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Pokémon Broken Things

Persephone

Junior Trainer
Pronouns
her/hers
Electric 2.3: Gods and Kings
Genesis

11/27/2019

There are two types of museums: the ones filled with dangerous lies spoken into the world by Yveltal and presented as fact, and the ones that actually present facts. The true ones are wonderful! This one has a bunch of pictures of the power plant under construction and a room with a really overly complicated steam-powered device that rings a bell.

The museum says that the Blush Mountain Geothermal Plant is the largest of its kind in the country and third largest in the world. There’s a giant hole in the ground and very hot water comes out and turns into steam. That spins a rod which… produces electricity somehow. You really tried to understand that part but half the words didn’t make sense. Doesn’t matter. This place makes most of Alola’s energy. It’s weird to think that when you turn a light on steam comes up in Blush Mountain and spins a wheel and then sends electricity down a wire on the ocean floor to another island where it goes into the room and makes... How did lightbulbs work? Internet time! Okay, the internet says that it makes some metal so hot that it starts glowing. Like a metal candle. Ugh. Such a better name. Metal candles and horseless carriages. Horseages? Metandles?

Annoying that you had to come alone. Sure, Cuicatl can’t read signs so she might not have liked it. But it’s all renewable power and save the earth and everything so Allana would think it’s cool. She’s not talking to you and you aren’t sure you’d want her here anyways. She did hit you a few days ago. Hard. Just for your beliefs. Honestly she’s lucky that it stopped hurting by the time you were able to call the cops.

It doesn’t matter. Really. Yveltal makes sure that the true believers will be persecuted. If you’re getting attacked you’re doing something right. Not that it feels good. And then Cuicatl took his side! Even though he attacked you. Ooh, measured from the seafloor to peak Mt. Lanakila is the tallest mountain on earth. Wait if all of Ula’Ula spreads out from Lanakila does that mean that the entire thing is a mountain? Even the flat parts? Are all of the islands actually mountains? Internet time. Oh. It’s already noon. Lunch time.

Then Elekid hunting.

Here’s hoping that Cuicatl’s in a good mood.

*​

“Hello, Genesis.” You start and glance at Cuicatl. She’s awake and sitting awkwardly on her bed, half-crouching with Coco leaning on her side and Pixie awkwardly lying beneath her so that she can’t move. “You’re back early.

“Yeah. I, um, wanted to see if you wanted to get lunch? And then maybe we could go elekid hunting together.” Allana isn’t present. Where is she? You shouldn’t ask that. Not when you’re trying to get Cuicatl to like you for a few hours.

She twitches her leg and Pix moves to the side. Coco starts slipping and her trainer barely catches her in time. After pushing the dinosaur upright Cuicatl slips over the side of the bed and stands up. “Sure. Let me just…” Her hand slips to her belt and Coco disappears in a flash of red. A sheepish grin creeps onto Cuicatl’s face. “I don’t trust her table manners.”

*​

The shrill cry of a kricketune sounds off beside you. Cuicatl wipes the sweat off of her brow and brings her phone to her ear. You can hear a woman’s voice come through for almost a minute. Despite the call she never asks you to stop and you keep on going closer to the grassland. Closer to elekid.

There are three pokémon out to help you find one. Coco keeps bolting ahead, thumping her tail on the ground to tell her trainer to catch up, realizing that it won’t happen, running back to you, and then running ahead again. Right now she’s running back for the fourth time. Pixie and Inferno (better name TBD) keep pace with you, Pixie by Cuicatl’s side and Inferno by yours. The foxes have good doggo noses and Cuicatl says that tyrunt’s are even better. Maybe. Based on skulls that are supposedly from millions of years ago. You’re not entirely convinced.

Cuicatl lowers the phone and tucks it into her pocket. “Who was it?” you ask.

“Miss Bell.”

Miss… Bell… Hmm. You’re not the best with names but. Wait. You remember her. “The VStar person?”

She nods. “Yes.” Coco rushes off again. “She gave me Pixie.” The fox perks up at the mention of her name but keeps quiet. Right. You vaguely remember that. It got buried in the memories of your first meeting. In fairness a lot of stuff came up and you were very nervous. “What do you think about VStar?” Cuicatl asks you.

“Um.” To be honest you haven’t thought much about them. “It’s cool that they let people like you” and Allana “go on journeys. And give pokémon to people who want one. Like you and Pixie.”

“Hmm.” Her face stays even and her voice is neutral. You still get the impression she disagrees. “We get two hundred dollars for an elekid. They sell for $750. VStar gets most of the money. None of the danger.”

“Yeah, well, that’s just how companies work. They need to make a profit so they can exist and pay us at all.”

For a second a flash of… something flashes across her face. Anger? Disappointment? It’s gone in less than a second. “My father was a merchant. Traded with the States. He gave money to the schools. The library. The doctors. When business was bad he’d keep giving. Sometimes wasn’t enough food in the house but he helped everyone else. That was his duty. Your merchants aren’t like that.”

That’s insane. Actually insane. People look out for themselves because no one else will. Like life vests on planes. “So he starved himself to buy a few books?”

Cuicatl gently shakes his head. “I don’t think he ever starved,” she says softly. “Or my brother. I took care of them. That was my duty.”

Your eyes narrow automatically. “So he starved his daughter to make himself look good to everyone else?” Inferno yips beside you. He’s stopped moving, planted his butt down, and is staring at you with wide eyes. Why? Is he scared? …how loud were you just then? A glance at Cuicatl shows that she’s lowered her head. There’s hair over her face but you’re pretty sure you can see a scowl.

“Let’s talk about something else,” she says. Her voice is still quiet. It somehow feels violent. Threatening. Like the tiny blind girl is going to murder you with words. You’re not good with people. At all. But you’re pretty sure that if you keep pressing her she’ll hate you for trying to help her. Like Allana. Then you’d have no one to talk to. Except maybe Exodus.

You know that if you say anything you might say something wrong. So you don’t say anything.

*​

“Well, we’ve made it to the tall grass,” you announce. The plain stretches out in front of you with brown and yellow grasses covering a rugged plain bounded by cliffs on both sides. More grass stretches out below the cliff. Something like, oh, what’s the word… terraces? The things they use for farming in South America? Sounds right. Cuicatl reaches for her pokéball and withdraws Tyrunt. “Uh, weren’t you going to use her to find elekid?”

She shakes her head as she curls the leash up.. “I was. But she’s never smelled one. And she’d probably scare them away.” As soon as the leash is in her pack and the pack is back on her back she nods with a look of quiet determination. “Hike on.”

Sometimes you can hear stuff rustle around you. Inferno or Coco lets out a growl once or twice. Never bark to signal that an elekid’s close. The grass rubs against your arms and it’s starting to get really irritating. Cuicatl’s wearing her poncho and a long skirt and you’re envious. And she gets to trail behind you after you press all the grass out of the way.

