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View Full Version : [Pokémon] Eternal Path to Power {PG-13}


Buck_Nasty
September 10th, 2009, 10:37 AM
Chapter One: Symphony of the Night




The wind slowly whistled through the trees, leaves softly billowing in the wind enjoying their soft caress. Drops of water trickled down the length of the green foliage and dangled precariously above the ground slowly swelling until finally releasing their hold on the leafy vegetation. Time seemed to slow to a standstill as the teardrop(S) made their descent into the obscurity of the night, the light of the moon reflected in their gaze when suddenly...




A spatter…




Followed by a plop…




A tiny rustle of leaves as a figure stalked its way through the forest underbrush sent many more drops of water to their imminent doom, it seemed as if a lone cloud had settled over the forest, and wept over the woodland. The screech of Zubats dancing about the night sky echoed rhythmically across the crowns of the majestic oaks only to be quieted by the ominous shadow cast by a predatory Noctowl patrolling its usual stomping grounds. The rapacious avian circled the trees for a what seemed like an eternity to the creatures below, peering from beneath the feathery crest on its brow it scanned the woods below searching for its prey. Hovering as if held aloft by a whim it gracefully swooped into the night below, there was a struggle, followed by a few pained squeals then replaced by the rustling of leaves. The Noctowl perched on a branch with on foot gripped securely on the limb and the other on its quarry, the prey was an unfortunate Marril, the water mouse hung lifeless from its claws blood trickling from the wounds inflicted by the bird’s deadly talons.




It was the law of the jungle…



Hunt or be hunted…



Confident of its position the Noctowl eagerly began to tear into its catch, but its hunger overwhelmed instinct and it began to pay less attention to its surroundings and more attention to its prey; it would prove to be a costly check. The smell of blood attracted other hunters in the area small Buizel crept up to the oak the Noctowl had perched only to be scared away by a tense rustling behind it. The bird by now had ceased to pay heed to the stresses of the ambiance surrounding it, and now was keenly focused on its’ quarry how could have seen the pair of eyes gazing at it from the forest floor. The keen eyes followed the Noctowl’s every movement as it planned and plotted, slowly it crept along, taking care not to disturb any dried leaves that may give away its position a low growl formed in its throat, but was quickly swallowed.




The moon cast its light on the forest momentarily illuminating the area and bringing the hunter into view. Light bluish under fur contrasted against the navy color of its body, a slender tail swayed mischievously behind it as the star-shaped tip glow a faint yellow. The Luxio tensed its muscles as it placed on paw on the tree trunk and pressed hard allowing its’ claws to grip the hard bark, and it began to scale the oak. The various songs of the night once again began to echo amidst the woodland masking the footfalls of the Luxio as it stalked closer and closer to the unwary Noctowl. Now it was a scant foot away and still the bird seemed not to notice its presence, by now the bird was cleaning itself with its slender tongue and looked up to see a flash of white light. Blinded the Noctowl fell off its perch and with a mighty heave the Luxio jumped after it, tumbling through the dense underbrush predator and prey struggled against one another in the timeless struggle of life against death. However in the end it was the Luxio who triumphed, using the electricity that coursed through its body it was able to paralyze the Noctowl so it would be unable to fly away, then broke the birds’ neck with a single Bite to the neck.




IT was the law of the jungle…

Hunt or be hunted…



The hunter now carried its’ prey into the darkness, its tail had now ceased glowing and disappeared altogether. The high pitched squeaks of the Zubat had now been replaced the low drone of the Dustox. Mating season had come around and the swarms of insects overwhelmed the night sky going about their nightly rituals, powdery dust choked the sky as it fluttered down to the forest below and rested on the treetops. Further down the landscape the buzzing of the Dustox gradually grew dull off in the distance until finally it could be hear no longer and instead the sound of waves crashing against rock resonated throughout the night sky. The spray of sea salt peppered the rocky alcoves along the beach; the rocks themselves seemed to come alive as small Krabby scuttled from tide pool to tide pool looking for some unwary aquatic insects while themselves not wishing to become the meal for some hungry Staryu.




The slimy trails left by Shellos illuminated by the moon led from the beach to the grassy plains and rocky cliffs of the inland region. A Pelipper could be seen roosting atop a rock formation that was slowly being eroded by the constant battering at the hands of the unforgiving sea. Underneath the anxious waves numerous colors of light danced beneath the surface as if themselves being enticed by the light of the moon. With a jump a Remoraid leapt from the depths and was immediately engulfed by a breaker landing once again in the safety of the depths. The sea was a bounty of danger for sea-going and land-dwelling Pokemon alike, however flying Pokemon did manage to make an easy living off of picking up fish from the depths however this was not without risk as well. Many a Wingull had met its end tangling with the mysterious monsters that called the sea their home, but the promise of almost unlimited food was worth the risk. The white foam sliding across the tops of the waves deposited themselves along the coastline, masking several sets of footprints that had not been there previously. The footprints led farther inland and stopped at the dense forest edge, voices could be heard although barely it was clear however that the group of strangers had a purpose.




“Surge we’re about 2 clicks south-west of our destination.” A voice struggled to communicate inaudibly, but the bass in his voice made this quite difficult. The man was clothed in brown and green fatigues with lines of black placed strategically to help break up the figure.




“Good we’re moving right on schedule then, Hunter you’re on point with the ‘pig’. Wilkins you watch the rear.”




