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Wednesday, June 8 – Aqua Resort, Sophian Island, Oblivia Region​

Island Life! All around the world that phrase stirred envy and wishful fantasies. A lounge by the beach accompanied by a fresh Piñap Colada: three ice cubes chilled it to perfection and a half-squeeze of citrus provided that zesty kick! Add a little umbrella for personality and viola~! The perfect drink to enjoy white-sand beaches and sun-kissed shores; each sip of delicious sour was enhanced by deep breaths of salted breezes and cool, brilliant blue skies. Heaven on earth~

Except it wasn’t! Piñap Colada? Have you ever tasted one? Yuck! The Pinap was delicious, no complaints there, but the coconut? Ew! It looked worse than it tasted, but it looked like a hairy nut sack, so that wasn’t saying much. And sun-kissed? More like sun-scorched! The tropical islands of Oblivia were hell on earth. The heights of summer had empowered the sun far beyond any mortal ken and painfully blue skies ensured there was nary a thing between the sun and scorching sand. Just traversing the beach resulted in a 30% chance of burn!

None felt the heat more clearly than Esther. The Oblivia teen lay dead-fished beneath the negligible shade of a tree; her lips opened and then closed, muttering what was surely her last will and dying testament—a Swannasong if you would.

“...I will surrender to Fahrenheit,
And I don’t wanna apologize,
It’s getting hot, hot, and I’m burning up...”

Admittedly, Esther’s pain was self-inflicted. In the name of Arceus and fashion, she wore a bikini top and skirt wrap. This would’ve been fine by itself, but Esther’s chosen color was a plain gothic black; only interrupted by the white stitch of a Cubone flipping you the bone—keep your eyes up here buddy. But cheeky fashion statements (in a more literal sense), though funny, did naught against the heat.

Esther’s face was scrunched into a mask of displeasure. The heat was only made worse by a raucous noise; the kind of chaotic din that only a clamor of children could make, and the splash of enviously cool waters. The latter was most excruciating; she could listen and watch, but not join.

These were all the junior members of the Aqua Dance Troupe and Esther was responsible for them,

a few of them were even in Esther’s class. Lessons had finished for the day, cut short by the unbearable heat; but the job wasn’t done until their parents came around to collect them. In the interim, they had gathered at the Silk Farm, a property owned by Esther’s parents. The farm had a tributary of the Sophian river cutting right through it, no more than waist-deep. Perfect for irrigating the farm, beating the summer heat, or entertaining a bunch of kids (meaning she didn't have to): truly, one of Sophia’s greatest treasures.

But Esther wouldn’t get to indulge herself just yet.

Her eyes flickered over the tempting waters, and she wistfully tore her gaze away. Esther remained rooted to her spot—a small hill that overlooked the farm. From there she could keep an eye on all the kids; but importantly, she could keep an eye on her laptop. It was a rickety, rackety, clickity, clackety, old thing, barely functional even without the heat cooking its circuitry; but, plastered across its screen was an inbox.

‘No new messages...

What time was it...? The clock read half-past two. “Any minute now...”

With bated breath, she reloaded the page. It would take a moment... the screen faded white, save for the baby blue loading circle that spun endlessly; loading...loading...loading...

Esther leaned back and thumbed over a small collection of rocks at her side. The rocks, arranged into a tower, were rounded and smooth save for where shallow characters had been scratched into their surface. Turning to read them for the umpteenth time, it read ‘Cyrus & Shirin, loving parents and the best grandparents.’

It was all they’d been able to fit on the rock—her siblings and she—and it was the only remaining memorial of her grandfather after his grave had been vaporized along with Dolce Island several years ago and when her late grandmother had passed, the family had followed her wishes and scattered her ashes over the sea. Where she could be with her husband.

Esther sighed and pulled her gaze back to the kids. It was nice they could be so happy and carefree but, as her grandmother had frequently said in her later years, the folly of their people was being “Oblivious Oblivians…”

Seeking the meaning behind those words her older brother had left the region to become a Pokémon trainer. It wasn’t big in Oblivia—it was non-existent to be specific—but from her brother’s stories, it was huge in other regions across the world. While Oblivia was beautiful, her brother spoke of a whole new world and Esther desperately wanted to see it.

That’s why today was important! That’s why she grit her teeth and pushed through the sweltering heat. Today was the day she received her first Pokémon...well, she would receive a letter of approval that let her select her first Pokémon—semantics!

Esther re-focused on the laptop; sweat beading down her forehead. As the elementals on the page loaded-in in chunks, she saw...it. A single unread message. Its header read, ‘To: Trainer Esther’ and its source? ‘From: the Pokémon project’.

A Trainer! To be addressed as such, it sent thrilling chills down Esther's spine, in spite of the muggy heat. She was a trainer! In-name at first, but after today, she'd be one in every sense of the word.

A feral WHOOP split her lips and settled into a slightly-less-feral grin. Who had time for heat stroke; she was getting her first Pokémon!

Discussion Thread:
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June 8, Wednesday - Goldenrod City, Johto.
Reina, current rank, 51,541.

A nice warm summer day in what was probably the busiest city in the Johto region, Goldenrod. The streets were busy with people rushing to their jobs, from their jobs and shopping. Amongst the endless wave of people going about, stood a confused looking young woman, her green eyes under black shades while her sweater was tied around her waist and her white dress shirt opened up a few buttons to show her black tank top underneath it, doing whatever was possible to not get overwhelmed by the summer heat. She took one step out of the train station and then took one back, as the people passing by made it difficult for anyone to enter the overflow of bodies over the sidewalk.

"Seriously, how can people live like this?" Reina, the young trainer from the Mexican region said out loud as she once again failed to join the moving crowd.

Reina finally gathered courage inside of her and burst into the rive of people, being dragged along them, unable to stop no matter how much she tried. Good thing all her Pokemon were in their Pokeballs, otherwise she feared she would've lost them in all the chaos. Finally though, she managed to move into a slower moving line. Looking back, she noticed she had gotten off at a station meant for office buildings, and being it rush hour during lunch time, she was swept up by the busy people trying to move around. With a loud sigh, Reina finally reached the Pokemon Center, walking into the cool air and taking a seat at nearest bench possible.

"Now let's see..." She opened up her PokeGear, checking the map of the city, "The famous Radio Tower isn't far from here, we also have a casino, the underground? Sounds suspicious if you ask me." She looked up with a smile noticing an elderly couple and their Snubull walking by and staring at her, probably confused as to why she was talking to herself. "That was awkward." Reina said as she put away her phone and took out a pocket size tour guide. "Let's see now, we can go to the Pokeathlon, there's a bug catching contest...Oh! This is what I'm talking about, a tour to the famous Ruins of Alph! Gah! There's a tour leaving in 20 minutes!" With a sudden jump to her feet, Reina put away her Guide book and rushed out of the Pokemon Center, walking as fast as possible to the nearest tour booth.

This is perfect! Reina thought as she moved in between the people of Goldenrod City, There are many mysteries unsolved about the Ruins of Alph and that could lead to strong Pokemon! I also heard strong trainers frequent the area, might be my chance to watch some Johto battle styles, Pokemon and even culture, so exciting!

Soon the young trainer arrived to a small little shack with a bored looking Sasuke wannabe sitting inside. There was a small group of some elderly couples, some kids and adults, most likely all tourist, gather to the side and boarding a red tour bus. The breathless Reina reached the small building, panting as the heat in her body increased and her lungs expelled burning air, trying to cool herself down. She reached into her pocket, pulled out a Wailord shaped wallet and placed 100$ on the small counter.

"I'm guessing you're here for the tour?" The emo fashionista said with a dull look while chewing very pink bubblegum, "Sign this contract, just states we aren't responsible if you get killed or something during the tour. It takes an approximate 48 hours, including ride to the ruins, Lunch, Dinner and a show, hotel room, breakfast, touring of the ruins, lunch and ride back here..." He grabbed the ticket that was being printed out while Reina handed over the signed contract, "Make sure to keep this with you on all times, including the name tag and have a nice day."

Reina wrote her name as neatly as possible on her name tag and hung it around her neck, then putting away the ticket that showed she was part of the tour group in her wallet. "Thank you, what a day huh? It's terribly hot, must be all the city fumes or something."

The cashier gave her an annoyed look and pointed towards the bus that was loading the last person. Reina laughed and waved goodbye as she rushed towards the bus, taking a sit in the middle near a window, leaning back and feeling the cool air on her skin. With a sudden pop, her Clefairy burst out, sitting on Reina's lap to get a better look at the window and the small screen above the seats.

"I hope they put on a good movie on the drive over..." Reina said, adjusting her sit to lean a bit backwards and looking out the window, watching a flock of Pidgey flying over the city.

3x Super Potions
2x Antidotes
3x Full Heals
Oran berry, Sitrus Berry
Rotom Phone
Tour Guide - Johto
Battling for Dummies book
Sleeping bag
Small cooking equipment and some ingredients
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Shen: King of Digimon

Previously Shen: King of the Mist
June 8, Wednesday - Violet City,

"hm hm~"

A lone store owner resides in their Pokèmart, cleaning a glass on a shelf behind them until it sparkled. Was quiet around the city recently, not too many customers. But he didn't mind, gave him a lot of time to himself.


Oh great...

A wind blew into the store as a man dressed in a red costume blocked the exit, a vibrant red cape flapping behind him and Croagunk at the ready to strike in front of him. The man snickered as he pointed straight toward the store owner.

"BEHOLD, Naive! Charade, the leader of the Crimson Crew is here to pilfer your goods! Now hand 'em over!"

"Hey Trevor, How's the home life?" The store owner asked nonchalantly.

"Tch-I- My name is CHARADE now! C'mooon! This is a robbery if you haven't noticed! Give me the free goods or I'll have to do something you won't like!"

The store owner crossed his arms, scanning 'Charade' up and down. "Oh yeah? Like what?"

Charade seemed stumped, as if he wasn't expected the opposition. He looked to Croagunk and then back to the store owner.

"What will I do? Aha! Well you...you see..."

Frantically looking about for something to use as a threat, he found the top shelf of an isle. That's when he had an idea! Taking his hands, he slid everything off the top of the shelf on the floor, sending them rolling across the ground.

"AHA! Now you'll have to clean that all up later! MUHAHAHA!!"

"Sheesh kid, your the handful. I'll tell you what, i'll give you 80% off a potion if you buy two. How does that sound?"

"Hmmm...! The prices are so low that's an absolute steal! MUHAHAHA! Bask in my evilness as I steal this rare deal!"

"Ight, that's very evil. Now, will you be buying on your mom's tab again?"



"Thus another truly evil deed committed by the heinous Crimson Crew!" Charade proclaimed, leaving the store with their hideously underpriced potion in hand. "Our reputation is sure to grow from this, then they'll know there's a new gang in town!"

Croagunk looked up to him, nodding up and down with a bold look on his face. He seemed to agree with every word coming from Charade's mouth, even if it didn't seem fully true.

"Hmmm! We just need more members! It's not like they have a villain school around or anything, and I'm no longer allowed near the trainer school...AHA! I got it! I'll ask people!"

"Croag..." Croagunk protested, putting up a hand.

"Hm, yeah I asked around like three times this week already...AHA! Maybe I should ask people outside of this neighborhood! Genius thinking! We Mount off...as soon as I explain my spending to the only one more evil that me...the mother.."

That was his least favorite part. But a true evildoer braves any and all consequences for his actions before committing more acts of vile activity! That was common knowledge!
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Previously Night's Shadow
Wednesday, June 8; Jubilife City, Sinnoh

“So this is Jubilife, huh?” Emil said to herself, craning her neck to look around at the skyscrapers, quite oblivious to the annoyed glances she was accruing from passersby on the back of the nearly six-foot-tall Stoutland she sat atop. She shielded her eyes as she looked around. “How am I supposed to find anything in this mess, let alone the Contest Hall?” She stroked the Stoutland’s back fur absentmindedly. “Or a cheap place to stay… everything looks so expensive. Let’s see, I’ve still got… a few thousand from my last couple Contests…”

Emil stuffed the money back into her pocket, then fumbled with her map, unfolding it with the help of her teeth. Her brow furrowed as she tried to make sense of the map, and the Stoutland she was on began to slow, unsure where to go without its Trainer’s input. Emil sensed the change in speed and nudged her Pokémon over to the side, mostly out of the way of foot traffic. “Sorry, Amaranth,” she apologized. “Let’s take a short break here. I need to figure out where the heck we are.” She hopped off the Stoutland’s back, smoothing the map out on top of the silky fur. “Okay, if we’re here… and the gym’s there… Oops, wait, I’ve got it upside-down. Let’s try this again. The hotel I marked should be that way…”

-Around $6000
-A variety of non-perishable snacks
-A Contest ribbon case
-Two empty Pokeballs
-Two Ball Capsules and several Stickers/Seals
-Contest guidebook
-Several changes of clothes
-A few hair ribbons in varying colors
-Pokéblock case
-Various healing items
-Maps of the places Emil has traveled to
June 8, Wednesday - Ruins of Alph, Johto.
Reina, current rank, 51,541.

Wow look at this place, it's so ancient and yet it feels fresh somehow.

Reina followed the small group down a patch going around the Ruins, which they weren't scheduled to go in until after checking in at the hotel they would be staying at. That didn't stop the girl from enjoying the site already, taking pictures and sending them to her parents back home with her Rotom Phone. She looked like a simple tourist, but inside she was anxious to learn any secrets the long lasting ruins had in store for her.

"Maker sure to check in the hotel with your ticket and badge, name tag thingy, then you're from to roam around the outer Ruins, which have some small site you can check out. Years back a trainer managed to expand the Ruins even more, by solving some ancient puzzles, however that area is unsteady and unsafe, so pleas remain within the marked paths. Goldentoursisnotresponsibleforanycauseofdeath,injuryorkidnappingbyhypnos. Enjoy your tour and tomorrow we will take you to meet the other sites around the ruins!" A nice lady with a dark red uniform and hat bowed to the group and pointed towards the entrance of the hotel.

Reina followed instructions, waiting in line for her opportunity to check in, getting her room number and then deciding to go out and explore before going up to her room. She walked outside, putting on her shades once again to block out the sun, placing her sweater away in her backpack and placing her white dress shirt around her waist. With her trusty Clefairy, Diva, Reina set out to take a look at the Ruins, making sure to stay in the path set by the tour guides and looking for anything odd that could lead her to learning more than just what the tour guides or books had to offer.

"This looks interesting." Reina walked into a small chamber at the end of the tour in front of a lake. Inside it there was several drawings of the alphabet like Pokemon on the walls, some statues of an ancient Pokemon and some sort of stand with ancient stones in the center. It was odd since there wasn't anybody inside, which made Reina give in to the temptation of getting as close as possible. She stepped over to the small center piece and touched one of the small stones with odd drawings on them, it seemed to be moveable. Slowly she slid it to the right, to the left, up and then down. Without noticing it, she was moving the stone in all possible directions, trying to figure how something so ancient was made.

