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Growing Pains Chapter 06
The man panted, fearfully looking over his shoulder before diving down a nearby alleyway. He cursed when he saw the dead end, looking about wildly and pulling himself up onto a nearby dumpster.
“Barry, go long and around.” Lars huffed. “Cover this bastard’s escape.”
Barry nodded, blitzing past the alley and grabbing a nearby post for leverage to make his turn. He could feel Cammie hot on his heels, the Mossmelon intent on just keeping up with him. As they ran Barry could hear shouting from the alleyways, a crash and panicked yell announcing Lars’ attack. When the sounds continued he tucked in his head, pushing himself to run as fast as he could so he could intercept the fleeing man.
“MASTER!” Barry glanced up at Cammie’s panicked shout, throwing up his arms to protect himself as he slammed into the runner. The man shouted in surprise, crashing to the ground and rolling a few times while Barry flew past.
“GET HIM!” Barry roared, halting his skid and wincing, feeling the tender spots from his tumble.
He heard the man curse before the sounds cut off and he looked up to see Cammie gleefully wrapping the struggling human. “Got him, Master!” She yelped when the man’s hand managed to break free, an unactivated pokeball falling to the ground. “Woops!”
Barry watched the ball hit the ground and roll, releasing Mina and pointing. “Unactivated. Secure it.”
The Ka-D-Bra’s eyes glowed, the ball hovering a few inches off the ground and zipping to a safe distance. “I have it, Master.”
“You got him?” Barry turned and waved at Lars, the other Hunter hoisting himself over a nearby wall.
“Cammie’s got him wrapped up, and he had a pokeball, just like you thought.” Barry called. “It didn’t release. Mina’s holding onto it.”
Lars reached a hand back to help up his own pokegirl, the Armsmistress easily sliding over the wall with her Master. “Nice snag. Hilda couldn’t strike straight without causing property damage.”
There were some muffled noises from the pile of vines Cammie was sitting on and she looked down. “Stupid man. Loud man.” She grinned. “Not loud now.”
Lars laughed and shooed her away. “Let Hilda carry him. Nice work, Barry.”
Barry grinned. “Thanks.” He recalled Cammie and waved at Mina. “Keep a hold of that thing until we’re back at the station.”
The Ka-D-Bra nodded. “Yes Master.”
“So, you think he’s Rocket?” Barry asked Lars curiously.
“He fits the description of a man that has been robbing tamers as they leave evolution stores.” Lars replied. “If there’s a Firecat in that pokeball, he’s probably our man. The first victim said he had a fire stone robbed by a guy with a Catgirl, and the rest have cited a Firecat.”
“Awesome.” Barry clapped his hands together excitedly. “If we got him, that’s a week well spent, right?”
“Absolutely.” Lars chuckled. “And if we can get information out of him on where he’s been delivering the stones, that’s even better.”
Barry sat bolt upright when he heard the shouting coming from the main room. He rolled out of bed, catching himself before he could hit the floor and grabbing his uniform. “What’s going on?” He called, hopping out as he finished getting dressed. “What’s the emergency?”
“Barry?” Lars turned and shook his head. “No, you’re not with us on this one. Stay here today, reward your harem or something.” He turned back to the screen. “I’ll cover for the back alley, here, if you want to take the front, Jake.”
The other Hunter sat back. “Yea, I’ll look better up front with my dragons. Might scare them a bit, definitely keep them focused on me. Right, we need to move.” He turned, staring at Barry. “He said you’re not coming, kid. Go back to bed.”
“I want to know what’s going on.” Barry replied defiantly. “I’m supposed to go wherever Lars goes, remember?”
“I don’t have my kid.” Jake growled. “Eric’s got a free day. Take the same. This isn’t like the grunt work you’ve been doing so far.”
“’Just because you have a provisional license won’t mean you get stuck with useless work’” Barry recited. “’You’ll be right out there with the rest of us, Hunting.’” He glared at Jake. “I was told that by a man that I’m pretty sure outranks you. Where are we going.”
Lars softly began chuckling. “Let me guess. Timothy told you that.”
“Fucking a’.” Lars shook his head. “How’s the guy doing these days, anyways? He hasn’t been by in a while, not since he got promoted out of this joint.”
“He seemed fine when I saw him at the training camp.” Barry replied.
“That’s good.” Lars sighed. “Alright. We got a lead from the guy you picked up yesterday, Barry. A good one, one of Rocket’s storehouses in the city. The police raided it a few minutes ago.” He jabbed a thumb at the screen. “They ran into heavy resistance. Two Jennies are dead, another is down with critical injuries, and one Tamer is down as well. I don’t know if he’s dead or alive, but last we knew he was lying in no-man’s land. The police are calling for backup, and we’re some of the closest they’ve got.”
Barry felt a chill run down his spine. “We need to go now.”
“Haste makes what, Barry?” Lars replied. “Jake and I were going over the known floorplan and making a strategy. If you’re coming with us, you’re going to be sitting with the police line out front. Sorry, but I’m not bringing a green recruit on a flank.”
Barry nodded. “Understood.”
“Good.” Lars started towards the door. “Let’s move.”
One of the Rocket Tamers cursed when he saw the two uniformed men crouch-running towards the police blockade. “FUCK! We’ve got Hunters, man! We’re screwed!”
“Get back to the stones!” Another yelled. “Load up as much as you can, we’re getting out of here and blowing the rest!”
“What’s the situation, Captain?” Jake asked, his voice measured and calm. Barry marveled at the change the other Hunter had gone through, all traces of his abrasive personality gone for an air of professionalism.
“He’s dead.” The police Captain replied, his voice holding a strained undertone that Barry wasn’t sure was from rage or anxiety. “He bled out a few minutes ago. Murder of a police pokegirl, that’s bad enough. As far as I’m concerned, every single one of those Team bastards is responsible for the death of a police Tamer.”
Jake raised his gaze to look at the body lying a few yards away. “They have the front pinned down?”
“That’s right.” The Captain gestured at the boarded up windows of the warehouse. “They’ve got some sort of dark glass up, it looks like you can’t see through but they can see just fine. We need to move in before they can set up an ambush.”
“I agree. Tell your men to hold their positions.” Jake pulled two pokeballs off his belt, triggering the releases. “This might get a bit rough.”
There was a low murmur from the police when the two pokegirls materialized, one barely flinching when a panicked shot bounced off her shoulder. She turned, fixing her gaze on the sniper’s hidey hole and roaring.
The sentry jumped, scrambling away from the window as above him the sniper dove for cover. “IT’S THE DRAGON TAMER, MAN. WE NEED TO GO!”
“Alright, GO!” The leader roared, thrusting a box into the sentry’s arms. “Out the side, go, go, GO!”
Lars straightened when he heard the commotion, beckoning at the two forms beside him. “Ignore the first, kill the second, disrupt the rest.”
The door popped open, the panicked sentry sprinting into the alleyway. He made it three steps before he realized nobody was behind him and he turned, cutting off a scream.
The Tamer that had been behind him jerked, blood streaming down his body from the hole in his neck. The sentry stared in horror as the pokegirl withdrew her hand and skewered the dying man to the wall with one swift motion.
He didn’t stick around to see if she turned towards him; he instantly dropped the box he had been carrying and ran.
Jake frowned when there was an explosion, a column of flame bursting through the upper floor windows. “Do we have firefighters?”
“Fire brigade, forward!” The Captain roared, beckoning at his men. “MEDICAL, GO!”
“I guess that’s a yes.” Jake watched the police line surge forwards, allowing his pokegirls to do the same while he stayed back. “Barry!”
Barry paused, looking back from where he had started running with the police. “What?”
“Don’t be stupid, it’s not secure yet.” Jake’s eyes darted to one of the top windows and he blanched. “FUCK! FALL BACK!”
Barry whirled, looking up to see a masked man stagger forwards, pokeballs spilling out of his arms. “EAT THIS, FUCKERS!” He screamed, throwing the balls out into the milling police and pressing a remote.
The balls all detonated simultaneously, releasing a dozen pokegirls and blasting shrapnel into the confusion. Barry screamed when one of the pokegirls immediately dove on a Tamer, the obviously feral pokegirl tearing the policeman to shreds.
“GET BACK!” Jake roared, slapping at his belt and releasing the rest of his harem in a flash of light. “GET BACK!”
