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Gummy
March 30th, 2008, 11:13 AM
Hello everyone, I'm back and with a new fic too! After a few months of not writing a single word of fanfiction, I've finally realized that writing fanfiction is what kept me so interested in Pokemon. I've written two fics before, but unfortunately, I never got to finishing either. But don't fret, because I guarantee that won't be the fate of my new piece (where have we heard that before?). Third time's the charm though, right? Now, before we get to the fic, there are some things you may want to know about my writing style:

"Text here" <-- These indicate that a person is talking (duh) OR someone is talking telepathically.

Italics <-- Thoughts will be written in italics, no quotes.

"<Text here>" <-- These indicates that a Pokemon is talking in their native tongue. Don't worry, there's an explanation (sort of) as to why humans can understand their language.

********** <-- These indicate a change in setting or that a good amount of time has passed.

Please not that this is not a trainer fic or PMD fic. I guess you could call some aspects of it a journey type, but that's probably the closest you'll get to fitting it in a single genre.

readers 13+. This fic may or may not contain the following: blood, descriptive violence, mild swearing, and/or death.

Chapter list:

Prologue: Peace and Catastrophe
Chapter One: Shadow in the Night (http://pokecommunity.com/showpost.php?p=3460441&postcount=4)
Chapter Two: The Rebellion (http://pokecommunity.com/showpost.php?p=3474238&postcount=14)
Chapter Three: Infiltration (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showpost.php?p=3539936&postcount=22)
Chapter Four: Fall From Innocence (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showpost.php?p=3720574&postcount=34)

Am I missing anything else... Oh right, the fic!


Prologue: Peace and Catastrophe


Peace.

A term used so often, but in truth, never attained.

Many have come close. Still, no matter how close they get, it always ends with the same thing...

Catastrophe.


**********

It all began in a small, secluded village. There wasn’t anything particularly special about the village; it had dished out maybe one or two decent Pokemon trainers, but nothing more. Nonetheless, this village was chosen to be the place to break that fragile thing we call ‘peace’.

A slight cough.

That was the first indication of the upcoming calamity. First a cough, then a sneeze, followed by other signs of a simple common cold. Although many of the villagers had been afflicted with this swift sickness, most dismissed it as something that was just ‘passing by’. Their ignorance would soon cost them their lives. Things began to get odd when the infected started dying in rapid succession. Doctors from across the region raced to solve this mystery while the silent killer spread with every passing second. Little did they know that this was an act of fate and wasn’t going to stop anytime soon. The only thing professionals noticed was the Pokemon seemed to have a complete immunity to the sickness.

A government-ordered quarantine was placed upon the ill-fated village, but it was much too late for that. The virus had already traveled across borders and became a global threat. Scientists of the world pondered on this epidemic and why it didn’t affect any of the Pokemon species. As they worked to find this “immunity gene,” thousands were dying daily. The popular hobby of Pokemon training was seen as the main contributor to the spread of the virus and soon after that, the Leagues of the Pokemon world fell apart. People went wild with terror, some causing even more harm than the virus itself. As towns emptied out, the Pokemon took the opportunity to reclaim the land taken from them, and faced no remorse in defiling the mass graves. This plague continued for the next two and a half years and in that time, almost all of human civilization disappeared. Whoever was left had already abandoned scientific means of an explanation and was desperately praying to their gods for salvation. Unfortunately, for them, salvation never came.

But there was one town on the outskirts of a region once known as Kanto that was left standing. The virus had destroyed all civilization around them and was drawing closer. It soon became clear to many that their gods had no plan to stop this “human cleansing.” But one group still kept faith in their gods; the Pokemon gods. As this group’s religious beliefs grew in popularity among the town, something happened. The virus’ death count dropped and continued to drop until it claimed no more lives. The scientists were baffled by the sudden disappearance but for the townspeople, the answer was clear. It was an act of divine intervention.

The seven original leaders of the religious group were praised and treated like kings for bringing an end to the biological massacre. Civilization has slowly been rebuilding itself around the world, but even decades later, the sacred town remains to be the center of activity. The world seemed to be in long era of peace and tranquility.

But this could not last.

There were others there that opposed the idea of humans worshipping Pokemon gods. In the beginning, they hid from society, fearing the strict rule of the religious leaders. But the time for hiding is over, and a small band of rebels have decided to do something. A band consisting of human and Pokemon alike, both hating the gods for even letting the virus last so long, among other reasons. And so this small band has taken it upon them to reveal the truth to Pokemon and humankind, even if it means taking on the retribution of the gods.


***** End of Prologue *****

A short Prologue as usual. Due to its size, I'll post the first chapter in a few days. Normally, the time between updates will be one to two weeks. And before I forget, this chapter was beta'd by diamondpearl876.

Incinermyn
March 31st, 2008, 09:06 AM
Hmm... This is the first of your works I've read, Gummy, and I have to say that I'm quite impressed by your piece here. But, for some reason it seems like the Resident Evil movies, particularly Extinction in which a virus began spreading throughout the world, bringing death in its wake; and, to some extent, of a fakemon of mine capable of causing lethal infections in man and Pokemon alike (but, I digress). Man, I just love stories involving a type of human erridication and how the world is afterwards! Cool prologue! I'll check back later for the first chapter.

Gummy
March 31st, 2008, 01:31 PM
I'm glad you like it Skunter, seeing as this is my first attempt at a post-apocalyptic fic. This is literally months in the making and I've taken many ideas from different sources. Let's just hope everyone doesn't notice my allusions to other works/movies/games.

Gummy
April 2nd, 2008, 12:02 PM
Note: This chapter was beta'd and is dedicated to diamondpearl876, whose birthday is today.

Chapter One: Shadow in the Night


It was winter in the city of Arcanum, and a fresh blanket of snow was already falling upon its residents. Snow-covered buildings towered above the landscape like white fingers reaching for the moonlit sky. And in the palm of this metaphorical hand was a dome shaped building, its walls made of pure silver and gold. The entirety of its grace glinted in the magnificent moonlight and could probably be spotted a mile away.Even in this sort of weather, the building usually had many visitors. However, on this particular night, the building only housed one individual. On the third floor was a room with more shelves and books than a library, and in a secluded corner sat a man, his eyes glued to the computer screen in front of him.

The sound of keys clicking away echoed back and forth across the room as the man typed, stopping only to brush away his long black hair or fix his rather large glasses. His green eyes never so much as glanced down at the keyboard as he was quite skilled at this and wasn’t easily distracted. This one night would be an exception.

There was a quick, almost unnoticeable, pitter patter from the ceiling that managed to disrupt the chorus of keys. The man bolted up and examined the window above him. The snow was falling harder than usual that night, but there was no way it could make such a sound. With a dismissing chuckle and a tug on his brown coat, he turned back to his work.

“Must have been my imagination. That’s what I get for working overtime two nights in a row,” he whispered to himself before making a quick adjustment to his glasses. However, as he withdrew his hand from the keyboard, the silence was cut short by another weird noise from above. Without the constant sound of keys being slammed down, the man was sure the sound was not a figment of his imagination. He quickly saved his worked and got up to get a better look.

“Most of the bird Pokemon have flown south already, so what—.”

The sentence was left unfinished as the man’s jaw dropped after inspecting the window. Right there, in plain sight, stood a shadowy figure staring back down at the worker. Its human-like silhouette made him shudder in his boots, but that was all the movement he could manage at the moment. The two looked at each other for a few seconds, but for the worker, it felt like the figure was peering into his very soul, reviewing and judging every action he had ever made in his short life. Then suddenly, the shape bent over and raised a fist in the air.

“What is he... no, he won’t. He can’t!” the man finally managed to exclaim, but a little too late. Before he could even raise a foot, the figure smashed through the window with a fist that seemed to be encased in a blue light. The man could only watch in terror as shards of glass, snow, and the mysterious figure rained down upon him. In a last minute endeavor to protect himself, the worker shielded his head with his arms and grimaced as the broken glass effortlessly cut threw his clothes and skin. Without warning, a heavy weight fell on his back, knocking him to the floor and sending his glasses across the room. Lying in a puddle of his own blood with his back probably permanently damaged, the man rested his head against the floor and waited for the grips of death. That is, until a pair hands grabbed him at the side and turned him on his back.

“Ezekiel Orna, I presume?” said a voice that the speaker obviously ruffled up as to not sound like his normal self. Without his glasses, it was hard for Ezekiel to see anything clearly but that didn’t matter much, as his attacker was completely covered in a brown cloak. Even weirder, the voice seemed to echo in his head instead of being received by his ears.

“I believe I asked you a question,” said the figure, this time sounding a bit annoyed.

“Yes... I am he,” Ezekiel answered, trying his hardest to say it in a dignified tone. His fate was entirely in the hands of this man, and if sounding polite would keep him alive, he had to try it despite his various injuries.

“Good, you can still speak. Now answer this: when is he coming back to town?”

He? Ezekiel thought hard on who the mystery man could possibly be speaking about. No one special was coming back to town except...

“Are you ta-talking about l-lord Peign? What is y-your business with one of th-the Sacred Seven?” Ezekiel muttered before coughing a little blood. He made a mental note not to try to give any long answers anymore.

“I’m the asking the questions, and it’s your job to answer them.”

Ezekiel glared at the figure, wishing he had the energy to launch a nice mixture of blood and saliva at his face. If the information he exposed led to the lord’s injury or death, he could never forgive himself. Of course, not answering could lead to his imminent demise.

After a long silence, Ezekiel finally opened his mouth. “Exactly one week from today.”

“Hmm... a week? That’s sooner than I had expected,” the figure muttered to his self. “Final question: do you know exactly where he will be at certain times in the day?”

Blood unexpectedly spurted from Ezekiel’s mouth as he coughed at the question. Not only was that probably the most important question of the night, but it was also the easiest to answer. The reason for his late hours of work was to finish up lord Peign’s schedule for his next visit. There was absolutely no way it was a coincidence that Ezekiel was the one to be questioned, especially since his attacker knew his name beforehand. There was also little doubt left in Ezekiel’s mind that this man meant to harm the lord, or else he wouldn’t need such specific information.

“Everything is sa-saved on a CD in the comp-computer over there,” the helpless victim answered. The captor looked around the room in a confused daze, but Ezekiel couldn’t be sure thanks to the cloak and his eyesight. “Over there,” he said, this time pointing at a white blur that resembled his computer. Either his eyesight was getting worse, or his injuries were finally taking their toll.

The figure gave a slight nod and with one leap, landed right by the computer. If Ezekiel wasn’t fatally wounded or held captive, he would have applauded the acrobatic act. However, the next action of the mystery man was quite unexpected, if not completely bizarre. He picked of a stack of CDs from the desk stuffed then inside a side pocket. Ezekiel actually managed a chuckle— although painful— as he heard the sound of CDs scratching against each other.

“What’s so funny?” called the voice in a relatively uneasy tone.

What’s wrong with this guy? Ezekiel thought, staring at the blurry image before him. I just told him I was saving data on the disk, so the CD he is looking for is obviously in the disk drive. Wait... I’ve already said too much about lord Peign. Maybe this entire thing can be avoided if I lead him to believe he has what he wants.

“Just thinking about how this is a horrible way to die,” he finally said.

“Oh no,” the figure said, returning to his original position of standing over the dying man, “you won’t be dying here.” Ezekiel’s eyes immediately widened at the statement. A multitude of thoughts raced through his head, most of them not being too pleasant. Was he going to be held prisoner? Was he going to be interrogated with even more questions? Was he going to be... spared? All were possible as the figure bent down to grab Ezekiel and toss him over his shoulder, apparently not caring for his injuries. Ezekiel winced in the pain but dared not to scream, knowing that it would only make things worse.

“The sirens are getting closer. It’s time we got out of here.”

“Sirens? What are you talking about?” Ezekiel questioned, risking another burst of pain. Fortunate for him, it never came.

“Oh yes, your human ears aren’t strong enough,” replied the figure, sounding as if he had just come to a great revelation. Then, with a strength no normal man could possess, he leapt onto a nearby bookcase, then onto a higher one, and finally the gaping hole where the window used to be. He landed gracefully on the snow covered roof, completely unhindered by the weight of his captive. Ezekiel, on the other hand, was still focused on the figure’s last sentence and barely noticed the magnificent feat.

‘Your human ears?’ What is this guy? he thought deeply, only to be interrupted by the snow’s soft touch on his neck, and for a moment, he thought it was Death creeping up on him. A strong, cold wind suddenly blew past, and Ezekiel felt a small portion of the cloak fall off. Bracing himself for the pain, he quickly altered his body and squinted at the figure’s exposed head. The weather and his horrible eyesight didn’t help Ezekiel at all, but he was still able to notice the blue and black fur, pointed ears, and a head in the shape of a jackal. However, before Ezekiel could examine him anymore, the figure went on the move, shifting his body back to its original position.

A Lucario! he finally realized, gaping at the being before him. The glowing fist, the odd voice, the unnatural acrobatics, and a whole lot of other stuff that happened on this crazy night; it all makes perfect sense now. But what does a Lucario want with me, or lord Peign for that matter?

“Why are you keeping me alive?” Ezekiel murmured as the Lucario walked toward the edge of the roof.

“Because it’s not my job to kill you.”

“That’s very merciful of—.”

“That’s Lucy’s job,” he added with a smirk. Ezekiel was left breathless at the statement and in seconds, finally lost consciousness.

“There’s no turning back now,” the Lucario said as he gazed into the night sky. “Are you watching, oh wonderful gods? Next it will be one of the Seven who bleeds at my hands.”


***** End of Chapter One *****

bobandbill
April 2nd, 2008, 10:48 PM
Rather nice, I have to admit. Quite intriguing beginning and first chapter, solid description (there's a few parts here and there which I particularly like), and I the plot is developing rather nicely - I've haven't really read much in the way of post-apocalyptic Pokemon fics, but this seems like a pretty good one. Overall well written.

There are a few small hiccups, but nothing major from what I can see, and a far bit in the first part of the prologue - mostly minor mistakes.

Peace.

A word used so often, but in truth, is never attained.

However, many have come close. But no matter how close they get, it always ends with the same thing...

Catastrophe.
This was quite a nice intro. But I do feel that three 'but/howevers' is a bit much, just a tad - 'Peace is good, but it cannot last. But it's nearly happened before., But no' - feels a bit like that... minor however, and nit-picky...
Nonetheless, this village was chosen to be the place to breaks that fragile thing we call ‘peace’.
'To breaks' doesn't fit in here...

Although many of the villagers had been afflicted with this swift sickness, most dismissed it as something that was just ‘passing by’. Their ignorance would soon cost them their lives. Things began to get odd when the infected started dying in rapid succession.
Heh. Like the 'Things began to get odd WHEN PEOPLE STARTED DYING!" line. :)

The only thing professionals noticed was that the Pokemon seemed to have a complete immunity to the sickness.
Suggest the 'that'... and maybe a 'the' before professionals...

A government ordered containment was placed upon the ill-fated village, but it was much too late for that.
Doesn't make much sense - probably tense confusion there.
Quite a nice beginning though - good use of the 'doom and gloom' atmosphere, the pacing seemed solid and it was a good set-up and gave the information well.

There was a quick, almost unnoticeable, pitter patter from the ceiling that managed to disrupt the chorus of keys. Nonetheless, the man bolted up and examined the window above him.
Nonetheless refers to the 'almost unoticeable' part or around there, right? Did seem that there was a bti too much informationinbetween that lead me to wonder what you ment by 'nonetheless' initially... also, maybe 'pitter-patter? Not sure on that one but - needs checking.
Then again, quite like the description in this passage - especially 'chorus of keys'. Quite nice. :)
He made a mental note not to try to give any long answers anymore.
Seems a little bit rushed that sentence, and a bit clumsy, like you're struggling to say exactly what needs saying here.