“Water break,” she calls. That’s rare. She almost never calls for a break. You stop in acknowledgment and glance back at her as she slowly lowers herself to the ground and sits criss-cross applesauce. She still keeps a hand tightly gripping her dinosaur’s tether. Pixie just curls up beside her.

You slowly lower yourself and pull out a water bottle. Looks like you could be here a while. She doesn’t drink. “You read about primarina?” she asks.

Primarina? The water starters. You’ve definitely heard of them. Seen a few. Can’t say you’ve read that much about them. You shake your head and then catch yourself. “Not really.”

“I thought about getting one,” she says. “They like to sing. Live in groups called ‘choirs.’ I thought it would be fun to sing with a pokémon.” She reaches out and rubs a finger over Pix’s ear. “Didn’t. Glad I didn’t.”

That would’ve been cute. And would’ve meant that Sir Bubbles could have a friend in the pools at night. But this way she has a guide fox so things worked out the way they were supposed to. But why does she want to talk about the seals?

She presses on as if to answer your question. “Now, there’s something else interesting. Every choir has one girl and a lot of guys. The primarina’s the girl. When she dies or leaves a brionne evolves.”

“So then there’s a male primarina?” That is kind of weird. They look very feminine. Wait. She said that every choir has a female primarina. How does that…

“No. The brionne becomes a girl when it evolves. Organs change and everything.”

“You’re joking.” She has to be. That’s impossible. How would it even work?

Cuicatl just shrugs. “Look it up if you want.” On the internet. Full of lies. “Bunch of other ‘mons do it. Basculin, axlawful…” You can see a faint smile form under her hair. “You watched Jurassic Park, right?”

“Sort of. I was asleep where a lot of it.”

She waves her hand through the air. “Your loss. Anyway. In the movie they put poliwag DNA in the tyrantrum. Let it change sex and lay eggs. Because, y’know, poliwag can do that if they want.”

They can what. You reach down and let Sir Bubbles out. He looks up curiously and—oh thank goodness you can’t see eggs. Still a he. Cuicatl goes on, “There was a zoo with a psychic working there. Had him ask some delibird what their sex was because they’d need surgery to tell. Found out that the delibird themselves didn’t know. Just kind of guessed.” That’s an obvious lie. Way too ridiculous to be true. “Then there’s the Aztec gods. We have four big gods. One takes whatever form he wants. Male, female, pokémon, human—doesn’t matter.”

“Well, they aren’t even real,” you insist. Lies from Yveltal. Myths to lead her people astray. Drive them to murder.

You just earn a slow head shake in response. “They don’t care if you believe in them.” Of course they don’t. They aren’t real. That’s incredibly selfish, too. She gets to go to Aztec Heaven but doesn’t want anyone else to go with her. “You think Xerneas created everything right?”

“Yeah…” Yveltal made evil. You don’t think he actually made anything real though. No. Evil is real. Ugh. Doesn’t matter. You know what it means.

“Then if Xerneas made primarina and axlawful and poliwag and delibird, why’d He give humans the tools to do it and then tell them not to? Can’t be wrong or He wouldn’t have done it for pokémon.”

“That’s…” Wrong. Right? “People aren’t animals. Pokémon. Whatever. We aren’t supposed to… do a lot of things that pokémon do. Even if we can.”

“Yeah, yeah.” For a second you can see her bite her lip. “Although there is some Galarian who thinks humans should drink their piss.” You regret eating lunch before having this conversation. Has she really… “I’m not convinced,” she says. Your worst fears dissolve. Well. Not your literal worst fears. Figurative worst fears. She sighs and uncrosses her legs. “Just think on it, okay?

“Okay.” You can do that much. Will do that much. If nothing else you have to find an unbiased source to figure out if she’s lying or not. Which she is. Probably. Not that it would matter if she wasn’t. She’s still wrong morally.

“Want to catch some elekid?”

Ugh. You really don’t want to go back to walking through the grass. “Do you think our pokémon will get the scent soon?”

“Probably already have. Just don’t know what it is.” She grins and glances away. “My fault. Tried to find one in the city. Ran out of time.” Huh. Well, not as if you were trying to find an elekid. Honestly you were basking in the joys of indoor plumbing and air conditioning as long as you could before it was time to go back on the trail. “But,” she dramatically flips a finger up and raises her voice, “I do have an idea.” Cuicatl brings the finger back down and unlocks her phone before holding it out to you. “Go to the videos. I have thunderstorm sounds saved.”

“Why?” You still do as she asks, flicking into her stored videos. There are a surprising amount. Just from the blurry thumbnails of random objects you’re pretty sure that she took them. “And what are you filming so much?”

“One: Elekid love thunderstorms. And they’re babies. Maybe it’ll draw one out.” She pauses and purses her lips. “Or a togedemaru. Or dedenne. Or golem. Electabuzz if we’re super unlucky.” Cuicatl starts petting Pixie like she isn’t about to throw herself and the fox into danger. “Two: I like having voices recorded. In case, um,” the darkness slips back onto her face and she turns away from you, “in case something happens.”

You don’t know exactly what happened in her past. From what you’ve heard about Anahuac you don’t even want to imagine. Something bad. Whatever it was. “Hey,” you nudge her shoulder, “you want a hug?”

“Yeah, sure.” You lean in and wrap your arms around her and she gently leans her shoulder into you. Wait, how long should you hold a hug? If it was just a greeting hug you definitely would have let go by now. But this is a ‘friend feels sad and I do not trust myself to say un-sad things’ hug. Clearly longer. Is this good? She isn’t leaning out. Okay. So. Still doing this. She’s using the travel shampoo you recommended. Well, the same one you use. Saving space and all. You like it. Of course you do. It’s yours. Uhhhhhhhh. She leans away and places her arms behind her. Smiling. Faintly but it still counts. Good job! “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” You stop yourself there before you can ruin it. In the distance a bird starts chirping. You have no idea what kind it is.

Cuicatl turns to her ice pupper. “Tell me if anything gets close? Flick my ankle if it’s an elekid, hiss for other stuff.” He huffs in response and slowly gets up on all fours to stare intently into the grass. Then his trainer turns to you and tilts her head. “Play whenever.”

“I, uh, this is safe, right?”

She shrugs. That really helps your nerves. “We’ve got Inferno for geodude, Count Cloudy and Sir Bubbles for togedemaru, Pix for dedenne.” Ah. So she’s assigning everything but the tiny mouse to you. In fairness both have a type advantage against her. And Pixie has all kinds of tricks for the capture. Okay, fine. it’s fair enough. And she doesn’t sound concerned. But—

“Why Sir Bubbles? He’s a water type.” However brave and strong he is he won’t like dodging lightning.

