You Will Be The Very Best
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June 3rd, 2013 (1:39 PM).
Don't mess with the lights...
Somewhere beyond the Veil
Guess who decided to get off her lazy bum and restart this fanfiction!
In Which There Is a Battle and Our Heroes Learn A Bit About Midnight's Past
Nik woke me up at about 5 AM, throwing a pillow into my face.
What the heck, Nik? I was trying to do this really fun thing. It's called sleep. You should try it sometime.” Effie hissed at him as I recalled her.
Midnight grumbled and sat up. “Arc, Nik, why in the world would we need to get up at 5 freaking AM? Do you have no sense of time?”
There are less things in the water in the morning!” Nik said, jumping around. “We can get there faster! And the faster we get there, the faster I can get my Pikachu! Come on, guys!”
I heard Looker mutter something about kids not knowing when to stop. I agreed with him, to be honest.
We got dressed in fresh clothes, Midnight putting on a pair of capris and a T-shirt, and Looker donning an identical copy of the brown suit he was wearing yesterday. As Looker grabbed his heavy coat, Nik looked at him strangely.
Why are you dressed like a spy? Aren't spies not supposed to look like spies?” he said, confused.
It,” said Looker as if everyone should know this, “is reverse psychology.”
That actually make some amount of sense,
He always dresses like that. I've just sort of gotten used to it,” said Midnight, resigned.
Can we get going?” said Nik impatiently. “This is MY adventure, so I get to do whatever I want!”
Nuh-uh,” I said. “We're only taking you along because we have to.”
What?” said Nik, clearly bewildered.
Never mind,” said Midnight. “Let's go.”
We each mounted our respective surfing Pokemon and set off from the beach. The air was cool, with a slight breeze that made Looker's coat billow out in the breeze like an enormous balloon. Below the water, I caught glimpses of rare-looking fish and Pokemon, and watched them swim away when Nik sprayed ridiculous amounts of Silph Co PokeRepel around. That stuff smelled nasty even to Oswald, and he wrinkled his nose in disgust. I petted his head to try to calm him down, but he was still uneasy.
About a mile out, Nik shouted “Hey, who's that guy?”
There was a lone man standing by himself on a sandbar, staring off into the distance. He wore an outdated Policeman uniform, and wore a similarly old looking Trainer belt.
Probably just some Anny,” said Midnight dismissively.
We shouldn't get too close to him. You know how they react.” I said. On my journey, I'd encountered countless lonely Annys who stood in the same spot all day, just waiting for someone to cross their path and battle.
Looker steered Brook around the man's line of sight, and Nik clumsily did the same with Daisy. As Midnight pulled her Dragonair away from the sandbar, I continued on toward the man. I wasn't sure why I did it. It probably had to do with the fact that my dad, who used to be a medical researcher who specialized in forms of treatment for Anpeci's disorder, once told me that for some Anpecis, their only form of happiness came when they did whatever task they were compelled to do. Judging by the belt the man wore, he was a Trainer of some sort, and considering that he was out in the middle of the sea on a sandbar, he probably didn't get many visitors. I sort of felt obligated to go battle him, because I knew it would just make his day to meet someone.
Hey! Hey Maria! You idiot, you're going the wrong way!” shouted Nik.
Slowly, I edged Oswald towards the man. The moment I moved into his line of sight, his head snapped down to stare me in the eye and he said, in that strange, robotic way that they all do:
Looking out at the ocean makes me think about my childhood as a Trainer!”
So he was a Veteran. The League gave out Trainer Classes to all registered Pokemon Trainers, Anpeci or otherwise. Veterans were sort of retired Trainers, who battled rarely and if at all, not particularly competitively. They were often older men.
That explains the old uniform
, I thought.
My watch beeped and said in a tinny voice, “Veteran Christoph wants to battle!”
Christoph threw out a Poke Ball and from it emerged a great orange dragon with curly antennae-like structures protruding from its head. It was a Dragonite, a rare Pokemon I'd only ever heard about in the news once, when the Johto Champion, Lance, had been interviewed by some brave reporter. (Lance was not particularly...friendly, from what I'd heard. He had a habit of threatening to feed people to his many dragons if they didn't agree with him.) From what I knew, Dragonite were not particularly common among ordinary Trainers, but from my experience I knew that Veterans often had access to rarer Pokemon than usual.
I sent out Selene, who gracefully did a flip in the water as her rainbow-colored scales shimmered. Christoph's eyes widened. He seemed surprised to see a Milotic.
What is that?” he said in a completely different voice. “I've never seen one before.”
Her? She's a Milotic. Evolves from Feebas, you know? With a Prism Scale?” I was quite shocked that an obvious Anpeci like him was saying something so “off-script”.
I...I've never heard of it,” he almost whispered, dazzled by the tiny rainbows glancing off Selene's back.
