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(Note: My name is Leda. I am an Audino nurse at the Nimbasa City Pokemon Center. This diary is the property of a Watchog, name of “Prima,” who was admitted into our care early this morning.

According to her team, Prima and her fellow pokemon were beset by a mob of wild Psychic-type pokemon when leaving the area known as Lostlorn Forest. The attack was savage and unrelenting, only letting up when the trainer managed to capture the leader of the Psychic-types. It was at this time that the other teammates discovered that Prima had sustained severe damage.

Though everyone else was wounded, they rushed Prima back to Nimbasa for treatment. However, upon entering the Center for treatment, it was abundantly clear to us that Prima is a lost cause. She has sustained intense central nervous damage from repeated psychic attacks and her immune system is compromised beyond repair. She is facing inevitable mass organ failure within twenty-four hours.

We regretfully informed the party of Prima’s outlook. Responses ranged from subdued—the Whirlipede, her trainer—to more overt: the Tympole and especially the Dewott.

After learning that she had less than twenty-four hours to live, the trainer ordered his pokemon out of the Center, claiming he wanted to give his pokemon peace and quiet. The Dewott protested, alternately screaming and sobbing, and refused to leave Prima’s side. Eventually the frustrated trainer recalled her, and informed us to “do what was necessary” and that he would return the following morning to transfer her for burial.

Personally, Prima seems to have wanted the Dewott to stay. I would have allowed it for both their sakes—but then, I’m a simple nurse, not a trainer.

The doctors left me here to monitor her situation and summon them when things grow dire. I am trying to comfort her as best I can, but she is in tremendous pain, and pines for the comfort of her friends and family. She has refused painkillers, stating that she wants to be as lucid as possible during her final moments.

When I asked what I could do to comfort her, Prima asked me to retrieve her diary, which was left here along with her poke ball. She wishes to write in it, but lacks the physical power to do so. I have offered to transcribe the words she speaks aloud to the page, and she acquiesced. And so, with the patient’s permission, I will begin. Prima’s words begin now.)


Everything hurts.

I should have been on guard. The little creature who jumped me looked so small and innocent, with bright, shining eyes and a lonely smile. She asked for help and I went to give it to her, but before I knew what was happening, there were dozens of them, flinging energy at me.

The others heard my screams and rushed in to save me. Blair caught the leader—the very pokemon who had baited me out to begin with. But it was too late. That first salvo was so brutal, so unforgiving. I felt myself dying with every blast…

What happened next is a blur. I remember little; only pain. I dimly hear the voices of others crying out. Cenn, telling me to hold on. Dreamtide, offering support. Gnash, telling me I’m going to make it. Laguna, silently weeping. And Opal, telling me she won’t let die.

I’m sorry, everyone…

(Leda’s note: The patient’s voice grew ragged and hoarse here—noticeably so, as her words had been weary and slow to begin with. After five minutes of deep breathing during which I wondered if she had fallen asleep, she suddenly launched into speaking again.)


They tell me I’m dying. I believe them. I can feel my life ebbing away like the night tide. It’s a strange thing, to confront your own death. Fearful…

There is so much I wish I had said, diary. I wish I could have told you more of who I was, the old Patrat back on Route 1. I wish I had put my moments with Opal to memory; not just vague brushings-over, but the details, the long talks, the quiet meetings between our souls. I will never forget how warm she felt; especially not now, now that I feel colder than ever.

And there is much I wish to see, diary. I want to see Laguna returned home safely. I want to meet this Professor that means so much to Opal and wonder how she and Blair could be mother and son. There are other humans, too, whom I have become invested in. Gentle Bianca, stalwart Cheren, passionate N. What I wouldn’t have given to travel with any of them rather than cold, icy Blair.

…humanity is a marvel, diary. Of everything I have learned since being conscripted into this journey, that stands foremost. The things they build, the wonders they make. I admire and envy them.

Of course they are not all saints. To people like Blair and Lenora and the maniacs in Team Plasma, we are little more than tools or slaves… But while at first I thought that a humanwide sin, now I see they are a vast panoply, just like we pokemon ourselves. For every Blair, a Bianca. For every Lenora, a Professor. Maybe someday things will change. In a perfect world, perhaps there will be little Lagunas who are never ripped from their families, and Blairs are recognized as the beasts they are. Maybe—

(Leda’s note: The patient has trailed off, slipping into slumber. I find myself desperately hoping she does not wake. Let her pass peaceably, in the quiet of her dreams.)

(Leda’s note: Just shy of two hours have passed. She has awoken; she was breathing intensely, eyes searching about in a panic. I gave her some medicine and soothed her. She has begun speaking again. The patient is less lucid than before; Still, I will dutifully try to relay all information into this book as per her final wishes.)


Dear Diary.

I have seen things. In dreams. In visions. Dreamyards, forests, mirrors, pink mist, floating pokemon…

Shadows swirl around fire and storms and ice. I saw Blair wielding a sword of fire. I saw a venerable old tree in its last moments. In the Dreamyard, I saw Opal weeping and weeping—

Opal. Opal.

So that is what that vision meant. When I saw you in that vision you had changed. You were different. You were as you are now, a Dewott. And you were weeping.

You always weep, my love. Because you take too much on yourself. Because you blame yourself. For Tinder, and for the rift between mother and son, and for Columbus. And now you blame yourself for me. This day has been a vast, pain-filled dream but I remember you crying for me, fighting for me.

I understand now.

All this time I thought I was writing in an old book that no one would ever see, but I was writing to you, Opal. All this time, all these words, they have been and always were a love letter to you.

Please read them, Opal. Open it whenever you are sad. Whenever you feel crushed. Brush your paw over the familiar tilt and whirl of my words. Breathe in my scent so you don’t forget. You told me how I smelled, once. Like summer leaves or… I can’t remember. I’ll never forget you, though. If I close my eyes I can smell you now: like a quiet night by the sea.

Like the sea, you weep. Please, don’t weep for me. Don’t let this ruin you. You must stay strong. You are the leader of this team. The anchor. I have always been there to support you and now I can’t, but lean on these words and this book. Be a good auntie to Laguna. Be a good friend to Gnash and Dreamtide and everyone else.

Don’t give up. Even when I’m gone, you can’t give up. Promise. Promise. You were always the stronger of the two of us. You have to promise. You mustn’t blame yourself. Not for me, not for anything. It wasn’t your fault, my love. It wasn’t…

I…

I feel Death’s fingers on my spine…

I wish I was strong like you, Opal. Maybe then I wouldn’t be afraid now. I’m so scared. I don’t want to go. Not like this. Not alone.

There was so much I wish I could have seen. The vast mountains and forests you say lie to the west. The end of this journey. You, fully evolved. You’ll be magnificent… beautiful… but then, you always were.

I wish I had told you my name. My real name, my wild name. Not Blair’s crude moniker. Not “Prima.” The name my parents called me long ago. I was happy then… and then they were gone and I wouldn’t be happy again, not until you.

My name is not Prima.

My name is so much more.

My name is autumn storms and warm honey. My name is fields of sunlit wheat.

My name is—

(Leda’s note: The patient broke off, crying and thrashing about in her bed. The monitors droned a warning. I immediately summoned the doctors and tried to calm the patient. She was evidently in a great deal of pain… Eventually the patient subdued herself, breaking into pained sobs.

The patient began whispering over and over. “Opal… Opal, are you there? Are you? Please…” She caught sight of me and reached a trembling hand. “Opal…?”

I clutched her paw and told her I was Opal and that I was there for her. She broke into a happy, desperate smile and struggled to rise from the bed. I bent over to ease her back in; she brushed her lips against my cheek and whispered “Love you… always…”

The doctors came in and wheeled her out. I have no place in the emergency room; I am a simple attendant nurse. And so I sit here, writing desperately in a diary that is not mine, hoping that somehow they make a miracle, that they save this poor pokemon.)

(Leda’s note: Twelve minutes since last entry. Doctors have emerged, shaking their heads. The patient has died.)
Dear Diary: A Pokemon Black Storylocke, Part 17
...

Prima's death was my fault.

She was killed by a wild Gothita that I was trying to catch. Prima was my go-to pokemon for new captures due to knowing both Hypnosis and Super Fang. First turn I used Super Fang; Gothita used Fake Tears, lowering her Sp. Def by two stages. Second turn I used Hypnosis and missed, and Gothita used Fake Tears again. If I was sensible I would have swapped, but I wasn't thinking. I was in "catch a new pokemon" mode, not "save a team member" mode. I used Hypnosis, it missed again, and Gothita used Psybeam. The attack was a one-hit KO; Prima never stood a chance.

This was a hard chapter to write, and not just because of the question, How do I write the main character's death in a diary-only story? It was hard because I knew, going in, that Prima was a dead pokemon walking. I made her the main character anyway, figuring that telling the story from the point of view of a new capture would be worth it. But she and Opal and everyone else grew on me much more than I intended.

I didn't want to do this, but the game gave me no choice. This is how it happened.

That said, Dear Diary is NOT over. I will continue the story through to the end; we'll just have a new POV character from now on. I hope you all don't jump ship because of Prima's death, and I also hope that none of you think the story is too dark to follow now. As the old saying goes, it's always darkest just before the dawn... please stay tuned.

Previous Chapter: Dear Diary: A Pokemon Black Storylocke, Part 16
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Dear Diary.

It’s been too long since I’ve spoken to you. I need to apologize—ever since Blair’s injury it was just easiest to defer writing in you unless I had to. Although perhaps my willingness to allow more and more time to pass between writing in you speaks to something else. After all, I originally began penning down my thoughts and dreams in order to cope with the strange new world I’d found myself in. Now, I’ve come to accept this strange new world as home, more or less.