“’cause Count Cloudy will be using ember in dry grass. I want the whole thing watered down.”

That makes a lot of sense. The Count’s embers are still tiny in comparison to Sir Bubbles’ bubbles so it should work out. You steel yourself and let the thunder roll.

*​

The thunder keeps rolling. At some point the sun came out from behind the clouds and you really want to curl up and take a nice nap in the sun on an impromptu grass bad. Cuicatl’s already half there, sprawled out with her head on her backpack and her eyes closed. Not that the eye thing actually matters to her. Why does she ever open them, anyway? It’s weird.

Something big moves the grass in front of you. Heavy, too, from the footsteps. Pixie starts a low hiss and Cuicatl bolts upright. “Graveler or golem. Pixie, use baby doll eyes when it gets closer. Genesis, pelt it with razor leaf, bubble, and water gun once it’s distracted. Be prepared to throw a ball and run.”

“Right.” You turn around to see Inferno already moving into position. You relay orders to Count Cloudy and Sir Bubbles—Sir Bubbles start to run away. You withdraw him for now. Don’t want to deal with that and a battle at the same time. The graveler stops moving just as you can get a good look at it. Mostly gray. Little black and yellow stones jut out from the surface here and there. You can’t see the face but you get the impression that it’s really ugly.

“Any time,” Cuicatl whispers. Right. Dramatic shout or quiet whisper order.

It comes out as a shout.

Inferno flicks her head leaf and begins her assault. Water streams out from the sky, admittedly at a rate closer to a trickle than a torrent. How is this supposed to hurt a solid rock that comes up to your hips? It shouldn’t. It seems to. The graveler makes a cry of pain that sounds like, that is, rocks grinding against each other before awkwardly turning around and lumbering away.

Slowly.

Doesn’t look like its coming back.

Victory!

*​

When you wake up there’s another battle going. Cuicatl’s crouched down behind Pixie while the fox wrestles with a small yellow, with an elekid! Inferno and Count Cloudy are currently watching the brawl. Just as you start to move the elekid jerks and tosses Pixie out of the way. The pupper lands on her feet and starts prepping ice… no. Her eyes are… the elekid halts and uneasily glances around. Confuse ray.

A ball rolls into your knee. “Can you toss it for me?”

She would have troubles with that. Not that you have too much experience with this. You did it underhanded last time so let’s try that. Just a gentle toss. The elekid starts turning around and sparks fly around its hand as it sees the pokéball. Then they fade. It all fades to red. The ball shakes. Pixie raises her tails up and prepares an ice shard, probably for real this time. Another shake. You’re holding your breath. Know you’re holding your breath but can’t bring yourself to exhale. Another ball rolls into your foot as Cuicatl prepares for. Click. Capture.

You let out the breath you knew you were holding. The breath and the small shift in posture that comes with it calms you. Not to sleep. All exhaustion was driven out in the, what, forty seconds since you woke up?

“You’re a really deep sleeper,” Cuicatl says, irritation and amusement mixed in her voice. “We’d been going for ages before you noticed.”

“Well, I did wake up when I was needed.”

She rolls her eyes. You think she rolls her eyes? The frosted pattern moves. “That was my third ball.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. Thought your snoring might scare off the ‘mons.” Her shoulders roll and she leans back on her hands. “Worked out fine thanks to Pix.” The ice fox puffs up her fur and sits down, tails curled around her. Cuicatl’s smile sinks a little. “If you’re tired we don’t have to stay out. Always tomorrow.”

Tomorrow… Tuesday. Right. “Sorry, it’s a holiday.”

“Well, it’s about to rain…”

Is it? There are a lot more clouds. And the sound of thunder. From beside you. Wait. You reach down and turn the phone off. The battery’s almost dead. Looks like you’re going back one way or another.

“Okay. Day after tomorrow? We’ll still be here right?”

“Yeah. Heading out on the… twenty-ninth? Sorry. Hard to remember three calendars.”

“Three… The American one... The Aztec one…”

“We have two calendars. One for gods. One for farming and business and stuff.”

“Yeah, but, couldn’t you just… adopt the one everyone else uses?”

She sits up and starts getting her things together. “Ours are better. Months have the same number of days.” That’s actually pretty reasonable. You can never remember what days have 30 and which have 31. “What’s the holiday tomorrow?”

“Thanksgiving.” You mirror her and get your pack around. Thankfully there’s not much. “We get together with family and think about what we’re thankful for. Then there’s a parade in Castelia.”

Cuicatl stands up and makes a broad sweeping motion around your impromptu clearing. “Can you get the ball?” You pick it up and slip it into her hand as you stand. “And that’s the genocide one, right?”

“No. It’s more about being thankful for the natives helping us out.”

She gestures towards the rough direction of the Pokémon Center and you set out. Cuicatl follows behind. “Right, then you killed all you could and stole half their land.”

“I think you’ve read a lot of propaganda.” Well, not read. Heard? You did manage to keep your voice very neutral. Good job. She’s wrong but you don’t have to be mean. If you are you might be actually alone on Thanksgiving. And then you’d probably burn down some grass while fighting a togedemaru.

“Just because it’s propaganda doesn’t mean it’s wrong.” You glance back at her. What was that supposed to mean? Of course it’s all lies. That’s what propaganda means. Doesn’t matter if it’s Anahuac or Yveltal herself saying it, all of it’s lies. Well. Okay. The natives did give away a lot of land. And some of it was stolen. But that’s not your fault. And you like being thankful for stuff. Can’t you just do that without making everything political?

*​

11/28/2019

What do you have to be thankful for last year?

In hindsight, way less. Should’ve been thankful for a lot more in 2018. Your family, Lyra, good food, a place to stay every night. Sure you were thankful for all of that but… not as much as you should’ve been. You’ll be better at that in 2020. But now you have pokémon to be thankful for! Sir Bubbles, Count Cloudy and Inferno. One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong.

The Green Knight! Yes! You’ll tell her later. She will be ecstatic.

Sir Bubbles, Count Cloudy, and The Green Knight. Then Cuicatl. She is away from her terrible father and has enough food now. For some reason she still seems sad. Sometimes. Other times she seems really energetic. She’s confusing but you’re thankful for her. Then… well, Allana is a ministry opportunity. The silver lining in your bad situation. And your family’s still alive so you should be thankful for that!

Lyra… no. Not this year. She is on a journey of her own. Maybe you’ll cross paths and she’ll apologize for what she did.

Apologies. Family. You glance at the window and watch the water run down the glass. Another rainstorm. Even if it wasn’t a holiday you couldn’t go elekid hunting. You turn back to the room. Well, not a room. The small area between sets of doors. Some volleyball courts and outdoor pools past one set, a hallway connecting the pools and lobby down the other. Allana’s in your room and you don’t want to do this with other people around.

