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Old August 22nd, 2010 (02:24 AM). Edited April 30th, 2011 by bobandbill.
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I'M AN ANGRY SCIENTIST!!
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Yes, a new chapter. Amazing, I know. Uni and procrastination and other projects were very distracting. This only took me 7+ months after all. But hey I'm still keeping it going eh? ;p

Just quickly thanks again to the other reviews I forgot to respond to - nice to know you've read and enjoyed. =) XD Thanks also to those who voted this fic + Miror B in the sppf fanfiction awards again and all. =) Also thanks to the person who made a tvtropes page of this what.

Thanks to Chris_the_Com for beta-reading most of this. =)

And with that, gogogo chapter full of plot development and not much else! =D Need a lot of set up with lots of people joining the story some more so this is more a quiet chapter, but I hope it's enjoyable anyways.


***

Chapter 17: Minor Adjustments


“No,” Nascour said, putting his head in his hands in a face-palm motion.

“No no no no no,” he added. “Why, oh why, does everything have to go so… wrong?” He gazed dismally at the grey wall, as if hoping that it would console him as walls do. Heck, I still don’t have my television either, Nascour thought to himself. Darn it all – I want things to work properly around here, and I want my own tv. My own darn bagel-making television. Is that too much to ask for?

He was temporarily jolted out of his depression when a knock came on the door.

“Come in,” he said finally. Unfortunately for Nascour, instead of a television being brought in, it was Miror B instead who waltzed into the room, singing out loud as usual with his radio in tow.

“…Refrigerator! We’ve gotta move his colour teee-vveeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”

“Miror B, not now. Anytime but now,” Nascour replied wearily, as he scrunched up the report he had been reading into a ball and threw it at Miror B, only to observe it go into the eccentric man’s afro.

“Why, what’s the matter? Bad day?” Miror B said, reducing the volume of his radio. The action had distracted him so he didn’t notice the ball of paper falling into his afro.

“I suppose that’s one way to put it,” Nascour said quietly, staring.

“Oh, I see,” Miror B said, setting the radio down on the table and changing the song, before bursting out into tune again.

“Because you had a bad day
You're taking one down-” Miror B stopped abruptly in response to Nascour kicking him in the shin. “Fine, I take it you don’t want me to sing anymore...” he said as he rubbed his leg and turned down the volume of his radio slightly. After noticing Nascour continue to glare he thought better of it and plugged in a set of headphones and hurriedly put them on, the room falling quiet once again. “So… what’s the matter?”

“What’s the matter?” Nascour repeated, staring at Miror B. “Where should I begin... maybe with the failed attack on the Relic Stone? Or the failed attempt to get the Time Flute. Which failed. Spectacularly!” He took a breath and looked back at the papers on the floor which told of all of these events. “And now a large amount of our force is gone! That’s also a failure! It’s probably a matter of time before they find our hideout, and arrest us all...”

“Oh? But I thought you said that we were safe here?” Miror B replied, frowning a bit.

“Oh, sure, the builders know nothing besides that they’re building a grand new colosseum and so forth, and we have some...friends in high places, as you should know. But even with that I’m doubtful on how long we’ll survive. That, and given that the police force intercepted our group, it looks like we have a traitor in our ranks.”

Miror B blinked and scratched his ear. “A traitor? How un-delightful! But how sure are you about this?”

Nascour sighed. “Very sure. A large police force doesn’t just show up out of nowhere and in the right place and time to do what they did. The only good thing is that Dakim wasn’t caught himself, and that in itself-” Nascour stopped, as a loud knock on the door came, followed by the door falling down and hitting the ground with a very loud bang. Dakim walked in with a sheepish smile, with Skrub following, distracted from his silent cursing of his failure with destroying the Relic stone by Dakim’s entrance.

“Man, your door broke again.”

“Yes, I’ve noticed,” Nascour said coldly. “Now, how about you start explaining yourself?”

“Well, man,” Dakim began, “His purple and black and blue Pokémon were-” Dakim couldn’t get another word in however, as Nascour stood up, glaring daggers at the large man.

“I hardly expected you would just march up like that and get all of your men arrested, and worst of all you lost Entei! The Pokémon that we went to so much trouble to capture and shadowfy, and you let it fall off into Mt Battle! That’s also a failure!”

“Sorry, man,” Dakim said quietly, as Skrub merely kept quiet, trying to appear extremely interested in the floor. Miror B sat down and looked on, humming ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ to himself quietly.

“A total failure,” Nascour repeated redundantly. “As it is, we’re now going to pull into hiding ourselves, I’ve decided. And by that, I mean we’ll be pulling Ein’s group back in once he can finish up his work, and begin operating solely here and Venus’s area.”

Dakim raised his hand. “Venus? I didn’t know we were to operate in outer spac-”

“Venus! As in the woman Venus as in she’s called Venus! As in a women rather than a planet! As in the other Admin you forget about every week!” Nascour shouted tiredly.

“Oh yeah, man.”

“So then….ok. Dakim I’ll forgive you this once, but consider yourself lucky. I’ll be moving you to do what you are best at - bodyguard duty here within the premises seeing there’s no point sending out people now.” Dakim was pleased by this – whenever he was on bodyguard duty, he usually got to punch people up in the end. “Skrub, you’re demoted – consider yourself lucky to remain aboard. And-“

“Man, that ain’t no fair,” Dakim interjected, for once frowning at his superior as Skrub glared with silent rage at Nascour. “It’s not Skrub’s fault he failed – I’m telling you man, that Wes man is very good at battling. And he beat me, so that Skrub man hardly had a chance himself. Man.” Skrub hastily nodded agreement.

“Dakim, I said he’s going to be demoted and that’s that.”

“But-”

Enough.

Silence fell for a moment, save for Miror B’s continued oblivious humming as the three men stared at each other.

“Sadly, Dakim,” Nascour continued, “whether he is capable or not doesn’t change the facts – he failed to destroy that Relic Stone, which supposedly is detrimental to maintaining the Shadow Pokémon’s state. And once we can eliminate all other routes of recovery for them, that one would have been the sole problem – and now it’s unlikely we’ll be able to make a second strike at it. And since he failed, he’ll have to suffer the consequences, fair or not. He’s only demoted after all – he’ll just be transferred to Ein’s quarters to help them move back for now.”

“Bah,” Skrub said finally under his breath, stomping out of the room.

“Anyway,” Nascour continued without batting an eye at the response. “Dakim, I advise you keep your thoughts to yourself next time, or you may also lose some power, no matter how useful you’ve been before... Speaking of which, I suppose you can start by instructing the rest of the group currently off-duty how to actually beat up people themselves as well as training their Pokémon – I want in the event that this place does get raided for us to be able to hold off an attack.”

“That’s more like it, man,” Dakim said. With that he promptly left the room by walking through the wall, deep in as much thought as he could muster in an attempt to come up with a training regime. “EVERYONE GET IN THE HALL, MAN!” he shouted to nobody in particular, despite the fact that nobody else was currently on the higher floors of the tower – everyone else worked on the ground floor, which was a long elevator trip down. Yet, pondered Nascour as he sat there gaping at the large Dakim-shaped hole in the wall, considering how loud he can get they’d probably be able to hear him anyway.

“...Well, look at it this way,” Miror B said to Nascour, “at least he’s super keen on helping out!”

“Yeah, well, that doesn’t change the fact every time he comes to my office he breaks something,” Nascour replied bitterly. “Now, I want you to go down to Ein’s lab with Skrub – I think he can work there for now – and...help out there. And tell Ein about how he has to pull out as soon as he’s done and leave the place as discretely as possible. I’m sure his pay cheque would have given him enough of an idea about keeping quiet about things though...”

“But Nascour, why not just send him a message?” Miror B asked, only for Nascour to shake his head.

