[PW!] Homecoming

Archived from groups: alt.games.nintendo.pokemon (More info?)

Homecoming


It had finally come; Alex had been afraid of this day for some time.
Now it had come.

Lilycove City proper was having normal weather; a few clouds hung in
the sky, lazily drifting through the air and promising to continue
doing so. A light chill drifted up from the sea, giving the city its
general state despite the somewhat cheery sunlight; uncomfortable but
tolerable.

As she lightly got to her feet, Alexandria Masters unconsciously
ruffled her jacket, the memory of the usual weather in Lilycove hitting
her in full force.

"Alex?" Ben asked as he recalled Aeros the Salamence, Rubix the
Blastoise stretching out after the trip. "You okay?"

"Yeah," Alex replied, her voice somewhat uneasy.

As Alex collected herself, Hot Shot the Dragonite landed, allowing his
three passengers to disembark. Cassandra Gale, the large dragon's
trainer and Alex's elder half-sibling, slid off Hot Shot's back,
landing softly on her feet with practiced ease, then walked to her
sister's side. "You okay?"

"Yeah," Alex replied, "Just collecting myself." Taking a quick
head count, she asked, "Now where're Sven and Peabody?"

Alex's question was answered as a small whirlwind appeared,
dissipating in front of the Pokémon Center and leaving the Aqua duo of
Sven and Peabody on the ground, dazed and dizzy from the trip.

"That's the last time we travel coach," Sven groggily noted as
their loaner Pelipper softly came in for a landing, then recalled
himself into his Poké Ball. "As soon as this assignment is over,
I'm catching a Skarmory. No more loaners."

"Be glad it's over," Peabody said as he gathered his marbles, Hot
Shot quickly grabbing both by the backs of their shirts and getting
them to their feet. "Thanks."

The ever-silent Dragonite waved a claw in the air dismissively.

"So we're all here," Nori noted dryly, Big Time the Larvitar in
her arms. "What now?"

"Now I need to call in," Alex replied as she pulled out her cell
phone. As Cass recalled Hot Shot to his ball, Alex continued,
"Felix'll need to know I'm here. Then we have to get moving
before the press find me, otherwise we'll be in worse trouble."

"He already knows you're here, kid," a voice called out from
nearby. "Trust me, the whirlwind entrance kinda gave you away."

Alex's eyes grew wide with recognition as she looked to its source.
Said source was an older woman, with long brown hair tied back in a
light ponytail. She stood with a sort of noble beauty, aged and refined
by time but very much present nonetheless, with her blue eyes revealing
inner strength and long-earned wisdom. She walked towards the gathered
group and said, "Besides, you could never hide from me. Even with
that training."

Alex smiled as the older woman stepped up, and said, "Guess I've
still got a lot to learn."

A few short seconds passed, then the two embraced. "It's good to
see you kid," the older woman said.

"It's good to see you too," Alex admitted. "And I'm sorry I
took so long getting here."

"Hey, you have a life too, y'know?" the older woman replied. The
two ended their embrace as she turned to Cass and said, "Hey Cass.
Good to see you."

"Same here, Beth," Cass replied with a slight smile as the two
hugged.

Confusion reigned among the remaining humans before Carol asked,
"Alex, who is she?"

"She's my grandmother," Alex explained as the elder woman ended
her embrace with Cass.

"Elizabeth Masters," the elder woman said at last, identifying
herself. "And you three must be Carol, Ben and Tsunade."

"Yeah, that's us," Nori noted somewhat sarcastically after
hearing her pseudonym. Rubix rolled his eyes, realizing that said
pseudonym was all but useless among the Search Party now.

"Alex has told me a little bit about you," Beth admitted. "And
I'm looking forward to getting to know you a little better while
you're in town." She finally noticed Sven and Peabody and said,
"Who the hell are they?"

"Sven and Peabody," Alex explained. "Bodyguards, long story."

Beth gave the Aqua duo a firm look with a critical eye, then noted,
"Fair enough." She then turned back towards Alex and said,
"Anyway, its good you showed up when you did. Helen's okay for now,
but she doesn't have much time left. Felix is waiting near the
hospital; I'm supposed to get you there without getting too much
attention from the press."

"That'll be welcome," Alex replied. "Let's get going before
something else happens."

"Whoa wait, hold it," Carol noted before the group could go any
further. "No offense Alex, I feel for you and all with your mom and
everything, but why should we go with you?"

Alex opened her mouth to reply, then realized, "You know, you've
got a point there. Tell you what; we're right outside the Pokémon
Center. How about you guys stay here and wait for us? We can meet up
with you later."

Carol and Nori looked towards one another, then shrugged. "Works for
us."

"Okay then," Alex noted. "We'll meet up with you as soon as we
can."

TBC!

[NS: Okay, I've been anticipating this since starting Alex's story.
Here's hoping I can pull this off. Anyway, if anyone else wants to do
anything, or they figure they should stick with Alex and Cass (or
someone else wants to hop in), knock yourselves out.]
3 answers Last reply
More about homecoming
  1. Archived from groups: alt.games.nintendo.pokemon (More info?)

