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...
Pixie knew this was coming. He prepared for it, actually. He'd even decided to leave Azreal out of it. He fiddled with the cuffs a bit before he managed to scratch his itching nose. These cuffs were made out an alloy known as chlorophyte, which has the ability to block all Pokémon moves and abilities. From the other side of the bars of his prison cell, Azreal couldn't help but tear up. "Pixie..." he managed to say, before a ribbon-like tendril was pressed to his lips. Pixie smiled somberly, knowing full well that he would never see his lover again, except from behind these bars.
"Shh. Please don't cry, my love." he whispered, closing his eyes and leaning into the bars. "You must finish our mission without me."
"You know I can't do this without you, Pix." Azreal said through tears. "I need you. I-I'll find a way."
Pixie shook his head. "No Azreal." he said. "The order already suspects you. Pam's death brought us a lot of attention, and I am finally paying the price for it."
"You may be the one in a cell!" Azreal blurted. "But you are not the only one paying a price here! How can I go on, knowing that we can never be together again? How can I just accept that this prison separates us. Have you even thought about that? About the pain I would have to suffer because of your willingness to sacrifice everything we've been through together? What about our future? What about our daughter? She has to live now, with the fact that one of her fathers has been locked up, and she just has to accept it! How could you have let this happen?"
Pixie's expression turned sorrowful at the mention of their adoptive kin. He even felt tears in his eyes. Olivia was their pride and joy, and she loved her two dads with all her heart. She hasn't been the same since Pixie was punished for treason. "I will miss our dear, sweet Olivia." Pixie said with an anguished tone, then he smiled again, proudly. "I know she's going to grow into a strong, beautiful Ninetails someday. My only regret is that I won't ever see her become the extraordinary girl I know she will be. Tell her no matter what... her father will always love her."
"You should be the one telling her this." Azreal sobbed. "She wants to see you, you know. But she's too scared to face you in this position. How can any child see their parent like this and not feel completely heart broken?"
Pixie sat looking away from Azreal, and up at the moon through the barred window. "She would never understand." he said softly. "She could never take the necessary risks we had to take."
"That's why I am going to tell her." Azreal said. I'm going to tell her everything."
Pixie's head whipped around, his eyes locking with Azreal's. "You can't!" he yelled, panicked. "She'll won't be able to handle it! You can't ever say a word about any of this to Olivia!"
"You lost the right to tell me how to raise our daughter when you got yourself locked up." Azreal said, putting his foot down. "I can finally do something right for a change, and I won't have you to influence me any longer."
"N-no!" Pixie yelled. "P-please! Azreal! Don't do this! You can't..."
"I'm sorry, Pixie." Azreal said, as he turned and walked away. "I've made my decision. And I'll have to live with it."
Pixie screamed Azreal's name, begging, pleading for him to listen to reason. So much so that the guards had to come and shut him up. But Azreal didn't look back. He didn't stop, not even for a second. If there was one thing he would do right, it was this. And his relationship with his daughter would be entirely up to her. Whatever her decision, he would accept it. Even if that meant he'd never see both his husband, or his daughter ever again.
"I can't believe I actually made it into the guild!" Sage said as she smiled at the bathroom mirror, her new badge, a circular pin with an amethyst in the center of it, and wings sticking out the sides, donned on a dark green scarf. She then frowned, looking at her cracked horn. "I hope this works out. Unlike those other jobs. I hate to seem desperate, but I need to earn money somehow. It's just... is this right for me?" Sage inhaled, deeply, eliminating the thought. "No! I'm going to succeed! This will be my place, and I won't let anyone, or anything take this from me. Look out world! Here comes... Sage the Absol!"
Sage got all her things together, and headed out the door. As she was on her way to the Guild, she spotted a group of Five Salandit ganging up on a poor, frightened Minccino, and her mother, a Cinccino, at their store.
"Now now." said one of the Salandit bandits, in a menacing, negotiating tone. "We can do this the easy way, or the hard way. Give us all the goods you got, and we won't have to get violent."
"B-but..." the Cinccino said. "W-we already payed our due to your gang in exchange to leave us alone. We don't want any trouble."
"Yeah, that was last week." the lead bandit stated. "I'm here for this week's due."
"How am I supposed to pay tribute if you rob me of all my merchandise?" the shop owner asked, holding her crying child tightly. The poor Minccino was shivering in fear in her mother's fur.
"Not my problem." The bandit leader stated, emotionless. "It's not my job to do math, so just hand over everything you got, or..."
