It had been a long week for Deana Erikson and her new companions. They had left Sandgem in high spirits, boldly going forward into the short stretch of woods that separated the little town from Jubilife City. They had not expected to find a dying Shiny Shinx a short way off the path, stubbornly clinging to life. It was fortunate that Pokeballs could slow such things, buying the little cat enough time to make into the Emergency Room under the practiced hands of the resident Nurse Joy. The lion cub had survived, and would make a full recovery, though she would have a fantastic array of scars to live with.

Therein lay the problem, actually. The majority of the injuries were just bad enough to scar, as if her attacker had simply wished to mar her appearance. The deepest ones were scattered over her chest area, the worst of them being a long slash going from her left shoulder to under her right foreleg, where most of the blood loss had been from. The other culprit was a nasty head wound, the only one that wouldn't leave a scar, since head wounds bleed heavily no matter how deep they actually are. It didn't seem to be directly from her attacker, however.

On closer inspection of where she had been found, there was a bloodied rock. Apparently, after being cut up she'd been thrown away and had slammed into the half hidden stone upon landing. The police who investigated were unable to determine anything else, sadly. Due to being a highly trafficked area, the scent trails were a confusing muddle, and the only thing they knew was that a Bug was the culprit, and even that wasn't much help. Was it a trained Scyther, acting on orders? A Kricketune defending its children? Heck, maybe it was a Parasect! Point being, it seemed unlikely they'd ever find out who exactly had done the deed, and would have to content themselves with the victim's survival.

Still, the question remained. Why would someone do this…?

First of three. Next up, Cruise.