There was another explosion, the warehouse beginning to slump from the heat of the fire. As the fire reached the boxes of elemental stones that had been left behind they began to pop, energy lancing out around the warehouse. The masked man staggered, clutching at where a police pokegirl had managed to shoot him, and stared at the boxes of pokeballs that sat in the storage area. He muttered something unintelligible, pressing the master release before slumping, dead, to the floor.
“FIGHT TO KILL! FIGHT TO KILL!” Jake roared, his pokegirls diving into the melee. “BARRY, FOR GODS SAKE, GET BACK!”
Barry turned, beginning to run when he felt his foot catch on a piece of rubble. He fell, screaming when his ankle twisted unnaturally across the ground.
“FUCK!” He screamed, trying to get to his feet but falling from the pain. “FUCK!”
“It’s ok, just get to me.” Jake beckoned, standing in relative safety behind the barricade. “My harem’s holding them back, just get to me.” He glanced at the shadow beside him and back to Barry. “I’m not risking myself for you but Hato can heal you if you can just get to us.”
Barry winced, dragging himself a few feet forwards. “Fuck this HURTS.”
Jake watched the roiling battle, grimacing when another wave appeared from inside the burning building. “There’s more, Barry, hurry!”
Inside Lars pressed himself back, waiting for his pokegirls to fend off the few ferals that had come in their direction. “Girls, we need to retreat. We can’t be inside.”
The two pokegirls nodded, falling back to him and preparing for anything that would attack as they retreated. Lars breathed a sigh of relief when they emerged back in the alley, glancing at his Armsmistress. “Get back to the line, help protect the police. Naila, get me to the roof.”
“Yes Master.” The second pokegirl grabbed him, black wings sprouting from her back as she leapt into the air. Below them Hilda ran to the front, screaming a battle cry and crashing into the melee.
“That’s Lars’ girl.” Jake urged. “Come on, Barry, just a little farther.”
Barry groaned, dragging his useless leg behind him. “I’m coming.”
“You got this.” Jake winced when he heard a scream, a form smashing through the roiling battle and focusing in on them. “Barry, you need to move, now, RIGHT NOW!”
Barry turned, gazing in horror at the bloody pokegirl. The girl was built like an animal, right down to the flowing mane around her neck and whipping tail.
“Barry, hurry!” Jake cursed and slowly stepped back when the Griffon leapt towards them, the girl snarling at him. “Never mind. Stay still. Very, very still.” He glanced at his Night Nurse, the pokegirl having drifted out of her shadowmeld to stand between the snarling pokegirl and her Master. “Hato, do not initiate.”
Barry gasped, doing his best to stay still when the Griffon prowled past him, her growls directed towards the defiantly standing Hunter. He waited for her to walk all the way past before rolling, letting out a muffled shriek when the motion aggravated his ankle.
Jake watched in muted horror when the Griffon whirled, snarls ripping out of her throat while she stared at the injured boy. “Barry.” He called quietly. “Do not make any, and I mean any, sudden movements. Griffon attack what they see as a threat. She’ll find something new to focus on if you just. Don’t. Move.”
Barry caught his breath. He could feel the pokeballs on his belt digging into his back and he silently cursed that he hadn’t released at least Cammie to take the feral’s attention.
The Griffon stepped forwards slowly, her snarling lowering in volume as she did. Barry stared back in confusion, noticing the crazed look in her eyes dimming to a straight berserker’s focus.
“She’s deciding what to do with you.” Jake called urgently. “Do. Not. Move.”
Barry stared back, matching the girl’s gaze steadily. The Griffon abruptly came to a halt, a confused whine escaping while she looked at him.
Jake gasped when Barry levered himself up, almost screaming at the foolhardy Tamer but refraining so as not to startle the now motionless Griffon. Barry carefully leaned on his arms, hopping forwards toward the pokegirl, keeping steady eye contact as he did.
“You like what you see.” He thought, his slit pupils drilling into the Griffon’s eyes. “You recognize the beast that rules you.” He said, putting a confidence he didn’t feel behind the words.
The Griffon whined, stepping back when he hopped closer. “You recognize my right.” Barry growled low. “Submit.”
Jake watched in morbid fascination when the Griffon collapsed, her whines cutting off as she hid her head in her paws. “Barry?” He jumped when the Griffon immediately focused on him, snarling in rage.
“I’m coming over.” Barry called, keeping his voice even when he turned away from the Griffon and hopped towards Jake. “Have her heal me, please. Hurry.”
The Griffon watched Barry reach the barrier, growling low when the Night Nurse reached down and took hold of his broken ankle. The growl cut off when Hato backed off and Barry stood, testing his weight and nodding his thanks.
“Behind you!” Jake shouted, Barry whirling to see a new pokegirl screaming towards them. “BAR-!”
There was a roar and the blitzing feral snapped sideways, the Griffon grabbing her in her jaws and shaking until the feral’s body flew away, pieces of her gut littering the ground. The Griffon screamed her challenge, pacing back to where Barry stood and sitting in front of him.
“Uhm.” Jake breathed. “Barry, what did you do?”
“Something that I’ve done with my harem.” Barry replied and Jake blinked when he noticed the boy shaking like a leaf. “I didn’t know if it would work, but I didn’t see myself living if I didn’t try.”
Jake glanced up when the building began to collapse, a winged form flying off the roof. “That’s Lars. He must have been doing something.”
The police backed off when the debris came crashing down, crushing the majority of the remaining ferals inside. Lars dropped to the ground in front of them, his eyes narrowing when he saw the Griffon. “What is this?”
“No.” Barry said firmly when the Griffon started to growl, waiting for her noises to peter off before beckoning Lars forwards. “This is my new pokegirl, I think.”
Lars frowned at him. “Barry, are you alright?”
Barry took a deep breath, staring at his trembling hands. “No.” He whispered. “I don’t know what came over me.”
“It’s alright.” Lars looked to Jake, who just shook his head. “You’re alright. You survived.” He glanced back at the police, a few beginning to pull out stretchers. “That’s more than some of them can say.”
“Catch her.” Jake muttered in Barry’s ear. “Before she decides you would actually make a good snack.”
Barry nodded, pulling an empty pokeball off his belt. “Hey.” The Griffon turned at his voice, staring curiously at the orb in his hands. “Here.”
The girl made an inquisitive noise, pawing at the ball and triggering the capture beam. Barry held his breath when the ball shook, far longer than he had ever seen it, before finally sounding the capture tone.
“You’re one lucky bastard, Bartholomew.” Jake growled. “So how’d you do it. I don’t know of a bloodgift that lets you stare down a fuckin’ feral Griffon.”
“I don’t know.” Barry repeated. “I don’t.”
“Let’s get back to the outpost.” Lars urged. “We can look into this more there. Alright?”
“Trainer. That’s all you’ve got.” Lars shook his head. “That doesn’t let you do what Jake’s describing. So what was it?”
“I don’t know.” Barry whispered, staring at the pokeball in his hand. “Maybe she wasn’t feral?”
“She wasn’t completely feral, no.” Jake replied. “Didn’t act like one. Still doesn’t explain how you just stared her into submission.”
“Barry, where did you get your bloodwork done?” Lars asked. “At your school?”
“Yea.” Barry shrugged. “They took it when I turned 14.”
“Let’s take it again.” Lars walked over to the medicine cabinet and pulled out a syringe. “I’ll send it to some of the folks in the government, see if you’ve got a blood trait the school didn’t pick up on.” He glanced at Jake. “Or just awakened.”
“Think he’s a Coercer?” Jake asked quietly.
“No, that would have been caught.” Lars shook out an alcohol packet and swabbed Barry’s arm. “Regardless of how it happened, congratulations on your new pokegirl.”
Barry waited from him to take the sample before sliding to his feet. “Do we have somewhere I can tame her?”
“Nope.” Jake replied. “Head down to the pokecenter. You’ll want restraints for that girl’s first time anyways.” He shrugged at Lars’ questioning look. “You know, just in case.”
“Griffon don’t have super high strength enhancements in their human form.” Lars grumbled. “Do whatever you want to, Barry.”
Barry nodded. “Thanks.” He turned, making his way outside and towards where he remembered the pokegirl center to be.
“I’m expediting this.” Lars muttered at Jake, placing the blood sample in a refrigerated bag and walking towards the door. “Hold down the fort while I’m gone.”
He stepped out right behind Barry, waiting for him to disappear down a street before releasing a pokegirl and teleporting away.
Barry walked into the pokegirl center, nodding to the Rapha on duty. “I need a taming cycle and room.”
