Welcome to do another chapter of Holly Rising! No prompt here, but see the author's notes for details! As always, I do not own Pokémon, and all prompts are the property of The Artist's Zone user Wizardmonfan. They're being summarized here with permission.
Also, may as well do a review reply here to a guest (whoever you are, thank you for reviewing). I'm glad you enjoy Holly's character, and her bratty, reckless, character was exactly what I was going for. I think a lot of people fail to realize that Pokémon Trainers are mostly kids, and kids are going to make reckless decisions… I wanted to make a more realistic depiction of that, and Holly was born.
Also, it goes without saying that Holly doesn't realize she'll lose Torracat if she dishes Anabel… She's too consumed with her freedom to realize that… As for whether Anabel will be all right, you should find out shortly.
Now, on with the chapter!
17: The Other
Holly could hardly contain her glee as she jumped at the next level of the cave.
Finally, she was away from Anabel! She could do whatever she liked!
Yet her happiness was cut short as she thought she brushed up against more rock. Holly tried to focus her vision, but realized she couldn't see anything.
The joy was replaced by cold unease, as she landed on the ground with a huge thud.
Holly glanced around her, but could find only inky darkness. The same inky darkness that was so uninviting at the front of the cave now surrounded her.
She was finally free, but now that she was, Holly had no idea what do.
Holly knew that Pokémon could be taught to light up caves, but she didn't have any that could light up this one without constantly using attacks.
But she also knew she had little choice.
So, Holly threw her Poké Ball into the air again.
The mouse Pokémon appeared again, eyes bright and alert. Holly doubted it could see well, but it looked back at her. Holly may not have been able to make out much in the cave, but she could not miss the mouse's look of confusion.
Of course, it wouldn't know what happened. But it could know now.
Holly could feel a smile spreading across her face as she enthusiastically shouted.
"Pikachu, we are away from Anabel! We are free! We can go find some Moon Stones all by ourselves!
She pointed to the darkness.
"Now, let's light up this cave! Thundershock!"
The Pokémon still held a look of hesitation, and Holly couldn't blame it.
After all, she had just ordered it to light up the same cave where it had gotten attacked by a swarm of Pokémon. Perhaps the fear from before was genuine.
But Pikachu showed no fear now as it launched a lightning bolt. The cave briefly flashed yellow, illuminated by Pikachu's attack.
Holly could see there were more Zubat roosting, but they scattered as soon as Pikachu's lighting got anywhere near them.
Not one gathered to form the giant mass from before.
Holly grinned, shouting "Take that!"
Holly continued to wear her giant smile.
Zubat couldn't stop her now!
She turned to her Electric Pokémon, who had now lit up a good portion of the cave.
"Okay, Pikachu! Let's go find some Moon Stones!"
The Pokémon nodded, still crackling with electricity.
Yet Holly didn't even take a step before a sound stopped her in her tracks.
Pikachu cocked its head, but Holly strained her ears.
It was distant, but she could still hear the rhythmic pounding of hard hooves against the stone.
This was very odd.
Why would there be the sound of hooves here?
Horses didn't inhabit this cave. It wasn't even suitable for horse Pokémon.
And as far as she knew, Anabel didn't have either.
Holly didn't have time to ponder as she was alerted to another light.
Excitement flooded her again, and briefly overcame confusion. The light burned brightly, a mixture of orange red and yellow.
Holly knew this light like her own name.
Yet what would fire be doing here? Anabel didn't have any fire Pokémon, and Holly didn't have any of hers out.
In a minute, she got her answer.
The light seem to be charging straight for her, and Pikachu got down in a battle stance. As it grew closer, Holly could finally see what it belonged to.
Her suspicions were proven correct, as a horse did indeed appear.
But it wasn't just any horse.
The horse blazed with a mane of fire and a tail to match. More fire burned on the horse's legs, right behind its shining black hoofs. A cream-colored coat shown in the darkness, and a white horn always pointed forward. The horse's confident eyes matched its determined stride as it cantered towards Holly.
Holly narrowed her eyes.
