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The woods were dark and silent as the hooded figure fled, clutching something in his arms. He sprinted between the trees, crashing through bushes and young saplings as he made his way. As he entered a clearing he paused, searching. Once determined it was safe, he relaxed and threw back the hood of his cloak. He – no, she – uncovered the precious egg she had carried so far. The Lucario sighed. For as far as she’d traveled, she had hoped to throw off her foes, yet they still followed her, chasing her down like a fox in a hunt, like a treed –

 

A howl broken the silence of the night. Immediately, her ears turned as she sought the source. Somewhere behind her, to the west. A second howl rang out, closer and to the east. The Lucario went to flee yet again when the trees surrounding the glade burst into flames and a third, long howl sounded behind her. She turned and slowly backed towards the center as a pack of Houndoom entered the ring. Acting quickly, she fired off a few quick Aura Sphere attacks, each one finding its mark and knocking back a foe.

 

Still, the hounds continued to advance, and the Pokémon was forced to stand her ground. She carefully hid her charge in the grass and covered it with her cloak before turning to face the Fire-types. The Lucario calmed her mind before beginning her counter-assault, charging and firing her Aura Sphere attacks at the hounds. Each one hit and sent a Houndoom flying back, unconscious.

 

Still more came into the burning ring as the packs closed in on her. Their Flamethrower attacks began to scorch her fur as she targeted those who would harm her. She knew the worst was yet to come, as once the hounds found her she knew their masters would close in. She needed to escape, to ferry away her child, to –

 

The roar of a few dragons sealed her fate. The flight of Charizard descended into the glade, blocking her escape. As a team they attacked her, using their Flare Blitz technique to send her flying. She fought valiantly, but was swiftly defeated and fell to the forest floor, defeated. The dragons forced her to kneel as their master approached. The Lucario was forced to look at the face of her foe – before being slain by a spire of crystal, now stained red.

 

_/-\_/-\_/-\_/-\_/-\_/-\_/-\_/-\_

 

The woods were bright and active as the green cloaked figure fled, clutching something in his arms. He sprinted between the trees, crashing through bushes and young saplings as he made his way. As he entered a clearing he paused, searching. Once he determined it was safe, the young Riolu took a seat on the ground, exhausted.

 

“What did I ever do to those jerks?” he asked aloud as he pulled out an Oran Berry. “I mean, this is my food, not theirs!”

 

“That’s not what the boss says pipsqueak!” squawked a Fletchling.

 

“Shut up Anthony! I haven’t done anything to you!” the Riolu shouted back as he jumped to his feet.

 

“Come on Caleb, we both know you’re guilty,” replied Anthony. “I mean, who else would’ve eaten Jake’s lunch?”

 

“Anyone else who didn’t realize it was claimed!? I mean, it was just a little pile of berries!”

 

“Bull! Berries don’t just pile up!” yelled a voice from the woods. As the bushes parted, two more Pokémon walked into the clearing, a Sableye and a Baltoy. The Sableye continued, adding, “And now, we’re going to make you pay!”

 

“Gah! Ah, come on Jake, can’t we let bygones be bygones? I mean, this was two years ago!”

 

“Oh, heck no!” was the reply as Jake’s claws started to glow.

 

Caleb decided that glowing claws were a pretty good indication that now was time to run. He turned tail and fled, jumping over the bushes behind him and back into the forest, leaving a fading trail of light as he used his Quick Attack technique to flee. Immediately, his bullies took chase and jumped into the woods after him.

 

At first, Caleb thought his escape was going pretty well. His Quick Attack gave him a head start and he put it to good use, shooting through the trees away from his bullies. He knew he was speeding away, increasing the distance between him and his foes… Until twin streaks of white light flew past him. Caleb acted quickly, jumping up against a tree and using it to change his direction before Anthony came back around with another Quick Attack. That was not quite enough for him to escape though, as Anthony followed up with a Tackle to Caleb’s back and slammed him into a tree.

 

The attack dazed Caleb, and for a moment he didn’t move. Then came an odd humming sound in the air, and he jumped to his feet. He wasn’t quite fast enough though, and Terry the Baltoy smashed into him with a Rapid Spin attack. Once again Caleb was knocked back, but this time he was ready. He countered with a strong Pound attack, pushing Terry into another tree. Then Caleb jumped up against Terry and used him as a springboard as he used his Quick Attack to escape again. However, Terry had one more trick up his sleeve and used his Confusion technique to take hold of Caleb’s foot from a distance, causing the Riolu to tumble and roll on the forest floor, right to Jake’s feet.

 

Jake picked up Caleb by the neck and slammed him against a tree. “Any last words, dog?”

 

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry!”

 

“Not sorry enough!” replied Jake before attacking with his Metal Claw technique. Caleb protected his face with his arms, and then counted his blessings; as a Fighting-type, Jake’s Metal Claw attack wasn’t very effective against him. It still hurt though, and for second Caleb considered that Jake might just be using it so that he could make the punishment last longer.

