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As far as age, I'm going on a timeline where the Kanto journey took place in 2006 when they were 11-12 years old, so he'd be around 18 now. Same with Leaf. Lisa started later in 2006 when she was 15; she's 21 now.
Stay tuned for the next chapter, though I don't have any idea when it'll be up...
Notes: Hey, guys, sorry for the delay, but Chapter 4 is ready! And it's my 9,000th post too! And yes, I did totally have this planned out xD
Thanks to Haruka of Hoenn for proofreading the chapter!
This installment is rated PG-13 for language, violence, and automotive destruction and mayhem.
Bartles Estate, May 31, 5:41 AM
At a time when they would normally be sleeping, the father and son team were awake, along with their assistants Tripp and Mercer. “I’m sorry, sir,” Tripp said nervously. “I just got off the phone with all of our men, and none of them reported seeing those agents or their car at any of the town’s hotels.”
Tobias Bartles smiled. “Oh, well, you tried your best. Nothing we can do now except try again.” Without warning, he grabbed Tripp’s head and snapped it back violently. Red, meanwhile, began punching the man in the stomach.
Tobias put his face right in front of his assistant’s, grinding his teeth and snarling like a vicious dog. “And if you don’t get me results this time, I can guarantee you that your death will be very slow and very, VERY painful. You had better make sure that those agents do not make it to Celadon, as if your life depended on it. Because it does.” With that, the elder Bartles released his grip, shoving the man’s head forward. Red delivered one more punch to Tripp’s belly, knocking him to the floor.
“No, I’m not done with you yet,” came Red’s mechanical droning. “It’s about time you learn that failure is no longer an option. We’ve given you several chances, and so far you haven’t proven to be worth shit to us.” The young man grabbed his father’s revolver. Tripp began looking on and trembling in fear. Red pistol-whipped him a dozen more times. During this beating, Tobias continued to yell at him.
“Do you know why I hired you? It wasn’t for your dashing good looks, and it sure as hell wasn’t for your secretarial skills. No, I pay you six goddamn figures a year for you to solve problems for me. So, since you seem completely unable to solve this problem, why the hell should I continue to employ you?”
With one final whack to the side of the head, Red finished his brutal, bloody assault. After a few minutes of coughing up blood, Tripp had finally regained his composure. Red had crossed his arms across his chest, but with his hand still on his father’s gun. Glaring at Tripp, he asked, “So, what’s your plan? Go on, don’t just sit there like a dumbass. Tell us now!”
Still short of breath, he said to his partner, “Mercer, get on the phone with Tom McCollum.”
“And who might that be?” asked Red, his glare still unwavering.
“Ex-military. Leads a group of mercenaries. I called him in yesterday just in case something like this happened. He and his group are waiting on Route 7 ready to take those agents and Turner down. They’ve got guns and a fleet of big SUVs. There’s no way they’re gonna fail.”
“You better be right about that,” growled Tobias. He turned his attention to the other man, who was still on the phone. “Mercer! Tell Mr. McCollum that there’s a ten million dollar bounty on their heads, but it’s only payable if all seven of them are dead.”
Saffron City, 6:47 AM
Waking up before Sabrina, the four agents had hit the early morning streets of Saffron. This time, Alexis and Shannon were seated in the car’s fold-out third row seats, which faced the rear of the station wagon. They had planned their route out of town using the internet to avoid passing by any hotels. Unfortunately, as they were driving, they spotted two hotels that weren’t on their map… an AmericInn and a Sleep Inn, directly across from each other.
Lisa frowned. “Damn, I guess these two hotels were too new to have been included on Google Maps… looks we’ll have to grin and bear it.”
Sure enough, as they drove past the hotels, two men in a red Nissan Altima made a call. “Mr. Tripp, this is Kane. Me and Robinson just spotted that wagon drive past the AmericInn. I didn’t see anyone in the middle row seats, though.”
“What are you waiting for, you idiots? Go after them! Turner and his family are probably just lying down and sleeping so you can’t see them, but that’s definitely the car! Now get your asses in gear! Go! Bartles will have my ass if you morons fail!”
The Nissan peeled out of the hotel parking lot and began chasing after the Buick. It wasn’t long before Lisa spotted the car coming up fast in her rear view mirror. “Yep, looks like they spotted us… I’ve gotta lead these guys out of town before innocent civilians get caught up in the crossfire.”
Lisa activated her car’s dashboard-mounted siren and light unit, emitting loud wailing and rapidly-flashing blue lights. Pressing her black dress shoe against the accelerator, the Buick began to gain speed as the speedometer started creeping upward past seventy miles per hour. At the next traffic light, Lisa made a hard right onto the main road out of town. The red car followed, but the rear end swung out as it made the turn, causing the vehicle to fishtail. The few seconds it took for the men to straighten out gave Lisa and her partners some breathing room. But the thugs used the straight stretch of six-lane boulevard to close the distance, as both cars whizzed past shopping plazas and car dealerships in a blur.
“Here they come again!” yelled out Leaf as she watched the Nissan quickly approach in the mirror.
Grabbing a revolver, the passenger of the Nissan stuck his head out the window and began firing shots at the back of the girls’ station wagon. The bullets passed through the rear glass, but struck a transparent shield behind the front seats, falling harmlessly into the unoccupied second row passenger area. Lisa flipped a switch and the rear window of the Buick rolled down into the tailgate.
“All right, girls, you know what to do!” the driver called back to her rear seat passengers from behind the bullet-resistant glass.
“Right, we’ll try to hold these guys off!” Alexis and Shannon quickly grabbed their .40 pistols from the holsters built into their skirts and began returning fire, ducking below the window whenever shots were incoming.
Lisa told her passenger, “One more thing I like about this car… the back seats face the rear, so people in the back can get clear shots at any pursuers.” Leaf simply nodded at this comment. The two parties continued to exchange bullets, but neither side was able to get a clean, debilitating hit on the other’s vehicle.
As the chase continued toward the city limits, Lisa began seeing what she didn’t want to see – innocent civilian commuters on the road, possibly in the line of fire. Though dodging between the few cars wasn’t a problem yet, it wouldn’t be long before the city streets would be packed with traffic.
Behind the wheel, Lisa frowned. “Damn, I need to end this quickly… or at least get us out of the city!” An idea suddenly came to her. She called out, “Shannon, push that red button on the side panel!”
The girl ceased fire to do as instructed. A thunk could be heard beneath the girls’ feet as they saw a black object fall to the roadway behind the car. It began unrolling outward in both directions until it spread across three lanes. The Nissan rolled over the black strip, causing the tires to burst in an explosion of black rubber and smoke. The car began swerving and slowing down as more chunks of the tires flew off the vehicle.
Lisa got on her police radio. “This is a League Special Agent currently being pursued by armed gunmen. I am requesting assistance. I am in an unmarked blue Buick Roadmaster wagon; the suspects are in a red Nissan Altima. I also need someone to retrieve a spike strip I dropped to puncture the suspects’ tires.”
“Ten-four, backup units are en route.”
Despite sparks and smoke emanating from both front wheels, the assailants continued their pursuit, the driver jerking the steering wheel in an attempt to keep their crippled car moving in a straight line. Shannon had resumed firing on the car alongside Alexis. “Damn, don’t these guys know when to quit?”
Up front, Lisa continued to weave from side to side, throwing the suspects’ aim off. A voice came in through her police radio. “Ten-four, special agent, this is a Highway Patrol officer, I have the suspect vehicle in sight now, preparing to execute a PIT.”
Lisa picked up the microphone and answered, “Ten-four, proceed to PIT the vehicle.”
With the gunmen focused entirely on their target in front of them, they failed to notice the trooper’s Crown Vic pull up onto their flank until the officer’s bumper had already made contact with their fender. The precise hit sent them spinning into the ditch in a cloud of smoke, right at the edge of the Saffron City limits. The officer screeched to a stop at the scene of the crash.
“Special Agent, we have the suspect vehicle stopped. Do you need any more backup?”
“Please send a couple more units – I have a feeling that the guys who sent them have more of their men waiting for me.”
“Roger, sending additional units to Route 7 heading west from Saffron.”
Leaf turned to Lisa and sulked. “Figures they wouldn’t make this easy for us.”
Lisa shrugged. “They rarely do. Keep on your toes, girls; I don’t think that’s the last of them.”
