Well, here's the next chapter. It's a bit early, but the last chapter didn't mean much and I wanted to put something that revealed a bit more about the plot. For the next while, I'm going to be focusing on Zane and Susana, because what they go through is slightly more relevent at the moment than the other three XD.
It had been specifically stated that the boat would be close enough to the land that we could see the shore at all times. It was a cruise displaying the beautiful landscape of Hoenn, after all. But for some reason, as I looked out the window, all I could see was the wide expanse of the ocean. What was going on here?
Just then, the sound of static echoed through the air and I winced in pain at the volume level.
"Hello, hello!" A voice spoke over the crowd's voice and everyone immediately fell silent. Even if they all kept talking, though, the volume on the speaker was loud enough that everyone on the boat could easily hear. "I apologize for the inconvenience, but as some of you sharper folks may be aware, this cruise ship has been hijacked!"
"You've got to be kidding me." I groaned in irration as a collective gasp rang out from everyone around me. A boat hijacking? That wasn't even funny. The voice on the speaker sounded like a small girl's. Was this some sort of joke?
"Don't worry too much about it." The voice continued. "We Schola have no interest in harming any of you, nor are we so petty as to rob you." The voice giggled, as if she found this funny. "No, no--we care little for money. If you'd all be so kind as to had back your rooms and stay there, you'll be perfectly fine."
I frowned for a moment, considering the tone of their voice. They didn't sound like they were lying, at least. So I sighed as I turned on my heel and moved along with the crowd toward the elevator. I was surprised, however, when a felt a hand tug on my elbow.
"Where are you going?" Susana asked, her eyes wide with wonder. "Are you going to do as they say?"
"Of course I am." I replied with a shrug. "They said they weren't going to harm us or anything. Besides, I'm sure the ship's security will take care of things."
I didn't believe the last part, obviously. I was positive that the security had already been taken care of, or else these guys wouldn't have announced that they hijacked the ship. I did want to know, however, why they had taken us off course. What was their goal?
"Oh, yes!" The voice suddenly returned to the speaker and I winced at the volume once more. "I almost forgot! Will Zane of the Pokemon Association please surrender and head to the control room immediately? If not, the ship captain and the rest of his crew with be slaughtered one at a time every five minutes. That is all!"
Now they must have been lying, I thought as I accidently bit down on my lip in surprise. I wiped the blood away quickly as I glared upward at the loud speaker, as if I could see the culprit through it. Knowing my name aside, they couldn't really intend to kill the captain! That was absurd! What could I have that they wanted?
But no matter how I looked at it, it would be taking a huge risk to simply not go. I had wanted this to go along smoothly, but it looked like that was not a possibility.
"Go to your room and stay there till it's safe." I ordered Susana as I strode past her. Once again, if felt her hand grab my elbow, stopping me.
"Are you going to surrender yourself?" She asked now. I answered her without looking back.
"Don't be ridiculous." I muttered. "I'm going over there to kick the butts of these hijacking jerks, find out how they know my name, and rescue the captain and his crew while I'm at it."
"Really?" Susana's voice changed then, to my surprise. It lost its innocent ignorance and became a bit more wry and amused. I looked back at her and was surprised to see a sly smirk, along with a hard gaze on her face, replacing the airhead that had been there previously. "In that case, I'm coming with you."
"Why would you want to come? It'll be dangerous."
"Because it sounds more interesting than waiting around in my room."
I frowned for a moment, intending to refuse her, but something made me change my mind. That sensation I'd felt when I'd first seen her...and the look on her face now...something about them warned me not to think of her so shallowly.
"Alright," I sighed in defeat. "Just don't get into trouble and stay with me."
"We're not going to the control room?" Susana asked as elevator we were on continued up floor after floor. Everyone was already in their room, thank god, so we didn't have to make any unnecessary stops.
"We're going to the captain's quarters first." I replied darkly. "I'm not just going to walk into a trap without first making sure that there are actual hostages."
"But if they have the control room, then they can see you on the cameras, right?"
"Yep. There's no doubt that they're watching us right now on the elevator. But they haven't stopped the elevator yet. I don't know if that's a good or a bad thing, though."
Susana didn't ask me any more questions after that. She simpy watched the floors we passed through the clear walls of the elevator silently as we continued to the top floor.
Once we arrived at our desination, I glanced up and down the halls, hoping to see a worker. There was no one, not even any sign of the hijackers.
"So you're from the Pokemon Association?" Susana asked as we rushed down the halls. "Do you know why they're after you? And do we have to run so quickly, my legs are tiring."
"Yes, no, and yes." I replied to her questions in order. "I have no clue why I'm being targetted. I didn't bring anything of value with me, so assume that I know something they don't want me to."
"Or perhaps you are a threat to them in some way?"
I glanced back at her for a brief moment. "Do you know something I don't?"
"Nope. I'm just randomly guessing here."
