Chapter 38
(06/20/99 0230 Blue League, 0930 Polass Town, Ruby League)
                Back at the picnic Branwyn was serving from the seemingly inexhaustible basket. Hot chicken, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, pretty much any picnic food that could be served hot.
                “Our Milktit is named Helen and she prepared all of this earlier.” Branwyn frowned. “She’d be our noncombatant, but she likes battling, so we really don’t have one right now.” She glanced at Shikarou. “How about Candace? She’s our NurseJoy.” A smile. “If you can have one, then I don’t see why we couldn’t.”
                That caused Sierra to stop eating and she glanced back at the Unicorn with a slightly greasy face. “Um... I’m not his non-combatant, actually.” she said quietly, and then Thai looked to her as she looked to him. He had introduced Sierra during the meal to his pokegirls as well- none of them had ever met the Nurse Joy before. Nasya was at least being nice to her, for Thai’s sake. “I have duties back in Coastal, and they haven’t got a replacement for me available.”
                Thai nodded slightly. “Well, actually... I’ve been thinking about that, Sierra. I might need you around a bit more often. Something odd happened at the match today.” Sierra looked at him as if he’d sprouted a third hand from his nose, and Thai smirked as he pulled out the pokedex. “Here’s the league recording.” he said, and he flipped through the menus to the recorded match.
                As Sierra watched, Bellona and Nanu quietly re-joined them. The DragonQueen smiled and gave a brief nod at Shikarou’s inquiring look.
                The Mini-Top stopped in front of Thai. “I’m sorry about the whole kissing thing. It’s not my normal behavior.” She shrugged. “We lost someone special recently and I’ve been acting out. Please forgive me.” Without waiting for his response she went and sat next to Shikarou, plucking a piece of chicken from his plate and sinking her teeth into it.
                Thai smiled softly and nodded to her about her words, and then looked to Shikarou. “Well, I’m sorry to hear that. I doubt there’s much more I can, or should, say about it that wouldn’t hurt.” he said quietly, looking downcast. Images of his three lost pokegirls flashed through his mind, and he shook his head a bit before smiling a little, trying to lighten the mood.
                Shikarou looked at him evenly for a moment before giving a small nod of thanks.
                Branwyn looked stunned and then slowly nodded to herself. She touched Bellona’s mind. Kebi?
                We all miss her, including Nanu. She’s been acting sort of like Kebi to try to cheer Shikarou up. The DragonQueen met her alpha’s gaze. I would recommend not fighting her over what happened.
                I’ll think about it, but I’m inclined to agree. She handed Bellona a plate. “Tea?”
                “This spread is wonderful. Your Helen is quite good at this.” Milena spoke up, after finally reviving Orya with a dousing of milk. The Milk Maid sputtered, and Thai looked over to see her wiping herself off before he would shake his head. Then he heard Sierra tap on the pokedex, pausing the recording, and he could almost feel her glaring at him.
                “What the hell is this? I thought all your blood tests showed that you’re a pure human?” she demanded, and Thai looked back to her and shrugged.
                “That’s what I would like your help with. I have no clue how that happened, and I don’t know how I did it. If I didn’t know better, I’m beginning to think Dad might’ve had something to do with it.”
                Shikarou pulled out his pokedex and activated it, using it to scan Thai and Sierra. “Well, Sierra, you scan as a NurseJoy and Thai, you,” he broke off. “Now that’s interesting.” He looked up. “When a pokedex runs across something that’s not in its database it uplinks and requests assistance from the master server that’s closest. My pokedex said that there was something odd about you and when it uplinked, a viral program tried to reset your reading to pure human.” He gave a grim smile. “I’m a bit paranoid so I have extra software in mine, otherwise it would have worked I would never have known anything was out of the ordinary.” He gave Thai a curious look. “Is this something your father could have done? It would take someone with a lot of pull or a very specialized set of programming skills.”
                “Or both.” Bellona smiled. “It could be possible.”
                Thai considered it for a moment, even as Sierra took her time as she closed her eyes and placed a hand over his head, slowly reaching down as her hand glowed a gentle pink color. Like a computer scanner, almost, as her hand descended along his side. “My dad works for the Ruby League in the DNA Results lab. I don’t think he knows a whole lot about computers, certainly not enough programming to do what you’re talking about. I think. I’ll admit that his work never really interested me, and he never really offered any
information very often.”
                The Nurse Joy frowned slightly and she shook her head. “You’re different. I’m not sure how, though. But your DNA is stable. I’ve never had to scan you myself though.” she commented, before opening her eyes. “The pokecenter back at Coastal has records on your DNA testing from a year ago and from when you started your Tamer’s Journey. From what I can remember, you’ve changed since both of them.”
                Her patient just sighed. “Well, that’s just great.” he muttered, even as Nasya came over to sit behind her tamer and give him a careful, strength-regulated hug.
                “I dunno what you guys are talking about... anything to do with when I found you bare-ass naked the other day after our walk on the glacier?” she asked.
                Thai blinked, and glanced up at the dark-skinned dragon type. “That’s a good question. I was wounded right about here...” and he pointed to the spot where he had been bleeding. Sierra immediately put her hand over that spot and started an in-depth scan. “And when you found me, I was healed.”
                Shikarou frowned and looked around his group of pokegirls. “Who’s finished?”
                They looked at each other for a moment. Nanu sighed. “Since I’ve managed to do nothing except be an ass, I’ll bite the bullet.” She grinned. “Later, however, I want some of Elizabeth’s dessert.”
                Shikarou grinned. “Very well, I’ll make the sacrifice.” He tossed the Mini-Top her pistol and she snatched it out of the air, chambered a round and put it into its holster. She vanished into her containment beam.
                Thai couldn’t help but to laugh as he shook his head. “You two are quite the act.” he commented, grinning as the Mini-Top disappeared. When Shikarou got around to releasing another pokegirl, he just watched and waited. Sierra continued to scan, but after a moment or so shook her head. Nasya’s tail slid up around his waist and the tamer was drawn back into her lap. “Nasya...” he warned, but she just smiled... innocently. Thai shook his head again.
                Shikarou dug into his backpack and exchanged pokeballs. He released Circe and the Alaka-Wham looked around expectantly. “Thai! I’ve met Janne but not you. I’m Circe.” She turned back to Shikarou, zipping up her jacket. “What do you need?”
                “The NurseJoy with Thai is Sierra and she may want you to act as a conduit into Thai’s memories of when he was injured recently. If she doesn’t, then have some chicken.”
                Circe smiled. “I can do both.” She turned back to Thai and Sierra. “So, does anyone want a quick trip down memory lane?”
                Thai blinked as Circe came out- the Alaka-Wham that he hadn’t seen since the day that Shikarou had met Janne and Hanmei. Sierra’s hand stopped glowing and she glanced up to Circe with a small smile. “I would, but try to leave the good details out. I need to be objective.” she stated. Thai laughed and Nasya grinned at that. “And from what I can tell, there is some pokegirl DNA there. I just can’t tell what kind, I’ve never worked with this one before.”
