Birds: Stop me if you heard this one, The Schroedinger, The True Human and The Artisan walk into a temporal disturbance...

Originally posted by Eternal Berg, BSTF on March 8th, 2009

-=-

"Welcome to Terrut City! Please, take these complimentary vouchers for a free show at the Terrut Opera House!" A strange woman was beaming brightly, extending her hand to Saffy and Vermil, grasping tightly in it two tickets, clearly marked as being for a band, the "Surging Volcanoes". Saffy had a puzzled look on her face, but Vermil knew exactly who they were.

"The Surging Volcanoes... Sounds kinda dirty..." Saffy looked almost depressed by it, but cheered up instantly and put Vermil in a headlock. "Let's go! I reckon they'll be great!" Saffy was beaming wildly and practically swinging on Vermil, whose neck was beginning to hurt. The woman handing out tickets looked somewhat puzzled by the scene.

"Oh, you're such a cute couple!" She said hesitantly, not sure if it was really couple behaviour that was on display. Vermil thrust Saffy's arm off of his person and spun quickly to face the woman.

"No, we're not, no... No. No no no. No. No. No. No. I mean... No. No." Vermil was half-laughing about it.

"Really? 12 Noes? Really?" Saffy was acting angry, but in her eyes Vermil could see she was about to burst out laughing. 

"I think we'd better go..." Vermil gave Saffy a push on the shoulder and they headed to the north of Terrut City, away from the dumbstruck woman.

---

"Alright, there you go... That will be 5 dollars... Thank you very much! Have a nice day!" Polaris was happy. Another satisfied customer. He and Picasso began walking in the direction of the Pokemon Mart, hoping to spend his newfound money on some of that nice tea he had heard so much about. He ducked in a back alley, only to see a man in a black, almost skin-tight outfit leaning against a wall. He was wearing a strange hat, something like a cross between a cloth cap and a cheese cutter. Polaris wasn't too sure. The man was smoking, so Polaris knew the guy was bad. After all, Smoking Is For Bad People(tm), and this guy certainly looked like one. 

"Mister Starr... You are a hard man to catch." The man exhaled a puff of smoke as he spoke. Polaris considered briefly that smoking was for Bad But Awesome People(tm).

"Hard to catch? You've been following me forever." Polaris was disappointed that his stalker had such a bad memory.

"Oh, that wasn't me." The stalker laughed.

"Oh yeah? Then who was it?" Polaris laughed a little now, albeit nervously, slightly surprised at how many Stalkers he apparently had.

"It was me." A deep voice spoke behind Polaris. He spun on his heels to find that a large, brawny man in a similar outfit to the other stalker.

"Oh." Polaris said simply.

"You have valuable information." The deep voice man spoke monotonously.

"Ab-about what exactly do I have valuable information?"

"Information on the location of Smeargles," The smoking man said with fervor.

"But I don't know-" Polaris began to say, but was cut off as the large man's fist connected with his face. 

Polaris quickly blacked out.

He awoke in a cell.

---

"Heeeey Siiiiis! I'm hoooome!" Saffy shouted loudly into the hall of Professor Willow's Lab. It was a large hall, originally having been a community centre that had been closed down after the head of community events had an old gambling buddy come to collect and a rag-tag team of plucky, but spirited, youngsters were unable to save it. It was sad - and also now a major motion picture. Willow had purchased it for a song - literally. She gave her best rendition of "Terrut, Terrut!", which melted the old gambling buddy of the Head of Community Event's heart and caused him to donate it to "Science!", as he had proclaimed. To this day, the former Head of Communtiy Events refuses to speak to Willow, a fact she doesn't particularly mind.

"Saffy! How are you? How was everything?" Professor Willow was a medium sized woman,somewhere between five feet and six, with auburn hair and a distinct whiff of mysticism about her. Her lab coat was almost floor length, skirting around the very tips of her black, thick boots. "Oh, who's this?" She asked, turning to Vermil. "I hope you took care of Saffy. She's very fragile. I'm professor Willow. No Scientific Problem I can't crack. Well, except for Magic. I just don't get that stuff." Willow smiled and extended her hand.

"I'm Vermillion. Call me Vermil." Vermil smiled and shook the hand before him.

"Oh, so... You and Saffy, eh?" Willow gave Vermil a nudge and a wink.

"Oh, no. Nooooo no no no. No. Nope. Nada. No. No way. Nope. Nada. Nada nada no. No no no." Vermil let go of Willow's hand and laughed loudly as he spoke.

"Really? 11 noes, three nadas, two nopes and a no way? Really?" Vermil could see that Saffy was secretly as unphased as before.

"So, then, what brings you to my humble abode if not my sister, mister Vermil?" Willow clasped her hands, anticipating something interesting.

"I'm not too sure. Saffy and I got into a bit of trouble in the forest, and I was just-" 

"Oh no! Saffy?! Are you okay?! Are you hurt?" Willow began fussing over Saffy, pulling from her lab coat a stethescope and one of those strange instruments that are used to examine ears that Vermil had never quite bothered to learn the name of.