“Why are you keeping me alive?” Ezekiel murmured as the Lucario walked toward the edge of the roof.

“Because it’s not my job to kill you.”

“That’s very merciful of—.”

“That’s Lucy’s job,” he added with a smirk.
Nice one. :)

The chapter was good too - again, nice description, although did feel that the part after you described's injury's and the Lucario's questions a bit too rapid in shifting - other than that, good pacing in this story.

Nice job - keep it up!

Gummy
April 3rd, 2008, 12:46 PM
Rather nice, I have to admit. Quite intriguing beginning and first chapter, solid description (there's a few parts here and there which I particularly like), and I the plot is developing rather nicely - I've haven't really read much in the way of post-apocalyptic Pokemon fics, but this seems like a pretty good one. Overall well written.

The chapter was good too - again, nice description, although did feel that the part after you described's injury's and the Lucario's questions a bit too rapid in shifting - other than that, good pacing in this story.

Nice job - keep it up!
Thank you for the nice comments and corrections (some of which I'm not to sure of so I'll wait to see if another reviewer points them out). Sorry if things seemed a bit rushed at points, but I wanted to give the scene a mysterious atmosphere. And despite what others say, my description isn't that great so for me, I either under-describe or over-describe. I usually go with the former as I hate it when stories are over-described. Thanks again, and I hope to see you again with the next chapter (which should be posted sometime this weekend).

Espreon
April 3rd, 2008, 12:58 PM
I found what was done so far to be incredible.

But the phrase "government ordered containment" sounds a bit odd in my opinion, maybe "government ordered quarantine" would be better.

In addition I can't wait for more.

Also who is this "Lucy"? Is it the personal name of a Poke that is going to kill Ezekiel? If so please let it be a Tyranitar!

Gummy
April 3rd, 2008, 01:06 PM
I found what was done so far to be incredible.

But the phrase "government ordered containment" sounds a bit odd in my opinion, maybe "government ordered quarantine" would be better.

In addition I can't wait for more.

Also who is this "Lucy"? Is it the personal name of a Poke that is going to kill Ezekiel? If so please let it be a Tyranitar!
I guess bobandbill was right. 'Quarantine' does sound better.

Thank you for reading leaving such nice comments. I've already written Chapter Two and I'll tell you this much: Lucy isn't a Tyranitar. T-Tar has found it's way as a main character in all my fics so far, so expect one sooner or later.

Jak
April 3rd, 2008, 01:18 PM
Ah. I finally got to read this. This is great, Gummy! At the beginning, it reminded me a little of I Am Legend with the epidemic spreading. And Ezekiel...wow, I love that name. ^^

its walls made of pure silver and gold

Silver and Gold...heh...PreciousMetalShipping...sorry, I'm immature about that. xD But, I love silver(the metal) as well as the manga character...so I'm quite happy there's walls made from them. :D

I can't wait to read more!

Espreon
April 3rd, 2008, 01:47 PM
Thank you for reading leaving such nice comments. I've already written Chapter Two and I'll tell you this much: Lucy isn't a Tyranitar. T-Tar has found it's way as a main character in all my fics so far, so expect one sooner or later.

1. Your welcome

2. I can't wait to see what Lucy is!

3. Can't wait to see a Tyranitar.

Astinus
April 3rd, 2008, 10:10 PM
Apparently, fics about the gods make me crawl out of lurking.

I've always been interested in fics where plagues nearly wipe out the entirety of the human population. (Reminds me of my favorite book, where a virus spreads throughout the world, and nearly kills everyone except for the alien race.) And I also enjoy fics where there are rebels against religion. So I am interested in this fic. I was just waiting for a time when I could sit down and actually write a review of some sort.

As my eyes were trained to find them, I noticed a few small mistakes Kris missed. So, as usual, I'll point them out for you.

He quickly saved his worked and got up to get a better look.
"worked" is a verb. You need "work" for this sentence.

In a last minute endeavor to protect himself, the worker shielded his head with his arms and grimaced as the broken glass effortlessly cut threw his clothes and skin.
"threw" is a verb. You need "through" for this sentence.

That is, until a pair hands grabbed him at the side and turned him on his back.
There needs to be an "of" between "pair" and "hands".

Those were the only ones that I noticed.

Like I said, this is a good story. Then again, I said that about your other ones. But I am looking forward to seeing more of this. This looks to be an interesting story with some plot twists and surprise turns.

So, I'll try to stay on track of this. I probably won't be able to review after every chapter, but I'll read them. And if I haven't dropped by in a while, smack me over the head in a PM.

Elite Overlord LeSabre™
April 3rd, 2008, 11:59 PM
the figure muttered to his self.
I might be wrong, but shouldn't this be "himself"?

Post-apocalyptic fics aren't really my genre of choice, but I decided to review as an attempt to get myself more active over here. Plus, I have recently finished playing an RPG on my DS (Luminous Arc, great game except for clunky controls) that had a storyline about a small band of heroes fighting against the power of their church. So now I'm in a bit of a "rebel against religion" mode (but please don't tell the guys that I go to church with about this).

Anyway, so far the plot seems interesting. Even though you explained in part about the motives about the rebels, you still leave the deeper reasoning behind their actions to a bit of speculation (which I like to do when reviewing fics now). Right now I'm thinking that one of the Pokemon in the rebel group knows the truth about the supposed "Pokemon Gods" that everyone else is worshipping, and knows that their (the gods') motives are not as benign as the populace expects. Or maybe it's discovered that the "gods" are mere fabrications of the church and this deception needs to be exposed.

You don't have to respond to my theories if you don't want to spoil anything... mostly it's just random stuff that pops into my head while reading, but I do want to see where you take this plot.

Gummy
April 4th, 2008, 08:04 PM
Ah. I finally got to read this. This is great, Gummy! At the beginning, it reminded me a little of I Am Legend with the epidemic spreading. And Ezekiel...wow, I love that name. ^^
Hey Silver, I'm glad you got to reading the fic, and I'm even happier that you like it. I also so I Am Legend and now I'm starting to notice that the two do have some things in common. I pick the names of main characters really carefully so I'm glad you like that as well.

1. Your welcome

2. I can't wait to see what Lucy is!

3. Can't wait to see a Tyranitar
You'll get the answet to #2 tomorrow or Sunday.

Apparently, fics about the gods make me crawl out of lurking.

I've always been interested in fics where plagues nearly wipe out the entirety of the human population. (Reminds me of my favorite book, where a virus spreads throughout the world, and nearly kills everyone except for the alien race.) And I also enjoy fics where there are rebels against religion. So I am interested in this fic. I was just waiting for a time when I could sit down and actually write a review of some sort.

As my eyes were trained to find them, I noticed a few small mistakes Kris missed. So, as usual, I'll point them out for you.


Like I said, this is a good story. Then again, I said that about your other ones. But I am looking forward to seeing more of this. This looks to be an interesting story with some plot twists and surprise turns.

So, I'll try to stay on track of this. I probably won't be able to review after every chapter, but I'll read them. And if I haven't dropped by in a while, smack me over the head in a PM.
Astinus, so far this is the third time you've stuck by one of my fics. Is it possible that I actually have a fan? XD I don't see many fics centered around religion so it's nice to see that the idea attracts readers. Thanks for taking the time to review and I hope you're back for the next chapter.

Post-apocalyptic fics aren't really my genre of choice, but I decided to review as an attempt to get myself more active over here. Plus, I have recently finished playing an RPG on my DS (Luminous Arc, great game except for clunky controls) that had a storyline about a small band of heroes fighting against the power of their church. So now I'm in a bit of a "rebel against religion" mode (but please don't tell the guys that I go to church with about this).

Anyway, so far the plot seems interesting. Even though you explained in part about the motives about the rebels, you still leave the deeper reasoning behind their actions to a bit of speculation (which I like to do when reviewing fics now). Right now I'm thinking that one of the Pokemon in the rebel group knows the truth about the supposed "Pokemon Gods" that everyone else is worshipping, and knows that their (the gods') motives are not as benign as the populace expects. Or maybe it's discovered that the "gods" are mere fabrications of the church and this deception needs to be exposed.

You don't have to respond to my theories if you don't want to spoil anything... mostly it's just random stuff that pops into my head while reading, but I do want to see where you take this plot.
I was afraid that none of my normal reviews from SN would carry to DI, but fortunately I was wrong. Thanks for reviewing DP479 and about the theories... you're pretty close to grasping the main storyline but not quite there yet. A lot is explained in the next chapter though, so you're going to have to continue reading to see how close you really are.

Gummy
April 6th, 2008, 10:34 AM
As promised, here's chapter two! A few more characters are introduced but unfortunately, not much action. Enjoy!


Chapter Two: The Rebellion


The snow quickly turned into a heavy rain and the rooftops became a slippery slush. Still, the Lucario made elegant leaps and landings with Ezekiel on his back. He had considerably increased his speed since their escape from the temple as the police had arrived much faster than expected. As the duo slipped through the tall tower-like buildings that surrounded Arcanum, it was almost like they had entered a new continent. Outside the fast-paced city was a rural town that looked straight out of the middle-ages. The streets and sidewalks were made from a rough, gray rock and looked as if no one had worked on them since their creation. Pot holes— most likely caused by wild Pokemon rather than deterioration— littered the land. Unlike the main city, which glinted in the moonlight, the town rested in the shadow of the tall towers, as if being watched over by a higher force. The houses, which were sloppily put together with wood and bricks, all creaked in unison as the rain slammed on their roofs. But even in a slum like this, the Order (which is what the Sacred Seven called their organization) had its influences. In fact, they governed much of the entire region, but that was soon to change— very soon in the eyes of that rebellious Lucario.

“<This seems like a nice place to rest,>” stated the Lucario as he placed Ezekiel on the wet ground. The rain was washing away the blood spilled by the human, but the stench remained attached to the Pokemon. He wasn’t too fond of the smell of human blood but figured he’d be seeing a lot of it soon.


****** Arcanum *****


Sirens could be heard from all corners of the city as police cars raced to the scene of the crime. Countless heads peeked from high windows as the vehicles sped by at an unprecedented speed. Radio and news broadcasts were urging citizens to stay indoors at all costs, unless they had something to lose.

The cars swarmed around the dome-shaped structure known as the Temple of Arceus. Both Pokemon and humans burst from the machines, all wearing a facial expression of terror and uncertainty. A team of Machoke was quickly assembled, and with their grayish, bulky mainframe, burst through the front doors of the temple like a swat team. Their human counterparts followed closely behind, guns gripped in their sweaty hands. The entire force scattered across the building, some staying to scope the first floor while others checked out the higher levels. As the investigation went on, a single man remained outside the doors of the temple. Unlike the officers, he wore a fine black suit and held an expensive looking umbrella just above his bald head. In his other hand was a jet black cell phone pressed firmly against his ear.

“So, how are things going down there?” questioned a male voice from the device in a calmness that could only be achieved by one who faced many years of hardship.

“Not too well, lord Peign. From what my officers are telling me, there was a break-in on the third floor,” answered the bald man.

“The third floor? There’s nothing but useless books up there!”

“Yes, my lord, but tonight there was something more. A man by the name of Ezekiel Orna was supposed to be here preparing your schedule for your visit. The window above his work station is the only one that is broken and we found traces of blood almost washed away with the rain water. Mr. Orna is nowhere to be found.”

“Hmm... this is rather odd. Nonetheless, we can’t allow this incident to interfere with my visit. Give the media a cover-up story; we can’t let the world know the Order is subject to petty burglaries.”

A smile suddenly appeared on the suited man’s blank face. “Luckily, Mr. Orna saved his data on a disk that we now have in our possession. Unfortunately, his computer was too damaged from the falling glass and the heavy rain to check its contents. We’ll have a professional finish what he started as we search for him.”

“Excellent work, my boy. I was right to appoint you as head of the police force. Well, duties call, but feel free to update me on any new findings.” With that, the elderly male voice was replaced by a dial tone. And it just so happens that at that exact moment, a police officer frantically burst through the doors of the temple. His long, slender legs took giant leaps as he ran toward the bald man. By the time he reached his destination, he was drenched all over and panting madly.

“Sergeant, you’ve got to have a look at this!” shouted the officer, but his voice was still overpowered by the monstrous storm. He quickly ducked under the umbrella— accidentally wetting the sergeant’s suit— and held up a transparent zip-lock bag. Incased in it was what looked like a small patch of blue fur mixed with some blood.

“Calm down!” ordered the sergeant with an annoyance in his voice.

“S-sorry sir, but look what we found. It fell from the window and right into my hand!” the cop exclaimed with enthusiasm.

“Hmm... this is interesting,” whispered the sergeant as he held the bag close to his face. “This is definitely not from a human and according to my research, Mr. Orna’s hair is not blue. Get this to the forensics lab immediately; our culprit will be found out soon enough.”

With a barely noticeable nod and a small grin, the officer left his sergeant’s presence and ran over to a large, white van. The sergeant finally moved away from his black car and walked along the end of the dome-shaped building. He stopped just under the broken window where Lucario had kidnapped Ezekiel only hours before.

“I’m sure this is the doing of those damn rebels. I’ll see to it that they are punished without mercy.”


**********


Ezekiel’s eyelids slowly opened for the first time in hours. Almost immediately, an unbearable pain surged throughout his entire body, bringing tears to his eyes. After taking a moment or two to dismiss the throbbing, he tried to examine his surroundings. Whether it be that his eyesight was hindered by the collection of tears, the absence of his glasses, or that the room had little to no light, Ezekiel couldn’t see a thing. But he still had a sense of direction and knew for a fact that he was facing the ceiling. I’m on a bed, he finally realized before trying to sit up. Without warning, another ache shot through his body, and he was painfully reminded of his injured back. However, there was something odd about the sting. It wasn’t nearly as bad as it was when he first got hurt and Ezekiel could feel bandages wrapped around his torso.

“Where the hell am I?” he said aloud, rubbing his head. Suddenly, footsteps could be heard in the distance and a door swung open. Light flooded the dark room, illuminating it enough for Ezekiel to notice that he was nowhere special. All four walls were made of stone and at the doorway stood two figures, one of which he recognized instantly. It wore no cloak this time and exposed its beige fur. The being next to it was considerably shorter and was supporting itself with a cane. Even so, it was the one that approached Ezekiel until it was at his bedside. The young man was frozen in terror as a warm hand grabbed his skull forward and the other brought something closer to his face. And so it was an immense surprise when the hand pulled away and Ezekiel opened his eyes to see a new pair of glasses granting him his vision back.

“If my information is correct, that should be the correct prescription for your glasses,” stated a raspy voice. Ezekiel looked into the face of man whose white beard and bald head showed that he was at least in his sixties. He wore a cloak similar to the Lucario’s from the shoulder down. In Ezekiel’s silence, the Lucario moved forward and joined the two humans.

“<Be thankful that you are alive. If it was up to me, you would have been dumped in the sewers.>” The Lucario refrained from using telepathy that time and spoke the words in the language of the Pokemon. Ever since “The Great Plague” (as it was called) humans and Pokemon were forced to have a much closer relationship. The rewarding skill of understanding Pokespeech that most Pokemon trainers possessed was no longer attributed to that profession. Now generations later, the skill was basically programmed in the DNA of all humans. But understanding the Pokemon’s comment didn’t help to bring an end to Ezekiel’s silence, and instead caused him to back up a bit.

The old man shot an irritated glare at the Pokemon and turned back to Ezekiel with a smile. “Please, excuse Lupe’s behavior, he has his own problems with humanity, especially those who work for the Order.” Amazingly, at the sound of his hoarse voice, Lupe relaxed his face.

