July 7th, 2013 (09:45 PM). Edited July 12th, 2013 by Cosmic Fury.
Either way, this is a more serious story, and the first parts of it will be darker, because that's the way things are going to have to roll to get the plot going. So, I'm rating it PG-15 for some language (scattered here and there), dark themes, violence, and possible romance.
Sinnoh -- Crown Mountains, in an uncharted Thunder Corporation base. Forty years ago
“Sir, the experiment so far is on schedule, and we now have results.” A woman wearing a black uniform reported to a man, also dressed completely in black.
“Good. What was the test Pokémon?” The youthful Boss’s deep voice resonated throughout the laboratory room, his voice commanding the full respect and attention of those listening. The tall, dark-haired man walked down the hall he had inherited barely five years ago from his fathers, and he could not have gotten it at a worse time for ambitious projects.
“…Sir?” The woman snapped Dantès out of his darker thoughts. “As you know, any living Pokémon that we have tested so far have perished in the experimentation. Their genetic structure has been incompatible with the DNA of the Mew we’ve been using.”
“However, as always, these failures are but a minor setback. We’ve taken an alternate route and tested our serum on an un-hatched Pokémon that is naturally strong enough to survive the injection.” She obviously seemed to be pleased with herself. “So far, this part of the experiment is now turning out to be a success.”
“Good. If this batch of subjects proves to be good, then we can start up on bigger plans.” The Boss’s pale face was mostly unemotional as was, but the woman standing next to him knew that the words she spoke were almost music to his ears.
“Then we will go and make more of it right away, and secure more compatible eggs for ourselves in the meantime.” The woman said her words more as a suggestion than a declaration, looking like she was secretly hoping to be recognized.
“Good call, Scarlett. I am pleased with your efficiency. If this serum works on our Pokémon well enough, we may very well begin testing this formula on humans as well at the same time.” The Boss left the laboratory, and Scarlet followed down several corridors. They then went in silence to a small landing pad outside, where the Boss’s helicopter awaited to take him back to Headquarters in the western portion of Canalave City.
The two stopped before the helicopter made preparations for take-off, and Scarlet finally spoke up. “Why human testing already, James?”
“It’s an option is worth considering, in spite of the risks. Pokémon tend to have minds of their own, while humans are more easily influenced to obey their superiors, even if they’ve got something special to them.” Dantès paused to let his words sink in, and turned towards the woman. “Place any compatible egg in stasis for further experimentation. I do not want it to hatch earlier than I want it to. Destroy the rest.”
Sinnoh -- Canalave City. Team Thunder Headquarters. Two weeks later
Dantès walked down the hall of an opulent mansion that belonged to a younger man, who was a part of the elite ruling class of Canalave City, and the surrounding districts that belonged to the city-state, and even to Sinnoh. Here, he was Richard Alfonse II, and had inherited this mansion on his late mother’s side of the family, as he and both his parents were all lacking in siblings.
An old man walking slowly down the hall, who happened to be his personal valet in this side of things, interrupted him. To everyone else, he was but a servant here, but in the crime syndicate commonly referred to as Team Thunder, he was an Executive in charge of the operations going on in this sector of Sinnoh. “So, how was the day?” To any others that might have been prying, it was an innocent and routine question. However, the two promptly went into a secure study and shut the doors behind any others that maybe eavesdropping.
“Oh, it was productive.” Dantès handed over a clipboard to the elderly man, who eagerly scanned it. “What do you think of Number Six?”
“Which batch? I see ten different ones here, all different results.” The Executive scanned the clipboard again, seeing plenty of promising batches.
“The one near the top -- That’s the one that reacted the best to the treatment. It seems to be not only stable, but also actually taking it well. Look at the way its skin tone is changing, though.” Dantès was apparently pleased with this particular one.
“Ah, that’s going to be a good Axew alright, if it survives any time after hatching. As for the skin tone, it does not matter too much anyway. What about the others, James?"
“I don’t think they’re going to make it, Alex. I will be calling the boys and telling them to put down any that react badly to it – they’re a waste of money and aren’t good for anything. As for Number Six..." James paused a while. If this worked, a lifetime's worth of work would finally be complete. "I think it'll work. Let's have the serum prepared for a human target, if the formula works.”
Nothing had to mess up, though. If something did, two generations of work and sacrifice could be for naught, and Team Thunder could meet its ruin.
