What rulesets should I use for my accompanying SSWL run?

  • Naturelocke/Doc-locke combination

    Votes: 2 22.2%
  • Naturelocke only (Maybe with monotype rules)

    Votes: 1 11.1%
  • Doc-locke only (maybe with lorelocke rules)

    Votes: 1 11.1%
  • Naturelocke/Doc-locke/Lorelocke monstrosity

    Votes: 5 55.6%

  • Total voters
    9
  • Poll closed .
Extravanganza Accordian Demo Extravanganza Accordian Demo Extravanganza Accordian Demo
Thread Description
The dramatic retelling of my Let's Go Pikachu playthrough with Doc-locke and Super Naturelocke rulesets.

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
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Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Dex Entry Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Loves music, worldbuilding, anthropomorphism, horrible puns, and Masquerain.
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
3,550
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
I'm not going to get into too much more detail on what happened with BW because there will be more to come that I don't want to reveal just yet.
Intrigue! Was Mewtwo's intervention responsible, or was this something else? I'm totally invested in where this story goes next!
 

Giogeth

Conqueror of the Cianwood Gym
Badges
Pronouns
he/him or Drae/draer
Dex Entry Giogeth is a large draconic looking pokemon who has nebula's swirling within their wings and star like patterns. They will often be friendly.
Pronouns
he/him or Drae/draer
Pokédex No.
1016
Caught
Nov 14, 2019
Messages
321
CONGRATS ON THE MARRIAGE
also WHAT THE FUCK is right on that whole thing what the fuck what the fuck what the fuck

im glad they all lived but holy shit . this is a wilder ride then the monstrocity doc locke wise. I really hope the surgery went well also poor bravewisker. atleast hes somehow alive but losing the ability to use electricity that must be a mess for a pikachu. Though . Nice way to write in how you cant use a thunderstone? XD .
 

bhelryss

rose cultivator
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Pronouns
they/them
Dex Entry this pokemon can be found encouraging plant growth in other people's gardens, but can be territorial about the resulting blooms
Pronouns
they/them
Pokédex No.
4768
Caught
Jul 7, 2021
Messages
1,155
Location
in the sunshine
Nature
Gentle
I HOPE YOUR HONEYMOON IS LOVELY

ALSO WHAAAAAAAAAT IS GOING ON THERE BW??? IM GLAD YOU LIVED BUT AAAAAAAAAAAAAA

i don't envy comet at all, tbh. this is such a terrible set of events all coming together

im glad bw and abra didn't die, and i really hope the surgery helps ;;
 

RubyClaw

Challenge Seeker, Completionist and Rule Designer
Featurer
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Pronouns
He/Him
Dex Entry Entry unknown.
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokédex No.
22
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
2,891
Location
Kanto Route 1, 1% encounter rate (Israel)
Nature
Calm
Man, I really felt this one, the moment Gloom hopped into Comet's arms was truly touching.

I wonder how Bravewhiskers is going to take this...

I dare say Comet is... growing up? Or at least growing into this role, quite proud of him. True, he went for the idealistic choice which isn't bad of course though risky, but at least he makes every decisions knowing the full implications this time, and taking the time to consider every option.
 

Bowser's Family Vacation

Johto League Champion
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Pronouns
She/her
Dex Entry "Am I Mario's babysitter? Are you going to call me every time that guy blows his nose, or what?"
Pronouns
She/her
Pokédex No.
301
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
2,766
Nature
Rash
A symphony of furious beeps woke Comet from a dead sleep.
41yPKGQ3GlL.jpg


Ugh, three critical condition patients and only one doctor! 😭

He remembered wondering how Pokemon swallowed them without ripping up their esophagus. Then, after a smattering of laughter from his classmates, his teacher had explained that revives responded to a Pokemon’s heart beat. Once pressed to the chest, the revives begin to dissolve and absorb through the skin.
To be fair, Comet, that question makes a lot of sense. >_> I love this explanation of Revives! (And the magic-y element fits in with Pokemon's magic Lysol-like Potions, which you can just spray and every injury is ✨ cured ✨ !)

Phoenixfall had mostly emerged from her pool and had the thin end of her tail tucked under the thrashing body of Gloom. She looked up as soon as she heard Comet open the door. “This is all that can be done for Gloom right now,” said the Gyarados. There was an urgency Comet hadn’t heard before in her gentle voice. “Go to the Abra, young one. He needs you now.”
Can we get some honorary scrubs for this Gyarados? 💙

Spikepelt was too busy pushing on Abra’s chest to look up. He was alternating paws and going far faster than the recommended pace. “His heart stopped. And Gloom is having a seizure.” He kept his jaw clenched as he spoke, and his voice was much higher pitched than usual.
Ugh, and Spikepelt too!? 😭 Comet needs a trauma-trained human assistant! 💜

Dr. Tiri should rip me to shreds. I deserve it. How could I forget something so simple as to adjust meds after an evolution? Gloom could have died from that seizure. Or had permanent brain damage. He should be saying all this out loud, but he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. So he thought it as loud as he could. I’m sorry, Gloom. I’m going to do better. I promise I’m going to do better for all of you.

A gentle pressure on his leg made Comet look up. Gloom had hopped onto his lap and was smiling up at him. She was holding one of the flowers from the crown Kestrelsight had made for her in her outstretched hand. A little yellow dandelion.
😭 This Gloom doesn't have a name, and I love her!!!

The doctor shook her head. “To be quite honest, I am baffled. After reviewing your records of him, his condition right now doesn’t make any sense. All signs of his previous respiratory illness are completely gone. His blood oxygen levels are perfect. No signs of congestion or tissue damage to the lungs. He’s in absolutely perfect health, when judging by your records, I’m surprised he lived for as long as he did.”

The prickle of fear in Comet’s belly began to fade. “So… this is good, right? He’s going to be okay?”

“Yes, but…” Dr. Tiri frowned, tapping her jawline with one finger, “There have been other complications. As you can see, the electricity pouches have turned black. We ran some tests, and this seems to mean that they have gone dormant. Which means that he can no longer produce electricity or react to a Thunderstone in order to evolve. As far as I know, there is no way to reverse this.”
Well, unless you can put the Mewtwo Juices back.... So I guess this is your explanation for Partner Pikachu? They do have a lot of wild exclusive moves.

