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This story will contain, Blood/Gore/Dark Humor and Themes/Strong Language/Sexual Themes/Prejudice/And other material.
Chapter 1A lone Drapion walked along on a deep dark path filled with a dense brush on both sides. However, he wasn’t nervous or tense. He knew where he had to go and that the recipients of his message were friendlies. He suddenly heard rustling coming from his left. He immediately leaped backwards, faced where the sound had come from, readied his pincers, and curled his tail to strike. To his surprise, something from above landed firmly onto his back, putting a claw around his neck and a firm foot on his tail.
In a Moment's Notice
In a Moment's Notice
“Who are you?” A growling voice demanded from above him. He tried to remain calm and uttered the words,
“M-miss, I have a letter. From Team Alpha’s leader. He says, ‘your thick-headed Feraligatr will listen to you if not to me so don't harm this guy’.”
"What's team alpha?" the voice demanded, increasing the pressure she had on his tail and putting her claw even closer to the Drapion's neck.
The Pokémon began to stutter in fear but managed to say, "Please don't hurt me. I'm just giving a message from Nasch; I swear he said you'd listen to that code or whatnot. Please, I'm being honest here."
The creature above him paused for a moment, before removing the claw from his throat and releasing his tail. When the stranger got off him, the Drapion fell forwards from relief but managed to catch himself, panting heavily.
“Sorry for that," a less threatening voice spoke. “I can’t be too careful. After all, no one needs to know I’m here. I hope it wasn't too frightening for you?”
The mon got up and looked at her. His former attacker was a female Charizard. Strong built, but still slim and tender in appearance. Her eyes were blue and quite calm, and on her shoulder was a Norfarion crest. He began rubbing the back of his head and blushed a little. "I-it's fine miss."
The lady sighed, determining that she had frightened the poor soul quite immensely. She gave a gesture for him to follow. "Come, we can discuss why Nasch sent you to my place. Also, if you'd like to rest before you head back, I'd be happy to have you." She gave a little laugh as she rubbed her left shoulder. "It's the least I can do after putting you through that startle after all."
The surprised Drapion gave a nod of acceptance. She took the lead and the reluctant scorpion followed. As they walked through the jungle area, the Drapion managed to muster the nerve to ask, “So um, why are you here, miss?”
She gave him a glance and just kept walking on. Even with no vocal response, the Drapion got the idea that it wasn’t his concern. However, she didn’t leave the stranger completely lost in the dark. “I live with my family.”
“Family‽ You are residing here with a family‽” The Drapion repeated in surprise.
“Yes, I believe I said that,” the Charizard replied with a slight bit of annoyance, “I live with my family. All four of them to be exact. Speaking of which.”
Without any warning, she thrust her claw into a cluster of lush leaves on their left. The Drapion was left confused as she pulled out a little Charmander from his hiding place.
“Mom….how didya-” the little orange mon growled in a high boyish voice.
“You shook the brush too much, your breathing was too noisy and most of all, you didn’t lower your tension enough to make your tail's light dim enough for stealth. I could see it. Frankly, I'm surprised you didn't catch the forest on fire again.”
The little Charmander crossed his arms with a scowl. Angry that his mom cut his little time as a spy short. He gave off a little growl to which his mother smiled and began tickling his belly. The child began struggling to push her hand away, laughing uncontrollably. "Hahaha, hay stoppit hehe mom!"
She finally obeyed his request and followed with, “Shouldn’t you be with your father in training?”
The little mon looked up to her and exclaimed with an upside-down smile, “He let me, Seliph and Jaron outta train’n early. He said dat he had somethin' tah do.”
Freya sighed and put the little mon on her tail.
He clasped onto tightly and laughed a little as his ride moved up and down as the adults walked on. The Charmander stopped being engrossed in his fun for a second and asked the stranger, “Hey, whawt’s yah name misteh? Mine’s Ciecro!” The Drapion gave a confused look; a mix of surprise by this Western Accent to the lady's Eastern and the scene that just played half a minute ago.
