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Nuzlocke: Eternal Enmity

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{Reshin 15th, 10:58}

{Nuvema Town}

 

...our next story, a riot nearly broke out at Mistralton Airstrip this morning. Police and Mistralton Leader Skyla Huuro had to break up fights that broke out at Mistralton Commercial Airport today between anti-Fairlan protesters and a Plasma Foundation delegation and their supporters. Both groups had arrived at the airport for the arrival of the Fairlan Head of State, Champion Saylee Pryce, and her family. Champion Pryce has arrived for an extended diplomatic tour of Unova after a confrontation between the Fairlan and Unovan ambassadors at the UN over the issue of--

 

“They’re not supposed to leave the Sar title out of her name, it’s the same as Sar Weaves,” Cheren commented as he wandered into Carlotta and Warren’s room with a couple of sodas that he’d gotten out of their fridge. He tossed one to Carlotta, who caught it without looking up from her spot at the window.

 

“You know what U-News is like, it’s a miracle they’re pronouncin’ her name right,” Carlotta said absentmindedly, wrapping her hands around the cold soda.

 

“Where’s War?” Cheren asked, unlocking Carlotta’s e-reader and making a face as he sat down on one of the cushions strewn across the floor and browsed through her comics. “You still buy New Guardians of the Galaxy? It’s garbage.”

 

Carlotta didn’t look over at Cheren as she opened her soda, though she did snort. “You just don’t know art when you see it,” she remarked. “He’s still at Professor Juniper’s gettin’ the stuff.”

 

“Then he’s late,” Cheren commented, checking his C-gear.

 

“Calm down, Cher, he’ll get ‘em,” Carlotta insisted, rolling her eyes. “’Sides, we’ve got plenty of time. It’ll be fine.”

 

“Says the one who won’t stop staring out of the window,” Cheren pointed out.

 

Carlotta took a calm sip of her soda. “I ain’t lookin’ for Warren.”

 

“Then why are you staring out of the window like that?”

 

“’Cause there’s ninjas on top of the Hoenn Embassy,” Carlotta said, nodding at whatever she was looking at, then tucking her pink baseball cap slightly lower over her face and hiding behind her soda.

 

“Excuse me?” Cheren said, setting aside the reader and his own soda as he hopped to his feet to join her at the window. He stared, straightened his glasses, and stared some more. “My goodness. You meant that literally.”

 

“Literal ninjas,” Carlotta agreed, watching the tall figure in dark purple who was pacing back and forth along the edge of the embassy’s roof. Another one was standing by the front gate.

 

“You know, I always assumed that ninja were the kind of Fairlan stereotype that only ever appeared in movies,” Cheren commented. “I never believed that they were real, certainly not in this day and age. Why are they there?”

 

For an answer, Carlotta pointed at the TV, which was showing footage of the arguing between protesters and Plasma Foundation members that had turned into battling. Skyla Huuro was easily visible as she waded in with her huge bird Pokemon, while in the background of the shot a number of dark figures were making the Fairlan Champion and her family impossible to see. “The Fairlan Champion has ninja bodyguards, how cool is that?”

 

Cheren looked pained. “That’s another thing they’re getting wrong,” he grumbled. “She’s the head of state of the Tohjo Union, consisting of the countries Kanto and Johto, not the whole Fairlands, which consists of the Tohojo Union, the Sevii Islands, and the countries of Hoenn and Sinnoh, all with separate--”

 

“Alright, see, I knew it was weird that she was hangin’ around the Hoenn embassy,” Carlotta agreed.

 

Cheren frowned, pushing his glasses up his nose as he peered at the building. “That… is odd,” he agreed. “She’s coming here to learn more in detail about Pokemon in Unovan society, isn’t she? I would think that she could deal with any business pertaining to Hoenn at home, when she’s not on a diplomatic tour…”

 

“Yeah, but she definitely went in there,” Carlotta said, gesturing with her soda can, “and them ninjas followed. One of ‘em grappled ‘cross the rooftops. With an actual grapple. It was awesome. I thought ‘bout tryin’ to film it, but I’d probably get assassinated…”

 

“Look, there they are now!” Cheren said, pointing and then quickly withdrawing his finger when the ninja on the roof paused and turned to look in their direction. Then the bodyguard dropped down next to the people exiting the building, stepping off of the roof as if they were simply walking down stairs.

 

The two teenagers recognized the Hoenn ambassador, Sar Key Weaves, although she was new, only having moved in with her family three months prior. She was definitely noticeable, often dressed in the most vividly colourful spectrum of skirtsuits that anybody in Nuvema Town had ever seen, her bright blonde hair usually bundled up in a large decorated clip. She seemed to have a hundred of them, all shaped like different Pokemon from Hoenn. Possibly they were Pokemon she’d trained before, as she was supposed to be a champion of the Hoenn Pokemon League, which over there was as much politics as sport. She was chattering animatedly to a much shorter woman with darker hair who was walking alongside her, a far less colourful figure in white dress trousers and a sleeveless red blouse.

