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Old June 17th, 2012, 08:55 AM
Elite Overlord LeSabre™'s Avatar
Elite Overlord LeSabre™
Welcome to York County, SC!
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Dave Lyle Boulevard
Age: 88
Nature: Quirky
@Mentalii:

Thanks! Though the rest of it is in third person... the first person prologue was actually because I intended it to be just one post, but it soon extended into a short story.

But he's actually... not that strong And his personality only gets worse from here on out, so... But considering how so many people like him (for reasons I'll never understand) this is a pretty unique portrayal of him.

Awesome! Hopefully the next chapter comes this weekend where the major players on both sides get their proper introductions.

@SevenShirokami:

Thanks, glad you liked reading it


Notes: Once again, Haruka of Hoenn provided assistance with proofreading. The language gets pretty strong in this chapter, so the PG-13 rating stands. Also, if you thought I was portraying Red in a bad light in the prologue, well, you ain't seen nothing yet

Also, free cookies to anyone who knows the inspiration for this story's title, as well as the inspiration for the name of the big company mentioned in this chapter.


Chapter 1

Pokémon League Investigation Unit, Celadon Branch, Training Course, May 29, 3:49 PM

A black Ford Crown Victoria snaked its way through a slalom course set up on a water-soaked test track. The large sedan maneuvered past the orange cones and hit a straightaway. Two red Crown Vics approached from either side to block the black car’s path. The driver slammed on the brakes and quickly shifted the car into reverse. Performing a quick 180 degree turn with a sharp turn of the steering wheel, the black car quickly sped off before the pursuing vehicles could catch up. After once again making its way through the slalom course, the sedan was cut off by a third red car. The black car pulled up next to the other one, and slowly and deliberately tapped the red Ford‘s rear fender, sending it into a spin. After this maneuver, the car came to a stop. Out stepped what was clearly a young woman, wearing a blue floral dress, green blouse, and white pantyhose. She removed her purple driving helmet, revealing long brown hair. A man in a gray racing suit approached her.

“Excellent work out there at the track today, Lisa. You’ve really improved your slalom times and I think you might be the best of any of us at the PIT Maneuver now.”

Lisa smiled. “Thanks, Frank. But you know, I really do think I feel at home most when I’m behind the wheel. Pokémon training’s good and all, but nothing’s quite like the feeling of being in command of a 4,000 pound machine, with eight cylinders of raw power at your command.”

“Couldn’t agree more! That’s why I signed up to teach extreme driving at the League. I’ve had my training days long ago, but I’ve found driving to be a much more exhilarating experience. You should consider teaching extreme driving like I do; you’re definitely among the best five drivers in the entire League – particularly when it comes to big cars.”

“True, but I kinda like being on the front lines as well. I like the feeling that I’m actually going in and busting criminals…” The girl’s cell phone began to ring. “Sorry, hold that thought. Yes, this is Lisa…”

The voice over the phone said, “Hey, it’s me. Just got back from confronting Red, and you would not believe what I saw there! I figure since you’re a Special Agent with the League, I should tell you first.”

“Okay, gotcha… Tell you what… meet me at the TGI Friday’s in Celadon in about an hour or so. I’ve got to finish up some matters here, then I’ll head over there.”

“Okay, see you then.”

TGI Friday’s Restaurant, Celadon City, 5:13 PM

A dark blue Buick Roadmaster station wagon with wood trim on the sides pulled into an almost full parking lot and its driver exited the massive vehicle. Now wearing a white brimmed hat with purple ribbon atop her head, Lisa entered the casual dining restaurant just as business was picking up for dinner. Still, it did not take her long to find her dining companion – a girl with similar brown hair and white hat, wearing a sky-blue top, red miniskirt, and black tights. A thick coat matching the color of her top was placed on the seat behind her.

“Hey, Leaf, sorry I’m late… had a bit of paperwork to do after driving lessons. I trust that my pilots, Louis and Evan, treated you well?”

“Hey there, Lisa! And yeah, they were pretty cool about it. Ready to order?” she asked as Lisa took her seat.

“Yeah, I pretty much know what I want already.”

After the girls placed their orders, the conversation continued.

