Bay

Darkinium Z

Female
Dani California
Seen 17 Hours Ago
Posted 17 Hours Ago
5,776 posts
13.5 Years
Chapter Twelve
Feint Attack


Ula’ula Meadows was one of the few areas on this island that Nanu thought was beautiful. The red flowers that bloomed all year round swayed with the breeze. A cool mist rolled in, thin enough for him to see clearly. The Baile-style Oricorio danced and sang in the mornings, attracting the attention of anyone passing by. There were two paths ahead: one towards Po Town and Route 17; the other towards Lake of the Moone, where the mist came from.

He and Persian were patrolling the area, using the wooden boardwalk that had been built above the grass. A few Oricorio drank the nectar from the flowers. Two Team Skull kids were having a conversation. They noticed him for a second, only to then ignore him. One woman was near the pond with her Floette, the two of them practicing a dance. Persian approached one of the flowers and sniffed it.

“You like the flowers, don’t you girl?” he asked, and Persian responded with a cheerful meow.

Nanu grunted and looked back at his surroundings. His stomach dropped when he saw someone else here. A purple-haired woman with glasses stood in front of several Pokémon: two Oricorio, a Petilil, and a Ribombee. She wore a pink and white dress that showed off her curves well and high heeled boots that made him wonder how she got used to walking in them.

"Oh my, are all of you looking good today! Especially you, little one!" She picked up the Petili, who giggled and waved her arms.

To the public, she was known as Aether’s Assistant Chief Wicke Santana. To him, she was--

"Charlotte?"

"Triples!" Charlotte put the Petili down and gave him a tight hug. Nanu was taken aback by it, but nonetheless, he returned the embrace back. After they separated, Persian approached Charlotte and rubbed against her hip. She grinned and hugged around her neck. “And you, Persian! You’ve grown so big!” she cooed, nuzzling on Persian’s cheek.

"I take it Professor Burnet had given you my message?" he asked.

Charlotte let go of Persian and nodded. "I did! I'm already aware that Anabel and Looker are on Poni Island. I came here as there are a few things I want to talk to you about."

Nanu glanced around to see the Team Skull kids and the woman with her Pokémon still here. This wasn't the perfect place to talk about important manners with her.

"We can do that while going to the police station."

They began walking to the police station, with Persian following them. The Pokémon that Charlotte checked up on earlier went their separate ways.

"So, how's becoming Kahuna going for you?"

"Tiring. I only make myself go through the desert a few times a year. Trying to avoid big crowds as much as possible."

Charlotte gave him a concerned look. "Sounds like you're not happy with your job. Couldn't you just retire?"

"I can't. I'm at the mercy of Tapu Bulu until either I die or do something horrendous. I'm still working on the latter."

"You're one of the better Interpol agents. I doubt you're capable of doing that."

Nanu snorted and threw his head back. "Maybe I'll surprise you. How about you? Aether still have you dress like you're going for Wild Lopunny Magazine: Secretary Edition?"

Charlotte jabbed her elbow onto his stomach and he winced.

"I'm still undercover, Triples. Besides that, I'm not doing great at the moment."

"Because of that Aether press conference, right?"

"Yes. When Madame Lusamine told me and Chief Faba that she was going to broadcast it, I asked if that was a good idea. She said this is for the public's safety, and I went along with it."

"Interpol must be outraged that the Ultra Beasts have been mentioned out in the open. Are they planning to do anything about them?"

"Probably what they've been doing for the last several years. Kill or have them used as experiments. I'm sure they'll have Anabel come closer to them."

They stopped, and Nanu ran a finger through his hair.

"Muk. If I hadn’t retired, I probably could've prevented all of that."

"I don't blame you for leaving. Unfortunately, there's not much we can do at this time."

Nanu regarded her for a moment. With narrowed eyes, he stared down on the ground. "I hated Director Clarkson and the higher ups’ guts ever since that incident."

"As do I. They can be ungrateful devils at times." She and Nanu resumed walking. "Did Anabel and Looker mention anything else when they visited you?"

"They told me about the Ultra Recon Squad and the scientist working with them. Interpol's also keeping an eye on Gladion and his Pokémon."