July 12th, 2013 (05:13 PM). Edited July 12th, 2013 by Cosmic Fury.
Alright, due to a lack of reviews, I've decided to post the first chapter. Please note that this is pretty much the introductory arc of the story, so please bear with me here.
Remember, reviews are very much appreciated, and please don't hesitate to ask to be on my PM list!
Chapter Two should be up shortly as well. However, I'll wait for any reviews before posting it. Thanks for reading!
Chapter One: Military Justice
Sinnoh Thunder Laboratory, somewhere in the mountains. 36 years ago
Over a year had gone by, and Robb had actually managed to send a few reports to Headquarters. It was not easy to get into this facility in the first place, but sending intelligence was harder. However, he was ordered to stay, because he had found out from Headquarters that this organization was a real threat to national security. Instead of merely finding out quickly what was there, he was to stay and sabotage as much as he could before he got out.
This so-called Team Thunder had apparently turned out to be the real deal, and this place was an incredibly tough nut to crack, and the four agents that had already tried to penetrate it earlier the year before had met their fates here. The laboratory itself was incredibly complex and very well-guarded, but Robb saw a few internal weaknesses he could exploit to make a getaway, even if he couldn't make any regular reports to Headquarters. All of this didn't matter much though, as he had acquired his target already.
In the very center of the laboratory room was a box of sorts that contained the most paramount of all of the experiments in all the compound, as he had learned. He had also learned that the box contained an egg in stasis. What the egg was, he had no idea. What he did know was that this part of the huge complex contained more fine equipment than he'd ever seen at any military installation in his life.
There were tubes and wires everywhere, and most of them led either directly in and out of that box, or among the vast array of monitors that dominated this entire section of the compound. Outside of the large chamber containing the stasis equipment was yet another array of powerful computers, meant solely for coming up with a way to reproduce whatever the tubes were both feeding and extracting from the stasis capsule.
The experiments were not necessarily on the Pokèmon itself, but it provided the priceless material needed for some drug possibly meant for human consumption, likely through injection. As it was apparently the center of this entire Laboratory, it naturally fell to Robb to steal the thing and get it away from their hands.
Today was the first day in several weeks that Robb was able to patch a radio call to Headquarters. He reported everything he had seen, compacting his information to allow room to call in an air strike at a designated time -- three hours from that moment. Everything was rapidly falling into place, and even if his own personal plan of stealing the unknown Pokèmon from the lab failed, the lab itself would be damaged beyond repair.
By now though, Robert knew the inner workings of the lab well enough to potentially make an effective escape with his precious cargo. He had made it in time for the security maintenance to shut down itself for almost two hours in the innermost parts of the lab, while only essential equipment remained running constantly. Outside of the nerve center of the lab, it looked like a normal office building, but instead of cubicles, there were lab rooms everywhere, but they were all less elaborate and less tightly guarded than the one in the center of the compound. Each of the major lab areas were sealed off by wide, well-structured hallways broken up into segments by swift-sealing doors meant to contain any contamination breach.
These doors and their associated alarms were what Robb took advantage of. Under guise of an emergency maintenance, he had succeeded in emptying the innermost chambers of the laboratory so that he could stabilize things without interference. Then, he began his act of sabotage. Calling out his Dragonite for the first time in a while, he greeted his old friend warmly, then got down to business.
“Alright, it’s time. We’re breaking into that thing and plundering its contents.” Robert pointed to the box while looking the dragon in the eye.
“It’s about bloody time too! You know that I’ve been bored as hell in that Pokèball, right? I know it’s a stasis capsule in itself, but time does have meaning over here!” Dragonite fumed, directing his momentary anger at Robert.
“This place is going to get hit by a few bombs in a couple hours. We haven’t got much time left.” Robert looked at the watch on his wrist, calibrated to count down to the second that the strike was estimated to take place at. It showed at 02:35 and counting.
“Alright, so we steal this crap. Then what the hell do we do?” The irritable Dragonite was always inclined to swear, especially at this time of night.
“We make a bit of noise on our way out.” He pulled out another two Pokèballs. “Alright Typhlosion and Nidoking, why don’t you help us out with this one?”
Nidoking scratched his chin, a habit he had picked up over the years from humans. Another habit of his was speaking like a human, which was what he just did. “Alright, here’s what we do: have our Typhlosion simply break into the box. We’re not going to keep the egg in stasis. Dragonite, when he breaks that seal open, just pull the egg out carefully. None of us want that thing damaged, if that thing’s as important as it appears to be.”