    Chet Weaver - But the talent contest is tomorrow! wrote:
    > William Rendfeld wrote:
    >
    > > As Mason attempted to discreetly get away without arousing any
    further
    > > suspicion, Alex tried her best to focus her mind upon him, but met
    some
    > > resistance. _He must have a psychic-type with him,_ Alex realized.
    > >
    > > "Alex?" Cass asked at last. "Why are you keeping such an intent
    > > eye on him?"
    > >
    > > "He seems familiar," Alex replied.
    > >
    > > Cass cast a light glance at the retreating Mason, as did those
    others
    > > present.
    > >
    > > "Larvi?" Big Time asked hopefully.
    > >
    > > "Don't get your hopes up," Rubix quickly quipped.
    > >
    > > "Maybe," Cass noted as she pulled a Poké Ball from her belt and
    > > opened it.
    > >
    > > "Tric!" curtly noted Jolt the Manectric as he stood at attention.
    > >
    > > Cass knelt down and said, "Jolt, do you see that man there in the
    red
    > > coat?" After Jolt nodded in confirmation, she continued, "We need
    > > you to follow him. Discreetly."
    > >
    > > "Tric, net tric!" Jolt said in salute before walking off, trying to
    > > keep out of sight from the now slightly distant Mason.
    > >
    > #Are we being followed?# Mason inquired telepathically.
    >
    > #I'm not sure,# Artemis replied. #I'm having a hard time filtering
    > through the thoughts of this crowd you decided to wander into. I've
    > never done this before.#
    >
    > #Well, don't strain yourself,# Mason telepathed. #We'll just stick
    to
    > the plan. You just practice while you have the opportunity.#
    >
    > Jolt kept pace a few yards behind. He had caught Mason's scent,
    > although the former Magma Grunt wasn't making himself too hard to
    track.
    >
    > Mason eventually turned down an alleyway and Jolt sped up to make
    sure
    > he didn't lose him. When he got there, Mason was gone. The scent
    led
    > Jolt halfway down the alley before ending in a aura of ionized ozone.

    > From a nearby rooftop, Mason watched the Manetric sniff around for
    > another trail.
    >
    > "It would be worthwhile to note that not all your pursuers would be
    human."
    >
    > Mason practically leapt from the roof in surprise. He had been
    > completely unaware of the old man's presence until that time. But
    Mason
    > recognized the wizened figure. The red bandana, the brown cloak, the

    > long, white hair and mustache, that penetrating gaze that saw into
    the
    > very soul. There was no doubt who this was.
    >
    > "I was hoping to run into you, Ten," Mason said, having quickly
    regained
    > his composure. "Perhaps now you can tell me who I am."
    >
    > "All in good time," Ten replied. "For now, I am simply glad you were

    > able to escape from Team Magma's control. Our next goal should be to

    > return to Ka-"
    >
    > A shot rang out and blood exploded from Ten's shoulder. Ten fell to
    one
    > knee, clutching his shoulder. Something seemed to change in his
    > countenence, more feral, beastial. Before Mason could react, Ten
    dashed
    > to the far side of the roof and leapt off, his cloak and hair flowing

    > behind him like lava.
    >
    > The ratchetting sound of a bullet being chambered into a rifle caught

    > Mason's attention. He turned to see a Chaser standing on an airduct
    on
    > the next roof over. He recognized her from Mt. Pyre. She was
    > unmistakeable in those red boots, the low-slung black pants with blue

    > racing stripes, the red shirt with black racing stripes cut short to
    > expose her midriff, and the black bandana with red PokeBall logo and
    > ends that trailed far behind her.
    >
    > "You didn't think I was going to let you off the hook that easily,
    did
    > you, Magma Boy?" the Chaser taunted, setting her rifle's target scope

    > directly on Mason.
    >

    "Okay, so your mom's side of the family has a long history of
    cancer and low immunity," Sven noted as he and Peabody left Lilycove
    General, accompanied by Alex, Cass and Beth. "And that's why
    she's in the hospital."

    "Yeah," Alex explained. "One of the great paradoxes of my
    bloodline."

    An eyebrow raised in suspicion over that comment, Sven asked bluntly,
    "So, does that mean you guys are going to have a similar fate, or
    what?"

    Ignoring the possibly intentional barb, Alex replied, "No. I've
    never been sick a day in my life, and Cass didn't inherit the gene
    that caused Mom's low immunity."

    "That isn't much of a comfort, though," Cass noted as she looked
    back towards the hospital entrance. "Now I just feel like we're
    waiting for the inevitable."

    Cass found a hand resting gently upon her shoulder as Beth noted,
    "Don't beat yourself up too much, Cass. You and Alex are here if
    anything else happens, remember?"

    Cass gave a nervous half smile, then took hold of Beth's hand.
    "Yeah."

    The reverie was interrupted by a loud gunshot from nearby.

    "Okay, that doesn't sound good," Alex noted.

