Pokemon is a copyright of Nintendo. Pokègirls and Pokèwomen come from the Pokewomon Forum at http://disc.server.com/Indices/169881.html.
"Wild Horses and Pokègirls" is the creation of Metroanime.

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Fossils Part 2 by Kelvin's Choice

Fossils 5 NightMares- by Kelvin's Choice


Pokemon is a copyright of Nintendo. Pokègirls and Pokèwomen come from the Pokewomon Forum at http://disc.server.com/Indices/169881.html.

"Wild Horses and Pokègirls" is the creation of Metroanime.

C&C, MSTs are welcome E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

       "Attack!" I shout. The Fallen Angel and NightMare maneuver to encircle Forseti, the Chimera as a full adult, an imposing figure in more ways than one. The Fallen Angel feints as the NightMare attacks in earnest. Summer wraps around the Sarah's arm, which holds the Dark Blade, and squeezes, a lot. A hand lashes out, catching the Fallen Angel and suddenly she's heading at the NightMare. Forseti stops her a few centimeters away and taps the NightMare's head with the Fallen Angel's.

       Sally and Sarah moan at their third straight defeat at the `hands` of the Chimera.

       "I told you that martial arts was useful!" June tells her `sisters`.

       "I prefer marital arts, and sciences," May replies with disdain.

       "Now, now, June, no need to rub it in," I tell her and find myself swept up in a hug.

       "You're so gloomy!" June chides me, "Speaking of rubbing it in!" She rubs me against her body and June moans. Summer laughs, then April joins her.

       Suddenly, instead of being run through her magnificent cleavage, I'm holding a little girl.

       "Rats," June says.

       "Relax, it's okay," Reb says, laughing at the tableau, "Her problem is she went from sex-starved bombshell to granddaughter."

       "Ha ha," May says, all four heads stick their tongues out at Reb.

       Lian looks over in disgust. "You all need to train more," she says primly, "You have excellent teachers and have not taken full advantage."

       "Yes, Forseti and I," Gray says, then adds, "Although Red is a distant third." Thus earning a frown from the Amazon-chan, who has not managed to defeat the StretchyMaid.

       Very embarrassing, considering that StretchyMaids are supposed to be weak against Fighting-types, I think, Except Gray is a lot sneakier.

       "Okay, time for revenge on the Tamers," Forseti announces, all voices in a beautiful chorus. A pleasant sound heralding infinite pain.

       I sigh and take up a stance, the little girl proceeds to throw me around the clearing for almost half an hour, with breaks for her and Red to oh-so-politely point out errors and make corrections. Reb gets the same from Lian and Red.

       I think I am learning, I think as Red slowly massages my aching muscles. Reb is getting similar treatment from Jamie who is in `battle` form, her 6 arms working on her Tamer's agony. Tamer my ass, I think, The way those two look at each other, I'd say at least a Delta Bond, if not true Recognition. The Fallen Angel and her healing powers would make more sense, but I think Reb is ready to melt. "Sarah, do you have any idea where we're headed?"

       "No," Sarah, the NightMare, admits, "I . . . only get clear visions when I'm nearly Feral. I don't want to go Feral."

       "I agree," I tell her.

       "We could make you visualize being in a small room," Gray suggests.


       "You wouldn't be in a room," Gray explains, "But you would be made to think you are."

       "I . . . I'd rather not," Sarah says, her claustrophobia needed no further explanation.

       "It's okay," I tell her, Reb nods.

       "We aren't going anywhere for a little while." I don't need to remind them that the Pokècenter asked us to stay for a couple of days. A famous troublemaker is expected to travel through town, I remember why we're remaining `officially`, So we're here to support the law enforcement and the other Tamers. But the real reason is so I can have a fixed address for a little while, while I get some answers.

       The Pokècenter was too crowded, but the local hotel was willing to give a discount for work in trade. So we stayed there.

       "It's still working!" the delighted proprietor tells us as we walk in.

       I smile, "It's good to know," I say about the furnace and the air conditioning system in the building.

       "Amazing," the manager says.

       "I use to have to repair all manner of equipment," I tell Reb and the Pokègirls, her's and mine. Although which is which is still a question for most, I think, Her and Jamie and me and Forseti are the only exclusive links. Although Forseti will go with anyone for chibi-cuddling, the jade. The rest of the 'girls mix and match, and most have tried to get into my bed or Reb's.

       "I'm just glad we get a nice suite of rooms," Summer comments.

       "And food," May adds.

       "She wasn't going to say that," June tells her `rival`.

       "I . . . I've never been somewhere so nice," Reb tells me, then swirls around, "And the clothes."

       "Your part of the reward for our two lost lambs," I chuckle as I remember the reward we received from the families of the two boys, when they `collected` them, alive and a little wiser for wear.

       "I just . . . it is such nice stuff," Reb says dreamily.

       "I still think we still might have some more work," I remind all of them as we enter the suite's `common room`.

       "I have researched the people expected," Gray intones darkly as she stands in the center of the room, "I doubt they will have a serious enough force to challenge us." She glances meaningfully at Forseti and Sally.

       And with Sarah, any of the three would be a match for most Harems, I think, Add Gray's, Red's and my devious minds, I'd say anything less than a pack of Mantises or Widows would be hard-pressed.

       "In terms of force of arms," Gray continues, "Our goal must remain: first and foremost, engage the enemy as far away from the town and innocent bystanders as possible; second, keep them there out there. I would recommend, strongly, that we use overwhelming force."

       "Agreed," I say.

       "And I agree," Reb comments, "I . . . I also believe we should consider lethal force. Everything I've heard about this guy . . . " Reb hugs herself and shivers, "He isn't worth any of your lives."

       The 'girls blush and look around at each other and their feet.

       "I think we need to consider how to bring Sarah up here so she can participate," Forseti says, "Other than me simply carrying her up here."

       "Blindfolds and let her sit on the patio, she'll be `outside`," Red suggests, "Although I'd have both Forseti and Sally ready to carry her downstairs again if . . . she reacts badly."

       "You two should wait and let us bring her up here," Jamie suggests, "She doesn't mind being kept in close quarters with other Pokègirls."

       Reb nods, so do I. "Reconvene once she's up here," I say, "Did you just figure this out?"

       "While you were practicing," Red tells us, "Sarah knows about the plan."

       I glance at Reb, she knows our 'girls have been plotting. I'm glad she doesn't have a problem with it, I only have a little problem with it. They shouldn't have to sneak it up on us, I think, They should have brought it up during the walk back. Time for a little revenge. "Okay, you bring her up here, Reb and I will get some snacks ready," I say happily. I could beat them for a week and not get that reaction, I think as the aghast looks as the 'girls look at me and each other. They rush out to get Sarah.

       "You are cruel," Reb accuses with a laugh, the 'girls are mortified when Reb and I serve them, especially if it's something I cooked. "But your cooking makes up for it."

       "Let's see what we can whip up before they get back up here," I tell her, "Something really fancy so they just feel just terrible." I laugh evilly, not a patch on Gray's, but enough to give her goosebumps, which look quite nice on her.

       The girls free Sarah on the veranda, we wait as Red leads her through the deep breathing and calming exercises. I glance at Forseti who is outwardly calm, but ready to move. Sarah turns around, with her head inside the sliding door to the veranda.

       "I'm okay," she tells us. Sighs of relief drown her next words. "I said, 'I think I prefer looking in at you from the outside.'"

       "We must discuss our battle plans," Sally told us.

       "I'm all ears," Gray replies, and at that moment she is.

       "I really don't need to see that," I tell her, "Continue with your briefing."

       Gray retracts to her normal form. Which I never get tired of looking at, I think idly, then focus on the StretchyMaid's words.

       "We have to attack at range," Gray says, "Attack at range, Forseti's, Karrie's and Toni's specialty. Then drive them back. If they break through - "

       "You don't trust our fellow Tamers?" Red asks with an absolutely shocked tone and expression.

       "They are children out for adventures," Lian replies.

       Clearly not getting the joke, I think as Red's pained expression draws some laughter, Especially since she's no older than most of those 'children.'

       "It will fall to us to keep them safe, if this evil Tamer arrives," Lian continues.

       "I agree, they are looking for an adventure. This guy makes a Widow look cute and cuddly," I say, "In the meantime, I'm going to check on a few things. Are you okay staying out there Sarah?"

       She frowns but nods.

       I head for the Pokècenter and its communication center. I enter the code and see a face which has become more familiar since beginning my quest. "Well, what have you found?' I ask Professor Isayama, Dean of Dark Arts Defense at the University.

       "Ah." Isayama's face appears. "I wasn't expecting your first call, now I'm surprised by your third. I did call up all the research the University did on the incident your three friends survived, as well as the last three times it occurred. I think you can guess why we never published it, not any of it. I'm sending you the full text, as well as all the notes. I figure you can deal with the raw data as well as the conclusions. Don't let any of them read through it, even though you have it. Two evolutions that practically require a Dark stone, perhaps that odd Threshold was the only thing that saved them."

       "The villagers died before the village," I concluded, "Except for the two who could internalize that much Dark energy without being destroyed. Have you considered that they probably should have Thresholded into an Angel and a Unicorn, two of the `purest` Pokègirls."

       "No, during your absence we have all become completely stupid," Professor Isayama replies dryly, "There are over 200 pages of discussion on that very subject."

       "Sorry, I don't remember working with professionals," I reply apologetically, "But it is the only thing that explains the circumstances surrounding those deaths."

       "I agree, there are those that do not," Professor Isayama tells me, "The entire village was reduced to a uniform height. the altitude of every point was plus of minus 3/1000th of an inch, that would be good machining. Spread out over 7.3 hectares, that's just spooky. Their evolutions were also curious. They were tested. The NightMare can shadow teleport, that is, step into darkness, and step out up to 150 meters away. The Fallen Angel has healing powers rivaling a Megami's, and a strong willingness if not need to use them. That's extremely out of character for her breed. The idea of what created these two is concerning not only the University, but the Sages as well."

       Great, the shadowy `advisors` to the League's government are worried by something I intend to stick my nose in, I think.

       "I never liked you," Isayama says, "But I do wish you had been with my research team when we first looked over the ruins. You always saw through the bullshit, although I do wish you'd learned a more polite way of expressing yourself."

       "Maybe I have changed," I tell him.

       "Not too much I hope, you'll need that dogged determinations to solve this," he replies.

       The system announces that I've received the entire file. "Thanks, I'll see that you get any reports on what I find. Also I set up a will so you'll get the 'dex and my files if I die," I tell him as I cut the connection. I glance down at the Pokèdex, and am amazed that the files regarding the incident and the University's suppositions and analysis. It covers all manner of subjects from mystic to geology. Equally startling are the huge size of the files. Quite a lot of reading, I think as I continue to the room, Quite a lot indeed, the Table of contents goes on for fifteen pages!

       I find Reb waiting in my room, naked in my bed. I can't hear the 'girls anywhere.

       "So Master, I want a Taming!" she whines and pouts cutely.

       Doesn't it bother you that I'm your sister's Tamer as well? I don't ask aloud, I just enjoy her slim form, and her enthusiasm. But there is a ritual to be observed. I pop a thermometer in her mouth as I get undressed.

       "Way to kill the mood," I think that's what she mumbles around the thermometer.

       I pull it out and read it. 36.7 Celsius, I note, Good enough.

       "What is with you and thermometers?" Reb asks, "You don't do that to the Pokègirls!"

       "If they were Pokèwomen, I would," I explain as I slide into bed, enjoy her nestling beside me, "If your temperature is elevated, you're ovulating."

       "Ov - you mean like . . . I could get pregnant?" she asks breathlessly, "Like I could have kids?"

       "Not while we're wandering around trying to stick our collective noses in the biggest buzzsaw in town, and you'll have to get tested when you're actually ovulating, but yes, you could have - urk!" my lecture is interrupted by a hug that would do Gray or Forseti proud.

       "You have the most amazing pillow talk," she coos, "I always wanted a family, but . . . pureline girls, you either have a chance to be a Pokègirl, or you're sterile, I was always around Pokègirls, I never Thresholded, so I thought . . . "

       "I'm just saying it's a possibility," I remind her, when I can breathe. I do enjoy the compliment, I think as I wrap my arms around her, A girl young enough to be my daughter, or granddaughter, and pretty enough to have any beau she wants, wants an old curmudgeonly fossil like me.

       "You aren't nervous about being with a female Tamer?" she asks coyly.

       "Not really," I tell her, I'm trying to keep the tone light, and failing miserably.

       "Something is wrong!" she insists.

       "Yes, something you asked me not to talk about in front of you," I tell her the truth.

       She considers, then nods. I note that the entire sheet is warm, not just where she's been lying, and there's an odd depression in it. I take a closer look, then point to it.

       'Gray,' I mouth. The StretchyMaid has evidently ensconced herself between the sheets and the mattress to `watch` us.

       Reb frowns, I shake my head and smile. I lay my hand so my fingertips encircle the StretchyMaid's most vulnerable spot. A finger movement, and we'll have an air mattress.

       "So, do the others have any idea what we have in store for them?"

       Reb covers her mouth to keep from laughing. "No. It is sad, but I don't see any alternative," Reb says, not keeping a straight face, but not letting her voice betray her.

       "True. But we should make it painless," I say, circling the depression with a finger, as if fidgeting. I can practically hear Gray sweating bullets, I think. "After all, they haven't hurt us."

       True, but . . . the blood."

       "Yes, there's always that, but it will be a better world, a better life for all who come after us."

       "All who are left!" Reb corrects sharply.

       "I think you lack faith in your fellow people. More will succeed than you think. After all, the trees have always been here, even if these aren't the same trees."

       Reb is confused, I think to myself, I can just imagine what Gray is doing, trying to figure this out. But I need to encourage Reb to continue.

       "Quotations? At a time like this?" she asks.

       "Why not? Truly those who love me have nothing to fear . . . "

       "They will continue here or else where," she finished the phony quote, "Yes, inspirational and comforting. But you've read the advances, the stories, even heard the rumors?"

