Pokemon: Legendary Adventures (The Journey Begins) @flyg0n
Getting Your Psyduck in a Row

I'm back from hiatus! As promised, here is the next chapter. It was a successful hiatus as well, as I completed my other fanfic. Hooray! You can check out Flames of Victory if you want a Unova League rewrite fic.

Echo (Male Golbat) {Ability: Inner Focus} - Confuse Ray, Poison Fang, Crunch, Air Slash

Hazard (Male Joltik) {Ability: Compound eyes} - Bug Bite, Electroweb, String Shot, Giga Drain

Rascal (Female Tyrunt) {Ability: Strong Jaw} - Dragon Tail, Ancient Power, Stomp, Crunch

Anubis (Male Houndoom) {Ability: Flash Fire} - Flamethrower, Dark Pulse, Thunder Fang, Howl

Scrapper (Male Breloom) {Ability: Effect Spore} - Seed Bomb, Mach Punch, Sky Uppercut, Giga Drain

A sense of monotony settled on Koa as he and Avis trekked north from the Cafe Cabin. The next section of Route 210 featured more tall, dense grass, so bikes were out of the question. Instead, they were forced to wind their way through the thins trails weaving through the grass. It made for a rather boring landscape. On the bright side, it gave Koa a chance to think.

His thoughts settled immediately on the same thing they usually did when he was thinking. The Two Entei. No matter what he did, his mind kept returning to them. Professor Dragonwood had stated with great certainty that the Three beasts were unique. But Callahan seemed to hold a different opinion. Not to mention Callahan's belief that the Three themselves held some kind of power linked to their resurrection.

The two lines of thought were driving him mad. Who was right? Callahan was respected and known well over, but he also really liked the professor. Charles was kind and amiable and had a contagious passion for his work. His theory of beasts being unique also coincided more with Koa's own belief.

He frowned deeply, staring at the ground as he walked. The grass to his left rustled. Echo, who crouched on his shoulders, suddenly perked up. He let out a warning screech and Koa whirled just in time to see a young boy leap from the grass.

"Hiyaahh!" The boy landed and did a dramatic pose.

Koa gave him a quick once over. Unsurprisingly, he wore a ninja costume, complete with a red headscarf. Koa groaned inwardly. So this was one of those kids he'd read about, who loved to play ninja and scare unsuspecting travelers.

"My name is Ninja Bruce!" he declared loudly. "We have initiated the sacred challenge and made eye contact. You must battle me!"

Koa shrugged. "Mind if we stop?" he asked Avis, who was watching with an unimpressed gaze. "I doubt it will take long."

Avis shrugged amiably and moved back a few paces to give them room.

"You're right it won't take long," Bruce said, standing proudly. "For my pokemon and I shall defeat you!"

Koa resisted making any smug comments - this was just a kid after all. "How many pokemon do you have?"

"One," Bruce stated proudly. "And we've been practicing really hard!" He eyed Koa, and his eyes traveled to Koa's pokeball belt. "You have five?" he cried. His gaze hardened. "Then we shall do an honorable battle, one-on one."

"Sounds good to me," Koa said. His hand drifted to his belt as he mused over who to use. Any one of his pokemon could take this kid, he was sure. But there was someone he wanted to battle with again. From his shoulders, Echo fluttered his wings and gave a questioning shree. Koa patted him. "Sorry buddy, not this time." He selected a Rascal's ball and tossed her out onto the field.

She emerged and roared. Bruce's jaw dropped. "Wow! What kind of pokemon is that? It almost looks like a Cranidos but it's so different!"

Rascal preened proudly under the boy's amazement. Koa chuckled "It's called a Tyrunt. They're from Kalos region."

"Awesome..." Bruce murmured. He pulled out a pokeball of his own, then released the pokemon within. A Stunky emerged and growled when it saw its opponent. "Stunky and I will win this battle!" he declared loudly.

The two pokemon and trainers took up battle stances. It was difficult, given that they were surrounded by grass all around, so there wasn't much space to maneuver, but that was fine. Rascal didn't need space.

"Alright Stunky, use Bite!" Bruce called.

A dangerous grin spread over Koa's face. "Rascal, Crunch." Rascal charged across the small clearing towards Stunky. Her jaws became shrouded in a black aura as she ran. Stunky bravely continued without flinching.

"Dodge!" Bruce said.

Now that was unexpected. At the last moment, Stunky tried to whirl to the side. It nipped Rascal in the side and tried to leap away. Koa was impressed by the tactic. On a weaker pokemon, it would have proved quite effective. But Rascal was simply more experienced. Even as Stunky leaped away, Rascal spun and lunged outwards, catching Stunky in her jaws. Stunky yowled in pain as Rascal tossed her to the ground.

