Twisted Paths, Forgotten Pasts
"So Michi, where do you want to go for breakfast today?" Rezia asked the younger girl, ruffling her hair playfully.
"Where Gilisia works." Michi answered with a shy smile.
"Again? Michi, we've been eating there at least once a day for quite some time... Is there something you're not telling us? Who is she?" Jizo looked sternly at her. It wasn't good for the girl to hold back on them. They could be loosing valuable time.
"She's the Mother of all Grass types. Didn't you know?" She seemed genuinely surprised. Then again, it could just have been good acting.
"Michi! All this time you knew? We've spent too much time in this town!"
"Calm down Jizo, she probably has a reason." Janyin looked at Michi. "So, spit it out."
"We need to let her remember on her own, and seeing us frequently will help jog her memory. She won't go with us for no real reason. She's lived in this town her entire life, and will not move unless she has to." The young girl grinned. "Kinda like a plant actually."
"So we're stuck here until she regains her memory?" Kiajis asked, lighting a cigarette and ignoring Rezia's glare.
"Fun." He said in a sarcastic tone. "Let's just hope she remembers fast."
"That's why we're going there for breakfast, so come on!" She ran out of the hotel room before any of them could say anything, and they had no choice but to follow her.
Gilisia was extremely surprised to see the group back at their cafe again, and this time for breakfast. They really must have loved the little place for some reason. As usual, she took their orders, but as they paid their bill, she couldn't help but wonder why they kept returning. "How come you guys keep coming here?" She asked as the young man with the short black hair handed her the money.
"It's a nice little place." Rezia answered. "It's small and cozy, the colors are warm and friendly, and the service is great/"
Gilisia blushed as she handed Jizo his change. "Thank you."
Before anyone else could add anything to the conversation however, Michi butted in. "Gilisia, would you like to go to the beach with us today?"
Immediately, everyone turned to look at the white haired girl. Since when had they decided to go to the beach, let alone take the waitress with them?
"Umm, well, I don't know... I get off early today, but-"
Gilisia looked into the young girl's pleading pale purple eyes , then glanced at the others, who reluctantly nodded. "Oh...Alright. I normally don't do things like this, but-"
Michi leapt out of her seat and hugged Gilisia. "Thank you! We'll be here at twelve noon to pick you up, kay? Bye!" She grabbed Rezia's hand and practically skipped out of the cafe.
Gilisia watched them go. Strange... Normally she wouldn't do something like that. She wasn't the spontaneous kind of person, she preferred to plan things out, and there was something strange about that group. Especially the red-haired one. And not just the fact that he drank hot beverages in the middle of the day, wore black or some other dark color and sunglasses all the time. No, there was something else that she found... interesting in a way. He seemed so familiar, but she just couldn't remember why.
"Vileplume vile plume vile?"
"Huh? Oh, nothing Asili... Nothing." She patted the vileplume on the head, and returned to her job.
"There's a store over there that sells swimwear." Michi said, still holding Rezia's hand and leading her down the street.
"Michi, why are we taking Gilisia out, and how did you know today was her half day?"
"I know things," was her simple answer. "Do you want a two piece or a one piece? I'm getting a one piece. I really don't have much to show off..." She looked down at herself with a giggle. "But you do."
Rezia blushed and Janyin snickered, earning a glare from his partner.
"Ah, here we go!" Michi entered the store. "Good, they have stuff for men. Kiajis, Jizo, are you gonna get some swimming trunks, or do you already have some?"
"I'm not going swimming." Kiajis said.
"Oh yeah... But you can still get a pair and just get a tan." The girl picked up a pair of black swimming trunks. "Your favorite color!" She put them in one of his hands then quickly made a beeline for the female swimwear.
"I wonder what's come over that girl..." Jizo remarked. "She's been getting so secretive-"
"And bossy." Reika added.
"-lately. She was so quiet when we first met her... And when we picked her up, she was the same, but suddenly, she's become so talkative!"
"I know... I wonder why. I mean, the old her shows up every now and then still, but..." Rezia looked concerned. "I think she's hiding something big that she really doesn't want us to know. I'm afraid that it's something bad. I really don't want anything happening to-"
"Rezia! Are you going to buy something or not?"
"I think I better go before she gets me a string bikini."
After looking for a whole hour, Michi finally settled on a dark green swimsuit with blue flowers on it. One had to admit, although her white hair made her look odd and stand out, she had the extra bonus that she looked good in just about any color. The problem was that she had a wider range to select from, and she wasn't exactly the most decisive person.
