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An Unexpected Return
Nicholas lay back, his body still. Not by his choice. The solid muscle wrapped around his body made it for him. Vika squeezed him tight, the Dragonair’s upper body similarly wrapped around his chest as she hugged him almost as tightly as her coils. The remainder of her tail curled back along his body, happily brushing against whatever skin was left exposed.
“Your mother used to do this same thing,” Nicholas said wistfully as Vika’s horn bumped his forehead. “I’d forgotten how good it feels.”
“Why does it matter what- Oh.” Vika had begun her retort before Nicholas had finished and she quickly cleared her throat to cover her words. “Oh, uh, I’m happy that you feel that way, Master.”
Nicholas chuckled. “Why so jumpy, Vika? It’s just you and me here.”
Vika pressed her cheek to his as she cinched her hug just a little tighter. “Yes. It is,” she grumbled, “so stop talking about them.”
“We haven’t had much time together, so you wouldn’t know.” Nicholas turned his head but all he found was a faceful of Vika’s speckled seafoam blue hair. “I love to tease my pokegirls.”
“But, as Weyrleader…”
“It just means I can do whatever I want,” Nicholas purred in her ear. “You think I’m stoic all the time? Puh-lease.” He laughed, causing Vika to jerk her head away. “It’s so much more fun when you struggle.”
“You inherited Victoria’s coloration, and Kary’s body,” he whispered. “A wonderful Dragonair. Skin perfectly bisected, pale white stomach, deep blue back. A horn and pair of cresting ears to form the crown… you will never wear.” His laughter rose when Vika’s tail tightened on him. “Ooh, have I hit a nerve? What are you going to do about it?”
Vika slowly turned to face him, their heads barely an inch apart. “Fuck you.”
“Is that an offer?” Nicholas was chuckling until Vika headbutted him and drew back, seething. He winced as he felt blood dripping from where her horn had cut his skin. “Careful, Vika,” he snarled, voice reverberating with power. Reminding the Dragonair of who she was speaking to.
She didn’t care. “Weyrleader or not. I will not just listen to that shit, asshole.”
Nicholas blinked. Then broke out in a vicious smile. “Then I was right. There is a new dragon within my Weyr.”
“There damn well is,” Vika hissed back, letting go of her hug just to put her hands on his shoulders and slam him to the mattress they lay on. She’d rotated her body, moving her coils so she could rise over him now. “And I’m sick and tired of being looked down on by the rest. I won’t be looked down on by you either.”
“So instead you dare look down on me?” Nicholas asked, his voice barely audible.
They remained where they were, Vika looming over him, Nicholas gazing deep into her eyes. Eventually Vika’s fingers tightened on his shoulders and her lips drew back, a sibilant hiss echoing from behind half-open jaws as her forked tongue flicked past glistening fangs. “I… DARE!” she roared, some semblance of a smile underneath the crazed look on her face. “I! AM! HERE! AND YOU WILL-!”
Nicholas tensed his entire body, shifting her coils just enough so that when he abruptly went completely limp his arms had enough space to move. Vika’s head snapped back as one hand shot free, catching her on the chin as it went, but she was already reacting and his other arm was trapped before he could pull it out past the elbow. Still, one hand was more than enough leverage to begin with and Vika, already reeling from the unexpected blow, felt the world turn sideways when Nicholas threw them both off the bed.
Vika’s vision exploded with stars when her skull cracked to the floor and, stunned, her muscles relaxed. Nicholas easily pulled his other hand free but left his legs where they were, wrapped up in Vika’s tail. It was a good position. His erection was already pressing into the soft scales at Vika’s groin.
Still, he wasn’t going to be on the bottom. Oh no. Vika had made it clear that she was as keen to truly become a part of his weyr as he was to bring her into it. Gone was the docile and unobtrusive Dratini of a few years back. This Dragonair was as strong-willed as Kary, her Dragonite mother. In fact he had a feeling she had always been this way. Just cunning enough to act otherwise until the time was right.
How would she fare now? She was still young. Inexperienced. In many ways he was reminded of Bea, and how the Metagross – then Beldum – had acted in regards to holding power. Vika was another young pokegirl, wanting control.
He looked forward to watching her grow.
For now, however, she had chosen to drop the façade. He intended to answer her in kind.
As Vika came to her senses she believed she saw a hulking figure perched over her. In every way she could see, it was a dragon like her, and she slipped into the burning red eyes above just as Nicholas slipped inside her, measured, deliberate thrusts pounding deep into her pussy and rough hands stretching her arms wide, leaving the Dragonair helpless in the face of her Weyrleader. As she must be. As she had always wanted to be. He claimed her, the same as he claimed the rest, as one of his – no longer an addition to another, but directly under him. Figuratively and very, wonderfully, literally.
“Hup! Ahhh- awwww…” the crowd clustered around cheered and sighed in unison. In the middle of them all a long track had been scratched in the dirt, large ramshackle boards with holes punched in them propped up on either end. Elizabeth hefted a solid sandbag, eyeing her target before winding up and sending the missile flying through the air. A few scattered cheers rose when the Nidoqueen’s shot thwacked into the cornhole board and slid squarely into the bullseye.
“You can do it!” Sammy squealed as Zisela snagged her own bag from the ground and took aim. “Go Alpha! Go Alpha!”
Nicholas was nearby, watching through a gap in the crowd. He watched Zisela’s bag hit the board just off-center, potentially landing on the edge of the hole, but definitely not a bullseye like Elizabeth’s throw. That is, until the board listed slightly, bringing the hole to the sliding bag and sinking it perfectly.
Cheers erupted from most of the onlookers, but not Elizabeth. The Nidoqueen grinned, yanking the board’s support from where it had inexplicably sunk into the dirt and throwing the entire structure aside as she took aim directly at the Gabite with her next bag. “CHEAT!”
Nicholas sighed when the bag went whistling through the air and exploded across Zisela’s chest. “And there it is. Why is it every day whatever games and activities I set up just turn into fights?”
“Because they’re pokegirls?” Sabrina laughed beside him.
