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Join date : 2015-08-11
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PostSubject: Story Feedback   Story Feedback EmptyFri Nov 27, 2015 12:46 pm

The Book of Ash
Chapter One: A World of Chaos

It was a beautiful day in Kalos, and Lumiose City in particular was bright and sunny. Many people were meandering around in the streets and talking gaily to each other, enjoying the day with friends and family. There were the regular shoppers, who visited the street fair and would browse the Farmer’s Market, others who would shop around and look for the newest fashion trends, and those that were lazily and easily spending their day at regular stores and hanging about. There was also those who were enjoying taking pictures of people or of the world around them, capturing the beauty of all around and of the happiness that was spread around by those having a good day or just in general.

In a particular place, a laboratory –the laboratory for the Kalos region –a professor and his two main assistants were discussing their work heavily, and maintaining a steady flow of talk and an exchange of information between the three of them. One a male and the other two females. All three were in lab coats, where the distinguishing figure of each of them was the five o’clock shadow on the man, the open-rimmed glasses of the oldest female, and the short haircut of the younger.

Augustine Sycamore was a man of various interests, but nothing like Mega Evolution had ever captured his interest before. Along with his own Garchomp, he was glad to have a female trainer from Pallet Town of the Kanto region, Ash Ketchum, and for her to be so willing to help him out in regards to his research.

It didn’t help that she was so pretty too.

“Professor Sycamore, I do hope that silly grin on your face has something to do with our research,” Sophie, one of his beloved assistants, pushed up her glasses as she stared at him disapprovingly.

He held up his hands. “Oui, I am. I swear it!”

He swore that woman was like a Fearow, hawk-eyed and never missing a detail. At least Cosette was kind enough to ignore him when he was in one of his moods like this.

“Have we gotten a call from Ash yet? She should have been in Geosenge by now?” he switched their attentions, and his assistants looked at each other.

“Not yet, sir,” Cosette answered him.

He frowned. “That is…unusual. She tends to make sure to contact us every day, even if to report a little something of her Charizard.”

“Perhaps she’ll call later?” Sophie hesitantly suggested.

“Hm…” he furrowed his eyebrows and rubbed his chin in thought. He saw something glint outside the window.

Blinking, he walked a little closer to the window, peering outside to see if he could find out what it was. His eyes widened and he rushed back to the women quickly and in alarm.

“Get down!” he yelled out.

The blast from outside, from wherever it came from, launched him and the women back and shattered the glass from all the windows of the building inward. His ears were ringing, his body was sore, and everything was a blur as he tried to focus and see what was happening around him.

“Sophie! Cosette! Where are you? What has happened?” he cried out, worrying about the women he’d been with just moments ago.

“Professor Sycamore! Professor, please! Over here!” he heard Cosette screaming, and he stumbled over to where he heard her voice. It was hard because his vision was still not clear, and he wasn’t sure what was wrong with him or what happened in the first place.

“Cosette? Cosette, where are you?” he reached out and tried to feel around, given how he could just barely make out shapes with his eyes.

“Here, Professor! Over here!” he felt a dainty hand grab onto his, and then he was pulled over to a spot, where he was sat down onto the floor.

He reached out and touched a still body, stilling himself. No…no, it couldn’t. It couldn’t!

“Cosette, who is this? Cosette, who is this?!” he screamed out and Cosette started sobbing. “Sophie, Sophie no,” his breath hitched and he bent down and gathered his beloved assistant and friend into his arms, cradling her as he grabbed onto Cosette and rocked them both. She clutched back onto him, as well as Sophie’s body, and blubbered incoherently.

“No, no, no, no,” he kept muttering.

What in the world was happening? And please, please let Ash be alright as well.

He didn’t want to lose anyone else this day.

And outside his laboratory, chaos reigned as many others suffered losses, some physical and some emotional. Buildings were either fully taken down or had been damaged in some way. Many people lay on the streets, dead or crying. Others wandered around in a daze.

Where there was debris, there was blood. Where there were corpses, there were others to mourn them. And where there was fire, there were tears to try to smother them out.

There was pain and there was numbness. There was loud sobs and quiet cries. There was silence, but there was also deafening silence that said more than words ever could.

Nothing had been spared in this attack, and no one had been left untainted by what had just happened. Confusion filtered into the air as well, because no one understood what had happened or why. It had seemingly come from out of nowhere, and no one had seen this coming or had fair warning that it would. It was unfair what had happened, more than, and there were just so many that had suffered –that was suffering right then.

And all around, time was suspended as no electricity sparked and no one could call or communicate to anyone, and no one could find out what had happened.

When Augustine regained his sight fully, he numbly pulled away from his assistants (one dead, one cold), and dazedly made his way to a phone. He tried to call the police station, hoping they would have answers for him, but the phone was silent and there was no dial tone. He looked at it blankly. It seemed dead. He then moved towards a computer, but it wouldn’t work either. Nothing would turn on, he realized. He started to hyperventilate as the situation fully hit him.

Checking all the electronics, there really was absolutely nothing that was working. He could only think of one thing that could cause a phenomena like this –if the attack that had just happened had been the result of some kind of nuclear attack, then the resulting wave could only be an electromagnetic pulse that had just wiped out everything electronical around him.

The question was…how far and wide had it affected everything in the Kalos region?


“Pika? Pika Pikachu!”

In Geosenge Town, of what had been Geosenge Town, was instead a large crater covering the entirety of the area. And where a secret lab used to be, there was instead a ruin of a place that had barely lasted out the blast that had destroyed the town. In the middle of that lab, a slender girl lay unmoving until she twitched slightly, and begun to wake up slowly. An electrical mouse faithfully hovered near her, sparking electricity in his worry over her.

Ash Ketchum and her Pikachu had been in Geosenge Town on a research assignment from Professor Sycamore, when they’d gotten caught up in too much that had happened in that town (like always) and in what they shouldn’t have even been stuck in. But trouble had always followed them around; this wasn’t anything they knew they should have expected.

Ash coughed, feeling dazed after being knocked out. A soft paw lightly hit her face in concern, and she blinked her eyes to focus on the world around her. A small, yellow mousy face peered at her from above.

“Pikachu? What’s…what’s happening? Where are we?”