For Rezia, Michi picked out a simple light blue bikini with black polka dots. Finding that they also carried pokemon products in the store, she chose some hats specially designed to fit over the ears of the eevees and the ninetales. Kiajis reluctantly got the pair of black swimming trunks after Michi threatened to buy him one of those Speedo things, and Jizo bought a pair of silver trunks. Of course, although Michi picked out practically everything, Jizo had to pay for them.
They picked Gilisia up at exactly twelve noon, and found her standing outside waiting.
"Hi!" She waved, picking up a bag by her side. "Oh, meet Asili the vileplume."
"Vile." It greeted, looking warily at the muzzled Sijia.
"Well, I guess you guys are ready. The beach is about a quarter of a mile away, so I hope you dont mind walking, do you?" They shook their heads. "Ah, that's good. It's a pleasant walk anyway, so, follow me." She led them out of the main city and into a more quiet area. The trees soon vanished and were replaced by palm and coconut trees, the dirt replaced by sand. "Well, here we are! Beautiful, isn't it?"
Michi, who had never seen any large body of water before, was genuinely amazed. "I love it! Is the water...safe?"
"Of course! We can change over there." She led the girls to a small changing room.
The boys, and the pokemon, didn't need a changing room, so they stayed behind. Kiajis laid a towel down and shed his black shirt, then lay down and picked up the book on 'The greatest crimes in the past century' that he had bought the day before. Sijia settled down next to him, donning her hat, and promptly fell asleep. Jizo looked at the pair and sighed. Being of the fire element, both of them weren't likely to do much more than just lie there in the full heat of the sun. He took off his shirt and then began to set up the umbrella so he could have some shade. Unlike Kiajis, he refused to stay in the full heat of the day.
"Aren't you going to swim Jizo?" Rezia asked, rubbing some suntan lotion on her arms.
He turned around, a bit surprised as he hadn't heard her or the other girls returning. After his shock at their being able to sneak up on him like that, he went into shock over what his 'sister' was wearing. "Rezia!"
"What?" She replied with an evil smile.
"You... you're wearing a bikini!"
"Rezia, I've known you my whole life, and you've *never* worn a bikini! I thought you hated them." Blinking several times, he tried to figure out if maybe she had just...forgotten a piece to it or something...
"Well, I decided to try one just once, and close your mouth. That's very undignified." She seemed to be enjoying her brother's shock for it was interesting to see him surprised at something she'd done. They knew each other so well they could predict what the other was going to do most of the time. "Jizo, stop mourning the fact that I'm your sister and help me get some suntan lotion on my back."
Her brother rolled his eyes then took the offered container and began to rub some of the lotion onto his sister's back. "I still can't believe you're wearing a-"
"Jizo?" She cut him off.
A pair of violet eyes watched the group, twinkling with pleasure. Things were going as they should. The group was getting along relatively well, and that was her main concern. She smiled as the Child of Peace attempted to 'drown' the Child of Patience, her twin brother. They were relaxing, which was a good thing, yet a bad thing at the same time. They did need a break from their work every now and then, but they should never let their guard down.
"Watching them again?"
She nodded, tensing slightly as her lover wrapped his arms around her waist and rested his head on her shoulder. "I have to go." She whispered, not taking her eyes off the team.
"So soon?" His pale blue eyes lost their sparkle, and he sighed, lifting his head off her shoulder. "You just got here..."
"I know, I'm sorry." She kissed him on the cheek. "But you know that if your sisters realize I'm still alive..." She left it hanging.
"They'll try to either get you out of the way, or kill you." He finished for, shaking his head a little. "I just wish I could spend some more time with you. It's been a many centuries since we last saw each other."
Sighing again, he let go of her waist ran a hand through his brown hair. His feelings were hurt, even though he knew they shouldn't be. She did have things she needed to do, but why was there never time? "I'll leave then." He said curtly, disappearing with a flash of pale blue light.
She watched him go, and shook her head slightly. Their relationship had lasted for so long, which was amazing considering the long gaps during which they would not see each other. She hated to hurt him like that, but they could not let their feelings for each other get her killed. Or get the world destroyed. She teleported out just as a tear slid down her cheek and onto the sand.
"Is that him?"
"Yeah. The other's aren't watching, so now's our chance. You nab the ninetales, and I'll get him. We need to be quick though. That damn fox pokemon has a knack for getting him out of trouble, so make sure to use the whole vial of tranquilizer. Even if somehow we fail, it should kill the damned thing so it'll be out of the way for the next attempt."