    "Hope that wasn't aimed at Jolt," Cass cried before the two of
    them rushed off.

    "Does anyone just walk anymore?" Sven complained before he and
    Peabody set off after the two girls.

    Beth sighed. "Always said they'd have boys chasing after them,"
    she noted before she rushed after them herself.

    -

    "Say good bye, lava breath!" the Chaser cried before she pulled the
    trigger.

    "TRIC!" ZZZAP!

    "Ack!" the Chaser cried as the rifle was zapped from her hands.
    Both she and Mace looked down towards the ground to find Jolt standing
    there, his hackles raised and his fur crackling with electricity.

    #The Manectric saved us,# Mace thought in surprise. #But why?#

    #Who cares?# Artemis cracked. #Let's just get out of here before
    something else happens!"

    "Jolt!" Cass's cry rang out, signaling the quintet's approach
    into the alley.

    As she arrived, Alex took stock of the situation; Jolt had found his
    quarry, but so had someone else. Said quarry, however, was taking the
    opportunity to escape. "Cass, you take care of our Lone Gun-Girl.
    I'll find our Angry Man."

    "Got it!" Cass called before Alex rushed off.

    "Hey, I'm here for that Magma goon!" the Chaser cried out.
    "This doesn't concern you!"

    Before Sven could flip out, Peabody restrained him. Cass quickly noted,
    "That Magma goon might just be the key to finding a friend of ours!
    We've got dibs, sister!"

    "We'll see about that!" the Chaser called back, pulling out a
    Poké Ball and yelling, "Arbok, go!"

    "Jolt, Shock Wave attack!" Cass cried out.

    As the massive cobra emerged from its Poké Ball and allowed gravity to
    guide him towards his target, a massive electrical charge surged
    through Jolt's fur before it blasted the massive electrical attack
    towards its target. Besides the fact that the Arbok was not grounded,
    the Manectric had a hefty advantage.

    Also, Shock Wave never misses.

    "CHA-AA-AA-AA!" the large purple snake cried out as thousands of
    volts of electricity surged through his body. The electricity quickly
    died down, and the snake fell to the ground unconscious, small residual
    arcs of electricity going through its unconscious form.

    "Anything else?" Cass asked rhetorically. "I've got a Tyranitar
    that needs some exercise."

    The Chaser looked at her Arbok in surprise, then recalled it and said,
    "Gotta go!" before she rushed off.

    -

    Mason, meanwhile, had begun running through the streets of Lilycove,
    Alex in hot pursuit. Mason had one advantage in the chase; a head
    start. Alex, however, had more than enough to help her negate said
    advantage.

    #How can a girl that looks like that move so fast?# Mace asked.

    #Maybe you're just out of shape,# Artemis jibed.

    Mace continued running until he tried ducking into an alley...only to
    find Alex standing there waiting for him.

    "This is my home town, I know these streets," Alex explained.
    "Now, I don't want a fight. I want to..." She stared into space
    for a moment as she realized something.

    Mace rose an eyebrow in surprise, then asked with a purposely-distorted
    voice, "What's with you?"

    Alex's eyes narrowed as she said in realization, "You have a hole
    in your mind."

    Mace blinked, then said in his natural voice, "What the Muk is that
    supposed to mean?!" He blinked again, then realized that he may have
    given himself away. "Aw nuts," he noted before Artemis teleported
    him away.

    "Wait a-!" Alex exclaimed before he left her sight. "It can't
    have been..."

    -

    "Okay, explain now," Beth ordered her granddaughter after the group
    reunited.

    "You remember the end of the Silver Conference? The disappearance of
    Adam 'Smasher' Samson?" Alex asked. "Cass and I organized a
    small Search Party to find him shortly after he disappeared, and
    computer simulations suggested that he was here in Hoenn."

    "We found his helmet near Fallarbor Town, so that kinda helped our
    position," Cass added.

    "And you think that Magma might've been him?" Sven asked.

    "We know your organization doesn't have him," Alex replied.
    "And we've got a lot of circumstantial evidence that points to
    Magma having some information about him. At the very least, he may have
    known something." She took a breath, then added, "But that's not
    the weird part."

    "What would that be?" Beth asked.

    "When I was alone with him, I tried a passive scan," Alex
    explained. "It just bounced back, just like with Smasher. Not only
    that, but he kinda looked like him. And what little I was able to scan
    showed me something that might be incredibly important; he had a hole
    in his mind."

    Sven and Peabody looked at Alex with perplexion. "A 'hole in his
    mind'?" Sven asked. "What, did someone shoot him in the head?"

    "No," Alex curtly answered.

    "Did he have some sort of tumor, or lobotomy?" Sven asked.

    "No," Alex added.

    "Was he blessed in holy water by a dying Catholic priest on Easter
    Sunday?" Peabody asked.

    "Again, no," Alex explained. "There was something missing from
    his conscious mind. Memory."

    "He was an amnesiac?" Sven asked. "But how?"

