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Private/Closed Pokémon Zaffre

Q was still a little thrown off by how Ria a) reacted to her own loss, and b) was so blunt when it came to social interactions.

“Teddi…” From Q’s shoulder, Grendel stuck its tongue out at the grumpy Totodile, trying to be discreet so his trainer wouldn’t hear him.

“Right- yes- of course-“ Q stammered out while opening up the town map on his X-Gear.
He showed the map to Ria, before zooming in on Ecruteak to get a small summary of notable locations in the city before continuing, “we’ve still got about half a days worth of sunlight, so if we head out now we could probably get to Ecruteak by nightfall.”
"Oh wow you walk really fast, it took me forever to get through those two routes." Ria stopped to think for a second, making an L with her index and thumb and resting her chin in between them. "I was really distracted though... Okay! Can we get something to eat on the way? We have a small breakfast."

Totodile just glared at the cub Pokemon across him. He was too upset about losing the gym battle to even try and start a new one, for now.
“If it gets too dark, we can set up camp-“ The young trainer paused, giving a small nod and smile to Jasmine before replying to the second part of Ria’s comment, “Yeah, I could eat.”

Two Hours Later…

After a quick stop at a local breakfast diner, the newly formed duo of Q and Ria had eventually wondered far enough into Route 39 that even Glitter Lighthouse was almost entirely hidden behind the tree line.
Q had to admit that he always felt nervous heading into unknown forests, but Ria tagging along helped fill him with either peer pressure or courage- he couldn’t he sure which. All he knew was that he felt more confident in his chances out here knowing someone else would likely have his back.

“Huh? Did you hear that?” The burgundy haired young man’s head snapped up from his watch as an eerily hollow rumbling noise began to grow closer and closer.
Both Q and Lumos began peering around every which way, meanwhile Grendel simply took a good sniff of the air, before dropping into a fight stance, staring down the path directly ahead of them.
“…Grendel…what is it?” The Teddiursa trainer called out in a quiet, slightly panicked voice.

“Ted? Teddi! Teddiiii!” Grendel suddenly turned on his heel and ran directly for Q with a panicked look on his face. Something was definitely wrong.

“Grendel! What’s going on?!? What…oh…OH!” Q’s question was answered as a blurry smudge in the distance for close enough to make out; revealing a group of stampeding Ryhorn headed directly down the narrow dirt path Q and Ria were walking along.
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Ria was busy playing with her Igglybuff, feeding it an Oran Berry as they walked while Totodile just walked next to them, still upset about the result of the gym match earlier. "Say aaaaah~" Ria opened her mouth so the pink Pokemon in her arms would do the same, but they both stopped with their mouths opened and looked at Q. "What's wrong?"

Before his trainer could react, Totodile began pushing Ria in the opposite direction of the incoming stampede. Ria caught on to the situation quickly, scooping up her Totodile and started running. If she thought she had ran faster than ever in the race from that day, she was mistaken, as she could swore she broke a new record. It wasn't enough though, how could she outrun a bunch of Pokemon. Totodile thought the same, he looked over his trainer's shoulder and began shooting Water Gun at the ground after them, hoping to cause enough mud to slow down the rampaging Pokemon.

Meanwhile, Igglybuff decided it was the best time to take a nap, she had just eaten a full berry and a half.
The pack of Ryhorn’s was surprisingly fast despite being known as bulky, slow moving Pokémon. What’s more, they barreled straight through Totodile’s Water Gun like it wasn’t even there! It was apparent that the whole pack was very high level.

“Ursa!” Noticing the pack gaining, Grendel quickly jumped up and latched onto Q’s face, causing the trainer to stumble to the left and slam into Ria hard, sending both trainers flying into the bushes just off to the side of the dirt path.
The group awaited the thunderous boom of the stampeding Ryhorn to pass, but to their surprise, it didn’t. Instead, the rumbling dies down as it approached, before coming to a full stop directly in front of the group.

“Hey uh…you guys alright? We would’ve just went around you, ya know.” Q’s head shot up in bewilderment, looking around for the speaking Ryhorn. Instead, he was met with the revelation that it wasn’t a pack of stampeding Ryhorn, it was a pack of Ryhorn Racers.

“Um… y-yeah.” Q’s vision pulsed as he tried to end the adrenaline rush he’d received from what he originally believed to be a near death experience.

“You sure? Seem kinda shaky.” Two of the Ryhorn riders got off of their mounts, revealing a set of matching, dark-brown jumpsuits with black trim. One had black hair and was adorned in a set of goggles, while the other had a bandana covering his mouth and nose.
They were relatively imposing, to say the least. But this was offset by their friendly demeanor, as they reached out to help Q and Ria out of the bushes.
"Uff!" Ria hit the ground and felt the weight of her traveling buddy fall on top of her.

Totodile landed on his feet, catching the sleeping fairy Pokemon, Igglypuff, before she hit the ground. The water couldn't help but throw an angry glare at Q, sadly he wasn't allowed to attack the young boy. Ria sat up while rubbing the back of her head and remained on the ground while looking at the two Ryhorn racers who had just presented themselves.

"Well that's a relief." She said as she began going through her bag, looking for a band-aid. "I thought they were going to eat us." She laughed at her own silliness.
Grendel just stared down Totodile, not paying any attention to the approaching strangers.
Meanwhile Q hesitantly took the hand of the man in the bandana and was quickly hoisted onto his feet with little effort.

“I didn’t know there was Ryhorn racers in Johto.” The young man mused whole brushing the dirt off his jacket.

“Up until a few months ago, there wasn’t.” The bandana wearing rider replied.

“Most of our group is from Sinnoh, but we’re establishing a racetrack along Route 45, just south of Blackthorn.” The rider wearing goggles cut in.

“It was going swell, until Alex here suggested we ride our Ryhorn around while getting a feel for the region. I’m Sampson, by the way.” The newly revealed Sampson shot back, lowering his bandana to give Q and Ria a smile and wave.

“Our Pokémon need to know the routes just the same as us. Well anyways- we’ve gotta get back on the road. Sorry again, guys.” As Alex finished speaking, the pair proceeded to climb back on their Ryhorns.
However, before they could take off, one of the riders in the back dismounted his Ryhorn and approached Ria.
He was the youngest of the group, likely around Q and Ria’s age, and he had a wide smile on his face.

“I’m Will. Sorry for my friends. Give me a call if you ever need anything. We owe you one.” He handed Ria a slip of paper and gave a wink, before hopping back on his Ryhorn so the group could take off.
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Totodile's jaw dropped at the action done by the so called Will. How dare that boy wink at his trainer?! He could smell it, sense it, he was not to be trusted. Of course no way in hell would Ria take the paper he offered her.

"Thank you!" Ria replied with a smile as she took the slip of paper. "Riding Ryhorns sounds like a lot of fun, maybe we should consider getting some, right Q?"

Totodile slammed his short paw against his face. It seemed he had a lot of work to do if he was to protect Ria. Sadly, he was caring for the baby of the team and couldn't attack the stranger, but one day, he promised on his heart, he would make sure Will knew his place. Meanwhile, he stood still while Ria placed a band-aid on his nose, which seemed to relax the water type by a great deal.

Ria then placed a band-aid on her scrapped elbow and stood up, dusting herself off. She watched the group of riders disappear down the road as she adjusted her backpack once again.
Q was in awe at the sheer confidence displayed by Will. Not only did he risk getting rejected, he risked doing so right in front of his friends. No doubt, the guy was brave…
This train of thought was broken by Ria considering the idea of attaining Ryhorn.

