By Terrarian Pony
WARNING: Content of this story may include violence, gore, romance, same gender romance, Pokémon, and references to several video games. If anyone is offended by any of the content listed above, than please turn back now. You have been warned.
Terrarian Pony presents...
Nine years later...
Terran woke to the sound of someone knocking on his door. He was different now, then he was nine years ago. The once human, now an Eevee, had a marking on both his cheeks, the shape of tree. He put on his trusty grey scarf, and ran to the door, opening it to see the friendly face of Bubbles, a vaporeon with brown eyes, and a grin on his face. He had a plate full of toasted berries. Sitrus berries were Terran's favorite. Even more so when they slightly burnt. Terran considered Bubbles a good friend, even if sometimes occasionally he didn't agree with Terran. They both work hard to pay their rents, not to mention tribute to the Lumina Guild. The Lumina Guild was a place where many Pokémon would go to seek help. Guild Explorers would also delve deep into dungeons in search of treasure, and other stuff.
However, the guild has been getting thinner and thinner on account of the new forming faction calling themselves the Enforcers. Many Pokémon appreciate guild service, but there are those who consider guilds to be sloppy, destructive, and lacking in discipline. The Enforcers are tactful, headstrong, and use protocols to maintain order. The more the Enforcers grow, the less Pokémon come to the guilds for help. Guild Explorers start needing better pay, so they leave their guilds to work for the Enforcers.
As Terran and Bubbles began to sit at the wooden table where they eat, they began to talk. "Hey." Bubbles said, his curiosity getting the better of him. "I know it's a long shot, but... I gotta ask, have any of your memories come back to you? You know... the ones from when you were... you know."
Terran shook his head with a frown. "No. It's been nine years since I came here. If they haven't come back since then, I doubt they will at all."
Bubbles gulped down the berry he was chewing on. "Now that doesn't sound like you." he said. "Usually you're more optimistic. I'm sure it'll all come running back to you... eventually."
After breakfast, the two made their way to the Lumina Guild. Lumina is a nice town, with a nice, stone layout. Bubbles and Terran lived in a house built from scratch on the north-western side of town. The guild was on top of a small hill, overlooking the town. On their way to the guild, they stopped at the Lumina café, who is a big supporter of the guild, to say high to a good friend of their's Naomi. Naomi is a Meinshoa who is famous around town for her homemade cake shakes.
Naomi was busy with a customer, but she waved at them as Bubbles and Terran came through the door. "Hello there! I'll be right with you in a minute, kay?" Nodding, Terran and Bubbles took a seat near the counter and waited. Once she was done with the Fomantis in front of them, she came over with a pre-made cake shake for both of them. "Kept them nice and cold, just for you two."
"Thanks Naomi." Bubbles said.
"Yeah, thanks." Terran echoed. "You're the only Pokémon we know who can make these taste so good."
Naomi giggled between a flattered blush. "Up to the guild today?"
Terran nodded. "Oracle said she was bringing in some new trainees to help. For the past few weeks, it's been just the two of us, and that... uh... him."
"Yyyeeeaah." Bubbles said, indignantly. "him." The Pokémon they were referring to was a Slaking named Rampage. He is feisty and destructive when he's hungry, and quite lazy when he's not. The guild has had to have several repairs as a result of him being "hangry" half the time. But Oracle realizes that it's just part of his charm and nature, so he is allowed to stick around, and she takes many precautions to make sure he doesn't go full Rampage.
"You should be grateful for such a member." Naomi said. "Ever since the Enforcers were formed, your guild has been losing members and supporters to them. His loyalty to you seems to be his greatest trait."
"That's true." Terran said. "I'm not saying we don't appreciate having him. I just feel like a quarter of my guild tribute goes to repairing the guild about every other month. But I cannot deny that he's helped us out of a jam more times than once." And this was true. Rampage had always been there in their time of need, when they were in serious danger.
"I wander what new Pokémon will be joining our cause." Bubbles interrupted. "Or at least how many we'll be taking in."
Terran slurped down his shake, and responded by saying "Welp, I guess we'll figure that out when we get there."
The entrance to the guild was covered in decorative lights, and a sign that said "Welcome to the Lumina Guild". There was another sign near the entrance that read "Accepting any and all applications! We are totally not desperate or anything!" Which, now looking at it, sounds very desperate. Terran let out a sigh.
"Man, I hope the new recruits aren't going to back out on us like the last ones." Terran said. "It'd be really nice to have a win right about now."
"Yeah, but times are changing." Bubbles replied, wrinkling his nose. "If we don't get some new help, we'll have to change with it."
As they head in, a bell rings, notifying everyone else that someone is entering the guild hall. They entered into a small corridor, and follow it into a large room filled with tables and a food court. In the far right-hand corner was a large board, full of job requests, and not enough members to deal with them. The only other Pokémon in the room were a Growlithe and a Delphox. The Growlithe's fur was hot pink where it is normally an orange. Her name is Tulip, and she is the guild's nurse. The Delphox's name is Oracle, and she is the leader of the guild, as well as the town mayor's favorite scapegoat. Every time something happens, mayor Murray turns the public's rage to the guild.