Part of me saddens at that, but another part of me, surprisingly, does not. After all, it’s the nature of things to change. Seasons, constellations, pokemon…

Sorry, diary. I’m digressing again. (Why do you let me get away with that?)

It’s been a few weeks since Blair’s surgery. In that time he’s recovered pretty well. He’s become quite mobile with his crutches, though at first he was extremely unwieldy, constantly falling and clutching at walls or railings to support himself. The doctors say that he’ll eventually get a false leg made of metal and plastic, but he can’t use it yet. The stump is still tender from the surgery and putting weight on it, even just to transfer weight to a contraption affixed to his leg, runs the risk of splitting the skin open.

Oh, and before I forget—Opal’s beloved Professor has sent a few tentative vidscreen calls, but Blair has blown them off. Eventually they shriveled up, with no threat to charge over in person like before. I wonder what Juniper is thinking. Opal is the only one among us who knows her, but she’s reluctant to speak—perhaps she blames herself for the rift that has grown between mother and son.

The day after N’s visit Blair insisted on beginning physical therapy. It didn’t take a genius to know why. He was constantly gazing out his window, staring at the northeast—the direction of the Lostlorn Forest.

Laguna and I shared the details from N’s visit, of course. It worked everybody up. Ever since our jaunt to the desert, we can’t just turn a blind eye to the supernatural goings-on surrounding Blair. How could we, when Dreamtide themself is a floating, glowing reminder of it?

Opal held a little pow-wow for us to gauge what we thought about Blair’s “destiny.” Dreamtide, as you might imagine, is all for it. Cenn seems behind it as well. Gnash is cautious, still holding doubts from our encounter with the ghosts in the Desert Resort.

Laguna… she just wants to go home. I’m not sure if she really grasps the import of what’s going on. Opal is worried. She thinks that Blair’s quest will bring us face-to-face with dangers far beyond what a normal pokemon journey would entail—and with the nightmare that was our battle with the Yamask, who can argue? Privately, in those moonlit moments when it is just the two of us, she has confided in me that she fears another death like Tinder’s, or that Blair might hurt himself again. These are weights she takes upon herself, burdens she cannot bear to let go of.

And as for me? Well, diary, you already know. I’ve already confided in you my secret dread. Whatever the forces swirling around Blair are, I don’t think they bode well—not for us, or for Unova.

Tomorrow is the time we put those fears to the test. Blair will finally be discharged, though he has been advised—more like ordered, really—to “ease back into adventure” and to continue routine check-ups and physical therapy at Pokemon Centers.

Ease, huh. No one who knows Blair could think he could ease his way into anything.

---

Dear Diary.

I write these words to you near the edge of a lonely campfire in the depths of an old wood. I am still trying to make sense of what I have seen. Perhaps you will be the one to help.

Blair left Nimbasa early yesterday morning. I wasn’t present to witness it—he only had Cenn and Dreamtide out accompanying him. The rest of us had retired to our poke balls. I don’t know why he ordered that, considering that he often lets us roam and wander with all of us out together. Perhaps it’s a pride thing. He didn’t want the people of Nimbasa seeing a recently-wounded young man hobbling along on crutches, being nannied by a full team of pokemon.

Regardless—when I was released it was just past noon and the sights and sounds of the city had changed to a dusty country lane. Nimbasa still thrummed behind us, though, not terribly far at all; we’ll be back before long, I guess.

Nothing too interesting to report regarding our journeys. It was slow going—slow and miserable, thanks to Blair’s injury. Walking down a dirt road is different from a hospital hallway. Despite the help of his crutches, he slipped and fell more than a few times. The first time that happened Opal darted over to lend a helping paw, but he snarled at her.

“I can do this on my own!”

He grabbed the branches of a nearby tree and dragged himself to his feet. So it went—but every time he fell, he was more ragged pulling himself up. The last time, when he finally managed to stand after nearly five minutes of false starts and partway collapses, he buckled onto the old fence he’d used to pull himself up, hyperventilating and trembling. His face had paled and he was sweating.

Opal had rushed him some water and pain medicine and this time he did not reject her assistance. We set up camp not long after, though there was still at least an hour left of daylight.

We set off again this morning, still moving slowly. I suspect that had Blair been ambulatory, we could have made it to the edge of the forest by nightfall in one day. Still, we made it to the forest with a few hours of daylight left.

Lostlorn. It’s not a name that inspires confidence. Diary, have you ever run into primeval forests? Old-growth woodland untouched for centuries, if not longer? There’s something special about them. Special and creepy. The trees creak and groan like old giants and even in full sun the growth overhead filters the light, washing everything in the same muted green. The soil is rich and dark and loamy, and the air is heavy with moisture and the promise of the unknown.

We had no idea what was waiting for us in Lostlorn Forest—only N’s word to guide us. Even Dreamtide, whom Blair had consulted, seemed unsure. They hadn’t known about the forest and seemed quite iffy on going, though they admitted they are far from omniscient.

“There-is-strength,” they said. “In-the-air. In-this-place. Woods-are-old. Old-and-strong.”

After resting for a half-hour at the edge of the forest—though rest is a relative term, given how the trees loomed over us, staining the earth dark with their shade—we moved in.

The interior of the woods was a shadowland, vastly different from the cities and deserts we’ve spent most of our recent time in. Even Pinwheel had been touched by human hands, had been logged and cut and had a road cut through it. Lostlorn was raw nature, unfeeling and mighty. Disquiet even settled into Cenn, a forest native.

The trees swallowed us, and soon there was nothing but gloom and the distant sounds of forest. I felt distant eyes on us—we all did. I could not say if they were pokemon or not, though I hoped they were. I thought to flare my patterns, but the moment I did so I felt a tremendous unease about us, as if Lostlorn itself was crushing me with its will. The sense of dread and fear didn’t disappear when I dimmed the patterns, but it did subside. This is not a place for light.

Blair had Dreamtide take the lead, instructing them to look for whatever it was that N spoke of. Whether he did so because of Dreamtide’s role as “guide” or because of their psychic powers, I can’t say. Probably both.

Dreamtide led us steadily through the forest. Even their glow was muted. I hung near the back, keeping watch; Opal was escorting Laguna this time.

Eventually Gnash drifted his way back to me. The poor Sandile was panting, his lungs heaving. “Used to deserts and sands, I is,” he said with a weak apology, brushing off my attempt to help him along. “‘S nuffink, really.” Eventually he told me that he could hold the rear.

I agreed, fool that I was. It didn’t take long before I noticed that Gnash’s distinct pitter-patter of footsteps were missing. I turned; there was a solitary knot of tan and black, far behind me in the forest.

I yelled and darted back, shaking him when I got there. He stirred weakly. “Musta gotten all fat and lazy from that long break in the ‘ospital… Dun worry ‘bout me…” His breathing was wet and ragged. The moist air of the forest was murdering his lungs.

“You silly Sandile,” I said. “Hold on. Everyone can make time for you to get yourself together.” I turned, expecting Opal and Dreamtide and Cenn to have followed me, but there was nothing; nothing but the gently swaying branches of the trees.

A hot note of anger flared within me. Hadn’t they heard me cry out? Hadn’t they noticed me darting off? “Stay right there,” I told Gnash. “Don’t move at all. I’m going to get the others and then I’m coming back for you, okay?” He nodded weakly.

I bolted away from him, going back the way I had come, but as I ran and ran and ran I could catch no sight of the others. I heard no cracking of twigs or shifting of branches or distant calling voices. Even their scent was gone. There was only the wood.

Frustration turned into icy fear. “O-Opal?” I called out. There was no response. “Opal? Anyone? Where are you? Opal!” I shouted but no one came.

A chill sunk into my belly. Again I was cognizant of the feeling of being watched—of invisible eyes on me. I sniffed the air desperately but smelled only plants. I felt suddenly alone, shadowed by the great trees.

How long had I left Gnash alone? I doubled back, as desperate for company as I was to find and help him. I ran and I ran and I ran—no Gnash. Nothing. Had I somehow gotten off-track? Lost the trail? It couldn’t have happened, could it?

I looked around to see if I recognized anything, but the enormous gloaming trees around me stood like titans.

Suddenly I felt dizzy. I held a paw to my head, trying to shake it off, but the dizziness only got worse. It was like I had eaten a bad root; no, like I was in a dream. In my dream-state a web of branches seemed to whisper away, revealing a path I had not noticed. I followed it, and perhaps it was only the dream but I felt urged along by a silent, invisible presence—a will that permeated the forest.

The path led me to a black, glossy pool. I felt compelled to look at it. The water was still, and the surface was like a mirror. I saw myself reflected perfectly.

You will not doubt what I say next, diary, because you have heard my tales of visions in the Dreamyard and of shadows swarming a dead city. I swear to you that all I tell you is true.

My reflection was suddenly surrounded by a glow of light; the light was a curious pink-purple, almost the color of Dreamtide’s powers. The light surrounded the other me, bathed her, and then it flashed and she shattered like glass.

Before I could react, ripples coursed across the water; they were born of an invisible source in the very center of the pool. As the ripples continued, new images appeared. I saw a forest—not a dark, untouched forest like Lostlorn, nor was it Pinwheel, either. This was a large, diverse, yet curiously happy stretch of woodland, with an incredible number of flowering plants, trees, bushes… all manner of growth.

In the center of it all was a gnarled old tree. It was not giant by any means, but solid. You got the sense, looking at this tree, that it was the anchor of the entire woodland, that its roots stretched wide and long and that they nourished, rather than took.

A creature slithered from the shadows underneath the tree. With sharp claws, it gouged into the old growth over and over and over. The tree shook; branches trembled; leaves fell; and the tree died.