                Circe nodded, her smile fading. “Unless the injury took place while taming, there aren’t going to be any good parts. I’m also going to strip the emotional loading from the memories, so while you’ll see what happened from his viewpoint, you won’t feel his pain or anything else. That will allow you to look professionally.” She frowned and touched Sierra’s mind. I know that you are fonder of him than he knows, which means you will probably not enjoy watching him get hurt. I’ll replay the memories as many times as you need to recover and take a professional look at his experience.
                “I take it that Sierra is a good friend of yours, hm?” Nasya whispered, stressing the ‘good’ in that sentence as she rubbed the side of her tail along his stomach idly. Thai rolled his eyes and just nodded again before looking back to her and whispering.
                “Yes, you could say that.” he remarked, and then looked back to Circe. “And it’s nice to finally meet you, Circe. Thanks again.” he said to her, meaning thanks twice-over: first for the potion a few months ago, and now for assisting Sierra with this. I’m starting to need a tally sheet for how much I think I’m in debt to these people.
                Her antenna twitched. Don’t worry about it. Shikarou likes to help people when he can. We just hope this will be of assistance to you, Thai.
                Then he looked over to Orya and Milena, who were finishing up their meals. Thai, on the other hand, only had a pair of chicken legs and hadn’t touched anything since. Strangely enough, he felt full already. “Can you two behave yourselves for a minute or two?”
                The Milktit and Milk Maid grinned to him in response, even as the Milk Maid poured some more milk into her cup, and he shivered. “Oh boy. That better had been a yes.”
                Circe settled down next to Sierra. “What we’re going to do is go into Thai’s memories of when he got injured. I would also recommend a review of what happened in the battle when the Whorizard got a little free with her attacks. You will see and feel everything from his point of view, and don’t worry if it’s a bit disorientating at first. I’ll be there to help if anything odd happens.”
                “The only thing I am concerned about is that if Thai is manifesting some kind of psychic abilities, then we may be attacked by his mind. It’s doubtful he can hurt us, I’ll be on guard and I’m stronger than he could be unless he’s been practicing for his whole life. If that happens stay behind me, but don’t touch.” She gave Shikarou a glance. “If you merge your construct with me we could get bonded. I am delta bonded to Shikarou and if we bonded you would become his pokegirl.” She smiled. “It’s only a concern during combat, and I don’t anticipate any, I just wanted to let you know the risks.”
                “Are you still willing to do this? If so, we can get started right away.”
                Thai wasn’t the only one to be surprised by that statement. All of his pokegirls, and even Sierra, were shocked at that possibility. He swallowed and he heard Sierra gasp before she reached out to tug on his shirt. “Don’t, Thai.” Milena and Orya watched, their eyes glued on the Alaka-Wham as they stopped playing around to see how this would pan out.
                Go ahead, Circe. I need to know. Just... try to keep away from what you call my construct, if you can. No offense, I like pokegirls more than the possibility of being one.
                Nasya shook her head and looked to the pink-haired pokegirl. “He’ll probably do this. I’ve learned that he’s pretty stubborn sometimes, and I’ve seen that look on his face before.”
                The Nurse Joy’s face went sullen and she nodded. “So have I. He just talked to Circe, I bet. Still, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a psychic type that did anything to him. There wasn’t any trace of that element in the DNA that I detected, so he should be okay.” I’m still worried, though...”
                “Well, it’s true. I did just speak with Circe, and it’s guaranteed that I don’t have any mental defenses. If I did, I’d have gotten away with a lot more than I would’ve back at the pokemart when Carrie was around.” he commented, and that got a weak smile from Sierra as she nodded. That worried look in her eyes didn’t waver though. He felt a squeeze around his waist, and then Nasya looked up to Circe. “Circe, Shikarou, I really appreciate this. Shikarou, are you sure you’d like her to try this though?” he asked Circe’s Tamer, not sure if he’d want to chance that off-chance that Circe had mentioned.
                “Can I do anything to help?” Sierra asked, though she seemed to expect the obvious answer that she couldn’t. I’m not a psychic type and I’m not delta-bonded with him. Yet.
                “Well... if he’s so adamant about it, then I guess I’ll have to go along.” she said, and then she glared at Thai. “If you screw this up, don’t come to me looking for a Tamer. I wouldn’t be able to help you without going through all sorts of crazy hoops.” She stated firmly, and Thai just shook his head.
                “Gee, supportive, ain’tcha?”
                Circe blinked and burst out in a quick laugh. “You misunderstand me, Thai. We’re not going to be interacting with your construct. If we are attacked, Sierra could end up bonded to me, not you.”
                She glanced at Shikarou. How about I find out before this becomes an issue? If I go alone I can protect myself much better than if I’m dragging Sierra along with me.
                Her Tamer’s eyes hooded. We sort of have his permission. Be careful, I don’t want to explain to your sister that you died. She’s likely to be upset about having to take your place in the harem, a role she could only fill badly. I’d miss you.
                The Alaka-Wham nodded and slipped into Thai’s mind. A few seconds elapsed and she blinked and relaxed. “It’s ok. He’s not psychic, or if he is he isn’t enough to catch me.” She smiled. “Since I was in there, I took the liberty of retrieving the memories you needed of the injury and the battle. Now you can review them in my mind in complete safety.”
                “Glad to know I’m not gonna be able to read anyone’s mind anytime soon, then.” he quipped. “Takes some of the fun out of things.” and he got an appreciative squeeze from behind as Nasya hugged him.
                “Well, let’s do this then. I have to be back in Coastal by 9pm tonight, or they’re going to...nevermind.” Sierra replied, grinning a little bit. Thai could only imagine what her co-workers would do to her if she was late.
                When Sierra’s and Circe’s minds touched, they were viewing his memories.
                It had been a nice enough fall, even as he screamed and feared for his life, before he landed on some ice that had caused his wound. The pointed device left a bloody trail and he had hung there for several minutes before another rumbling shook him off the icy point, and it was at that point that he blacked out. It was a while later, he had no sense of time with the pain that he felt, before he would awaken again.
Sierra winced at the sight of the memory, but forced herself to keep watching. Something here has to be important... that’s one part.
                It was cold when he came to, but the world wasn’t quite as dark. He could hear a groan being vocalized, and after a few seconds realized it was himself. He had landed in a cave of sorts, pure white somehow despite... no, not pure white, he could see. Thai wasn’t lying on snow or ice, but on the ground itself. But he was trapped. He couldn’t see any way to get away from where he was, and there was a constant pressure on his chest and sides. Although there was some light, and he found himself able to spin in place somewhat. After a few moments, he groaned again and breathed carefully as he felt pain stab through his right side. Reaching to it in the little cavern that he’d carved from the snow around him, he pulled his hand back up and shivered as he saw the blood that he had thought he could feel on his fingertips. Great. And I don’t have enough room in here to get any of my pokegirls out without getting stuck in here. And despite my getting a bit more fit while traveling, I haven’t had a need to learn how to really dig when I’m underground. Alright, which way is up? Oh, right...the ground is underneath me.
                Damn, I’m cold. Okay, options: dig out. Problem is, I only know up is a good way to go. I’m likely underneath the glacier, and I’m miles from either side as far as I know. Nasya’s out there, too. She might be trying to dig to me. And... wait, what’s that?
