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*Chapter Three: Finding Good Help* Faced, sure enough, with a padlock, Artemis took a deep breath. She reached behind herself and gripped the twig nesting in her vermilion tail. As she unsheathed it, sparks ran down its length. Even as she was holding the fully removed twig, the tip was alight with crimson flames. Embers broke off from the fire, only to fizzle out upon hitting the wet grass. "Wait!" "Well, now's a fine time to be giving warnings," Artemis teased, turning to face Bellossom, who had called out to her. "Collateral damage," Bellossom said. "The embers on the ground reminded me. Hold on just a minute." The maid bent down, and, with a sharp tug, broke off several blades of grass. "We want the lock to still work when we're done with it; right?" There was a collective nod as she stuffed the keyhole with the grass. "There. Now, the actual lock is safe; it won't melt and deform from the heat of your wand." Artemis shrugged, carefully pointing the tip of the twig at the top of the lock. The flames died out along most of the "wand," concentrating on the tip. "Alright; stand clear!~" With Bellossom and Pesky both out of the way, Artemis thrust the twig forward. From the tip shot a whip-like ray of flames. Despite her trepidation, it was a figurative bullseye. The flames cut through the metal bar, leaving the lock intact and the bar split cleanly in 2. "Nice shot!" Pesky cheered as Artemis quelled the flame by bringing a paw down over it. "Hush!" Artemis shout-whispered. "Wait until we're in the forest." With the lock broken, the gate opened easily. Pesky and Bellossom hurried in, while Artemis quickly got to work at welding the metal bar back together. When she rejoined the group, she was nursing a paw, holding it close. "Are you alright?" Bellossom asked, advancing gently on her. "Lemme see your paw." Artemis held it forward to reveal a patch of charred fur. With a figure like Goodra's, it was only natural that she turned some heads as she walked through the Goldenrod Department Store. And she stepped lightly. That she was filled out in all of the decidedly best places to be carrying extra weight still meant that she carried extra weight. Seeing her walk with any sort of grace was, in many ways, as striking as it would be to see Wigglytuff carrying herself in such a manner. She had almost finished shopping, and was looking through the list she brought with her. Written on in beautiful cursive, the paper she held was stained with her slime. "Hmm... Yes; this should be enough meat to keep the carnivores happy for quite some time." As she double-checked the shopping list, she found the paper suddenly wet. She was crying. Softly but surely. It finally seemed to hit her that what she was buying, only she and the other residents would partake in. Her master was gone. If he wasn't, the list would likely include his favourite foods. Goodra loved to spoil him. Another tear fell, and she took a sharp, shuddering breath inward. "I should be over it by now, but... I can't forget about you, sweetie. You wouldn't wanna see me like this; I know." She vigorously shook her head, as though she were trying to shake her sadness away. With a smile on her face to mask her true feelings, Goodra trudged on. Sylveon still fussed with her hair as she and Ruri stood outside the Pokémon Centre. "Sylvie, for Arceus' sake, your hair is fine!" Ruri insisted. Sylveon scoffed. "Of course it is, honey! Or it damn well had better be; I spend so much time on it. But fine isn't enough.~" Ruri, exasperated, shut her eyes tightly, likely in an effort to calm down, so she wouldn't lash out at her friend. By the time her eyes saw the world again, the duo was already inside the Pokémon Centre. All around, trainers and their Pokémon waited to be tended to. Sylveon approached the front desk. Before she could strike a bell that would alert staff to somebody waiting to check in, a nurse was already in front of her. "Hello, miss! Do you have an appointment?" "I don't," Sylveon admitted. The nurse turned to look back into the office behind her, at which point Sylveon gave a thumbs up to Ruri. She began to sniffle. It was a talent that was often unused, for fear that it would ruin any trust for her, but Sylveon had a very convincing fake cry. "I... I d-didn't have time to... I..." Ruri was stunned, but understood the thumbs up as a sign to play along. "It's alright. I'm sorry, miss. My friend here, miss..." She paused to look at the lady's nametag. "...Nurse Joy. My friend, she's a maid. I'm sure you could tell by her outfit." "Yes, I could," Nurse Joy replied. "Is she hurt? Or is she here on behalf of somebody else?" She offered Sylveon a tissue, which was politely refused. "S-Somebody else," Sylveon answered her, and, by this time, some of the trainers in the waiting room had taken notice, and were watching the situation unfold. "M-My master; he... He was hurt in the storm. Please; I'm a terrible cook. C-Can you spare any food?" There were enough plants in the flower shop to make a house for a Chikorita! Wigglytuff actually raised a sticky paw to slap herself, but lowered it when she remembered she was in public. "Of course there's a buncha plants here, you big dummy! What did you exp- Oh! Hello, ma'am.