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Old April 16th, 2011 (03:33 PM).
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Grovyle42(Griff8416)
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Magma Rising


“<What?!>” Prometheus demanded, staring in shock at the leader of Team Magma. “<Awaken Lord Groudon?!>”

“No way...” Kevin gasped. “Why would you do that? How could that benefit your plan?”

“Haven’t you heard the legend?” Maxie asked, turning his back to them and gradually walking towards the volcano’s crater. He stopped several meters away and looked down into the vent of Mount Chimney, smirking as the cooled, quiescent lava below cast an orangey red glow across his features.

“It has been said that Groudon created the very land we walk on,” he spoke. “Doesn’t it make sense that Team Magma would want such a being on our side?”

Maxie looked over his shoulder at the Scyther, Treecko and pair of Onix and humans and examined their faces. “Still not convinced? Well, you’re bright; I’m sure you’ll figure it out at some point.” The well-dressed leader gave a dismissive wave of his hand before turning his head to his men. “Come on. Let’s get back to work,” he said calmly.

The group of eight Team Magma grunts cast a wary look at the newcomers before walking towards Maxie. “Sir, what about those punks and their pokemon?” one of them asked.

“Leave them,” he replied, staring down at the meteorite in his hand. “They’re no threat to us right now.”

The Team Magma members nodded and scurried to their stations. Three of them made their way over to a gigantic, Onix-sized, metal auger that was erected and bolted down in the rocky plateau, not far from the volcano’s crater. One of them ran over to a control panel on the drill’s side.

By this time, Kevin was fuming. “’No threat to you’!? You can’t just ignore us! I’ll show you--”

He was interrupted when the large pneumatic machine lowered its drill and started boring deep into the ground of Mount Chimney. It created a cacophonous grating sound from both its engine and the collision of the metal against the igneous rock. Sparks and chips of rock exploded outwards. Kevin and Jeff were forced to cup their hands to their ears to quiet the loud noise.

“They’re ignoring us!” Jeff said, attempting to shout over the noise.

“What?!” Kevin called back.

Jeff gestured for them to retreat a bit so that they would be able to talk without having to tear their vocal cords. The six fell back in the direction of the cable car terminal. At that distance, the drilling sound was still loud, especially for Blitz and Treecko who have heightened senses, but they would at least be able to hear one another.

“Those idiots are ignoring us!” Kevin growled.

“I know...” Jeff replied. “What are we supposed to do?”

“You heard them; they’re trying to raise Groudon! We have to stop them!” Kevin answered.

“How? We can’t just attack them,” Jeff responded. “It’s too dangerous and we’d be the instigators here.”

“<Stop them?!>” Prometheus protested. “<He said he’s trying to awaken Lord Groudon; we should be helping them!>”

Kevin spun around towards his Onix. “What are you talking about?! This is Team Magma! Whatever they want to use him for, it can’t be good!”

Prometheus growled and leaned down, bumping his snout against Kevin’s chest and causing the teen to stagger backwards a few steps. Blitz readied his scythes and stepped forwards protectively. “<You humans really are arrogant, did you know that? You really think that your kind could possibly control a god? This is Lord Groudon we’re talking about: the saviour of land-based pokemon everywhere! He created the land and saved pokemon everywhere from the raging First Flood by raising the earth high above the ocean,>” Prometheus explained. “<There’s no way that the likes of you could control him.>”

“That’s exactly it!” Kevin said. “If they awaken him and can’t control him, Hoenn is in deep crap!”

Prometheus growled again, prompting Blitz to step between him and Kevin. “<Just what are you saying? That he’d run amuck? Ridiculous! Lord Groudon is an exalted hero! He would do no harm to our world, only good.>”

Atlas cleared his throat. “<While Prometheus is more immersed in Onixian history and legends than I am, I agree with him. The awakening of Groudon can only be beneficial.>”

Kevin sneered and pulled out his pokedex. “I have trouble believing that...” He flipped up the protective cover and began typing on the device’s onscreen keyboard. “G-R-A-U-D-A-W-N,” he spoke as he typed. “What? No results found?!”

Jeff palmed his face. “Uhh, Kevin...? It’s ‘G-R-O-U-D-O-N’...”

The blonde male blushed in a fluster and quickly typed in the correct name, glaring at the pokedex while Prometheus snickered mockingly. “Number 383... No data... Damn.”

“I remember Professor Birch said that we actually have to see the pokemon and analyze it with our pokedex before we can get any information about it,” Jeff explained.

“Well, that just stinks!” Kevin huffed. “Isn’t that counterproductive to learning? Shouldn’t all this information be ready for trainers at all times?”

“Hey, don’t look at me. I didn’t design these,” Jeff answered.

“<Why use that when you could ask Superstitious here?>” Atlas asked with a bit of a grin, nodding his head in Prometheus’s direction.

“<I’m not superstitious,>” Prometheus growled.

“<Then why do you look away every time somebody mentions that you have blue eyes?>”

The Onix subconsciously averted his gaze. “<I... don’t. I just have a healthy respect for legends, is what.>”

“So, Prometheus, what do you know?” Jeff asked him.