Charlotte nodded and hummed. "The scientist, Dr. Colress Antimony, is with them under Interpol's suggestion. As for Master Gladion, that's indeed what is going on." She shifted her gaze away for a second. "How is he doing by the way?"

Nanu raised a brow. "Hm? Why do you ask?"

"I get along well with the president’s children, so I’m worried about the family overall."

After a beat, he said, “Not so good, I think. He’s worried about the president going down the same path as his father."

Charlotte gasped, and she frowned. "I know what you're talking about. That caused a great deal of grief for Madame Lusamine.”

"Do you plan to tell the president and her kids about your true purpose with Aether?"

With narrowed eyes, Charlotte lowered her head and clasped her hands together.

"I don’t know yet. I would be breaking my cover, and they might take things the wrong way. However, I feel bad for lying to them and they deserve the truth.”

“I don’t blame you for being unsure yet.” He stared up at the sky, hands on the pocket. “I trust that you’ll make the right call.”

The two remained silent until they reached the police station and stepped inside. As expected, half of the Meowth rushed over to him and Charlotte, asking for food.

"Just give me a minute, all right?" he told them. One of the Meowth gripped his leg with his claws, but he endured the pain. Persian grabbed that Meowth’s neck with her mouth and took him away.

"Oh my! I know you're a fan of these dark-type felines, but not this much!" Charlotte picked up one of them up. The Meowth rubbed his cheek against hers, and she giggled.

"You wanna adopt one of them?" he asked while pouring food into their bowls. "You'll be doing me a huge favor."

"I appreciate the offer, but I already have my hands full in Aether Paradise. Also, you’re still as disorganized as ever."

Charlotte sat down on the couch, the Meowth still inside her arms. After Nanu finished filling the Meowth's bowls, he went to his desk. The little felines and Persian rushed to their bowls and munched on their food.

"Hey, cut me some slack. I got kahuna duties as well as being an officer here." He pulled out his kendama from the drawer and started playing with it. "Anything else you want to tell me?"

"Well, it's more of a request," Charlotte said while scratching the Meowth's chin.

"Request?"

"Aether's been keeping an eye on Team Skull due to them stealing Pokémon on occasion. However, recently their leader came to headquarters as a guest, and I pretended to be a good host."

That caused Nanu to stop playing his kendama and sit up straight. "Leader? You don't mean Guzma, do you?"

"After they were alone, I eavesdropped on their conversation through a tiny microphone I had left in the room." Charlotte had put the Meowth down and got up. She approached and stood in front of Nanu's desk. "She apparently has been giving him money to find a Pokémon for her."

"Wait, Anabel and Looker asked me about Team Skull the night they gave me your postcard. Why they didn't tell me any of this?"

"That didn't happen until a couple of days after the wormhole incident." She had her elbow on the desk, her palm covering her chin. "On my next scheduled visit to Ula'ula Island, I knew I have to inform you about this."

Already Nanu knew what she was asking him for. "You want me to track down any paper trails to double confirm that all of this is true."

"Right. I could do it myself, but this type of investigation isn't my specialty. That, and you're closest to Team Skull."

As they stared into each other's eyes, Nanu pondered over Charlotte's request. For a while he had his suspicions on Aether, but couldn't pinpoint exactly why. This could be an opportunity for him.

"All right, I'll see what I can do. If I find anything, I'll let Anabel and Looker know."

"Thank you so much, Triples!" She grinned and wrapped her arms around him, a little too tight for his liking.

"Hey, you're squeezing me there!" Nanu said, and that made Charlotte let go.

“Sorry, got too excited there!” Charlotte giggled, and then her gaze fell on the photo Nanu had left on the desk. “Oh! Isn’t that the picture I took of you, Sana, and Looker?”

Nanu lifted a brow, and then his face softened. “Yeah, it is. Surprised that I’ve still kept it all this time?”

“You mentioned you didn’t like to take pictures, so maybe a little!” Charlotte picked up the photo and her cheerful expression disappeared. “I still miss her very deeply.”

Nanu swallowed hard. He remembered her mourning over Sana's death for a while, not speaking with anyone and staying inside her lab for days. After some convincing from him and Looker, she resolved to preserve the data Sana had kept and continue where she had left off.

