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Pokémon 2/3

Chapter 2

RJR Basimilus

Arceus is nice I suppose...
the Lovely Planet
  1. arceus-fighting
  2. lurantis
  3. arceus-poison
  4. haxorus
Edit: Edited to be less bad. It's still bad probably, but "lessly" so.
Edit 2: I changed the title because I didn't like it
Edit 3: I didn't like that one either so I changed it one more time
EDIT 4: I like this name
edit 5: I want to add a description or something! No promises though That's not a description dummy
EdiT 6: I've been writing this for like 2 years and I decided to make a cover art. Fair warning, I'm a photoshop enthusiast first and an artist second. Which is to say, I don't know a thing about art. Oooh welllll.
Edit 7: Had somewhat of a spiritual moment, now editing is cool. Just fixed up the first chapter a bit and will do the others soon. Wow, I had no idea what I was thinking when I first was writing this.

Edit 8: I don't want to bold anymore. I made a new cover art since the other one stopped working. I doodled a couple of characters, hopefully it'll stay put this time?
Edit 9: Revamped the entire first chapter and working on others for clarity purposes. Also introduced like, 2 new characters.
EDIT 10: 11/30/21 New Cover art yay!
Edity 11: 6/23/22 new cover art! It's mysterious!

Rated M for meanness and bad evil violence and me cursing. On a serious note, content warning for blood, significant violence and injury.

This is a story I've been writing here, I like it a lot, kind of. I'm not a particularly thorough author, I just want to have fun! But like, don't take that as a laissez-faire admission that I don't care about stuff or whatever, because I do, but I'm still a hobbyist at most so don't count on me to be very profound. Advance notice, I haven't actually read my first chapters in like a year (as of 11/20) so I don't even remember what happens in them for the most part, but I want to try and go back at some point. (Ha, I'm going back through now.) I've been doing this for 3+ years?????

Err '

Synopsis: A lonely Haxorus meets a strange pokemon named Arceus with no memories. They have no one but each other, and they have nothing to lose. Finding out the truth might be a lot harder than it seems though!

2022 Cover.JPG

Chapter 1: There was a Small Annoying Thing in the Path

“I am immortal, untouchable, eternal. No one can kill me, let alone harm me. Do you relish the fantasy of victory so much that you would throw away my mercy for your heroics?”

There was a long pause as the hero worked on a suitable retort.

“Your mercy is meaningless compared to true peace! No one would live happily under a mint.”

The mint stared down the hero. “Bold words from a frail, sweet, piece of caramel. Do you know what makes everyone happy? How to satisfy every need equally and without bias? I doubt that.”

“Yes but- well, that is a good point.”

The Haxorus leaned on the brick wall, squinting in the sunlight. In one claw, he held a striped mint, in the other, a dark chocolate caramel nougat. Turning the mint over repeatedly, he took a long breath, deep in thought. He was alone in a small courtyard, a chest height brick wall running up against the tall building he was leaning against, topped with a pointed roof that sloped downwards.

“You cannot guarantee peace,” the Haxorus said in a low voice, bobbing the mint up and down. “No one can.”

He stopped, staring up for a moment. Guarantees are the boldest lies, he thought, making a face.

The Haxorus looked back down. “I believe in trying anyway,” he said again, this time in a higher voice while moving the nougat. “I... I might fail, but I would let everyone down otherwise.”

The Haxorus paused, trying to imagine how to continue. His arms fell to his sides as he idly chewed his tongue, staring at the sky. Abruptly something felt wrong, and he looked down to see he had accidentally dropped the chocolate in the dust.

“Ack!” Nearly falling over, he swiped the fallen piece of candy off the ground, blowing on it quickly before popping it in his mouth.

As he swallowed, he grimaced. “Ugh, I wanted to save that.” Glancing at the mint he still held in his other claw, he shrugged and ate it, shuddering at the bitter taste.

“I suck at storytelling,” he said quietly to himself, his shoulders sagging.

A rustling sound caught his attention. Standing up straight, he walked over to the wall, peering over it at the road nearby. A strange pokemon was stumbling about as if drunk. Its white fur gleamed in the sunlight as it stood unsteadily on four spindly legs tipped with gold. The most striking feature though was the massive half circles attached to its torso, a golden ring that extended outwards from its belly.

As the Haxorus watched, the other pokemon swayed from side to side, green eyes blinking in the sunlight. Hesitantly stepping forward, the pokemon lurched sideways, having lost its balance. The Haxorus winced as it fell to the ground, legs flailing wildly.

“Are- are you okay?” he shouted, waving at the other pokemon.

“I don’t know,” it replied. The Haxorus realized it was a telepathic response, hanging in the air unnaturally.

He waited a moment before talking again. “Do you need me to help you?” The Haxorus started to move slowly around the edge of the wall, watching the other pokemon curiously.

“Umm, yes please.” The pokemon staggered to its feet, turning to meet the Haxorus. “I can’t see well, there’s dust in my eyes.”

The Haxorus hurried over, wrapping an arm around the other pokemon’s neck. “Here, let me guide you.”

The pair carefully made their way into the building, the Haxorus guiding the other pokemon.


The inside of the building was cavernous, stretching high up and far back. The craftsmanship however was lacking, rough wooden beams unevenly spaced across the ceiling, some tilted slightly in one direction or another. There was an open spot along the back wall that looked like it was supposed to hold a bell, a short length of chain hanging idly.

The Haxorus gingerly rubbed the white pokemon’s face with a small cloth, holding it carefully between its claws. It seemed to have no mouth, only its eyes and two small circles that the Haxorus assumed were its cheeks. Two lines ran horizontally across its face, dividing it into thirds.

“There you go, that should be better,” the Haxorus said with a smile, stepping back to get a better look at it. “So how did you end up this far out? Long way from the city you know.”

The creature blinked and was silent for a moment. “I don’t know really, I just remember the dust.”

The Haxorus looked concerned, “Does that mean you don’t remember before that?” He thought for a moment, looking away. “Better question then, what’s your name?”

“Uhm, uh, it’s Arceus.” The reply was hesitant.

“That’s a nice name, do you not like it?” the Haxorus asked, watching Arceus carefully. “On that note though, I’m Mallys, nice to meet you.”

“Ah,” Arceus said, nodding. “Thank you Mallys. And er, I think my name is fine.”

Mallys shrugged. “It’s nothing. The least I could do for a stranger.” The Haxorus relaxed, the tension leaving his body. “Back to the first question though. Are you sure you don’t remember anything noteworthy?” He paused. “Besides your name of course.”

“Not really.” Arceus looked away awkwardly, scraping the floor with one hoof.

Mallys wasn’t sure how to respond. The Haxorus stared at Arceus, slightly unnerved. “What are you going to do now?”

“I don’t know,” said Arceus. “Where is this?”

Mallys sighed. “I suppose I should have expected something like that. Did you get drunk recently perhaps?” He grimaced. “On second thought, you probably wouldn’t remember that either.”

Arceus looked uncertain. “I- I guess not. Do you think you know why I’m here?”

Mallys looked him over before reaching out to poke Arceus’ ring. “I can’t really think of anything, but you don’t look like any pokemon I’ve seen before, so you’re probably a tourist. See, the thing is, I’ve heard of this affliction or something of tourists going into shock when the place they’re visiting isn’t what they expected.” He stopped momentarily before continuing, “That was a bit complicated. Sorry, it’s just something I thought of.”

“That’s a big conclusion to reach in a few minutes,” Arceus said.

“It’s just what I thought of,” Mallys said, “Maybe you just hit your head.”

“It makes sense though,” Arceus replied, sounding hopeful. “The tourist thing that is. What’s around here that tourists come to see?”

“If anything, the Grand Harvest Temple in the city, though it must have been a real disappointment if you wandered all the way out here,” Mallys replied. “I’ve heard it’s not really something worth writing home about. Just an opinion.”

“I... guess so.” Arceus was upset that something like that would be the case, but tried not to show it.

“Hopefully if anything, you’ll remember what happened if you go back. Before you go though, take a moment to rest, it’s better for you.”

Arceus nodded. “That’s a good idea.”

Walking a few feet away, Mallys stepped carefully around a brilliant jade statue of a huge bird in the center of the room, somehow polishing it with a greater care than he had taken with Arceus’ face. Arceus watched with fascination as Mallys’ claws moved gracefully, covering every inch of the surface with a forceful yet delicate energy leaving a complete sheen. “I don’t mind if you take a nap,” the Haxorus said softly, “Just let me know.”

“Is this a temple too?” Arceus asked, standing slightly straighter as he looked around in wonder. Unlit candles lined the walls, the cavernous ceilings creating a dull reverb. Colonnades carved from a dark wood were spaced down the length of the room, more precise and carefully arranged than the ceiling. Arceus experimentally poked one with a hoof, captivated by the detail. “It kind of feels like one.”

“Once upon a time, yes.” Mallys spoke idly as he continued to polish. “Nowadays I’m just a historic preservationist, in a manner of speaking.” He stared down, considering something.

“A temple for uh-” Arceus gestured towards the statue. “The bird?”

Mallys nodded. “Yes, the bird.” He stepped back from the statue to look it over. “This is a pokemon known as Ho-Oh.” He looked back at Arceus. “I’m a big fan. Can’t say I’m a great choice to represent them.”

Arceus could only admire the statue of Ho-Oh. It was exquisitely detailed, the curves of the talons were perfect, complemented by angular lines depicting a fearsome avian face. The feathers were separated from lifelike quality only by being sculpted out of jade, splayed outwards in a triumphant wave.

“It would be really something to meet a pokemon like that someday.” Arceus looked thoughtful. “Have you ever met Ho-Oh?”

“Not at all,” Mallys said, making a strange smile. “That’s why I said I’d make a bad representative. If I did though, I’m sure I would have some words for them.”

“How long have you been taking care of this place anyway?”

“Some thirty-five odd years, and I’d say it’s been something I would do again-” Mallys looked away. “-but I won’t say it.”

“You just said it?” Arceus was confused.

“Manner of speaking.” The Haxorus stared at Arceus for a moment. “To tell the truth, I actually built this place. Pretty cool, right?”

“I guess,” Arceus replied with uncertainty.

The Haxorus nodded. “I like to think I’m pretty ‘aesthetical’ sometimes.”

Arceus nodded. He didn’t really understand what Mallys meant but decided it was the best he would get. For a time, the two of them simply looked at the statue. As fantastic as it was, the fading daylight cast a shadow across the face, giving it a rather somber expression. In the small chapel, Arceus felt an unshakable sense that something was wrong.


For a long time, Arceus stared at the ceiling, more confused than tired. Mallys had retreated earlier to a room somewhere near the back of the chapel, leaving Arceus alone with a pile of blankets the Haxorus had brought.

What am I supposed to do? he thought. He tried to adjust his position, but his ring only left him uncomfortably awkward every time. I don’t have an answer.

Arceus slowly got to his feet. “I should go,” he said quietly to himself. He thought about thanking Mallys for at least taking care of him, but decided against it. The Haxorus probably expected him to be gone in the morning anyway.

Doing his best to avoid making a sound, Arceus made his way outside, shivering a little in the cool night air. Glancing back once, Arceus started walking, not knowing where he would end up.

“What are you up to?”

Arceus stopped. He turned to see Mallys standing a little ways away, a small smile on his face.

Mallys looked exasperated as he leaned against the green brick wall. “As far as I’m concerned, leaving in the middle of the night flies in the face of common sense,” he added. The moon was high in the sky, reflecting off the tiles on the rooftop as a lone chirp occasionally echoed around them.

Arceus was apologetic. “I didn’t want to be a hassle for you.”

Mallys shrugged. “I understand, but I can’t help but be a little concerned. Plus, with how you move around, I just want to make sure you’re careful, you know?”

“Kind of you for someone you’ve just met,” Arceus said half jokingly.

“As I said earlier,” Mallys started, “It’s the least I can do. This road is hardly traveled nowadays.” He looked bashful. “And as much as I would like to think I’m modest, it’s nice to have someone appreciate the work I do to make my little world look nice.” Something flickered across his face. “Alright, that was a bit of a lie too, I just enjoy the company.”

“Well, it’s the least I could do for someone who would help me out,” Arceus said, turning Mallys words right back at him.

Mallys smiled, yawning. “If you ever need a place to stay...” He left the words hanging in the air for a moment. “-I can accommodate if you happen to be around.”

Arceus nodded. “Maybe sometime.” With that, he walked off into the night as the Haxorus watched. The moon was only a sliver in the sky as Arceus walked, the only sounds the gravel under his hooves and the lonely chirping. ‘I guess’ he thought to himself, ‘-if this Harvest Temple was apparently disappointing enough that I had a mental shutdown, I shouldn’t expect much.’ Even as he thought this, he couldn’t help but feel a morbid anticipation for whatever it would be. Unavoidable he supposed.

Mallys watched Arceus disappear into the night. A part of him wanted to run, to go with Arceus. The Haxorus fought down his sudden desires, biting his tongue a bit harder than he’d meant to.

“Oww,” he muttered, stumbling. Recovering his balance, he ran a claw across one of the blades running alongside his head. “Wow- I’m pathetic,” he said quietly to himself.


Arceus had walked through the night, filled with energy, half excitement, half nerves. The sun was rising again as tall walls came into view. Arceus stared at the seemingly endless stretch of sun bleached stucco, broken only by a wide arch under which pokemon streamed in both directions. Arceus noted he was approaching from a side road branching off from a main thoroughfare that shot away elsewhere; one of many unkempt and downtrodden paths. Making his way through the throng, he received some glances, more so disapproving than anything else as the half-wheels along his back disrupted the flow of the crowd.

The street was lined with double story mud brick houses with grass curtains for doors. Smaller pokemon could be seen leaning out of windows, either watching the crowds below or affixing miscellaneous ornaments to strings stretching across the road overhead from building to building. The lines stretched from side to side along the avenue, hanging with formless colorful material that hung so low at points that Arceus could touch it. There was a scent of something sweet baking, for a moment Arceus almost stopped walking just to take it all in.

“Hi, do you have a moment?”

A Watchog, sidled up to Arceus, panting. A sturdy rope was tied around his midsection, securing a Pupitar against his back like a sack of flour. The Pupitar seemed to be asleep.

“Really sorry to bother,” the Watchog continued, smiling apologetically, “I’m... we’re out fundraising for disadvantaged families in Carigara. I’m Qiyoha, and this-” He gestured to the Pupitar on his back. “This is Postcard. She likes to sleep a lot, so I carry her around.”

“Oh, hi.” Arceus looked at the Pupitar, then back to the Watchog. The former was almost as tall as the latter, but Qiyoha didn’t seem to be affected by his package. “She looks heavy.”

“Yeah, she is. But I’ve gotten used to it.” Qiyoha glanced over his shoulder at the sleeping Pupitar. “Anyway, as I was saying, we’re fundraising today. Do you have anything to spare?”

Arceus shook his head. “Sorry uh, I have nothing. I’m in a bit of a rough spot myself.”

Qiyoha glanced around. “No, I understand. Everyone has their own problems.” The Watchog grinned, paws on his hips. “On the off chance, do you know anywhere or anyone that might be a bit charitable. Honestly, we haven’t had much luck lately.”

“I’m new in town too,” Arceus admitted, “But I’m headed to the Grand Harvest Temple- I think that’s the name. They might be able to help.”

“Thanks for the tip.” Qiyoha exhaled heavily. “I’ll head by later, I have to take a break.” He gestured at Postcard. “I’ve been carrying her on my back for a week straight now.”

“A week?!” Arceus was dumbfounded. “You didn’t untie her when you went to sleep?”

“And have to tie it myself again in the morning? No way. I can handle it.” The Watchog puffed himself up. “I hope she wakes up soon. It’s lonely on the road.”

Arceus stared at the Pupitar. “How long does she sleep for?”

“Depends. I think she’s saving energy to evolve.” Qiyoha made a face. “Don’t tell her I told you this, but she’s kind of a runt compared to other Pupitar.”

“I won’t,” Arceus said, thinking about how he wouldn’t likely meet them again. “Sorry again for not having anything.”

“It’s fine, it’s fine.” The Watchog waved. “Bye!”

Arceus watched the Watchog as he maneuvered through the crowd, disappearing deep into the throng.

“I hope he can get some money,” Arceus muttered to himself.

A little while later, following some directions he had been given by a passerby, Arceus arrived at the temple. A gigantic obelisk rose into the sky in the center of a modest pavilion. Directly behind it was a dome, ringed with white pillars heavily contrasting the red surroundings. Terraced steps lead up to the entrance, the white stairway covered in pokemon engaged in lively conversation as well as the occasional merchant sorting wares on ragged carpets. Arceus attracted more attention this time walking up the steps, his white and gold colors playing off the white of the stairs accidently creating an almost regal aura.

Needless to say, Arceus felt uncomfortably embarrassed.


The air in the temple was stiff. Though a breeze blew through the entrance, it seemed to disperse before it left the antechamber. Soft voices floated through the hall as Arceus entered. A lopunny wearing a yellow sash over its left shoulder hurried over to him.

“Many warm welcomes traveller to the Grand Temple of the Fourth Harvest. I am Mae Chee, a humble believer in prosperity for the world, what brings you to this sanctuary?”

Arceus hid a sheepish look, “I’m sorry Miss Mae Chee, I don’t quite know myself”.

She smiled at him, “No need for such formalities, it’s unbecoming; and it’s ok that you don’t know, guidance for the unknown is always a reason.”

Arceus nodded and made a move to go in before Mae Chee stopped him.

“Full apologies, but I must ask, do the-,” she hesitated, “ -ornaments attached to your back come off?”

Arceus looked down for a moment in thought. “I uh, I don’t know, why do you ask?”

“Oh oh, it’s not a bad thing.” Mae Chee was quick to appear apologetic. “It’s simply that this temple’s corridors are somewhat thin and I fear they may cause some crowding.”

“You don’t need to be sorry,” Arceus was quick to respond. “I get it, but I really don’t know.” He craned his head to look back at the ring. “If you want you can try.”

Mae Chee approached somewhat apprehensively. She looked at Arceus several times, reaching and retracting her paws several times. He nodded at her and she finally, tentatively grasped the outer edge and pulled. Arceus swayed slightly, but the rings did not budge.

“Ugh, damn it,” she murmured under her breath. Arceus looked strangely at the Lopunny.

She pulled experimentally a few more times from different angles and both sides before returning to face him.

“It looks like they’re firmly a part of you,” she said. “Oh well, what will be will be. Also, sorry for the uncouth language.” She shot a strained smile at him. With that, she led Arceus into the temple proper.

The walls were unusual, sharp pearly-blue surfaces that curved and jutted outwards at uneven points. Vague murals of lines and circles dotted the walls, many drawn unevenly. Aside from a few scattered pokemon that Arceus assumed to be tourists like him, the majority of pokemon inside wore similar yellow sashes in various places. The temple’s style he supposed. In one corner, a group of yellow sashes were in what looked like a prayer. Others wielded a sharp looking instrument, carving into boards of wood, the scratching sound dimly echoing throughout.

Most importantly was at the far end of the room. A large symbol was etched into the wall, an arrangement of straight lines forming an intersected triangle. Underneath it, two pokemon were having a conversation, a floating shield with two swords crossed behind it and a mass of blackness, save for a strand of white along the top. Though he tried not to, Arceus could not help but stare. At a point, the black mass turned and Arceus suddenly felt a pressure as it stared him down with a steely blue eye. Though he averted his gaze, he felt frozen in place as the two approached.

“Greetings to you.” It’s voice was smooth. Arceus was enraptured by the voice of the dark as it continued, “We do not usually play host to such exquisite looking pokemon such as yourself, so I fondly hope you can understand my immediate interest.”

Arceus was lost for a moment before coming back to himself. “Ah, I don’t look that great, I’m just a visitor, no one special.” He inwardly grimaced for sounding like a fool in front of the clearly eloquent pokemon. ”I’m Arceus, and I just came to ask a few questions.”

The dark pokemon seemed intrigued, “An unusual name to be sure, but not a bad thing.” It affixed Arceus with both eyes, “I am Darkrai, the head of this temple, and if it’s questions you have, I can answer them to the best of my ability.”

“Thank you Darkrai,” Arceus said. “It’s, well, not really an important question or anything, so sorry in advance.”

“Don’t be. We all have our own problems.”

Arceus looked at Darkrai for a moment before looking away. “I was wondering if I’ve been here some time before.”

“Here before?” Darkrai said curiously. “As in, if you have visited the temple in the past and you do not remember doing so?”

“Yes, yeah that’s it.”

Darkrai was silent for a moment. “No, you have never been here”.

Arceus looked at him in surprise, “Really? Not at all?”

Darkrai spoke directly. “There’s no way I’d forget someone like you.” He paused, grimacing. “Er, please excuse me, that came out wrong. I have never seen you before. Since that is the case-” Darkrai continued, “What precipitated the question?”

Arceus explained the entirety of the past day to Darkrai who listened intently. The entire time, the other pokemon, the shield, simply looked straight at Arceus, its gaze unwavering. Around them, the activity of the temple continued heedless of the exchange.

“A strange situation to be sure,” Darkrai said matter-of-factly. “If it is any consolation to you, I can offer the resources of this temple to assist you in undoing this affliction.”

Arceus was taken aback. “Thank you very much Darkrai, though-” he stopped, “It’s only been a day, I don’t think it will be a long term thing. It’s just an intuition, I guess?”

Darkrai simply nodded. “If you decide otherwise, my position will remain unchanged.”

Arceus blinked. “You’re very generous.”

“The harvest exists to provide for all. I would do the same for anyone because it’s simply right.”


Exiting the temple was like waking up in front of a window in direct sunlight. Arceus looked back at the temple, admiring the gleaming dome. The disparity between the exterior and interior was strikingly confusing, it bothered Arceus a little.

Taking a moment to get his bearings again, Arceus was surprised to see a flash of yellow scales, a familiar face in the plaza.

“Mallys?” Arceus said hesitantly. The Haxorus was leaning rather unceremoniously on the base of the obelisk; hearing Arceus he looked at him and waved. In one claw he held a bar of chocolate.

“You know it’s not hard to find someone like you around here,” Mallys said.

“That makes sense,” Arceus replied, looking himself over. “I suppose you just asked about something big and white.”

“Could’ve worked,” Mallys shrugged. “Actually I just asked if anyone had seen a pokemon that looked like a god.”

Arceus was incredulous, “What- You mean?” He glanced around, “I mean, I don’t think... ah.”

Mallys almost laughed, but caught himself. “Sorry, not sorry, I just asked the questions.” He looked behind Arceus at the temple. “-and it looks like the answers agreed with me.” The Haxorus stuffed the rest of the chocolate in his mouth. “I uh, thought you might need some help, that’s all.”


“I’m going to die.”

“You’re not going to die.”

“Yes, I am!” the Lopunny said. “If I have to talk like this for another year, I am going to kill someone. Are you going to let me kill someone, Darkrai?”

Darkrai blanched. “Please don’t do that Mae. I know it sucks, I have trouble doing it too. But we’re doing well, plus- we’re actually helping pokemon.”

Mae was unconvinced. “Is that what you want to do? Help others? Remember, we still have a debt to pay.”

Darkrai sighed, sitting on the edge of a bed while Mae paced around the room. The room was sparsely decorated, a single picture hanging on the wall of a muddy looking scenery.

“I know, I know,” Darkrai said despairingly, “Just hold on for a bit longer okay? I’ll make you some cheesecake later, would that help?”

The Lopunny narrowed her eyes at Darkrai, regarding him silently. “It would.”

Darkrai walked away, idly examining a bookshelf. “Remind me though, how much do we owe?”

Mae rubbed her head. “Three million plus interest to the Cobicuran mob. Given how long it’s been, I’d say that interest is worth another four million- if they’re generous.”

“It’s not that bad,” Darkrai replied. “We’re an entire continent away after all.”

“That’s how we always get in trouble,” Mae protested, “You always underestimate other pokemon.”

“That’s...” Darkrai didn’t finish. “I need to get some better pictures,” he murmured, looking away.
Mae grabbed Darkrai by his shoulders, staring intently into his eyes. “Look, I’ll be with you whether we pay up or run for the rest of our lives. Just let me do the crazy stuff. I wouldn’t be able to handle losing you.”

“Hey! I feel the same way about you,” Darkrai said indignantly.

“Yeah, well you’ll just have to manage if it happens,” Mae shot back playfully, “I can’t help dying.”


Some time later, Mallys and Arceus left the city, walking along the outer wall of the town on a quiet path in the shade of a line of trees.

“So no luck?” Mallys asked.

“Nothing.” Arceus shook his head in frustration. “I even got to ask the head of the temple-”

“Wait.” Mallys cut Arceus off with an exclamation. “You got to meet Darkrai?”

Caught off guard, Arceus took a moment to reply. “Oh, yea, yes I did.”

“Huh...” Mallys nodded to himself. “You’re lucky then ya know? I’ve heard he’s really smart, usually always doing business with dignitary types and royalty. How did you get to talk to him anyway?”

“I think he noticed me because I was staring at him.”

Mallys’ eyes narrowed. “Seriously? I mean, I could pick you out from a crowd a mile away, so I can see it, but that just sounds silly.”

Arceus sighed. “You’re the one who got the idea that I look like a god.”

“Fair point.” Mallys trailed a claw along the brick wall for a moment. “But, if he didn’t know, then we’re back to square one.”

Arceus was thoughtful. “Well if anything, Darkrai said I could use the temple’s resources I don’t remember sooner or later.”

Mallys looked at Arceus strangely, “I’m sorry, what?”

“Yea,” Arceus started, looking at the trees. “Darkrai said that they offer the temple’s help to anyone in need.”

“Then uh, why didn’t you take him up on that?”

Arceus looked at Mallys. “I mean- I think- well, I’d think the temple really has a lot more to do than help out with a minor memory problem-” Arceus was cut off suddenly as Mallys smacked him with a claw. He recoiled slightly, his face stinging.

“Idiot, what are you putting yourself down for? You literally don’t know why you ended up eating dust in the middle of nowhere.” Mallys paused for a moment. “And- and, I never even asked you what you remember before any of this happened; what do you- what did you do before this?”

Arceus couldn’t focus. “I don’t remember?” he said in a daze.

Mallys looked at Arceus, jaw agape. “So you don’t remember anything before turning up in front of where I live?” Seeing Arceus nod, he covered his face with his claws. “I don’t know what to say. ”

“You still think it could be the tourist thing?” Arceus asked, rubbing his head with one hoof.

“The what?” Mallys looked at him confused for a moment before remembering. “Right, uh, I guess?”

“I must have had the worst day then.”

Mallys had to take a moment to compose himself. He leaned against the wall as Arceus slowly sat in the grass. “Sorry for hitting you, it’s just, you know, you already were acting foolish when you left last night, and now you’re just letting this opportunity pass. What were you thinking?”

“I was thinking about it for a while,” Arceus said. “If it was really just memory lost from some disappointment somewhere, I thought maybe it would just go away after a while.”

Mallys shook his head. “I might have agreed with you if I didn’t know you don’t remember a thing. Makes me wonder if you were this thoughtless before.”

“Maybe, maybe not.” Arceus groaned. “How do you hit so hard?”

Mallys flexed a claw. “I really only wanted to give you a little smack” there was something of regret across his face. “Suppose it’s muscle memory or something.”

Not really convincing, Arceus thought to himself. Mallys probably didn’t know his own strength from living alone in the small temple for so long. “Yea Mallys, I’ll go back to see what they have.”

“Go for yourself, not for me,” the Haxorus replied, “I mean, I want to see you get better; it’s the most interesting thing that’s happened to me in a long time.”

Arceus knew Mallys was right. He felt uncertain again, he still didn’t know anything about himself, but he didn’t feel extremely concerned by the fact either.

Is something wrong?

Do I not care about myself?

Mallys watched Arceus, who looked deep in thought. “You haven’t slept since yesterday have you?”

Arceus looked up in surprise. “I- no.”

Mallys shrugged. “The temple aint going anywhere. If you don’t mind, you could sleep right there if you wanted.”

Arceus looked at Mallys for a long time, before simply nodding and spreading out on the soft grass.

Mallys was bemused. “He really doesn’t have anything to lose huh.”

The Haxorus was quiet. “Now that I think about it, neither do I.”
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Windswept Questant
I read the beginning of this story back when you posted it on Serebii, but didn't get a chance to review. I gotta admit, from what I saw, I wouldn't have guessed that this was a story about "terrible things happening to pokemon that may or may not deserve it," but now that you've said that I'm definitely intrigued! Let's have another look, then.

At times your grammar/punctuation is a little shaky. One place where this is particularly noticeable is in the dialogue. Usually when you write dialogue, if it's followed by a dialogue tag (like "he said"), it should end in a comma, and when it stands as a sentence on its own it should end in a period. There's a guide here, but I'll go over a couple of examples from this chapter as well:

“That’s not good at all, let me help you” he wrapped an arm around the other pokemon as he said this, leading it into a nearby building.
Here "That's not good at all, let me help you" is a complete sentence. "He wrapped an arm around the other pokémon..." is also a complete sentence that doesn't relate to the dialogue. In this case you want the dialogue to end in a period and the text after to be capitalized, just like you'd do for a normal sentence:

“That’s not good at all, let me help you.He wrapped an arm around the other pokemon as he said this, leading it into a nearby building.

Arceus nodded, “Maybe sometime” with that, he walked off into the night as the Haxorus watched.
Here "Arceus nodded," "Maybe sometime," and the text that come after are all their own sentences, not dependent on each other. The way to punctuate this would be to separate them all with periods and capitalize all their beginnings:

Arceus nodded. “Maybe sometime.With that, he walked off into the night as the Haxorus watched.

“Greetings to you” it’s voice was smooth.
Again, "Greetings to you" is a complete sentence, as is "Its voice was smooth." (It should be "its" here, because "It is voice was smooth" doesn't make sense.) So this should be:

“Greetings to you.Its voice was smooth.

Alternatively, you could reword this so the second part of the quote is describing how the words are being said. In that case, the dialogue and the narration afterwards depend on each other, so you would use a comma and leave things uncapitalized:

“Greetings to you,” it said smoothly.

While dialogue was the area where I saw the most consistent errors, at times you also get a bit wordy, and this can make it hard to follow what you're saying. For example:

From behind a faded green brick wall cracked with age, a Haxorus watched curiously as a pokemon he had never seen before stumbled around the road.
"Faded green brick cracked with age" is a lot of words to describe a door! Piling a lot of descriptors up in a row like this tends to read as jumbly or difficult to follow.

Thinking that it would very much reflect badly on him if he just watched, not to mention feeling a great deal of pity, the Haxorus moved a ways away to come round the edge of the wall to assist.
"Moved aways away to come round the edge of the wall to assist" is kind of a convoluted way of describing what Mallys is doing here. What really matters is that he came around the wall to help Arceus, right? I don't think you need to choreograph what Mallys is doing quite so closely in order to get your point across.

Reading sentences aloud might help to identify places where they've become convoluted; if it sounds unnatural or is difficult to say aloud without stumbling over words, it's a good idea to take another look and see if you can simplify the sentence a bit.

A couple of other small notes:

...though he had claws, it was clearly something he did often.
I'm not sure why the fact that he has claws would ordinarily suggest that didn't often polish something with a cloth.

Arceus attracted more attention this time walking up the steps, his white and gold colors playing off the white of the stairs accidently creating an almost regal aura.

Needless to say, Arceus felt uncomfortably embarrassed.
This bit definitely made me smile.

A lopunny wearing a yellow sash over it’s left shoulder hurried over to him.
Here's another case where you use "it's" when you want "its." "It's" is a contraction of the phrase "it is," so you can tell whether you want to use it pretty easily: if you replace an "it's" with an "it is" and it sounds wrong, you should be using "its" instead.

Most importantly was at the far end of the room.
"Most importantly was" doesn't really work. There's no noun for that "importantly" to attach to. "Most important was the thing at the far end of the room," maybe, or "The most important thing was at the far end of the room."

I like the hard time you're giving Arceus about his weird ring things, as well as the jokes about how regal and godly he looks while he's totally oblivious to it. One wonders whether this has always been his personality or if he'd be far less of a modest goofball if he realized he was actually a god.

I also enjoy the setting of this story. The scene of Arceus coming into town was brief but effective, and the bits of pokémon culture we've gotten thus far, down to the reverence for Ho-Oh but apparent complete lack of knowledge of Arceus, are also intriguing. If there was one complaint I had here, it would be that I wish I knew what Arceus thought of the temple after he'd gone to see it! Was it so underwhelming that he could really believe it might have shocked him into amnesia? He didn't seem to have much reaction to the place at all.

This chapter lays a solid foundation for the rest of the story. You already have a clear central relationship between Arceus and Mallys, as well as the obvious plot hook--just how did Arceus lose his memories, and how did he end up wandering around in the middle of nowhere? Further questions like how legendaries play into this setting add further layers that it will no doubt be fun to explore in future chapters--how is it that Darkrai's leading a temple and no one seems to consider him a god, Ho-Oh is divine, and no one has any idea at all what Arceus is? There are questions both about the characters and about what's going on in the world, and I look forward to seeing how they get answered--if that's the direction this story is going to go!

All in all, I think this is a fun, unusual sort of pokémon story--I don't know if it's supposed to be a PMD or PMD send-up (it starts with an amnesiac pokémon in a world of pokémon, after all, although the pokémon has no memory of being human), but even if it isn't it works well in its own right. You do a nice job of setting up story threads that make the reader excited to know more, such as, of course, Arceus' entire deal, but also with things like Mallys' Ho-Oh statue and apparent familiarity with fighting. Right now I think mechanics are what you might want to focus on the most. Cleaning up the punctuation, grammar, and so on would make your writing clearer in places and generally make for a more pleasant reading experience. Fortunately once you learn the rules it all starts to come naturally with just a bit of practice!

This is a nice start for a fanfic, and I look forward to seeing where you go with it.
Chapter 2

RJR Basimilus

Arceus is nice I suppose...
the Lovely Planet
  1. arceus-fighting
  2. lurantis
  3. arceus-poison
  4. haxorus
Here is a chapter, nothing really to see.
It's not too bad I think, but I'm wrong a lot.

Thanks for looking in the box Negrek.

Edit: 7/2021 In which I come back 2 years later and introduce an entire subplot. Until I finish adding other things I want to add in later chapters, this might seem like a forgotten lead.

Chapter 2: Acumen, Groundswell, and Dispirited encounters

There was a ringing sound. A messy clanging shattering the silence of the morning. For a few moments all Arceus did was lay still, feeling the grass against him. Slowly, he rose, blinking in the dim morning light.

Looking over, he saw Mallys in the same spot as he had been yesterday. He silently watched Arceus with half closed red eyes. There was a sharpness to them that didn’t make sense.

“Did you,” Arceus was startled. “-even sleep?”

“Yes.” The response was unconvincing in it’s singularity. “I’m just not used to waking up early,” he added, waving a claw.

Arceus narrowed his eyes, but didn’t press. “What’s that ringing sound?”

Mallys looked up into the air. “Sounds like the market bell opening for the morning.” He looked at Arceus, “You gonna head in?”

Arceus rose up, experimentally stretching each leg one at a time. “I suppose so, but-” He stopped for a moment, “Don’t you have to take care of your temple Mallys?”

Mallys smiled slightly. “It’s not the end of the world if I take a little break. You’re the most interesting thing that’s happened to me in years.”

There was a pause. “That’s right,” Arceus mused. “You said we were back to square one.”

“I suppose I might have included myself then.” The Haxorus tilted his head. “Hope you don’t mind.”

Arceus would have smiled back if he was able to. “So you’ve just been alone at the temple for that long?”

Mallys nodded. “It’s not as bad as it sounds. Thanks for the concern though.”

“How did you end up there?” Arceus asked. “You said no one really comes by- so what’s the point?”

“Do you know what an ascetic is?” Mallys made a face.

Arceus stared at the Haxorus, expectantly.

“Someone that forgoes material and excess.” Mallys paused to let Arceus process the explanation. “I’m not that. I just needed a bit of quiet to move on with my life.” He grinned sheepishly, “I had a bit of a falling out with a friend.”

“Oh.” Arceus looked away, unsure of what to say.

“Don’t worry about it. That’s in the past now,” Mallys said. “We’re here for your problems anyway, not mine.”


The walk to the temple was much more quiet in the morning. The market was off in a different part of town though the ringing continued as Arceus could hear a distant cacophony separate from the bell. The obelisk looked skewed, the sun rising directly behind it from Arceus’ perspective and as he approached, he saw a curious ritual of sorts.

Several acolytes of the temple, identified by the yellow garments they wore were congregated around a large bucket. As he watched, they threw the bucket high into the air, letting water spill out partially over a side of the obelisk, but mostly over them. He could see a heated discussion taking place as they prepared another bucket of water.

“Conventionally an exercise in futility, but the point is the effort to realize the value of such.” Arceus looked over with a jolt to see Darkrai floating next to him. The shadowy pokemon looked at him with one blue eye. “Sorry”.

“So uh,” Arceus was lost for words. “It’s like a test?”

“You could say that,” Darkrai replied. “Perhaps more cynically, one could say character building.” He motioned for Arceus to walk towards the temple with him. “It would be simple for a more aerially inclined pokemon to wash the tower in a single motion. To that end, the goal is not to clean it, but to acknowledge the ease of a united world over a divided one.”

Arceus blinked, “That’s... really deep.” At this point, a particularly strong throw had hung the bucket off the top of the obelisk and a panic had ensued below as some of the group tried to climb the monument, a task rendered difficult by their earlier actions.

Darkrai looked away, “Truthfully, it’s a lofty expectation. But that’s why it continues, an expectation is not always an impossibility.”

The sentiment flew over Arceus’ head. He nodded anyway.

“I must be honest however, it is somewhat amusing.” Darkrai rubbed his hands. “Anyway, let’s head inside.”


“The totality of your ‘forgetfulness’ is not something I can explain,” Darkrai spoke apologetically. Having heard the full extent of Arceus’ unfortunate condition, he had looked through a number of books before returning to him. They stood off to the side of the entry to the temple, watching the group that had finally managed to cover the entirety of the obelisk with water. Pokemon sat or lay in various positions around the plaza, drained from the earlier efforts.

“Huh...” Arceus felt a sinking feeling.

“That being said,” Darkrai continued, “What your friend said about the- ‘tourist syndrome’ or however it is referred, there is a chance that that could be a possibility, albeit I have never personally heard of it.”

Arceus looked at Darkrai, “What do you think I should do then.”

“This is just a theory,” Darkrai said. “It’s up to you to decide what you must do. But maybe if you continued as you had when you first came to this town, you’ll find this ‘Object of Supreme Disappointment’ so to speak.” He frowned. “It sounded better in my head.”

Arceus ran the idea through his head. “So where would I start? Where would I go?”

Darkrai looked at the ceiling. “Despite this temple being referred to as Grand, it’s hardly so compared to some of the structures in the world. I know many such places, but perhaps you should ask your friend first. I know only the place, not the surroundings; as it is I have hardly left this town in years.”

Arceus took a moment to absorb the suggestion. “I, well, I guess I have to thank you again, for everything.”

Darkrai was impassive. “I have to be frank in this regard, your plight is one of a kind to me. It’s very cruel what happened to you, and for some reason, I feel obliged to help as best I can.”

Arceus found it almost funny. “I guess that makes two now. Pokemon seem to really want to help me out.”

“I can’t say for sure” Darkrai said, “But there’s something to you, something inexplicable, but almost beautiful.”

“If you’re calling me beautiful, I guess I can take it.” Arceus didn’t really know what to think.

“If that’s how you interpret as such.” Darkrai shrugged, “I’m sure you’ll figure everything out.”


Mallys couldn’t help but laugh. “The Object of Supreme Disappointment? Oh wow. I mean, it’s serious, really serious, but can you really expect me to react otherwise?”

Arceus shrugged. “It’s my problem, and I guess if I’m going to figure it out, that’ll just be a part of it.”

Mallys looked at Arceus seriously. “Yea, you’re right.”

“So what do you suggest?”

“You mean, where would you go?” Mallys thought about it. “There’s a big sanctuary in the village of Aibai. It’s known for that kind of- uh, spiritual cleansing and stuff like that.”

It wasn’t as if Arceus needed much convincing. “It’s a start. Where is it?”

Mallys pointed with a claw. “The other way, back past where we started. It’s a few days of travel by foot.”

Arceus was undeterred. “Not like I have a better way to spend my time.”

“So you’re leaving now?”

Arceus nodded. “I’ve done this before right?”

Mallys made a face. “Right, right.”


Darkrai flipped through a book, scanning the pages as he sat in the middle of a few haphazardly arranged shelves. He heard a noise but didn’t look up.

“Is there something you need?” he asked.

“Yeah, a drink.”

Mae slapped her paws on the table, directly on top of the book Darkrai was reading.

“Well, I could go for a drink,” Darkrai mused, leaning back. “You doing okay?”

“Hardly, but I won’t complain,” Mae replied, “We’ve been worse off.”

“Mmm, yeah.” Darkrai gently pushed the Lopunny’s paws off the book, closing it. “Let’s walk. I was thinking about what we talked about, and I have some ideas.”


“Looks like everyone has left for the day,” Darkrai said, peeking around a doorway. “Come on, Mae.”

The pair walked down the hallway, saying nothing.

“So, about our debt. I think we should start preparing the payment as a backup plan,” Darkrai started, “How about selling spiritually charged iconography?”

Mae groaned. “Every day, we get closer to being unrepentantly morally bankrupt.” The Lopunny shrugged. “It’s not a bad idea, but who would this seriously fool?”

“If I underestimate pokemon, then you overestimate them,” Darkrai replied. “I guess we balance each other-”

Mae’s ears twitched. “Did you hear something?” she asked, interrupting Darkrai.

Darkrai glanced around. “No? You know my hearing isn’t that great. What did it sound like?”

“Footsteps or something,” Mae said, slowing down. She cupped one ear, listening intently.

Darkrai waited, looking slightly annoyed.

“I don’t hear anything else,” Mae said eventually. “Sorry for interrupting, uh, continue.”

“As I was saying,” Darkrai said. “The point is, we just have to make money somehow. More than we are now at any rate.” He held up a finger. “Second, we have to plan for someone calling in the debt. I’ll try to reason with this hypothetical figure, but imagine this.” He stepped away, holding his arms behind his back. “I’m being restrained and someone is threatening to kill me. This is the part you have to plan for.”

The Lopunny looked at Darkrai incredulously. “I’d promise to pay the debt, then kill them as soon as they let you go.”

“Assume I’m a hostage then,” Darkrai shot back. “Now you have to make seven million cohl by yourself.”

“I think I’ll wait until that happens to think about it,” Mae said, sighing. “Let’s just go with the first part and try not step on anyone’s toes.”

“That might be a lost cause at this point, but alright.” Darkrai looked at Mae sympathetically as they walked further down the hall. “Let’s just keep the risks small and stick together.”

Mae smiled. “Sounds like a plan.” The Lopunny looked down. “Anyway, about the numbers. What kind of timeframe can we realistically have here? The interest is adding up so we can’t just take it slow. We already have about two million or so, right.”

“Last time I checked, yes,” Darkrai replied, “If we’re going to get seven million, I think we’d have to-” he trailed off, his expression morphing into one of horror. “Who are you?”

In front of them, a Watchog was staring at a mural on the wall, a Pupitar tied to its back.

“Oh hey,” Qiyoha turned to them in surprise. “You guys run this place right? I meant to ask earlier, but I got distracted by these pictures and lost track of time.” He smiled nervously. “My name is Qiyoha, and this is my friend-”

“I swear Qiyo, are you telling everyone our full names again?” the Pupitar on his back grumbled. “I can’t sleep for a day without you forgetting something.”

“Ah, sorry Pos- Poca.” He looked back at Darkrai and Mae. “We’re fundraising for disadvantaged families in Carigara. I heard that you might be able to help.”

“Carigara?” Darkrai said uncertainly. “This is kind of a long way away for that kind of thing. Did you get lost?”

“Are you really fundraising?” Mae added suspiciously.

“Yes, of course,” Qiyoha said, crossing his arms. “Sorry if I don’t give off that impression.”

Darkrai nodded. “That’s a nice thing to do, Qiyoha, but unfortunately we don’t have anything at the moment.”

