The Valley Between
Characters you meet
Chapter 1It was here when we met. The Valley of Union. The mountain peaks around provide refuge to the Pokemon of the Farm, each peak representing a region. Down in the Valley lies a city. Gulch Park. Here, the residents of the Valley and the Peaks can stay without fear of the trainers, for it is a pokemon refuge. However, great hostility has arisen, for the regions are having a hard time fitting in with us hybrids. We quickly lay claim to power, but those in charge of Gulch Park are horribly abusing it. I feel like I'm the only Koroku in the Valley to see the oppression. How could they, through the veil of happiness they wear? Alpen. An Absol who stole my heart. Unfortunately. Mother and Father would never allow us to be together. They wish for me to be Kyukori on my 16th birthday. They save the powerful stone for that fateful day. On that fateful day, I shall be paired with another Kyukori for life. On his 16th birthday, Alpen will be Mega Evolved as well, and allowed to mingle with those of his Peak. Some days, I wish not for my high status.
Chapter 2Winter hurredly slammed her journal closed and threw it under her bed. Her mother's clicking front talons echoed menacingly down her bedroom hall. "Winter, if you don't get out here right now, I will drag you out by the wing," she threatened. "Coming, Mother! I'm brushing my fur," she yelled. Grabbing her bag and notebooks for school, Winter hurried out of her room, past the Kyukori that was her mother, and out of her house door. Gliding on a warm air current, Winter soared to her friend's house. Dipping down, she landed and met with a Kinaster and her parents outside. "Good morning, Winter," called the Lunupine mother. "Good morning, Lady Lumin," Winter replied. The Solynx, Flare, only snorted at her and stared menacingly. The Kinaster leaped onto Winter, excitedly yelling, "Wiiiiiiiiiin! I'm so happy to see you!" Winter laughed and said, "When are you not, Kitter?" Kisterash, or Kitter as Winter says, cuffed her over the ear and displayed her outfit for her. "I'm wearing my celebration costume today. Do you think Current will notice?" "Current and every other boy in school! You know how much Kinaster are revered in our academy." Kisterash blushed and giggled, then skipped down her porch. "Gossip won't get us to school on time; let's go!!" Winter laughed and jogged after her.
~*~*~The duo arrived at school early, with everyone milling in the courtyard outside. Almost immediately, pokemon of the High Peak, or pokemon exclusive to Pokefarm, swarmed around Kisterash. She was bombarded with flurries of "Oh, you look so beautiful!" "That outfit is to DIE for, Kisterash!" "Where can I get something like that?" Winter snorted at the wild crowd around Kisterash, and turned to walk away. Unfortunately, Alpen was walking right towards her. She blushed and wildly flared out her wings, but he was only investigating the large crowd. Winter turned to sneak away, but a clawtip on her shoulder made her freeze. She turned around and saw Alpen with a concerned look. "Winter, right," he asked first. She slowly nodded. "Oh thank the Peaks. I wanted to tell you that Professor Lotus expects you to present your senior project today," he said, relief melting across his face. Winter froze in fear. "My project. It's at home! Oh Arceus, I left it at home! Thank you!" She bolted towards her house, wings pumping as hard as she could. When she glanced back at Alpen, she saw him watching her with worry. He's worried? About me?
