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Literature
PKMN Burst 66: Destiny's Pause
Chapter Sixty-Six: Destiny's Pause
Sabrina's POV
Saffron City is in a state of war.
The Elite Four tried to forcibly take control of the city, claiming that they wished to protect us all from the effect of the dark tentacles that destroyed the Silph Co. building. Maybe they should have realized that a gym full of psychics can smell Tauros crap from a mile away. We know who invited the tentacles in, and it wasn't Team Rocket.
Instead of Mystermime producing Light Screens and Reflects to protect the city, we now have Mewtwo. And this time, we have a Reflect barrier spread all over the ground itself, as well as surrounding the ruins of the Silph Co. building. It's a bit weird to walk on, and you can't touch it with your bare hands without getting buzzed, but it exists.
And it's all that's protecting us from the Elite Four's certain death.
And it still isn't enough.
Sometimes the tentacles break through. My Deoxys is excellent at predicting when they'll emerge, and I've put i
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Literature
PKMN Burst 65: Fairies and Fireflies
Chapter Sixty-Five: Fairies and Fireflies
Terra's POV
I sit nervously at the foot of my sleeping bag, stroking my newly evolved Ivysaur. He's quite tired from the exertion of his battle with Gladion's Golbat, but his scratches have healed quickly, and he seems none the worse for the wear.
I can't help thinking of what Gladion said to me, though. "If you don't learn how to think like your Pokemon, you'll never know how to train them." What on earth did he mean by that?
"Hey, are you okay?"
It's Shu, with Kachu on his shoulder. I blink. "What are you doing here?"
"Kachu smelled your fear," Shu says matter-of-factly. "I guess there's some things you can't even hide with an aura dampener."
"Because Pikachu can smell fear. Of frickin' course." I sigh and slouch a bit. "Any more weird things about this world that I never knew about?"
"Well, Kachu can charge a cell phone if you stick the adapter in her mouth."
I stare at him. "That is an oddly specific answer."
"Well, giv
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Literature
Sonic Burst 10.2: Aquatic Ruin Zone
"I look ridiculous," Tails muttered.
His fur was covered in green makeup. His ears were hidden under a conical red hat. His tails had been stuffed down his pant legs, which he now incidentally had, heaven only knows why Ophelia was carrying a set of Nerb boy's clothes on her. His tails hurt, his necktie itched, and the makeup all over his fur felt disgusting.
"Now, try to avoid stepping in the water," Ophelia said. "It'll wash the foundation off."
Tails looked out at the enormous lakes that comprised the Aquatic Ruin Zone. "But how do we reach the emerald water without getting wet?"
"We ride a Kraken, of course," Ophelia said, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Calypso!"
"Calypso?" Tails asked, confused.
Then the water started to churn, and an enormous creature emerged.
It was massive, bigger than ten Nerbs -- perhaps fifteen. Its skin was thick and slimy, its arms ended in finger-like tentacles, and its mouth bore two thick tusks. It was also, incongruously, completely
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Literature
PKMN Burst 64: Batty for Battle
Chapter Sixty-Four: Batty for Battle
Gladion's POV
I'm standing outside the entrance to Will's part of the cave, wondering why the hell I'm doing it. Yes, I said terrible things to him. Yes, I'm sorry. But the dude is a prick. I could have dealt with him getting angry at me, but his brand of passive-aggressive merciless teasing is another can of Wurmple entirely.
I've been here for fifteen minutes. It feels like fifteen years, which is longer than I've even been alive. And I still can't bring myself to knock on the door.
And suddenly Will steps out right in front of me. "You gonna stand there and use Ingrain, or you gonna come in?" he asks. "Because I'm not digging you up if you put down roots."
I jump a little. "How long did you know I was there?"
"Oh, I didn't know it was you. I had to guess. Of everyone in this cave, you're the one with the darkest emotions. Can't say I blame you, given the whole ending-one-world-to-save-another thing you've got going on."
My fingers t
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Literature
Sonic Burst 10.1: Aquatic Ruin Zone
Tails was stuck between a rock and a hard place.
The rock was Anton Brooke, a hulking Komodo dragon that looked like he ate bricks for breakfast without any milk. The hard place was Eggette Kintobor, an Overlander girl with a sadistic grin on her face that suggested that she was about to turn Tails into a fluffy orange muff.
The only way to escape was down. Down into the sewers where Megatox lurked. Down into the cold, the wet, the smelly, and the decidedly unsanitary.
Tails quickly ran through his list of options. There weren't many. He might have been able to fight the girl, but Brooke was five times his size and ornery as a Chopper. He might try to run, but in the natural maze of Chemical Plant Zone, the odds were a hundred to one against him getting out alive.
"Um..." Tails said nervously. "P-please don't throw me in the sewer?"
Brooke threw him in the sewer.
---
"You idiot! You absolute, insufferable idiot!" Tails heard Eggette shout at Brooke from above the sewer. "You just threw
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Literature
PKMN Burst 63: Will He Be Glad
Chapter Sixty-Three: Will He Be Glad?
Gladion's POV
I lie awake in bed, thinking of everything that's happened. Terra. Gary. Lillie. Will. So many people, so many lives in our hands. And so much danger.
There's one thing I can't stop thinking about. The Team Rocket base. What was in it.
Why did Team Rocket have Nihilego?
They know about Ultra Space, I conclude. Or at least about Ultra Wormholes. They stole Lillie's Pokemon. One of them was Cosmog. And they have time travel now. They could have done practically anything with those abilities by now.
But why Nihilego? Are they using its neurotoxins to develop whatever it is that they're using to turn Pokemon into killing machines? Do they have MORE Nihilego? Do they not realize how dangerous it is to have them nearby? Or do they realize exactly how dangerous they are?
I decide that this is something to ask Ilima about... tomorrow. The guy needs his beauty sleep.
Actually he doesn't. He'll always be a pre
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Literature
PKMN Burst 62: Can, Am, and Will
Chapter Sixty-Two: Can, Am, and Will
Ilima's POV
"Are you sure about this, Cap?"
Gladion has reason to be wary. We're back at Celebi's windmill, along with Will and Karen, and I can feel the front of Gladion's mind going "We know next to nothing about these people; are we really going to just trust them?" And the back of his mind is going, "Why do we have to have this many people around?"
"We need all the help we can get in this fight," I answer. "These two are strong trainers, and they want to stop Team Rocket as much as we do. Besides, they have nowhere else to go."
Gladion stares at me. I don't blink.
"All right, all right," he finally says. "But if Will tries to flirt with me, I'm punching him in the mask."
I turn to Will to see how he handles this accusation. He only grins. Well. I'm not even going to tell Gladion whether the grin is an admission or just Will trying to mess with him. I know Will is intentionally being a stinker, and I want to see how we
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Literature
Sonic Burst 9: Chemical Plant Zone
Page one
PANEL ONE: The sun rises on the collapsed ruins of Tails' lab, torn down in an unseen battle against Eggette and her Badnik army. Neither Eggette or her badniks are present -- just a couple of curious Flicky birds pecking around the ruins in search of food.
PANEL TWO: A gloved hand emerges from the wreckage, reaching upwards. It's dirty and a bit torn. The arm is light orange. The Flickies scatter.
SPEECH BUBBLE (arm): I'm up!
SPEECH BUBBLE (arm): I'm okay!
SPEECH BUBBLE (arm): I can do this!
PANEL THREE: The owner of the arm, Tails, emerges rather painfully, previously trapped under the rubble. His eyes close as he grimaces, pulling himself out from the wreckage of his workshop. He's filthy and scratched-up from his ordeal.
TAILS: Uugh! What a night. I knew the place was falling apart, but I didn't think it'd happen quite this quickly!
PANEL FOUR: Tails, now fully out of the rubble, looks around, concerned.
TAILS: Wait... where are Sonic and Sally?
---
Page two
FULL-PAGE SPRE
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Literature
PKMN Burst 61: Fire In The Ho-Oh
Chapter Sixty-One: Fire In The Ho-Oh
Ilima's POV
"So, are we gonna talk, or are we just gonna read each other for the entire flight?"
That's Will, riding in front on Lugia's back. I'm right behind him, and I've quietly promised myself not to let him out of my sight, psychically or otherwise. I'm fairly certain he won't betray me to his boss, given what his boss did to him last they met, but I still don't fully trust him.
He's messed up in the head. From what I can read of him, an early family history of abuse has left him with schadenfreudic tendencies. (Is that even a word?) He's an empath that enjoys the suffering of others. And he's currently wondering if he could get Lugia to 'accidentally' buck me off so I'll be forced to transform to levitate.
"Are you trying to distract me from what you're thinking, or are you actually interested in what I have to say?" I ask.
"Hey, I wouldn't try to buck you off if I didn't know you could survive it," Will says, defending himself.
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PKMN Burst RPG: Mega Alolan Ninetales (lineart) by EurekaTrollcat PKMN Burst RPG: Mega Alolan Ninetales (lineart) :iconeurekatrollcat:EurekaTrollcat 4 0 PKMN Burst RPG: Mega Ninetales lineart by EurekaTrollcat PKMN Burst RPG: Mega Ninetales lineart :iconeurekatrollcat:EurekaTrollcat 1 0
Literature
PKMN Burst 60: A Spat In Time
Chapter Sixty: A Spat In Time
Ilima's POV
"...so Bill gave us these aura disruptors that prevent mind reading, scrying, divination, or any other form of psychic reading," Evan says. "It's going to be weird not being able to read people like you're used to, but it's worth the security from Team Rocket's armies."
We're talking to the Cerulean Cape group from inside the Mt. Moon base, via one of Ali's rings. It makes not only for a quick portal, but an excellent communicator. We can even pass supplies through the ring, which Evan does with the aura disruptors.
"Fantastic," Gladion says. "I suppose one of us should tell Clemont that his past four tries at an anti-psychic security system exploded for nothing. Preferably not me."
Gladion has people issues. He's had them since he was young. He's never really warmed up to people, except me, and technically I'm not what most people think of as, well, people. He's more of a Pokemon person.
"Five tries!" a voice yells, shortly after
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PKMN Burst RPG: Alolan Trifox (lineart) by EurekaTrollcat PKMN Burst RPG: Alolan Trifox (lineart) :iconeurekatrollcat:EurekaTrollcat 2 5
Literature
Sonic Burst 8: Emerald Hill Zone
Page one
PANEL ONE: Wide shot of Robotropolis, night.
CAPTION: "Did you hear, big brother? We're headed for Westside Island!"
PANEL TWO: Eggette follows Snively down a hallway, a few feet behind him. Eggette has a spring in her step; Snively not so much. Actually, Snively's acting pretty surly, hunched over and grumbling to himself.
EGGETTE: Uncle Eggy's working on a huge project, and he wants our help to complete it! Doesn't that just sound wonderful? We're going to change the world, one Robian at a time!
SNIVELY: Humph.
PANEL THREE: Eggette catches up to Snively, close to the door out of the hallway (which Snively is heading towards). Snively puts out a hand with a raised palm to stop her.
SNIVELY: Listen, I've had a VERY rough time dealing with my uncle, and I need some time alone. Go play with your dolls or with that Flicky video game of yours and leave your big brother alone. I have... work to accomplish.
EGGETTE: Aw... all right, then.
PANEL FOUR: Snively sighs in relief as Egget
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PKMN Burst RPG: Alolan Sandsickle + shiny by EurekaTrollcat PKMN Burst RPG: Alolan Sandsickle + shiny :iconeurekatrollcat:EurekaTrollcat 3 0
Literature
PKMN Burst 59: Prepare For Trouble
Chapter Fifty-Nine: Prepare For Trouble
Bill's POV
After some discussion, it's decided that I will meet up with my potential boarders -- at least those of the criminal element -- in a hotel room in Cerulean. I hear the Rockets are experts in disguise, so they shouldn't strike up any alerts for Agatha's ghostly occupiers.
I begin with the two Rockets, who insist on being interviewed together, along with their Meowth. A talking Pokemon is of considerable interest to me. I've always believed that Pokemon intelligence is much higher than many trainers give them credit for, and actually being able to talk to one is very interesting indeed.
"So what should I call you?" I ask them.
"Jessie!"
"James!"
"Meowth's da name!"
I shake my head. It sounds like they're reciting a motto. "I didn't ask you what your names were. Erika already told me. I'm asking what I should call you. You're going undercover, so you're going to have to have aliases."
They consider this a moment. "Jes
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Chapter Sixty-Six: Destiny's Pause