Oh boy, I'm hoping your RNG for Abra's surgery is kinder than your RNG for Gloom's seizures! 🙏
 

RisingMew

Currently yelling about Scarlet & Violet
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Pronouns
She/Her
Dex Entry A calm and nocturnal creature with a fondness for reading.
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokédex No.
348
Caught
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
158
Nature
Relaxed
My WORD that was intense!! You did such an amazing job compressing three emergencies and their fallouts into one easy-to-follow chapter--I was constantly on the edge of my seat but never felt lost or confused :0 There's just so much to comment on and I feel like my thoughts are going to get all out of order, but here I go anyway XD

One, I absolutely love your explanation for how revives work! I guess I just kind-of thought in the back of my mind that they were somehow consumable medicines, but having them be dissolvable makes so much more sense and totally works within Pokèmon's own canon! The short, choppy writing you used as Comet applied the revives--especially to Bravewhisker--did such a good job of conveying the panic and confusion that would come with that kind of moment, and I am very intrigued to see what the fallout of the special energy used during Bravewhisker's revival is going to be 👀 Also, did Bravewhisker actually somehow manage to fully heal after having a traumatic incident? Did you get some sort of special item or alter his health on a plot basis? I will never stop being fascinated by how Doc-lockes function XD

Two, Phoenixfall continues to be the absolute best. I love her sm ;o; And Gloom was also super precious this chapter! Honestly the way you write your characters--human and Pokèmon alike--is just so wonderful ;o;

Three, it was so interesting to be a part of Comet's internal dialogue for this chapter. He has definitely changed as a person--he's looking at things more rationally, considering the future and what actions will have the best outcomes for individuals and his patients as a whole. His decision to move forward with surgery for Abra didn't feel quite as reactive and haphazard as the first time he brought Abra in for examination, and I think he's getting to the point where he can make the hard decision if the time comes where it is the best option. I will be really interested to see the fallout from Mewtwo's interference during this chapter...if it really was Mewtwo at work in reviving BW, then things could get very dicey very fast 👀

Four, huge congrats on the upcoming wedding!!! I hope you will have an absolutely wonderful big day and honeymoon to follow :D
 

SayleeK

Johto League Champion
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Pronouns
She/her
Dex Entry Between long periods of dormant slumber, this writer rises again for periods of activity that leave piles of dead fictional Pokemon in their wake
Pronouns
She/her
Pokédex No.
260
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
2,213
Location
Scrivener
Nature
Careful
Oh I didn't read the spoilers but knowing they were there had me SO scared, I was terrified that Comet was going to lose at least one patient, and Bravewhisker in particular... I'm so glad he's okay-ish, but what did Mewtwo DO to him?

Also I'm mad at Oak again for putting an untrained kid in charge of a clinic alone bc like. He's not trained to do shit like adjust dosages! It's one of those things that sounds so obvious when it's pointed out to you but when you're juggling a ton of dying Pokemon and your own criminal record, it can easily be something you don't think of if you're not fucking trained for this job. And he has no nursing staff! Things are gonna get dropped and Pokemon could pay the price with their lives and I haaaaate iiiiitttt

I'm glad Dr Tiri's not giving him shit this time. He's trying to do right by his patients. It's not his fault that capitalism ruins everything.

(Congrats on the upcoming wedding, I hope it's a fantastic day!)
 

Leon Yorunaki

I'll Spirit Shackle you!
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Pronouns
he/him
Dex Entry This pokémon tends to hyperfixate on written runs and is said to binge them, but that behavior was never seen in practice.
Pronouns
he/him
Pokédex No.
453
Caught
Jul 9, 2019
Messages
915
Nature
Rash
First things first, congrats on that new moment in your life. Marriage is a blessing and you deserve it.

Now, on a serious tone... Comet can't take a break, can he? God bless Kanto for being an easy ride overall and having no shortage of Revives, because otherwise it could have been the end of this run right there.
Then again, you did a great job portraying Comet's initial confusion turning into despair and mixing with Mewtwo, well... I'm glad everything turned out well... or as well it is possible for now. Especially with Dr. Tiri.
To be fair, she probably saw Comet's growth just like us readers. He doesn't need a lecture, he needs peace to work with that awful things Really Nasty God threw at him.
why do I have a feel BW died in-game?
 

Uberle

Zine’s out, you should read it
Badges
Pronouns
he/him
Dex Entry Stays in the distortion dimension where no one bothers him
Pronouns
he/him
Pokédex No.
209
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,653
Nature
Lax
I am really bad at staying up to date on this run

> “Bring it on, Giratina,”
Strong start
Hopefully this isn’t actually taken as a challenge

> he swatted his paw down hard on the pill gun, snapping it straight in half.
Welp

Comet rolled well on persuasion I see

> “Are you ready to talk about why?”
Still hold that this could’ve been a conversation had a lot earlier
Though then again I forget that Comet is rather set to take any excuse to not have it
Then again again, physical restraints could’ve been applied

Interesting reveal with Cat
I do like her as an example of the extreme of what Comet may become
Doing what he believes is “right” consequences to everyone else be damned
Here he seems to think that it’s easy to reject Rocket, but he is very unaware how dangerously close he is to being on that level
Not to say he’ll become as bad as Rocket, but he may end up using similar rational for his actions if he’s not careful
And we’ve seen exactly what Comet’s relationship to “careful” is
He’s only really been getting more and more resentful of everyone around him, and may find himself agreeing a bit too much with the notion of being held back by the rules he’s forced to follow

Still feel like Moon is missing something that would let her get to Comet
I do like her but I have trouble telling how much of an impact she’s actually having on Comet’s development
Still, a nice conversation between the two

Spoke a bit too soon, liking Moon helping and recognizing that stopping Comet is unfortunately impossible, so instead gives advice best she can

And Surge
Oh boy
Quite an adventure there
Very worried for what’s next
Comet you should really learn that sooner or later, you need to run, and best do that when it’s safe

I know Mewtwo is rather annoyed here, but I’d be having a blast watching this action unfold

Oh hey, Comet recognizes that his insistence on doing what he believes to be right is repeatedly screwing him over
I would say rather late for this revelation, but he’s getting somewhere

Are we about to get an exorcism?

Reads warnings
oh no

> **ALSO, I will be getting married at the end of this month and then going on my honeymoon soon after that,
Oh wow, congrats! Hope it’s fantastic!


Onto the nightmare

Oh
Oh no
Mewtwo not the best time buddy

Or actually a fitting time

May be on board with working out a shared custody agreement if you let Comet use magic healing

Very frightening and tense stay at the hospital once again
> no reaction to a Thunder Stone
Nice in story reason for keeping BW as a Pikachu

> “I want to proceed with the surgery,”
Asclepius approved

…….
this was
A chapter
Honestly some of my favorites are these sheer panic ones because it embraces the premise of the ruleset
And also a reminder that for all the frustrations Comet may cause me, he is doing this for the good of the Pokemon he cares for
He does just want to help
And looks like he’s on the path to being able to do that without making things worse by accident
 
OP
Spectacles

Spectacles

Rule Maker
Badges
Pronouns
she/her
Dex Entry It hides deep inside caves where no light ever reaches it and remains virtually motionless there. ~Pokemon Crystal, entry #52
Pronouns
she/her
Pokédex No.
139
Caught
Jun 24, 2019
Messages
1,044
Location
Pennsylvania
Nature
Jolly
Howdy folks! I am officially back from wedding shenanigans and from Alola, where many malasadas were consumed. Thanks for waiting for me! The Hippocratic Oath will now resume updating on the first saturday of every month!

