find the cure to this, and the only way I could see to stop it, was to beat Death to it; wipe out everyone in the world, and end the misery that life causes.

But back to our battle. When you were struck down, I knew that something was wrong. Nothing on this earth would stop you from defeating me, and so, after our battle, I sought the help of a psychic, a man named Lucian. I showed him the recording of our battle and you know what Red? The colour in his face drained. He told me that you, out of everyone on earth, had been chosen by the King of The Other World.”

Red shivered. Eusine’s description of The Other World had been entirely negative, and Red could remember the glimpse of that ice blue eye staring back at him when the tear between his world and theirs had been torn apart as Banette was thrown back.

“Darkrai.” Lance spoke the word with great reverence and fear “The great King of Darkness chose you over me, and I could not understand why. I had, for the majority of my life, been working towards the same goal as Darkrai, that of total world obliteration, and yet he chose you, a simpering trainer.

I ordered the very best of my men-“ here, he indicated to the surrounding figures, “to find out why you had been chosen over me, and it all came down to one simple difference: You had a Legendary Pokemon, and I did not. Your ownership of Moltres meant that Darkrai chose you, because it thought you more worthy.

So, I devised a means to get it from you. I would find a way of tearing Darkrai from you, and when I did, I would make sure that it would choose me as a host. I commissioned my followers to search for the seventeen Plates of the Original One, as they have the power to summon the God Pokemon himself. But their powers do not end there. They hold such power that I can tear your mind apart with just half of those Plates alone.

However, once Darkrai had been torn from you, what would happen then? Darkrai would search for a host, see that you had a Legendary Pokemon, and choose you once again. As a result, I commissioned Lorelei to hunt you down and kill you, severing your bond with Moltres. Then, Darkrai would not be able to choose you as the host, while I would capture Moltres, and allow it to choose me.

But you killed her, Red. You killed Lorelei, and here you are now. But don’t think that I haven’t planned for this too. I will tear Darkrai away from you, and when I do, it will choose me. Watch.”

Red’s head was spinning. All of this, just so that Lance could have the thing inside him? Why would he want it?! It was so foul and had the darkest of thoughts, that Red wasn’t sure how he hadn’t gone insane.

Lance was doing something. He took out a Poke Ball, and Red immediately recognized it to be a Master Ball. “When you killed Lorelei, Red, I panicked, I will not deny it. My plan had, for a time, been foiled. I discovered from Sabrina that you were headed for Mount Silver, and I laughed out loud then; she had unintentionally revealed to me where it would be best to unleash the power of Darkrai. Mountains hold special powers, Red, and they add power to those that already have it. She had directed you to Mount Silver, seeing that this was where you would be free of the darkness within you, and yet she had also unwittingly shown you where you would die.
I left for Hoenn in search of my own Legendary Pokemon so that when we would meet here, I would be able to tempt Darkrai to me. I captured the great Dragon of the Skies and bent its will to my own.”

He opened the ball, and Red gasped as a massive dragon coiled into the sky. Its body was lined with yellow streaks, and there was anger in its eyes.

“Red.” Lance took up a battle pose. “We will fight, one on one, to see who Darkrai will choose.”

Red finally spoke. “You’re welcome to this ‘Darkrai,’ Lance. I’d willingly give it to you and watch as it breaks your mind with evil intent. But I’m not letting you, because you’ll use it for your own twisted, sick purposes. And so I’ll battle.”

Red released Moltres, and the fiery phoenix flew up towards Rayquaza, blasting out a plume of fire.

“You’re just as stubborn as in our last battle,” Lance said, with a cruel laugh. “Rayquaza, Hyper Beam!” Moltres swerved out of the way as the attack tore through the air.

“Moltres, Fire Spin!” A whirlwind of flame spun round Rayquaza, and the green dragon roared. It snaked through the sky, writhing to get free of the fire, and was soon in a frenzy. It misjudged its own altitude and slammed into the ground, the black figures scattering to escape the fallen Pokemon.

