Thread: [Pokémon] System:Reboot (PMD)
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Old February 8th, 2018 (7:41 AM).
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Delirious Absol Delirious Absol is offline
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    Join Date: May 2015
    Location: UK
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    Chapter Thirty Five

    What was left of the grass army was now safely behind the impenetrable glass of Cyan City’s prison cells. Jumper paced back and forth, examining each of them through the glass. The tangrowth still looked groggy from the sedative. It had taken a long time to wear off, and in that time the small detonator that had been placed inside him had been removed. The trigger for it was in his back tooth, and that had also been removed. Unseen to all of them, beneath his heavy coat of vines, his jaw was still swollen from the process.

    The only other surviving members of the mob that had attacked them in the orchard were a pair of oddish, both of which had been knocked unconscious by rocks hidden inside Torrent’s mud shot attack, and the carnivine who was recovering from severe burns. Surgery had revealed the detonator had actually malfunctioned under the heat and would either be unable to detonate, or would do so itself at some point with or without his wishes.

    The servine they’d apprehended had detonated himself just like the rest of them, taking any answers he might have had with him.

    Macro leant against the barrier between two cells, watching the frogadier as he plodded back and forth with his paws clasped behind his back. Anchor had gone for dinner with Switch, Heatsink, and some other members of the force, but the only appetite Macro had was for answers.

    That carnivine had given him a hard time, memories of which would join his nightmares of fire for years to come. But during all that, he’d made the fatal mistake many gloating evil masterminds made. He’d spoken.

    Somewhere in Cyan City was a pokemon named Root, and that Root was up to something, all while using poor Lossy’s terrified children as a bargaining tool. However, despite their efforts, the carnivine was now silent. No more information. Nothing more about Root, the oshawott twins… nothing.

    There was a chance the carnivine couldn’t speak after his injuries, however. But he’d still been smirking. Even after he’d realised his detonator had been removed. That smirk told them one thing. He thought the grass army had won, and with the rate the information was coming at, they very likely had.

    “There’s one thing that concerns me, Macro.” Jumper came to a halt and turned to face him. “And that’s the sheer number of grass types you said was allegedly hiding in that orchard. It vastly outweighs those we’ve managed to find - living or dead.”

    Macro shrugged. “I remember a tropius, ivysaur… there’s every chance my mind were playin’ tricks on me. I don’t have fantastic night vision.”

    Jumper sighed and looked through the glass cell at a cowering oddish.

    “Look,” said Macro. “We might not know how many are in this city, but there are some things we do know.” He counted them off on his claws. “Giga and Gigi are missing, and their lives are likely at risk. Your orchard is full of bugs munching away your food source. Your store houses are under threat since you’ve already been struck by suicide bombing grass types. And there’s some pokemon called Root who’s got a master plan behind all of this. So whether or not the orchard is or was teaming with grass types, your city is still in pretty bad shape right now.”

    Jumper leant against the glass and sighed, rubbing his face with a paw. “You’re right. The numbers don’t matter, it’s the effects. Two tiny lives are at stake… in fact, the entire of Cyan City might be at stake, but that doesn’t matter right now. We can always grow more fruit, but we can’t just bring those little twins back if anything happens to them.”

    Macro shook his head. “Nope. That you can not.”

    The frogadier rubbed his chin and stared at the floor. “We need to find out who this Root is and what he’s doing. But we don’t even know what species of pokemon he is.”

    “He’s an ivysaur.”

    The tiny voice almost sent Jumper flying into the opposite cell. Both Jumper and Macro snapped to look at the trembling oddish huddled into the furthest corner he could fit into.

    “So you can speak?” Jumper gathered himself together and folded his arms. “You were less than willing to earlier.”

    “You mentioned those twins,” said the oddish. “I didn’t want anything to do with that. I’ve got kids of my own! It was all Spider’s idea. He twisted Root’s leg and the pair of them decided to…” He trailed off and looked back at the floor. “That’s all I’m sayin’. They’ll kill me if I say anything else.”

    “Who’s Spider?” Jumper demanded.

