Vikrama Samvat date: 2356, Phalguna Krishnapaksa, 1.
International standard date: 298 AS, February 22.
Taming with her new Firemaiden had been extremely pleasant for Sukanta, as it turned out her newest Pokegirl was very experienced with getting around her temperature problems. And afterwards, the new trainer and her two Pokegirls had gone outside to spend time enjoying Holi. This had provided plenty of fun time to get to interact with Sikendra, where she seemed to have gotten used to both Sukanta and Parbati. By the time they got back, the sky was getting dark, and Sukanta had decided that it would be a fun idea to get in some more taming before bed. Both of her Pokegirls were up for it, and by the time she finally went to sleep, it must have been quite late. Which meant that the next day, the last thing she wanted to do was get woken up before sunrise.
Given such hopes, Sukanta was now very annoyed that she was leaving the Pokecenter with her brother and fellow student trainer after her brother’s Night Nurse had woken her up. “Do you mind explaining why we’re up so early? I think I’m seeing the beginning of sunrise. And couldn’t you have woken me up yourself?” The aforementioned Night Nurse, who was walking beside her master, scowled at Sukanta. Either that, or she looked at Sukanta while wearing her normal facial expression. It was really hard to tell which of the two it was.
“Um… First off, I sent in Rinki because I wasn’t sure if you might be taming. Really not something I want to risk seeing my sister doing if I can help it. As for the more important stuff, well… You need to pay back the loan I gave you for your Firemaiden. She cost enough that this will take a fair amount of credits, by the standards of a student trainer. And something really stupid happened last night that’s really good luck for us when it comes to needing high-reward, low-risk bounties for you to practice with.”
At this, Sukanta perked up. “High-reward, low-risk bounty? Sounds perfect!”
“It sounds too good to be true.” Sukanta turned to glance at Parbati, who, along with Sikendra, was out of her Pokeball and walking alongside her mistress. “Typical city nuisances, such as Toxicats and Tanuki, tend not to be that hard to catch. If anything more dangerous shows up, the Hunters are usually sent in to deal with it properly. Anything worse than that, and it’s an all-call. What in the world happened to make an exception to all of that?”
Sukanta hadn’t really thought about it, but her pet… Well, her former pet of a Pidgy had a point. Even in a rural area where tamers needed to be enticed to visit, high-reward and low-risk would have been suspicious. In the capitol city of Kathmandu, however, it should have seemed like a near impossibility. But her brother had never seemed like the dumb type, so there had to be some kind of good explanation.
“I was actually the one who found out about it,” Abhimanya, her fellow student trainer, was the one who spoke up. The Pokegirl that accompanied him was the same feline one whose lap Sukanta had seen him sitting in yesterday. “I have a habit of getting up early, and I left for breakfast where I met others who had experienced what happened. You know about the glow-in-the-dark Undine mist clouds that happen in Holi?”
“Yeah. What does that have to do with bounties?”
“Apparently some idiots mixed in some Lust Dust with the colored powders mixed in to create them. The police are currently investigating to find out who did that, but I think you can guess what the consequences were.”
“There was that much fun and I missed it?” Sukanta exclaimed. At this, her brother Atulya loudly sighed.
“The lust dust affected some of the city ferals. Even if some of them hadn’t evolved from orgasm-based evolutions, you still would not have wanted to be involved in that. It was not something fun for any of the humans sent to the hospital.” Her brother’s words definitely put a damper on Sukanta’s fantasies.
“…Oh. That… oh.” She was able to realize at least that she must have sounded like an idiot for not considering that. She couldn’t really think of anything to say to not continue sounding stupid, though.
“Given how high up the mist had been, when the Undine lost control of it, the lust dust infused substance fell throughout the city. If it had been daytime, there would have only been worries about Kittens becoming wildcats and Doggirls becoming Hounds. But because it was nighttime, well… Do you know what an Eva’s only orgasm-based evolution is?”
“Yes! Omegan! It requires an orgasm at night to achieve. It’s also really powerful for…” And then Sukanta trailed off. At first she had been glad to know the answer to a knowledge-based question, so as to redeem herself from her former impression of stupidity. Then she actually thought about what she was saying, and realized how bad the situation was for the city. “We’re not going after an Omegan, are we?”