@Trollkitten -Glad you're interested in the mystery of BW's survival :)

@Giogeth -Ah yes, there are definitely major pros and cons to this turn of events and I hope you're ready to explore them with me!

@bhelryss -I love how everyone wanted BW to live but NOT LIKE THIS! Fingers crossed for no more medical issues!

@RubyClaw -I'm glad you enjoyed the Gloom moment :) that was one of my unplanned moments that just sort of happened as I wrote. And hooray for possible character development!!!

@Bowser's Family Vacation -I'm glad you like the head cannon for revives! That was sort of inspired by my own curiosity of how revives are actually administered because they're so...pointy. I would love to see Phoenixfall and Spikepelt in some specially taylored scrubs. And for the most part yeah, Mewtwo Juice is sort of my explanation for Partner Pikachu!

@RisingMew -Ah thank you so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed my writing of these crazy events. When I rolled for all this in-game I knew this was gonna have to be documented somehow. I'm glad I put it in story form. As for your questions about what really happened to BW, I'm not gonna explain it all until certain other plot points happen :) But I can assure you it's not a typical doc-locke thing. And I'm so glad you're enjoying the characters of my disaster babies :) Ugh I am just so pumped to share with y'all what happens to Comet's character throughout the rest of this story.

@SayleeK -Ah wow you are one of few who didn't read the spoilers! Very interested to see the non-spoiler readers' thoughts as the series continues! Ahh I do feel bad for making Oak hold the Idiot Ball for the sake of making this story exist at all. In Oak's sort-of defense, all the Kanto Bough crew does get basic first aid training and Comet did get a crash course on being a clinician in the months while they rebuilt the Pokemon Center. But obviously not a good enough replacement for a properly educated clinician. Plus Oak definitely did not intend for Comet to be taking other patients. But yeah, still overall A Stupid Thing To Do. Capitalism is definitely the main villain of this run hahah!

@Leon Yorunaki -Oh this would have been a massacre if I didn't have revives. Yeah my interpretation of Dr. Tiri is that she was really burnt out and frustrated that first day, and now she feels bad but still believes she's right. But Comet gets to make his own choices just like everyone else!

@Uberle -Hey, good to have you back! :)

Ch 20- *Giratina looking up at Comet*-"Bet". Comet doesn't roll well on much tbh. Yeah i think Comet was still too emotionally constipated to have that conversation with Moon and she knows him well enough not to be the one to give him the enema.

Ch 21- That's exactly what I was going for with Comet and Cat! And good point about Moon. Honestly she is also probably having her own healing process from the fracturing of the Kanto Bough and about what Comet did.

Ch 22- I like to think Moon has often had to give up being the voice of reason in the past for the rest of the Bough's antics. And Comet? Run? Well, maybe sometimes...

Ch 23- Comet is not winning any awards for self-awareness lol

Ch 24- Mewtwo has come to save the dayyyyyy~~~~ Sort of? Honestly an honor to have Asclepius approve of Comet's choices. Comet helping without accidentally making things worse is quite a difficult accomplishment for the poor guy.

***Trigger warning-mild depictions of self harm***

Chapter 25


Time has no mercy for the exhausted. By the time Comet got back to the Viridian City Clinic, the sun was already up and it was well past time to pass morning meds. Which was probably the exact last thing Comet wanted to do.

“But the show must go on,” Comet muttered to himself as he put his birth name into the clinic door.

Once inside, he was immediately greeted by a concerned Spearow. “What did they say? What did they say about Abra?”

Comet sighed and sat down at the examination table, folding the estimates into four squares and putting them in his duster pocket. “He’s stable for now,” he began, but then hesitated. How much did he really want to disclose to Spearow? How much of this could the little bird bear to hear? Comet certainly didn’t want to see him upset. He was far too cute for that.

But a sudden memory came to him. Waking up after Mewtwo’s attack. Terrified. In pain. And no one would be straight with him about what happened to Waterfall and Goldenflame. Later, they had told him they didn’t think he was ready to know and that knowing might have caused him to give up on his own precarious recovery. But not knowing was agony. Even worse, he really had known all along that they were dead, deep down. And without that definite confirmation, he didn’t have a choice but to cling to that ragged shred of hope that they might have lived.

Judging by the look in Spearow’s face, he already knew it wasn’t good news. And he deserved to know the whole story.

So Comet summed up everything Dr. Tiri had said about Abra’s prognosis and the surgery. While he spoke, Comet saw out of the corner of his eye a long, purple ear extended into the doorway. He thought of how he had found Spikepelt last night-Arceus, was that really only last night?- desperately pawing Abra’s chest in an effort to get him to start breathing again. Comet finished his explanation a little louder than he needed to. As soon as he was done, the ear disappeared.

Spearow peered up at Comet thoughtfully. “Do you think he’s going to be okay?”

Comet took a deep breath and bit down the ‘Of course’ that he wanted to badly to say. “I honestly don’t know. Not even the doctors at Saffron City know for sure. But there are two things I do know. One- we’re doing everything that we possibly can, and from here on out everything is out of our control. It sucks, but there’s nothing we can do about it and we have to just keep on going with our lives until we get some more answers. And two- Abra is a tough little dude. And I know he’s going to fight his absolute hardest to make it through this. So we have to be brave for him, right?”

With a visible effort, Spearow blinked rapidly several times and put a determined look on his face. “Right. I just have to keep doing what I normally do…” The little bird’s determined look dissipated somewhat, and he peered around looking lost.

Comet frowned. Spearow was a young, energetic Pokemon- despite his condition. Maybe someone like the elder Pidgey would thrive in the cushy clinic environment forever, but Spearow…was bored. Especially now without his friend. If he really recovered from all this, he would have his whole life ahead of him. And he sure didn’t deserve to spend it cooped up here. But where would he go?

For now, the clinic would have to be enough. “You want to help me pass meds today?”

Spearow brightened. “Sure, Sir Comet!”

“Sounds like a plan. Just…” Comet grimaced. “Let me take care of Persian first and then you can help me with the rest.”

Back in the nursery, Persian was laying in his usual corner with his head buried in his front paws. As soon as the nursery door shut, his head shot up with a low growl. Comet clutched the pilling device tightly. “We’re gonna have an easy time, right Entei? We’re going to take things nice and…”

He trailed off, staring at the Persain’s front right leg. It was red and raw, as if something had been biting at his flesh. “What happened here?” He asked, but the big cat only glared at him. Surely no one in the nursery had the balls to pick a fight with him. And he hasn’t been trying to attack anyone else. So how does he have a wound?

Comet shook his head. First things first: medicine. If he won’t take his medicine, he certainly isn’t going to allow his leg to be bandaged. One step at a time.

As the pilling device slowly extended toward Persian’s mouth, the growling intensified and deeped. “Just a little closer…” Comet said, his whole body taut with focus. The tube was almost at the mouth…

And it hit a whisker. The Persain sprang.