”Get up!” snarled Lance. “Use Extremespeed, then Hyper Beam!” Obeying dutifully, Rayquaza shot from the peak at such high speeds that the fire was left to whirl about nothingness, before fading. Moltres had no time to react as Rayquaza rammed into its chest. Before Red was able to order another attack, Rayquaza darted beneath the falling Moltres, wrapped itself round the phoenix, before hurling it downwards. Moltres landed with a sickening crunch, before being enveloped in a Hyper Beam from the sky. Red held his hand up to shield his eyes from the light of the explosion that followed.

Red felt suddenly dizzy. The sense of de ja vu was great, for this was exactly how Moltres had lost and left him last time. Rayquaza roared triumphantly, vanishing into Lance’s poke ball, and Red’s head thumped. He became aware that the men had regrouped, and were each holding something above their heads, chanting.

“This is it, Red,” Lance whispered, having walked over to where Red lay shaking on the floor. “What you’re feeling now, it’s Darkrai becoming free of your suppressive mind and flowing into mine. However, I will allow it to achieve its full potential, while you have put up barriers to subdue it.”

Red moaned as he felt a sharp stab of pain, as if someone was scoring a knife through his skull. The pain became excruciating, and the dark laughter that he had managed to suppress now roared with such vigor, that Red felt he would pass out at any moment.

He looked up at Lance’s triumphant smirk, before blacking out entirely.

You lose, Red.

I haven’t lost. You haven’t won yet.

I’ve escaped the prison of your mind, haven’t I? And I will use Lance as my tool for destroying this world, and making my own world strong.

You won’t be able to, Darkrai. I’ll stop you. I’ll find a way.

I doubt it.

Red felt as though a great weight had been lifted from his shoulders or, more accurately, his head. He knew then that Darkrai had left of him, and he struggled to find consciousness. Red managed to surface from the darkness, and heard Lance’s voice.

“With your power, O great King of The Other World, we will topple all life and make free those that are tormented by its miserable effects. Red can be the first to receive our gift to the world. Kill him, Darkrai.”

Red felt a weight pressing in on him, and he realised that this was what it felt like to die. Just as the pressure became so intense that he wanted to scream out loud, it faded, and he heard Lance’s voice again.

“Good. Now we must leave this wretched mountain and take to Saffron City.”

Red felt too tired to try and work out why, having apparently died, he could still hear Lance, and succumbed to the welcoming unconscious state that his mind lulled him with.


If I've missed anything out, don't ask, wait until I post the next chapter. Your questions might be answered there.

And if they still don't show up, ask me then. It's not that I've not taken it into account, it's probably that I just haven't included it in the chapter. I've tried to cram it all in, but if I miss something, tell me after the next one. ;)

Once again, thanks for the support people!

EDIT: Just remembered a comment from DNA about it being too obvious/cliche (can't remember the exact word,) that the Darkness was Darkrai, but that's what it was always going to be, ever since I posted the Final Battle way back in April. Just a head's up, it wasn't a 'I really cba, let's just make it Darkrai,' as it was always going to be Darkrai. ;)

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Mon Dec 17, 2007 12:04 pm
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Woah...I just read your last update and this one, and wow! I had a fealing you were going to involve Lance in this whole thing somehow, but I thought he would fight with Red, not against him.

I had a pretty good feeling that Darkrai would be the darkness, but don't worry about that.

I really can't wait to see the last chapter. I sure don't regret that Saturday when I decided to read "The Final Fight" and all of this you had at that point. Isn't this guy amazing? Let's give him a big hand!*claps so loudly and long his hands fall off*

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Mon Dec 17, 2007 5:05 pm
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Wow, you took something lame and cliché and made it sound great!
I thought that this would be the last chapter or something, yet it made me think that the Life Alliance was just one big ploy, and everyone was in on it, keeping it a secret from Red. It's unsettling, yet cool, yet creepy in that sense.
I await the next installment with much anticipation.