“I’m only going to make one more message in case someone tries to intercept them from now on, and that’ll be in a second, and to someone...more important than Ein. Or Gonzap for that matter...hmm. In case Gonzap calls, I want you to quickly make up a voice message for him to get so that he knows the situation and that we're not just ignoring him on purpose - best for us to still keep a good relationship with Team Snagem... whatever, just read everything here," Nascour explained, quickly writing down some details on a sheet before handing it to Miror B. “I'll be shutting off the system after this call so that's all he's getting for a while. After that we’re keeping quiet, so you-” Nascour continued, lightly pushing Miror B out of the damaged doorway, “will go with Skrub via the underground railway to pay Ein a visit!” Returning back to his seat, Nascour then chucked Miror B’s radio at him and turned back to his desk, glancing up only to see if Miror B was leaving, which to his relief was exactly what Miror B was doing.

Thank goodness – as if I need even more buffoons to annoy me today. I can only pity Ein, Nascour thought to himself, as he set up a transmission call. Now it’s time to see if we can’t confuse the police, and wipe a smile off of that blasted Wes fellow so he doesn’t go about purifying our shadow Pokémon.

***

Wes grinned widely as he walked back from the Relic Stone. It was odd, but he couldn’t help but feel at peace with the world each time he visited the poorly-made structure in the underground forest. He hadn’t been one to think much about legendary Pokémon but it certainly seemed that the shrine for Celebi held a deep, powerful force behind it – maybe Celebi had indeed something to do with it.

And purifying Pokémon on a daily basis by bringing them to this sanctuary made it all the better.

“Another success!” Rui sung happily, as they walked out of the underground tunnel that led to the forest, and approached the path near the river, as Umbreon eyed the steep ascent back to Agate Village with a sigh. “And to dinner as well – Belah’s making waffles tonight, so that’ll be good. And then I guess I’ll try to teach Eagun to use his P*DA properly, although I can’t say I’m too enthusiastic about that,” Rui added, biting her lip slightly.

Suddenly Wes stopped, noticing bubbles coming from the slow-flowing river in front of them. Before he dwelled on it though, a young woman suddenly jumped out of the river and struck a pose, pointing at the group. “I demand an interview with you!”

“Umb! Eon!” (Argrarjghh! Darghraugh!) Umbreon yelped in surprise at the woman.

“…What were you doing there!?” Wes demanded. She didn’t seem to acknowledge the group’s surprise at her appearance though, putting away her camera that hung from her neck and pulling out a clipboard along with a pen and paper (which remarkably seemed to be completely dry). Wes sighed – it seemed this was yet another reporter, and this one seemed to have decided to come to Agate to talk to them some more.

“I was taking pictures of Pokémon,” the reporter replied as water dripped from her clothing and hair to the ground – she didn’t seem to mind a bit however. “But as you are here, I need to ask you a few questions so our readers know what has happened regarding the plot since the last chapter which has been all too long ago.”

Wes and Rui blinked in confusion.

“Err, I mean regarding the Shadow Pokémon plot since the last incident,” the reporter hurriedly corrected herself.

‘Fine…” Wes said, thinking the reporter as just another citizen of Orre who wasn’t completely right in the head. “Well…as you know, we’ve begun purifying Pokémon now, such as this one,” Wes said, motioning to the Quagsire. Rui petted the blue, fat blob on the head as it sat there happily, the only noticeable difference about the Pokémon from it being a Shadow Pokémon was that he was drooling more often than before – regardless, the reporter gasped loudly, pulled an apple out of nowhere, and threw it at the Quagsire before snapping some pictures.

"...why did you throw an apple at my Pokémon?" Rui asked timidly, as Quagsire continued to stare into space showing no sign of having noticed that an apple had hit him on the head in the first place.

"Don't you know anything?” the woman said impatiently. “That's the only way to take pictures - throw an apple at something to get its attention, and take a picture of it! That's what we learnt in training anyways. Now," she said, throwing an apple at Wes this time who managed to dodge the projectile, "what other Pokémon are purified?"

“...um, my Yanma and a few others have also been purified, although it may be a bit of a wait before the next one is purified,” Wes said quickly. ‘We also ended up getting given this Time Flute which supposedly summons Celebi…” At this the reporter’s eyes lit up. “But we’re not going to use it yet – we’ll wait first,” Wes continued, causing the reporter to look downcast.

“Espi Espeon,” (I still don’t get why it’s made out of plastic though…) Espeon mumbled to himself.

“What about Sherles?”

“What about Sherles?” Wes repeated blankly – when he realised that the reporter was getting ready to throw another piece of fruit at him though he hastily continued. “Well. I guess Sherles should have gotten back to Pyrite Town by now after spending all that time dealing with the Mt Battle area, and with a lot more Cipher agents to interrogate as well, so hopefully that means less for us to do now with this whole mess.”

“And what about- who are you?" the reporter cried, noticing a young woman walk past.

"...Who, me?" the woman replied with confusion. "I just massage Pokémon with this cologne case with the colognes sold in this town. Actually," she continued, turning to Wes and Rui and waving the white box at the two, "I thought I'd give you one since it could make some of the Shadow Pokémon happier and all..." Wes frowned as he thought about this - sure, it was a known thing that Pokémon liked massages, but some of the Pokémon they had that were still in their Shadow forms weren’t easy to control in the first place. Furthermore a number didn’t seem suitable for such a treatment - and he wasn't that fond of trying to massage one of those only to risk getting a Qwilfish slap him in the face, or the Noctowl try to peck him on the head.

"Hey, maybe Entei could use one of those," Rui suggested quietly to Wes. Wes blinked as he pulled out Entei's ball from his bag - the only thing he could currently imagine from that idea involved it going horribly wrong via a lot of fire. And pain.

"Well, it's worth a try-hey!" the woman cried as the reporter threw an apple at her which bounced off her head and rolled back to the reporter's feet.

"Have you had any dealings with Cipher?"

"...What?" the woman managed, before running off as the reporter picked up the apple again. As the woman ran off in fright the reporter gave chase, demanding answers for every apple she threw.

"...oh hey, she dropped this," Rui said, picking up the cologne case.Wes paid the box no attention however, too busy gazing at the small Poké Ball in his hand.

“Wes, are you still looking at that?” Rui laughed, noticing.

“Rui,” Wes sighed with exasperation, “you don’t understand yet, do you? This isn’t just a rare Pokémon – it’s Entei. A legendary Pokémon. I didn’t even think they really existed! And I was incredibly lucky to end up with it. He avoided the ground completely when he fell off of that platform – if that Poke Ball didn’t hit though he’d have gone...”

“Esp,” (SPLAT,) Espeon summed up.

“Umbreon! Umbre...” (And he has a handlebar moustache! I wish I had one...) Umbreon added enthusiastically. Espeon glanced at his brother and tried to picture him with Entei’s moustache, and then shuddered at the thought.

“Still,” Rui said, “it’s worrying that Cipher had it in the first place.”

“Yes...the few times I have tried to train him he...hasn’t listened to a word and just tried to set me on fire,” Wes agreed. “And his Shadow Bar hasn’t decreased a bit it seems...But I’m sure I’ll manage to get his trust eventually – it’ll just take a while and work.”

“Who knows where they got it from? And what they did to make it of all Pokémon a Shadow Pokémon...” Rui continued to muse. Her words fell on deaf ears though, as Wes merely smiled as he yet again envisioned him using Entei in a gym battle in a region of note, this daydream involving Entei punting all of his opponents’ Pokémon over the horizon as an adoring crowd threw money at him.

“By the way,” Rui continued, “is Entei…a he or a she?”

“…That’s a good question,” Wes acknowledged. “Let’s see what the P*DA has to say about that…” Pulling the gadget out of his bag, he pressed a few buttons and examined the screen. “It…says it’s ‘Unknown’? But I’m sure that all of the data would have been updated to it…” Wes mused.