You take a deep breath and call your only relative who might listen.

First ring. You can do this. Second ring. You need to do this. It’s the point of the holiday. Third ring. What if they aren’t taking calls today? Someone picks up. “Pine Pass Programs. What can I do for you today?”

Another deep breath. “Hi, I was calling to see if Exodus Gage can talk. I’m her sister, Genesis.”

“Alright, please hold.” Gentle piano and… harp(?) music starts to play. You lean back on the wall and exhale. Exodus. Exodus, Exodus, Exodus. You visited on her birthday five months ago. Haven’t called her since. It’s fine. She’s better now. Much better. You still tense up. Even though she’s halfway across the Pacific and younger than you.

“Hey, Gen.” Her voice comes through. Well, close enough to her voice. You don’t have it memorized. But you still sort of recognize it. Puberty. Changing. Or maybe you just forgot. Bleh. “What’s up?”

You’re alone in a cramped corner of a Pokémon Center because your mom kicked you out for something that isn’t your fault. “Nothing much. How are you?”

“Eh. Have the day off from classes. Decent lunch a while ago.” A while ago?

“What time is it on the mainland?”

“Two-thirty.” Right. Weren’t sure exactly how many hours ahead they were. “So, this a friendly family call or do you want something from me?”

What help could she even give. You shake your head. Focus. Not the issue. “I just wanted to wish you a happy Thanksgiving.”

“Aww, thanks.” You can sort of make out a quiet chuckle on the other end. “’course, probably helps that you got kicked out. What’s the deal with that, by the way? No one’s telling me.”

Do you tell her the truth? Would it matter? There’s nothing she could even do about it, right? Right? Nothing comes to mind. You try again. Darn it, you’re doing this. “Lyra kissed me. I didn’t ask. I didn’t like it. Mom still got mad. Didn’t want Levi to get corrupted.”

“Hmm. That all there is?” She sounds smug. Definitely not supportive. And what’s she getting at.

“Yes. That’s it. I don’t really get it either. Okay, like, I did for a few days but it’s been over two months now.” You aren’t crying. Your voice is breaking for other reasons. You will not cry in front of Exodus. You will not. “Maybe they just think I want to journey or something?” You don’t. It’s sometimes not bad. You’d rather be home.

“Oh, sweetie.” Somehow she sounds even smugger. Yeah. This sounds like Exodus again. “You still don’t get it, do you? It’s almost sad.” She definitely does not sound sad.

You can hang up at any time.

“Get what?”

“Well, for one… no. That’s not mine to tell you. But I don’t think I’ve told you why…”

“No. You haven’t.” The voice cracks stop. You think you sound really cold. Good. She deserves it.

“Yeah, well, if Mom and Dad ever loved us they stopped when Levi was born. They had their heir. We’re just decorations now. And if we don’t act the part they’ll throw us in the trash.”

Delusional. Absolutely delusional. “Exodus, they sent you to therapy for trying to choke their son. You can’t justify that.”

“Heh, you didn’t say I was wrong…”

“And you’re wrong.” Your thumb drifts to the red button that will end the call. It stops just over it. “They still love you. Why else would Mom go all the way to the mainland to visit you?”

“Love, first of all this ain’t therapy. At best it’s discount juvie. Second, it’s been years, okay? I’ve changed.” She sighs into the phone. “I was eight. I made a mistake. I’m sorry. Really. If they loved me they’d let me out. Give me a chance to make things better.” You can practically see her shaking her head through the phone, crocodile tears in her eyes. “I was like you once. Thought they were just scaring me straight. They weren’t. I wasn’t the decoration they wanted and they tossed me out of sight.”

“They visit.” Often. At least once a month. More than you’re getting. Plus they call. “Trust me, they do love you. They’re just worried about…” Levi, mostly. Pets too. She probably got a glameow and an ariados. Probably. You only really put it together after she was sent off. She’s clever. Knows how to hide things. If the housekeeper hadn’t overheard the struggle…

She butts in before you can finish the thought. “That doesn’t mean anything. They only come because they think they’re good parents and that’s what good parents should do. When I talk they don’t listen. Ever. Then they path themselves on the back and leave.” You don’t know how to answer that. So you don’t. “Just be glad they didn’t send you to conversion therapy, okay? A few kids here have been to that. Fucked them up something good.”

“Language.” There’s somebody listening to her conversation, right? And she’s only thirteen. She has no business talking like that.

You fidget and your thumb presses the last half centimeter down onto the end call button. You could call back. You don’t want to.

Instead you slowly slouch down and sit on the radiator. So many lies. Primarina are transvestites. Blood sacrifices keep the sun moving. Your parents don’t love you. Exodus was ever justified.

You put the phone down next to you and lower your head into your hands. You don’t scream. A convenient crack of lightning does it for you. As a kid you heard about temptation. You thought you’d be strong enough to resist. That you would earn your afterlife.

You still will.

It’ll just be harder than you’d anticipated.
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
aaaa, at first I was super disappointed that we didn't get to see the immediate followup to what happened last chapter. Buuut, thinking about it more, I guess it might not have provided much additional information? Obviously, the interesting discussion is yet to come. Though I would've loved to see Genesis's reaction when Cuicatl sided with Kekoa.
Electric 2.3: Gods and Kings
I still can't believe you went through with naming it that lol
And then Cuicatl took his side! Even though he attacked you
I'm amused by the fact that she still occasionally slips back into calling him he.
“Hello, Genesis.” You start and glance at Cuicatl. She’s awake and sitting awkwardly on her bed, half-crouching with Coco leaning on her side and Pixie awkwardly lying beneath her so that she can’t move. “You’re back early.
I. Have no idea what Gen just walked in on, but it must have been something. xD
The foxes have good doggo noses and Cuicatl says that tyrunt’s are even better. Maybe. Based on skulls that are supposedly from millions of years ago. You’re not entirely convinced.
I mean. If tyrunt exist now because they've been resurrected, then I think that'd be easier to test their senses from versus some fossils.
You slowly lower yourself and pull out a water bottle. Looks like you could be here a while. She doesn’t drink. “You read about primarina?” she asks.
ohoho, I know where this is going. Is this why you made them so... unique to begin with? Or was it just convenient to use after you'd already come up with it?
On the internet. Full of lies.
Heh, after you made a point of having her look up things on the internet like 20 times this chapter. ;P
You let out the breath you knew you were holding.
punchline.png
 

Persephone

Junior Trainer
Pronouns
her/hers
Electric 2.4: Spiderwebs and Lost Souls
Kekoa

12/1/2019

Before you take out lunch you kick your boots off and stretch. Downhill was supposed to be easy. Instead it was a thousand controlled, halting steps to keep you from tumbling down. Did bring you to a damn nice lake, though. Perfectly clear water with a few wishiwashi darting below the surface. Mountains reflected in the water. The shit they put on postcards. There’s another group sitting down for lunch about a third of the way around the lake but otherwise you’re alone.