Lt. Surge gave his orders quickly and concisely, on this mission there wasn’t much time for formalities, or much time to re-explain the mission details. The shortest soldier quickly trotted to the front of the pack, despite the large weapon he carried. Meanwhile a taller man stopped mid-step and hid behind a tree until all his fellow team members had stalked by him, he then took his place at the back of the line his back facing his team. Boots crunched on the numerous twigs littering the forest floor, neon green specks danced around the various shadows cast by the numerous trees.




“Halt.” Lt. Surge whispered as he held his fist in the air at an angle to signal and dropped down on one knee, the other members did the same. He had glanced around and the ground ahead was much to smooth for his liking. The training he’d received told him to follow his instincts and that is what he did.




“Frost gimme a STILL ASAP.” Surge spoke into the microphone that hung from his earpiece.




[Good to hear from you. Are you inside the line?]




The Lieutenant took a moment to look at the digital map displayed on his left arm, and by slinging his weapon onto his back gained the unhindered use of his right hand. A few clicks later and Surge had an answer.




“Yes we are about half a click past the Line of Demarcation and about forty-five minutes from our target objective.”




[Great. Now about that STILL, gimme about 20 seconds.]




“Copy that Frost.” Surge spoke, signaling that he had successfully understood the request.




A few feet from Surge Wilkins adjusted the silencer on his MP-5 Submachine Gun, the non-reflective black metal blended in with the darkness almost perfectly until the moon illuminated it slightly causing the soldier to duck into the shadows once more.




[Alright Lieutenant there seems to be an abandoned missile silo about 5 meters north of your position…]




Surge held his breath.




[…But it looks like the silo is connected to a series of underground tunnels you could possibly use to gain access to the facility.]




Surge left out a silent sigh of relief at the news, at worst it could have been a minefield. Back in the war the Army did not have the technology to utilize a Satellite Thermal Imaging Landscape Layout generator, or S.T.I.L.L for short. The proliferation of technology such as this had made the battlefield a much safer place, but at the same time it made it that much more dangerous.




[How will you proceed Lieutenant?]




“Surge it’s your call either we take the tunnel, or continue to the rendezvous point by cutting through the forest and across the cliffs.” Hunter stated seated at the base of a particularly large evergreen.




“Farsight what does the facility look like?” Surge spoke into his earpiece once again.
About three miles farther inland perched atop a cliff Private Carroll Riley a.k.a Farsight lay prostrate underneath a dense bushy growth gazing into her .50 Caliber Sniper Rifle which stood comfortably on a flexible metal tripod, the three legs dug into the rock and held the weapon in place. Farsight kept her scope trained on a structure even farther off in the distance for a moment not even acknowledging she even heard the question.
“Well Lieutenant there seems to be four sentry guns on the upper level, and I’ve got three, four, five confirmed hostiles. I can prolly get rid of ‘bout two, or three for ya.”
“Do what you can, but don’t compromise your location, if you don’t have a clear shot then don’t take it, I have eyes in the sky to give us a better route.”




“Roger that lieutenant.”




“Alright let’s move it out.”




Surge stood up with a heave and didn’t notice an object had fallen from his pocket; the light of the moon illuminated the Thunderstone for a mere instant, the gem silently sparkled for a brief moment before fading into obscurity.




The faction trudged through the forest for about an hour having decided the silo was too unsafe to travel without incident. Before long the structure loomed tall in front of them surrounded by a tall barbed wire fence, the search-lights made the silver paint shine brightly for a moment. Hunter took only moments to cut a hole in the fence just wide enough for the others to crawl through.




“Hunter you stay here and establish a secure line to call in for evac, I want a bird in the sky exactly ten minutes from now.” Surge grunted out the orders to the private who nodded and immediately disappeared back into the forest.




“Wilkins, Jackson hop to it. We’ve got ‘til 0400 hours to complete the objective or no evac.”




The two figures hurried through the fence and stalked along the southern end of the facility, the wide beams cast by the searchlights seemed sentient themselves as they faithfully scanned the night for any threats. Surge fixed the scope on his standard issue M-16 Assault Rifle as he stopped to assess the situation; silently he spoke an order into his earpiece.




“Farsight you think you can ice some of the hostiles?”




There was no response until a dull thud sounded in rather close proximity, and then came another.




“Two down, there’s an entrance about one hundred feet from you, hurry before the searchlights catch you.”




Surge gave the signal and his two grunts followed him as they sprinted across the open area taking care to stay low to the ground, Wilkins sprinted ahead as he readied his lock picking mechanism and in less then six seconds all three Ops members were seated safely inside the facility. The smooth marble floors were covered a bluish tint cast by the fluorescent lights. Surge gave the signal and Jackson took the pole position as they crept down the hall, there was an eerie silence hovering over the entire building.




“Surge I don’t like this.” Jackson whispered.




The lieutenant had to agree taking care not to disturb his grenades Surge reached behind his back and procured a small white and crimson orb about the size of a jawbreaker, he quickly tapped the silver dial in the center and the orb swelled to the size of a tennis ball. Without a care Surge then tossed the ball into the center of the room and with a loud ‘POP’ the ball opened revealed a metallic globe with a large magnet on either side.




“Magnemite use your Metal Sound technique.” Surge ordered.




The magnet Pokemon slowly rotated on its axis as it began to levitate, and emitted a low humming noise that quickly rose to a high-pitched screech.




“Nothing here Surge.” Jackson reported.




Surge nodded and they began to creep forward until they were in a position to gaze around the corner, and to their surprise what met them was the sight of numerous guards sprawled out on the ground in pools of crimson blood. The soldiers gingerly stepped around the unfortunate guards weapons trained on every corner searching for the cause of the carnage.