Chapter 3Winter arrived back at the school a couple minutes late. Hopefully, Professor Lotus would be distracted by her annoying classmates long enough for Winter to sneak in. She darted down the halls, jogging with three legs because her fourth was clutching her project. Finding her classroom, she quickly slipped inside, and sure enough, all the boys were wreaking havoc. Alpen was at the center of it all, hollering like a mad trainer and pouncing on any male Pokemon that moved. He caught Winter's eye and winked. She blushed hard and thought, He did all of this for me! Professor Lotus then screamed, "Everybody, BACK TO YOUR SEATS!!!" The fear of the Shaymin's wrath glued everyone to their desks, tension thick in the atmosphere. "We are doing presentations today," said Professor Lotus, annoyance tinging her voice. "You should have your projects, the ones about the Park improvements. Winter will share first." A Houndour quickly fired, "Why should she go first? Just 'cause she's a Koroku?" "No," shot back Kisterash. "She's going first because Professor Lotus SAID SO." The Houndour growled and settled into his seat, staring bitterly at Kisterash. Winter nervously stood up and grabbed her speech papers and her covered display, then went up to the front of the room. "Um, my project is about tolerance. Political tolerance," she started. "You all might have noticed something here in the Valley. There is a hierarchy between the Peaks. Something that looks like this." Winter took out a small pyramid from under her cover. Most of it was colored green, with the top being painted purple. "The green represents the pokemon of the Regional Peaks, pokemon native to regions beyond the farms. The purple, however, represents the pokemon from the High Peak. The High Peak is up in power, and the rest are treated like low level bags of scum! What I want to do is destroy this hidden power abuse. How will I do it, you may ask? I'm going to fight for the Regional Peaks. I'm going to make sure that before I get 'initiated' into the High Peak on my 16th hatchday, pokemon from the Regional Peaks can hold positions of power. Think about it! An Absol as president, instead of a Fluxray. A Houndoom as diplomat, instead of a Kyukori. A Lucario as War Council, instead of a Solynx. Yes, High Peak pokemon can still hold offices of power, but imagine what good our Valley can achieve if the best of the best are in power! Not just the best in the High Peak, but the best throughout the Peaks!" Silence followed after she finished. No applause graced her idea, just stunned silence. She shrunk from the quiet crowd, turned in her speech to Professor Lotus, then slunk back to her seat, head bowed. Kisterash rubbed her talons with her paw reassuringly, hoping to make Winter feel better.
Chapter 4Winter numbly walked into her house, having spoken nothing since her project. She was incredibly unsure if the idea was being considered by her classmates, or they were just too horrified from the fact she thought of rewriting their government. Her father poked his head from the kitchen and said, "Hello, Winny! How was your day at school?" When she didn't respond, he frowned and put down the pan he was cooking with and went over to Winter. "Winter, what happened? Did that Houndour hurt you," he prodded. "No, no, Caleb's fine! You gotta stop being worried about him," she quickly fired. "It's just... we did presentations today, and it was about Park improvement ideas." "Oh, Winter, you didn't share your 'equality in the office' idea, did you?" She nodded, tears welling in her eyes. "I don't th-think the class took it well," she sniffled. Her father sighed and pulled her into a hug. "It's ok, snowflake. Not every 'mon is as willing as you to accept change that big." Softly crying into her dad's chest, Winter nodded slowly.
~*~*~When she arrived back at school the following day, some pokemon whispered to their friends when Winter walked by. Kisterash glared at them and marched alongside Winter, hoping to cheer her up. As they settled into her desks, Winter felt a tap on her shoulder from behind. A Riolu was sitting behind her. He whispered to her, "Awesome idea," and quickly glanced away when Professor Lotus ambled towards them. She placed papers on everyone's desk; their graded projects. "As you have noticed," Lotus said painstakingly, drowsiness evident in her voice. "I have-" she yawned "-graded all your projects... Since you did so... You have a free period. But be quiet, please." Another younger Shaymin, presumably Professor Lotus's child, stood by her desk. "Gracie will be watching over you guys. I need to go home," she sighed. As the door sighed shut, a hand instantly flew up from a Combusken. "Miss Gracie? Are you Professor Lotus's daughter," she squawked. Gracie nodded and replied, "Yes, she is my mother." Another hand, this time from the Riolu behind Winter. "I thought Legendary pokemon couldn't breed," he said. Gracie shifted her paws and said, "They do, but they only have one child in their lifetime, so they make sure their partner is 'the One.'" A chorus of soft "Huh"s rose from the class. Another hand shot up: "Can I go home, Miss Gracie?" She shook her head and replied, "No, Mother wants you to look at your project grades. However, think of it as a free period. Just please be moderately quiet." Everyone shifted seats, getting closer to their friends. Quiet but excited whispers rose from different parts of the room. Alpen slid a desk next to Winter's, and Kisterash did the same. Winter blushed and her heart fluttered as he leaned to look at her project. She looked at it as well, flipping through her annotated speech, except there was nothing marked. As she flipped to the last page, a large 100% stared up at Winter's disbelieving snout. "She... She liked it," Winter gasped.