3x Super Potions
2x Antidotes
3x Full Heals
Oran berry, Sitrus Berry
Rotom Phone
Tour Guide - Johto
Battling for Dummies book
Sleeping bag
Small cooking equipment and some ingredients
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Shen: King of Digimon

Previously Shen: King of the Mist
A few hours passed for Charade, as he had to go straight to work making more pamphlets for his organization...as well as doing many chores to make up for the money he had spent. Stashing his pamphlets in his bag, he marched towards the door.

"MOM! I'm going out!" He called out.

"Did you take out the trash??" The stern voice answered.

"YES! I did!"

"And the-"

"Everything is done MOM! SHEESH!"

"Don't get into trouble now!"


"Be safe!"


"Love you, be careful!"


Then Charade slammed to door evily, but also soft enough not to get into trouble. He had gotten off easier this time...perhaps it was a sign of good fortune! But there still lies the question...where would he spread his evil to?

Azalea town? Team rocket took that before! ...but it's just filled with old people. What old geezer would join his cause? BAH! ...Ruins of Alph? There's no one there except boring history nerds and creeps! Pass!

Goldenrod city...yes...yes! That's where team rocket took over in the past! If they could do that, surely he could do something big there too! All those people...surely there are people to embrace villainy! But it was a little bit aways...Route 36 would be the route he's gotta take to get there the fastest.

"Croagunk my dear grunt, we have our heinous heading!" Charade proclaimed with a pose. "Goldenrod city shall taste our evildoer motives and shall be the greatest birthplace of our villainous organization to prosper! And observe!"

He whipped out his pamphlets he made to his Croagunk. They were somewhat crude, scribbled on with somewhat Legible handwriting and picture of locations taped to it haphazardly alongside a drawing of Charade himself.

"Official Crimson Crew enrollment papers! Each one hand made from scratch!" He announced before cupping his hands in mid whisper. "That's how you know that we put a lot of heart in it~"

The croagunk cheered at the idea, seemingly absentminded about the thought that it may not even work, or how shoddy the craftsmanship was. Charade stashed the papers away as held a determined snicker.

"So let us go! So many innocent people to corrupt to the side of villainy!"
~Somewhere in Violet City, Aldon Charlton...~

Aldon was at the pokécenter in Violet City, its where his pokémon adventuring had led him to. He had previously travelled across Kanto, and was heading to Johto. The next place he had in mind to visit was the Alph Ruins. Skol by his side, he decided to call his father and tell him about his future trip. Aldon was pretty excited about visiting the ruins. He called his dad to tell him the news. Aldebaran Charlton was Aldon's father, and one of the more prominent archeologists in Alola.

"So we just arrived in Violet City" Aldon said.

"Ugh huh" Aldebaran said.

"And we were just about to head to the Aph Ruins" Aldon said.

The Alph Ruins... I know I told you my story of visiting the Alph Ruins years ago, haven't I?" Aldebaran said.

"At least a thousand times, and I love it! I wanna see those unknowns too! I wanna read the symbols and stuff!" Aldon said.

"Have you contacted your mentor, yet? Err..." Aldebaran asked.

"Ezio" Aldon said.

"Right right, you should probably do that as well. I need to leave for work. Call me again tonight, will ya?" Aldebaran said.

"Time to call Ezio" Aldon said calling him up.

"Morning!" Aldon said.

"Slooow" Skol yawned on the computer screen.

Wednesday, June 8 – Aqua Resort, Sophian Island, Oblivia Region​

Forever ago—truly, just last week; but any wait was an eternity when it stood between her and becoming a Pokémon Trainer—Esther had applied for and received her trainer card. It recognized her identity as a Pokémon and more importantly, her trainer ID allowed her to apply for a starter Pokémon.

Trainers didn't usually apply for starter Pokémon. Most were gifted a Pokémon by a family friend or were assisted in catching a Pokémon; but Esther couldn’t do either of those because…well, Oblivia didn’t use Pokéballs so catching a Pokémon would prove quite difficult; and, while her family farm was home to Wurmple, Spinarak, Combee, Weedle and their evolutions, none of them had wanted to leave the comfort of the farm to travel regions unknown. She didn’t blame them, but the rejection still smarted.

Their loss!

Since the traditional methods were off the table, Esther would adopt a Pokémon residing at a shelter; a shelter that would deliver to Oblivia. She already knew what shelter she’d be applying to since, three years prior, her brother had done the same. He had gotten a little birdie with fuzzy white plumage over its mostly pale, blue body. What was its name...Ruff— Row— Rowlet? Something along those lines. Despite its small size, the Pokémon was renowned for its bravery; or at least...that's what the Shelter had said.

Esther had remembered that part clearly since she wanted a Pokémon just like that: brave, strong, reliable! And speaking of her Pokémon—her fingers flew across the keyboard, clacking out p-o-k-e-p-r-o-...there! Autofill did the rest.

It would take a moment to load...so Esther took the chance to check on her wards. The kids were still fine, taking turns drowning each other in the river or something—so Esther turned her attention to the screen.

A rustle of wind scattered the sunlight filtering through the branches, an errant beam poked Esther in the eye. Blinded, she recoiled. Irritation waxed warm in her veins, 'Should’ve brought a sunhat.' She scowled but re-focused.

Esther had some ideas for her first Pokémon and had been looking through the lists for the last three days. They were talking about her future partner after all. Her decision here would follow her for the rest of her career—the rest of her life; it was, without exaggeration, the single greatest choice she had to make or would ever make. A deliberate choice made after careful deliberation. Deliberation that had not begun here, but rather, it had been on her mind for weeks. With all the Pokémon in the world to choose from it was almost impossible to narrow her selection down to just one; the most Esther had been able to do was narrow the range with a list of criteria.

First, her partner had to fit her gothic style. The dark of her ensemble: from dyed locks fringed red to glossy toenails painted black, it was more than a fashion statement. It was that too, of course; but it was so much more. So, she wanted her first Pokémon to at look the part or at least, it couldn't be anything too cute and innocuous; there would be a time and place for that, but not now. That immediately eliminated a preponderance of choices: mostly fairy types, grass types, and normal types.

Second, she wanted...no needed to make her way to the top and she wanted a partner who shared the same drive. There were a lot of picks that were supposed to be strong, she'd written down a few: Gasly, Rookidie, Drilbur, Misdreavus...but none of them spoke to her. They were good, but they weren't exceptional. Esther decided to hold out. As unfortunate as it was, new Pokémon were added to the shelter every day. Just yesterday, the shelter had received a Honedge, and the description that came with it easily made it the best Esther had seen so far.

Third and last, she wanted musical talent! As something of a musician herself, Esther wanted an immediate commonality of interests. If she could relate to her Pokémon over a shared passion, then they would get along swimmingly!

It was a tricky set of criteria, but Esther would have it no other way. However, time was short. She was slated to leave the region this afternoon, as soon as she received her partner, and she couldn’t possibly allow further delays. Esther navigated through the familiar pages of the Pokémon Project Website, searching for her partner-to-be. After a few minutes, something caught her eye—they had a new entry.
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June 8, Rank 48,679, Trainer Emma Argentston. Current Location: Violet City, Johto, with a heading of Goldenrod City.

The sky was clear and sunny, perfect day to do anything in the quaint town of Violet City, Johto. Well, for a young, silver haired girl, she was training. Dusknoir was facing Cinderace in a training match before she heard something about villainy and Route 36, headed towards Goldenrod. She hid behind some trees, flipped her cloak, and opened her bag, which contained a mask that she wore when fighting crime. The cloak was now black on the outside as she returned everyone out, and brought out Drampa, who she hopped on his back. She looked around in the air over the city. Her doing this stuff was completely normal, tracking possible villains and such, she picked up Vigilantism in Galar, and her father was The Cloaked Rider. Speaking of which, she hoped he landed in Galar safely. She looked for the possible villain, who she remembered saying they were headed towards route 36. She opened a pokeball, particularly a Fast Ball, a gift from her dad for her Eleventh birthday, and it released a moth-like creature with a purple top of head and horns, white fluff on the upper body, the lower body was purple with a darker purple, and gold wings with black spots. A few random trainers on Route 36 looked up, and dropped their jaws. Never in a million years, would these trainers had thought they would see a Shiny Pokémon, much less a species that wasn't commonly found in Johto. Volcarona flew ahead of Emma, keeping an eye on the person of interest. One of the trainers had recognized the Drampa from her adventures in Galar.

"It's The Masked Skull!"

She knew she needed to hurry and headed in his direction.

Around $60,000
Empty pokeballs (5 poke, 2 ultra, one Cherish (Cherish ball was a gift from her father))
3 potions
1 super potion
1 escape rope
1 paralyze heal
Duskull Mask

Motostoke City, June 8, Frontier Brain Firey Argentston, Rank 20, Ultra Tier.

As the Frontier Brain of the Battle Maze unboarded the plane landing near Motostoke City, whispers were heard due to the fact a Top 20 trainer landed in the region. Paparazzi were all over this as Drapion popped out of his pokeball. He gave the Paparazzi a look that meant 'do you want to bother my trainer, if so, you may get Fell Stingered'. They immediately backed off as they didn't want to taste an attack from a Top 20 Trainer's Pokémon. Firey returned Drapion as he let his Absol out. He walked out of the airport, headed towards the town. When he got into town, looks were given of utter shock. The man then went into the Pokémon Center, to go call his wife. Sharp waited next to the telephone, giving anyone who followed an odd look.

"Hello, honey, I wanted to call to say I love you and I landed in Galar safely, the Paparazzi tried to bother me, but you know Drapion, he almost Fell Stingered them." Firey said that like it was a normal occurrence, "By the way, anything interesting happen while I was gone?"

"Um we had a Pokémon get in the house again, and it wouldn't leave, so I had to use The Beast Ball you were saving for a Galar Native Pokémon, and The Pokémon looked like this..." His wife responded.

A Drakloak appeared on screen.

"Can anyone tell me what this Pokémon is?" Firey asked aloud.

"Mr. Maze Guardian, that is a Drakloak, why are you asking?" A random girl asked.

"It got in my house." Firey explained, "My wife caught the Drakloak in a Beast Ball, and thank you, for answering my question."

"No problem, Mr. Maze Guardian."

He then got back to the phone call.

"Other than a Drakloak in the house, anything interesting?" Firey asked his wife.

"The Masked Skull was sighted on Route 36 in Johto."

He let that sink in, his daughter was out, fighting the good fight, but not one the police could do. He'd done it before, and passed the mantle off to the next Generation.

"I understand you're worried, but she has her Volcarona, who will protect her in any way he can." Firey responded, "I have a meeting with a representative of the champion in about an hour, it's not often a Frontier Brain is in Galar."

"I'm going to make dinner for me and Drakloak," Ariana responded, "Call me later, remember I love you, Goodbye."

"Love you too, sweetheart," Firey responded, "Goodbye for now."

Firey hung up the phone after ending the call, and headed for Motostoke stadium to talk with a Fellow Hoennian.
Penny Lepiter; Trainer Ranking — Unranked
June 8th. Ruins of Alph, Johto Region.
"No, I swear I don't want to do the tour," Penny groaned, refusing to give ground even as Mirror - her needy, groveling Ditto - let out a disappointed, rumbling sigh. "I've been to the Ruins like a dozen times. I live close enough to walk here for the day. You think I'm gonna spend expensive hotel money?"

"Ditto." Ditto pleaded.

"I don't think you need a spa day." The girl laughed, pulling at a strand of hand that had fallen in front of her face and twisting at it with an uncertain thoughtfulness.

She'd chosen to up and walk to the Ruins of Alph to...do...Pokemon Professor shit, she wasn't really sure what that amount to, actually. Well, of course Penny had an idea but there was so much to see and explore at the Ruins that she felt overcome by helplessness — surely everything that could be found had been, right? It was a weightless sensation, like one of an utter lack of impact on the world or how people went about their lives.

"Ditto." Ditto said, reassuringly.

"Thanks, buddy." Penny replied, eyeing the ancient floor tiles sadly.

The sounds of a roaming tour passed through, and the listless Penny - almost feeling as though she had given up - attached herself to them for a short while. Though nice and well meaning, the guide didn't seem to provide any new or any interesting information — mostly just going over the motions of the very basics for people from all over who just wanted somewhere to spend their money for a day or two.

Not long after bringing herself to weasel into the tour, the group walked by a nice, open lakeside area. Her phone started to vibrate forcefully in her back pocket. Penny knew who it was right away. She paused, finding a shady tree near the lake to take the call, answering the phone with a brutish grunt.

"Yes, dad?" She asked, as if he'd intruded on some great adventure of hers. "I'm at the Ruins of Alph. All day. For a school trip! Yeah, you signed the papers. No, the Radio Tower was last month. Yes you for sure signed the papers. Of course you can't hear the group, I had to stay behind to take your call!"

While on the phone with her father, Penny watched as another girl from the tour made her way by the lake, into a small chamber the rest of the tour had ignored. Curious, she stood up, making her way to see what the other girl was up to.

"Well duh I'm frustrated, you're holding me up!" She growled, really playing up the lie that her dad interrupted her learning. "You keep saying you want me to focus on real school again well, here we freaking are! That's not a swear. It's a fake swear. C'mon. Let it slide and I'll let this call slide? Cool. Buh-bye...yeah, love you too."

Ending the call just as she was reaching the interior hall, Penny stuffed her phone back in her pocket and kept going. Penny heard the sound of shifting stone before she saw the carvings covering the walls, or the old statues. In the center room, the girl from before seemed to be having her way with the archaeological marvels the Ruins had to offer.

"Do you know what you're doing or is this trial and error?" Penny asked the girl casually.
Ezio Farello
June 8, Nacrene City, Unova

In a cramped room, filled with books, paper and a surprising amount of maps, a man flicked through a new report that was sent to him. Another investigation of the Ruins of Alph in Johto, a place that still had yet to give away all of its secrets. Like the reason behind those Unown for example, or why there was writing on the walls that resembled Unown. The same writing was found in the Tanoby Chambers in Kanto and the Solaceon Ruins in Sinnoh, but there didn't seem to be any connection between the three locations. Why did Unown live there? Why did they resemble the alphabet? Was there a secret connection between the three locations in three different regions? So many questions, yet so little answers and Ezio loved every last bit of it.

As he was about to read about the new discoveries made concerning the sliding puzzles that confounded researchers for a while, his laptop rang with the cooing of Pidoves, the standard sound for an incoming call in Unova. Accepting the call, he sat down on his cluttered desk and fashioned his hair. "Ezio Farello, what's up Aldon?" At the name drop of Aldon, a large Pokémon barged into the screen and almost pushed Ezio off his chair.


"Alright Erebus, calm down!" Working his way back on the chair, the man grinned as he petted his partner. "What got you so worked up, girl? Excited to see an old friend?"