"Poison Gas," Bruce called, still calm.

Koa had to admit, Bruce impressed him. He had to have realized by now how strong Rascal was. Yet he didn't let that make him falter in battle.

Stunky nodded and spun around, shaking its tail and releasing a cloud of purple gas.

"Ancient Power," Koa said. Rascal took several steps back, then opened her jaws, forming a silver sphere of energy, which she swiftly fired. It shot through the cloud of gas toward Stunky.

"Fury Swipes!" Bruce shouted. Koa could just make out the glow of Stunky's claws as it lashed madly at the boulder. Unfortunately, the difference in power levels was too great for the counter to work. The boulder smashed into Stunky, sending it sliding backward.

Bruce eyed Rascal thoughtfully. "Hang in there, Stunky. Try Venoshock." Stunky opened his jaws, then fired a barrage of glowing purple sludge at Rascal.

"Block with Ancient Power again," Koa said calmly. Rascal summoned the sphere quickly and shot it at the approaching attack. The two collided, creating an explosion of white smoke.

The next command came faster than Koa expected. "Fury Swipes!" Bruce shouted.

Stunky shot forwards into the cloud of smoke. Then Koa heard Rascal yelp in pain and surprise. "Dragon Tail!" Koa called quickly.

Even as Koa gave his command, Bruce did as well. "Poison Gas!"

There was a squeak of pain and Stunky shot out of the cloud of smoke, tumbled across the ground, and lay still.

Rascal roared triumphantly and grinned, proud. "Good job," Koa said happily before returning her. He glanced across the field at Bruce, who returned Stunky and nodded thoughtfully.

Bruce crossed the field to him. "Thank you," he said, giving a low bow. "Your Tyrunt was very strong."

"Thanks," Koa said. "Great job, by the way. You really kept your cool in that battle. That's not easy." A memory of his first battle with Roark came back to him. Panicking during the fight, utterly unprepared, and then tossing his poor Zubat into all that... he shook off the thought. "Your Stunky is pretty sick."

Bruce grinned happily and nodded. "I shall train harder. If we cross paths again, you will not win so easily!"

Then, to Koa's utter shock, he did a neat backflip and disappeared into the grass. He blinked a couple of times and stared, then shrugged. That wasn't much weirder than some of the people he encountered.

"Well that was weird," Avis said, coming to stand next to him. "But then, ninja kids are always kinda weird I guess."

xXx

Narrow canyon walls rose on either side of Koa, hemming him and Avis in. A path of hard, packed earth stretched before him. And standing in the middle of that path was a group of eight Psyduck, all staring at him with blank, glassy eyes. They clutched their heads and quacked what Koa assumed was a warning. He eyed them thoughtfully. Perhaps diplomacy might work?

"Hey there," he murmured, kneeling down and edging closer to them. He held out his hands in a non-threatening motion. "We just want to pass by, ok?"

The Psyduck quacked in the exact same tone as before, their vacant stares fixed on nothing at all.

Koa frowned. Did they even understand him? He knew most pokemon understood human speech, but these Psyduck didn't seem to acknowledge him at all. Of course, untrained Psyduck were not exactly known for their smarts. Perhaps food would tempt them? He carefully took his backpack off and opened it. The Psyduck continued to stare, but Koa shrugged it off. He slowly reached inside and retrieved his berry case. Selecting a few Oran berries, he rolled them across the ground towards the Psyduck. One of them glanced at the berries, then looked up again and quacked.

Suddenly, one of them quacked loudly. Its eyes began to glow blue and it stretched out one of its webbed paws. Now what was it up to? Something moved in the corner of Koa's vision. He looked over just in time to see his egg incubator float out of his bag and towards the Psyduck.

"Hey!" Koa shouted. He lunged, trying to grab at the incubator, but it hovered just out of reach and floated closer to the Psyduck. A rush of panic seized Koa and he scrambled for his pokeballs. He quickly grabbed one and released the pokemon within. Rascal emerged, looking momentarily puzzled. At the sight of the Psyduck and the egg incubator, floating high in the air, she let out an angry roar. She sprinted at the Psyduck.

A blue glow surrounded her as well, a wave of energy threw her backwards. The incubator began to move away, under the command of one Psyduck near the back of the group. It started to waddle away, while the other five formed a protective barrier. Rage boiled inside Koa. No way were a group of Psyduck going to steal his egg... He released the rest of his pokemon.

They all emerged in flashes of light and gave angry cries. "We have to get back the egg!" Koa cried. As his pokemon charged the Psyduck, he risked a quick glance backward. Avis had released her pokemon as well.