~" The older of 2 sisters who ran the shop was in front of her. Brown hair swept her shoulders, and her appropriately floral print dress reached her knees. "Hello yourself, miss," she responded kindly. "We haven't had many customers since the storm. What can I help you with?~" The politeness of the shop owner got the portly bunnygirl to smile. "I'm looking for berries. See, our garden was drowned by that same storm, and we have a lot of herbivores to feed. Do you have any in stock?" With a slightly sorrowful, understanding nod, the florist pointed fowards a corner with several terra cotta flower pots full of plants. "Do you want the plants, or just the berries themselves, dearie?" Wigglytuff looked towards the indicated spot, and felt a pang of nervousness. She was certainly gluttonous, but what she wasn't was impolite. The only member of the household, to her knowledge, that could cultivate a berry plant was Bellossom, and not only was she out helping Artemis and Pesky, but it would be a slap to the face to give her a berry plant and ask her to do all of the work. "J-Just the berries, please. I'm not picky; anything edible will do." Nodding again, the lady led her to a counter. Used to immediately putting money on a counter when walking into a candy store or a bakery, Wigglytuff did the same here. She had a small amount of money. Mostly coins, as her paper money had by and large been exchanged for sweets already. "Can I get anything for this, ma'am?" "How'd you hurt yourself?" Bellossom asked, eyes darting across the forest floor. "I slipped," Artemis replied. "My paw hit the padlock." Pesky rolled his eyes. "Damn. I hate to use this analogy, but when it rains, it pours." "Very funny," Artemis scolded him. Bellossom stepped away slightly to pick a large cyan berry from a nearby tree. "Hold out your paw." Artemis did as instructed, but, rather than handing over the berry, Bellossom took a bite of it. Pesky gasped. "Are you serious?! You can't just eat wild berries; you'll get poisoned!" Bellossom dismissed his concern by waving a hand in his direction. Ever polite, she swallowed before speaking. "It's a Rawst Berry. Perfectly safe to eat, though a bit of an acquired taste." With that, she revealed the remains of the fruit. "Here, Artemis." Before the burnt vulpine could react, Bellossom rubbed an exposed end of the berry onto the blackened area of her outstretched paw. The colour didn't improve, but the pain was quickly dulled. The group didn't have access to bandages, so the application of the healing berry was all that could be done. Through thick foliage, the group pressed on in near complete darkness. Artemis had several times offered to light her wand tip to help, but Bellossom's response was always quick and to the point. Even with the plant life wet from rain, lighting a fire was still a bad idea. It wasn't until the third time Artemis made this offer that a voice besides that of Pesky or Bellossom answered her. "Are you trying to start a brushfire?!" Pachirisu sat in the living room of the Delphox's abode. On her lap, warm from near constant use, was her radio. It was a special radio, capable of picking up broadcasts beyond the range of a normal Pokégear; previously, it was a belonging of her master, who gave it to her when he had his Pokégear updated with similar functionality. Even so, the only advantage the upgraded Pokégear offered was portability, since the radio was a clunky machine. Normally, Pachirisu kept it on her bedside table, so it could provide background noise while she slept. Now, though, she was listening intently to every word spoken by the inhuman voice coming from it. "There are unconfirmed reports of rare Pokémon seen near Ilex Forest. These Pokémon are not to be confronted until conditions improve. Severe weather is expected within the next few minutes, which will endanger the lives of trainers and their Pokémon." Severe weather? "Oh, no!" Cassie and Dragonair had already returned from fishing by this point, and Goodra and Wigglytuff were likely close behind. But Artemis, Pesky, and Bellossom were completely exposed to the elements. "Mistress!" Pachirisu called out. "Mistress!" The sound of footfalls cushioned by fur soon followed as Kianna entered the room. "What's wrong, Pachi?" "I-I just heard that a storm is coming. Pesky and the girls are gonna get caught in it, and we don't have a way to contact them and call them back here!" Kianna stood, taking this information in for a short time. As a mother, she couldn't help her concern. "Poor dears. I hope they get back soon." Concerned as she was, though, she was unable to get Pachirisu's meaning. "No, mistress," Pachirisu corrected her gently. "I have to go after them!" *Author's note* Yes, Pachirisu. Run outside, confident in the belief that a thunderstorm is coming. What could possibly go wrong? So, in this chapter, we learn a few things. Goodra is still sad about her master. Goodra and Wigglytuff are both A B S O L U T E U N I T S. In awe at the size of these lasses! Yeah; we already knew that. But I like reaffirming it. XD Sylveon can cry on command. Bellossom has decent survival skills. The ones who went near the forest were spotted; the report of "rare Pokémon" was about them. Pachirisu's radio is a hand-me-down. So, do you think you can tolerate a fourth chapter? Special thanks again to @SMFoxy, for allowing me use of his characters.