Regina Aspis
June 8, Route 32, Johto

The tall grass, something many a trainer are familar with. Everyone remembers the first time they took their first step into the habitat of wild Pokémon which sent them on the route of becoming a Trainer. However, most people would not be able to remember the first time they crawled through the grass to find a specific Pokémon when walking was just as effective. Regina was not most people, and insisted on being different and difficult. Not quite unlike her target, an Ekans that were supposed to live on this route, yet she found diddly squat. How was this possible? This route was perfect! Plenty of food, lots of hiding places and enough places to warm up, why did they not show up? It was frankly rude.

She didn't even want to catch an Ekans, not yet atleast. She just wanted to see how differently they would behave from Sevipers, who always seemed to be on high alert and ready to strike at a moment's notice due to the Zangoose living in the same area. Did Ekans have such a rivalry, and if so, with who? She just wanted to see it......and maybe try and fight it, but there was nothing wrong with that!

5000 Poké
5 Poké Balls
5 Antidotes
"Crap!" Reina shouted as she nervously tried to catch the stone in her hands that juggled in the air before falling and hitting Diva on the head. "Sorry! I was just curious and there was no sign against..." Reina finally set her eyes on the new arrival while picking up the stone and rubbing Diva's head, who had big teary eyes. "Wait, oh, I thought you were one of the guides. The tour group is ahead in case you missed them."

Rina stood up, trying to dust off the embarrassing moment, by casually placing the stone back amongst the others. Then, there was a loud Click! The room began to slowly shake, dust and streams of dirt falling from the walls as one of the statues began moving to the right and against the wall. Where it had stood, was now a dark hole, with no signs of any light inside of it besides the one the chamber provided. Reina placed her hands over her mouth, like a kid who had just broken something of value.

"That's not supposed to happen, is it?" She shot a quick glance at the girl standing in the room with her while Diva ran over in peeked inside the whole.

Shen: King of Digimon

Previously Shen: King of the Mist
June 8, Wednesday - Route 36

Charade had taken his first steps out of town for the first time since...wait. Had he ever left town before? Well, a first time for everything!

"Croagunk! Be watchful! Between any stump or rock there could be UNFATHOMABLE dangers! Robbers or murderers...so we better be sure not to look like a fool in front of them okay?! Hope you remember that dialogue we practiced!"

The croagunk gave him an obedient salute as the crime boss exchanged a devilish grin to the lackey.

"Excellent! We must make our threatening presence known! Observe!"

Looking around, he looked for a victim for their sinister shenanigans. No one around but...a sapling tree. That would be their target! The leader of the Crimson Crew stomped over with wide steps toward the sapling tree, rubbing his hands mischievously. That's when he delivered a swift kick to the sapling tree.


"Ow ow ow...!!"

He jumped back, cradling his foot. It felt like he just kicked a rock! Rubbing it back and forth, His loyal lackey raced over to him.


"Ouch ouch...ah...that hurt! It seems this sapling is immune to our evil ways... Ah, perhaps it has already been exposed to such levels of villainy to where it no longer feels the effect! ...an evil tree."

He squinted at the tree, the line being made in the sand. Walking with a light limp up to the sapling, he pointed a finger at the tree, poking it threateningly.

"I'll be back, tree. Mark my words, the Crimson Crew have not forgotten this slight against us!"

With that, he turned with a huff, going the opposite direction of the tree...that is until realizing the tree was in the direction of his destination, so he sort of just...flapped his cape back around and marched past it slightly faster than before.

As he made his way past the tree, the tree in question formed a sweatdrop on it. It was like it pitied him.

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June 7th- Olivine City, Johto

Q had never been the sentimental type, and when it came to departing his hometown to start a journey? That was no different.
After all, who wants to share a bitter farewell with their loved ones right before going on a grand adventure? No one.

Instead, he gave his parents a hasty farewell and set out on the road. Not that this was a problem for the Wilder folks, as they knew he was smart enough to keep himself out of dangerous situations…or at least…they hoped.

June 7th- Route 38, Johto

It had only taken a few hours of traveling for Q to be shaken off course by yet another one of his ‘genius’ ideas.
Now, deep within the foliage of route 38 and well off the beaten path, the burgundy haired boy and his Teddiursa could be seen bickering amongst one another.


Grendel muttered in frustration, gesturing back to the main road.

“Look, prices at the mart are insane these days. There’s no way I’m paying that much money for some healing supplies.”

As Q spoke, he quickly plucked an Oran Berry from a low hanging tree branch. After taking a moment to inspect the deep-blue fruit, he quickly punched a hole through the stem of the berry band hooked it to one of the many carabiners hanging from his duffle. It was apparent that he’d been doing this for quite awhile, as he had a row of various berries dangling from the bag like clothes on a line out to dry.

“Ursa! Ur!”

Grendel threw his paws up before tapping his wrist condescendingly, never breaking eye contact with Q. It was clear the small bear Pokémon had expected… more immediate action.

“Look, if you really wanna battle, we have to be prepared. That means pausing to gather supplies and explore… besides, this journey is for me, too. Ya ever think of that?”

“TeD-tEdDi! UrSa!”

Grendel was quick to snap back, mocking Q’s reasoning. He knew his trainer was right- but that didn’t mean he was happy about losing the argument.

“There…I’d say that’s enough. Just gotta let em’ dry out, then we ca…”

The rookie trainers words trailed off as he took notice of the bushes a few meters away. They’d suddenly begun shaking vigorously.


Q’s voice was eerily quiet. He’d all of a sudden become highly aware of just how far he’d wandered off the main path. He didn’t know what exactly hid away out here, but it seemed large…


Despite the argument that had just concluded, it was clear that there were no hard feelings; Grendel immediately noticing the uneasy tone in his trainers voice.

Not missing a beat, the untrained normal type quickly took a fighting stance in front of Q. On top of this, he puffed his tiny chest out and cloaked his claws in the shining white energy of Fury Swipes.
Grendel truly was doing everything in his power to appear intimidating, all to no avail.

“Stay on guard…we might just get to that first battle like you wanted, huh?”

The Teddiursa trainer attempted to calm his nerves by focusing on the irony of the situation.
Though, this coping mechanism lasted about five seconds before the rustling bush was quickly shredded apart by the large, lurking form of what lay beneath.


After nearly losing his lunch at the sight of the menacing pseudo-legendary, Q quickly swiped up his Pokémon and made a mad dash for the main path.

“Ursa! Teddi!”

Grendel squirmed and fought against his trainer, as if he were saying, ‘let me at him’.

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June 7th, Tuesday - Lumiose City, Kalos

“So have you decided on what starter you want yet, Acer?”

Asking the question was Natalie, a rather comely brunette no older than seventeen walking hand in hand with her boyfriend, Jerome. The blonde had some beads of sweat dripping from his head due to having just come from a game of pickup basketball. Strolling beside them was none other than the black-haired boy at who the question had been directed. Acer sauntered down the streets of Lumiose alongside them with a hand in his pocket. He was a bit tired from the game they just played and had other stuff on his mind. It took a short moment for him to respond and he ran a hand through his hair before giving a suitable answer.

"I’m still unsure. Might just go for a random one, to be honest.”

As soon as the words came out of his mouth, Jerome burst into a chuckle and smacked Acer behind the shoulder. “You’re a dumbass if you do that bro!” Jerome exclaimed, throwing a playful jab at his good friend. As far as they knew, no one had ever chosen a random Pokémon and made it far. Every competent trainer usually picked the starter of their choice from the Pokémon Project or elsewhere. Picking a random Pokémon was, frankly, unwise. However, that wasn’t enough to affect the confidence of his friend, who was quite amused himself.

“Nah. Just watch me. One way or another, I’ll be the strongest.” Acer boldly claimed, surprising no one. It didn’t matter what Pokémon he had, Acer felt he had the drive to become strong. Of course, the couple believed in him, but still liked to mess with him. “Yeah, until you get destroyed by like Siebold.” Jerome’s girlfriend shot back playfully as she tried to hold back her own laughter. Siebold, though he was a member of the elite four Kalos, was considered to be the weakest of the bunch. Of course, Acer just chuckled at the thought of him falling to the famous chef. “No way I’m losing to a cook. You’d never see my face in Kalos again if I did. Just like that one guy who won the conference a while back.”

It wasn’t too long ago when a previous Conference Winner faced the Kalos elite four and lost to Siebold. The guy literally vanished the next day and no one heard from him since. To be fair, he shouldn’t have made it that far in the first place. His opponent in the semifinals just happened to choke against a Slowbro with a Breloom. The collective disbelief of the crowd in the stadium when the opponent used leech seed instead of an attack while Slowbro had used rest was a sight to remember. They must’ve been too concerned about Slowbro waking up that they forgot to attack the Pokémon while it slept. It was no wonder a majority of trainers failed to get past the elite four after winning the conference. The elite four was just on a whole other level.

“Damn. Not being able to see you again would suck though. You’re always welcome to hide out at my place if you like man. My parents don’t really mind who I bring over. Like they’re even letting Nat come on our vacation tomorrow too.” Jerome would be going on a summer vacation tomorrow to Kanto with his family and they were letting Natalie come along as well. This was why they were saying their farewells today rather than next week.

“Yeah, I know. As long as it’s quiet at night next time, then I won’t mind staying over. At least then I can get some sleep.” Acer replied to the offer with a bit of mirth in his voice. For a moment, Jerome was a bit confused by what Acer was referring to before chuckling briefly, with Natalie having a more noticeable blush on her face for some reason. The girl soon paused underneath the fading sunlight, causing the two boys to stop as well. “Looks like we’re at my place already. That was fast.” She commented before looking at Acer. “I’m gonna miss you,” Natalie said with a more somber tone as she gave Acer a quick hug, which he returned. “I mean I’ll still be here till next week training with my starter, but yeah, same. Take care of Jerome too on that vacation. He’ll be a lost Rockruff without you.” Natalie giggled in agreement before they separated, giving her boyfriend room to say his goodbye.

Of course, Jerome wasn’t going to let that joke slide even if this was his last time seeing Acer. “A Rockruff? More like a Lycanroc.” Whatever form he was referring to was unknown, but when he continued to talk, his tone was a bit quieter than before. “You know, I heard Celeste was pretty hurt after you two talked. I knew you wanted to become a trainer, but I honestly didn’t think you were that dedicated.” Acer shifted his eyes away from Jerome when he mentioned that girl. He pondered his thoughts before looking back at the blonde. “It was tough, but I already decided this is what I want to do. This is just more important to me.” Hearing that statement caused Jerome a mirthful expression to form on his face. “Cold as always, but that’s cool. If this is what you want, then I’ll support you no matter what. It’s been a pleasure, my man.” With that, Jerome and Acer did one last handshake before a quick hug of their own before the couple began to walk off while a flock of Fletchling flew overhead.

Looking up at the brilliantly red and orange sky, Acer could see the glowing sun slowly dipping below the horizon after he bid farewell to two of his many friends he might not see for a while. Soon enough, the fleeting colors of dusk would fade away. Then darkness would fill the sky, only combated by the bright lights of Lumiose City throughout the night. Then a new dawn would begin along with a new journey for himself. This feeling was something he never experienced before. He felt anxious and excited at the same time. The boy didn’t wait much longer to head back to his place. Fortunately, his home was only a short walk away. A few minutes later, Acer had finally arrived near his house and it was there where he found someone else making their way there.

“Oh. Hello there. I’m from the Kalos Postal Service. Do you happen to be Acer Voland?”

Acer stood frozen for a moment, wondering if the thing he had been waiting on for so long was finally here. “Um, yeah. That’s me. What’s up?” He replied, casually greeting the mailman.

“Well, what a perfect coincidence. I have a package here for you. Just sign this please.” Without hesitation, Acer swiftly signed whatever he needed to sign before receiving the package. Once the mailman departed, the boy stared intently at the package. This was it. Not wasting another second, Acer unlocked the door and was met with a cool breeze as he stepped inside of his home. Once Acer shut the door and removed his shoes, he headed for the stairs, but not before a brief interaction with his sister. The usually charming Pokémon Performer was laying on her back lazily on the sofa in the living room, a white t-shirt with a floral design on it and baby blue shorts being her only clothing as she appeared to be texting someone.

“You’re home early today, Alyssa. What color are those highlights? White? Grey?” If it wasn’t for the fact her newly dyed hair blended almost perfectly with Sylvie, Acer might not have mentioned it. Lazily sprawled across her chest with closed eyes was Sylvie. Trading its normal warm, hazel-colored fur for an icy, silver, and grey look made this Eevee hard to miss. The end of its tail and the fur around its neck was a blue-tinged white, with its actual body being a murky grey color. She was a perfect match for his sister.

“Well, look who’s finally home.” Glancing up at him from her phone, the clean-limbed girl greeted, ignoring his question with a snicker. “Today is probably one of the last times I’ll get to spend dinner with my baby brother for a while. Of course I’ll be here!”

“I’m literally like only one year younger than you!” Acer was quick to remind Alyssa of that since she always liked to bring that up.

“That doesn’t matter. You’re still my little brother." The girl stretched, indicating she was about to get up, which caused Sylvie to wake up from her short-lived nap and gently hop off the comforting chest of his sister onto the carpet below. Once Alyssa stood up, she glanced at the package in his hands and then his blue eyes expectingly.

"Sooooooo, is that package it?" His sister questioned him as if Acer wasn't thinking the same thing. Walking over to a table surrounded by the sofas, Acer placed the package on it and then took a seat. Sylvie hopped up beside him on the sofa to watch the special moment and received a pet from the teen before he grabbed the package.

"Well, let's find out." Tearing the package open, Acer followed through with his words. Alyssa moved closer to watch as her brother finally opened the package to find a closed white box with just the symbol of a Pokeball over it. It didn't take long for Acer to open it and find his trainer card inside. There was a smirk across his lips as he saw the same picture used for his application only a few weeks ago. Before he could pull out the card though, he felt the warm embrace of his sister as she excitedly hugged him from behind.

"Congrats Acer! You're officially a Pokémon trainer now! Now we can battle you for real, right Sylvie?!" Her jubilant Pokémon cried in agreement and jumped onto Acer's lap to celebrate. Ruffling her fur, Acer's responded to his sister, the tone of his voice unable to hide his excitement.

"Yeah, but I still have to get my starter first! Then I'll beat you!"

"No you won't! I can battle too, you know?" Alyssa shot back as she released his neck from her arms. Although she was a Pokémon performer, the girl still knew how to put up a good fight. It would be her foolish little brother's fault if he wanted to underestimate her. Acer, on the other hand, just laughed at her response as he glanced back at his trainer card. Pulling it out and finally into his hands, Acer found the seven-digit trainer ID number which officially certified him as a Pokémon trainer. It was about damn time.
Route 36, June 8, Trainer Emma Argentston, Rank 48,679

Volcarona gave out the best quiet laughter that a bug type can muster. He kept on Charade's trail, trying his best to not get his attention. He had laughed when the person he was Trailing kicked a Sudowoodo. The bug type kept on going, making sure he didn't lose track of him.

The Masked Skull had been riding along the route and kept a bit back from Volcarona. Drampa had kept its eyes on the skies as his trainer kept an eye on Volcarona. As she kept an eye, she saw something odd amongst the trees. The Normal and Dragon type gave a noise meaning look up, The Masked Skull looked up to find a Pidgeot about to fly in her face, so she ducked. It flew right over her, so she went lower to prevent more of that happening while she was on the route.


