So tired…

She just lay there, hoping to will the pain and fatigue away. Clouds filled her mind…she felt dazed and lost. Mostly tired, though. Just want to sleep…she thought. She kept lying there.

"Hey."

The pale Riolu twitched, then levered herself with difficulty into a sitting position. It was only early dawn, but even so the light was momentarily too strong, and she blinked repeatedly. "What…who…?" she muttered groggily. The haze started to clear up from her mind, but not by much. What was unsettling was that feeling of emptiness—she couldn't REMEMBER anything.

She looked up to see an older Pokemon standing above her.

"It's alright," the other Pokemon said in a calm, authoritative voice. "You're safe."

--

"Wow." Dai just stood at the entrance to the Square, looking around her. "It sure has been a while since we left, hasn't it?"

"Yeah. Nice to know the place hasn't been torn apart by an earthquake or flood. Yet," Absol said with a noted lack of caring.

"Oh, c'mon, don't be like that." Dai gently cuffed his shoulder with her paw, hoping to get him to lighten up some. "You're always so pessimistic."

"With good reason, too," Absol growled. "You wouldn't exactly be so cheery either, if your nickname was the 'Disaster Pokemon'. You bet it makes someone feel very warm and fuzzy."

"Well anyways, guys, I'm glad to be back," Blaziken mumbled. "When I get back to the Scorched Plains, first thing I'm gonna do is take after that Typhlosion—SLEEP."

"Yep, me too," Absol said brightly. Granted, the Dark-Type would probably remain awake until night actually fell, griping about countless subjects.

"Go ahead, guys," Dai said. "I'm gonna drop this stuff off at Storage, and then I'll get some sleep myself. See you tomorrow."

"Bye, Dai." Blaziken turned and strode away, followed by Absol. Dai watched her team partners leave, then went her own way. The Espeon stifled a yawn, and in doing so nearly tripped over a loose flagstone. It had been a long, difficult exploration of the Buried Relic. The Pokemon they'd faced there were stronger than any of them had expected (Absol had ranted and carried on for hours beforehand about how the wild Pokemon there could all be bloodthirsty, rabid lv. 80 Aerodactyls, knowing their luck), especially considering that they'd had to face off against three legendaries. Then they'd fought their way through 65 more floors, finally emerging with a load of exotic and useful items—and a quickly gained case of lethargy.

Oh, well. Maybe after a couple days, everyone would get their energy back.

"Oh, hey! Dai!" a voice called. Dai looked up to see a familiar Water/Grass-Type Pokemon strolling over to her.

"Hi, Lombre," she called, giving a tired grin. "How was everything while we were gone?"

"Ah, it was okay…granted it wasn't entirely peaceful, but still. It's better than when all those really bad disasters were happening," Lombre said. He was referring to the rash of natural disasters that had been racking the world, the product of a falling star that had been on a collision course with the world. Dai's Team Zakuro—by now a Gold Rank rescue Team—had shattered a boundary and scaled the sky to seek Rayquaza's help in destroying it, and had regained peace. That had been a year ago. Of course, the disasters weren't permanently ended—they still happened, but much less often, and not as drastic. Now the missions the teams got were mostly escort missions or deliveries—things had been quiet. "So did you guys just get back, or what?"

"Yep, that's right," Dai said. Despite Lombre's casual attitude, she got a feeling that something had happened. "So what's up?"

"Well…" Lombre hesitated, then decided to tell her. "Some Pokemon just woke up from a coma over by Whiscash Pond. Maybe you should go see her sometime—Alakazam's team's already over there."

"'Kay. Thanks for the tip, Lombre," Dai said. "See you later!"

--

Four minutes later, she padded into the clearing at the edge of town. Everything was still the same as it was when she left—a tranquil feeling emanated from the area. On the opposite side of the clear pond, waterfalls poured down from a smooth rock wall to become one with the sky's mirror (lately, Blaziken had started to joke that Dai had been a poet in a past life. Maybe it came with having a Psychic-Type evolution.). She looked around and, sure enough, there was Alakazam and his team centered around a much smaller Pokemon. Caterpie, Metapod, and Elder Whiscash had also joined the group.

"What's going on, you guys?" Dai asked curiously, walking over to approach them. They all turned to face her.

"Hey, Dai," Charizard greeted. "You guys just got back, right?"

"Yay! I'm glad Dai's team's back," Caterpie piped up. "I missed playing with Dai."

"Glad to hear that," Dai laughed quietly and looked around again. Then she saw a small Pokemon staring at her. She had never seen a Pokemon like it before—the bipedal canine had an extremely pale-blue fur color, with black markings on her paws and face, stumpy spikes on its paws (one each), and Cheri-red eyes. Something about this Pokemon made Dai feel nervous—maybe the feeling that her thoughts, her very aura, was being read by this child. Or maybe she was just having a nagging thought that this Pokemon reminded her of someone she'd heard of before… "Um…hi," she said awkwardly. Dai was naturally shy and somewhat timid—she was okay around people she had gotten to know, but was still a bit lame when it came to introductions.