Comet barely had time to jump back before a blue blur appeared in front of him, accompanied by the sound of sloshing water. Phoenixfall loomed before the crouching feline, jaws open in her own growl. It was so deep and powerful that Comet could just about feel the floor vibrating.

Persian immediately retreated back to his corner, carefully avoiding making eye contact with the menacing Gyarados.

“...Wow,” said Comet, “I never saw you like that before, Phoe. Thanks.”

Phoenixfall straightened up and closed her jaws, back to her usual lithe serenity. “It saddens me to have to resort to such tactics, young one. He is a lost soul, and his actions are not his fault. But I could not let him harm you as he did before.”

Heart rate slowly returning to normal, Comet bent down to pick up the pilling device. Broken again. Hopefully he could afford another one. “Did you by any chance see what happened to his leg?”

“I’m afraid not,” said Phoenixfall, slithering back to her pool, “But I can tell you there were no confrontations between him and anyone else in the nursery.”

Comet sighed. More than anything, he wished he could have Bravewhisker’s advice right now. He glanced over at where the Pikachu was sleeping soundly. It was strange seeing him in the nursery with everyone else now that he was no longer sick. But it worked out nicely since the isolation unit was still…incapacitated. Comet had given everyone very strict instructions not to bother him and had set him up on an elevated platform bed in a corner so that he had his own space.

…And when he does wake up, then what? Bravewhisker’s black electrical pouches sat on his face like two lumps of coal. Comet wondered if he would still want to help him once he wakes up. Or if he would even want to be around him at all.

Enough dwelling, Comet thought to himself. There was still so much work to be done.

Deciding to give Persian some time to cool down, Comet moved on to the rest of the clinic mons. Spearow’s spirits lifted with the distraction of counting pills and handing them out under Comet’s supervision. By the end of the morning rounds, Comet was surprised to find that he genuinely appreciated the little guy’s help. He was more tired than he realized after the night’s excitement. By the time he got to Kessie, the last one to be treated, his feet and his eyelids were dragging.

“Okay, Kess,” said Comet with a yawn, “Let’s go to the exam room so we can see inside that wing.”

Pulling on his radiology gown, Comet pressed the appropriate buttons on the monitor to start the x-ray. Kessie waited patiently on the exam table, staring at Comet with her big goggled eyes. She chirped once as the x-ray took, and then ruffled her feathers. Comet looked up at the monitor sluggishly with hooded eyes…and then peered at it more intently.

Could it really be?

Eyes wide open now, Comet got closer to the monitor and squinted. “Well I’ll be damned,” he whispered. Then he broke into a broad grin and hoisted the startled Pidgeotto into the air. “Kessie, today’s the day! You’re healed! You’re wing’s not broken anymore!”

Kessie responded to Comet’s excitement by pecking him in the nose. Out of excitement or annoyance with Comet’s methods of celebration, he had no idea. Either way, he didn’t want to waste another moment. “Come on, let’s go and test them out!”

Once outside, Comet carefully unwrapped Kessie’s wing. She watched him do it the entire time, tilting her head at various angles. “Give ‘em a stretch,” said Comet after pulling off the final strap. Kessie gave her newly-freed wing a quizzical look. Then, she raised them up. The right wing went up slowly, stiffly, and even when she raised it as far as it could go, it was still quite a bit lower than her left.

But that was all it took to make her literally jump for joy. With a triumphant trill, Kessie leapt up in the air, wings beating furiously.

…She got pretty much nowhere. All that wing beating lifted her about three feet off the ground and carried her haphazardly for about four feet across before she landed in a heap on the dirt, smacking her head in the process.

Comet winced. “Shit, are you oka-”

Kessie was up again before he could finish, taking off again for another clumsy flight. “Oh. Right. Ironskull Kess, should have known better.”

Comet couldn’t help but to laugh as he watched her. Over and over she leapt, fluttered, and fell. But she looked absolutely thrilled even as she bit the dust. A stronger gust of wind blew, and she opened her wings up and let it take her like a sail. She somersaulted through the air, chirping in delight the entire time before landing in a heap, tearing up blades of grass as she went.

“Well,” said Comet, shaking his head with a smile, “You’re officially free as a bird now.”

Then, an idea struck him.

Leaving Kessie to flop to her heart’s content, Comet went back into the Pokemon Center and approached the counter. “I have a question,” said Comet to the Nurse Joy in charge. She nodded, and he continued. “I’m a clinician and I have a Persian who has Poke Ball Syndrome. This morning I saw a hotspot on his front leg that I have no idea where it came from. Do you know what it could be?”

The Joy gave him a sympathetic look. “Is it a severe case?”

“Yes.”

“Unfortunately,” she said softly, “if it’s a severe PBS case, sometimes the Pokemon gets so antsy in its own skin that it starts to take that energy out in a negative way- by engaging in self-injurious behaviors. It often starts like you’re seeing now- with chewing on their legs or paws.”

“That’s what I was afraid of. Thank you for the information,” he said before turning to the center’s PC. After a few button presses, a great ball materialized.

Outside, Kessie was still happily flapping and flopping about. “Hopefully a little fresh air treats you as well as it does her,” Comet murmured to the Great Ball before giving it a toss.

Persian materialized. As soon as his paws hit the grass, he ducked into a startled crouch, looking around in confusion. Then he looked at Comet…looked straight ahead…and bolted.

Comet sighed. “Yeah, that’s what I figured.”

He pressed the button on the Great Ball and recalled the fleeing feline. “Take two,” he said, and immediately let him out again. They went on that way for several minutes, with Persian trying to take off and Comet calling him back before he could get anywhere.

Finally, Persian seemed to understand what was happening. Or, at least, he realized he was never going to be able to break the invisible leash that was his ball. And so he laid down in the grass.

“Thaaaat’s it, Entei,” said Comet, sitting down at a reasonable distance from him. “We’re all just having a fun time relaxing together, that’s all.”

After a few moments, Comet began to notice the muscles on Persian begin to relax. He went back and forth between resting his head on his paws and lifting his nose to sniff at the gentle breeze.

This was his chance. Slowly, Comet pulled a marshmallow out of his pocket. He ripped it down the middle and threw one half to Kessie. She fluttered up to catch it, but it sailed right over her head and she ended up falling backwards before plucking it off the ground with her beak. Comet carefully stuffed Persian’s pill in the other half.

“Here goes nothing,” he said, and placed the marshmallow in front of the Persian’s nose. That was all he did- no commands, no words. He just looked straight ahead and watched from his peripheral vision.

Persian sniffed the marshmallow and then glanced at Comet. Fighting the urge to look at him or say something, Comet plucked a blade of grass out of the ground and twirled it in his fingers. Then, out of the corner of his eye, Comet watched as Persian gingerly reached out, took the marshmallow in his jaws, and ate it.

It was everything in Comet’s power not to jump for joy. All the muscles in his body tightened and his toes curled with restrained delight. “Now will you let me bandage your leg?” he whispered, slowly reaching over to the big cat’s paw.

