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 Sonia Rewrites

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ParallelDimension75
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PostSubject: Sonia Rewrites   Sun Aug 30, 2015 6:38 am

Hi guys! These are the rewrites for the Sonia chapters. Reviews welcomed!
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PostSubject: Re: Sonia Rewrites   Sun Aug 30, 2015 6:41 am

I apologise for typos!

_____

You ready?
Never.

Sonia Darkin didn’t see herself in the mirror. She always saw the other her.
Her violet eyes scanned her reflection. In the mirror, she was sure, her eyes were darker than normal. She had seen the (albeit few) photos of herself. In the mirror, her eyes were dark and stormy, and she held a different air.
Sonia caught sight of the little black Pokémon in the background. Zorua cocked her head and grinned at her friend.
“Come on,” Sonia smiled her airy smile which didn’t quite reach her eyes. “I’m ready as I ever will be.”
On her dresser were all the supplies she’d need for her journey, carefully organised with an obsessive structure. Sonia took a hairband and tied up her waist-length platinum blond hair in an elegant ponytail at the nape of her neck. Her clothing was neat, clean and tidy; a white shirt, a white knee-length skirt, black stockings, white gloves and knee-high black boots. Today, as it was a cold day, she was wearing a lengthy, heavy tan coat and a long light-pink scarf.
Sonia and her friend carefully packed everything into the backpack in a perfect logical order for the utmost efficiency.
Sonia was in her good personality today. Her violet eyes were distant and serene.
She slipped her white beanie on. The black Pokéball symbol was worn from one too many washes.
Zorua leapt into Sonia’s arms, sensing her friend was losing touch. Sonia suddenly felt something on her chin; Zorua was licking her. Sonia gave a soft giggle and stroked the little Pokémon’s head, hugging it close to her. Zorua gave off a soft purr.
Sonia and Zorua had been friends for as long as Sonia could remember. When Sonia still lived in Icirrus City, in Unova, even before the two sides of her personality had been created. Zorua was the only one in the world who could coax such an innocent sound from her. No matter how innocent Sonia seemed, the dark, terrible monster inside was always there.
It hadn’t always been there. But since she was six it plagued her.
It must be that moment, the cusp of going on a journey. But Sonia felt her thoughts transported to that day, eight years ago.
When she had been six years old, she couldn’t even remember why, she had disobeyed her mother’s warnings and gone into Dragonspiral Tower. Where most would have been unable to pass, and tried only to die or get turned back either in frustration or in peril, a six-year-old girl made it through. She made it through with a voice guiding her.
All anyone knew, all she knew, was that she had reached the top. And something terrible had happened.
She’d come back, but she’d ever been the same again. From then on, a monster lived on within.
“Sonia?” 
Sonia froze. Her mind snapped back to the present and Zorua’s purring ceased abruptly.
The door to her bedroom clicked open and in came the source of the voice.
In a way, Sonia and her mother, Yannoa Darkin, couldn’t be more different.
Yannoa had soft, wavy shoulder-length brown hair and doe-like brown eyes that radiated warmth and kindness. Sonia almost felt ashamed at the literal chill she brought to the room in comparison.
Sonia had always found it amusing that she was almost taller than her mother.
“Yannoa,” Sonia said emotionlessly. She stroked Zorua automatically, without thinking about it. “I’m almost ready.”
Yannoa didn’t even blink at her daughter’s cold refusal to call her ‘mother.’ Sonia had never reciprocated her mother’s familial feelings towards her.
“Sonia, dear.” Yannoa said soothingly. She caressed her daughter’s cheek with the back of her hand. Sonia swatted it away, stiffly placing Zorua on the ground and resuming packing with robotic movements.
“Come on,” Yannoa said kindly. “We have to hurry. I’m sure you want to say goodbye to Sabrina, don’t you?”
Sonia felt something rush through her, like a chill. It came from her chest, her core, and expanded outwards in a wave, turning everything it encountered into shrivelled darkness.
Her darker self.
Spurred by emotion, the monster would gleefully emerge whenever Sonia lost control of her emotions. It was danger. It was destruction. It was terror. It was violence.
It was Sonia’s worst fear.
“Leave me alone.” Sonia barely managed to get the words out cleanly, without a shudder. Zorua carefully slid from Sonia’s arms.
Yannoa frowned. Her daughter had forgotten to show emotion so completely that she could never tell when Sonia really was in danger of falling to her darker self.
“I’m going to wait outside, okay?” Yannoa said gently, carefully. “If you need me, I’ll be right—”
Sonia suddenly lost her tenuous grip. Just a slight twinge of annoyance, and her fragile barriers collapsed. he serene haze clouding her eyes lifted, driving the eerie purple to a bright flare.
“Stop treating me like I’m autistic!” Sonia snarled. Her terror at loosing control made it worse, and Sonia became vaguely aware of her computer mouse shifting on the table, and the computer whirring to life.
Yannoa backed away. Knowing better than to answer, she fled from the room.
Without the object of her anger, Sonia reasserted her control over herself. Her eyes glazed over again. Her jaw unclenched. Her shoulders lowered and her muscles relaxed.
Sonia grabbed her backpack and slid it onto her shoulders. Zorua watched on from a perch atop the white bed, her teal eyes sorrowful.
Eh, Zoru. What you gonna do when Sabrina won’t be there to save you last minute, Zoru? We’re gonna be on the other end of Kanto, Zoru, and then where when you blow?
Sonia bit the inside of her lip. Zorua was right. Her Psychic powers were dangerous beyond belief. And unlike her softer side, her darker side had no qualms about using it.
“I am sure I can withhold myself from causing serious harm,” Sonia said quickly.
Zorua shrugged and leaped onto her friend’s shoulder. The letters might help.
Sonia felt a moment of cold shock. She’d almost forgotten the letters.
Zorua tittered in laughter.
Sonia slipped open the door to her room and stepped outside. Her room was near the end of the hall in their apartment in Saffron City. To her left was the end wall, featuring a window and potted plant. The room directly to her left was the study.
With soundless footsteps she made her way down the corridor of the apartment. As it was nighttime, the window at the end of the corridor was beautiful to look at, the many lights of Saffron City winking through it.
Sonia reached the end of the corridor and slowly eased open the door to the study.
The study was really mostly library. It was about the size of her room, probably intended as another bedroom. Each wall, from floor to ceiling, was a bookshelf, stuffed to the brim. In one corner, a large wooden desk was shoved, stacks of papers, a dying plant and a fancy new computer atop it. On the other side, a small couch was squished in for reading. On the floor were stacks of books and a few open ones that Yannoa (ever-absentminded) had forgotten to place back on the shelf.
Sonia didn’t bother turning the lights on. Weaving her way through the hazards, Sonia made her way toward the desk. She turned to look behind her. The door was closed, and she couldn’t hear her mother’s footsteps. Good.
Sonia felt at her throat for the thin chain she always wore. She eased it out so that it lay on her shirt, revealing a small iron key.
To Sonia, it was the key to the father she’d never met.
Sonia had lived for ten years in Icirrus City. That was where she had met and befriended Zorua. But it was also the place her father left before she had been born for the then-far-away Kanto region. His name was Caius Darkin, and he had been an extremely successful and well-known independent engineer and inventor, creating Pokémon related devices. He had been part of the original team that created the modern Poké Ball. Three months before Sonia’s birth, he had travelled to Kanto for a long-term project. Sonia had never corresponded with him in any way, nor met him face to face.
Sonia’s grip on the key became tight. The points on the head dug into her fair skin.
Four years ago, Sonia’s mother (who was a Pokémon researcher who aided Caius with his inventions) had decided to move to Saffron City. A week after they’d gotten settled in and were about to meet with him, they received the letter.
Caius was dead.
Sonia’s father was dead.
he had been found in the bottom of a ditch. It was all very vague. There were wounds in his chest that may or may not have been from bullets or a fall, it looked like an accident, but there was no car in sight, etcetera.
Sonia’s mother was convinced it had been Silph Co., who had always been jealous of Caius’s success without needing to become a partner. Yannoa had been so certain that Silph Co. had ordered his assassination, she had convinced her daughter. Which was no easy task, showing skill on Yannoa’s part.
Yannoa never talked about him. Sonia had only taken a peek into the mind of her mother on a few rare occasions, but she knew for a certainty that every detail about her father was closeted away in such a manner that Yannoa would know for certain if Sonia tried to read it. Sonia had given up, using the internet to discern only the most obvious and general information about him.
But one mere month ago, Sonia’s world had changed. Caius Darkin was no longer an obscure figure of a disturbing physical resemblance. He was now a person, someone who’s words she had perceived.
Sonia let go of the key and bent down to open the desk’s bottommost drawer. Silently, she slipped out her prize; a wooden box, inlaid with the same telltale iron as her key, intricately woven in a similar pattern. Holding it in her left hand, Sonia slipped the key into the keyhole with a right, hearing the box click open as she twisted the key.
With the utmost care she opened the box, retrieved the contents, and slipped them deep in the bowels of her backpack, between the cover of her notebook.
Letters. An incredible number. All from Caius Darkin addressed to Yannoa.
Sonia turned to the Pokémon on her shoulder and winked, giving her a airy smile. Telepathically, she sent her message; Task complete.
Zorua winked back, giving a foxy giggle, and the two made their way across the room, through the door and down the hall. They turned into the living room, ready to push open the door of the kitchen, when Yannoa’s voice drifted through.  
“Hello, Professor Oak. This is Yannoa Darkin, Sonia’s mother. Yes, she’s the one with two personalities. I wanted to ask if any other starting trainers are coming to you tomorrow. Yes, I want her to go on a journey with other people. You do? Oh, that would be wonderful. Wait, what?”
Sonia felt herself frown, emotion filtering through her tight net. Quickly adjusting, Sonia listened harder. But her mother’s voice had become quieter, and even Zorua with her sensitive ears gave a growl of frustration.
Finally, Yannoa’s voice rose once more.
“All right, then. Thank you.”
There was a click as Yannoa put down the phone, and then her sigh. Sonia mentally beckoned for Zorua to jump into  her arms, and Sonia hugged the Pokémon close.
Her? On a journey with other people? Preposterous, to say the least. Dangerous, to be frank.
Sonia could not stop a pang of anxiety creeping through. What was her mother trying to achieve?
Sonia opened the door suddenly, startling Yannoa.
“I heard what you said.” Sonia’s voice was soft, her expression something which could be mistaken for a smile. “You want me to travel with… a… a…” Sonia giggled. “A person.”
Sonia smiled hollowly at her mother, hoping against hope she was somehow mistaken.
But Yannoa did something odd and unnerving. Her face arranged itself into an expression that Sonia barely ever saw on her mother’s face. Sonia was only just able to identify it as anger.
“For Arceus' sake, Sonia! Stop making this hard for me!” Yannoa’s eyes glowed. “You may not be, but I still have to treat you as though you’re autistic! You barely let me touch you, you’ll creep out my friends and business partners and the only place I haven’t had complaints from is the Saffron Gym, hands down the creepiest place in this city! What do you want me to do, Sonia?! What do you want me to do?”
Sonia, for a moment, was unsure how to react. She was very good at hiding it; wearing her usual, emotionless expression. Her mother’s expression, her emotional emanation… it jarred her. She could just rebuke Yannoa as she always did, but she could feel the emotion rolling off Yannoa in waves. Talking back would make things go sour, very fast.
Zorua leapt from Sonia’s hands onto the counter. She must have been worried.
So Sonia did something she would never usually do. She reached out and brushed her mother’s shoulder with her fingertips.
This wasn’t just ‘a big deal’ or emotionally taxing to Sonia; to Psychics, especially powerful Psychics, touch could be outright dangerous. It provided a more direct link to a persons mind, the intermingling of souls.
The contact brought with it the immediate rush of sensations and perceptions. Sonia resisted the urge to just yank her hand away.
The anger suddenly drained from Yannoa’s face and her emanation. Her eyes filled with something else instead.
Sonia couldn’t tell, but it was longing.
“Sonia…” Yannoa’s voice overflowed with emotion. Yannoa reached out and pulled her daughter into an embrace, tears filling her eyes.
But the saddest thing wasn’t that this was the first time in eight years that they’d hugged. The saddest thing was the complete and total lack of emotion in Sonia’s eyes.


Last edited by ParallelDimension75 on Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:35 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Sonia Rewrites   Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:37 pm

Aaaaand chapter two!

______



Sonia woke up on the right side of her personality.
Sonia hummed a tune that she remembered was from Icirrus City as she got ready, going through the exact same motions as yesterday evening. Making sure she hadn’t forgotten a single thing, wearing the same clothes, securing a belt to her waist with a pouch specifically for Poké Balls, and remembering last moment to pack her favourite book, Star Anise, by Shauntal Oakwood.
After Yannoa double-checking and triple-checking, the two loaded everything into the car in the apartment parking lot and walked over to the ‘creepiest’ place in Saffron City; the Saffron City Gym.
It doubled as a Psychic Academy, one that Sonia had began to attend a few days after she had arrived. She had originally been just another student, but after a few incidents, Sabrina took a special interest in her.
Thus, the Saffron City Gym Leader became Sonia’s mentor. Sonia’s mother had not been very happy with this originally; it had been the height of freakish and had been very embarrassing that a well-established Pokémon researcher’s daughter was a Psychic-in-training. But when it became clear just how amazing it was that Sonia was under the direct tutelage of Sabrina and how much of an honour it was, Yannoa let it go.
Sabrina was the only person on the earth that Sonia allowed herself to be deferential to. Sabrina also possessed two personalities, making Sonia far more comfortable with her than anyone else. Sonia had looked forward to those one-on-one teaching sessions every day and dreaded the weekends when Sabrina’s reassuring mental presence was not beside her.
So Yannoa had humoured her daughter and taken her to say goodbye to Sabrina.
Sonia glanced aside to see her mother. Yannoa was shifting uncomfortably, her brow creased.
Sonia giggled, causing Zorua to snicker. Yannoa pointedly ignored them, instead striding forward and reaching out to push open the double doors. As usual, they opened without physical assistance, and Sonia walked on through with her mother uncomfortably following on.
The entrance to the gym provided a short hallway, at the end of which was the cavernous space where the battles took place. There was a side door from there, and that led to a maze of classrooms and training areas.
Sonia always felt much better in the Gym, more secure. The more secure mental presence, perhaps.
And it was always entertaining when Yannoa came. She was always so massively awkward and afraid. Other parents and relatives always had the same fearful look about them, as though they were standing on thin ice above a lake full of ridiculously hungry Sharpedo.
Sabrina stood alone in the centre of the Gym. “Sonia.” She nodded. Her voice was light and childlike.
Sonia left her mother standing awkwardly in the end of the hallway and proceeded to walk toward Sabrina. “Sabrina.”
Sabrina gave a flicker of a smile. I will miss you.
Sonia almost smiled back. As will I.
You will return here for a Gym battle?
Certainly.
Sonia smiled. I look forward to it.
Sabrina nodded. Once you return as a trainer, there are a few things I must discuss with you. Not now, however. I am, after all, a Gym leader, and I must assess your strength first. Sabrina’s eyes smiled, though the rest of her expression was impassive.
Yeah, Zoru! Zorua called from Sonia’s shoulder, pumping a paw in the air. We gonna come back and I’ll— Zoru! I mean, we’ll get that Gym badge for sure!
Sonia and Sabrina both giggled.
This prompted Yannoa to clear her throat. The two turned to her, their expressions stony once more.
“If there isn't anything else, we really must be going,” Yannoa said pointedly.
Sonia had never dug out the secrets of the relationship between her mother and Sabrina. But Sonia was perceptive enough to tell there was definitely some history between the two.
“I almost forgot,” Sabrina said lightly, in a tone which implied she hadn’t forgotten at all. “Sonia, the results of your certification exam came in.”
Sonia and Zorua both immediately drew themselves up in excitement.
Sabrina drew an envelope out of her pocket and handed it to Sonia. Wide-eyed, Sonia opened it. She and Zorua read it over.
Oh my Arceus, Zoru!
Sonia knew her emotional emanation was going wild because Sabrina had to mentally remind her to control herself.
“What is it?” Yannoa asked, curios despite herself.
“I… just got… my Grade Alpha Psychic certification,” Sonia said unsteadily.
Yannoa positively beamed. “Congratulations, Sonia!”
Grade Alpha was the highest level of Psychic power. It went, from lowest to highest, Epsilon, Delta, Gamma, Beta, and then Alpha. About one in a thousand people were Psychic; about one percent of those were Grade Alpha. And the really powerful Grade Alphas had extra abilities that other Psychics didn’t have.  
And Sonia had just gotten her Grade Alpha certification. Sonia slipped the credential card out of the envelope; it was the size, shape and material of a Trainer ID or credit card, but the information on it meant so much more to Sonia. In a daze, she slipped it into her wallet. “Th-thank you…”
“Don’t thank me,” Sabrina said, gaze flinty. “You did the exam.”
“But you taught me!” Sonia would probably have hugged Sabrina if the sheer Psychic power wouldn’t have literally ‘blown her mind’.
Sonia could feel Sabrina was sensing her thought process. Sabrina gave her a smile.
“I look forward to your return to Saffron City. I am sure our battle will be most entertaining.”
With a flurry of thank you’s and good bye’s, Sonia and her mother left the Gym, Sabrina’s slight smile imprinted on Sonia’s memory.
And so Sonia was, needless to say, firmly entrenched in her good personality, despite the looming prospect of a long drive.
Sonia had found out that she could stop her dreadful motion sickness by telekinetically holding the functions responsible for it. And so she was able to play with Zorua in the backseat, having tickle fights and helping Zorua practice telepathy. Zorua could reach Sonia and other Psychics fine, it was just her broken speech. Zorua still tended to say ‘Zoru!’ between words.
They didn’t stop in Cerulean, and Sonia was thankful for it. The city was far too active and rowdy for Sonia. When they finally arrived in Pewter City, significantly quieter than Cerulean, it was already afternoon. They stopped for lunch, Sonia daydreaming the entire time. Sonia barely noticed what she was eating, which was good considering how much of a fussy eater she was.
Within her good personality, Sonia had developed the tendency of obsessive research about topics such as Psychics, ghosts, Pokémon and technology. She completely absorbed herself in books and online articles. Within her other personality, when she lingered within it longer, she had actively distanced herself from people.
It was nice living on the edge of Saffron City; there was the sprawling forest nearby, with the hidden lake. Sonia had found a Scyther whom she used to study extensively until it had cut her hand open and Yannoa, in a fit of motherly protectiveness, had caught the Scyther.
Sonia, amazingly, convinced her mother to spend some time in the Pewter Museum of Science, boring her mother to tears while Sonia took in as much information as humanly possible. Zorua (the mischievous thing it was) had almost upended at least three displays, all of which Sonia only just saved with some well-timed telekinesis. Sonia ended up threatening the Pokémon with teleporting her outside, which had finally managed to cow the pesky Dark-type before they got kicked out.
Sonia found herself distracted. She was no longer near Sabrina, and using Psychic power was now exponentially more dangerous. Sonia generally disliked using her Psychic power, as overuse would send her into her darker personality. It felt less taboo while she was with Sabrina, who would use her telepathy to bring Sonia back as a safety net, but now, outside of Saffron City, it felt dangerous.
As she was growing too distracted, Sonia finally told her asleep-on-her-feet mother that they could leave. Yannoa eagerly drove out of Pewter City, and soon they were going through Viridian City.
Sonia marvelled as they passed the Gym, Zorua pressing her face and paws to the window.
The Gym here was supposed to be the strongest in all of Kanto. Sonia admitted to herself that she was indeed excited at the prospect of someday facing it.
When they drove out of the city boundaries and onto Route 1, Sonia leaned back and began daydreaming of the day she’d be strong enough to challenge that Gym. When she had the company of Pokémon. When she’d feel comfortable in her own skin, self-confident. It would probably never happen. That wasn't the reason she was travelling. But it was bittersweet to imagine it, if only as escapism.
It was certainly nighttime when they got to Pallet Town. There was a thick silence and lack of people at this time of night, making Sonia instantly comfortable.
Sonia and her mother stopped outside a small B&B connected to the only restaurant, Pallet House. The woman running it was named Delia Ketchum; to Yannoa, she was very kind. To Sonia, she was overbearing.
Sonia escaped to their room as quickly as possible, taking all the Pokémon, while Yannoa stayed downstairs to chat and get directions. Snapping the door shut, she released her mother’s four Pokémon, the Scyther, a Mawile, a Sableye and a Sawk.
Mawile and Sableye, respectiely known as Liesel and Hans, were both Pokémon Yannoa had personally bred and studied in connection to Mega Evolution. Both went to the edge of the bed nearest to the door and promptly fell asleep on it. Scyther immediately stretched himself out, grabbed an apple from the bag and then beckoned to return to the Poké Ball. Sonia complied, leaving only Sawk standing.
That Sawk had been with them sine the beginning, since before Zorua. He had been like a father to Sonia; her caretaker when Yannoa couldn’t be there, the one reprimanding her when she got into trouble, the one to comfort her when she was sad, the one to always know what to do in any situation. It seemed that Yannoa, especially after Caius’s death, would always freeze up. Yannoa may be smart, kind and wise, and all those other coveted qualities, but she had no bravery.
Ever since they came to Saffron, she saw Sawk out less and less. It reminded Yannoa too much of Caius, for he had been his Pokémon.
Now, Sonia went over and embraced him, Zorua jumping between to catch all the heat and affection. Sawk murmured his response.
Sonia could talk to Sawk telepathically, but he couldn’t talk back. That seemed to be reserved for Psychic types, Dark types, Ghost types and Fairy types. It made Sonia the saddest she would let herself get; that she could see inside his head, but he could never outright tell her.
Yannoa must have tired of talking, because Sonia could feel her presence coming up the stairs. Sawk went over to pick up the sleeping young Liesel and Hans and carefully shifted them to the large mattress built for ‘Pokémon of all sizes!’ and joined them. Sonia took off her boots and collapsed onto the other human bed, shifting her head to the side just in time to dodge the screaming flying Zorua trying to cannonball onto her face, instead succeeding in bouncing on the pillow.
“So you're a Flying type now too?” Sonia arched an eyebrow. Zorua giggled and batted at Sonia’s nose with her paws until Sonia put her arm around her Pokémon and drew her in for a hug.
Yannoa came in pleasantly surprised to see the room un-destroyed by a disproportionally hungry Scyther, rambunctious Zorua and two ‘exuberant’ baby Pokémon.
With a sigh, Yannoa sank down onto her bed, by all accounts thoroughly exhausted.
“Sonia, dear, there’s something I wanted to talk about.”
Sonia sat up, stiffening. “Is it about… who I’m travelling with?”
Yannoa sensed her daughter’s invasion of her mind. Guarding herself, she nodded. “Yes.”
Sonia, if she had been that sort of person, would have sighed. Instead, with methodic movements, she plaited and un-plaited the ends of her hair.
“It’s not… I mean… he’s just…” Yannoa struggled to get the right words. Sonia could sense the turmoil within her thoughts.
“What is it?” Sonia asked. “Just say it already.”
“I… I’m worried about it,” Yannoa confessed. “He’s your age, from Celadon City. His name is Raphael de Alcott.”
Sonia instantly connected the dots. “You mean de Alcott as in Richard de Alcott, the biggest Silph Co. company shareholder.”
It wasn’t a question.
Yannoa sighed. “I don’t really want you travelling with anyone who has anything to do with that accursed company, but it can’t be helped. It’s the son, and he’s adopted. I don’t think he has anything to do with the company…”
“Can’t be helped?” Sonia asked softly. “Why am I travelling with him in the first place? Why not just go alone?”
Yannoa sighed dramatically. “Sonia. Travelling with another person will be good for you!”
Sonia felt a spike of annoyance which she smothered. “Anything else I need to know about?”
“Yes,” Yannoa said. “His cousin Malcolm Thrones might be coming as well.”
Sonia felt her darker self crawling up. “That’s just great,” she said acidly. “Thank you so much, Yannoa. I’ll go to sleep now, if you don’t mind.”
Without regard for the fact she was still in clothes, Sonia turned around to face the wall, trying to get herself under control. Zorua leapt over and snuggled up next to Sonia’s chest, curling into a puffy ball of black fluff.
Yannoa sighed. “Get a good night’s rest, dear. Tomorrow, you start your journey.”
Sonia wasn’t listening. Her mind was a thousand miles away, remembering the last time her darker personality got too prevalent.
She remembered the utter despair. When she had learnt of the death of her father all the way over in Celadon City, the despair had gripped her harder than any angry outburst she had ever had previously. She had been so lost, so lost within herself, not even Zorua could console her.
One night, she‘d left the house and snuck out of the city. The forest’s darkness had been oppressive, pulling in at her, leering and clawing. The pine trees had seemed alive, the moan and groan of the trees creaking in the wind making her jump and shudder. The lake itself held a supernatural radiance, however. The brilliance of the moon’s light had caused it to look luminescent, dazzling. The light glanced off the water’s surface, glinting hauntingly.
Without any hesitation, she had thrown herself in.
She had intended to drown herself. She had wanted to drown herself. But then the terror gripped her. Stronger than anything else she had ever felt before; stronger than the despair.
But the water had a tighter grip on her. And even though she fought, it dragged her down to it’s depths. Sonia’s lungs had burned, her vision had blurred, everything had been consumed with pain.
Then, the fresh air on her skin. Her throat convulsing. Her coughing and hacking as the water was thrown up.
She had looked up, sopping wet. Her gaze had finally fixed on a Lapras.
“Th-thank you,” she had coughed. “You saved me.”
The Lapras had nodded his head. I would have hated to see such talent go to waste.
Sonia had frozen. “H-huh?” A psychic Lapras? She had only ever thought it a story.
Lapras cocked his head. You are a student of my former mistress, are you not? You have the talent…  
“What talent?” Sonia had gasped.
Psychic talent, Lapras had replied. It began to swim away.
“Wait!” Sonia had held her hand out. “Don’t leave! Tell me more!”
The Lapras turned it’s head. Seek out Sabrina, the Saffron City gym leader. Tell her the Lapras at the lake sent you, and that you want to be a student.
Sonia had shakily stood. “Wh-what? Why?”
But the Lapras was gone, consumed by the mists and fogs. Sonia had looked up and seen the full moon beaming back at her through the trees.
Sonia fell asleep with that image in her mind, the image of the misty lake, in the Saffron City forest at nighttime.
Sonia’s sleep was tumultuous. In her dreams, she was trapped in an icy cave, the ice crawling over the walls and creeping up onto her feet. Sonia could see an exit, but it was covered in ice. She tried to move her legs, to walk forward, but the ice had frozen over her ankles.
Slowly, the ice froze over until the entire cave was an uneven sphere of ice. The ice had crawled up to above her knees, stopping her from moving. Sonia was trying to move, yelling at the ice to let her go, but unable to. She was weeping, her tears freezing to her cheeks.
A terrible roar echoed through the cave, the ground rumbling, and a purple wave of energy pulsed from the ice, and the world and Sonia dissolved in the wave, as an achingly familiar voice laughed from all around her.
Sonia gasped, eyes flying wide. She was floating in the air, her hair splayed out behind her, every object and living being in the room floating.
With panicking breaths, Sonia pushed her fear down and slowly used her telekinesis to push the objects down before releasing her hold on them. She flopped back on the bed, panting. It had taken a great deal of strength to control that many objects, without loosing her grip on a single one. Sabrina would have been proud.
When Sonia awoke the next morning, she remembered none of it.
After getting ready and bringing her mother coffee (her mother remained a half-asleep zombie without it) she went downstairs to the breakfast table. Her mind went back to that night in Saffron City, the night she’d tried to kill herself.
Yannoa came down the stairs with the demeanour of a Garbodor. She blinked sleep away and looked blearily at her daughter, and seeing her tightly clenched jaw.
“Is something wrong, dear?” Her mother asked with a yawn.
Sonia forced a smile. “Nothing wrong. Nothing wrong at all.”