“Where am I?” Ezekiel managed to mutter as he tried to sit upright.

“The rebel hideout,” answered the elderly man bluntly. The jaw of the younger human literally dropped at the reply. The rebels had most of their influence in the Johto region, where there was great conflict with the Order. Their hideout was always expected to be in heart of Johto, around Goldenrod, and even though Arcanum stood between the two regions, it would be quite the feat to get him that far in such a short amount of time. The only explanation that occurred to him was that the hideout was much closer to Arcanum than anyone could have suspected.

“What do you want from me? The last thing that Lucario said was that I was to be killed.”

“Ah, yes, he has a tendency to stray from his main objective. No, Mr. Orna, I can assure you that you will live. That is, as long as you cooperate with us.” For some reason, maybe it was the calmness of this man’s voice, Ezekiel felt like he could trust him. However, there were still some things that he just needed to know.

“How do you know so much about me? And why did you need that information?”

Lupe jumped at the question and decided to answer, “<Ivan here ordered a few of us to keep an eye on you, and for some time we have. You are a necessity to our plans. And you will soon find out why we needed that information.>”

What the hell is a Pokemon doing siding with the rebels? Do they oppose their own gods? Ezekiel thought, not paying much attention to the Lucario’s answer.

“I thought the rebel group was trying to liberate Johto from the influence of the Sacred Seven and from what I can tell, you guys are winning the battle. Now what are you planning?”

“The rebels are not as unified as you might have thought. The majority of us wish to get Johto under our control, but others like Lupe don’t think that’s enough. They want to liberate the entire world and—.”

“— and they’ll do it by killing the Sacred Seven. What’s wrong with you people!? Those seven priests saved humankind from complete eradication and this is how you thank them?”

Lupe’s crimson eyes dimmed an even deeper red as he listened to Ezekiel’s outburst. Ivan must have noticed this as he tapped the Lucario on the shoulder and led him out the room.

“If you value your life, watch what you say around that one. He is extremely passionate about his cause, albeit I doubt it can be accomplished. He insists on doing things his own way, and if I had ordered anyone else for your capture, I’m sure you’d be in much less pain,” Ivan said with a faint smile and Ezekiel’s state of mind was beginning to fall apart.

This has got to be a nightmare. I’m just a normal commuter who works for the Order, and even though I have a closer relationship with the Sacred Seven, it’s not as important as one of their personal guards. And now this guy is casually talking to me as if we were old friends!

“I bet by now you’re wondering why you’re so important to our— or at least Lupe’s— goal. In truth, you’re the only one on the inside willing to join our cause.”

“Join? The rebels!? You’re out of your mind, old man! I work for and follow the Order! They are the ones who brought peace to this world!”

Ivan’s eyes drifted from left to right as his younger counterpart spoke. With a heavy sigh, he slowly walked over to Ezekiel’s side with a hand digging through his cloak. Expecting a weapon to be revealed, the young man was fairly confused when Ivan pulled out a yellow envelope. A deep frown had replaced his usual smile as he handed it to Ezekiel.

“Peace, you say? Yes, from where you’re coming from you can call it that. But what they don’t tell you is how they enforce that peace. Anyone who speaks against them is an enemy to their empire and must be dealt with. That envelope describes how they dealt with your father,” said the geezer rather coldly.

His words hit Ezekiel like a freight train as he began to catch on to what Ivan was implying and ripped the envelope open. They told me he died in a car accident! His mind was racing as to what this document could possibly hold. He nearly jumped off the bed as he read the trop of the document: The Assassination of Milus Orna. Right in front of him was the plan to kill his own father and at the bottom was a very familiar signature: H. Peign.

Ezekiel had seen that signature so many times that he could tell a fake from an authentic one, and this was definitely real. The bewildered man quickly read over the document, stopping at phrases like “rebellious leader” and “a menace to all we believe in.” He must have read the entire thing three times before he finally came to reality. The Order of which he praised and glorified nearly every single day of his life sentenced his father to death.

“Your father worked in the Johto region, so it was easy for them to cover up the story. The photos you received were fakes; there are copies in that envelope.” Ezekiel dared not look in the envelope, as he no longer doubted Ivan. Ideas popped in and out of his head, ideas that the Order made sure none of its true followers even pondered. Contradictions and paradoxes arose in his mind and he began to feel light headed. For the first time in his life, he couldn’t tell which side were the good guys.

“I know this is a lot for you to take in, so I’ll leave you alone. When you are ready, ask anyone for Ivan and I’m sure someone will show you the way to my room. If you still side with the Order, we’ll find a way to get you out of here without letting our see our exact locations, so think hard.” Without anything more to say, Ivan left Ezekiel to contemplate.


**********


Ezekiel had decided the best way to clear his mind was to get some rest, and was just waking up from his sleep. Truth be told, he knew which side for once he saw the evidence, but the entire ordeal had left him weary. That Lucario— Lupe— he’s right. This Order problem will never truly be solved unless the head is taken out. I’ll do whatever I can to make those bastards pay!

Obviously forgetting about his injuries, Ezekiel jumped out of the bed, only to fall back to the ground in an overwhelming pain. He quickly made a note not to try that again. Someone from the outside must have heard the loud thump he made and the door creaked. There stood Lupe, bathed in the light from outside. The Lucario looked at the human with emotionless eyes, and if Ezekiel wasn’t mistaken, a bit of hate.

“I apologize for earli—.”

“<Get up and follow me,>” he ordered with a glare. Whether or not he noticed Ezekiel was hurt, it was apparent he had no intent on helping him. With whatever strength he had left in him, Ezekiel forced himself to get up and stand straight. As soon as he got to his feet he tilted over again and his face slammed into the cold, stone wall.

“<All you humans are useless,>” Lupe grunted as he walked over to Ezekiel. He ruthlessly swung the human’s arm over his neck, ignoring his wounds. The two slowly walked out of the room, into a hallway constructed of the same cold, gray stone. Aside from the wooden door on the other side of the hallway, no features stood out in the plain setting.

“You call this a hideout? How do you accomplish anything is such a small place?”

“<Heh, you haven’t seen anything yet,>” said Lupe with a smirk. As they got closer to the other door, noises from the other side could be heard. It got louder and louder until finally, Lupe reached out, turned the knob, and pushed it open.

“Wow.”

That was all Ezekiel could manage as he feasted on the sight before him. Hundreds of beings— a mixture of Pokemon and humans— swarmed around an immensely large chamber. The usual stone walls were covered by colorful drapes and murals of absolute beauty. It resembled an oversized bar as rows of tables and chairs were set up, and Pokemon and humans laughed and joked as if belonging to one species. At first glance, it looked like uncivilized chaos. But living in the shadow of the Order could cloud anyone’s judgment, including Ezekiel’s. No, this wasn’t chaos. This was true peace.

“Ho-how have you been keeping this a secret?” Ezekiel stammered, still stunned by what was just revealed to him.

“<We’re underground, just west of Arcanum,>” answered a feminine voice before Lupe had a chance. Ezekiel quickly looked over his head at the sound of another Pokemon. There stood a creature no taller than his waist with skin as black as night. A red, fan-like appendage jutted out from her head and it leaned over her forehead like bangs. She held her clawed hands behind her back and fashioned a childish grin on her face. If Ezekiel didn’t know any better, this Weavile was trying to act human.

“<Lucy, what are you doing here?>” Lupe asked softly. Ezekiel would have been surprised by the casual talk if it wasn’t for the fact that Lupe had previously told him that he’d die at the hands of someone named Lucy. To his satisfaction, the Weavile barely noticed his presence.

“<I want a word with you! You went on another mission without me!>”

“<I told you already, I work better alone. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have an appointment with Ivan.>” Before the Weavile could even make another remark, Lupe quickly spun around and led Ezekiel through the dense crowd. All conversations seemed to stop as the two walked by, and countless eyes watched as they approached a pair of doors covered in red paint. Ezekiel noticed the Weavile was silently following them, but didn’t bother to bring it up at the risk of upsetting Lupe.

“Come in,” called Ivan’s voice before they even reached the door. After taking a short breather, the two— three if you counted Lucy— entered the room and the eerie silence immediately ended. This room, although nearly the same size as the one Ezekiel was put in, was much different from the others. Newspaper articles and various pictures covered the walls, only leaving room for two large light bulbs to dangle. In the middle was Ivan, seated at a desk facing a black laptop. The only other thing on the desk was a stack of CDs, some of which Ezekiel immediately recognized.

“Have you come to a decision?” he asked, not taking his eyes off of the screen.

“Ye-yeah, I have. I don’t want anything to do with the Order, and the only thing that really tied me down to Arcanum was my job, but I’m guessing you already knew that, right?”

“You seem to be catching on, and we’re glad to have you on the team. I’m sure you’ve seen the life style of us rebels, but it’s nothing compared to that of those at the Johto base. Would you rather I transfer you there, to avenge your father and all?”

Transfer, Ezekiel thought to himself while letting out a small chuckle. These guys really take this rebellion thing seriously. With a slight push, he released himself from Lupe’s grip and staggered closer to Ivan’s desk. “No, I want to help with Lupe’s cause. Liberating Johto isn’t enough; we need to bring the entire world to light.”

“Courageous words spoken for a new recruit, but you’re very predictable. I’ve already created a file for you in the database, and your room will be tidied to your liking. I used to be the researcher for Lupe but in truth, I support the rebels fighting for Johto. So from this point on, you will be his new researcher,” Ivan instructed before shooting a warning glare at Lupe, whom of which was probably about to make an objection.

“Thank you,” Ezekiel said in a daze, amazed at how organized the rebellion was. These past few hours had brought a lot of “firsts” in his life, and the newest one was that he saw a group that could actually oppose the Order’s power.

“Don’t thank me just yet,” Ivan said, picking up a stack of the CDs on his desk. “You’ve already failed your first mission; none of these CDs hold the schedule for Peign’s visit. I did a little research and it seems it’s been taken to the police department. But that’s not the worst of it. Lupe, let me see your leg.”

“<Excuse me?>”

“<Just do it!>” Lucy ordered, pushing the Lucario forward. Ivan stepped out of his seat and pointed at Lupe’s left shin. To the Lucario’s surprise, there was a rather large patch of fur missing.

“Soon they’ll know a Lucario was involved, and there aren’t that many around Arcanum. Lupe, I want you to go to the police department as soon as possible and get that CD. And I want Lucy to join you, to make sure you don’t do anything rash again.”

Ezekiel looked at Lupe, expecting some sort of outburst, but the Pokemon simply nodded and turned around. Lucy, on the other hand, eyed Ezekiel suspiciously. Those deeps blue orbs appeared to battling with his green one and the two feverishly tried to understand what was going on in the other’s head. Finally, Lucy averted her eyes and focused them on Ivan.

“<I hope you know what you’re doing,>” she said before following Lupe out the door.

“Will they be okay?” Ezekiel asked worriedly as he turned to face Ivan.

“Don’t worry, his methods may be brash, but Lupe has yet to disappointment me. It’s his ambition that makes me wonder if his cause is truly the only solution.”


***** End of Chapter Two *****

bobandbill
April 6th, 2008, 11:38 PM
Again, very nice. Quite a good set-up scnee - held my attention despite the lack of action, so good job on that. Good description intriuging new characters and the plot is developing quite nicely. A good continuation of events - nice presented and all.

Pacing was ok - although I do feel that the part with the old man releaving to Ezekiel that his father was killed went too fast - he read the letter too fast and did seem to accept it straight way with the bit about the signature. If it was the signature that gave it away... I feel that it might have been better revealed at the end of the 'reading of the letter' - as it is atr the bottom, allowing Ezekiel to have doubts over it until the end, and a more 'dramatic' relevation. Leastways, that's how I see it - still good, but a bit fast - maybe just a bit more substance in the letter, maybe detailing how he was killed or something...

The cars swarmed around the dome-shaped structure known as the Temple of Arceus. Both Pokemon and humans burst from the machines, all wearing a facial expression of terror and uncertainty.
The first sentence really felt like you were about ot give a description of the temple - but then you jumped away from it with the next sentence... felt left out.
we found traces of blood almost washed away with the rain water.
Minor - there is a word as rainwater (without the space) - should serve better than the two words 'rain water'.
Ever since “The Great Plague” (as it was called), humans and Pokemon were forced to have a much closer relationship.
Suggest a comma to slow down this sentence just a tad.

Rather good though - nice set-up for future chapters and all, and again a good read. I'm warming up to this. :)

Jak
April 7th, 2008, 07:52 AM
Hey Silver, I'm glad you got to reading the fic, and I'm even happier that you like it. I also so I Am Legend and now I'm starting to notice that the two do have some things in common. I pick the names of main characters really carefully so I'm glad you like that as well.

I'm big on names. O.o

The jaw of the younger human literally dropped at the reply. The rebels had most of their influence in the Johto region, where there was great conflict with the Order.

The Order quite reminds me of The Order of the Phoenix in Harry Potter.

I didn't see very much wrong in chapter two, and it's mentioned above by bobandbill. I like how this is going. Through this, I'm thinking I Am Legend. The dark scenario just really makes it seem like it. And I keep thinking Ezekiel is Will Smith...but that's another story. Keep up the good work!

diamondpearl876
April 7th, 2008, 02:44 PM
I don't see how everything is reminding readers of I Am Legend... the only similarity I see is the disease that killed everyone rapidly. That's about it... hmm.

Anyway, you wanted me to give you a review, so ... yeah. Hi!

I enjoyed this chapter (shocker, right?). :3 Description was just right--enough to where I had no problems at all visualizing anything, but not overdone to where you bored me (and other readers, from what I've seen so far).

Another thing you're doing well with is characters. I love Lupe and his rebellious self, and I'm hoping to see how him and Lucy do with each other in the next chapter. :3 Lord Peign seems pretty mysterious... I'd hate to be around when Ezekial (which, like SilverSmeargleSplatter said, is a very cool name) meets up with him again. :P

Hmm. Not much else to say except keep it up! :3

I suck at reviews.

Gummy
April 7th, 2008, 03:04 PM
Again, very nice. Quite a good set-up scnee - held my attention despite the lack of action, so good job on that. Good description intriuging new characters and the plot is developing quite nicely. A good continuation of events - nice presented and all.

Pacing was ok - although I do feel that the part with the old man releaving to Ezekiel that his father was killed went too fast - he read the letter too fast and did seem to accept it straight way with the bit about the signature. If it was the signature that gave it away... I feel that it might have been better revealed at the end of the 'reading of the letter' - as it is atr the bottom, allowing Ezekiel to have doubts over it until the end, and a more 'dramatic' relevation. Leastways, that's how I see it - still good, but a bit fast - maybe just a bit more substance in the letter, maybe detailing how he was killed or something...
=O You're making the fic sound much better than it is. Still, it's comments like these that give me inspiration for the next chapter. About the pacing-- I'm not sure if I said this here or at SPPf-- but the thing with me is that I either under describe or over describe. I thought the side Ezekiel would choose was obvious so I decided not to get too in to it. I may fix that eventually.

I didn't see very much wrong in chapter two, and it's mentioned above by bobandbill. I like how this is going. Through this, I'm thinking I Am Legend. The dark scenario just really makes it seem like it. And I keep thinking Ezekiel is Will Smith...but that's another story. Keep up the good work!
Still looking like I Am Legend? If you ever played Devil May Cry 4 and/or read the Fairy Tail manga, this chapter's scenes would take very little brain power to imagine. I REALLY need to start coming up with my own ideas. =D

I enjoyed this chapter (shocker, right?). :3 Description was just right--enough to where I had no problems at all visualizing anything, but not overdone to where you bored me (and other readers, from what I've seen so far).
OMG really, wow Kris, I'm glad you like it. I don't know why but I still find my method of description list-like, but you all say otherwise.

