Pokémon Odyssey: A New Beginning [T] [Best Veteran 4Q '12]
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September 12th, 2013 (12:55 PM).
...And I Dance
Hanso SharpEye and a few other Pokemon of note.
It didn't take long once the meeting was over for Hanso to contact the Thieves and let them know that their help would be accepted. They'd be watched as the General had said, but Hanso saw no reason for the Thieves to try anything, at least until the Silver Tribe was over and done with. Once he'd done that, the next item on his list to check off was Scar. For that, he needed to find Penance or one of the Affiliates.
It was afternoon by the time Hanso found the hole he and Vera had exited the day before. It was the closest he'd get to where his mental beacon was, if it had been left there. The Gallade checked the room below before hopping down, landing lightly on his feet. From there, Hanso found the door that opened into the tunnels.
Why not just grab him myself, anyway?
Because the Affiliates likely wouldn't appreciate him barging in without permission, and they needed to be working together instead of bickering. Not to mention they might still have traps in these tunnels.
Hanso shook his head and leaned against the wall beside the doorway, sending out mental tracers in both directions of the tunnel. He'd find an Affiliate sooner or later, if they didn't find him first.
As the Gallade wandered around the tunnels he did come across an Affiliate, a little Furret at that. "Oh! You're that Gallade! Penance was waiting for you to come down. You're so courageous and brave! Just like he said." The Furret pointed down the tunnel, "What you're looking for is down there. Just be careful when getting inside." With that the Furret ran off down another tunnel.
Yep. They're still down here.
Hanso nodded his thanks to the Furret before setting off down the tunnel, then stopped.
He needs to stop being so predictive.
He continued onward, noting the general direction his beacon was coming from.
As he got closer and closer to the beacon the Gallade would find that eventually he would find himself in front of a pair of steel doors. Surprisingly... or maybe not surprisingly there was a note on the door.
Kindly wipe your feet off and come on in! Hehe, I know how much you want to find him. Anyways, there are refreshments inside for you, I'm sure you're so tired from the long walk.
Bestest friend Penance
So nice of him, don't you think?
Varren asked. Hanso was sure the Gengar was grinning inside his head. He drew in the energy from the beacon until only traces remained. Reading the note again, Hanso shrugged and did as it asked before opening a door and stepping inside.
Inside was a medium sized room. Upon a table laid Scar, his eyes shut tight and light breaths escaping his mouth. There were no psychics in the room, but there was Penance who was munching on a cookie. He quickly swallowed, "About time! I've been starving here! Oh, all the sugar cookies are gone, no thanks to your sweet time getting here."
"No idea if there were any traps you might've forgotten," Hanso retorted, staying beside the doors as he watched Penance. "I wasn't gonna be that reckless."
The Golduck smirked at that, "And that's why you're one of the smarter ones! Anyways, want to know what he's like eh? Well... suffice to say he's in a coma. While the psychics were here they made their way into his mind, but no memories of his remain from Auron. More specifically the last thing he remembers is the meeting with the head honcho and then getting ready to set off and that's it. No ideas about if anyone intercepted them, or even if they were knocked out on the way there or such."
He chuckled, "It's a mystery, but Sentry knows. What he said to me when I confronted him leads me to that much of a conclusion. He didn't act like the others... the ones who worshipped Auron practically. He knows Auron is being controlled by the crystal leading to the idea that he very could have betrayed them all and allowed the crystal to possess them, who knows?"
Really. Hanso's eyebrows had risen at the idea that Sentry was more aware of the Sentinels' situation than any of the others. Glancing at Scar, he tapped a foot in thought. "But if Sentry was with them, then normally he'd have been corrupted, as well." After a moment, Hanso added, "He also would've needed to know about the crystal in the first place."
Penance smirked all the while, "Think about it like this Gallade. Imagine after that first war, that the remnants of that strange cult were still connected... but hid among the general public. No one is spreading the story about them, but they are still there and they remember what has happened. They make a plan that sometime in the future to get revenge, so their family continues on, each one making sure the next generation knows about the story... until it gets to this time and date. Suddenly a Scizor that is part of this family gets accepted into the Gold Tribe, but makes sure to be the best damned goldy around.