The two men were elite team rocket members, both wearing the black outfits that members of their rank wore. One held a syringe that held enough tranquilizer to knock out a Taurus, let alone a ninetales. The other held a poisoned knife, so even if his first stab was not a fatal one, the poison would finish off the job.
"One, two three... Go!" The second one commanded, knife held ready in his hand. The first rushed at the sleeping ninetales, plunging the needle into its neck. Just as the other was about to stab Kiajis, he was blown back by a large fireball.
"Trying to kill me?" Kiajis asked in a quiet, dangerous voice, not yet putting down his book. "I'm not that easy, you know..." Another fireball hit the second one, sending him several feet back. "And I was at such a good part in the book." A pause. "I really don't like being interrupted." He marked the page on his book and got up, brushing some sand off of him. "You knocked out Sijia, you tried to kill me, and in the process interrupted my reading. Couldn't you see I was trying to relax?" Kiajis took off his sunglasses, and they saw that his eyes, and not just the irises, were now glowing a fiery red. The temperature around him started to rise and he began to glow with a warm, reddish light.
By now, Jizo had sensed something was up, and was swimming back to the shore, glad they had not gone out too far or he would not have seen anything. As he emerged from the water and onto the sand, a sword materialized in his right hand, and he ran up to Kiajis.
"Stand back Jizo, I can handle this myself." The younger man lifted his arms from his side and held them in front of him, palms facing the two rocket members. "Fera tao." He whispered, the temperature going up again. The two would-be assassins tried to get up and run, but found themselves paralyzed, courtesy of Jizo. After five long seconds, two beams of fiery light emitted from Kiajis's palms, heading straight for the two men. When it faded, all that was left were two blackened corpses, or rather, the blackened remains of the corpses. "Bastards..." The father of all fire types muttered, right before collapsing onto the sand.
Jizo had watched the attack in awe. He had heard of the power of the mothers and fathers of the pokemon types, but he had underestimated it by far. And what Kiajis had just done was obviously not his most powerful attack, for he would not use it on a matter as 'trivial' as this.
He first checked the ninetales, glad that it was only asleep, but still worried, for its pulse was weak... They had probably given her a very heavy dose of tranquilizer, and they'd need to rush her to a pokemon center before her heart stopped. Kiajis, on the other hand, only needed some sleep.
"What happened?" Rezia asked, running up, Michi right behind her, but as soon as she saw the corpses, she covered Michi's eyes before the little girl could see. "Gilisia, could you take Michi to the changing room, please?"
"I'll explain later." She ran up to Jizo.
"Some team rocket members tried to kill Kiajis... We'd better watch our backs. They'll probably try and aim at us instead after they discover that he's still alive. Michi's the most likely target, so I want you to keep your eyes on her at all times."
"Fine with me."
Reika and Janyin were inspecting the ninetales. After a lengthy discussion in eevee, they put their paws on her, and a green healing glow covered the ninetales.
"She's fine now."
"She just needs to-"
"Rest along with-"
Jizo nodded. "Fine, I'll carry Kiajis."
"Jizo! Remember your shoulder? You can't carry him! He's too heavy and you'll open up the wound."
"I'll be fine. Besides, we can't risk having someone come here and find us with the bodies. We need to hurry up and leave."
"Fine... I'll carry the ninetales."
"Sure you can lift here?"
"Yes." And to prove her point, Rezia picked up the sleeping ninetales. "See?"
Jizo didn't respond, but merely picked up Kiajis, wincing slightly as he felt the wound in his shoulder open a little. "Let's go get Michi and Gilisia... I think Gilisia will have to come with us though, she's seen too much."
"That's true. I'll go get them." Rezia headed towards the changing room, wishing, once again, that she was just a normal human, and had a peaceful life...
----- "-So that's that long and short of it, Gilisia.... Gilisia?" Rezia looked at the younger girl. She seemed to be in some sort of trance...
"Leave her, she's remembering. As soon as she's finished, she will leave with us." Michi was sitting on the hotel bed brushing Janyin's fur and watching TV.
"If you say so Michi..." Rezia said reluctantly, joining her in front of the TV. "What are you watching?"
"The news?" Rezia settled down on the floor near the TV. She hadn't been watching the news much lately, and it was always a good place to find a few tips.