Chapter 5My reformation idea is actually being accepted! Professor Lotus, along with some classmates, think it's a really good idea. Now if only the High Peak can listen...
~*~*~Weeks later, the beloved last day of school was finally here. Alpen, Winter, and Kisterash were out in the courtyard laughing and chatting before school started. "So," began Kisterash, "I'm gonna be holding my sweet 16 at my house soon! Of course, only my bestest friends will be invited, so here!" She gave Alpen and Winter a rosy gold envelope. Winter quickly peeked at the dazzling invitation and grinned excitedly. "That's awesome, Kitter! I can't wait to go." She trailed off, noticing the principal, a large Sawsbuck, talking to a Mega Fluxray and Mega Lunupine. The Sawsbuck looked directly at her, mouth moving, and the two Megas of the High Peak followed his gaze. Winter met their gaze and shrunk down, heart beginning to rapidly pound. The two Megas and the principal walked briskly towards her; Alpen and Kisterash shifting to protect her. They nudged the two students aside, Alpen getting pushed a little rougher than Kisterash, and glanced at a clipboard before they locked her down with their gaze. "Are you Winter? Daughter of Aayana and Frostbite?" the Fluxray asked in a foreboding tone. She nodded slowly, shrinking down further away from their glare. "We need for you to go to the Town Hall after school," ordered the Lunupine. They walked away with no further instuction.
~*~*~"How much trouble would I be in if I didn't go," whispered Winter while they were in class. "You'd probably be ground meat," replied Kisterash. She sunk in her seat, dreading the bell. Professor Lotus smiled and said, "Alright class! This is the last time we'll be together, so take the time to chat and make summer plans." The students whooped and cheered, then instantly clumped up in groups of their friends. Alpen walked over to the two High Peak pokemon briskly. "Not to bring the topic back up, but what do you think they want you for, Win," he asked. Winter shrugged and shrunk farther into her seat. "I mean, obviously, Current is a blabbermouth, and he probably told his parents about my project. Them being Fluxrays, they probably want to 'talk' about the reason why it won't work." Kisterash snorted and imitated a haughty accent, "Oh hohoho, look at me! I'm so cool up in my position of power! Hmm what's this?" She dramatically turned towards Winter and Alpen. "It's a Koroku! Looking to change our totally not enforced hierarchical system! And... Oh some low-life commoner!" Alpen snorted and grinned mischievously at her. "But how oh how will I make this silly little Koroku change her mind? Simple!" She patted Winter on the head dramatically. "Dumb little Koroku, you're too young to change the world! Just wait two months and then you'll be Kyukori, and ready to realize how awesome and powerful we are!" Winter snorted and mumbled, "You probably won't be far from the truth." Kisterash smiled at her encoragingly and said, "You'll be fine, Winny."