    "Drugs, hypnosis, a hard blow to the head," Peabody suggested.
    "The list is as long as my arm."

    "In any case, that guy might just be the key to finding Smasher,"
    Alex realized. "But we can't find him again unless he comes to
    us."

    "So now we meet up with the guys and fill them in, right?" Cass
    asked.

    "Exactly," Alex replied. "Then we relocate. If that guy comes
    after us, and he just might, I want to meet him on our turf."

    As the conversation continued, Beth concluded in her mind that her
    granddaughter had been through a great deal in the last few months. She
    smiled smugly; this may end up being very interesting.


    TBC!

    [NS: Sorry if I forced anyone to tip their hand, but I just had to have
    Alex say that line in front of Mace. Opens up all sorts of
    possibilities. Anyway, set things so that Mace can go about his
    business if he needs to; no harm no foul.]
  2. Archived from groups: alt.games.nintendo.pokemon (More info?)

    William Rendfeld wrote:
    > "Say good bye, lava breath!" the Chaser cried before she pulled the
    > trigger.
    >
    > "TRIC!" ZZZAP!
    >
    > "Ack!" the Chaser cried as the rifle was zapped from her hands.
    > Both she and Mace looked down towards the ground to find Jolt
    standing
    > there, his hackles raised and his fur crackling with electricity.
    >
    > #The Manectric saved us,# Mace thought in surprise. #But why?#
    >
    > #Who cares?# Artemis cracked. #Let's just get out of here before
    > something else happens!"
    >
    > "Jolt!" Cass's cry rang out, signaling the quintet's approach
    > into the alley.
    >
    > As she arrived, Alex took stock of the situation; Jolt had found his
    > quarry, but so had someone else. Said quarry, however, was taking the
    > opportunity to escape. "Cass, you take care of our Lone Gun-Girl.
    > I'll find our Angry Man."
    >
    > "Got it!" Cass called before Alex rushed off.
    >
    > "Hey, I'm here for that Magma goon!" the Chaser cried out.
    > "This doesn't concern you!"
    >
    > Before Sven could flip out, Peabody restrained him. Cass quickly
    noted,
    > "That Magma goon might just be the key to finding a friend of ours!
    > We've got dibs, sister!"
    >
    > "We'll see about that!" the Chaser called back, pulling out a
    > Poké Ball and yelling, "Arbok, go!"
    >
    > "Jolt, Shock Wave attack!" Cass cried out.
    >
    > As the massive cobra emerged from its Poké Ball and allowed gravity
    to
    > guide him towards his target, a massive electrical charge surged
    > through Jolt's fur before it blasted the massive electrical attack
    > towards its target. Besides the fact that the Arbok was not grounded,
    > the Manectric had a hefty advantage.
    >
    > Also, Shock Wave never misses.
    >
    > "CHA-AA-AA-AA!" the large purple snake cried out as thousands of
    > volts of electricity surged through his body. The electricity quickly
    > died down, and the snake fell to the ground unconscious, small
    residual
    > arcs of electricity going through its unconscious form.
    >
    > "Anything else?" Cass asked rhetorically. "I've got a Tyranitar
    > that needs some exercise."
    >
    > The Chaser looked at her Arbok in surprise, then recalled it and
    said,
    > "Gotta go!" before she rushed off.
    >
    > -
    >
    > Mason, meanwhile, had begun running through the streets of Lilycove,
    > Alex in hot pursuit. Mason had one advantage in the chase; a head
    > start. Alex, however, had more than enough to help her negate said
    > advantage.
    >
    > #How can a girl that looks like that move so fast?# Mace asked.
    >
    > #Maybe you're just out of shape,# Artemis jibed.
    >
    > Mace continued running until he tried ducking into an alley...only to
    > find Alex standing there waiting for him.
    >
    > "This is my home town, I know these streets," Alex explained.
    > "Now, I don't want a fight. I want to..." She stared into space
    > for a moment as she realized something.
    >
    > Mace rose an eyebrow in surprise, then asked with a
    purposely-distorted
    > voice, "What's with you?"
    >
    > Alex's eyes narrowed as she said in realization, "You have a hole
    > in your mind."
    >
    > Mace blinked, then said in his natural voice, "What the Muk is that
    > supposed to mean?!" He blinked again, then realized that he may have
    > given himself away. "Aw nuts," he noted before Artemis teleported
    > him away.
    >
    > "Wait a-!" Alex exclaimed before he left her sight. "It can't
    > have been..."
    >
    > -
    >
    > "Okay, explain now," Beth ordered her granddaughter after the group
    > reunited.
    >
    > "You remember the end of the Silver Conference? The disappearance of
    > Adam 'Smasher' Samson?" Alex asked. "Cass and I organized a
    > small Search Party to find him shortly after he disappeared, and
    > computer simulations suggested that he was here in Hoenn."
    >
    > "We found his helmet near Fallarbor Town, so that kinda helped our
    > position," Cass added.
    >
    > "And you think that Magma might've been him?" Sven asked.
    >
    > "We know your organization doesn't have him," Alex replied.
    > "And we've got a lot of circumstantial evidence that points to
    > Magma having some information about him. At the very least, he may
    have
    > known something." She took a breath, then added, "But that's not
    > the weird part."
    >
    > "What would that be?" Beth asked.
    >
    > "When I was alone with him, I tried a passive scan," Alex
    > explained. "It just bounced back, just like with Smasher. Not only
    > that, but he kinda looked like him. And what little I was able to
    scan
    > showed me something that might be incredibly important; he had a hole
    > in his mind."
    >
    > Sven and Peabody looked at Alex with perplexion. "A 'hole in his
    > mind'?" Sven asked. "What, did someone shoot him in the head?"
    >
    > "No," Alex curtly answered.
    >
    > "Did he have some sort of tumor, or lobotomy?" Sven asked.
    >
    > "No," Alex added.
    >
    > "Was he blessed in holy water by a dying Catholic priest on Easter
    > Sunday?" Peabody asked.
    >
    > "Again, no," Alex explained. "There was something missing from
    > his conscious mind. Memory."
    >
    > "He was an amnesiac?" Sven asked. "But how?"
    >
    > "Drugs, hypnosis, a hard blow to the head," Peabody suggested.
    > "The list is as long as my arm."
    >
    > "In any case, that guy might just be the key to finding Smasher,"
    > Alex realized. "But we can't find him again unless he comes to
    > us."
    >
    > "So now we meet up with the guys and fill them in, right?" Cass
    > asked.
    >
    > "Exactly," Alex replied. "Then we relocate. If that guy comes
    > after us, and he just might, I want to meet him on our turf."
    >
    > As the conversation continued, Beth concluded in her mind that her
    > granddaughter had been through a great deal in the last few months.
    She
    > smiled smugly; this may end up being very interesting.
    >

