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April 24th, 2009 (11:29 AM).
what's your sign?
The Problem with Infamy
(chapter thirteen - the thirteenth chapter of the story. this won't end well.)
A tall woman watched from the dark corners of what was left of the Eterna Galactic Building, on the top floor. She stood among an empty room, half blasted into smithereens and the night air pushing itself against her pale face. As she stood there, watching silently and (she hoped) unnoticed, the past of the room she was in began to creep up to her.
This place gave her goose bumps – she loathed it, she loathed it
, for more reasons than it was merely a building owned by bad guys. It was a bit more personal than that… scratch that. It was
more personal than that.
The figure watched from the shadows as three humans moved around below her. Frowning deeply, she tried to work out what was happening right now… three people, one of whom had caused major head bashing in the past, were kicking around in old ruins. Knowing him, he had probably been stupid enough to think this place was intact. Sure, she was amazed that he was alive (not to mention in Sinnoh) but when one of the tagalongs found something she couldn't help but snarl.
The girl had found something round. And red. And shiny. And painfully familiar.
Yami could feel her stomach lurch. She shook her head, whisking straight, ink-colored hair (cascading in spiky clumps near the bottom) that went down to her elbows from her face. She was slightly pale, and sported a mostly black ensemble; black shirt and pants, both seriously worn-out by the edges. These were covered by a long trenchcoat, which has also faced its share of tough love.
She removed the large black sunglasses from her face, shifting her weight uneasily. You couldn’t see her eyes, even without the sunglasses, though; a ridiculous black hat resembling that of the crest of a Murkrow provided a handy hat-shadow covered them. She had a black bag – the strap went around her chest and the actual bag hung down on her right side, right near her arm. The frown on her face deepened.
“What in the name of Arceus is he doing?... Scratch that – why is he alive?” She stared at the man now observing the piece of the Red Chain once again, and shook her head. She slowly reached into the bag and removed a heavily scratched Ultra Ball.
She stared at it, temporarily lost in nostalgic thought as a reflecting expression took over her face. Snapping out of it a few seconds later, she shook her head and sent out the Pokémon inside. Aforementioned Pokémon inside flew out of the ruins and streaked over the trio’s head, squawking.
Yami groaned – her cover was blown. She needed to fix Nightwitch’s squawking problem sometime soon.
“What was that?” Kris jumped and looked up.
“It was a Honchkrow. See it up there?” Caro pointed it out.
Cyrus watched the Honchkrow circle around for a few minutes, wings beating, and finally reached for his pocket to retrieve a Pokéball of his own. He was about to toss it into the air and send out the Pokémon inside, when Caro stopped him by sticking out an arm. “What are you doing? It’s a wild Honchkrow flying near a dark forest. Honchkrows like dark forests, don't they? It's probably wild.”
“It’s not wild. It had a rider, and that rider was following us.” His Crobat emerged from the red beam of light. As the Honchkrow suddenly and miraculously remembered that it had a mistress to ferry, the Big Boss Pokémon briefly returned to the ruined building to pick up its Trainer.
“Now that we know where the owner is,” Cyrus said calmly to the large, purple bat, “Air Slash.”
As Crobat sent out the attack, firing at the giant black bird-and-rider like a bullet, Nightwitch tried to swerve out of the way. He failed miserably. The Air Slash collided with him, sending bird and rider down to the ground in a rather miserable-looking, crumpled heap – hurt, but alive. Meanwhile, Crobat made a loop in the air and returned to loom above Cyrus' spiked hair ominously.
“Hey! You were right!” Kris’ eyes widened as she ran over to the crashing site. She crouched down, putting her hands around the woman's shoulders and shaking them wildly. “Hey! Are you okay, ma’am?”
“Get of'fa me,” she growled in return, clenching her fist and frowning. Kris raised an eyebrow.
“Well, if you’re going to be that way, fine with me.” And she backed off. The woman got up, and glanced around. After making a disapproving noise that sounded something like
, she reached into her bag and pulled out a Max Potion. She was about to get down to heal Honchkrow's injuries when Cyrus' stare turned on her.
She put her current mission temporarily on hold to send him a chilling glare.
Returning to the problem at hand, she got down on one knee and sprayed the Max Potion on her Honchkrow. It twinged as the burning spray touched its injury, but the jagged breathing slowly returned to normal.
“Shh,” she whispered, “Its’ fine. Everything’s okay.” The Big Boss Pokémon chirped softly. “Can you fly?” She asked. It looked up at her and nodded its beaked head. She stroked its wing, smiling at it. “Good.” She took another glance at Caro, Kris, and Cyrus, and mounted his back. Shooting a frown in their general direction, she flew off silently.