All the Psyduck gave a loud, angry, cry. Their eyes lit up and a huge wave of psychic energy shot from them. Koa felt it crash into his body. He was thrown backwards and slammed into the hard earth. His pokemon were tossed aside as well from the sheer power of the attack and hit the ground hard. Dust flew into the air. With a grimace, Koa scrambled to his feet, coughing.

Suddenly, the earth began to shake. As the dust began to settle, he saw the sides of the canyon walls tremble. His pokemon glanced up and he followed their gazes.

"Get back!" Avis yelled.

Koa lunged backwards. He called for his pokemon, who scrambled away just as the sides of the canyon began to crumble. A shower of rock and dirt slid down, piling up on the narrow path, blocking the way forward. After several moments, the rock slide subsided. He grimaced at the sight. Rubble and rock completely covered the path, stretching several feet high. His heart sank at the sight. The Psyduck were nowhere to be seen. His egg was gone.

Panic and anger filled Koa. He charged forwards and began trying to scramble over the rocks.

"Koa, wait!" Avis shouted.

Koa paused and glanced over his shoulder. "What?" he snapped. The words had hardly left his mouth before the rocks shifted under him and he slid unceremoniously to the ground. He scowled. He'd have to find another way around. "I have to get my egg back!"

Avis nodded urgently. "I know." She gestured to her Staraptor, who stood beside her. "Take my Staraptor."

He relaxed slightly and nodded. "Thanks," he said as he returned his pokemon. Walking up to Staraptor, he scrambled onto her back. It was hard keeping a grip on her glossy feathers, but after a second, he was able to situate himself comfortably. "What about you?" he asked.

Avis waved him off. Staraptor flapped her wings and took off. As the gray bird rose into the sky, she called after him "Don't worry! She'll come back for me."

Staraptor put on a sudden burst of speed, shooting over the rocks. Wind whipped through Koa's hair and he gasped at the feeling of flying. This was awesome! He definitely needed to consider catching a pokemon big enough to fly on... The canyon fell away below them and he caught his first proper glimpse of the lands that surrounded them.

The canyon opened up into a thick forest that stretched far to the north, eventually petering out and giving way to more that lay rivers and waterfalls. To the west, a large lake lay nestled between the canyon wall and the forest. That had to be where the Psyduck were. If he squinted, he thought he could just make out faint yellow dots around the water's edge.

"There!" he called, pointing.

Staraptor gave a loud screech of acknowledgment. Angling her wings, she swooped gracefully down towards the lake. With a simple flare of her wings, she glided to a gentle halt and landed a few yards from the lake's edge. Koa slid off, his heart racing. "Thanks," he breathed, still reveling in the brief exhilaration of flight. Staraptor nodded, then spread her wings and took off again, kicking up a powerful gust of wind.

Koa turned his attention towards the lake. Across the water, he could see several Psyduck sitting near the edge, each clutching a yellow egg with pale spots. One Psyduck in particular, however, clutched a very familiar-looking blue egg with white spots. A grin of relief spread over his face.

Leaves rustled behind him and he looked back to see Avis stalk up to him. She gave him a nod, then peered out from the brush and across the lake. She chuckled softly. "I guess the Psyduck thought your egg belonged to them, huh?"

Koa nodded. "At least it's safe," he whispered. His voice grew hard. "But I still want my egg back." He frowned, thinking.

"What are you planning?" Avis asked.

"Well," Koa began. "I need to get my egg back. But I don't want to risk hurting the Psyduck eggs, or mine. Plus, it's like those Psyduck were super strong or something." Somehow, they had blasted him and all his pokemon back using some kind of psychic energy. Psyduck weren't known for their natural strength, so it had to be something else they used.

Suddenly, Avis snapped her fingers. "Thats it! Psyduck congregate in large groups because their psychic powers increase when they are in close proximity! That's why they were so strong."

Koa scowled. That definitely complicated things. There were at least ten to fifteen Psyduck congregated by the lake shore. Only about half had eggs. No doubt his pokemon could take any single one or even two in a fight, but together, they presented a problem. He couldn't risk the eggs beings damaged. Pokemon eggs were tough, sure, but they weren't indestructible either. "We have to distract the Psyduck," he murmured.

He reached for the familiar black and gold pokeball at his waist, and released Echo. Echo greeted Koa with a soft shree and settled on his shoulders, his gaze fixed on the Psyduck. Koa glanced over at Avis. "Can you have your pokemon attack the Psyduck? I'm going to try to sneak around with Echo and get my egg back."