Sabrina's POV

Saffron City is in a state of war.

The Elite Four tried to forcibly take control of the city, claiming that they wished to protect us all from the effect of the dark tentacles that destroyed the Silph Co. building. Maybe they should have realized that a gym full of psychics can smell Tauros crap from a mile away. We know who invited the tentacles in, and it wasn't Team Rocket.

Instead of Mystermime producing Light Screens and Reflects to protect the city, we now have Mewtwo. And this time, we have a Reflect barrier spread all over the ground itself, as well as surrounding the ruins of the Silph Co. building. It's a bit weird to walk on, and you can't touch it with your bare hands without getting buzzed, but it exists.

And it's all that's protecting us from the Elite Four's certain death.

And it still isn't enough.

Sometimes the tentacles break through. My Deoxys is excellent at predicting when they'll emerge, and I've put it in charge of directing the Mewtwo army to destroy the tentacles as they rise. Deoxys itself can be a strong attacker, or a strong defender, just not both at once. I've used a meteorite from a set taken from Kanto Route 3 to change Deoxys into Defense Form in case it gets attacked.

Eventually the Elite Four will return, and I don't need a vision to tell me this. They accuse us of cutting the city off from what could give them help, but I don't buy it. I know what happened to Silph Co. I know the Elite Four are in league with the corrupted Dragon Force.

I also know that there is nothing we can do about it.

