“Batches Delta Zero through Delta Four appear to be ready sir.”
“Excellent. What are the rates?”
“Delta Zero, seventy-eight percent success. Delta One, eighty-eight. Delta Two, fifty. Delta Three, five. Delta Four, one hundred. All in all, I’d say we got it right this time.”
Two men in black uniforms stood in front of a wall of screens, the faint light barely making their faces visible in the small dark room.
“Which subject survived in Delta Three?”
“That would be… subject Delta Three, Twelve E sir.”
“Mm, bring Deltas Zero through Four to the gym.”
“Yes sir.” One of the men turned to leave the room.
“Yes?” The man turned back.
“Leave the remaining Delta Three subject and keep him for more testing. I want to see if this becomes a Gamma situation or something much better than Delta. And please, for the love of Arceus, just call me Argo.”
Temero nodded to his superior before stepping out into a dimly lit hall with dark gray tiles and black brick walls.
“I could have sworn the electricity itself was staring right at me.” The other man muttered as Temero closed the door and reached for his earpiece.
“I need release crews, it’s time for phase two.”
Temero took a deep breath before walking down the hallway as he scribbled on his notepad. Temero walked door to door, typing away on keypads to disable the various machines that have haunted his existence for the past year. On paper these experimental techniques seemed like a rational means to an end. However, after finally walking these halls himself and hearing the screams and pain that his inventions brought, it sent a chill down his spine. In all his years of serving Team Rocket he couldn’t recall actions this abhorrent, even the Lavender incident wasn’t as sickening.
“Delta Zero, One I, failure.” Temero muttered to himself as he peered through a window and watched a frosted corpse drop from a thawing chunk of ice before marking a box on his notepad.
Temero continued down the hall, signaling for his underlings to seize surviving experiments and dispose of the failures, while stamping the successful experiments. He stopped as one particular subject caught his eye. This one seems spirited enough. He might do. He thought to himself as he stepped towards the subject and slipped a note into his hand before moving further down the hall with the growing group of people in tow.
Welcome to where time stands still, no one leaves and no one will… They keep me locked up in this cage, can't they see it's why my brain says Rage. The words circulated through Hunter’s mind as he lay in darkness, unable to move from being encased in stone. All he could do was think, about the events that led to him becoming trapped in this never-ending nightmare or sing songs in his head, in a futile attempt to maintain his sanity.
The scene played in his head for the millionth time. Running down an alley toward his sister’s scream. Throat chopping and roundhouse kicking a man into a wall. Getting struck in the back then falling down. Looking up to see his sister reaching out to him as a Hypno stepped in the way followed by darkness. I’ll find you. I’ll get out of here somehow. Just hold on.
Suddenly the surrounding rock became increasingly hotter as it began melting into lava. The magma that once struck fear through Hunter’s heart now provided relief as the soothing warmth loosened his muscles and allowed him to move. Attempting to swim forward through the molten rock, Hunter was stopped as he felt a tug as the back of his neck. The leash that has prevented Hunter's never-ending attempts to escape this prison. He reached back and tried to detach the device from his body but lost his grip as he felt his body being pulled down. Within minutes the magma had fully drained through the floor, leaving Hunter in an empty gray room with a large one-way window. He struggled to stand and fell down as bright lights flashed in his face while two men dressed in black walked into the room. One man walked behind Hunter and removed the device, pulling a long needle-like tube from the young man’s spine while the second man shot something into Hunter’s neck.
“Wh-where…is…” Hunter struggled to get the words out as his lungs finally experienced air again.
The two men dragged Hunter out of the room and into a hall filled with more men in similar uniforms along with people that appeared to be in the same situation as himself.
“Where the hell is my sister!” Hunter managed to yell out, before getting punched in the gut.
“Punching won’t do anything for this subject.” Temero chastised the men as he walked up to Hunter and placed a machine over his left hand. Hunter felt a light touch before the machine was removed, revealing tattoo of a triangle with a zero inside. He noticed all the other “subjects” receive the same tattoo.
“One year” A green haired man muttered to Hunter.
“One year what?” Hunter asked, giving the stranger a quizzical look.
“We’ve all been kept here for one year. At least that’s what they’ve been telling me.”
“No, that can’t be-” Hunter was cut off as he and all the other test subjects were being pushed down the hall, joining three more groups as multiple halls converged. As the group progressed, Hunter finally realized he had been carrying a note that was slipped into his hand.
exit gym, right, right, left, Room 445, door unlocked, white case.
The green haired man spotted the note and snatched it from Hunter. He skimmed the small piece of paper then looked to Hunter and whispered.
“Seems we’ve both got friends here. If we work together, we might be able to get out. Leave this to me, I think they’ll help as well.”
Hunter silently gave a nod to the stranger, now even more confused about what was going on. Eventually, the group made their way through the seemingly endless labyrinth and entered a large gymnasium.
“Line them up accordingly.” Temero’s underlings followed his command and lined up the test subjects in four separate groups based on their new brands.
Being kept in darkness isn't so bad... Neil thought to himself, charging his body with electricity. Not when you can make your own light, anyway. The copper cuffs around his wrists absorbed some of the excess energy, leeching it for use in the facility's main power bank. His room was fairly small, as he spent most of his time chained to the wall, meaning the orange glow of his lightning illuminated the entirety of his cell. After a moment, he let the energy fade, plunging his room back into darkness.
He was idly considering lighting it up again when the door opened and the lights were turned on. Two men in black entered, one standing by the door while the other came over to Neil. "No sudden moves, and don't try anything funny." The guard jabbed a finger at Neil, probably an attempt at intimidation. Neil responded with false pouting. "Aw, but I'm so good at both of those!"
The guard grunted, or possibly scoffed, digging through his pocket for the key. While he was distracted, Neil casually slipped one hand free of the cuffs, grabbing the guard's weapon from his belt. "Whoa, is this one of the new models? Gonna be honest, I think I'm developing a tolerance to the old stun guns."
"Hey, what the...!" The guard stepped back in surprise, while the one by the door drew his weapon and took a step forward. Neil dropped the weapon, sliding his hand back into the cuff. "Oops! Sorry. You were going to unlock these, right?" He smiled innocently as the guard recovered his weapon, exchanging a confused glance with the guard by the door.
"Could this one have done that at any time?" Neil responded with a shrug and a smile, pulling his other hand free to unlock the cuff with the key he'd just snatched from the guard. "Probably, but they put me in those cuffs for a reason, right? I didn't want to be rude and spoil the fun!"
The guard angrily grabbed the key back, shoving Neil out the door. "Out of your cell, prisoner!" Neil allowed himself to be pushed, lightly kicking off the ground and hovering in place in the hallway. "Okay! Hey, where are we all going?"
"Be quiet!" The guard raised his weapon, but was interrupted by Temero before he could use it. "No need for that, gentlemen. This one will follow quite willingly, won't you, Eight Nl?" He looked at Neil pointedly, earning a smile and a thumbs up. "Sure thing, Doc!" Temero smiled back, grabbing Neil's hand and applying the tattoo (earning a small "Ow." for his efforts). Temero's smile dropped instantly as he moved on. "That child is so dense..."
Unsure of how to react to the levitating child, the guards just pushed Neil forward, and he happily followed the crowd. "I wonder where they're taking us! New rooms, with roommates? A field trip? The back of a truck as they drag us away from the only life we've ever known only to be subjected to agonizing experiments and dehumanizing conditions?" His chipper attitude vanished as he pondered that last one, only to return when they arrived at their destination.
"A gym! Ooh, that was my next guess! This is gonna be fun!"
Volunteering sucks Rēgi thought to himself. Because of his strange new ability to see in the dark, that wasn't anything to plague him. Sitting in this room, however, was. He didn't know or much time passed, whether it be days, or hours. What he did know was that time was irrelevant here, the only thing that mattered was keeping on living, even though it sucked, because of his parents.
The room he was sitting in was pretty bland. Just grey walls, with rough texture. No windows. Presumably because he could see in the dark. Other than that the floor was also grey, but it was made of tiles. Many a time Rēji had run his hands across the walls whenever he was bored. The door also was bland and grey. Clearly I'm in prison... but why? What did I do? What is the last thing I remember?