"Sounds good." Avis quietly released all her pokemon. Glameow, Noctowl, Kriketune, emerged, as well as her Litwick. She whispered a few swift words of explanation to them. They nodded determinedly in understanding.

"Ready?" Koa said to Echo, craning his neck to look up at the Golbat. Echo nodded sharply. Koa cast a final glance towards Avis, who gave him a reaffirming nod, then began to creep around the edge of the lake. He stuck to the trees, treading as silently as possible. In a few minutes, he had worked his way around to a spot a few yards behind the Psyduck.

Then Avis began her attack. Noctowl and Staraptor surged out of forest and began to swoop at the Psyduck, then wheel and fly away. The Psyduck flew into a panic. Those with eggs all began to shift into a huddle, while the rest formed their own group. Their eyes glowed an intense blue. Koa shivered. He knew what would come next. A massive wave of blue psychic energy materialized and swept through the air. Noctowl and Staraptor both dodged easily, spiraling out of the way. In a blur of speed, Kriketune shot around the opposite side of the lake from where Koa had gone, and flew at the Psyduck holding eggs. Quacking in alarm, the Psyduck began to shuffle away from Kricketune.

That was his opening. "Echo, go!" he cried. Echo launched off his shoulders and flew at the Psyduck in the back of the huddle, who clutched the pale blue egg. Its little claws flew to its head and it dropped the egg. Koa sprinted forwards. He snatched the egg into his arms as the Psyduck struggled to contend with the perceived threats of Echo and Kricketune. The one he'd snatched his egg from cried out in alarm and tried to waddle after him. Echo dived in front of it, batting it with his wing.

Koa cradled the egg to his chest as he sprinted into the relative security of the forest. He continued for nearly a minute, weaving through the trees and bushes until he could only barely hear the sounds of battle. Finally, he stopped, panting. He glanced down at the egg, which appeared unharmed, and let out a sigh of relief. They'd done it.

He set his bag down and placed the egg inside, wrapping in with a spare t-shirt for padding. He had no idea where the incubator had gone. He'd have to look for it later. Slipping his backpack back on, he started for the other end of the lake, where Avis was. A soft shree sounded above him and he glanced up to see Echo flutter down towards him. Koa grinned and patted him in greeting as he settled onto his shoulders. "Thanks buddy," he murmured. Focusing on the path ahead, he continued to circle the lake, careful to stay out of sight. He hadn't been walking for long when his hair suddenly stood on end.

A crackle filled the air and a tingle shot down his spine. Echo let out a shriek of alarm and fluttered into the air. Koa froze. He knew that feeling. It meant just one thing - Team Blackout had arrived.

"Echo, what can you sense?" Echo flew higher and closed his eyes, his ears twitching slightly. He wheeled suddenly and let out a screech before flying further into the woods, and Koa raced after him. Echo suddenly accelerated and darted behind a bush. Someone screamed in surprise and Koa burst into a clearing to see Echo swooping and diving at a man dressed in all black. Behind the man was a padded crate containing three Psyduck eggs. Rage flared in Koa. How dare they.

"Scram, kid!" the man shouted. He seized a pokeball and quickly released the pokemon within. A Raichu appeared and gave a cry of challenge, bouncing from paw to paw and leering up at Echo.

"Leave those eggs alone," Koa snarled. He clenched his fists, glaring at the man. Echo let out a furious screech to match.

The man chuckled. "Seriously? Am I supposed to be afraid of -" he laughed, "A Golbat?" The man grinned dangerously and selected a second pokeball. He tapped the button and released a second pokemon, a Luxio. It snarled and took a fighting stance. "See how your pathetic little bat likes dealing with two electric types."

Koa scowled. He eyed the two pokemon. On any other day, he felt sure he could have taken the two pokemon. Neither looked particularly strong, and Echo was skilled enough to handle them, even at a disadvantage. But right now, he had more important things to think about. He fingered a second pokeball, then released the pokemon within. Rascal emerged with a roar loud enough to make Raichu and Luxio flinch. Underneath the mask, Koa swore he saw the man pale slightly as well.

He took advantage of the man's surprise. "Rascal, Crunch!" She charged across the field, jaws cloaked in dark energy.

"Raichu, Iron Tail!"

"Echo use Confuse Ray on Raichu." Echo summoned a flurry of golden orbs and fired them at Raichu.

Raichu and Luxio were caught off guard. Confuse Ray crashed into Raichu just as Rascal pounced on Luxio. She sank her jaws into it and flung it into a tree. It yelped and slid to the ground, barely able to stand.

