Chapter 37
(07/03/99 0100 Blue Continent, 07/02/99 1900 Phallus Town, Indigo League)
                Helen had made a huge platter of crab cakes, fried fish and hushpuppies along with an excellent fish stew. Rita had eaten so much she could barely move. She’d sworn she was stuffed and wouldn’t need to eat for weeks. At least that’s what she said until dessert appeared.
                At that point she suddenly discovered room again.
                Helen had produced a piping hot treacle tart and a tub of vanilla ice cream. Samantha shook her head after the first bite. “This is wonderful. Do you eat like this every day?”
                Branwyn smiled. “Now you understand why we train every morning and afternoon when we’re not on the road.” Her smile widened. “Even with cutting down the building, coming here was a nice break.”
                Helen put together a tray with two heaping servings of dessert and offered them to Maryanne, who smiled appreciatively. “Thanks.” She bustled upstairs with it.
                A few minutes later she came back down with an amused look on her face and the dinner plates on the tray. “Helen, Al would like seconds, if we have enough.” She hesitated. “So does, um, can I have two of them?”
                Helen nodded. “We’ve got plenty.”
                Anastasia swiveled around to stare at her harem sister. “Al? Our Alphonse? He wants seconds?”
                Helen looked from where she was preparing two more plates. “He isn’t diabetic or something, is he?” She looked worried.
                Circe frowned and her antenna twitched.
                “No, he’s fine. It’s just he usually doesn’t notice what we feed him.” Anastasia shook her head. “Once, Rita had the cooking duty and she made a raw vegetable salad. He didn’t notice it as being anything different from normal.”
                Rita shrugged. “It’s my specialty. I don’t cook.”
                Maryanne’s ears flicked. “I took it to him and he complimented my cooking.” She sighed. “I was furious with him for a week.”
                Helen smiled. “After something like that, he’s lucky you fed him at all.”
                The Titmouse grinned back. “Rita did. I figured if he liked her cooking so much, he could eat it for a while. He didn’t notice.”
                The Dragoness frowned. “I did. That was horrible. Even Rita stopped eating it.”
                Rita snorted. “I stopped fixing it, too. The last day’s meal was the leftovers from the previous two days mixed together with some oil and vinegar.” She gasped. “I didn’t say that out loud, did I?” She looked up to see Anastasia glowering at her. She smiled hesitantly. “Uh, hi.”
                The Dragoness lunged and Rita fled outside, Anastasia in hot pursuit.
                Shikarou shook his head. “Such love.”
                A little while later, Samantha sat back and sipped at her wine. “Maryanne, I need to ask you a question.”
                The Titmouse gave her a curious look. “Ask away.”
                “You’ve been inviting me to dinner for a while now. Is Professor Stroak interested in me joining his harem?”
                Maryanne blinked and looked away as she flushed darkly. Her mouth worked, but nothing came out.
                Anastasia turned as Rita suddenly looked uncomfortable. “No, Samantha, he’s not.”
                Circe glanced at Shikarou. They wanted her before the attack. Now Stroak feels she’s damaged goods and it would take too much work to rehabilitate her.
                Samantha’s eyes dimmed but nothing showed on her face. “Ok, I just wanted to know.”
                She glanced at Shikarou with a questioning look. Pain showed for an instant in her eyes and she looked away again.
                He reached out with his mediocre mental powers. My wanting you has nothing to do with what Stroak may or may not be planning. I want you for other reasons. Reasons that have not changed since we last spoke.
                She looked surprised and shot him another glance. What she saw in his expression seemed to give her heart.
                Rita raised an eyebrow. “Why did you want to know?”
                Samantha gave her a bland look. “I was asked to join a harem and I wanted to make sure that nobody else wanted me.”
                Maryanne dropped her spoon. “Who? Who asked you to join?”
                The OfficerJenny looked smug. “Oh, it’s really not that important if the Professor isn’t interested. I just wanted to find out if there were any competing offers. Now I know that there aren’t.”
                “Oh, come on, telling us won’t hurt anything. We’ll be discrete, promise.” Rita gave her a winning smile. “Oh, wait. You can tell us after Shikarou leaves.”
                Branwyn put her fork down carefully and turned to look at the Vaporita. “Did you just say that we aren’t trustworthy?” She spoke calmly, but her voice was taut. The temperature in the room seemed to drop several degrees.
                “We’ve met you a couple of times, but what do we really know about you?” Rita sounded amused.
                Branwyn opened her mouth but Shikarou spoke first as he slid to his feet. “Maryanne, thank you for dinner, but I’m afraid we need to be leaving.” His wife blinked and nodded.
                “Really, this is uncalled for,” Rita announced.
                Shikarou shook his head. “Rita, I realize that you are normally quite caustic, but if this conversation continues much further it will end up being held through seconds. We have never done anything to give you the impression that we cannot be trusted and for you to insinuate otherwise is a grave insult.” He turned to Maryanne. “I’m not insulted yet, so it’s probably best if we leave before that point is reached. Good evening.”
                Samantha popped to her feet. “I need to be going too. I really don’t want to be quizzed about things I don’t want to talk about.” She frowned at Rita, but her words were for Shikarou. “With you gone, they’ll be relentless and I’m not up to facing them right now.”
                Anastasia blinked. “I’ll see you out.” Once outside she turned to him. “I’m sorry about Rita’s behavior.”
                Shikarou kept his ears still. “Anastasia, I appreciate the sentiment, but you can’t apologize for her. If she’s going to be the way she is, then sometimes she’s going to rub someone’s fur the wrong way. This time it was mine.”
                “Are you angry?”
                “I’m more disappointed than anything else. I expected more from a member of Stroak’s harem and apparently I shouldn’t have.”
                The Dragoness flushed. “I’ll talk to her.” She lowered her voice and glanced at the waiting OfficerJenny. “Do you know what Samantha is talking about?”
                “I do.” Shikarou didn’t drop his voice to match hers.
                “Do you know who wants her for their harem?”
                “I do,” he repeated.
                She waited for a moment. Frustration suddenly showed on her face. “Well, who is it?”
                Anastasia looked stunned. “Has she given you an answer?”
                “Samantha was concerned that you and Professor Stroak wanted her and she wanted to see if that was true or not before deciding on my offer.” He spoke normally and watched out of the corner of his eye as Samantha nodded unconsciously. “She was partially right, wasn’t she? Stroak was interested in her, at least up until the raid and her being raped.”
                The Dragoness looked away. “Yes.”
                Shikarou nodded. “He was just being pragmatic. A pokegirl who’s afraid of being tamed is a liability to someone like him. Hell, most people would see her as a liability.”
                “But not you?”
                “Not me.” He chuckled. “My harem is composed of nothing but oddballs and misfits. She’ll feel right at home with us, if she chooses to join.” He turned to Samantha. “Would you allow us to walk you home?”