    The oddish said nothing, keeping both of his tiny eyes fixed on his equally tiny feet.

    “I’m gonna guess it’s the carnivine,” said Macro. “He didn’t seem to have any concerns about their wellbeing.”

    Jumper made a thoughtful noise and turned back to the oddish. “Is he right?”

    The oddish trembled and diverted his gaze to the wall beside him.

    Jumper tutted and took a step back. “I’m going to take that as a yes. Macro?”

    The governor turned to face Macro and the serious look in his eyes made the space pirate’s jaw drop slightly.

    “I have a proposition for you,” said Jumper. “As you’re aware, my army is at a disadvantage. That became apparent in the orchard. Fortunately, Torrent is a quick thinker, but he only managed to wipe out a small number of the oddish line. If your initial suspicions are correct, there may very well be a lot more grass types in this city than it currently appears. Yes, we have weapons that can deal with it, but I do think we need more help than I initially realised.”

    “So you want more of my help?” Macro inwardly frowned at the thought.

    “Yes,” said Jumper. “You, Anchor, and your talonflame friend. You could all be of valuable use to me in this regard, and I will reward you for your help.”

    “You’ll give me that disk?”

    Jumper shook his head slowly. “That is not mine to give. But believe me, the reward will be heavily in your favor.”

    “Gotta say, Gov,” said Macro slowly. “That disk is more valuable to me than anything else you can offer.”

    “Why do you want it so badly? What pleasure can it possibly give you?”

    “Well, other than cheezing off Socket, not much.” Macro paused as he mulled over whether it was actually time to tell Jumper the truth. “Remember that caterpie I brought to you?”

    “Yes, vividly.”

    “Well.” Macro shrugged and met the frogadier’s eyes. “I got someone like that on my ship.”

    “And you think a disk containing government data can help her?” Jumper tutted. “Seems a little far-fetched.”

    “It doesn’t contain government data,” said Macro. “It contains her memories, and I’m trying to get them back.”

    Jumper’s spine stiffened and his eyes widened slightly, but it was soon replaced by a frown.

    “Don’t be ridiculous, Macro,” he snorted. “Why on earth would Socket have her memories stored on a disk?”

    “I’ll let you think about that for a while.”

    Macro waved his paw and turned to the double doors, but any hope of a dramatic exit was destroyed as the ground surged and threw him off his feet. A deep rumble cut through the air, followed by sirens and a whole lot of shouting.

    Jumper stooped beside him, offering a paw to help the groaning space pirate back to his feet.

    “What on earth was that?” Macro mumbled. “Another attack?”

    “Sounds like it.” Jumper rose to his feet and leapt through the doors.

    Macro followed close behind him, quickly checking his laser was still in place at his right side. The lack of his second weapon still left him feeling rather defenseless, and his heart pounded as he followed the governor through the police station’s well-lit corridors.

    The nightmarish smell of burning met his nostrils and he snorted to try and remove it. Something somewhere was on fire, and the image that filled his mind made his stomach lurch.

    As they exited onto the streets, the smell grew stronger. Water pokemon gathered in the square, their voices a crescendo over the panic as a group of larger pokemon raced onto the scene. Small, green forms scattered across the square, causing yelps and screams from the onlookers as they rushed for safety. A gap in the crowd revealed a pair of turtwig, a grotle and several bulbasaur.

    Jets of water and shimmering ice erupted over the square, scattering the grass types and causing the onlookers to dive back indoors where they could view the chaos from the safety of a window.

    Jumper stood with his arm before Macro, holding him back as he surveyed the situation. The small grass types dodged and dived to avoid the water and ice attacks thrown at them from Cyan City’s police force. Wartortle retreated into their shells as they launched themselves into spinning attacks, bouncing off their targets and knocking them sideways. Ice engulfed two of the bulbasaur, sending them crumpling to the ground. A neatly fired water pulse knocked a servine off his feet, his long body acting as a trip wire to one of the grotle.