Holly wondered who would ride one here, but her gaze was immediately drawn to two other Pokémon.
The large orange and yellow ears of a fox matched the Rapidash's flames. Similar determination burned in the creature's black eyes. It had some white fur too, but the rest of it was covered up by a red dress. Holly could briefly see the blue light of psychic energy radiating from the Pokémon. Holly also noticed a stick, flames burning as brightly as those of the Rapidash. The flaming stick levitated slightly in front of the Rapidash, and Holly wondered if it was supposed to be a carrot instead. Carrot or not, the Pokémon strode calmly on the left side of the Rapidash.
Holly may not have known why the Pokémon was there, but she knew what it was.
Yet it was the third Pokémon that caught Holly's eye the most. This Pokémon floated along the right side of the steed.
It had a grey body and was holding a large golden ring. A similar ring was attached to grey horns, and another was around its body. Unlike the Delphox, no psychic energy radiated from this Pokémon. Instead, it held its rings proudly, and Holly suspected they were needed for something. The Pokémon's grey body contrasted well with the pink designs dotted all over it. It might've been a darker color, but there was no missing the light gleaming in its greenish-yellow eyes.
Holly's own eyes went wide, and she suppressed a shudder.
She'd never seen that Pokémon, but she'd heard the tales.
And now its name rang in her head.
It was one of the fabled legendary Pokémon.
Mythical, some called it.
That meant it was comparable to a god.
That meant it was one of the rarest Pokémon in the world.
That meant it had power most could only dream of having.
So what was it doing here? From what Holly had heard, Hoopa was from a region far away…
Perhaps she could find the answer if she found a Trainer.
So, Holly looked up as the Pokémon approached.
But something else caught her eyes.
They went wide in confusion again.
All three had bizarre blue vests. They had some sort of League insignia on them, but it was nothing Holly could recognize. She squinted, and could slowly read the words, "Service Pokémon. Ask Trainer before approaching."
Holly rapidly remembered her conversation with Anabel and Gisele.
Service Pokémon… But that would mean that there was a disabled Trainer around…
And who would dare make such powerful Pokémon servants? Who would dare do that to a legendary Pokemon?
And Holly needed to find out who that "someone" was.
So she continued focusing her gaze, and noticed the Rapidash had a female rider.
She appeared to be older, although not as old as Giselle or Anabel. However, maturity and experience showed in her eyes, and Holly wondered if looks were deceiving. Her dark, curly, collar-length, brown hair was so short Holly almost thought she was a boy. Embarrassingly, she realized her mistaken on closer inspection. The rider had deep dark blue eyes, as sharp as Anabel's purple ones. She had blue clothing to match, and it looked well-traveled. The clothing reminded Holly of the kind Hikers would wear. Yet instead of powerful hiking boots, the girl had a pair of sturdy shorter shoes.
Holly wondered what hiker wouldn't wear boots in the cave, or how a disabled trainer even could hike.
But she couldn't wonder for long, as there was other strange attire.
The Rapidash clearly had reins and a saddle, but it wasn't any Holly had ever seen. The brown saddle had some sort of grip on it, and the Trainer was holding it firmly with her left hand. The reins had two bands, one that was red and one that was white. The Trainer gripped the red one in her right hand, steering her Pokémon with proficient ease.
She'd ridden horses before, but never with anything like that.
Who on earth would use such equipment?
But Holly didn't have time to ponder long, as she was alerted to the sound of the rider's booming voice.
Holly looked up to see the rider pulling on the reins, and the Rapidash stopped in front of Holly. The other Pokémon with the rider followed suit. Oddly, the Trainer did not dismount, but instead towered down from her Pokémon.
Before Holly could speak to her, the rider looked straight at Pikachu. Her eyes hardened and her voice took on a fierce, commanding, tone.
"Stand down. I'm not here to fight."
Pikachu's eyes widened in shock, and it stood up from its combat stance. It backed up beside Holly, and she clenched her fist.
How could this Trainer command her Pokémon? How dare she!
Moreover, how could Pikachu understand her?