“Pretty brutish Pokémon, meaning it’ll be difficult to catch, but certainly an option…” And with that, the pair would find themselves continuing down the road the Ryhorn Racers had just disappeared on.

Grendel walked behind Q, eyeing Totodile every once in awhile. The little Teddiursa wanted to fight most things, and Ria’s partner was no exception. What’s more, the attitude it conveyed got on Grendel’s nerves a lot. That croc acted so tough- but Grendel knew could take it!


Not long after the groups encounter with the Ryhorn Racers, they came to a fork in the path, with a sign indicating Moomoo Ranch was down the left path, while the transition into Route 38 was straight ahead.

“Well we’ve only got about two hours of daylight left and the maps says Route 38 is about twice as long as Route 39, so you were right… we’ll have to set up camp around the half-way point. Sorry.” As Q sheepishly announced his miscalculation, he swiftly powered down his triple-screened wristwatch and headed for Route 38.

“…Ursaaaa…” But before the group could make their way down the main road, Grendel perked his head up in the air and smiled, catching whiff of something…delicious.
If there was one thing Teddiursa were known for- it was their love of sweets, and whatever was giving off the smell down the left path? He needed it.

“Huh? Wha- Grendel! Wait!” Q turned just in time to catch the tail end of his Pokémon disappearing down the side path. Instinctively, the trainer quickly dashed off down the path after it.
The teen was steadily gaining on his short-imbed partner, but only managed to catch him just as they burst through the front gate into Moomoo Ranch, “Grendel…huff… we gotta… huff… take a break from running!” Q choked out while latching onto Grendel; who was still intently looking about for whatever he’d been smelling.

“Wow… I gotta say, im kinda glad you made the detour.” As Q looked around, he was genuinely surprised by just how peaceful this place- a place he was going to overlook- turned out to be.
Rolling hills of lush, green grass gently rustling in the wind, a horizon full of tall, densely-packed trees, and of course, dozens of Miltank scattered about, grazing the peaceful fields.
The top of a barn and silo could just barely be seen over the hills at the back of the ranch.
"I think we could set up camp in that clearing over there, it seems to be a local spot." Ria looked towards Route 38, her Igglybuff resting in her arms while Totodile was in his Pokeball as a time out for being grumpy. "What do you think Q?" Ria waited for an answer for a few moments and turned around when she didn't get one. "Q? Oh, hey wait!"

The blue haired girl chased after her traveling buddy, trying not to move to much to avoid bothering the pink fluff in her arms. Although, the pink Pokemon was having a blast feeling the air on her face as her trainer sprinted after the other one. Soon she caught up to Q and Grendel, who seemed busy admiring the farms and Pokemon laid out before them.

"So, are random events just something that happens to you occasionally?" Ria sighed loudly as she caught her breath and looked around. "This place looks really nice, maybe I should catch a Miltank!"
“Only when Grendel gets a whiff of something, I suppose.” Grendel and Q proceeded to have a silent squirming match that ended in Q pulling out the small bears Pokeball before waving it about with an eyebrow raised.
This is resulted in Grendel caving, and choosing to behave himself.

“I don’t know if the owners would allow that. Perhaps if they have any young- or even eggs- they might.” Q took a pause so he could wave at an approaching Miltank. In response, the Miltank turned its nose up to the young man and plopped down into a hunched seated position, facing away from the group.

“Plus it kinda seems like they might be a bit spoiled.”

“They are, indeed.” Ria and Q would soon be interrupted by an older, pot-bellied man with a straw hat, overalls, and a long brown beard.
He slid his thumbs under the straps of his overalls as he casually waltzed over, giving the duo a toothy grin as he continued, “Now what can I do for y’all? Here to buy some of our world-famous Miltank Milk? The premium ain’t available till Friday, jus’n case you’er wondering.”
Ria giggled at the attitude of the Miltank. If she was leaving such a life in such a place, she would probably be just as spoiled. The pink Igglybuff seemed to agree as she cheered the cow Pokemon on and then snuggling in Ria's arms afterwards. The sudden appearance of the farmer took Ria a bit by surprised, but his welcoming tone made her think of something.

"Oh, could I take some pictures of the Pokemon here? Learning about Pokemon is something I enjoy and this is a golden opportunity to get information on Miltank."
“Of course. We get plenty o’photographer-types around here. Just try not to flash the Miltank too much.” The farmer gave a small tip of his hat as he replied to Ria, before having his attention drawn to Q.

“You said something about a ‘premium’ milk. I know Miltank already make really high quality milk, so what are you referring to?” Q questioned.

“Ahhh-” The farmer seemed delighted by Q’s response, prompting the introverted young man to internally prepare for a lengthy response as the farmer continued, “our Miltank jus’ went through their breeding season. Lotta eggs, and lots of Miltank Milk that’s higher in nutrients and sweeter than normal. What the little ones don’t need, we collect and sell off once a year as a seasonal deal. Brings in decent cash for tha’ ranch.” As the farmer spoke, he leaned over the fence and ushered the spoiled Miltank Q tried to great over. Without hesitation, the cow Pokémon jumped up and happily skipped over, allowing the farmer to rub it heads and chin with glee.

“Premium Miltank Milk. So that’s what he was smelling.” Q muttered to Ria while giving his small bear Pokémon a gently shake.

“But like I said, it won’t be for sale til day after tomorrow,” The farmer interjected, sliding his thumbs back into the straps of his overalls before turning back towards the barn, “Well if y’all need anything, just head up to barn and find me or Betty- she runs the place. Oh- and I’m Marco, by the way. Remember to mention how hospitable I was.” And with that, Farmer Marco trudged off back towards the end of the ranch, leaving Q and Ria to explore at their leisure.
Ria took a quick photo of the Miltank that approached the farmer, flash off just like she was instructed. Now the mention of the babies in the ranch peeked her interest. Maybe it was a bit risky to try and take pictures of them, since mothers are very protective of their young, but maybe that was just in the wild.

"Thank you Marco!" Ria waved the farmer goodbye before starting move towards the entrance of the place. "I want to take a picture of the baby Miltank. I hope the new moms don't mind me snooping around. Might as well buy some milk also for Iggly, she needs to get stronger, right?" Ria looked down at the Igglybuff rested in her arms, who in returned looked up with a joyful chirp. "Alright, let's get going."

Ria made her way in and the smell of fresh pasture was the first thing that tickled her senses. The quality of the fields were top notch and the amount of Miltank was impressive. She had read that it was possible to find wild Miltank and Tauros in the area outside the farm, probably some that got lose and attracted the male version of the cow Pokemon. If she were to capture one, that was probably her best bet, she couldn't imagine having to take one of these milking Miltanks out of her luxurious home.

"This is pretty neat." Ria said as she snapped some shots of the fields with Miltank. "I wonder if we can go inside the barn?"

The only way to answer her own questions was by trying so. She began moving towards the big red building at the other side of the entrance, it looked a lot bigger than it did from the view on Route 38. Of course, Ria took a quick picture of it before giving the building an odd glance.

"Do you hear something? I think someone is in trouble in there." She crept closer to the barn door, trying to listen to whatever was going on inside.
Um… I don’t know. We’re not really the right people for that, are we?” But before Q could continue his nervous plea, Ria was already moving in to listen closer.
Grendel gave his trainer a motivational shove forward, causing him to end up just a few inches behind Ria, and in ear-shot of whatever was going on.

“Ya can’t do this! Please don’t take em!” Just as Q caught wind of a girls panicked words, he bark door just ahead of Ria and Q exploded outwards!
A large water truck burst from the barn and went tearing through Moomoo Ranch, narrowing missing some unaware Miltank.
It took down several of the ranches main fences as it ripped through the area, and finished off by totally smashing the front gate to pieces, before disappearing into the treeline.

