DISCLAIMER: This work is fiction. The work has no relationship with any person existing at any time anywhere whether real, imaginary,or copywrited. Everything in this work is mea culpa.
You should not read this work if you are under the age of legal consent wherever you reside. This work may or may not contain any and/or all of the following: death, cannibalism, dismemberment, violent acts, implied sex, explicit sex, violent sex, rape, blasphemy (depending on your religion), BDSM, torture, mimes (just thought I'd reiterate the torture part), necrophilia, and just about anything unwholesome that you could consider.
Pokegirls is owned by everyone with a love of the genre.
By Platinum Otter
Chapter 18 - Interludes and Portents
I was sitting at the kitchen table rolling a pokeball between my hands and contemplating the future when Scarlet came in the back door. She was getting drinks for the girls who were doing combat training. Normally I would have been watching them, but I wanted to go through some things we picked up on our last journey.
“Hi,” she said with a soft smile. She came over to give me a kiss on the cheek before she went to the fridge to grab a jug of punch.
“Hey, Sweety,” I said absentmindedly.
“What have you got there?” she asked while pointing at the ball with a wag of her chin.
“Nothing much,” I replied. “I was just contemplating the hypocrisy of league governments and what if felt like to control tactical nuclear weapons. So, you know...light stuff.”
Scarlett giggled while I put the ball on a clip on the back of my belt. “Is it a new girl for the harem?” she asked.
“Not exactly. She won’t be joining us but she could be useful in an emergency. There were actually a few nice girls I got from that dead tamer who might be good additions but I think we’ve reached a point where I don’t want to add more girls without everyone agreeing first. Plus they’re Indigo Cyber Ops pokegirls so I’m not sure how willing they’d be to join us anyway. I certainly don’t want to wake up a girl who has some military rank and thinks she can boss us around.”
“No, that would not go over well,” said Scarlett with a frown.
“So, is Rachel integrating well?”
Her smile returned. “Yes. She’s very friendly and has some...interesting...upgrades. In fact she showed me something that I think the other girls will love and I wanted to talk to you about it. After lunch?”
“Sure,” I said before changing subjects. “So how long do you think it will take her to catch up to everyone on combat preparedness?”
“Oh, not long. She’s one of the older Upgrades. She said she missed the Revenge War but was born in the first propagation wave after the Video Girls turned themselves over to the Leagues. She’s had hundreds of years to evolve and she’s picked up a few nice combat powers along the way, even if she’s rarely had call to use them.”
“Good”, I said with a smile. “I think I’ll come watch you practice then. I’m about done in here anyway.”
As it turned out Rachel had an upgrade that allowed her to change her physical body at will. Not just small changes but full body changes. She said she could change into any person she could see to copy, albeit a physical change only. She couldn’t replicate other girls’ powers. She proved it by changing into my twin. She grew by over a foot in height and increased her body mass by three times. Her face morphed into my own and she lost her breasts while growing new equipment in the appropriate places. That was the bit the girls were going to love. She said she could even simulate the proper climax response.
That night myself, Rachel in my form, and Alice, with her vines, filled every hole the girls had and fucked them until they passed out. Then Rachel and I DPed Alice until she was singing Oh Cum All Ye Faithful. I had to take a Stamina XXX to finish with Rachel but her screams of delight were music to my ears. Needless to say the next morning we slept in.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — -
Rachel’s training progressed quickly. She already had decent combat skills so it was more about catching her up with our special training and integrating her into our group tactics. Within days she mastered the few electric and steel techniques we had on T2 that she didn’t know and then she got Harley and Friday to teach her a few more.
Alice had made another gravity ring and we’d begun strengthening Rachel while continuing the rest of her training. I suspected that would take longer than learning anything else, but in the mean time the whole family was running through combat scenarios that Alice and Friday came up with, sometimes together, sometimes singly so that each could be surprised. After a week Rachel started sitting in on these design sessions and within two started designing scenarios of her own using her many years of experience as a data analyst.