“<Well... Lord Groudon is the god and ruler of the land. It’s thanks to him that we’re all standing here right now and not at the bottom of the sea. Long, long ago, the world flooded, creating the seas, but many pokemon were swept away and endangered by these horrible floods and waves. Right, so, the entire world was flooded and everybody who wasn’t a water-type was in deep trouble. That was when Groudon awoke,>” Prometheus explained with a proud grin. “<Lord Groudon rose up out of the tallest volcano. He stood up over the world, within the volcano’s erupting magma. With an earth-shaking roar, the seas trembled and the land rose up and out from the seas. Being the hero that he was, Lord Groudon saved everybody. He stepped out from the volcano and he was the first pokemon to land with his two feet on solid ground.>”

“<But->” Kevin begun.

“<No interrupting!>” snapped Prometheus. “<...Right, it’s said that Lord Groudon’s very presence causes water to evaporate. This angered his evil brother, Kyogre, who had started the flood so that his favoured water pokemon could flourish. Lord Groudon challenged him to a fight, saying that us land-based pokemon deserve the same right to live as water-dwelling pokemon do. Kyogre accepted his challenge, saying that if he won, the whole world would be covered with oceans. The two pokemon clashed in heated battle, each fighting for their pokemon. It was said that, on that day, the weather seemed to battle too. The sun and the storm clouds each tried to overtake one another. They fought for weeks, months, until finally something happened. The weather finally faded and the two stopped fighting. Both Lord Groudon and Kyogre agreed with one another to split the world: one half land and one half water. Then Groudon went back to his volcano and slept, waiting to be called on again so that us land-based pokemon could thrive.”

The Onix then closed his mouth and nodded. “<And that’s the story we were always told.>”

Atlas nodded. “<I can’t believe that the story actually holds water, if you’ll pardon the expression. It’s seeming that parts of it are true.>”

Prometheus looked over at Atlas. “<I admit, I had some reservations too, but to think, Lord Groudon is actually underneath this very volcano!>”

Treecko folded his arms and glanced up at Blitz, who nodded and looked at Jeff and Kevin. “<Are either of you unsettled by some of the parts of that story?>” the Scyther asked.

“Now that you mention it, yeah, actually...” Jeff agreed, not realizing that he just concurred with Blitz.

“<What do you mean?>” Atlas asked, peering down at the smaller creatures.

“Assuming all of that is true...” Kevin begun. “You said Groudon’s presence causes water to evaporate...”

“<Now we know why that Team Magma group wants to summon him,>” Blitz said, grimacing and looking over at Kevin.

Jeff nodded and gazed up at Prometheus. “That’s not all, though... You said that when Groudon was awakened, the volcano erupted, right?”

Prometheus nodded. “<Yes... but that could very well have been hyperbole to make him seem that much more incredible. I was paraphrasing the story from the way Atlas and I had been told it, after all.>”

“An erupting volcano with Lavaridge Town at the bottom of the south slope... Can we afford to assume that it’s an exaggeration?” Kevin asked rhetorically.

“No,” Jeff agreed, albeit reluctantly. He looked over his shoulder at the Team Magma member members scurrying about. Three of them were still working the drill while three others were preparing a strange looking pedestal-shaped device. As those three were carefully connecting the machine’s wires and pressing buttons, the remaining two grunts stood guard, staring cautiously at Jeff, Kevin, the Onixes, Blitz and Treecko. Jeff turned around again. “So what do we do?”

“We stop standing around here wasting time and stop them!” Kevin replied fierily.

“<Stop them?!>” Prometheus protested.

“Let’s not be reckless, here,” Jeff replied, raising his hands in front of him.

“Says the guy who picked a fight with a Scyther,” Kevin responded.

Jeff and Blitz’s eyes met for a moment before they both looked away and acted very uncomfortable. “That’s beside the point. We don’t know that the volcano will erupt and it’s dangerous to just charge in there, especially when it’s next to the mouth of a volcano!”

“We can’t take that chance!” Kevin shot back.

“<Why do we want to stop them again? Other than Kevin’s obvious personal dislike for them, which doesn’t warrant us stopping the raising of a hero like Groudon,>” Prometheus said, frowning.

“<Prometheus, there’s humans living at the end of that pass and there’s surely pokemon living in the surrounding area,>” Atlas replied. “<Groudon wouldn’t want his awakening to be the cause of anybody’s death.>”

“<I suppose... but still,>” Prometheus answered. “<If nobody was around this volcano, this would be a good idea.>”

Atlas nodded. “<We would be able to dig deeper in our cave and that would mean more room for the pokemon that Cronus exiled. We wouldn’t be restricted to the beach either. When we finally overthrow him, it will be great...>”

“And what about the water pokemon?” Kevin asked. “Don’t Ace and Corphish and others like them deserve homes too?”

Atlas and Prometheus looked at each other. “<Well... yes...>”

“I agree we need to stop them, but we should at least come up with a plan first,” Jeff said, almost sounding like he was begging.

“The clock’s ticking,” Kevin said, gesturing to Team Magma’s continual preparations.