Along with her entire body aching, there was a searing pain on her side and she sobbed out a cry as she tried to move and felt whatever it was practically screaming out that pain at her. She blinked several times, blinking back tears as well, and focused on her surroundings while trying to figure out where she was and what happened.

She was in…a lab. Or what remained of it. The events that happened in Geosenge Town rushed back to her, and she sniffled as she realized what had happened and saw the evidence around her.


Her friend moved to be in her line of sight again, and she smiled slightly and reached out for him.

“Oh Arceus, thank goodness you’re alright,” she muttered as he clambered closer and snuggled up to her.

She tried again to move, but each try resulted in a jolt of pain. When she looked down, she winced at seeing the piece of metal stabbed into her.

“Ah, well…Damn. Looks like I’m not going anywhere,” she forced out, while smiling weakly at her partner. She breathed heavily and tried to not think about the pain, though it was definitely hard not to. She bit her lip and gripped the metal decisively.

As far as she was concerned, she knew that it was better to keep the impaled object inside of her than to tear it out. It would lead to a faster death if she didn’t keep it in. But look around her! There was nowhere to go and no one to help. Aside from the damaged ruins of the lab she was in, the walls had been obliterated for her to see the town had become an absolute crater. Whatever had been protecting the lab could only do so much for it, while the town had had no protection at all and had ended up as nothing in the end.

She couldn’t move anywhere or move at all. She was done. This was it.

Ash would rather die quickly, than to just sit there and wait for help that wouldn’t arrive in time.

Giving a small, watery smile to her best friend, she pulled Pikachu close and kissed his head.

“I want you to find a good trainer, one that will love you as much as I did. More so,” she murmured painfully.

“Pika!” he protested, but she shook her head against him.

“I’m dying, Pikachu,” Ash breathed out slowly. “I’m sorry.”

Pikachu muttered a whole bunch of things, but Ash said nothing more. Instead, she just quietly held onto him and then yanked out the piece of metal. She cried out in pain while blood spurted out. Dizzy and feeling excruciating pain all over, Ash just lay back and held onto Pikachu again. He, just as quietly (if crying for his trainer), held onto her.

If this was dying, then it was sort of peaceful…

Ash closed her eyes and waited, passing out peacefully.

Blue light encompassed the area.


Kalos. A region known for its beauty and elegance.

At 0800 that day, time stopped as the region was plunged into a state of destruction and terror, while Geosenge Town was wiped off the map. Five thousand people died from the nuclear blast, more dying in the aftermath of the EMP wave and the dangerous surroundings.

And as people mourned, others were angry. And along with those that were angry were people who were willing to take advantage of the destruction. Chaos was further ignited, riots had begun to start, and throughout the region there was rage and despair, greed and selfishness, and hate and love that spread.

If nothing else, at least there were still people who cared and was willing to keep themselves from falling into that pit of darkness that had begun to encompass the whole of the Kalos region after all that had happened that day.

In the midst of it all, a girl lay dying in the ruins of a lab, a Pikachu clung onto his owner, a professor sat helplessly on his floor, and the rest of the world lay oblivious…

In fact…they would stay oblivious to the far out, outlander region of Kalos for a long time.
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PostSubject: Re: Story Feedback   Story Feedback EmptyMon Mar 14, 2016 7:58 pm

The Book of Ash
Chapter Two: How Sweet the Sound

She felt something splatter onto her face. And then another small splatter.


That’s what she kept feeling, as they dropped onto her one by one, until the rain started to pour more, and she was drenched in no time. She ached everywhere, and there was still a sharp jolt of pain coming from her side (but strangely wasn’t nerve-ending pain, like it had been).


A wet nose nudged her cheek. She wanted to cry out in relief, but was still in shock.

“Am I…am I still alive, Pikachu?” she croaked out.

“Pikachu!” His soft, furry paws patted her cheeks and he appeared over her face.

Ash gave him a small smile. She was alive somehow and it was raining. She had to get out of there…

Slowly, she sat up and noted how her side wasn’t bleeding anymore. In fact, there wasn’t a wound there anymore, which made her stare at it in confusion. That wasn’t possible.

“Pikachu, I’m pretty sure I was dying,” she muttered, but Pikachu only shifted slightly and gave nothing away.

Sighing, she unsteadily got onto her feet and then took a deep breath. And then she let Pikachu climb onto her and hold tight, before she started walking out of the lab’s ruins. She headed out of the remains of what was once Geosenge Town, not looking back once. She had a feeling she wouldn’t be able to keep her feet moving if she did.

“Hey…hey, you! Are you alright?”

Ash blinked out of her stupor, spotting a young man watching her carefully. He tried to be aloof, but that he wasn’t succeeding might mean that she probably looked horrible. She wasn’t looking forward to seeing herself in a mirror.

“I need…I need to get to Lumiose,” she gasped out. “Please. I need to –”

She almost fell to the ground, but he’d gotten close enough to grasp onto her and hold her up. Her Pikachu, protectively, sparked electricity around himself in warning, and the young man’s eyes drifted over to Pikachu, staring intently for a long moment.

“My name’s Alain. I’ve got my Charizard with me,” Alain told her. “He can fly us to Lumiose.”

He took a pokéball from his belt and threw it out, and a Charizard appeared. It made Ash ache for her own Charizard, wondering how he was doing in his pokéball after the ordeal they had just gone through.

“Xander, take us to Lumiose please,” he asked his Charizard at the same time as he helped Ash over to him, and then helped her up onto Xander.

He climbed up onto Xander behind her, and then patted Xander’s neck.

“To Lumiose!”


Malva muttered under her breath, missing her signature pink sunglasses as she looked through the wrecked headquarters. Thankfully, it was mostly intact, but that didn’t mean much to her at the moment.

The Team itself was what was really a wreck.

Lysandre was missing. He wasn’t calling and no one could reach him. Flare’s weapon had been activated, and now chaos was reigning through the region. She had to gather up what was left of Flare’s members, group them together…probably get the hell out of there. Kalos was a lost cause.

Kanto and even Johto were rumored to be Rocket. Ghetsis was a crazy bastard, and another Team to Hoenn was just asking for trouble. Sinnoh though…It wasn’t altogether completely a bad idea. Galactic wasn’t fully functional and could almost be obsolete after their failed run for power, and rumor had it that Cyrus wasn’t even in the region anymore.