“So, tell me… what happened up there, and what is this discovery you wanted to tell me about?”

“First of all, yes, I did find Red. Yes, he was a complete pushover. But no, I didn’t learn anything from him afterward.”

“Well, that kinda sucks…”

Leaf took out her digital camera and handed it to Lisa. “As for that discovery… check out these photos.”

Examining the camera, Lisa said, “Yeah, this definitely looks suspicious.”

“And that’s what I saw. Red definitely had a drug-making lab set up in that cave, along with a makeshift apartment for himself. And a few dozen Pikachu, which I assume provide electricity to his whole operation.”

“I see,” Lisa replied, munching on a few fries that had just arrived at the table. “Somehow I’m not surprised. What other logical reason could one have for living in a place like that other than for some nefarious reason – something they wanted to keep hidden from the public? In any event, I’m sure my superior at the League Investigation Bureau would like to speak with you and review those photos you took. I’ll call her to meet us at the branch office in town.” The girl reached into her purple purse and took out her cell phone. Her companion stared at the device. Lisa noticed and said, “Yeah, I know this thing’s horribly outdated, but I really don’t need all the gadgets that those smartphones have. Anyway, let me make this call.”

Flipping open the phone, Lisa dialed the number of her superior. “Yes, Agent L, this is Agent 00479. I’m here in Celadon City with a colleague who has something she’d like to report… I see… Well, that works out perfectly. Let us finish our meal and we’ll be over there as soon as we can.”

Placing her phone back in her bag, Lisa said to her friend, “Turns out she’s already in town working on another case. But she said that she would definitely hear us out. After all, illegal drugs – for both humans and Pokémon – have become a major problem here in Kanto. And the local League and police seem to be doing little to curtail it. Some of us at the international level are looking into matters at the regional level to see if there are any under-the-table dealings going on to keep officials looking the other way.”

“And given the way that these guys essentially tossed me to the curb, I doubt that’s the only shady thing going on here in Kanto.”

Lisa nodded as she took a bite of her burger – plain, as usual. “Actually, that’s another matter my superior has been ‘unofficially’ investigating, so you definitely should bring that up with her. In fact, you’ll probably recognize her - she certainly remembers you.”

“Really? Who is it?”

Lisa let out a small chuckle. “You’ll find out soon enough. And the sooner we finish up here, the better!”

Pokémon League Investigation Unit, Celadon Branch, 6:29 PM

Leaf’s jaw dropped upon entering an office deep within the sprawling, steel-walled complex. She was face to face with a woman she recognized from her glory days… tall, wearing thin-frame glasses, and with her bright red hair tied into a bun in the back.

“Wait… Lorelei?”

“Ah, hello again. Miss Elizabeth Nicole Purvis, affectionately known as ‘Leaf.’ It’s been a long time. Good to see you again. Haven’t seen you since you were the rightful Champion of this region. Ah, but we can save the reunion for later. What brings you here?”

“You remember that I was Champion? But most everyone in Kanto forgot about me!”

Lorelei stood up from her office chair. “You may recall that I resigned my Elite Four position and moved back to Four Island while you were still Champion. Apparently the Kanto League’s brainwashing and propaganda didn’t reach that far, so I still have all my memories of you intact.”

“As I thought! So, my guess was correct! What are the details of all this?”

“Well, I don’t know specifically if any sort of Pokémon was used for this, but it wouldn’t surprise me if a Psychic type was somehow used. From what I gathered, memory-altering waves were broadcast, either through radio or television broadcasts, or perhaps both. Since one entity – the League – is in charge of both, no doubt they were the ones who broadcast it. Now why they did this is still speculation, but my hypothesis would be that some powerful individual with a lot of influence – or money, or both – somehow convinced the League to do this. Bribes and extortion may be involved. The signals obviously haven’t been broadcast for some time; otherwise we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now.”

“What sort of powerful person would have the motivation to replace me with Red, though? Seems a bit extreme to do that, and who would want to replace me so badly with him that they would go to these lengths?”

“I have an idea, but first things first. 00479 – that is, Lisa – informed me that you have something that you wanted to share with me.”