“Oh, damn…” Was all Q could mutter as he looked the ranch over. In mere moments, it had gone from a place of true serenity, to one of chaos.

“Betty! Betty what the hell happened?!?” Marco came charging out of the main house in a panic.

“He took the eggs and ran off in one of the milk trucks! Just thwapped me from behind and snagged the keys. I don’t even know where he came from!” Betty stepped out, revealing herself to be a slim, blonde-haired lady in her early thirties. She too wore a straw hat.
Her hat was a little crooked, and her clothes were a bit ruffled, but other than that- she seemed alright.

“S-Shouldn’t you call the police?! I mean th-this is really bad.” Q stuttered out towards Betty and Marco.

“The nearest station is a half hour away, he’ll be long gone by then…” Marco stepped forward and withdrew two pokeballs from his pocket, before clicking them against one another to produce a flash of red light, “Val, Crim, we gotta hustle!” As the light faded, two powerful looking Rapidash appeared side-by-side.
Without hesitation, both Marco and Betty hopped up on a Rapidash each, showing no discomfort despite the fiery main.

“Y’all are trainers, right? We could use all the help we can get.” Betty stuck her hand out towards Q, gesturing for him to hop on. But a moment later, Marco would do the same for Ria.
Q didn’t know what to think. So much had happened in such a short amount of time, and he felt as though he was involving himself in things that could land him in serious trouble. But at the same time…

“Ria, what do you think?”
Ria watched as the truck rampaged through the farm, taking away the peaceful feeling the place had a few moments ago. She was frustrated and upset that someone would do something so reckless and her feelings increased when she heard that some of the eggs had been stolen. She didn't bother waiting for Q to ask, she was already jumping on the Rapidash with Marco on. Not wanting to cause her own baby Pokemon any harm, she returned the pink balloon to her Pokeball before hanging to Marco's waist.

"I'm ready, go go go!"

She wasn't probably a strong enough trainer to to be chasing criminals, but Totodile was. This wasn't a competition, which meant if Totodile acted on his own it would be fine, since Ria just had to make sure he was okay and return him to the safety of his Pokeball if things got bad.
“Let’s get em’ Dash!” Without hesitation, Marco effortlessly pulled Ria up and took off down the path where the truck disappeared.

“Well?!” Betty shouted while staring at Q with wide eyes.
The young man was honestly surprised that his traveling companion was so willing to go. He didn’t know if he could make the same decision..

“Litwik!” In a flash of red, Lumos pushed her way out of her Premier Ball and hopped up on Rapidash’s back, gesturing for Q to hop on. Lumos and Rapidish’s flames cracked and popped against one another, causing the small candle pokemon to billow out in laughter.

“Look at her… not a worry in the world.” Seeing his innocent little Pokémon enthusiastic to help out helped Q regain some semblance of calm.
With a deep breath, he took Betty’s hand and hopped on. “Let’s ride, Rappy!”


It didn’t take long for the fire-horses to catch up to the bulky, slow-moving water truck- but getting it to stop safely was a different story.

“We gotta stop the truck without banging it up too bad!” Marco shouted over to Betty, as the pair steadily gained on the truck.

“Melt the wheels! Rappy, Flamethrower!” Betty shouted, causing her Rapidash to to release an intense rolling flame that shot straight at the trucks back right wheel.

“You too, Dash!” Marco command his Rapidash to follow suit, leading to lower-back half of the vehicle being slammed with flames.
They tried to aim their flames low in an attempt to avoid hearing the container itself.


After just a few seconds of this intense heat, both of the back tires popped, causing the vehicle to swerve sporadically along the narrow dirt path. Ultimately, the driver managed to level the car out, and while his speed had been slowed dramatically, he was still pressing onwards with just two wheels.

“Get the front!” Betty shouted, slowing guiding ‘Rappy’ around to the passengers side of the truck. Unfortunately, before she had any chance to line up a flamethrower, the theif swerved the already unstable vehicle, attempting to slam Betty, Levi, and the Rapidash off the road!

“Right!” As Betty shouted, Rappy sprang to the right into the treeline, narrowing avoiding the tail end of the truck. Both Betty and Q were pelted with twigs and leaves, almost causing the latter to fall back off the Pokémon.
Q simply kept his head down and held a firm grip on Lumos as his body was violently rattled around the the sudden shift in movements.

“You alright?” Marco shouted over as Betty steadied Rappy back out.

“Yeah- but he ain’t gon’ let us get to those front tires. We’ll have to make em’ spin-out.” Betty shouted back while allowing Marco to overtake her.

“Alright little lady, hang on tight!” Marco gave Ria a small warning as he lines himself with the back right side of the truck and tightened his grip on ‘Dash’.
“Quick Attack!” Dash wouod briefly received a massive boost in speed as it charged forward, where it rammed directly into the back half of the water truck.

The truck whipped around quickly, being spun a full 360 degrees before the theif managed to stop the vehicle. It was now facing the edge of the path towards a ditch, with the whole gang approaching from behind. He had nowhere to run.

“Shit!” The thief grunted to himself while quickly sliding two large backpacks onto one arm each before kicking the car door open and making a mad dash for the nearby forest.
Naturally, the two Rapidash were gaining on the man at a blistering pace, but just before they were close enough to grab him, he threw a pokeball out.

The flash of red briefly blinded both Rapidash, which gave something the opportunity to trip them both up at once.
Marco, Betty, Ria, and Q were all sent sailing through the air as their rides were brought to an abrupt halt.
Q landed hard on his back as he had Lumos tightly swaddled in his arms. The impact caused him to bounce a couple times, before eventually rolling to a stop.

“Lit…wik…?” Lumos looked up at his trainer with a mix of fear and uncertainty. He was covered in scratches, along with a thick layer of dirt, and he remained unmoving after the impact.

“…I’m okay…” After just a few seconds, Q managed to squint down at his scared Pokémon; forcing a small smile in an attempt to comfort her.
He had the wind knocked out of him, and he was in a lot of pain from being thrashed about, but other than that- he felt like he was Al right.
Finally managing to catch his breath and regain his bearings, Q looked up to see what could’ve caused them to fall.
“What in Arceus...”

As the group looked up, they would be faced with the ‘mother of all Ariados’.
The bug Pokémon was massive standing more than a foot taller than normal Ariados. It simply looked on at the group, gnashing it’s pincers together angrily while the thief quickly scurried into the woods behind it.

“Marco!” Betty had gotten to her feet long before Q, immediately realizing that Marco had been knocked out cold during the fall. After confirming that he seemed alright, she quickly turned to the Ariados with a look of determination.
“Rappy- huh?” The Ranch owner called for her Pokémon, only to realize both of the Rapidash’s had been bound in a thick layer of webbing. The fire-horses intense flames were steadily burning through the String Shot, but not quick enough…
Realizing she was now unable to defend herself and in serious danger, Betty felt fear begin to wash over herself. She leaned down next to Marco and began attempting to shake him awake. The Ariados was clearly eyeing Betty, and began inching forward step-by-step. Once it was within a few meters, it’s would attempt pounce on her- moving with a surprising amount of speed. Betty’s eyes widened as the big Pokémon approached. There was nothing left for her to do now except-

Ria hit the ground hard, but it wasn't the first time she had fallen in a similar fashion. Sometimes one of her friends back at home would freeze up the water slides and they would use that to slide faster. One time she got too much momentum though and was sent flying, she got scolded by her mom that night because of the scratches on her elbow. This time it was a different situation, but she wasn't just going to curl up and wait for the falling to end. Instead, Ria managed to stop herself by twisting her body forward instead of rolling to the sides. By doing so, after the second bounce, she landed on her feet and then knees, allowing her to quickly regain herself. Sadly, her okay landed couldn't be celebrated as she faced their new obstacle.