“No. You and your harem aren’t ready for something like that yet. Instead, we’ll be doing what most other trainers will want to do and look for the Hounds or Wildcats. The city has temporary bounties out for any caught within the city, after the mess last night. As for the Omegans, that’s what the Hunters are focusing on. And Parbati,” he said, turning to look at the Pidgey, and releasing a bird-based Pokegirl of his own. “I’m going to have you and my Rack fly above and scout the area.”
The Rack, as it seemed the winged Pokegirl was, took off flying, with Parbati close behind her. The sun was now peeking out from beyond the horizon, which meant that it wouldn’t be necessary for either of the aerial scouts to have night vision, at least. Which was good, because Sukanta was pretty sure neither Racks nor Pidgeys could see that well in the dark. Come to think of it, did Night Nurse have nightvision? Sukanta hadn’t seen her brother’s Alpha since she had been a Nurse Joy. She thus didn’t know much about them, but what little she did know included that they could fly. So they did have an aerial scout for nocturnal situations?
Sukanta’s Firemaiden, however, seemed to have been thinking along entirely different lines. “I noticed you didn’t have your other student contribute a flier. Does he not have any Pokegirls capable of flight?” Sikendra’s question caused Sukanta to snap out of her thoughts. Come to think of it, beyond having seen Abhimanya with his feline companion, she had no idea what Pokegirls he owned. She didn’t even know what specific breed said feline was.
Abhimanya shook his head. “I’ve already filled out my harem. All 6 combatant slots plus a non-combatant, and none of them can fly. But don’t worry- my Pumara is super-good at climbing vertical surfaces, so I still have a scout who will be able to contribute outside the city.” Well, that probably answered the question of what breed his cat Pokegirl was. It was possible he had multiple cat Pokegirls, but Sukanta was still guessing the feline Abhimanya had out was his Pumara.
“I’d help in the city, too, but people don’t really like Pokegirls climbing their buildings. You know?” The feline Pokegirl beside Abhimanya spoke, confirming that she was indeed his Pumara. There were a few grunts and nods of affirmation, but her weak joke failed to produce any laughter. The group silently idled for a bit, before the two Flying-type scouts returned.
“Good news- while we didn’t spot anything, we did encounter a Hunter’s Valkyrie who knew the location of some of the newly evolved Hounds. Given her owner was focused on the Omegans, she was fine with sharing it with us. A bit away in that direction,” the Rack pointed, “some feral Hounds have been spotted trying to blend in as tamed Pokegirls. It’s probably what they were used to doing as feral Doggirls, but now with the high alert, they got noticed because of their evolution. While the Valkyrie doesn’t know where their base is, given how territorial Hounds are, she said they’ve got to have one, probably in an abandoned building.”
As Atulya’s Rack finished her briefing, the Mentor Trainer nodded. “Good job- that definitely sounds like a good lead. Are there any so we recognize the area?”
This time, Parbati responded. “A statue of Drukpa Kunley was apparently right by where the Hounds were discovered.” Outside of the Mountain League, that particular pre-Sukebe monk might not have been well-known. Within the Mountain League, he was famous for having laid a groundwork a Buddhist philosophy which fully embraced sexuality. It was completely unsurprising that many monuments around the Mountain League had been erected to celebrate his legacy.
And given the phallic imagery traditionally found at his temple, ‘erected’ was definitely the correct choice of words.
After arriving at Drukpa Kunley’s statue, Sukanta watched as her brother released his Growlie. His Rack had already been returned to her Pokeball before the walk to the statue. Abhimanya, upon seeing what Atulya was doing, released a Growlie of his own, much more anthropomorphic than the Near Human Growlie Atulya had released. Whereas Atulya’s Near Human Growlie immediately stood straight and focused on her trainer after assessing the situation, Abhimanya’s Growlie was distractedly sniffing the air, head tilted.
“Divya,” Atulya’s Night Nurse said. Sukanta was a bit surprised that Rinki was the one addressing the Growlie her brother had released, and not Atulya himself. “We want you and Sarang to track down some feral Hounds. They were spotted here not too long ago, so their scent should still be fresh.” The Near Human Growlie- Divya- nodded, and the more anthropomorphic Growlie- Sarang- had immediately crouched down to sniff at the ground.