The day of departure to the Sevii islands was a tense one. He knew he would be fine for a couple of years, and so did his aunt. Unlike him though, she knew just how much he needed this. A few years on an island, whether your doing work or not, is healthy. She also hoped that Rēji would learn to properly cope with his parents death. Since he had arrived in the island he couldn't remember anything... Until the tests started. Constant pain, strange transformations like his hand gaining the yellow ring, and his ability to see in the dark. Suffering. Pain. Days seemed to become weeks, weeks became years... Any sense of time had been eradicated.
Rēji looked at his hand. what is this? he thought. This... ring glows , I think, but why? He shifted his position as it had gotten uncomfortable sitting against the wall, and decided to lay down with the back of his head in his hands. It was just then that two men walked into the room, both with flashlights in hand. Those flashlights are really unpleasant. Rēji thought to himself.
"Get up." One of them said. Mentally Rēji decided to call that one carl, for no real reason. He did decide to get up though. The other (who he dubbed timothy) just looked at him and said nothing. He followed the two out of the room, still silent. He never did too much talking, especially when it would probably get him in trouble. Carl proceeded to apply a machine to his left hand. He nearly flinched back whenever he felt the small amount of pressure. He refrained though.
He followed them into a hall. Others like himself, he assumed, were there too. He wondered just how many. Men in clothes like the two who had entered his cell where all over the place. Everyone them followed someone, until they were all in some kind of gym. Rēji wondered what they were doing, how would this go what... His train of thought was interrupted by a man, who was likely in charge, saying "line them up" he watched as the gruntmen did as he said.
Purple liquid sat inside a cell, thick underneath the poison smog, passerby unable to see much through the one-way window . Were one to walk within this knee-deep poisonous liquid one would find a lone, whimpering young woman crouching on the ground. Her arms held her knees against her chest, face buried with them.
Time had become nonexistent for Elena, who had long given up. Instead she embraced her new den, the poisonous gunk surrounding her nothing more than water to her.
It got rather lonesome in this isolation. Over and over she would go through a cycle of emotions; denial, anger, guilt, sorrow, and somehow, hope. However, hope begins to flicker with the passing of time, and the cycle begins anew.
The room's contents began to drain, leaving behind a pool. Similarly, the poisonous fog began to dissipate, fresh air in its place.
This was not the routine.
"Y-yes? Hello?!" Elena blurted out, desperate for a response back. At first there was no reply, but upon the door opening, that sudden feeling of fear and shock, Elena no longer wished to be freed. "W-wait, nonono, I d-didn't do anything!" Her hysteria did not match her strength, weak from the months spent whitering inside a cell.
Neither of the men in black let out a single peep, quickly releasing the needle from her spine prior to an injection to her neck. The ordeal further fueled her fear.
Elena remained quiet, too frightened to continue questioning the very people capable of more cruelty.
The trio left the room behind, her world of over a year; her home. Everything outside appeared alien, instantly snatching her attention. An amalgamation of voices was heard coming from the end of their path, startling Elena from her sightseeing.
As they approached the hallway Elena's curiosity was peaked, hope brimming from her being as a smile erupted out. It was not the possibility of escape, no, far from it, but simply being right beside a living being; she was no longer alone.
So much was her fascination with the others that she jumped upon Temero's touch, fear suddenly returning to her.
She yelped at the sudden pressure. Not that it was painful, but simply not what she was prepared for.
On her left hand a tattoo had been left behind, again allowing her curiosity to overcome her fear.
Her right hand caressed over the odd symbol. The isolation left her easily amused, imagination stripping away the symbol into different black lines that danced around the palm of her hands. But it did not last long.
The entire group of subjects made their way through the winding halls and into a gymnasium. Inside they were then separated into four groups per command of Temero.
No words left her mouth despite her desire to speak. Too much was occurring at once, her fear festering into something much more.
Time... how much time has passed, she doesn't know, and probably never will. She used her arms to hold her knees close to her, keeping her eyes closed, fearing that whatever is in the darkness might cause her harm. She hums lightly, hoping to block out her fear with the singing, she didn’t want to see the darkness anymore, it reminded her of what happened when she was brought here and the things they did in the darkness. She moved her head to make it seem like she’s looking up and tried to remember how her home looked like, but all she could remember was blurry images that contained her past.
The young adult placed a hand on her forehead, feeling for any anomalies, but she only felt smooth pearls. She looked down to her wrists, seeing a band of pearls resting around each wrist and then moved a hand down to her chest, where her hair was tied, but she felt nothing. She looked and remembered that the water in her tank made her hair float a bit, so she reached in front of her, feeling her hair and the band of pearls securing the two volume of strands together. ‘When they injected me, I was thinking I was going to change physically, but nothing happened, weird... all that appeared was the pearls, which are removable for some reason... but I don't want to risk anything, so i'll keep them on.’ Opening her eyes, they used to sting, but after the injection, the sting dissipated and her eyes are fine, as if the water isn't there, 'But my system changed as well: breath underwater, can see underwater, basically, what a water type can do...' She looked down again and saw the pure white, knee-length dress she was placed in, her clothes take from her and forced into this outfit before they experimented on her and forced her into the tank.
A bright light flashes through the center of the room as the door to her confinement opens, revealing two men in black. Emiko moved her head towards them, moving the forehead piece down to her neckline(collar line), looking at them with her poker face, curiosity shining in her eyes. 'Why are they here? Didn't I finish all the experiments already? Probably to check that I didn't break the tank.' Without a word, one walks up to the control panel in front of her personal aquarium and presses a few buttons, causing the tub to emit a faint red glow. 'Are they going to drain the water? Are they going to clean it, I doubt it, with the clothes they have, they aren't the cleaners.'
With one last push of a button, the hole on the bottom opens up and slowly sucks out the water, bringing Emiko down to the base of the cube, her hair descending to her body and clinging to her. Another push of buttons has the glass in front of her open like doors, releasing a ‘hissing‘ sound as they move sideways once all the water was drained, only leaving drops of water on the cold tile.
'What is going on?' One of the men walked over to her with a pair of familiar clothes and handed them to her, the young adult hesitantly taking them and staring at them, confused, but curious at their actions. "Change." Was all the man said before returning to his spot, but both males were turned to give her privacy, fortunately. Emiko did as told and changed into her familiar outfit, the pearl necklace around her neck lapped over the turtleneck, along with clipping her small hip-bag around her hips, and then wrapped the shawl loosely over her shoulders, before looking at the two men, waiting for them to turn, but she realized they were waiting for her to tell them she was finished, "...I'm dressed."The two men turned and nodded before , the same one as before, motioned for the girl to come out, and she did, but hesitantly, glancing at the men wearily. "Let's go." called one of the men, motioning towards the opened door, the other man grabbing the girl's right arm and pulling her towards his companion, leaving the girl confused, curious, scared, and hope for freedom.
Once they got outside the room, they meet a man named Temero, who looks over the girl before smiling and holding out his hand, “May I see your hand? Whichever one is fine.”
The girl stared at the man for a bit before slowly lifting her left hand and placing it in his outstretched hand, only to see Temero lift a device with his other hand and hover it over her left hand. He pressed a button with his thumb and a searing pain flows through her body, the origin throbbing a bit, but she barely flinches, only looking at the man confused. He lowers the device and her hand and then leaves without a word, placing tattoos on other people as well.
Emiko glanced at the man as he walked away, confused at his actions, 'What was that? And this tattoo looks familiar...' Emiko lifts her left hand and looks at the tattoo, revealing a triangle with a zero inside, confusing her at what it meant. One of the men from before pushes her lightly down the hall, motioning for her to walk, and she did, following the crowd of other subjects. She closed her eyes a bit before opening them, adjusting to the light, and sees herself, along with others, inside a gym. 'I'm going to repeat it: what is going on?'
As the group proceeded into the gymnasium, a little girl grabbed Elena by the hand.
“Do you know where my mommy is? The scary people won’t-” The child stopped speaking and stared at the ground as a guard glared at her.