- DNA

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Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:15 pm
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Heheh, thanks for the feedback people! And I won't keep you long, here's the next chapter! It sees the return of an old face, whom my Aunt and I rather enjoyed. I liked writing about him, she likes reading about him. :P

Quote:
“Oh, such a terrible fate to befall this kind and loving world, and the chances of me having to bear such a burden are astronomical (though rather expected, as I find myself in these such positions rather often…)”

Red slowly opened his eyes, and looked up into Eusine’s. “What the hell?” was all he could groggily say. There was a cold wind blowing on the peak of Mt. Silver.

“You are not dead!” cried Eusine.

“Don’t sound too disappointed,” Red muttered, confused. “What are you doing here?” Though he was pleased to see his old friend, he was at a total loss as to why he was on the peak of Mt. Silver.

“After you and your friends left me with Morty, I confessed to him that I had foreseen your death upon this mountain.” He shuddered, before continuing. “After much deliberation and thought, I decided that I would come to the mountain and disobey the very rules of fate and stop your death! But I got here, and it seemed that I was too late…and then you awoke!”

Red nodded, struggling to stand up. He hadn’t realised how heavy Darkrai had been on his mind, and it felt as though every limb of Red’s body could now do twice as much as they were used to. “Do you have a way of getting us off this damn mountain?” Red enquired.

Eusine nodded. “I would not come to save one’s life without preparing so that I may not lose my own.” He released a large bird Pokemon, a Fearow, and the two of them clambered on.

As they flew towards Blackthorn (for this was the place to go in times as perilous as these, according to Eusine,) Red recounted the whole events since they had left him. He left out the part with Lorelei, but included everything that was said atop Mt. Silver.

“He ordered Darkrai to kill me, Eusine. Why didn’t he manage it?”

There was silence from Eusine for a moment. Then, “I believe it would be the same concept as in Bernard’s house with the Banette. If what you have told me is true, then Darkrai must have possessed you in much the same way as Banette did the little doll. If Darkrai killed you, it may have caused the elastic band effect and pulled it back into The Other World, and it would have to try and pull through once again.”

Red nodded. “So…the only way out of this is for me to kill myself…?”

Eusine shook his head. “I am not certain, Red, as Darkrai may have been in this world for long enough to gain a form of its own. I would not like a mess on the floor for the sake of ‘trying’ an idea that may very well not work.”

“But then surely, if Darkrai did not kill me, then that means that he definitely doesn’t have form yet, and is still reliant on my life! So I have to die!”

“No.” Eusine said it quite firmly. “Darkrai itself doesn’t know whether or not it’s entirely ‘here’ yet, and it wouldn’t take the risk of killing you, not yet.”

There was silence for a little longer, and Red enjoyed the up-and-down motion that Fearow’s flaps caused, hurtling through the night sky. “Why are we going to Blackthorn, Eusine? What good can we do there if Lance is headed towards Saffron?”

“Clair has called the Life Alliance into session. Every member must convene at Blackthorn in the Dragon’s Den, whereby we will formulate a plan to combat this.”

Red’s heart swelled; he was one of those members going to that meeting. He truly was a member of the Life Alliance.

Before long, Red could make out the mountain range that enclosed Blackthorn City, and Red realised with a jolt of joy that he would be seeing his friends again. They touched down outside the Dragon’s Den and quickly went inside.

The change was radical. Instead of massive seats and a lake, the cave had been revamped. The lake was covered by a great metal sheet that formed an oval of new floor space, and a large table that could easily seat seventy or more people was placed on top. All round the edges were doors, rooms for the guests, Eusine had told Red.

There was a meeting in session, and Clair stopped talking and stood to see who had disturbed them. All those present at the meeting turned in the chairs, and Red felt highly awkward walking up to the table and taking a seat, close to Xavier and Scarlet, who welcomed him with hugs. Alex smiled at him from the other side of the table, and Red returned the gesture.