    "Okay, so you think that guy who passed us by might've been
    Smasher," Nori summarized after hearing Alex's account. "Why?"

    "Looked kinda like him, sounded like him, I couldn't read his
    mind," Alex counted off, "it could just be one royal coincidence,
    but it seems pretty unlikely considering everything."

    Alex's group had reunited at the Pokémon Center not long before, and
    Alex was now quickly giving Nori, Carol and Ben a explanation of what
    had happened.

    "So what now?" Ben asked. "Are we going to try and find him?"

    "No," Alex replied. "This is a big city, too big for seven people
    with a bunch of Pokémon to search. And I doubt this guy wants to be
    found anytime soon. He'll have to come to us before we can confirm
    anything."

    "Okay, so what do we do?" Nori asked.

    "For now, we regroup in a place of safety," Alex replied. "My
    home."

    "Why there?" Nori asked.

    "I know the terrain, we've got plenty of space for you guys, and
    there's every comfort available there," Alex explained. "Besides,
    what kind of person would I be if I stayed in my home and left you
    guys, my friends, here?"

    The three looked at one another, as if considering their answer.

    -

    "And there's a particular reason why we're this far out of
    town?" Nori asked.

    "My family's home is on the outskirts of Lilycove," Alex
    explained. "It's not bad, really; lots of space, like I said. You
    guys can let your Pokémon out to enjoy themselves and relax while
    we're here."

    Some ways back, Carol began to make a few inquiries, "So, Beth...you
    really Alex's grandmother?"

    "Yes, why?" Beth asked.

    "Well, call me crazy, but you don't look like a grandmother,"
    Carol noted. "I mean, no offense, but you don't look like someone
    who has grandkids."

    "Looks can be deceiving, Carol," Beth replied. "I'm older than
    I look. I just know how to take care of myself, that's all."

    Carol cast a slight glance over the older woman, then asked, "So, how
    old are you?"

    "Sixty-one," Beth replied.

    Carol looked at her in surprise before she said, "Whoa! That's
    taking care of yourself!"

    -

    The Masters home was a nice one; large enough for a family to have
    space, but small enough that it couldn't be considered extravagant.
    Alex's family had lived in this home since her parents had wed. As
    she opened the front door, memories flooded back to her of her
    formative years; her times with both parents, returning from school or
    shopping or the movies or wherever, memories both happy and sad.

    "This is your house?" Nori asked as she walked in. "How the hell
    did you manage this?"

    "My mother's the CEO of a large corporation," Alex explained as
    the rest of her group entered the house. "One which annually rakes in
    about 360 million a year. Meanwhile, Dad had a pretty decent
    inheritance."

    "Good investments on my part after his scumbag father died," Beth
    noted with relish.

    "So, you're rich?" Ben asked. "Why didn't you mention it?"

    "We're comfortable," Alex replied as she set her bag down near
    the door and slung off her jacket. "And I didn't mention it because
    I didn't want it to color anyone's perceptions of me. I'm not
    defined by the fact that I'm wealthy; it just helps to pay the
    bills."

    "Plus, Alex can't touch most of what she's promised until she's
    eighteen," Cass noted as she set her own bag down. "One of Mom's
    extra measures just in case."