What the hell was up with that guy anyway? Or at least where was he?

She slipped on a comlink and tuned it to the all frequency level, aiming to address any Flare members that were able to hear her.

“This is a Code FS-0713. Lysandre is missing…presumed dead after the events of Geosenge Town, which was his last known location. I want any active and living members to head to Safe House 72, and get ready for evacuation. Kalos is lost. I repeat, Kalos is lost.”

Looking around, it didn’t seem there was anyone in the Lumiose Headquarters. She passed by an unconscious Xerosic earlier, but she didn’t really care or bothered with him. He could stay here. And considering the trigger to the weapon was based here (given how once it was activated, the town was long predicted to be decimated if it was to happen, so when the plan was to happen, no one was supposed to be in the Geosenge base), that meant Xerosic had acted before he was supposed to and probably caused this whole mess. Probably caused Lysandre’s death, while he was at it…

She grabbed a couple of bags and tossed hard drives and papers into them, whatever she could get and was important. She could come back for more with some of the others later on.

The Essentia Suit that she remembered Xerosic working on and bragging about caught her eye just then, and she felt a wide smirk cross her lips.

Hefting the bags onto her shoulders, she grabbed the Essentia Suit and then headed out.

A new beginning awaited her and the others. She just needed to take control and capitalize on this new turn of events.


Ash couldn’t help but gasp at seeing Lumiose from above, the lingering heat coming from buildings that were still smoking long after the fires were out. There was rubble and debris all over, and she could see people scattered all over the streets, either injured or just wandering around in a daze.

“What happened here?” She almost thought it was her that had asked that, but realized it was her new companion who had.

“Nothing good,” Ash replied solemnly, not saying anything more.

Pikachu clung onto her, shivering from the cold air and probably from the sight of the once bright city in ruins. How could everything have gone so wrong so quickly? One moment she was facing off against Lysandre in Geosenge, and the next there was nothing but bright light and instant death all around her.

And yet why and how had she survived? Why was she still alive, when no one else in Geosenge Town had survived?

“How far away from Geosenge Town were you?” she asked, wondering how Alain could have survived as well, if he’d been so close.

He shifted, looking up ahead in deep thought, eyebrows furrowed seriously. “I wasn’t that close by, to be honest. I was actually a few towns over, though I still felt the effect of the blast that came from Geosenge Town. After what happened and knowing what town and direction it had come from, I wanted to check out what happened. I came across you then.”

Ash still felt something was off, a gut feeling that told her that Alain wasn’t saying everything. Actually, he felt off. She couldn’t explain it, but something was just weird with him. And yet, she could still feel that he was an honest to good “good guy”…Just something strange about him too. She couldn’t put her finger on it. It wigged her out and confused her, and maybe it was best to put off thinking about it until she could get her bearings…

If she could, after everything that’s happened so far.

At that moment, she looked back down, and (not distracted with the first sight of the chaotic city) Ash remembered how much she hated flying and gripped onto Alain tighter, eliciting a yelp from him at her newly introduced iron grip.

“Er, could you lighten up on your hold?” he asked, voice strained.

“N-no way! Not until we land!” Ash snapped her eyes shut, and Pikachu tittered in her ear, trying to comfort her.

“You’re afraid of flying? Why didn’t you say so before?” he yelled over the wind as they began their descent.

“I wasn’t really in the right mind before, and I was distracted by the city just now! My head’s a little clearer, and I really just want to get down soon please!” Ash bit down on her lip then, refusing to open her eyes.

“Okay, okay! We’re almost there!”

And thankfully, they landed in a few minutes after that, though it was still too many minutes passing for Ash. Alain hopped off first, prying her arms off of him. After that, he helped her down onto the ground, steadying her when she landed unevenly and almost tripped. Pikachu patted her shoulder and she hesitantly opened her eyes, relieved to find that she was finally on the ground and actually a block near to where Augustine’s lab was.

“Oh, thank Arceus,” she muttered. “We’re even near where I want to go to.”

“Good, me too,” Alain surprised her by saying, though she guessed that he probably had someone around the area he needed to get to as well.

He recalled Xander back into his pokéball and began walking quickly through the streets, darting around people who were dirty, crying, or just lost-looking. Ash kept close, though she stumbled as she walked passed a wailing mother holding onto a child’s body. Her breath caught in her throat and she nearly stopped in the middle of the street, until Alain looked back and went back for her, grabbing her hand firmly and pulling her along gently but determinedly.

There were so many people hurt and…dead in the city. And probably not just in Lumiose. Geosenge Town was completely gone. And who knows how far the damage went –it wasn’t like it had been a normal blast. Yveltal had –

Ash swallowed heavily. She wasn’t even sure if she had managed to free and help Yveltal…

“Here we are,” Alain said tiredly, and she realized they were in front of Augustine’s lab. Her eyes widened from how, even by the outside, the lab looked rather wrecked, all the windows shattered and parts of it caved in or holes made into the building. “I have to check on someone here for a bit, and then we can go to where you wanted to be –”

She hadn’t thought they’d wanted to go to the same place, and spoke up about it. “Actually, this is where I’d wanted to go too.”

She’d check on Clemont and Bonnie afterwards. Augustine would be able to update her on things first, so she wasn’t completely lost and confused on what had happened outside of Geosenge Town, and maybe she could contact back home. Sam and her mom might be worried, if they had heard about anything…

They slipped into the building and looked around the first floor. Shelves were thrown to the ground, with books scattered all over the place. Pots were broken, with dirt spilled out onto the carpet and plants wilting alongside it.

“I have to see Professor Sycamore. You?” Alain asked her.

“Me too,” she stopped looking around and looked at him as she answered.

He nodded and they headed towards the stairs, avoiding the elevators. They looked down and unusable. The two of them did wonder where everyone was, as they had yet to run into anyone.

They’d only managed to go up a floor, even though they’d been meaning to head to the top, when they heard loud clamoring and shouts, and they entered the floor to see injured people all over. Scientists and researchers of the lab were all running around and attempting to help them, bandaging and medicating however they could. They’d only taken a few steps in, looking around in wonder, before Augustine caught sight of them and hurried over.