Chaos erupted in the woodland. Many other trees died as the elder one did. Others exploded out of control, their roots writhing like serpents. Nettles and thorns appeared, choking the life underfoot.

The creature, its work done, roamed the forest, lashing out indiscriminately. As it moved, there was another figure. I recognized him as a knight—the sort of human from old stories that Opal says Team Plasma base their dress on. The knight was tall, and clad in armor not of metal but of stone. He was grieving. He wandered the woods, alternately weeping and roaring, oblivious to the chaos around him. At times, a sapling or bush stood in his way; these he cut with his sword, also of stone, leaving a trail of devastation in his wake.

The sky darkened as thunder gathered, and the dry, dead plants quivered, crackling with sudden heat. I was aware of a circle of creeping frost ringing the edge of the forest. It could have swept in, but didn’t. Winter waited and watched as the creature and the knight cut swathes of destruction and as thunder and heat gathered.

The gathered clouds unleashed their fury, hurling lightning down at the forest. In response, the dry, crackling wood erupted into flame. A towering inferno launched upwards, meeting the lightning and bursting in the skies above. Again the lightning, and again the contesting fire. They clashed, growing fiercer, more desperate, until—

“That is not for you to see.”

I gasped with sudden fright, flaring my patterns and turning to the speaker. She was a Grass-type pokemon; a small humanoid figure, clad in what almost looked to be a dress made of flowers and leaves.

“The end is unknown even to the old growth,” she murmured. “It cannot show that which it does not know. It has waited millennia for the clash; now it is almost upon us.”

She unnerved me, this strange, elegant creature. She didn’t seemed the least bit frightened by what I had seen. “Who are you?” I asked.

She tilted her head, just a bit, as she studied me. “…one of many Grass pokemon who call this woodland home,” she said after an all-too-long silence. “We have guarded it from incursions to preserve the old growth, but it recognized your trainer as a chosen and permitted him entry. He has received portents of his own—as have your other companions. Come. I will take you to them.”

She turned and glided into the forest. I wasn’t sure whether to trust her, but I had nothing to lose. As entranced as I had been by that pool, she could have gotten the jump on me. Even killed me, if she’d wanted.

I left the clearing with the dark pool and my befuddlement cleared. I looked back and was astonished to see that the water had vanished. There was nothing behind me but a large pile of craggy boulders.

“What—” I began.

“Hush,” said the other pokemon. “It is the way.”

In time, a mute glow poked through the trees—a very dim, lonely campfire. All the other pokemon were around it, as was Blair.

The Grass-type led me to the thicket where they were. The first one who glanced up to see me was Opal. She looked melancholy, but that changed to gladness when she saw me. “You’re alive,” she said.

She bolted to me, throwing her arms around me. “You’re alive. You’re alive,” she said. Arceus, there were even tears in her eyes.

“I am,” I said, more amused than anything. “You thought I wasn’t?”

“I was—I was separated from the others, and then I saw things. They were just dreams but they were the most—the most horrible—”

I cut her off, squeezing her back tightly. “It was just a dream,” I said. “Just a bad dream.”

I settled in near the fire, checking up on Gnash—“Started feeling better soon as you stepped from me sight, I did. Wandered around, found a cave fulla crystal. Saw some bloomin’ weird stuff in there, I tells ya”—and the others. The curious Grass-type pokemon reposed near the edge of our campsite, not interacting with anyone, yet never quite leaving our site.

“She brought each of us here individually,” Opal told me. “She says she will guide us out when daybreak comes.”

She’s still here, in fact. Standing sentinel at the edge of our small camp as the embers glow. I don’t know what to think of her. I suppose I can trust her. After all, she led me back here.

Opal stayed close to me all night long. Even now, she’s dozing with her head in my lap. I think it has to do with what she saw. Part of me wants to know what the others saw in their visions, but I don’t know if now is the time. Let us ruminate on them for a while. See if we can make sense of them. I can ask when we return to Nimbasa.

N’s waiting there for us. I haven’t forgotten the message he left for Blair in the hospital—ALWAYS IN MY THOUGHTS. I don’t doubt another clash is coming between the two of them. Fire and lightning. Trees dying. Land burning.

How did I get caught up in all this? What’s going to happen to us all?
Dear Diary.

I spoke with Opal today.

After speaking with Dreamtide yesterday, I spent most of the night thinking about what I could say to her. The words I could share. After all, Opal’s strong and vivacious and beautiful and a leader, whereas I’m just… me.

Still, I was determined to see it through. I wasn’t going to let the chasm that had grown between us stand without trying to bridge it.

Opal spent most of yesterday inside her poke ball. What was she hiding from? I can’t tell you, diary. Those are her demons. But when I woke this morning, the sunlight was strong and warm. The room where we pokemon are staying was almost colored green from light bouncing off the trees outside; our room faces the little park. Someone had left the window open; soft, inviting air drifted in, as well as sounds. Opal was training.

“Seize the day.” That’s another human-ism. It can be funny to think of grasping daylight itself with your paws, but it’s a suitably ambitious image. Much of what I’ve learned about humanity in the weeks since being captured can be summed up in that one word. Ambition.

Pokemon have powers galore. I can dazzle and hypnotize with the patterns on my coat. Opal and Laguna can summon the elements to do battle. Tinder, bless his memory, commanded fire itself. But for all our strength, pokemon have no ambition. Would I have ever left the comfort and security of Route 1 had Blair not come along? No. I would have lived and died in the same stretch of grassy plains and rolling brooks. We’re sedentary. Humans may lack all our powers, but they boast ambition and the ingenuity to make those ambitions real. It’s taken them farther than any power could have.

Traveling with humans must have rubbed off on me. The old Prima, the meek and quiet Patrat, would have fretted over confronting Opal. She would have put it off, wringing her hands. Perhaps she never would have worked up the courage. But when I realized the opportunity that was before me, I darted out before I could convince myself otherwise. Carpe diem. Carpe gemma. Sometimes you just have to act.

There were no other pokemon in the park. Just Opal, resplendent in the morning sun. She prowled through the trees, paws up as though ready to face an invisible enemy. Her face was all concentration. A flash—an errant log here scored by her scalchop. A quick about-face and water surged from her outstretched palm, blasting through a leafy bush.

Satisfied, Opal lowered her paw, replacing the scalchop to its resting place on her leg. Her chest heaved, sucking in air after the exercise. She turned and only then did she see me.

“Hey,” I said.

“Hello,” she replied. Like I said, she’s distant.

“We…” Arceus, but the fear I’d ignored earlier flooded into me, threatening to swallow me. What if I messed it up? What if she really did hate me? What if what if what if?

No. Some things—some pokemon—are worth fighting for.

“We need to talk,” I said.

Her brows lowered. “What about,” she said, but her tone indicated that she suspected and wasn’t too happy.

“What happened. Down in the desert.”

Opal turned. “I don’t want to talk about that.”

“No, Opal, we have to talk about this! What I did—what I suggested—it was…” I paused, shame filling my chest. It was hard to say the next words. “I’m sorry,” I said in a whisper. Opal didn’t face me; her back was all I saw. “It was wrong. And cowardly. And weak. I… hate Blair. I hate him more than anyone or anything on this planet. But I’m not a killer. It was—it was a moment of weakness—”

“That’s just an excuse,” Opal said. Her voice was flat.

“…you’re right. Making excuses is just running from responsibility. I’m not gonna run any longer. I’m ashamed of that moment. I’ve cursed myself for it. But Opal, we… we had so much together. We shared so much with each other.” I’d promised myself that I’d keep my composure when talking to her, yet here it was—the emotion, quiet and desperate, creeping into my voice. “We comforted each other after we lost Tinder. We shared our hopes and fears and pasts… Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten all that. The way we took care of Laguna. The nights we shared together. The promise we made to always be there for the other to lean on. Opal, please! You have to believe I’m more than just my lowest moment!”

She slowly turned. Her face was resolute. “Enough. If you really mean what you say… then no more words. Let your actions talk.” She took a battle stance.

We’d play-fought in training before—all of we pokemon had battled each other at some point or another—but something told me this was going to be different. I slowly edged into a pre-battle stance of my own, hunkering low to the ground. Muscles tense, pattern glowing. “Alright.”

She lunged at me, the scalchop in her hand whirring through the air. I only just managed to dodge to the side as it swished over me. Before I could react a swift kick, aimed before I had even dodged, sent me tumbling. Opal had known where I was going to be almost before I did. She knew me too well.

Our battle was serious. Neither of us were fighting for keeps—we’re not brutes. But we were hitting harder than we did in our training sessions, moving swifter. Opal was giving it her all—and to be honest, I wouldn’t have been satisfied with anything less.

I barely managed to dodge Opal’s follow-up attack after taking the kick, rolling aside. She came after me, scalchops swinging, but they were a feint, intended to drive me back so she could blast me with water. Rather than fall for her ruse, I held close. I waited for a too-wide swing and got in close enough to rabbit-punch her torso.

She gasped as the wind knocked from her. She tried to counterattack with a short jab but… well, diary, just as well as she knows me, that’s how well I know her. I saw the blow coming. I wound past it, grabbed her arm with mine and twisted my legs around hers. I had just enough time to see her eyes widen before I sent her tumbling down in a grapple she herself had taught me.

She swept my legs and I fell on top of her. We rolled over the grass, trading blows both sharp and fierce, each pummeling the other without mercy. A surge of blue as Opal prepared a water attack; I disengaged and darted to the side to avoid it, but Opal had seen it coming. The burst was aimed not at me but at the ground; the knockback rocketed her away from me, sending her skidding across the ground. Within seconds she was fifteen—no, twenty—no, thirty feet away from me.