My girls were starting to shape up as a competent fighting force. After discussing it with Alice and Scarlett we gave Rachel a month to acclimate before we went back into the field. This time we were looking for what I needed to begin my magic training. Alice was a fine mage and I was very smart, but I had no one in my harem with a formal magical education and her pilfered reference library was light on teaching books. It’s hard describing something you do naturally to someone who’s never done it so I didn’t blame Alice.
Alice had made a third boat, this time with weapons and shields using a spell-based replication of Static Barrier. The weapons included both long and close range types and she’d managed to find a way to make the whole thing faster and allow for supercharging different systems. The original design ran by sucking in ambient mana and using it to power the spell effects, but there’s only so far that will take you. The new version included what she called gestalt points. They were small metal handles by each seat. The girls could grab them and channel mana or electricity into them to provide more power to the ship. Apparently Friday gave her the idea after hearing Alice complain about the power limitations and then helped her design the basic circuit. Alice had to do the spell design, but Friday’s knowledge of power flows was surprisingly helpful.
They did such a good job that I decided both deserved to help christen the new boat on the spot. Afterward, as we got dressed, Alice said, “That was fun but if you abandon this one you can build the next one. Also I’m going to need more supplies so we better plan to hit another magic store on our next trip.”
As the days passed into autumn and the leaves started to turn I declared we needed to try to find one of those grimoires Rachel had a line on. I wanted to start training for magic, damnit. The longer I put it off the longer it would take. We had three chances before we’d have to consider going abroad, but if it came to that I might just start looking for an academy-trained pokegirl in random storage devices. I figured it would be faster and easier to find a surviving teacher than to search the whole wide world.
We mapped out a route and put in two stops to hit potential magic shops. The first stop was a small town named Buttsport. I don’t know why they named it that. It wasn’t on a river.
This time we played it smart. We created a distraction by chopping down trees with energy blades to build a pyre thirty feet high on a hilltop north of the village. We waited till dark and set fire to it. Then Friday called down a lightning strike for added noise and brilliance to draw the zombabes out. Then we simply flew under cover of darkness around the town and entered from the south. All the zombabes had time to clear out ahead of us so by the time we reached the magic shop we hadn’t seen a single one.
Six of the girls stood outside while the rest of us cleared the place and then emptied it. We stored everything that looked useful in pokepacks and then booked it. Later that night, at a safe distance, Alice set up her doorway and went through with Scarlet and Friday to empty all the packs and sort and store it. After they came back through she collapsed her doorway again and it was ready to be reused.
The second town went pretty much the same. We were taking a leisurely and roundabout route both to avoid major settlements and to time our entries into our targets for dark so it wasn’t until the third day that we actually reached our ultimate destination. Sadly, if the tamer whose effects we were looking for had lived in the burned out crater we found there was no remaining sign of what might have happened to her.
Undiscouraged we soldiered on and aimed for our next target. It was farther away, but we didn’t plan to make any more stops before we got there. So far we had encountered only one feral, a lonely-looking rack who nearly dove into one of my pokeballs. She flew at me and I threw the ball just to buy myself some time. I figured she’d bust out but it would buy me and my girls a few seconds to react. Instead the ball had barely hit the ground when the capture light turned green.
I think she had enough mind left to realize what was happening to the world, at least enough to want to join a tamer. I feared the zombabes continued to spread across the land. It might not be too long before there was nothing but zombabes left. A few pockets of ferals survived the wave, but even they had to eat and sleep. The zombabes were relentless and merciless. And everywhere.
The second grimoire we went looking for was owned by an old mage from Pervytown, a village a bit off the beaten path in what I suppose would be the Catskill Mountains on an old world map. I had hopes the place wouldn’t be too heavily infested being so far from other points of civilization. As we approached the town in daylight I caught sight of a Beshemoth and a Giantess duking it out at the base of a cliff. They must have been hungry enough to eat each other. I guess game and pokegirls who weren’t zombabes were getting scarce. Or they were both beyond reason and it was just a territorial dispute. I stared at the fracas until we passed over and the cliff blocked it from view.