Holly could feel rage burning within her. This Trainer was probably just some smug person on a literal high horse!
Well, she would show her!
Defiance made its way into Holly's voice as she shouted.
"If you are not here to fight, then what are you doing here?"
If the rider was annoyed, she did not show it. Instead, her narrowed eyes gazed straight at Holly.
"I should ask you the same. I take it you're on your way to Cerulean, but you look a little lost."
The glare never Holly's eyes. How dare this Trainer make assumptions!
Her next words came out a snarl. "I'm not lost! I'm just here to find a Moon Stone!"
The other Trainer's eyes hardened even more, and Holly couldn't help going pale.
Someone as experienced as this would see right through her partial lie!
The rider's next words pierced like a knife.
"Really? Then why are you just staring blankly at the center of the cave, instead of going near the rocks, or digging?"
For a moment, she had no retort.
Truth be told, she hadn't thought about either of the things the other mentioned.
But defiance made a triumphant comeback.
She couldn't let this stranger order her around! She might be just like Anabel!
She shouted back. "If you get down from your high horse, maybe I'll talk to you!"
Holly tried resisting breaking into a smug smile. That would show this Trainer!
Yet the other Trainer didn't even flinch at Holly's comment. Instead, she calmly stated.
"Very well. I was about to take a break anyway."
She glanced at the Delphox, and the Pokémon glanced back.
"Google, would you mind helping me dismount?"
The fox Pokémon nodded, and the glow of psychic energy intensified.
Holly's eyes continued to go wide and she stifled a gasp as the Psychic Pokémon lifted the rider from her mount as though she was a feather. The horse didn't even stir, and Holly wondered how it'd gotten used to the process. Yet Holly couldn't focus on that, as psychic energy still surrounded the older Trainer. Her Pokémon gently lowered her, until she was standing on the ground.
Holly tensed, waiting for the Delphox to let go.
Yet it didn't.
The psychic energy burned brighter than ever, and the older Trainer fixed Holly with a resolute gaze.
It was almost as if the other Trainer was waiting for Holly to speak. Yet for once, Holly found her voice frozen.
Why was the Delphox still controlling its Trainer's movements? Was this some sort of trap? Or did she need to mount a rescue?
Holly stepped back, and upon looking down, received her answer.
Holly resisted the urge to gasp again.
Both legs twisted out awkward angles, yet was clear the Trainer favored her right one. She stood on the toe of her left leg, with her heel and foot in the air. Her right one seemed to remain down, although occasionally, the legs would switch places. Holly thought she caught a glimpse of both being down, but it was only for a second, before the left was up again.
It reminded Holly of a bird called a crane. Or maybe this Trainer was secretly a ballet dancer.
She wondered how anyone could walk like that.
And why didn't the Psychic Pokémon force the Trainer's legs down and make them normal?
Couldn't psychic power do anything it wanted?
Perhaps the Trainer was just too stupid to stand on both legs. Surely she must know that two legs were better than one!
Holly was about to voice a retort when the Hoopa flew in front of its Trainer. It said something Holly couldn't understand, but the trainer clearly could. She shook her head.
"Thank you, Mickey, but I don't think I need my walker here."
Holly's eyes went wide. Immediately, her mind flashed back to the conversation at Pokémon Tech.
A Trainer who walked with a machine…
And she had many Pokémon…
And lots of experience…
This had to be the Trainer the others were talking about!
And that meant she could finally knock some sense into the scaredy-cat with a battle!
But before Holly could even open her mouth, she was alerted to the sound of rushing footsteps.
Holly couldn't see who it was, but she certainly registered a slap across the face.
Anabel glared daggers at her, and Holly thought her looks could kill. The woman was littered with bruises and bite marks, but they clearly didn't slow her down. Holly tried not to shrink back from the glare, but found it difficult.
With a shudder, she remembered Anabel shouting something. Holly had just dismissed it as a frightened cry, but now she wondered if it was a Pokémon command…
She didn't have time to think about it long, as Anabel fixed her with a look of pure rage. Her voice boomed through the entire cave as she yelled.