“Alain?! Ash! Merci Arceus,” he said in relief, throwing his arms around Ash, while reaching out and clasping Alain’s shoulder. “You two are alright…”

“What’s going on here, Augustine?” Ash asked anxiously, not seeing the strange look Alain tossed her way. “Why are there injured here?”

“My people and I have brought in whoever we can from outside,” Augustine explained, looking worn out. “We are doing our best to take care of them and get them help. The city hospital is crowded and overworked, so I offered my lab.”

“Sophie and Cosette?” Ash asked, looking around for the two.

“Cosette is upstairs, trying to replicate as many of the medicines we need with a few others. Sophie is…Sophie is…she is…” his voice cracked and he sniffed, and Ash’s stomach dropped. She blinked back her own tears and pulled Augustine in close, hugging him tightly.

“What can I do?” she asked.

Augustine weakly waved around him. “Help out, if you can. Do you mind helping the injured and taking care of them?”

“No, of course not. I’ll get on that, Augustine. You should rest,” she told him softly.

“Yes, yes…perhaps for a moment,” he murmured. “I will talk to Alain first though.”

She nodded and gave Alain a look, and the other understood, nodding back at her. She really hoped Alain would drag Augustine off, and make sure the older man got in some rest. She didn’t think the man had rested in a long while, especially if he was hoping to stave off thoughts of and having to grieve over the death of a close friend.


Ash had gone out of the lab an hour later with Pikachu, hoping to check on Clemont and Bonnie. Serena should’ve been back home, but she could have also gone to stay with the two for a bit on a visit.

Unhappily, she noted people even more as she walked amongst them, and how not all of them were hurt and injured or upset over someone –many were actually really angry and on edge. A fight broke out near her, and she had to dodge a piece of rock that had been thrown.

There were shouting and various other fights that began near her, some physical and some were just verbally instigated. She couldn’t understand how people were furiously turning against each other (at several points in her walk, she noticed this happening in a different way, with people asking for help and others ignoring or turning their bitter faces away).

So Ash did the best she could to help along the way to Clemont’s gym, though she knew that there was very little she could actually do. The people of Lumiose City (and who knows how everyone else was in the region) were broken spirited and wounded.

Spotting Prism Tower mostly intact (thank goodness), she sprinted towards it. The top of the tower looked like it had been clobbered off, but at least the bottom half had survived and looked normal. That meant the gym and Clemont’s workstation and home would be alright.

Glad to find that her access code that Clemont had keyed in for her still worked, Ash slipped inside and frowned to hear absolutely nothing. It was too quiet and it felt eerie to her. Walking further inside, she made it to the gym part of the tower, and found that it was empty. Frowning even more, Ash hurried to the inner part of the tower to where she knew where Clemont worked on his inventions. She rushed to the room, and near fell over when she stopped herself short and held back her scream.

Bonnie lay unconscious on a metal table, with Clemont nowhere to be seen. She ran to the young girl and checked for a pulse, though the moment she had come close, electricity zapped her hand.

“Pika pika!”

“I know, Pikachu,” Ash bit her lip, trying to figure out what to do. “Can you try to absorb some of it?”

“Pikachu!” he saluted her, looking determined.

He jumped onto the table and scooted closer to Bonnie. Carefully, mindful of the electricity occasionally zapping out from her and directing more or more towards Pikachu the closer he got (like it could sense him and his own electrical aura), Pikachu then lightly touched the tip of his tail against Bonnie and concentrated intensely on taking some of the electricity that seemed to have been imbued into Bonnie somehow.

When Pikachu, looking exhausted, gave Ash the thumbs up, Ash came closer and went to pick up Bonnie. But she saw Clemont on the ground as she leaned over the younger girl, ending up screaming in terror and worry about her friend. Darting around the table and dropping to the ground near him, she checked his pulse and let out a sob as she felt nothing but cold skin.

“No, no, no,” she muttered, trying to pick up his body.

He was still and not limp, meaning he’d been dead for more than a good few hours, letting rigor mortis set in. That just made Ash clutch onto him harder, and she started crying into Clemont’s cold neck.

She should have gotten here faster. She shouldn’t have fallen unconscious in Geosenge Town. She should…she should…


Pikachu cuddled closer to her, mourning Clemont himself. The blond boy had always been kind to him and Ash, and had been such a good friend while they traveled over Kalos together. But now they would never be able to see or talk to him again…

Still, he couldn’t let Ash stay and mourn herself to unconsciousness here. Bonnie still needed them.

“Pika,” he tugged at her shirt and pointed at Bonnie.

Ash sniffled and rubbed her fist against her face. “You’re right, Pikachu. We need to get Bonnie help.”

She forced herself onto her feet and went over to Bonnie, grabbing onto the small girl. However, like Alain, there now felt something odd with her too. Ash couldn’t understand it, and it was making her worry even more. She hoped there was nothing wrong with Bonnie. She didn’t want to see another friend leave her.

She kept a firm grip on Bonnie and let Pikachu climb back onto her shoulder, and then she rushed out of there and back to the lab.


Ash sat on the steps of Augustine’s lab, looking as lost as many of the people in the city. Bonnie was stable for now, she’d been told. But she wasn’t waking and they didn’t know what was wrong with her. They couldn’t figure anything out right now, especially with so many others in worse conditions.

And to make things worse, she found out that there was no communications going in and out of Kalos. In fact, anything relying on electricity wasn’t working. Not even pokémon could charge up the electrical equipment. Augustine had explained something about an EMP wiping out any and all electronical machinery, leaving only gas-powered, battery-working, and anything capable of working without electricity tech open to everyone.

She kind of felt stranded now.

Her pokémon too, were worrying. She’d just been in a battle with Lysandre not that long ago. Her Charizard –her Red –was in no condition to be let out of his pokéball. Not when all the pokémon healing machines weren’t working at all. Her other pokémon were tuckered out too, but nowhere near Charizard, who (because of Augustine) had been working with her on Mega Evolution, and had successfully achieved it in battle against Lysandre for the first time.

“Mind your own damn business!”

“I was here first!”

Ash closed her eyes and clapped her hands over her ears. People fighting again. Why wouldn’t they just give it a rest? Everyone was already…hurt. Or worse. Fighting wasn’t going to help.

