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Wish Upon A Star

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If he had been literally-inclined, he could have thought of waxing mental poetry about how the weather had decided to reflect his mood. But he wasn't, so instead, Victor just threw a furtive glare at the sky when he thought no one was looking. Just one more factor on what had the potential to be a very bad end to the week.

 

Then again, any day that started with his brother putting headphones on him while he was asleep and turning the volume at max in the middle of Ride of the Valkyries at 7 am was already ruined by default. He even had the foresight to put the song in Vic's own MP3 so he couldn't throw it at him, that scum.

 

Houndoom's yawn momentary pulled him off his musings, as Vic welcomed the distraction of trying to decide if he should be irritated at the doberman look-alike or envious of his ability to not have a single care about his surroundings. Ever since they arrived (fifteen minutes early, because Sam apparently was still mad at him for some reason), the Pokemon had just picked a random spot and laid down with clear intentions of not standing up again. His sole interaction with anyone else had been a quick 'I am aware of your presence' sniff in the direction of the other dog Pokemon, and after that, it was as if the rest of the group didn't exist for him. Vic wished he could ignore so easily the current problem instead of obsessively checking the lot exits every minute, ready to bolt out if he saw the slightest hint of Brian or Drew. Damn them. Damn them so much.

 

"Well - ahem - I suppose that will be that, then. We will now be resuming last afternoon’s meeting, and as before, the questioning period will be at the end."

 

"Sam you little sh-"

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

If Vic gripped his jacket any harder, he was going to rip the leather. Well, it wasn't his fault, Sam decided, though he did wish the older one stopped looking so much like he was going to have a stress-induced aneurism. Or he could at least uncross his arms. The worn down black jeans and jacket-boots-gloves combo coupled with his height already gave him enough of an intimidating look without the hostile aura, in his opinion. At this rate, the girls were going to think he was some sort of delinquent, and Vic would take it as a compliment.

 

It didn't help that Vic was the only obvious boy right now, as Sam had decided to wear a white high neck tank-top with a long dark brown skirt, with even darker boots resembling the ones from yesterday that almost couldn’t be seen underneath and same-color shorts. The current weather also made him pick an informal dark brown blazer with mid-length sleeves, buttoned up. He had left the same hairstyle as the day before though, with the majority of his hair straight and dyed a slightly darker brown than his natural shade, held in a high ponytail except for the light-brown wavy strand framing the right of his face.

 

Vic's right eye twitched, and Sam resisted the urge to smirk, distracting himself with his partner's Pokeball in his pocket as he listened to the pigeon's speech. As expected, Roserade had declined to come out unless they were in a private place indoors. Too risky, she had said, even though she was smaller and thus more easy to hide that many of the other Pokemon partners.

 

"Investigate the spy, huh..." he thought, recalling yesterday's events. He had been too late to even get a glimpse of the supposed spy, so he wouldn't be of any help identifying her. And the only information he had of the interaction between her and the group was that it had apparently been a total pandemonium. Hm, maybe he shouldn't have been so hard on Vic. They could use the fact that he hadn't even been there to their advantage.

 

The one called Morgan stated a question, and the pigeon...

 

Sam narrowed his eyes a bit. That had precisely been one of the subjects he and Vic (well, mainly he) had talked about when this whole thing started.

 

He waited until the Pokemon paused before speaking. "Excuse me, Mr. Messenger, but 'she might', what, exactly?" he asked in the kind of conversational tone one might use to discuss the weather, his voice carrying the same smoothness of the day before. "Before changing the subject, wouldn't it be important to know if we should expect a possible attack on our families if we're exposed as working for Diancie?"

Edited by Puredark006

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"It's too early!" Taylor whined, her feet scuffing along the sidewalk as she made her way to the meeting. Pidgeotto had instructed for her to arrive before 9:30, this time to avoid being so late. As it was, she had left home a little before 9:00 and estimated an arrival of about 9:20. Hopefully.

 

She was alone during her travel, unable to call out her avian companion lest someone see him and totally wig out. A couple times, her covered toes caught a lip of concrete, making her stumble and gasp. In both instances, she was able to keep herself upright, arms flailing only briefly.

 

Clouds threatened to release rain upon the town, coaxing Taylor to wear long pants instead of shorts and tights. She still wore her oversized sweater, idly pulling her arms halfway into the body of the sweater and pretending to have T-Rex arms as she walked.

 

When she finally reached the location, there was Morgan, Yanique, Samantha, Victor, and Sasha already waiting for Pidove to begin speaking. A few short minutes later, Marian arrived. Reaching into her pocket, Taylor withdrew the Poké Ball and clicked the button, enlarging it before releasing Pidgeotto from his confinement.

 

With a sigh, she plopped to the ground, sitting cross-legged. Her companion ruffled his feathers before preening them, glancing about a moment later. "Good, good. We're on time," he praised, giving Taylor a smile. Least, what he could give with a beak.

 

Pidove began speeking about how disappointed Diancie was, causing her to lower her gaze upon the ground. Pidgeotto nudged her, a silent attempt at reassurance. The night before, he had gone on about how mistakes were made but no one could truly be blamed save for the spy herself. He had said something about how a superhero like Taylor was going to hit a couple of small bumps at the very beginning. Pidgeotto even reminded her a bit about Superman's own faults while he was a boy or how Spiderman sometimes ran late. It had brightened her mood then.

 

However, her mood was faintly soured this morning. She wanted to pipe up about how it wasn't her fault this time but she dared not to say anything. Instead, she felt her eyelids get heavy again and yawned, fisting her hands to rub furiously at her eyes. Morgan and Yanique's words went without much registration in Taylor's mind as her eyelids drooped, mouth falling open a faint bit and head lolling to the left against Pidgeotto's feathery side.

 

"Oh, wake up child! Sleeping at this time is not appropriate! Do you want to be a proper hero? Then come to attention!" Pidgeotto hissed beneath his breath, snapping open his wing to shove Taylor back upright and cause her to startle.

 

"I'm awake! Wha's happened?"

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Pidove stared at Sam. "What? What are you - of course that's not going to happen!" He flapped his wings furiously, rising a few centimetres into the air. "Luxray is careful and a superb planner, but she’s not unnecessarily ruthless. It would be too much of a risk to try something like that! If anything, she’d order an attack on you, not - erk!”

 

Realizing what he’d said too late, he glanced nervously around the lot again, pecking at empty air where ruffled feathers had previously been. “Well - er - what I meant to say was - ugh. No point in denying the truth, I suppose.” He drew himself to his full height. “Before you signed up for this, your partners should have warned you of the potential consequences. We never made any guarantee of your safety. All we ever offered was full access to your partner’s powers and a chance to help us save the world.” He sighed deeply, closing his eyes. “Yes. There’s a possibility - a real possibility that you might - “ he sucked in a breath. “That you might die.”

 

“Luxray has never killed anyone before, and if she has, she hasn’t been caught. As far as we can tell, that’s the truth - and Diancie isn’t by any means incompetent at gathering data. Not to mention how - how difficult it would be to murder someone without leaving any evidence... even someone such as her would have trouble doing that.” Pidove put a wing to his head. “But yes, I can’t deny it. The possibility is there. If, bearing this in mind, you wish to quit… do so now.”

 

The dramatic silence that followed lasted less than a second before it was interrupted once more by a sleepy girl and her partner Pidgeotto. Pidove squawked. “What are - come ON! You just, you just missed the most important part of this meeting! I can’t believe the two of you!” He flattened himself against his perch, fluffing his chest out like an angry balloon. “Keep a better handle on your human next time, will you?!”

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12:00 Midnight

 

"So what you're saying is that they think they're some sort of Superhero team." Zoie stated. It wasn't a question, more of a summarization of what her partner had just informed her.

"That is correct, or at least, my best guess." Zoroark confirmed, "I was never personally involved with Lady Diancie's assistants, but as I understand it, they assist her in 'protecting the world' or something cliché like that"

 

The two partners in crime were perched on the roof of a building overlooking the lots. Zoie was reclining against the access door while Zoroark chose to stand on the ledge. The foxlike Pokémon had just finished informing her of what he had overheard that day, and now Zoie was in a rather sour mood.

 

"How does this 'Princess' Diancie she even think she has the right to pull this sort of thing?" Zoie fumed. "Does she really think she can just 'recruit kids with attitude' and save the world? It's laughable! And all for some stupid wish?"

"As I understand it, Jiachi's wish granting ability is dubious at best," Zoroark commented, "I've heard no clear theory on how it even works, if at all even. The only ones who could possibly tell for sure would be Lady Diancie or Jirachi itself, and the latter is currently hibernating inside a crystal."

"And we can't exactly walk up and ask, 'Hey Diancie? Is it true that Hitachi grants wishes, and you've recruited my sister to rescue it from a supervillian?'" Zoie grumbled. Sighing, she pulled herself to her feet, and joined her partner in overlooking the ledge. "Every day I ask myself, 'How can an of this be real?' It's like the warped fantasy of some twisted little girl, and now my li'l sister's been dragged in along with me. It's almost funny in a sad sort of way; I tried to keep Lilly from finding out about Pokémon and contracts, and she gets offered one right out of the blue."

"I guess that for now, the question is what are you going to do about this. Zoroark stated.

"I'm going to listen in on this next meeting and see if they really are getting themselves into anything dangerous." Zoie replied. "If they really are in over their heads.... we'll figure out what to do next then. If it's nothing harmful, then I won't have to worry." With that said, Zoie pulled a small object from her bag. There was a brief flash of violet light, and the two vanished into the night.

 

==========================================================

 

For the most part, Lilly tried to stay quiet during the second meeting. However, her mood gradually waned to a less than enthusiastic demeanor as the conversation turned to the fact that everyone could be, potentially, in great danger. Christy stepped closer to try to reassure her, but the fact that Ivy had clearly fallen asleep diminished the effectiveness of the gesture.

 

NO! I can't let myself back down! Lilly silently snapped at herself. She forced up a determined face and raised up her fists in a (completely incorrect) boxing stance. If Luxray does go after our families, it will be up to me to protect Big Sis. I HAVE to be strong!

 

"Mr Pidove? What should we do for training?" Lilly asked. "If We can properly learn how to use our partner's powers correctly, I'm sure there's no way for any of us to loose!"

 

==========================================================

 

A short distance away, on the other side of the fence, what fully appeared to be a completely ordinary cat was lounging in the sun. Of course, in reality, there was no cat there. Zero crouched under the cover of her illusion, listening intently to the ongoing meeting. The news that there was real danger involved with the girls' mission was not a pleasant revelation, but Zero didn't make a move. She instead stayed silent, listening in on the ongoing conversation, and keeping an eye out for anyone suspicious.