"Holly, what were you-"
Suddenly, Anabel stopped dead. The woman's face went pale as noticed the other Trainer.
The other Trainer only eyed her curiously, psychic power never leaving her. Even her Pokémon remained unmoving.
What was going on between those two?
After what seemed like forever, the color returned to Anabel's face.
However, when the woman spoke, it was like a strained whisper.
"Kris? Where have you been? I haven't seen you in years…"
Holly's eyes were the size of saucers.
So this was the trainer that Anabel knew! This Kris also must've been the scaredy-cat from the Pokémon Tech!
But instead of responding to the greeting, the trainer named Kris only shook her head.
A questioning look entered her eyes, and it easily matched her voice. "I'm sorry?"
There was no mistaking Anabel's shock as she responded with her own question.
"Why are you apologizing?"
The trainer named Kris answered rapidly. "Because I don't know you. I don't believe we've met. I'm not sure how you know my name either."
Anabel's voice rose with confusion as she yelled. "You don't know me? But you must! I remember your victory! How did you survive the fall of the tower?"
The other Trainer sadly shook her head. "I've never battled you. And there was no tower falling that I know of. Perhaps you have the wrong person?"
Anabel clearly made no effort to control her emotions as she continued to yell.
"Surely not! I'd remember someone who beat a Frontier Brain! Your Pokémon are different, but you have the same name and face!"
Holly tried her hardest not to let her jaw drop.
This Trainer had the same name and face as the one Anabel knew?
How was that possible?
More importantly, why did the Trainer act like she had never seen Anabel, when Anabel clearly recognized her?
Maybe she was just pretending not to recognize Anabel. Holly didn't know why a Trainer would do that, but knowing how strange this Kris person was, she must've had her reasons.
And now Kris was shaking her head again. Desperation creeped into Anabel's voice, as she thrust out her hand.
"Your Frontier Pass, from Hoenn's Battle Frontier, you must still have it!"
Kris cocked her head, confusion written in her eyes. "The only Battle Frontiers I know of are in Sinnoh and Johto. And I haven't beaten any of the Brains at either of them."
If desperation crept into Anabel's voice before, there was no masking it now. "Then the Pokérus, you must still carry that! I remember how sick it made you!"
Kris only continued shaking her head.
"The only time Pokérus was ever in my possession was when someone gave me a Pokémon infected with it. Even then, it was never transmitted to me."
Holly blinked her eyes, unable to hide her own confusion.
Pokérus? Wasn't that just a rare virus that made Pokémon grow? From what she heard, it didn't even make them sick.
So how could it be transmitted to a human? And why would it make them sick?
Holly decided it didn't matter, and she turned as Kris began to speak again. Remorse seemed to be written on the older Trainer's face. Whether it was for wasting Anabel's time, or not recognizing her, Holly couldn't tell.
"I'm very sorry. I don't know you."
Kris politely nodded and backed away. Holly tensed, realizing the older Trainer was about to leave.
She couldn't let that happen!
Before Kris could even take a step, Holly shouted. "Anabel may not know you, but I do!"
Holly ignored the mixture of surprise and annoyance that flashed in the other Trainer's eyes as she continued.
"You're the student Giselle mentioned! That's scaredy-cat that didn't even want to go on a journey!"
Kris's eyes betrayed no emotion, and she kept her voice even as she responded.
"Scaredy-cat? That's an insult I haven't heard in a while."
Holly was now aware of Anabel screeching.
"And it's one you won't hear again!" She lunged for Holly's arm, but Holly knocked the woman back as she twisted out of the way.
Holly screamed. "No, not after you stole my Pokémon!"
Holly was quickly alerted to Kris taking a step forward. However, the older Trainer did not interfere. Instead, she intently watched the argument, eyes blazing with intense interest.
Holly resisted the urge to turn back to her.
If Kris was interested in what Holly had said, then clearly she was on her side!
And with a Trainer that powerful, Anabel stood no chance!
Holly turned towards the older Trainer.
"That's right! This woman, Anabel, stole my Pokémon, and because of it, I lost a match!"