*Chapter Two: Food For Thought* "I hate to be the one to bring this up, but we need to face facts." This was an odd announcement coming from Kianna, and she knew it. She quickly continued. "Even assuming my husband is out there somewhere, the fact remains that, unless and until he returns, we're fending for ourselves." There were several nods amongst the Pokémon, some of them sorrowful. "I thought we were doing alright," Pachirisu huffed. Sagacious as Kianna was, she knew Pachirisu wasn't angry at her; just the situation with the radio. "And we are. You should all be proud of yourselves. But..." Wiggytuff raised her glass in celebration, cutting her off. "That's what I'm talkin' about!" Goodra was upon her quick as a shadow. "Quiet! Mistress is speaking!" "No need for that, dear," Kianna told her. "You all have a right, and a reason, to be excited. The issue is just that we need to start putting in some work if we're to continue our way of life. Put simply, dears, we can no longer just rest on our laurels." The lady of the house, as her vocabulary would suggest, was quite well-read. In fact, it was perhaps ironic that she happened to be a rodent, as her way of speaking somewhat mimicked that of a rodent found within the pages of classic literature. The daring Miss Bianca, to be specific. She too had a voice and an elegance that were known to sway others to her way of thinking. Though Kianna lacked the bravery and worldly wisdom of the Hungarian heroine, none could doubt that her position as head of the household was deserved. She addressed Goodra again. "Most important is food and water. How's our supply looking?" "We have enough food for a few days," the dragon replied. "And the taps are still working." "I haven't heard any warnings that the water supply might be contaminated," Pachirisu chimed in. Kianna smiled warmly in response, like a proud mother. "Splendid, both of you! Goodra, make sure to serve the perishables first. Pachi, keep an ear to the radio." Neither one needed reminding, but they both thought better of talking back. Next to speak was Vaporeon, who first swallowed her current fork full of Magikarp. "Pray to Arceus, but row for the shore." Kianna's attention turned to the sickly young lady. "I beg your pardon, sweetie? " Vaporeon repeated the saying, then elaborated. "The best case scenario is for your husband to come back. But you're saying that we should be prepared. Y'know, in case we actually are on our own." Kianna gave her the same smile she showed to the maternal dragon and the hot headed rodent. "Darling, I could kiss you right now! I couldn't have explained the situation better myself!~" She then turned to address the others, looking at them from her position at the head of the dinner table. "Yes; Vaporeon is absolutely right. We need to prepare. I propose we search for food and clean water." Again, her gaze soon turned in Goodra's direction. "Do we have any money?" Goodra nodded. "Yes, ma'am. But I don't think it'll last us long, with so many mouths to feed." Kianna was clearly enjoying this. In the face of such challenges, she seemed almost joyous as she led the planning. "Then we'll have to forage. Does anybody know some good spots?~" The first one to pipe up was Wigglytuff. When it came to food, anybody could tell at a glance the portly lapine was knowledgeable. "There's a flower shop nearby." "We're looking for food, sweetie," Treble chastised her. "Not decorations." But Pachirisu's expression perked up. "Hold on; she might have something." Smiling, Wigglytuff continued. "Maybe they have some berries they can share." A series of nods took place around the table. It seemed Wigglytuff's idea was accepted by everybody. Except for Cassie. "Sure they might. Don't get me wrong; it's a good idea. But a lot of us are carnivores." As she gave a list of names, the Lucario pointed a black-furred paw at each one in turn as she mentioned them. "Myself, Ruri, Goodra, Vaporeon, Sylveon, Artemis, and Dragonair. Treble is an omnivore, but she can't survive on berries alone, either. How are the carnivores gonna eat?" Kianna took another look around the room. Cassie was right; with such a diverse group of Pokémon, satisfying their appetites would require an equally diverse selection of foods. "Hmm... Goodra, darling? You know best when it comes to food. How do we solve this?" Goodra must've been waiting to be addressed; she had an answer already. "Cassie's got a great point. We'll definitely need meat. I'll see what I can find while I'm out shopping, but I suggest we try a Pokémon Centre." "The nearest one is packed," Pachirisu noted. All eyes were on her now. "Besides, it's not a restaurant, Goodra. The only one of us in need of a Pokémon Centre is Vaporeon, and she can't go on her own." That was most assuredly a terrible choice of words. Vaporeon glared daggers at her. "I'm right here, you know! And I'm not a carnivore. I'm a piscivore." Across the table, Dragonair giggled. "Sweetie, your sexual preferences are none of our business; we're talking about food." Whether that was meant as a joke or not, Treble and Sylveon both cracked up. Goodra, however, was wholly unamused. "Girls, please grow up." Her chiding earned her a look at the tongues of both of her targets. Ruri stepped in to quell the tension in the room. But not before first sighing, spitting a cloud of vapour into the air from the coldness of the breath of the Alolan Ninetales. "Dragonair, 'piscivore' means she mostly eats fish." "Well, that complicates things," Cassie said. Both Goodra and Vaporeon shook their heads, but Goodra gestured towards Vaporeon, giving her the floor. "Thank you, Goodra. Cass, it's not an issue. The waters around here are full of Magikarp! Even I could catch a few.