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The second meeting had been exceptionally more organized than the first. No spy from the "other team" had sprinted off after being spotted. None of the girls had disregarded Pidove's orders and transformed for the entire world to see before vaulting over the fence to pursue the stranger. Pidove being forced to wake up one of the girls who had nodded off swept Morgan's hopes of the meeting being purely professional away. Considering just how chaotic the last meeting was, Morgan was content with proceedings of the present meeting. Any chagrin that plagued her Morgan for the adversity of the previous meeting was pushed into the far reaches of her mind. Though she was adamant she was not one of the major causes of discord of the last meeting, Morgan thought she would cause turmoil for the current meeting. Queen, with her ears flattened and her teeth bared into a snarl, had made soft woofing sounds. Queen's irritation appeared to be directed towards the nearby fence. Her attention had apparently become enraptured by something on the other side of the fence. Bonnie, the large Rottweiler on Morgan's left, gave the puppy a quizzical look. Morgan tightened her grip on Queen's leash and shook it in warning several times to no avail. It was only to be expected of a dog that barked at her own shadow and could not contain her joy when she saw one of the 20 cats that lived at home. She was prone to barking at the most insignificant of things which rarely ended in her warning Morgan of anything more than an object as dangerous as toothpaste. If Bonnie was not getting up in arms, then there was no reason for Queen to do so. Heaves knew that nothing could sneak up in Queen, but yapping at the open air was not scaring off anything and acted as nothing more than a distraction during the important meeting.

 

"Silence!" Morgan hissed in angry German as she glared down at the puppy at her feet. Queen let out a soft whimper and folded her ears back. Her growling ceased but her eyes strayed to fence for several moments before Morgan corrected her. Morgan gave a solemn nod as her question was answered. She was satisfied with the answer though it did not exactly help her. If someone was recognized, then that was that. There appeared to be no way for them to get into the spy's good graces again which could be problematic. They did not know how the spy would react or who she was to be honest. Morgan scratched her head absentmindedly as Pidove rambled on. Her hand slid down her head and onto her neck which she rubbed unconsciously as her mind wandered. When the question of future meeting places was brought up, Morgan felt compelled to offer her own home. She had already discussed the possibility of it being a meeting place yesterday and no one objected to the idea. Why not offer it now? Before she could speak, a girl, Sam Morgan thought her name was, spoke up. Morgan kept her lips closed and patiently waited for Pidove to answer the girl's inquiry before the subject changed to a future meeting place.

 

Pidove's answer was less than desirable. Morgan formed her mouth into a line at the news and instinctively pressed her fingers against the net ball in her pocket. Beedrill had explained that he could not guarantee her safety and had informed her of the possibility of injury, which she understood. Morgan did not expect the chance of her or any of the other Contracted members to be in risk of being killed. A shiver went down her spine and Morgan suddenly felt cold. The thought of her parents coming home to find out that she was nothing more than a lifeless corpse was sickening. Bonnie glanced up worriedly at Morgan as though she felt the sudden shift in her owner's mood. Even Queen, who kept trying to sneak a glance at the fence, abandoned her practice to let out a small huff of concern. Questions that Morgan never wanted to think of were whirling in her mind. Just how dangerous was Luxray and her people? Were the Contracted girls' families in danger? Why was this not mentioned sooner? Why would Princess Diancie Contract children and send them to their potential doom? Morgan did not clench her fist and instead attempted to cloud her mind from such horrid inquires. She needed to concentrate on the current problem and let the problem of possible death sit on the back burner. Whether she expected the penalty or not, Morgan signed the Contract and that was that. There was no use complaining about not reading the fine print, no matter how disturbed it made Morgan. There was something Morgan had yet to address.

"Pardon me if I am intruding on the current topic," Morgan began, carrying her voice loud and clear. "But after you left yesterday, I mentioned that we could use the house I live in as a meeting place. You asking about a possibly meeting place reminded me to mention it once more, sir. It's on the edge of town and very few people go there. Its considerable large with spacious room and has strict security measures. As long as no one tries to transform in the house and break something and if no one is allergic to cats and dogs, I, personally, would recommend it as a possible meeting spot." Morgan paused as Lilly added her comment about training.

"I would not know how to proceed with training," Morgan added. "But there is some open land and a woods-like area, though it is far from a forest, on the property. We could perhaps use that for a training area if you would permit it." Morgan could not shake the feeling of dread that had gripped her when Pidove mentioned the possibility of death. She did her best to wear a mask of facade and hide her sudden distress working fairly well. Had the others befriended Morgan prior to their Contracting, they would of been able to easily tell she was distraught. The rubbing of her neck had not ceased and she had begun to rub her thumb on top of her index finger, a quirk of hers that signaled when she was anxious. Though she may of appeared calm and collected on the outside, she was still in an inner turmoil on the inside, a fact beginning to make her disappointed in herself.

 

(I tried.)

Edited by Doctortear

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Mightyena gave a curt nod to Houndoom as the pokemon passed by, returning his acknowledgement. While there was no animosity between them, their natures inevitably clashed when it came to making decisions. The other dog pokemon was a loose cannon in contrast to Mightyena's own strategic methods, though he had to admit that he was beat when it came to impulsive decision making. But being both dark types, they shared a certain sort of kinship -- in the sense that they could tolerate each other.

 

At the mention of the possible consequences of their duties, Mightyena did recall telling his partner of the potential dangers of this venture, listing off even the legal jargon he had meticulously compiled on his own time (though his verbal version of the contract's fine print never caught on among Lady Diancie's forces). He had the feeling that Yanique only half-listened to all that he had to say, and it was difficult to condense all the information in a few short sentences she could comprehend and digest. Nevertheless, he did not try to dissemble the risks, even of death, and was rather astonished that the girl had accepted the offer regardless. She was a rather reckless youth, though perhaps only the more reckless would be on-board with such an enormous task.

 

It was therefore his duty to protect her to the best of his abilities, now that the contract was sealed.

 

He glanced a look at the girl in the black and silver denim jacket. Yanique had an uncharacteristic moment of silence, her lips pursed, but after a few heartbeats she clenched her fists and shouted, "We can't give up now just because of a fraction of a risk! Don't y'all trust in your partners enough? I agree with shorty over there, we should train our hearts and bodies to prepare for whatever Luxray throws at us!" Swinging around in a dramatic motion, she gestured at Morgan. "I'm all in for us using your house, if it's really alright with you."

 

Brave speech and all, but something was still unsettling Mightyena -- and it wasn't the fact that Yanique had yet to practice using his abilities. Like one of the dogs at the heels of the level-headed girl his partner was addressing, he had found something not quite correct in the mixing scents of the humans and pokemon present. Ears pricked and tail raised, he lifted his nose to the air and paced in a loose circle around his partner. Yanique cast him a quizzical glance as his muzzle emitted a soft blue glow, indicating the use of a pokemon move. He suddenly stopped, staring intently at the same spot on the steel fence that Queen was so transfixed with.

 

The dog pokemon finally turned to Pidove as the light on his nose faded. "Excuse my interruption, but I believe we have another spy on our tail today. It is likely that they have overheard our discussion of a new meeting place."

 

((bluhhhhh))

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By virtue to the fact that she was intently listening, Zero easily overheard The canine Pokémon addressing Pidove. Sharp nose, that one, she thought to herself. With a slight twitch of annoyance, Zero noticed that her Illusion had broken. Too sharp, I can't restore the illusion without giving ourselves away.

We'll have to move our position, Zoroark stated, Keep downwind of them.

Right.

There was barely a sound as Zero simply appeared to vanish from sight, only to reappear next to the alleyway that had been the scene of Togetic's escape yesterday. She quickly dove into the shadows, taking cover behind a dumpster so that she could create a new illusion. There was a faint purple light, and Zero took the appearance of the black cat once more.

A little overconfident, perhaps? Zoroark commented.

If nobody saw us, then we're fine. If not, then we go with plan B.

You like plan B too much.

So do you.

Guilty as charged.

Zero peered over the dumpster to check for if anyone had followed her, the illusion following suit by appearing to leap onto the lid. While she was waiting, Zero dimly noticed the smell coming from the Trash. Way to go, She glumly noted, you choose the stinky hiding place.

 

 

========================================================

 

 

"Another Spy!" Lilly gasped. She turned to run over the fence, in what would most likely have been a repeat performance of yesterday, had Christy not caught Lilly by the back of her shirt.

"Just a moment Lilly," She said, Leting go of Lilly's shirt as she did," Let's first wait for conformation before running off. That way, we won't have a repetition of yesterday's events."

That got Lilly to calm down a little. "You're right, Christy," she said, nodding in agreement. She then turned to Pidove, awaiting his orders on the revelation.

Maby this time we can catch the spy She thought to herself. But then what would we do? Could we really hold someone against their will? Or should we just let them go? But we can't do that, they'd just go back to Luxray then.

Edited by sailing101

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((Note: just wanted to clarify that Houndoom's opinions most certainly do NOT reflect mine))

 

Houndoom yawned again, not particularly interested in anything anyone was saying. They were all things he either already knew or didn't care about, and thus could leave in the human's hands. Really, he could think of only one reason why he was tolerating hanging out with this bunch of losers, and if that reason didn't come true so help him he was going to bite one of the birds just to have something to do. He hated Flying-types anyway.

 

The reunion proceeded to be a complete bore until a soft light caught his eye. Odor Sleuth. He'd recognize that move anywhere. With a grin, he slowly abandoned his relaxed position, muscles in tension as he stood tall and as still as a statue, tail raised diagonally. If it wasn't what he though it was, he could just pounce the small squawking chicken imitation to get a bit of fun anyway.

 

"Excuse my interruption, but I believe we have another spy on our tail today. It is likely that they have overheard our discussion of a new meeting place."

 

"FRICKIN FINALLY!" he howled in triumph, already running in the direction that had gotten Mighyena's attention even before he finished his battle cry.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

"The deal is, we don't know what the deal is."

"You're just messing with me now, aren't you?"

"Half-half."

"Sam..." he growled, turning on his side so he could glare at his brother.

The smaller one just shrugged again. "Answer me first so I know how to put it into words. What are you expecting to happen? With this whole Luxray thing."

"We go, kick ass and recover the kidnapped Jirachi."

"Nothing more, nothing less?"

"Without any of my friends ever finding out in a context that doesn't make me look badass."

"Besides that, obviously."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Now it was Vic's turn to be frustrated.

"Believe me, if this all turns out to be just like in those shows where a group of people become BFFs and overthrow the bad guys with the power of love and friendship, I'll be the first one to be glad."