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PostSubject: Re: Sonia Rewrites   Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:09 pm

The much anticipated prologue is here!

-

Innocence is like glass. It provides the illusion of clarity, but is in reality a barrier. It can be shattered, so quickly, so easily.
Joy is the emotion of innocence. It comes with the illusion of purpose, security, comfort. It can disappear so quickly, so easily.
Laughter is the sound of innocence. It is the shattering of reality.
As she ran down the hillside, laughter ringing out, the six-year-old girl was the epitome of innocence. She was followed by a small black Pokémon, a Zorua.
They ran through the Icirrus marshes, watched by Palpitoad and Stunfisk and Tympole. There was laughter, innocent laughter. The Zorua yipped and leapt through the air, transforming, suddenly, into a mirror of the girl, with the same white dress, the same white-blond hair, the same pale skin, the same innocent, violet eyes. The two danced through the marshes, followed by legions of curious Pokémon, smiling and laughing and playing all the way.
The laughter suddenly stopped with a flash of purple light.
It evanesced, and so did the sound. For a moment there was just the girl, standing there in shock, her friend, back as the Zorua, standing beside her. Around them the grass was flat, and water rippled away. Everything seemed as though a wave of force had rippled through the clearing, the girl as its epicentre. The wild Pokémon scattered.
The girl's eyes widened.
And then she began to laugh again, and her eyes closed. The Zorua laughed too, and the two ran through the marshes once more, ignoring the Psychic accident that almost happened.
From the city above watched the girls’s mother, a woman with brown hair and warm eyes. Beside her stood a young woman by the name of Caitlin.
The mother was pained. “How powerful?”
Caitlin smiled kindly. “Very.”
The mother closed her eyes. Not what she had wanted to hear. “How long can I put it off?”
Caitlin shook her head. “You can’t, not really. She’s an accident waiting to happen.”
The mother turned away from watching her daughter, facing the Psychic. “Is it selfish of me, wanting her to stay here with me? Even though she could hurt someone? With Caius away, I just can’t…”
Caitlin shook her head, putting up her hand. “It’s perfectly understandable. But Sonia needs some form of training. Her power is mostly dormant now, but it’s one trauma away from coming out, or simply awakening on its own.”
The mother licked her lips. “I just don’t want to send her away.”
Caitlin bowed her head. “My academy will take very good care of her.”
The mother held back her tears. “Could you… block it?”
“Block her power?” Caitlin frowned. “Not permanently, no. But I could ensure it remain inactive for another few years. But after that, she really will need the training.”
“I don’t want her out of my sight,” the mother whispered. “Not now. Everyone in town sees her and they turn and walk the other way. The Dragonspiral incident terrified everyone.” She gestured to the young girl, sitting and playing with the Zorua and a wild Palpitoad. “Now, I see my daughter. But sometimes she’s… different. I’m scared they’re right. I’m scared that something did happen to her in that tower.”
Caitlin didn’t respond for a while. “I can’t pretend that everything will work out. Your daughter’s presence is powerful. I can feel it from here. But there is something off about it. The town, like it or not, is right, professor Darkin. Your daughter is not normal, even for a Psychic.”
“You will do it, though?” Professor Darkin pleaded. “You’ll block it?”
Caitlin nodded. “I will.”
Professor Darkin opened her mouth to thank her, but Caitlin was gone. She looked back to her daughter to see Caitlin standing beside her. The member of the Elite Four bent down so she was facing the child. She said something to her, and the child looked confused. The Zorua leapt up to the child’s shoulder.
Caitlin put her hand on the girl’s other shoulder and smiled.
The mother turned away. She couldn’t know, but she had just asked Caitlin to trap something dark and terrible within her daughter, something which may have been purged had she allowed her daughter, Sonia Darkin, to learn about her Psychic power at this age.
It was something that would transform Sonia Darkin from innocent young girl, to something else. Perhaps to a violent monster.
Only time would tell.


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PostSubject: Re: Sonia Rewrites   Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:21 pm

So far so good on all of them! I like your writing evolving and becoming much more...I feel like it's become very more in depth than before, and exploring different facets somehow. It's not one-noted in the way you focused on just the "dark stuff" and wanting to write, but exploring the shades somehow. I don't know if I'm making sense, but I feel like these chapters show your writing's become so much better.

I continue to look forward to your rewrites!
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PostSubject: Re: Sonia Rewrites   Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:46 pm

*Squees and runs around in circles*

You like it?! You like them? Yay! Yayayayayayyyyy! Thank you!

I'm sorry if the prologue is a bit rushed; it was done in secret during math class Wink

But yay! Thank you! Shall continue rewriting an editing! Stuff shall be up soon!
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PostSubject: Re: Sonia Rewrites   Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:52 pm

Great! I'm glad you managed to get the prologue done, even in secret (which is impressive!). I can't wait for more from you, and look forward to those rewrites! I especially can't wait to see you write Sonia meeting Raphael and Mal, when that time comes, and see what's different and what's the same.
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PostSubject: Re: Sonia Rewrites   Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:52 pm

All sorted now! read and review!

---

The sky was a crystal clear blue. Fluffy white clouds dotted the sky, idyllic like a painting. The sun was shining and the birds and the Flying-types were chirping, the breeze gently rustling through the trees and tinging the air with a barely detectable odour of Pecha berries.
Sonia was irked. What a terrible day to start a journey.
It was really the attitude it evoked in people rather than the weather itself; the whole ‘oh, what a lovely day!’ and ‘ah, the sun is shining!’ optimism really irritated Sonia. She also got sunburned easily. And rain had such a nice sound, too…
She was stubbornly trying to ignore the weather by daydreaming. She, her mother, and Zorua were waiting at the stairs of Oak’s lab for her ‘travelling companions’ to arrive. A sugar-hyped and hyperactive Zorua was running up and down the stairs squealing her head off (for no good reason; that was just Zorua, but how she got her paws on sugar in the first place was a mystery) and Yannoa was nervously checking her watch and glancing to make sure Sonia was all right and that Zorua hadn’t done herself an injury. In short, all was as it should be.
Sonia was just getting to the good part of her daydream when the screech of tires interrupted her. Sonia muttered something unmentionable and turned to glare as people emerged from the elegant automobile.
It seemed her ‘travelling companions’ had arrived.
Zorua skidded to a halt on the stairs and whirled herself to run around Sonia crazily three times before jumping at her. Startled, Sonia barely caught her. Zorua stuck her tongue out and put a paw to her belly, clearly feeling sick.
“Don’t throw up on me,” Sonia warned. Zorua grinned impishly, but the grin turned to a nauseated grimace.
Sonia ignored Zorua’s antics in favour of studying the new arrivals. There was a woman, clearly the mother, but she was very different in appearance to both the boys who emerged from the car. She wore a prim business suit and her long brown hair was done up neatly. Sapphire eyes scanned and assessed Sonia and her mother, silently judging. The younger-looking boy had distinctly ginger hair. He appeared confident, relaxed, and happy, smiling and taking in the surroundings with oddly warm ice blue eyes that, on most other people, would have looked cold. The other’s hair was crimson, and his malachite-green eyes were oddly stormy. Their emanations all clouded and jumbled together, giving out a peculiar mix of awe, excitement, nervousness, a hint of curiosity, and a shade of strange resentment. Interesting indeed.  
Sonia brushed the consciousness of each boy. The first’s name was Raphael de Alcott. He gave Sonia the distinct impression of overall pleasantness. A social butterfly type. A people person. Needless to say, not to Sonia’s liking. She turned her mind to the other, who was obviously Malcolm Thrones. He seemed much better; quiet, introverted, innovative, interested in Pokémon and… what was that?
Sonia stumbled across a block in his mind. It seemed that Malcolm, or Mal as he apparently preferred to be called, was an amnesiac. Sonia felt at the block, but unlike most amnesiac blocks, she couldn’t go through like mist. Sonia frowned and tried once more, but the block held, flaring navy blue.
Sonia pulled away, snapping back to reality. That was a Psychic block; whatever those memories were that he had forgotten, no one wanted them resurfacing.
Sonia, though now itching to find a way to move through the block, was suddenly forced to contend with the hellish prospect of a physical introduction.
“Hello!” Yannoa stuck out her hand and grinned. “I’m professor Darkin. It’s nice to meet you!”
The woman, well-dressed and poised, took Yannoa’s hand and shook it. “Aileena de Alcott. It is indeed a pleasure to meet you.” She indicated the two boys. “These are Raphael and Malcolm, my son and my nephew.”
Raphael said “Hi!” and Malcolm gave a small nod.
“This is—” Yannoa began
“Sonia.” Sonia could feel her mother’s anxious emanation, and it was really irritating. “This is Zorua.”
Zorua yipped.
“Nice to meet you!” Raphael stuck out his hand.
Sonia didn’t take it, for obvious reasons. Apparently, the de Alcott hadn’t heard of those reasons, because Raphael kept his hand there.
Sonia cleared her throat, slightly annoyed. “Ah, I’m Psychic.”
Mal's eyes sharpened and he tilted his head slightly. "I see. That's interesting," he murmured.
Raphael just looked confused.
Sonia arched her eyebrows. “That means I shouldn’t shake your hand.”
Raphael looked even more confused, his hand still lingering there.
Sonia was exasperated; why was she needing to explain this?
“Physical contact gives a Psychic a more direct link to a person’s mind,” Sonia said slowly, enunciating clearly, as if speaking to a very young child. “That means I shouldn’t touch you unless you want me to go through the contents of your head.”
Raphael got the message and quickly withdrew his hand.
Yannoa looked resigned, while Aileena’s emanation was clearly disturbed.
Yannoa immediately drew Aileena into a conversation about marketing type-specific berry-based performance-enhancing Potions. Aileena readily jumped in, leaving the three teens standing awkwardly.
After a moment, Raphael broke the silence. “So,” he said, swinging his arms. “I’m fourteen! Mal’s fifteen. So you’re…?”
Sonia internally growled and cursed. The horror. That dreadful evil creature that went by the name of small talk. “Fourteen.”
Mal's lips quirked up in interest. “If I may ask… you have a slight Unovan accent. You are from the region?”
Sonia tried to answer without sounding too combative. “Yes.”
Mal looked contemplative, as if he were unsure whether or not to consider this a success.
“So that’s Pokémon’s called a Zorua?” Raphael asked.
Yeah, and what are you, Zoru? A Snorlax?
Sonia almost felt a bit better. “Yes.”
“Nice,” he said. “I have two Eevees.”
Two said Pokémon peeked out from behind his legs. Zorua poked her tongue out at them. Another Pokémon peeked out from behind Mal’s back; a Teddisursa. Another Pokémon pulled itself up so it was standing in his shoulder. It appeared to be a Pancham, a Pokémon from Kalos. It gave a wide grin and proceeded to chew on Mal’s hair.
Raphael gestured to the Teddiursa. “That’s Teddi.” He pointed to the Pancham. “That’s Su Lin.”
Zorua used her paws to pull her lower eyelids down and crossed her eyes at the two.
“Yes.” Sonia squeezed Zorua slightly, trying to signal to her to cut it out.
Raphael floundered. It seemed his parents had taught him to do the whole ‘ask people about themselves, always seem interested, be social’ thing, and she was really testing him.
“I was debating between a journey and going to Pokémon Tech.” Raphael evidently gave up on that stratagem. “I decided to go on a journey because I wanted to learn about them hands on, rather than in a classroom. I want to earn Gym Badges and learn from Gym Leaders. How ‘bout you?”
Sonia sighed. “I’m going on a journey because Yannoa wants me too.”
But then again, it did serve a purpose. To find out what really happened to her father.
Raphael’s eyebrows creased. “Who’s Yannoa?”
“My mother.” Sonia crossed her arms.
“Then why don’t you just call her that?”
“Because I don’t.” Sonia turned away, trying to ignore him.
“I’m going on a journey to learn about Pokémon also,” Mal said quietly.
Raphael and Sonia both turned to stare at him, and he raised an eyebrow back at them.
Sonia took a deep breath, fighting to keep herself under control. Did these two honestly think to aggravate a Psychic was a good idea?!
Raphael turned back to Sonia, trying to dig up another question. “So, uh, what first Pokémon are you getting?” He said awkwardly.
Sonia almost sighed. Couldn’t this guy take a hint? She didn’t want a conversation.
“I don’t know.” She let the last syllable hang in the air, deliberately not looking at him.
“I think I might get a Squirtle,” Raphael said conversationally.
“No you wouldn’t,” Sonia said, pouncing on the tendrils of his thoughts, flowing freely like fog. “You’d rather not get a first Pokémon from Oak. You feel as though you are betraying your two Eevees. Nice nicknames, by the way. It would be entertaining if Sola evolved into an Espeon and Lune into an Umbreon. Quite the coincidence.” She turned to him, one of her trademark fake smiles on her face. “You are correct in one respect. They do feel that way, as though you are betraying them, although they are happy for you. They want the best for you. You are lucky to have such Pokémon. Lune and Sola care for you very much.”
Raphael stared at her. His mouth moved, but no sound came out. Mal’s expression remained calm, but unease pulsed in his emanation.
“I told you,” Sonia deadpanned. “I’m Psychic.”
Raphael ran out of conversational steam and turned to Mal. “Ah, okay… nice meeting you.”
Sonia sighed in relief as the two boys turned away, talking amongst themselves. Now for some peace and—
Raphael clenched his jaw. "What's up with her?” He hissed to Mal. “Arceus, as far as I’m concerned she can go to the Distortion World!”
Sonia remained impassive, pretending not to hear.
"Perhaps she's having a bad day," Mal said quietly. He placed a hand on the other boy's shoulder, giving him a warning look. "Just leave it."
Sonia made herself face the other way, staring at the door of the lab and praying for Oak to get there.
"Leave it?!” Raphael hissed back. “She's got issues, Mal! Just 'cause she's Psychic, she thinks she can flip out on us and it’s all fine, huh?!”
"Raphael," Mal warned quietly, Raphael was too worked up.
“Well, maybe she’s autistic or something, but that’s no excuse to act like she rules the world!”
Sonia’s growing anger was growing a bit unwieldy. Actually, that was understated; no-one called her autistic and got away with it. She wasn't just mad; she was furious.
Sonia, Zoru? Zorua prodded apprehensively. What you gonna do…?
A wicked smile crept onto Sonia’s face her darker self snuck in, not in control, but manipulating, influencing. “You’ll see.”
Sonia took her telepathic energy and lashed out in an uncontrolled strike, carrying through Raphael’s energy. All of a sudden, the boy gasped, his eyes widening as a flash of white-hot pain coursed through his head.
Eh, Sonia! That’s not nice, Zoru! Zorua admonished.
Sonia felt herself sneer. He deserved it.
Zorua shook her head. Eh, Zoru! What would Sabrina think?
Sonia’s expression smoothed over immediately. Her mind snapped back. She shoved her darker self away and reasserted dominance over her emotions. Damn that trump card, Zorua. You are far too wily.
Zorua stuck her tongue out in response, evidently no longer nauseous.
Raphael seemed to recover slightly from his ‘headache’ but Sonia could see he was shaken. His eyes darted to Sonia, then he looked away.
Mal looked at his friend. Sonia could feel his thoughts whirring like gears in a well-oiled machine, arriving to a conclusion. He approached Sonia.
Mal opened his mouth to speak, but he was projecting his thoughts so loudly Sonia couldn’t help but hear them.
“Apology accepted,” Sonia nodded and turned away. “But the next time I’m not taking it unless it comes from your hot-headed friend himself.”
Mal’s mouth closed to a firm, thin line.
Before any more drama could ensue, a man in a white lab coat burst from the doors to the lab.
Where had he been a few minutes earlier?!
The two adults suddenly stopped their conversation as if it had never had any point and both went to greet him. Excitement flashed from Raphael, overtaking whatever reaction Mal had experienced as the two boys rushed up the rest of the stairs to meet him.
Sonia and Zorua glanced at one another, then Sonia began to walk up the stairs.
“Hello, hello! I’m Professor Oak!” Said the man, shaking Yannoa and Aileena’s hands. “It is indeed a pleasure to meet you!”
He turned to look at the three teens, a great smile on his face. “Ah, and you must be… ah… I’m sorry, could you remind me of your names?”
Raphael’s eyebrow went up, but he quickly replaced the incredulous look with a smile. “I’m Raphael, professor. Raphael de Alcott.”
Oak grinned. “Ah, Raphael! Raphael, Raphael, must remember Raphael. I’m so sorry, I’m terrible with names; I’d forget my own grandson’s if he wasn’t the Champion!” He laughed, as if it were a joke. “Scratch that; I’d forget my own if it wasn’t sewn onto my lab coat!”
Raphael and Mal glanced at one another. The professor turned to Sonia. “And you, young lady?”
“Sonia Darkin.” Sonia offered no expression or body language clue, and the professor was slightly taken aback.
“Ah, nice to meet you, my dear Sonia, nice indeed…” His emanation was uneasy and unsure. “Ah, and you, young man!” His expression brightened into a grin as he turned to Mal.
Mal offered a slight bow. “I am Malcolm Thrones. It is a pleasure to meet you, professor.”
“Likewise, young man, likewise!” The professor took Mal’s hand in his own and shook it strongly. When he let go and turned away, Mal mouthed ‘ouch’ and shook out his wrist.
“Well, come on in!” The professor gestured. “Parents welcome too! I’m sure you can’t wait to get your badge cases and Pokédexes! Coming right up!”
The estranged group of five followed the professor inside.
Ehh, Zoru! What you gotten yourself into now, Sonia?


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PostSubject: Re: Sonia Rewrites   Fri Sep 04, 2015 10:18 pm

The other’s hair was crimson, and his malachite-green eyes were wide with amazement.

-...and his malachite-green eyes were oddly stormy.

Raphael said “Hi!” and Malcolm waved and gave a small smile

-Malcolm gave a small nod.

Mal’s eyes brightened. “Oh! That’s interesting.”

-Mal's eyes sharpened and he tilted his slightly. "I see. That's interesting," he murmured.

Mal smiled shyly. “If I may ask… you have a slight Unovan accent. You are from the region?”

-Mal's lips quirked up in interest.

Mal looked confused, if he was unsure whether or not to consider this a success.

-Mal looked contemplative, as if he was unsure whether or not to consider this a success.

Another Pokémon peeked out from behind Mal’s back; a Teddisursa.

-Another pokemon peeked out from behind Mal's back, a Teddiursa, that matched with the Pancham that was laying on his head and chewing his hair.

Raphael and Sonia both turned to stare at him, and he retreated with a squeak.

- ...and he raised an eyebrow back at them.

Raphael stared at her. His mouth moved, but no sound came out. Mal’s eyes widened slightly, but his emanation revealed he was freaking out.

- Mal's eyes narrowed, but he said nothing and only a faint sense of unease but mostly calm came from him.

At the end:

Raphael's jaw was clenching. "What's up with her? She has a problem with me or something?"

"Perhaps she's having a bad day," Mal placed a hand on the other boy's shoulder. "Just forget about it."

"Forget about it! She's got issues! 'Cause she's Psychic, she's going to flip out on us, huh?!"

"Raphael," Mal said sharply, but the other boy seemed to have gotten all worked up.

"Maybe she's freaking autistic or something -!"

