Hello everyone and welcome to The Dreamstone.
I'm currently on nearly three years of this story, and I have been enjoying every minute of it. I hope you enjoy it as well.
I also want to thank Windskull for the amazing cover image. Go check out their story if you get a chance.
Now I present to you The Dreamstone,
Hobey-ho let's go!
I never understood my Typing. Fire always drove me hotter, making my passion and rage that much stronger. Psychic cooled me off, gave me control and perspective. I'm not bipolar exactly, but there are times that I felt like I was at war with myself.
My two natures simply couldn't combine. It was impossible. The heat of Fire burned away the coldness of Psychic, and the overwhelming presence of Psychic was enough to smother any Flame. There were times when it hurt, as battling and communicating are difficult when I can't evoke both passion and brainpower.
And then there were times like that day, like then when I was sitting in a dark wet cave.
I could hardly breathe in the cool damp air. I choked on each sob as it passed my lips, and then I was forced to painfully gasp in air as I hunched over to try and nurse a stitch in my side. I had no idea how long I had been running. A day? Two? The whole time I sat there, I saw images flickering before my eyes. Flames, darkness, my father's face twisted into a picture of defeat as his wand was snapped in two.
I sat there for a while, wheezing pitifully as I curled myself into a tighter ball. Soon I had my tail tucked between my hind legs, and my forehead pressed into the floor. My eyes prickled, but I fought desperately to keep the tears away, but each flickering memory I felt a new sob rising in my throat.
Sheer exhaustion had forced me to rest, and this cave had been the only shelter. The only place to hide. I knew that I had to keep going. I couldn't stay here, or I would be found. There was no way I could let that happen. Especially as my father's last words echoed through my head. I gritted my teeth as the memory flashed through my mind. I felt paralyzed as it flowed through me. Guilt, anger, and pain pinning me down.
I didn't have time for this. I had know idea if they were still after me, but if they caught me I would be done. I reached for my Psychic, feeling the cold rush as it enveloped me. I quickly formed it into a mental box and shoved my pain and sadness into it before tossing it to the back of my mind. There would be time for it later. I took several deep breaths as I forced myself to stand. My legs wobbled as I stood there, but I forced myself to start walking.
That is until another Pokémon blocked my path. I looked up at it and was immediately greeted with the grotesque, grinning face of a Mr. Mime. I backed away, but someone was there too.
"Well look what we have here," the Mr. Mime laughed, "what are you doing so far from home kid?" He lashed out faster than I thought possible, and suddenly he had an iron-like grip on the scruff of my neck. He lifted me up to eye level.
"I'm not a kid," I protested. I closed my eyes, took a breath, and then stared him down calmly like my father had taught me. "I'm an adult. Please let me go."
"Really," the Pokémon behind me croaked, "doesn't your kind evolve around age thirteen?"
I twisted in the Mr. Mime's grip to find a Toxicroak standing there with his arms crossed. The red sack at his throat inflated and deflated as he breathed. "Age ten," I corrected cooly. "Please let me go. If you don't I will defend myself, and with your Typing, specifically, you should watch yourself!"
The Mr. Mime shook me, his fingers digging into my skin. "Well if you are as old as you claim, then you are encroaching on our territory. You should know better. We don't appreciate trespassers, do we Tad?" he said addressing the Toxicroak. The frog chuckled darkly. "Show him what happens to trespassers around here," the Mr. Mime grinned.
I turned around, watching carefully as Tad drew back his fist. A deep purple glow radiated around it as he prepared to deliver a quick Poison jab. I waited for a moment as I gathered Psychic energy. We both struck at the same time. He thrust his fist forward hoping to drive it into my chest, but a bright pink flash slammed him backwards into the wall of the cave.
"Why you little!" the Mr. Mime roared. His eyes glowed pink as he tried his own Psychic assault on me, but my power was more than enough to counter and deflect his. Once he realized it was futile he snarled and tried to simply punch me. I opened my mouth, feeling the cool feeling of Psychic evaporate instantly. My red irises glowed a deeper shade of crimson, and a wave of heat and flame exploded from my throat. The Mr. Mime's eyes widened as the flames grafted to his body. He screamed as the flames ate into him until he collapsed into unconsciousness.