“Don’t just give out your name son,” Freya rebuked, looking back at her son.
“It's fine mom. Dad says yah can say whawtevs, so long as yah make sure yah kill'em before dey get away.”
The Drapion flinched and Freya facepalmed. He is the spitting image of his damn father. she muttered in her head.
< O >
“Jaron!” a Frogadier called out, as he strolled through the woods, “Jaron! come on, dad’s going to get mad if we aren’t back at the house by the time the visitor comes.”
A little rustling came from some grass nearby. The water type quickly glanced at it but failed to spy it in action. He started browsing the group of bushes with squinting eyes. He heard another rustle. He darted his stare where the sound came from, but once again he failed to catch it moving. Slowly, he began to turn around in a circle, glancing anywhere he thought looked suspicious. Finally, he sighed, crossed his arms, closed his eyes and smiled. So that’s what it will be huh. Well fine then, Jaron, I’ll catch you. A smile covered the Frogadier’s face as he walked on.
Amid the many leaves lying in the area, a Totodile watched his older brother. The little water type laughed in his head at his brother’s seemingly clueless display. Despite this, Jaron followed Seliph’s every movement very carefully, knowing full well Seliph wasn't a dumb older brother and would attempt something. Something like Seliph’s Frogadier frubbles since he lost many hide and seek games due to that.
Hmm, what's he doing? The Totodile thought to himself as the Frogadier stood still and closed his eyes. Jaron refused to take his eyes off him though, expecting anything. He can't be trying to hear me so-...wait...is it me he's trying to hear? Is he even trying to hear me? The unsure Totodile simply kept watching as his brother remain motionless and seemingly uncaring to even search. Jaron wouldn't fall for it. He's baiting me no doubt. He wants me to move or something.
For seven minutes straight, Seliph remained still and Jaron watched his brother. Slowly, the boredom began to set in Jaron’s head as his eyes started drooping and the tiredness of being still started to set in. He decided to adjust himself to a better position, but suddenly, Seliph shouted, "Jaron!" Startled by the sudden shout, Jaron slipped a little rustling some leaves in the process.
"Gotcha." Seliph quickly spun around, drew out a Cut, and threw it straight at the spot he heard the rustling.
Jaron shrieked and fell over, but not until the move had struck him. To his surprise, it disintegrated upon impacting him. He landed on his back with a “thud”, startled but unharmed. Dammit his substitute. But it was too late. Seliph leaned over him with a grin on his face.
“I take I win again,” He boasted with a slight smirk.
“That was dirty Seliph,” Jaron growled.
“It’s your own fault, brother,” Seliph answered, holding out his hand to his angry sibling. Jaron raised his hand but hesitated for a moment before clasping it. "Come on, I won fair and square," Seliph stated with a smile. Jaron looked up and gave out an aggravated sigh, before clasping Seliph's hand.
"How was it my fault?"
Seliph pulled him back up. “You know what my moves are after all. Certainly, with the vantage point you had, you would have expected some trick up my arm.”
Reluctantly, a ticked-off Jaron asked, “Yeah, but I never expected you to pull off something like that. How did you come up with that so quickly?”
Seliph gave off a short titter. “Jaron, it’s called being creative.” Seliph tapped his head, before moving his right arm down his left, saying, “Mom taught you moves are extensions of your power, right? Use your head and manipulate them in ways to your advantage.”
"Well, yeah but...ah screw you Seliph." Jaron pounced on Seliph, laughing and telling how next time he would win.
Seliph laughed as well. "We really should get back home now."
Jaron nodded, got off his older sibling and the two started walking home. They didn’t stop till they arrived at a little hut in a clearing. The two went around it to the back and entered. Once inside Jaron let out a little yawn and asked Seliph, “Hey so when are mom and Ciecro gonna get back?”