~" It was decided. Wigglytuff would make a trip to the flower shop. Goodra would go shopping, primarily for meat. Vaporeon insisted on fishing, accompanied by Dragonair and Cassie. However, she was denied each time. Bellossom, Pesky, and Artemis would try to find a way into Ilex Forest. If they could get in, it'd be a gold mine of food! They had intended to bring Pachirisu, but, realising the electricity to the house would eventually be cut off for unpaid bills, Kianna thought it best to keep an Electric type around. Besides, she would be needed to keep up with any emergency broadcasts. Finally, with their charm and overall aura of elegance, Ruri and Sylveon decided to be the ones to attempt to get food from the Pokémon Centre. The others would remain home, readying their shelter in case of another storm. As she plodded down the sidewalk, Wigglytuff felt almost glad for the poor weather. If only it hadn't taken her master from her, she would've enjoyed it. Obviously, with her thick layer of fat, Wigglytuff had difficulty with hot weather. The sky, as she set her deep blue eyes on it, was grey and cloudy. The air was cool and humid, ruffling her fur gently as it blew against the vibrant pink fluff. Her nose twitched as it picked up the light floral scent in the air; she was close. The scent grew stronger as Wigglytuff continued her trek. Berries definitely sounded good; it seemed to her like far too long since she had last eaten. Luckily, she could see the storefront in the distance. Anybody living at the Delphox's residence would recognise it. Especially considering the shop's proximity to the city's Pokémon Gym. The building itself was painted a pale pink, except for the brownish-red balcony. Predictably, the balcony was decorated with a painting of a stunning yellow rose. Just beneath the balcony, like a skirt, hung an awning with alternating red and white stripes. "Goldenrod Flower Shop" was spelled out on a sign beside the gaudy building, done in what looked like pastel paint, flaking from exposure and age. The shop's motto was painted on the backside of the sign. "A small shop providing lots of beauty." Thankfully, the shop was in business, despite the weather. Wigglytuff opened the door. "Damn this weather!" Sylveon cursed. "The humidity is absolute murder on my hair!" She put a paw through her flowing pink locks, wincing in disgust as she felt a tangle. "Sylvie, we're going to look for food; not a date!" Ruri scolded her. With deft paws, Sylveon fixed her hair as well as the weather would allow. "And we can't do both at once because...?~" Sylveon's voice had a bit of a bounce to it, ironically like her well-kept hair. Her speech was just shy of making her sound airheaded. Ruri's face told paragraphs. "Relax," Sylveon told her preemptively. "I'm not THAT stupid, or selfish. Just trying to diffuse some tension, hun.~" After that, the duo was quiet. The weather was nice for a quiet stroll, if only the circumstances were different. It wasn't until they were a couple of blocks away from the Pokémon Centre that Ruri brought an issue to light. "Don't we look a bit too well-off to be begging for food?" "Well-off?" Sylveon repeated. Ruri gave her a look of disbelief. "Honey, did you by chance look in a mirror before we left?" "And this morning, and after breakfast, lunch, my afternoon nap, and dinner," Sylveon replied. Ruri rolled her eyes, trying to stifle a giggle. "Don't be cheeky. My point is, you don't look like a beggar." Sylveon, in contrast, made no attempt at not laughing. "Thanks, sweetie; I try my best. You're not exactly ugly yourself, though. Not to mention, you're definitely not wearing rags." Ruri didn't have a comeback for that. Or, at least, not one that wouldn't cause a scene. Her silence was taken by Sylveon as a sign to continue. "I'm a maid." As she said that, she gestured towards her ornate uniform as though it had only just appeared on her. "I could just say that my master was injured in the storm, and sent me out to gather food." Again, the Alolan Ninetales was silenced. She hated to admit it, but Sylveon beat her to a good idea. "Maybe we shoulda let Vappy come along." The suggestion came from Cassie as she and Dragonair looked out at the choppy waters. "And have her blood on your paws and my tail?" Dragonair asked. Cassie rolled her eyes, paws clenched on a fishing rod, the bobber of which was sunken beneath the murky sea. "The fresh air might do her some good, y'know." The Lucario turned to face her friend and housemate. "Besides, she wasn't too sick to bitch Sylveon and I out earlier. She's pretty hot headed for a Water type, and I don't mean from a fever.