 

“That’s her, ain’t it?” Carlotta asked Cheren. “The Champion? The little one?”

 

“There’s a Fairlan saying that means ‘dangerous things come in small packages’,” Cheren commented. “I guess the kid with the dark hair must be hers—Sar Weaves only has the twins, right?”

 

Carlotta nodded. “The kid don’t really take after their mom,” she noted, watching the tiny brunette who was taller than both of Sar Weaves’ hyperactive bright-blonde twins. All three kids were being held tightly in the grip of the two men following Sar Weaves and the Champion, who were trailed by a skinny, dark-haired teenager. “Y’know, I don’t rightly know which one’s Mr Weaves… you ever seen ‘im? Dad says he manages a bunch of charities but don’t do public stuff ever for some reason he ain’t talkin’ about.”

 

“I think he’s the taller one,” Cheren said, nodding at the taller and darker of the two men who were bringing up the rear of the group, talking to another ninja. Nuvema Town was a secure community that largely housed Unova’s foreign embassies and people who worked at those embassies, so the two families were able to walk down the street without the attention of the horde of reporters that had met Sar Saylee Pryce off the flight from Kanto and was probably lying in wait to stalk her tour of the country.

 

“They must be buddies,” Carlotta theorized, watching the two families walk up the road. “I mean, they must just be visitin’ friends, not doin’ political stuff, y’know?”

 

“I wonder where they’re going,” Cheren said, narrowing his eyes. “The Tohjo Embassy’s the other way.”

 

“I dunno, maybe they got other friends in embassies here?” Carlotta suggested, watching the group walk past the Sinnoh embassy. “I hope they ain’t goin’ to Professor Juniper’s…”

 

Cheren checked his C-gear gain with an irritated sigh. “He’d better get the Pokémon in time,” he grumbled. “We can’t change the time of the escape plan…”

 

 

{Reshin 15th, 11:07}

{Nuvema Town}

 

“Thanks again for doin’ this,” Warren said, looking over and pocketing the three license cards.

 

“You, Carly and Cheren are all over sixteen,” Professor Juniper said with a smile. “It is absolutely your right to have and train Pokémon if you wish. What you--or any other sixteen-or-over trainer you happen to spend time with--do with these Pokémon is entirely up to you.” She gave him a significant look before returning to cleaning her computer screen.

 

Warren grinned. When Cheren had first approached Professor Juniper about the legalities of acquiring and exchanging Pokémon, she’d asked him to make sure that they all knew what ‘plausible deniability’ meant. “Thanks again,” he said, picking up the box of pokéballs.

 

“Clear out,” she ordered, not looking up. “The Tohjo Champion’s coming to visit the lab, so her security team will be here any minute to sweep it. Go! Explore! Get into danger! Discover new things! Have fun! And,” she added in a softer tone, “look after each other, okay?”

 

“Yes, ma’am,” Warren said, saluting and walking out of the lab and almost directly into a ninja. “Whoa!”

 

The man, tall with silver hair and sharp Fairlan features, gripped Warren’s arm and said something in Fairlan.

 

“Uh, sorry, man, I don’t speak Fairlan,” Warren said with a shrug.

 

The ninja turned and looked back as somebody behind him had a rapid conversation in Fairlan, then Sar Key Weaves, the Hoenn Ambassador, stepped up with a smile. “You are Mr and Mrs Arathos’ boy, yes?” she said in Unovan. “I am sorry. One moment, please, to explain to the security why you are here?”

 

“Just pickin’ up some Pokemon,” Warren said, opening the box to show the three pokéballs inside. Sar Weaves rattled a Fairlan translation off to the ninja, who let go of Warren’s arm picked up the box, opening it and examining it thoroughly before nodding and returning it to Warren.

 

“Thank you,” Sar Weaves said with a smile. “You all have fun!”

 

“Thanks!” Warren said, stepping out of the way as two of the ninjas—a security team of ninjas? Carly’s gonna love this—stepped into the lab. Warren hurried out of the lab, glancing curiously at the Tohjo Champion.

 

She was much shorter than he expected, a petite woman in a red-and-white semi-formal outfit who nevertheless was probably the most threatening-looking head of state that he’d ever seen thanks to all the scars. There was something very deliberate about the way that her sleeveless blouse bared a huge swathe of pale pink burn scars across her right shoulder, more burns down her bicep, and a plethora of other scars, slashes and bites cross-crossing both arms. An unsettling set of darker scars around her neck looked like somebody had tried to decapitate her at least once, among other things. Entirely at odds with this was the delicate little snowflake necklace around her neck and the friendly smile she gave Warren.