The village turned out to be largely abandoned when we reached it. To be safe we moved to the center of town where we sat about thirty feet up in the air and yelled while firing lightning bolts at the ground, guns in the air, and just generally making a huge racket to draw out any lurkers. A handful eventually showed up in ones and twos from different directions. The girls dispatched them easily with holy fire and we had the run of the town.
We broke up into two teams and I cautioned everyone against going beyond sight of their group. Team one, led by Scarlet, went to liberate any useful supplies and food from the town outfitter’s and grocery store. My team, composed of myself, Alice, Friday, Harley, and Jane, went in search of the residence of Delphias Oge, a retired tamer and local mage of some renown, if his bio on TamerBook was to be believed. (For any who don’t know TamerBook is more or less a FaceBook for tamers where they can set up a bio to attract free pokegirls and brag and pokegirls can make comments about how awesome or terrible they are.)
His house was a ramshackle cottage with a large glass-domed turret in the roof. As we approached, the door opened and a simple Mousewife stepped out onto the porch. She was an anthropomorphic type with grey fur, although I couldn’t say if it was natural or due to age, and was wearing a simple light blue dress. I gave a friendly wave as we drew up to the path to his door and she tentatively raised her arm in return.
“Hello, good Mousewife,” I said. “Is the master of the house in?” I spoke with a grin on my lips. I hadn’t expected to encounter anyone alive out here but the prospect of finding a real mage I might learn from was making me near to giddy. I hadn’t realized just how grim my outlook toward the future had become until I felt such joy at the possibility of meeting a random but living stranger.
The Mousewife’s lips drew down with sadness. “My Delphias has gone to meet his maker, stranger. You missed him by just a month.”
I stopped grinning. “I’m sorry to hear that. I came here looking for an artifact that would help me learn magic but when I saw you I was even more hoping to see a friendly face.”
The Mousewife stared at me for a moment with sad eyes before waving me to follow as she turned and walked through the door. I looked around at my girls before shrugging and walking up the lane and through the door behind her. Inside was a cluttered entryway. It looked like many other old person’s homes I’d seen before with many gew gaws set on little tables and framed pictures on the wall.
The Mousewife beckoned us into the living room and offered us a seat on a long and wide over-stuffed couch. “I’m Hilda and this is my sister, Agnus,” she said as another Mousewife with grey fur walked into the room. This one wore a green dress and was a bit more human-looking. By her facial features I decided she was an older pokewoman which made her sister likely the same.
“I’m afraid we haven’t got much to offer but would you like some tea?” she asked.
“Some tea would be lovely,” I said.
She nodded at Agnus who went back out the door, presumably into the kitchen, and we shortly heard the rattle of a kettle being put on and china being placed on a tray. “I’ll be right back,” Hilda said before heading down the hall and up a flight of stairs.
As soon as she was gone I turned to Friday and gave her a hand sign. We all immediately dropped into Dream Time.
“Girls,” I said, “be careful about drinking anything they bring. We don’t know what’s going on here but they’re being awfully nice to us considering the circumstances. Mousewives are usually timid but I won’t rule out the chance they could use poison.”
“I can cast a detection spell before they come back into the room,” Alice piped up. “If they bring poison I’ll know it.”
“And I can check their minds,” Friday said.
“That sounds good,” I said. “Friday, I want you to throw up telepathic links too so we can communicate without them knowing.”
I shortly found myself back on the couch awaiting tea and hoping I wouldn’t have to kill a couple of sweet-looking old ladies today. Agnus came back first and served us tea from a tray she set on the coffee table. Alice and Friday both informed me the tea was safe and Agnus didn’t plan anything against us so I brought the tea to my nose and inhaled. It had a nice fragrance and the first sip told me it was jasmine, probably my favorite tea. I took a small sip to avoid burning my mouth and found it quite good.