He felt his eye twitch at that. "That sounds-"

"Don't interrupt me. My point is, this isn't a show or a movie, Vic. We could very well walk right into danger thinking the worst we'll get is a twisted ankle and end with someone's ribs ripped out of their torso."

Vic raised an eyebrow. "Have you been watching those Saw movies again?"

"That is not the point," Sam huffed. He sounded annoyed though, so Vic counted that as a victory. "What I mean is... we still don't know enough, so it doesn't hurt to be cautious."

 

 

The way the reunion was going, it reminded Vic of last night's conversation. "Is he still thinking about that?" he thought, watching the tiny angry ball of feathers scolding the girl that had been half-asleep. Frankly, he agreed with the next one who spoke up. They had magical powers for crying out loud. Even if the other side could pull tornadoes out of their unmentionables, when he was borrowing Houndoom's power he felt as if nothing could touch him. 'Sides, no matter what Sam said, this was the real world. Something like murder would never happen in Hillside Heights.

 

Well, up until recently, he thought there'd be no way Pokemon would appear in Hillside Heights either, but that was that and this was this.

 

And... it wasn't turning out to be so bad either. He might have been just a tiny little bit paranoid (and still had to punch Sam for lying), but he had to admit no one was saying anything or looking at him weird. And though he was still periodically checking the exits just in case, he was already in a better mood by the time the girl that had spoken Russian or something mentioned a possible meeting place. Heck, the place itself sounded just fine too, and very out of the way of anyone he might know. Maybe he could even convince Sam to let him give him a ride in revenge for the whole situation.

 

And then, the word 'spy' was mentioned, and Houndoom proceeded to flip out.

 

Vic didn't even have time to finish being surprised by the dog's yell before the black arrow that was the end of his tail was already being obscured by the fence he just jumped. He just knew that, if by some fluke of destiny, the heavens parted and Jirachi descended in a ray of light right then and there to grant him the power to make someone disappear from the face of the planet, he wouldn't be able to decide between Houndoom or himself.

 

"VICTOR! GET YOUR ROYAL ASS HERE THIS INSTANT!"

 

Himself. Definitely himself.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

'Mr. Pidove's' confirmation had Sam tense enough that he needed a mental reminder to not grip Roserade's ball so tightly. Which was a shame; under normal, more light-hearted circumstances, he'd already be reaching for his phone to take a picture of that perfect mix of surprise, horror and 'I'm so gonna strangle him' that was Vic's expression at Houndoom's second yell.

 

"I- I'll get him!" Vic exclaimed, desperate tone giving out exactly how much he wished Houndoom had stayed put at home, nearly tripping over himself in his hurry towards the nearest exit to reach the hellhound before he did something rash. Like jumping the fence, but there was nothing they could do about that anymore, if the sounds of Houndoom already running who-knows-where were any indicator. Really, wasn't the whole point of the contract that humans became more powerful than the Pokemon they were borrowing the powers from?

 

Sam could just stand straight instead of leaning onto the wall like he had been doing, ignoring the sudden cold feeling. Considering the topic the group had just finished discussing, he should give those two the Best Timing Award, decorated with obnoxious-colored ribbons and drawings of clocks on the whole surface. Maybe he could tie it to the handlebar of Victor's bike so he was forced to display it everywhere.

 

Hands in his pockets (he needed something in a death-grip right now, and his phone was a good substitute for the Friend Ball), he forced himself to steady his breath and wait. The reaction of the girl that had been in the black bonnet yesterday and her two-headed reptile told him it would be wiser to wait for the bird's instructions on the matter instead of rushing off. "So, what's the plan?" he asked, glad that he had enough command over his voice to make it sound as if it only had a slight curious edge. His expression might have a bit of worry in it, but anyone would be like that after the last subject.

 

He still kept Roserade right in his hand, paying attention to any sound from Victor or Houndoom. 'Wise' and 'Necessary' sometimes didn't overlap.

Edited by Puredark006

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Three of the girls decided to chime up and none of them said what Pidove had been expecting. He made a few small unintelligible noises with his throat. That was the thing with planned speeches, wasn’t it? They never come out how you want them to. “It - it’s a very small possibility, I assure you!” was the response he settled for after a small silence. “That’s why I hadn’t mentioned it in the first place. It’s not going to happen, and - see?” He gestured wildly at the group with his wings. “Now you’re all worried about it, and I’m going to have to make excuses for myself all morning. Just like always, really. Hrmph, typical.

 

“But - erm - other than that.” He straightened, trying his best not to fidget. “About training, I’ll bring that up with the Princess and see what she has for us. And as for a meeting place… The plan as it is right now is that we’ll call an official meeting once a week, or more often if necessary. But, to make sure you can get in contact with us when you find something or, er, something else happens, I will be on call at whichever meeting spot we choose for twelve hours every day from 7 AM to 7 PM or, if for some reason it is impossible for me to reach it, right here in this abandoned lot. So - er, you, with Beedrill - I appreciate the offer, but is that going to be… possible?” He glanced at Morgan, then both of her dogs in turn. “It’s your house, after all. What about, I mean - I assume you have relatives. Don’t you? I-I mean! Um! That is to say - “

 

Before he could dig himself deeper into what was already a very deep hole, he was interrupted again, this time by the news of another spy. Pidove stared at Mightyena, his brief moment of relief replaced immediately by alarm. “Are you kidding me? Okay, what we need to do here is stay calm - Hey what do you think you’re doing - “

 

Houndoom jumped the fence. There was a perfectly serviceable gap right there, not even three metres away, and he decided jumping it would be the best course of action. Of course. “I - Mew above, someone go stop him before we have a repeat of yesterday’s incident!”

Edited by Fractional Pi Day

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((A short post in which spoiler: nothing happens other than another dog jumps the fence.))

 

What was up with Mightyena? The dog pokemon seemed much too agitated in the last while, with his fur partially puffed up and his relentless pacing, back and forth, nearly wearing a path into the dirt. Like a strange Rudolph, his nose was aglow while he searched for something Yanique couldn't see and didn't particularly care about. Pidove's listing of the occupational hazards seemed much more interesting, and much more relevant to the current scene. She knew of the risks. Her partner had listed them all out, rather graphically, in a tone of voice normally used for dull documentaries. A reminder didn't hurt, though Yanique's heart dropped when thinking of the possibility -- that no one would probably miss her if she suddenly vanished. She told herself -- and the others, out loud -- that it was a slim possibility regardless.

 

Then her pokemon mentioned they had another spy on their hands, again. Yanique hoped it wasn't the same one from yesterday, because that would be really awkward.

 

And with a triumphant bark, Houndoom had bolted in the direction of the spy, which involved the mighty feat of clearing an almost three meter tall fence. Mightyena immediately turned around and shouted, "Yanique!" as a signal for his partner to follow. He ran after the other pokemon, his claws digging into the ground as he accelerated as fast as he could, then bounded over the fence as well with his hind legs barely scraping the top edge. His attempt was admittedly less graceful, but he landed on the other side without losing his momentum.

 

Yanique sprinted behind him, dashing through the hole in the fence right beside Vic. "Mighty!" she yelled to her pokemon, "What happened to us not being seen?!" She fiddled in her pocket for her Repeat Ball as she raced, then grasped the pokeball in her outstretched arm to prepare for an attempt at recapture.

 

Mightyena, however, knew exactly what he was doing. His plan was to stop Houndoom before the hellhound stumbled into some area where they had a higher risk of being spotted -- for Yanique was correct, strange dogs were much more conspicuous than strange clothing. The ruckus had most certainly made the spy flee, and knowing the fire pokemon, he would be in hot pursuit no matter where they led him. He just needed to stall long enough so their partners would catch up, hopefully with pokeballs in hand.

 

Giving him a swift reprimand for disobeying orders was a top priority. It was just that, he was so damn fast!

 

((Damn houndoom for having a higher Base Speed!))

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The subject of their lives being at risk never settled well within Sasha but, that was expected. Wasn't it? Even when she had heard some summary of the matter from Zebstrika before, hearing it again wasn't a friendly reminder, no matter how gently it was laid out. Obviously, it didn't seem to sit well with a few of the others at least.

 

After Pidove bemoaned about Taylor's "missing the most important part", the larger bird beside the girl murmured something into her ear. Whatever it was, Taylor nodded in response and looked quite upset. Or perhaps guilty. Maybe both.

 

Glancing around at everyone else, Sasha unfolded her arms and stuffed her hands into her pant pockets. She wore her favorite jacket with a loose-fitting tank top that had blue fading into white and slim capris that sported tears on the left knee and right-side hem. Was it truly ideal for the possibility of rain? Not really but she didn't mind.

 

Zebstrika looked as if he were sleeping beside her but the occasional twitch or swivel of his ear betrayed the fact that he was listening in on the meeting.

 

Future meeting locations, thoughts about training, and Pidove's responses to each subject that arose after the briefing of life threats passed back and forth through the air. "Oh! Pidgeotto and I have already started training in an empty lot a block away from my home!" Taylor piped up eagerly. She looked rather proud of that fact, as did her bird. Least Sasha had a name to go with the feathery face now.

 

And then Morgan's dog was barking about something, prompting a response from some of the others, especially in the form of two Pokémon jumping over the nearby fence. Another spy? Squinting her eyes shut, Sasha rubbed at the bridge of her nose. "Will there be a meeting when we don't have to deal with a spy?" she asked, a faint huff following her words. "Exactly, how do they know when we've been meeting up this weekend anyways?"

 

Seeing Victor and Yanique run off to catch their companions, the older teen frowned. Zebstrika had gotten to his feet with the commotion, body tense with excitement. "No. You're not chasing after them. Everyone's in agreement: we don't want a repeat of yesterday," Shay remarked.

 

"I know, I know! I'm impatient, not stupid!"

 

That was debatable.

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Marian listened quietly to Pidove and the other contracted students, trying somewhat in vain to keep herself awake and focused. Even though they were discussing the potential that they might die because of this ridiculous contract business, she really couldn’t force herself to feel alarmed. There was a greater risk that they would all die falling down stairs or in car accidents or tripping over their own feet than there was that they would be killed by a mysterious Pokemon criminal. Besides, it wasn’t like Kingler had told her in uncertain terms about the risks involved. The other Pokemon should have done the same with their partners. Whether they understood or not was an entirely different question.

Being cautious was a good thing, but (in Marian’s eyes, anyway) this wasn’t something to get worked up over. She was much more concerned about getting caught and having to explain exactly what the hell they were doing.

She knew it was probably just her that felt this way, but since they were eventually going to die anyway, and it could happen at any time, why not die like this? Dying for a cause sounded better than sitting around in a nursing home withering away.