We're not fighting the menace alone. The Fighting Dojo has graciously volunteered its trainers and Pokemon to patrolling the streets to defend against tentacle attacks. Certain species of Pokemon, such as Dark or Fighting types, are particularly attuned to detecting when the tentacles will emerge. But it's not enough. It will never be enough.

The planet itself is angry.

Part of me wants to blame our society. Battling Pokemon for fun and profit has led to the exploitation of many species for human entertainment. Several species, such as Lapras, have grown rare from overcatching. It's no wonder the Dragon Force has turned angry and violent, turning from Light Matter to Dark.

Have we learned nothing from history? Have we forgotten the Sword of the Vale? And is there anything we can do to save ourselves now?

There is one thing, my visions reassure me. There is Terra. The girl without aura. The only one who can prevent the darkness from having its way in the world.

Terra, and her group of ragtag heroes. While I cannot sense their physical presence in this world, I take heart that none of the other psychics can, either. Not even Deoxys can find them. Which is good, as Giovanni is determined to destroy them if they ever dare cross him again. Which they almost certainly will.

I can only prepare for what few glimpses of an uncertain future I can scry. The rage of the planet has blinded my visions. But I can still try.

And then, suddenly, a flash of insight. A prophecy. A portent of things to come.

And it isn't pretty.

The children are coming back.

At exactly the worst possible time.

---

"Giovanni?"

The boss insists on concealing himself, only communicating with us via video calls. I suspect he does not trust me not to read his mind. What I know for sure is that he knows the Elite Four are after him and want his head.

"Present. Have you had another vision, Sabrina?"

I nod, not quite sure how to word what I have to say. I'm not even sure what I should say. "It's the Iron-Masked Marauder, Giovanni. He plans to betray us at Pokemon Tower."

"I see," Giovanni says. "I'll have Koga look into it. If anyone can stop the Iron-Masked Marauder, it's a trained assassin."

"No!" I shout, unable to control myself. "I mean, why Koga? Saffron is practically next door to Lavender Town. Fuschia City is so far south -- shouldn't Koga remain there?"

"You're needed in Saffron to manage the disaster," Giovanni says patiently. "Koga is an accomplished assassin. I'm sure he can do the job well."

"But Giovanni..." I start, then realize I have nothing to say. Nothing that he'll accept. What could possibly dissuade him? The Iron-Masked Marauder is one of our top agents. Giovanni doesn't realize that in fighting the Marauder, Koga will also be fighting children.

I haven't dared tell him that the children will arrive in the midst of the attack to rescue the prisoners in Pokemon Tower. I can't bring myself to betray them.

"Understood," I say. Not happily. But I do say it. "I'll send some forces into Lavender to aid him. You remember Amber, right? She and her sister Athena can help against the Marauder's forces."

"Your psychics will not be necessary," Giovanni says. "The Marauder wields some powerful Pokemon, but he is only one man. Koga will take him down before he even knows that Koga is there."

"Sir," I say a bit forcefully. "Please remember that it is the Marauder's Ho-Oh that revived the zombies we've used as guard Pokemon and muscle in Pokemon Tower. The zombies are loyal to him and him only. And with Ho-Oh bound to his control, he could easily be revived if slaughtered. We don't need to destroy him, we simply need to --"

"Betrayal of Team Rocket is unacceptable," Giovanni states. "A strong leader knows when to cut down threats to his rule. We showed restraint in dealing with Lance, and he brought down the Silph Co. tower. I won't make the same mistake again."

"Understood, sir," I say, a sick feeling forming in the pit of my stomach. The vision I'd seen returns, this time clearer and more terrible than before.

"Have you made any progress in locating the three deserters?"

"No, sir." They're just as concealed from me as the children, which probably means they're with them. Jessie, James, and that Meowth of theirs were not the most competent grunts in the business, but they know too much. If Giovanni finds them, he will show them no mercy.

"Redouble your searching efforts, then. Loose lips cost lives."

They do indeed -- possibly the lives of the three themselves. "Understood, Giovanni," I say, the words forming a bad taste in my mouth.

"Then do so. Over and out."

---

Giovanni's POV

"Are you quite sure about this, Master Giovanni?"

I turn to my secretary, Matori. "Koga is perfectly capable of neutralizing this threat. There should be no further problem from the Marauder after tonight."

"I mean what you said about Lance," Matori says. "You said you should have destroyed him. But we have the devices taken from the children we've captured. Surely we could go back in time and prevent the loss of Silph Co."

I stand up from my desk, stretching my arms and legs. "The disaster of Silph Co. was a controlled loss. Sabrina predicted it was coming regardless of whether Lance lived or died. I was hoping that the collapse would destroy him, but somehow he managed to make it out alive. But it doesn't matter. We WILL find a way to permanently halt the Elite Four's natural disasters, come hell or high water. Once we possess enough legendary Pokemon -- and clones of legendary Pokemon -- nothing will be impossible for us. We will rule as the kings of Pokearth."

Matori nods. "Yes, Master Giovanni."

"Now, send a message to Koga instructing him to travel quickly to Lavender Town. He can have his daughter Janine mind the gym in his absence." I allow myself a small, satisfied grin. "And direct him to the body cameras. I want to watch what happens."

"I will, Master Giovanni."

---

Sabrina's POV

I pace the chambers of my gym, frustrated. I can't come in contact with the children because they've closed off all psychic channels. I don't know where they are. I don't know how to reach them. I don't know how to warn them.

"Sabrina? Friend-Sabrina?"

I look up and see a familiar face teleport in. It's one of the mutants, a close personal friend of mine, Aurora the Mightyena morph. It's hard to read her, seeing as she's a Dark-type, but her tail is down and her ears are drooped, so she must know I'm upset. She's probably smelled it the moment she entered.

"Aurora." I smile. "I have a job for you. Gather together a group of mutants and head for Pokemon Tower. A group of children are about to enter a war zone, and I need you and your mutants to do everything possible to prevent them from encountering Koga."

Aurora's ears prick up. "Aooo! Will do, Friend-Sabrina!"

The mutation process may have affected Aurora's mind more than predicted. She can still function more or less as a human, but her mind and behaviors are doglike. Still, she's breathtakingly loyal, and quite eager to please. And she's no slouch when it comes to battling.

"I'll even lend you a Pokemon to use," I say, reaching for my belt. "A shiny Xatu. Listen to its warnings when things get rowdy. Whatever happens, do NOT let Koga reach those kids. They may be the enemy, but they're still children. They don't deserve what he'd do to them."

Aurora gives a somewhat sloppy salute. "Aye, aye, Friend-Sabrina! Aurora will do that!"

I nod, trying desperately to scry further into the future. Can Aurora and the others prevent this vision? Is it possible to fight destiny? If I thought Deoxys could prevent this disaster, I'd send it. But it can be strong or durable, but not both. Strength would be needed to defeat the Marauder, but durability would be required to survive Koga.

This much I know: the children will interrupt the Marauder's coup.

The children will encounter Koga.

And one of the children will die.
PKMN Burst 66: Destiny's Pause
Aurora the Mightyena morph is based on Aooo, the player character from Twitch Plays Pokemon Randomized HeartGold. Aooo is known to have an, ahem, particularly close relationship to Sabrina... and to have a shiny Xatu.