       "All propaganda by our enemies."

       "Opponents, none are truly our enemies," I chide, "They are confused, cling to outmoded values and ideas." Round and round the finger goes, where it stops, Gray doesn't know.

       "I just think about it and . . . I just am so happy."

       "What do you think they think we're doing?" I ask.

       Reb has found one of Gray's nipples and puts her elbow directly on it. leaning on it to prop herself up. The faintest shudder goes through the bed.

       "Oh, probably having sex," Reb says offhandedly, "Certainly not a deep philosophical conversation. Did you hear, someone actually believes we plan to end the world! How ridiculous is that?!"

       "Considering the periodic die offs, leaving the planet ripe for new species to take their places, I don't see how anyone could think we're going to destroy the planet. Our memories, and records will undoubtedly survive. I do wish I could hear some of the silly theories that have been floated."

       "Yes . . . " Reb says, then pauses, "How do you think they'll taste?"

       "Depends on the skill of the chef."

       "But that really spoils it, doesn't it?" Reb asks, "I mean, wouldn't we get a better ef - "

       "Not raw again!" I interrupt, "I'm not into that."

       "I know that!" Reb replies angrily, "I was going to suggest lightly cooked. Sliced thin and blanched, something simple without all those sauces and spices, even salted and jerked would be good."

       "Oh, sorry. I overreacted. I guess I'm getting more intolerant of all those arguments between the `pure` and the `prepared` factions. You get them to trust you, you make sure their well-Tamed in both quality and quantity. No seasoning improves on the taste of that!"

       "Oh . . . there's something I need to show you," she says as she clambers out of bed.

       "No, that dress doesn't make your butt look too big," I tell her.

       "What in the world are you talking about?" she demands as I follow her into the bathroom, then she closes the door and turns on the shower to cover her laughter and mine. We wait until we can both be calm and sober again.

       "Do you realize how hard it is," I gasp, "Trying not to laugh while someone else is trying not to laugh? You looked like you we going to burst or piss yourself."

       She points at me and burst out laughing, too hard to answer.

       Finally we head outside to check the bed. Gray has left, although there's some evidence she was there.

       "You realize the girls are all going to be completely paranoid about this," she says as she slips into bed and pulls me atop her.

       "They shouldn't eavesdrop on everything," I reply.

       Predicably, all the girls are together, with the wary air of teenagers caught by an adult. As I step outside where they cluster, I give Red a kiss on the cheek. She looks around warily at the others, who look at her with profound sympathy. I seem to ignore it.

       "Reb is taking a bath, she wanted some privacy," I tell them, "People want privacy for certain activities. Some of those activities vary from person to person, it's important to remember that."

       Now they get even more nervous.

       "I told Reb I wouldn't talk about this around her, but you all need to know. The disaster that flattened Cooper's Stand was not anything that could be accomplished with ordinary Pokègirls and possibly not by magic . . . of any type we're familiar with. The mages at Nuevo Ten' are very concerned, but couldn't gather any further information. I wanted you to know," I tell them. Then I turn to Sarah. "Also, they told me about your shadow-walking, Sarah." Then to Sally, "And your healing powers. Sally, those are not standard powers of your breed. They assume both had something to do with the method of your transformation, they aren't even considering it a standard or catalyzed Threshold. Before you ask, 'catalyzed' is a polite term for Black Pokèballs, Jusenkyo water, etc."

       "So we aren't normal?" Sally asks worriedly.

       "You aren't standard, but that doesn't make you a hideous monster who's going to drug us all and eat us." That got them, I think as I stare at all the stricken faces.

       "That's what you get for spying on us," I tell them.

       "And getting caught!" Summer adds.

       "Oh, we didn't catch whoever did it, we just happen to know someone was," my tone goes from chirpy to stern, "And we chose not to confirm it, so we wouldn't have to punish someone."

       The looks are as worried now as they were when they thought we were going to eat them. I let them stew a bit as I rake them with my harshest gaze.

       "I think we definitely want to go after whatever caused this, but I want your opinions. This is a good deal more dangerous than dealing with bandits or even Jokettes. Frankly, short of facing a Legendary or a pack of Widows, I can't think anything as dangerous as whatever did what happened to Cooper's Stand."

       "It's not like I was doing anything better," Red says.

       "I will accompany you," Gray has regained her composure, and taken the warning to heart, "There is finally a challenge worthy of my talents."

       "What talents?" Sally asks in a challenging tone, "Getting tied to tent stakes and moaning?"

       Gray just raises an eyebrow, then glances at me. I give the faintest of nods. "The little trick that your Master carries," Gray says quietly, "I developed from the Jokette's extremely crude version. While she had some . . . oddly inspired ideas, it was my job to make them work."

       "Point taken," I say, ending the discussion. "So, Sally, are you for or against?"

       "I'll . . . go along with the majority," Sally admits with shame.

       "I'm in," Summer and April chorus.

       "Hey!" Sally complains, "Does she get one vote or four?"

       "Force of the opinion and how well expressed dictates," I tell them.

       June and May shrug. Sarah notes the eyes falling on her, she shifts uncomfortably. "I . . . I have to follow after the Forever Dark."

       Everyone heard the Capitals.

       "I know Reb doesn't want to go alone," Jamie, the Arachnae, says, giving me a strange look.

       Definitely Delta-Bonded, or Recognized, I think, And trying to hide it. She wants Reb exclusively, but knows Reb is only mildly bi, so she's got to put up with this. "Okay, Toni?"

       "Me, too. I'll go with the majority, although no one has spoken against it," the FireMaiden answered.

       "All right then, let me be the first," Karrie, our Rapitaur says, "We don't have to do this, no offense Master, but you aren't some young idiot out to prove his balls aren't just for decoration. You're talking about chasing down what potentially is as great a threat as a Second Gen Legendary. Powerful as Forseti is, confident as Sally and Lian are, cunning as you Gray and Red are, that's not something to chase, that's something to run away from."

       "I agree," Lian adds, "Perhaps later, with some other powerful Pokègirls, and several additional combat Tamers, which neither you - Master - nor Mistress Rebecca are, perhaps add a half-dozen journeyman mages out to prove themselves. Then it would be a grand undertaking. With our resources, it is unwise in the extreme." Lian bows and falls silent.

       "I did ask, and your points are well-taken. While you might evolve into Herochan, or Armsmistress; Chimerae, Rapitaurs, Tanuki and Arachnae do not evolve further, a Fallen Angel can become an Angel or a Demoness, and perhaps our FireMaiden could become a Magic Knight, but that's rare," I tell them, "So we can't expect a quantum leap in your powers. I doubt that a Mercury would be a major advantage."

       "Thank you," Gray says, relieved that she won't lose her favorite abilities.

       "There's a wisdom in being too small to be a serious threat," I tell them, "And running away will be high on our list of priorities."

       "We'll be good at that," Karrie joked, chuckles and smiles answer her comment.

       "Just so you know, I don't want to get smashed either," I tell them.

       "You'd have to lock me up," Sarah says, "In a closed in space," her tone give the others shivers, "So I can be more in touch with the Forever Dark."

       "But not today," I reassure her, "We'll need to be sharp for when that 'Evil Tamer' shows up."

       They agree.

       "Sarah, are you okay being out there?"

       "Better than being inside," she replies, "Although I would like some company."

       Subtle, I think sardonically. "Okay, the rest of you get into your rooms upstairs and get some sleep tonight. We've got patrols tomorrow, and I want to catch this Slowboob-spawn as far from the town, and more importantly from the other Tamers, as possible. So we start out early."

       "Don't break anything I can't fix," Sally chides as she and Gray head out with Lian and Red in tow.

       I don't know what those four do together, I think, But they do enjoy it.

       Forseti, Toni and Jamie head towards upstairs to Reb's bedroom.

       Despite Forseti's 'I'm rough, tough and powerful', she likes cuddling as a little girl, a lot, I think. Karrie remains behind with me and Sarah.

       "I should tell you a joke about `horsing` around, just to prove how I did kill that Jokette."

       Karrie frowns at the joke, Sarah chuckles.

       "I'm not acrobatic enough for both at once," I admit.

       "We are," Karrie says, grinning broadly as Sarah laughs, both shift from their centaur forms into human-looking girls.

       Except for the black skin and shining eyes, I think as I glance at the two girls, Although, I like the matching fiery red hair. Maybe I have a thing for redheads. "I hope you two remember, I can't outrun either of you."

       "So you can't get away," Sarah says and gives me a sultry look.

       "We aren't Cheetits," Karrie teases, "There are some things we like to do slllooooowwwwllly." Sarah nods.

       "Take my hands." The hard claw is offered me. I take it, while Karrie takes Sarah's more human hand.

       It doesn't bother me, I think as she relaxes about that, I haven't gone mad, or become disgusted. But I've had a good deal of experience handling creatures more disgusting that a dry insect.

       We step into the shadows, and the world seems to drop away.

       "Where are we?" I ask.

       "Elsewhere," Sarah says in a dreamy voice, "Here I feel safe. Here, I can't feel the Forever Darkness."

       The Rapitaur seems uneasy.

       Odd, I can see them, but not anything else, I think to myself, Sarah should blend in, but she's obvious to me.

       Sarah leads on with a sense of purpose. A pool of greater darkness is her goal. She urges me to lie down within it.

       I do. It's warm, like a pool of warm water, or what Gray seeks to be when she's with me and Red, I think as the two horse-type Pokègirls enter, remaining in their human forms. Sarah seems comfortable `floating` next to me.

       "Don't worry, just relax," Sarah tells me, "You won't float away or disappear."

       I'm more worried about just falling asleep, I think as the tension bleeds away, Before the festivities begin.

       Sarah draws me into a tight embrace as I feel Karrie drifting around, both slipping their hands under my clothes. I let them slowly remove my clothes, enjoying the kisses and caresses as they do.

       And they like when I return them, I note.

       Karrie swings herself between Sarah's legs, so it's as if the NightMare is riding the Rapitaur, who takes my manhood into her mouth, while her legs begin windmilling as if she were running. I can feel the breeze, either from her legs moving, or the place responding to the desire for speed.

       Strange. Never considered that a Rapitaur would want to be Tamed at a gallop, especially in human form, my analytical tendencies try to spoil the mood. I counter by taking Sarah's breasts and begin to suckle and fondle them.

       Karrie braces my thighs against her shoulders as if I might fall off or run away.

       With what you're doing, I think to her, I won't run away. But the Rapitaur's legs are going a mile-a minute, as if she's running the race of her life. Her tongue and lips are moving far more slowly in compensation.

       Sarah runs her hands over my back, even the clawed hand doesn't bother me, the rest of her body is warm and soft. The NightMare says little with her voice, but her hands, lips and tongue are eloquent about her need and pleasure.

       I fire into Karrie's mouth as I suck and kiss Sarah's breasts and run my hands over Sarah's ass. The NightMare is frantically `riding` the waist of the sprinting Rapitaur, rubbing her sex along the Karrie's spine. Sarah orgasms, clamping her legs tightly around her mount's waist. Both Sarah and Karrie move away from me to exchange positions with each other. Sarah take my now flaccid penis in her mouth and hands, while Karrie mounts her waist to run herself up and down Sarah's knobby spine. Karrie pulls my hands to her breasts, I can feel the heat coming off her from her `run`. She presents her smooth neck and shoulders to me, "Bite me," she says huskily.

       I do as I am bid, starting with gentle nipples and pinches, then biting harder and mauling her breasts as she calls for it. Nothing gentle about it, I think as a worry about drawing blood.

       Sarah continues to lick and suck, massaging my balls. I climax, firing into Sarah's mouth as she licks me clean.

       The girls, neither of them look like they're satiated. Except I'm spent, I wonder, What do they have in mind next? And how do I avoid disappointing them?

       The way they split and circle like wolf-types, rather than horse metamorphs, gives me more than a few worries.

       The morning patrol shows that none of the girls got any rest. Of course neither did I, I think as I'm still marvel at the tricks the pair used to bring me to climax twice more, Ouch, is it costing me now.

       I forget the feeling of being mashed flat and raise my binoculars to survey the forest. Despite our late night, none of the other Tamers showed any signs of rousing themselves, I think as I look around our preparations, Except one. The CameraGirl who pops up near us is one of a pair of twins, so intuitive of each other they are effectively telepathic, and so intuitive about where the action would be and how best to shoot it, both might as well have been psychic. Scary, I think as the first vanishes and the second CameraGirl appears, silently and always to my left side, no matter where my head is turned. She gets a few seconds of recording, then silently teleports to catch one of the other girls doing something. The fact that they're both cute as a button, stacked and red heads has nothing to do with their being here, I tell myself, Well, not much.

       "Gray said their stealth was 'acceptable,'" Reb whispers, "High praise, they might be a touch better than Red and Gray."

       I nod. Considering those two cut their teeth sneaking up on Buzzbreasts and Wasps, I think, Acceptable meant you lived through it. "Although they nearly gave themselves away when we explained our plan, well Red and Gray's plan."

       Reb stifles a giggle at the memory.

       The poor twins laughed so hard I thought they'd hurt themselves, I think, Not the least of which was realizing that two such grim characters would have such a comedic streak. Red and Gray certainly have our elements concealed. I can't see them even though I know exactly where to look. Gray is on one side of the road with Forseti and Karrie, Red is on the other with Sally and Sarah, all ready to ambush our targets. I glance at the reserve, me, Reb, Lian, Toni and Jamie, waiting a distance back.

       "Are you sure he's coming down this road?" Reb whispers, more nervous about waiting than the others.

       "No," I admit, "But it is the most likely and it's quieter than the routes the idiots are guarding. Sun Tzu talked about the golden route to retreat, this is the same principle. Give them an easy way in then hit them with a crossfire."

       "Makes sense," Reb's not convinced, but she knows she shouldn't be talking at all.

       Then, we hear them. She could have been screaming at the top of her lungs and they wouldn't have heard us, I think on the stream of complaints, emanating from the Pokègirl in the bodysuit and cape, with the neon-pink hair, Oh, Forseti, especially June, is going to LOVE this. I think, fighting not to burst out laughing myself.