                Thai blinked and then closed his eyes as he listened. There was some strange sound that he couldn’t place-it didn’t sound like a pokegirl at all, at least. And it didn’t actually sound like any sort of vehicle or person. There was no breathing other than his own, either. “Is someone there?” he whispered, not wanting to chance anything yet. But when there was no reply, just that strange almost rushing-liquid sound continuing, Thai moved up a bit and started to dig a way out upwards with his hands. Forming a small tunnel, he worked on widening it as quickly as he could-the pain was continuing in his right side, and every time he moved his right arm, it just escalated a notch or two. Within minutes, he was gasping for breath, and he couldn’t help but to start to panic. “Nasya!” he called out, even as he tried to pull himself into the tunnel that he’d made. He was standing upright now, but the pain in his side just got worse as he shuddered and nearly collapsed into the snow wall.
                Then he felt something wet around his feet. The tunnel he had created was too narrow for him to be able to look down, but he could feel a warmth gliding up his legs as the tunnel filled. When he felt it flow up past his waist and to his side, he gasped in pain as his knees buckled and he fell down a bit against the tunnel wall before him. The... whatever it was seemed to react when it reached his wound, and he just passed out as the pain became too great. However, just before he did black out, he looked down and he could see this puddle of... some sort of black liquid ooze that seemed to dissolve his clothes, and almost anything else other than the pokedex. It entered his body, dissipating into the wound and through his skin, though he was only awake for a few seconds before his mind shut down.
                An hour or two later, perhaps, his mind snapped back into awareness. It took stock of the immediate options and immediately found him near death from hypothermia. His mind accessed a new command, and his body was covered with the dark green armor. Another command became apparent and several Uni-Blasts later, which melted enough of the ice and snow to create a tunnel that he nearly flew through, he stumbled out from the ice-cave that he had formed, on the other side of the glacier now. There was a heat in his head and his mind seemed to shut down as soon as the armor disappeared, and he was out once more.
                There was a presence beside him that registered as a heat source as he slowly began to open his eyes. Thai shivered, his left hand moving carefully to his right side, where there was no longer any pain. He looked to his left, and saw a pokegirl sleeping beside him. At least, he saw a silhouette, although he wasn’t sure he knew it was a pokegirl until his eyes opened completely and he got a good look at her. “Nasya?” he asked in a whisper, and she just seemed to jump. He wasn’t even lying down, nor was she exactly ‘next’ to him as he had guessed. He was actually in her lap and her wings were stretched over him, wrapping him up in a dark gray cocoon-like entrapment as the Medra opened her eyes and she gave him a hug.
                “Thank the gods... Master, I was so worried.” She said, and she smiled carefully. “When you fell and I couldn’t catch you, I thought you were dead... What
were you doing on the other side of the path without clothes on though?” she asked him. He blinked and his face went red as he looked down- they were both naked, but he was surprised to find that his clothes were gone.
                As Sierra and Circe emerged from the memory the Alaka-Wham frowned. “There’s something familiar about what happened.” She glanced at Shikarou. Help me. Her mind merged with his for several seconds. Maeve. We saw something like this while rebuilding Maeve’s mind. There was a flurry of images as they reviewed what they’d pulled from the Mini-Top’s mind. A sudden feeling of surprise. Lamya. There was another pause. Do we tell him/this is supposed to be impossible/we’ve learned that impossible just means it’s never been seen before here/wait, let’s see what they know and do/we should tell them/we will/WAIT.
                Circe shook her head as if puzzled. “Does what we saw mean anything to you, Sierra?”
                Sierra nodded a little, and she concentrated. “That attack looked like a Uni Blast. I know that’s some pokegirl’s signature attack. But I can’t remember which one. It has to be a fairly rare one though, I’m sure I haven’t dealt with a pokegirl that has it at the ‘center. I just remember hearing something about a pokegirl that has some sort of energy beam attack.” she spoke slowly, the NurseJoy’s mind racing as she tried to think of one. Thai blinked, and then took out his pokedex to plug in that attack name and he ran a search. It took only a few seconds, and his eyes widened.
                “Sierra. Zeromer is the pokegirl with that attack.” And his eyes narrowed at the entry. Dying Zeromer are the catalyst for a side-evolution, too. Sierra blinked at his words and then gasped.
                “You... you don’t think? That shouldn’t be biologically possible, from what I’ve been told. How could she have... you know?” the pink haired pokegirl asked, and Thai just looked at her like she was the one who had grown a hand from each of her breasts.
                “Well, I dunno. I was kinda blacked out, I think. Besides, you’re the one that’s trained in this sorta thing.” he replied, visibly shaken. His face was slightly more pale, and then he nodded slowly. “I did have a dream last night, actually. It was strange. I heard a female voice saying something about a Uni Blast, actually.” and he looked over to Circe. “Did you get that memory as well, by any chance?”
                Circe nodded. “I did.” The memory flowed into Sierra and Thai.
                There was something red and flying in the air as he ran from it, flames licking at his feet and all around him. It was his own voice he heard when he screamed, fire blasted at his back and he could feel the pain and scalding heat as he ducked to the side, through the burning brush while covering his face with his hands and arms. Quickly, he was back on his feet, and he could hear the commands in his head. Charging Uni Blast attack.Target: Whorizard, feral. Wait until short range. That voice wasn’t his, but a female’s in his head, and his vision turned to where the Whorizard was winging in for a landing, licks of flame escaping the panting girl’s mouth.
                Discharge Uni Blast. The female voice in his head commanded, and his left arm extended with the soft pale glow just within his grasp- and then it fired, hitting the Whorizard square in the chest even as he felt himself spring into the air. Engage thrusters. Escape Velocity in three... two... And he could hear a female voice as he felt the intense heat slam into his back. It was a scream of pain, and he understood it all too well as he fell forward and slammed into the ground. Thrusters disengaged. 82% damage sustained to thrusters... and as the inner monologue continued, he heard the roar of the pissed off Whorizard that was stomping towards him. Getting to his feet, Thai turned and launched another Uni Blast before taking off on foot, ignoring the annoying tone he heard in his head that seemed to be telling him not to move quickly. Death is imminent if movement is not achieved. The female voice reasoned, even as he launched the next Uni Blast at the raging pokegirl that was running after him. Then he fell, and darkness over came him as he felt a sudden blast of warmth from behind.
                Circe nodded slowly. “That could very well be the associated memories from a dying Zeromer. You have become a Battle Thai.” She grinned.
                Shikarou shook his head. “That’s supposed to be impossible. Humans and males aren’t supposed to be affected by pokegirl mutability, except for the contagious ones like the bite of a Vampire.” He frowned. “But a love ball works by stripping the humanity away from whatever pokegirl genes are already present. Why couldn’t a Zeromer bond to those same genes in a non-pureblood?”
                Er... I... wait.” and he groaned as something finally clicked. “I get it. Weird, I didn’t realize what you said ‘til now. I was never a pure human. My dad must’ve done something about that with the tests. I dunno about that programming thing, but I know he
could change the blood test results. And that explains why they...”
                “Why they’d never let you in the same room with your sister.” Sierra finished, and he nodded to her.