"I warned you," I spat over his limp body. Then out of nowhere I felt a sharp blow against the back of my head. I was flung aside and onto the floor. I rolled over to see the Toxicroak standing over me with a purple aura surrounding his body.
"So did we," Tad snarled. He brought back his fist, ready to end me. Then I heard a soft clack.
"What was that?" Tad snarled at me. "One of your little Psychic tricks? It won't delay the inevitable." Once again he wound up to hit me, but then he flinched as his head snapped to the side. Another small clack sounded as a small pebble hit the cave floor.
Tad kicked me in the ribs, driving all of the air from my lungs. I shuddered on the floor for a moment before I gasped violently trying to get any air back into my lungs. "I told you to knock it off!" His aura grew darker as he readied his attack once again. The first two punches were meant to wound, to punish. This one was meant to kill. Suddenly the roof of the cavern began to shake, the stalactites glowing with pink Psychic energy. Instinct kicked in, and without thinking of how I would escape I used my energy to destabilize the cavern even more. Toxicroak tried to move out of the way, but a huge slab of rock suddenly gave away and landed squarely on his head and on a few extra square meters of the cavern.
I barely managed to roll out of the way, and then I was on my feet and running. I used what little power I had left to deflect any of the falling debris away from me, but rocks still managed to find holes in my defenses striking my legs and back. I forced myself to focus ahead at the crumbling cave mouth. I only needed it open for a second longer. One more second. Please.
I threw myself forward with everything I had as a last ditch attempt to escape. My legs buckled as I hit the ground so I rolled. My tail cleared the cave just as the entrance finally snapped and collapsed in on itself. I simply lay where I had landed, too exhausted to move. I closed my eyes for a moment. The box with my memories tried to push forward (was now the time?) but I snapped a mental lock on it and pushed it back again. Not now. Not yet.
I panted for a while, blearily gazing through the haze of dust that the collapsing cave had brought. I sneezed and coughed several times, nearly choking on the dust. One thought kept forcing its way into my head. How had the cave collapsed? I had seen the Psychic power that had destroyed it, but I certainly hadn't started it. I doubt that the Mr. Mime would have been conscious enough to pull the roof down on me either.
Of course, even as I thought this I caught movement out of the corner of my eye; a pink smudge in the brown and grey clouds floating around me. Had the Mr. Mime escaped?
I watched with bated breath as the shape paced around for a few moments. I stayed completely still, hoping that it wouldn't notice me. As the shape moved closer however I relaxed slightly. I didn't know much about the creature approaching me, but I could tell that it was walking on four legs.
"Are you okay, over there?" I snapped my head up at the voice. Whoever it was, they were female. I watched the figure get closer until she emerged through the clouds of dust. An Espeon. She looked around with her solid violet eyes until she finally saw me sprawled and panting in the dirt.
"Hey there," she said once she saw me, her voice rising higher as if she were addressing a child, "are you okay?"
I nodded. "Yeah, I'm good."
"Oh," she said, "well do you need any help? Can I take you somewhere? Do you need help getting home?"
I sat up slightly and rolled my eyes at her. "How old do you think I am? No, I don't need help."
"Uh," the Espeon said clearly taken aback. "But you are a Fennekin," the Espeon stated sounding confused, "don't you evolve with age? I mean you don't need like a Firestone or something right?"
"Well, yeah," I said. I felt a little uncomfortable. "Look, why don't we start over." I stood up, although my legs felt a bit unsteady. I offered her my paw. "My name is Slink. Thanks for saving me."
The heliotrope creature was too busy staring at me to respond. Now that I was standing she could get a much better sense of my size. Overall I was just a few inches taller than the Espeon at the shoulder, and my body was just longer than her's (although her tail was longer than mine).