“Oh darn.” The Watchog was obviously disappointed, but he smiled anyway. “Thanks anyway.”

“Qiyo.” The Pupitar suddenly spoke, her tone commanding. “Turn around and let me talk, okay?”

The Watchog paled. “Y- Yes Poca.” He turned around so that the Pupitar tied to his back could face the other two.

Darkrai and Mae exchanged nervous glances. “Hi,” Mae said, giving a small wave.

“My friend forgets that there is a time and place to drop an act.” Postcard’s expression was steely. “You seem to have money on you, and a great reason to get more.”

Darkrai groaned. “Are you shaking us down?”

Postcard rolled her eyes. “Of course. What were you expecting?”

“Pretty bold, aren’t you,” Mae said dryly, stepping in front of Darkrai. The Lopunny glared at the Pupitar. “Don’t think you can hold our debt over us either.”

“Thanks for letting us know,” the Pupitar replied. “Qiyo, you’re up.”

“Okaaay,” the Watchog said happily, turning back around again. “As she said, we were lying. Sorry for the confusion.” Reaching down, he tugged on a loose rope, releasing Postcard from his back. The Watchog yawned loudly, stretching his legs one at a time.

“Let me handle this,” Mae said to Darkrai, assuming a fighting position.

Qiyoha sized Mae up for a moment. As she slowly approached him, he reached down, picking up Postcard and lobbing the Pupitar directly at Mae. Not expecting the projectile, Mae was bowled over by the heavy pokemon, crashing to the floor.

“Did you get her?” the Watchog called, shooting a glance at Darkrai, who remained rooted in place, staring at Mae and Postcard in horror.

“Yes, I ‘got’ her,” the Pupitar replied, hopping upright with a grunt. “Urgh, I can’t stand being like this. I can barely move.”

“You’ve done great so far. Just hold on a little longer,” Qiyoha said, walking over to Postcard. Hefting her up, he slowly secured her to his back, standing between Darkrai and Mae.

Postcard sighed. “I’m going back to sleep Qiyo. You can handle it from here right?”

“Yep, you go back to sleep,” the Watchog said confidently. He looked over at Darkrai. “You know what? How about you do that too so I can figure this all out.”

Still stunned into silence, Darkrai could barely sputter an incoherent response before Qiyoha lunged at him.


It was late in the night when Arceus and Mallys reached the small temple again. Arceus watched in the dim light of hastily lit candles as Mallys hastily polished the statue again. It looked like he was tired, his technique lacked much of the finesse he had previously and he seemed to be distracted.

“That’s that, if you’re ready we can go.” Mallys seemed content when he spoke.

“Huh?” Arceus was confused.

“We talked about this,” Mallys said lightly. “You can’t really expect to just wander around by yourself can you?” For a moment he seemed to wait for a response, but continued anyway, “You know, you don’t have a say in this, I’m coming with you.”

“O-ok. I thought you were just helping for a bit, but I guess...” Arceus trailed off.

“Anyway,” Mallys continued, “I’m not that tired right now, so let’s go. You want to go right?”

“Well yea!” Arceus regained his composure. “If you want to go, then we’ll go. But if you’re coming, you better help me.”

“That’s the plan,” the Haxous replied. As Arceus walked away, Mallys looked around the temple one more time. In a single, silent motion the Haxorus wrapped his arms around the statue of Ho-Oh, holding it tightly for a moment. Then he followed Arceus outside.


The sun was high in the sky, a perfect compliment for a breeze that didn’t exist. Arceus and Mallys were on a rock in the center of a stream, Arceus sitting in the somewhat dignified position that his rings forced upon him, while Mallys lay on his side. Arceus watched the rushing stream, counting floating branches as a few basculin gawked at him from under the water. Mallys busily chowed on a collection of berries he had picked from various trees for the last hour.

“Strange question,” Mallys said in between mouthfuls. “Do you need to eat or anything? Or since you don’t have a mouth do you photosynthesize or whatever it’s called?”

Arceus looked over at Mallys. “Beats me. I haven’t really thought about it.” Arceus looked back at the water, watching the reflection of the light off the water. “It’s probably the photo thing though.”

“You know-” Mallys threw a berry at Arceus’ head. It missed and landed in the water. “It’s probably those rings.” He drew a circle in the air with one claw. “They suck light or whatever you need in.”

Arceus didn’t know enough to disagree, so he nodded. “Anyway, how close are we?”

Mallys looked at a waterfall in the distance. “We’ve been walking for what, 3 days? Actually we’re only a few hours out.”

“Really?” Arceus sprang up at this. “We should go then.”

Mallys looked at Arceus in surprise. “Alright, let’s go.”

The definition of go was more than Mallys expected as Arceus took off in a gallop down the path. Mallys made to run after him, but tripped and fell in the water. He realized his tusks were stuck partially in the sediment of the riverbed and frowned to himself. At the very least he thought, he would catch up eventually.


The rolling hills seemed infinite, quickly tiring Arceus out. As he crested what seemed like the tallest hill yet, he could finally make out thin tree lines on the large mountain that had been looming ahead for a while. Its peak stuck out at an odd angle to the left, countless yellowish humps protruding around it. A portion of the mountain was a brilliant green, a massive forest stretching from the base to the top of one of the lower peaks, while curiously the other side was nearly bare. A mess of zigzagging terraces were cut into the side of the mountain, and small figures could be seen moving along them.

Also at the base of the mountain was a large village, presumably Aibai. Rows of buildings formed from thick wooden logs topped with a silvery metallic cover stretched outwards from a large pool that was ringed by a donut shaped building.

Mallys trudged up the hill out of breath. Stopping beside Arceus, he took in the scene. “It’s been a long time,” he said looking distant.

“You’ve been here before?” Arceus said, looking at Mallys.

“It was so long that I might as well not have. It’s probably changed a lot.”

“Then let’s see how much it’s changed.” Arceus began to walk down the hill, Mallys trailing behind.

“Where do you get that energy from anyway?” Mallys shouted after Arceus who turned back to look at the Haxorus.

“Good question,” was all he said before turning back.


Walking down the main street, Arceus could see many pokemon walking around with metallic adornments. There was a constant din as they continually shouted over each other, trying to sell various objects. An Audino competed with a Mightyena, both apparently wearing a stack of hats as they made a show of comparing materials.

“I do remember this,” Mallys spoke quietly to Arceus as they walked. “It’s an old trick, trying to sell you authentic souvenirs.” He made a face at one of the vendors who was eyeing them who backed off quickly before turning back to Arceus. “It’s not, not at all, and I don’t know how or why but I have a very good source for that.”

“I have no money, but I’ll keep it in mind.” Arceus was more focused on navigating the crowd than whatever Mallys was going on about. It was a losing battle, the crowd got thicker the closer they got to the pool. While the two of them generally towered over the crowd, Arceus could see other large pokemon having the same troubles further down the street. He looked at Mallys with wide eyes, the response was a nod.

It was almost a whole hour before they could make their way to the outer ring. Crossing to the opposing side on the foothills of the mountain, they could view the pool from a slightly elevated spot. Arceus carefully looked it over, his eyes narrow. Mallys was uninterested in the pool, watching Arceus for a reaction.

“So, disappointing huh?” Mallys said hopefully.

“It’s um-” Arceus looked for the right words. “It’s a hot spring?”

“It is,” Mallys replied. “Pretty hot from what I remember too.”

“Then where’s the spiritual cleansing part?” Arceus looked at Mallys. “Where’s the sanctuary? Or was that a personal experience?”

“No really, that’s what everyone says.” Mallys looked indignant. “You know, like mountain air is good for the body and stuff? Anyway, the spring is the sanctuary.”

Arceus said nothing for a moment, looking back at the pool. “This plus having to deal with that crowd was really annoying. But nothing’s happened either.”

“Not disappointing enough I guess?” Mallys gave Arceus an apologetic look.

“I guess not.” Arceus felt tired. “Maybe this won’t be that easy.”

“Don’t worry about it.” Mallys made a face at Arceus. “It’s like a trip, you know?”

“Some kind of trip if the goal is to have the worst time imaginable.”

“I heard someone say once that if the result is what you want then the effort was worth it.” Mallys paused. “I don’t know if I agree.”

“The result that I want...” Arceus trailed off. He realized with a start that he’d never thought of it in terms of remembering who he was. Rather, he had considered it as simply solving a problem. “I want to remember myself,” he said finally. It was unconvincing.

“You don’t sound like you want to,” Mallys said. “I think we need to take a moment to put this all in perspective. I kinda need it too.” Mallys gestured at Arceus, “Lay it out for both of us, it’s your show after all”.

“Well, I-” Arceus started.

“Actually wait,” Mallys interjected. “Don’t say well, you say that often, just own it. Be real!”

Arceus wondered for a moment what it meant to be real, but took the advice to heart anyway. “I don’t know why I am here, and I also don’t know who I was before this happened.” Arceus looked at Mallys for reassurance, the Haxorus waved a claw to continue. “Since we have nothing to go on and no leads other than your suggestion, we’re looking to find something so disappointing, it will jolt me into remembering things in the same way I forgot them.”

Mallys made a face. “When you say it like that, it sounds really silly. But, there really isn’t any other way to say it when I think about it?” Mallys kicked up dust with one foot as he thought. “It’s not that bad though, even if this trip won’t solve anything, we’ll probably run into someone who knows something eventually, right?”

Hearing Mallys say that made Arceus feel a bit better. “You’re right,” he sighed. “So what do we do now?”

Mallys looked at the sky. “It’ll be late soon, and as much as I know you’d want to go right away, I’d rather rest here tonight.” Mallys grinned. “-and to that end, I won’t tell you anything about where we could go next.”

Arceus gave Mallys the best rueful look he could manage. “I guess you have me chained to you now. I wasn’t even planning to run off just so you know, I’m tired too.”

“Now you’re being sensible, let’s go!”

“Yea, lets.” Arceus started walking, then spoke again, “Thanks as usual Mallys, I- I needed that.”

Mallys looked at Arceus, still smiling, “Don’t mention it. In fact, I should be the one thanking you.”

“For what?”

“Oh you know, just-” Mallys kind of waved his claws in the air and didn’t finish.

Arceus didn’t get it, but went along anyway. “You’re welcome then.”


Darkrai woke up with a jolt, breathing heavily as he stared at the ceiling. He didn’t feel like moving, and a small part of him wished that he was in a dream.

“Sleep well?”

Darkrai turned slightly. Qiyoha was inches away from his face. The Watchog sitting at the side of the bed.

Darkrai stared glumly at the Watchog.

“Hey-” the Watchog smiled. “This is a business relationship. Just help us with what we need, and you guys won’t get hurt.”

“What are you trying to accomplish?” Darkrai asked warily, shifting to his side so that he faced away from Qiyoha.

“Mmmmm,” Qiyoha murmured, “Wouldn’t you like to know.” He stood up, stretching. “I doubt it’s something a con like you could understand.”

The Watchog was right, but his words still stung. “Maybe not,” Darkrai replied, “But it would be nice to at least have an idea of what I’m putting all this money towards. Maybe I could even get myself to work harder.”

“Not very convincing are you,” the Watchog said. He reached over and grasped Darkrai, bodily lifting him up and setting him on his feet. “Ugh, grabbing shadows is always weird. Anyway, you should get to work. I’d let you sleep in, but Postcard likes to stay on a schedule.”

“I haven’t seen that Pupitar wake up once since you first attacked us,” Darkrai grumbled.

Qiyoha shrugged. “You work for us, fairness is irrelevant.”

“Most hostage takers aren’t so casual,” Darkrai shot back.

“You’re right.” Qiyoha reached out, gripping Darkrai’s head with one paw. “No more talking then.” The Watchog’s expression softened. “I guess you can have a little hint though. Something to think about.” Qiyoha looked up at the ceiling. “We need money for a friend.”

Qiyoha patted Darkrai on the back and walked out. Darkrai scowled at the retreating Watchog before slumping back onto the bed.

“I’m sorry, Mae,” he whispered to himself. “If they hurt you, then I’ll...” Darkrai couldn’t finish. He sat miserably in silence thinking to himself.

“Money for a friend huh? Ridiculous,” he murmured to himself.


There was a pain in Arceus’ neck. The previous night he had attempted to sleep in a different position, leaning himself against a slope. Mallys assisted in this by digging a recess for his rings to rest in and so it was. This obviously did not agree with his body and now he was paying for it.

Arceus groaned and shifted back to his normal sitting pose, stretching his neck from side to side in an attempt to alleviate the pain. He looked around blearily, Mallys was nowhere to be seen. Arceus didn’t care, he just wanted to rest more. He was able to doze off for some time, flitting in and out of sleep until suddenly he felt something cold on his head.

He blinked and was still for a moment before he started to look up. As he did this, he heard Mallys pipe up.

“Wait, wait! Don’t do that yet, let me get it off first.” Arceus froze in place as he felt Mallys gently take the thing off his head. “Sorry, I just thought it would be funny.” Arceus looked at Mallys who was holding a pair of large round objects.

“Mallys, what are those?” Arceus was curious as he slowly woke up.

“Donuts!” Mallys exclaimed. “Cold donuts that is, like chilled. It’s an Aibai specialty.”

“I don’t uh, have a way to understand it, but how do they taste?”

Mallys seemed slightly agitated. “You know that’s just the thing. I would have been fine with one, but I got two because I was thinking of you, without remembering that you couldn’t really-” He gestured with the donuts. “-eat one. But anyway, it’s a real energy booster. Sugar for days”.

Arceus nodded. “I don’t get it, but I think I can understand the sentiment.”

Mallys took a big bite out of one donut. “Anyway, when I was out earlier I remembered that there was supposed to be some kind of shrine up on the mountain; a few locals say it’s still there too.”

“Shrines, temples, pools, a lot of, uh, sacred stuff in a way-” Arceus was thoughtful. “Like, I’m thinking now, what if the thing that was really disappointing was a rock or some natural formation?”

“I get what you mean, but it doesn’t make much of a difference,” Mallys said. “We’ll just visit whatever we can get until something sticks.”

Arceus nodded again. “Sounds good. A shrine then? What kind?”

Mallys shrugged. “They didn’t specify. It’s probably something similar to the spring, good health or something along those lines.”

“Let’s go then.” Arceus looked at Mallys who nodded in return. “I think you should finish your donuts first.”
Last edited:


Windswept Questant
No travesty here! This chapter is already looking better in terms of punctuation and such things.

“I suppose I might have included myself then.”
Not sure what this sentence means, though.

Arceus looked at Darkrai, “What do you think I should do then”.
When you're writing spoken dialogue, the punctuation almost always wants to go inside the quotation marks. Here you also want a question mark rather than a period, so it would come out to, "What do you think I should do, then?"

The little washing-the-obelisk scene was fun. It's a believable challenge you could imagine acolytes being made to do in order to learn a lesson, and it's also a nice humor spot. I liked how you kind of interjected updates on what was up with the obelisk throughout Arceus' conversation with Darkrai--it was a neat scene-within-a-scene. And fun to imagine the frantic activity when the bucket got stuck on top of the obelisk and people were trying to climb it, hah.

Arceus was undeterred, “Not like I have a better way to spend my time”.
Should be a period after "undeterred" here. Same thing you did when you wrote "Mallys made a face. 'Right, right.'" That one's correct!

- It's "yeah," not "yea." So should be "Well yeah," "Yeah, you're right, I guess," "Yeah, let's," etc.

The sun was high in the sky, perfect compliment for a breeze if there was one.
Kind of a funky sentence here. Usually you'd say whether there was a breeze or not, you know? Rather than leaving it ambiguous like this.

Honestly, cold donuts sound super gross to me, but I'm not much of a donut person to begin with, so probably not the best one to ask. It's a neat touch to have a local specialty like that--again, you're doing a really nice job of the setting. The world you have here feels distinct from the PMD world as well as the world of the games, a place with its own character. And, as Arceus points out, a lot of shrines! It's rare to see these kinds of religious sites in pokémon fanfic, so it's

Arceus is shaping up to be an interesting character. Rather reserved and timid for a god-like being! Again, I have to wonder whether this is anything like his personality before he lost his memories. I like how he keeps not understanding what people say but feeling too uncomfortable to ask for clarification or contradict them; it feels genuine and definitely consistent with the rest of his character. And, like Mallys, I have to wonder where he gets his energy from if he can't eat! I also wonder what his motivation is. He's been going with the flow, pretty much following Mallys' instructions--it definitely rings true that he doesn't particularly want to remember who he is. He doesn't seem to want much of anything! I wonder whether that will change in the future.

I also really like the way his relationship with Mallys is shaping up. Mallys has clearly been lonely, and again, there's something more going on with him. He's obviously grown fond of Arceus really fast, and their budding frienship is really cute. I imagine whatever it is that's in his past is going to catch up with them eventually, though. And maybe whatever it was that caused Arceus to lose his memories, too! Things have been pretty quiet so far, but if your intro is anything to go by, it's not going to stay that way. Onward!
Chapter 3

RJR Basimilus

Arceus is nice I suppose...
the Lovely Planet
  1. arceus-fighting
  2. lurantis
  3. arceus-poison
  4. haxorus
This is a chapter. I think.
It might not be, it's a mistake I've made before.

Edit 8/21/21 <-- Wow!
Nearly let a nasty consistency error through, whew. Added some clarification and side plot.

Chapter 3: Mel is Not her Full Name

The sun was halfway across the sky as they made their way up the zig-zagging path of the mountain. There was little in the way of vegetation save for small weeds dotting the ground, miserable yellowish clumps that tripped Mallys. Whoever had cut the path into the mountain was thorough as the rock walls were smooth. Arceus and Mallys encountered few pokemon on their upward trek, a few sightseers looking off at the rolling plains and the occasional local carrying various objects down the mountain.

At a point around halfway to the peak of one of the spires, they found a pathway leading under a rock arch to an enclosed area. Long sharp formations jutted upwards forming a cover over a circular area. Light filtered in through the cracks between the rocks revealing patches of grass, greener and fuller than the shrubs on the slopes. A few pokemon milled about in relative quiet. Along the the rock walls, there was an assortment of items, a broken wagon, a faded pickaxe, a crumpled pile of rubbish that looked like it was used to wrap something. Some of the pokemon looked briefly at Arceus and Mallys as they came into the clearing, but turned away after a moment.

Mallys nudged Arceus and motioned straight ahead. A large entrance was cut into the mountainside. The top was rounded slightly, both sides of the hole supported by large beams of wood criss-crossed with dead vegetation.

“Hey, what brings a couple of brutes up here,” a voice called out to them.

Arceus and Mallys turned to see a Lurantis approaching them. The mantid pokemon was covered in dust and mud in several places, it’s pink coloring along its body was faded, and nearly all of it’s left antenna was gone, leaving a little stub. It looked over them with obvious disapproval and a small frown.

“It doesn’t matter how big you are, we’ll still stay here,” the Lurantis spoke defiantly.

“That’s fine, you don’t need to move.” Arceus was visibly confused, but he tried to be friendly anyway. “We’re just tourists.”

The Lurantis looked at him suspiciously. “This high up the mountain? I doubt it.” Around them, the assorted pokemon were watching carefully. Strangely many of them looked apologetic.

“No really,” Arceus said. “We just wanted to see a shrine that’s supposed to be here.”

The reaction was immediate. Scattered murmurs and whispering erupted among the pokemon surrounding them. Mallys looked around uncomfortably before looking at Arceus who didn’t seem to notice.

“So, is there a shrine here?” Arceus asked.

The Lurantis glared at the other pokemon. “Maybe. I’ve heard things but I don’t know myself.” She looked at the pair as if evaluating them. “The old mines can be pretty dangerous though, I wouldn’t go looking if I were you.”

Arceus was about to reply when Mallys wrapped an arm around Arceus’ long neck and forcibly walked him towards the entrance to the mountain. “We’ll figure it out, we’re pretty tough anyway.” He made a painfully fake smile at the Lurantis who glared back but made no move to stop them.


“Mallys.” Arceus was thoughtful as he was dragged along the tunnel by the agitated Haxorus, his hooves leaving a line in the ground. “What’s wrong?”

“Being daft is something you’re good at,” Mallys replied. “That was obviously not a good situation.”

“A Situation? You think so?” Arceus could tell the pokemon outside weren’t friendly, but he didn’t particularly feel any hostility.

“All I can say is that it wouldn’t have been a very good time.” Mallys shook his head saying this. He stopped, letting go of Arceus who took a moment to right himself. “Although, that might also be a good thing for us.”

“How so?”

“When you asked that pokemon about the shrine, it really set them off. I think we might have not heard the whole truth.” Mallys looked at Arceus as he said this.

“We were lied to?” Arceus said.

There was a gleam in Mallys’ eye. “What do you think?”

“You’re taking this a bit far.”

The Lurantis scowled at the Hariyama as they stood by the entrance to the cave. “I remember when I used to say that.”

The Hariyama nodded. “Funny right?”

An unreadable expression crossed the bug’s face. “Not at all. You would have gotten rid of them in an instant. Everyone would have.”

A moment passed before the Hariyama answered, his expression distant. “‘Would have’ is the point. Times are different now.”

The Hariyama watched the Lurantis for a moment. “You’re not listening are you?” He sighed, slumping in defeat. “You know we all care about you.” There was a pause. “No matter what. Don’t do anything stupid Mei-”

“Not my full name,” the Lurantis interrupted. “Sorry- I just don’t like using it.”

The Hariyama frowned, but nodded. “If you say so.”

The Lurantis looked at him, then sighed. “I’m going after them. Don’t stop me.”


The winding caves were a rough experience, the verticality varying wildly in comparison to the width which remained consistent. Tunnels at points were almost entirely blocked by piles of rubble that reached the ceiling, easily navigable to smaller pokemon but impassable to the pair, especially Arceus’s rings. Mallys made quick work of the blockages, smashing them left and right. He seemed to have fun.

A ways into the cave they arrived at a split in the road, punctuated by a concentration of mushrooms, large in size and glowing brightly, creating a noticeable green hue. Stalactites and stalagmites stretched across the floor and ceiling in both directions. Mallys experimentally tapped a stalactite, it broke off and fell into his claws.

“This must be a naturally formed cave,” Mallys said examining the rock. “It doesn’t look like the mine.”

Arceus looked at the rocks in wonder. “A mine huh.” He looked at Mallys. “If this is a natural cave though, does that mean we missed the shrine?”

Mallys shook his head. “I have a feeling this shrine is hidden, if you know what I mean. Plus, the mine so far hasn’t been anywhere nearly as dangerous as that Lurantis made it sound.”

“I guess not,” Arceus said, looking back at the tunnel they had come from. “Do you think it’s really that dangerous?”

“All we can do now is figure that out.” Mallys looked at the mass of rock formations in both directions. “Can I assume you can defend yourself or at least have tough skin?”

Arceus was unsettled by Mallys’ words, but nodded. “I- I think I can defend myself, and my rings are pretty tough.”

“I was just asking,” Mallys replied, “It’s not like anything is going to happen. I’ll take the lead, so don’t worry about it.” With that said, he headed left, smashing stalagmites and stalactites with reckless abandon as Arceus followed. Eventually they were stopped. Mallys looked around the wide cavern for a moment, the walls were solid, lined with mushrooms and rock protrusions. “This looks like a problem,” he murmured, scowling.

Arceus stared at the tunnel in front of them. It sloped at a steep angle, ending in a rippling pool of greenish water. Mushrooms under the water illuminated it somewhat, though the glow was greatly diminished.

“Do we have to go the other way now?” Arceus looked at Mallys, shuffling with uncertainty.

“It was just out of sight for you, but the other end was caved in,” Mallys said looking at the water, “This is the only way forward.”

Arceus glanced apprehensively at the submerged tunnel. He was already imagining getting lost underwater. “But you’ve been smashing rocks all over the place,” he said, looking at Mallys pensively. “Couldn’t you just tunnel through?”

“To where?” Mallys threw a few pebbles into the water. “That was small stuff anyway. But uh, we could go back too, it’s not like seeing this shrine is that important, and plus it’s a kind of disappointment in and of itself.”

“It- it is.” Arceus poked at the water with a hoof. It was cold. “Not finding it after how far down we’ve come-” There was a pause before Arceus perked up. “But that makes me want to find it even more, because now I’m anticipating it- doesn’t that make the chance for disappointment even greater?”

Mallys blinked in surprise. “That’s a good point.”

“Mallys,” Arceus said. “Are you sure that the shrine is somewhere past here?”

“I’d assume-” the Haxorus started to respond before Arceus interrupted him.

“Actually that doesn’t matter. If there’s nothing there, then that’ll be disappointing too”.

“You’re really into this now,” Mallys said. “No one’s ever bet my intuition before, except that one time.”

Arceus felt really good for some reason. In a strange way the thought of disappointment was exciting. It was kind of creepy. “It’s a bet then I guess.” He nodded. “Anyway, can you swim Mallys?”

“I can manage, I’m more concerned if you can swim.”

“I can do it,” Arceus replied. “Besides, I’m pretty sure I don’t need air.”

“Oh, that does work in your favor doesn’t it.” Mallys seemed convinced. “Alright, you should go first then, easier for me to backtrack if I start running out of air.”

“Will you?” Arceus asked.

“I won’t. Don’t look back at me, just focus on reaching the other end.”

Arceus couldn’t help but feel a bit worried. “What if the path branches?”

“Pick the largest tunnel,” Mallys said. “Hope for the best.”

“I can’t just do that.” Arceus was indignant. “What if I lead you to a dead end?”

For a moment, there was an odd expression on Mallys’ face. “That’s nice of you to think of me, but I’ll be fine, I promise.”

“How can I be sure of that?”

“If it was really such a great personal risk, don’t you think I just wouldn’t do it?” Mallys was impassive. “It’s not like I’m trying to hurt myself.”

“If you say so.” Arceus still was uncertain, but there was something in Mallys’ tone gave him confidence. For a moment he looked at the dark water, feeling both eager and apprehensive in equal measure.

“Don’t think about it, just go.” Mallys spoke from behind him.

“You sure do tell me not to do a lot of things,” Arceus said in mock exasperation.

“I guess I do.” Mallys smiled.

Arceus dived into the water in a single fluid motion. Mallys waited for a moment, then jumped in after him.

/////◔ ⌣ ◔////

Mae sat silently in the darkness, trying to ignore a sense of claustrophobia that had been eating at her for the past few days. Trapped in a dank storage room in the basement of the temple, the only visitor was Qiyoha, occasionally checking in. Otherwise, the Lopunny was alone in the dusty room, the way out blocked by the sleeping Pupitar propped against the door. In an attempt to try and be annoying, Mae had shouted continuously at Postcard, but no matter what she did, the Pupitar snoozed peacefully.

Mae tried fruitlessly to estimate how long she had been locked up when there was a quiet knock at the door. She rose slowly and shuffled to the door, warily eyeing the Pupitar.

Sidling up to the door, Mae listened, careful not to disturb Postcard. The knock came again.

“Hello? What do you want?” Mae said quietly.

“Mae? Is that you?”

Mae’s breath quickened. “Darkrai? You’re alright!”

“Mae-” There was a scratching sound from the other side of the door. “L-let me get the door open. Hold on.”

“Don’t,” Mae said, louder than she intended. Covering her mouth, she glanced down at Postcard, holding her breath.

The Pupitar didn’t budge.

“Don’t open the door,” Mae said again, this time quieter. “The Pupitar is here too. Still asleep, but she’s leaning against the door.”

“Urgh. I’ve been trying to look for you for the past few days,” Darkrai said weakly. “But I can barely get away from that Watchog.”

“Qiyoha is still bringing me food, so you don’t need to worry about that,” Mae said hurriedly, “But what are we going to do now?”

“I don’t know,” Darkrai said, dispirited, “I- I’m sorry Mae. I couldn’t protect you.”

“Shut it, Darkrai,” Mae growled, “Now’s not the time to be thinking about that. We need a plan; what is he making you do up there?”

Darkrai sighed, the door creaking as he leaned against it from the other side. “Remember that idea I told you about the other day? We’ve been making scented candles. They’re nothing special, but pokemon are just snapping them up.” There was a pause. “That Qiyoha is a good salesman.”

Mae frowned, resting her head against the door. “What else?”

“He’s already emptied our accounts and he’s starting selling anything he can get someone to buy. He’s going all out to get every little bit he can,” Darkrai replied, “What about you? Has that Pupitar been asleep the whole time?”

“Pretty much,” Mae said. “I can’t get her to budge, she’s way too heavy for me.”

A shiver ran through Darkrai. “And that Watchog carries her around like nothing.”

Mae took a deep breath. “I can probably knock her aside with a good kick. Obviously we should be ready to cut and run when that happens, so let’s plan first.”

“I hate having to just disappear again,” Darkrai said, discontentedly, “All these years of work. I wonder if we’d be better off if we settled down.”

“I don’t know, what do you think?” Mae asked.

Darkrai was silent. “Probably not,” he said finally.

“Yeah,” Mae said. “I don’t think so either.”

“I’ll look into handing the temple off to someone,” Darkrai said. “As soon as I’m ready, I’ll come get you. Will you be ready to go at a moment’s notice?”

“I don’t have much else to do down here,” Mae said. She leaned down, lightly touching Postcard. “If anything, I’ll spend some time trying to figure out a good place to kick this one so I don’t hurt myself.”

“Sounds good. I have to get back now.” Darkrai’s voice cracked. “Sorry again, Mae.”

“I told you, don’t bother,” Mae replied, shaking her head. “Even if it were your fault, I love you too much to get that angry. Now get out of here.”

As Darkrai left, the basement fell silent again. Mae slumped against the wall, nervous, but also relieved.

She studied the Pupitar. “Now what are you made of?” she muttered.


Arceus felt relieved. Ahead of him was the dim ripple of the surface. The caves had been mercifully uneventful, he hadn’t even seen a single branch in the path. Feeling a burst of energy, Arceus pushed forwards breaking the water. The cave he emerged in was different from the one they had come from, the mushrooms were much brighter, emitting a lime green color. The air was stagnant and the sound of dripping water echoed from somewhere as Arceus pulled himself out of the water. Settling into a good position to dry off, he watched the pool patiently for Mallys. As minute after minute passed, it became harder for Arceus to remain still; he had made a promise not to worry, but it was becoming an increasingly tough one to keep.

There was a ripple in the water that Arceus noticed immediately. Suddenly the surface exploded upwards in a mass of water, momentarily blinding Arceus. Blinking a few times as the water settled, he looked back at the water, his eyes widening in shock.

Two protrusions pinkish in color extended upwards. A pink head with two beady eyes stared at him from the water, regarding him with a strange glint of determination.

“Hey!” The Lurantis waved at him.

Arceus panicked. Without acknowledging the other pokemon, he dived back into the water. He looked around underwater in the green glow, but saw nothing. Focusing hard, he peered down the tunnel, but he saw nothing. He resurfaced with a wild glint in his eyes as he looked at the Lurantis, who was sitting idle on the cave floor, watching him.

“Did you see my friend underwater?” Arceus spoke quickly, slurring some of the words together.

“I’ll assume you meant that Haxorus,” the Lurantis spoke dryly. “I didn’t see anything, the underwater tunnels are a huge network anyway, so it’s a coincidence that we even ended up in the same place.”

The Lurantis’ words were lost on Arceus who was already pacing in a circle.

“Then, Mallys might be in trouble!” Arceus looked at the water. “I have to go help him, I have to-” He stopped, Mallys’ words ringing in his mind. If he went to look for Mallys unnecessarily, then it would mean Arceus didn’t trust him. But if Mallys really was in trouble, then he would lose his friend to empty words. His head swarmed with all sorts of contradictions, and Arceus didn’t know what to do.

I have to trust Mallys, he thought to himself. But how well could he trust someone he had known for less than a week? All the same, how much of a friend could Mallys be in that short a time?

“It’s ok,” Arceus said to himself. “He promised.” Slowly, steadily, he forced himself to stand still, and surprisingly he felt calm.

The Lurantis was confused, “Who promised what? Are you ok?”

“I am now,” Arceus said. “Mallys will be fine.”

“Yeah, you probably hit your head underwater.” The Lurantis gave Arceus a strange look. “I hope you get better.”

Arceus ignored the statement. “Why are you down here?”

“A couple of tourists getting lost in the mines would bring us more trouble than we already have. Didn’t think you guys would do something like this though.”

Arceus looked at her. “Is the shrine close by?”

The Lurantis looked at him incredulously, “What about your friend? You were about to cry or something.”

“He’ll be fine,” Arceus said to the visible suspicion of the Lurantis.

“I see.”

“Anyway,” Arceus continued. “While I’m waiting for him, what’s your name”.

“Mel,” the Lurantis said. “That’s all you’re going to get.”

“Alright Mel,” Arceus replied. “I guess now-” He was cut off by a splashing sound. Mallys emerged from the water, looking none the worse for wear. “Mallys!” Arceus said happily.

Mallys stuck a claw out from under the water as he floated in place. “Sorry it took so long, I had to go back once, didn’t get a good rhythm the first time.” He looked over at the Lurantis, “Oh hey. I suppose it makes sense you would follow us.”

Mel seemed surprised. “You’re Mallys?” She seemed lost for words. “Strange name.”

Mallys nodded. “I’ve heard that one before.”

“Hey Mel, do you want to help us look for the shrine?” Arceus asked. He tried to appear solemn but was secretly happy he didn’t have to make a decision anymore.

Mel shrugged. “As I said earlier, I don’t even know if there’s something like that down here.” She stared off into the darkness of the tunnel ahead. “Though since I’m here, I might as well make sure you don’t get yourselves killed.”


They entered a large cavern that seemed to stretch forever. Boulders of all sizes were strewn around the floor, and the usual green glow was tinged with red from odd growths scattered around the room. The bulbous masses looked like tumors, covered in a layer of fuzz that swayed slightly. Arceus poked one with a hoof, it sank slightly inwards, expanding to its original size when he stopped.

“What are these Mel?” Arceus asked curiously.

Mel poked one with one of her scythes. “Mushrooms I guess.” She stepped back as the bulb she had poked exploded. For a moment there was nothing, then a smoky smell began to waft around the area. Arceus looked at the remains of the mushroom in surprise, Mallys frowned slightly.

Arceus looked around the cave. “Where do we go from here?”

“I don’t know.” Mallys blinked, seeming bothered by something. “Let’s look around.”

Mel leaned against a wall with her eyes closed as Arceus and Mallys searched the huge chamber. Columns of rock extended from the floor to the ceiling, leaning erratically in all directions. The ground was littered with jagged points and irregular slants, forcing Arceus to carefully navigate around the uneven plane.

“Have you ever thought about dying?” Mallys stared pensively into the darkness.

“What?” Arceus was caught off guard, losing his balance and falling face first to the ground. “Ugh- what do you mean?” He looked up at Mallys while trying to compose himself. “I uh, well I haven’t really thought about it.”

Mallys’ mouth moved as if he were chewing on something. “That’s nice.”

“How is that nice?” Arceus stared at the back of Mallys’ head. “What do you mean about dying?”

“Arceus.” Mallys had an unusually serious look on his face. “I trust you. You know that?”

“Mallys?” Arceus looked at him in confusion. “Is something wrong-”.

He was cut off as Mallys began to violently cough, stumbling against a rock with a loud thud. “Sorry,” Mallys said before collapsing in a heap.

Arceus was frozen. Any words he had were lost in the air. Watching Mallys quietly groaning on the ground, he could barely speak. “What, what- happened?”

There was no answer.

Arceus looked around, panicking again. “Mel? Something’s wrong”.

Again there was no answer and Arceus was alone.


Arceus wandered the chamber in a daze. Every time he heard Mallys cough, he jolted in fright.

What do I do?

What happens now?

Over and over he thought this, stopping suddenly at random. As he paced, he only barely registered Mel appear next to him. The Lurantis gave Arceus a steely glance as she suddenly slid under him, hooking a scythe arm around the middle section of his rings from underneath and throwing him sideways.

Arceus didn’t comprehend much as he bounced off the side of a rock. Standing up, he looked at Mel who had assumed a strange position. “Mel?” he asked. “Is something wrong?”

“Immune huh-” Mel’s stare was unwavering. “That doesn’t make a difference.” She glanced at Mallys inert form. “You’re the most tenacious ones yet, you can’t get us to leave so now you go after what’s most important to us?”

“Intimidator? I didn’t mean to intimidate-” Arceus was cut off as the Lurantis raked both scythes across the side of his face, sending him off balance. Stumbling around, he was more confused than hurt. “We’re not bad, really! You’re confusing us with someone else.”

“And I have a really good reason to believe you, don’t I.” Mel replied sarcastically. “It’s easy to lie to someone you don’t care about.”

“I didn’t- didn’t do anything,” Arceus muttered.

“Not yet you haven’t,” Mel said. Twisting to the left, she nailed the side of Arceus’ head with a vicious butterfly kick sending him sprawling to the cave floor. Before he could get up, she drove a knee into his head.

As Arceus lay shocked on the ground, he looked over to see Mallys making a face at him.

“Arceus.” Mallys’ voice was a whisper. “You have to do something. Fight back, die, I don’t know, just do it.” With that, Mallys collapsed unconscious.

“I have to decide?” Arceus said to himself. For a moment, he looked between Mallys’ inert form and Mel who was angrily staring at him. Closing his eyes to calm himself, he felt a rush of energy. As he opened his eyes again, he narrowly avoided Mel bearing down on him with a forearm drop. Picking himself up, he faced the Lurantis head on. Arceus took a moment to compose himself “Hey.” Mel didn’t move as Arceus addressed her. “I’m going to hit you.”

Mel looked at him blankly before shaking her head and charging at Arceus again.

I don’t know anything about fighting, Arceus thought. But here goes nothing.

Mel raised her scythes over her head, swinging downward to slash Arceus across his front. In response, he lowered his head and backed up. Mel realized that Arceus was going to headbutt her, but couldn’t stop her momentum in time. As his head collided with her scythes, Mel was sent backwards rolling along the floor in a heap while Arceus almost toppled sideways from the force. Regaining his balance, Arceus looked around, spotting the Lurantis lying on the ground a distance away. He walked over, feeling guilty for a moment.

“Ugh, sorry,” Arceus said to Mel. With little fanfare, he lifted his foot and stomped on the Lurantis, knocking the air out of Mel in an instant. Arceus repeated this twice, and Mel was unconscious.

Arceus was by himself now, the silence of the cave returning. It was very anticlimactic.
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Windswept Questant
Ah, so perhaps this is where the "bad things" promised by the initial summary start to come into play? Things take an interesting turn here; before we've kind of been traveling from place to place, letting whatever happens happen, but now there's something almost like an antagonist.

Some grammar/presentation notes, and then back to the story itself! One thing to watch out for is what's called a comma splice; it's where you join two sentences together with a comma. You should either use a conjunction, like "and" or "but," along with the comma, or simply make it two sentences. For example:

Whatever had cut the path into the mountain was thorough, the rock walls were smooth.
"Whatever had cut the path into the mountain was thorough" and "the rock walls were smooth" are both complete sentences, so you shouldn't join them with just a comma the way you have here. Either "Whatever had cut the path into the mountain was thorough, and the rock walls were smooth." or "Whatever had cut the path into the mountain was thorough. The rock walls were smooth." would work.

Mallys experimentally tapped a stalactite, it broke off and fell into his claws.
Here, you could go with either "Mallys experimentally tapped a stalactite, and it broke off and fell into his claws." or "Mallys experimentally tapped a stalactite. It broke off and fell into his claws."

As minute after minute passed, it became harder for Arceus to remain still, he had made a promise not to worry, but it was becoming an increasingly tough one to keep.
This sentence is a bit more complicated, but it's the same basic deal. "As minute after minute passed, it became harder for Arceus to remain still" is a sentence, and so is, "He had made a promise not to worry, but it was becoming an increasingly tough one to keep." Since this is a fairly long sentence it might be better to split it up, but you could also stick a "but" in there after "still," and it would be fine.

Here are a couple of places where you do things correctly:

Arceus could tell the pokemon outside weren’t friendly, but he didn’t particularly feel any hostility.
"Arceus could tell the pokémon outside weren't friendly" and "He didn't particularly feel any hostility" are both complete sentences, so using a comma along with "but" is the correct way to stick them together.

It sloped at a steep angle, ending in a rippling pool of greenish water.
Here it's correct to use a comma alone because "ending in a rippling pool of greenish water" isn't a sentence.

The mantis pokemon was covered in dust and mud in several places, it’s pink coloring along its body was faded, and nearly all of it’s left antenna was gone, leaving a little stub.
Here it should be its pink coloring and its left antenna. Just like when you wrote "its body was faded"--that one is correct!

“You’re taking this a bit far.”

The Lurantis scowled at the Hariyama as they stood by the entrance to the cave. “I remember when I used to say that.”
It looks like your formatting might have gotten a little messed up here.

“I was just asking,” Mallys replied, “It’s not like anything is going to happen. I’ll take the lead, so don’t worry about it.”
"I was just asking" is complete sentence, and the next piece of dialogue starts a completely different sentence, so you actually want a period after "Mallys replied."

“No one’s ever bet my intuition before, except that one time.”
Maybe this is an idiom I'm not familiar with, but to me it would sound more natural to say "bet on my intuition."

But how well could he trust someone he had known for less than a week? All the same, how much of a friend could Mallys be in that short a time?
These two sentences look like they say the same thing to me.

“While I’m waiting for him, what’s your name”.
Should be "what's your name?", with the question mark inside the quotation marks.

Like I said, this is an interesting chapter, different from the previous ones. You've hinted that there's more going on with this whole mining thing than is apparent to Arceus and Mallys, and I'm interested to see where you go with that. In the past there have been things that kind of hint at a larger story in the background, like Darkrai's temple, but this is the first one where it really feels like this is a plot thread we might keep pulling at. Curious to see where you go with that, if anywhere!

This little spelunking bit is nice. As usual, your environmental descriptions are a highlight. Love the glowy mushrooms for your fantasy cave system.

I enjoyed the part where Arceus started getting excited over the prospect of being disappointed. He and Mallys are really fun together.

Of course it's no surprise that Arceus is good at fighting despite having no idea what he's doing. Poor Lurantis, accidentally picking on the god of all pokémon--or not so poor, considering what she did to Mallys! It might be an anticlimax, but you end on a bit of a cliffhanger here. Look forward to whatever happens next!
Chapter 4

RJR Basimilus

Arceus is nice I suppose...
the Lovely Planet
  1. arceus-fighting
  2. lurantis
  3. arceus-poison
  4. haxorus
Edit 8/21/21
Minor clarity edits, at least what I saw
I've been committing myself to editing some of the early chapters, so I'm chomping at the bit to get back to the present. Hehe

Chapter 4: Mutuals

They sat together on the edge of a cliff in the moonlight. Arceus was fidgeting nervously.

“Are you angry at me?” Arceus looked at Mallys. “I-I’m sorry.”

Mallys looked exasperated. He shook his head and pointed a claw at his throat.

“But...” Arceus was confused. “I got you water right?”

Mallys rolled his eyes.

“Huh.” Arceus looked at his hooves for a moment. “Are you saying you can’t talk?”

Mallys nodded slowly, patting Arceus on the back.

“I suppose I look silly,” Arceus said. “Today really hasn’t been a good day.”

“You can say that again,” a voice added.

Arceus and Mallys looked behind them in surprise to see Mel, looking a little worn out, but otherwise uninjured.

“Mel! You’re better.” Arceus sounded happy.

“I uh- yes I am,” Mel said.

Arceus nodded contentedly.

“I’ve been told that what I did was very wrong,” Mel spoke simply. “I apologize for attacking you, but I don’t apologize for my reasoning.”

“I don’t really understand, but that’s OK,” Arceus said.

Mel crossed her arms. “I don’t care what you have...” She stopped, processing Arceus’ reply. “That’s OK?”

“Mistakes happen. I can give you the uh- the benefit of the doubt I think?” Arceus slowly tilted his head from side to side as he spoke. “Sure, you attacked us. But you probably had a good reason, no?”

The Lurantis was silent for a moment, her mouth slightly ajar. “You’re impossible,” she said, shaking her head. “What am I supposed to think? I try to kill both of you, something we can all see I failed miserably at. Then once I screwed that up, you brought me all the way back up here anyway. Now you’re happy to see me?”