Marian kicked herself mentally. She was by no means a live-fast-die-young sort of gal, even though what she had said sounded pretty suicidal and crazy. Fighting for something was better sitting around and never doing anything productive, is all. That’s what she meant.

The girl with the bee spoke up, mentioning using her house as a meeting place. Using someone’s house wasn’t the best idea, but no one else had any ideas. If the girl was willing to accommodate them all, that was certainly better than standing around in an empty lot in the middle of the city.

The girl stopped talking, taking a moment to yank on the leash of one of her dogs to stop it from growling. The puppy stopped, whimpering, but kept staring off in the direction of the fence.

At the same time, a shaggy, grey-and-black doglike Pokemon sniffed the ground, following their nose around the lot. After a moment they turned to face Pidove.

“Excuse my interruption, but I believe we have another spy on our tail today.”

Marian glanced up, staring at the Pokemon. Were they serious?

“It is likely that they have overheard our discussion of a new meeting place.”

She grimaced and shoved her hands deeper into her pocket.

Jesus, not again. Is this going to happen every time?

Another doglike Pokemon (this one orange and black with large curved horns) shouted excitedly, then jumped the fence and ran down the alley. Their partner followed.

Seriously? Are we going to have a repeat of yesterday?

Pidove yelled after them, once again telling the contracted students to chase them down. A tall girl spoke up, sounding as exasperated as Marian felt.

"Will there be a meeting when we don't have to deal with a spy? Exactly, how do they know when we've been meeting up this weekend anyways?"

As the grey dog Pokemon from earlier sped down the alley, closely followed by their partner, Marian had to agree that the girl had a point. How did these spies know how to find them? How could she trust anyone here? How could anyone here trust her? There was no telling who they could have told about the meeting and the other partnered kids, or who followed them all here.

Almost subconsciously she took her Lure ball out of her pocket, cupping it in her hands. She could really, really use Kingler’s advice, but he was kindof enormous. All the other Pokemon were conspicuous as it was. Adding a gigantic crab to the mix wouldn’t help anything.

Sighing, Marian shoved the ball back into her pocket and rubbed her face.

I’m way too tired for this. I knew this contract business wasn’t going to be easy, but this is just stupid.

She shuffled quietly over to the gap in the fence and ducked through, half in and half out of the alley. Silently she stared down the road, watching the two dog Pokemon and their partners bound away. She sighed loudly.

I don’t want to say “they can handle it, I’ll only get in the way,” since last time everything got screwed up, but I don’t want to join the chase and get in everyone’s way.

Scowling, she leaned back into the lot. What was she supposed to do? She really was useless.

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In a startling, theatrical display, Yanique, the girl Contracted to the wolf-like Pokemon, clenched her fists together and shouted a rather dramatic speech in a loud, booming voice. It seemed both she and Lilly were going to move around and speak as though they were the stars of a morning cartoon. Morgan, though not especially disapproving of the way her comrades were acting, could not prevent her lip from twitching downward as the child-like display. It was not appropriate, in Morgan's mind, to behave so immaturely at such an important meeting. Morgan could not tell whether the two girls neglected such a common belief or were simply ignorant nor did she care to ask. Despite being unnerved by the way Yanique was displaying herself, Morgan was quick reply to Yanique's question with a quick, "You needn't worry, I am completely comfortable with my offer." Not too soon after Yanique gave her glamorous speech her partner suddenly became fixated on the fence that Queen was struggling not to bark at. A gentle blue glow radiated off of his nose. Yanique offered the Pokemon a perplexed glance but did nothing as the glow slowly faded away. The dog-like creature turned his head towards Pidove as the last of the light diminished into nothing.

"Excuse my interruption, but I believe we have another spy on our tail today. It is likely that they have overheard our discussion of a new meeting place."

 

As soon as the Pokemon uttered those words, a chain reaction of events. Almost as soon as the wolf-like Pokemon finished speaking, Lilly sprung up with determination and spun on her heel. Thankfully, before she could sprint towards the fence, her dual-headed partner quickly caught her by the shirt and gave her a brief lecture about not repeating yesterday's mistake. Though somewhat reluctant, Lilly agreed with her partner and directed her attention to Pidove as she waited for orders. Unfortunately, not everyone was so keen on listening to orders. The hellhound vehemently expressed his relief to the revealing of the spy and promptly leaped over the fence. As Pidove squawked indignity, the Pokemon's partner rushed after him followed by Sam who halted herself before asking Pidove what to do next. The pigeon-like being, after stuttering for several moments, ordered someone to stop the hellish dog before the situation got chaotic. The canine that had first revealed the spy's presence was quick to respond. He sprinted through the gap in the fence Vic had charged through with a baffled Yanique hurrying after him.

 

At that point, Morgan wanted nothing more than the lie down and forget all of the nonsensical events that had transpired within both the first and second meeting. How had two spies managed to locate both of the meetings and successfully manage eavesdrop on Contracted girls, and Victor, without being seen prior to the start of the meeting? Morgan began to understand why Pidove asked for a new meeting place more clearly. It was obvious after the first meeting that'd a new meeting place was required, but never did Morgan fathom that they'd be spied on once again was they were discussing any new possibly meeting places. It aggravated her to think that spy overheard of her own suggestion of a meeting place. Making someone's house a the group's "base" probably wasn't the brightest of ideas, but it was all Morgan could think of and she had some special circumstances. Her home was enormous and gave the group just about everything they needed when it came to preparing themselves for missions to come. Morgan's mother and father were absent a majority of time and there was no one else residing in the house minus Morgan and the animals. Even if the spy had overheard the possibly new hiding place and miraculously figured out where it was, the chances of them sneaking into the house were minimal. Father was particularly... suspicious of the world. His wariness and copious amount of money allowed him to install the best security measures he could pay for. A hint of a smirk flickered upon Morgan's visage. The first spy had acted foolishly and barely made an escape with her dignity intact, affirming Morgan's belief that she would fail miserably if she attempting to enter Morgan's home uninvited. Even if the second spy was anything like the first, they'd sooner trip the alarm system than step a foot inside the mansion. Morgan's confidence in her home's security laid heavily on her mind, allowing her to stray her attention away from the leash slipping from her fingers.

 

"Queen! Come back!"

The puppy had managed to tear her leash out of Morgan's hands and bound off towards the trail of large dogs. Bonnie became alert instantly, letting out a startled bark before glancing worriedly in Morgan's direction. The girl didn't wait for anyone to stop her. Almost instantaneously, she sprinted after the loose puppy. The gap in the fence was far to small for Morgan to duck under and the 3 meter fence would take to long to climb over. Letting go of Bonnie's leash, Morgan dived through the gap in the fence, somersaulting forward before springing to her feet unscathed. Bonnie arrived a moment later, her ears pricked upward and eyes capturing the environment. The dog let out a small bark, bringing Morgan's attention to Queen turning on her heels as she dashed to the side, barking madly all the while. Offering a quick apology to Marian for brushing against her, Morgan, with Bonnie at her side, ran over towards the small puppy who was standing defiantly in front of a dumpster. The canine was barking furiously at a black cat on top of the dumpster. By the way her muscles were tense, Morgan could easily guess that Queen was planning on jumping after the cat. Of course Queen would get sidetracked by a cat. There was a spy somewhere and instead of stopping the hellhound from blowing their cover, Morgan had to deal with her unruly puppy's behavior! Bonnie, obviously as agitated as Morgan was, began a low growl. Unlike Queen's high-pitched yelps, Queen's growl was deep and intimating; it was the sort of sound that made people walk faster when they heard it.

"Dammit," Morgan hissed as she glared at the dumpster's general direction. "Come back here!" Queen, completely ignoring her elder's warning and her owner's command, let out a series of barks before leaping towards the dumpster, her paws outstretched and her jaw open wide displaying her array of teeth.

Edited by Doctortear

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Houndoom was pretty sure he had reacted quickly enough. No human should have been able to just vanish in the two seconds it took him to reach the highest point of the fence and jump down. He growled as his paws started to hit the floor; obviously, a Pokemon was involved, and if it was one with Teleport he was going to have so much fun tearing that cheater's limbs off their damn body.

 

Teleporting, flying, swimming, digging. He despised Pokemon who could do those, in that order.

 

He didn't wait to track the scent of anything, bolting as soon as his fall finished. He might or might not have caught movement on his peripheral vision in the direction he chose to run, but he wasn't going to wait to think about it. It was always faster to trust his instincts than to stop and make a plan. Besides, screw plans. They required sitting around thinking, and that never got things done.

 

He heard a noise behind, followed by the sound of another four paws hitting the ground. He didn't have to look back to know Mighyena had jumped the fence too, and not precisely to help find the enemy. No, that one's priorities were screwed enough that he'd want to scold Houndoom first and let the prey escape. "Well I'm not having any of that," he thought, lips curled back to show his fangs in a grin between hostile and excited as he accelerated to his maximum speed, some embers starting to fall from between his teeth, small fires coming to life on all four of his ankles.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

To be honest, Vic hadn't though on how to stop the crazy dog. He just knew he had to do something before Houndoom yelled embarrassing things again. He just had to put Vic on the spot, calling all attention to him when all he wanted was to get the thing over with and then go home and have no one make assumptions as to why was he hanging around with a bunch of girls. Because I'm not a friggin Magical Girl dammit!!

 

He hadn't even noticed he had been followed until he heard a "Mighty!" coming from somewhere to his left. The girl with the black-and-yellow hair had decided to join the 'Get Houndoom To Bleeping Sit Down' parade, some kind of red and white ball with black circles on her hand-

 

Of course. He had completely forgotten about the balls. Supposedly the contract involved Houndoom not using his, but back when Sam had first discovered what was going on he had forced Vic to say word by word what exactly he had agreed to, and that lil tam was good at finding loopholes.

 

He quickly unzipped one of his pockets, retrieving the Safari Ball with a triumphant expression. There was no way Houndoom could do something while inside the thing, so he just needed to was the crazy dog on fire!?

 

...

 

Yes, the crazy dog was on fire.

 

The need to just go home and pretend the day never happened was a very strong one right now.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Running as he was, in the middle of his Flame Charge move and leaving black smudges on the concrete where his paws touched, one wouldn't expect Houndoom to be aware of his surroundings. But he was in hunting mode. A hunter was always attentive, to better locate and finish the prey.

 

That's why, the second he heard the barking from somewhere behind him, he reacted before even processing why. He jumped, twisting his body mid-air to face the direction he had came from, leaving burnt marks as he skidded the few centimeters it took to dash right back.

 

The first obstacle was Mightyena, who was too near to avoid. Right before colliding, Houndoom jumped again, knowing how difficult it was to try to stop something that was surrounded by flames. The fact that most of his attention was on the other dog, though, meant he didn't realize his human had taken the ball out and was pointing it at him until he felt the unique and uncomfortable feeling of being forced inside it.

