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Pokémon The Legendarian Chronicles

DeliriousAbsol

*Crazy Absol Noises*
Staff
Location
Behind a laptop, most likely with tea
Pronouns
She/Her
Ahh, it's nice to re-read this. I really want to continue this story, but I definitely need a re-cap.

The prologue is really nice. I just love the descriptive style, and this paragraph is probably my favourite:

At once, the creature shot up from the ocean trench like a silver torpedo. The crushing depths released their hold as it flew through the water, scattering countless tiny water Pokémon in its wake. Piercing eyes adjusted to the rapid increase of light just in time to be met with the inviting glimmer of the surface right above. And then the beast rocketed out of the sea. Cool, salty air washed over its body, a sharp contrast to the water’s embrace. The sensation prickled like needles against its feathers, but still… there was something almost freeing about being able to beat its wings through the currents of wind and take gulps of sweet air that burned its unused lungs yet felt so good.
It just really paints a picture. I don't recall reading much of Lugia originally, but I look forward to its part later on.

I do feel sorry for Jade with her friends moving away. I didn't put the pieces together right away, but after reading Chapter 1 I'm wondering if Starr might be Giovanni's daughter... I guess I'll find out later? XD

The Charizard Guy is as mysterious as I remembered. A bit strange handing out cards to new trainers to recruit... but I suppose getting them new means they'll be more likely to turn over to his group's cause and not be recruited by Team Rocket?

And yikes, angering Entei caused some major collateral damage. I don't imagine Team Rocket is gonna put out that fire afterwards?

There are a few events from later on that I recall, and look forward to catching up with again. But I wanted to get this review out in time for Catnip! =D
 

windskull

Bidoof Fan
Staff
Partner
sneasel-nip
"I’ll have to check back soon to see what happens, because I need to know!"
- Windskull, January 10th, 2020

And then they proceeded to forget to read for 6 months.

Well, at least I retained some information. I remembered they were on a rocket infiltrated S.S. Anne, but I totally forgot about the bombs lol. Anyway let's get started on chapter 7.

I think youve done a really good job of setting a tense atmosphere in this chapter. Even though tI knew none of the bombs were going to go off on Jade (that would be a rather short story), there was this constant feeling of "but what if one did?" So good job on that front.

I really like the way you describe moves in this chapter. Like gust for example. The way you describe it makes it sound like more than a stiff breeze, and like something that could actually hurt another pokemon.

Same thing with the fire spin. This line in particular just evokes a really strong image:
It caught his leg and snaked around his body, pulling him to the center of a swirling inferno.
One verrrry nitpicky thing I have was with this line:
It wasn’t long before lungs burned and legs went numb from exhaustion, and yet I still couldn’t think about anything other than finding the next one…
I assume the exclusion of the word "my" was intentional here, but it kind of makes the pain here feel impersonal and doesn't jive well with the first person perspective, imo.

Anyways, at least Jade was able to get to help! Hopefully that will help minimize casualties, but I get the idea that things aren't going to go off without a hitch...

And now you leave me on a cliffhanger! I really want to keep reading but I'm going to have to cut off this review here. Hopefully it'll be motivation enough to get me to come back soon, but I can't make any promises. Here's hoping! Anyways, until next time.
 
Chapter 41: Team Magma New

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partner
pikachu-chibi
Thanks for the reviews, Del and wind! I'm glad that catnip gave you both the opportunity to revisit! :quag:
The Charizard Guy is as mysterious as I remembered. A bit strange handing out cards to new trainers to recruit... but I suppose getting them new means they'll be more likely to turn over to his group's cause and not be recruited by Team Rocket?
Yep, that's the general idea! New trainers so that they're least likely to be recruited or seen as a threat.
"I’ll have to check back soon to see what happens, because I need to know!"
- Windskull, January 10th, 2020
This is a mood. 🙃
I assume the exclusion of the word "my" was intentional here, but it kind of makes the pain here feel impersonal and doesn't jive well with the first person perspective, imo.
Y'know, it is on-brand for me to omit words, but I'm thinking that was a legit typo because it reads way better with a "my" there. :P



~Chapter 41: Team Magma~


With a flash of light, Alakazam materialized from his Pokéball. At Darren’s command, the psychic-type observed our rocky surroundings, then held both spoons to his forehead, humming to himself for half a minute or so.

“Got it memorized?” Darren asked.

Alakazam held up a spoon and gave a grunt of approval.

Darren nodded. “Alright good.” He turned to Moltres and said, “If anything goes wrong, we’ll teleport out to you.”

The firebird blinked, apparently not expecting anyone other than its chosen to address it. “Very well. Should any enemy forces appear out here, I will not allow them to escape.” With that, Moltres spread its wings to take off, scattering embers as it ascended.

We turned our attention to the base. The front entrance had already been broken down by the Rockets; nothing stopping us from walking right inside. We stepped forward into a wide, open lobby with dark, glossy stone floors. Glowing tubes filled with what honestly looked like magma (it couldn’t really be magma, could it?) lined the walls. Flashing red lights illuminated the way forward, leading to the start of several long, narrow corridors. Not the best environment for all my broad-winged flying Pokémon. We’d need maneuverability.

I grabbed two Pokéballs and let out Chibi and Stygian. I’d keep Jet in reserve, that way I could let her out if anything happened to the other two, and she could hold off the enemy while I healed them. Rudy responded by letting out Ebony and Raichu. Then Darren took a few seconds to consider our lineup before letting out Weavile to stand alongside Alakazam.

Three Faint Attack users for surprise hits, a teleporter, two electric-types that could boost each other’s lightning; all small and maneuverable, but three of them big enough that we could duck behind their Protect if needed. A good roster for being in the line of fire. I hated how quickly and naturally that assessment came to us.

“Everyone’s good on their Protect training, right?” Darren asked. There was a murmur of approval from all of them.

“Good, cause we’re gonna need it,” he said grimly.

I turned to Latias. “It’s probably best if you stay invisible for most of this. The last thing we want is you getting captured.” The dragon nodded before vanishing in a wave of rippling light.

“*I’ve been wondering something,*” Ebony spoke up suddenly, her words hesitant. Everyone turned to face her, and she pawed at the floor sheepishly. “*We’re not going to lose anyone this time, are we?*” the Houndoom asked, and my heart tore itself in half.

Rudy froze, staring at the ground with an expression I couldn’t place. Finally, he leaned forward and put his hand on her head. “We’re not. I promise.”

I gave him a sideways glance. He couldn’t promise that. I couldn’t promise that. None of us could. But pretending was the only thing we could do.

We set off down one of the corridors, not running, but not moving slowly either. I didn’t really know what we were looking for. Some sign of the Rockets’ presence? The alarm continued to buzz angrily in the background, but I willed my brain to tune it out and just focus on what was right in front of us. No Rockets yet… and no Magmas either, for that matter…

Almost as if on cue, a pair of soot-black wolves rounded the corner and stopped right in front of us, crouching low and snarling.