“I am,” Arceus said. “Can’t speak for Mallys though, but neither can he.”

“Mm,” Mel grunted apologetically. “The mushrooms down there release some spore. It really messes you up.”

“Messes you up how?” Arceus looked back at Mallys who didn’t seem to react.

Mel shrugged. “Not like I know the specifics.”

“Does that mean Mallys won’t be able to talk ever?”

“No, no way,” Mel said. “It’s just something that takes time to heal.”

Arceus nodded. For a while, no one spoke.

“Sorry, you know,” Mel shifted from side to side as she spoke. “I uh, I misjudged you.”

“That’s ok! We’re sorry too.”

Mallys and Mel both looked at Arceus in surprise. “Sorry for what?” Mel asked.

“Well, we weren’t exactly forthcoming with you either.”

“That... that doesn’t really matter now.” Mel shook her head. “I attacked you guys first.”

“Well I...” Arceus paused. “We all make mistakes, so I forgive you.”

Mel was shocked. “Just like that?”

Arceus nodded, “I’m sure of it. Mallys does too, I think.” They looked at Mallys who shrugged. “That’s probably a yes,” Arceus added.

“Just like that...” Mel repeated. “I guess I owe you one now.”

“Not really, I don’t need anything,” Arceus replied.

“I don’t mean it like that. I meant that- uh, well- ugh, whatever.”

“Oh, I guess I’ll go now.” Mel shuffled awkwardly. She began to slowly walk away as Arceus watched. After a moment, Mel suddenly stopped before turning around and sprinting back towards them.

“Wait. What if-” She stopped to catch her breath. “Do you uh, still want to see the shrine?”

“That’s still an option?” Arceus said in surprise.

“Trying to kill you was my idea,” Mel said sheepishly. “This is my idea too, kind of balancing it out.”

Arceus considered this for a moment. “Ok! Let’s go.” He glanced over to Mallys. “Do you want to come with us, Mallys?”

Mallys shook his head and waved them away with a claw.

“Oh well,” Arceus said. “It makes sense that he would rather just hang around.” Nodding at Mel, they made their way back towards the mine.


Arceus and Mel walked through the winding caves again. The Lurantis was subdued as she lead the way, occasionally sneaking glances back at Arceus.

“So when we first came, were you just following us the whole time?” Arceus asked.

“Yeah, all the way.” Mel scratched her head with a scythe. “I actually messed up, back when you were asking how I found you, I said I came from a connecting tunnel.”

“How so?”

“That underwater tunnel was a straight shot, no branches or anything,” Mel said as she walked. “If you could see underwater, you’d know that.”

Arceus blinked. “I don’t really remember if I saw that or not.” He paused. “Can you see underwater?”

“Nope. I just remembered what it’s like.” Mel seemed to want to drop the topic.

“So what about all the pokemon up top?” Arceus tilted his head upwards. “Are you all like a family?”

“Might as well be,” Mel said. “We just look out for each other.”

“I guess you don’t trust outsiders then.”

Mel sighed. “It’s not quite that. For one, no one really makes a point to come this far up the mountain. The ones that do, more often than not, are usually thugs trying to scare us.”

“You were saying something about that,” Arceus said. “It was that you wouldn’t leave no matter what.”

“It’s exactly as it sounds. The thing is that the town at the base of the mountain is looking to expand.”

“Expand?” Arceus was curious. “What do you mean?”

“You walked through the town to get up here, at least I think you did.”

Arceus briefly remembered the crowds, the pushing, the time wasted. “It’s really crowded?”

“That’s it basically,” Mel said. “Desirable property.”

Arceus put the pieces together. “So the town wants you guys gone so it can build houses?”

“I don’t know. I don’t think I care.” Mel shrugged. “They’re just out to remove us miners however they can.”

“Miners?” Arceus kicked a rock aside with a hoof.

Mel waved her scythes at Arceus. “Yeah. That’s why I’m here, these can cut rocks easily.” She frowned. “Well, that was why we were here, there’s nothing left to mine.”

“Then why do you stay?” Arceus was puzzled.

“It’s a bit complicated,” Mel said. “Speaking of complicated things, could you explain why you guys came up here?”

Arceus nodded slowly. “That’s a strange story, you might not believe it.”

“Try me.”

Arceus explained in detail the events of the past few days, his forgetfulness, their search. Mel’s expression became increasingly bemused as the explanation continued, eventually she took to watching the ceiling with her mouth slightly open. When he finished, Mel was lost for words, sputtering incoherently for a moment before she began to laugh.

Arceus wasn’t surprised. “I think I can understand that reaction.”

“So you’re-” Mel broke off in another fit of laughter. “You guys are looking for something that’s so underwhelming, you’ll remember who you are because of it?”

“Yes, that’s it.”

Mel had to catch her breath for a moment, “That’s one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard. Actually, it is.” She took a deep breath. “-but you’re really into it.”

Arceus gave her a pointed look. “I don’t have any better ideas. Anyway, you seem a lot better than you were earlier.”

“Really?” Mel said. “I guess, now that I know you’re not that bad, I feel a bit better. Also-” Mel paused for a moment. “There’s just something calming about being around you”.

“Me?” Arceus didn’t feel very calm.

“Maybe you were a therapist or something before you forgot,” Mel offered helpfully.

“I don’t really see myself as a therapist,” Arceus said.

“Well uh, what about a massage therapist?”

“Massage?” Arceus looked at his hooves. “Do you think I could do that?”

“When you stomped on my face, that was pretty forceful,” Mel said.

“Don’t remind me.”


The cavern was the same as they had left it. Arceus examined a large patch of the red mushrooms as Mel messed with something in a corner.

“Now that I look at them closer, they really do look dangerous!” Arceus exclaimed.

“I don’t know why those things grow here.” Mel looked up at Arceus as she said this. She stared at him for a few moments in confusion before speaking again. “Wait, you don’t have a mouth at all, do you?”

“No, not at all. At least I’m pretty sure I don’t,” Arceus said.

“That’s really weird,” Mel said, walking over to him. “So you’re like one of those psychic pokemon or something, like, your voice just comes out of your face somehow.”

“One way to explain it I guess,” Arceus said. “Anyway, the thing’s around here?”

“You mean the shrine? Yea, follow me.” Mel walked back to a corner with Arceus in tow. “If you’re looking for disappointment, then this definitely fits the bill.” For a moment, Arceus thought he was being tricked. The shrine was a little hole in the wall that Mel had uncovered, it was a simple arrangement of small sticks surrounded by bits and pieces of things.

“Is this the shrine?” Arceus looked at Mel.

“Pretty disappointing huh.”

Arceus looked over the shrine again. There was no order or pattern in the buttons and string lying around, it was simply a collection of objects. “What- what is it for?”

Mel shrugged. “You ever heard of a perfectly safe mine?”

It took him a second. “Oh.” Arceus felt a pit in his stomach. “Sorry.”

“Don’t be.” Mel seemed unconcerned. “There’s nothing left but a little bitterness.”

Arceus looked away. “So when you tried to kill us...”

“Yeah,” Mel said. “I thought you figured out somehow this was here. It really was a spur of the moment decision.” Mel slowly covered the small shrine with rocks again. “So, was that disappointing enough?”

“I- I don’t think I could be disappointed by that,” Arceus said. “Now I’m just sad.”

“Huh. Oh well, wanna go back now?”

“Alright.” Arceus felt his head spinning. He had felt pretty bad for beating Mel up earlier, but now he felt even worse.

{=} {=}

Arceus and Mel stood awkwardly on a rocky path, illuminated by the moonlight. There was a slight breeze in the air. The sun would rise soon.

“So, I never really asked, but I heard your friend call you Arceus?” Mel idly poked a rock as she spoke.

“That’s me,” Arceus said. “I don’t really know if it means anything.”

“A name doesn’t really need a meaning as far as I know, but if you’re looking I suppose you’ll find one.”

Arceus thought about it for a moment. “I will, you can count on it.”

Mel nodded. “Sorry about everything. Really.”

“I should be the one saying sorry,” Arceus said. “We really did just come out of nowhere, so it’s fair that you would be suspicious of us. I guess that’s something we should watch out for in the future.”

“You’re too considerate.” Mel seemed distant. “Good luck then.”

“I think I’ll need it,” Arceus said.

Arceus walked away as Mel stared off into space.


“Hey Moomoo, what are you up to?”

Mel looked at the ancient Nidoking and made a face. “Nothing really Pasa, just couldn’t sleep.”

Pasa grinned at her. “I’d say that’s fair, since those strangers brought you back up here, all beat up and the like.” He crossed his arms. “ But you’ve never been one to ‘accidentally’ hurt yourself, you know.”

Mel huffed indignantly and was about to speak when Pasa started again.

“You don’t have to tell me. You’re alright now, and that’s all that matters. That does bring up something I wanted to talk to you about.”

“And what is that?” Mel said.

Pasa folded his arms, “You want to go with them don’t you?”

“What?” Mel was taken by surprise.

“It would be good for you to get out of here.” Pasa was serious as he said this.

Mel looked at him curiously. “I’m still going to say what. Say it straight old man.”

“You’re messing with me,” the Nidoking pouted.

“Does it matter? Just tell me already.”

Pasa sighed dramatically. “Maybe I’m overthinking things.”

“Overthinking?” Mel asked.

“I thought maybe you were going to finally do something with your life.”

“I am doing something, I’m here. Don’t put words in my mouth.” Mel made a painfully fake smile.

“If you call living bumming around with us old folk, then you’re right” Pasa made a face, “You know I’m not good at this kind of thing, help me out here.”

“I don’t need anything,” Mel retorted. “I’m fine with just being here.”

“No, you’re not, and I shouldn’t need to tell you that you have your whole life ahead of you.” Pasa shook his head. “Don’t you think if you went out of your way to talk to those strangers that it means something?”

Mel looked away. “That’s only because they were here you know. Just curious, you know.”

“You just said you know twice. And you’ve never struck me as the curious type.”

“Shut up Pasa.” Mel looked defeated. “If- if maybe, just maybe, I were to leave, what would you do?”

“What, you think old age means feebleness huh?” Pasa smiled. “I’ll tell you not to worry as many times as you need, we’re all tough here and that’s a fact. Do you think a little business types from the city can scare us?”

Mel sighed. “I just don’t want to forget about everyone.”

“You won’t,” Pasa said simply.

“Where do I go?” Mel looked at the dark sky, tinged a deep purple as the first signs of the sun appeared. The air was stiff and a light chill floated around.

“I don’t know, at least anywhere but here.” Pasa scratched the cracked armor on his chest. “Decide for yourself, that’s what adults do.”

“I guess then I should say bye to everyone,” Mel said.

Pasa raised a claw. “If you do that, you’ll never leave. Go now, everyone understands.”

Mel blinked, rubbing her face with one arm. “You’re just telling me that.”

“If I hug you will you believe me?”

Mel looked around the predawn darkness.

“Come on,” Pasa said. “No one’s watching.”


In the early morning, the traffic in Aibai wasn’t nearly as bad as it had been before. Arceus and Mallys ducked into an alleyway to rest for a moment and figure out their next move. Piles of empty crates lined the walls of either side, tin cans lying haphazardly in rivulets of water running along tiny canals in the ground. Arceus stood with his backside to a grated window, out of which came plumes of white steam as Mallys watched him.

“This is nice,” Arceus said as the steam slowly rolled over his tail all the way to his head. “You want to try Mallys?”

“No thanks.” Mallys’ voice was still somewhat raspy. His arms were full of more donuts, four this time, he took a bite, speaking through a full mouth. “Are you sure it’s ok to do that?”

“I don’t feel anything, so it’s probably good.” Arceus stepped out of the steam. “Oh, cold.”

Mallys idly held a donut up to his face, looking at Arceus through the hole in the center. “You’re uh- how do they say it, spontaneous, no?”

A bit of condensation had somehow formed on Arceus’ rings, he didn’t seem to notice. “I want to try a donut,” Arceus said. “Maybe I don’t have a mouth, but you could try pushing it into my face, I might absorb it or something.”

Mallys tilted his head. “You really want me to do that?”

Arceus nodded, standing tall in front of Mallys. Hesitating for a moment, Mallys slowly took one of his donuts, pressing it into Arceus’ face.


Mel moved gracefully across the rooftops. She tried to scan the crowd but could barely focus on the multitude of shapes and colors.

“How am I gonna find them in a crowd like this?” Mel said to herself. She settled down on a slanted rooftop, drawing a few curious looks from the crowd below. For a moment she sat still.

“I can do this. I just have to look for big ugly golden rings.” Chastising herself, she rose again and bounded to another roof with renewed energy. Her confidence paid off, as she jumped from one roof to another, she saw a flash of gold in the daylight and an unmistakable shape. Smiling to herself, she poked her head over the edge of the roof and immediately stopped. For a few seconds she wasn’t sure what was going on. In the alley below, the Haxorus was rubbing a large donut across Arceus’ face. The ground was littered with crumbs, and three more donuts, one of them half eaten lay on an overturned crate.

“Do you taste it yet?” Mallys asked Arceus.

“Not yet, keep trying,” Arceus said.

“What are you guys doing?” Mel asked. Mallys turned to look up too quickly and the rest of the donut fell to the ground.

“Huh? Is that Mel?” Arceus looked around in confusion. “I can’t see you, I have glaze in my eyes.”

Mallys looked between Mel and the donut on the ground as Arceus wiped his eyes with a hoof, “You made me drop it,” he sighed.

“Oh, sorry.” Mel made an effort to sound apologetic, but failed to hide a small grin. “I just had to ask, you can’t really blame me.”

“Personally I can,” Mallys said. Mel rolled her eyes.

Arceus finished rubbing his face. “There we go.” Arceus looked up at Mel, a few lingering crumbs still on his face. “What are you doing up there?”

“I was looking for you guys,” Mel said. “What were you doing?”

“I was trying to eat a donut; Mallys was helping me,” Arceus replied.

“Trying?” Mel pondered this for a moment. “You don’t have a mouth, where’s the ‘try’ part?”

Arceus shook his head. “It didn’t really work out,” he said. “Why were you looking for us?”

Mel jumped from the roof, landing in front of the two. “I’m gonna follow you guys,” she loudly announced.

Arceus’ eyes widened in surprise while Mallys merely frowned. “Follow us?” Arceus said. “Why?”

Mel thought about Pasa. “I want to experience the world.” Mel looked at Arceus. “I want to go places like you said you were doing.”

“That makes a lot of sense,” Mallys said dryly. “Hang around with the pokemon you tried to kill.”

“Don’t be like that Mallys,” Arceus said. “Mel is ok, we talked about it yesterday, but you weren’t there.”

Mallys shrugged. “If you say so.”

“So will you let me hang out with you?” Mel asked hopefully.

“Sure.” Arceus looked at the donuts. “It’s not like this is some super important quest, we’re just going places.”

“Yes!” Mel shouted happily, surprising the two. “Uh, why don’t we put the past behind us and try this again. I’m Mel, nice to meet you.”

Arceus stared at Mel for a moment. “I’m Arceus, nice to meet you.”

Mallys said nothing, merely looking at Mel.
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Windswept Questant
I was a bit confused at the beginning, when we cut to Arceus and Mallys hanging out outside when the last we'd seen of them was Mallys unconscious on the ground and Arceus dispatching of Mel. I guess with her out of commission there wasn't anything to prevent Arceus from dragging Mallys back outside, but it did disorient me for a moment.

“Sorry, you know,” Mel shifted from side to side as she spoke. “I uh, I misjudged you.”
I'm guessing "Sorry, you know, I, uh, I misjudged you" is meant to be spoken all as on sentence of dialogue. If that's the case, there should be a comma after "spoke" instead of a period, as the dialogue is going to continue on afterwards.

“Not really, I don’t need anything,” Arceus replied.
Except your memories back! Geez, Arceus!

I'm kind of surprised Mallys let Arceus wander off with Mel without any sort of fuss. Sure, she apologized and offered to take Arceus to the shrine, but she'd also been acting friendly earlier, when she was all along leading them into a trap!

Mel had to catch her breath for a moment, “That’s one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard. Actually, it is.” She took a deep breath. “-but you’re really into it.”
Someone finally said it, lol. I wasn't totally sure whether Mallys' suggestion was supposed to be really out there or not, given that most people kind of seemed to accept it in stride.

“If you call living bumming around with us old folk, then you’re right” Pasa made a face, “You know I’m not good at this kind of thing, help me out here.”
Here I think you actually mean for the two pieces of dialogue ("If you call living..." and "You know I'm not good...") to be their own distinct sentences. If that's the case, you want a comma after "right" in the first piece of dialogue and then a period after "face." Using a comma there suggests that the dialogue is one long sentence that continues to either side of the narration, which I don't think is what you're going for.

“How am I gonna find them in a crowd like this?” Mel said to herself.
I was going to say, those two tend to stand out in a crowd because they're always up to something weird. I was delighted that she ended up coming upon Arceus and Mallys while Mallys was trying to help Arceus taste the donuts--great moment. I also love Mallys trying to help Arceus taste the donuts because tbh I had been dying to know if it was possible for him to eat something despite having no mouth. "Just smash it into my face and let's see if I can taste anything" seems like the most logical approach, but also

I was pretty sure Mel was going to end up joining with the other two from the point where Arceus was walking back into the cave with her and she got a little more spotlight. It'll be interesting to see how she fits into the traveling party--she seems a bit more outspoken and energetic than the other two, which should provide an interesting balance. Plus Mallys clearly doesn't care for her, heh. At this point we know why Arceus and Mel are journeying, but not Mallys... Definitely interested in finding out what his deal is, eventually.

Not too much to say about this chapter; it was mostly about wrapping up the mine section and adding Mel to the cast. The donut bit at the end was great, and presumably the next chapter is going to introduce some new place. Looking forward to it!
Chapter 5

RJR Basimilus

Arceus is nice I suppose...
the Lovely Planet
  1. arceus-fighting
  2. lurantis
  3. arceus-poison
  4. haxorus
Thanks again Negrek, I'll have to go back through at some point.
In the meantime, I guess another post is all I have.

Edit 8/21/21
I'm actually bulk uploading some changes that have been a work in progress. Clarity and subplot as usual.
Maybe further along the line, the older texts could use a touch up. In my opinion, the difference between the original sections and the new additions can be readily apparent.

Chapter 5 - Waiting on a Feeling

For the next few days the newly formed trio wandered the countryside, trying to figure out where to go next. It was slow going, Arceus insisted on exploring anything mildly interesting on principle and as a result there was much disappointment to be had but nothing that stood out. Luckily this constant stream of distractions seemed to distract him from the dirty looks Mel and Mallys would frequently exchange. They had settled for the night on a ridge shaded by trees. The treeline ahead was starting to thin, and the vegetation had already started to look less lively with an ashen green hue. Arceus had somehow fallen asleep on his side, he lay on two large logs, using the space between to fit his ring. Mel and Mallys sat apart from each other, watching each other carefully.

“Alright, this is what- the fifth night we’ve done this?” Mel sounded tired. “This has to stop.”

“I could continue, but if that’s what you want,” Mallys said.

Mel made a noise of frustration. “I called Arceus weird before, but you’re so much worse.”

“No one’s ever complimented me like that before.” Mallys looked away in mock bashfulness.

“It’s not a compliment- ugh, you suck.” Mel buried her face in her scythes. “Why are you like this?”

“Because I don’t trust you? Isn’t that more than obvious by now?” Mallys scowled, turning his face to hide the fact that he was chewing his tongue.

Mel rolled her eyes. “I get that much, but that’s exactly it. Like, a few days ago with the water.”

Mallys nodded. “Yes, you tried to drown me. What about it?”

“It’s just that- well.” Mel spoke regretfully. “Wouldn’t any pokemon normally be more concerned about that?”

“I was concerned,” Mallys replied. “I just didn’t think it was necessary to say so at the time.”

“So you kept going?” Mel was confused. “But what about...” She gestured at his throat.

Mallys shrugged. “I’ll admit that was my mistake. I assumed that since you had failed once, you wouldn’t try again.” His eyes narrowed, “A mistake I will not repeat,” he said coldly.

Mel looked at him silently for a few seconds. “Then can we both just consider the whole thing a big mistake?”

“You didn’t think it was a mistake before now?” Mallys asked.

“Yes, it’s-” Mel shouted before freezing up. She looked over at Arceus’ sleeping form before starting again in a lower voice. “Yes, it’s my fault, are you going to keep doing this?”

“I’m just concerned about someone so violent following Arceus around.” Mallys looked at Arceus as he spoke.

Mel looked away. “I messed up, I know...” She trailed off before grimacing. “Does that mean the reason you didn’t mention the water was because of him?”

There was a flicker of something in Mallys’ expression. “Now you’re thinking”. The Haxorus seemed less tense. “I don’t really care too much about myself, but I’d rather make sure Arceus is ok. I would have settled this a long time ago otherwise.”

Mel wasn’t sure how to respond. She remained silent.

“Common ground then,” Mallys said. “Otherwise you wouldn’t be following us. That’s what I think.”

“I-” Mel could hardly express herself. Arceus had rolled onto his back.

“Why don’t we agree to disagree then?” Mallys spoke matter-of-factly. “I’m sure we both have our own reasons for being here, but let’s focus on what’s important.”

Mel felt the tension leave her body as they both glanced at Arceus. “Ok.” She felt a sudden burst of confidence. “I- I don’t want to dislike you Mallys, I really don’t.”

Mallys was unmoved. “Do what you will, as long as we can agree on this one thing I don’t care. In fact-” He stared at Mel with a strange look in his eyes. “If it doesn’t work out for you, and you still feel bitter, then try again. Get rid of me if you want, I only have two conditions.”

“What?” Mel couldn’t comprehend what he was saying. The tension came right back. “What do you mean?”

“For one, make sure Arceus doesn’t see.” The Haxorus ignored Mel’s words, a wild gleam in his eye. “-and second, take care of him like you would your own family.”

Mel was indignant. “What are you talking about Mallys? Why would I do that?”

Mallys shrugged. “That’s a lot of questions. Let me put it this way, if you did, you would be doing a lot of pokemon a big favor.” Mallys looked away. “Keep it in mind, but let’s stick to what we know for now,” he said.

As suddenly as it arrived, the energy in the air disappeared. Mel felt drained as she looked at Mallys, not sure what to think about the dragon anymore.

“I suppose it goes without saying that I’m watching you,” Mallys said. “Still though, it’s not like I can distrust you forever. We’ll figure it out later.”

Mallys abruptly turned away, lying on his side. Mel was frozen in place, still processing what happened. She released a breath she had been holding for a long time.

“Jerk,” she muttered.

\ (•◡•) /

Staring into a flickering candle, Darkrai sighed deeply. A few feet away, Qiyoha was asleep on Darkrai’s bed, lying on his belly. Darkrai watched the Watchog closely, turning over a green coin in the center of his palm. He grimaced, leaning his head on his other hand.

There was a commotion from outside as some rowdy drunks passed in the night. Standing up, Darkrai walked over to Qiyoha, composing himself mentally. He reached out with one arm, then recoiled, looking away. For a moment, he stood silently, opening and closing his hand.

Finally, he shook his head and thrust his arm towards Qiyoha. Glowing with black energy, it released a haze over the Watchog, who shifted slightly, muttering in his sleep. Pulling back, Darkrai watched Qiyoha for a moment until he was satisfied. He hurried out of the room, blowing out the candle as he left.

Reaching the door in the basement, he knocked quietly and waited, eyes fixed on the doorknob.

“Hello? Anyone awake in there?” he called after a moment.

“I’m here,” Mae replied. The Lopunny sounded weary. “What time is it?”

“It’s the middle of the night,” Darkrai said. Slightly worried by the Lopunny’s disorientation, he decided to press on. “I’m finished settling accounts on my end. Are you ready to go?”

“I... I think,” Mae said. On her side of the door, she cast a glance at the unmoving Pupitar. “I haven’t had much time to think about how I’ll get out.”

Even though Mae couldn’t see him, Darkrai nodded. “Don’t worry about that, I’ll do that thing.” He hesitated. “You know how I can cause nightmares?”

Mae was silent. There was a low groan as the Lopunny leaned against the door. “You hate doing that,” she said quietly, “I’ll manage. Just be ready to help me.”

Darkrai seemed about to protest, but relented. “Alright. How do you want to do this?” Darkrai asked.

“Mmm.” Mae hummed in thought. “Can’t you pass through things? Like the door?”

“I look like I’m made of dust, but I am solid to an extent,” Darkrai replied. “I can probably squeeze under the door, but it’s not something I’ve practiced.”

At the base of the door, inky darkness started to seep through, though Mae could hardly tell in the darkness. Straining her eyes, the Lopunny made out the haze reforming into Darkrai’s body.

“Khh, that feels wrong,” Darkrai whispered, checking himself to make sure every part of him was intact. He smiled at Mae before looking down at Postcard. “You ready to do this?”

Mae nodded and reached over, putting one arm around Darkrai’s shoulder. Nodding at each other, the two drew back one leg and kicked the Pupitar simultaneously.

Postcard was sent tumbling, the Pupitar’s eyes snapping open instantly. Darkrai recoiled slightly, wincing, but Mae was worse off, the Lopunny howling in pain as she staggered backwards, only barely managing to stay upright as she held onto Darkrai.

“No! Mae, are you okay?” Darkrai said, looking between the Lopunny and the Pupitar in a panic.

Mae looked down at her leg hanging uselessly. “I can manage. But we have to- look out!” Cutting herself off, Mae threw her other arm around Darkrai, pulling him back just in time to avoid Postcard hurtling through the air.

The two scrambled back to their feet as the Pupitar impacted the opposing wall with a colossal crash, leaving a deep indent in the wall. As dust rained from the ceiling, the wooden supports groaning in protest, the Pupitar turned to face the pair, glaring fiercely.

“What did you do to Qiyo?” Postcard roared, launching herself towards them with another burst of air released from her backside. “You’re dead, both of you!”

Ducking under the Pupitar, Darkrai kicked the door open and bolted out of the room, practically dragging Mae. They hobbled through the basement, Mae occasionally casting glances backwards where Postcard could be heard cursing furiously as she rammed herself into wall after wall, trying to follow them.

Back on the main floor, Darkrai peered out a window, noticing a small crowd already starting to form at the entrance, attracted by the noise.

“You used your nightmares on the Watchog, didn’t you?” Mae grunted, squeezing her leg in pain. “I’m sorry, it’s my fault.”

“No, I think neither of us could have prepared for that,” Darkrai replied, hooking his arm under Mae’s to support her better. “We’ll think about it later, for now we have to get out of here.” As he said this, the building rumbled slightly, decorations falling off the walls. “Maybe if we’re lucky, this place will collapse on top of them.”

Mae was quiet. “Do you think it’ll kill them?”

Darkrai shook his head. “Not at all. I might feel a little better though.” He smiled, but it was strained.

Mae was about to reply when there was a loud crack, a portion of the ceiling breaking away and falling to the floor. Darkrai and Mae staggered away, shielding their eyes from the dust that flew up.

There was a cough through the haze. “You waited this long to do things the hard way.” Qiyoha emerged from the dust, looking annoyed. There was a gash in his head, a small trickle of blood running down his face. “Sorry, but I slept terribly so I’m a bit upset right now.”

“I thought you took care of him,” Mae hissed, her grip around Darkrai tightening.

“Obviously I’m out of practice,” Darkrai muttered, stepping back. “I’ll make up for it later.”

“I’m sure you will,” Qiyoha called, walking closer to the two. He stopped, hearing a rumble from underneath them. “Ah- it sounds like Postcard is upset,” he said, looking at the floor. A second later, the ground burst, a second cloud of dust filling the room.

Qiyoha held his arms in front of his face, grimacing. “Postcard? Is that you?”

There was a moment of silence before the Pupitar bounced out of the dust, nearly bowling over the Watchog. “Qiyo! You’re okay!”

“Huh? Yeah, I’m fine,” Qiyoha replied, slightly confused. The Watchog glanced around the room, frowning. “They ran away.”

Postcard groaned. “Do you want to chase them?”

The Watchog scanned the room thoughtfully. Rubble from the two holes was strewn across the floor, the sound of a crowd of pokemon echoing through the hall.

“I think we’ve done enough for tonight,” Qiyoha said, his shoulders slumping. “I have a feeling that we’ve gotten everything out of them that we can.” He shot a look at the holes. “Not like we can stay here anyway.”

Postcard nodded. “You want to go home now?”

“Yeah. I’m still a bit sleepy though, so let’s find a place to rest.” The Watchog reached out to Postcard, but hesitated. “Hey- Postcard? Do you have to sleep that much?”

The Pupitar started to reply, but stopped herself. “I... I won’t leave you alone Qiyo. Sorry, I was caught up in what I wanted.”

Qiyoha’s expression softened. “Thanks.”


Massive cracks splintered across the rocky ground. Black liquid leaked out of holes in the ground, occasionally erupting and leaving a slick surface. A foul smell lingered in the air as the sun blazed overhead, baking the group. Arceus was relatively fine, his pure white coloring reflected most of the sun in comparison to Mallys, who was clearly uncomfortable, though he tried not to show it. Mel felt partly invigorated by the sun, natural for a Lurantis, but was put off by the viscous black liquid that frequently ran in streams over the road. Stepping over these puddles was a conscious effort on the part of all three.

“Where are we going today?” Arceus asked.

“It’s called the Sankuanz Geyser,” Mallys replied. “It’s a natural spout of, whatever this stuff is.”

“Is it well known?” Mel experimentally poked the stuff, retracting her scythe just as fast. “Aw, this is disgusting.” She waved a claw to no avail, the black substance slowly sliding off her.

“World famous, at least that’s what I heard,” Mallys said. “Not famous enough it seems. Anyway, it should be near here.”

Down the road, the conditions grew worse. The red plains surged with scattered flames. Small fires leapt and bit at each other, occasionally swallowing puddles of the black fluid to become ferocious blazes. Off in the distance, a massive wall of fire could be seen, roaring up and down the cracked plains.

Mel was visibly shocked by the distant inferno. Mallys stared at it in disbelief.

“That’s amazing,” Arceus exclaimed, suppressing a shudder . “Good thing it’s over there.”

“For now at least.” Mallys glanced uneasily at the pools of liquid.

“I don’t want to think about that,” Arceus said.

As they continued, the sky became overcast, thick clouds blocking out the sun. They hung low enough that the massive fire almost touched the bottoms as the fire and the clouds tumbled against each other.

Arceus glanced over at the Haxorus. “You don’t look so good, Mallys,” he noted with concern.

“I’m fine,” Mallys said, idly rubbing his beak. “Don’t worry about it.” He waved Arceus off, squinting into the distance as he slowly chewed his tongue.

It was then that they noticed a large, squat pokemon bounding across the dusty plain towards them. It had rough grey brown skin with stubby flat rounded feet. A collection of holes ran along it’s back and on it’s nose, a few of which were full of sand.

“What are you all doing out here?” the Hippowdon yelled. Coming up to them, he stopped to catch his breath before glaring at them. “I hope I don’t have to remind you that the rain is coming.”

“Rain would be kind of nice,” Arceus said quietly.

The Hippowdon looked shocked. “I’m sorry, do you even know where you are?”

“Not really.” Arceus shook his head.

“So uh, you’re a bunch of drifters?” The Hippowdon shook his head. “Please say you’re kidding.”

“Actually, we are kind of tourists,” Arceus replied. “We wanted to see the, uh, the San-something geyser.”

“That’s even better, stupid tourists,” the Hippowdon said in a slightly drawn out tone. “That thing is hardly worth looking at.” As he said this, the skies opened giving way to a light drizzle.

Mallys looked at the fire in the distance. “You’d think this would be a good thing.”

“The key word in that is ‘think’, and if you think that, you’re wrong,” the Hippowdon said simply.

“I can accept that,” Mallys said.

“Just get out of here,” the Hippowdon said with a pained expression. “And come with me.”


Despite the apparent urgency, it was slow going following the Hippowdon through the rain. Mallys offered more than once to carry him, though it was clearly more out of irritation than politeness. The rainwater had begun to pool on the ground in spots, strangely it seemed to move all around the black liquid, but did not mix with it.

Mel, protected by her eye shields, looked straight up into the sky. “If this is such a bad thing, why are you out here if you’re so smart?”

“I know how to be careful, unlike you all,” the Hippowdon said. “See, I know where I’m going.”

In front of them was a tall building made of stacked rings of red stone. It was suspended in the air on a series of poles, a large one in the center, and several smaller poles ringing the edge. The facade was dotted irregularly with holes, and an assortment of tubes ran across sections. Resting on top of the structure was a large glass sphere. It was hard to tell from the ground, but the sphere was constantly spinning in place. A set of zig-zagging stairs led up to a low wide entrance with a sign overhead bearing a logo of an arrangement of interlocking circles

Arceus didn’t have very long to take it in, the Hippowdon hurried them up the staircase as the rain poured down. It fell in dense waves now, and a low roar of thunder could be heard in the distance.

There was a cold breeze blowing in the chamber they entered. Arceus shivered slightly, hoping the water would dry quickly. Looking over, he felt slightly guilty, Mel and Mallys looked miserable in comparison, while the Hippowdon seemed unaffected.

“Are you guys ok?” Arceus asked.

Mallys glanced at Mel, then back to Arceus, “I think I speak for both of us when I say we find the cold particularly uncomfortable.”

Mel nodded in confirmation but said nothing, grimacing.

“Just get over it,” the Hippowdon said, shaking his head. “I’m hardly partial to it myself but you don’t hear me complaining.” He walked off as he said this, leaving the group standing in the airy room, the sound of falling rain growing stronger. “Look around if you get bored,” he called lightly.

“Well, what do we do now?” Arceus said, looking around in confusion.

“Dry off,” Mallys replied.


Sitting in the entrance, they watched the rain. Distant voices echoed from somewhere, but there was otherwise a quiet punctuated by the occasional crack of thunder.

“I’ve never seen this much water before,” Mel said, awestruck. As far as one could see, the rain soaked the red plains. Though most of the smaller fires around had gone out, the blaze in the distance was still going strong, columns of steam mixing with the clouds.

“You’ve never seen the ocean?” Mallys asked.

“The mountain was my entire life, so not really.”

Mallys made a face. “It really must have been if you think that’s the only mountain in the world.”

“I only called it that because- I mean I know there’s other mountains, it’s just that....” Mel trailed off in frustration.

“Well, I haven’t seen the ocean either,” Arceus said helpfully.

“You don’t know that,” Mallys said.

“I- I don’t.” Arceus’ face fell.

“He’s still right though.” Mel gave Mallys a pointed look. “It doesn’t matter if he saw it before, only if he saw it now.”

Mallys shrugged. “I’m sure if this keeps up, he’ll see a lot of oceans.” The Haxorus paused with an unreadable expression. “-and mountains.”

Mel shook her head in exasperation as Arceus looked between them. “Don’t be like that Mallys,” he said.

“Sorry Arceus, it’s just playing.” Mallys grinned at Mel as he said this.

Mel shuddered at the fake levity. “Yea,” she said. “It’s uh, really nothing.”

Arceus looked between them suspiciously. “It doesn’t feel like that. Be nice to each other,” he snapped, a bit stronger than he intended to.

Arceus shrank back, slightly embarrassed. They sat quietly for a while before Arceus spoke again.

“Uh, what does the ocean look like anyway?”

“It’s blue,” Mallys said. “Just blue as far as you can see. I really don’t know how to describe it other than that.” He was silent for a moment. “-and uh, there is more than one ocean too, if you didn’t hear me earlier.”

“That’s my fault,” Arceus said, turning to Mel. “Mel, do you think every ocean is blue?”

“Maybe?” Mel said. “But that would be kind of boring, you think?”

“Huh, well we won’t know until we see it.” Arceus suddenly whipped around to Mallys, giving the Haxorus an intense stare. “Don’t tell us either, Mallys.”

“If that’s what you want,” Mallys said, faking disappointment. “I won’t tell.” He paused for a moment, looking thoughtful. “Although, if you’re talking like that, it sounds like we’re in this for the long run.”

Arceus nodded. “I was confident earlier, but I was thinking about it, and I’m definitely prepared for the possibility of not getting anything done soon. But uh, I’m not making you come, you can go home whenever.”

“No, it’s not that,” Mallys said, shaking his head. “Just wanted to clarify.”

Arceus stared at the floor for a moment, looking distant. “Why are you guys still with me anyway?”

“You’re asking?” Mallys sounded subdued, looking away.

“Yea, why?” Arceus nodded. “You said before that it was fine if you left for a few days, but you’re still here and it’s been a few few days.”

Mallys was caught off guard. “A few- few?” he asked in confusion.

Mel nudged Arceus. “You can’t say you have a few of a few, it makes no sense.” She leaned closer whispering apologetically. “It makes sense to me.”

“Oh! Sorry.” Arceus shook his head. “I meant you’ve been with me for a couple of few days now.”

“Yes, yes I have been.” Mallys was impassive. He shot a disapproving glance at Mel who was trying with little success to contain her laughter.

“So?” Arceus continued. “Why are you still here? I mean, not that it’s a bad thing.”

Mallys was silent for a moment. “I said before that I lived in that little temple for thirty or so odd years. Never really seen much myself, so I guess I’m just looking for something to do. You know?”

“I guess I do know,” Arceus said matter-of-factly before turning to Mel. “What about you Mel?”

The Lurantis shrugged. “I want to see the world. Not entirely my own idea, but I’m liking it so far.”

There was a moment while Arceus thought about what both Mallys and Mel said. “You guys are really nice.” He paused. “We’ll figure this all out. I’ll go find someone to help!” He abruptly moved and disappeared through a hall, leaving Mel and Mallys sitting in silence.

“Did we mess up?” Mallys stared straight forward saying this.

Mel shook her head looking at him. “I think that’s just him being weird. On that subject though, I’m in the clear, I was being up-front.” She narrowed her eyes. “-in comparison.”

“Caught that didn’t you?” Mallys said idly. “I don’t have any answers for you though.”

She rolled her eyes. “If anything, it’s more surprising Arceus didn’t catch that. But I don’t really think you’re gonna tell the truth either way, so I’ll leave it at that.”

Mallys made a face. “Mmmm, that’s a good call.”

“You’re the one who said you can’t distrust me forever. It won’t really mean anything if I can’t trust you.”

“I can work with that.”

“Shut up!” Mel said angrily. “Are we just going to pretend like this is ok? He’ll notice eventually.”

Mallys frowned. “I- well- you think?”

“Yea” Mel said. “He’s a bit out there, but he’s not dumb.”

“What do you say we do then?” Mallys asked.

Mel said nothing for a moment. “I don’t think either of us can solve anything right now...” She trailed off. “Let’s go on your idea, just help Arceus, and if we can’t agree-” Mel gestured in the air. “Then we’ll just say ‘Agree to Disagree’.”

“Agree to disagree?”

“Just like that.” Mel nodded, satisfied. “-and we’ll just forget about it.”

“That sounds like a terrible idea,” Mallys said.

“Right back at ya then, what do you suggest?”

They sat there for a while. Then a while longer. The rain was falling, the fire was burning, it was kind of a bad day.

“Agree to disagree.” Mallys voice was low and strained.

“Agree to disagree,” Mel replied. They said nothing else.


“What’s your name?”

“Can you tell me first? I’m not good with strangers.”

Arceus looked at the chunk of ice curiously. “I’m Arceus.”

“How do you spell that?”

“I uh-” Arceus thought for a moment. “I don’t know.”

“I heard that if you can’t spell your own name, it’s not your name at all.” The miniature glacier spoke shyly, giving Arceus a reserved glance.

“It’s really my name!” Arceus said. “How can I convince you?”

The tiny iceberg thought about it. “You could try to spell your name?”

This was a tough one. For a while, Arceus stood in place making sounds while the little ice block watched.

After a moment of thinking, he hesitantly started. “A-r-s-e-o-u-s.” There was something strangely gratifying about spelling out his own name, and as Arceus watched, it seemed to satisfy the small cold stone.

“Oh! You’re Arceus then,” it said happily. “I’m Toconoma, and I know how to spell that.”

“Alright Toconoma,” Arceus said. “Uh, sorry, but what are you?”

“What am I?” Toconoma looked confused. “What do you mean?”

“What kind of-” Arceus cut off for a moment, thinking of the right words to say. “What kind of pokemon are you?”

“Me? I’m a berger.” Toconoma was still for a moment. “Wait, I meant Bergmite.”

Arceus wouldn’t have known better either way, but nodded nonetheless. “I see. Anyway, this might sound strange, but what is this place?”

Toconoma’s eyes widened. “You don’t know?” He sounded excited, looking around as if to see if they were being watched.

Arceus looked away embarrassed. “I know, I probably should know, sorry.”

“No no no, it’s not bad, not that bad. Actually, you’re the first pokemon I can tell about this place. It’s kind of exciting.” The Bergmite was practically jumping up and down.

“Oh, r-really?” Arceus was surprised.

“Yeah! This is the FRDC, or Fluid Research and Development Center. It’s a bit plain, but we’re one of a kind.”

“In the world?”

“I wish,” Toconoma said with a hint of sadness. “Anyway, this facility was created to study the dynamics of oil and it’s vector reactions.”


“That uhm, black liquid that’s outside. I hope I’m not assuming too much.”

Arceus tilted his head to one side. “I get it, I think. So that’s oil? What kind of liquid is it?”

“You might not know this, but the oil is why there’s fires everywhere” Toconoma had a surprising air of authority for his size, “Not only is it flammable, but it’s proprietary tension value is in excess of seventeen! It has the highest recorded internal movement resonance, and theoretically it is a near perfect replacement for water.”

Arceus blinked. “I didn’t know a liquid could be that much. I guess if it could replace water, you can drink it right?”

“I don’t know,” Toconoma said. “It’s theoretical after all, we might have some around here if you want to though.”

“I wish I could,” Arceus said. “Anyway, we were brought here by a uh, a pokemon with a big nose.”

Toconoma lit up. “You met Bolero? He knows even more about oil than I do, he’s really smart. He taught me all about oil.”

“Well, thinking about it now, he did seem like the type that would be in the know about a lot of things,” Arceus said. “-about oil,” he added somewhat hastily.

“Who knows, maybe even more than that,” Toconoma said happily. “Oh oh, if you’re a visitor, then I gotta take you to the Administrator. She runs this place.”

“I’ll go with you, but I have to get my friends first,” Arceus said.

“There are other pokemon?” Toconoma looked thoughtful. “I hope I can tell them about oil too.”

Arceus hesitated. “I don’t know. Maybe.”
Last edited:


Windswept Questant
All right, new chapter! Let's take a look.

Arceus had somehow fallen asleep on his side, he lay on two large logs, using the space between to fit his ring.
Here's a comma splice. Because "Arceus had somehow fallen asleep on his side" and "He lay on two large logs" are both complete sentences, you want a period after "side" rather than a comma.

There was a flicker of something in Mallys’ expression, “Now you’re thinking”.
Your dialogue punctuation is looking really good in this chapter for the most part, but this one sneaked through. Period should be inside the quotation mark, and since "There was a flicker of something in Mallys' expression" doesn't have anything to do with what he actually says, there should be a period after "expression."

Arceus had rolled onto his back.
How did he even manage that, lol.

“That’s a lot of questions. Let me put it this way, if you did, you would be doing a lot of pokemon a big favor.”
TRAGIC PAST TRAGIC PAST. My instinct is to guess that Mallys has some kind of criminal history, but this is a story with a lot of unexpected elements, so I won't be surprised if it turns out it's something far less common than that.

A collection of holes ran along it’s back and on it’s nose a few of which were full of sand.
Both the "it's" here should be "its." Also a comma after "nose."

Arceus didn’t have very long to take it in, the Hippowdon hurried them up the staircase as the rain poured down.
Another comma splice. Should be a period after "in" instead of a comma.

Looking over, he felt slightly guilty, Mel and Mallys looked miserable in comparison, while the Hippowdon seemed unaffected.
And here, period after "guilty" instead of a comma.

“It really must of been if you think that’s the only mountain in the world.”
It sounds like "must of" when people say it out loud, but it actually should be "must have." Just how it's pronounced.

Mel shook her head looking at him.
And here, you do want a comma after "head!"