Once she’d served us all Agnus settled into an overstuffed armchair with her own cup leaving one more on the table for Hilda. Hilda returned several moments later and set two things on the table before picking up her cup and settling into another chair. Friday told me she wasn’t planning harm to us either.
The items on the table were a silver amulet shaped like a shield with square corners at the top and drawing to a wide point at the bottom and a pokeball.
“This is what you came for,” Hilda said after taking a drink of her tea. “It was how our Delphias got his start as a mage and I think he wouldn’t mind if it went toward someone who could use it. He never really told us much about the amulet but I gathered that it helped him to form spells. You can have it on one condition.”
She pointed at the pokeball. “That contains Eliza, the only other girl Delphias kept after retiring. After he died we tamed each other, but she always did have a short taming fuse. She went feral some time last week so I recalled her before she could do too much damage to the house. Take her with you and may she serve you well.”
“What is she?” I asked, still holding my teacup and occasionally drinking from it.
“She’s a Pegaslut,” Agnus said. “Delphias still had occasion to travel now and then to consult on problems local towns had and to do research with other mages. He’d like the idea that someone was taking care of her.”
“What about you two?” I asked. I had no intention of inviting these two to join my harem as they were a bit long in the tooth for me and certainly not prepared to fight zombabes, but I could put them in storage until we reached another world.
“Oh, we’ve discussed things and we decided to stay here,” Hilda said. “We loved Delphias with all our hearts and we couldn’t bear to leave now. We can keep ourselves from going feral for a while and when the time comes we want to be here, with him.”
Friday informed me that they both truly loved the man and intended to drink some poisoned tea when they felt ferality encroaching so that they could forever remain near him. It was sad, but I wasn’t about to remove the choice from them. So few get to choose a peaceful end.
“Then I accept your offer,” I said.
We passed a short while longer with chitchat and tea before we bade the two Mousewives goodbye. I pocketed both amulet and ball and we left. Hilda stood on the porch looking after us as we walked away. Agnus hadn’t said a word to us the entire time. I was feeling a little melancholy after that so I decided it was time to loot and leave.
We gathered the supplies the others had scrounged and boarded our boat.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
The trip home was relatively quiet. We encountered no ferals this time. I wasn’t sure how the zombabes would respond to the lack of prey but I was afraid I was going to be seeing them spread out into the countryside more and more. Then again they might not have enough mind for that and might instead remain near the villages, drawn by the thought of food being in the houses. I really didn’t know enough about the minds of zombabes to decide which way they would go. Time would tell.
We kept checking for hordes following us but they never materialized. We came to within a day’s flight of home before stopping. We then waited for darkness before taking the final leg of the trip. It was a quarter moon so we didn’t have to worry too much about the zombabes seeing us against a dark sky.
After we landed I walked inside like a zombie and fell into bed. The girls had all had sex in the last few days. No one would go feral before tomorrow. I could afford a night off. I slept like the dead.
The next day I woke at the stroke of noon. Said stroke was being performed by Scarlet and was quickly followed by the blow job of noon. After some brisk morning..ish exercise I was ready for lunch. The girls had waited for me to join them which I thanked them for and apologized for holding them up. After lunch most of them went back to tactical training while Alice stayed close by so as to observe while I put on the amulet.
Hilda had said she hadn’t known it’s name (I assumed it had one) or much about it as by the time Delphias acquired her he was no longer using it. She only knew what it was from some of the stories he told her of his early days so I really wasn’t sure what it did.
I slipped the thin chain it hung from over my head. For a moment nothing happened. Then the chain and amulet began to glow. The glow intensified in a flash and when it faded the chain and amulet had vanished. I searched frantically and felt something under my shirt. When I pulled it out to look down it I was shocked for a moment. Then I whipped the shirt off over my head for a better view.