“Well maybe we should ask Entei,” Rui said, grabbing the Poké Ball from Wes’ hand and shooting out Entei from the capsule. For once her aim wasn’t too bad, but nonetheless Entei appeared on the front lawn of a house a small distance away from the two trainers.

“Hey you! Get off of my lawn!” a man shouted from inside the house, and out came Duncan, waving a rake at the Entei.

“Hey, Entei, what’s your gender?” Rui shouted, oblivious to Duncan’s shouts of dismay at Entei who also seemed to ignore the old man, until the man jabbed at one of his legs with the rake.

“Entei!” (ROAR!) Entei shouted, and turned. Leaning forward, he stared at the senior’s face, before he grabbed the rake with his mouth and proceeded to chew on it angrily.

“Hey! That’s my rake!” Duncan shouted. Deciding he disliked the taste of rake, Entei set it on the ground, and then shot a ball of flame at it. The fire succeeded in reducing the rake into little more than ash, but it also had the side-effect of setting Duncan’s lawn on fire.

“My....my beautiful....lawn...” Duncan moaned quietly, failing to realise that his shoes had also caught on fire for a moment or two, at which point he started shouting loudly again and ran back inside in a wild panic. Wes hurriedly took the Ball off of Rui and recalled Entei.

“For goodness sake, Rui, you’ve got to stop doing that!” Wes cried. "Besides, it's better that we don't go around parading an Entei to people just like that, especially if it's a Shadow Pokémon! Even Sherles told us that!" Besides there’s every chance Cipher don’t know Entei survived as well.

“Sorry! Sorry! I didn’t expect he would...do that!” Rui shouted, before turning to her Quagsire. “Quagsire, go use Water Gun to put out those flames!”

“Quag!” (Duh!) Quagsire responded, before shooting out water from his mouth with a blank expression on his face, quickly putting out the fire and leaving a wet, blackened lawn and the strong smell of smoke and burnt grass. Satisfied the fire was out, they hurriedly retreated elsewhere in case Duncan returned.

“Good work, Quagsire,” Wes said, cautiously petting the Quagsire on the head, only to quickly retract his hand when he turned to stare at Wes with his beady eyes and smiled unnaturally.

“Yes, well done,” Rui said. “Maybe you should get a nickname...”

“Again, Rui?” Wes said with a hint of annoyance in his voice. “Do we have to name half of these Pokémon which we may not even end up keeping? First Yanma became ‘Coffee’, then you called that Skiploom ‘Not Jerry’...”

“Quag!” (Name Peanuts!)

“...Espeon,” (...He says his name is Peanuts,) Espeon translated for them telepathically.

“Peanuts it is then!” Rui said happily, before she returned Quagsire to his Poké Ball as Wes sighed. The trainers turned a corner and approached Rui’s grandparent’s giant tree house, with Wes’ two Eeveelutions following.

Guess even in a normal day when we’re not fighting Cipher we have to do something ‘different’ like, say, set fire to someone’s lawn, Wes mused to himself as they walked inside. Duking’s Plusle ran up to them happily, telling them about all the potatoes he had eaten and how lazy Eagun’s Pikachu was. Oh well, at least these last few days we’ve had some peace and quiet, I suppose... Eagun quickly stood up when he saw the pair and waved his P*DA at them, which was playing an obnoxiously loud tune.

“Hey, you know how I don’t know much about this P...star...gameboy or something of yours,” Eagun started sounding rather flustered, “but it started beeping loudly at me and I’ve tried everything! I tried pressing buttons on it and then asking it nicely and then showing my beard off to it to try to make it be quiet but-”

“Here, let me,” Rui said, taking it off of her grandfather’s hands and pressing a single button, which silenced the device. “It’s simply a few e-mails that we’ve gotten....I wish you could turn off that option on this thing,” she grumbled, as she sat down and examined the list of emails. “First one is titled ‘Spam’. Huh.” Pressing another button, Rui begun reading. “spam spam spammy spammy mc spam spam. lols u just got spammed i is so hardcores! but no seriously i think u should go to inky mustys GO TO INKY MUSTYS or u will be CURSED with bad luck for 9 weeks! 9! SPAM ha see wut i did there?”

“How informative,” Wes remarked as Rui deleted the email and moved onto the next few emails.

“This one’s advertising dishwashers... this one tells us to repent before Dunsparce eats our children... oh, this one here is from Sherles!” Rui said loudly, interested again in the emails. “Says ‘Wes, I need you two to get to Pyrite City as soon as you can. You see, Johnson managed to screw things up again and we have more information as well about...’”

Peace and quiet? Easy come, easy go I suppose, Wes thought with a sigh. And how typical of Johnson as well...

Beluh frowned. “Well, Sherles can wait for you another half-an-hour I suppose – I’ve already cooked dinner so you might as well eat it!”

“Well I have no objections to that,” Wes said, grinning as he quickly read up on the rest of the message. “I’ll eat and then I’ll head back, I suppose, and see what’s going on over there. After all Sherles did strike a deal with me, so I guess I kinda have to help out until it’s over.”

“Hey, I’m coming too, you know!” Rui said hurriedly, almost automatically. Wes stopped reading and looked at her, confused.

Beluh frowned. “Dear, are you sure? Pyrite isn’t very, uh, nice and all, and shouldn’t the police deal with it now?”

“…I-I still want to help out, Grandma,” Rui stammered. “After all, I can recognise Shadow Pokémon…”

That is if they don’t try to punch the heck out of you first, Wes thought.

“Fair enough,” Beluh said. ‘Just be careful – we were worried more than enough when you said you were kidnapped, and we want you to be safe.” Rui nodded. “And of course, if Wes is ok with taking you back as well,” she added.

“...uh, yes, of course,” Wes acknowledged, before leaving the conversation as he moved towards the kitchen. How odd – she’s back with her grandparents and all here in Agate and yet…she wants to go to Pyrite. Eh, I guess she just wants to help stop Cipher still. It IS Rui, after all…

***

Miror B sighed as he took the elevator down to the ground floor after having prepared the phone message for Gonzap, idly observing the numbers on the display fluctuate randomly as he adjusted his headphones – there were only two floors that the elevator stopped on here but it seemed nobody had told the elevator this. Maybe when Nascour told me to upgrade the elevator system, I should have done more than just add music to the whole building, Miror B pondered. Oh well, music is too groovy for numbers, he decided cheerfully to himself, as the display informed him they were on the negative 509th floor.

So far, so good, Miror B continued to muse. I do wonder when Gonzap ends up calling - I hope he enjoys the music I put in that special message for him, not to mention the message! Ah, everything’s remaining peachy for me. Such a shame I have to take some dusty old train to a boring lab because of Nascour being worried about a traitor spilling all their secrets, and it’s a shame they found that out as well.

Miror B then smiled to himself as the elevator continued to descend slowly to the bottom of the tower, now nearly halfway down. Of course, I guess I can’t complain, seeing they don’t know that I’m the traitor, fufufu. I just have to be more careful I suppose, more subtle, although I did stop them from…doing whatever they were going to do. I know it didn’t involve getting me back Trudly and Folly though!

Frowning slightly now, the musical man thought back to a few days ago. I still can’t believe Nascour refused to send out some grunts to bust them out of Pyrite Jail! Sure, he had a point about how it would be a foolish waste of resources I suppose, but the way he talked about them like objects rather than people… and I’m sure they want to get out too. How else can I teach them new dances and how to be as groovy as me? After all I’ve done for them... I don’t want to just leave them abandoned like that. Oh, there were those two other women as well - they also probably want to get out! And then he raised the question of giving me another Shadow Pokémon by sending off one of my Ludicolo to Ein's Lab - I don't know how they make them evil and all but it can't be nice, and I'd never let that happen to one of my darlings! Their dancing ability could be hindered by that!