“Young Red has quite the story to tell,” Eusine informed the group.

“I think Young Red needs something hot down him, if he intends on telling us anything,” came a familiar voice. Red looked over to see Erika, a Gym Leader that he had defeated all that time ago. He nodded and smiled his thanks, before noticing that there were many people that he had encountered on his journey, some Gym Leaders, others being people that he had helped or had been helped by. A shy Sabrina waved at him from opposite him, and the great hand of Lt. Surge slapped him on the back.

Red told the group how he had got to the summit of Mt. Silver, and had discovered that Lance was the leader of the Doom Project. Some gasped, many arched an eyebrow and a few nodded their heads in silent confirmation.

“Some of us had our suspicions,” Clair told Red.

Red continued, telling them of how the darkness within him was actually the King of The Other World, Darkrai, and that Lance sought its power so that he could destroy all life. At the mention of The Other World’s name, Sabrina shivered, and interrupted Red.

”I am sorry for not telling you sooner about that which was in your mind. But at every mention of its name, every reference to the thing itself, the beast would grow stronger and take hold of your mind even more.” She blushed, but Red smiled.

”You directed me to Mt. Silver, Sabrina, where Darkrai finally left me. You did well, don’t be embarrassed.”

He told the company of how Lance had been after the seventeen plates of the Original One.

It was Clair, this time, who intervened. “You yourself were present at some of those times, Red. On the SS Anne, we were transporting the Splash Plate so that we, the Life Alliance, could look after it and stop it from falling into the hands of the enemy. The Captain, one of our best, sacrificed himself to stop them from getting it, but it is clear that they managed to retrieve it from the depths of the ocean. As for the Zap Plate, we had our suspicions that it was somewhere on Cianwood Island, and once again, the Doom Project managed to find it before we could get there.
The Mind Plate, we thought was safe. We gave it to a high security museum in Goldenrod, but that too was stolen by the Doom Project.”

A hand raised tentatively into the air. Red looked and recognized Whitney. “Actually, that was sort of me and my brother’s fault. The Doom Project blackmailed him into stealing it for them, and so that sort of shifts the blame onto me.”

Clair swept the air with her hand. “It is of no consequence now, what’s happened has happened. Continue, Red.”

Red carried on talking, finally ending with how Rayquaza had defeated his Moltres, and how Darkrai had been freed from Red’s mind and had poured into Lance’s.

“The last thing I remember him saying was that he was traveling to Saffron City,” Red said, and immediately saw Sabrina tense up.

“What is it?” Clair asked, seeing the movement as well.

“I left the Fighting Dojo in command of the city, they’ll not be able to do a thing against Darkrai,” said Sabrina. “The city is unprotected, and it’s clear what they intend on doing. Saffron has roads spilling out north, east, south and west, and if they use that as their base of operations, then they’ll be able to attack in every direction.”

The meeting hall was silent.

”There is a way,” Red voiced. “While we were on our journey, Xavier, Scarlet, Eusine and myself ran into a ghost Pokemon that had escaped from The Other World. We discovered that its link to The Other World was still quite strong and that its link ran through its first host, a little doll. In destroying the doll, the link was pulled taut, and pulled Banette back into The Other World.”

“Red, no…” Xavier said quietly, but Red shook his head.

“I was the first host of Darkrai, and I believe that if I were to die, then Darkrai would be pulled back to its own world.”

There was silence again, but only for a short time. “It is my belief that such a dramatic act could well be an elaborate waste of time,” voiced Eusine. “Darkrai’s power is not as small as a simple Ghost Pokemon, and this leads me to suggest that it has enough to be able to root itself into this world, without host. To kill Red would merely be a pointless and messy affair.”

Clair nodded, apparently thinking. Red noticed that she was toying with her pendant again, and he was drawn to it once more.