“Agree to disagree.” Mallys voice was low and strained.
Should be *Mallys', with an apostrophe

Oh dear, now he's really condemned to be arse-eus forever, isn't he?

It's great to see how Mel's already changing the dynamic of the group and putting a bit more pressure on Mallys--Arceus is simply too oblivious to have realized the implications of a lot of what Mallys has said, but Mel isn't the type to just let things slide! I'm definitely interested in seeing what's up with Mallys, and it's good to see character progression in that direction, too; a story structured like this runs the risk of kind of meandering all over the place but never actually going anywhere, so it's important to have indictors of progression like this. Incidentally, I'm also really curious to see whether we'll ever run into anybody who actually recognizes Arceus for what he is--I mean, presumably there must be people out there who know him, right?

This chapter was also a nice reminder of how neat your setting is. I don't think I've ever seen a pokémon story visit a petroleum field like this... I don't even know to what extent this kind of geological feature exists in the real world! It adds to that real alternate-world vibe that this story has. And then the bergmite going on about vectors and tension and flammability and so on--also way more science-y than you usually see in a pokémon society! I also like how apparently the idea that pokémon can drink oil is still purely theoretical, even though it would obviously be trivial to test--not that it would exactly be a very wise experiment, probably!

Kind of a short-feeling transitional chapter here, but I think it did a nice job of setting up for future chapters, and it's introduced another interesting place for us to explore along with Arceus. Onwards!
Chapter 6

RJR Basimilus

Arceus is nice I suppose...
the Lovely Planet
  1. arceus-fighting
  2. lurantis
  3. arceus-poison
  4. haxorus
Local bum writes too many words about talking.
Thanks again for reading, Negrek!

Edit 8/21/21
Clarity + Subplot. More Toconoma coming to a theater near you.

Chapter 6 > Obvious paradigms

“Sorry,” Mallys said. “You’ll have to repeat that one. I- I don’t think I heard you right.” The Haxorus looked at Toconoma apologetically. “Mel probably didn’t hear either, right Mel?”

“I don’t know,” Mel said noncommittally. “I stopped listening around the curve part or something.”

“You mean the vertical mobility curve?” Arceus said. Mel gave him a strange look.

“Oh come on.” Mallys shook his head in frustration. “At least have the decency to lie.”

“I really don’t mind,” Toconoma said from somewhere behind the Haxorus. “Most pokemon don’t even say anything when they ignore me.”

There was an awkward silence for a moment before Toconoma, who didn’t seem bothered at all, started talking about oil again. Arceus listened with rapt attention while Mallys and Mel exchanged glances.

“I feel bad now,” Mel whispered to Mallys.

“You should, you really blew it” Mallys replied. “Just- just don’t be so weird next time.”

“You think I’m weird? You??” Mel looked down for a moment before shaking her head. “I won’t, I mean, I’ll try not to be weird ok?”

Mallys smiled. “That’s good.”

“You’re not much better,” Mel protested.


“So basically, you’re like an expert in oil now?” Mel looked at Arceus curiously.

“Not at all. But Toconoma unofficially appointed me as an intermediate researcher.” Arceus seemed more confused than anything, but he tried to sound confident.

“Tell me an oil fact,” Mel said rather abruptly. “Like, something really cool.”

Arceus was taken aback. “Cool? I er, well, uh...” He thought for a moment. “Oil was invented two thousand years ago by nomadic tribes of Houndoom as a means of faster travel.”

Mel nodded, not understanding. “How exactly did they do that?”

“Uh, I don’t know what a Houndoom looks like.” Arceus gave Toconoma a pointed look.

“Houndoom run on four legs like you and me,” Toconoma said looking at Arceus. “I forget exactly what they look like too, but they used the oil to skate along the ground really fast.”

Mel shrugged. “I still don’t really follow, but that sounds about right.”

“Oh, oh!” Toconoma sounded excited. “You’re a dragon right?” He looked at Mallys. “Were you alive to see that?”

Mallys huffed indignantly. “I’m hardly over two hundred, that’s a long way off.”

“Sorry, sorry. But aren’t there dragons that live that long?” Toconoma sounded hopeful.

“I don’t... I wouldn’t know,” Mallys said, looking away.

“Oh... That sucks,” Toconoma said. He looked upset for a moment before suddenly perking up. “Maybe one day I can find out and tell you!”

“That’s very nice of you, Toconoma. I look forward to it.” The Haxorus nodded encouragingly.

“I won’t disappoint you, Mr. Mallys.”


“What do you think this tastes like?”

Mae held up the yellow berry, taking a drink with her other hand.

“Kind of like an olive,” Darkrai replied, shrugging. “What’s that called again?”

The Lopunny frowned, staring at the berry. “I don’t remember.” She looked over her shoulder. “Hey! What’s this called again?”

“Yache,” the Electrabuzz responded, not bothering to move from where he lay on his side on the other side of the room.

Darkrai and Mae were the only customers in the roadside cafe. The Electrabuzz waiter had seen to their order, then immediately went back to laying on one of the tables, half-asleep.

Darkrai idly glanced at a row of faded photos on the wall. “It kind of tastes like an olive.”

“What? It does not!” Mae said loudly, leaning forward. She immediately scowled and slumped back. “Ooh, shouldn’t have done that.”

“Mae-” Darkrai started, his expression turning serious. “If your leg is broken, we have to go get it checked out.”

The Lopunny waved him off, taking a bite of the yache berry. “I’ll be fine. If it still hurts later, I’ll go- but for now let’s get away from the city.”

Darkrai was silent, staring at Mae. Nearby other pokemon entered the cafe, the Electrabuzz rising to greet them.

“I think we’re far enough away to relax a little,” Darkrai said, folding his arms. “And I mean in the sense of making sure you’re alright.”

Mae rubbed her leg slowly. “Alright. If you insist,” she said, smiling a little. “If it makes you happy, then I’m happy.”

“Hey, long time no see!”

Darkrai and Mae looked up to see Qiyoha waving at them. The Watchog smiled brightly.

“Before you say anything, all that stuff from yesterday is in the past now. We got what we wanted, so we’re not interested in you guys anymore. Sorry about the trouble, right Postcard?” He turned around so that the Pupitar could face the two.

The Pupitar eyed them warily. “You can count yourselves lucky. But if you feel bitter about it, I wouldn’t mind beating you up.”

Darkrai was aghast, unable to move as their words sunk in. “What... you?”

“Darkrai,” Mae said quietly, “Let’s just-”

“Lucky?!” Darkrai slammed a fist on the table, startling Qiyoha. “You shake us down, lock my mate in the basement for over a week, and break her leg, but we’re lucky?”

Postcard’s gaze flitted down to Mae’s leg. “Did that happen when you moved me? I’m not going to apologize, you knew what you were getting into.”

“Come on, let’s not get into this,” Qiyoha begged, shooting a glance at the Electrabuzz, who was watching them. “I was just trying to put it in a better light.”

“It’s not helping much,” Mae said, shaking her head. She cast a worried glance at Darkrai, who was still fuming. “Why even bother coming to us?” she asked, “Do you really think apologizing makes it better?”

Qiyoha laughed nervously. “We were just here to eat before we got on the road. You just happened to be here, so I thought we’d say hi.”

Mae buried her head in her arms. “Right,” she murmured.

“So if we’re all good now, can you at least explain why you came after us?” Darkrai asked. His anger was waning and he seemed exhausted.

“As I said, we’re fundraising,” Qiyoha replied blankly. “Someone directed us to you and said you’d be able to help.” He nodded. “And you did.”

Darkrai slumped in his seat. “This whole thing was just bad luck?”

“Yep,” Postcard said from Qiyoha’s back. “Don’t think about it too much.”

“Good advice,” Mae said, sighing. “At least this will make for a good story.”

“Ha, well we’re going to head out,” Qiyoha said, shoving a few berries the Electrabuzz had brought into his mouth. “Actually, quick question-” he added after he had finished chewing. “We’re still fundraising, do you know anyone else who could help us out?”

The Lopunny gawked at the two. “Seriously?”

Postcard groaned. “That’s kind of in bad taste, Qiyo.”

“You want something else?” Darkrai murmured, staring down at the table.

“Hey...” Mae said, reaching over to him.

Darkrai looked up at Qiyoha, his eyes boring into the Watchog. “Why don’t you go back to Carigara and look up a business called RWS. I know they can help you,” he said bitterly.

“Huh- really?” Qiyoha blinked in surprise. “Thanks! We’ll go there.”

“Qiyo,” Postcard said dryly, “Do you have any reason to believe he’s not just leading us on?”

Qiyoha shook his head. “We’re going back there anyway, so it’s not like we’re going out of our way. If he lied, we don’t lose anything.”

“Fair enough, it’s your call,” Postcard replied, slightly exasperated. The Pupitar glanced over at Darkrai. “Judging by his tone though, we might be doing him a favor.”

Darkrai glared at them, but said nothing.

“See you around then,” Qiyoha said, waving at Mae and Darkrai. “Maybe?” The pair left, stopping to thank the Electrabuzz who lazily acknowledged them.

“RWS?” Mae asked, looking curiously at Darkrai.

“It’s...it’s a long story,” Darkrai said, deflating slightly. “I didn’t really even mean to say it- I just got so angry that they treated this whole thing like some little disagreement.”

“It’s not worth getting upset about now,” Mae said. “Look, why don’t we go get my leg looked at? It’ll get your mind off this, won’t it?”

Darkrai exhaled in relief. “I’d like that. Let’s go now.”

Mae grasped his arms, holding him in place. “Finish eating first.”

Caught off guard, Darkrai sat silently. “Oh- oh yeah. We’ll do that.”


Toconoma led the group through a series of corridors to a central room. The cold air had been steadily intensifying, and now it was apparent why. A humongous hunk of ice moved about the room, making everything around it seem just a little more blue. The Avalugg didn’t seem to notice the group as they entered, or maybe it just didn’t care.

“Hey M-” Toconoma seemed to catch himself. “Administrator, heey, heeey.”

The Administrator looked at Toconoma for a moment, then at Arceus and company. “Did you forget where the main desk was again?”

“Not at all!” Toconoma said. “These are my new fellow researchers, and uh friends too.”

“Really?” the Administrator seemed duly surprised. “That’s very nice, thank you for letting me know.”

Toconoma turned to face Arceus. “All done. Let’s go!”

“Huh?” Arceus blinked.

Before anyone else could say anything, Toconoma ushered them to an adjacent hallway. Mel and Mallys were exchanging confused glances while Arceus repeatedly looked back at the Administrator through the doorway.

“Is an introduction supposed to last longer, or was I lied to?” Mel asked.

“Generally yes,” Mallys said.

Toconoma looked at the Haxorus in surprise. “Wow, I didn’t know that either.”

Mallys glanced at Toconoma disapprovingly. “Is that a joke?”

“No- no,” Toconoma said, sounding panicked. “I didn’t mean to- sorry, really sorry.”

“You- you didn’t know?” Mallys was confused. The Haxorus stepped over to a row of chairs, sitting on one.

Toconoma mumbled an incoherent jumble of sounds before collecting himself. “My mother told me introductions need to be short or you’re just wasting time. M-maybe yours are just different?”

“I don’t think so,” Mallys said, scratching the back of his head. He leaned back. “That sounds like an exception to the rule.”

Toconoma shifted uncomfortably back and forth. “It was ok back there when we talked with her though...” He trailed off.

“Wait-” Mel cut in, her eyes wide. “The Administrator is your mom?”

“Yea, you saw that right?” Toconoma said sheepishly. “I almost called her mom while she was working, and that’s like the biggest thing I’m not supposed to do. Honestly, I’m kind of embarrassed.”

“I feel you there,” Mel said. The Lurantis glanced back at the doorway. “She didn’t really seem like your parent,” she added.

“Embarrassed for what though?” Mallys said, ignoring Mel. “I’m not sure what anyone could expect out of a kid?”

Toconoma made a face at Mallys. He seemed to be trying to puff himself up. “I’m not a kid, I’m a professional.” The Bergmite stopped, looking at the ground, his expression falling. “Actually, I suppose I am kind of a kid, it- it’s not good to lie.”

“I guess not,” Mallys said quietly.

Mel looked at Mallys strangely for a moment before looking back to Toconoma. “Is your mom, uh, the Administrator, a researcher too?”

“Not really,” he said, his sadness forgotten. “She’s just an administrator.”

“Administrator of what?” Mel asked.

“The hotel.” Toconoma paused. “Uh, research doesn’t really make any money so this place is kind of a tourist resort too.”

“Seems like the opposite of a conducive environment,” Mallys said dryly.

“I don’t know what that means, but you’re probably right,” Toconoma replied.

Mel nudged the Bergmite, shooting him a small smile. “Don’t let him get you down, I don’t know what it means either.”

“It was nice to meet your mother,” Arceus said, shifting from side to side. “Anyway, when can we see the geyser?”

“The geyser?” Toconoma made a face, “But that’s boring. If you really want to see it though, you have to wait.”

“Wait? For what?” Arceus looked around as if expecting the answer to be nearby.

“If I had to guess-” Mallys’ interjected. “It’s the rain, isn’t it?”

“That’s right,” Toconoma said, moving up and down in a rough approximation of a nod. “It won’t stop for another day or so, and then it has to drain for a day.”

“But...” Mallys rubbed a claw along the bridge of his beak. “That doesn’t make sense. Where does all the water come from? How does that fire continue to burn?”

“I know oil, not water,” Toconoma replied with an air of indifference. “It’s just what happens.”

Mallys sighed. “Whatever. We’ll wait. You’re lucky we’re not on a schedule.”

“Hey!” Mel cut in angrily. “It’s not his fault. He can’t control the weather.” She paused for a moment before looking uncertainly at Toconoma. “You can’t do that right?”

“I wish I could control the weather,” Toconoma pouted.

“That doesn’t matter,” Mallys replied. “I’m simply expressing my disappointment.”

“Do it some other way then.” Mel waved her scythes in exasperation. “Toconoma, can you show me where I can eat something? I’m uh- I need to eat.”

Nodding happily, Toconoma led Mel away, leaving Arceus and Mallys standing in silence.

“You guys shouldn’t argue so much,” Arceus said simply.

Mallys shook his head, smiling ruefully. “We haven’t argued that much, you’re just worrying.”

“Oh.” Arceus thought for a moment. “But if I’m worrying, wouldn’t that mean something’s still wrong?”

“Not really, but thanks for thinking of us. Mel and I have something worked out, we’re just getting used to it.”

Arceus looked at him suspiciously, but his gaze faltered after a moment. “Alright, I believe you,” he said. “But you understand why I’m asking right? Both this and earlier.”

The Haxorus groaned. “Yes. I’m sorry for making you worry.” He paused. “Anyway, I suppose we’re stuck here for the time being,” Mallys said. “This is partially my fault for not actually reading into where we are going.”

Arceus didn’t feel particularly bothered. “It’s not that bad, the geyser won’t go anywhere,” he said.

“It’s not so much that as it is just wasting time. You still don’t remember anything, what if we wait too long and you forget that you were even trying to remember?” Mallys was almost comically serious.

“I- wait.” Arceus had to process Mallys’ question. “Can that happen?”

Mallys shrugged. “You want to find out?”

Arceus felt a chill run down his back.


Mel didn’t feel hungry anymore. As she glanced over the collection of fruits again, Toconoma seemed frantic.

“Do you not eat berries? I just thought that- you looked kind of green- I mean, I...” He looked at the floor.

“I eat berries. I’m just not as hungry as I thought I was,” Mel said blankly. She felt melancholic, but she didn’t know why.

Toconoma perked up. “Oh, I get that. Sometimes I think I want something, but then I don’t really want it, or I forget I wanted it.”

Mel nodded, not really listening. “Yeah. I’ll eat it eventually, you don’t need to hang around for me.”

“Are you sure?”

“I just need a bit of time, just come by later.”

Toconoma looked at the Lurantis. “Ok, see you!” He scurried away.

Mel watched him leave, then back at the assortment in front of her. She sighed, poking one with a scythe.

“Are you going to eat that?” A voice came from beside her. Mel looked over to see a Combusken looking at her curiously.

“I uh, what?” she said.

The Combusken gestured to her food. “That stuff, are you going to eat it?”

Mel looked over the food for a moment. “No,” she said after a second.

“Then can I have it?” The Combusken seemed overly eager, eyes flitting between her and the food.

“I guess.” Mel sat in thought as the chicken devoured the food. “Do you like lying?”

The Combusken stopped and looked at her strangely. “I heard that liars get invariably smited, but that hasn’t happened yet. Although I don’t think I’ve ever considered if I like lying. What do you mean?”

Mel wavered for a moment. “Well, I have this friend, actually kind of more of a friend of a friend, like, I don’t dislike them, you know?”

“How long have you known this friend?” the Combusken asked.

“Not even that long, only a week or so.” Mel idly made circles in the air with one scythe. “But I’m not sure of the direction we’re going, I feel like I’m doing something wrong.”

For a moment there was silence before the chicken spoke again. “Maybe you are if you’re telling all this to a stranger.”

Mel blinked, suddenly becoming aware of what she was doing. “Whu- I- Ghh...” She turned away for a moment. “Ugh, sorry about that.”

“It’s all past us now,” the Combusken replied, grinning at her. “I can’t blame you, it was obviously something you had to let out; of course, also the fact that you let such a delicious snack go.”

“Haa...” Mel let out a sigh with a sheepish expression. “Sorry, the whole day just kind of caught up to me. I’m Mel by the way.”

“It’s wonderful to meet you Mel, I am-” He stopped. “You can call me G, but I can’t tell you my real name.”

“Oh, alright.” Mel was slightly intrigued, but tried not to show it.

“That being said...” G continued, “I don’t really know if there’s something to be said about meeting someone else like this, but it was nice.”

“Thanks for listening I guess” Mel said, smiling slightly. “I hope I didn’t mess up your day.”

“Not in the slightest,” G said. “Uh, as for your problem, it sounds like you’re having a rough period. I think that it will get better though!”

“Do you think so?” Mel sounded hopeful. “You’re probably right.”

“I don’t know about that, just my opinion really.” G waved a claw, speaking through a mouthful of food. “You don’t seem like someone who would get in a bad relationship anyway.”

“That’s right,” Mel said, looking off into space.


“Since you’re not guests at the hotel, we can’t get you guys a room, but this is just as good!” Toconoma sounded proud.

Mallys looked around, not particularly impressed. “This is a storage closet.”

“Only if you think it is,” Arceus said playfully from behind him.

They had come into a room of middling size, filled with different sized boxes. Miscellaneous junk was piled on the floor and against the walls, and there was a damp smell in the air.

“This is the best part.” Toconoma slowly climbed up box after box as he spoke until he was on top of a particularly large one, “These boxes are mostly empty, so if you open one- which I can’t do -then you have a great place to stay!”

Mallys gestured with a claw and Toconoma moved to another box. With little effort, Mallys removed the top of the box and looked inside.

He spoke after a moment. “It’s straw.”

“Straw is really nice to sleep on, I do it all the time!” Toconoma said. “You wouldn’t believe how comfortable it is.”

“I do know, just saying what it is for him.” Mallys tilted his head back at Arceus.

“Um, do you want to try getting in it?” Toconoma looked at the pair.

“Not in the slightest,” Mallys said before turning to his companion. “Arceus? What do you want?”

“I’ll try it,” Arceus said, looking over the box. “Do I just get in?”

“Yes?” Toconoma sounded confused, but still eager. “It’s a box.”

For a while, Arceus tapped the box experimentally, craning his neck to look inside repeatedly. He was still for a moment before suddenly leaping up the side, unfortunately his back legs were briefly caught on the edge, Mallys rushed over and pushed them over while Arceus flailed in place.

Mallys looked inside, seeing Arceus experimentally wriggling around in the straw. “Is that comfortable?”

“Actually it is,” Arceus said. “It’s solid, but my ring kind of goes right through it so it works out! I’m even feeling kind of tired now.”

“If you close the lid, it feels more comfortable!” Toconoma piped up from somewhere in the pile of boxes.

Mallys glanced around the room, appearing a little exasperated. “Arceus? Do you want me to close the box?”

“Do it. It might be fun,” Arceus said from inside the box. He watched as Mallys shrugged and replaced the lid on top, leaving him in complete darkness.

“You’re...you’re fine in there right?” Mallys sounded concerned.

“Yeah, everything’s ok, it’s kind of relaxing.” Arceus’ voice was muffled.

“Hold on,” Mallys said. “You don’t have a mouth right? You speak through telepathy or something?”

“I think?” Arceus sounded unsure. “I don’t know how it works.”

“If it was telepathy or something similar, then it wouldn’t be dampened by anything,” Mallys said, tracing a claw along the top of the box. “So what’s going on?”

“Oh oh, I think I know,” Toconoma said, appearing from somewhere. “I read once that some pokemon can make noise by vibrating air particles.”

Mallys thought about it for a moment, frowning. “That sounds unrealistic, but it’s better than nothing.”

“I don’t really mind either way,” Arceus said. “Why ask now though, Mallys?”

“Simple curiosity. You never know how the smallest things can help.”

/* <><><><><> */
/* */

A pervasive nothingness hung over the nighttime air, punctuating the darkness and silence.

Mel was awakened by the cold. She tried to ignore it, but the feeling persisted, leaving her extremely uncomfortable. It almost reminded her a bit of home. Taking a deep breath, Mel pulled herself up, opening her eyes to see Toconoma directly in front of her.

“You’re awake,” Toconoma whispered. “I was trying to think of how to wake you up, but I wasn’t sure if you’d get upset.”

Mel glanced to the side where Mallys was asleep in a heap of junk. He was lucky, he probably didn’t feel anything through his scales, Mel felt a twinge of pain from sleeping on top of a box.

Mel blinked in the dark. “What is it, Toconoma?” The Bergmite had the same boundless energy from earlier.

“I was thinking about the geyser-” He seemed to catch himself. “Well, about how Arceus said he wanted to see the geyser, and I thought of something we can do about it.”

“You could have told him some other time.” Mel was half asleep, but tried to focus. “Why go through the trouble of helping us anyway? You don’t even know my name.”

“Oh.” Toconoma looked embarrassed for a moment. “W-what is your name?”

“It’s Mel. Just Mel.”

Toconoma stared at her for a moment. “Ok Mel. How do you spell that?”

“What?” Mel was confused. “M-E-L, exactly as it sounds.”

“Mmhmmm.” Toconoma seemed relieved. “Sorry about that,” he whispered. “I’ll explain later.”

Mel was fully awake now. “You want to tell Arceus something? I mean, I don’t know where he is, when you brought me here earlier, I just assumed he had found a better place to sleep. Or Mallys had found something for him.”

“Actually he’s in the box under you.”

Mel was frozen for a moment. “Eh?”

“He did it because I said I liked it,” Toconoma said happily. “No one’s done that before.”

Mel nodded slowly, rolling her eyes. “Sounds exactly like Arceus.”

“I woke you up because we have to wake him up,” Toconoma said. “Also we can’t open the box if you’re on top of it.”

“If you say so.” Mel hopped down from the crate, landing softly on the ground. She started to walk to where Mallys was sleeping, but stopped hearing a small noise.

“Um-” Toconoma spoke nervously from behind her. “Do we have to?”

“Do we have to what?” Mel thought for a moment, looking back at the Haxorus. “You mean like, not wake him up?” She pointed at Mallys with a scythe.

Toconoma was silent.

“I- I get it, he’s pretty scary sometimes,” Mel said softly. “It’s not that bad though.”

“It’s not just that,” Toconoma said. “Your friend is too big.” There was a pause. “-and scary like you said.”

“Too big for what?”

“The thing! I forget what it’s called.”

“Oh.” Mel suppressed a sigh.

Toconoma shifted back and forth. “Anyway, we gotta get Arceus. But I can’t open the box.”

Mel looked it over. “How much do you care about it?”

“About what, the box?” He hesitated, looking over the crate. “It’s just a box.”

Mel silently cut a side out of the box, her scythes slowly and methodically moving in tandem.

Toconoma looked regretfully at the hole in the box where straw was spilling out. “We were mean to it.”

Mel made a face at Toconoma as she moved the piece she had cut from the crate. “You just said it’s only a box.”

The Bergmite didn’t reply.


Mel watched Mallys’ sleeping form carefully for movement. Satisfied, she turned to Toconoma who was directly behind her.

“I don’t know how much of a sleeper he is, so I don’t think we can wake Arceus up here.”

Toconoma thought about it, looking confused. “But I woke you up. You were in here.”

“That’s uh- it might have worked once but you know...” Mel tried to find the right words, wringing her scythes. “It’s what’s called an abundance of caution.”

“If you think so, Mel,” Toconoma said. “But what are we going to do? Take him out of the box? Arceus is really big.” He stopped for a moment, glancing at Mallys. “I think he’s bigger though.”

For a moment, Mel was silent. “I think... I have a weird idea.”
Last edited:
Chapter 7

RJR Basimilus

Arceus is nice I suppose...
the Lovely Planet
  1. arceus-fighting
  2. lurantis
  3. arceus-poison
  4. haxorus
🎶 Edit 8/21/21
Minor edits

Chapter 7 : That's hot

Toconoma walked slowly down the hall. Behind him, a trail of ice covered the floor.

“Look, when we’re done, we’ll melt it, easy!” Mel was trying her best to calm Toconoma down, but it was clear she wasn’t particularly confident herself.

“The Administrator is going to kill me when she finds this.”

“Don’t say when, say if!” Mel said. “Also uh, you don’t have to call her the Administrator all the time though.”

“It’s a good habit.” Toconoma was deadly serious.

Mel shook her head in defeat. “I’m not here to argue about these things. Anyway, let’s do it.”

The process was simple, albeit, much easier in theory. After a bit of pulling and pushing, Mel and Toconoma moved Arceus’ sleeping form out of the box and onto the trail of ice. For a moment, Mel stopped, thinking that maybe Arceus would wake up in response to the cold. He didn’t, so they continued out the door and down the hall.

“You know, something about this feels really meaningful.” Mel had one scythe wrapped around one of Arceus’ rings, pulling him along. “I don’t know what though.”

Toconoma pushed against Arceus’ backside with his entire body. “I hope no one is around. This is a really bad idea.”

“Look Toco, I can uh, call you that right? If anything happens, I’ll take responsibility. Plus, it was your idea in the first place to wake us up, so work with me here.” Mel flashed a small smile at the Bergmite.

This seemed to shut him up.


Mel knocked on Arceus’ head with a scythe. “Hello? Wake up.”

A moment passed before he stirred. “Hmm? Mel, what?” Arceus said sleepily.

Mel pointed at Toconoma who was standing slightly off to the side. “Toco’s got something for you.”

Arceus slowly turned to look at the Bergmite.

“You know the thing you wanted to do? The uh- whatever it’s called.” Toconoma tripped over his words in a rush to speak.

“The geyser?” Arceus blinked slowly. “I can’t remember the name either.”

“Yea, that. We can- I mean- I know how to get there.”

“Didn’t you say earlier that we couldn’t?” Slowly standing, Arceus glanced at Mel before letting his gaze wander the darkened corridor.

“I did,” Toconoma replied sheepishly. “But there kind of is a way.”

“But obviously-” Mel started, “If you’re only telling us this now, there’s a catch right?” The Lurantis looked expectantly at the Bergmite.

“There’s no catch,” Toconoma said. “It’s just a bit dangerous and the Administrator probably wouldn’t like it.”

Mel sighed dramatically. “That’s a catch.”

Toconoma looked confused. “It is?”

Arceus looked around, fully awake now. “Where are we? What’s all this ice?”

Mel and Toconoma looked at each other. “We’re still inside. Toconoma and I were just trying something.” Mel shrugged. “So uh, what do you want to do?”

Arceus was silent for a moment. “We already went through the trouble of waking up, we might as well go.”

Mel nodded at Toconoma who looked at the trail of ice.

“I told you,” Mel said. “We’ll deal with it, don’t worry about the ice.” She grinned at him.

Toconoma still didn’t look very confident.

“Wait-” Arceus said suddenly. “What about Mallys?”

Mel shook her head. “Nope. I’ll explain later.”


“I see why we can’t bring Mallys with us,” Arceus said.

Toconoma’s ‘solution’ was an oblong metal object that he called a canoe. It ended in a tip on both ends, widening in the center. Flakes of rust dotted both the inside and outside, and a faint green paint could be seen along one side.

“He would probably be too heavy. It might even be dangerous with you.” There was a pause as Toconoma seemed to compose himself. “Not that you’re really heavy, I wouldn’t know that.” The Bergmite nudged the canoe, trying to move it while muttering something to himself about spelling Mallys’ name.

Arceus looked at Mel with worry. “Do you think we maybe should have woken him up anyway to tell him where we were going?”

Mel was silent, her eyes darted around as if looking for something. After a moment, she seemed about to say something when Toconoma spoke first.

“I just thought that it would be nicer to let him sleep,” he said. “I know I wouldn’t want to be woken up for something pointless, you know?”

Arceus thought about it for a moment. “That makes sense. Very thoughtful of you, Toconoma.” He seemed satisfied.

Toconoma shot a look at Mel who nodded. “So uh, this canoe can get us to the geyser?”

“It looks like it can, but can you?” Mel said to Toconoma. “You did say earlier that you didn’t really care for it.”

“I don’t, but I know where it is,” Toconoma replied. “So if you can get this boat then I’ll show you.”

With that, the group moved to get the canoe.


The clouds were a light grey, the water below a blackish muck. Choppy waves rocked the canoe back and forth as it cut through the surface. The rain was still falling in a steady drizzle, though nowhere near the downpour of the day prior.

Arceus sat in the direct center of the boat, idly staring into the distance in an almost trance-like state while Mel and Toconoma were at opposite ends of the boat working to move it forward. Mel cleaved through the oil and water with her scythes, trying her hardest to propel the canoe, while Toconoma judiciously froze parts of the water in front of them in a strange interpretation of steering. It was slow going, Mel’s attack on the water was too clean, more often than not the water was relatively undisturbed, meanwhile Toconoma’s ice was too thin in spots and the canoe simply plowed through the sheets of ice.

“How do you know where we’re going?” Mel said in between swipes. “There’s no landmarks anywhere.”

“The fire’s always in the same place,” Toconoma shouted back. “It’s like how uh, the stars are always in the same place.”

“That makes sense.” Mel shuddered, glancing at the distant inferno. It made no sense, but there was no denying that it was there. “So you just find your way from the position of the fire? And why are you shouting?”

“I don’t know!” Toconoma said. “But you can almost always see the fire.”

“Where is the geyser from the hotel then? Like, how far?” Mel scanned the horizon, but saw nothing except the fire.

“I heard before that it’s just about opposite of the fire,” Toconoma said. “I don’t know exactly where, just the general area.”

“Why is there even a hotel here?” Mel said with a twinge of annoyance. “I don’t see the appeal.”

“I don’t know,” Toconoma said again. “The Administrator says it’s the ‘romantic bent’, but I don’t know what a bent is.”

“I feel like I’ve heard something like that before,” Mel hummed thoughtfully. “Something about aesthetic I think. But romantic?”

Toconoma was unconcerned. “It might be. I’m not romantic, are you?”

Mel thought for a moment. “I... don’t think so.”

Toconoma released a jet of ice. “What about you Arceus? Are you romantic?”

It was quiet for a moment before Toconoma turned around in confusion. Arceus was still staring somewhere, seemingly not having noticed the question at all.

“He looks busy,” Toconoma said.

Mel glanced over for a moment, then conked Arceus over the head with a scythe. “Arceus, question.”

Arceus looked around, eyes wide in surprise. “Huh? What?”

Mel pointed at Toconoma who fidgeted uncomfortably. “We were talking about being romantic.”

“Romantic? Is that hard to do?” Arceus looked curious.

“I don’t think we know,” Mel interjected. “Actually, we were wondering if you knew.”

“Oh- well,” Arceus paused, staring into the distance for a moment. “I don’t know too many things, so I can’t say I know about that.”

“So none of us are romantic.” Mel shrugged. “That settles that.” There was a lingering sense of relief.

Arceus spoke again. “Do you think Mallys is-?”

“No.” Mel cut him off sharply.


For a pokemon of his size and stature, the Hippowdon moved gracefully and silently. Around him Pokemon milled the hallways with a mixture of worried and confused expressions. Though he was trying, it was hard to drown out the distant sounds of shouting.

Eventually, he came upon the Administrator. The Avalugg somehow seemed icier than usual, looking straight ahead with a scowl.

“I take it you are aware of the problem?” Bolero spoke evenly.

The Administrator sighed. “Unfortunately no. Usually, Toconoma tells me about these things. I’ve been slipping lately.”

“As in old age or perceived responsibility?”

“The latter,” the Administrator said dryly. “But it’s unimportant, I assume you’ve come to tell me why exactly we’re standing here.”

Bolero grunted in affirmation. “Yes, one of your guests is causing problems.”

“I see. I thought I hired someone for that sort of thing.” The Avalugg looked at Bolero. “Management is usually occupied in that regard.”

“Granted, but you do have to be a good host sometimes,” the Hippowdon said. “You can’t always be an administrator. Sometimes you just have to be Tyamoca, right?”

“I see your point,” Tyamoca said, her expression unchanging. “I’ll deal with the problem. Which guest is it?”

The Hippowdon gestured at the hall. “They’re not guests per say. It’s the group you met earlier that were with Toconoma.”

The Avalugg narrowed her eyes. “I briefly met them. Did Toconoma invite them in for any reason in particular?”

“Actually, that was me.” Bolero nodded as the Administrator turned to look at him. “They were out on the road when a storm was approaching.”

“I see. I don’t disagree with your actions.” Tyamoca walked towards the door. “Would you accompany me?”

Bolero said nothing at first, then moved alongside the Avalugg. “You lead the way.”


A hushed gathering of pokemon congregated in the hall, muttering amongst themselves.

“We’re kitchen staff, why do we have to wait here again?” a Tyrogue said from his perch atop a Claydol. There was an exchange of glances.

“There’s no reason really,” a Vigoroth replied airily. “We just happened to be nearby, you know how Bolero is.”

“Geez, I hate that guy.” The Tyrogue frowned, glancing over his shoulder. “Even I have seniority over him and he can just tell us what to do?”

“While correct from a technical standpoint, he has- endeared himself to the boss,” the Claydol below him said.

The Tyrogue sighed. “You’re not doing yourself any favors phrasing it like that.” He made a face.

“It’s the truth though,” the Vigoroth interjected, “-the Administrator works harder than any of us, any break from that is a great thing, but if that’s the implication you want to pull from that, then that’s on you.”

The Tyrogue shrugged. “I’ll take what I can get.”

As they stood there, they were met by a Camerupt who seemed out of breath.

“Ah, finally.” The Camerupt smiled wearily. “Melted all that ice.”

The Vigoroth clapped the Camerupt on the back. “Chef! Everything work out?” he asked.

The Camerupt, Chef, nodded. “Just fine. Well, except for the fact that I can’t guess how that ice got there in the first place.”

“It can’t be that much of a mystery old man,” the Tyrogue said. “The only pokemon that can make ice like that are the boss and Toconoma, and there’s no way the boss would do that, so you know my vote.”

“Oh shove off,” the Vigoroth retorted sharply, though he seemed to regret it after a moment. “Erg- sorry, just, Toconoma would never do that. He’s a good kid.”

The Tyrogue had a small grin. “Yeah? Then what, the boss did it?”

“No...” There was a moment of silence before the Vigoroth spoke again. “It- it could have been the Blastoise from maintenance, you know?”

“I don’t think so.” The Tyrogue shook his head. “Why are you acting like this anyway? Are you in on it or something?”

Chef hummed. “Lay off him Iokka, it’s not something you would understand.” He then looked at the Vigoroth with a pained expression. “Jo, you have to admit he has a point, even if he didn’t mean it that way.”

“Ha, looks like I’m the smart one for once,” Iokka said triumphantly before suddenly looking confused. “Huh? Wait, what do you mean by that?”

Jo scowled, looking away. “I know how Toconoma is, but- you know what thinking about that means.”

“Mm, can’t be helped can it?” Chef sighed. “No point in arguing now though, how’s everything been here?”

Iokka opened his mouth to answer, but a loud crash sent the group scrambling as a shower of debris flew out the half opened door nearby.

Chef examined the pieces strewn about the floor. “Huh. Who is this guy again?”

Jo made a face. “Bolero only said something about a guest.”

“Guest is a generous term, the pokemon in there is a monster,” Iokka said.

“You should know better than to say that about customers.” Jo rolled his eyes. “That being said, I can’t disagree.”

“That’s all I really need to know.” Chef hung his head, smiling slightly. “We’re cooks not diplomats, let’s just hope this ends sooner than later.”

“It will.” Bolero walked up alongside the Camerupt, nodding at him in greeting. “Has anything changed since I last checked in?”

“That was like, 30 minutes ago,” Iokka murmured. The Tyrogue crossed his arms. “Not very confident in us are you?”

“I’m fairly confident,” Bolero replied, his expression the same. “Maybe not in you specifically, but that’s not something to worry about.”

Iokka scowled while Jo erupted in a fit of giggles.

“Er, nothing has changed,” Chef said, his tone strained. “He might have gotten angrier though.”

The Hippowdon considered Chef’s words for a moment. “Unfortunate.” He glanced at the Claydol. “What do you think?”

“Nothing insightful if that’s why you’re asking,” the Claydol replied.

“Mmm.” Bolero seemed slightly annoyed. “Anyway, you all are good to go for now. The situation is under control.”

Tyamoca ambled by, acknowledging the group with a grunt.

“If the boss is on it, then we’re fine,” Jo said, breathing a sigh of relief as he watched the Avalugg disappear into a room.

Bolero walked over, nudging the Vigoroth. “As I said, you can go now. Except you, Yams.” He singled out the Claydol. “There’s something I want to talk to you about.”


Mallys slumped against the wall, breathing heavily. Growling weakly, he slammed a fist against the ground. Tyamoca watched him impassively.

“I dedicate myself to the wellbeing of the client, and despite the fact that you are not technically a paying customer of my business, it’s only good form to assist you regardless.” The Administrator spoke in a measured tone, staring down the dragon with icy eyes.

“I’m sure that’s all really nice, maybe you could sell that to someone more interested.” Mallys didn’t even seem to look at the Administrator, rather he was looking straight through her.

“Unfortunately I’m not actually selling anything.” The Administrator seemed slightly annoyed, but managed a smile regardless. “I’m only concerned about you.” She paused. “And our property.”

Mallys grunted. “At least you’re honest.” He stared at the ceiling. “I’ll be honest then. I’m angry, angry with myself. You know why? Because I can’t do the simplest thing right.”

The Administrator turned to Bolero who was slightly behind her. “Is there any context in this?”

The Hippowdon thought for a moment. “According to what I have been told, he was wandering the halls a few hours before now. He’s entered a few rooms without invitation.”

The Administrator scowled. “How... unruly.” She turned back to Mallys. “I understand you’re having a difficult experience, care to tell us why?”

Mallys glared at them. “Alright customer service, I’m at this point because I lost track of someone. The one thing. The. One. Thing I should at least be able to do is keep track of them, let alone find them, but I can’t get that right either.”

The Avalugg was unmoved. “If they left somewhere of their own accord, it’s hardly any fault of your own. If they are your associate then wouldn’t the burden fall on them to tell you?”

“No, no no, that’s not how it works, it’s my responsibility regardless.” Mallys shook his head. “I can’t trust Mel. I said I could, but that’s not right.”

The Administrator’s expression remained the same. “Everyone has trust issues sometimes sir. I can empathize with you, but you have to consider talking to someone about it, instead of...this.” She grimaced at the ruined storage room.

“Then don’t dodge the question.” Mallys was nearly shouting. “I have an obligation to him, I have to help him. Then maybe I can do something right for once!”

Bolero cast a worried glance at the Administrator who remained impassive. “Sir, you have to calm down,” Tyamoca said. “It would help too if you refrained from speaking in such vague terms.”

“I shouldn’t be here.”


“Maybe I should have just disappeared. Would have been better than thinking things would change.”

“Sir please-”

“No use in fighting the past after all.”

“STOP.” The Administrator’s voice rang throughout the room as an icy wind suddenly blew through the closed space. Mallys found himself unable to reply, his mouth frozen shut.

“I apologize for that,” the Administrator spoke in a soft tone. “But it was necessary.” She looked at Mallys, sizing up the Haxorus. “It is ungainly to request something of you, but please, just listen.”

Mallys was still for a moment before silently nodding. The ice was gone from his face, he experimentally opened and closed his mouth while watching her.

“I understand the pressure of having to live up to one’s personal standards, and I also understand having an obligation towards someone else,” she paused, choosing her words. “Are you by chance talking about one of your companions you were with earlier?”

Mallys nodded. “Messing up like this, it’s bound to happen again. He’ll probably think I’m stupid and ditch me.”

“Somehow I doubt it,” the Administrator said. “It’s important to stick to your goals, but don’t let setbacks define your drive.”

Mallys was silent.

The Administrator continued, “I have a child you know, he probably told you. I care for him very much, the same way you probably care for your friend. It shouldn’t matter how many mistakes you make, so long as you can make sure they’re ok, right?”

There was a moment before the Avalugg looked away. “I don’t suppose you would find much merit in the words of someone like me. Despite my words I have not treated Toconoma like I should.”

“The end justifies the means?” Mallys said quietly.

The Administrator locked eyes with Mallys. “That’s one way of saying it.” She took a moment to compose herself. “I should hope you would not construe this as an indictment of my management capacity. Are you quite satisfied with your service?”

“I think so.” Mallys looked slightly drained, but managed a small smile.

“Great. Hopefully this experience will make your stay all the better.” The Administrator turned to the Hippowdon. “Bolero, assist this guest in finding his associates, I have work to do.” With that, she left the room.

“You know...” Bolero looked at Mallys with a mystified expression. “She doesn’t smile a lot.”

“Really?” Mallys looked at the open doorway.

“Yes, now let’s go. If I have to help you with something like this, then make it quick. I have more important things to do.”


“It doesn’t make any sense.” Mallys frowned. “I don’t know where they could have gone.”

“You know what doesn’t make sense to me?” Bolero sounded disinterested. “How you bounce back from shouting like a lunatic so quickly.”

The Haxorus shook his head, scowling at the Hippowdon. “The Administrator’s words had a certain tone behind them.”

“I’m sure they did,” Bolero said dryly.

“I don’t know what you’re implying.”

“Then leave it at that.” Bolero paused. “Anyway, since you’re stuck, allow me to propose a theory, if only so I can leave sooner.”

Mallys sighed. “Are you saying that you would be perfectly fine leaving me with nothing if you didn’t have a reason to help?”

“Yes actually.” Bolero sighed.

“Just tell me what you think then,” Mallys said.

“Little known fact-” Bolero started, “There’s a boat stored in a partially unused section of this hotel, a little contingency if you would.”

Mallys stared at the Hippowdon. “And?”

“I was over there looking for something earlier today, and it was gone.” Bolero feigned shock. “Crazy huh?”

The Haxorus glared at him.

“Don’t storm off yet...or do that, I don’t mind. What I’m saying is that no one would have a reason to use that boat normally.”

Mallys looked thoughtful. “The geyser...”

“The geyser?” There was a moment before Bolero seemed to have a moment of clarity. “That’s right! You guys are stupid tourists. Looks like I’m right then.”

“You mean they went to see the geyser in the boat?”

“That’s how it looks,” Bolero said. “I can see why they didn’t invite you, that thing was pretty ancient.”

Mallys kept a straight face, but in his head he was already running through a host of terrifying scenarios where Arceus drowned. He was somewhat comforted in that he didn’t even know if Arceus could drown, but the thoughts remained nonetheless.

“Well that settles it.” The Hippowdon nodded. “Good luck to you, and if everything goes well, I hope to never see you again.”

“I wonder if...” Mallys tapped his claws together. “Let’s try something, I think we can go after them.”

Bolero was already walking away. “I’m leaving now, goodbye.” He didn’t get far though before he felt Mallys’ claw grip one of the holes in his back. “What are you doing?”

“We’re going now, I don’t really want to waste any time.”

Bolero struggled in vain. “Are you crazy, I said that I finished helping you.”

Mallys had an innocent expression. “Mmm, you just said you didn’t care about what I do, so wouldn’t it be fair if I could say the same?”