                She smiled and looped her arm through his. “I’d like that.”
                When they arrived at her home he gave her a smile. “I know they were unintentionally cruel, but still it hurts. Would you like someone to stay with you tonight?”
                She gave him a hesitant look and he grinned, raising his hands protectively. “No, not me. I’ve got a dick.” She blinked and a slow smile spread. “I was thinking perhaps Bellona. She’s a great listener and if she armors up, she wipes dry from tears with just a paper towel.”
                Samantha blinked and laughed briefly. “Ok.” A sudden frown appeared. “I haven’t said yes.”
                “We know. You’re our friend.” Branwyn interrupted quietly. “We help our friends.”
                Samantha nodded gratefully. “Thanks. Are you still friends with the professor?”
                Branwyn shrugged. “Yes, we are. But I’m bringing a ball gag for Rita the next time we see each other.”
                Circe chuckled. “Careful, she might want more of that.”
                “Not from me she won’t. I can assure you of that.”
(07/03/99 1200 Blue Continent, 0600 Phallus Town, Indigo League)
                “Good morning, Bell.”
                Bellona gave him a quick kiss and pulled the door shut behind her as she stepped outside. “She’s taking a quick shower. It shouldn’t be more than a couple of minutes.”
                “How is Samantha?”
                The DragonQueen shrugged. “Before dinner last night she was hurt and angry. Now? She’s more hurt and angrier. It hurts a lot to ask if someone wants you and to have them say no.” She cocked her head. “Kind of like me and Devon. Did you do that on purpose?”
                He shook his head. “No, I didn’t even think about that when I asked you to stay with her. You’ve been a good sounding board for me and I was hoping you could do the same for her.”
                She raised an eyebrow. “So I’m DragonQueen, the sounding board pokegirl now?”
                “No, you are Bellona, the darling pokegirl of Shikarou Urufu.”
                She blinked and gave him a warm smile. “Sometimes you say just the right thing to make a girl feel wanted. Is it your psychic abilities?”
                Shikarou ran his fingers through her hair and down the side of her face. “I say what I feel. Sometimes it’s the right thing for the right time.”
                She pressed her cheek against his palm. “Sometimes it is.” She moved to stand next to him and leaned against his side. He felt the tip of her tail wrap around his ankle.
                “That’s going to make it difficult to walk,” he observed quietly.
                “You’re resourceful. I have confidence you’ll overcome this without hurting my feelings.”
                “Bloody hell,” he sighed. She snickered at his tone.
                His ears came forward at the sound of the lock. Samantha opened the door and smiled. “There you are, Bellona.” She nodded to him. “Shikarou.”
                Samantha smiled. “Good morning.” She brushed her fingers through damp hair and pulled her hat on. “Bellona and I were up the whole night talking. She almost made me late for work.”
                She glanced at the DragonQueen. “She thinks very highly of you.”
                “I feel the same way about her. I’m very fortunate she agreed to join me.”
                “Yes, you are.” Samantha and Bellona said simultaneously. Shikarou chuckled as the two women looked at each other and grinned.
                “Here.” Samantha thrust a pokeball at him.
                “Are you sure about this?”
                The OfficerJenny gave him an exasperated look. “Of course I’m not. Frankly, I’m scared; of you, of sex with you, of everything having to do with you.” She sighed. “Yesterday, you reminded me that eventually I’m going to have to trust somebody and last night Bellona told me a lot about you. Nothing she said made me think I couldn’t trust you.” She motioned with the pokeball. “I think you’re insane for wanting me, but since I’m probably not the most stable individual either right now, we should get along well.”
                A frown crossed her face. “I do ask for something, however. Bellona’s stories have told me that you are big into proactive revenge and that you’re willing to kill anyone who hurts your pokegirls, sometimes even before they became yours.”
                Shikarou looked at Bellona, who gave him an innocent look. He turned to Samantha and looked blandly at her. “I suppose she might have told you something like that.”
                She smiled. “You’d be fun in interrogation. I don’t want you to avenge what happened to me by killing Tigre and the others. It’s not the right way to do things according to the law.” She gave him a slightly cross look. “The fact that you are a so-called kami does not make you the person who decides which laws will or won’t be applied, even to you.”
                Shikarou cocked his head. “Eventually we’re going to have to talk about that, I suspect at some length. I will not hunt down and kill Tigre Caliente or the rest of her crew for what she did to you.”
                “I don’t want you to kill them even if they fall into your clutches.” Samantha gave him a firm look.
                “Clutches? Do I even have clutches? I have claws.” His ears flattened. “I will not kill Tigre Caliente or any member of her crew for what happened during the raid on Phallus Town. I will not torture or in any other way cause physical harm to them for those actions. I will not allow anyone under my command to do so either, unless required by law.” He bared his clenched teeth in a silent snarl. “Satisfied?”
                The OfficerJenny peered curiously into his eyes. “Why are you so unhappy about this?”
                He took a deep breath. “They hurt a lot of people here during that raid. The emotional damage will take years to heal, if it ever does. Death is a perfect way to ensure that the captain and crew of the Jet Diamond never do anything like that again and at one time my job was to bring that death to the deserving. I got a lot of job satisfaction out of that career.” He smiled grimly. “I’d be willing to come out of retirement just for them, but you just took that option away from me.”
                He carefully took the pokeball. “I thank you for the honor you’ve bestowed upon me by agreeing to this.”
                Her eyes lightened. “You are insane.” She shook her head. “I have to get to work. I’d like to let this sink in for a couple of days before we try anything. Is that all right?”
                Shikarou nodded. “I’ll contact you tomorrow and we can discuss it.”
                “Thanks.” Settling her hat more firmly on her head, Samantha headed off to work.
                Shikarou watched her go. “Aggie, I want you to pay particular attention to any news or police reports that involve the Jet Diamond or her crew. Eventually, they’ll do something to get a bounty put on their heads and then I can legally do whatever is necessary to bring the survivors to justice without violating my promise to Samantha.”
                Bellona gave him a curious look. “There aren’t likely to be many survivors, are there?”
                He shrugged. “You never know.” His smile was sweet and evil at the same time. “You never know.”
(07/03/99 1400 Caomh Sith, Blue Continent)
                You have a new mail message. I’m only disturbing you about it because it was sent on 06/19/99 from Polass in the Ruby League and was lost in the Amethyst League’s computers for a while. They sent an apologetic form letter along with the message. The message is from Thai Silvati.
                “Well, that letter makes everything better now, doesn’t it?” Shikarou glanced out at the arena where Pythia was overseeing a battle between Lorelei and Helen. The fact that Helen was thirteen levels higher than the Sphinx was compensating for Lorelei’s flight and other advantages nicely and it was an open question as to how the points would be awarded for this battle.