“I’m scared…” The little girl whispered to Elena, still clutching her hand.
Temero examined the pair for a brief second then took a deep breath as he pushed his glasses up his nose before looking at his notepad one last time.
“Now, I would assume you are all wondering why you are here”. Temero addressed the four groups of test subjects before him. “Over the past year we have been-”
“Curing you, of your inferior normality”. A booming voice echoed through the room as man walked in, sporting a white suit and a full black goatee.
“For millennia, mankind has simultaneously been at the top and bottom of the power chain. We have harnessed the ability to capture and contain these magnificent beasts that we call Pokémon within minuscule capsules. We command them and they follow. Yet, at any moment, they could easily overpower us. Wouldn’t it be nice if we as humans could match or exceed their power? Wouldn’t it be nice if humans could truly understand what it was like to be on the same level as Pokémon?”
The man raised an arm up and a hologram of a double helix appeared in his hand.
“Well, through the Zenith Project, I Darrius Argo, have found such a way to bring both man and beast together. Through the use of gene-splicing technology, I have found a way to infuse humans with the DNA of Pokémon, enabling us to wield their elemental power.”
Argo pulled spheres of various colors with symbols depicting Pokémon types out of the hologram and left them floating above the double helix.
“Each and every one of you Hybrids, as you have been so aptly named, has been given the very abilities I speak of. Some of you wield fire-breathing capabilities while others can summon lightning from the heavens. Some of you can even move objects with your mind or simply breath under water. I am truly grateful that we have been able to get the project this far. Without you… volunteers… we wouldn’t have gained as much knowledge as we have about the correlations between human and Pokémon DNA.”
Argo bowed to the crowd before him then turned to whisper to Temero.
“You may proceed with testing. Compile a list of top units and terminate the non-compliants.”
Argo walked away as Temero nodded to his superior before resuming his speech.
“Well, I believe Mr. Argo stated all that needed explaining at the moment. Now, as Mr. Argo briefly stated, each of you has been given a type combination similar to what a Pokémon may have. Along with these typings you also have the ability to use their fighting techniques. As such we will begin testing your techniques.”
Temero waved and multiple guards entered the room, enough for each test subject to have their own personal guard.
“You will all pair up to test your attacks. Don’t worry about injuries, your newly gifted powers will enable you to withstand more than you previously could. As for how to use your attacks, that is up to you to figure out.”
Temero flipped a few pages in his notepad then walked up to the test subjects. Temero grumbled as he approached Elena.
“Seven Pn it seems you’ve made friends with someone from Delta Four.” He skimmed his notes then looked at the child holding onto Elena.
“Technically we’re not suppose to let you train with other groups, but I think I’ll let this slide.”
Temero attempted to give a comforting smile to the child before moving on. Temero moved from person to person, assigning each hybrid a sparring mate.
“Wait here, I’ll see where this note leads. If they catch on distract them.”
Hunter turned to the green haired guy next to him only to see the man staring blankly ahead. He slowly waved his hand in front of the man’s face, confused by his lack of reaction.
“What are you doing? What are you even-” Hunter stopped questioning the strange person as Argo walked into the gym.
Hunter looked around the room as Argo gave his speech, noting that the majority of the people in formation were around his age with the exception of one group of children. He tried to examine the group as closely as he could but got distracted as a voice seemingly appeared out of nowhere in front of him.
“Two Fr you’ll be sparring with Three Bg Here.” Temero motioned toward the man with the blank expression.
Hunter nodded to Temero then looked around once more. Guards stood at every doorway and kept a close watch over all of the Hybrids in the room. Some of the Hybrids began fighting each other willingly while others were coerced by guards to engage in combat. Hunter looked back to his sparring partner then at the two guards standing near him.
“Alright, guess I’ll play along.” Hunter shrugged and moved in front of the man. He waved his hand in front of his partner’s face again, now slightly impressed by his continued lack of movement.
Now how do I do this? Hunter closed his eyes and thought back to the first time he discovered his powers. A few months into his imprisonment he was laying encased in stone when suddenly he felt a warmth in his hands and a faint glow lit up the darkness around him. Now Hunter focused on his hands, attempting to summon some form of energy. After a few seconds went by, a rush of heat flooded through his arms and rested in his palms. He opened his eyes to see small flames resting in his hands. Hunter focused on the flames more and his hands became engulfed in fire.
“Sorry but I need to do this. It might hurt less if you block, dodge, or move in any way.”
Hunter steadied his feet into a fighting stance and raised his fists. He paused for a brief moment staring at his still immobile target before thrusting forward with a Fire Punch. As his fist landed on the target the man standing before him flickered and disappeared. The flames on his hands dissipated and Hunter froze in place, slack-jawed, as both of his guards alarmingly moved into an attack stance.
To be honest, Neil was zoning out for half of the speech. He agreed that he had been "cured of his inferior normality", but after that he became more interested in his fellow subjects. They were all so cool to look at! He was wondering if one of the cute girls he saw had pink hair from the gene splicing or if it was just dyed when he noticed everyone getting paired off. "I really should have payed better attention... hey, doc!" Neil waved excitedly as Temero approached.
Temero glanced up from his clipboard at Neil, his annoyance showing on his face before he hid it behind his normal mask of friendly indifference. "Ah, yes... Eight Nl. If you'll stand over here, you'll be sparring with Six Ft." He smiled, less a friendly smile and more like he knew a joke that Neil didn't get.
Neil happy came over, finding himself next to the tallest teen he'd ever seen. The guy was over six feet tall, heavily muscled and with spiky black hair. Neil showed no fear, only awe for the guy. "Whoa, you're big! What are they feeding you?"
Six Ft looked a little embarrassed, running one of his massive hands through his hair. "Honestly, not enough. Except for when I breathed fire that one time, and they gave me four fried chickens as a reward."
Neil levitated himself upward to look Six Ft in the face. "What, like four chicken wings? Chicken legs?" The attention seemed to embarrass Six Ft, as he looked away from Neil's prying eyes. "No, like... four whole fried chickens..."
"Wow. No wonder you're so heavy, tons of fun." Neil lowered himself back to the ground, glowing with orange lightning as he Charged up. "But we're supposed to be sparring, so come on! Let's have some fun!"
Six Ft nodded, squaring his stance and bracing himself. His muscles seemed to swell as a cobalt blue aura surrounded him.
"Oh, that's cool!" Neil whispered, grinning with excitement. Faster than the big guy could track, he blitzed over and rammed his shoulder into Six's stomach. Six barely moved, looking almost apologetic as he raised one fist to smash down on Neil. Neil ducked low, dodging the hit, then combined his Quick Attack and his Levitate to kick Six Ft in the chest. "Are you even trying?" Neil taunted, moving out of punching distance.
Six Ft shrugged. "Not really. I just wanted you to feel like you're doing well." He braced himself, his aura glowing as he started to Bulk Up.
"I appreciate the gesture! But I'll show you 'doing well'!" He rushed in, channeling his speed into his hands and delivering four swift Comet Punches with a "Hi-YAYAYAYA!"
Six ignored the punches, instead increasing his stats. Neil took this as an opportunity to just lay into the big guy. "Hi-YAYAYAYA! Hi-YAYAYAYAYA! Hi-YAYAYA! Hi-YAYA... wait, can you even feel this?" Neil stepped back to look at Six, who had Bulked Up to his maximum. His muscles were twice as large as he'd started at, his skin had developed charcoal gray scales, and his eyes looked golden, with slitted pupils like a reptile.
Neil did some math in his head. "...wait a minute, is this guy a DRAGON?!" Six Ft unleashed a cobalt blue blast of Dragon Breath, the impact sending Neil tumbling through the air. He righted himself, levitating in place as he fought off the paralysis trying to lock up his body. "Okay, I don't think I can win this..." Even Neil's cheerful attitude vanished in the face of certain defeat.
Six Ft stalked forward, grinning darkly. Neil turned toward the guards (who looked nervous) and Temero in the distance. "Hey, Doc, I think the fight's over!" Six Ft grabbed Neil by the collar, pulling him close. "Doc, stop the fight!"