                “Exactly. So now I know that Mom’s not really my mother, genetically anyway. Which means I most likely have a pokewoman for a mom, and I have no idea who or what she might’ve been. Could a blood sample help?”
                Sierra considered it, and shook her head. “No, not for me anyway. Your DNA has changed from what it was before; it may not reflect what you used to be.” And then she smiled. “But, the pokecenter in Coastal still has access to the original blood sample. I
always take doubles, just in case one was lost in processing. I took three from you... after you passed out.” she teased, and then she grinned. “One of them is still in storage in the medical freezer. I know exactly where it is.” and then she blinked. “Well, you know, it might be a good idea to get a blood sampled from you anyway, actually. You might have some ‘gifts or curses that you should really know about that could just be in remission or something.
                Thai couldn’t help but to climb out of Nasya’s lap, even as she sat there with a look of barely understanding what was going on. She did, however, watch as Thai gave the pink-haired pokegirl a big hug. “You know, sometimes I can be glad for your need to make me deal with needles like that. I still think it’s a form of torture, but you may have just helped
me a lot.”
                He leaned in and whispered to her. “Thanks, Carys.” he said to her, and she blushed before slugging him gently on the arm.
                “Not around others!” she whispered harshly, blushing as Thai released her and slipped back with a grin.
                Branwyn snickered. Shikarou gave her a curious look. Cary’s is Welsh. It means to love. I wonder if he knows what it means.
                Circe glanced at Thai and Sierra. They both know what it means, and it does mean something to them.
                Shikarou blinked and nodded slightly.
                “Okay... so I’m some sort of... what, a literal poke-boy? Or just what Circe said?” he asked, and then he groaned slightly. “Shit. I wonder how many pokedexes went off at the arena because of what I did?”
                Shikarou shrugged. “Probably not many. I’ve got a complete recording of the match because I tend to stick with Blue League protocols. However I did notice a sign stating that recording of the match was forbidden due to rebroadcast right infringement.”
                Elizabeth snickered. “Oh, you mean the very subtle one with three meter tall letters?”
                Circe flashed a grin. “They use Imperial measurements here. The letters were ten feet tall.”
                “Oh, sorry.”
                Lorelei snorted. “Ok, how do we get his blood sample? It’s someplace we’ve never been. The last time I checked, NurseJoys don’t teleport and if she goes by pokeball transporter then she’s at their mercy as to when or if she can return.”
                Bellona frowned. “We send one of our teleport capable pokegirls through after her so Sierra can let her out. That will solve that problem neatly.” She turned to Sierra. “Thai may have a point about you becoming his non-combatant pokegirl. He’s unique and should be monitored constantly.” She grinned. “You owe it to your profession. After all, you never know when he might suddenly throw a clot.”
                Thai groaned and Sierra seemed to perk up. But the response to both was both tamer and pokegirl blushing as she grinned. “That does sound good. The only problem is...”
                Orya spoke up, a little hesitant to get involved with the heated discussion. “Well, that would be me, wouldn’t it?” the Milk Maid asked, and Thai’s head swiveled around to see her, his eyes wide as she blushed softly. “I’m master’s non-combatant. And since master doesn’t have a storage license yet, I don’t think that I could be switched...”
                When the Milk Maid turned away, she ran off and Thai was quick to go after her. The Milk Maid disappeared around the corner and Thai soon followed. Once out of sight of the others, he found Orya leaning against the cold wall of the pokecenter building, trying her hardest it seemed not to cry. As he approached, Orya looked to him and blushed deeply before she would look away. “I... I can’t help it, master. I thought I was doing the right thing by being with you and Milena.”
                “It’s okay, Orya. It’s not your fault. If it’s anyone’s fault, it’s mine. If I hadn’t gone to that glacier route, I wouldn’t have had that little mishap. Granted, I’d be a little extra... anyway.” he changed the subject quick- No need to have her fainting on me.
“Long story short, Orya, I’d like to keep you and Sierra. You and Milena are a good team together, even outside of battles. And you’re a good teacher for Hirah, too. I... I’m not so good at this, you know? I’m sure I’m rambling, but I’m not sure how to say it.”
                “Master, you evolved me from a Maid Yvette. You gave me my sense of self, it’s something that no Yvette has. I owe you my individuality and my thanks. If repaying that debt means I need to leave the harem or be held in storage, then I’d be happy to. For you,
and Milena.” she said to him, and Thai smiled as he hugged the heavy breasted pokegirl.
                “Thank you. Stick with us a little longer, okay? I’m sure we’ll figure something out.” When Orya nodded, he would return the motion and slip his arm around the Milk Maid’s waist before leading her back around the building and to the group.
                “I’m... I’m sorry. I was out of place.” Orya said quickly upon returning, and Thai shook his head even while Sierra walked over and gave her a hug. Startled, Orya stiffened for a moment before she would relax and hug the NurseJoy in return.
                “No you weren’t. You were worried and you had a right to speak up, since you are my current non-combatant pokegirl.” Thai admonished her, and he just considered his alternatives. “I think that there are only a few things that I can come up with... even
if getting a Storage license is easy, it’d be cruel to keep you in there, Orya. And besides, I wouldn’t want to take you from Milena.”
                The Milktit, who had been quiet up ‘til now, nodded gently at those words. Thai looked to her as she sat on the dry ground and so did Orya.
                “The other thing I can think of would be to send you to Hidden Bra. But... then there’d be no way for you to get back to me, if you needed to for tamings or some emergency...” and then he blinked, checking the pokedex once more before he just laughed softly and shook his head. “Of course...” and he looked to Milena. “I have a Moon Stone that I got as part of the trade I made to get Hirah. With that, you could evolve to a Mooncalf, and you’d be able to teleport.”
                For her part, Milena seemed to take it well. It took a moment for her to realize it, but then she smiled softly. “Let me think about it.” she told him. Orya walked over and sat beside her harem sister, and Thai glanced around slowly.
                “But first... I think that if you want to go and do this, I should get you both collars and ident-tags so I won’t worry so much.” he commented, almost nonchalantly.
                Shikarou frowned. “Actually, there’s another solution. You only have five combat pokegirls so you could make Sierra your sixth. No one would fault you for not putting her into fights.” His ears flicked. “It really doesn’t matter where you put her, it’s not like your noncombatant pokegirl couldn’t be taken as salvage.”
                Thai nodded slightly. It was true, he did have an open slot in his combat harem, and it wasn’t like Sierra was completely inept in battle. At least, they had sparred with one another back at school. I wonder if she kept up with practices? “Good point.”
                He smiled thinly. “And, my Milktit is a normal type and she’s become pretty tough. A NurseJoy already knows how to cast basic spells so your Grandelf could start her magical training. Later, if interested, we could probably cross train her a bit. Hypnotize and yell are very useful, especially in team combats.”
                He pursed his lips. “And if there’s a problem with a storage license, I suspect I could expedite things and get you that license within a day or so.”