The big Ariados was quick, getting rid of its biggest threat with String Shot. Ria looked to Q, he seemed okay, still trying to collect himself though. The big bug Pokemon was quickly on the move again, this time going after Betty. Ria looked towards the forest, where the thief had ran off to and then back at the Ariados. She had to choose between chasing after the thief or saving Betty. She took too long though and Totodile made the decision for her.

The water croc emerged from his Pokeball, slamming into the side of the Ariados with Aqua Jet, it wasn't a big impact for the big Pokemon, but enough to stop it on its tracks and push it a bit to the side. Totodile landed in between the spider and Betty, growling at the new enemy they were facing.

"Betty, take Q and go after the thief!" Ria called out as she rushed over to stand next to her Pokemon. "Me and Toto can handle this." She gave her Totodile a smirk, to let him know she was there and to see if he liked his new nickname.

Totodile nodded at his trainer with a smile and then took a step forward towards the Ariados, shooting a blast of Water Gun at it, a sign of a challenge, letting the big bug know, he was its opponent now.
“Rappy! Dash! Listen to Ria once you’re free! Q, get on yer feet n’ focus!” Betty pulled the lightly battered teen to his feet and gave him a few light slaps on the cheek while dragging him forward towards the treeline.

“Is Marco okay?” Q, having finally returned to his senses questioned.

“He’ll be okay. Ria’s holding the Ariados off while go after the theif!” As Betty finished speaking, Q stopped dead in his tracks and looked back.

“She’s really gonna try and fight that thing alone…?” In a flash of red light, Grendel forced his way out of his Luxury Ball and ran to Totodile’s side. He looked to his trainer and gave him a thumbs-up, signifying it was okay for Q to leave him.
The young trainer was in shock. It seemed like everyone around him was so selfless. So willing to risk it all. So brave…

“…you guys be careful! You hear me?!” He shouted while sprinting off into the woods behind Betty with a new sense of determination.
“Let’s get this guy, Lumos!”


Grendel and Totodile both stared down the Apex Ariados, both sharing a look of determination.
The small bear knew that there would be no better moment to show Totodile that Grendel wasn’t to be trifled with.

“Teddi!” The small bears claws extended and began glowing with the power of Fury Swipes as he charged in, aiming to swipe the large bug pokemons left legs.
Naturally, the Ariados was able to easily side-step this, causing Grendel to fall to one knee due to his own forward momentum. After which, without even using an attack, Ariados quickly extended one of its legs outwards in an attempt to ‘kick’ Grendel away.
The small bear Pokémon crossed its arms over its midsection, managing to avoid a guts shot and instead receiving a blow to the arms. And a heavy blow it was.

Just the raw strength of the Ariados was enough to send Grendel soaring backwards into the bushes.
Without missing a beat, the savage bug Pokémon turned its attention back to the annoying little Totodile.
Ria gasp when she saw the teddy Pokemon get knocked away, her instinct telling her to go check on it. But, she decided to trust Grendel can handle himself while she and Totodile kept at it. At the same time, Toto didn't look impressed, almost as if he wasn't expecting much from the Teddiursa, but then again he hardly expected anything from anyone else.

"Let's keep it busy! Water the ground around it!"

Toto took a stand and began shooting water at the ground around the Ariados, looking to create a muddy mess so it wouldn't be able to move as fast. Meanwhile, Ria took a few steps back, getting closer to Marco.
Rather than continuing forward, the Ariados came to a full stop when the Totodile began shooting its water Gun; looking on in curiosity.
Instead of waiting to see what would happen next, the Ariados opted to instead fire a Pin Missile barrage at the tiny, blue target.
In an instant, a wave of burnt orange, needle-shaped beams of energy shot from the Pokémons mouth and scattered in a sporadic, untraceable pattern. One thing that was clear? They were all homing in on Totodile.


Betty and Q had been in a dead-sprint; moving just fast enough to keep the thief in their sights. He was weaving in and out of the tree-line, twisting and turning, ducking and diving- doing anything he could to lose his two pursuers.
And unfortunately for them, he was successful. After essentially running in a massive circle and ending back at the front of the forest, Q and Betty had totally lost sight of the man. They knew he was nearby, but no idea where.

“Damnit! If I can’t find those eggs, our Miltank are gon’ get all depressed, and it puts their milk off!” Betty was clearly feeling the pressure. Thankfully for her, the recent events that had transpired helped Q remain uncharacteristically calm. Rather than panicking, or dwelling on the situation with Betty- he thought.
He’d always been rather good at that- just not usually in situations like this.

“Here. Tie this around your face. Quickly.” Q dropped to one knee and quickly sifted through duffle till he found a pack of handkerchiefs.
He couldn’t help but pause and smile for a moment. He’d only brought them because his dad said they were great survival tools. Q didn’t believe him at the time… he’d have to apologize for doubting him.
After the pair had bandannas tightly wrapped around their mouths and noses, they stepped back deeper into the forest, facing the treeline.
“Lumos, use Smog- and keep it rolling.”

“Wiiiiiiik~“ Little proceeded to open its mouth and produced a suprisingly large cloud of dark-purple gas. Within moments, the edge of the forest was totally cloaked in a thin layer of this gaseous irritant.

“Hey- good thinking, kid. We’ll has em’ out!” Betty gave Q a pay on the back, only for Q to turn to her and quietly raise a finger over his covered mouth.


“………uhhhnnn~ Gak! Gahahga!” After a few moments, Q and Betty both caught wind of a nearby log which seemed to be having a coughing fit.

“Show yourself, or we keep the gas rolling!” Betty shouted out enthusiastically while giving W another rough pat on the back.
Ria screamed in concern for her Pokemon, she didn't know what could possible be done to stop such an attack. But, Toto was ready, if the Ariados wasn't going to touch the mud, he was. He used Mud-Slap to create a barrier, stopping most of the incoming pin missiles. But, some got through and hit the crocodile Pokemon directly, causing him to take a few steps back and then fall on his bottom.

"It's okay, we can do this!" Ria ran up to her Totodile and sprayed him with a potion. "You do what you feel is right, I got like two more potions and an antidote ready just in case, I believe in you!"

Toto looked at his trainer, a wave of inspiration washed over him. Despite the monster they were facing, she stepped up to help him out and was willing to risk herself again for him. He stood up, determined to keep fighting. Toto faced the Ariados before stomping the ground around them, sending a Mud Slap towards the giant bug.

"Go Toto go!"
Agitated by the sight of the Totodile being healed after he’d just dealt with it, the Spinarak opted to simply target both the Pokémon and the trainer at the same time.

“Ariaaaaa~” The bug cried as a massive amount of webbing was ejected upwards into the air directly above Ria and Totodile- where it would instantly blanket the two, and their immediate surroundings, in String Shot.
With the pair now pinned down, Ariados began slowly making its way through the slick mud, gnashing its pincers eagerly at the idea of fully encasing its prey.
Ria’s Totodile was tough; furiously fighting against the bindings. Unfortunately for him- the level gap was just too big, making the bindings neigh unbreakable from the pairs restricted positions.

“…dos!” Certain it’s prey was restrained, the Ariados jumped forward with the bright purple light of Cross Poison illuminating its pincers as it went it for the finishing blow.