The Rapha nodded, reaching under her desk and withdrawing a key. “May I have the pokegirl to be cycled, sir?”
Barry handed over the Griffon’s pokeball, waiting for the Rapha to retrieve it from her machine and hand it back along with the key. “Room seven, sir. Fourth door on your left.”
Barry nodded, taking the ball and key and whistling slightly while he walked. Reaching room seven he entered, closing the door behind him.
He started to strip when Jake’s warning echoed in his ears and he paused. Slowly he walked over to the heavy restraints, dragging them into place before continuing his motions.
Lars was a strong Tamer, he had seen that. But Jake’s every move was calculated to keep himself alive as long as possible, whereas Lars seemed to be a Hunter for the thrill. He wasn’t stupid, but he didn’t always take the safest route. Both styles were equally valid, but right now, he was going to follow Jake’s advice, and that meant securing the Griffon.
He nodded slowly when he worked through why Jake had recommended that. Sure, the Griffon might not be the strongest pokegirl in her human form, but with a feral there was no guarantee that she would stay that way. He remembered Timothy’s warning back when was first meeting Rebecca and sighed, shaking his head slightly. “I have a choice right now, and restraining this pokegirl is the smarter option no matter which way you look at it.” He chuckled softly. “After I know she won’t shift mid sex and kill me, I can let her have some free reign.”
He released the Griffon, swiftly buckling her arms into the cuffs before moving onto her legs. The feral groaned, her tail flicking from side to side as she tried to focus past the haze the taming cycle had put her in.
Barry grunted, wrestling with the leg restraints and barely managing to slip them onto the Griffon’s legs. He checked the locks, releasing some of the tension before cinching them down again. He could see the girl squirming, but the slack he had given her only allowed her to move a few inches in each direction.
“I’ve always hated doing it this way.” Barry muttered, robotically stimulating the feral’s pussy until she was sufficiently lubricated. “I don’t want to hear you screaming aimlessly, I want to hear my fucking name!”
The feral screamed in pleasure when he penetrated her, only adding to Barry’s frustration.
“We’re doing this again.” Barry growled, looking up and slapping the girl’s large breasts. “When you understand who’s fucking you!”
The Griffon’s back arched, her fangs glistening in the light as she yowled her pleasure. Barry grunted when he climaxed, waiting for her to collapse back down before he pulled out.
“We’re not done.” He muttered, looking around and grabbing a small douche. “Don’t move.”
The feral didn’t respond when he stood, leaving to get water.
He was still chuckling from his own joke when he returned, the now-full bottle under one arm and a can in the other. He whistled, continuing his tune from before, and popped the can as he sat down. “Hello there.”
The Griffon pulled at her restraints slightly, looking at him questioningly. “Mmmaaaster?”
“Mmmhm.” Barry replied, taking a swig. “Remember me?”
The girl blinked, staring at his face. “You.” She shook her head slightly. “I remember. I was… losing my mind.”
“Sure seemed that way.” Barry took another gulp of the liquid and coughed, working his tongue against his teeth. “Blech. That shit always tastes horrible.” He inched forwards, grabbing a nearby towel and holding it against the Griffon’s groin. “This’ll be a little cold.”
The girl shrieked when he jammed the nozzle into her vagina, vigorously cleaning out his semen and wiping up the mess. “There. I hate sloppy seconds.” He teasingly spritzed some water over her stomach before shoving the nozzle into her again and emptying the douche so the liquid ran clean. “Much better.”
The Griffon stared at the ceiling wide-eyed. “What did you just do, Master?” She asked nervously.
“Oh, I didn’t want to let you out yet, so I hadn’t run you through a cleaning cycle after I tamed you last.” Barry finished off the stamina drink and crumpled up the can. “Stuffing you in restraints doesn’t mean anything if your brain is too fucked to realize it.”
The girl pulled at her arms again. “Why am I in restraints, Master?”
“I decided I wasn’t stupid enough to tame you while you were feral and free to rip my head off.” Barry replied. “And also because you need to learn a little lesson.”
The girl shivered at his words, craning her neck so she could look at him. “A lesson, Master?”
She yelped when he slapped her labia, moaning softly when she felt him tracing his fingers over her body.
“A lesson.” Barry hissed. “You threatened me, girl. You threatened your Master.”
The Griffon felt a thrill run through her body, twisting away from him the best she could. “I, I didn’t… Master…”
She shuddered when Barry growled, the undeniably draconic sound ripping through her feline instincts. “Your lesson,” Barry snarled, “begins now.”
The Griffon felt her strength abandon her when Barry pushed his hands into her chest, curling his fingers into inhuman claws. “You are nothing.” He hissed in her ear. “Nothing but prey bent to my pleasure.”
The Griffon didn’t utter a single intelligible word as he ravaged her, her screams and moans only fueling Barry’s desperate need to work out the pure fear she had caused him that morning.
He leaned back when he came again, sliding out of her pussy and crawling forwards. “How was that?” He asked softly, chuckling and kissing her gently. “It’s ok, I’m done being the bad guy.”
The Griffon made a happy noise and strained against her bonds, only able to push her legs against his. “Thank you, Master.” She whispered, a look of pure bliss on her face. “More?”
Barry suppressed his laughter, roughly fondling her breasts instead. “I only had the one stamina drink.” He kissed her nose and sat up, still idly kneading her chest. “I’m surprised you didn’t go into taming shock. Feeling up to a walk?”
The Griffon nodded, her eyes half shut because of his ministrations. “Yes.”
“Good.” Barry got up, unlocking her restraints and helping the Griffon to her feet. “Let’s get you cycled first, laying back on your wings like that probably wasn’t too comfortable.”
The Griffon winced, stretching her white-feathered wings behind her. “It wasn’t terrible, Master, but thank you.”
Barry recalled her, washing up and getting dressed back in his uniform. The same Rapha was still on duty when he exited and she took his pokeball and the key. “Cleaning, sir?”
“Healing and cleaning.” Barry replied. “I want to make sure she didn’t hurt a wing.”
The Rapha nodded, giving him a warm smile. “That is a good thing to think of, sir.”
“Yea, don’t want her faltering if I need her immediately in battle.” Barry replied, watching the machine blink as it processed. “Know of any evolution stores nearby?”
The Rapha nodded. “There is a small store towards the city center on this road, sir. Unfortunately I don’t believe they have anything more common than the, well, common stones, sir.” She held up a hand. “Be careful sir, there have been rashes of evolution stone thefts recently.”
Barry gave her a grin. “I know. Should stop soon, we caught one of the assholes doing it.”
The Rapha blinked, finally processing the uniform Barry was wearing. “Oh! You’re a Hunter, sir?”
“Provisional.” Barry replied with a smile, taking back the Griffon when the machine beeped. “I don’t want to say too much, but at least one thief is in custody.”
The Rapha beamed. “Thank you for your work, sir. I’ll keep warning Tamers until we receive official word.”
“Good idea.” Barry released the Griffon, looking her up and down with a smile. “How do you feel?”
The girl shifted, reaching back to stroke on of her wings. “Much better, Master.”
Barry could see the Rapha staring at the Griffon and chuckled. He couldn’t blame the civil service pokegirl; she was good looking, standing a head over him at around 6’3”, with cascading golden blonde hair that spilled over her shoulders. He smiled when the girl noticed his attention and preened, posing seductively to push out her DD breasts into an impressive amount of cleavage. As she did he could see the jet of golden fur that spread from the backs of her hands up her forearms, and looking down he could see the same pattern repeated on her shins, something that he hadn’t really been paying attention to when they were spread apart in restraints.
“I just noticed, you’ve got fur on your limbs?” Barry said curiously, glancing around at her butt and the long golden tail that flicked there. “It looks good.”
The Griffon brightened, shaking her ass for his inspection. “Thank you, Master.” She said happily. “I’m glad Master likes my body.”
“Yea, that’s a good look.” Barry slapped her lightly tanned ass and grinned. “So. Ready for that walk.”
The Griffon was purring and he looked up to see her bright blue eyes glowing with satisfaction. “Yes, Master.” She rumbled. “Always.”
The Rapha leaned back when Barry finally left, the statuesque Griffon padding along behind. “Oof.” Was all she could manage until she regained her composure and returned to her duties.
Barry pushed the store door open, nodding at the Tamer that was waiting outside and holding the door to let the Griffon in. “I need to name you.” He muttered, glancing around the small room. “Let’s see if they’ve got what I want in stock, and then after we’ll see if inspiration strikes.”