                “Thai, huh? I was wondering how he’s been doing. Remind me again after lunch and I’ll review it.”
                After lunch he settled down and pulled up the message. Branwyn looked over. “What is that?”
                “I’ve got a message from Thai.”
                “So, he’s still alive? I was starting to wonder.” She settled down near him. “Let’s see.”
                Suddenly she woofed as her lap filled with Mini-Top. “Yeah! Show me!” Nanu jumped. “HEY! That’s my,” she froze. “Um, Branwyn, could you please take my pistol out of my side.” Her voice was calm and careful. “We don’t want an accident now, do we?”
                The Unicorn smiled sweetly. “If you don’t get out of my lap, what happens next is not going to be an accident.”
                Nanu carefully crawled out of Branwyn’s lap. “Can I have my pistol?”
                Branwyn settled it into her lap and smiled cheerfully. “Later.”
                “Bloody hell.”
                Shikarou sighed. “Nanu, call everyone and let them know about the message. We’ll be viewing it in the war room in ten minutes.” He held out his hand. “Gun.”
                Branwyn handed it over. He offered it to Nanu, who eagerly took it. “Thanks!”
                “Nanu?” She paused on her way out the door. “You and Branwyn meet on the field of battle tomorrow morning. Only one of you leaves the arena conscious.”
                The Mini-Top blinked and glanced over at Branwyn, who suddenly looked like she’d won the lottery. “My alpha, can I forego the beating if I abjectly apologize for a while?”
                “Why don’t you give it your best shot and we’ll see.”
                Nanu closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “I am so fucked.” She raced out of the room.
                Branwyn sighed and leaned against him. “Are you really going to let me beat her to a pulp?”
                “I am.”
                “And I didn’t get you anything.” She kissed his cheek.
                Ten minutes later, everyone was in the euphemistically named War Room. Shikarou had been calling it the conference room when Nanu and Pythia unilaterally changed its name.
                Shikarou settled down in the chair nearest the screen and watched idly as Helen laid out cookies and donuts. Elizabeth nudged him with her goblet. “Do I get a treat?” Shikarou chuckled and opened a vein to fill it. “Thank you.”
                “Aggie, play message.”
                The screen covered the wall and therefore the hand that was drawing back was tremendous. There were some squeals from the back of the room.
                Thai scooted back between two pokegirls. Janne was visible in front of them. The screen froze and Aggie’s holographic form appeared. Each pokegirl was outlined in turn. “Medra, a rare evolution of Draco. Harpy. Battle Angel, Electri-Cuter variant.” She frowned as Thai’s form flashed. “That’s odd. I’m not getting him as completely human. I don’t know if the camera is doing something odd or I am.”
                “He’s got a lot of pokegirl in him!”
                There was laughter. “He’s gotten into a lot of pokegirl?” That was Elizabeth. The laughter grew louder.
                Shikarou shrugged. “It doesn’t matter right now. Play message.”
                The display started moving again. Thai opened his mouth, and it was promptly filled by the Medra’s tail. More laughter. “Now we know, he’s got pokegirl in him instead of the other way around!”
                The Medra had an amused smile as she spoke. Thai could be seen in the background struggling with her tail. She’d looped it around his head and it looked like the tail was winning. “Well, hello there. Thai here named me Nasya and he seems a little preoccupied at the moment.” Her smile broadened. “I have to admit I rather like your Nanu. She’s cute…and it’s nice to see that there’s at least one Mini-Top that actually seems calm.”
                The Harpy gave Nasya a sharp look. “Calm? You think Nanu’s trying to turn him on counts as calm?”
                “Considering she didn’t just jump him, like I’d like to do with Thai right now, yes, I’d say she was calm.” The Medra leaned forward and crushed her lips against the Harpy’s. There was a whoop from the back of the War Room.
                Bellona touched his shoulder. “Do you want me to start cracking some heads together?”
                “No, they’re mostly harmless.”
                Janne leaned forward. “Hello, Shikarou. I hope you and your harem are doing well. Thank you again for your assistance back at Hidden Bra. I’m sorry to hear Hanmei isn’t working out, but before you send her off could you at least say hello to her for me?” Her armor plates folded away, leaving just a layer shaped like a bikini and revealing acres of lightly tanned skin. She took a deep breath and lifted her chest enticingly.
                Wolf whistles erupted from the assembled pokegirls. “Take it off!”
                The others cheered, with the exception of Branwyn and Bellona. The Unicorn almost snarled at the screen. “Bitch.”
                Bellona’s hand tightened painfully on his shoulder and she growled quietly. Shikarou pried at her claws and she started and relaxed. “Sorry.”
                Apparently Nasya’s kiss of the Harpy had distracted her as Thai managed to free himself enough to talk. “Gah! Dammit, Nasya, don’t do that.” The Medra gave him an amused look as she came up for air.
                Thai shrugged helplessly at the video pickup. “Anyway... You already know Janne and you’ve met Nasya. The Harpy beside me is Hirahira, though I’ve lately just been calling her Hirah. And the quiet one...” He gently tugged a Grandelf into his lap. “And this one is Lei. Other than a few ferals and a pair of somewhat uncommon pokegirls that I sold to the Kujaku-branch Ranch earlier, she’s my newest acquisition.”
                The Grandelf gave a shy wave and blushed slightly.
                Thai continued. “My journey’s going fine, finally. I haven’t left Polass Town here yet, though, because I’ve got a Gym Battle coming up. This one’s a little strange. All the gym battles are recorded and then shown on TV. I’ve managed to get them to waive that though, but in exchange I have to have an audience. So, that means the stadium here’s gonna be used for the battle.”
                “I was wondering if you’d like to come. I know it’s pretty short notice, since my battle is tomorrow, so I understand if you’re not available to come. But if you are, send me a message and I’ll see if I can get you and your harem some free seats. I’m pretty sure the gym leader will be able to accommodate that.”
                “Oh, and the Milktit and Milk Maid that you saw last time are a part of my harem now, but they’re a little busy in the kitchens here at the pokecenter. I named the Milktit, Milena, and my Milk Maid, Orya. Hope to see ya in person sometime, if you can make it here.” Behind him the Medra’s tail slowly crept up level with his head. “Oh, and if you’re at all interested, the ranch here has some decent pokegirls. Two of the ones I sold were a Dark Maiden and a Ponytaur, so I’m sure they’ll still be around tomorrow if you want to give ‘em a look over. They have a fair amount of experience, and they’re just a bit stronger than my girls here. Anyway... ack!” The tail got him again.
                This time it had help as its owner grabbed Thai from behind, wrapping her arms over his abdomen and jerking him backwards. She grinned. “Well, it was nice meeting you, Shikarou. But my Tamer has a pressing appointment now that I won’t let him escape. Hirah, could you get that thing?”