    The prinplup that had struck him wore a smug smile, but it was wiped off his face as a large, green pokemon struck him in the back of the head, using him as a launch pad as he went soaring over his own army. The ivysaur landed on all fours at the head of his group, laughing triumphantly as he rocketed towards the end of the square.

    Macro’s muzzle creased and he sneered. Root. He reached for his laser and pushed Jumper’s arm aside.

    “After him!” Heatsink entered the scene and pointed with his large flipper. “Don’t let him get away!”

    The ivysaur glanced back at the army then threw his head back. “Spider!”

    Air whipped up around the square as the sound of heavy, flapping wings came over the roofs of the buildings. A tropius dropped down before Heatsink and his comrades and fixed the group with a devious smile. The air was filled with a sweet smell, overpowering the water type pokemon.

    Macro clasped his paw over his muzzle and dragged Jumper back into the police station, slamming the door behind him. He fired a leer out of the tiny window then turned back to the governor.

    “You all right?” he asked.

    Jumper nodded and rubbed his head. Good. At least he was still in control of his faculties. Macro looked back out of the window. He couldn’t see much, but he could hear the crescendo of voices dying out as the pokemon retreated back into the city. All under control of that tropius’s sweet scent. The very same smell that had lured Giga and Gigi away. The same smell that had almost fooled Macro.

    “He’s getting away,” Jumper muttered.

    “No he ain’t.” Macro reached for his laser and strained to see more of the square from the tiny window. “You got another exit to this place? ‘Cos I wanna sneak up on that ivysaur.”

    Jumper nodded and placed a paw on Macro’s shoulder.

    “Come with me. You can use the fire exit.”

    Macro shot one last leer at the door and turned to follow Jumper through the police station’s network of corridors.

    “Any idea where he might be going?” Macro asked. “Got any food stores that way? Any places he might target?”

    “There is one food store,” Jumper explained. “But that way is mostly residential housing.”

    Macro snorted. “I might need a map.”

    “I’ll be your map,” said Jumper.

    Macro snapped his head around and fixed him with wide, violet eyes. “You’ll what?”

    “You really think I’m letting you go alone?” Jumper laughed. “Don’t be ridiculous.”

    “So you don’t trust me?” Macro crossed his arms and tutted.

    “Far from it.” A small smile spread across Jumper’s lips. “I wouldn’t trust even one of my own ‘mon to walk into a battle on their own. Everyone needs a little back up, Macro.”

    ...

    Switch swerved out of the way as a hydro pump narrowly missed him. The square had erupted into chaos, filled with disoriented water types scrambling to dodge the tropius and his allies while also squabbling amongst themselves. The sickly smell permeated the air, and he threw more embers into the fray to burn the aromatic spores before they reached him.

    To make matters worse, he’d long since lost sight of Anchor. That left him a lone fire type amongst a rabble of confused and angry water types.

    Another stream of water shot towards him and he barrel rolled through the air, giving it a wide berth. He miscalculated how far he was from the nearby tower block and his right wing bashed the window, shattering the glass. He rolled through it into a neat room, the shards slicing at his feathers and digging into his flesh. His face twisted in a grimace, and let himself fall onto the carpeted floor.

    A shriek came from behind him and he turned his head to spot a cowering buizel beside a book case. Her entire body trembled and she didn’t take her wide, petrified eyes off him.

    “Apologies, ma’am,” he said, giving her a wink.

    But it only served to make matters worse as she opened her mouth wide, letting out a shrill scream. A torrent of water flew at him and he ducked. The stream flew straight through the window, dislodging bloodied shards of glass and sending them raining down onto the mob below.

    Switch knew when he wasn’t wanted. He hopped onto the window ledge and launched himself into the sky. His left wing complained, but he tuned it out, desperate to find Anchor or Heatsink in the rabble.

    The tropius was unmistakable, towering over many of the water types. What had the ivysaur called him? Spider? Something metal covered his right eye, with an antennae-like protrusion sticking out like the nozzle of a sniper rifle. Occasionally it would light up, reminding Switch of the antennae behind DL’s ear. Was he being controlled in some way?