Motostoke City, Galar, June 8, Trainer: Firey Argentston, Rank 20, Ultra Tier

He was walking through the City with his Absol at his side, taking in the sights, it was unlike his island home or his hometown of Oldale. He walked around until he found an older man waiting on the Elevator, he had white hair, and wore a fire gym uniform, and had a red and white towel around his neck. He gave a look to Firey.

"Hello, you must be The Frontier Brain, Maze Guardian Firey Argentston," the man responded, "I have to Ask, are you related to an Emma Argentston who came through my Gym a year and a half ago, and beat my gym with a Shiny Volcarona?"

"She's my daughter," Firey responded, "She tries to hide that fact from the public eye."

"I understand," the Gym Leader responded.

The two went inside the stadium after a short walk. They then discussed things such as why a high Ranking trainer was in the Region, where everything was, and how certain things worked around the region.

"I'm probably feeling Jetlag from, the time difference, is there anywhere I can stay?"

"The Budew Drop inn, I'll escort you there." A league official responded.

Firey nodded and followed the League official, as Sharp followed behind. The Paparazzi came back, but League officials were dealing with them. He entered the hotel and people were surprised,

"The rank twenty trainer just came in to stay for the night?" A random trainer asked, "I'd been following the rankings."

Firey Argentston had heard the kid, "You sound a lot like my older Daughter, Laura."

The trainer took that to heart, and nodded, his Yamper shyly approached Sharp. Sharp took a look at the young Pokémon, gave it a sniff and gave the Electric Type a lick.

"Train that Yamper, it seems to have potential, my Absol has taken notice, she's one of my Pokémon from the days I was like you, nearly thirty years ago." Firey told the trainer.

The trainer picked up his Yamper and nodded, going back to where he was seated so Firey could check into the hotel.

"Hello, how can I help you?"

"I'd like to check in for a room, please?"

"Trainer ID number please!"

"0052922." Firey responded.

The receptionist entered the Trainer ID and his Jaw hit the ground.

"We were not expecting you, Sir," the receptionist continued, "We have room 533 available, here is the Key to the room, we hope you have a good stay."

Firey then went up to the Fifth floor and then walked all the way to room five thirty three. He inserted his key and the door unlocked, he entered the room and dropped his stuff which had been brought to the hotel by league staff, he took over carrying after he entered the hotel. He took a seat on the bed, his Absol curled up next to him.
Penny Lepiter; Trainer Ranking — Unranked
June 8th. Ruins of Alph, Johto Region.
"Oh no, yeah, no I'm not a tour guide, I'm just Penny," Penny said, waving her hands in front of herself in a meek sort of embarrassment; Mirror the Ditto slithered behind her, an equally nervous blob. "But I'm not-"

Click. Ssssssschk!

The whole room shook like it was the entire universe, slowly imploding. Dust fell down on the girls like an old snow. Penny gasped as she saw the statue in the left corner push itself to the right just enough to reveal a small, dark doorway. Its threshold seemed a dark maw, ready to eat Penny and Reina alike. Ditto moaned, begging them not to go any further.

Gasping, Penny let out a little laugh.

"That's definitely not supposed to happen," She responded, walking forward to look down the hole with Diva. Penny pulled her phone from her back pocket again, turning on the flashlight built into it, shining it on what was revealed to be a very steep, stone-slab staircase. "Well. Maybe it is. But...not, yknow, for the tour."

"Ditto." Mirror said.

"Hush." Penny shushed her foul-mouthed Pokemon.
"I was calling to let you know I was heading to the Alph Ruins!" Aldon said.

"Slooow" Skol yawned,

"Skol too! I bet Erebus is hoping you'll give her any chocolate! Speaking of Alph Ruins... Know anything about the place before I head out? It's good to be well informed beforehand, so any words would be helpful" Aldon said.

Aldon had all his stuff with him prepared, ready to go. The only thing left to do now was finish his conversation with Ezio.

Wednesday, June 8 – Aqua Resort, Sophian Island, Oblivia Region​

Pokèdex Entry #782 – Jangmo-o, the Scaley Pokémon

Metallic sounds echo through the tall mountains where Jangmo-o lives. While Jangmo-o trains diligently and remains humble, it has the pride of a warrior. It employs the scale on its forehead for both attack and defense, so it never shows its back to its foe. Many Trainers take this behavior as proof of this Pokémon's valiant nature. Jangmo-o lives and trains with others of its kind in harsh areas that are far away from other Pokémon and people. They learn to fight by smashing their head scales together. The dueling strengthens both their skills and their spirits. The scales on its body make a metallic sound when struck and are used to express emotion, communicate with others of its kind, and intimidate opponents. The signature moves of Jangmo-o and its evolutions are Clanging Scales and Clangorous Soul.

"Jangmo-o...!" Esther's interest was sparked. This one looked promising!

The Oblivian tabbed into Jangmo-o's page entry, revealing an expanded article about the Pokémon and its evolutionary line.

Jangmo-o evolves into Hakamo-o and then Kommo-o, it is a dragon-type Pokémon that gains the fighting-type upon evolution. Dragon/Fighting represents a unique type-combination, and Jangmo-o’s evolution are the known Pokémon of this kind. Additionally, this evolutionary line belongs among the pseudo-legendary Pokémon. Along with the likes of Goodra, Salamence, Hydreigon, and Dragapult, Kommo-o is a Pokémon whose natural power falls just short of the realm of legends. These powerful species have relatively slow growth-rates that allow their immense potential to bloom later down the line and of all the pseudo-legendaries, Kommo-o has the most well-rounded.

Esther's eyes widened. She'd never heard of the rest, but...Salamence? That was a name to be feared. It was better known to her as Blood Wing. The Blood Wing. The uncrowned King of Sophian Island who lived atop its highest peak.

If Jangmo-o could grow into a Pokémon like that...she'd better keep reading.

This specimen hatched from an egg originating in the Alolan Islands. The specimen is female, and she exhibits extreme and uncharacteristic aggression and a desire for battle more commonly seen in its evolution—Hakamo-o . While her potential speaks for itself, she has been returned twice for delinquent behavior.

New trainers should think twice before selecting her.

Seeing the warning, Esther took a moment to think about it, and pfft, nah—she'd already hit the apply button.

Jangmo-o was everything Esther wanted wrapped into a neat little package; behavior aside, it was strong, had noteworthy drive, and its potential was as high as it got. So what if it had a bit of attitude, who could really pass up on a Pokémon like this? Whoever they were, she needed to thank them—otherwise, she might've missed out. This wasn't just her bond-mate, it was her soul-mate!

"Jangmo-o...huh?" Esther giggled. “I choose you!"
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Reina joined the group peeking into the passageway they had found, placing her hands on her knees as she leaned over to get a closer look. "Sorry, I'm Reina by the way, spelled R E I N A, pronounced with the R being rolled rrrrrrReina." She was talking but at the same time deciding if she should walk away from the obvious trouble that would lead exploring into the dark passage, but then again, if there was some ancient secret to becoming stronger, that was a good way to start searching for it. "I'm going in."

She began going down the small stairway, using her Rotom Phone to light the way while Diva followed quickly, looking scared but doing her best to tough it out. The two kept going for a few moments, until the light from the room above disappear and all that was left was a dark moist room that lacked any sort of natural light, besides Rotom shining above Reina, nothing could be seen beyond them.

"Okay, so now we find whatever secret these ruins are hiding." Reina gulped as she began venturing into the dark room, Diva grabbing on to her leg, trying not to stay behind.
Ezio Farello
June 8, Nacrene City, Unova

"Erebus had enough chocolate, she'll get fat if I give her even more." Ezio chuckled, causing Erebus to let her ears droop and look at her trainer with big puppy eyes. "Nice try, girl, but no. I'm not falling for that. Ruins of Alph you said, I just got a report on that place. Give me a second." Getting up from his chair, Ezio grabbed the report as Erebus waved at Aldon and Skol before moving out of the way for her trainer.

"Let's see, Ruins of Alph. One of the three locations where Unown can be found, along with the Tanoby Chambers in Kanto and the Solaceon Ruins in Sinnoh. Aside from the occassional fossils being found in the rocks, the main attraction are the ruins itself. There are multiple sliding puzzles across the ruins, some are easier to access than others. It is yet unknown, forgive the pun, what the reason behind those puzzles are, but researchers have reason to believe that they are linked to the Unown due to the fact that when one of them was solved, the researchers saw an increase of Unown in the area. Unown by themselves are not very dangerous, but it can be quite easy to get overwhelmed. I know I am just an old man, but the best advice I can give you is to be careful and don't pick fights. Unless you truly cannot help it, but then you better win." Ezio grinned at Aldon, leaning back in the chair.

"You're a smart kid, so you probably don't need me to tell you any of that, but it never hurts to be reminded to have fun whilst exploring. You're young, make the most of it. Don't worry too much about making notes about what you see, unless you believe it to be very important. Enjoy your time travelling, you will spend more than enough time later rummaging through dusty books. Take it from someone who's reached that point in time."


Regina Aspis
June 8, Route 32, Johto

At last, Regina's endeavours paid off. It took way longer than she liked, but eventually she did find an Ekans. Finally her curiosity would be sated, as the serpentine Pokémon slithered into a tree and hissed to scare a couple of Pidgey off their nest before swallowing the eggs whole. The Ekans didn't move for a while before the egg shells were vomited out, squished together and without any of the yolk left. After eating its fill, the Snake Pokémon wrapped itself around a branch and began to nap.

Regina was enthralled by the display, Ekans seemed to be the top predator around for them to so casually take a nap on a branch. The Sevipers back home never were that relaxed, they were constantly on high alert and whetting their blade tail. This would be an interesting journey, she knew it already.
Audrey Touissant; Great Rank - 1618
June 8th. Lumiose City, Kalos Region.
"Just like the rest of the meal, the Gogoat Milk Curd Parfait is simply to die for! If you guys want some amazing treats like this one, make sure to check out Restaurant Le Wow next time you are in Lumiose City!" said Audrey with a wink, her Rotom Phone capturing the experience for her to share on Pokevision.

Staring at her phone, Audrey posted her Pokevision promoting Restaurant Le Wow for all her followers to see. "I'm glad that's over with," Audrey thought to herself as she made her way briskly to the exit. "That's the third restaurant partnership in a month. I swear my agent is just jealous of me and wants me to gain weight!"

"Thank you so much for dining with us today. It was a privilege to battle against someone of such prestige." said the restaurant's owner who was standing by the door. "I hope your endorsement of our fine cuisine, and the battling prowess of our staff will bring a great deal of new trainers in through our doors."

"Of course! You were all great battlers and the food was simply divine!" Audrey exclaimed while plastering a cheery smile on her face, quickening her pace out of the restaurant. "I promise you every Pokedollar you spent on this sponsorship will be worth it. Au Revoir!" said Audrey, making her way onto Lumiose City's moderately busy Hibernal Avenue.

Audrey walked through the streets of Lumiose, kindly smiling and waving at passers-by every so often who had recognised her and hoped to get her attention. Her eyes were glued to her Rotom Phone to whole time, watching the steady stream of views, likes and comments that popped up on her most recent Pokevision video.

"Well I hope Restaurant Le Wow is happy with the positive attention the video is getting. It definitely wasn't worth it for me" Audrey thought, staring down at her Phone screen.

"1618... Tsk" Audrey sighed, having changed tabs to look at her updated World Coronation Series rank, having only gone up about 6 places since defeating the restaurant's staff. Walking next to Audrey was her Sylveon, Sophie, one of her ribbon-like feelers wrapped tightly around Audrey's arm.

"Sylveee" Sophie softly cried out, wrapping her feeler more tightly around Audrey's arm, trying to comfort her as she sensed her trainer's more negative emotions through her feelers.

"Oh I'm sorry Sophie!" Audrey , staring down at her Sylveon who was attempting to comfort her. "It's not that the money was bad, it's just that I was hoping we could have defeated some stronger opponents so my rank would have increased more drastically. Too bad not even one of them was above the Premier rank..." Audrey sighed in exasperation.

Having recently suffered a crushing defeat in the World Coronation Series, reducing her rank from in the 1200s down to the 1600s, Audrey found herself desperate to climb her way back up, her aim to make it into the Ultra Class of trainers.

"We need to practice so we can dominate in the next Showcase Sophie." Audrey said with a pause, "Although it would be good if we could find some really strong trainers to beat... Or if they are too strong, we can skip battling them and maybe get some training tips instead!" Audrey exclaimed to her partner Pokemon, the wheels turning in her head as she calculated her next move in claiming the stardom she felt she deserved.
Penny Lepiter; Trainer Ranking — Unranked
June 8th. Ruins of Alph, Johto Region.
The Reina girl took charge headed down the stairway first; of course, Penny was more than glad to be the rearguard. She had keen eyes, but she wasn't much for being the first one to charge into a dangerous unknown. It was frustrating to the girl in a way, but she always tried to know and acknowledge her own limits.

"No way nobody's found this before," Penny whispered as quiet as she could, but the empty chasm that the staircase led them down carried her sound like an Exploud's Hyper Voice.

At the bottom of the staircase, Penny and Reina found themselves in a damp room — a vivid smell of moss emanating from the walls, a thin film of pond-water on the floor, enough so that every footstep the two took was accompanied with an echoing slosh sound. No matter where either of them seemed to shine their phone lights, it was hard to tell exactly what was going on in the room. Penny found the nearest wall she could, feeling around through the moss as she ran her fingers over carvings made into it much like the room they'd walked down from.

"I knew I should have paid more attention to the stones you were messing with," Penny said out loud after a few seconds, smacking the bottom of her fist into an open palm with a definitive thud. She felt much like the amateur that she was. "Before they turned it into a tourist trap, these Ruins were supposed to be like...one, big puzzle room. Or a bunch of smaller, puzzle rooms. One of those two. What if it's this dark for, like, some kinda reason?"
"I wasn't messing with them, I was actually trying to figure it out, you startled me and then I don't know what happened." She walked further into the room, the light of her phone finally showing a large looking creature up ahead. "Oh I think I see a Pokemon." She whispered loudly as she took a few steps closer, Pokeball ready at hand, to her disappointment though, it was just a statue. "Nevermind, it's just one of those Pokemon statues, what Pokemon is this anyways? You ever wonder that? Like, it doesn't look like any Pokemon I've ever seen, but it seems familiar to a few."

Reina placed her hand on the statue, it felt cool but at the same time like if something was vibrating. However the vibration started to get worse, making the whole statue tremble and then spreading to the walls and floors around them. Reina took a step back, she couldn't have possibly caused that right?! However, she didn't have time to finish her thought process as a strong wind began to blow behind them. The sound of something speeding by them broke through the room, then another and another, soon enough, it sounded like a bunch of stones were being flung at high speeds their way. Whatever it was was beginning to cut Reina's vision of Penny.

