Thread: [Pokémon] System:Reboot (PMD)
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Old January 10th, 2018 (6:56 AM).
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Delirious Absol Delirious Absol is offline
Call me Del
     
    Join Date: May 2015
    Location: UK
    Age: 33
    Gender: Female
    Nature: Quirky
    Posts: 337
    Chapter Twenty Nine

    Annie barged through the door and stomped into the kitchen, leaving mucky footprints on Web’s freshly mopped floor. Waveform followed her closely, having neatly hung up his quiver beside the door. Annie then flopped into a chair, and Web watched with regret as the human kicked her feet up onto the table.

    “You’ll never believe this,” said Annie. “Some fox tried to grab me!”

    A soft glug came from the bucket as Zip rose up to the top, his mouth gaping open.

    “Grab you?” Web asked.

    “Oh, I’d believe it.” Waveform fell down in a seat beside Annie. “He’s a detective. Probably been asked to hunt you down.”

    “I’m more surprised he tried to grab her,” said Web. “Tracer isn’t exactly one to spare a flamethrower.”

    “Wait, you know this fox?” Annie asked. “What’s he doin’ grabbing at a defenseless girl in the streets?”

    “Trying to take you back to Socket, I’d reckon.” Waveform took two glasses of juice from Web and shoved one towards Annie. “Get that down you. It’ll stave off some effects of the air.”

    Annie eyed the brown ‘juice’ with suspicion, then sniffed it. Chocolate? What?

    “I don’t know what you were doing outside like that anyway,” Waveform scoffed. “You don’t exactly blend in.”

    Annie’s attention drifted to the opaque yellowed window.

    “Looking for you,” said Web. “That’s what she told me, anyway.”

    “I was?” Annie looked around with a start, then scratched her chin. “Man, I’ve forgotten after all that kerfuffle.”

    Web’s brow knit together with concern and she looked from Annie to Waveform. “How did it go, anyway?”

    “I made two thousand five hundred credits throwing two space pirates behind bars,” he said. “And every credit went on materials for the ship. All of that should be here by dawn.”

    “Every credit?” Web asked.

    “Yeah. I just hope it’s enough to meet Trojan’s expectations.”

    “You never thought to wait and ask him?”

    Waveform narrowed his eyes. “Could you have personally guaranteed me I could have put all those credits in a jar and no one would have touched them?”

    Web sighed and glanced away. “We do have bills to pay…” She shook her head then looked back up at Waveform. “You could have considered that, at least.”

    “Like I’ve said before, space pirates don’t just drop out of the sky into my lap! If we’re gonna get this thing built-”

    “Why is this so important to you?” Web asked.

    Waveform necked the contents of his glass and slammed it down onto the table, then he rose to his feet and marched from the kitchen.

    Annie watched him leave then turned and met Web’s grey eyes. The skuntank sighed again and reached across the table for the discarded glass.

    “It is pretty important,” said Annie.

    Web looked up sharply, still sprawled across the table.

    “The ship,” Annie added.

    The skuntank shook her head and scooped up the glass. “I don’t know why you want to start a rebellion so badly, either. I’m hoping some sense comes out of all this, because clearly Waveform can see something I just can’t.”

    “It would help us marine pokemon,” said Zip. “So I can see good in it.”

    “I guess,” said Web. “I mean… there’s always a risk that law could get out of hand.”

    “It’s already out of hand!” said Zip. “And I want to help stop it.”

    “Oh no,” said Web sadly. “A nice young boy like you isn’t going to get into a rebellion. You’ve got your whole life ahead of you.”

    “Hey, hey,” said Annie before Zip could retaliate. “Numbers are numbers. The kid wants in, he’s on board.”

    “Oh really?” Web turned and gave her an exasperated look. “And how do you suggest he moves around? You know… in case we have to run to safety?”

    Annie scratched her chin again and met the goldeen’s pleading gaze. No legs… that certainly was a predicament. She stood and retrieved the bucket, splashing water in her attempt to lift it.

    “Oh, come now,” said Web. “Where do you plan to take him?” As Annie left the kitchen, Web’s voice called after her, “The rest of the house isn’t water proof!”

    The bucket was oddly heavy. Annie staggered up the stairs and paused at a closed door. Techno music blasted from it, and a dim light spread out from the gap beneath. She placed the bucket down and knocked twice.

    The door jerked open and Trojan’s tired eyes leered at her from the green-lit room. Then the colour changed to a red. Then a purple. Annie craned her neck to see over his shoulder. Some strange light sat beside his desk, smoothly changing colour.

    “What do you want?” he snapped.

    Annie turned her attention back to him and pointed to the goldeen.

    “He needs legs,” she said. “Can you make him legs?”