I darted in, running swiftly on all fours, as Opal unleashed blast after blast of water against me. The water scored the earth, leaving little patches of brown where it had washed away the grass, but it never hit me. I knew where Opal would be blasting as instinctively as I knew how to breathe; before she even thought of a fakeout, I’d come up with three counters to it. Soon I was on her again.

I lunged at her and she drew her scalchops. I swung and she dodged, retaliating with a fierce swipe. But I saw the swipe coming, knew it would come the way I had known my blow would miss, and I stepped aside, letting it pass through the air. I aimed a blow her way. But she sidestepped again, and attacked again, and missed again—and so it went, the two of us trading blows that could not hit, would not hit, because we knew each other too well, as we circled around each other in synchronized movements more like a dance than combat.

I saw the shock in her face fade into wonder fade into a satisfcation, and she pushed harder, trying to hit me, but she couldn’t hit me, like I couldn’t hit her, no matter how hard either of us tried. Finally I knew it was time to end the battle and I did the one thing that could have ended this dance from the beginning: I flared my patterns, the light blinding her like a cave pokemon stepping into daylight for the first time. Opal’s breath hitched and she flinched, and before she could move I swung my head forward, cracking it into hers with a strong headbutt. Opal reeled backwards and I darted in to land the finishing blow.

But even blinded she knew—no, she knows—me too well. She was fluid like the water she commands and though she could not see she moved past me, around me, through me and before I knew what was happening her hand was on my wrist and her foot on my foot and then I was on the ground with her foot pressing into my chest and a scalchop at my neck.

We were still for a few moments. My heart raced in my chest, fluttering faster than the wings of a bird pokemon. Opal held the scalchop there for a moment and then smirked. “That’s game,” she said. She removed the scalchop from my neck and dropped a paw to help me up. I took it, and we hobbled together, her arm on my shoulder and mine on hers, back into the building for the nurses to treat us.

Afterwards, when we were still recovering from the bout, we sat together, leaning on each other. The busybody Audino who’d tended to us had expressed concerns that two pokemon who had so soundly thrashed each other could be left alone, but Opal had shushed her. “This needed to happen,” she’d told her. “You can trust us together. Really. We need to talk about things, important things that can’t wait.” The Audino’s eyes drifted to our paws, tightly clasped together, and she tutted and bobbed away.

Opal watched her leave with a twinkle in her eye and then she leaned her head on my shoulder. “I… missed this,” she said softly. I could have responded, but there was no need. She knew I’d missed it too. I leaned into her as well and we sat there, quietly, each feeling the warmth and love the other had to give. It had been over a week since we’d left the Desert Resort, but to tell you the truth, diary, until that moment, it felt as though I’d still been trapped in the darkness.

“…thank you,” Opal said quietly. “For saving my life down there.”

I was at a loss for words at first but then I remembered. The Yamask. Dreamtide bowing to me. I told her not to worry, but she shook her head.

“Not that—although I guess you saved me then, too. All of us. When the balcony was collapsing on me, you rushed in and pushed me free. I could have been crushed. But I never thanked you. You must think I’m ungrateful.”

“I don’t,” I said. I think she knew I didn’t, but it was something she needed to hear.

“I wanted to believe you,” Opal said. “I wanted to go back to you and say I was sorry, that I knew you were sorry. But the memory of what happened down there was always there, weighing me down, like a stone inside my belly.”

“I don’t blame you,” I said. “It was a rotten thing. It was the worst thing I did in my life.”

“We’ve all done things we regret,” Opal said, and she squeezed my paw tight with her own. “Myself included. I knew that. But I couldn’t let go. I kept carrying that stone with me… and others, each crushing me with their weight. Blair’s injury. C-Columbus…”

She began to tremble and then to sob. Was this the first time she had talked about what had happened to him? Had she been carrying this around the entire time?

I let her get it all out, all the pain she’d been carrying for the last few days. She hated herself for what happened to Columbus. She considered herself a failure for allowing Blair to be hurt. She told me how conflicted she was: how Blair was really, truly rotten, how she knew he was rotten, but she just couldn’t let him go.

“I d-don’t know why,” she said. “Maybe it’s the way I was raised. My whole life I was taught that your trainer was your Master and had to be obeyed and protected in all cases. Blair’s nothing like what I imagined… When the Professor finds out what happened, I don’t know what I’ll do. Sh-she’ll be ashamed of me… she’ll hate me…”

I soothed her, I told her that none of that mattered, that it wasn’t her fault. She quieted down after a little while and apologized for pouring everything on me. She seemed placated by my words, but I don’t know if she believes them. That’s a bridge we can cross in time. For now, I’m just happy to have her back.

* * * * *

Dear Diary.

The other pokemon seem happy that Opal and I have made up. None of them were very overt about, but they all offered subtle signs of congratulation and encouragement. Even Cenn, whose opinion of me seems to have sunken low and stayed there, looked happy for us. The only exception is Laguna. I don’t say she’s an exception because she wasn’t glad—far from it. She’s the exception because her exuberance was far more obvious. She bounced happily around us, simultaneously trumpeting that “auntie” and “big sis” had made up and chiding us for fighting in the first place. We laughed and she laughed with us, and the three of us played together in the park for the first time in a long while.

Blair’s recovering day by day. His mood has remained dour, but there’s an aura of grim determination about him. Whatever’s going through his mind, I don’t think the events down in the desert have defeated him. If anything, they’ve kindled a new fire inside of him. One that’s not as wild or ferocious as the old Blair’s. This flame is slow-burning yet inexorable, the sort of that sweeps over the land.

We pokemon had gathered in his room—the doctors feel that giving recovering trainers “quality time” to spend with their pokemon speeds the healing process—when a nurse arrived.

“Another telescreen call from Professor Juniper,” she said. Blair had received many such calls, almost one daily since he’d awoken. He’d blown them off, and did the same to this one. But when he said so, the nurse looked anxious.

“She said to tell you… um, she said to tell you that if you blow this call off that she’s leaving Nuvema and coming here in person.”

Blair’s face darkened. “…fine then,” he said. “Bring it in.” A group of nurses and technicians had rushed a portable telescreen into the hospital room in under five minutes. They handed Blair a remote, told him which button to push, and left to give him privacy.

When he pushed the button the screen lit up. (Marvelous inventions, these things—like shouting your name and being heard on the other side of the earth.) The woman on the other end was in her late thirties or early forties; a little over two decades older than Blair. She had hair the color of a warm hearth, done up over her head. Her face had the look of someone who was often smiling and joyful, but it was now turned in a decisive frown. Her eyes were the same color as Blair’s: a soft sapphire blue.

Before she could speak, Blair snarked at her. “I know an empty threat when I hear one. You wouldn’t dare leave your lab and your precious pokemon alone on such short notice.”

“I could convince Fennel to come cover for me,” Juniper replied.

“Fennel? You mean that woman who lives two towns over and is so air-headed she sometimes forgets to eat? You’d come back to find half the lab on fire and the other half painted a different color.”

“Don’t you dare talk about Professor Fennel that way,” Juniper said, her tone frigid. Good Arceus, these two had barely opened their mouths and they were already bristling at one another. This was promising. “She’s my oldest friend and one of the finest scientists in all of Unova.”

Opal was looking back and forth between Blair and the Professor, obviously distressed.

“Mmhmmm. Tell me, are you enjoying the Archen I sent you?”

“It’s quite fascinating. And also not why I called. Blair, what the hell is happening?! You send me a maimed Tranquill—and when I try to contact you, you go silent. Then I hear from Cheren that you’ve been laid up in the hospital with a bad leg?” There was a heavy, pregnant pause. “How—how bad is it?” she asked hesitantly. “Cheren refused to give me any specifics, no matter how I pressed. That’s not a good sign, coming from him. How bad?”

Blair pressed a button on the remote and the telescreen tilted, the camera on it panning down his body. He was covered by a sheet, but even so, the mangled remnants of his limb were still visible if only by shape, gnarled and twisted.

Juniper visibly paled; she put her hands over mouth. “I… I…” She sounded as though she was going to be sick. “Oh, Arceus,” she muttered, tears springing to her eyes. “How could this happen? How?”

Blair hit another button and the telescreen rose, focusing on his face rather than his legs. “Rockslide,” he said brusquely. Juniper remained pale and distraught, but her face held the look of a person who knew she wasn’t being told the whole story. “It’ll be amputated the day after tomorrow.”

Juniper burst into tears and buried her head in her hands. “I—I’m coming,” she said. “I can call Fennel right now. I’m—”

Don’t,” Blair said with more venom in his voice than I’d ever heard. “I don’t need you here. I don’t want you here. The whole reason I left home was to get away from you, Mom, and I’ll rather burn than see you here now!”

Juniper looked like she’d been struck. “You don’t mean… Blair, honey, listen—”

“No, shut up,” Blair snarled. “My whole life has been spent living by your rules. Well, I don’t need them and I don’t need you! I’m doing fine on my own.”

“You call this fine?” Juniper was shouting through her tears. “Blair, you’re going to lose a leg! Arceus above, what’s happening? What aren’t you telling me? Just… just tell me what’s happening! I can help you through this! Tell me it really was just a freak rockslide and not something more dangerous. And Bianca. Cheren says the two of you had a—a fight in Castelia city. Since then she’s disappeared. No one can contact her—she’s not answering her parents, me, Cheren. No one knows where she is. Her father’s flying out to Nimbasa to look for her.”

Blair blinked at that. The last time he’d seen Bianca was when the rest of us had—shortly after his third gym battle. “I don’t know anything about Bianca,” he said. “And I really don’t care, either.” I hoped the young woman hadn’t gotten into trouble—I was rather fond of her.