(Mal's supposed to be the calm one, remember? And the polite, respectable proper-mannered kid that's more laid back -Actually this is all moot point (looking back now that I have internet) because Mal's not here, as when I wrote Mal meeting Sonia, he hadn't met her yet and Raphael had told him all about her in a bad way, etc. -referring to this http://regionslegends.forumotion.com/t20-mal-meets-sonia-draft). If it helps, try re-reading the excerpts I did of older!Mal.
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PostSubject: Re: Sonia Rewrites   Sat Sep 05, 2015 2:21 am

Editing stuff now!
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PostSubject: Re: Sonia Rewrites   Sat Sep 05, 2015 2:50 am

Aaaaaand done!
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PostSubject: Re: Sonia Rewrites   Sat Sep 05, 2015 8:32 am

Hey, sorry XD I went and did all that and only remembered after I was done (and had internet again to check some excerpts) that Mal's not even there, which I noted in the end that it had become a moot point. Ugh, the troubles of being on the road and no internet... But regardless, I will edit and rework my own stuff to reflect this, and having met Sonia already with Raphael, see what I can do, etc. geek

I'm glad you're done with the editing though. Good work! Mal's definitely much better, and I'm happier with how he's written!

I like how you introduced Su Lin and Teddi, especially Su Lin! You got her mischievous streak in so subtly. Aside from how I really like how you rewrote Mal better, I definitely liked how you introduced his pokemon in.

And the end with Oak is hilarious! Nice touch!
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PostSubject: Re: Sonia Rewrites   Tue Sep 08, 2015 8:48 am

Sonia rewrite Chapter Four, a.k.a Out of Sight, Out of Mind.

---

With a definite hesitation, Sonia, Mal, Raphael, Yannoa and Aileena de Alcott followed the professor into the lab. He lead them through the multitude of wide, sunny corridors and through cringe-worthily messy rooms. Pokémon were in a number of them, as were other scientists and apprentices bustling through the halls. Many offered greetings in bright, cheery voices, or chirps, growls and other assorted cries when Pokémon were concerned. It was a vibrant place, full of life, and Sonia was acutely aware of the close proximity of the mental presences of the humans and Pokémon around her.
Sonia resolutely settled her mind to a comfortable state of apathy; any emotions her subconscious wanted her to feel now were too small and subtle to register.
Oak was babbling on about how vital keeping hold of one’s trainer card was, about how to transfer Pokémon in and out of use, and general technobabble that all three soon-to-be-trainers clearly already knew.
Sonia, however, couldn’t keep out Yannoa’s mental presence. Her mother, a formidable intellectual with troves of knowledge and a certain brand of perseverance that came with having a high-grade Psychic for a daughter, was more skittish than usual. Though in her natural state neurotic and anxious and easy to reduce to an agitated puddle, the Yannoa the world saw was always a perfect facade of confidence. But Yannoa was radiating nervousness so strongly that Sonia was sure one didn’t need to be Psychic to tell.
Sonia, for a split second, considered breaking the deal she’d made with her mother to respect her mental privacy and never to read her mind. But, like all split second wonderings that humans have, it was thrown away. Besides, emotionless though she may be, Sonia was not amoral.
“And here we are!”
Oak finally stopped in front of a door with a slightly askew plaque labelled ‘Prof’s office.’ Sonia telekinetically adjusted it before it could drive her crazy. Mal noticed, giving her a cursory glance.
“So!” Oak clapped his hands together. “I’ll get you your Pokédexes, badge cases and Trainer ID cards! In the meantime, you three have a final think over whether or not you want first Pokémon!”
With that, he entered the office, making the obviously improperly fixed plaque tilt. Impatiently Sonia fixed it once more, tightening it to the door as she did so.
Ehh, Zoru! What’s with the telekinesis?
Sonia shrugged to her friend. Would you rather I start twitching and sending out telepathic cries of ‘help me, an askew door plaque is driving me insane’?
Zorua guffawed. Sonia turned her attention to her human traveling companions.
Raphael was honestly looking troubled. It seemed what she’d said on the topic of Sola and Lune really had hit home. Mal’s expression betrayed nothing, nor did any of his surface emanation. Sonia didn’t see any point in actively using power to dig deeper into either minds or emanation, and instead pondered Oak’s question.
She didn’t want to take or capture any other Pokémon. Extra emotional attachment was always potentially perilous, and why would she need to? It wasn’t as if she were planning to get badges and enter the Indigo League.
Besides, what if none of the Pokémon even wanted to be trainer's Pokémon?
Sonia’s musings were interrupted as Oak burst through the doorway, his arms filled with paraphernalia. He set it all down in an unorganized heap on a nearby table.
“So; first Pokémon.” Oak surveyed them all carefully. “What are our choices?”
Raphael spoke up first. “I’m fine with my two Eevees, if that’s all right with you, professor.”
Mal nodded. “I must also refuse your offer.”
Oak’s eyebrows went up slightly, but he said nothing.
“I won’t take a starter Pokémon either,” Sonia said softly. Zorua smiled. “I see no need.”
Oak grinned. “That’s great!” He pulled out three badge cases. “Easier for me, then!” He handed them out with a wide grin. “Ah, and the parents. If you wouldn’t mind entering all the information in?” He produced a device for the two to enter details in. “Once that’s done, we send the information off to a computer and it’ll print out your ID cards, and then we’ll enter you ID number into your Pokédexes!”
Sonia, Mal and Raphael all nodded.
“And of course, the Pokédexes themselves!” Oak pulled out a sack of them, balancing them on his knee. He pulled a few from the bag. “Randall, you pick first. What colour would you like? We have red, yellow, navy blue, black, pink, and I’m sure there’s green in here somewhere…” The professor began to rummage through the bag, to no avail.
Raphael looked awkward for a moment. “It’s, uh, Raphael, professor. And I’d like the red, please.”
“Ah yes! Raphael!” The professor lifted his hand to give himself a face-palm, almost dropping the Pokédexes in the process. Giving up, he set the bag on the ground and withdrew a red Pokédex. “Here you go, Ralph!”
Sonia wondered if the professor was doing it on purpose. No one could be that forgetful and still be a high-functioning member of society, and leading professor, no less.
“Now, Mal and Sophia! Have you two chosen?”
“Why are you the only one who’s name he gets right?” Raphael muttered to Mal. Mal shrugged.
“I would prefer a black one, if possible,” Mal said.
“Right away!” The professor produced one and handed it to him, turning to Sonia. “And Sophia; lucky last!” He drew a pink one out in anticipation.
“It’s Sonia.” Sonia narrow her eyes and surveyed the bag. Psychic power didn’t mesh too well with electronic devices. Whichever one functioned best, she’d take. Sending out a small buzz of power, it was revealed to be one at the bottom of the bag.
“One moment,” Sonia stated. Zorua hopped down to the floor, anticipating what Sonia was going to do. She hoped the others would have the decency to remain quiet; what she was about to do required focus. She got a telekinetic grip on the Pokédex and held out her hand. Taking a deep breath, she tried to do something she’d only succeeded in once; teleporting something she wasn’t physically touching.
She knew she’d succeeded when a pink Pokédex phased into her hand and a massive headache began to pound in her temples.
“Of course, it had to be pink,” she muttered under her breath.
The sound of applause made each of them turn around.
A young woman in a lab coat stood behind them, clapping. She had rectangular glasses over dark eyes and black hair. She wore red underneath the lab coat, and the identification tag read ‘Vivian Fennel’.
“Fantastic!” Fennel said, stepping forward. “Simply fantastic.”
Oak turned to the parents. “May I introduce a colleague and old friend of mine, Vivian Fennel. She studies Pokémon Trainers, dreams, and, to a certain extent, Psychic humans.”
Sonia’s careful anti-emotion net unraveled with one well placed spike of apprehension.
Fennel waved. “Hello! It’s a pleasure to meet you all.” She held out her hand to Yannoa.
Yannoa gave a strained smile. “I’ve heard of your work. I’m professor Yannoa Darkin.” She shook hands with Fennel.
Fennel eyes brightened. “I’ve read your research! I’ve been based in Striaton for a bit; it’s a shame we were never able to collaborate!” Fennel exchanged the same share of pleasantries with Aileena.
Oak continued. “She’s one of the head scientists in a few very big experiments, including a major one that has made huge leaps in a psychiatric hospital in Johto.”
Fennel smiled brightly. “Oh, he’s just being nice. That Psychic experiment got shut down quite a few years ago after we lost the head scientist and our main test subject.”
“Test subject?” Sonia’s voice couldn't quite keep the worry from her voice. That term could not have good connotations, not when in the same sentence as ‘Psychic experiments’.
Fennel didn’t even blink. “Yes. A boy with very potent Psychic power. We were investigating the link between emotions and Psychic power.”
Sonia felt nervous despite herself. Fennel could be anti-Psychic. She didn't seem to be, but a woman experimenting on Psychics, based in the extremely anti-Psychic Johto?
Fennel gave a bright smile. “So who are you three? Starting trainers, no doubt!”
Raphael nodded. “Yeah! I’m Raphael de Alcott, and this is Malcolm Thrones, but he prefers to be called Mal.”
Sonia didn’t miss how he omitted her from the introduction. She tried to stay silent, but Fennel turned to her. “My name is Sonia,” she said reluctantly. “Sonia Darkin.”
Fennel’s eyebrow quirked upward. “That was an amazing display of power! Are you, by any chance, a Grade Alpha?”
Sonia nodded uncomfortably. “Yes.”
Fennel’s eyes went round. “Wait… Sonia Darkin, as in the protégé of Sabrina Severn?!”
Sonia tensed slightly. “Yes.”
Fennel clapped her hands, eyes brightening, expression delighted. A sudden burst of excitement filled the room, making Sonia wince.
Fennel clapped her hands, giddy. “Oh wow, I’m standing face-to-face with one of the most powerful Psychics alive! Oh, Arceus, this is amazing!” She looked ready to burst with excitement. “Oh, please can I interview you?!”
Sonia felt cold shock. Social interaction? About her powers, no less? Arceus forbid! She was about to give a definitive no when Yannoa spoke up.
“I think you should do it.” Yannoa eyed her daughter. “Go ahead, Sonia.”
Sonia was about to argue with her mother as well, but was stopped by Fennel squeeing in delight, excitement rolling off her in waves. She turned to Oak. “Samuel, I hope you don’t mind us borrowing your office!”
Oak frowned. “Wait a moment, Vivian—”
“Thank you so much, Samuel!” Fennel grabbed Sonia’s arm and dragged her into the office, slamming the door behind them.
Eh, Sonia? Zorua called. The plaque went funny again. Thought you should know.
“Let’s sit down, shall we?” Fennel said brightly. Sonia noticed that she locked the door.
Sonia and Fennel picked their way through piles of books and stacks of papers. Sonia fighting to reassert emotional control over herself. Fennel final sat Sonia down at the desk. Sitting beside her, she pulled out a pen and notepad from the depths of her lab coat and eagerly adjusting her glasses.
“So,” Fennel said. “You’re a Grade Alpha. That would mean you have telekinesis, telepathy and teleportation?”
Sonia resigned herself to being nice. “Yes.”
Fennel’s pen was poised over the note pad. “Sabrina is one of the few known Psychics with the ability of transmutation. As someone estimated to be even more powerful than her, do you have any extra abilities?”
Sonia hesitated.
Fennel’s eyes lit up. “You do! Oh, I’ve had this theory that I’ve been trying to prove for ages! Please, tell me; is it astral projection?”
Sonia nodded uncomfortably.
Fennel grinned, leaning forward conspiratorially. “So the theory is that most Grade Alpha Psychics just have the normal list of abilities, extra powerful, of course, but some really powerful ones have extra abilities. So far I’ve only seen either transmutation or astral projection, but never both.”
Sonia nodded again, trying to keep control of herself. She didn’t like where she thought this inquisitive woman was going.
“So, you were trained directly by Sabrina?” Fennel said, either not noticing or ignoring Sonia’s discomfort.
“Yes.”
“How?” Fennel didn’t take her eyes off of her notes.
Sonia sighed and employed the most basic form of telepathy; sending thoughts. Like this.
Fennel jumped, evidently not expecting it. Her mouth fell open.
“Amazing,” she breathed, the pen slack in her grip. “Just like one’s own thoughts…” After a moment of awe, she immediately jumped back to scribbling, her nose barely centimeters away from the notepad. “So you were trained directly by example? No text books that none of us non-Psychics have heard of?” Fennel grinned, as if expecting Sonia to laugh.
Sonia didn't. “No hidden text books.”
Fennel tapped the pen on her chin. “But how were you trained in astral projection? Sabrina can’t do it.”
Sonia shrugged. “There are other ways of learning.”
Fennel looked curious. “So how exactly do you think it works?”
Sonia frowned slightly. She wasn't quite sure herself. “It’s separating one’s Psychic energy, or consciousness, from their body. I think. I'm about ninety percent sure on that one.”
Fennel’s eyes were wide. “If that’s the case…” Her speech became murmurs and she scrawled more and more on her notepad.
“May I leave now?” Sonia broke in. She was feeling quite uncomfortable. Fennel looked up at her, expression shocked.
“Not yet, dear! I've barely started! Not by a long shot!”
It was Sonia’s turn to go wide-eyed. Oh Arceus. Zorua, help me!
Sonia could hear Zorua mentally laughing. You lasted two minutes, Zoru! Two minutes! Priceless, Zoru!
Fennel interrupted Sonia’s conversation. “Okay. So, as far as we know, emotion affects control of Psychic powers. You were trained to withhold yourself from feeling emotion?”
Sonia nodded again.
Fennel eagerly noted more down and pushed her glasses up. “Again, as far as we know, it is impossible for one’s Psychic power to increase or decrease, meaning that if you take any power away or overuse power it will still regenerate over time to the same level as it was. However, there is a rumour that there was a Psychic under Sabrina’s tutelage who could actually increase their power with emotions, as well as loosing control. Is this true?” Fennel’s eyes were hungry; hungry for knowledge.
Sonia’s breath caught. This was not light knowledge. Sonia was the Psychic of that rumour, a rumour all too true. This was supposed to be impossible, to augment one’s power with emotion. Did she want a person like Fennel having this knowledge? A person too curious, a person who experimented on a Psychic boy, a person who Sonia couldn't help but worry was anti-Psychic?
“Just a rumour,” Sonia said lightly.
Fennel’s eyes narrowed. She clearly didn’t believe her.
"Are you sure?" She asked. Her smile no longer reached her eyes.
"Yes," Sonia said, uneasy.
Fennel leaned forward, her eyes glinting. "It's alright, Sonia. You can tell me."
Sonia swallowed. "It's just a rumour."
Fennel withdrew, noting something down. There was distrust in her eyes.
Gradually, the questions got more dangerous. They were questions like how exactly can a Psychic drive another insane, or is telekinesis precise enough to stop another’s heart, and is possessing another's body a possibility with astral projection. Sonia gradually got more and more uncomfortable and far more defensive as time went on, giving only yes or no answers where possible. Sonia didn’t know how much information she was comfortable giving to Fennel, and some of the time she truly didn’t know anything. Fennel was relentless, gradually becoming more aggressive in getting answers.
Enough was enough.
“If it's alright with you, I've had enough.” Sonia stood up, sending her chair screeching back slightly. Her tenuous grip on emotion was failing. “I don't want to answer any more of your questions.”
Fennel stared at Sonia. “Why not? We only have a little more to go!"
Sonia shook her head. "Why are you so interested in Psychics like this?"
"I'm trying to help you, Sonia!" Fennel said eagerly. "You and all Psychics."
Sonia's eyes narrowed. "Why like this?"
Fennel's eyes seemed to cloud over. "Imagine what we could do with the knowledge..." she said, almost dreamily. "Psychic power is an incredible phenomenon, one that, if harnessed properly, could advance us years into the future! Think what we could do if we could mechanize Psychic power, or weaponize it!"
"Weaponize—" Sonia drew back. "How can you think that's a good idea?!"
Fennel stood abruptly, a sudden seriousness within her gaze. Her jaw was set. For the first time, she held the authority in the room.
“In short, Sonia, I’m trying to understand how Psychic powers work,” Fennel said, tight-lipped. “I need to understand how Psychic powers work. The benefits to science and technology would be astronomical! And not just to science!" Fennel drew forward, her grip so tight on her notepad her hand was shaking. "If society knew how Psychic power worked, if they used machines powered similarly to it, were protected by weapons made from it, there wouldn’t be so much animosity toward your kind! If it was something familiar rather than—”
Sonia stared at her. At that line, she lost all control, and her darker self burst out from within her, fed by a small, simple spark of anger.
Sonia clenched her fists, a telekinetic burst blowing the haphazard stacks of books of the shelves left and right. “Don’t you dare," she hissed. "Don’t you dare call us a different kind! Like we’re something lesser, lab specimens to be dissected and studied and experimented on!”
Fennel lost none of her control. “And yet, what is it that makes a human? Pokémon, too, have thoughts and emotions, as do we. We evolved from Pokémon. And yet the main difference is power. Pokémon can tap into elemental forces that humans can not, and in turn, humans have innovation and ingenuity that Pokémon do not. We have civilization and Pokémon have power. On which side of the line do Psychics fit?”
Sonia was trembling with rage. Her darker self could not be placated. Her consciousness leaped forth, like a claw shredding its way into Fennel’s head.
Sonia heard the echo of a scream, Fennel’s scream, as she broke through the ordered layers of the woman’s mind. Sonia was ripping through with no mercy, no thought to the terrible pain she was causing in her search for answers.
Sonia dug into memories, searching, hunting. She found one. A psychiatric hospital, in the north of Johto. A young boy crying. A boy with black hair, grey eyes, and Psychic power. She heard Fennel’s voice, reassuring, telling him something about how ‘these experiments’ were ‘doing good for the world.’ Sonia tried delving deeper, about to plough into more memories, when a terrible shriek slashed through her thoughts.
“Ahh!” Sonia’s awareness slammed back into her head with full force, sending her stumbling back. The terrible shriek sounded in her head, never ending, never pausing, pounding away in every corner of her mind, obscuring her vision, her hearing, her connection with her body. Sonia felt her knees hit the floor, she felt herself curling up, she felt her slim fingers knotted in her hair, covering her ears, trying to drown out the terrible noise. But is wasn’t something external; it was all inside her head. All she could feel, hear, see, know, was that terrible Psychic noise, echoing and cutting and raw, the terrible pain burning out her senses.
It faded suddenly and quickly, as though at the flick of a switch. Sonia’s senses returned, dully, slowly, allowing her to get control of herself. She felt wetness on her cheeks, the wetness of tears. Something she had not felt for a long, long time.
“What is going on?!” Yannoa’s angry voice brought Sonia back fully.
The door had been forced open. Yannoa stood in the doorway, outrage on her face. Directed at the girl or the scientist, one couldn’t tell. Oak, Aileena and the two boys came in behind her, their emanations wary and shocked.
Fennel stiffened, slipping her notepad and pen into her lab coat pocket. “Sonia tried to invade my mind. I pushed her out with this.” Fennel held up a small rectangular device, about the length of the scientist’s thumb, with a red button in one end. “It’s a Psychic Noise Generator. Using the strength of a nearby Psychic, it converts their power’s energy into Psychic noise.”
Sonia was too weak to defend herself again. Her darker self crashed down on her once more. “That sort of device shouldn’t exist! That isn’t protection against telepathy; it’s a torture device for Psychics!”
“You were ripping apart my mind!” Fennel snapped, all the bubbly energy gone. “What was I supposed to do?! Let you drive me insane? You Psychics all think that just because you have this power you can use it to hurt others without any repercussions!”
“It’s because of people who think like you that anything ever happens!” Sonia yelled back. “We don’t want to kill people or cause earthquakes! But when we loose control because people like you go around saying things like this, hurting us, everything goes to hell!” Sonia stepped toward Fennel, her vision going purple. “It’s your fault!”
Sonia suddenly became hyper aware of the silence around her, and Zorua’s presence beside her. In that silent moment, she reasserted her own control. 
Sonia bent down and picked up her Pokémon friend, hugging her close. “I hope you got the data you need,” Sonia said lightly. “But if you use it for anything remotely like that device, I swear to Arceus that I will rip your mind to shreds.”
Without another glance at the others in the room, Sonia marched out the door.


Last edited by ParallelDimension75 on Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:36 pm; edited 5 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Sonia Rewrites   Sat Sep 12, 2015 12:01 pm

Oh-kay, part one of the dream sequence! I haven't finished and I'm working on the next part but on a trip reliable chunks of wi-fi are few and far between.

*Edit: All done now! And I’m on the way home, which will mean less prolific writing for about a week or two and then holidays, so I’ll be free! Yay! >^.^<

-

Climb the tower. Climbing the tower. Climbed the tower.
Dragonspiral. Spiral up. Dragons spiralling ‘round. Druddigon chasing, biting, clawing, roaring, swiping, chasing.
Floor crumbling, rumbling, water pitter-pattering, feet running on the cold stone floor.
The song, humming in her head. The tune they always sang in the city, everywhere, every corner. Arms out wide, balancing. One foot in front of the other, toes pointed. Walking along a fallen pillar to the other side, tippy-toes. A dress the colour of bones.
Again and again and again and again… always dreaming, always climbing… again and again and again an again…


Sonia’s eyes opened. It felt as though she had simply blinked. She was facing the clock. It was ten PM; an hour after she’d gone to sleep. Sonia closed her eyes again, irritated that she'd been awoken.
Sleep gripped her from the inside as her eyelids thudded closed.

She was running, but like most dreams, it was like running through honey. She wasn’t going anywhere. She could hear the roars of the Druddigon and feel it’s pounding footsteps shaking the ground, growing ever closer. She could hear her breath, coming in fearful, desperate gasps, see her chubby six-year-old fists pumping in an attempt to keep her running. She could see her blond hair swishing in front of her face. Unlike most dreams, she could feel the pain in her chest and the strain of her muscles. She could feel the dust on her feet.
But again, like most dreams, the exit never got closer.

Get down.
She stumbled. The voice sounded clearly in her head. It wasn’t like most voices, the disparate whispers of thoughts. It was clear, precise. Like someone was talking to her. It was terrifying.
I said get down!

In a burst of panic she threw herself down to the floor. At that moment, the Druddigon that had been chasing her flew over her, it’s claws glinting blue.
What are you still doing down?! Run!
Terrified, she obeyed the voice. She picked herself and began to run back the other way, hearing the Druddigon crash into the floor. 
Now, left.
She dashed to the left, hearing a roar coming from the direction she hadn’t gone.
Jump!
Heart in her throat she leapt, hearing the ground rumble beneath her. The floor crumbled away, falling to a watery abyss below. She screamed, arms windmilling, knowing that she, too, was about to fall.
Use your power, girl! Use your power!
She screamed back, tears choking her. She had no clue what to do and that she was going to die. She closed her eyes, too scared to look. She screamed and cried and felt terror crushing her, and the voice had lead her to her death.
Open your eyes.
She did. her fear vanished in one big gasp of astonishment like a puff of wind. She fell forward now, not down. She was thrown onto the crumbling stone stairs, tumbling to a stop. She lay there, sucking in big, terrified breaths.
Slowly, she stood. She turned to look behind her. She was standing on the the edge of a huge gap, the stone stairs a thin strip still standing. Water down so far that it was obscured by mist, and the walls too far away on all sides to see, except for a pinprick of light where the doorway she ran through must have been.
She heard the angry roars of Druddigon behind her and the echoing plops of chunks of stone falling into water. She looked up, shaking.
“Th-thank you.”