Just then, a black aura shot out of the treeline and collided violently with the side of the Ariados’ head, causing the giant bug pokemon to be knocked onto its side into the mud.
As the dark aura faded, it became clear that it was Grendel- cloaked with the dissipating energy created by Payback. The small bear Pokémons body was battered and bruised from head-to-toe, and it’s fur had been heavily matted with dirt, but it was conscious. What’s more, he even managed to land a decently powerful hit.

Unfortunately for the group, this would not be anywhere close enough to knocked the Ariados out.
Instead in looked over to Grendel with sheer rage filling it’s eyes. The Ariados quickly scrambled to its feet, despite the slick mud, and charged Grendel.

“Teddi…” Grendel braces for another impact. He knew he couldn’t take it- but he’d try. He’d show everyone just how tough he was by fighting to the bitter end.
But then, just like when Toto and Ria were being attacked, Grendel was saved by a massive wave of fire that careened through the area and sent the Ariados soaring back against a tree in a fiery explosion.

The weary Grendel looked up to see both Rappy and Dash had just managed to free themselves in time, and hit the Ariados with a double Flamethrower attack.

Not wasting the opportunity- Grendel ran over to Ria and Totodile where he proceeded to frantically cut at the String Shot with his Fury Swipes.
He was making it through- just at an extremely slow rate.

“Ursa!” Grendel shouted at Totodile, instructing him to work on cutting through from the inside in order to speed up the process.


Q and Betty waited in silence, knowing it wouldn’t be long for the Smog to get to him.
Without a few moments, the man scrambled out from behind the tree stump coughing and hacking.
It was clear he had no intention of letting the gas stop him, as he stumbled towards the edge of the treeline.

“Sure is determined, I’ll give em’ that.” Betty muttered as she pulled another Pokeball from her overalls, before continuing, “Miltank! Go get those babies!” Miltank flashed from the ball and set her sights on the thief.
Ariados was angry… but that was nothing in comparison to the rage of a mother Miltank.
Wasting no time, the cow Pokémon dropped into Rollout and began smashing by through the forest towards the man at a rapid pace.

“OoOoOoh shit-“ The man looked back over his shoulder, wide-eyed. Miltank went barreling into the tree just next to him, causing the thick trunk to crack at the base.
One hit and he’d be a goner.

“Ariados! Call for- ghack! Call for backup!” The theif shouted in a raspy voice through the tree lines.
Ria struggled to get lose from the thick web, but she was always the kind of person to cut her nails to avoid scratching others by accident and now she wished she hadn't. Toto on the other hand was not about to let some low rank Teddiursa tell him what to do, his claws began to glow as he used Metal Claw to cut himself lose. He emerged through the small hole he had made and turned towards the Ariados. Victory was assured now that they had the Rapidash helping them, but he wanted to make sure of that himself. With his pride on the line, he blasted ahead with Aqua Jet and smashed against the Ariado's side, bouncing off and then leaping backwards, putting himself in between the spider and Ria with Grendel.

"Here!" Ria called to the bear Pokemon as she managed to make a big enough hole to drop an Oran berry through. "I'll try and get more once I get out of this thing!"
Grendel’s eyes sparkled at the sight of the sweet, blue berry that had been rolled over to him.
Since he didn’t have access to the Miltank milk, he would’ve gladly accepted the Berry even if he wasn’t all smashed up.
After he crushed the berry with just two bites, he immediately began feeling it’s subtle affects. The deeper scratches along his body shallowed-out slightly, and his freshly formed bruises already looked as if they would start fading soon. He was nowhere near healed up- but the berry helped jumpstart the process.

Rappy and Dash both trotted over to Totodile and Grendel respectively, taking a fighting stance right next to them.
Dwspite having a thick cloud of smoke rolling off the left side of its body, Totodile chose to land a clean Aqua Jet along Ariados’ left abdomen. Unfortunately, the low power of the attack and the level gap led to the monstrous bug only being lightly jostled by the impact.

As all the smoke cleared out and the Ariados’ whole body became visible, Ria and the group could now see the bugs left side was powdered in a layer of crumbling clay.
Unfortunately for the Rapidash, their flamethrower was almost entirely absorbed by the thick layer of mud Ariados had previously fallen into.

“Call for backup!”
An unknown male voice could be heard screaming from good distance down the edge of the tree line.
Instantly, Ariados took note of this and faced its head towards the sky.

“Ariiiiiaaadossssss~“ Ariados let out a wicked cry, which would almost instantly lead to the faint sound of clicking and scratching. This faint sound would steadily grow louder and louder, heavier and heavier- like the sound of dozens of tiny feet swarming the trees around them.
At this point, the Thief had managed to avoid Miltank in the fog, and had ran Betty and Q in almost a full circle throughout the forest. All three burst through the smog only for Betty and Q to realize the thief had been planning to go right back to his Ariados the whole time!

“No! We had em!” Betty shouted in frustration as the thief slipped behind his massive Pokémon for protection.

“Ria! Are you alright?” Q scurried over to his traveling companion, who was still covered in a decent quantity of string.
Q gripped hood of the bindings tightly and gave a heavy tug- to no avail. The String Shot was like none he’d ever seen before.

“Lit…wiiiiik~” Lumos waltzed up to the webbing with a look of curiosity on her face. After a brief second of contemplating, the candle pokemon fired an Ember at the webbing just next to Ria.
Q looked on, curious himself to see if his weaker Pokémon had it in them. Unfortunately, Litwik’s flame just wasn’t hot enough yet to melt it. Q gave the area a rig to confirm it didn’t work, and to his surprise, the string shot felt significantly more pliable.

“Lumos! It’s okay- you don’t have to melt it. Just focus your Wmber along that spot!” Q gripped hold of the bindings just above Ria and tugged furiously whilst his Pokémon shot a constant blast of superheated air at the bindings just beside her.
With their combined efforts, the String Shot slowly warped, stretched, then snapped away like an elastic band, finally freeing Ria.

“Young’ns… we got a problem.” With the group finally being brought together and Ria being freed, it seemed as though things were going in their favor. But this was not the case.
As Q looked up, he would be met by the stare of no less that a dozen Spinarak, and maybe half that many Ariados, hanging from the surroundings trees. They were all staring at the large Ariados the group had been fighting.

“Ria…d-did you keep the number that Ryhorn ruh-racer gave you…?”
Ria sighed loudly, relieved to have gotten lose from the sticky situation. Sadly for her, she was now in a worst one. It seemed they were now terrible outnumbered. Ria looked a bit confused when she heard Q though, the Ryhorn racer?

"Yeah I have it on my phone, but I don't think right now it's a good time to socialize. Oh wait! Maybe they can help out!"

Toto on the other hand was looking at his new enemies, maybe he couldn't take out the big boss, but he knew he stood a chance against all the other bugs. He prepared a Metal Claw, his claws growing and turning into a metallic color, while crouching, getting ready to jump at the first one who dared rushed his way.

"Let me send him a message, should I sound desperate? I know we are but, should I go more casual? Never mind." She typed quickly on her phone, trying to look at the screen and focus on the ongoing situation.

SOS Location

"There! I got two potions and an antidote left, think we can hold out until they arrive?" She looked at Q and showed him her backpack, inside the items were visible.
“No idea!” Q shot back while spraying Grendel with a potion, finally alleviating the small bear of his injuries.

“Oh we’ll make it.” Marco muttered from behind the group, causing the majority to turn their eyes on him.
He’d made it to his feet and was rubbing the side of his head where he’d hit. He was dazed, but back in the game.

“Thank Arceus you’re finally awake. We got a sit’iation on our hands!” As Betty spoke, Rappy and Miltank stepped up next to Grendel and Totodile, taking a fighting stance.