"Hey, Eight Nl." Six growled. Neil turned to look at him nervously. "Y-yeah?"
Six smiled. "You did well." Neil immediately relaxed in the big guy's grip. "Oh, thanks, man, you t-" he was cut off by Six flipping him and throwing him to the floor, where he bounced once then lay still, the breath knocked from his lungs.
"I did better." Six walked away, but the guards wouldn't let him leave. He let out a deep breath, returning to his base size as the Bulk Up wore off.
Neil just lay there, too tired after the Storm Throw to even levitate. "Yeah..." he wheezed, "Good match..."
Just as Caelan swam endlessly in her dark tank, so too did the memories circle in her mind. She'd come to the Sevii Islands to extend her limited time, and now that she had no sense of it, the girl could only conclude that she'd passed on. Her hair had turned gold, her body glowed like a spirit, and everything else had gone black. With her condition, Caelan wouldn't have lived this long. Part of her wished she'd spent her last days with her family. But another side of her thought it was for the best, leaving her parents, finally dropping the façade of strength that she maintained around them, crying through each of the horrific experiments and letting the emotions she'd bottled up over the years escape her, before her soul finally escaped her body. She died with no regrets.
As if by her realization, a door opened. Light spilled into the room and water, from the aquarium. The glass walls of the structure parted, and two men in black picked a sodden Caelan off the floor.
"Get up," one of them ordered. His voice was far too gruff and unwelcoming for an introduction to the afterlife. Besides, he didn't need to tell her. With little else to do in her enclosure, she had swum patiently, keeping her muscles strong and more than capable of getting the girl to her feet. But her expression was blank, as if she really were a phantom following the guards into the hallway. Perhaps the man named Temero found ghosts attractive.
"What lovely blonde hair..." he complimented, running his fingers through Caelan's locks before slipping them down to hers. "And what delicate hands..."
Those hands had been made delicate by chains, disease, and experiments. Temero gingerly held her left and pressed a machine onto it, revealing the number zero inside a triangle tattoo. As she stared at it, Caelan understood that hers was not the hand of a free woman. She was prone to these escapist fantasies, once pretending that she was healthy, now believing that she was dead. But no, she hadn't yet experienced that release.
What was going on, then? Others like her congregated in a gym, while the fanciful explanations dispersed in her mind and yielded to confusion. Since death was all that she'd looked forward to, Caelan wasn't very optimistic. But she still needed answers.
It was at that moment that Temero delivered a speech, and though most of it fell on waterlogged, sense-deprived ears, a single phrase rang clear.
"Curing you, of your inferior normality."
No, a single word. Curing. Time and time again her limbs had been bound, shackled, and forcefully pulled apart, but this pleasant sound, however booming the voice that produced it, pulled the corners of her mouth apart gently. A crescent-shaped crack formed in the thick feeling of despair that hung over this room, and Caelan genuinely smiled. There was a small break in her circling memories, too, and suddenly all the pain she'd endured was a distant recollection. The light had entered her dark chamber just a second ago, and here was the light at the end of her tunnel.
Her fellow subjects might've chastised her for asking such an obvious question. But this was the happiest moment of Caelan's life, finding out that she'd live one.
"You'll be sparring with Sixteen Dk," Temero answered, pointing her in the direction of a boy with red eyes, golden rings, and flowing dark hair. Maybe it was her escapist mind playing tricks on her again, but he looked oddly familiar. The type of person she might've seen once or twice, back home in Saffron City, who remained a complete stranger but still stuck vaguely in her head. She approached him shyly. When had she last interacted with another person, with words rather than screams? Regardless, Caelan had always been a timid and soft-spoken girl, though she was much stronger physically and mentally than she appeared.
"Hey, Sixteen... it's nice to meet you. And this might sound weird, but I feel like I've seen you before," she addressed him awkwardly, not knowing what else to say. "We're supposed to fight, so... come at me."
As Rēji listened to that speech, he realised something. Submission would work, for now at least. These men seemed to be ruthless, and he had little doubt they could kill him with little regret. Even if I seem submissive in the outside though... I have to stay me. many thoughts like this drifted in and out of his mind.
Rēji heard the words "You will all pair up to test your attacks. Don’t worry about injuries, your newly gifted powers will enable to you withstand more than your previously could." His stomach filled with anxiety. He forced himself to calm down. He regulated his breathing and slowly, but surely, the knot in his stomach loosened
Temero startled him with the words "You'll be fighting Fifteen El" he just looked at the man. Temero walked away, presumably to inform others of who they would be sparring with.
A moment later, a girl approached him. "Hey, Sixteen... it's nice to meet you. And this might sound weird, but I feel like I've seen you before" He looked at her straight in the eye. "She does look vaguely familiar, though from where?
"Good to meet you too, fifteen." I hope
"We're supposed to fight, so... come at me." She said
He was curious about this new power of his... However, he had no idea how to use it. It came suddenly, like some primal force guiding him.
"Reach inside yourself, it's just like using your arms, or legs"
I think I understand? Let's see... He reached deep inside and found the source of his power. It was like a bowl, filled to the brim with his power. Rēji was enveloped by shadow cloud. It dispersed, and when it did he was covered by transparent armor. The armor was transparent , but also made of a thick, shadow-like substance.
"Let's do this." He said, and took a step toward her.
Despite his gloomy appearance, Sixteen Dk seemed nice. But now was the time to spar, not to make friends. Caelan focused on her opponent, sparks bouncing off her skin and creeping toward his shadowed figure. As the air around him grew heavier, he'd find it more difficult to move. She wasn't entirely certain of the shadow armor's defensive capabilities, but it must have slowed him down enough, even without the effects of Thunder Wave. The one thing she was sure of, then, was that she had speed on her side.
Caelan didn't have much difficulty summoning her powers. Trapped in a dark room for so long, desperately seeking the light, she'd awakened them and illuminated her surroundings. As she observed the other test subjects, many of whom looked drained, she realized that she felt more alive than ever. Not only had she been given a tank in which to swim and prevent her muscles from going to waste, but she'd also been placed in a trying environment that drew out her abilities. The only question was how she'd fare in battle.
"Okay, here I come," Caelan signaled, determined to find out. She first assumed a stance that she'd perfected in Saffron City's Fighting Dojo, then rushed Reji with her right arm extended like a spear, two fingers unsheathed and crackling with electricity. The instant she moved, Caelan was glad that she'd warned him. The girl surprised even herself with the speed of her attack, shredding both the air before her and any notions of her old, weak self. So this was the power of a Hybrid. She could produce her own light, run faster than she ever could, and accomplish feats that were previously impossible. Indeed, Caelan had never felt so alive...
Had he had time, Rēji would have marveled at the speed this girl was running at. Unfortunately he was slower than he had been, and in that split second, his body seemed to move on its own. His right arm shot out, and his left leg pulled back putting his feet in a defensive stance, Although it was a strange one, as he was right handed, so it should have gone the other way. He felt a pulse of energy shoot from his hand. A dark wave bolted towards her, and he was quite confident it would hit.
Emiko looked around the gym, seeing all kinds of people in her vicinity. Temero, the man who placed the strange tattoo on her earlier, spoke up, but was then interrupted by a loud and authoritative voice. Emiko glanced at the owner, noticing his outfit, ‘His outfit is different than the guards and that man, could he be someone important?’
Throughout his speech, Emiko was shocked, is that why she could breath underwater? She was merged with Pokemon DNA, but which pokemon exactly? Is that where the pearls came from? Could it be a part of the Pokemon she was injected with?
“You may proceed with testing.” Emiko’s thoughts were broken when she heard that sentence, snapping her head to the man. Testing? What were they going to test? Once Temero cleared her question about testing and explaining the exercise, everyone dispersed, awaiting to see who they are going to be paired up with. She looked around, seeing if she saw one recognizable, but none was found.
“Ah, Nine Fy.” At the voice, the young adult turned, noticing Temero behind her with a guard at his side. “You will be sparing with Three Ie.” The man pointed to a male with white hair, the tips a turquoise color, and light violet eyes. He was taller than her by a couple inches and was slightly slouched, glaring at the man before turning his burning gaze onto the smaller girl.