"I'm fine, I'm fine!" Saffy practically shouted, pushing her sister away from her. "Someone was after the amulet, and we were attacked by this strange Pokemon they had. Whatever happened, they didn't get the amulet. Something must have stopped them, because after we both blacked out, we woke to find we still had it."

"Fascinating. What did the pokemon look like?" Willow raised an eyebrow, clearly curious about the beast.

"Aren't there more important things going on here?" Vermil butted in, "Like the goons that attacked us?"

"Well, they attacked me more than you." Saffy was possessive about her assaults.

"Well, that big white bird thing went straight for me, so there. I win." Vermil stuck out his tounge to mock Saffy.

"White bird? Not steel, or even slightly yellow? Definitely large and white?" Willow was still more interested in the Pokemon.

"Yeah, big, white, almost hand like with it's wings, definitely nothing I'd ever seen or even heard of... Oh! It had little black things on it, like spines but big and all not-pointy-like." Saffy gave an extremely articulate description of the creature.

"Sounds like some sort of Legendary Pokemon." Willow said matter-of-factly.

"Legendary Pokemon?" Vermil asked, wondering just what they were.

"Yep. Legendary Pokemon. Supposedly, there is just one of each of them. This particular Pokemon sounds like Lugia, one of the Birds of Pokemon Creation Mythology."

"Err... Not to be wierd or anything... But what the hell is Pokemon Creation Mythology, professor?" Vermil was surprised to find that such seemingly notable stuff was completely unknown to him.

"What? You've never heard of PCM? Not too surprising. It's pretty much dead now. It's been swatted down by a combination of the cold hand of science and the fact that one of the major repositories of PCM literature was burned down over 500 years ago, on the ground the eventually would become Terrut City. The only real followers of it are the Cult of Origin. I have a few replica texts for study purposes, but most of them are lost or hoarded by the cult. Bunch of lunatics, really." Willow was fairly condescending in her tone. She seemed to dislike the cult, or perhaps it was the notion of cults in general.

"So what does this Lugia have to do with anything?" Saffy was curious now, wondering just what was going on.

"I imagine it was probably incidental that Lugia was used against you... But the amulet is a little bit too coincidental to this matter for my tastes. Gather around kiddies, while I find a book... let me tell you the tale of Lugia and the Last River."

---

Polaris was tired, cold and slightly damp. The cell he was in appeared to be underground. The only light was artificial and the walls were leaking. It was as though they were below a burst water main, but he couldn't be sure. He hadn't been spoken to since he woke up. Whoever these stalkers were obviously didn't care too much for the information they had been so violent about. Picasso was still with him, fortunately. It seemed that in their search for Smeargles, they were still willing to observe the rules of Trainer-Pokemon ownership.

A dull clanging was heard down the hall, and a scream. As the noise subsided, Polaris heard footsteps, louder and faster, like running. The source of the noise quickly stopped before their cell, his military-style coat billowing as he came to a rapid halt. The man stood before the cell for a moment, and Polaris heard the beating of insect-like wings as the man's scyther came into view. It, too, stopped before the cell, at first appearing to stare at Polaris, but he soon realised it was staring at the cell's bars instead. 

"Fury Cutter." The man said it quietly, but in the dark, secluded room where the cell was, it was loud and clear. The Scyther began clanging at the bars, almost without any effect at first, but soon with greater and greater intensity. It was not long before bar after bar gave way and the Scyther had cut an exit from the cell.

"The guards have been disposed of. If you run, the reinforcements will not be able to intercept you." The stranger's features were obscured in the darkness, but Polaris didn't bother taking time to check closely. He simply grabbed Picasso by the hand before running for the door. Before long, they were free and outside. The exit had come out in a rather disturbing place, the Terrut Graveyard. It was secluded in a forest, off to the east of the City. He continued running out of the graveyard as well - it gave everyone the creeps.

---

"Alright, here's the full text as it is in this book. It's only fragmentary, but it's the best I can do." Willow cleared her throat and began to speak, as she motioned for Saffy and Vermil to sit.

"On the twentieth day of the world, the seas began to encroach the land. There was chaos, and Arceus spoke to the chaos.

"I am the beginning of all, the origin of the sea,

I shall create from you a being to control the seas..."

There's a bunch of text missing here, but it continues...

Arceus was happy with the creation, Lugia,

A master of the sea who pulled the moon, 

Creating the waves and the tide.

But the rest of the world was still in Chaos,

And so Arceus created the other legendary birds.

Moltres, the guardian of the desert,

Zapdos, the guardian of weather,

Articuno, the guardian of the frozen north,

And Ho-Oh, who would pull the sun to ensure the desert

And the glaciers each saw sunlight. 

But the new guardians began to bicker and so,

To rule over them in it's absence,

Arceus created two final birds, 

Latios and Latias, who each rule for one quarter of the year,

Latios controlling the birds in the Spring and Autumn,

Latias in the Winter and Summer.

Arceus was pleased...

More text is missing, but that's about the end anyway. In short, Lugia is, according to the myth, a God pokemon. It's more appropriate, I believe to simply say that it's an extremely rare Pokemon who has become associated with a particular phenomenon." Willow adjusted her glasses and handed the book to Vermil. "Keep it if you want. I have multiple copies."