“Frost is there another agent on this mission?” Surge barked into the microphone.




[No sir not to my knowledge…]




Frost swallowed hard as he saw the scene through the HUD. Blood splatters decorated the walls as they dripped onto the flow in cherry-red streams. Smoking bullet holes adorned the walls as well, further down the hall tangled wires dangled from large gaping holes as white hot sparks fell to the floor.




“Looks like someone had a party here.” Wilkins said sarcastically.




“Now’s not the time for jokes soldier!” Surge barked.




Wilkins snapped back to attention, Surge usually didn’t yell at his team members, but he was frustrated and confounded by this new development.




“Surge, over here!” Jackson yelled.




Surge and Wilkins sprinted down the hall and around yet another corner followed closely by the Magnemite. The sight that met them was a man harpooned to the wall, and his comrade lay next to him in a pool of gooey purple acid. The acrid smell of burning flesh permeated the hallway and Wilkins had to take a moment to turn around and vomit before composing himself.




“Pull it together, since we’re here set the charges.” He ordered.




With a new sense of purpose the grunts went about their new task, strategically placing C-4 charges at various points in the building. Surge strutted over to the locked door, and noticed that the security light was green, meaning it was unlocked. Pressing the white button on the security pad next to the door, the large metallic doors opened with a whoosh and suddenly Surge was attacked! The guard charged at him as soon as the doors opened wide enough, the lieutenant jump with a start and gave a well timed burst to the man’s midsection that sent him sprawling. Despite his training beads of sweat started to roll down the back of his neck.




“Whoa, good one Surge!” Wilkins congratulated him, Jackson was silent.




Surge walked over to the guard and saw it was not a combat-hardened man like the others, but rather a woman no older than twenty-one. He also noticed that she wasn’t a guard at all, but rather a computer technician. Her lips were an unnatural blue color and her skin a very pale shade of white accented by a sickly green hue. Wilkins was the first to notice that they were in the control room and immediately went to work downloading information from the main computer onto an external hardrive. Jackson continued to scan the room for signs of what sort of struggle occurred, the strange thing about this room was that unlike the hallway there was very little blood. From what Jackson could tell everyone in the room died from some sort of asphyxiation stemming from the lack of oxygen.




“This just doesn’t add up…” Jackson said quietly




Surge nodded as he pulled back his fatigued bandanna to scratch his spiky blonde hair and that’s when he noticed a strange tingling feeling he had in his hands. Surge cautiously looked up and found himself face-to-face with a nightmarish ghoul. With a yell Surge opened fire on the figure who immediately vanished into the ceiling tiles, Wilkins and Jackson instinctively turned around and opened fire on the ceiling as well.






“Magnemite! Use Shockwave now!” Surge yelled desperately.






Almost on cue the metallic globe began emitting a faint yellow glow which darkened in color. Magnemite then released a bright yellow beam of electricity that scattered on contact with the ceiling tiles. Outside the control room they saw the figure emerge from one of the gaping holes in the wall and continue down the hallway, the Spec Ops members gave chase.




[Lieutenant what the hell is going on in there?]




Frost yelled the question into the intercom, the sudden hail of bullets had caught him of guard. Then to his horror he noticed a blinking red light on the dashboard.




[Surge someone tripped the charges early, so you’ve five minutes to get the **** out of there!]




“What the hell do you mean tripped?” Surge asked as he sprinted around the corner and squeezed off a single burst from his rifle that narrowly missed the mysterious figure. A silvery glint caught his eye and he ducked as a throwing knife whizzed by where his head had been mere second before and lodged itself in the wall. This annoyed Surge more than anything as he reached down to his belt and hurriedly yanked a grenade, pulled the pin and lobbed it down the hall in one fluid motion. The grenade hit the marble floor with a metallic ‘clank’ and immediately exploded into many razor sharp fragments that ricocheted off the walls until lodging themselves in the soft flesh of the fallen guards.




[Lieutenant you and your team only half about two minutes until the building comes down on you!] Frost barked into the headset.




“Team lets move!” Surge yelled as he sprinted around yet another corner. Wilkins was hot on his heels spraying the area behind them with a hail of bullets; Jackson was already out the door scanning the area.




“Surge Sentry Guns at eleven o’ clock!” Jackson called out moments before diving back into the hallway and narrowly avoiding a spray of toxic sludge. A loud explosion sounded followed by the crash of burning metal on concrete, and Surge knew then that the Sentry had been taken care of.




“Lieutenant it’s good to see you again.” Farsight said with an air of relief.




Surge smiled to himself as fired a burst into the doorway this time hearing a deep-throated groan. If he had to guess what the sound belonged to, he bank his salary that it was a Pokemon of some sort.






“The ‘bird’ is en route Surge, proceed to the dust-off point and clear the LZ.” Hunter squawked into the headset as he gave the other Ops member covering fire with his M-60i Smart Gun dropping two Sentries in the process.




Surge lobbed another grenade outside the building and counted to himself until he heard the dull explosion smothered by a wet ‘plop’ noise. Taking this opportunity Surge gave the order to head out the door in the open field, almost immediately the team was met by a nauseating odor that hit them like a wall. The source of the stench appeared to be the piles of purple filth that littered the field; Jackson knelt down to test a sample when much to his surprise the pile of primordial ooze began to move. The small piles of muck began to pile on each other and growing in size until the mess revealed itself as an amorphous pile of lavender-hued sludge.




“Grimer…Sludge attack now.” A shadowy voice commanded.