"Or... what..." Sage interrupted, standing over the bandits. "Am I to assume you are threatening these poor civilians?"
"And who are you supposed to be?" The leader asked.
"Psst... hey boss." one of the bandits next to him whispered. "I think that's one of the guild Pokémon. Look at that badge."
The bandit leader crossed his arms. "You kidding me?" he chuckled. "That guild still hasn't burned to the ground yet? What a waste of space. Guess we'll have to teach you a lesson."
Sage grinned. "I was hoping you would say that."
It was over in less than a minute. The bandits were easy work for the Absol, as they went down like a sack of bricks. "Ha! That'll teach ya." Sage said, allowing herself to bask in victory, if even just for a moment. She walked over to the shop owners, who still seemed very scared. "It's okay now. You're safe."
"S-safe!?" the Cinccino shouted. "You just made EVERYTHING worse!"
Sage frowned, looking confused. "Don't worry. They'll be going away for a long time. They won't be coming back for you anytime soon."
"And what about their gang!?" the shop owner said. "Surely they'll retaliate, and take their losses out on us civilians. But you didn't think about that, now did you!? You guild Pokémon never think about what your actions will cause! We'll have to move again, and change our names! And it's all your fault!"
That stung more than any insult Sage had ever heard. She flinched at the word fault, as if it hit her in the stomach. "I-I'm sorry... I... I was just trying to help." Sage explained.
"You are hurting more than you are helping!" the shop own yelled, making Sage back up a little with a gulp of regret. "Our lives have been ruined yet again by another guild!"
"I... I didn't know there were more of them." Sage said. "I-I'm still new to this. Tell me where their base is, maybe I can find them and have a chat with them. Please, let me help you!"
"You want to help?" the shop owner asked. "Here's some advice. Stop playing hero, and leave well enough alone!" She picked up her crying child, and began walking away, leaving the poor Absol confused, and morally conflicted.
Was it really necessary what she did? What would have happened if she just let them be? It's like all of her good intentions actually seem to cause more problems for the Pokémon she is helping. She took a look at the badge in her paw. Did she really deserve this? "Not everyone can get what they want." Sage said, looking up T the sky, tears in her eyes. "It's time I except that."
At the guild, Rumor and Reina were already there, laughing and waiting for their assignments. They waved at her as she passed by, but she didn't respond. Instead, she walked past them towards the guild leader, and held the badge up for her to see. "I... I can't except this gift." she said.
Oracle, Terran and bubbles looked confused. "Whatever do you mean?" Oracle questioned. "You haven't even begun your training yet."
Sage looked up at her with eyes of discouragement. "I just arrested a group of bandits on the way here, without thinking of the long term affect it'll have on the shop owner I saved, and her family." she said. "Everything I do is cause and affect, and the end result is always so frustrating. I can't do anything right, no matter how hard I try, and no one will appreciate the things I do for them. Somehow, I am meant to be seen as the problem. Maybe I should just go live in the mountains, like other Absol. Maybe there, I would be accepted, and appreciated, and I won't cause any trouble."
Oracle closed her eyes and sighed. "I see." she said. "You believe you are the cause of a problem because someone else says so." Sage nodded. "Than that is when you you fix the problem, instead of letting it play out. The only way to make sure that shop owner and her family remain safe, is to deal with the problem before it becomes a problem."
"I... I don't..." Sage began to say. "I don't even know where those bandits are hiding. And the ones I arrested won't talk."
"You leave that to us." Bubbles said.
"We've been getting reports of bandits stealing from the local merchants." Terran commented. "And you just happened to have arrested a few of them. Something that we haven't been able to do as of yet. You didn't cause a problem, you made it easier for us to combat."
"I-I did?" Sage asked.
"I think you should hold onto that badge for now." Oracle commented. "You shan't give because of one Pokémon's opinion of you. Show them that you can finish the job. This will be a training session for the three of you. Terran and Bubbles will be supervising. I wish you luck on this mission."
"Th-thank you, guild leader." Sage said. "I won't let you down."
The Delphox smiled. "I know."
Terran and Bubbles entered the local police station to request an interrogation of the bandits, but...
"What do you mean we no longer have access to interrogating outlaws!?" Terran stomped his foot. "You always let us walk in to talk to the prisoners. Why is this any different?"
Officer Magnezone, and his two trusty Magnemite compatriots, were the only police officers in Lumina. Usually they let the guild members wander in and allow for them to conduct interrogations in an off-the-record manner. But this time, Officer Magnezone had refused.