Leaf was shaking slightly, as the tall, bespectacled Lorelei gave off an imposing aura of authority. “Well, I ventured up Mount Silver to confront Red and get him to talk, but he wouldn’t. On my way down from the mountain, I happened to notice squealing sounds coming from one of the caves in the mountain. And what I saw… well, I’ll let you see the photos for yourself.” Leaf handed the former Elite Four her digital camera.

Lorelei sat back down and began to examine the pictures on the camera. “Hmmm… I see… Very interesting. Well, I can say that this is almost certainly a lab for manufacturing methamphetamines.
Based on these photos, I have enough evidence to issue a search warrant for Mount Silver immediately. I’ll have some of my agents raid the mountain and execute the warrant. If Red’s still there, we’ll also take him in for questioning. Meanwhile, it seems as if this development actually ties in with the reason I was in Kanto in the first place.”

“Really?” asked Lisa.

“Yes. My current assignment involves investigating the company, Omni Trainer Products. They’re a huge deal here and elsewhere. In Kanto, they operate all of the Pokémon Centers, Pokémon Marts, as well as other businesses like the Bike Shop, Safari Zone, and Game Corner. They have exclusive contracts with Kanto’s regional league to run the Centers and Marts, and receive funding from them to do so. That’s why the Centers offer services free of charge.

“However, as I’m sure Leaf is well aware, OTP is cutting corners everywhere. Pokémon Centers here are poorly maintained, the Marts are equally neglected and charge exorbitant prices for merchandise, and the whole Safari Zone policy of not allowing trainers to use their Pokémon within the facility is suspect in and of itself.”

“I know!” Leaf shouted. “You wouldn’t believe how long I had to spend in that blasted Safari Zone just to catch a Chansey! And those Centers are just crawling with stray Weedle and Pikachu, and half of those rats seemed like they had rabies…”

Lorelei continued, “Even manufacturers and suppliers like Silph have complained. OTP is forcing them to keep old, outdated technology in production when superior products are readily available, and only making the higher-grade supplies available in select markets. This obviously forces trainers to waste money on ineffective and obsolete products. Now normally, the regional League is tasked with inspecting these facilities to ensure they’re being operated up to code, but obviously these inspections are not taking place in Kanto. We suspect that OTP is keeping operating costs to a bare minimum, bribing League officials to look the other way, and pocketing the rest of the cash.”

“Well,” said Leaf as she adjusted her hat, “the shady behavior is right in line with how I was replaced with Red, but how is this case and my discovery in the cave related? And how does it tie in to the brainwashing scheme?”

“Excellent question. The president and CEO of OTP is a man named Tobias Peter Bartles. Regarding Red, after the whole debacle with him becoming Champion, I did a little digging into his past. Red’s last name, according to official records… is Bartles.”

Leaf’s jaw dropped. “But… I’d been by his place in Pallet Town when we were kids… he definitely didn’t live in a mansion, or anything else that made the family seem rich!”

“Exactly. When Red expressed interest in becoming a Pokémon Master, his father didn’t want people to think that Red’s rise to the top was paid for by his rich family. So he feigned a separation from his wife, the mother and son moved to Pallet Town, and Tobias remained in the family estate, to give the illusion that Red was from a normal, working-class family. Of course, the irony of it all is, that when Red turned out to be a complete failure as a trainer, he had to have his family pay for his rise to the top anyway. At least that’s the only logical conclusion I could come to.”

Leaf sulked. “Well, he would have the motivation to establish Red as Champion – and the means to influence the League to carry it out. Looks like he’s the culprit.”

Lisa rubbed her chin. “This whole matter involving Red… seems very strange to me…”

“Indeed, it’s strange. Someone who suffered thirty-four consecutive losses to Brock, and did not even challenge the other seven gyms according to their records… how someone like that could suddenly become Champion made no sense at all. At least, not without something dishonest going on behind the scenes. And it’s a good thing I made copies of these old Gym records before I left the Elite Four… When I did some research during this current investigation, I found that the records had been altered to replace Leaf’s name with Red’s, and had erased all of his losses to Brock.”

“So, what do we do now?” asked Leaf, with an angry frown.