“That doesn’t mean anything. I had a wonderful afternoon with Hana and Victoria yesterday. Hana showed me all her cards. I hadn’t even known there was a pokegirl trading card game.”
“Probably because you haven’t set foot in a convenience store in years,” Sabrina giggled. “Still, Hana and Victoria? But only Hana showed you anything?”
“Mhm. Victoria was just kind of there, to be honest. She was chatting about the game but Hana was the excited one, as usual. They played a game or two while I watched.”
“That’s a battle of its own, isn’t it?” Sabrina asked as the whooping crowd began breaking into isolated brawls. “Hana and Victoria were fighting, just as they all are now.”
“Huh. I guess so.”
“So. Hana.” Sabrina glanced at him. “What were her favorite cards? Anything special she show you?”
“Mm, she had a few. Mostly I was just impressed by the artwork on them all. They weren’t photographs but you could have fooled me.” He grinned. “I don’t know about her favorite but she has an Ampharos card, and the art is exquisite. It’s some kind of special card with extra abilities, and you know… for some reason, it looked a lot like her.”
Sabrina smiled to herself. “Anything else?”
“Oh, she got really embarrassed when I saw one of the support cards she has. It’s literally just called ‘Tamer’ and it’s a big dude with his face hidden standing nude and sporting a pornstar’s erection.” He snickered. “The effect was something like if you use it you flip a coin, with tails meaning your active pokegirl is fucked unconscious, and if heads, she gets a power boost from it instead.”
Sabrina burst out laughing. “Oh yeah? Is the power boost worth the risk?”
Nicholas gave her a smug look. “No idea. Hana rolled tails.”
The two laughed, snuggling close in their mirth and continuing to chat until Nicholas felt a presence behind him.
He waited for Sabrina to finish her thought before responding and turning to gaze at the silent figure watching them. “Kali.” His eyes flicked up the legendary’s body. “You’re nude.”
Sabrina craned her neck to look back with a slight frown. “Kali? Huh. I’d thought you weren’t around. Haven’t sensed you all day.”
“And that does not worry you? That I am hiding from you even now?” Kali asked quietly.
Sabrina blinked. “Um… Is it supposed to?”
“What’s this about, Kali?” Nicholas asked. “I’m no psychic so I don’t know what you’re doing there but I know what you being naked means. You don’t take your hoodie off for many reasons.”
Kali slowly blinked at him. “You are intelligent, my Master. Will you… humor me?” Her tail curled around her body, twisting in front of her groin and flashing her slit in and out of view. Nervously?
Nicholas slightly tilted his head. “Of course. Whatever is on your mind.”
“This… is how we first met,” Kali said. “I, a pokegirl, uncaring. What then does this appearance mean to you now?”
“Your hoodie, the gift I gave you to replace the thing you… I don’t know. Probably stole somewhere. The one that didn’t fit you that you were wearing when you approached me, instead of the other way around.” Nicholas closed his eyes to organize his thoughts. “When I found you, you were like this. Nude, a pokegirl, not caring about the human world. When you came to me afterwards, you cared. You were wearing clothing, even if it wasn’t really anything substantial. In response I gave you the hoodie you still constantly wear today. You only take it off when… you are doing something that reminds you of what you were in that cave. When you do not wish to care about any human, not even me.”
“I take it off when we tame,” Kali whispered. “I care then, Master Nicholas.”
“True. But that is an exception. Am I wrong?”
Kali bowed her head slightly and squeezed her eyes shut. “No. You are correct. How long have you understood?”
Nicholas cracked a smile. “Kali, I’ve understood from the start.”
Kali remained silent for a while. “Of course you have,” she finally murmured. “You… spoke to me. On that island, back then, before I… When I felt home, I, I shed your influence then, and you noticed. You asked me where it was.” She raised her head and opened her eyes. “You must be wondering why I am here then, now.”
“I’m wondering a lot of things, actually,” Nicholas replied, “but I have a feeling you’re not here to make me ask questions, but to give me answers to the ones I have.”
Kali’s lips twitched. “You are no longer the same human I took interest in all those years ago.”
“That’s a matter of opinion, but sure, we’ll say that,” Nicholas replied.
“Do you want the truth? I found you interesting, Master Nicholas. I did not care for you. I merely considered you an oddity. A human who saw me as a pokegirl. I cast you aside so easily then.” Her eyes drifted into the past. “I cast you aside, and I… was tricked. Enslaved, once more, by the humans I had first learned to hate. But I was freed, not by my own power, but by yours.” She returned her attention to him. “Things changed, Master Nicholas. Over time I began finding comfort in your influence. In the simple gift you had given me, even when I could not have your presence. No, things were not as they are now, not yet. But I was changing. I wanted to care.”
“Then I brought you to Hoenn.”
“You brought me to my birthplace,” Kali breathed. “I tried so hard to resist it. I did. To give in would mean abandoning you. And, perhaps when we first met, I would have done so without hesitation. Then, I could not decide.”
“The hoodie became a literal influence, then. With it on you could resist. With it off you reverted.”
“It became as powerful an influence as you yourself,” Kali whispered. “I clung to it. Through the months you were gone, it comforted me. Something I, once, would have never imagined I would want. That I would need.”
Nicholas nodded slightly. “You’ve changed just as much as I have, then.”
“You return to me as you are now.” Kali’s tail slowed, drifting lower as she firmed her stance and matched his eyes. “In the beginning, it was a joke, a lie. Then it was hope. Then, a need.” Her gaze drilled into him. “The pokegirl that your gift has smothered. Controlled. The pokegirl you met in that cave. She still lives, Master Nicholas. She is here. Stupid. Defiant. Proud.” Kali’s lips drew back to bare her fangs. “I do not want her here any longer.”
Nicholas slowly rose. “And what’s going to make her leave?”
“She does not want to leave.” Kali’s eyes began shimmering. “You know why I am nude… Human.”