Seliph just shook his head. Jaron let out a bigger yawn and muttered, “I hope mom gets back soon. At least before dad.” Seliph slumped his head down. Their faces shot right back up, as a loud slam filled the room. A growl came from the front of the house, saying, “Anyone here! Freya, Ciecro, Seliph, Jar-”
“We’re here dad,” the two answered, coming to the front room. They couldn’t lock their eyes with Dad’s scary ones, but remained focused on his neck. Jaron turned his head to the floor shaking slightly. Seliph, on the other hand, remained more composed despite being nervous too.
Their dad’s tone and expression business was happening and business would always put Gathor in a bad mood.
Despite his unease with having a visitor, Gathor relaxed a little upon confirming that the other two were fine. Their actions in avoiding eye contact didn’t bother him. He turned his gaze to the window and went on to say, “Freya will be bringin' someone here soon. I want yah tah stay in the back. Do whatever, just don’t come to dah front nor go outside, yah hear.”
Without waiting for a nod in confirmation, he went towards the door, opened it, and said, "Be on yah best behavior." The door slammed as he made his exit.
The two stopped their shivering and let out relieved sighs. Jaron broke the silence first. “You think the visitor is scary? Dad is all tensed up by this visit. He didn’t even smile slightly when seeing us.”
“I don’t know Jaron,” Seliph replied, “I don’t think he would be scared of some mon. Dad is one of the toughest Norfarians out there, at least I think.”
Seliph looked at the Norfarion crest on Jaron’s right shoulder, something he, Ciecro, Jaron, and all Norfarion children would be born with. A birthmark of their bloodlines always on the right shoulder. Of course, that wasn’t all that made them Norfarions, or just Original clansmon in general. “I’m surprised your gift didn’t act up?” he said to Jaron, looking at his brother.
“It was, I could clearly see you and feel your presence. You just startled me, you bully.” Jaron got up and walked over to Seliph, “you didn’t even have to use your gift.”
“Yeah heh,” Seliph grinned as he rubbed Jaron’s head, making the Totodile sulk, “Well, it’s like dad says. ‘Don’ try tah us yah gifts all dah time, o’ yah migh’ give dem clues to yah fightin’ style.’”
Jaron’s annoyance shifted to a little giggle at Seliph’s attempt at impersonating their father. “Heh, that sounds more like Ciecro,” he joked, making Seliph give him a playful punch to the shoulder.
“You moron,” Seliph said with a smile as Jaron a defiant playful, full-toothed grin.
Suddenly voices were heard outside. The two rushed to the window to see their father carrying Ciecro under his arm while Freya talked to a Drapion.
Is that the visitor? Seliph thought. The door once again slammed open as Gathor tossed Ciecro in. The Charmander quickly got to his feet and rushed towards the exit, but was immediately stopped by his dad’s firm hand on his head.
“Bu' dad, I wanna be there too,” the little one demanded, pushing against it and attempting to pry it off to no avail.
“Dis is an adult conversation. Stay wid’ya brothers, Ciecro.”
“Buh I wanna be dere too!” Ciecro protested, “I’m ten now so I’m old enough. Come on, it’s not fair!”
Gathor gave off an annoyed growl, pushing his son back with his palm.
Ciecro struggled in response, pushing back with all his body. Sadly, even with all his force thrown at the arm, he could overcome its strong base and after multiple attempts of head pushing, poor Ciecro finally sank his head in defeat as he sat down sniffling.
Gathor’s stern face softened slightly as he moved his strong Feraligatr hand from the boy’s head down to his cheek and cupped his fingers under Ciecro’s chin. Gently, he moved his hand up to get Ciecro to look at him.
Ciecro’s teary face looked up with a big droopy stare that tried to keep some semblance of composure for his father.
“Why can’t I be dere?” he begged for an answer.