Nidoking turned over towards Robert. “I’ve got another idea. Have Tyranitar clog all of the air ways behind us with his Sand Stream and Stealth Rocks. While the lab is trying to decontaminate itself and the people inside this place are still fighting all the sand and rocks trying to get to us, we can make an easier getaway.” It was a brilliant plan, concocted by a brilliant mind.
“Good idea. We can significantly slow down pursuers that way.” Robert called out Tyranitar, and left Nidoking to explain the immature Tyranitar's role in the plan to him as Dragonite and Typhlosion finally finished extracting the egg.
“Alright, we’ve burned ten minutes just wasting time here. We need to move it!” Handing the egg to Robert, the Dragonite swiftly made his way to the front, scouting out for any signs of unwanted scientists while Robb recalled the Typhlosion.
“Alright, let’s double-time it to the exit. We’ve got to get out precious cargo safely where it belongs before we go down with this place.” Robert increased his pace, as did the Tyranitar, who had been depositing more floating rocks as well as sand behind him as that extra layer of protection against pursuers.
It wasn't very long after they left the laboratory's core that the alarms went off. However, the sand was starting to do its damage, as more and more of it managed to either seal off extra corridors or cause other sorts of disruption. It would take about another hour for it to sufficiently grind a few of the compound’s intricate systems to a halt, which would trigger an emergency shutdown of much of the equipment. All according to plan.
They were already well on their way when they encountered a group of scientists that happened to carry Pokèmon of their own. Thankfully, they assumed that Robb had his Pokèmon to deal with the compound-wide contamination like themselves. They let them all pass by unchallenged, and Robb and Company were long gone by the time they found out who the saboteur was.
However, that wasn’t the last of it, because the alarms soon changed from sounding a lab-wide contamination to one sounding an intruder. Robb, suddenly having an idea, recalled Nidoking, and motioned towards Tyranitar to stay well in the back of everything. Right then, he brought his Swampert out of a Pokèball. “Alright, here’s the plan. Swampert, how much water can you summon with Surf, right here, right now?”
“It can send half this place to hell! Why?” The extremely excitable Pokèmon responded enthusiastically, flashing an over-large grin at everyone.
“Good. Dragonite, how powerful is your best Thunder attack?”
“You’re kidding, right? It can vaporize half those damn losers!” Dragonite was getting almost as worked up as the Swampert -- a true accomplishment, indeed.
“Alright, I want you two to hit the areas right in front of us with your most powerful Hydro Pump and Thunder. Don't worry about me, I've got rubber boots on today. Just make sure that everything around us is sent straight to hell. Tyranitar, get your rocks and throw them at these people.”
“That sounds totally wrong. You’re one major --” Tyranitar was cut off by Robb.
“Less talk, more rocks! Ready to fire in three… two… one…” Robert timed the shots for when the enemy called out their Pokèmon. With Tyranitar’s Stealth Rocks already all over the place in front of the enemy Pokèmon, they were being hurt even as they emerged from their Pokèballs. “FIRE!!!!” His strong voice sounded right down the hall.
One of the enemy Rattatas audibly swore profusely in its own language above the resulting chaos as the Hydro Pump/Thunder combo smashed right into it. The rodent didn’t stand a chance as it was blasted to the far end of the hall they were in. Shortly afterwards, the excessive amount of water from the overly-powerful Hydro Pump got all over the place, and the massive Thunder attack, purposefully mingled in with the water, sending a powerful surge of electricity through it.
Everything that didn’t levitate was devastated by the electricity, which included several Koffings, a Weezing, and a Murkrow that was shivering almost uncontrollably in front of such overwhelming odds. “We’re going to hell…” It kept muttering to itself in human speech, in the voice of its scientist trainer, who kept loudly telling it to shut up already.
“You’re all my b*tches now!” The Dragonite nearly screamed at the opponents. Before Robert could restrain the massive Dragon, he had already struck the Murkrow with another very powerful Thunder attack, depleting all of the energy he had left for that move, all in that one spiteful attack.
Robert didn’t have time to restrain the excessively violent dragon before he was already among the enemy, proving what he had just yelled at them. With one well-placed Extremespeed, he slammed into two of the Koffings in one move, causing the lighter-than-air Pokèmon’s bodies to nearly rupture as they fainted. He grabbed a third Koffing, and hurled it with all of his might at the Weezing. The Koffing fainted from the sheer violence of the attack, but the Weezing held its ground with extreme tenacity, even as it saw its lesser brethren float for the hills.