Sure enough, not a minute later, a black Lexus RX300 appeared in the rear view mirror, approaching fast.
“Looks like they’re gonna try to ram us! Brace for impact!” warned Lisa. She pressed her foot down harder on the accelerator, but the vehicle behind her still closed the distance.
The midsize luxury SUV slammed directly into the rear of the Buick, but its reinforced bumper stayed intact despite the impact. The force did, however, shake up the occupants in the station wagon, and Lisa had to jerk the wheel back and forth to corral her car’s fishtailing. The Lexus continued to ride Lisa’s back bumper, trying to cause the big car to lose control. The plastic cover on the SUV’s bumper began to crack and splinter as pieces were sent flying, but the vehicle continued to relentlessly ram the station wagon directly in front of it.
“We gotta get these guys off our rear!” Leaf shouted. Then she looked in the rear view mirror and saw the passenger reach under his seat. “Watch it, I think they’re gonna pull a gun on us!”
Alexis and Shannon ducked as the passenger began firing shots into the open rear window of the Buick. The bullets once again struck the protective shield behind the front seats, whizzing over Alexis and Shannon and being stopped in midair before reaching Leaf and Lisa.
The driver of the Buick turned back to face her partners. Through the transparent barrier, she yelled, “Alexis, there’s an AR-15 stowed in that compartment on the side panel. Grab it and show these guys who they’re dealing with! They want to try to run us off the road and shoot us, I think that’s justification enough to bring out the big guns!”
The blonde-haired special agent quickly opened the compartment and pulled out a big, long assault rifle. Lisa sped up to put some distance between her and her pursuer. Now with some breathing room, Alexis waited for an opening. When she saw the passenger stop shooting to reload, she opened fire on the front grille of the SUV. Multiple bullets ripped through the radiator, causing the engine compartment to explode in a fiery burst of flames and smoke. Still with plenty of momentum, the flaming Lexus sailed toward the right side of the road, hit the embankment, and flipped over several times in a spectacular crash. Glass, metal, plastic, and even a tire flew from the fiery wreckage across the width of the roadway.
Alexis smirked. “That’s for blowing up our Crown Vic yesterday!”
Up front, Leaf turned around to see the carnage. “Whoo, that thing blowed up real good!”
Meanwhile, Lisa made another request on her police radio. “Any Highway Patrol units involved in the Route 7 chase, one of the suspect vehicles has wrecked. Look for a black Lexus RX, overturned and on fire, and bring fire and rescue.”
As Alexis went to stow away the AR-15 and take back out her service pistol, Lisa noticed another vehicle coming toward her from the opposite direction. As this one approached, she could see this was an even bigger threat – a black Cadillac Escalade racing toward her. Every time she swerved out of the way, the imposing SUV just mirrored the lane change in a deadly game of chicken on the narrow country road. As the Cadillac approached, Lisa slowed her car down little by little.
Lisa scowled. “Damn, looks like these guys ain’t gonna give up!”
Leaf looked on, horrified. “Now what are we gonna do? They’re fixing to kamikaze us, head on!”
“Not on my watch! Hang on, girls!” At the last second, Lisa violently jerked the steering wheel to the right. The large blue Buick plowed into the ditch and hit the embankment at a ninety degree angle, going airborne as the big Escalade rushed past. But instead of flipping over, the station wagon landed on all four wheels, bouncing violently several times. The four ladies inside were shaken up and thrown around a bit, but were otherwise fine - as was the car itself.
“Whoa, talk about getting shaken and stirred!” yelled out Leaf. “These guys mean business!”
“Well, if they want to play for keeps, then count me in! I’m game!” Throwing up a cloud of dirt and sand, Lisa cut a path through the grassy fields and got her car back on the road. But in her rear view mirror, she could see the Cadillac had already turned around and was coming back for a second strike, approaching fast from behind.
“Here they come again!” Leaf warned. “Let’s try to shoot out the engine like those other guys!”
Alexis and Shannon unloaded their guns at the front of the SUV, but the vehicle was unfazed by their bullets. Alexis went for the more powerful AR-15 assault rifle, but before she could retrieve it, the Escalade had moved to the car’s left flank. Slightly nudging the left rear fender, the thugs sent Lisa and her partners into a harrowing spin.
As Leaf and the two girls in the back screamed, Lisa told them, “Okay, girls! Hold on, I’m gonna try to get us out of this!”
The big wagon did a complete 360 spin as the friction of the tires kicked up a lot of smoke. Lisa quickly jerked the steering wheel back and forth to match the momentum of the spinout. She managed to keep all four wheels of the Buick on the pavement as she straightened out the car. After the recovery, Lisa put the hammer down and continued the pursuit. The agents breathed sighs of relief. Lisa said, “See that? All that training wasn’t for nothing! Come on, let’s stop these guys!”
Now the girls were behind the SUV, with several Highway Patrol units not far behind them. Seeing that their target was still mobile, one of the men busted out the rear window of the Cadillac with the barrel of his gun, then began shooting. As she began shifting from lane to lane, Lisa flipped a switch on her dashboard, and a black shield moved into place, covering the headlights and grille of the Buick. Instead of blowing up the engine compartment, the assailant’s bullets deflected harmlessly off the protective shield.
“Sorry, guys, but you aren’t getting rid of us that easily!” Lisa said as she smirked.
Shannon sulked. “Now why didn’t we have one of those on our car?”
Lisa yelled back to her, “Your standard-issue car does, actually. Those shields were installed on all of our regular vehicles last month. That one you drove today was just a transport car so it didn’t have the device. Next time you drive your own car, look for a green switch under the dash.”
“I didn’t know that! Thanks!”
“No problem! Now, time to get serious. These guys want to try and PIT me, let me show them how a REAL PIT Maneuver goes!”
Pedal to the floor, Lisa approached the right rear of her target. The men had switched to firing at the windshield. Their shots splintered the glass, but failed to break through to the occupants inside. The Buick pulled the same move that the thugs had tried only moments earlier. She gave the hulking Escalade a slight nudge in the fender, causing the truck to spin out.
“Now that’s what I’m talking about!” Lisa shouted as she high-fived Leaf.
The men in the SUV couldn’t recover from the strike, as their vehicle sailed off into the ditch. Upon hitting the embankment, two of its wheels left the ground, but it somehow avoided rolling over. The truck instead landed back on all four wheels, bouncing and shaking violently as it came to a halt. Lisa slammed on the brakes and backed up to where the Escalade had wiped out.
“That thing didn’t flip, so they’re probably still fixing to fight,” Lisa said. “We better provide backup.”
Sure enough, the men were now holed up in their vehicle as officers pulled up to the scene of the crash.
“Turn the truck off and step out of the vehicle! Let me see both hands!” one officer yelled as he and his partners trained their service pistols on the wrecked Escalade.
The two men stepped out of the truck on the side opposite the police units and immediately began shooting upon the officers, who quickly returned fire. Both officers and assailants had taken cover behind their vehicles, with most of their gunshots riddling the cars with bullet holes and shattering their windows.
From the rear view mirror of her Buick, Lisa watched the gunfight unfold. “Alright, here’s the plan. Alexis and Shannon, can the two of you shoot their guns out of their hands?”
Alexis answered, “I think so. Looks like we’re close enough.”
“Okay then, Leaf, you and I will rush in as soon as those guns are out of their hands and the officers have ceased firing. Let’s get into position.” The other girl nodded. Lisa and Leaf got out of the station wagon and crept toward the back, hugging the right side of the car. From here it would be a straight dash directly to the suspects.
In the back seat, the two agents took careful aim, squinting one eye. Once they had their target – the assailant’s guns – in sight, they squeezed their triggers. A pair of bullets flew out of the barrels, each one striking the side of the gunmen’s weapons. Their hands recoiled as the precise strike sent their firearms flying.
“Hold your fire!” shouted an officer.
“Now!” Lisa and Leaf sprinted at the still dazed suspects, tackling them to the ground and positioning themselves between the men and where their guns lay on the side of the road. Both men quickly stood back up and assumed fighting stances.
“Just give up now… do you really want to do things the hard way?” asked Lisa.
As the men yelled out and rushed at the girls, Leaf said, “Yup, guess they do.”
Leaf ducked under an incoming punch, then delivered a hit to the groin with her foot. Lisa blocked a punch with one hand and delivered a right hook with the other. The men got back up and tried landing punches on the girls again. This time both girls crouched under the attack and did leg sweeps, knocking the assailants down. As they struggled to their feet, both girls punched them in the head, sending them down once again.
