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Flannery in Reborn - The Tale of a Firehead [Last defeated: Dounia]

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6 hours ago, Candy said:

well tbf I decided to totally ignore the canon ages and made Kiki an old woman, Luna also around 15, and maybe others who I don't recall at this moment 😛

it's fanfiction, you're already changing a lot of the plot of Ame's story so like, age shouldn't be a huge deal as long as it's not lewding minors uwu

That's what I thought too. And as long as the content of the story is coherent and entertaining, everything should be fine 😄

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Spoiler

Flannery’s fate was sealed. In less than one thousandth of a second, she saw her entire life flashing by. Events were spiraling, merging, mutating and spiraling again endlessly until the void got her. Everything which was material was gone. In an instant, the world, as she knew it, had ceased to exist. The ambassador was plunged into chaos before to reappear in the middle of a vast foggy area. It was an empty place… soulless… meaningless… hopeless… a lost place. As if human warmth was missing in here. Flannery was alone, lying in the air. She was emptied of all her vital energy.

 

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Flannery: “Where… where am I?”

 

The weakened redhead tried to understand what had happened to her. She wanted to know where she was. She took a look around anxiously. But none of what she could see was familiar to her.

 

Flannery: “What… what am I doing here? What happened to me? I guess I’m floating. I… I can’t… hmpf…”

 

Since Flannery wanted to get up and leave this place, she desperately tried to move her arms and legs but to no avail. Her limbs were unresponsive and she got a sharp pain to the joins every time she tried to wag them.

 

Flannery: “Ouch… my arms. It hurts. That’s as if my whole body didn’t want to move. I… I can’t get out of here. I wish I could… but I can’t… argh…”

 

Angst and agony became more and more difficult to bear. Flannery yelled Jacques and Ame’s names in hope of being heard, for fear of being abandoned all alone in this cursed area. She waited, but with no success.

 

Flannery: “Oh no… where did they go? What will happen to me now? Am I condemned to get stuck here for the rest of my life? But how will I… go home? Argh… just thinking of it… gives me a headache…”

 

Strangled by panic, Flannery began to sob nervously. She felt so overwhelmed by the only thought of being forgotten by all that she could not retain her desperation anymore, so she erupted in cries and shouts.

 

Flannery: “Boohoooo… Why? WHYYYYY? What have I done to deserve it? I didn’t do anything wrong! Why am I fated to suffer that much? I never meant for this to happen! All I want is just to go home!”

 

Exhausted by all the pressure which was bearing down on her, she begged for someone to come and help her. Anyone. Several minutes have passed. But nobody came. During this time, Flannery could feel her muscles crumbling. Her strength was failing little by little. Since she soon was out of ideas, she started to think of any person who came to her mind.

 

Flannery: “*snif* Winona… Jacques… Ame… Steven… Grandpa… please… help me… I don’t want to die.”

 

Flannery felt completely powerless and disarmed, all she had left was herself. The sweet face of the redhead was distorted by sorrow, and this scene seemed to last for hours. Lost in the middle of nowhere, there was no one to comfort her. No one to cheer her up. It just appeared that the void had successfully extinguished her inner fire. She felt like she was turning into unsubstantial vapor, condemned to dissipate and merge with the ghostly fog forever. Her end has come. Until this moment when she heard a childish voice calling her, putting an end to her infinite sadness.

 

???: “Stop crying.”

Flannery: “*snif*…?”

???: “I’m still here for you, Flannery.”

Flannery: “No… this is impossible. You… you can’t be…”

 

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While it was the great upheaval in the head of the ambassador, Vulpix took shape in front of her, then directly talked to her heartbroken mistress. Flannery could not believe it. Her heart began to melt as she saw the little Fox Pokemon getting closer to her.

 

Vulpix: “You don’t have to be sad, Flannery. I’m here.”

Flannery: “Vulpix? Is that you? You talked to me?”

Vulpix: “Yes, I did.”

Flannery: “*snif*…my dear…”

Vulpix: “Flannery. Your sorrow… I could feel it for miles. A kindhearted person like you shouldn’t feel so insecure. I’ve grown accustomed to more from you, and I refuse to see you sad like this any longer. I thought my presence would be enough to reassure you.”

Flannery: “Oh, Vulpix. You came to support me? But… how can you speak to me?”

Vulpix: “Oh, come on. Do you really think that everything you’re going through at this moment is real?”

Flannery: “What?”

Vulpix: “You’ll be out of it shortly, Flannery. Don’t give up.”

Flannery: “Why are you saying this? What do you mean?”

Vulpix: “The rescue performed by Torkoal earlier is exactly what this boy, Jacques, was talking about. Our affection for you is true, Flannery. For you, we will be ready for anything to protect you.”

Flannery: “What? Did… did Torkoal… save me?”

Vulpix: “That’s it. As you headed right to your own destruction without even knowing it, he took his courage in his legs to make things different. If I had his strength, I would have done the same. In any case, you can be proud of him. But you have to come back to yourself quickly. As we speak, he’s in worse shape than you are.”

Flannery: “Wait!? Are you insinuating that Torkoal is injured!?”

Vulpix: “He’s in pain… he suffers. And I… I need your help.”

Flannery: “Oh my God! But… how can I help you? And how am I supposed to get out of here?”

Vulpix: “Stay calm. Just close your eyes and don’t look at the light.”

Flannery: “Wh-what!? What light?”

 

While Flannery didn’t stop asking questions to her Pokemon, a portal of light suddenly appeared behind Vulpix. Since she was totally unable to move a single limb, Flannery saw Vulpix moving toward the shining breach.

 

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Flannery: “Eh! What’s that?”

Vulpix: “I can’t stay here forever. Please, don’t be sad. It’s just that… I have to leave.”

Flannery: “Leaving?! But… why?!”

Vulpix: “There are certain things you don’t need to know. After all, it’s just a dream. What really matters is what you’ll decide to do when you’ll wake up.”

Flannery: “What!? No! Vulpix, sweetie! Don’t go in there!”

Vulpix: “If you really want it, so maybe our paths will cross again.”

 

The head and the heart of Flannery became heavier and heavier as she saw her Pokemon walking progressively toward the blinding source of light.

 

Flannery: “No, Vulpix! Stand by me, I’m begging you! I can’t allow you to go!”

Vulpix: “Remember well what I tell you: that’s only when you decide to give up that everything ends. I love you more than anyone in this world, Flannery. You are the kindest and most generous human I’ve ever met. Whatever you do, don’t forget me. And most importantly, don’t leave me alone!”

Flannery: “Vulpiiiiiiix! Don’t do that!”

Vulpix: “See you, Flannery. My dear trainer.”

Flannery: “*sobs*…come back…”

 

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Ignoring the orders, Vulpix stepped into the portal and get consumed by it under the petrified look of the redhead. But as she did so, Flannery, who was animated by unnatural willpower, extended her arm toward the shining breach. At this very moment, the acute pain came back in an instant, giving to the firehead a sensation of tightness like she never had before. Unable to bear the intensity of her suffering, she blacked out, and lost consciousness a second time as the luminous vortex has closed on her Pokemon. Everything disappeared in a frightening silent, absorbed by the void. Even Flannery. But for some reason, this period of emptiness had seemed to last shorter than expected. The redhead was just submerged by darkness again, and yet, she could almost hear a young woman talking to her. Moreover, this voice wasn’t unfamiliar to Flannery. But she didn’t understand clearly what it wanted to say.

 

???: “…y!”

 

Trying hard to focus on the words, Flannery couldn’t even utter an answer. It was as if her soul had returned to her physical shell after a rough and stressful experience very recently.

 

Flannery: “…”

???: “…y, are you okay?!”

Flannery: “…!?”

???: “Wake up!”

Flannery: “A… A-Ame!?”

Ame: “Thank goodness, you’re alive!”

 

Flannery was cold. She felt wet, as if the rain was falling on her. This helped her to wake up more quickly since she was allergic to bad weather. When she opened her eyes, she saw Ame leaning over her. The tone in the voice of the Champion went from fear to relief as soon as the redhead answered to her. But at the same time, while Flannery took a look around, lying on a stone-paved floor, she rapidly noticed that she wasn’t surrounded by fog anymore. All she could see was nothing but a vast lake of grey water with a small island further away. A landscape worthy of a depressing postcard. Definitely not amazed by such a squalid panorama, she used what was left of her energy to get up with Ame’s help and better understand the situation in which she found herself. Fortunately, Flannery had managed to pull through this ordeal without any serious injuries.

 

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Flannery: “What happened to me? Where are we? Can you please explain me what’s going on?”

Ame: “I don’t really know. The train exploded right as we pulled into the station. You’ve been ejected outside and lost consciousness immediately afterwards. You’ve been lying here for a quarter of an hour approximately.”

Flannery: “A quarter of an hour, you said? But it seemed a lot longer to me. And you said the train has exploded? Oh my God! This is terrible!”

Ame: “You’re right, it’s a disaster. I'm just glad we’re still in one piece. I wish I could say the same for the others. And by the way… um… welcome to Reborn, Flannery.”

 

As Ame was looking at the crushed calcinated train with an apologetic expression, Flannery could feel a very unpleasant feeling of lack hanging over her. She noticed that someone in particular was missing.

 

Flannery: “Heh? Where is Jacques?”

 

And then, Ame became at least as white as her hair. She was hesitant to talk about it and remained silent for a few seconds. But she ended up testifying of her observations nonetheless.

 

Ame: “Well… it’s not like I wanted to disappoint you, but…”

Flannery: “But what?!”

Ame: “*gulp*…um… how can I say? I’m sorry to inform you that… I haven’t received any sign of life from Jacques after the accident. I know him well. If he was alive, he would have come to us. But I doubt he was prepared for this. Therefore, you’re the only one I’ve seen who managed to get off the train in time.”

Flannery: “…”

Ame: “Given the circumstances… I fear that… who won’t see him again.”

 

After that, everyone fell silent. Grief found its place on Flannery’s face who was unable to speak a single word. She felt stunned and broken at the same time. All her happiness and dynamism were blown away in an instant after this declaration. Distraught, she clenched her teeth and fists to channel her agony as best as she could. Then, tears began to run down her cheeks and mixed with drops of rainwater. Wishing not to show this heartache, she discreetly tried to dry them with one wave of the hand, turning back on the Champion of Reborn.

 

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Ame: “You’re crying?”

Flannery: “…”

Ame: “Flannery?”

Flannery: “*snif* I… I refuse…”

Ame: “What?”

Flannery: “I refuse. That’s all.”

Ame: “Refusing what?”

Flannery: “I refuse to believe that… *snif*…I refuse to believe that Jacques is dead. You can’t say such a thing if you don’t have an evidence of what had happened to him. You can’t!”

Ame: “But… Flannery, I swear. Except you and some policemen who have gathered shortly after the explosion, I swear to Arceus that I haven’t seen anyone around this station. It’s hard to admit, but we are the only ones here who are still standing.”

Flannery: “That proves nothing! Dead or alive, I want to see him! Even if that means seeing his dead body with my own eyes. Did you ever consider for one sec that maybe he passed out just like I did? We have to find him at all costs. I would not be at peace otherwise!”

Ame: “Yes, I know what you mean. Additionally, Jacques is part of the Reborn League. Since he’s one of us, I would not feel right to replace the replacement in a heartbeat just like that. I can’t take this risk.”

Flannery: “Absolutely!”

Ame: “Perhaps we should check out the station from the inside. Look, there’s a crack in the wall over there. Hopefully, we’ll manage to find some survivors.”

Flannery: “So, what are we waiting for? Come on!”

Ame: “Let’s go!”

 

Without further ado, the two women stepped toward the crack created by the collision of the train with Grandview Station in hope of finding some living people if possible. The redhead went ahead of Ame. Even if the Champion of Reborn had estimated that their chances of rescuing passengers were more than weak, Flannery insisted on giving it a try nevertheless. But as they came closer to the wall fissure, a loud wheezing sound was emanating from the inside of the building.

 

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Flannery: “Wait!”

Ame: “What is it, Flannery?”

Flannery: “Have you not paid attention? I’ve heard something just now. That sounded like a voice. A low voice to be exact.”

 

Distracted by the sound of rain which was falling on them, Ame tried to focus on the sound described by Flannery. But she didn’t manage to do so.

 

Ame: “I’m sorry, I heard nothing.”

Flannery: “But I’m sure I heard something! I would also bet one hundred to one that I’ve already heard this voice before.”

Ame: “Really? Who are you thinking of when you say that?”

???: “Ooooooo… oooooo…”

Flannery: “Did you hear that? It came from over there!”

Ame: “Yes. Now, I hear something!”

Flannery: “This voice… all this makes me feel more and more uneasy. We must go on!”

 

But as Flannery was about to enter the ruins of Grandview Station, suddenly, at the most unexpected moment, Torkoal appeared. He was moving slowly and weakly toward the exit, and seemed to be severely injured.

 

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Torkoal: “…ooooooal…”

Flannery: “!!!”

 

The poor Coal Pokemon was short of breath. His body was almost entirely covered with bruises, especially at the head, and the holes on his shell had almost stopped shining. He could barely stand on his legs, so he crawled on his belly to make his path through the rubble. Torkoal was running out of energy and looked completely helpless, he begged for the redhead to heal him. But all this was too much for Flannery, she was in shock.

 

Torkoal: “…oooal… oooal… ooooooal…”

Flannery: “Oh no!! Torkoal!!!”

Torkoal: “…ooooooal…”

Ame: “Oh Lord! Wouldn’t that be the Pokemon who pulled you out of the train in extremis? Poor thing. He must really be in a bad state.”

Flannery: “Torkoal! Sweetie! Can you hear me?”

Torkoal: “…ooooooal…”

Flannery: “You can’t stay that way, Torkoal. I won’t allow that. You need medical attention right now.”

Torkoal: “…oooal…”

 

Not being able to support to see her Pokemon agonizing anymore, Flannery hurried to search something in her bag that could help Torkoal to recover. Her first instinct was to give him first aid by herself. She wanted to save him.

 

Flannery: “Just give me a sec. I must have something to hel… huh… what!?”

 

But unfortunately, the bag was empty. All the essential supplies Flannery had brought with her before leaving to Reborn have disappeared. Potions, Pokeballs, berries, herbs… there was nothing left.