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  • Watching: Kingdom Hearts 3 cutscenes
  • Playing: dead
  • Drinking: hot cocoa
Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control (namely lack of inspiration, too many projects, and mental health concerns), I will not be able to continue the Sonic Burst series. It was fun while it lasted, but I need to prioritize working on Pokemon Burst and its corresponding homebrew RPG system.

There WILL still be an update to Sonic Burst on the 26th, but it will not be a chapter or chapter segment; it will be the story outline for the Sonic 2 arc, revealing just what my plans were.

Please understand.
Chapter Sixty-Five: Fairies and Fireflies

Terra's POV

I sit nervously at the foot of my sleeping bag, stroking my newly evolved Ivysaur. He's quite tired from the exertion of his battle with Gladion's Golbat, but his scratches have healed quickly, and he seems none the worse for the wear.

I can't help thinking of what Gladion said to me, though. "If you don't learn how to think like your Pokemon, you'll never know how to train them." What on earth did he mean by that?

"Hey, are you okay?"

It's Shu, with Kachu on his shoulder. I blink. "What are you doing here?"

"Kachu smelled your fear," Shu says matter-of-factly. "I guess there's some things you can't even hide with an aura dampener."

"Because Pikachu can smell fear. Of frickin' course." I sigh and slouch a bit. "Any more weird things about this world that I never knew about?"

"Well, Kachu can charge a cell phone if you stick the adapter in her mouth."

I stare at him. "That is an oddly specific answer."

"Well, given that Clemont's tried to build seven generators so far and they've all exploded, I thought you might want to know about that."

I sigh. "Thanks, but my cell phone has no coverage for Pokearth. And I didn't bring the adapter with me because I didn't expect to be, you know, suddenly zapped into this world with no clear way back."

"Couldn't Hoopa -- I mean, Ali -- get you a portal back home?"

"No good. I've asked her. She has no idea where my house is. She hasn't been to the real world -- I mean, to my world -- for as long as she can remember. For all she knows, she's been in the Interdream Zone all her life."

"Oh."

There's a pause.

"I wonder if there's a Prison Bottle for her?" I think out loud. "If she really is the Hoopa from the Dratini legend. Where would her Prison Bottle be?"

"Prison Bottle?"

"The thing that holds the rest of her power. Hoopa usually look like towering six-armed horned deities when they're at full power. Ali's a Hoopa-Confined, so she's naturally smaller. Sure has the appetite of a full-sized Hoopa, though."

Shu looks around. "Where is Ali, anyway?"

"She should be off somewhere. I let my Pokemon wander around the base because I don't feel comfortable leaving them in little balls all day long." I sigh, looking down at Yoshi. He's fallen asleep.

"So do the Unown translate Pokemon cries for you?"

"Not automatically. They have to focus to do it. And Unown can get tired like anyone else."

"Do you think the Unown know where Ali's Prison Bottle is?"

I blink. "You make a valid point, Shu. The Unown are the ones that took me to the Interdream Zone. They can travel between dimensions. Maybe some of them have been to wherever Ali's Prison Bottle is kept."

"Well, at any rate, we won't know where the rest of the Unown have been until we find that Pale Sphere that we need to summon Palkia. And even then, there's no guarantee he'll let us speak to them."

I consider the options. "It could be that Tornadus and Thundurus know where the Prison Bottle is. Ali seems to know them -- maybe they were her jailers, or at least her prison guards."

"But they're currently running loose throughout Kanto," Shu points out. "Probably still looking for her. I don't think they'd hand over the bottle, even if they knew where it was."

I sigh again. This just keeps getting better and better. "Shu, how do you know how to think like your Pokemon?"

"Well, generally I just ask them what they're thinking," Shu says. "Which you can do too, if the Unown translate."

"I'm just worried about my skill as a trainer. I've terrified Benga, and I made Yoshi pass out battling Gladion's Golbat. How do I get in tune with what my Pokemon want?"

"First of all, you need to acknowledge that losing happens. It hurts, and nobody wants it, but it's not the end of the world. Pokemon in friendly battles aren't trying to kill each other; they're training to grow stronger. Physically and morally. And that means accepting loss."

Yoshi opens one eye. "Can you take it to another room?" he asks. "I'm trying to rest here."

I carefully stand up, doing my best not to disturb Yoshi as I do so. The egg on his back has a thin crack in it, and I don't know what will happen if it breaks. "All right, Shu. Where do you suggest we head up?"

"You've got your aura disruptor on, right?"

"I'm an offworlder. I don't give off any aura."

"Then let's head topside."

---

"Topside" in this case means the top of Mt. Moon. After several rickety ladder climbs and a few Super Repels, we make it to the surface. It's late evening, and we can see the sunset from the mountain's peak. There's a small shack there, presumably the souvenir shop, and a grassy meadow with a lake. Unlike the tops of most mountains I know of, the ground is actually curved inward slightly, although flat enough to walk upon.

"Welcome to Mt. Moon Square," Shu announces. "They say that this is where a giant meteorite fell from the sky, leaving this crater, thousands of years ago. It's said to have brought the first Clefairy to our world."

"Who says that? The Clefairy?" I joke.

"Yes," Shu answers, dead serious. "Over time, the Clefairy of Mt. Moon grew to worship the meteorite, calling it the Great Moon Stone, believing that it could bring them back to their world. It was taken down into the caverns of Mt. Moon and hidden away where only the Clefairy could reach it."

"And then what happened?" I ask.

"Team Rocket stole it. At least, that's what I heard from the locals."

I look around. It's getting darker, and a few Clefairy are mulling around. One of them has a pair of Cleffa at its sides, and they stare at us curiously. "Clef clef?"

"Oh, hey there, little ladies!" Shu laughs, waving. "Never seen a human before, have you?"

Kachu leaps down from Shu's shoulder and approaches the Cleffa, little whiskery nose twitching. The Cleffa stare back at her, possibly surprised at the sight of a Pikachu wearing clothes. I wonder if the clothes worn by some Fighting-type Pokemon are actually clothes, or if it's part of their natural markings and the Pokearthian humans modeled their own clothes after those markings. I've heard that for Machoke and Machamp, only the belts are actual clothes, and the rest is just their markings. Maybe the thongs that some humans wear in this world were based off Machoke markings. Wouldn't surprise me much.

"This is an important time for the Clefairy," Shu says. "Every Monday, the full moon reflects in the lake, and the Clefairy dance by its light, remembering the home of their ancestors. Sometimes they pray that the moon will send them a second Great Moon Stone to bring them back to the moon."

"That's incredible," I say, and then it suddenly hits me. "Wait. Every Monday?"

"Well, when else are you going to get a full moon?" Shu laughs.

I'd remembered this from the games, but I never actually thought... "Your entire lunar cycle lasts a week?"

"Is it different where you come from?"

"Well, where I come from, the moon is only full about once a month. Sometimes twice -- we call that a 'blue moon,' even though the moon doesn't actually turn blue. The moon does appear red on some occasions, though -- we call that a blood moon. Does your world get blood moons?"