The Weezing threw a Sludge Bomb at the Dragonite, which only threw the dragon into an intense state of rage because it got badly poisoned. By this point, both Pokèmon were beyond hope. Dragonite was about to utterly destroy the Weezing in a fit of extreme rage, and the Weezing was almost paralyzed with fear, out of the fact that the angry dragon managed to survive that powerful attack. The world-destroying fury was directed at the poor thing didn't even register in the Weezing's mind until the Dragonite started rushing headlong at it.
Just as the Weezing started in its own language to fervently curse its incredibly ugly gods for giving it this sad lot in life, the Dragonite reached his target, and the resulting encounter wasn’t pretty. The enraged dragon violently grabbed the hapless Weezing and then started slamming it into the wall repeatedly in the form of an all-out Outrage attack. The captive audience could only look on helplessly in horror as the Weezing was smashed into a pulp in the matter of seconds.
As Robert started cursing at the horrible delay in time, the Dragonite finished his rampage, having been severely hurt in the process from his own recklessness. The muscular dragon stopped not because he beat the Weezing to within an inch of its life, but because he was extremely tired -- and overcome with the poison.
“That’s called Dragon Rage, b*tches. Don‘t you ever forget it, you... you...” With his all-important declaration unfinished, he dropped dead into the water, which finished the dragon off with the high voltage it held.
Robert immediately tried to recall Dragonite back into its powerful Pokèball, but he failed. It only meant one thing: Dragonite was dead. He ruefully reflected that the dragon got what he wanted -- he wanted to die in the act of beating the crap out of someone then insulting them before finally going out... The only thing was that the dragon wasn't an old fart like he wanted to be... Not this.
They would all sorely miss the brash dragon who loved to curse, drink, and break both the rules and his enemies‘ egos. But now was not the time for grief. They all had to move on, or else they would be killed along with the Dragonite by stronger pursuers who were no doubt closing in.
Having lost his main way to trap the corridors, Robb recalled the Swampert, keeping only the Tyranitar out just in case anyone showed their face to the two grief-stricken beings. However, that never happened, and they reached an outer wall of the compound unmolested.
“Alright, we need to get through that wall, preferably by burning it down. I want to create a disturbance as we leave.” Robert kept his words short and to the point, not letting his voice falter. Inside its Pokèball, the Typhlosion knew exactly what happened, and as usual remained as silent as the grave. "Typhlosion, we need you to get us out of here."
The Typhlosion did just that the instant he appeared. Using all of his power, he blasted a huge hole in the wall. Holding a thumb up, he signaled that his work was done -- however, due to the forceful nature of his attack, he didn't have much fight left in him.
Right then, as he stepped to the side, more people came -- lots of them. A woman headed the squad of security guards, every one of which sported an impressive array of powerhouses just waiting to tear them all to shreds. “Well, what’s the hurry? I wanted us to get to know each other, but apparently you were in such a rush to get away from this fine company that you even left a Dragonite behind you. Shame on you for doing that.” She spoke mockingly, and wore a smile on her face that Robb instantly wanted to tear off with his bare hands.
There was no question about it. Either they would escape, or they would die -- and there wasn't really a good escape plan coming to mind. Robb sent out Swampert without a word, and Nidoking stood beside him, wearing a grim expression. "I don't think we're going to get out of this alive, Robb."
Suddenly gripped with a desperate idea, Robb turned towards Typhlosion. “Take the package and run. Run as fast and far as you can, and no matter who they are, don‘t let them find you. Go!” Without waiting for the Typhlosion to react, he impressed the urgency on him, and shoved the package into his Pokèmon‘s arms. Still recovering from the attacked he had launched at the wall, the Typhlosion knew he was useless, unless he obeyed and carried out Robb's command.
Nodding with sadness and intense grief, the Fire-type Pokèmon took the package and ran, having no time to say his own good-bye. He didn't watch the ensuing fight. He knew how it would end, and he had to get away. Even as he rushed to make a get away, he heard the sounds of screaming people and Pokemon as they all fought to the death over the exit.
The results of the fight manifested themselves to the Typhlosion in the sound of shouting people and Pokemon, even though the sound was a lot more distant, due to both the distance and the Thunder members' obvious losses.