 

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Flannery: “But… where did all my stuff go!?”

Ame: “Yikes. I fear that they dropped from your bag when Torkoal had charged into you to eject you. I think I saw them flying across Peridot Ward when this happened.”

Torkoal: “…oooal…”

 

This was about to work against the redhead. Not knowing what to do, Flannery panicked.

 

Flannery: “Oh no. But I was certain I closed my bag. I did it carefully. This wasn’t supposed to happen. It’s not good… it’s not good.”

Torkoal: “…oooal…”

Flannery: “It’s not good! It’s not good! It’s not good! It’s not good! It’s not good! It’s not good! It’s not good! It’s not good! It’s not good! It’s not good!”

 

The heartbeats of the young lady were accelerating like never before. Flannery couldn’t stand still as she began to feel overwhelmed by serious anxiety. Since she was out of means, she asked Ame for help.

 

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Flannery: “Ame, please! I’m begging you! Tell me you have something to heal up Torkoal! He must be saved, his life is in danger!”

Ame: “…”

Flannery: “…please.”

 

Ame answered reluctantly to the redhead.

 

Ame: “…I’m sorry, Flannery. But… I’ve nothing on me that could put him back on his feet.”

Flannery: “Oh.”

Ame: “I wish I could be useful to you in some way… but sadly, I don’t have anything to make it so. Please, forgive me.”

Torkoal: “…ooal…”

 

This was about to put Flannery in a very alarming situation. Without warning, she snapped and kneeled near Torkoal. She cried her eyes out by hugging him tightly in the pouring rain. The redhead refused to admit that Torkoal was doomed. And yet, reality appeared to be far crueler than expected.

 

Flannery: “…Torkoal… *snif* …my poor Torkoal…”

Torkoal: “…ooal…”

Flannery: “I forbid you from dying, Torkoal! Not here… *snif* …not now… *snif* …not after all these years spent together. I don’t want to lose another member of my family!”

Torkoal: “…ooal…”

Flannery: “What should I do to make you… *snif* …to make you… *snif* …to make you… *snif* …to prevent you from sacrificing yourself for me?”

Torkoal: “…ooal…”

Flannery: “*snif*…please, Torkoal… live…”

Torkoal: “…oal…”

 

Torkoal had more and more difficulty to speak. His cry became shorter, filled with agony. Flannery wanted to ask him one last thing while she looked into his half-closed eyes.

 

Flannery: “Torkoal… I got to know… Jacques… have you seen Jacques or anyone else alive inside the building?”

Torkoal: “…oal…”

Flannery: “Please… tell me…”

Torkoal: “…”

Flannery: “…Torkoal?”

 

And then, without saying anything, Torkoal nodded negatively before to collapse on the ground. The answer was clear: there were no survivors!

 

Torkoal: “… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … "

Flannery: “TORKOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!!!!!!”

 

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A maelstrom of sorrow and hysteria came and took the ambassador. Torkoal wasn’t breathing anymore and the furnace in his shell had burnt out. For Flannery, it was the end of everything. In no time, the dream turned into a nightmare for her. And there was no escape. She covered the lifeless head of the Pokemon with her arms and stuck her cheek strongly against his in an explosion of tears, lying on the wet floor of Peridot Ward. Despair was absolute, she couldn’t feel more heartbroken. As for Ame, she felt partly responsible for what had happened to Flannery and her Pokemon. Seeing the redhead in distress with Torkoal face on the pavement had shook her too. Even if it was very hard to keep composure at such a moment, she tried to do so nevertheless.

 

Ame: (I’m so sick of what’s happening, it’s just too dramatic to be real. If only there was a way to prevent this to happen… that’s so unfortunate… Who could have done that? And why?)

 

Then, while everybody felt demoralized and powerless against the result of this gruesome accident, the strangely cheerful voice of a young damsel could be heard further in the street. It seemed that this person was talking directly to Ame.

 

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???: “Hey, hey!”

Ame: “…Julia.”

Flannery: “*snif*…!?”

 

For some reason, this name wasn’t so stranger to Flannery. The ex-Gym Leader turned her eyes away from Torkoal and looked up to see a strange girl dressed all in yellow with an orange skirt and green hair tied up in a ponytail. In fact, she looked more enthusiastic than anything else.

 

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Ame: “Julia, what did you do?”

Julia: “Whaaaaat? I didn't do anything! I was at the Gym-Gym and then suddenly BOOOOM, so I came running! Cuz, you know, if things are exploding, I gotta be there to see it. It's so… huh?”

 

As she looked at the ground, Julia saw Flannery kneeled near Torkoal. She was very surprised and came at her hastily. Since she didn’t understand what was happening here, Julia asked Ame.

 

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Julia: “Oh my gosh! Someone’s hurt? Is there something wrong here? Ame, who is this person? Did you take the train together?”

Ame: “I think that would take too long to explain you everything in detail right now. But if that’s what you want to know, yes, we took the train together.”

Flannery: “So… it’s you… Julia? I heard about you before arriving.”

Julia: “Reallyyyyy!? People told you about me? Did you do all this trip just to meet the former captain cheerleader of the Onyx Trainers' School's in person!? This is so touching! You know, you didn’t have to go to all this trouble just to see me. Aaaaand… what’s your name?”

Flannery: “I’m Moore… Flannery Moore. And I come from Hoenn.”

Julia: “Just a question: why are sad like this? Is that Torkoal your Pokemon? Is it okay?”

Flannery: “*snif* No, he isn’t! He’s hurt! Don’t you see?”

Ame: “Flannery’s Pokemon had injured himself as it tried to save her from this ‘accident’.”

Julia: “For real? But it’s awesome! Well… not as much as you wished, I guess.”

Flannery: “That’s saying a lot, he needs medical care! But I have nothing on me to help him. What should I do?”

Julia: “In this case, you should hurry to make him return inside his Pokeball. The Grand Hall is down the road, just there. If you hurry, so maybe a nice nurse will come and get him back on his feet.”

Ame: “Actually, that’s what I was about to suggest her just before you arrived.”

Flannery: “Does that mean that there’s still a chance to save Torkoal?”

Ame: “Yes, maybe. But I can’t guarantee anything. I’m just a high-leveled trainer, Flannery, not a nurse.”

 

No matter if Ame was a nurse or not, the simple fact of hearing that Torkoal’s fate may not be sealed was enough to restore hope in the heart of the fire trainer. Flannery dried her tears with a wave of the hand and got up shortly after. The presence of Julia seemed to have a heartwarming impact on Flannery’s spirit.

 

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Julia: “Great! You’ll see, we’ll save your Torkoal!”

Flannery: “Thank you Julia! I appreciate your attempt to put me at ease, but still. How, and most importantly, why did such a carnage happen?”

Ame: “Based on the timing, this must have certainly been a deliberate attack worthy of a terrorist act. Somebody rigged the train to destroy Grandview Station.”

Julia: “And by the look of it, they did a pretty good job!”

Flannery: “Wait a minute! Did someone try to kill us? But why? I’ve never been here before! This doesn’t make any sense!”

Ame: “I don’t know any more than you do, Flannery. Anyhow, we can’t just continue to fumble in the dark, nor afford to admire their work. Whoever was behind it could still be monitoring from nearby. We could hear more from this person if we don’t act quickly and decisively.”

Flannery: “So, what are we going to do now?”

Ame: “There are not 36 different solutions, we must lock down the perimeter. Hopefully, we will catch the perpetrator of this crime before they get away.”

Flannery: “If you say so. I trust you, Ame. And… what about Torkoal?”

Ame: “Just do as Julia said, make him return inside his Pokeball, then meet me at the Grand Hall. Maybe the nurse there will know what to do with Torkoal.”

Flannery: “That’s all I wish. We came together, so we’ll leave together, no matter what.”

Julia: “This is so well said!”

Ame: “I agree. Julia, sweetie, would you be kind enough to accompany Flannery to the Grand Hall? I have to go. This information must be forwarded to our staff as soon as possible.”

Julia: “No problem. I may not have drunk coffee for a while, but I must have some energy left for this.”

Ame: “Great.”

 

The Champion of the Reborn League turned to the ex-Gym Leader.

 

Ame: “Is that okay for you, Flannery?”

Flannery: “Yes, I think. At least, I know what I have to do now.”

Ame: “Perfect! Just one last thing: normally, there should be another trainer waiting in front of the Grand Hall. If you’re interested, you can always meet her. I’m sure she’ll be glad to show you around by then.”

Flannery: “Thanks for the advice, Ame. I’ll keep that in mind.”

Ame: “Good, good. Oh, and don’t worry about all of this. I’ll get a rescue team down there to investigate the inside of the station. If we can make some passengers return to their families, or… at least… their remains… it will certainly be better for everyone involved.”

 

Uneasiness resurfaced on Flannery’s face as soon as Ame said the word ‘remains’. Of course, she couldn’t stop sparing a thought for all these dead people, especially since she was close to being part of them.

 

Flannery: “*gulp*…yes, I understand.”

Ame: “Very well. See you later, Ambassador of Hoenn.”

Julia: “Huh? What!?”

 

Ame was heading to the Grand Hall. During this time, Flannery continued to look around apprehensively. And that was understandable. After all, it was pretty hard to put a foot on the ground without walking on broken glass or pieces of busted wall. But in reality, her injuries were more mental than physical. She reexamined the body of Torkoal with attention to see if there were no other injuries or contusions. In fact, these were mainly fall damage. His head and his legs were blue-black in certain spots, the Coal Pokemon looked more paralyzed than anything else. Flannery felt she had to prioritize Torkoal’s recovery above all, but she also knew that she couldn’t do so without assistance. Only then, she noticed that Julia was still standing next to her. The electric cheerleader stared at the redhead with eyes wide-open, she looked impressed.

 

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Julia: “So, your name is Flannery, that’s it?”

Flannery: “Yes. And you, you are… Julia Wilde?”

Julia: “Eh!! Nobody’s ever called me by family name! How do you know that? And can you tell me why Ame called you ‘Ambassador of Hoenn’?”

Flannery: “That’s a long story. Too long to be explained now. I used to be the Fire Type Gym Leader of Lavaridge Town for quite a long time, so I’ve made an agreement with Ame and the other leaders in Hoenn to do something else in my life… like travelling, for example.”

 

This discovery was delightful for Julia who was all excited. Her face lit up at the mere idea of knowing that a Gym Leader of another region had disembarked in Reborn.

 

Julia: “Huh!? A Hoenn Gym Leader?! Here?! In Reborn?!?! This is AWESOOOOOOOOOOME!!!”

Flannery: “Really?”

Julia: “Oh, you have no idea what it means for us! Hum… well, I mean, for me. Concerning Hoenn, I’ve never been there myself, but I’ve always heard good stuff about this region. Aaaand, you’re right about me! I’m Julia, captain of cheer and pep, and all things bubbly and bright!”

 

Flannery felt a bit embarrassed as she still had difficulty to fully share Julia’s elation at such a critical moment. Yet, the lover of boomings seemed to be very joyful and bouncy, exactly as Jacques had described her. And because she had never heard of our dear redhead in the past, she wanted to ask Flannery some questions to know more about her intentions.

 

Julia: “Oh, pop quiz! Have you planned to take on the Reborn League during your stay?”

 

Unfortunately, this question did not fail to bother the red-haired trainer. For Flannery, it was neither the time, nor the place to talk about her motives, especially since Torkoal’s state of health was about to question everything. The fear of losing those who were precious to her had awakened again.

 

Flannery: “At first, that’s what I intended to do. But it might be compromised now. Just in case you didn’t know, there are other priorities to care about for now.”

Julia: “Uuuh…”

Flannery: “Don’t you see, Julia? Haven’t you noticed the state my Torkoal is in already? Look. I hope you understood that without him, I’ll never have the heart to fight again. Ever. And I refuse to let this happen! I don’t want to lose my Pokemon!”

Julia: “…That’s clearly a difficult situation. But please, stop getting yourself into such a state. I know that’s not what you want. I’m hear for help, and that’s exactly what I’m gonna do now. After all, I have to prove that I deserve my reputation as the former captain cheerleader AND as the Electric Type Gym Leader of Reborn. This is why I’ll go with you; I’ll escort you to Opal Ward myself. But firstly first, you should make Torkoal return inside his Pokeball. Only then, we’ll head to the Grand Hall together.”

Flannery: “And if… what if it was too late for him?”

Julia: “Listen to me, Flannery. It won’t do you any good if you keep believing that it can’t be otherwise. I can understand how hard it can be, but you have to move forward. In any circumstances, you must stay positive. Even in the worst moments, being happy or unhappy is still a choice you make. That’s the reason why I’ve chosen to make the best of things that I can.”

Flannery: “Hm… that’s kind of a weird way of reasoning, if you don’t mind my saying. But hey, I’ll try to apply your precept. Thank you for cheering me up, Julia.”

Julia: “You’re welcome! Supporting people and make them smile has always been a sort of second job to me anyway. *wink*”

Flannery: “Haha.”

 

Thus, Flannery hurried to make Torkoal return back to his Pokeball, hoping to be able to get him treated quickly before the situation becomes irreversible. But as she did, the innocent redhead had noticed that her pockets were lighter than usual.

 

Flannery: “…”

Julia: “What is it again, Flannery?”

 

Without warning, the heartbeats of Flannery began to reaccelerate. Squeezed by progressive anxiety, the young lady tapped her jeans pockets nervously, the gaze turned on her thighs. Then, she raised her head with a brusque gesture. Julia was almost frightened by the face of the fire girl. Her eyes were opened to the max, and her pupils seemed to have shrunk under the effect of the terror, filled with dread.

 

Flannery: “*gasp*!!!”

Julia: “My goodness! What do you have? Why are you so pale?!”

 

The ex-Gym Leader of Lavaridge Town remained silent for a long time, covering her mouth with her fists. She gasped irregularly by suffocating, and the rhythm of her breath went crescendo in a particularly troubling way. Something was wrong, and that something was clearly important to Flannery. Julia began to feel worried too.

 

Julia: “Flannery, please, I want to know. What’s wrong?”

Flannery: “…Vulpix…”

Julia: “What!?”