“Hold it right there!” a voice ordered from somewhere.

I whirled around in time to see two more wolves dart up from behind, cutting off our escape. This didn’t feel like the Rockets’ style. Why would they warn us? In this sort of mission, there was no point in taking prisoners.

“Are you guys Team Magma?” I called out.

No answer. The two Mightyena in front lunged. Weavile and Stygian jumped in front of us, colliding with the opposing dark-types and enduring the dark aura that flared up from the impact. Behind us, I heard a snarl and the crackle of flames as Ebony took up the rear defense, followed by sparks as Raichu must have joined her.

“We’re not here to fight!” I yelled.

“Yeah, well, you’re gonna get a fight!” the voice retorted. Oh my god, seriously? We didn’t have time for this!

A flock of Golbat descended from the ceiling, spitting out globs of poison. I ducked immediately, covering my head, but the sludge splattered off a psychic barrier above us (Latias?). Chibi fired off a wave of sparks at the flying-types and they seized up, muscles twitching with paralysis, struggling to stay airborne. One dove right at us, and I dropped to the floor as it chomped down right where my arm had been just a second ago.

“Stop it, we’re trying to help you guys!” But I could barely hear my own voice over all the chaos, so I doubted that they heard it either.

“We’ve gotta get their attention,” Rudy muttered into my ear. “Something flashy, without hurting ‘em.”

Something flashy, something flashy… something like Flash?

“Shut your eyes, both of you,” I hissed to my teammates, and then, to Chibi: “Use Flash!”

Chibi took off running down my outstretched arm, and the last thing I saw before I shut my eyes was the hybrid leaping into the air, feathers glowing brightly. Then a blinding brightness assaulted my eyelids, and I had to hold a hand over my face to shut it out completely.

The sounds of startled yips and fluttering of wings filled the air. I opened my eyes a crack and saw the Mightyena staggering backward, ears pinned and eyes screwed shut. The Golbat weren’t affected (did they use sound to navigate?) but they were currently trapped by some kind of psychic aura, most likely Latias again.

“Stop attacking and just listen to us!” I yelled as loud as I possibly could.

Footsteps approaching. I spun around to see a group of people running up behind us, all of them dressed in hooded red uniforms emblazoned with a black M logo. They looked tense, guarded, but the moment they got a good look at us, their expressions suddenly morphed into confusion.

“Wait, it’s just a bunch of kids?” one of them said, shooting a glance at her teammates.

“What are you doing here?” a second one asked, fixing us with a rather unimpressed glare.

“We’re here because Team Rocket is invading your freaking base!” Rudy shot back.

“Why were you sneaking around?”

“The front door wasn’t exactly locked,” Darren pointed out flatly.

One of the Magmas turned around and hollered, “Hey Courtney! They’re not with the intruders!”

At his words, a side door further down the hallway opened. And from inside, a short, purple-haired woman emerged. The other Magmas all backed away slowly as she approached us, wearing an icy, inscrutable expression.

“You three… came to help?” she asked simply.

I looked at each of the Magmas in turn, who were all staring at her. They obviously held her in high regard. And… she didn’t seem like the kind of person we wanted to say the wrong thing to.

I took a deep breath and said, “The Rockets are after the Red Orb. We have to stop them no matter what.”

Courtney stared at us for several seconds before giving a curt nod. Then she turned around and gestured for us to follow her. “Come. This way.”

I glanced back and forth between Rudy and Darren, who both just shrugged before motioning to our Pokémon. Chibi jumped back on my shoulder while Raichu hopped onto Ebony’s back. Weavile gave her a dirty look and then opted to ride Stygian, while Alakazam hovered lightly across the floor. The other Magmas stopped to feed their Mightyena and Golbat squads some berries, and then our group set off, Courtney taking the lead. No one said anything as she led us down a maze of corridors, taking us deeper into the mountain.

“Where are we going, exactly?” I asked finally.

“The others… need help,” Courtney replied, her words terse. That really didn’t answer my question at all.

One of the Magma agents must have noticed the confused look on my face, because she added, “We got separated from the others. Last we saw, Admin Tabitha was trying to fight the intruders off, but he…” Her words trailed off.

“He’s fine,” Courtney snapped, a slight edge to her voice. She didn’t look back at any of us and just kept marching forward with the same forceful air.

An uncomfortable flicker of unease started to creep up the back of my neck. This situation… was a lot more familiar than I’d realized. An ambush in the dead of night, alarms blaring, scared rebels fleeing down dark hallways, desperate to regroup, Rockets lurking out of sight. I’d been caught up with thinking of this like another Legendary mission. Protect the orb; stop the Rockets from catching more Legendaries. But now that we were here, it was feeling a lot more like that night on Midnight—

No. No, it wouldn’t end up like that. The Magmas were clearly capable of defending themselves. But had they ever had to go up against an enemy as ruthless as the Rockets? And did we really have enough firepower to help them?

Light was streaming down the corridor ahead of us. My blood ran cold—I could hear gunfire in this direction. Courtney slowed to a stop when she reached the corner and held up a hand for everyone else to stop.

“Here,” she said.

I wasn’t sure what awaited us in the next area, but I already knew it wasn’t good. I crept closer to the corner, peeked around it and—

And then immediately jerked my head back. A squad of Rockets had guns trained on the entryway, ready to fire at any moment. I’d caught a brief glimpse of some kind of commotion behind them. Other Rockets and their Pokémon, fighting an unseen enemy—the other Magmas?

“Okay, yeah, we walk around that corner, we’re super dead,” I said flatly.

Darren nodded sagely. “The worst kind of dead.”

There was no way to get past that many armed Rockets, not when all they had to do was open fire on the entryway. Had to disable them somehow. Maybe Chibi could rush out with Quick Attack, paralyze a few of them… Although if he got targeted by their Pokémon forces, the last thing I needed was for him to go down first. Maybe…

Wait. What was I doing? We had the perfect surprise attacker right by our side.

“Latias, are you there?” I whispered. I wasn’t entirely sure if she could hear me or not, but seconds later, I felt a light claw tap on my shoulder.

“Can you disarm the Rockets in the entryway?”

Two taps. Then a small whoosh of air that felt like her darting around the corner. I let out a breath. Okay good, I was not in the mood to go running through the line of fire.

I made eye contact with Rudy and Darren. “She’s clearing the way. You guys ready to run?”

The two nodded and proceeded to give instructions to their Pokémon. I turned to face the Magmas and said, “When the Rockets go down, we’re gonna make a break for it and try to find your teammates.”

Half the group gaped at us in surprise. But Courtney just nodded with the same sharp, unreadable expression as before.

“*Go now!*” Latias cried suddenly.

“Now!” I repeated, breaking into a run.