                Thai shook his head. “Thanks for the offer, but I’d like to just do what I have to myself to do it. Besides, it won’t take more than a few days to get all of that fixed up. Rory’s assistants can probably provide the testing necessary or whatever’s needed. It’s probably just paperwork anyway, after a tamer here gets a badge.” then he smiled. “Cross-training, huh? I’ll have to remember that... and I think I’ll have to ask Lei to start working with water spells. I need something that can help against Whorizards, now that I suppose I’ve faced two different ones lately.”
                Bellona smiled. “You could also just lie and say she belongs to someone else and that you are escorting her. Maybe you’re escorting her on some grand search for her lost Tamer. That would give you a reason to wander about as Tamers tend to do.”
                Sierra chuckled softly and shook her head. “But if he did that, he’d have to avoid taming me to make it realistic. I don’t mind being in a combat harem for a while. Besides, I’ve done some studying and I think I’d be good support for the team. It’s a little surprising what a NurseJoy can get her hands on in the way of limited-access documents when she’s bored on the ‘net.”
                Branwyn sighed. “Orya, I didn’t mean to make it sound like you aren’t important or that you don’t count, all I saw was a seventh pokegirl while Thai had an open slot in his harem. Please accept my apologies.”
                The Milk Maid looked to Branwyn and she smiled softly. “No, it’s alright. I’ve been used to a six pokegirl harem for a long time. Even here, there aren’t many tamers that take advantage of the non-combatant pokegirl, from what I’ve seen during my stay as a Maid Yvette here at this pokecenter. Master Thai even forgot, I guess. It’s really alright, as long as I can stay with the harem one way or the other.”
                Milena nodded and trailed a hand along her back even as the Milk Maid gulped and looked over to Elizabeth. “And... I owe you an apology. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have reacted like I did.” she said to her, and bowed her head to the Vampire politely.
                Elizabeth carefully didn’t show any teeth when she smiled. “Orya, you have nothing to apologize for. I feed on blood and you faint at blood. I’ll do my best not to accidentally show any blood around you, ok?”
                Thai glanced all around and nodded slightly before smiling thinly. “Well, now that that’s taken care of, what’s the next step to take? Cleaning up the dishes?”
                Sierra just smacked him lightly upside the head as Nasya smirked. From the side of the pokecenter came the Ingénue that had been on duty, and she smiled as she walked over with three pokeballs in hand.
                “Jeez, quite the circus back here. I’ll keep the tamers busy up front.” she offered, giving everyone a polite smile before she handed Thai the freshly healed pokegirls in the pokeballs. “Anyway, they’re all ready to go. Sorry it took so long, but there was a bit of a queue today.”
                “Thank you very much.” Thai replied, taking his pokeballs before she would head back to the pokecenter. Then, he checked on which was which, and he smiled slightly. “Well, time for ‘nother round of introductions. First, Lei.”
                He released the Grandelf, who he found had a bit of a hole in her dress from the Fire Punch that had connected with her stomach. Thai took off his jacket, and she put it on gratefully, zipping up despite the Warmth spell of Shikarou’s that was still in effect.
“Lei, this is Shikarou, Branwyn...” and he continued on to introduce her to the rest of Shikarou’s harem before he would introduce Sierra to her as well.
                “Can I get the book?” she asked after the introductions were made. Thai nodded, and she got into the pokepack and after a moment she came out with a re-digitized spellbook.
                “Could you try looking up some water spells, if that book has any, Lei?” he asked, and the Grandelf nodded before smiling and walking off a bit to sit and start reading. He sighed softly. “Well, this is better than before, at least. She used to try and hike half a mile away to read. Anyway...”
                Next up was Hirah, and introductions were made. The Harpy smiled and nodded to each of the pokegirls, though she did seem to be intrigued by Bellona more than the others in Shikarou’s harem. Not surprisingly, she declined any of the fried chicken that remained, but would start to talk with Sierra after she learned that the NurseJoy was Thai’s oldest friend.
                Finally, he was down to Janne, and Thai released her. The Battle Angel appeared in full battle armor, as she had been in the match, but she quickly reduced her armor’s breadth. “And you know Janne, of course,” he said, even as the armor surrounding Janne’s arms and lower legs disappeared and left her to evaporate her helm as well.
                “It is a pleasure to meet you again.” she said with a flush, bowing politely to the visiting Tamer and to Branwyn and Bellona. Thai blinked, wondering why she was flushed... She was just healed, she couldn’t have a cold or something could she? Nah...
                “Janne, would you like something to eat?” he asked, but when she didn’t seem to move or hear him, he waved a hand in front of the Battle Angel’s face. That snapped her back, and he shook his head.
                “Sorry, what was that?” she replied finally, and Thai rolled his eyes. “What?” she demanded, and he shook his head again.
                “Are you hungry?”
                Shikarou smiled. “You have a harem that any Tamer would be proud of, Thai, and my compliments to them all.” He cocked his head. “So what are your plans from here?”
                Bellona smiled. “We were considering trying our luck with Rory. You gave him a good fight today and I figure that his pokegirls will still be feeling the effects tomorrow. That should give us an edge, if they’re up to fighting at all. If we get some gym assistant, then so be it. After all, not everyone is as famous as you seem to be.” Her smile became a grin. “We haven’t had a real pokegirl battle in quite some time.”
                Thai smiled, having to blush at the DragonQueen’s words. “Well, thanks, but I dunno about famous. I’d certainly rather not be. I think he only agreed to it because I’ve been here a month with the girls here while I recuperated a bit more and started training them. And I hope you have a good battle with Rory. I’m pretty sure he was just toying with me through half my match with him.” he mentioned, though he lowered his voice so his Grandelf wouldn’t hear that. “As for my plans, I think I’ll be heading to Stalixes within a month or so. Might even take the train, for once. I think most of my harem wants to go to the Sadie Pokens Day that’s gonna take place there.”
                Janne shook her head and walked over to the leftovers and helped herself to some chicken as the others talked, although she did continue to glance over to Shikarou every so often.
                Yushiko raised an eyebrow. “You and I fought two days ago.”
                The DragonQueen gave her an amused look. “I haven’t for gotten. Yet, I still stand by my words.”
                Branwyn sighed as Yushiko bristled. “She means we haven’t fought anyone outside the harem recently. We’ve been busy.”
                The Unicorn glanced at Janne and then turned to Nasya. “The program we got for the bout today listed you as the alpha, so a word of advice. If what we think happened to Thai did happen to him, then I recommend that he start training with his harem. He’ll need to learn to be able to consciously access his abilities. Shikarou has some similar issues right now, so he’s doing the same thing. With Sierra around you can be rough enough to force him to use them, if only in self defense, kind of like helping a pokegirl access one of her base attacks if she’s having problems with it. Eventually he should begin to access them at will.” She looked thoughtful. “You’re best bet will be to treat him as a Steel/Normal type. When he starts complaining just remind him that he’s got nano-regenerate as well as Sierra and pummel him some more. You also might want to see if he can learn normal attacks, unless you’re worried about the whole pokeboy thing he mentioned earlier.”
                Nasya nodded, the startled look that she began with changing to a somewhat predatory grin as she glanced over at Thai. “The program had me listed as Thai’s Alpha? I didn’t know that.” Although he didn’t look over to her as she looked at him, he couldn’t help but to have overheard and he was dreading the training that he now knew that was going to be put into place. “And I’ll keep your words in mind. He’s got some stamina already, but I think you’re right. By the way, what exactly do you mean by a Battle Thai?” Thai smirked and restarted the recording of the match for Nasya to watch it.