"Thunderbolt, now!" The man screeched, furious. Luxio's fur crackled with electricity. Raichu's cheeks began to spark and less than a second later, twin bolts of lightning arced through the air towards Echo and Rascal.

"Dodge!" Koa called quickly. Echo whirled out of the way just in time, but Rascal wasn't able to move in time. The bolt of electricity crashed into her, shocking her. She shook it off and snarled angrily.

Koa grinned. It would take more than a little Thunderbolt to put Rascal down. "Rascal, Ancient Power on Raichu. Echo, Air Slash." Echo summoned the blades of air and flung them down at his opponents. As they struggled to bear the onslaught, Rascal shot a large silver boulder at Raichu.

The man's scowl deepened. "Raichu, Mega Punch!" Raichu's fist glowed white. Then it punched itself in the face. A second later, Rascal's Ancient Power smacked into Raichu, sending it tumbling backward. The man cursed. "Luxio, Thunder Fang! Get rid of that stupid Golbat."

Luxio yowled and sprang into the air as its jaws crackled with electricity.

"Rascal, Crunch!" Koa called. Rascal launched herself into the air, intercepting Luxio. Luxio yelped as Rascal's jaws closed around it.

"Spark!" the man called. Electricity surged through Luxio's body, shocking Rascal. She released her grip and dropped to the ground, stunned. Luxio landed on its feet and danced backward, hissing reproachfully.

Koa quickly evaluated his opponents. They looked tired. Minute scratches and bruises covered their bodies. Clearly, the man hadn't come expecting much fight. He was sure he could end this quickly.

The man's gaze shifted to Raichu, who was stumbling about in a daze. "Snap out of it! Use Iron Tail on that thing," the man gestured to Rascal. "Luxio, Thunder Fang!"

A sudden idea came to Koa. "Rascal, quick, grab Raichu and swing it!"

Rascal sprinted towards Raichu, jaws open. She seized its head in her mouth and spun. As she did, Luxio charged towards Echo, who hovered high in the air.

"Shock it!" the man screamed desperately. Raichu desperately attempted to shock Rascal, but to little effect. She flung Raichu through the air, straight at Luxio, who was midair, halfway to Echo. The two pokemon collided. "Now, Air Slash!" Echo pumped his wings, sending a volley of blades at the two pokemon. The attack sent them flying into the ground and created a cloud of dust.

The dust cleared, revealing the two pokemon, unconscious. "No!" the man shouted furiously. He quickly returned them. In a flash, the man grabbed something off his belt and tossed it on the ground. Searing, white light exploded from the object.

Koa threw his hands in front of his eyes, but wasn't fast enough. Spots danced across his vision. He heard Rascal roar. He thought he saw the light of another pokemon being released. Suddenly, Echo's furious shrieks filled the air, followed by a human cry of pain. Koa blinked, trying to clear his vision. Several seconds passed before he was able to see properly again, though a few hazy red spots still lingered.

Rascal lay on the ground, pawing at her eyes and growling. Koa quickly returned her. Whatever they'd been hit with seemed temporary. She would be fine with some rest, he was sure. He glanced around. Where was Echo? A moment later, he spotted the Golbat. He was perched on the crate containing the Psyduck eggs. His eyes were shut, but his ears twitched frantically and he periodically emitted a shriek.

"Echo!" he called. Echo turned to face him and gave a happy shriek. Koa grinned as he raced to his friend's side. Echo must have stopped the man from stealing the eggs. He took another look around. No sign of the thief, unfortunately. He turned back to Echo. "You saved the eggs!" he stroked the Golbat, scratching him gently behind his ears. "Here, take a rest," he murmured. Taking out Echo's pokeball, he returned him.

Koa let out a long breath as he gazed at the eggs. They were undamaged, thankfully. As he reached for the crate, he realized his hands were shaking. He swallowed. He'd just had another brush with Team Blackout, though he'd fared fine. It was... exhilarating. Scary, but almost exciting, in a way. And he managed to save the Psyduck eggs. Avis would be-

Uh oh. Avis. He strained his ears, but he couldn't hear any sound of Avis or the Psyduck. What if there had been more members of Team Blackout lying in wait? Avis wouldn't have fared well at all if she was outnumbered. Picking up the crate with the eggs, he hurried back in the direction of the lake.

He emerged from the forest and looked around. The lakeside was quiet. It only took him a second to spot Avis. She was partway around the lake, surrounded by her pokemon. Koa made a beeline for her. As he approached, he could see that she seemed to be tending to her pokemon. They looked tired, but not seriously injured.

"Avis!" he called. She looked up and waved to him. He hurried towards her. "Are you alright?" he asked as he arrived breathlessly.