"In the peaceful town of Jordis, only about a hundred miles west of Teza, pokemon have started to disappear also. Police are still baffled by the crimes, and are unsure of how to deal with it. The pokemon seem to disappear without a trace. The only pattern they have noticed is that all the missing pokemon from each area seem to be of one or two types. Other than that, they have found no other way to link the disappearances. Now, onto the sports. Recently, the undefeated champion of rapidash racing, 'Speeding bullet', retired due to-"
Michi turned the TV off. "I wonder what's happening to the pokemon? It was on the news in the airport before we got here..."
"I dunno Meech, but I have a feeling we'll be finding out eventually."
"My God..." Gilisia was heard from where she was sitting. "I'm the mother of all grass types?"
"Plume." Her pokemon replied, smiling happily.
"And you..." She got up off the chair then hugged the vileplume. "Asili... It's so good to be able to feel your mind again!"
Michi looked at Rezia. "Maybe we should wait till tomorrow to leave?"
"No, we have to leave as soon as Kiajis feels better."
"Garis!" Gilisia exclaimed. "Can I... can I go see him?" But then she answered herself. "No, probably not. We're on different 'teams'; we always did think differently." She sighed. "Will we be leaving soon? As much as I hate traveling, it hurts to be so close to Garis..."
"Don't worry Gilisia, we'll be leaving when Kiajis wakes up. We're going to take a plane to Jordis. I would have preferred renting some Pidgeots, but Kiajis refuses to put Sijia in a pokeball."
"He always was overprotective of her..." Gilisia remarked, almost to herself. "So, who are you three? I never was big on the prophecies. I always thought them to be false..."
"I'm one of the four guides, and the 'Child of Peace'. My brother is another guide, and the 'Child of Patience'. Janyin is my partner, and another 'Child of Peace' and Reika is Jizo's partner, and a 'Child of Patience'. Michi... Michi is... Well, we're still unsure as to what her role is."
"Interesting. So, your jobs are to...?"
"Find all the eight of you guys in our group, and any others that we'll be needing."
"Eight? You've got a whole six left then. Do you know who you're looking for? I could tell you."
"No! You're not allowed to tell us who we should be keeping our eyes out for. It's one of the 'rules'."
"Oh." She got up from her crouching position near her pokemon, and sat on the bed. "Mind if I go to quit my job and pack?"
"No problem, just don't take too long."
"I won't." And Gilisia left.
Looking at Michi, Rezia smiled slightly, amused at how easily Gilisia took everything. Definitely the mother of all plants.
Gilisia returned an hour later with a backpack of clothes, some money, and a few other things, her pokemon walking behind her as usual. "I'm going to miss this town." She said wistfully, as she entered. "Maybe I'll come back and live here if I survive when this whole thing is over." She sat heavily in the nearest chair. "It's depressing, isn't it? Not knowing if we're going to be alive in the next year or so. But I've died once, why do I still fear it?" She patted Asili on the head. "No, I'm not expecting you to answer, I talk to myself sometimes."
There was a knock on the door, and it opened slowly. "Can I come in?" Jizo's voice asked.
"Yes." Rezia answered.
He stepped in. "Well, Kiajis is awake and smoking."
"Couldn't you take those things away from him?"
"He threatened to bake me slowly, and I'd rather not have him go into a coma from over-exertion."
"Sure you weren't intimidated?" Rezia joked.
"Me? By him?" He snorted. "Anyway, you guys should get your things together, we're heading for the airport immediately."
A bright pale blue light filled the hotel room, and Rezia and Jizo immediately fell to their knees.
"Father..." They both said.
He smiled warmly at the two. "I just wanted to tell you that although you should leave this town as soon as possible, you shouldn't worry about finding the next of your group. You have plenty of time till you discover that one. Concentrate instead on staying alive, training, and trying to decipher what you know of the prophecies. And remember, choose your paths carefully. There are many to take, and they all have different outcomes. Some are good, and some are bad." And he disappeared.
Janyin looked puzzled though. "Is it just me, or did he seem... 'different'?"
"I noticed too..." Rezia said thoughtfully. "I wonder what's wrong? I hope nothing bad is going to happen..."
"No, it seemed more like something personal." Jizo shrugged. "Who knows what he does between visits? Maybe he's in love," he added with a wink.
"Don't be silly Jizo." Rezia scoffed. "Who would he fall in love with? Though it is an interesting idea..." She got up from her kneeling position then yawned. "I want to hurry up and get on that plane so I can take a nap. We're all packed already so you go get Kiajis and Reika, we'll wait."
Back to the library