"I think so," Shu says, "although I've never seen one. Next thing you'll tell me is that your seasons last more than a month."

"Actually, where I live, seasons last three months."

"Wow!" Shu exclaims, clearly impressed. "How does your world survive with three straight months of winter? You don't even have Pokemon!"

I smile. "You'd be surprised. We've gotten used to it over the ages."

He smiles too. "Three straight months of spring or autumn sounds really beautiful. But how well do you handle allergy season?"

I laugh. "Where I live, there's this one time of year where all the pine trees let out their pollen at once, and everything's covered in a thin layer of yellow dust for a week. It's pretty crazy!"

"Pika pika!" Kachu exclaims, having returned to Shu's side after giving her hat to the two Cleffa to play with. One of them is holding the hat upside down by the brim, and the other one is rocking back and forth inside the hat and squealing with excitement.

Shu sighs. "And I just bought you that hat, Kachu!" Kachu's ears go down, and she sulks. "Aww, don't get upset. I can always buy you a new one."

Kachu's ears prick up, but more aggressively. Clearly she doesn't like this idea. "Chu!"

"Okay, okay, I'll buy you something you actually like this time," Shu agrees. "Cool your jets."

A voice comes from behind us. "So what's this big thing you want us to see, Cap?"

I turn and see the rest of the group heading up the ladder to Mt. Moon Square, one by one. Gladion, the speaker, looks as surly as ever. Abe is holding a notebook and pencil. Cyan is pretty dirty after all the mining she's done to look for the Pale Orb. Ilima manages to look immaculate despite mucking around in a cave all day. Clemont looks pretty tired from all the climbing, but Bonnie is full of energy, with Lillie constantly trying to keep her out of trouble. Will and Karen come up last, with Karen looking skeptical at whatever this thing is that Ilima's dragging them all to, but Will looks eager to explore.

"It's summer in Kanto," Ilima says, "which means it's lightmite season. When it gets a bit darker you'll see what I mean."

"Lightmite season?" I ask as everybody chooses a place to sit or stand. "What are lightmites? Are they a Pokemon?"

"No one knows," Ilima answers, "although they're certainly too small to battle. They're nocturnal flying insects that glow in a variety of colors, and they're only found in areas where meteors fall, such as Meteor Falls in Hoenn and Mount Hokulani in Alola. They seem to feed on the meteorites, and a popular hypothesis is that they come from space themselves. Some believe they're smaller relatives of Minior, another being that falls from space."

"And you think we'll see them tonight?" Gladion asks.

"I certainly hope so. I've always wanted to see lightmites." Ilima grins. "Look, the sun has almost completely set. It should be happening soon."

I feel something warm rub up against my leg. To my surprise, Benga has somehow made his way up here (how did he climb the ladder?) I look to my left, and Ali floats next to an open ring, a smug grin on her djinnlike face. Yoshi and Kappa jump out of the ring, Yoshi yawning and stretching while Kappa floats over to a grove of trees and rests against a trunk, looking almost like an initial carved into the trunk.

The sun is a mere sliver in the sky. Will gives Ilima an expectant look. "Well? When does it start?"

"I don't know," Ilima explains sheepishly. "I don't speak Lightmite."

"Soon," Shu says, watching as the Clefairy and Cleffa step forward, close to the lake. "Soon."

The sun slips below the horizon, and to my surprise, I see the moon already high in the sky. Was it hiding behind a cloud, or was I simply not looking for it? This is the world you've always dreamed of, I chide myself, and you can't even find its moon. Start paying more attention.

Yoshi in particular seems intrigued by the moon. I suppose the Distortion World might not have a moon of its own, given that it's not even really a planet, just a bunch of surrealist islands chained together by broken physics. Also, it's kind of like the sun, but softer, and much safer to look at. Since normal Ivysaur get their energy from the sun, I imagine even Mirror Ivysaur could have a love of the light.

I look back down at the lake, and the moon reflected in the lake, and the Clefairy around the moon. "They're so cute!" Bonnie exclaims, drawing their attention. One Clefairy, the one with the two Cleffa, puts its finger to its mouth and shushes her.

Then the lightmites emerge.

They fly up from the bushes, glowing in every color imaginable. Bold reds and oranges, soft yellows and greens, deep blues and purples, wild pinks and teals. They're tiny, smaller than fireflies, but their glow is twice as bright. The entire mountain seems to light with their glow.

The Clefairy welcome their presence, chanting softly as the lightmites fly around them, illuminating the lake that reflects the moon. The two Cleffa, still clinging to their parent's legs, bounce up and down trying to catch the lightmites, which zip away quickly.

One lightmite lands on Benga's nose. He sneezes, and embers fly. So does the lightmite, darting towards the embers and then very quickly away from them once it realizes that they are certainly not lightmites and certainly quite hot. Benga snaps at the wayward lightmite, trying to catch it in his teeth. It quickly darts away from this strange and dangerous new creature.

Ali brings out her hoops to confuse the lightmites with portal power. The lightmites flick back and forth between the rings for several moments, then all gather on top of Ali at once, making her look like a Christmas decoration of the Devil. Ali yelps, shaking herself vigorously. "Get them off Ali! Get them off Ali!"

Shu laughs at this. "Relax, Ali. They don't bite. Although they can itch quite a bit, if they stick on you. Give them some time, and they'll leave."

The Clefairy continue to chant, joining paws and pacing sideways around the lake. The lightmites settle on their heads and bodies, forming colorful garlands and crowns. The Clefairy hover in midair, animated by some strange magic, continuing their recitation in their fairy tongue. They dance faster and faster, floating in the moonlight, forming a colorful chain of fur and light.

Then Clemont sneezes.

The dance ends suddenly, the Clefairy scattering into the brush, the lightmites darting after them. One of the Cleffa goes back to try to pick up Kachu's hat. Its parent quickly grabs it and pulls it away.

Gladion glares daggers at Clemont. "What the hell was that?"

Clemont stammers a barely audible apology, stating that one of the lightmites had tickled his nose. Gladion looks about to punch him when Ilima intervenes, chiding Gladion for getting angry. Bonnie looks scared. Gladion looks scary. His fingers are twitching again, the way they always do when he's about to do something he'll regret.

Lillie is yelling at Gladion to be nice to poor Clemont. Clemont looks rightly terrified. Ilima looks one step away from mind-controlling Gladion away from the situation.

Eventually Gladion mutters a half-hearted apology and backs away. Everyone glares at him, except Ilima. Even Cyan is glaring at him, and he wilts under her glare. Ilima looks nervous, clearly feeling the brunt of the group's thoughts against Gladion's behavior.

I turn to Shu awkwardly. "Well, there goes the dance," I say, disappointed.

"It'll happen again," Shu says, shrugging it off. "It happens every Monday, after all. We can always see it another time."

The lightmites continue to float through the brisk night sky.

But nobody cares anymore.