                The Harpy got up as the Grandelf toppled from her Tamer’s lap onto the bed with a yelp. Hirah swept up a wing to block the view as she approached the camera. “We’ll see you later.” There was a loud moan and the display died.
                “Hey! I want my money back! Where’s the show!” Nanu grumbled loudly.
                Shikarou glanced at Branwyn. “The battle he was talking about took place over a week ago. What do you think?”
                “I think it would be good practice. It would also get us out of Caomh Sith for a while, even if we come back to the same instant we left.”
                Pythia settled into his lap. “We can’t go straight there. None of us have been to Polass Town before.” She lazed her tongue in a grin. “Can I fly there?”
                Branwyn shrugged. “That would be easiest. How far away is it?”
                Aggie appeared. “Over 6500 kilometers. At Pythia’s new maximum speed, she can make the trip in three hours if she can sustain it.”
                The G-Spliced’s eyes narrowed. “If? We’ll just see about that.” She looked at Shikarou. “With your permission, I’ll be back in less than four hours.”
                He nodded. “You know the rules. Four hours and you return, no matter what. You get attacked, you return.”
                She nodded. “I remember.” She licked his face and laughed. “See you.”
                Branwyn watched her go. “Her top speed increased a lot after that whole servant business. What else changed?”
                “I don’t know yet.”
                “Lovely.” She looked around. “Do you want to compose a message to Thai?”
                “I think this would be a good time.”
                Branwyn nodded. “Do you want company? You two seem to be showing off your pokegirls.”
                Shikarou looked amused. “Lorelei and Yushiko.”
                “Lorelei? She’s kind of rare to be showing off, isn’t she?”
                “Not any more so than a Medra.”
                Branwyn nodded. “I’ll get them. Bellona, clear the room. Be firm with them. Very firm.”
                The DragonQueen grinned and cracked her knuckles. “It would be my profound pleasure.” She glanced at Shikarou. “Janne wants you.”
                He chuckled. “You think so? She was so subtle, I wasn’t sure.” He frowned and shook his head. “It’s too soon after Kebi and Marzia.”
                Branwyn grinned evilly. “Excellent. She lays a hand on you, I get to break it off and shove it up her arse.”
                “I think just telling her no will be fine.” Shikarou’s ears flicked.
                “Fine. Take my fun.” She cocked her head. “I still get Nanu, right?”
                “Just as soon as time permits.”
                “Ok! Bellona, clear the room.”
                A short time later, Shikarou was seated with Lorelei next to him and Yushiko standing guard behind him. Neither had their wings out.
                “Aggie, begin recording.”
                “Message recording.”
                “Good whenever you get this, Thai. I got your message and we’ll be there for your gym battle. It sounds interesting and I think we finally need to meet.” He slipped an arm around Lorelei. “This is Lorelei and the pretty girl behind me is Yushiko. Lorelei is a Sphinx and Yushiko is an Armsmistress, even if she looks Edo.”
                Lorelei waved. “Greetings, Thai.” Yushiko merely bowed.
                Shikarou grinned. “That was quite a message you sent and my harem enjoyed watching it.” He grinned. “Nasya looks like quite a handful and I’m sure the rest of your harem is pretty affectionate as well. You look like you’re shaping up to be a good Tamer and I look forward to meeting you.”
                “I’m going to try to arrive the morning of the battle, if not a little earlier. If I miss you at the pokecenter, I’ll track you down at the stadium. I’ll need seven tickets if you can get them and if I need tickets at all. If you can’t get that many, that’s fine. In any case, please leave my tickets with the duty person at the pokegirl center.” He smiled. “That’s assuming they don’t close it down to watch your fight.”
                “In that case, I’ll try at the gate. If I don’t meet you before the fight, I wish you well. In any case, I will find you.”
                “Sayonara, Thai.”
                “Shikarou clear.” He nodded once.
                “Recording ended.”
                “Aggie, save and send when we arrive.”
(06/19/99 0500 Blue League, 1200 Polass Town, Ruby League)
                Pythia and Shikarou appeared, hovering a handful of meters off the ground. They had come out a handful of kilometers from Polass Town. Message sent to Thai Silvati. It’ll be held until he sends his, if he hasn’t already done so.
                “Thank you, Aggie.” He twisted around in Pythia’s arms. “Let’s head into the woods. We’ll set up camp and train until tomorrow.”
                “We are going to need to have some real pokegirl battles.” She gave him a wry look as they headed upwards, turning away from the town. “We can’t just fight each other forever.”
                Shikarou looked thoughtful. “There’s a gym here. Maybe we’ll try our luck there after Thai’s fight.”
                Pythia licked his face. “That would be fun. Will you use me? I haven’t battled in a pokegirl battle in some time.”
                “We’ll see. Some of the weaker girls need the exercise too.”
                “Excuse me, but in absolute levels, I am one of your weaker pokegirls.”
                “Ok. I’ll consider you, too.”
                She licked his face again. “I can’t wait.”
                I’ll start gathering information on what you need to do to compete here in the Ruby League.
                “Thank you.”
(06/20/99 0000 Blue League, 0700 Polass Town, Ruby League)
                Branwyn trotted into town and slowed to a stop. “You have reached the destination of Polass Town. We want to thank you for using Unicorn transport. Please remember us whenever you have need of good dependable pokegirls.” She gave him a lecherous grin. “Off.”
                Shikarou dropped to the ground as she changed to her human form and smoothed down her dress. “I still can’t believe you don’t think it’s cold. It bloody snowed last night. If it weren’t for that warmth spell, I’d need a bloody parka.”
                He shrugged. “I don’t feel it.”
                “So we need to superglue a thermometer to your head, don’t we?”
                “I’ve already asked Aggie to warn me if the temperature goes outside what’s considered the comfort band. Satisfied?”
                “I won’t be until our next rainstorm, when I find out if you can still detect wet.”
                He grinned and blew her a kiss. “That, I can still recognize.”
                She gave him a stern look. “Not that kind of wet. Sky wet as opposed to pokegirl wet.”
                Shikarou stretched as he looked around. “We need to get to the stadium. I’m glad Aggie found out we don’t need tickets, we just drop Thai’s name and we should get admission.”
                “It’s the wreckball arena, not a stadium.”
                “Whatever.” He grabbed her arm and headed off.
                The wreckball arena was a massive complex rather than a single building, but the line snaking around the sidewalk showed them where they were supposed to go. Off to the side, there was a smaller gate and some pokegirls were busy setting up a booth for the local gym leader, one Rory Alistier. Apparently, he was going to be signing autographs in a little while.
                Branwyn snorted and pointed. “Take a look at that.” It was a garish poster showing a cowering Thai Silvati facing an older, muscular man who seemed to ooze confidence. Bold print announced the upcoming battle of one Thai Silvati and the Polass Gym leader, Rory Alistier.