~" "Shame on you, Cass," Dragonair said, though her tone was more playful than scolding. "Think about this from her perspective." Despite chiding, Cassie still had one last jab left. "I'd love to, Draggie, but I'm afraid I can't seem to find my pacifier and rattle.~" "Just fish, will you?" Dragonair groaned, getting a genuine laugh from Cassie. "Relax; I'm just fucking around. I know how sick she is. I'm not helping her because I have to, or because it's the right thing to do." Dragonair kept her attention on the canine, but was simultaneously biting into a Magikarp for a quick, humane kill. The ones caught by the Lucario were quickly subdued by paw spikes. "I'm helping her because I consider her a friend. A dear friend." Admittedly, this was a strange conversation to have while killing several Magikarp. It wasn't as though they had a choice, though, nor was it the case that Vaporeon would be the only one eating what the two of them caught. Among all of the girls, and the lone boy, the ones who enjoyed seafood numbered highly. Between both girls, their catches were sufficient to feed those that partook for at least a week. Pachirisu's radio didn't lie. Of the 3 Pokémon sent out to search Ilex Forest, neither one could even see the entrance. Not only were several downed trees in the way, but signs were set up. Neon orange signs, fitted with lights that intermittently flashed an amber light as a warning clearly visible in the foggy night. Obviously, getting in through there would be impossible for all but Pesky, who certainly wasn't going to leave his friends behind. So that left an indirect approach. Artemis and Bellossom tried their best to look inconspicuous as they sat on a bench just outside the Day Care Centre. Seeing a Braixen in the wild is rare, but seeing an anthropomorphic Bellossom in a boldly coloured maid's uniform is certainly enough to turn heads. Pesky's return - he had gone ahead to scout for other openings through which they could get into the forest - couldn't come fast enough. It seemed ages before Artemis unsheathed her wand and pointed it at the sky. "Bellossom, he's coming!" Bellossom, who, until that point, had been nervously tugging at her lacy sleeves, breathed a sigh of relief as she joined Artemis in welcoming their friend back. "Good news, I hope," Artemis said. With a smirk, Pesky turned his head, as a way to gesture to something behind him. "The playground of the Day Care Centre has an opening. Only problem is, it's fenced off, and locked, so the little ones don't wander off. Any chance you girls can pick locks?" Artemis gave a soft chuckle and ran a paw up the length of her wand. Sparks danced in the air around the tip, illustrating what she was about to say. "Not with any subtlety; no. Left to me, we'd get caught for sure. How about you, Bellossom? You work in the garden. Don't you have hedge trimmers? We could probably cut a hole in the fence with them." Bellossom huffed, gesturing to her elegant dress similarly to how Sylveon had done before. "Where would I keep them?! And can't you just teleport us in?" "Into the playground, sure," Artemis replied. "But I'm not risking teleporting us into the forest. I don't know the layout; if I fuck up, we'll get impaled on branches or something when we reappear." Not ready to admit defeat just yet, Pesky offered another idea. "Alright; so we can't pick the lock, or cut the fence. Maybe we can cut the lock?~" Since he was looking in the Braixen's direction, she was the one to respond. "I don't follow." "From what I could tell, it was just a simple padlock," Pesky explained. "Apply some heat to it, and it should break. Then, once we get through-" "You can weld it back together, Artemis!" Bellossom finished. Pesky nodded. "Yes! Exactly." Artemis looked down at her wand. More of a stick, taken from a tree near where she evolved. She could certainly generate enough heat to penetrate metal. But could she be pinpoint enough to do it without collateral damage? She had practised before, with pieces of scrap metal in settings where the melted remains wouldn't pose a danger. Finally, she nodded. "Alright. I'm in!" *Author's note* It's finally here! Chapter 2! Here, we get a bit of a deeper look into the friendship our characters share. And yes, I know it's weird that they're acting like the world's about to be in danger, even though nothing is happening. Well, that's based on how animals seem to just know when shit's about to go down. I put Artemis, Pesky, and Bellossom together because they each have their own important survival skills. Pesky can fly, and knows what Berries are safe. Artemis can start fires and fight off possible predators. And Bellossom can warn the others of dangerous plant life, such as toxic mushrooms and poison ivy. Sylveon and Ruri are on a team because they can use their beauty to get food. Dragonair can swim, and Cassie is a tomboy, so that makes them a good team for fishing. Goodra and Wigglytuff aren't putting themselves in any danger, so I had them each go alone. The "Miss Bianca" I compared Kianna to is a character from a series of books by Margery Sharp. She is a brave yet elegant mouse, of Hungarian descent, who works together with a mouse named Bernard to save others, typically those who have been enslaved or unjustly imprisoned. She's likely better known from the 2 Disney movies that "star" her. The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under. The following is an example of the ability to change the minds of others with mere elegance, which I used in the comparison. An excerpt from the second book in the series, titled simply "Miss Bianca." I hope you all liked this chapter; I definitely wanna keep going, but there's no point if nobody likes it.~ And a big thanks to @SMFoxy for their continued support.~
