The Children are Hunted. (M)
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December 14th, 2012 (8:23 AM).
...And I Dance
Stryker the Zoroark
Stryker didn't get much sleep. He eventually conceded defeat and pushed himself up from the nest of blankets that he'd borrowed from Surge. "Oh, nice to see you're awake," the Raichu called, perched high...somewhere in the dark room. It was dark enough that Stryker had a hard time of locating anything by sight. "You just missed my excitement. I've overloaded the power again, need ta reset those breakers...there!"
The lights came back on full force, forcing Stryker to hold one paw up to shield his eyes. When they'd readjusted, he blinked and saw Surge climbing down a ladder built into one wall, eyes dancing with...something. "What got you so excited, then?" the Zoroark asked, stretching himself.
"Oh, just a couple new ideas," Surge answered offhandedly, returning to Stryker's new device on a table. "Still, what if I could make something that granted artificial telepathy?" The Raichu was excited, obviously. His cheeks were sparking. "Or x-ray vision, like a Luxray? Well, it's technically not supposed to be called 'x-ray' vision, but you know what Luxrays can do!" Surge had grabbed the device and begun running toward Stryker. He paused, just a few steps away, as new thoughts came to him. He wasn't sparking anymore. "Actually, I'm not sure how effective the telepathy thing would be. Great as it is, technology can't always best Pokemon. It'd probably be short-range..."
Stryker raised an eyebrow as he reached out to pull his device from the Raichu's paws. Some Pokemon he'd met already didn't like technology. The idea that they might meet someone with artificial telepathy seemed like something that could scare anyone away. He wouldn't say a word about that, though. "I'm sure if anyone could do it, you could," Stryker replied, slipping the glasses onto his head. It was a new weight, but he'd get used to it. "See ya later."
He gave a brief, friendly salute and was leaving as he heard Surge say to himself, "Y'know, I'd have to take a look at a Luxray's eyes or somethin' to figure out how I could do it..."
He'd watched Jari through the day after that, including the episode with the Rufflet.
Great. Now the kid has another one under his control.
Nothing new occurred after that, other than the fact that the boy didn't capture the Rufflet with a PokeBall. This puzzled Stryker, but he shoved it to the back of his mind. When the boy was back in the hotel, Stryker settled down on the rooftop across the street, disguised as a Persian curled up for a light nap.
Smoke. It was the smell of smoke that woke Stryker. The eyes of the 'Persian' remained closed, but Stryker glanced around to check that he was alone. He didn't hear or smell anything new, either...beside the smoke. He pushed himself up to look across the street, at the upper floors that were burning. "Oh, snap!" Stryker quickly checked his tracking-screen on his glasses; he was still using the signal Surge had given him. No, no, no, the boy was still inside, according to Surge's signal.
Which floor was he on, though? Stryker pulled out a pair of binoculars from his backpack with quick efficiency, noting that a Rufflet - the same one? - flew out of a window for a few moments before flying back in. He looked through his binoculars at the hotel, switching to infrared vision as he found the floor the Rufflet was in. There was the boy's body heat...he left the room...went up the stairs--
Stryker cursed, paws dropping in exasperation.
I'm losin' him, I'm losin' my target, he's goin' up toward the fire--
He paused, thinking. Part of the briefing had been that the boy could supposedly raise magma...and either he was foolish, or brave, or he had a way of fighting the fire...the Zoroark brought the binoculars up again to watch the boy.
The night passed fitfully, with relief coming only as Stryker saw him leaving the hotel intact. "Not gonna be berated for watchin' without intervention," he muttered to himself.
Later, Jari walked down the crowded streets of Tokyo. His bike was beside him, but there wasn’t enough space to ride it. In fact, at one moment, he was returning Blaze to his PokeBall, since it was too squished to have him walking. As he returned the Pokemon along the streets of Tokyo, one person shoved him with his shoulder pretty hard. He swiveled around, and that person gave no explanation, but glaring at Blaze’s Pokeball being put away, he said...
"How do you know that your Pokemon are satisfied with their lives? How do you know that they're satisfied with taking orders from you, with fighting other Pokemon for your gain, with spending time in a dark cage when you don't need them? How, when instead they might be free to lead their own lives?"
Before he could reply, the mysterious stranger had disappeared into the crowd.
Stryker grinned to himself, slipping into an alley, keeping his disguise of a white human dressed in civilian clothing. That, at least, had gone well. He tapped into his tracking system, checking to make sure that his tracking bug had latched onto the boy's clothes. Of course it had; Stryker had been doing it for quite a while now. The question he'd posed, as a stranger, was something with RDM intentions.
As he walked further down the alley, looking for an easy way up to the roof, two figures landed on the ground, one in front of Stryker and the other behind. The Hitmonlee in front was glaring at him. Glancing around, Stryker confirmed that the other, a Hitmonchan, was glaring as well. "Long time, no see," he greeted, dropping his illusionary disguise.
The two Hitmons still glared. "The higher-ups need a report," the Hitmonlee snapped, "and they're not too happy that you didn't try to keep your target alive."
"Hey," Stryker's tone grew just as serious as he held up his paws, "orders to watch without interfering, Lee!" He knew their real names, but it was fun to call them Lee and Chan. "B'sides, they'd be interested in hearin' what I found out. That's what you're here as, right? Messengers? Ow!" He rubbed his arm from the harsh blow, turning to glare at Chan.
"I still remember Phoenix, kiddo," Chan stated flatly. "Report."
"Well, the boy's a Trainer," Stryker began, "but we knew that already. He took a plane here and went to the Tokyo Gym two days ago, but I didn't follow him inside. I'm pretty sure he didn't stick around long enough for a Gym battle. Yesterday, he acquired another Pokemon, a Rufflet. Last night, when the hotel caught on fire..." The Zoroark grinned. "The boy went up instead of down, into one of the burning floors. There were others on that floor, one of which was a Fire Pokemon. Thing is, when the boy left, he was no worse for walking into the fire."
The Hitmons were silent. Stryker's grin failed. "Hey, I'm not making a full report when the boy's still walking around, okay?"
"We know," Lee said. He didn't look happy.
Prob'ly 'cause he doesn't get to beat me up.
"Higher-ups have a few words for ye. If the target makes a big display of unnatural powers, secure him."
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