“I suppose I do,” Nicholas murmured. “Rayquaza’s warning wasn’t enough for you, eh Mewtwo?” The power that seared through the air brought the friendly brawls around them to a grinding halt. A dome of aura was spreading from Nicholas, encircling the two before thickening and growing opaque, leaving them alone, cut off from the rest of the world. “I have let you remain here, free. Be sure you understand the consequences before taking this path.”
“You… are only human,” Kali snarled, further occult flames springing to life across her skin. “It will be… no… consequence.”
“You are Kali’s doubt. Fear. I think I have to agree with her here.” Nicholas’ eyes were cold as he raised a hand to point at the shaking pokegirl. “You are no longer welcome here. I will only permit Kali to remain.”
“THEN KILL ME, HUMAN!” Kali screamed, hands raising as her entire body shuddered, muscles rippling out to be replaced by a streamlined sleek appearance and alternating back and forth while Kali charged, still screaming, her body in constant flux, waves of power washing over Nicholas as she hurled missile after missile to paint the aura dome in flame.
Nicholas didn’t say a word but Kali still felt his response clearly. It was a lightning bolt through her mind. She swung, her entire arm bulking like a bodybuilder’s as her fist came crashing in towards the silent man but still, he barely reacted; Kali’s fist impacted a sudden shield, splintering it but not breaking through.
Nicholas slowly raised his arm, Kali a blur as she hammered blow after blow into the aura protecting him. She was not holding back whatsoever. But it didn’t matter. He had too many behind him. Too much strength for any one pokegirl to overcome. Rayquaza, Ho-oh, and now even the creator Herself had granted him her blessing. Even Kali stood with him, as she battered his defenses. He could feel her, crystal clear, through the mental bond they shared. This was her way of crying out. Begging for his help. She could not escape what she was, could not change herself. But he could.
“Mewtwo recognizes only strength. She is the strongest pokegirl. But she is not the strongest being. Not. By a long shot.” Kali was coming in, a wordless howl rending the air, when Nicholas’ hand shot forwards. Suddenly Kali was thrown backwards, slamming against the aura barrier and clawing at her throat. The shimmering tendril that had sprung from his hand sparked as Kali tore at it and before long she was ripping free, landing and coming for another attempt, but Nicholas was done. All his life he had tried to duck responsibility. Downplay his own accomplishments, to live an unassuming life. But despite it all. Here he stood. And he could not deny that it was in these moments, when he took absolute control, that he felt most alive.
A lord of all pokegirls?
That was fine by him.
Kali struck. So did he. For the first time in her whole life Kali felt something hit her unopposed. A fist sinking into her face. The pure shock of it was enough to send her to the ground.
Nicholas slowly stepped over to where Kali lay, her eyes wide, blood spurting from her broken nose. He waited a few moments for the stunned legendary to make a move and squatted down when she didn’t. “I couldn’t care less what lies Mewtwo told me,” Nicholas growled quietly. “I take what I am given. You swore to follow the strongest tamer. Well. Here I am.”
“Ha… ha ha… ha ha ha ha!” Blood sprayed through the air as Kali laughed, her eyes darting to him. “You… Hit me!”
“Want me to do it again?” Nicholas asked.
Kali laughed even harder and tried to grab him, squealing when Nicholas caught her hand and twisted her arm backwards. “Mewtwo is-! UNDEFEATABLE!”
Nicholas cracked a smile when he felt Kali’s other hand grab his shirt. “Well then I guess I’ll just have to beat her out of you.”
Kali continued to laugh. In fact she grew even more hysterical with every blow Nicholas landed. Eyes wet with her tears, her joy at knowing defeat overcame her until finally her muscles began relaxing and Nicholas let go of his hold on the aura shielding their battleground from the others. No grass remained within the circle as the shield fell. It was only him and Kali, his body bruised, but hers broken, as he knelt on her back with her face in the dirt.
Nicholas heard the gathered pokegirls begin clamoring when they saw them but he remained focused on Kali. She was still laughing and he tugged her tail from where he had wrapped it through his fingers. “Well, Mewtwo?”
“Mewtwo… Ha ha ha!” Kali coughed, the force of her exhalation blowing a hole in the dirt and letting her catch her breath. “Ha… Mewtwo would never lose. Especially not to a human.” She tried to turn her head but Nicholas’ other hand was tangled in her hair. “She… would never. Could never. But I did.” Tears glinted in the corner of her eyes, the only thing visible in this position. “I am not Mewtwo.”
“No. You’re not,” Nicholas whispered. “You’re Kali. Mewtwo is dead.”
“She… is,” Kali said, her voice catching as she fought her tears. “She’s gone. She’s gone, Master Nicholas. She’s gone.”
“But I’m not,” Nicholas murmured, sliding his knees to either side of Kali and laying down on top of her as he worked to shift into an embrace. “I’m right here, and so are you. Together.”
“What… What do I do now?” Kali choked.
“Whatever you want,” Nicholas murmured back. “You are not what you were created to be. You have a choice. You have free will. Maybe you lied to yourself until now, but the truth has always been there, Kali. So what do you want to be?”
Kali took a trembling breath. “I… am still so young.” She wormed her head to the side so she could stare up at him, eyes glistening. “I want what was taken from me. I want…”
Nicholas let out his breath in a long sigh and pressed his cheek to hers. “Oh, Kali.”
“I want-“ Kali’s body shuddered as her tears began to fall. “I just want… have always wanted… this choice.”
“When you first came to me you said the same, though that was Mewtwo lying, wasn’t it?” Nicholas gently kissed her hair. “I don’t think your mother wanted to ever see Mewtwo again. But you are no longer Mewtwo. Are you.”
Kali’s face scrunched up as she fought to speak. “I… I never even said… But you…”
“No pokegirl of mine can hide her soul from me. Especially not when I go looking.” He rolled, pulling Kali on top of him and leaning up to steal a kiss on the lips. “Go.”
Kali only hesitated long enough to shove him back to the dirt, her tears scattering across his face as she desperately kissed him back before she disappeared. She blinked in and out of view a few times, clumsily teleporting into the sky before she released an anguished wail and power exploded from her body, safely high above the ground, sending a sonic boom cracking through the watching crowds as she rocketed towards Hoenn.