Flannery: “I… I… I lost… I lost Vulpix… Vulpix’s Pokeball…”

 

Flannery’s words and sentences were broken and disjointed. She felt muffled by growing stress, which made the communication with her even more complicated.

 

Flannery: “She was in my pocket… I remember… I remember having her with me… when I was on the train. But after that… I don’t know… I don’t know…”

Julia: “Really? You’re sure you haven’t put it in your bag instead!?”

Flannery: “Oh my God… Oh my God… Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!”

 

pFdhH2J.png

 

Drama was real. The redhead became more and more agitated and looked from the left to the right all around, a knot in her stomach. Uneasiness had reached such a high point that her heart was going to jump out of her chest at any time. Without saying anything else, she headed over the outside of the station hysterically by crying out and shouted the name of her precious Pokemon at the top of her lungs over and over. The fear of never finding Vulpix was clearly audible in the tortured voice of the firehead. Then, Flannery entered into the ruined station at the manner of a she-devil. She was very restless, and went so far as to ignore the presence of Julia who couldn’t do much except attend powerlessly to the research scene of the poor ambassador. Vulpix’s name was resonating inside of the building, and Flannery’s voice seemed to fill up with sorrow more and more as she continued to go around to find the Fox Pokemon. Julia was waiting outside. Then, after about a minute and a half, Flannery went out and reappeared in front of the Electric Gym Leader, the eyes covered with tears and the face distorted by sadness.

 

Julia: “Oh, Flannery…”

Flannery: “My… my… my Vulpix…”

Julia: “…”

Flannery: “Where is… where is my… where is my Vulpix? *sobs*”

Julia: “…Flannery.”

 

This time, Julia didn’t know what to do. Despair had reached its highest level, and the head of Flannery was about to burst. Except this time, we were far from the type of booming to which Julia was accustomed. The Reborn Gym Leader tried to be reassuring to Flannery, but she soon run out of ideas. The situation in which the redhead was seemed impossible to resolve.

 

gsVJZtW.png

 

Flannery: “What will I do!? WHAT WILL I DO!?!? AAAAAAAAAHHH!!!”

 

Julia took Flannery by the shoulders and tried to reason with her. But she didn’t know how to do it in a proper way. The ambassador struggled like a woman in hell, overwhelmed by negative thoughts and grief. In her mind, there was nothing to do to reverse the situation.

 

Julia: “Flannery, please! Don’t snap! Stay strong!”

Flannery: “HOOOW?! How could I feel strong after all of that? I couldn’t save anyone. I screwed it up from the beginning, just to sustain my selfish ambitions. And now… it’s all lost! Lost! Lost! Lost! LOOOOOOOOOST!!!”

Julia: “Please, don’t say that. We can still do something for Torkoal, I’m sure of it.”

Flannery: “AND VULPIX?! DID YOU EVEN THINK ABOUT VULPIX?!?!”

Julia: “…”

Flannery: “When reality becomes so cruel, I end up believing that there is no escape. It’s not even an hour that I’ve blown here, I keep getting struck by bad luck anyway. This place is a living nightmare. Am I cursed for my desire of freedom? What will happen to me next? Can you tell me, Julia?”

Julia: “I don’t know. I just wanted to help, but to be honest, I have to say that I’m running out of ideas. I myself am feeling like a damp squib at this moment. However, you have to keep your head on your shoulders. Don’t take it badly, Flannery, but sadly, everything that happens here is not a hallucination, nor a figment of your imagination. I’m the living proof of that! And dreams are not reality!”

 

Suddenly, Flannery felt cut short. As if Julia’s talk had sparked something in her.

 

Flannery: “…Wait. What did you say?”

Julia: “What? ‘Damp squib’?”

Flannery: “No. After that.”

Julia: “’Keeping your head on your shoulders’?”

Flannery: “No. You said that dreams… are not…”

 

While Flannery was in a phase of extreme sadness, a feeling of enlightenment and surprise just hit the redhead right in the second. Julia noticed it too. It was as if Flannery had remembered something. Despite the incessant rain, a dead silence had fell upon Grandview Station. Then, out of the blue, Flannery frowned with determination and claimed out loud the new gist of her thinking.

 

49kN02G.png

 

Flannery: “NO! SHE’S ALIVE, I’M SURE!”

 

She startled Julia who jumped backward.

 

Julia: “WAAAH!! Hey! Don’t scare people like that! You almost made me fall into the lake!!”

Flannery: “Now I know why I’ve made this dream!”

Julia: “A dream!? What dream are you talking about, Flannery?”

Flannery: “Shortly after we escaped the train explosion with Ame, I blacked out, and I had a vision of Vulpix who was talking to me. She said she didn’t want me to forget her and seemed very insistent about the fact of not abandoning her.”

Julia: “Really? You’re sure of that? You don’t think it was a vision of what you wanted to see instead? You know… something like a happy dream, maybe?”

Flannery: “No, it wasn’t! This dream had nothing to do with an ordinary dream, and it was absolutely not a happy dream. I was in pain, and Vulpix had come to me to cheer me up. If you want my opinion, it was more likely to be premonitory or telepathic dream.”

Julia: “Seriously?! If so, that sounds really intriguing! But how can you be so sure of you?”

Flannery: “I don’t know. And after all… why shouldn’t I be?”

Julia: “Uuuu…”

 

Flannery had obviously regained confidence. She looked less sad and more lively. Preferring not to languish in lamentations and inactivity, she decided to trust her instincts. Without losing any time, she relied on Julia and suggested her a plan in order to alter the situation in their favor.

 

Flannery: “I won’t close my eyes on this matter. Not now. Not until we won’t be all reunited.”

Julia: “Yaaaay! That’s the spirit! So, what are you going to do now?”

Flannery: “What I am going to do… I’ll go to the Grand Hall to heal Torkoal up, of course. Then, we’ll go look for Vulpix together. She must be here somewhere.”

Julia: “Good choice! You know, I would be glad to help as best as I can too! I’ll accompany you to Opal Ward myself. Once it’s done, I’ll be back here, and I’ll tell the policemen to move around to find Vulpix as well. But the thing is, Peridot Ward is veeeeeery big as well as veeeeeery complex to explore for newcomers. So, we’ll probably need as many men as we can before to start our investigation.”

Flannery: “If this can increase our chances to see Vulpix again, so I’ll go for it. As she said in my dream, that’s only when I decide to give up that everything ends. Which is why I propose we move on now.”

Julia: “I agree. Less talking, more action. Come on, Flannery! Let’s go to the Grand Hall!”

Flannery: “For Torkoal! For Vulpix!”

 

Everything became clearer for the two girls. Since they knew what they had to do, they walked toward Opal Ward to reach the Grand Hall. Julia went ahead, Flannery followed her. To avoid unpleasant surprises, she hooked Torkoal’s Pokeball on her belt. On the way, she used the opportunity to look around. The city was as Jacques had described it: dark, dismal, and bleak. Whether on land, water, or in the air, the entire landscape was wrapped in an infinite grey coat. The buildings on the road looked old, poorly maintained and worn out by the passage of time. There also were several policemen on spot as well as many other people who had witnessed the accident, including a brown-haired woman who was mourning the death of her fiancée. Flannery could hardly feel indifferent in the midst of all this.

 

UF7Km7D.png

 

Flannery: “Poor people. I pity them for having to witness such a tragic event.”

Julia: “Me too. But you know. Life has never really been a bed of roses in Reborn. Well… at least, not for everyone.”

Flannery: “Has it always been like that? I mean… moribund, somber mood and all?”

Julia: “Let me give you an advice, Flannery. When all that story will be over, I’ll invite you to my gym, my personal universe. A cool place full of cool Pokemon with a cool atmosphere to make you smile in any circumstances. All guaranteed 100% depression-proof, I promise! By the way, have you just imagined what it would feel like for two Gym leaders to have a fight with each other?”

Flannery: “For sure, I think I already have my own opinion about that. And thank you for your recommendation, Julia. But before it, I have to get registered officially as a Reborn trainer.”

Julia: “That’s true. Anyway, we’re not that far from the Grand Hall anymore. This way, please.”

 

The redhead kept following Julia to Opal Ward. As they went ahead, Flannery began to see a huge dark infrastructure appearing a bit further, as well as a curious blue, red, green and purple cross hooked above the main entrance. It didn’t take long for Flannery to realize that the building in question could possibly be the Grand Hall itself. But as she got closer to it, she could hear people muttering things about her in her back.

 

WkUaNF1.png

 

???: “Hey, guys! Wouldn’t that be the Gym Leader of Peridot Ward over there?”

???: “Yeah, seems so.”

???: “Hey! Look at this chick accompanying her.”

???: “*pervert whistle* She looks kinda hot indeed.”

???: “Who is she? I’ve never seen her before.”

???: “A stranger, probably.”

???: “You’re serious? Another one?”

???: “Bah. Another slut in the streets. No thanks.”

???: “Come on, dude! Did you see these clothes? She’s a member of a punk band or what?”

???: “This is lame. If so, she ain’t that popular.”

???: “And this haircut? What is it supposed to represent? A firework?”

???: “Damn, I guessed! She’s advertising for the Peridot Ward Gym Leader!”

???: “Who knows? If she’s a stranger, so maybe this haircut is just a side effect of the explosion that happened earlier near the station.”

???: “*Giggle* That’s definitely it! Looks like it had more impact than expected.”

???: “Huehue…”

???: “Huehuehuehuehuehue!”

???: “Huehuehuehuehuehuehuehuehuehuehue!”

 

But Flannery wasn’t deaf. In this very instant, the redhead glanced at the mocking boys near the bridge with an electrocuting look as she walked down the way. But this seemed to amuse them even more. Beyond the fact of being judged because of her appearance and dressing style, she couldn’t tolerate that someone could joke with the train station accident. Indeed, simply knowing that this had cost the life of a considerable number of defenseless people had only deepened the hatred inside of her. Flannery felt the blood boiling in her head just by thinking of it and clenched her fists, ready to lash out at any time. Fortunately for her, Julia was here.

 

 

vmkDXBR.png

 

Julia: “Don’t pay attention to them, Flannery. They’re not worth it. It would only give them more importance.”

Flannery: “Hello!? I hope you're joking! That was total disrespect! Nobody ever dared to talk to me like that! I swear, Julia. If you were not with me now, Reborn would have certainly heard of another far more ravaging accident, I assure you!”

Julia: “Yours, you mean?”

 

The fire girl replied in a hateful tone.

 

Flannery: “No, I don’t think so.”

 

Since Flannery was visibly blinded by an invading and corrosive flow of rage, Julia sighed and explained her that the current situation wasn’t as simple as it seemed to be.

 

Julia: “*sigh* Flannery, Flannery, Flannery. Did you forget that you didn’t have any Pokemon able to fight with you? In case you haven’t noticed, those people there are all trainers of the Opal Bridge. The result of the match won’t be hard to predict if you decide to take them out.”

Flannery: “Yikes, I didn’t know. Thank you again for the reminder, Julia.”

Julia: “You’re welcome. So, we cure Torkoal first, then you set fire to the bad guys. Got it?”

Flannery: “…Well. You know what? Let them burning in hell. They’re not part of my priorities.”

Julia: “Good answer! That’s what I was hoping you’d say. Don’t let anything nor anyone take you away from your purpose.”

Flannery: “Don’t worry for that. There’s no way in hell I’m gonna leave Vulpix all alone in Reborn just for the sake of some braindead morons. But just so you know, their insolence won’t remain unpunished. You have my word on it!”

Julia: “Mmmm… you give me chills when you’re speaking like that!”

 

Demonstrating remarkable self-restraint, Flannery turned back on the delinquents and managed to ignore them. Thus, the two girls kept moving to the foot of the staircase leading to the Grand Hall. And in the matter of a few seconds, Julia had already achieved her task. She and Flannery were both about to take separate paths from there.

 

OPvPZdd.png

 

Julia: “Well. Looks like I fulfilled my mission. At least, you know what you have to do now.”

Flannery: “And how! I’m gonna go upstairs, enter the Grand Hall, and see what this nurse inside can do for me. And before I forget, I’ll also see how I can arrange things with Ame, so I can get this famous starter she promised to give me. After that, I’ll be registered as a Reborn trainer, once and for all.”

Julia: “The most judicious thing you could do, probably. This way, you’ll be able to hit Reborn streets in better conditions.”

Flannery: “That’s it. And you, Julia? What have you planned to do then?”

Julia: “Me? I’ll hurry to meet the policemen in Peridot Ward and tell them to let you pass. I’ll also ask them if they haven’t seen a Pokeball lying around in this area. Then, well… I’ll probably take a cup of coffee or two to recharge my batteries (no pun intended), so the rest will depend of my level of tiredness.”

Flannery: “Got it! Thanks again for your help!”

Julia: “Aaaaaaand you’re welcome! If by chance you have another question to ask, just let me know. I’ll be in my gym.”

Flannery: “Great! See you later, Julia!”

Julia: “See ya, Flannery! Good luck!”

 

That was the end of their encounter. Julia stepped toward the western district of Reborn, glad to have met a new friendly face, and more particularly another potential adversary for a forthcoming gym battle. Thanks to her, Peridot Ward was going to be fully accessible to Flannery. For her part, the steadfast firehead rushed up the stairs leading to the Grand Hall. Torkoal’s health was still worrying her a lot, and Vulpix wasn’t saved either. The less the redhead wondered about her future, the better she felt. But as always, destiny’s tide remained untamable.

 

6pH1VHB.png

 

QUICK LINK TO NEXT EPISODE

 

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Very interesting episode and scary as well. Not knowing the fate of Torkoal, Vulpix or Jacques is scary but also exciting. And I seriously love the animation. Great episode as always!

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Oh my god this is so sad (T-T) I hope Vulpix is fine...also I like the inner monologue when Flannary is unconscious lol so cheesy 😛 I was scared that Torkoal was really going to die and was glad that he is just hurt whew . And you did a great job making Reborn city really feel like a post-apocalyptic place,I'm really mad at those boys talking about Flannery like she is a piece of meat but in a dump like Reborn city there is bound to have scum like them looking at you Fern aaaand I miss Jacques already (TwT) hope he is alive....somewhere....and well. Can't wait for best boy Cain's appearance next episode (:D) Thank you Q-Jei (*^▽^*)

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You started with hitting us in the feels right away. T~T  You've got a beautiful episode all ready. And I like your added animations!