The following story contains foul language, depictions of mental disorders, depictions of suicide, and rape. If you find any of these subjects disturbing, TURN AWAY NOW!!!! What follows is a bit of a summary of several roleplays I've done privately with the wonderful @SMFoxy. The story is told by a Jirachi who mistakenly and tragically wasn't careful when granting wishes, and who now has a wish of her own. To make things right with her victims. This is the second time tonight. The second time I've woken up, screaming bloody murder and drenched in sweat. I can't sleep anymore. Not without the nightmares. They won't stop; every fucking night, they come back to haunt me, like ghosts! What did I do to deserve this? Sure, I haven't been perfect, but nobody has! Dammit, I was just doing my job! Arceus put me here to grant wishes, and that's what I did. Can I really be blamed for the times they went wrong? How could I have known their intentions? I'm a Legendary, sure, but there are still things I don't know. I assumed they could relate. I assumed everybody could! I... I just didn't realise the effect I could have on them. 7 acquaintences became victims. Victims of an old saying. "Be careful what you wish for." In one fell swoop, I ruined the lives of a trainer and 6 Pokémon. If I could take it all back, I would. I can. They just need to ask. But they won't. I've caused them too much pain for them to wanna seek my help. But I'd love a chance to apologise. Anything to stop these damned nightmares! They're in them. Always dying. Always dying! Fuck me; I'll never unsee those nightmares, if I live to be 100 years old! The storm that started everything. Was it supernatural? That, I can't answer. The weather is outside of my jurisdiction. But it came from nowhere, and battered Goldenrod City mercilessly. I saw 6 Pokémon huddled around their trainer, in a closet. They begged for safety. But not for themselves. They wanted their trainer to survive. They all survived; so did the house, by some miracle. But I watched them intently that night. They surrounded the boy with affection. He treated them well. Even after everything I've done to them, I'll stand by this until the day I die; he was never abusive to those Pokémon. Quite the opposite, in fact. Rarely does a Pokémon legitimately enjoy waiting on their "master." But all 6 of them did. Their trainer fell asleep long before the storm subsided, but they still kept a close eye on him. It was honestly adorable. They each made a wish. And it was easy for me to grant them; the wishes were all the same. They whispered with each other how much they wanted to repay their master's love. It warmed my heart. I knew I had to help them, so I did. Finally, they settled on a wish. They wanted to be able to serve him properly. They eventually fell asleep, same as their trainer. It was... I think it was a half hour later. Not that it matters. I got started as soon as I was sure they were asleep. Fur and scales became hair and clothing. Their bodies, depending on species, either stretched or shrank. By the time the physical transformations had been completed, all 6 of the former Pokémon were mostly human. They still had their tails, and some other features. Their trainer could already understand them when they spoke their native tongues, but, since it'd be rather odd for them to walk around in public yipping and cooing like the creatures they were moments before, I altered their voices, as well, so they would speak English. This process, by the way, is not painless. None of them were; there's a reason why I waited until they were asleep. By the time I expected they would wake up, most or all of the pain would've gone away. But I wasn't finished yet. They wanted to serve; didn't they? They were all females. Their trainer isn't sexist. He just doesn't care for burly, musclebound brutes. His preference is for femininity, and it showed in his team. Not that he was ever sexually involved with them. He used to use them in battles, like the majority of trainers do. And, before you ask, no. I don't object to battles. There's a difference between contests of strength and skill, and brutal beatings. Yes, there are occasionally injuries from battles. But accidents can happen from the most innocuous of activities. Sweet, innocent Chansey Scouts trip and fall sometimes. It hurts, you cry, you get a bandage and/or a lollipop, and you go about your day. But I digress. The