What's wrong with that guy? Why isn't he being all Anny-ish and stuff?” said Nik, at the worst possible time.
Midnight gave him her signature glare. Looker glared too, and said, “That, Nicholas, is rude.”
It's NIKOLA!” insisted the ten-year-old.
Christoph raised his arm in my direction and shouted, “Astrid! Use Dragon Pulse!”
Mirror Scale!” I commanded. With a flick of her tail, Selene angled her body so that the sun's rays hit the reflective skin of her scales in just the right way. A sort of misshapen barrier formed between her and Astrid. The Dragonite opened its mouth wide, wide, wide...wider than I would have thought possible, and with a whooshing sound expelled a globular ball of light from its gaping maw. Immediately, the wall of light in front of Selene focused to a cannon-like form, absorbed the Dragon Pulse from Astrid, and fired back a stronger blast in the orange creature's direction.
It was a direct hit. The dragon swayed, dazed by the hit. Christoph suddenly made a time-out gesture at me. Surprised, I nodded. He quickly went over to his Pokemon, picked it up under the arms, and hefted it up, saying, “Come on Astrid, you can do it!” Miraculously, the dragon stood up straight and cocked its head at Christoph, waiting for a command.
This simple gesture was enough to convince me that this was no ordinary Anpeci. A real Anny would have simply went on with the battle, ignoring his Pokemon's need. It was a topic of controversy among Poke-rights activists (the most radical of whom I'd fought last year) that Annys have little to no care for their Pokemon. But no, this man, this “Veteran Christoph” was something else entirely. Certainly not an Anpeci, at any rate.
Behind me, Nik gaped, obviously confused by the man's behavior. He was making his dismay known quite loudly, mainly by way of pulling on Looker's coat and asking him why the Anny wasn't acting normal.
Ice Beam, Selene,” I whispered to the Milotic. Christoph had said something – I'm not sure what – to his Dragonite, and it was coming toward Selene with a fist full of lightning.
The guy's got some nerve to be electric out here in the ocean. He's going to get us all killed!
Astrid raced toward Selene, whose mouth was forming a ball of crystalline ice to be launched at the dragon. There was only a split second of difference between the attacks, but it was enough – when the smoke from the mixing elements cleared, Christoph's Pokemon was lying on the ground, fainted.
Christoph recalled it, and snapped his head up in what I now realized was a passable imitation of an Anpeci's robotic glance. With precision, he said,
Your battle was just as exciting as any one in my yout---”
Excuse ME, sir, but I'm going to have to ask you to show me your Trainer Card,” snapped Midnight briskly. She had ridden her Dragonair over to the sandbar, and now had Christoph at a length that seemed to be intruding upon his personal space.
Fine, ma'am, I will,” said Christoph obligingly. He reached into his pocket and handed the worn piece of plastic over.
Looker and Nik, curious, rushed over to the sandbar to see it. I leaned over to catch a glimpse, too.
(here, the last name was blacked out)
Physical Disorders- None
Mental Disorders- None
Address—640 Parkett Lane, Vermilion City, East Kanto
You could be a Champion with all those badges!” said Nik in awe. “Are you a former Champion?”
You are not an Anny at all!” said Looker. “You are a master of disguise like me, no?”
What are you doing so far from Vermilion?” said Midnight. “And are you aware, Mr “Christoph”, that falsely pretending a Trainer class is a level one infraction on the League infraction scale, asking for a fine of $3000 P?”
Calm down, calm down!” said Christoph. “Friends, as you seem to have figured out, I am not who I appear to be. I can tell by your friend”–here he gestured to Looker–“and his attire that you are here on Interpol business? Well, in truth, I am perfectly mentally fit, and am also here on business. In fact, I have had run-ins with the Interpol many times before, and few of them have been friendly. I refer to myself as Christoph nowadays, but you will probably know me by my other name...”
Suddenly, he whirled around, spinning in circles and as he did so, throwing off his graying hair, which was a wig, and his tattered uniform. As we gaped in surprise, it flew off into the wind, but Christoph wasn't naked – he had something on under it. When he came to a stop, Christoph was a much younger man; his hair was fluorescent purple* and he wore a very new looking military-ish getup, but the most noticeable thing was the bright red
printed on the chest of his shirt.
she shouted, grabbing the man who called himsef “Petrol” by the collar as he laughed smugly. “YOU...YOU (9curse word))!!! YOU AND I HAVE UNFINISHED BUSINESS!! DID YOU THINK I'D FORGET WHAT YOU DID?
She shook him, and yet he still laughed in her face.
Who the heck is this guy?” I asked Looker, as Midnight shouted. Although I was shocked, I didn't want to get in her way. She looked pretty mad. No, scratch that – she looked RIDICULOUSLY ENRAGED.
Ah...an old enemy of Madam Midnight. She once had fights against him, no? This “Petrol” used to be an executive of a long-dissolved organization known as...”