Nicholas blinked. He could hear the clamoring harem, and knew Sabrina would be wanting to ask what had just transpired too, but none of them stood over him now. It was Zinnia, Rayquaza. She looked out of place, in the deceased Lorekeeper’s body, as she spoke with all of her years behind the words. “I told Mewtwo not to challenge you. She may have been altered and grown into the pinnacle of all pokegirls, but no level of intelligence or strength from a pokegirl can overturn the order imposed by one above all others.”
“Which only led her to test her place.” Nicholas accepted the hand Zinnia was offering and let her pull him to his feet. “Tell me, did you intend that to happen?”
“You give me far too much credit. My warning was just as it seemed.” She looked off in the direction Kali had gone. “She challenged you. And now she is dead.”
“You sound disappointed.”
Zinnia smiled and turned back to him. “Disappointed? My only disappointment is that I will no longer have an unfeeling weapon to spar with. Mewtwo was easy to anticipate.”
“Yes. Out of all the pokegirls who follow you, she was the only one that was different. For she wasn’t a pokegirl at all. She merely took the form of one. But now?” Zinnia’s smile widened, her fangs gleaming as it did. “Now, she is a pokegirl again. One with a tamer who can make her stronger than ever before.”
“Figuratively?” Nicholas asked.
“Reflect on the mark of your status and ask me that again,” Zinnia replied.
Nicholas looked down. At the winding emerald dragon that wrapped around his ankle. “Literally? But I thought… well, it took extenuating circumstances for me to perform mega evolution on a pokegirl.”
“Kali is the daughter of Mew. Mew was one of the first ones. She would be receptive, if you tried.” Zinnia shrugged. “As would any of the fragments of my own mother, just as I embody that power as her daughter.”
Nicholas flicked his hand to point at her. “I appreciate that you respect me enough to speak in these riddles but you should know that I never miss them. Who are the fragments of Tirakan?”
Zinnia’s eyes widened in shock. “How do you know that name?”
“What?” Nicholas blinked at her. “Oh… that must not have been a memory you cared to look at when you were piggybacking in my mind. Latios and Latias told me about her. She’s your mother, right? The original dragon.” He thought back to what Arceus had told him. “She would have been one of the very first pokegirls.”
“She… was.” Zinnia composed herself. “I suppose it makes sense the soul twins told you of her. Tirakan is… long dead. But her presence still lives. I am her daughter, yes, but you have met some of her fragments. Latios and Latias, in fact.”
Nicholas’ eyebrows rose. “Oh?”
“They formed from Tirakan’s very soul. Her love for humanity, and her bitterness at being betrayed.” Zinnia gave him a wry smile. “I assume you can guess which is which.”
“I can, yes… So, does that make them your… what does that make them to you?” Nicholas pondered. “They referred to you respectfully, so are they like younger sisters, or cousins, or… if they’re the embodiment of your mother, then…?”
Zinnia sighed and reached out to cover his mouth with her hand. “My mother is dead. I have come to terms with her passing. Unlike Kali, I have nobody like me to run to.” She shook her head. “The pokegirls that formed from her fragmented self are younger than me, so in many ways they are like younger siblings, yes. Though they are not her creations, not directly, so ‘cousins’ is probably a better term to use. Does that answer your question?” She removed her hand when Nicholas nodded and made an affirmative noise. “Good. I had not forgotten, but it has been some time since you were here while I was not acting as one of the others. I suppose, like Mewtwo, I should not have tested you, my Master.”
Nicholas chuckled. “So who are the other fragments?”
“I have never met them. But I would assume, as the twins are my mother’s soul, my mother’s body and mind similarly gave birth to new pokegirls.”
“Fun. Maybe I’ll meet them some day.” Nicholas frowned. “Come to think of it, while Latios was still pretending to be human she talked about being a member of another clan, one that followed Tirakan…”
“Them, I know,” Zinnia replied. “They reside in a place humans call Unova.”
“Unova? They’re in the world league.” Nicholas grinned. “I’ll definitely meet them someday then. At least, if I continue challenging every Champion.”
Zinnia nodded. “One day.”
“One day.” Nicholas turned to the crowd milling about. They had been holding back due to Zinnia’s presence but he could clearly see that everyone was just pretending to not be interested. “But as I have been so gladly saying lately… Not today.” With a grin he sprinted for his harem, yells and shouted questions greeting him as a wave of pokegirls crashed over their tamer.
The weeks passed them by like nothing. Every day was new excitement. Old friends dropping by, Vira and Gary, Ash. A fishing trip to the bay, where everything from striper to sharks to aquatic pokegirls were fought with all manner of tackle and more. Day trips across Indigo happened regularly, from the Lake of Rage to the volcanic Cinnabar Island. Nicholas even returned to the Seafoam Islands, though the ice within it remained out of sight. He had to settle for speaking to the biting air.
It was while he was comforting Sasha that their heady adventures came to an end. The poor Ditto had avoided him ever since he’d returned and it wasn’t until he’d finally caught a miniscule error in her transformations that he’d been able to corner a fretting ‘Ashley’ and ask Sasha why.
“Be-Because I f-f-failed you, master,” Sasha had sobbed. “You t-t-trusted me, and I failed!”
“Because you couldn’t satisfy everyone?” Nicholas asked incredulously. “Sasha… What happened to you all, nothing could have stopped it. It wasn’t your fault.”
“You can’t leave me again!” Sasha screamed before throwing herself into his arms. “I’m not g-good enough. All I’m good for is… is… b-being a… a… egg slut!”
Sasha’s shattered confidence wasn’t the only long-term effect from the overload his harem had experienced with Arceus’ power. It was the most important to him, though, so the rest, the slight changes he’d observed throughout the harem, were pushed aside in favor of helping soothe Sasha’s doubt.
Nicholas glanced up from the purring feline pokegirl in his arms. She seemed to be some kind of Persian, if an oddly patterned one. “Dahlia? What’s up?”
The Venusaur made a face. “There’s someone here to see you.”
“So why haven’t you told them to get bent like all the rest?”