“Give up yet?” asked Leaf.
Her answer came in the form or enraged snarls as the men rose to their feet and came at the agents once again, fists ready to pummel the girls. Lisa and Leaf stepped to the side to dodge the blows. As the men turned around to charge in again, the girls delivered simultaneous roundhouse kicks directly to the heads of their attackers, sending them reeling and kissing pavement. This time they weren’t so quick to their feet. The girls stood over the still writhing men.
“Should’ve done things the easy way,” Leaf told the thugs as she smiled at him.
“Okay, officers, you can take these guys in now!” Lisa shouted to the officers, their guns still drawn.
“Roger that. Okay, move in and apprehend them!” The backup officers quickly rushed in and handcuffed both men.
As they were being led into one of the Highway Patrol units, one thug yelled back, “Better watch out, bitces! The boss will take care of you!”
“Hear that?” Lisa asked another trooper. “It means there’s at least one more group of these guys out there. We’ll still need backup.”
“Roger that, we’ll stay behind you as backup. Good luck, agents.”
As the girls got back into the Buick, Alexis asked them, “So, any updates?”
Leaf answered, “One of those guys yelled something about their boss, so I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet.”
“Oh, well. A bit more fun for us, I guess.”
Lisa continued down the road heading west. A few miles of uneventful countryside passed, but then the girls came across a black Mercedes ML430 SUV parked across the width of the road. As Lisa brought her car to a stop, Leaf commented, “Okay, I know these guys are evil and all, but you’d think they could be a bit more creative and not use black SUVs all of the time.”
Lisa shrugged. “It’s just the way it goes, I guess…”
The four girls stepped out of the Buick to meet the four men who had exited the SUV. One held a bullhorn.
“Ah, Agent Lisa Northwood! Never thought I’d have to see your face again!”
“Well, if it isn’t my old friend, Tom McCollum. And I see Blake, Foster, and Muncie still work with you. You might have escaped when I took down your old bosses, but not this time!”
“Silence! Order out the witnesses you have in your car!”
“What witnesses?” Leaf asked as she opened the side doors of the station wagon to reveal that the car was completely empty. “Cause I sure as heck don’t see anyone in here.”
“But… they said you had three witnesses with you! What happened to them?”
Alexis smirked. “We had them whisked away by helicopter to our headquarters. We just continued on our way to throw you guys off track.”
Shannon said, “Turner’s probably with our supervisor right now, telling her everything. Looks like you wasted your time chasing us.”
“How so?” sneered McCollum. “I see here a perfect opportunity to take out four League Special Agents. Even if we don’t collect the bounty, we still gain a lot of respect.”
“Okay then,” said Lisa. “Try us.”
“You die here, today!” McCollum and his men pulled out handguns and began firing upon the girls, who took cover behind their car. A patrol car screeched to a halt, interjecting itself between the men and the station wagon. The girls had already took out their pistols and begun to return fire; the officer scrambled out of his Crown Vic and joined in with his .357. Needing cover, the thugs retreated behind their truck before resuming the gunfight.
“Put down your weapons and get your hands in the air!” shouted the officer. His request was ignored by McCollum and his men, who continued their assault. As both the police cruiser and Mercedes were riddled with bullets, more backup units arrived on the scene, and the troopers in those cars also joined in the gun battle.
“Damn, this is getting us nowhere!” Lisa ran back to the Buick and opened the glove compartment. Grabbing a red and white sphere, she returned to the fray and heaved the Pokeball-like device at the men as she yelled to her allies, “Cover your eyes! Incoming!”
“Hold your fire!” an officer shouted as the ball flew toward the mercenaries and their luxury SUV. Lisa, her partners and police backup shielded their eyes as the device landed in front of the men. But instead of unleashing a Pokémon, the device released a blinding light and a cloud of smoke. Gunfire from both parties ceased as the men and their truck were now completely blanketed by the thick gray smoke.
“Let’s go, now!” As the officers stayed put, the four girls rushed to the Mercedes where the smoke was just beginning to lift. The men were still dazed; the agents took the opportunity to disarm the thugs before they could resume shooting. But even with no guns, the mercenaries were unwilling to give up. A bald-headed one took a swing at Leaf, who dodged right to avoid the hit, then countered with a punch that knocked him to the asphalt. Alexis and Shannon were facing down two more that they recognized.
“Man, we’re hurt. You guys don’t look too happy to see us again. Why is that, Foster?” asked Shannon.
Alexis taunted, “We beat you guys before, Blake; we’ll be happy to give a repeat performance!”
Faces twisting into angry scowls, the men raced toward the girls, fists raised. Shannon deftly crouched to avoid the attack and delivered a leg sweep. Alexis performed a quick sidestep to avoid her attacker before nailing him in the gut. Both men staggered a bit before falling down.
The more muscular McCollum was proving to be a more worthy adversary, as he blocked a punch from Lisa with his fist, then delivered one of his own to Lisa’s head. The girl spun around, fell, and hit pavement, but quickly got back to her feet.
“Not bad, Tom, not bad. But check this out!” Not missing a beat, Lisa charged back in toward McCollum. He landed a hit to her cheek, but Lisa delivered a more debilitating blow – jabbing her black dress shoe directly into the man’s groin. He howled in agony as he took a step backward, clutching the area in question and wincing in pain.
Leaf and Muncie continued to trade blows, with the girl using the concealed steel brim of her hat to block an incoming punch. The man went low and attempted to trip his opponent, but Leaf jumped over his leg sweep and had a mean right hook waiting for him when he rose back up to strike again. This final blow sent Muncie down for the count, as the man busted open his bald head upon hitting the pavement, a pool of red blood forming on the hot blacktop.
Alexis and Shannon were gaining the upper hand against Blake and Foster; the men were unsteady on their feet and their punches and kicks were slow and easily dodged by the girls. But the persistent mercenaries still charged in for more, attempting to slug the girls in the face. Instead of sidestepping the attacks, the pair blocked the incoming fists with their hands, then kicked the thugs in the chest, sending them reeling backward. Before they could recover their wits, the girls went on the offensive, giving the men spinning kicks to the head that knocked them unconscious as they slumped to the ground.
Meanwhile, Lisa and the ringleader were still locked in battle. McCollum had gotten a kick to Lisa’s midsection; the girl staggered backward but remained on her feet. McCollum’s next attempt to punch Lisa was blocked, and the girl countered with an elbow to the right temple of the man’s head. He stumbled backward a few steps, but recovered and glared at Lisa.
“Can’t I ever have a job where you don’t interfere?”
“Try getting something legal.”
McCollum rushed toward Lisa. He landed another hit, though this time it was only a glancing blow to the girl’s shoulder. But his momentum carried him right into the door of his own SUV, its outside mirror delivering the knockout. His head began bleeding as he toppled onto the roadway.
Lisa shook her head. “My, my, my, getting taken out by your own truck. You’ve hit a new low, McCollum.” She turned to the officers. “Alright, it’s all clear here. Please take these, um, gentlemen into custody.”
As the quartet returned to their car, Lisa’s phone was ringing on the front seat of the car.
Lorelei’s voice came on. “00479, where were you?”
“Sorry, we had some business to take care of here on Route 7. Business by the name of Tom McCollum, who apparently was working for Bartles.”
“I see. Well, we’ve been after him and his thugs for a long time. Good work 00479. Anyway, back to what I called about. Dirk Turner just made a signed statement to us. We have warrants ready for Tobias and Red. All you need to do is stop by headquarters and pick them up. Then you can head straight to Bartles’ estate and execute the arrest.”
Lisa glanced to the west and saw skyscrapers off on the horizon. “Excellent. I can see Celadon off in the distance; we’ll be there in twenty, maybe thirty minutes at the most.”
“I will be awaiting your arrival.” Lorelei then hung up her phone.
Lisa shut her phone. “Okay girls, ready for one more takedown? Lorelei has the warrants ready, so we can bust the leaders of this whole thing.”
Leaf smiled. “Let’s do this. I’ve been waiting four long years for this moment!”
Alexis and Shannon nodded and gave Lisa a thumbs-up.