“Are you s*****ng me?” snarled the male, glaring at Temero. “I’m supposed to fight this kid? She looks weak.” The blunette narrowed her eyes, the corner of her mouth twitching at the insult.
“She is your sparring partner. I assure you, don’t judge a book by its cover.” assured Temero before looking at his clipboard and back up, “She is stronger than you think, probably even you.”
At the comment, the male snarled before glaring at the girl, “Her, stronger than me? F****ng liars, a girl can’t be stronger than me!”
Before Temero could say anything, “Prove it.” Both males looked at Emiko, said girl staring at the hot-tempered male with a steel gaze, repeating her phrase. Temero glanced between the two before chuckling, smirking in amusement.
“I shall leave you two be.” he commented before motioning for two guards to watch over the two before moving on. Once Temero left, the male snorted, “Prove it? I don’t need to prove it, I know I'm stronger.” Emiko’s gaze didn’t waver as she got into a fighting stance, “Prove it.” The male smirked and leaned back, looking around, “Nah. I don’t want to fight a weakling.”
One of the guards narrowed his eyes at the male, “Hey! You two need to spar!” Three Ie glared at the guard, snarling, “No way! She’s too weak for me! I’m not fighting a prissy girl!” “The professor said you have to fight! If you don’t, I will have to force you to.” “....Nah, you’re too weak also.” “Besides, I don’t fight girls, they’re fragile and wea-” Three Ie was interrupted when his feet were swiped up from behind, causing him to fall on his back with a ‘thud’.
“...Prove it.” commented the blunette as she stared at the fallen male emotionlessly, same as her emotionless voice. The male looked at her stunned for a few seconds before fury overlook him, “You b***h!” He stood up and ran at her raising his fist to punch her, but the female moved her body to the left, dodging the fist, then swiping her leg under his feet, sending him flying on his face this time. He immediately stood up and glared at the girl, aiming his open palm at her, “Razor Leaf!” A bunch of leaves are summoned and swipe in her direction. Emiko glanced at him before allowing her body to gain a faint whilte aura, “Acrobatics.” She uses her move to dodge the leaves, jumping and spinning in between each, getting closer to the male. Three Ie clenched his teeth before raising his other palm, “Ice Shards!” Shards of ice are formed in front of him and at his command, are send sailing at the girl who is still dodging the leaves. Right as she looked up, she noticed the shards and dodges some, but others manage to scratch her, the biggest wound on her left thigh, right under her skirt, bleeding.
“Would you look at that! You can’t dodge everything!” spat the male as he sprinted towards her and generated ice on one of his fists, “Ice Punch!” As he was about to punch her, Emiko opened her mouth and let out blue sound waves with blue hearts following, hitting Three Ig head on. The male cried out as he held his ears, skidding back a few feet. Emiko took the chance and ran towards him, kicking where every man’s jewels are. Three Ie let out a dying cry as he fell to his knees, holding his injury, “You...f****ng…..b***h….”
Emiko stared for a few seconds before lifting her right leg roundhouse kicked the male in the face, knocking him out.
There they were again, Caelan's escapist tendencies. Her body may have moved purposefully, but her mind still wandered aimlessly. She'd extended her index and middle fingers as if she were striking her opponent's pressure points, the electricity splitting at the tips of her nails like the waters of a stream at an offending boulder. In the split second that she'd flown at Sixteen, she'd already pictured her focused digits making contact.
When the boy assumed a defensive stance, however, a black wave consumed her and turned her daydreams to nightmares. This darkness, unlike the familiar cowardly one that drew back when she illuminated her chambers, faced her head-on, and it stung. But Caelan moved too fast to be blown back, the evil energy nipping at her fingers like a swarm of insects before passing completely. At close range, the parts of her body not protected by crackling currents were in considerable pain, so when the electric spear into which she'd formed her hand found its mark, she looked as if she had lost her purchase just to gain the advantage. The attack connected with Sixteen's guard, and she had to remind herself, upon its successful execution, that his shadow armor wasn't a pleasant shade where she could relax after clearing the first stretch that was his initial assault.
"Hey, you're pretty strong..." she complimented, her voice soft and unprovocative despite the two, unyielding fingers that pressed him like a blade. Perhaps it wasn't unlikely that he'd come from Saffron, where people from all around Kanto honed the martial arts, since he had good instincts. She didn't know the sights his eyes had seen, the trials his body had endured, or the thoughts his mind had produced in this brief moment of freedom, but she instantly respected him as a worthy sparring partner.
Not everyone got along as well as they did. She paused for a moment and observed the other pairs, witnessing a swearing male fall after suffering a roundhouse kick to the face. While he was loud, brash, and rude, the girl who bested him was his polar opposite. Not hesitating, not even wincing at the bleeding cut in her thigh, Nine Fy finished the man off with a devastating blow, uttering a single, pithy "Prove it" throughout the whole affair. Watching this cold-blooded assassin, Caelan realized she might've underestimated the rest of the subjects, noting the gloomy ones and thinking they were too drained to fight. She understood, as she looked back at Sixteen, that her match would have a more disappointing conclusion than any of theirs, for she couldn't imagine kicking him in the face.
"So that's our captor, Darrius Argo.. I don't think i ever heard of him in the mafia circle. Either he's a small time chump or he's just that good at concealing his identity from other people, looking at the resources he have here it's one hundred percent the latter. Combining the DNA of pokemon and human, what an idea it is hahahaha." Henry suddenly laughs at his situation.
He then looked at his surrounding battles "Lame, just lame." Henry says unenthusiastically watching people who didn't use their power properly. Well not all of them is totally bad (Looking at Fifteen El and Sixteen Dk) but eh, mostly almost all of them is boring. "So this is the hybrid power that Temero guy was talking about, back then." Henry reminding himself of what Temero had said to the group of test subjects earlier, that the serum gave them pokemon abilities and the fact that they have to fight each other. "Tch, being a lab rat is so boring. Not to mention they took all of my weapons and my f***in cigarette pack." Henry says frustatingly. "But my powers, that serum seems to give me a more powerful body and telekinesis, so i must be a Psychic/Fighting hybrid. If i have to fight then i'll fight accordingly." Henry tries to calmly assess the situation around him.
"Are you not going to fight, Twelve Ps?" Temero suddenly appears behind Henry. "Nah doctor, why should i have to wipe the floor against these little vermins, when i can just rest my head here watching the fight." Temero was speechless at the brazenness of the young man, "Oho, we have a strong one right here, have we?" Temero mutters alone. "Why's your face like that doctor? You don't like that i refer to your test subject as vermins?" Henry continues to talk while reading expression signals from Dr. Temero. "No i don't mind, i just want to see how powerful you are. Besides don't you want to test your newfound powers?" Dr. Temero tries to persuade Henry. Sensing that he doesn't have a choice, Henry then get up off his sitting position. "You have your ways with word aren't you? Fine, but i want 12 packs of "Golden Rose" the cheapest cigarettes you can find in Sinnoh if i can win, who is my opponent doctor?"
"IT IS ME YOU TOMATO TWERP!" Suddenly a voice can be heard from Henry's back, it came from a big bald guy with a chiseled physique. "Twelve Ps , let me introduce you to our subject that will face you, to accomodate your need of a stronger opponent he is-" As Dr. Temero tries to complete his introduction, Henry cuts "Sorry doctor, but there's no need to know the name of a cattle in preparation to be slaughtered. Besides couldn't you pick someone who had bigger brains than this cueball?" The subject turns very angry hearing that remarks, and starts to attack Henry "YOU!! DYNAMIC PUNCH!" A very fast punch suddenly flies to Henry, but he just shrugs "Teleport." Henry then appears behind the guy. "Why, you couldn't comprehend our gaps in power eh? I guess your brain is even smaller than a prawn." The subject's face turn even redder hearing that remark. "I'LL F*****G KILL YOU, YOU TWERP! BLAZE KICK." Henry suddenly smiled. "Heh, so this is the power of a fire/fighting hybrid. Let's see how far you can fight, Psychic." And with that he pushed himself away from the attack of the angry subject.