In all fairness, I think Flannery spent too much time talking when she should have rushed to the Grand Hall for Nurse Joy. Torkoal's health was critical after all 😧

I look forward to seeing how this story unfolds~ 

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That was some superb gif wow *o* I could feel Flannery's self-disappointment

I'm still hoping Jacques is alive tho cause it's kinda odd that he left Flannery just as the accident was about to happen 👀

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On 5/25/2019 at 8:23 PM, J-Awesome_One said:

Very interesting episode and scary as well. Not knowing the fate of Torkoal, Vulpix or Jacques is scary but also exciting. And I seriously love the animation. Great episode as always!

Thank you @J-Awesome_One! The animation you're talking about has been entirely created with GIMP (No website tools ^^). It's more than 250 images scrolling at speed of one image all the 90 milliseconds. So yeah, that was a very hard work, and I'm very proud of it to be honest 😉 I've spent more time for this GIF than for all the other illustrations.

 

On 5/26/2019 at 8:24 AM, Angelkitsune said:

Oh my god this is so sad (T-T) I hope Vulpix is fine...also I like the inner monologue when Flannary is unconscious lol so cheesy 😛

Thanks! But why do you say that the monologue part was 'cheesy'? I've not made this scene for nothing. I've made it the same way as when your character lose consciousness in one of the final scenes of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon (Blue/Red Rescue Team). Besides, there was a time when I went into surgery for an ear operation. I remember having been plunged into madness and unconscious dream because of an unexpected issue with the gas used to keep me asleep, and I could barely move my limbs. But each time I tried, it hurt so much that I thought someone was tearing them out. Even today, I still have bad memories of this moment, except that everything was pale and green with disformed faces. So, no! I've really lived this type of thing, and the bad moment endured by Flannery is a small overview of how I felt at this time myself. That's why calling it "cheesy" is not appropriate in my opinion :,^(

 

On 5/26/2019 at 7:01 PM, SilverAngelus said:

You started with hitting us in the feels right away. T~T  You've got a beautiful episode all ready. And I like your added animations!

In all fairness, I think Flannery spent too much time talking when she should have rushed to the Grand Hall for Nurse Joy. Torkoal's health was critical after all 😧

I look forward to seeing how this story unfold~ 

Thanks 🙂 At least, it didn't take too long for Torkoal before returning back to his Pokeball, and hopefully, doing so probably slowed down the pain. But still, losing Vulpix's Pokeball was a very undesired thing to Flannery since she loved her a lot too. When this happened, she felt torn between two dramatic events, couldn't survive panic and almost lost her self-control. I've already experienced what it feels like: when you're annoying by a first trouble, then by another one, you're starting to feel disoriented and can find yourself overwhelmed very quickly 😞 Therefore, the intervention of Julia is more a benidiction than anything else for our dear Gym Leader (Or should I say 'ambassador' 😉) You'll see, there will be a recovery for Torkoal, and I already said that Vulpix was one of the starters. So, the true question should be: "In which state will we find Vulpix?". Also, there was a moment when Flannery started to feel begged by Julia's questioning with her Pop Quiz line, so she knew that there was a priority to set for Torkoal 😉 The only thing I feared during this epsiode was more than these two losses were forshadowing people's concern for Jacques.

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12 hours ago, Q-Jei said:

Thanks! But why do you say that the monologue part was 'cheesy'? I've not made this scene for nothing. I've made it the same way as when your character lose consciousness in one of the final scenes of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon (Blue/Red Rescue Team). Besides, there was a time when I went into surgery for an ear operation. I remember having been plunged into madness and unconscious dream because of an unexpected issue with the gas used to keep me asleep, and I could barely move my limbs. But each time I tried, it hurt so much that I thought someone was tearing them out. Even today, I still have bad memories of this moment, except that everything was pale and green with disformed faces. So, no! I've really lived this type of thing, and the bad moment endured by Flannery is a small overview of how I felt at this time myself. That's why calling it "cheesy" is not appropriate in my opinion :^(

Sorry about that....I didn't play mystery dungeon before and I definitely didn't have a surgery so I don't know how much pain you went through.And I also apologize for being insensitive as I sometimes don't know I have hurt someone with my words.Again I'm really sorry.

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2 hours ago, Angelkitsune said:

Sorry about that....I didn't play mystery dungeon before and I definitely didn't have a surgery so I don't know how much pain you went through.And I also apologize for being insensitive as I sometimes don't know I have hurt someone with my words.Again I'm really sorry.

Don't worry, it's not such a problem actually. It's just that I should have talk about it earlier, so maybe people would have understood better 😕 As for the Mystery Dungeon games, I can assure you they are good spin-off games. It's very detailed with a careful work on the story, espcially Explorers of Time and Darkness 😉 Even if the gameplay has nothing to do with the core series, I found it really enjoyable and challenging most of the time (Wink at Primal Dialga).

 

On 5/26/2019 at 8:24 AM, Angelkitsune said:

I was scared that Torkoal was really going to die and was glad that he is just hurt whew . And you did a great job making Reborn city really feel like a post-apocalyptic place,I'm really mad at those boys talking about Flannery like she is a piece of meat but in a dump like Reborn city there is bound to have scum like them looking at you Fern aaaand I miss Jacques already (TwT) hope he is alive....somewhere....and well. Can't wait for best boy Cain's appearance next episode (:D) Thank you Q-Jei (*^▽^*)

Reborn deserves the description it deserves indeed. And justice will be made, I promise! As you may have guessed, the next episode is supposed to show the recovery of Torkoal. It can actually be saved, but things are not always that predictable. As written at the end of the episode, destiny’s tide remain untamable. But be reassured with the bad boys, Flannery will have her revenge against them (And I'm not even talking about Fern 🔥) Anyway, I appreciate that you're still following me despite it takes me a lot of time before to upload another part of the story. Thank you for your support, I'll need it to write the next episode, even if it's supposed to be shorter than the last one 😉

 

15 hours ago, Candy said:

That was some superb gif wow *o* I could feel Flannery's self-disappointment

I'm still hoping Jacques is alive tho cause it's kinda odd that he left Flannery just as the accident was about to happen 👀

Thank you Candy-sama :^D

I've spent two days to improve the images and be sure that nothing unwanted has occured during the tests to make it work. And yes, this episode was quite a pain to write since I don't like seeing Flannery sad or tortured. But sadly, this accident is a mandatory move to take for all the newcomers in Reborn 😞 Also, I'm glad to know that people still want to see Jacques alive. For now, mystery about him remains thick. But on the other hand, it's just the begining of the story 😉 (Giggles since 15 episodes are already out) Even if we don't see him later, it's likely for us to still hear about him in the future. But I prefer to keep silent about his case, for the moment...

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9gBv3av.png

 

Spoiler

The rain kept falling on Opal Ward. While Julia went forward to alert the policemen in the west quarter of the town, Flannery climbed the stairs leading to the Grand Hall to save Torkoal. She feared the worst for him.

 

Flannery: (I have to hurry! I already lost too much time for nothing. If Torkoal dies, I will never forgive myself. Ever.)

 

It was clear to Flannery. In her mind, losing one of her Pokemon would mark the end of her career as a trainer forever. She finally rushed and reached the big dark building. But as she did, Flannery saw a black-haired girl who was waiting patiently near the entrance. She was wearing a black and white yakuta on which were embroidered Yin Yang symbols. She looked imperturbable. Then, the young lady noticed the presence of the ex-Gym Leader and turned to her to greet her.

 

cEUhcR4.png

 

Victoria: “Hello! Aren’t you Flannery by any chance?”

Flannery: “Yes, this is me. How do you know my name?”

Victoria: “Ame told me you’d show up earlier. She said that a strong trainer from Hoenn would come around here, and she asked me to bring you in for the registration too. I have an eye for this, you are this person!”

Flannery: “That’s it! I’m Flannery, the ex-Gym Leader of Lavaridge Town. Nice to meet you. And you, who are you?”

Victoria: “I’m Victoria, one of the students of Apophyll Academy. Nice to meet you too. I’ve come here on the advice of my sensei to become a Pokemon trainer in turn.”

Flannery: “I see. So, you’re here to get registered and take on the challenge of the Reborn League as well, aren’t you?”

Victoria: “Absolutely. Forgive me if I’m a little too curious, but… is everything alright?”

 

The neutral expression of the feisty redhead changed and let appear a troubled face instead.

 

Flannery: “Unfortunately, no. In case Ame didn’t tell you already, I’ve brought two Pokemon with me. One is injured and must be treated while the other one is lost somewhere in the town. As for myself… well, let say that I’m probably the one who has taken the least damage.”

Victoria: “Oh, poor girl. That must be a hard blow for you.”

Flannery: “And still, this is mildly said. Well… you’ll excuse me, but I would like to go in. If there’s really a nurse in there, so I must see her right away!”

Victoria: “Understood, Flannery. Go ahead. Plus, I would not feel right to keep Ame waiting more than necessary.”

Flannery: “Absolutely. Let’s go in!”

 

Not wishing to get more wet than they already were, Flannery and Victoria hurried to enter the Grand Hall. Much to the surprise of the ambassador, the inside of the building didn’t have anything to do with the unsafe and oppressive atmosphere of the streets she has seen to this point. This place was spacious, smelt good, and was clean. Too clean to belong to Reborn, actually. Flannery could also see several counters occupied by different people, probably employees of the Grand Hall. Obviously, the fact that a sumptuous and organized place like this could exist in such desolated districts didn’t fail to impress our dear firehead.

 

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Flannery: “Oh-my-God! I don’t think I’ve seen anything like this before. I feel… so small.”

Victoria: “You’re impressed, aren’t you? This is where all the administrative formalities and important business are handled in Reborn. Ame controls everything in here? She’s the director of this place. By the way… wouldn’t it be her who’s waving at us from the bottom of the room there?”

 

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Indeed, the beautiful white-haired Champion was giving a sign to the two damsels, inviting them to come at her. But as she was taking a look around carefully, Flannery noticed the presence of a woman with nodded pink hair standing behind a large counter in the west alley: the nurse of the Grand Hall. Focusing on Torkoal’s health-care needs, the redhead told Victoria the following words.

 

Flannery: “Seems so. But please, go ahead. I have to speak to this nurse and save my Torkoal. Don’t worry for me, I’ll catch you up when I’ll be done with her.”

Victoria: “You’re a reasoned person, Flannery. I like it. I won’t keep you here any longer. Me and Ame will be waiting for you, so we can proceed with registration together.”

Flannery: “Perfect! See you later, Victoria.”

Victoria: “See you later, Flannery!”

 

Without wasting time, Flannery moved hastily to the medical area of the Grand Hall to get Torkoal examined by the nurse while Victoria was joining Ame. A halo of hope was hanging over the caring young trainer. She wanted to protect her Pokemon just like her Pokemon have protected her. During this time, the nurse remained quiet and motionless behind the counter. Then, she saw the redhead coming at her, the eyes stuck on her Pokeball. Once arrived, Flannery asked Nurse Joy for help.

 

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Flannery: “Hello, madam!”

Nurse Joy: “Hello you! How can I help you?”

Flannery: “This is urgent! My Torkoal has been badly injured in the accident near the train station and he’s not breathing anymore. He has bruises everywhere. Please, save him!”

 

Flannery was nervous, and the nurse could feel it. Right away, the pink-haired woman asked the redhead to give her Torkoal’s Pokeball. This way, she could see with her own eyes how the Coal Pokemon was going.

 

Nurse Joy: “I see… I take it from your tone it’s very serious. But have no fear, I should be able to help you. Normally. I just need you to give me your Pokeball in order to see the extent of the damage myself.”

Flannery: “For sure. Take it!”

 

Without hesitating, Flannery pulled Torkoal’s Pokeball off her belt and gave it to the nurse.

 

Nurse Joy: “Very well, I’ll take your Pokemon to the room behind me to verify his health conditions. But I have to warn you, that risks to take a while. You can still sit on one of the couches next to the entrance to wait until I call you back. Please, make yourself at home!”

 

Remembering that Ame needed Flannery’s presence to start the registration process, Flannery answered to the nurse in the following way.

 

Flannery: “That’s very kind to offer, but people are waiting for me nearby. I’m new to this region, and I have to confirm my status as a Reborn trainer.”

Nurse Joy: “I know. The director told me about you. You’re the ambassador of Hoenn, that’s it?”

Flannery: “Absolutely. This is me!”

Nurse Joy: “Wonderful. In this case, stay calm. Best clients deserve best services. And as opposed to the others, I never fail in my job. As long as you know how to be patient, I can bring any of your Pokemon back on their feet. All without exception. The diagnosis will be done when you’ll be back.”

Flannery: “If you say so. I put my trust in you for this. Hopefully, the news will be good.”

Nurse Joy: “It will be. I’ll do everything to make it happen. See you later! *wink*”

Flannery: “Um… yes. See you later, madam.”

 

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Besides the fact of being worried, the redhead felt somewhat disturbed by the attitude of the nurse. The latter was pretty relaxed and looked particularly self-confident. Furthermore, it was the first time in her whole career that Flannery had seen a nurse winking at her. But in spite of not knowing what to think of this reaction, Flannery preferred to trust her and hastened across the Grand Hall to catch up with Victoria and Ame. For some reason, the face of the Champion did not inspire much enthusiasm, just like Victoria’s. As for the rest of the employees in the background, they looked more under pressure than anything else.

 

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Ame: “Ah, here you are, Flannery. It was about time.”

Flannery: “Yes, I know. Sorry for having been so long. Things were actually more… complicated than they seemed. But I’m here now!”

Ame: “Unforeseen events, right? Looks like we’re all in the same boat in the end.”

Flannery: “Excuse me!? Why are you saying this?”

Victoria: “Me and Ame had a little talk together before you came. Unfortunately, the news is not very good.”

Flannery: “Eh!? What’s up again?!”

Ame: “It’s about the starters. Somebody stole them. The Grand Hall has been robbed!”