The Griffon shifted excitedly. “We’re here for me, Master?”
“You’re a smart girl.” Barry chuckled. “That’s good, keep that. I’ll need your brains when we’re in the field.”
“Sir!” Barry looked over to see a man rushing towards them. “You need to leave your pokegirl outside or in her ball, she can not be loose inside the store!”
“If she’s a problem I can leave.” Barry replied coolly. “She’s the only reason I’m here.”
The man pulled up, recognizing the uniform Barry wore. “Ah, if she stays there, it’s not a problem.”
“I didn’t want to browse anyways.” Barry pulled out his pokedex. “I’m looking for a Mana Crystal. Got any?”
The man nodded quickly. “7000 SLC, sir.”
Barry raised an eyebrow. “Why the markup?”
The man shifted nervously. “It, uh, covers our costs, sir.”
Barry felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up, the Tamer he had waved at outside walking slowly to be on the other side of the door, the side that would not be blocked when Barry walked out. “I see.” He surreptitiously activated the recording on his pokedex. “Just so we’re clear, you’re marking up a Johto common evolution stone by… 500 SLC, because…?”
“Our, uh, costs, sir.” The man stuttered. “It’s very dangerous to ship evolution items through the city these days, with the rash of thefts from Team Rocket.”
“Fine.” Barry watched the man bow and run to the back room, tugging on the Griffon’s arm. “Listen closely.” He whispered. “We’re about to get mugged. I am using this stone on you the instant this man gets back, I will delay with payment to allow you some time to adjust, and when we walk outside I want you to obliterate whatever threatens us. Understand?”
The Griffon growled low, the sound more excited than angry. “Yes, Master.”
“Good.” Barry held out his hand when the man returned, a small box in his hands. “Thank you.”
The man handed it over, taking Barry’s pokedex in exchange. “I’ll just charge-“ he jumped when Barry opened the box and pressed the Mana Crystal against the Griffon’s arm, shying away from the evolution light. “Uh, yes, it works. Uhm, I’ll just charge your account, sir.”
“Fine.” Barry replied, watching the man fumble with the keyboard. “Thanks.”
The man handed the device back, giving Barry a shaky smile. “Come back again, sir.”
Barry nodded, sparing a glance to make sure the new Sphinx was ready. Her eyes stared back, bright and alert, and he pushed the door open, making sure he had cleared the doorway before he turned towards the shout.
The Tamer had a pistol out, an animorphic pokegirl standing ready at his shoulder. “Nice and slow, buddy.” He called with a grin. “Recall your pokegirl before someone has to get hurt.”
Barry’s deadpan stare didn’t budge. “You’re picking the wrong guy to rob, bud.”
“Hey!” The Tamer raised his pistol. “I don’t repeat myself. Pokegirl up, now.”
Barry felt the Sphinx shove him aside, easily keeping his footing as he slid out of danger. The Tamer shouted, trying to track the moving target, before he was thrown into the air, the murderous pokegirl rushing out of the store and ripping her claws through her surprised opponent.
The other pokegirl screamed, blood splattering across the ground from the slice, her scream peaking when the Sphinx stepped out and grabbed the small bat pokegirl, wrapping her fingers around her wings and tearing.
Barry winced when the structures separated, a spray of blood painting the storefront window red. The Sphinx callously dropped the twitching pokegirl, striding over and hoisting the struggling Tamer to his feet.
“I, I-“ The Tamer stuttered, blanching when the Sphinx grabbed his pistol and sent it skittering along the ground.
“You be quiet.” She growled, sticking her face right up next to the terrified Tamer. “Master wants you alive.”
“Where’s the pokeball?” Barry called, kicking the pistol to the side of the road. “Fuck, I need to figure out your name so I can tell you what to do.”
The Sphinx ran her eyes over the shaking Tamer, plucking a pokeball from his pocket. “Master.”
Barry caught it, recalling the motionless bat and pulling Cammie’s pokeball from his belt. “I’m releasing one.”
The Sphinx watched Cammie materialize, nodding at the Mossmelon. “Bind him, Master?”
Cammie blinked, looking to Barry for an explanation. “Cammie, get him tied up.” Barry called. “We’ll take him back to the station.” He looked over to see the store attendant watching him. “Once Cammie has him, back with me.” He snapped his fingers. “Merineth. That’s your name.”
The Sphinx nodded. “Yes, Master.” She grinned happily. “Thank you for the name.”
“Sure.” Barry waited for her to release the Tamer into Cammie’s care and walk over to him. “Watch him. I need to make a call.”
Merineth nodded, fixing the attendant with a glare while Barry unhooked his pokedex and dialed in the Hunter station number.
Jake picked up on the third ring, waving when he saw Barry. “Yo, kid. What happened, Timothy find you already?”
“No, I need-“ Barry paused. “Timothy? He’s here?”
“Sure, he came back with Lars and said he’d go look for you.” Jake frowned. “What’s wrong?”
“Another evolution stone thief.” Barry replied. “Jake, we didn’t know it was Team Rocket before we caught the guy yesterday, right?”
Jake shook his head. “No, and we haven’t released any information yet, either. Where are you?”
“Evolution store about a block north of the pokegirl center down here.” Barry replied, glancing up at the attendant. “I’ve apprehended the mugger but I’ve got reason to believe the attendant here was complicit.”
“You’re alone.” Jake urged. “Let him go, get back here.”
“Roger.” Barry glanced at Merineth. “Let’s move.”
The Sphinx nodded, keeping her body between him and the store as he walked. Once he was a safe distance she broke off, hurrying to his side.
They were approaching the pokegirl center when Barry saw Timothy, waving at the man. “Yo!”
Timothy brightened, waving back. “Hey!” He slowed, looking at Merineth first before letting his eyes travel over to the trussed up Tamer. “Barry, what’s this?”
“Another mugger.” Barry replied. “We caught a Rocket grunt yesterday who was linked to the evolution stone robberies we’ve been seeing. I think I found an accomplice.”
“That’s what led to the warehouse raid this morning, right?” Timothy nodded at the Sphinx. “Which is where I heard you got her. Already evolved, huh?”
“I’ve got the cash to buy evolution stones.” Barry replied. “So why would I waste time with a weaker form?”
“Can’t argue there. C’mon.” Timothy gestured, taking the trussed Tamer from Cammie. “Let’s head back, then. Good work.”
“The attendant knew something, too.” Barry said when they started walking again. “I recorded him. He knew that the thefts were Rocket even though we haven’t released that fact.”
Timothy frowned. “While suspicious, it’s not unreasonable to just guess that Team Rocket was organizing the thefts one way or another. They’ve been known to target rare items and pokegirls.”
Barry came to a halt. “Fuck. Of course it is, and I was about to storm in there and tie him up like this jackass.”
“That would have been a bad idea.” Timothy warned. “You can’t just go after anyone you think is crooked, Barry. Now when you witness a criminal act, that’s different, but just having a suspicion isn’t enough. Take your information to the police and let them handle it.”
Barry nodded sheepishly. “Right. Sorry.”
“You really shouldn’t be wandering around in uniform without your handler anyways.” Timothy muttered. “Did they tell you to come up here?”
“Er, I needed to tame Merineth, and then I wanted to run by the store real quick…” Barry trailed off. “I should have tamed her and came straight back, huh.”
“That is correct.” Timothy grumbled. “You’re still holding a provisional license, Barry. That means you’re not a recognized Hunter yet.” He fixed Barry with a cautionary stare. “And that means that in the eyes of the law, all you really are is a private citizen. At best you’re a regular Tamer.”
Barry hung his head in shame. “I’m sorry, Timothy.”
“No harm done this time.” Timothy replied. “But it’s something to think about. Really, that’s the most important thing you need to be doing, thinking. As long as you can do that, you’ll get there.” He smiled. “I believe.”
“Yo, got another one?” The two looked up to see Jake leaning outside of the station. “Your Mossmelon takes far too much pleasure in wrapping them up like that, Barry.”
Barry glanced at Cammie. “I mean, isn’t she supposed to?”
Jake choked. “Fuck! Sure, why not.” He took a quick breath to steady himself. “Barry, you’re done for the day. I mean it. Go do something, train, I don’t care, but you’re off duty until told otherwise.”
Timothy glanced to his side. “I hadn’t told him yet, Jake.”