Christoph, or Petrol, or whoever he was, kicked Midnight in the shin and finished Looker's sentence. “Team...Rocket. You've heard of it, haven't you?”
Of course, I'd heard of Team Rocket. Who didn't? They were the mafia-like group that had once ruled Kanto, that had been taken down once by the very man we're looking for, Red, and another time by two best friends, Lyra Kristal and Ethan Gold. (Ethan, like my friend Black, preferred to go by his last name.) They had terrorized Pokemon and people, attempted to awaken legends and even created what they considered the “ultimate” Pokemon, the creature known as Mewtwo. It was impossible NOT to have heard their name somewhere. They had become a sort of legend, with their red and black gang uniforms and suspicious looks.
I thought I'd never have to see you again,” said Midnight, picking herself up, “and you followed me here! After everything you did...”
Um, what DID he do?” asked Nik innocently.
None of your damn business, Nik.”
A sharp intake of breath was heard from the innocent 10-year-old.
I'll take the liberty of explaining this one, Andrea,” Petrol cut in.
It's MIDNIGHT,” she hissed.
I am, and was, a part of the organization known as Team Rocket. At one point, as you all must know, our goal was total world domination. However, as you can see, this failed, so we changed our purpose to something more realistic. At the point that I met your friend Andr- er, Midnight, we were still pursuing our original goal. Midnight showed up to our secret base in Goldenrod and attempted to apprehend me and my entire group of colleagues-”
You mean your HENCHMEN!” Midnight shouted.
with a similar group of her own colleagues, and, to put it simply, failed-”
He gassed the entire room with sedatives and nearly killed me! I woke up in a cell somewhere in their base, and I had to break myself out, and when I escaped, I couldn't find the other agents, and-”
-this would have all been avoidable if she hadn't been such a meddling little girl at the time; you must remember that this was five years ago and she was fourteen years old, certainly not capable of interacting on an adult scale-”
It's been five years and I still haven't found them! Lisa, David, Nathaniel...they never came back from that mission and, despite what this villain says, there's no way we simply haven't found each other since then! The regions may be a big place, but the IP has ways of tracking people, and those three just disappeared-”
-and your friend here found me by chance two years ago before Team Rocket recovered from its disbanding and reformed with a new mission, and she made it known to me that if she ever ran into me again, she'd leave me no mercy-”
HE KILLED THEM!! I KNOW IT! HE WON'T ADMIT IT BUT I NEVER SAW THEM AGAIN! THEY MUST BE DEAD!!”
-and I believe that takes us up to right now, doesn't it?” Petrol finished, having dodged Midnight's interruptions with agility.
Pardon my interruption, but the Team Rocket...if you disbanded, why are you still here at...large, no?” inquired Looker as Midnight stood fuming, knee deep in water from the surrounding ocean. Thankfully, I was still wearing my shorts, so I was fine.
We in Team Rocket decided that if we couldn't rule Kanto, we might as well aid it, and for us that meant to...explore it more fully, to discover the mysterious things about it and keep what secrets the public shouldn't know. We're sort of like the International Police of Kanto, except we have better outfits and people know we exist.” Ignoring Looker's protests, he went on. “I'm out here on Rocket business, and you'd do well to listen to me. I'm stationed here to warn people about the danger up at Cinnibar. There's something in the water, some sort of biochemical spill or something, and it's not particularly safe to surf on. It's coming from this tank on the eastern side beach. We're quarantining it until it's safe to travel there again. It's not a full quarantine, however, so it's still permissible to travel there, and considering you're also on business I suppose you're capable enough to traverse dangerous territory. If you're looking for what I think you're looking for, you'll have to deal with many more dangerous things than a stupid oil spill along the way anyway.”
Smiling at the idea of Looker being called 'capable', I said, “What do you mean? What sort of dangerous things?”
If you truly choose to continue on your mission, I beg you to remember my advice. Some people simply don't want to be found, and in all honesty that sort of person is sometimes better off missing.”
What does that even mean?” said Nik. “Hey, person! Get back here!”
Christoph Petrol, after delivering this cryptic advice, started to spin around in the same way as he had before, and this time it was obvious that he was on the way out.
With speed, Midnight jumped in front of him and stuck her arm out, stopping his spin.
Looking him in the eye, she said with genuine emotion in her voice, “Why? Why would you come back to deliver pointless advice to someone known to despise you totally, someone whose friends you'd killed? What gives you the right to do that?”
The Kantonese Articles. Every person has the right to say and do anything as long as it does not violate the basic rights of another.”
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, in the words of another document that inspired that part of the Articles. Among others, of course.”
“Did you ever stop and consider, Andraea, that some people have the capability to change?”
Leaving her with that strange sentiment, he pushed her away, resumed spinning, and promptly disappeared.
* A fairly common occurrence in Kanto. It seems to be in fashion to dye one's hair neon.
Cats and Dogs
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