Lisa quickly surveyed the damage to the Buick. There were shattered windows, a few bullet holes, and some scrapes, but nothing major. And all four tires were still intact. “She’s taken a beating, but she’ll still last us long enough to get this whole thing wrapped up. Though prepare for a battle – I know Tobias at least looks like he’ll be a big, tough guy to subdue.” With those words of caution, Lisa and her three partners got back in the blue station wagon and proceeded toward Celadon City.
Bartles Estate, Route 16, 8:26 AM
Tobias Bartles paced back and forth in his lavish office, with his son Red seated in a leather chair and two well-dressed men standing in the corner. One of them wore numerous scars and bruises, and a large bandage on his forehead.
“Tripp! Have you heard back from your men yet?”
“No, sir, not a word from McCollum yet…”
“Dammit… it shouldn’t take your agents this long to intercept those girls. Something must have gone wrong. There’s no time to lose! We need to get out of here immediately!”
Only pausing long enough to open a safe and stuff as much money as possible into a briefcase, Tobias led the way from the office to the garage, his son and assistants following close behind through the mansion’s ornately-decorated labyrinth of hallways. Arriving at their destination, a fleet of over a dozen exotic sports and luxury cars stood before the men.
“Tripp! Mercer! Take the Benz; we’ll be in the Lambo! And call in the airstrip, make sure our jet is ready to take off as soon as we get there! And arrange to move my money into my other, hidden bank account!”
“Right, sir!” Tripp whipped out his cell phone and dialed frantically as he opened the driver’s door of a black car with his free hand and Mercer got into the passenger seat . Meanwhile, Tobias and Red jumped into a red sports car.
The huge garage had multiple doors; one set of them opened. Two vehicles drove out, a black Mercedes sedan followed by a red Lamborghini roadster. Inside the sports car, Tobias turned toward Red.
“Don’t worry, son, it looks like we’re home free. We’ll set up base in another region, and before you know it, you’ll be champion once again.”
“And if anyone tries to interfere this time, I will murder them,” came the mechanical droning of Red’s electronic voice box.
“As soon as we get into the air, I’ll put out calls to every mercenary, terrorist cell, drug gang, and mob organization in the region. This time, the bounty on the heads of those agents is going to be fifteen million dollars! We might not be around here anymore, but rest assured someone will murder them for us!”
“Excellent!” Red replied. “We will have our revenge, one way or another! Make sure they kill them in the ugliest and most painful way imaginable!”
And finally, Lisa gets to show off her driving skills! I don't know why, but I've always liked reading/watching car chases. (Though I don't think I'd ever want to be in one. And the way you put it makes it seem especially dangerous.)
And those must be some pretty high-tech cars to have built-in shields and spike strips. The League must take crime-fighting seriously. (As they should, if they've got people like Red and Tobias running around. I would expect that an organization as large as the League would spawn some criminal desire to profiteer from it.)
Ack, for the life of me I can't remember who Tom McCollum is. xP I don't think he was in 'A Coordinated Investigation'. Was he in your first fic, then? Lisa said he was an 'old friend', so she must have met him somewhere before. And you'd think that after suffering a defeat, he wouldn't try to push his luck with the same people/person who beat him earlier. :/
I do like Lisa's 'try getting something legal' quote. Haha.
So Lisa and company have taken down the henchmen, but there still remains the job of finding the ringleader... and something tells me Tobias won't be going down that easy.
I can't believe this fic is almost over. o.o How do you make yours so short.
Well, I'm looking forward to seeing how everything plays out! Specifically, I'm waiting for the part where a bunch of armed League agent bust in and take Red and Tobias into custody. But I don't think it'll be that simple... (more car chases perhaps? xP)
Thanks for stopping by to read and review!
Thanks for reading, and glad you enjoyed the chapter
I finally read it...
As you told me, this chapter was full of action. The car pursuit was interesting. Lisa's awesome behind of a wheel. (Besides it taught me many car's names I didn't know x) )
And I love Red's last sentence. So sadistic, eh eh eh.
Thanks! Car chases are always awesome, and it's a shame more stories don't include them. And I'm always happy to increase readers' knowledge of automobiles xD
Bwahahahaha... Evil sadistic bad guys are the best, aren't they?
Thanks for reading, and the next chapter should be up by the weekend unless I have too much to do!
Notes: Hey, guys, sorry for the delay, but Chapter 5 is ready!
Thanks to Haruka of Hoenn for proofreading the chapter!
This installment is rated PG-13 for language, violence, and lots of Chuck Norris-style moves. Also, Red drops an F-bomb here.
Bartles Estate, 8:40 AM
The two vehicles headed down the long winding driveway, past manicured lawns and elaborate stone statues and toward the front gates of the estate. But they would not make it out. A now familiar Buick station wagon, a bit worse for wear, screeched to a stop in front of them, its massive blue form taking up the entire width of the gate opening. Both cars stopped short of the entrance.
Four girls stepped out of the wagon. “Well, girls, looks like our wait is over. Look who finally tried to make a run for it,” Lisa said to her companions. Turning to the stopped cars, she called out, “Tobias Bartles and Red Bartles! We have warrants for the arrest of both of you! Step out of your vehicles with your hands where we can see them!”
The four men exited their vehicles, each of them armed with tire irons. Each of the two parties approached each other and assumed fighting stances.
Lisa smirked. “Looks like we don’t even have to ask these guys – they clearly want to do things the hard way.”
“Perfect,” sneered the man in the business suit. “One for each of us to play with.”
Red pointed at Leaf. Using his mechanical voice box, he said, “That bitch is mine.”
“And Northwood is mine,” added his father. “Tripp! Mercer! Take out the other two!”
The men advanced toward the girls. Tobias lurched toward Lisa, laughing menacingly. “I’ve waited a long time for this, bitch. Your father cost me some very lucrative contracts, and now you’re trying to shut me down for good. I’ll take great pleasure in beating your head in.”
“Oh, really?” Lisa taunted as her adversary began to swing his weapon at her. She quickly ducked under the attack and countered by kicking the man in the groin. The impact of dress shoe against tender area caused Tobias to scream out in pain as he dropped his weapon. Lisa followed up with a kick to the side of the head.
Meanwhile, Red and Leaf were circling, eyeing each other closely. “It was you. I know it was you. You were the one who called to report my meth lab to the feds. Time to die,” came the monotone voice of Red’s machine.
Leaf retorted, “And you were the one who used Daddy’s money to buy you what you couldn’t earn. A poser like you has no right to call himself, ‘Champion.’ Time to face the facts.”
“This is for hurting and insulting Pikachu! How dare you do that, *****!” came Red’s response as he raised his weapon high. Leaf responded by delivering a kick to Red’s midsection, knocking the boy to the ground. He was quick to get up, but his ball cap had fallen off, revealing a tangled mess of unkempt black hair.
“Hah. I see your fighting skills are no better than your so-called ‘buddy.’ Maybe you should consider making new friends.” Leaf smiled tauntingly as she motioned for Red to come after her.
“Fuck you! Die!” Red’s machine replied as the kid began charging toward his opponent. Leaf performed a quick sidestep at the last second, countering with an elbow jab to Red’s backside, again knocking him down. Red was quick to his feet, but Leaf was ready with a knee to the jaw, violently jerking his head backward.
Mercer put his arm around Shannon’s neck in a headlock, but the wily black-haired girl jabbed him in the stomach with her elbow. In pain, he loosened his grip enough for her to break free. She followed up with a mean right hook to the face. Tripp had knocked Alexis to the ground, but as he moved in for another blow, she slipped out of his reach and jabbed her foot into his midsection.
Nearby, Lisa and the boy’s father stared each other down. “Die, bitch!” Tobias pulled out a .38 and began shooting off rounds at Lisa. The girl jumped, ducked, and spun around to dodge the bullets before taking out her own .40 pistol. Taking cover behind the Mercedes, she returned fire. The CEO ducked behind his roadster and continued shooting. Windows on both cars splintered into spiderwebs, then shattered entirely as the metal bodies of both became riddled with bullet holes. As the man prepared to fire again, Lisa quickly got off a shot aimed at his hand, dislodging the weapon.
Before he could get a chance to recover the revolver, Lisa sprinted toward the still-reeling man, knocking Tobias to the ground with a spinning roundhouse kick. Clutching his face and screaming loudly, the man struggled to his feet. Lisa punched him in the head, keeping him down.