“Pikachu…” he nudged his nose against her arm, and she looked down at him, giving him a watery smile as he looked up worriedly at her.

She took a deep breath and stood up.

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me~” She sung loudly.

And when she had everyone’s attention, she gave everyone an encouraging smile before she sung again.

“I once was lost, but now am found. Was blind, but now I see~”

And she wanted everyone to know they weren’t alone and they had to pull together, because this couldn’t be the end for everyone.

When Ash looked around, her heart felt less heavy and she less burdened as she saw a crowd had gathered around her and people holding onto each other, and finally support and kindness seemed to ebb from everyone to one another.

In the silence that echoed after she finished the last line, she gave the brightest smile she could.

“Let’s pull together, okay? The world isn’t over.”

It damn well better not. Not after Lysandre and Yveltal, and not after all those other times the world had been in danger and she’d risked her neck to make sure the world ended up okay in the end.

After the crowd dispersed and everyone began working together to help out those in need, or to clear out the streets, she felt a hand on her shoulder and she turned to find Augustine smiling at her warmly.

“As always, Ash, you are a bright star to follow, yes? They needed that, I think,” he hummed, rocking on the balls of his feet as he overlooked the street and people. “Let people find their way back and not stray to and wallow in the dark…”

“I think people need hope right now,” Ash shrugged. She moved to hold onto Pikachu when he scrambled into her arms. “Hope seems so lacking.”

Still, she wasn’t sure it was enough for people. It looked to be hard times ahead for everyone.

Together, they moved back to go into the lab, when just in the inside (where people were starting to mill around), Ash saw a duo of disheveled Flare members.

“Have you seen a boy named Ash Ketchum?” she heard one of them say.

Her heart almost stopped and she faltered in her step. She had to remember that her hat was off, lost somewhere in Geosenge Town. Still, her boyish clothing was still on and she had her Pikachu. They must’ve known she was with Lysandre in Geosenge…

There was no way she could stay there with Augustine (where they’d know she’d obviously be). She had to stop pretending to be a boy, like she had for almost all of her journeying, and go into hiding somehow.

She’d stay for as long as she could, waiting for Bonnie. Then she had to find a way to disappear into the city without a trace, and hopefully out of Kalos.
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PostSubject: Re: Story Feedback   Story Feedback EmptyTue Mar 15, 2016 7:20 pm

Excuse typos and general mistake-i-ness, all that stuff.


“Initiating artificial versus natural experiment, trial one.” Bryony keyed commands into the touchscreen as she spoke into the microphone. “Subjects; Commander Jupiter and Dragon 01. Commence experiment in three, two, one.”
The timer started. Bryony watched from behind the glass as Jupiter immediately leapt forward, drawing her fist back for a punch. Bryony watched through the enhanced camera, and could see Jupiter’s Dragon-type aura pumping through her. As she watched, Jupiter’s muscles seemed to both strengthen and stretch.
Dragon 01 flushed herself with her own aura and leapt backwards, flipping over seamlessly and landing in a crouch. Jupiter’s leap ended with her own crouch. Dragon 01 swung her leg in a roundhouse kick, aiming for Jupiter’s head. Jupiter ducked and rolled to the side and Dragon 01’s kick sent her of balance. The two stood, facing one another, their fists up.
Again, it was Jupiter who attacked first, sending out a lightning quick series of left jabs. Dragon 01 tried to block them all, and Jupiter’s plan succeeded as she let loose a devastating right cross that slammed into Dragon 01’s cheek. The artificial Dragon-type stumbled with a cry, flooding herself with aura, trying to stem the pain. Her hand flew to her face; maybe her cheekbone was broken.
Jupiter didn’t respond to her foe’s pain; she kneed her opponent in the stomach, making Dragon 01 double over, then grabbed Dragon 01’s head with both hands and slamming her knee into her poor opponent’s face.
Dragon 01 stumbled away, her face in her hands. Her nose was bleeding and her cheek was swelling. For a moment, she was overwhelmed with pain, stumbling to the floor, crying out. But then she flooded herself with aura and seemed to forget the pain entirely, pulling herself to her feet and readying herself for the fight.
Bryony frowned at the monitor. Dragon 01 was quite the unfit young woman in her natural form, and had no combat training other than sparse direction of technique. Maybe they should be using someone like Dragon 01 as their control, not Jupiter.
Jupiter leapt forward, aiming a flying kick at her foe. Dragon 01 dodged to the side just in time, letting Jupiter land hard in a crouch. Dragon 01 kicked out at Jupiter, hitting the Commander in the side. Jupiter fell to the ground. Dragon 01 raised her foot to stomp down on the fallen Jupiter, but the commander swung her legs back and used her momentum to leapt up and land on her feet. Dragon 01 didn’t have the reflexes to respond as Jupiter immediately slammed a right cross into her jaw. Dragon 01 fell and didn’t get back up.
“Terminating artificial versus natural experiment, trial one.” Bryony spoke into the microphone, stopping the timer with the press of a button on the touchscreen. Jupiter glanced up at the glass and gave a sarcastic salute at the Flare scientist. 
“Send in the next one!” Jupiter cupped her hands around her mouth, calling over the intercom. “This one was too easy!”
Bryony glanced at Dragon 01’s battered face. Perhaps they had to try with someone who had a bit more combat experience…
“Send in someone who actually knows how to fight, Bryony.” Celosia put her hands on her hips. There was never a time the purple-haired scientist wasn’t being condescending. “This was not a controlled experiment.”
“It is helpful in assessing just how much raw power covers up for lack of skill,” Bryony responded coldly. She typed commands in on the touchscreen. “I believe Dragon 02 is a long-time member of Galactic. He would have similar combat experience to Jupiter.”
“He is of different height, weight and age, not to mention gender.” Celosia crossed her arms. “Perhaps most poignantly, he got his typing from a human and not a Pokémon. I propose we give Dragon 01 combat training and continue to find subjects within the same parameter of age, height and weight and change the other variables from there.”
Bryony shrugged. “A natural proposition. But we need immediate data on how well artificial typed humans perform against natural typed humans. These are preliminary trials and will naturally be flawed.”
“Are you two done arguing up there yet?” Jupiter called. “I’m getting bored down here!”
The two Flare scientists glanced down at the chamber. Dragon 01 had been taken out of the room, leaving Jupiter alone.
Celosia shrugged. “Send in 02. Not that I don’t think it’s a waste of time.”
Bryony’s fingers flashed over the keypad. A few moments later, the doors to the chamber below slid open. Dragon 02 strode in; a Galactic recruit from Jupiter’s time, he would have about the same combat experience. He was slightly younger than Jupiter, but he shared a similar lithe build, even if he actually had visible and obvious muscle.
“Initiating artificial versus natural experiment, trial two. Subjects; Commander Jupiter and Dragon 02.”
Jupiter cracked her knuckles and her neck, a sly grin on her face. Dragon 02 came into the centre of the room, rolling his shoulders back.
“Commence experiment in three, two, one.”
Both Dragon-types leapt came at each other at the same time. Jupiter let her fist fly first, striking her opponent in the face. His head snapped back, but he came back strong with a right hook that hit Jupiter in the side.
Angered, Jupiter responded with a knee to a certain weak spot. Dragon 02 dodged backwards just in time, but was unbalanced enough for Jupiter to kick him right in the chest. He stumbled back, and Jupiter kept up the assault; with enhanced flexibility she could kick him straight in the face, then sweep his legs out from under him and pin him to the ground with a knee in his throat.
Dragon 02 went for the easy way out; flooding himself with aura. A sudden red flared in his eyes, and one didn’t need an aurally enhanced camera to see the purple flame-like flickers of Dragon aura that surrounded him now.
Jupiter tried to ram her knee hard into his throat, but Dragon 02 threw her off like she was a rag doll. Jupiter went flying, hitting the ground hard. Before she could get back up, Dragon 02 had leapt across the room, fist drawn back. As Jupiter stood, he punched her in the stomach, then in the side of her head, then her shoulder. Jupiter took the hits, but more kept on coming; Dragon 02 let out barrage after barrage of punches, Jupiter stumbling back only to be hit with another punch.
It was after almost thirty seconds of this that Jupiter suddenly struck; she slid to the side and caught Dragon 02’s wrist in her hand. Working with his momentum she pulled him in the direction of the punch, then slammed his wrist back and jolted him the other way. There was a loud crack as the artificial Dragon-type’s wrist snapped and he fell to the floor; squeezing his eyes shut as he cried out with pain. When he blinked his eyes open, bleary, they were clear of red.
Jupiter released the man’s wrist. “Come on!” She goaded, brushing herself off as though the flurry of punches she’d endured had been nothing. “Come on, then!”
Indeed, Jupiter didn’t seem to be hurt too badly except for a few bruises and red marks on her face. Dragon 02 shook his head, the aftereffects of his berserker aura-fuelled rampage catching up to him.
In a moment of lucidity Dragon 02 struck the ground twice in surrender.
“Terminating artificial versus natural experiment, trial two,” Bryony called.