 

Suddenly, Jake threw Caleb to the forest floor as he prepared to use his Metal Claw attack with both hands. As he launched himself at the Riolu, Caleb got lucky. He had brought his feet up to try and protect himself but now the Sableye landed on them it caused Caleb to roll a bit. Once Jake was almost to Caleb’s neck he kicked out and sent the Sableye flying. He smacked into a tree hard, and lay there. Immediately, his companions came over to help him get back up.

 

Caleb didn’t give him the chance and immediately used his Quick Attack to escape. Still, Caleb knew he was in trouble. Not only was he hungry and hurt, but now he was lost, having lost his bearings in the fight. As he crashed through the bushes, he considered turning around and trying to find his way back to the river, the one landmark he knew could get him home no matter where he was. He quickly decided against it, since his bullies were still behind him. If only he could fight them off, then –

 

He tripped.

 

One problem with the high speed movement provided by the Quick Attack technique is that any trips and falls during it become much worse, a fact Caleb considered as he tumbled along the forest floor, downhill. Stupid momentum. When Caleb finally stopped, his clothes were in disarray and covered in leaves and dirt. As he got up to straighten himself out, he heard the clink of rock hitting rock and a nice thud as a stone, perhaps even the one that caused him to trip, came to rest besides him. He quickly glanced over once and then again to stare as he looked at the most unusual thing he had ever seen.

 

The stone was as grey as any other rock Caleb had seen in the area but as he picked it up it was not the color that intrigued him but the shape. It was a brick, though Caleb didn’t know the word, and perfectly so, without a single imperfection on any of its six faces, and that was what marveled him. He had never seen anything like it, used only to the smooth stones made by the river. A flapping of wings distracted Caleb and he looked around, fearing rediscover by Anthony. This caused him to see the newest strangest thing he had ever seen. There was not one brick or two, or even a pile of them; no, there were many more than that! As he awed at the vine-covered ruins of some great building, curiosity overtook fear and Caleb ventured inside.

 

Naturally, Caleb was cautious at first, but soon the mystery that brought him inside made him careless. He started to run, as there was so much to see! There were banners, hanging in tatters, furniture, old and broken, and strange metal items, beyond his understanding. There were rooms and hallways, all made from carefully placed stone bricks. Having never left the forest, Caleb was amazed by the strange ruins of Pokémon long gone from the world. He easily spent a few hours exploring the ruins.

 

As he walked down what seemed like the main hallway, something illuminated by a shaft a sunlight and stuck in the rubble caught Caleb’s attention. He turned off the main hallway and walked into the great room where the curious object drew the curious Riolu closer. As he approached, Caleb took notes of the strange thing. Since the thing was stuck in the rubble, Caleb could not see all of it, but whatever it was, it was metallic, that much he knew for sure. It arose from the stones as some oddly shaped, off-brown shaft with some golden decorations. Near the top the shaft widened and a golden crescent formed. In the middle of the crescent was a triangle made of circles, and above that a metal rod, from which hung some blue cloth.

 

As Caleb drew closer, he became more and more curious as to what it was that was buried in the rubble. Taking hold of the rod, he tried pushing and pulling on the object, hoping to loosen it. While it moved a bit, it was not any looser than when he started. Thus, he climbed onto the rubble and grabbed the rod with both hands. He counted down from three before trying to pull the object up and out of its prison. At first, the stones held tight, keeping hold on their prisoner. Then, something shifted, and it easily came free.

 

Caleb had to admit that he had not been expecting victory quite so easily. Unprepared, he pulled the thing high, up over his head, no behind his head… and then fell on his rump when he lost his balance while his prize fell to the floor with a clatter. Still, he had succeeded, and with great anticipation he got his first look at the mysterious object. Caleb immediately recognized it as a sword, and a good looking one at that. Looking back at the pile he realized that the brown colored metal was simply the sword’s scabbard, and was still stuck. He quickly picked the sword back up with both of his paws.

 

“What do you think you are doing!?”

Merry Christmas all! My little Christmas gift to you all is a bit of activity here! ;p

To be honest, I've actually had this done since the end of summer. I was going to upload it then, but I was lazy. Oops. Fun fact: I wrote most of this on some flights I took over the summer.

Please, tell me what you think about the story so far! For those of you who want to read Pyrrha, for now it's on hold. There's some stuff I've got planned for the story that's become a bit... problematic and a sticking point for me. I would love it if anyone would like to work with me on it. Send me a Note if you're up to it.

In the mean time, I'll be writing this. I've got a lot of ideas for this bubbling around in my head, and it should be a lot easier for me to write than Pyrrha is, so these pages might be more frequent. That said, this will be less of a single, continuous story and more of a collection of tales. In other words, if you think of something you'd like to see, or a situation the characters might find difficult, tell me! I might just use it! I do have a sort of general, overall plan though. ;)

By the way, if you have any tags you would recommend I add to this, leave me a comment with them and I'll add them.

Merry Christmas everyone, and a happy New Year!
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December 25, 2016
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