Chapter 6Winter glided down to the Main Hall, a large, pristine building made from glistening white marble. Two Aytheraye stood by the massive double doors, and opened one of them for her. The Fluxray was waiting for her by the front desk, and he waved for her to follow. "I'm glad you came, Winter. Let me introduce myself beforehand. My name is Lucas. My son, Current, told me all about your little idea." She snorted and mumbled under her breath, "Kitter was right." "Yes, my son is quite the talker. He also told some of his more... radical friends, and now..." Lucas led Winter to a window overlooking the courtyard of the Park. Dozens of young pokemon from the Regional Peaks, even some from the High Peak, were grouped together in a loud mob, holding signs demanding equal treatment. "These protesters refuse to leave. Sure, they aren't really the same pokemon sitting there for days, but this group has pokemon here 24/7. When we asked them why they were here, they said that your speech called them to action." Winter looked out at the crowd with some sort of pride fluttering in her chest. All of this because she opened the box of truth! "Here's where you come in," continued Lucas. "Fly down there and tell them that it was just a school project, and there is no reason for them to start protesting like this." Winter turned and shot the Fluxray a disgusted look. "With all due respect, Lord Lucas, pokemon have a right to peacefully protest! There is no violence on their part, so I will not disappoint them." She then flew down and balanced awkwardly on a branch overlooking the crowd. "I was sent here to tell you to stop," she started. "I refuse to let them stop you, however. Keep protesting, but don't escalate this into a violent upheaval. Show them that you aren't the primitive, lousy lower class they view you as, but as a capable class of powerful pokemon." With that being said, Winter took off and soared to her house, pride and fear fluttering in her heart.
Chapter 7Arriving at her house during sunset, Winter softly padded through the quiet rooms. Her mother waited at the table, a mug of coffee and a newspaper beside her. "You came late," she whispered. "Care to explain?" She slid the newspaper towards Winter. The headline read: LOCAL STUDENT SPARKS CONTROVERSY WITH SCHOOL PROJECT. Winter cringed and plopped her face in her talons. "I didn't expect that my dumb idea would be so widespread," she mumbled. "But," she continued, "It's being accepted by the Regional Peaks, Mother. And I saw a few High Peak pokemon in the fight! Mother, please listen-" She was cut off as her mother sighed. "Winter, they have their place, and we have ours. We belong in power, while they belong on the streets." Winter shook her head vigorously. "No! It shouldn't be that way! It's not like Arceus created us to be the best there ever was. Pokemon from the Regions are more than capable of holding power." "How would you know? They never have." "That's exactly my point, Mother! They were never given a chance. We need to open up; expand our view of them besides 'They're stupid and horrible.' If we do give them a chance, and it turns out they suck, then we can take over again." Winter turned and dashed to her room. She slammed the door shut, then leaned on it and sighed shakily. Moments later, a soft knock echoed on her door. "Winny," her mother's voice softly called. "Can I come in?" Winter slid down to the ground and didn't reply. She heard her mother sigh, then her talons click down the hall away from her.
Chapter 8Winter glided towards Kisterash's house, some other flying pokemon having mixed reactions as they passed her. She noticed that the cluster of protesting pokemon at the Main Hall grew bigger, and some scattered lines of marching protestors were strewn across some streets. Landing on Kisterash's porch, she tapped the door and waited for a response. A scuffle was faintly heard, then silence. After a few seconds, Flare cracked the door and growled, "What are you doing here? If they catch you, they will hurt you!" Winter's ears shot straight up in surprise and started to ask, "What's goi-" Before she could finish, she was dragged into the house. Kisterash threw herself onto Winter and hugged her tightly. "Winny, oh my stars that was super dangerous what you just did! Do you know what's happening right now?" Winter squirmed out of her grasp and replied, "No? I noticed there's more protesters. You guys worried about them?" A sigh from behind and Lumin came from behind Winter. "The protests are turning violent. They're targeting pokemon from the High Peak. We've decided to lay low until this calms down." "When do you think that will be," asked Kisterash. Lumin gave her a worried look and said, "I don't know, Kitten."