"Zzzt! I-I'm afraid it is no longer possible for us to allow you to conduct business here." Officer Magnezone explained. "The Enforcers have claimed all rights to this police station, and are doing their own investigating."
"The Enforcers are in Lumina?" Bubbles asked, confused.
"Indeed. Zzzt!" Officer Magnezone said. "Though their visit is temporary, they are looking to set up a post here in Lumina. Zzzt! Thankfully, the mayor requires more convincing before making any decisions. Zzzt!"
"Still," Terran replied, concerned. "It is highly unlikely that Mayor Murray will pass up an opportunity to get rid our Guild. Not unless we can prove that we are more effective than the Enforcers."
Suddenly, the door to interrogation opened, and a Flareon with some kind of metal armor, branding a blue flame on the helmet and the thigh pieces. The helmet also had an orange visor, and an antenna sticking out from the left side. A Houndor with the exact armor walked out behind her, immediately glaring at the two guild Pokémon, as if their presence offended him.
"What are you Guild weasels doing here?" he growled. "Don't you have someone's windows to wash or something?"
The Flareon gave him a harsh stare. His ears folded back in submission, and he shut his mouth. Looking back towards Terran and Bubbles, the Flareon said "Forgive my partner. He's new, and I was assigned to him on a whim. I hope you didn't come here to interrogate our suspect. We already know where the bandit's hideout is from him."
"No we don't." the Houndor said in confusion. "He didn't tell us anything we didn't already know."
The Flareon face-palmed. "They don't know that, Connor."
The Houndor made an whoops, my bad face, then looked the other way, blushing in embarrassment.
"Maybe we can take a jab at it." Terran said. "After all, the bandits' attack happened here, in Lumina, which is not currently under Enforcer influence. Which, by default, gives the Guild jurisdiction over the case."
The Flareon grinned, smugly. "I'm afraid not." she said. "See, while the attack happened in Lumina, the bandits are held somewhere outside of Lumina's boarders, bringing harm to multiple settlements, two of which are under Enforcer influence, which give us jurisdiction."
"But one of our new recruits caught them and arrested them." Bubbles explained.
"And I thank you for assistance, but it is no longer required." the Flareon said. "We'll get one of them talking eventually. We were actually going to see the third bandit, right now."
"If I may, miss Cardinal," Officer Magnezone interjected. "I have a good feeling about this one. I would like to interrrogate him myself."
"I-I really don't think that is necessary. Heh." the Flareon replied nervously.
"Zzzt! I insist." Officer Magnezone said. "After all, I have had much experience in getting criminals to talk."
Cardinal bit her lip, trying to think up an argument that would get her into that room. When she couldn't think of anything, she wore a fake smile and said "O-of course, Officer. You clearly have been at this far longer. Eh... you may take it from here."
Connor's head whipped towards his partner. "Wha!" he said in a surprised tone. "But Card-"
"Yes, we'll sit back and watch a master at work." Cardinal said, nudging Connor. "After all, the Enforcers are quite new to this. I suppose some pointers will help. Eheh."
"Zzzt! Vey well." Magnezone said. "I will conduct a thorough interrogation. Zzzt! This lawbreaker cannot hide anything from me. Zzzt!"
"Who do they think they are?" Bubbles said, starting a tangent. "We don't need the Enforcers here to save us. Everything that's been going on, everything we've been going through, it's because of them."
"I know." Terran replied. "But look on the bright side, here. Do you really think Officer Magnezone would insist on talking to the last bandit themself, if they meant to leave us stuck in the dirt?"
"I guess not." Bubbles responded. "Officer Magnezone and their crew have always come through for us, regardless of what Mayor Murray thinks."
"Right." said Terran. "And as long as we have our own allies, we don't go down."
The doors of the police station opened up, and the two Enforcers came out alongside Officer Magnezone.
"Thank you for your cooperation, Officer." Cardinal said. "We'll head back to our superiors and send a squad to go after those bandits. I look forward to working with you in the future."
As they passed, the Flareon gave Terran a smug grin, and walked away gingerly. When Officer Magezone was sure the Enforcers had left, they went up to Terran and Bubbles.
"The bandit hideout is in Crooked Caverns." Officer Magnezone said. "If you go now, you may able to reach it before they do."
"Of course!" Terran shouted. "Why didn't we think of that?"
"Come on." Bubbles said, excited. "Let's go grab the rookies."