                “Might I remind you that it’s unclear just what I am, and what I have?” he asked, and he got a stern look from Nasya.
                “And how are we going to find out until we have drawn that out of you, either by bloodwork or a little hard work?” she asked sweetly, but that glint in her eyes remained. Thai shuddered and he began to try and plan an escape route.
                Circe put down her ear of corn. “There is something else that needs to be kept in mind. Thai had that experience a couple of days ago. It doesn’t explain what he did when the Mantis attack took place. It is very likely that other issues are at work here as well.”
                “You know... I’ve been giving it some thought.” Sierra said, even as she moved to sit again. “The only choices that make sense that might be possible for Thai’s mother would be another Steel-type or a Magic-type. It’s not like there’s ever been any record of a Zeromer bonding to a human... But then, that could be a cover-up, or no tamer that’s gone through it has ever been able to or needed to access the Zeromer’s ability. Perhaps their bloodgifts or ‘curses canceled each other out or something.” The NurseJoy looked at the others and shrugged before she looked to Thai. “And that reminds me. Carrie and I caught that Leon guy a few weeks back.”
                That caught his and Janne’s attention, and both of them turned to face Sierra. She giggled. “Turns out he has Cold Tolerance. So, Carrie and I took his pokeballs, his clothes, and everything else and we tied him up and left him just outside of town overnight. Sometime early the next morning, an OfficerJenny found him and he was arrested.” Sierra grinned and nodded. “We got into some trouble, but it was worth it. Turns out the guy was in trouble with the league for a lot more than just leaving you to the Manti that time.”
                Thai smiled and Janne grinned. “Thanks, Sierra. Wish I’d been there, we would’ve helped.” Sierra shrugged off the comment and then smiled.
                “Oh, don’t worry. The league is trying to figure out whether or not you should get one of his pokegirls once the courts are all finished with him. It seems most of the people weighing in on the matter think that you should at least get one from him.”
                He just shrugged. “I’ll deal with that if it ever happens, then. Thanks again.”
                Sierra smiled and she patted the ground beside her. Thai finally sat down once more and she looped her arm with his. Janne glanced to that and she smirked slightly. “I guess she’s going to be filling out the harem then, huh?” and the Battle Angel gave her a quick look over. Thai nodded, and his previous Alpha shrugged before returning to her meal.
                “Thai.” Nasya said, and he looked back to her to see that Hirah was watching the pokedex screen with her to see the rest of the battle that she hadn’t been on. “I thought you were going to put going to put our going to Stalixes up to a vote between us pokegirls, right?” she asked, and he nodded slightly. “So, as acting Alpha for Thai’s harem, which of you gals want to go there in a month or so? Just raise your hands.”
                Lei, Milena, Orya, and Janne’s hands were raised. Sierra and Hirah didn’t of course, and Nasya nodded to herself. “Well, alright. Now that obligation’s dealt with. Hm...” and she looked around at Shikarou’s pokegirls for a moment before she’d look to Shikarou himself. “I was wondering, would you care to have a practice between our harems?” she asked, and Thai blinked.
                Shikarou cocked his head. “I think you’ve had a hard battle already today. Are you sure you’re up for another?” He pulled his pokedex off his belt and keyed up his Tamer entry. “Here, see if this is something that you’ll want.” He tossed it to Thai. The pokedex zigzagged in midair to avoid Nasya’s grab and dropped into Thai’s lap. “If you’re up for it, technically I can’t refuse, even if your alpha issued the challenge.” He gave the Medra an amused look as she tried to decide if she wanted to glare at him. “And before you try to convince me that this is a friendly match, we all know that once the pokegirls enter the arena, that idea usually goes out the window.” He smiled. “I will of course only use as many pokegirls as you do.”
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
                After reading the pokedex's tamer entry, Thai nodded a little bit and then offered the device back to its owner. “I withdraw my pokegirl's request for a practice match, if only for the fact that you know what you can expect at this time. And for other reasons, such as each one of your pokegirls are higher in level than any of my others. He left unsaid, though it would be easy enough for Circe or any psychic to pick up on that thought.
                Nasya looked a bit annoyed at having her request denied by her tamer, but kept quiet. Thai could feel the resentment in her gaze on him, however, and he looked over to her. “And I humored you with that battle yesterday with that tamer with the Corala and the Rosebreasts. We were lucky then, too. His pokegirls, and Rory's, were much higher in level. By all rights, I could very well have lost you. I won't be making that mistake again, just because you want to battle, Nasya.” he told her sternly, and she nodded to him after a few seconds.
                Thai smiled to her, and then looked back to Shikarou. “Sorry about that. Perhaps next time, when we've got some new tricks.”
                Shikarou gave him a respectful nod. “There is no need to apologize, Thai. I respect your decision and it shows wisdom not often found in one of your years.” He pushed to his feet. “When you think you are ready and if you still want a battle with me, just let me know. However, I’ll choose the stakes right now. We’ll battle for a single credit and the loser has to autograph it, him and the part of his harem that battled that day.” He flashed a grin. “And the winner gets the bragging rights, of course. I suspect that the ability to say that I beat Thai Silvati in a pokegirl battle just might be worth something in and of itself someday.”
                "Well, although I dunno about that, though I appreciate the sentiment." Thai responded, and grinned
                “And now we’ve taken up enough of your time. I realize that it’s not that cold for you, but your pokegirls might want to get back indoors. You and they’ve got a victory to celebrate and you’ve got the trip to Stalixes to plan.” He glanced at Branwyn. “And we’ve got to prepare to challenge the Polass gym in the morning.” She nodded and went into a quick huddle with Bellona and Circe before starting the cleanup.
                “I’d like you to keep in touch, I’m curious about the changes that are occurring in you and I’d like to be updated, if it’s not too much trouble.”
                “May the gods grant you their favor, Thai, and good hunting.”
                "And to you as well, Shikarou. I'll keep in touch with you. And good luck at the Polass Gym tomorrow. I'm sure you'll give a good showing against Rory." He replied. Especially if that Whorizard is the most powerful he's got. Rory's doomed if Shikarou goes at him with his strongest team.
                "Thank you, Shikarou, and you too Circe." Sierra said, and both she and Thai stood up and bowed to them politely. His other pokegirls did the same after a moment, although Nasya strode right up behind Thai and slid her tail around his waist, drawing him back into her.
                "And thanks for the tip, Branwyn." the Medra said, smiling as she glanced to the others. "Alright girls, let's go." she told the rest of her harem.
                Branwyn nodded gracefully. “Good luck.”
                Thai looked to Sierra and smiled a bit. "Well, let's get your pretty ass back to Coastal. You do have a job to do, after all." he said, and Sierra glanced up to Nasya. The Medra hesitated, but lifted her tail a bit after a few seconds. The NurseJoy looked sweetly to Thai... and then slugged him gently in the stomach in response.