    Spider’s palm leaf wings fluttered, whipping up those sickly spores to further disorient Heatsink’s army and the lingering residents. The more disoriented they were, the easier they were to attack, and many of them found themselves trampled beneath the tropius’s feet or struck with a blade of air from his long, powerful wings.

    Switch didn’t know much about tropius, but he knew enough about plants to know the wings weren’t the source of the sweet scent attack. Plain leaves didn’t smell sweet.

    “Think, Switch,” he said. “What do you know about tropius?”

    He wracked his brain, thinking back through his history in System. No… he was fairly certain he’d not met any tropius. Not even when he explored the exotic Analogue Islands. They were filled with exeggutor, oricorio in their various forms, kecleon, toucannon, and ice type vulpix. If tropius lived there, he’d not encountered any.

    Maybe back in his time in the human world…

    He swerved to dodge another water attack sent his way, only to move right in front of Spider’s air slash. It struck him square in the chest and he was sent barreling down into an open dumpster. He spat fruit peels onto the floor and wiped a feather across his beak. The sweet taste of overripe berries still coated his tongue, but knowing where they’d come from made him want to vomit.

    Wait… fruit…

    His eyes flew to what he could see of the tall grass type. His graceful neck rose above the heads of the water types and he raised his huge feet to bring them crashing down onto those smaller than him. But what stood out to Switch were the banana-like fruit hanging just below his jaw.

    A grin split the talonflame’s beak and he fluttered out of the garbage to the ground. That was it. Many, many years ago he’d tried that fruit, and the one thing he remembered about it was its sweetness. He’d actually not liked it, much preferring nanab berries.

    If he were to guess, that would be the source of the tropius’s sweet scent. If he could remove them, the attack would be brought to an end. He just had to get close enough to burn them away. Then he could focus on that antennae.

    In two wing beats, he was back in the air. He pushed himself higher until he was above the roof tops and hovered there, searching the ground below. His keen eyesight could pick out each individual pokemon in the crowd, every single movement they made. Water types mixed with grass, but the grass types were unaffected by the sweet scent. They sent their vines and leaves whipping through the air, bringing down the defenseless water types with ease. There in the midst of the crowd he spotted a familiar face. Floppy, struggling against the attacks of his allies and the grass army. The vaporeon had seen better days, and aimed each of his ice attacks at his comrades rather than Spider or any of the other grass types. Switch could almost guarantee one hit of an ice beam would bring the giant crashing down.

    A few feet away from Floppy lay Heatsink, tangled in vines and providing a trip hazard to those who were too disoriented to see the empoleon, while also posing as a barrier to those much too small to clamber over him. Switch’s heart sank. He’d really hoped Heatsink had withstood the tropius’s attacks. Where was Anchor?

    He turned his head left and right, searching the crowd for the granbull. A hint of pink caught his eye and he span to get a better view. Anchor stood between two prinplup, fighting off an azumarill. The two penguin pokemon weren’t of much help though. One of them tugged at the granbull’s mowhawk while the other was too busy attacking the wall behind them.

    Switch shook his head and tucked his wings to his side, swooping like a dart towards Anchor. As he drew closer, the granbull’s frantic eyes locked onto his. His long canines lit up with fire and he roared. Switch stopped short of him and beat Anchor’s face with his wings. Then his body heated up with an intense fire, and radiated it over the crowd. Spores turned to cinders, raining down around the water pokemon. It only affected a small radius, however. Spider’s disorienting spores would soon fill in the gap.

    “Switch?” Anchor’s voice came out dreary, like someone who’d been woken from a deep sleep.

    The talonflame grabbed him in his talons and lifted him from the crowd, carrying him high into the sky. Anchor didn’t protest, he just hung there, watching the city square shrink away beneath them.

    “What happened?” he asked.

    “That tropius is using sweet scent to disorient everyone,” Switch explained.

    “Then why weren’t you affected?”

    “I was for a short while but I burned them away trying to attack someone else,” said Switch. “I’ve been watching Spider’s movements since then, and I think he’s being controlled by that antennae over his eye.”

    “Spider?” Anchor blinked and looked up at him.