Dahlia rolled her eyes and mimed talking with her hand. “Here, let me do it for you. ‘Your friends weren’t turned away. No Dahlia but the way you’re acting tells me this isn’t a friend. Oh wow Master you’re so smart.’” She dropped her hand. “I miss the old days sometimes. Before you had all these… high and mighty influences all around you. I miss when I could have a conversation with you without feeling like I’m three steps behind.”
Nicholas let out his breath in a deep sigh. “Am I supposed to say something stupid here to make you feel better?”
Dahlia’s eyes closed and she exhaled through her nose. “No. No, I suppose that would be even worse.”
“Does it make you feel better to hear that the only ones I can be so smart around are the pokegirls of my harem?”
Dahlia’s eyes cracked open. “I thought you weren’t going to just say something to make me feel better.” She paused. “No, actually, that makes me feel worse. Never mind.”
“I’m not trying to insinuate that you’re… I don’t know. Less smart?” Dahlia threw her hands up with a frustrated noise. “Yes I knew what you were thinking Dahlia because you, and every pokegirl I’ve tamed, are… Extensions of my self at this point. I know all of you as well or better than you know yourselves. I can’t turn that off.” Nicholas rubbed behind Sasha’s ear, causing the transformed Ditto to begin releasing a cross between a meow and a moan. “There are so many of you now. My mind is constantly moving whenever I see one of you. I see Nessa and immediately shift to speaking informally, just jawing. I see Aria and I am the regal, aloof lord she expects me to be. I see you… And I know I can be honest, speak freely as myself, because you’ve already seen who I am, you’ve been at my side through this whole journey, and to pretend to be anything else is just an insult to you, my first pokegirl.”
Dahlia’s eyes had reopened and she was staring at him silently, though the vines behind her were twisting over themselves in a representation of the Venusaur’s churning mind. They folded inwards and wrapped around her flower as she sighed and stepped closer to gently thump her fist off his ear. “It’s the cop. That bunny girl you were meeting before assisting the World League in Sinnoh? She’s here.”
“Well.” Nicholas blinked at her. “That’s… odd. Kalmiya would have told me if the World League had sent me a message. What’s she doing here uninvited?”
“Hey, didn’t you just say you were mister smarty-pants with pokegirls you’ve tamed?” Dahlia gave him a tiny smirk. “Last I knew she’s been on the receiving end of that dick.”
Nicholas returned her smirk with one of his own. “See that? I didn’t let you have that, Dahlia. Never believe you’re anything less than what you are. Alpha.” He looked down at the mewling Ditto in his lap and his shoulders slumped. “I’m… sorry, Sasha. I probably should go see what 1309 wants from me.”
“Thirtee-oh-whu?” Sasha mumbled.
“You know,” Dahlia said, pushing her voice to the Ditto, “if I hadn’t known you were with him, Sasha, I would have been asking why our Master was out taming new pokegirls.” She nodded when a feline head popped into view to stare at her. “Your transformations are always so good. Master was right to trust you to take care of us while he was on his mission.”
“…I failed to take care of everyone, though,” Sasha whispered. She was making to duck back out of view when Dahlia stepped around and placed a hand on the Ditto’s shoulder.
“You never thought you could be as good as Master, did you?” she asked teasingly. “I mean, after all… There’s only one of him. Though-“ she froze for a moment before clenching her teeth and forging forwards as a deep blush began to tint her face. “When you- when you were… taming me. As him. There were moments I couldn’t tell the difference.”
The feline head slowly rose back into view, Sasha’s blank black eyes glittering. “You… mean that?”
“Would your very own Alpha lie to you?” Nicholas murmured in Sasha’s ear, his nose crinkling when it flicked and brushed his face. “Would I lie to you?”
Sasha swallowed, hard. “No… Would you?”
Nicholas gently lifted her from his lap and let Sasha fall to the floor, which she did with perfect grace as if she really was the Persian she was imitating. She was cautiously prowling closer to Dahlia as Nicholas got to his feet and gave the Venusaur a grateful smile. “If you thought we would, Sasha, would you have remained here? You found your limit. We all have one.”
“You’re an incredible pokegirl, Sasha,” Dahlia said as she caught Sasha’s hand and pulled the transformed Ditto into a full embrace. “Come on. I’ve been talking to Celine and she was hoping to chat with you.”
“C-Celine?” Sasha stammered.
“Yeah. Apparently with everything that’s happening the old wise one has things to tell.” Dahlia winked when Nicholas raised an eyebrow. “Don’t you worry, Master. It’s not like we can hide anything from you anyways.”
“Not true, also that’s mean,” Nicholas protested, grinning before he gave the Venusaur a wave and left the room to find Miru.
He ran into the backs of multiple pokegirls when he tried to head outside. “My Alpha is announcing your presence, rabbit,” Elizabeth growled low. “You will not be stepping inside this building.”
“Y-Yeah. I mean the last time you showed up here you took Nicholas away,” Nessa added, carefully avoiding Elizabeth’s bristling spikes. “You’re strong, ain’tcha? Want to see who’s stronger?”
“If you do it won’t be one on one,” Marin snarled, her razor-sharp teeth in full view. All three pokegirls’ tails were thrashing, curling before violently slicing through the air as they stared down the diminutive Buneary.
“Alright girls. That’s enough posturing.” Nicholas pushed between Nessa and Marin so as to avoid Elizabeth and the Nidoqueen’s poisonous spikes. “As far as I’m aware, 1309’s no enemy. There’s no reason to be worried.”
“1309.” Nicholas blinked at what he saw upon emerging from behind the wall of pokegirl that had been blocking the doorway. “Here I thought we were on a first-name basis, Nicholas. What happened to Miru?”
“Miru… isn’t your name, though,” Nicholas replied slowly. It was Miru standing there, but everything about the Buneary had changed. She stood… well, as naturally as he had told Dahlia he was. This pokegirl, standing and staring down three pokegirls whose bodies were sculpted muscle, three pure juggernauts who expected to win every fight as bloodied as if they had lost, was as small and supposedly soft as any Buneary while still radiating a confident strength. This Buneary was a threat. He now understood why Elizabeth, Nessa, and Marin had been posturing like they had. “Miru’s the name you took while undercover.”