trainer of the Pokémon I had just transformed held a spot in the Johto Hall Of Fame, which he earned when his team defeated the six battle-hardened, vicious Pokémon of the former champion, a trainer who thwarted terrorist attacks, traversed the entire Johto and Kanto regions, and tamed even the guardian of the sea and the sacred winged rainbow. But he didn't battle with them after his victory. Following that tremendous upset, he left competitive battling to focus on the medical field. A passion of his for a long time. In fact, even before the championships were a blip on the radar, he showed decent skills, being able to repair minor wounds, and cure minor ailments. To make extra money, he would moonlight at Pokémon Centres. By the time he was considering going to the Indigo Plateau, he barely needed Pokémon Centres for healing his beloved companions; he could fix everything from cuts and stings to broken bones. It seemed like just the natural progression of things; forgive me, but it brings to mind another old saying. "What're you going to do now?" "I'm going to Disney World!~" He used his fame from winning the championship to secure a job at the Pokémon Centre in his hometown. This boy became one of my victims. He has nothing now. The 6 Pokémon I transformed were a Bellossom, a Goodra, a Pachirisu, a Sylveon, a Vaporeon, and a Wigglytuff. To grant their wishes to be able to serve their master, I turned them into maids. I thought it would go over well with everyone. At least I was right in that respect. For a while, anyway. When they awoke the next morning, they all eagerly began their chores. Vaporeon had the poor luck to be the one to awaken the boy. They had been made to think their roles had always been theirs. I didn't think - damn; that's a theme - I would need to hypnotise him, too. He was furious. Not from being woken up by a beautiful anthropomorphic Vaporeon. But from being waited on. Trainers can sometimes forget that, were it not for the Pokémon they care for, they wouldn't be trainers. Nor can the Pokémon be champions without trainers to teach them the finer points of combat. Everyone has to work together. Of course, every partnership is different; in some cases, the trainer may have a disability, and their Pokémon have to work harder to come out on top. Or vice versa. I've seen deaf trainers win matches because their Pokémon could understand sign language. I've seen Pokémon with impaired vision use their other senses to outwit and topple opponents. But, at the core of everything, it boils down to teamwork. And these 6 girls were well-versed on the subject, before and after their transformations. As crazy as this is going to sound, after all of the praise I've just given their trainer, it's him that doesn't understand that. But the misunderstanding in this case is probably the opposite of what you might expect. See, he doesn't expect these Pokémon to do everything for him; he would prefer to be the one serving them. I should explain that I knew this boy before the storm. Well, saying that I knew him is a bit of an understatement. I would go so far as to say we were friends. I'm not going to reveal his name; I've revealed too much about him already. In fact, to be fair, he was submissive with me, too, so I suppose his behaviour towards his Pokémon shouldn't be so surprising to me. But he explained that it's because I'm a Legendary Pokémon. One of many that keep this world balanced. So maybe he has a point. But he spoiled those Pokémon rotten when he was still a trainer. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I guess, since I grant wishes, I do more or less the same thing anyway. He devoted his life to the care of Pokémon. Studying, healing, and training. But it all came crashing down around him when he tried to play Arceus. The trainer was born fully human; during a rescue mission, he accidentally bonded his soul to an artifact that fused his DNA with that of a female Cinccino. Still, he went on with his life, and even grew to love his new fluff. Until he was raped for it, that is. That was my first mistake; I should've stepped in. I offered him a wish to console him, but couldn't give him what he wished for. With all of his Pokémon being female, he wished to be feminised. Could I have done it? Without a shadow of a doubt. Child's play. But he held a very important job back then - he specialised in emergency medicine when he was a doctor - that would be put in jeopardy if he showed up in a dress and makeup. So I had to refuse. As horrible as this sounds, if he asked again, I'd grant his wish in a heartbeat, now that he's lost his job. Not granting his wish was my second mistake. And, unfortunately, soon after that, he managed to get in far over his head. His mission was noble; the species he had recently become a member of was, and unfortunately remains, severely endangered. The next time I offered him a wish, he made it right away. His wish was for a massive increase in their population. That was a good bit harder. I can warp bodies, minds, inanimate objects, and more. But creating life is something I'm not at all well-versed in. Mew and Shaymin handle that; in retrospect, I should've asked one of them. Preferably