Anabel's eyes filled with rage, and her furious voice cut through the air like a knife.
"That's only because you tried to kill one of your other ones, and you left me to be attacked by a bunch of wild Pokémon!"
Holly shook her head, ignoring Anabel's rage.
She needed a neutral judge. And she knew just who to use.
She turned to Kris, who still had not made a move. The older Trainer's eyes still burned intensely, but Holly noticed they were narrowed.
Surely she must've understood what a crime Anabel had committed! She must've felt the pain of having her own Pokémon stolen!
It was time to take the next logical step.
Holly tried not to keep her smugness from showing as she asked.
"What do you think?"
The older Trainer shut her eyes, as if she was deep in thought.
However, within a few minutes, she opened them again, and focused on Holly.
"I think that a problem with a Pokémon can only be solved through the same means." The psychic energy flashed again, and Kris held a Poké Ball in her right hand.
Holly ignored and those look of shock as her eyes brightened.
Finally, she would get the chance to teach this Trainer a lesson!
But instead of throwing the Poké Ball, Kris hesitated.
She again focused on Holly, but a look of uncertainty flashed in her eyes.
"You look familiar…"
She suddenly shifted her gaze to Anabel, who was still wearing a look of shock.
"And that energy…"
Holly clenched her fist in fury.
There's no way this Trainer could know her! They'd never met!
And who cared about some stupid energy?
Kris was just delaying the inevitable, because she knew she would lose to Holly!
"I don't know what you're talking about! Just come out and battle!"
At that, the uncertainty left Kris's eyes, and she once again betrayed no emotion.
"That's right. I forgot normal people can't tell…"
She shook her head, then backed up again to stand across from Holly.
"Anyway, let's begin."
Kris tossed the Poké Ball in her right hand.
A Pokémon appeared, letting out a mighty cry.
Holly couldn't be sure if it was a mushroom or an insect, but she knew it was her opponent. The Pokémon had orange claws and focused on her with its white eyes. The mushroom on its back was huge and red. If Holly looked closely, she could see little yellow dots all over it.
They were very weak to fire, and very slow.
And now that she had fire, her opponent wouldn't stand a chance.
This battle was over before it even started.
Pikachu cocked his head at her, and Holly realized she had almost forgotten that she hadn't recalled it.
She shook her head, and did so now.
Instead, she held an Ultra Ball in her hand.
The dog Pokémon appeared, letting out a howl.
Holly couldn't resist letting her smile grew wider.
Yet before she could even open her mouth, Kris issued a command. There was no emotion as she spoke.
"Jane, use Spore… On both Growlithe and Holly."
Holly felt her eyes grow wide, and her blood run cold. Kris couldn't do that! Attacking humans with Pokémon was a serious offense!
Yet a new coldness entered Kris's eyes, rivaling even Anabel.
And that was when her Pokémon commenced the attack.
Jane released a white cloud of powder from her mushroom, and quickly, the aforementioned spores filled the air.
Holly heard something crash to the ground, and saw Growlithe collapse in a heap.
Holly shook her head.
She would not lose to a random Trainer who had the nerve to attack people with Pokémon!
She would fight this!
But there was nothing she could do as the white spores enveloped her.
Holly soon felt her eyelids growing heavy, and the rest of her body growing weak. She fought to remain upright, but only succeeded in making the ground rush toward her.
She could hear Anabel rush forward to catch her, and thought she could catch a glimpse of the severe expression on her face.
Whether it was because of Kris attacking her, or because of leaving her behind before, Holly couldn't tell.
The only thing Holly knew was that the last thing she heard before darkness took her was Kris's chilling verdict.
"It doesn't matter who you are. I can never forgive those who try to kill Pokémon."
-So here she is, the other main OC, Kris. She will be a major character, but the point of view will still be Holly's. As who she actually is, I won't say much to due to spoilers. However, the inconsistencies in her character are intentional. People are welcome to ask to spoilers about her, and I will respond in the PM.
-As stated before, Kris is a reimaging of a character I created when first writing for the Pokémon fandom. I might as well talk about the similarities and differences here.