“Son.” Gathor paused for a breath before saying. “I know yah wanna come, but yah’re not old enough fo’ it, nor Jaron or Seliph. Dis is somethin’ me and yah mother need to handle.” Moving his claw over to Ciecro’s chest, he poked a little section on the left side as he continued. “But, I’m glad yah wanna come. Means yah heart is in deh right place. Be patient son and be a good boy, fo’ me and I’ll let yah help me wit more stuff when yah get oldeh.” Ciecro gave a little whimper, lowing his gaze at the floor. “Yes…dad,” he replied, wiping his face.
Gathor moved his hand from the boy’s chin to the top of Ciecro’s orange head. "Ciecro, yah gawt some growin up tah do before yah ready for adult things. Now stay here with yah brothers Ciecro." He looked away for a second and then muttered, “and if yah be good I’ll give yah a high toss in' de air.”
Ciecro’s eyes looked up towards his father. “Promise?”
Gathor tried to keep a straight face, but Ciecro’s cute smile even made him fail to fully hide a smile. “Promise.”
“As many times as I wanna?” Ciecro said, his eyes widening with glee.
“As many times as yah wanna.” Gathor rubbed Ciecro’s head, making the little Charmander giggle. “Now stay here, take care of ya brothers, and be good.” Removing his hand, Gathor stood up gave an affirming nod, and went to the door. Gathor slowly opened it and shut it with much less force than he had earlier, as the three kids stayed inside.
Jaron and Seliph got from their spot at the window and joined their brother in the middle of the room. It was just them and whatever they wanted to do for fun.
Ciecro began doing small, wobbly, twirls in anticipation. "I hope he trows me real high, like higher dan dah trees and up in dah clouds."
"I don't think even dad is that strong, bro," Jaron pointed out, giggling a little at the thought.
Ciecro just gave him a slight scoff as he crossed his arms and puffed out his chest. "Yah’re just jealous, 'cause when I grow up, I'm gonna be able tah fly and yah’re gonna be stuck on dah stupid ground."
"At least I can swim." Jaron countered, forming a snarky grin.
"So? Seliph can too, so whasso special about dat?" Ciecro countered Jaron's counter.
"Looks like he's got a point Jaron. Sides, he's a fire type so it's not like he was born to swim," Seliph added earning a grateful nod from the Charmander, who instantly took the time to rub it in the annoyed face of Jaron.
< O >
That night Jaron and Ciecro were in their straw beds sleeping well. Seliph, however, was wide awake. He thought about the stranger and wondered what he wanted from his parents. Suddenly he heard a door open with a little flicker of light come from the area outside their room.
“I’m going tah bed Freya,” The voice of their father resounded. “Tell me what it says, tomorrow.”
This sparked Seliph’s curiosity. ‘What it says’ so it’s a message. He got to his feet and tiptoed his way to his Mom’s study. He peered inside and gazed at the room he was rarely allowed to be in. His mother was at the desk looking at something on it.
Hmm, I wonder what this is about, she thought while she mulled over the message. She stopped pondering as she detected someone outside her study. Acting on instinct her wings shot up, causing something to nudge the door a little. She quickly deduced it was merely one of the kids spying through the door Gathor neglected to fully close.
“Don’t leave, come in here now,” she spoke to the silhouette in the door crack. A nervous Seliph walked in. His face had guilt written all over it. Freya took a deep breath and asked for an explanation.
“I was just curious.” Was Seliph’s reply. Freya gave him a stern look not taking this answer lightly.
“Seliph come here,” she ordered the Frogadier. He reluctantly walked over; his head still downcast. Despite his face looking at the floor, Freya could easily see the remorse in his eyes. She looked at the crest on his right arm and pondered deeply.
“Son,” she spoke in a softer tone, “look at me,” After a few minutes of moving, his eyes finally locked with hers. She picked him up and placed him in her lap. The water-type was caught off guard by this odd move by his mother.
“Seliph, since you’re awake do you want to help me read this?”
It took a few minutes for it to click, but Seliph realized that he wasn’t in trouble but on the contrary, lucky. He looked at the piece with his mother and read over its contents.
“What’s odd about this? It’s straightforward,” He stated after finishing.