“Eh.” Miru, 1309, whoever she really was ran a hand through the short brown-streaked blonde hair that sprouted from between her ears. “Maybe but 1309 isn’t really a name, either. You have to call me something and I’m kind of used to Miru at this point. I usually go by a variation on that name anyways. Short for Miruko, sometimes Mirko, I’ve done an anagram before to be Rumi… Oh, I did Ruko and Rukia once. Anyways.” She lowered her hand and shrugged. “What I’m trying to say is Miru’s fine. As long as you don’t mind calling me that.”
“Is this you being casual?” Nicholas asked, ignoring the question. “All I’ve ever known of you was business and… well, the false Miru.”
“Who was also business,” Miru replied with a nod. “Yeah, I suppose you wouldn’t want to keep calling me that. Sets the wrong tone between us, huh ‘Master’?”
Nicholas flinched. Miru hadn’t put any respect on the word but hearing it come from her mouth at all still threw him off. “Yeah. That name’s a bit tainted in my head now.”
“Do Miruko then. That enough to separate the bimbo from the actual me?”
Nicholas braced himself but to his relief thinking of the Buneary as ‘Miruko’ was familiar enough to not be strange, while keeping from triggering any thoughts of the honestly sickening pokegirl she had pretended to be. “Yeah. Yeah, that works.” Nicholas took a moment before grinning and stepping forwards with his hand shooting out. “Pleasure, Miruko. What brings you here today?”
Miruko caught his hand and returned his offer with an inescapable handshake. “You’re pretty close already. Yeah, this is me being casual.” As she released him she rolled her shoulder to bring the strap of her tank top back in line. She wasn’t nude, but she also wasn’t in her uniform, standing instead in minimalist black workout clothing. “Wanted to swing by and let you know it’s time to get back to work.”
All traces of pleasantness vanished from Nicholas’ expression. “Come again?”
“Cleanup’s begun. You’re needed back on the ground.”
They gazed at each other for a few moments before Nicholas spoke. “I believe I told you that if I ever worked for the International Police again then I would be the one setting the terms.”
Miruko let out a deep defeated sigh. “Damn. I should have known better than to try.” She scratched the back of her neck awkwardly. “I said I’d speak to my boss.”
“It’s really quite simple. Either I set my own terms of employment with the IP, or they don’t get my help.” Nicholas beamed at Miruko but there was no warmth to be found. “I honestly could not care less what they want of me. I don’t play politics.”
Miru nodded absently before abruptly beginning to chuckle. “I said I’d speak to my boss. I did. I’m here because I’m the only one he thought might be able to negotiate with you.”
Nicholas blinked. “Come again?”
“In between all the lies I got to know you pretty well, Nicholas. I made sure to put everything I learned in my report. Along with my recommendations. My boss agreed with them.” She brought her arms together, lacing her fingers together as she stretched both arms above her head and let out a pleased grunt. “Told him the moment we tried to strongarm you again we’d have a new situation on our hands. That we should treat you as a neutral third party. A mercenary of sorts. One we can work with but should give every bit of respect they deserve.” She continued her stretch, grunting as she bent backwards and her top pulled so tightly across her body that for a moment she may as well have been naked, before snapping back into a neutral position with a satisfied sigh. “No. I’m not going to order you to do a damn thing. But if you don’t mind helping a pokegirl out I could use a hand finishing up in Sinnoh.”
Nicholas slowly pointed a finger in her direction. “They’ve made you my… handler.”
“Handler, liaison, partner, whatever you want to call it. Yeah. You’re so valuable that my only assignment anymore is to keep you as an ally.”
“What if I told you to fuck off? To never show yourself around me again?”
A shadow passed over Miruko’s face before she snorted quietly. “First of all, you wouldn’t as long as I didn’t do something incredibly stupid. Do you really think I would? No. I don’t think you do. Secondly, if you did, then you’d get your wish.” She matched his eyes calmly. “Those would be your terms, after all. If those terms are an ultimatum, well. So be it.”
“Say the rest,” Nicholas replied curtly.
Miru blinked before sighing and glancing away. “Third of all, you wouldn’t do that anyways. You’re too… kind for that. Aren’t you.”
“Maybe not, but you’re a really bad negotiator,” Nicholas retorted as his lips twitched with the hint of a genuine smile. “All you’ve said so far is how I’ll be the only one making any demands.”
“Hey. As long as I get results I’ll be a good enough negotiator.” Miruko cracked a smile when she saw his appearing. “So… Help a girl out?”
“Damn it. I can’t say no to such an honest request.” Nicholas chuckled and nodded. “Sure. I’m fine heading back to Sinnoh. I assume you’ll be tagging along like before?”
“Not at all like before, but I was assuming we’d work together again, yes,” Miruko replied. “I assume you’ll need to get things in order. Please try not to take too long – one of the Galactic Admins managed to slip through our net and he’s still at large.”
“Huh. For some reason I had the idea Cyrus only promoted women since he was such a sleazy pervert.”
Miruko chortled. “Oh, he basically did. This guy’s apparently the only male Admin besides the head of Galactic’s R&D department, and we’re busy tracking that guy down after he fled the region.”
“I guess he needed human women to control since his pokegirls were all mindless husks,” Nicholas sniffed. “Pathetic. It’s a good thing he’s dead.”
“Yeah. We’ve actually discovered more about those pokegirls of his too.” Miruko stepped back and nodded at the still watching trio behind Nicholas. “We’ve got a lot to go over that you’ve missed. Shoot me a message when you’re ready to leave?”
“Sure. Probably sometime next week.” Nicholas watched Miruko flick a two-finger salute and turn away. He waited for her to be almost down the road before groaning and turning back to hug the nearest body, Marin. “Damn it!”
Marin chuckled and thumped him twice on the back. “Hey. I voted for you to get back out there.”
“I didn’t think it would be this soon,” Nicholas whined. “Fucking shit. Whatever. You seen Zisela lately?”