...But that was a spot of luck, to have Nascour just walk out of the room and leave his computer unguarded like that – he allowed me to do as I please and send a message about their plans at Mt Battle to the police. Good thing they don't check them! Things like that make me feel just dandy! It still seems that the best way for me to get off scot-free and have them out of trouble as well is to try and make their job of bringing down Cipher that much easier.

“Yes, I spoiled the secr-” Miror B begun happily in a burst of song, but just then the elevator stopped at the first floor and the doors opened wide. Startled, Miror B quickly begun again.

“~I...shot the sheriff! But I did not shoot the deputy!~” he managed, before falling quiet as the grunts wandering around the corridor disregarded him as usual. Yeah, I must be more careful than this, Miror B concluded to himself, mentally kicking himself. He briskly walked through the hallway towards another set of stairs, pausing only as he heard Dakim’s booming voice sound from the reception area.

“What do you mean it’s your job to sit there and not fight, man?” he asked loudly. “You’ll get fat! C’mon, if you get moving and start training, I’ll teach you how to kick people in the face! Ah, that always makes me feel good! You haven’t lived until you’ve done that, man!”

Miror B looked around the corner to observe Dakim lecturing the new receptionist. It didn’t seem like she would not last any longer than the previous people who had held her position, all six others either being fired for being too weird, or quitting because they declared Cipher to be too weird. This instance appeared to be destined to end up being a case of the latter, although Miror B decided against going there to help calm down Dakim’s excitement – Nascour had forbade him from talking to receptionists himself, for some unexplained reason. Instead Miror B moon-walked onwards, eager to leave and see what Ein was up to, and if there was anything else he could do there.

A few minutes later he had reached the train, which resembled more a large, white box with wheels attached to it haphazardly - it seemed one side had near twice the number of wheels on it than the other - and more scorch marks and dents then Miror B thought was possible. Skrub poked his head out a window, and nodded to Miror B.

"Lovely job Orre did with its splendid transportation system, eh?' he said bitterly, referring to the plans Orre had of revitalising the region only a decade ago, which had included the railway system. That had fallen though very quickly though, and all that remained was the few underground tracks that hardly anyone else was privy to its existence, and the Outskirt Stand's train. "You might as get on now - the sooner this ride is over, the better for both us and our stomaches." With that Skrub ducked his head back inside, and Miror B sighed and walked into the train carriage.

“Passengers,” a feminine voice came from the PA system within the train, “the train on platform…” Here the voice trailed off, before a deep masculine voice jumped in to add “insert platform number here,” before another pause followed. It then switched back to the woman’s voice. “…Will depart in…*insert generic number here*…Please refrain from putting your feet on the seats or smoking as this train is extremely…*flammable*. Have a nice day, and go Cipher!” Almost immediately the train groaned loudly in protest, before its wheels began squeaking loudly as the train gave a sudden, uneasy lurch forward, nearly causing Miror B to fall over as he hurriedly moved into a seat opposite Skrub. Slowly the train started to reach a more consistent speed as it rumbled through the underground tunnel.

The two men sat in silence for a while, save for the occasional quiet grumble from Skrub. Miror B observed the man - he was very clearly still annoyed about his demotion. In fact,Miror B pondered,I'd say right now he's more dissatisfied than me.

"Ever been to Ein's lab before?" Miror B asked.

"No, and I don't particularly want to either," Skrub replied bitterly, tugging unconsciously at the blue scarf around his neck.

"Annoyed at Nascour, eh?" Miror B said.

'Well of course I am! Pay cut, boring guard duty, and all because I failed the impossible. That Wes guy..." Suddenly, a thought came to Miror B.

"Oh, indeed. He's quite the battler - I had no chance against him myself despite my dance-off, and neither did Dakim it seems. And Dakim had an Entei with him as well."

Skrub stared, distracted from his initial thoughts on why Miror B was having a dance-off. "Wait, Dakim had...that? And you lost too - seems odd to me two Admins would lose like that-Entei? Are you serious?" he questioned, frowning angrily.

"Well... of course. Nascour got them for his favourite Admins - he likes to play favourites. Why else did he give one to Dakim then, who’s not that...well, smart? And why did Dakim not receive a demotion? He's still got work to do." Miror B knew this was not true - he himself had been offered the chance for a legendary but had decided to wait it out for Cipher to get one who could actually dance. Not that it seemed that the Shadowfication process helped in that manner at all...

"Well, he's a great leader, isn't he?" Skrub spat.

"Yeah, I know - he's quite un-fabulous. Doesn't even allow me to get my two colleagues back, and I'm also now off to nowhere land.”

Skrub began muttering darkly to himself some more, as Miror B smiled to himself. Maybe I can ally myself with this fellow and help further my cause! The sooner I can get out of Cipher, the sooner I can get my own dance studio again! I just need to keep him thinking that way for a while first, let him dwell on it, and everything will be just dandy! And I have just the thing...

"But I don't see much point dwelling too much on that... say, do you mind me playing some music out loud?" Skrub shrugged, which Miror B took as a yes. Removing his headphones, he set up the radio he had carried with him to play the next track, knowing well what song was coming up next. A string of notes from an electric guitar begun, before a singer joined in.

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world...

Miror B observed Skrub think to himself as the music played, while tapping his foot in time to the music. Ah, it's nice to have someone else see the bad side of this in some sort of way, and even nicer to see they don't have a half-bad taste in music as well!he thought to himself. Now to just keep him thinking like that...ah, the power of music.Miror B began searching for his tapes to look for relevant songs. "Fight The Power... Uprising..." he mumbled to himself.

***

Meanwhile, Gonzap was sitting about in a make-shift hideout in a little-known section of Eclo Canyon. Only he and a handful of loyal grunts remained for now, the rest having been picked up by the police when Wes had blown that darned hideout up. He planned to move back in a good while after the Police presence left and begin repair work, but for now there was little for him to do but wait.

But right now he was scowling for a different reason.

"What the hell did they do to this Skarmory?" he shouted to nobody in particular, as the Skarmory in question flew around haphazardly. "I thought Shadow Pokémon were supposed to listen to you and be stronger, not have a fit whenever someone mentions the word flowers!" At that, the Skarmory reacted.

“Skarrrr!” (I hate the flowersssss!) he cried and gave a loud screech, before he started flying faster. Unfortunately for the Skarmory, he flew into a canyon wall beak-first, and ended up getting it stuck firmly into the clumpy wall. Sighing, Gonzap recalled his new Shadow Pokémon which he had received straight from Ein's lab the day previous, and took out his phone.

"Well, whatever. I'm going to give Nascour a call, both to complain about my Shadow Pokémon, and to find out what he wanted us to do in the meantime. Hard to stay in hiding efficiently without..." Gonzap mumbled, starting to mutter darkly under his breath. Dialling an extraordinarily long number – Cipher insisted that the more numbers it had in its phone number, the harder it would be for someone to find it out - he then held the phone to his ear. After a few rings, the tone cut off suddenly, as obnoxiously cheerful music blazed out. A few grunts looked with curiosity as Gonzap shouted out loud and jumped a bit.

"Hello, dear!" the voice of Miror B chimed in time to the tune, as Gonzap recovered from the surprising intro and turned down the volume on his phone. "This is just a voice recording message here... But I've gotta get this message to you, hold on!' Miror B sung suddenly, before reverting back to speech as if nothing had happened. "Nascour said to tell you this, so... ahem, well, Cipher has decided to cut ties with Snagem. Not sure why myself; something about having to cut losses and run?"

The onlooking grunts frowned a bit, noticing Gonzap fall silent. He quietly turned up the volume on the phone again so that everyone else could hear the message.