But Persian’s glare and low growl stopped Comet in his tracks, and he withdrew his hands and folded them in his lap. “Okay, sure. One step at a time.”

So Comet contented himself with watching Kessie flail about and Persain calmly breathe the fresh air. “I think we all need a little time outdoors,” said Comet to himself. And I need to get to Lavender Town to meet Oak’s friend, he thought. “I think it’s time for another field trip.”

I hope y'all aren't too disappointed that I came back on sort of a breather chapter. I can assure you though that the next chapter will adress some of the consequences of the fateful Chapter 24. Thank you all for waiting for me!
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
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She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Dex Entry Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Loves music, worldbuilding, anthropomorphism, horrible puns, and Masquerain.
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She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
3,550
Location
Gatto Region
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Quirky
Breather chapters are fine. Nice to see Persian getting some time outside. (Heh. 'Entei.')
 

RubyClaw

Challenge Seeker, Completionist and Rule Designer
Featurer
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He/Him
Dex Entry Entry unknown.
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He/Him
Pokédex No.
22
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
2,891
Location
Kanto Route 1, 1% encounter rate (Israel)
Nature
Calm
First of all, welcome back and again, congrajlutions married Specs! Real life Alola is definitely on my distentation list, though it is even further away from me than it is to you.

The idea of Poke Ball Syndrome and its effects is so depressing, and sadly not that far removed from how certain people treat their pets I guess, but it's great seeing Comet finally making some progress here.
 

CyanideCrystal

Conqueror of the Azalea Gym
Contributor
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he/him
Dex Entry I like things that are old and broken and past their prime.
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he/him
Pokédex No.
663
Caught
Aug 12, 2019
Messages
231
Location
Slateport City
Nature
Quirky
Oh man this is really sad, but I'm glad the Persian will be ok. New reader here and I gotta say the whole idea for this story is top notch. Gonna keep an eye on this thread for sure.

Also congrats! :D
 

RisingMew

Currently yelling about Scarlet & Violet
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She/Her
Dex Entry A calm and nocturnal creature with a fondness for reading.
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She/Her
Pokédex No.
348
Caught
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
158
Nature
Relaxed
First things first, congrats on the wedding!! I wish you many years of happiness and good memories to come :D

Second things second, this chapter was a very much-needed breather for Comet and co. ;o; I just reread THC to catch myself back up to speed and the tone shift from the last chapter to this one is just insane. But that's kinda how Doc-lockes like to work, huh? The RNG will beat the daylights out of you and your patients one minute and then turn right around and give you a peaceful, encouraging breather the next--sometimes even in the exact same med pass! I loved the way you wrote Kessie's joyful flight, and Comet's interactions with Persian in this chapter...idk why, but they just really hit me. It felt like such a real moment of interacting with a mistrustful animal. Seeing Persian be able to relax and even take some medicine after being so anxious and fearful was just so nice...I really hope this is the beginning of his road to recovery ;o;

Comet's interactions with Spearow were also a highlight of this chapter. He really has changed so much from when he started! The way he handled sharing uncertainty about Abra's condition with Spearow really shows how his outlook on life has matured, and I hope he's able to continue this upward trajectory as all of the past chaos starts to catch up to him.

I can assure you though that the next chapter will adress some of the consequences of the fateful Chapter 24.

Speaking of 👀
 

ACottontail

Johto League Champion
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Dex Entry Entry unknown.
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She/Her
Pokédex No.
2364
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Aug 20, 2020
Messages
823
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Timid
This breather chapter focusing on how all the pokemon are doing is great. From Spearow being so ready to help, Comet remebering how he felt about GoldenFur when telling Spearow about how Abra is doing, Comet getting a bit closer to Entei, and Kessie finally being able to fly! Kessie looks so happy! Still I wonder how Bravewhisker will adjust to losing his electricity. He survived and is ready to retire, but will he retire from battling, if not for Comet's sake for the sake of the rest of the pokemon at the clinic? Or will Bravewhisker switch over to full time "Keep Comet in checker". Bravewhisker was marked as do not resuscitate, yet Comet pretty much dropped an entire rock of revives on BW while yelling "LIVE!"
Entei's behavior when alone, it reminds me of what I've heard goes on in Dolphin and Whale exhibits. When there's nothing to do, they resort to... And with nothing to fight, Entei resorted to...
 

SayleeK

Johto League Champion
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Dex Entry Between long periods of dormant slumber, this writer rises again for periods of activity that leave piles of dead fictional Pokemon in their wake
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She/her
Pokédex No.
260
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Jul 1, 2019
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2,213
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Scrivener
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Careful
Oh, I love this breather chapter, I love Comet learning a few more tricks of the trade, like how to feed pills to cats who REALLY don't want pills XD Kessie starting to fly again and the Spearow getting to play clinical assistant also sparked much joy 💖
 

CyanideCrystal

Conqueror of the Azalea Gym
Contributor
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he/him
Dex Entry I like things that are old and broken and past their prime.
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he/him
Pokédex No.
663
Caught
Aug 12, 2019
Messages
231
Location
Slateport City
Nature
Quirky
Ok, sorry I'm leaving another comment but I had to write some more stuff because I'm obsessed with this run.

I love Comet's characterization and I gotta say I thought I wouldn't at the start. But he's actually great. I like that him being reckless is usually caused by him caring too much to think about something twice. It's admirable. And I'm calling it now he actually got the Clinic job because that's the kind of quality that Oak thought would make him a perfect guy to reform the system. In general he makes me think of a song from a cartoon Steven Universe that is also called "Comet". Here's a link.

I read an article about veterinarians a few years ago and it made me understand the field way better then before. So far the Pokemon medical stuff reminds me of that article every step of the way. And even though the Nurse is kind of mean I can completely understand why. A lot of people get into this career with a love for animals (or Pokemon) and then have to watch these creatures suffer and die every day. Or have to turn them away cause they can't work for free or sacrifice their private life for the clinic. Even though a lot do just that. I was so saddened by that and it's shown very well here.

Another thing - I really love the Pokemon. They are adorable and have very distinct personalities. Comet being the only one who can hear them kinda adds to the idea of him being very empathetic towards Pokemon suffering. He's becoming a bit of a Doctor Dolittle for Pokemon lol.

Oh, and I'm also calling Cat being Giovanni's daughter.
 

Leon Yorunaki

I'll Spirit Shackle you!
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he/him
Dex Entry This pokémon tends to hyperfixate on written runs and is said to binge them, but that behavior was never seen in practice.
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he/him
Pokédex No.
453
Caught
Jul 9, 2019
Messages
915
Nature
Rash
Nothing like a breather after the mess that was the previous chapter.

I mean, that's the joy of a doclocke, one patient gets better, another worsens. Such a wild ride would have those nice moments, too!
Much like Comet, I was overjoyed when Entei trusted him enough to take his medication that marshmallow. The smallest step is always the hardest, Reminded me of that Kill Bill scene where Beatrix is trying to move her toe. "Hard part's over." let me have hope

But it's in a chapter like this we see how much Comet has grown since he started being a clinician. Now I feel bad for having seen the spoiler because he doesn't deserve this further.