We came to a stop as our path was suddenly barred by two people in black robes with hoods over their heads. From their necks hung a rosary with a strange horse-like figure hanging from the end that I could not identify.
"We're here to see the captain." I told them firmly.
"You were told to go to the control room." One of them told me, remaing in front of the door to the captain's quarters. "It's in the other direction."
"I don't care. I came to see the captain."
The lifted their hands, which held one pokeball each, and I immediately took a pokeball from my wristband and tossed it outward. My partner, Aggron, charged outward as the two released a Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee. I had the disadvanage of types and numbers, but I wasn't in the best of moods.
"Aggron, lift you right foot and sheild your chest with your arms!"
Aggron followed my orders exactly, blocking Hitmonchan's salvo of punches with it's arms raised. Hitmonlee swept one leg at Aggron's right leg, but Aggron lifted it in time to evade the hit and stomped down on it, crushing Hitmonlee's leg beneath its weight.
Aggron's body glowed with bright light that it released in a single burst, enveloping the two pokemon completely and throwing them back into their masters. I hopped onto Aggron's back, holding onto Susana's hand as I gripped on tightly.
Aggron barreled into the four enemies with dangerous force, and rammed straight into the door, turning it to splinters like it was nothing. Once we were in the room, Susana and I hopped off of Aggron's back, careful not to jump onto the unconscious hooded men or their pokemon.
"Wow! Nice entrance!"
I stared at the girl sitting behind the captain's desk at his chair, watching us with big pink eyes. She wore a black robe as well with the hood down and her hair was a bubblegum color. I had no doubt that she had dyed it. Judging from her stature, she was young. Maybe eleven or twelve--clearly too young to be in charge of the hijackers.
"Aw, how cute." Susana giggled. "The little girl is playing captain."
"Excuse me, miss, but I'm not playing." The girl rolled her eyes with indignance as she rested one of her thin hands on the desk. "And my name is Jasmine, in case you forgot to ask."
I frowned as I heard muffled sounds and looked to see the captain and his crew tied up beside the desk, sitting on the floor. They didn't look fearful, as if their lives were in danger. Just shaken up and a little banged up, probably from the resistance they'd put up.
"What's going on?" I demanded as I returned my attention to the girl. "I thought you were threatening to kill these guys?"
"Don't be ridiculous! I was ordered not to kill anyone!" The girl named Jasmine frowned, as if she found the thought absurd. "Well, anyone except for you."
"So you lied." Susana said with finality. "In order to lure him."
"Why?" I demanded. Aggron stepped forward to stand over her fiercely, bearing more than four time her height, and many times her weight. She'd be easily crushed on accident if Aggron got too exuberant with the intimidation. "What are you after?"
"Well, I came to trap you." She seemed completely unfazed by Aggron as she continued to watch me with her big eyes. "I'm from the Schola--a religious group in honor of our lord and savior Arceus. We were ordered to do away with you five who hold a piece of the savior by taking your lives."
"What? But--what the heck is 'Arceus'?"
"Just an old legend." She drummed her fingers on the table a few times absently, not seeming the least bit rushed. "Anyways, I suggest you hurry. You're wasting time by pretending to threaten me."
I grimaced at her and she raised a pink eyebrow at me, amused by my expression.
"Come on, who do you think you're fooling? I don't have any pokemon with me, and I'm completely defenseless. As if you'd hurt me. But the control room, is still under our control. This ship is heading far out to the middle of the sea. In the case that you aren't dealt with in the next fifteen minutes, the entire ship blows up." She glanced down to the two men and their Pokemon, who were beginning to come to. "But if you'd prefer to stick around, be my guest."
"That's seems a bit radical." Susana offered when I could only stumbled in surprise. She'd blow up the whole ship?! "You expected Zane to come here first too, huh?"
"It is radical." Jasmine replied calmly. "I'm ready to die for my mission, even if it means hundreds of others die as well. You're that dangerous."
"How am I dangerous?" I demanded. "What do I have to do with your 'Arceus', and how do I have a piece of it?"
I was frustrated enough to strangle this girl, honestly. What the heck was going on here? But even if I wanted to be violent, I wasn't accomplishing anything by wasting time here. The control room was roughly ten minutes away by running.
"Aggron, return." I said finally as I held its pokeball up and returned it to my armband. Then I whirled around and headed out the door, grabbing Susana's hand and bringing her along with me.
"I'm going to need your help!" I told her as she looked at me, bewildered. Despite her surprise, she didn't resist too much, and her Lilligant followed behind us. No one pursued, which meant that they weren't bluffing.
When we arrived at the control room, there were several men waiting as I expected. They released their pokemon to bar the door. But rather than attacking back, I continued running, under the cover of a storm of leaves that swirled through the corridor, battering the pokemon and opening a path for me to rush through.
I looked around the control room once and knew what was going on. In the corner of the room was a large box with a clock counting down in big red letters. It was attached to one of the computers, so I could guess that it was programmed to explode every electronic connected to the ship.