“Who was that?” Caro mused, putting a finger on his chin momentarily.
Cyrus' eyes followed the Honchkrow trainer, but he didn't reply.
They watched the silent night air for a few minutes, when Kris broke the awkward silence.
“So, Helio. Any other tourist locations around here?”
Cyrus hesitated for a second. “No.”
“Well, if that’s all today, I’m beat. If we actually are going to go to Mt. Coronet, can we wait until morning?” Caro swiveled around and began to walk back towards the forest. Kris and Cyrus followed suit, the former gazing around at the dark city. They all stomped past a bush, rusting slightly. From the wind, apparently…
“Hm.” A figure sat in the undergrowth, crouched low. It was a very odd catlike Pokémon, ears twitching constantly. “I’m sleepy…” it yawned. “No! I have to keep awake this time!”
The brown creature shook its head, and kept watching through its sightless eyes. A vaguely human-shaped body covered in tan and brown armor shifted to keep a center of balance, and a similarly covered tail stuck out behind.
It scampered into a large thorn bush near the humans strolling along. Well, okay, they
like humans but they all had the aura of Pokémon (although that tall one had less Pokémon Aura than the other two). The Abra positioned itself, tensing the muscles in its legs as the small Psychic-type prepared to spring.
Long story short, it sprung – and did so do well that it landed on the tall one’s head. Apparently startled, the human swiped at his hairspikes. What happened next was a blur to anyone who was (hypothetically) passing. The Abra snatched the man’s hand as he reached upwards, leaped onto the shorter girl’s head while still clutching it, and grabbed a lock of the boy’s hair in his free paw.
He pulled both paws down and sprung again off the girl’s forehead.
As the Pokémon landed, the mental spell that someone – something – had laid on it lifted, and the drowsy creature flicked back to its home to sleep. He didn’t care in the least what these guys were doing, or what problems he had caused. He was too tired to give a Ratatta's tail about it.
If you recall as the Abra slipped away into nowheresland, it let go of the man’s arm and thrust him forward. As such, when the trio arrived at the Abra-for-hire’s destination, Cyrus got a faceful of mud.
As he got up, he wiped the wet mess of dirt and water out of his eyes. “Disgusting,” he muttered. “What creature did that?”
“I felt a really hard tug on my hair…” Caro rubbed his head as he emerged from a lake. Apparently, he had fallen in. “…and a flash of brown, too.”
“I saw that too, yeah. And something sprang off of my forehead really hard…” Kris nodded. She was apparently the only one who hadn’t been covered by a wet substance, but had instead landed on dry grass. The blond girl was regaining her balance against a tree. “I think that it had armor.”
“Armor?” Caro and Cyrus said together.
“I saw a brown chestplate thing.” She shrugged.
“An armored Pokémon, tan apparently, with a brown chestplate. Small enough to keep its balance on my head and yet large enough to pull us off balance… there is only one Pokémon I can think of that fits our criteria, but what that Pokémon did was not in its nature in the least...” Cyrus was back to rambling incoherently. Again.
Caro and Kris stared at him while they tried to calculate his mini-analyzing speech.
“Which would be…?” Caro gestured in a way for Kris or Cyrus to finish the sentence for him.
“An Abra, right?” Kris suddenly found its name.
“That’s the only possible solution. Even though there is no other possible solution, exclusing the small chance that it is a new Pokémon nobody has ever seen before, it still acted very different than a normal Abra would have done in a situation like this one. It also clearly had a motive; there is no Abra who ever would have done that for pleasure. Or at all, for that matter.”
Cyrus suddenly became aware that he had been rambling… again. With that, he added another mental note not to go on so much. (This one probably wouldn’t go down well either, judging by the success of the ‘never talk to Honchkrow’ concept.)
“Basically,” Caro said slowly, “what you’re saying is that Abra – if that was what it was – is working for something that’s making it doing something it wouldn’t usually do.”
“Exactly. Ironically enough, the same thing happened to Magnezone earlier.” Cyrus turned to the now-risen sun, which was currently in the process of sending barely audible sparks of light across the black skies.
As it did, the rising ball of fire illuminated a floating figure perched on the top of a cave far out on the lake.
Aforementioned perching figure smild widely. "Alright, s'cool," it mumbled. "Finally! It tkes you guys too long to visit your old buddy Azelf, huh?"
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