I coughed, and she suddenly seemed to realize that she was staring. "Sorry. My name is Eve. Nice to meet you. Anyway Slink are you good? Why were you in that cave?"
"I needed a place to rest," I admitted, "and I didn't know that it was occupied. Really, I'm fine." I turned and started to walk away.
"Where are you going?" Eve asked.
I hesitated just a split second too long, telling Eve everything that she needed to know. "I'm...er… going to…" The box opened just a crack, and one word flitted through my head, "I'm going to find the Dreamstone!"
"What? Where the hell- no scratch that- what the hell is the dream stone?"
"I don't know!" I whirled around my eyes boiling and darkening. "I don't know. All I know is that my father told me to find the Dreamstone if anything ever happened to him."
There was a shocked silence as it slowly dawned on we what I had said. What I had revealed. "W-w-what happened?" the Espeon whispered.
I hung my head, refusing to meet her gaze. "I don't want to talk about it, okay. Please, let it go."
"Okay, okay," Eve said gently, "I won't push anymore." She trailed off, and I realized that she was thinking over what she wanted to say. "Slink, I think you should join the Expedition Society."
"What?" I snapped. "I don't need to join some cult! Weren't you listening? I need to find the Dreamstone."
She rolled her eyes. "Yes I understand that, but I don't know where it is. You don't know where it is. I doubt anyone knows where it is. But the Expedition Society's job is to explore the world and help Pokémon. They may know where it is, and if they don't, perhaps you will run into it on a mission."
I stared at her. Was she serious? This seemed like such a detour from my goal. Why did she seem to think that it would help me to join? She was wagging her tail nervously, and I could sense an anxious excitement radiating from her. As I looked closer, I saw something. A long thin leather bag hung over her body. She had the strap passed over the right side of her neck and the bag rested on her left side. "You're going to join and you want me to come with you."
She blushed, an obvious red bleeding through her short purple fur. "Yes," she admitted. "The Society only lets you start a team when you have at least two members. My other...I mean...I didn't have one yet, but I assumed that I would meet somebody on the way there. Look you don't have to stay my partner forever, but I was being honest when I said that I think this is your best bet at finding the Dreamstone. Please."
Normally I would have said no, but I had no idea of where I was going, and besides maybe if I joined this Society thing I could find Them. There was something about this Espeon too. I couldn't put my paw on it, but I sensed something about her. Perhaps it was my Psychic energy leaking or maybe it was just a thread of fate. Whatever it was, it made me curious.
"Fine," I said, "but on one condition."
"Sure, whatever," Eve said excitedly.
"You have to promise me that when I find the Dreamstone that you let me go to it." I stared directly into her eyes, forcing her to hear every word. "I need you to promise that when I find it you will sever all ties with me and we can go our separate ways."
Eve hesitated for a moment, but only a moment. "Done," Eve said excitedly, "now can we get going? We are wasting daylight."
I looked around. "Where is this Expedition Society anyway?"
Eve laughed. She moved next to me and pointed at the horizon with her tail. At least she tried to point at the horizon, but huge purple mountains blocked the way. "See that tall mountain? The Expedition Society HQ is on the other side. It is only about a day and a half away."
"Okay," I said. "Follow up question. Where are we?"
"What?" Eve asked cocking her head.
"I've kinda been in a daze. I honestly don't even know what day it is."
"Oh," Eve said somewhat put off. "Umm, we are on the West side of the Scale Mountain range. The Expedition Society is on the East coast. Does that help?"
"It does," I smiled. "So, I guess we should go. Lead the way."
Eve seemed familiar with the area. She lead us through the trees, and soon enough we were on a road. We turned towards the mountains, and for most of the day we walked directly toward them. "So are we going over the mountain?" I asked as the forest faded into a grassland. The mountain seemed to loom even higher from this distance.
"There is a pass just North of us," Eve said, "the road will branch in just a few miles."
"Oh," was all I could find to say. "So, I assume you've come this way before."
Eve shrugged. "Once a few years ago. My father brought me with him for his job."