“Oh, Blair… and this pokemon. This Tranquill.”

“Of course you bring up the pokemon,” Blair muttered. “You always manage to find a way to make it about them.

“Tell me,” she said, her voice dropping to a hoarse whisper, “tell me that Tranquill’s wing wasn’t shattered by abuse like I think it was. Tell me, Blair.”

“Fine. I won’t tell you that. Then you won’t have to report an abusive trainer, will you? Not that you ever would have to begin with. After all, the esteemed Professor Juniper’s own son condemned for pokemon abuse? How did she raise him? It would be an irreversible blot on your precious career. And we both know that’s the one thing you only ever cared about.”

“Blair, I—”

Blair punched a button on the remote, switching off the telescreen mid-sentence. He pressed the call button near his bed, and a nurse soon poked her head in.

“Yes, Mr. Juniper?”

“I’m done with the call,” he said. She nodded and rushed in to grab the telescreen. As she was packing it away, Blair called after her. “If the woman who called today—if my mother shows up, I don’t want her allowed in to see me. Even if I’m in surgery.”

The nurse looked perturbed and nodded.

Blair sunk back into his bed, storming in his thoughts. So Opal’s esteemed Professor is Blair’s mother. I suppose I should have known. After all, I knew Blair’s other name was Juniper. It’s just that the human tradition of assigning a second name and sharing it with relatives—it’s a concept I never really understood.

I just don’t understand. How could the woman who by all accounts has been the formative figure in Opal’s life—the woman she has nothing but the fondest memories of and highest praise for—how could she have spawned Blair? What happened?

I asked Opal about it. “We didn’t really know Blair,” she said. “Juniper talked about him a lot but he wasn’t often in the lab. But when I learned that Blair was going on a journey, and that I was meant to be his starter pokemon… I was overjoyed. The Professor’s own progeny. I meant she trusted me with her son. Her child. But he wasn’t anything like what I expected. He wasn’t anything like her…”

It’s been a while since I’ve given serious thought to my own family, diary. After all, most of them were gone already by the time I was caught. It was just me on Route 1. But I remember them like a vivid dream. I remember what they called me—not “Prima,” not the crude human designation I’ve adopted. My true name. My wild name.

Just thinking about it, about them, fills me with warmth. That’s what family is supposed to be. But Juniper and Blair, who had snapped at each other and ended their conversation with one bitter and the other sobbing… I can’t imagine there is warmth there.

* * * * *

Dear Diary.

It’s been a few days, hasn’t it? Blair’s operation was five days ago. He was out cold for most of it, and has become steadily more lucid as the days have passed. Today he was mostly back to his old self.

The stump bleeds often, and the dressing needs to be changed. But they say that it should heal without complications. Blair’s become withdrawn again. On one hand, I’m glad that our stay here at the hospital has basically been an extended period in which none of us have had to fight for our lives.

But on the other, I can feel my senses dulling, my reflexes fading. There’s only so much we can do with the same basic training over and over again. When we leave again—not if, when—will one of us pay the price for this period of restfulness?

We’re stirring. The hospital has become as much a prison as a sanctuary. All of us itch to leave here, Blair included. I’ve no doubt he plans to continue his journey, leg or no.

His message to the hospital to keep his mother away has proven unnecessary. Juniper never showed up. I don’t pretend to know what this means.

We had another visitor today, though. Someone to add to the list of Cheren and Lenora. It was a familiar figure, but one unexpected. I’d almost forgotten about him. The tall young man with hair of green, the one who hears the words I speak.

N.

I chanced to be on shift to safeguard Blair, sitting there with Laguna, when he entered the room.

“Evening,” he said pleasantly. He spared a nod for the two of us. Did he recognize me as the same Patrat from the last two encounters? I’m sure he did. There was the gleam of recognition in his eyes.

Blair stiffened. “Come to gloat?” he said. Even nearly a week after the surgery, his voice was ragged.

N glanced down at Blair’s legs as though seeing them for the first time. “I’m not much of a gloater,” he admitted. “I just figured I would drop by and see how my fellow Chosen is doing. I see you’ve found your guide. I saw it flitting about in the courtyard, along with what I presume is the rest of your team. Your pokemon look… happy.”

Sarcasm dripped like honey from that last statement, oozing from his voice. Blair glared at him.

N approached him, setting a card on the bedside table. As he bent near it he whispered in Blair’s ear. It would have been too faint for a human to pick up, but I could discern it—as I think N meant me to.

“Such a shame,” N said. “And here I thought I had a rival. Someone to challenge me, someone I was destined to clash with at the end of everything. But look at you. All show, no substance.”

Blair snarled and made to rise from his bed, but immediately his face paled and he sunk back into the pillow, shaking. N shook his head. “I’ve seen things,” N said softly. “There’s so much more for us to learn; you, me, and the other. Oh, yes, there’s a third. I’m not too concerned, however. The dragon of ice has always been content to watch, rather than act. There are things for us to see—truths to be learned, ideals to absorb—in a place northeast of this city. They call it the Lostlorn Forest. It’s a fey place. Once you are strong enough—” (The way he emphasized strong, diary, there was no question he meant strength of will, of character, rather than physical strength) “—then you should go there. I’ve some work to do in Nimbasa yet, so we may run into each other afterwards.”

He turned to us and nodded, conveying—through methods of posture, scent, the way he did before—his profound apologies.

Blair said nothing as N left, but he exhaled; a long, weary, pained hiss. After a few minutes he plucked the card from the bedside table, read it, and then cast it on the ground.

I waited until the pain medication had soothed him to sleep to chance looking at it. It was a standard slip of paper human buy from stores to wish each other well. The front had a picture of several happy pokemon playing. But someone had taken a black pen to the picture, drawing bruises and wounds on the pokemon. In the distance a looming human figure had been inked in, dispassionately observing the suffering pokemon. The message over the top read, in blocky, colorful letters, ALWAYS IN MY THOUGHTS.

I wonder if N really believes Blair will bounce back from this, or if this was his parting shot to a defeated enemy. Maybe he came her specifically to gauge everything. But if I had any doubts before, they’re gone now. I was watching Blair when N was here, and when he read that taunting card. The fire in his eyes said everything. Blair’s not out of it yet, diary.

In fact, I think he’s just started.
Dear Diary: A Pokemon Black Storylocke, Part 15
The second-longest chapter, and one I had a tremendous amount of fun writing. Next week, we'll be out of this damn hospital. I promise.

Also, I received fanart from the amazing awakingdormancy. Check it out!

Dear Diary: Breaktime by awakingdormancy

She's the author of the amazing Yellow storylocke Wonderwall, and I highly recommend it to anyone with the time and interest to read it. It's a hell of a ride, and she's approaching the climax of the story in the current chapters!

Usual copyrights apply, I don't own pokemon, you know the drill.

Previous chapter: Dear Diary: A Pokemon Black Storylocke, Part 14
Next chapter: Dear Diary: A Pokemon Black Storylocke, Part 16
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Dear Diary.

Been almost a week since we last talked. We’ve still spent most of our time waiting for Blair to recover. The little park they have for pokemon to play in quickly grows small and chafing. So the other night all of us sans Dreamtide (who had to watch Blair) and Cenn (who wasn’t interested) decided to take a little jaunt into Nimbasa.

They call it the “city of lights and magic” and in my opinion, diary, the description is deserved. The whole city was lit up by these strange, colored lights—“neon,” they’re called. The city was large; not so large as Castelia, but still a metropolis by any standard. It’s strange, though; it has a different feel to Castelia. All the buildings there were utilitarian, giant spires jutting into the sky. The character of this city is different. More playful, more coy. The others tell me that Castelia is where Unovans focus their business while Nimbasa is the center of entertainment. It shows.

We couldn’t go far—still bound by our poke balls, after all—but we got to at least watch the night magic from a distance.

Opal and I are on speaking terms again. Things are still weird between us, though. There’s none of the physical and emotional closeness we had before, and there’s a strange rift between us. She’s not hostile, not exactly… that faded over time. But she’s distant.

I can’t stand it. I want to reach out to her, just clear the air between us. Even if we’ll never be as close as before, couldn’t we at least be friends? The others have all moved on from my moment in the depths of the Desert Resort. Why won’t she?

Yesterday, the day after our sojourn into the city, Blair woke up.

I wasn’t there—and the story was a hard one to get secondhand, considering that Dreamtide was the pokemon on hand during that moment. He woke when the rest of us were sleeping, tucked away in our poke balls, and we didn’t learn we emerged the following morning.

On Blair’s orders, the hospital staff gathered us in his room. A doctor—an iron-faced woman in late middle-age with greying hair—was speaking with him in hushed tones. She finished what she was saying and left as we filed in, reminding Blair to press the red button near his hospital bed to summon a nurse or medical assistant.

It was just us and him in the room. We waited for him to speak. And waited. The tension was so thick it could have stopped a train. It was early morning; the sun was only a few hours over the horizon, filling the room with soft light.

I could not have said what I expected him to say to us. He could have blamed us for what had happened to him; after all, pokemon were supposed to be their trainers’ protectors. He could have lambasted us for our failures. I felt particular concern for myself; Dreamtide had been there when Blair had woken, after all. What if they had told Blair the thing I’d tried to convince everyone to do?

But when we finally spoke, he had very little to say about us. “…the doctors say I have a lot of options on how to handle this. Options.” His tone was laced with a deep, cynical brush of humor. “There’s amputation, of course. Just hack the thing off, like a weed. They have many ‘promising prosthetics.’ That’s their main recommendation. Or I could just live with it. Hobble around on crutches with a withered, useless limb. I wanted to know why fixing my leg wasn’t an option. She said even beyond the ruined bone and ripped muscles, the severe nerve damage guarantees that repair isn’t feasible. A pipe dream, she said. But I have ‘options.’”