Jeff looked over and saw that they apparently finished setting up the strange looking machine and were waiting on the drillers. “...Damn it, we’ll improvise as we go along,” he said, reluctant but realizing the direness of the situation.

Kevin nodded at the others, prompting them to begin moving. Atlas and Prometheus took the lead, slithering back in the direction of Team Magma. Treecko and Blitz walked in between them, followed by Jeff and Kevin. The two Team Magma guards noticed their approach and drew two pokeballs just in case.

As the group neared the volcano’s mouth, they could hear one of the members shouting over the drill. “We’re at ninety-six percent until we reach the target sill, sir! The bore has just about reached the melting point!” the crimson-clad man yelled to Maxie after looking up from the control panel.

Team Magma’s leader slipped his hands into his coat pockets and walked over to the massive drill. “And the conduit?” he asked loudly.

“Judging from the explorative trial, it should have a clear path from the dike to the magma chamber, sir!” the member said.

“Good,” Maxie mused to himself. “So even though the lava in the vent is crusting over, we can still reach the core.”

“One-hundred percent, sir! The end of the drill has melted! I’m retracting it now!” the drill operative said, pressing several buttons on the bore’s control panel. For a moment, the intense noise finally died down long enough for everyone without earplugs to hear the bells ringing in their ears.

“Sir, the punks are back!” one of the two guards called to him amidst the lull of the drill.

Maxie turned around to see the group of six with Atlas and Prometheus looming threateningly over the two battle-ready guards. It was then that the drill began to start up again in reverse. While the engine was just as loud as before, there was none of the clashing of metal against rock.

“Back again, I see?” Maxie yelled over. He looked over to the three idle Team Magma members who had finished preparing the strange pedestal-like device and nodded. The trio carefully picked up the machine and moved it over beside the drill. Meanwhile, one of the drill operators released the large, grey, muscular form of a Machoke to move the drill once the auger was fully retracted.

“Yeah, we’re back,” Kevin replied, glaring. “And we’re here to stop you.”

“Stop us?” asked the team’s leader. “Why would you want to do that? What we’re doing is for Hoenn: your homes.”

“Our homes?” Kevin laughed. “You don’t seem all that concerned about the citizens of Lavaridge Town’s homes. Don’t you know that awakening Groudon will cause Mount Chimney to erupt?!”

Maxie withdrew his hands from his pockets, seeming to be holding something in one of them, and folded his arms across his chest. “In the off chance that that happens, I issued a warning via one of my subordinates to the former gym leader of Lavaridge Town. If all goes according to plan, everyone should be evacuating,” he explained. “However, since I haven’t seen him since he went down in the cable car, I assume he’s now in custody, so I can’t be sure if they heeded our advice or not.”

“And what about the pokemon around the base of Mount Chimney?” Kevin asked.

“You should give pokemon more credit, Kevin. When they sense danger, they have enough sense to run away,” Maxie replied.

“And all the buildings in Lavaridge City?”

Maxie sighed. “A loss, to be certain, but buildings can be rebuilt on the new land that we provide; it’s not like they’re lives. Besides, no reformation is painless.” He gripped the thing in his hand, hidden behind his elbow.

Treecko and Blitz both stepped forwards, their natural weapons at the ready.

“That’s no excuse!” Kevin spoke heatedly. “Blitz! Prometheus!”

“Kevin, wait!” Jeff protested. “Aw damnit. Treecko. Atlas. Back them up.”

“Boss?!” one of the guards shouted over to Maxie, readying one of his pokeballs.

Maxie looked over to him and smirked. “No. Too many pokemon would just create chaos.” He moved his hand from behind his elbow and revealed a pokeball in his hands. The leader tossed the pokeball over to the guard closest to him. Maxie stared at the group with a smug expression. “Well... if I had known you would insist on interfering with our noble plans, I might not have told you what they were. It vexes me that you wouldn’t want more space... No matter, though. Trying to stop us will only result in failure. Friedrich, just use Requiem. That should be more than enough.”

“Use what?” Jeff asked himself.

“Yessir!” the bulky Team Magma member said, catching the pokeball and aiming it between the team and their aggressors. “Requiem!”

From within the pokeball burst a flash of light, lined with traces of a shadow within it. As it opened, Maxie turned around, looking back at his frantically working team. The Machoke had since removed the bore and the three more technically inclined members moved the mechanical, pedestal-like machine over the hole, connecting the device to the aperture with a metal tube.

“Blitz!” Kevin shouted. “Don’t give it time to get situated!”

The Scyther nodded and raced towards the form that appeared amidst the flash. The charging Blitz raised his right scythe and slashed downwards. However, instead of hitting something, a sharp pain rippled through his chest and he was sent flying backwards from a lightning fast blow. Blitz let out a strained growl and dragged his feet along with one of his scythes along the rocky ground to stop himself.

Standing before them was the six foot, humanoid form of a red rooster. Using its well-developed legs, it steadied its feet on the pyroclastic rocks below. Its avian face frowned and glared at Blitz and the other pokemon challengers while clenching its talons.

“Aw crap,” Jeff spoke, having seen the pokemon before at his uncle’s. “That’s a Blaziken.”