 

The red-headed woman was shocked by this announcement. Things were not easy to take in the first place, but knowing that the Grand Hall has been robbed made it even worse.

 

Flannery: “What? For real? But… how is it possible?”

Ame: “According to witnesses, the accident of Grandview Station has attracted the attention of a lot of people here, guards of the Grand Hall included. Actually, people were already aware of the train explosion even before I could channel a feedback.”

Flannery: “What do you mean? Nobody paid attention to what was happening in the Grand Hall?”

Ame: “I’ll tell you. Right after that, three individuals who pretended to work for us had taken advantage of the confusion to rush up to the upper floor and seized most of the starters displayed on the tables. That’s only when the kidnappers were fleeing that our employees have been conscious of the dirty trick.”

Flannery: “Why ‘most of them’? They didn’t take them all?”

Ame: “No, not exactly. They only took our most popular Pokemon. I guess they wanted to make a name for themselves by eluding our vigilance. If so… well, it’s hard to admit, but they managed to get what they wanted.”

Flannery: “Rrrr… filthy cowards! That’s disgusting to mislead people like this! Do you know which Pokemon have been stolen?”

Ame: “Yes. If I remember well, they stole Bulbasaur, Cyndaquil, Torchic, Mudkip, Piplup, Snivy, Fennekin, Froakie, Rowlet and Popplio.”

Flannery: “Damn! No less!”

Ame: “I know, this is considerable. But be reassured, Flannery. These thugs didn’t manage to escape all in time.”

Flannery: “Huh? You’ve caught one of them?”

Victoria: “That’s it! As Ame told me, one of those thieves has been intercepted and has been sent to the floor below for questioning. However, from what I understand, the starters were not in his possession. It’s one of his associates who has them.”

Ame: “And I have all the good reasons to think that those persons are still running freely in town. This being said, I need to talk to the detainee downstairs to know more about their intentions.”

 

A feeling of exasperation was invading Flannery from the inside. She, who couldn’t put up with injustice, felt outraged by the cowardness of these criminals.

 

Flannery: “This is so weak! So abject! I’m getting heartburn just by thinking of it. I suppose that because of it, me and Victoria won’t be able to get a starter anymore.”

Ame: “Well… if you already had a specific idea in mind, let say that your choice is pretty limited now. But it doesn’t mean that I’ll block the access to the starters for newcomers either. On the other hand, I’m counting on both of you to prevent this information from leaking in the city. Otherwise, our reputation would be more than sullied. For my part, I promise to toughen the protection as well as the conditions of admission for new recruits in the staff of the Grand Hall by then.”

Victoria: “I trust you, Ame. You’re a serious person. And you can have faith in me. Respecting confidence and privacy rights is one of the first rules Kiki has taught us. If you want me to give you a hand to track the rest of this gang, I’m all for it. Furthermore, it sounds like they didn’t touch the starter I’ve planned to choose.”

Ame: “All right! All help is welcome! If you think you can do anything to help us, so please do.”

Victoria: “Thank you, Ame.”

 

Then, the Champion turned to Flannery who was deep in troubled thought. The present situation had somewhat disillusioned the fire girl, it messed up with what she had planned to do from the beginning.

 

Ame: “And you, Flannery? What are you going to do?”

 

The redhead didn’t reply immediately. It’s only after a short time of reflection that she talked to the white-haired trainer.

 

Flannery: “Yeah. Don’t blame me for this, Ame. Honestly, I don’t think I can bring myself to make a choice for the moment. In fact, I still prefer to stay with Torkoal before to do that. Just so you know, a nurse is currently carrying out a diagnosis to see if she can heal him or not, and with the way things are going, I’m not convinced that it’s the perfect time to add a new member to my team. Which is why I won’t do it. Well. At least, not now.”

Ame: “Choice is yours, Flannery. I don’t want you to feel forced to pick a starter just for the sake of having one. You can always tell me if you ever change your mind.”

Flannery: “Thank you for your comprehension. Having said that, I would like to help as well! If Torkoal ever get back on his feet, I’ll try to look around for the starters with him.”

Ame: “Your good will means a lot to me. I think the Grand Hall will be honored to have you in our ranks until this issue gets clarified. Therefore, I give carte blanche to both of you.”

Victoria: “Thank you, Ame. We won’t disappoint you.”

Ame: “I don’t doubt it. Do you come with me, Victoria?”

Victoria: “For sure, I will.”

Flannery: “That’s it, go ahead. For my part, I’ll try to see how Torkoal is going.”

Ame: “Great. When I’ll be done with Victoria, meet me here. I’ll give you your trainer card as well as some additional trinkets to simplify your journey in Reborn.”

Flannery: “I take note of that. Well, I’ll let you go. Thank you again, Ame.”

Ame: “You’re welcome! See you later!”

Victoria: “See you, Flannery!”

 

Thus, Flannery went back to the nurse while Victoria and Ame were going upstairs for the starter selection. Since Ame was already on the way to Peridot Ward to keep policemen informed, Flannery judged it was wiser to not overwhelm Ame more than necessary with bad news, so she avoided to tell her about Vulpix’s disappearance for the moment. Then, she reached the counter in the west alley again. Against all odds, Nurse Joy was already there to share the medical examination with the ambassador.

 

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Flannery: “All right, I’m back! Have you finished to diagnose my Torkoal?”

Nurse Joy: “Hello again! Yes, it’s done. This took me less time than I expected and I now know what it’s all about.”

Flannery: “Really? How is he going? Please, tell me his life is not in danger!”

 

But as Flannery said these words, the nurse lowered her gaze and stopped smiling, which wasn’t a good sign for the redhead. Then, she spoke.

 

Nurse Joy: “Um, well… I firstly did an X-ray to be sure that there wasn’t any critical wound on your Torkoal. I’ll be honest with you, what I’ve discovered has almost shaken me.”

Flannery: “What do you mean? It’s not serious, is it? What have you discovered?”

Nurse Joy: “Do you really want to know?”

Flannery: “Of course, I want! It’s my Pokemon we’re talking about. I got to know!”

Nurse Joy: “So be it. Your Torkoal is suffering a concussion and sternum fractures. His difficulty to breath is due to these fractures. Also, based on my observations, I’ll assume that he took a bad fall and he found himself crushed by his own weight by falling on his belly. Right after that, he certainly bounced further away before to hit something hard with his head, either a wall or the ground.”

Flannery: “…”

Nurse Joy: “On the surface, we could think that it’s just a matter of some insignificant bruises that are fated to disappear in some days. But X-ray results speak for themselves. If you’d have come earlier, maybe we could have reversed the situation by applying further health care. But sadly… hm, I have no wish to hold it back…”

Flannery: “…”

Nurse Joy: “…it’s too late.”

 

In an instant, a silence of death occurred in the Grand Hall. Flannery felt devastated. As the nurse was revealing the diagnosis, the entire childhood of the redhead was jumping down her throat. It was as if she was seeing pictures of every moment spent with Torkoal burning away one by one. All hope was gone. Muffled by this announcement, she felt herself sinking in regrets and infinite seas of melancholy. She didn’t want to say anything.

 

Flannery: “… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …”

Nurse Joy: “But that’s only what my colleagues are saying. And I disagree with them.”

Flannery: “…!?”

 

All of a sudden, the demoralized redhead raised her head toward Nurse Joy in an intrigued way.

 

Nurse Joy: “I’m going to ask you one question. Ambassador of Hoenn.”

Flannery: “Wh-what question?”

Nurse Joy: “How far would you be willing to go to prevent your loved ones from dying?”

 

The nurse stumped the young lady with this type of question. It was as if she wanted to make herself look distinguished by submitting the fire girl to a moral choice. In fact, this question appeared to be more difficult than it seemed to Flannery. She needed to know what Nurse Joy meant by that.

 

Flannery: “Uuuh… you’ll excuse me, but I don’t really understand the meaning of this question. What do you want me to do?”

Nurse Joy: “Do you really love your Pokemon?”

Flannery: “What a question! Of course, I love my Pokemon! This is precisely why I want to save them. It’s just that… I don’t know how to make it happen.”

Nurse Joy: “Oh, no worries. You won’t have to do anything. His recovery will be entirely up to me. I just want one thing from you.”

Flannery: “From me? What is it?”

Nurse Joy: “Your consent.”

Flannery: “My… consent? Consent for why?”

Nurse Joy: “This Torkoal has escaped the explosion of Grandview Station with you, right? I can heal him and give him back all the vitality he had before the accident, so all his suffering as well as all the injuries he has accumulated until now won’t exist anymore. You can see it as a reboot of your Pokemon if you prefer.”

Flannery: “Oh my! That would be miraculous! You’re not joking, right?”

Nurse Joy: “Not at all. I’m very serious. For your information, I’ve already saved the life of a bunch of Pokemon by using this practice, which explains why I never failed in my job. By the way, I’m also the only nurse in this region to know how to apply such a treatment. Many of my kind tried to imitate me, but none of them had been able to replicate my accomplishment yet.”

Flannery: “That must be totally outstanding! If all this is true, so I’ll go for it! Can you please use this practice to save my Torkoal?”

Nurse Joy: “That’s part of my possibilities. However, there’s no way we get anything without giving something else in return with this kind of practice. Consequently, such a radical mean has its price.”

Flannery: “A price? What sort of price are you talking about?”

Nurse Joy: “Knowledge in exchange of a second chance. I can rebuild a new life in Torkoal’s body, but this can’t be done without a counterpart. To best achieve this, all his fighting skills must be reinitialized too.”

Flannery: “Heh?!”

Nurse Joy: “You heard me well. What I’m using to perform this treatment will reset all the things Torkoal had learnt through his battles since the day of his birth, which means that he’ll have to relearn everything. By any chance, I should be able to preserve two of his moves, but I can’t predict in advance which moves will be saved.”

Flannery: (Is she really serious when she says that? That sounds purely impossible! But at the same time, it looks like she’s not kidding at all. All this story sounds so mind-blowing to me… I’m confused.)

Nurse Joy: “The operation will last one hour, clock in hand. The rest will depend on you. Well, if you’re patient enough to undertake his rehabilitation in Reborn, of course.”

 

That was a bit of shock for Flannery. Healing a Pokemon on the verge of passing on so easily sounded unimaginable to her. She remained quiet for a moment, eyes wide open. Then, tears of happiness began to roll down her sweet face. Torkoal wasn’t going to die.

 

Nurse Joy: “So, what do you say?”

Flannery: “*snif*…I want it.”

Nurse Joy: “Hm, can you repeat, please?”

Flannery: “I want it… I want you to heal my Torkoal. My Pokemon are my only family. I can’t imagine my life without them. And I would even say that I’m willing to make any sacrifice to stay with them.”

Nurse Joy: “Right answer!”

Flannery: “Me and Torkoal have grown up together. He’s the first Pokemon I’ve caught. And I refuse to see a part of myself burning down. For me, this is THE choice to make!”

Nurse Joy: “And it will be respected. As I said, the surgery will last one hour, no more no less. Meanwhile, make yourself comfortable on one of the couches.”

Flannery: “Yes, that’s what I’m going to do. Just promise me that everything will be alright for him.”

Nurse Joy: “It will be carried out in the best conditions, I give my word for it. After all, people don’t call me the best nurse of Reborn for nothing. *wink*”

Flannery: “If you say so. Thank you again! Thank you so much for everything! You’re an extraordinary person!”

Nurse Joy: “You’re welcome! This goes straight to me heart!”

Flannery: “You deserve it! Well, I’m going to rest a little. Good luck with the operation!”

Nurse Joy: “Thank you, I’ll need it. Rest well! And most of all, stay strong!”

 

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This concluded the discussion. On the advice of Nurse Joy, Flannery made her way to one of the couches near the entrance to wait and release all her emotions. In the meantime, Ame was accompanying Victoria upstairs, allowing her to pick the starter she had planned to choose. For obvious reason, a wind of emptiness and frustration was blowing on the two damsels, especially on Victoria who had a profound disdain for thieves in general.

 

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Ame: “Here we are!”

Victoria: “Damn it! Those thugs didn’t pull any punches in it! Flannery was right, there’s no way we’re going to forgive such a despicable act!”

Ame: “I share her opinion too. But we can’t allow ourselves to lament endlessly. We have to move on with what we’ve got until we can close this case.”

Victoria: “Isn’t there any clue that could help us to identify these people?”

Ame: “I’ve already gone over this room with a fine-tooth comb several times, and sadly, they left nothing to chance. Anyway, our best source of information is waiting for us downstairs. And I’ll make him talk, I assure you. I have ways for this!”

Victoria: “I believe you, Ame. Well, I’ll pick my starter now.”

Ame: “Okay.”

 

Not wishing to waste too much time, Victoria moved between two red and green tables on which was displayed the rest of Fire and Grass starters while reading the names written on the Pokeballs. She reached the end of the room. Her choice was already predefined, and it fell on one of the last available Fire Pokemon.

 

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Victoria: “Litten, I choose you!”

 

Victoria grabbed the Pokeball and hooked it on her sash before to go back to Ame.

 

Ame: “Well, that was short!”

Victoria: “That’s what I’ve decided from the beginning. As a beginner in Pokemon training, I’d prefer to fight along with a Pokemon I can identify with.”

Ame: “Just like almost any other new participant. I understand it. You’ll see, you’ll learn better this way. Don’t forget to always treat it well, and everything will be alright.”

Victoria: “I’ll do everything in my power to make it so, you can count on me. Being Kiki’s apprentice myself, I would like to defend my honor.”

Ame: “As long as you put your mind on it, there’s no reason to think the contrary.”

Victoria: “That’s right. Thank you, Ame!”

Ame: “You’re welcome!”

 

After that, Ame turned the heels toward the staircase leading to the floor below.

 

Ame: “Great, let’s get down to business again. We still have a detainee to interrogate. Would you like to come with me?”

Victoria: “I’d be delighted to.”

Ame: “Marvelous!”

 

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The two women went down the stairs together to start the questioning. Ame, who was sick of waiting, rubbed her hands with a vicious smirk on her face. Obviously, she knew well how to ‘deal’ with this type of individual. For her part, Flannery was sitting on a couch in the rest area of the Grand Hall, legs crossed. Even if she knew that the price of Torkoal’s recovery was going to force her to start his training all over again, she appeared to be more than relieved to know that he would still alive. Minutes kept passing by. While waiting for Nurse Joy’s feedback, Flannery whispered to herself.