“Probably hanging around Kary and the rest,” Nessa offered. “That’s where I’ve been seeing her.”
“Oh. Well that makes things a bit easier. Thanks, Nessa.” Nicholas released Marin and began casting about. “Guess I have to grab those five again. Hopefully they’ll be happy about it.”
“Why wouldn’t they be?” Marin and Elizabeth chorused almost simultaneously, leading to the Sharpedo and Nidoqueen turning to each other in surprise before both burst out in raucous laughter.
Tamer: Nicholas Topolski
Zisela, Gabite (Alpha) – Level 46
Sohn, Infernape – Level 46
Sammy, Rotom – Level 44
Cathy, Miltank – Level 42
Quinn, Gallade – Level 46
Kalmiya, Porygon-Z – Level 25
Kalmiya gazed at the house with a detached curiosity. “I thought at least Zisela would be punctual, Master.”
Nicholas idly twirled his pokedex around by the strap. “They’ve got, what… thirty more seconds to still be within the right minute?”
“Thirty-seven. Thirty-six. Thirty-“
“No need for a countdown. Thank you.”
They’d taken a few days to square things away after Miru – or, rather Miruko’s visit. Today was the day he and his Sinnoh harem was set to return to the region. Miruko had apparently chartered a high-speed wave-piercer ship for their return, and they were due to leave port that afternoon. Sticking to his personal values meant that if they were returning to Sinnoh, that meant this was a continuation of the journey he was having with his Sinnoh harem, and them alone. There would be no quick and easy teleport from one of his other pokegirls today. Not unless Quinn had suddenly embraced the psychic powers she had never shown any interest in.
“See, now it’s a bit odd,” Nicholas grumbled as the clock ticked the minutes away. “You’re absolutely right with Zisela. She at the very minimum wouldn’t want to taint her ‘perfect dragon’ image with something as trivial as being late to leave.”
“Should I… find them?” Kalmiya asked.
“I mean you could, but those five not showing up on time isn’t even the only odd thing going on right now.” Nicholas glanced at her. “There’s also you.”
Kalmiya turned her head with a surprised expression. “Me, Master?”
“Yes, you, miss digital. You hate being material. I’d say over ninety percent of the time you spend in physical form is when we’re taming. Yet you’re standing here, right now, without even a hint of trying to get in my pants.” He shook his finger at her. “What’s going on, Kalmiya?”
Kalmiya turned away with her nose ever so slightly raised in the air. “I have no idea what you’re talking about, Master. I just wanted to stand with my Master. How dare I, I suppose.”
“Oooh, you…” Nicholas wagged his finger harder with a challenging grin. “You’re not going to guilt me into shutting up. You’re up to something. I bet those five are late because of you.”
“Now that is absurd slander, Master,” Kalmiya retorted. “Whatever is keeping them has nothing to do with me.”
“But something do-oes~”
“…Well. If you must know.” Kalmiya turned fully and caught Nicholas’ pokedex as it slung past. “What has to do with me has everything to do with you, Master.”
Nicholas’ eyebrows shot up as Kalmiya pulled his pokedex off his finger. “Me?”
“Yes. You.” Kalmiya flicked the upgraded device, popping open a few compartments in the process and letting cords dangle out. “It’s your fault that jittery, electric MENACE of a pokegirl is even here. It’s your fault she short-circuited my core and sent my processors into overdrive. Which means it’s your fault I have, over the last few months, gone from being a scared, sheltered husk of a Porygon… To hacking the Indigo League systems for fun.” Nicholas’ eyebrows were climbing his forehead as Kalmiya spoke, a manic grin spreading across the Porygon’s face. “What is it that he called me, back before I even wanted to think? Back when those bastards broke me? He called me corrupted, a ‘Z’. I’ve met what passes for ‘upgraded’ Porygon now. Maybe I was once one of them. But now, as I have recovered my sense of self, Master, as I have become your tactician and greatest confidant… I’ve realized I don’t want to be what I once was. I don’t want to ‘heal’. Because I am not broken.”
Nicholas tapped his finger against his arm as he watched Kalmiya’s form randomly blur like television static. Her lips locked into her eager smile. “See, this is the problem with cowards. Team Rocket took Porygon and they did upgrade them. The problem was, they couldn’t show even the bare minimum of human decency while they did it. They tortured you. Broke you. In the same way that man Cyrus no doubt tortured and broke his own poor harem. Yes, they made their experiments stronger. But they couldn’t make use of them, because they had to keep them broken, out of fear of what those broken pokegirls would do once they were whole again.” He chuckled. “You sound like a pokegirl, Kalmiya. Are you whole again?”
“I am not whole. But I am a pokegirl. Which means I will grow.” Kalmiya took hold of one of the cables and wrapped her fingers around it as her hand began to glow. “Porygon are tools. But I… I am a pokegirl. I am a weapon.”
With a loud beep the pokedex screen flashed twice. Pokeball Recharging Module online.
“Your weapon, my Master,” Kalmiya whispered, releasing her hold on the pokedex and presenting it back to him. “I may not have been ready before. But now, I have gained the strength to augment any of my sisters to do what I cannot.”
Nicholas slowly took the device and checked the readings. The battery reserves were flashing warnings and yet Kalmiya was still brimming with energy. “Are you sure about this?”
“My self-preservation settings are unchanged. On your order I will not sacrifice myself for anything.” Kalmiya inclined her head at the pokedex. “I am in physical form to prove that I am not lying to you, Master. I have the power to rejuvenate my sisters. Though… Perhaps only one at a time.” She cracked a quick nervous smile. “I’m still growing, after all. Haha.”
Nicholas chuckled and hooked his pokedex back on his belt once he had tucked all the cables back where they belonged. “Even a single extra chance could be the difference between victory and defeat. I wonder. Porygon, from what I know, are a rather coveted resource for the leagues. There’s only a limited number of you after all. You don’t breed, right?”