The battle was a chasing one, the angry subject that chased Henry keeps dishing out attacks after attacks that keeps getting dodged by psychic and teleport. "You.. puff.. don't you dare keep running, you're scared huh!?" The subject was getting desperate. "Oooo... i'm scared." says Henry sarcastically. "Heh, nevermind. It's time to end this farce once and or all. Psychic." Henry keeps the bald man's legs pinned at one point, with both his hands in his back." The unknown subject starts to squirm. "RELEASE ME! YOU LITTLE! FLAME- oomph." Henry shut the man's mouth with his psychic power, causing the man's supposed flamethrower to burn his throat instead. "So how is it Cueball? Now do you understand the difference between us. You think you're tough eh? I've seen a bunch guys like you boasting, either buried underneath a concrete structure, thrown into an incinerator, or sleeping with the fishes. You're just a disposable trash that is nothing special at all (His hands starts to glow, as he activated Sacred Sword)." The man starts to cry, and try to ask forgiveness even though he can't speak. "Too late, stupid." Henry starts to cut big wounds on the man's body and starts to bleed him out, all while the man tries to scream and cries even harder than before. "I'll give you a life lesson too good for a people like you. Don't try to swim as free as you think when you first enter a big pond, because you never know when the terrifying sharks is going to eat you alive." Henry grins widely and deactivates his Sacred Sword and starts to spin, he also silently mutters "Wu Er Da." Henry threw a very fast punch into the man's heart which cause a severe damage and cause the man to violently cough blood.
"So doctor, i'll be waiting for my cigarettes." Henry says, while putting his hand on the shoulders of a smirking Dr. Temero. Henry then walks back to the corner to continue his rest with restless eyes all over watching him.
It was Caelan’s hesitation that did her in, she lamented, as she looked up at Sixteen Dk’s victorious visage. The others had played the role that they were cast well—screaming, swearing, dealing finishing blows—but in the most crucial moments, the girl had hesitated. Perhaps her years of studying the martial arts had predisposed her to fight without hurting the opponent, instilled within her a sense of restraint that ultimately cost her the match. Or perhaps the distant feeling of acquaintance had emerged from the depths of oblivion, wrapped her shoulders and immobilized her legs like a surprise assailant who’d leapt onto her back and wouldn’t let go—a feeling she couldn’t shake. What was it about Sixteen Dk that suggested she’d seen him before? There was no shame in losing, because her mind had been somewhere else, and this was the question that occupied it.
Caelan shook her head, readjusting herself to reality and picking herself off the floor. If not confused, she was relieved, that neither she nor Sixteen Dk had been seriously injured. Her body throbbed with the blows she’d endured, but not enough that she couldn’t hide them. Of all the things that the brawl might’ve shattered within her, Caelan’s perfect mask wasn’t one. No, she probably hadn’t suffered any lasting damage elsewhere; the girl was far stronger than she appeared, after all.
Fifteen El worried more about whether she’d put on a good show. That was essentially what this was, she gathered. Caelan had deceived her parents for so many years that she was wholly capable of a convincing performance. But in those same years the Fighting Dojo had inculcated the virtue of good sportsmanship within her, and she was just as capable of being genuine.
“Are you okay?” she asked Sixteen Dk, as her pained mouth, little by little, cracked and quivered into a smile. Was she the only person in the room who could manage that? The others were either gloomy, aloof, or disconnected. Into which category did Sixteen fall? Caelan was overjoyed upon finding out that she’d live a full life, but the boy might’ve viewed his situation differently.
“And... how did you get here? If you don’t mind...” she asked his experiences, directly.
Temero finished making his rounds through the gym, assigning each Hybrid to their sparring partners. He sighed as he watched the Hybrids battle.
“You should be happy Doc. If it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t have gotten this far with the project.”
Temero glanced at the man in military dress who had approached him.
“Yes, well we still have weeks, maybe months to go. We don’t exactly know how stable they are or if the changes are permanent.”
“They better be. I don’t want to go through that process more than once just so I can thunder punch the pathetic babies that challenge me.”
“Don’t worry. This is just phase Delta, I’m sure we’ll go through at least two more phases before we’re ready to run you through it Surge.” Temero averted his eyes from the fighting and started flipping through his notes.
“On a related note, have you selected your troops yet?” Temero asked as he added to his already extensive notes on the test subjects.
“Well that beast fighting that levitating kid looks promising. Even that little blue haired pipsqueak that just laid out that punk might be a good soldier.” Surge grinned as he watched the young adults mindlessly beat each other.
“By the way, is that child suppose to be glowing like a Voltorb?” Surge pointed at the child standing with Elena.
Temero’s head shot up from his notepad to follow Surge’s finger. The child was glowing bright white with smoke starting the emit from her body.
“No no no no no.” Temero dropped his notepad and ran over to a nearby computer station and started typing away in a panic.
“Damnit Johnson! I told you to leave the Forretress strand out of this phase! The DNA sequence isn’t stable enough to work with!” Temero yelled into the band on his wrist.
“Lock the doors! Sound the-” Temero was cut off as the child exploded, knocking half the people in the room off their feet and filling the entire gym with a thick smoke.
Temero slowly sat up, head swaying as his ears rang. Through the smoke he could make out the shapes of people fighting as various attacks illuminated the clouds around them.
“Units echo and tango report to the gym, now!” Surge knelt down and slid on a pair of large metallic gloves. “So glad I get to finally use these babies. Won’t be as good as the real thing though.”
“Just…don’t” Temero struggled to speak through his coughing, “kill them. Those thunder gloves are more powerful than you’d expect.”
“I won’t kill them as long as they know their place.” Surge stood up and slowly walked into the cloud, sparks flying from his fists.
“This isn’t how it was supposed to happen.” Temero muttered as he stood up.
A loud thundering sound rang through the room as Surge pounded his fists together, clearing the smoke around him. He looked over as a white case broke open and sent poké balls rolling in front of him. He laughed as one of the Hybrids reached down to grab a ball and threw a punch aimed at their face, high voltage electricity shooting off his hand.
The moment his sparring partner faded into nothing, Hunter’s guards pulled out batons and struck him, dropping him to his knees. The blows themselves would have been weak had they not been backed by a surge of energy emanating from the blunt weapons. One of the guards held his baton at the base of Hunter’s neck, causing the Hybrid to feel weakened so that he’d stay in place.
“Oh, so now fighting’s bad?” Hunter grunted out as the painful energy coursed through his body. He heard a clicking noise behind him and the energy’s power increased.
“We’ve got a code triple O, pin down subjects and search for target Three Bg.” The guard reached his free hand up to talk into a mic on his wrist.
As Hunter knelt there, wondering what the guard was talking about, his attention was drawn to the group of children again, now being corralled on the other side of the gym.
That sort of looks like… “Claire!” The pain from the baton’s energy in combination with watching his sister get struck by a similar weapon sent a wave of anger through his body and his hands burst into flames. He mustered up enough strength to reach back and strike the baton out of the guard’s hand before slowly standing up.
The second guard swung at Hunter with another baton but he ducked under it and fire punched the man in the throat. Hunter’s legs burst into flame as he spun around to face the first guard who had recovered his weapon. Hunter roundhouse kicked the baton of the guard’s hand and then quickly did a crane kick with his other foot straight into the guard’s face, leaving a burn mark and knocking the man out.
Hunter turned and started walking toward the group of kids when a sudden nearby explosion extinguished his flames and knocked him to the ground. Ears ringing and vision blurry, Hunter slowly got up on one knee as he recovered his balance. The room was full of smoke now but he could at least make out the shapes of people fighting. Whether it was his fight with the guards or the explosion that started it he didn’t know, all Hunter knew was that the room had broken out into chaos with Hybrid’s fighting guards and each other.
“Hey, get up.” Hunter turned his head as Three Bg walked up, holding a white suit case.
“If what they told me is correct then the contents of this case should help us out.” The green haired man dropped the case in front of Hunter and picked up a baton.
“How did you… what-” Hunter looked at Three Bg confused.