Around the corner and I could now see the squad that had been guarding the hall, all flat on their backs, no guns within sight. I leaped over them and emerged into a large, cavernous room filled with heavy machinery that had been turned into a total warzone. Attacks tore through the air across the center of the room, ripping through the rocky floor and crashing against the machines as both sides traded blows while keeping behind cover. Which side was which?

“Over there!” one of the Magmas yelled, pointing.

I jerked my head to the left to catch a glimpse of someone in a red-hooded uniform peeking around the edge of a huge drill. Which meant the horde of Pokémon to the right was Rocket, with their trainers hiding out of sight. I wasn’t sure if Latias had gotten the chance to disarm that squad yet, and I wasn’t keen on finding out.

“We gotta move!” I yelled.

Darren nodded to Weavile before he and Alakazam teleported ahead, and the dark-type took off, already breathing out an Icy Wind toward the first three Pokémon that had broken from the Rockets’ lineup. At Rudy’s command, Raichu jumped down from Ebony’s back, her form already blurring into several copies of herself.

I met Chibi’s eye and said, “Go with Raichu; power each other’s Lightning Rod and then go for Discharge.”

The two electric rodents dashed after Weavile, and then Rudy and I sprinted in the opposite direction, Ebony and Stygian racing alongside us and the Magma squad following not far behind. Just had to focus on reaching the Magmas’ side of the cavern. I tried not to look at the scattered Pokémon that had fallen in the middle of the makeshift battlefield. Tried not to think about how they would have been recalled if they were able to be. Just had to keep running. I heard the familiar sound of bullets striking Protect—dammit why was that so familiar—and screwed my eyes shut, willing my legs toward the space that I’d last seen.

I reached our goal and ducked behind some kind of huge drill before sinking to the ground, heart pounding. Rudy jumped past me a second later, followed by Courtney and her Magma squad. I counted them out and—okay good, we hadn’t lost anyone. Whether that was luck or thanks to Latias playing defense, I wasn’t sure.

Once I’d recovered, my eyes wandered over the nearby Pokémon. Lots more Mightyena, but also plenty of Magcargo, Camerupt, Golbat, Rhydon, all keeping a constant barrage—rocks, fireballs, sludge—arcing through the air and raining down on the opposition. Then I suddenly noticed that about half the Magmas were staring at us in confusion. Right, they’d just seen a couple of random kids break through the Rockets’ defense out of nowhere, with no clue who we were or why.

“Courtney!” a loud, nasally voice called out.

I looked up just in time to see a large, round-faced man charging toward us—or rather, charging past us and clapping his hands on Courtney’s shoulders. “You’re alive!”

“Yes, Tabitha. We’re fine,” she replied dryly.

“H-how did you make it here?” he stammered.

She turned to gesture at me, Rudy, and Darren. “New friends,” she said in a singsong tone.

The man blinked in surprise. “What?” His head snapped toward us, like he’d only just noticed we were here. “H-how did you kids get in here? And why?

“Why does everyone keep asking that?!” Rudy yelled, stamping a foot against the dirt.

But before any of us could answer, Courtney cut in with, “Where’s Leader Maxie?”

Tabitha’s face fell. “We—we haven’t seen him. I think he’s still in his office. We’ve been trying to reach him, but the intruders haven’t yielded one bit.”

Their leader? The Rockets would no doubt be gunning for him if he was the one with the Red Orb. Had they already reached him? Were we too late?

“Which way to his office?” I asked hurriedly.

Tabitha blinked at me, apparently still confused that we were even here, but willing to overlook it for now. “It’s… on the far side of the cavern. Past where the intruders have taken up their defense.”

Rudy tapped a fist against his palm. “So we’ve gotta break through to get to him.”

My eyes slid back to the opposing side. Now that I was paying attention, the Rockets’ forces were clearly focusing on two things: keeping the pressure on the Magmas and preventing anyone from making it out of this room. If that pressure faltered for even an instant, they’d be overrun. No amount of gunfire could stop a horde of charging Rhydon.

On that note, it was now obvious that the water-types on the opposing side were hanging back to stay out of the line of fire. Could always tell Chibi to focus them down, but they were circled by a squad of Dugtrio, keeping their speed boosted with Agility.

Dammit. The Rockets had really thought this through.

“We could try to teleport past them?” Darren suggested, throwing an inquisitive glance toward Alakazam.

“*Too many in the way,*” the psychic said flatly. “*Need a clearer view.*”

He made a face. “Of course. Don’t know why I thought it could be easy.”

So we had to split their attention. Give them enough opposition that they couldn’t hold us back with just a single unified defense. The Rockets’ Pokémon were all clustered together, defending each other from the Magmas’ overhead barrage while the Rockets themselves kept behind cover. And while they couldn’t let loose any big attacks without hitting each other, they didn’t need to beat us—all they had to do was keep us from getting past.

Wait, but that meant… they almost definitely had other agents already confronting the Magma leader. Dammit. We had to get to him now.

I whipped out two more Pokéballs to let out Aros and Jet (too many rocks for Firestorm and Swift, better to keep them in reserve). I turned to each of them one after another and said, “Stygian, go for a Swords Dance and then slip through their defenses with Feint Attack. Chibi, stay on the move, paralyze everyone you can. Keep your power use low, go for Iron Tail when you get an opening. Aros, Jet—if you can pull anyone away from the center lineup, do it, then follow up with trapping moves. We don’t have to beat them, we just have to break their guard as fast as possible, got it?”

Chibi didn’t even answer, he just bolted away faster than I could see. The others nodded sharply before taking off after him. I could only hope that Latias had managed to disarm the rest of the Rockets. Even if she hadn’t… it wasn’t like they could fire on the melee with their own Pokémon in the way, right? Had to keep telling myself that.

Rudy and Darren had sent out more reinforcements and were quickly relaying strategies. The usual hit-and-run style, keeping out of sight, using disruption moves. Most of their Pokémon didn’t waste a second finding a good spot where they could duck behind one of the many large machines and start firing off attacks from behind cover. The only one who hadn’t moved was Tyranitar, who stood silently with an expression somewhere between impatience and disapproval.

Rudy stared blankly at her. “Tyrani—?”

“*That plan would take too long,*” she grumbled.

Then, before Rudy could say anything else, the rock-type broke into a lumbering run, charging straight into the center of the battlefield.

“Wait, get back, you’re just gonna be a target!” he yelled.

But the dinosaur ignored him and kept going. A few Rockets fired on her. Then upon seeing how useless that was, they started ordering their Pokémon into formation. At least, until a huge stone pillar erupted from the ground, right in the middle of that formation, forcing those on either side to back away from the center. Tyranitar didn’t waver—she just kept going, punching her own Stone Edge and shattering it to pieces, driving the Rocket’s Pokémon further to either side to avoid the hail of rocks.

Wait. She’d basically just cut a huge gap right through the middle of the Rocket’s defenses, forcing them to target her or else. If we could keep going with that, draw more of them away from the exit, then—!