 

Granted, it didn't take even half a second for him to force his way out again, materializing near Victor, who had stopped running as soon as he had pointed the ball. Still, that one moment of being inside the hated capsule was enough to make him change his list of priorities to place 'Yell at Victor every single insult and swear I know' right on the very top.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Two dog Pokemon, two actual dogs, two girls, and Vic. That should be enough, shouldn't it?

 

Sam resisted the urge to sigh, the hand that wasn't gripping Roserade's ball twirling the lighter bang of hair. Apparently the course of action was to let the ones who were already gone handle everything. He could see why it'd be better to keep the ruckus and possible shenanigans to a minimum, but...

 

Well, there were three contracted humans after whoever had been spying. The advantage was with them, so the enemy's smartest move would be to run. There... shouldn't be any complications. And even if there were, some of the girls and their partners were already itching to move, so there was nothing stopping him from joining if assistance was required.

 

He placed his thumb over the Friend Ball's button, feeling the smooth material, and took a breath to clear his mind. If Pidove had more instructions, he'd rather hear them. And, judging by the sudden string of curses that came from the other side in Houndoom's furious tone, it would be better to wait a while before trying to get near.

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Zero watched the scene unfold from her hiding place, holding back on the urge to snicker. The first to jump the fence, some sort of hellhound, hit the ground running and promptly burst into flames. Immediately after it was another doglike Pokémon. However, this one seemed more intent on reigning in it's comrade than tracking her. Zero watched the two run right past her hiding place with a smirk. They're so focused on chasing me that the can't even be bothered to properly look for me, she mused. If this is all they've got, then they're hardly likely to get into any real trouble. Zero was soon distracted from her pondering by a loud yapping noise. Looking down, she saw a small puppy had discovered her hiding place. Arriving shortly after the dog was one of the girls. Apparently, the puppy was hers, and German, and not very well trained, as it completely disregarded the girl's command and instead leapt at Zero, fangs glinting with murderous intent. For what it as worth, Zero thought it funny that the two Pokémon had been outdone in their search by a mundane puppy. It looks like the game's up any way I slice it. she decided, Time for plan B. When running and hiding fail, have some fun toying with them instead. With precision, Zero snatched the airborne pup by the scruff of it's neck, her Illusion breaking from the contact. "Not to bright this one," Zero said, before tossing the puppy back to the girl. Clapping her hands sarcastically, she walked out from behind the dumpster. "Bravo, Bravo." She taunted, "You've found the spy, kid. The question now is, what'cha gona do next?"

 

With barely a sound, Zero stepped past the girl with Feint attack, leaving a fake image of herself where she had been standing a moment before. "I'll give you a hint," She said, placing a hand on the girl's shoulder, "It doesn't involve catching me." Stepping back, Zoie Switched places with her clone, letting it take her spot behind the girl. "Things have been heating up in this town ever since that comet buzzed by, and I've felt the need to do a little digging around, so to speak. Your little gang of greenhorns seemed like a good starting point after all; bad at keeping hidden, loud, and almost mindlessly aggressive to any outsiders, either you're right in the root of things, or just a bunch of dumb kids. Either way, this seems to be the easiest lead to rule out." That, and I want to make sure Lilly stays safe, but you don't need to know that. Zero stepped forward, leaning in close to the girl. "Anywho, if a puppy can do your job better than you, then I don't have much to worry about." With that said, she vanished, reappearing on top of one of the buildings. She then leaned over the side, adding in an illusion to make it look as if she was standing horizontally on the wall itself, and called down, "If you want a little Protip, it's harder for people to eavesdrop on ya if you meet on the roof!"

Is the wallwalking really nessary? Zoroark commented.

No, but I felt like doing it

 

 

==============================================

 

 

Lilly was starting to feel slightly impatient just waiting around. Just what was going on on the other side of the fence? She had to know. The sound of something catching on fire only served to heighten the tension even more. Luckily, Christy seemed to have had enough of waiting as well. "Perhaps they need some help after all," she noted. "Even if it's only to Extinguish Houndoom." If Houndoom was currently on fire, then it was important enough for them to intervene before someone called the fire department. Or a priest. Or both. "Just remember to only transform if absolutely necessary"

"Ok," Lilly agreed. Recalling her partner, she quickly ducked through the hole in the fence, ready to make her way to the scene of the commotion.

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“H-hey, wait!” Pidove called after Mightyena. “What spy? Is it the same one from yesterday? Hey!” But the dog Pokemon was already gone, shortly followed by his partner, then Morgan and both of her dogs. Pidove looked as if he were about to explode. Sasha chose precisely this moment to speak up.

 

“I don’t know!” He screeched at her, launching himself into the air with some very vigorous wing flapping. “You’d think - that after last time - you guys would have learned to stop asking me for battle strategies! This is most definitely not my job! Do you think I expected this to happen? Or that I like this situation?! Just - shut up!” He fell back onto his perch. “The - the rest of you - sit tight. Got it? I’m going to have to talk to the Princess about the… Houndoom situation… Arceus knows why she picked him for the mission in the first place…”

 

-----

 

Pidove had been under the impression that this meeting would be a quiet one, and that even though people were sure to pass by the area, it wouldn’t be much of a problem. A few teenagers having a conversation in a common teenage hangout spot wasn’t anything to be suspicious about, after all. Fortunately, though, he’d misjudged - it was 9 AM on a Sunday morning in one of the less frequented parts of town. Which meant that even if someone had been around to notice the noise from the battle, they would have been either much too busy or much too tired to check it out. Unless, of course, the thing they were busy with was snooping.

 

Amber Riggs skidded to a stop across the street, blinked, brushed a lock of hair out of her eyes, and stared.

 

Amber had long since made it her mission to make everyone else’s business her own business. That was just the kind of person she was, and if someone had a problem with that (okay, she won’t lie - if basically every living person at school had a problem with that), they would just have to deal with it along with her incessant badgering. So if there were weird noises coming from the abandoned lots, of course she had to investigate. It was practically her job. How was she supposed to manage the club funds if she didn’t even know what her fellow students were doing in their leisure time?

 

What she didn’t expect to see was four dogs, two of which looked like they sprang straight out of some kind of Saturday morning cartoon, and a bunch of people (two of which were in weird costumes - correction, the same weird costume…?) all being extremely loud in whatever way they could at each other.

 

“What the hell is going on here?”

 

[NPC information has been updated.]

Edited by Fractional Pi Day

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No use. Mightyena gave chase, but he knew he his chances of catching up went down the drastically once the hellhound accelerated with a burst of fire. Flames cloaked his entire form once he noticed he was being tailed. Why did Houndoom have to be so difficult? Princess Diancie needed some muscle within the team, but why…?

 

Pidove must have been tearing out his feathers at this point.

 

Frowning, the dog pokemon steeled himself to run faster. At this rate, they would crash right into the spy, provided they were running in the right direction. His ears swivelled around after hearing some aggressive barking coming… from behind? Apparently the other dark pokemon had the same idea; the he had turned around, skidding with a blazing trail on the pavement, and was heading right towards him.

 

Mightyena struggled to stop, his paws clambering on the ground in a futile attempt to slow his momentum. He shut his eyes and tucked in his chin, bracing for an impact that never came -- for Houndoom had bounded straight over him. He could still feel the heat singe the tips of his ears and the hair on his back when he stumbled and tumbled forwards, then made a smooth recovery back onto his feet to begin running the way they came, straight towards Yanique and the fire pokemon's partner.

 

Yanique stood there, unsure of what to do, while the boy did the smart thing and had his pokeball on hand to recapture his pokemon with a red beam. Excellent aim on his part, but Houndoom burst back out with a flash of white light. Did that mon ever give up? They would have to do this the traditional way, then.

 

Mightyena felt electricity tingle on his fangs as he caught up. Thankfully Houndoom was too preoccupied with railing on his partner with the most colorful language he had ever heard, stalling enough for him to attack. Lunging forward with teeth bared, the pokemon snapped at the hellhound's tail.