“It’s called ‘Requiem’?” Kevin asked, slightly disturbed. “Either Maxie or its parents have serious problems, depending on who named it.”

Both humans stepped backwards and drew their pokedexes. “BEEPBOOP. Blaziken, the Blaze pokemon. In battle, Blaziken blows out intense flames from its wrists and attacks foes courageously. The stronger the foe, the more intensely this pokemon’s wrists burn. BORP.”

“This isn’t good,” Jeff said, backing up.

“<But he’s still so small,>” Prometheus protested.

“Don’t underestimate him,” Jeff replied. “Blazikens are fire and fighting types. All of you are weak to his moves.”

“<No problem,>” Treecko spoke.

“Treecko!” the teen protested. “He’s a final stage pokemon! You’re a first stage pokemon!”

The grass lizard narrowed his golden eyes, fixing his black, brown-laced pupils on Jeff. “<That doesn’t matter and even if it did, we don’t have to win, right? >” he said in a low voice so that the enemy wouldn’t hear them. “<No matter how big he is, I can fight him without a problem, but all we have to do is get that meteorite to stop their plan. This guy’s just in the way.>”

“Treeck’s right,” Kevin muttered to the group. “All you need to do is stall him while me and Jeff get the meteorite. Blitz and Pro, stay moving, try not to get hit and hit him when he’s not looking.”

“Treecko and Atlas? Same with you. We have to play it safe, so stick to hit and run tactics. All of you cooperate on this; we can’t give that Blaziken any breathing space,” Jeff said.

Maxie proceeded walking away from the conflict and over towards the flashing and blinking machine. He looked over his shoulder at his Blaziken. “Requiem, please listen to Friedrich’s every command. Don’t let them interfere,” he said simply.

The Blaziken nodded and remained looking forward, ready to act. “<Of course, Maxie,>” he spoke in a deep, almost demonic voice.

The fit Team Magma guard stepped forward and pointed at the group. “Okay, Requiem, take down the Scyther first! Use Blaze Kick!”

Requiem raced towards Blitz and lunged into the air with his leg drawn back. His foot ignited in a burst of flame and soon his whole leg was ablaze.

Kevin sneered. “Blitz, we’ll start the speed combo! Agility, quick!”

Blitz nodded and dodged the fiery kick with incredible speed. Requiem sneered as he hit nothing but a green blur. The Blaziken impacted the rocky ground and rebound himself off of it in the direction Blitz dashed.

“Atlas! Use Smack Down!” Jeff shouted.

“<Use what?>” Atlas asked, looking at Prometheus with a perplexed expression.

“<I think he wants you to do this,>” Prometheus replied, quickly slithering forwards and contorting his body so that his upper body was on the ground and his tail was free to move in the air. With a mighty heave, Prometheus lashed his tail down onto the airborne Blaziken’s back. The rooster pokemon felt the rocky limb strike his back and slam him down onto the level rocks. Requiem let out a gasp and lay on the rocks for a moment before leaping to his feet with a new anger.

“<How was I supposed to guess that?>” Atlas muttered.

Maxie walked along the rocks, approaching the machine and the three operators. The trio looked up and nodded. “How long until completion? I’m a bit impatient now that these misinformed teenagers and their pokemon have decided to act against us.”

“About ninety percent, Maxie,” one of them replied, looking at him from under his red hat. “We could use the meteorite fragment now.”

The red-haired man took the fist-sized violet stone from his pocket and observed it as it rested in his palm. He then grinned and extended his arm, offering it to his subordinate. Kevin looked over and saw this. His eyes widened and leapt over Atlas’s tail and ran towards them. “Jeff, command Prometheus and Blitz while I’m busy!” he shouted behind him. Jeff reluctantly nodded.

Requiem saw this and leapt, changing his course away from Prometheus and Treecko, who were in the process of charging him. The pokemon landed in front of Kevin, standing half a head taller than him. In a quick motion, he grabbed Kevin by the collar of his shirt and lifted the human off the ground.

“<Don’t you dare touch him!>” Blitz hissed, speeding at them as only a blur in the air. Requiem nonchalantly tossed Kevin at the Scyther. At the speed he was going, it was all that Blitz could do to lower his scythes before the two collided. The pair crashed to the volcanic ground in a heap, groaning. The Blaziken narrowed his eyes and took a step in their direction. As soon as his foot hit the ground, it became engulfed in fire.

“Treecko, Quick Attack!” Jeff shouted. Treecko ripped across the ground on all fours at a blistering speed. He lunged at the avian pokemon, ready to swing his tail.

“Requiem, Double Kick!” Friedrich countered.

Requiem leaned back and put his weight on one leg and shot his foot forwards. Treecko swung his tail upwards, changing his airborne momentum in order to avoid the kick. Though Requiem missed the first time, he pulled his leg back again to have it snap forwards higher, striking Treecko in the chest.

The grass pokemon was thrown through the air, grimacing as he soared. Treecko pitched his tail around, attempting to right himself despite the throbbing pain in his chest. He glanced behind him and saw Atlas. After swinging his tail to increase his momentum, Treecko landed with both feet on Atlas’ underbelly. He propelled himself off the Onix and in the direction of Requiem.