"Oracle!" Tulip shouted. "You can't possibly be considering..."
"Only if this doesn't work." Oracle replied. "I will not let my guild fall without a fight, but we are not invincible. Especially against politics."
"What's happening?" Terran asked. "What are you guys talking about?"
"Terran, Bublbles." Oracle said calmly. "It's nothing you should worry yourself over."
Terran wasn't convinced, but he knew better than to push on Oracle.
"Good morning, you two." Tulip began, masking a bit of stress. "Hope you don't get too hurt out there today."
"Actually, they'll be tackling an even more difficult challenge than usual today." Oracle said. "I hope you two are ready for the new trainees." Terran and Bubbles both nodded at once. "Good, they should be here any second. Well, look at that. Here comes one now."
Just then, a female Absol with a blank look on her face came in. Her horn was slightly cracked, and she kept her eyes to the floor as if she were trying particularly to not look at anyone the wrong way. Finally, she rose her gaze to Terran and Bubbles forepaws, but no higher. "Is this... is this the Lumina Guild?" she managed to utter.
"That's right." Bubbles said, cheerily. "No need to be nervous. No one here's going to judge you."
"Oh." said the Absol. "I'm not nervous. I just have a hard time being around other Pokémon without them starting a fight with me. So I try to avoid eye contact. I can't see them, they can't see me. It seems to work well enough for me."
"Why would someone just start a fight with you?" Terran asked.
The Absol gave a long sigh. "My kind are infamously known as the disaster Pokémon." she said, sadly. "It's a common mistake to believe that Absol causes disaster, when really, we try to warn them. We don't make anything happen that's already supposed to happen. We just predict incoming natural disasters by sensing weather patterns through our horns. But when I try to explain that, no one believes me. I'm actually kind of an outlaw in at least five different cities because of this."
"I see." Terran said. "Well, lucky we accepting of outcasts like yourself."
"Also, we're kind of despera- oof!" Bubbles said, being interrupted by Terran jabbing his elbow into his side. "I mean, yeah. We'll accept you, as long as you're okay with fighting."
"We're all prone humiliation here." Oracle said. "As you may have noticed, this guild isn't as big as it once was known to be. This is because guilds are not very popular these days due to the new organization calling themselves 'The Enforcers'."
Now the Absol looked a little nervous. And... guilty? "W-well, joining a guild wasn't exactly the first option on my mind." she said. "You see, I wanted to join the Enforcers, but apparently they aren't as accepting towards outlaws. I was nearly arrested and sent to the 'Coal Mountain Correctional Facility', but thankfully their system prevents conviction due to circumstantial evidence. So I got lucky, but I'm constantly under fire by killer bounty hunters."
"Well don't worry." Bubbles said. "As a member of a guild, we can vouch for you. There still Pokémon who believe in our cause, and that'll be enough to sort out whatever problems come to pass."
The Absol smiled, and finally looked up at Terran and Bubbles with blue eyes. "Th-thank you." she said gratefully. "I'm Sage, and I would like to be a part of your guild."
Terran smiled and nodded. "Alright, but first I'd like to ask you a few... scenario questions."
Sage tilted her head in confusion, but said "Umm... okay?"
"Question one: Two Pokémon are in grave danger. One you know, and one you don't. You have ten seconds to save them, what do you do?"
Sage gulped, and looked at Terran with anxiety. "Ah... uh... I don't..."
"Seven seconds." Terran shouted. "Choose quickly!"
"Um. The one on the... one I know? No! The I don't! Ah, I mean..."
"This is insane!"
"Ah! I save the one I know!"
"Too late, their both dead." Terran says finally.
"Ah! Noooo!" Sage yelled. "That's not fair! I-I'm sorry! This is why I don't like getting attached to other Pokémon, because I'm afraid of losing people! Please don't kick me out!"
"Hey hey." Terran said. "It's alright. Listen. Next time, when you are met with a difficult decision, it's a good idea to improvise. Stay calm, analyze your surroundings, and do what you can to save both individuals. But also remember that you can't save everyone, or be everywhere at once."
Sage sighed again. "Maybe I'm not cut out for this after all."
"I disagree." Bubbles objected. "In this guild, we believe in trial and error. You failed to save both Pokémon, but there is always a risk of that. But you tried. Of course, there is a great deal of sadness, you remember everything good about them."
"And if it's someone you don't know, then you can still mourn them." Terran said. "Truthfully, in our line of work, there isn't always a happy ending."
"I know." Sage said. "And that's why I was so hesitant to come here. I can't keep a calm mind knowing that someone is in danger."
"It's hard for all of us." Bubbles said.
"But we keep trying, even when the odds are against us." Terran finished. "No matter what, we never give in. And that's wha this guild is about."
"I see." Sage said. "I promise I will try my best."