 

~~~

 

Yanique tightened her grip on the Repeat Ball, skidding to a stop beside Vic and hesitating on what to do next. The more time they were out of their pokeballs, the more likely they would be discovered in this area, but presumably Mightyena wouldn't want to be returned until his objective of capturing Houdoom was met. And it seemed they were pretty close!

 

Then he burst of the ball. They could do that?! Could her pokemon just explode out of the pokeball at the worst possible moments…? Not that Mightyena would do that, but it was a factor she hadn't considered until now. And now, her partner was planning on using sheer force to help the process. What a complete disaster.

 

Speaking of 'worst possible moments', there was a certain someone who decided to butt in on their little party -- and maybe it was the spy? Yanique's blood went straight cold in her veins. That voice -- that voice was unmistakeable. Right at her eye level was a girl she recognized almost too well from school.

 

Now that Yanique thought about it, she had seen many of the girls on the magical girl team at least somewhere in school, but from the look of this girl, she was no magical girl. Yanique's frown depened, her eyes widening in fear for a moment as she tried to pretend the other girl -- Amber Riggs, also known as The Girl Who Almost Ruined Her Life -- wasn't there.

 

Though she couldn't ignore her for long. "Amber Riggs…! What are you doing here right now!?" she nearly shrieked. At least she could rest easy with the fact that the pokemon would sound like regular dogs to her, if Mightyena was right about that.

 

That didn't help the rest of the issue. Amber Blabbermouth would know something was up, regardless of how hard they tried to hide or ignore it. Hoping that the others would follow her lead, Yanique threw her arms up in a silent scream as she sank the ship containing her popularity at school. "You're not supposed to be here!" she huffed. "You're not supposed to see how much of a nerd I am outside of school hours! We are totally not filming a live action roleplay scene with puppies! …Rather large puppies!"

 

Mightyena had stopped whatever he was doing, paced half a circle and sat down, tongue loling out of his mouth, pausing only to let out a bark. There was no going back now, no trying to use the pokeballs now that she was around.

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Surprise flooded Morgan as the expected yowl of startlement did not escape the mouth of the black cat perched on the dumpster. Instead of the having to go through the process of wrenching her ill-trained pup away from the cat as Morgan anticipated, she froze up as a woman dressed in some sort of costume materialized before her, causing the illusion of the cat to flicker and vanish as she snatched Queen by the pup's scruff. The canine let out a sharp cry of shock as she was caught mid-air in her jump by the strange woman. It took only a moment for Morgan to realize that her disobedient dog had located the spy that had caused such disarray. Morgan felt the blood in her veins turn cold as she glared at the spy with callousness flickering in her eyes. The sarcastic smirk on spy’s lips as she held Queen—who was wiggling furious in an attempt to escape the stranger’s grasp—was enough to make Morgan feel nothing but unwavering contempt, if not a hint of curiosity, towards the spy.

"Not too bright this one," the spy mused before nonchalantly throwing Queen in Morgan’s general direction. Alarmed by the sudden motion, Morgan scrambled forward, moving around wildly in the hopes of catching Queen. The dog gave out a high-pitched whine as she was flung in the air and let out a loud whimper as she landed into Morgan’s arms. The blonde cringed as the pup’s bones rubbed against her arm uncomfortably all the while withholding the curses that lingered in her mind. Kneeling down, Morgan allowed Queen to clumsily crawl out of her arms and waddle underneath her growling elder with her tail between her legs. Morgan’s left hand balled up into a fist, her teeth clenched together as she stood straight and watched Queen hide underneath Bonnie’s shadow. The sheer arrogance of the spy was grinding against Morgan’s nerves. Just what the hell did she think she was doing? Didn’t the previous spy get enough information or was Luxray too disappointed with the first spy’s incompetence? Wasn’t the catastrophe of the last meeting enough? As the spy began to mockingly clap, Morgan began to feel a scowl tug at her lips. Was the saucy commentary necessary?

 

"Bravo, Bravo. You've found the spy, kid. The question now is, what'cha gonna do next?" The taunting elicited nothing but quiet thoughts of derision from Morgan. She gave herself a stoic expression, allowing herself to convey her disgust within her mind.

"I'll give you a hint, it doesn't involve catching me." Morgan nearly jumped as she felt a hand grab her shoulder. Although the image of the spy was in front of the girl, her voice resounded from behind her. Giving a cold sideward glance, Morgan could see another image of the spy in behind her.

Wonderful, she can create multiple images of herself in addition to being able to take the form of other beings. Hiding behind illusions is cowardly though from what Beedrill has told me, I’m not surprised that Luxray would recruit such a vulgar character.

"Things have been heating up in this town ever since that comet buzzed by, and I've felt the need to do a little digging around, so to speak.” There, she did it again! Morgan’s eyes swerved forward as the spy’s voice suddenly rang in front of her. The image behind her was copying the spy’s movements but the voice that emitted from it did not resonate as clear as the real person. Such a matter was not as concerning to Morgan as the words the spy spoke. She kept from raising a quizzical eyebrow at the intruder’s taunting, but she could not help but feel puzzled by it. The way the spy was talking, it seemed as though she was a lone party. Pidove and everyone else, including Morgan, had assumed the spy was sent by Luxray, but what if they were wrong? It didn’t make sense for Luxray to try to spy on the group two times in row, especially if she was as cunning as Beedrill described her. Beedrill had mentioned that the possibility of running into a magical girl not associated with either main parties was still present if not low. Such a meeting was supposedly not to be of any relevance to the mission. Beedrill had dictated that such people would not want to get into the affairs of the two clashing groups. If that was true and this woman was not part of Luxray’s squad, which Morgan was still doubting, then what was she doing? Was Morgan just making things up in her mind or did it seem as though the spy had an agenda that was different from Luxray and her group? Jumping to conclusions was not a practice Morgan leaned upon so she quickly put the thought of the spy's allegiance into the back of her mind. She could only assume that the spy was an enemy and anything beyond that was not important at the current moment. She could worry about who the spy was working for later.

"Your little gang of greenhorns seemed like a good starting point after all; bad at keeping hidden, loud, and almost mindlessly aggressive to any outsiders, either you're right in the root of things, or just a bunch of dumb kids. Either way, this seems to be the easiest lead to rule out." Forming her mouth into a line, Morgan watched as the spy stepped forward and leaned in towards her. The intimidating act made Morgan feel rather uncomfortable. She very much despised the way the spy had invaded her personal space, something she prized rather heavily. Morgan didn’t want to be touched by a stranger nor did she fancy feeling the spy’s hot breath blow into her face.

“Any who, if a puppy can do your job better than you, then I don't have much to worry about." The spy’s last taunting coo was all that she offered before vanishing from sight only to reappear standing sideways on a nearby building whilst throwing down a jeer upon Morgan.

 

“Oh, hell no, she did not just do that,” Without warning, a flash of pulsating white light sprung out of the black and yellow ball contained in Morgan’s pocket. Beedrill’s shape formed in the air and the sound of his wings beating furiously suddenly rang in the air. The large bee-like being’s head was as red as a beet. “No cowardly broad is gonna toy with us and just high tail it outta here!” Beedrill hissed furiously, his eyes trained on the spy who appeared to be standing horizontally on a nearby building. “She just thinks the sun will come up to hear her crow, don’t she? Yes, thank you for sharing your superiority over our group, we are graced by your presence.” Beedrill made a series of disgusted noises before shaking his head furiously. “I wouldn’t normally show myself in public, but if that gal thinks she can just sit there and listen and expect us to let her do as she pleases, well, then she has this comin’.” Not bothering to wait for Morgan’s say on the matter, Beedrill suddenly sped upward as he used Agility, making him appear to be nothing more than a blur. He shoved one of his drills into the girl’s image, only to see his drill go straight through with not a single drop of blood in sight. “Coward!” Beedrill barked aloud as he crossed his drills together as they began to glow brightly. The pokemon slashed forward in an X-like fashion as he began to wildly lash around in an attempt to find the spy. Morgan shouted for Beedrill to stop but he paid her little heed as he became consumed by his blind anger. Before Morgan could do anything more, she heard a shout of dismay from behind her. Glancing back at Beedrill feebly, Morgan left him to locate the source of the shout. Unfortunately, the source of the sound was perhaps one of the only things that could make the meeting worse. Amber Riggs, a girl infamous at HHH for gossiping about whatever she could get her hands on, was standing a few yards away from a battle between two radical looking pokemon. Morgan could not help but intake a horrified breath as Yanique fumbled for a suitable excuse for the appearance of the two pokemon. Much to Morgan’s relief Yanique had imagined up a suitable excuse, one that her partner immediately understood. Did she just say… roleplay with puppies? Morgan’s eyebrows knitted in confusion as she quietly mouthed her confusion. Roleplaying with puppies was perhaps one of the lamest excuses Morgan had heard in a long while but if it kept Amber from informing the entire school about the magical girls, then so be it.

“Aye,” Morgan whispered as she motioned for her dogs to come closer. Bonnie strutted forward, her tail wagging as she waiting for a command. Morgan pointed over towards where Yanique and Victor were standing and prompted both of her canines to move over to their location with soft-spoken words. Bonnie did not hesitate for a moment to begin to prance over to her designated location. Queen on the other hand was not so graceful. She bounded forward, her tongue rolling out of the side of her mouth and a hop in her every step. Making sure that two dogs had not strayed from their course, Morgan backed away from the scene and returned to where Pidove and the others were. Vaulting over a fence, Morgan landed a little ways from the group, a soft thump signaling her presence.

“Good news is that the spy is gone… mostly,” Morgan reported, straightening herself as she trekked towards the others, her eyes flickering from one person to the next. “Beedrill has preoccupied himself with making sure she stays away. Bad news is that a girl from our school, most certainly not a magical girl, has spotted Yanique’s and Victor’s partners biting one another.” Morgan halted her approached, turning her gaze over to Pidove with uncertainty flickering in her mind.

“I apologize for the scene Queen caused. At the very least, it seems as though this particular spy won’t be spying on us anytime soon. Either that or she was lying when she said that didn’t have to worry about us being a problem. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was.”

Edited by Doctortear

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She bristled.

 

"Listen here, feather-brain! I just asked a rhetorical question about how these spies keep finding us when we're meeting face-to-face. I wasn't asking anything about ****ing tactics!" Shay snapped, her voice almost rising to match Pidove's. "If you didn't bother considering this to be part of your job description then why did you sign up in the first place? Why bother coming back today then?" she pressed, intentionally ignoring his command to be silent. "If you can't handle the heat, then get out of the damn roaster and shove someone else in who can!"

 

"Now, now... Settle down. Let's all just take a breath and calm down. Hm?" Pidgeotto cooed, large wings faintly opened and shifting in an almost human gesture. Waddling forward to stand a bit between the warring individuals, the brown bird cleared his throat. “Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are,” he quoted, puffing up his feathered chest slightly in the belief that he made a fine peacekeeper.

 

"Oh, fly off Gandhi," Sasha snarked, turning on Pidgeotto.

 

"Well, I never," the large bird grumbled, his imaginary preening interrupted and his tall pedestal knocked down a few steps. Fluffing up his feathers before smoothing them down, he frowned through his beak. "Child, Pidove didn't mean to snap at you. I'm sure, if you give him the chance to cool down, he'll apologize for his inappropriate behavior. Won't you, Pidove?" Pidgeotto fixed the small, gray ball of feathers with an inquiring gaze.

 

Zebstrika snorted, huffing out a laugh. "You're both a mess of feathers and worms for brains," he stated. Bounding over to Taylor, he nipped and tugged at the bottom of her sweater. "Why so glum looking, tiny?"

 