“Change of plans! Everyone, support Tyranitar!!” I yelled at the top of my lungs.

“You guys too!” Rudy called out, turning to the Magmas behind us. “Light Screen, Reflect, Helping Hand, anything! This is Hoenn, right? Your ‘mons know multi battle tactics, yeah?”

Tabitha looked unbelievably offended at being ordered around by a teenager, but Courtney just nodded and let out her Camerupt, ordering it to use Rock Tomb. Then the rest of the Magmas leaped into action, letting out Pokémon and calling out attacks. A duo of Claydol’s eyes glowed, and several walls of shimmering light went up around Tyranitar, diffusing the numerous attacks now flying right at her. The Mightyena squad that had first confronted us all rushed forward in formation, eyes flashing with the glare of Intimidate—half of them snarling viciously to cut the potency of the enemies’ moves, the other half barking out insults at the opposition, taunting them into an all-out offense, not giving them a chance to use the same support tactics we were using.

But an all-out offense wasn’t exactly outside the Rockets’ area of expertise. A squad of Dugtrio turned and shot toward Tyranitar, sending rippling waves through the ground and pulling her legs into a sinkhole until Weavile intercepted them with a few well-aimed ice chunks. They were followed by a squad of fighting-types, all rushing at her. A couple fireballs and mist balls from above knocked down two or three but rest kept going. A Machamp took the lead, reaching Tyranitar first and slamming all four fists into her belly. The rock-type reeled backwards, grunting in pain, but before Machamp could follow up with a second hit, Alakazam fired off a psychic pulse from both spoons, striking it right in the face. Its muscles strained, fighting against the telepathic hold, movements slowing just enough for Tyranitar to swing her tail and knock it off its feet before smashing it into the ground with her foot.

I dragged my eyes away from Tyranitar to take stock of all my Pokémon. Aros, trapping a pair of Poliwrath in a swirling Sand Tomb while a Claydol pelted the two with multicolored Psybeams. Stygian, slipping in and out of the shadows behind the machinery, slashing at a Hypno who’d been raising protective barriers around its teammates and then ducking out of view just as quickly. Jet, adding more water to a growing Whirlpool while Raichu electrocuted anything that fell in.

They were all holding their own. But we had to do more than that. For all we knew the Rockets could already have the orb, and we were stuck here dealing with—

Movement, in my peripheral. Alakazam snapped his gaze behind us and then suddenly brought both spoons together, raising a Protect just in time to block the shadowy orb that had flown right at his face.

What? Where had that—my eyes suddenly locked onto a shadow tracing the wall behind us. Was that…? Alakazam narrowed his eyes and pointed forward, firing a psychic pulse at the rock surface. A spiky, implike shadow fell out, immediately flashing a wide grin and snickering. Gengar! Already charging up a ball of ghostly aura in its paws.

A string of lightning shot from nowhere and Gengar cried out in alarm as the orb flew wild. Chibi! In a flash, the Pikachu raced into view, sparking threateningly, fur and feathers standing straight up. Gengar glowered at him, but it knew better than to take him on. It dissolved into shadow again, darting across the floor and out of sight. Chibi paused, nodding to me before dashing back into the fray.

I jerked my attention back to Tyranitar just in time to see a Linoone run up and tag her leg, washing her in a shower of white sparks. A surge of energy shot through her. The dinosaur’s next stomp packed enough of a punch to tear a hail of boulders up from the ground, burying three or four opponents right in front of her. Then, without warning, her whole body shook as a heavy punch slammed into the side of her face. Machamp—it had pulled itself free and was now pummeling her relentlessly while she fought to keep her balance. Other fighters dragged themselves out from under the Rock Slide. Seeing Machamp holding its own, they launched into their own counterattack, flinging chunks of earth, launching huge waterspouts, focusing every effort into taking her down.

My heart sank, and my eyes frantically swept over each of my Pokémon, one after the other, all of them busy struggling with their own opponents. None in any position to help her. But we couldn’t let her go down, not now, not when she’d done the most of anyone.

And then a brightly glowing mist ball shot down from above, exploding right in Tyranitar’s face, knocking all of her attackers flying. The rock-type blinked—either from confusion, or from the sudden brightness in her face, I couldn’t tell. Either way, the attack hadn’t caused her any pain. It was psychic.

Machamp was flat on its back, out cold. The other attackers picked themselves up from where they had fallen before glancing around, trying to locate their attacker. But before they could even make a move, another mist ball rained down on them, followed by a dazzling flash of light exploding outward that knocked the entire squad out instantly.

Hooooly crap was I glad we had Latias on our side. It was easy to forget that despite her timid, soft-spoken nature, she was still a Legendary Pokémon.

But the Rockets—they had to have realized that the invisible thing was the one dishing out the most damage right now. The reaction was obvious. The still-standing fighting-types retreated, trading off for line of ghost-types, all firing off bursts of shadowy aura toward the last place they’d seen her. The attacks flew wild; Latias had already swooped behind them, breathing out a sparkling cloud of violet and gold dragonfire. The ghosts fell to the ground, twitching wildly as sparks leapt from their bodies.

Then a black orb shot through the air, striking her dead-on. Latias gave a yelp, recoiling in surprise, and with a rippling of distorted light, her red, jetlike form suddenly snapped into view. I threw a glance in the direction the ball had fired from and saw—dammit, that same Gengar and its stupid smug face, cackling from its perch atop one of the Magmas’ drilling machines. I called for Chibi and he appeared from the opposite end of the cavern, firing off a huge lightning bolt—bigger than he probably should have—and striking it right in the face. I glanced back at Latias to see if she was alright and—

…And suddenly became aware of the fact that at least half of the fighters near her were frozen, staring openmouthed. Oh. They’d literally just seen a Legendary Pokémon appear out of thin air. That was a bit shocking, yeah.

The pause was only for a second. A lightning bolt broke the standstill, and then everyone was back to barking orders or dishing out attacks. But now the Rockets knew we had a Legendary supporting us. They weren’t here on a capture mission. None of them had Master Ball cannons. Still, something told me that we really, really didn’t want them all targeting Latias at once.

Sure enough, the few remaining fighting-types on the opposing side tagged out for dark-types, all firing off pulsing shockwaves of dark energy. Latias looped around the first two but the third one was too fast and caught the side of her wing, sending wisps of darkness trailing across her feathers. Latias shivered, struggling to pull herself free. The momentary pause slowed her flight just enough for her to get bombarded by three more Dark Pulses, followed by a barrage of Shadow Balls from the ghosts that had targeted her earlier. The dragon recoiled backward, eyes shut, struggling to block the attacks with her psychic power, but the dark energy cut right through it. Chibi fired at her attackers, dropped a Honchkrow, then had to dart away as a Marowak slammed its club into the spot where he’d been standing.