The Typhlosion rushed out to the vast, snowy expanse that awaited him, pausing only to take the egg out of the box and clutch it to his still-hot chest. He didn't even turn back when he heard the sounds of various bombs and missiles start to level the compound. His only concern was getting to a spot where nobody of importance would ever find the egg.
Driven almost to the point of madness by grief, fatigue, and the harsh elements of the mountains, he simply pressed on, losing his way in the unforgiving Crown Mountains.
Sinnoh -- Crown Mountains, south of Mount Coronet
The Typhlosion had been wandering out in the mountains for a week, with no food and the only water being the snow that lay all around in a nearly endless expanse around him. He was nearly at the end of all things when he stumbled into a town that lay away from the wind and snow, all built on the side of a mountain. He had worn himself out on the first couple of days in his mad rush to get out of the area, and he had gotten himself lost in his haste.
He had no idea what this town was, and that was ironically a good thing. He was told to take the egg and hide it, so that's what he would do... and he would do it well. Seeing the town drawing closer, he slowly scaled the side of the mountain where a large, isolated house was built, most of it being shrouded in the nighttime gloom, away from this night's moon. If there was any good place to hide something, it was that one. It was located some ways above the town, in a more isolated part of the mountain.
He slowly made his way to the front porch, and knocked loudly on the door. He didn't set the egg down until he heard footsteps coming towards the door. As the door began to open, he quickly set the egg upon the soft doormat and beat a hasty retreat. It wouldn't do to have whoever was inside find him with his prize, because that would defeat the whole reason he was way out here in the first place -- to hide the thing where nobody would ever find it.
In the end, he knew what this venture had cost him. Sure, he had separated himself from the object he wanted to protect, but he had to find shelter soon or perish... and there was no shelter in this day and age for any sort of abandoned Pokemon that looked half-mad from fighting what may have been a rabid beast in the mountains. Even so, he had to look.
He spent into the early hours of the morning seeking shelter, but never found any except the face of the mountain itself, which was always against the wind... And it happened to be where some of the more hostile creatures of the area liked to congregate at night. In a world like this, Typhlosion knew, there was no escape. There was only victory or death... and he wasn't winning the battle he was fighting for survival.
The end was sure to come swiftly, and Typhlosion said a prayer to whatever gods existed that he would be united in the next life (in whatever form it took) with his lifelong friends, and that it would come painlessly. Unfortunately, the gods of the mountains were cruel and unjust, and the elements were just as harsh to anyone that dared to challenge them.
July 12th, 2013 (06:00 PM).
Was having trouble sleeping so thought i'd review the latest fic - very glad i did so! I want this to continue so i thought i would post some feedback
Overall a very nice read - kept me engaged and hooked throughout the chapter and the prologue. I very much liked the story and the use of the countdown for each shift in scene.
A few minor things i'll say about the first chapter, suggestions that you by no means have to take on board. I'll use spoilers in case anyone accidentally sees this before they read it -
I look forward to reading more, and in reading this i have thought of some ways i can improve my writing style - as you can tell by my review i love description, however, this doesn't mean that small description can't be enough - this is just my opinion
July 12th, 2013 (06:59 PM). Edited July 12th, 2013 by Cosmic Fury.
Thanks for reviewing! This part of the story was rather meant to go by rather quickly. I had originally had the chapters written down much differently, and I had to spend a long time getting rid of useless parts that didn't move the plot forward -- and I may have been just a bit overzealous in the endeavor.
The rest I'll put in spoilers so that it doesn't get in the way.
Chapter Two will be up very soon!
August 10th, 2013 (05:44 AM).
Alright, this chapter finally introduces the main character, but briefly. We'll be seeing more of Team Thunder, though, and this chapter is really where the ball gets rolling.
Sorry it took so long to get the chapter up, but I hope it was worth the wait. Enjoy!
*Author's Note: I know the first part is going to be horridly short. However, this part stresses setting above all else, so please bear with me here.
Chapter Two: Uninvited Guests and Their Effects
Sinnoh -- Crystal Peak (a town near Mt. Silver). 36 years ago
Towards the outskirts of a very small town nestled in the mountains, there lay a larger dwelling that was cut into the side of the rocky cliff that formed a wall-like border to the spread-out town of about a thousand people. There were several strange things about this small and quiet town, and that house seemed to be the core of half of them.