Because of this he gets accepted to do a special mission... to check on a crystal. Think about it. They've been planning this for some time. All they needed was someone to be trusted well enough to be sent on this mission... and then attack his comrades out of the blue to knock them out. If such a story had been passed, he also would have been told how to negate the crystal's effects perhaps and once the crystal possessed our Haxorus, he introduced himself and just went with it. Don't you think?" He finished with a sly smile.
Wow, he's good,
Varren noted dryly. "Must've spent a while thinking on it, Golduck," Hanso said, folding his arms. "I'll admit, it would make sense. Have you considered, then, why they've allowed this war to drag out so long? We both know they've had enough Ancients that at any time they could've crushed us like a Weedle, but they didn't. It's the chaos and destruction they're after, it's feeding the crystal." Sighing, Hanso continued. "Either way, theorizing about the past isn't really helping stop them in the future."
"True there hero boy! I believe the reason they dragged it out so long... it very could be that they are building up to something. For some reason, they need us. I don't know why let, but they want us alive. Judging by the smoke the Gengar became... it's like the smoke that attacked the other Sentinels when we freed them. I think this entity wants to take control of this world, and it needs some help. I think... I think we survived because we're strong, it wants that strength. If the crystal can take control of those close to it... and it can give the Sentinels its powers, I imagine the Sentinels were tracking our progress.
Think about it! Sentry appeared to us multiple times, but never killed us, because he was wanting us to show our strength. He wants us to show how powerful we are. Once we get there and battle Auron... it could be possible that the crystal has even given him the power to brainwash those that battle him, just like how the crystal brainwashed him. In battle, it could simply be if he gets close to us we suddenly find ourselves not only sympathizing with him, but also fighting against our former friends. The strongest rise up and become his new Sentinels. Those who are much stronger than the ones he previous gained control of. Think about it, leading us right to his throne? I imagine it's what he wants... or more specifically what the creature in the crystal wants."
Hanso suppressed a shudder; he'd already been close to being taken once. He wasn't going to say how he'd given a Sentinel the information necessary to catch the Gold Tribe outside of Albia. "And yet, you don't share this information with others. Or is it because the Gold Tribe didn't ask?" There he went again, speaking as if he wasn't one of them.
Penance nods, "Righto. And... it's interesting how you phrased that question." He said with a growing smile.
"There's been too many distractions." Hanso kept his gaze on Penance as he spoke. "What matters most right now is ending the war. I...don't consider myself one of them."
Penance nodded, "I have seen you... you're not acting like them. Which is why I demonstrated this event!" He whistled and hummed to himself as Brynn came on in. "Why howdy Brynn! You see Hanso, she's been waiting on this until your mind turned. Both of us saw that you weren't like them, so this is a way that you can help with seperating yourself from that past. Think of it like... counseling. You know what to do Brynn."
The Gardevoir held up her Gold Tribe symbol and smiled weakly at Hanso, "When I first joined the Affiliaites... I realized Hanso that some things help you along. This is something that is a physical representation of my link to the Gold Tribe. I realize now how distant I am from them... so." She made her way over to the wall and tapped on a brick. A small section of wall gave way to reveal a hole where a contained bucket of lava rested. "To get rid of the shackles." She threw her symbol into the lava, "And to embrace freedom." She stepped back and sat on the side of Scar's bed as the lava bubbled for a bit.
Penance glanced at Hanso, "If you wish... you can join your sister in freedom. Not necessarily to me mind you, you're not Gold Tribe... but also I see you aren't mad enough for my place."
The silence lasted a few long moments before Hanso shook his head. "At least you realized I wouldn't join you. I would have laughed in your face if you did. You are one of the distractions, after all, Penance, no matter how much you help. If it turns out the Gold Tribe does want to simply replace the Silver Tribe, then I'll go right ahead and tear them down. If Zane leads them on a better path, then good for them."
"But as I said, all this about loyalty and factions is a distraction. Even this set-up. So. Since Scar isn't in condition to help at this time, should I take him back up or trust that he's fine down here?"