                Shikarou chuckled. “That must be the gym leader. From the poster, I guess he’s the local favorite.” He nodded to the OfficerJenny who was stationed at the smaller gate. “I was wondering if this is the guest’s entrance.”
                She gave them a look and nodded. “Yes, it is. We start admitting people at 9.”
                “Thank you. We’re supposed to be the guests of the challenger, Thai Silvati. My name is,”
                The Jenny interrupted him. “Sir, it doesn’t really matter what your name is; Mr. Silvati hasn’t left any guest information with me.”
                “I see. Has he arrived yet?”
                “No, sir, he hasn’t.”
                “Thank you, we’ll come back and try again later.”
                Branwyn sighed. “What now?”
                “We wait. Thai won’t forget us. In the meantime, how about we get some donuts and tea?”
                So, a little while later, Shikarou brushed the snow off of a bench where he could see the gates and settled down. Branwyn perched daintily in his lap. “Should I ask?”
                “The bench is wet,” she informed him primly. “I’m not going to get this dress soaked when I have someplace perfectly dry to sit.” She graciously accepted the donuts. “Thank you.”
                A while later the donuts and tea had been consumed and Branwyn was sprawled in his lap, idly trying to catch the tuft of his right ear in her mouth while he tried to flick it free in time.
                Rory had put in an appearance along with some pokegirls from the local wreckball team. A line composed primarily of children streamed away from his booth, impatiently waiting for his autograph. The pokegirls seemed to be there mostly for eye candy.
                Shikarou sat up suddenly and Branwyn yelped and grabbed his neck. “There he is.”
                The Unicorn almost fell out of his lap as she twisted around to look. “Wonderful. Shall we go say hi?”
                “This is probably not a good time. I’m sure he’s got other things on his mind.” Shikarou held her tightly in his lap. “We don’t want to blow his concentration. We’ll meet him after the bout or at the pokegirl center.”
                They watched Thai exchange friendly words with Alistier and then speak briefly to the OfficerJenny before going inside.
                “Now we talk to the guard again.” Shikarou stood and lightly stood Branwyn on her feet.
                The OfficerJenny watched them as he slipped around the line of autograph seekers. “Shikarou Urufu.”
                She blinked. “Mr. Silvati has vouched for you, sir. May I see your pokedex?” She scanned it and checked her computer. A frown appeared. “Mr. Alistier? Could you come here?”
                The man giving the autographs spoke to a Phoenix and headed over as she settled into his seat and started chatting up the next kid in line. “What is it?”
                “Look at this, sir.”
                Rory glanced at the screen and his eyebrows rose. He looked up at Shikarou. “You took out a Widow solo? With no losses?” He didn’t sound approving.
                Shikarou winced mentally. “We got lucky. I would never recommend it for anyone else to try.”
                “I should hope not. People like you get a lot of Tamers killed.” Shikarou’s ears twitched but stayed upright. Rory grinned. “So, are you going to challenge my gym?”
                “I was thinking about it, tomorrow perhaps. Today, I really just want to watch Thai fight.”
                Rory nodded slowly. “Who’s going to be with you in the stands?”
                “Branwyn, Bellona, Elizabeth, Nanu, Yushiko and Lorelei.”
                “Let me see them.”
                Shikarou shrugged and released his pokegirls. The OfficerJenny froze. “You have a Mini-Top.” Her eyes widened. “She’s armed.”
                Rory grabbed her hand as she went for her radio. “Hold on, Jenny.” He turned to face Shikarou. “You may not be aware of this, but we don’t allow pokegirls except for police to carry firearms.”
                Nanu sighed and popped the magazine from her pistol. She stripped the round from the chamber and slipped it into the magazine before sliding the magazine back into the pistol and flipping it around to offer it, butt first, to her Tamer.
                Shikarou glanced at the gym leader as he took the weapon. “Is it all right for me to keep it or do I have to turn it in?” Nanu growled softly until Lorelei stepped on her foot.
                Rory’s eyes went wide. “You’ve got a Sphinx,” he breathed.
                “And a DragonQueen,” Bellona muttered.
                Rory glanced at her and around the group. “You have a very nice collection of rare pokegirls. You’d best be careful showing them in public; people will be challenging for them.”
                Shikarou kept his tone falsely light as he quietly put the pistol into his pocket. “I did keep them hidden inside their pokeballs before you decided on a public viewing. Will I get to see the gym assistant’s pokegirls tomorrow before I challenge?”
                Rory blinked. “You are quite right. My apologies. Inside.” He gestured to one of the wreckball players. Lori will show you to the guest box.”
                Lori turned out to be a Vampire. She grinned and Elizabeth grinned back. “This way, sir.”
                She led them to the sparsely populated guest box. “Sir, if there is anything you need, just call me.” She slipped him a card before heading back downstairs.
                Shikarou slipped the card into his pocket as Branwyn and Elizabeth made abortive movements toward it. He looked up at the bright sky and said in a firm voice, “I may be able to use Lori later to get information or if we need a guide, but I already have a Vampire for my needs and I’m not looking for another pokegirl for my harem.” He glanced at Elizabeth and Branwyn. Neither looked apologetic.
                Nanu nudged Elizabeth and pointed to an electronic display. “Look, betting!”
                Branwyn shook her head. “We don’t know enough to make informed bets.”
                Nanu grinned. “That just shows you, alpha. I got the results for this match from Aggie before we came back to here. I think that will allow me to make an informed bet. Care to join us?”
                Branwyn blinked and looked at Shikarou, who sighed. “Go ahead, just don’t clean them out.”
                His wife grinned and headed to the next row back. “This has promise. We need to do this more often.”
                Shikarou glanced at Lorelei as she settled against him. “You don’t want to bet?”
                She shrugged. “I still have plenty of money from the Widow.”
                Yushiko settled down in Branwyn’s seat. “I hope this is a good match.” She glanced behind her as Bellona joined the betting. “I don’t want to know, but I hope Thai does well.”
                “I do too.” He glanced over as a Catgirl came by selling programs and purchased one. He opened it and leafed through it. Most of it was devoted to Rory and his harem. Only a single page gave out Thai’s information.
                Yushiko leaned over. “His harem looks fairly good. I doubt his Milktit is like Helen, most of them evolve to Minotaura in short order. It doesn’t have the depth that yours does, but then you play fast and loose with the rules.” She frowned. “That means he’ll probably use Hirah, Janne, Nasya and Lei.” She looked up. “A strong fire type is going to be a problem for him.”
                “It would be for us, too.”
                She nodded. “We need to start learning water spells.”
                Branwyn leaned over and rested her chin on his shoulder. “It turns out we’re the victims of a bait and switch. Thai doesn’t fight until two. We get teaser bouts first. We should have gone ahead and challenged.”