“Scent. Want sniff Hound smell.” And that sort of feralborne language coming from Sarang would certainly explain the difference in both appearance and behavior. Divya, by contrast, was silently concentrating on sniffing a different part of the ground in the area. Sukanta couldn’t help but notice that while Sarang would sometimes double back and sniff the same area, Divya seemed to be searching in a methodical grid-like pattern. As such, it was no surprise when Divya was the one to succeed.
“I’ve found the scent, I think. Do you want me to lead you to where the Hounds have gone?”
“Yes.” As Abhimanya responded to his Pokegirl’s finding, Sarang rushed towards the area Divya had made her discovery. The feralborne Growlie sniffed the area herself, before bounding forward, only to stop at the corner of a turning alley.
“Master! Hound scent here! Want come?”
“Yeah- but you need to stay a bit closer to us. Don’t look like you’re going running off like that again. Since we’re in a city rather than the wilderness, there could be misunderstandings.” Abhimanya spoke to his Growlie firmly, as the group of both humans and Pokegirls walked up to her. To her credit, Sarang was at least well-trained enough to, in response to her Master’s orders, stay rooted to the spot until he and his group had caught up. As they continued following the scent, she would certainly look behind her impatiently, but she never complained, either. Overall, Abhimanya seemed to have done a decent job training a feralborne, given he still only had his Trainer’s Permit instead of a Trainer’s License.
Eventually, the two Growlies stopped, having taken the group to a rather seedy-looking part of town. “Why not chase Hounds?” Sarang asked, pointing at a large building in front of them. Judging by the looks of it, the building was an abandoned one, complete with both graffiti and ivy adorning its walls. A sign nearby showed it to have been a former factory, which had the function of producing… Sukanta wasn’t sure what. She had never heard of the ‘Tasty Tamings’ company before, probably because they seemed to have gone out of business.
“Our Masters would likely prefer to strategize before we enter the building in which the Hounds and Doggirls seem to be residing,” Divya responded to Sarang’s question.
Sukanta decided that this was probably a good time to release Sikendra from her Pokeball. Actually, she probably should have done that before now, to explain to the Firemaiden what was going on. Upon seeing what she was doing, her brother nodded. “Releasing the rest of our Pokegirls definitely seems like a good idea right now.”
With that said, Atulya released the rest of his harem, with Abhimanya quickly following suit. “Alright- our current mission is to capture some Doggirls and Hounds who are living in that building,” Atulya announced to the newly released girls, pointing at the building. “Sarang and Divya tracked some of the Hounds to this location, and I’m guessing they have an estimate of the pack’s size?”
“Six total. There were only two Hounds, but I’ve caught the scent of four other Doggirls.”
“No! Six Doggirls!” Sarang’s unexpected dissension merely caused Divya to roll her eyes.
“Two of those Doggirl scents suddenly stopped appearing within the last 24 hours, while the other four are still fresh. Two Hounds were spotted, and we smelled two Hounds, so it is obvious those two evolved into those Hounds. If you pay attention, you can even detect a certain similarity between those two fading scents and the new scents of the Hounds.” As Sarang appeared to ponder this, and the conversation continued on the subject of the likely size of the pack, Sukanta was only half-listening. While she planned on paying full attention once they got to discussing strategy, right now she had something more important to do.
Namely, she had just finished up scanning the various Pokegirls that had been released with her Pokedex. In addition to his Night Nurse and Growlie he had out, Atulya had also released his Rack, a Shieldmaiden, a Bawdger, and a Beautifloe. For Abhimanya, in addition to his Pumara and his Growlie, he had also released a Snow Bunny, a Saguara, a Solaria, a Ponytaur, and a Pollita. The Pollita was listed as a noncombatant, as was the Shieldmaiden. While keeping a medic as a noncombatant seemed normal, putting a Shieldmaiden in such a role seemed like a waste of a slot.