 

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Flannery: (Grandpa. I think… I think I’ve never been so moved in my entire life. Everything has blown up on me at breakneck speed since I’ve set foot in this town. But despite all these hardships, I’m still myself. And everything we’ve worked for all these years together won’t get lost in the end. Me and my Pokemon have still a chance to prove to the whole world that we exist. Maybe Torkoal won’t find back the same combativeness he once had… but at least… he will live. He can stay with me. And this is without a doubt the best gift I’ve ever received. I’m so… so happy to know we can stay together. Me and my Pokemon… the first I’ve caught. If you can support me from where you are… if you ever can look into my heart… so please… give me a sign.)

 

Then, suddenly, just at the moment Flannery made her wish, a weird young man of androgynous style dressed all in purple appeared in the Grand Hall. He had hair of the same color as his jacket, and was wearing fishnets. He saw the redhead sat on the couch, eyes closed with a hand on her heart. The strange character came closer to her, then with smooth gesture, he laid a hand on the shoulder of the beautiful fire girl.

 

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???: “Heyyy, beauty!”

 

Without meaning to, he startled the redhead.

 

Flannery: “HAAA! WHO’S THERE!?”

 

In her surprise, Flannery turned around suddenly and unintentionally hit the face of the strange individual with her big ponytail, pushing him off balance and making him almost fall. Then, she looked at him for a moment. For obvious reasons, she looked more than impressed by his dressing style than anything else. The boy answered while covering his right cheek with his hand.

 

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???: “Ouch… damn! It’s been a while since I haven’t been beat like this by anyone. Wow!”

Flannery: “Are you… alright?”

???: “That’s fine, that’s fine. I’d rather ask this question to you. I hope I didn’t surprise you too much.”

Flannery: “Um… no, no. I’m alright. It’s just that… GOD DAMN IT!!! I thought my heart was about to explode!”

???: “Ow, that would have been unfortunate. ‘Cause if your heart is like your hair… well, sorry, I’m going off script. Haven’t you seen Ame by any chance?”

Flannery: “Ame you said? She’s currently accompanying someone upstairs for a starter selection.”

???: “Okay, that explains everything! And yeah, we haven’t introduced each other yet, have we? Name’s Cain, what’s yours?”

Flannery: “Nice to meet you, Cain. I’m Flannery, the ex-Gym Leader of Lavaridge Town.”

Cain: “Mmm, Flannery! What a pretty name you have! And you say you’re a Gym Leader, that’s it? Sounds like we have more things in common than it seems in the end. I like it!”

 

The punky-looking boy sat down next to the firehead to continue the conversation. He seemed to really appreciate Flannery’s company.

 

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Flannery: “Why are you saying this? Are you a Gym Leader too?”

Cain: “Well. In fact, I… no, not really. Um, I mean… not directly. It’s just that… I came to resi… well, I wanted to start over.”

Flannery: “Seriously? That’s quite a coincidence! Believe me or not, I came here exactly for the same reason. I left from Hoenn to take on the Reborn League!”

Cain: “Glad to hear it! This makes me feel less lonely now, haha.”

Flannery: “Hihi, same for me.”

Cain: “That’s cool! By the way, I’ve already intended several times to take a vacation in Hoenn since I’ve heard some good stuff about this region. Towns… beaches… people… But hey, there’s still a lot of things that keeps me here, you know. So, travelling that far would be a bit inappropriate for me at the moment.”

Flannery: “I know how it feels like. Even for me, it wasn’t a sure thing for me to come here. But without being inquisitive… what’s keeping you in Reborn?”

Cain: “Do you really want to know? All right. Well, this is because of my fa…”

 

But right before Cain could give more explanation to Flannery, Nurse Joy suddenly appeared in front of them. The purple-haired boy saw her at the last minute, he felt shut by her unexpected presence.

 

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Nurse Joy: “Hello again! How are you all doing here?”

Flannery: “Oh! Hello again, madam! It’s going pretty… well.”

Nurse Joy: “Glad to know it! I have some good news for you.”

Flannery: “Good news you said? Is Torkoal’s operation over?”

Nurse Joy: “Yes! This surgery may have played a lot with my mental and physical tenacity, all the steps of the healing process have been achieved properly. In fact, I was going to invite you to see the results by yourself. Will you come?”

 

Cain, who had no idea of what was happening, allowed himself to ask Flannery a question to know what this talking was about.

 

Cain: “Um… could someone tell me what’s actually happening? I don’t understand what you’re talking about.”

Flannery: “Oh yes, that’s true. I haven’t told you yet. Cain… did you notice that there was a train accident at Grandview Station?”

Cain: “An accident? At Grandview Station?!... Oh Lord! So that’s where this big cloud of dark smoke came from! Now that you mention it, yes, I did see something when I was on the road to the Grand Hall. But I didn’t know it was bound to a train accident!”

Flannery: “Yet, that was the case. Me and Ame had managed to escape from this train in extremis. And without the intervention of my Pokemon, Torkoal, things would have turned to disaster for all of us.”

Cain: “What? You’ve been saved… by your Torkoal?”

Flannery: “Yes, that’s what he did. He pushed me out of it at the last moment. You can interpret it as a sort of heroic rescue if you prefer. However, things were particularly harsh for him after that, and he severely injured himself in his fall.”

Cain: “Then, you’ve brought him here to heal him. Okayyyyy, I know the drill! You really have a hero as a Pokemon indeed!”

Nurse Joy: “And this same hero is waiting for his mistress to come back at this very moment. He’s right beside the counter. Do you want to come now?”

Flannery: “And how! I was going crazy with this wait! Let’s see the results of this operation together. Torkoal, here I am!”

Cain: “Kaykay! I’m coming with you~”

 

Thus, Flannery went back to the counter with Nurse Joy and Cain. Her heartbeats had started all over again like a rekindled fire when she saw the Coal Pokemon waiting for her return in the manner of a little child who was looking from left to right for his mother. Then, as she approached him, Torkoal saw her and smiled at his mistress from where he was standing. The furnace in his shell was shining again, and his body looked like it was purified of all his sufferings. But what was even more impressive was that there was no bandage on him, which didn’t fail to astound the charming fire trainer.

 

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Flannery: “Oh, jeez! He doesn’t look injured anymore! This is unbelievable! It’s as if he has never been in an accident ever.”

Cain: “Was he really in such a bad shape before?”

Flannery: “You have no idea, Cain.”

Nurse Joy: “You’re surprised, aren’t you? Your Pokemon has received a radical treatment that now guarantees him an extended life expectancy. This is a pure professional job. All trace of his passage in the operating room is invisible. Purely and simply.”

Flannery: “That’s what I’ve noticed. There’s no bruise on his body anymore. He can even stand on his four legs again. I can’t believe it! I don’t know how you’ve proceeded and I would even say that it’s totally beyond me. I’m just so happy to see him in good shape again! It’s a miracle!”

Nurse Joy: “And still, you haven’t seen everything yet. He can also drink, eat, speak, breath and obey simple instructions. As you guessed, we’ve used the opportunity to run some tests to gauge his reflexes and make sure of the total restoration of his cognitive capacities. But since this restoration couldn’t be done without giving a little something in return, unfortunately, we’ve came back to the starting point concerning his fighting skills in a general sense.”

Flannery: “Did he really regress that much? Will he be able to fight again someday?”

Nurse Joy: “Double yes. As a companion Pokemon, everything is set for him, but as a fighter, this Torkoal is now a mere shadow of his former self. An intensive rehabilitation will be needed to help him to find his former strength back, and as you may know, this won’t get done in one day.”

Flannery: “…Well, I’ll deal with it. At least, I’m glad to know he recovered. This being said, the first time you explained me what it could entail, I feared he was condemned to live in a vegetative state for the rest of his life. I’m still carrying a whole life of Gym Leader behind me after all!”

Nurse Joy: “Yet, the results are more positive than they seemed. I simply hope you won’t feel too overwhelmed by this regression.”

Flannery: “As long as he still has the will to fight, I’ll know how to be patient.”

Nurse Joy: “Splendid! Oh, before I forget, just let me make one thing clear about his moves. He now knows the two moves instinctively learned by a newborn Torkoal: Ember and Smog. Furthermore, we eventually managed to preserve two of the moves he used to know before the accident. And to be honest, you are very lucky with this.”

Flannery: “Very lucky? For real!? What other moves can Torkoal still use?”

Nurse Joy: “Protect and Overheat!”

 

While Flannery was more than delighted to know that Torkoal could still use these moves in particular, Cain, who was closely following the conversation, looked particularly amazed by the potential of the Fire Pokemon.

 

Cain: “Oh my lord! Overheat! No less!? You must really be the kind of person who loves to turn up the heat during battles, am I right?”

 

The redhead bashfully answered to the admiring boy.

 

Flannery: “Um… yes. That must be it.”

 

Even if she didn’t show it, Flannery actually felt more relaxed. Cain’s comments seemed to help her to relativize. Then, as she took consciousness of the consequences of the treatment, she wondered if it was possible to start Torkoal’s reeducation right away. Thus, she questioned the nurse.

 

Flannery: “Oh! Just… may I ask you one last question, madam?”

Nurse Joy: “Yes? What do you want to know?”

Flannery: “Since Torkoal is back on his feet, is it possible for him to battle here and now? I would like to re-educate him as soon as possible.”

Nurse Joy: “Yes. In the end, I don’t think there should be any problem with that. From what I’ve seen, your Pokemon is now clearly in better health than when you’ve brought him to me. As long as these battles will not involve too much effort, he should be alright.”

Flannery: “Perfect! Absolutely perfect!”

 

With the agreement of Nurse Joy, Flannery glanced maliciously at Cain with a smirk on her face, which didn’t fail to turn on the purple-haired boy. In fact, he already had his own idea about what she had in mind.

 

Flannery: “So, Cain? Up for a little fight against me? I’m sure you’d like to see the fruit of this recovery too.”

 

Against all odds, Cain looked pretty interested by the proposal of the ex-Gym Leader. But at the same time, he also felt a bit intimidated by the fieriness of the latter. Unable to cover up his shyness, he answered to her with a red face.

 

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Cain: “Well… I suppose we could learn more from each other through a battle, right? So be it, I accept your challenge.”

Flannery: “Yaaay! Thank you!”

Cain: “You’re welcome~”

 

Thus, the two young people took their position opposite each other next to the health center of the Grand Hall. Nurse Joy went back to her place behind the counter and decided to serve as an arbiter for this confrontation. The two trainers were ready to send their Pokemon to the battle.

 

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Nurse Joy: “So be it, may the best team win. And most of all, play nice! I don’t want to hear about serious injuries anymore! Well… at least, not for a few days, of course.”

Flannery: “That’s okay for me.”

Cain: “For me too. Can we begin now?”

Flannery: “Ready when you are!”

Cain: “Marvelous~”

 

Spoiler

 

 

In spite of Torkoal’s considerable power loss, the latter had still enough to defeat Cain’s Nidoran in one Overheat. Unable to use his strength anymore, the Poison Pin Pokemon weakly fell to the ground, covered with soot from top to toe. This quickly concluded the battle, and Flannery won her first victory in Reborn. The nurse felt particularly proud of the result of this surgical intervention and applauded the victorious redhead for this performance. But Cain was undoubtedly the most shaken of the three. He couldn’t believe how fast the battle has ended.

 

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Cain: “HOLY PEPPERONI!! That was so fast! I didn’t see anything coming!”

Flannery: “Wohow! Looks like the techniques we’ve honed during all these years are still very effective in the end.”

Cain: “I saw that! Well done, you know how to set fire indeed!”

Flannery: “Hahaha, thank you, Cain!”

 

Flannery felt boosted again. Without wasting more time than necessary, she and Cain hurried to make their Pokemon return into their respective Pokeballs and gave them to Nurse Joy, so she could heal them. Because even if Torkoal didn’t take a lot of damage, Flannery didn’t want to leave anything to chance. She thought it was preferable to optimize health care for her Pokemon over the whole period of the rehabilitation. Besides, the healing system of the Grand Hall was as fast and effective in Reborn as elsewhere in Hoenn. As soon as the nurse had put the two Pokeballs in the healing machine, the Pokemon were already in full health. She gave it back to their respective owners shortly after that.

 

Nurse Joy: “There, all set! I hope to see you soon!”

Flannery & Cain: “Thank you! Have a nice day!”

 

Then, once they took back their Pokemon, Cain talked to Flannery as they moved away from the medical area. He couldn’t hide his admiration for her talents as a Pokemon trainer.

 

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Cain: “Seriously, Flannery! You should have told me you had such a high level! I’ve never seen it before!”

Flannery: “Now you know why I’ve been a Gym Leader all this time. I’m glad you still appreciate my style even after what happened to my Pokemon. Do you really think it was so impressive?”

Cain: “Oh yes, it was! And believe me, it’s not every day a fight has such an effect on me. You’re combining strength and elegance so well. For a moment, I felt like I was… possessed by you.”

 

Flannery was amused by Cain and his way of expressing compliments. Even though she had difficulty to remain serious, she tried to explain him where and how she got this mastery of combat.

 

Flannery: “This is very kind of you to compliment me, Cain. You know, when I was a little girl, I’ve spent a lot of time with my grandfather. He almost shared the entirety of his knowledge with me, especially some of his techniques for battles. He even was a member of the Elite Four. This should give you an idea of who I get it from.”

Cain: “Oh myyy! Is that true?”

Flannery: “Yes, it is!”

Cain: “Wow, what a family! In that case, that should explain a lot of things. Who knows? Maybe a part of him is still living inside of you. I would have love meeting more people like this in my life. In Hoenn more than anywhere else, they seem to be more open-minded about some things. More open-minded than Reborn folks, definitely!”

Flannery: “Haha, yes! That’s what I’ve noticed!”

 

Flannery took a moment to speak about her grandfather to Cain. They seemed to get along pretty well together. But as Flannery was about to go further in childhood details, Victoria appeared and approached them.

 

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Victoria: “Ah, Flannery! You’re here!”