    The scrafty looked from Zip then back to Annie. “You kidding me?”

    “Nope. Kid needs legs.” Annie turned from the door and waved. “I’ll leave him with you. Talk things over, okay?”

    “I’m already designing your wimpy ship!” Trojan snapped.

    She paused on the stairwell and pointed a finger at him. “Don’t you hate on pyukumuku. I’ll make you eat those words.”

    Trojan’s leer fell away and he reached up with one paw to rub at his head fin. He watched Annie trudge down the stairs then looked back down at Zip.

    “She’s right, you know,” said the goldeen. “Pyukumuku might not do much, but they sure are prickly!”

    ...

    Macro was seriously beginning to question his sanity.

    He stood with his back to the wall, keeping one eye on the low branch with his ear pressed up against the cold stone. All that reached him were muffled voices, but that was enough evidence to prove the grass army was still there. Climbing over the wall was out of the question. If they’d come armed, they would very likely have the weapons to deal with him. Ground, most likely. And the presence of torterra amongst them was very unnerving. An earthquake from one of them would be enough to take him out and drag the wall down with him… if it didn’t also reduce one or two of the apartment blocks.

    Sticking close to the wall, he scurried along it with one paw on his laser. It had to end somewhere. There had to be an entrance to the orchard. If he had to guess, those grass types hadn’t come via the lake like he had. There were too many of them for that. Their ship would have dropped them in the orchard itself, or some other secluded place. The entrance could be on the other side of the orchard, which was too far away for his liking. He wanted to get this over with quickly and report back to Anchor. Come up with a plan to get the twins back safely.

    The more he followed the wall, the longer it seemed to get. Looking back over his shoulder didn’t alleviate the feeling, either. It wasn’t until he reached another narrow alleyway forking from his right that he realised the orchard wall extended all the way out to the lake. So it was right behind the apartments. Perfect cover, unless someone were to look out of their window and spot the grass types, and with the trouble he’d had doing so, the grass army could rest assured that each one of them was camouflaged amongst the trees and bushes.

    Finally, the wall came to an end, curving neatly away from him along an empty square. On the far side of the square stood a town hall, and it was surrounded by empty market stands. A conveniently placed sign told any passers by that the next market day was two days away. Three a week, selling locally made produce. He could almost smell the cakes and pies that would be filling the stalls, amongst other bits and pieces.

    He tore his eyes from the empty stands and focused on following the wall. More branches poked over the top and swung down into the market square. Some of them contained tempting berries and his paw reached up towards a red cheri. He’d never seen one so big. DL would have loved that on a cake. He flexed his claws and let his paw fall back to his side. No. It didn’t feel right. Even if he did take it, it wouldn’t survive in his pouch. It would just be a waste.

    Not to mention a sticky mess.

    Something moved overhead rustling the leaves and his eyes flew to it. Munching away on one of the cheri berries was a caterpie. What was a caterpie doing in Cyan City? Was it with the grass army? No, impossible. It wasn’t a grass type. The grass type pokemon resented them almost as much as they resented the water and fire types. Obviously the bugs had moved in to help themselves to the berries, benefited only by their small size. Easier to hide.

    He shook his head and hugged the wall until he spotted something sparkling in the distance. A gate, caught in the noon sunlight.

    Keeping himself low and his steps light, he scurried along the wall until he reached the gate. He stopped with his back against the wall and gave the gate a once over.

    Locked.

    He wasn’t getting in there easily. If he used his lock pick, not only would the grass army hear him, he’d be stood around long enough for them to see him, too. He grit his teeth together and peered beyond the gate. Now he knew what he was looking for, it was easier to see the grass pokemon. A pair of tangela stood a good way away, poking around the bushes with their tentacle-like vines. Closer to him was a grotle, also poking about in the bushes. What were they doing? Raiding?

    A razz berry bush just beyond the gate rustled and he ducked aside, craning his head around to peek through the silver bars. What emerged rolling backwards on a fat berry wasn’t a grass type. It was another bug. A weedle. The orchard must have been infested by bugs. He looked over at the grotle again. An ivysaur strolled towards the turtle pokemon on its hind legs carrying something in its paws. A white box.

    The grotle opened it eagerly, and several caterpie rushed out of it, drawn to the bush like magnets.

    Macro’s eyes widened and trailed over the hundreds of berry trees and bushes. This wasn’t just some invasion with the intension to fire lasers at any water types they saw. No… it was biological warfare. The grass army intended to wipe out Cyan City’s food source, forcing the water types into a famine. It was hardly a subtle move, either. Those poor oshawott twins would likely die if the army was caught. He had to warn someone before the situation got wildly out of hand.