---

I sit on a log on Mt. Moon Square, staring at the water. The full moon is still reflected clearly, and a few lightmites still dance over the lake. The lake is larger than I remember it in the games, looking like a place where our entire group could have a fine swim. Perhaps the scale in the games is an illusion, to get across the idea of the place while not taking up too much cartridge space.

Gosh, that was a weird thought. Do the makers of the Pokemon games know that Pokemon are real? Have they been to this world, too? If so, how come this version of the world has types and forms that have never appeared in the games at all? Is this even the same Pokemon world, or just another branching dimension of it?

"Are you all right?"

It's Ilima, looking apologetic. "I'm sorry this night was a disappointment. I'd wanted to see the Clefairy's Lunar Dance as well. It's a sacred moment, critically important to Clefairy culture."

I smile. "It's not your fault. Or Clemont's, for that matter. Mistakes happen." I pause. "Lunar Dance?"

"Taught to them by Cresselia herself, or so I hear. Don't worry -- it's not the same kind of Lunar Dance I used to heal Gladion. It's more of a traditional thing. Nobody knocks themselves out dancing it."

I consider this. "So the Clefairy worshiped a Moon Stone, and then Team Rocket stole it. It seems kind of foolish to put your trust in a rock."

"I can't argue with that," Ilima sighs. "There are some people that even worship Mew. We're just Pokemon, after all. We're only human."

"You certainly do a good job of being human, for a Mew."

"And you don't do that bad a job at being Pokearthian, for an alien."

There is a pause.

"Do you really think I can do it?" I ask.

"Do what?" Ilima says, either to be polite or because he's still got his aura disruptor on and can't read my mind. Or can he even read my mind at all, if I have no aura? Will couldn't read my emotions, but Will is not a mythical Pokemon.

"Save this world," I sigh. "Back at home, I'd always dreamed of Pokearth, ever since I was six. I just wanted to come here and make friends with all of you -- all of the humans, and all of the Pokemon. But from the moment I arrived here, it's just been one disaster after another. I get chased by legendaries, bucked off a Dragonite, crash-land in a greenhouse in a town where everyone's been kidnapped -- and that was just the first half hour! Now I'm caught up in some sort of prophecy and am supposed to be the only thing that can save the world from complete and total destruction. I'm twelve years old! What am I supposed to do against Dark Matter?"

Ilima considers this. "I expect the Unown meant to tell you when the time was right. They wouldn't have chosen you if they didn't believe you could do it."

"Except the Unown have been banished by Palkia," I mope bitterly.

"Well, once Cyan finds a Pale Orb, we can summon Palkia and politely ask it to let the Unown back in. I'm sure that once we've explained that what the Unown did was not their fault and that Gladion won't do it again -- actually, he can't do it again, because Sasha isn't even still on his team -- then Palkia will let them back in and we can go back to planning how to save reality."

"If we can even save reality," I sigh. "Ilima, we're kids. We're up against a criminal empire with legendary Pokemon, a corrupt and murderous League, and some force of nature that wants to end the world. How are we going to beat all that?"

"One step at a time," Ilima answers. "One step at a time."
PKMN Burst 65: Fairies and Fireflies
Pokearth is a weird place. The lunar cycle lasts a week (as seen in the Johto games) and seasons last only a month (as seen in the Unova games). On the other hand, they'd probably think our world was a weird place as well.

Lightmites are something I made up myself. This chapter was inspired by this song: www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2pKfF…

My description of what Ali looks like covered in lightmites is one of my favorite word pictures in this series. Heh, heh.

Terra has a tough job.

First: eurekatrollcat.deviantart.com/…

Previous: www.deviantart.com/eurekatroll…

Next: www.deviantart.com/eurekatroll…

Gallery: www.deviantart.com/eurekatroll…
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"I look ridiculous," Tails muttered.

His fur was covered in green makeup. His ears were hidden under a conical red hat. His tails had been stuffed down his pant legs, which he now incidentally had, heaven only knows why Ophelia was carrying a set of Nerb boy's clothes on her. His tails hurt, his necktie itched, and the makeup all over his fur felt disgusting.

"Now, try to avoid stepping in the water," Ophelia said. "It'll wash the foundation off."

Tails looked out at the enormous lakes that comprised the Aquatic Ruin Zone. "But how do we reach the emerald water without getting wet?"

"We ride a Kraken, of course," Ophelia said, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Calypso!"

"Calypso?" Tails asked, confused.

Then the water started to churn, and an enormous creature emerged.

It was massive, bigger than ten Nerbs -- perhaps fifteen. Its skin was thick and slimy, its arms ended in finger-like tentacles, and its mouth bore two thick tusks. It was also, incongruously, completely pink. It wore nothing except for a silver band around its massive, yet almost nonexistent neck. And it might have been wearing eyeshadow; Tails wasn't sure if that was even possible for something that was just underwater. All he knew was, if this was a Kraken, he did not intend on riding it anytime soon.

"Done with your research so soon, Ophelia?" it asked in a voice that made Tails shudder. "Looks like you've made a friend. Kinda of odd-looking for a Nerb, if you ask me."

That thing thinks I'M odd-looking? Tails thought incredulously. Even in Nerb makeup, at least I don't look like that!

"Something else has come up," Ophelia said. "Something that could be the end for Nerbs and Kraken both. We need to head down to where the emerald water is kept and get some so we can battle a giant toxic slime elemental."

Calypso raised an eyebrow. "Well, that escalated quickly. Where exactly is this 'slime elemental' you speak of?"

"Hopefully not here," Ophelia said. "And on the off chance that it does head here, we should probably be off."

"All right, then," Calypso said, turning her back on the pair to allow them to climb on board. "We should probably hurry. Watch your step and hold on tight."

Tails did not feel entirely comfortable with riding the Kraken. He did however notice that the back of Calypso's neckband had two sets of handholds on it, almost as if it was intended for people (most likely Nerbs) to hold on to them. Somewhat hesitantly, Tails climbed on, holding tight to the handholds and very strongly hoping he didn't slip.

Ophelia took the second set of handholds. "All right, we're set. Let's be off!"

Calypso nodded slightly (very slightly; anything else might have thrown Tails off) and started to swim across the lake. While large, the Kraken made surprising speed, and it wasn't long before Tails and Ophelia were out of the lake and riding upstream of a river.

"That's a Kraken?" Tails asked. "I've heard of them in legends, but never seen them before."

"They're not from Mobius proper," Ophelia explained. "They came here from another dimension, along with the Drakons, the creatures that built these ruins to begin with. The Drakons enslaved them for centuries, which ended when the Drakons made the mistake of underestimating the Nerbs."

"So we traded slavery to the Drakons for slavery to the Nerbs," Calypso said bitterly.

"You're a slave?" Tails said indignantly. "That's not right!"

"Of course it's not," Ophelia said, sighing. "Calpyso and I have been saying that for ages. But Nerbs are notoriously stubborn. Xenophobic, even. If you're not a Nerb, you don't matter in Nerb society. Simple as that."

"Wow," Tails said, looking out over the Aquatic Ruin. "Maybe it's a good thing you guys don't show yourselves. There's an awful lot of species in the world that would be pretty upset at that reasoning."