I wasn't quite sure what to say to that, so I fell silent again. I couldn't help but notice that Eve wasn't much for conversation. At least personal conversation. Every time we came anywhere near the topic, Eve would give a little before changing the subject. I didn't push, mostly because I had my own issues. We tried to keep up a friendly conversation, but we didn't know what to talk about. I mean neither of us knew anything about the other except our names.
The mountain seemed to grow impossibly tall, like a tsunami wave about to destroy the continent. As the sun began to set behind us, the purple color turned much more red. It was honestly quite beautiful.
A few minutes later, Eve veered off the road, and started off into the trees. "Where are we going?" I asked.
"Hmm?" Eve asked not even turning around.
"You said that the road would fork. Why are we leaving the road now?"
"Oh," Eve said, but she seemed distracted. She kept looking around, and once or twice she stopped and turned slowly on the spot. "Well there is no way we are going to be able to get over the pass tonight, and we only have about an hour and a half worth of light left. Last time I came this way there was a…" she paused as she suddenly trotted forward towards a break in the trees. "I knew it was here somewhere!" She said excitedly. "Isn't this the best campsite?"
I had to admit, it wasn't bad. Of course based on my past experience, as long as there weren't any hostile Pokémon in this campsite it was a win. There was a sheer cliff face in the back of the clearing, with trees surrounding the rest of it. "We can make up beds there," Eve explained, "and I have supplies so that we can erect a small shelter by the back wall. I don't think it will rain tonight, although it is supposed to get cold. It sure would be nice if we had a fire." She looked at me pointedly.
I rolled my eyes. "Sure, but I'm going to need something to burn."
"Fine," Eve said. She took her bag off of her shoulder and then tossed it at me. "You can go get some firewood with that, and I'll make the shelter and our beds. That okay?"
I nodded before picking up the bag and walking into the trees to search for firewood. Unfortunately there weren't any fallen branches nearby and I wasn't about to try and harvest any from a tree, so I wandered a little farther from camp.
The small leather bag I carried was heavier than I thought it would be. Despite what Eve had said I wasn't so sure it could hold any firewood. It felt so full. I set it on the ground and stuffed my nose into it just to see how much room I had. I will admit that I was impressed.
Pockets of all shapes and sizes covered the inside walls of the bag. I saw a large one that was full of money, two pockets that were shaped to hold canteens, and ones that simply held seeds. Other objects seemed to be just tossed in haphazardly, but there were shaped leather bowls in the bottom of the bag to hold different berries and seeds securely and safely. I took stock and found that Eve had a healthy supply of orbs, wands, and she even had an emergency blanket that was secured to the bag by a large length of rawhide rope.
One thing that confused me however was the only item in the bag that didn't seem to have any real purpose. It wouldn't have stuck out if anything in Eve's bag had looked personal, but because of how formulaic and bland the contents of the bag were I couldn't miss the black gem.
I wasn't exactly sure what the stone was. It was slightly smaller than my paw, and as black as obsidian. It was cut expertly and polished to an almost reflective finish, but I just couldn't tell what it did or why it was special. Shrugging, I tossed it back into the bag. I could always ask Eve about it later.
Soon after, I hit the firewood jackpot. There was a slight rut in the forest floor, all that remained of a dried river. I followed it for a ways until I came across an old abandoned Bidoof dam. I was able to fill Eve's bag to capacity and I hadn't even made a dent in the structure.
Getting back to camp however was a different issue. The bag was much heavier now, (and unfortunately it took me almost all the way back to realize that I could carry it using Psychic,) and I had forgotten where camp was. By the time I found it again, Eve was nearly done with her job. She had dug two shallow pits and filled them with long grasses, leaves, and flowers. They were more like nests than beds, but they ended up being super comfortable. She had also cleared the grass from a small patch, and surrounded it with rocks as an impromptu fire pit. As I approached, she reclaimed her bag and dumped the load next to the firepit. She then took the blanket and the rawhide and strung up a canopy over the nests.