“Tyranitar, support Latias!” Rudy yelled.

With a huge effort, Tyranitar threw a Primeape off her back and weakly lumbered forward to stand in front of Latias, taking the dark attacks that were meant for her. The rock-type let out a low growl before stomping the ground. Pointed stoned burst up through the earth, driving the three opposing dark-types into the side of a machine and pinning them there. Then the dinosaur let out a deep, resounding roar that echoed through the cavern.

It was obviously just for show. I could see the deep cracks all over her armor. The eye swollen and bleeding. She wouldn’t last much longer.

Rudy’s hand hovered over her Pokéball. “Tyranitar, are you—?!”

“*Fine,*” the rock-type growled. “*Worry ‘bout the others.*” She glanced over her shoulder, but she wasn’t looking at us—her gaze was firmly on Latias. The dragon’s eyes were closed, and a healing glow washed over her, mending the blackened patches of skin and feathers. Then she thrust both arms forward and the same glow poured over Tyranitar. The bleeding stopped. Cracks in the armor slowly filled…

Wait—Latias could heal others? Not just herself!

Tyranitar blinked in surprise. Then the corners of her mouth turned up slightly. She let out a roar before swinging her tail at the ground, tearing our more chunks of rock to use as ammunition while Latias darted around her, deflecting as many attacks as possible. How could it have taken us this long to realize that those two were the perfect duo in this situation?

The battle raged on around them, too many details to possibly take it all in. I saw Darren recalling the fainted Weavile and sending out Golduck. Rudy spraying down Nidoking with a potion. Tyranitar enduring high-pressure waterspouts until Chibi and Raichu took the entire water squad down with a tag team lightning strike—both of their fur standing on end from a Lightning Rod charge. The ground-types, where were the—

Trapped. All of them trapped. Aros and Jet had combined their Whirlpool and Sand Tomb into a sprawling quagmire of mud (I’d never taught them how to do that!) and held them there while the Magmas’ fire-types poured flames onto them nonstop.

How long had we been at this? I had no idea if we were too late. No idea if the Rockets already had the orb. But we had to keep going until—

Darren tapped my shoulder. “Hey, enough of them are down that it’s probably safe for us to teleport over to the door.”

What? I peeked around the edge of the drill, and—he was right. The Rockets’ lineup was completely scattered from splitting their attention between Latias and Tyranitar, while also fending off blows from our teams and the hail of attacks from the Magma Pokémon. At this point we finally had a clear view of the doorway that led out of the cavern, now almost entirely unguarded.

Almost as if she’d sensed what we were planning, Courtney said, “Go. Help Maxie. We’ll hold them off.”

I snapped my head toward her. “Are you guys gonna be alright?”

“Help our leader!” she snapped.

I nodded and recalled everyone except Chibi before calling out, “Time to go!”

The hybrid fired one last bolt at the opposition before dashing across the torn-up earth, dodging several rocks along the way. He leaped onto my shoulder and I grabbed Alakazam’s hand, and then everything dissolved into a vortex of light and color, reforming seconds later into a darkened hallway.

A nearby Rocket spun around and was about to call for his teammates, but a single jolt from Chibi and he went down. Seconds later, there was another flash as Alakazam reappeared with Rudy. A few more seconds and it was Darren’s turn, and we didn’t waste a second. The three of us took off sprinting in the opposite direction, the sounds of the raging battle slowly fading behind us.

Tabitha hadn’t said where exactly their leader’s office was, but the first turn on the left led to a pair of large, important-looking double doors. This had to be it. I pushed the doors open to reveal a short passage with more magma tubes lining the walls. The floor was almost completely covered in scorch marks. There’d been a battle. Dark masses littered the ground all around, but I couldn’t tell what they—oh geez. I screwed my eyes shut, but couldn’t block out that smell. Charred flesh. I opened my eyes a crack. Honestly couldn’t even tell if they were Rockets or Magmas. My stomach clenched up, and I closed my eyes again until we reached the end of the hall.

When I next opened them, we were there—standing in front of us stood the doors to the leader’s office. My ears caught the sound of voices from the other side:

“I’m not going to ask again. Give me what we came here for or I’ll burn this entire place to the ground.” My heart skipped a beat. I recognized that voice.

“I know very well why you want it. I’ve used it myself for that very purpose. I will not allow anyone else to repeat my mistakes.”

“You have no idea what you’re dealing with.”

A wave of tension flooded my body, and Chibi’s paws clenched my shoulder reassuringly. I closed my eyes, inhaling deeply. Then I went ahead and released Stygian once more. Rudy let out Nidoking and Raichu, while Darren opted to go with Golduck and Sandslash.

I made eye contact with Rudy and Darren. This was it.

We pushed open the doors to reveal a large, red-carpeted office. There’d been a battle. More scorch marks marred the walls and floor; large stones were lodged into the side of an overturned desk. To our left was a short, slender man wearing a long red overcoat and a stoic expression, standing behind an enormous Camerupt. To our right, the Rocket executive I’d fought yesterday. Her Flygon wrestled with a Mightyena while Kabutops—that Kaputops, I noted, feeling an uncomfortable lurch in my stomach—slashed at a Crobat that was relentlessly fluttering around, trying to get at the executive directly.

Just Raven and her team. No other Rockets. She must have ordered the others to stay behind and prevent the Magmas from coming to their leader’s aid. That, or… back in the hallway…

Both of the two noticed us at the same time, turning in surprise. The Magma leader tilted his head ever so slightly, looking perplexed. The Rocket executive’s eyes widened. “You again?!”

Not wasting a second, Chibi leaped forward sent a Thunderbolt right at Raven, but her Flygon darted into its path at the last moment, smirking as the lightning coursed harmlessly across his scales.

Chibi’s claws gripped my shoulder. “*Dammit. That was my last bolt,*” he muttered.

What? He was out of power? In retrospect, I should have realized that—he’d been expending energy like crazy back in the cavern melee. Still, we had the advantage here—Stygian, Raichu, Nidoking, Alakazam, Golduck, and Sandslash out, with half our teams still in reserve. Raven glanced back and forth between us and Maxie, clenching her teeth in a wide-eyed rage. She had to realize she was outmatched. Her hand flew to a belt pouch and whipped out a Pokédex, pressing a few buttons on it.

“I didn’t want to do this. This is your fault,” she hissed, pointing at us. What? What was that supposed to—

A purple Pokéball materialized from the Pokédex’s transfer port. My jaw fell open. A Master Ball. Why did she have a Master Ball? We’d freed Moltres! Who—?!

She opened the ball, unleashing a burst of light. And then my stomach plummeted through the floor when that light formed into a huge, auburn beast. Blank, mindless eyes stared at us from a brightly colored face. Huge blue paws stamped the ground, radiating shimmering waves of heat.

Entei. She had Entei. The three of us had fought our way here, and now we had to fight Entei.

“The orb. Now,” Raven said.