~*~*~Winter came back home when the sun set to avoid the protesters. Her mother and father both rushed to her with relieved sighs and quickly wrapped her in a tight hug. "Winny, thank Arceus you're okay! We recieved word from the Main Hall to stay inside right after you left for Kisterash's," explained her mother. "We were worried sick for you, and we felt awful that we couldn't come get you. I'm glad Lumin and Flare were able to keep you safe, though." Winter smiled in her parents' fur, then wiggled out of their grip. "So what are we going to do, Mother," she asked. "Fortunately," started her father, "I have fully prepared for a situation like this, among other random and unlikely events. To the basement!" He dashed to the other side of their house and opened a small closet. Inside, stairs led downwards into darkness. Trotting down the stairs way too enthusiastically, her father lit the lamps that illuminated the basement to show stores of dried and carefully preserved meats. Above the tons of meat hung a sign that read: In case of angry rioters, undead apocalypse, the rage of Arceus, or wife in a bad mood. Beside it were jars and jars full of water, also carefully preserved. Another rack was full of weapons of all sorts with a sign over it that read: In case of robbers, invasions, farmers, need of money, or someone demanding weapons so they don't kill the president. Scattered around the ground were assorted card and board games. Winter finished looking around the odd assortment of supplies and said, "These are all incredibly specific events you prepared for." Her mother seemed incredibly annoyed at the sign above the food storage. "'Wife in a bad mood?' We will talk about that later," she growled. He laughed awkwardly and rubbed his forearm.
Chapter 9It's been a week after the riots started. I haven't been out of my house since. Mother and Father are arguing more frequently; I think the stress is going to their heads. I'm starting to feel it too. I have been avoiding them as much as possible. Sometimes the riots get close, and I can hear their anger. This is getting out of control. I fear the Main Hall wont be able to stay safe for much longer.
~*~*~Sighing on her bed, Winter heard her parents arguing AGAIN, as well as a protest hollering nearby. She stared wistfully out of her window, looking at the protesters, then looked harder at them. Some held flickering poles of light on the end. Torches! She watched them come closer, then too close for comfort as words started becoming audible in their noise. Winter yelped and grabbed her journal, a blanket and some rope, and the few other belongings she had and tied them up in the blanket. Sprinting out of her room, she yelled, "FIRE," to her mother and father. Their argument ceased immediately as her father ran and collected belongings in a blanket like Winter did, while her mother did the same. The noise from the riot was uncomfortably loud, and her mother had to shout over the din, "I don't smell any fire!" Winter hurriedly pointed outside the window at the mob, at the torches, then yelled, "I don't know any Ice beam moves!" Her mother looked at her father with a plea in her eyes, then he ran over and shouted, "Blow like you're breathing fire, but focus on the cold within you instead of the flame!" Suddenly, smoke filled the room as rioters slammed their torches into the windows, not knowing this was the residence of the one who started it all. Magmortars and Blazikens fired their attacks into the windows, destroying the front of the house. Winter's father combated the flames with an ice beam while the rioters shouted obscenities at him. "Traitor!" they yelled. "Power-hungry High Peak! Who's high and mighty now?" Winter tried and struggled to produce an icy wind, but it was too sudden to happen. She looked at her mother slashing with ice claws, then at her father blasting a beam of coldness, then grabbed both of them and bolted out of the back door. Without their ice fighting the flames, the house was quickly consumed by the fire and rage of the mob. Winter's eyes blurred with tears as the three pokemon ran away from the rioters.
~*~*~Well away from the fire, the family found themselves outside of the city and faced with a tall mountainside. A soft crying sound was heard nearby as they trudged through the surrounding grassland, and when Winter investigated, a black and purple kitten-like pokemon lay curled in the grass. "Kisterash?" She asked, bewildered. The Kinaster looked up with fear in her eyes, then recognition flashed across her face. "Winter," she breathed. "What are you doing out here?" "What are you doing out here? And where's Lumin and Flare?" Kisterash wavered, tears brimming in her eyes, then bawled, "We were separated! There was this fire, and these protesters, and we couldn't do anything but run! Then this... this thing came and attacked Mother and Father and they told me to run and run and run away, so I did and I lost them and I'll never ever see them again!" She collapsed onto Winter, sobs racking through her body. The two Kyukori bounded over and saw Winter and Kisterash, then nodded with understanding. "We'll find them eventually," promised Winter. "Maybe they went out of the Park to escape the mobs for a while." Kisterash sniffed and nodded, then hugged Winter tightly. "Thank you," she whispered. Winter's father looked back at the city with disdain, then said, "If they went this way, then they must've escaped through that valley." He pointed at the dip between the High Peak's mountain and the Alolan Mountain. "We can't fly because of Kisterash, so we move on foot." The four pokemon started walking towards the outside of the mountain circle, Winter giving the city inside a mournful last look.