    He looked back down at the weedle, now lying on its back with the purple razz berry clasped between its tiny legs. Something wasn’t right about it. Sure, bug types had a large appetite. Especially ones that would be classed as a larval stage. But there was something very wrong he couldn’t quite put his claw on.

    It was too far away to grab. He had to lure it somehow.

    He turned away from the gate, creeping back down the wall towards one of the low-hanging branches. A pecha tree lay not too far away, and was too high up to grab. He crouched down then jumped, snatching at the branch. His paw closed over the leaves and he was left hanging as his other paw flailed for one of the berries. A long green shape dropped from the leaves and struck him on the face. Stifling a yelp, he dropped and landed hard on his bottom. The green thing fell away from him and landed on its back, flailing four button-like legs.

    A caterpie.

    Well, it wasn’t the weedle, but he only needed one specimen to prove his point.

    He scooped up the bug and rose to his feet, glancing left and right over the wall. Muffled voices, nothing frantic. He’d not been spotted, thankfully. He turned and retraced his steps along the wall, clutching the writhing bug to his chest. Not a squeak came from it. Silent, mute, no voice. What on earth was wrong with it?

    It seemed to take forever to reach the alley that lead back to the main road. Once he was inside it, he pulled out his pocket computer, keeping the bug locked firmly under his left arm. It only rang twice before Anchor’s voice spoke oddly loudly into his ear.

    “Cap’n?”

    “Where are you?” Macro demanded.

    “Apartment to the left of the alley where those little kids went missing.” Anchor answered. “Where are you?”

    “Just in that alley.” The caterpie began to struggle and Macro almost dropped his computer in an attempt to control it. “Meet me at the door.”

    Before Anchor could respond, Macro hung up and pushed his computer back into his belt pouch. With both paws, he locked the caterpie tightly against his scarf. Soggy string flowed from what he guessed was its mouth, winding around his arms and creating a sticky waterfall of web down his scarf. Macro stared down at the mess, then followed the white strands along the floor, all the way back to the end of the alley. The thread vanished around the corner. Wretched bug had left a trail!

    He tutted and stuffed the caterpie into his scarf head first, wrapping the fabric firmly over is head where it began to bulge with sticky string. Clutching it tightly, he trotted to the main road and turned sharply left. The apartment door flew open and Macro almost collided with Anchor’s torso.

    “Whoa!” The granbull caught him with both paws and pushed him back, checking him over once then looking over his shoulder. “Were you chased or somethin’?”

    “No, I wasn’t chased! What do you take me for?” Macro pushed past him into the lobby and made a beeline for the elevator.

    “What do I take you for?” Anchor scoffed. “You often end up in trouble. What’ve you got hold of?”

    “What floor?” Macro stepped into the elevator, but Anchor beat him to the panel, selecting the third floor. “And I’ve got a bug.”

    “Contagious?”

    Macro fixed his violet eyes on the granbull’s and pulled back his scarf from the caterpie. Thread pooled out onto the floor, and Anchor took a step backwards to avoid it.

    “What did you pick that up for?” Anchor asked.

    Macro tucked it away once more, stifling its silk-spewing.

    “I can explain when we get to Lossy’s apartment,” said Macro. “If you wouldn’t mind cleaning up that mess, that would be great. Darn bug’s been leaving a silk trail.”

    Anchor rolled his eyes and silently scooped up the sticky mess.

    The elevator pinged and Macro strolled out, pausing to look back at Anchor. He rose to his feet, grimacing at the white sludge coating his paws. Most of it had come off the tiles, but there was still a nice patch of silk clinging to the surface. Not noticeable unless one knew what they were looking for, but it wouldn’t be very pleasant on a pokemon’s feet.

    Anchor deposited the silk into a trash can then nodded for Macro to follow him. “It’s this way.”

    Macro trotted after him, trying in vain to stop the thread from leaking through the gaps in his scarf. Anchor stopped at the fifth door along and knocked twice before slipping inside.

    Soft blue carpet greeted Macro’s feet, a welcome change to the cold tile. Lossy sat behind a coffee table, sipping at a steaming cup. Her eyes widened when she spotted him and immediately went to his silk-leaking scarf. She let the cup clatter onto a metal coaster and rose to her feet.

    “What on earth is that?!” she gasped.

    “Caterpie.” Macro let the green bug drop onto her coffee table in a pool of silk, where the spewing finally came to an end.

    Lossy stared down at it, mouth agape.

    “Again,” said Anchor. “What are you doin’ with a caterpie?”

    “I found it in the orchard,” said Macro. “The grass army is releasing bug pokemon that are just devouring berries and leaves.”

    Lossy looked up at him slowly. “You aren’t serious?”