Keep moving.
Trembling, she obeyed the voice, turning away from the cavernous ravine. Her little six-year-old body was small, and it was hard to climb the twisting stairs. The stone slab the steps were on was thin, and sometimes broken, yielding huge gaps as if a bite was taken out or a claw raked through. Sometimes the stone was unstable and crumbled away when touched. Without the voice she would not have made it.
Don’t go there. That’s unstable.
Careful, there’s a gap in a few steps.
There’s a sharp rock— go around there.
Stumbling, the girl blindly followed the words of the voice. She didn’t know who, or why, or where. She simply followed, coming to the numb realization that she would likely die if she didn’t.
No! The voice suddenly yelled angrily.
Argh! I thought we’d have time! The voice barked in anger.
The girl froze.

Damn them! The voice screamed in anger. Run, just run!
The girl pulled herself up another step. Finally, the stairs evened out to a platform. But it was too thin; a slight misstep and she would fall.
“Run?” She gapes. “But— I’ll fall—”
There was a roar behind her.

Don’t just stand there, idiot child! The voice screamed. Run, run! Run for your life!
The girl gasped and ran, tripping over the now torn and dusty hem of her dress. She sprawled to the floor, crying.
“DRUDDIGON!”
This was it.

Argh! No! The voice was not taking this well. Get up! Get up, you stupid child!
The girl just cried. Her feet ached terribly and her muscles were sore and refused to respond. Feeling the thumping and rumbling of the Druddigon coming up behind her, she gave up, letting her head fall to the platform.
NOOOOOOOO!
A sudden cold wind blew through the area, slashing through the air likes knives. The girl gasped in pain, her eyes flashing open in time to see the Druddigon around her roaring in pain. They fell from the platform, their weak wings encrusted in ice, tumbling to their deaths. The girl opened her mouth to scream but the cold was everywhere, flooding through her, and she felt herself lifted up and away by the cold wind. She shut her eyes tight, screaming in fear. It spiked, becoming biting, then overwhelming, clawing itself deep into every part of her, the very air itself coming alive with the intent to freeze and kill.
It was terrible. It was everywhere, so agonisingly terrible. Everywhere, in every part of her, in all of her.
Everything suddenly stopped in place.

The girl forced her eyes open. She was lying on a bed of ice, her dress and bare legs and hair frozen into the floor.  She turned her head too see the ice was a huge block far above the stone platform she had been lying. Flakes of ice encrusted her skin, her fingers and eyelashes. She breathed out, and everything misted in front of her. She felt numb.
Get… up… The voice panted. Almost… there…
The girl managed to get her muscles to work. She forced herself to stand, but she couldn’t feel her limbs at all. She knew, in the back of her head, that she should not have survived this cold. The voice had saved her from the wind, but it had not saved the Druddigon. She had to listen to it.
She began to walk, feeling her feet stick on the ice. She was shivering and shuddering and her teeth were chattering. She had no clue where she was going. The air all around her was misted so strongly she could barely see a step in front of her. She just walked, numb, one foot in front of the other.
“Wh-why me?” The girl said through chattering teeth. Her voice was so small and thin she didn’t know if the voice could hear her. “Why s-save me f-from the c-cold wind and the D-Druddigon? Why not anyone else?”
She was met with silence.
The girl continued to walk for a few moments, and then the voice answered.
Not many… actually know.. of me… But if they did… They would all want… simply to imprison me… like I am now…
The girl nodded. “I understand, I think… B-but… why me?”
You know… how it feels… to be trapped…
The girl nodded vehemently with a shudder. “I do! I d-do know w-what it feels like!”
Tell me. Tell me what you feel.  
“I feel alone,” the girl said. “They know I’m d-different and so they m-make me f-feel… so t-trapped…”
I chose… correctly…
A shape emerged from the mist in front of her. She squinted, trying to make it out. She got closer, and closer, and all of a sudden she was right in front of it.

As soon as she realised what it was, she stumbled away with a muffled cry of horror. Petrified in a bock of ice was a Druddigon, probably one of the ones who had chased her, frozen with an expression of absolute terror.
Keep… moving…!
The girl turned away, shivering harder. She knew that this voice was still helping her; there was no way she would be alive right now. It was protecting her from the cold wind.
Closer… closer…
Another shape formed from the mist.
Closer…!
She took another step. Then another.
And then a terrible force overtook her.

YES!
The girl fell screaming, wicked gleeful laughter echoing all around her.

“Argh!”
Sonia’s eyes flashed open and she bolted upright, breathing heavily. The dream ebbed away suddenly, leaving only echoes of the cold.
Sonia glanced at the clock beside her. It was morning, technically; it was quarter past three. No one else in the room was awake; her mother slept soundly and Zorua snored on the edge of Sonia’s bed, tongue lolling out of her mouth, ears twitching and paws batting at the air. The other Pokémon all slept soundly, with the exception of Hans who talked in his sleep, muttering an endless stream of ‘Sable’ sounds.
Sonia let out a deep, shuddering breath, trying her best to keep herself calm. She knew that she was dreaming of the Dragonspiral Incident. She remembered nothing of it, except the cold. Each time she had the dream she tried to hold on to it, keep it there, but Psychic or not it was like trying to hold water in a flat palm.
Sonia sighed and gently pulled herself out of the bed, careful to not disturb Zorua. Sonia pulled on her coat and slipped her feet into her mother’s slippers, knowing she’d freeze in just her night shirt, pants and bare feet.
Sonia slipped from the room as silently as possible. She silently crept down the stairs and outside, pausing to make sure she knew the look of the building at night. Pallet Town was so rural-feeling.  one stepped out of a building and saw trees and space. Sonia spied a bench and drifted toward it, head in the clouds.
As she sat down, Sonia felt a peace in her mind. The disquiet caused by other minds dulled and disappeared, as if she were the only person in the world. Sonia closed her eyes for a moment and let the cold wind blow her hair back and drown out her hearing, letting her believe, for a moment, that she could feel.
Her mind flashed back to Icirrus City, years and years before. Being told the story of the tower, told never to go inside. She didn’t remember why she’d gone, or even how. The entire thing was a blank in her head. But she remembered the story.
Not too long ago, anyone and everyone could climb the tower. There was a boy, years and years ago, by the name of Nate, who had gone up but never come out. Since then, the Druddigon had attacked en masse anyone who entered. Anyone who had tried to climb the tower had either died or barely escaped with their lives.
Sonia only knew details of what had happened after. A pilot flying overhead saw her lying at the top of the ice-covered tower and likely hypothermic. She’d rescued her, but she hadn’t been sick, simply unconscious. The town had been in shock for a few days, until an archaeologist decided to brave the tower himself. He succeeded. He was followed by a wave of others, all trying to find something special in the tower, something everyone else had missed. They all made it, the Druddigon no longer aggressive or murderous. None found anything.
Sonia’s theory was the Druddigon had been guarding something. They had been aggressive, and suddenly, they weren’t; the thing the Druddigon had been guarding was no longer in need of guarding.
Nate’s body, perhaps, or some artefact he’d had. But now, it was gone.
And maybe, just maybe, it was Sonia’s darker self.
She wasn’t truly MPD. Doctors had been baffled with Sonia’s two selves; they retained the same memories and identified as the same person. And yet one was Sonia, and the other was… not.
Sonia caught a glimpse of a street lamp in front of her flickering. A tree beside it tilted to the left, despite the wind blowing the opposite direction.
With a flare of panic, Sonia tightened her grip on her emotions, trying to clear her head of thoughts. Her thoughts went to Fennel, and her inquisition into Psychic power.
Sonia breathed deeply, settling her mind on Sabrina, on Zorua, on Sawk, on reading books by Shauntal Oakwood. But Sabrina’s image brought back its own attached memories, of days spent learning to bury emotion and deaden feeling, days of learning how to protect the world around them from themselves.
Fennel had really hit home. Sonia found herself feeling so jealous of lower-grade Psychics that it surprised her how strong the emotion was. They didn’t have to worry nearly as much about emotion as it was harder to loose control of one’s power when one had less power to control.
Sonia had numerous discussions with Sabrina about taking care of loosing control. Despite Sabrina’s ‘callous’ or ‘cruel’ use — or overuse — of power when dealing with people who angered her, Sabrina was still very careful and very strict about not losing control.
Sonia felt angry, all of a sudden. Angry at her high level of power. Angry at her foolish six-year-old self. Angry that she couldn’t let herself feel. Angry that she wasn’t… human. Not anymore.
The street lamp burst with a sizzle, short-circuiting.
Squeezing her eyes shut, Sonia methodically blocked out her feelings. She softened the edges and bottled it up, shoving it deep down inside herself. But just this action brought out a fresh wave.
People like Fennel didn’t understand! They couldn’t! Psychics had to keep all this emotion, all this feeling stoppered up. What did they expect would happen when they insulted Psychics? They were asking for it!
Sonia fought another battle in the never-ending war for herself. Sitting there on the bench, fists clenched so tight they were shaking, left leg crossed over the right leg, eyes squeezed shut, one could not fathom just how much turmoil there was inside of this one girl.
“Sawk?”
Sonia opened her eyes. Sawk stood in front of her, his face worried. He sat beside her on the bench and took one of her hands in his warm ones. “Sawk.”
Immediately, Sonia’s link to him became stronger, and she could hear his thoughts clearly.
It’s okay, Sonia.
Sonia leant her head on the blue Pokémon’s shoulder. “No, it’s not… how can I go on a journey with them? I’ll… I could…”
Sonia. Sawk’s thoughts rang in her head, without her trying. You’ll be fine. Zorua will be right there with you, and you can come back to Saffron City if things ever get too stressful. This will be a good experience for you. Think positive.
“You know I hate that word,” Sonia murmured. Sawk gave a huff of laughter and put his arm around Sonia’s shoulder.
I know you’re not naturally an optimist. But I do know that the real you is a very nice person, Sonia.
Sonia sighed. “Sawk… I've been thinking."
Sawk chuckled. As always.
Sonia shrugged. "Look, I... I haven’t killed anyone yet. But really… it’s only a matter of time until I do.”
There was a loud silence is the street. Everything seemed to pause at that statement, taking in it's true weight.
Sawk shook his head vehemently. Don’t think like that! Zorua and Sabrina and I will always be here to help you—
“But what if I hurt you or Zorua?” Sonia challenged. “What if I go so far Sabrina has to fight me, and looses? What then?”
Sawk sighed. Sonia...
“I know, I know, I’m being negative,” Sonia squeezed Sawk’s hand. “Could you… come with me?”
On your journey? Sawk frowned. I… Yes. I think so. I would like that.
Sonia let herself smile. “Brilliant.”
For a moment, the pair were silent. Then Sawk’s thoughts entered Sonia’s head again. I would like to be called Kai.
Sonia raised her head to look at Sawk. “Kai?”
Sawk nodded. Yes. After Caius.
Sonia paused. After her father.
She nodded.
The two were still for a bit, then Kai motioned to the building. Come on. You need to get some more sleep.

The pair slipped back inside, the rest of the building sleeping through it all.


Last edited by ParallelDimension75 on Sun Sep 13, 2015 11:48 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Sonia Rewrites   Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:05 pm

Phew! Finally done! Still needs some edits here and there, but MUCH better than the original Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Sonia Rewrites   Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:28 am

Okay, the first of the new prologue chapters! I think this one I'm calling 'Cornered'. Still need general editing, so excuse the slew of typos no doubt in store!

-

“Check.”
Seven-year-old Sonia pouted and poked her King over a square. The Nidoking piece shifted over to a white square, out of the diagonal gaze of the Bisharp, the Bishop. Her mother Yannoa smiled warmly and moved her Rook, an Aegislash, down the board. “Check.”
Sonia put her elbow and rested her cheek on her fist, grumbling. It was another wet and rainy autumn in Icirrus City, and so Sonia and her mother were inside, listening to the wind and rain howl outside and thump down on the houses, Sawk reading a book by the fire and Zorua curled up on the carpet beside it, ears twitching. Yannoa had decided to teach her daughter Chess.
Sonia scanned the board, trying to make sense of what was going on. She knew that her mother’s Shiny pieces far outnumbered her own Standard pieces, but didn’t see how everything had gone downhill so quickly despite her having moved first, as Standard always did. She looked hard at the Rook, trying to see if she could take it.
Inspiration struck; it was in front of her Pawn piece, styled as a Pawniard.
“Hah!” With a wide grin she picked up her Pawn and knocked over the Bishop on the square in front, placing it there and taking the Bishop off the board.
Yannoa shook her head, smiling, taking the Bishop and moving the position back. “No, Sonia; remember, the Pawn can only take diagonally.”
Sonia crossed her arms and huffed. “But they move forward!”
“But they can’t take forward,” her mother said, ever patient. “Think of them like Krabby; they bump into things in the front, but they have pincers that can snap and attack diagonally.” Yannoa mimed pincers, making Sonia giggle.
“Then why aren’t they Krabby?” Sonia implored. “Pawniard have blades at the front!”
Yannoa shrugged. “I don’t know.”
Sonia huffed, but dropped the matter. She couldn’t find anything else to do, so she moved her Nidoking piece again.
Yannoa picked up one of her Pawniard pieces and advanced it one more square, it now having reached the end of the board. “And now I’ll show you what happens. When a Pawniard gets to the end, it can turn into another piece.”
“Hm?” Sonia looked confused. “What do you mean?”
“It turns into any other piece you want,” Yannoa explained. “I can turn it into a Bishop, a Knight, a Rook or even another Nidoqueen if I want.”
“But… but Pawniard only evolves into Bisharp,” Sonia said, bewildered. “How can it turn into an Escavalier? Is it like a Pawniard-knight?”
“Traditionally it could only become a Bisharp,” Yannoa said, pulling out another Shiny Nidoqueen from the bag of pieces, setting it on the board instead of the Pawniard. “But pawns were too weak still, so they changed the rules.”
Sonia crossed her arms. “We should go tell them to change the Pawn from Pawniard to Krabby!”
Yannoa laughed. “I’m sure you’ll find some different-looking sets out there. Maybe you can make one with Krabby.”
Sonia shrugged, drawing her knees up to her chest. “Let’s stop playing. It’s confusing.”
Yannoa nodded and stood from her armchair, coming around to sit beside Sonia on the couch. “That’s okay. I don’t expect you to learn it all in one day.”
Yannoa reached her arm out to put around her daughter. As soon as her hand made contact, Sonia pulled away. When her mother had touched her, it had been like nausea, only worse.
Yannoa cast her eyes down, silent. Sonia shifted uncomfortably, until Yannoa said something bout work and left for her study.
Sawk looked up from his book, knowing eyes alighting on Sonia. “Sawk.”
Sonia sighed. “What’re you reading?”
Sawk held up the book so she could see the title, pointing to it with a blue finger. “Sawk, Sawk.”
It looked like a boring Encyclopaedia, or whatever they were called. Sonia smiled. “Is it nice?”
Sawk nodded vigorously. Zorua’s ear twitched.
Sonia sighed again and relaxed back on the couch. The rain storm seemed to be subsiding, and Sonia could see the outline of other houses and trees outside of the window.
“Sawk?” Sonia murmured.
Sawk looked up.
“Do you think my father’s going to come back?”
Sawk looked unsure for a moment. Sonia sat up, her eyebrows creased. “Will he? Will he finish whatever important things he’s doing in Kanto?”
Sawk shrugged uncomfortably.
Sonia put her chin in her hands, resting her elbows on her knees. “Do you think he’ll come visit?”
Sawk paused, then shook his head.
A sudden flash of shock and resentment coursed through Sonia. “Wh-why not?”
Sawk looked embarrassed. He pulled a notepad and pen off from the shelf behind him, and after steadying the pen in his big fingers, he wrote in messy writing. He finished and held up the pad so Sonia could see.
Things he’s doing making dangerous people angry. Dangerous angry people = not safe.
Sonia giggled. “Why would he do anything like that?”
Sawk’s expression was too deep for a little girl to read. He scribbled again. What he does some people don’t like.
Sonia giggled again. “Don’t be silly. He’s an inventor! How could anyone not like people who make things?”
Sawk gave her a pointed look, then buried himself back in the book.
Sonia looked once more out the window, surprised to see the rain had cleared completely. She stood and walked over to the rug, dropping down beside Zorua. An impish grin flashed across her face, and she raised her arms up, fingers clawed.
“Sawk!” The blue Pokémon called in warning, but it was too late. Sonia descended on Zorua, tickling the little Dark-type for all it was worth.
“Zoruuuuu!” Zorua’s eyes flashed open in horror, but she couldn’t stop her cry turning into a mad fit of laugher as she writhed, tears springing to her eyes. “Zoru, Zoru, Zorua!”
Sonia laughed, drawing the vulpine Pokémon into a big hug. Zorua giggled, her small pink tongue lapping at Sonia’s cheek. You mean, Zoru. Mean very. The Pokémon’s telepathic voice bounced around in Sonia’s head, clear as if they had been said out loud.
Sonia giggled back. “I had to get you back for the noodle prank.”
Zorua’s own mouth spread open into an impish smile. “Zorua, Zoru!”
Sawk rolled his eyes, going back to his encyclopaedia. He jerked his thumb-like finger behind him at the window. “Sawk, Sawk.”
Indeed, the rain had cleared out completely, and Icirrus City was back to being it’s normal misty self. Sonia ran over and the two pressed their faces to the cold glass. The light green grass almost shone with dew, the sky was a pearly misty white, and perfectly opaque light blue puddles dotted the ground. Sonia and Zorua glanced at one another, grinning. Perfect weather.
Sonia ran down the hall, Zorua in her arms, Sonia jumping up to pull her coat from the hanger. “Yannoa, we’re going outside!”
“Oh!” Yannoa called back. “Don’t leave the town centre! And make sure you put on your coat!”
Sonia nodded, even though her mother couldn’t see her, pulling open the door to a blast of cold air. She and Zorua took a deep breath in at the same time and rushed outside, elated. The cold felt wonderful to Sonia; it made her feel reassured, certain that she was home.
The aftermath of a rainstorm was always the advent of a small celebration, it seemed. But in Icirrus City, everything and everyone were so detached that no one seemed to care about much of anything. People came out of their homes, smiling and breathing in the cold air. Sonia and Zorua walked through the streets until the grass became cobblestone, and the pair emerged into the town square.
A crowd was gathering in the centre of the square. Curious and excited, girl and Pokémon moved through the crowds until they were at the front and could see.
A group of four teenagers stood in the centre of the square. A brown haired girl came forward. She raised her arms up high, calling out to the people who had gathered outside. “Who wants a dance?!”
A cheer went up. Zorua yipped her approval.
The teenager grinned, sharing a look with her compatriots. “Everyone, clap your hands!” She demonstrated the pattern herself, waiting for the response.
Everywhere, people complied, and after a few rounds of echoes the people fell into the same tempo. Sonia let Zorua clamber up to shoulder so she could join in. She felt a tap on her shoulder and turned, a small stab of panic dissolving as she saw Sawk smiling back at her.
The second girl, a blond-haired one in nothing but a pink shirt and jeans, stepped in the centre of the three, the others forming a triangle around her. “Go! Turn and spin!”
The four teens began their dance, a complicated but perfectly timed woven web of spins, twirls and elegant movements. The second girl brought a flute to her lips and began to play.
“Spin apart! Mix and twirl!” The brown-haired girl called, and the flute girl ended on a high note, jumping high into the air. The three other drew back so as the flute girl flipped back and landed, the four were in a perfect square. Each span around and sent out a Pokémon, a Palpitoad, Stunfisk, Shelmet and Karrablast.
Sonia could feel her hands clapping, but the motion had long since become automatic. As the flute girl began to play once more, the four teens fell into a much simpler spinning dance, clapping their hands alongside the spectators. It was the Pokémon who became the focus now, the group of eight somehow in perfect synergy.
Sonia felt a presence all around her, hemming her in. A presence dully throbbing in the back of her mind, like headache, setting her on edge.
The shorter of the two boys, with dark blue hair and light blue clothing, called out to the crowd. “Mix it up, day and night! ‘Cause today, everything’s all right!”
He motioned for the crowd to echo him.
“Mix it up, day and night!” The crowd called. “‘Cause today, everything’s all right!”
Sonia stayed silent.
“Yeah!” The blue boy clapped his hands and jumped, tucking his legs in and flipping backward. “That’s how it’s done!”
He lead the crowd in the chant. Icirrus City celebrated winter, snow and rain; it brought out the beauty of the town in a special way. And as such these dancers certainly got plenty of practice. It was evident; none of the four appeared to be out of breath, even the flute girl.
Sonia felt the presence in her head increase. Her clapping faltered, and Zorua looked up in concern.
The flute girl’s tune suddenly changed. She came back into the centre. The three teens and their Pokémon formed a ring around her, hands linked. They danced in a  circle, breaking the link to clap. The last one, the tallest, a boy with brown hair and a purple shirt, put his hands around his mouth and called to the sky.
“Dance!”
“Dance!” The other dancers echoed.
“Dance!” He cried again.
“Dance!” The crowd picked up the chant as well.
Sonia’s clapping faltered again, her head hurting.
“Two dragons!” He called, motioning for the crowd to echo again.
Two dragons!
The crowd’s echo seemed to stretch out forever. Sonia’s palms collided and pulled away, making a hollow sound that rang in her head. Her head pounded with the same beat. Everything dulled and faded, sound fading, vision blurring. The sounds of the crowd around her thumped and echoed like waves in her mind, breaking and receding.
A rush of emotions slammed into her almost like a force, making her stumble. Sonia cried out, stumbling back, making Zorua fall from her shoulder. Sonia turned and pushed through the crowd, breaking through until she was free from it. Sawk turned to her with a befuddled cry. No else one noticed, the dance continuing.
Sonia felt her world blur past her like a roller coaster. She felt shaken beyond just that; she had no clue why she was feeling this, and it terrified her. She ran through
She ran through the outskirts of the city, across the wooden bridge and down to the marshes of Route 8. Zorua cried out behind her, her paws furiously scrabbling to keep up with her friend, but Sonia’s open eyes saw nothing, and sound just flowed past without notice.
Sonia splashed through the watery ponds and puddles of the marshes, panting and gasping. Her own head was screaming at her, and one couldn’t block their ears if the sound was in their own head. Sonia’s foot caught on a branch and she tripped, falling hard on her stomach in water and mud.
Sonia spluttered, pushing herself up and hauling herself to stand, sopping wet. Her right ankle, the one that had been caught on the branch, throbbed in pain and she gasped when she tried to stand on it. She stumbled to the side of the marsh, collapsing onto the ground, lying against a log, tears streaming down her face.
A tide of emotion tumbled around inside of her like a storm. Her head pounded, feeling as though it would burst. She didn’t even know if the emotion belonged to her anymore. She knew she was terrified, distraught, angry, confused. But it all blurred and jumbled together, and the only relief seemed to be the tears pouring down her face.
“Sonia!”
Sonia’s vision was clear enough to see Zorua, Sawk and Yannoa. Yannoa knelt down in front of her, looking horrified, reaching out to touch her.
As soon as Yannoa’s fingers brushed Sonia’s bare collarbone, the nausea-like feeling stabbed her in the gut. Sonia screeched and writhed away, feeling as though she were being filled up to the brim. She stood, staggering away.
“Don’t touch me!” She screamed. “Get away from me!”
Yannoa’s lips parted in shock, her eyes wide. She stood, slowly making her way forward, arms outstretched. “Sonia, what’s wrong—”
“Argh!” Sonia turned and half-ran-half-limped away. “Leave me alone!”
Yannoa’s expression became distressed. “Sonia! You have to tell me what’s going on!” She moved forward, her hand grabbing Sonia’s wrist.
Sonia felt that sickening lurch inside of her, as if something was trying to force through a barrier.
“Don’t touch me!”
Sonia turned and brought her free fist down on her mother’s wrist. Yannoa gasped and released Sonia, her hand automatically going to her wrist. “Sonia—!”
Sonia’s entire body felt as though its as revolting against her. Her head felt like it was being struck with a sledgehammer and her stomach felt like it was on fire. Sonia broke down, her knees buckling and hitting the mud, tears streaming down her face, sobs wracking her body.
Yannoa’s hand went into her pocket and withdrew a Poké Ball, enlarging it to full size. “Audino! I need your help! Please, use Heal Pulse!”
With the soft cry of a Pokémon, Sonia felt the pain fading away. She felt forced back into herself, once more in control of her body. Her tears subsided, hiccups persisting. A wave of tiredness crashed down on her, and she would have fallen asleep right there in the mud had it not been for Sawk catching her, careful only to touch her clothing. He hoisted her up, Sonia’s eyelids fluttering closed.
Sonia felt Zorua licking her cheek once more, her fur brushing Sonia’s face. Sonia smiled subconsciously. A touch that didn’t make her feel sick.
“Zorua…”
Sonia, Zoru…
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PostSubject: Re: Sonia Rewrites   Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:11 am

The next prologue chapter, working title 'A Sky Without Stars.' It is raw and unedited, mostly because I have to go to bed right now and I'm staying up ten minutes past what I should have. I apologise preemptively for typos. Please read and review!