Also,
698336063466373171.webp
at your notes
 
OP
Spectacles

Spectacles

Rule Maker
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she/her
Dex Entry It hides deep inside caves where no light ever reaches it and remains virtually motionless there. ~Pokemon Crystal, entry #52
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she/her
Pokédex No.
139
Caught
Jun 24, 2019
Messages
1,044
Location
Pennsylvania
Nature
Jolly
@Trollkitten -I;m glad you don't mind the breather chapter! Even Entei needs to relax sometimes :)

@RubyClaw -Thanks for the welcome and congratulations :) Real life Alola is awesome and I highly recommend it someday for anyone who has the means! Yeah Poke Ball Syndrome is one of my favorite made up illnesses because I think it totally makes sense both in this world and in real life.

@CyanideCrystal - Welcome to the ride!! Thank you so much for joining and for the amazing art you made, which I will include below :) I like hearing your conflicting feelings about Comet. I think the way you described him is probably how Moon felt about him before becoming his friend. He's a dumbass, but he's our dumbass. Also HOLY SHIT THAT SONG!! I never got into Steven Universe so I've never heard of that but it's so fitting! Just replace the music records with healing Pokemon and it could be his theme song! The style of the song also totally fits him too- that's the kind of music I imagine him listening to when he's not listening to classic rock and Nelly lol.

Also I'm not sure if you're aware of my background but I was originally going to school to be a veterinarian and I worked for a veterinary clinic for 3 years before leaving the field for occupational therapy. So I draw A LOT from my experiences in this story. I'm glad you're enjoying that aspect of it. And I'm glad you love our little cast of mons :) I love writing them all. And interesting theory that I will neither confirm or deny~~~

@RisingMew - Thank you!! :) Yeah doc-lockes are a major roller coaster, and you will know/already experienced! I hate to say that as of this update the roller coaster is at a hill. I'm glad you enjoyed the Pokemon interactions- it felt good to write that after everything they've been through. The Spearow interaction served its purpose then! Comet is growing, slowly and painfully.

@ACottontail -Glad you enjoyed the good news about the Pokemon :) and I'm glad you're thinking this way about BW. It's definitely a complicated issue that I'm very excited to present to you guys as that plotline moves forward! And that's a good comparison about Persain- that's pretty much what inspired Poke Ball Syndrome!

@SayleeK -I'm glad you didn't mind the breather chapter! Ugh nothing is worse than giving angry cats pills....or doing anything with an angry cat, really. And while cats are anger in this run, birbs are joy <3

@Leon Yorunaki -Yeah I think we all needed a breather after that lol Sooo many ups and downs in a doc-locke. So many. That's Comet, winning over wild hearts one marshmallow at a time. Also I love that Kill Bill scene! Good comparison!

Before I get to the next chapter, I have something very exciting to show you all!! @CyanideCrystal just graciously delivered some AWESOME fan art for the run, specifically for Comet and BW.

FvFIeS7.png


There is so much to note about this art.
1. Peep Comet's dyed black hair.
2. Poor BW with his oxygen mask and done-with-Comet's-shit facial expression.
3. The Comet pin!!
4. Comet's necklace with Waterfall's scale and Goldenflame's fur <3

So amazing. A huge thank you for CyanideCrystal!!


Also I do have a Trigger Warning for this update. I'm going to include varying levels of spoiler tags for those who may want to know the general nature of the warning without being totally spoiled. In general, I'll say the trigger warning is due to medical drama. My recommendation is that if you have clicked trigger warning spoilers for previous updates and have not been triggered, don't read the 'Most detailed' spoiler tab because it's quite spoilerrific for this update, and will totally spoil this chapter for you.

This update covers more about Abra's treatment for his heart failure.
In this update, Abra dies
Comet gets a call from the Saffron City Clinic saying that Abra died during the surgery. Comet has an intensely negative reaction to this news. We do not see Spearow's reaction in this update.

Chapter 26


Comet had just arrived in Lavender Town when he got the call.

The ‘field trip’ turned out to be exactly what everyone had needed. Although it was more of a ‘spelunking trip’ than anything, since most of the way there was through Rock Tunnel. Comet wished he could have had Phoenixfall out more, though she had insisted that she was perfectly content with whatever time outside the terrain allowed.

Bravewhisker was also notably absent for this field trip, since he was still deeply asleep. That was a constant nagging thought for Comet- when would he finally wake up? And when he did, what would he say?

But Comet pressed on and tried not to think too much about it. After all, even Spearow’s spirits seemed lifted with being outside, even if it was mostly in a cave. But Comet could tell that his worries hadn’t completely gone away either. Every now and again the little bird would stop moving and droop. Then he would open his mouth as if to ask Comet something before closing it again without saying anything.

Persian, it seemed, had finally figured out the unspoken deal he and Comet had struck. He was very curious about his surroundings and would sometimes wander off from the group to sniff at the cave walls or scratch in a patch of dirt. If he strayed too far, Comet would simply put him back in his ball and let him right back out directly in front of him. After that, Persian would begrudgingly stay within a reasonable distance.

There had also been quite a few trainers in the tunnel, which Comet saw as a fine opportunity for Kessie to get some practice with her wing. She took point for all the battles, and Comet could swear he was starting to see some progress. She was clumsy, sure, and she missed a lot with her flying-type moves. But when she did hit, she hit hard. And where her wings failed, her signature iron skull would send her enemies cowering away.

And if there was a battle Kessie couldn’t handle alone, Phoenixfall’s presence essentially guaranteed a win. It was a little cramped in the tunnel for her to come out even for the duration of a short battle. But, most of the time, all Comet had to do was send her out and the opponent would just groan and hand him his earnings.

But there was one individual who wasn’t happy about the current battling arrangement.

Spikepelt had spent nearly the entire trip pouting, sighing, and grumbling to himself. When Comet could finally ignore it no more, he confronted the sullen Nidorino by mockingly sniffing next to him.

“What’s that smell? Did someone order extra teenage angst?”

Spikepelt rolled his eyes, his pout deepening.

“Seriously. What’s up with you?”

The ensuing scoff reverberated off the cave walls. “Oh, nothing!” said Spikepelt sarcastically, “It’s not like you never battle with me anymore or anything…”

Comet couldn’t believe the words that had come out of the Nidorino’s mouth. “Frankly, Spikepelt, if you weren’t such a rampaging dick every time I sent you out in a battle, maybe I would use you more often. You just do whatever the hell you want and make a fool out of the both of us. Look what happened with Surge! Think about it, Spike: if you were in my shoes, would you use a Pokemon who doesn’t listen to you?”