Mew; Shaymin didn't get along well with the boy. I knew I owed him, though, so I tried doing things myself. I won't go into specifics, but I messed up. Big time. Again, I should've asked Mew. My name was certainly mud with the boy and his former Pokémon after that, not that I blame them. But, with that, I struck out with the trainer. As ironic as this sounds, I wish the troubles had ended there. Of course, they didn't. The trainer was ruined, but the girls were in good health. Unfortunately, that was about to change. Starting with Vaporeon. Vaporeon, objectively, was hit the hardest. But they all suffered. Those poor girls lost their minds, and a good bit more. Even I couldn't have predicted the horrors that would befall them. In a way, it angers me; it really, truly does. So many evil people in this world, yet an innocent boy and 6 innocent Pokémon were harmed, just for making wishes! A wish to help a loved one, and a wish to save an endangered species. Not exactly scandalous. "But Jirachi! Just make everything better!" Believe me, I want to. But I can't do anything unless the request is worded as a wish. Arceus added that rule. And no, I can't just make the wish myself; it doesn't work. I've tried. As for what happened to the girls - the "horrors that befell them" - it seems each one bears a different curse. Bellossom constantly exudes a ludicrously strong floral scent. Pachirisu cries at the drop of a hat. Wigglytuff is a glutton. Vaporeon is the opposite; she starves herself. Sylveon is addicted to cosmetics. And Goodra is convinced she's the doting mother of her trainer. Huh? Bellossom's fate doesn't sound so bad? She's scrubbed herself raw trying to remove the stench. To no avail. Goodra doesn't sound like she got a bad deal, either. But you don't see her. She has absolutely gone insane. She fills her bedroom with what she insists are framed pictures of the trainer and her. They're all blank. The victim I see in my dreams changes often, but they die the same way each time! And the deaths, in stark contrast to the victims, aren't pretty. Wigglytuff collapses in agony, dead of a heart attack before reaching the Pokémon Centre. Bellossom is mauled by wild Pokémon. She cries out, but nobody is willing to bear her stench to rescue her. Sylveon is taken into an alleyway, raped, then beaten to death after being drugged while on a date. Vaporeon takes a final, shaking breath in her bed before her organs give out from starvation. Pachirisu, the poor dear, has an emotional breakdown and commits suicide by drinking various cleaning chemicals. And Goodra dies of shock upon finding her "child" hanging from a ceiling fan. 7 images, counting the trainer, that I don't think I'll ever get out of my head. For fuck's sake, every fucking dream is a snuff film! I can't take this much longer! I can't help them; I want to. I really, really want to! But I can't unless they make wishes, or someone makes wishes for them. Vaporeon was helped by a kind Delphox who wished her back to good health, but her mind is fried; I have absolutely no doubt that she's still gonna starve to death unless someone wishes her shattered psyche back together. I don't blame the Delphox, though. He and his daughter have hearts of gold, the both of them. I'll go to my grave insisting that he had Vaporeon's best interests at heart. As for his daughter, her wish broke my heart. Her mother died when she was too young to remember her. All she knew of her mother was stories, as though she was brought into this world by a fairytale princess. Of course, she wished for her mother back. And, of course, I granted her wish. Sort of. As it happens, her mother was a Cinccino. I can't resurrect the dead, but I can revive their souls. The poor trainer of the 6 ill-fated girls used to have a Cinccino, whom he had recently rediscovered was living comfortably in a nature preserve after being released. Sacrifices were made, and that Cinccino was given the memories of the young lady's mother. Both of them, and the Delphox, still live happy, healthy lives to this day; lucky them. But for the Delphox and his daughter, I probably would've eaten a shotgun shell quite some time ago. The blood of 7 innocent victims is on my hands, and I can't help them until they ask for it! The Delphox and the trainer are close friends. That's lovely; otherwise, I have a sneaking suspicion the trainer would've been found hanged with his own tail. Maybe that Delphox can turn things around. But, just in case, let me broadcast a plea to everyone reading this. If any of you see a male Cinccino anthro, or any of the 6 maids I mentioned, I beg you. Please, for the love of Arceus, tell them everything will be alright. And tell them I'm sorry, and that I'll do whatever I can to make everything up to them. Oh, and, if you see me, wish for something that benefits one of them. I promise, if you do, I'll give you a second wish. Whatever you want. That's a promise, literally in writing, from a Legendary. Just make the nightmares stop. If you don't feel sorry for me, which you probably shouldn't, at least do something for their sake. As badly as my nightmares have scarred my mind, at least they end when I wake up. I can't say the same for them.