"Yeah, I don't know, Nascour seems to be acting rather strange at the moment," Miror B's voice continued, "but he said he simply wasn't able to help you guys out anymore, that that was just as well because he had enough of watching you fail or something? Seemed odd to me, as I thought you guys did a pretty good job before Wes made things very un-cheery for all of us - Cipher's been taking hits too now! Anyways, Nascour says he hopes you understand. Oh, he also asked about your eyebrows-"

At that point the message stopped, but not because Miror B had finished speaking, but because Gonzap had thrown the phone at the rocky wall, breaking it into pieces. Everyone stood and looked to their leader, silence engulfing the cavern.

'Right, men," Gonzap said steadily. "Cipher seems to have screwed us over, but I figure we might as well take matters into our own hands. Priorities change, boys! We'll worry about paying Wes back later - Cipher seems to have just outdone him somehow," he continued, as he patted his eyebrows, now starting to slowly grow back - but it would be months before they returned to their former glory. "Even if we're wanted, I'm sure the police force would be less inclined to chase us down if we, say, lend them a helping hand..."

***

Wes sighed as they pulled into Pyrite Town again. The several hours of advertisements courtesy of the Zoomer's radio - which he still hadn't been able to fix - was bad enough – he wasn’t keen about hearing the same advertisement about someone selling the exclamation mark a hundred times. Gazing into town, he suddenly caught sight of a horde of reporters who, having noticed him and Rui arrive, quickly move forward to greet them, brandishing their microphones and cameras.

"Man, what I would give to be able to set Entei on them," he muttered to Rui who laughed. She had been oddly quiet during the trip back. Not that Wes minded - it just struck him as a bit odd of Rui.

"Pity we're supposed to keep his existence hush-hush," Rui said.

"Yeah, I guess we'll just have to distract them with something else," Wes said. "Espeon, if you'd do the honours...?"

"Esp, esp," (Sure, sure,) Espeon replied. Focusing on the sandy ground in front of them, Espeon levitated a bunch of sand particles and sent them flying around them. As the reporters recoiled from what appeared to them to be a sudden sandstorm, the group made a run for it through an alleyway leading to the police station.

“Where did they go?” they heard one reporter shout from afar.

“Let’s ask the sandstorm!” another shouted, before loud shouting began from the reporters attempting to get the sandstorm’s name.

"Nice work there," Wes said as they ran, grinning. Just like the old days before I was caught up in stopping Cipher - my Pokémon helping me get past obstacles...although they never before involved reporters. Normally just angry shopkeepers or gangs.

Within a few minutes they were there, the police station looking much busier now with the extra police force - some had already recovered from their part in the clash at Mt Battle, and Wes noticed that the prison cells seemed somewhat overcrowded - one was even holding a sign through the window which read 'Will dance for escape!'.

Sherles greeted them as they walked in. "Hello, you two. Hmm, didn’t expect you’d come as well, Rui,” Sherles added, as he took his seat. Rui shrugged quietly, as Wes pondered. True – he only asked for me to come, he thought, thinking back to the email. “Anyways, it’s a right mess this town is in right now, and we may need further assistance thanks to a…recent event."

"Oh? What's up?" Wes said as he and Rui sat down in a pair of chairs.

"Just ask Johnson..." Sherles said tiredly, before he leaned his head around a corner. "Johnson, get over here!" After a moment Johnson walked in.

"Oh...hello, Wes and Rui! How's everything-"

"Johnson, mind explaining to them what happened?” Sherles said, busy examining a video screen on his desk.

“Oh…well, somehow a couple of people broke out of prison,” Johnson said sheepishly. “Only those two women – Ferth and Reama-”

“Ferma and Reath,” Sherles corrected.

“They got out, as well…as…” Johnson said, trying to remember. “…George and Fred?”

“Folly and Trudly!”

“Oh, yeah, chief. Anyways, whoever broke them out was like a ninja! I heard nothing!” Johnson insisted, before Sherles coughed gruffly.

“Well, maybe you want to see this then – I’ve found the moment of the break-out on this video footage,” Sherles said, holding up the screen for all concerned to see. All observed a strange-looking man with an odd-looking helmet and in cipher-like gear walk down a corridor and wave at the four people who were seemingly ignoring each other.

“Hang on…he looks kinda like…Miror B…?” Wes said, noting his yellow clothing.

“Only less…well, cool-looking,” Rui added. “Well, it’s true – he does look lame,” she said as Wes looked at her. Well, she has a point, Wes agreed to himself.

The man then summoned a Sandslash, which quickly broke the jail lock for him. Ferma and Reath walked out slowly and confused, while Folly and Trudly seemed to shout at the man and run off instead. Suddenly, someone spoke loudly off-screen.

“Hey, who’s there!” Johnson’s voice sounded. “What’s going on!?”

Seeming to panic, the strange man on-screen shouted back “Nothing!” After a pause, Johnson’s voice replied back “Oh, ok,”, and the three escaped.

“…Johnson, how can you be so stupid?” Sherles said after a moment of silence.

“What do you mean? You saw what happened – nothing was going on, so I didn’t suspect a thing!” Johnson said quickly.

“…Oh for… whatever!” Sherles said finally, seemingly having had more than enough of Johnson for the day, or for that matter his lifetime. “Anyways, we ended up recapturing Ferma and Reath – they had been at Miror B’s old hideout oddly enough, so we assume the man is there too – however we fear he may have some Shadow Pokémon, so…” he trailed off, handing them a sheet of paper describing the man in further detail.

“We’ll be right on it!” Rui said quickly, as Wes nodded. “But what do you make of…his appearance, and did you find Folly and Trudly?”

“Well, it does appear that his helmet is painted like Miror B’s afro would be there,” Sherles said, “and he’s also dressed in yellow like Miror B was, but he can’t be the same person. Another piece of footage we’ve found earlier showed him attempting to dance…he wasn’t good. Maybe he’s a dedicated follower? As for those two men, we haven’t found them yet, and to be honest they weren’t exactly on top of our priority list. It is odd that they decided to run away from him, so we won’t mind asking him about that as well. That’s not all – Wes, we’ll need to go over some other details on Team Snagem so we can stand a better chance of finding Gonzap…”

“Sure,” Wes said. “I guess first Rui and I will go investigate...” With that the two left the police station. Just then, the phone rang. Sighing, Sherles moved to pick it up, only for Johnson to quickly get it first.

“Hello, madam, this is Officer Johnson, the officer of this Police station, madam!” he quickly babbled, before pausing to listen. “…oh sorry, madam-I mean, sir! This is officer- ok,” Johnson said, handing it to Sherles. “It’s for you,” he whispered with a wink.

“Yes, I know, Johnson,” Sherles said. “It is my phone.”

“Oh,” Johnson said, taking the phone back suddenly. “This is Officer Johnson again, wishing to say ‘I’m sorry, sir, for that is not my phone and I picked it up by accident!” he shouted, before he continued. “…I’m sorry, sir, for this is-” At that Sherles snatched the phone back.

“Yes, sorry about that,” he said with a sigh. “Who is this?”

***

Miror B grinned tiredly as he and Skrub hopped off the train, which had finally reached their destination. That train is most un-dandy, Miror B decided, as the PA system activated again with the same changing voices problem.

“The train on platform…*insert platform number here*… has arrived at… *insert station here*... Thank you for helping us help you help us all.” Skrub glared at the train, and walked ahead as Miror B followed.

Ah, but now this groovy fellow is on my side, he thought happily. Although he seemed a bit doubtful on learning about dance from me after this is over, he’s very keen to bring Cipher down from the inside! For now though, I must greet Ein. With that Miror B placed his headphones on again quickly and attached them to his radio, and resumed walking.

They walked through a pair of doors and up a flight of stairs to be greeted by a sterile environment of clean metallic rooms populated by a group of scientists hard at work, who ignored the two people arrive. Miror B frowned at them all.