To Comet’s complete confusion, Spikepelt seemed genuinely surprised to hear all that. But his shock quickly melted back into petulant anger. “Well, you don’t listen to me, either! And I didn’t even know you were that mad about it, you could have said something…”

At that point, Comet had to take several deep breaths and fight the very strong urge to pull his hair out by the roots. “Yes, Spikepelt. In case you couldn’t tell by all the yelling and pleading I do whenever you’re out in battle, it does make me angry when you don’t listen to me. But you can stop playing dumb because I know you’re only having regrets because you haven’t been getting any battle action. You wouldn’t give two shits otherwise.”

Spikepelt stomped, the pins on his flesh bristling. “That’s not true!”

“Oh no?” said Comet with mock surprise. “So you’re telling me you think it was wrong to disobey all my orders? I was right and you were wrong?”

“No!” Spikepelt was so angry that his voice had nearly reached the pitch it was when he was a Nidoran and his only words were ‘no’ and ‘bullshit’.

Comet shrugged. “Then you’re only sorry because I’m calling you out, I guess.”

Spikepelt’s next words were so loud that it reverberated all the way through the Rock Tunnel. “Okay fine I’m SORRY!” He let that sit for about half a breath before continuing with, “But you still never listen to me about all the ideas I have to make battling more challenging and fun! You only want to do things your way. And you didn’t listen to me when Abra was in trouble either! I was helping! I wanted to help with him so you could take care of Gloom. I wanted to help him get better like you helped my eye heal so I could go back to my trainer but…but…”

By then, Spikepelt’s body language became muddled and Comet could no longer understand what he was saying. But there was quite enough to process from what had been legible. “That was…a lot,” said Comet, stunned. “I think you and I need to talk in private.”

Comet looked around, but this part of the Tunnel had no offshoots and was just a straight path. “Uh…Last one to the end of the tunnel is a rotten Togepi!” Comet cried.

The team had experience with racing from their last outing and immediately took off in a run at varying speeds. Suddenly Spikepelt jerked. “Hey! I wasn’t ready! Tell them to come back so I can have a chance-”

“It’s not a real race, ya little shit,” said Comet, not without fondness. Arceus, he was still so young. “I wanted to have a conversation with just you, without everyone else listening.”

Spikepelt scrunched up his nose. “Why?”

“Well, you wanted me to listen more to you, right?”

“Not now,” said the Nidorino impatiently, “During battles and stuff.”

Comet closed his eyes and searched for patience. “Okay, but about what happened that night with Abra-”

“We already talked about that!”

You talked. Essentially just spilled your entire guts out and now you don’t want me to respond to any of that?”

Spikepelt groaned. “Duh. I don’t need you to solve my problems! Now can we please stop sitting here talking so I don’t lose the race?! I am not a rotten Togepi!”

It’s not a real-” Comet started furiously before pulling both hands down his face with a sigh, “Okay. Fine. Go race.”

Spikepelt wasted no time taking off. Comet called after him, “But this isn’t over!” The Nidorino gave no indication that he had heard. “Resolved absolutely nothing…” Comet muttered before getting ready to start the first step in a light jog…and nearly fell on his face when he heard a strange chuffing sound from behind him.

When he turned around, Comet was only slightly put at ease to see Persian sitting there behind him. “What?” he asked. “Don’t you know what a race is?”

Persian blinked slowly but said nothing.

Ultimately, Comet decided to fight against the uneasiness he felt toward the big cat. “You want to be rotten Togepi together?”

And so they walked out of the cave together at a leisurely pace, unbothered by the taunts of the rest of the team. And when it was time to enter the Lavender Town Pokemon Center, Comet returned everyone to their Balls except Persian. The two of them strode calmly through the automatic doors together, and Comet couldn’t help but to smile at the small victory.

But, soon after arriving, Comet received a call from Professor Oak.

“Comet! Have you arrived safely at Lavender Town?”

Comet couldn’t help but to laugh. Sometimes it seemed like the professor knew what you were doing even from miles away. “Actually, we just walked in the Pokemon Center door in Lavender now.”

“Excellent,” he said, “You’ll have to let me know how things go with Mr. Fuji. Has everything been okay in the meantime? No further…erm…incidents?”

“No, thankfully. All’s quiet for now.”

“Good,” said Oak. “There was actually something else I wanted to ask you if you have the time. About another potential patient.”

Comet closed his eyes. Another patient. But he supposed if he was to have another patient, he would rather it come from the professor than from Gale. “What’s the patient?”

“I will admit, Comet, it is more of a complex case. So don’t be afraid to say no. But this is a rare opportunity to experience treating an Alolan variant!”

Comet very nearly said he had already experienced an Alolan variant before he stopped himself. He hadn’t told Oak about the explosion and the destruction of the isolation unit. There were still a lot of things he hadn’t told the professor about. Soon it would be nigh impossible to keep track of what is and isn’t a secret. Comet swallowed. How long before something got out? For a moment he thought about just spilling everything and being free of the whole tangle…but ‘everything’ included taking the gym challenge. And Cat and the Rockets. And getting in trouble with the Jenny’s twice. And then evading said Jennys. There was no way Comet was ready to talk about that. The trouble he would be in was unimaginable.

Despite all that, he could not deny that he would never be able to keep everything a secret forever. But maybe by the time everything got out, he would be done being a clinician. And once he was done being a clinician…Comet swallowed. He hadn’t given much thought to what he would do after he was done, not since Moon told him he likely wouldn’t go back to the Kanto Bough.

The professor seemed to interpret Comet’s silence as reluctance. “It’s perfectly fine if it’s too much to handle right now; we can easily send her elsewhere-”

“No, no,” Comet interrupted. “Seeing an Alolan variant would be interesting. What’s the diagnosis?”

“That’s another reason why it would be a good learning case,” said Oak, “This Sandshrew has a rare condition affecting only ice type Pokemon. It’s called Melting Fever. Unfortunately, Sandshrew was treated as somewhat of a designer pet with no concerns given to her needs. She was removed from her icy environment to live on the beach of Hau’oli City. Without the proper environmental modifications to allow her to thrive in such a climate, the prolonged exposure to heat caused her to develop Melting Fever. I’m afraid her case is more severe than usual, so depending on how the next day or so goes this may end up being more of a hospice situation. Like I said, Comet, it’s more than alright if you don’t want to accept the case. I only wanted to offer first in case you wanted the experience.”

Another potential hospice case. Comet suppressed the urge to groan. But he dare not pause too long or else the professor would think there was something else wrong again. He was still weighing the pros and cons when the words came out of his mouth, “Okay. I’ll take her.”

“Very good,” said the professor, “We should have her transferred over by tomorrow. Now there are two main things that you need to watch out for with Melting Fever.”

Comet quickly moved to turn the volume up on his Xtransceiver to better hear the details. But when he looked at the screen, he noticed another notification. The time was from an hour ago- it must have come through while he was in the Rock Tunnel and the lack of service made it just appear on his phone now.

It was a missed call and a voicemail from the Saffron City Clinic.