"Are you just going to stand there," she teased, "or are you going to light the fire already?" I rolled my eyes at her before I piled up several of the largest branches into the circle of stones. Less than a second later I had a fire crackling merrily at my feet. Being half Fire type does have its advantages.
So there we were. Two kids who had only met about five hours ago sitting by a crackling fire. Just like before though, we really didn't have that much to talk about, and it was still light out, meaning that we probably wouldn't have much luck going to sleep. After almost an hour of awkward silence, Eve finally snapped.
"How about we play a game I used to play back in school? It is called any three questions." She paused waiting for my response. When I didn't offer one, she plowed on quickly. "Just like the name sounds you can ask the other person any three questions about themselves, and they have to answer truthfully."
"Thanks," I grumbled, "I would never have been able to figure that out. Seriously? Get to know you games?" I tried to hide behind sarcasm, but I was certain that Eve could see the real reason for my hesitation. There was no way that I could handle personal questions. Not now.
Eve leaned close to me. "I promise that I won't go over the line. Look if we are going to join the Society together we might as well know something about one another."
"Fine," I sighed.
"Yay," Eve said. "I'll go first." She looked around for a minute as if she was looking for her question when her eyes suddenly locked on me. "What are you chewing on?"
Huh. It took me a second to realize that I had dissolved into one of my nervous tics. I spat out the pendant that I had been absentmindedly chewing. The polished grey stone hung from a thin leather cord. It wasn't a gem exactly, but it had an almost perfect triangle shape. I was surprised she hadn't seen it until now, but to be fair it often got lost in the thick fur of my chest.
"It was a birthday present for my ninth birthday," I said slowly. "My mother had this really cool necklace with a Firestone on it, and I had wanted one just like it. Unfortunately I had a habit of losing things so my parents told me that if I wore this one everyday for two years they would get me one with a Firestone. After about a year and a half I lost interest, but I still wore it everyday out of habit. My sister used to tease me to no end about it."
"You have a sister?" Eve asked.
"Is that your second question?" I replied.
She rolled her eyes at me. "Sure, I guess it is."
I eyed her for a moment. This question, at least in my head, seemed to be toeing the line. I answered though. "Her name was Blaze. She was three years older than me and had already Evolved twice. She was on her way to the Mist continent to study different types of energy."
"She evolved?" Eve asked tilting her head. "Why did she evolve and you didn't?" Before I could answer this safe question another thought popped into her head. "You talk about her in the past tense. Is she… was she… at the same time…with your dad?"
Tears pushed themselves to the surface of my eyes. I felt so horrible, so alone even with Eve by my side. I could only nod. "And my mom." I breathed.
Eve was silent for a minute. She must have realized how close to the line she had gotten. "Maybe you should take a turn now?" she suggested.
I tried to cast around for a safe topic.
"Why did you become an Espeon?" I asked finally.
"I didn't really chose to be an Espeon. It happened by accident. See my older sister had been teasing me about Sh… something at school. I got upset and I ran crying into the woods behind our house. It was almost noon so everything was bright and clear, but my eyes were so clouded with tears that I could barely see straight.
"I finally stopped running when I tripped. I felt way too tired to get up. I kinda realized at that point how stupid the whole thing was. There was no point in me running off. I would have gone straight back, but I felt a tickle on my hindpaw. Then suddenly something snapped around it, lifting me off of my feet so that I was hanging upside down by my ankle.
"I heard this sickly-sweet voice above me. It said something like, 'Oh child why don't you come with me. I'll fix you in a meal and make you feel much better.' A purple, diamond-shaped head lowered into view and I felt my heart stop. The Arbok's tail wriggled lower as it began to cocoon me in its coils. In desperation I used Swift to try and get away. It worked, except that the snake dropped me on my head. I was dazed and confused, and I was only vaguely aware of the dripping fangs inches from my head.