Penance smirked, "You can do whatever you want. But ultimately, the decision to keep that emblem will be yours alone. Wny not have some alone time to think about it?" He stood up, "Come along Brynn, we'll get you a walking stick." The Gardevoir stood up and cast a weak smile at Hanso as she walked out after the Golduck, the door closing behind her.
Hanso didn't return the smile as they left. He stalked over to Scar's table before throwing a wild burst of mixed energy at the wall beside the bucket of lava. For all his talk of distractions, Hanso hated Penance for turning his sister, for being so **** manipulative, for pushing them along a path he was sure they would have traveled on their own. He wondered if the Golduck had noted the absence of Hanso's emblem.
Tsk, tsk, why so--
Shut up, Varren!
Hanso barely noticed the traces of shadow and psychic energy beside the wall before they disappeared. He was busy pulling Scar off the table and slinging him over one shoulder. A 'port and two seconds later, the Gallade strode through the front entrance of the medical bunker near Stoneguard, heading toward the back where Genevieve was found.
"Coma," Hanso said shortly to a medic that hustled along behind him. The nearest empty bed to the Gardevoir was on the other side of an injured Prinplup who watched curiously. "And I don't care who he is or who he looks like." After laying Scar down on the bed and letting the medic take a look, Hanso turned to find the Prinplup's eyes widen upon recognizing the Mienshao. "It. Doesn't. Matter. Who he is," Hanso repeated quietly to the soldier, who nodded silently.
He needed to train, calm down. He left the bunker to find a place in the city that would be suited for solo exercise.
Night had fallen before Hanso allowed himself to stop his solo training and head back to his tent for sleep. He would have turned down any offer to sleep in a house if anyone had given him one. The Gallade lied down on his mat, but sleep wouldn't come. His head was still clouded with thoughts. There wasn't any other business to attend to, really, was there?
...Varren, I have a question for you. What exactly happened to that family I saw in the portrait?
"That old thing? Don't worry yourself over it. It's nothing. Why dwell on that when you've got a war to prepare for?"
Varren sounded hesitant, like he was avoiding the topic.
"For one thing, you're stuck in my head. If you're gonna be peeking at my past, then I better get a look at yours. And I'm gonna do what I can to make sure you don't pop out and ruin anything."
Though he wouldn't 'voice' it, Hanso also needed something to occupy his mind until his body decided to sleep.
Varren chuckled, always maintaining his "cheerful" demeanor. Though Hanso could not see it, he was indeed, still smiling.
"Ya know, I was stuck in Sovereign's head, too. And right about now I'm really missing it, because at least he didn't ask questions about silly paintings THAT ARE NONE OF HIS BUSINESS!
Varren's cool broke. If he were in the real world, he would probably have tried to strangle Hanso.
In the tent, Hanso flopped an arm over his eyes with a sigh. Inside his head, he began squeezing Varren with mental pressure. He was ready to lose his temper again.
"It's not your business to go looking at portraits of my past! I know you have been, but I was willing to let it go since we're stuck with each other until death. Still, I will find a way to lock you up if it becomes necessary!"
Easing up on the pressure, Hanso added,
"Is there a reason to your past actions, or shall I go on assuming that you're nothing but a freak and a bully?"
"...All you need to know is that they're gone. And I choked the life out of the one responsible. When all was said and done, that left me as the new leader of that gang... The Deadly Dredges. That mansion in Sovereign's head is just like the one I had, before and after, in Albia. I suppose you could say I lost my head a bit, not that I'm complaining. Sanity only makes it harder."
Suddenly, it became very difficult for Hanso to breath, his lungs being restricted.
"I won't be pushed around by the likes of you. You may not like it, but I'm here to stay. This is my body now, too."
Varren let go, freeing Hanso to breath again.
"It's your madness now, as well..."
After a brief moment of panic during the retaliation, Hanso calmed down enough to say,
"Then we're agreed on something."
He took a deep breath; he didn't like losing control.
"Can I be sure you won't try anything that'll leave us both dead?"