       "It's a flea speck! Why do we bother?" comes the most arrogant whine I can remember. I catch sight of the Tamer's harassed expression, and disgust on the faces of some of the other Pokègirls in the harem, or in the groups following, the entire battlegroup.

       HyperDoll, I think, I hope Gray and Red use the `mine` correctly.

       "We'll attack as soon as the `mine` goes off. I think we leave the HyperDoll alone."

       "Not a problem," Lian says worriedly, "Only Forseti could have a chance against her anyway."

       I think I've got something that might work, I don't tell them, I'd better make sure the settings are right, or I'll wind up with a HyperDoll. A fate I wouldn't wish on anyone, especially me.

       The group, some 20 Pokègirls and three humans, wander into the trap area. With the noted exception, all the girls are low-level evolutions.

       That doesn't mean anything, I remind myself, They could be highly skilled, just unevolved. Or his original harem got so sick of him and her, they left and these are a team he scraped together and taking him down would lead to a mutiny. I watch them walk into the trap. "WIDOW! I scream as loud as I can. From their concealed positions Red and Gray release a pair of the growling, twitching puppets. They erupt from their concealed positions, looking every bit the menace. Both also have sprayers built in the appropriate places. It's amazing what a little chemistry and staging can achieve, I think as the sprayers empty Jamie's milked venom and a few chemicals all over our targets. Several of the Pokègirls panic completely, a Slicer and a SexShrew slam into each other hard enough to knock them both out.

       Then it goes awry, I think in despair as Forseti grows to full-size. She fires all four heads' breath weapons, then hits the arrogant HyperDoll in the face with a haymaker while continuing to fire, No subtlety, HyperDolls use brute force, Forseti has her beat in that department, beat straight into Sally's and Sarah's Dark Blades, I realize as the pair repeatedly stab the HyperDoll. Red clobbers one, then the other `support` Tamers, preventing them from rallying their screeching packs.

       The HyperDoll bats the Fallen Angel and NightMare away. And of course we're charging into the middle of that mess, I think as Gray, Red, Jamie and Toni concentrate on the few opponents who are trying to collect their wits, and succeeding.. The karate-wielding Tanuki overwhelms the paired Slicers. Gray and Jamie trip anyone who tries to get away. Of course the CameraGirls are everywhere, filming everything, throat mikes add their 'Cinema Verite' sidebars to the record. And if someone just happens to trip over them or their force fields, that's just happenstance, I think, Riiiight!.

       The high pitched shrieks from the girls who haven't figured out the `Widows` aren't real makes even shouting orders impossible. The plan seems to be going well, I think as Reb kicks the 'evil Tamer' right in the taming gear, And there was much rejoicing. As if crouches over, I add a punch in the back of my own. "He won't be getting up soon," I shout as Lian moves to interpose herself between her Master and Mistress, and the now-charging, screaming horde. The girls, mostly young, and clearly terrified, see the Amazon-chan's expression and throw themselves on the ground and begin beseeching salvation, mercy, escape. Lian looks back at us for orders.

       Reb is faster, her knocking flat the shocked Amazon-chan, as the semi-conscious HyperDoll sails through where Lian had been standing.

       I leave the pair and head after the HyperDoll, with Forseti, Sally and Sarah close behind. A path of smashed trees and pulverized boulders leads me to the HyperDoll who is lying in the rubble of rock.

       "Get out of my way next time," she mumbles as I tap her neck with the Jokette's little prize, it's set on 'Amusing', she collapses unconscious as the back scatter stands my hair on end. I turn to face Sally and Sarah. "AAHH!" I scream and shake, my hair still like a fright wig, it shocks both Pokègirls out of their battle mindset. Forseti drops whatever she had in mind to accomplish the same thing. She takes one look at me and bursts out laughing, points to one of the CameraGirls who has recorded the entire incident, and is trying hard not to giggle.

       Gray appears a moment later, looking grave, even for her. "Master, now." She turns and runs back the way she came.

       "Guard her," I tell the trio as I pass.

       "I told you it would work!" June crows, "Hand-to-hand is the best!"

       "You told - " Summer complains, "April and I told you combined arms would be best."

       I pass Reb, Lian, Toni and Jamie herding the captives into a rough enclosure Jamie webbed to the trees. Jamie herself is holding Reb, who has practically engulfed the Arachnae in a hug.

       Karrie stands near the two fallen support Tamers, she looks very frightened. Red sits a short distance away, practically curled into a ball, rocking side-to-side.

       "I didn't hit them that hard, I didn't hit them that hard," Red speaks low, over and over, between sniffles.

       Crap, I think of the penalties for a Pokègirl for killing a human, even accidentally or in combat. I arrive at the bodies. Gray squats just beyond the further one, so she can watch me examining them. Neither looks dead, they look like they fell unconscious after getting clocked, I think as I touch the nearer one, and am so shocked I immediately touch the other, They're ice cold! I glance at Gray who nods and mouths 'Master', then stands aside from my direct path to Red.

       I stand and switch to my most authoritarian tone and manner, "Red." The shocked Tanuki stares at me. "Unless you have some secret Ice power and can refrigerate bodies, they were long dead before you touched them. Bodies retain their warmth for several hours, these are ice-cold," I tell her, then switch to a more gentle and caring tone as I kneel before her, "They were dead before you touched them."

       Red looks at me, tears matting the fur of her `mask`, she stares in incomprehension.

       I gather the large Pokègirl in my arms, and tell her, "You just hit them, but they were already dead. When Reb and I knocked out their `Master` they lost the spell allowing them to move, they were never alive to begin with. You did nothing wrong. You didn't murder anyone." I stroke her fur, letting her settle herself against me. She just holds me, not speaking, but no longer crying. Gray and some of the others start taking down the Widow dummies.

       When she does break off, I ask, "Better?"

       "Yeah, I just - I couldn't - "

       "I understand. I thought that guy was a joke," I tell her, "Maybe he is, but that joke isn't funny anymore."

       Red nods as we stand, she still holds my arm, glancing at me coyly. She isn't after a Taming, I recognize, She does want 'Master' to make things all right again.

       Reb has the prisoners corralled, including the HyperDoll, who is conscious, and no threat to us.

       "How could you just stroll into an ambush like that?! No directions to nobody during the fight, and now you're just lying there!" she berates and smacks her unconscious Tamer.

       I'm glad the reward is dead or alive, I think, He's going to be hamburger by the time we get him back.

       "I already told her he's out cold," Reb tells me quietly, "She's so sure he's faking it to, and I quote, 'Escape his righteous punishment.' Unquote.. Gods! I sound like one of my old teachers!"

       "Happens when you hang around college professors," I tell her, "Besides him, can the rest move?"

       "Yeah, we can head back to town. Why'd you go tearing past?"

       "Not here," I promise Reb, "Let's move out. We can let Gray, Toni and Karrie collect the rest, they'll catch up soon enough." Red stays on my arm as we walk.

       I go tell them to finish packing the Widow puppets, and the bodies, and take the whole lot back to town by a different route. I don't want anyone speculating any more than they already are, I think.

The Tamers

Simon Carver
Rebecca 'Reb' Cooper

The Harem
Red - Tanuki
Gray - StretchyMaid
Forseti - chibi Chimera
       April - Billie head
       May - Lioness head
       June - Dragoness head
       Summer - Snake head
Sally - Fallen Angel
Sarah - NightMare
Karrie - Rapitaur
Lian - Amazon-chan
Jamie - Arachnae
Toni - FireMaiden

NIGHTMARE, the Mad Mare Pokègirl
Type: Near Human, Metamorph
Element: Dark/Magic
Frequency: Extremely Rare
Diet: Vegetarian mainly, can also feed off of nightmares and fear energies
Role: Legions Of Terror
Libido: Average (High during Full and New moons)
Strong Vs: Normal, Psychic, Ghost, Electric
Weak Vs: Fighting, Bug, Ground
Attacks: Shadow Shot, Fear Aura, Shadow Shield, Dark Kick, Stomp, Nightmare Syndrome, Dark Blade, Dark Blade Mark II, Shadow Strike, Shadow Walk, Midnight, Nightshade, Hypnotize, Dream Eater, Illusion, Lure

Enhancements: Enhanced Speed, Shadowmelding, Flight, Enhanced Hearing, Elemental Affinity: Darkness,
Enhanced Stamina, Danger Sense, Enhanced Dexterity, psychic talents
Evolves: Unknown
Evolves From: Unicorn (Dark Stone)

        NightMare is the other evolved form of the Unicorn, although this was not discovered until much later on. Most often seen being ridden by leaders amongst Sukebe's Legions Of Terror during the Revenge War, they have since evolved into their own type of menace. They are possessed of completely midnight black skin over their whole body in human and tauric form, with bright red hair that resembles flames, ranging in length from very short to waist length, depending on the preference of the NightMare. Their breast-size is normally a D cup, and their eyes always glow with an unholy white light. The right arm of a NightMare is deformed, covered in a twisted, chitinous parasite that makes it into a massive, three-fingered claw.

       NightMares are a peculiar breed of Infernal Pokègirl, with two psychological quirks that set them apart from other Infernals. They have a herd mentality, valuing the group above all else, and are willing to tolerate and get along with Celestials that are a part of their Tamer's harem. And also, NightMares are claustrophobic to the point obsessiveness. They cannot be indoors for more than a few seconds before panicking and forcefully trying to exit. If kept inside, NightMares go on a rampage, reverting partially into their first level Feral stage, and eventually going completely catatonic until outside.

       NightMares are a risky choice for a Harem. They have a much more violent nature than a Unicorn or a Pegaslut, although like a Pegaslut, NightMares lose their ability to repel Pokèballs and are just as fast as a Pegaslut. They will not harm their Harem sisters or master, but even when Bonded to a Tamer it's hard to control their urge to kill, which has led most of their Tamers to being members of Team Rocket and other such groups, although for some reason they refuse to work with groups like the Limbec Pirates, or any other fully Pokègirl controlled groups. Only a truly evil or truly patient and determined Tamer has a chance of controlling a NightMare.

       In combat, their are incredibly vicious fighters, favoring using Dark Blade and Dark Blade Mark II more than any other attack. When Tame, they always have a demonic grin on their face no matter what they are feeling at the time, and speak occasionally on the will of an unknown force, 'a being of forever darkness' that they say governs their souls. The general theory that this is Sukebe, but further study of NightMares has led some researchers to believe that this 'being of forever darkness' is some sort of living weapon, older even than Sukebe.

       Feral NightMares are a dangerous breed. Their Feral state comes in two phases. The first one, commonly seen in NightMares in Harems, has them start wandering around aimlessly, frantically babbling about horrific visions they are having and laughing wildly. The second phase, where the NightMare becomes most like other normal Ferals, results in the NightMare running off, looking about herself wildly. Once Tamed again, NightMares have spoken of a need to go on a search, to track down 'the forever darkness.' Feralborns always run in herds, and Watchers report that they seem as if they are on a quest of some kind.

       Researchers are becoming extremely concerned by this, and have contacted Vale about investigating the 'being of forever darkness.' Meanwhile, study on NightMares continues...

Fossils 6 - HyperDoll (and why you don't want one) by Kelvins Choice

      Most of the girls don't give us any trouble. Because threatening to leave them with Mr. Wonderful and his dream date is enough to shut anyone up, I think as we walk into town. Gray is waiting outside the Pokècenter, marking it as our destination. Many of the Tamers are still 'out on patrol'.

      Once we have the captives cataloged and Pokèballed, the Town Marshall calls me into the examination room. Of course Gray disappeared before the Marshall arrived, I think grimly as we enter the examination room. Somewhere along the way I must have seen an autopsy or two. I wonder if the autopsy of a Pokègirl is considered an autopsy or a necropsy, I think as I calmly note the two laid-open corpses on the tables. The town doctor and his Supebra-Genius are examining the bodies. Who is the servant and who is the master is a little blurred, at the moment, I think as the Marshall turns distinctly green, then issues me out of the room, more for his sake than for mine, You should have let the OfficerJenny Sheriff do this, I don't say aloud.

      "Bodies have been dead and preserved at least a week, they say," the Marshall says, "So no charges against your Tanuki."

      "She'll be pleased," I say calmly, "She took their apparent deaths pretty hard."

      The Marshall nods. "There was no apparent cause of death although they're checking for poisons."

      "If you have magic-types, also check for that," I suggest.

      "The local Sorceress took one look at those two, and ran screaming from the room - "

      "What did she scream?" I ask, sensing a clue.

      "Something about 'The Forever Darkness', whatever that is," the Marshall tells me, "She treed herself about half-a-mile out of town."

      "Can I help?"

      "I'd like to borrow your Arachnae, to make a net, and a couple of flying types."

      "With the captives in storage, I can safely move my forces out."

      "A HyperDoll, eh, I suppose the bastard deserves it," the Marshall says, "A Fallen Angel, a NightMare and a Chimera, got a thing for Dark-types?"

      "It's what the universe has provided," I reply with a shrug, "Just what is all the fuss about this guy? I like to think I and my girls are capable, but a HyperDoll and some 20 other girls, against me, Reb - ecca and our nine and we took them down slick as you please. So it isn't his combat skills."

      "You're a smart guy, Professor," the Marshall says and thumbs his nose, "You've got all the clues you need."

      I take a moment to consider, and it hits me like a thunderbolt. "Necromancy."

      "I knew you were a smart guy, Professor."

      Necromancy, I seethe inwardly, At Tenochtitlàn U. it was a curse. Spirit magic is more symbiotic, Necromancy is just an esoteric form of slavery and torture. "Yes, I see the problem." There's one group who specializes in Necromancy, I remember, And if they're involved, this is going to get extremely ugly, very fast.

      I drag myself back to my hotel room. I hope tomorrow they actually ask some questions I can answer, I think as I open and close the door, but rather than head for the bed, as I'd planned, a pair of strong hands are directing me to the bathroom.

      "I'll fall asleep and drown," I tell whoever it is.