"I should've stopped her. Told her that Interpol was using her as bait, and have her run away."

"What happened to her was neither your or Looker's fault." She gave him a forced but reassuring smile, and her hand squeezed Nanu’s. "She would've done it anyway, with or without Interpol asking her."

Nanu gazed down with a frown. "Of course."

Throughout Sana's time in Interpol, the higher-ups had worked her up to the bone but she still persisted. Her ultimate goal was to better understand the UBs, and he had admired her for that. That made her death even more heartbreaking.

“I need to head back to the Aether Facility near here,” Charlotte said as she let go of his hand. “Before I do though, I have something to show you.”

She put the picture down and pulled out a journal from her bag, handing it to him. Nanu blinked, the hardcover cold in his hands.

“Sana’s journal? How come?”

“I think you’ll benefit from reading it.” Charlotte winked and gave him a playful smile. “I’m only letting you borrow it for a bit, so I’ll need it back the next time we meet!”

“Yeah, I’ll make sure to do that.”

Nanu put the journal aside and got up from his seat. He and Charlotte did a quick embrace.

“I’ll be in touch!” Charlotte scratched Persian’s chin one last time, waved to Nanu goodbye, and left the police station.

As Nanu stood and stared at the door, Persian gave a sad growl and rubbed against his leg. He gazed down and patted her forehead.

“Don’t worry, I think we’ll see her again very soon.” Looking back at his desk, Nanu pressed his lips. “Let’s see what Sana had been up to.”

He sat back down on his desk and opened the first page. Sana’s handwriting was a little sloppier than Charlotte’s but was still more legible than any of his former superiors. She wrote how she couldn’t remember much after being taken in by Interpol, so she started this journal to keep track of her memories. Nanu turned the page to another entry.

June 11th

The chief wanted to do practice drills with Jackie and me again. As usual, his Persian kicked our butts and he lectured me on taking battles more seriously. I am! It’s just that I’m more of a scientist than a Pokémon trainer. I asked if those drills are necessary, and 000 said that soon I’ll be dealing with more dangerous cases than the ones we had done.

After those practice drills, Charlotte and I went out for drinks. I told her how much of a hardass 000 was, and she said that I would get used to that. She then told me about her time in Kanto and how much it helped her towards her path in becoming a Pokémon biologist.

I’ve only known her for about a month, but I’m already madly crushing on her. Like, big time. I don’t know if she has the same feelings or is just being very nice. I would be upset if it’s the latter.


An amused smile pulled on Nanu’s lips. He could tell that Sana and Charlotte fell for each other, and when the two ended up together they teamed up to annoy and tease him. Two peas in a pod.

He turned to another page and continued reading the journal throughout the afternoon. After going over several entries, his eyes grew heavy and he fell asleep on his desk.

Xxx

Nanu wasn't sure where he was. A thick fog rolled in like black clouds before a rainstorm. The saltwater breeze mixed with smoke filled his lungs. He almost couldn't see anything, but there were people screaming and crying in the distance.

He raced forward, following those voices. The farther he went, the more his chest burned and legs ached. The fog partially cleared, and he was at a beach. The sight before him made his stomach sink.

A large crowd was running away from the jellyfish-like creatures, Symbiont. The small Ultra Beasts kept chasing them, some grabbing and sucking on the people's heads. Sana and Jackie, her Mightyena, fought off several of them, her Pokémon firing beams of dark energy straight at them.

"Sana! Sana!" Nanu kept calling her, but she and Jackie didn't turn around. The people's screams grew louder, and the Symbiont got more restless.

Nanu hurried to her, but then was blocked by four Symbiont. He grunted and yelled, "Move it, or else!" That led the Ultra Beasts to screech and grab his arms with their wet and slimy tentacles. Nanu grimaced and struggled to get out, their grip getting tighter by the second.

"Man oh man, what is going on here?" A man in a kimono walked passed the screaming crowd, grinning at him.

"Grimsley? What are you doing here?" Nanu asked, eyes growing wide.

"I've been told Alola is a great holiday destination. However, everything's been deary so far."

"Everything's deary because we're being attacked by these things! Now, you're gonna help me or what?"