                "Yes I do, but this is my last day on it before I become your pokegirl." she said happily, and he grinned before she would produce her pokeball. "I'll have Carrie bring me back after I have the blood sample. I think she's been here before, but if she hasn't, I'll get in touch.
                Thai nodded, and Sierra smiled. "Sure, that's fine," she replied. "Thai?"
                He smiled and took the pokeball, and recalled the Nurse Joy. "Once they see who's in it, they'll let her out immediately. I doubt Unico wants to pull a double-shift tonight."
                Setting Sierra's pokeball in the open spot on his belt, he recalled the others save for Nasya, who released him. "Shall we finish up then? Shouldn't take more than a few minutes at most."
                Shikarou paused. “Hold that thought for a moment. Actually, I’d like Circe to go to Coastal so I have access to it. We can make the arrangements to bring Sierra back if this friend of yours hasn’t been here before. We should be just a minute.” He quickly returned everyone except Circe and Yushiko to their pokeballs and headed into the center after giving Thai and his friends a wave farewell.
                The Ingénue gave him a smile. “Welcome, how can I help you?”
                “I need to have this pokegirl transported to Coastal and her pokeball opened immediately.” He indicated Circe, who stood patiently.
                “Setting up a teleport point?” She nodded. “That’s a non-trade and non-emergency transport and will cost 500 credits.”
                Shikarou handed her his pokedex. “That will be fine. Do you know when she can leave?”
                “Right away.” Shikarou returned Circe and handed the pokeball to the attendant. “It’ll be just a minute.” She disappeared into the back.
                Shikarou moved away from the counter and leaned against the wall, waiting quietly until the Ingénue returned. She looked around and noticed him. “It’s all done, sir. She should be released in a couple of minutes.”
                A couple of minutes later Circe came in the door. “Hi.” She handed him her pokeball. “I went outside and found a quiet area before I teleported, so we should be good to go.”
                Shikarou nodded. "Let's get back to Thai and let him know he's got transpo available with no waiting."
                Thai had recalled everyone except for Hirah, who was smiling as she followed him back towards the pokecenter. They'd meet Shikarou, Circe, and Yushiko partway and he pulled out Sierra's pokeball. He could already miss the slight weight of where it had been set before. "All set on your end, then?" he asked, unaware that they'd gone ahead with the transport already. "You know, I really appreciate this. Again, if there's anything I can do sometime to repay or assist you, within reason, just let me know."
                Shikarou smiled. “I will and I expect the same from you. By the bye, Circe has already been to Coastal, so if you’d like her to take Sierra there, we’d be glad to do that.”
                The Alaka-Wham gave Thai a cheerful grin and held up a small bag. “I have to go there anyway.
                "Sure, that sounds great. Thank you both, again." Thai responded, offering Sierra's pokeball to the Alaka-Wham.
                Circe accepted the pokeball carefully. “I’ll take care of her like she was one of my own harem sisters,” she said. “Better even.” She vanished.
                The Alaka-Wham appeared outside the Coastal pokegirl center and looked around carefully before releasing Sierra.
                The pink haired pokegirl appeared and she looked around, a little shocked to be outside the pokecenter... at least, until she looked over her shoulder and then turned around to face Circe, that is.
“I offered to bring you here and Thai accepted.” She held out the NurseJoy’s pokeball. “I can come back in the morning and bring you back to him if you’ll have everything taken care of.”
                "Well, thank you, Circe." the NurseJoy responded, a bit surprised and embarrassed that she got that kind of first-class treatment.
                She smiled so broadly dimples appeared. “If you have problems getting away, I can bring Thai back or kidnap you if you’d prefer. Thai can probably purchase your freedom, but the kidnapping would be more fun.”
                Sierra smiled slowly and nodded. "They shouldn't have trouble at all, but if they do, I think being voluntarily kidnapped sounds wonderful." she replied, and then winked back to the Alaka-Wham. Too bad Thai might be one of the first suspects if I was kidnapped, especially if he was seen back in town.
                Circe nodded. “Well, hopefully it won’t come to that, but if it does, we may be able to point suspicion at some group of criminals.” A quick smile. “I’ll be back in the morning, local time.” She lifted off and hovered. “See you.” She darted away to the south.
                After traveling for a couple of kilometers outside of town she scanned the area carefully and landed. She made one more check. Wouldn’t want some sleazy Tamer to think he hit the biggest event of his life. A savage grin. It would be his last.
She released Branwyn, Pythia, Elizabeth, Lorelei, and Dorothea.
                “Ok, ladies, here’s your teleport point for the city of Coastal in the Ruby League.” She smiled and held up the pokeballs. “Return.” Afterwards she chuckled. “This kind of control is fun.” She raised a pokeball up to her eyes. “You’re much less of a bitch like this Branwyn. We should do this more often.” She laughed quietly as she used teleport and vanished.

(06/20/99 2300 Blue League, 06/21/99 0600 Polass Town, 0400 Coastal, Ruby League)
                “Here.” A heavy coat was thrust at him.
                “I don’t need it.” Shikarou took it anyway and slipped into it.
                Yushiko smiled. “Branwyn warned me about you trying that argument. You’ll need it because it’s below zero outside and everyone else will be wearing them.”
                He sighed. “It’s twenty degrees Fahrenheit.”
                “And in the Blue League that would be below zero Celsius.”
                “I’m wearing the damned thing already.” Once outside, Shikarou dismissed the tent and they headed into Polass.
                It was Friday, but the gym was quiet. “I think we arrived too early.”
                “There’s a light on.” Yushiko pointed to the main entrance. “And I think someone is at the desk.”
                Shikarou shrugged. “We might as well go in. If nothing else we can get on the waiting list.” He headed up the steps and inside. A rabbit type was peering at her monitor and muttering quietly.
                Moon Bunny. They are smarter than a Bunnygirl but not as smart as the brighter pokegirls.
                She jumped when he spoke. “Good morning.”
                The Moon Bunny stared at him. “Uh, hi. Can I help you?” She glanced to the side at a piece of paper taped to her desk. “Oh, yeah, you’re probably here for a gym battle, right?”
                Shikarou offered her his pokedex. “That’s right. I would like to challenge the Polass Town Gym.”
                “Well, you came to the right place!” She drew herself up proudly.
                Shikarou squelched a grimace. “That’s good. Can I register for a battle?”
                She blinked. “Right. That would be a good idea.” She looked down at his pokedex. “Where did you get this?”
                “The Blue League.”
                “Wow. You are a long ways from home.” She turned the pokedex over. “Oh, you might want to let your manufacturer know they put the input jack on the wrong side.”
                He nodded. “It was moved on this model to put the wireless transmitter in the old spot.”
                “Oh wow!” She turned it over again. “Where is it?”
                Yushiko snickered. “You’re giving her too much information, lord.”
                He sighed. “Just use the input jack.”
                “That sounds good. We don’t have one of those wireless thingies.”
                This Moon Bunny seems dimmer than most. It must be a cloudy night.
                He winced.
                “Ok, you’re,” she paused. “I don’t know how to say your name.”
                “Right. I’ll call you S.” She entered the request. “Ok, all done. Oops. Just give me a minute and I’ll do that again.” Shikarou had to admit that she was as good as her word because no more than a minute later. “Oops.”