    Switch nodded. “I believe that’s what the ivysaur called him. But that doesn’t matter. He needs stopping if we’re going to turn this battle around.”

    “And how do you suggest we do that?” Anchor’s voice came out clearer now, the effects of sweet scent leaving his system. “We can’t get close enough to him without-”

    The strange antenna by Spider’s face flashed over and over until it turned orange, holding the light steady. He opened his mouth wide and roared. The orange light flashed, expanding out over the city square. Buildings exploded and water pokemon were blown backwards, their bodies smashing into stone walls where they were crushed under the rubble.

    Switch’s beak fell open and he dropped towards the ground. Anchor let out a shout, bringing the talonflame back around. He steadied himself in the air, keeping his wings beating so he could hold both himself and the granbull airborne.

    “Well,” said Anchor. “That ain’t no antenna, is it?”

    Switch shook his head slowly. “What on earth is it?”

    Whatever it was, it was flashing intermittently again, like a beacon in the dense dust cloud. Spider focused all his attention on flapping his wings and sending up more spores. The crowd he was fighting had significantly diminished. Many lay crushed under rocks, and the grass types now wildly outnumbered the remaining water types. Switch could no longer see Floppy or Heatsink. Dust filled the square, too thick in parts and he deeply hoped they’d survived whatever that was.

    “It looked like a solar beam,” he said.

    Anchor nodded. “It’s an amplifier.”

    “A what?”

    “A type of weapon,” Anchor explained. “They’re typically used for beam attacks like hyper beam and solar beam. They absorb the energy required and build it up until it hits maximum capacity, often to two or three times the original strength of the move.”

    “Then what do we do?” Switch asked. “Can we defeat a pokemon like that?”

    “We can try, but I recommend doing so between recharges. We can either take out the amplifier, which means his solar beams might be a lot more frequent. Or we can try to take him out. Use our fire attacks while avoiding his sweet scent. Given we’d need to get up close for that, I might not be of much use to you.”

    “I can keep burning the spores away?” said Switch.

    “That’s all well and good, but I’d quite like you to hit this Spider guy if I’m honest,” said Anchor.

    “All right,” said Switch. “Well, here’s my plan. As rushed as it is.” He swerved to dodge a stray water pulse sent their way from the dust cloud below. “I drop you behind Spider, or on his back, and you aim your fire fang at his fruit. Take them out, you stop his sweet scent.”

    “You sure about that?” Anchor grumbled.

    “No, but it’s all I’ve got right now. I’ve watched him. His wings don’t create the smell, he fans it out with those. So it has to be generated somewhere, and that’s my best guess.”

    Anchor grunted and gave a curt nod.

    “Well then,” he said. “I can give your plan a try, but while I do that make sure you keep hitting him. Hard. Take out the amplifier if you have to, otherwise Cyan City will be reduced to rubble before night fall.”

    “Right. But first we need to get close enough,” said Switch. “And I have a plan. You see the green leafy shields beside his eyes? They would create a blind spot. Once we’re towards his rear, he won’t be able to see us.”

    Anchor nodded. “I hadn’t considered that. Good spot. But how do we get there? He sees us, we’re stomped.”

    “If I can use the dust cloud, it will cover us. Hopefully enough that he won’t see us until it’s too late.”

    “The dust cloud?” Anchor looked up at him and grinned. “Smart. I like it. Were you a ninja once or somethin’?”

    Switch chuckled and shook his head. “No, but I’ve been in enough battles to know how to use terrain to my advantage. Now… I hope you’re ready.”

    “I was born ready.”

    Switch winked at Anchor then tucked in his wings. He swooped down, keeping them above the dust cloud. At its thickest point, he whipped the cloud up with his wings to surround them. The dust filled their nostrils and Switch fought the urge to choke. Instead, he breathed out slowly, and kept his golden eyes trained on the shadowy form of the tropius.

    His long neck twisted away from them, and Switch could see the antenna-like weapon blinking yellow. Slowly. Spider raised his wings and beat them, sending the dust cloud away from him. The light blinked faster, pulsing like a heart beat.