“Darlings, where’s the fun? The music?” he said with dismay, getting their attention. As they stopped working and gazed at his appearance, and before Skrub could advise Miror B to keep quiet, he was off, leaping on the table, setting down his radio and beginning a dance to the song that was currently playing.

“Oh lordy, Oh lordy, you know I need some loving!” he sung. The scientists stared, save for the few which were trying to protect their work from Miror B’s shoes trampling over them.

“Move me, touch me!”

“…what?” one responded. Miror B ignored this as he continued to dance.

“John, I’m only dancing!”

“My name’s not John!” the scientist cried in protest. “Can you please…not do that? Whoever you are?”

“Gosh, you’re all so unfun,” Miror B complained, opting to stop dancing upon noticing that nobody had joined in. “Don’t you even know this song?”

“Oh, I didn’t…realise…” the scientist replied, only now noticing the giant, pink set of headphones around Miror B’s large, distracting afro.

"Hey, maybe I should set up some music for you to work to then-” Miror B began.

“No, please don’t,” Ein said quickly, as he emerged from an office. “Anything but that. Now, what are you doing here?”

“Hello,” Miror B said, shooting his most dazzling smile as Skrub stood still, wondering if Miror B was always like that or if he was simply trying to put off the group with his antics. Somehow he felt that it was the former. “We came here…oh, whenever did you get yourself that unstylish beard?” he queried, noticing Ein’s new facial hair with disapproval. “Last week you didn’t have anything-”

“Side effect from a coffee I’ve been drinking,” Ein explained as he stroked it, yawning. “Been keeping myself up from a special batch I made up and it’s been keeping me awake rather well – unfortunately it turns out it has a few side effects. Although a similar version worked wonders on a Yanma as I recall,” he grinned. “Anyways, again – why are you here?”

“Essentially,” Skrub piped up, “Nascour says that stuff is going badly, so he’s shut off the communication system and sent us to contact you instead. You’ll need to finish up what you are doing for the time being and shut up shop here.”

Ein frowned. “Well, I wish to finish up what I am doing properly, you know – I’d need another two days at the very least-”

“Then take three or four,” Skrub said with a smile. “It’s not that urgent, I’m sure – just take your time, and when you are done, we’ll sit tight,” Skrub explained. Miror B frowned at first until he saw Skrub give him a small wink. Ah, he’s delaying them further, Miror B smiled to himself. Yes, he is a delightful ally indeed! All he needs is his own theme music and a dance.

Ein nodded. “Fair enough. I suppose I’ll need you to come with me then so that I can find a place for you to sleep – heck, you can take my room, I’m not sleeping for a while yet,” Ein said, motioning for them to follow them. Miror B however stood still, hearing a faint tune come from a side room.

“What’s going on…there?” he asked quietly, peering inside. A Pokémon appeared to be tired up to a horizontally spinning wheel, as several speakers blared loudly at it.

You spin me right round, baby
Right round
Like a record, baby
Right round, round, round!

“You’re…”

“Yes, using music to shadowfy them,” Ein explained. “It works rather well.”

“But that’s…that’s…” Miror B cried, at a loss for words.

“And yet,” Ein continued, not seeming to detect the music-man’s anguish, “it also works too well – I suppose this’ll be the last time I try this method if it doesn’t work well. For instance, it ruined a perfectly good Skarmory! I underestimated its effectiveness – it left the specimen in a state of rage and little else, so it won’t make for much of a battler. Now then, let’s go,” Ein ordered. Miror B slowly did so, while silently fuming to himself.

It’s worse than I thought! he thought. Heck, that song isn’t even good – it has no soul, just....spinning!

Well, this un-fabulous place isn’t going to last! I’ll see if I can’t do anything about that! I’ll give them a taste of their own medicine!

...But first I need to give my Ludicolo a dancing work-out. They need all the fitness they can get, the darlings!

***

“Ok, we’ve been wondering around for a good while – if he’s not at the end of this god-forsaken tunnel then he can’t be here anymore,” Wes mumbled as he walked along the familiar underground tunnels of the cave Miror B had hidden in, Espeon leading the way acting as the guide having recalled the twist and turns of the place thanks to his psychic abilities. Umbreon was quietly walking about examining the surrounding underground water.

“Espeon...” (What’s with you?) Espeon asked curiously.

“Umb. Umbreon,” (I don’t trust water at the moment. Reporters may jump out at us,) Umbreon said simply. Espeon shrugged.

“Espeon...esp,” (Unfortunately that is a valid fear... and all this water does seem odd as well,) he acknowledged.

“Well, there doesn’t appear to be anyone back from where we came from...” Rui said softly as they turned a corner.

“Umb,” (Wait,) Umbreon said suddenly, as his ears perked up. Pausing for a moment, he then nodded. “Umbreon!” (I definitely hear something!) Espeon quickly communicated telepathically with Umbreon and then focused his psychic energy towards the end.

“Esp, Espeon,” (Yep, someone’s at the end where Miror B was before,) Espeon confirmed as they started moving quickly to the end of the pathway – soon enough, the door of the small cavern where Miror B had battled them was lying in front of them

“Right, I guess it’s time to get ready for another battle then,” Wes said to himself. Opening the door silently, a loud blast of off-key music greeted his ears – much like Miror B’s salsa, only playing at twice the tempo. The man they had been looking for was standing on the stage which had been seemingly left behind by Sherles and the police force, attempting to dance with the music but with little success. Gazing about, Wes noticed the room was now filled with what appeared to be a lot of Miror B themed merchandise, from fake afros to books and videos on dancing covering a large amount of the floor. The overwhelming sights and sounds prompted Wes to hurriedly close the door.

“I have a feeling he likes Miror B,” Wes said after a moment. “Do we have to apprehend him?” he added jokingly. “You know, in the case we have to dance again or something…”

“Espeon,” (Or in the case we go deaf,) Espeon added.

“Umbreon! Umb, eon!” (Let’s just take him down already! Sooner we do that, the sooner we’re out of Pyrite!) Umbreon said enthusiastically.

“Yeah, you have a point,” Wes said. Opening the door again and walking in with the others following while covering their ears, Wes shouted at the man. “Hello!” he tried. This seemed to get the man’s attention, as he jumped off the platform.

“Umbreo-” (Hey, do you mind if we arrest yo-) Umbreon started, before Espeon wacked on the head to shut him up.

“Espeon esp? Es-esp espeon!” (Have you forgotten I’m not exactly allowed to go about ordering people to walk into jail? This fic-err, whole thing with Cipher would have ended by now if that was the case!)

“I suppose you want this key these two women had!” the man shouted. “Well, you’ll never take it from me! ...Fine, take it,” he said, quickly changing his mind and throwing a key at the group before he went back to his attempts at dancing.

“…ok…” Rui said, picking up the key and looking at it in confusion. “Elevator key,” Rui read out loud.

“…Well…thanks?” Wes said, equally as confused by the random offering. “I suppose… you like Miror B then…” he said, glancing around the room.

“You know of the great Miror B!?” the man shouted. “Maybe you know more than those two women! They weren’t true Miror B lovers so I let them get caught again...but maybe you are different! Quickly! I, Mirakle B. command you to lead me to him!” he ordered. Wes looked at him – he wore a helmet which was painted in the same colours and way Miror B’s afro had, but the result just looked rather lame. And…Mirakle B? That’s an even stranger name…

“Um…we don’t know where he is at the moment,” he answered. “But…”

“Well maybe you have a better copy of his music then I can have?” Mirakle B asked. When the two shook their heads, he gasped loudly. “So…you are trying to find out where he is and claim his awesomeness for yourself like those two women who claimed to be his true followers!” the self-proclaimed Mirakle B declared, posing as the off-pitch music continued to blaze.