Lorelei leaned back in her office chair. “Now, we need to wait for our evidence recovery team to return from Mount Silver. Hopefully we’ll get enough evidence to issue a search warrant for OTP headquarters and the residence of Mr. Bartles.”

Omni Trainer Products, Kanto Division, Saffron City, 8:26 PM

The day was beginning to fade in the central metropolis of Saffron, where the fading sun’s light reflected off the many high-rise office buildings that housed many of Kanto’s biggest corporations. But even among the numerous skyscrapers, one company’s building rose above the rest – eighty-four stories of sleek, smooth glass and steel that dwarfed every other building in town. It was fitting that this largest building was home to Kanto’s largest company – Omni Trainer Products, a business with operations worldwide.

Despite the company’s multi-billion dollar profits, tonight was not a good night for the company’s leading man. His office was located on the top floor, with floor-to-ceiling windows providing a panoramic view of the city – almost if looking down on the other companies in town. The office was decorated in a manner befitting a CEO – thick red curtains, granite flooring, elaborate chandelier, expensive glass sculptures of Pikachu, a huge portrait of the company’s founder on the wall, and a wall-mounted large-size monitor fitted across from the massive steel desk.

“WHAT! League agents have begun to scale Mount Silver?” A well dressed, red-haired man rose from his large leather chair, looking pale and very worried.

“That’s what I’m seeing on my surveillance cameras,” came a monotone, mechanical voice.

“Son, then we don’t have much time. Take the computer, get to the top of that mountain, and fly the hell off that mountain! Meet at the estate; I’m on my way there now. We can’t let the authorities get their hands on the records on that computer!” Hanging up the phone, the man yelled out, “Shit! There goes one very lucrative side project!” Grabbing his briefcase, he locked his office and dashed to the elevator, past startled employees. The man made his way to the attached parking garage, looking for his reserved spot. In a space marked “Reserved for Omni CEO T. Bartles,” he got into his bright red Lamborghini roadster and sped out of the garage and onto the streets of Saffron as the sun was beginning to set. Picking up his smartphone, he dialed.

“Red, are you off that mountain yet?”

The same mechanical voice from before replied, “Yes, I’m flying on Charizard but it’s tough carrying this computer while hanging on.”

“Okay, I don’t think that hard drive will survive a fall from that height, especially if it sinks in water. Once you fly over a large lake, you can let that thing go.”

“Roger. I’ll meet you at the estate as soon as I can. And I’m going to make the bitch that ratted us out pay.”

“You know who it is?”

“Yes. I’ll tell you when I get back home. Hold on… this looks like a good place to dump this cargo. I’m out…”

Tobias switched off his phone, face twisted into an angry scowl. “Those drugs brought in millions a year… I’ve had dealers from as far away as Unova buy that stuff from me and Red… I don’t give a shit who it was that snitched… they will pay!”

Pokémon League Investigation Unit, Celadon Branch, 9:07 PM

“Okay, thank you very much. I look forward to seeing the evidence tomorrow.” With those words, Lorelei hung up her phone. She turned to Leaf and Lisa.

“That was one of our agents dispatched to Mount Silver. The bad news is that the computer – which likely contained detailed records of their dealings – was nowhere to be found. The good news is that the agents were able to recover pretty much everything involved in the making of the drugs, as well as proof that Red was the one inhabiting the space… apparently in his haste, he left behind an old Trainer ID card of his, back when he was in the Championship spotlight. It’s not enough for a search warrant, but nonetheless I think we’ll pay a visit to OTP headquarters in Saffron tomorrow. See what Tobias has to say, and if Red’s with him.”

“Excellent plan,” said Lisa. “Even though I doubt he’ll say anything outright to us, we’ll be able to tell by his actions and demeanor if he’s hiding something.”

Lorelei nodded. “Indeed. Anyway, at the crime scene, they also recovered thirty four Pikachu, which we’ll have to put to sleep. Really, Kanto has enough of a Pikachu overpopulation problem as it is. While Red was Champion, he carried out this stupid idea to introduce Pikachu to every single rural route in Kanto. Simply amazing that they didn’t upset the region’s ecosystem too badly, though more than a few once common species are now on the endangered list because of them.”