-Perhaps the biggest difference between Kris and her previous incarnation was that the latter was not disabled in any way. This was mainly because I wasn't sure how to make a disabled trainer exist in the Pokémon world, and only figured it out as I continue to write experiment. As such, she also did not have things like her service Pokémon, or even any legendary Pokémon. Kris also went by a different name, and was actually younger than the traditional Pokémon Trainer rather than older. While she was around Misty's age her original incarnation, background information implied she had been traveling for a long time, before Trainers usually got Pokémon.
-It's also worth noting in her original incarnation that she knew several famous people, including Clair of Blackthorn and Hoenn's Champion Steven. She still knows a few famous people here, but not those particular ones. In Kris's original incarnation, she was athletic, but that's taken out here for obvious reasons. She was also rebellious, behaving similar to Holly. This rebellious attitude also got her in trouble more than once. The rebelliousness is gone here. It's also noted that in her original incarnation, she was a lot less cold and calculating and much more outwardly aggressive.
-For example, in her original incarnation, she challenged Ash to a battle, destroyed him, and didn't seem the least bit concerned when his Pokémon were hurt. As seen with Holly, she still has some aggression here, but it's more of a survival tactic than anything.
-Other parts of Kris's back story had been altered as well. In her original incarnation, she was a gang leader (similar to Emma in Pokémon X and Y, and Guzma in Pokémon Sun and Moon). This caused a lot of stress, which in turn caused the aggression. This was also meant to be explained further in a prequel, but that prequel never came to light. This aspect of her character has since been removed, but she still suffers a lot of stress.
-However, this version of Kris will have her own prequel, which will detail what she was doing before Holly Rising. She is also set to be a major character in two sequels, one of which revolves around her, the other which uses her and many other characters. Again, I cannot say much and to spoilers, but those who want information on the sequels can request it in a PM.
-Some aspects of Kris's character did carry over from her original incarnation, however. One particular aspect is her ability to talk to and be understood by all Pokémon. This will be explained further in the story, but it worked much the same in her original incarnation. However, her reason for having that power was very different. The idea of her traveling alone and slowly traveling to the regions was also present in her original incarnation. However, she has much different reasons for it this time. She also has keen battle and survival skills in both incarnations. Finally, the last thing to carry over was her ability to ride Pokémon, although the Pokémon she rode were different.
-Pokérus works almost exactly the same as it does in the story. It's a very rare virus Pokémon can get and spread to others. Even though the virus only spread for a short time, the effects are permanent. Each time Pokémon defeat opponents, they get bonuses. If those bonuses are high enough, their stats increase. Pokérus will double these bonuses, regardless of which were obtained. In later generations, it would also double any bonuses received from items.
-Kris and Anabel's dialogue comes from my own experiences. Kris getting sick from it is also from my own experiences. When Pokérus first came out, I was playing Pokémon without a guide. I somehow managed to get it from fighting a wild Psyduck, and got scared because I didn't know what it was. I actually thought my Pokémon were sick because it was a virus, even though the game told me otherwise. So, Anabel's story comes from that, even though no humans have ever been seen getting sick from Pokerus. Later on, I managed to get Pokérus again, but only when people traded me an infected Pokémon.
-The Battle Frontier is Kris is referring to comes from the Platinum, Heartgold, and Soulsilver videogames. In these games, there is a Frontier, and it can be challenged after the player has completed the main game. In the games, the Frontier is the same place, but in this story, I made them two different places.
-Pikachu lighting up the cave comes from Pokémon Yellow. If Pikachu knew Thunder and an area was dark, it would use the move to temporarily light up the cave. This can be done even if Pikachu did not know the move that would normally be used to light up caves. Also, the reason Mt. Moon's lower area is dark is because in the original Pokémon games, the lower area appeared a little darker, even though the player could still see.
-Finally, the vests on the Pokémon are based off of real service animal vests (without the Pokémon League symbols, obviously). One key difference is that a real service animal vest usually says something like "do not pet". I changed the message here because not all Pokémon are suitable for petting.