Grimsley's expression changed from bored to a smirk. "I'll let my coin decide. Heads or tails?"

Nanu furrowed his brow. He glanced to see Sana and Jackie still fighting off the Symbiont, but both were shaking and breathing hard.

"We got no time for that! These people need my help!"

"Too late, I call heads!" Grimsley pulled out his coin and tossed it in the air. After catching it, he opened his palm and his grin widened. "Oh tough luck, heads. You're on your own!"

Grimsley waved goodbye to him and turned to leave. Nanu screamed for him to come back, but that was no use. When the Symbiont lifted him to the sky, he threw curses at them and his legs dangled.

The Symbiont stopped in the middle of the ocean. Nanu looked down with wide eyes and demanded them to take him back to shore. Instead, they giggled and dropped him. He screamed as he was falling, falling...

And landed hard on a chair.

Nanu whipped around his head and his eyes fluttered. He was now inside an office with dimmed lighting. Someone in a red suit was in front of the desk, their back facing him.

"Excellent work as always, Agent 000. I knew that your task force could handle Glutton."

Director Eleanor Clarkson turned around, grinning at him. She had put on bright red lipstick and always wore her blue pearl necklace. She held onto a file that Nanu assumed to be one of the Ultra Beasts ones. The scent of Poni Meadows’ purple flowers lingered in the room.

"It was at the cost of Sana's life, though. You have to accept that, at least."

Clarkson blinked and lifted the cress of her forehead, as if she was confused. She sneered.

"Oh, you mean our Faller. Yes, it's tragic that she had been taken away, but that was the plan all along."

Nanu gave an intense, fevered stare. "You're saying that Sana was meant to be bait?"

"That was the only way we can pull in the Ultra Beasts to us. Without her, who knows how many more lives we would've lost."

"That's bull!" Nanu slammed his fist on the table. "She gave her everything to you guys, and you treated her like garbage. Charlotte and KR are devastated, the latter thinking it was his fault."

"I've been aware of Agent 100KR's behavior in the past several months. He's been checking in with our therapist."

Nanu lowered his head, his stare fixing on his lap. He had gone through Interpol's therapy sessions several times also. The therapist seemed genuine and was only doing his job, but he didn't experience what it was like on the field like Nanu did.

"How about Anabel? Is she going towards the same fate as Sana?"

"Yes, she is," Clarkson said with no remorse in her voice.

"So you aren't doing anything to prevent that." That wasn't a question.

Clarkson chuckled, shaking her head. "The UB Task Force and Fallers have been working for us well so far, and there are no plans to change that anytime soon."

Nanu's nostrils flared, and he curled his hand into a fist. Ungrateful devils indeed.

"Now I know what you're thinking, and no I won't let you tell this to her. If she gets one word from you, there could be collateral damage. Understood?"

A knot formed inside his throat. This was the exact same scenario before he had retired. He went inside Clarkson's office, found out about Sana and Anabel being Fallers, and was threatened to keep him quiet. Feeling helpless.

"Yes, ma'am," Nanu said through gritted teeth.

Clarkson beamed. "Good. That is all, Agent 000. You're dismissed."

Nanu rose out of his seat and hung his head in defeat. He walked at a slow pace, his surroundings now nothing more than dark endless space.

Months after having that conversation with the Director, he would leave Interpol. He didn't regret that choice one bit. He only wished none of this had gone down.


Author's Note
Quicker update than usual since it's a very short chapter! I admit Nanu and Wicke's interaction and the dream sequence are heavily inspired from Man In Twilight. I drew several cues from that story, but I try to have the dialog and dream sequence be their own thing and fit within Foul Play's context.

With this chapter posted, I got a surprise! I recently asked CiCi Sama to do an art request of Sana and her partner, Jackie! Oh my gosh it's so good! I also recommend checking her gallery and deviantart (warning for blood and other dark themes)!

Okay, so I'm hoping to have Chapter 13 sometime in July, and Chapter 14 August 8th, which is Foul Play's 2nd anniversary! I have drafts for them done, it's only a matter of polishing and sending to my beta. Hope you guys look forward to them! As always, thanks to bobandbill for looking these chapters over! Comments are appreciated!

Foul Play
[Chapter Nine up!]