Obediently the Pokemon opened its’ seeping maw and ejaculated a barrage of sticky sludge from its throat headed straight for Jackson. Wilkins stared in horror as he watch the toxic filth headed for his teammate, Jacksons’ feet were glued to the ground, his legs were like jelly-he was paralyzed with fear! Surge’s Magnemite sped in the path of the oncoming projectiles, and intercepted the grime mere moments before they would’ve made contact with Jackson.






“Rapid Spin!” Surge barked an additional order. “…then finish up with a Thunder Wave technique!”
In quick succession Magnemite put up a barrier of light to shield itself and Jackson from the barrage of noxious sludge. The stench was almost overpowering but the Magnet Pokemon seemed largely unaffected as it launched a weak stream of electricity at the purple blob. The Grimer was hit by the glowing stream of lightning almost head-on, the tingling energy coursed through its liquid body almost instantly, scrambling the message canals between its brain and nervous system. The Grimer struggled to move, but found itself unable to do anything short of melting into a standing pool of muck.




“Acid Armor huh?” Surge said to himself. Through the course of their encounter it was now clear who they were fighting against, and before he had time to complete his thought several loud explosions reverberated through the building sending all personnel present flying to the ground.




“Alright team party’s over; let’s get the hell outta here! Magnemite you’ve done great, so return.” Surge recalled the levitating globe into the red and white sphere once again.
Wilkins promptly leapt back to his feet and ran to help Jackson who was still visibly shook by his close encounter with death. Hunter trotted out into the open to help carry Jackson back into the forest, Surge took a moment to look at the scene then the Ops team disappeared back into t he dense woodland almost as quickly and stealthily as they had first arrived. The distant beat of a helicopter several minutes later signaled that they were no longer on the ground and were headed safely back to their home country, they smoke ascending to the heavens the only real clue that they had even been there in the first place.




The light cast by the towering inferno illuminated the entire field revealing piles of smoldering metal and patches of dead grass. A murky puddle that reflected some of the light given off by the blaze seemed to be all that remained of the Grimer that had caused so many problems. A figure stalked over to the fallen Pokemon and carefully dropped a small berry into the puddle. There a sizzle as the berry was digested and the Grimer returned to its original form, then a beam of red light struck the blob causing it to retrograde into the same radiant form before being sucked back in an orb similar to the one used by . The blaze illuminated the figure enough to reveal his garb-Purple and black fatigued robes wrapped tightly around his slender frame, a long black cloth that draped down his back that seemed to be tied around his neck and finally a Japanese Oni mask which he allowed to dropped into the dust. The ninja turned and walked towards the forest, the chains attached to his twin Kama clanging together almost rhythmically as he walked.




“Yes… the package has been picked up.” He whispered into an earpiece hidden behind his own bandanna.




The shadow trudged around the field for a few moments before donning his mask once again. He turned around momentarily to view the blazing building one last time the before quickly vanishing into the night for the last time. Rain once again began to pour out onto the earth, time seemed to slow to a standstill as a multitude of fragile water droplets made their descent from the ballooning clouds into the obscurity of the night, the light of the billowing flames reflected in their gentle gaze.




+++++The End+++++

Buck_Nasty
October 8th, 2009, 01:04 PM
Come on a few comments and criticisms would be helpful.

Special B_U_M_P Cannon!!

Sgt Shock
October 8th, 2009, 01:14 PM
My god! A Lt.Surge fan fiction. You are like my new favorite person (besides like three other people on this forum). I'm going to read it now. :P

Buck_Nasty
January 9th, 2010, 10:57 AM
Sorry about the wait, my Flash drive malfunctioned and deleted a years worth of Term papers, projects, and recipes plus all the research I did for my CHapters. To top it off this all happened the week before finals!

So without further ado here's Chapter 2! Since it may be a bit strange let me say this first, the connection to the first chapter is not made for another couple chapters.




Chapter Two: Hotel Grand Lake




[Good Morning Sinnoh you’re now on-air with Sandy and Cal, the time is fifteen after seven and I hope everyone is getting ready for work!]



Chris awoke with a start before settling back slowly beneath the crisp white linen that covered his bed; he continued to lie in bed for a few seconds before groggily sliding off the bed onto the smooth hardwood floor. The chilly floor panels snapped Chris to attention and he began fervently searching for his slippers. Slivers of golden sunlight slithered through the cracks in the window blinds revealing the dust fibers suspended in midair before resting on the impassive oak floorboards. Chris’s slender fingers searched for the snooze button on his alarm amidst the dim light of his room, after about ten seconds his brown appendages found what they had been seeking and pressed the button with triumph.


Dragging himself out of bed once again proved difficult as once he was standing upright the white cotton sheet continued to call him towards their lush comfort once more, but he resisted the lull of the cradle and managed to stalk into the bathroom. Flicking on the bathroom light caused the room to suddenly fill with fluorescent luminosity causing his pupils to shrink almost immediately; this in turn caused him to squint his eyes painfully for a few moments. It took a few seconds for his eyes to adjust to the light, and as he waited he reached down to grab the cold faucet handle and turned it with a small heave. First a trickle then a small stream of clear water flowed from the stainless steel faucet, cupping his large brown hands under the stream Chris allowed the cold water to pool in his palms. When he was satisfied with the amount he leaned his head down and quickly splashed his face to dampen it in order to apply his face scrub.