“Really Tim?” Jake grunted. “Barry, there were some unknown factors in your bloodwork. Lars is taking the sample to a better lab, and in the meantime, you’re grounded.”
Barry winced. “Shit.”
“Hey, best case scenario, they name it after you.” Jake chuckled. “Look, don’t worry about it. Masked men haven’t come swooping down to take you away to an undisclosed location yet, have they? It’s not a big deal. New and mutated bloodtraits are discovered all the time. Yours is just a bit special.”
“Yea, right.” Barry muttered. “I’ll go get changed.” He looked at Merineth. “I guess I can spend the time getting her a uniform.”
Jake watched him walk inside, waiting for both pokegirls to follow before addressing Timothy. “Any guesses on what he has?”
Timothy shook his head. “Something charismatic, obviously. He’s an extraordinary speaker. We’ll have to see what parallels the lab draws and whether or not he’s different enough to warrant a new classification.”
“He stared down a feral.” Jake replied. “That’s pretty different.”
“Psychics can do that.” Timothy replied. “I’m going to guess that he’s not the first with the trait, just one strong enough for it to manifest an additional effect. I’m kind of the same way.”
“Mmm. With your Monster Out.” Jake chuckled. “But that’s not exactly a good combination.”
“I’ve learned to control it a bit.” Timothy rubbed his neck. “I really don’t like what they’ve had me doing with it though.”
“Am I allowed to ask?”
“Sure.” Timothy replied. “I’m not allowed to respond, but you’re welcome to ask.”
Jake snorted, leaning back when Barry pushed back onto the street. “Leaving so soon?”
Barry was dressed in his casual clothing. “I need to get some clothes for Merineth.” He replied. “Regular ones as well as her uniform. Any advice?”
“Most tauric metamorphs like to wear skirts.” Timothy replied. “Though she’s rather new to being one. Ask her the question, see what she says.” He gave Barry a thumbs up. “A Sphinx is one hell of a catch, Barry. Try not to lose her.”
Barry frowned. “Yea, aren’t they supposed to be kind of strong-willed, too?”
Jake glanced at Timothy. “Uh, yea? What, yours isn’t?”
“She…” Barry glanced away in embarrassment. “Uh, she seemed pretty tame when I, uh, had her bound.”
Timothy started laughing, grinning at Jake. “You managed to get a Sphinx into restraints? You really are a special one, Barry.”
“Well, she was a Griffon at that point…” Barry muttered. “I haven’t tamed her since I evolved her.”
“Still.” Timothy grinned. “Yes, that’s not exactly a usual reaction for one of those breeds to have. They usually push back against their Tamer a bit in order to keep him on his toes. She just submitted?”
Barry was blushing but nodded. “Yea.”
“Kind of like when you stared her down.” Jake called. “Hey Barry, you said you’d been doing that on your harem. They all fold over too?”
Barry frowned. “Uh, yea, they do.” He looked thoughtful. “I thought they were reacting to me as their Master, but it may have been something more. When I tamed Cammie for the first time she was muttering something about a dragon, even though my pokegene isn’t that pronounced.”
“I’ll talk to the scientists.” Timothy replied. “Everything I’m hearing sounds like you’ve got some sort of psychic bloodtrait that lets you impose your will on your pokegirls.”
Barry nodded. “That sounds plausible.” He paled. “Wait, that’s like-“
“You’re not a Mindbender.” Timothy stated firmly. “I’ve met some, I’ve fought some, and you aren’t doing the same thing they do. I know what a Coercer feels like, Barry. Don’t worry.”
Barry didn’t look convinced but he still nodded. “Alright.”
“Go take your mind off things.” Timothy urged. “Go shopping. Spend some time with your new Sphinx. Try to avoid any salvage battles but still get roped into at least three before you get back for the night.” He began chuckling. “Your provisional license will protect you from losing any pokegirls, but that won’t stop Tamers from challenging you the second they realize you’ve got a Sphinx.”
Barry closed his eyes and sighed. “Thanks, Timothy. I’ll do that.”
“Yea, have fun.” Timothy watched the young man walk off. “He’s a good kid.”
“He’ll work out alright.” Jake agreed. “He needs to get a healthy respect beaten into him, but the world will do that soon enough.” He pushed off the wall. “Bring that guy inside. If they’re still operating I want to know where else Rocket is holding down warehouses.”
Merineth stared at her reflection, admiring the blouse she had picked out. Her body was different after the evolution, but she still recognized herself, the same curves, the same face, only a slight bust increase, larger wingspan, and few more inches of height showing her that she had changed.
“No, you may not challenge me for salvage.” She heard Barry saying outside the dressing room. “No, I’m not outside my rights. I’m a Hunter. Fuck off.”
Merineth smiled slightly at his actions, brushing her bangs over the occult mark that had appeared on her forehead after her evolution. The powers she could feel were strange, and unknown, but she was ready to face them if it was for him.
She absent-mindedly wrapped her enormous wings around her body, stroking them softly in a way she wouldn’t have been able to do when she was still a Griffon. Why did she feel that way towards him? She could remember her previous masters, a short line that had nearly been erased when she began to go feral. They had been her masters, yes, but none of them had commanded… no, demanded, taken the same kind of respect that this one did.
She shivered when she remembered the monstrous feeling he had given off when he was perched over her. That was why. He forced that respect because there was no other choice for her. She felt her emotions swell, a deep happiness suffusing her thoughts when she imagined being the adviser for such a Tamer.
“Meri?” Barry called. “Everything alright?”
Merineth felt a flash of annoyance and stuck her head out to look at him. “That’s a terrible nickname, Master.”
“It got you out here.” Barry replied with a grin. “Neith, then.”
Merineth’s breath caught. “You would call me that, Master?”
Barry blinked. “Uh, yea? Why, is it some special name?”
Merineth bowed her head. “Hearing it makes me feel reverent, Master, and knowing it is to be my name brings me great joy.” She raised her head with a beaming smile. “I will strive to honor the name you have gifted me.”
“Sureee.” Barry trailed off, watching her disappear back behind the curtain. “I need to look that up later.”
A few moments later Merineth pulled the curtain aside. “Master?”
Barry rubbed his chin. “I mean, it’s nice?”
Merineth glanced down at the blouse and skirt. “You don’t like it, Master?”
“It’s going to be pretty hard for you to make something look bad.” Barry mused, completely oblivious to Merineth’s reaction to his compliment. “But that outfit just... doesn’t quite do it.”
The Sphinx whirled, hiding her passionate expression with her wings. “Of course, Master.”
Barry watched her fuss about curiously. “Sorry, was that one you liked?”
“No.” Merineth replied quickly. “No, Master, don’t worry.”
Barry slid to his feet, walking over and pulling on her shoulder. “What’s wrong? Was it something I said?” Merineth allowed him to turn her around and Barry took a half step back when he saw how red her face had gotten. “Oh. It was something I said.”
Merineth laughed and stepped towards him, taking back the distance he had tried to create. “Yes, Master,” she wrapped her wings around him before drawing him into a kiss, “it was definitely something you said.”
She remained there long enough that Barry began to panic before finally breaking contact. “Your outfit,” he managed, searching desperately for anything that would distract the ornery pokegirl, “try another one on.”
Merineth giggled, releasing her hold on him to begin pulling the blouse over her head. “Like this, Master?”
Barry could feel the Sphinx’s teasing eyes follow him when he bolted, pushing past the wall her wings had created and diving down a nearby aisle.
Merineth grinned and happily pulled the blouse the rest of the way off, turning experimentally in front of the mirror. “Good skirt.” She muttered, grabbing another top from the pile they had gathered and pulling it on. “Need to find a good shirt...”
Barry took a deep breath. Merineth had been busily trying on outfit after outfit while he watched from a distance. He had been able to do some research in the meantime, but the Sphinx’s polarizing shift from her teasing to nearly ignoring him completely had really thrown him for a loop. She was an interesting pokegirl, and he was curious how she would react to the rest of the harem.
“Master.” Merineth called. “I’ve decided.”
Barry got to his feet, wincing and rubbing at his legs when they protested. “Coming.”
Merineth glanced back at him when he approached and posed, nervously watching him. “What do you think of this one, Master?”
Barry nodded thoughtfully. “I like it.” He measured the sleeves with his eyes. “Those are pretty short.”
Merineth pushed her hair back, smirking when Barry’s eyes flicked to the generous sideboob her motion created. “Too short, Master?”