"Penny!" Reina called out, fearing to lose the girl, "There's something between us!" She called out.

The Rotom phone shone its light towards Penny, but all they could show was a bunch of black figures moving rapidly between them. To make things worse, Reina began to see eyes? Yeah they were eyes, moving fast but seeing so many made it clear they were big eyes moving around looking down on them. Reina's panic was taking over until one of her Pokeballs burst open, revealing a Marshtomp. The Pokemon stood in a defensive position in front of Reina and Diva, ready to fight.
Penny Lepiter; Trainer Ranking — Unranked
June 8th. Ruins of Alph, Johto Region.

"You weren't trying to solve it you were just slapping it around until something interesting happened," Penny shot back to Reina, pressing her hands to her hips right as the foreign girl walked off to fondle another statue. "Yeah, of course I know what Pokemon these are, weren't you paying attention during your to-"

Before Penny could finish, Reina did, indeed, place her hands on the statue, causing a second consecutive room to shake with violent tremors in about as many minutes. The stunned Johto citizen was about to voice her displeasure with the rampant grabbing and pulling and touching when the quaking room threw her reeling onto her rear; she would have suffered a violent pain to her tailbone had Mirror not used its body to cushion her fall, taking the same opportunity to press the button on its own PokeBall and retreat to safety.

Massive rocks flew by her head in rapid succession, like they were being thrown by catapult; Penny started to wonder whether she'd lost orientation, and the ceiling was caving in on them. But then she caught sight of Reina's flashlight, barely gleaming through the intense dark. The Unown had started to circle around them like a ring, then split between the two of them as a divisional wall of bodies and eyes. As they rotated (individually and as a group) each of them started to pick up.

"D-don't panic!" Penny called out, panicked, to Reina as she reached for a PokeBall of her own. Theseus the Heracross stared back at her with a happy glare through the translucent glass of the PokeBall. But she didn't want to fight. Not Unown, especially not so many. "They're h-harmless, I think just-just let them do their thing."
"Don't panic!" Reina called out, looking around for an escape, but the Unown seemed to be everywhere, blending in with the darkness. "Maybe we can talk to them?" She raised her hands up, like someone who surrenders. "Sorry we walked into your, very lovely home. We just wanted to explore? and learn of course about you and stuff. We were not planning on stealing anything, I promise." She waited to see if there was any response, but the Pokemon kept going in circles around her.

The Marshtomp took a more offensive stand, which seemed to cause the the Unown to float around even faster. "Peque! Stand down, just get ready to use Protect if anything happens." Reina's mind began to race with thoughts, looking for a solution, she hadn't really done much, just touched the statue. Would these Pokemon really attack them just for that? Maybe they were really territorial, that was possible, but how could she leave their home? The she got an idea, a dumb one, but desperate situations call for desperate measures? She began extending her arm towards the endless wave of Unown, reaching with her index finger, hoping they wouldn't bite it off or something.

"Penny!" Reina called out, her hand shaking before making contact with the Pokemon. "If I die, make sure to make an shrine for me on November 1st, put some enchiladas and some horchata on it, some candy would be nice and a picture of me." With her last words given, she moved forward and the Unown stopped.

Like if out of a movie scene or as if frozen in time, the Unown remained still, the many of them not moving at all. Reina crept closer, fearing they would start buzzing all over them again, but nothing. Seeing this as an opportunity, she pushed through the floating Pokemon and made her way to Penny, an expression of fright and relief mixed together on her face. "I think we should go while we can."
June 7th- Ecruteak City, Johto

Q maintained a dead-sprint the rest of the way to Ecruteak, not willing to give the angered Pokémon a chance to catch him. He was forced to return Grendel to his pokeball as the little guy had made it too difficult to run- what with all the squirming around.

“Not even a full day and he’s already trying to fight anything he sees. He’ll be the death of me, I know it…”

The now rather winded young man gently slumped against the large gate leading into Ecruteak. The city wasn’t going anywhere. He needed a break.

“Alright… it’s safe now.”

Q slipped Grendel’s pokeball out from his jackets inner pocket and called him out. The small bear Pokémon reappeared in a flash of familiar red light.

“Ursa! Sa?! Sa!?”

Grendel quickly curled his tiny paws into fists, looking around for any sign of the Tyranitar. Q merely pinched his own nose bridge in an attempt to alleviate some of the stress.

“Grendel…he’s gone, bud. Give it a rest.”

Grendel turned to his trainer and dropped his hands, giving the human a look of confusion. Why would Q have stopped him from fighting? Wasn’t that the point?

“Look- I’m real happy that you’re taking this seriously, but you can’t just fight every other Pokémon you see. That Tyranitar would’ve ended us.”

Grendel angrily kicked at Q’s foot, before turning away with his arms folded. How could his trainer be so certain he would’ve lost? Because it was big? Big doesn’t mean strong…

“Rough day, Rookie?”

Before Q could lash back at Grendel, the pair were interrupted by an unknown voice. They both looked over to see a blonde haired man with a purple bandana approaching the front gates.
It was only then that Q realized just how much he stood out. Sweaty, crouched on the side of the road outside town, arguing with a small bear.

“Yeah! I’m fine, yeah. Just had a small scare, but…yeah…fine…”

He stammered out a short reply, not wanting to draw anymore attention to himself. Hopefully the guy would just leave him be.

“Is that so…”

The man merely stood there for a few more seconds, looking back and forth at the Teddiursa and it’s trainer. A smirk slowly crept onto the his face as continued to speak,

“Be honest with me, kid. You’re a brand new trainer, right?”

Q finally found his feet as the man questioned his experience. He dusted himself off, attempting to appear as nonchalant as he quietly gave an honest reply.


The green trainer tried to keep his expression stoic as he spoke. He didn’t wanna make his inexperience seem like a big deal, especially if this guy was about to hassle him because of it.

“You should head to Sprout Tower. They help inexperienced trainers get on their feet. If you don’t….”

The man continued on through the gate, forcing Q and Grendel to slowly trail behind out of curiously. They’d now crossed over into Ecruteak City, revealing the calm, ancient-looking village nestled around two large towers. One of which stood tall, adorned in polished wood and etched bronze. The other? Burnt and blackened beyond repair.
It was so different to Olivine, Q felt as if he’d stepped back in time.
Only then did the stranger continue,

“…I won’t allow you to challenge my gym. Good luck, Rookie.”

With that, the man was off, giving the teen trainer no time to respond.

“Challenge his gym?”

Was the guy messing with him? Q flipped on his X-Gear, the dual screen quickly popping out and flashing to life. After a small series of clicks and taps, he’d brought up the biography of Ecruteaks gym leader. To his surprise, the man matched up. That really was Morty.

“Sprout Tower it is…”
"Cool beans! Thanks! I'll keep you informed" Aldon said.

"Slooooow" Skol yawned moments before the call ended.

"Time to head to the ruins!" Aldon said.

Eventually Aldon would make his way to route 36, and Alph ruins. Alphp ruins was just south the fork in the road, and the ruins themselves were not to far off. Sand everywhere. Sand along the road, sand betweel Skol's toes, sand blewing in the air, and sand leading up to stone structures. Aldon made his way inside one of the buildings. He didn't see anyone inside. Occasional noises. Aldon turned on his flashlight, "Check out those, Skol! Let's see if we can read the texts. "This just states the name of place we're at"

With that, Aldon and Skol headed further inside the ruins. Aldon's foot nearly slipped out from under him. Startled he jumped back. He flashed his light on the ground revealing a dark void. Crumbling earth by his foot. leading to who knows where. He looked at Skol then proceeded to use his pickaxe to tap the ground in front of him and near him to see how solid the flood was. He casually walked around the hole in the floor, and watched Skol follow behind.

'No telling what we'll find down here..." Aldon said now more warry of the ground. He continued to flash his flashlight until they would eventually come across some stairs leading down deeper into the ruins. Whatever was down there, Aldon heard a sound, but wasn't sure what it could be. Was it a pokémon? Was there something down here? Aldon didn't believe he set off any traps of sorts. The mystery was all too exciting, really. Only one way to find out, Aldon continued his path.

June 7th, Tuesday - Pokeball Factory, Laverre Town, Kalos

For many years, even before Atlas had moved to the Kalos region, the Pokeball Factory in Laverre town had been responsible for manufacturing all kinds of pokeballs. From the basic pokeball to the ultra ball and even to the rarest versions such as the cherish ball, the Pokeball Factory was known to have it all. That's what most tourists who took a tour through the factory could see. It was the perfect front. Being a busy tourist spot meant there were always people going in and out, which allowed the nearby authorities to turn a blind eye. That wasn't the case all those years ago when his comrades in Team Flare had overrun the place due to the lack of workers that were present at the time. While the idea to prevent unworthy trainers from being able to capture Pokémon was an honorable one that Atlas followed completely, overrunning the factory so overtly may not have been the best decision in hindsight. Of course, that was a flaw that had been corrected once ownership changed hands. Not only had the factory become more of a tourist attraction, but there was also an abundance of workers always present. Not that they were necessary, but it kept the business authentic in the view of the public while also allowing them to hide in plain sight.

As Atlas stood in the elevator that had been going down far beneath the Pokeball factory, he raised his voice just loud enough for the two 'affiliates' alongside him to hear. "Slip up one more time and being imprisoned will be the last thing you two need to worry about. Our operations have been running smoothly since we've been able to keep out of the eyes of those we haven't bought over yet. Count yourselves lucky we had the Chief of Police in Nacrene City under our payroll already."

"Listen here, if it wasn't for that damn kid's Meowth scratching my ass at the last second, this wouldn't have happened! Why are ten-year-olds even allowed to have Pokémon at that age?!" The furious response came from one of the 'affiliates' who still looked to be visibly in pain.

"Stop your complaining! While I agree that children fail to meet the threshold to command those wild creatures at such a young age, your screwing up against some brats leads me to assume the same of you. At least you got the kid's Meowth. The child will have no choice but to believe their Pokémon ran away from them. It's not the first time it has happened, nor will it be the last. Fortunately for them, they can always just buy another one." Atlas stated with a grin as the elevator, after finally reaching its stop, opened up to reveal a large underground facility. The white area was bustling with many members of this organization. Some were checking up on the giant incubator that took care of a large assortment of eggs. Further down, he could see Pokémon being tested and others being operated on from behind a glass window. The ones that passed all the tests would go on into the market. Meanwhile, the other hatchlings who failed would end up serving a grander purpose.

This world needed correction. A reminder that Pokémon were only useful as tools to the superior human race. That was seen all throughout Human-Pokémon history. The ones doing the fights, serving as only a tool for people to attain their desires, were the Pokémon themselves. It was their purpose to serve them. So why not go all the way with that idea? While not every Pokémon needed to sacrifice themselves, the ineffective ones in a world where only the best were chosen could still be useful. If they could consistently find a way to convert the life force of those Pokémon into an unlimited resource to power the world for generations to come, surely their lives would've had meaning. It wouldn't be Team Aqua, Team Magma, Team Galactic, or even Team Flare that would push the world into a new age. It would be RKT Corporation.

Atlas was certain the ideals of his wife and him could be recognized with them. Every group that came before paved the path to success. Now they only had to walk forward. Hopefully, his children could understand this one day. He'd need them too. Which was another reason for his being here today. Leaving the two associates behind to process their 'baggage', Atlas walked over to the area where successful Pokémon were held. Noting his approaching presence caused one of the associates dressed in a lab coat there to stand up and greet him.

"Greetings, Atlas. I presume you're doing well."

"Quite. There was a little trouble with a certain transaction, but the matter has been dealt with quickly."

"Glad to hear. I'm guessing that means you're here for something else."

"Is it ready?"

With that question, the associate grinned before leading Atlas to a countertop with a sealed metallic storage container they used to contain Pokémon that were going to be transferred. After entering a passcode into the computer beside them, a puff of air was released from the container as the top opened up. Inside, there was a shiny new red and white capsule. A basic poke ball. Yet, the presence inside was anything but basic.

"Your gift is ready. It took a while, but we finally managed to breed the perfect one according to your request. Of course, we'll be taking the payment out of your account..."

"Yeah, yeah, I know," Atlas said with some mirth in his voice due to the gift he had received. This only earned a few chuckles from the associate.

"Well, there'll be an employee's discount at least haha. Better than paying full price for one of these things. Arceus knows how many people will throw money at Pokémon like these if we have a sale. Anyways, I hope they like it." The associate said while going to a page on the computer that displayed all the important data on the Pokémon inside. Listening to his fellow comrade, Atlas looked at the screen with a mixed expression. The Pokémon itself was almost perfect, but perfection sometimes wasn't enough for everyone.

"I hope they like it too..."
Ezio Farello
June 8, Nacrene City, Unova

As Aldon ended the call, Ezio leaned back in his chair, reminiscing on his own journey when he was young. What a time, back when he was young. Exploring ruins, battling gyms, discovering what he wanted in life, getting to meet all kinds of people, it was incredible. As fun as it was, he didn't want to be an active gym challenger all the time. He knew adults could get away with it, but he wanted a more stable income that didn't get thwarted by any Water Pokémon. Sure, he could just use other Pokémon, but he grew attached to these ones. They were powerful, even if they had glaring weaknesses. Stroking Erebus on her head, Ezio began to whistle a tune he'd picked up on his travels.

He had no real desire to travel again. He went to different regions for his job, he helped Lenora as a gym aide to handle gym battles whenever she was busy, he had his own home, he had a decent bank account, by all means he was doing good for himself. As he scratched Erebus underneath her chin, the Typhlosion's foot began to rapidly stomp on the floor, a sign that she enjoyed the petting.

"Who's a good girl? Is it you? Are you a good girl? Yes, you are! You are a good girl!" Ezio cooed as he kept scratching Erebus' chin. It was amazing that a Pokémon taller than he was liked his company enough to be petted. This was what everyone desired, no? Spending time with their friends?


Regina Aspis
June 8, Violet City, Johto

Regina sat down on a bench in Violet City as she thought about where to go next. Violet City was pretty, but she wanted to find more serpentine Pokémon. They just had something so....sleek and cool about them that drew her in, and she just really liked the idea of having all serpentine Pokémon on her team. She knew where Ekans lived, so that left four other Pokémon to find at the very least.
Penny Lepiter; Trainer Ranking — Unranked
June 8th. Ruins of Alph, Johto Region.
"Don't tell me don't panic, I was telling you don't panic!" The stubborn girl tried to make clear through the incessant whirling of Unown.

Reina tried to shout out some very specific last wishes to Penny, as if Penny weren't in the exact same position, feeling as if she were staring down some sort of nearby doom. She felt frightened, for sure, but every time she caught the eye of one of the many, many Unown circling, she sensed an...equal fear. Were these ancient Pokemon asking for help in some way? Or were they simply afraid of interlopers, attempting to ward the two off?

The hurried Pokemon who made sounds like shifting stone as they spun around slowed, and slowed, and slowed to a complete stop; the forceful Reina pushed her way through to the thoughtful Penny, still stopped contemplating what the Unown were feeling.