"Metagross!" I called as I released him from its pokeball. "I need you to find a way to diffuse that bomb and regain control of the ship. And hurry--you've got three minutes and fifty seconds."
Metagross didn't hesitate to question me--it simply set to work tapping at the keyboard furiously with its three-clawed arms as it floated, giving it two sets to work with. Metagross had the brains of a super computer--I could only hope it was enough.
"How's it going?" Susana asked as she walkd in behind me. Her Lilligant had sealed off the entrance with its leaf storm, keeping the members of the Schola from entering through pure, overwhelming force. She may not have been necessarily trained for battle, but Susana definitely knew some tricks, it seemed.
"If I'm guessing right, a Porygon has hacked the computer and set that bomb." I answered as I pointed to the bomb in question. "It's probably still in there as a defense mechanism to stop anyone from disabling or delaying the detonation. I just hope we're in time to stop it."
"A Porygon? What is that?"
"A cyber pokemon that can enter machines at will." One that I never expected to see. I didn't know too many people who had a Porygon since they didn't naturally exist in any habitats. But the signs were obvious--no one was manning the computer, after all. The screen on the computer Metagross was using was furiously switching between programs as I saw the word [ERROR] more times than I would have liked. Two minutes left.
"It doesn't look like you'll make it." Susana said as she peered over my shoulder. "Even if you stop it from blowing up the computers, it will take longer to stop the bomb itself from blowing up. And if that happens, the whole control room will be destroyed and they won't be able to navigate back to land."
Another unexpected moment of sharpness, but I already knew this. I was hoping for better, but the remaining minute and ten seconds wouldn't be long enough. It was going to be close. Far too close. Which meant that I had to take stupid and desperate measures.
"Metagross, meteor mash."
Metagross paused from its work and slammed one fist into the cords attached to the bomb, severing them all at once. Susana winced in surprise as I picked up the bomb and hopped onto Metagross' back.
"What are you doing?" She demanded as Metagross slammed a fist into the wall, forcing a huge opening for him to fit through.
"Getting rid of the bomb." I replied as Metagross took the to air and shot out of the hole, flying at a diagnal arc into the air as fast as it could. I kept an eye on the timer, watching it carefully as it continued to countdown.
I chucked the machine away from me immediately and threw myself down onto Metagross' body, bracing myself as the explosion commenced. I groaned as burning pieces of charred metal flew through the air and fell onto me and Metagross who's flight became shaky. The next thing I knew, I was falling toward the water at a terrifying pace. I remembered that falling into water from to high up made it no different than falling into a sea of asphalt. Oh goody...
I groaned as I cracked and eye open and sat up. My head was spinning and my stomach didn't feel to well. I flipped myself from my back and immediately threw up into the ocean to myself and I shuddered. How much sea water did I swallow?
Then I realized that I was sitting atop my Metagross, who was floating gently in the water, bobbing up and down like a booey.
"Metagross?" I blinked in surprise. "But...how?!"
"He descended to the water not long after you after trying to catch you in midair and missed." A voice responded. I looked up to see a old man with a long white beard wearing an assortment of wet garments smiling at me through several wrinkles. He was standing in an old looking fishing boat, holding a rope that was attached to one of Metagross' arms, so we drifted along with them as they drove forward. Despite his apparent age, he was quite muscular, easily visible as he had his sleeves rolled up, baring his forearms.
"Long time no see, Mr. Briney." I smiled miserably, happy to see my old friend. I remembered a long while ago when this old sailor had helped me explored the Abandoned Ship. I didn't have any pokemon that could surf for long distances at the time, so it was thanks to him that I had managed. It was a real bonding experience of sorts. His partner pokemon, Peeko the Wingull, was perched on the steering wheel and greeted me with a raised wing and a cute little growl.
"Zane, me boy, glad to see you're still alive and kicking!" Mr. Briney grinned at me. "You gave me a fright when I saw you falling through the sky!"
"Did you save me?"
"No, actually." I saw a nervous expression flicker across his face behind his beard. "I only saw you falling from my cabin. I rushed out immediately and was surprised to see you floating in the water unconscious, but alive, along with this girl."
I blinked in confusion and looked beside me. I jumped as I realized that Susana was fast asleep beside me, apparently exhausted. She was soaking wet, like me, and her Lilligant was beside her, asleep as well. She was cuter like this, I'll admit, when I was confused as to what kind of person she was.
How had she gotten here, though? Had she somehow followed me? I couldn't imagine she would be so stupid, though. Whatever the case, I was glad to see she was okay. In my moment of rash action, I'd managed to find room to worry about how she would deal with the Schola alone once I was gone.
What is the Schola after? How did Susana end up with Zane despite having no means of flying? What will the two do now that the boat has left them behind? Find out inthe next chapter of Pokemon: Shattered Realities!