Sukanta’s attention shifted back to the conversation as it had changed to a discussion of strategy. Atulya had decided that, even if he believed Divya’s count was most likely accurate, they would proceed as if the pack held six Doggirls just to be safe. And right now, he was giving orders to both his Rack and to Sukanta’s Pidgy. “After you two scout the number of exits the building has, Parbati can report via her Delta bond. Given her lack of combat ability, Parbati will stay flying above as a scout when the rest of us enter the building. She will use that Delta bond to alert Sukanta if any Doggirls or Hounds escape through any of those entrances, so that we can immediately pursue them.”
Suka, just remember to play it safe. If I’m not going to be there beside you, insist on keeping your new Firemaiden right beside-
“Sukanta. Don’t accuse me of being overprotective, because this is standard practice on my part for all of my Student Trainers. Until you get more Pokegirls and more battle experience, you will be protected by my Shieldmaiden for the duration of this fight. She has plenty of experience protecting my students in far more dangerous battles. Do not try to leave her side, and if you have any combat orders to give your Firemaiden, you can shout them from a distance.”
…Well, nevermind that. Anyways, I talked it over with the Rack- still need to get her name- and we’ve spotted three different doors on the ground floor. One in front of you, one on the opposite side, and one to the side right of where you’re standing. There aren’t any first-story windows that we can see. While there are some second-story windows, they seem small.
As Sukanta relayed her Pidgy’s information back to the others, the Rack flew back down to join them. Atulya seemed to think about it for a bit, before nodding to himself. “As usual, Rinki, my Night Nurse, will focus on being a battlefield medic, while the others focus on combat. Your Pollita, however,” he spoke to Abhimanya, “will join your Ponytaur in staying near the two other exits in case there are any ferals that try to escape. They’re the fastest, so they should be best suited for catching up to any that try to get away.”
“I’d recommend that your Pumara heads straight to the second floor, to see if there are any pack members up there. I’m suggesting her over the Growlies because her wallclimbing means that if any ferals try escaping through the window-”
“Uh-oh, not good. They sound like they’re doing something weird!” The Snow Bunny’s interruption immediately caught everyone’s attention.
“What exactly sounds weird?” It was the Snow Bunny’s owner, Abhimanya, who responded, rather than Atulya who had just been making the plans.
The Snow Bunny shrugged. “Doggirls and Hounds aren’t water-types, but I hear splashy noises. What does it mean?”
“It’s faint enough that I don’t hear it. But I do hear the Doggirls and Hounds being much more active than they were before, and that may be drowning it out for me. I suspect that they’ve noticed us.” The additional news was given by Abhimanya’s Pumara (with Sukanta suddenly remembering the Pokedex listed their hearing as just slightly worse than a Snow Bunny’s).
Atulya frowned, before giving orders. “We’re going in- any more specifics as to what your Pokegirls do you’ll tell them in battle. The Pokegirls take point in entering the building.” And with those words, everybody sprang into action, the humans and Shieldmaiden following the other Pokegirls into the building.
As they entered, empty vats of some sort loomed ominously. As the Ponytaur and Pollita moved ahead of all the rest of them, to reach the other two means of egress, Sukanta had a thought. “Do you think this factory could have worked with chemicals of some sort? Could the splashing noise have been some sort of poison or acid?”
Just as Sukanta asked that question, and before those near her could respond, a resoundingly large crashing noise was heard in the direction in which the Pollita had gone. As Abhimanya and Atulya responded by shouting orders, Sukanta heard the telepathic voice of her Pidgy via her Delta bond. Six canine Pokegirls, all exiting the door opposite where you entered! That was the door the Pollita had travelled to. The one where that unexpected crash had come from. Sukanta quickly relayed this information to the others.
“Everyone, change of plans, to that opposite door!” The Pokegirls, minus the Shieldmaiden who was dutifully keeping pace with Sukanta, readily complied. As Sukanta turned a corner and arrived within sight of the exit, the scene before her was certainly a spectacle. The Pollita, who had been rolled into a ball as she sped towards the exit the canid Pokegirls had left, appeared to have crashed through a wall inside the factory. The Bug-type Pokegirl was now laying down in a daze past the scene of the crash.