    "All that cash, and not a cent to spend," Rubix noted with a
    sarcastic grin.

    Alex cast a sly grin back at the large turtle and noted, "I'll go
    get the guest rooms ready."

    -

    Cass, meanwhile, stepped outside for a bit. Her family's home being
    on the outskirts of Lilycove proper, they had a great deal of space to
    roam about and enjoy themselves, as well as let the family Pokémon
    roam.

    Loud friendly barks sounded in the distance, causing Cass's gaze to
    head towards a Mightyena, who was happily bounding towards the redhead
    on her four legs. "Hi Wiley," Cass said as she knelt down to
    receive the family pet and give her some much-desired affection. "You
    miss me, girl?"

    "It's not that much of a stretch," a familiar voice noted.

    Cass looked to find Beth standing nearby. The elder woman knelt down
    and began to contentedly scratch behind the Mightyena's ears as she
    continued, "I have a bad habit of noticing when people aren't
    feeling 100%, kid. I know something's bothering you."

    Cass sighed, then replied, "No offense, Beth, but you're part of
    the problem."

    Beth cocked an eyebrow at the younger woman and asked, "I've done
    something now?"

    "It's nothing you've done," Cass replied, "it's just you
    being here. Mom's family's all dead, and I've never known
    anything about my father's family. But Alex...she's had contact
    with her dad's branch of the family her entire life. I remember her
    great grandparents visiting every month or so when Alex was still in
    diapers, just to see her. I remember all the times her great
    grandfather told her about his family, his parents, Alex's various
    aunts and uncles and cousins and...everything else. Me, I'm all
    alone."

    Beth curled an arm around Cass and asked, "What about Alex? You two
    are sisters; she may have some different chromosomes, but you and her
    are still linked by blood. You've been together all your lives,
    giving one another all the more reason to press on. You'll always
    have her, kid, that's the truth."

    Cass sighed. "You're right. But I still feel so...alone."

    Beth smiled. "Then there are a couple things you should know.
    Helen's told me about your father's family, Cass. They met
    constantly while your father was alive, both before the marriage and
    after your father's death. The only thing that stopped them was when
    Helen met Lyle; she was always afraid that they thought she was
    discrediting their son, and that you'd grow up not knowing about your
    father. He was their only child, Cass, and they were afraid they'd
    lose all links to him, including you." Cass looked at her in surprise
    as she added, "And I think it's about time you changed all that."

    Cass looked at the elder woman for a few minutes before she asked,
    "You mean, my father's parents, my paternal grandparents..."

    "Are still very much alive," Beth replied. "And I know they'd
    love to meet you."

    Cass's face broke into a surprised smile as she said to herself,
    "They're alive...I'm not alone."

    "You're never alone, kid," Beth assured her with a hug.
    "Never."

    -

    Alex silently walked down to her home's ground floor, having finished
    readying the guest rooms. The house felt so...empty, like it was
    yearning to be filled. Alex herself almost felt the same way; it
    wouldn't be easy without her mother.

    She found the others waiting for her as she explained, "The guest
    rooms are all ready, feel free to crash whenever you want. Just be
    warned, there's only a couple bathrooms on the second floor."

    "Oh, we'll manage," Carol noted without concern.

    "Kid," Sven noted as he and Peabody stepped up to her, "we need
    to talk, pronto."

    "What about?" Alex asked.

    "That grandmother of yours," Sven explained. "No way could she be
    sixty-one and look that good."

    "Not a firm believer in diet and exercise, are you?" Alex asked.
    "I'll explain everything I can in time. But right now, I just want
    to make sure everyone's in good shape and there's no other
    problems."

    "Such as?" Sven asked.

    "Food," Alex replied as she walked towards the kitchen. "We've
    got eight people staying in one house, and I'm the only one who can
    cook. Either we order pizza or I've got work to do."


    TBC?

    [NS: Finals are taking their toll; I'll do more when I can.]
  3. Archived from groups: alt.games.nintendo.pokemon (More info?)

    “This place not so bad,” Grimlock the Rhydon noted as he sat on the
    ground, leaning against a large rock contentedly. “Lots of space,
    quiet, very relaxing. Me almost sad to think have to leave soon.”

    “I hear you, Rocky,” ShadowWarrior the Murkrow noted from his perch
    upon the Rhydon’s head.

    The two were resting near a small pond on the Masters property, the sun
    shining down upon them and the wind gently blowing around them. The
    other Pokémon belonging to Alex, Cass, Sven and Peabody were going
    about their own business, talking amongst themselves and enjoying the
    well-earned breather. The only one not present in these proceedings was
    Surtur, who had gone off on an errand of his own.

    “Bird know girl pretty well, right?” Grimlock asked. “Tell me, she
    still bear grudge towards Aquas?”

    “By this point, no,” ShadowWarrior replied. “At least not to the entire
    organization. The way Surtur’s explained things to me, she doesn’t like
    to lay blame on large groups, only individuals.”

    “Girl smart,” Grimlock noted.