"Hehehehe, that question's a bit loaded. If I say yes, then what leverage do I have? If I say no, you'll never trust me. I will say I like it here much better than in Sovereign's den of nightmares. I pushed Sovereign towards becoming a monster so that I would be free. But your mind is much less messy. Now, enough chatter, disposable hero. You're going to need your rest..."
Varren was silent after that, with nothing left to say.
The answer wasn't reassuring, but Hanso let the matter drop. He didn't want Varren taking control of his body...but he couldn't know for sure if there'd be a situation that would merit it. If nothing else, the conversation had left Hanso's mind clear enough for sleep to take hold.
It felt very odd, but this seemed like the third time in a row she’d woken up in the course of a few days. Genevieve felt detached for a moment as her eyes opened, and she slowly pushed herself into a sitting position. She seemed to be in an improvised hospital room. How did she get here?...
“Nice timing, waking up as we got here.” The Gardevoir turned her head to the left, where a Gallade and a Chansey stood. The medic added, “I wasn’t sure you’d ever wake up. How are you feeling, miss?”
“…Fine,” Genevieve lied, glancing to her right. There were a few beds between here and the back wall of the room. Looking back at the two Pokemon, she asked, “Where are we?”
“Cape City,” the Gallade answered, ignoring the complaint the medic was trying to raise. “What’s the last thing you remember?”
“Not even two minutes, and you’re already interrogating me?” Genevieve didn’t recognize the Gallade standing before her, but his gray eye seemed familiar… She looked down at her hands as she folded them. Now that she looked back, her memories seemed jumbled. Frowning, Genevieve slowly said, “Well, we were with Auron, leaving Valkaria on a trip…” And then she woke up here. With nothing but what might have been a long dream in between.
Ignoring the Chansey again as she tried to override him, the Gallade flatly stated, “That trip was about two years ago.” The medic deflated with a sigh.
The stunned look on Genevieve’s face made the Chansey begin to push the Gallade away. “Clearly, you can’t be allowed to stay, sir. You wouldn’t break it to her slowly, now would you?”
“Let him stay,” Genevieve ordered, staring at the Gallade. “Since he broke it, he might as well tell me more.” Caught between the two Psychics, the medic huffed and marched off, leaving the Gallade to grab a stool and sit down. “So.” The commanding tone had left Genevieve’s voice as she laid back. “It’s rude to not introduce yourself first, don’t you think?”
The Gallade didn’t answer at first. “Nothing, then?” She let him wait for a reply while her eyes looked him up and down. He was a little short for a Gallade, and a gray eye to go with his red one wasn’t common. No names or known descriptions came to mind, though. The Gallade wore no golden emblem that Genevieve could see, so she doubted he was of the Gold Tribe.
“I’m sure I’ll remember in time,” Genevieve finally said, a small smile appearing on her face. “If there is anything to remember, that is.” The Gallade looked away for a moment, as if responding to some voice he heard. “Come, I need something to call you by, since you seem to know who I am already.”
“…SharpEye.” At Genevieve’s raised eyebrow, the Gallade added, “It’s not my title. You said they were ridiculous, Genevieve.”
The smile left her face. “I wasn’t aware we had met before now.” Genevieve kept her face composed, but inwardly she felt more confused than ever. With a mischievous grin, she asked, “Did we…get together sometime in the last two years?”
“No!” the Gallade answered quickly, looking mortified for a moment. “No, we didn’t.” Genevieve hadn’t really meant it, but neither had she expected herself to say something of the sort. After taking a deep breath, SharpEye stated, “And there wouldn’t have been time, either, given the…war.”
“Look, why don’t you come out already and tell me?” Genevieve asked. “Go back to the beginning, dear, no better place to start. You do have the time, after all, if you came to see me.” As the Gallade hesitated, she considered prying the details out of his mind; it would speed things up.
Pry? Since when did I pry like that?
“It would take a while for the whole story,” SharpEye answered, “and there’s only two days before the Gold Tribe and Alpha Alliance march off. Besides, you’ll find out yourself, once you remember. You were there for the whole thing.” What kind of an answer was that? Genevieve turned her head away from SharpEye, staring at nothing in particular. The silence drew out for several seconds before SharpEye said, “You could come with. We’re about to end the war, one way or the other, and your help would be appreciated. Maybe something will jog your memory.” The Gallade abruptly stood up. “Let me know if you decide to come.” He turned and walked away without waiting for a response from Genevieve.