“Double Team.” The man clicked various buttons on the weapon before swinging it down onto the case, breaking its lock. Three Bg elbowed a charging guard in the face and then kicked the case open to reveal poké balls. Hunter observed them as Three Bg grabbed one at random. Unlike standard poké balls, these were blue on top with red on the bottom half and had a black and red double helix design etched into the top.
Three Bg threw his ball into the air, releasing a Yanma that instantly spit fire at an incoming guard.
Both Hunter and Three Bg paused for a brief moment, sharing a look of confusion, before returning their attention to the fight.
Three Bg shrugged before yelling, “Let’s kick some ass!” and running off into the smoke with his new companion.
Hunter nodded and grabbed a random ball himself. He glanced over his shoulder as he heard a loud thunderous boom sound and a section of smoke cleared away, revealing more Hybrids fighting off guards.
“Here! Use these!” Hunter threw the case as hard as he could. Hoping it would reach its destination. The case fell short but broke open, sending the remaining poké balls rolling towards their intended targets.
Let’s see what we’ve got here. Hunter pressed the button on his poké ball sending out a beam of light. The light faded, revealing a Slugma. The lava slug yawned and stared at Hunter. Slugma spit out a stream of water the shot past Hunter’s head and struck a guard in the face. Hunter spun around and slammed his foot onto the guards chest then turned back to Slugma.
“I woke up this morning able to light my own body on fire at will. I’m not even going to begin questioning what you just did. I assume we’re fighting on the same side?”
“Slug” The slugma smiled and swayed side to side.
“Alright, then let’s go.” Hunter ran into the smoke toward his sister, followed by his new pokémon.
Black. Pitch Black. The darkness had consumed even the mind of the young man lying in a rock hard bed. But it wasn't only the bed that was like a rock. The body of the test subject was still of flesh, but deep inside, it felt like a pile of rocks were stacked on top of each other. It was a little difficult to move, as his muscles were very sore, like he had never experienced before. When he finally opened his eyes, the adventure truly began.
"H-huh?" Blythe looked around. He could tell it was dark in the room, but for some reason, he could see in the dark... since when does he have that ability? He tried to sit up, but he immediately felt pain. His body was not used to being this... heavy. What kind of school was this anyway? Will they not get classes? Is this his dorm?
Before he could think of an answer, two men entered the room. They were dressed in black, and did not look anything like teachers. Before Blythe could say anything, they were grabbing him. One of the men removed a kind of device from Blythe's back. Strange, he never even felt it. "That's right, don't speak. You are to come with us." their voices sounded threathening. It was official, this was no school.
Some more men came in and picked up Blythe. He was clearly very heavy, as the men struggled to keep him in their hands. Blythe didn't bother struggling. He really did not have the energy to do so. I feel... power.. it's like a newfound power had found it way inside Blythe, as he felt that despite his fatigueness, he could attack, like a dark type Pokémon? Or maybe a rock type?
When he was finally dropped, he saw lots of other people. They were of varying ages, ranging from children to seniors. All of them looked similarly strange. One man looked like a tree, and a child looked like a bird. It's like they were not even human anymore...
An important-looking man came around every single one of the people and pressed a machine on their hand. Soon, it appeared that it was Blythe's turn. He held out his left hand, and a strange-looking tattoo was made on it with the machine. When he looked up, it appeared that everyone else had the same tattoo branded on their hand.
How long have they been here? What could have happened to make all of these people plus himself so.... inhuman? Every single one of the people looked miserable and tired. Some even looked on the brink of death, it was disgusting.
Before he could get an answer to any of these questions, they were pressured to a different room. Quite forcefully too. They were led to a hall and eventually, divived in 4 different groups, based on the marking they received earlier.
That is when the truth was revealed. We have been here for a year. A year. and for what? To cure us... of our inferior normality. What... does that mean? Well, what it means is... they're giving us powers, similar to Pokémon. in other words, they were used, like lab rats. The DNA of Pokémon had been infused. Now it's certain, he was made into an artificial Pokémon..
They were given types and fighting abilities. Based on all the evidence, it was easy to assume he was a Rock type, and dark type as well. And now he was going to test that power out, on another test subject. He was adressed as Five RK, in the Delta Zero group. To be frank, he had no wish to battle at all, but he was quickly pared up with a female test subject, whose hair reminded him of something you'd see in a horror movie.
"So, you're my opponent. My test subject name or whatever is Four KL. I will not hold back on you, you know!" The woman seemed to be in a lot of distress, and understandably so. The first thing she did was run towards Blythe at full speed, and she wrapped her body around him, like a snake.
"This is my wrap attack. What are you going to do now? Ha ha..." while she looked very confident, Blythe didn't even feel the attack. She barely felt the woman's grasp, let alone her attack. Let's try something.... Blythe raised his hand, and slapped the woman's face, making her unwrap him. Ah, so this must be my knock off attack? Interesting.
"A gentleman does not slap a lady! It seems I really must teach you a lesson!" The woman came back and showed her fangs. "I'll suck all the life out of you, until you lay dead on the floor!" it seems the woman had gone truly crazy, as she put her fangs into his head. Blythe slowly felt his energy being drained. He had to do something to get this chick of him...
That is when he felt some power in his hands.. What is it.... I must punch her? As soon as that thought popped up in his mind, he prepared and punched the woman in her face with a payback attack. It was strong enough to knock the snake woman out. Did he... win?
After the battle, he sat down, utterly exhausted from the heaviness of his body. He would have to get used to it somehow, right? But... how. Just when he was least expecting it, chaos broke out.
The entire gym started filling with a thick smoke, making it difficult to make out anything that was going on elsewhere. He heard the sounds of people screaming and explosions all around him, before a Pokéball rolled in front of him. It was strange, he hadn't seen a Pokéball here before. He picked it up and released it, revealing a Nosepass within. "Pass!" the Nosepass said, as Blythe just looked around confused. Suddenly, when the fog started to clear, some of the guards noticed Blythe and the Nosepass, and ran after him.
Just when Blythe was about to give in, the Nosepass released a flow of water from his arms, hitting the guards and blowing them back. "Hey, are you... on my side?" the Nosepass looked back at Blythe and stared at his face. "Well, no time to waste, I think we should go, quickly." Then he realized... he couldn't run.
But before long, he realized something. He could use the attack 'Rollout'. "Hey little guy, you need to go back in your Pokéball for now, let's go!" he returned the Nosepass to it's Pokéball and quickly prepared a rollout. He rolled into a ball and started speeding away into the smoke along with his little new Pokémon.
Emiko watched as they took away the unconscious male, leaving her with one guard, then turning and looking around, seeing other hybrids still fighting. She heard shouting and looked over, noticing that a young male was being held down by his guards and their batons were sparking with electricity. ‘What is going on over there?’ She then looked to where the boy was looking and saw children being kept to one side. ‘Children?’
As she was thinking, her thoughts were broken when an explosion occurred nearby, knocking her back due to her lightweight, like half of the other hybrids. She slowly opened her eyes, seeing a thick smoke cover her vision. She can see the silhouettes of the others and different flashes as they continued to use their moves, but some of their opponents changed to the guards. She slowly stood up and tried to see what was going on, but everything was covered in by the grey mist-like substance, making it hard to distinguish, and her ears were ringing from the recent explosion.
“S-stop! I don’t want to!” “Enough! Get this brat down!” “Hold still!”
Emiko heard voices nearby and walked over, hoping it was another hybrid, but it wasn’t just another hybrid. Through the smoke, she could see a black haired child with amber eyes being held to the ground by one guard while another was getting ready to strike the child unconscious with his baton crackling with electricity. The child is thrashing around, crying, and wailing. She stares in shock at how they are treating a young child, before anger sets in.
“Hurry up and-” The guard holding the child down halts in shock as he watches his comrade is knocked away by blue sound waves with blue hearts intermixed, then a young woman with ocean blue hair and similar color eyes appears in his spot, glaring down at him. “What the-” The woman’s body glows a fait white aura before she swift jumps over the guard, landing behind him, then turns and wraps her legs around him, straddling his head, before pulling them backwards with her weight, placing her hands on the ground and using any strength she has to flip him behind her, letting go and sending him away. She stands up and glares at where she threw the guard before turning and kneeling down beside the child, who was shaking up from the manhandling earlier.