Taking care not to dampen the black head rag that still adorned his scalp he applied the grainy paste like substance that he had squeezed from the plastic bottle that lay to his right, and vigorously rubbed it into his skin starting with his cheeks and then working his way to his forehead. He had taken a shower the previous night so he thought in interest of time that it would be best to just get dressed and get to work. Last week he had been late and his Chef chewed him out for the better part of five minutes and put him on dish detail as punishment, Chris knew he was extremely lucky to get chosen to take part in the internship and he did his best to stay on track.


After toweling off and brushing his teeth he strutted back into his room and proceeded to pull the blinds and open the window where a spray of sea salt stung his tongue and nostrils alike. Chris enjoyed staying by the coast where the air was always tinged with a salt taste and the nights were always clear and crisp – picture perfect. A flock of Wingull circled the coast in the search of a suitable roosting area that provided a better vantage point to spot food; he had prepared Wingull some weeks before and found their flavor somewhat similar to small game birds if not fishier. Pulling himself from the beautiful morning scene he slide open the door to his closet and revealed his wardrobe, five pairs of hangers hung up the different articles of clothing that made up his uniform. First he put on a clean white undershirt, but not until after remembering to put on deodorant. The checkered “hound-tooth” pants followed suit as did his white neckerchief which he tied cravat-style, finally his double breasted jacket.


“Oh for the love of God…” Chris started.


“Sprint! Get over here now!” He ordered in stern voice. The soft pitter-patter of furry paws could be heard echoing throughout the room, suddenly a blur of brown shot across the floor before coming to a rest at Chris’ feet.


“Sprint, where are my shoes?” He inquired to the small brown feline at his heels.


The Eevee cocked his head to one side while coyly twitching his long ears, Chris continued to glare at the feline as it tossed its cream-colored mane from side-to-side before meeting his gaze and blinking cutely as tears began to run down its furry cheeks.


“No that Fake Tears trick may work on contest judges, but not me. Bring me my shoes I’m gonna be late for work!”


The feline turned around to walk away revealing a bushy tail that swayed to-and-fro as it trotted over to a spot by his bed. Chris followed the Eevee over to its’ hiding spot and reached under his bed only to find his polished black shoes where had put them the night before.


“I thought I told you not to move them, uhh why do I bother sometimes?” Chris asked to no one in particular.


“I mean it’s not like you can really understand what I’m sayin’ anyway.”


Sprint cocked its head to the side cutely behind sitting up on its haunches in the begging position as if to say “I’m sorry.” Chris shook his head before succumbing to the temptation and began rubbing Sprints soft furry head, he then picked up the small fox-like mammal and carried it to the living room and placed him gently on the couch as he grabbed his keys off the small table near the doorway. The small metal keys scraped a small portion of the colored glass off the table.


“Damn I just keyed my own table.” Chris said incredulously.


Chris pulled the door latch with a click and swiftly opened the white wooden door, and pulled it shut and locked it quietly all the while trying hard not to disturb the people sleeping in the rooms adjacent to his. Walking briskly down the carpeted hallway Chris noticed his jacket was littered with delicate auburn hairs and began to brush them off immediately. Chris checked his back pocket to make sure his wallet was where he had left it, and at that moment his left pocket vibrated. He jumped slightly before remembering that his phone was in the left pocket and with his slender arm reached deep into the checkered cloth, and procured a sleek silver device that reflected the light of the hallway lamps.


“I’m on my way, damn.” Chris said to no one in particular as he mouthed the words as he planned on texting to his co-worker Travis.


After what seemed like forever Chris finally managed to come to the large glass doors that led to the hotel exit, opening the door Chris was met by the cool morning air and salty sea spray. The sun was creeping slowly into the sky which was littered with wispy white cirrus clouds. Trudging down the path Chris gazed at the assortment of cars parked near the front desk building, and noticed that a Silver Honda Civic was parked in a spot reserved for handicapped tenants. Upon closer inspection Chris took note of the navy blue decals that decorated the hood and the sides of the vehicle he also noticed the tinted back windows.


“Hmm Sunyshore plates huh?” Chris said to himself out loud. He wondered who the car could possibly belong to and walked away with the notion of waiting around to see for himself but decided against it in the interest of getting to work.


The walk to the Seaside Grille restaurant took somewhat longer than usual mostly as Chris stopped to meander around the meadow to watch the Beautifly flutter around gather nectar from the numerous flowers, he gently plucked a flower from its resting place and lifted it to his nose took a large whiff of the sensuous aroma and exhaled slowly. The soft white cotton spores fluttered in clumps concealing groups of Hoppip and the occasional Skiploom that huddled together in red masses merciless before the gentle breeze. Chris continued down the road towards the restaurant, the large sign loomed over him like an ominous shadow foreboding things to come.


“Well here goes another eight hours of fun.” Chris said out loud.


“I can’t wait, how about you?” A feminine voice behind him inquired.


Chris whirled around to see Camille one of the students enrolled in the intern program with him, her blonde hair already tied into a ponytail and that stated at the top of her head, and ran down to her petite shoulders. Her white double-breasted jacket was more neatly pressed than his was and she carried the crest of the school she attended on her left breast pocket in which she carried a small black plastic ink pen, a silver bi-metallic thermometer, and a sharpie marker the same tools Chris carried in his sleeve pocket.


“Well I stayed up late last night trying to figure out a way to slim down the game hen recipe.”


“That was easy I was busy drawing up my layout for the dessert buffet, Chef Darrin is gonna pick whoever’s he thinks is best and that what we’re doin’ for the corporate birthday party.”


“Really now?” Chris asked as they walked into the sliding doors of the restaurant.