That was rather rude of him, but he had seemed upset as well. Genevieve laid her head back and closed her eyes. She was of the Gold Tribe, and sitting here wouldn’t do anything if there indeed was a war. Only, Genevieve didn’t want to accept the Gallade at face-value so easily since the whole situation was unsure.
“You should go.” Genevieve looked over at the Prinplup in the next bed over. His torso and arm were wrapped in bandages, and his voice rasped as he spoke. “From the sound of it, he has answers. Even if he is Gold Tribe, he may not return from this battle.”
Hanso had spent much of the time over the six days either honing his combat skills or training his mind. It wasn’t the fight with the Ancients he worried about; it was whatever scheme the Sentinels would have cooked up for them. His business in Cape City had been more or less wrapped up by the day of the march, even though Vera seemed to avoid him and he hadn’t checked in on Genevieve after she’d woken up.
Adjusting the steel bracer with its claw on his right forearm, Hanso stood on the wall of Cape City as he waited for the army to gather. The sun hadn’t yet risen, but the army headed for the lake would be leaving soon. As Hanso saw it, everything would come to a conclusion this day, for better or worse. How would they deal with the Sentinels, if any of what Penance said turned out to be true?
“Fancy seeing you here.” Hanso turned as Genevieve stepped up beside him, hands behind her back. “Are you giving a last-minute inspection, SharpEye?” she asked without looking at him.
Hanso wasn’t sure how similar this Genevieve would be to the Siren. “No, I’m not a General,” he muttered, folding his arms. “You’re coming, then?”
“I had the thought,” Genevieve answered, turning back to the city. “Some of the citizens here gave me rather nasty looks, though. It’s as if I offended them personally.”
Shaking his head, Hanso said, “It’s not you they’re looking at. It’s…” During his hesitation, he returned the level stare that Genevieve turned on him. “Understand, whatever you remember, you weren’t yourself at the time. Are you coming or not?”
Cocking her head slightly, Genevieve smiled. “I can’t let a Gallade with answers go to his death, now, can I?”
As it turned out, she didn’t leave with Hanso when the first army left for crossing the lake. Genevieve couldn’t argue with the fact that they had to cross a lake and she wasn’t able to swim or fly. Well, neither could Hanso, but he got a ride from General Hazone, didn’t he. The Gardevoir stood near the remainder of the Gold Tribe that would head through the mountain pass, not quite with them but closer than she was to the soldiers. The fact that several more Pokemon had glared at her, a few even speaking out, nagged at Genevieve. What had she done to merit this?
As they moved out, she tried to recall the odd dream that had preceded her awakening. It wouldn’t come into focus at all; not even bits and pieces would come to her.
Yet. Soon, though…hopefully.
It wasn’t a normal thing for one sentient Pokemon to ride another like a steed, as far as Hanso was concerned. The Generals needed some of the Gold Tribe to cross the lake; whoever else had come, Hanso knew Sword and Shield and Speculum were with Hazone’s army. And here he was, a Gallade riding on the back of a Dragonite. Hazone had assured him it was fine, but Hanso would debark when time came that he didn’t need to be in the air.
As they began crossing the lake, Hanso checked the telepathic network he’d set up and built defenses for. He was connected to the scouts, Hazone, and the Gold Tribe in this army. The scouts’ reports would come directly to Hanso so he could relay it to Hazone without having to wait for anyone to fly or swim back. Nothing seemed wrong so far. For the first time in a long while, Hanso was able to keep an empty white room in mind.
“Scouts are reporting in,” Hanso said to the Dragonite beneath him, keeping his eyes on the far shore that Hazone flew toward. “All clear so far, with what looks like minimal defense on the lakeside.” Did the Ancients not think they’d come this way? Or was it set up?
Either way, the Alpha Alliance smashed into the Ancients like a hammer against glass.
Pokemon Odyssey: A New Beginning
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Crimson Dawn: A Tale of Conquest
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