Well, alone with Cuicatl Ichtaca, some Pokémon, and a transphobic piece of shit. Pixie and Coco have already curled up on their trainer as she lies down. Count Cloudy the Pretentious is hovering over the pond, the leafeon is curled up in a sunbeam, and Sir Fucking Bubbles is staring into the water and deciding if he’s man enough to swim in it.

You can see Hekeli flit between branches from time to time. Makani thankfully ignored you when you sent him out and is busy rooting around in the dirt. Cuicatl Ichtaca told you that your ‘mons would need a reason to stay. Thankfully he found one on his own. Something changed on Blush Mountain. Not evolution. For the best. Don’t want to deal with Makani the vikavolt quite yet. Might think it’s funny to spit ten thousand volts in your face rather than string. But he seems to get why he should stay. The bug grew up on Akala. Never had a chance of evolving on his own. With you? He can become a terrifying murder bug. Will become a terrifying murder bug.

And the people (and colonizer) are sprawled out in the shade, ignoring the hike the afternoon will bring. Food. You were supposed to pull out food. Canned meat and hummus, raisins that are somehow more dehydrated than usual, and crackers. Bland but cheap and nutritious. Maybe Cuicatl Ichtaca’s thought of something better but she’s never complained. You toss some at the haole bitch and gently hand your friend her portion. Then silence. Near-silence. Eating sounds and spitting followed by happy dinosaur noises. Not quite as close to pikipek noises as you’d expect from her feathers and build. Speaking of! You can hear Hekeli’s songs and they’re getting really complex. Plus her beak is growing out. If she’s not a trumbeak yet she will be soon. Damn shame she won’t be useful in the next trial. Maybe she can come in with a rock smash if the crabrawler you’ll catch later can’t do the job.

You hear barking noises and the sound of snapping twigs behind you. You glance back and—pancham. Two of them bumbling towards you, tripping over tree roots and each other. That means there’s a momma pangora nearby. “Cuicatl,” you say as neutrally as possible, “there are pancham here. Bears. Fighting-types. Momma’s a dark-type.”

The bitch beside you makes a dumb “aww” sound and, after a pause, “We aren’t allowed to feed them, right?”

No. Not in theory. But if a pangoro’s staring you down you’ll gladly bribe her. Unless she decides she likes your food and wants to take the rest, plus three weak animals and some pokémon. Throw pokéballs, run, and pray? Always an option. Maybe you could trip the asshole and make a break while the pangoro’s eating. No. A bit too harsh. Just a little bit, though.

Cuicatl Ichtaca sits up and gently smiles without showing any teeth. “Hello. Can I help you with anything?” The pancham stand up on their hind legs and start adorably growling something out. Cuicatl Ichtaca just nods and strokes Pixie’s tails with one hand while physically restraining her tyrunt with the other. Girl’s smart enough to know she doesn’t want a fight. At best she loses and her pokémon get hurt. At worst she wins and gets killed by a confused pangoro. “We’re just passing through on our way north.” It turns out pancham can make a sound best described as an excited squeak. “I’m sorry, but you can’t have any. It would make you sick.”

That earns an tiny roar. In the forest something a lot bigger than a twig snaps. For a second Cuicatl’s composure breaks. Then she starts to open her eyes wide and slowly shake her head. “Oh, no. We’re very scared. Terrified. But we’re—poison-types. We eat bad things. Bird shit. It would make you sick.” The sound of snapping branches keeps coming closer. “Promise.”

More squeaks and growls while Cuicatl slowly nods her head. “Not all humans can. Just me. Can’t talk to your—” Heavy breathing at the forest’s edge. A giant bear with a cape of black fur stares down at you. Fuck. Cuicatl recovers much faster than you do. Thank the gods. Her gods. Whichever get you through this. “Well, that’s rude of her. You scared me plenty on your own.” To your friend’s immense credit, it turns out pancham can feel embarrassed by their parents. One of the cubs turns around with a pout and start garbling out something to her mom. The pangoro’s stem twitches in her mouth for a second before her face settles into a smile.

The mother barks at her children, shoots a half-hearted glare at Cuicatl Ichtaca, and heads back the way she came. The pancham clumsily run after her.

No one, pokémon or human, dares to move for several long minutes. In the end Hekeli moves first by dropping down to a nearby branch and making a nervous trill. Cuicatl Ichtaca collapses back down, head hitting her pack, and mumbles some (untranslated) words in Nahuatl that are obviously swears.

“First time meeting a bear without a hydreigon at my back.”

Wait.

What?

“You had a hydreigon?”

She awkwardly shrugs as best she can while lying down with her vulpix on top of her. The tyrunt is still standing where she was, glaring at the forest’s edge. “Mom did. Did I not tell…” She snaps. “That’s right. I was going to threaten to sic her on you in Paniola. You cut me off.” You can feel a little blood come back into your cheeks for the first time since the pangoro drained it out. Just how far did you press her back then? The whole conversation’s a blur. Honestly you only remember her outing you. Sure, you knew that she was mad at you but you’d figured it was just the name thing. Maybe you should apologize. But its damn hard to apologize if you don’t even know what you did wrong. And she wasn’t exactly blameless in that whole fuckup.

Stop. You’re going to say something you’ll regret. Regret after forgetting what you said, anyway. Also what kind of person just threatens to have their pet dragon eat someone? Cuicatl Ichtaca. Yeah. That’s who. At least her new dragon thinks you’re her father. Probably won’t eat you.

Probably.

“Were you, um, talking to the bears?”

Right. It’s here. And hasn’t been told, apparently. Good call on Cuicatl Ichtaca’s part.

“Yes, I was.”

It awkwardly shifts as its castform drifts closer. “How?”

“I can talk to pokémon,” Cuicatl Ichtaca says like that’s just a perfectly normal thing. Is she going to do the accent trick? Still haven’t quite moved past that. After that you’ve been able to hear a slight accent in your voice but that might just be because that’s how you think she should sound.

“How long?”

“Hmm?”

“How long have you been able to do that?” There’s a hint of betrayal in its voice. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer person.

“Since I was seven. At least. Maybe earlier.”

Coco shakes herself off and plods over to you. How much of this is she following? If it’s just her trainer’s part then does she even understand what the humans are talking about? “Why didn’t you tell us?” the bitch asks.

“She told me weeks ago.” It’s rude to Cuicatl Ichtaca. You’ll apologize later. But the look on Jenny’s face makes it absolutely worth it. Even if your friend’s half-snarl ruins the view.