She nodded. "We're fine." Her eyes darted to the crate he carried. "You got the rest of the eggs back!"

Koa nodded and set the crate down. "I ran into some creep from Team Blackout. Rascal and Echo helped me." His expression soured. "The scumbag got away though."

Avis nodded her head towards a spot a little farther down the lake. The Psyduck sat peacefully as ever, clutching their eggs. "Some more of those guys tried to come along, but between my pokemon and the Pysduck, they were driven off. But by the time they had gone, I realized a few of the eggs were missing. I wanted to pursue, but my pokemon were too tired."

"Your pokemon are ok though?" he asked.

"Yeah. Once the Psyduck realized who the real threat was it got a lot easier," Avis replied.

Koa sighed in relief and then grinned. "In that case, let's get these eggs back to their rightful owners." He gently carried the eggs towards the Psyduck and stopped a few yards away before kneeling down. A few Psyduck approached, curiously emitting a series of quacks. For a brief moment, he marveled how docile they seemed. Just a half-hour ago they'd been unleashing massive psychic powers in a bid to defend their eggs. "Hey there," he said quietly. One Psyduck tilted its head. "I have something that I think belongs to you guys." He carefully removed one egg from the crate and held it out. The Psyduck let out what Koa assumed to be a happy quack and levitated the egg into his grasp. Koa smiled at the sight, then handed the other two eggs to the Psyduck.

He watched in delight as the Psyduck returned to sit by the lake. Despite his annoyance at Team Blackout getting away, he was happy that they'd managed to save all the eggs. Helping the Psyduck felt good. Returning to where Avis was, he flopped down in the grass and let out a long sigh. A dull ache settled over his muscles and sweat stuck the shirt to his back. Now that he was sitting, he realized how tired he felt. "Want to make camp here?" he asked, glancing at Avis.

"I was just about to ask the same thing. My pokemon could use a break."

xXx

Koa enjoyed a peaceful lunch, though a fairly simple one. It was just some sandwiches he'd bought from the Cafe Cabin, but it tasted delicious as far as he was concerned. For his team, they got their usual pokemon food, though he spiced it up with a few berries he found growing near the water. He was halfway through his meal when a bright light from the direction of the Psyduck caught his attention. He looked over and his eyes widened.

All the Psyduck eggs had begun to glow brightly. As he watched, the glow intensified until it was almost too much to look at, then faded. In place of the eggs sat several baby Psyduck, all wearing the trademark blank looks of a typical Psyduck. Koa couldn't help but laugh at the sight. For some reason, it was even funnier to see the look on the baby Psyduck.

Avis let out a squeal. "Ohhh, they're so adorable!"

Koa rolled his eyes but nodded in agreement. "Do you think they'll be ok? Like, will those Team Blackout creeps come back for them?"

"They should be fine now," Avis said, still smiling. "It's pokemon eggs that are valuable. Psyduck aren't particularly valuable, so they'll be ok now. I'll report what happened to the police, and hopefully, they'll be able to send a ranger unit to keep an eye on them next time the egg season comes around."

"Thats good," Koa murmured, relieved. "How come only eggs are valuable and the pokemon arent?"

A dark expression crossed Avis's face, but quickly vanished. "I don't think you want the details. Let's just say they're not interested in keeping them warm and safe."

Koa shuddered and turned back to gaze at the baby Psyduck. Avis was right, he didn't want to know. They'd managed to rescue them today, and that was what was important.

He finished the rest of his meal, contentedly watching the Psyduck play with their young. His gaze traveled over his team, lounging peacefully, having finished their own meals. Rascal seemed to be giving Hazard rides on her back, which was a surprisingly sweet gesture. Scrapper seemed to be play fighting with Echo, throwing jabs at the Golbat, while he attempted to dodge. Scrapper was getting a lot better at his attacks, he realized. Anubis lay curled up next to his backpack. The flap was open, so Koa could keep an eye on the egg, which had started to shake multiple times an hour.

Quite suddenly, all his pokemon froze. As if under a spell, their heads turned in unison towards the egg. Anubis' tail lashed back and forth and he whined, his gaze locked on the egg. He moved forward, curling his body protectively around it. It shook violently, once. Then it began to glow faintly. Koa's heart raced and he edged closer to the egg, carefully lifting it out and laying it on the ground before backing away. The glow began to grow brighter and brighter, though he couldn't bear to take his eyes off it. Spots danced across his vision and then -

With a final pulse of light, the glow faded. Koa's heart pounded madly in his chest and he scrambled forward on all fours to kneel next to the pokemon who had emerged. Anubis still lay curled around it, so the rest of his pokemon crowded in a semi-circle around him as he peered at it.