The house itself was partially hewn into the mountain itself, whose rock made up many of the materials for the isolated house that was sheltered from the northern winter winds, even though they were a plague to the rest of the town. It sat on a fairly large shelf that dropped suddenly after a couple hundred feet, with a thirty-foot cliff. This was always guarded by a strong barrier that stood about four feet high, and ran for about 500 feet on either side of the house.
On one of those directions lay the only road that led to and from the house. In the other lay a path that was only narrow enough for a person or Pokémon to fit through. The other side was always guarded by a slender fence where the barrier ended, for that was really as far the house’s inhabitants went on foot.
In the spacious house, there lived only two people: an eight-year-old child and his mother. The child -- a boy -- was suffering from an unknown disease, and the doctors had given him a year to live, based on the effect it was having on him. It had been three since then, and he lived “to put the doctor to shame,” as he told his friends.
His name was Adrian Draegar, and his will was his only driving force, even when he was too weak not to be in a wheelchair, never mind not in bed. Today, he was feeling stronger, and had a small cane that he used. He was away at school, and would return home in the evening, just before sunset -- on good days. He always loved the outdoors, and often hung out with his friends after school, if he was up to it.
The mother’s name was Leanna Stone, and she was alone in her fight -- her husband was missing since almost before the child was born. For almost four years, she had to watch as her only child wasted away slowly from something she didn’t have any power over. One time or another, she nearly broke when her son went near the brink of death. She had a rough lot in life, but her son always had it worse.
“Hi, mom. I’m back.” The sound of Adrian’s voice interrupted Leanna’s thoughts. Her son walked in through the door, not even using his cane. It must have been a really good day if he was able to do that.
“How was your day?” She went over to see how he was holding himself up, and then hustled over to the kitchen to make a snack. The more her son ate, the better he would be later on.
“It’s been great. I’ve been able to go most of the day by myself.” These days, being able to pull that off was little short of a miracle.
“Wow, that’s great! Hopefully the new medicine is doing the trick. Here, I’ve made a sandwich. You need to keep your strength up.” She walked over with a tray, setting it on a table that sat next to sofa. He often dozed off after meals, so there weren’t very many chairs in the house.
Predictably, he ate the sandwich and drank some water, and dozed off before a harsh storm brewed up outside.
He woke up very early, only a few hours later. Knowing he wouldn’t be able to fall asleep again, he went down to get something to eat, in spite of feeling weak. It was a weekend, so he knew his mom wouldn’t get up for another couple hours.
He ate his breakfast slowly, and as usual went out to see how much it snowed during the storm last night. Suddenly hearing some strange knocking sounds on the door, he went to go investigate. He wondered what sort of person would show up at this time of all things.
Instead, he found a much different sort of surprise waiting on the doorstep. It was a jet-black egg, the likes of which he had never seen before. He slowly bent over to pick it up, and to his surprise, the thing was still very warm, as if the blizzard outside never even got close to touching it.
Once he got it back inside, he flipped on a small lamp, and sat the egg on the sofa, and investigated the strange thing. Having found nothing at all, he simply set the egg down on the sofa, and sat next to it, wondering what it had inside. However, nothing stirred, so he simply sat there and listened to the storm rage outside while he finished off his snack. By the time he was done, he was feeling extremely weak and tired, not knowing whether or not this was a dream. Taking the egg in his arm, he slowly plodded upstairs. Reaching his room, he simply climbed into bed, and set the egg under the covers nearby. It wasn’t long until he was asleep.
Sinnoh -- Canalave City, Thunder Corporation HQ. 36 years ago
“Say again, and say it more slowly. What in the name of the gods happened?” Dantès gripped the data pad in his hands. This very thing told everything, but he didn’t believe it, even when his senior staff were telling him that his main laboratory was completely destroyed. This isn’t happening… This isn’t happening…!
“The man responsible for the sabotage of our laboratory called himself John Kislev. Not a lot was known about his background, other than what he told us. Shortly before the attack, we were able to discover that his name was in fact Robert Bruce, and that he was there to sabotage our operations. Our message did not get through to the lab, however, and he was able to call in an air strike at the same time he was discovered in the act of stealing Number Six.” Fred stood tall and composed.
“According to what little data we preserved, he was stopped and killed before the compound itself went down.” Out of all the people in the room, it seemed to be the only one among the senior staff who was actually calm -- or at least successfully pretending to be so. "At least Scarlet escaped intact with some of our best men."