"I heard someone say: One of the Team Dreamers named Poppy who once a Popplio who evolved into Brionne and later Primarina." Terran said.
Just then, the entrance bell rang, and two more Pokémon entered the guild hall. One was a female Zorua. Her eyes were brown, and the parts of her fur that are normally red on a Zorua were purple. The other was a female Furret with brown eyes, and wearing a red hat with the letters "SF" on it.
"Ah, here are the last two recruits?" Oracle said.
"Wait a minute!" Terran interrupted. "Only three Pokémon applied?"
"Well it's not as if we are a very popular job choice these days." Oracle said. "Besides, now that we have a few more Pokémon with us, I'm sure that we'll gain plenty more followers."
"I guess we'll have to make do for now." Bubbles said.
"What's up!?" the Zorua said cheerily. "I'm Rumor, and I'm here to join the guild!"
"I'm Reina, and I'm here for the same thing." said the Furret.
"What does the... SF stand for?" Bubbles inquired.
"Super Furret." Reina answered. "Duh."
"We're glad to have you guys here." Terran said. "Before we go on, I have a scenario for each of you. First, the Furret. You are in a cave, and the walls have collapsed in the path in front of you. What do you do?"
Reina thought about that for a moment. "I guess try to find a different way to go. Or maybe slip through the cracks if they're thick enough."
"Okay, Rumor." Bubbles said. "Say you want to prank one of our rival guilds, how would you do it? Please provide details."
"Well," Rumor began. "Being a Zorua, I guess first I'd disguise myself as one their members. Then while no one is looking, I'd vandalize their guild leader's office with toilet paper!"
"Wow." Sage replied. "I like to think of myself as creative, but I don't think I could ever do something as daring as that."
"How constructive." Terran said. "Now. All of you, close your eyes, think of something you did in the past week. Don't tell me. Just hold that thought. Now..." Terran and Bubbles brought over a few large canvases and painting supplies. "Here. Take these, and on the canvas in front of you, I want you draw your feelings."
"With our eyes closed?" Sage asked.
"That's right." Bubbles said. "No peeking."
Each of them began painting their own thing. Sage was having a hard time balancing herself while trying paint, but she didn't give up, and she kept a steady brush. Rumor was holding the brush in her mouth, excitedly painting with a plethora of colors and splatters. Reina was calm, but determined. Eventually, Sage was tired of sitting on her hind legs and painting with her claws, and resorted to using her mouth like Rumor. In doing so, a single tear of green paint came down the brushes handle, and toward her nose. As soon as she felt it, Sage yelped, and jumped instinctively. She landed and stepped on Rumor's tail, and her brush went flying in the air, as Sage ecstatically tried to apologies. Rumor's brush flew all the way over towards Reina and landed on her head, causing her to be surprised and accidentally attack her canvas with her tail. The canvas fell towards Sage's canvas, knocking it towards Sage. Sage only had a split to look before the canvas fell on top of her. Her horn ripped through the canvas by accident, and now her head was poking through, and her face, covered in her own paint.
Rumor and Reina tried hard not to laugh, but they couldn't help it. Eventually, Sage herself started laughing. "What do you know?" she said, cheerily through tears of laughter. "I guess I really do cause disasters."
"I don't know." Rumor replied with a grin of impression. "I think it looks like a... a work of art. Hehehe."
"I thought you were supposed to paint the canvas, not let the canvas paint you." Reina said, jokingly.
"Well that's... not what expected," Terran said. "but at least now we know they are able to be positive in the face of humiliation."
"I've never seen anyone so cheerful surrounded by such a mess." Oracle replied, smiling thoughtfully. "It reminds me of my days as a Fennekin. So what do you think of them? Are they worthy of being members of our guild?"
"They'll need some training for sure, but they all look like they can handle themselves quite well." Terran said.
"Aside from being attacked by a peace of art, and losing you mean?" Bubbles said, grinning. "Haha! I suppose they're all great candidates. we're desperate anyways, and we have nothing to lose at this point."
Oracle nodded. "Very well. Rumor, Sage, Reina? May I see you all here, please?" Now in serious mode, the three candidates stepped forward, Sage threw of the canvas, but her face was still covered in paint. They all in front of Oracle, hoping their earlier display wouldn't take off too many points. "Seeing the three of you today, and the way that you all collaborate with each other as total strangers, it is clear that you are all you here because you this is something you are willing to fight for. And your display of chaos, is further proof that you are each more than qualified of becoming members of this guild. And with that, I welcome the three of you to the Lumina Guild."
Rumor did a flip in the air and landed on all fours. Reina pumped a fist in the air and said "Yes!" Sage's eyes glittered with tears, realizing she'd finally found somewhere she was accepted for her talents.
Sage shook herself, standing tall and looking confident, even puffing out her chest a little. "I won't let you down." she said to Oracle, in a determined tone. Oracle just smiled. Terran and Bubbles knew this was going to be the start of something great.
To be continued...