“Treecko, use Agility and then Quick Attack! Atlas, after that, you use, uhh, Tackle. Prometheus, start throwing rocks at him! Rock Tomb!”

The wood gecko pokemon landed on the ground and attempted to relax his muscles. With the strain on his muscles reduced, he was able to move more swiftly and fluently. He rushed across the ground as a green blur. The Blaziken attempted to counterattack against the speedy pokemon, but Treecko was going too fast.

Treecko vaulted into the air, using the momentum of his agility in attack. He slammed his tail into Requiem’s shoulder, eliciting a short grunt of pain from the fire type and distracting him from Kevin. The blonde teenager pulled himself off of Blitz and dashed towards the machine where Maxie was.

Friedrich saw this and pointed wildly. “Requiem! Forget them! That kid’s getting away!”

The Blaziken swung around, glaring in the direction of the running human, and charged after him. That is until a massive red boulder fell directly in front of him, stopping his pursuit. Requiem looked over his shoulder and saw that Prometheus had ripped an outcropping from the ground and hurled it at him.

“<Easier said than done,>” Requiem hissed. Not to be deterred, he leapt over the boulder only to find a scythe slash across his feathered chest and throw him back to the ground. Blitz landed on top of the rock and glared his hazel eyes at the fire pokemon.

Only a second after landing, not even giving him enough time to recover, the Blaziken felt an incredible weight slam into his back and throw him forwards against the boulder. Atlas struck him with the unscarred side of his head and pinned his chest up against the boulder. Meanwhile, Blitz looked over his shoulder and saw Kevin rapidly approaching his target.

“Crap, Maxie underestimated these guys... or did he place too much faith in Requiem?” the Team Magma guard muttered to himself. “Sky Uppercut with your foot!”

Requiem grimaced and pulled one of his legs close to his body. In less than a second, he kicked it out at a high angle. Atlas recoiled in pain upon feeling the Blaziken’s foot slam into his chin, knocking him away. “<That was a painful blow,>” Atlas thought to himself, wincing as he balanced himself to keep from falling over.

The anthropomorphic rooster agilely avoided another falling boulder and deflected a blow from Treecko’s tail using a swing of his arm. He lunged at Blitz up on the boulder and clawed at him with fire-wreathed talons. Blitz growled in pain and attempted to fight back with a slash of his scythes. Unfortunately for him, Requiem acted first with a roundhouse Blaze Kick to his face, throwing Blitz to the ground below.

Requiem set his sights back on Kevin and smirked ever so slightly. He lunged off the crest of the boulder towards the teen who closed in on the four Team Magma members.

“Prometheus, quick! Get him!” Jeff shouted.

“<Okay!>” Prometheus responded as he lunged after the Blaziken.

Before Requiem could soar any further towards his target, he felt himself be stopped in his flight. Prometheus’ rocky tail had wrapped around his form and had restrained him. The Onix held the writhing Blaziken up and squeezed him firmly, making sure he wouldn’t be able to escape.

“Requiem!” Friedrich shouted in shock. “Do something! Blaze Kick!”

The fire type attempted to ignite his feet but they did no more than tickle the surface of Prometheus’ strong hide. The Onix squeezed his captive harder, snuffing out the flames. Requiem let out a gasping cry of pain and struggled against the rock serpent in vain. Prometheus grinned and looked over at Jeff with a nod.

Jeff nodded in return and turned to Kevin. “Kev! Do it!”

Kevin clenched his fists as he closed in on the group. As he did, one of the machine operators placed the meteorite fragment onto the rectangular machine. The operator quickly pressed several buttons on the device’s control panel, seeming to activate it. The metal plate of the machine suddenly glowed a purple colour, the same colour as the meteor piece above it.

“Internal chemical extraction and transferral initiating. Set to automatic. The meteor is reacting to the heat; the chemical alteration has begun and they should be propelling downwards now. It’s at one percent, sir,” he said, looking at Maxie. “I would advise we evacuate now, but- Gah! Behind you!”

Maxie turned around in time to see Kevin dash past him, running straight for the machine. Kevin knocked one of the operators to the ground and skid to a stop, reaching for the meteorite. Just as the tips of his fingers touched the warm, almost unnaturally smooth surface of the violet rock, a hand reached out and grabbed him roughly by the collar.

Kevin was wrenched away from the machine with a violent jerk. The hand released him and the teen stumbled back. It was then that a set of knuckles drilled into his cheek and sent him flat on his back. Numbing pain seared the side of Kevin’s face. He grimaced and looked up, seeing the stronger of the three machine operators standing over him. The Team Magma grunt placed a foot on his chest and pinned him to the rocks.

Maxie nonchalantly walked over to the pair and looked at Kevin with a subtle frown. “Kevin, are you really against our ideals that much?” he asked in a disappointed voice. “Is it what we’re doing here or is it our overall goal? Or are you a Team Aqua sympathizer?”

Kevin let out a laugh. “Hah! Not likely. I’d still root for them before I root for you guys though, and that’s saying something,” he replied with a grin which disappeared when the Team Magma grunt ground the heel of his boot into Kevin’s gut.