"Y-yeah, we can go now," Penny repeated, her gaze still wandering through those of the old, cyclopean Pokemon. "Let's go."

As if momentarily satisfied by the human pairs' decision to flee, the Unown let out an almost relieved sigh as they floated back into the air enough to let Penny and Reina escape, slowly sinking back into the darkness of the room. The first to head back toward the long staircase up, she was almost caught in her tracks by an invasive whispering. It sounded far away but felt...in her head at the same time; multiple voices, speaking the same sentence.

"Don't let them..."
"...Find us here..."
"...We've hid for so,..."
"...so long now..."
"...we don't want to be used by them, too..."

Cobel Timpinia; Trainer Ranking
June 8th. Cobel's Office, Ecruteak City, Johto.

When all he could hear on a beautiful, quiet morning in Johto were the singing Pidgey and Spearow, Cobel knew he was going to get roped into something ridiculous; like walking into work to earn a promotion to manager only for the bank you're now managing be held up in an armed robbery that same day. The calm before the storm, as it was colloquially known.

The private detective sat down at his desk to thumb through a couple fresh case files while his morning coffee brewed, liquid dripping into the carafe and rising with the sun. He realized he had two different cases to report on; both simple, adulterous infidelities, all Cobel needed to do was attach the appropriate photos, fill out his report form and send the bulk off to his clients.

Through the tedium, Cobel listened to softly-blaring jazz music from a record in a far corner, piano, trumpet and quiet guitar strumming seeping into his mind.

His phone buzzed with an urgency right as Cobel moved to fill up his mug with his morning cup of coffee. If he had one guess, it would have to be the Professor, who was likely awake since two or three in the morning already.

"Hey, Prof." He said casually, tucking the phone under his ear while he found his belt hanging from the coat-rack near the front door. Cobel flicked the activation button on each of the six PokeBalls slung through his belt loops.

Hitmonlee, Lanturn, Slaking, Ludicolo, Weezing and Coalossal; most of the Pokemon he still kept in his possession had been with him for well over a decade — the exceptions being Weezing and Coalossal, who he'd captured and trained during his time in Galar only six years ago. Or was it seven, now? He lost track of the years a little bit more with each day.

"Clever one as always, knowing it'd be me this early." Professor Laurel's high-pitched, gravel-like voice blared with laughter on the other end of the phone.

"I have caller ID," Cobel responded simply, giving directions to his Pokemon with a simple system of hand-signs they'd developed over the years. He told them to fix their own breakfast and put Bruce the Hitmonlee in charge of the morning training regiments. "Need something, Prof?"

"I'm sending another friend of mine over," Laurel explained. Cobel could hear the clanking of silverware and plates. Was this Laurel's breakfast, or dinner? "Same problem as the last two, you know."

He didn't need to, but Cobel took a look at the slim case file he'd started over the past few days; four separate incidents, now, of RKT PokeBalls being used to capture Pokemon. When the trainers went to access those Pokemon from PC Storage, those captures were not there. After contacting customer service, the trainers were told that the PokeBalls were recorded as malfunctioned hardware, at which point customer service awarded the trainers a refund for the mis-firing PokeBall.

"There's not a whole lot I can do about this, Prof," Cobel explained. "RKT is this big-wig company, they must make billions of PokeBalls in a given year. Everyone knows their tech shorts out sometimes. And they're still buying anyway. Even if I wanted to-"

"Just...give this one a chance," Laurel sighed. "Please, just listen to her."

"Fine, sure, you got it, Professor." Cobel shook his head and hung up.

Not fifteen minutes later, Laurel's friend walked in through the door; tall, even without her silver heels, with a grey business suit - blazer, tight-hemmed skirt cut just above the knee - and straight, black hair that hung down just as low as her skirt. Her eyes were bright like diamonds, and even sharper to boot.

"Hi there," She said as she walked in with an authoritative strut. Cobel took several deep breaths, it was all he could really do. "Marissa Aver. I do Public Relations and Marketing with the World Coronation Series."

"A pleasure, Miss Aver," Cobel held his hand out to the lone chair that sat in front of his desk. "Sit, if you have the time."

Taking him up on his offer, Marissa sat with the formality of a woman who'd been in a million meetings and would take a million more before the day broke for lunch. First setting down a small handbag as she approached, Marissa crossed her left leg over her right, folding her hands on top of each other, resting on that raised, left kneecap.

"How do you know the Professor?" He asked, genuinely curious but looking for a way to lead in to the more difficult part of the operation.

"He gave my father his first starter Pokemon when he was just a boy," Marissa said, her voice calm and measured. "Laurel's been an old family friend ever since that, really."

"And the Professor told me you have a problem you need help solving?" Cobel asked, segueing quick to avoid a waste of time with pointless small talk.

That was where Marissa's face broke for just a moment, her eyes turning from cutting diamonds to a silky tissue, easily torn through with any sort of force. Her face scrunched, mouth curling into a frown even as she fought her emotions.

"I'm sorry, I-" She said, trying to catch her own breath now. Cobel reached over with a handkerchief, offering it to her like one would an olive branch. "Thank you, I'm sorry-"

"Don't be," He said, shrugging. "Continue when you can."

"Laurel gave my father a Totodile so many years ago," Marissa Aver explained through harrowed breaths. "And my mother had a Totodile, and when they married, the two..."

"Bred the Totodile?" Cobel finished. Miranda nodded.

"And those Totodile have been in our family for generations," She continued, almost losing her grace but managing to keep it. "And-and mine - her name is Snaps - her PokeBall broke. It was Silph Co. issue, I always prefer Silph Co. But I was out and someone in the office had an RKT ball. It looked the same, felt the same, I figured...you know?"

"So you transferred Totodile from a Silph PokeBall to RKT," He nodded along, taking down notes. "Then what happened?"

"It was maybe three days later," Marissa sighed, the sadness truly welling up in her again. "I transferred her over to my parents' place because I was going on a business trip to Kalos and they were going to watch over her. But when I...when I-I...I asked if Snaps was safe and sound they said they didn't get the transfer."

Suddenly, the half-composed businesswoman broke down, slamming her face into her arms, sprawled out over Cobel's desk like she'd been shot from behind. He let her get out what she needed to, continuing to write down what they spoke about, scratching away with a pen even as Marissa attempted to control her sobs.

"You contacted customer service?" Cobel asked when her breathing returned to normal, feeling as if he knew the ended of the story.

"I did," She nodded, even with her head buried in her arms. But she sat upright again, fixing her hair and clothes, gathering herself. "I was on hold with them for three-and-a-half hours. They told me that there was no recorded data of a Pokemon transfer through the system, and that it's possible a data interruption could have canceled such an attempted transfer; being incomplete, the record would be wiped clean by the system to maintain appropriate storage space in their servers. When I told them Snaps wasn't in my P.C meaning the transfer couldn't have been canceled, they told me it could be an issue with the data cloud and that they'd get back to me."

"And?" Cobel followed up, dotting the i's and crossing the t's on his notes.

"That was three days ago," Marissa replied, her face turning into a scowl. "I can't believe those people. And to think, they sponsor WCS trainers like it's going out of style."

"Miss Aver, I can only recommend continuing to keep in contact with customer service," Cobel explained, standing up. "As of right now, I'm not sure my undertaking an investigation will have any more effect here than simply their customers keeping them honest.

"Are you not going to do anything then?" She asked, in a secondary state of shock. "Then why even take down all those stupid notes???"

"I didn't say that," Cobel responded, walking over to the coat-rack to slip on his belt, coat and hat. "What I mean is, either this is some sort of honest-to-goodness programming error that is screwing over a lot of people, or it's some immensely vast conspiracy by one of the world's richest technological magnates. I can't do shit if it's the former, but if it's the latter, well — I might at least be able to let you know before I die."

"Die?" Marissa asked, turning around in her seat to stare at the nonchalant Cobel.

"Well, if it's a conspiracy and I'm the lone schmuck investigating, you don't think they'd let me live, do you?"

"Then what are you going to do? Don't you have some sort of plan?"

"My plan is: figure it out as I go," Cobel said, stepping out of his apartment. "You working today?"

"In an hour or so."

"Can you stay here for a while? My Pokemon will be back in...forty-five minutes or so."

"We just met, you're trusting me in your apartment?" Marissa asked, confused.

"Any friend of Laurel's is a friend of mine."

"Then — wait, your Pokemon?" She asked, doubly confused. "Don't you...think you'll need those?"

Cobel Timpinia grinned confidently, sticking an unlit cigarette neatly between his lips.

"I'll figure that out as I go, too."
~Aldon Charlton, June 8th, Alph Ruins...~

Alden looked around and eventually came across a large open room with five statues standing in a circle.

A sign read "The path of destruction leads to the path of restoration". All five statues possessed a element. Starting from the closest statue and moving clockwise, the elements went; fire, ground, steel, water, and grass.

The floor surrounding the statues had scratch marks leading Aldon to believe the statues could be moved.

Aldon pushed the first statue which was fire.

"The path of destruction leads to the path of restoration?" Aldon said confused looking at Skol.

Aldon thought about it for a minute as he adjusted the statue. The statue eyes lit up as they pointed at the sterl statue prompting Aldon to stop.

He stood back to look at the fire statue then at the steel statue. He walked over to the steel statue and adjusted it until the eyes lit. The steel statue was now facing the grass statue.

Aldon looked at Skol before going over and adjusting the grass statue which lit up after facing the ground statue. He went over and faced the ground statue towards the water statue, and the water starue towards the fire statue.

All five statues turned on their own now facing clockwise. A door opened leading further into the ruins.

"Uuuggh... Come on out, Wunder...?" Aldon said sending out his sigilyph

"Siiiigiii" Wunder let out a low mechanical noise.

"Onwards" Aldon said flashing his flashlight and the newly open door.

8.23 A.M. June 8th, Wednesday - Lumiose City, Kalos

“Acer! ACER! Food is ready!”

A loud banging on his room door and the shouting of his sister interrupted his deep sleep. The teen had made the basic mistake of an excited trainer on the night before getting their first Pokémon by staying up late in excitement and thought. I mean, it was hard not to think about. His whole life he had wanted a Pokémon to travel him on his quest to become a master class trainer. That was his goal and one that he would achieve in his own way. No matter what. Not even his parents could deter him from this. On second thought, they probably would like it if he rose up to the upper echelons of trainers. For their own agenda of course. However, Acer wanted to achieve this for himself and no one else. However, he wouldn't be able to do that if he just laid in his bed all day.

"Shit. Coming!" Shouting out his response so Alyssa wouldn't continue to annoy him, Acer slipped out from under the comfiness of his blanket, Acer hurriedly rushed off his bed and went through his morning routine before heading downstairs. He could smell the mouthwatering scent of breakfast on his way down. This might be his last home-cooked breakfast for a while, so he wanted to savor it.

"Morning, Acer. You look like a trainer already." Once he stepped into the kitchen, Acer was greeted by his father who had made a comment about his clothing. For the start of his journey, Acer chose to wear a white cotton t-shirt with three black stripes extending down from the neck to each of the short sleeves. On the left side of the shirt, where his heart would be, was also a small black pokeball symbol. Underneath was a three-quarters black shirt that went only a little past the sleeves of the first shirt, leaving most of his forearms out and visible. Below that was his black patched flap pocket cargo pants and then a pair of black high-top sneakers with white soles. He was also wearing a single black wrist band, made from a cotton-nylon-polyester blend material, on his left wrist with the colored red-white symbol of a pokeball on it. Over his head was also a black cap with an azure blue visor to match the color of his eyes and the silhouette of the Lumiose City gym in blue on the front panel. Lastly, around his neck was a silver necklace.

"Uh, thanks, Dad. It's nothing too special, though." Acer replied to his father as he adjusted his cap. "Hey, Red was just wearing normal clothes too, and look how he turned out." His father responded, comparing his clothing to that of the legendary trainer. That only caused Acer to chuckle a bit and shake his head.

"Nah, Red was like a top-tier trainer by the age of like 10. I'm already 16. If anything, I could try to pull an Acacia and reach the top 10 by the time I'm 19."

"Oh, you mean the boy whose Arcanine knocked out Steven's Metagross in one hit? He disappeared for a while and returned recently, right?"

"Yeah, he demolished the World Tournament in Unova and even won the Indigo Plateau Conference as soon as he returned. Now he's already number 9 in the World Coronation Series. He's really good."

The trainer they had been talking about was Acacia Song. There was a lot of chatter about the Ultra Class trainer recently, primarily due to his disappearance after such a breakthrough moment in his career. Everyone and their mother wanted to know what had happened to Acacia during that time span to push to such extraordinary heights so quickly. Some suspected he had been training with a Champion, but those rumors were unconfirmed. For Acer, Acacia's quick rise showed that it was possible for someone like him to skyrocket through the ranks in only a few years as long as he put the work in. Granted, it wouldn't be easy, but Acer expected that.

"Give it a few years and you'll be up there with the best of them too." What Acer didn't expect was the words of encouragement that came out of his father's mouth soon after.

"Wait, you really think so Dad?", asked the teen to make sure he wasn't being delusional. Acer wanted to believe that his father genuinely wanted him to succeed. However, doubt crept in after hearing his answer.

"Of course, that's what we're hoping for, aren't we, Aria?" His father stepped into the kitchen as he asked that, gaining the attention of his beautiful wife, who was already seated by the kitchen table. "Yep!" Her confirmation was short and sweet as she put some food on her plate.

"Oh. I see." There was a loss of enthusiasm in Acer's tone as he heard both of their answers. He shouldn't have expected anything more. Following the man into the kitchen, Acer found his mother sitting down. Like his father, it looked like she was also waiting for him to come down to eat together. Alyssa forced him awake to warn him after all. Speaking of which...

“Good morning Mom. The food smells great. Also, what the hell? Alyssa was telling me to come down and she’s not even here.”

Acer greeted his treated his mother and commented on the mouthwatering aroma of the food before noticing his sister was missing from the table. Why was Alyssa yelling at him when she wasn’t even coming down herself? It annoyed him a bit. Of course, his parents weren’t bothered by her tardiness in the slightest. They even had an excuse ready for her.

“Language and leave your sister alone. She’s a busy woman now. Becoming Kalos Queen and aiming to change this imperfect world is a tall task after all.”

Hearing the last part of the explanation from his mother caused Acer to mentally roll his eyes. He was grateful she hadn’t gone on a whole tangent on how corrupt the world was or something. Those were the type of people his parents were. All they needed to hear was one thing about the current state of the Pokémon world for them to go off on a lecture on the beliefs of infamous organization leaders like Cyrus or Lysandre and why their ideologies should be followed. Apparently, the world would be better off if Pokémon and the people that sided with them were wiped off the face of the planet. That’s what they tried drilling into his head ever since he was in child. They wanted him to work towards those goals. As a little boy, Acer might have wanted to make his parents happy and achieve those questionable things, but now that he was older, there were other things he had his mind on. Like competing in the World Coronation Series. Whether or not Acer agreed with them now was irrelevant since their ideas were just unrealistic.