A small and almost perfectly round ball of fur lay on the grass. Light blue fur speckled with white spots covered the upper half of its body, and pale cream-colored fur covered the other half. Two tiny ears poked from its head, and tiny, barely visible tusks peeked from its lips. It opened its eyes, revealing dark, shining black orbs. Koa gasped softly and slowly reached out, stroking its round body. A surprised squeak slipped from its jaws, then it leaned into the touch. "Hey there..." he whispered softly.

Its dark eyes darted about, taking in the assortment of pokemon surrounding it. Seeing six eager faces peering back, its eyes widened in alarm and shuffled backward. As it pressed closer to Anubis, Koa took note of the tiny flippers (more like nubs, really) that protruded from its front. He smiled at it. "Give it some space, everyone," Koa said, motioning to his pokemon. Everyone, save for Anubis, moved a few feet back. He sat cross-legged next to the pokemon, who seemed to have relaxed a bit, and gently began to stroke it. Its fur was impossibly soft, thick and fluffy.

As he petted it, he marveled at the pokemon. He'd never seen anything like it before. Though that wasn't surprising, considering his knowledge of pokemon from Hoenn was somewhat limited. Which reminded him. "Hey there, buddy. I'm gonna scan you, ok?" It made no move, other than to purr contentedly from the petting. Fishing in his jacket pocket, he retrieved his pokedex and opened it.

Spheal. The Clap pokemon. Spheal always travels by rolling around on its ball-like body. It is completely covered with plushy fur. As a result, it never feels the cold even when it is rolling about on ice floes or diving in the sea. When the season for ice floes arrives, this Pokémon can be seen rolling about on ice and crossing the sea. This Spheal is Female and knows the moves Aqua Ring and Defense Curl. Its ability is Thick Fat.

"Sick..." he whispered. A Spheal. He had a vague recollection of the pokemon now that he heard its name. They were known to be incredibly sturdy once they reached their final evolution, capable of taking hits and dishing them right back. A Walrein's lack of speed was well compensated for by its power and defense. It would definitely be an awesome addition to the team.

"It's so cute!" Avis gushed as she approached. She knelt a safe distance away, but her eyes never left Spheal. "Boy or girl?"

"Girl," Koa replied.

"Are you going to nickname her?" Avis asked.

Koa frowned, then shrugged. "Probably. But I haven't thought about it much." Now that Avis mentioned it though, his mind started running through potential names.

"How about Frosty? No, too basic..." he mused. "Glacia?" It was simple, ice related, and pretty.

Avis frowned. "Isn't Glacia the name of one of Hoenn's Elite Four?"

Koa scowled. "Darn it. You're right. I mean I could still use the name but..."

"But it'd be weird, right?" Avis finished.

"Yeah," Koa said. Now that he remembered that Glacia was the name of someone already, he'd feel odd using it. But he still needed a good name. "How about Snowy?"

As soon as the words left his mouth he grimaced, an expression Avis mimicked. "Yeah, no," Koa said. A moment of silence fell. He stroked Spheal thoughtfully, mulling over other names.

"How about Flurry?" Avis said suddenly.

Spheal made a happy squeak. Koa stopped petting her for a second and cocked his head. "Flurry..." he murmured. Spheal bounced in his arms. Clearly she approved. "I like it," Koa said.

Smiling, he turned to face the rest of his pokemon. "Everyone, meet Flurry. Flurry, this is the team." He gestured to Echo, who hopped forwards and squeaked a greeting. "That's Echo. He's the first pokemon I ever caught. Flurry squealed happily, squirming from his grasp. She rolled forwards head over tail and bumped her nose against Echo's side. He patted her gently with his wing. "That's Hazard," Koa said, pointing to Joltik. Hazard trotted forwards and sent off a few sparks in greeting. Spheal started to roll towards Hazard, but rolled a few inches too far. Hazard chittered in alarm and scuttled backward, narrowly avoided being crushed. Koa couldn't help but laugh.

Rascal stepped forwards next, nosing Flurry a little roughly, though she didn't seem to mind. Finally, Scrapper trotted over. Flurry squeaked a greeting, and Scrapper made a rumbling noise in response. She clapped her fins happily, then rolled back to Anubis. Koa grinned. He was glad his team got along with the new addition.

They ended up staying at the lakeside for another couple hours, so Flurry could have the chance to relax and get used to his team. For most of that time, he researched what he could about Spheal and Walrein, and moves they could learn. She didn't seem ready to start training yet, but when she was, he wanted to be ready. To his surprise, he found that Walrein tended to have a slight natural affinity towards special moves. He'd have to take that into account. Perhaps he could teach her Ice Beam.