                “Today is Thai’s day.” He smirked. “Even if it’s Monday.” Branwyn bit his shoulder gently and he grinned. “I was trying to say that we came here to watch him fight, not to compete ourselves.”
                The teaser bouts went fairly quickly, apparently the gym assistants were under instructions to keep the bouts lively and if a Tamer proved reluctant, they finished him quickly.
                Finally, the main event was called. Rory opened the match with a Slowboob while Thai countered with Lei, his Grandelf. Lei knocked the psychic type out with a sleep spell and then used mystic bolts until the Slowboob was called out.
                Bellona frowned on Shikarou’s other shoulder. “That was a gimmie. Rory was giving Thai a point to excite the crowd. He’s flashy. That could be used against him.”
                Rory then released a Sexycute. Bellona hissed. “He’s still playing. Either that or he hasn’t realized that sleep spell works on everything.” She frowned and her eyes widened. “He’s got to have an equalizer.”
                “A what?”
                Branwyn was nodding. “His cleanup pokegirl must be pretty powerful. That’s why he brought a sex pokegirl to a combat battle. He’s showing off because he figures he’s safe.”
                The Sexycute held the advantage for a short time before Lei put her to sleep with another spell.
                Yushiko sucked air between her teeth. “He’s got a fire type.” She nodded to herself. “He knows most of Thai’s pokegirls are weak to fire.”
                Bellona nodded. “He’s got a powerful fire type and she’s tough. Dark Kitsune or Whorizard tough. Something fast and dangerous.”
                Shikarou frowned. “I’d say a Whorizard. Yes, I definitely think he’ll have a Whorizard.” Lorelei snickered.
                Branwyn frowned. “Definitely? What makes you so certain?”
                “First, Rory likes flashy.” He motioned down to the arena where Rory had released an Armsmistress armed with a poleax. “Look at the way her armor flashes in the sunlight. Her freaking armor is gilded.”
                A grin flickered around the corners of his mouth. “And the other reason would be that she’s in the program.” He flicked the book in his lap.
                Bellona jerked it from him. “Fucking cutesy Tamers.” Lorelei started laughing as the DragonQueen flipped through it quickly. “Here we are.”
                Shikarou watched as Lei managed to put a burn condition on the Armsmistress before she was knocked out. “Janne,” he muttered and nodded as Thai released his Battle Angel.
                There were a couple of passes, some electrical discharges, and the Armsmistress was down. Yushiko sniffed. “I’d have taken Janne.”
                “More than likely.” Shikarou grinned. “Here comes the Whorizard.”
                She immediately opened the ball with fire blast. Janne barely evaded the attack, which was badly aimed. Part of it washed over the Tamer’s box.
                Someone gasped as Thai changed. Deep green armor appeared as he vaulted over the fire. He landed and the armor disappeared. The crowd froze.
                Actually, just about everyone except Janne was stunned. Instead of staring, she attacked her opponent, using the pole-ax she’d taken from the Armsmistress as the focus for her electric blade MkII. The Whorizard blinked at the attack and instinctively attacked with fire blast as Janne reached her.
                When the dust cleared, Janne was down but she’d obviously taken a piece of the Whorizard with her.
                Bellona nodded. “Not bad. Kebi was better, but not bad at all.”
                Shikarou sighed quietly.
                Branwyn checked the program. “He’ll use his Harpy. Hirah will wear down the Whorizard to ensure Nasya can take her.”
                Sure enough, Thai sent out Hirah. Things weren’t too bad for the flying type until the Whorizard used ignite and managed to contact the Harpy. It didn’t seem to do much damage but apparently it rattled Thai enough to order mach breaker. The Harpy hit the bigger Whorizard squarely, and promptly caught fire from the ignite effect that the fire pokegirl had kept going the whole time.
                Thai rallied and wisely pulled the burned Hirah from the battle. Branwyn shook her head. “I think she did enough damage to Infera.”
                “The Whorizard.”
                “Oh. It’s up to Nasya now.”
                Thai released Nasya.
                The Whorizard used fire blast while Nasya used Dragon Dance to avoid. “Rory likes big, flashy pokegirls and big, flashy attacks.” Shikarou nodded to himself. “Elizabeth.”
                “What?” The Vampire glanced at him.
                “Planning. You’ll get her.”
                Bellona frowned. “Helen.”
                “No, I’ll be using Pythia, Lorelei, Nanu and Elizabeth. Elizabeth has lightning and phase. Nanu gets the Armsmistress, anyone can clean the clock of the Slowboob and the Sexycute.”
                Bellona frowned. “He won’t use the same pokegirls.”
                Branwyn disagreed. “He will use the Whorizard. She’s his cleanup.”
                Shikarou shook his head. “It doesn’t matter. I’ll be fighting for experience. I don’t care about the badge, so a loss won’t devastate me.” He grinned. “I’ll take the badge though, if I can.”
                They watched as Nasya got a wicked dragon claw on her opponent, crippling the Whorizard’s wing. She hit the ground hard and didn’t move for a moment. The OfficerJenny officiating was raising her flag when the Whorizard moved and slowly clambered to her feet.
                “She’s got heart.” Yushiko noted.
                Bellona snorted. “That’s all she’s running on. Rory should pull her, even if it pisses her off.”
                Branwyn shook her head. “Spoken like the person who doesn’t have to tame her later. He knows she’s done, but she has to be knocked out completely or she’ll be angry for weeks.”
                Nasya took her out with a tail slap that the exhausted Whorizard never even saw.
                They waited for the crowd to thin a little before heading out of the arena. Shikarou put everyone up except for Branwyn before making the fortunately unremarkable trip to the pokegirl center. He’d been concerned that Rory’s actions might have made some Tamers eager to challenge him for his harem.
                Under Ruby League law, he had to have a damned good reason to refuse or they might get his pokegirl without a fight. That would happen right after the sun expanded enough to swallow the earth, which wasn’t scheduled for anytime soon.
                The Ingénue at the front desk pointed out where Thai had gone and grinned as she hinted that he might not be alone.
                Shikarou sighed. “Do we?”
                Branwyn nodded. “If he’s busy we can always come back later.”
                The door slid open as they approached, revealing the young man he’d come to see holding hands with a NurseJoy. Her head swiveled as she looked from Thai to the newcomer. “Um, Thai? Do you know this guy?”
                Shikarou bowed slightly. “That is a very complicated question. You see, Thai and I do know each other, but up to this point we have never met in person. I am Shikarou and this is my alpha, Branwyn.”
                The Unicorn dropped a curtsey. “Hello.”
                Thai looked surprised but quickly bowed back. “Shikarou, Branwyn, it’s good to finally meet you both in person. Allow me to introduce Sierra, one of my best friends back in Coastal City.”