The hostess stand stood cold and uninviting, the reservation book lay closed hidden in the cubby hole atop a large pile of plastic menus. Their footsteps made little noise as they traversed the carpeted dining area; Chris preferred the front of the restaurant this way as he could casually sit at any table booth and recline on the cushioned seats. Chris ran his hand over one the smooth hardwood tables and was surprised to see that it was already damp, probably from someone wiping down the tables beforehand. The two chefs-in-training continued down the server line into the double doors that led to the kitchen area where soft carpeted floors gave way to hard ceramic tiles. The stainless steel dishwashing machine was shiny and stain-free for the time being and this was the way the dish tankers liked it, but unfortunately after nine o clock it seldom stayed this way.


Walking about half the length of the dish tank machine they rounded the line of shelves that held the numerous white dishes as they came to the kitchen prep area; the large stainless steel table was already littered with sheet pans filled with various cuts of meat that had been trimmed for use during the course of the day, Chris noted the marbling on the surface of the different pieces of red meat, the marbling effect was produced by streaks of white intramuscular fat that was not trimmed of during the fabrication process, the fat was left on to add flavor to the final dish and ensure the meat was moist. To his right stood the speed rack that held the numerous sheet pans, from the way the meat was trimmed Chris could safely assume that they would be preparing variations of the Steak au Pouivre, Beef Wellington, and Strip steak bordelaise.


“Camille what are you doin today?” Chris called out.


“Lemme check,” Camille paused. “I’m the garde-manger today.”


“Have fun.” Chris jeered.


“Thanks I will…*******.” Camille joked. There were only around three people who actually enjoyed the garde-manger position, the preparation of the various cold foods was no easy task nor was it fun. Chris particularly disliked the making of the aspic jelly used in the terrines that were served in addition to other hors d’oeuvres.


“You’re on prep until the restaurant opens so I wouldn’t go getting all happy just yet.”
Chris winced.


“I don’t mind prep, but am I on the line today?”


Camille looked over the roster once again before she gave an answer.


“Yeah, it’s you-Wilkens, Jackson, Scott, and Rodriguez.


Chris personally didn’t like working with Shaun Jackson, but he didn’t mind the other two, their spare time was usually filled up with conversations and arguments about statistics and Pokemon trainer match-ups. Chris walked back to the front of the restaurant passing the dark, imposing grill line in the process. It was at this spot in the restaurant that most of the cooking took place, if you wanted to sweat, be angry, and dog tired every day this was the spot for you. For him it usually meant eight hours of arguing with the servers while screaming at the dish tankers to bring you plates, knowing fully well half of them couldn’t speak English, or were to hung-over to care. It took around twenty seconds to finally reach his destination- the server POS station, it was here that the waitresses recorded the orders for guests and calculated tips averages and all those important figures, but more importantly it was here that he would be allowed to clock-in so he could earn money for the day. Punching in a key numbers on the LCD touch screen, Chris heard a resounding ‘bleep’ and knew that he had clocked in correctly.


Walking back into the prep cooler he found himself face-to-face with boxes upon boxes of food, the scent of ripe melons permeated his nostrils as he leaned down to sniff the voluptuous spheres, walking a bit further into the large fridge the sweet scent of floral beauty changed into a salty sea aroma hinting to the whole Magikarp that lay in the middle of the shelf.


“Hm, apparently I have to skin about ten pounds of the fish here.” Chris said to no one in particular as he picked up a medium brown clipboard that had hung on the wall to his right. Placing the clipboard back onto the hook on the wall Chris grabbed three of the ice-filled perforated hotel pans and proceeded to carry them into the kitchen. Treading carefully as to not slip on any unseen objects left by the closing shift Chris turned his back to the large metal and used his weight to push it open with a whoosh, and walked over to the prep table and sat the stack of silver pans safely on the corner. Then walking over to the black magnetic strips on the wall he grabbed two knives, and then proceeded to return to his station to begin the task at hand.



“Oh ****, completely forgot my damn apron.” Chris said aloud once again to no one in particular. Walking to the back of the building towards the dry stock room he spied what he was looking for in the form of the soft cotton-fiber aprons. Taking it on himself he grabbed a large stack and carted them to the kitchen, but not after taking on off the bottom for himself which he draped over his shoulder.



“Once again let’s get started.”



Chris grabbed the first metal perforated pan and placed it in the sink to empty out the ice, and rinse off the somewhat frozen fish. Chris searched under the prep table and found both the steel for straightening the knife and the remote control for the 24-inch Plasma TV posted on the wall behind him, and pressed the large red button to turn on the power. Around this time of the morning the early morning Trainer Daily show was on and Chris usually liked having the white noise in the background as he went about his job of preparing and portioning the food to be used later on that day. Reaching to his left he grabbed the scored, abrasive rod used to “sharpen” knives between uses; the first knife to be “sharpened” was the French knife which would make the ordeal of scaling and fining the Magikarp much easier. The French knife had a rigid 8-inch blade made high-carbon stainless steel, the blade wide at the heel tapered to a sharp point at the tip of the blade. Chris took a moment to look at the hand to make sure that there were no gashes or grooves that could potentially splinter into his hand, even though the polypropylene handle was molded almost perfectly to the tang of the knife without any seams or rivets it was always important to check to make sure there were no crevices that bacteria could grow.



Chris heard the chatter of the TV program in the background and turned around to see two middle-aged men, both dressed in suits that looked like they had been pressed for almost an hour long seated comfortably in large armchairs; both men seemed engaged in a lively debate.