"We may not have a choice, if the flooding continues," Ophelia said. "Nobody knows what started it, although the Nerb King has convinced most of the population that it's the surface creatures' fault. It seems like it coincides with Robotnik's arrival on West Side Island, and with the strange earthquakes we've been having."

"All that water had to come from somewhere," Tails mused. "Perhaps Robotnik is digging under the ground, and he tunneled into an underground reservoir? I've seen Eggette driving a driller."

"Could be," Ophelia said. "Of course, the ancient Drakons were fish people, so it's natural that their ruins would be near the water. Maybe the Nerbs of that time blocked the aqueducts so they could continue to live in their tunnels, but then Robotnik showed up and things started going haywire."

"Well, we're here," Calypso announced, pointing to an open cavern with water gushing out. "Somewhere in that cave is the Growing Grotto, which contains the main concentration of emerald water."

"That's it?" Ophelia said, somewhat downcast. "The opening's too small for you to fit in. Are we going to have to swim for it?"

"Looks like it," Tails said, stepping down into the shallows and pulling off the uncomfortable and honestly tacky Nerb clothes. "Do you know how to swim?"

"Only a little," Ophelia admitted. "And I've never tried it in the dark."

"Then grab hold of my tails and let me tow you," Tails said, noting Calypso's surprise at the large fluffy tails he had been hiding under his pants. "Do you have a flashlight?"

Ophelia nodded, pulling one out. "Here. I always come prepared when researching the ruins."

"Thanks. It's waterproof, right?"

"We live in the Aquatic Ruin, Tails. Everything has to be waterproof."

"Great," Tails said, turning on the flashlight and placing it in his mouth. "Let's move." (Although in all accuracy, the last part sounded more like 'Les moof' because Tails had a flashlight in his mouth.)

And so they set off.

The cavern was dark and dirty, smelling of earth and algae. There were a few more of those glowing mushrooms scattered about, but not enough to see by; Tails was particularly grateful for Ophelia's flashlight. Every once in a while something would brush up against Tails' arms or legs while swimming, and he'd shudder. Thankfully nobody bit him or stung him or anything of the sort, but it was highly unnerving swimming in that cold water and knowing that something could.

Tails had never before been so glad to reach dry land.

To his surprise, the underground grotto he reached was lush with thick vegetation, despite a distinct lack of sunlight. "How do these plants survive down here?" he asked, looking around for some source of light. "They can't photosynthesize without access to the sun..."

"It could be that the microbes in the emerald water provide a substitute for sunlight," Ophelia said.

"And that's the weird thing," Tails said. "I'm not seeing any of this emerald water about. It could just be the lighting here, but the water looks more sorta pink. Are you sure this is the right place?"

"I don't think Calypso would lie to me," Ophelia said uncertainly. "What do you mean, pink water?"

"I mean it's more of the same color as Megato--"

And then the water started to move.

It happened slowly, gradually, as if the water itself was fighting Megatox's rise, and that provided exactly the opening that Tails and Ophelia needed to panic and run like scared deer, right into the underground jungle. Whatever Megatox had for eyes, at least he couldn't see where they were running.

He could however hear them, and he recognized Tail's voice. Something resembling a mouth pressed itself into a grin.

It was payback time.

---

"You think we lost it?" Ophelia asked after several minutes of running.

Tails shrugged, collapsing into a thick bed of surprisingly large moss. "You tell me. At least I don't hear it coming after us."

"So that's your Megatox thing?"

Tails nodded, still trying to catch his breath.

"Wow." Ophelia took out her notebook and started to draw. "This one's going in the scrapbook. Wait until I tell Calypso that we saw an elemental today!"

"If we survive to tell Calypso anything," Tails said, "the first thing I'll tell her is to be grateful she was too big to come in."

Ophelia leaned against the stem of a large flower, and lived to regret it. "Well, I think--"

"MOVE!" Tails yelped, dashing forward at a speed even he hadn't been aware he could move at, pushing Ophelia out of the way and losing a decent-sized clump of tail fur to the snapping jaws of WHAT THE HECK IS THAT THING I THOUGHT IT WAS A FLOWER. And it was a flower; just an abnormally large one that clearly had an appetite for Mobian flesh.

"Wh-what are these?" Ophelia asked, cowering behind her notebook.

"These?" Tails asked, whirling around. "There's more of them? Holy crap!"

There were indeed more carnivorous flowers. Several more. They didn't appear to have any visible eyes, but they snapped forward as if they could sense their prey's movements. Their aim wasn't perfect -- thank heaven for that -- but they pursued Tails and Ophelia nonetheless, at least as far as their stems would allow them to.

The only answer to this was to run, and Tails and Ophelia did so.

---

"I don't get it," Ophelia mused after they'd escaped a safe distance away. "How do carnivorous plants survive down here with nothing to eat?"

"Maybe they're not carnivorous," Tails said. "Maybe they just snap at people in self-defense."

"Some defense!" Ophelia exclaimed. "I wonder how Megatox would take those things on."

"Well, I'm not sticking around to watch," Tails said firmly. "We need to find that emerald water now, more than ever."

"You mean the emerald water that's pooling around our feet?"

Tails looked down. Sure enough, a thin stream of green water was flowing where they stood, forming puddles and small rivers. "This looks like it, all right. But there's not enough to gather into a canteen or anything."

"We should follow it to its source," Ophelia said. "There should be more up ahead."

Tails nodded, but seemed hesitant. "Um, Ophelia? Have you ever considered how we're going to get out of here?"

"Can't we just swim out like we swam in?" Ophelia asked.

"I mean, we'd need to know which direction to swim in. In case you haven't noticed, we're kind of lost."

"Just follow the current. It has to lead out where we left Calypso, doesn't it?"

Tails shuddered. "I'm not really that big on getting back into that water... but it still sounds better than staying here the rest of our lives."

"Then we'd better hurry," Ophelia said, setting off towards the source of the emerald water. "The sooner we get that water, the sooner we can get out."

Assuming the water even works on Megatox and we don't both die, Tails thought to himself, but he didn't say it out loud.

---

The strange duo made it to the source of the green trickle, only to find a thick wall of rocks blocking their path. Emerald water trickled down through the gaps in the stones, forming a series of miniature waterfalls.

"Judging from the height of these trickles, moving even one of these stones could lead to a flood rushing in," Ophelia observed. "If we get dragged under, we might never leave this cavern alive."

Tails shuddered. "Then how do we collect enough of this water to stop Megatox?"

Ophelia pulled out a canteen from her pack and held it up to one of the trickles. "Hold on. This could take a while. So long as Megatox doesn't show up while it's filling, we should be fine."

Tails swiveled his ears to listen for Megatox. Had the slime elemental reached the snapping flowers yet? Perhaps his toxic ooze would poison and weaken them, thus making it easier for the two of them to escape. Perhaps the flowers would also slow him down, giving them more time to gather the emerald water to de-toxify him.

No such luck.

Megatox lurched forward, several very large flower petals caught in the flow of his chemical body. "All right, you fuzzy little mutant!" he yelled at Tails. "You're going to pay for what you did to me!"