Maxie’s calm demeanor had slipped, and he was now visibly sweating, staring down the volcano beast. Camerupt let out a snort and took a few steps forward, its movements shaky but its eyes unyielding.

Then, in the midst of it all, I just barely caught the sound of Darren hissing, “Alakazam!” under his breath. It took a second, but then I realized—the Master Ball, it was right there, we could steal it, we could—

Raven pointed at the psychic before he could even raise his spoons, and Entei immediately spat a fireball directly into his face. Alakazam’s eyes went wide right before it struck him dead-on, right in the chest. With a weak, sputtering cough, he sank to the floor almost instantly.

“Not this time,” Raven muttered darkly.

With a few more button presses, the Master Ball vanished. Deposited back into the online Pokéball storage, most likely. Then she signaled to Entei. The beast drew itself back, gathering flames in its throat. I stared at it in horror as Darren frantically scrambled to hold a revive crystal to Alakazam’s forehead, even though there was no way it would work in time. Chibi had run over to Raichu, holding a paw against her cheek as sparks rapidly coursed between them. Not enough time. Not enough—

Wait. Had I seriously forgotten our best defense?!

“Latias!” I cried.

She was still back in the cavern, helping the Magmas. She wouldn’t hear us, she wouldn’t make it in time, there was no way—

I was wrong.

Latias shot into the room overhead, firing a mist ball right into the fireball’s path. The two exploded in a wave of steam and sparks, and when it cleared, Latias was hovering lightly in front of us, facing down the volcano beast.

Raven stared at the jetlike dragon with a look of disturbed fascination, but then her gaze hardened. She signaled something else to Entei, and the legend opened its jaws wide, gathering a ball of black, shadowy aura in its mouth. Wait—Shadow Ball?!

Latias’s eyes went wide. She brought her claws together, gathering psychic energy between them, but she wasn’t fast enough. Entei fired. The Shadow Ball struck her right in the chest, knocking her flying back. With a weak cry, she crashed against the wall hard and sank to the floor, looking dazed. My heart curled inward. Just how many attacks had she been taking to protect everyone back there?

Raven turned back toward Maxie, glaring. “I warned you.” Then she snapped her fingers, and her Pokémon encircled her, taking defensive stances. The air around Entei started to shimmer. Blue embers flared up within its long, shaggy coat. I felt a wave of cold dread come over me. Something told me we weren’t going to like what was coming.

“Get back, everyone!” Rudy shouted. Stygian, Raichu, Nidoking, Golduck, and Sandslash all gathered together, preparing to use Protect. Then he turned toward the Magma leader and added, “You too!”

Maxie blinked at him, too stunned to respond, but his Camerupt shoved him over to us while Mightyena and Crobat joined our Pokémon’s defensive line. Suddenly a wall of light—larger, sparkling, more transparent than a Protect—surrounded us. I glanced back at Latias, whose eyes were shut in concentration. All of the Pokémon on our side raised their Protect shields at once.

The embers in Entei’s coat burst into full flame. Then it stamped the ground, and the room exploded.

Even through the Light Screen, even with that many Protects blocking the flames, the heat was beyond overwhelming. I clenched my teeth hard, covering my face with both arms as the sweltering air rushed over me. I could feel the skin starting to burn. I could hear the telltale spark of Protect shields flickering, about to shatter. My mind immediately visualized it—all of us, consumed by unrelenting flames, flesh melting, bones charred—

No—no, it had to stop before then. If it went on too long, Raven and her own Pokémon would be incinerated. It had to stop before their defenses ran out. It had to.

Finally, the air settled. Through closed eyes, I could tell that the blinding brightness was gone. The heat lingered, but it was weaker. Tolerable. Slowly, I opened my eyes a crack. The entire far side of the room—everything beyond our protective wall—was just gone. Incinerated. The walls were scorched black and warped from the intense heat. The banner hanging from the back wall had turned to ash, revealing what looked like the door to a safe. Raven’s attention snapped to it. She pointed it out to her beast, who obediently walked forward, stepping over what had once been Maxie’s desk, now reduced to scorched, ashen hunks. With fangs glowing like hot iron, Entei tore into the safe, ripping the door from its hinges. Raven proceeded to reach a gloved hand inside, pulling out a glossy, translucent red sphere.

The orb. There it was. And if we didn’t think of something within the next few seconds, the Rockets were going to have it.

“Do it now!” a voice hissed.

I whirled around to see Darren… staring very intently at nothing. I blinked cluelessly. What was he—wait. Alakazam was gone. Had he been recalled, or…?

“Darren…?” I asked slowly.

A burst of shimmering light and suddenly that space was far from empty. I jumped back, jaw hanging open. A fresh wave of heat radiated outward as Moltres was crammed into the corner of the room, wings folded, neck craned down to avoid hitting the ceiling. And in front of it stood Alakazam—eyes half-lidded, barely standing, and covered in burns… but conscious. He gripped both spoons in trembling claws, the tiniest trace of a smug grin playing at the edge of his muzzle.

He’d managed to teleport Moltres.

Maxie blanched, taking a step back. His Camerupt stared open-mouthed. Raven glared murderously. Moltres had been hers, and we’d stolen it.

Moltres really couldn’t maneuver in here at all. And it would be difficult for it to let loose any flames without incinerating the rest of us. Still, there was something undoubtedly intimidating about being cornered with Latias on one side and Moltres on the other. The firebird opened its mouth, letting flames lick the edges of its beak threateningly.

“We got what we came for,” Raven hissed, recalling her team and leaping onto Entei’s back. She pointed forward, and suddenly the beast was charging right for us. I threw myself out of the way, landing awkwardly on my side and throwing a frantic glance over my shoulder just in time to see the volcano beast barrel straight past us and through the open doorway. They weren’t attacking—they were escaping.

“Take me outside now!” Moltres demanded, slamming a talon against the floor. “They had an airship parked at the entrance to the base. If we do not follow them now, we could lose them.”

Rudy clenched both fists. “Then I’m coming with you!” he yelled, running over.

His patron drew itself back in surprise. “What?”

“I’m your chosen, aren’t I?” he said forcefully. “If the Rockets try to catch you, someone’s gotta get in their way.”

Moltres chuckled to itself. “Very well. We shall pursue the enemy together.” It leaned forward and Rudy vaulted onto its neck. Then the legend turned to us and barked, “Take us out!”

Alakazam blanched. Darren had been spraying him with potions, but he still looked just about ready to pass out. Still, he raised his spoons, screwing his eyes shut and clenching his teeth, and in a few seconds, the three of them flickered once, twice, then finally vanished. Seconds passed in silence with Darren intently watching the spot where they’d left. Then Alakazam reappeared and immediately fell forward onto his face.

“Sorry ‘bout that, bud.” Darren said, recalling him.