Another thing you're doing well with is characters. I love Lupe and his rebellious self, and I'm hoping to see how him and Lucy do with each other in the next chapter. :3 Lord Peign seems pretty mysterious... I'd hate to be around when Ezekial (which, like SilverSmeargleSplatter said, is a very cool name) meets up with him again.
Name's Ezekiel babe, get it straight :P. And thanks about the characters, they've become a sort of specialty of mine (from what I here XD).

Hmm. Not much else to say except keep it up! :3

I suck at reviews.
I'm just happy that you reviewed. No more slave labor though...

diamondpearl876
April 7th, 2008, 03:21 PM
Oh. =( I always misspell it. I did it my latest beta and had to go change it... Oh well. It's still a cool name!

Light Yagami
April 13th, 2008, 08:07 AM
Love Divine Intervention. Can't wait to read more.

I love Lupe's character. Reminds me of Chris Tucker from Rush Hour. Lucy would have been Johnson, who always complains that he goes on missions/assignments without a partner. Sorry, I just really loved Rush Hour.

Bay Alexison
April 14th, 2008, 10:16 PM
Okay, this is pretty much going to be a quick overall review of prologue through Chapter Two. Sorry that I can't go into detail for all of them but everyone else pretty much said what I was thinking and also I'm playing catchup before I need to go back to studying. XD

I like how you set the stage for the beginning of the story. I admit there's been stories already of a plague or some other epidemic coming and then when the people prayed everythings's fine, but I like how instead of just a story of always have faith the sudden disappearance of the plague caused a bit of a stir.

For Chapters One and Two, so far the characters look interesting and we have a bit of background on everyone. However, it's kind a bit early to tell so I'll probably wait and see a few more chapters of how well they developed. I must agree on bobandbill that Ezekiel's decision to join the group is a bit quick. Maybe have him can't really sleep because his mind has been on it for quite some time?

Lastly, for the actions I say you execute them well. True Chapter Two didn't have much, but that's cool. I actually like chapters where characters stop and then found out something that would soon freak them out. XD

Overall it's beginning to look interesting. Can't wait to see what kind of events will come next. ^^

Gummy
April 28th, 2008, 05:49 PM
Forgot I have reviews to reply to.

@SharinganFlames: I loved Rush Hour, it's one of my favorite movies. And that connection between the movie and Lupe and Lucy gets much deeper in Chapter Three.

@Bay: (In case you're wondering, I didn't forget about the review I owe you XD) Thank you for reviewing. I'm aware of all the stories out there starting out with a plague so I decided not to make that the main point of the Prologue, so I'm glad you liked that. About Ezekiel's reaction, I didn't want to get so in-depth that I had to write two paragraphs about emotions, but I guess for something so serious as finding out your father was dead calls for stuff like that. And if you like the way I execute actions, then you'll love the next chapter. The first fight of Divine Intervention!


Chapter Three: Infiltration


The commotion around the Temple of Arceus had only recently died down. Light from the houses surrounding the historical monument went out one by one as the night dragged on, but there were still a few heads peeking through glassy windows. The harsh weather had calmed down into a brisk wind, and the constant sound of rain’s freefall onto the ground and the lightning bolts battling in the heavens was replaced by the calls of a lonely Noctowl. Police officers had turned off their sirens and were departing from the scene of the crime, the majority of them not even heading back to the station. The only thing that seemed to remain static the entire night was the full moon bathing the landscape in its magnificent light. It was relatively bright that night; so much in fact that there was no need for street lights. Yes, the perfect night to pull a heist.

The police department, and the location of Ezekiel’s CD, was located only a few blocks away from the temple. It was one of the many black, tower-like buildings that jutted from the ground around Arcanum. The radio tower atop it scraped the heavens, and the very tip had a red light that flashed every few seconds. This seemingly miniscule detail was what allowed Lupe and Lucy to identify the building as opposed to the ones that looked exactly like it. Lucy’s small frame was shivering in the cold breeze, but Lupe stood almost statue-like, eyeing his target. The duo looked on from the roof of a restaurant that, ironically, fashioned a sign stating: There’s no one on top of us!

“<Are you finished yet?>” Lucy asked with her arms wrapped around her body. What she was referring to was the Lucarian ability to sense the aura of all living things. It usually took seconds for them to identify auras, but at such a great distance, Lupe was having some trouble. After about a minute or so, he took a deep breath and turned to Lucy.

“<The building is pretty empty, except for a few Pokemon patrolling the basement. Unfortunately, that’s where they’re keeping the CD.>”

“<Like you care? I know you’ve been itching for a good fight!>” Lucy exclaimed, ignoring the cold.

Lupe smirked at the comment and began to move toward the edge of the roof. “<Didn’t Ivan send you along to keep us out of trouble?>”

Lucy responded with a grin of her own and closely followed her partner. “<Seriously, Lupe, I know you better than that.>”

“<Oh yes you do,>” he replied, bending over and looking downward to see how long the jump was. Without a second thought, he gracefully leapt off of the ledge and landed onto a green dumpster in a dark alleyway. Unfortunately, his landing caused the metal dumpster to release a deep, rumbling sound that easily traveled across the silent neighborhood.

“<Way to go, genius,>” called Lucy from above with a hint of sarcasm. Unlike her partner, she chose to land on an old couch that someone had decided to dispose of.

Suddenly, voices could be heard behind the door leading inside the restaurant and they were getting louder. Lupe and Lucy simply looked at the door, trying not to make any noise. To their surprise, however, the knob turned and out walked three beings. The tallest and most noticeable was a pale-skinned, and quite chubby, human. His shirt was covered in blood— albeit it wasn’t his— and in his right hand he held a butcher’s knife. At both his sides were two Pokemon that looked like hellhounds. Bones curved down their spines and stationed atop their heads were two very sharp horns. Both Houndoom immediately spotted the intruders and signaled their master.

“You two, get down now!” he ordered, first pointing at Lupe and Lucy then at the ground in front of him. The two listened without objection, hoping to get out of the predicament with minimal damage. With them standing in better lighting, the butcher finally began to inspect the culprits. His eyes quickly scanned over Lucy, but he spent a great deal of time staring at Lupe’s shin— more specifically, the missing patch of fur.

“You...” he began, pointing at the Lucario before continuing, “I heard about you on the radio. The police are looking for you!”

A shudder ran down Lupe’s spine, and for a second, he considered running away and aborting the mission. Lucy shot Lupe a questioning look, as she too was confused on what to do next. Taking advantage of their shock and confusion, the butcher tapped his two Houndoom and pointed at rebels.

Howling like mad beasts, each Houndoom charged for a separate Pokemon with murder in their eyes. The one heading for Lupe jumped for its prey, but the Lucario acted quickly and took a few steps back, causing his opponent to miss by mere inches. Without hesitation, Lupe gave an upward kick, hitting the Houndoom in the chin and sending it back toward its owner.

“<That all you got?>” he asked slyly.

“<Uh, a little help here!>” shouted Lucy from a few feet away. She seemed to be struggling with her opponent as the Houndoom advanced with strong bites, and Lucy barely dodging each one. Realizing that they weren’t getting anywhere, the Houndoom lowered its head and charged at the Weavile with its horns. Too frantic and worn out to dodge at such close range, Lucy instinctively thrust her hands up and to her amazement, caught the horns in her claws. The Houndoom continuously chomped at Lucy’s face, but she was able to push it back at the last minute every time. He could see the Lucario approaching from the corner of his eye and tried a new tactic. Ceasing his constant jabs at Lucy’s face, he took a deep breathe, followed by a release of purple gas from his mouth. Lupe, who hadn’t reached the Houndoom yet, was able to leap away and escape the smog, but Lucy wasn’t so lucky. Catching the full force of the blast, she had no choice but to release her opponent and back away with a violent cough.

“<Lucy, are you—.>” Lupe was unable to finish his question as a set of teeth from the other Houndoom clamped hard on his shoulder. He let out a howling cry of his own as the fangs of the Houndoom became incased in a raging flame, burning through his fur and skin. Unable to bear the pain any longer, Lupe forcibly pulled himself away and rejoined Lucy, leaving some fur behind in the hellhound’s jaws. As Lupe put pressure on the deep, bloody gash, he looked over to Lucy, who was still coughing and now had watery, red eyes.

“This is what happens when you mess with the Order!” cried the human, his fist high in the air. There was a distinct passion in his words, as if he was stating something that was absolute truth.

The simple mention of the Order triggered a hatred within the core of Lupe’s soul, and the Lucario glared at his enemies with a killer’s intent. Removing his hand from the wound, he cupped them together at his side, and a blue orb began to form between them. Lucy looked doubtfully at the well-known attack and used the remainder of her energy reserves to move away. It grew to about this size of a melon before Lupe decided to send it hurtling at the two dogs. It exploded on contact, and the Houndoom cried out in painful whimpers through the gray smoke before finally silencing.

“<Come on!>” Lupe shouted to Lucy before running out of the alley. Neither was in any shape to run, let alone complete the mission, but both ignored their pain and ran down the empty street. By the time the smoke cleared, they were already hiding behind the police station in its shadow.

“<Lupe, we have to go back. There’s no way we can do anything in this shape!>” Lucy suggested before falling to her knees from exhaustion and coughing. That last cough actually managed to produce a little blood.

She’s poisoned, Lupe immediately realized.

“<Lucy, we might not get another chance like this. I understand if you want to go back, but I must get that CD!>”

Lucy coughed a few more times before responding. “<Lupe, look at yourself. Your shoulder is bleeding like crazy! If any of it gets on the floor, they’ll have even more of your DNA.>”

Lupe gave a forced chuckle at the idea of aborting when he was so close and began focusing on the ground. His luck seemed to be coming back as he found a discarded rag on the ground and quickly tied it firmly around his injury.

“<I’ve got about fifteen minutes until this thing is completely soaked, so I better go now!>”

“<Lupe—,>” an unexpected cough interrupted the Weavile, and by the time she recovered, her companion had already ran deeper into the shadows.


**********


Lupe kept his eyes on the ground as he ran, searching for some way to get into the building. Even though the lobby was empty— and Lupe was sure of it at this close range— it would take way too long and be too risky for him to walk around the building. Lupe had gone on enough missions in this area of the city to know the there were drains behind these buildings that lead directly to their basements. As his feet stepped onto one, it made a loud clang and he came to an abrupt halt.

Reaching down, he gripped the metal bar tightly and pulled with all his might. Alas, he had underestimated the severity of his wound and nearly screamed out in agony as he only made things worse. Nothing was going as planned and if a simple mission like this couldn’t be completed, there was no way he could accomplish what was to come soon after. Using his good arm, he continuously punched down hard on the metal until the screws eventually came out, and he plummeted into the murky waters below. Any and all Pokemon around at that moment scurried away before Lupe could even get to his feet.

There was an extremely strong stench in the air down there and Lupe was nearly brought to tears. He sank into the brownish-green water to about his knees and he felt as if walking through an ocean of mud. He had gone a bit lower than he expected; all the way into the sewers below the building, but still fairly close to his destination. The large, rusted steel pipes resembled a maze and judging by his luck so far, the Lucario better had get out of there and fast. Because of the thick, vile liquid, no matter how much energy he put in to moving, Lupe was forced to advance at a constant speed. It took him nearly five minutes to reach a nearby ladder.

“<I’ve already come this far,>” Lupe murmured, grimacing at the filthy ladder. Sighing at the pain he knew was going to come, he gripped the bars tightly and hoisted himself up. Expectantly, waves of pain shot across his bad arm and at one point, he almost released his grip, happy to soak in that despicable liquid rather than experience such pain. But luckily, he strived on, and managed to reach a small door at the top of the ladder.

“<Uh oh,>” he said to himself, realizing the dilemma he was faced with. The door required a lever to be pulled for it to open, but his hands were occupied at the moment. As he thought about how he could get around this predicament, a small splash could be heard in the distance.

He mind began racing with various thoughts. Did they find me? Was it just a wandering Pokemon? Was it my imagination? Can I even handle another battle? For a second, he even doubted not heeding Lucy’s warning. Of course, all those questions didn’t matter as the being turned the same corner as Lupe and stepped into the light.

“<I was worried,>” said Lucy as she tried to muster up a smile. Even from Lupe’s position he could see that she was still fighting the poison that had entered her body from the last fight. He didn’t know whether to be happy that she was a here or furious.

“<Lucy, you have to go back. In that condition, you’ll only end up slowing us down.>”

“<You seem to be doing perfectly on your own,>” she replied, referring to the fact that Lupe still hadn’t figured out a way to push the lever without falling to the water. With a groan he moved to the edge of the ladder, giving Lucy’s petite body just enough room to climb up. Even in her poisoned state, the Weavile hastily darted up the ladder. With a nod from her partner, she pushed the lever and the circular door above them automatically slid back into the wall.

As expected, the duo climbed out of the hole only to end up in the basement floor of the police department. Although the surface area was about the size of the Rebel base’s main hall, the similarities between the two ended there. Unlike the base, the entire structure, although underground, was constructed of a fine, metal alloyed. The lights on the ceiling were placed at great distances from one another, but thanks to this metallic material, still made the entire place shine in an almost divine luminosity. The halls gave an illusion of continuing on for miles, making the building look much bigger than it actually was. Doors lined the both sides of the hallway, but thanks to Lupe’s aura-sensing ability, could tell that the majority of them were empty. This was believable, as the sun wasn’t due to rise in a few hours.

“<Lupe, look, your shoulder,>” Lucy suddenly pointed out. The Lucario curiously glanced at the rag covering his shirt was astounded to see that the bleeding had stopped. One less problem for them to worry about.

“<Too bad it still hurts. Now that luck is finally on our side, let’s get moving,>” he suggested, walking toward the shortest corner.

“<How do you know it’s this way?>” Lucy questioned as they walked. She struggled to say the entire thing in one go without coughing.

“<Truth be told, the only thing I know for a fact is that the lab is on the basement floor. However, I do sense a lot of auras in this direction, mostly humans,>” he explained. Although he’d never admit it, it was enjoyable to have someone to go on missions with. It was really the only time he was able to show off his skills.

“<So in other words, there’s a good chance we might be walking right into a trap?>” Of course, there were times when Lupe preferred to work alone.


**********


Although he thought he had grown used to it, the eerie silence of the halls was beginning to get on Lupe’s nerves. The only sounds made were that of the two Pokemon’s feet scraping across the glistening metal and an occasional wheeze from Lucy, who deserved a medal for simply staying conscious that long after taking a smog at point-blank range. The hypnotic rhythm of their steps put Lupe in a daze, causing him to nearly walk past their destination. After noticing the large collection of auras behind a large, rusted door—the only of its kind in the hall— the Lucario abruptly came to a stop and signaled Lucy to do the same.

“<Five humans, one Pokemon,>” he said absentmindedly. “<Can you handle a small brawl?>”

“<What’s with you and fighting?>” Lucy whispered back while pointing upward. Above them was a vent that, in all likelihood, led into the lab. “<Give me a lift and I’ll take them out silently.>”

Lupe looked back and forth between the vent and his partner. If he agreed to her plan it meant he’d take absolutely no part in the main objective. Of course, neither of them was in any shape for a fight. He finally came to the conclusion that it’d be best for the mission if they were unnoticed.