(I made the lake in a park because I was lazy, okay?!)

---

“Saffron City!”
Sonia pressed her finger to the taxi window, Zorua reaching up to look. “There! You can see the Gym!”
“Zoru!” The Dark-type yowled with a grin.
Sonia was excited. How could she not be? They had just arrived in the biggest city in the Kanto region, Saffron City. She’d be living in an apartment in a high rise building. She’d see new Pokémon. She’d be able to learn more about different places.
She’d meet her father.
Her mother smiled wanly. She had deep shadows under her eyes and had just recovered from a panic attack on the plane, worrying about Audino back in Unova. The deadline on an article she was writing for a science magazine was drawing closer and she hadn’t managed to get enough work done during the flight. But she, like her twelve-year-old daughter, couldn’t wait to see Caius Darkin, a man neither them nor Sawk had seen for years.
Sonia was in awe, violet eyes wide. The bright lights contrasted with the dark skies and loud noises were something the homeschooled and untravelled Sonia had only experienced in blurry memories of Castelia City and in pictures and on the television screen. Zorua, too, being as old as her trainer, was also in awe, her eyes so wide it was as though she was trying to take in the whole city with one glance.
The taxi driver stopped, making Sonia fall back against her seat, surprised.
“We’re here,” he said, turning to them.
While Yannoa paid and the kind driver helped them get their suitcases out of the back, Sonia looked up at the building her new home was supposed to be in.
Zorua’s jaw dropped. Sonia’s eyes went wide. It had neat and distinct architecture, caught between two ages; not quite modern and not quite old-fashioned. It was by no means an extravagant building, but it felt like a purposeful contrast to Icirrus City.
“Sawk.”
Sonia turned to see Sawk carrying three of the suitcases, Yannoa with one. On top of the three balanced Sonia’s backpack.
“Zoru!” Zorua leapt on top of the suitcases and leapt down with the backpack in her teeth. Sonia grinned, taking it from the Pokémon and lifting her into her arms. Zorua responded with a grin.
As the taxi drove off into the street, Sonia suddenly realised how quiet it was. There was a densely forested park across the road. The traffic lights in the distance changed without fanfare. The light on the corner of the street shone solitarily.  A lone car went by, slowly and quietly.
Sonia’s tight fisted grip on her back pack started to shake. She was in a whole new world.
Sonia looked back up at the building, feeling ever smaller.
“Sonia?”
She jumped, startle chased out of her thoughts by Yannoa’s concerned gaze and worried smile.
“Are you okay?”
Sonia’s lip quivered and her brow creased. She tried to pull the corners of her lips up into a smile. “I’m fine.”
For a moment, Sonia was proud of her success, but Yannoa’s own smile evaporated when she saw Sonia's.
Sonia's smile hollowed out.
“Let’s go,” Yannoa said awkwardly. Pulling herself up, she briskly strode to the building doors and inserted the new key into the lock, opening the door.
Sonia saw her hand shaking the entire time.
-
Sonia had on her smartest clothing. Zorua was fully groomed. Sawk stood up straight and proud, positively glowing. Yannoa’s nervousness had all but disappeared, replaced by a radiant smile and smiling eyes.
Caius was coming home.
Sonia and Zorua sat carefully on the new couch, the Pokémon barely restraining herself from rolling around and messing up her fur, the girl unable to fully relax, brimming with excitement. Sonia found herself smiling without effort, confusingly.
It was late afternoon, going into evening with the sky being lightly brushed by the colours of dusk. Sonia loved Saffron City. She’d thought she’d hate it, what with all the people, but the vibe of the city felt so right. It felt like she was instantly more comfortable here— as though she were safe. In the few days she’d been there, Saffron City had made a thoroughly good impression. It didn’t seem as though much could ruin it, and it being the place she would soon meet her father for the first time, it was about to set an unbeatable record.
Sawk was rushing about setting books on shelves straight and double-checking for dust and adjusting everything, unusually excited. Yannoa sat at the kitchen counter, her fingers twirled a thin silver ring and trembling with excitement.
All sets of eyes watched the clock, the seconds hand following it’s rhythm like a metronome.
Click.
One more minute until he was to arrive.
Clack.
Sonia’s gaze held the door, willing for the knock to sound.
Click.
Sawk finally sat, elbows resting on knees, chin resting on laced fingers, eyes intently staring at the door.
Clack.
Zorua’s body trembled with excitement, pressing into Sonia’s side.
Click.
Yannoa drew in a deep breath, slipping the ring onto her finger.
Cla-clack.
As the clock’s hand stuttered, as the minute passed, as breaths caught, as the time arrived, as the knock didn’t come and the phone rang, one thought was immediately clear in Sonia’s mind.
Wrong.
Something was… wrong.

Yannoa jumped, as if she had been caught in a trance. Sawk raised his head. Zorua flicked her ears. Sonia’s brow creased with worry and confusion.
He should be here.
Why isn’t he here…

Yannoa stood hurriedly and made her way over to the landline telephone. Her hand trembled as she picked it up and held it to her ear, her fingers shaking on the dial pad. “Hello?”
Sonia, Zorua and Sawk all leant in, trying to hear the muffled response.
“Yes, this is Professor Darkin… pardon?”
The three held their breaths.
Yannoa’s hand was shaking, her facial muscles not quite sure what expression to put on. She was biting her lips, and her eyes, in the light, showed the faint shimmer of tears.
“I… I… I don’t know what to say—” she squeezed her eyes shut and a tear leaked out. “Th-thank you, Miss Smith. I… goodbye.”
Yannoa slowly let the phone drop to her side. Her eyes were affixed on the door, her lips quivering, her eyebrows creased. Tears fell freely, trailing down her cheeks and splattering on the countertop.
Sonia felt a terrible, overwhelming sense of foreboding, one that quickened her heart and watered her eyes.
“Yannoa…?” She said quietly.
Her mother didn’t react.
“Yannoa.”
Her mother barely moved to her daughter’s harsh words, slowly turning her despondent gaze on her.
“What happened?”
Yannoa took a deep breath in, and let it it out, slowly, shuddering. “He… they… Caius is… your father is…”
Sonia stood, her fears swirling inside her, denial coursing through her, terror pounding inside her, everything screaming no. No, no, no, no, no. She had to be wrong. She had to be.
Click.
Clack.
Click.
Clack.

“He’s dead.”
Click.
Clack.
Click.
Cla—

“No!”
Sonia felt something break inside of her. A dull echo thudded inside her mind and expanded outward, like something that had been restrained had broken through the barriers.
In that moment, everything released all at once. A flood of emotions, a well of tears, a terrible scream. And something else.
Yannoa stumbled back, the wind knocked out of her. The couch, coffee table and the chairs jerked back, along with the Pokémon on them. The fire blew out. The vase on the coffee table knocked over and smashed, water seeping out onto the carpet. Books fell, furniture shook, and the door rattled, all as if a wave of force had blown through them.
Sonia stood at it’s epicentre.
Emotion swirled inside her like a storm. Confusion, above all. How was her father dead? What had just happened? Why was her mother so terrified?
What was going on?
A horrible feeling of realisation crawled over her as her mother’s facial expression became saddened, resigned. Yannoa's face said it all; she had always known this would happen. Sonia looked down at herself; down at her hands, still shaking.
She’d always known too, deep down.
“Sonia…” Yannoa said slowly, standing up, her hand in front of her, placating. “Please, stay calm… I know what you’re thinking.”
Sonia stayed still, shell-shocked. “Really?” She whispered. Her voice was so light, barely touching the air with sound. “Do you? Or is that just what will happen to me soon?”
Yannoa gave her a pleading look, coming closer. “Sonia, please, just stay calm.”
Her mother moved towards her slowly, carefully. Her arms were up, her movements careful, deliberate.
At a moment, it struck Sonia; her mother was approaching her as though she were a dangerous Pokémon, or animal.
As though she wasn’t human.
Sonia felt tears slide down her cheeks, shock and hurt making her breathing tight. Yannoa must have seen the emotions on her face because she panicked, reaching out for Sonia and grabbing her hand.
“Sonia, listen to me!”
Sonia shrieked as her mother’s hand touched hers. It felt as though there was a shockwave coursing through her arm, and then as though someone was driving a pickaxe into her head. Amidst a fresh flood of tears she pulled her hand away.
“Zoru!” Zorua leapt at Sonia, landing on her shoulder, her face shocked and worried. So-ni-a, zoru!
Zorua was capable of telepathy, Sonia knew that.
But she didn’t know it was so loud.
Sonia cried out and put her hands to her ears, a reflexive reaction trying in vain to block the sound. “Get out, get out, get out!”
“Sonia, listen to me!” Yannoa was trying hard not to hug her daughter, her hands shaking. “It’s fine, your fine!”
“I’m a damn Psychic!” Sonia yelled. The glass in the photo frame on the wall cracked. “I’m not fine! Why is this happening to me now?!”
Yannoa’s lip was quivering as she spoke. “R-remember Caitlin? All those years ago?”
Sonia froze up. Her mother’s thoughts, loud and clear, rang in her head. Oh Arceus, how do I say this… How do I tell her… I delayed it too long...
Then images pushed through into her mind, like people cutting in line. They showed Caitlin kneeling down to a young girl in the midst of Icirrus’s marshes. A girl Sonia recognised as herself.  
Sonia’s eyes widened. “You asked her… to block this?”
Yannoa’s expression grew frightened. “I… y-yes. I did.”
Sonia shook her head. “Why?!”
“I was selfish!” Yannoa cried, fresh tears spilling down her cheeks. “Caius had just left and I wanted to keep you beside me! If I hadn’t, you’d have been in Caitlin’s academy for years!”
Sonia flinched, stumbling back. “And now he’s dead, and because of what you did, I might kill you too.”
Yannoa gave her a pleading look. “Sonia, don’t say things like that, we can get you help—”
“Shut up!” Sonia cried. “I’ve researched Psychics! You think I didn’t suspect what I was?! People couldn’t touch me, Zorua could communicate with me fine, and Caitlin?! Why did you have to leave it so long?! I could kill someone!”
“Sonia…!” Yannoa seemed at a loss. “I…”
The full weight of what Sonia was saying seemed to finally crash down on her.
Silence ebbed and flowed from the room. Sonia felt sobs wrack her chest and wet tears stain her cheeks. That hope that she would see her father, for all those years, was always nothing but a false ideal. It would never truly happen. And now she could very possibly cause the death of another person. Put some other child through the pain of losing their father,
Son-ia, Zoru! Pl-ease, So-nia, Zoru!
Sonia’s head burst with pain. The voice was just too loud. It was too much— her father’s death, Zorua’s loud thoughts, her fears coming true, her mother’s reveal.
And then something worse.
Sadness, complete and utter sadness, flooded in from every corner. The emotion seethed and roiled in the air, crushing her and stifling her. She could feel it. The complete and utter despair, coupled with her own, destroying her. Flecks of other emotions like anger and confusion batted at her like small pebbles being thrown; nothing in comparison to the horrid despair.
She choked, sinking to her knees. It was like a sickness; she could feel it as she breathed out, staining her breath. She could feel it in the pit of her stomach and in the back of her throat and in her chest; grief, a terrible grief… one which was not her own. Sawk. Yannoa. Zorua. All of their emotions were being thrust upon her, and impossible weight.
She looked up at her mother, tears streaming down her face and splattering onto the carpet. “Telekinesis. Telepathy. Empathy.” She choked on the last word, her breath shuddering, holding back a sob.
It wasn’t just too much. It was far too much. It was as though her capability to feel emotion was being stretched to it’s limit, as if it were a set of scales and grief the weight.
Her vision clouded with tears once more. Was this her new reality?
No. How could she live with this? How could anyone live with this?
Sonia pushed herself up and shoved past her family. Their cries fell on deaf ears. There was only one way to escape from all of this.
She ran outside of the hall, taking off down the stairs. She had to get away from them. Maybe then, maybe then—
She reached the ground floor, barely conscious of her actions. As she pushed her way outside, she almost doubled over in pain. Thoughts, sounds, feeling, everything was coming at her, from everywhere at once; her mind felt like it would explode—
Oh, maybe this store…!
Damn it, do taxi drivers hate me today or something…?!
Twenty Pokédollars plus what Tiff’s got… nah, not enough…
Ahhh, my trainer looks angry… what did Nidoran do now…
Crap, the Gym Leader here is terrifying, how am I supposed to fight her…?
Ooh, that flower’s pretty…

Thoughts, voices, all at maximum volume, pounding inside her head. Sonia retched, her eyes watering. No… It was even worse…
She began to run down the street, heading for the nearby park. Maybe there would be less people there—
Joy, sadness, anger, frustration, confusion, elation, depression, excitement, disgust, fear, apprehension. Somehow she was feeling all at once, maybe even more she couldn’t name or sort from the mix, all turned up to the limit. She felt her own body shaking as if from the exertion. She shoved past people in the street, barely notching they were there or the voices calling after her or the word looks she received. Her entire mind was shutting down, buckling under the pressure. It was like she couldn’t run from it. It was everywhere at once and nowhere; it was both all around her and inside her. There was no escaping it.
She honestly couldn’t tell if time passed. She just knew she was running, far longer than her aerobic capacity should have allowed. But her mind did not notice, entangled in a battle with itself. When she finally collapsed onto grassy ground, wheezing and panting, muscles burning, did she finally notice her fatigue. Her mind came back slightly, echoes of emotions and thoughts whispering and fading away.
It was dark. Nighttime. She was lying against a tree on damp grass, at the edge of a lake in the park. There was mist around her, mostly hanging around the lake. No one seemed to be around, as her mind had cleared, and she could clearly see the moon above her. untouched by a cloud.
And there was the one thing she didn’t love about Saffron City. The moon was alone, hanging in the sky heavily. There were no stars.
Sonia lay there, unable to move for a moment. Her breathing came in heavy gasps. Then she started sobbing, the last tears leaking out until there was nothing else. She looked up at the moon, eyes red and blotchy from the tears.
Even here, late at night, in the middle of one of the deepest parks in the city, and she could still hear the whispers, feel the emotions. She could still feel that never-ending grief, her own, tinged with that of others.
There was no escaping it. And Sonia had no more tears left to weep.
Sonia looked out at the glassy, misty lake, the light from the moon giving only a sliver of shine through the fog. She looked across, and saw a small jetty extending a couple of metres into it.
Sonia didn’t look back. She just pulled herself up. She walked, deadened, across the jetty. Mist surrounded her, slowly crawling around until it cut her off from behind. She continued to walk into it, as though she were fading away from the rest of the world.
She stopped at the edge of the jetty, looking down into the waters. She saw the moon reflecting in it, and her own face; the violet eyes, the platinum-blond hair, said to be the same as her father’s. It struck another dull blow.
Still no stars.
Sonia closed her eyes and let herself fall.
The water embodied the emotions; clutching at her, dragging her down, a weight crushing her. But this time Sonia welcomed it. She let the cold water continue to drag her downward, into the depths of the lake. Her chest began to burn slightly, and her tears mixed with the water.
It would be over soon. No more sadness. No more pain.
She felt the urge to breath. The pain in her chest sung to a higher note. Sonia felt her brow crease.
Suddenly, Sonia’s eyes flashed wide open. Something slashed through the despair, the stray emotions and thoughts, chasing them away; the will to live.
Sonia's head cleared, her entire body spiked with adrenaline. She found a new reservoir of strength in her muscles and pushed through the water, kicking out.
But she continued to sink.
Horrified, Sonia tried to fight her way through the water, her flailing, rapid movements only increasing the pain in her chest. Arceus, what have I done…!
She could feel herself dying. She could feel her life ending away. No!
She clawed through the water, kicking her legs. She cursed her younger, idiotic self; a former citizen of Icirrus City, and she couldn’t damn swim?!
A cramp suddenly flared in her right foot. Sonia screamed breathlessly, clutching at her booted toes and tries to stretch them out against her leg. In a desperate, vain hope, she opened her mouth to breathe. She was met with water instead, seeping in and choking her. Her vision was minimal; foggy shapes distorted further by water, darkness and pain.
Sonia again tried to strike for the surface, but it was of no use. Her chest was on fire. There was pressure in her ears and a cramp in her foot. There was nothing.
Suddenly, water rushed passed her as she was thrown from the lake. She was thrown through the air, landing heavily on the jetty. Gasping for breath like a fish, Sonia felt relief flood her, stronger than any emotion any amount of others could thrust upon her. She pushed her toes into the jetty, freeing herself from the cramp, and turned back to the lake.
A majestic Lapras floated before her, head held high. It looked down at her with a cold, judging gaze, calculating and assessing.
Sonia managed to find her voice through the shock. “Th-thank you,” she spluttered. “You s-saved m-my life.”
The corners of the Pokémon’s mouth tilted upward in what seemed to be a fraction of a smile. I would have hated to see such talent go to waste.
Sonia jumped, in part because of the deafening sound in her head. But mostly because she was standing, well, lying, in front of an urban legend, a story… the Psychic Lapras.
“Wh-what do you mean, t-talent?” Sonia coughed, water splattering on the jetty in front of her. “Ps-Psychic talent?”
The Lapras nodded curtly. You are a student of my former trainer, are you not?
Sonia looked at the Lapras with utter bewilderment. “Student? What?
The Lapras sighed inwardly and began to swim away.
“Wait!” Gasped Sonia. “Don’t leave! Tell me!”
Seek out Sabrina, the Saffron City Gym Leader. It spoke without turning around, the telepathy just as loud. You must know of the Psychic school. Tell her that you are in need of help and want to be a student. Say that the Lapras at the lake told you so.
“W-wait, I don’t understand…” Sonia trailed off. The Lapras was gone.
Shivering and wet, Sonia looked up at the sky. The moon looked back at her unwaveringly, independent of stars, shining resolutely on without them.
Sonia stood and turned around, walking back out of the mist and back through the park. She would trust the Lapras. Sabrina had to help her.
She had too.
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PostSubject: Re: Sonia Rewrites   Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:54 am

Okay! Here's a draft of chapter three (or four including prologue), working title What You See Is What You Get. I'm not completely happy with it, so it's subject to change. I think the ending is a bit rushed and there's some other iffy stuff. Please tell about anything else because I think I'm rewriting this one. But for now, enjoy and review!