“Sorry! I was getting some stuff figured out for next week’s showcase. I need to get that Pokévision uploaded too.”

Down came Alyssa, apologizing for her tardiness before she took the seat to his left at the dinner table. Acer hadn’t noticed before, due to her wild antics, but she definitely looked tired now that he had a chance to take a closer look. To anyone else, Alyssa probably looked perfect, but being her brother meant Acer could notice the small things even if he didn’t get to see her all that often. It was true that she was always quite busy. Alyssa was usually away from home, doing showcases and making Pokévision videos. He had seen her videos featured in the Best 10 Pokévisions multiple times in the past year and that couldn’t be a fluke. She even had a pretty decent following to the point where he was noticed in public as 'Alyssa’s brother' at times. It was annoying but weirdly cool being the sibling of someone popular at the same time. Of course, flipping the script on her would be even better.

"What's up?" Noticing Acer had his eye on her for a moment, Alyssa questioned him with a casual greeting as she began to take out her food.

"Nothing. Well, I was just thinking being called ‘Acer’s sister’ has a nice ring to it. Like when I win the conference in a few months.” Acer said with a snicker, remembering the times when he was just called 'Alyssa's brother'. He may have been overhyping himself a bit by saying he was going to win the Kalos League Conference in only a few months, but that didn't mean it wasn't going to happen eventually. Unfortunately, his sister didn't appear to like that as her expression soured, causing her to look away seemingly depressed. “Wow. That actually hurts. You hate me that much?” Alyssa questioned with a shaky voice like she was on the verge of tears, leaving Acer to just sit there awkwardly. He didn't think she'd take it that seriously. Maybe something else was already bothering her and this had just pushed his sister to her breaking point. Feeling guilty, Acer just remained silent for the next few moments, unsure of how to apologize to her.

Fortunately, or perhaps, unfortunately, there would be no need for an apology as her saddened expression slowly morphed into a grin. “Just kidding! Also, I don’t even remember who won the last conference, so you’re still gonna be irrelevant even if you do win. You know what, ‘Alyssa’s irrelevant brother’ actually has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?” The performer snickered after telling him her suggestion. Of course, Acer just scoffed at the notion of being called irrelevant after winning the conference. After all, he remembered most of, if not all, the past victors. Meanwhile, both of their parents chuckled as they heard the banter between the two siblings and the confidence their son had. To them, it seemed Acer already believed winning the conference was a certainty. While the confidence was applaudable, it could come back to bite him. That would certainly be terrible. A horrible outcome for the ideas they had in mind at least. It hadn’t escaped them that their children didn’t seem as invested in the ideals they had been taught all their lives. At the very least, Alyssa was making good progress towards becoming Kalos Queen and they could use that platform given to them by the potential stardom of their daughter for their own purpose. Seeing as the siblings seemed to table their discussion on plans to one-up each other, their mother took the time to speak up.

"You know, before you can beat your sister, you'll need a Pokémon to accompany you. Don't you think so, Atlas?" His mother spoke with some mirth in her voice and her cheerful expression grew more as she saw her son's head turn almost instantly in her direction, then to his father. Atlas too wore a grin as he looked at Acer. It was an uneasy one, but he still hoped his son could appreciate what they had done for him.

"Wait, did you guys actually-"

Before his son could even finish his question, Atlas answered it for him. "Of course! Your mother and I know how important this is for you, so we wanted to make sure your journey starts without a hitch. So we did some searching to find you a Pokémon ourselves. One we know you will like, obviously." Atlas stated with a chuckle as his son just stared eagerly at him. He would reveal the Pokémon right now if it weren't for the stubborn interjection of his wife.

"Finish your food first, Acer. Then we'll show you after." Aria stated to Acer's displeasure. With an annoyed grunt, he started to eat his breakfast. While he did wanted to finish eating quickly, Acer also wanted to savor what was potentially his last meal at home. At first, he ate at a casual pace for himself but slowly began to pick up speed once his mother began to talk again.

“You know, we really do want you to make it far in the Pokémon League. Winning the conference is a good step in the right direction too. However, I think it would be wise if your main priority was to focus on rising up the ranks as fast as possible. If you really want to become known as a strong trainer, you need to aim for the Great Rank and above. Being the first to do that in your class of trainers will certainly go a long way. We also know you might not as strongly believe in our beliefs, but please be sure to keep them in mind during your travels. This world is cruel and merciless. Pokémon will attack you on a whim. You might not believe us now, but there will come a time when this world will face a great calamity. Then a choice will have to be made. Do not forget these ideals we have taught you and strive for the creation of a new, perfect world. That is your purpose. Everything else, such as this Coronation Series is only meant to distract you and everyone from enacting change. Do not be fooled by that trickery, please…”

The woman’s voice shook before his father grabbed her trembling fist to calm her down. His mother had gotten a bit too passionate about her beliefs once again. Acer, meanwhile, had just been watching and listening with a bored expression growing on his face as he continued to eat. All the teen did was nod in agreement to show that he was listening. Of course, Acer knew it wasn’t over yet. Any moment now, his father would continue where his mother left off. They were like fanatics and wouldn’t stop until their point was made very clear.

“To bounce off of your mother, Pokémon and people cannot coexist forever. Not like this. There will come a time when those monsters will try to become the dominant species. In fact, we can say they’re already on that path. Pokémon will continue to get stronger, but what about us? What will happen when another anomaly occurs and a legendary Pokémon appears that not even those so-called legends can defeat? I’ll tell you what will happen. It will be a calmality. Imagine us humans being wiped out in droves by those Pokémon, living our lives in fear as we try to hide for as long as we can before meeting our inevitable demise. This planet cannot sustain both of us. We have to look out for our own species and preserve the resources for our future generations. Remember that son. As you go on your journey, you will see this world for what it really is. Then you can follow the path you were always meant to take.”

It made no sense how the world could be described as so cruel, but be so beautiful at the same time. That was Acer’s takeaway from what was said. Everything they said could be right, but what about everything else? To be fair, Acer personally hadn’t experienced much yet, but he was certain the world had so much more to offer than just sorrow and despair. He thought that battling was something that displayed one of the many heights of Pokémon and human partnership. While the attention drawn by the Pokémon League, for example, certainly distracted many from other issues, the positive impact the League had was unfathomable. At least, he thought so. Finishing up his plate, Acer looked back at his mother, who had managed to recollect herself before looking directly at him.

“Like your father was saying, please take care of yourself on these travels. Find a good team of people you can trust and work with to achieve your goals. You may even form lifelong bonds with them, so make sure to have their backs. Make sure to take good care of your Pokémon as well. They won’t hesitate to harm you if you don’t. Of course, do take some protection as well. I don’t want any-”

When his mother mentioned protection, Acer was genuinely confused and interrupted her right there. “Wait, what?” He didn’t know what exactly they were referring to and his guesses on what they were implying weren’t helping. So he did what any confused person did and asked for some clarification.

“Protection? For me? From my Pokémon?”

Acer questioned before looking at his sister, wondering if Alyssa had told them anything. The young woman instead was just shaking her head. She seemed to be disappointed and amused at the same time somehow. The teenager looked back at his parents for answers and they seemed a bit unsure themselves. “Yes?” His father answered first, looking at his mother for confirmation. “No?” Then his mother denied while looking at her husband quizzically. “Wait. Both?” The man asked, sounding a bit more certain of himself, but still a bit puzzled. Fortunately, his mother decided to settle things once and for all with her next response.

“Both? Okay, both. Pokémon are very dangerous creatures. I also know how you boys are these days. Remember that story I showed you where that one boy got with a Gard-”

"Okay, I'm done!"

Before his mother could finish that sentence, Acer interrupted her by dropping his utensils onto the plate, making a metallic clang. "So, can I see my Pokémon now?" Acer knew he sounded like a spoiled child begging for their present, but that was fine if that meant he escape whatever dark hole that conversation was about to enter. Alyssa, on the other hand, had tried covering her mouth to hide her amusement and now looked like she was struggling to breathe. She could always count on her delusional family for quality entertainment.

"Oh. Yeah, Honey, you can go get it now." Their mother seemed to have lost her train of thought after Acer's interruption and instead turned to her husband who nodded in response. "Alright, I'll be right back with it."

With that, Atlas got up from his seat and left the kitchen for a moment to go grab the Pokémon. While they waited, looked at her children with a glimmer of mirth in her eyes. "So, any guesses, kids?"

Blinking once, Acer didn't expect the question, but he did have an idea of what the Pokémon could be. He doubted his mother reveal the surprise to him, though. Instead, he glanced at Alyssa to see what she might be thinking. That would end up being a mistake.

“You better hope it’s not a Ralts!” Alyssa shouted, trying to hold back her laughter. His mother looked confused as Acer just sat there stunned. Acer should've known she was prepared to make so many jokes if the Pokémon he got was a Ralts. He honestly hoped it wasn’t a Ralts just for that reason.

"Wait, Sweety, what's wrong with a Ralts?" His mother questioned as he could hear his sister failing to stifle her laughs. The fact his mom was actually showing some concern was a bad sign. Did they actually get him a Ralts? Acer was already beginning to mentally panic at just the thought of that being the case.

"Mom, please, if you guys actually got me a Ralts, it has to be a male! Otherwise, it can't evolve into a Gallade!" The teen exclaimed, growing more anxious as the seconds ticked by. Thankfully, his mother was able to understand this. "Oh. Of course, I know that. We wouldn't make that mistake. You should know that, Acer." His mother said in an attempt to reassure him. It worked somewhat and Acer was able to brush his fears away for the time being once his father returned with a wrapped gift box. One small enough to contain just a single pokeball. Having only heard the end of the conversation, Atlas spoke up upon his return.

"Know what? You guess what Pokémon is inside this already?"
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June 8th- Sprout Tower, Violet City, Johto

The burgundy haired boy hadn’t even been in town for a half hour when the shops began switching their ‘open’ signs to ‘closed’, the children started to scurry home to avoid scolding, and the distant sounds of nocturnal Pokémon awakening in the woods gently echoed throughout the air.
It was no secret that Q’s daylight was fading fast, with the main road now illuminated by a series of beautiful, old-fashioned style street lamps.
Despite all of this, Sprout Tower remained illuminated in a brilliant yellow-orange light that danced along the shiny, bronze Bellsprout statues embedded into the structure. The tower truly was a beacon in the middle of Ecruteak.
Getting lost in the surrounding woods must’ve been next to impossible.

“Hello? This place still open?” Q called out quietly while gently sliding the front Shoji open and peaking his head in.
To his surprise, the front entrance was… unexpectedly barren. An empty, dark, all-wood room with a massive support beam located in the dead center.
And Q couldn’t be certain, but he could’ve sworn it was quietly creaking in there.

“We’re typically less active during evening hours, but the tower is always open to the public.” The young trainers worries about the buildings structural integrity had been cut short by the sound of a low, smooth voice replying from the corner of the room.
As expected, Q’s eyes shot to the right, locking onto the dark outline he’d somehow missed before. The only light source in the entire room was a small, glowing orange speck hovering next to the figure.
The Teddiursa trainer felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. He knew Sprout Tower was infamous for housing ghost type Pokémon, and the eerily calm tone in the figures voice made his mind race.

“What is it you need?” The figure spoke again, and as he did, the glowing speck hovered up to the wall.
Before Q could reply, the room was suddenly flooded in light, and things had become much more clear.
The shadowy figure was, in fact, a monk. The glowing speck was a burning punk he’d used to ignite a large lantern hanging from the wall.

“Oh…” Q was relieved to know he wasn’t being ambushed by any ghost Pokémon tonight. Unfortunately, this fear was immediately replaced by the anxiety of trying to explain his situation without sounding like a total idiot. “I um…I’m kind of new-ish to Pokémon battling- I’ve never fought before. I heard this place was good for…rookies?” Thankfully, he’d managed his way through the reply well-enough, giving a small nod as he finished speaking.

“Nervous one, huh…” The Monk muttered to himself, slowing wading to the other side of the room. He ignited the second lantern, then proceeded to dump the still smoldering punk into a hanging, bronze tray nearby. The man took his time with every action, moving slowly and with intent.
Q found himself leaning forward on his toes, eagerly waiting for the Monk to continue speaking.
The Monk slowly turned to face Q while carefully working his hands into his sleeves. Finally, he continued, “…we don’t typically take on challengers this late, but I suppose you try out the first two levels tonight, then come back tomorrow. Provided you make it that far.”

“Really? Oh- thanks. Hey, I really appreciate it.” Q’s face lit up when he was invited in for some proper training. Neither of his parents trained growing up, so seeing someone willing to lend a hand really helped cut through the anxiety.
He’d finally built up the confidence to step all the way inside and close the door. He looked around for a moment, seeing no signs of a coat rack or a shelf anywhere. In response to this, he slid the large duffel bag he was carrying off his shoulder, and propped it against the wall by the door.

“Your shoes.” The Monk spoke up once again in his calm, even voice, gesturing to Q’s sneakers.

“My? Oh- yeah. Sorry. My bad.” Q immediately wiggled either of his shoes off and sat them on top of his duffle, before walking out onto the mats. “So I’m taking on the first ‘two levels’. What’s that mean?”

“It means we’re going to battle. And if you win, you fight the two residing upstairs. Now then, how many Pokémon do you have? One, I assume?”

“Yeah, just Grendel here.” As Q replied, Grendel waltzed over towards the Monk, attempting to flex his ‘muscles’ at the seasoned opponent. “He’s uh… energetic.”

“Heheh. He seems confident…” The Monk pulled his hands back out of his sleeves, revealing a pokeball that he quickly tossed out onto the mat.
In a flash of red light, Bellsprout appeared- already eyeing Grendel. “I’m Sage Jin, and I challenge you.”

“Im Quentin. I accept!”

1. $8,000
2. X-Gear
3. Pokeballs x8
4. Fire-starting Kit
5. Compressed Sleeping Bag
6. Weatherproof Blanket
7. Spare Outfit x2
8. 2-Liter Water Canteen
9. Assorted Berries
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Montagne Khastil - Unranked
June 8th, 5:30 AM - Hibernal Avenue, Lumiose City, Kalos

For the first time since his incarceration, moonlight flooded through the barred window of a young Kalosian man's cramped cell as he made his best attempt at sleep. The gentle light reflected off of his pale skin with a radiance betraying his relative youth, illuminating his tall and bulky frame even through the blankets with which he endeavored to bundle up, and revealed the even rise and fall of his chest as he breathed in the cool air.

The gentleness of the light was a gift compared to the harsh fluorescents that dominated every dank grey inch of the prisoner's new home, and if he were awake it would have brought him great comfort to bask in its glow. Alas he had long since drifted into fitful sleep, and the moon was shrouded by Kalos' thick winter clouds once again as the cell was plunged back into an oppressive darkness; an omen of what was to come.

The cell was cold, as usual, and the paper thin blankets provided to prisoners did little to help warm the world-weary young man as he lay on the hard mattress. His slumber was uneasy, as though his body refused to comply with his mind's signal to relax, and he tossed and turned at regular intervals in search of a comfort he wouldn't find for another four months.