Sorry, forgot to put a violence warning Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Story Feedback   Story Feedback EmptyTue Mar 29, 2016 5:34 pm

The Book of Ash
Chapter Three: I Once Was Lost

“You skulking about is not very reassuring, ma bichette,” Augustine told her as she was watching the outside of the lab on the top floor through a broken window .

“I’m trying to be careful,” she grumbled, peering around the curtain to the streets below.

He hesitated. “Are you very sure you saw some Team Flare members?”

“Yes!” Ash threw up her hands. “It’s hard to miss them, with their garish red outfits.”

“They know you are a trainer,” Augustine said apologetically. “It is no surprise they would be watching out for you here.”

“My hat’s gone,” she said miserably, missing it. At least her original, official League hat was still back at home. “My hair’s been growing longer and I can pin it back at least, so they don’t recognize me that way.”

“Your clothes?”

Ash looked down at her familiar blue cargo pants, blue and white shirt, red sneakers, and her gloves. They stood out and was by now associated with her…

“I can have Cosette go and get you newer and more feminine clothing,” Augustine offered. “And it is probably best that you don’t hang around the lab much. Limit your time here. As much as I adore your presence and would like your help around here, your safety is of my utmost concern.”

“Can we still buy things around here?” Ash asked skeptically, recalling the mess outside.

Augustine frowned. “There had been plenty of raids earlier on, but some shops have been using their or their friends and colleagues’ pokémon to help defend their stores. Some order is trying to be set up, though I have heard rumor of government interference coming soon.”

Ash thought about that, feeling hesitant. She wasn’t quite sure if that was a good thing…

“Kalos is trying to rebuild,” Augustine reassured her. “We are a strong region and will hold up together. I’m sure we’ll all be fine, better if we can find a way to contact the world outside our region.”

“I hope so,” Ash muttered.

“Never mind that! Now, Ash, I shall see to it that Cosette tries to get your clothes, and that way you may move about more freely.”

“Thanks, Augustine,” she said as he left her.

She continued to watch the outside warily, easily spotting a Flare member here or there. As everyone was busy with their own selves, no one was obviously caring too much about them at this time. She grumbled under her breath. If the people knew those jerks were the reason everything had become like this, she was sure they would care a lot more about those stupid Flare members hanging around.

“Ash,” Cosette came into the room, sounding tired. She still managed a smile on her face for Ash, and she tried to reciprocate it. “I’ve got some clothes for you to wear. I also got some fliers! If you want to find something to do and stay under the radar, there are these non-pokémon jobs you can look into, if you’d like.”

“Sure thing,” Ash accepted the clothes and the fliers.

“I’ll just leave you here to change,” Cosette gave one last smile.

Ash changed as soon as Cosette was gone, slipping into the gray leggings and the light blue long sleeve with ease. She ignored the new pairs of underwear, not comfortable with Cosette’s choices, though she knew that she would eventually have to use them given that her own were falling apart after everything. She found and put on her new shoes too, not minding the slim boots too much since they were flat and short.

She then flipped through the fliers, scrunching up her nose at a few of them. She couldn’t possibly take the cashier offers being that standing in one place for so long and mostly doing nothing until a customer came up to ring up a purchase would just drive her crazy. She didn’t think she had enough patience to do that, especially since it required her to stay in one spot for so long. That was both something she personally didn’t like to do and currently was hesitant on doing now with her being searched for. Besides, she was too restless for such a thing and liked to be on the move.