There was a small pad with a button in his left hand; he pressed it, and a machine near his bedside hissed, dispensing fluid down a clear tube that disappeared under his sheets. Blair shivered. He rested on his pillow for a few minutes, his breathing haggard, his eyes grim.

“…where is the stone,” he finally asked. I glanced around; all of my fellow pokemon were equally stumped. What stone?

Our confusion angered him. “The stone,” he said, snarling. “The white orb, the one with the designs. The whole reason we went down to that hellhole for the first place. They said there was no white stone among any of my possessions. They found bits of pottery I took from the city. They found the circlet. But where is the stone?”

I was floored. We all were. I’m sure everyone was thinking the same thing: it easily could have gotten knocked from Blair’s bag in the collapse that took his leg, blending in among the rubble. We would have ignored it in our panic. I hadn’t thought to check that the stone made it out. None of us had.

Blair shook with anger. With his pale, sickly complexion and the tubes running out of him he looked like some sort of creature. “You worthless… you…” he said, his voice harsh and gravelly with injury. He trailed off, seemingly at a loss for words. He stared down at the shape of his body underneath the sheets: the singular, healthy trunk of his left leg, and then the twisted remnants of his right, the disfigurement apparent even when covered up. “…leave,” he said hoarsely. “All of you.” And we did.

I was the last one out of the room, and I chanced to look back. Blair was still staring at his injury. There were no tears, no sobs; his face distant, almost empty. He looked like a shell. As I shut the door I heard him press the small button again, and the pneumatic hiss as he was filled with medicine.

Most of us were too shaken up to meet up and chat, and we all went our separate ways. Some like Opal returned to their poke balls; Cenn visited the park to train, Gnash accompanying him. I drifted to one of the meditation rooms—small, quiet places they set aside for anyone overburdened with weariness. The room was small and spartan: walls painted a cool sky blue, a few framed black-and-white photographs, a small potted plant in the corner. There were cushioned chairs for humans and a few soft bedcushions for pokemon. I curled up in one.

The light switch was low, but I didn’t reach for it. I just rested there, letting the natural light from my coat fill the room. Eventually my soft yellow was joined by a softer pink. Dreamtide had drifted in.

“There-you-are. There-is-Prime.”

“…Dreamtide.” I turned my head and settled back into the bed, hoping they would take the hint, but they didn’t. Dreamtide drifted into the room, hovering a few feet away from me. I eyed them warily; I noticed their wings beat against the air in a flapping motion. But their body was too large and their wings too thing and skeletal to possibly raise them. Dreamtide had to be raising themself with psychic power. Then why flap at all?

I opened my mouth to ask, but then I realized that it didn’t really matter—and there was a far more pressing question on my tongue. “Dreamtide,” I said. “What happened down there in the dark… what I suggested…” I closed my eyes, breathing solidly. “Leaving Blair. That. You know what I’m talking about, right?”

“Dream-knows-this. Yes. Dream-knows-this.”

“Blair didn’t say anything to me. I don’t think that’s the sort of thing he would have ignored. I mean, what he did to Columbus…” I shuddered, remembering how the poor Tranquill’s wing had been brutally crushed. “Did you… tell him?”

“…Dream-did-not. No.”

Before I knew what was happening, I was standing. “But… why?”

“Prime-is-friend. Friend-of-Dream. Yes?” I remembered back to our first meeting, in the depths of that cavern. Dreamtide had seemed so eager, so desperate for friendship. I was the first pokemon who had extended her paw to them. Subsequent events had kept me away from them. Suddenly, I wondered if any of the other pokemon had offered friendship to Dreamtide. Had it spent its nights alone?

“Yes. We are friends,” I said, and meant it. “But Dreamtide… isn’t Blair your ‘lord’?”

The Sigilyph shifted uncomfortably. “This-is-true. Yes. Blair-is-lord. Dream-serves-lord. But.”

“…but?”

“Lord-not-ask. So-why-tell? Dream-serves-lord. Dream-will-tell. If-lord-asks. If.”

I suddenly broke down crying, burying my hands in my paws. I hadn’t realized just how harsh, how firm a weight my fear of Blair’s reprisals had been until it had been lifted. Dreamtide would dutifully tell their lord what I’d suggested if Blair asked them point-blank about it. But how would Blair even know to ask at all? I was safe.

“…thank you,” I whispered.

The pinkish glow got closer. I looked up—Dreamtide was approaching me. Their formerly alien body looked… strange, still, but somehow beautiful.

“Prime-is-friend. Friend-of-Dream. Prime-saved-Dream.”

“Saved?”

“From-the-ghosts. In-the-dark. Yes?”

I remembered. I took the blows from the Yamask, absorbing them and shrugging them off while the others fought back. As a Psychic pokemon, Dreamtide in particular must have been vulnerable to their onslaught.

“Dream-saved-Prime. Saved-us-all. Would-have-died.” And the enormous, glowing construct bowed to me. I actually giggled a little.

“Stop it, Dreamtide. You don’t have to do that, really! I was just helping my friends.”

“Friends-help-friends,” Dreamtide affirmed. “Prime-help-Dream. Dream-help-Prime. Yes.”

“Thank you again,” I said. “Really.”

“Yes. Dream-has-more. More-to-say. Prime-and-Jewel. They-should-speak.”

“Jewel? Who—” I realized who it was mid-sentence. “Oh. You mean Opal.”

“Yes. Name-of-jewel. Prime-should-speak. Speak-with-Jewel.”

“I don’t—Dreamtide, she hates me now.”

Dreamtide shook their head. “Is-not-true. Jewel-not-hate. Jewel-is-sad. Jewel-is-scared. Tries-to-hide. Tries-to-lead. Jewel-not-know.”

“She doesn’t know what?”

“What-to-do. How-to-feel. Jewel-needs-help. Yes.”

“But what I suggested we do… she’s furious at me, she—”

A cocoon of psychic energy wrapped around me, gently raising me up to stare at Dreamtide’s eye. “Prime-loves-Jewel. Yes?”

I nodded.

“Prime-must-try. Try-to-help.”

“I… alright. I can try. When she leaves her poke ball, I’ll do it.”

I stayed and talked with Dreamtide there for a little bit. They’re strange, diary, but I made an effort to reach out. How could I not?

I decided to broach Dreamtide on how to refer to them. After all, I’ve used “it” in you before, diary, and that’s how my compatriots have also referred to Dreamtide. But “it” seems too… demeaning.

“I’ll still call you that if you want,” I made sure to say. “But I just figured I should ask. I mean you’re not… um… you know. Male or female, are you?”

“Dream-not-boy. Dream-not-girl. Dream-is-clay.” They reflected on it for a moment. “They-will-do. Call-Dream-they.” I think I’ll let the others know. I hope they’ll do it without making an issue of it.

Eventually we left the meditation room, Dreamtide returning to his poke ball for some solitude while I wandered through the halls of Redstone. My feet unconsciously took me back to Blair’s room, but when I turned the corner to his hallway, a familiar—and unexpected—figure was walking down it.

She had changed very little since the battle that had stolen Tinder’s life, only swapping her official Gym Leader outfit for more leisurely clothes. Lenora spied me just as she turned the handle to enter Blair’s room. Her brows furrowed for a moment before shooting up in recognition.

“So you’re his,” she said in a low voice. “He kept you after all. And look at you now, all evolved.” Her face wrinkled with amusement; she let out a soft, tinkling laugh.

I couldn’t help but stare her down, this cold, cruel woman who had stolen a friend from me, from all of us. What was she doing here? Why was she here?

The Gym Leader had no time to waste on a lowly pokemon; she’d already entered Blair’s hospital room. I darted down the hall, listening in.

Blair’s initial shock at Lenora’s arrival was met with amusement on her part. Apparently one of the first things Blair had done on waking was to send an email to Lenora asking if she could appraise the items he’d scrounged from the ruins.

“You didn’t expect I was already here in town, did you?” Lenora said. “Well, there’s an archaeological convention here that I was invited to present at. I figured I may as well swing by afterwards to see what’s what.” Something else—was it concern? Was she capable of such a thing?—crept into her voice. “But that leg of yours looks mangled, if you don’t mind me saying so.” I’d bet that Blair did mind, but she pressed on. “What’s the prognosis?”

“It’s not important,” Blair said brusquely. “The items are over there. I had my bag delivered up here.”

“Well, we’ve got some shards from some very old pottery. I’d need to run proper tests on them but just from looking at them I expect they’re thousands of years old, probably from the ancient pre-Unovan civilization.”

“The one they say was destroyed by the twin dragons?”

“The very one. More shards, and more—oh? What’s this?” I chanced a peek into the room; Lenora was holding up the thin silver circlet, the one Blair had lost his leg for.

“Where did you get this?” she asked quietly.

“Why?”

“Because this is a treasure. Look at this thing; wrought silver, exquisitely preserved. Intricate carvings. Oh, this is a treat, a real treat. I should—”

“No.” Blair’s voice was so firm it was practically granite. “That one’s special. You can’t take it.”

Lenora sighed. “I’m not a miracle worker. There’s only so much I can do in a lonely hospital room rather than a proper lab. I shouldn’t even be handling this thing—though if you’ve been pawing at it, I suppose the damage is already done. Were you planning on selling it? The silver alone should fetch a good price, but if I could just find out what this thing is really worth—

“It’s staying with me.”

“It wouldn’t happen to be related to what happened to your leg, would it, Blair?”