“<Don’t screw this up,>” Lupe whispered with a scowl. After an agreeing smile from Lucy he cupped his paws at his waistline and held them in place. As Lucy cautiously positioned her small feet in her partner’s hands, he slowly lifted her up until she could touch the ceiling. Getting right to work she twisted out all four screw and handed the vent-hatch to Lupe, who was forced to hold it in his teeth.

“<Dis ting tase horri’le and ish hea’y. Hurr’ up!>” he mumbled. Refraining from bursting out in laughter, Lucy quickly hopped into the hole, freeing Lupe’s hands.

The stealthy Weavile had never traveled through a filthier vent in her previous adventures. Sure, she navigated in some dirty ones, but this particular one hit her with a one-two punch of stench and dustiness. Lucky for her, she knew exactly which tunnel led to the designated room and didn’t waste time bumping into dead ends. As she approached the second vent-hatch, she began to hear voices echo against the dusty, gray walls of the tunnel.

“Well? Did you get the stream from the street cameras yet?” questioned an annoyed, masculine voice.

“Y-yes, sir, it just came in. Let me play in for you.”

Careful not to scratch against the metal, Lucy positioned herself over the hatch and got a good look at the room. It wasn’t nearly as big as one would think from looking outside, but that was probably due to the various machines taking up a lot of space. Just as Lupe had said, the room contained five humans, all scurrying around in lab coats. She was unable to see the Pokemon, most likely because it was out of her field of view. Two humans walked up to a large screen on the wall, one of them wearing a black suit under his coat. The other pressed a green button to his left and the entire screen came to life at once. From what Lucy could see, they were looking at a video of a street corner. Nothing special seemed to be happening until two figures suddenly dashed across the screen.

“Rewind that,” ordered the suited man.

“Y-yes, sir.” Another button was pushed repeatedly until the two figures appeared frozen in the middle of the screen. To Lucy’s surprise and terror, she discovered that they were looking at a video of her and Lupe running toward this very building.

“Gotcha,” said the suited man with a smirk. “You see that?” he asked, pointing at Lupe’s shin, “This is the Lucario we’re looking for, and it seems he’s coming right to us. How long ago was this video taken?”

“Approximately twenty-five minutes ago, sir.”

“Hmmm... if he knows where he’s going, than he should already be well into our building, if not approaching this very room.”

“Sh-should we be worried, sir?”

“Not while we have our secret weapon here.”

“<Crap,>” Lucy cursed, forgetting that she was supposed to remain unnoticed. The others had obviously heard her as they began looking all over the room for the voice’s source. In a panic, Lucy tried to turn around and make a run for it, but had accidentally clawed at one of the screws, causing the hatch to falter and eventually fall under her feet. Without warning, she fell into the room and crashed onto the back of an unsuspecting scientist. However, knowing she was well into enemy territory, the Weavile ignored the pain from both the fall and the poison circulating throughout her body and scurried back and forth across the room.

“<Help!>”


*********


Lupe waited impatiently outside for any word from his partner. His ear had been pressed firmly against the wall, but all he could hear was very faint mumbles. Therefore, he wasn’t prepared for the loud thud followed by screams of terror.

“<Damnit, Lucy!>” he shouted, running over to the door. With a series of strong kicks, he was able to force the metal doors off their hinges. The room he entered was in utter chaos. A couple of scientists were trying— and horribly failing— to catch a very frenzied Lucy. A few others were simply running in circles, only to crash into the monstrous machines that made the room feel so crowded. Only one human seemed to be keeping his cool and he was glaring at Lupe. The human reached for a device at his waist and in reaction, Lupe grabbed the closest human and held him against his body.

“Release him!” ordered the suited man as veins became visible in his bald head. He was pointing a gun at Lupe, but with the human hostage, couldn’t get a clear shot at the Pokemon. All other motion had ceased— except for the hostage begging for mercy— and Lupe took that moment of silence to think the situation through. He spotted Lucy standing over an unconscious human with claw marks in his coat. Not too far from her position was a long table with a lone CD on top of it. There was no indication if that was what they had come for, but it was their best bet.

“<Give me that disk,>” said Lupe with an order of his own, hoping that the human had spent enough time working with Pokemon that he could understand the language. Luckily, the human gave a slight nod and backed up toward the table, never moving his eyes or the gun away from Lupe’s direction.

“<No, wait!>” Lupe suddenly said, making the human stop dead in his tracks. “<Let the Weavile get the disk. When she’s by my side, I’ll release this human and we’ll make our way out of here.>”

“Why should I trust you?”

“<Because his life is in your hands,>” Lupe answered, moving his arm up to the man’s neck. With little remorse, he tightened his grip, slowly chocking the hostage. Lupe had no intention in killing the man, but it was a necessity that he got that disk.

“H-help,” said the victimized scientist. Simply by the sound of his raspy voice, it was obvious he couldn’t survive much longer without oxygen.

“Fine,” agreed the bald man, followed by a few mumbled curse words, and Lupe loosened his hold. Lucy looked at Lupe suspiciously and hastened over to the table. Too short to see clearly across the entire table, Lucy just swiped her hands across the surface until she hit the circular disk. With a childish squeal she hurried over to Lupe’s side. The duo— trio if you count the hostage— slowly backed out of the room. If he wasn’t part of the rebel force, Lupe would have thanked the Gods that the department happened to be pretty much empty on that particular night.

“<Lower your weapon!>” Lupe demanded with a smirk. He knew he had complete control over the situation

“You think I won’t shoot!?” screamed the bald man, moving his finger ever closer to the trigger.

“Please, no!” pleaded the hostage as tears began to stream down his eyes.

Reluctantly, the human aimed his gun toward the ground, but with the faintest of smirks. Ignoring the grin, Lupe pushed the human back into the room and with Lucy and the CD at his side, made a run for it.

With the hostage safe from danger, the bald officer rushed out of the room and shouted, “Okay, now!”

As Lupe and Lucy approached the corner of the hall, they began to see something weird happening to the wall. A sudden chill hit the Pokemon, followed by some purple matter emerging from the walls. Unhindered by the solid metal it was effortlessly passing through, the being materialized completely out of the wall, showing its full figure to the escapees. Standing at approximately five feet, the Gengar was able to easily stare down his opponents with his trademark: blood-red eyes.

Lupe suddenly realized the mistake he had made before. When he checked the room for auras, there was obviously a Pokemon there, but when he burst in, the only Pokemon visible was Lucy. The only question that remained was if two exhausted and injured Pokemon could defeat this new opposition before anyone else showed up.

“<Lupe, I know you might think otherwise but there’s no way we can beat this guy,>” Lucy whispered.

“<Actually, I agree with you, but mainly because most of my moves would have no effect on him. I suspect you have a plan?>”

“<Yep,>” she simply answered, resuming her dash for the exit. Putting all his trust in the anxious Weavile, Lupe followed in suit, running straight for the enemy. The Gengar looked rather surprised that his two foes were running right at him and cupped his hands in a very familiar fashion. As he started to form his shadow ball attack, Lucy sped up and upon reaching mere yards of her target, jumped into the air. Despite the poison ravaging her body, she inhaled a large amount of oxygen and in her exhale, shot icy shards from her mouth. Upon contact with the unsuspecting Gengar— mainly the sinister blob forming between his hands— the shards exploded and filled the hall with smoke and small icicles.

“<Nice job!>” congratulated Lupe, something he rarely ever did. The two entered the cloud of debris, stepping over the temporarily downed Gengar and toward that dreaded sewer.

Back in front of the lab room, the bald man could only stare at the mess the two rebels had made. He played out the situation many times in his head and if anything like this was to happen, he was sure that either he or Gengar could stop it. Of course, he had never anticipated the Weavile tagging along, but by her faulty stealth, concluded she wouldn’t even matter. Now only one thing was certain: Peign would not be pleased.


**********


Ignoring their injuries and fatigue, the two Pokemon ran as fast as their battered bodies would allow. They went much farther in the sewer tunnels than before, making sure not only to emerge far from the police department, but also to hide their smell from any Houndoom or Mightyena. They departed from the sewer tunnels somewhere in the town that sat in the shadow of Arcanum, but they knew that they still weren’t in the clear. About ten minutes into their onward trek to the rebel base, Lucy’s poison-filled body began to take its toll to the point where she could barely keep up.

“<I told you to go back,>” Lupe said, although he knew the mission would be near impossible if it hadn’t been for her.

“<Sh-shut up and give me a hand here,>” Lucy mumbled while on her knees.

“<I’m surprised you even lasted this long, so I guess I'll help out. Hop on.>” Lupe held out his good arm toward the Weavile, who gave him a questioning stare.

“<You’re going to carry me?>” she asked.

“<What does it look like? I owe you that much.>”

“<I can’t wait for the others to see this,>” she said with a smile before climbing up his arm and swinging around onto his back.

“<I’ll throw you off my back and drag you into the base before I let anyone see us like this.>”

“<Heh, didn’t take long for the old Lupe to come back.>”

The casual chatter continued throughout the night as they made their way home and for the first time in a long time, Lupe was happy to have a partner.


***** End of Chapter Three *****

Beta'd by diamondpearl876. And just so you know, that bald guy is the same one who was running things at investigation at the temple.

Acrutheo
April 28th, 2008, 06:10 PM
I've finished the prologue, and it was very high quality, even if it was low quantity. My only suggestion would be at some point to come back to it and extend it.

I'll definitely be reading more of this. Keep up the good work. n_n

bobandbill
April 28th, 2008, 06:49 PM
Now that was a rather action-packed chapter there. Very enjoyable, and you did a fine job with it all. I look forward to more scenes of the such, I have to say.

Pacing was good - nice and quick, maybe a tad choppy inbetween scenes of quick action and calm, but still more or less steady, and worked well. Liking the characters more and more as I read on, and the description was good enough not to get attention away from what was happening, yet still give plently of information.

Lucy’s small frame was shivering in the cold breeze, but Lupe stood almost statue-like, eyeing his target. The duo looked on from the roof of a restaurant that, ironically, fashioned a sign stating: “There’s no one on top of us!”I do question, just slightly, that Lucy feels the cold, being an ice-type... on of the few anime episodes which I have watched mentioned that ice types don't feel the cold (cue Snorunt dancing happily in a blizzard...) - even without that piece of info (which I myself don't take much for granted), I do think an Ice type would feel the cold far less easily... but minor and debatable, I suppose.
As amusing as the sign was, I would advise not using quotation marks for signs, maybe 'signblahblahblahmessage' instead, as it isn't really saying anything.
If any of it gets on the floor, they’ll have even more of your DNA.>”More DNA? I dn't know anything about forensics, but would only a small amount be enough already? If you know otherwise, clarify please. :)
“<Lupe—,>” and unexpected cough interrupted the Weavile, and by the time she recovered, her companion had already ran deeper into the shadows.'An' over 'and' I think here.
Although he’d never admit it, it was enjoyable to have someone to go on missions with. It was really the only time he was able to show off his skills.

“<So in other words, there’s a good chance we might be walking right into a trap?>” Of course, there were times when Lupe preferred to work alone.Liked the small quips you had, such as this one. :)
“Hmmm... if he knows where he’s going, than he should already be well into our building, if not approaching this very room.”Cough... you don't say...
A couple of scientists were trying— and horribly failing— to catch a very frenzied Lucy. A few others were simply running in circles, only to crash into the monstrous machines that made the room feel so crowded.I like the image that conjured up in my head when I imagined that. :)
“<I’m surprised you even lasted this long, so I guess help out. Hop on.>”Insert an 'I'll' there in-between those two bolded words.

A really good chapter there - very enjoyable to read, and with a lot of action there. Moved on quite well, and I wonder what the reaction to this shall be. Again, looking forward to the next chapter. ;)

Gummy
April 29th, 2008, 12:41 PM
I've finished the prologue, and it was very high quality, even if it was low quantity. My only suggestion would be at some point to come back to it and extend it.

I'll definitely be reading more of this. Keep up the good work. n_n

I wish I could extend the prologue, but there really isn't much to add. But you did remind me that there is something I have to edit. Oh, and thanks for the compliments and for reading. ^^

Now that was a rather action-packed chapter there. Very enjoyable, and you did a fine job with it all. I look forward to more scenes of the such, I have to say.

Pacing was good - nice and quick, maybe a tad choppy inbetween scenes of quick action and calm, but still more or less steady, and worked well. Liking the characters more and more as I read on, and the description was good enough not to get attention away from what was happening, yet still give plently of information.
Nice to have you back, bobandbill. Once against you've left me some wonderful comments that will keep me motivated to write the next chapter. I never really focus on scene transmissions (hence the *s), so you're probably right about the chapter being a bit choppy. And with all the stuff that happened in this one chapter only backs up the statement even more.

I do question, just slightly, that Lucy feels the cold, being an ice-type... on of the few anime episodes which I have watched mentioned that ice types don't feel the cold (cue Snorunt dancing happily in a blizzard...) - even without that piece of info (which I myself don't take much for granted), I do think an Ice type would feel the cold far less easily... but minor and debatable, I suppose.
As amusing as the sign was, I would advise not using quotation marks for signs, maybe 'signblahblahblahmessage' instead, as it isn't really saying anything.
Two good points you've made here. I'll eventually edit out or change that scene with Lucy and I've already fixed the problem with the sign. Thanks.

More DNA? I dn't know anything about forensics, but would only a small amount be enough already? If you know otherwise, clarify please.
No, you're right. I was trying to make it seem that she would say anything if it made Lupe think twice about going into the building.

A really good chapter there - very enjoyable to read, and with a lot of action there. Moved on quite well, and I wonder what the reaction to this shall be. Again, looking forward to the next chapter.
Things will probably cool down in the next chapter and I'm hoping to spend more time expanding on Ezekiel's character. He will (possibly, if things go according to the way I planned them) play an important role in chapter five.

Acrutheo
April 30th, 2008, 12:27 AM
Comments on Chapter One:

Incredible imagery throughout. Ultimately, an excellent chapter that's kept me interested. I have one nitpick to make, though:

Saying "it must have been my imagination" sounds a bit unnatural to me. Whenever I have one of those moments, I merely think it. A possible rewrite of the section could be, "That's what I get for working overtime two nights in a row," he muttered to himself, concluding that it was merely a product of his imagination. He motioned to make a quick adjustment to his glasses, but as he withdrew his hand from the keyboard... [and carry on as normal] Forgive me if in your culture saying that out loud is something that you do in that situation, but it's just a small point that I thought would be more appropriate to do with description rather than dialogue.

Gummy
April 30th, 2008, 02:03 PM
Comments on Chapter One:

Incredible imagery throughout. Ultimately, an excellent chapter that's kept me interested. I have one nitpick to make, though:

Saying "it must have been my imagination" sounds a bit unnatural to me. Whenever I have one of those moments, I merely think it. A possible rewrite of the section could be, "That's what I get for working overtime two nights in a row," he muttered to himself, concluding that it was merely a product of his imagination. He motioned to make a quick adjustment to his glasses, but as he withdrew his hand from the keyboard... [and carry on as normal] Forgive me if in your culture saying that out loud is something that you do in that situation, but it's just a small point that I thought would be more appropriate to do with description rather than dialogue.
Thanks for the imagery comment and it's nice to know that my descriptions really are good.

About the quote, I'm sorry if it sounded awkward but I'm the kid of person that says 'bless you' to himself after I sneeze if I'm in an empty room. But I guess unnecessary quotes like that could be left to description. I hope you catch up soon.

Acrutheo
April 30th, 2008, 03:35 PM
Yeah, I've come in late for quite a few fanfics around here. I'm quite content to be a little bit behind, though. It means there's another chapter waiting. :P

Comments on Chapter Two:

Another excellent chapter. However, you mention Lucario and Ezekiel as being a "duo". "Duo" has connotations of two people, well, being on the same side, which is not really appropriate at this point.