“Nope.” Barry replied instantly. “It’s great. I love it.”
She laughed happily. “I’m glad, Master. I love it too.”
“Yea.” Barry let her embrace him. “Well. I’m glad you found something you liked.”
He blinked in surprise when she began to purr and her grip tightened. “Yes, Master. I did.” Merineth let out a yelp when Barry shoved her away, looking at him in confusion.
“Down.” Barry chuckled. “You’re getting horny again and we’re in public.”
Merineth nervously brushed her hair out of her eyes. “Yes Master.” She absent-mindedly rubbed her arms while she watched him. “What now, Master?”
“I’m not sure.” Barry replied honestly. “I’m going to introduce you to the harem today at some point, but I don’t know when. As for right now, we need to get you fitted for a uniform.”
Merineth nodded slightly. “Okay. Wait, a uniform, Master?”
“Right, I haven’t explained who I am.” Barry gestured. “I’m a Hunter. Well, in training, as I’ve been reminded, but it means most of the time you’ll be in uniform. Those clothes will be for free time.”
Merineth pulled at the blouse and nodded. “I understand, Master. I heard you say that while I was dressing.”
Barry shrugged. “Right. So we have to get that done.” He grimaced. “It would be easier if you were still a Catgirl or whatever. Wings are a bitch to work around.”
Merineth glanced down. “I’m sorry that I’m a bother, Master.”
“No, no.” Barry sighed. “I didn’t mean it like that. I would much rather have a Sphinx than a Catgirl, especially when you seem to know how to fight already. I got lucky capturing you, that’s for sure.”
Merineth blushed. “Thank you, Master, but… The truth is, I don’t… I was a Catgirl before I started… to go feral, Master. That’s what I remember the most, not after I became a Griffon.”
Barry frowned. “Really? That’s funny, you took down that mugger with ease.”
Merineth shook her head. “I know, Master, but I just did what I knew, without… without thinking… He was, he was threatening you, and…” She took a deep breath. “I don’t really, remember what happened, Master. I just moved until I heard you calling for me.”
“Interesting.” Barry mused, peering at her. “Hey, look at me.” He gave her a cheeky grin when she complied. “I don’t want any of my pokegirls to be afraid to look me in the eye when I’m talking to them, alright?”
Merineth nodded slightly. “Alright, Master.”
“That’s one thing I’ve really been trying to do.” Barry continued. “If you’re scared of speaking up, or don’t want to fight when I need you to, I’m screwed. This job is dangerous, so having a pokegirl that doesn’t want to do her best is a bad, bad thing.”
Merineth gave him a genuine grin. “What pokegirl would not want to fight, Master? I just, don’t really know how to like this.” She spread her arms and twirled slowly. “But, at least I’m not falling over, Master. I’m a lot taller than I remember.”
“Yea? You’re giant.” Barry chuckled, looking up at her full height. “You’ve got a good six inches on me.” He snagged her hand when she turned back around. “Come on. I’ll pay, and then we can just walk, ok? Let you get used to moving around.”
Merineth nodded happily. “I’d like that, Master.”
“Then let’s do it.” Barry quickly found an attendant and paid for the clothing, ushering Merineth into the afternoon sunlight. “Look like an Angel, or all I’ll be doing is telling Tamers to fuck off.”
Merineth giggled, wrapping her wings around her body so it looked like she was just wearing a feathered cape. “How’s this, Master?”
“That works.” Barry smiled back. “Got any more surprises?”
Merineth shook her head. “No, Master, at least not yet.”
“Then let’s find a custom clothing store and get you fit for a uniform.” Barry replied. “With any luck we’ll get that done before I have to cuss out the next challenging Tamer.”
Barry followed Merineth out, glancing at an article on his pokedex. “They said delivery by the end of the week, right?”
“They did, Master.”
“Good enough.” Barry minimized a window to look at a detailed clothing chart for Near Human pokegirls. “I was surprised that they have something specifically for wings like yours. I didn’t think they were unique enough to matter.”
Merineth pulled her wing around. “It’s because I can do this with them, Master.” She laughed and squirmed when he started stroking it. “They’re too big! Master, that tickles!”
Barry chuckled and relented. “You’ll never hear me say they’re too big. Now c’mon.”Barry checked his Pokédex. “I think there’s a nice park nearby. We’ll head in that direction.”
Merineth nodded, gliding behind him through the streets. She held her head high as they walked, carefully feeling out her motions while enjoying the stares from the people they passed.
Barry was a bit more active, watching the potential Tamers for any that showed too much interest. “Merineth.”
The Sphinx jumped. “Master?”
“Do you see the Tamer ahead of us?”
Merineth glanced forwards, nodding slightly. “The one with the Tigress, Master?”
“That’s the guy that was hounding me in the clothing store.” Barry slowed slightly. “He’s got friends.”
Merineth looked at him in confusion before looking around. “Where, Master?”
“The Tamer on our left.” Barry replied. “The two talking men that we’re about to pass. All of them are watching him, waiting for us.”
Merineth allowed her gaze to wander past the two men Barry was referring to and hissed when she saw both of them glance in their direction. “How did you know, Master?”
“I’ve been avoiding bullies for years.” Barry growled. “They all think they’re so damn sneaky.” He contemplated what to do. “Shit. I can’t remember if Goldenrod is a no-fly zone.”
Merineth turned her attention back to him. “Master?”
“You could just fly us away.” Barry explained. “Or I could release Mina, have her teleport us. But I’d rather not create a reputation of just running away.” He sighed. “Probably a local pure and his little gang. Fucking annoying.”
Merineth quieted when they got closer to the Tamer and Barry abruptly turned to face him. “I told you once. Piss off.”
The Tamer blinked in surprise but quickly regained his composure. “I challenge you to a salvage battle for your Griffon.”
“Fuck off.” Barry said again. “I’m a Hunter, which means not only do I get to say that, you can’t do shit to fight it. Go evolve your own Catgirl.”
“We’re not letting you leave until you say yes.” The Tamer grinned when the others began drifting in towards them. “You really should just say yes.”
Barry blew air through his nose and turned to Merineth. “He hasn’t technically assaulted me yet.” He grumbled. “So I can’t tell you to kick his ass.”
“HEY!” The Tamer yelled. “ARE YOU THREATENING TO SIC YOUR POKEGIRL ON ME?” He smirked when a few passerbies’ heads turned. “Just say yes, buddy.”
“Bullies are so annoying.” Barry groused to the confused Sphinx. “See, ignore them long enough, and they start trying to embarrass you, or trick you into giving them ammunition.” He continued ignoring the Tamer when he started shouting again. “Plus we’re in Goldenrod. Police saturation is higher than…”
“I’LL HAVE YOU ARRESTED FOR-“ The Tamer was shouting when a new voice broke in.
“ALRIGHT, MOVE ASIDE!” The crowd that had been gathering melted away when a uniformed Officer shouldered his way in. “What’s this commotion about.”
“Officer, this man is-“ The Tamer started, pointing an accusatory finger at Barry.
“Am I free to leave?” Barry interrupted coolly, staring straight at the belligerent. “I’ve got things to do today.”
“No you can’t!” The Tamer nearly screamed. “Officer, arrest-“
“Officer, this Tamer and his friends are holding me against my will in an attempt to steal my pokegirl.” Barry interrupted again, raising his voice over the sputtering Tamer. “As he has just stated, he has no intention of letting me leave peacefully.”
“Alright, enough.” The officer growled. “Both of you. Show me some ID.”
Barry waited, watching the smirking Tamer hand over a small plastic card. The officer glanced at it and back up at the Tamer with a quick smile. “Ah. We’ll get this sorted out, Sir.”
Merineth watched Barry worriedly when he handed over his pokedex. “Master?”
“It’s alright.” Barry’s grin widened when the color drained from the officer’s face. “Do you need to call your superior, sir?”
“N-no.” The poor policeman handed him his pokedex back. “Please pass my thanks to your, uh, father, for the equipment donations this year, sir.”
“OY.” The Tamer yelled. “I DEMAND YOU ARREST THIS KID AT ONCE!”
“Surely there’s simply been a misunderstanding.” The officer blustered. “You didn’t really mean mister Gustin was attempting to steal your pokegirl, right?” He looked at Barry pleadingly. “I would much prefer this did not end in a trip to the station.”
Barry grimaced when he recognized the name. “I didn’t misspeak, officer, but I’d rather avoid that trip myself.” He pointed at the other Tamer. “He challenged me to a salvage battle, which I am legally allowed to refuse.”