She explained, “Letters like this may look direct, But usually they hold another hidden message. Letters like these sent by Norfarion higher-ups tend to be coded to be decrypted later by its receiver.”
His eyes widened with interest and resolve. But he didn’t know any “Code”.
Seeing the stumped look on his face, she decided to throw out an example. “Well, some words may say one thing, but usually there is a metaphor or simile in its meaning. Or possibly retracing a sentence or paragraph. I believe this one might be like that so give it a try.”
Anxious to impress his mother, Seliph tried again. After re-reading he looked back to his mom and summed the contents.
“The first two paragraphs were very straightforward about inquiring how you were and what you and dad have found. Also, it asks if any additional research materials are needed, But,” he shifted to a more analytical stare. “The third one talked about some list of information and random stuff.”
“Any thoughts?” she asked in an encouraging tone.
“Well, the list of stuff in the third paragraph appears to be normal items. But, the first paragraph about asking how you were and if you needed research material felt a little weird. Mom, would these travel items be research material?”
“I don’t leave here when I work so let’s see about this list,” Freya concurred with the thought. Seliph peered closer to the list of items and began reading them out loud.
“Materials that will be sent for research.
2 Fire orb
A pair of Eye drop seeds
“You found something?” She asked.
“Well, these two ‘Fire orb’ and ‘Eye drop seeds’ are pretty specific. Maybe they are related to the secret message. What do you thi….”
He stopped upon seeing a serious expression cover her face. It was like she was seeing something horrible from the letter. Seliph said her name over and over until she snapped out of it.
“Mom, what’s wrong?” He innocently asked. She didn’t answer but looked away at her shelf of books. This was a side of his mom he hadn’t seen before. A scared side. This made him uneasy and sent a shiver down his spine.
Freya put him down on the floor and walked over to the bookcase. She was mumbling something under her breathing, but Seliph could only make out the words, “in case” and “Come”. As she fiddled with some books Seliph noticed her wings begin to spread a little. Another indication of her anxiousness thus giving him more reason to worry.
She pushed some books aside and pulled out a little box. She then took a key out of one of the satchels on her travel belt and checked to see if the box was locked. After confirmation, she put the box into a drawer in her desk and locked it with another key.
Seliph remained quiet but was scared to even think of what this could mean. His mom scared? His mom was never scared? What could possibly scare her?
She walked over to her son and moved onto one knee. She gently grabbed his hands and moved them into a cup. She then put the box key in those hands and closed them.
“Mom wha-? What’s this?”
“Seliph, I want you to take care of this. What I’m going to tell you is between me and you. I don’t want you to speak of this to anyone at all. Son, if…” She paused to take a second to think of what to say.
She sighed softly and with a slight smile, she said, “Seliph I want you to hide that key. Only use it and take what’s in that box you saw should we be…attacked.”
His spirit fell at that last word. A thousand questions flooded his brain. Freya put one of her claws on his shoulder. She leaned in and nuzzled his cheek as to calm him down.
“This is only in an emergency Seliph. I know you are young, but I need you to be brave. You’re smart and clever and you can take care of your brothers and yourself if need be. I know this is sudden, but I tell you this because I trust you fully.”
These words only made him feel worse. He tried to pull out of the nuzzle, but Freya got the message.
She stopped and pulled back her head. Looking directly into Seliph’s eyes, she whispered something to him.
Seliph returned to his bed, shaking. What happened was the biggest question in his head. He looked at the key his Mom gave him and obeying her, stuffed it into his bed of straw. He lay there wide awake, unable to even close one eye.
What did she mean by ‘attacked’? Will it happen soon? He rolled over to his side and tried to sleep. He wasn’t scared, but the words his mom told him eased him a little.
“Your father and I love you Seliph. We might not show it all the time, but we do. You, Ciecro, and Jaron mean so much to us. I know you’ll do me proud. Because you have strong blood in your veins, but more importantly you are the smartest kid I know.”