“Are you alright?” The child slowly looks up and sees a woman with kind eyes looking him over, paling a hand on his head and making sure he’s not injured. She notices the scrapes on his hands and knees and hovers one of her hands over his head. “Aqua Ring.” About three-four rings made up of water droplets form around the child, and then shrink to around his hands and knees,one to each limb, healing the wounds. The woman stands up and looks around, as if looking for something.
Emiko looks around and notices the hybrids are still fighting one another or guards. She was about to walk away when she felt small hands grab her shirt, causing her to stop and turn, seeing the child she rescued standing right behind her, looking at her with watery eyes.
“C-can I come with y-you? I d-don’t want to b-be alone!” the child sniffs as he looks around and shakes at the chaos around them, huddling closer the the female. Emiko stares down, processing his question before closing her eyes, as if thinking of an answer. After a few seconds, she opens them and looks at the child, smiling slightly.
“Alright, you can come, but don’t stray off. Hold my hand, alright? My name is Emiko Fujioka.” she assures softly, holding out her left hand. The child nodded swiftly and grabbed her hand with a strong grip, “I-I’m Hiro K-Kuchiki, sis.”
Emiko looked back up, her smile disappearing as she noticed two more guards hearing their way. As she pushes Hiro behind her, she heard a shout from nearby. She looked up and saw the male from before, holding a case and throwing it, causing the case to fall short, but the fall caused it to open and the pokeballs inside fell out, two rolling and stopping in front of them. She saw the guards get closer, and instead of two, its four. She grabbed the pokeballs and handed one to Hiro, placing it in his free hand, not paying attention to the pokeball’s strange appearance. All that mattered is that these Pokemon may be their only hope to living.
“When I say ‘Release’, press the white button in the middle, alright? Whatever Pokemon comes out is going to be our partners.” she explained to Hiro, who nodded and looked towards only feet away from them. Emiko turned and glared at the guards before moving her hand in front of her, making the pokeball visible to the guards, Hiro mimicking her movements. “Release!”
They both pressed the buttons and the ball opened, releasing a bright light. One landed in front of Emiko as the other was heading towards the child. Hiro let go of the empty pokeball and used his free arm to catch the light. As the light died down, a ‘clank’ could be heard as Hiro’s pokeball fell, the two hybrids and the guards staring at the new Pokemon in front of them. In Hiro’s arm was a Togepi, the spike ball Pokemon, chirping happily as he waved his hands around, while in front of Emiko was an Alolan Vulpix, the fox Pokemon, standing in front of her and waving its tail around, cooing.
“Get them! Quick!” At the voice of the guards, Emiko looks up and glares, but she didn’t expect for the Alolan Vulpix to stand up and send an icy glare at the same guards, almost as if knew who was friend or foe. The fox Pokemon's tail glowed purple and she jumped towards a guard and swiped, sending the guard back. The other guards stopped and looked at the fallen comrade as the Alolan Vulpix landed in front of Emiko and growled.
“S**t! The Pokemon have escaped!” The Fox opened her mouth and let loose a gust of cold wind with small balls of snow, hitting two of the guards. The last guard stood in place, unsure of what to do, “Uh…”
“Toge...pi!” The Togepi in Hiro’s hold waved his two glowing arms before summoning mud and sending it at the guard, hitting him in the face.
“F**k! My face!” The guard fell back as he tried to get the mud out of his eyes while his comrades groaned in pain at the attacks.
“Let’s go.” Emiko immediately walked around the guards, pulling Hiro along, and grabbing his pokeball along the way, placing it in her hip bag along with hers. She didn’t bother questioning the moves these Pokemon knew, they were experimented, who said the Pokemon weren’t as well? ‘I understand for them to know Metronome and Powder Snow...but Poison Tail? I don’t know anymore…’
“Sis, are these Pokemon our partners?” Hiro asked, staring at the Pokemon in his arm, who stared up at him and chirped, smiling.
“Yeah, they’re with us now.” Emiko replied as she stared at the Vulpix walking beside her, looking around for any danger nearby. She stared before looking forward again. “...Kyuubi, do you like it?” The vulpix looked up at Emiko before chirping in agreement and jumping on her right shoulder, making Emiko smile slightly.
“A nickname…” Hiro looked back down at Togepi and thought of one, smiling. “Toto! Do you like it?” The spike ball Pokemon chirped happily, waving its small arms, as if agreeing with the boy. Hiro giggled before looking up and stiffening, Emiko doing the same and stopping in their tracks. Toto chirped confused while Kyuubi bared her teeth and growled. Standing a few feet from them, already beating down some hybrids, was a man in military dress, and someone they shouldn’t have come across.
The last battle left Henry with foul taste, the fact that cocky pests could ran their mouth around while not knowing the limits of their was sickening to his very core. It worsened his boredom, and the fact that he had to wait for everything to finish here without something to do doesn't help either. Suddenly an ear splitting explosion happened causing most of the room to panic. Henry however, was very happy that this interesting development happened. He immediately smirked ominously for the fact that a huge change is going to rock the entire system which probably would provide him with the entertainment he yearned.
Suddenly the situation plunged into utter chaos. Prisoners tried their hardest with their abilities to subdue the guards and earn their ticket into freedom, others decided to follow their bloodlust and instead tried to kill guards just for fun. There were also another group mixed in the mist, in which their goal was to exact revenge to other test subjects they deemed too cocky or had wronged them during their captivity, Henry was not an exception to this group’s target.
Two peoples tried to use Blazing Punch and Thunder Punch consecutively against Henry. Unfortunately for the attacks, even before they had connected their punch Henry redirected their punch to each other causing their neck to bleed heavily. “Ants… Ants… Ants!” Henry was pretty pissed that those inmates were disturbing him from enjoying the ensuing carnage and decided to weed out the sources of those annoyance himself.
Just before he managed to find another enraged test subject to permanently scar however, a poke ball rolled to his foot, immediately popping out a pokemon as soon it came to contact with his shoes. Henry immediately recognized the pokemon as Baltoy. “It must be one of Temero’s guinea pigs… hey you! Go back to your pokeball!” Henry yelled at Baltoy so it would return to its ball, however the attempt was done with no avail. Baltoy stared at Henry for quite a while, until it decided to hug Henry’s leg. “Get off me! You! Get the hell out of here!” Henry shook his legs violently while screaming to make Baltoy fell of his legs to no avail. Baltoy wouldn’t let his legs go.
During his attempted effort at ridding himself of the Clay pokemon, he saw streaks of yellow lightning accompanied by a menacing laugh, screams, and dust explosion from the same direction. “What the hell?” Henry cleaned the dust explosion by using psychic powers to redirect the air. His vision saw a bulky muscled man with a striking yellow hair and military uniform, the lightning itself came from the gauntlet the man wear. “F***, so the famous lieutenant was in this whole scheme too… How far does this Darrius Argo influence goes…” It explained a whole lot of things for Henry, how he was found so fast by the organization’s agent, and how the mafia decided to investigate the Vermilion Gym. However, it also was a realization for him that Darrius Argo might not just control the underworld but he also controls puppets even on the surface level, it also made him more curious about what the hell the boss ordered him to steal.
"No one shall escape this place, not when i'm around haha." Lt. Surge laughed as he dismantled poor souls that decided to cross him with lightning strikes.
"The lieutenant is one interesting fella, i wish i can battle him now. Alas, i'm pretty sure that gauntlet in his hand is to compensate his inability of using pokemon powers." Henry decided not to battle Surge as it would be boring fighting someone who only have a gauntlet as his only weapon as much as strong the gauntlet is. "Hm.. What the heck those two doing there? Do they really want to die that much?" Henry saw two people standing against Lt. Surge, one is a teen girl with blue hair and the other one is a black haired kid trembling at the sight of the lieutenant.
Henry was not sure what to make out of the situation, however even he understand that if these two dared to fight against Surge and his powerful gauntlet without even thinking to escape. It would probably ended up with them going out from the battle... As a corpse.