--


Sonia had second thoughts when she actually saw the Gym.
It could have just been the rapidly falling darkness of nighttime, or that she’d just exited the dense trees lining the park, and the fact that she was shivering, wet and numb, but there was something ominous held within the building that was worse than all of her discomforts combined.
The Gym insignia was nowhere to be found on the walls, instead painted on a sign outside the door. It stood alone on a block, distanced from other buildings by a wide roads or pavement. Sonia’s had come out from the park facing it’s side, and the park seemed to curve to go around the back so the entire Gym was niched in the corner, its back to the dense trees that made up the edges of the park. Sonia had gone straight from one end of the park to the other; a lot of time must’ve passed. From the front there were mostly empty streets and wide pavements, a Pokémon Centre somewhat visible far down the end of the street. It must have been commonly used for Pokémon fairs or markets, as the street was wide enough for it. The road on the right side showed relatively small office buildings, the typical glassy-windowed ones. All in all, everyone seemed to shrink away from the Gym, while the Gym shrunk away into the dense trees of the park.
The building itself, though not flat out weird, certainly stuck out and had a slightly unorthodox design. It was as though the building was purposefully trying to eschew all semblance of it being a normal, functional part of the city.
Sonia shook much harder as she came in front of the Gym. It wasn’t just her; she was sure there was something actively warning her against coming into the Gym. Like a deterrent to outsiders.
Sonia honestly thought of turning around and running back home, but then she remembered the utter despair. The oh-so loud thoughts. The smashing glass and falling objects.
She couldn’t go back. So she had to go forward.
Taking a deep, shuddering breath, Sonia walked up to the doors, doing her best to ignore the building suddenly looming over her. She put her hand up to open the doors, but they swung open unaided.
“R-right, Psychic s-school,” Sonia said to herself through chattering teeth. “O-of course th-they’re gonna have c-creepy doors that open b-by th-themselves.”
Sonia forced herself to cross the threshold, wrapping her arms around herself. She breathed slightly easier once inside. She had gotten her momentum, all she had to do was hold onto it—
The doors slammed shut behind her with a bang, making Sonia jump and gasp. Her heart pounding, Sonia stood frozen, too scared to turn around or move forward.
Sonia’s eyes finally adjusted to the gloom. The hallway was quite wide, all made from stone. Lit torches hung on the walls, which Sonia supposed was likely because electronic appliances had a habit of fizzling, short-circuiting or otherwise refusing to fulfil their purpose in the presence of Psychic power. There was a literal light at the end of the tunnel; it seemed the hallway ended in a (relatively) bright room. Focusing on that, Sonia began to move forward.
There were doors at regular intervals and hallways splitting off from the main one, all lit by the torches. There were faint sounds coming from the other end, the sound of muted speech. With each step, she regained confidence, avoiding looking to the sides down the dark hallways and ignoring the whispers her mind conjured from her fears. The light at the end of the tunnel go closer and closer. Tiredness gnawed at the edge of her consciousness, making her eyelids heavy and her head hurt.
Sonia rubbed her arms. For a moment, she felt a flare of panic. Where was Zorua?! Why wasn’t she with her…?
Oh.
Sonia let out a sigh. It felt off. Too strange. Zorua had been with her for so long… alongside her for every twist and turn.
Sonia felt a twinge of sadness. But this was something Zorua couldn’t share. As a Dark-type, she was immune to the effects of Psychic power. That’s what Sonia had read. Zorua couldn’t understand what was going on in Sonia’s head. They could talk about it, but Zorua would never fully understand.
Sonia’s fear returned to plague her, and a tear fell down her cheek. This was the first thing she was doing completely alone. Without Zorua, available for support, or by her side. And it was terrifying.
The light, all of a sudden, was far too close. Sonia found herself faltering. It was no longer a symbol of safety, or a goal to be reached. It became a symbol of something else entirely.
Later, Sonia would look back on this moment, and remember it as the one which changed her forever.
Sonia took the next step forward, and crossed the next threshold. For a moment, it was too bright, and she had to squint. She opened her eyes slowly, carefully, taking in the scene in front of her.
She was in the battlefield, it seemed; it was a large and cavernous room, windowless but still carrying an ethereal cold breeze in the air. Again, torches hung on the walls. It seemed the place was even more maze-like than it first appeared; there were even more doors in the walls of the room.
But it was the people who grabbed Sonia’s attention.
There were three, standing in the centre of the battlefield. There was an old woman, a young man, and a young woman.
The old woman looked like a medium from Lavender Town, bespectacled with a green and white kimono. The young man wore a dark grey suit, a slightly too-light patch over his pocket.
The young woman was someone that immediately filled Sonia with fear. She could only guess it was Sabrina, the Gym Leader herself. Sabrina looked her over with cold blue eyes, showing no hint of emotion, only analytical judgement. She wore a tight red coat edged with black, along with white tights, white gloves and long black boots. Her hair was long, straight and olive green. She held both the air of youth and childhood, but also that of wisdom and maturity belied by her age. But through both there was a sense of callous apathy that chilled Sonia to the core.
“So.” Her voice was high and childlike, but oh-so cold. “You’re the source.”
“I told you two it wasn’t a student!” The white-haired old woman wheedled beside her, waving a walking stick. She glared at Sonia, and the young girl was taken aback by how much emotion was held in her gaze. “Our pupils aren’t that poorly skilled.”
“Pay no attention to Doris,” the young man said. He smiled, but it didn’t quite reach his icy blue eyes. “She’s just cranky because of the noise.” He seemed nice and charismatic enough, but Arceus, was he creepy. They all were.
Sonia was silent and wide-eyed, staring at them in a mixture of awe, fear and confusion.
“Well?” Doris, the old woman, snapped. “Someone, please get rid of her noise. It’s killing these old Psychic senses—”
“Quiet.” Sabrina held up her hand. The old woman, though formidable-seeming, immediately fell silent.
Sonia began to tremble. “I… I—”
“Get past your fear. It is causing more noise.” Sabrina glared at her. “What do you want?”
Sonia felt all of her fear settle in the pit of her stomach, almost making her feel sick. “Wh-who are you people?”
Sabrina looked her over. “The young man is Darcy. The old one is Doris. You should know who I am. Is that enough for you?”
Sonia nodded hurriedly. She did not want to anger this woman.
“Now. Tell me why you’re here.”
Sonia took a deep breath, then said it all in a rush. “I was told I should be a student and that you can help me. I have no idea what’s going on and things keep happening around me and I’m really scared and—”
Sonia, with a surge of terror, suddenly remembered that she was talking to possibly the most terrifying person in the world she would ever meet and shut up.
Sabrina winced, putting a hand to her temple. “Do you know what Psychic noise is?”
Sonia shook her head.
“Psychic noise is generated by unmanaged Psychic power.” Sabrina exhaled sharply. “Releasing Psychic noise generally happens to people who have neglected using their powers for a long time, and the power releases that way. It manifests in a loud buzzing that completely fills up a Psychic’s senses.”
Sonia nodded uncertainly.
Sabrina’s eyes met Sonia’s. “You are giving off quite a lot of it. It is beginning to get very irritating.”
“Irritating, my foot!” Doris snarled, prodding Sonia in the chest with her stick. “It's infuriating! Don’t you know how to use any of your abilities at all, girl?! Come on now, spit it out!”
“Doris, give it a rest,” Darcy said gently. "Can't you tell? She's new to this."
Doris backed off. "But the noise," she whined petulantly.
"I will deal with that." Sabrina approached Sonia, looking down on her with her harsh gaze. “Hold out your hand.”
Sonia looked warily up at the Gym Leader, distrusting.
“It’s easier if you do this of your own will.”
Sonia tucked her hands under her arms. “What exactly is this?”
“Enough.” Sabrina’s eyes flashed red, and Sonia gasped as her right hand jerked out. Terrified, she tried to pull away, but it was if her muscles had frozen in place. She turned away from Sabrina, trying in vain to move her hand.
Clinically, Sabrina slipped off the white glove on her right hand and took Sonia’s hand in her own. Sabrina’s hand was so chilled that Sonia gasped. A wave of nausea coursed through her, making her feel sick. Sabrina’s touch was even more repellent than the usual feelings. Sonia felt sick to her stomach, in her chest, in her throat. She honestly felt like she’d throw up.
A sudden numbness spread through her. It was not the physical, cold numbness that occurred when you’d been in the cold for too long; it was an emotional numbness, leaving her feeling drained. Sabrina took her hand away, pulling the glove back on.
Sonia blinked, shaking her head. Slowly, feeling returned, mostly shock and fear, but  they felt blunted and dimmed.
“Is that better, Doris?” Sabrina’s eyes narrowed slightly.
Doris muttered something. “At least she’s not as noisy now.”
“Doris, make sure everyone’s in their dorms. The noise has been cancelled out.” Sabrina then turned to Darcy. “And you yourself should be getting some sleep.”
Doris bustled out. Darcy cast a worried glance back at Sonia before following her.
They were alone in silence for a moment before Sonia spoke.
“What did you do?” Sonia whispered. “What did you do?”
Sabrina didn’t answer. “What’s your name?”
Sonia stayed silent.
Sabrina’s expression didn’t change. “Sonia, again, it’s easier if you do this wilfully.”
Sonia’s jaw went slack. “You…!”
Sabrina’s expression didn’t change. “A Darkin. Of any relation to Yannoa Darkin?”
“What are you doing?!” Sonia was baffled. How could this person possibly help her? “Don’t read my mind again!”
Sabrina glared at her, making Sonia shudder. “Perhaps if you didn’t leave your mind so open.”
Sonia felt tears welling up. She held back a sob. This had done nothing but make her feel worse; the Lapras as the lake had lead her to a dead end.
Sabrina’s gaze sharpened. “Lapras? What do you know of Lapras?”
Sonia turned away from her, resentful. “Get out of my head!”
Sabrina snapped her gloved fingers. Sonia felt her legs swept out from under her and she cried out, falling to the ground. “Augh!”
“I am trying to give you an opportunity to tell me,” Sabrina said evenly. “But I have very limited patience.”
“Yeah, well maybe you should work on that!” A surge of anger took over Sonia and she pushed herself up, her hands balling into fists. “It’s a wonder anyone comes here when they have to deal with someone like you!”
Sabrina’s eyes narrowed. “Insolent little—” she froze. “How fascinating.”
“What now?” Sonia challenged. “You read my mind again? Saw my memories? All you’re doing is proving that you couldn’t care less! Why do you think people hate Psychics?!”
Sabrina narrowed her eyes. “You have two personalities.”
Sonia froze, all the anger draining from her voice. “H-huh?”
Sabrina made a motion with her hand. “Right there. That’s you. There’s something else in there, something artificial.”
Sonia opened her mouth to ask what she was talking about, but there was a dreadful clarity. Sonia remembered times when she’d been different. That time in Icirrus City, during the dance, when she’d become so angry and violent. She remembered other moments too, when she’d suddenly change.
Sabrina was right.
Sonia looked down at the floor. In one night, everything had changed, all at once.
Sabrina looked her over with a calculating eyes. “You’re quite powerful, you know.”
“Th-thanks. I think.”
Sabrina turned away, expressionless. “Come on. Let’s get you a blanket. You’ll catch a cold, soaking wet like that. We have elderberry tea, if you’d like some.”
She began to walk away to one of the side doors.
Sonia looked at the other Psychic in confusion. Her demeanour had completely changed. After a moment, she followed.
Sabrina turned back to her. There was a slight smile on her face, not the fake sort like Darcy’s but genuine. “You aren’t the only one with two personalities.”
“Oh.” Sonia was silent for a moment. Sabrina lead her through the side door and down a short hallway. They entered a room which appeared to be like an office or meeting room, except it was quite comfortable-seeming like a living room, with couches, a fireplace and bookshelves. Sabrina gestured for Sonia to sit, bringing her a blanket.
“I… I was told to come here by the Lapras, the telepathic one that lives in the lake," Sonia said.
"Oh?" Sabrina gave her a mug of warm tea. Sonia held it in both hands, letting them soak in its warmth. "So you met Lapras?"
Sonia nodded. She took a sip of the tea, and at once felt better. The warmth lit a small hearth inside her, fighting back the cold, bringing her mind clarity. Sabrina sat beside her. Sonia turned back to her.
"Lapras said you’d help me.” Sonia looked at Sabrina hopefully. "With my... you know."
“And that I will.” Sabrina held out her gloved hand. “Sonia, every Psychic goes through this. There are ways to control this power. We can show you how.”
There was a pause. Sonia stared at Sabrina, unsure of what to do. This place and the people in it terrified her. Sabrina terrified her most of all, perhaps the most frightening person or experience Sonia would ever have.
But Sonia also terrified herself. And if she didn’t accept the help, she might act out her fears. She might hurt someone, or worse.
She thought of Zorua and Sawk, both knocked back helplessly by her power. She thought of her mother, approaching her like a rampaging Pokémon. She remembered the terrible sensation of the thoughts pushing themselves into her head, too loud to bear, and the weight of the emotions of so many people pressing down on her at once.
Sonia took Sabrina’s hand.
Sabrina smiled again. “Welcome to the Saffron Psychic School, Sonia Darkin.”
-
Darcy walked cautiously into the battlefield, looking for all the world like the mouse to Sabrina's cat.
"I got Doris to sign her up," he said, dusting off his sleeves and coming to a halt behind Sabrina. "She asked me if she'd been registered properly, made a fuss about fees, and was generally being Doris, but I got it done."
"Good." Sabrina didn't turn to face him. She held a Poké Ball in her hand, her gaze drawn to it.
Darcy shifted awkwardly, uncomfortable with the silence. His charisma and social skills never worked on Sabrina, as though she was impervious to good manners and smiles. She probably was. He cleared his throat.
"Sonia's powerful, isn't she?"
"Yes." Sabrina still didn't turn back around.
Darcy sighed. She was doing the one-syllable-answer thing. "Will you train her yourself?"
"Yes." Sabrina was barely reacting.
Darcy winced. That poor girl had no idea what she was in for. "Is she one of the lucky ones?"
Sabrina didn't answer. Darcy was about to speak, when her heard her response.
"...No."
"Ah." Darcy bowed his head. "Poor girl. She truly cares about her family, doesn't she? Shame she'll have to give it all up."
Sabrina didn't move. "Emotion is a dangerous thing."
"I know." Indeed, he did. He remembered all too well. Those sort of scars didn't fade. After a pause, he continued. "Remember, you have that dinner tomorrow."
"You had to remind me." Sabrina released the Poké Ball, letting it float in midair beside her. When she turned back to Darcy, her eyes glowed yellow. "Do I have to?"
Darcy calmed his frazzled nerves. "Th-that would n-not be the best way to make an entrance," he stammered. "And yes, you have to. As a Gym Leader, you are—"
"An integral part of the city and a noteworthy person, etcetera etcetera," Sabrina finished, sighing.
"Sabrina!" The door flashed open, revealing Doris. "You have a challenger!"
"This late?" Sabrina turned to her. "They had better be good."
"I'm not a challenger."
The three Psychics turned to the door. A brown haired woman stood there, determination in her expression. Her hair and raincoat were dripping onto the floor of the Gym. "I've come to talk to Sabrina."
Darcy glanced between the two, unsure of how to respond. Recognition flashed in Sabrina's gaze. He signalled to Doris and the two backed away.
"Yannoa. What a pleasant surprise." Sabrina's tone clearly stated it was not pleasant nor a surprise.
"Sabrina, this isn't the time." Yannoa twisted a ring on her finger, a nervous tic. "I'm assuming Sonia came here."
"She did." Sabrina's eyebrows raised slightly.
"And you read her mind, I'm sure," Yannoa said.
"I may have taken a little peek," Sabrina said airily. "She left it rather open. And I would have thought you of all people would have at least taught her how to close herself off. As you're doing right now."
Yannoa shifted uncomfortably, ignoring the Gym Leader's jibes. "And so I assume you know what happened to Caius."
"Indeed," Sabrina replied without sympathy. "What a tragedy."
A tear slipped down Yannoa's cheek and she wiped it away angrily. "I'm here to tell you that I won't quit. I've fought to keep my daughter all these years, and I'm not about to let you take her away from me."
Sabrina didn't react. "You were putting off the inevitable. What you asked Caitlin to do to her could have caused irreversible damage. It very well could have caused her duality."
Yannoa closed her eyes. "I know about her personalities. Caius even has... had... some theories. None of them involved the blocking."
Sabrina turned away. "If that's all you're here to say, I believe this conversation is over."
"Sabrina!"
The Gym Leader looked back over her shoulder.
Yannoa's curled fists shook. "You are not turning my daughter into an emotionless slate like you. I'm not letting it happen, you hear me?!"
Sabrina turned back to face her. Darcy looked between the two, confused. How was this woman not afraid of Sabrina?
"Yannoa. You see, it's not up to you." Sabrina's voice had changed slightly. An eerie smile crossed her face. "Do you want to end up comatose? Would you like to be indirectly responsible for the death of some poor person caught in a Psychic accident? Are you eager to have you or your Pokémon friends fall prey to an untimely death at the hands of your own daughter?"
Sabrina's eyes flashed angrily and she stepped upward, floating with the aid of her telekinesis, now taller than Yannoa.
"Your daughter needs training, and she needs it now," Sabrina spat, the smile gone from her face. "As I'm sure Caitlin told you, that girl is a ticking time-bomb." Her voice had an iron severity. "You know what the choices are."
Yannoa stared at her. Darcy recognised betrayal in her gaze. "You would do this?! You would put her through this?!"
"There is no choice." Sabrina began to walk away. "We're done here, Yannoa. Go ahead. Stop your precious little girl from coming here. You'll just lose her faster."
There was a ringing silence in the room. Sabrina began to teleport away.
"Sabrina!"
Sabrina's form disappeared. Yannoa was left standing with her arm where Sabrina's shoulder had been, tears streaming down her face. After a moment, she turned and ran from the Gym.
Doris turned to Darcy, consternation painted on her face. "Why do I have a feeling we weren't supposed to see that?"
Darcy rubbed his forehead. "Enough drama. I'm going to bed."


Last edited by ParallelDimension75 on Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:40 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Sonia Rewrites   Thu Dec 31, 2015 12:58 pm

Whew! Finally, chapter four! It means serious editing for some of the other chapters so I don't repeat the same info (emotion = dangerous blah blah blah) but I hope it's better than the first draft!

Excuse the typos. I promise I'll edit soon!

-

It looked different in the daylight.
Sonia looked the Gym up and down. For some reason, it didn’t feel so frightening now— just mysterious. There were a few people milling around the area, mostly heading for anywhere that wasn’t the Gym. There was a slight buzzing in her ear that had been with her since breakfast.
Sonia took a deep breath, glancing back in the direction of home. She’d told Zorua she had to do this alone. Indeed she was; she felt more alone than she’d ever been. She’d pushed her whole family away. But to be fair, they couldn’t understand.
She felt her phone buzz in her pocket. She checked it; a text from her mother.
Your fathers funeral is at 3 pm today. Ill pick you up outside the gym, ok? xx
Sonia turned the phone off with a trembling finger and walked towards the Gym, checking the time on her watch. She’d come early, just as Sabrina had asked.
Sonia faltered, a wave of self-consciousness making her stop. All of a sudden, she felt very aware of her surroundings. Everything felt bigger, looming over her, as though the entire world was staring at her—
Someone else, a young boy, walked past her through the door of the Saffron City Gym. As he did, the feeling faded.
Horror painted Sonia’s face as the realisation struck. It was his emotions. She was feeling what he felt.
Sonia suddenly felt a lot less safe. Sabrina has promised training, and that had made Sonia feel secure, as though simply the promise could chase all the thoughts and feelings away. This shook her. It reminded her that she wasn’t safe yet.
Taking a deep breath, Sonia followed the Embarrassed Boy into the Gym.
“Hey, you.”
Sonia jumped, turning in the direction of the voice. It was the older woman, Doris.
Doris moved forward, glaring at Sonia. “Already noisy again, eh?”
Sonia rubbed at her ears. The buzz was still there. “It’s… it’s a buzzing, right?”
Doris nodded. “You can hear it already?”
Sonia nodded back.
The old woman sighed. “Do you want me to explain how noise works?” Her voice was grudging, almost reluctant.
Sonia nodded again.
The old woman jerked her head in a motion as if telling Sonia to follow. She then turned and walked away, down one of the side corridors, talking as she went.
After a pause, Sonia followed.
“As I hope you remember,” Doris began snippily, “Psychic noise is just unused Psychic power trying to get out. That’s the problem with Psychic power; it gets restless if you don’t use it, and it just starts doing stuff on its own. It’s pretty much just this insistent, ridiculously annoying buzzing deep inside your head. In the beginning only other Psychics will hear it, but after a while, you’ll start hearing it too. It just builds and builds, until it’s all you can hear.” Doris spoke so matter-of-factly, so plainly. “At that point, you pretty much just go insane.”
Sonia stared at her. “Wait, what—?!”
“All you need to know; you can’t not use your power.” Doris shrugged. She stopped by a door, motioning for Sonia to stay. After fiddling with a key, Doris yanked the door open unceremoniously and suddenly pushed Sonia inside. “Come on, now! Enough talking; I have to get you sorted out before school starts!”
They’d entered an office which, if summed up in one word, was messy. There were files and books and even pot plants strewn everywhere, as if the last person to clean up had been a klutz who’d knocked over more than he put on he shelves. There was a (relatively) clean desk with a very new and flashy computer set up on top. There was a chair behind it, and two chairs in front, one knocked on its side.
Doris put her hand on Sonia’s shoulder and, with surprising strength, pushed her down into the still-standing chair. Doris shuffled behind the computer and sat down in the chair, shifting it forward. She jabbed at the computer's on button repeatedly, grumbling.
Curiously, Sonia leant around, trying to see why it wasn’t turning on. This computer was supposed to be one of the best-functioning in the world! Sonia opened her mouth to ask, but Doris beat her to it.
“Tech doesn’t mesh too well with Psychic power,” Doris grumbled. “Don’t ask me why. Even the best stuff in all the regions goes on fritz when you stick Psychic types or Psychics in front of it.” With a triumphant ‘ah ha!’ Doris got the computer working. Squinting through her glasses, the old woman made some clicks with the mouse, typed in a few things, and (as Sonia expected) immediately leaned back and moaned.
“You’re a time-tabling nightmare!” Doris wailed. “Coming in the middle of the term, no less!”
“What’s so bad about it?” Sonia snapped. She was getting tired of Doris’s whining.
Doris sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose. “I’m sorry. You’re noise is just a little overwhelming. Now please, stop talking. I need to focus.”
Sonia suddenly remembered Sabrina sweeping her to the ground with a snap of her fingers and numbing her emotions at the slightest touch. Her angry self backtracked and she snapped her mouth closed. Doris, nasty as she may have seemed, was certainly not too bad when put in perspective. And at least she apologised…
The part of her brain that still understood logic shrieked at her. Why the hell was she here?! Why in all of the universe was she trusting these people, who seemed very definitely creepy and at the very least slightly insane?!
Sonia looked down at her hands, cold and clammy in her lap. Did she have a choice?
Sonia looked back up at Doris, squinting determinedly at the computer screen, typing quickly. For an old woman, she certainly knew her way around a computer.  
Doris shook her head in wonder. “I swear, the evil gods of administration created you specifically to drive me insane.”
Sonia gave a small, humourless laugh, but Doris didn’t respond.
Doris jabbed the left click on the mouse and the printer in the back of the room chugged to life. “This’ll have to do.”
She got up and snatched the papers from the printer, handing them to Sonia.
“‘It’ll have to do’?” Sonia parroted doubtfully. “What if… It doesn’t?”
Doris shrugged. “Rule number one of the Saffron Gym; if in doubt, don't go to Sabrina.”
Sonia stared at her. “But… But…”
“Well, I myself am quite the busy woman, so don’t ask me.” Doris huffed, adjusting her kimono. “Have a good day. Cheerio!”
She shuffled out of the room, leaving Sonia to stare after her, gaping like a fish.
Sonia was honestly as confused as she’d ever been in her life. Did they act insane on purpose? Or were they actually all just insane?
-
Sonia glanced at her timetable, brow furrowed. Was there any other battlefield that she wasn’t aware of? No one else was here for her Telepathy Practical class. She glanced around in the cavernous space. She seemed very, very alone. At least there wasn’t Psychic noise anymore; in her theory class, the teacher had told her to consciously try to sense the emotions of others, as she’d already been doing. When she actually tried using it, the noise seemed to go away, like it was appeased.
After a minute or so of waiting, Sonia realised, oddly, that she was actually happy.
Her Psychic Theory class beforehand had been extremely interesting; she’d scoured the web, but she’d never found as much information on Psychics as she’d gotten in that one lesson. She couldn’t wait to have more of those classes. She felt, for perhaps the first time in her life, like the world made sense.
But her father was dead. She shouldn’t be happy. Sonia looked down as eyes teared up, and she licked her lips anxiously. She should be grieving for her father right now. Sonia felt a wave of guilt; she’d barely even thought of her father, and here she was.
“Just because the dead are dead does not mean the living cannot enjoy life.”
Sonia glanced up. Sabrina stood there as though she’d been there the whole time, her arms crossed. With a jolt, Sonia realised the Gym Leader must have teleported there.
“Uh, I’m sorry,” Sonia said awkwardly. “What did you say?”
“Just because the dead are dead does not mean the living cannot enjoy life,” Sabrina repeated emotionlessly. “Now, considering how easily I was able to glean your thoughts from your head, I think it’s best if we start working on your telepathy.”
Sonia bristled at the invasion of privacy. “What about everyone else?”
Sabrina let her arms fall to her sides. “It’s just us.”
Sonia raised her eyebrow. Was it because she was powerful…?
“No,” Sabrina snapped. “It’s because your powers were restrained artificially and have developed awkwardly, meaning that unless extreme care is taken you will probably blow something up.”
Sonia recoiled at the harshness in Sabrina’s tone.
“We’ve wasted enough time.” Sabrina stepped forward. “Now, the subject of today’s telepathy lesson. I would have hoped Yannoa would teach you at least some defensive strategies for your mind, but it seems she wanted to believe she could keep you from the world of Psychics altogether.”
“My mother— what?” Sonia stared at Sabrina. “Defensive strategies? Could you at least explain before—”
A sudden flash of pain crashed through Sonia’s skull and she stumbled back with a shriek. “What in the hell was that?!”
Sabrina simply narrowed her eyes. “So you do have defences. Needlessly self-destructive if you ask me.”
Sonia stared at her. Sabrina, looking rather irritated, finally elaborated.
“Though only a Psychic can view their consciousness and freely traverse it, any human being and most Pokémon can guard their mind.” Sabrina glared at Sonia. “It’s as simple as visualisation. If someone imagines that their secrets are buried deep and behind closed doors, their mind will oblige. Of course, when those doors come under siege by a Psychic, one must fight to keep them closed, but at least you will know when your mind is under attack.”
Sonia nodded hesitantly. “But what did you do that made my head hurt?”
Sabrina gave a huff of mirthless laughter. “Your subconscious is literally a minefield, once you get past the wisps of thoughts and the consciousness.” Sabrina shrugged. “They seem to function more as alarms then defences, though. I must say, it was quite sloppily done.”
It was Sonia’s turn to glare. “Get to the point. What did you do?”
Sabrina gestured flippantly. “I simply triggered one, and it notified you in a particularly violent manner.”
Sonia crossed her arms. “So it was your fault.”
Sabrina looked down at her disdainfully. “My, you do love asking redundant questions, don’t you? Of course it was.”
Sonia stared at her. “Are… How… Do you not care?! How are you so cold like this?! Are you a sociopath or something?!”
“A sociopath?” Sabrina quirked an eyebrow. A shadow seemed to fall over her expression. “I wish.”
Sonia felt confusion sit on top of her like a swamp. Her jaw dropped open, and the sound that came out of her mouth could be identified as anything between a laugh and a groan.
Sabrina sighed. “I suppose I should have talked to you about this first.”
Sonia felt something in Sabrina change, something physical and mental. The Gym Leader looked down slightly, blinking and shaking her head slightly. She seemed to loosen up. An emotion flitted in to her expression, and her face seemed to go from a blank slate back to a face.
“Emotion,” Sabrina said, shaking her head. There was a mix of bitterness, resentment and wonder in her voice. She looked Sonia directly in the eye. “To a Psychic, it is the most dangerous thing there is.”
“Why?”
Sabrina looked at Sonia almost pityingly. “In the less literal sense, emotion disrupts one’s clarity and purity of logic. In the more literal sense, it disrupts control over Psychic powers. Psychic powers and emotion are linked; when a Psychic feels a strong emotion, their powers respond and react without the Psychic’s oversight. Similarly, if one tries to purposefully use their power while under the influence of emotion it is generally much more difficult and hard to control.”
Sonia winced, remembering the night of Caius’s death. The way her power had burst out in response to her sudden grief.
Sabrina smiled slightly. “You know what I’m talking about.”
Sonia nodded. “Yeah. So… what does this have to do with wishing to be a sociopath?”
Sabrina sighed. “People think I’m emotionless. That’s what I try to be; it’s what I need to be. If I were a sociopath, I wouldn’t have to worry nearly as much about other people. I would be more indifferent. It would be easier not to care. Being emotionless is what I need to be.” Sabrina almost looked longing. She caught Sonia watching, and immediately her smile fell like a forgotten mask. Her posture straightened, her composure returning. Once more, she was blank. “It’s what you need to be.”
Sonia recoiled. “Wh-what?”
Sabrina carefully put a gloved hand on Sonia’s shoulder. “I’m not going to lie to you. You are powerful. It just means you’ll have to work harder than others.” Sabrina paused. “Your mother didn’t want you to become an ‘emotionless slate’ like me. Unfortunately, you will have to try your best. As you are the only thing you’ll be is a hazard, not a Psychic.” Sabrina affixed Sonia with a warning glare. “And unlike in Unova, Kantoan law is a fair bit harsher on Psychic incidents.”
Sonia swallowed nervously. How could she rid herself of emotion? Sadness at her father’s death, the guilt she felt when she wasn’t sad for her father’s death, humour at funny moments, shock at surprising moments… How could one keep all of that bottled up?
“There’s no other way,” Sabrina said flatly. “And as far as we know, there is no way to remove Psychic powers permanently from a person.”
Sonia’s fists clenched.
“This isn’t really a choice,” Sabrina continued. “You either train to control and deaden your emotions, or you get stuck in the cycle of hell that happens when the police and the law get involved. With some very tragic accidents along the way. There are those who simply become destructive criminals, using their emotions as a channel, but you don’t strike me as the type to go for violence.”
Sonia turned away, shoving Sabrina’s hand off her shoulder, a sudden surge of anger overtaking her. Something wrested the control from her, and before she knew it, her tongue was on autopilot. “This isn’t fair! This isn’t just ‘not a choice’, it’s coercion! There has to be a way!”
“You can’t have it all, Sonia.” Sabrina’s voice was uncharacteristically gentle. “I used to believe that too. I became fixated with it. It… didn’t end too well. Not for me or for those I cared about.” She stepped closer. “So, Sonia. Choose.”
Sonia felt herself trembling; with rage or fear, she didn’t know. “This isn’t a choice. I don’t get to choose emotion without power.”
“No,” Sabrina’s voice was quiet. “It isn’t. I just find giving the illusion of choice let’s people adjust more smoothly.”
Sonia was cursing the cruelty of it. Screaming at Arceus, in her head, asking, pleading to know why he’d created Psychics like this, if he even had a hand in it at all. She had three paths; work with Sabrina to conquer her curse, as she was coming to think of it, or she could try go it alone and end up in a living hell, or she could just do what the stupid one-chapter villains did in the books and just let loose with her powers and end up in a worse version of the living hell.
Sonia suddenly thought about the Psychic Theory class, about how much she’d actually enjoyed it. There were perks— and then she remembered she wasn’t allowed to enjoy it.
Sonia clenched her fists, turning back around to face Sabrina. “I’ll do it. But not because I want to.”
Sabrina smiled a cold, thin smile. “Good girl. Just what I expected of you.”
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PostSubject: Re: Sonia Rewrites   Thu Dec 31, 2015 1:03 pm