Taylor startled at the interaction and nervously shifted her weight. "I, um... I don't like it when people yell at each other...," she mumbled, trailing off.

 

Inaudible voices drifted towards the lot and the four paused, turning in the direction the noise came from. Of course, the fence blocked each of their views. Taylor hurried towards the wall of boards, jumping up in an attempt to peek over. With a grunt, she managed to barely peer over the rough edges of the planks before her trembling arms made her drop back to the ground. Trying again, she propped her feet against the fence for more support and quickly scanned the area.

 

A gasp rushed from her lungs and she stumbled away from the fence, sweater sleeve snagging on the wood. Hissing, she winced at the sound of ripping fabric and collapsed backwards onto her back. "Sasha!" she bemoaned with a hushed voice. Scrambling to her feet again, worry flashed across her face. "Amber's here and she's spotted Yanique!"

 

Shay groaned, rubbing a hand down her face. "This won't be good...."

 

[

]

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Sam had to raise an eyebrow at Pidove's reaction. Hmm, so he shouldn't count on the bird's guidance then. He expected the Pokemon sent as the messenger to be able to offer advice too, but then again, there was the real possibility they prioritized the ability to conceal oneself from normal humans and hide in plain sight. But at least he could take that bit of information into account from now on.

 

Lilly had already disappeared the same way Morgan went (although in a much less dramatic way), and the other three girls apparently were going to stay. Well, he was guessing they had the permission to act independently then. He had started heading towards the fence to see what the cacophony of barks had been about when Morgan came back in, finally giving them some more information on the current problem. Problem which had apparently escalated from bad to worse.

 

Really. Second day and their cover already blown? He wasn't expecting much taking into account Vic was involved and he hadn't been able to keep Houndoom a secret for half an hour, but this was just ridiculous.

 

"It might be better for us to not be in what amounts to a dead end, then," he said in answer to Taylor, making a vague hand gesture towards the lot. The only exit was the hole, so if Amber or, god forbid, someone else blocked it, they'd surely be seen. The direction Taylor had been peeking at also hinted they wouldn't be spotted if they went out this instant, if the situation hadn't changed.

 

Plus, and more importantly, they really, really needed to start thinking about damage control.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

((Did a RNG for the paralysis/flinching chance, and none activated))

 

Houndoom had been in the middle of a particular swear he had picked up back when he was fighting a Gyarados (having the chance to bite its fin while it trashed around was worth the days he had to rest afterwards) when he felt the bite on his tail, electricity quickly spreading from it. Before thinking about what he was doing - and, honestly, even if he had thought about it he'd have reacted the exact same way-, his fangs were already heating up as he turned as fast as he could to use Fire Fang on the damn hyena-wannabe that had dared start a fight with him. 'Cause if he wanted a battle that's what he was getting. Heck, as long as he got to duke it out with something, the spy could go eat their own asses.

 

And then a human screamed. Granted, the thing they screamed was words, but the sound was enough to make Houndoom glare in the direction it had come from. He was about to snarl at them to not get in the way of his fight with the other dog when he realized, a second too late, that the surprised human was not amongst the contracted ones.

 

...Well censorkip.gif. Basically the only restriction he followed was 'do not let yourself be seen'.

 

As Mightyena's human started to shriek and the wasp flew off an alley, Houndoom quickly took a glance around and darted back, taking cover behind the building the supposed spy was hiding in. He might have been too late to avoid being completely seen, but that was completely and utterly the other canine's fault. If HE hadn't followed, tried to stop and distracted Houndoom, Houndoom would have noticed the human on time. No questions there. But noooo, the other dark dog had to play the 'responsible adult' and both ruin his fun and force him to actually resort to hiding. If his flames responded to his temper and not an actual surge of power, he would already be burning through the wall.

 

He resisted the urge to just barbecue the random passerby, though still kept it in the back of his mind as extreme last resort, and looked for windows he could use to at least get to the roof and maul something.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

No. This wasn't happening. Reality couldn't have this kind of sense of humor. Houndoom probably tackled him while still on fire, and this was all a hallucination, and what was really happening was he was bleeding to death or something.

 

"We are totally not filming a live action roleplay scene with puppies!"

 

...What.

...What.

"WHAT NO!!!" Vic screamed, taking a step back and looking at the girl next to him as if she had just proposed to hold a ballet concert right in front of school. There were just so many things wrong with that, not even counting no one was supposed to see him willingly being near something small and furry. Of which... there were two more, apparently. Weren't they with the Russian girl why were they here!?

 

"I don't have anything to do with this okay!?!?" he shouted, already panicking, looking between Yanique and Amber as if they were going to gang up on him any second and start accusing him of being a girl too.

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Pidove sucked in a shaky breath. Tiny as his claws were, they were gripping the pipe so hard that it looked as though they would crush it to bits. Then, before Pidgeotto could finish his sentence, he launched himself off his perch and was gone.

 

-----

 

Halfway through running across the street, one hand rummaging about in her bag for her cell phone, Amber decided that she regretted this decision after all.

 

The action hadn’t stopped with her arrival. The two weird dogs started fighting and barking at each other, complete with what could only be described as tacky special effects. One of the people in the costumes just disappeared. And now there was some kind of giant bee on the scene? She slowed to a walk, hands now at her sides (phone-free; it figured this would be the one day she forgot it at home). Now that she was closer, she could see that she recognized almost everyone in the group from school. Whatever this was, it was a goldmine of gossip. But she had no idea how to deal with it. She stopped at the edge of the sidewalk, briefly considering just getting the hell out of there while she still could, before deciding that she was already in too far. If those dogs caught her mid-escape it would have all been for nothing anyway.

 

She licked her lips, eyes darting about in a vain attempt to take it all in. “You guys are, uh… really bad at lying. N-no offense.” She sucked in a breath and continued before anyone could interrupt. “Look, I’m not going to pretend I have any idea what’s going on, okay? But I’m not so stupid that I don’t recognize something secret when I see it. Besides, what do you think I’m going to do, tell someone about it? I’ve theorized some pretty ridiculous things, but, uh, pretty sure people would just stop listening to me altogether if I mentioned this.” She chuckled nervously. “But, ah. I’m really curious! Spirit of scientific investigation and all that, you know!” She struck a pose, one hand in front of her in a (slightly shaky) v-sign. “And you should totally tell me where the heck you found a giant bee before I'm forced to bring out the big guns. I can be a very annoying person when I have to be!”

 

((trash goodbye))

Edited by Fractional Pi Day

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It would seem we've made an impression on them. Zero observed. The girl with the dogs seemed pretty rattled by the encounter. suddenly, there was a flash of light, as a large insect-like Pokémon appeared, ranting some unintelligible babble, before launching itself at her. Zero leaned back as the overgrown wasp tore through her illusion. Sliding away from the edge of the building, she readied herself for it's next attack. Preparing a dark pulse to counterattack with, Zero took aim....

Only to let it fade as she observed the bee lashing out in completely random directions. Is this guy for real? Zoroark commented. He's completely blinded by his own rage.

Let's let the bug cool off then, Zero replied. Silently, she dove over the side of the building, taking the place of her remaining clone. Turning around, Zero was then able to take a closer look at what the girls were dealing with now. Seems we're not the only ones to crash this party, she observed.

They don't seem to be attacking her, although I can tell they'd love to, Zoroark added.

Highschool drama at it's finest, pity we forgot the popcorn.

 

Observing the scene before her, Zero began formulating her next plan. It looks like I CAN just walk out of here after all. she mused. Focusing on the image she wanted, Zero sculpted a new illusion for herself. Her leotard was replaced by a grey kimono, while her high heels took on the appearance of wooden sandals. The red streaks in her hair faded to black, and a Kabuki mask covered her face. Taking the mask off again, Zero's face was revealed to have changed to one that was distinctly Asian. The Illusion complete, Zero checked herself once over to make sure there were no details out of place. Satisfied, she then walked out of the ally, taking on a carefree trot.

And, showtime, Zero thought to herself.

"AWWwwww!! Kawaī!" she cried, her voice having taken on a much higher pitch. She dashed over to where the magical girls were confronting this clearly non magical girl (if their excuses were anything to go by). Zero leaned over the dogs, and dog like Pokémon, and gave another adoring squee, before acting like she had only just noticed that there were other people there. She straightened up as if surprised, before saying, "Eh? Ah! Kon'nichiwa! Je ne parle français. uh,.."

Oh this is just gold, Zoroark commented, barely able to contain his own mirth.

Zero turned to face the dogs once more, taking care to keep her back to the magical girls. This was because her illusion had a little memo written on the back for them: make a scene, and I'll make it bigger

 

 

====================================================

 

 

Lilly meanwhile, had ducked back behind the fence, shuddering. No way on earth did she want to have anything to do with Amber Riggs, especially not after what happened the last time they'd met face to face. There was a flash of white as Christy and Ivy reemerged from the Pokéball. "What's wrong Lilly?" Christy asked, concerned about Lilly's sudden change in demeanor.

"It's Amber Riggs," Lilly choked, "The worst girl in school. I really don't want to talk about it."

Christy was silent for a while. What could be so horrible about this girl that it would scare Lilly so? she wondered.

Edited by sailing101

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Yanique flinched as Vic blew up beside her. Granted, they were similar enough in the sense that they both wanted to preserve their 'cool' image to the student population of Hillside Heights, but he was such a girl. She had the feeling her own reputation would get brutally beat up and run over by a steamroller and then shot into space the moment school started tomorrow morning and Amber exposed to the world what a dweeb she was.

 

Sometimes, one had to make sacrifices for the sake of the greater good.

 

But wait, giant bee? What bee...?

 

Yanique's lip trembled while she tried her best to hide her frown. Some of the more "normal" pokemon she could handwave, but a giant bee...! That girl -- Morgan, was it? -- might have been intimidating, rich, and all-around as well disciplined as the larger dog by her side, but even she had no control over the impredicatable natures of pokemon. Although admittedly, she was the last person the shorter girl expected to break the masquerade.

 

She -- Morgan -- owned a mansion, right? And those slips of paper with her name and name and number on them were pretty fancy. In those precious few seconds between the question and her answer, Yanique fumbled for an excuse. It wouldn't be a stretch to assume... "Duh," Yanique rolled her eyes at Amber, tone condesending. "Drones are getting pretty cutting edge these days. Morgan's got a new toy. What, you didn't hear? Though she told me that it's a protoype she'll have to return to her dad next week."

 

As if the universe was against them, another girl entered the scene. Petite and dressed obviously (perhaps over-the-top) Japanese, she began to coddle the dogs excessively, including Mightyena who was himself looking a little uncomfortable either from the physical contact or the minor burns suffered from Houndoom's bite. He had his jaw clenched and was trying his best to lower his hackles. Yanique's muscles tensed from head to toe as she waited for the lady to remark that her dog was the strange one of the bunch and end their magical girl careers on day two.

 

When she actually tried to get a good look at the woman, Yanique finally noticed the note on her back and let out a breath she didn't know she was holding. Was Japanese Lady some help sent by Diancie? If there was some kind of pokemon lord above, she prayed that that was the case and that this mess will work out in the end. Amber loved public scenes, and Vic was already performing his one-man-freakout-show.

 

It was probably wiser to skip school tomorrow.

 