The amulet was set INTO my chest. There was no inflammation, pain, or any other indication that it didn’t belong there. It seemed to meld seamlessly into the skin albeit with the edge raised perhaps a quarter of an inch higher. The medallion now sat in the center of my chest right over my sternum and between my pecs.
Alice rushed over when she saw what had happened but I told her I wasn’t in any pain. She cast several spells to analyze the amulet before she finally relaxed. It was a warm afternoon so I left my shirt off. The girls were going to see it sooner or later anyway. Since the amulet didn’t seem to be going anywhere I decided it was time to see what it could do.
With Alice removed to her former observation post I concentrated on the amulet. I couldn’t sense anything in particular from it. I wasn’t sure if there was supposed to be a voice or if I would see things or what. After half an hour with nothing to show for it I decided to concentrate on doing a spell and see if it brought up a tutorial. I pointed at a small boulder, perhaps three feet around and two tall, and thought of a lightning bolt striking it. A circle formed around the rock and filled with several symbols. Before I knew it I felt myself mentally leaning into the circle. There was a sensation of weakness and the circle flared brighter before flashing out. In the instant it flashed out a bolt of lightning stretched from my hand to the rock as if in slow motion.
I blinked for a moment, the afterimage of intense light burned into my retina. When I could see again I looked at my target. The bolt had split the rock like a hammer. A massive crack extended from the blackened point of impact down at a slight angle all the way through to the bottom and the weight of the rock had caused the split halves to roll a little away from the center, widening the divide.
Alice came over in a hurry to make sure I was okay. After assuring herself I was which required assuring MYSELF I was she started looking admiringly at the rock.
“Not bad,” she said with a grin. “That happened almost as soon as you looked at the rock right? What did you do? Walk me through it.”
I described the mental process I took and the circle and symbols. She continued to question me on minutia until she was satisfied. Then she told me there was no circle that she could see. It must have been in my mind. She made me draw out the symbols as best I could remember them. When I reflected on the memory I realized one of the symbols was glowing the same electric blue as the lightning and told her so.
“I’m not surprised,” she said. She pointed at the symbol I said was glowing. “From what I’ve read there are several systems of magic notation and that symbol is similar to one I learned for electricity. I’ll bet if you concentrate on striking the boulder with fire then the fire rune will be burning in your mind.”
She looked at my chest again. “That’s a pretty impressive amulet. It seems to take what you want to happen and design a spell to do it while teaching you the spell symbols to carry it out on your own. Maybe when it decides you’ve learned enough the amulet comes back out. In the mean time I’m kind of envious. ...Try doing a lightning bolt again. I’m curious if you got the lightning rune exactly right or if you still need to work to memorize it.”
I repeated the process on the right half of the boulder and found that I hadn’t drawn the symbol exactly perfectly. It had been centered in my vision so I got the best view of it but I’d still missed a line on one side and the left side should be more of a curve, I’d drawn it almost straight-edged. I explained the differences to Alice and she declared I was going to have to repeat the spell and copy the symbols until I could do it perfectly. She conjured a table with a slate top and some chalk for me to practice with. Then she went back to her post.
I spent the better part of the afternoon learning the lightning bolt spell inside out. I discovered there were different symbols for single target, multi-target, and area effects. The area effects were notably more draining than the limited target ones. I also learned some trick shooting, causing a bolt to split around one tree to strike a boulder behind it.
I tried different variations on that one and discovered a series of runes which could be used to alter the course to the target in many ways. After that I was beginning to feel all Sith Lordy so I thought about creating a stream of lightning from my hands to the target. The spell worked, but it was massively more draining than the rest. Most of the other spells caused a momentary weakness and a small amount of tiredness but this last one just kept draining. I blacked out.
I woke up with my head in Alice’s lap as she stroked my hair. “Finally awake, huh?” she said.
I felt this required a tongue-in-cheek rebuttal. “Uhhh...” Nailed it!