"Oh, so I'm going to be called a 'mutant' by a living slimeball?" Tails snapped back, instantly regretting it.

All that did was make Megatox more mad. "Oh, you're dead now!" he roared, forming himself into a stream of pink fluid and shooting forward.

Straight towards the wall of rocks that blocked off the cave from the emerald water.

Tails quickly dodged left, shouting a warning to Ophelia. Ophelia turned around barely in time to see a barrage of pink headed straight towards her. She leapt away as fast as her little green legs could carry her, moments before the pink torpedo collided with the wall of rocks at top speed.

The rocks scattered everywhere, no longer restricting the stream of emerald water. In a rushing wave, pink and green collided, like a lava lamp gone wrong.

Tails ran for his life.

---

Ophelia!

Tails stopped dead cold. He'd forgotten Ophelia! How could he have left her against both Megatox and that disaster of rocks and water?

He turned to head back, not sure what he was expecting to see. To his relief, it was not an overwhelming green wave of death. The emerald water was flowing, yes, but it was pooling out, spreading to the lowest points it could reach, filling the underground lake.

Tails let out a breath he hadn't been aware he had been holding. "Phew! That was a scare." He ran back towards the source of the water, looking for Ophelia.

She was mostly fine, nursing an injured ankle from where a rock had hit it. To Tails' surprise, there was another Nerb close to her, staring blankly at his own arms and legs as if he hadn't seen them in years. Megatox itself was nowhere to be seen.

"Um, hello," Tails said nervously. "What's going on?"

Ophelia pointed to the other Nerb. "Remember what I said about Dr. Megatox? The Nerb who went to the surface and disappeared?"

Tails nodded.

"I think we cured him. He seems to be a bit out of it, though. Maybe he's even forgotten how to talk." Ophelia shrugged. "We should probably get going before he remembers he hates you and tries to get revenge."

"Oh, none of you are going anywhere," a voice said suddenly.

Tails looked up, and to his surprise, a platoon of Nerb soldiers on Kraken-back dropped down from holes in the cave ceiling, armed with spears and crossbows. "All right, surface creature," one particularly nasty-looking Nerb said. "Where's the sludge monster?"

Tails and Ophelia blinked, then pointed to the Nerb that used to be Megatox.

"You've got to be kidding me," the Nerb soldier muttered. "What are you two even doing down here anyway? This is restricted territory. And you've gone and broken the dam, too! This is a righteous mess and no mistake. Your father is going to get an earful about this."

"He'll get an earful when I tell him your group nearly let us get eaten by snapdragons," Ophelia said. "Pity you missed seeing the sludge monster get demutated."

"Sludge monster or no sludge monster," the Nerb soldier continued, "inviting a surface creature down to see one of our greatest secrets is tantamount to treason. Are you sure the sludge monster is gone?"

Ophelia nodded. "And I wouldn't have been able to demutate him without Tails' help getting me down here."

"Oh, Tails. So it has a name." The Nerb soldier glowered at Tails. "Well, it's just a kid, so just so long as it doesn't invite any more of its friends down here, I suppose we should let it go. But don't come back, fuzzy!"

Tails remembered something. "Um, Mr. Nerb? Is it all right if I bring back a little of the emerald water to help cure a friend of mine?"

The Nerb soldier looked a bit uncomfortable. "That would be up to the Nerb King to decide, and he's not going to be happy when he finds out about this mess."

"I don't need much," Tails said. "Maybe a thermos full? I just need something that can destroy pollution, like what happened to Megatox. I won't be back here again, I promise you."

The soldier considered this. Not happily. But he did consider. "...oh, all right then. But you'd better not come back. The king's going to be mad enough at me for even considering this, but I don't feel right arresting some stupid kid."

Tails bristled at the insult, but he knew enough not to rise to the bait. Instead, he headed over to the source of the emerald water, accepted Ophelia's thermos, and filled it with water.

"All right then, fuzzball," the Nerb soldier growled. "You can fly up through one of those holes in the ceiling -- it's the quickest way. And don't come back!"

Tails did so, and he didn't. He was sorry to have to say goodbye to Ophelia (as she was sorry to say goodbye to him), but some things just couldn't be helped. Besides, Megatox had been soundly defeated, and Sally's life was at stake.

I guess there's a lot I still don't know about West Side Island, Tails thought to himself. Nerbs, Kraken, Drakons. What other secrets does this island hide?

He had no idea how soon he was to find out.
Sonic Burst 10.2: Aquatic Ruin Zone
The Kraken species comes from the Sonic SatAM cartoon, the same episode in which the 'emerald water' and 'snapdragon' flowers come from, although the emerald water was simply called 'green water' in the cartoon.

The Drakons come from Sonic the Comic, where it is stated that they built the Aquatic Ruin Zone way back when.

Will any of the worldbuilding I've done here have any effect going forward in this series? Only time will tell.

First: www.deviantart.com/eurekatroll…

Previous: www.deviantart.com/eurekatroll…

Next: coming February 26

Gallery: www.deviantart.com/eurekatroll…
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  • Watching: Kingdom Hearts 3 cutscenes
  • Playing: TPP Burning Red (soon!)
  • Eating: Peanut Butter Cookie Lara bars
  • Drinking: water
Due to my misreading the start date of Twitch Plays Pokemon's anniversary run (and only just recently realizing it coinceded with my stated date for Sonic Burst chapter 10.2), Chapter 10.2 is probably going to be delayed a day or two.

I have it mostly written, but it's not yet complete, and I can't guarantee that it will be completely finished by the time I have to go to bed tonight.

Please understand.
  • Watching: Kingdom Hearts 3 cutscenes
  • Playing: dead
  • Drinking: hot cocoa
Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control (namely lack of inspiration, too many projects, and mental health concerns), I will not be able to continue the Sonic Burst series. It was fun while it lasted, but I need to prioritize working on Pokemon Burst and its corresponding homebrew RPG system.

There WILL still be an update to Sonic Burst on the 26th, but it will not be a chapter or chapter segment; it will be the story outline for the Sonic 2 arc, revealing just what my plans were.

Please understand.

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EurekaTrollcat
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:iconcharbycharby:
charbycharby Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2018
Happy birthday, buddy!!
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:iconeurekatrollcat:
EurekaTrollcat Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks!
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:iconqueententen:
QueenTenten Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the watch! :3
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:icondeviousdk:
DeviousDK Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks so much for the favorite and the watch! =D
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:iconjadethestone:
jadethestone Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for the watch! It really means a lot! Hope you have an awesome day!
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:iconcharlemagne1:
Charlemagne1 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much for the watch and all the comments! I'm really glad you enjoy my nuzlocke! :D (Big Grin) 
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:iconzerochan923600:
Zerochan923600 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
thanks for the add mate!
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:iconsupertmuzz:
Supertmuzz Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
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:iconjazzmatazzie:
jazzmatazzie Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Thank you for the watch! ♡
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:iconnintendogamemaster:
Nintendogamemaster Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2017
Hey Eureka, mind if I ask you a question about Pokemon Glazed?
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