 

Ain’t they got dermatological surgery where she’s from? he wondered as she looked down and said something to a little girl with long brown hair, who looked like her but also like the man holding her hand, presumably the Champion’s husband. He had the same skinny, short build that she did—he was shorter than Warren, though nowhere near as tiny as his wife—and his black shirt and brown shorts also showed up a number of scars on his arms and legs, the most notable being three parallel scars on the left side of his face that cut into his nose and perilously close to his left eye.

 

Warren had never seen Mr Weaves up close, so it was hard to be sure, but he was reasonably confident that Mr Weaves was probably the larger, muscular man with dark hair and skin, a thick beard and moustache, a weird cross-shaped scar across the middle of his face and a giggling blond twin under each arm. He definitely wasn’t the lanky, dark-haired teenage boy who was as tall as Sar Pryce and already staring with wide-eyed curiosity into Professor Juniper’s lab.

 

Since Nuvema Town was slightly more than half made up of embassies, other political institutions and their staff, Warren was used to suspicious security personnel; one of his earliest memories was, at four years old, being questioned about his intentions and the contents of his juicebox after squeezing through a hedge and running into a very twitchy new guard for the Kalosian ambassador. As such, he waited until he was well out of sight of the Fairlan group before dialling his sister on his C-gear, banking on the perpetually punctual Cheren already being at their house.

 

“I got the stuff,” he announced. “Operation ‘Rescue The Princess’ is go. Did you see that the Tohjo Champ’s got freakin’ ninjas for bodyguards?!”

 

 

{Reshin 15th, 11:12}

{Nuvema Town}

 

“I don’t think we should touch any of ‘em yet,” Warren said, holding the box of pokéballs out of the reach of his inquisitive sister. “I think we should let Bianca pick first.”

 

“But what if somethin’ goes wrong with the plan and we need to fight our way out?” Carlotta insisted.

 

“We are not going to attack Bianca’s parents with Pokémon, you terrorist,” Cheren said sternly. “The Bigot Bomb will be sufficient.”

 

“’Sides, you know if we start a Pokémon battle ‘round here, we’ll have us a whole UN of security teams on our asses,” Warren said, snapping the box shut almost on his sister’s fingers. “Now includin’, need I remind you, ninjas.”

 

“In the embassy directly across the road from Bianca’s house,” Cheren added.

 

“Well, ‘less they’re actually stayin’ in the Hoenn embassy,” Carlotta added, nodding at her open bedroom window, which was letting in a cool breeze and the sounds of three children playing with a yapping Lillipup and yelling in loud Fairlan across the road. “Are the ninjas still on that roof?”

 

“The ninjas are on the roof,” Warren confirmed, leaning up to peer out of the window. “What a weird-ass sentence. Anyways, I swear that Tohjo Champ is scarier than any of her bodyguards. She looks like what ain’t killed ‘er shoulda tried harder, y’know?”

 

“Well, the Fairlands do still value prowess in battle very highly in their politicians,” Cheren said, eyeing up the box of pokeballs covetously, “and with all the terrorist problems they’ve had, it’s no wonder. She was the chief of police before becoming Champion, I believe.”

 

“Yeah, but ain’t they got any sorta skincare there?” Warren asked, moving the box out of Cheren’s line of sight. “She and her husband both look more scar’n skin.”

 

“Perhaps they’re still recovering from that brutal civil war they had thirty years ago,” Cheren suggested, leaning around to peer at the box. “I understand that many aspects of their health system and justice system are still rather crude.”

 

“I love how you know everythin’,” Warren said, grinning at Cheren and kissing his boyfriend’s cheek before leaning over his shoulder to throw a pillow at Carlotta as she tried to steal the box again.

 

 

{Reshin 15th, 22:17}

{Nuvema Town}

 

Not all of Nuvema was made up of political buildings; several blocks were owned by members of tight-knit religious groups who could afford the secure, relatively private area as their own little gated community.

 

The Romrams were one of the most insular, their children homeschooled and rarely leaving the two blocks of houses owned by members of the sect. Bianca’s house, on the corner across from the Tohjo Embassy, had always been easy to sneak in and out of. Carlotta, Warren and Cheren had been doing it since they were kids to visit the little blonde girl who got adorably overexcited about reading anything about Pokémon or playing with any toys that weren’t pink, red or orange.

 

Carlotta headed around the side of the building, following their latest, as-yet-undiscovered entry route under the far hedge while Warren and Cheren rang the doorbell and braced themselves for an onslaught of religious quotations about the horrible fates awaiting perverts, blasphemers and other bad influences on Mr D’Artagnan’s little girl.