I stayed where I was until I didn’t feel quite so exhausted while Alice petted my hair. I had fine hair with a wave to it when it grew out although I mostly kept it short in my old life. I’d had Scarlet trim it for me a few times but it was still longer than I was used to. Eventually I felt better and sat up.
“So what happened?” I asked.
“At a guess, you exhausted your mana supply,” she replied. “Every beginning mage does it sooner or later. It will take you time to learn your limits although it’s clear that that continuous lightning spell is too draining for you at present. As you practice your magic more your capacity for mana will expand and grow, like building up a muscle. Eventually it should settle down into a stable pool. What was that spell anyway?”
“Just something I saw in a movie once,” I replied.
“Can you show me the spell formula?”
I sketched out what I remembered on the table and her eyes grew wide. “Do you have any idea how much mana you were pumping into that thing?” she asked while pointing at the symbols. “That was like twenty lightning bolts stacked on top of each other. No wonder you passed out. You’d have to have a major mana crystal to...” She slowed to a halt and her eyes glazed over as her gaze turned introspective.
I waited a few moments before waving a hand in front of her eyes. “Hellooo. Anybody home?”
She blinked and came back to herself. “Sorry, I just had a great idea.” She started walking away and that shortly became a run. “Practice is over for the day!” she called over her shoulder.
I picked the training back up the next day and kept trying variants on lightning. I had the symbol down pretty well which meant I could ignore it while I concentrated on the other symbols in each diagram. The following day I decided to move on to fire. It was like learning a new language. I had to create a cornerstone and build out from there but I wanted to expand in more than one direction as well. You didn’t learn spanish by starting with all the conjugations. You learned some words and then a little grammar. Then some more words followed by more grammar. Then you expanded vocabulary while learning tenses. You had to take it in phases like growth spurts.
Days turned into weeks as I began to move beyond simple elemental blasting spells. Time spells were much more complex than anything I’d seen so far and I was intimidated by the design enough to back off after the first one. The haste spell I tried looked to be a higher grade than I was ready for even if it wasn’t a lot more draining.
The next one I tried was more of a middle tier and I felt a surge of joy as I slipped loose the bonds of gravity. I had always wanted to fly. The spell wasn’t overly taxing as the constant spell work had indeed expanded my mana pool and increased it’s rate of regeneration. (I would have had to guess about the latter but I developed an Analyze spell that laid out a person’s stats like a character sheet so I could actually track it. Magic is amazing!) The girls were very nervous that I’d fall and Alice and Friday both were designated on standby in case they needed to catch me. It was unnecessary though. I soared through the air learning the limits and strengths of the spell.
When I started getting tired I made a hardened cloud to land on like Alice had before. This turned out to be actually pretty simple and, when I thought of it, the amulet provided a buffer in the spell diagram I could dump mana into, much as Alice’s version did. This allowed me to power it and then let it run instead of constantly having to dump energy into it.
Honestly the most difficult thing about magic was coming up with different things to do with it. Fortunately my time playing D&D stood me in good stead and I recreated such classics as Bigby’s Fists and Tensor’s Floating Disk. I tried to create a Sphere of Negation but, for obvious reasons, it was more complex than the time spells. The amulet allowed me to create and activate the spell but I would need time to memorize it. Also the mana drain nearly knocked me out again. Creating what was effectively a black hole was not light work.
We spent a further month with my magic training and allowing Rachel to fully acclimate to her gravity training. I never did bring Eliza into the harem. I agreed to take care of her and I would, but I didn’t need a mount right now and I didn’t really want to add more to the harem unnecessarily. She might join us when we reached another world or I might find her a new home. We’d see what happened.
After a month I felt comfortable enough with the way my powers worked and I wanted to get back on the road before winter storms buried the land. We had a mcguffin to find.
Friday - Blessed Lazarus
Scarlet - Blessed Wolf Spider
Harley - Blessed Gun Bunny
Serendipity - Blessed Psifey
Alice - Blessed Archmage+
Jane - NightAngel
Ellie - Blessed Duelist
Rachel - Video Girl Upgrade