“Yes Bob it is true that the statistical difference between Lance Evans and Gary Oak is negligible at best-“ Trainer Daily host Jonathan Mathers was cut short by his guest star, Trainer analyst Robert Dermeyer.



“Yes it is which is why you can’t just go off, and say that matching the two of them together would be one-sided in any way, or shape.” Jonathan placed his hand in the air as if to signal ‘Stop’ and Robert paused for a moment.



“Like I said before you interrupted me, just because the numerical difference signifies that they should be evenly matched. You can’t ignore the bare facts! Gary Oak is the grandson of world-renown Pokémon professor Samuel J. Oak, who I may remind you was quite the talented trainer himself.”


Travis pointed to the large 60-inch plasma screen television behind the two men came to life with a(n) bright, blue glow and a clip from almost twenty years ago began to play. A younger Professor Oak was battling in a high-stakes Pokémon Trainer match against his rival Agatha Warner; Oak was commanding his first Pokémon- a poison-type species by the name of Nidorino to attack his opponent. The opposing Pokémon was a poison-type as well, the large snake Pokémon writhed its thick, scaly body on the ground before raising its head and inflating its Intimidating hood and using its muscular body as a spring and launching itself in the direction of the Poison point Pokémon before the video cut to black and the TV rose back into the ceiling.



“I fail to see just how this video illustrates your point at all.” Robert said as he shook his head in a confused manner.



Chris by this point had finished taking both knives against the straightening steel and had begun scaling the cold fish. Grabbing the dull yellow tail with his gloved left hand, he took the back of his rigid utility knife and began scraping off the smaller scales of the caudal fin with quick, smooth strokes that sent rouge translucent scales flying into the bottom of the sink. Next came the larger, more solidly built fins near the gill covers; Magikarp were known for having scales that were hard as rocks which sometimes proved to be impossible to remove, but the secret to removing them was prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures either hot or cold. Since the fish had been on ice all night it would be a simple task to remove the scales, and he was correct as the large scales came off with very little damage to the flesh itself. Finally he had to trim the anal, pelvic, and dorsal fins and rub coarse sea salt all along the skin, but not before making a slit in the belly and filling it with lemon slices. He then took the prepared fish back into the cooler after getting a clean perforated hotel pan from the shelf, and filling it with fresh ice to cover it. Repeating the process with all the fish took about twenty minutes, and it was when he got down to the last fish that he got the surprise of his life.



“Lance Evans hails from Blackthorn a member of the also world-renown Dragon clan, and his talent speaks for itself. Lance is the youngest member of the Elite Four to date! Forget numbers, only real-life tactics and application have any room on the Pokémon battlefield, not useless numbers and statistics!”



Chris looked up momentarily from his task to see both men becoming quite red in the face, and now begun shouting at each other.


“That’s why I watch this show,” Chris chuckled to himself, and stopped mid-sentence when he realized that the Magikarp was no longer on the work table, but now it was flailing around on the ground like well, a fish out of water.


“No ****in’ way…” Chris muttered to himself.


“Well this is new…” Chris said to the fish as he continued to stare as the Magikarp floundered about on the cold tile floors.


“Something this out of place only happens in the movies, I think I’ll keep you as a friend for Sprint.”


“Karp, carp, carp.” The fish gasped for air as it flailed around. Forgetting the fact he was supposed to kill it, Chris quickly filled the sink with running water, and threw the fish into the life-giving liquid.


“Hm, there’s something about you little guy.” Chris said as he watched the fish float in the sink, turning only slightly as if adjusting to its new environment, the Magikarp flapped its gills furiously keeping the flow of water over its gills constant to sustain its oxygen supply. Once he realized that he had much more food to prepare, Chris continued to make trips back and forth to the cooler all under the watchful eye of his newfound aquatic companion.


“Four pans of carrots…” Chris scanned the cooler looking for the bright orange vegetable squares he had diced almost two hours earlier.


“Check, two pans of Cream of Broccoli Soup…” Chris looked to the middle shelf to his left and spied the creamy white and green soup and promptly checked it off his list.
Gazing at the clock Chris noticed the time was around two o’clock-just in time for his half an hour break. Chris sprinted over to the dry stock room and managed to rustle up a decent-sized trash bag that would be capable of holding around three pounds of ice, plus the weight of the fish. The trip back to his room took all of about fifteen minutes plus the detour he took to grab some fish food for his new pet, and once that task had been completed he was back at work ready to finish his prep chart. He passed his fellow prep cook Levi on his way back to the cooler, and waved a casual ‘hello’ to which Levi returned amiably enough. Going down the list took around ten minutes while he made sure he had spent the last six hours correctly preparing what was needed. After double-checking he placed the clipboard on the hook at the front of the cooler next to the door and exited the enormous refrigerator and once again entered the kitchen, and happened to overhear an intense conversation emanating from the front of the restaurant.



“S-sir I told you the manager is not here at the moment, and-“. The new host was cut off mid-sentence as a gloved hand came down across his face, sending a spray of blood across the glass doors. The man who couldn’t have been older than eighteen clutched the side of his face in anguish as he gritted his teeth in a futile effort to keep more blood from flowing from his newly inflicted wound.



“Listen mutha****a, I’m hearing a lot of talkin’…” The assailant trailed off as he swaggered up to the fallen man, further intimidating him.



“-but the words I’m hearin’ don’t mean ****.” The man had to be close to six feet tall and he seemed to have an athletic frame as he commenced to kicking the fallen man for the better part of ten seconds.


