Satori in Kalos
The Furfrou wagged its tail as Shauna combed its fur. She couldn't manage nearly as well as a professional, but she was learning. The heart trim was a little rough and Shauna thought the tail looked more like a blob than an actual heart, but Calem was impressed.
"How's your eye?" He asked.
"Good." Shauna pulled off her eye patch revealing the cybernetic eye. Unless someone looked really carefully it looked just like the real thing. "Although I've just fallen into routine with it. Kind of like phones, you know?"
"What do you mean?"
"Like, when you first get a new phone you load all new apps and get excited about all the neat stuff it can do, but then you just use it to browse forums and listen to music all day." Shauna shrugged. "I pretty much just use my eye for seeing now."
Calem laughed. "Like the rest of us plebeians, then."
Shauna continued combing the Furfrou's fur. She and Calem were hanging out in a pokemon salon, though it was early in the day so it was pretty much just them and the staff. Calem couldn't really help much in grooming the Furfrou so he was watching the television mounted on the wall. It was muted with captions.
"Oh, look." He said. "Diantha's on with Aya."
Shauna turned her head to look at the television. Diantha and Aya were in some cafe in Lumiose—probably not very far from where Calem and Shauna were at this very moment, actually. "What are they saying?" She asked before turning her attention back to her pokemon.
"Eh, same old questions about what happened." Calem rested his head against his palm. "They reinstated her as champion last week."
"Gunna challenge her?"
"Naw." Calem looked down. "I don't..."
"Sorry." Shauna said quickly. "I forgot."
Calem shook his head. "No, it's fine. I'm just confused. It feels like things went unresolved." He pulled himself up out of his chair. "I'm going to go for a quick walk."
Shauna waved him off. Even though it was early in the morning the streets of Lumiose were still busy. Adults rushing off to their jobs and children walking to school. It was hard to imagine that half a year ago this city was half-abandoned and its people were fearing for their lives. Calem looked around at the faces of those he passed by.
He couldn't read their thoughts, but they seemed pretty okay.
Calem tossed one of his pokeballs to himself. He had never gotten the chance to challenge the Elite Four. Satori's battle against the champion had caused a portion of the castle to collapse and it was deemed unsafe. So Calem was turned away and told to come back later. They repaired it, but he hadn't gone back.
Just didn't seem right.
"Satori," Calem said to himself as he looked up at the sky. "What the hell happened to you?"
Rin plopped down on the couch in Utsuho's Lumiose apartment and flipped through the mail.
"Damn, Okuu, I can't believe you ended up being the breadwinner."
Utsuho looked up from the prepackaged meal she was attempting to microwave. "What? Did I enter some contest?"
"No, no." Rin waved Utsuho's paycheck in the air. "I mean you're making some serious dough here."
"But this is chicken and rice." Utsuho pointed towards her dinner. Rin groaned and debated trying to explain what an idiom was. She decided against it, and just trotted over to pet Utsuho's head.
Rin moved into Utsuho's apartment after her little half-journey ended. She considered heading back to their house in Vaniville but it didn't seem enticing. She would be living alone there, and that would get lonely. So she moved in with Utsuho.
Utsuho wasn't there half the time anyways though. The power plant had shifts that lasted weeks so more often than not Utsuho wasn't home.
"Are you sure you're okay, Okuu?" Rin asked, stuffing food into her mouth. "Your co-workers giving you any trouble? Need me to beat someone up for you?"
"Nonono, it's fine." Utsuho smiled. "They're nice."
Utsuho's wings dropped. "I want Satori to come back."
Rin smiled. "Don't worry, she'll be back before you know it. She gets like this whenever, well, you know. It's about Miss Koishi."
"B-But I want her to—ouch!"
"Okuu?" Rin shot up. "Are you alright?"
"Orin... I burnt my tongue."
Rin snickered, causing Utsuho to pout. "Sorry." Rin said.
"It hurts." Utsuho stuck her tongue out.
"Don't worry, Okuu, let mama Rin take care of you."
On the other side of Lumiose, Sycamore's lab was fully up and running. The power plant had long since been restored to its former glory and the shortage was over. Machines rumbled, computers beeped and LEDs flickered.