“Should we go after them?” I asked, picking myself up from the floor. We couldn’t let the Rockets take the orb, but picking fights with a Legendary was just about the stupidest move possible. I glanced back at Latias. The dragon was silent, resting on the floor, eyes closed as a healing glow washed over her body.

Darren sighed, staring at Alakazam’s Pokéball. “We’d never make it in time. And I’m not too sure any of our Pokémon could keep up with an airship. This is on Rudy and Moltres now.”

Footsteps echoed down the hall behind us. I immediately tensed up, but then Courtney and Tabitha burst through the door into Maxie’s office, panting hard and out of breath.

“The intruders are... retreating!” Tabitha managed between gasps for breath. Then his eyes flew open when he noticed the state of the office. “W-what happened here?! Leader Maxie are you alright?!”

And that was enough to finally pull Maxie from his stupor. He blinked a few times, Camerupt nudging his side, until he finally managed to say, “They took the Orb.” His eyes wandered across the destroyed office before finally settling on me and Darren. “Why was that group after it in the first place? Are they really trying to follow the path that I so foolishly chased two years ago?”

“Not… exactly,” I said, wincing. “They’re only trying to recreate the Hoenn crisis so they can capture Groudon and Kyogre.”

Maxie paused, processing this information with a look of distaste. “Why is a group of children the ones to inform us of this?” he asked dryly.

I put a hand to my forehead. “Look, it’s a bit of a long story, but we’ve dealt with Team Rocket before. We spent literal months infiltrating their bases and crap.”

“That, and you seem to have enlisted the help of the guardians yourselves.” He nodded toward Latias. The dragon ruffled her feathers and turned away shyly.

The leader of Team Magma turned to walk away from us, folding his arms behind his back. “I certainly don’t want to see that disaster repeat itself. Not after everything it took to put things right again. However…” He turned around, fixing us with a very serious look. “It has taken too long to get the Magma group on its way to being a respectable organization, and, understandably, the public still does not fully trust us, even if we have the backing of the champion.” He sighed, running his hand along a display cabinet that had miraculously escaped Entei’s blast. “I would prefer to keep us out of this.”

I opened my mouth to speak, but then froze. I hadn’t exactly implied that I wanted him to get involved, but… wasn’t preventing another crisis just as relevant to their interests as ours?

I struggled to find the right words. “Wouldn’t… wouldn’t opposing the Rockets now look better?”

“There is also… much to attend to here,” Maxie said slowly.

My eyes traced the walls of his scorched office. And then my mind drifted back to the rest of the base. The no doubt countless injured people and Pokémon…

I exhaled slowly. “Yeah… that’s fair.”

“I’ll go. In your place.”

I don’t think anyone was quite expecting that. Slowly, we all turned to look at Courtney, who was staring at Maxie with a look of cold resolution.

Tabitha glanced back and forth between the two, looking flustered. “Oh! And I shall accompany her, of course!” he hastily added, stepping forward alongside her.

Maxie considered them for some time, then finally sighed and removed his glasses, popping out a multicolored stone that had been embedded in the rim.

“Take this. You’ll need it.” He walked over to Courtney and dropped the stone into her palm. She stared at it in shock, glancing up at him as though asking if he was serious. He nodded. Then she slowly curled her fingers around it, nodding softly in return. I had no idea what that was supposed to be, but it obviously carried a large importance for the two of them.

Maxie straightened, turning back toward us. He laid eyes on Latias, and a curious expression crossed his face—something between intrigue and guilt. “I never did get to apologize for before. Though perhaps no apology could suffice.”

Latias closed her eyes. “*That time is behind us,*” she replied softly.

Right, she’d fought back against Team Magma to save her home once before. This reunion had to be a bit awkward for both of them.

Maxie’s gaze was on me and Darren again, and his expression was back to the same stoicism as before. “You lot look exhausted.”

“We’re fine,” I replied automatically, even if I could feel exhaustion creeping up on me now that the adrenaline was wearing off. “We’ve got to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to the Blue Orb.”

“It will do no good to rush into a conflict unprepared,” he said firmly. “Take a moment to recover your stamina.”

“Team Rocket is infiltrating the Aqua base right now,” I said exasperatedly.

But Maxie was steadfast. “The Aquas won’t fall to them so easily—they’re more formidable than that.” The corners of his mouth curled up ever so slightly. “Trust us—we’d know.”






~End Chapter 41~

Next Chapter: The Aquas are prepared to take on most of the Rockets' Legendaries. Except that one.
 

Virgil134

PMD Writer
Partner
weavile
Chapter 13

Everyone on the Rebellion was silent as Stalker carefully considered the mission report. He paced back and forth in front of us in deep concentration.

“I think…” he finally began, making everyone hold their breath, “you all did well.”

An audible sigh of relief swept throughout the crowd, myself included. I didn’t know why I’d felt so nervous. We’d succeeded. And how would Stalker know exactly which of us hadn’t done much? Even he wasn’t that good.

Stalker chuckled a bit under his breath upon seeing our reaction. “I’d already heard the Rockets’ story of what happened. I just wanted to hear it in your words.”
Stalker is such a kidder.

“After several days of spying on them to find out the right time to strike, we expertly infiltrated the—”

“We had the access codes,” another rebel cut in flatly.

“That’s still infiltrating!” the storyteller yelled, face turning red.
Heh, I love this little sequence here. It shows that despite how serious their mission is they really are still kids.

it’s the most important move you'll ever learn—Protect
Ooh, I really like this given how prominent Protect is in my own writing. It has so many practical applications outside of battle that it’s just a must have for large teams. Especially when you're not just fighting in typical League style battles.

Seriously? He’d gotten a Larvitar? I mean, in a way I kind of expected Team Rocket to be selling rare and valuable Pokémon, but… Larvitar?


“You guys were gonna be given out as Game Corner prizes, but then a few members of our team… rescued you and now… we’re your new trainers? If you want?” I finished lamely.

“*What?*”
Oh my god, Jade XD

“Number thirty-six is the big one. Their most groundbreaking experimental Pokémon yet. And almost all the info on it is being kept completely hush. I need someone to get inside the room where it’s being kept and copy all of its data, especially regarding what its power is like, and whether or not they’ll be able to control it like they did the other experiments. Number nine is currently being used to test Legendary control technology, so getting it out of there will be additionally helpful for us, because controlling Legendaries is one thing we do not want them to be capable of.”
Experiment 36 is Mewtwo. Calling it right now.

Shadow Claw for Firestorm
> Teaching a physical move to a special attacker

Jade, why you do this.

The two of us stepped outside, and as always, I was never ready for the burst of warm, humid air that hit even at this time of night. It was probably my least favorite thing about Midnight Island, and it made me miss the cool, breezy nights in Viridian.
I’m guessing Jade’s not really the type to go on vacation to warm places, huh?