“It appears I missed quite a bit. Best I make up for that.” Marco would quickly skip another pokeball out, releasing a Tauros that, along with Dash, joined the group ready to fend off the bug invasion.

“Just let me leave with the eggs!” The thief shouted, peering out from behind his Ariados. The man was lean, with a shaven head, 5’o clock shadow, and a dark jacket pulled down to hide his eyes.
It was easy to tell why Betty and Q had trouble keeping up- the guy seemed to be in good shape.

“In yer dreams, ya bastard!” The moment Betty shouted her retort, all of the entire group of Spinarak dropped from above, aiming to rain down with Poison Sting and Infestation.
The Ariados hung back, preparing to use Shadow Sneak with the group was off guard.

“ATTAAAAAACK!” Betty roared, causing Rappy to blast the falling Spinarak out of the sky with Flamethrower. The ones that weren’t instantly knocked out began crawling towards the groups feet at a rapid pace.
While all of this was occuring, Miltank and Tauros were smashing up the trees the Ariados were taking cover in.
Rian clenched her fists, dropping her bag by her feet in case anyone needed some of the items. She pointed at the Spinarak, probably the easiest targets and got Toto to attack. The water Pokemon launched forward, striking the closest green bug down with his Metal Claw. The small bug wasn't going to go down that easy though, as it fired back a volley of Poison Sting. Toto was ready though, using the same trick he had been using that entire day, he used Mud Slap to create a wall to stop the projectiles from hitting him. However, he wasn't only fighting one opponent.

A Spinarak had managed to jump over the wall and landed behind Toto, ready to ram into it with its poisonous horn. Ria reacted out of pure instinct, as she rushed forward and kicked the Spinarak as hard as she could, sending it flying back towards its hive. Toto turned around in utter surprise and then smirked at his trainer, feeling a bit proud. He turned back towards the enemies and jumped into action again.
As the Spinarak scuttled in, Grendel and Lumos almost immediately found their synergy as close and long rage fighters repestively.
Grendel was slashing at everything in sight with Fury Swipes. Every time he successfully slashed at a Spinarak, Lumos would capitalize on the moment of imbalance, and hit the small spiders with the strongest Ember she could muster.

Unfortunately, while Q’s Pokémon were preoccupied, he was suddenly ambushed by a Spinarak in waiting. The bug managed to latched onto his forearm with string shot that was wrapped around a nearby tree, effectively chaining Q to a small area.

“OoOoOoh! Grendel!” Q shouted for his Pokémon in a panic while tugging against the restraint. Grendel was preoccupied, as two Spinarak had charged the small bear at the same time.
While Q was strong enough to eventually break the weaker string shot, he didn’t have the time, as the Spinarak who fired it was scuttling down the string right towards Q’s face.
Q felt shivers down his spine, realizing he wasn’t gonna be able to get away.

“C’mon!” Q gave up on tugging and changed his focus to the X-Gear. It was on his restrained arm, facing our right towards the Spinarak.
He figteded with the controls frantically, and just as the small big got close enough to touch, Q activated the brightest setting on his watches flashlight function; igniting the nearby forest in an intense white light.
The Spinarak shook its head violently, clearly being stunned by the sudden flags of bright light. As it was trying to clear its vision, a wave of superheated air blasted by, both knocking out the foe, and freeing Q’s arm from the restraint.

“Litwiiik!” Lumos shouted happily to her trainer while giving a thumbs up.
Q quickly shot one back, thankful for his Pokémons good aim.

By now, about half of the Ariados had been defeated by Betty and Marco, but their Pokémon were beginning to run out of steam, and the Apex Ariados hadn’t been defeated yet, either.
“These potions ain’t strong enough! They’re gonna overpower us!” Marco shouted whilst inspecting the label on one of the potion bottles.
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Ria gulped as she began to feel nervous. Toto was beginning to look tired, which meant Q and his team were probably in a similar situation. Marco was right, she had not been prepared for such a battle. IF her team was stronger, she could do something about, but they were about to reach their limit. She picked up a twig, using it to fight off a Spinarak that was trying to get to Toto from the side. The spider managed to use String Shot to grab the weapon and toss it out of Ria's hands. The blue haired girl took a few steps back and then she suddenly felt a cold chill run down her back. The sound of shattering fangs came from behind Ria, she turned around to see an Ariados launching towards her. The girl shrieked and closed her eyes.

Nothing happened.

Ria opened her eyes, seeing the Ariados squashed under a boulder. The earth began to tremble and soon after the sound of a roaring Ryhorn was heard as the Ryhorn racers rushed into the scene, using Rock Blast to make the bug types back away, causing the Spinarak to retreat and the Ariados to gather around their leader. Ria looked astonished at the boulder that was close to her and by some miracle didn't hit her at all. Her trance was broken though when she heard a familiar voice.

"Are you okay? Came running as soon as I saw your message."

Ria's eyes met with Will's, who was standing next to her with a concerned look. "Will?" Ria felt a rush of relief as she hugged Will. "Thank you thank you!"

Will chuckled returning the hug to the trembling trainer. "You're welcome, let us handle this while the cops arrive."
There was at least six Ryhorn Racers present, and all of their Pokémon were easily comparable to the Apex Ariados in terms of power.
With relative ease, the pack of Ryhorns smashed their way through the remaining Spinarak, and made quick work on the Ariados just after.
All that was remaining was the thief and his Ariados. He was totally surrounded by the groups pokemon at this point, and even his monstrous Ariados wasn’t looking too hot at this point. If this weren’t enough, the faint flashing of red and blue light could be seen approaching in the distance; signifying the police would soon arrive.

The thief grit his teeth in anger, knowing he no longer had any chance of outrunning the group. After weeks of working to tame that damned Ariados, he finally managed to get it to listen- and if he couldn’t manage to make off with a score like this- it would all be for nothing.
“I’m not gonna lose after all the work I’ve put in! Ariados! Use- huff!” But before the thief could continue with his final stand, Marco jumped from the bushes behind him, having hidden away during the chaos.
He reeled his fist back and sent it careening into the back of the man’s head, sending him sailing into the ground in a crumpled heap.

“Serves ya right.” The large farmer muttered while turning his attention to the final obstacle; the Ariados.
But rather than continue it’s charge, the large bug pokemon simply looked down at its trainer for a moment, then looked around at the surrounding battlefield.
The vast majority of his pack had been severely injured- if not killed- during the exchange. This isn’t what it wanted.


Over the next half hour or so, emergency services had arrived on scene and arrested the man in question. Betty and Marco managed to safety reclaim their eggs, and were currently dealing with the police.
The Ariados? Last anyone saw it had gathered the remainder of its pack and wandered off back into the forest.

Q and Ria were seated in the back of an ambulance after getting patched up by the medics, waiting to receive a scolding from local law enforcement for not contacting them sooner.
After a few minutes of waiting, an older male officer dressed in a blue uniform with a black vest stepped up to the duo and gave them a long, uncertain stare.

“… the crooks name is Cash Everett. He’s petty thief known for doing a lot of over-nighters in Ecruteaks local police station. From what we’ve been able to gather, it seems he was gonna try to use the eggs and ‘premium milk’ to start his own distribution line and undercuts Moomoo Ranch’s profits-“ the officer paused for a moment, finding it a bit hard to keep a straight face as he stated Cash had stolen ‘milk and eggs’. But he wouldn’t let his composure break, instead clearing his throat before he continued, “-it’s seems you’ve managed to stop a petty criminal just before he became a much bigger problem… for a couple of teenagers that don’t know what the hell they’re doing, you did alright.” The officer was about to walk off, when he paued and looked over his shoulder to say one last thing, “…but dont ever do something that stupid again. We’d rather him have gotten a head start than for you two to have jeopardized your own safety.” And with that, the officer was off, leaving Ria and Q with no more than a slap on the wrist.