"How generous. I've gotta get going, anyway." Vermil stood up, gratefully accepting the book from Willow. "The band's playing tomorrow at eight. I'll show up sometime between then and now, I guess. But for now, I gotta get to my Aunt's. She'll be worried." 

"Alright, don't be a stranger!" Willow and Saffy both waved goodbye and spoke in unison. Vermil couldn't help but think they were strange.

---

"Hi, Mr Schwarz. It's Weiss here. Yeah, it's me. I know. I'm being a pest... Haha, so true... Look, there is a reason why I called... No, it's a little bit more important than that... You see, I have recieved a letter today. The most important part reads like this: "Vice President Weiss, I was walking today through the Garn Town Forest and saw a group of thugs assault two teenagers with a large, white, bird-like pokemon. I have noticed events like this on the increase and am writing to express my concern about Pokemon-related assaults and would urge to you to do something about increasing goverment action regarding this". Can you hear the problem?... Yes, exactly. It does sound familiar, doesn't it?... It would take just the wrong person noticing such an event for everything we've worked towards to go wrong, wouldn't it?... Exactly. Let's not let this happen again..."

---

"Aunt Petty, I'm here!" Vermil shouted. He'd noticed the front door was open, which was strange, but shrugged it off as just being nothing of importance. As he moved into the living room, he began to fear it wasn't quite so. "Aunty? Are you there?" 

Vermil began stalking the rooms and halls searching for his aunt. She was nowhere to be seen, and there was only one room left - the bedroom. The door was shut, and Vermil instinctively knocked twice. 

"Aunt? You in there?"

No reply.

He gently pushed the door open, unsure of what was on the other side.

---

"Miss Saffron Willow?" A man in a porter's uniform approached Saffy as she was waiting in line for the concert. Vermil had apparently bailed on her, which was disappointing. Oh well, She thought, He didn't seem that into me anyway. 

"Yes? Can I help you?" She replied.

"Please follow me. Mister Vermil is waiting backstage." YES, BACKSTAGE! Saffy thought.

The halls of the Terrut Opera House were long and thin, and just a little intimidating. Eventually, the porter brought Saffy to the door marked "C. Vulcan and R. Surge." She opened the door, excited, and was immediately struck dumb.

"No way," Saffy shrieked, "You're in the band too?!"

"I know, right?! Seriously, though, I'm just trying on their costumes. When I got to my aunt's place, she was giving Cinnabar some of her old clothes. He makes some amazing outfits out of old cast off's."

"Wow, you're talking like you know him really well."

"I do. I've known Cinnabar since we were kids. He's not in town so often because of the band, so we don't see each other too often now. The last time he came to Aurrand Island, where I'm from, I had a nasty fall and was out for most of the time he was there."

"Woooow." Saffy was in awe.

"You didn't even know who these guys were yesterday!" Vermil said, with a bit of laughter in his voice.

"So? They're Mu-sici-ans!" Saffy practically sang her words, laughing all the while.

"So, I'll introduce you to them after the show. Bob Surge, I don't know too well, but he's a friend of Cin's so he's pretty cool."

"So, how do we get to the show from here?" Saffy asked, helping Vermil put some clothes back into the suitcase they came from.

"I'm... not too sure." Vermil said, half-laughing.

----

"That was so great, you guys..." Saffy was like a little girl speaking to Cinnabar and Bob. "So, like, what do you guys do other than music?"

Cin was wearing his greatcoat, a signature look of his. Bob wore similar clothes, military fatigues, but not a coat. Both were wearing dark green. 

"I've been thinking of joining the military. Walking the walk, ya know?" Bob said, lazily looking down at his Pichu and scratching it's head. 

"That's soooo cool." Saffy said, practically worshipping him.

"Uh, so, Saffy, we should really get going." Vermil stood up and opened the door that exited the dressing room. "Nice seeing you again, Cin. See ya 'round."

"Yeah, totally..." Saffy said, dreamily.

"See you 'round, Vermil." Cin said, waving. Bob waved too as Vermil closed the door.

Vermil and Saffy were walking the Terrut Opera House halls, silently, for several minutes before Vermil said anything.

"Cin seems different lately."

"I wouldn't know. We just met. He is great though."

"Something is different... I just don't know what."

"That's great, but I have more important news." Saffy and Vermil both stopped walking and Saffy reached into her pocket, producing the Amulet of Agrython. "Apparently, this has more to do with the Cult of Origin than we were lead to believe. We should go to Sis' Lab, pinch some stuff and go to Garre Town, where the cult is based. It'll be cool."

"Why should I go?" Vermil said, exasperated. "I was just your bodyguard."

"Yeah, but we both were attacked by Lugia. Don't you wanna know more about it?"

"I guess so. Alright, then. Tomorrow morning, we'll go. I'm heading back to my aunt's, anyway. I need some rest." Vermil sounded tired.

Saffy laughed as the pair reached the entrance, and went their seperate ways.

The End

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