    The sun.

    Switch glanced towards the sky. Overcast. Not a ray of sunshine in sight. He stifled a chuckle and followed the dust cloud to Spider’s side. Just like Switch had predicted, the leaves on either side of Spider’s face blocked out most of his peripheral vision.

    Switch swooped up towards his back, getting Anchor as close to the tropius’s neck as he dared. The pair exchanged nods, and Switch let go.

    The granbull landed at the base of Spider’s neck. The entire of Spider’s body went rigid, his wing beats freezing in mid flap. He craned his neck around, his face twisted with rage and confusion.

    “Now!” Anchor roared.

    Switch watched as the granbull launched himself up the tropius’s neck. Then Switch arced towards his head, flexing his talons to grab the amplifier. With two pokemon attacking him from either end, Spider didn’t know where to focus his attention first. He swung his head around to dislodge Anchor while trying to catch Switch in his jaws. His large wings distorted the air, making it difficult for Switch to fly. He twisted himself in mid air, stretching out his left talons to grab the amplifier. They locked over the protrusion, but Spider snatched his head back. The nozzle slipped from his grip, unharmed, and Spider brought his head back around in a brutal swing. He struck Switch in the chest, knocking all wind out of him. He flew backwards towards Spider’s rear and crashed into the ground. Pain jolted through his back and his wings lay spread-eagled at his sides.

    The tropius bucked, bringing his hind feet up into the air, then crashing back down onto Switch. His eyes opened wide and a silent scream escaped his beak. He screwed his eyes shut again, bracing himself for impact. A scream split the air and a thud echoed by his right ear. He snapped his eyes back open and a sigh of relief left him. Spider’s rear end was coated with ice, and he saw his head swinging on his neck as he flailed, trying to dislodge Anchor as he held onto his throat with his flaming jaws. The yellow fruit that hung from Spider’s neck were ablaze, and the flames spread over the leaves on his head and ears. Terrified grass pokemon stood back from him, watching with their mouths hanging open. The braver ones sent razor leaf and vine whip attacks up at the flames to try and beat them out, even if it meant the fire spreading to their own bodies.

    Switch pushed himself to his feet, wheezing heavily. A lithe form stood beside him and he looked up to see which pokemon had come to his aide. Floppy stood panting with his left fore-paw raised, his livid eyes fixed on the tropius. His blue fur was peppered with dust and blood, and deep, crimson rivets ran along his shoulders and back. Even his right ear was torn, dripping blood onto the dusty floor.

    “Thank you,” Switch gasped.

    “Don’t thank me just yet,” said Floppy. “The battle isn’t over.”

    A huge roar came from Spider and he reared back onto his hind legs. Switch realised with horror that his wing beats had cleared a gap in the dust. The amplifier lit up orange and fired another beam into Cyan City, but it arced backwards as Spider bucked, cutting through one of the sky scrapers like butter. Rubble rained down around them, and both Switch and Floppy leapt aside to avoid it. Some of the grass types were less fortunate, their wails of terror almost deafening.

    Switch skidded to a halt and turned back to the chaos. The dust was thick and heavy, but he could still make out Spider, bucking and swinging as he tried to dislodge Anchor’s fangs from his throat.

    “We need to end this,” said Floppy. “Otherwise they’re going to destroy the entire city.”

    The vaporeon lowered his body and breathed out another ice beam. This one struck one of the frightened grotle standing back from the tropius. Ice exploded over his body, freezing his scream before it could leave his lips.

    Floppy fired Switch a sideways glare. “Pull yourself together and lets turn this battle around.”

    Switch nodded and fluttered into the air. His body heated up as flames danced over his feathers. Drawing closer to the tropius and his allies, he kept one eye on Floppy. The lone vaporeon raced into the thick of the grass army, throwing his ice attacks at them in quick succession. Vines struck his fragile body, sending him crumpling to the floor.

    Then Switch dropped, letting the heat race from his feathers in a violent heat wave. The last thing he heard were the grass army’s frantic screams, then his own as Spider’s hulking, blazing carcass landed right on top of him.
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