Previous: Ghost of the Core Part 3
The kid charged at Rhys, his sword reared to strike, and he was moving fast! When Duskull appeared in front of his assault, the child was taken aback, and halted his approach. He gave out a frightened squeel and tried swiping his sword at Duskull, but it passed through her with no harm done. With his attention fixed on Duskull, Rhys came in from the side and grabbed the sword from him.
Kid: Hey! Give that back!
Rhys: Yeah, that'll happen [Tossed the sword to the side.] Now, why in the hell are you attacking me, telling me that I'm stealing souls?
Kid: Because it's obviously true! Why else would Fearow be right beside you?
Rhys: [Paused for a moment, and looked from side to side.] Come again?
Kid: Right there! [Pointed, and Rhys looked.] Right there, Fearow is right there!
Rhys: Alright, you're obviously a nutcase! I don't have time for this right now, I have some work I need to do.
Kid: You don't see him?! He's hanging right there on the ground, and I know it's mine because he's missing some feathers on his head. Why is the ghost of my Fearow hanging around you!?
Rhys looked at him with an eyebrow cocked, hardly registering what he was saying. He looked all around himself, and looked hard, but he couldn't find a trace of any Fearow anywhere.
Rhys: Look, kid, why would I want to take your pokemon's soul? Do I really look like the type that would steal-- [Looked over at Duskull, who also seemed fascinated by the angel statue atop the tombstone he was just looking at.] Alright, actually, don't answer that.
Kid: Fearow was my favorite pokemon for years! I lost him in the hurricane, I saw him get crushed by rubble right before my eyes! With you around here, he can never be free again! Let his soul go!
Rhys: Did you ever think that maybe it's you who can't let him go? [He looked the kid dead center in his eyes.]
There was a silence between the two of them, and the kid took a step backward, his face somber. Before too long, there came tears to the kid's eyes, his eyes turned away and stared off into nothingness. Before Rhys could say anything else, the kid ran off. His hand swiped down and took up his sword, sheathing it as he hurried away.
Rhys: Weird... [Turned to the angel statue and looked at it with Duskull.] What do you make of it?
They stood near it for some time. Rhys tried to decode anything that needed to be decoded, he tried to feel around the gravestone in search of a secret passage of some sort, then he just looked at it up-side-down, just to see if that would bring any clarity. Nothing seemed to work. He'd already spent around three hours in that same spot, and he wasn't getting any clues. The sun beamed down at them hard, and he was starting to sweat pretty hard on his neck, and his forehead. Lithium City wasn't exactly known for its heat, but it still had a good deal of humidity.
Rhys: Alright, Duskull, we're getting ten miles to nowhere here. Let's pack up and head back.
He wasn't overly surprised, it was a vague difference from the angel statue in his dream. It was darker there, and he noticed that it was much older looking than the one he saw with all of those ghosts. He called Duskull over to his side and started walking. He really wished a breeze would push through the cemetery and cool off his roasting head. That was when he looked over a very large tree, hearing someone talk. Then there was laughter as the voices came closer to him.
Woman: Yes, tell Mr. Chadwick that I will be glad to make him a priority after I am done with my weekly visit. [Looked over at her young, male assistant who had an electronic tablet, looking up something that looked important.]
Boy: You know he won't be happy about that.
Woman: Let me worry about that. Just because he's offering up a little bit of funding doesn't mean he can tell me how to run the lab.
The lady had beautiful, red hair, and was quite tall for the fairer sex. She had on a lab coat, as did her assistant that followed her as she walked among the tombstones.
Boy: Ummm, Professor Pear?
Boy: When did he die?
Pear: It was about six years ago now. He fell off a bridge, and his tail went out in the river. Here he is. [She pointed to one of the smaller tombstones and stood in front of it.] My dear Charmeleon...
There was a moment of silence as her assistant stood some distance away from her as she gazed deeply at the gravesite. Then she looked up, straight at Rhys who stood among the trees. Her face was somber, and she looked back at the grave.
Pear: Young man? [She called to him.]
Rhys pointed at himself in question.
Pear: Yes, please come here. I'd like to talk to you for a moment, if you would.
Rhys walked to her, his hands in his pocket, and looked at the grave she stood at.
Pear: You're a different sort, aren't you? [She wasn't looking at him or the grave anymore, she was looking somewhere beside him.] Where are you from?
Rhys: Saffron City, Kanto... My name's Rhys.
Pear: Professor Joanna Pear, I'm the Pokemon Professor here in Lithium City. I see you have one of the more uncommon types of companions. [She looked at Duskull, who disappeared from sight, and then appeared behind Rhys.]
Rhys: She's usually not so shy. [Smiled at Duskull.]
Pear: Rhys... How many people have looked at you very strangely, even going so far as to start crying at the sight.
Rhys looked over at her, and suddenly he started thinking about what had past. It was true, there were some who looked at him in awe, tears running down their cheeks and looking away from him. There were so many times he was asked to leave because of causing disruption when he was doing nothing more than standing.
Rhys: ...More times than I care to count.
Pear: But not everyone, I take it?
Rhys: No, not everyone. I just accept it as the way things are.
Pear: I figured someone like you would arrive at some point. [Rhys looked at her, his eyes widening a little.] It's been strange around here lately. All over Alto, there have been some very strange mishaps. I've been very busy with studying Pokemon who have been acting especially strange, doing things that seem impossible. Then there comes a group of hoodlums showing up at random and causing mayhem.
Rhys: The AllSeers...
Pear: Yes. There's been so much chaos, it seems fitting that someone like you would come. Whether you're here to help remains to be seen.
Rhys: Someone like me?
Pear: Someone who is so in tune with the souls of the dead that they prefer to be seen around you. Like my Charmeleon... [Pointed beside him.] With you around, I can see him. [Her eyes began to tear up.] He seems so happy to see me again. [Her hand went to her eyes, and she began to sob softly.] It really is a wonderful and horrible gift.
Rhys looked at her, then thought about the kid from earlier who saw a Fearow around him. There were so many questions that this answered, but it also gave him many more. Then he looked over toward Duskull, who floated motionless beside him.
Pear: I've lost others as well, but Charmeleon was far before his time. I don't know why he is the one I see beside you, it may have something to do with the way he died. Then again I guess it doesn't matter.
Rhys: Would you... like me to leave?
Pear: No, quite the contrary, my dear Rhys. I would like for you to come back with me. Something tells me I'll need your help. Come with me. [Looked over to the boy.] Tenshi, ready the car.
Tenshi: Yes, Professor. [Turned and started running toward the other side of the graveyard.]