    “I’m deathly serious,” said Macro. “Why else would I have carried this sticky thing back with me?” He pawed feebly at the silk clinging to his scarf. “This is never gonna come out…”

    Anchor dropped to his knees to get a good look at the caterpie. His brow knit together as he watched the bug turn its head to look around the room.

    “We have to tell someone,” said Lossy. “We can’t just let bug pokemon roam in the orchard! Unless we reason with them… We do have two common enemies.” She scratched between her ears. “Which makes me wonder why the grass types would have formed an alliance with them? They hate bug pokemon.”

    “I wouldn’t think it’s an alliance,” said Anchor.

    “What makes you say that?” said Macro.

    “Well, this thing’s as empty as DL when we got her, Cap’n.” Anchor looked up at him. “I mean… look at its eyes. They’re lifeless.”

    Macro squatted beside Anchor, watching the caterpie’s black eyes. No sparkle. Blank. Unchanging. Its antennae twitched at every movement in the air, but it was clear it was looking for something. Or sniffing for something.

    “But it panicked,” said Macro.

    “You don’t need to have a personality to panic,” said Anchor. “It’s basic survival.”

    “So you think they removed its personality like DL?” Macro growled.

    “Not quite.” Anchor reached across to the caterpie and moved a claw before its eyes. They didn’t even move to it. “I’d say they’ve gone even further. There’s nothin’ left in this thing other than primal instinct.”

    Macro stood up so quickly Lossy squeaked. “What is wrong with this stinking world?!”

    “Calm down, Cap’n! We don’t want to get all of Cyan City into an uproar!”

    “I’d say that’s exactly what we need.” Macro rounded on Lossy. “Who’s in charge here? I want to show them exactly what that grass army is doing not only to your city but to the bug types as well.”

    “But…” Anchor lowered his voice. “But what about your bounty, Cap’n?”

    “Sod it.” Macro folded his arms and leered down at the green caterpillar. “We’ve got bigger things to worry about right now. If this grass army has unleashed a biological warfare on this orchard, what’s to stop them doing it elsewhere? A famine in one city can easily spread to a famine across System. I’m willing to risk my own life to stop an all out war before it starts.”

    Anchor’s eyes widened. “Are you serious? I don’t think I’ve ever heard you talk like that. What changed?”

    “I realised this could affect more than one measly city.” Macro fixed him with a sideways glare. “I happen to live in this world. I don’t wanna live through a war!”

    Anchor sighed and shrugged his shoulders. “And here I thought you were just being humble.”

    Lossy sat back down heavily, staring blankly at the bug pokemon. Anchor looked down at her and placed a paw on her shoulder.

    “You all right, ma’am?” he asked.

    “I’m… just a bit shaken up.” Her voice wavered and she diverted her gaze to the closed door. “First my kids… then space pirates… an invasion… bug pokemon… I don’t understand what’s going on any more. And what’s this DL you were talking about? No personality?” She looked back down at the caterpie and her face paled.

    “DL doesn’t concern you,” Macro said bluntly. Then he pointed at the bug pokemon. “This, however, does. Now tell me… who’s in charge?”

    “Give her a rest, Cap’n.”

    “No.” Macro swatted his large paw away and turned back to Lossy. “I want you to contact them.”

    Anchor sighed again and retrieved the dewott’s cup from amongst the silk. “I’ll make you another coffee.”

    Macro continued to stare at her, meeting her terrified eyes. DL’s voice echoed in his head. ‘You really need to remember your p’s and q’s.’

    He sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose between his thumb and index claws. “Can you contact them? Please?”

    Something dropped in the adjoining kitchenette and shattered off the tile floor. Anchor’s mohawk stiffened along with his spine and he glanced at the mawile over his shoulder.

    Lossy looked up at Macro and her eyes softened slightly. “I can, but I’m still feeling rather shaken. If you wouldn’t mind getting me my phone… it’s on the kitchen counter.”

    Macro flexed his claws and turned away from her. Just like she’d said, her small touchscreen phone lay on the counter beside a vase of faux flowers. As he reached for it, he caught Anchor’s bemused stare.

    “Are you feelin’ all right, Cap’n?” he asked.

    Macro frowned and aimed the phone at him. “Shut up.”
    __________________
    I believe in Jesus Christ my Savior. If you do too, and aren't scared to admit it, then copy and paste this in your signature.

    A Fanfiction Author Who Dares to be Different
    A glimmer of hope in a war-torn world - The End
    Cyberpunk fantasy meets Pokemon Mystery Dungeon - Glitched
    Fancy some Cyberpunk PMD action with space pirates? System:Reboot
    Other Fics - SWC entry 'Rivers and Waterfalls'
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