“That’s enough, Claudius,” Maxie said, ushering him not to hurt Kevin. He looked back down at Kevin. “I get the feeling that you have a grudge against us...”

Kevin sneered at him. “Yeah, well, sorry if I offended you, but grudges tend to form when your goons riddle the windows of my house with bullets...” he spoke coldly.

Maxie’s arched an eyebrow and frowned in utter confusion. “...Excuse me?”

Any further response from Kevin was interrupted by the tremoring of the earth deep below, nearly knocking all of the humans off balance.

“Sir!” one of the operators called over. “It’s at ten percent now. We need to evacuate before it reaches twenty percent.”

“But if we leave, these kids will remove the meteorite,” Claudius protested.

“I’ll put on the glass casing,” the third Team Magma member responded. “It’s shaped in such a way that it can’t be broken with blunt force.”

Maxie nodded and looked at him. “Do that. Don’t forget to lock it,” he spoke, prompting the crimson-clothed man to run over to his bag to receive the casing. Maxie then looked down at Kevin, ignoring the growing quakes beneath them. “What did you mean just now?”

Kevin growled. “Nevermind that! Stop this thing before it’s too late!” he ordered. “There’s no way you can control Groudon! He’ll crush you and Lavaridge Town underneath his feet!”

Maxie shrugged and shook his head, grinning. “I wouldn’t be so sure...”

“And what’s that supposed to mean?” Kevin asked, becoming more and more wary of the nearby volcano.

“Fool me once, Kevin,” Maxie replied, waggling his finger. “I’ve learned from my mistake. Now that I see your stance on my team and our ideals, I think it would be best to hold my tongue.” The red-haired man kept a firm footing on the ground and looked over to the sole subordinate who was operating the machine.

He looked up at Maxie with some degree of urgency. “Seventeen percent.”

“I’m coming!” the other Team Magma member responded, running over. Kevin could see the allegedly unbreakable glass dome with metal latch in his hand. In the man’s other hand was a metal lock and key.

“Three percent until it reaches the point of no return.”

Kevin’s eyes widened. If they reached twenty percent, Lavaridge Town, the surrounding area and possibly they themselves would be doomed. “Do you have any idea what you’re doing?!” Kevin shouted, trying to fight to get Claudius’ foot off of him.

The tremors increased, making it incredibly difficult for anybody barring the Onix to stand up straight. Requiem became engulfed in flames, causing Prometheus’ binding hold on him to loosen.

“Eighteen percent, sir!” called the man, looking up from the screen.

“Securing glass casing!” said the other. He fixed the rear part of the case to the machine and began to close it, readying the lock.

Prometheus looked over at Jeff, beginning to wince. “<This guy’s getting pretty hot; even for me,>” he explained, looking at the roaring, fire-shrouded Blaziken.

“That’s his Blaze ability!” Jeff replied, getting a sinking feeling in his chest from the quaking earth and the sheer desperation of the situation. He held onto a nearby outcropping for support.

Maxie stared into Kevin’s blue eyes as lava emerged from underneath the previously cooling rocks in the throat of Mount Chimney and cast an orange glow on the side of his face. “I know exactly what I’m doing.”

“Nineteen percent!”

“Closing the case as we speak!”

Prometheus grimaced as Requiem began to wriggle out of his coils by intensifying his flames. “<I’m not sure how long I can hold him!>”

Maxie’s grin widened and fire seemed to reflect in his eyes. “And now it’s too late to stop it.”

“Blitz!” Kevin shouted.

“<Off of him!>” a voice scathed.

Claudius spun around with wide eyes to see a Scyther ram into him and throw him flat on his back. Kevin scrambled to his feet and looked towards the machine. “The meteor!” he cried out, his eyes widening as the operator began closing the case. “No!”

It was then that a white and navy blue star seemed to fall out of the sky. The object shot down towards them at a steep angle. In a fluent motion, it swooped down and bashed the glass case out of the Team Magma grunt’s hands in a full body tackle. This caused the casing to flip backwards and hang from the electronic machine, exposing the meteor.

A small avian pokemon landed on top of the violet meteor, his form cloaked in purple light. He grasped the stone tightly in his talons and turned around to look at Kevin and Blitz, giving them a wink.

“Daedalus?!” Kevin said in shock, staring at the Taillow.

“Where’d that Taillow come from?!” the flustered operator shouted.

“Is it theirs?!” Claudius asked, pulling himself up.

“Stop it!” Maxie ordered, his eyes widening as Daedalus wiped the smirk from his face.

The nearest Team Magma member reached his hand for the rock only to be mercilessly pecked. With many rapid beats of his wings, Daedalus flew away from the machine with the meteor in claw. Maxie looked on incredulously as the metal plate of the machine dimmed from a bright violet colour to its dull steel hue.

Daedalus flapped furiously to compensate for the weight of the rock. He flew towards the larger group, consisting of Jeff, Friedrich and their pokemon. The other Team Magma members had been ordered to escape on their bird pokemon as soon as the count reached seventeen percent.

Jeff looked up and saw Daedalus against the orange sky. “Daedalus!” he called out.