I didn’t need to be in the room to see the heavy glare that Blair leveled at her. That was the sort of animosity you felt from across a city.

“All right, all right,” Lenora said, “I understand. Leave the subject alone. Hmph. Well then. The shards. These things have some value to them as well, more historical than monetary. Look at the designs; when the piece was whole a picture probably covered the outside of it. I wouldn’t mind taking these off your hands—permanently. And that way no one has to find out a punk kid trespassed in the new archaeological site south of here.”

“I didn’t—”

“I’m not an idiot, Blair. And truth be told, I don’t really care. Some disaster befell the expedition team; they’re talking of closing up the whole site for now, maybe even permanently. Waste, if you ask me. If these pieces came from the ruins then I’ll take anything I can get.” There was the sound of two hands rubbing together. “Payment.”

Blair ended up negotiating a rare pokemon from Lenora. Nacrene’s academics had successfully resuscitated some long-dead species of pokemon from fossils, it seemed—I shuddered at that; imagine a million of me born from my bones—but only a few hundred of them existed. “All clones of the same eight or nine specimens,” she said. “Engineered to be sterile. Not enough genetic diversity to form a breeding population.” A breeding population. She talked about it so clinically it made me queasy. If there was enough genetic diversity, then they would be allowed—no, expected to breed. Would they have been allowed to choose mates at their own pace? Or would the humans have forcibly paired them?

The pokemon were being closely held, with the League ensuring the poorly-understood species wasn’t being introduced into Unova.

“Security around them’s tightened even more since a break-in at the lab,” she admitted. “A dozen specimens of each species were stolen. Happened not quite a week before the two of us battled. But no matter how tight security gets, as Nacrene’s Gym Leader I can decide if someone gets one.”

“Fine,” Blair said. “The Flying-type, not the turtle. Send it to Juniper’s lab in Nuvema. She should enjoy getting her paws on one of those.”

After the transaction was completed, Lenora stood to go. “I’m still a bit peeved you won’t let me look at that artifact,” she said. “Send me a message if you change your mind. You’re a strong competitor, Blair. Too many challengers—even the victors—are bleeding hearts. You see pokemon as what they are: warriors. Weapons. I respect that. Feel free to keep in touch.”

I bolted down the hallway to avoid getting spotted. I wondered what the revived prehistoric pokemon was like—what his or her dreams were, their passions.

I spent the rest of the day waiting for Opal to emerge from her poke ball. But while I saw all the others, she never showed.

I wonder what she’s thinking right now. What she’s doing. I can’t be afraid anymore. I’ve decided to live up to Dreamtide’s advice. I won’t ever patch things up with her by running away. And even if…

Even if things never go back to the way they were, at least I can say I tried. Not just for my sake, but for Opal’s as well. Lenora’s reappearance—like a nightmare suddenly and vividly recollected during the day—reminded me of the night Tinder died. I remember the way Opal held me and I held her, both of us comforting each other. I remember the words we shared that night on the bridge, overlooking the lights and glass of Castelia City. Opal told me that I was the only one she felt she could be herself around. She’s so strong; but even she needs someone to lean on.

She was raised from birth to believe that fighting alongside a trainer was everything. Now that that trainer’s laid up in the hospital, wounded and bitter, does she blame herself? Can she bear that weight, with no one to confide in or share with?

Friends help friends. I can’t let this go. I won’t let this go. Tomorrow, I confront Opal. And that’s a promise, diary.
Dear Diary.

How’ve you been? It’s been a few days since we last spoke. I promised you an update, didn’t I?

…look at me. Talking to you like you’ll talk back. It’s pathetic. But then what can you expect…

We’re at Redstone Hospital. It’s a medical center in Nimbasa that specializes in treating humans for pokemon-related injuries. When trainers battle, there are strict rules in place to prevent them from having their pokemon attack one another. But accidents happen, and wild pokemon aren’t afraid to go after humans themselves. And that’s not forgetting that criminals can and will order their pokemon to attack humans.

Humans, for all their ingenuity, are fragile things. We pokemon can take punishment that seems ludicrous compared to their standards, and even without the help of medicines or pokemon centers, we recover far more swiftly and efficiently. I’ve heard that this is the reason why humans can’t reverse-engineer potions and the like to work on themselves: all they really do is cause the pokemon’s natural healing process to spike.

Even a weak, low-level pokemon can do a lot of damage to a human if they’re not careful. They can break bones, or leave lasting scars. Or kill. It’s easy to kill.

Opal told me stories—this was back when the two of us were still on speaking terms—about a faraway, desolate region where humans performed abominable experiments, turning pokemon into heartless fighting machines. These “shadowed pokemon” would attack opposing trainers without hesitation; they would even go after their own trainer if not suitably controlled. There were a lot of casualties.

I shuddered when I heard those stories. I always told myself I was better than that. I would never willingly attack a human. How could I? I could easily kill them without intending to. Could I live with myself then?

Those were questions I should have asked in the dark, when I told the others to leave Blair to die. No, let’s be frank. When I told them to kill him. Because that’s what we would have been doing. Did I really think that there was a difference between leaving him to suffer and starve and just straight-out attacking him myself? Some would argue that there is a difference. Well, I leave dichotomies like that to be debated by pack elders and human philosophers. But to my friends, there wasn’t a difference. And now that I’ve been forced to confront myself in the light of the sun, I have to agree with them.

I hated Blair from the beginning. But I never attacked him. I could have—even at my weakest, even as a Patrat. I could have waited until he was asleep. I had claws and incisors. It would have been easy…

But I didn’t. Because I knew that it was wrong. Not that Blair is a saint—far from it. He’s cruel, and bitter. He’s a genuinely evil person. But I never even considered sneaking in there. Because that’s a line I refused to allow myself to cross. I’m not a killer.

Such a basic thing to hold yourself to. Don’t take a life. But I forgot that, down in the dark. And it still makes me sick to think of it.

…I’m rambling. Redstone Hospital.

The rescue helicopter that found us took us here straightaway when they saw Blair’s leg. We pokemon were treated as well, but our injuries being less severe, we’ve had little to do but laze around as they treated Blair.

His life’s not in danger, though there was an initial scare because of how much blood he’d lost and how long he’d been in shock. Now they’re waiting for him to recover. He’s remained in unconsciousness for most of the past few days, only surfacing once or twice—each time he was delirious and raving, and had to be sedated back into sleep.

…his leg is in bad shape. No, worse than bad. The bone wasn’t just broken, it was shattered below the knee. Between that and the intense muscle damage, it will be impossible to repair. I don’t know if they’ll amputate, but it won’t be anything he will ever walk on again.

I’m trying to feel bad for him.

The hospital is used to treating patients with pokemon, particularly wandering trainers. They have a spacious, fenced-in park behind it where trainers’ pokemon can spend most of their time. They even allow some friendly sparring, though we were warned that if it got out of hand we would be confined to our poke balls for the duration of Blair’s stay. For that reason, pokemon of one trainer rarely associate with other groups, just in case a fight breaks out and makes things worse for everyone.

I’ve been trying to repair things with the other pokemon. It’s going… slowly. Opal hasn’t said more than five words to me since we left the dead city. Laguna, as always, remains close. Gnash approached me yesterday. “We was all stressed down there, we was,” he told me. “I still think yer a good-hearted pokemon after all. Y’looked sorry not long after. Bygones?”

Bygones. Things have still been weird between us but he’s making an effort and so am I.

Dreamtide is… an enigma. It’s always been an enigma. It’s so hard to get a straight answer out of it. Right now it seems more distressed by the fact that Blair’s injury has sidelined us than what I suggested in the cavern, but who knows what the Sigilyph is really thinking? It can communicate with Blair. It’s possible that it will tell Blair what I wanted to do. How will he react? Not well, I’m sure. That’s a bridge to cross when it comes.

Cenn has been nothing but cordial—the sort of distant politeness that transparently masks disdain. Somehow that stings more than open contempt.

By the way, diary, he’s a Whirlipede now.

It happened yesterday afternoon, the third day we’d spent at Redstone. Blair got an unexpected visitor.

It was Cheren. You remember him, don’t you, diary? The last member of the little triumvirate who’d left from Nuvema a few days before my capture. I wasn’t there when he visited Blair, but Laguna was. The team has agreed to have one of us on-hand in Blair’s room at all times, just in case he wakes up. The hospital staff has accepted this, only reminding us that if they cart Blair to surgery or any other place, we’re not allowed to follow. The other pokemon haven’t made a big deal of it, but so far no one has given me a shift to watch him.

…anyway, here’s what Laguna said happened.

Blair was out cold, as he had been for most of his stay. Cheren spoke to him anyway—softly, coldly. He told Blair that he should be sorry for what happened, and that a mere few months ago, he would have been sorry. Now, he didn’t know how to react.

Laguna said that Cheren mused on being driven to find a new purpose. To do more than just be strong for the sake of being strong. She said he told Blair that he wanted to protect those who needed protecting—not just people, but pokemon too. He looked at Blair and then turned away. “Why did you decide to become someone others need to be protected from?”

Most of the rest of the visit was spent with Cheren silently sitting in the room. Laguna told us that he carried an almost mournful air around him. “Like Blair had died,” she said. I thought back to the fights and arguments they’d had. They had been friends, once. Poor Laguna. Too small to understand that that was what had died. It’s a sad thing when friendship withers.

While Cheren visited the room, his pokemon wandered into the park where the rest of us were. His Servine—a little Snivy no longer—talked with Opal for a little while. You may remember that the last time they parted, it was not under ideal circumstances. I didn’t listen in on their conversation—it didn’t seem proper—but I hope she’s building bridges with him again. It looked like it. It helps that she’s become less worshipful of Blair than before.