"You really think we're ready for a mission like this?" the oddly colored Zorua asked.
Terran nodded his head. "With the five of us, we can make it through in no time at all. We may have to deal with the Enforcers however. But unless they attack us, which is strictly against their protocol, do not engage in any form of combat with them."
"Understood." Sage replied.
"Gotcha!" Rumor and Reina both seconded.
"Alright then." Terran said. "I've got plenty of oran berries and reviver seeds. Let's head out!"
Outside the entrance of Crooked Caverns, Terran, Bubbles, Rumor, Sage, and Reina were prepared for the worst. Though this dungeon isn't a very tough dungeon, the bandits may be a little higher than the dungeon itself. So Terran prepared all the reviver seeds he could.
Terran had explained that mystery dungeons are dangerous, and are always changing. No one understands how or why, but that's the mystery.
"Alright everyone." Terran said, turning to the crew of five. Usually there would only be five, but special circumstances allow otherwise. "We're about to enter the dungeon. Remember, there are Pokémon in here that are highly territorial, so don't get cocky."
"Let's do this for the guild!" Sage yelled. "And for the Pokémon of Lumina!"
"Couldn't have said it better ourselves." Bubbles replied. "Well said. Let's go!"
"So this is a mystery dungeon." Rumor said, matter of factly. "I expected it to be darker in here."
"Some dungeons are darker than others." Sage replied. "Some are really weird."
"Aren't all mystery dungeons weird?" Reina commented.
"True," Sage agreed. "but I once went into a dungeon, haunted by ghosts."
"You're such a liar." Reina said. "Did you actually see a ghost?"
"W-well no." Sage replied. "But I heard some strange sounds, not to mention all the floating items I found in this one room..."
"Ooh!" Rumor commented, with a grin. "Floating objects. Spoooooky. With all the ghost stories, I'm surprised Pokémon these days don't come up with more rational explanations. Like, a ghost type Pokémon did it."
Sage frowned, thinking a bit. "Maybe." she said. "But I like my story better."
"Me and Terran once went into dungeon with nothing but Dittos in it." Bubbles said. "They were really nice. But one thing you never do, is mention the eyes when they transform."
"Over there!" Terran shouted, pointing at a set of mysterious downward stairs. "Their is the next floor! Let's go!"
After fighting through a few easy floors, they reached the final floor of the dungeon, where they saw what looked like three members of the Enforcers. Cardinal, Connor, and another Enforcer who seemed to be a male Meowstic, were fainted in the middle of the room.
"Oh my gooodness!" Sage shouted, running over to the three Enforcer Pokémon. "A-are you guys okay?"
"Oof." the Flareon replied. "Th-those scoundrels... they're tougher than we had anticipated. We... couldn't beat them."
"We were... outnumbered." the Meowstic added. "They also knew we were coming, a-and ambushed us."
"Ow wow wow!" Connor cried out. "Those fiends pack a punch. You guys better get while the gettin's good!"
"No way!" Terran said. "We're gonna take them in, one way or another. For the sake of Lumina, and the Lumina Guild!"
"Kehkehekehkehekehkehkeh!" a voice cackled out of seemingly nowhere. "Thessse foolss couldn't even scratch us. What harm could you posssssibly do?"
Suddenly, a group of seven Salandit, and a single Salazzle appeared from the shadows of the room, beginning to surround them. It was an ambush! "Kehkehkehkeh!" the Salazzle bandit laughed. "What a pitiful group of... what even are you? You call yourselves guild Pokémon? I've seen more meat in a Rattata. Kehkeh! Once we're finished here, we'll make our escape easy enough."
"I hate to say this..." Cardinal admitted. "But we have been bested. You and your team are our last chance of stopping them before they escape."
"Alright team." Bubbles began. "Don't hold back, and don't let them go anywhere!"
"Right!" everyone said at once.
"Ready?" Terran asked. "Here they come!" All of the Salandit attacked at once, but Rumor was nowhere to be seen. Suddenly, one of the Salandit attacked one of the others with fury swipes, knocking them out instantly. Wait a minute. Salandit can't use fury swipes.
"Hey!" the Salazzle yelled. "What's gotten into you!? You were supposed to attack the intruders!"
The rogue Salandit grinned, waving it's... fox tail? Oh, wait. Rumor turned back into herself again. "You guys really, really suck at this, you know that?" she commented.
The Salazzle growled. There were only six... no, five Salandit left. How did Rumor manage to sneak into their ambush like that? "Get them!" Salazzle commanded.