“I’ve got this,”
Top 10 things said before disaster

I was a kid with only two Pokémon completely surrounded by adults in the shadiest place imaginable. Why did I think this was a good idea again?
This part here does make me wonder why Stalker didn’t insist she’d go in with at least two others. Jade doesn’t seem like she’s far enough in her training yet that she can already go on dangerous solo missions like this.

The main lobby looked just as fancy as the casino above it, with black and white tile floors, large monitors along the walls, and plenty of gold-painted statues of Pokémon decorated throughout.
I really like the description here. I can paint a pretty clear image in my head of how the lobby looks like.

Though where are the spinny tiles?!

Three Pokéballs. Two of them normal. One of them black like Chibi’s ball had been. Could it be him? What were the odds?
It’s funny, because Jade is right underneath a casino XD

I’d barely registered what I was looking at before it rushed me headlong and tackled me to the ground, knocking the Pokéball from my hand. My back slammed to the floor, sending a jolt of pain up my spine and knocking the air from my lungs, and then I immediately found myself faced with the razor edge of its scythe poised just inches from my throat.
Hey Jade, how’s that solo mission working out for you?

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“*This was the first time I’ve been let out of my ball by anyone other than my handler,*” the mantis said simply. “*He carries a device that resonates with my mind. All the experiment handlers do. It’s how they control us.*” He paused. “*The same thing happened to all the hybrids except Chibi.*”
Huh, interesting how this works exactly. Is definitely something to keep in mind for later.

Chapter 14

I gotta say, your art has really improved over the years! Don’t get me wrong, the chapter art here looks good, but you can definitely see that you redid the first 13 at a later point.

Absol snorted. “*You must be new here.*”

“*Wonder how long it’ll take for that optimism to get crushed,*” Flygon added, leering.
Okay I know I gave Jade shit for going on this mission solo, but can someone please put these two back in their balls already. xD;

That said, I wonder how they all know each other so well. I doubt Team Rocket ever gave their experiments time to just hang out and socialize with each other.

He tapped a claw against the button of his Pokéball and dissolved in a beam of red light. Absol followed suit right after him.
Aaaaand stay there!

Flygon flipped the closest table straight at the door, sending a wave of electronics flying around the room, crashing into monitors.
Not gonna lie, I’m having a hard time imagining this just casually happening. Especially since it’s revealed that aside from being a clone he’s just a normal Flygon. Maybe Flygon using an attack here would have made more sense? Since you’d still accomplish the same thing.

As it stood right now, I had to keep up the appearance of a Rocket at all cost.
Wouldn’t her cover be screwed even if she does escape Celadon because of security cameras?

Had he seriously just done that?
My thoughts exactly lol. I guess I’ll chalk this one up to different headcanons or something.

“Stop right there!” I yelled with as Rocket-like a tone as I could manage.
Now this was very clever. Smart thinking, Jade!

Flygon and Absol glanced back at each other and nodded before they both melted into shadow, slipping under the Rocket lineup, reappearing on the other side, and rounding the corner.
Wait, how are they doing this?

I stared, unable to work through what I’d just seen. I kept blinking, expecting I’d just imagined it or something.
I know right? The way they both somehow disappeared into sha-

They’d left me behind? Had that seriously just happened? Why? I’d trusted them.
Wait, that’s what you’re surprised about? Come on Jade, you just pretended to be a Rocket chasing after them and were getting away fine with. Of course they’d do what works best for them next.

Before I could finish, the Charmeleon had gone and touched Chibi with his tail flame. The Pikachu sprang into the air with a pained cry, clutching the scorched fur on his back.

I shot the fire lizard an incredulous glare. “Really, Firestorm?”

“*You wanted him to react,*” he mumbled defensively.
Bwahaha wow XD

“Heya, kiddo. What do you think you’re doing in our base, huh?”
It was at this moment, that Jade knew, she fucked up.

“Lucky me! They’re both poisoned!” the Rocket sang.
… The Groyvle is one of the hybrids, isn’t it?

That said, I thought it was a pretty fun battle. Not so much for Firestorm and Swift of course, but you know. :p

The lights blinked a few times as the two devices swapped info, then my screen displayed a message that I had added Stracion Decora to my contacts.
I like Stracion already. Definitely looking forward to seeing more of her in the future. Jade got incredibly lucky here though. If Stracion would have been any other officer Jade would have been fucked.

The Pikachu blinked, looking taken aback. Then something like realization crossed his face. “*I’d forgotten how many stupid questions you like to ask. Yes, I’m with you.*”
Ay, the team’s back together. Good to see Chibi’s still as much of an edgelord as always. XD

But these chapters were pretty fun! I think the Celadon arc is off to a good start as well. I know I made some jokes earlier about Jade going about this alone, but meta-wise I kinda like it! Adds a good amount of suspense since she’s more vulnerable than when she is in a team, plus it’s a good for character development™. I will say that the Flygon and Absol came across as kinda unlikable. Not sure if this was meant to be this way or not, but I'll see how they develop over the next few chapters before judging them too hard.

Will look forward to seeing how it continues!
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/them/their
Partner
purrloin-salem
Hi Chibi! I actually read chapters 5 and 5.5 a few weeks ago, but I got sidetracked before I could read on or review. Gonna drop my review now before the memory of them stops being fresh.

Wow! I think this was the first actual breather we've had since the opening. We needed it.

Wonderful art as always. Even if I didn't already know Chibi was to become a staple character, I think it would be a forgone conclusion that he'll join the anti-Rocket efforts. It's simply that he's a broody, moody son of a gun who can't or won't communicate as much until the last second. Meanwhile, it's interesting to me how different the characterisation is for the pokémon we've seen so far and the limits of communication between them and the humans. Firestorm strikes me as not particularly contemplative, given his straightforward attitude towards being caught and his frank assessment of Jade's communication concerns. She seems like a practical learner and I'm glad to see her making an effort, even if Firestorm is dismissive of the problem. Meanwhile, Swift seems to fit the "pet" archetype more than the other two. Excited to see how the team grows.

The overall vibe for this chapter is one of seeing grey skies and anticipating rain, yet walking out without a raincoat on all the same. I want to celebrate Jade's progress as a character and her decision to commit to a heroic objective, but she seems outmatched, naive, and ill-prepared. Is this the dawn of the "fight against impossible odds" Chibicore vibe I've heard so much about? Sure seems like it.

As for "5.5" - I really liked that for once the "admitting to doing something forbidden" scene doesn't go absolutely terribly. Pretty fresh to have a parental figure make a concession to their child's dreams while still laying down some expectations instead of just shutting the whole thing down and severing ties. I wonder if this means there'll be ongoing communication between Jade and her mum? I also like that even though, having followed Jade through her experiences so far, it makes total sense for her to commit to this, she still sounds pretty daft explaining her plans to someone. It's entirely believable and a reminder of the more mundane risks at hand, let alone the more serious danger she's getting into, while still being pretty funny.

Looking forward to reading more!
 
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