Alexis and Shannon were making quick work of the hired thugs. Though they were still on their feet, a constant onslaught of blows had left them staggering and unsteady.
“Dammit, this is impossible!”
“How are we being beaten by a bunch of GIRLS?”
“It’s because you picked the wrong girls to mess with,” answered Shannon.
Alexis added, “And we girls are gonna give you a nice little lesson in pain!” With that, both girls simultaneously landed roundhouse kicks to the heads of the men, knocking them out cold.
The two girls high-fived each other. “Awesome work, girl! These guys are done for! We make a great team, right?”
“Yeah, but it looks like Lisa and her friend are still dealing with the ringleaders.”
Rising to his feet, Tobias ripped the right side outside mirror off the Mercedes and heaved it at Lisa. The girl dodged the projectile and it instead placed a huge dent in the door of the red sports car.
“Shit! That’s gonna cost a fortune to fix!”
“I think that’s gonna be the least of your concerns,” Lisa sneered, smiling tauntingly at the older man. “Especially where you’re gonna be going.”
“Your ass is mine!” Tobias reacted with rage, charging headlong at Lisa. The girl blocked his punch with her right hand, and followed up by jabbing her pantyhose-covered knee into his stomach.
On the other side of the car, another brawl was still raging. Pulling out a knife, Red charged at Leaf. The girl took off her hat and tossed it at the boy. It missed Red himself, but did strike the knife, cleanly cutting the blade off. Throwing down the handle of the destroyed weapon, Red continued running in toward his rival. Leaf ducked under his initial punch and grabbed his mass of hair. With her foe unable to escape her grip, she spun around and threw him headfirst into a tree. The deafening impact busted Red’s forehead wide open and knocked him unconscious as his bloodied, motionless body recoiled from the hit and fell to the ground.
Leaf smirked. “Consider the trash officially taken out.”
Lisa answered, “Well, almost. This guy’s got surprising resilience.”
Despite being bruised all over his face, Tobias was not giving up the fight. He got off a clean punch to Lisa’s face, knocking her to the ground. Seeing his advantage, he grabbed the girl and made his way to the black Mercedes. Lisa attempted to break free by biting and clawing at her assailant, but the man’s grip remained strong.
“You better let me go!”
“After all the shit you put me through, do you really think I’m gonna do something that stupid?” The man laughed as he maneuvered toward the rear of the black sedan, the girl still in tow.
“This ain’t good… if he gets me in that trunk, I’m done for!” In a last-ditch attempt to free herself, Lisa jabbed her elbow into the man’s ribs. But the move seemingly did nothing.
“Nice try, *****, but it’s gonna take more than that.” Tobias slugged the girl in the head. But in doing so he had loosened his grip. This gave Lisa the perfect opportunity to kick her attacker in the shin and make her escape. Running around to the front of the red Lamborghini, Lisa stuck out her tongue at the man.
“Catch me if you can!”
Letting out an angry roar, Tobias charged at the girl full speed while Lisa simply stood in place and smirked.
“YOU DIE NOW, BITCH!”
Timing her actions perfectly, Lisa delivered one final, devastating roundhouse kick to Tobias’ head, sending him airborne before he crashed through the windshield of his own car. The ear-piercing sound of shattering glass soon gave way to pained moans as the businessman lay helpless. “Tobias Peter Bartles, you are hereby placed under arrest for conspiracy. You have the right to remain silent…” The man simply remained motionless, surrounded by the remains of what was once his pride and joy.
Red was finally regaining consciousness. Leaf stood over him, smirking.
“Red, you are also under arrest for conspiracy and drug manufacturing. Consider your days as ‘Champion’ officially over.”
With everyone dealt with, the three girls joined Lisa at the front of the ruined sports car. Lisa looked over the wreckage, smiling as she dusted off her dress. “You know, I never understood the appeal of these types of cars. I mean, the inside is just so small and cramped. There isn’t even a rear seat in this thing. Or a trunk, as far as I can see. And those seats do not look like they’d be nice and soft and plush. And as we’ve seen, it certainly can’t survive a middle-aged man crashing through the windshield.”
Leaf answered, “Well, I don’t know that the wagon would’ve survived that sort of impact either… besides, it’s taken quite a beating itself.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know!” said Lisa. “Still, the technicians at headquarters will get her back as good as new in no time! And the best news is…” The girl winked and smiled at her partners.
“Well, what is it?” asked Alexis.
“Yeah, tell us, Lisa!” added Shannon.
Lisa examined her clothes and legs and smiled. “My outfit survived this entire ordeal! Even my pantyhose, which almost never survive a melee, much less a whole bunch of them!”
The quartet laughed. “Well girls, here’s to another successful mission!”
Pokémon League Investigation Unit, Celadon Branch, 5:01 PM
“Excellent work, agents,” said Lorelei as she faced Lisa, Leaf, Alexis, and Shannon. “Both father and son are now in custody, and we now have Sabrina willing to testify in addition to Dirk Turner. As well as many of the conspirators – McCollum’s men turned on him, then he, along with the helicopter assailants turned on Tripp and Mercer, and they in turn agreed to testify against Red and Tobias. It still amazes me how quickly the dominoes fall once you get the leaders in custody.
“Additionally, Agents Breen and Trask in our computer forensics department are working to recover the deleted data from Bartles’ computer… they are very confident they can recover the data, despite Bartles’ best efforts to wipe the hard drive.”
“What sort of data are you looking for?” asked Leaf.
“Anything pertaining to the incident – records of their plot to replace you, anything on the alleged hit on Dennis Franklin, but most importantly, people in the League who accepted bribes from Bartles and OTP to let their crimes go unchecked. I also suspect bribes were involved in broadcasting those brainwashing waves, since most of the media in Kanto and Johto is controlled by the League. Only a couple of news stations aren’t.”
“Think the current Elite Four are in on it?”
“I doubt it. I served for years with Lance and Bruno, and, with all due respect, their area of expertise is not governmental affairs or running a region. Their position involves primarily training only, although Lance does help out with League investigations from time to time. And they appear to be victims of the brainwashing; even Elite Four Will was convinced of Red being the former Champion despite being a Psychic-type specialist. In fact, it probably amazes me more that Sabrina wasn’t affected. In any event, it is a League Senate Council that handles governing the region and day to day operations. I’m willing to bet that people within that council were the ones taking bribes and letting Bartles reign unchecked.”
“I see. Then I probably shouldn’t harbor a grudge against Lance and them. They probably had no idea what was going on.”
Lorelei pushed the glasses up on her face. “Yes, though if I find different from these computer records, I’ll let you know. Now, agents, even though we have the principal perpetrators in custody, like I said more arrests are pending. I’m going to have the four of you stay in Celadon until further notice, and Miss Purvis will remain a deputized agent until then. I’ll set up 00158 and 00236 in the same hotel where 00479 and Miss Purvis are currently staying. 00479, which hotel is it?”
“The Quality Suites in Celadon,” Lisa replied.
“As I expected from 00479. All right, once again, excellent work. I’ll have you return to the hotel for some well deserved rest. But I do need to ask Miss Purvis something important, so why don’t you three head back and I’ll drop her off once we’re done. I don’t think it’ll take long.”
As the other three girls left, Leaf looked on, a bit nervous. “What did you need to talk with me about?”
“Now that the truth has been uncovered, there is bound to be chaos with the public realizing that Red’s no longer the Champion and that they’ve been fed lies for the past four years. Some might even be angry at you for upsetting the status quo. Knowing this, I have an important question for you: Would you want to be reinstated as Champion of the Indigo League? The International League could very easily re-appoint you into that position if you wish.”
Leaf sighed. “You know, I really doubt it. I mean, first of all, I really don’t want my name associated with a League whose behind-the-scenes officials are so corrupt as to pull a stunt like this because of a bribe. I simply don’t trust them anymore. And then there’s my Pokémon. I’d like to give them the chance to rest… I have been pushing them pretty hard over the past few years. I’m sure they’d appreciate that far more than having to battle challenger after challenger for the title. And of course, I’m ready for a rest, too. Not to mention the fact that I just don’t have the motivation like I used to.”
Lorelei rubbed her chin. “I see… Well, I’m not here to tell you to decide one way or the other. What I can do is reinstate your status as a trainer with eight badges so if you decide at a later date to become Champion again, all you would have to do is defeat the Elite Four and the current Champion. Would this be okay with you?”