“PLEASE! Uhh. GAAK!” The man tried to beg as he was chocking on a mixture of saliva and blood, the man’s number eleven boot kicking him in the stomach did not help things either.


Chris slid behind the bar and slowly poked his head around the corner to view the unsettling situation, the assailant towered over his fallen victim the black leather gloves he wore on both hands matched the ski mask he wore over his face, a sleek black Glock .45 in his left hand made him shudder. He could see a couple others in the far corner of he restaurant rounding up the other customers and employees, and he quietly slid back into his hiding spot.



“Look I for a ****in fact that somebody in this mutha****a got tha mutha****in keys!” With that statement that man raised his gun high in the air and let off a few shots into the ceiling.



“Noo! Stop! I don’t know anything! PLEASE!” Chris heard a familiar tone to the desperate cry coming from the other side of the room, peaking around the corner he saw Camille’s panic-stricken face and his stomach fell. The other two accomplices were both holding Camille back as she jerked, and flailed in vain attempts to free herself.



“This one smells good Ace!” The smaller assailant moved his face close enough to Camille’s neck to give it once-over with his long slender, tongue that slithered on her skin all the way up to her ear, Camille squirmed, disgusted.



“Tastes pretty damn good too, can’t we do something different wit her?” The shorter man inquired.



The leader identified as Ace gave him a look, shook his head and once again turned to address the members of the restaurant.



“Aight, since ya’ll rich boojie *** mutha****a’s is deaf, I’ma give ya’ll til I count to five, then this pretty blonde ***** ain’t gonna be happy.”


He the walked up to Camille until he was scant inches away from her, and bent down to look her in the eye.


“Trust me.”



The assailant raised the black firearm from his waist until it was angled towards her foot.



“One…” He stopped to look around. Chris could hear his heart beating in his arms, he felt a deep emptiness in his stomach and forced himself to breathe normally as he clenched his fists tightly



“Whyowhyowhyowhyowhyowhy…?” Chris thoughts were racing a hundred miles a minute. ‘Why’ was the only question on his mind, why couldn’t he have stayed at home in the morning? Why was Camille about to pay for the manager’s cowardice? Chris knew for a fact that the manager was here and had the key to the safe, why couldn’t he just give the men what they wanted? Chris’s thoughts were interrupted by a pain-stricken scream that pierced the air in the restaurant, he peaked around the corner to see Camille partially slumped over in the two men’s’ arms, her right foot stained a shiny red that oozed onto the floor.



“Three…” The man looked around again, and pulled the trigger of the pistol, this time a bullet painfully connected with her thigh. Camille screamed out once again as tears streamed down her face, he saw a helpless look in her eyes as by some unfortunate coincidence her eyes connected with his and it was at this moment he felt the same way he had felt some years ago.


The same feeling of helplessness.
He had been helpless to protect her.
He could only stand by and watch her torment.
He had failed to protect so many.



“Four!” The man seemed to grin as he pulled the trigger once again, this sent a slug careening into Camille’s stomach, and she let her body slump weakly to the ground, her eyes red and aching from the tears, the rest of her body numb from the pain and blood loss. People moaned and sobbed quietly as they prayed that Camille would feel no more pain in her passing.



“Five!” Ace raised his hand to aim the gun at Camille’s head when a different voice struck the ominous silence that hung over the store.


“STOP!!” Chris now stood out in the open his head hung in grief and shame, his fear overcome by anger, at this point in time his fists were clenched so tight that his fingernails had dug deeply into his flesh, and blood dripped down his slender brown fingers and pooled beneath his firmly clenched fists.



“What the ****?” Ace and the other two shot a surprised look in his direction.
“I... Said…STOP IT!!” Chris stood tall and charged the three men without any thought of consequence to his well being, all he knew was that he had to redeem himself.


He had to save her.
He had sworn he would never let her get hurt.
Worst of all he had watched her torment, but did nothing.



Chris stopped at the shorter man to aim a wild punch at his face, but missed and hit the wooden host stand. However he felt little pain as fragment of his bone splintered through his skin, and instead tried another punch that missed his target, this time he was met by a fist in the stomach himself. The assault did not stop there however as Ace connected with a kick to Chris’s chin as he doubled over from the first hit.


“Guuck!” Blood spurted from his throat forcefully, hitting the floor with a splat. Chris body soon followed amidst a flurry of gloves and boots that struck him painfully until he attempted to stand once again.



“Back the **** up!” Ace said as he pushed his two accomplices out of his way, and aimed the black steel of death at his back, and pulled the trigger.



BRAAK!



A thunderclap went off inside the restaurant and echoed inside Chris’s head and left his ears ringing, he felt a burning pain searing the left side of his body. The fire continued to eat away at his flesh as he was powerless to do anything to douse the flames of pain that licked at his quickly fleeting life. Like a train going backwards through the tunnel, he saw the light waning slowly, but surely. Then the darkness became all consuming, he heard it.


Boom.


There it was again, rumbling in his ears.


BOOM.


Louder this time, this was no gunshot, was it?


BOOM!!


This thunder was different; this feeling was as cold, empty, and frightening as the darkness that loomed over his conscious. Chris found himself coming closer to the light once again, soon he found himself outside the tunnel. He could feel himself lying on his side, glancing to his right he saw the assailants laying face-down in pools of blood while police officers hovered them. EMS checked them for a pulse and shook their heads, then summoning all the willpower humanly possible he painfully rolled over to see Camille…



“Oh…my..God…” Chris said weakly as tears began to stream down his face, then abruptly he fell into darkness once more.


The End