“There’s no harm in trying,” came Lt. Surge’s American drawl. “If the kid’s death doesn’t sort out the problem, then we come up with some other plan.”

There was immediate outrage at Lt. Surge’s proposal, and the bickering group was silenced only when Clair cleared her throat. The effect was immediate.

”I believe I have a way.” She did not look directly at the company. Instead, she looked down, at the pendant around her neck.

”Not long ago, an event happened in Kanto that very nearly wiped out all the regions. The Gym Leader of Viridian created an artificial Pokemon –“

”Like a Porygon?” came Erika’s voice.

“- I suppose, yes,” Clair replied, “but far stronger. This Pokemon turned against its creators and wiped them all out, and it was only through mine and Red’s actions that we averted crisis.”

Red frowned. “I don’t remember any of this,” he said, a bewildered laugh escaping from him, and the others around the table nodded in agreement.

“No, that’s because the Pokemon went back in time. Together, we persuaded it to end its own life to restore those that it had killed, and before it did, it returned everything back to how it was. Everything, that is, save for me.
When the Pokemon ended its life, it poured its consciousness into this pendant, my Dragon’s Tooth. Its body was reduced to nothing but an average Pokemon, and it hid itself deep in the cavern of Cerulean. As a result, I was the only one that was not affected by the time travel and the memory wiping. And so, I propose to you this: I believe that we should give back the Pokemon its consciousness, and use it as a weapon against Darkrai.”

Erika raised her hand. “It’s a lovely idea and all, but two things strike me that might contribute to its failure; the first is this: if this Pokemon was so evil that it performed mass murder and killed its own creators, why would we want to return it to power?”

Clair sighed. “It wasn’t evil, it was misunderstood. And in its last moments, it felt compassion, a kinship with Red. I believe this will be enough for it to side with us.”

Erika nodded. “My second, more pressing point; I don’t think we have enough time. If what Sabrina said is true, that Saffron City is a key city that will devastate us if our enemy gets it, then we can’t waste our time running about after Pokemon without a memory.”

A few people laughed, but Lt. Surge did not and put up his own hand. “Then I propose this: Red will travel to Cerulean to find this powerful Pokemon, while I lead a team to cut Lance off. If we travel to Viridian City, we can access the Diglett Tunnel. From there, we will travel down to Vermillion and intercept them. It will give Red enough time to then lead a second front that will attack them before they get to Saffron.”

Clair nodded. “A fine plan. All those in agreement?” Almost every hand went up. “Good. Now, we need volunteers to act as the first wave of attack. Those who volunteer will go with Lt. Surge to Vermillion City, where they will strike Lance with all their might.”

A number of people raised their hands, and a sudden movement to Red’s right caused him to look round.

“No, Scarlet, I won’t let you,” came Xavier’s whisper, hissed with ferocity.

“Xavier,” came Alex’s warning voice, but Scarlet intervened.

”You don’t rule me, I want to fight, I want to help!”

Scarlet’s hand was half in the air, held back by Xavier’s.

The struggle caught Clair’s attention and she frowned. “Scarlet, you want to join the first wave? An excellent idea, your battling prowess suits this job perfectly.”

Scarlet smiled triumphantly, but Xavier was already speaking. “With respect, she doesn’t have the firepower to be effective in the first wave, she’d do better in the second.”

Scarlet cried out, turning to him. “You can’t decide what I do like this!”

Clair, however, nodded. “Xavier’s right, your Pokemon aren’t strong enough to earn you a place on the first wave. You can join Xavier on the second front.”

Red had been watching all of this very closely, and then he acted without thinking. He would regret this moment for so many years, and it would haunt him for the rest of his life. But he did not know this then, and raised his hand.

“Scarlet can borrow Moltres.”

Xavier turned, eyes burning. Scarlet took the poke ball offered by Red, and the room went silent. Scarlet turned to Xavier, and spoke quickly, but firmly. “You don’t have any control over me Xavier. If you think that because we’re a couple, you can tell me what I can and can’t do, then you don’t know me, and we shouldn’t be together.”