They dispatched the minions pretty quick while Terran went after the Salazzle bandit. He used tail whip, and then tackle. Tackle missed completely, and was countered by a double slap. Terran hit the ground hard, but managed to recover. He then used tackle again, this time hitting his target. Salazzle used ember, but Terran use quick attack to dodge it. Bubbles came to his aid and used hydro pump, hitting the Salazzle super effectively, but she was still standing. Terran finally used shadow ball, which knocked out the Salazzle. The battle was over in a couple of minutes.
The bandits were all now tied up, and ready for escort back to Officer Magnezone. Cardinal did her best to withhold any jealousy she may have had to congratulate them.
"You fought... valiantly." Cardinal said. "Thank you for your hard work, but we'll take it from here."
Sage, rumor, and Reina stepped in between Cardinal, and the bandits. "The Lumina Guild thanks you for your cooperation." Terran said, mockingly. "But I think we'll be taking it from here. We did after all, capture the bandits ourselves."
Cardinal frowned. "I suppose there isn't anyway we can get you to reconsider." she said, knowingly.
"Afraid not." Terran answered. "As of now, this is a guild case, and we're taking over."
"They can't do that!" Connor objected.
"Actually, they can." Cardinal said. "It's within their every right to do so. Very well, this is your jurisdiction now. I'm sure the mayor would be pleased to see your progress. Come team, let's go."
As the Enforcers left, Terran and Bubbles both congratulated the team. "Good work everyone." Terran said.
"You each kept your cool, and fought in the name if the guild." Bubbles added. "For this, you'll be surely be greatly rewarded."
"Of course..." Terran added, reluctantly. "You'll only be getting 10% of said reward."
"What Terran means to say..." Bubbles said, with a nervous gulp. "Eheh... 90% of your earnings in Poké go towards the guild's funding. We have to keep the guild going somehow."
"I hope this not dissuade you from staying in the guild." Terran said, hopefully.
"Well that's a bummer." Sage said. "I wish I knew that beforehand. But I guess I understand why that has to happen."
"Yeah." Rumor said. "I guess we'll just have to roll with it."
"Ah well." Reina added. "I suppose money isn't everything. Besides, I'm sure we can earn lots of Poké doing jobs."
"I'm glad you guys can still have a positive outlook in joining the guild." Terran said. "Now, let's get these bandits back home, ASAP."
Terran flashed his explorer badge at the bandits, teleporting them away, then did the same to himself, and the others followed shortly after.
It's been two days since Olivia was told about the organization Azreal and Pixie followed, and the things they had done. It was still so much to process. Azreal told her that she could leave if she so wanted to, after hearing such information. She was no prisoner, he said. But he also promised her that he would never lie to her again, and even though she felt betrayed, she was willing to give Azreal another chance. The golden-colored Vulpix became startled when she heard the door to her bedroom open. It was just her adoptive father, of course.
"I didn't mean to startle you." he said, holding a glass of water for her in his claws. "How are you feeling?"
Olivia adjusted the cute, pink bow on her head, nervously. She didn't know why she frightened just then. Maybe it was all the stress, she thought. "I-I'm okay." she said, timidly. Her small, amber eyes were puffy from crying. She missed Pixie, but she was also more comfortable with Azreal.
Azreal set the glass down on the bedside table next to her, and then turned towards her with a comforting smile. "It's okay." he said. "You can tell me anything that's on your mind. I know it's a lot to take in. But I can also understand if I need earn your trust again."
"I just wish Pixie didn't drag us into this." Olivia said, sniffling.
"It wasn't all Pixie's." Azreal said. "I followed him, knowing full well the consequences of being caught. I followed him, because I thought it was right. I should have seen earlier that what we were doing terrible. Pixie told me constantly, not to worry about the consequences. That the ends justified the means. I'm so sorry, Olivia."
"It's okay." Olivia said. "You promise you won't do anymore of those experiments?"
Azreal placed his left paw into her paws, and raised his right paw. I swear, no more of those terrible experiments will done." he said. "I will find another way to stop the world's destruction."
"Even if I might be in danger?" Olivia asked. She was serious about this, of course. No matter what, she had to make sure her father stood on a path of morality.
Azreal wanted badly to keep her safe, but she was right, and he knew it. "I promise." he said, finally. "With everything I have, I promise that I won't let anything guide me down that bad path again."
Olivia smiled, and hugged her father, tightly. Azreal had hoped that he would be able to keep his promise, or he would lose her forever.
To be continued...