This biking job looked promising then though. That was her thought as she stopped at a particular flier, reading it over in interest. It was some kind of job at a courier service whose employees used bikes to get around…

She might as well check it out and try to get hired before the spot was snatched up by someone else. In any case, it was a good job that allowed her to be continuously on the move, which would be perfect to keep evading Team Flare.

Deciding this would be a good test to see if her new look would still clue others to her, Ash took a deep breath and did her best to walk out of the top floor and down the stairs to the lobby, trying to act nonchalant as she moved to go out of the building. She spotted a few Flare members, but they didn’t even blink as she passed them and continued on to the lab’s doors. Grinning to herself, Ash left the lab and walked out of the streets.

Searching for the folded up flier in her pocket, she read the address and tried to find her away around debris, people still milling about outside (where some were thankfully working together to clear up debris from the roads and paths), and anything else that obstructed her way. Thankfully, after a few pointers from others still willing to talk to someone and be helpful, Ash managed to find the courier company and went inside, intending to find the boss quickly and get a job there.

Ash found who she thought was the boss and even asked. Sighing at the confirmation she received, she then told him about how she was there for a job, if an opening was still available.

“Yeah, we’ll need someone to be quick on their feet and get to places,” Wade Johnson, her hopefully new boss, eyed her speculatively. “How fast are you on foot?”

“Traveling for six years on foot and pretty sure I’m used to it and can be pretty fast, sir,” she said unblinkingly. She hesitated before focusing on using an ability she often tried to ignore or disregard, since sometimes it just got in the way of what she should be focusing on sometimes.

She knew she could use Aura, but pretty much having the ability of Aura Sight was a bit of a hassle. Seeing weird color clouds surrounding people made it hard to see her surroundings and focus on the people, so she did her best to dampen the ability. It worked a little, but her Aura Sense on the other hand…

Ash was always getting these odd feelings and stuff off of people, especially regarding their emotions and even intentions. And right now, she guiltily focused on the man in front of her, trying to feel out what the man was feeling in regards to her and try to feel out if he was leaning towards hiring her.

She smiled even more brightly at him after reading him, finding that he was relieved at her coming in and asking for the job. He’d been having trouble finding someone for the spot…

She ignored how he thought she was cute. That happened way too often for her to even twitch at that.

He was relieved, tired…ecstatic and yet also apprehensive…

“I promise to work hard and finish all my tasks!” she promised with a wide grin. “And I’ll stick around for a long while, so I won’t be quitting any time soon!”

What apprehension she felt was dying down, so she added in a playful wink and widened her lips even more.

“Well, you’re hired then! If you could actually do a package now? It’s apparently really urgent,” he asked anxiously.

“Ah, yeah,” Ash was caught off guard, though she could literally feel Wade’s anxiety coming off him in waves and it kind of offset her a bit.

“We’re actually a bike courier company, so you don’t have to be on foot as much. You can take one of the bikes and go to this address,” Wade took a box from the counter next to him and handed it to her, and showed her the address on top of it. “You don’t have to actually start today, but if you could just take this one package?”

“Sure thing,” Ash said easily, taking the parcel.

“Bikes are over there! Just come back after you’re done, so I can mark it off and be sure it was taken care of.”

“Got it, boss!” she said over her shoulder while taking a messenger bag and slipping the small package into it.

She took a bike and hopped on, and got out of there. She mostly knew her way around Lumiose City, having traveled around the city plenty of times with and without Clemont and Bonnie. Having remembered the address, she knew that it was at a room in Hotel Richissime. She reached the hotel easily, finding it heavily fortified from the outside. Hesitantly heading to the doors of the hotel, she found a tall, bulky man with an Absol blocking the way.

She took out the package and came closer, holding it up.

“Um, I’m here to deliver this to Room 127?”

The man looked at her closely. “Credentials?”

“Sorry, I just started like 15 minutes ago. He said this was urgent and had to be delivered right away,” she smiled nervously, trying to search out his feelings.

He narrowed his eyes at her, and she could easily feel his suspicious and wary feelings. They relaxed slightly after a moment and he nodded, stepping aside. His Absol stepped away as well. She scooted passed him quickly and then went into the hotel, looking around and observing that while sill decked in finery, there were plenty of people about looking tense and on guard. There was a lack of lighting that made the luxurious lobby look less grand and more haunted.

She swallowed heavily and made her way to the stairs, barely glancing at the out of order elevators. Once she was at the right floor and in front of the room she was supposed to deliver to, she knocked hesitantly and waited.

The door opened and Ash was surprised to see Malva of the Kalos Elite Four standing there, though missing her signature sunglasses.

The older woman smirked, raising an eyebrow. “Yes? What can I do for you, doll?”

Ash cleared her throat, handing the package over.

“I think this is for you,” she gave a small smile, feeling uncertain about Malva. Diantha had told her about her fellow colleagues once, and she’d expressed that Malva was very much a wild woman.

“Fantastic,” Malva grinned wildly, expressing her delight at the package. “I’m heading the hell out of here and I wanted these before I got out.”

Ash perked up, wanting to know more. She wanted to get the heck out of Kalos and head back home.

Malva grabbed some keys and slid the edge of one through the tape, though she tore open the folds too roughly, allowing whatever it was in it to tumble out. Ash was quick to snatch whatever it was in midair, blinking as she realized it was a pair of Malva’s usual pink sunglasses. A loud, impressed whistle took her attention back to Malva, who was eying her speculatively, with a glint in her eyes that made Ash feel uneasy as she handed them to her.

The mix of curiosity, greed, suspicion and various other emotions clamoring for attention bogged Ash down and made her take a step back.

“Nice reflexes, doll,” Malva purred, leaning into Ash’s space and hooding her eyes. “You ever think about your potential? Maybe you can be…more than what you are, what you should be?”

Ash forced a smile onto her face. “Me? I’m just a regular girl, ma’am. Nowhere near as cool as you, I’m sure! I mean, wow! You’re…you’re Malva of the Kalos Elite!”

The pinkette smirked, leaning against the door frame coolly as she flipped her sunglasses open and slipped them onto her face.