    “And tough,” the small Murkrow added. “She’s been through so much since
    I joined up with her; a loss in a major tournament, the whole mess with
    Canmore, finding out about her father’s killer, all this with her
    mom...I can’t think of many people who have the guts to go on after
    something like that.”

    “You went on,” Grimlock noted.

    “Yes, but I’m stubborn,” ShadowWarrior noted. “Besides, I had something
    keeping me going; hope that I’d see my family again. She knows her
    parents are gone or going.” He sighed, and added, “That only makes this
    all the more saddening.”

    -

    Elsewhere on the property, Surtur silently walked, keeping his ears
    open and his eyes alert. His quarry was near; he could feel it in the
    wind. But from where would he...

    DNK!

    ....Strike.

    To Surtur’s side stood another Blaziken, older and much more
    experienced than he, with the feathers around his face slightly wilted
    and worn. His clawed hand was balled into a fist, flames bursting from
    his wrists; Surtur had caught it within his own hands.

    “<You’re getting slow, young one,>” the elder Blaziken noted.

    “<And you are becoming over-eager in your old age,>” Surtur replied. He
    looked to the elder Blaziken and noted, “<It is good to see you,
    Father.>”

    “<And to see you, my son,>” the elder replied. The two brought back
    their hands, and the elder continued, “<I heard of your defeat in the
    Silver Conference, my son. I am not surprised, nor pleased.>”

    “<That I would be foolish enough to face a fully-evolved Aggron,
    Father?>” Surtur asked.

    “<That you would be unable to dissuade young Alexandria,>” the elder
    replied. “<She was not ready, nor were you.>”

    “<You know as well as I that humans are not easily dissuaded,>” Surtur
    noted. “<Especially not within this family.>”

    “<No, they are not,>” the elder replied. “<Still, my son, I am glad to
    see you have redoubled your efforts, and proud to hear that you
    protected Alexandria. You have grown much, my son.>”

    “<You do me too much credit,>” Surtur noted. “<She is my friend,
    father; I could not let someone harm her unjustly.>”

    “<I give you proper credit, based on that remark alone,>” the elder
    replied. “<You admit to your ties now; when you were a hatchling you
    were adamant about your independence from Alexandria.>”

    “<That seems so long ago,>” Surtur noted.

    “<Time changes all things, my son,>” the elder assured his offspring.
    “<Come; the young hatchlings are eager to hear of your adventures.>”

    Surtur smiled, then said, “<I fear some details may be too much for
    them>”

    “<You would be surprised how mature the youthful can be,>” the elder
    replied as he led Surtur onward.

    -

    Trinkets. Bric-a-brac. Assorted collectables of no lasting value. These
    things surrounded Sai Meilan as she looked about the room of Alexandria
    Masters.

    Something unusual seemed to come from this girl; that is why she had
    hidden herself, possessing one of Alexandria’s weapons. As she surveyed
    the room, her suspicions were confirmed; no posters displaying boy
    bands or teen heartthrobs, no cheesy teen romances. Around her were
    models of various vehicles; sports cars, space vessels from science
    fiction, robots of varying makes and models. Books on myths and
    legends, science and technology, and various novels and manga littered
    the bookshelves. A humble computer sat in one corner, gathering dust
    alongside a television and some sort of video game system. It was not
    unimpressive, and spoke of the girl’s interests and life.

    Sai floated towards one thing in particular, held in the hands of one
    particularly large robot; a small photograph. Depicted therein were
    four people; Meilan recognized Alexandria’s brown hair immediately, as
    well as the face of her sibling. With them were two people who Meilan
    presumed to be Alexandria’s parents; the mother, a gentle-looking woman
    with a certain stern demeanor, and the father, a brown-haired man with
    an easygoing face and a goatee. Two Pokémon shared the photo with them;
    a small Torchic, who seemed unhappy about being in the arms of the
    young girl, and a large Tyranitar, who smiled a toothy grin into the
    camera and held Alex’s sister in a warm embrace.

    “Such a life,” Meilan noted. “So much to learn...so much to know...”

    -

    “What exactly is this stuff?” Nori asked as Alex brought the food out
    to the table.

    “Beef stroganoff, steamed egg noodles, cooked and buttered broccoli,
    and canned peaches,” Alex explained as she portioned out the prepared
    food. “I made plenty, so there should be enough for the eight of us.”

    “Well, I’ve never complained about free food before,” Carol noted as
    she picked up her fork and started eating. After a second, she noted
    with a mouthful, “This is good.”

    “Thank you,” Alex noted with a proud smile.

    The dinner continued silently, Nori being a little suspicious of the
    food but eventually going into the meal. At last, Ben asked, “So,
    what’ll happen if...?”

    “If Mom passes away?” Alex asked. “Well, right now I can only make a
    few small guesses. Mom’s already readied her will, so what’s left of
    the estate will remain in the family’s care. As Cass is nineteen and of
    legal age, she’ll have the greatest say in how things are handled.
    There’ll be a brief debate at the offices to see who takes over for
    Mom, and the funeral will be fairly small; me and Cass, a few close
    friends, remaining family, co-workers of Mom’s. One thing is certain
    though; we’ll have more than our fair share of lawyers before this is
    over.” With a light chuckle, she noted, “Now there’s a group everyone
    can hate.”