And,

we’ll find a way to get you out of here without letting our see our exact locations, so think hard.
Should be we’ll find a way to get you out of here without letting you see our exact location, so think hard.

Truth be told, he knew which side for once he saw the evidence, but the entire ordeal had left him weary.
Should be Truth be told, he knew which side once he saw the evidence, but the entire ordeal had left him weary. Just, "which side for" sounded a bit weird to me and I had to reread the sentence a few times to understand what you were saying.

Ultimately though, an excellent chapter.

Alter Ego
May 2nd, 2008, 04:07 AM
*Meebles* I've been a bad, bad noodle. I waited for this fanfic for, like, a month...and now I've let it go past a month before I actually sat down to read and review. ;.;

Anyways, now that I have a thankfully large amount of time for this, it's time to right that wrong. *Cracks fingers* To my shame, I must admit that I've only skimmed the other reviews here, so my apologies if I echo something that's already been pointed out.

Peace.

A word used so often, but in truth, is never attained.

Many have come close. Still, no matter how close they get, it always ends with the same thing...

Catastrophe.

Umm...dare I ask where that 'is' there came from? o.O If this was something like "A word that is used so often" then it would be grammatically correct, but in this case it just looks...off. Also, attaining the word peace (as you say it here) really isn't any harder than sitting down and writing said word on a piece of paper as the word itself is just a collection of symbols or (in speech) sounds rather than a state of being like peace is, so strictly speaking it's not even possible to 'attain' a word. So yeah, I'd suggest swapping out 'word' here and doing something about the 'is' situation. Sorry for harping on and on about such a little nit, but all those freakin' Linguistic Research lectures I attended are just screaming out in protest at this. xD

The entirety of its grace glinted in the magnificent moonlight and could probably be spotted a mile away. However, on this particular night, the building only housed one individual.

The 'however' here seems a bit odd to me as it seems to imply some kind of relationship between from how far you can see the building and the number of people it houses. If you had said something like 'On a normal night, the magnificent structure would be packed full as the town's senior citizens gathered to play salvation bingo' then it would make some sense (since this implies that it's normal for there to be lots of folks around), but since you have given no reason to expect there to be a lot of people in there, the fact that there aren't a lot doesn't really require a 'however' to go with it.

...erm, I hope that was a bit clearer than mud? xD

There was a quick, almost unnoticeable, pitter patter from the ceiling that managed to disrupt the chorus of keys. Nonetheless, the man bolted up and examined the window above him. The snow was falling harder than usual that night, but there was no way it could make such a sound. With a dismissing chuckle and a tug on his brown coat, he turned back to his work.

I must question whether the 'nonetheless' here is really serving any purpose. If it was a phrase like "It was probably just his ears playing tricks on him, but the man bolted up and examined the window above him nonetheless." then I'd understand it, but as it is it seems like you just put the word there as a filler.

And no, I'm not just saying that because I've had a bad habit of doing stuff like that myself. Perish the thought. xD

“What is he... no, he won’t. He can’t!” the man managed to finally say, but a little too late. Before he could even raise a foot, the figure smashed through the window with a fist that seemed to be encased in a blue light. The man could only watch in terror as shards of glass, snow, and the mysterious figure rained down upon him. In a last minute endeavor to protect himself, the worker shielded his head with his arms and grimaced as the broken glass effortlessly cut threw his clothes and skin. Without warning, a heavy weight fell on his back, knocking him to the floor and sending his glasses across the room. Lying in a puddle of his own blood with his back probably permanently damaged, the man rested his head against the floor and waited for the grips of death. That is, until a pair hands grabbed him at the side and turned him on his back.

That underlined bit should be 'finally managed to say', I believe. Also, though I'll admit this might be a personal obsession of mine, 'say' and exclamation marks just don't look that good together. Maybe use a slightly more loaded term in this instance? Regardless, you have a misspelling of 'encased' there.

“Hmm... this is interesting,” whispered the sergeant as he held the bag close to his face. “This is definitely not from a human and according to my research, Mr. Orna’s hair is not blue. Get this to the forensics lab immediately; our culprit will be found out soon enough.”

Tiniest nit in existence, but...this guy actually went researching just to find out Ezekiel's hair color? Don't these Order people have files on their employees, eliminating the need for research? o.O Like I said, tiny, but using that term to get information that should be common knowledge just seemed sort of odd. :3

Light flooded the dark room, illuminating it enough for Ezekiel to notice that he was nowhere special. All four walls were made of stone and at the doorway stood two figures, one of which he recognized instantly. It wore no cloak this time and exposed its beige fur.

Wait, so his eyes were exposed to bright light after being kept in total darkness, his glasses are still missing, and he's just woken up in considerable pain yet he still immediately identifies someone he only saw in almost equally bad conditions shortly before losing consciousness? Whoa, Ezekiel sure is quick on the uptake, I'll give him that. You'd think that his eyes would need a few seconds to adjust, though. o.O

“Ah, yes, he has a tendency to stray from his main objective. No, Mr. Orna, I can assure you that you will live. That is, as long as you cooperate with us.” For some reason, maybe it was the calmness of this man’s voice, but Ezekiel felt like he could trust him. However, there were still some things that he just needed to know.

No need for that 'but' there.


Aaaand those were actually just about the only nits I could find, save for a few that were already picked up by others. As always, your fic has been an enjoyable read thus far (and happily ignorant of your influences as I am, they do not interfere with my enjoyment :3). As has already been pointed out, you've done a remarkably good job at making the scenes...visual, for lack of a better word. Lupe crashing down through the window in the first chapter was particularly clear. Character development is going okay, though many are still waiting to expand theirs, and I love the whole dystopian setting to pieces. The only complaint I'd have to give in addition to the quoted stuff is that the plot point with Ezekiel's change of sides is a bit...sudden. I mean, we haven't really even established his loyalty to lord Peign before he suddenly renounces it completely as the oh-so convenient envelope of revelation comes along.

I mean sure, it's waterproof evidence that Ezekiel's presented with and he obviously needs to join the rebels for plot reasons, but even so his change seems a bit too...sudden. Somehow, I would think that it would be a bit more human of him to reject - or at least struggle against - the obvious truth at first rather than immediately becoming a 100% devoted-to-the-cause fanatic like Lupe (Heck, given the way Lupe's treating him, you'd think that it would make Ezekiel less inclined to jump over to the radical wing of the group o.O). Another thing that could have helped the awkward feel here would have been to establish his devotion to the order by means of some cute little spiel of how they take him in after he loses his father to a tragic car accident or something to that effect, but then that may be just me.

Erm...yeah, that's about it. Looking forward to future chapters as usual. ^.^

Gummy
May 2nd, 2008, 06:10 PM
Yeah, I've come in late for quite a few fanfics around here. I'm quite content to be a little bit behind, though. It means there's another chapter waiting. :P

Comments on Chapter Two:

Another excellent chapter. However, you mention Lucario and Ezekiel as being a "duo". "Duo" has connotations of two people, well, being on the same side, which is not really appropriate at this point.

And,


Should be we’ll find a way to get you out of here without letting you see our exact location, so think hard.


Should be Truth be told, he knew which side once he saw the evidence, but the entire ordeal had left him weary. Just, "which side for" sounded a bit weird to me and I had to reread the sentence a few times to understand what you were saying.

Ultimately though, an excellent chapter.

Thanks again for reading and spotting those errors out for me. I believe theres another "duo" error somewhere in chapter three, but I'll change that later.

*Meebles* I've been a bad, bad noodle. I waited for this fanfic for, like, a month...and now I've let it go past a month before I actually sat down to read and review. ;.;

Anyways, now that I have a thankfully large amount of time for this, it's time to right that wrong. *Cracks fingers* To my shame, I must admit that I've only skimmed the other reviews here, so my apologies if I echo something that's already been pointed out.
Nah, it's okay. You did tell me to PM you when I finally posted and just decided to let you read at your own pace. You don't know how happy it makes me that you came here at your own will.

Umm...dare I ask where that 'is' there came from? o.O If this was something like "A word that is used so often" then it would be grammatically correct, but in this case it just looks...off. Also, attaining the word peace (as you say it here) really isn't any harder than sitting down and writing said word on a piece of paper as the word itself is just a collection of symbols or (in speech) sounds rather than a state of being like peace is, so strictly speaking it's not even possible to 'attain' a word. So yeah, I'd suggest swapping out 'word' here and doing something about the 'is' situation. Sorry for harping on and on about such a little nit, but all those freakin' Linguistic Research lectures I attended are just screaming out in protest at this. xD
It's been a couple of months but you still manage to find the stuff in my fic and a lot of others miss (or realize that letting one grammatical error slip isn't going to end the world XD). I tried to fix it but grammar is exactly my forte (go figure), so if it's still wrong, tell me.

The 'however' here seems a bit odd to me as it seems to imply some kind of relationship between from how far you can see the building and the number of people it houses. If you had said something like 'On a normal night, the magnificent structure would be packed full as the town's senior citizens gathered to play salvation bingo' then it would make some sense (since this implies that it's normal for there to be lots of folks around), but since you have given no reason to expect there to be a lot of people in there, the fact that there aren't a lot doesn't really require a 'however' to go with it.

...erm, I hope that was a bit clearer than mud? xD
Yeah, I see what you mean there. *goes to fix*

I must question whether the 'nonetheless' here is really serving any purpose. If it was a phrase like "It was probably just his ears playing tricks on him, but the man bolted up and examined the window above him nonetheless." then I'd understand it, but as it is it seems like you just put the word there as a filler.

And no, I'm not just saying that because I've had a bad habit of doing stuff like that myself. Perish the thought. xD
A desperate attempt to make the sentence flow better that, of course, went horribly wrong. *goes to fix*

That underlined bit should be 'finally managed to say', I believe. Also, though I'll admit this might be a personal obsession of mine, 'say' and exclamation marks just don't look that good together. Maybe use a slightly more loaded term in this instance? Regardless, you have a misspelling of 'encased' there.
*sighs and goes to fix* Picking my fic apart should be a sport. :P

Tiniest nit in existence, but...this guy actually went researching just to find out Ezekiel's hair color? Don't these Order people have files on their employees, eliminating the need for research? o.O Like I said, tiny, but using that term to get information that should be common knowledge just seemed sort of odd. :3
Isn't searching through someone's files called research? If not, what do you call it?

Wait, so his eyes were exposed to bright light after being kept in total darkness, his glasses are still missing, and he's just woken up in considerable pain yet he still immediately identifies someone he only saw in almost equally bad conditions shortly before losing consciousness? Whoa, Ezekiel sure is quick on the uptake, I'll give him that. You'd think that his eyes would need a few seconds to adjust, though. o.O
I never, ever wanted to use this line, but I have absolutely no idea what do to here, so: It's fiction, AE, you have to let some things go by.

No need for that 'but' there.


Aaaand those were actually just about the only nits I could find, save for a few that were already picked up by others. As always, your fic has been an enjoyable read thus far (and happily ignorant of your influences as I am, they do not interfere with my enjoyment :3). As has already been pointed out, you've done a remarkably good job at making the scenes...visual, for lack of a better word. Lupe crashing down through the window in the first chapter was particularly clear. Character development is going okay, though many are still waiting to expand theirs, and I love the whole dystopian setting to pieces. The only complaint I'd have to give in addition to the quoted stuff is that the plot point with Ezekiel's change of sides is a bit...sudden. I mean, we haven't really even established his loyalty to lord Peign before he suddenly renounces it completely as the oh-so convenient envelope of revelation comes along.

I mean sure, it's waterproof evidence that Ezekiel's presented with and he obviously needs to join the rebels for plot reasons, but even so his change seems a bit too...sudden. Somehow, I would think that it would be a bit more human of him to reject - or at least struggle against - the obvious truth at first rather than immediately becoming a 100% devoted-to-the-cause fanatic like Lupe (Heck, given the way Lupe's treating him, you'd think that it would make Ezekiel less inclined to jump over to the radical wing of the group o.O). Another thing that could have helped the awkward feel here would have been to establish his devotion to the order by means of some cute little spiel of how they take him in after he loses his father to a tragic car accident or something to that effect, but then that may be just me.

Erm...yeah, that's about it. Looking forward to future chapters as usual. ^.^
I've been getting several complaints (if you can call it that) about the scene with Ezekiel accepting everything so quickly, so I'll try to rewrite it whenever I get the chance and I guess I can incorporate some stuff in the next chapter. Thanks for all the compliments, nitpicks, and the review altogether. I hope to see you here with the next chapter.

Acrutheo
May 3rd, 2008, 10:26 PM
Comments on Chapter three:

Another enjoyable read. :D I do wonder why it took so long for any of the pokemon to release a long-range attack at the start, though. Also, when Lupe is climbing the ladder, you say he "luckily" reached the top. How you've presented Lupe thus far would suggest that it wouldn't have been luck that allowed him to reach the top, but his raw determination.

*awaits the next chapter*

Bay Alexison
May 7th, 2008, 05:50 PM
Sorry in advance if the reviews are almost the same as the others...didn't really get the chance to read them yet. :X

Quite like this chapter, very action pack and described nicely. I think my favorite part is after Lucy cussed and fell down she started to run around but the people inside the room can't get her. XD I also quite like Lucy and Lupe's interactions this chapter, many funny moments, this my favorite:

“<How do you know it’s this way?>” Lucy questioned as they walked. She struggled to say the entire thing in one go without coughing.

“<Truth be told, the only thing I know for a fact is that the lab is on the basement floor. However, I do sense a lot of auras in this direction, mostly humans,>” he explained. Although he’d never admit it, it was enjoyable to have someone to go on missions with. It was really the only time he was able to show off his skills.

“<So in other words, there’s a good chance we might be walking right into a trap?>” Of course, there were times when Lupe preferred to work alone.


Would have the same reaction too. XD

I think the only criticism I would make is it seems unrealistic Lucy would still be able to go on that look, with her being poisoned and all. Then again, in the Pokemon games if a high leveled Pokemon is poisoned then it would take a while until that Pokemon will faint. XD

Well, quite like the chapter for both its actions and character interaction. Until next chapter!

The Beast
May 8th, 2008, 11:57 AM
Hey man, this is a quit entertaining story, keep it up.

Gummy
July 1st, 2008, 08:43 PM
*blows dust off thread*

Well, this chapter certainly took longer than I expected. But it's here, so let's celebrate!... or not. *ahem*


Chapter Four: Fall From Innocence


Ezekiel sat motionless in a wooden chair, staring at the ceiling above him. He was at his childhood home; a brick, one-story, white house— nothing special. The room he was seated in was nearly empty, as if someone was moving in— or out. Across the room stood a muscular man, his face crowded with healing scars and un-kept hair. He dragged two black suitcases against the aging wooden floor, creating the irritating sound of the metal rolling against the grain.

“Ezekiel, are you honestly going to watch me leave without saying a word? Your own father?” pondered the man, mainly to himself rather than the young adult seated nearby.

Still, Ezekiel looked at his father and gave his reply. “Don’t you dare question my morals. I’m sure you’ll have lots of fun in Johto.”

“You just don’t understand, do you? The Order obviously has a tight grip on you, but I don’t know how I allowed that to happen. I’m doing this for the better.”

“Why don’t you tell that to Mom next time you see her?”

“I’m sorry, I’m not quite ready to die yet,” he said bitterly. “I’m sorry for what happened to your mother, and it plagues me every day, but I’m doing this so it doesn’t happen to you too. They can’t get to me in Johto, and with me out of the picture they won’t come after you. Especially now that you got that new job. And—”

“I didn’t ask for your protection! I didn’t ask for any of this, and neither did Mom! You constantly running from place to place isn’t helping anyone and if Mom noticed that earlier, maybe...”

