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In every region, there was a guardian of the land, at least one who watches over the earth with fickle and curious eyes. With them, there was always at least one fool family who decided to serve it in some way.

For the Orre region, as far as Wes knew, that family was his. The nameless dowsers who chanted for water and greenery. They were supposedly the reason that any soft earth remained on the ground at all. Hence why he sat in these stone walls and prayed. His head bowed to the floor, facing the one window and the light growing in the sky. He hummed a singular, deep note that sank into the walls and seeped out and free. He clasped his dark hands together in slow claps until his palms stung.

"I offer to you nourishment," he said to the room.

Two meows resounded from the opposing corners. Wes willed his lips into a thin line.

"Unto you, I offer you prayer. I offer blood from the time of old."

Beneath the metal of the base, down in the waterworks, something started to beep. Nothing was down there of course, so it was safe from security for the moment. But, moments pass, and when that moment passed, there was a very loud explosion.

Wes pulled himself to his bare feet. "I offer you flesh scorched in the fire. I offer death for life. I offer life for creation. I ask for new songs to cover your land, for the water to warm itself. I ask for your forgiveness to your peasant whose duty has been shirked."

His cats mewed again, leaving a silence that contained itself to this room alone.

Then, Wes opened his eyes and went to his bedside. "Let's go."

Nocturne and Requiem chirruped agreement and helped him dress.

(Of course, Wes left with a parting gift. He wouldn't be Wes if he didn't steal something.)

"Breaking news, the hideout of Team Snagem was brutalized from the inside. International authorities arrived there to team members still cleaning up a mess of water and shrapnel. Investigators believe the base was situated underneath a well of groundwater beneath a vol-"

"It sounds like whoever did that got a bounty."

The girl brushed her pinky over her spoon of murky broth. It wasn't the most edible thing in the world, or at least not the best tasting. However, to say so, to hint so, might give her away. She couldn't risk it so far out into the desert. Taking great care for her hood, the young woman swallowed as much from the bowl as she could without gagging. It gave her an excuse to listen in on the two behind her. One of them slammed their mug down with a scoff.

"They should be giving the fool a bloody reward for that!" Their voice was hoarse with the remains of a smoke. "They're gonna be hunted across the desert for Giratina's sake. Might as well get somethin' nice before they die."

"Snag'em ain't that tough," grumbled the second. "They lose half the shit they steal after payin' right?"

"Means it's the client's fault, don' it?"

She took another swallow of soup as the door to the dilapidated train car opened up. Soft boot thuds met her ears. She ignored it at first, even when she heard the faint voice making orders. Then the quiet boots made their way over to her.

"Could I sit here?"

She looked up, red bangs falling over her eyes. She saw dark skin, white hair-


Amber eyes that seemed to be entirely in another world even… She nodded slowly, taking her final swallow of soup. The boy nodded and sat on her other side, a cup of tea in hand. As he set it down, something leaped into her lap. She didn't jump, especially as it purred like a glameow.

"Sorry." She followed the voice, noted the wry smile. "He likes attention very much."

The young woman quirked an eyebrow and nodded. "Implies spoiling."

"Happiness equals spoiling," countered the occupant.

She laughed at the sage gospel. "Truth in that." She played with her spoon, watching his gaze on her. "Something on my face?"

"Light skin." He scratched something in his lap, likely something equally as needy and furry. "Hood's too new."

She nodded absently. "Aye. You caught me." She gave in and pet the other pokemon further. "Supposed to be a sandstorm of the ages for the next few days. Rather be in here than nowhere you know."

"Aye." The agreement came out scratchy and worn. "The Desert is supposed to sing… are you hunting for a catch?"

"I wouldn't go so far as the queen," she replied and slowly the redhead popped her own pokeballs on the table. "But a fresh flier I won't say no to. Torn off by the tides and the idiots."

Something in his posture relaxed. "Ah." He held out his hand. It smelled of red clay and smoke deep in the leather of the gloves. "Wes. Of Terrarium."

She paused and then smiled. "Rui. Of Agate and Pallet."

Wes bowed his head as if everything was a mystery that had been solved. Rui almost laughed out loud.

The cashier walked over to them then, handing Wes a great blue box. "Will that do, kiddo?" His voice sounded as dusty as some of the potions in that box. The purple fox hissed at him at the thump.

"Perfect."He pulled out tinted purple bills and passed them over. Rui stopped the man and made her own purchases. All the while, her ball trembled on the table. Wes watched her ignore it.

Soon night fell. With it came the rattling of the windows and the disgruntled leaving of the seemingly familiar drunken fools. The television went on overhead.

Then, seemingly from nowhere, the air began to sing.

Rui smiled. Her theory so far had been proven correct.

Then the song was cut off with a scream.

The two teens were up together before they realized what they were doing.

A thief crossed paths with a mysterious young woman. That was always how the story started. If only the two knew the depths of what they plunged into.