“No he fucking CAN’T!” The Tamer yelled. “If he refuses my challenge I get the salvage, so I. WANT. HIS. GRIFFON!”
“If that’s what it takes, fine.” Barry snapped. “Officer, he wants my Griffon. You heard as much, yes?” He turned to the Tamer when the officer nodded. “I don’t have a Griffon. Here is my Griffon I do not have. We’re done.”
The Tamer purpled when Barry tossed him an imaginary pokeball. “SHE’S RIGHT THERE! I WANT THAT POKEGIRL!”
“That is a Sphinx.” Barry snorted. “You want a Griffon, I don’t have a Griffon.”
“Mister Gustin, please calm down.” The officer sputtered. “Sir, please do not provoke him. Mister Gustin, this man is a Hunter, so he is correct in saying that he is exempt from normal salvage rules, you can not claim any of his pokegirls because he declined your challenge. The law states...”
“I don’t CARE what the law states!” The Tamer screamed. “I WANT HIS FUCKING POKEGIRL!”
Barry finally felt the anger he had been holding back overflow. “You want her? Let’s battle, you spoiled piece of shit. But when I win, I guarantee you’ll regret ever trying to steal my pokegirl.”
The Tamer grinned triumphantly. “I accept!”
“Master...” Merineth whispered urgently. “I don’t want to be his pokegirl.”
“You won’t be.” Barry whispered back. “I refused his original challenge and issued one of my own with no prizes stated, which he just accepted. The idiot thinks that if he wins he’ll get you, but even if he somehow manages to win, I have every legal protection to keep you.” His expression narrowed and he grit his teeth. “Nobody steals my pokegirls.”
“I, I, I will referee.” The policeman stuttered. “Please, uh, follow me.”
The two followed the officer to a public arena. Barry started towards the near side before realizing the other Tamer had already moved in that direction and walked to the other end.
He didn’t miss the smug smirk the other Tamer was giving him while he walked. “Merineth, I’m sorry, but I’m using you.”
Merineth’s wings unfurled and she flapped them experimentally. “Yes, Master. Thank you Master.”
“I want a two pokegirl double battle!” Barry yelled at the policeman. “No substitutions, first to two!”
The officer nodded, looking expectantly to the other Tamer. “Are these terms acceptable?”
The Tamer shot Barry an annoyed look. “Double? Sure.”
“Both of you, recall your pokegirls.” The Officer raised his hand. On my count. Three. Two. One. Begin!”
Barry retriggered Merineth’s pokeball and reached for another, hesitating a moment before grabbing Mina’s and releasing the Ka-D-Bra. “Mina, the Sphinx is mine!”
Mina looked around before focusing on Merineth and nodding. Across from them the Tamer had released an Electrocat and some sort of white-furred catgirl.
Barry was adjusting his goggles and watched the built in display begin listing each pokegirl. “Mina, focus the white one, she’s an Ice-type! Neith, cover Mina but don’t get hit, they both counter you!” He nodded when the scan finished. “Neith, don’t shift, you match the ice one and you need to dodge more than you need strength.”
Merineth mentally acknowledged his orders, looking to Mina expectantly. “You lead.”
Mina nodded, her antennae swaying. “The electric cat fights at range. Dodge the ice one and I will keep the other from defeating you, sister.”
“Ignore the tits, get the cat!”
“Here they come!” Barry yelled when the Shaguar blitzed forwards at her Tamer’s command. “Neith, dodge!”
Merineth unfurled her wings and pushed as hard as she could, blasting away from where she had been standing just as a thunder bolt speared into the ground. The Electrocat yowled in frustration, jumping forwards before flipping head over heels when Mina struck back. She screeched and fought against the Ka-D-Bra’s psychic hold, breaking loose after a moment and screaming her displeasure.
Mina’s eyes glowed and she teleported, avoiding the sideswipe the charging Shaguar had sent her way. She watched the Electrocat, flicking her hand when the pokegirl attempted to aim another bolt at the dodging Sphinx.
Merineth took a moment to raise her defenses, biting off a scream when the thunder bolt connected despite her Reflect. Thankfully it was weakened due to the technique but she still felt her body jerk from the electricity.
“Watch out!” Barry yelled, the Shaguar charging an attack. Merineth glanced at her pursuer and threw herself to the side but not in time to avoid the icy beam that impacted her leg. She grimaced when the ice spread up her ass, the covered area beginning to numb from the cold.
“Mina, help her!” Barry roared, watching helplessly when Merineth was hit by another thunder bolt, her scream cutting short when the Shaguar slammed into her. “TELEKINESIS!” he yelled, “DRAG HER OFF!”
Merineth blocked the Shaguar’s next attack, watching the Electrocat drift closer to find an open angle. “Now?”
Mina watched the Electrocat run closer to the melee. “Almost… and… NOW!”
The other Tamer was gloating when Merineth abruptly collapsed, shrieking in pain as the movement cracked the ice coating her body and revealed the raw, bleeding skin underneath.
The Shaguar yelped, her attack flying wide and sending her off balance, just as the charging Electrocat felt herself picked off the ground and thrown bodily towards her partner. Neither had given much attention to Mina and they paid for the mistake, the Shaguar screaming when the Electrocat flew over Merineth’s head and slammed into her in a tangled mess of arms and legs.
Barry was opening his mouth to give another command when Merineth shifted, the ice snapping and shattering away from her now tauric body. Mina’s eyes flashed, the two tangled catgirls screaming in pain from the psychic attack.
The other Tamer’s gloats cut off when Merineth yelled her own battle cry, barely hesitating before smashing into her tangled opponents. Barry winced when the Electrocat’s screams stopped, the Shaguar’s heightening in pitch as she flew away from the impact. Merineth roared, smashing her legs down into the twitching Electrocat before turning her attention to the injured Shaguar when the recall beam lanced out.
The white-furred catgirl hissed, favoring her left side while she circled the Sphinx. Merineth watched her evenly, shifting her own posture to match. “You are a fierce opponent.” She called. “But there is one who does not fear you, one I answer to. Do you know who it is?”
The Shaguar’s eyes narrowed and she darted in, sidestepping Merineth’s sabre claw and smashing a glowing fist into the Sphinx’s chest. Merineth’s eyes bugged and she coughed, blood specking the impassionate Shaguar’s face, collapsing to one knee while the Ice-type prepared a finishing blow.
Merineth caught her breath, listening to the sound of the Shaguar hitting the ground. “Thank you.” She wheezed, raising her head to see her opponent unconscious, blood beginning to drip from her nose.
Mina stepped past Merineth, keeping firm hold of the Shaguar’s mind while she replied. “You are welcome here, sister.”
“Mister Messer is the victor!” The policeman raised his hand. “Two to one!”
Barry didn’t bother arguing, recalling the flagging Sphinx and walking towards the referee. “I want nothing from that fool.” He looked over at the livid Tamer. “The satisfaction of my victory is more than enough for me.”
“Then this battle is decided.” The officer gestured. “Mister Gustin, you have lost a fair contest. Please concede.”
The other Tamer silently recalled his unconscious Shaguar and turned away, disappearing into the streets.
Barry grimaced. “He’ll come back for revenge.” He looked at Mina when the Ka-D-Bra walked to his side. “Bullies always do.”
“Thank you, sir.” The policeman said quickly, bowing slightly and hurrying away.
“What happened, Master?” Mina asked.
“A spoiled bully had someone stand up to him.” Barry sighed. “Well, that’s what I get for walking around with a Sphinx out.I was warned and I still did it. Take us back to the station, please.”
Mina took his hand and they teleported. “A Sphinx is an amazing acquisition, Master. Where did you buy her?”
“I didn’t.” Barry replied. “Caught her as a Griffon.”
Mina blinked. “That must have been a hard battle, Master. Both Cammie and Rebecca are very weak to a Flying-type like the Griffon.”
“What makes you think I used them?”
“I didn’t fight a Griffon, Master.” Mina replied. “So it must have been one of the other two, yes?”
“See, I forgot why I considered you as Alpha in the first place. Thank you for reminding me.” Barry chuckled. “Don’t lose that intelligence. I need it, no matter if I ask for it or not.”
Mina bowed. “Yes, Master. I will strive to be your true counsel.”
“Anyways, the way I got her is... interesting. But she’s mine now. I will be introducing her to the harem later today.”