Maxie turned towards his Blaziken with wide eyes. “Requiem! Stop that Taillow!” he yelled.

“<Unhand me!>” Requiem roared, breaking free of his bonds in a flash of flames, causing Prometheus to release him.

The Blaziken drilled his foot into Prometheus’ back and began running up the rock serpent’s spine. He made his way to his head, jumped off of the tip of the Onix’s horn and propelled himself high into the sky. Daedalus saw the fire-type soar at him and he frantically looked down. “<Treecko!>” he shouted, dropping the fragment both to protect it and to regain his mobility.

Requiem saw the rock drop from Daedalus’ talons but it fell too quickly for him to even reach it, no matter how much he tried to alter his angle. Treecko leapt from Atlas’ back and caught the stone in mid-air. He landed on the ground with the fragment under one arm.

Daedalus did a corkscrew manoeuvre to avoid a slash from Requiem, who descended back towards the ground. “<Everybody, run!>”

Kevin and Blitz both raced away from Maxie south, in the direction of Jagged Pass. Atlas and Prometheus looked at each other for a moment before following suit. Treecko and Jeff started running back towards the cable car terminal as well. Treecko, while slower on two legs than four, still ran quite fast due to his try at Agility and was able to match Blitz’s speed.

“After them!” Maxie commanded, not just to Requiem, but to Friedrich, Claudius and the others too. He himself even took up the chase with his four comrades. Requiem landed and began racing after the group, leading the pursuit with intense speed. He honed in on the retreating wood gecko pokemon.

Daedalus saw this from above and let out a trill. Treecko and Blitz made it past the terminal and came to a stop to wait for the others. It was then that Corphish and Piplup jumped out from behind the building, the former with his pincers wide open as if holding two guns.

“<Covering fire, Private Piplup!>” Corphish ordered, unleashing two streams of high-speed bubbles from his claws.

“<Uhh, sure,>” Piplup responded before adding a third jet of bubbles from his beak. He glanced over to Blane while firing, who was staying behind the terminal with Rachel and some of the other pokemon.

The triad of Bubblebeam attacks slammed into Requiem’s chest, stunning him momentarily and slowing him as they pressed and exploded against him. Kevin, Jeff, and the Onix duo passed by him and started running with Rachel and Blane down Jagged Pass. Daedalus landed on the southern edge of the terminal roof and looked down at his team.

“<Strix! Your turn!>” Daedalus shouted before following the group down the rocky, ash-covered incline.

“<You got it!>” Strix shouted excitedly, flying out from behind the terminal to face their pursuers. He beat his wings frantically and saw the four members of Team Magma catch up with Requiem, who popped nearly all of the bubbles in a few fluent kicks.

Strix looked down at Corphish and Piplup. “<You guys catch up with the others!>” he said, flying to the fore slightly. As soon as the two obliged, he grinned at the Blaziken. “<Now... I suggest you and your friends get outta here because I’m feeling supersonic!>”

The Zubat opened his mouth and let out high pitched sound waves towards their six foes. The five humans cried out and cupped their hands to their ears, staggering backwards as the intense frequencies entered their ears. Requiem growled and stubbornly staggered forwards. He tried to fight against the effects that Strix’s soundwaves had on his inner ear. Through try as he might, the frequencies began to cause him to feel wobbly and distorted.

Requiem fell forwards, collapsing to his knees. Being the determined Blaziken that he was, he sprang to his feet again and staggered ahead, glaring furiously. His vision was badly impaired and his balance was horribly compromised. Though Strix flew statically in his place, there appeared to be three of him and they seemed to move all over the place.

“<I will not... lose... Not... lose... be humiliated...>” he slurred, still trying to make his way forwards, angry enough to attack Strix on the way. In spite of his screwed up senses, Requiem ran forwards again only to clothesline himself on the cable that led into the nearby terminal.

Strix giggled to himself, proud to see that his Supersonic attack worked and caused the fire type’s vision to be distorted enough for him to do that. The Blaziken landed on his back and coughed violently, struggling to accurately reach up and hold his throat. Despite his confusion and injury, he still sat up and, with great difficulty, got to his feet in an uneven stance. He snarled demonically and continued to walk unsteadily.

“<A stubborn one, are we?>” Strix taunted, grinning. The Zubat flew backwards and looked towards the south side of the cable car terminal. “<Okay, Drezzy! You’re up next!>” he said.

Drezdk walked out and stood underneath Strix, facing the Blaziken with a determination mixed with nervousness. “<Z’yup,>” he spoke, trying to calm himself at the sight of the enraged pokemon.

After readying his fore stingers just in case, the Beedrill tilted his head back and spat out a String Shot attack from his mouth. The sticky silk wrapped around Requiem’s legs and entangled them. The Blaziken fell, face planting on the rock ground in front of him. With a snarl, he tried to lift himself up on his hands, but soon found them bound together by Drezdk’s attack as well.

Strix laughed and flew down beside Drezdk. “<Hahah! I think that should buy us enough time! Let’s catch up with everyone else!>”

Drezdk nodded and followed Strix into the wide cloud of ash that Atlas and Prometheus kicked up. Requiem let out a frustrated roar and tried to ignite his ankles and wrists to free himself from the silk. By the time that he did, the ash had begun to settle and the fleeing party was out of sight.