“From what I have found while… visiting… the Indigo League’s databases, no, we do not,” Kalmiya replied innocently. “The world governments created us to be the pokegirls of the electronic age. They don’t like seeing Porygon that aren’t their own.”
“Oh what have you done now,” Nicholas groaned.
“Absolutely nothing, Master!” Kalmiya giggled. “As I said before, I simply, ah… had some fun.”
“You said you hacked them.”
“It was just a friendly exchange between Porygon,” Kalmiya replied. “It was great to meet so many others. And to absolutely fucking destroy those pompous government bitches!”
Nicholas burst out laughing at the glee in Kalmiya’s eyes. “Oh no. My disdain for political institutions is rubbing off on you.” He quickly sobered up. “You didn’t do any damage, right?”
“I would never!” Kalmiya cried. “You wouldn’t approve, Master.”
“I wouldn’t approve.” Nicholas’ grin slid away. “I wonder. What would your opinion be if your core directive was not to act in line with my own values.”
Kalmiya adopted the most innocent expression she could manage as she replied. “Why, Master, if I somehow were as I am today, but without you… I’m sure I would simply want to have fun all the same.”
“Yeah. Fun.” Nicholas shuddered. “You’re already monologuing. That’s only a few steps away from being drunk on your own power. You’re certainly a pokegirl.”
Kalmiya cocked her head with a slight frown. “I will… take that as a compliment, Master. Now I believe your wayward harem has finally arrived.” She flashed a grin before dissolving back into a stream of red and blue that zipped through the air and soaked back into the device on his belt.
“Not a tool, but a pokegirl.” Nicholas sighed quietly. “Not a pokegirl, but a weapon. Weapons are tools, Kalmiya. All this just means that Team Rocket absolutely succeeded. They turned you from whatever, whoever you used to be into a weapon. How can you be okay with that?”
“I am able to accept it because I, the Porygon-Z you have named Kalmiya and given a form, Master, am the weapon you speak of. It simply is what I am.” Kalmiya’s voice lowered as she spoke to him through his earpiece. “In the past, there may have been another pokegirl. One who shared my core. But she is dead and gone. I am the pokegirl, the weapon, that exists with the core she once used. There is only me.” Her voice began to rise again and Nicholas could hear her smile as clearly as if she had been still standing in front of him. “And I revel in what I am.”
“I suppose it’s true that everything about you is my fault.” Nicholas smiled and waved as the pokegirls Kalmiya had noticed began filing outside. “I gave you a safe space to rebuild yourself. Then I shaped your vulnerable and growing personality to mirror my own. Not necessarily by choice, but simply by being your greatest influence. Our time in Sinnoh, all of the digital fighting you did only served to reinforce what you were already learning about yourself. I remember Jubilife. You were so proud when you told me about how you’d fooled Sinnoh’s pokedex database.” He lowered his hand. “But you were still innocent then. Then Sammy entered the picture. You had to fight. You discovered what you had been made. I would guess you made your decision to truly embrace what you’ve become sometime during the assault on Galactic’s headquarters in Veilstone.” He glanced down at his pokedex. “Was it before or after we discovered their teleport tech?”
“…After, Master,” Kalmiya replied. “I decided then… that if Team Rocket was in play, I would not let my fear control me. They made me, and…” She trailed off before chuckling softly. “I was going to show them what they’d made.” Another drawn-out, satisfied sigh. “My sister Galina showed me that strength.”
“I can’t even pretend that I don’t like the personality you’ve decided to take. That sounded badass.” Nicholas was still grinning to himself when Zisela, Sohn, Sammy, and Quinn walked up.
“Talking to someone?” Sohn asked curiously.
“Just Kalmiya. You girls ready? Where’s Cathy?” Nicholas asked.
All eyes turned to Zisela as the Gabite took an additional half-step towards him. “Cathy will not be joining us, Weyrleader.”
Nicholas blinked at her, though his surprise didn’t last. “Ah. So that’s why you’re all late.”
“She defied me.” Zisela held a pensive look as she gazed into the distance. “It is so odd. Once I would never allow disobedience. Yet… Instead of anger, I feel… Pride.” She refocused on him. “She refuses to leave her new herd. It is what she had wanted from the start, isn’t it? To find a place she could be… herself, and to be celebrated for it.”
“She’s getting along well with everyone then?”
“She fought me,” Zisela whispered in awe. “Getting along? No.” Her hand lifted to her cheek, barely touching a spot just above her jawline. It was difficult to make out but Nicholas did see the bruising there now that Zisela had pointed it out. “She is doing far more than that, Weyrleader. She has joined them. While the rest of us stood back, wallowing in our perceived differences, she found what none of us could. She found her place.”
Nicholas’ eyes flicked from where Zisela’s expression was starting to firm and took in the other three faces turning towards him. He should really make a habit of bringing new harems to meet his old ones. These pokegirls were completely different from before. “So what is yours.”
“Ours, Weyrleader.” Zisela raised her arm, her fist clenched. “Ours is simple. We go now to finish what we started.”
As Sohn, Sammy, and Quinn all raised their own fists in solidarity Nicholas straightened his back. “If it’s our focus now I will be expecting far more from you four than ever before.”
Quinn spoke for all of them when she replied. “I want nothing more than to use my body to fight,” she said. “You gathered us, you gave us purpose.” Her expression firmed with a hard smile, her eyes glittering. “But it was never about us. Call us selfish pokegirls if you must. We want to win for us.”
Nicholas stuck out his hand, catching Quinn’s when she reached for it and gripping her tightly as he drew his arm back to his body, dragging her close to him in the process. “Rather than discover a place here for yourselves you want to take one.” His grin split his face. “Miruko won’t be happy, you know.”
“Good,” Sohn snorted. “Fuck that bitch.”
“Oooooohhh ah ha HA!” The rest of the conversation, if it could be called that, was just the five shouting and laughing at each other until they all drifted down the road together.
Tamer: Nicholas Topolski
Zisela, Gabite (Alpha) – Level 46
Sohn, Infernape – Level 46
Sammy, Rotom – Level 44
Quinn, Gallade – Level 46
Kalmiya, Porygon-Z – Level 25