“...No, I’m-”

“None shall stop me! I’m the true heir of Miror B! But as he’s not here, I’ll prove that to you, and then grow me an afro, and then find Miror B! Go, my Pokémon!” Mirakle B cried. With that, the man sent out a Furret and Seaking, and then attempted to dance – but only managed to fall over in the process.

“Seak-ing…” (Seaking- eff-blub,) the fish Pokémon managed as it fell straight onto the ground and flopped about, feeling rather down about the lack of water and beginning to breathe awkwardly. Meanwhile the Furret decided to go and investigate why Mirakle B had fallen over rather than contribute to the battle.

“…Fine, I’ll just bring you down,” Wes said confidently. After all if he is any good at battling, I have an Entei to fall back on – I’ll leave him in here with an angry pyromaniac. “Espeon and Umbreon, bring down the Seaking!” he commanded.

“Espeon,” (No need to,) Espeon remarked, tilting his head at the Seaking which had already fainted thanks to a lack of air.

“I really ought to get it a fish tank or something,” Mirakle B mused as he stood up and recalled his Pokémon.

“But…don’t fish Pokémon normally manage just fine out of water breathing-wise?” Rui questioned.

“He’s allergic to air,” Mirakle B explained matter-of-factly as he tried to push the Furret off of himself. “No, go and attack them,” he tried to explain. “And go, Electrode! Do…an Explosion!” he instructed, throwing out a Poké Ball.

“Get back!” Wes shouted to his Pokémon, only to notice that nothing came out of the Poké Ball – squinting at it, he noticed that it had a smiley face drawn on it. After a moment, Mirakle B sighed.

“Come on - do something, Electrode!” he shouted at the empty Poké Ball. “Oh wait, maybe you’re upside-down again...try Double Kick then, Voltorb!” he shouted at the object enthusiastically, as the Furret cocked his head at his trainer.

“I think he’s not quite right in the head…” Rui said to Wes quietly.

“That’s probably an understatement,” Wes replied.

***

Andrew stood outside Sherles’ office, quietly watching the sheriff barely seem to control himself from having a shouting match with whoever it was he was speaking to on the phone. Poor guy – stuck alone with Johnson at the best of times, and still busy as heck even with us about, he thought. He’s a gruff fellow, but he’s certainly putting the region in front of himself given what I’ve seen him do the last few days. And anyone who can survive over a week of Johnson deserves a medal.

...maybe he’s talking to Johnson on the phone? That’d explain his mood.

Right on cue to disprove that theory, Johnson walked in and grinned. “Hello, Andrew!” he said, as he groaned. “Say – I’ve always wondered about this – what was the best thing before sliced bread? I think it’s cheese, and my Magikarp seems to think jam.”

“Why do you keep talking to me so much?!” Andrew said bluntly, as Sherles finally finished his phone call and put down the phone before sighing to himself.

“Oh, Wes said something about giving you company,” Johnson replied.

“…he did, did he?” Andrew said, frowning.

“Yep!” Johnson said happily, oblivious to Andrew’s sudden change in attitude from distress to silent anger. “So, what do you think is the…” Johnson began to ramble again.

He told Johnson to talk to me!? How dare he! How sneaky of him!

“Johnson, stop talking about bread and listen up,” Sherles said, walking out of his office. “Here’s the deal – I just spoke to the mayor of Orre, and he…demanded some changes to the way we handle things.”

“Oh? What’s that?” Johnson asked. Andrew barely registered Sherles’ words, too caught up in his thoughts.

I’ll make sure he suffers as much as I had to, somehow, Andrew decided.

“First off, he says the police force brought in from the other regions is to stop working on Cipher and Snagem and just help restore peace to the towns. Claims that after our bust-up he does not feel that ‘Cipher is a threat any longer and that we’ve essentially broken them up,’ so they ‘might as well clean up the towns before we send them back’.”

Hours of talking to Johnson! Question after question of stupidity!

“I have to disagree with him – I can’t believe that we’ve done everything – we still don’t know anything about where they made Shadow Pokémon and so forth!” Sherles grumbled.

But how do I get back at him? Ask Johnson to talk to him now?

“And he also wants Wes to be thrown in jail for the time being until we get his doings with Team Snagem properly straightened out,” Sherles added with a sigh. “Well done, Mr Mayor – let’s jail the person who has helped us the most!”

Bingo!

“Well, maybe we should,” Andrew said. “How can we take his word? And didn’t he blow up a building? Could have killed people, regardless of if they worked for Team Snagem or not! Plus…there’s his previous crimes as well to consider, surely,” Andrew said quickly. Sherles frowned at him.

“A sticker for keeping to the letter of the law, aren’t you? Just like our fine mayor,” Sherles said bitterly. “Unfortunately his authority overrides mine, so I’ll be doing just that – you do have a point.”

“…So Wes is a bad guy after all? I thought he was good,” Johnson said, seemingly confused.

“…Well, let’s say he’s good but may need some talking to about things beforehand,” Sherles tried to explain.

“Maybe I should ask Magikarp about this,” Johnson pondered aloud.

Yes! Then he can have fun sitting in jail while…Johnson talks to him all day! Andrew thought to himself happily. “So who’s bringing him in? Shall I?” Andrew asked eagerly. Sherles frowned as he took out a pipe and begun to smoke, considering the question and situation.

No, something is up, Sherles mused. Why would the mayor want this to happen now? And out of the blue like this? Even if he’s just stupid Wes doesn’t deserve this – he’s been what I needed to start cleaning up this town. I don’t like it…my police senses are tingling. But if I must- wait. I have just the ticket.

“No, I think I’ll send Johnson to pick him up,” Sherles answered. “Johnson, get over to Miror B’s old hideout – that’s where Wes will be. Bring Wes back here along with that other fellow Wes was meant to bring in, and if otherwise report back,” Sherles ordered. “Obviously, don’t let him on to the fact that he’ll be arrested as well, because…well.”

After considering upon asking ‘why’, Johnson decided against it and instead settled for answering with “Sir, yes sir!” before he hurriedly ran off. Andrew looked at Sherles questioningly.

“Oh, I figured I’ll give him half a chance to succeed first – if not, then your police force can deal with it,” Sherles explained. “After all, he needs to improve sometime. Unless you wish to go help him out now?”

“…no, Sheriff – I see your point,” Andrew said hurriedly. No way I’m going to volunteer myself to go with Johnson, he shuddered to himself. “I’ll inform the others of their new duties then, I suppose,” Andrew said, leaving the room. Sherles smiled to himself.

Knowing Johnson, he’ll screw things up. That’ll buy me a bit more time to look into things, and for Wes to hopefully realise something is up…

***

Meanwhile, Wes and Rui were carrying an unconscious Mirakle B back to the police station, emerging from the cave and heading back down the building – Wes holding the head and Rui the legs. The strange man had ended up stomping on the Poké ball he believed was a Pokémon and then apologised profusely to it, stating that he’d help give it an afro. Wes merely during the distraction sent out Makuhita to do what he did best – punch people in the head, and he did just so, the attack resulting in Mirakle B fainting. They hastily left the noisy room carrying the man with them, with Duking’s Plusle following them, Rui thinking a bit of exercise would do the Pokémon some good. Mirakle B’s Furret was following them curiously – it didn’t seem in the slightest bit worried that they had just knocked out his trainer.

“Espeon…” (Curiously, why aren’t you…doing anything?) Espeon asked the Pokémon as they walked back.

“Fur! Furret!” (But I am! I’m following you!) Furret explained happily.

“…Espeon…” (…Silly me, I didn’t realise…) Espeon said, rolling his eyes.

“Plusle?” (Well why are you doing that then?)

“Ret…Furret!” (Well he once told me to follow him…so I’ve done just that ever since!) Furret explained.