“Your mother married me knowing how I felt about the Order. Then when you were born, everything got out of hand and before I knew it, the Order had pulled her back in and learned of our pasts. She probably turns in her grave every time you blame me for her death.”

Ezekiel’s eyes filled with liquid as tears began their trek down his cheek. Slowly, he rose from his seat and walked toward the door, never taking his eyes off of the floor. Without hesitation, he reached out for the knob, twisted it, and pushed the door open.

“That is the LAST time you talk about Mom in such a way! I don’t know why I allowed such a heartless man in the home that she paid for and passed down to me, but now I’m going to fix that. Out, now.” As he lifted his glasses to wipe his eyes of the tears, a rugged hand lifted up his chin, and he stood face to face with his father.

A smirk appeared on the man’s face as he stared at what looked like to be a younger version of himself. It astounded him as to how Ezekiel could hate him so much and even more than that, not understand his cause.

“Son, you have no idea how much the two of us are alike.”

And then he left, never to be seen again.

**********


Ezekiel jerked up from his bed drenched in sweat. The cold liquid ran slyly down his torso, causing his shirt to stick to his chest. His heart felt as if it would suddenly burst out of his body at the rate it was pumping and due to his racing mind, Ezekiel was unable to control it. It was the third time that night he had woken up from the same dream— nightmare— and it became clear that he was not getting any sleep that night.

Why do I remember that day so clearly? he thought to himself as he retrieved his glasses from a nearby desk. The gloomy surroundings were by no means making the situation any better.

He and his father had never shared what most would call a normal ‘father-son’ relationship, especially after his mother had died. Now his father had passed on too, and it was affecting him in a way that he never would have imagined all those years ago. And after that rebellious decision he had made only hours earlier, he was beginning to wonder if those final words his father left with him were true.

“I always accused that man of being a hypocrite, but just look at me now.” Ezekiel rarely addressed his father as ‘father’ or ‘dad.’

His field of vision subconsciously fell upon the desk where his glasses were, and a small shudder ran down his spine as he spotted that dreaded envelope. Slowly, he reached out for it and placed it on his lap. His sweat-drenched hands shook in anxiety as they pulled the document out of the envelope and brought it to reading level. He examined every single word, letter and punctuation point, not sure of what he was looking for but positive that he’d know when he found it.

H. Peign.

That was the last thing written on the page, the indubitable signature of lord Peign. Ezekiel’s eyes rested upon that particular part of the document the longest. He had seen the same signature so many times before to the point that he could tell the difference from the real thing and a Smeargle’s forgery.

This was, without a doubt, authentic.

With the Order’s hold on him severely damaged, Ezekiel began to see the flaws in the religion. How strict the laws truly were, the various limitations of their so called ‘free speech,’ and the fact that only seven copies of the Order’s sacred text— the Arcanus Manifesto— were ever printed and can only be interpreted by the Sacred Seven themselves. Even so, a small part of him still sided with the Order, and before he knew it an internal war was raging inside of his brain. And when you’re used to accepting everything your superiors say without question, thinking this hard was a serious strain.

“They’re back! Lupe and Lucy are back!”

The cry was faint, probably only heard by those with good ears. All thoughts immediately left Ezekiel’s head. Ivan had assured him that Lupe rarely failed in his missions, so their arrival meant only one thing: they had retrieved the CD.

Without a second to spare, Ezekiel threw the covers to the ground, slid into his shoes, and without even tying his laces, rushed out of the room. As he traversed down the narrow hallway, he heard others stirring in their beds from the recent news.

Although it had been his second time there, the grand hall still amazed Ezekiel with its immense size and multitude of residents. Of course, at this late hour it was much emptier, but more and more people were pouring into the hall to verify the news. Forcing his way through a densely packed crowd, Ezekiel managed to reach the heart of the attraction.

And there they were, Lupe and Lucy back from their mission. Lupe wore an exasperated expression as he hunched over with Lucy on his back. She looked to be sleeping, but her breathing was highly irregular and her usually black forehead had turned a vibrant red. A few bystanders chuckled at the sight of a Pokemon who made a name for himself as a real tough guy to be carrying the Weavile, but all jokes were put aside when Lucy’s condition became an imminent concern.

A couple of muscular men— probably former sailors— came to the Pokemon’s aid and carried her off into some unknown direction. With the strain on his back relieved, Lupe straightened up and walked toward the crowd. As if being approached by a divine entity, the crowd split in a wave like pattern as the Lucario walked past. Fellow rebels congratulated him and some tried to pat him on the back, only to stop short at the deep gash in his shoulder. However, Ezekiel’s attention was captivated by what was in the Pokemon’s hand— a single CD.

Suddenly, Lupe dropped the CD and fell to his knees. His facial expression showed that he was in great pain, but when others tried to help, he gave them a threatening glare. If there was one thing that would never change about Lupe, it was his stubbornness. Still, Ezekiel took this moment as the perfect time to approach.

“Uh, Lupe, are you—.”

“<You’re still here?>” he asked, although his tone was more mocking than surprised.

Ezekiel decided to let the comment slide. “You’re obviously hurt. Why don’t you get some help and I’ll bring the CD to Ivan.” Ezekiel tried to sound as concerned as possible. He could only hope his performance was convincing.

Upon his request to finish Lupe’s mission for him, the hall became filled with gasps and comments like “who does this guy think he is?” and “newbies gotta learn the hard way.” He honestly had no idea what everyone was babbling about, but he started to get an idea when Lupe got to his feet and looked Ezekiel dead in the eye.

The hall fell into an eerie silence.

“<I’ve never met a human with such a thick skull before. I don’t like to repeat myself, so listen carefully: I don’t want any help, nor do I need it.>” Believing the conversation to be over, the Lucario swiftly turned around.

“Then why did you let Lucy go with you?” Many eyes widened at the follow up question.

Lupe turned around again, this time stepping right up to Ezekiel. “<It was a direct order from Ivan and you know that.>”

“I don’t recall him saying you had to carry her on your back.”

Whispers traveled across the spectators at the statement. Ezekiel was only guessing that Lupe didn’t care much for any previous partners he might have had, but the young challenger hit the jackpot.

“<So what are you getting at? Team mates help—>” It was then that Lupe understood Ezekiel’s point, and the two shared a grin that puzzled everyone else.

“<You’ve got balls, I’ll give you that much. If Ivan needs me, tell him I’m in the Health Ward.>” And with that, the Lucario thrust the CD hard into Ezekiel’s stomach, just enough to cause the human to bend over with his head right next to Lupe’s mouth. “<But I advise not to try something like that again,>” he added in a whisper before walking in the same direction that Lucy was carried off into.

All eyes fell on Ezekiel as he rubbed his stomach with one hand and held the CD tightly in the other. As the crowd slowly dispersed, some were still mesmerized by what they just witnessed. It was a rare event to see someone rise up to Lupe in such a way and walk away with all their teeth intact. And if that wasn’t enough, this guy had been part of the Force for less than a day!

Ezekiel simply ignored the commentary as he made his way for Ivan’s office. It amazed him at how perfectly his plan played out, and now that he possessed the CD, he could truly test his loyalty to the rebellion. As he contemplated the events that were about to come to past, he barely noticed the boy walking beside him.

“That was some nice work back there,” the boy remarked, breaking Ezekiel’s train of thought.

“Huh? Oh, um... thanks?” Ezekiel looked over to his companion and was shocked to see how young the boy was. His long, skinny arms and pimply face showed he wasn’t a day over sixteen. His wardrobe complimented that fact, with his black, ripped jeans held way below his waistline and his stained (probably purposely) T-shirt.

“What are you staring at?” he asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Oh, sorry about that. I didn’t think anyone so young would be part of the rebellion.” The boy simply smirked at the statement and moved on ahead. Although he was ahead of Ezekiel, the suspicious teenager seemed to be going in the same direction and even stopped infront of Ivan’s door.

“Think you can walk any faster?” he called, before pushing through the doors.

What’s going on? Ezekiel thought to himself. I didn’t see him in the crowd, how does he know I’m headed to Ivan? After shaking off the uneasy feeling, an anxious Ezekiel gripped the CD tightly and entered the room.

As expected, it hadn’t changed at all since Ezekiel had last been there. Ivan was still seated at his desk engrossed in his laptop, and the teen looked on from behind him, still wearing his smirk. Ezekiel stood there for a few seconds, trying to decide if he should wait for Ivan to acknowledge him or speak up.

As he opened his mouth to make himself known, Ivan suddenly lifted himself up from his seat and began walking around the desk.

“I have to admit, I was beginning to doubt you were going to get Lupe to give you the CD,” the old man said to Ezekiel, although if you followed the path of his eyes, you’d think he was talking to the CD.

“H-how did you even know I was going to try to get it?”

“What can I say?” Ivan began with a grin. “You’re predictable. I could tell you were just caught up in the moment when you decided to join the cause. So I ask you again, have you come to a decision?” The rebel leader held out his hand. Ezekiel didn’t have to speak; handing over the CD would be enough. With a shaky arm, he held out the CD.

This was it. This would prove his loyalty to the rebellion. All he had to do was hand over the disk.

Ivan’s wrinkly hand tugged on the CD, but Ezekiel’s hand had held it in place. He had made his choice. Ivan tried again, but the object didn’t budge. The on-looking boy’s smirk immediately disappeared.

Slowly, Ivan retracted his hand and looked into Ezekiel’s eyes. In truth, the young man didn’t know what was going to happen when Ivan tried to take the CD. He let his subconscious choose his path.

“I see,” Ivan said after a long period of silence. “Is there any way I can change your mind?”

“I’m sorry Ivan... According to you, the Order has fed me lies all my life, but how do I know you’re not doing the same?” Ezekiel replied softly enough so the boy wouldn’t hear.

Ivan’s smile returned. “How far have you traveled from Arcanum?”

The odd question caught Ezekiel off guard, but he still answered. “Not much farther than Viridian, but what does that—”

“Dexter, come here please,” Ivan ordered, and the boy came around the desk. “If you saw, firsthand, the horrors that plague this world, would that change your mind?” Ivan asked.

“Um... I guess so, but what are you getting at?”

“I’m going to have Dexter show you the living style of those that live outside of Arcanum’s vicinity.”

Ezekiel looked over at Dexter. A teenager was going to show him the ‘horrors that plague this world?’

Before Ezekiel had a change to object, the teenage stepped between him and Ivan, fashioning a smirk even bigger than his previous one. Without warning, his body began to glow a spectacular white, similar to light given off during Pokemon evolution. His tall, slinky figure rapidly shrunk to a mere foot above ground, and his shape became so irregular to the point where he looked like a gelatinous mess. Eventually the light subsided, and Dexter’s body took on a pink hue.

“A— a Ditto!” Ezekiel shouted in amazement.

“Yes, Dexter here is quite skilled in transforming into humans,” Ivan said with pride. “He’ll transform into a flying Pokemon of his choice and gladly show you what lies beyond Arcanum.”

“<Yes sir!>” Dexter agreed, this time in a squeaky voice. Once again his body became engulfed in a brilliant light and took on a new shape. As he grew back to his human height, wings formed along his sides and his head grew outward. His skin tone became a grayish-purple, and his transformation was complete.

“<This should be big enough for you.>” His voice changed once again, this time much deeper to suit his Aerodactyl body.

“I’ll never get used to that,” Ivan said from behind the ancient bird. “See you soon,” he added before turning around and moving back to his desk. Ezekiel tried to follow him but Dexter blocked his path.

“<Oh no, you’re coming with me. We should leave before sunrise.>” The large reptilian-bird insisted before nudging Ezekiel out of the room with his snout. However, the young male was able to get a peek at Ivan before the doors shut. He was seated at his desk, buried in his work as usual. Was he really that sure that this little trip would change Ezekiel’s mind?


**********

“Where are we going?” Ezekiel demanded as he followed Dexter, who had to fly close to the ceiling due to his size. He came to realize that he still wasn’t respected as a newcomer since he practically had to dodge around people just to keep pace.

“<Calm down, we’re here,>” Dexter finally said before stopping at what looked to be a dead end.

“You’ve got... to be... kidding me,” Ezekiel said as he tried to catch his breath.

“<Why don’t you try looking up?>”

To the human’s surprise, there was gaping hole above them. The fresh air from the outside world encircled Ezekiel, bringing a smile to his face.

It triggered a feeling inside Ezekiel’s body. A giddy feeling, the kind a child would get when they were allowed to play at the park. It was a feeling that he wouldn’t dare share with the surrounding rebels.

So far, the base had been like a prison, and this felt like freedom.

“<Smile while you can, because you won’t be doing much of it later. Now get on my back and hold tight.>” Ezekiel didn’t bother to argue and wrapped his around arm Dexter’s neck and boarded the Aerodactyl.

Slowly, Dexter outstretched his immense wings and rose at a steady pace. The first thing to catch Ezekiel’s attention was the sun as it slowly began to rise behind Arcanum. The towering skyscrapers glinted in the orange light, temporarily blinding anyone foolish enough to look directly at them. Lucky for Ezekiel, he averted his eyes to the suburbs just fast enough to avoid the worst of the glare. The suburbs looked like a blemish on the hand that was Arcanum, with its poorly built buildings and dangerous streets.

“Is that what you want to show me? So what, not everyone is rich enough to live in the city. Every great civilization had some sort of class system,” he pointed out as-a-matter-of-factly. Dexter replied with a snort and rose higher into the sky. The hole below them closed like a gate and within seconds, the only indication that anything existed in this desolate land was a red dot where the hole once was— a marker to indicate where to land.

“<Hold your Ponytas, I’m taking you far away from here.>” Before Ezekiel could let out another word, the anxious Aerodactyl quickly turned around and darted to the west, toward Johto.

The amount of wind rushing into Ezekiel’s face impaired his breathing ability, and talking was out of the question. He turned his eyes toward the ground and saw they were already traveling across the body of water that separated the two regions. Centuries ago, he would have seen Trainers riding on sailboats— and even Pokemon— to transfer to the next region. In modern times, human interference was nearly nonexistent in the area.

"<We're nearing the shoreline,>" Dexter squawked, slowing down significantly and decreasing their altitude. Little did Ezekiel know, they were in Order territory now.

With the shoreline in sight, Ezekiel looked ahead, expecting to see some teenagers having the time of their lives on the beach. Instead, hundreds of Krabby walked along the sand without a care in the world. As the pair passed over the mass gathering, all eyes fell upon the human soaring through the sky. Their stares startled him. It was the kind of stare given to something you hadn’t seen in a very long time.

The image of their beady, little eyes peering into his very soul was permanently implanted into his memory, but still wasn’t enough to change his mind. However, as Dexter gained momentum, Ezekiel realized that there was still more to see.

The ancient bird finally began to slow down as they approached what looked like a town— or the remnants of one at least. Being sure to keep their distance, they finally came to a complete stop, but still close enough for Ezekiel to clearly see the atrocities taking place.

Atrocities no man his age should witness. Or any age, for that matter.

Men, women, and children of all sizes were gathered around the center of the wrecked town, all wearing filthy rags. A large, tin water tank was placed in the center as well, surrounded by a dozen men that looked as if they had just walked off the battlefield. A few of them scanned the crowd thoroughly, their guns pointed at anyone in their way, no matter what age or gender. The image of a large eye with a sword in the iris was imprinted on their black uniforms.

Ezekiel’s heart jumped a beat as he recognized the image. It was the most common symbol for the Order.

The people formed a rough line and Ezekiel noticed that many carried large buckets with them. A soldier standing in front of the tank took each bucket, filled it with water, and returned it to its owner and the line moved on.