The rest of the team politely introduced themselves to us. Cheren has a Liepard, a Pidove (that made me think of Columbus, which made me more than a little sad) and a Panpour. They were quite genial and friendly, and the Panpour even asked me if the stories Cheren told about Blair’s cruelty were true. How do I answer a question like that? I muttered that he was far from the nicest trainer and she nodded sympathetically. “I understand,” she said. “Cheren says there’s lots of bad trainers out there. He really wants to help pokemon like you.”

I told her I was touched.

They made friends will all of us, excepting Dreamtide, who they didn’t really know how to handle. Well, to be frank, diary, I don’t know how to handle it either.

Eventually Cheren’s pokemon challenged us to a friendly sparring match. Nothing too major; just one-on-one fights. We decided on a series of four matches, the opponents selected though drawn straws to prevent obvious matchups from coming into play.

Opal was first, taking on the Pidove. He was fast and flashy, and actually gave her a little bit of trouble, but he was not Columbus that mixed speed and agility into one seamless offensive. All Opal had to do was land a single blow and he tumbled into the grass.

“I give, I give!” he said, waving his wing up. “Jeez, you are tough!”

I congratulated her as she left the battlefield. Her eyes drifted in my direction, but she said nothing, her face remaining neutral.

Next was yours truly versus the Panpour. She was hopping excitedly on one foot, back and forth, back and forth. When the match started she bolted into the trees and stayed up there, waving down at me. I can climb, but I’m no monkey; whenever I tried scrambling up after her she just jumped to the next one, giggling. She left me a few parting shots of water; nothing major, but I was still left soaked and frustrated on the ground.

I could feel everyone’s eyes burning into me. Cheren’s team, my team, Gnash, Dreamtide, Opal… I needed to pull this off.

I tried doing what I did with Bianca’s Munna and mesmerizing it with my patterns, but that got me nowhere. Whenever my patterns started to flash, the Panpour averted her face and ran as far as she could. She was familiar with Watchogs, it seemed. “That old trick?” she taunted. “You’ll have to do better than that!”

So I did.

A few trees over, there was one with a springy-looking branch relatively low near the ground. That would do just nicely. I chased her from tree to tree, careful to maneuver her to the one I wanted. It wasn’t hard, though I took a few more blasts from her. When she was there, I made as if to clamber up after her. She shook her head and leapt to the next tree.

I collided with her in mid-air. See, that springy low-riding branch was perfect for catapulting me up straight into her. Both of us hit the ground and, well, I had the advantage there. A quick one-two-three of strikes and she cried forfeit.

As I retreated off the battlefield, the other pokemon all gave me words of encouragement. Even Cenn nodded in approval. Opal ignored me, however, staring straight ahead with her arms crossed.

Cenn was next, fighting against the Servine. If the unlucky type matchup fazed Cheren’s ace, it didn’t show. The Grass-type was powerful and swift, darting around the battlefield just as efficiently as Cenn himself, lashing out with blasts of leaves and whipping vines. The entire battle was one big game of keep-away; the Servine knew that if Cenn got ahold of him for even a moment, it was over.

But all those attacks slowed him down. Every time he stopped to launch an attack, Cenn closed the distance just a little bit more. Closer… and then closer… and then—

Cenn suddenly pounced, springing forward with sudden, unbridled speed. The Servine cried out and tried to retreat, but it was too little, too late. Cenn landed a wicked bite and the fight was done.

The final matchup was Dreamtide and the Liepard. Despite Dreamtide’s type disadvantage, I had no illusions as to who the victor would be. I don’t think anyone did. Maybe that’s why Cenn asked him if he could remain in.

“Hey, that’s cheating!” the Pidove complained. “Swap out a Psychic-type for a Bug? You’re just taking advantage of type matchups!”

“I do not mind,” the Liepard said. “The Venipede must be weary from his other engagement. And they’ve already taken all three rounds—whether we win or lose this last match, overall victory is already theirs.”

We all turned to Dreamtide. “Cenn-may-fight,” it said after a moment’s consideration. “Wish-Cenn-well.”

Cenn nodded and turned to face his enemy as the Liepard strutted onto the battlefield.

He was like lightning, far faster than any pokemon I’d ever seen—faster, even, than Columbus had been. I soon learned type matchups didn’t matter if you couldn’t catch your enemy. He didn’t play keepaway like the Servine and the Panpour; he darted in, lashed at Cenn with claws or fangs, and darted back out before Cenn could strike. Every time Cenn lashed out with his own claws or his barbed tail the Liepard was already gone, like a dandelion seed carried on the wind.

“Feeling tired yet?” the cat said after landing yet another swipe. Cenn only grunted. The Liepard raced in for another attack and that’s when Cenn curled up.

His caracpace was hard, and wasn’t breached easily by the Liepard’s scratches. The Dark-type paced a few steps away, antsy. “I’ve never cared for pokemon that hide away and fear a fight,” he said. Cenn didn’t fall for the taunt, and remained curled.

I wondered if this could be counted as a forfeit, but the Liepard evidently did not think so. Frustrated, he bolted in, laying into Cenn’s carapace with his claws.

“Get—out—of—there—you—little—”

Suddenly the three barbs were free, lashing at the Liepard’s side. He retreated, yowling, as Cenn unfurled. “Be careful what you wish for,” he said sardonically. He raced at the Liepard and the cat charged as well. They struck each other, each landing a fierce blow, and fell simultaneously.

Both sides rushed the field with a mixture of excitement for the great battle and worry for their teammate, but before we even reached Cenn, a familiar glow suffused him. When it was done, the skittering bug I’d known him as was replaced by a larger creature, one with a shell that wrapped around him like a wheel.

Everyone, even Cheren’s team, congratulated Cenn on his evolution. He played it off, but I saw the gleam in his eyes—the same gleam that had been there when he’d observed Burgh’s bugs in action. He’d wanted this for some time.

We moved into the hospital itself to allow the staff to treat us—they saw a lot of minor injuries from friendly skirmishes in the park—and joked around while they sprayed us with potions and delivered lectures on proper safety that we ignored. It was tremendous fun; I had lots of great conversations with Gnash and Cenn and Cheren’s pokemon and even Dreamtide, which seemed to be enjoying itself even if it hovered at the edge of the socializing circle. Cheren’s team were friendly to me, too. Eventually Cheren came and collected his pokemon. Before he left he turned his eye to Opal.

“I don’t know if his mom’s been informed, but I guess I’ll have to tell her if not,” he said. Opal nodded with a stricken look on her face.

She was Blair’s starting pokemon. She had to have met his mother at least once. What would the woman think—that this was Opal’s fault? That she had allowed her son to lose a leg through negligence or malice? I wanted to comfort her but she walked off, retreating to the privacy of her poke ball.

I suppose that’s enough for tonight. Not much of note has really happened to report at all; it’s the downturn, the calm after the storm that was the Desert Resort. We’re all still waiting for Blair to recover. I don’t know what state he’ll be in when he wakes up. Will he blame us for his injuries? Will Dreamtide tell him what happened down there? Will Blair even be cogent?

Who knows. I’ve decided to take things as they come. That’s all we can do in this life. My brother—it’s been so long since I thought about him; he left when I was still a whelp, voluntarily leaving with a trainer, a small boy who couldn’t even have been ten years old—he used to have a saying he’d use to reassure anybody who was fretting over the future.

Whatever will be, will be.
Wow! When my old premium membership expired, I thought I would just have to live without. But I logged in to find that someone's anonymously given me CORE membership! :O :O :O :O

I don't know who you are, but whoever it is... thank you! Really!
  • Mood: Wow!
  • Listening to: PSMD Soundtrack
  • Reading: Wonderwall
  • Watching: When Marnie Was There
  • Playing: Pokemon Black
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: Voltage

Journal History

deviantID

DeeForty-Five
Writer of Fan Fics!
Artist | Student | Literature
United States
A literature student in his twenties. Author of several fanfictions, mostly concerning the pokemon franchise, who hopes to one day publish original works. My favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy.

I'm a big fan of video games and a proponent of gaming as an art form.
Interests

Do you know the words to For Auld Lang Syne? 

65%
11 deviants said ...the words to what?
29%
5 deviants said I can sing part of it.
6%
1 deviant said Only the first few.
0%
No deviants said I know the whole thing!
0%
No deviants said Yes... but only when drunk.

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Comments


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:iconpheonixghost:
pheonixghost Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
so, no inspiration with storm clouds 2?
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:icondeeforty-five:
DeeForty-Five Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2015  Student Writer
Not really; I'm still busy writing a whole lot for my MFA program and other freelance projects, so when I get spare time I tend to want to game rather than write more. I've been doing this storylocke to get my fanfic gears a-whirling and hopefully inspire myself to return to other projects, sort of as a bridge between gaming and fic writing. We'll see how it goes.
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:iconpheonixghost:
pheonixghost Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
ah. well, good luck with that program. sounds like it's tough.
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:iconthebigcrunchone9:
thebigcrunchone9 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2015  Student Digital Artist
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! :hug:
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:iconwolfboy900:
Wolfboy900 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2015
herpy derp day!
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:iconxracecar:
xracecar Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Happy B-day!
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:iconcarter1215:
Carter1215 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2015
[insert words here totally not because I'm board]
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:iconshadowrunner2323:
shadowrunner2323 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
^^ hey, how's it going?
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:iconstarryniasky:
StarryNiaSky Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hiya!! >w<
(I'm just a random deviant who supports saying hi and giving watches to random people xD)
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:icondeeforty-five:
DeeForty-Five Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2014  Student Writer
Well, hello to you too then! :)
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