(EDIT 04/06/2014: After a barrage of harassment from Critics United, I have now moved the prologue to below the ruleset. Sorry if it's sloppy.)
This is the third story in my Nuzlocke series, following on my FireRed and Soulsilver Nuzlockes. Reading them is fairly necessary for understanding some character and story points. Once again, the main character is Saylee, off to Hoenn during the events of Emerald, because her life just sucks like that. This fic is a little different from the other two, however. Throughout the previous two fics, I got ideas, inspiration and fanarts from my friend, the fabulous Key-chan. When I started an Emerald Nuzlocke, she started one too, and we played through together. So this fic is the story of two Nuzlockes, hers and mine. The first half of the fic is written entirely by me, but during the second half there are several scenes and chapters written entirely by Key-chan. This is because when Key and Saylee split up, I feel like Key-chan is better writing about what's happening to Key and what she's feeling than I am.
The other thing about this being a joint Nuzlocke is that Key-chan played the German language version of Emerald, so many of the character names were different in her version. While most character and place names are in English, some, for various reasons, have been given the German names instead. Sometimes it's because we like the German names better than the English ones, sometimes it's because the German name seems more appropriate for thematic reasons, and in one case it's due to an injoke between ourselves that has mutated into a plot point. Any time character names are German instead of English, I'll put a note in the A/N just to make sure you know who it is. (I think it's fair enough to assume that, this fic being in English, most of the readers will have played the English-language version :P)
Okay, so if anyone still doesn't know, the Nuzlocke challenge is aimed at hardcore Pokémon gamers who want a bit more challenge out of their game. There are three basic rules, with various alterations possible.
Catch only the first Pokémon you meet on each route or territory. If you kill the first Pokémon, too bad. Move on and catch nothing in that area ever again. (I'm making two alterations to this rule: one minor and one major. The minor one is the first new Pokémon on each team; I'm not interested in having, say, three Pidgey on a team. The major one is that if I see a shiny, all catching rules go out the window, but then if the shiny is captured in this irregular manner it is to be put in a special PC box and nothing else. If I do catch one, I probably won't bring it up in the fic; I'll just have the joy of owning it XD)
Nickname all Pokémon. (I do this alliteratively.) This rule famously serves no real gameplay purpose, other than making rule 3 hurt more…
If a Pokémon faints in battle, it is dead. Box or release it, but never use it again. (I box them. And it is painful.)
I don't use the no-items rule. Also, when asked by a friend what happens if you run out of usable Pokémon entirely (IE your team is wiped out and you've no usable boxed Pokémon), I decided that it just means going back to the last save point, rather than starting the whole game over.
So that's the challenge. It's certainly turned out to be more emotional than a usual runthrough of the game, making you much more attached to your Pokémon- which, again, just makes it hurt more when they die. *cries* That's probably what brings the Pokémon to life so much in your head. This is still Saylee's story, but it's also Key's. And neither of them are very good at peaceful lives…
"Blue?" Saylee muttered, nudging her boyfriend in the ribs with her elbow but not opening her eyes. "What is it?"
"Wuzwat?" Blue grumbled.
"D'you say something?" Saylee asked, yawning.
"No… sleepin'," Blue mumbled, wrapping his arm around her and planting his face in the pillow. Saylee pushed his arm aside and sat up. Blue doesn't talk in his sleep, but I know I heard a voice…
She finally opened her eyes and saw the eye watching her out of the darkness. "Jay?!" she gasped, recognizing the Unown.
"You must come, Saylee," the enigmatic Pokémon whispered. "You must come now." Jay vanished in a bright flash of light.
"What the hell was that?" Blue asked, sitting up and rubbing his eyes. Saylee grabbed her glasses and switched on the bedside light, but Jay was nowhere to be seen.
"It was an Unown I captured at the Ruins of Alph in Johto," she said, looking at the clock display on her bedside table. "Four AM… dammit, Jay."
"Why're you getting up?" Blue yawned as Saylee got up and started pulling on her jeans.
"I can't go back to sleep now," Saylee sighed. "They'll just give me more nightmares if I do. This happened three years ago, a few months before Ethan and Silver ascended…"
"Oh, yeah," Blue recalled, getting up and grabbing himself a shirt. "They showed you Lugia and Ho-oh to freak you out, right?"
"Yep," Saylee said, going out into the hall and switching on the light so she could find her shoes. "They didn't show me anything about Celebi when that happened, but Celebi isn't one of the really titanic gods…"
"Hey, Saylee?" Blue called from the bedroom. "Those stones on your dreamcatcher are glowing."
Saylee ran back in, staring at the dreamcatcher hanging over their bed. Dangling from one of the holes in the plate-sized red scale was a cloth bag. Inside, Saylee knew that there were two gemstones, one blue and one red. As Blue had said, they were glowing and rattling in their bag.
Saylee untied the bag from the dreamcatcher. "C'mon," she said, taking Blue's hand. "They're not going to let me have a peaceful night's sleep until I go see what they have to show me."