"And to what do I owe the pleasure, Valerie?" Sycamore asked.
The perfect and elegant Valerie sat politely in one of the chairs. Her colorful presence stood out in the white laboratory. "I wanted to discuss this year's candidates."
"Hmm?" Sycamore shuffled over to his desk and pulled open one of the drawers. He flipped through the folders and pulled out a red-and-white one, dropping it on the desk. "I'm happy to discuss, but what business of it is yours?"
"I heard a rumor that you're considering Cirno," Valerie said with a look of disgust. "I wanted to hear whether that's really true or not."
Sycamore laughed and opened the folder. "Indeed, I was going to make her the offer. Her friend was offered it wasn't she?"
"Daiyousei has at least a modicum of intelligence," Valerie said. "Cirno does not."
"Now now, let's not be unfair." Sycamore sat down in his chair. "You know she would jump at the chance. And it'll be good for her. How much trouble could she possibly cause?"
Valerie didn't respond, but gave Sycamore the best look of incredulity she could possibly muster. His only reaction was to laugh.
"I wouldn't worry too much, Val." Sycamore shrugged. "Satori's already set the bar pretty high on causing trouble."
"I think we have different definitions of trouble."
Sycamore nodded and reached back into his drawer. He pulled out a different folder this time—a really thick purple one. "These are my notes on Satori," he said. "She was an overwhelming source of research."
Valerie reached out for the purple folder, but then stayed her hand. "I feel bad for lying to her."
"Various things. Like how Kalos was actually without a masterball for over a year and it was largely our fault she ended up facing Yveltal. Like how I know what she is and why I'm pushing her media campaign so hard. And..." Valerie ignored the purple folder and pulled the other one, the one with Sycamore's candidates, closer. After skimming the profiles of all of them, she sighed. "Thought so."
"I beg your pardon?"
"Half of these candidates are youkai, professor." Valerie said. "I cannot help but conclude that you are pushing the same agenda I am. You certainly pushed for those two new Elite Four members rather heavily."
"And if I am?" The pokemon professor leaned back in his chair. "If Satori was an experiment. If she was the first step to something greater. What would you think about that?"
Valerie thought a moment, and then snickered. "You would probably have to do something about Remilia Scarlet first."
"Hey Remi, Remi, can I get this one?" Flandre grabbed a red scarf with pink hearts on it off the rack and wrapped it haphazardly around her neck. It was really long and hung all the way down to Flandre's knees.
"It's cute," Remilia said with a smile and eyed the shopkeeper. He was doing his best to look like he wasn't trying to avoid the two obvious vampires that walked into his store. Remilia waved him over and asked to purchase the item.
It wasn't cheap, but such concerns were trivial to the Scarlet household. Remilia paid for the item while Flandre showed off the scarf to Sakuya. Although she was by no means a mind-reader it was easy for Remilia to notice the shaking of the shopkeeper's hands as he tried to ring up the scarf.
Remilia had that effect on people. She'd grown to like it.
She and her sister walked out of the shop with Sakuya following close behind. Ever since Satori fixed her sister Remilia had been sure to take Flan out into society. It still made Remilia nervous though. That fear that Flandre had induced for so long still haunted her—that at any moment she might just snap and "squeeze" everyone in sight to death.
Ten trips to Lumiose though and she hadn't even gotten close to that level of insanity.
"Ha ha, this is so fluffy," Flandre said while wrapping the scarf around herself. It started to drape over her wings, so Remilia reached out to undo it.
"Here, let me wrap it properly."
Remilia undid the scarf Flan had butchered and tied it around her neck properly, making sure to double it over because of the length. It was soft and Remilia couldn't help but grin. The mere fact that she could have this moment meant more to her than anything.
"Young mistress, it looks very good on you." Sakuya said.
Flandre smiled and started to skip, getting a little ahead of Remilia and Sakuya. It was fine though, despite the stares that the two vampires got. Most people in Kalos knew of Remilia but they rarely saw her. Besides her trips to the police station she never went out much.
Never had a reason to until now.