“I don’t tell people if I can help it. Had to tell him to end a dumb fight.”

It wasn’t a dumb fight. She outed you in front of a colossal jackass and you said something that made her think about murder. And if she really wanted to make peace she probably could’ve found another way. Girl’s smart sometimes.

“Why not tell people?” Its mouth hangs open as she struggles to find words that aren’t its usual level of stupid. “I think it’s cool. And it would help you make friends.”

“N,” you answer for her. “That’s why.”

It’s something you’ve thought about in the last few weeks. Maybe Uffe was right and she’s just another refugee from a collapsing fascist shithole. But she said her mom was from Unova. Someone important from Unova. And her hair has to be natural green. You would’ve noticed her roots by now. Of course, N was Asian. Cuicatl isn’t. Right? How do you do the loud thought thing? Hey, Cuicatl, was your mom Asian?

{Second person to ask me that in a month.} You flinch more than you’d like to admit. {Can this wait?} Yeah. It can. {Cool.}

“The terrorist?” Cuicatl asks, aloud. “Sorry, that was a long time ago. Didn’t follow it.”

“Yeah, the terrorist.” Or freedom fighter. Same difference. ‘course, he went at it wrong. Tried to free the pokémon. Didn’t realize that shitty humans would immediately take them back. You have to take care of the shitty humans first. “They say he could talk to pokémon. Told him that fighting was hell, training is slavery, all that. So he tried to take over Unova.”

“As one does,” Cuicatl says. Her voice is flat but it sounds like a joke. You snort as a sign of support.

“As one does. He failed. Flew away on a fuckoff thunder dragon. Sometimes people spot him but he hasn’t done anything big in years.”

The bitch slowly gets to its feet and starts pacing. “But he was wrong. Pokémon benefit from the system. So Hilda used her team’s bonds of friendship to defeat him.”

“Hmm.” You turn to Cuicatl and do your best to project your voice in her direction. “Is that right?”

She shrugs. “Sometimes. Coco’s staying close to her parents. Ce wanted food and shelter.” A grimace. Her pace picks up. “Pix likes being appreciated. Pokémon don’t always like it. The social ones like home. Some ‘mons just don’t want to get hurt. Guess neither were right. Not all the way.”

Well, that’s some centrist bullshit. You were expecting better from her. Wait. “So if you weren’t staying mum over N, why don’t you tell people?”

Cuicatl Ichtaca pulls her pack to her and puts her arms through the straps. She’s clearly trying to end the conversation by just getting on the trail. For its part the bitch has stopped pacing and is just staring at your friend. “Governments. Anahuac would’ve made me a spy, U.S. might deport me and tell Anahuac why.”

“I’m not going to tell anyone,” the transphobe lies.

“Even if you had a filter between your mouth and the place your brain should be, she wouldn’t owe you shit.”

It looks like you punched it again. Or killed a puppy in front of it. Good. You pull on your own pack and get up before withdrawing Makani. Cuicatl Ichtaca sighs rather loudly. “Can we please be civil? Just for a little bit?”

You snort. For real this time. “Oh, please. Jenny won’t even say my name and you want me to be civil?”

Another sigh as Cuicatl Icthaca slowly gets to her feet and flicks her cane out. “He has a point, Genesis. If you want to bring him around and save his soul,” you can’t tell if you’re imagining Cuicatl’s cringe or not, “then he has to be willing to talk to you. If you insist on being rude then he’ll never listen and never convert.” {Not that I care about that,} she adds to you alone. Hey, missionaries fucked over Anahuac, right? {They tried. We kicked them out centuries ago.} Good call. {Thanks.} “Let’s just head out,” she mutters, aloud.

*​

Cuicatl Ichtaca slowly pivots to ‘look’ around the campsite. “Smells like eucalyptus,” she says. And it does. Pretty strongly, in fact. There’s a big clump of the trees at the edge the clearing. “We could make bug repellant from that and water. Cheap.”

“I’m not lugging more water around than I have to.”

“No,” she looks at you with… disappointment? “We just get the leaves now. Grind out the oil and put that in a bag. Mix with water when you need it.”

That does make sense. Mostly. But. “You know we’re up $600, right? We can buy real bug spray. Even with Alola prices.”

Cuicatl drops her pack and sits down. Her usual routine after arriving at campsites since she can’t set up the tent or hang bags or anything so she’s kind of useless until it’s time to do a few minutes of cooking. “Yes. But. We should also buy another pack or two. More balls and potions. Another tent. Human and pokémon food. Maybe a real pokédex. And I want to make money eventually.”

You turn back to the tent. The poles and fabric that will soon be a tent. Your ugly assistant awkwardly hovers nearby but does move in once you start setting it up. At least its intelligent enough to do some menial labor. “How much money do you really need? Payouts are supposed to increase later on.” Supposed to. Not that you trust VStar one bit. Yours is a marriage of convenience. You need power to save Alola from its false queen, they want you to help them plunder Alola for profit. But nature rebuilds. All will be well when the kingdom is free.

“Seven hundred and eighty-one thousand dollars.”

The pole you were holding clatters to the ground and you stare at her dumbfounded. You can sort of see the other one doing the same. “Holy shit.” Cuicatl’s looking down at the ground, absently stroking Pixie’s back. “You’re serious?”

“Yes.”

“In deep with the cartels?” Has to be it. You’re pretty sure Anahuac has free healthcare so it can’t be a ‘my brother is dying of cancer’ thing.

That earns a lazy headshake in response. “Nah. They’re more to the north and east.”

“Then what the hell do you need it for?”

“I… I’d r-rather not say.” Is the stutter real? Just something she wanted to communicate? Intentionally or not? Everything she says about her power raises more questions than answers and she rarely gives answers when you ask. Her face tells you what you want to know. Push now and she’ll burst into tears, threaten to murder you, or both. You reach down and pick the pole up. The bitch does likewise and you set up camp in silence.

*​

“Can you help me gather the leaves?” Cuicatl Ichtaca finally asks, composed, after the food bag is hung up.

“Look…” A few dollars won’t make a dent in the debt. She can’t even make the money here anyway. At best she walks away with maybe a tenth of it. How do you phrase that without being an asshole here? And since when did you start asking yourself that question? Baby doll eyes. The trick Pixie pulled on you in your first battle with her. She made herself small, vulnerable. Stirred up every damn bit of estrogen in your system. Her trainer’s doing that now. Ugh. Fuck her.

“I know.” She sounds tired. Defeated. Manipulative. “I know. But I’m bored and I want something to do. Can I at least have the leaves?”