I loved Sabrina. Very good, somewhat chilling depiction of her. I also like Sonia's reactions, and would like to see her more as this through the story -struggling hard in her role and with her powers, but not hateful.
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PostSubject: Re: Sonia Rewrites   Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:02 am

Okay, this is the draft for chapter nine, 'Devil Takes The Hindmost'. It's a bit shaky, needs some editing, and I'm not entirely sure if it lines up with what all of you guys want, but it leaves nice room for perspective chapters from the others point of view.

-


Calm down, Sonia. Zorua, Zoru, you can do this, Zoru!
Sonia glared at her travelling companions, Raphael, Mal and Felix. Felix was talking animatedly to Mal about allopathic versus homeopathic Pokémon medication, with Mal nodding along and Raphael interjecting when he could. They walked along Route 1 mostly unhindered, but Sonia’s supremely low fitness levels were coming back to bite her. She was honestly considering levitating telekinetically, but the other part of her mind told her she needed the exercise. Raphael laughed at something Mal said, and Felix grinned and explained something else.
Sonia felt like she could scream. Why, Zorua? She whined piteously. Why must they all be so… So… Social?!
Zorua screeched with laughter, making the others stare for a moment.
Ehhh, Sonia! Zorua laughed, grinning widely. You gotta learn to deal with this stuff, Zoru! You been holed up in that Gym for far too long, Zoru!
Sonia winced inwardly at the truth in Zorua’s words. She licked her lips, embarrassed slightly. She shoved it down. So… Uhh… Um… How do you suggest I go about that?
Zorua stared at her incredulously. Zoru? You serious?
Sonia nodded. Raphael probably has a lot of media coverage on him, which might extend to me. If he’s ever asked anything about his opinion of Psychics and it’s bad, it could be disastrous. I’m probably the only Psychic he’s ever met he’s had to stick around for long periods of time, so I need to make a good impression.
Zorua’s ears fell. Oh. Zorua. So there is an ulterior motive in there, Zoru…
Sonia shrugged. Sorry to disappoint.
Zorua glared skeptically. “Hmmph. Zoru.” Well, go ahead then, Zoru; I'm not gonna be much help.
Sonia glanced over at the others. She readied herself, told herself she’d approach and join the conversation. She saw Raphael laughing again and changed he mind. Wait, wait, I-I’m not ready for this!
Wuss, Zoru! Zorua batted Sonia’s head with her paw.
“Ow! What was that for?!” Sonia glared at her friend, rubbing the back of her neck.
When it came to her that everything was silent and she was the only one still walking, she realised she’d said that out loud.
“What?” She snapped, glaring at the others.
Way to make an impression, Zoru, Zorua muttered.
Mal and Raphael glanced at each other, and Felix rubbed the back of his neck, suddenly bashful.
Suddenly, in sync, the three jumped. They all stared at something behind her.
Sonia crossed her arms. “What? What is it? Some kind of prank?”
Sonia then felt the mental presence behind her. Not a moment too soon, a hand suddenly clapped her on her shoulder.
“What do we have here? Four little children, wandering around by themselves?”
Panicked, Sonia whirled around, shoving the person’s hand off her shoulder. It was a woman, with glasses and curly light brown hair. She wore office clothes, a black blazer over a white blouse with a pink office skirt and black high heels. She smiled sweetly. Although she was short for an adult, she still towered over the very short Sonia.
“H-hi!” Raphael said genially, but clearly unnerved, like he'd seen a ghost. “M-my name is Raphael, and these are my friends, Mal—”
The woman flapped her hand dismissively, shutting him up. “Yes, yes, I know who you are. Raphael d’Alcott, Malcolm Thrones, Felix Verity and Sonia Darkin.”
Raphael’s mouth stayed open like a gaping fish. “Uhhh…” He turned to Felix. “Do you know her?”
Felix shrugged helplessly, shaking his head. “Sonia?”
Sonia, irritated, levitated herself up to the woman’s height. She almost blushed when she realised exactly how high she had to go. “Excuse me,” she said icily. “But who the hell are you?”
The woman tutted, shaking her head. “Such manners.” With that, she snapped her fingers.
Sonia felt her legs pulled out from under her, as if she were standing on a rug which had slipped. She landed hard on the ground, Zorua beside her. “Argh!”
The woman giggled. “That was easier than I’d expected.”
Sonia growled, standing up and dusting herself off. So the mysterious woman was a Psychic. Perfect. Just… perfect.
“Ooh! Rare Pokémon!” Said a voice from above Sonia. “I call dibs!”
They all glanced up at the trees to see two similar-looking men drop down expertly from above, landing unharmed in crouches. One grabbed Zorua, and they both dashed to stand beside the woman.
“Hey!” Sonia cried, snatching at him. Her hand collided with a telekinetic barrier.
The man smiled back at her. “Too slow! Nice try, kid.”
“Uh oh,” Raphael said, an edge of fear entering his voice. “This is bad.”
“No!” Sonia cried, feeling a tear in her eye. She wrested it back under control. “Give me back my friend, right now!”
“Zoru!” Zorua writhed in the man’s grip, her claws scratching. She bit at him, but he grabbed her muzzle and held it closed.
Felix gasped. “Don’t treat a Pokémon like that! Who do you think you are?!”
“Who are we?”
They turned behind them to see a short but leanly muscled young woman with blue stripes dyed in her hair. She stood with her hand on her hip, dressed in a Team Rocket uniform. The two men standing beside the Psychic woman opened their jackets to reveal the signature bright red R’s on their clothes beneath.
The younger woman’s eyes narrowed. “I’m pretty sure the uniforms speak for themselves, kid.”
Raphael’s hand went to a Poké Ball. “This is very, very bad…”
“And on the first day, too,” Mal muttered.
The first woman giggled. “Oh! Almost forgot my manners! We know your names, so I suppose it’s only fair you know ours.” Her smile was somewhere between sincere and sinister. “My name is Odette, that over there is Janet and these two here are Fred and Grant. Fred’s the one holding your darling little Zorua.” Odette’s eyes locked with Sonia’s. Her smile was definitely sinister now. “Seems we have you surrounded, doesn’t it?”
The Rocket members blocked the paths. To the sides were only dense trees.
Raphael’s expression was dark. “No you don’t!”
He ran at Janet, trying to twist and duck underneath her. Janet stepped to the side, grabbed his wrist and pressed it at an awkward angle. She turned back around and slammed Raphael to the ground, all in one seamless movement. Raphael cried out in a mixture of pain and surprise.
“Don’t try that again, kid.” She let Raphael’s wrist go. “I’ve been trained by the best.”
Raphael staggered back to the group, holding his wrist. “Okay,” he gasped. “Anyone got a better plan?”
Felix shook his head, panicked, but Mal stepped forward. “I’m sure we can resolve this peacefully. Is there something specific you want—?”
“Peacefully?” Sonia shrieked. She felt a familiar shadow fall over her, her vision getting darker. She seethed with uncontrolled anger, and a sudden wind burst through the trees. “They’re trying to steal my friend! I’m not just going to sit here and take this peace talk crap! You are not getting away with this, you thugs!” 
Sonia shoved telekinetically at Fred, sending him flying back into a tree. He cried out, letting go of Zorua. The little Pokémon dashed away. Sonia teleported forward, standing right in front of the Rocket grunt, and grabbed his bare throat.
Immediately, her mind soared easily into his. Without bothering she rushed through, forcing power straight through his head. She was losing control over herself, her anger encompassing her, but with that shadow over her she didn't care. As though from far away she heard a scream, but she kept pressing at the man’s mind, tearing at it, showing no mercy—
She snapped back into reality as she was thrown away. The other one, Grant, had grabbed her by the shirt and throw her to the ground. Fred moaned, unconscious, slumping against the tree. Grant snapped out a baton, glaring at Sonia. “Try that again and I knock you out, bitch,” he hissed. “No one does that to my friend.”
Sonia glared at him. “Now for that one, I’m going to be extra nasty.”
Sonia tapped into her empathy. She thought of the things that made her afraid, that kept her up at night, things that made her scream in terror. And she directed it all at him.
Grant dropped the baton, stumbling back, eyes widening. A look of pure terror flashed across his face and he dropped to the ground, clutching his skull. “Janet! Odette!” He screamed. “Do something! She’s— augh!”
Sonia turned around to glare at the others. Raphael, Mal and Felix stared dumbstruck with a mixture of awe and fear. Odette’s stare was calculating, analysing. Janet, looking wary, reached back to a holster at her waist.
Sonia panicked. “Don’t you dare!” She shoved out her hand and the pistol went flying from Janet’s holster. Her emotions ran wild, worsening her control. The gun snapped in two with a vicious crack. Sonia was breathing hard; the worse her control was, the more emotion she built up. And the more emotion, the worse her control… The vicious cycle had started. Before she’d know it she’d be in too deep.
“My, you are powerful!” Odette gushed, clapping her hands. “The boss would love a Psychic as powerful as that on the team!”
“Zoru! Zorua!” Zorua barked at her. Go ahead and try, Zoru!
Odette flicked her hand. Sonia gasped, stumbling, a wave of pain flashing through her head.
“Zoru!” Zorua leapt up to Sonia, nuzzling her cheek. Are you all right?
Sonia shook her head, trying to block out the pain. “I… I’m fine.”
Her concentration had completely snapped. Grant’s whimpers of fear stopped, and Fred’s eyes blinked open. Sonia gaped at Odette. Somehow the Psychic had completely broken her telepathic effects on them with as little effort as breathing.
“Fred, Grant, Janet,” Odette called. “Take care of the other three. I’m going to have a little chat with our Psychic friend here. Psychic-to-Psychic.”
Before Sonia could react, Odette had teleported to stand right in front of her. The elder Psychic grabbed her by the shoulder.
“Let go!” Sonia cried by impulse.
Odette just smiled and teleported again.
Sonia stumbled, unbalanced, her ankle catching on a tree root. She could hear the sounds of a Pokémon battle from a distance, but her companions were nowhere to be seen.
And neither was Odette.
A wave of force blew into Sonia, sending her crashing against a tree. “Argh!” Sonia heard Zorua screech, flying from Sonia’s shoulder.
Oh, Sonia Darkin! Odette’s laughing voice echoed in Sonia’s head. So much anger for such a little girl!
Sonia gritted her teeth, her anger rising. She made herself stand up.
Another wave of force, this time from the opposite direction, sent Sonia flying once more. She crash-landed against another tree, pain bursting across her back.
“Come on!” Sonia felt anger overwhelm her. She stood up, her fists clenched. She sent out a burst of force, ripping through the trees and spraying dirt, but no Odette was in sight.
Such a shame you can’t channel any of it.
Sonia felt a force come down at her from above. Once more she had no time to react and felt herself forced to the ground, her back digging into the dirt.  She gasped for air, her chest feeling like it was being crushed. Odette teleported out in front of her, shaking her head.
“And really, I expected so much more from you,” she sighed. “A Grade Alpha! Trained by Sabrina herself!” She shook her head disdainfully. “And this is what I get. Sure, you almost put one of my little foursome in a coma, but it was a rather sloppy job, wouldn’t you agree?” She smiled gleefully. “Do you want me to show you how to do it properly?”
Still held down with Odette’s telekinetic force, Sonia felt the other Psychic’s presence flash through her mind.
Sonia screamed, a sudden overload hauled on top of her, a massive headache splitting her skull. Psychic power tore at her mind, crushing it and ripping it apart at the same time. She tried to fight back at it, but Odette was more skilled at telepathy than her; Odette wasn’t even in direct contact with Sonia and she could do this. The more Sonia pushed back, the more the other Psychic loaded on. There was no competition. Sonia felt fear overwhelm her, black beginning to swim across her vision, her head feeling like it was going to implode.
A screaming flying ball of black fury barrelled into Odette, claws swiping. The elder Psychic shrieked, tripping back, putting her arms up to defend herself from Zorua’s wrath. Odette’s concentration broke and Sonia felt everything lift away from her. Sonia gulped in a deep breath, staggering up, clutching her pounding skull.
By the time she’d stood up, Odette was holding Zorua away from her in a telekinetic vice, three bleeding lines scored into her right arm and one underneath her right eye. Her expression was still cheerful, but there was a dark undertone to her voice. “Naughty little Zorua!”
Zorua scrabbled at Odette, shrieking and screeching, but she only tired herself out, swiping at the air. Odette just laughed.
“Leave her alone!” Sonia gasped.
“Oh?” Odette snapped her fingers. Zorua fell limp, unconscious. Odette caught the little Pokémon in her arms. “And what will you do about it? You’re not the most skilled Psychic I’ve seen. You haven’t had your powers for very long, have you.”
Sonia’s cheeks burned in embarrassment. “Shut up,” she muttered angrily.
Odette laughed. “Two years, was it? Since you moved here from Unova?”
Sonia didn't respond, clenching her fists. She still had a pounding headache, and she felt unsteady on her feet.
Odette simply grinned and continued. “So, what do you say? Come on with me to Team Rocket, nice and peacefully, and no one has to get hurt! I’ll show you how to get as strong as me. Even stronger! And that way we don't have to steal your rare Pokémon, because you’ll already have them.” Odette held out her hand to Sonia. A droplet of her blood dripped out onto the grass. “You’re in checkmate, little Sonia Darkin. And I know your secret. There are no tricks; the only way you’re getting Zorua back is by doing exactly what I say. Now come on and be a good girl.”
Sonia stared incredulously at Odette. “You ambush me and my companions, try to steal my best friend, telekinetically beat me up, telepathically torture me, and then you ask me to join your Team?” Sonia shook her head. “You’re insane.”
Odette giggled. “It took you this long to notice?”
“It’s people like you who give Psychics a bad name,” Sonia hissed. “Now let Zorua go!”
Odette tutted softly. “Wrong choice of words. I’ll give you another chance; perhaps you meant something more along the lines of ‘yes, I’ll join Team Rocket?’ Come on, Sonia, you’re not an idiot. I’ve won this round!” Odette jerked her head back at where the sounds of battle came from. “Now, the others have their uses too. That Felix boy could be a great asset for the Team himself; good breeders are hard to come by. And I’m sure the other two will raise plenty of ransom money.” Odette shrugged. “Janet thinks they’re more important… That catching your rare Pokémon and getting their ransom money is the priority. But I think that a powerful Psychic like you is just what the Team needs.”  Odette smiled again.
Sonia felt a flash of anger. That damn smile… That was it. Odette was absolutely 100% insane.
“Shut up!” Sonia cried. She teleported so she was directly above Odette, aiming to kick down at her. Just before she made contact, Odette teleported away. Sonia fell to the ground, jarring her ankles with a pained cry.
Odette shook her head, standing a few paces away. Zorua was still in her arms. “As if I haven’t seen that one before.” She raised her eyebrow at Sonia. “Be creative, dear. Silly little run-of-the-mill tactics aren’t going to beat me.”
Sonia’s left ankle throbbed painfully. Sonia cringed, but an idea came to mind. She leapt into the air and held herself up telekinetically; this way Odette’s waves of force would be easier to dodge and she didn't have to put as much weight on her sore ankle. She felt her concentration waver, but she managed to keep herself up. Odette was obviously better with telepathy, there was no doubt about that. Sonia couldn’t beat Odette that way, and she was willing to bet her own empathy wasn’t strong enough to pull that fear trick on another Psychic. So she settled on the riskiest way; a battle of telekinesis and teleportation.
Instead of sending a shove at Odette, Sonia grabbed at her. Odette winked and teleported out of Sonia’s grip.
“That was clever, dear!” Came a voice from above.
Sonia gasped and turned, but Odette was already above her and a force was already shoving her downwards.
“But not clever enough.”
Sonia teleported just before she hit the ground, teleporting into a tree and landing awkwardly on the ground. She tried to use telekinesis to boost herself up but she used too much and it instead sent her tripping and stumbling. Horrified, Sonia felt her control slipping. She was letting her emotion go unchecked and it was coming back to bite her. She tried to channel her emotions into her power but they were too unwieldy and she almost knocked herself over again.
Sonia felt a hand on her shoulder. “Poor girl. Have I not been going easy enough? I thought you’d be better at this,” Odette said lightly. “Sabrina’s standards must be dropping.”
Sonia felt a malformed and very fallible plan come together in her head. “You want me in Team Rocket, right?” She said.
“Yes!” Odette said brightly. "Now you're getting it!"
Sonia bit her lip. “Then you're going to have to catch me.”
Sonia teleported forward, running - well, limping - back towards the sounds of the battle.
“That’s your strategy?” Odette called, leisurely following on. “Run? Well, in the loose sense of the word.”
Sonia gritted her teeth. She felt Odette’s presence catching up; as a Rocket member she was no doubt fit and able physically as well as mentally. Odette could catch up to her any time she liked. Sonia teleported again, switching between running and teleporting.
“Are you hoping your friends might help you? Well, they can’t. You’re already getting out of control. Soon, I’ll have to actually put effort in and subdue you myself before you blow something up.”
Sonia was terrified to admit Odette was right. She was teleporting into trees and being a half-solid half-ethereal mess, and she’d started teleporting on top of the place where she already was, looking like a glitch in an computer game.
Sonia burst through the trees and onto the path. A battle raged fiercely between Janet and Raphael, with Janet seemingly winning, and Felix and Mal had tag-teamed to beat Fred and Grant. Judging by Mal’s controlled but dark expression and Felix’s panicked one, they were losing.
Odette materialised on the path behind Sonia, still holding Zorua. She looked expectant. “And your plan was…?”
Sonia closed her eyes. She was very uncontrolled. This was a very stupid idea. With her emotional level she couldn’t possibly have the finesse to do this. She had never tried something like this before and with her past track record of first tries she would fail miserably.
Oh well, no time like the present.
Sonia grabbed Janet, Fred, Grant and their Pokémon telekinetically. Without any subtly at all, she sent them flying. A telekinetic burst ripped through the path, and friend and foe alike was hit. Sonia gritted her teeth, focusing on her targets. She pushed them up and flung them as far as she could.
Far away screams and Pokémon cries told her she’d achieved her goal.
Sonia opened her eyes, staggering slightly. Raphael, Mal, Felix and their Pokémon were all present, if shaken up. “Go ahead, Odette.” Sonia’s voice shook, and she felt dizzy. “They’re all about to fall to their deaths. They’re high enough for a teleporter of your skill to grab them all.”
Odette smiled, almost proudly. “Very clever! I like that plan! Getting us all away from you long enough to teleport your little group somewhere else!” She clapped her hands, keeping Zorua on her elbow. “There’s just one thing you didn’t factor in.”
A terrible sense of dread drowned out any relief. “Don’t tell me they have parachutes.”
“Yup!” Odette grinned. “We jump down from planes and helicopters all the time to do our missions; what would we do without them? Nice and compact, too. I love Team Rocket! We get all the best tech before the rest of the region catches up!”
Sonia gaped at Odette, crushed, falling to her knees. Her only idea had failed miserably. In the stupidest and most unfair way possible.
Odette grinned back. “Where’s your plan B?”
“That was my plan B!” Sonia wailed. A telekinetic shudder burst through the clearing, responding to her. The trees behind her shook, and her companions stumbled. Dirt shifted on its own and leaves fell from trees, all in an uncontrolled burst.
Odette tutted. “Losing control, are we? Too much emotion to have that precious fine control, huh? Well, it’s easier if you do it the way I do; just get used to it being a bit less precise!” Odette giggled. “That way I still get to have all my fun!”
Sonia felt her telepathy go on fritz next. The thoughts of Raphael, Mal and Felix flitted through her mind — what’re we gonna do now — oh Arceus is Sonia okay — is that Odette going to kidnap us — and then her empathy. Oh Arceus, the empathy was always the worst. She knew she was afraid, and tired, but then three other lots of fear and exhaustion were loaded on top of her, dragging her down and swamping her in utter despair. And then glee, a bubbly, happy feeling was shoved in, jarring her, making her brain hurt. Odette’s happiness didn’t help; it hurt, unbalanced with everything else she was feeling. Her mind couldn’t comprehend feeling everything at the same time, and it responded by shutting down and refusing to compute. She felt herself teleporting to the same spot, over and over again— a glitch in a computer game.
She opened her eyes, but she could barely see through the purple haze surrounding her.
Odette laughed brightly. “This is the level of control needed for a Grade Alpha certification? I should apply for Grade Alpha plus!” Odette came forward, kneeling in front of Sonia. “It must be so hard,” she hissed quietly. “Bottling everything up. No wonder it’s all coming out now.”
Sonia clutched her head, trying to clear her mind, to empty her feelings. But with four times the normal amount of emotion shoved on top of her, Sonia was powerless. She felt so helpless, so ineffectual— just like she had the night she’d tried to drown herself.
Odette shrieked with laughter. “Oh, that is priceless!” She lowered her voice to a whisper. “You tried to drown yourself? You must have always been this bad! My dear; if this is what Sabrina taught you, you ought to consider going to some other Psychic school!”
Sonia felt that shadow on top of her. Over everything else, it was still there.
“Shut up,” Sonia said quietly, her voice feeling distant and foggy. “Shut up.”
“What’s that?” Odette put a hand to her ear. “I can’t hear you!” Her voice was singsong. “You’re going to have to be a little louder!”
“Shut up!” Sonia growled. “Shutupshutupshutupshutup!”
Everything released in one big burst of power. A surge of energy, a huge blast, thrown forward with abandon. Sonia’s ears roared with sound, and her eyes were filled with that purple haze. She blinked them shut and waited for it all to pass.
After what felt like eons, Sonia opened her eyes.
Sabrina would not have been impressed. Not one bit.
Odette had clearly teleported away; there was no sign of her, physical or mental. It was as though a Scolipede had Steamrollered through the trees, a huge path scoured between them. The trees themselves had been pushed back, as if there was a huge storm with a powerful wind. She felt empty, empty of power. All of it had been blown out in a simple push of destruction.
Sonia looked at the ground. Why? Why had she let it come to this? This was exactly was she was trained to avoid.
“S-Sonia?” Came Felix’s small voice. “Are you… Okay?”
“Zorua,” Sonia whispered. ‘Where’s Zorua?”
Son… ia…
Sonia’s eyes widened. “Oh Arceus.” Oh crap.
Son… ia…
“Zorua!” Sonia screamed. “Zorua!”
There was no answer.
“Zorua!” Sonia felt tears streaming down her face. She pushed herself up, even though she had a terrible headache. She stumbled forward, her head pounding. “Zorua, where are you?!”
Son… ia…
Sonia ran forward, chasing Zorua’s voice, trying to find her mental presence. She ran through the path she’d made, chasing her voice. Son… ia…
At last, Sonia spotted her friend. She stumbled forward, collapsing to her knees. Zorua’s body lay on the ground, her position awkward. She shifted slightly when Sonia came into view, blinking her eyes open.
Trick-or-treat, Zoru! April Fools! Zorua’s mental voice laughed breathlessly. Still alive, heh-heh. Heh… Zoru… Heh…
Zorua’s voice trailed off. Sonia lifted the little fox into her arms, filled with a crushing guilt. “Oh Arceus.” Tears welled up in her eyes. “I did this.”
Zorua gave Sonia’s chin a gentle lick. “Zorua…” Don't blame yourself! I’m just glad to be here and not with that crazy Rocket woman, Zoru.
Sonia, gaze blurred with tears, stood up and stumbled back to the other three. Her clothes were dirty, her hair was a mess,  her face was red and covered in tears and now she had the blood of her best friend on her hands.
“Everyone. Put your hands on my shoulders.” Sonia tried to keep her voice from cracking. “And don’t let go.”
Mal put two and two together, nodding sombrely and gently clasping Sonia’s arm. Worried, Felix followed suit. “What happened to Zorua?”
Sonia didn’t answer him. She glanced at Raphael, standing apart and looking at her warily. “Raphael, I am happy to leave without you. Zorua takes priority.”
Slowly, Raphael edged forward. “What’re you going to do?”