At this, her cheeks flushed crimson and she stood up and left the table. Both ]Alex and Red had their eyes on Xavier, who was staring at nothing in particular on the table. Anything that might have been there would have been incinerated by the heat of Xavier’s glare.

“Any other volunteers?” Clair asked, clearly wanting to draw the attention away from the stunned and speechless Xavier. “Fine. I need all of those that are forming the first wave to go and prepare. We do not have the time to waste, as Lance and the Doom Project are fast approaching their destination. The second front will be launched as soon as you give the signal.”

Red nodded, and those that intended on making up the first wave followed Lt. Surge away from the table. Red also stood, but Clair called him back.

“You have an important task, Red. Take this pendant. When you find the Pokemon in the Cerulean Cave, address it as ‘Mewtwo,’ and offer it the pendant. You’ll know what to do from there.” Clair handed him the Dragon’s Tooth and Red slipped it round his neck. “Good luck,” Clair said, before patting him on the shoulder.

Red turned, but did not head for the exit. Instead, he went the way that Scarlet had run off. He came to a room where the door was slightly ajar and entered, looking behind him to check that no-one had been following him.

”Scarlet?” he whispered into the darkness of the room, and a sob came from inside. He walked in and found Scarlet, knees drawn high, huddled on a chair in the corner. “Xavier was looking out for you, he doesn’t want you to be in a position of danger.”

Scarlet nodded. “I know, and I shouldn’t have said the things I did. I love him Red, and the last thing I want to do is to upset him. But I really want to go with them, I want to do my part in saving the world!” her pitch increased as she spoke, before bursting once more into tears and falling into Red’s arms.

“I know,” was all Red found himself saying, not entirely knowing what he apparently ‘knew.’ His comforting tone was all that mattered to Scarlet, the words were meaningless. “You’d best make it up with him,” Red offered, but Scarlet shook her head.

“I will after the battle. If I don’t leave now, I won’t get to go with them, I heard them leaving. It’s better this way.” She stood and walked towards the door. Her sillouette was framed by light, before she left and vanished.

Red stayed in the dark of the room for a moment. He had betrayed Xavier, but he knew that he had done the right thing. Scarlet was right, Xavier couldn’t stop her from doing what she wanted, and Red’s action might have shown him that.

Red released Alakazam, illuminating the room with the small flash. “We need to go to Cerulean, ‘Zam. You know where it is, the place where we fought Misty.”

He would have used his Pokemon’s teleportation powers to get to Mt. Silver, but his Pokemon had one draw back; teleport could only be used to get to places where they had already been, and Alakazam had never been to the mountain. Cerulean, however, was where Red had captured him as an Abra, and so the place was etched in his mind. With an odd sucking noise, Red vanished along with his Pokemon, leaving the darkness in the room.


Got another two chappies after this one. And I'm going to write a sort of TDWH 1.5 sequel, detailing the events of Mewtwo. I have it all written down somewhere, I just need to flower it out and make it sound pwetty. :P

Next chapter should be up tomorrow eve! ^_^

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Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:34 pm
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Indeed excellent, just like the last. Only one thing is wrong with it:
Quote:
Her [Scarlet's] sillouette was framed by light, before she left and vanished.

It's spelt "Silhouette". - DNA

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Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:50 pm
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Wow. That was great. There were a couple grammatical errors, but it was great otherwise. I can't wait to see what bad thing will happen with Scarlet and Moltres. Keep it up!

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Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:52 pm
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Amazing. All of it. The only thing im worried about...is that it will end. You better find a way to make a sequel...or else :twisted: . Sorry for not replying for a while, my family was worried about my thumb, and I finally convinced them it was healing rapidly. Another awesome installment to the story.

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If "CON" is the opposite of "PRO", what is the opposite of PROGRESS?


Tue Dec 18, 2007 4:59 pm
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