      "Then I shall keep you awake," Lian tells me. The Amazon-chan sits me in the shower, then runs warm water over me, rinsing off some of the yuck that covers me.

      I didn't even notice her taking off my clothes, I think. "Sorry about the Taming, I'm just . . . "

      "Reb is similarly out of action," Lian says as she carefully soaps me, "I believe Jamie is quite put out, but are they any closer to the secret?"

      "They found fragments of enchanted steel in the bodies, enchanted in technical terms means a spell was placed on it. Magical means inherently magic. Therefore an object can be magical and enchanted, but this was only enchanted."

      "So it was a spell."

      "It was more than a spell," I tell Lian as she covers my eyes to rinse the shampoo out of my hair, "Somebody stabbed them a week before we fought them. That piece of steel sucked out their souls and killed them, then it turned them into the things we fought."

      "Red will be especially relieved that she was in no way responsible for their untimely demise," Lian tells me.

      "Yes," I reply, the warm water and the Amazon-chan's surprisingly gentle ministration are having a soporific effect. I'll fall asleep right here, I think, Pretty soon.

      The sound of the phone being dialed wakes me, the words urge me to keep still.

      "Yes, I haven't found anything new. If that's what he's telling the investigator, then that's what they think happened."

      Bide your time, I tell myself while my hand slips under the pillow and closes on the equalizer I kept.

      I'd planned on using the 'amusing' setting, now I think 'hilarious' is more appropriate.

      Lian continues talking softly to whoever is on the other end of the phone. She returns to bed and snuggles against me.

      You are confident, aren't you, I think as I feign a sleepy response to her embrace, That means one thing. I touch her shoulder.

      Gray checks the seals on the outer barrel sitting in the middle of the suite's common room. "I do not want that stuff escaping to get at us," she grins.

      "She's waking up," Red says and hands me the other walkie-talkie. It's mate is attached to the ceiling of the inner barrel, along with Lian, all clearly visible through the transparent plastic of the two nested barrels. The shrieking trill of the 'call' signal sends the naked Pokègirl's flesh rippling.

      "Hello, Titto," I say into the walkie-talkie.

      Lian examines her prison quickly, and discovers that Gray's promise of an air-tight container has been kept.

      "There's only so much air in there, and what's outside in the outside barrel isn't any better than suffocating, so I'll talk, you listen and gesture. Do you understand?"

      She says something, a plea or protest. I don't know, I think as I hold down the call button until she's shivering at the bottom of the barrel.

      "Let me make it clear. I'm going to ask questions, you are going to answer them, if you run out of air before I run out of questions, that's too bad for you. Do you understand that?"

      Lian nods meekly.

      "Now, do you know where they are holding Lian?"

      The girl points to herself and I hit the call button.

      "The real Lian," I emphasized, the other girls stand ready, in case Gray's containment fails.

      The girl points frantically at herself.

      "So, she's been playing us since we met," April says. Forseti is in her full-adult form, claws and wings extended.

      "So you were tasked to look after those two idiots, then you switched over to us?" I ask.

      Lian nods and holds up two fingers.

      "Two weeks ago?" I ask.

      She nods frantically.

      "I believe her," Red says as she stands behind the girl in the barrels.

      So do I, I think. "So do you know one, who you are working for, or; two, it's all anonymous, or - "

      She holds up two fingers and stares at my finger hovering over the call button. Instead the red light of her Pokèball envelopes her, easily piercing the two layers of clear plastic. The reason we used it, I remind myself.

      "Okay, if I was desperate for fighting types, I might run her through a Level 5 Taming, but I've got a better idea. I'm going to give her to the mages, and tell them she's a spy."

      "What if she's their spy?" Reb asks.

      "Then she failed, and we don't tell them what she told us," Sally says, grinning almost exactly like Sarah.

      "I would ask the mages to find out if she is Lian, or replaced her," Sarah suggests, "It is something we should know, and we could be present for."

      "Good point," I say.

      "Why don't you ask her about this 'Being of Forever Dark' and who's interested?" Jamie asks.

      "Because she wouldn't be able to tell us, especially not with gestures, and I think the information is spotty at best. So we would be the source. I believe she's just a mercenary, hired to look after those two idiots, then she joined us, and got another assignment : spying on us."

      "So why don't we keep her with us?" Toni asks.

      "Because we don't know whom she's passing the information to. We've got a very strange set of circumstances. I'll bet there are things and people who want to keep them hidden," I explain, "If they are her employers, we could all disappear mysteriously. The rest of you might `only` get a Level 5 Taming cycle. Reb and me . . . the usual assurance of memory loss, is life loss. If Lian hasn't figured out that part, she's stupid. So, in our mercenary here, we're either dealing with someone who would let us be killed for money, or someone too stupid to realize the possibility. In either case, we can't trust her."

      The Pokègirls glanced at each other, `talking` with their eyes and postures.

      Red's angry , Jamie wants to protect Reb. Gray is offended, and probably chagrined she was duped. Forseti, Sarah and Sally would probably like some private time with our treacherous Titto. Toni and Karrie aren't sure about all of it, and want some convincing, and Reb looks like she's glad that she doesn't have to decide.

      "No objections," Gray intones, with a calm she clearly doesn't feel, "I would like to be present for as much of the interrogation as reasonable. I want to know what she knows, about what she thinks she knows, what they ask, and what they fail to ask."

      "You think the mages sent her?" April asks.

      "Before you joined us," Gray said, doing a credible Vampire impersonation, "Several mages from Tenochtitlàn University arrived to talk to the boss. It was clear that a senior professor through intention or negligence tried to remove him. Instead, they removed him in time and space, and damaged his memory. While an accommodation was reached, there is the possibility that it was insufficient."

      "Or researching this, set off a Whornets' nest I don't even know about. The destruction of Cooper's Stand may have other implications," I add.

      "Or they could be completely unrelated," May suggests.

      "And you don't know why she was sent. It could be Mrs. Cameron for all we know," June adds.

      Gray is nonplused, "I hadn't considered that," she nods to Forseti.

      "WAAAHH!" Summer erupts, "She's being sneaky! What am I supposed to do?!" Eliciting giggles from the other girls, including her `sisters`, breaking the tension in all except Red, who looks on the verge of breaking down.

      Reasonable, she was the closest to Lian, I remember, She probably feels the betrayal most sharply. "Just accept that like she has been training you, Gray, you have been training her," I tell her, "You must take a teacher's pride that a student has exceeded her teacher."

      Red applauds quietly, "That was the most inspired bit of Minotaura scat I've heard in a loooong time."

      "Thank you." I bow. "Now, let's take our traitor and get some answers."

      "Simple mercenary," Gray says morosely, "Just doing her job."

      We're sitting in the suite's common room, the largest room.

      Normally somebody would be playing with somebody else, I realize as I look around, But not this time. That we were 'just a job' hit us pretty hard. I glance at Red who has engulfed a pillow in a faux hug, her arms and legs wrapped around it, her muzzle resting on the top. She was really becoming friends with the Titto nee Amazon-chan, I think as I pick my way over to the bright red Tanuki. I hear Forseti talking amongst herself in low tones. Sally is looking as if she doesn't care. But she's one step from bursting into tears, ditto Reb.

      I lift Red's chin and yank the pillow out of her grasp. She blinks and stares at me as I sit in front of her. "I frankly need it more than that pillow does," I tell her. She eagerly wraps herself around me. As I enjoy the warmth and soft fur, I hear the tiny, mournful noises she's making.

      Reb gets up and heads for the terrace where her sister Sarah has been sitting, since we brought her here blindfolded.

      I throw the pillow at Sally. "You and Gray go play."

      Sally scowls deeply at my suggestions, but heads towards the doors to the bedrooms.

      "No good standing there tying yourself in knots," I tell her.

      "That's something she hasn't tried," Gray says as she follows Sally through the door, "Our Master is such a genius."

      Forseti stands up.

      Jamie begins, "I still want to hit something."

      "How about some target practice?" Toni asks quietly.

      Jamie shrugs, "Might as well get really frustrated."

      "Do it where Reb and Sarah can watch," I tell them, "Jamie."

      The FireMaiden pauses.

      "There was nothing you could have done. If I didn't see it, and neither Gray nor Summer saw it, you wouldn't have seen it."

      "Thank you," she says quietly as she leaves. Jamie looks at where Reb is lying across Sarah's tauric form, silently crying her eyes out, then Jamie leaves with Toni and Forseti.

      Red has been rocking side-to-side slightly. "I know it hurts," I tell her as I can give her my undivided attention, "You didn't do anything wrong. Part of her job was being our friend."

      "Why?" It seems impossible that soft-spoken word could contain that much anguish. She hugs me more tightly, and shakes as she cries.

      Despite her size and power, I have to remember that she's still a youngster, I think as I hug her back, And she still needs an adult some times. I brush my hand over her fur, letting the girl cry herself out. The black mask-pattern hides the puffiness of her eyes.

      "I'm being silly."

      "No, you're being young," I tell her, "Everyone wanted solace in there own way. You aren't used to being betrayed, an old bastard like me needs an occasional reminder there are people I can trust," I tell her as I stroke her muzzle and smile. She engulfs me in a happier hug, rolling on her back so I'm lying atop her. She shakes me gently.

      I am walking through the lobby of the Pokècenter when 'the kid' hails me. Nobody believes he's `legal`, I think of the young Watcher, flanked by his twin CameraGirls, Ka-D-Bra and his `guardian` Lambchop.

      "Professor! Professor!" he's calling as he runs towards me.

      I'd feel better if I didn't think he was referring to Gilligan's Island, I think, eliciting a slight wince from the Ka-D-Bra. I mentally run through all the jokes I killed the Jokette with and the Jokette's reaction, setting off a series of shivers in the girl. "If you don't stay out of my mind," I tell her, "You will be pun-ished."

      "Yes, sir," she says in a small voice, shaking her head to clear it, "And no, it never went out of reruns, even during the war."

      "That is truly frightening."

      "Professor!" the boy is hopping anxiously from foot to foot.

      "Yes, Jeremy?" I say, wishing I could calm him down a notch. It's like standing around an earthquake.

      "Is it true that you got rid of your Amazon-chan?"

      "She wasn't an Amazon-chan, she was a Titto, and yes, I got rid of her," I tell him.

      "What?!!" he cries.

      "She was not working for us," I tell him, oversimplifying the situation, the Ka-D-Bra understands.

      "Have you thought about what I suggested!?" he asks breathlessly.

      "I'm not going to a pleasant place," I remind him, aware the entire conversation is being doubly-filmed.

      "But that's okay!" he insists.

      "How old are you?" my tone and demeanor becomes extremely serious, "Really!"

      He squirms, glances around at his Pokègirls, who also look worried.

      "Uh, fourteen."

      I stare at him, folding my arms across my chest.

      He squirms and fidgets in place, worse than I would standing on a red-hot stove.

      "Uh . . . thir -" He stops, looks around desperately. "I don't really know. I was abandoned as a child. I grew up on a farm, no one knew how old I really was. Maybe I am fourteen . . . maybe twelve."

      "And you browbeat the testing board that you were old enough to be a Watcher when they were adamant about you not being a Tamer. They also stuck you with several Pokègirls who would otherwise be passed over and ignored by others." I turned to the Lambchop and continued, "I don't even want to think about what they threatened you with to keep him out of trouble."

      He stares at me in shock, barely able to nod. The LambChop licks her finger and `tallies` one for me on the `board`.

      "So with such a life ahead of you, four Pokègirls who obviously care for you, why do you want to throw your life away following an old fart like me into certain death? What we're going after won't be safe, nor will the forces we face consider your youth, enthusiasm or non-combat status before they attack. I'd suggest you look up Cooper's Stand, look at what happened, consider that will probably happen to you. If you try to follow us."

      The boy had deflated, but is still fidgeting with nervous energy. "So if I look it up, I can come with?"

      "No, I'm trying to scare you out of the idea completely. I don't want your death on my conscience."

      "What about Rebecca and your Pokègirls?" the Ka-D-Bra asks.

      "They are older and more experienced than any of you, and Sarah has no choice, maybe Sally doesn't either. All I am doing is making sure our path is well -documented, for whoever comes after us. Maybe that someone will be you." He perks up immediately. "In a few years."

      The boy isn't happy with the answer.

      But I don't have any other answers for you, I think, Sorry. I continue towards the store to get more supplies. Forseti, Red, Gray and Sally fall in with me, having scattered before Jeremy came within range.

      "Traitors," I tell them. They ignore me.

      "Sarah, Jamie, and Toni are with Reb," Gray supplies.

      "Good," I reply, feeling a gloom settle over me. The kid brings up the reality of what we're going to walk into, I think to myself, We are going on something that may be a suicide mission. If it can wipe out a small town, a handful of Pokègirls and a couple of Tamers aren't going to make one bit of difference.

      "Pleeeaase?" Forseti choruses, holding up a bag of cookies.

      "Of course," I tell her, "You have money, you can buy it yourself!"

      The mirrored looks of confusion and disappointment are comical. "You're mean," April comments as she drops the bag in the cart.

      Her arm yanks it out, "I don't want to spend my money on this!" June argues.

      "You want to save it for some martial arts junk!" April counters.

      "Fight! Fight!" Summer chants.

      "What's wrong with martial arts equipment?!" June argues.

      "I'm not buying it," I tell them, frowning and tapping my foot in frustration.

      The four of them glance at each other. "Damn," May says, grabs the cookies and goes to put it back.

      You think that I'm stupid? I silently ask the Chimera.

      "Professor! Professor!" the kid comes charging in.

      Good grief! I silently brace myself for another argument.

      "He escaped!" the kid breathlessly tells me and goes tearing out of the store.

      I know exactly who he means. "Crap," I murmur as Forseti, Red and Gray close in. Toni goes tearing out the door. Probably back to guard Reb, I realize, I've got the bulk of our fighting power right here. I glance to Red. "Buy this, then help Reb get packed and ready to move. Gray, find out what people know and report back to Reb, then find Forseti, me and Sally, we'll go after any traces we've got."