She couldn't possibly dig a deeper chasm for herself, so she might as well throw all her chips down. She threw her hands up in the air. "Waaaah! Japanesu waifu! You're too kawaii!" Turning around, she shielded her head with her arms in shame. "I thought I was done with that stage of my life, but it's come back to haunt me!"

Edited by TehUltimateMage

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Amber stared blankly at the newcomer as she pet the giant dog with red eyes and Yanique tried her best to offer a plausible explanation. Slowly, she balled her hands into fists.

 

“Are you trying to make fun of me?!” She took half a step forward and pointed an accusing finger at Zoie. “I know you guys are behind this somehow - or if she’s actually just a really weird tourist or something then she can’t understand me anyway, so whatever! In case you haven’t noticed yet, I’m not Japanese! And you - “ the finger swiveled and pointed at Yanique - “Are you even listening to yourself? There’s no way that’s even possible. What’s so important about this that you have to resort to obviously fake excuses instead of just telling me?” She glared at the ground and, noting the absence of any pebbles to kick, scuffed her shoe hard against the concrete.

 

There was a brief silence. “Alright. If that’s the game you want to play, fine.” She looked back up, her stormy expression replaced with an innocent smile. “Whoops! I totally forgot that I’m late for an appointment. I'm a busy girl, you know! Nice talking to all of you, but it looks like we’ll have to continue this conversation tomorrow. At school. Very loudly and in the middle of a crowded hallway, if possible.” With a final wave, she turned on her heels and strolled away at the exact speed that someone who was late for something should not go. “Have fun doing whatever this is.”

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“I apologize for the scene Queen caused. At the very least, it seems as though this particular spy won’t be spying on us anytime soon. Either that or-"

Pidove, with his tiny talons grasping the pipe under him in a death grip, sucked in a shaky breath with his feathers bristling up. Before Morgan could finish her sentence, he launched himself into the air and hastily flew away from the lots. The rest of Morgan's words drifted off as Pidove vanished out of sight. Her lips formed into a line as took in a sharp breath. She silently noted that Lilly appeared to be the only one missing besides the few people who had ran outside of the fence before Morgan did. Sasha was fuming while her partner attempted to calm her through words of wisdom, Taylor was trying to look over the fence, Sam appeared mildly surprise by Pidove's reaction, and Marian looked rather anxious. A soft sigh of aggravation left Morgan's lips as she shook her head sadly. The situation had become so dire that Pidove had literally bailed on the group. A most unprofessional action on his part—an action that would surely get him in trouble later if Diancie was as responsible as she was made out to be—but the mere fact that he had left was enough to dampen Morgan's spirits further. Had the group seriously compromised their mission in the span of two days? Were the Contracts going to be nullified due to their incompetence? For a moment, Morgan humored the idea of the entire situation being a mere figment of her imagination. She could walk up any minute suffocating in a ball of fur and begin the day like any other. She'd treat the past few days as nothing more than some twisted fabrication her mind crafted to delude her into neglecting her earthly responsibilities. As desirable as a concept that was, Morgan knew that what was transpiring was no dream. She couldn't possible be creative enough to dream up such a bizarre scenario. Still, the idea was much more attractive than reality.

 

A soft gasp from Taylor brought Morgan's attention to fence. The girl dropped from the fence, momentarily stopping to grumble as she tore her sleeve from the fence where it had become stuck, before glancing over worriedly at the others.

"Sasha! Amber's here and she's spotted Yanique!"

"She's still there?" Morgan inquired quietly as Amber spoke on the other side of the fence. "Damn her persistence, why is she wandering around the lots at 9am in the morning?" Weren't most teenagers in Hillside sleeping? Not everyone had to go to a meeting to discuss their plans to stop the world from possibly being destroyed. What was Amber's excuse for being up so early? Inching closer towards the fence, taking care to crouch down least she could be seen, Morgan began to eavesdrop on the conversation on the other side. Much to her dismay, it appeared as though Yanique and Vic were not prepared for the situation. Morgan frowned as she heard Victor suddenly explode, completely obliterating the legitimacy of Yanique's excuse. Were they trying to blow everyone's cover? It was ridiculous how grossly inept everyone appeared to be. At this rate, they were only going to accomplish embarrassing themselves in front of Luxray before actually doing anything useful. Then again, they were teenagers who had just been introduced into a world that eradicated whatever they thought about earth beforehand. Perhaps everyone was acting so flippantly because they were too baffled to think straight. Morgan knew for sure that her mind had been spinning ever since she met Beedrill. It wouldn't be surprising if the other magical girls, or magical boy in Victor's case, were just as confused if not more puzzled than she was.

That still doesn't excuse yesterday's mess nor does it excuse the nonsense that happened today. This is becoming utterly absurd.

Amber easily called Yanique's bluff though the manner in which she did so brought up the impression that she was nervous, if not intimidated, by the situation. Morgan didn't dare look over the fence, least Amber catched a glimpse of her, but Morgan could tell just by the way Amber's voice was wavering that she most certainly was not comfortable with the situation. Hopefully, Amber's uncomfortableness was enough to lure her away from the lot. The group could deal with whatever shenanigans she threw at them later. As long as the situation didn't get any worse, it could be stabilized and everything would be just-

 

“And you should totally tell me where the heck you found a giant bee before I'm forced to bring out the big guns. I can be a very annoying person when I have to be!”

As soon as Amber say "giant bee", Morgan felt her blood turn cold.

"He didn't," Morgan whispered quietly as she tilted her head downward and closed her eyes solemnly. Her hands slowly balled up into fists and she refrained from taking in a shaky breath. If Amber had seen Beedrill, then she had also seen the spy vanishing from the ground only to appear standing on the side of the building.

For speaking in such a condescending tone, the spy appears to be just as reckless as we are. Exposing herself to blatantly to a non-Contracted teenager girl was rather foolish on the spy's part.

Even if the irony Morgan found in the spy's action proved to be amusing, that did not cancel out the problem that Beedrill had brought up. Even if Yanique presented a good excuse that Amber believed, which seemed unlikely at this point, Beedrill had still thrown caution to the wind and exposed himself out in the open. Opening her eyes and glancing over at the direction of the building, Morgan could see that the spy had vanished and Beedrill was nowhere in sight. There was no way Morgan was going to give him the chance to make the situation even worse. Pushing herself away from the fence, Morgan stood up and turned around as Lilly came back into the fence, her face pale as she shuddered.

"If Amber, or God knows who else, decides to go towards that square gray building nearby, one of you should call or text me," Morgan said as she turned her gaze towards the girls still inside of the fence. "I'd rather not have any more surprises today." Without another word, Morgan ducked under the hole in the fence and glanced over towards where Yanique, Victor, and their partners were. The hellhound had apparently fled, leaving only the wolf-like Pokemon to follow Yanique's lead. Queen was playfully barking at Amber with her nub of a tail wagging furiously as Bonnie gave a deploring look to the strange tourist who was loudly squealing as she looked at the canines before her. Morgan fought to urge to express her annoyance vocally as she walked over to the corner of the building and out of sight. Morgan caught a glimpse of Amber pointing her finger accusingly at the tourist before Morgan walked past the corner, away from sight. Morgan could still easily hear Amber's boisterous voice from where she was standing.

"Why must she be so nosy?" Morgan asked herself as she shook her head. "As if things weren't difficult enough."

 

Crossing her arms, Morgan examined the building in front of her. It wasn't too big, only about two floors tall or so. It, along with all the other buildings in the empty lots, had been abandoned years ago. It's construction had never been finished and although the primitive structure of the building was intake, anything decorative, such as painting the outside, was not present. Nature had claimed the building a while back, evidenced by the numerous vines scaling the building's side. Morgan walked up to the pipe leading up to the roof of the building. She gripped it and shook it to test its durability. The pipe felt somewhat loose, probably due to little to no maintenance over the years. It was most likely sturdy to use, but she didn't want to push her chances. Sighing, Morgan backed away from the building, taking care to make sure she didn't bump into anything. When she was at a sufficient distance, she sprinted forward, leaping up at the building. She grasped the side of the building with her hands and propelled herself upward with feet. Her hands grasped the edge of a window sill and she pulled herself upwards, grunting at the effort. With her arms crossed firmly on the sill, Morgan kicked her legs towards the pipe and wrapped them around the pole's length. She carefully scooted herself over, removing her arms from the sill in favor of the pipe. The metal felt cool in her hands and let out an ominous creak as it supported her weight. Trying desperately not to look down, Morgan began to climb upwards with tense muscles. In less than a minute, her hands met the edge of the flat roof. She pulled herself upwards, letting out a gasp of relief as she spotted Beedrill. From the roof, Morgan could plainly see Amber waving goodbye to Yanique and Victor. The blessing of Amber fleeing the lots would be all the more enjoyable if Amber's default walking speed wasn't molasses.

 

Shaking her head, Morgan waltz over to Beedrill with a raised eyebrow.

"What part of, 'Don't be seen by humans,' did you not understand?" Morgan asked as the bee-like creature, who was curled up on the ground, raised his head in alarm.

"Morgan!" he exclaimed as he raised his antennaes in surprise. "H-How did ya-" He paused, turning his head to the side as he stared off into the distance. He opened and closed his mouth several times before exhaling a defeated sigh. Morgan, not wanting to be seen, sat down and wrapped her arms around her knees as she motioned for Beedrill to speak.

"I was hopein' you wouldn't find a way up here," he said gently, averting his gaze to the ground. "I broke protocol at some loner's tauntin'." A scowl curled on Beedrill's visage as his voice became drenched in venom. "Some lawless punk causes some trouble and I up and throw away every law I know just 'cause I know what they're doin' is wrong! The dirty little scoundrel, made a fool out of me. If I ever get my stingers on them, oh I'll-" Beedrill stopped mid-sentence, his mouth still open. He lowered his head as she sighed.

"Princess Diancie will be so disappointed in me," he said in hushed whisper.

"If she's going to be disappointed in anyone, it'll be all of us," Morgan pointed out. "Every single one of us have contributed to the problem, whether it be by helping creating the mess or standing by and letting the problem get worse. Hell, even Pidove deserves some of the blame, he flew off a while back, presumably because the situation got too heated for him to handle." A soft chuckle emitted from Beedrill's lips as he shook his head.

"That fellow gets flustered rather easily," Beedrill commented as what Morgan could only define as a smirk crossed his face. There was a moment of peaceful silence before Beedrill finally rose up on his legs, shaking the dust from his wings.

"I'd reckon it would be best for us to get back," Beedrill proclaimed as he looked up at Morgan expectantly. "I'll try to think more before I act in the future." Morgan nodded as she dug her hand into her pocket before fishing out the ultra ball within it. She clicked the circle in the middle of the ball, causing it to inflate.

"Hey, uh, lass."

"Hm?"

"Thanks for that, I, uh, needed it."

"Oh," Morgan blinked at Beedrill as he rubbed one of his appendages uncomfortably. "I... you're welcome, Beedrill." Morgan opened the ultra ball and watched as a red light leaped out of it and consumed Beedrill in its brilliance. The light retreated after only a few moments, allowing Morgan to close the ball and minimize it before stuffing it back into her pocket. Morgan couldn't hear Amber speaking, hopefully because she had left the lots and not because she was speaking softly or because she was trying to climb to the roof. Morgan had her fill of spies for the week. Rocking herself onto her feet, Morgan strolled over to the side of the roof before glancing down at the pipe. She hadn't felt her phone vibrate yet so hopefully that meant that the situation had considerably gotten better. Holding onto her hopes, Morgan latched onto the pipe and carefully began her descent down the building.

 

(This took too long)

Edited by Doctortear

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