“I know!” scoffed Leaf. “Seems like nowadays you can’t walk ten steps into a patch of grass without seeing one of those things!”

“Anyway, Leaf,” said Lorelei, “for the intents and purposes of this investigation, I am officially deputizing you as a League Special Agent. You will be partnered with Agent 00479 for the duration of the operation.” She handed Leaf a black leather case. Opening the case, Leaf took a look at the shining badge inside.

“Thank you, Lorelei.”

“I figured that as the former and rightful champion, that meant two things. One, that you have a personal vested interest in this investigation; and two, that you have the necessary skills with Pokémon so that you can hold your own. However, I do ask that you leave use of firearms and driving to 00479, as she has the extensive training and skills needed in such situations. As for hand-to-hand combat, I leave that to your own discretion, based on your confidence level and training with martial arts or self-defense classes.”

“Yes, ma’am. I understand.”

“And 00479, since Leaf is a deputized civilian operative, you are tasked with protecting her, using deadly force if necessary.”

Lisa nodded. “Understood, Commander.”

“Now, get some rest. I believe 00479 has a hotel room booked in the city, am I correct?”

“Yes, Commander.”

“Leaf, if you don’t mind, I’d like you to share a room with her. It would make a good location for you to review evidence in case you don’t get a chance to return here to do so. Now, we’ll meet up here at 7:30 in the morning and head over to OTP headquarters. Get some rest.”

The girls nodded and headed out of the office. Once they were gone, Lorelei leaned back in her chair and let out a sigh.

“Three long years… hopefully with this drug lab discovery, we’ll finally be able to close this investigation. And give that girl back the title that she rightfully deserves.”

Quality Suites Celadon City, Room 159, 10:25 PM

“The discovery of this meth lab on Mount Silver will hopefully put a major dent in the flow of illegal drugs throughout Kanto and Johto. Officials believe that the lab’s isolated location helped keep it hidden for over two years until it was discovered by an individual hiking through the mountain. League agents are not saying if they have any speculation as to who may be responsible for its operation.

“It is believed that the current influx of illegal drugs began in early 2010. Since then, it has become an epidemic that has plagued the inner city streets, small towns, and schools across both Kanto and Johto, and even beyond them. There have already been over a hundred gang and drug-related murders in Kanto alone this year, and we’re not even halfway through 2012 yet. We will keep you updated on any unfolding details regarding this discovery. For News 5, this is Rick Lansing.”

With a button press on the remote, the news report abruptly came to an end. “Okay, that’s enough news; after all we’ll be living and breathing this investigation for a while now.”

Lisa and Leaf both let out sighs. The two girls relaxed in the living room of a spacious two-room suite, sitting on the room’s purple-colored sofa. Now with an anime show playing on the flat-panel television, Leaf and Lisa finally had time for a girl-to-girl chat. Both girls had changed into nightgowns. Leaf’s was green while Lisa’s was purple.

“Lisa, I want to thank you again for helping me out. And I have to thank Lorelei again, too.”

“Well, don’t thank me just yet. We don’t know if this investigation will even lead anywhere, or if it’ll result in the truth about Red being exposed. All we can do is collect whatever evidence we can and hopefully have a witness come forward.”

“Yeah, I know, but thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt. Most people wouldn’t even take my story seriously. I mean, I wouldn’t believe it myself except that it actually happened to me.”

“It’s definitely not something you would ever expect to happen. Shows you the power of Pokémon and how bad things can get if their power is misused. But don’t worry; I know you’re Champion material – you wouldn’t have been able to beat me in the nationals five years ago if you weren’t.”

Leaf laughed. “Yeah, I remember that! You were fresh off your own journey, and you put up one heck of a fight there. Wasn’t that tournament at the college where you graduated?”

“Yeah, it was! Talk about irony! That journey was also where I first met Lorelei, and she’s been my mentor ever since then.” Lisa let out a yawn.

“Hmmm… yeah, I do recall Lorelei resigning from the Elite Four not long after I became Champion. I helped her out with some criminal activity taking place in her hometown, and I think that’s what pushed her to pursue the criminal investigations.” Now it was Leaf’s turn to yawn.