      They nod as they head off. The three of us head out onto the street, a pillar of smoke hovers over the jail, where the man was held.

      "That way," Forseti points off in a seemingly random direction. We head in that direction. Several badly wounded Tamers and Pokègirls mark where the first attempt to stop the man failed. NurseJoys and several other medics are running towards the wounded, we continue on our path.

      "Sarah's at the terrace, she seems okay," Summer tells me as I begin following the boot prints.

      I've got the Jokette's little toy and a trench knife, I remind myself, No poking around. I arrested him once, this time I bring him back dead. Having made the decision, I feel an odd relief, as if something in me has been unleashed and is sniffing the air and searching for a target to vent its power on. The boot prints lead into the woods. "I'm no tracker," I tell Forseti as I let her take the lead, "Also, don't mess around. If you even think you, me, Sally, or some bystander is in danger, you take the guy out, that's a direct order, Sally you're a witness." I know she'll follow orders, I think, But if she does kill him, it's on my head not hers.

      "I'm not comfortable with that," May says.

      "I'll take care of it," June assures her `sisters`. Summer nods, then returns to scanning behind and above us.

      "He's running," April says, "We could run after him, or send Sally ahead . . . and probably run head first into an ambush."

      "Both of you take to the air? With me in tow?" I ask.

      "I can't track him."

      "I can."

      The three of us jump at the kid's sudden appearance with his harem. I shoot Forseti a withering glance, and get a shrug in reply.

      "You seem . . . different, out here, are you claustrophobic?" I ask the unexpectedly calm and collected Jeremy.

      "Naw," he tells me, "I just get nervous in closed spaces."

      I ignore Forseti clamping Summer's and May's mouths shut.

      "Okay, you track them on the ground, we'll fly ahead." Forseti gathers me up, then she and Sally are in the air a few moments later.

      It's nearly an hour later we catch sight of our quarry. The rest of my and Reb's Harems, as well as the cops and a few other Tamers are there.

      "So, do we sink him and drag his corpse back to the cells?" I ask of our quarry in the stolen rowboat.

      "No," the chief OfficerJenny says, "We need to try to capture him."

      Try being the operative word, I realize, Unless this Jenny is totally naive, I wonder if he got the Sheriff. "Okay, sink the boat and anyone with a water Pokègirl get ready to pull him back, but let him and his gear get waterlogged. Don't get too close, you're more valuable than he is," I remind them.

      They nod as Sally and Forseti fly out over the floundering boat in the rough waters. Several other fliers hover around as May puts a firebolt right through the hull. The boat begins sinking immediately. The man shouts and curses, then takes to the water, swimming away from us.

      "Idiot," one Tamer comments, "He'll never escape that tide." It doesn't take long for the waves to deposit the half-drowned man on the beach. Still, the others approach with caution. I and my Harem are ready to support, and to take him out if necessary.

      Good. Forseti, Sarah and Sally understand, I think, If he tries anything, take him out, permanently. I have my hand on my own knife. If it comes to that, I think, I'll slit his throat myself. Unfortunately, his swim and the numbers will mean he'll probably behave.

      "You haven't heard the last of this!" he tells me and the others.

      "You keep those hands where I can see them," I tell him coldly, "Or it will be."

      He glares hatefully at me, but makes no threatening moves while the Jenny's put him in restraints.

      It's the gray hair and confidence, and the fact I'm a human, I realize, I may only be an old fart most of the time, but when the kids are scared, it's the 'old man whose seen it all' who'll see them through.

      "How'd you know that salt water would mess up his magic staff?" the lead Jenny asks.

      "Salt water messes up almost anything mechanical or magical," I tell her, "Plus, I worked at Tenochtitlàn U., so I know what can mess up spells."

      She doesn't press further.

      I'm wondering if he was just running, I consider as I scan the ocean, Or was he running to somewhere?

      On the march back, he tried to break away, injuring one of the Jennies, I remember, ignoring the offended Jenny shouting at us, Forseti caught him, and I - probably - broke both of the man's legs. Hence the lecture from the Chief. And the Marshall in the corner trying not to burst out laughing.

      "Prisoners are supposed to be returned to custody using minimum force necessary," the Officer Jenny shouts at the assembled Pokègirls, mine especially.

      "When Forseti caught him," I interrupt, "There was absolutely no evidence of the injury he's complaining of."

      "Are you saying he's faking?" the `Jenny turns on me.

      "I'm saying that neither Forseti, nor your officers, nor any of the other Pokègirls struck him hard enough to cause those injuries," I tell her in a bored lecturing tone, I can see her eyes glazing over as she listens, "I'm also saying it is far easier to break out of a medical center than a jail."

      The poor Pokègirls, they've all made the connection, I think, But they have to keep a straight face through the lecture . . . oh, and the Jenny has to deliver the lecture. Now I'm having a hard time keeping a straight face.

      "For what? For sympathy?" she asks hotly, trying to stay mad but a smile quirking on her lips reduces the effect, "Next you'll be telling me you broke his legs yourself."

      "As a matter of fact - " Summer begins.

      "You keep out of this," the Jenny orders, "Are you willing to swear out a statement to that effect?"

      "That none of the Pokègirls, including your officers . . . and that I take full responsibility for injuring him."

      "For him being injured," the Marshall corrects, near the end of the road, ready to explode if he can't laugh soon.

      "But he did do it!" Summer complains.

      The Jenny sighs, then looks at the others. "You all know that the snake head of a Chimera is always trying to cause trouble," she confronts Summer, "Making a false police report is a serious crime!" She turned back to me. "You broke his legs," she starts calmly, poking me in the stomach to remind everyone I'm no mightily-thewed Adonis, then she starts screaming, "What judge is going to believe that?"

      Summer stares open-mouthed at the officer.

      The statement is drafted, printed and signed, with various copies going to various government agencies, and one to each Tamer, including me.

      "I don't believe this!" April comments once we're back in our room. Again Sarah's on the terrace, but able to listen in and comment.

      "I watched you, and the chief didn't believe a word of it," May takes over. April is sputtering in frustration as the others hid their giggles.

      "I'm an old man, and was facing someone who terrified this town for years," I explain, continuing the joke, "Even Pokègirls have their prejudices. The reason I did it was two-fold, one, it prevents another escape attempt, and two, so none of you could be blamed."

      "You of course told the magistrate," Gray intones, very serious and concerned.

      "Of course, she said it wasn't a joking matter and that whichever of my girls did it, would receive only a reprimand," I tell her and the others, hiding my smile, "Then the Growlie and Ponytaur show began."

      Gray chuckles at that, seeming to give everyone permission to laugh, even me and Reb. Forseti's four head look around at all of us in shock.

      "It was all a . . . sham?" Summer asks, then realizes that it was.

      A knock on the door doesn't interrupt them enjoying the moment, who is there does.

      "Hello, may I come in?" Lian asks politely. Reb steps out of the doorway, but says nothing, the tension within the room is palpable.

      "I have been told to debrief you on what I was ordered to do," Lian says quietly, eyes downcast.

      "What makes you think we'd trust your word?" Red growls, staring hatefully at the Titto.

      "Come, come," I jolly Red, "A mercenary can't develop a reputation for untruthfulness. It hurts future employment chances." My wintry smile belies my jovial tone.

      Lian winces at the backhanded compliment, and the implied threat.

      "Say your piece," I tell her, "We'll check with the mages to verify later."

      Lian gets the message, we don't trust her word. "When Professor Laerties learned that you were investigating and that I was with you, he contacted me to funnel your raw data directly to him. Which is what I was doing when you caught me."

      I glance at the others. Red has a firm grip on Gray's hands, and is struggling not to blurt out what she thinks and feels. Sally, Reb, and Sarah seem vaguely disinterested. Toni, Jamie and Karrie are looking both angry and ashamed. I give no clues to my feelings. Which is to toss her out on her ear, preferably off the terrace, I keep to myself.

      "I assume that the University professor you contacted was supposed to distribute the raw data to any interested colleague?" Gray asks me, seemingly ignoring Lian.

      Trying not to wince at the strength of Red's grip, I think before answering, "He is supposed to, and from what I vaguely remember of him, getting him to keep a secret was difficult."

      "I don't judge," Lian says quietly, "It was a harmless job, so I took it."

      Did you know it was harmless when you took it? Or later when the mages interrogated you? I want to ask.

      "I call for the question," April says quietly, holding her emotions in.

      "Seconded," Gray adds.

      We've got parliamentarians, I think. "Point of Order, we haven't defined the question," I point out.

      "I move we vote on whether to allow Lian back into the fold," Red says clearly, giving Lian an icy stare. "Tea parties," Red says to answer my unasked question.

      And visions of 'Through the Looking Glass' dance through my head, I think, 'I move we be moved by moving the sugar back as the spirit moves us.' I think landing on that Jokette knocked a few of my screws loose. I don't focus on who seconds.

      "Show of hands, yea?"

      Not one hand goes up.


      Except me, everyone puts up a hand, while Forseti raises both arms, a wing and a foot.

      Although only my vote and Reb's are the only ones that count, I think as I glance at Reb, who is raising her hand, while I'm not.

      "The Nays have it," I announce, "Let the clerk record the decision as unanimous." I turn to Lian who is looking quite lost. "My dear, you may go, and good luck to you."

      She opens her mouth to protest, as I'm opening the door. Someone who'd turn their coat once, might do it again, I think as she moves to leave, She looks sad. The tears Lian is shedding as she leaves tug at me. The gullible part of me is considering all the friends she lost, the cynical part is considering the income she lost. The truth is probably some mix of the two.

      "The sad part is," I say as I close the door, cutting her off, "If she'd come to me and Reb, explained everything and helped me verify it, I would have let her do it . . . for half the pay, distributed among all of you of course."

      "Of course," Gray says, trying to keep the joke going. She can't and neither can I.

      And fate has other plans, I think as I answer the frantic knock. Jeremy, the 'I'm not claustrophobic' Watcher is there with his entire Harem, all of them terrified and looking around desperately.

      "The HyperDoll got out of her Pokèball - "

      "What is this?" Sally demands angrily, "A conspiracy?"

      "She's on her way here!" the young Watcher pants.

      "A rematch," Forseti says, taking her adult form and stretching.

      "NO! the Lambchop squeals, "To join up!"

      Through the telescope, I watch the HyperDoll land on the terrace and yank the door open. "Here's hoping she can read," I say to our new colleague. He's earned it and as long as we stay out of cities, I think to myself, We should be fine. I glance at our Harems, and can't see any of them, despite the closest being less than a meter away, and I know exactly where to look. Gray, Jeremy and Red are just scary in their camouflage skills, I think.

      "There she goes," the Watcher whispers, barely audible, never letting his binoculars leave the target. Even hearing his voice, I can barely make him out.

      I reaim my telescope, to where Lian is drinking herself sick. Payback's a bitch, I think as the HyperDoll lands next to the Titto and throws the patron off the stool so she can sit next to the drunken Titto.

      "There are thinks I don't want to watch," Jeremy says, repacking his binoculars and breaking cover.

      Like a HyperDoll pinning the traitorous Titto to the bar and sticking her tongue down her throat, and her hands roaming in the Titto's pants, I mentally add, before I fold my telescopes and pack it away. "I say we get while the getting is good."

      "Agreed," Reb says from her point of concealment.

      "Sarah, can you Shadow Teleport all of us?" I ask the NightMare.

      "Yes, but you'll all have to hold on to each other or me. Unless you want to get lost."

      "Not me," I admit, as the group seems to materialize out of the underbrush to surround the NightMare and the field of darkness surrounding her. The rest of us walk into the darkness which closes behind us. The oppressiveness closes in as we walk along.

      "You really do have a vicious streak a myriameter wide," Gray comments, to combat the feeling.

      "I want to know what you put in that letter you left behind," Reb says to divert her own concerns.

      "I want to know how you knew that HyperDoll could read," Jeremy says, seemingly immune and fascinated.

      "And I want to know your names," I reply, "Your real names. So we all want something."

      "Jesse Ventura," Jeremy says in embarrassment.

      "The World League guy?" I ask.

      "Yeah, I came in with a pack of other orphans and . . . I guess they ran out of original names."

      "Okay, Jeremy," Red says.

      "Let's call him 'Late for dinner'," Summer suggests, looks at the glares from all the rest, "Okay, but it was funny." The glare continues.

      "Summer speak with forked tongue," Gray says solemnly.

      I think I'm the only one who gets the reference, I think, "You know Gray, one of these days, you are going to have to tell us your complete history."

      "No, I won't," Gray replies as we leave the darkness and walk into the sunlight.

      "This has taken us closer to the 'Being of Forever Darkness'," Sarah says in a lifeless voice.

      "I can get her to talk," Sally says as she walks into the sunlight.

      "I need her to talk not moan," I reply.

      "What about the rest of you?" I ask Jeremy's Harem.

      "She's pretty," Reb says, "But I prefer cuddling with Forseti and . . . someone else."

      "Your NAMES!" I roar at them as they laugh at me.

      "Jean," the Ka-D-Bra tells us.

      "Sherry," the LambChop provides, "Yeah, sherry with lamb, I've heard ALL the jokes."

      Bit sensitive, I think.

      "Deniece," one CameraGirl volunteers.

      "Denephew," the other adds.

      "Careful," Forseti warns, "He'll call you that."

      I'm not into the inflation stuff that so fascinates Red and Gray. Normally, I'll leave it to them, I think as I put the finishing touches on my plans, I'm not that into bondage Gray and Sally are into that, as well or as web as . . . Reb and Jamie. But I am aware that sometimes, you have to give the `customers` what they want.

      I complete the final preparations as I think, Especially if you can innovate beyond what others can provide. I check that the knots are tight, tying Sally, our fallen Angel, atop Gray, our StretchyMaid. Gray's arms and legs provide excellent `rope`, tying Sally at the elbows and knees, with her back to Gray's chest. The fallen Angel's pneumatic figure strains against the lacings of her full torso corset as she gasps, her eyes filled with concern I intend to nurture into full-blown terror.