Chapter 10After what seemed like days of walking, Winter caught sight of flat land beyond the mountain range behind them. "Frostbite, look," whispered her mother, Aayana. Specks of light dotted an area, marking it as a city. "Pokemon city or trainer city," he grumbled. Kisterash looked expectantly at Winter, who stared determined at the light. "It has to be trainers," said Aayana. "The light is steady. Nothing fire can make. Which means..." "Which means Mother and Father must've been taken by them," whispered Kisterash. Frostbite looked pitifully at Kisterash, then glared at the city. "Wonder if it's one of those filthy parks with those breeding programs," he spat. Winter shuddered and felt a stab of sadness for the pokemon kept in the city. "We gotta rescue Lumin and Flare," she said. "Quickly and quietly. Let's not split up so the trainers won't catch us one by one." The four pokemon nodded at each other and slinked down into the edges of the city.
~*~*~Night fell as the group approached a fenced-in field. Winter felt the field radiate an odd chill, one that didn't fit with the surrounding humid air. "Whatever they did to this place, Flare wouldn't be put here," whispered Aayana. "The trainers like to make their captives as comfortable as they can." Moving on, they snuck to one that felt very warm. "Here." Frostbite stood up on his hind legs to peer over the fence and saw a sleeping form of a lynx. "Flare," he hissed quietly. "This is Frostbite. We've come to rescue you!" The lynx lifted her head and said, "My name isn't Flare. It's Solynx 99%." Winter cringed at the demoralizing name while Frostbite continued, "We're looking for a Solynx named Flare. Recently captured. Do you know where he is?" She shook her head and said, "I'm not allowed anywhere except the Daycare. Sorry. If my trainer was the one who captured him, she would put him in the 'Sort' field. To the front. Good luck." Frostbite dipped his head in thanks and dropped to all fours again. Flicking his tails, he signaled for the three other pokemon to follow him. They slinked in between the fields towards the glowing light up ahead.
~*~*~Indistinct conversations were heard up ahead as Winter was pushed forwards to investigate. Trainers were crowded around a section in front of the fields making happy sounds to another trainer, who was flamboyantly waving her arms around. A Charizard sat nearby, obediently alert. Next to the Charizard was a Lunupine and a Solynx wildly looking around, appearing very disoriented. Kisterash sidled up to Winter and hissed quietly, spotting her parents confined to whatever they were stuck on. "How do we get them out," she whispered. Winter shrugged and suggested, "We can attack the trainer and take them by force. Mother and Father can probably take the Charizard." Kisterash lay tense while Winter relayed the plan to Frostbite and Aayana. Winter crept to the front again, raised her tails up carefully, then rapidly brought it down. The two Kyukori leaped out of the darkness and onto the Charizard, scattering the observing trainers. Winter and Kisterash darted to Lumin and Flare and looked at the platform they were on. Kisterash growled with frustration, then slammed a fiery claw onto Flare's platform. To her surprise, it shattered and he leaped away from it. "Do the same to Lumin's platform," Flare ordered. Kisterash nodded and slammed another fire claw onto Lumin's platform, and it shattered as well. The four pokemon ran from the trainer while Flare called out to Aayana and Frostbite to go. They gave the Charizard one final ice blast and sprinted away from the trainer park.
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