*​

She’s still harvesting eucalyptus. It’s a slow process filled with trial, error, and lots of awkwardly moving her hands around in the general direction of the tree. Her pokémon are ignoring her entirely and staring up another one. There’s a komala sleeping probably ten feet up. The bitch hasn’t noticed it yet. Probably. Its being wonderfully quiet, just staring down at the grass between its crossed legs.

You’re bored. You could have hekeli fight the komala. Seems cruel, though. Beating up something for just sleeping nearby. Nah. You’ll save her energy for dumbass haole kids in Malie. Still bored. You could cook but that’s literally the only thing Cuicatl Ichtaca does for anyone. Plus some translations. Maybe more of those now that it’s in on the secret. Eh. Fuck it. You’ll help her. She turns her head a little bit when you approach. “Kekoa, right?”

“Yeah.” You start picking leaves. She has a quart bag in one hand that she’s putting them in. Once you’ve got your first fistful you stick those in with hers.

“Thank you.”

You grunt out something that was maybe supposed to be “no problem” in your head. Wait. Can she understand that? … Cuicatl Ichtaca, can you understand that? “Understand what,” she mutters.

“That grunt?”

She rolls her eyes. “You have to at least try, Kekoa.” The bag is gently pressed into your hands and she starts walking back to the campsite. “Going to make dinner now.”

Did you say something wrong? Not say something you should have? Maybe she was just hungry. You turn back to the tree. You can hear footsteps behind you as Cuicatl Ichtaca’s pokémon go to beg for food, the komala forgotten. Should you have told her about it? She does like cuddling her pokémon and komala would be into that. Then again, komala isn’t exactly a killing machine. Might undercut her rep. Her pokémon would have told her about it, right? Seemed to be important to them. More as prey than a potential snuggle buddy. What will happen if or when she catches a prey pokémon? Or when Coco gets big enough to just snap up Pixie in a single gulp? Eh. You can trust her. She’s probably already drilled into the little dino’s heads that foxes are friends, not food.

Komala, on the other hand… definitely food.

After a few minutes of blissful silence there are human footsteps behind you. Definitely the bitch. Cuicatl Ichtaca would either have the swish of her cane or the patter of pokémon footsteps or both with her. You stand still and stare straight ahead. Maybe it can take a hint. Or at least not see motion. Wait can Coco actually see non-moving stuff? She has to, right? Something to pay more attention to in the future.

“I, um… I wanted…” A deep sigh. You give it a glance over your shoulder. It’s hunched over, staring at its shoes with its hands awkwardly fidgeting against each other at its waist. Like it’s going to confess a middle school crush or some shit. “I wanted to ask if we could meet halfway. Like, you don’t call me by my name so, I dunno, maybe you could make up a nickname or something that isn’t All— that isn’t your old name.”

“No.” You very deliberately go back to picking the leaves. It steps into your peripheral vision but you ignore it.

“I’m just asking to be able to do what you’ve been doing to me for months!” Gods, she’s pouting. Like she’s the victim here. “Just, please…” What a great argument.

Ugh. She won’t go away if you don’t give her anything. And right now you’d rather have her go away than stay 1000% true to your principles. Fine, here goes. “You’ve got your name in Galar. Here? My kingdom. I call you what I want.”

Your kingdom? Since when are you royalty?” You see her hesitate. “Unless, um, you are…”

You’re not but you’ve met the princess. Dresses in rags. Lives in the same orphanage you wound up in. Sure, she could probably afford better clothes but it’s all the principle of it. Tattered robes on the princess of a tattered kingdom. The girl who spends more time with the living. Ghosts. The mournful and angry souls of an occupied nation. What was. What lingers. What stands ready for revenge.

You opt to let the leaf bag fall from your hands and give her a real glare. You flick a hand back over your shoulder. “See that? The mountain in the distance? I’m gonna kick out that haole bitch you put on a fucking throne on Mauna Fucking Lanakila. Then I’m tearing the whole place down. Give the palace in Hau’oli to the real queen. Take back my home from assholes like you.”

That just earns a few slow blinks before it brushes a stray blond hair off its face. “No you can’t. That would take a vote or something. Not just a battle with an athlete.”

“Hmph. So we can’t take back the kingdom with a battle but we could lose it with one? That right?”

It pointedly looks away from you. “It wasn’t a democracy. That was how things worked then.”

*​

You know that well. In 1888 Elisha Gage strolled into the Palace and challenged the Queen for her throne. He didn’t do it right. He was supposed to first be accepted into the island challenge and then complete it. That would’ve required him being an actual citizen of the kingdom and not some haole leech. The Queen accepted. You don’t know why. And so he faced the four kahunas and the Queen all in a row to take the throne.

He did that all wrong, too. Bought himself five teams. Brought a different one in to each match, all tailor-made for the win. That wasn’t supposed to happen. No one had ever used more than six pokémon for the royal challenge before. But the rulebook doesn’t say anything about using thirty pokémon! You can imagine his smug face. Like he’s a ref allowing a fucking growlithe to play basketball with an entire country on the line. It also ignored the point. There were no rules in the first place. Just traditions. The people knew what they were supposed to do and they did it. You had a shred of decency.

He won. Barely. Later came out that he’d paid three-point-eight mil in that days’ dollars for his final team. The Queen could’ve told him to go to hell. She didn’t. You don’t know why. So he sat on the throne and called in the marines and told them that Alola was part of the U.S. now. All so that some spiderweb dealer could pay less taxes.

Hope he’s happy in hell.

*​

You don’t say any of that. You just stare right into its icy eyes and cross your arms. Hope she’ll be happy in hell with Old Man Gage.

It rolls its shoulders and tries to almost look you in the eyes again. “I… fine. Sure. Not what I wanted to talk about.” You snort. Of course it thinks its entitled to pick everything it talks about. “I just wanted to say that I was mean to you and I’m sorry… Kekoa.”

“Dinner’s ready!” You blink and turn towards Cuicatl Ichtaca. There’s a half-empty bowl in her lap and she raises another spoonful of food to her lips as you watch. Dinner has clearly been ready for a while. She just wanted to sit back and watch the show. Listen to the show. Did she tell it to do that? Doesn’t really matter. The bitch has turned around and is walking over to the food with far too little weight on its shoulders.

Her shoulders. Maybe. Ugh, fine. You’ll at least need to pick another name for her. Jennifer is too close to her real one. Janette? Sounds good.

*​

12/2/2019

It isn’t raining when you step outside. In fact the sky is almost suspiciously clear for this time of the year. Full moon overhead and the clearing is remarkably bright for 1:18 A.M. Wings stir at the forest’s edge and Hekeli glides over to perch on your shoulder. She’d hear a pangoro coming and a rattata isn’t enough to take her out anymore. Safe to leave her out at night.