                The NurseJoy flushed as she curtseyed back. “Sorry,” she muttered.
                 Thai shook his head and patted her on the back. “For what?” Sierra glared at him for a second, then grinned.
                Thai turned back to Shikarou and grinned sheepishly. “Now, it’s my turn to apologize. I’m not too familiar with the rules of being a host, but I believe it’s rude to keep guests waiting. I don’t have much of a room, so I hope using the cafeteria or the field would be fine so we can talk?”
                Shikarou nodded. “That would be fine. Um, should we arrange to meet later? That is, if you and Sierra need some time alone.”
                Branwyn smiled. “If not, how about a picnic?”
                Thai just about fell over at the suggestion, but instead he and Sierra shared a look and they both laughed before he would shake his head.
                 “Nah, that’s okay. I was tamed the other day, so I don’t need it yet.” Sierra commented.
                Thai shrugged. “I like the idea of a picnic. I need to get my girls through a Healing Cycle though, so I have to get them to the counter real quick. Be right back.”
                But before he could get far, Sierra’s eyes narrowed and he found himself yelping as her forefinger and thumb pinched at his ear. “You haven’t got them in a healing cycle yet?” she asked slowly, although it sounded more like an outraged statement said in a near whisper than anything else.
                “I just barely got here! It’s not like I can teleport.... ow ow ow...” he winced as the Nurse Joy proceeded to very nearly drag his carcass over to the counter. Soon enough, three pokeballs were handed over to the Ingenue on duty, and promptly afterwards he was dragged back over to Shikarou and Branwyn. And since you were the one that pounced me as soon as I got here, it’s partly your fault, Sierra. He knew better than to say that out loud.
                “Alright, shall we go have a picnic?” Sierra asked, releasing Thai from her grasp. He reached up to rub at the now red and tender part of his ear as the pokegirl just smiled up at the other two.
                Shikarou exchanged a look with Branwyn. She shook her head. “If you ever did that around Candace, she’d slug you.”
                He muttered quietly. “If I ever do that, I deserve it; whether she’s around or not.” He raised his voice. “Let’s do the picnic.” Shikarou led the group outside and looked around for a moment. “That looks good.” He led them around to the side of the building, where they were unlikely to be disturbed. “Care to do the honors?”
                For Thai’s part, he hung his head in shame a bit. “Well, I did deserve it.” he muttered shortly after Shikarou did, although he didn’t know if any of the others heard it. Sierra didn’t, and she was still glaring as if she hadn’t forgiven him yet.
                Shikarou glanced at him and spoke in a low voice. “I don’t believe you were deliberately neglecting your pokegirls. What I already know about you tells me that is highly unlikely.” He glanced in Sierra’s direction. “You were probably interrupted while you were on your way. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about in that.”
                “Oh, don’t worry about that. Thai’s easily embarrassed.” Sierra was quick to respond, speaking quietly although she didn’t seem to care that she was intruding. Thai just blushed.
                Branwyn chuckled. “All right.” She pulled out her wand. Her spell removed the snow and dried the ground. Then she created a blanket and a basket. “I feel traditional today,” she announced. “We’ve got fried chicken and some other sundries. I think we’ll do pie for dessert, it’s a bit early in the year for ice cream.”
                “Um, I should have already asked this, but I hope you don’t have a problem with magic.” Shikarou looked apologetic. “We haven’t been here long enough to know where to get food.”
                Thai shook his head at Shikarou’s question and smiled. “I don’t mind at all. I’m just... not really used to it, to tell the truth. Until I got Lei, I haven’t had much exposure to it, other than healing magic.” He said, and made a mental note to apologize to his pokegirls.
                “If you’d like, let your harem out. I was hoping to do so with mine, to tell the truth. And to apologize to them for not putting them through a healing cycle quickly enough.”
                Sierra nodded and smirked at her friend. “Got that right. Some tamer you are...” she said, though the smile she gave cut away some of the sharpness of her comment.
                Shikarou nodded. “We’ll keep the magic use down from here on.” He pulled his pokeballs from his belt and held one up. “How about we let them get their greetings out of the way in a group.”
                He released Bellona. “Bellona, this is Thai and Sierra.” The DragonQueen smiled. “Hi.” Her tail flicked sideways and the tip curled around Shikarou’s ankle. “I’m his beta.”
                Next, he released Nanu. The Mini-Top grinned. “Thai!” She grabbed him by the head and gave him a wet smooch. “Good to see you! So, did you like my message?”
                Branwyn took her ears and tugged. “Down, girl. You’ve got a Tamer, but if you want, we can change that.”
                Nanu glared but moved back. “I was just saying hi.”
                “You were trying to make Shikarou jealous. You must not want your pistol back.”
                Shikarou shook his head. “Sorry about that, sometimes she’s a little more exuberant than we’d like.”
                He released Yushiko. “Yushiko, this is Thai and Sierra.” She bowed. “Yushiko is my Armsmistress.”
                Yushiko smiled. “You were lucky in your bout, but still, you fought well. You should be proud of your victory.” Her smile grew. “I would have taken Janne.”
                “That’s enough color commentary.” She nodded at Shikarou’s statement and bowed again before moving behind him. She became alert and started scanning the area.
                Thai grinned at Yushiko’s comment and nodded to the Edo-looking Armsmistress. “Thank you, but I wasn’t the one who was doing the fighting. Lei, Janne, Hirahira, and Nasya deserve the compliment more than I do.” he dared to correct the Armsmistress, and then shrugged. “Perhaps so. Janne can be rather tough at times, but I think that we can find out sometime. if you’d really like to.” he replied, trying to be somewhat diplomatic about it. Then he watched as Shikarou released another member of his harem.
                “I believe you probably remember Elizabeth.” The Vampire appeared and smiled. “You’re taller in person. Not much, but a couple of centimeters.” She grinned and teeth flashed. “It’s a pleasure.”
                “And it’s nice to meet you too, Elizabeth,” he replied, and smiled back even as Sierra noticed her fangs and slipped behind her friend. Thai glanced back to her in surprise. “Sierra, you know better.”
                “So? I can’t help it...”
                “Yes, you can, now grow up. She’s a sweetie... well, as long as you don’t piss her off, I bet.” Thai blinked, and Sierra nodded, slowly moving back beside him before giving the vampire a small smile.
                Elizabeth smiled back at the NurseJoy. “He’s right; I am a sweetie outside of the battlefield. I also have a Tamer and I don’t drink from anyone else.”
                “And finally Lorelei.” The Sphinx appeared and looked at Shikarou. “Lorelei, this is Thai and Sierra.”
                She bowed. “Greetings to you both.”