The more he looked at the miserable townspeople, the less sane Ezekiel became. He took one last look of the emotionless faces of the soldiers and finally grasped the kind of world he lived in. He found himself taking back the comment he made earlier about the Rebel base. This world was the true prison, and that small, underground organization was the closest thing to freedom.

“We’ve got a runner!” cried one of the guardsmen near the edge of the town. A young boy, not a day over thirteen, was running into the tall grass with all his might.

“About time, I haven’t had any target practice in a while!” replied a nearby man. Ezekiel knew what he was implying, but didn’t want to believe it. Unfortunately, the evidence became clear as the combatant raised his firearm and aimed at the escapee. Without any signs of a human conscious, he pulled the trigger, and the boy fell almost instantaneously.

Had Ezekiel eaten anything earlier, it would have surely been vomited up after witnessing the heartless act. He could take no more of this.

Ezekiel mouth opened to scream, but all that came out was a mere whimper. Streams of sweat literally trickled down his spine and his body shook so violently he nearly fell from Dexter’s back.

“You’ve made your point, take me back,” he whispered, finally regaining his ability to speak. Without arguing, Dexter rose to a higher elevation and headed back to the base.

“Did you see that?” asked one of the guards on the ground as he stared at the spot where the rebels had just been observing from.

“What are you talking about?” asked the one who had shot the boy. There wasn’t a hint of remorse in his voice.

“Eh... nevermind, it must have been my imagination.”


**********


After arriving at the base, Dexter and Ezekiel split up. Neither spoke a single word during the flight and didn’t even exchange good byes. As much as he tried to forget about it, the horrific images from earlier constantly played in his head. That was all the convincing he needed. He laughed whenever his father cursed the Order, but now... now he sided with the man. The Order must be stopped.

Before he knew it, he stood in front of Ivan’s door, his hand already reaching for the knob.

“<I’ve been looking for you,>” called a familiar voice from behind. Lupe suddenly walked to beside Ezekiel and locked eyes with the human.

“<Slow down!>” cried another recognizable voice. Lucy and Dexter (in his human form) joined the two in front the door. Although they didn’t seem to be running, the petite Weavile was panting very hard.

“You should have stayed with the nurses, Lucy,” said Dexter worriedly.

“<Gimme a break, I’ve dealt with worse poison before. I once beat a Grimer so badly some of his sludge flew into my mouth. Talk about—>”

“<AHEM!>” Lupe interrupted, wanting to get back to the point and unwilling to hear the rest of Lucy’s story. “<Can you explain why you still have the CD that I gave to you hours ago?>”

“I’m handing in the CD right now, for your information. I just needed a little... convincing.” He directed the last part toward Dexter, who nodded in recognition. The four rebels remained silent until Lupe spoke again.

“<In the future, learn to trust Ivan’s word. I doubt what you’ve seen today is half as bad as things we’ve all witnessed.>” In his usual manner, he left before Ezekiel could reply.

“<I think he likes you,>” Lucy quickly stated before darting off to Lupe’s side like a loyal dog. Dexter didn’t bother with any words and just patted Ezekiel on the shoulder and left.

Alone again, Ezekiel turned the doorknob and entered the room. By the looks of things, Ivan hadn’t moved an inch since he was last here.

“I heard voices outside the door. Is something wrong?” questioned the geezer.

“No, just a chat with Lupe, Lucy and Dexter.”

“Nice to see you four are getting along, as you will be seeing a lot more of the each other in the future. But let’s get to the main reason why you’re here.” Ivan lifted himself from his seat and approached, holding his hand out in the same manner as before. Ezekiel did the same, and when Ivan pulled on the CD, it slid effortlessly out of his hand. A smile appeared on the faces of both men, and Ivan suddenly grabbed his hand again, this time for a handshake.

“Glad to have you with us. I hope the things you saw weren’t too severe.”

“They were... unexpected. But I guess I might have to learn to get used to it,” Ezekiel replied, thinking on Lupe’s most recent words.

“Well, I have lots of work to do now with this in my possession. Why don’t you get something to eat, you must be starving.”

“I’ll go do that...” Ezekiel turned around to leave but stopped in front of the door. “Ivan, did you know my father?” he unexpectedly asked.

Ivan gave a shallow sigh. “Sorry to disappoint you, but no. As you know, he traveled to Johto and may have even been part of the larger rebellion. If it helps, I think your father would be very proud of you right now.”

The young man nearly fell over when he heard that, but quickly recovered. “I think he would... we were so much alike, after all.”

Without another word, Ezekiel dismissed himself from the leader’s presence, but walked past the bar and its many beverages and meals. With the images of the day’s events playing in his mind like a feature film, there was no way he was going to be able to eat. He knew it would be the last night memories of father appeared in his dreams, as a whole new assortment of nightmares was lined up to take their place.


***** End of Chapter Four *****

Beta'd by diamonpearl876

Bay Alexison
July 2nd, 2008, 10:42 PM
(Posting this in both forums incase one blows up XD)

I actually quite like this chapter. I love how you put Ezekiel still having doubts and have him slowly transition him to finally deciding to join the rebellion.

Also, quite like the beginning, how Ezekiel and his father have a strained relationship. I wish though it was flesh out more though, moreso on how the Order got his mother back in their religion.

Lastly, I thought it's interesting how the Order is taking control of the people's lives, though like Lupe, probably it's worse than what Ezekiel saw, huh?

Again, despite not much happening, I still like this chapter a lot. Ezekiel is developed a bit and also we know a bit more of the Order. I'll end this review with this quote:

“<I think he likes you,>” Lucy quickly stated before darting off to Lupe’s side like a loyal dog. Dexter didn’t bother with any words and just patted Ezekiel on the shoulder and left.



Good ol' Lucy. XD

Gummy
July 3rd, 2008, 06:49 PM
Thanks Bay, I was worried that this chapter wouldn't quite live up to it's potential. I was thinking about exploring his relationship with his mother more, but seeing as his father was assassinated by the Order, I thought he'd be the better candidate for a flashback. And I also had to clear up why Ezekiel was as sad as a normal person would be to find out his father was killed by his leaders. As for the Order, I've got many more surprises left in store, with hints of them placed in this chapter.

Alter Ego
July 10th, 2008, 06:55 AM
Gah, darn my klutzy fingers. I had this typed up once already but then I accidentally shut the tab instead of clicking 'submit reply'. >.<

My backup, of course, was only the half-finished version. *Headdesk* Ah well, I think I've restored all the stuff I lost in that process. XD

“I’m sorry, I’m not quite ready to die yet,” he said bitterly. “I’m sorry for what happened to your mother, and it plagues me every day, but I’m doing this so it doesn’t happen to you either. They can’t get to me in Johto, and with me out of the picture they won’t come after you. Especially now that you got that new job. And—”

'Either' would imply that it didn't happen to his mother either. However, judging by this exchange it did happen to her, so that should be 'too' or a synonymous expression.

A smirk appeared on the man’s face as he stared at what looked like to be a younger version of himself. It astounded him as to how Ezekiel could hate him so much and even more than that, not understand his cause.

Nothing wrong with this, except...how come we shifted into his dad's perspective all of a sudden? Given that this is Ezekiel's flashback rather than an actual even in the present, the only viewpoint we really have justification to share is his, since the scene is just things as he remembers them, with no guarantee of whether they're the real thing or not.

Erm...I hope that made some sense? XD

That was the last thing written on the page, the indubitable signature of lord Peign. Ezekiel’s eyes rested upon that particular part of the document the longest. He had seen the same signature so many times before to the point where he could tell the difference from the real thing and a Smeargle’s forgery.

We seem to have a head-on collision of two tentative sentences for this place. Surely, that would be more like "so many times that"?

Expectantly, it hadn’t changed at all since Ezekiel had last been there. Ivan was still seated at his desk engrossed in his laptop, and the teen looked on from behind him, still wearing his smirk. Ezekiel stood there for a few seconds, trying to decide if he should wait for Ivan to acknowledge him or speak up.

You might want to reconsider that word choice. As it is, the sentence implies that the office hadn't changed at all because it was expecting something, and that's...trippy to say the least. 'As expected' would imply that this coincides with Ezekiel's expectations instead.

“<Oh no, you’re coming with me. We should leave before sunrise.>” The large reptilian-bird insisted before nudging Ezekiel out of the room with his snout. However, the young male was able to get a peak at Ivan before the doors shut. He was seated at his desk, buried in his work as usual. Was he really that sure that this little trip would change Ezekiel’s mind?

That was meant to be 'peek', surely?

Slowly, Dexter outstretched his immense wings and rose at a steady pace. The first thing to catch Ezekiel’s attention was the sun as it slowly began to rise behind Arcanum. The towering skyscrapers glinted in the orange light, temporarily blinding anyone foolish enough to look directly at them. Lucky for Ezekiel, he averted his eyes to the suburbs just fast enough to avoid the worst of the glare. The suburbs looked like a blemish on the hand that was Arcanum, with its poorly built buildings and dangerous streets.

There are multiple skycrapers, so 'them' rather than 'it'.

With the shoreline in sight, Ezekiel looked ahead, expecting to see some teenagers having the time of their lives on the beach. Instead, hundreds of Krabby walked along the sand without a care in the world. As the pair passed over the mass gathering, all eyes fell upon the human soaring through the sky. Their stares startled him. It was the kind of stare given to something you hadn’t seen in a very long time.

Hate to be a prick about these things, but given that Aerodactyl is a pretty dang fast flier (and that they'd be moving pretty fast, seeing as how they're crossing oceans just like that), I should think that it's difficult in the extreme to even catch the glance of a pokémon of Krabby's size on the ground, especially when we take into account that they seem to be moving at pretty high altitude themselves, not to mention the problem of Ezekiel's impaired sight. Getting a good enough look to analyze what kind of look you seem to be getting sounds even more improbable. =O

“You’ve made your point, take me back,” he whispered, finally regaining his ability to speak. Without argue, Dexter rose to a higher elevation and headed back to the base.

That would be 'arguing' or 'argument', I believe.

“Did you see that?” asked one of the guards on the ground as he stared at the spot where the rebels were just observing from.

That would be 'had just been', since I assume that they aren't observing anymore at the point where the guard is staring at the place. Also, 'observe' requires an object to accompany it (I.e. You must always be observing something), so either add one or stick to a less picky verb. (You could just say something like 'where the rebels had been just a moment before' or something to that effect)

“What are you talking about?” asked the one who shot the boy. There wasn’t a hint of remorse in his voice.

That should be 'had shot', unless he's still in the process of shooting the boy.

“<AHEM!>” Lupe interrupted, wanting to get back to the point and unwilling to hear the rest of Lucy’s story. “<Can you explain to as to why you still have the CD that I gave to you hours ago?>”

Not quite sure where you were going with that 'to as to', there, but you can just delete it in good conscience since it's not necessary for the sentence.

Without another word, Ezekiel dismissed himself from the leader’s presence, but walked past the bar and its many beverages and meals. With the images of the day’s events playing in his mind like a feature film, there was no way he was going to be able to eat. He knew it would be the last night memories of father appeared in his dreams, as a whole new assortment of nightmares was lined up to take their place.

There are multiple memories, so 'their'.

Overall, I like the way you patched up the plot hole of Ezekiel's sudden switch of loyalties here, though you may still want to revisit the earlier revelation chapter and make sure that there isn't too much conflict between these two, perhaps insert a hint or two of the strained relationship between Ezekiel and his father. There were also several other points that I liked a lot about this fic, particularly the little showdown between Ezekiel and Lupe, his flashback about his father, and the way you reversed the freedom versus prison thing after his little eye-opener moment.

One complaint, though: the conversion scene seemed...lacking, somehow. I can't quite put my finger on what, but I think I was kind of expecting a bit of commentary from Dexter's side (y'know...all those lovely little details about how things are out there that no-one really wants to have laid out to them), not to mention counter-arguing from Ezekiel. I mean, he made one remark at the beginning but then he just shut up and believed like a good little boy. Okay, admittedly he may just have such a disposition given that he's been such a sheep for the order all these years, but I was kind of expecting something in the way of resistance here, at least in thought.

Other than that, though, good job. Looking forward to future installments, as usual. ^^

Gooberdued
July 10th, 2008, 01:00 PM
Wow this is a great fic. It's very well written, and the description is great. I've only read the first two chapters, I don't have time at the moment to read the other two, but I certainly will read them when I get the chance.

Gummy
July 12th, 2008, 10:01 AM
1500th Post!

Nothing wrong with this, except...how come we shifted into his dad's perspective all of a sudden? Given that this is Ezekiel's flashback rather than an actual even in the present, the only viewpoint we really have justification to share is his, since the scene is just things as he remembers them, with no guarantee of whether they're the real thing or not.

Erm...I hope that made some sense? XD
It makes perfect sense, but you're forgetting the fact that Ezekiel was looking directly into his father's face right before that scene was described.

Hate to be a prick about these things, but given that Aerodactyl is a pretty dang fast flier (and that they'd be moving pretty fast, seeing as how they're crossing oceans just like that), I should think that it's difficult in the extreme to even catch the glance of a pokémon of Krabby's size on the ground, especially when we take into account that they seem to be moving at pretty high altitude themselves, not to mention the problem of Ezekiel's impaired sight. Getting a good enough look to analyze what kind of look you seem to be getting sounds even more improbable. =O

Only you would notice something like this xD. Yeah, I guess it makes sense and I gave the scene a little edit. But I couldn't change much as that scene is very important to the chapter.

Overall, I like the way you patched up the plot hole of Ezekiel's sudden switch of loyalties here, though you may still want to revisit the earlier revelation chapter and make sure that there isn't too much conflict between these two, perhaps insert a hint or two of the strained relationship between Ezekiel and his father. There were also several other points that I liked a lot about this fic, particularly the little showdown between Ezekiel and Lupe, his flashback about his father, and the way you reversed the freedom versus prison thing after his little eye-opener moment.

Go back to Chapter Two? Okay *makes note* And I'm glad you liked those parts, as they were the hardest to write other than the town scene.

One complaint, though: the conversion scene seemed...lacking, somehow. I can't quite put my finger on what, but I think I was kind of expecting a bit of commentary from Dexter's side (y'know...all those lovely little details about how things are out there that no-one really wants to have laid out to them), not to mention counter-arguing from Ezekiel. I mean, he made one remark at the beginning but then he just shut up and believed like a good little boy. Okay, admittedly he may just have such a disposition given that he's been such a sheep for the order all these years, but I was kind of expecting something in the way of resistance here, at least in thought.
I didn't want a big conversation to upset the mood after the town scene, but now that you mention, I guess the conversion was still a bit quick. If I find a way to overcome this, I'll definitely edit.

Other than that, though, good job. Looking forward to future installments, as usual. ^^
Looking forward to future reviews, as usual.

Wow this is a great fic. It's very well written, and the description is great. I've only read the first two chapters, I don't have time at the moment to read the other two, but I certainly will read them when I get the chance.
New fan! *confetti explosion* And he thinks my fic is great *more confetti* Hopefully you'll be equally impressed by chapters three and four.

drunk ¬_¬
October 18th, 2008, 11:27 PM
wow gummy,

seriously congratulations on your fic, i have to say that this IS the best fic I've read so far, and this comes from a guy who isn't that much into post-apocaliptic stories and such

overall, your grammar, and spelling errors are scarce, and you already have a lot of people helping you with that so I won't bother you for anything that (most likely) was already pointed out

(besides, since english is my second language, I didn't find much in the first two chapters, and only noticed slight errors after reading some other responses)

so... what else can I say?

great job, and I'm looking forward for more of it ;)