“Damn it... What a disaster,” Maxie spoke with a sneer.

“<I’m... sorry, Maxie...>” Requiem replied, growling and fighting back tears at the humiliation that he suffered.

“No... This is entirely my fault,” he spoke grimly as he stared down Jagged Pass. He closed his eyes and turned around, bowing his head. “Now we have no choice but to start the new plan... We’ll start construction tomorrow.”

Maxie sighed and walked towards the mouth of the volcano which had since become silent due to the absence of the meteor piece. He stopped near the edge and gazed down at the opposite side.

“So now we’re stuck in a zero-sum game with Team Aqua... So be it. We need that Blue Orb.”

-

Two figures moved down a long metal corridor at a relaxed pace. One was a brown-haired man wearing a dark blue shirt opened up to reveal his chest. One hand rested in the pocket of his black pants while the other held a blue cell phone. A small grin formed on his clean-shaven face.

Beside him was the bulky and broad form of a blue Swampert. The large mud fish pokemon slid along the corridor’s steel flooring on his large white stomach. Although he was enjoying himself, he kept a steady pace with the man. He looked up at his counterpart and stared at the human with his orange eyes. “<Good news, Arch?>” he asked, his booming voice echoing.

The enclosed hallway creaked ominously and there was a claustrophobic droning coming from the other side of the sturdy metal walls. Archie finished reading the text and smiled, looking down at the Swampert. “Very. Matt tells me that he cut a deal with the network executives over at HNN. It took a lot of haggling but he got me a fifty-one percent share in the company. I’m now the majority shareholder and it’s going up from there once I dig my feet in. That means I’ll get to control what information gets told on the news.”

The Swampert smiled, truly happy for him. “<That’s great to hear. With that, along with the thing we got yesterday, your dream may finally come true.>”

“That’s right, best buddy,” the leader of Team Aqua said, looking at him with a smirk. “And it’s not just my dream, it’s our dream, right, Kippy?”

Kip smiled and continued gliding smoothly across the floor. “<Your dream is my dream, Arch,>” he replied reassuringly.

Archie chuckled slightly to himself and put his phone away. “That’s not exactly what I meant, Kip... Anyways, we haven’t won yet. Maxie and Team Magma is still a massive thorn in our sides. While we were on that business trip I got word that they were active in Fallarbor Town. I don’t know what they’re planning but I plan to find out.”

The pair finally reached the end of the hall, finding themselves in front of a secure doorway. While sliding, Kip got to his feet and skid to a halt. Archie drew a card from his pocket and slid it through the keycard lock. The mechanical door then unlatched its locks and automatically glided open in response to the card’s special code.

Archie and Kip looked into the large, dark room. It was lit only with a deep blue hue that effervescently flashed onto the floor. Kip walked in first, followed by Archie, who flipped on a light switch. The white, fluorescent light above illuminated the area, revealing a large desk in the middle of a semi-hexagonal room. On the left side of the room was a bookcase and a large couch. On the right side was a big screen TV, a mini fridge and a water dispenser.

The flat wall behind the desk was actually a wide window spanning the length of the room made of durable glass. They looked outside the window and saw a school of pink Gorebyss floating by the glass.

“Looks like it’s back to business now, Kippy,” Archie said, taking off his suit to feel the full breeze of his undersea hideout’s air conditioning system.

The Swampert looked at him and nodded before walking over to the couch. “<What do you plan to do now?>” he asked.

“We’ll keep looking for what we need,” Archie replied. “We need to find it before Team Magma does at all costs.”

Kip lay on his stomach and looked up. “<You mean the Red Orb, Arch?>”

The brown haired man smirked and nodded. “You bet. The key to Kyogre. Releasing him will make everything that I’ve given up for this worthwhile.”

“<Arch...>” Kip said with a bit of sympathy in his voice.

Archie took a safe from one of the drawers in his deck, unlocked it with his card key, and retrieved another key from within the safe. He then took that key and inserted it into the keyhole to the drawer below. With a quick flex of his fingers, he unlocked it and pulled the door out.

Kip watched as Archie took out a large blue sphere from the drawer and placed it gently on the top of his desk. The inside of the glass orb swirled with intense cobalt power.

“<The thing you got when we got back. It still looks incredible,>” Kip stated, looking in awe at the object of great prominence.

Archie grinned and placed his hand on top of it. “It sure does... And more importantly, this is our ace in the hole. Even if we can’t find the Red Orb, at least we can keep Team Magma from getting this until we do. We hold the cards here, Kippy. We won’t let those Team Magma b*stards do what they want with this world...”
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[B]Claimed: Treecko, Grovyle, Charmeleon.
Co-Owner of Treecko/Grovyle/Sceptile Club.
Paired withAnastasia R.
PC Family so far: Cousin - ScytheMaster, Awesomest Sister - Diamondpearl876, Brother - Rebellious Treecko (PM one of us if you want to join it)

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Click Below for The Awesome Treecko/Grovyle/Sceptile Club
Older Fic banner by Scenice.
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