      "You have to learn who is in charge around here," I say calmly.

      "You think you're man enough?!" she demands, then her face freezes as I smile at her.

      "You are certain?" I ask calmly, "So certain?"

      Her expression instantly becomes stricken as her eyes track my slowly approaching hand. She struggles against her bonds, but Gray holds tight.

      I can see the StretchyMaid's smile and flash of chagrin as she realized she'd never thought of this. Sally's eyes try to follow my hand as my knuckles scrape against the back of her costume.

      Her shock is more surprise than pain as Gray's belly balloons beneath her, tightening her grip and forcing her to arch her back. Sally yelps again as I move my hands and suddenly Gray's breast press against the Fallen Angel's shoulders, squeezing out around them so Sally can see the StretchyMaid's inflated flesh by just turning her head.

      "OH Master, fill me up," Gray moans, the pressure within her, and the Fallen Angel's struggles rubbing against and pressing in on her, send her towards the edge. Sally begins pulling and twisting in earnest, setting Gray moaning up a storm as the Fallen Angel squeezes, stretches then relaxes as she tries to free herself or find the leverage to straighten out her back, arms and legs. Sally's heaving breasts from her exertion and alarm, mirror Gray's expansion. The laces strain against the expanding/contracting flesh. Suddenly Gray loudly pops, Sally tries to crane her neck to see the extent of Gray's `injury`, panic now has firm grip on her. Suddenly Gray reinflates, Sally reacts in horror as Gray's expanding body suddenly pulls her tight, stretches her back, drags at her arms and legs. She grimaces, trying and failing to get leverage again, not realizing her pulling and rolling `popped` Gray.

      "You know," I say calmly, "A StretchyMaid is practically designed to take this. Is a Fallen Angel?"

      Her eyes bug out, she shakes her head desperately, unable to speak as Gray's ballooning breasts stretch her arms back.

      "Make her pop me again Master!" Gray moans, adding to Sally's terror, "Sally! Squeeze me, squeeze me until I burst! Pop me! Detonate me! It's so good!" Sally instantly ceases her struggles to stare straight up in horror.

      "It's easy," I tell her as Gray's belly inflates a little more, "Just a finger in her navel." Sally yelps as Gray expands, bending her back more, stretching out her arms and legs. "Or on her nipples." Sally feels the expanding breasts sliding past her shoulders and neck, pillowing her head between them. Sally's panic is obvious and growing by the moment. Gray's delighted moans and squirming aren't helping Sally's composure.

      "Blow me up! Pop me! Please pop me!" Gray cries. Sally shakes her head frantically, making Gray moan louder at the rubbing, Sally freezes as she hears the squeaking from Gray skin chafing on her hair.

      "The key is - " I tell her as Gray expands a little, "A small amount." Gray inflates. "Lets things stabilize a bit, before - " Gray blooms, and Sally whimpers, expecting Gray to boom any moment.

      "Don't tease me! Blow me up, then blow me up! Master please!" Gray moans.

      "She's enjoying herself immensely," I tell Sally, even she can't prevent a wince. Gray giggles, which freaks Sally out even more. "I was as shocked as you, the first time I saw it. Then I found out it was something the Jokette figured out." I give Gray six quick surges. "I was amazed how huge she could get." Gray's breasts expand, a little, a little, a little sending Gray into ecstasy and Sally into terror as they block her side vision completely. "Then I discovered if I do it slow, and keep control, she gets enormous!" I made Gray a little bigger, and a little bigger, and a little bigger. Sally began whimpering softly, not just because Gray's volume is bending her body into a horseshoe shape and the discomfort of that, but her expectation of what will happen next, Gray's explosion but she doesn't know when. All she can see is her own body, bent nearly double by Gray's distended form. She can't avoid the parallel, I think, Her posture makes it look like she's the one swollen to near-explosion.

      Then I make her terror a lot more personal. Put my palm over Sally's navel. Her overstretched, undersized corset has only laces covering the strip from her cleavage to her panties, even at rest her body strains at them. They give easy access to my target, despite her attempt to suck her belly in, away from my hand. She shakes her head 'no', rubbing her hair across Gray's bloated breasts with a squeaking noise, and a whimper from Gray. "More, harder!" Gray demands. Sally is past caring.

      "No, Master. I'll be good. I'll be respectful . . . " She breaks down. "I don't want to die!"

      My soft caresses aren't soothing her because of where they are, circling her navel. Tickling her flesh, yet promising pain and death. The promise to blow her up like a balloon is unmistakable. A tap and Gray expands. "You will?" I ask as playfully as I can. Her breast and belly are palpitating as she gasps for breath, her eyes fixed on my hand which rides up and down on her flesh. Sally's breasts and stomach straining at the bounds of her overtight corset invites comparison to Gray's body expanding beyond bounds. And Sally is as aware of it as I am.

      "More Master! More! Fill me till I pop!" Gray moans her demand.

      "Should I? Should I blow her up until she does blow up?" I ask, "If you are already squeezing out of your costume . . . " I pause to let her think, to let her worry. "What would happen if your belly doubled in size, or your breasts? Do you wonder if your clothing would fail, and you'd expand, distend and stretch until some part gives way and you burst? Or would your little vestment hold your growing bulk, until it crushed your lungs and you'd suffocate? Maybe some of both? Which do you fear as your fate?" I ask coldly, as if the answer mattered nothing to me, "Which would you do anything to avoid?"

      "Please don't hurt me," she pleads, "I . . . I'll do anything. You don't have to hurt me. I'll be good, I'll do what you tell me. Please don't hurt me."

      My hand stops caressing and I put my fingers in her navel. "But I thought stretching and twisting were your favorite sex games," I say in a confused tone, "Why wouldn't you want this?" With Gray bowing her like this, I think, It probably looks like she's bloated to near bursting already.

      Sally is utterly terrified now, her eyes plead, she mouths silent denials that this can be happening. Her belly and breasts throb, straining at the restraints of her clothing as her breath comes in tiny gasps. Her outfit creaks as the laces strain to hold her within.

      "This isn't a good attitude," I tell her in a menacing tone, then I inflate Gray a little more and press harder in Sally's belly button.

      "Please don't kill me, please don't kill me, please don't kill me," she whispers over and over, like a mantra. Her eyes tightly shut.

      "You should be worried about your friend." Sally yelps as Gray inflates a little more. "Aren't you afraid she's going to pop?" I ask, again Gray expands, wringing a whimper from Sally. She isn't going to be thinking for a while, I think, so instead, I inflate Gray a bit at a time. Gray begging me to hurry, Sally keening with each expansion. I've gotten a good feel how to do this properly, I think as Gray grows more demanding and appreciative, and Sally grows more terrified. The stress on her arms and legs, as Gray pushes against her, is clearly torment for the Fallen Angel. More for what would happen if she pulled and relieved it, than what happens to her as she endures it. But she's so out of it, she wouldn't react to her arms and legs being torn from their sockets, I think, then continually expand Gray, she swiftly pops. Sally begins silently crying. I carefully untie the Fallen Angel from the Stretchy Maid. Gray turns her over so she can rest on the StretchyMaid's deflating pillowy form.

      "Please don't hurt me," Sally pleads quietly.

      "I'm fine," Gray strokes the Fallen Angel's hair and body as she assures Sally, who seems absolutely stunned by this revelation, and Gray gathering her into her arms and the soft cocoon of her sagging body. "There is much to explain," Gray says, "And much to enjoy."

The Tamers
Simon Carver
Rebecca 'Reb' Cooper

The Harem
Red - Tanuki
Gray - StretchyMaid
Forseti - chibi Chimera
       April - Billie head
       May - Lioness head
       June - Dragoness head
       Summer - Snake head
Sally - Fallen Angel
Sarah - NightMare
Karrie - Rapitaur
Jamie - Arachnae
Toni - FireMaiden

The Watcher

The Harem
Deniece - CameraGirl
Denephew - CameraGirl
Sherry - LambChop
Jean - Ka-D-Bra

HYPERDOLL, the Easy Fighting Pokègirl (a.k.a. the Pokègirl with a MORON for a Tamer)

Type: Very Near Human
Element: Magic
Frequency: Extremely Rare (thank god)
Diet: human style food
Role: super protector and fighter (if she feels like it)
Libido: Low
Strong Vs: Bug, Dark, Ice, Rock, Normal, Steel
Weak Vs: Flying, Psychic
Attacks: Mega Punch, Mega Kick, Pummel, (elemental swords), Energy Blast, Telekinesis
Enhancements: Enhanced Strength (x10 human), can take enormous amounts of punishment, telekinetic flight, can use any elemental sword attack)
Evolves: None (people are hoping, however, that they evolve into something better)
Evolves From: Bimbo (mistreatment, lack of discipline, lack of Taming, losing 7 battles in a row)

      Letting a Tigress become a Panthress is evil and wrong. Letting a Bimbo become a HyperDoll is just flat-out inexcusable.
      Treating a Bimbo badly, not disciplining her when she does something wrong and just yelling at her, not Taming her much, and forcing her into battles she can't win results in one of the most unwanted evolutions of all time.
      The HyperDoll.
      Upon evolution, a HyperDoll gains a lot of intelligence back. As a Bimbo, she could learn things if they were repeated to her enough times, and as a HyperDoll, she learns that she doesn't have to give a damn about anything. Their bodies gain a cup-size from whatever it was before, their hair turns neon pink, and their bodies become more muscular. Their eyes turn gold. And they also do whatever they want, whenever they want. They will stick with their Tamer due to their need for taming, but they will not obey them except when she wants to. She doesn't care about anything or anyone but herself, and if she fights or protects her tamer or Harem sisters it'll most likely at the very last minute or if it will benefit her in some way. They are indifferent to their surroundings and will happily wreck anything or anyone in their path to a victory.
      A HyperDoll's fighting style is basic brawling mixed in with energy blasts and elemental sword attacks and telekinetic flying. They do not hold back in a fight and several Pokègirls who have fought them have ended up with broken bones. In battle they are always certain they will win and most of the time always do. They go for the fast, easy victory and will always mock and laugh at the weakness of their opponent. They do NOT listen to their Tamers in a fight at all. In the very rare instance that a HyperDoll loses, they will never admit that it was their fault and usually blame their Tamer or one of their Harem sisters. (Those who haven't left in sheer disgust of being around the HyperDoll.) Bonding of any kind with a HyperDoll is assumed to be impossible.
      Giving away a HyperDoll or abandoning it is impossible, as they become angry, abusive, and violent when a Tamer tries that, although many have tried, since they are too much trouble to keep around. Essentially, you have a Pokègirl for life. So, and please forgive this researcher's unprofessional tone, if you have a HyperDoll, it SUCKS TO BE YOU, DUMBASS. Gyah ha.
      For reasons unknown, HyperDolls don't like to wear clothing that is very revealing. Probably their egos make them think it's undignified.
      Interestingly enough, like Neo-Iczels, they become extremely caring around a Penance. No one knows why this drastic contradiction is and the HyperDolls asked just ignored the questioners entirely. Also related to Neo-Iczels is the fact that they feel incredibly uncomfortable around HyperDolls (needlessly, as they are more powerful and better fighters besides), and have a tremendous need to prove themselves to their Master in any way possible.
      No cases of Thresholding into a HyperDoll have been reported. Thanks heavens.

Fossils 7 - Nogitsune by Kelvins Choice

      "You two scared me so bad!" Sally shouts at us around the campfire. With everyone else giggling, it doesn't have the effect she is hoping for, she even cracks a smile.

      "It was necessary," I tell her.

      "Necessary?!" Sally shouts at me.

      "You've been walking around like 'I don't care about life or living at all.' Except, that when it was real, when it was life and death, you wanted to live. You desperately wanted to live. If I'd wanted to degrade you, I could have demanded behaviors, promises and you would have done it. You were going to fight to stay alive any way you could."

      Sally looks at me coldly. The laugher of the others has fallen silent, but the smirks and elbowing tells her which way her Harem-sisters are coming down on this. "You'd . . . do this . . . for . . . "

      "To help you survive," I tell her calmly, "You know I'm a grad of Nuevo Tenochtitlàn University. They know a lot more than they've told me. And I haven't told you all they've told me. There has never been natural Threshold of a NightMare, and the Threshold of a girl into a Fallen Angel is extraordinarily rare, without a Dark Stone, it's almost unheard of. The overall situation has aspects. To put it simply: whatever did this, has killed people in this League and others. Often entire villages. The few people who have encountered it have generally died, unless they could hold onto life, they simply died," I tell them, then gently add, "I don't want you to die."

      "You could have said something," Sally complains weakly, trying to hold on to her anger.

      "I wish I could have seen your face," Gray jokes.

      "Oh," one of Jeremy's CameraGirls pipes up, "I taped the whole thing."

      Silence reigns supreme. Everyone begins staring at her. She goes on nervously, "I will turn the recordings over to you, of course," she manages.

      "And those you broadcast to your sister," Summer adds.

      "Good answer," Red tells her.

      "So . . . I got lucky . . . not being there when they attacked?" Reb asks nervously, glancing around.

      "Yes. You probably wouldn't be here, or you'd be a Dark Pokègirl. Everyone in your village was killed, except Sarah and Sally, before the place was flattened, possibly the flattening was a side-effect of the killing process."

      "How do they know that?" Gray asks, again the investigator.

      "The spirits, normally when an event that traumatic occurs, there will be a huge percentage of the spirits of the dead lingering, to do unfinished business, seeking vengeance, etc. At Cooper's Stand . . . there weren't any, even a town that small should have at least one local ghost. They couldn't find one. Whatever hit that place, destroyed all the linkages between the corporeal and the Spirit realm, when it hit. The physical destruction was either a side-effect, or a way to cover up the crime afterward."

      Jamie took her mistress in her arms. "They destroyed the town to cover something else? I can't believe that." she let Reb cry at the memory of the loss.

      I look straight at Jeremy, "Nobody would blame you if you wanted to return to - "

      "Safer pursuits?" the Watcher asked.