“How much was recovered from the site?” Dantès still could hardly believe that this was happening. All it took was one attack to put the very existence of Team Thunder in danger. He would have to work hard in keeping his position as “The Boss” in his own hands.
Scarlet stepped forward. “Actually, I took the liberty of taking three vials of the finished compound with me shortly before the saboteur completed his work. I at least managed to escape alive -- and with the precious cargo. They're on my person, but that's the only thing of value I was able to keep."
“You’re a genius! I’d promote you, but I’d rather keep my own job.” Dantès lit up at that prospect. The laboratory’s destruction wasn’t a total loss, at least. Fewer witnesses to this particular project made for less of a mess. “So, did the Army recover anything from the compound?”
“It was totally destroyed, but they managed to get a hold of some survivors. However, Number Six is missing.” This time, Fredrick took his turn to speak. “The prisoners will no doubt be interrogated. I doubt they will learn much, though. I put in a great deal of time and effort to minimize the amount of information being passed around there.”
“Then how in the hells did someone manage to find out what was going on and break into there?” Dantès’ glare was suddenly fixed on Fredrick. However, the old man kept his cool, and simply looked at Dantès like he would a childish nephew.
“There is only one explanation: there was sabotage at an upper level. As I recall, promotions are in your department. It was not my fault that a scientist in the Central Wing was there to sabotage our work.” Fredrick knew that he had won, and he simply stared down Dantès until he gave.
“Fine, whatever. At least they took care of cleaning up the evidence for us anyway. Now that’s over with, our experiment can move forward to human trials.” Dantès frowned, though, rather than giving off his typical grin. “Or we would be able to, but we’ve only got three full vials of the stuff. Can it be replicated?”
“Not without the original subject. We’d have to extract it from our source to get more. We were able to manufacture this stuff in the first place only because we had Number Six to work with. Now it's missing -- not destroyed. Just missing...” Fredrick paused, waiting for Scarlett’s opinion.
“He’s right, you know. Besides, we need a suitable test subject even if we choose a human. Why not nail both Number Six and its new guardian when we find them?" Scarlett pointed to the three vials that she sat on the table sitting in between the three of them.
“Good idea, but what will be gained if this works?" Dantès spoke up this time.
"We get a free test subject that we can easily dispose of. We also get our Pokemon back." Scarlet’s normally pretty face was actually scary, and a chill ran down even Fredrick’s spine. "If the test works, we can take off with both and ensure that our new subject serves their purpose before they kick the bucket, so to speak."
“Alright, so all that remains is finding our quarry and exacting our revenge." Dantès eyed the vials that Scarlet held. “In the meantime, each of us gets one, as there are three vials, and three of us. If one of us is killed or captured, we can afford to destroy our copy, because there are two others. Am I clear?”
Fredrick and Scarlett nodded, and each took one of the vials that Scarlet had set on the table. All three of them concealed the things on their person, and Fred spoke up again. “What if we find the Pokemon alive and well? Will we need it if human trials begin successfully, provided the first one fails?”
“No, we will destroy it and make sure our next test subject doesn’t escape our grasp like this one did.” Dantès’ expression was cold and callous. I don’t care what it takes, we will get back on track. We will find both our subjects if they are out there, and we will secure them regardless of the cost."
When both of them made affirmative gestures, he continued. “Good. In the meantime we’ll split up. Fred, you find the subject. Scarlet, you track down our people held by the Army, and make sure they are no longer a liability. Take Giovanni with you as well. I hear he’s really good at that sort of work, so you two should get along.”
He dismissed Scarlett, who left and got to work. Then, Dantès turned towards Fred. “Go find our test subjects. Remember only to administer the drug if and ONLY if you are confident that it will work. We've only got one shot each at this.”
“I’ll do that. Just remember that most subjects will react very adversely to it -- save for a very few.” Fredrick paused. “I’ll be on my way now. I’ll advise though that we keep all successful subjects alive. ‘The more, the merrier,’ as they say.”
With that, Fredrick left the room to go on his own mission. That being done, that only left Dantès to do his own work of salvaging the situation. He had to do something to strike back at the government, or at least anything that made him look good. Otherwise, his own organization would fall apart -- or worse, turn itself against him.
Regardless of the circumstances, there was a lot of work to do. He had to plan a strike at the Army's Headquarters -- if the test subject wasn't found first, within a time frame that he would prescribe. Team Thunder always had to be fighting someone, after all. That's how one kept them going in a single direction at all times.
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