“…so- crazy day, huh?”
Ria couldn't help but smile as the officer gave em his pep talk. They had actually won and Totodile was as proud as ever, sitting next to her and snuggling to her side. She understood what the officer was saying to them, but she couldn't help but feel the pride bubbling inside her spill out through a smirk on her face. She waited for the officer to finally leave them alone before shooting Q a quick smile.

"Yeah. I wonder if this is a normal thing or we're just the protagonist of some anime." She jumped to her feet, looking at the bandaged forearm and then at Q. "We should head back to the road, set up camp, we could make some di-" She stopped as she notice the Ryhorn riders getting ready to leave. "I'll be back!"

Ria left Toto with Q and Grendel, the croc giving the pair a look and then turning towards his trainer. Meanwhile, Ria jogged over to Will. She slowed down before getting there and then gave the rock Pokemon a look and nodded, like some critic admiring a piece of art. "You two are sure strong."

Will was adjusting his goggles when the girl arrived and he removed them once more to look down at her. "Thanks, we train everyday to stay in top shape." He smiled at the girl before looking over his shoulder as the rest of the group began to leave. "I have to go, feel free to send me a message or two anytime, even if you're not in danger." He gave her a quick smiled before putting his goggles back on and racing after his friends.

Ria waved goodbye until he was out of site. She had a silly smile on her face as she went back to her team. Toto's happiness had been shattered, watching his trainer flirting with a low level warrior. Ria on the other hand, besides being a bit beat up, was as if nothing had ever happened. The group left, getting a ride from the nice farmers to the main road and a dozen Moomoo Milk for the road. The two trainers set up camp for the night, joining a group of other trainers who had found the same campsite. Ria hadn't noticed how tired she was, but she fell asleep with a half written text to Will. Toto on the other hand sat next to his trainer, meditating over the fierce battle he had and thinking of how he could get stronger to protect the ones he loved.
Q was pretty banged up from the events of that day, so when Ria suggested they spend the night at a trainer camp on Route 38, he had no objections.

It was pitch black in the woods at this point. Trainers had their tents and sleeping bags huddled closely around a large campfire.
Q? He wasn’t mixed in with the group. The idea of sleeping around total stranger brought him nothing but anxiety, so he instead chose to sleep several meters away from the group, directly under the night sky.
The boy was wrapped up in a sleeping bag, leaning up against a tree stump. Grendel was curled up at Q’s feet, clutching an empty bottle of Miltank milk.
Lumos always slept standing up, so she simply rested about a foot away from Q and Grendel, providing the pair with their own personal nightlight.
The flames of a Litwik were soothing, despite the soul-sucking lore behind them.
The tinkerer-in-training just watched as the soft blue flame pulsed slightly every time Lumos snored. He was proud of what they’d accomplished that day.


Just then, Q picked up on an eerily familiar sound- the sound of a tiny bugs legs scampering across the forest floor.
In a flash, the young trainer was out of his bag, on one knee, with his X-Gear flashlight activated and pointed towards the treeline.
“Grendel wake up… I think the Ariados might be back.” Q roughly shook Grendel as he spoke, causing the small bear to sputter awake in a state of confusion.

“Teddi…? Teddi!” Finally realizing what his trainer had said, Grendel jumped to his feet and immediately extended his Fury Swipes.

The pair slowly made their way over to the bushes where the noise sprang up.
Q nervously gave Grendel a nod of confirmation as he prepared to spread the bushes branches and reveal whatever was inside.
Grendel gave a nod back, dropping a fighting stance as to be ready for anything.
To the pairs surprise, they were met with the site of a very injured, very small Spinarak, slowly making its way through the bush.

“He must be a straggler that was too weak to keep up with the group…” Q just sat there and watched the small bug slowly creep it way through the dense foliage. It paid no attention to Q, clearly still having its site set on catching up with the pack.
Grendel looked up to his trainer with a look of genuine interest. His trainer definitely didn’t want him to hurt it- he would’ve said so by now. The small bear retracted his claws and stood there, waiting to see what his trainer was up to.

“…your family tried to hurt my friends…” Q knelt down as he spoke, causing the weak Spinarak to whip its head towards the once passive trainer in fear. The young trainer gave the Spinarak a small smile as he continued, “…I know you were just fighting for them, being loyal… but even after that, they left you behind?” As Q continued, the little bugs eyes began to pool with tears. It gave up on trying to crawl, instead simply sitting there in defeat.

“…I forgive you. Even after everything that happened, I forgive you.” The Spinarak stared up with tears now pouring down it’s face. It didn’t wanna go back to its pack, back to the hunt, but it wouldn’t survive elsewhere.
To try and help calm the little bug, Q pulled an Oran Berry out of his duffle and rolled it to the little guy.
After a few seconds of hesitantly inspecting the Berry, the Spinarak gladly devoured the whole thing. Almost immediately, the little bug looked much better. It’s energy to had been restored a bit, and it’s wounds were no longer as severe. Q began rumbling around in his jackets inner pocket as he spoke quietly to the now more relaxed Spinarak, “ Now… you could probably catch up with your family… or you could come with us.” As he finished, he sat an empty pokeball down on the ground in between them. Both Grendel and the wild Spinarak looked at Q with wide eyes. Grendel knew his trainer was a good person, and wouldn’t attack an injured foe- but he never expect this.
The Spinarak was utterly dumbfounded by the boys willingness to forgive. The bug had never met a Pokémon that acted the way he did… and it was inviting.
The Spinarak sat there for a moment, it’s brain going at a million miles per hour. After a long, awkward silence, the bug pokemon looked at Q with what he could only assume was a smile, before lightly tapping the pokeball.


Instantly, the capture was completed. Q looked to Grendel with a warm expression, “It wasn’t his fault- and I think he could help us. Now c’mon- let’s get back to bed.”
Ria reached for the sky as she woke up, stretching in her sleeping bag with her eyes closing and reaching over to feel if Toto was still around, which he was, curled up to her side. To her surprise, she also felt the soft pink Igglybuff gently snoring next to Toto. Ria sat up, rubbing her eyes, yawning and then checking her breath, not wanting it to smell bad. It seemed she was a few of the first to wake up, the sun was starting to rise and only two or three trainers were already up and about.

"Wow it's early..." She looked around, only to have her PokeGear still turned on and her two Pokemon cuddling together to keep warm. "I'm going to wash my face, Toto watch Iggly."

Ria got out of her sleeping bag, still wearing her sleeping clothes, which were a pair of black shorts and a long sleeved white shirt with the face of a Psyduck in the middle. She put on her sneakers, no socks, since she figured she would have to take them off again soon, and made her away towards a small pond towards the edge of the campsite. Once she got there, she knelt down and splashed some water on her face before brushing her teeth. The area was pretty peaceful, to the point that Ria didn't even consider catching the Woopers jumping about and playing in the water. That silence was soon broken though, as the cry of a Pidgeotto broke the scene. The flying Pokemon swooped from above, diving towards the pond and then changing direction right before he crashed, soaring just inches above the water. As it did this, its body began to gain a certain fiery golden glow, but it vanished and the Pidgeotto took to the skies again.