Flannery: “Hello, Victoria! You took a long time up there! Did you get the starter you wished for?”

Victoria: “Yes, it’s done. However, I’ve also accompanied Ame for the questioning downstairs, which is kind of the whole reason why you haven’t seen me coming back then.”

Flannery: “Ah, okay! Be reassured. I’ve finally managed to pass time somehow. Could you tell me how things have gone down there? Did Ame manage to obtain information about the robbers?”

Victoria: “Well, um… how can I say? Ame has some… very specific way to deal with detainees, if you know what I mean. But at least, we now know who has stolen the starters. You should go talk to her. She’s out there.”

Flannery: “I’ll think about it, thank you!”

Cain: “Aw, great! So, Ame is available again, that’s it?”

Victoria: “Yes, she’s back. And you… you’re Cain, right?”

Cain: “Absolutely, this is me. Nice to meet you by the way~”

Victoria: “Thanks. She asked me to check if a young man with fishnets and spiky purple hair wasn’t waiting in the Grand Hall. She would like meet you.”

Cain: “Meeting me? Ow, nice! Sounds like my time for registration has finally come. Thank you for letting me know, master~”

Victoria: “Master?”

Flannery: “What?”

Cain: “*giggles* Nothing~”

Victoria: “Hm… you’re welcome.”

Cain: “Great! See ya~”

 

Then, without further discussion, Cain saluted Flannery and Victoria and went toward the main office of the building to get officially recognized as a participant of the Reborn League challenge. In the meantime, Victoria talked a little with Flannery. Since she knew that Torkoal was in the infirmary, she wanted to be informed about his health status.

 

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Victoria: “So… do you know how things are going with Torkoal? Is he okay? Can he be saved?”

Flannery: “I actually was hoping you’d ask me this question. Torkoal is healed! And that’s not all! He’s feeling so good that he can even fight again!”

Victoria: “Great! That’s good news! Honestly, I thought it would take much longer than that. I guess this pleased you a lot, am I right?”

Flannery: “For sure! You can’t imagine how pleased I am! However, there is a drawback.”

Victoria: “A drawback? Which drawback?”

Flannery: “The following drawback. The means used to make his recovery possible have caused a sort of ‘reboot’ of his fighting abilities. According to the nurse, Torkoal now has a strength equivalent to a newborn Torkoal’s strength. Now, I have to assume his rehabilitation if I want to have a chance to fix it.”

 

Bewildered and puzzled at the same time, Victoria was filled with questions. This type of recovery was kind of exclusive to her.

 

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Victoria: “Hm. That sounds very strange. I’ve never heard of such a phenomenon before. An accelerated recovery followed by a power loss of the Pokemon… I wonder what this nurse is using for saving injured Pokemon. That must certainly be something extremely powerful.”

Flannery: “Yeah, I don’t know either. The only thing I can confirm is that he’s still alive. And just for that, I’ll keep this woman in my heart forever.”

Victoria: “I understand. Well, so… how about a battle with me? I would like to see if your Pokemon is doing as well as you’re saying.”

Flannery: “Why not? I’ve already beat Cain, you know? I’ll be happy to show you a little demonstration of my battle against him if you insist.”

Victoria: “Good! So, let’s go!”

 

Thus, without further delay, Flannery and Victoria went do the center of west alley to better start their confrontation.

 

Victoria: “I’m ready!”

Flannery: “Me too! May the best woman win!”

 

Spoiler

 

 

Just like she did sooner with Cain’s Nidoran, Flannery used Torkoal to fight against Victoria’s starter, Litten. Except this time, this battle was much tougher than the previous one. Litten’s capacity to take Fire attacks was a minus for the blazing turtle who struggled to survive scratches from the Cat Pokemon. Despite those difficulties, Torkoal eventually managed to knock him down by poisoning him with Smog, thereby granting a second victory to his dear mistress. Even though it was hard to admit, Flannery couldn’t deny it: Torkoal had indeed lost the major part of his strength.

 

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Flannery: “Pchiou! That was so close!”

Victoria: “I saw it! This wasn’t an easy match. You’re doing a pretty good job as a Pokemon trainer indeed!”

Flannery: “Thank you! You have quite some potential too!”

 

The two women congratulated each other, then made their Pokemon return back to their respective Pokeballs. They hurried to meet Nurse Joy to get them healed and gave her their Pokeballs. However, this victory has left a bitter taste in Flannery’s mouth. She, who have managed not to lose a single battle for two years, couldn’t believe she could now get cornered by ordinary trainers that easily. She felt like she just turned into a weaker version of herself, and made it known to Victoria while Nurse Joy was healing their Pokemon.

 

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Flannery: “*sigh* There’s no doubt on it, I definitely have lost my glory.”

Victoria: “Yes, I have some ideas what it’s like. Since you were a Gym Leader, I suppose you’ve got used to take advantage on your adversary more easily.”

Flannery: “You’re partly right. It’s just that… it hurts to know that I’ll have to start everything over again. This difference… it’s as if a feared and proud Gyarados just found itself condemned to reborn into a Magikarp like a hundred thousand other Magikarp, petty and lost in the mass. This is basically how I feel at this very moment.”

 

Flannery was depressed. Even if she knew she could reverse the present situation, she actually felt like she had the head stuck into a thick cloud of melancholy. Wishing to cheer her up, Victoria said the following words to her.

 

Victoria: “Come on, Flannery. Don’t give up! You’ll see, there are plenty of new trainers to challenge in Reborn. You’ll have all the time you need to regain experience during your stay. And by the way… haven’t you told me that you had two Pokemon by your side?”

Flannery: “Yes. Vulpix. She’s somewhere in town. And I can find her back, I’m sure. If I ever succeed in it, at least, Torkoal will still be able to train with her.”

Victoria: “You see! This is how you should feel things! Nothing is lost forever!”

Flannery: “I swear, I’ll do everything for it! We’ll get stronger and unit again! Just like a real family!”

 

But the moment Flannery said these words, Nurse Joy, who was listening carefully to the conversation from behind the counter, took on a sad look and sighed. For an instant, she covered her right eyes with her fist, as if she wanted to wipe away a tear which was about to come out. The ambassador saw it at the last moment and asked her if everything was okay.

 

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Flannery: “Oh. Are you alright, madam? You’re not looking so good.”

Nurse Joy: “I… I’m fine, thank you. I wish I… hm… I didn’t sleep that much these last few days. All this work is playing a lot with my emotions… lots of pressure… you know what it is.”

Victoria: “Of course. You should allow yourself a little time off once in a while. You’ll see, you’ll feel better then.”

Nurse Joy: “Yes… probably.”

 

Then, while the two women took back their Pokeballs, Cain popped up next to them.

 

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Cain: “Heyy!”

Victoria: “Hm? Oh, Cain! This is you! What’s up?”

Cain: “My registration is over. Ame is waiting for you guys when you’re done.”

Flannery: “Excellent, that’s good news! But… what are you going to do now?”

Cain: “Me? I’m gonna hit the road and toughen me up a little. Take good care of yourselves until then. See ya~”

Flannery & Victoria: “See you, Cain!”

 

Thus, the two girls walked up to the main office where Ame was standing while Cain was leaving the Grand Hall, glad to have confirmed his status as a Reborn League challenger. Flannery and Victoria were about to put an end to their registration too, so they could take on the league as well.

 

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Victoria: “Sorry to keep you waiting!”

Ame: “No worries. Actually, I took care of the documentation while you two were finishing.”

 

Just before to go ahead with the procedure, Ame asked Flannery if everything was back to normal concerning Torkoal. She turned to her and questioned her.

 

Ame: “Very good. Before we could start, I would like to know. Is your Torkoal doing better, Flannery?”

Flannery: “Yes! According to the nurse, he’s out of danger. Even better, he can fight again. I already won two battles with him just now, so yes, everything is back to normal.”

Ame: “Impressive! I’m happy for you! It’s good to know there are still competent people we can count on among our employees in the Grand Hall.”

Flannery: “Yes, for sure! Haha.”

Victoria: “…”

Ame: “Great! So be it, all that's left is to give you these.”

 

The snowy haired Champion was about to assign their trainer cards to Flannery and Victoria. She also had some additional devices to give then in order to complete their registration.

 

Ame: “Here come your trainer cards. They prove your recognition as challengers of the Reborn League. Keep them preciously.”

Flannery: “Thank you a lot, Ame! Don’t worry, I’ll be careful!”

Ame: “I’m sure you’ll be. Please also accept these devices from me and the rest of the league: the Pokedex and the Pokegear. You know the drill here, I guess.”

Victoria: “Of course, thank you Ame!”

Flannery: “Yay, that looks cool! But… can you please explain me what the Pokegear is made for? I’ve never heard of this thing before.”

Ame: “Sure. The Pokegear is a brand-new technology exclusive to Reborn. You can use it to check the regional card and listen to music wherever you go and whenever you want.”

Flannery: “Aw okay, I got it! It works the same way as a PokéNav without the call functionality, that’s it?”

Ame: “Yeah… I suppose you can put it like that. Just so you know, the release date of the Pokegear is still very recent, so it’s very likely to see more applications become available in a near future.”

Flannery: “Understood! So, I’ll try to stay informed by then. Thank you again!”

Ame: “You’re welcome!”

 

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Thus ended Flannery’s registration. She and Victoria were fully prepared for the challenge of the Reborn League. However, Ame wished to have a few words with the fire girl to keep her informed about what she heard from the questioning before to let her go.

 

Ame: “Congratulations! Now that you’re all prepared, I would like to have a couple of words with you both.”

Flannery: “If it’s about the starter thief, so go for it. I’m all ears.”

Ame: “Perfect.”

Victoria: “Is that really necessary for me to stay with you? I mean… I already know everything about this story since I was with you downstairs. Besides, I would like to bring this information to Apophyll Academy. Kiki needs to know what happened in here.”

Ame: “Of course. Don’t forget that you and Flannery have both carte blanche to resolve this issue. Consequently, you can act as you like and as long as you know what you’re doing.”

Flannery: “Hm… Kiki… it sounds like I’ve already heard this name from you, Victoria. Sorry for being indiscreet, but… who is Kiki?”

Victoria: “Kiki is my teacher. I’m an apprentice of Apophyll Academy. It's in the Azurine Region of Reborn. Haven’t I told you yet?”

Flannery: “Ah yes, that’s true! You’ve already told me about it earlier indeed. I’ve forgotten, sorry.”

Victoria: “There’s no need to apologize. After all, you’ll end up meeting her during your wanderings, sooner or later. Just so you know, Kiki is Reborn’s Fighting Type Gym Leader.”

Flannery: “Really? Well… I didn’t know that. Thank you for telling me!”

Victoria: “No problem. To summarize, I need to go to the academy, warn Kiki, and find you back here. Then, we’ll investigate together. See you later!”

Flannery: “Goodbye, Victoria!”

 

Because she knew that the route between Opal Ward and Apophyll was going to be a long walk, Victoria rushed hastily across the Grand Hall to reach the exit, leaving Flannery and Ame alone in the office.

 

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Ame: “Okay! Now we can talk!”

Flannery: “All right, I’m listening. So… what did you find out?”

Ame: “From what I heard from our detainee, I now have the certitude that his comrades are still hiding somewhere in the city. Even better, I know where they are holed up. Apparently, they’ve planned to cloistered themselves inside of the abandoned premises of Mosswater Factory. This is a big building formerly specialized in water cleaning and sewage treatment located in the middle of Peridot Ward. That’s not too far from Julia’s Gym, so you can’t miss it.”

Flannery: “Thank you for the info! At least, I now know where I can strike them. Did he tell you something else?”

Ame: “Yes. This took us a lot of patience, but he finally admitted that his little circle of friends was actually not as small as we thought. He wasn’t acting of his free will, he had orders to execute. According to this man, he would be part of an already well-established hierarchy.”

Flannery: “So, he was indeed a member of a criminal organization… I should have known that myself. And by any chance, did he tell you what this organization is called? Did you hear a name?”

Ame: “Um… unfortunately, not. Which is also quite a shame for him. Because of his stubbornness, he probably won’t be able to sit again before the next century.”

Flannery: “*Gulp*…Sure, I can imagine it. And it’s all? He didn’t tell you more?”

Ame: “In fact… yes. But I don’t think you’ll appreciate what’s about to come next. Do you still want to know?”

Flannery: “Yes, of course! If it can help me to maximize my chances to take my enemies down, so I got to know more about them.”

Ame: “…good.”

 

The Champion of the league took a more serious face. She, however, feared that what she was going to say could hurt the redhead.

 

Ame: “*sigh* This truth risks to be particularly difficult to swallow. But since Victoria is already aware of this fact, it wouldn’t be fair to keep you away from what we all know. In reality, the accident in Grandview Station was a diversion to get the attention of the Grand Hall away from the starter theft. A mean to an end to be exact. The goal of this plot was to widespread panic on the one hand, and on the other hand, they could benefit from our best Pokemon to significantly strengthen their ranks.”

Flannery: “Gh…”

Ame: “Now you know. Those people who robbed the Grand Hall are the same who have triggered the destruction of the train in Peridot Ward.”

 

Flannery didn’t say anything. In her mind, this discovery had the effect of a bomb. Her muscles and bones seemed to liquify, and she had difficulties to stand still. There was nothing but contempt and grudge in her.

 

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Flannery: “…”

Ame: “…Flannery?”

Flannery: “So… this is because of these people if Jacques and other innocents have lost their lives?... May they die in hell! ALL OF THEM!!!”

Ame: “Flannery, please! Control yourself!”

Flannery: “This is so much easier said than done! These passengers are dead for no reason! There’s nothing that could justify such an atrocity! NOTHING!!”

Ame: “I know. And believe me, I share your revulsion. The moment I heard it, I immediately called several of my best men and ordered them to patrol and investigate the train station.”

Flannery: “This is unforgivable! This is mad! That world is mad! Everything happens exactly as Jacques has predicted!”

Ame: “Yeah, let’s talk about Jacques while we’re at it.”

Flannery: “Huh? You want to talk about him?”