                Yushiko leaned close to him. “I think that someone must take over for her in the daylight.”
                She looked up. “That’s right, when the gym opens at eight.” She wriggled her ears. “These work just fine.” A look back down at the monitor. “Oops. Give me a minute and I’ll fix that.”
                Shikarou looked at Yushiko and placed a finger on her lips. She blinked and nodded. They stood silently while the Moon Bunny sent a challenge request.
                Finally she looked up. “All done. Sorry about the wait. Most people who come in early just email a challenge and check in with me.” A bright smile. “That only takes three clicks of the mouse and we’re done.”
                Shikarou sighed. “I’ll keep that in mind. So we wait until eight?”
                She shook her head violently. “Oh, no. Rory left specific instructions to buzz him anytime a Tamer shows up.” She smiled. “He also left specific instructions not to disturb him after hours unless it’s an emergency. That’s why I buzzed him and told him there was an emergency up front.”
                “That’s an interesting bit of logic.”
                The Moon Bunny nodded. “I do as I’m told,” she announced proudly. “I’m a good pokegirl.”
                “Yes and very creative, I might add.”
                Yushiko sighed. “He’s probably going to be unhappy.”
                Shikarou gave her a glance. “I’m the comedian. You’re the straight girl. I do the bland understatements and you react to them.”
                She smiled and kissed his cheek. “I’m branching out.”
                A few minutes later there was the pounding of feet and a florid faced man burst into the room, a pokeball clutched in his hand. The Tamer was wearing a pair of shorts and his Tamer’s belt. Shikarou recognized him as Rory. He took in room with a glance. “Where’s the emergency?”
                Shikarou blinked as his nose twitched. The guy was heavy with the smell of sex and pokegirls.
                The Moon Bunny pointed at Shikarou. “This is S. He’s here to challenge the gym.”
                “After that whole thing with Thai, I told you not to disturb me after hours.” She flinched at his tone.
                “My name is Shikarou. She won’t try to pronounce it.”
                He shot Shikarou a glare. “I remember you; you’re the idiot Widow killer. So how is your being here an emergency?”
                Shikarou took a deep breath and kept his ears very still. “Your Moon Bunny was resolving two mutually contradictory commands that you gave her.”
                Rory shook his head. “What commands?”
                “Not to disturb you after hours unless it was an emergency and to let you know whenever a Tamer shows up.” Shikarou nodded. “She was remarkably creative in solving the dilemma those orders created.”
                “Oh good gods. Bunnie, I’m going to make some new rules and I’ll post them this afternoon, ok?”
                “Yes, sir.”
                Shikarou gave a slight bow. “I’m not an emergency, so I’ll come back at eight.”
                Rory shook his head. “You do that. I’ll be waiting.”
                Once outside Shikarou turned and headed into an alley. He released Pythia and Circe. “We’ve got an hour and a bit so I want you two to go to Coastal and see if Sierra is ready to return here. It’s early there, however I’m concerned that if we wait until later, she may have to wait for a while longer than may be wise.”
                Circe nodded. “If it becomes known she’s a free agent then she’s up for grabs.”
                Shikarou frowned. “We started this crap, I guess we get to pay for it. Aggie, add Sierra to my harem for the time being. Once she’s safe, change her status back and erase the records that she ever belonged to me.” His teeth flashed. “Now if someone grabs her then I get to do something about it.”
                Sierra’s release from the Coastal pokegirl center has been held pending a review. It appears to be an automatic process.
                “Override it and have her released.”
                Done. She’ll get confirmation in ten minutes. I’ve updated the system to show that her review was completed without any flags being raised. I can assign her to Thai now if you would like.
                “Please do. Ladies, have a nice trip.”
                The two pokegirls appeared outside Coastal and flew straight up. Once they’d hit a hundred meters they raced into the town.
                I have overwatch. Pythia went into a hover as Circe dove for the door.
                The Alaka-Wham landed easily and walked through the automatic door, her mind questing for her target. She smiled to herself when the she spotted the tired looking NurseJoy. It looks like she needs toothpicks to prop her eyes open. I thought she might want something like this. Circe pulled a small vial out of her pocket. “Here, this is a refresher potion. You really look like you could use it.”
                                Sierra looked to her with a slow blink, uncomprehending for a moment before she shook her head, waking up again. "Circe? Oh, thank you very much. I hope it has more caffeine than the coffee around here has. I swear, we get the worst brands. And TV isn't much help... the only thing that was even close to entertaining was some damned curling event." she commented, getting up from the console. She hadn't seen any confirmation, flags, or holds on her request to leave the pokecenter yet, actually, though that didn't mean something may or may not have come up. The NurseJoy took the offered vial and then popped the top carefully before taking a sip. That was about enough, it seemed, as she straightened up immediately and shivered as the potion took effect. "Wow! That is potent stuff." she commented, and grinned.
                Circe returned the smile. “Those are for removing status effects and fatigue is a status effect. My sister used it a lot when she was working as a therapist.”
                Almost immediately after shutting the 'lid' on the vial, she glanced to Circe with a sheepish smile. "Thanks again. Let me get the cooler and I'll be ready." About half a minute later, Sierra returned with a small medical cooler that had Thai's blood sample in it. "I dunno if the request has made it through the League's checks yet, but I'm ready to go regardless. The sooner I stop with the graveyard shifts, the better." she muttered to herself, although she was reasonably certain that Circe'd be able to hear her. "So, shall we go?" she asked, pulling her pokeball from her apron and offering it to Circe once more.
                “Shikarou said your request has been accepted. It just may be that the response got delayed.” She shrugged and accepted the pokeball. “I’m sure your former coworkers will forward it to you or Thai.” She grinned. “Next stop, your own private Tamer.” Activating the pokeball she watched the containment beam suck the NurseJoy into it.
                “Aggie, when the release message comes in, please forward it to Thai and Sierra, would you?”
                I will.
                “Thanks.” Circe teleported to Polass, coming out near the pokegirl center. She smiled and released Sierra. “I’m sorry to report that due to a strong headwind, your arrival here in Polass was delayed by a whole two seconds. However, while behind schedule, we have arrived.”
                Sierra blinked, and she nodded a bit, almost embarrassed. "Thanks, Circe." she said to the Alaka-wham, moving to embrace her real quick before releasing the powerful psychic type with a slight blush. "Well, I better get to Thai. Knowing him, he's probably still asleep." Sierra commented, and then grinned a little. Just like old times. Except, this time, we can tame regularly. The NurseJoy blinked as she stepped back and bowed to her respectfully, and then just about ran into the pokecenter with excitement quite easy to see on her face- but she stopped and turned back to the Alaka-Wham, blushing now as she lifted a hand up. "Um... sorry. Could I have my pokeball, please?" she asked sheepishly.
                Inside the pokecenter, a young tamer reached up with one hand and sneezed. A second later, he rolled over onto his side. In his dream, he could swear that someone had just been talking about him. In a moment, he was asleep again. The pair of wings that wrapped around him from either side would be a clear indication to anyone that showed up as to who was in the large bed with him- one was leathery, while the other was feathered.
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