“Yes. Right now I don’t anticipate returning, but who knows if that might change in the future. But again, I have to thank you for all your help.”
“Don’t mention it. But don’t forget to thank the agents you worked with… they were the ones who did all the hard stuff. In fact, let’s do that now. Come, I’ll take you back to the hotel.
“Alright, thanks again.”
Quality Suites, Celadon City, Room 159, June 2, 8:51 PM
In the hotel room, the four girls, all in their nightgowns, were watching a news report on the television.
“Following the arrests of OTP CEO Tobias Bartles and his son, former League Champion Red Bartles on the 31st, League agents today have arrested several current and former members of the Indigo League Senate Council as well as police officers in several cities in Kanto and Johto. Charges stem from evidence that the officials involved accepted bribes from the elder Bartles. These bribes were used for a variety of purposes, ranging from allowing OTP to operate Pokémon Centers at unacceptably low standards, to letting the company freely launder money and operate drug dealing operations without police interference. The younger Bartles is alleged to have been the manufacturer of the drugs, operating in a clandestine, makeshift lab located within Mount Silver. He was doing this under the guise of being an elite Pokémon Master in solo training. The elder Bartles is also suspected of ordering the assassination of former attorney Dennis Franklin back in January.
“One of the most surprising charges against the accused, however, is an elaborate brainwashing scheme utilizing Psychic Pokémon and radio and television broadcasts so Tobias Bartles could establish his son Red as Champion after Red had failed to attain the title with his own skills. The Indigo League controls most of the radio and television outlets in both regions; our News 5 is one of the few TV stations in Kanto not under direct League control and operation.
“The news that Red was never the region’s true champion has thrown Johto and Kanto into turmoil, as residents are left wondering what other facts the corrupt regional Indigo League could have fabricated. People are looking for answers, but unfortunately, it is unlikely there will ever be clear answers. Here with me now are Gym Leader Sabrina and Special Agent Lorelei with the international League Investigation Bureau, and formerly of the Kanto Elite Four. Lorelei?”
“Thank you, Rick. This is a culmination of a four year, on and off investigation into OTP and Red Bartles’ mysterious climb to fame. Whenever the regional League seems to be unable or unwilling to investigate matters, we at the international level are called in. Unfortunately, the uncovering of the truth has caused widespread chaos across the two regions of Kanto and Johto. However, it is also something that needed to be done in order to curb the rampant crime and drug use in the regions, as well as improve the quality of services offered to trainers in the regions – the conditions of the Pokémon Centers and Marts I visited were horrendous. Filthy, infested, falling apart – such poor operating standards should never have been allowed, and yet the regional League accepted bribes to look the other way.
“But finally, it needed to be done because due to the greed of the Bartles father and son, a young lady – someone who had rightfully ascended to the position of Champion – had all of that taken away from her. And not only that, but that incident reflected a major betrayal of trust on the part of the regional League. And that is a trust that may never be regained again. Despite this, we at the international League are doing everything in our power to overhaul the Indigo League and replace corrupt members with those who truly care about serving their region and its trainers, so that perhaps someday that trust can be restored. With more on the incident, here is Gym Leader Sabrina. Sabrina?”
“Indeed, Lorelei. This incident has demonstrated the immense power of Pokémon and the dangers that can happen when they are misused. The powers of the Psychic Pokémon involved, amplified with radio and TV broadcast waves, were able to convince two entire regions that an outright lie was truth; even many other Psychic-type trainers, such as the Elite Four’s Will and assistant trainers in my own Gym, were not able to resist the powers of those psychic waves as I was. Almost as frightening is the fact that the perpetrators were able to command those Pokémon to focus on removing only one aspect of a person’s memory – in this case, those pertaining to the rightful champion. Truly, one lesson that must be learned from this is that the power of Pokémon is not to be underestimated – the abuse of those powers could have devastating results. Back to you, Rick.”
“Thank you. According to reports, the Gym Leaders, Elite Four, and Champion Lance will not be charged; they were every bit victims of the brainwashing as the rest of the populace, and they are not involved in the day-to-day operations of the region – that task is handled by the League’s Senate Council. It is unknown whether the rightful Champion will want to reclaim her title – she was involved directly in the investigation and told me off camera that she ‘has lost all faith and confidence in Kanto’s Pokémon League.’ We at News 5 will keep you updated on this shocking development that continues to affect the entire region. This is Rick Lansing, signing off.”
Lisa picked up the remote and switched off the TV. “Well, girls, I don’t know how much longer we’ll need to be here, but I hope it’s over soon. Things look like they’re getting intense, now with government officials in custody.”
Alexis turned to face Leaf. “So, I take it from what they said on the news, you’re not going to be assuming the position as Champion?”
Leaf shook her head. “No, after all this happened, I just don’t feel like it. And after finding out from Lorelei that Lance wasn’t involved in the conspiracy, I think the Championship will be in good hands with him at the helm – certainly better than it would’ve been with Red. The times I battled Lance, I could tell he had a passion for battling – I could see it in his eyes. I used to have that same kind of passion, but that was back when I was in the spotlight. It’s all gone now… I feel like I want to move on from the whole Pokémon battling scene, and get away from Kanto.”
Shannon asked, “But what about your Pokémon? And where are you thinking of going?”
“Well, I’m reminded of a conversation I had with Lisa a couple years ago, while on vacation in America. I tell you, she loves her home state of South Carolina. She was telling me about all of the beachside resort communities there. And for some reason, they popped into my head as I made my way down from Mount Silver after battling Red. I was thinking it would be nice to retire there. Of course then I discovered his meth lab. But now that we’re done cleaning up that mess, there’s nothing stopping me from finding a nice place along the Carolina coast to buy and move into.
“And don’t worry a thing about my Pokémon – I’m quite sure they’ll be perfectly content just hanging around the house and relaxing. And if they ever feel like a battle, Lisa would be only a four hour drive away!”
“Hey, and we’d be able to get together a lot more often that way! As long as neither of us are busy…”
“And if my Pokémon want a battle, I know Lisa’s Pokémon will give them a good one!”
“Yeah, I actually do have my Pokémon on me right now. I totally forgot because we didn’t have to use any of them during the investigation.”
Alexis added, “But that seems to be the general trend of things in our field. Criminals are beginning to rely less on Pokémon battles and more on weapons. So we’ve had to follow suit… our training is much less focused on Pokémon than it was, say, three or four years ago.”
“I can see why, though,” said Shannon. “It’s a much quicker and more direct way of doing things. I know I’d much rather quickly rush in and subdue a criminal rather than engage them in a lengthy, drawn out Pokémon battle. And it keeps our Pokémon out of harm’s way.”
Leaf rubbed her chin. “Seems things are a whole lot different than they were back in the days of Team Rocket five years ago. That’s what probably enabled my eleven-year-old self to take them down back then… if they had guns, I wouldn’t have stood a chance back then.”
Lisa said, “Indeed. It was the same with the Brotherhood that I dealt with during my journey… they used guns here and there, but most of my skirmishes with them were Pokémon battles. And ultimately, that was how I was able to defeat them. Any criminal enterprise that doesn’t use modern weapons is just begging to be brought down by some kid who just happens to be adept at training, much like our younger selves. And many of them are now realizing that. Our driving, martial arts, and firearm training programs are actually fairly new – to combat the increasing number of groups who have gotten wise to the fact that they can’t use Pokémon alone to fight.
“In fact, these days, it’s only the crazy, radical cult-like groups, ones usually after some legendary Pokémon and with some ridiculous, unrealistic goal in mind, that still rely on Pokémon for battles. Your serious criminals, like drug kingpins and mafia bosses, know better these days. And with the weird cult groups, usually by the time we respond, said young trainer has already defeated them, saving us a lot of work. But honestly, some of those cult organizations have had some really strange goals. They’re long on ambition, but short on common sense.”
“Well hey, with common sense, some people have it, and some people don’t. And in our line of work, it’s usually the people who don’t that we end up dealing with,” Alexis said.
Shannon added, “Trust us, when you’re in law enforcement for as long as we have been, you see a lot. But you’re always gonna run into things you never thought you’d see.”
Leaf yawned. “Tell me about it. This case alone brought to my attention shady things that I never knew were going on in Kanto back when I was just a naïve young trainer. Oh, man… I know we need to stick around and testify, and this hotel room is pretty nice, but… honestly, I want them to get this trial over with so I can get out of Kanto. Lisa, I’ll be needing your help as I look for a place to live in America. Think you could give me a hand?”