Ame: “Yes. In fact, when I’ve returned to the Grand Hall, I hoped he could eventually be somewhere around here, but I didn’t see him. So, he’s either dead-burned in the rubble of the station, or he’s roaming unconscious in the streets of Peridot Ward. But to be honest, under the current circumstances, the first scenario remains the most likely to me.”

Flannery: “But how can you claim it since no one has found him yet? It makes no sense.”

 

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Ame: “This is precisely why I’ve sent some policemen to search in this area. We have to pool all the human and material resources we have available to shed light on this case concerning him. Anyway, I prefer to tell you now. If Jacques appears to be dead or if he doesn’t show up in the Grand Hall in the next 48 hours, I’ll find myself forced to erase his name from the list of the Reborn League members permanently.”

Flannery: “Oh…”

Ame: “I’m really sorry, but this is how things work in here.”

Flannery: “This is… um, I… I understand. Maybe I should try to look for him as well.”

Ame: “I wouldn’t hold out too much hope if I were you. However, if you ever manage to make your way to Mosswater Factory and get the missing starters out of there, I will make sure you get a reward for it. We have policemen standing on every corner of Peridot Ward, so it’s just a matter of time before the thieves get caught with their hands in the cookie jar.”

Flannery: “So be it! You can count on me to rescue the starters from the hands of these rogues. I will make them pay anyway!”

Ame: “I believe in you, Flannery!”

Flannery: “Excellent! Goodbye, Ame!”

 

But as Flannery was about to leave and meet Julia in Peridot Ward, Ame stopped her in her rush. She still had something to add.

 

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Ame: “Just one more thing. I know about Vulpix.”

Flannery: “Eh!? You… you know what?”

Ame: “Vulpix. The other Pokemon you’ve brought with you in Reborn. I’m aware of what’s happening with her at this very moment. You know, Julia called me during the questioning, and she explained me she needed some assistance to look for a certain Vulpix you’d have apparently lost.”

Flannery: “This is true. Shortly after you went away, I didn’t have Vulpix’s Pokeball on me anymore, so I’ve decided to team up with Julia to try to find her and get her back.”

Ame: “That’s what she told me too. And just like you, I also think there might be a chance that she survived the explosion. But…”

Flannery: “But what?”

Ame: “…you must hurry, Flannery!”

Flannery: “What?”

Ame: “You have to run! Outside of our reintegration perimeters, the chances of survival for wandering Pokemon are significantly reduced. The evidence lies in the numerous reports we got relating on ill-treated Pokemon.”

 

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Flannery: “Heeh!? Ill-treated Pokemon?!”

Ame: “Don’t you know what I’m hinting at, Flannery?”

Flannery: “…”

Ame: “…”

 

Then, all of a sudden, cold sweat began to pour off the forehead of the anxious Flannery. It didn’t take long to make her realize the gravity of the present situation.

 

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Flannery: “OH NO!! NOT MY BABY!!!”

 

Terrified like never before, Flannery turned back on Ame without even saying goodbye, and dashed across the Grand Hall like a fiery rocket toward the exit. She sensed that a danger was threatening the sweet Fox Pokemon and couldn’t tolerate even for a single moment that someone could harm her. Now, every second that went by was crucial, and the strain has become too much to stay quiet. Putting all her chips on Torkoal’s recovery, Flannery was ready to deal with anyone who was going to stand between her and Vulpix.

 

Flannery: “Vulpix, my dear! Hold on! I’ll get you out of here!”

 

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POKEMON TEAM

Spoiler

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Torkoal/Male/Level 6

Nature: Naive/Ability: White Smoke

Held Item: None

Moveset: Ember/Smog/Protect/Overheat

 

QUICK LINK TO NEXT EPISODE

 

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Interesting way to, so to speak, "reset" Torkoal. I liked how you didn't give Torkoal like the best kind of moveset. I mean yea. Overheat is powerful as hell but it has a drawback on it as well. Loved how you basically had the 2 rival battles have a reason to them. To reteach your Torkaol how to battle again. And VERY nice touch with some of the starters getting stolen. Overall, very nice read and can't wait for Episode 17. 🙂

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On 7/26/2019 at 8:05 PM, Majin J-Awesome_One said:

Interesting way to, so to speak, "reset" Torkoal. I liked how you didn't give Torkoal like the best kind of moveset. I mean yea. Overheat is powerful as hell but it has a drawback on it as well. Loved how you basically had the 2 rival battles have a reason to them. To reteach your Torkaol how to battle again. And VERY nice touch with some of the starters getting stolen. Overall, very nice read and can't wait for Episode 17. 🙂

Thank you 🙂

Yes, this is what I've planned from the beginning. To decrease Torkoal's level, there had to be an initiating event. The accident in Grandview Station was exactly what we needed to make it happen. Also, his moveset should be pretty balanced indeed. And I don't consider him to be invisible at all, we have a video evidence after all. Speaking of battles, the fight against Aster & Eclipse remains the most dangerous to Flannery, in my opinion. All this to say that everything has its justification. Nothing has been thought impulsively. For example, I would have not allowed these battles to start if Torkoal was too weak to handle them. Fortunately, the Grand Hall has a super Nurse in its Pokemon Center, so his recovery has been made possible 😉

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17 minutes ago, Q-Jei said:

Thank you 🙂

Yes, this is what I've planned from the beginning. To decrease Torkoal's level, there had to be an initiating event.  The accident in Grandview Station was exactly what we needed to make it happen. Also, his moveset should be pretty balanced indeed. And I don't consider him to be invisible at all, we have a video evidence after all. Speaking of battles, the fight against Aster & Eclipse remains the most dangerous to Flannery, in my opinion. All this to say that everything has its justification. Nothing has been thought impulsively. For example, I would have not allowed these battles to start if Torkoal was too weak to handle them. Fortunately, the Grand Hall has a super Nurse in its Pokemon Center, so his recovery has been made possible 😉

Ohh yea... speaking of the nurse, I thought for some reason you were gonna make her secretly evil. Lol.

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so... I've been reading this for the past 4~4 1/2 hours...

 

Holy. Shit.

 

Firstly, you're a talented writer. You made a backstory for a character I've been wanting more for. And you made that backstory damn good. Gamefreak lost a lot of potential not giving her more attention...

 

Secondly, I am more motivated to actually write the story that I've wanted to for a long while. I'm actually going to start that now...

 

I cannot wait for more of this story.

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On 7/27/2019 at 1:18 AM, Majin J-Awesome_One said:

Ohh yea... speaking of the nurse, I thought for some reason you were gonna make her secretly evil. Lol.

Hehe, interesting! I would love to know what's brought you to think she could be evil. After all, she healed Flannery's Torkoal, and everything is alright now. So, I'm curious about your opinion. What would be the point of creating a malevolent character who performs miracles?

 

On 7/27/2019 at 1:55 PM, Shadow Rysing said:

so... I've been reading this for the past 4~4 1/2 hours...

 

Holy. Shit.

 

Firstly, you're a talented writer. You made a backstory for a character I've been wanting more for. And you made that backstory damn good. Gamefreak lost a lot of potential not giving her more attention...

 

Secondly, I am more motivated to actually write the story that I've wanted to for a long while. I'm actually going to start that now...

 

I cannot wait for more of this story.

Thank you very much for the compliment!

 

It's gonna be two years since I'm working on this run, and I'm glad to know that there are still people who discover it for the first time. As long as there are readers who will show interest to this story, my motivation will still be hold to the maximum level 🙂 At least, we both agree on the following subject: Flannery deserves more attention. I already noticed there are a lot of fans who think the same way about her, and that could be explained by several factors. Firstly first, Flannery is badass. Her tsundere attitude combined with her skill as a Fire Type Gym Leader makes her particularly attractive, and even more when you know she used to be novice Gym Leader. Consequently, she still has a lot to learn, which means that she can potentially grow up through numerous hardships. This piece of detail is very helpful and inspirational for writing. Also, the other factor that makes Flannery so appreciated is very simple: she's a Gym Leader. When we talk about Gym Leaders, we talk about characters who have a very short time spent in the public eye, Brock and Misty being the only exception. Fortunately, justice has been made in the manga for most of them, Flannery included. But still, this is also this ephemeral duration that reinforces this desire of seeing more of these characters, not to mention that Flannery's grandfather is a former member of the Elite 4. All this plus her gorgeous physical appearence makes Flannery a wonderful character with a lot of possible backstory to develop, which explains why I wrote a very big prologue before to set the story in Reborn 😄

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37 minutes ago, Q-Jei said:

Thank you very much for the compliment!

 

It's gonna be two years since I'm working on this run, and I'm glad to know that there are still people who discover it for the first time. As long as there are readers who will show interest to this story, my motivation will still be hold to the maximum level 🙂 At least, we both agree on the following subject: Flannery deserves more attention. I already noticed there are a lot of fans who think the same way about her, and that could be explained by several factors. Firstly first, Flannery is badass. Her tsundere attitude combined with her skill as a Fire Type Gym Leader makes her particularly attractive, and even more when you know she used to be novice Gym Leader. Consequently, she still has a lot to learn, which means that she can potentially grow up through numerous hardships. This piece of detail is very helpful and inspirational for writing. Also, the other factor that makes Flannery so appreciated is very simple: she's a Gym Leader. When we talk about Gym Leaders, we talk about characters who have a very short time spent in the public eye, Brock and Misty being the only exception. Fortunately, justice has been made in the manga for most of them, Flannery included. But still, this is also this ephemeral duration that reinforces this desire of seeing more of these characters, not to mention that Flannery's grandfather is a former member of the Elite 4. All this plus her gorgeous physical appearence makes Flannery a wonderful character with a lot of possible backstory to develop, which explains why I wrote a very big prologue before to set the story in Reborn 😄

Honestly though, that back story makes it. It rounds her character out very well, explains how she holds family and friends very closely, and explains why she gets as animated as she does. It's better than most of what I've seen Nintendo ever put out. 

 

If I get half the support you've gotten, I'd be working on it for that long as well. 

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3 hours ago, Q-Jei said:

Hehe, interesting! I would love to know what's brought you to think she could be evil. After all, she healed Flannery's Torkoal, and everything is alright now. So, I'm curious about your opinion. What would be the point of creating a malevolent character who does miracles?

It was more I thought before she was able to save Torkoal. I guess it was because if the wink and how uneasy Flannery felt afterwards that made me think that.

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On 7/28/2019 at 6:54 PM, Majin J-Awesome_One said:

It was more I thought before she was able to save Torkoal. I guess it was because if the wink and how uneasy Flannery felt afterwards that made me think that.

Well, I've actually made her a bit more eccentric than she's supposed to be. But in spite of being very talented in her field, she's still quite sensitive about certain things. This can be noticed shortly after Flannery's second victory. Reading between the lines can be good to spot some unspoken details 😉

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Sorry for the late reply as I'm being separated from my laptop but anyway, as usual this is a brilliant chapter.You have surprise me by changing the event in the grand hall like the pokemon being stolen and the interaction between Cain and Flannery. Also is it just me or does the nurse gives off an eerie feeling, like omg I thought she is an evil scientist that is going to turn Torkoal into a cyborg.Can't wait for the next episode Q-Jei thank you so much.

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1 hour ago, Angelkitsune said:

Sorry for the late reply as I'm being separated from my laptop but anyway, as usual this is a brilliant chapter.You have surprise me by changing the event in the grand hall like the pokemon being stolen and the interaction between Cain and Flannery. Also is it just me or does the nurse gives off an eerie feeling, like omg I thought she is an evil scientist that is going to turn Torkoal into a cyborg.Can't wait for the next episode Q-Jei thank you so much.

Omg! I thought the same thing with the nurse! Not evil scientist but definitely evil.

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Despite popular belief, not all scientists are evil.

only me 😈

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13 hours ago, Candy said:

Despite popular belief, not all scientists are evil.

only me 😈

I work in medicine (Respiratory therapy), and the honest truth is that more medical professionals have darker senses of humor. Fact is, you have to have a darker sense of humor. You will lose your mind pretty quickly if you don't. 

 

so I'm evil as well. 

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58 minutes ago, Shadow Rysing said:

I work in medicine (Respiratory therapy), and the honest truth is that more medical professionals have darker senses of humor. Fact is, you have to have a darker sense of humor. You will lose your mind pretty quickly if you don't. 

 

so I'm evil as well. 

I work in the Pathology department, and my PI has the darkest sense of humor ever (even if he's all smiles) cause he performs autopsies and makes a lot of dead jokes.

I find his jokes funny so I guess yah I guess I share in the dark sense of humor oof

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On 8/7/2019 at 2:04 AM, Shadow Rysing said:

I work in medicine (Respiratory therapy), and the honest truth is that more medical professionals have darker senses of humor. Fact is, you have to have a darker sense of humor. You will lose your mind pretty quickly if you don't. 

 

so I'm evil as well. 

 

On 8/7/2019 at 3:04 AM, Candy said:

I work in the Pathology department, and my PI has the darkest sense of humor ever (even if he's all smiles) cause he performs autopsies and makes a lot of dead jokes.

I find his jokes funny so I guess yah I guess I share in the dark sense of humor oof

True story indeed! The mood of people working in this area can be changed and affected as they get used to experiences or operations we wish not to hear about. My cousin's mother told me it several days ago. She works as an anaesthetist. But even if she told me it could be very fascinating sometimes, I always felt uneasy at the sight of blood. So unfortunately, I think I will hardly be familiar with surgical sense of humor anyway 😕

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9 hours ago, Q-Jei said:

 

True story indeed! The mood of people working in this area can be changed and affected as they get used to experiences or operations we wish not to hear about. My cousin's mother told me it several days ago. She works as an anaesthetist. But even if she told me it could be very fascinating sometimes, I always felt uneasy at the sight of blood. So unfortunately, I think I will hardly be familiar with surgical sense of humor anyway 😕

If civies heard the conversations I've had with co-workers, it would be bad. I'm pretty sure that commitments to mental health hospitals would be flying fast and furious. 

 

If you try to be "normal," with the sense of humor, the strain would be to much. Just the fact that you have to remain somewhat calm after witnessing deaths, you can't hold it in being what the perception of healthcare workers is and not be affected. 

 

I remember them all. And it still affects me when a patient dies on my call. Nothing, even going through it before, can really prepare you for it. 

 

Bit of a turn from a pokemon story. lol

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