Mina nodded slightly. “I agree, Master. She should be introduced as soon as possible. When will that be?”
“Eh, not too long. I need to go tell Timothy he was right and that I’ll be in the training fields for the rest of the day. I want to run Neith around the others until all four of you are working together seamlessly.” Barry pointed. “I’ll be right back out. Take the harem and change into normal clothes.” He rolled his eyes. “And yes, I know that means Cammie is going to strip. That’s fine. Just get them ready.”
Mina took the pokeballs he handed her and watched him step inside the Hunter station. She stepped away from the door, making sure she was out of sight before quickly teleporting into their dorm room and grabbing the bag of clothing in the locker.
She could hear him talking with somebody just outside and teleported again, swiftly pulling out each pokegirls’ clothing while she triggered their releases. “Cammie, casual. You can be nude. Rebecca, put your training gear on.” She flicked her hair back, her uniform unbuttoning itself and slipping over her arms. “I need to get my dress on.” She grimaced when she felt Barry’s mind begin moving outside. “Distract him, somehow, please.”
Barry rounded the corner a minute later, looking around. “I see you chose not to wear the bikini, Cammie. Where’s Mina?”
“Putting away our uniforms, Master.” Rebecca replied quietly. “And Camilla’s bikini.”
“I didn’t see... teleport.” Barry snorted. “Very useful ability, that. Alright. Well while she’s doing that, I might as well explain what’s going on today.” He sighed. “Until further notice, I’m off duty. Which sucks, because the regular patrol into the forest was going to be this weekend, and now we don’t get to go along. Lars was saying it’s where most new recruits are able to pick up a new feral or two.” He chuckled. “Thankfully, we won’t be missing out on that part.”
The two exchanged quizzical looks that vanished when Mina appeared in front of Barry. The Ka-D-Bra yelped in surprise and took a half step beck. “Oh! Master, sorry, that was where I had teleported from.”
Barry laughed. “No harm done. Are your uniforms put away?”
Mina bobbed her head. “Yes Master. And she is ready for you.” She continued, holding out Merineth’s pokeball.
Barry frowned and took it. “Ready?”
“Healed and cleaned, Master.”
Barry blinked. “Oh. I hadn’t even thought of doing that after her battle.” He gave her a warm smile. “That was an excellent thought. As I expect from my Alpha.”
Mina smiled. “Thank you, Master.”
“Right.” Barry waited for her to glide over to the others. “As I was saying, we won’t be missing out on capturing a new pokegirl because I managed that this morning. This is Merineth.” He released the Sphinx. “Merineth, you have already met Mina. She is the Alpha.”
Merineth glanced between the assembled pokegirls. “Yes, Master. It is a pleasure, my Alpha.”
Mina smiled back at her. “Merineth, this is Rebecca and Camilla.” She pointed to each pokegirl in turn. “I have no Beta at this time.”
“And you shouldn’t need one yet.” Barry replied. “Merineth, I already explained some of what I do, but if you have any questions you can ask Mina. Mina, I want her rotated into today’s training. Focus on using her human form, she supposedly has enough practice in her other forms.”
Mina frowned slightly. “I will check that later, Master. Human for today.”
“Good.” Barry gestured. “We’re assigned to field two today. Let’s get started.”
“I may be new to this post but that has no bearing on my pull.”
The man leaned back. “You understand what we’re looking at here? This is something that won’t be released below level 3 at least. We can’t let this classification reach the public. This is more than some unfortunate blood trait, it’s a threat. Who knows what this kid can do? By your own Hunter’s testimony, he stared down a fucking Griffon. That breed is as mindless as a blackie when they get going. And you are going to stand in front of me and claim this isn’t a problem?”
“He doesn’t understand what he’s doing.” Timothy crossed his arms behind his back. “He’s not a threat. I can’t claim to know if his gift is one, but Bartholomew Messer is not a threat. At least, not to this league.”
“Please, Gardner, convince me.” The man smiled. “I am always so very interested to hear your explanations.”
Timothy mentally sighed. “Sir, can we just skip the bullshit and induct him into the program?”
“You talked yourself into it.” The man chuckled. “So talk him in with you.”
“Barry is an asset.” Timothy replied. “I have had the opportunity to talk to him, face to face, and he has made it clear that his goal is to do the work of a Hunter, securing and defending this league. He isn’t interested in power, or politics, he is interested in protecting the people from our greatest threats. His trait will help that goal.”
The man nodded. “He was already approved, but you’ve successfully convinced me to keep him under your control.”
Timothy shook his head. “Great. He’ll be none the wiser, then. I need more hands at Go-“
“I said he’ll be under your control.” The man interrupted. “I mean he’ll be under your thumb.”
Timothy blinked. “Sir, I can’t leave the pass.”
Timothy slowly frowned. “You can’t be suggesting I take him with me?”
“I am. You’ve seen the trends.”
“With all due respect, there is no way in hell that I’m bringing a fresh recruit into Zerobulo.” Timothy growled. “Having the one there is bad enough.”
The man shook his head. “You said that about the suppression team I posted last week. And they’re not fresh.”
“If you haven’t been a level 2 for five years, you’re fresh there.” Timothy retorted.
“Hm.” The man chuckled. “I’m glad you take the post seriously.”
“He’s not going there.”
“It’s non negotiable.” The man stood. “This isn’t your decision, Tim, and it’s not mine. Either the kid sticks to you like glue, or people I shouldn’t know about start reevaluating his worth as a human.”
Timothy’s eyes hardened. “Are you threatening a child?”
“Is he a child, Tim?” The man sighed. “Or is he, legally and morally, an adult, wielding an unknown power? And no, I’m not. They are, not me.”
Timothy grit his teeth. “This is suicide. He’s barely an adult.”
“All the sweet talk in the world can’t change this.” The man stepped around his desk and patted Timothy on the shoulder. “If you really believe he’ll just die, say no. Hunters disappear all the time, especially rookies. The family will get over it, and the scientists won’t care - they’ll be able to do all the tests they want on… I dunno, probably a Pyrona, with the way his pokegene runs.”
Timothy shrugged away from the man’s hand. “No. He’s coming with me.”
The man grinned. “See? I knew you would see reason. Dismissed.”
Timothy did an about face, striding into the hallway and closing the door none too softly. “CLAIRE!”
A pokegirl seemed to melt out of the wall. “Master?”
The girl blinked, resting her hand on his arm and shivering. “Master, I-“
“Claire, I gave you a direct order. Stop me.”
The pokegirl nodded, her hand glowing for a few moments. Timothy rolled his neck, waiting for the rage that had been building to subside. “Thank you.”
The girl shivered, dropping his arm and rubbing at her eyes. “I don’t blame you, Master.”
“Not here.” Timothy replied. “Take us… I don’t know. The mountain. I need to decompress.”
The pokegirl nodded, taking his arm as the two vanished.
Tamer profile of Bartholomew (Barry) Messer
License: Hunter – Provisional
Clearance Level: 0
Pokegene 1 – Dragon
Minerva (Mina) – Ka-D-Bra
Rebecca (Revvy) – Pirouette
Camilla (Cammie) – Mossmelon
Merineth (Neith) – Sphinx
Tamer Profile of Mark Wehrmen
License: Hunter – Provisional
Clearance Level: 1
Lagearna – Cerberass, Alpha
Shibara – Venuswhore
Aeriesafa – Pidgette
Tamer Profile of Jonah Bates
License: Hunter – Provisional
Clearance Level: 0
Information restricted without Level 2 clearance.
Restricted by ~hs2D5gj8~
Lucy – Xerablondi, Alpha
Jane – Turtwat
Mary – Goblina
??? – Feral Dracona
Tamer Profile of Eric Holiday
License: Hunter – Provisional
Clearance Level: 0
!!Tamer’s Disease – Severe!!
Clara – Ice Battle Angel, Alpha
Candace – Vixxen
Megan – Chikotit
Ashley – Kitten
Tamer has severe Tamer’s Disease. Do not keep from taming in excess of two days. If Tamer has not tamed for three days, prepare for Frenzy.
Tamer Profile of Timothy Gardner
License: Hunter – Level 4
Clearance Level: 4
Information restricted without Level 2 clearance.
Restricted by Timothy Gardner.
Leizi – Lopiki, Alpha
Samantha – Shednobi, Beta
Sapphire – Wyveri
Noir – Z-Bra
Hestia – Blazicunt
Martina – Enchantress