“Of course! I’m always happy to show you around my home state! Where are you thinking of starting your search?”
“Charleston seems like a good place to start. From what I’ve heard, it’s a beautiful city.”
“Awesome! It is a beautiful city. Whenever you’re ready, let me know… I’ll be happy to drive you around town while you look for someplace to buy! Okay, I feel like checking what else is on TV right now…” Lisa turned the TV back on.
“Get up to $150,000 in term life insurance for only…”
“USA Prime Credit. My name Peggy. You have question?”
“2012 GMC 2500 Heavy Duty Sierras, now for only $279 a month at Bruce Decker’s Buick-GMC Truck…”
“Fighting evil by moonlight, winning love by daylight, never running from a real fight, she is the one named Sailor Moon!”
Lisa set down the remote. “All right, I think I’ve found us something to watch!”
“Awesome! Sailor Moon time!” shouted Shannon. “ I don’t care how many times I see this show, it never gets old!”
Alexis added, “You know, that’s a lot like us, except that we have to fight evil by moonlight AND daylight!”
The girls shared a laugh. “Ain’t that the truth!” said Lisa.
And so the final showdown begins...
And aww, Red's defending the honor of his Pikachu...
By the way, I like how you choreographed the fight scene by focusing on each of the pairs in turn. Though the team was able to defeat Tobias and Friends rather easily, I guess it's to be expected, since Lisa and co. have calculated their moves, while the villains are just using blind rage.
And when Lisa's outfit survives a terrible plight, we know the day was successful. :P
I like how you devoted lots of time to detailing with the aftermath of all these events. I guess Leaf's decision to not return as Champion was a logical one... I wouldn't want my name associated with a brainwashing conspiracy either. It's kind of sad at the same time, though, because Leaf had so much passion for battling in the past, but it all got ruined because the League was turned into a gambling, drug-dealing disaster. :P
The chapter ended on a nice, relaxing note, which is a definite breather from all the intense action-investigations of the previous ones. It seemed funny to me how Lisa forgot all about her pokemon and only remembered them now. I think they would've come in handy. (Speaking of which, it would have been hilarious to no end if you did a parody of the games -- first have them battle with pokemon, and then when Tobias and co. realizes that pokemon are no good, they switch to a fistfight instead. :P But this is just me rambling... of course it would make sense for everyone to cut to the chase and skip the pokemon battles.) Come to think of it, it's sad how Red's last 'battle' as Champion didn't even have anything to do with pokemon.
My sources confirm that there shall be an epilogue, so I'll save my big congrats and balloons for next time. :P See you then!
Thanks for stopping by and reading!
I like how the mechanical voice only adds upon his sadistic, disturbing nature. And how it fits in perfectly to why he doesn't talk in the games.
Of course, the one thing that is similar about our two Leagues is that some of their uses of money are questionable xD
Well, I'm glad you enjoyed the action-packed climax to the investigation... but indeed you are correct, there will be one more installment, where we get to see what the future holds for Leaf and Lisa!
Notes: After numerous delays due to RL issues and waiting for various things, I finally present the epilogue to this story to finish it off!
Thanks to Haruka of Hoenn for proofreading/beta reading.
I'm going to rate this a G/PG because the violence/action scenes are over with, and the guys who used offensive language are in prison now
Quality Inn & Suites, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, October 28, 7:49 AM
In the breakfast area of this three story hotel just across the river from Charleston, Leaf and Lisa were sitting, with a plate of hot sausage and a bagel in front of Lisa. She was not in her regular outfit; rather she was wearing a red skirt similar to Leaf’s, along with black leggings and a purple T-shirt with an orange tiger paw on it. Both of the girls’ clothes were drenched in sweat.
Lisa took a sip from her cup of cranberry juice. “Whew, I’m whipped! But still, there’s nothing quite like an early morning jog on the Ravenel Bridge! The view of the harbor and historic downtown is incredible!”
“It might be my daily routine now, but I’m still awed by the view every time I go for my morning run!”
“Yeah, remember when I first took you over the bridge back in July when we were looking for a place for you to buy? Your jaw hit the ground upon seeing the view!”
Leaf smiled. “There’s certainly nothing like it in Kanto, that’s for sure! I’m glad to leave that place behind! Lisa, why don’t you get a place down here?”
The girl shrugged. “I’ve thought about it, but you know, I like where I live up in Fort Mill. I like being near the big city of Charlotte, and there it’s just a fifteen minute drive over the state line and you’re right in the heart of Uptown.”
“You always did like to be in the heart of the action. As for me, anything’s better than the boredom that is Pallet Town. I’m definitely enjoying meeting people and going places around here. But you know, there’s one thing that confuses me.”
“What is it?”
Leaf sighed. “Why are you staying here, Lisa? I know we stayed here while house hunting, but now my place is just down the road, and I would’ve gladly let you stay for free… I certainly have enough bedrooms.”
Lisa laughed. “You know me. I’ve never been the type to pass up a hotel stay…”
“Except when a corrupt CEO has his armed thugs patrolling every hotel in town, ready to shoot you on sight, right?”
Lisa laughed. “Oh, yeah! Well, that was a rare exception. Armed gunmen are enough to convince even me not to stay at a hotel, I admit it! But anyway, this place is a Gold Award winner and I’m working toward Elite status with their frequent guest program, so….”
“Okay. Well, are you ready to head over to my place? Unlike you, I can’t get their free breakfast since I’m not a guest, and I’m starving!”
Lisa bowed her head. “Sorry, but could I bring a change of clothes? These are my exercise clothes and I’d really like to change out of them!”
“All right. But only because we’re BFFs. But you’re changing at my place, okay? I’ll wait for you here.”
“Okay, thanks!” Lisa got up and headed to the elevator. After a few minutes, she returned to the table, a plastic bag in hand. “Alright, I’m ready! Can’t wait to see this car of yours!”
Leaf shrugged. “Oh, Lisa. I knew you liked cars, but this past mission showed me you’re downright fascinated with them!”
Her companion rubbed her head. “Well, what can I say? I think I got it from my parents!”
The pair laughed as they headed out to the hotel’s parking lot. Leaf led them to her car… a large blue Mercury Grand Marquis.
Leaf smiled. “Well, here’s my car. I named her ‘Ami.’ Like her?”
Lisa tilted her head in confusion. “Ami?”
“Yeah, you know. Because it’s blue, she’s blue. It’s a Mercury, she’s Sailor Mercury…”
Lisa let out a nervous laugh. “Oh, man, I can’t believe I didn’t get that! With all the anime I watch…”
Leaf put her left arm around her friend. “You must just be tired from your bridge run. I’ll let it slide this time!”
“Alright, I owe you. But anyway, she looks like a pretty nice ride! What year is she?”
“A 2010. Shame they don’t make them anymore. I know it’s not a classic or anything like your cars, but hey, it’s still big and comfortable. And in the end, isn’t that what matters?”
Lisa laughed. “You said it! Hey, my taste in cars might be rubbing off on you… just a bit, at least! Now we just gotta get you hooked on algebra…”
Leaf held up her hand. “No way! I draw the line at math!”
Lisa grinned. “Suit yourself, but you don’t know what you’re missing!”
Leaf’s House, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, 9:15 AM
The outside of the palatial white mansion was designed in classic Southern plantation style, with a huge porch extending all the way around the large building. Huge glass windows and towering columns further added to the vintage charm and grace of the house. In front was an expansive green lawn, manicured to perfection. A black wrought-iron gate encircled the entire property.
Inside the grand plantation home, Leaf’s lavish living room was decorated with a crystal chandelier overhead as well as a brick fireplace and a piano. In a twist of irony, two Persians were laying on a Persian rug on the floor, sharing a large steak. The girls – now with Lisa in her familiar blue dress and green blouse – were seated on a sofa.
Leaf leaned forward. “Hey, Lisa, you never gave me an update on Red’s escape from prison.”
“Oh, didn’t I? I’m sorry! Well, you’ll be happy to know that he’s back in custody. You know how he escaped from a federal penitentiary in the Unova region, right? Well, apparently he decided to compete in some Pokémon battling tournament there. Though he wasn’t in the spotlight long – he was defeated in the first round pretty quickly – it was plenty of time for numerous witnesses to call in and report him. Officers from the area were quick to respond, but Red didn’t go down without a fight – one officer got a broken nose and another suffered a concussion before the other officers could subdue him. I think Lorelei said they had to give him the taser three times before he finally succumbed.”