The Hippowdon scowled. “Crazy then. Can’t say I’m surprised.”

With that, Mallys dragged Bolero down the hall.
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Chapter 8

RJR Basimilus

Arceus is nice I suppose...
the Lovely Planet
  1. arceus-fighting
  2. lurantis
  3. arceus-poison
  4. haxorus
Edit 8/21/21
This is about where I'm going to break for the first round of edits. I needed to get a grips on the timeline of my story, so I read the whole thing again to summarize. In the process, I was generally unsatisfied with the story up until the 9th chapter, where I think things started moving more. Hence my decision to include an entire extra plot in the first few chapters that pulls double duty as expanding on characters and making their later major inclusion into the plot a bit less abrupt in my opinion. Plus I got to add new characters!

I'll probably edit the next few chapters sometime.

Chapter the 8th - Elsewhere on, we go unflinchingly

“Maybe we didn’t think this through,” Toconoma chittered nervously. “What if we can’t see the geyser.”

Mel gave Toconoma an incredulous stare. “Once again, this was your idea. I think we’ll see it though. Just a feeling.”

“Really? That’s great!” Toconoma was relieved.

“If not, then we’ll have to talk.” Mel’s gaze burned into Toconoma. He didn’t seem relieved anymore.

Arceus was worried. Looking over the wide expanse of water he felt guilty. Toconoma had gone out of his way to help him, and in all the excitement Arceus had forgotten to mention that the goal was not to have a good experience.

“Toconoma, I forgot I had to tell you, but I don’t want to enjoy myself,” Arceus said apologetically.

“What?” Toconoma looked aghast. “I don’t understand?”

Mel clicked her scythes together in thought. “That’s right, isn’t it? We almost forgot about that.” She shook her head. “Really though, you should have said it differently.”

“Said what?” Toconoma looked back and forth between them frantically.

“Nothing you need to worry about,” Mel said with a hint of exasperation. “It’s uh- something complicated we’re dealing with.”

“Is it something weird?” Toconoma sounded resigned but curious.

“Kind of? I don’t really think so.” Mel saw Arceus give her an expectant look. “I mean, we can explain if you want.”


Mel sighed dramatically. “Are we gonna have to do this for everyone we meet?”

“It’s ok Mel,” Arceus said. “We’ll take turns; I’ll do it next time.”

Mel made a face. “That’s not particularly comforting.”

“That’s really scary though.” Toconoma tilted from side to side. “If I forgot everything, I would never leave home.”

“But you wouldn’t know it was home right?” Mel said.

“I wouldn’t? Oh, I guess I wouldn’t, but what if I only forgot some stuff?” Toconoma asked.

Mel thought about it, then shrugged. “I don’t think you have the option to pick and choose.”

“But Arceus didn’t forget some things?” The Bergmite looked at Arceus as he spoke. “Like he didn’t forget how to talk, or his name?”

“Hey, that’s right,” Arceus said. “I can still talk.”

“If you forgot how to talk somehow, that would be a whole different problem. Toco has a point though, you remember your name.” Mel paused, swirling a scythe around in the water. “Unless you came up with it.”

Arceus was indignant. “It’s not like that, I-” He stopped, looking downcast. “I don’t really remember.”

Mel blinked. “I’d rather not add this one to what we already got. Arceus is your name no matter what.”

“Yeah! I like your name Arceus,” Toconoma said happily. “It would be weird if it were different, plus you’d have to spell it again.”

“Thanks Mel, thanks Toconoma,” Arceus said, turning to each of them one at a time. He seemed somewhat relieved. “But Toconoma, what if a pokemon lies about their name to you?”

“They can’t do that,” Toconoma said with a huff. “I can tell.”

Mel nodded, trying not to roll her eyes. “Anyway, are we close? Actually, can the geyser even push through all the water already here?”

“A little late for that, but I think we’ll be fine,” Arceus said.

“It should be somewhere around here.” Toconoma looked around at the expanse with excitement. “I heard that it’s so strong the stream goes to space!”

“Huh, maybe.” Mel didn’t sound convinced.

Arceus watched the waves carefully. The slow ebb and flow was monotonous, and for a moment he wondered if anything would actually happen. As he watched however, small ripples appeared across the surface.

“Hey, I see something,” he yelled to Mel and Toconoma.

The lurantis idly looked over the edge of the boat. “The water’s moving, but where’s it coming from?”

Toconoma peered over, “Umm, I think we’re on top of it.”

“What??” Mel gave Toconoma a horrified glance.

“That means we’re as close as we can get to see it.” Arceus in contrast sounded excited.

“That’s not good,” Toconoma said. “We’ll get sent into the air.”

Arceus looked around. “Huh? I thought you meant that we were really close; like that’s a turn of phrase isn’t it?”

“It’s literal Arceus,” Mel said.

“Wuh-” Arceus was at a loss for words. “What’s going to happen?”

“Something not good,” Toconoma said fearfully.

A low rumble could be heard, cutting through the sound of the rain. Before any of them could react, the geyser erupted, sending the small boat high into the air. To Arceus, time seemed to slow down. Around him, water and oil flew outwards as the sky raced to meet them. Mel and Toconoma were hanging onto the boat for dear life, the sound of rushing wind overtaking all other noise.

It was like the world was ending for a moment. Then there was only grey. Arceus blinked repeatedly to make sure he was seeing right. He realized they were probably in the clouds, and as he felt himself begin to fall back towards the earth, he knew he was right.

Strangely Arceus felt exhilarated.


There was a hole in the boat. Mel was making a face at it as if to plug it with sheer will, while Arceus tried to calm Toconoma who was panicking again. Somehow they had all remained in the boat when it landed hard on the water, a portion of the bottom being forced open by the impact, but for a moment they were all disoriented.

Arceus poked at the hole with a hoof. “It’s a boat, can’t you get a new one?” he asked.

“The Administrator will get mad at me though, it’s the only one we had,” Toconoma said, sounding on the verge of tears.

“Well, I don’t think she would get angry at something like that,” Arceus said, wondering if the Bergmite could actually cry.

Toconoma looked away. “You’re just- you’re only saying that. I know she will.”

“How do you know she’ll be?” Arceus asked.

Toconoma was about to answer when Mel cut in. “Either way, the boat’s sinking. I know Arceus can swim, but what about you Toco?”

“I’ll be fine,” Toconoma said. “I don’t need to swim”.

Mel looked over the Bergmite. “Are you sure?”

“I’m really sure,” Toconoma replied.

Mel stared at the hole for a long moment. She sighed, turning to the two. “If you’re positive.” A look of surprise crossed her face. “Arceus, are you bleeding?”

“I am?” Arceus looked himself over. “Oh, you’re right!” A thin line of crimson blood trailed down the side of Arceus’ neck. After staring at it for a moment, Arceus looked back at Mel. “It’s not that bad is it?”

Mel studied the wound. “It looks like you’re alright.” Mel took a deep breath as a shudder ran through her. “That’s good.”


Luckily they didn’t have to swim. At Toconoma’s insistence and with no small amount of effort, the boat was flipped over in the water, bobbing along the surface.

Mel managed to scramble on top, laying in a tangle of limbs. “This sucks,” the Lurantis said, examining her scythes, now covered in a strange mix of oil and water.

“I hope this stuff isn’t bad or anything,” Arceus said. Covered in oil, he couldn’t find a stable position like Mel and was struggling to avoid slipping off the top of the boat.

“It’s not; remember I told you?” Toconoma said. “Uh, as long as you don’t eat it.” Toconoma was faring far better than both of them, just as he had said; he floated on the surface as easily as the boat, bobbing alongside Mel and Arceus.

Arceus thought about it, his eyes occasionally flickering towards the blood running down his neck. “Huh, oh yeah that’s right! You did say that.”

“I guess we’re lucky if we didn’t swallow any when we fell.” Mel paused, wincing at the memory. “Or at least I am, I don’t think either of you have a mouth.”

“I don’t think I do,” Toconoma said.

“I guess that settles....” Mel abruptly stopped. “-you don’t think you have one?”

“Not really, no.”

Mel looked suspiciously at the Bergmite. “Is that a joke?”

“No?” Toconoma sounded confused. “Sometimes there are things you just don’t know, right?”

Mel was at a loss.

“Anyway-” Toconoma looked at Arceus. “How was it?”

Arceus was caught off guard. “How was what?”

“The uh, the geyser?” Toconoma said.

“Oh.” Arceus was silent. “I...it was so exciting when it threw us into the air, I forgot to look at it.”

“Oh well.” Toconoma sighed. “Maybe next time.”

“I think this is kind of what we want though,” Mel said, hesitating for a moment before continuing. “That was exciting to you?”

“Kind of- I don’t know why,” Arceus said apologetically.

“I guess danger is kind of thrilling. Maybe I just don’t understand you again.” Mel flashed a small smile. “It’s strange that that’s the part I like the most about you.”

“So uh, what do we do now?” Toconoma asked. The rain was steady but the water was calmer than before.

“Let’s go back,” Mel said. “I’m worn out.”

“But how?” Toconoma looked at the boat. “It’s all messed up.”

Mel shrugged. “I mean, it’s fine right now, we just have to go back the way we came, except with an upside down boat.”

“Hm, you’re thinking. That’s good.” A new voice chimed in seemingly out of nowhere.

Toconoma was terrified and Mel could only stare.

Arceus to the contrary, was happy. “Mallys! You came too?”

The Haxorus seemed to be floating above the water, but in fact was somehow standing on top of Bolero who floated in the water. He seemed preoccupied with something, his eyes staring off somewhere.

“We thought we’d come check on you guys, and it seems like we were right to do so,” Mallys said.

“Are you-” Mel sounded hesitant, “Riding on top of that Hippowdon?”

Mallys nodded. “Strange huh? It was Bolero’s idea, he’s pretty smart.”

“B- Bolero?” Toconoma said in a tiny voice, “You came for us?”

The Hippowdon snorted. “An excess of caution if anything. If we're going to go, we should make it quick so I can get this weight off my back.”

Mallys shook his head. “No use in complaining now right? Maybe you should have considered that when you came up with this plan.”

There was a strange look on Bolero’s face. “I should have thought a lot of things through before meeting you.”

“Too little too late I guess-” Mallys shrugged. “Let’s go then!”


Somehow they made it back. They even saved the boat too, mostly because Toconoma refused to go without it. It was a quiet affair, no one spoke as they arrived and no one was there to meet them.

Mel idly watched the waves. The rain had finally stopped, and an ethereal silence lingered in the air.

“Hey.” Bolero had appeared next to Mel without her noticing. “What’s wrong with all of you?”

Mel frowned, looking down at the Hippowdon. “Excuse me?”

The Hippowdon gave her a fake smile. “Just a question. You seemed like the best bet since your friends would probably crush my skull.”

Mel glanced over at Arceus and Mallys who were having an animated discussion with Toconoma.

“This is because Mallys did something right?” Mel said. “I can’t believe for a second any pokemon would suggest that kind of thing willingly- what did he do?”

“Nothing really.” Bolero brushed the Lurantis’ question off with another small grin. “I’m being up front here, I just want to know why you’re interested in causing so much trouble.”

Mel looked away, saying nothing. The Hippowdon waited a moment before he rolled his eyes. “Alright, if you insist. A little mystery won’t eat me up at night or anything.” He paused. “That said- try to be careful.”

The Lurantis looked at him oddly. “Um, thanks?”

“Yeah yeah.” Bolero shifted awkwardly. “Maybe I should thank you,” he murmured. The Hippowdon shuffled away before Mel could reply.


“Anticlimactic huh?” Arceus said. “Not anticlimactic enough though.”

“It really wasn’t,” Mallys said dryly. “Not that it’s a bad thing though.”

“How is it not?” Toconoma asked. “Isn’t that like being bored? Being bored isn’t very fun.”

The Haxorus shrugged, his face blank. “It’s complicated.”

“So what now?” Arceus looked around, sounding slightly lost.

“We’ll leave when the waters recede,” Mallys said. “Time to get a move on.”

“You’re going to leave?” Toconoma glanced between them.

“We saw what we wanted to see.” Mallys paused in thought. “Or rather, we didn’t, but the result is the same. We just gotta keep trying.”

“Oh right,” Toconoma said. “Yeah, Arceus doesn’t know anything.”

“Don’t be sad, Toconoma,” Arceus said. “We’ll come back! I mean, I’ve hardly known you, but you’re a friend already.”

“Really?” The Bergmite’s expression brightened. “You will?”

“Of course,” Arceus replied. “I’d smile right now if I could!”

“Alright, see you around,” Toconoma said happily.

“You’re not sad or anything?” Mel said from off to the side.

“Why would I be, it’s not like you’re going away forever!” Toconoma replied.

void setup()

“Not that much happened,” Mel said. “In a way, it’s nice but...I don’t know, it doesn’t feel like we accomplished much.”

“More than nothing,” Mallys said. “Maybe you shouldn’t have ideas of what to expect.”

Mel was silent for a moment before shaking her head. “I didn’t really have any expectations, at least I don’t think so.”

“I did,” Mallys spoke bluntly. “I expected everything to be ok.”

“And? Everything was okay,” Mel gave Mallys a strange look.

“Not when you decided to go off by yourselves without telling me.”

“Ah.” Mel sighed, looking only half apologetic. “Yea I get it, sorry.”

Mallys looked at Arceus who was walking slightly ahead of them by himself, marvelling at the scenery. “It would be nice if you didn’t do stuff like that,” he said.

“I won’t promise anything,” Mel replied. “Agree to disagree.”

The Haxorus frowned. “Agree to disagree.”

“Where are we going now guys?” Arceus called back to them, breaking the tension. The two stared at each other for a moment longer before looking in opposite directions.

“I don’t know,” Mallys said somewhat apologetically. “We got lucky with the geyser, but I can’t think of anywhere else.”

“Really?” Mel made a face, shooting a dirty glance at Mallys.

“But, we’re on a trail, and that’s good. We’ll find something,” Mallys said, ignoring Mel.

“Huh, alright.” Arceus sounded unsure. “I’m counting on you guys then!”


“-And that is why the train is the most important invention of the contemporary era,” the Heracross said with a flourish.

Mallys, who hadn’t been listening, nodded. “That’s certainly an explanation to be sure.”

“Although, maybe infrastructure does have its downsides,” the Beetle groaned, looking at the line in front of them.

The group had reached a busy thoroughfare, countless pokemon streaming in and out of a gigantic structure. A collection of black circular half-disks stretched into the sky at uneven heights connected in a straight line, surrounded by a massive network of tracks stretching in nearly every direction. Arrays of directional signs were everywhere, arrows pointing in enough directions to make Arceus’ head spin. They stood together in a large crowd outside a cavernous entrance.

“Wait, this is just a line to go inside?” Mel said in surprise. “Mallys, you’re big and scary, can’t you just get us to the front?”

“Really?” Mallys looked exasperated but also slightly relieved to have an excuse to escape whatever the Heracross had been saying. “I can’t do that- I mean, I can, but I won’t.”

“Because you’re weak,” Mel said, smirking at him. “Follow my lead Arceus.”

“What are you going to do?” Arceus looked at Mel slightly worried.

“I don’t know, that’s the exciting part,” Mel said. The Lurantis looked around at the crowd with a devious expression. “Mallys, those things on your face are pretty sharp right?”

“You mean the blades?” Mallys gingerly felt the sharp extensions on both sides of his face. “I’d like to think so.”

Mel stared at the Haxorus with a determined expression. “I want you to cut me.”

“What?” Mallys was caught off guard, his eyes wide.

Mel leaned in conspiratorially. “What I’m thinking is that if we make a big fuss, then we can skip the line and get inside.”

“But,” Arceus started, “You’ll get hurt.”

“Yeah? While I’m getting fixed up or whatever, you guys can go look around and decide what to do next,” Mel nodded saying this. “Just don’t forget me.”

“We won’t forget because you’re not going to do it,” Arceus said indignantly. “How would that even work anyway?”

“I’m going to do it,” Mel shot back. “If I’m hurt, everyone will panic and you can slip inside in the confusion.”

“It’s just a line,” Arceus pleaded. “We can wait.”

Mel was ready to retort again, but the matter was forcibly settled with a boom. For a moment, everyone was set off balance as the ground shook. No one knew what to do, some pokemon milled about in confusion while others hesitantly walked in different directions.

“What happened?” Arceus looked around.

“I’m not sure,” Mel replied, staring at a large plume of smoke rising in the distance. “This might be our chance though.”

“There are more important things to think about right now,” Mallys said dryly. “Arceus doesn’t mind, he just said so. So we’ll wait, as much as I would relish the chance to take you up on the offer.”

“What Mallys said, I think?” Arceus added.

Mel made a face. “But he said what he said is what you said, not what he said.”

Arceus blinked. “Huh?”

A slick breeze blew as the sky seemed to turn white for a moment. A deep roaring sound tore through the air as everyone was sent off balance by a ferocious wave of heat and pressure. High above them, nearly the entire upper curve of several black discs had disappeared into jagged edges and black smoke as if a titanic bite had been taken out of them. Shouts and yells erupted as pokemon raced in every direction, fear and panic carried on the wind. A rapid clattering sound started as shards of glassy black metal fell from the sky, and in the distance an alarm bell could be heard.

Arceus, Mel, and Mallys briefly looked at each other before running towards the entrance of the structure.


“We should go to Carigara.”

Mae sat up, looking curiously at Darkrai. “Can you repeat that?”

Lying flat on his back, Darkrai raised one hand in the air, gesturing. “I want to go to Carigara.”

“Alright? Why?” The Lopunny frowned. “Does this have something to do with those pokemon from a little while ago?”

“Of course,” Darkrai replied, “Remember that company I mentioned? RWS?”

Mae thought back to the encounter, staring at the dense tree cover surrounding their campsite. “I assumed you made it up- that or it was a random business you remembered.”

“RWS is...” Darkrai rubbed his forehead. “A business run by someone I know. They’re an old acquaintance.”

“Acquaintance?” Mae’s expression softened. “Are you feeling guilty about sending those guys to someone you met once?”

“Well I-” Darkrai sighed. “They’re a friend.” A pause. “They were a friend,” he corrected. “But yes, I do feel guilty.”

Mae tilted her head. “It sounds like whoever this is is still a friend. Have I ever met them?”

“It was a few years before I met you,” Darkrai answered, “And as I said earlier, it’s a long story.”

The Lopunny nodded. “So you want to stop that Watchog? How do you propose we do that?”

“I- I don’t know,” Darkrai admitted. “But I have to go. I can’t shake this feeling otherwise.”

“Who is this?” Mae asked. “I’ve only seen you get like this for me.”

“Ken and I go back a long way,” Darkrai said wistfully, stretching as he got to his feet. “It’s okay if you don’t want to go, I’ll come back as soon as I’m-”

Mae wrapped her arms around Darkrai, hugging him tightly. “We travel together, got it?” She smiled, “Besides, my leg is better now.”

Darkrai looked into Mae’s eyes for a moment before his shoulders sagged. “Thanks, Mae. You’re right, we’re better when we stick together.” He sighed. “Are you sure your leg is fine?”

“Positive!” Mae released Darkrai, clapping him on the back. “Let’s meet with this ‘Ken’ then. Do we have money for train tickets?”

“We’ll need to scrounge something together,” Darkrai said, slightly annoyed. “For now, we’ll camp here for a few more days.”

Mae nodded. “I’ll follow your lead.” She relaxed again, looking at Darkrai happily. “I love you.”

“I love you too,” Darkrai replied.
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Chapter 9

RJR Basimilus

Arceus is nice I suppose...
the Lovely Planet
  1. arceus-fighting
  2. lurantis
  3. arceus-poison
  4. haxorus
Cloudy all day today. The kind of lethargic one where you stay inside.
I'm happy though, got some more chocolate.
Here's some more nothing, bland as usual

(Edit from the distant year 2021. In complete honesty, the first 8 chapters are a random events plot (not to say they're meaningless). I didn't really have a solid hold on what I wanted yet and kind of just did whatever because I wasn't very serious. Unfortunately for me, I started caring right about now, and eight chapters are a hell of a long impression to leave. Uhh, I'll think of something later, just letting anyone who comes here know.)

Chapter 9: Things we were or could be

The air was hazy as Arceus blinked repeatedly to clear his vision. After run aimlessly through featureless halls filled with a ringing sound for what seemed like forever, he stopped to collect himself.

“What just happened?” he asked.

A moment passed. Then another. Arceus looked around in confusion. Cavernous ceilings curved into a double arc, dotted periodically with triangular arches. A large train idled along an endless length of iron tracks, a deep, soft thrum echoing from the engines. A silvery-red behemoth, the cars were uniformly simple, double hexagonal windows on each end.

He was alone. All around Arceus was a stillness, magnified by the space around him.

“Oh, that’s not good.” Arceus stood perfectly still, unsure of how to proceed.

“Hey!” a small voice called out from somewhere. “Get over here.”

“Over where?” Arceus said. “Wait, who is this?”

“I’m like you, but I’m over here.” The voice came again with a hint of irritation.

“Where is there?” Arceus almost stomped a hoof in frustration but caught himself. “Can you tell me where you are please?”

The voice hummed. “I appreciate the patience, but I can’t tell you that until I figure out if you’re a cop.”

“A cop?” Arceus had rotated in a full circle but still couldn’t find the source of the voice.

“You know, constable on patrol? Having a vested interest in removing me from where presently I am?” the voice spoke sharply. “You get points for not knowing what a cop is, or at least sounding genuine enough in the fact itself.”

Arceus rolled his eyes, hiding his growing unease. “You just told me to come over to where you are. What do you want?”

“It’s called reevaluation,” the voice shot back, “-and it’s a survival skill.”

“So you changed your mind?” Arceus asked.

“Tactically speaking, yes.”

Defeated, Arceus waited a moment before slowly turning in a full circle again. This time however, he saw a single eye watching him from a crack in the door of a box car near one end of the train. Arceus stared at the eye in anticipation. Eventually he slowly walked to the car as the eye followed his progress.

“Do you want me to come inside?”

“Inside where?” The voice feigned ignorance. “I still haven’t told you where I am.”

“I’ll come inside then,” Arceus said, approaching the door. Standing directly in front of it, he slid it open, watching the eye the entire time. Inside was a large purple rocklike sphere, a Weezing.

“What are you doing out there?” it said with a worried look. “They’ll find you, and by extension of you, us.”

Arceus said nothing, shaking his head as he stepped inside the boxcar. The ceiling was flat, lined with unlit circular lamps. The walls were slate grey, barely illuminated by the low light filtering through the open door. Metallic scrap littered the floor, and assorted boxes were haphazardly strewn about.

“You know-” the Weezing said. “You were really cutting it close there. The cops could have had you captured by now.”

“You’ll have to forgive him,” a new voice chimed in. “His vernacular is a bit off.” Laying among the junk for some reason was a Claydol. It rolled slightly to look at Arceus with one of it’s eyes. “Don’t think about it too much.”

Arceus decided to heed the advice and ignore the issue entirely. “What are you doing here?”

The Weezing spun in the air. “Putting to use a pension, you get it? I’m finished with contracting work so now, well I suppose I’m not contracting anymore.”

“Do you know what happened a little while ago?” Arceus asked.

“You ask a lot of questions. Why don’t you answer them yourself?” the Weezing said.

“Answer it myself?” Arceus stopped to think, the Weezing watching him with a slight smile. “There was smoke and a lot of noise- and there was an explosion.”

“If that’s what you think, myself, I care not,” the Weezing spoke idly. “I suppose though it explains the excitement.”

Arceus blinked, hearing the faint sound of the alarm in the distance. “Well I have to go now to find my friends.”

“Fair enough. It’s no fault of ours if you die.” The Weezing was nonchalant.

More than weirded out for the time being, Arceus turned to leave. As he held up one leg to nudge open the metal door, a sudden lurch sent him crashing to the floor. Disoriented, Arceus only partially made out a lump rolling towards him.

“About time,” the Weezing said, looking out the window. “That said, terrible discipline for a train.” Turning away, he looked impassively at Arceus and the Claydol. They had collided in the sudden movement, and Arceus had been knocked out, laying on the floor in a heap. The Claydol didn’t even seem to notice.

“Maybe I should ask for my money back,” the Weezing said to himself.


The atrium was abuzz with chatter. Pokemon stood in clusters, murmuring discontentedly.

“Permission to speak out of turn.” The Slowking seemed agitated as she adjusted the Shellder on her head slightly.

For a moment, the Yanmega was silent. “Granted,” he finally said after a second.

The Slowking sighed, shuddering as a groaning sound echoed from high above them. “Can you take care of yourself?”

“What are you implying Nea?” the Yanmega asked. It was more of a command than a question.

The Slowking, Nea, grimaced. “It’s just- I’m not implying anything,” she said angrily before appearing horrified. “I didn’t mean it like that.”

“I see,” the Yanmega replied, not seeming to notice her backpedal. “So what are you saying?”

Nea tugged her ruff in annoyance. “You got hurt in the explosion Commander, you have to get that checked out.” She gestured to the black shard that stuck out of his back. The debris that had fallen earlier pulverized one of his back wings while lodging itself in the dragonfly.

The Yanmega’s compound eyes showed no emotion. “There are more important things to concern yourself with Nea. Although, I appreciate the gesture.”

The Slowking clutched her hands together. “I uh-” she turned away in defeat. “Understood Commander.”

“Commander,” an Azumarill shouted at them from a distance, running as fast as it’s stubby legs could manage. “There’s a situation in one of the terminals sir. Some pokemon are causing a disturbance.”

The Yanmega’s wings buzzed briefly as he turned to the Slowking. “Nea, I’m leaving this to you. If it is related to the bombings, contact me immediately.”

The Slowking nodded, trying to hide her relief over the distraction. “Will do.” She turned to the Azumarill. “Let’s go.”

{} {} {} {} {} {} {}
< >

Several large pokemon stood in a straight line shoulder to shoulder, or at least as close as they possibly could. Forming a wall, they separated both sides of the shouting match from each other. As Nea and the Azumarill approached, an Ursaring waved them over.

“What’s up?” Nea said. A moment passed and an indescribable expression crossed her face. “I mean, what’s the situation?”

The Ursaring gave her a strange look. “One of the, uh, offending pokemon has been threatening to kill the other for a quarter of an hour.”

“Do we know how this started?” Nea asked.

“It seems to have started some time before we arrived to assess the damage to the station,” the Ursaring said. “There’s no indication however that the situation will escalate.”

“I see.” The Slowking turned to examine the scene, frowning. “What about the other pokemon?”

The Ursaring nodded. “The other one, for some reason or another, is encouraging the first. Putting it- unkindly, he seems a bit unhinged.”

Suddenly the shouting stopped. The Ursaring looked back, turning cautiously as Nea looked around in confusion.


“We both failed,” Mallys said solemnly, “-and we both suck.”

“I guess so.” Mel craned her head to see Mallys through the wall of pokemon. “Can we do anything about it?”

Mallys shrugged. “Do you think I’d allow you to say no?”

Mel nodded, making a face at a particularly stoic Rhydon standing in front of her. “Same goes for you buddy,” she called to Mallys.

“I don’t appreciate the sentiment,” the Haxorus said.

“Agree to disagree,” Mel said without missing a beat.

“Agree to disagree,” he replied.

“What’s going on over here?” A voice came from behind Mel. Mel and Mallys turned to see a Slowking looking over them carefully.

“Oh right,” Mallys said embarrassed. “Sorry, we just had a little disagreement. Things are a bit crazy right now.”

“Yes, I am well aware.” The Slowking eyed him suspiciously before looking at Mel. “This individual’s not giving you any trouble is he?”

Mel smiled. “Not right now. In fact, I trust him more than you, not that much though.”

“I’m sorry if that’s the impression you have.” The Slowking said. “We’re only committed to ensuring public safety.”

“After the fact?” Mallys asked.

The Slowking huffed, glaring at Mallys. “I don’t appreciate-” She seemed to catch herself, looking away from him. “I understand your frustration, though I am not at liberty to answer any questions you may have right now.”

Mallys sighed. “Alright officer. Uh, you are one of those right?”

The Slowking nodded. “Deputy Commander Nea of the fifth division HCU.”

With that said, she called most of the other pokemon over to her and they left as a group. Two pokemon, a skittish looking Crawdaunt and a Bellossom stayed behind, examining the room.

For a moment, the Lurantis and the Haxorus stood in place. Slowly they looked at each other.

“Where do we start?” Mel asked.

“I’ll go first,” Mallys said, craning his neck slightly.

“Go first?” Mel asked.

Before she could say anything else, there was a thumping sound. Against the far wall, the Crawdaunt and Bellossom collapsed to the ground unconscious as Mallys stood over them. He idly rubbed one of the blades on his face as he turned to look at Mel.

“Any ideas?” he asked.

Mel looked at the scene, slightly worried that she was unsurprised. “I don’t know. Uh, are they OK?”

“They’ll be fine,” Mallys said. “Are you worried about it?”

Mel looked away, “Not really. Just don’t want more problems later on.”

Mallys was impassive. “Would it make a difference?”

“Yes, it would,” Mel said. “A lot of difference.”


Waking up, Arceus felt himself surrounded by nothingness. Then a whistling sound filled the space around him as he vaguely felt the sensation of air rushing against his face. Opening his eyes, he found himself on his side. In front of him, he could see the side of a train, the rest blurred by movement. He thought about it for a moment, before realizing with a start his head was leaning out of the train, only a short distance above the tracks.

“Ack!” Arceus scrambled sideways, pulling his head back into the train. For a moment, he watched the scenery flying by with wide eyes.

“Did that bother you? Sorry, it’s something I thought not of.”

Arceus turned to see the Weezing looking at him somewhat apologetically.

“What happened?” Arceus asked.

“The train moved, and kept doing so,” the Weezing said, “-and you had an incident with this individual.” He tilted slightly to the left where Arceus saw the Claydol floating.

Arceus looked back out the opening. “Where’s the train going?”

“I don’t know,” the Weezing replied.

“How do you not know?” Arceus spirits fell. He stared blankly at the colors rushing by. “I don’t even know where Mel and Mallys are either.”

“There’s lots of things I don’t know. I’m positive you don’t know that much either, that’s why I said to answer it yourself earlier.” The Weezing frowned, angling himself slightly away from the buffeting wind. “Though that could be an unruly assumption for which if the case is so then I apologize in advance.”

Arceus looked at him in confusion. “What?”

“I hope at least you can find the- well, whatever you said you were looking for.” There was a pause as the Weezing took a deep breath. “Perhaps I have been somewhat unfriendly, I’m Banmya and I’ve been somewhat irritable as of late.”

Arceus nodded slowly, more lost than anything. “Uh, alright Banmya.” He was about to turn away again when he stopped. “How do you spell that?”

Banmya seemed pleased by this. “This is a question worthy of being such. It’s B-A-N-M-Y-A, the third letter is what you would call without vocalization.”

For awhile, no one said anything else. The train continued on, eventually climbing a hill to an arched bridge that stretched further than Arceus could make out. The sky was filled with streaked clouds that stretched forever. Eventually, the sound of rushing wind began to fade as Arceus lost himself in a strange sense of peace.

“What do you do?” Banmya’s voice came from behind, breaking Arceus out of his trance.

“Like, do with myself? Nothing really,” Arceus was quiet for a moment. “Well, maybe I used to.”

“Used to huh,” the Weezing said solemnly. “It’s something you don’t remember doing?”

“How did you know?” Arceus said, surprised.

“For these sort of things I have a knack,” Banmya said. “About you, there’s something very... far away I would say.”

“Oh.” Arceus scraped a hoof against the floor. “Well, there’s a few things I can’t remember.”

“So riding a train is what you’re doing about it?” Banmya asked. He cracked a small smile.

“No, not really, I didn’t mean to be here,” Arceus said.

“Then what are you doing about it?” Banmya replied, spinning vertically in a full circle.

“I’m trying to be disappointed,” Arceus said simply.

“Elaborate, if you would.”


“Did you see him?”

In a dim hallway, far from the main terminals, the Lurantis and Haxorus spoke in hushed tones. Mel frequently looked behind her, squinting in the darkness while Mallys stared intently at the ceiling.

“Consider Mel, if I had seen him, would we be here?” Mallys said dismissively.

“Yes,” Mel rolled her eyes. “It’s entirely possible.”

Mallys was unmoved, his gaze steely. “Did you see him?”


“Well what do we do now?”

Mel shrugged. “I don’t know. But how do I know you aren’t lying?”

“Seriously?” Mallys groaned. “Why would I lie about something we’re both trying to do?”

Mel made a face, glancing briefly to her right. “You’re just kind of like that.”

“Like what?”

“Just...” Mel waved her scythes noncommittally.

“Let’s forget that and focus on the important things,” Mallys said, sounding annoyed.

“Let’s do that.” Mel nodded, still not looking at him.

“If Arceus isn’t here, then where would he be?”

“I don’t think he would leave by himself.” Mel paused. “Maybe that Slowking would know?”

Mallys ran a claw along the wall. “That’s what I was thinking. Though we might have to be careful.”

Mel frowned. “You’re the one that beat up those pokemon.”

“I’m not denying it,” Mallys said. “But I think I know what we can do.”

“I bet you do.”


As the wind gusted, Arceus leaned against a wall, awkwardly trying to position his ring in a more comfortable manner.

“For a lot of effort, it’s little return,” Banmya said.

“Remembering?” Arceus asked.

“Yes.” Banmya bobbed up and down. His expression was serious, but it was getting harder for Arceus to take him seriously. “It’s my opinion, but one in which I am confident.”

Arceus waited for a moment. He looked at Banmya narrowing his eyes. “Are you going to tell me?”

“I don’t know the answer to that question,” Banmya said. “But my opinion is that there’s no point to remembering whatever you forgot.”

Banmya was silent for a moment, he looked at Arceus who said nothing.

“Everything happens in the world for a reason. Easy enough right?” Banmya smiled. “No matter how you forgot something, it’s gone like something you eat, so why bother trying to get it back?”

Arceus shifted uneasily. “What if you forgot everything?”

“Even better!” Banmya exclaimed jubilantly. “There’s nothing like experiencing something for the first time. You get a chance to learn for yourself everything again.”

“But what if was something important?” Arceus asked with a hint of frustration.

“For this, some pokemon call me inconsiderate, but truly I think if you’ve forgotten something, it was never important.” Banmya floated close to Arceus’ head, giving him a conspiratorial wink. “The world exists for the moment, not for the consideration of such.”

“Never important...” Arceus looked away.

“It’s just the same as when you ask all these questions. If you search for something not lost, you’re just lost. That’s why you have to answer things yourself.” There was an edge to Banmya’s tone.

“I’ll- I’ll think about it,” Arceus spoke haltingly. A chill ran through his body.

“You will,” Banmya replied.

Desperate to change the topic, Arceus walked to the other end of the train car and back again.
“I wonder where the train is going,” he said.

“It doesn’t really matter,” Banmya said, looking out the open door. “The train’s going so we’ll be with it.”

“You could stop the train.”

“No point in that.”

“What if it did stop?” Arceus asked pointedly.

Banmya frowned. “It won’t.”

“But- you can’t- ugh.” Arceus groaned. Trying to think of a response, he noticed the Claydol still watching them from the floor. “The train could stop right?” he asked in desperation.

“Whether or not it stops is irrelevant. So long as you’re on the train, that is all the meaning needed.” The Claydol spoke idly.

“To a point, similar to my view,” Banmya said somewhat smugly. “That being said, who are you again?”

“I have a special power,” the Claydol said. “That if you don’t pay attention to me then I can stop existing.”

“Fair enough I suppose.” Banmya grinned widely at Arceus. “Nothing to worry about right?”

Arceus closed his eyes in defeat. “I guess.”

Walking away from the Weezing, Arceus glanced out the open door of the train and stopped.
Suspended on a massive arched bridge, the train was passing over an endless forest. Brilliant pink leaves spiralled in all directions, hints of greyish brown bark dotted across the canvas of vegetation.

“It’s all pink,” Arceus said in wonder, momentarily forgetting his predicament.

“Garish, if I must myself say,” Banmya mused, “-and I’m purple.”

Arceus ignored the statement. “In a strange way, it’s beautiful.”

The Weezing shot him a sideways glance. “Ever thought of visiting a place like that?”

Arceus shook his head. “I have... more important things to think about. Maybe someday though, it’s not like uh- it’s going anywhere.”

“But you’re going somewhere,” Banmya said. “Will you be here forever?”

“I don’t suppose so, but what’s your point?” Arceus said irritated. “And you tell me to answer my own questions.”

For a moment Banmya looked distant. “Guess I can’t keep up with myself.”

Arceus was about to respond when Banmya rammed into him from behind. He didn’t make a sound as he fell forward out of the train into empty air.

“The longest regret is for the path never taken!” the Weezing shouted into the wind. He peered out to see if Arceus could still be seen, but the train had already moved on.

Banmya sighed. “I wonder if he heard me.” There was a moment before he smiled slightly. “I hope I sounded cool.”


“You ever heard of stuffed pokemon?” Mallys asked.

Mel hummed. “You mean like full of food?”

The Haxorus shook his head. “That is a way of looking at it, but I mean figurines.”

“So toys?” Mel looked disinterested.

Mallys rolled his eyes. “More or less. I’m just trying to say that it feels like I have my own stuffed pokemon. It’s weird, but it’s kind of nice.” He looked at the Slowking in his arms.

Nea scowled. “Kidnapping is a crime, both of you will go to jail for this.”

“As if-” Mel scoffed. “I have better things to do.”

Mallys groaned, moving his head slightly to avoid the horns of Nea’s crown. “It’s only a temporary arrangement, just help us out a little and we can pretend this didn’t happen.”

Nea struggled against Mally’s powerful grip. “There’s nothing temporary about-” She was cut off as Mally’s hold tightened, his claws starting to dig into her.

“We need to know where someone could have left the station, you have it locked down right?” Mallys said.

“Yes, locked down because of you,” Nea spat. “There’s no way anyone could have left.”

Mallys frowned. “Sorry, but we’re not the ones who caused this commotion. Also you’re wrong because we know someone left.”

Nea was silent until she felt Mallys’ claws again. “You’re lying” she spat through clenched teeth.

“Be a little more gentle,” Mel interjected. “It’s not an interrogation.”

Mallys gave Mel a sidelong glance, before nodding almost imperceptibly. “Anyway, I think you’re the one lying, we’re very thorough, and we didn’t find what we were looking for.”

Nea glared. “And what are you looking for?”

“Our friend,” Mallys said. “He has a tendency to get into things.”

“That doesn’t tell me anything,” Nea protested.

“You don’t need to know anything else,” Mallys replied dryly. “All you need to do is tell us how someone could have gotten out.”

“The exits are blocked and all public trains have been stopped,” Nea said.

Mallys nodded. “So a private train then?”

“I-” Nea stopped, making an inscrutable face. “That’s the conclusion you come to?”

Mallys looked at Mel. “There was something we saw that seemed fit for that right?”

The Lurantis shrugged. “That lower platform I think, it was kind of hidden?”.

“Sounds like the best we’re going to get, so let’s do it,” Mallys said.

“Wait, really?” Nea started. “This station is huge even if you say you’re thorough, are you really going to bet on a chance like that?”

“I didn’t know you cared.” Mallys gave the Slowking an exasperated look. “Call it intuition if it bothers you that much.”

Nea sighed. “Are you going to let me go then?”

“No.” Mallys gave her a pointed look. “You said it yourself, it’s a chance.”
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Chapter 10

RJR Basimilus

Arceus is nice I suppose...
the Lovely Planet
  1. arceus-fighting
  2. lurantis
  3. arceus-poison
  4. haxorus
In the middle of a particularly intense video game farming session, I had a dialogue.
Me: When will they stop talking so much?
Also me: ....They won't????
As if a two pound weight lifted from my shoulders, I felt reassured in my abysmal writing.

Chapter 10 - Passport to pass judgement

Arceus blinked again. Colors and lines shifted erratically, and a low buzz filled the air. He was standing on something solid, but he couldn’t tell what it was. Arceus’ vision was unfocused, he couldn’t make a sound for some reason.

In front of him was another Arceus.

They were identical in appearance, the same ring, the same eyes. As Arceus tried in vain to focus on the doppelganger in front of him, the opposing Arceus shifted.

“You’re doing really well,” it said.

Arceus was unable to reply, frozen in place.

“Don’t worry, I believe in you,” it continued, nodding to itself.

The air shifted, the buzzing noise slightly undulating. The second Arceus looked around briefly.

“I guess I could be wrong.” There was a slight edge in it’s tone. “You can prove me wrong can’t you?”

Bits and pieces of Arceus’ vision flashed in and out. As black patches obscured more and more of the other Arceus, he could hear it call out one last time.

“No pressure!”


The branches swayed in the wind as fallen pink leaves tumbled along the ground. Arceus watched them catch in the gnarled roots, feeling a bit sad.

The Noctowl tilted its head, giving Arceus an expectant stare again. Arceus looked away from it. It was frustrating, for some reason he couldn’t say a word, it was like a strange energy simply stopped him from speaking. Finally Arceus looked back at the bird. It gestured into the distance with a wing before sticking it’s tongue out at him.

Experimentally moving his remaining legs he examined the twisted wreck of his front left leg. Arceus wasn’t angry at the Weezing, though he had tried to be. Banmya’s words stuck in his head like a catchy song.

The longest regret? The thought flashed through his head.

Slowly, steadily, Arceus lifted himself off the ground on three legs, swaying from side to side. He shot a look at the Noctowl who shrugged before flying away. Arceus glanced up at the canopy of pink leaves before following, stumbling every step of the way.


Quiet whispers floated among the wooden cabins. No one was mean enough to stare, but it hardly mattered. Arceus had given up trying to walk on three legs after falling repeatedly and had eventually resorted to pulling himself forward along the ground. It felt awkward.

The Noctowl was waiting patiently outside one of the cabins. It blankly watched Arceus slowly making his way across the village for a moment before it turned and entered the house.

Claustrophobic shadows blanketed the small room, the already sporadic light from outside reduced even further. The Noctowl blinked, frowning slightly.

“You’re happy. Now that’s unusual.”

The Noctowl shifted, hiding a scowl. “You know Inno, you’re unbelievably creepy. I’m not happy though.”

“So you say, yet here you are,” Inno said idly from the darkness. “You’re so easy to read Trumme, that’s why I like you.”

Trumme sighed. “I’m going to ignore that.” He looked away as he saw Inno smiling at him. “I found someone out in the brush. Not in the best shape, I think they might have fallen from the tracks.”

Inno hummed with interest. “Oh yeah? So where are they now?”

“They go kind of slow, but they should be just outside.” Trumme cocked his head to the side. “Just letting you know.”

“You’re so good to me Trumme, you know that?” Inno sighed. “I don’t deserve your understanding.”

The Noctowl stared at the Archeops coldly. “Shut up, I’m leaving.”

“Hey Trumme!” Inno shouted after him.

The Noctowl swiveled his head back towards him.

“I love ya!” Inno grinned again.

Trumme said nothing and flew off.

“Ah-” Inno nibbled at his feathers. “There he goes again.”


The Archeops stared at Arceus as he lay on the floor. There was a moment as Arceus glared at the bird before it spoke.

“You can talk now,” the Archeops said.

“Oh really?” Arceus replied somewhat snidely before blinking in surprise.

“Yeah, real sorry about that, this place is just strange like that.” The Archeops laid down next to Arceus. “You need permission to talk,” he whispered.

“Why would you need that?” Arceus tried to ignore the bird inches from his face. “More importantly, how does that happen?”

“It’s a long story,” the Archeops said. “You don’t look so good, you know?”

Arceus felt another twinge of annoyance. “I’m not, and your friend or whoever didn’t really help.”

“You mean Trumme? He’s just like that sometimes. I hope you won’t hold it against him.”

Arceus groaned. “I don’t really see how I couldn’t.”

“Ahah, oh well.” The Archeops had an unreadable expression. “Anyway, I’m Inno. You are?”

“I’m Arceus.”

“That’s a weird one,” Inno said. “R-C-US... it’s definitely got a ring to it though.”

Arceus couldn’t be bothered to correct him. “What is this place?”

“Just a little village in the Blue forest.”

“Uh...” Arceus couldn’t think of a suitable response.