“Teleport us to Viridian City’s Pokémon Centre.” Sonia couldn’t keep the grief and guilt from her voice.
Raphael slowly put his hand on her shoulder. "Are you sure this is safe right now?"
"No." Sonia sniffed. “Oh. And don’t throw up on me.”
Raphael’s face went horrified. “Wha—?!”
Sonia closed her eyes, hoped she was in control enough to do this, and teleported to Viridian City.

-

Aftermath: Raph throws up, Felix might as well, Mal is nauseous but okay and helps Sonia get Zorua into the Pokémon Centre, Sonia herself collapses shortly after and probably sleeps for eighteen hours straight.


Last edited by ParallelDimension75 on Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:27 pm; edited 6 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Sonia Rewrites   Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:22 am

Lamb: Excellently written. Although I wonder why Odette didn't teleport Zorua to Team Rocket, or anyone else for that matter.

Felix would be terrified by Sonia's power, but I imagine he'd talk to Sonia about her power once he gets a chance and hopefully find a reason not to fear her. He tries very hard to get along with people, after all.
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PostSubject: Re: Sonia Rewrites   Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:54 am

I liked it as well, and think that they were all written well. I like how you especially wrote Team OJ, with each written pretty much close enough to how I see them. Odette's a little more vicious, but that's probably fine in regards to who she's facing after all.

Mal's spot and as for the aftermath, I think I can work with that Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Sonia Rewrites   Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:56 am

Thanks, guys!

Oh, as for Odette not teleporting anyone else, she's kind of setting up a challenge for herself, making it a game, having fun. She is insane, after all; Joker-style insane. Not quite that insane, but she's on the scale.
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PostSubject: Re: Sonia Rewrites   Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:14 am

The new draft for the Viridian chapter; Trouble Shared Is Trouble Halved.

----

“Sawk?”
Sonia groaned, squeezing her eyes shut and snuggling in to the comforting warmth around her and the darkness under her eyelids. Her head pounded painfully, alongside her heartbeat. “I don’t wanna wake up…”
“Sawk. Saw-awk.” A finger brushed the skin of Sonia’s shoulder. You have to.
A wave of pain crashed in Sonia’s head as Kai’s thoughts streamed in. With a yowl, Sonia pushed his hand off, then threw the blanket over her head. “My head hurts! Stop it!” Sonia yelled, her voice muffled.
Kai gave a very audible sigh. “Sawk, sawk, saw saw sawk saw-sawk.”
“I’m not Felix,” Sonia grumbled. She could feel him concentrating, projecting his thoughts, but with her headache she couldn’t possibly hear him.
There was a silent pause, and Sonia hoped Kai had left. Suddenly, the blankets were yanked away, leaving Sonia in the sudden cold.
“Hey!” Sonia mewled piteously, squeezing her eyes shut tighter and grabbing at midair. “No fair!”
“Saw-awk,” Kai chided. “Sawk!”
Sonia took it to mean something along the lines of getting out of bed. With a groan, she made herself sit up, wincing as her head pounded along. She blinked, taking in the room; she appeared to be in the small one-person fare of the Pokémon Centre. Light shone in through the window, making Sonia blink and hiss and her eyes hurt. Oddly, Zorua was nowhere to be seen.
Sonia blinked again, confused. It took a few blinks and few more moments for the headache to recede and for her to remember.
“Zorua!” Sonia pushed herself up, stumbling as her head caught up with her and crashed into her skull. “Ow… Is she all right?”
Kai held out his hands, placating, smiling reassuringly. He quickly wrote out a note on the notepad and pen on the bedside table; Zorua fine. Come down & see.
Kai left her alone, allowing Sonia to wake herself up.
As the door closed, Sonia put her hand to her forehead and moaned. She couldn’t look in the mirror or else she’d see how messy her hair and her clothes were and it would drive her insane. Sonia found her backpack and rummaged through for her medicine pack, sending thank you’s to her past self for remembering painkillers. Grabbing her water bottle she took one, closed her eyes, and waited for instant placebo to kick in. It didn’t, and when Sonia opened her eyes she made he mistake of glancing in the mirror. She immediately cringed. Well, on the plus side, by the time her hair was brushed the pill would have kicked in.
In the corner of her eyes, she saw a cup, styled from a cafe, placed on the bedside table. Beside it lay a chocolate bar, which Sonia ignored; sugar would probably make her headache worse. Her stomach yowled at her to take it, but Sonia instead focused on the cup. She lifted it up and sniffed it. Elderberry tea!
Eagerly, Sonia drank as quickly and as deeply as she could, savouring it. It was slightly too cold, but Sonia didn’t care; her head felt instantly better. Revitalised, Sonia eyed the cup to see if she’d missed any drops, which she hadn’t. Sighing, she put the cup down and continued to get ready and wait for the full might of the pill to kick in, pocketing the chocolate bar.
After Sonia felt sufficiently sure that she could manage a walk down a flight of stairs without clinging to the handrail like a lifeline, Sonia ventured from the room. She still felt like someone had stuffed cotton inside her head and stuck it to the roof of her mouth. With tentative steps, Sonia moved down the hallways until she saw the stairs, one hand hovering near the wall.
Sonia stumbled down to the ground floor. There weren’t many people around, thank Arceus, but up at the counter near the healing machines stood Mal, Felix and their Pokémon. Sawk leant against the wall beside them, smiling kindly.
There was a flash of purple light, and suddenly a mirror image of Sonia stood beside them, albeit with a sling, a cast, a splint and a lot of cuts and bruises. But also a wide canine grin, with small fangs poking out.
Sonia felt tears prick her eyes. “Zorua!” She rushed over and pulled the illusion-ed Pokémon into a an embrace. As a Zorua the little Pokémon still couldn’t cast illusions so instinctively, so Sonia’s sense of touch wasn’t quite fooled and the mirror-image of her felt far too light and overly smooth and soft, like a fabric doll.
Zorua returned the hug, albeit awkwardly. Ehhh, Sonia, don’t crush me! I only just got back up, Zoru!
Zorua’s voice echoed painfully in Sonia’s head, but she didn’t care; she was hearing Zorua’s voice, unadulterated, and still very much present. Sonia pulled away from Zorua, her facial muscles slowly twitching into a smile. If she hadn’t been so tired and energy-depleted, the lights in the room would all be fizzing out. Sonia caught Mal, Felix and the three Pokémon staring at the expression on her face, but she didn’t care.
“Oh Arceus, Zorua,” Sonia said, her voice shuddering. “Are you all right?”
All right, Zoru? The mirror image scoffed. Yeah, never been better! Seriously, Zoru? I’m not all right. How could I be, Zoru; I have a bunch of broken bones and cuts and twisted thingies. But I’m not dead, Zoru, and I feel fine. So don’t worry, Zoru!
Sonia felt a horridly unstoppable wave of guilt. “I should worry. It was my fault. I never should have let it get so out of hand in the first place—”
Shut up, Zoru! Zorua made a cutting gesture with her illusion hand. Ehh, Sonia. That crazy rocket woman was pushing you there. Now you know what you gonna do, Zoru? You gonna stop feeling guilty and worry on getting me to feel better, Zoru! I deserve sugar after all this, Zoru!
Sonia couldn’t help it. She laughed.
Felix’s jaw dropped and Mal looked mildly concerned. Sawk smiled gladly.
“Okay!” A harried looking Nurse Joy stumbled to the counter, panting and gasping, her hat askew. Sonia immediately felt the urge to set it straight, but instead curled her fingers. A Chansey followed, squeezing a squawking, severely moulting and severely unruly Chatot in an entrapping embrace. Nurse Joy, wheezing and lying flat on the counter, reached out and beckoned to Mal. “Hey, you!” Her voice was barely audible. “Can I borrow your inhaler?”
Mal, looking surprised, complied. “How were you aware that I’m asthmatic?”
The nurse inhaled and gave him a wink. “Nurse magic,” she said after bringing the inhaler down. Washing it and disinfecting it, she gave it back to Mal. “Just kidding. As someone who constantly has hers in her pocket I can recognise what it looks like on someone else.” She gave a dirty look to the Chatot. “He stole mine and broke it with Hyper Voice. Sorry about all this; this Chatot got hit with a Confuse Ray and it’s allergic to Persim berries! Can you believe it?” She put her hands on her hips. “I’d feel sorry for him if he wasn’t so annoying.”
Felix nodded emphatically, and Mal gave it a sorrowful glance.
“Now,” Nurse Joy clapped her hands. “I’m assuming that the version of the young lady here without the fox teeth and the bandages is Sonia Darkin?”
The real Sonia nodded. Zorua, even with the casts on, managed to flip over and land back as a Zorua on three legs, with Sonia protecting her from landing heavy with telekinesis despite the stab of pain it caused in her skull.
Nurse Joy sized up Sonia with an appraising look. “From the telekinesis I’m assuming you’re Psychic?”
Sonia nodded awkwardly.
Nurse Joy nodded slowly. “Okay… So, how did this all happen? The boys told me your group was attacked by Team Rocket, but what else?”
Sonia cringed. “I got into a fight with their Psychic… She was crushing me and I couldn't focus on defending myself and staying controlled at the same time. I… Lost control… And I—” Sonia bit her lip. Sonia took in a deep breath, and then spoke very, very fast. “I may have sent out a telekinetic blast that pretty much crushed Zorua into a tree.”
The Chatot gave a loud and throaty squawk.
Nurse Joy smiled sympathetically, nodding in understanding. “That’s all right. It would explain why your Zorua’s body is severely injured, but there’s no internal or lethal damage. Zorua’s Dark-Type aura went into overdrive and cancelled a lot of the Psychic power. She still got slammed pretty hard but if she’d been any type but Dark she’d probably be dead, going by the scale of her injuries.”
Sonia’s eyes were wide with horror. “I could have killed—?”
Nurse Joy gave a small nod.
Sonia covered her mouth with her hand in horror, her breath coming in shudders. The slim wallet in her pocket felt absurdly heavy all of a sudden; it held her Grade Alpha certification, certifying that she had that level of power, and that she was willing and able to control it.
Zorua gently head-butted her friend’s leg. “Zoru, zorua, azo…”
Felix furrowed his brow, evidently trying to figure out the translation, but Mal gently tapped him on the shoulder. After a meaningful look, the two boys slipped to the other side of the room, their Pokémon following. Sawk pushed himself off the wall and came to Sonia, gently putting his arm around her.
Sonia pushed him off. There was a lump in her throat. It was made of guilt, and it felt like it was choking her. If Odette had taken any other Pokémon, that Pokémon would be dead.
Nurse Joy leant over the counter, her voice lowered to a whisper. “Sonia, it’s all right. Focus on the here and now; your friend is still alive and making a swift recovery, and you didn’t hurt anyone who couldn’t have defended themselves, your powers are back under control and no one died.”
Sonia nodded, still shaken. She glanced down at Zorua, who grinned blithely up at her, seemingly in no pain at all.
The solemnity of the moment was broken once more by a squawking Chatot.
Obviously uncomfortable, the nurse clapped her hands. “All right! Considering you’re here and you might as well, do you want to log in?”
Sonia jumped, nodding. She’d almost forgotten.
“Oo-kay…” Nurse Joy logged into the computer and opened up the government webpage. A few more clicks, and she had her hands poised over the keyboard. “Full name?”
“Sonia Darkin.”
Nurse Joy typed in quickly, clicking to move on to the next box. “Age and date of birth?”
“Fourteen years. January thirteenth.”
“Place of residence?”
“5A, Northcross, Eidolwood Road, Rathdon, NW15, Saffron City.”
“Government building… Viridian City Pokémon Centre…” Nurse Joy looked back up at Sonia. “Reason for travelling outside of Saffron City?”
Sonia pulled out her wallet and slipped out the Trainer ID card. “Pokémon journey.”
Nurse Joy swiped the card, giving it back after the light blinked green. Sonia slipped the card back in, drawing out her Psychic certification card in anticipation.
Nurse Joy continued the all-too familiar questions. “Certified yet?”
“Yes.”
“Oh-kay…” Nurse Joy clicked a few more things, and soon was ready to type again. “Do you belong to a Psychic school?”
“The Saffron Psychic School.”
“Grade estimation… Nope, doesn’t apply to you… Okay. What grade?”
Sonia shifted slightly. “Alpha.”
Nurse Joy froze for a moment, hands hovering above the keyboard. After a pause, she continued to type, but slowly. “Registration number?”
Sonia sighed, rattling it off. “A25060.”
Nurse Joy gave her a warm smile, holding out her hand. “Card, please.”
Sonia gave her the card, which she swiped. The light blinked green, and Sonia couldn’t help but give a sigh of relief. One couldn't know if they'd somehow managed to make someone angry, get reported, and get the red light.
Nurse Joy gave her back the card. The Chatot squawked again, and the nurse swung around and shoved a pill down it’s throat. After a moment, the Chatot’s head lolled one hundred and eighty degrees to the side and began snoring softly.
“Well!” The nurse said, finally adjusting her cap, to Sonia’s relief. “Have a nice day, Sonia Darkin!”
“Thank you,” Sonia said quietly. She turned to Zorua. “Do you want me to carry you?”
Zorua shook her head. Ehh, Zoru, now that I can kinda walk I wanna get myself better.
Sonia nodded. “All right. Let’s go to Mal; you deserve some sugar.”
Zorua squeed in delight. Sawk chuckled, and the three walked over to the table booth Mal and Felix had sat down in.
“Mal, do you happen to have anything sugary on you?” Sonia asked.
Felix and Mal both looked shocked.
“Zorua deserves a treat,” Sonia explained.
Mal laughed slightly. “Sorry, no. I could go make some…”
Sonia suddenly remembered the chocolate bar in her pocket. She fished it out, pulling back the wrapper. Zorua started salivating, her eyes going wide at seeing that dark chocolate, her jaw dropping. 
Sonia smiled, holding it out. The little Pokémon snapped the entire thing her mouth with one bite, gave Sonia an awkward, mouth-full smile, and went as fast as she could outside with the others. Sawk followed close behind.
Sonia slowly sat down beside Mal and across from Felix, constantly looked out to the side so she could watch over Zorua.
“Sonia—” Felix started. Mal silenced him.
“She’ll talk when she wants to talk,” he said in a low voice.
Sonia sighed, leaning back and resting her head against the seat. Her head was starting to hurt again, even though she’d taken the medicine recently. Probably the strain of Zorua’s telepathic voice. Sonia shifted slightly; usually, silence was comforting, but now, it was isolating— in a bad way. So Sonia decided to speak. “Where’s Raphael?”
Felix, clearly relieved, answered quickly. “He’s outside training.” He chuckled. “You have to give it to him and his Eevee— they’re dedicated.”
Sonia was stuck for conversation, until she remembered what normal people always said. “How are you two?”
Felix looked surprised, glancing at Mal. Mal was unreadable, and unable to sense his emanation, Sonia had no clue how he felt.
“I went out and explored the city a bit,” Mal said quietly. “I got you some elderberry tea, and the chocolate.”
Sonia could have hugged him. “That was you?” Sonia felt an obvious and inordinate amount of gratitude and mush enter her voice. “Thank you so much! The tea was perfect!”
Mal smiled slightly. “Thank Nurse Joy, not me; I asked her what was good to give Psychics and she told me what and where to go.”
“You were still the one who asked in the first place,” Sonia said pointedly. “And then you went out and actually got it.”
Mal smiled. “I refuse to take all the credit, but I agree to take some. Is that good enough?”
“Most of it,” Sonia said with an arch of her eyebrow.
Mal responded with an arch of his own. After a pause, he spoke. “Agreed.”
Sonia nodded. “Felix?”
Felix smiled. “Nothing much! Just helping Raph and the Eevee twins with training.”
Sonia tapped her finger on the table rhythmically. “And? Are they better than abysmal yet?”
Felix chuckled awkwardly, hoping she’d meant it as a joke. “They’re… Ah, they’re good. I think I figured out Raph’s weakness, though; I’ll need to see you battle him first.”
Sonia nodded. “I know Zorua; she’ll be itching to do something while she’s recovering. A battle might bring back her confidence.”
“Against Raph’s Eevee?” Felix had a worried look on his face. “But—”
“Don’t worry about Zorua,” Sonia said with a slight smile. “She can take care of herself.”
Felix shrugged. “I’ll check Zorua before the battle. But if I don’t give her the go ahead could you please battle with Kai instead? Is that okay?”
Sonia nodded. It was reasonable to her; for Zorua, on the other hand.
“Oh! And I kinda researched Psychics,” Felix said sheepishly. “I mean, I’m travelling with one, so I thought I’d better know about them… So I don’t do anything wrong… Please don’t be mad…”
“Why would I be mad?” Sonia replied, forehead creasing. “I respect that you want to know more, but the internet probably wasn’t too helpful on the details.”
“Yeah,” Felix said. “I got loads on the politics and law, and I found some scientific reports from experiments, but everything else is general knowledge any half-informed adults could recite easily.”
Sonia nodded. “Knowledge is power. The more people know, the more they can make our lives hell for it. Psychics don’t like sharing knowledge.”
“If you don’t mind me asking,” Mal said quietly, “What was that conversation you had with Nurse Joy there? It sounded like you were registering for something, if you pardon the inadvertent eavesdropping.”
Sonia sighed. “I’ll be needing to do it a lot, so I suppose I should explain. The government has to keep track of Psychics some way. Johto does it by sticking Psychics with biotrackers and imprinting barcodes on their wrists. Kanto’s a bit nicer. Because electronics can be unreliable, they basically have a policy that Psychics have to report in to government buildings within certain time frames to log in, and those who are on a journey have trackers in their Pokédexes as a last resort.” Sonia held up her own. “As a Grade— Ah, people who are of my Grade have to log in at least once per ten days. Once I log in, the ten day countdown starts again. If I don’t show, even if my Pokédex is still working, they have full clearance to shove a huge fine or even a prison sentence on me. Considering my Grade, probably a prison sentence.”
Mal’s eyebrows shot up. Felix looked perturbed. Sonia couldn’t be sure, not without her empathy, but it seemed that both found her situation pitiful.
“That’s… Harsh…” Felix said worriedly.
“Not really, to be honest,” Sonia said. “There’s a bit of a proverb with Psychics; ‘If you think it’s bad, think Johto.’ Not only that, but what Kanto's doing is considered not enough by some people who want trackers on us all the time. Once you get to the higher Grades, they’re probably right.”
There was silence as the two boys thought this over, their expressions unusually grim.
"Sonia," Mal said sombrely. "What Grade are you?"
Sonia pursed her lips. "Can you not freak out? Or tell Raphael?"
Felix nodded, and Mal did as well after a moment.
"I'm Grade Alpha."
Felix's eyes went wide, and Mal's breath caught.
And once more, the solemnity of the moment was broken by a raucous Chatot cry.
"Oh, come on!" Roared Nurse Joy. "I literally just gave you that pill!"
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