“Plusle! Plus plus pluuuss!” (Same with me and potatoes! Duking once said ‘eat this’, and so I did and now I like to eat all of the potatoes in the world!) Plusle squealed, jumping about excitedly on top of Mirakle B.

“Aww, it’s cute when he gets excited,” Rui said. “But I suppose we better take you back to Duking when we return…whoever this guy is to Sherles… why do people have to be so heavy?” Rui complained as they navigated their way down the stairs.

Suddenly, Johnson appeared as they reached the bottom floor and pointed at them. “You!” he shouted.

“…Yes, me,” Wes confirmed. “Mind helping us carry him back?” he asked, as Johnson nodded.

“Yes, I will take you back to the police station and not tell you that you’re going to be arrested as Sherles was told to tell me to do,” Johnson said as he took Rui’s position.

“Wait, what?” Wes said, dropping Mirakle B on his head and staring at Johnson. “Arrest me?”

“Um…don’t worry, I didn’t tell you that,” Johnson explained. Wes sighed slowly.

“…Espeon, I no longer care about what I’m supposedly not allowed to do – just get him to tell us what happened,” Wes instructed. Before Johnson could realise what had happened, he was suddenly explaining to Wes what had happened at the police station.

“…So the mayor wants you in prison…? But why?” Rui said to Wes finally after Johnson finished. Deciding that Johnson told all he knew that was relevant, Espeon released his mental hold on Johnson, who blinked and then looked at Wes.

“I’ve no idea,” Wes said to Rui. “Sure, the reasons mentioned made sense…but Sherles had gotten us off the hook if we helped out back when we were initially put in prison. I guess the mayor doesn’t know of that, and so thinks me a threat. Despite my help…”

“Wes, I may need you to come with me to be arrested, but I won’t tell you that last part,” Johnson said, not seeming to realise that he had blabbed only a moment ago.

“Johnson, Sherles changed his mind – you to help us get us out of here,” Wes said. “He also advised that you help out by speaking as little as possible.”

“Can do!” Johnson said, accepting this with a slight nudge of persuasion on Espeon’s part. “So…what do I do again?”

“Try thinking, I suppose,” Wes suggested.

“Actually,” Rui said, realising that Johnson’s thinking skills would probably be more a hindrance than anything, “try and see where this elevator is that this key opens access to, apparently,” she said, handing Johnson the key Mirakle B had thrown at them. Johnson nodded and walked off to begin his investigation.

“Espeon espi...” (Every time I encounter that man’s mind I feel like I’ve gotten stupider...) Espeon whinged.

“Well, I doubt I can just walk out of town, as probably the rest of the police force knows about me…” Wes mused.

“Found it!” Johnson shouted by a nearby door, waving the key triumphantly at them before looking at a sign on the door. “See, it fits! Allows you to take an elevator to The Under...”

“Wait, The Under?” Wes said, thinking about the name and recalling a person tell him about it by the bridge over Pyrite Town’s canyon. “Isn’t that the underground mining town or something?”

“Yes,” Johnson said. “Some people have direct access to the place in their homes, so I guess this building does too.”

‘Well that fixes things! I’ll hide out there for now and see how things go. Johnson...” Wes began, quickly thinking up a hasty plan. Well I can’t have him go talking to the police that he let me escape – and from what I heard it is a rowdy place so maybe some sort of police presence will help me further…even if it is Johnson. Maybe they don’t know about him? “You can come help me out there, I suppose,” Wes said. Johnson nodded and walked through the door toward the elevator, with Espeon and Umbreon quickly hurrying behind as well, sensing their trainer’s sudden urgency.

“I’m coming too!” Rui said as per usual. Wes however shook his head at the teenager.

“No… not this time. I’m quite sure The Under isn’t exactly…well, safe – it’s supposed to be worse than Pyrite! And I don’t…want you to risk even further trouble for my neck,” Wes said, feeling a bit awkward.

“But-”

“You did agree to Beluh to take it easy and be careful,” Wes said. “And after all… you can still help me out if you must – I’d need you to mislead the police for a while as well if you can,” Wes said, as he walked onto the elevator himself. “And I suppose someone has to return Mirakle B as well,” he added, looking at the temporarily forgotten man and shaking his head. “Maybe they can put him in a home or something...”

“…Ok,” Rui answered eventually, sounding rather uncertain of her answer. Confused at her reluctance even now, Wes shrugged.

“Hey, if it blows over I’ll make sure to say hi again back in Agate,” he offered, as he pressed a button on the elevator, causing the elevator to begin descending. “But the sooner I get moving the better! See you again!” he called. “Maybe,” he added softly to himself.

“Why aren’t we going up? Is this the right way?” Johnson yelled out looking rather confused, as Wes face-palmed.

“Plusle…” (I wonder if there are potatoes down there…) Plusle wondered aloud, managing to ignore Rui’s sad frown as the two men disappeared from sight, and as Mirakle B groaned in pain from his slumber.

***


Right, hope you enjoyed that. Here's the spoiler of doom linking things from here to the game and vice versa:
Spoiler:

Cipher be a-plotting - the game still doesn't show much of what is happening behind the scenes of Cipher so to speak but looking at things they do adopt a more defensive strategy after the failed Mt Battle attack, even to the point of the lab people working under Ein finishing up their work. At the same time a certain friend in high places does help out later down the track.

Team Snagem - however, one does get the feeling that Cipher half-forgot Team Snagem around then (and in Pokemon XD certainly something has happened between the two teams). About the only thing that becomes apparent is that Gonzap still hates Wes, and later is trying to put Snagem back together in the game... So I added a little link there.

Miror B's back flip - Miror B also disappears from the story until the end, and yet in XD features very largely, seemingly acting against Cipher, so I kept with that and made Miror B to be the instigator. After all, what self-respecting person would be satisfied with a lack of a dance floor in a high-ranking position of a criminal syndicate? ;p

Colonge Case - figured this item deserved a mention at least once. It's another method to purifying Pokemon in the game - buy some scents from the Agate Village Mart and massage your Pokemon, which makes them happier and helps to purify them. Of course you need a bit of money for that... you get the item from an NPC after going to Mt Battle.

Sherles' request - in the game you are asked by Sherles via email (who note had in the game been twiddling his thumbs with Johnson the whole time for the most part until now and somehow gotten your number in-between) to go back to Pyrite. Firstly though you're meant to visit a place for a short bit, but that's an uneventful occurrence and so I dropped it for the time being. The problem? They found Reath and Ferma in the hideout and arrested them, so they thought...you'd like to know that. That allows you to talk to them though and get a key (which one hints in their sleep opens a door to an elevator in the hideout). Exciting! As for Folly and Trudly - they also escape jail but later on in the game - not that it affects anything.

Underground train systems - it turns out Orre has transport!...well, for Cipher's advantage at any rate. Not much to say about these, but at least one links from the Pokemon Lab Ein is in.

Skrub – he’s actually a more-significant character in the game...slightly – you do fight him twice and he’s distinguished from the rest of the characters with a blacker suit and a blue scarf. Here though I gave him more of a role by building on his dislike of Wes netting him a boring guard job and had him hate Cipher’s higher ups for his demotion as well.

Mirakle B - an odd character, even by Orre standards, and something of an easter egg in that not many find out about him - he's entirely optional! He can be found in the same spot Miror B was in his hideout after beating Miror B (and leaving town iirc) and before beating the main storyline which is rather selective - it also involves fighting everyone in the hideout again. He claims to be growing an afro and being Miror B's heir of all things. The game gives you no more on him than that, and he never appears again (not even in Colosseum's sequel). He also has an altered version of Miror B's theme... He can be challenging if you take him on early enough, but otherwise nothing of note. Oh, and apparently he's a Cipher Peon (?).

The Under - the next destination Wes goes to (only in the game it's with Rui and not Johnson). Literally underneath Pyrite hence the name...
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