"Well look who it is," came a voice from behind. Remilia turned to see Hakurei Reimu standing there in civilian clothing.
"Reimu. What a pleasant surprise." Remilia said, grinning wide enough to bear her fangs. Reimu wasn't phased by it. She was one of the few people who Remilia couldn't intimidate.
Reimu gave a nod towards Flandre, who had found a cat to play with a little ways down the block. "I still can't say I agree with this," she said. "Some things are too good to be true. And usually end up backfiring horribly."
"Maybe." Remilia looked towards her sister. "But—"
"Bah, no need to say it. Not my problem until she starts murdering people anyways."
"Thanks for the vote of confidence."
The cat had scurried away from Flandre, who then moved on and turned into a cake shop. She had a tendency to wander which Remilia was having a little difficulty keeping up with. But exposing Flandre to the world was incredibly important in her rehabilitation.
"Sakuya, can you..." Remilia trailed off as Sakuya nodded and followed Flandre into the store. After Remilia and Reimu were alone, she lost her composure a little bit.
"Reimu, are there any updates about Satori?"
Reimu shook her head. "Sorry. To be perfectly honest Remilia at this point she'd have to be actively trying to avoid detection."
"Or you're actively hiding her." Remilia crossed her arms.
"No offense but I'm more afraid of Shiki than I am of you."
Reimu looked over at Remilia's sad expression and rolled her eyes.
"Oh, alright, I do know one rumor." She knelt down close and whispered into Remilia's ear. "A friend of mine has a friend who claims to be in contact with her..."
The forested area below Snowbelle City, the Winding Woods, were incredibly difficult to navigate. At the heart of it was the Pokemon Sanctuary guarded by the notorious Kazami Yuuka, but most people never even made it that far before getting hopelessly lost. The forest was the perfect area to seclude oneself from the rest of the world.
That was the main reason Alice Margatroid built her house there. Despite one of the core tenants of science being collaboration, in this age of the internet physical location was only a minor trifle. Collaboration was possible across continents so Alice saw no trouble moving into a secluded forest.
Her research was best conducted in a distraction-free environment anyways. Research wasn't like a typical nine-to-five job where you put in the work and get out some product. "Research" could manifest as Alice tossing a ball against a wall for a week straight and getting absolutely nothing done until some night where, in a burst of inspiration, she jotted down an ingenious step to the solution.
Alice felt a tug on her sleeve and looked down from her computer. Shanghai was holding a cup of tea.
"Thanks Shanghai," Alice said and took a sip of the tea. It was brewed just how Alice liked. Shanghai gave a little salute and walked back to the kitchen.
Shanghai had a pokemon-like intelligence, except for the fact it was completely artificial. Although it was Alice's greatest creation, the goal she had set for herself since she was a child, it wasn't a human intelligence. The early stages of research into poke-intelligence expected that it would be very similar to human intelligence and merging the two fields would be trivial down the road.
This was evidenced by the fact pokemon-mind uploading had been around for decades, but human-mind uploading wasn't even close to being feasible. That said nothing of youkai intelligence which not nearly enough research had been done in.
Alice took another sip of her tea.
Alice spun around in her chair at the sound of the doorbell. It was rare for her to get visitors, really rare. Being way out here in the seclusion of the Winding Woods tended to do that.
She set down her cup of tea and stood up from her chair. Her living room was messy. Full of books, computers and dolls. It made entertaining guests a little awkward.
When Alice opened the door, she raised her brow at the two girls standing there. "This is a surprise," she said. "Quite a lot of people are out looking for—"
"Hello, Alice." she interrupted. "I'd like you to meet my sister, Koishi."
Alice looked back and fourth between Satori and Koishi. They certainly looked a lot alike, although she could only imagine what they were doing at her door. "Umm..."
"Alice, if I remember correctly you said that you research consciousness?"
She nodded. "Indeed. I consider myself an expert on the subject."
Satori glanced towards her sister and smiled before gently stroking the Eye that hung around her shoulders. Alice and Sycamore had speculated, of course, but they never fully confirmed her abilities. Alice grinned at her guest's next words.
"I think we can help each other," Satori said.
Thank you for reading.