“You’re wondering why it’s pink but we call it blue,” Inno said matter-of-factly. “I don’t know really. Some things will always be a mystery, right?”

Arceus moved slightly, adjusting his neck. “Sounds like a bad joke.”

“Mmmm, yeah.” Inno fell silent, scratching his face. “What are you gonna do about that leg?” he said after a moment.

“Fix it somehow,” Arceus said.

“Sounds annoying, why not just cut it off?”

Arceus shot Inno an incredulous glance.

“If it were up to me, I’d just get rid of it.” The Archeops nodded. “Easier to replace one than to wait for it to get better. I had a friend once that messed up his leg really bad once. He cut it off and replaced it and it was like nothing happened at all.”

“I uh...” Arceus stopped, looking at the ceiling.

“I know you could care about a leg, but the leg’s not you, you’re you.” Inno paused, gesturing indeterminately. “The leg is technically you, yes, but well, you know.”

“I don’t know,” Arceus said, feeling tired.

“You wanna think about it?” Inno said hopefully.

Arceus rolled his eyes. “I want to sleep.”

Inno was undeterred. “That works too. You can stay here if you want too, we’re really- oh, you’re already asleep huh. That’s ok, that’s alright.” The bird looked at Arceus’ sleeping form. “I think I’m pretty empathetic,” he said, nodding to himself.


The rickety frame leisurely rolled down the tracks, bits and pieces of metal hanging off the sides. Mallys watched the ancient engine rumble along, warily eyeing the partially exposed wires that released sparks periodically.

“There’s a phrase for this stuff,” Mallys said idly. “Budget travelling. It’s kind of fun.”

There was no reply. Mallys glanced back at the Slowking. Nea sat cross-legged, staring off into the distance. She glanced at him briefly, a fierce frown on her face.

“You should try to relax.” The Haxorus gave Nea a pointed look as he poked Mel’s unconscious form with a slightly annoyed expression. “Mel is kind of annoying, but you can’t just hit her like that. At least use a little more nuance, if you know what I mean.”

“I would have hit you if you weren’t such a monster,” Nea muttered.

“Thanks for the compliment,” the Haxorus replied, smiling slightly.

“Why are you like this?” Nea growled. “So- lackadaisical, like you don’t care at all.”

“Is that what you think?” Mallys said, looking strangely wistful. “For me at least, this is just something, like anything, not really worth thinking about.”

Nea groaned, unwilling to pick apart the Haxorus’ sentence. “What?”

Mallys scratched at his beak in silence for a moment. “I’m feeling pretty good.” he finally said.

“What are you saying?” Nea shot the Haxorus a bewildered face. “Nothing you’ve said makes any sense.”

“I have to explain myself to you?” Mallys voice suddenly had an edge. The Slowking recoiled slightly but glared at him regardless.

“You and your friend there kidnapped me.” Nea said angrily. “You don’t know what you’re doing, do you? Panic, that’s all it is.”

“Maybe so.” Mallys replied listlessly. “This is the second time this has happened, so I’m kind of upset about it.”

“Again with the riddles,” Nea said, rubbing her face in her hands.

“They’re not riddles!” Genuine anger had crept into his tone. “I just want to be wrong, that’s it!”

The Slowking was silent. She opened her mouth briefly as if to speak, then scowled and turned away.

Lonely clouds rolled across the sky, separated by wide tendrils of deep blue. The squeaking of the old wheels had faded into the breeze as they sat in silence. Mallys stared straight ahead, unblinking in the sunlight. Nea found herself stealing quick glances at his massive frame, marvelling at his unblemished shining scales.

“I think he has a hard time expressing himself.” A voice came from the right. Nea looked over to see the Lurantis sitting upright, hugging her legs against her chest.

“Ah- it’s you,” Nea said. “I uh, sorry for knocking you out like that.”

“I deserved it,” Mel replied, smiling a little. “I let myself get caught up in that guys pace.”

Nea looked over at the Haxorus. “You can say that again. Do you understand anything he says?”

Mel held back a laugh. “I’ve had some practice.” Her smile faded as she looked at Nea awkwardly. “So uh, my name is Mel. I guess I’m your kidnapper. Sorry about that.”

Nea smiled bitterly. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if I wasn’t prepared for these kinds of things.” She gazed into the distance, picking at something on her head. “But, it is a bit different from what I thought it would be.”

“We didn’t plan for this,” Mel said quietly. “Actually- we’ve never had a plan. We’re just figuring things out as we go.”

“How do you guys even manage?” Nea said in wonder, shielding her eyes from the sun. “You already were arguing earlier, and just now he didn’t even care much that you were hurt. Is he really your friend?”

“Mallys?” Mel looked at the Haxorus with a bemused expression. “I don’t really know. I guess we can only stand each other because of our other friend.”

The Slowking groaned. “Not you too. That Haxorus has already been beating around the bush with me for hours, can I at least ask you to be straight with me?”

“Oh, sorry. I don’t know what he’s thinking.” Mel looked at Nea apologetically. “Did he hurt you?”

Nea grunted, rolling her eyes. “After I knocked you out, he roughed me up a little. But don’t worry about me. Anyway, who is this mutual friend? They must be a pretty big deal if you’re hanging with someone like that dragon.”

Mel looked down at her scythes. “He’s kind of weird. Actually, I haven’t even known him for that long. There’s just this...” Mel trailed off.

“Something you can’t really explain?” Nea smiled again. “I think I know what you mean. There’s someone I know that means a lot to me, but I can’t really say how.”

“Yeah, I get it.” Mel sounded relieved. “I know it doesn’t really justify what we’ve done. Sorry again.”

Nea scoffed. “That’s something I’ll worry about. What’s your friend’s name?”

“My friend’s name?” Mel laid flat on her back, staring at the clouds. “His name is Arceus.”


Arceus squinted, focusing on his leg in the darkness. Dull aches shot through his head as he struggled to position himself. Surprisingly, he found himself able to stand upright. His front leg was no longer bent out of shape, it was still sore but strangely rejuvenated at the same time.

Walking out of the hut, Arceus saw Inno poking at a fire, occasionally tossing a handful of pink leaves into it. Arceus shuddered slightly watching the Archeops’ inscrutable expression.

“Your name was Inno right?” Arceus said.

The Archeops turned so fast that Arceus flinched. “Ah- it’s you. You scared me.”

“Sorry,” Arceus replied, still reeling. “Thanks for uh- thanks for fixing my leg.”

Inno shrugged, inspecting a feather on his arm. “It looked bad, but it snapped back into place easily. Your body is pretty tough.”

“I guess so,” Arceus mused, staring at the fire. “Thanks again for everything.”

“What? You’re going somewhere?” Inno said idly. “Alright, have fun.”

“I have to meet up with my friends again,” Arceus said with a pained expression. “They’re probably angry at me.”

“I’m not even going to try to guess how you ended up here.” Inno smiled slightly. “If you can make it out of the forest by yourself though, they might be too impressed to be angry.”

“Huh?” Arceus looked at the Archeops with worry. “Is it hard?”

“I’ll put it this way,” Inno said in a low voice. “As long as we can find you, we’ll fix you up as many times as you need.” He fell silent and returned to staring at the fire. Arceus stood nearby for a few moments before slowly backing away.


Arceus lightly shook pink leaves off his head, glancing upwards at the silent canopy. The stillness was irritating and Inno’s words stuck in the back of Arceus’ mind, made worse by the lack of noise. Free to wander, his thoughts ran wild. Horrible scenarios played one after another in his head until he was interrupted when he collided head first with a tree.

As the shock faded, the first thing Arceus felt was anger. The breeze whistled merrily around him, a happiness that he couldn’t have.

“Why does it have to be like this?” Arceus said to himself, kicking the tree. The anger began to fade just as quickly as it had appeared, replaced by frustration.

“You’re hopeless.”

Arceus looked up to see a Noctowl perched on a limb. The bird waved a wing at him.


Arceus took a moment to process the encounter. “You’re uh- you’re... Trumme?”

“That’s me,” the Noctowl said. “Are you still upset?”

Arceus looked at his hooves in embarrassment. “Not anymore.”

“Good.” Trumme looked satisfied as he strutted across the branch. “Allow me to get straight to the point. Inno told me what you are trying to do. He also made a bet with me that I’d find you dead in less than a day- a bet I do not intend to lose.”

Arceus stared at Trumme with wide eyes. “Could you repeat that part about the bet?” he asked.

“You obviously won’t last out here, so I’m going to help you out. You don’t mind me being a bit... dishonorable, if the tradeoff is your life right?” Trumme said, grinning at Arceus.

Arceus was floored. His earlier emotional turmoil had disappeared completely, replaced by confusion.

“Inno said that?” Arceus said in a daze.

“You talked to him twice or something.” Trumme said, appearing irritated. “Don’t assume he’s nice, because he’s not.”

Arceus stared at the ground, completely still.

“Are you going to stand there forever?” The Noctowl fluttered down, landing on Arceus’ head. “I’m starting to regret making that bet.”

Regret? The word cut through Arceus’ thoughts like a knife. He felt like he was starting to remember something important. I can’t waste my time here, he thought, suddenly filled with resolve.

“So how do you win this bet?” Arceus asked, feeling strangely energized.

“Wha-?” Trumme sputtered, caught off guard. “Oh! You’re ready now? That’s great, I was just about to give up.” His expression darkened. “You just saved your own life.”

Arceus ignored the comment. “Let’s get out of this forest then!” he exclaimed to Trumme, breaking into a run.

The Noctowl watched as Arceus ran off into the brush. “Not quite what I meant,” he said under his breath before following.


Mel stared at the pink treetops in disbelief. “That has to be a joke right?”

“I’m not lying. It’s really called the Blue Forest.” Nea grinned at the Lurantis, leaning on the back of the train.

“But that’s just stupid,” Mel exclaimed, waving her scythes. “It’s not even funny.”

“I guess not,” Nea conceded. “It is what it is. I think it’s a beautiful place. Although, not beautiful enough to warrant stopping a train.”

Mel looked at the stalled engine in front of them disinterestedly. “At least we didn’t crash into it. Why do you think it stopped?”

“I have no idea,” the Slowking said. “Um, do you suppose your friend might have been on this train?”

Mel’s expression brightened. “You’re right! It could be. What do you think Mallys?”

The Haxorus grunted. He seemed uncomfortable.

“Mallys says yes,” Mel said with a nod.

“Well good luck with that,” Nea said. “I’ll be heading back now. It was not very nice getting to know you, but it wasn’t the worst thing that I’ve ever dealt with.”

Mel smiled sheepishly at the Slowking. “If at all possible, could you hold off on reporting us?”

“For you? Maybe.” Nea glared at Mallys. “For him, absolutely not.”

“I think we can work with that,” Mel replied.

“I told myself that because I was old, my senses would make mistakes.” A new voice came from above them, startling the three. In front of them on top of the train, a Weezing floated, looking at them with a strange expression that seemed to be a mixture of disgust and curiosity.

“Is something wrong sir?” Nea asked, putting on a fake smile.

“Yes there is, and that something is everything,” the Weezing said, staring at Mallys who didn’t seem to be paying attention. “You lot are law enforcement. You’ve come to get me just like I predicted. I knew something was off about your agent, and I was right!”

“Our... agent?” Nea said, dropping her facade in confusion.

“As much as I despair over complimenting an enemy, he was an extremely good actor.” The suspicion in the Weezing’s expression disappeared. “Such a youthful display. A figure of a refined persuasion and posture. Not to mention those- those rings or what have you.”

In an instant Mallys came alive, leaping to the top of the train car and grasping the Weezing like a toy. Mel looked up sharply, a dark expression across her face while Nea feebly protested to deaf ears.

“Were you moved by my eloquent depiction?” The Weezing seemed entirely unfazed by the Haxorus. “I was. In fact, I forgot why I was so upset at you.”

“Why don’t we cut a deal then?” Mallys said in an emotionless tone. “If you could direct us to our agent, we’ll let you go. We are much more concerned about them than you right now.”

“Right, right- your agent.” The Weezing seemed to think for a moment. “I’m afraid he’s not somewhere I know of. You see, he fell out of the train into this forest below us.”

Mallys was deathly still, his grip on the Weezing rock solid. Then, in a single move he tossed the Weezing behind him, affixing Mel with an unreadable expression.

“He wouldn’t have... he shouldn’t have died from a fall like that. We’ll split up, you two look on that side of the bridge. I’ll look on this side.” Mallys nodded at them, promptly jumping off the side of the bridge.

Mel and Nea looked at each other.

“You don’t have to help if you don’t want to,” Mel said with an apologetic tone. “You were about to leave right?”

Nea sighed. “Somehow I think he would know. I want to help on your behalf, but first I have to make sure that Weezing isn’t hurt.”

“To think I would receive such consideration! Maybe I was wrong about you.” The Weezing was directly behind them, hovering uncannily close to the pair.

Nea flinched, her eyes wide as Mel nearly fell backwards. The Weezing laughed brightly, smiling at them.

“If I surprised you, I’m sorry,” he said. “I suppose I’m feeling quite well off today.”

“Are you sure?” Mel said incredulously. “You seemed pretty angry just a moment ago.”

Nea shook her head, looking tired. “Regardless, you look relatively alright. He didn’t hurt you any did he?”

“Not at all,” the Weezing said.

The Slowking nodded in relief. “We’ll be on our way now. Sorry to have disturbed you, uhh-”

“Banmya,” the Weezing said. “Nothing more, nothing less.”

“Oh- sorry then Banmya,” Nea said.

“So how are we going to get down?” Mel asked, peering over the edge of the bridge.

“I’m not too sure myself,” Nea mused, taking a deep breath. “I thought you would have an idea.”

“You could jump?” Banmya offered. “That seems to be a popular method.”

Nea and Mel were unamused.


“I win the bet if you walk out of here in one piece, you get that much.” Trumme stared disapprovingly at Arceus lying facedown in the mud, trying very hard not to laugh. “But there’s a second half to that equation, so you can’t just run off yet, understand?”

“Yes, I do,” Arceus said, unmoving. The frustration was back, along with a burning disappointment.

“Then get up and stop laying there,” Trumme chided, shaking his head.

Arceus slowly rose to his feet, turning to face the Noctowl. His front of his face down to his chest was covered in mud, but he didn’t seem to notice.

“Sorry it’s just- when you mentioned regret earlier, I thought I remembered something important,” Arceus said, looking at his hooves.

“And that was?” Trumme said, an annoyed expression crossing his face.

Arceus was silent for a moment, scraping at the ground. “Memories of who I was,” he finally said with a pained expression. “But it was just something someone told me recently that I forgot.”

“Who you were?” Trumme said, his gaze softening for an instant. “Never mind. If you have something wrong with your head, I don’t care. Just listen to me.”

Arceus nodded silently.

Trumme sighed, looking at Arceus. “If it really bothers you, then you need to start thinking logically. Try prioritizing what’s important.”

“I uh, I have to get out of the forest, right?” Arceus said hopefully.

“There you go,” Trumme said triumphantly. “What about after that?”

Arceus felt some tension leaving his body. “Then I’ll find my friends.”

“If that’s what you’re gonna do, then sure!” Trumme exclaimed. “Just follow your checklist and win me some money.”

“You bet money on me dying?” Arceus said, shifting uncomfortably.

“That would be Inno,” Trumme said, matter-of-factly. “I bet on you living. And of course we used money, what did you think we were betting on?”

“I- I don’t know, food or something?” Arceus sputtered.

Trumme laughed. “If only! I don’t usually even bet, but Inno plays for keeps.” He leaned in close to Arceus. “Plus I wouldn’t mind the chance to show him up.”

“If you say so,” Arceus said, slightly unnerved by the Noctowl.

“Anyway, we got off topic,” Trumme said. “Can you fight?”

Arceus shook his head.

“Can you hit someone without crying about it?”

“I think so?” Arceus said, giving Trumme a strange look.

“That’s a start at least,” the Noctowl said, trying and failing to sound confident. “We’ll have to do a crash course then.” Trumme flapped his wings, rising into the air before settling into slow circles in the air over Arceus’ head.

Arceus followed Trumme’s path until he felt slightly dizzy. “I can’t really hit you up there.”

“Really?” Trumme was unconvinced. “You can’t shoot anything out of your uh, face? Nothing like that?”

“I don’t think so.” Arceus replied.

“You can’t jump up here or anything?”

“No?” Arceus looked at his legs.

“Are you sure?” Trumme looked at Arceus suspiciously. “I think you just haven’t tried anything.”

“Then what do I do?” Arceus almost shouted. Hearing himself, he recoiled slightly, looking away.

“Just focus I guess!” Trumme yelled back, smiling. “Think about it really hard, as stupid as that sounds.”

Arceus was about to reply, but found himself wondering if Trumme was right. He closed his eyes, searching his mind to find something he wasn’t sure existed. After a few seconds, he thought he felt a thin wave of energy. Arceus opened his eyes in excitement to find... nothing.

“False positive?” Trumme called from above. “Don’t make yourself feel something that isn’t there.”

Suppressing a tinge of irritation, Arceus closed his eyes again. This time he didn’t think about anything, instead focusing on the blackness. Slowly, he felt like he was withdrawing into himself, losing the sense of everything around him as his concentration deepened. In the darkness, there was nothing. And then...

And then...

And then...

“Wow, you actually did it.” Trumme’s voice broke through Arceus’ concentration, jolting him back to the moment with a start. He swung his head from side to side as he tried to reorient himself. Then he stopped, staring in wonder at the object in front of him.

A jet black, perfectly formed sphere hung in the air. Trumme made faces at it from a distance, regarding it apprehensively. Glancing at Arceus, he gestured at the sphere with a wing.

“It’s a bit small, but that’s pretty good for a first try. That is if you aren’t lying to me,” he said.

“That was the first time,” Arceus replied, still somewhat surprised. “I didn’t know I could do that.”

Trumme shrugged. “That’s what happens when you go for it. How did it feel though? Get any sense of like, time slowing down or anything?”

“Not really,” Arceus said apologetically. “I didn’t feel anything.”

“That’s fine too,” Trumme said. “How about you try shooting it at me?”

Arceus was taken aback, looking between Trumme and the sphere uncomfortably.

“I promise that I’m pretty tough. If that- that thing hurts me, I won’t hold it against you. I swear.”

“It’s not that though,” Arceus said. “I just don’t want to hurt you.”

The Noctowl frowned, flapping his wings as he landed on a stump. “You’re a nice one, aren’t you? Cut it out and hit me already.”

Arceus hesitated a moment longer before focusing again on the sphere with a lingering resignation. As he stared at it, it slowly began to move through the air towards Trumme, who watched impassively. Feeling it settle into its path, Arceus stepped back and waited. The two of them were frozen as the black mass inched silently towards the Noctowl, unchanging and unwavering.

“Did you really have to make it that slow?” Trumme asked. “It’s kind of creeping me out.”

“I’ll make it faster next time,” Arceus retorted, only half listening. He realized that Trumme was right, the spheres seemingly inexorable movement was growing more and more ominous as it got closer and closer to the Noctowl. He shot a worried glance at Trumme who seemed unconcerned in comparison.

“No regrets, right?” Trumme said, flashing a smile at Arceus.

His smile lasted for only a moment. As the orb finally collided with Trumme, his face suddenly warped in pain, his eyes going wide. His body twisted sideways as he fell off the stump into a heap of feathers on the ground.

Arceus remained rooted to the ground, unable to process what had just happened. The orb continued on at the same speed as if it had never even touched the Noctowl.

“Ah- alright....” Trumme’s voice floated weakly from the crumpled heap. “Maybe some regrets.”
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Chapter 11

RJR Basimilus

Arceus is nice I suppose...
the Lovely Planet
  1. arceus-fighting
  2. lurantis
  3. arceus-poison
  4. haxorus
If I could buy a Peloton bike, I wouldn't because the year 2020 is the year of the thrift hunter (hence the year of the rat).
Somehow I also made another chapter, and it's talking again! I'm getting really good at simulating a chatbot environment.

Chapter 11 - Nothing Funny About the Color Pink

Mel exhaled heavily, wondering if she would hear the sound of her breath. As the air rushed from her she waited, then grimaced, hearing nothing yet feeling the sensation of the breath. She glanced upwards at the massive pillar that suspended the train tracks high in the air, the base spider webbed with plant growth that splintered the cream paint, revealing dark stone underneath. Following the two rough lines that trailed from the top of the pillar to the bottom, she inspected her scythes, frowning at the slightly worn ends. Nea was heavy.

Noticing movement from her peripheral vision, she looked over to see the Slowking in question waving at her. Mel started to wave back, but her arm faltered halfway through, falling to her side. Nea shot a knowing smile at her, shrugging apologetically. All Mel could do was return the smile.

Mel tried to make sense of what was happening. On a whim, she took a deep breath and tried to yell as loud as she could. The result was the same as earlier, Mel was left making a face, but no sound at all. She shot a desperate look at Nea, the Slowking only shook her head, an inscrutable expression on her face. Mel turned away to stare at the forest, trying to ignore the growing anxiety in her stomach. The gentle movement of the leaves was an eternal constant; nothing else seemed to exist in the deathly silence of the trees. For a moment, Mel wondered how she ended up here, lost and alone with a stranger, chasing a dream.

Something moved in the corner of her vision, snapping Mel out of her thoughts. She quickly glanced over to the Nea. The Slowking was focused on something else, oblivious to Mel’s distress. Without thinking, Mel took off running. She was able to make out a figure bounding through the undergrowth, flashes of blue and tan against the stark pink. Slowly she closed the distance until in a single leap, she tackled the figure to the ground.

As the rush of energy faded, Mel found herself staring into a pair of beady eyes that stared back at her. The Archeops didn’t seem particularly bothered by the situation, instead it seemed almost happy to see Mel.

“That was very romantic of you, you know?” he said, smirking as Mel’s eyes widened. “This is destiny isn’t it.”

Mel began to retort, but found herself still unable to speak.

“What, it’s not like that?” The Archeops looked hurt. “If you say so. But I need to hear it from you directly. Tell me that I’m a loser.”

Mel was bewildered for a moment. She groaned inwardly, wondering how to show him that she couldn’t talk.

“Please? I get it if you don’t want to talk to me, but just tell me that one thing.” The Archeops looked sadly at Mel. She could tell there was a smile hidden behind it.

Mel glared at him.

The Archeops sighed. “Okay, I won’t ask. How about you over there then?” Mel turned to see Nea watching them with a sort of horrified fascination. “Call me a loser!” the Archeops called forcefully.

“You’re a-” Nea said before cutting off in surprise. Mel turned back to the Archeops.

“You’re a loser,” Mel said.

“There it is,” the Archeops shouted, smiling as Mel released her hold on him. “Sorry if I confused you guys. You know what they say though, a strong mind need oft be reminded of its place.”

“I’ve never heard that before,” Nea muttered, shooting a worried glance at Mel.

“Yeah, sorry about that,” Mel said to the Archeops. She didn’t sound particularly sorry. “We were just disoriented. I know you might not believe it, but we couldn’t actually speak until a moment ago.”

“Oh, I know,” the Archeops replied cheerfully. “I’m Inno, and like, if you think about it, the word ‘know’ is in my name. Kind of.”

“Wait a minute,” Nea interjected. “You knew?”

“Uh huh,” Inno said. “You can’t say anything unless you have permission, and you need to get it from someone.”

“That’s insane!” Nea exclaimed, “For an area of this size, the logistics are nonexistent.”

Inno shrugged. “Logistics and rules don’t mix I guess.” He rubbed his head, chewing on a feather. “Gee, I’ve had to explain this a lot today.”

“To who?” Mel asked.

“Everyone that came down from the train. You’re not with them?” Inno perked up again, looking Mel and Nea over. “There haven’t been this many visitors in a long time.”

“The train huh?” Mel exchanged a glance with the Slowking. “What’s their deal?”

“I don’t know really,” Inno said apologetically. “Something about cargo falling off. Very clumsy of them.”

“Anyway,” Mel said, shifting the topic, “Why were you running through here?”

“I was just going to check in on a friend of mine,” Inno said nonchalantly. “I haven’t seen them in a while and I wanted to see how they’re doing.”

“Good for you. Anyway, it was nice to meet you Inno,” Nea said, clearly eager to see him on his way. “Sorry for the trouble.”

“No worries. Another time!” That said, the Archeops took off again into the pink, vanishing from sight in seconds.

Sighing deeply, Mel slumped against the side of a tree while Nea simply stared in the direction Inno had run.

“I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, but that was really weird,” Nea said thoughtfully.

“I thought I’d met enough strange Pokemon for a lifetime,” Mel said, closing her eyes. “Let’s just not talk about it.”

“Good Call.”


“I have- I have an idea,” Trumme said between gasps of air. “I don’t think it will work if you keep crying on me.”

“Sorry,” Arceus said, blinking away tears.

“I told you already, this is on me. I asked for it, I probably even deserved it.” Trumme forced a smile. “You know, without a mouth or nose, it’s hard to tell that you’re sad.”

Arceus glanced at Trumme’s wing, then quickly looked away, feeling sick. The black orb hadn’t mangled it so much as it had obliterated it, the end of the wing was completely gone as if it was cut clean off. Trumme had insisted that it was not particularly painful, but under Arceus’ gaze he could only hold a grin for so long before a grimace creeped in. Arceus was less bothered by the wound than by the fact that he himself had caused it, silently cursing his lost memories.

“Alright, if we don’t do anything, you’re going to keep thinking about it and start crying again, so listen to me.” Trumme leveled a steely expression at Arceus. “I want you to make another orb.”

“Huh?” Arceus was caught off guard. “Why?”

“I’m guessing here, so bear with me,” Trumme said, wincing slightly at a fresh round of pain. “That little black ball was slow as syrup, but powerful. I think that if you focused, you could change the properties of it.”

“You want me to make it faster?” Arceus asked, trying to guess what Trumme was thinking.

Despite the pained expression he was making, Trumme managed to shoot Arceus a devious grin. “Not quite, I want you to make it less powerful.” Trumme pointed with his other wing to a nearby rock. “Fire it at that, if you get it just right I think it won’t be able to cut through the rock and cause friction instead.”

Arceus examined the rock. “Friction for what?”

Trumme was silent for a moment, scanning Arceus’ face for something. “I’ll uh, I’ll figure that part out. First things first, you should try a test run. You’ll know if it works if the rock gets hot, like- it sparks or something.”

Arceus stared at Trumme for a moment before nodding. He started to close his eyes again before he heard Trumme call again.

“No rush, but I’m going to die here if you aren’t proactive about it.”

Suppressing a surge of panic, Arceus focused like he had earlier. This time he was almost certain he could feel the sphere forming again. He thought of the criteria Trumme had given him and for a second was worried that it would break his concentration. But when he opened his eyes, the sphere was there again. It was the same size and color, however it felt inexplicably different to Arceus.

“There’s the nasty little thing,” Trumme said from off to the side. “Go ahead, shoot it.”

Without delay, Arceus sent it flying towards the rock. He turned to the Noctowl, who was watching with a distant expression.

“So what happens now?” Arceus asked.

Trumme seemed at a loss. “Well uh- unstoppable force, immovable object, something something. Even if it is just friction, if we’re lucky it’ll start plowing through the rock anyway.”

It seemed that something was happening. The sphere was pressed against the solid rock, seemingly immobile. In the silence, Arceus made out a low grinding noise, and as the sound grew louder, the rock started to turn red around the edges of where the sphere was. Trumme noticed this too, the Noctowl’s eyes somehow growing larger than they already were.

“Get rid of it,” Trumme said suddenly, his gaze fixated on the rock.

“Huh? Oh, alright.” Arceus focused on the orb again and after a moment it fizzled into the air. “What do we-” He was cut off as the Noctowl dragged himself upwards and ran unsteadily towards the glowing red stone face. In a single move, he thrust the bleeding edge of the wing against the side, grunting loudly as he did so.

“I’ll be honest. I was making peace with myself for death,” Trumme said, a blank expression on his face. “This was a last ditch sort of thing, who would really think something like that would work?” He looked at his blackened wing. “I’m- I’m actually relieved.”

“You didn’t think it would actually work?” Arceus said, horrified.

“I was playing it by the moment so you wouldn’t freak out,” Trumme admitted, a sheepish expression on his face. “It worked, so I guess we both win.”

Arceus examined the smoking stump. “I don’t think that’s a win.”

“Hey, as I said, I’m not dead.” Trumme shrugged. “By my definition of winning, I’m in. Anyway, we know now that you can sort of fight.”

“If you say so,” Arceus said in defeat.

“I’ll be fine,” Trumme said. “I can’t promise you because I messed that one up already, but I can swear by it.” His expression softened. “I owe you that much.”

“You owe me nothing,” Arceus replied. “You saved me when I broke my leg remember?”

Trumme frowned. “I’m not counting that one. I hardly acted out of goodwill.”

“Doesn’t that mean there was still some goodwill?” Arceus asked.

“I guess so,” Trumme said. He stretched his uneven wings, glancing at Arceus’ ring. “I can’t really fly anymore as you might have guessed, so how about carrying me?”

“Of course!” Arceus replied happily.


The tugging barely registered at first. Mallys was used to things getting caught occasionally in the plates of his tail, but slowly he realized that there was a significant weight slowing him down. In annoyance he flicked his tail, but froze as he realized the weight remained. Instead, it seemed to be moving up his tail, an odd and somewhat uncomfortable sensation. He craned his neck back to find a Combusken wrapping its arms around his tail. The bird seemed somewhat dazed, but its grip was solid. Spotting Mallys looking, the Combusken waved at him before releasing his hold and falling to the ground in a heap.

Mallys stood completely still in shocked silence before what happened registered in his head. Turning around, he gazed in confusion at the Combusken who was now rolling on the ground, clutching its head.

“Are you alright?” the Haxorus asked uncertainty.

The Combusken staggered to its feet. It’s expression was apologetic as it glanced at Mallys, a small sheepish smile across its beak.

Mallys tried to suppress a gnawing irritation in the back of his head. “Are you saying yes?”

“Kind of,” the Combusken said with a slight rasp.

“Then say yes,” Mallys replied.

“I was sick recently.” The Combusken tapped at a place Mallys guessed his throat was. “I was resting my voice, though you might not know what it was like.”

The Haxorus looked away with a strange expression on his face. “Actually, I have some experience.”

The Combusken’s expression brightened. “Really? Then we’re on the same wavelength! You can call me G. It’s shorthand because-” He stopped suddenly and his expression froze. “Actually I don’t care, my name is Goucie.” Goucie looked straight at Mallys with a hard stare. “Who are you?”

“I’m no one,” Mallys replied. “But my name is Mallys.”

“That’s a nice name,” Goucie said. “Have you ever thought of trading it?”

“No,” Mallys said, mentally deciding not to think about the question too much.

Goucie shrugged, smiling at Mallys. “I’ll leave the offer up if you change your mind.” The Combusken idly surveyed the trees surrounding them. “This place is pretty cool right?”

“No,” Mallys said again, frowning slightly.

“Hey, I won’t take ‘no’ twice,” Goucie said pouting. “What’s not to like about it? Seriously, I want to know what you think.”

Mallys was silent. “I- I don’t like pink,” he replied eventually.

Goucie stared at the Haxorus for a moment, his beak hanging open. “I get it, I get it,” he said, regaining his composure. “Sorry about that.”

Mallys blinked in confusion. “What are you sorry about?”

“Sorry about, you know. You being unhappy.” Goucie tapped his claws together, looking up at Mallys.

“Don’t worry about it,” Mallys muttered, glancing into the tree cover. “If you want to make up for it, then help me out.”

Goucie immediately perked up. “Of course! I’ll do whatever you want.”

“Yeah uh, we’ll figure that part out in a moment,” Mallys said, looking behind Goucie. Two pale yellow eyes ringed with blue stared at Mallys from the foliage. He evenly returned the gaze, focusing on his breathing to ignore the sinking feeling in his gut. The pink leaves stiffened in unnatural patterns as the air grew unnaturally cold, the ground starting to harden. Goucie was smiling, he didn’t seem to notice. As Mallys continued to face off with the eyes in the forest, a piercing shiver ran through him. He leaned forward slightly, slowly tensing his legs as he waited for something- anything, to happen.

“Uhm, did I do something wrong?” Goucie asked, shrinking in Mallys imposing stance. “If it’s something I said, I didn’t mean-” Goucie was cut off as Mallys lunged forward, wrapping the Combusken in a tight hug as he dove to the ground, narrowly avoiding a flash of white whizzing through the air. Releasing Goucie as fast as he had grabbed him before, Mallys sprung to his feet. The Combusken unsteadily rose a moment later, gripping a tree for support. He glanced at Mallys questioningly before following the Haxorus’ gaze.

A small figure emerged from the brush, a white spectre with two lanky arms extending down from the sides of its head. Mallys noted that there was something odd about the Froslass; it appeared to have a set of small metallic wings along it’s backside, four along each side tipped with red. It continued to stare at Mallys impassively, it’s yellow eyes unreadable.

Goucie looked back and forth between the two, his expression a mixture of fear and confusion. For a moment he locked eyes with Mallys, the Haxorus shaking his head apologetically. Goucie hesitated for another moment before slowly stepping behind Mallys.

“I don’t know what’s going on,” Goucie whispered, “-but I trust you Mallys.”

Mallys’ stance faltered. “You trust me? Huh...”

The Froslass watched them, remaining silent as it lifted it’s arms. A mist formed, quickly condensing into an array of conical icicles that hung in the air reflecting the sunlight.

A voice rang out, cutting through the tension. “And you said you would have trouble.” The tone was one of playful admonishment, but Mallys was unable to pinpoint the source.

“Eheheh.” The Froslass’ composure disappeared as it giggled, some of the floating icicles falling to the ground. “Oh shoot.”

“Don’t get flustered, just reel it back in,” the voice said.

Mallys realized with surprise that the strange wings on the Froslass’ back belonged to an Anorith clinging to it. The arthropod’s eyes were barely visible, but Mallys could feel them glaring at him.

“There’s two of them?” Goucie said, peeking from around Mallys.

“That makes it fair, if anything,” Mallys said to Goucie. He turned to the other pokemon. “Are you going to kill us?”

“Yes! Well, not yet, but yes,” the Anorith said loudly. “You will be worthy sacrifices.”

Mallys grimaced. “That sounds stupid. We’ll pass.”

“Yeah, I’ll pass too,” Goucie said from behind Mallys. The Haxorus rolled his eyes.

The Anorith whispered to the Froslass, shooting furtive glances at Mallys. Nodding along, the Froslass lifted her arms again, icy energy condensing around the two. Seeing this, Mallys reached behind him, grabbing Goucie by the head and pulling him around to face him.

“You got fire right?” Mallys asked.

“I’m pretty sure I do,” Goucie said, smiling nervously.

“Then use it.” Mallys put both claws under Goucie’s arms, lifting him into the air and turning him to face the Froslass. As the Froslass released a wave of icy air blanketing the space around them, Goucie opened his mouth, shooting a jet of fire into the air.

Recoiling in fear, the Froslass looked over her shoulder at her companion. “What do I do now Lozow? They have fire.”

The Anorith, Lozow, looked annoyed. “Hide. I’ll figure something out.”

The Froslass nodded, holding up her arms again. A dense mist settled through the trees, blocking the sunlight. The leaves were tinged with grey, barely visible through the thick haze.

Goucie wreathed his claws in flame, waving them wildly in the air. Caught off guard, Mallys dropped him, the Combusken falling to the dirt with a thumping sound.

“Tell me if you’re going to do something like that,” Mallys said, looking down.

“Point taken, sorry,” Goucie replied with a muffled tone. Standing up, he glanced around. “What are we going to do now?”

Mallys took a deep breath. “They’re still here, I can feel it. Can you make the area around you warm?”

“I can do that,” Goucie said, his claws flaring to life again. As the mist began to evaporate in a small circle around them, Mallys stuck out one arm, a volley of icicles clattering harmlessly off of it.

“If we’re lucky, they can’t hit us with anything stronger than that,” Mallys said, inspecting the armor around his wrist. “Maintaining a mist like this takes a lot of work.”

“But- doesn’t that mean we’re stuck?” Goucie said, glancing around fearfully.

“We should be fine for...” Mallys trailed off suddenly, his eyes wide. “I’m wrong, we have to go now.”

Goucie balked, the flames on his arms flickering. “What do you mean now? Why is this all happening at once?”

Mallys put a claw on Goucie, moving him slightly to the side. “No idea, just work with me on a plan,” he said as another group of icicles flew past the Combusken. “Keep the heat going, but start moving. I’ll guide you.”

Slowly, they moved step by step, the mist parting to the heat. The Froslass had switched tactics, icicles raining down on Mallys and Goucie from above. Mallys blocked them easily, but the icicles bouncing off his head were irritating. Goucie coughed, the heat around them wavering as he caught his breath.

“Are you ok?” Mallys asked, holding Goucie in place. “I can carry you again.”

“I’m fine,” Goucie protested, coughing again. “It’s just cold.”

“I know, it’s very c- ugh” Mallys coughed suddenly. At that moment, a single icicle fell past Mallys and onto Goucie’s head. The projectile broke apart in the collision, Goucie stumbling forward slightly. A wave of cold washed over the two of them, sending Mallys into a coughing fit.

Mallys looked at Goucie as a thin trickle of blood made its way down the Combusken’s face. The Haxorus swallowed, leaning in close to Goucie.

“Breath slowly, and try to hold it as much as possible. They’re trying to freeze our lungs,” Mallys whispered to Goucie.

Goucie clamped his beak shut, his eyes widening.

“Creative, I know. How much fire do you have left in you?” Mallys said, his eyes darting around.

“A bit,” Goucie said as quietly as he could. He held up his left claw, intensifying the flame on it for a moment.

Mallys nodded. “Let your heat start to fade. I’m going to grab you and run straight at them. When that happens, use all the fire you have left and shoot it at them.” Mallys paused, a strange look crossing his face. “Do you still trust me?”

Goucie was silent for what seemed like a long time. Slowly he lowered his arms, the circle of warmth beginning to fade. The Combusken stared at Mallys as the mist started to encroach upon them, seconds stretching into forever. Mallys felt the cold begin to sink into his armor, his throat tightening as each moment passed. Reaching down, he picked up Goucie again.

The cold grew colder. Another second passed.

“Now,” Mallys whispered, lunging into the mist.

“Ah, watch it,” Goucie pouted, feeling Mallys’ claws digging into him.

“Sorry, just go!” Mallys said, thrusting the Combusken forward as he ran. Goucie shot a jet of fire blindly ahead, bits of the fire streaming behind them as they ran. A cry of pain erupted somewhere near Mallys, quickly fading as he continued to run. The grey disappeared, the blur of scenery around him blooming into a welcome pink.

When he finally stopped, the only sounds were their breathing. Mallys carefully set Goucie down before leaning on a tree, the wood groaning under his weight.

“Did we do it?” the Combusken asked in a quiet voice.

“Yes,” Mallys said, trying to catch his breath. “Couldn’t have done it without you.”

“Really? Thats- nice,” Goucie said, collapsing to one side. Mallys stared grimly at the Combusken’s unconscious form before sighing.

“So will you never fly again?” Arceus asked. He pushed through the magenta brush, its color deepened by the fading sunlight.

“More or less, but there’s a finality to that I can’t get over,” Trumme said. Perched atop the ring on Arceus’ back, he turned his head side to side as leaves brushed by his face.

“Oh,” Arceus murmured quietly, his eyes tracing the ground.

“Come on,” Trumme groaned, rolling his eyes. “How many times will I have to tell you that it wasn’t your fault?”

“I- I don’t know,” Arceus replied defensively.

“Then I’ll keep saying it,” Trumme said. “It wasn’t your fault, it’s not your fault, and it will never be your fault.”

Arceus stopped, craning his neck back to look at the Noctowl. “Thanks Trumme,” he said.

Trumme nodded. “Try not to beat yourself up. Anyway, you said something about your head earlier. That you forgot or something?”

“Yeah I did. It’s not really important,” Arceus said.

Trumme shrugged. “That’s fine. Why don’t you tell me anyway. It’ll pass the time, if you’re alright with that.”

Arceus looked thoughtful. “Okay, if you want. It’s kind of a long story.”

“Start from the beginning then,” Trumme replied. “I’m what you would call a captive audience after all.”
Chapter 12

RJR Basimilus

Arceus is nice I suppose...
the Lovely Planet
  1. arceus-fighting
  2. lurantis
  3. arceus-poison
  4. haxorus
Me, clutching an ukama: "Do you think that pokemon and temtems can ever get along?
You, holding a gun: "No" *shoots me*

How to turn down bass on toyota car? I think mine was owned by an audiophile before and now NPR sounds like a crust punk concert.
Anyway, this chapter - conversation and some other stuff. Not very interesting.

Chapter 12've : Hot

“You’re staying here?”

Mel and Nea were at the edge of the forest. A winding river separated the pink trees from a rolling green plain that was dotted irregularly with rocks. The Lurantis stood on the shore opposite of the Slowking. Mel’s back was to the forest, but she could feel it as if it were alive.

“Of course; it’s something I have to do,” Mel said lightly.

“Do you think you’re being a bit dramatic?” Nea asked, frowning.

“Not at all,” Mel replied, leaning against a tree. “I have my responsibilities like you. This is something I can handle.”

“It’s not about whether you can handle it or not,” the Slowking protested. “You’re looking for one pokemon by yourself in a dense forest at night.”

Mel hesitated, a look of uncertainty crossing her face. “I-I’ll manage.”

Nea sighed, adjusting her crown. “What are you trying to prove?” she asked.

“Nothing. Why do you think I’m trying to prove something?” Mel retorted sharply. She turned away from Nea and stared into the forest.

Nea’s hands dropped to her side. “Sorry for making assumptions.” The Slowking shuffled awkwardly. “Please Mel, come back with me.”

Mel slumped, energy leaving her body. “How would that help?” she said weakly, staring into the sky.

The Slowking smiled hopefully, holding out one arm. “We’ll arrange a search party. It will only take a few hours, so your friend will be fine.”

Mel was silent, running the tip of one scythe down a tree.

“I promise you I’ll do everything I can,” Nea pleaded.

Mel’s gaze travelled back and forth between Nea and the forest. Standing at the edge of an impenetrable silence, she felt a tug of longing when she looked at the Slowking. Turning to the forest, she found herself imagining Arceus alone in the dark. But above all else, in the back of her mind, two red eyes judged her hesitation. Mel felt a swell of anger, her antennae involuntarily twitching.

“I can’t let him hold that over me,” Mel growled, scowling fiercely.

“M-mel?” Nea said, her tone wavering.

The Lurantis was silent, her breathing heavy. The moon was starting to rise. Finally, Mel turned to Nea, a sad smile across her face.

“Sorry Nea. I can’t count on a promise that slow.” Without another word, Mel ran back into the forest, disappearing in the pink.

Nea was dumbfounded. “I- I’ll make it faster next time then,” she yelled uselessly into the wind. Sighing heavily, the Slowking stomped on the ground before regaining her composure.

“You better know what you’re doing,” Nea said quietly. She watched the swaying of the leaves for a moment longer before turning and walking away.


Mallys shook the Combusken like a ragdoll, his labored breathing unnaturally loud in the silence of the forest.

“You said you trust me right?” Mallys asked, a panicked expression on his face.

“I’m pretty sure I said that,” Goucie said drowsily. His gaze slowly travelled around, his beak hanging slightly open. “How long was I out?”

“Too long,” Mallys replied quickly, glancing skywards. “It’s night.”

“Huh? Nighttime?” Goucie’s eyes widened. Wiggling his way out of Mallys’ grip, he landed ungracefully on the ground, stumbling forward. Regaining his balance, he turned to the Haxorus, frowning slightly.

Mallys managed a pained smile. “Ready to go?”

Goucie shrugged. “They’ve probably already left me. I’m not really going anywhere.”

“Sure you are,” Mallys said, undeterred. “You trust me. Just follow my lead, right?”

“Right,” Goucie replied, narrowing his eyes slightly. “Let’s go then. Do you know where we’re going though?”

Mallys tapped the side of his head. “I have a pretty good idea. My intuition is a lot better than you might give it credit for.”

“Oh, I wasn’t questioning it!” Goucie said quickly. “Sorry, I’m just out of it.”