Finally, as the afternoon wore on, he decided to move on. There was still plenty of ground to cover before Celestic Town. And he still had to try and find Grandma Wilma. He packed up his supplies and returned his pokemon so they could rest, though he decided to keep Flurry out of her ball. "Ready?" he asked Avis.

Avis stood up as well. The only pokemon she had out was Staraptor. "Yes, but I'm afraid this is where we part ways. I still have to get to Veilstone, and report what happened."

Koa nodded in understanding. He was a bit disappointed, but not much. As much as he'd enjoyed the company, he was also excited to get back to the sense of independence that traveling alone offered. "Well, I guess I'll see you around then?"

She nodded. "Sure! You already have my number. Maybe we can have a rematch some time."

"You mean I can beat you again?" he replied with a smirk.

She glared at him, then shrugged it off. "We'll see about that." She swung expertly onto her Staraptor's back. "Don't get too confident. You never know when you'll meet someone stronger than you."

Koa rolled his eyes. "Sure," he replied. Staraptor took off, and he waved to her as she flew away. Technically, he knew she had a point. But he was also sure he was well on his way to becoming one of the strongest trainers. He'd come so far since his loss to Roark so long ago. He finally had a team of six pokemon, and five of them were well trained. All that remained was to continue training and earn his badges. Then he would finally be ready to face anything - like finding Spear Pillar and catching a Legendary.

Once she had left, he looked at Flurry, who was curled up in his arms. Shifting his hand, he scratched behind her ears. She let out a happy squeak and clapped her fins. Koa chuckled, then leaned down and whispered, "Welcome to the family."

Echo (Male Golbat) {Ability: Inner Focus} - Confuse Ray, Poison Fang, Crunch, Air Slash

Hazard (Male Joltik) {Ability: Compound eyes} - Bug Bite, Electroweb, String Shot, Giga Drain

Rascal (Female Tyrunt) {Ability: Strong Jaw} - Dragon Tail, Ancient Power, Stomp, Crunch

Anubis (Male Houndoom) {Ability: Flash Fire} - Flamethrower, Dark Pulse, Thunder Fang, Howl

Scrapper (Male Breloom) {Ability: Effect Spore} - Seed Bomb, Mach Punch, Sky Uppercut, Giga Drain

Flurry (Female Spheal) {Ability: Thick Fat} - Aqua Ring, Defense Curl

So yeah... this chapter turned out just a bit shorter than I imagined. I was going to continue it, but then, I am a sucker for sweet chapter endings. This felt like a nice spot to end. This was also really, really hard to write for some reason? Not sure why. Hopefully its still enjoyable.

I also wanted to give some context as to why a group of Psyduck might be super tough. I was always very annoyed by the DP episode with the Psyduck because somehow Ash's pokemon were completely powerless against a group of untrained Psyduck. Ridiculous.

So anyway, there we have it. Koa finally has six pokemon.

What does everyone think of the new addition to Koa's team? I gave his first full team so much thought. The egg was a particularly tricky one. I didn't want anything too ridiculously rare (that will come later), but nothing too meh either. A Spheal seemed like a good choice. Plus it balanced out his team with a solid tanker.

Don't worry, these won't be the only pokemon he captures. I have a few ideas in mind. If anyone has a suggestion, feel free to share. I can't promise I'll use it, but I like suggestions! And to Guest17, you're right! it was a Spheal.

I'll save addressing reviews for next chapter since I want to put this up quickly and get back into the swing of things.

1. The Plan 7766 0 0 2. The Unplanned 5148 0 0 3. Rocky Road to Success 7322 0 0 4. Every Roserade has its Thorns 5998 0 0 5. Rematch and Revival 5995 0 0 6. Unstoppable, Immovable 7204 0 0 7. Looking Onward and Inward 7028 0 0 8. Where the Hearthome Lies 6360 0 0 9. The Hound of the Hour 8685 0 0 10. From Marsh to Shining Marsh 7979 0 0 11. Mach Power 8486 0 0 12. You've Got to be 'Kitto'ing Me! 6841 0 0 13. Getting Ghosted 7569 0 0 14. Cal-Amity Square 5932 0 0 15. Don't Gabite Off More than You Can Chew 7183 0 0 16. Enter the Unown 8641 0 0 17. A Strategy for Success 7673 0 0 18. Getting Your Psyduck in a Row 6302 0 0 19. Breaking the Ice Fang 7787 0 0 20. An Electrifying Encounter 8282 0 0 21. KOa'd 8668 0 0 22. Blackout 11062 0 0 23. Heart's Fire 9950 0 0