    “So we can expect more company?” Nori asked.

    “Not much,” Alex replied. “Most of Mom’s family is either dead or too
    far away to attend. Cass and I are her closest living relatives.
    Meanwhile, she hasn’t spoken with Cass’s paternal grandparents since
    she married my father, and my paternal grandfather died before my dad
    was born.”

    “And good riddance,” Beth replied. “If it weren’t for Alex’s father,
    I’d regret marrying him.”

    “Why’s that?” Carol asked.

    Beth smiled. “Owen Masters, Alex’s grandfather, was one of the most
    dashing men I’d known. It was a whirlwind relationship; I met him in
    April, within months of my twenty-first birthday, and we were wed by
    early July. One of the worst mistakes of my life; the man only wanted
    me for his own pleasure in the bedroom. His upbringing and prestige
    prevented him from going to some common prostitute, so he did the next
    best thing; he married an attractive young woman who could most likely
    show him a good time.”

    Nori blanched slightly, then turned to Alex and asked, “Prestige?”

    “Owen was from an old military family,” Alex replied. “His father
    reached the rank of brigadier general, and he himself had graduated
    from a military academy with high ranks.”

    “That’s what attracted me to him,” Beth replied. “Then I discovered
    that he was a control freak. He expected me to do everything his way. I
    was a blind fool; the fact that I’m a telepath only made me feel like
    more of an idiot over the entire mess.”

    “You’re a psychic?” Nori asked.

    “Well, yes,” Beth answered. “How do you think Alex ended up with
    telepathic abilities, gene splicing? It’s been in the family since my
    maternal grandmother.”

    Carol’s eyes gave Alex a quick glance. The young brunette gave a slight
    nod in confirmation. Nori, satisfied with her inquiry, simply asked,
    “So what happened to him?”

    “Killed in action, not long before I found out I was pregnant with
    Alex’s father,” Beth explained. “I never associated myself with his
    family after that, only kept the name for my own convenience. People
    had a poor habit of getting my maiden name incorrect, and ‘Masters’ is
    a lot easier to use. Meanwhile, my parents were fairly understanding of
    the entire mess, and were the most caring of grandparents.” She set her
    fork down and wistfully mused, “My only regret in the whole mess is
    that I never remarried. Lyle could’ve used a proper father, and having
    a grandfather would’ve only helped Alex. But between raising Lyle, my
    studies, and the whole job search, I rarely had time to myself.”

    “I didn’t turn out too badly, though,” Alex noted.

    Beth turned to her granddaughter and smiled. “No, you didn’t. But some
    things you always regret, no matter what happens.”

    -

    After dinner, Alex silently readied the dishes to be washed, her mind
    swimming with various thoughts.

    “So is she an ‘alien’ too?” a familiar voice asked.

    “No,” Alex replied, turning to Nori as she closed the dishwasher.
    “She’s a hybrid. One quarter.”

    “Now I know where you heard the idea,” Nori replied. “I’m guessing
    that’s why she looks so young.”

    “That and diet and exercise,” Alex explained. “Takes a lot of work for
    anyone to stay in shape, paranormal or not. We just ended up kinda
    lucky.”

    Nori shook her head. “Too strange for me.” She ran a hand along the
    refrigerator’s door handle and asked, “You really not that fond of your
    grandfather?”

    “It’s not hard,” Alex replied. “I never met him; his body was long
    decayed by the time I was born, and Grandma never had the best of
    experiences with him. I don’t hate him, but at the same time I don’t
    love him. He’s just one of this family’s darker parts. But there’s one
    thing that I won’t forget about; without him, I wouldn’t be here. And
    I’m not exactly certain how I should feel about that.”

    The familiar ring of her cell phone interrupted Alex’s thoughts. She
    picked the phone from her belt, flipped it open, and answered,
    “Masters.” After a few seconds, she continued in a saddened voice, “Oh.
    Thank you. We’ll be over in the morning.” She ended the call, flipped
    the phone closed, then returned it to her belt. “That was the
    hospital,” Alex explained. “My mom just died a few minutes ago.” A few
    seconds of awkward silence passed before she added, “I need to tell
    Cass, excuse me.”

    Before Alex could get totally out of earshot, Nori said, “I...hope she
    was comfortable.”

    Alex turned back to her, and seemed to understand what she was saying.
    “She was. Thanks.” With those words, she turned again and continued on
    her way.

    Nori sighed. “Sympathy for the psychics. I’m slipping.”

    TBC

    [NS: Okay, finals over, home safe and sound, finally back in the
    writing. This should be over momentarily, and unless Mace decides to
    look Alex up or someone else steps in, her part of the Search Party
    should be in Fortree within the next week or so. Next?]
Ask a new question

Read More

Video Games