The Haxorus shrugged. “You’ll get better,” he said, his gaze wandering.

Goucie’s shoulders sagged. He opened his beak to reply, but stopped short, tapping his claws together.

“Do you need something?” Mallys asked, his expression blank.

The Combusken hummed nervously, staring at the ground. “Can I ride on your back?”

Mallys blinked, completely dumbfounded. A moment passed before he silently reached down and picked up Goucie, placing the Combusken on the back of his neck.

“Thanks,” Goucie said, a small smile playing across his beak. “Let’s go now.”

Mallys nodded, craning his neck to look at Goucie. “Someone’s close,” he said. “Be quiet for a moment.”

They were silent, waiting. Even though Goucie’s eyes had adjusted to the darkness, the night was blacker still. Mallys was statuesque, frozen in place. Only his eyes moved, darting left and right.

“Heeelloooo?” a voice erupted from the darkness. “I have really good hearing you know. I heard you!”

Mallys felt his breath catch in the back of his throat. There was a dull scratching sound as Goucie’s claws tightened around the Haxorus’ armored neck.

“I’m a bit indisposed,” the voice continued with a hint of desperation. “Uh, I can offer something...”

“What are you offering?” Mallys asked hesitantly. Ignoring Goucie’s bewildered expression, he slowly walked forward.

For a moment, there was silence before the voice replied.

“Ah- I didn’t think anyone would actually answer.” There was a shuffling sound. “Is it too late to renege on that?”

“Maybe. Let’s talk about it,” Mallys said.

“Yes, let’s talk!” The voice’s relief was palpable. “Just give me a moment to come to you. Don’t worry, I can see pretty well in the dark too. One benefit of being instinctually nocturnal.”

Mallys was silent as he waited. Goucie in comparison was freaking out.

“We’re going to die,” he said fearfully. The Combusken would have choked Mallys with his grip if the Haxorus wasn’t covered in armor. His eyes were wide, his breath stilted and shallow.

“You think so?” Mallys said, looking thoughtful. “Not too long ago, I wouldn’t have cared either way. But-” he trailed off, his expression darkening. “We won’t die, no matter what.”

Goucie’s grip faltered. “Do you mean it?” he said in a small voice.

“I do, but it doesn’t look like we have to worry,” Mallys replied, looking down. Goucie followed his gaze, gasping audibly at the sight.

Looking up at them from the ground was a Noctowl. One of its wings was partially gone, ending in a blackened stump, while the other was bent at an odd angle, encrusted with ice.

“Hi,” the Noctowl said with a pitiful smile. “An acquaintance of mine ran into some trouble.”


“You call that some trouble? You lost an eye,” the Sudowoodo said, grimacing at the Anorith who seemed unconcerned.

“Things happen,” the Anorith said, gingerly poking the mangled stalk on the side of his head. “Ziya is fine, so I can manage.”

“I’m sure you think you can, Lozow,” the Sudowoodo replied, shaking his head. “You always say that, but this is the first time you’ve lost an eye. Think you’re getting too old for this?”

Lozow sighed, looking sideways at the Sudowoodo. “If you want my status, then you have to work for it, not just wait for me to die.”

“It’s not about that,” the Sudowoodo replied, sounding hurt. “Rank is not indicative of faith, at least for me. I just think that losing an eye is something to be concerned about.”

“You’re right, you’re right,” Lozow grumbled. “It’s- well, I don’t want to think about it.”

The Sudowoodo looked away, staring into the night air. “Why have you never evolved?” he asked quietly.

The Anorith hummed. “What does that have to do with my eye?” he asked back.

The answer was a shrug. “You’re one of the oldest of us. Maybe it wouldn’t have happened,” the Sudowoodo said, his tone slightly agitated.

“Old huh... if only,” Lozow murmured. “Compared to the old guard, we’re still young.”

“But you’re the oldest one anyone will really listen to aside from Seyka. The old guard is unapproachable, they don’t tell us anything,” the Sudowoodo scoffed.

“They have their reasons,” Lozow said. “But let me say it now so we can wrap this up; I’m annoyed about losing my eye. That’s it.”

“Ah, um, alright,” the Sudowoodo sputtered. “Let’s help Ziya and Fyco.”

Lozow said nothing, climbing onto the Sudowoodo’s back. Walking through the trees, they came to a Froslass and a Darmanitan inspecting an ice sculpture.

Turning to them, the Darmanitan flashed a humorless smile. “Finished with your workplace safety lesson?”

“Yes we are, Fyco,” Lozow replied dryly. “How is everything over here?”

Fyco’s expression soured as he pointed over to the Froslass. Misshapen crystals of ice tumbled end over end in the air around her, lacking direction or purpose. Lozow didn’t need to see the fierce scowl on her face to get the point.

“How’s it going Ziya?” Lozow said, his body tensing in apprehension.

Hearing him, the Froslass whipped around, the ice clattering to the ground. Floating over, she gingerly plucked Lozow off the Sudowoodo’s back, cradling the bemused Anorith in her arms.

Lozow made a face at the Sudowoodo. “You know, you might be right about what you said earlier. Seniority really doesn’t mean a thing!”

The Sudowoodo was about to respond when he was interrupted by Ziya. “I’m never letting you go again,” the Froslass said, running one hand along Lozow’s back.

“I’m your superior, Ziya, stop petting me,” Lozow said with a tired frown.

Ziya smirked. “If it’s bothering you that much, then stop me. You lost an eye, not an arm.”

Lozow grumbled under his breath, glaring at Fyco who was trying and failing to hide a smile. “So that’s how much an eye is worth huh?”

Ziya’s expression darkened, her grip on Lozow tightening. “I’ll never forgive the monster that did that to you. But I’m trying to stay positive, like you told me.”

Lozow nodded. “If that’s how you feel Ziya,” he said. Something flickered in his eye. “Anyway, let’s take our catch back to everyone else.” He gestured to Fyco. “Start thawing it a bit so we can mark it.”

“Do we really need to bother with marking?” Fyco asked. “I mean, the guy is frozen in a block of ice.”

“It’s a matter of principle,” Lozow replied impatiently.

The Darmanitan threw up his arms in defeat. “Alright, if you say so. Who is this though? I’ve never seen someone like this.”

“If I recall, he was referred to as Arceus,” Lozow said disinterestedly. “I don’t know what kind of pokemon he is.”

“There was someone else with him too, but they got away,” Ziya pouted.

“The Noctowl?” Lozow said incredulously. “Do you really think a cripple would be a suitable offering?”

Ziya thought about it, one hand pausing on Lozow’s back mid rub. “Yeah, that’s a good point.”


“What am I doing?”

No matter how many times Mel asked herself the question, she couldn’t find an answer. Lying flat on her back, she strained to see the faint glimmer of the stars through the dark leaves. She thought to herself that maybe if she cried, someone would help her or at least tell her what to do.

“Do you enjoy being miserable?”

Mel’s thoughts grinded to a halt. The sky was suddenly darker, the silence greater. The memory of the unknown voice echoed in her head.

“Are you sad?” the Claydol lying next to her asked again.

Mel screamed, leaping up in shock. She scrambled backwards until her back hit a tree, the Claydol watching her the entire time. It’s gaze was blank and it seemed to not be making any effort to move.

“What are you doing?” Mel sputtered, trying to steady herself.

“Nothing at all,” the Claydol replied. “Otherwise I wouldn’t presume to answer. Acts should speak for themselves, not resign themselves to depiction.”

“Shut up,” Mel yelled, slumping against the tree. “All I want to know is what you’re doing.”

The Claydol slowly levitated off the ground, turning in the air until the top of its head pointed skywards. Mel watched it carefully, unusually aware of her own breath.

The Claydol was impassive. “Will the answer make a difference?”

“It would have!” Mel snapped, angrily slashing a scythe through the air. “But I don’t care anymore, I’m leaving.” She turned her back to the Claydol, walking into the leaves. She had no idea where she was going, but it didn’t matter as long as she looked the part. Mel didn’t want to stew. She didn’t want to think about being lost or letting anyone down. It didn’t matter what Mallys or Arceus would say. Just being with them was fine.

Mel’s resolve was interrupted as she crashed into the Claydol who had somehow moved directly into her path. The Lurantis fell backwards in shock, lying dumbfounded for a moment before her expression grew furious.

“You’re going the wrong way,” the Claydol said simply.

“Really? How would you know that?” Mel asked, her words laced with venom.

“I don’t,” the Claydol replied authoritatively. “But you hesitate in your anger.”

Mel was prepared to retort again, but stopped short hearing this. The Claydol was annoying and unhelpful, but it was clearly a losing battle to argue over the fact.

Mel took a deep breath. “Which way is the right way then?”

The Claydol was silent as an uncomfortable grinding sound emanated from somewhere within its body. “Count to five and you’ll be facing the right direction.”

Mel shook her head with a sigh. “If you’re going to do something weird, just do it.”

“I understand. I was merely making sure you were ready,” the Claydol said, sounding satisfied. Without warning, it leaned backwards before launching itself directly at Mel.

Barely able to raise her scythes in time, the first thing Mel felt was a fresh wave of anger. The collision with the massive Claydol sent her flying, but Mel managed to land on her feet, fighting the spinning world around her. She assumed an aggressive stance, looking around wildly for the Claydol in the darkness.

The sound of breathing faded into nothing. Silence filled the air once more as Mel realized that the Claydol had simply vanished. The bubbling vitriol in Mel’s system began to wane, and after a minute, the Lurantis wasn’t angry or even particularly annoyed. Instead she felt a sluggish melancholy that she tried hard to shake off.

“I have to go,” Mel murmured to herself. A deep confusion pervaded her sensibilities and more than ever, all she wanted was for everything to be alright. Steeling herself mentally, she stalked off into the darkness.

|Secret box |

Arceus’ body was wracked with dull aches. Opening his eyes, he found himself staring into the night sky, indistinct echoes of voices emanating from somewhere. His body felt strangely stiff, an overwhelming chill growing slowly stronger.

Off to his side there was a groan. “Uh, they’re awake. I thought you said it would be fine if we unfroze just the head.”

Another voice replied, this one sounding disinterested. “That’s what Ziya said. I honestly don’t know how well she knows her own abilities.”

“What happens when you’re frozen anyway?” the first voice asked. “Like, what if your eyes are open or something, are you awake or asleep?”

“I don’t have the answer, and I don’t care to know. Let’s finish up here, they’re waiting on us.”

Arceus jerked his neck to the side, his eyes widening as he saw most of his body encased in ice. In the corner of his vision two figures appeared, a Sudowoodo and a Darmanitan. Both looked supremely bored as they approached Arceus, circling him for a moment before they stopped.

Arceus felt the Sudowoodo’s branch arms on his neck. They uncomfortably probed about until settling in a spot midway between his head and his body.

“Mmm, right here should be fine,” the Sudowoodo said, poking Arceus in the neck.

The Darmanitan frowned. “Alright, let me get ready.”

“Be careful this time,” the Sudowoodo chastised. “Your linework was embarrassing on that Tropius.”

“Yeah yeah, I know,” the Darmanitan said brusquely. “It would be easier if the surface I’m working on didn’t move in the middle of it though.”

The Sudowoodo sighed, rolling his eyes as he raised a branch arm before slamming it down on Arceus’ head.

Arceus cried out as a splitting pain erupted across his head. He squeezed his eyes shut as the Sudowoodo smacked him again. He tried to focus, to possibly conjure the black sphere again, but the pain broke any attempts at concentration.

“This isn’t working,” the Sudowoodo said, sounding annoyed as he examined Arceus’ blood on his branch arm. “Can you help me out- argh”. He was cut off as Arceus swung his head forward into the Sudowoodo, sending him sprawling to the ground.

Arceus glared at them. “Let me go,” he said angrily.

The Darmanitan erupted into laughter as the Sudowoodo staggered to his feet with a bemused expression. Without a word, the Sudowoodo reached out, clamping his branch hands on either side of Arceus’ head.

“Alright, compromise then,” the Sudowoodo said, making a face at the Darmanitan. “I’ll hold him still for you. Can you work with that?”

The Darmanitan nodded, still grinning. “Fine by me, but you can’t blame me if it’s not great.”

Arceus struggled to move his neck, but the Sudowoodo’s grip was like iron. The Darmanitan raised one arm, it’s hand bursting into flames that Arceus could swear he felt through the ice. Closing one eye, the Darmanitan traced lines in the air with one flaming finger. After a moment, he nodded to himself, then promptly jabbed the side of Arceus’ neck.

----------- ----------
----------- ----------

With a mighty crash, Mallys burst through a tree, the bark splintering into hundreds of pieces.

Goucie held up a claw, trying to shield himself from the flying wood. “Do you have to be so destructive? We might get hurt back here.”

There was barely any space left on Mallys’ back. Goucie was comfortably nestled in the extra space left by Mally’s neck armor, but he was kept busy with his arms wrapped around the legs of the Noctowl. The larger bird was left hanging upside down, though he didn’t look particularly annoyed.

“I’m really sorry, but Mallys says this is the fastest way to cover ground,” Goucie said apologetically.

“Don’t worry about me- Ow.” Before Trumme could continue, a bump on the ground sent him swinging forward before crashing into Mallys’ back. “I should be fine as long as you don’t let go of me.”

“I’m trying,” Goucie stammered, “But you’re a bit heavy.”

“Well keep trying then,” Trumme said. “What did you say your name was again?”

“I’m Goucie,” the Combusken replied. “The guy carrying us around is Mallys. I forget if he told you that or not.”

Trumme lifted his head slightly. “He told me to shut up. It’s a nice name though.”

Goucie grimaced. “Uh, yeah. Anyway, Mallys, how do you know where to go?”

“I know,” Mallys said tersely.

“So, Goucie, anything to add?” Trumme said, closing his eyes.

Goucie looked at the Noctowl. “I trust him,” he said simply.

“Oh. I guess I don’t have any other choice anyway,” Trumme concluded, sighing.

“Sorry, Trumme,” Goucie said again. “We- I can make it up to you later!”

Trumme’s expression was unchanged. “That’s a nice thought. How about this, if I don’t die from being carried like a sack, then you can buy me some ice cream later.”

Goucie’s face brightened. “I’ll do it! I won’t let you down.”

The Noctowl managed a tiny smile. “If you did let me down, you wouldn’t have to worry about the ice cream. Thanks, Goucie.”


In a strange way, the voices were as comforting as they were terrifying. Her head swimming in a state of near delirium, Mel stood stock still, hearing but not comprehending. Fear had long since vacated her thoughts, all that was left was an indescribable, clawing, confusion.

She moved without purpose, past flashes of light and glimpses of malformed shadows. Her gaze was caught for a moment on a fire, wavering silently in the darkness as an imposing Poliwrath tended to it. Then Mel blinked and it was gone; the Lurantis had moved on without realizing it.

A nagging feeling sat in the recesses of her mind. Mel tried and failed to visualize it as she blindly wandered through the forest. A vague frustration jolted her repeatedly, her movements becoming sluggish and erratic.

With a thud, Mel collided with a wall. She remained upright, face pressed into the obstacle as she slowly realized that it wasn’t a wall at all, but a line of bars. The bars stretched a ways to either side, extending upwards almost to the foliage of the treetops. Mel blinked, some of the fog in her head clearing as she looked it up and down. There was something inherently wrong with the thing, but nothing was quite in place. Squinting hard, she looked past the bars.

When Mel saw Arceus, everything finally clicked. She looked at her friend sprawled unconscious across the ground, then to the cage around him, and then back again. A weight lifted off of her for a single moment before it came crashing down again, renewed by panic. Finding an opening in the bars, the Lurantis scrambled over, tripping and falling on top of Arceus. He shifted, indistinctly mumbling something as Mel pulled herself up, fully alert now.

Her eyes traced along his body before settling on his neck. Mel’s breath caught in her throat, a chill running down her back.

Seared into Arceus’ skin were a series of black lines. The top of a half circle was set in the middle of a V-shape, the two lines barely separated. The burn was uneven, the vicinity of the ghastly tattoo flecked with blood.

Mel stared at Arceus, feeling drained. She felt simultaneously terrified and useless, and yet somewhere in the back of her mind there was a sense of relief.

“We’ll figure something out,” she said to herself.
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Chapter 13

RJR Basimilus

Arceus is nice I suppose...
the Lovely Planet
  1. arceus-fighting
  2. lurantis
  3. arceus-poison
  4. haxorus
If you die in the fanfic, you cry in real life

Chapter 13: Life is Great

Closing her eyes, Mel lowered her head and slammed it into Arceus. He shifted, but didn’t otherwise react.

“Come on!” Mel pleaded. “This really isn’t cool, Arceus.” Mel waited a moment before headbutting him again, reeling backwards after she had done so.

“You know-” Mel said unsteadily, “I wish Mallys were here. He’s more suited for this kind of thing.” She found herself thinking of the Haxorus as she drew her head back for another crack at Arceus’ head. Before she could do so, a Darmanitan stepped in front of her, holding up one hand.

“Lozow sent you right? Let me do it.” Saying this, he turned around and promptly began to headbutt Arceus as Mel watched in bewilderment.

“I don’t think I’ve met you before,” the Darmanitan said, glancing back at Mel. “I’m Fyco. Kind of new to this thing- ow.” Fyco stepped back, sighing as he rubbed his head. “I don’t- I’m not suggesting I’m against it, but why are we doing this?”

Mel straightened up, wiping her face of any emotion. “It’s what Lozow said to do,” she lied.

“Oh, that’s what I thought. Just making sure.” A flash of resignation shot across Fyco’s face as the Damanitan rammed his head against Arceus again, to no avail. Fyco stared at Arceus’ form before turning to Mel. “When does it make sense?” he said plainly.

Mel was caught off guard, but her face remained neutral. “I can’t tell you,” she said, cursing internally at how stupid her answer was.

With a roar, Fyco threw himself at Arceus with full force, their heads colliding with an unsettling thump. Pulling himself to his feet, the Darmanitan whirled to face Mel. “What’s that supposed to mean?” he said, blinking away tears. “I just want to know for once, haven’t I earned that much?”

Mel was well and truly lost at that point. “No,” she said softly, shaking her head equally as a genuine reply and a concession of confusion. “Not yet.”

Fyco stared at Mel, his eyes glistening. He silently turned away before nearly falling over. Arceus was standing, awake at last. He was looking straight at Fyco, towering over the two smaller pokemon as his eyes blazed with anger.

“What do we do now?” Fyco said with a small voice as Arceus’ gaze burned into the Darmanitan.

“Hit him!” Mel yelled to Arceus, her confidence returning. Arceus glanced at Mel, nodding silently. At the same time, they both struck Fyco, Mel smashing into the Darmanitan from behind and Arceus from the front.

Fyco remained in place for a moment with his mouth open, frozen in an expression of shock before slowly falling to the side, knocked out cold. Arceus was upon him in an instant, stomping on the unconscious Darmanitan with his golden hooves.

Mel felt a tension in her body release as she watched Arceus violently assault the pokemon on the ground. For a single moment, she felt a twinge of sympathy for Fyco, but brushed it aside just as quickly.

“Are you ok?” Mel asked. She was happy to see Arceus, but could barely summon the energy to show it.

Arceus kicked Fyco one last time before turning to Mel. “Not really. Where’s Mallys?”

“I don’t know,” Mel replied. “Knowing him though, he’ll find us sooner or later. But- how did you get here?”

“I’ll tell you later,” Arceus said, looking back at the ragged form of Fyco. “Let’s get out of here. I have to find someone.”


Dim light illuminated the ground in splotches, the approaching morning otherwise impossible to discern in the silence. Lozow gently poked the twisted remains of his lost eye, wincing slightly.

“Does it still hurt?” Ziya asked, her hands wrapped around the Anorith. Her gaze trailed over Lozow’s remaining eye as she sighed in frustration.

“I’ll be fine, thank you for your concern though,” Lozow said. “I’m alive, and that’s what counts.”

The Froslass pouted. “If it were me I would be really angry.”

“Then you can be angry for me,” Lozow replied sarcastically. “Well actually, you probably shouldn’t,” he continued, his voice dropping.

“I don’t need your permission for that,” Ziya said with a smile.

Lozow groaned. “If that’s what you want, then I won’t argue. Can we talk about something else now?”

Ziya nodded, spraying a thin jet of cold air at a tangle of leaves hanging in the air. As she brushed them aside, the frozen foliage shattering into icy dust, the Froslass paused in thought. “What are we gonna do tomorrow?” she asked.

“Tomorrow-” Lozow paused, “-which is today because it’s morning now, we’re going to finish up with that big guy you froze yesterday. Then I’m going to sleep.”

Ziya frowned. “You don’t sound excited about the offering.”

“Of course I am!” The Anorith forced a smile. “I’m just tired- more so than usual I guess.”

Ziya said nothing at first, slowly placing Lozow on the ground. They had reached a clearing, the thick tree cover giving way to a morning sky punctuated by turbulent grey clouds. The space formed a circle, lined by hundreds of pillars of rock.

Partway through the concentric circles, a tall metal bird perched asleep on a pillar that jutted high into the air. The Skarmory looked like a statue until Ziya poked it, a slight shudder running through it’s metallic feathers.

“Ziya! What are you doing?” The Froslass turned to see Lozow with a horrified expression on his face. “Seyka is the high augur. You can’t just touch him like that.”

“I’m waking him up,” Ziya retorted. “Isn’t that an exception?”

“You could have just called to him,” Lozow said, his voice faltering.

“Actually, either one is acceptable,” the Skarmory said from behind Ziya. “I should hardly think my position warrants any sort of luxury.”

“Sorry for waking you up, Seyka,” Lozow said. “Your attention is humbly requested.”

“Go on Lozow,” Sekya said. A small smile appeared on the Skarmory’s beak. “Thanks for calling me by my name for once.”

“What else did he call you?” Ziya asked.

“High augur, like everyone else.” Seyka hopped down from his perch and walked over to Lozow, his wings slightly adjusting themselves. “But it gets a bit tiring after a while, plus Lozow is my friend! So I asked him to call me by name.” The Skarmory lowered his head to stare directly at the Anorith. “It looks like it took him an eye to finally listen.”

Lozow’s expression was neutral. “I am grateful for your concern. Rest assured, the wound is minor.”

Seyka looked away, making a sound that was somewhere between a sigh and a laugh. “You love tormenting me. Fine, you win- what’s up?”

Lozow motioned to Ziya. “Go help Fyco with our catch, we’ll be over momentarily.” The Froslass nodded and floated away, glancing briefly back at the pair.

Seyka waited until Ziya had vanished into the trees to speak. “She’s one of yours right?”

“Something like that,” Lozow said. “Just not a mentor. I have nothing to teach.”

“I doubt that,” the Skarmory said. “I mean, you’re- how old? But you’re not an Armaldo?” Seyka leaned in, a conspiratorial glint in his eye. “There has to be some wisdom behind that decision, if not a reason.”

Lozow scoffed. “Wouldn’t you like to believe that.”

Seyka laughed, but his eyes were sad. “I would! I just can’t be sure, since you haven’t been completely honest with me.”

“I see,” Lozow replied. “Remind me again why you’re the head augur.”

“Mmph-” Seyka grimaced, burying his head in one wing. “I was just third in line. My brother only thinks about himself, and the successor just vanished. It’s a matter of principle, we were the closest to god after all.”

“God, huh...” Lozow pondered this for a moment. “You call them that?”

“You definitely don’t have anything better,” Seyka said.

“I don’t. It’s just weird to use that to refer to someone you knew personally.”

Seyka sighed. “It’s not as weird as you think.” He ruffled his feathers, glancing tepidly at the sky. “Anyway, you wanted something?”

The Anorith nodded. “So tomorrow is the day you hatched right?”

“Yes, it is,” Seyka said.

“Well, yesterday, I was thinking about what you told me-” Lozow was cut off as Seyka squawked loudly.

“Wait wait, Lozow, do you mean the thing?” Seyka chirped, hopping from one foot to the other. “I can be the leader of the Rite?”

“Exactly!” Lozow said, smiling as the Skarmory’s enthusiasm rubbed off on him. “Ziya and I found someone. Some tourists I think; a Noctowl and something I’ve never seen before.”

Seyka’s eyes widened. “I think I’ve heard of the first one! My brother told me that there was a Noctowl working as a teacher in the village.”

Lozow shook his head. “That one’s probably dead now,” he said. “We only have the other one.”

“That’s OK!” Seyka said. “Just one is fine!”

“Alright, alright, I get it,” Lozow replied. “We’re keeping them in the cage if you want to see.”

“The cage?” Sekya made a face. “If you want to call it that- it doesn’t have a door.”

Lozow didn’t disagree. “Ha, I guess you’re right.” He was silent as the smile faded from his face. “Yeah- uh, that was all I had to tell you.”

“Well it was more than enough,” Seyka murmured, staring at the spot where Lozow’s eye had been. “Uhm, so about that eye. How about borrowing one of mine?”

“No!” Lozow sputtered, his expression agitated. “You can’t keep just giving those out.”

Seyka grinned, looking down at Lozow. “Try and stop me, little guy. I think I know my body pretty well, thank you.”

The Anorith couldn’t come up with a reply. He was silent for a moment before he spoke. “Right. You’re- right. You can give me one later.”

“I will,” Seyka said. “Come on Lozow, I’ll carry you. Show me this thing you caught.”


As the embers of the fires smoldered, a few pokemon sluggishly ambled about. Mel caught wisps of conversations as she watched, hidden next to Arceus in the foliage. She couldn’t make out much, the Lurantis was exhausted and could barely think straight. Arceus however, was alert, scanning the pokemon with an unblinking gaze.

“Uh, half a wing- half a wing. Something like that,” Mel said, eyes half closed. “Why are we looking for Truh- True- the bird again?”

“Without Trumme, I would be dead,” Arceus said quietly. “He’s a friend.”

Mel looked over at him. “You make a lot of those. I’m envious.”

For a while they were quiet. Mel found herself staring at Arceus, marvelling at his laser focus as she struggled to stay awake.

“Do you see him?” Mel asked, scanning the area with a frown. “I don’t. I really don’t think Trummo is here.”

“It’s ‘Trumme’,” Arceus corrected, his concentration breaking. “But I can’t find him either.”

Mel shook her head in an attempt to clear her head. Groaning in frustration, she threw herself headlong into the ground. Arceus stared at her in surprise as she rolled over before smiling at him.

“I’m awake now,” she said simply.

“Alright,” Arceus said, a note of concern in his tone. “I guess you’re right Mel, he’s not here.” He slumped in defeat.

“Arceus,” Mel said, holding his head between her scythes. “That’s probably a good thing.” She exhaled quickly, composing herself. “We should get away from here since we just beat someone up.”

“How?” Arceus asked.

“Let’s sneak along here,” Mel started, “They shouldn’t notice us.”

Arceus looked back and forth between Mel and the pokemon milling about nearby. His expression was inscrutable. The Lurantis could feel the seconds passing as she looked into his eyes.

Finally Arceus spoke. “We can’t do that,” he said. “What if they find the guy we knocked out? They’ll chase us.”

“What’s the alternative?” Mel asked, a note of exasperation in her tone. “We don’t even know if they’re the same group.”

“We’ll strike first,” Arceus replied resolutely.

“Uhm- explain,” Mel said.

Arceus leaned in. “Do you trust me?”

Mel hesitated for a moment. “Yes. I mean, yes I do.” She tilted her head, mystified. “Does that change anything?”

“Not really, I just wanted to make sure,” Arceus said. “So here’s what we’ll do-”

][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][

“Hey, what’s he doing?” the Noctowl asked.

Goucie looked at Trumme, who gestured with his beak to the Haxorus nearby. Mallys stared straight ahead, his expression blank. His mouth hung slightly open and his entire body was stiff as if locked in place. Ahead of the group was a clearing full of pokemon, indistinct chattering drifting through the silent morning air.

Goucie waved at the dragon. “Mallys, are you ok?”

Mallys grunted, barely acknowledging the question. Goucie and Trumme shared a look of confusion.

“Ask him again,” Trumme whispered, nudging the Combusken.

Goucie repeated the motion. “Mallys, are you ok?”

Mallys tilted his head, looking at them out of the corner of his eye. “I will be,” he said. As he turned away, his mouth continued to move wordlessly.

Goucie shrugged apologetically. “Can you work with that Trumme?”

“It doesn’t answer my question in the slightest, but I think I’ll manage,” the Noctowl replied, shifting his weight. “I wonder what all these pokemon are doing out here anyway. I thought the village I worked in was the only place anyone lived around here.”

Goucie’s eyes widened. “Pokemon live here?” He glanced over at the large group. “I mean, I guess they do, but there’s a whole village?”

“It’s not as large as it sounds,” Trumme said. “I worked as a teacher as part of the outreach program for the Carigara government. Thinking back though, I got a raw deal because I really didn’t teach that much. Most of the time I just argued with this guy Inno.”

“At least you got paid,” Goucie offered, fidgeting with his claws.

Trumme shook his head. “It’s about the job, not the money. You’ll get it when you’re older.”

The Combusken pouted. “I’m not a child,” he said. “See these arms?” Goucie thrust his claws in Trumme’s face. “I earned them myself.”

Trumme was about to reply when Mallys interrupted them. “What did you argue about with this Inno figure,” he asked, looking interested.

Trumme shrugged. “I don’t really remember. He was just infuriating- it was like he was always looking through you.”

“Ooh, that sounds rough,” Goucie said, frowning. “I wouldn’t want to meet someone like that.”

“Yeah,” Mallys said. “I agree.”

A loud shout erupted in the air, followed by a din of raised voices. Mallys jerked his head around back to the clearing where the pokemon were, Trumme and Goucie following suit.

“Oh wow, uh, what’s going on?” Goucie said, watching the scene.

“Something that’s...” Mallys trailed off. “Something I’m not surprised by,” he finished, a note of awe in his voice.

Charging into the midst of the crowd of pokemon was Arceus. Mel rode atop his back, her scythes flashing in the sun. Bewildered by the white and pink blur, pokemon scrambled in all directions, crying out in confusion as Arceus weaved in and out like a gust of wind. Occasionally he would tense his body in mid-movement before side-swiping a fleeing pokemon with his ring, while Mel leaned over the other side to slash at anyone in the way.

Trumme poked Goucie with his beak. “Uh, look at the Haxorus,” the Noctowl whispered.

Mallys was smiling as he watched Arceus and Mel. There was no trace of the apprehension from earlier, in fact, Mallys almost appeared relaxed.

“I think that means he’s okay,” Goucie said matter-of-factly.


A lone Stoutland spread its feet apart, lowering its body close to the ground. With a growl, it braced itself, only to be unceremoniously kicked in the face by Arceus as he charged forward. The Stoutland was flung a few feet into the air, landing hard on its side.

Mel watched the canine tumble across the ground, yelping in pain. “I think you got the point across, Arceus,” she said. She turned to her right, bashing the smooth side of her scythe against a Poliwrath as they passed.

“I suppose you’re-” Arceus stopped abruptly as he ducked to avoid a glob of poison. Mel was jerked forward, rolling off Arceus’ back as the projectile flew overhead. “Not right,” he finished, slowly raising his head.

Mel scrambled upright, her eyes darting around for the source of the attack. Most of the pokemon had either run away or were crushed in the charge and subsequent stampede. A few lingered on the edge of the brush, including a Parasect. As Mel watched, the bug turned to the other pokemon, angrily gesturing and shouting something she couldn’t hear. After a moment however, the meaning was clear.

The remaining pokemon formed a wide circle around Arceus and Mel, violent yells filling the air.

Arceus was frozen in place. “We’re surrounded,” he said, defeat creeping into his tone.

“We should have just snuck around,” Mel said in despair, leaning heavily against Arceus’ side.

The Parasect fired another shot, this one aimed at Arceus’ center mass. Turning to dodge it, Arceus was caught by a boulder that slammed into his back legs, forcing him down.

“Arceus!” Mel cried. She stared at his legs for a moment before turning to where the rock had come from. Some distance away, a Sudowoodo was staring them down, another rock already prepared.

“I’m okay,” Arceus said. He tried to regain his footing, but found one of his back legs unresponsive, the other sluggish. Grimacing, he realized he couldn’t avoid the Parasect’s attack and steeled himself for the impact.

Time seemed to slow as Arceus looked up, spotting the projectile hurtling through the air. Across the field, the Parasect’s gaze burned into him as it prepared another volley of poisonous globs. At that moment, a voice rang out defiantly.

“I got this!”

Mel leapt up, spring boarding off of Arceus’ back into the air. She raised both scythes upwards, then in a single motion sliced through the mass of poison. A large chunk split off, flying harmlessly overhead, landing a few feet behind them. However, a small amount exploded downwards, splattering Mel and Arceus.

Mel landed roughly on her feet, stumbling forwards before standing straight. The Lurantis was pale, her scythes trembling. “I don’t-” she started haltingly, “-know what the plan was there.” She collapsed to the ground.

“Hey! Are you alright Mel?” Arceus tried to run to her, but his back legs gave out, sending him face first into the dirt. With a mighty grunt, Arceus pushed himself back up, dragging his body with his front legs to where the Lurantis lay. Looking her over, Arceus felt panic rising, he had no idea how the poison was affecting her. Hearing a sound, he raised his head in time to see the Parasect launch an attack, three blobs of poison.

That’s not fair! Arceus thought. The circle of pokemon had started to close in, and Arceus could hear them shouting insults and taunts.

“You’re gonna get it now!” said one.

“We’ll tear you apart,” gleefully crowed another.

Arceus shut his eyes, feeling ready to cry. At the last moment, he remembered that there was one single thing he could try. Scrunching his face up, he desperately tried to concentrate, focusing on the rapidly approaching poison.

Seconds passed.

Arceus realized he didn’t hear anyone talking anymore. His eyes shot open. In front of him and Mel was a flat black oval, hanging in the air like a shield. It was the same thing Arceus had done earlier, but the shape was different. The pokemon around them had backed off again, watching Arceus warily.

A moment passed. Arceus felt the tension leave his body as he looked down at Mel happily.

“I did it Mel!” he said to the unconscious Lurantis. “I think we can-”

Before he could finish, the Sudowoodo lobbed another rock at the back of his head. The rock slammed into Arceus, shattering into pieces. He slumped forward, the black mass dissipating instantly.


“Hold on,” Seyka said, stopping in place. “You lost your eye to a Haxorus?”

“Of course he did,” Ziya said, making a face. “Only a dragon like that could give Lozow that much trouble.”

“Uh huh,” the Skarmory replied, turning to Lozow. “But really, is that how you lost your eye?”

“Pretty much,” Lozow said. “Is it that hard to believe?”

“No, that’s not it,” Seyka replied with a distant look in his eyes. “It just reminds me of a friend I haven’t seen for a few years.”

The Anorith nodded. “So you think of them every time you hear ‘Haxorus’ or something?”

“I mean, how many Haxorus have you seen?” Seyka asked quietly. “It just reminds me, that’s all.”

“Right.” Lozow looked away. “Sorry.”

Seyka shook his head. “Don’t be. I guess just a little part of me hoped that it was my friend- but uh, I’d definitely rather it not be.”

“What kind of friend tears someone’s eye off anyway?” Ziya interjected, “You make weird friends Seyka.”

“It’s not his friend, Ziya” Lozow said, rolling his eye.

“Yeah, it’s not,” Seyka said, sounding resigned. “They would never do something like that.”

“Oh right, I’ve been meaning to ask you,” Lozow said, trying to change the subject. “You know the old cage we have?” Seeing Seyka nod, he continued, “We need to get someone to actually put a door on it.”

The Skarmory tilted his head. “There’s no door? I can’t remember if it ever had one.” Seyka scratched the ground with one foot. “I don’t get to check these things out often.”

Lozow stared at Seyka for a moment. “There’s no rush, Seyka,” he said. “I was just asking.”

They smiled at each other awkwardly.

“I’m going on ahead,” Ziya announced, turning to the pair. “I want to see how Fyco is doing.”

As the Froslass floated away, Seyka hummed lightly. “Is there something you really want Lozow?”

The Anorith was thoughtful. “I want-” he trailed off. “I want Ziya to get out of this.”

“By ‘this’ you mean?”

“This whole thing,” Lozow said. “It’s not good for her. Really, it’s not good for anyone.”

“Mmm,” Seyka murmured. “What will you do?”

Lozow shook his head. “It’s what I want, I never said it was realistic.”

Seyka was about to reply when Ziya appeared, waving at them frantically.

“Lozow! Fyco’s hurt,” she yelled.

Lozow and Seyka looked at each other before sprinting towards Ziya. She led them to the open cage, where the Darmanitan was lying unconscious.

The Anorith looked him over. “He’s a bit beat up, but nothing too bad,” he said, sighing in relief. He glanced at the empty cage. “I guess this one’s a bust though.”

Ziya visibly relaxed while Seyka glanced around. “Do you hear shouting?” the Skarmory asked.

“All the time,” Lozow said dismissively, “A lot of the younger pokemon like to get rowdy.”

“Right. I guess it’s not a problem then,” Seyka replied.


The Parasect struggled to maintain a straight face. It failed, bursting into laughter.

The Sudowoodo stared at the unconscious pokemon on the ground. “I almost feel cheated.”

“That shouldn’t have been as funny as it was,” the Parasect said before sighing deeply. “Anyway, can you clean up here Tayama? I need to go chase down everyone who ran.”

The Sudowoodo nodded. “I can do that. What do you want to do with these ones?” he said, gesturing to Arceus and Mel.

“Just get rid of them somehow,” the Parasect replied. “I don’t know what Lozow was thinking with- huh?” His expression changed as he stared somewhere past Tayama.

“What is it?” Tayama asked. He turned around, spotting a flash of yellow in the distance. At the edge of the clearing, a Haxorus appeared, eyeing the gathered pokemon disinterestedly.

“I’d rather not be here,” Mallys said to no one in particular. “But I can’t let my friends get beat up like that.”

“What?” the Parasect said incredulously. “No way...” He trailed off.

Mallys turned his head. “Are you finished Goucie?” he called into the trees.

“Just finished actually!” The Combusken poked his head out. “A bunch of pokemon ran away though.”

“Doesn’t matter,” Mallys said. “Go for it, I’ll catch up with you like we planned.”

“Alright!” Goucie chirped. He disappeared into the brush and for a few seconds there was silence. Then the pink leaves gave way to bright red and orange as a massive fire engulfed the trees behind the Haxorus, spreading along the trees until it formed a ring around the clearing.

The Sudowoodo took in the scene. “What is this guy thinking?” he asked the Parasect. “This is absolutely-”

Mallys was behind Tayama in a flash, smashing the Sudowoodo over the head with his elbow. “Now you know how it feels,” the Haxorus said before turning to the Parasect.

“I can’t believe this,” the Parasect said, seething. “Why now?”

“I’m surprised myself,” Mallys said, his claws glowing with green fire. “But that’s not worth thinking about.”

Mallys took a deep breath and charged into the crowd.


“Would you say that there’s a certain irony in you carrying me around?” Trumme mused.

“Don’t know,” Goucie said, feeling his back start to hurt from carrying the Noctowl.

“We both have beaks, so we’re like distant relatives,” the Noctowl continued, “I fly, but you don’t. But you’re carrying me, right?”

“Don’t care. Too heavy,” Goucie murmured.

Trumme turned his head to look at the Combusken. “Fair enough, I’ll ask again later.”

The Noctowl lay on his back facing the sky. A cord made of vegetation wrapped around his body, tying him to Goucie, who dashed through the trees, leaning forward to balance the Noctowl’s weight. Distant sounds of fighting rang through the silence, Goucie trying hard to ignore them.

“Are you sure they’ll be alright?” Trumme asked thoughtfully.

“No,” Goucie replied.

“Well, you’re honest,” the Noctowl said, making a face. “I hope Arceus will be alright.”

Goucie started to slow down, catching his breath. The sounds of fighting had faded, a stillness settling. “Which one was Arceus?” Goucie asked, breathing heavily.

“The big one that got hit with the rock,” Trumme said, frowning at the memory. “I don’t really know him well, but I like the guy.”

They had reached another clearing. A huge pillar stretched into the sky, the idling train illuminated by the midday sun. A few pokemon loitered around the area, and as Goucie and Trumme entered, a Mothim fluttered over to them.

“Where have you been?” the Mothim asked, not quite disguising a hint of frustration.

“Just looking around,” Goucie said flippantly, “You guys didn’t have to wait for me.”

The Mothim sighed, “Yes, we do. The nature of your arrangement stipulates as much, and even so, leaving any paying customer behind would be a very ill-advised move.”

The Combusken’s expression darkened somewhat, but he smiled anyway. “That’s my fault then, sorry!” He gestured to Trumme on his back. “Can you help me with this guy?”

The Mothim glanced over Trumme, missing wing and all. “Goodness, I’d rather not imagine how that happened,” he mused.

Trumme grinned, but said nothing.

“Regardless,” the Mothim said. “Will he be accompanying you?”

“Yeah,” Goucie said, releasing the cord. Trumme slid down the Combusken’s back, wobbling a bit as he landed on the ground. “Uh, can I add a few more?”

“Certainly. Who are they?”

Goucie was about to speak when there was a crash. Mallys bounded out of the forest, Arceus slung over one shoulder and Mel under the other. He waved at Goucie.

“Those guys,” Goucie said.

The Mothim stared at the Haxorus for a long time before simply nodding.


Mallys stared at the raging wildfire as it receded into the distance. He leaned back, feeling the energy leaving his body for the first time in awhile. Across from him, Goucie watched him curiously.

“They’ll be fine, right?” Mallys asked, running a claw along one of his tusks.

“Yep. There weren’t any serious injuries aside from Trumme’s missing wing,” Goucie replied. “They just need a few hours to rest.”

“That’s good,” the Haxorus said.

“Anyway, I have to take care of some things, so I’ll leave you alone for awhile,” Goucie said, smiling nervously, “When everyone’s good to go later, we can figure out what to do next.” With a small wave, he left, the door sliding shut behind him.

Alone in the cabin, Mallys allowed himself to feel exhausted. He idly watched the scenery passing outside the window, feeling himself falling asleep. For a moment, the Haxorus was happy.

The door slid open again. Mallys’ eyes were half closed, but he could make out a colorful figure walking in. He was about to close his eyes completely when the figure spoke.

“You look cute like that, you know?”

Mallys eyes snapped open. A pit formed in his stomach.

Across from him, an Archeops watched him with a mocking smile.

“You’re as crazy as always,” Inno said. “Think you could spare a little time for me?”
Chapter 14

RJR Basimilus

Arceus is nice I suppose...
the Lovely Planet
  1. arceus-fighting
  2. lurantis
  3. arceus-poison
  4. haxorus
Hold on. You're telling me you just sat there and listened to Dynamite on 1.25 speed? But Kpop is already nightcore City pop.

Back at it again with this story that I keep track of on the back of a napkin.

Chapter 14 ~ May the Lord in his mercy be kind to Arceus

Mallys wished he could sink into the cushion. He stared at the window, imagining the glass blowing out, sucking him through and sending him plunging into the trees far below. Then his gaze traveled to the ceiling, desperately trying to find a reason to avoid looking directly at the Archeops.

“Alright,” Inno said with irritation, “I’ll just ask then. How have you been?”

The Haxorus watched the cabin handle as if expecting it to move.

Inno nodded. “Made some friends huh? I guess there’s some things you still can do,” he said.

Mallys breath caught in his throat at Inno’s mention of friends. The Archeops noticed this, laughing in delight.

“Are you embarrassed? Hey, don’t worry, we’ve made some new friends too.” Inno feigned a pained expression. “Of course, you just beat most of them up. Too bad my little brother wasn’t there, I think he’d be happy to see you.”

“What do you want?” Mallys asked, his throat dry.

Inno theatrically scratched his chin. “You’re no fun. For your question though, I would be the happiest pokemon in the world if you did what I tell you to.”

Mallys frowned, his claws twitching. “Then what do you wish for?”

“We both know that one!” Inno replied, lightly rapping on Mally’s head. “I wish you were dead.”

The Haxorus exhaled, his gaze traveling to the floor. Inno watched him silently, the Archeops’ smile slightly fading. Outside the cabin there was a rhythmic bumping as a cart trundled by.

