"Hey, Tabby," said Clever Clover as he entered the Dream Valley Pokèmon
"What did you do to your Rattata this time, Cleve Clove?" Tabby snipped.
"Nothing's wrong with my Pokèmon, Tabitha. I just came by to tell you that I'll be
on a trip. I might be gone for a week or two."
"What! You're going on an adventure without me?" the pink unicorn whined. She
actually had nothing against missing an adventure; it was tormenting her friend that she'd miss,
and the chance to search distant thrift stores for eighties toys.
"It's not an adventure, I hope; I'm just visiting some friends in the Flatlands," Clever
"Oh, well, remember to keep an eye out for eighties toys."
"Yeah, whatever," replied the purple pony as he exited the center.
* * *
The trip to the Flatlands was uneventful. Clever Clover had hoped to catch some
Pokèmon along the way, but he hadn't even seen any. When he got to Jim's Malt Shoppe, all
seemed peaceful enough, just like he remembered-- but very unlike the nightmare he had had
some time ago.
Jim's had been a popular hangout for archaeologists when Clever Clover had worked at
a nearby site a year ago. He had no reason to think there was any trouble here, except for the
The shop was almost empty; the only other customer was a black crow shooting pool. "
‘Allo Jim," said Clever Clover to the duck behind the counter. "How've things been?"
"It's been slow since you shovel bums left,"quacked the duck. "What brings you back
to the Flatlands?"
"Okay, so what'll you have?"
"Chocolate malt. Eh, Jim, has anything strange happened lately?"
The duck shook his head. "Nothin' ‘strange' happened since that monkey you worked
for started dancing on the tables that night. Why, what'd you expect?"
"I'm not sure," said the pony.
After finishing his malt, Clever Clover headed for the edge of town to the site of the dig
had worked at the year before. It had been a cornfield then; now it was a construction site. There
was no sign of the excavations or of the vengeful spirit from his dream. "Maybe that's all it was,
just a bad dream," Clever Clover mumbled to himself.
Suddenly a flash of motion on I pile of dirt caught the pony's eye, though he hadn't seen
any signs of life when he arrived. "Oh boy," he sighed. His muscles tensed as he remembered the
terrible apparition from his nightmare and it's bloodcurdling cries of vengeance. The pony held
his breath and listened carefully. It was deadly silent, just as in his dream, and though it was a
sunny day, the effect was equally chilling.
He stood still and listened for several minutes before he heard it, a grating, scraping
sound. It was coming from behind him; he slowly turned to face it, but there was nothing to be
seen. The sound seemed to be coming from underground.
Suddenly a small, brown furry head popped up amidst a pile of loose dirt. "Digglet!" it
said in a sing-song voice. Clever Clover sighed a sigh of relief. "Ohy, it's only a Digglet. The
dream might not have been anything to worry about, but at least I'll be able to catch a Pokèmon."
He got out one of his PokèBalls. "Okay, Farfetch'd, let's get ‘im!"
"Fetch far far!" quacked the wild duck Pokèmon.
"Now, sand attack, quick, before he goes underground! Then sword dance and leak
The Farfetch'd executed its attacks flawlessly. In mere moments the Digglet was
and Clever Clover hurled a PokèBall. "Alright, I caught Digglet!"
"Far, fetch fetche'd far!"
When the thrill of the hunt wore off, Clever Clover remembered why he was there.
if that spirit hasn't shown up yet, it's not coming. I guess I'll head home."
As he turned to leave, a chill ran down his spine. He spun around to find a smirking imp
sitting atop a pile of dirt. "Bic, I'd thought I'd seen the last of you."
"You should have known better than that," the imp replied.
"You promised not to torment any of us ponies, including me, anymore."
"Hm, well, you see, the thing is, I'm not here. This entire conversation is all in your
I planted it there during our first encounter. It was programed to activate at a specific time and
place, here and now! You see, our past encounters have not been mere chance."
"Oh? What sort of scam are you running?"
"I don't run scams, I play games; and this game began years ago. I made the first move
before you were born; now the time has come for you to make your move!" With that the imp
disappeared, leaving behind a small red stone.
"I wonder what that was all about?" Clever Clover mumbled as he picked up the stone.
"Hm, pipestone. It could be from the site, but the only source of pipestone isn't far from here. I
guess I could check it out."
* * *
The next day, Clever Clover went north to the pipestone quarry. It was the only place
the Flatlands to find the soft, red pipestone, which was used by the early Flatland tribes to make
pipes, tools, and decorative objects because it was soft enough to be worked much like wood.
The tribal ponies still quarried the pipestone from narrow pits beneath a towering red quartzite
cliff. Legend had it that the Great Pony appeared to the Flatland tribes atop the cliff long ago and
told them to live in peace and to share the pipestone quarries peacefully.
At least that's what it said in the brochure Clever Clover picked up at the museum
center. Clever Clover wandered about the museum and looked at the various carved pipestone
items they had on display. Then he followed the trail along the base of the cliff, past the quarry
pits, and up the stairs cut into the cliff to enjoy the panoramic view from its top.
"Well, this was pointless, but educational. I guess finding that pipestone was just
coincidence. But I wonder what Bic's message meant?" As he turned to leave, Clever Clover
heard an ominous rumbling sound behind him.