The Ponytaur, who, given her speed, had naturally been the one to arrive at the scene first after hearing the crash, was lying down in front of the exit, still in her equine form. She appeared to be in pain, and was holding onto one of her back hooves, which appeared to be twisted. Underneath the centauress was the apparent explanation for the problem. Some sort of liquid coated the floor, and as the Pumara got there next, she suspiciously placed a foot on the substance. As she stepped on it, her ears flattened and she snarled.
“Slippery. That’s ALL that messed us up!?” As she said that, in an athletic display that would have been impossible for a human, she made a standing jump to leap across the liquid. Sukanta estimated that the distance the Pumara had crossed in that single bound had to have been at least eight meters. Of course, given her species, such a feat was only to be expected. As the Pumara continued running the moment after she had made her jump, the others finally caught up. The Night Nurse, growing wings, quickly followed her Rack harem sister in flying over the slippery liquid coating the floor.
Abhimanya, having arrived with the other humans, recalled his Pollita and his Ponytaur. As he did so, there were sounds of fighting outside, as it sounded like the three Pokegirls that had made it across had caught up to the fleeing ferals. “Sukanta, you stay behind with the Shieldmaiden and your Firemaiden. These ferals have already proven trickier than I expected, and you’re a bit too new to be dealing with this. Abhimanya, your Solaria can get us across the slippery whatever-it-is by carrying us with her Vine Whip.”
Wait. Hadn’t the entire reason they had taken this quest been so Sukanta could get a bounty to help pay off her loan for the Firemaiden? Ugh. Now it looked like she was going to come out of this without even the chance to have caught so much as a Doggirl. As the Solaria followed Atulya’s orders, transporting both the Pokegirls and humans across, the female trainer crossed her arms and frowned. As they all made it across and started running to catch up to the ongoing battle, Sukanta loudly sighed. She was now standing with nothing to do, accompanied by Atulya’s Shieldmaiden, Abhimanya’s Solaria, and her own Firemaiden. She watched as the Solaria tentatively tried walking across the liquid on the floor, only to fall and land on her behind as she failed to keep balance.
Suka! I’m not seeing any Hounds in the battle below, I don’t think. It’s six Doggirls instead! I think the two Hounds might have remained back in the factory!
“They’re back here?”
The Shieldmaiden and Sikendra both glanced at Sukanta as she said that. “What’s back here?” The Shieldmaiden asked.
“Um… Parbati said that it was six Doggirls up ahead, and the two Hounds must be-”
Growling interrupted her, two canid Pokegirls- presumably the Hounds- ran towards Sukanta. The Shieldmaiden immediately stepped in front of Sukanta while activating some sort of force field as a defensive measure. As the Hounds rushed forwards and approached it, the Solaria used her Vine Whip to bring a Hound towards her. As the Plant-type girl was still trapped on the slippery surface, the Hound was brought to join her, becoming similarly trapped at the beginning of what would presumably be a very interesting battle.
Of course, as the other Hound collided with the force field and growled in anger, Sukanta quickly understood she wouldn’t have the luxury of watching that particular battle. “Sikendra, Flame Sniper to get its attention from a distance! When she approaches you, change to Fire Scythe! If she breaks through that, use Ignite for defensive purposes!” Before Sukanta had fully finished her orders, the Firemaiden had started obeying the first part of the commands, using Flame Sniper against the Hound. Though the attack did relatively little damage, it was enough to catch the Hound’s attention, as planned. As the Hound shifted her attention to the Firemaiden, charging towards her, Sikendra formed a Flame Scythe, just as Sukanta had commanded. As the Hound gathered her own shadow about her limbs for a Tenebrous Strike attack, Sukanta watched nervously. Sikendra seemed to be of the mind that the best defense was a good offense, as she responded by aggressively slashing at the limbs which had been wrapped in shadow. Sukanta had personally been expecting her Firemaiden to parry, but going on the offensive seemed to have worked in disrupting this attack.
The rest of the short battle continued in such a way, with Sikendra being extremely proactive in getting in damage. The Firemaiden’s strategy seemed to mostly work, except for a single time when the Hound used Quick Attack. In that particular case, Sikendra had used Ignite shortly after the Hound had collided into her. This actually seemed to be the last straw for the Hound, who, now covered in burn wounds, stumbled away from the Firemaiden.