Inno sighed. “That’s why it’s a wish, you know?” he said. Standing up, the Archeops ducked out of the cabin. Mallys heard him talking.

“Oh hey! Can I get some of those?”

“Of course sir. Are you doing well?”

“I’m good!” Inno replied enthusiastically. There was a thump. Outside the cabin, the Archeops was vigorously shaking a Hypno. “Everything is good. In fact, everything is great, maybe even copacetic!” the Archeops continued.

“Wonderful,” the Hypno said, it’s smile unwavering.

Inno thanked the attendant, walking back into the cabin with his arms full of whatever he had bought. “I know it’s hard,” he said to Mallys. “I still think of you as a friend, so I got this for you.”

Mallys stared at the candy bars spilling out of Inno’s arms onto the floor. Reaching down slowly, he picked one up, turning it over and over in his claws. The words blurred together on the package, a cacophony of colors that gave him a headache.

“It was nice seeing you again,” Inno said. Mallys looked up to see the Archeops standing on the seat, the window wide open. “As distasteful as you are, I can’t help but feel happy.” Inno grinned brightly, waving at Mallys before launching himself out the window.

The wind buffeted the Haxorus for several minutes before he slowly got up and closed the window. Slumping back into the seat, Mallys stared at the wall as he unwrapped a candy bar.


A light on the ceiling was flickering. Every once and awhile, it would blink out for a minute before flashing again, starting the desperate cycle again. Mel had long given up on falling asleep, each attempt lost to the light coming back to life. The Lurantis idly counted the seconds between flickers, her gaze occasionally trailing to Arceus who was lying next to her. He was asleep, his head tightly wrapped like a cocoon in bandages.

“Are you alright?”

Mel jerked upright, holding her scythes out defensively. Immediately she regretted it, a sharp pain racing through her body. Grimacing in pain, she stared at the Combusken who had spoken.

The Combusken was about to reply when he stopped, looking at Mel strangely. “Uh, I didn’t really think about it until now, but do I know you?”

Mel lowered her scythes carefully. “I don’t think I know-”

“Mel!” the Combusken exclaimed, throwing his arms up. “That’s your name! I remember now.”

“And you are?” Mel asked, shifting uncomfortably.

The Combusken nodded to himself. “You gave me your food back at that hotel a few weeks ago. I’m Goucie! I think I called myself just ‘G’ back then.” Goucie smiled as he reminisced.

“Oh, right. I sort of remember now,” Mel said, curiously evaluating Goucie. “Was it good?”

“The food?” Goucie said, momentarily confused. “Um, it was pretty good I think.”

“Yeah,” Mel said trailing off. “So you got us out of that mess huh?”

Goucie shook his head. “I didn’t do anything. Your friend Mallys beat them all up.” He smiled nervously, “I want to believe he didn’t kill any of them, but I can’t say for sure.”

Mel felt a twinge of annoyance, but brushed it aside. “I wouldn’t mind if he did kill them,” she said bitterly. “They attacked us first. Look at what they did to-” Mel turned her head to gesture, but came face to face with Arceus, who stared silently into her eyes.

“Mel,” Arceus said quietly. “What’s the point?”

“What do you mean?” Mel replied hesitantly.

He blinked slowly. “Everyone just gets hurt because of me.” Arceus’ head drooped, “I- I have to go.”

Arceus unsteadily rose upright, then walked away.

Goucie made a face. “Where’s he gonna go anyway? He just woke up.”

“Just let him wander,” Mel said, sighing. “I wouldn’t know what to say to him anyway.”

“You mean he’s right?” Goucie asked.

“No- well, kind of,” Mel admitted, briefly reminded of Arceus’ hoof crushing her face. “Urgh, I need to think.”

Goucie shrugged. “If you want to talk, I can listen. Just like last time right?”

Mel was silent for a moment. Shaking her head, she stood up, gesturing for Goucie to lead the way.


Arceus stuck his neck as far as he could out the window. As the wind whipped past his head, he gazed sullenly upon the forest below, feeling a hollow pit somewhere inside his body.

“You look empty, like you got all the yogurt sucked right out of you.”

Arceus jerked his head back, hitting himself with the top of the window frame. Groaning as he extricated himself from the window, he looked down to see a Hippowdon looking at him.

“Bolero?” Arceus asked.

“Avalse,” the Hippowdon answered curtly. “I- couldn’t help but overhear you. It sounds like you’re having some problems no?”

Arceus was taken aback. “I didn’t say anything.”

Avalse shook his head. “You don’t need to. I didn’t hear your voice, I heard your soul.”

“My soul?” Arceus’ eyes widened, “How did you hear that?”

The Hippowdon gestured for Arceus to come closer. Leaning in, Avalse took a deep breath before staring into Arceus’ eyes with a piercing gaze.

“Because I speak to god,” he said.

Avalse’s words hung in the air, the cabin silent save for the rumbling of the train.

“Who is that?” Arceus asked, dumbfounded.

“Hey, you’d make a good philosopher,” Avalse said, laughing, “But to answer your question, god is the creator of the world.”

Arceus was unconvinced. “So you talk to them? Creating the world sounds like a busy job.”

The Hippowdon nodded, “It ‘was’ a busy job. Divinity is a force of creation, not maintenance. That job falls to us.”

“If they made it, shouldn’t they be responsible for it?” Arceus asked, reaching with a hoof to close the window.

Something crossed Avalse’s face. “Always an interesting question, and my answer is a question back.” He paused for effect. “Reality is self-apparent, so why waste your time with what-ifs?”

Arceus tried to think of an answer, but found himself faltering under Avalse’s sudden intensity. “I- That makes sense,” he muttered, looking away.

“Life is more questions than answers, so don’t let that dim your flame,” Avalse replied, smiling.

“Is that part of my soul?” Arceus asked, starting to feel a little annoyed.

Avalse shook his head. “It’s separate. The flame is something everyone has, a gift from Reshiram to remind us why we’re alive.” He stopped, looking satisfied before a realization crossed his face. “Right, I forgot to mention, god’s name is Reshiram.” With that, he turned and walked to the connecting door between cabins.

It took Arceus a second to register what had happened. “What?” was all that he could muster.

Avalse turned his head to look. “Oh! Are you under the impression that there was something else?”

“You- you said I was empty,” Arceus stammered.

“You are,” Avalse said. “It’s not something I can help you with if that’s what you were thinking.”

“You just wanted to tell me that I was,” Arceus replied in disbelief.

“Sometimes a little push is all that is needed to change the world.” Avalse yawned, turning away again. “If you don’t know what to fill that space with, why not ask some other pokemon on this train what they think of god, since you like to ask questions?”

This time, Avalse took off running. Arceus felt vaguely cheated as he returned to the window and thought about what the Hippowdon had said.


The fire licked the edge of the trench, stray embers catching the dead leaves on the other side. Lozow furiously clawed at the ground, extending the trench in desperation.

“It’s not working,” he said dejectedly as he looked behind him. The fire was crossing with little effort. “Didn’t you say this was a good fire break?”

Seyka sighed, shaking his head. “It’s been a long time since I learned how to manage fires. It just- hasn’t happened recently.” The Skarmory reached down and plucked the Anorith out of the ditch with his beak. “Let’s just give up for now.”

Lozow whirled on him. “What if someone was left behind?” he asked.

“Everyone is safe, one way or another,” Seyka replied, “And by that, I mean Ziya is with your other charges.” He smiled grimly.

“Right. Your eyes. I get it,” Lozow said. He glanced at the flames, the energy draining out of his body. “So what now?”

“You don’t need to ask me,” Seyka said, staring at the sky. “I know that you’re actually happy right?”

Lozow made a face, sheepishly rubbing his claws together. “About that-”

“You two are so dedicated! I appreciate that.” A blur of feathers shot out of the tree, directly towards Seyka’s head. The Skarmory pitched forwards slightly, but remained upright as the new arrival stood on his back.

“Hello Inno,” Seyka said quietly. The Archeops leaned one arm on Seyka’s head, seemingly ignorant of the advancing blaze.

“Is this fire an early present for you Seyka?” Inno said innocently, “You’ve always been selfish, but this is new even for you.”

“Oh uh, yeah it is,” Seyka replied, ignoring a feeling like he was running out of air. “What brings you here Inno?”

Inno jumped off of Seyka’s back, wrapping his arms around the Skarmory’s neck. “Why would I miss a chance to see my favorite little brother? I have to take care of you since you can be so useless sometimes.”

Seyka was about to reply, but stopped cold, hearing Inno’s claws tap on his neck.

“Anyway, I wanted to tell you something interesting,” Inno continued, “You won’t believe who I ran into.”

“Who was it?” Seyka asked un-enthusiastically.

“Your old friend, you know? The two of you used to eat sweets all day.”

Seyka froze, his eyes widening. “You mean-” the Skarmory trailed off, his mouth moving wordlessly.

“Of course I do. Would I lie?” Inno said, grinning. “Sorry to be the one to have to tell you this, but they’re a real loser now. Just pathetic.”

“No,” Seyka said flatly.

“Oh?” Inno tilted his head, appraising Seyka with a glint in his eye.

“He’s not- not a loser,” Seyka said weakly, looking away. “It’s your fault he left!”

The Archeops laughed, a thunderous echo filling the forest. “You’re very funny Seyka,” Inno said, “We’ll finish this later. I have things to do.” He turned and disappeared into the forest, departing as abruptly as he came.

Lozow looked at Seyka in confusion. “He’s your brother?” the Anorith murmured with awe in his voice. “I’ve never actually seen him before, but I’ve heard a lot.”

“I hear it all the time,” Seyka said, a blank expression on his face. “Inno is always so cool, and he knows everything.”

“I guess you two make a great team then,” Lozow said, feeling a lingering tension in the air.

“Yep,” Seyka said simply, “I hate him.”


“Your drink sir.”

The Beheeyem gestured at a glass filled with a yellowish liquid on the counter. Arceus didn’t even glance at it.

“I’m a customer now, so I can ask questions right?” Arceus pleaded, trying to make himself appear smaller. “That’s what you said.”

“Of course sir,” the Beheeyem said, furtively glancing around. A few other pokemon lounged about the cabin, but Arceus was the only one at the bar. “I will answer to the best of my ability.”

“Do you- do you believe in god?” Arceus asked.

“I’m not quite sure what you mean,” the Beheeyem replied, narrowing its eyes.

Arceus leaned over the counter. “Do you think Reshiram created the world?”

The Beheeyem looked at Arceus strangely before gently pushing him away. “I do not personally believe that,” it said. “If you would permit me to be frank for a moment, I believe that the movement is rather disingenuous.”

“Oh.” Arceus’ face fell.

The Beheeyem was unperturbed. “Are you going to have your drink? It is going on your host’s tab after all.”

Arceus stared bitterly at the glass, a cloud of confusion hanging over his mind. Without saying anything, he reared his head back and slammed his face onto the glass, shattering the thin cup and sending the yellowish liquid everywhere. A silence fell as the other pokemon in the cabin looked at him in surprise.

The Beheeyem looked at Arceus expectantly as he slowly rose. “Thank you,” Arceus said, a piece of glass sticking out of his face.

“Certainly,” the Beheeyem said, telekinetically sweeping the glass shards off the table. “There’s always one,” he muttered, as Arceus walked away.

Crossing over to the next cabin, Arceus stopped. A lone Weezing hovered in front of him, staring out a window.

In that moment, everything ground to a halt. Arceus was glued to the spot, all thoughts of god forgotten. The Weezing turned, noticing him.

“You’re back already?” the Weezing said, flashing a smile. “Your expectations were unfulfilled I suppose?”

“Banmya-” Arceus said, his voice barely above a whisper. He slowly walked towards the Weezing, his eyes glowing with anger.

“An extremely horrible experience then,” Banmya said nervously. The Weezing took on a look of grim determination. “I won’t make excuses, tell me all about it.”

Arceus tackled the Weezing.


“When I first met Arceus and Mallys, I thought they were idiots.” Mel sounded slightly embarrassed, looking around nervously. “I uh- I kind of still do,” she continued, “-but they’re my friends now, no matter what I thought in the past.”

“Uh huh,” Goucie said. The Combusken seemed only half convinced. “So how did you guys all end up here?”

“Honestly, I’m not sure. We were at the train station, and then-” Mel shook her head. “A lot of stuff happened.”

“A lot of ‘stuff’?” Goucie said incredulously, “It was a bomb!”

Mel shrugged. “Why bomb a train station? Sounds like a waste to me.”

“Someone that places a bomb usually has a very good reason, or something wrong with them,” Goucie replied with a frown. “Don’t you think?”

“I don’t care either way,” Mel said. “Arceus got separated from us and we ended up here.” Mel’s eyes widened. “Wait! I forgot- I never told Nea.”

“What?” Goucie asked, the Combusken shooting Mel an odd look. “I still don’t really follow.”

“We came with someone else,” Mel said quickly, “I- I made them leave, but I said I would let them know that we were OK.”

“Alright, how are you going to keep that promise?”

Mel faltered. “Err, let’s find something.”

The Lurantis walked behind the Combusken and pushed him forwards.

“You’ll help me won’t you?” Mel asked.

“I’ll try,” Goucie said. “But I don’t have any idea what to do.”

“I just need to send a message. Do you know how we could do that here?” Mel asked.

“You could ask someone,” Goucie offered.

“Yeah, I could ask someone to send a message somewhere to someone I hardly know,” Mel replied.

Goucie sighed. “If you put it like that, then why do you feel obligated in the first place?”

Mel raised her scythes defensively. “I don’t know, just help me.”

Goucie held his claws up in defeat. “Whatever you say Mel. Start by telling me who Nea is.”

“She’s pink, and she has this uh- hat or something,” Mel said, looking thoughtful.

“Very helpful,” Goucie said dryly, “Anything else?”

Mel slumped, looking away. “Nothing useful. She said she was a commander- or maybe a sub-commander of some unit. I think it was the HCU? Whatever that means.”

The Combusken’s expression froze. “Oh. That’s uh, actually helpful. What division was it?”

“I don’t think she said which- actually, I think it was division 5,” Mel said. “You’ve heard of it before?”

“The HCU is kind of a public safety organization,” Goucie said, looking away. “I’ve uh- read about it before.”

“So you know where we can send it, but not how, right?” Mel said hopefully.

“Pretty much,” Goucie said. “Let’s see if there’s anyone who can.”

“Do you really think we can find someone, let alone convince them?” Mel asked.

“We can always try,” Goucie replied, smiling. “Tell me more about your friends later, okay?”

Mel nodded. “Alright, Goucie. Thanks- uh, I guess.”

“You’re welcome.”


“Let me explain it like this,” the Staraptor said, patting Mel on her head with it’s wing. “Because I have wings, because I can fly, it is a symbol of my status that I ride a train. I don’t have to, but I can and so I do. That make sense?”

“No, not really,” Mel replied, slightly irked.

“Sorry about her,” Goucie interjected, the Combusken stepping between the two. “She’s just pragmatic, you know?”

“Yes, I see,” the Staraptor said, looking at Mel with disdain. “Regardless, you still haven’t explained why you burst in here in the first place.” The Staraptor narrowed its eyes. “This is a private cabin you know.”

“Oh, well you see, we need to deliver a letter,” Goucie said. “And you look like you could send it for us.”

The Staraptor stared at Goucie in shock. “Please leave,” she said.

“Wait, wait,” Goucie said apologetically as the Staraptor tried to push them out. “I know you’re thinking this is below you, that we’re crazy for asking these kinds of things.”

“If you can understand that, then why are you asking?” the Staraptor asked angrily.

“Well- maybe you could help us out anyway?” Goucie said hopefully.

Mel groaned, hearing Goucie. “What are you, a kid?” she muttered.

“I’m all for charity,” the Staraptor said, shaking her head. “But there’s a line. If I was really going to just fly away from this ticket I paid very good money for, then I would need a suitably good reason.”

“Like money?” Goucie asked. “How much?”

“A million,” the Staraptor said, smirking.

Mel nudged the Combusken. “Come on Goucie, she’s messing with us. We’ll think of something else.”

Goucie looked at the floor, sighing heavily. “Can I make a counter offer?”

The Staraptor glanced at Goucie in surprise. “Huh? Uh, yes, you can.”

Mel watched as Goucie leaned over to the Staraptor, whispering to the bird. The Staraptor recoiled uncomfortably at first. But as the Combusken continued to whisper, she started to lean in, her eyes wide.

After a while, Goucie leaned back, visibly uncomfortable. “How does that sound?” he asked.

The Staraptor glanced out the window. “Where do you want it delivered?”


Mallys stumbled down the hall, his eyes half closed. Leaning too far to one side, he fell into a window, the blades on his head slicing through the glass. For a moment the Haxorus didn’t move.

With some effort, Mallys pulled himself out of the glass. Although there was now a deep cut through the window, it remained intact as the Haxorus examined it. Spotting a Staraptor flying past the window, Mallys grumbled to himself quietly, turning as he heard a door slide open nearby.

“Hey Mallys!” Mel called, waving to the dragon. “How are you doing?”

Mallys slowly walked to the Lurantis, nodding at the Combusken behind her. “I’m- I’m not doing well,” he said haltingly.

“Oh, okay,” Mel said, not expecting that answer. “What’s wrong?”

The Haxorus paused. “I don’t know,” he said sadly.

Mel shot a glance at Goucie who shrugged. “Do you want to talk about it?”

“Where’s Arceus?” Mallys asked, ignoring Mel’s question.

“He uh- he wanted to be by himself,” Mel replied.

“Tch, he’s blaming himself isn’t he,” Mallys said. “Come on you two, let’s go find him.”

Mel nodded, turning to Goucie. “Sorry about this, but I don’t think you can say no.”

“It’s alright, I don’t mind,” the Combusken said. “I would have come with you anyway.”

Mel cracked a small smile. “If you say so.” She nudged Goucie with a scythe. “What did you say to that Staraptor anyway to get her to go like that?”

“Nothing much, I’m just persuasive.” For a moment, a pained expression crossed Goucie’s face, but it was gone as quickly as it had appeared. “That’s set and done anyway, we have more important things to think about.”

Mel was curious, but she decided to brush off the obvious lie. “Right. We’ll go with you Mallys.”

Saying nothing, the Haxorus strode over to the two and picked them up with his claws.

“You’ll slow me down otherwise,” he said simply.
Chapter 15

RJR Basimilus

Arceus is nice I suppose...
the Lovely Planet
  1. arceus-fighting
  2. lurantis
  3. arceus-poison
  4. haxorus
Like, the cover worked the other day. But now it's broken.
Ah whatever, not a big deal.... I've written 15 chapters of this??
I think this one didn't come out as well cooked, but I'm happy for now.

Chapter 15 - Way it Goes

“I’m fine,” the Slowking said adamantly, “You’re the one that nearly tore a wing.”

The Yanmega shook his head. “Nearly is the operative word, Nea. You broke your leg.”

Nea huffed. “It’ll heal, unlike you Commander.”

“Yes, because I’m so old and frail,” the Yanmega said with a sly smile. “Is it that hard to have a little faith in me?”

“You were already old when I first joined the unit a few years ago,” Nea said. “I- I just worry, Chocolate.”

Chocolate sighed. “I’m the Commander for a reason Nea, you worry about me every other week. If I died before you, then I would be doing my job right.”

“Ah, but-” Nea stammered.

The Yanmega buzzed in the air. “What’s that? I’m getting old so you have to talk loud so I can hear you.”

Nea gave up, resting her head on the table in front of her. “I get your point Commander.”

“Are you sure you’re not the one getting old?” Chocolate teased, “You can’t seem to decide whether to call me by my name or my title.” His smile faded. “Anyway, it’s good that you’re safe. I’ve already put out reports for the pokemon that took you hostage.”

Nea’s expression hardened and she looked away. Chocolate was about to speak again when a commotion erupted somewhere nearby. Immediately, both of them tensed up, listening intently to the shouts.

From around a corner an Infernape appeared, his arms wrapped tightly around a Staraptor that looked supremely annoyed.

“Sorry, Sir,” the Infernape said, embarrassed. “This lady insisted she had to deliver a message to the Deputy Commander.”

The Slowking was startled. “Me?”

“Yes, you,” the Staraptor said, wiggling her way out of the Infernape’s grasp. Producing a small letter, the Staraptor threw it to Nea with her beak. “Now if you’ll excuse me-” The Staraptor took to the air, scattering objects around as she flew out of the room.

Chocolate gazed around the room idly, eventually stopping on the Infernape who looked ready to die. “Don’t worry about it,” he said. “Just don’t let it happen again, got it?”

“Yes, Sir!” the Infernape replied, practically running away.

Nea meanwhile had opened the letter. As she read it, a small smile appeared on her face.

“So, what do you have there, Nea?” Chocolate asked.

“It’s a letter from- a relative of mine,” Nea said, hesitating.

The Yanmega nodded. “It’s fine if they send you letters, but please tell them to use more conventional methods of delivery next time. Or at the least, send couriers with a bit more class.”

“Hah, I’ll do that,” Nea said, still staring at the letter. “They can be a bit strange sometimes, sometimes I find it hard to believe I’m related to them.”

Chocolate laughed. “You’re softer than I thought. Anyways, you relax; you’ve more than earned a vacation anyway.”

As the Yanmega left, Nea exhaled loudly. “Mel’s okay,” she said quietly. “This really is a small world.”


“I’m very sorry it has to be like this, but we absolutely cannot tolerate such a disturbance,” the Mothim said, wearily eyeing the two pokemon before him.

“Fully, it is our fault,” Banmya said. The Weezing was chained to an overhead pipe by one of the joints connecting his body. He didn’t seem to mind this as he swung idly back and forth. “Although, I ask for mercy for my companion.”

The Mothim glanced over to Arceus. He was sitting on his haunches, facing the wall silently.

“I would agree that perhaps my peers have been- a little harsh,” the Mothim said. His eyes trailed over the thick metal collar around Arceus’ neck.

“Definitely so,” Banmya said, frowning. “Are you not afraid of legal recourse?”

“No,” the Mothim replied.

The Weezing stared at him for a moment. “Fair enough. I have no more questions, but my request stands.”

“I will keep it in mind, Sir,” the Mothim said, fluttering away.

Banmya hung in silence for a moment, before sighing. “In retrospect, maybe it wasn’t a good idea to push you out of the train,” he said, looking at Arceus. “You might think that I’m ridiculous for not realizing that sooner, so I suppose I’m ridiculous.”

Arceus didn’t seem to register the Weezing at all.

“Do you want me to say sorry?” Banyma asked. “I think I can do that if you ask.” He waited for a response that didn’t come. “I’ll leave you alone then.”

A rattling noise emanated from the roof. The Weezing looked up and watched with interest as a section of the ceiling was sliced open. As the pieces clattered to the ground, a Lurantis poked her head in the hole.

“Um, why are you chained to the wall?” Mel asked, looking at Banmya with worry.

“It’s not important particularly,” Banmya replied. He tilted to the side, gesturing at Arceus. “He’s worse off than me.”

Mel followed the Weezing’s gaze, gasping when she saw Arceus sitting in the corner. Jumping through the hole, she rushed over to him, looking at the thick collar around his neck in disgust.

“Arceus? What happened?” Mel demanded, hurriedly checking him over.

“Oh, Mel,” Arceus said quietly. “What does god do?”

The Lurantis stopped in place, caught off guard. “What,” she paused, “-do you mean by that?”

Arceus slowly craned his head back to Mel. “What do they do in their spare time?”

“I’m not particularly religious, so I wouldn’t know,” Mel said. “I didn’t think you were that type though.”

“I don’t-” Arceus stopped, a terrified expression on his face. “I don’t know what I am.”

“Er- you’re Arceus?” Mel said hesitantly.

“But what about before that?” Arceus asked despairingly, “We’ve been trying to find that out for this long and all that’s happened is you and Mallys getting hurt. I don’t know if I even want to know anymore-”

“Hey,” Mel stopped him. “I don’t blame you for anything, sometimes that’s just what happens. I learned that much when you beat me up. But what does “god” have to do with your memory?”

“I uh- there was this guy I met, Avalse,” Arceus sputtered, “He said that he spoke to god, and he said that I was empty. There was something about fire, and the soul.”

“Ok, I think I follow so far,” Mel said, relaxing slightly.

Banmya piped up from across the cabin. “Maybe your soul was on fire! That sounds reasonable right?”

Mel whirled on the Weezing. “Shut up,” she hissed, “This is partially your fault isn’t it?”

“If you want it to be,” Banmya said nonchalantly. “Anyway, it looks like you two need some time to work this out, so I’ll leave.” That said, he rotated to the chain cuffing him to the pipes on the wall. Breathing in, the Weezing exhaled a thin purple gas that dissolved the link instantly, as well as part of the ceiling behind it. He glanced at Mel apologetically. “I know right; why didn’t I just do this earlier?” Banmya made a face. “Sometimes you need to slow down and think. See you two around.” Smiling, he floated upwards and out of the hole that Mel made.

The Lurantis watched the Weezing leave, dumbfounded. Shaking her head, she turned back to Arceus. “Sorry. You said you met someone who knew uh- god?”

“Am I empty Mel?” Arceus asked.

“I don’t think so,” Mel replied. “You don’t look empty.”

Arceus seemed to calm a little. “I do?”

“Well, I don’t actually know what they might have meant by that,” Mel said sheepishly, “But if god said you were empty, then I’d have to disagree.” She shrugged, then walked back to the hole in the ceiling. “Anyway, wait here, I’ll get Mallys.”

“Mel, wait!” Arceus called. “I’m- sorry for running off like that.”

Mel paused. “Apology accepted. Next time let us come with you,” she said, smiling.

Waving at Arceus, Mel left through the hole she had made. Sitting in the leftover silence, Arceus felt strangely at ease. He stretched his neck, feeling the cool iron of the collar rub against it, annoying, but not extremely uncomfortable.

A short time later, a small commotion started in the adjoining cabin. Recognizing the sound of Mallys’ voice, Arceus looked up expectantly as the Haxorus stormed in, Mel following closely behind. In the doorway, Goucie was speaking in hushed tones to an Aggron. It watched Mallys closely, barely seeming to pay attention to the Combusken.

“Hey Mallys,” Arceus said guiltily. “I uh- haven’t seen you in a while.”

“Yeah...” Mallys said, his eyes fixed on Arceus’ collar. “What did you do this time?”

Arceus looked away. “It’s complicated.”

In the doorway behind them, the Aggron that was talking with Goucie strode over to them, pushing the Combusken aside. “He caused a disturbance,” it said, poking Arceus roughly in the neck. “Where’s the other one?”

Mallys roughly slugged the Aggron, his claw glowing with a sickly green light. Crumpling against the wall, the only sound it could make was a pained exhalation. Arceus and Goucie stared at Mallys in stunned silence while Mel sighed, shaking her head.

“Why did you do that?” Arceus asked, shakily standing up. The chain connected to his collar rattled.

“He was going to- I mean-” Mallys stuttered, “I don’t know.”

“I thought I had a plan,” Goucie said, walking over to the unconscious Aggron. “Guess not.”

Mel shrugged. “We could throw him out of the train?” she suggested.

Arceus flinched. “No way, we can’t do that.”

“Then do you suggest we jump out of the train?” Mel grimaced.

“Not that either,” Arceus said indignantly.

Mel shook her head. “We don’t really have any other options. I don’t like it either but-”

“Let him think,” Mallys growled, looking away. “Although, it might be best if I leave by myself, since it’s my fault.”

Arceus looked at the Haxorus angrily. “No, I got us into this situation,” he said. “And I think I can get us out.” He turned to Goucie. “Have them arrest all of us.”

The Combusken stared at Arceus, his mouth open in disbelief. “Huh?”

“You can talk with the train crew right? Get them to arrest all three of us and drop us off at the next station.”

Goucie nodded slowly. “I... might be able to do that.”

“That way no one gets hurt,” Arceus exclaimed. “Uh, if you guys are alright with that,” he added sheepishly, glancing at Mel and Mallys.

“If you’re confident, then I’m confident,” Mallys said, crossing his arms.

“I guess it makes sense,” Mel said, scanning Arceus’ face to gauge his confidence. She nodded, satisfied. “Okay, let’s do it.”

Arceus looked at the Combusken solemnly. “We’re counting on you, uh, your name was Goucie right?”

“Yep, that’s me,” Goucie said, trying and failing to smile. “Are you guys always getting into stuff like this?”

Arceus hesitated. “Well, kind of.”

“Pretty much,” Mel added, “Sorry that you had to get involved.”

“Honestly? It’s been kind of exciting,” Goucie said, sounding slightly embarrassed. “Anyway, I should get going.” He glanced at the Aggron, who seemed to be stirring. “I don’t know what’ll happen, so you guys should be ready for anything.”

“Don’t worry about us,” Arceus said. “We’re tough, at least I think so. What do you guys think?”

“Something like that,” Mel said nonchalantly.

“If you insist,” Mallys said, forcing a smile.

Arceus said nothing for a moment. “Good enough.”


“What am I gonna do?” Goucie said, pressing his beak against the glass. “I told them I would help, but what do I say?”

“About what?” Trumme asked from nearby. The Noctowl was unsteadily perched atop a table, occasionally glancing at his side.

“I said I was going to help out Arceus and his friends,” Goucie said.

“Really? How are they all doing?” Trumme asked.

Goucie breathed deeply. “They’re all doing good. But Arceus wants me to... well, he wants me to get them arrested.”

“Huh. I- I’m not actually that surprised.” The Noctowl smiled slightly. “I don’t even know why he wants to do that, but it just sounds like something he would do.”

“If you say so,” Goucie replied. “Anyway, the Haxorus, Mallys, he uh- just beat someone up.”

Trumme shook his head. “That’s unfortunate, but considering what he did to all those pokemon back in the forest, still not surprising.”

Goucie shuddered at the memory. “True, but the situation is a bit more complicated than that. The one they beat up was an employee on this train.”

“I see. That is a problem.” Trumme said. “So I’m guessing that by being arrested, Arceus is trying to avoid a bigger conflict.”

“That sounds right,” Goucie said. “But I can’t think of how I can get that to happen.”

The Noctowl frowned. “Well, you have to have a story right? If Arceus wants to be arrested, then we have to portray him as a criminal.”

“Makes sense,” Goucie said, nodding. “Er, any suggestions?”

“Well, I was thinking you could take me along and say they attacked me,” Trumme said, glancing at his stump. “But it was already gone when you brought me here so they probably would see right through it.”

Goucie sighed. “Plus you weren’t with us when it happened. Lots of pokemon saw us heading to the rear cars.” His expression changed. “That idea though...”

Trumme shrugged. “If you really want to try it, we can.”

“Not that,” Goucie said. He thought back to Arceus’ determination earlier. “What if-” He stared at Trumme, a glint in his eye. “What if you scratch me with your talons?”

“That’s definitely a possibility, if you uh, want that,” Trumme replied nervously.

“I’m not really that tough,” Goucie said, gritting his teeth. “But I want to do this; for them- and for myself too.”

Trumme sighed. “If you have your reasons, then fine. You really want this?”

“Just do it and don’t make this worse than it has to be!” Goucie said, positioning himself in front of the Noctowl.

Grimacing, Trumme lashed out, raking the talons of one foot across Goucie. The Combusken yelped, falling backwards as he grasped at his face.

“Don’t say anything,” Goucie hissed, laying on his back. “Just give me a moment.”

As Goucie struggled to stand upright, Trumme checked to see if anyone had heard them. “You know, I’d have asked why you’d do this for some pokemon you hardly know, but I’m doing the same thing.”

The Combusken smiled through clenched teeth. “Doesn’t make it any better if you point it out, and even then shouldn’t you have asked before you almost took my eye out?”

“I suppose so,” Trumme said softly. “I’m probably not thinking straight either right now.” His expression suddenly became horrified.

“What is it?” Goucie asked.

Trumme looked panicked. “If the angle we’re going for is that they violently attacked you, then how would it make sense for them to just peacefully surrender? Wouldn’t this just lead to a bigger fight?”

“Ah,” Goucie blanched, “I didn’t think of that.”

“After we’ve done all this-” Trumme said in frustration. “I’m really sorry Goucie.”

“We...” Goucie seemed distracted. “We can still fix this.” He looked at Trumme. “How well can you move around?”

“I’ve gotten somewhat used to hopping,” Trumme said, his eyes flickering over the stump where his wing had been.

“Can you go back to where Arceus is?” Goucie asked. “I’ll get the crew and tell them-” the Combusken took a deep breath. “-that I fought with them... a- and won.”

Trumme was silent for a moment. “So you want them to act like they’re unconscious.” The Noctowl shook his head in disbelief. “If that’s what you want to do. You’re positive there’s no other options?”

“I don’t see any!” Goucie snapped before recoiling. “Sorry, I mean, I can’t think of anything else.”

“I’ll go now then. Good luck, you’re going to need it,” Trumme called as he walked away, his talons clicking on the floor.

“I do,” Goucie said to himself. “I really do.”


“One ticket to Carigara please!”

“Certainly, what class will you be travelling in?”

“Whatever’s cheapest.”

“That will be 500 Cohl.”

The Nidoking smiled as he paid, but anyone looking would be able to see it was less than genuine. Clenching his ticket in one claw, he wandered away from the counter, glancing around. The terminal was busy, but it was mostly quiet aside from the sounds of pokemon moving about. Several intimidating pokemon were dotted around the lobby, surveying the room carefully. Staring in wonder, the Nidoking accidentally locked eyes with a Magmar who scowled at him.

Turning away in embarrassment, the Nidoking accidently bumped a passing Lopunny.

“Ah, sorry! I wasn’t looking,” the Nidoking blurted out.

The Lopunny waved him off. “It’s okay, just be more careful.”

“Um, I don’t mean to bother you, but do you know what’s-” the Nidoking gestured to the surrounding room. “-going on?”

The Lopunny shrugged. “There was a bombing here recently. Look.” She pointed up.

The Nidoking followed her hand, inhaling sharply as he saw what was above them. A huge hole yawned across the ceiling, exposing the sky. Large nets were strung from wall to wall underneath the opening, and several pokemon could be seen working on the edges.

“Wow, I didn’t even notice that,” the Nidoking said, feeling a small pit in his stomach.

“Really? It’s hard to miss,” the Lopunny replied somewhat snidely. “Huh, it looks like we’re headed to the same place.”

The Nidoking looked back down to see the Lopunny holding his ticket and comparing it to a second one. “How did you-” he sputtered.

“You dropped it,” the Lopunny said, handing it back to him. “Anyway, do you know where the platform is? I don’t ride trains too often.”

“I don’t either,” the Nidoking said, his shoulders sagging. “Sorry.”

“Don’t worry about it, we have time anyway,” the Lopunny said. “I guess I might see you on the train then. Bye.” With that, the Lopunny walked away, leaving the Nidoking standing awkwardly by himself.

He looked at the hole in the ceiling again, sighing. “Again with this,” he said to himself. “It’s like I never retired.” He trudged off to look for the platform.


Around the trains, the atmosphere was more lively. Less guards seemed to be watching the departing trains, or at least they were less obvious about it. The Nidoking handed his ticket to an attendant, trying to appear at ease.

“Alright Mr. Pasa, you’re good to go,” the Crawdaunt said, expertly punching a hold in the ticket with its claw.

“Thank you very much,” Pasa said, passing through and boarding the train.

Finding a seat in a coach cabin, Pasa was embarrassed to find that he took up two seats with his size. Settling in uncomfortably, he looked out the window only to find his view partially obscured by graffiti scrawled across the window.

“You get what you pay for,” came a voice. Across from Pasa, the Lopunny from earlier slid into the seat. She leaned against the window, stretching her legs out as she looked at the Nidoking.

“Hello again,” Pasa said, frowning slightly. “I guess we did run into each other again.”

“What’s with that face?” the Lopunny asked. “I’m saving a seat for someone. In fact, I’m not usually this nice.” She smirked.

A voice came from behind Pasa. “But you could be. Kindness isn’t something to be stringy with.”

“Oh please,” the Lopunny said. “I think we’ve both done enough pretending.”

Pasa turned to see a mass of shadow looking back at him.

“Pleased to meet you, I am Darkrai,” it said.

“Nice to meet you,” Pasa replied, “I’m-”

“He’s Pasa,” the Lopunny interjected, sitting upright as Darkrai slid into the seat next to her.

“Don’t be a bitch Mae,” Darkrai said, rolling his eyes.

“I was just answering for him,” Mae said innocently. The Lopunny glanced back at Pasa. “But uh, sorry about being snappy. I’ve just... had to hold it in for a while.”

“That’s fine,” Pasa said good-naturedly. The Nidoking smiled, “I’ve dealt with worse.”

Darkrai nodded. “So, why are you heading to the city? Especially with these rates.”

Pasa was silent for a moment. “I’m actually going to meet up with my- my daughter. Well, not really, more of an adopted daughter.”

“Forgive me for asking, but what circumstances would lead you to...” Darkrai stopped, looking annoyed.

Mae started giggling. “Wow, nice one.”

“Sorry about that,” Darkrai said, glaring at the Lopunny. “It’s a bad habit I picked up. What I meant to ask was, why meet in Carigara instead of literally anywhere else?”

“Wrong word choice,” the Nidoking replied, “I haven’t planned this or anything; I don’t actually know where she is right now.” A strange look crossed Pasa’s face. “But I know she’ll end up there.”

“Did she run out on you with a boyfriend you didn’t like or something?” Mae asked, crossing her arms. “I can get that, because that’s what I did with this guy.” She tilted her head, gesturing at Darkrai.

“I’m not that bad, am I?” Darkrai asked, shooting a worried glance at Pasa.

“My father called you a con artist,” Mae said, stifling laughter.

Darkrai shrugged. “Oh... well never mind that. Let’s go back to what you were saying, Pasa.”

“I was finished, but I guess I can show you something.” Pasa reached into a dusty bag he had with him, rooting around for something. “Ah, here!” He removed a small rectangular object, pausing to stare at it for a long time, a small smile on his face. “This is my kid, Mel,” he said proudly, flipping the object to reveal a faded picture of a Fomantis. “It’s an old photo, she’s all grown up now.”

“Oh, cute!” Mae exclaimed loudly, drawing a few looks from other pokemon.

“She’s got a big head,” Darkrai noted quietly, earning a wicked slap from Mae.

“You don’t say that stuff when someone’s showing you their kid idiot,” Mae said. She leaned over to Pasa, grabbing one of his claws. “He didn’t really mean it,” she said apologetically, “He’s gotten used to being blunt under the pretense of self-help.”

Pasa struggled to reply. “What... does that mean?”

“It’s a long story,” Darkrai said, shrugging. “I take back what I said though, Mel has a perfectly normal head, I swear.”

Mae glared at Darkrai. “No, no, no, you can’t take it back now, it sounds insincere.” The Lopunny seemed like she was about to slap Darkrai again, but instead she slumped in her seat. “Whatever, do what you want, Darkrai. I’m going to take a nap.” She closed her eyes, leaning against the window.

“It’s hard to stay on topic when we get going,” Darkrai said. “I understand if you want to leave.”

“It’s alright,” Pasa said, grinning slightly. “Your energy is almost infectious, at least for me. No one was ever like this back in the HCU.”

Darkrai’s expression changed, his posture stiffening. “You’re with the HCU.”

“It’s been years since I retired,” Pasa replied. The Nidoking yawned, relaxing in his seat. “So if the reason that fact concerned you isn’t entirely legal, I can look the other way.”

“Not really, I was just wondering,” Darkrai said, his relief clearly visible.

“If you say so,” Pasa said. “But to answer your question you keep trying to ask.” His tone became solemn. “I want to make sure Mel doesn’t do something she’ll regret. That’s all.”

Darkrai stared at Pasa in silence before nodding slowly. “I’d say Mel is lucky to have you looking out for her.”

Pasa smiled again. “Somehow I don’t think she would agree with you.”


“I didn’t think of it like that,” Arceus said, nodding at Trumme. “But Goucie is right. We need to pretend to be beaten to fool them.”

“I wish he would have thought of this earlier,” Mallys grumbled, keeping an eye on the Aggron. “Not very nice of him to spring this on us.”

“And who was it that made this situation worse in the first place?” Mel said dryly, looking directly at the Haxorus.

“Shut up,” Mallys replied, not bothering to look at the Lurantis. “If this is the plan, then I’m fine with it. But-” He tapped Arceus on the head. “-how well can you fake being unconscious?”

“I’ve never tried, but I bet I could do it,” Arceus said confidently.

“I’m... not convinced, sorry,” Mallys said.

“It doesn’t need to be perfect, does it?” Arceus asked. “We’re already injured, so they could think we’re close to being knocked out and it would still work, right?”

The Haxorus sighed. “If something goes wrong, then you can’t blame me for what happens, okay?”

“I won’t, Mallys,” Arceus replied. “But can you at least try to restrain yourself?”

“I’ll do my best,” Mallys muttered, avoiding Arceus’ gaze.

Arceus looked over to the Lurantis. “Can you fake it Mel? Sorry if you weren’t expecting this.”

Mel idly inspected her scythes before smiling at Arceus. “I’ll be fine. It’s not the weirdest thing we’ve done.”

“Yeah...” Arceus was silent, scraping one foot across the floor. “Thanks guys. For- everything. I don’t know what else to say.”

“Let’s get this over with before anything else,” Mallys said. “We can’t just keep running around like this.”

The three of them looked at each other, sharing a silent agreement.

“If you are all set, then I’ll be leaving,” Trumme said, the Noctowl waving to them from the doorway.

“I owe you for that wing Trumme,” Arceus said. “I’ll make it up any way I can!”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Trumme replied. “Though I would say you’ve already made up for it by saving my life.” The Noctowl ruffled his feathers. “So long then, I’m sure we’ll catch up later.”


Goucie rubbed his claws together slowly, watching the Mothim flutter in place. As the Combusken breathed deeply, he was half-convinced his heart was beating faster than the train. The Mothim noticed him fidgeting and turned to stare at him impassively.

“I won’t ask,” the Mothim said, rubbing his face with one arm. “But in the interest of scheduling, I must ask you to refrain from picking up any more vagrants.”

“Sorry about that, it’s hard to explain,” Goucie replied, inwardly cringing at the lackluster lie.

“I said I wouldn’t ask. I know what kind of business you people conduct.” As Mothim turned away, Goucie saw a flicker of disgust on his face.

The Combusken tried to change the topic. “So what are you going to do with those guys?”

The Mothim made a noise somewhere between a groan and a sigh. “I’d drop them at the next station with the authorities. A hole in the roof is annoying, but not really worth getting angry about.” He paused, his fluttering slowing. “But, it’s not really my call to make anymore.”

Goucie froze. “What- do you mean?”

“My responsibility lies with paying customers,” the Mothim said, looking down at the Combusken. “It’s the job of the security staff to deal with anyone else, and I’d say they’re dead set on having their way with those- ah, what should I call them- uninvited guests.”

“Why would they do that?” Goucie asked.

The Mothim chuckled. “What? Are you worried about pokemon you already beat up yourself? Look, it’s just the way it is. Business like security, protection, bodyguarding, whatever you want to call it; it inspires a certain camaraderie among co-workers. So, say if one of the group is injured...” the Mothim trailed off, glancing expectantly at the Combusken.

Scenes of Mallys knocking out the Aggron bounced through Goucie’s head. “I’m not worried,” he lied, trying to calm down. “I was just wondering. What are they going to do exactly?”

The Mothim shook his head disinterestedly. “Either beat them half to death, or just kill them. I don’t care to know either way, as long as it’s not my problem.

Goucie flinched like he had been punched in the face. His train of thought crumbled into dust, replaced by pure undisciplined panic. “I see,” he said, his tone wavering, “I guess I’ll go now. Thanks for everything.”

“You’re the one that dealt with them in the first place,” the Mothim replied. “I can’t say I understand the entire situation, but if you’re fine, then there’s nothing to worry about.” He waved at the retreating Combusken. “I apologize if I have been too unrestrained. This is a very stressful job you know!”


Goucie stared at the floor as he walked unsteadily down the corridor.

I should do something, he thought. No, I have to do something. Something...

He bumped into a closed door, falling backwards with a yelp. As he stared upwards, he started to sniffle.

There’s no way to fix it. I can’t do anything to help them.

Goucie leaned back against a wall, letting out a frustrated sob as tears ran down his face.

I can’t do it.
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