As you walk away from the tent to pee movement catches your eye. A dark, slender shape rises up near the treeline. It’s almost as tall as you. No, taller. You finally catch the shape of its—her head and the red markings on her chest. Salazzle. You’re being summoned. The salamander drops down on all fours and raises her tail into the air as a signal before slipping into the forest.

It’s hard to follow the fire-type. The trees block out much of the moonlight and there are way more shrubs in your way than there were on Route 12. If Cuicatl Ichtaca hasn’t heard the noise herself her pokémon definitely have. You really hope she doesn’t follow. She’d understand, of course, but she might get sucked in deeper than you’d like right now.

The forest abruptly breaks into a clearing, another campsite from the looks of it, and you see the woman sitting on a log in the middle. Her hair’s shorter and died black but the tank top, tattoos, and baggy pants let you know that you’re dealing with Big Sis. As if the salazzle wasn’t enough of a giveaway. She flicks her hand towards the ground and you sit. Probably too far away. Might have to raise your voice a little bit. Not that you were sounding stealthy before.

“I got your message,” she says. Like it’s just a normal thing that Big Sis reads reports from someone who isn’t even a grunt. Should you respond? She’s supposed to be pretty casual. She’s also the only one doing anything about the False Queen. A hero here in the flesh. One on one. What would you even say? “The Nahua girl’s interesting.” You know that you needed to tell her about Cuicatl. For a moment you still regret bringing Big Sis’s attention to her. “But not what I want to talk about.”

That’s… not what you were expecting. What else did you even say? Damnit you were tired and a little angry when you emailed Manollo. You’ve forgotten half of it. Running problem today. “I almost have two Z-Crystals.” That can’t be what she wanted to hear, it sounds almost pathetic when you say it aloud.

She blinks twice and slouches a bit. “So you really don’t know…?” Don’t. Know. What? Plumeria shakes her head and smiles. “Dummy. Genesis is a Gage.”

Genesis is. Gage. Elisha. The Old Man. The Spiderweb Prince. The Kingdom Thief. She’s his spawn.

Holy. Fucking. Shit.

You knew she had money before but billionaire heiress? To a family that’s somehow worse than most billionaires? Fuck. Honestly, her being a transphobic piece of shit is now waaaaaay down on the list of things to hate about her. It. Hate about it. Definitely not ‘her’ anymore.

Plumeria dismissively waves her hand through the air and brings you a little bit closer to reality. “You aren’t actually in Skull so I won’t give you orders, but. A suggestion: do whatever you can to keep her on the trail and away from her family.”

“Why?” Everything still feels unreal. The words slip from your mouth before you realize how stupid they are. Of course Big Sis has a reason. She always does.

Her expression doesn’t waver. If she thinks you’re a dummy—she did call you a dummy didn’t she—then she’s not pressing it now. “I don’t need her now. There’s some shit that’s about to go down and we’re laying low. Later?” The smile returns. Less friendly this time. “Yeah, I can find a use for her. Much easier to get her if she isn’t being guarded by daddy.”

A kidnapping. You’d have to gain its trust. Regain its trust. Pretend to be nice. Call it Genesis. Act like its human. A friend, even. It’ll all suck so much. But in the end everything will have been worth it when you see the look on her face.

You nod slowly. “I can do that.”

The Skull Boss slowly gets to her feet and looks—up—to meet you in the eye. Shorter than you’d thought. Never been this close to her before. At the Mauna she always sat above everyone else. Her height’s probably why. The shadows around her shoes move and a gengar rises up behind her. Hekeli cries out in shock and flutters into place in front of you. You call her back and she glides to a branch behind you.

“You’re using one of VStar’s phones, right?”

“Yes.”

She slips her hand into her pocket and holds a flip phone out to you. Should you? Yes. You step closer to Plumeria, defender of Alola, and take it. Your hand almost touches hers. Stupid.

The boss turns around and starts walking towards the edge of the clearing. It’s almost. Heh. You’ve gotten used to Cuicatl’s dumb military-types pivots in place. Kind of weird seeing normal humans turn around. “My number’s saved in there. Tell me if things go to hell.”

“Wait, I.” She turns around and glances at you. Shit. What were you saying? “Does this mean I’m in Skull? For real?”

Plumeria turns back around as her gengar’s shadows rise up to engulf her. “Whatever you want, kid.” When the unnatural blackness fades to normal night Big Sis is gone.

You’re left alone with a pikipek—no, trumbeak, a phone, and a mission.
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Well, alone with Cuicatl Ichtaca, some Pokémon, and a transphobic piece of shit.
Ah, so that's how we're starting this.
Maybe you could trip the asshole and make a break while the pangoro’s eating. No. A bit too harsh. Just a little bit, though.
He does have limits! \o/
Heavy breathing at the forest’s edge. A giant bear with a cape of black fur stares down at you. Fuck. Cuicatl recovers much faster than you do. Thank the gods. Her gods. Whichever get you through this. “Well, that’s rude of her. You scared me plenty on your own.” To your friend’s immense credit, it turns out pancham can feel embarrassed by their parents.
This entire scene was somehow both hilarious and terrifying. xD Also, don't think I didn't notice how Kekoa constantly refers to Cuicatl as a friend in-narration. c:
Stop. You’re going to say something you’ll regret. Regret after forgetting what you said, anyway. Also what kind of person just threatens to have their pet dragon eat someone? Cuicatl Ichtaca. Yeah. That’s who. At least her new dragon thinks you’re her father. Probably won’t eat you.
Coco loves her father! (Also I had to go back and look up what he said, and hooo boy, yeah, I can see why Alice came up back then. xD;
It awkwardly shifts as its castform drifts closer. “How?”
oh boy, this chapter's gonna be exhausting, huh.
“N,” you answer for her. “That’s why.”
ohoho yes, I've been waiting for N to come up since the moment we got a protag with green hair who can talk to Pokemon.
Well, that’s some centrist bullshit. You were expecting better from her.
There's something inherently hilarious about this comment being made in response to the plot of Black and White, a game about the flawed nature of black-and-white thinking.
Like, you don’t call me by my name so, I dunno, maybe you could make up a nickname or something that isn’t All— that isn’t your old name.”
I really, really love the doublethink here. "Oh, I can't call you by that nickname, can't I call you by a different nickname." Because that one's... bad, or something. And by 'love' I mean *internal screaming* because that's the exact same argument that gets used on me with my name. :) :) :)

But at the same time, it's so obvious that she genuinely thinks this is the best way to handle this aaaaghhhh.

Anyway! Really heavy chapter this one. And a lot of revelations! Everything surrounding these three keeps tying them back into each other's personal character arcs. And oh god, if Kekoa is seriously gonna pretend to be friends with Genesis in order to get revenge on her family that's gonna be hard to watch. Oof. Good stuff, keep it up.
 
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