      It doesn't make me feel better that I must continue. "More survivable," I correct, "I'm an old man. Reb, Sally and Sarah need closure. The others . . . you can go or stay as you like. I've mentioned that in private to each of you, now I'm saying it publically, to all of you." The grim expressions all around urge me to go on.

      "What? Go?" Red practically spat the word, "You remember what my alternatives are? Risk my life and spirit for the chance to do something important? I'm in."

      "I . . . as you have surmised . . . " Gray intoned, " . . . did not have a pleasant experience. The Jokette, despite her quirks, which were endearing, and her insanity, which was malevolent - she was interested in living, being alive, she was a safe haven. As is this group, these people." Gray glances at Sally and then Red, then stares at me, "I have what I want, I have what I need."

      Karrie whickers softly, glances up and nods.

      "I'm . . . not as eloquent as Gray," June says, with April, Summer and May looking on, "But my life was . . . not pleasant. I was a pit fighter, for a Chimera, big surprise I know, until my Tamer rescued me. His family were way deep in the illegal fighting circuits. With the bullfighting on half the sports channels and the bloodsports from the other Leagues, you'd think that kind of crap wouldn't have to be provided for a local audience live." June pauses, glances at Summer, who took up the tale, "Since I could be small and cute, yes, I manipulated him. As a chibi, I can also be a lot of fun in bed without restraints, which both of you can attest to."

      I nod, so does Reb.

      Inventive and pleasing don't do her justice, I think of my encounters, If I had to tie her up, I don't think they would have been nearly so much fun.

      "So I seduced him in to `stealing` me, and a couple of others who'd helped me avoid becoming a monster. We came to the Sunshine League as part of his Taming journey . . . then he got killed and the family didn't want me." Summer makes a hissing sigh, gathering her emotions to put them aside so she can continue, "Then you three came along, and I had another chance. We're going into death and danger, Hell, I never left."

      May takes up the thread, despite her normally quiet nature, "I will stand by you. I don't think there's much that could beat me in a fight, and there's nothing I'm afraid of."

      "How about a Widow or a Legendary?" Toni asks.

      "All they can do is kill me," April replies for an embarrassed May.

      "To forestall the inevitable 'I'm in, I'm in' from the rest of you. I just want you to know you had choices," I tell them.

      "I think now is the time for a group hug," Gray intones.

      "Can you really blow her up and pop her?" Sally asks.

      "Yes, but she enjoys it," I reply.


      "Choices? What about us?" Lian's voice comes from the trees around us.

      Everybody is up and scanning the surroundings.

      "Leave her partner to me," Forseti choruses in annoyance and expectation.

      We await the onslaught, or the next taunt. And we wait, and wait, and wait.

      And Gray suddenly falls over laughing. "You - you - should have - have seen yourselves!" she gasps between laughs, "The thought - thought of Lian - and that HyperDoll. So scary!"

      "Red?" I ask innocently, "Did the Jokette do any experiments regarding DEflating a StretchyMaid?"

      "No," Red replies, smiles, "That is an entirely new line of inquiry.'

      "We have to document this!" the two CameraGirls chorus.

      "I'd just like to say - " Gray began as she turns, "HELP!"

      The days came easily and the nights were filled with getting to know each other better as we advanced on our repeated escapee, until he led us into a new horror.

      "This village wasn't destroyed the way Cooper's Stand was," Gray comments as we all survey the destruction, "Fire, lightning, no HyperBeams, thank the powers."

      "But no bodies either," Toni says.

      Red walks out of one of the few still-standing houses. "And no half-eaten meals, no empty cups of coffee. Whatever happened, it didn't happen in the middle of the day, or it didn't happen without a warning."

      "So what did they do?" one of the CameraGirls asks, filming the destruction, "March everybody out of town, then level the place?"

      I consider. "Red, what about the food stores, clothes, toys, that sort of thing?" I am getting a really bad feeling I know what happened, I think.

      Red ducks back into the house to find out. Forseti and Jamie arrive back.

      "If they threw up any defenses or fortifications," Summer says, "They very neatly disassembled them."

      May shudders. "This place is creepy. It's like everybody picked up and left."

      "They didn't 'pick up'," Red announces as she leaves the house, "Food, clothes, blankets, toys, all left behind. This place has some camping gear. It still has dust on it."

      "You know what happened," April accuses me.

      I nod. "I think they were given an ultimatum in the middle of the night, or they were mind controlled in the middle of the night and marched out of here."

      The Pokègirls digest this.

      "Hey boss!" Jean shouts as she runs towards the group, "I think I've got a live one!"

      We follow her to where Sally waits, the Ka-D-Bra and the Fallen Angel had been using their powers to search for survivors. The large dirt-covered door in a hill is where they have discovered a trace.

      "It's weak, maybe someone too badly hurt to leave, or even get the door open," Sally tells us, her Dark Blade ready to slice through the chain on the door.

      "No," I tell her, "That chain's pretty loose. Slice through it, but have Deniece teleport you clear. Jamie, put a line on the handles, then you and Reb get under cover. Once the chain's cut, wait a bit, then open it up. If it doesn't blow up, I'll take Red and Gray to check it out. They've got the best experience with traps and nasty practical jokes."

      "What about me?" June asks.

      "If we don't come out, or if we come out running, I want you, Sarah, and Sally as the welcoming committee."

      The Chimera begrudgingly agrees.

      The chain doesn't explode, nor does it cause an explosion. Opening the door yields an equal lack of loud reactions. Red and Gray are up and ahead of me as soon as I give the order to proceed. Again with the 'I am a Pokègirl and more expendable', I think angrily, They aren't that much better at detecting traps than I am. I survived the tricks of kids studying engineering and magic, even those studying both. I know what to look for.

      The darkness doesn't hide a Legendary. The place is a root cellar, not a den of evil with torture implements. Unless those pickles are a lot hotter than standard, I think as I move along one wall, the best lit one.

      The knife appearing against my throat is warm. Which means its wielder has been holding it close to his or her body, I think as I wait for some clue what to do next.

      "Who are you?" the worried, young female voice asks.

      "Just trying to find survivors," I tell her. "It's okay Forseti!" I shout, "She's just scared." I lower my voice, "Sorry, my Chimera gets so nervous."

      "Ha, pull the other one!" she says in a challenging tone.

      "Okay, I've got a Fallen Angel and a NightMare too," I tell her.

      "As if I care," she replies dispiritedly, "So are you with them?"

      "I'm trying to figure out who 'them' is, or what I should say - "

      "Quiet!" she hisses, increasing the pressure on his neck, "I heard something."

      I don't tell her that both Gray and Red can be very stealthy.

      "Hey, boss," Sally yells down, standing with Sarah silhouetted in the opening.

      I can feel the girl freeze.

      "You . . . you weren't lying," she gasps as she stares at them.

      I put my finger against the metal, I know by the feel it's a wood chisel and the blunt side was against my throat. I push it away from my throat. "Let's go up and meet my Harem, you must be hungry, and after you've had something to eat, you can tell us all about 'them.'"

      She's a little too stunned to argue. I get a halfway decent look at her, sharp features, small pointed ears and dark color, but lacks a Kitsune's or Skunkette's tail.

      "Red, Gray finish your search."

      "Right." "You got it." Come their voices out of the darkness, practically on top of us, the Nogitsune starts.

      "Why didn't - "she demands.

      "Because you were being reasonable," I tell her gently as we walk into the sunlight.

      The meal is a depressing affair, not because of the food, but the description of events.

      "I got locked in there by my idiot little brother after I lectured him about . . . it's not important. Then I heard the voice in my head, calling to me, begging me to come help. I tried, but instead I got so sick, I just lay there on the floor. Like a worm on hot concrete. When I recovered, I couldn't hear anything and I didn't want anyone to find me," Lydia, our nearest member tells us.

      I silently take notes for my next report, and try to discover if there is a pattern to these attacks. I leave the actual interrogation to Red, Gray and Forseti. Forseti can be good-cop and bad-cop all by herself, I think.

      "So you say you didn't see anyone or anything? So why - " Summer began, only to interrupted by April, "Summer, she's been through a lot, if she told you what really happened, she's afraid you'd get mad at her."

      One of the Chimera's massive paws closed on Summer's neck, while the other `petted` Summer's head. "You are going to behave," May says in reasonable tones that manage to frighten everybody.

      Summer made a very convincing surprised sound and expression, her eyes bulging and gasping for breath.

      "Let the girl tell us as it comes to her," May says.

      A friendly hug from Red reassures Lydia that there is at least one rational Pokègirl among them, and she is on Lydia's side.

      Skillfully done, I think, Breakdown the defenses and then encourage her.

      Gray was observing intently, seeming to read volumes in every word choice, nod, fidget and gesture, but saying nothing. The ultimate lie detector.

      "I didn't see or hear them, but I did smell them." She glances around, trying to see if we believe her. "Like rotting meat and . . . pool chemicals, that sharp smell, and kerosine or oil. It filled the whole cellar. They got close, somehow I knew it because of the strength of the smell. Then they went away, they smelled . . . confused, if that makes any sense." She looks around at the faces close by her.

      I'm taking notes. Reb is practically wearing Jamie as a cloak, I think as make my hidden observations, It's clear some of the Pokègirls want to believe her. Slowly, all the words turn to Gray.

      "Nogitsune have powerful noses," Gray intoned, not supporting or denouncing, just an observation. All attention returns full-force to Lydia.

      What follows is a description of what happened, through the nose of the lone survivor. I take notes and record the observations and speculations from the others on what this or that scent meant. Whether it got stronger, weaker, changed or vanished entirely.

      Translating all this is so much fun, I think as I close my notebook and stretch, We started this at lunch, and kept going until supper. Jeremy and Sherry took care of that, I don't think they are as enthusiastic as they were. I glance around as I sit down. They didn't find her because of the Nogitsune's abilities. The pattern is the same. A `good girl` is forced to undergo a Threshold into a Dark-aspected Pokègirl who has severe issues with the world as a whole. Angel - Dark Angel, Unicorn - NightMare, this one is the only one who can specifically evolve into redemption. Does that mean Sally and Sarah can be `redeemed`? I wonder.

      As her descriptions wound down, Lydia looks around at the faces. The CameraGirls are still surreptitiously filming things, their Watcher looks very young and shocked, as he has since her tale began.

      She stares straight at me. "So what's it to be, Grampa?" she asks in what she thinks is a challenging tone.

      I've heard it too often from other scared kids, I think. "Red, see if anything in her house can be salvaged. In the morning, we'll call in a team to go over this place." I look up at the darkening sky. The other notice it with surprise as well.

      "Do we sleep in the Pokècenter? It seems to be intact," Karrie asks as she scans the heavens, "If the roof is strong enough, Sarah and Jeremy can sleep up there."

      "What do you say?" I ask the kids, watching Lydia's reaction to how I treat my Harem. She's beginning to realize her attempted insult is more fact than fiction. 'Grampa' is the patriarch, but everyone gets their say, I think as the others look at each other and nod, They want something more substantial than a tent between them and whatever did this.

      "If they have some restraints and a small room," Sarah says reluctantly, fearful at being the new center of attention, but determined to go on, "This might be the time and place to test your idea. Lock me in a small room and see if . . . I get any ideas."

      "I'll stay with her," Forseti's heads say in a disorganized chorus.

      "Okay, let's move in there. We'll set patrols , although I doubt any of the attackers would come back here. If they'd wanted to loot the place, they already would have."

      There are no disagreements. Not just because the pack leader has spoken, but the instructions made sense and rationality is something desperately coveted in this place. I think as I glance around nervously at the growing darkness. It's going to be full night pretty quick.

      "Sherry `liberated` a number of blankets from the center's stores. She made a `nest` for herself and her Watcher on the first landing below the roof," Red reports, "Nobody wanted to be out in the open and I guess knowing the outdoors was close and accessible is enough."

      I nod, urging Red to continue.

      "Deniece accompanied Forseti and Sarah into one of the `heavy` Taming rooms. Gray and Jean are helping the CameraGirl get some of the internal and external cameras online. Denephew and Sally are out making another survey of the town, in the darkness. She's using special `lenses` to pick up things invisible to the naked eye. Karrie and Toni are monitoring, ready to charge out and pick them up if they run into trouble. That's it. Everybody seems eager to do something. Maybe we'll all get some sleep after the sun comes up, if it comes up."

      "How about you?" I chuckle and ask the tall Tanuki, before she can give some excuse I pull her against me, feeling the tension lessen as she hugs me back. I stroke her soft fur on her back and throat with my hands and face, and feel to the low growl of pleasure in her throat.

      She releases me and steps back, her hands on my shoulders. "I'm better now. How do you stand it?"

      "I have a bunch of beautiful, young women all trying to get into my pants and constantly gazing at me adoringly," I tell her with all apparent seriousness. "Not quite seventy-two brown-eyed virgins, but paradise enough for one of them."

      "No wonder you have brown eyes too," Red tells me with a smile.

      Reb and Jamie squeeze past us into the NurseJoy's office while Red and I talk. Lydia looks on in amazement.

      "So what is the secret Grampa?" Lydia says, her tough act is not even a patch on Gray's or Sally's.

      Red answers by scooping me up into a full body hug, rubbing me vigorously against her body. She reached out towards Lydia. A fat discharge jumps to the Nogitsune's ear. "He strikes sparks," she tells the shocked Pokègirl.

      "Boss?" Reb calls to us as she surveys the huge bed in the office.

      Red sets me in the office. Pretty clear she `entertained` quite often, I think, then look into the large cabinet filled with `toys`, Indicates she also had some very definite kinks.

      What is this?" Reb looks over one item she's picked up, a collection of straps, studs and a rather small dildo.

      "It's for men," I tell her.

      She drops it back in the box as realization and revulsion dawned. She looks for something to wash her hands with.

      "NurseJoys are alone, way out in these towns, receiving a long procession of Pokègirls and Tamers who need a welcoming smile and gentle hands. It would be pretty unethical to even support some service for her effort, even if the Tamers or girls were willing, even attracted. She'd have to let them approach her, and too many think of NurseJoys as non-sexual beings. They aren't, they have needs like any person, Pokègirl, Pokèwoman, or human. Don't you think they'd want to avoid going Feral?"