"Just as the snake was about to strike, the Arbok's body was thrown to the side as my sister tackled it. She told me that she was sorry and that I shouldn't have run off like I had. Suddenly the snake dove at her and sank its fangs into her side. She cried out and knocked it back again, but she is a Sylveon. She is weak against Poison, and the Poison in her system was making her weaker. The snake went in for a fatal strike, but after feeling a huge wave of affection and love for my sister I dove for the snake. In midair I saw a flash of bright light as my body began to change. I felt my body get longer and taller, while my tail got thinner and split in two. By the time I landed I had fully changed, and was able to knock the Arbok out with a quick Psychic attack."
"And what happened next?" I said clinging to her every word. "What happened to your sister? Did she survive?"
"Of course. We found some Pecha berries and it all worked out."
I looked around our little campsite trying to think of something else to ask. My gaze landed on her little leather bag and I remembered wanting to ask her a question earlier. "What is the black gem?"
The mood around the campfire changed so suddenly that I shivered. "Was that too far?" I asked trying to backpedal. "You don't have to answer that if you don't want to."
She stubbornly met my gaze. "No, it is okay. That gem was a gift from my partner."
My brain filled with questions as it reeled back from this revelation. "You have a partner?"
"No! He's gone- he's dead! He was an Umbreon that I knew from school. Then he just left me one day."
"So do you know what the gem is made of?" I asked trying to keep her mind off of her ex-partner.
She fished it out of the bag and began rolling it around in her paw. The light from the fire seemed to make it glow from the inside. "No," she said finally, her voice trembling. I could tell she was on the verge of crying, but at the same time I could tell that that wasn't the whole story. Despite the tears in her eyes she wore a deep scowl, and alongside her melancholy words I could feel resentment radiating from her. "It was his final gift to me though," she finished hurriedly.
I nodded, but on the inside my mind was spinning. I wasn't an expert on feelings and people. She almost seemed to hate or at least be angry at her former partner. I would understand if she didn't love him, but she had saved a gift from him. I had a feeling she wasn't telling me the truth, but I had poked my nose into an extremely personal topic.
We were silent for quite a while. "My turn," Eve said. "This one has been killing me all day. Why are you so large for a Fennekin? And you have some pretty advanced Psychic skills too. How old are you?"
I smiled as I shrugged. "Honestly I have no idea. I don't know why I didn't evolve either. I'm eighteen, and as best we could tell that since I didn't or couldn't evolve, my body continued to grow and develop. By the way, how old are you?"
"Seventeen, but I turn eighteen in just a few weeks." Eve motioned for me to keep talking.
"Anyway, when I turned sixteen I gained the Psychic type. That is the age that I should have turned into a Delphox, but I had been using Psychic type moves for years . I guess I evolved internally, while remaining a Fennekin on the outside."
"Alright," Eve said. "Your turn. Final question."
For the life of me I couldn't think of anything to ask her. I didn't really have anything I needed to know. She had been a bit quiet about her family. She had only really mentioned her sister because it was part of her answer, and she had only passingly mentioned her father. I wasn't certain if I should ask her about her parents or something. Had she said anything else today that had made me curious?
As I thought about it, a question came to mind. It wasn't based on anything she had said, but in an action she had taken. "Why did you save me?"
"What?" Eve asked. She was genuinely confused.
"I was a stranger. You didn't know who I was. You didn't know what I was. You didn't even know if I was the bad guy there. Why did you save me?"
Eve thought about it for a minute. When she answered, she spoke slowly as if she was still putting the words together while she was speaking them. "I didn't know what was going on. I heard shouting, and I thought that somebody needed help. When I saw the Toxicroak standing over you… I guess it felt unfair to me. Sure, I didn't know who or what you were, but it wasn't fair. He was going to kill you. I acted."
"But…" I said trailing off. I had no idea why I was protesting. "I'm sorry. It's just that the last few days I haven't been used to people helping me."
"Slink, we are Expedition partners now, understand? I will help you and I will protect you because we are teammates. Whatever else happens I will help you, because that is what partners do." She stared at me silently for a few moments before I looked away. "We should probably go to bed. We have a big day tomorrow."
We both settled down, the only noise being the crackling of the fire. "Goodnight Eve," I mumbled.
"Goodnight Slink," she replied.