 

Carlotta made it to Bianca’s window just as the shouting started, which handily covered the noise of Bianca opening her parents’ bedroom window and throwing her bag out. Carlotta ran over to grab it and yelped as it was yanked out of her arms by a ninja. “What in the—?!”

 

The ninja said something in Fairlan which, after a moment, was translated by a device clipped to her shirt, projecting holographic Unovan words just in front of Carlotta’s face. You are breaking into this house?

 

“No I ain’t! Sssh!” Carlotta hissed, glancing nervously at the front of the house, where from the sounds of it Mr D’Artagnan had gotten onto the topic of an eternity spent burning in fire and lightning. “I’m helpin’ my friend break out!” The ninja stared steadily at Carlotta as the device translated her words to Fairlan, the strange characters hovering in the air between them.

 

“Carly?” Bianca’s voice hissed from above.

 

“I’m here!” Carlotta hissed back, raising her arms. “I gotcha! If you get in the way and I drop her,” she added to the ninja, who was watching the translation of her words materialize, “ninja or not, I’ll kick your ass.”

 

The ninja showed no perceptible response to the translation of this threat, but merely watched as Bianca jumped out of the window and Carlotta caught her, staggering somewhat as her best friend’s weight hit her arms but, to her pride, not falling over. “My hero!” Bianca giggled overdramatically, hugging Carlotta as the brunette set her on her feet. “Uh… who’s that?”

 

“Please, please, please don’t tell Mr D’Artagnan that we’re goin’!” Carlotta begged the ninja. “They’re Romrams!”

 

After the translator was done turning Carlotta’s words to Fairlan, the ninja barked a sharp question, which turned out to be what?, though it was almost drowned out by a wordless scream of pure fury from the front of the house, suggesting that Warren and Cheren had dropped the Bigot Bomb by asking if the D’Artagnans’ hatred of their relationship meant that they were acknowledging Cheren was male.

 

“My parents are in a church that says that humans and Pokémon ain’t supposed to mingle,” Bianca explained quickly. “They think that Pokémon trainin’ is degenerate. But I wanna travel with Pokémon so much! Please let us go!”

 

After a moment of listening to the translation, the ninja nodded and vanished. Carlotta handed Bianca’s bag to her. “Run!” she hissed as the front door slammed loudly.

 

 

{Reshin 15th, 22:22}

{Nuvema Town}

 

“Janine says the girl claims not to be breaking in,” Koga said, one hand to his ear as he listened to his comm, “but to be breaking her friend out of some sort of religious household…”

 

“Oh, that part of town’s all Romrams,” Key said, making a face. “They’re an extremist Taotri sect, pretty insular. If a kid wants to break out of that, then fair play to them. It’s not really our problem.”

 

“Even if they were robbing that house, it’s still not really our problem,” Blue pointed out, looking down at the small figure that was lying on a guest bed, with Scarlet sitting on her mother’s lap and holding their hand. According to Archie, their name was Meloetta, and was usually a slim black-and-white Pokemon, but they were so covered with bruises and wounds that they were nearly unrecognizable. “I don’t think petty housebreakers did this.”

 

“Who would do something like this?” Saylee asked, looking up at Key and Archie.

 

“My best guess would be some kind of collector, maybe, or a gang of poachers looking to cash in,” Archie sighed, rubbing the back of his neck. His eyes blazed a little deeper blue for a moment, with red streaks shooting through them. “They’re not the most powerful one out here, but they’d still be worth a lot of money.”

 

“But somebody hurt them,” Scarlet whined in distress.

 

Saylee squeezed her daughter, kissing the top of her head. “Well, we’ll make sure they don’t get hurt any more,” she promised.

 

She glanced up at Red, who took the signal to pick Scarlet up. “I know you’re worried about Meloetta, but they’ve gotta sleep and so do you,” he said, hefting his niece onto his back to carry her through to her bedroom. “C’mon, say goodnight.”

 

“After all, Ray and Amy are already in bed,” Key said loudly and threateningly, inciting the sound of small feet running in the hall outside. “You can all come see how they’re doing in the morning.”

 

“But ‘m not sleepy,” Scarlet complained, betraying herself with a big yawn. “...G’night, Auntie Key. G’night, Uncle Archie. G’night, Mister Koga, and say g’night to Miss Janine, ‘kay?”

 

“I will do so,” Koga promised seriously.

 

“G’night, Mummy, G’night Daddy,” Scarlet added, waving to her mother, who was tucking in the small black-and-white figure on the guest bed, and her father, who winked at her. “G’night, Meloetta,” Scarlet added in a whisper. “Get well soon…”