      "I . . . just thought . . . well, they're so . . . nice," Reb stammers, wiping her hands on a towel.

      "Doing strange stuff to a consenting adult, or to a Pokègirl or Pokèwomon isn't enough to make her a mass murderer. I bet if you asked Lydia, our new friend, there was a Domina evolution or a breed with similar tastes in town who just lost her Tamer."

      "Old lady Maguire, she was a Sideviper and was . . . a little strange. Her Tamer died about five years ago, she took over their bakery so no one had the heart to toss her out of her house," Lydia volunteers, stares at me in shock, "You mean, she came to the NurseJoy for - service?"

      "Initially for the Taming Cycles and to talk to another professional, then they started `seeing` one another. Believe me, I was around teenagers and young adults a lot. I can remember bits and pieces things that would really shock you. The teachers and administrators did things that would curl the hair of the students. The two matronly fire-types using a piece of bar stock - "

      Reb claps a hand over my mouth. "Enough, I get the message. It's just . . . I always thought they were like Megami, so nice and pure," Reb says.

      "Would you want a 'nice and pure' girl in your Harem?" I ask, "I wouldn't."

      "No, I wouldn't. I like Jamie, I like cuddling with Chibi-Forseti and Red," Red admits, "But I don't think nice is what I'd ever want. Sarah and Sally were . . . they weren't nice, they were good. They'd get me in trouble, and themselves, because neither of them could keep their mouth shut. A lot like they are now, except they didn't cause trouble, they just said 'troubling things', looked at things differently."

      "I think those two would have Thresholded into an Angel and a Unicorn," I tell them, "Lydia went the same way. It's not a fact I'd like to know, but there it is. Too good to be destroyed, but twisted and corrupted."

      "Yeah," Reb says, she glances over at Lydia, who is hugging herself tightly. A moment later Red cuddles the girl too.

      Karrie stuck her head into the office. "They're ready. Deniece and our techs got some of the monitoring gear up and running, the generator still has fuel."

      "Good," I reply, "I'll be there in a moment." I turn to Reb. "Will you be okay?"

      "Yes, this place . . . it's just too creepy," she replies as she and Jamie arrange themselves on the bed.

      I head out to the observation room for the Taming chamber. Forseti, Sarah and Deniece are in the Taming room. Lydia has slipped out of Red's grip and followed me into the observation room.

      "I want to admit something," she tells me.

      "You really want to be called 'hey you'," I comment.

      "Jenny, Jenny Lydia, yeah, my dad figured I'd Threshold into a cop, like my mom, and hers. Real disappointment."

      "You're disappointed, or you think you are a disappointment?" I ask neutrally as I check the system,"You've got the best chance of helping us revenge or avenge them."

      "I'm the disappointment, and don't use that 'it could be worse' stuff on me." She glares at me, her arms folded over her chest.

      "I wouldn't think of it," I tell her off-handedly, "When Sarah goes berserk, stay away from the monitors. She might be able to send a nightmare through." I note Jenny's blanch at that. Not so much 'I am the most pitiful' anymore, eh? I think, Time to rub it in a little.

      "Are you going to help me calm her down when she goes nuts?" I ask unemotionally, I'm still staring blandly at the screen, I can see her reflection staring at me in horror. "NightMares are terribly claustrophobic. When that blindfold comes off, she's going to be insane with terror."

      "Are you forcing her to do that?" Jenny asks in fear, her hands covering her face.

      "No, I didn't. You heard her volunteer, it's the best way to track the people who took your family." I turn back to look at her. Not so easy now, is it? I think of her stricken expression. "So are you going to help me with her or not?" I ask sternly.

      "I . . . I guess I'll try." She nods.

      "Thank you, once we get the blindfold on, she may calm down," I offer, "The best thing would be to get her into a large, open area, like a corral. Open, but enclosed." Now's your chance to show up the old man, I think but don't show, Please take it.

      "The school stadium," she offers, "It's mostly surrounded by bleachers with the ends open, and its not far. Ah, northeast of here."

      "Good, thanks," I tell her, give her a quick hug, which she happily returns. Then I return to the mikes. "Are you all ready?"

      Sarah nods, she's in human form. Forseti is an adult, and Deniece has her camera and stands atop the padding that lines the walls.

      "Miss Jenny Lydia says there's a stadium, that collection of rubble to the northeast. If it gets too bad, head there."

      "Okay," Sarah says, reaching for the blindfold. The closeness of the room and the tight confines oppress her instantly, even though most of the `debris` lining the walls are cushions and rolled up rugs, towels, etc. She immediately begins attacking the padded walls, shifting to tauric form when her punches and kicks have little effect. Then she begins an unearthly screaming. Our Nogitsune turns her back and covers her ears at the horse-like screams of pain and terror. Forseti tries to keep between Deniece and Sarah's slashing hooves, without obscuring the CameraGirl's line-of-sight.

      "I think that's enough," I shout into the mike. "Let her loose," I order as Sarah runs into the walls full force, biting the air and lashing out in all directions with her hooves.

      Forseti flips the door open and waits beside it. As Sarah gallops through the opening to freedom, Forseti pulls herself and Deniece onto the mad NightMare's back and rides out of the building.

      I am half-way out the door when Jenny catches my arm. "There's a better way," she tells me.

      Good girl, I think as the room fades around us.

      A moment later we appear at the end of two rows of destroyed grandstands. A moment after that, here came Sarah, Forseti and Deniece charging into the other end. I know that, even Feral, Sarah won't run me down, I think. "Stay behind me," I warn Jenny, "Sarah knows me, but not you." I move to block the charging NightMare's escape from that direction. Reb, Jamie, Red and Karrie arrive at the other end. We continue to block the NightMare's escape, as she gallops from end-zone to end-zone, while Forseti and Deniece hold on for dear life.

      Finally, Sarah exhausts herself and lays down in the grass. Sally arrives with grooming gear and several blankets. She tosses the blankets to Red and begins giving the panting NightMare a good rubdown, while Red prepares the blankets to keep Sarah warm or carry her back to the Pokècenter.

      "Was it worth it?" Jenny asks archly, the punk kid trying to discount the care and attention the Pokègirls are automatically giving each other.

      The care and attention you desperately want for yourself, I think, You're surprised with the actions their Tamer allows them to take the lead on.

      You want to be part of that, don't you, I think of her affected attitude, To give and accept care like that. "If we can discover the truth about what happened," I tell her, putting a hand on her shoulder, "If we can put a stop to it. Then, yes, it was worth it. Sarah believes it was worth it."

      She turns and embraces me tightly, as if afraid something would take one of us away from the other.

      Sarah reverts back to human-form and we lovingly bundle her up and let Forseti and Karrie carry her back to the Pokècenter.

      "Sally, what did you and Denephew find?" I ask as we walk.

      "Not here, where there aren't walls," Sally tells me quietly, and increases her pace.

      Gray meets us as we arrive back. "Jeremy and Sherry are up and on guard, Forseti is with Sarah who is blindfolded," she tells us, "I also learned that the center had an extensive surveillance sensors. You are just going to love seeing what they picked up."

      We assemble in a viewing room. Sarah and Forseti don't attend.

      "Deniece, go to them, you and Denephew can be our link with them."

      The CameraGirls glance at each other and one leaves.

      I wait until the door closes. "Tell us when Denephew arrives, Deniece," I tell her. My Harem are all hiding smirks.

      The CameraGirl looks at me in shock. "How?!"

      "I'm not your Watcher or Tamer, so this is a safe way to be defiant without disobeying the spirit of my orders."

      Deniece looks guilty, frowns then sighs. "I - guess - I - you're spooky!" she finally insists.

      "Tell us when the link is established," I reply.

      "Wait a moment . . . up now, they'll hear and see," Deniece tells us.

      "Then show us," I tell Gray and Sally.

      Gray hits a button. The video is grainy and jerky, typical surveillance footage. Then our escaped captive walks into the edge of the frame, making gestures of command and shouting orders.

      "Well, now we know," Red growls.

      "You don't know the half of it," Gray counters.

      Lian walks into frame, the surprisingly docile HyperDoll following behind. The Titto snuggles the escapee, kissing him passionately. In the distance, the men are being separated from the women. Gray freezes that frame, leaving the traitor liplocking our nemesis. The girls all growl. Sally activates another monitor.

      "We found this at the bank, they had cameras too," Sally explains with no emotion, staring at the screen. The image is the same scene from a different angle. A Pokègirl with long, rubber gloves, a bucket and a long-handled, small-bowled ladle is walking behind the men and pouring a bit of water on them.

      My skin crawls as I watch each man transforms. "Jusenkyo water," I whisper.

      Sally freezes the image catching an unaffected, damp-but-untransformed, unaware-transformed, and horrified realization, all in one frame. The spectrum of four expressions tell us everything we need to know.

      "Back to camera one," Sally says as Gray restarts that. Lian breaks her kiss and steps away, revealing a team of Pokègirls with black, bowling balls face the women and girls. Red light envelopes each, a moment later they are released from the Black Balls.

      "Those are Black Master Balls," Gray says in horror, her skin literally crawling as she speaks the words, "With a randomizer chip built in, so whoever is pulled inside comes out different from others. It gives the ball a better chance of producing rarer evolutions. Normally a Black Ball has to be programmed with the desired result. These don't."

      "Too bad they didn't whip up a Widow," Jenny says angrily.

      "Is this what they really did to Cooper's Stand?" Reb asks in a tiny voice.

      "I'm not sure," I reply, placing a hand on Reb's shoulder.

      "If it was, that gives them some 3,000 troops, figuring they took everyone over the age of 12 at all places," Gray says, and falls silent when I glare at her.

      "So who do we tell? The Army, the Navy, the Stockton Legion?" Toni asks. Looking from face-to-face for answers.

      "New Vegas," Sarah's voice comes from Deniece's camera, "That's where they're headed."

      "Makes sense, it's the largest city in the entire League," Jamie adds.

      "They'd have the force to stop them," Jean counters, "Facing all the guards, bouncers, and even the show-Pokègirls? They'd be outnumbered at least 3-to-1, maybe 5-to-1."

      "Area 51," I and Sarah say simultaneously.

      "It's where the old U.S. Air Force did their most secret experiments. They may also have nuclear weapons: atomic and hydrogen weapons," I add, "In their possession, they would have an insuperable advantage."

      "How do we stop them?" Red nervously asks, "I know, not just us, but . . . you know."

      "Warn New Vegas and Tenochtitlàn University, then try to get ahead of them," I tell them, "We can't stop them, but we can track them until the heavy stuff moves up to hit them."

      I glance around and see the firm resolve on every face.

The Tamers
Simon Carver
Rebecca 'Reb' Cooper

The Harem
Red - Tanuki
Gray - StretchyMaid
Forseti - chibi Chimera
      April - Billie head
      May - Lioness head
      June - Dragoness head
      Summer - Snake head
Sally - Fallen Angel
Sarah - NightMare
Karrie - Rapitaur
Jamie - Arachnae
Toni - FireMaiden
Jenny Lydia - Nogitsune

The Watcher
'Jeremy' - Jesse Ventura

The Harem
Deniece - CameraGirl
Denephew - CameraGirl
Sherry - LambChop
Jean - Ka-D-Bra

NOGITSUNE, the Can`t Get Any Tail Pokègirl
Type: Anthropomorph (vulpine)
Element: Dark/Magic
Frequency: Rare
Diet: omnivore, preference for fish and meat
Role: illusionist, avenger
Libido: Average (can become High depending on the Tamer`s Harem)
Strong Vs: Dark, Ghost, Psychic
Weak Vs: Bug, Fighting, dog Pokègirls
Attacks: Scratch, Bite, Pummel, Leap, Tackle, Hypnotize, Dream Eater, Illusion, Smile, Mana Bolt, Mystic Bolt, Shadow Shot, Teleport
Enhancements: Quickness, Enhanced sense of Hearing and Smell (x5), Undetectable Aura
Evolves: Dark Kitsune (redemption, love)
Evolves From: Kitsune (personal dishonor; loss of tail)

      It seems that whenever a Kitsune does something that goes against her personal code, a form of honor unknown to any other being, a Kitsune loses her tail and becomes Nogitsune.

      With the loss of her tail, the Kitsune`s body seems to unleash a high amount of dark energy, changing the Kitsune into a new Pokègirl. Though it is unknown how it happens, perhaps it is the work of a natural mechanism in a Kitsune, perhaps it is not.

      By becoming a Nogitsune, there are many changes to the Kitsune being besides the loss of her tail. The Kitsune`s fur changes to a pattern of black and white, almost similar to a Skunkette or Mephitits. Also, with the loss of tail, more magical properties of the Kitsune are unleashed, making her a somewhat powerful Magic-type.

      It should be known however, that a Nogitsune is quite a difficult Pokègirl to maintain in a Tamer`s Harem. The Nogitsune becomes very conceited, as she sees herself as having nothing to lose, so that train of thought makes two traits about the Nogitsune stand out. The first, and hardest for the Tamer is that since the Nogitsune sees herself as having nothing, she wants all she can get from her Tamer, wanting more time with him during Taming sessions or as the second trait shows, wanting to be used in battle.

      The need to fight within a Nogitsune however can be a mixed blessing as with the want to be in battle, a Nogitsune is ruthless, using Hypnotize to put her opponent first, then draining her with Dream Eater. Should a Nogitsune`s opponent be able to shake off her Hypnotize, the Nogitsune will tend to use Mana Bolt or Mystic Bolt, depending on the level of mana, then follow up with Shadow Shot while the opponent is stunned.

      It should also be stated that it is NEVER a good idea to have a Nogitsune and a Shaguar in the same Harem. The two Pokègirls seem to have a rivalry that is up to the ferocity of the Kunoichis and Cheshires or the Demon Goddesses and the Neo-Iczels.

      It is thought to be possible for Nogitsune to evolve, however, what she can evolve into is unknown at this time.