"Almost had it!" A young man, about 17 years old, was standing a few meters from were Ria was. He had a black Mohawk, blue overalls and a black shirt under it. What was interesting were his gloves, they were thick, made of leather and had all sorts of scratch marks on them. His eyes were focused on the Pidgeotto as he lifted one finger in the air and made a circular motion. "One more time!"

Ria turned towards the Pidgeotto, who did the same maneuver once more. It gained altitude first, dove straight towards the water, and turned into an almost perfect 90 degree angle over the water. Again, the bird gained a golden like glow, like if it was catching on fire, but it only lasted a bit.

"That one lasted longer! Great job!"

Ria gave the trainer a confused look, it definitely didn't last longer, at least she didn't see the difference. The young trainer stood up and walked over to the bird keeper, stepping on branches so he would notice her without her needed to call to him, sadly, it seemed the trainer was too busy.

"Hi, sorry, what are you doing?"

The trainer turned towards the girl, startled for a second and then calmly lifted his right hand, allowing the Pidgeotto to land on it safely. "Mornin ma'am, my gud ol Pi'otto here scare ya? Sorry-bouthat. We'am tryna learn Brave Bird. Evry good Birdkeeper like mayself needs their ace to know one of em wall smashing flying attacks."

"Brave Bird? Can only birds learn that?" Ria imagined Toto setting on fire and flying across the small lake.

"Yes'mam. Takes lotta hard work'n'ffort to get it. Me and Otto here, we've together since we were lil scrandels. In my home people ask, what-a-came first? Tobby oh Pi'otto? Cuz we always been us two. Figured, bout time we got Brave Bird down. Say, you got any mons with ya?"

"Huh? Oh! Pokemon? Yes, no, not with me, but yes I have some, why?"

"How bout-a-lil training session? We sure wouldn't mind a sweet lil thing like ya helping us train."

"Okay! Sure! Let me go get them, my name is Ria by the way."

"Ria? Now dat sum honey covered name right'er, nice too meet ya. We'll be waiting, take ya time."

Ria nodded and began speed walking back to the camp. She was excited to get into a friendly battle again, she knew Toto would be loving it, maybe even Grandel also. Surely if both teamed up they could take one the team of Tobby and his Pidgeotto.

"Q!" Ria called over from her sleeping bag as she stopped to wake up Toto. "I found a trainer who wants to battle, you wanna join?"
Q, Grendel, and Lumos all shot up as Ria’s voice carried across the small campgrounds and shook the group awake. As Q sat up his body was wracked with an undeniable aching sensation. He could feel the bruises and scratches along his back and sides pulsing, and his joints felt stiff, despite the full nights rest.
The young man took a moment to adjust to his current state, before tugging himself to his feet.

“Oooof~ So I guess it really does hurt in the morning…heh- ow.” Q couldn’t help but find some humor in his situation; thinking back to all the times in popular media characters had said that iconic line, then woke up the next morning perfectly fine. Q was living it for real.
The burgundy haired trainer would proceed to his duffle, where he’d retrieve a med kit from the upper pocket. He pulled a bottle of over-the-counter painkillers from it and proceeded to dry-swallow a single pill.

“A battle…?” Q looked over to his Pokémon. Grendel was doing his usual morning push-ups, this time with the added weight of Lumos standing on his back and counting, rather than just counting.
They were definitely feeling it…

“I might. Let’s go see, guys.”
Ria's smiled burst through her, feeling excited and happy at the same time. "Might? If you need me to take in Grendel for this I don't mind, right Grendel?" She winked at the bear Pokemon. "Okay, meet me at the pond just behind those trees. I'm going to go get changed."

Ria, with some girls helping her keep a look out, managed to get a fresh new outfit. She had a white t-shirt with red sleeves up to her elbows, blue jeans and the same white sneakers, except this time with socks. Toto was ready to go, having sorta cleaned up their belongings by rolling up the sleeping bag and stuffing everything inside Ria's bag. Iggly was eager to get going, floating around with a string attached to her right leg, that had a small stone tied to it, so the balloon Pokemon wouldn't get swept away by the wind. Ria picked up her backpack and Iggly, showing everyone else the way to the pond.

"Why ya gun n get all pretty fo?" Tobby let out a whistle as he saw Ria and the gang. "Don't needta look gud to battle ya know? But hey, who am I to complain? Ya brought yer boyfriend there?" He nodded towards Q with a polite smile.

"Huh?" Ria stopped walking towards the birdkeeper and looked at Q. "Oh him? My boyfriend? No, I'm single. Well sorta, maybe for now or not, it's complicated. But not with him, not at all."

Tobby let out a heartly chuckle, tucking his hands into the pockets of his overalls. "Relax, just pullin ya leg. So, ya two versus me? I figured ya must've be newbies. Unless ya hiding some top level Pokemon."

"We are newbies actually." Ria said, sounding proud of her statement. "We can definitely team up, right Grendel?"

Toto growled as his trainer asked that one other Pokemon to partner up. He wasn't about to let that bear outshine him. The water type stepped up, followed by a cheer from Iggly. He looked back at the pink Pokemon with a confident smirk and then turned back towards the front.

"I'll be using Toto, I was reading some of the moves he knows, I want to get used to using them." Ria pulled out a folded piece of paper with several notes.

"Dat's mighty fine wit meh. I'll use good ol Pi'otto here, he got some training to do."

"Wait, just one Pokemon versus two?"

"Don't worry bout dat, dis a training session, if y'all are too much I'll let ya know."
Q arched an eyebrow as Tobby began to speak. His haircut was more akin to a bikers- but his clothes were nearly identical to those worn by Betty and Marco. What’s more, he had an even heavier accent than them!
The young Teddiursa trainer could even begin to get a first impression of the guy- well- other than the bird cage indicating he primarily used flying types.
If Ria really he’s be a useful training partner- why not?

“Alright, Grendel, wanna get back in on the action?” Q asked his partner pokemon, only half-confident in tone.
Grendel responded taking the longest jump his little legs could muster, landing on the battlefield near Toto. He gave the croc a small, side-glancing smirk, before turning his attention to the Pidgeotto while lowering into a fighting stance.
Ria smiled at Q and then faced towards the battle. Toto seemed eager to start and even more eager to show Grendel his place. The Pidgeotto took to the sky, circling the two Pokemon above them, his eye set on the targets, as if he was aiming at them.

"Aite Pi'otto, get'em with Gust!"

The flying Pokemon position itself in an angle above the two opponents and began flapping its wings with as much force as possible, creating a strong gust that started pushing the two Pokemon back. Toto was thinking quickly though and used Metal Claw to dig its claws into the dirt, allowing him to keep his ground.

"Good thinking Toto, try fighting back with Water Gun!"

The croc Pokemon aimed his mouth at the flying opponent and shot a blast of water towards it, however the gust of wind was strong enough to keep the water from reaching it, splashing water all over the field.
Following in Toto’s footsteps, Grendel gripped onto the earth, then extended his Fury Swipes into the ground.
He didn’t have the range Toto did, so instead of trying to attack, Grendel simply got comfortable and opted to wait out the attack.
The little bears body was being whipped about- but he wasn’t going anywhere.

“We need more force if we’re gonna get through that gust!” Q shouted over to Ria in an attempt to keep the whipping winds from drowning out his voice.
Ria gave Q a quick look and nodded before turning back to the battle. "Okay, We will try and bring him down. Aqua Rocket!"

Close enough, Toto knew she meant Aqua Jet. He released the Metal Claws and then shot forward, bursting through the Gust and slamming into the flying bird. The Pidgeotto struggled as both began to fall downward. However, the flying Pokemon seemed to be okay with the situation, focusing on the other opponent and not on the Totodile falling with him.