A sense of dread wormed its way into the man's dreams as his subconscious screamed out a plea to rise, to fight, to do anything but lie in utter ignorance of the danger mere moments away from arrival, yet his uneasy slumber continued as the shadows on the opposite wall began to twist and writhe.

After a moment the shadows seemed to pull away from the cold concrete, congealing into a shapeless mass of writhing darkness, and slowly drifted toward the cell door as the jagged silver edge of a key was produced from within the unnatural darkness.



The left side of the man's jaw erupted with a white-hot pain, and his hand instinctually shot up to his face as he woke with a gasping scream. He leapt up into a crouching position on the bed, head whipping around to face his attacker and try to defend himself in the cramped confines of the cell, only to realize he wasn't looking at four gray cement walls but the red-and-black-painted drywall of his home bedroom.

Another dream, thought Montagne Khastil as he relaxed, falling back into the soft bed with all the blankets and pillows he missed during his sentence. He traced a line with his thumb along the scar that snaked from his left ear to about halfway down his jawline, noting that while the flash of pain was gone the freshly-closed wound still ached constantly.

Monty rarely dreamt since getting home from prison the week prior, but when he did it was always the same sequence; the moonlight, the darkness, the shadows, and the sound of a key slotting into the cell door. It was less of a dream than a stitched-together memory, though it never progressed farther than the key turning. Monty preferred to leave it that way, too.

He pushed away the thought as he stared at his ceiling, listening to the sounds of the women with whom he had shared a home his entire life finishing up their nightly duties and heading to bed. Monty had long since conceded that the Lumiose City brothel wasn't the best place for him to have been raised, but at the end of the day the women here were his family and they did their best to do right by him the way a family should.

Monty glanced at the simple alarm clock on his nightstand which read 5:31AM, and realized with a groan that any minute now...




An older woman's shrill voice called out from the other side of Monty's door as it was practically knocked off the hinges by her knocks, and he quickly rose to his feet and crossed the room to open up before her fist could punch straight through for her to open it herself.

Monty could barely open the door before Madame Agnes Brousseau stepped through the threshold with a look in her eye that even after 21 years made him feel like she towered over him. The austere old woman had been in charge of the brothel since before Monty was born, and though all the women from those early years took credit she had basically raised him after his mother disappeared. Her orange flower bearing Flabébé floated lazily around her head, a Pokémon that by Monty's estimates was older than he was.

"While you've been in here sleeping, the girls have been working," Madame Brousseau scolded in her usual fashion, "The least you could do is help with the laundry, or maybe sweep up, but no, you just waltz in here after four months like you own the place and think you can lounge around?!" She stuck a finger in Monty's face and added, "I don't know who you think raised you, but I know it was me and I know I didn't raise you like that." Flabébé fixed him with an irate expression matching her trainer's and pointed her own finger in his face.

The old woman softened for a moment as her hand reached up to the left side of Monty's face, taking his jaw in her hand and examining his scar. "And I know I didn't raise you to go to prison and come back with something like this," she said in an uncharacteristically tender tone as her Flabébé floated up to Monty's face and cooed sympathetically, bringing him a small comfort.

The young man felt a pang of guilt at his surrogate grandmother's statement. I didn't think the old crone had it in her, he thought as he examined her worried eyes. Monty took Madame Brousseau's hand in his and lowered it from his face as he began to say, "I'll help out right no-"

"Too late!" The Madame interrupted, snatching her hand away and crossing her arms as she fixed him with another Intimidate-worthy glare. "You have other places to be, unless you've already forgotten your commitments." She added the last bit with a snort, turning around and stalking back down the hallway undoubtedly in search of some poor girl to badger.

Other places to be? Monty mentally echoed as he watched the old woman disappear around the corner. The young man wracked his brain in search of a prior commitment, and the color drained from his face when he remembered a phone call he had had with his boss, or more accurately the Boss, the previous day.

'Now that you're settled back in, I want to speak with you in person.' Monty remembered as he scrambled to change his clothes and gather everything he'd need for the day. "Meet me at the top of Lumiose Tower at 6 o'clock," the young man quoted aloud.

Monty whipped around and double checked the time, 5:36AM, and realized if he waited any longer he'd be late for their meeting. He took one last look in the mirror, admiring his choice in outfit between his grey jeans, open black button up shirt, white undershirt, and black boots.

Monty completed the look with a grey flat cap and his silver earrings before rushing out the door, through the sprawling hallways of the brothel's living quarters, across the brothel's main chamber with its myriad couches, lounges, and bar, through the hidden door leading to the bar that served as the cover for the brothel, and out the front door onto the bustling cobbled streets of Hibernal Avenue.

The warmth of the June sun juxtaposed the cold cell Monty had grown used to over the course of his four month sentence, and feeling it on his face brought him an indescribable comfort and a feeling that he was truly free once again.
Brian Killian - Trainer rank: 267
June 8th - Wyndon, Galar Region

It was a clear and sunny day over the grand city that was Wyndon, many people went about their days or simply enjoyed their time under the clear blue skies where the bird Pokemon soared freely. On one of the paths close to a bridge and the water, a Drone Rotom flew overhead to observe a battle that took place with a small crowd of people who seemed to cheer on both competitors. One of the trainers was a woman with chocolate brown hair long enough to cover one of her ears, her other ear showing an earring shaped like a feather, her attire looked like that of a biker; a black leather jacket and pants, both with flame designs on them, her Pokemon of choice was a fearsome Talonflame. The other trainer was a man with a fuchsia colored coat with a matching trilby hat, his hair was more on the darker side with small hints of blue while his eyes were an unusual yet stunning hot pink, his Pokemon of choice was an Espeon.

"You're pretty good, trainer, it's not everyday I get to go all out with my Talonflame." The woman said, her tone practically screamed confidence while her Talonflame squawked in agreement despite the clear signs of damage he took.

"I could say the same about you, madam, I can feel the trust you two have with each other, just like I do with my Pokemon." The man said while Espeon stood up straight and her eyes briefly glowed a bright blue, a small gust of wind emerged from her as her eyes were locked on to her opponent. "As much as I would love to experience the thrill of battle, I do believe it's time we wrapped up." He added as he held his hand out as if about to command an attack, Espeon's formal stature changed to that like a canine showing hostility.

"You read my mind, Talonflame, Flame Charge!" The woman commanded as Talonflame coated itself in a veil of fire and darted towards Espeon. "Espeon, jump and use Psychic!" The man replied, Espeon immediately leaded in to the air while her eyes glowed once again, Talonflame soon began to glow the same color as her eyes and was suddenly shifted in to another direction... said direction being the solid ground below, upon hitting the ground, Talonflame struggled to get back up while Espeon landed, ready to attack once again, but as Taonflame managed to get back up, he stumbled and slowly fell back on to the ground.

The Drone Rotom flew down to get a better view on Talonflame's condition and after a moment of silence, finally spoke. "Talonflame is unable to battle! Therefore the win goes to Brian Killian of Opelucid City!" The speech was met with a round of applause from the crowd while both trainers walked up to their Pokemon, the woman petted her Talonflame to comfort him after his defeat. "Don't feel too bad, Talonflame, you were awesome out there." She said before she got out a Poke ball and returned her fiery feathered friend to it. The man on the other hand--now known as Brian--walked to pet his Espeon and commend her after her victory. "You were wonderful out there, Espeon, well done." He said with a big smile while his Pokemon purred, he got out a Poke ball and let his Espeon vanish within a flash of red light.

When both Pokemon were returned to their trainers, they stood up and turned to face each other, they walked over to one another and gave a firm handshake. "That was a pretty good battle you gave us, buddy. But don't think for a second that I'll lose next time!" The woman said before she gave a little laugh. "I'm pleased that you're pleased, madam, I eagerly look forward to our next encounter." Brian replied while his other hand reached for his hat to tip it to her.

As the battle concluded and the crowd dispersed, both trainers got out their phones to take a look at their updated rank number, while the woman was somewhat displeased to see her rank go down, Brian smiled slightly wider to see that his trainer rank was now 267. Both trainers put their phones away and gave one another a final goodbye for now before they walked away to explore Wyndon, Brian looked up to see The Galar Hurricane, the largest ferris wheel in Wyndon and hummed to himself.

"I think me and my Pokemon have battled enough for today, perhaps I'll do a bit more sightseeing."
June 8, Wednesday - Ruins of Alph, Johto.
Reina, current rank, 51,541.

"That was close!" Reina said with relief, "I have to admit, they almost scared me. Are you okay by the way? Sorry I dragged you into this." She held out her hand, wanting to introduce herself properly, "Reina Cortez. What brings you to the famous Ruins of Alph? me and my Pokemon were looking to find secrets and stuff, anything to help us improve you know?"

With a bit of embarrassment, Reina put her Pokemon away, having shown her first action in a foreign region to be not so great. To make matters worse, there was a witness, so it's not like she could pretend it never happened. Now she needed to know if it was a good idea to continue her tour around the ruins or start heading to a new place. She considered she had already paid for the full tour and maybe there was more to be discovered? That or just take advantage of the meals and the place to sleep.

3x Super Potions
2x Antidotes
3x Full Heals
Oran berry, Sitrus Berry
Rotom Phone
Tour Guide - Johto
Battling for Dummies book
Sleeping bag
Small cooking equipment and some ingredients
June 8th
Mt. Coronet

“Nice work Zeni.” Acacia looked at the plain pokeball containing his Blastoise. After taking his lumps early with three Pokémon with a disadvantage against Flint’s fire types, the powerful turtle had done well to turn the tides of the battle before reaching his limit against the magmortar’s Thunderbolt, evening the scales with two Pokémon remaining on either side. “Get some rest, you deserve it. We can take it from here.”

The steam of his breath fogged up his vision as he looked across to his opponent. Even in the summer, their battle location along the side of Mt. Coronet stayed intensely chilly. His cheeks flushed pink and his fingers were numb, but he was just happy to be battling.

“It’s a bummer, I was hoping my water type could carry me all the way.” He joked to Flint. “But I guess when you gotta fight that garchomp you get pretty used to being at a disadvantage.”

He slide the pokeball back onto his waist band and fluidly exchanged it for a shiny red cherish ball, a minor display of dexterity that had become second nature through years of countless battles. Yet it never got boring, the swapping of pokeballs was the same as the changing of courts in tennis or returning a kickoff in football: an acknowledgement of a defeat that brought with it a chance for redemption. That was the blessing of the World Coronation Series, while he had thirsted for a challenge at the lower ranks, upon reaching the upper echelon it felt like every battle went down to the wire, and he could feel himself and his Pokémon get stronger to pull away with each victory. Now, at rank 9, knocking at the door of the Master Class, where he would achieve his dream of being pushed to his ceiling with the most ferocious of battles, Acacia knew that he needed to double down on his training more than ever. In just a few weeks time he was scheduled to face off against Galar’s champion Leon and his Gigantamax Charizard to claim a spot in the top 8, and what better way to prepare to fight a giant fire type than battling against arguably the greatest fire type trainer in the world and rival of Cynthia?

“You’re up Giza.” With a flash of light, a tiny yellow mouse with three spikes on its left ear and a wooden surfboard strapped to her back popped out.

“Pipi!” She roared and waved her surfboard, looking back at her trainer with a determined smirk.

He raised an eyebrow, a bit surprised but not confused, “You think so huh?” There was a new strategy they were experimenting with for about half a year now. During what was supposed to just be a leisurely trip in Alola, Giza had gotten jealous of some Alolan Raichu and their surfing abilities. Having lost her ability to evolve, it was always her and Acacia’s goal she could do anything that any fully evolved Pokémon could do, and this was no different. After getting a small wooden surfboard made it was just a matter or mastering some new water type moves. With Zeni’s help progress went quicker than most, but Acacia still hadn’t felt comfortable breaking it out in a competitive battle and threaten losing his rank. Guess now’s about as good of time as any to test it out. Don’t get many unranked battles this intense.

“Tempest Terrain!”

The Pichu slammed her firsts together, and slowly separated them, creating a high pressured orb of swirling water that she launched into the air, immediately causing thunderclouds to roll in and rain to pour down, creating a shallow layer of water that was nearly unnoticeable to a person of average height but went up to the knees of the mouse. From there she slapped the electric pouches on her cheeks and discharged electricity into the water around her, allowing it to amplify the powers of electric terrain as cackling bolts electricity spread throughout the field.

“Now Surf!”

With one arm she gripped her surfboard, and thrust the other into the ground, conjuring a large electricity coated wave that began crashing towards the magmortar and carrying the surfing mouse in its wake.

The concept was simple and would hopefully prove effective: utilize the water and Giza’s small stature to increase mobility and amplify electricity.
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Wednesday, June 8 – Aqua Resort, Sophian Island, Oblivia Region​

It didn’t take long for Esther to fill in the necessary forms with her details and set her delivery location to Aqua Resort. While Silph. Co. hadn’t opened any Pokemarts or other such buildings in Oblivia, all around the world their matter-to-energy technology was nearly indispensable.

Two Silph. Co. machines in separate locations could send objects between them regardless of distance in a matter of minutes. Of course, there were some limitations involved, but they wouldn’t come into play for something as simple as a Pokéball. From its home to Oblivia in less than five minutes!

Technology sure was something!

She called ahead so that the receptionist at the city hall—the only building with a Silph. Co. Machine—wouldn’t reject the transfer request from the Shelter; but first—“I’m headed out for a few, will you guys alright without me?”

Esther sat up, throwing her question towards some of the other teenagers, around her age, who were supervising with her.

“Sure, get me a Pinap soda.”

“I’ll take Bluk juice!”

“Watamel tea.”

“Petaya for me!”

“Urk—Petaya? Ew, that’s disgusting…”

Esther walked off to the sound of someone being dunked under water; she chuckled. Petaya juice…? He deserved it.
Penny Lepiter; Trainer Ranking — Unranked
June 8th. Ruins of Alph, Johto Region.
"...we don't want to be used by them too." The terrified Unown's words stuck with her, ringing in her head like the echoing footsteps in the ancient, mossy ruins. Of course she knew Pokemon had feelings, a complex series of emotions not far off from humans themselves — but now that that language barrier had been broken down, Penny felt...well, the same kind of terror those hiding legends must have been feeling in some sort of way.

Coming back to earth, Penny realized she'd zoned out on Reina, who'd held out a hand to the less-experienced girl in greeting. Taking Reina's hand, Penny gave it a single, flimsy shake.

"Penny Lepiter," She responded, unsure of herself. "I...don't know why I came here really. I live nearby and just wanted something to do."

"Diiiitttoo." Mirror said, releasing itself from her ball with a mocking sound.

"School is not something to do, it is something to endure." Penny responded to her Pokemon, turning her head away from Mirror defiantly.

"Ditto." Ditto responded, sadly.

"I think you need to be a little gentler with those secrets there, Reina," The younger girl said with a chuckle. "I'm surprised the whole tour and hotel staff didn't come running as soon as the whole place started to shake."