Leaf’s jaw dropped “Wow, I cannot believe that! I mean, he should have known that one – he sucks at Pokémon battling, and two – showing up in a public place like that is just begging for someone to spot and report him.”
“Weird thing is, he didn’t even try to disguise himself. He was wearing almost the same clothes he did when we fought him, which was a stupid move on his part. Of course, it’s him… what did you expect? Well, anyway, he’s back in custody now, with an extra fifteen years added to his sentence. He won’t be eligible for parole until he’s… eighty-three years old now, I think.”
“It’s funny though, he became a two time loser in the span of only a couple minutes there… I’d almost feel sorry for the guy if he wasn’t a complete scumbag. That must’ve been a really bad day for him. Then again, he’s been a loser his whole life; he should be used to it by now.” The two girls laughed. “Well, I hope they have him in a more secure prison now.”
Lisa smiled. “Don’t worry. He’s been transferred to our Citadark SuperMax Federal Penitentiary – which is pretty much our version of Alcatraz. Nobody has escaped from there since we converted the island into a prison.”
“Always good to hear. I hope Red likes it there in solitary confinement – he’s got many years of it to look forward to!”
“So, Leaf, any plans on what you want to do from here on out? Just enjoy a really early retirement? Cause with the settlement you got, along with your money from your time as Champion, you certainly could. Heck, I could retire now and live comfortably for life, but I’d probably get bored.”
“Well… I was going to just retire here, but then my plans changed. Anyway, what if I told you that when I’m a few years older, I’d like to work for SLED?”
“I’d then ask you whether you’d be a field agent or work in their forensic lab.”
Leaf laughed. “I should’ve figured you’d know, since you’re from South Carolina and you’re into law enforcement! But yeah, I think that mission we were on in Kanto really ignited some sort of passion for law enforcement within me. I mean, when I battled Team Rocket, I just felt like I was going through the motions… but the whole deal with Red gave me a real appreciation for what you do… and it’s certainly not boring! But I really don’t want to work with the Pokémon League… I’m trying to separate myself from Kanto after they screwed me over. So I figured, I’m going to be in South Carolina, I have this burning desire to get into law enforcement, so why not work for the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.”
“Hey, sounds like a great plan to me! But you might consider working as a State Trooper instead. The Highway Patrol has a substation in Charleston; SLED’s main headquarters is in Columbia so you’d probably have to move there if you took a job with them.”
“Okay, I’ll keep that in mind. But you know, it’s funny. When I told my mom back in Pallet I was going to apply at SLED, she thought I was going to join a bobsled team!”
Both girls laughed. “Oh, man, that’s too funny! But really, that sounds like a great career choice! I’m looking forward to hearing all about your adventures here in the Palmetto State!”
Leaf said, “But you know, a part of me also wants to be a college girl – you know, live on campus, hang out with friends, maybe even earn a degree…” Both girls laughed. She continued, “During my training post-losing the championship, I also took enough classes online to get Kanto’s equivalent of a high school diploma, so I think I could apply at any time.”
Lisa said, “Hmmm… I don’t see why not, though you might want to wait till you’re eighteen to attend. I was like eleven when I attended, and while I had a good time, it was still a bit tough since everyone was quite a bit older.”
“Yeah, that actually makes a lot of sense.”
“And of course, you know what school I want you to attend,” Lisa said as she took a plastic laundry bag and pulled out her T-shirt from earlier, showing her friend the distinctive logo on it. “Same place I attended a decade ago.”
Leaf smiled. “Well, Clemson is clear on the other side of the state, but if you enjoyed your time there, who am I to argue?”
“You’re right about that!” said Lisa. The girls shared another laugh. “Okay then, what else can we discuss?”
They looked down at their Persians, now snoozing contently. Leaf said, “You know, maybe it’s my imagination but I actually think Persian has a distinct taste for luxury and the finer things in life.”
“I’ve been thinking the same thing. During my journey, mine was perfectly content with eating canned Pokémon food you get at the Pokémon Marts. But now… I think her favorite dish is filet mignon. With a side of fresh Maine lobster. Honestly, she eats better than I do much of the time!”
“Oh, wow, mine’s not up to that level yet, but she definitely won’t eat anything besides fresh, hot meat.”
“Oh well, I guess that’s the trade-off for training the most elegant Pokémon of all. They certainly do have refined – and very expensive – tastes!”
“You know,” said Leaf, “we’re so much like twin sisters now that it’s kinda scary… we both have Persians, we’re both into law enforcement, we’re both here in South Carolina…”
“But I’ve still failed to get you interested in math.”
“Yeah, and as I said at the hotel, it ain’t gonna happen! I know enough to keep track of my finances; I’ll let you handle the high level math for the both of us. But back to the point, it is kinda weird how similar we are… though I blame the whole South Carolina thing, as well as the car thing, on you. Normally, I wouldn’t have given either a second thought, but you can be a very convincing person.”
“Hey, I try my best, what can I say?” Lisa’s cell phone started ringing. “Hey, let me check this, okay?” Lisa opened her phone and read a text message. Lisa quickly typed up a message before closing the phone. “Sorry, that was my friend Sadie. She just sent me a quick update on what she’s been doing. ”
“No, that’s fine. Gotta keep in touch with your friends, right?”
“Always. I’d like to have her visit South Carolina sometime – she’s never been here and I think she’d like seeing the sights and of course meet you! I think you two would get along great!”
“Well, I’ll certainly be looking forward to meeting her, then! Just let me know!”
Lisa stood up. “Anyway, since I’m on vacation now, I’d like to head out later. There’s a shopping mall in North Charleston with my name on it. No, it literally has my name on it.”
Leaf rubbed her chin. “Oh yeah, I have heard advertisements for Northwoods Mall a few times since moving here. Is your family involved with it?”
Lisa laughed. “No, my parents don’t own or manage it or anything. Just a little naming coincidence, I guess!”
“Well, Lisa, if we’re gonna head there, we better do it soon. Traffic can get pretty nasty during the day, both on the 526 and up on I-26 by Ashley Phosphate Road near the mall.”
“Let’s go now, then!” Lisa pumped her fist in the air. “It’s decided!”
Leaf laughed. “Sounds like a great plan to me! We’ll take my car.”
A huge grin formed on Lisa’s face. “Well, girl, let’s get to it!”
END CASE FILE REPORT.
This is a brilliant piece of writing. It has a ton of very good literary elements, and just good stuffz ;_;
My only irk is that the 4 person team is a 4 person girl team. Not being sexist, but it just seems unrealistic.
Happy birthday! I present to you my gift in the form of this review...
I enjoyed this epilogue. It was a nice chance for Leaf and Lisa to relax after all they've been through. I love moments like these.
And speaking of roaming, it looks like Red's tried to escape from prison. But I'm not surprised.. leave it to him to pull a stunt like entering a tournament in Unova. I'm sure his Pikachu helped give him away, because something tells me you wouldn't normally see too many of those in a tournament like that. And it's actually quite funny when I picture the police dragging him back by the arms while he's kicking and screaming with his mechanical voice: "LET ME GO YOU FOOLS. LET ME GO."
It's good to see Leaf and Lisa make plans for the future. It only makes sense that in the Pokemon world, there's more to do than be busy with pokemon... like go to school and get jobs and whatnot.
I confess, I don't know what she's been doing myself. ^^; For now let's just assume she's wandering around somewhere...
All in all, great epilogue! (Your fics always end so soon. xP) It certainly was a pleasure to read, and I enjoyed your interpretation of the Red/Leaf situation, as well as how you expanded from your original one-shot. And of course, with Lisa's return, naturally we were in for a lot of action and cars and math. It's nice to know Leaf's finally moving on, and hopefully her new plans for the future will lead her to a satisfying lifestyle. It was also great to see that the League was finally rid of the Tobias disease. Now maybe they'll focus on cleaning themselves up and giving themselves a more honest image. (Though my earlier comment about the 'other' silent protagonists still stands... hmm...)
But I won't rant about my speculations here. :P All that's left to say is congratulations!
Thanks for the birthday wishes! Any birthday where you wake up in a Quality Inn instead of home is a good one