“Wow, okay, maybe that’s a sign that we both need to turn in for the night,” Lisa said as she switched off the TV. “We have a big day tomorrow, after all. Hopefully we’ll get some answers.”

“I’m wanting to see what kind of guy this Bartles character is. Being Red’s father, I’m not really expecting that he’s going to be a fine upstanding citizen.”

“Somehow, I doubt that as well.” Both girls got up from the sofa and headed to the bedroom, where two queen beds with gold duvet covers awaited them.

Bartles Estate, Route 16, May 30, 12:35 AM

The massive, gated residence of the Bartles family was shrouded in the darkness of night. Armed sentries made their security rounds, accompanied by several Arcanine, each of them growling and snarling viciously. Inside the huge, lavish mansion, an executive and his son were engaged in a tense discussion. They were seated in a large living room with black leather furniture. The extravagant crystal chandelier overhead was not lit; instead a fireplace crackled and provided light and heat to the room. The stuffed head of a Nidoking hung over the mantle, its long purple horn giving off a polished shine.

“You sure it was her?” asked the father, Tobias, now wearing a black nightrobe.

“I don’t see who else it could be. She hunts me down on that mountain, battles me and leaves, and later that day the feds come snooping around. I’m absolutely certain it was her. Stupid bitch beat up my prized Pokémon – even had the audacity to insult my Pikachu.”

“Damn. I knew we should’ve killed her as soon as she returned to Kanto… or at least kept broadcasting those brainwashing radio broadcasts so she would’ve forgotten, too. I should’ve guessed that she’d someday want answers. Nothing we can do about it now. It’d take too long now to gather the necessary Pokémon, train them, and get the signals back on the air.”

“No, there is one thing,” Red said through his electronic voice box, a wicked smirk forming on his face. “Remember what we did to the Pokémon that left me like this?” he asked, pointing at a long scar across his throat.

“Ah, yes,” Tobias answered as the pair looked up toward the stuffed Nidoking head. “We stabbed it, decapitated it alive, then burned the body to a crisp and mounted the head. Are you suggesting we mount her head on our mantle, as well?”

“No, I couldn’t stand to look at something that ugly. But the rest of the plan sounds like an excellent idea, although let’s burn her while she’s alive and then hack off the skull if it’s still there. Maybe we can slaughter her Pokémon and mount their heads on the wall.”

“It’s because of that stupid Nidoking that you couldn’t bask in the limelight for very long. After you lost your voice, you really had no choice but to relinquish the title of Champion to Lance and go into hiding.”

“Well, at least it worked out well. I became revered as a legend of sorts in Kanto, and it provided the perfect cover for our drug operation… until she came along.”

Tobias stood up. “Back to our current concerns, I’m sure those League pigs will be by my office tomorrow. They’ll probably also be searching the estate and your mom’s place in Pallet Town. I do have a concealed closet behind a bookcase in my office. I’ll have you come to work with me, and when those pigs come around, I’ll just hide you in there until they leave. Only thing is, we’ll have to come in early so you’re not spotted by any of my employees. Your face is too well-known across Kanto – it’s hard keeping someone secret when they’re a celebrity.”

“Yeah, I’m definitely going to have to lay low for awhile. Maybe dye my hair and grow a beard. But until I do, I suppose I’ll have to remain in hiding.”

The father replied, “After the league questions us, I’ll hole you up here. I’m sure it’s got to be better than that makeshift apartment we set up in that cave.”

“And a hell of a lot warmer, as well. Amazing that you were even able to set up wi-fi and satellite TV in that place.”

“Red, never underestimate the power of technology. Of course, we’ll have to rely on more low-tech measures,” Tobias said as he took a .38 revolver from a drawer on the end table, “should the League give us too much trouble.”

Red smiled. “Nothing wrong with that. Though I’d prefer to do the job with my Pokémon, I suppose your method is faster and more efficient.”

“Alright, I’m off to bed. Gotta get to the office early tomorrow in order to greet our visitors.”

Red grabbed the TV remote. “I think I’ll stay up a little while longer. It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to relax here.”
__________________


Elite Overlord LeSabre™
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