                Thai blinked again at the sight of the Sphinx, in person, and he bowed to her in return. Sierra just stood in awe as she looked at the various pokegirls that were assembled by this one tamer. “Nice to meet you too, Lorelai... er, Lorelei. Sorry.” he replied, blushing deeply at the mis-pronunciation of her name.
                Lorelei smiled and gave him a friendly wink.
                Finally, he glanced to his belt, which only had three of his pokegirls still in it. “Well, I think I’ll start with Orya.” he stated, and released the Milk Maid. She smiled softly upon sight of her tamer, but her eyes widened as she noticed the other pokegirls that were around... “Orya, this is Shikarou, his Alpha, Branwyn, and his Beta, Bellona.” and he introduced her to each of the other pokegirls that had been released. When he finally got to Elizabeth, she just fainted.
                He just shook his head as Sierra caught the Milk Maid and tried to revive her. “I had a feeling that would happen. Sorry, Elizabeth.” he said to the Vampire, before he would reach to the next one.
                The Vampire sighed. “I didn’t do anything.” She frowned. “A Milk Maid that faints at the thought of blood. Would it help if I wore my cloak?”
                “This is Milena.” he told them, even as the Milktit appeared from the flash of red that emerged from the pokeball. The Milktit, younger than Helen, smiled and curtseyed to the others as he introduced her to them. After a moment, and finding her friend being attended to by a Nurse Joy, she knelt to try and assist as well.
                “And finally...” Thai began, releasing the Medra that had won the match at the arena for him. “I believe that you might remember Nasya. Nasya, this is...”
                “Shikarou, I presume?” she asked, and the seven foot pokegirl looked to the wolf-eared man as she sized him up for a moment. Thai nodded in acknowledgment, and
she nodded slightly before smiling.
                “Nice to meet you.” she said, and as Thai introduced Shikarou’s other pokegirls, she would nod politely and say hello to each of them as well... nothing more than that, though.
                Shikarou smiled. “That was well done in the bout. That Whorizard probably still doesn’t know you knocked her silly.”
                “The others are a tad preoccupied at the moment, of course. I’ll introduce them as soon as they’re out of their healing cycle.”
                “No problem.” Shikarou motioned to the picnic. “Is anyone hungry?”
                Bellona caught Nanu’s eye and motioned with her head. The Mini-Top frowned but followed her around the building to the back. “All right, what is it?”
                Nanu’s eyes narrowed. “What do you mean?”
                “Why are you suddenly acting like you’ve reverted all the way back to Bunnygirl?”
                Nanu glared. “I don’t see where it’s any of your business.”
                “I’m the beta. Talk.”
                Nanu leaned against the wall and jerked up. “Fuck, that’s cold.”
                “The warmth spell will only do so much. You’re not talking.”
                The Mini-Top sighed. “You know, I’m a Mini-Top. I don’t care about anything or anyone.”
                The DragonQueen looked unimpressed. “I’ve read the press releases. I also know that’s not entirely true for you, so there must be a method to your madness.”
                “I’m afraid.” She grimaced. “I’m concerned. Yeah, that sounds better. Shikarou’s still pretty torn up about Kebi and Marzia.” She snorted. “Well, about Kebi. Marzia was still a bitch, but she was getting better. I was hoping that if I acted more like Kebi, it might make him smile.”
                “All it’s gotten me is embarrassed and I’m going to get my butt whipped by Branwyn.”
                Bellona shook her head. “Shikarou misses Kebi. We all miss her, including you, you uncaring brute.” She smiled slightly. “But that doesn’t mean we want you to try to be her. Nobody can.”
                “You’re our psychotic killer. We love you for that and for who you are. He loves you for that.”
                Nanu’s head jerked up. “Does he?”
                “If he didn’t feel something for you, you’d have been gone a long time ago. Even if he’d felt only compassion about the way you’ve been treated by others, if he didn’t care for you, and I mean really care for you, Branwyn and I would have booted you from the harem.”
                “He didn’t give me my gun back.”
                Bellona smacked her lightly on the shoulder. “The authorities know you’re here now and your species has a reputation for random violence. They’ll be watching for the gun and if they see you with it, you are going to jail along with him. Of course, you’ll be in your pokeball.” She cocked her head. “He didn’t take your other gun, did he?”
                Nanu blinked. “You know about that?”
                “Yes. Branwyn and I both do. You’ve got a .40 caliber derringer somewhere in your top.” She shook her head. “I’m not sure how you can hide it in that skintight thing; I’d be willing to swear there was nothing in there but tit. However, Shikarou knows you have it and he never said a word. He also didn’t give your gun up, either. You’ll get it back.”
                The Mini-Top nodded slowly. “So I should just be me?”
                “For the most part. You kissed Thai. Don’t go slapping him for it.”
                Nanu grinned. “Would I do that?”
                Bellona shook her head. “Let’s get back to the picnic. We don’t want to be gone too long. The Tamers around here look hungry.”
                “I’d kill them.”
                The DragonQueen nodded. “As would I. That would, of course, mean that Shikarou would never be able to return to the Ruby League. He’s got ties here.”
                “You mean Thais?”
                Bellona groaned. “That was awful. I’ll see if I can convince Branwyn to let you off the hook; but if I were you, I wouldn’t get into her lap again unless I wanted sex.”
                “I guess you’re right.” Her ears flicked. “Bellona, I know you’re the beta and all, but if you ever call me a Bunnygirl again I’m going to kick your ass. I am not one of those insipid, idiotic receptacles for sperm.”
                “Then don’t act like one.”
Name:                                                     Urufu, Shikarou
Age:                                                       250
Residence:                                             Caomh Sith, Blue Continent
Region:                                  Scotland
Status:                                                    Active
Rank:                                                      60
Security Clearance:                              Eta
                Tamer                                     Y
                Master Tamer                       Y
                Researcher                            N
                Watcher                 N
                Breeder                  Y
Active Harem
Species                  Name                                      Level
Alaka-Wham                         Circe                                       72
Unicorn                  Branwyn                                61
Milktit                                    Helen                                      59
DragonQueen                       Bellona                   55
Seraph                                    Dorothea                               52
Armsmistress                        Urufu Yushiko      51
Vampire                  Elizabeth                                49
G-Spliced                               Pythia                                     48
Sphinx                                    Lorelei                                   46
Mini-Top                               Nanu                                      45
NurseJoy                               Candace                 53
Alpha                                     Branwyn
Beta                                        Bellona
Badges: Scotland: Stornoway, Rum Island, Glasgow
                                Ireland: Belfast
                                England: Plymouth,
                                Wales: Magicunt Village
Author’s note: The events involving Thai Silvati take place in Ruby Journeys by Macross_Green. I recommend this series to anyone. It is quite good and well worth a read. It can be found on the Pokegirl World 3 Yahoo group and I expect it to appear on before too long, if it isn’t already there.