“Aw, how sweet. Don’t you worry, doll. I can make you so damn powerful, you wouldn’t even remember the cute, little mouse you used to be.”

Ash cleared her throat again, uncomfortable and not liking the way Malva was eying her. The combination of emotions practically wafting off of the woman, as well as the heady and almost dark sensation coming off of her, was making Ash severely lightheaded and her nerves electrified.

“Sign this please,” Ash handed over the papers she was supposed to hand over to show the task was completed.

Malva made a noncommittal hum as she took them and signed where she had to. Though she handed it back, her other hand snatched Ash’s wrist and pulled her close.

“I mean it,” Malva’s face and tone was completely serious. “You can be god-like once I’m through with you. Power like that doesn’t just grow on trees, doll.”

She needed to get out of there, never mind finding out how to get out of Kalos with Malva. She was getting bad vibes off of her, and she wouldn’t be going home the way Ash wanted to if Malva had a say in it.

She was pretty sure Malva had exact plans that didn’t involve helping her get home.

“I’ll, um, keep it in mind,” Ash gave a shaky smile to the Kalos Elite Trainer. “Maybe see you around, hahaha…”

Malva kept a smirk on her lips, obviously amused.

“Sure thing, doll. Maybe I’ll see you around. Hopefully soon.”

Ash forcefully strengthened her smile, so that it looked less shaky, and then turned and hurried down that hallway. At the top of the stairs, she was in such a hurry that she didn’t even notice anyone in the way until she ran into someone. Stumbling back, she looked and felt her breath escape out of her. There were two Team Flare members right in front of her.

“Move it,” one of them barked out, and Ash felt herself only minutely relaxed.

At least they didn’t seem to recognize her.

She stepped back and let them pass her, hearing them say something that made her freeze up.

“You think Malva will be able to keep us altogether?”

She kept quiet and waited until she could no longer hear their steps before she began to powerwalk down the stairs. She only relaxed all the way once she reached her bike and had gotten onto it. Then she biked it back to the courier building quickly.


Ash had turned in the papers and returned the bike and messenger bag, before she was shown what would be her locker. She headed out then, hoping to head back to Sycamore’s quickly.

Out of the corner of her eye though, a block away from the courier building, she saw a trio of Flare agents starting to follow her and attempting to be subtle about it. Two of them she recognized form earlier, at the hotel.

“Damn,” she muttered, feeling the hairs on her neck prickle.

She started to walk faster, but then so did they. And then she started to run, and they no longer pretended that they weren’t after her.

“What the hell!”

Crap, she didn’t have any of her pokémon on her. They needed to rest and heal up, and Pikachu had been too recognizable with her too.

She felt a current of energy rushing through her. She felt lighter…quicker. She was quicker. Her legs were filled with energy and there was a newer, unexpected strength that molded and filled them as she pumped her legs to make her run as fast as she could through the streets and moving into alleys to get away.

In fact, she was moving so fast that as she turned into an alley, she rammed into a wall and made a small dent into it before she pushed off and kept going. She noted it in surprise and anxiety, but she didn’t let herself linger on it too long, too afraid to stop and be caught by Team Flare.

She put on another burst of speed, taking a chance to glance back and see they were getting farther and farther behind. Seeing them far away, she looked forward again and saw a door open and darted into it, closing it and then stopping.

That was when all that energy she’d been flushed with before, drained out of her and she nearly collapsed onto the floor if she hadn’t been caught by someone. She groaned and her breathing was coming out in gasps, probably from the run and whatever the hell that energy was (Aura, it had to be it –the stupid thing!). Her body, especially her legs, were sore, while her feet ached and her thighs throbbed.

This kind of thing had happened to her before, usually when she was dealing with Legendaries and crazy situations she always ended up stuck in. Why did The Powers That Be hate her so much?

“Are you alright?” an articulate voice said smoothly and she looked up to see who she recognized as the Kalos Elite Trainer Siebold.

“I’m,” Ash paused, trying to catch her breath. “Exhausted actually.”

“If you’d like, you may rest here,” Siebold offered, voice soft and kind.

“Thanks,” she tried to smile, but everything hurt so much.

He tried to lead her to a place she could rest, but she was in so much pain that she really couldn’t move.

“If you don’t mind, I think I’d like to just sit on the floor and not move anymore,” Ash told him painfully.

“I’ve got you,” Siebold said instead and picked her up.

Ash was too relieved to protest, and ended up passing out.


When she woke up, she found that she was lying on a bed. Blinking and wondering where she was, she slowly got up and looked around the white and blue decorated room. Feeling much better and reinvigorated, Ash slowly got up and then moved around, examining the room without being too nosy and intrusive. Deciding to leave the room, she quickly found the stairs, which led to a strange hallway. Going down it, she opened the door at the end of it, and then found herself in a large kitchen with a few chefs moving around.

However, to her annoyance, she saw the back exit door (the one she was sure she’d come into the kitchen through earlier) open and then admit one of the Flare members that had been chasing her. Knowing that it had at least been a few hours, she cursed their persistence and looked around. Spotting a spare chef hat and jacket, she put them on and began working on something. Soon enough, the Flare agent gave up and left, but Ash had already been drafted into helping with something else.

It wasn’t that long until she found herself actually working in the kitchen.

“You’re quite good,” Siebold interrupted her sometime later, when the kitchen was clearing out and Ash found herself on dishwashing duty. “I saw you when you first came in after waking up, and was going to greet you when you looked panic and put on one of the restaurant’s uniforms and began helping out. There was a member of Team Flare that came in.”

Ash winced. “Um…they were looking for me. I was trying to hide. I’m sorry.”

“No need to apologize. I understand,” Siebold nodded. “But like I said…you’re good. Have you any experience in a restaurant, or even in just cooking?”

“My mom taught me how to cook and she owns a diner that I used to help out in,” she admitted.

“Would you like some work?”

Ash blinked, having not expected that. “Um, I’m working at the bike courier company near here in the mornings and daytime.”

“How about at night then?” Siebold asked, smiling gently at her.


“Sure,” Ash felt the day (was it night now?) had turned for the better in the end. “I’d really like that!”

And so she found herself with a job at Restaurant Le Yeah while she was at it.
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