"And that means I won't either, doesn't it?" Blue sighed, grabbing a pokéball. "Fine. After we 'port to Violet, we can fly on Pete."
"This place used to be the Water Temple," Saylee said, holding up the two stones. They glowed and rattled more violently they got closer to the temple across the lake at the south end of the Ruins of Alph. "In Lugia's triad, it's Articuno. In Ho-oh's triad, it's Suicune. In the dragon triad, it's Palkia…"
"Got it, bookworm," Blue chuckled, returning Pete as they walked towards the temple in the dark. "I remember when you used to skip over stories about god-Pokémon because you were only interested in learning about Pokémon you'd actually meet."
"Still am," Saylee sighed. Blue took her hand as they stepped into the gloomy temple and she squeezed it. "That's why I visit here whenever I'm in Johto. It's not hard to ask Professor Hawkshaw about Lugia and Ho-oh without letting on why I'm asking. I'm surprised she hasn't literally exploded with enthusiasm for researching the gods by now. Anyway, the last two visions I had were three years ago and I went to them with Chaz, but he didn't see them. According to him, I vanished abruptly and reappeared immediately. So if that happens…"
"Keep calm and carry on, got it," Blue said with a nod. "Whoa!"
They both had to fling an arm over their eyes as blinding sunlight burst upon them. It faded a moment later, and they took their arms down just in time to be doused with rain.
They were standing on a mountainside overlooking the sea. The waves were raging violently as blinding sunlight and driving rain alternately struck them. "Where are they?" Saylee called.
"Where's what?!" Blue yelped, covering himself as the rain struck down again.
"We'll see them somewhere… there!" Saylee shouted, clutching the stones tightly and pointing down at the sea.
On a rocky outcrop stood a huge red Pokémon. They were far away from it, but it looked to Saylee as if it could crush the Silph building under one foot. It roared angrily as an equally titanic blue Pokémon leapt out of the waves. A huge tidal wave rose up in its wake, crashing down towards the red Pokémon, but the earth itself rose up and formed a shield. The red Pokémon roared again and the earth under Saylee and Blue's feet shook.
"Okay, we've seen it, now how do we make it stop?!" Blue yelled, turning around. He paled sharply. Saylee turned to look, but Blue put his arm around her shoulder and held her still. "The volcano's erupting!" He yelled.
Saylee froze, clinging tightly to Blue. Volcanic eruptions were one of the greatest fears of her life. "I know what they are," she shouted, trying to ignore the roaring rumble of the mountain behind her. "The battle of earth and sea. They're Groudon and Kyogre!"
At that moment, everything vanished and they floated in the blackness. The shining shapes of Unown began to appear.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Blue asked as the Unown vanished.
"If you figure it out, let me know," Saylee said. "Ooft!"
They landed heavily on the stone floor. A rectangle of light was being cast from the doorway, meaning it was sunrise. Saylee held up the red and blue stones in the light. They'd stopped glowing and shaking. "Most Legendary Pokémon fall into the triad set represented here," she said, looking at them. "Fire, Water and Lightning… I knew these stones were connected to fire and water, but…"
"Not which ones," Blue said with a nod. "Well, now you know. Groudon and Kyogre…"
"Who's there? Come out with your hands up!"
"What the hell?" Blue grumbled as they stood up, hands raised, and walked out of the door. Several police officers—two humans, a Growlithe and two Meowth—were waiting outside for them. "We're not criminals. I'm a Gym Leader from Kanto. I run the Viridian City jurisdiction. My name's Blue Oak."
"This is a restricted area, sir," one of the police officers, a young woman with red hair, said with a frown. Saylee reached into the inside pocket of her jacket and withdrew her Dragon emblem.
"I'm Sar Saylee Pryce," she said, holding it out. The officers immediately saluted.
"Sorry about that, ma'am," one of the Meowth said, sitting back on his hind paws and saluting with his right forepaw. "I don't know if you heard, but the research lab was broken into last night and a scientist was killed. We were worried that you were suspicious individuals."
"We're not, and no, we haven't seen any," Blue said, lowering his hands and withdrawing Pete's pokéball. "We just came to check something out, and we have, so we'll be going now."
"Keep up the good work," Saylee said as she got onto Pete's back behind Blue. "I hope you catch the criminal."
"Us too," the Growlithe sighed. "C'mon, I want to go sniff around the lab again…"
"Did you enjoy getting to pull rank?" Blue asked with a grin as they flew into the air.
"I probably shouldn't," Saylee said, "but yeah." She put the stones in her pocket and clung onto Blue as Pete swooped towards Violet City.
"So where would you find Groudon and Kyogre anyway?" Blue asked.
"I don't know," Saylee said, thinking hard about any time she'd heard of the two titanic gods. "But I'm pretty sure they're major religious figures in Hoenn…"
MERRY CHRISTMAS! OR HAPPY HANNUKAH, KWANZAA, YALDA, HOGSWATCH OR WHATEVER ELSE YOU'VE GOT GOING ON RIGHT NOW! No more of this fic will be posted for a while, but watch this space… I hope you've all had a good year! :)