Sukanta may have been a complete newbie, but even she could tell that this would be a good time to throw a Pokeball. The female trainer quickly grabbed one of the empty Pokeballs she had brought, before hurling it at the weakened Hound. As the capturing device hit the Pokegirl, she disappeared into a beam of light. After a bit of shaking, the Pokeball went still.
Sukanta stared open-mouthed at the unmoving Pokeball, realizing that she had just made her very first capture of a feral Pokegirl.
“A Pokeball over here, please? This Hound’s weakened, but so am I!” Sukanta’s attention turned towards the Solaria who had been brawling with the other Hound. The Plant-type appeared to be covered in as many open wounds as the Dark-type she had been fighting. Responding to the Solaria’s request, Sukanta threw another Pokeball at that particular Hound, similarly capturing it.
And this was the moment in which the others, accompanied by Parbati, arrived at the scene. While the slippery substance prevented them from walking over, Parbati was the first of the Pokegirls capable of ignoring it to cross, flying over. The Pidgy immediately latched onto her mistress, grabbing her in a tight hug. As the Night Nurse and Rack crossed over, the Night Nurse picked up the Solaria, lifting her and then placing her down on a non-slippery surface.
“Parbati? I’m sorry, I just realized I hadn’t responded to your warning from before, and it was because the two Hounds attacked right after it. My attention was kind of drawn to them and I was giving Sikendra orders. She did an awesome job, by the way, and managed to defeat the Hound she was fighting without taking any serious damage. In addition to scheduling some time later to make things up to you, I am so going to have to reward her for a job well done!”
“I’m an idiot.” Sukanta’s reunion with her Pidgy was interrupted by her brothers self-admonishing statement. “Hounds are notoriously territorial, and while Doggirls might have been willing to flee, I should have realized the Hounds would try to defend their chosen den. But it looks like everything here went okay despite that?”
Sukanta nodded. “Yeah- and once Abhimanya’s Solaria uses her Vine Whip to get you two across, he’s the one who will get the Pokeball with the other Hound. His Solaria was the one who defeated her one-on-one while my Firemaiden dealt with the other. So I guess that makes it his capture, even if I threw the ball?”
“Yeah. I guess I owe you an empty ball, though, to replace the one you threw, but the capture of the Hound would go entirely to me if your Pokegirls didn’t contribute.” Yeah. That part of things was unsurprising.
“Still, I look forward to adding this Hound to my harem after I tame her. The first feral I capture, and it’s one I can also keep as well!”
“I wouldn’t recommend that.” Atulya’s serious voice broke through Sukanta’s celebratory statements. “Like I said, Hounds are notoriously territorial, and once we leave Kathmandu- which will happen eventually- she’ll become an emotional trainwreck. There’s a reason Hounds aren’t often kept in traveling harems.”
“But what if she evolves into a War Hound before we leave? Then it would work! If worst comes to worst, I can take on bounties and sell ferals and get an evolutionary stone otherwise. Cerberass and Sparkanine are both pretty good, and Fire Stones and Thunder Stones are among the cheapest evolutionary items. She was the first feral I’ve ever caught! Of course I have to take this seriously!”
Atulya groaned. “Just… If you don’t get the money for that in time, don’t expect me to pay for it for you. And after we’ve gotten to a Pokecenter and healed up the injured girls, I’ll want to hear how the battle in this factory went.”
Suddenly, Abhimanya’s laughter as he was looking at something on his Pokedex echoed throughout the factory. All present turned to stare at him, and he looked up to grin back at them. “I just looked up what it was the Tasty Tamings company produced when it was around. Guess what it was, and guess what the slippery liquid on the floor probably was?”
“Something funny?” Sukanta guessed.
Abhimanya nodded, before continuing his explanation. “It specialized in producing flavored lubricants for taming purposes.”
And as Sukanta looked again at the slippery liquid the Doggirls had used for their escape, she joined many of the others in laughter at this revelation.
Name: Sukanta Silwal.
Licenses: Trainer Permit.
Harem: Pidgy (Parbati). Level 7.
Firemaiden (Sikendra). Level 25.
Hound (unnamed). Level 16.
Alpha: Parbati. (Nominally- subject to change).