Comet’s heart dropped down to his stomach and every word the professor said was lost to him. Nothing else mattered except for listening to that voicemail. Heedless of whether or not Oak was still talking, Comet said, “Professor, something just came up and I have to go. Can you write up those details in a message and send it to me?”

“Of course I can. Is everything-”

“Okay thanks,” said Comet, wincing at the frantic note to his voice he was unable to hide as he hit the end button on their call. He quickly glanced around the exam room. Fortunately, he was alone. Everyone must have gone into the nursery. As quietly as he could manage, he turned left down the hallway to get to his bedroom and softly closed the door.

He thought he would be frozen with apprehension, but he couldn’t bear to wait another second. He sat down on the edge of his bed and hit the play button for the voicemail. Dr. Tiri’s voice came through.

“Hi Peter, this is Dr. Tiri from the Saffron City Clinic. I’m calling in regard to your patient, the Abra. We began the operation for his implant, but I’m sorry to report that there were complications while he was under the anesthetic. Before we could place the device, he started to go into cardiac arrest. We tried our best to revive him, but we couldn’t get his heart to stabilize. Unfortunately, he passed away while he was still under sedation.” Her next words were careful and professional, but not ungenuine. “Please know that you have my sincere condolences for your loss. If it’s any comfort, Abra did not feel any suffering in his final moments because of the anesthesia. He simply went to sleep and never woke up. And I’m sorry we have to talk about this part at such a trying time, but I am obligated to inform you that your payment statements will be delivered electronically to your trainer account on the PC along with estimates for your burial or cremation options. My deepest condolences again for your loss, and please call the Saffron City Clinic if you have any questions.”

There was a crackling sound at the end of the message where Dr. Tiri had ended the call, and then there was silence. Comet stared at the screen of the Xtransceiver until it turned black. Once there was nothing else to look at, he became aware he was gripping the sides of the device so hard that his knuckles were turning white. But he didn’t loosen his grip. A low growl grew in his throat that burned as it left his lips.

Shoving one hand into his pocket, Comet pulled out a crumbled scrap of paper that had been there. The Xtransceiver’s screen lit up as his jabbing finger punched in the numbers on the paper.

The Xtransceiver rang and then picked up an answering machine.

“Hello, you’ve reached Gale Joy from the Cerulean City Pokémon Center. Please leave a message with your name and number and I will get back to you as soon as I can.”

Comet’s words came out in a raw snarl. “I hope you’re fucking happy. That Abra you sent me just died today. Is this what you fucking wanted?! I know it is. I know this is what you wanted to hear. You were right, Gale. You were right and I was wrong and now I have to tell that Spearow that his best friend died on my watch. And I have a fucking astronomical bill to pay for a surgery that didn’t even work. So I just wanted to tell you that you were right and you don’t have to send me any more patients for my ‘save the world effort’ because I’m fucking done trying to save the world or anybody else. So I get your message. Leave me alone. And I hope you’re happy.”

Comet ended the call and threw the Xtransceiver across the room. But all his energy, all his fury was still there filling every cell in his body. And it needed somewhere to go. He tore down the poster of Red from his wall. Ripped all the blankets off his bed and threw them too. But it wasn’t hard enough. He yanked one of the weights off his bench and threw it so hard it crashed into the wall and stuck there. Next he flipped his bed over. He punched every surface he could get his hands on before finally collapsing head-first against the wall with the Pokémon’s vitals monitors.

Comet saw his face reflected in one of the dormant black screens. His mouth was hanging open as he tried to catch his breath. His dyed black hair was in complete disarray and his eyes were red and frantic.

“What are you doing?” He whispered to his reflection. He shook his head, smoothing down his hair as he tried to control his breathing. There was a whole room full of Pokemon out there who just lost one of their own, and he was the one who had to break that news to them. If they found out from him while he was in this state, they would only mirror him. They would fall apart. He had to be strong so that they could be strong.

But it just wasn’t fair. He wanted to scream. He wanted to tear the whole place apart in his anger. Comet closed his eyes, and he was sure he was going to act on his emotions.

…Only, as soon as his eyes closed, he felt a disconnect. A severance. Like his internal and external selves were two different entities. He could feel that his face was smooth, his breathing even, fists unclenched. But there was nothing about his demeanor that was flat or stone-like either. It was as if every aspect of himself was laying out in front of him like tools to be used to give the clinic Pokemon what they needed. This conversation would be as complex and delicate as an operation, and he needed complete, unwavering control of every tool he had in order to make sure it was a success. He would mourn with them exactly as they needed him to. With the sympathy and strength they need to move on.

The fury and the sorrow was still there, boiling inside him. It was just…separate now. Like a switch had flipped to turn that part of himself off. He would feel it some other time, when he could afford to.

For now, he would leave his war-torn bedroom, walk down the hallway to the nursery, and tell his patients what happened to their friend. And then he would heal them. Whatever it takes, he would heal them.

In case anyone is curious, this is how Abra's surgery went in-game. Er, 'in ruleset component of game' I guess I should say.

VAD Implant Surgery
After first turn, there is a 15% success rate where the surgery ends. Each turn increases success rate by 15%.
For some reason, I cannot find any other information about the RNG rolls I used for this surgery. I have no idea what his chance of death was each turn or if there were any other complications. I guess I didn't write it down.
But this is my notation for the surgery itself from my notes:

"Turn 1: No change

Turn 2: No change 15%

Turn 3: No change 30%

Turn 4: No change 45%

Turn 5: Dead. Total cost- $600. Ugh."

Ugh indeed.

Anyway. I wish I didn't have to include spoilers in my trigger warnings, because I'm sure most readers read that right away and then weren't surprised this update whether they would be triggered or not. Hell, I probably would have done the same thing, my self control ain't great. But when you're writing about real-life illnesses in such a light-hearted medium as Pokemon, I have to recognize the responsibility to handle such things carefully. So I will continue to warn in as much detail as I have to!
 

RisingMew

Currently yelling about Scarlet & Violet
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Pronouns
She/Her
Dex Entry A calm and nocturnal creature with a fondness for reading.
Pronouns
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Pokédex No.
348
Caught
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
158
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Relaxed
Ohhhh geez, I was worried about that. My own experience with surgeries in a Doc-locke...well, I'll just say it's pretty similar to what happened to poor Abra. You could have the highest chance for success and still hit that terrible little window of failure. And now poor Comet not only has to deal with the weight of sharing this bad news with the rest of the clinic, but he also has to bear the tremendous expense of the failed surgery. Yikes. I feel so bad for Spearow...

You did a really great job of capturing Comet's emotions in this chapter. The anger and then the strange sort of numbness that comes when you have to be strong for other people were both very well written. I know this is going to be a big setback in all the progress he's been making, but I really hope he'll be able to grow stronger through this, when all is said and done.

Also, I'm very curious about the Sandshrew. Another dicey case is the exact opposite of what Comet needs right now, but I always love to learn more about how fictional ailments play out 👀

Oh, and that fanart is amazing! Huge props to CyanideCrystal for including all those neat details :D
 

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