• Published 10th Mar 2016
  • 279 Views, 2 Comments

Breaking Down - spitfirepanda

The sequel to Arms of Arceus. In light of Infinity Energy, are the humans of the Pokémon world worth saving?

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Chapter 8: Trials of God

Pinkie Pie laughed as she bounced the water balloon on her head. Next to her sat Leon, her new Popplio friend who clapped for her repeatedly while barking advice. The CHS girls had thought it strange to hear the Pokémon language at first. All they could do was repeat their own names. Yet, none of them could deny how adorable it was, and after Sunset Shimmer had cast her spell they could understand the Pokémon, too.

“Now do a spin, Pop!” the Pokémon said, happily. Pinkie Pie obliged by spinning the balloon clockwise and spinning herself counterclockwise. After a few seconds she came to a dizzy stop and fell backwards. Leon broke into laughter, and Pinkie Pie joined him.

“Are you sure you don’t want to train for battles?” Rainbow Dash asked. Her new Chimchar partner stood next to her, wearing a freshly knitted gi that Rarity had made.

“Not everyone in the Pokémon world likes to battle,” Pinkie Pie said, cheerfully. “Leon and I are gonna rock those contests!”

“This rulebook states that trainers aren’t allowed to compete alongside their partners, only give orders,” Twilight Sparkle said as she flipped through the touch screen of her Pokédex. “Besides, our skin tones aren’t exactly common around here. Shouldn’t we start working to blend in? Rarity and I brought enough makeup for everyone, we just need to brush up on the culture.”

“But… won’t it make Korish mad if we use makeup to look like everyone else?” Fluttershy whispered as she looked around for the Gourgiest. “I don’t think we should make Korish mad after… what Sunset warned us about.”

“She’s right, you know,” Korish jeered from up above. The girls looked up to see her floating on a ledge near a tree. She held several berries in one hand, and was chewing on one as she spoke. “I like you the way you are now. Don’t change it.”

Fluttershy closed her eyes and shivered as her Litten hissed her disapproval. The other girls watched Korish float down to their level. They were cautious of their new travel companion, but they had decided to remain friendly. They had heard all about this creature, and found her story quite sad. They had agreed that Korish was a very damaged individual, and she deserved a chance to improve.

“We could just say we ate some funny lookin’ fruit and it changed our skin tones,” Applejack said as she patted her Rowlett’s head comfortingly. The other Pokémon were terrified of Korish, and though Applejack’s new partner was trying his best to be brave, his feathers were ruffled defensively. “Does this place have anythin’ strange like that?”

“Enigma berries are strange,” Korish replied. The fog was slowly rolling in, and it was becoming hard to see. “They don’t have that effect, but they’re rare enough that no one will know what to think if you say you had a bad reaction to them. Either way, you shouldn’t change your complexions if you want to make it to Celestic Town in one piece.”

“You know we have Rainbow Power, right darling?” Rarity said as she pet her terrified Litten.

“But you have neither Princess Twilight, or Sunset Shimmer. Without a magical focus for your power, you’re useless.”

“I wouldn’t go that far. Sure we can’t shoot you with any magical rainbows, but we’ve all activated our Rainbow Power on our own. In fact, the first time we used it was in order to protect Princess Twilight. I think we could manage if it meant protecting innocents, or ourselves, from you.”

“Touché!” Korish said, with a sinister smile. “Well, now that we’ve got that settled, you should make your way through Route 210. Your interview with the Champion awaits.”

She floated off through the fog, humming a haunting melody as she went.

“So, she’s really not going to lead us through this world?” Twilight Sparkle asked as she held her Rowlett a little more tightly. The Pokémon cooed to her reassuringly in response.

“No, she’s just gonna stalk us,” Applejack said. “Not real keen on that, considerin’ her predisposition toward humans. Not much we can do about it, though.”

“She just wants to watch us fail,” Rainbow Dash said. Her Chimchar nodded in agreement next to her. “Still, it’s gonna be pretty creepy knowing that she’s watching us from the shadows.”

“Either way, our goal is to understand the humans of this world and their relationship with Pokémon,” Twilight Sparkle said. “The little we know is troubling, to say the least. Especially this ‘Infinite Energy’ they use.”

“That shouldn’t stop us from looking on the bright side, though,” Pinkie Pie said. The other girls voiced their agreement. They checked through their bags one last time, withdrew their flashlights to help them see, and they began their journey to Celestic Town.

For the past few months, very few trainers had traveled down Route 210. Rumors of violent bands of Pokémon who targeted humans had begun to spread across Sinnoh. Powerful trainers and Pokémon Rangers were the only humans who dared to travel alone, these days. Though the majority of wild Pokémon were still friendly toward humans, and many of them were actively fighting against their aggressive kin, the Word of Charles was changing minds daily. Yet this was only one threat that made the roads of Sinnoh unsafe.

With Cyrus gone, Team Galactic had been disbanded, but the authorities hadn’t captured all of their members yet. These thugs had become highway robbers, stealing whatever they could from unsuspecting travelers before running into the mountains to hide. No longer inspired by bosses who bought their loyalty with promises of glory and power, they had grown strong alongside their Pokémon partners. They now lived in caves furnished by whatever they could steal, and their leaders had formed connections all across the world. For Team Galactic wasn’t the only criminal organization to have gone underground in recent years.

The six new arrivals seemed strange to the Galactic Scouts that watched them from the shadows of Route 210. Yet, they were only a group of inexperienced trainers who didn’t even know enough to use Defog to clear the roads as they went. They were easy targets, with rare, young starter Pokémon ripe for the taking. They also had backpacks full of supplies. Though Team Galactic made money off of stealing Pokémon for the rich and selling them illegally, their operatives were often forced to live in the wilderness for weeks at a time just to land a good catch. After all, as their leaders often said during video calls from their mansions, not everyone can be as well funded as Pokémon Hunter J, especially when she was a competitor.

The two scouts nodded to one another in silent understanding as they lay in wait. Their trap was set further ahead. Soon, they would have six brand new Pokémon to raise and use to further their criminal enterprise.

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